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Friday, March 30, 2018

Rebirth, Resurrection, and Recovery on Easter Sunday

recovery
The Vernal Equinox is now behind us, officially marking the end of winter and beginning of spring; this is a time commonly associated with new beginnings. This time of the year should resonate with people working programs of addiction recovery, given that your recovery officially marked a new start in life. Most of you are probably aware that Easter Sunday (or Resurrection Sunday) occurs this weekend, and for many Christians, it is the most critical time of the year. Again, the circumstances of this celebration can speak to people working programs of abstinence; your recovery is, in effect, a form or resurrection.

During this time in history over the span of just a few days, Jesus had the “Last Supper” (Passover), he was crucified (Good Friday) and rose from the dead (Easter). This weekend, billions of people around the globe will observe one or all of the unique events listed above; it is a fact that more than a considerable number of such people are in addiction recovery.

If you are beginning the process of healing or have been in the program for a time, you have probably come to understand that big holidays can place a heavy burden on recovery. With that in mind, it is entirely paramount that you do everything in one’s power to strive for serenity. Before and after attending your religious service and spending time with your family, please make a point of attending meetings. Spending time with your peers in recovery will help you steer clear of risky situations that can lead to relapse. You can also benefit from acknowledging some of symbolism of the extraordinary days ahead as they pertain to recovery.

 

Finding Meaning In Recovery


Alcohol and substance use takes an enormous toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Use disorders are a mental health issue, many of the behaviors and actions that typify the disease are the byproduct of self-will run riot. Years of self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors leave a person with a hardly recognizable version of their former self. It is safe to say that when the addict and alcoholic are finally ready to accept treatment and dedicate themselves to recovery, they are living in the depths of despair. In some cases, addicts and alcoholics are knocking on death’s door.

Recovery offers people a chance at finding a form of living salvation. Those who commit themselves to opening their heart and mind to the sunlight of the spirit have an opportunity to take back their life. It is important to remember that substance use is a symptom of a far more profound spiritual problem. Drugs and alcohol serve as a barrier to connecting with your “higher power,” and without spiritual guidance in one’s life, the prospect of healing goes out the window. Once the fog of anesthetization lifts, you are better able to reach out and ask for God’s assistance in finding your way. Speaking relatively, after a short time enmeshed in the program you can begin setting right your existence. You rise from the ashes of active addiction and start sowing the seeds of progress; and, there isn’t a limit to what you can achieve with the principles of recovery in your head and God in your heart.

Addiction recovery is a second chance, and you should never downplay the importance of this opportunity. Remember, that not everyone is fortunate enough to find recovery; the nature of untreated addiction is exceedingly fatal. Over the weekend perhaps you might exercise gratitude for this life-saving gift, this rebirth. Draw power from the spirit that accompanies you on your path toward healing

 

Addiction Recovery


Celebrate Hope would like to wish you a safe, sober, and spiritual Good Friday and Easter Sunday. If you are actively in the grips of alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. Our experienced staff of addiction professionals can help begin the life-changing journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Alcohol Industry Funds NIAAA Research

alcohol
People working in the field of addiction understand that there isn’t any safe amount of alcohol for those in recovery. One beer quickly leads to another, and the cycle of addiction continues. Everyone working a program tries various ways to moderate their drinking before concluding that they need help; there isn’t a cure for mental illness, any attempt to curb use on your own will find you right back where you started.

Alcohol is an exceptionally caustic substance. Even if booze weren't addictive, those who drink too much of it are at significant risk of adverse effects on their health. A large percentage of people who choose treatment have conditions relating to their heart, liver, and pancreas. It can be easy to think that only alcoholics experience health problems relating to alcohol use. The truth is, addiction isn't a prerequisite for experiencing alcohol-related illness. Which, begs the question, is there any amount of alcohol that is safe to imbibe? Of course, in regard to addicts and people with alcohol use disorders, the answer is, no! What about your average adult that doesn’t have a problem with the substance? The latter question is much harder to answer, for several reasons.

With each year that passes, it seems like researchers discover a new way in which alcohol wreaks havoc on the human body. It’s highly likely that you have read headlines saying that a little wine is good for your heart, and the like. Doctors throughout modern history have gotten behind pseudoscience to support the idea that drinking can be useful for both mind and body. Some physicians and scientists, whatever their reasons, propagate ideas that can harm rather than help uninformed people.

 

Big Alcohol Wants People to Drink More


The global alcohol industry is a multibillion-dollar affair, controlled by just a few mega-conglomerates. The more people drink, the more money companies like Ab InBev rake in annually. Naturally, significant purveyors of alcohol know that they are peddling a substance that can cause severe harm; so, it makes sense that they would love to see scientists publish research that supports the idea that some alcohol is good for the drinker. What better way to go about realizing that goal than funding said research?

You’d probably think that it would be the alcohol industry requesting researchers to focus on proving that some amounts of alcohol are safe; however, a new expose shows the opposite. The New York Times reveals that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an agency that has long been at odds with big alcohol, successfully solicited alcohol industry executives to fund their research. With the help of millions of dollars from five alcohol companies, NIAAA researchers are conducting a controlled trial to see if moderate drinking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The agency says the test “represents a unique opportunity to show that moderate alcohol consumption is safe and lowers risk of common diseases.” As you can imagine, medical professionals and scientists are not impressed with the newfound kinship.

The NIAAA study “is not public health research — it’s marketing,” Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, told Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin. An investigation is underway to get to the bottom of what currently appears to be a scandal.

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Recovery


If alcohol has made your life unmanageable, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. Our experienced staff of addiction professionals can help you begin the life-changing journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Music That's Right For Recovery

recovery
Music is an integral part of most people’s lives; without it, existence would be exceedingly dull. We all have bands, singers, and songwriters whose arts speaks to us in ways that are hard to describe. Few words can accurately convey how a song makes you feel inside; excited, amped, relaxed, and alive are a few that might come to mind. Music can be your best friend when you are having a hard time in life; if you are struggling through a situation, then putting an album on can give you perspective or give you a brief respite from your woes. Simply put, instruments in harmony can be quite cathartic; which means that people in recovery can significantly benefit from listening to some tunes.

While it is true that the right melody and lyrics can bring you back to earth or help you carry on in times of mental strife, there is an excellent chance that certain songs or bands are inextricably linked to your past substance use. Everyone working a program of recovery can probably think of a song that, if they were to hear it, would bring back memories of getting drunk or high. Naturally, such associations between music and using drugs is problematic for people in early recovery. One must do everything in their power to limit exposure to anything that might trigger a desire to use.

That’s not to say that you have to turn your back on all your favorite bands just because you used to listen to them under the influence. But, given that hearing a song may only remind you of the fun you had in active addiction, rather than the heartache, you can benefit from steering clear of particular artists or types of music when recovery is in its infancy. It's possible that you were taught this in treatment when the facility confiscated you iPod.

 

Is This Beneficial to My Recovery?


In life, triggers can arise from just about anywhere and from anything. Those dedicated to working a program of addiction recovery must take steps to avoid specific people, places, and things. If you are unable to cut ties with particular individuals or stay out of wet areas, you will find it challenging to keep on track. Remember, there is only one thing we need to change in recovery, everything!

If you recently completed an addiction treatment program and find yourself back in the real world diligently avoiding the trappings of drugs and alcohol, it might be time to reconsider your record collection for the foreseeable future. At least until your program of recovery is strong enough to rebel against any urges to use that might stem from listening to music. Naturally, you don’t have to cut music out for your life completely, just exercise caution when it comes to your playlist.

Recovery is a journey toward progress. We adopt specific practices and foster behaviors and traditions that will give us the power to abstain from drugs and alcohol for the rest of our lives. If you know that certain types of music or a given artist is deeply associated with your past, then it is easy enough to stay away. Perhaps you might broaden your musical horizons by giving something new a chance. There are plenty of artists who are in recovery themselves who write songs that speak to others in the program. Ask your peers what they listen to these days, you can make this task a bit of an adventure. Who knows what you might discover along the way?

 

Addiction Recovery


Have drugs and alcohol negatively impacted your life and well-being? At Celebrate Hope we can assist you in laying a foundation for lasting recovery. Please contact us today to begin the journey.

Friday, March 9, 2018

SAMHSA National Prevention Challenge

You cannot turn back the clock, if you have an alcohol or substance use disorder, you will contend with the disease for the rest of your life. Such a reality is a difficult thing to process at times, but it shouldn’t be a cause for malaise. Those living with mental illness can lead productive, healthy lives provided they take “certain steps” to keep the condition in remission (for lack of a better word).

If you are working a program of addiction recovery, then you know that life today is a complete 180 from your previous existence. Instead of acting selfishly in service to your disease, you act selflessly in service to your recovery. Instead of looking for ways people can benefit you, you strive to aid others in their quest for lasting change. The idea being that if you want to keep the improvements made in your life, you need to affect change in the lives of others. If you're going to keep what you have, individuals in recovery need to give it away.

There are various ways you can pay it forward in recovery. Sharing in meetings, working with a newcomer, and answering your phone when another person in the program calls are ways to give back. However, there are subtler ways that you can affect change in your small sphere of influence; as a matter of fact, how you go about your day today can inspire others to make little changes that can have a massive impact in their life.

 

A Healthier Tomorrow In Recovery


Early recovery is both a confusing and trying time for most people adopting a new way of living. Those in their first year of recovery have said goodbye, in many cases, to a dear and deadly friend; learning how to live without mourning the loss of drugs and alcohol isn’t an easy task. Although, while removing mind-altering substances from your life is especially beneficial, the rub lies in practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs.

When you consider what you need to change (perceptions and behaviors), you realize that the only thing that needs to change is everything. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol is monumental, changing the way you look at things and proceed through your day in ways conducive to your health is paramount. All the pieces matter in recovery! Individuals must diligently maintain and act in ways advantageous to your mind, body, and spirit.

Once the mind becomes clear(er), and you get into the swing of daily meetings, calling your sponsor, working the steps, and so on and so forth, then please strongly consider making small adjustments to your routine. Please do not dive headfirst into making alterations talk to your sponsor beforehand; everything in its right time in recovery, always. After careful and cautious consideration, perhaps you can incorporate exercise and healthier eating into your program. Recovery significantly improves your physical and mental health, but working a program isn’t a panacea. Any auxiliary efforts made for your health can drastically improve your quality of life, i.e., exercise, mindful eating, and quitting smoking. Did you know that researchers believe smoking increase the risk of relapse?

If you can adopt new behaviors that are conducive to healthy living, doing so can and will encourage people with less time. Ask yourself, ‘what can I do today to ensure a healthier tomorrow?’

 

SAMHSA National Prevention Challenge



As all of us approach the ides of March, we thought it prudent to bring National Prevention Week (NPW) to your attention. The annual health observance means to increase public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. See the schedule below:
  • Monday, May 14: Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness
  • Tuesday, May 15: Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
  • Wednesday, May 16: Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse
  • Thursday, May 17: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana
  • Friday, May 18: Prevention of Suicide
  • Saturday, May 19: Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use
Why are we bringing NPW to your attention now, at the beginning of March? Good question! The event is brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and one of the components of NPW is the National Prevention Challenge. The organization has already begun accepting submissions for the challenge. SAMHSA wants to know:  

What would you say to your future self about what you’re doing today to ensure a healthier tomorrow? Share your answer by joining the NPW 2018 Prevention Challenge: Dear Future Me!
 

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Sharing: Giving Up Fear, Embracing Courage

addiction
Silence isn’t a luxury in addiction recovery. Years of drug and alcohol use and abuse teaches you many things, one item of instruction being what happens when you stay quiet about your struggles. Fear of opening up about your mental strife only serves to keep you in bondage. Secrecy is a symptom of your disease; as if your condition knows it will lose power over you if you open up with another person. We are, in fact, as sick as our secrets! As a result, active addiction persists long after one’s self-destructive behaviors become untenable.

All of us, in recovery or not, have fear regarding what others think of us. Even those who ardently protest their lack of concern or care for what other people think about them struggle to open the door for their peers' opinions. Humans regularly fear the truth, understanding the reasons for trepidation is not easy; we all have our reasons for taciturnity when it comes to discussing what is going on beneath the surface. It is unfortunate, that fear is a pervasive driving force in most people's lives; because if we don’t talk about our problems how can we expect ever to heal.

Recovering from any form of mental illness requires individuals to throw caution to the wind, mostly. Ironically, the longer one's active addiction persists, the easier it becomes for a person to do just that, choosing to resist fear and surrender. When a person nears the edge of spiritual annihilation, they are better able to toss aside illusions of control. When an individual realizes they are not in control of their future, they can ask for help. Pleas for help are, in most cases, audible; when there is smoke, yelling fire alerts your peers. Asking for help gets you into treatment, asking for help brings your support network to your side in recovery.

 

Help Surrounds You


In early recovery, you’ll learn right away the vital importance of your peers, of fellowship. Whether you are working the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or a faith-based modality, there is one glaring similarity; lasting recovery hinges on one’s ability to work with and rely on others for support. Nobody who works a program of recovery is perfect, and no one is ever cured; we’re all works in progress, which means that there will be days that you don’t feel like you can continue doing the next right thing. What you do in those hours of darkness can dictate the future of your program. Will you speak up and talk to your peers in a meeting or one-on-one, or will you be unforthcoming?

Recovery provides allies who can assist in overcoming any problem we are having in life. Naturally, some issues are extra-personal; it’s best to choose with care who you share such things with, probably with someone who you feel most comfortable, i.e., sponsor. You should talk about problems that you are having even if you think they are unworthy of discussing. There is an excellent chance your peers have dealt with a similar situation. Remember, there is little if anything you can say that will scare or shock an addict or alcoholics. Keep in mind the dark places most people in recovery escaped in opting for recovery.

In many cases, individuals struggle or take issue with a component of the program. Failing to see the value of something often leads people to resist doing it, a choice that can prove detrimental to one’s program. If ever you feel an aspect of recovery doesn’t suit you, rather than just opting out, why not share your feelings with the group. There are no wrong questions in recovery and your opinion matters; it’s likely that somebody else in the meeting shares your concern. When you share and ask questions, you are helping other people who may not yet have the strength to address the group.

 

Giving Up Fear, Embracing Courage


Again, silence isn’t a luxury you can afford in recovery. Silence keeps us from the sunshine of the spirit; it cuts us off from fellowship. Without community, no one would be long for recovery. With that in mind, do you have questions or problems that are affecting your program? If so, raise your hand or stand up at your next meeting; throw your reservations to the wind and seek guidance. Every time you share in a meeting it is an exercise in courage, speaking up makes your program stronger. It makes you more resilient to the slings and arrows of addiction, made manifest by incessant urges and cravings.

If you been thinking about drinking or drugging after abstaining for any length of time, sharing can save your recovery. It can save your life! Furthermore, if you are actively battling an alcohol or substance use disorder, picking up the phone and sharing with us what you are going through is the first step to lasting recovery. Silence is addiction; recovery is communication. At Celebrate Hope we can help you achieve your goals and heal from the insidious disease of addiction. Please contact us today.
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