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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Focus On Your Recovery This Christmas

Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction treatment center for adult men and women. At our facility, we rely on cutting edge, evidence-based therapies and Christian counseling to help clients embrace sobriety and transform their existence. Under our care, men and women grow closer to the Creator by learning to apply the teachings of Jesus to everyday life.

Being a faith-based addiction treatment center, it should come as no surprise that this is a salient time of the year. Christmas – annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ – is just one week from today.

Billions of people around the globe, including millions of men and women working programs of addiction recovery, observe next week’s religious and cultural celebration.

For most individuals, Christmastime is about coming together with friends and family to exchange gifts and be merry. However, Christmas can be a challenging test for men and women in recovery, especially for those in early sobriety.

Many people in early recovery have yet to address the wreckage of their addictive past, which can include making amends for the heartache caused by protracted bouts of drug and alcohol use. As such, a significant number of men and women will not be joining their biological families next Wednesday.

You can probably imagine that such a reality will be painful for some. A large number of individuals in recovery will experience uncomfortable emotions in the coming days. If such people do not prioritize their recovery in the days to come, then they put themselves at a high risk of relapse. Each year, many people fall victim to the desire to escape their feelings and use drugs and alcohol to cope during this time.

Fortunately, you can get through this challenging time without making relapse a part of your story. However, it will require that you take steps now to ensure that you can avoid the recovery pitfalls during Christmas.

A Safe and Sober Noel

If you are a regular reader of Celebrate Hope articles, then you probably read our recent post about Thanksgiving in Recovery. What’s more, if you put some of the suggestions in that post into practice, then you already have some tools at your disposal for navigating Christmas clean and sober.

Hopefully, you will be spending Christmas at church and with your family, provided that you are not in treatment currently. If the former is the case, please remember that attending meetings and keeping in contact with your sponsor are of vital importance. Since your disease will not break for the holiday, neither can your recovery.

If you are not spending Christmas in the company of your loved ones, then please make plans to surround yourself with peers from your support group. Attend meetings, much like you normally would, but also make plans to spend time with your program friends for after the meeting. Having a support network is the best gift you can receive this Christmas.

We mentioned the temptation that some people have to isolate during holidays when we wrote about Thanksgiving. Again, it’s is just as essential to avoid keeping to yourself during Christmastime. You may find it beneficial to attend more meetings than average in the next seven days. Moreover, meetings will be happening at the top of every hour during Christmas, visit more than one meeting next Wednesday.

Please be sure to share with your peers if you find yourself struggling in the coming days. Addiction recovery is about fellowship, and you are welcome to lean on your peers for support. Welcome the suggestions from individuals who have more time than you, especially from those who have experience navigating Christmas clean and sober.

Whatever your current circumstances are in life, start making a plan for a safe and sober holiday today. If you do, then you will be able to enjoy your holiday and avoid jeopardizing all your hard work. At Celebrate Hope, we would like to wish everyone in recovery a merry, recovery-focused Christmas.

California Faith-Based Addiction Rehab

Please contact Celebrate Hope if drugs and alcohol are negatively affecting your life. With Christmas and the New Year around the corner, this might be the perfect time to take steps toward a life in recovery. Our Christian alcohol and drug rehab programs can help you restore your connection with Jesus and go on to lead a life in lasting recovery.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Relapse Prevention Study Shows Promise

Did you relapse during Thanksgiving? If so, we implore you to get back up from your fall immediately. A relapse does not have to be the end of your recovery; it can actually be the beginning of an even stronger commitment to sobriety.

When a relapse occurs, men and women feel a significant amount of shame; they may think that they have let down everyone who was pulling for their success. While shame and guilt are natural reactions to a relapse, it is imperative not to let the incident stand in the way of progress.

Sure, one must admit to their support group that an incident occurred; identifying as a newcomer is, again, a humbling experience that requires tremendous courage. Even though your peers will not judge you for what happened, one can’t help but feel like a failure. Resist such emotions will all your might because you are in good company. Please remember that relapse is a part of the story of many people in recovery.

Use the experience to determine where you let up on your program and then double down in those areas. Maybe you didn’t go to enough meetings, or perhaps you stopped working closely with your sponsor. Continued interaction with one’s support network is a preemptive strike against triggers and cravings, thus preventing a relapse.

At Celebrate Hope, we are hopeful that you were able to abstain from drugs and alcohol during Thanksgiving. If you did, please recognize the accomplishment and then continue your efforts toward achieving lasting recovery. If the opposite is the case, then reinvest yourself into the program with all your energy.

You can emerge from this unfortunate event with unique knowledge about avoiding relapse in the future. You will also be able to advise newcomers on the subject down the road.

The Science of Preventing Relapse

While scientists have yet to find a cure for addiction, researchers continue working tirelessly to help people find long-term recovery. A new study, appearing in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, found that substance use disorder relapse may be preventable, NNR reports. The researchers used animal models and were able to control cells in a brain region called the nucleus accumbens.  

JNeurosci reports that the nucleus accumbens plays a central role in the brain’s reward circuit network, along with the ventral tegmental area and the medial prefrontal cortex. It deals with two essential neurotransmitters that play a role in behavioral health disorders; dopamine, which promotes desire, and serotonin, which deals with satiety and inhibition.

The new study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and involved the use of 90 genetic diverse Sprague Dawley rats, according to the article. Susan Ferguson, director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UW’s School of Medicine, says a new process could prevent relapse for any addiction.

“We used a tool called chemogenetic receptors to act as a light switch on the cells,” said Ferguson. “When we changed activity of neurons in the nucleus accumbens, we were able to control relapse behavior.” 

While further research is necessary, Professor Ferguson and her colleagues believe that chemogenetic receptors could lead to the creation of a medication that decreases relapse but still keeps people motivated for other activities.

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

At Celebrate Hope, we combine the teachings of Jesus Christ with evidence-based therapies to help clients begin a journey of long-term recovery. We create treatment plans for each client that cater to one’s unique needs. Those who seek our help are taught useful relapse prevention tools, so they handle the stressors of life without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program.
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