Addiction Recovery & Gratefulness: Why The Two Go Hand In Hand

The pursuit of sobriety is often the pursuit of happiness. While the early focus of addiction treatment is to get through detox and stop using the substance, addiction recovery then transforms into a quest for a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Every recovery path is different, and the steps towards happiness and contentment in your own life will be tailored to your own needs and experiences. That said, one way that can help get you there faster is the ability to practice gratitude.

Practice Gratitude for a Change of Perspective

Addiction recovery comes with various challenges, so being told you should be grateful may come across as a bit silly at first. However, practicing gratitude regularly can actually change your perspective on the recovery process and even make staying sober an easier process. It all starts with knowing what to be grateful for each day.

While you can always be grateful for your home and your possessions, real happiness comes from being appreciative for the deeper things in life. It is up to you to decide what means the most to you, but just being in your current position means you already have at least a couple things to be grateful for. And it goes far beyond just saying “thank you” when someone does you a favor.

For example, very few people — if any — manage to overcome addiction and reach sobriety all on their own. As you are learning to navigate your life in recovery, it’s important to appreciate and acknowledge all of those who have helped you along the way. While you may not be in a position to actively thank them every day, you can still adopt a grateful mindset for having such a wonderful support network.

It’s also worth being grateful just for being in addiction recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that there are more than 22 million people in the U.S. suffering from addiction, yet less than 20 percent of them manage to seek treatment. Just the fact that you are on a sober path is gratitude-worthy!

How Gratitude Fits in With Addiction Recovery

Live each day with an attitude of gratitude, and happiness will swiftly follow.

This isn’t just an anecdotal statement. A recent Harvard Medical School study found that people who regularly expressed gratitude in everyday life were generally happier and even had healthier relationships than those who did not. The study’s participants also expressed greater life satisfaction and contentment. This is important for addiction recovery, because all of these feelings are crucial to fading the desire to abuse substances.

Likewise, expressing gratitude to others has also been shown to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals are what make us naturally feel joy, and higher levels of both have an inverse correlation with drug abuse. Basically, a life of gratitude gives you a more positive outlook on your new life in recovery and makes you less likely to relapse.

Grow Feelings of Gratitude

Living a grateful life does not always come easy. But you’ve tackled substance abuse and made it to addiction recovery — you’ve got this! Here are some tips to help you grow your feelings of gratitude and appreciate everyday life:

  • Talk to others about things they’re grateful for – Getting perspective from others can be a great way to take a step back and see the things that you can be appreciative of. Try bringing it up in group therapy or in other settings where you may be around people who have been in your shoes.
  • Practice regular meditationLearning to meditate will help keep you grounded and more in tune with life’s beauty.
  • Keep a gratitude journal – Try to write an entry every day for things you are grateful for. You can also use this journal to help track your addiction recovery progress.
  • Make an effort to thank people – Making an effort each day to thank the people around you for things (even the smallest of favors) will not only help you build up your grateful attitude, but will help make up for the times during your addiction when you may have not thanked them enough.

We Can Help

Whether you are actively looking for an addiction treatment program or you’d simply like to learn more about gratitude and how it fits with sobriety, contact our team at Principles Recovery Center. Our rehab facility in Davie, Florida helps individuals from all walks of life become sober and build a life in recovery to be proud of.

Healthy Habits to Maintain Sobriety

You did it, you admitted to your family that you have a problem, you completed inpatient treatment for drugs and alcohol, and now you’re back home. Hopefully, you feel accomplished and proud of yourself because completing treatment isn’t always easy. It required a lot of work on your part and facing demons you most likely didn’t want to face. 

Now that you’re at home, Principles Recovery Center wants to let you know it’s important to continuously work on your sobriety. Treatment will get you sober but doesn’t necessarily keep you sober. Recovery is a lifelong journey and it’s up to you whether or not you want to work at it. Lucky for you there are little things you can do throughout the day, every day, that will help you stay sober. 

Developing Habits in Recovery

Working at maintaining sobriety doesn’t have to be a daily challenge. Building a routine and incorporating structure is a key component of practicing healthy habits. Some simple habits you can pick up are: 

  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is important, especially in sobriety. Life can be stressful and we all deserve to feel good about ourselves. It’s easy to stay focused on making money and keeping everyone around us happy, but hard to remember to reward ourselves. You should make a point to do one nice thing for yourself a day, whether it’s complimenting yourself, treating yourself to the fancy coffee at the shop down the street, or doing a face mask at night.

  • Exercise: Working out is great for the body and mind. Implementing exercise a few times a week will make a huge difference in your overall well being. Working out releases endorphins and helps reduce stress. Feeling happy and calm will help reduce drug or alcohol cravings, which helps prevent relapse.

  • Practice gratitude: Being sober is a gift. Your life was probably in complete array at one point while you were using drugs or alcohol. Being grateful for no longer living in chaos and being healthy will definitely help keep you sober. An easy way to practice gratitude is by keeping a journal. You can spend a few minutes each night writing down what you’re grateful for. You can even get other people involved and start a group chat that asks everyone to contribute one thing daily.
  •  Cook: Learning to cook is useful for many reasons. Cooking at home is much healthier than eating at a restaurant, so you’ll feel healthier physically. Cooking is something you can do for yourself or others. It’s a great way to reconnect with the people around you. If you have a big meal to prepare, you can get your roommates or family to help you prep. It’s time you can all spend together and get closer. Cooking can also become a hobby that you can do for the rest of your life.

  • Set goals: Setting goals is super important in sobriety. Feeling motivated and having something to look forward to will give you purpose in life. You can set financial and personal goals for yourself. Maybe you’ve been wanting to travel lately but don’t know how to pay for it. You can set a goal to travel by a certain date. This will motivate you to save money weekly or monthly that can be put towards your trip. 

Let Us Help You!

At Principles Recovery Center, we are a drug rehab and addiction treatment center located in Davie, Florida. We offer a family-focused treatment program because we know that addiction impacts not only the individual but family members as well. We also provide a Spanish drug rehab program for those whose primary language is Spanish. We would be honored to help you with your recovery process. If you would like to learn more about our addiction recovery programming, please contact us today!

How To Have Fun in Florida While Sober

Although getting sober can be challenging, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. When your life is controlled by drugs or alcohol, you end up losing sight of what’s important. When you’re getting high, you think you’re having fun but in reality, you aren’t. There’s nothing actually fun about being incoherent and hurting the ones you love. Ruining your physical and mental health is also not fun. 

Now that you’ve gained sobriety and have your life back, you’re probably starting to learn what makes you happy. Your judgment is no longer hindered by drugs and alcohol, and your emotions are no longer numb. You’ll have the time and energy to learn new things and meet new people. 

A big component of being happy is having fun. When you have fun, you reduce the amount of stress you have and serotonin is released in the brain. Being happy and having fun will help you maintain your recovery. So, how to have fun you may ask? Traveling is a great way to have fun. By changing your scenery, you can learn new things and meet new people. A great place to travel domestically is Florida. 

Fun Things to do in Florida

Florida is a beautiful place with warm weather all year round. It’s also a large state that’s easy to drive around in. Florida also happens to be culturally diverse, Each city has its own charm and attitude. For instance, Miami Beach has a lot of Cuban influence. It’s a great place to visit if you want to learn about a different culture. Orlando, which is in central Florida, has a lot of activities to do geared towards family. Below are a few fun sober activities to do throughout Florida: 

  1. Theme Parks: Without a doubt, this is one of Florida’s main attractions. There are multiple major theme parks in Florida. One of the biggest is Disney World, which is a handful of amusement parks put together. This includes Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, the new Star Wars area of the park, and more! Florida is also home to Universal Studios, which pays homage to some of this entertainment industry’s biggest hits. Florida is also home to Sea World, where people can explore some of the most majestic creatures of the sea.
  2. Beaches: For those who love the outdoors, Florida is the place to go. Florida is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The blue water and white sand are enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Furthermore, the salty sea breeze will help everyone relax and appreciate nature for all its glory.
  3. Golf: Anyone who loves golf is going to be happy in Florida. The warm climate and blue skies mean that golf is played throughout the year. There are countless golf courses in cities like West Palm Beach and Tampa. Each course will -present a new challenge to the player. Anyone who is looking to develop a new hobby or hone a skill should consider taking up golf!
  4. Sports: Florida is home to numerous sports teams. Many people flock to Florida just to catch a football game, basketball game, or baseball game. There are also major tennis tournaments that take place throughout the year. Why not take this chance to see some of the world’s greatest athletes compete?

Principles Recovery Center is Here to Help!

At Principles Recovery Center, we are a drug rehab and addiction treatment facility located in Davie, Florida. This is one of the most scenic areas in the country and we like to take full advantage of our location to help people get sober and stay clean. We offer a family-focused treatment program because we understand that addiction and mental health issues can impact not only the individual but family members and friends as well. That is why we focus on the entire person, including loved ones. In addition, we know that addiction does not discriminate. That is why we also provide a Spanish drug treatment program for those whose primary language is Spanish. We would be happy to help you with the recovery process as well. If you are interested in learning more about our addiction recovery programming, please contact us today! 

Why it is Hard To Be Sober in a Culture Based Around Alcohol

From the earliest days of the United States, there has been a strong culture based around alcohol consumption. Indeed, many of the first immigrants to the new world started setting up breweries based around skills that were learned in Europe. Since that time, alcohol has been an integral part of the culture in the United States. People simply need to look around. Most major cities in the United States have hundreds of bars, sometimes right next door to each other. Days of the week are often based around drink specials and given nicknames to further promote them. Most restaurants also have drink specials that are designed to be paired with their food specials.

Indeed, the culture in the United States is based around alcohol as a social lubricant. Sure, drinking in moderation might work for some people; however, for those who are recovering from an addiction to alcohol, this can be a serious problem. For this reason, it is critical for everyone to know a few important points regarding staying sober in a culture that is based around alcohol.

Struggling with Sobriety is a Common Problem

In the United States, there are millions of people who damage their lives every year due to drinking in excess. When someone succumbs to the dangers of alcoholism, this can lead to serious health effects. Long-term alcohol use can lead to extensive liver damage that might progress to the point that it required a transplant. This is in addition to the numerous short-term health impacts including impaired judgment, difficulty breathing, acute alcohol poisoning, and the development of Delirium Tremens due to alcohol withdrawal.

Furthermore, an addiction to alcohol can also damage someone’s relationships with family members and friends. Personal relationships might get pushed to the side in favor of the altar of addiction. People might even sacrifice gainful employment just to feed this addiction. There is plenty of collateral damage that stems from an addiction to alcohol. For this reason, it is important for anyone who is struggling with alcoholism to rely on help from the professionals. The recovery process for anyone will begin with a single step.

The Pervasive Problem of Alcohol at Restaurants

It is important for people to be sensitive to the dangers of alcoholism and the countless people who have rebuilt their lives and are trying to stay sober. This becomes even more important when someone steps out into society. A quick scan of any restaurant menu will quickly reveal that the alcohol is placed at the top. Some restaurants even have an entire menu dedicated just to beer, wine, and liquor.

This is for good reason. Those who own bars and restaurants are running a business. Most will say that the big profits come from alcohol and not from food. A single well drink can exceed the cost of some entrees. Therefore, restaurants often prioritize alcohol on the menu, trying to push this harder than even their most expensive dishes. It should come as no surprise that many of the top supermarkets and restaurants end up cashing in on alcohol.

Alcohol and Sporting Events

Many people even say that alcohol has become ingrained into the sporting culture as well. People often tie sports and drinking together at a young age. Attending sporting events often involves a “pregame” before heading over where students try to create some sort of “slight buzz.” Then, the drinking continues once people reach the game.

Sadly, many of the people who drink alcohol are college students who are underage. Without proper supervision, many of these students end up with drinking problems that start during college. Even though many colleges have “sober dorms,” drinking still takes place here as well. This is a serious issue that becomes even greater for those who are recovering from an addiction to alcohol.

Maintaining Sobriety in Today’s Society

When someone ventures out into a world with alcohol at every turn, it can be hard to stay sober. There are a few ways that people can face this challenge head-on and remain successful during recovery. Make sure to share the challenges of addiction with family members and close friends. It is a good idea to go to social events with a buddy. This might be a friend or a buddy who is also in recovery. Furthermore, it is critical to know one’s limits and recognize the signals that someone’s personal resolve might be weakening. When this happens, be sure to ask for help. Nothing should ever come before someone’s continued, ardent, successful sobriety.

Trust Principles Recovery Center for Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in today’s society. Anyone who would like help in the Davie, FL area should rely on Principles Recovery Center. We provide family-focused treatment plans and even have a Spanish-speaking drug rehab program. Contact us today!

Why We Should Be Grateful in Recovery

None of us come into recovery because we want to be here. For many of us, our lives have completely fallen apart, and we are at our worst, our bottom. We cannot fathom that our lives could get better. All we can see is the hurt, the shame, and the broken relationships we have left behind.

Recovery Heals Us

Many of us struggle with feelings of guilt or shame for what we have done, not only to ourselves but to those closest to us. Our thoughts are filled with negativity and put-downs, and we can’t see a way to improve things. The disease has taken our self-esteem and self-worth.

Recovery introduces us to a Higher Power, something greater than ourselves, that offers grace and forgives our wrongdoings. This Power will erase all the negative thoughts and feelings inside us and replace them with love and forgiveness if we surrender to it.

Once we have surrendered to this Power, our life begins to change. We feel the love from our Higher Power and from those around us in recovery. The negativity becomes less, and we begin to forgive ourselves and heal the hurts we have hidden. We are grateful for our Higher Power and the grace we have received in our sobriety.

Recovery Allows Us to Mend Broken Relationships

Recovery gives us a chance to start fresh, make better decisions, and learn how to repair the hurt we have caused. This starts with changing our thoughts to focus on other people, not ourselves.

At first, we see others who have what we want, and we do what they tell us to do because that’s what they did. Soon, we feel relief from the obsession, if only for a short time, and we are thankful. We wake up to a new day, still sober or clean. We have gratitude for what our Higher Power has done in our lives – that which we could not do ourselves.

As we continue to recover and learn about the disease of addiction, we begin to forgive ourselves for our behaviors and the damage we’ve done. We can see ourselves more clearly, with compassion, and we can face the truth of our shortcomings. We are grateful for the program that allows us to look at ourselves honestly, perhaps for the first time.

With our Higher Power’s help, we can admit our faults and do our best to make amends to those we’ve hurt. Even if our amends are not accepted, we can forgive ourselves and move on to the next steps in our recovery.

Gratitude Makes Us Happier

An attitude of gratitude is much more enjoyable than only seeing the negativity in the world. We aren’t talking about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses or sticking our heads in the sand. We are choosing to pay attention to the things that are going right, and not the things that aren’t.

Once we begin looking at our life from this new perspective, things begin to change on the outside. Not everything will go our way, but more positive things will begin to happen. Then we have more things to be grateful for, and the cycle continues.

Gratitude Can Keep Us Sober or Clean

There are no guarantees in life but having a grateful heart can help us stay away from those behaviors that destroyed us. As we focus on all that we have gained through our recovery, it becomes more difficult to throw that away with a relapse. However, we must work vigilantly to keep “our side of the street clean,” so we don’t give way to resentments and negativity.

When negative thoughts or feelings do arise, we can now turn them and the situation over to our Higher Power and concentrate on what we can change and what our part is in the problem. Honesty about our feelings and our contribution to the problem will help us find a solution if it is something within our control. We don’t have to give in to the negative self-talk, guilt, and shame that we used to live with, nor do we need to escape from those feelings by using or drinking.

Grateful for Recovery

Gratitude is about much more than just making a list of things you are grateful for, although that can be a useful tool to help us be aware of the good in our lives. It is a genuine feeling of thankfulness for all that you have been given, even the tough stuff, even your recovery.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Principles Recovery Center. Contact us today to speak to an addiction professional to help yourself or a loved one get the treatment that is needed.

How to Handle Triggers in Sobriety

Learning what triggers your desire to drink and getting a handle on it comprises one key to staying sober. You need to address both levels of trigger – the obvious and the underlying.

Emotional Triggers Defined

The term emotional trigger refers to anything that provokes you to a strong emotional reaction and that your brain sees as a threat. The trigger causes a reaction in you.

You need to recognize two things – the trigger itself and that you pick the reaction. If you are in meetings or rehab right now, prior to this, your trigger reaction has been to drink as a reaction. You can pick another reaction though, like going for a run or reading.

Types of Triggers

As Psych Central explains, a trigger sets off a memory that transports you back to the original trauma that led you to drink or use. A trigger can be external or internal. There are many types:

  • emotional,
  • physical,
  • people,
  • places,
  • things,
  • situations.

Emotional triggers like anger, fear, humiliation, joy, loss, resentment or stress can lead to the desire to drink because, at some point, you learned to numb emotions with alcohol. Physical triggers include things like a fear of intimacy – thinking that you cannot have sex without drinking first. It also includes pain, a major physical trigger.

Situations like celebrations, sports events and holidays can trigger drinking. Think of spending Christmas alone or of the festive huge family party each year. Both can trigger the desire to drink in different people and do nothing in others. For some people, the trigger is certain people, like the friends you once drank with or with whom you went through school. If drinking together was a large part, or the only part, of your time together, those people can trigger the desire to drink. Running into your old dealer or the manager of your favorite liquor store can do it, too. Things like seeing a bottle of alcohol on the table at a bistro or a friend’s house can do it. Your trigger might be the club where work held its semi-annual pep/morale meetings. There’s no way to skip it and the memories make you want to drink.

The Deeper Trigger

Once you know what exposure triggers your desire to drink, you need to know why it triggers that desire. There’s something deeper than psychology and counseling help you reach. You need to discover the underlying trigger and deal with it.

Rehab followed by recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous only go so far. You also need counseling that helps you deal with things on a deeper level. This addresses the trauma that triggers takes you back to that draws you to alcohol.

Long-term Strategies for Dealing with Triggers

While you identify and explore and discuss your triggers at counseling and meetings, you also need to explore and develop a healthier you. Three things you can begin at any time can help – exercise, journaling and meditation.

Walking and running top the easy exercise list. You only need a pair of track shoes to start. The activity releases endorphins that cause what is called the “runner’s high,” a physical rush that, in the brain, resembles what drug manufacturers craft in a lab. Exercise provides a natural high.

Journaling provides a self-help method of exploring your emotions, needs, triggers, and history. It only requires a few minutes of your day, a pen or pencil and paper. You can take your journal with you to counseling sessions to refer to while talking. It can help to ensure you do not gloss over details and help you honestly confront problems.

Meditation does not have to be goofy “om”-ing sitting Indian style. Yoga, Pilates, and prayer all count as meditation. Simply sitting in a chair or lying on the floor with your eyes closed and relaxing each body part also counts as meditation. The point of meditation is to release your thoughts and become aware of your body and breathing.

You can identify and learn to control your triggers. Your trigger does not control you. You can learn to control your triggers and your addiction. You can learn to manage it. You can remain sober one day at a time.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us today. At Principles Recovery Center, we know the road to recovery isn’t easy and it isn’t something you should have to do alone. Let us help today!

Substance Abuse & Sex Addiction: Co-Occurring Disorders & Recovery

Addiction comes in many forms, most addictions involve the abuse of a psychoactive substance such as illegal drugs or alcohol. The word “addiction” comes from the Latin phrase, “ad dictum,” which means “to the dictator.” That alone is very instructive. But addiction might best be described as a progressive disorder of choice where the sufferer persists in a given harmful behavior despite both the pernicious consequences and a desire to stop.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Of course, few addictions come as stand-alone behaviors with no compulsive build-up involving other compulsive, destructive behaviors. It is much more common for one compulsive behavior to coincide with, or compliment, another. Alcohol and tobacco abuse often go hand in hand, for example. Likewise, overeating and compulsive TV or Internet use also tend to work in tandem.

In addiction medicine, we treat co-occurring disorders very seriously. Also known as co-morbid disorders- addictive behaviors that come in pairs or clusters- can be extremely destructive, and startlingly dangerous.

Sex Addiction in Tandem with Other Addictions

So it should not be surprising that substance abuse and sex addiction – what might better be referred to as a compulsive intimacy disorder – would also tend to coincide for many people.

Sex addiction might best be described as persistent and recurring compulsion to engage in harmful levels or amounts of sexual activity. This could mean abusing pornography, spending inordinate amounts of time and/or money on erotic materials. It could mean compulsively seeking out more and more sex partners. It could also mean excessive masturbation.

Common signs of sex addiction include, but are not limited to;

  • Sex with multiple partners despite wanting to quit
  • Libido interferes with other responsibilities and commitments
  • Excessive sexual activity, even when the addict does not want to
  • Failure to curb sexual activity
  • Behavior restricted only to those that could lead to sex
  • Canceling obligations to pursue sex
  • Sexual behavior that damages other important relationships
  • Escalating intensity of the behavior to achieve the same effect
  • Feeling like a “failure” during long periods of abstinence

Whether sex addiction comes in the form of pornography and masturbation, or the seeking out of sexual adventures – it is extremely common to pair these behaviors with other drugs. Alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs associated with hyperactive social seeking are common drugs of abuse which pair with the compulsive behavior of the sex addict.

Alcohol, for example, is a powerful dis-inhibitor and anti-anxiety substance. Cocaine, on the other hand, gives the user a powerful (albeit brief) boost of endorphins and energy, and can drive the user to be inordinately enthusiastic about social situations.

Co-occurring addictive behaviors can be mutually triggering, one leading to the other – or one being necessary to obtain the other. Some people may use sex to obtain drugs, while others may use drugs to obtain sex. Whatever the case may be, the destructive downward cycle can be devastating to the user and to the people who care about her or him.

Recovery from Co-Occurring Sex and Substance Abuse Disorders

As with any addictive disorder, recovering from co-morbid sexual and substance abuse, addiction can only happen when the addicted person is ready to admit that he or she has a problem and is willing to do the necessary work to achieve lasting recovery.

Addiction is an impairment of the facility of choice. It is a condition wherein the afflicted person’s ability to make healthy, long term decisions is impaired. It is not a moral failing or a sign of weakness, but a medical condition that requires treatment.

The good news is that evidence-based therapies and techniques exist and have been in use for many years that have been shown to make recovery much more obtainable. All that is needed is for the addiction sufferer to commit to treatment. Sometimes, reaching the bottom is the only way for the addicted person to see that treatment is necessary.

If you or someone you love is suffering from a sexual compulsion and substance abuse co-morbid disorder, programs exist with proven track records of helping those who are ready to change. Lasting recovery may be months or years away, but it can only start by reaching out for help.

Your decision to pick up that phone and contact us might be the first step to achieving a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life – free of the cycle of abuse and addiction. Principles Recovery Center is here to help.

How to Know If Your Loved One Needs an Intervention

Watching a loved one battling cravings is one of the hardest things anyone can ever experience. You probably will not be aware of it, initially, because addicts learn to hide and sneak around.  Addiction requires an honest, firm approach to get it under control.

What are the signs that should ring your warning bells? Do any of these in the list below find you nodding your head in agreement?

1. Their Tolerance Is Getting Higher and Higher

When you are close to somebody, you know the usual amount he or she takes.  Two to four glasses of wine the regular consumption.  Immediately you notice that he or she is increasingly imbibing more, that is an indication that the tolerance is higher.

2. Fuzzy Thoughts and Memory

Someone suffering from mental fog will show confusion, disorganization and frequent forgetfulness.  Everyone goes through periods of uncertainty, so do not get it twisted if your loved one is genuinely tired.  Pay attention if he or she is unable to focus on the things they never had a problem with before.

3. Blowing Hot and Ice Cold

Addicts are unstable emotionally, which is why they need more drugs, food, sex, to feel good.  Severe mood swings begin to occur frequently.  One moment your loved one is deliriously happy, and the next, they are depressed.

4. Becoming a Recluse

Addicts know that they need treatment to manage the cravings.  Sometimes they do not know how to go about it, other times they want to avoid it.  What happens is that they start isolating themselves.  They avoid meeting friends and social gatherings.  They may even avoid taking calls.

5. Risky Behavior

An intervention is definitely on the cards when someone shows risky behavior.  Driving while under the influence of mind-altering substances endangers lives.  Irrational acts such as jumping on train tracks, walking on roof ledges, juggling knives or anything injurious is dangerous behavior.

6. Increase in Clumsiness and Accidents

You will notice that the addict walks absent-mindedly into side tables or other things that are not out of place. They may take a carton of milk out and return it to the trash, thinking that it was the fridge. They will trip over pebbles and smash into flowerbeds. You will recognize clumsy when you see it!

7. Financial Strain and Mismanagement

Intervention may rescue an addict from outright financial ruin. If you see him or her, selling off their valuables one after another, without a sound investment plan, there is a problem. If they are in debt and struggling to pay rent and bills, that is a red flag. No groceries in the pantry and the utilities are off; that is cause for concern.

8. Dubious Behavior

Substance abusers will start showing strange behavior, like going out late at nights for no good reason. They will be dishonest, and when caught out on a lie, they may flare up in anger to deflect an interrogation! They are unreliable and untrustworthy because the chemical imbalances are screaming for another hit to get high.

9. Appearance Changes From Cover Model to Scruffy

Addicts’ sole purpose for existing tends to zoom in to their next fix. They become careless with their grooming and hygiene. It is heartrending to see a loved one wearing mismatching attire and not concerned about BO. Nevertheless, dishabille is a sure tell that something is wrong.

10. Deteriorating Mental Health

Mental health comes in many different forms. Sometimes drug abuse makes the user see apparitions and hear voices from the mind-altering chemicals. However, the intense cravings and stresses of addictive behavior will deteriorate the mental health of the user.  They may suffer anxiety panics and insomnia, or other mental health issues. It can become a vicious cycle of illness.

Intervention Is The Next Step: How Will You Steer It?

Having watched your loved one quite keenly, you recognize some of the traits mentioned above. Possibly, you realize that some of these symptoms were cropping up over a long period. Who will handle the intervention, you or an expert?

Seek Aid from a Professional Interventionists

A trained interventionist has the tools to do a compassionate intervention. You, on the other hand, may start well-intentioned, yet end up with a defensive and confrontational addict! Let the professional do the work. There will be less chance for any aggression getting out of hand.

Go Through Your Part of the Intervention Process

Whether the addict is receptive to the intervention or not, you must attend for your benefit. You will learn to handle yourself, to establish borders and limits without guilt. You will also get a support network of people who can commiserate with you and give you possible solutions for tricky situations.

Final Thoughts

The signs of addict behavior may creep up slowly, or explode in a crisis. However, if you are suspicious of a loved one needing an intervention, seek experts. They will diagnose and begin the process to mitigate the symptoms. Contact us at Principles Recovery Center to find out if your loved one could use an intervention.

The Importance of Aftercare

Aftercare can become one of the most important steps in the recovery process due to the possibility of relapse. Beating addiction is a long-term process that needs to become a lifelong commitment, so the investment in an additional period of substance abuse management is often just as significant as the initial recovery steps. Here are some reasons why aftercare is significant and what someone entering an addiction treatment program should expect at this time.

A crucial time

Statistics suggest that somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of individuals who go through a rehabilitation program will relapse. Within the first year, this rate is even higher. This is because everyone needs time to adjust to their new way of life and develop coping mechanisms to avoid abusing drugs or alcohol, which can take more time than a few months of treatment. Most people have heard of individuals entering a halfway house or a sober home immediately after completing a rehab program. That is because this form of aftercare offers a structured environment and accountability, rather than allowing individuals to leave and be on their own while they face a new set of struggles associated with sobriety. There also may be group activities or therapy sessions while staying in these homes. Some also choose to have these kinds of sessions or checkups in an outpatient setting if they need more freedom, yet still, require the accountability associated with a halfway house. If there are any doubts about someone’s ability to remain sober on their own, they should consider aftercare rather than risk the serious health or legal problems associated with relapse.

Is aftercare really necessary?

While it may be possible for someone to totally overcome their addictions after a brief stint in rehab, this is not always the case. Some people can experience long-term withdrawal symptoms from drugs such as opiates that require additional medications. Some people may be required by law through programs such as probation or community control to be monitored and tested for drugs and/or alcohol as a condition of release. These programs may last several months or years after the person is released to make sure they are no longer addicted or using illegal drugs. A positive social environment is also associated with better recovery outcomes, which is due to the fact that newly recovered individuals tend to experience negative emotions associated with their addictions. In isolation, these feelings can become intense and lead the person into relapse as a form of improper emotional management.

Planning for the future

If someone is serious about remaining sober for good, they need to take the time to develop a new life that will include maintenance of their responsibilities and social relations, but eliminate their addictions. Aftercare can gradually ease someone into this process and create a period of trial and error where professionals can help with any issues that arise. Therapists and others who are involved in the aftercare process will provide the tools necessary to deal with stress and temptations that will occur on a regular basis when someone returns to a normal life.

A good start is the best path to success

Addiction is a chronic condition that requires long term management. Tensions with family and financial or career problems tend to be large sources of stress within the first year of recovery. If someone remains sober throughout this early time, the possibility of relapse will drop off significantly. Aftercare will often provide some kind of blueprint through consistent meetings or programs that can be part of a person’s regular routine if necessary. Unfortunately, some individuals tend to not be as serious about aftercare and the following steps at their own peril, as this ability to remain sober, is more important than the initial rehab program and the best indicator of a person’s future outlook. In other words, appropriate aftercare will demonstrate whether someone can really handle sobriety or not.

Get more information from Principles Recovery Today

Principles Recovery offers many services related to addiction treatment. Principles Recovery is located in Davie, Florida, and we are available to provide help to you or a family member who is struggling with addiction.

How to Survive Your First 30 Days Sober

getting sober the first 30 days

The first 30 days of sobriety can be hard. While your physical state may be feeling better since you have rid your body of the toxins of drug or alcohol, it can be challenging for your mental state.

Have a Support Group

Support is a very important part of recovery. It can be family members, friends, or members of your 12-step group, but you want these people in your corner. These people can help motivate you to keep going. Be sure to have phone numbers and feel free to stop by and reach out to them if you need to. When there are other people in your life that care about what is happening, then the journey isn’t so lonely.

Self Reflection

Journaling can be a good way to vent any frustrations. When feelings arise, grab a notebook and write what is on your mind. You don’t want to censor this, so you should let out all the negative energy. You can even doodle or whatever you need to do to let it all out.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercise can help release endorphins to give you warm fuzzies. Exercise doesn’t even have to cost you any money. You don’t need a gym membership to reap the benefits of exercise. You can also go for a walk or run. Exercise can help you be social as well and have an activity that doesn’t revolve around drugs and alcohol. You can grab a friend to play tennis or a few friends for a basketball game at the local park. Exercise can also improve your health, and getting healthy is a big part of recovery.

Focus on the Now

Dwelling on the past doesn’t help and you need to focus on what you are doing now that you can control. Be in the present moment and focus energy into creating good things for that moment. Meditation is a good way to train your brain to focus on the now. While meditation might seem scary at first, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to is find a quiet spot without any distractions and give yourself 15 minutes a day to just focus on the present moment and your breathing.

Don’t Rationalize

Addiction can have a way of making your rationalize and justify any past bad behaviors. You may have thoughts such as “I have survived for 30 days, I can have one drink,” or feel like you may be able to handle it. When these thoughts arise, you need to remember the negative consequences of you using. Don’t romanticize any drug use in your past. Be prepared for feeling better, which can be deceiving. This doesn’t mean that alcohol or drugs are okay again.

What to Expect during Your First 30 Days Sober

Knowing what to expect for the first 30 days sober can help. You will have a balance of emotions. When you first get sober, your emotions can be all over the place, since drugs and alcohol have numbed emotions. This can be overwhelming when you can no longer use substances to numb your emotions. It can take some time for your emotions to balance out. You can expect to get mad and cry and even mourn your relationship with alcohol and drugs. At the same time, you will also feel happy and relieved. Once you stick it out for 30 days, your emotions settle and it does get easier.

You likely won’t feel different just emotionally, but also psychically. Once you have detoxed, then your body starts to learn how to function at the best capacity without alcohol or drugs. When you have been sober for 30 days, the fog will start to clear from the brain and you may start to feel like yourself before. You will sleep better and feel more energetic, and you won’t have any of the physical symptoms that come from drugs or alcohol, such as hangovers.

It’s not uncommon for people in the early stages of life in sobriety to have relapses or drunk dreams. This means you wake up feeling like you used or drank in your dream. These dreams can sometimes feel real or just a fleeting reminder of your former life. These dreams can be frightening because the mind is playing tricks on you. However, it’s a reminder to stay in the present and remember that these are just dreams and don’t affect your current state. As you spend more time sober, these dreams happen less frequently.

Drugs and alcohol not only numb the emotions but also numb the senses and brain, which means for the first 30 days of sobriety you may have sensory and information overload. When using, it’s hard for the brain to process information, so when you stop using, the brain has to retrain itself. The information and sensory overload will lessen over time.

The pathway to recovery is a long road. It is a very difficult one as well. If you are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out. Contact us today.