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.

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.

Forgiving Yourself in Addiction Recovery

So, you have decided to live a life of sobriety by asking help with your addiction problem. That is a step in the right direction to long-term recovery.

However, there is a challenge – you are constantly being haunted by how your substance abuse has affected other people. Your loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers may have been hurt by your past actions. No matter how hard you try, it seems you just can’t move on with your life. If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. Millions of people in recovery have had to deal with similar issues.

Here are a few practical steps to get you started on forgiving yourself and winning back the trust of your loved ones:

Forgiving Yourself in Addiction RecoveryAvoid Negative Self-Talk

It’s all too easy to get into the habit of negative self-talk. After all, you’ve done so many hurtful things that affected those you care for the most. You see yourself as a failure. You believe you are doomed and unlovable. Over time, this becomes a habit and a chronic pattern of thinking. Negative self-talk drains you of your energy, lowers your self-esteem and leads to indecisiveness. Negative self-talk is more or less your inner voice saying terrible things to you. If someone yells at you: “You good-for-nothing.” Likely, you wouldn’t believe it and may take offense. So, why do you keep talking yourself down after you’ve taken all the necessary steps to stop using and are making amends for your past actions. Mistakes aren’t necessarily a bad thing. We all make mistakes. Learning from your mistakes and picking up from where you left off is what makes the difference. Do not listen to that inner voice that keeps harping on past mistakes. Receiving forgiveness from others is not as difficult as it sounds, hence you owe it to yourself to forgive your past and move on.

Letting Go of Guilt and Shame

Feelings of guilt and shame, whether real or imagined, are a fundamental part of the recovery process. True, your actions have negatively impacted your most valued relationships, however, you must recognize that dwelling on past mistakes only makes it difficult to move on with your life. One of the biggest reasons you must learn to forgive yourself is that you did the things you did while being impaired or under the influence. You were being controlled by addictive substances capable of limiting your natural inhibition to engage in destructive habits. Now that you are sober, you have come to recognize that your past mistakes hurt the people you care about. Likely, they also understand that you were not acting within your normal senses.

Try to Right the Wrong

It isn’t just enough to realize that you have hurt others through your action – whether intentional or not. You should take practical steps to make amends. Did you say or do things that hurt your partner and/or children? A starting point will be to apologize sincerely. Next, you may want to correct any problems that resulted from your actions. Did your action result in financial strain for your family? It might be helpful to plan a budget with your spouse and make amends in your spending habits. It is probably is a good idea to keep a journal of the progress you are making each day, no matter how little that progress may seem. If you have made a mistake, it is your responsibility to acknowledge that it happened, deal for the consequences, and accept that you will have to do all that is necessary to prevent it from repeating. By taking responsibility in this manner, you will boost your self‐respect and gain the admiration of others.

Winning the Confidence of Family and Friends May Take a While

When you have let your family and friends down by your actions, it is only normal for feelings of resentment to develop. It can take years to gain back the trust of friends and family, however, it takes just a moment of recklessness to ruin it all.

Your substance abuse has probably resulted in unwanted situations – angry spouses, distraught children, and loss of employment. All of these are sad consequences of your actions. During those times, you may encounter open confrontations or criticism of your actions. This isn’t a sign that you are hated, it is a sign that your actions are unacceptable and that your loved ones want to see you make the needed changes by accepting professional addiction help.

Also, there is the feeling of guilt that comes up when your carefully concealed actions become public knowledge. You may find it difficult to look your loved ones in the eyes and explain what has been going on, perhaps for years.

In these tough times during early recovery, you have to reaffirm to yourself that you are capable of handling whatever consequences that were created because of your addiction. It is also important that you do not allow your past mistakes to affect your self-worth. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It is often said that time heals all pains. Sonya Friedman beautifully puts it when she said: “The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.”

After discovering a substance abuse problem in the family, loved ones usually confronted the addicted individual. It must have been a tough experience, but it could have been even worse. Over time, the world will come to forgive you as long as you are taking practical steps to strengthen your personal recovery. Even when you experience a relapse, your family will still love you. Relapse is a normal part of the journey to recovery and it’s not the end of the world. Don’t feel trapped in the thought that you have to immediately make up for “all” the wrongs you’ve done in the past. Once you start the healing process and begin to forgive yourself in recovery, life will take on a new purpose for you.

The Reasons for Getting Sober

Some addicts and alcoholics have been addicted for so long, that they forget how much better life is in recovery.

Drug abuse brings about different psychological, physical, personal as well as external consequences. These consequences affect not only those that are using drugs but also their family, friends and loved ones. People tend to prefer living with consequences rather than asking for help due to the tight grip that addiction has on them. Despite the negative consequences that result from drug or alcohol abuse, many people still find it difficult to remain sober.

The Reasons for Getting Sober

The Benefits of Sobriety

Deciding to enter sobriety can appear like a simple thing to do for those that have never been in this situation. The truth is that sobriety is a process that will last a lifetime if only you stick to the path. If you are ready to endure and adhere to the principles of recovery, you will eventually have a clean and healthy life that you will be proud of. Here are six reasons why you should get sober and stay sober.

It Improves Your Health

Getting sober and maintaining sobriety can change your physical health and your life in general. When you are sober, you will be able to eat better, sleep better and exercise better. All these eventually lead to a healthier life.

Positive Self-Esteem

Being sober makes you have a more positive view of the world around you. This view enhances your self-esteem. Those addicted to drugs or alcohol usually feel worthless and abandoned. That feeling changes when you embrace sobriety and it will boost your self-esteem.

You Earn People’s Respect

It’s easier to get respect when you are sober because you’re in control of your thoughts and emotions without any mood or mind-altering substances clouding your judgment. Although you may make mistakes, you will be able to maintain your integrity, be positive, and build a good connection with others when you are sober. These attributes help you earn respect from others.

Being Sober Helps You In Making Better Decisions

When you are sober, you will be able to wake up with little to no regrets or worries about your actions the previous day. This means you will be in a better position to make decisions that will enhance your life and improve your health. Getting sober will help you think before you act and you’ll make conscious choices, thereby helping you live a better life.

Sobriety Makes And Keeps You Safe

Not only does sobriety keep you safe from the physical dangers that are caused by drug or alcohol abuse, but it also protects you from the negative feelings and situations that substance abuse can cause. When you are sober, you won’t experience suicidal thoughts or drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, you won’t get involved in violent narcotics-related activities or drug deals. Sobriety also keeps you away from self-medication, overdosing or risking the lives of your loved ones.

Sobriety Improves Your Memory

Abusive use of marijuana during the adolescent years has been found to result in irreversible loss of IQ points. Substance abuse can affect the memory and focus of an individual for days or even weeks after the high subsidies. The severity of your memory lapses depends on the frequency with which drugs are abused. Long-term use of inhalants has also been found to lead to memory loss. When you are sober, you will be able to save yourself from these negative consequences.

Recreate Your Life

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, compulsive drug cravings, or you feel like you are about to relapse, do not hesitate to get in touch with Recreate Life Counseling. Call us around the clock to speak with one of our addiction specialists and we will help you get back on the path to long-term sobriety.

Benefits of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

Does exercise benefit men and women in early recovery?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol can cause serious havoc on an individual’s emotional and physical well-being. This explains the importance of healing not only the body but also the mind when undergoing drug and alcohol rehab. Exercise is an important component of healing individuals that are recovering from substance use disorders and it helps in tackling cravings during addiction treatment. Let’s shed some light on how those recovering from addiction can benefit from regular exercise.

Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery3

Fitness & Recovery Are Related

Just like in the world of fitness, when you’re working out, you’ll need to strive to achieve your goals every single day. It’s all about discipline and having a routine. Recovery is kind of the same way, wouldn’t you agree? We need to work on our sobriety every single day or we will start slipping sooner or later. Fitness and recovery are more related than most people realize. Incorporating a workout routine into your life when you’re newly sober can add an additional layer of structure and motivation to avoid a relapse. The benefits of exercise in addiction recovery include:

Reduction of Stress

Most individuals usually consume a high quantity of alcohol and drugs in order to overcome stress. However, what started as a voluntary use later becomes addictive. The relief from stress that is being sought after by abusing drugs becomes more allusive and then disappears completely. The use of alcohol or drugs later becomes the bedrock of stress. Engaging in physical activities that increase the heart rate goes a long way in reducing stress. As an individual that is recovering from substance abuse, you need to get used to engaging in physical exercises in order to recover easily and stay sober. Regular physical exercise will help you reduce stress in the short and long term. Exercise releases chemicals that suppress stress in the brain. This will help recovering individuals maintain balance in their lives.

Sound Sleep

Problematic sleep usually occurs in the early stage of recovery. Irrespective of the kind of drug you abused, withdrawal from using drugs can seriously affect your sleep. Inability to fall asleep, staying asleep or the need to sleep in the middle of the day can increase after substance abuse and this can make those recovering from addiction feel sluggish and tired. Regular physical exercise will help recovering individuals enjoy a better quality of sleep. It also lowers the impulse to sleep in the middle of the day. As your sleep improves, you will become more awake and alert. This helps you to be able to stand up to the demands and challenges of life in sobriety.

Exercise helps improve your body by altering your body temperature. The temperature of the body is usually at the highest level during engaging in aerobic or weightlifting exercises (it’s at the lowest level while sleeping). Hours after engaging in physical exercise, your body will cool off at a very fast rate. This increased cooling process will allow you to easily enjoy sound sleep.

Better Clarity

Just like meditation, exercise helps you focus on your well-being and not on the challenges and stresses that you go through every day. Individuals in recovery that engage in physical exercises usually feel more relaxed and they also have clearer thoughts.

Increased Confidence and Optimism

Exercise contributes to increasing a recovering individual’s confidence. It helps those suffering from addiction and other co-occurring disorders to overcome depression and anxiety. This is as a result of the physiological changes that take place after exercising. Achieving fitness goals also produces feelings of pride and self-worth.

Improved Energy

Although you may use lots of energy while engaging in physical exercises, you will also receive energy in the process. The whirlwind of recovery can make you tired, but regular exercise will energize you and put you back on track to scale through the recovery process.

Prevention of Relapse

This is probably one of the greatest benefits of exercise for addiction recovery. Regular exercises prevent the individual from returning to abusing alcohol or drugs. Rehab programs that include daily exercise usually help the recovering individuals maintain their newfound long-term sobriety.

Get all the exercise you can!

Regular exercise and staying active is an effective tool for strengthening your personal recovery. Irrespective of the form of exercise that you partake in (yoga, running, team sports or aerobics), you need to keep moving so that you can increase your chances staying sober and healthy for many years to come.

Spirituality and Recovery

Spirituality and Recovery

“Spirituality and Recovery”

Spirituality and Addiction

We have made tremendous strides in the science of addiction over the past two decades.  This is especially true in the field of neuroscience, which has taught us a great deal about the brain chemistry of persons with substance abuse problems.  Sociology has played a role as well, by showing us the role that feelings of “disconnectedness” play in addiction.

How these findings link up with spirituality and addiction is up for debate, with a thousand voices chiming in with a different opinion.  But one thing seems clear in all of these discussions – that thinking of addiction in spiritual terms is incredibly useful for recovery.  And despite our culture’s tendency to separate science and spirituality, there needn’t be a contradiction between these supposedly different approaches.

In a sense, the connection between science and spirituality is easy to explain.  When an addict begins spiritual practices that are meaningful to him or her, chemical changes occur in the brain and lead to recovery.  The exact mechanisms behind all this are not completely known, but the results are undeniable.

Defining Spirituality in Recovery

But what exactly does the term “spirituality” mean?  This is a question no one has been able to answer definitively, but that doesn’t mean we can simply avoid it.  It goes without saying that defining spirituality in recovery (and in all other matters) is always an individual decision, but it seems apparent that it requires getting connected.  And you only need to talk with a few recovered people to understand why this is the case.

Almost every addict and alcoholic describes their personal experiences as being marked by terrible feelings of loneliness and alienation.  They feel different, out of place, like alien creatures without a home in the world.  Many of them also say that they cannot find relief by looking inward, at least not exclusively.  Furthermore, they describe their recovery in completely opposite terms, as a gradual building up of connections to the wider world.  Eventually, this takes on a million different forms, but spiritual recovery usually begins with the relationships they build with other addicts.

Recovering people state that there is no greater healing than that which occurs when helping others.  No one has the right to impose their spiritual views on another human being, but this seems to be an eternal truth.  If the chief mechanism of addiction manifests itself in isolation, it stands to reason that a big part of the solution are feelings of connection.  Where this leads afterward is up to the individual.

Spirituality and Recovery

The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous is not infallible.  But it contains a statement on spirituality and recovery that seems wholly appropriate here.  It says:  “Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.”  Regardless of anyone’s specific faith (or lack thereof), this is a statement of pure genius.

What this statement says is incredibly powerful when put into practice.  It is a statement of respect and dignity.  It acknowledges the pain of not fitting in with conventional spiritual practices.  It allows for a great latitude of movement within the spiritual realm.  And most important of all, it indicates the tremendous relief of connecting spirituality and recovery.

Wisdom is where you find it.

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“Addiction Treatment Services Evolve North of the Border”

New Hope for Treatment Resistant Heroin Addicts

The Providence Crosstown Clinic in British Columbia, Canada has taken the next step in addiction treatment services. This next step comes in the form of a medical grade of heroin called diacetylmorphine. Doctors at the Crosstown Clinic are injecting a select group of heroin addicts with it several times day, in order to prevent abuse of the street version.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leading the charge, the Canadian government has loosened the reins on addiction treatment services over the past few years. The use of diacetylmorphine is one of the fruits of this progressive stance. It also flies in the face of conventional wisdom, especially the stigma it attaches to heroin use.

Research seems to support the use of diacetylmorphine, at least as a last resort for addicts who don’t respond to more conventional treatments. As a group, diacetylmorphine patients have shown a marked improvement in their physical and mental health since starting this replacement treatment. They are also much less likely to commit crimes that are typically related to heroin use.

How it Works

There are stringent requirements for this new addiction treatment service. It is only open to addicts who have used heroin for more than five years. The diacetylmorphine plan is also restricted to addicts for whom drugs like Suboxone and methadone have failed multiple times. Lastly, patients must also have physical and mental complications that are due to their heroin use.

Once approved, patients must report to the clinic up to three times a day to receive their injections. This is of course a strain for those who wish to continue working or take care of their family, but it is still far better than the alternative. Not surprisingly, the dropout rate has been very low.

Despite resistance from conservative quarters, the physicians at The Crosstown Clinic insist that the treatment is working. They claim that access to diacetylmorphine is a human right of every Canadian citizen, along with other aspects of health care. We can only hope that this progressive fervor someday finds its way south.

“Why Choose Outpatient Treatment Services?”

Outpatient Treatment Services: Recreate Life Counseling

The World Doesn’t Stop Spinning Just Because You Do

Outpatient treatment services combine recovery with participation in the everyday world.  They can be perfect for the addict whose disease has started to drive them back into themselves, and away from community, work, and family.  Showing up for life is a crucial aspect of long term recovery.  Outpatient treatment services facilitate this, even as they deliver the same type of programming as residential rehabs. 

Life goes on, right?  It doesn’t stop just because you’re looking to transform yourself.  Bills need paid and somebody has to feed the kids.  You might not be in a position to go away for 28 or 60 days.  28 or 60 more days, that is.  Many addicts have been gone long enough, gone from the people they need for love and support, the same people who need them in return.  Recovery, like life, derives meaning from participation.

Intensive outpatient treatments change lives, just like residential facilities.  They let addicts apply what they learn immediately, so they can see what does and doesn’t work in their unique situations. Essentially, outpatient treatment is a back and forth process, like on the job training for a better life.  Outpatient treatment is ongoing.   It lets addicts and their families store up food for the bad weather to come, even as the winter is gathering.   

Maybe we should ease into things?

Residential treatments are wonderful.  They provide recovery tools, safety, and round the clock support.  They are often necessary, especially if the addict is experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or has relapsed several times.  But leaving inpatient facilities can be difficult.  After several intense weeks away, returning to life can be overwhelming, like a shock to a delicate system.  Outpatient treatment allows the addict to ease back into life slowly, in a way that prepares them for the difficulties to come.  

Then there’s the matter of cost.  Cost is another thing the newly sober addict might want to ease back into!  Early recovery is stressful enough, without the pressure of a huge bill looming over it.  Outpatient treatment is less expensive, and lets the client continue to work and fulfill their obligations.  It all depends on your situation, on striking the best balance between recovery and so called real life.  We say so called because recovery and real life are exactly the same, a certainty that outpatient treatment embodies perfectly.