Going Out and Not Drinking

Going Out and Not Drinking

One important thing in recovery is to be able to go out without actually needing to drink any alcohol.

Going out and having fun and being a part of a sober lifestyle is the gift of recovery that we all strive to achieve. When we were in early recovery, the idea of going anywhere without alcohol seemed extremely far away. For us, drinking was what we did to have fun. We used alcohol to cope, and therefore, it allowed us to be able to have fun. Now that we are in recovery, we know that going out and having fun cannot be dependent upon whether or not we drink.

Going Out and Not Drinking

So how do we do that?

First and foremost, consider where you are going and whether or not it is healthy for you to go. The best way to guarantee a fun time with friends and family is first to ensure that you will stay sober. The moment we think that we can handle drinking is the moment we have already relapsed, and we know that relapse is not fun. The types of places we go out to have fun will make a difference in how comfortable we are. In other words, going to a bar or a keg party is probably not the best idea. We can go to parties and events where drinking is not the main focus.

Not Drinking at the Usual Events

Weddings, graduation parties, holidays, birthday parties, concerts, and festivals are all events that do not solely focus on drinking. Alcohol will likely be at many of these places, and the way we prepare to go to them is key. The best way to ensure that you will be comfortable is to have support. In recovery, we need our friends. We attain and maintain our sobriety by connecting with other recovering alcoholics. When you are going out to a place that serves alcohol or a party where alcohol will also be offered, the best way to get through it with ease and have fun is to bring along a friend in recovery.

Our friends know exactly how we feel, and if you find yourself being triggered or uncomfortable, it is most likely that your friend who is also in recovery will be thinking or feeling the same way. Having a sober friend with you when you go out is not just comforting but wise. It is much easier to turn down a drink in a social setting if you are not the only one doing so. There is power in numbers, so bring a sober friend along. Additionally, if one or both of you are uncomfortable, then you can talk about it or leave and not feel weird.

Planning your Own Event

Another way to guarantee that you will stay sober and have fun is to plan your own party or get together. Hosting a party or get together may seem obvious, but it leaves you in charge of what is served. Sober parties are the best parties because no-one gets a hangover, nobody gets a DUI, and nobody does things drunk they will regret the next day. If you want to put on a sober party or get together here are some great things to do:

Play Games. One the benefits of being in recovery are we get to experience pure laughter and joy with others, and silly games are one way to have a blast sober. Also, eat really good food. Since it is your party, you can have all of your favorite foods and snacks. Next, serve interesting drinks. Don’t just settle for cans of soda. Get out the espresso maker, the blender, buy whip cream, fruit, and other toppings that can make your average drink delicious.

Another suggestion for what to do at your party is to give the party a theme. Potlucks, Netflix binging, contests for the best cookie, or the best costume are all great examples of a theme. Another great idea is to invite people from meetings. Honestly, if most of the people at your party are not from your meetings, then you need to go to and get more involved with meetings.

Speaking of meetings, Alcoholics Anonymous as an organization that puts on sober events every month to ensure that its members have fun. Depending on where you live, your local AA group leader will know about the next AA bash, potluck, dance, or event. For persons who have attained long term recovery from alcoholism, the events that AA organizes are a lifeline. We encourage you to get involved with what your local AA headquarters is doing every month for fun.

Bring a Non-Alcoholic Drink

Finally, another way to have fun and not worry about what you will drink if you go out somewhere where alcohol is offered is to bring your own non-alcoholic drink. This may seem extreme, especially considering that at most parties or events non-alcoholic beverages will be available, but the idea of bringing your own beverage acts as positive reinforcement. Furthermore, bringing your own non-alcoholic drink lets others around you know you are serious.

For us recovering alcoholics, we need to be able to go out and have fun. Each person is different, and for some going to any activity where alcohol is offered may be too much, and the best option is not to go or only go for a short period if alcohol is served. Let the host or person who invited you to know that you will only be able to stay for a half hour or so and leave before it gets to be a trigger. Be sure also to arrange a phone call to your sponsor before and after attending any event that you are insecure about.

Having sober friends is key to a successful recovery. It is our friends in recovery who we relate to and who have our back when things get tough. It is our friends who make us laugh and enjoy life. It is also our friends that can help us deal with triggers when we go out to a place that serves alcohol.

Effectiveness of Drug Rehab in Treating Addiction

Treating addiction can be a very daunting task, most people who do not complete a drug rehab program, usually don’t stay sober for long.

About 29.5 million people worldwide suffer from substance use disorders, with opioid misuse being the most dangerous, according to a 2017 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC). Addiction is more prevalent than most people think and can afflict anyone at any time. A recent census places the number of Americans with a substance use disorder to be at least 24 million.

Addiction cuts across every stratum of society, affecting men and women, young and old, educated and uneducated. No one seems to be immune from the recent drug scourge engulfing the U.S and the global society. Combined with the difficulty it brings, addiction also brings along stigmatization – both of the addicts and their family members. However, addiction is a complex disorder, often misunderstood.

It is important to have a firm understanding of this subject in order to get addicts and alcoholics the help they need to recover.

effectiveness of drug rehab

The science behind addiction                             

In previous decades, addiction was regarded as a moral weakness on the part of the addict or alcoholic. Hence, the emphasis was on punishing the addict rather than getting them the care needed to restore them to a healthy state of mind and body.

Substance Use Disorder is a complex disease, says NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Breaking free from drug addiction takes more than strong will power or good intentions. Drugs change the brain’s chemistry, making it very challenging for those intending to quit to do so. Numerous scientific evidence point to the fact that addiction is a brain disease.

For most people, starting out with drugs is a conscious voluntary action. With repeated use, however, certain chemical reactions are triggered in the brain – impairing the abuser’s self-control and willpower to cope with their urges to engage in drug abuse. This change in the brain’s functioning can be long-lasting, causing abusers to return to drug use even after many years of recovery.

As pointed out by NIDA, most drugs impact the brain’s reward system, eliciting a euphoric feeling along with releasing the neurochemical dopamine. Under normal functioning, the brain’s reward system motivates an individual to repeat actions needed for survival, such as eating and enjoying social activities.

Drug misuse, on the other hand, causes the addict to associate these pleasurable feelings with drug use, hence destructive behaviors are being reinforced unconsciously. Over a period of continuous use, the brain develops a tolerance to addictive substances and will require more of these substances to achieve the same level of high.

A combination of factors influences an individual’s risk of addiction. No two individuals respond to drugs and alcohol in the same way. An individual with more risk factors is more predisposed to addiction than one with fewer factors. Scientific evidence shows that the following factors play a role in determining whether an individual will become addicted or not:

  • Biology
  • Environment
  • Stage of the individual’s development

With more light being shed on how addiction affects the brain, researchers now have a better grip on the subject and have fortunately been able to come up with various treatment approaches designed to assist addicts to recover from substance abuse and become productive once again.

Is It Possible To Treat Addiction Successfully?

Yes. Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) believe that substance use disorder is a treatable, chronic disorder of the brain that can be healed with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. An intervention approach involving behavioral therapy and medication is known as medication-assisted treatment.

Drug rehab is not a cure for addiction. It is a treatment approach, aimed at helping the addict achieve the following:

  • Stop his compulsive, destructive behavior
  • Permanently abstain from drugs
  • Improve their relationships
  • Improve their mental wellbeing
  • Become a productive member of society once again

It is to be noted that addiction is different for everyone. No single approach works for two different individuals. Drug rehab programs must be tailored to meet the addict’s drug misuse pattern, medical, social and environmental circumstances.

The good news is that addiction is both treatable and preventable. A number of studies have indicated that addiction can be successfully managed and that addicts, who are committed to a treatment program, can achieve long-term recovery.

For any drug rehab program to be successful in treating drug addiction, it has to be based on the following principles:

  • Recognize addiction as a complex but treatable disorder affecting an individual’s brain function and behavior
  • No one treatment approach is effective for everyone
  • The key to recovery is quick and easy access to treatment
  • Effective treatment should pay attention to a patient’s other needs and not just their drug use
  • For rehab to be effective, it doesn’t necessarily have to stem from a voluntary action on the part of the patient
  • Medically-managed detoxification is not a treatment in itself, but only a first stage of treatment
  • Remaining in treating long enough is a crucial aspect of recovery
  • Treatment programs must be reviewed periodically and conformed to meet an addicts needs

Are Drug Rehabs Effective In Treating Addiction?

According to a NIDA study involving a community of addicts in recovery, the majority of individuals being monitored over a prolonged period of stay in addiction treatment were able to:

  • Reduce drug use (by 40 to 60%)
  • Reduce criminal activities (by up to 50%)
  • Return back to their employment (by up to 40%)
  • Resume normal social and psychological functioning

Individuals who received methadone treatment were shown to have improved participation in behavioral therapy and also exhibited a reduced tendency to engage in criminal behavior and drug use. Like all other chronic health disorders, addiction can be successfully managed through appropriate drug rehab care.

The success rate for any individual will depend to a large extent to the level of addiction, the duration of addiction and the appropriateness of the particular treatment program.

Similar to other chronic disorders, addicts can experience a relapse. Does experiencing relapse mean a treatment program failed? Not necessarily. A relapse on the part of a patient could be an indication that the program needs to be re-evaluated and adjusted to meet the current circumstance of the addict.

Would Rehab Work for Me?

There is a general consensus among researchers that drug rehab produces varying success rates with substance use disorder. As already stated, your successful recovery from drug addiction will depend on a number of factors such as the substance of abuse, the length of addiction and your individual commitment to your drug rehab program.

Each year, thousands of families make the conscious decision to seek rehab care for a loved one with an addiction. There is overwhelming evidence that these individuals gradually regain sobriety and return back to the life they previously enjoyed.

Each year, Recreate Life Counseling helps pull hundreds of hundreds of individuals and families out of the despair of drug addiction. Lasting recovery is within reach.

If you or someone you care about is currently struggling with addiction to alcohol, benzos or opiates, know that lasting help is available. We have a number of treatment programs customized to meet your needs and lifestyle. You can beat addiction permanently and recreate the future you desire. Contact us right now to find out which treatment option is available to you. Compassionate care is only a phone call away.

10 Most Powerful Addiction Recovery Quotes

Inspirational Addiction Quotes

Are you going through recovery? Do you feel like giving up? Read some inspirational quotes to help you get back on track and stop having doubts about your future.

Are you currently undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol or drug abuse? Are you considering quitting recovery due to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms? Have you recently experienced a relapse and felt like a failure? If any of the above applies to you, know that you are not alone. Millions of others have gone into recovery, rebuilt their lives and found happiness thereafter.

Drug addiction is a complex mental health condition. For one thing, it tears relationships apart and brings untold hardships to addicts and their families. Knowing you need professional help is one thing. Remaining committed to your recovery is quite a different matter.

Without the right support system, an addict may begin to imagine that being in recovery is much more difficult than remaining in the clutch of addiction. The good news is that many addicts have been inspired to remain in recovery by reminding themselves of the reason they got started in the first place.

The following motivational quotes have helped millions to stay committed to their recovery. Hopefully, they will reinforce your commitment as well, helping you find comfort not in drugs but in living a sober drug-free life once again.

Inspirational Addiction Quotes

 

Get Inspired With Addiction Recovery Quotes

“Don’t let the past steal your present.” – Terri Guillemets

Do not drown yourself in your past mistakes. The past is gone. Once you’ve realized how badly your past actions affected your friends and family, seek forgiveness and make amends. You do not need to keep punishing yourself for past wrongs. Forgiving yourself in addiction is very crucial to your recovery process. Leave the past behind and move on with your life.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Drug addiction doesn’t make you a lost cause. Whatever deeds you’ve done in the past doesn’t define or determine who you are. You can change your life and your future through deliberate positive actions. You were not destined to be ruined by drugs or alcohol. It is up to you to rewrite your story.

“Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley

Regardless of how many times you may fail on your journey to recovery, the battle is not over yet. It is important to determine the reasons you experienced relapses and strategize on how to prevent them from reoccurring.

“If you can quit for a day, you can quit for a lifetime.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

A single victory with recovery can fortify you to persist. It starts with a resolute determination not to give in to temptation no matter how severe it may be. Every time you resist the urge to engage in drugs, you reinforce your determination to stay clean for a lifetime.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.” – Dr. Phil

Self-will is key to remaining sober. If you desire a life of sobriety, then work towards it. No one can make you change. It has to come from within. You really desire to be happy and free again, work towards it.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Nothing is as important as self-confidence. Everything else pales into insignificance without self-confidence. Regardless of how far gone, you’ve been on the path of addiction, believing in your ability to quit gives you the motivation to seek help and remain in recovery.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one who achieved anything great ever allowed fear of failure to hold them back. No doubt, you may experience relapses on your journey to recovery. Whenever that happens, give yourself a pat on the back and move on. Do not keep beating yourself up over past mistakes. That isn’t the end of the road. Your journey still lies ahead.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Mistakes are a great learning point. Being afraid you might experience a relapse or quit recovery altogether can cripple you. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. The worse thing that can happen is holding back from trying again due to past failures. Remember, fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

“Be stronger than your strongest excuse.” – Unknown

Don’t keep putting off seeking help. You have to seek professional help now, now tomorrow or the following day. Living in denial or making up excuses just to delay rehabilitation will only make you sink deeper into the pits of despair. You need to determine what direction you want your life to take and work towards it.

 “When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing new to say.” – Unknown

Don’t let your past haunt you. You were not born to be enslaved to drugs. When in recovery, remember how miserable your life as an addict was, and be resolute not to go back on that lost path ever again. True happiness doesn’t come from doing drugs. Now that you have found a new life, do all you can to avoid circumstances that could trigger past cravings, leading you to experience a relapse.

Your journey to sobriety is not going to be an easy ride in the park. You may face overwhelming challenges most of the time. With determination, every obstacle along your path to lifelong happiness can be overcome.

Start Healing From Substance Abuse

If you are already in recovery and receiving professional help, be determined to complete your program. If you are already transitioning back to society, be courageous enough to say no to drugs, regardless of how intense the temptation may be.

The above addiction recovery quotes have inspired countless individuals to go on, despite being in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems. It is our hope that they will also give you the courage to face your addiction headlong and seek professional help.

Nothing can be compared to the joy you will experience once you finally break free from addiction and return to the life you once enjoyed.

How to Find Drug Treatment Near Me

Drug treatment near me

One of the very first steps to sobriety is finding the right drug treatment center that is best for you.

Excessive use of drugs can wreck your life. Thus, you need to find a drug treatment near you if you are struggling with drug abuse. Finding the most appropriate drug treatment near you could be complicated. Highlighted in this article are five tips that will help you to find the right drug treatment (for yourself or your loved one) in your area.

Drug rehab near me

Obtain An Evaluation From An Addiction Professional

Obtaining an evaluation (from an addiction professional that is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a licensed clinical worker or a psychiatrist that specializes in treating drug use disorders) is an important step that you need to take before you choose a drug treatment facility for yourself or your loved one.

Ensure that you explore all the options at your disposal so that you can choose the right treatment program and facility that aligns with your condition, requirements, and expectations.

An addiction treatment specialist is in the best position to decide whether you should opt for residential treatment, an intensive outpatient program or 12-step meetings.

Consider The Resources That The Facility Provides

Apart from addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, other conditions that addicts suffer from include depression and anxiety. Before you enter any treatment facility, ensure you research whether the treatment center that you want to settle for has the resources that will help you tackle the conditions that you’re struggling with. Speak with the facility via phone or email and ask them about the resources that you find on their website; some facilities usually list resources that they don’t have. Facilities that specialize in treating co-occurring disorders usually offer a higher level of specialized care.

Find Out If The Treatment Facility Uses Medication

If you or your loved one are addicted to opioids and you need a treatment option that involves the use of prescription medication, it’s advisable to settle for a treatment center that uses medication.

You need to do your homework while finding drug treatment near you and go for the one that offers the kind of treatment that you need.

Some drug treatment centers use the abstinence model while treating opioid addiction while others use medication. For instance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found medications such as naltrexone and bupenorphine to be useful in enhancing retention in treatment programs for those suffering from heroin addiction.

Consider The Number of Years That The Facility Has Been In Operation

Be mindful of treatment facilities that have not been in operation for long. Some of these such facilities may be trying to take advantage of the huge demand for drug treatment services and may not have what it takes to help addicts recover and maintain long term sobriety.

Go for treatment centers that have been operating for a long period of time (usually at least three years). Such centers are more likely to remain in business since they offer good service.

Do Not Patronize Drug Treatment Centers That Guarantee Success

The truth is no rehab center can guarantee success. As a matter of fact, the level of success that will be attained during treatment is up to the patient. The expected result will be achieved if the individual adheres to the treatment plan after leaving the treatment center.

It’s advisable to choose a treatment facility that uses the 12-step treatment model because such model recommends a continuing program of support group sessions after staying in a treatment center.

Are You Ready to Find the Right Drug Treatment Center Near You

If you’re ready to complete the best drug treatment center in your area, then the next thing to do is to talk with someone who can help.

That’s where Recreate Life Counseling comes in.

Recreate Life Counseling Services offers a comprehensive day and night drug treatment program that is aimed at recreating the lives of addicts and helping you stay in recovery. Call us today to find out how we can help you overcome your substance abuse.

Does Being in Recovery Affect Employment?

recovery and employment

A concern that is all too common among people who have voluntarily submitted themselves to a recovery program is: “Will I be able to return to my work environment?”

This concern is one of the major reasons people with substance abuse problems tend to hesitate in seeking professional help in the first place. A number of studies have indicated that finding suitable employment becomes increasingly difficult the longer a person stays away from work. Perhaps you are also worried and have wondered how your employer and co-workers will react to you upon your resumption. These are all valid concerns.

recovery and employment

It’s not easy starting a job after drug treatment

When it comes to issues regarding the workplace and addiction recovery, it is good to distill the reality from your imagination. People with an addiction problem often afflict themselves with self-imposed shame or self-stigmatization. While it is true that public stigmatization is a reality, it is important that the addict recognizes that not everyone has a stereotypical view of an addict as one who is homeless, scruffy, or violent. Some recovering addicts have even gone as far as distancing themselves from people’s properties so as not to be a prime suspect in case something goes missing. This is self-stigmatization.

From experience, people have learned to group others into certain categories based on some perceived common characteristics. Your actions or inactions may ultimately influence to what extent you will be trusted by your employer or colleagues.

It is also true that many companies are likewise faced with the crisis of finding competent workers who can pass a drug test. Opioids and other commonly abused substances have taken a toll on the workforce. Faced with this dilemma, many are now determined to give former opioid addicts a second chance. In this respect, Tracy Plouck, of Ohio’s Mental Health and Addiction Services, said:

“People in recovery are drug-free, productive, motivated and deserve a chance to work and provide for their families.”

How Will I Find Employment After Recovery?

Finding a decent job is not always easy, even in the industrialized area of the country. This is especially difficult when you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction problems, employment gaps or a criminal record. Only a handful of employers would want to risk their reputation or that of their organization by employing someone just out of drug rehabilitation.

But you desperately need a job to pay the bills after you clean up your life. Sometimes, you are only left with a few options which may not be an “ideal” fit for you. However, your “stigma” as a recovering addict may actually open up a host of employment opportunities for you. A number of not-for-profit organizations have actually taken it upon themselves to help addicts in recovery to find suitable employment. Here are a few examples:

  • Creative Matters: This is a branding and design agency based in Los Angeles. Interestingly, about 90% of the company’s employees are in recovery.
  • Envirosafe Stripping Inc: Based in Pennsylvania, this company has undertaken major civil engineering projects, through its workforce, the majority of whom are people in recovery!
  • Venturetech Drilling Technologies: Established in 1980, this company has grown to over 100 employees. According to the founder, Larry Keast, hiring people in recovery has actually paid off.

There are many more organizations that actually give consideration to employing former addicts. You can consult with your local recruitment agency to find one near you. However, it may be a wise course to avoid accepting employment at certain places which could act as triggers, resulting in a relapse. Some have turned down offers to work as bartenders, waiters, or coffee servers in order to avoid the accompanying temptations. It is totally up to you to decide what you are capable of handling. Rest assured that you have lots of better options.

Handling Your First Day of Work After Drug Rehab

No doubt, the thought of resuming work after a long period of absence could lead to heightened anxiety. Despite being proud of your recovery, you may still wonder how your return will be welcomed by co-workers. Perhaps, you only told them you were taking a leave. You may likely be anxious if anyone has actually found out the real reason for your absence.

You walk into the office and you are warmly welcomed by colleagues. They have missed your presence. However, you noticed that one or two persons seemed to greet you casually. You become nervous as you walk to your workspace. Is your reputation still in place? Or are they going to treat you differently having found out about your stay in rehab? Many recovering addicts face this kind of internal crisis on a daily basis.

Rest assured, your situation is not typical. Often times, people are too absorbed in their own problems than worry about your situation. Even if you perceive some form of discrimination, you can still make it through the day. The first day of resumption is usually the most challenging. So what can you do? It may not be necessary to cover up for your absence when questioned by your colleagues. When approached by a trusted and empathetic colleague, it may be best to open up. You may be surprised that they have also passed through recovery while on the job! You will most likely gain their trust and respect for having the courage to seek much-needed help.

What Role Can the Workplace Play?

Many employers have been known to sponsor Employee Assistance Programs. These provide a range of programs which includes providing short-term counseling, treatment resources, and peer support groups. Additionally, they provide a healthy environment for recovering addicts which helps maintain a drug-free lifestyle, improve their skills on the job.

Addicts in recovery will no doubt face some form of stigmatization. However, your chances of finding a good job are not as bleak as you may imagine. In fact, some employers may actually value your honesty and openness in admitting you had a less-than-ideal past and took the bold step to set things right.

Granted, you may not be able to control how people treat you, but you don’t have to be overly concerned about people’s perceived appraisal of your circumstances. You can prove to them that you are now a changed person by performing above expectations, adhering to acceptable workplace standards and complying with required drug-free workplace policies. Additionally, you are covered by government guidelines and policies such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In the end, your success depends on how you handle your workplace responsibilities, coming out of drug rehab.