How to Maintain Sobriety Through Stressful Times

person stressed out

If there’s one thing that can test the strength of your sobriety, it’s stress. The world is a stressful place, and it’s practically impossible to find a single person on this planet who isn’t worried or anxious from time to time. Unfortunately, stress is one of the biggest factors of alcohol and drug abuse by far. Emotional and mental stress can make it difficult to follow through with routine responsibilities to your family, friends, and employer. Physical stress like pain or an injury may add a deeper element that challenges your commitment to addiction recovery.

When life gets tough, we often feel alone in our experiences and become desperate for fast relief just to keep going. But substance abuse only makes things tougher in the long run, and many people suffering from addiction end up abusing substances more and more just to try and regain some small level of comfort.

Fortunately, life doesn’t have to be this way. With over 20 million people (over 10 percent of adults) suffering from addiction each year in the United States, you’re not alone in your experiences. Furthermore, with the right addiction treatment program, many people can both obtain sobriety and learn healthy coping skills for addiction recovery that can help them through stressful times.

You can’t eliminate stress from your life, but there are ways you can manage it more efficiently. Here are several time-tested techniques you can use to keep stress levels at bay without relying on unhealthy activities for relief.

Succeeding at Addiction Recovery When You’re Stressed

Here’s one quick tip to get you started: controlling your reaction to stressful circumstances can lead to instant relief and is far more effective than trying to find a quick fix for a long-term problem or a situation that is out of your control.

1. Spend Time with Yourself Every Day

Staying in touch with your deeper emotions and thoughts can help you react in a more positive manner when stressful situations arise. Commit to doing one or more of the following for up to an hour every morning or just before bed:

  • Journaling – Get a pen and paper or open a blank document on your computer, and simply start writing whatever comes to mind. You can set a timer and challenge yourself to keep writing until your time is up or write two to three pages daily. As you write, you will focus on what’s stressing you out and on your deeper thoughts that often go unacknowledged in daily life. You will start to solve problems and stumble upon powerful realizations if you’re consistent in your journaling.
  • Guided Meditation – Research has found that mindful meditation eases psychological stress. Depression and anxiety are symptoms of that type of stress and can easily set in during the addiction recovery process. The easiest way to start meditating is to find a guided meditation soundtrack or download an app or podcast that offers meditation tracks. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus your mind on the track.
  • Gratitude Journaling – Write down five or more things that you’re thankful for each day. You can add that into your journaling practice or just do it on your phone when you have a few minutes to spare during your day. Focusing your mind on the blessings in your life will help you maintain a more positive mindset.

2. Use Breathing Techniques

There’s a lot you can do to lower your stress levels in general, and we’ll get to those in just a moment. When your stress levels are spiking at the moment though is when you need the most help, because this is when you are most likely to want to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. Using focused breathing techniques has been shown to help calm you down and bring your stressful thoughts back to a more grounded state. Find somewhere comfortable to sit if possible, and shut your eyes so you don’t have any visual distractions. Take long, deep breathes, focusing on filling your lungs to capacity with air and then slowly releasing it all out. Do this for as long as you need to.

3. Incorporate Exercise and Aerobic Activity into Your Daily Life

woman running to reduce stressWhile exercise may feel difficult and stressful when you first start, it will eventually become a piece of the sturdy foundation that roots you in healthy addiction recovery. Even milder physical workouts have been shown to be almost instant stress relievers. Incorporating regular exercise into your weekly schedule will also help lower your stress levels over time as well as keep you occupied. This is especially important, as keeping busy with physical tasks (like working out) will leave you with fewer “empty moments” where you may otherwise feel urges to use substances.

Aerobic activity is anything that increases your heart rate, gets you sweating, and requires you to control your breathing and exertion.

Whether you decide to try water aerobics, Zumba, running, fitness walking, or cycling, routine aerobic exercise will help you relax while boosting your mood and allowing you to clear your mind of stressful thoughts. You may even find that your exercise sessions spark flashes of creativity that help you solve problems that have long been sources of stress for you.

4. Get Outdoors

According to the American Institute of Stress, getting outside and into nature has also been shown to help reduce stress levels almost instantaneously. Try looking up local parks or nature walks ahead of time so you have a destination in mind the next time you’re starting to feel overly anxious or frazzled. Likewise, spending time outdoors on a regular basis will help lower your general stress levels in the long run.

5. Avoid Stressful Triggers

Does reading or watching the news get you all stressed out? Do you have an exhausting work schedule or a relationship that may be toxic? Some things that stress you out are easy to avoid, while others may take a firmer stance. Nevertheless, it’s important to take steps in reducing your exposure to these stressful triggers. If a relationship (either personal or professional) may be stressing you out constantly, talking about your issues can sometimes help. If it does not, then it may be time to end the relationship and move forward into less stressful situations.

6. Practice Gratitude

Sobriety is far from the only thing that will help keep your life in recovery stable. It’s all about attitude. Studies have shown that actively focusing on the people, experiences, and objects you are grateful for every day can help you find joy in the little things. With this, stress levels decrease and general contentment wins over. Focusing on things you are thankful for having in life is also a good practice for whenever you do start feeling anxious or stressed out. Some people even make a list of these things and carry it around with them for such occasions.

7. Make Your Sleep Routine a Habit

When you look into the correlation between sleep habits and stress, the following facts stick out:

  • Sleeping an extra 60-90 minutes per night would make most Americans healthier and happier.
  • Many Americans report feeling more stressed when the length or quality of their sleep decreases.
  • Americans report feeling even more stressed if they don’t get enough sleep during stressful times.
  • The side effects of sleep deprivation can mimic signs of extreme stress, including irritability, fatigue and lack of motivation

Have you heard of the sleep-stress cycle? It’s a cycle in which stress interferes with sleep, and then inadequate sleep leads to more stress, which makes it even harder to sleep. You can break the cycle and control your stress by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Yes, that includes weekends. Make sure your schedule allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

8. Minimize Overwhelm by Tackling One Goal at a Time

If you’re concerned that stress will sabotage your addiction recovery, it doesn’t make sense to create more stress for yourself. You may have a lot that you want to accomplish as you get your life back on track, but don’t try to do it all at once.

Try writing down all of your goals, and then listing them in order of priority. Put goals that energize and excite you at the top of the list because they will motivate you the most. The more you have to look forward to, the more likely you are to maintain your sobriety.

9. Don’t Bottle Up Your Stress

The worst thing you can do during addiction recovery is pretending that you’re okay when you’re not. When stressful situations arise, reach out to family and friends who are aware of your commitment to sobriety. Just venting to someone who knows about your struggles can help you see the situation in a new light, altering your reaction to the stressful situation quickly.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Reaching out to others and talking through the things that are stressing you out can also prove to be quickly relieving. This is one reason why many people in addiction recovery still attend regular support group meetings and keep in touch with their rehab program. Focusing on building a strong support network of family and friends will also give you people you can rely on as an outlet for life’s problems.

You can also reach out to the trained and compassionate professionals at Soba Recovery Center when stress becomes too much to manage on your own. We’re always one call away, so never suffer in silence.

If you’re still trying to reach life in recovery, it’s important to know that you don’t have to face addiction alone. Our team of substance abuse professionals at Soba Recovery is here to help you through detox and addiction treatment safely and avoid falling back into relapse. In our luxury treatment center, you can start building the healthy, productive life you deserve.

Everyday life will still come with stress, but we can help you learn to cope effectively without turning back to drugs. Get in touch with us when you’re ready — change can start today!

The Truth About Prescription Pill Addictions

prescription pill addiction

Prescription pill addiction involves more than just opioids and other pain medications. There are four broad classes of prescription pills that are commonly abused. These include opioids, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and stimulants. Although many who are prescribed prescription medications take them properly, there is still a substantial portion of the population who misuse them, resulting in addiction and the need for intensive addiction treatment. In 2017 it was estimated that more than 18 million people had misused prescription medications in the last year. While current data is not available, it is assumed based on historical statistics that this number has only continued to grow with misuse rates among adults ages 18-25 being some of the highest at nearly 15%. In these surveys, more people report using controlled prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined putting prescription drugs just behind marijuana when it comes to illicit drug use.

The Types of Prescribed Prescription Pills

The rate of prescription drug abuse and addiction is currently considered a pandemic in the United States and only worsening with time. Unfortunately, many who end up addicted to prescription pills do so after being prescribed the drug for legitimate reasons. Also, many teens believe prescription medications to be “safer” than other drugs because a medical provider prescribes them; thus, they are more likely to misuse them. As previously noted, prescription pill addiction generally applies to four categories of drugs.

Opioids

  • Opioids or prescription painkillers are used to treat severe or chronic pain conditions. They are also among the most over prescribed medication classes. Common opioids include OxyContin, Lortab, Morphine, and Percocet.

Stimulants

  • Adderall, a commonly prescribed stimulant, is typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Other medications similar to Adderall include Concerta and Ritalin.

Sedatives and Tranquilizers

  • Sedatives and tranquilizers are quite similar and generally produce the same intoxication effects. This category includes sleeping pills, which are classified as sedative-hypnotics. Other drugs that fall into this category are benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are a form of prescription sedative. They are commonly prescribed to treat symptoms related to anxiety or to help with insomnia. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin.

How Do You Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Opioids, stimulants, and sedatives can be beneficial for some individuals who have been diagnosed with certain medical disorders or who struggle with chronic pain. However, many of these medications have extremely high addictive potential and, consequently, are often abused or sold illegally. But why is it that some people who take these medications develop a prescription pill addiction and others do not? For some, it may be related to a genetic predisposition for addiction in general. Also, those who have a first-degree relative who suffered from a substance abuse disorder are significantly more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than those without such a family history. Environmental factors such as peer influence and family dynamics can also play a role in prescription pill addiction.

While all of the above and other factors play a role in prescription pill addiction, one of the most common ways people get addicted to prescription drugs is through the use of the medication itself. It is not uncommon for someone who is prescribed prescription pain medication for chronic pain to take these medications for extended periods. Eventually, the initially prescribed dose is not sufficient to mitigate the pain, and higher doses are consumed to achieve the same feeling as before. This is called developing a tolerance, and it is one of the most common ways addiction develops.

Signs of a Prescription Pill Addiction

The signs and symptoms of prescription pill addiction will vary based on the specific pill being used. Some of the common behavioral signs that may indicate addiction may include:

  • doctor shopping
  • changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • requesting refills more often than necessary
  • “losing” prescriptions and seeking replacements
  • sudden mood changes
  • demanding more privacy

Aside from the signs and symptoms mentioned above, long-term prescription pill addiction without addiction treatment can result in a host of adverse complications including overdose, incarceration, broken relationships, legal problems, failing physical health, developing a co-occurring mental health disorder, financial strain, and job loss.

Our treatment team at Soba Recovery Centers across the United States is skilled in providing individualized treatment for all types of addiction. We believe addiction treatment programs must be designed to suit each person’s needs, and therefore we focus our treatments on your needs as opposed to a standard design. If you are ready to seek treatment for a prescription pill addiction, reach out to Soba Recovery Centers today.

Heroin Addiction: Stats & Facts

heroin addiction

Heroin is an opioid drug derived from morphine. Heroin is sometimes called by other names, including smack, hell dust, and big H. Heroin can be either a white or brown powder or a black and sticky tar-like substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin is used in a variety of ways, including injection, smoking, and snorting. In some cases, people mix heroin with crack cocaine to form an even more potent substance. This practice is called speedballing.

Since 2007, the rate of heroin use in the United States has continued to climb. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health published in 2016, the most prevalent demographic for this increase is among adults ages 18-25. In direct contrast, the rate of use among teens ages 12-17 has been declining and is currently at the lowest levels since 1991. Over the last decade, nearly one-third of all opioid-related deaths involved heroin leading to the deaths of almost 15,000 Americans in 2018-that’s approximately 130 people per day!

Death from opioid use is preventable with proper heroin addiction treatment ; however, many who need heroin addiction rehab either do not seek it or cannot get it. 

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin use has many short and long-term effects on the body and brain. Initially, heroin enters the brain and attaches to the cells responsible for feelings of pain and pleasure. It also impacts the brain’s areas responsible for essential life-sustaining functions, including heart rate, breathing, and sleeping.

In the short-term, heroin use can result in “rush” (feelings of pleasure and happiness). Despite pleasurable effects in the short-term, heroin can also result in nausea, vomiting, itching, dry mouth, and hot flashes. Long term effects of heroin include a wide range of medical difficulties, including liver and kidney disease, lung complications, mental disorders, and sexual dysfunction, among others.

How to Recognize Heroin Addiction

Heroin is highly addictive, and those who regularly use it generally develop a tolerance that requires higher and more frequent doses to get the desired effects. Those who are addicted to heroin often exhibit changes in mood and behavior. Also, there are physical signs to look for, which may indicate a heroin addiction.

Behavior Changes

Heroin addiction can result in significant changes in behavior. Individuals may distance themselves from friends, family, and other members of their social circle. Also, they may exhibit a decline in academic or professional performance. 

Physical Changes

Heroin use, whether short or long-term, can cause difficulty breathing, weight loss, and various other physical changes in the body. Heroin can also cause extended periods of drowsiness, a sudden reduction in energy, and a lack of muscle coordination.

Drug Paraphernalia and Needle Marks 

Heroin can be consumed in a variety of ways, including injection and snorting. Someone who is struggling with a heroin addiction may have visible puncture marks on their arms or other places in their bodies. As the arms have become the most common place people look, some long-term users have resorted to injecting in different places on the body, including between the toes, the thighs, or the ankles. 

Injection is the most common way of taking heroin, so someone who has syringes without a valid medical reason could potentially be using heroin or another injectable drug. For powdered heroin to be made injectable, it must be made into a liquid, so the presence of filters, a lighter or candle, and burned or charred spoons may also be indicative of a problem if they are found in conjunction with other indicators of heroin addiction. 

Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab

A wide range of heroin addiction treatments, including medications and behavioral therapies, have been proven effective in helping people overcome heroin addiction. For treatment to be the most successful, treatment plans must be individualized to meet each patient’s needs.  

The initial withdrawal stages from opioid addiction, including heroin addiction, can bring about intense and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Thus, it is essential to undergo detox (sometimes also called medically assisted detox) at a heroin addiction (rehab) treatment center where trained medical professionals can closely monitor the initial stages of detox and ongoing treatment.  

Once the body has cleansed itself of heroin, it is possible to begin an intensive treatment program. Addiction treatment programs must be individually designed to achieve the best results. Through a combination of behavioral therapy, counseling, and a focus on developing new and healthy lifestyle skills, sobriety is possible. 

Beat a Heroin Addiction With Soba Recovery Center

Our renowned treatment team at Soba Recovery Center is highly trained to provide individual, one-on-one therapy designed to treat all aspects of addiction. We believe the key to addiction treatment’s success is to provide individualized care from the beginning of your journey through to sober living options we provide for our alumni. If you are ready to seek heroin addiction treatment, reach out to Soba Recovery Center today. 

Stages of Relapse

relapse stages

Recovering from addiction is not an easy process and rarely goes according to plan. Often, by the time people have reached the stage where they seek addiction treatment at a rehab center, they have already tried and failed to defeat their addiction to drugs and alcohol on their own. Relapses are a normal, but dangerous phase many people experience during recovery.

Long-term and even sometimes short-term substance abuse results in changes to the way the brain operates. This causes those who struggle with addiction to actively and compulsively seek out substances despite the adverse consequences of using it. The time it takes for the brain to restore a “normal” function can range from months to years, depending on the severity of a person’s addiction. During that time, everyday triggers and overwhelming cravings can lead to relapse.

What Is a Relapse in Addiction?

Statistics show between 40% and 60% of individuals in recovery experience at least one incidence of relapse. Some may experience several before successfully attaining and maintaining sobriety. Where addiction is concerned, a relapse is the downward spiral back into compulsive behavior and addiction. A relapse does not occur suddenly. It is not like a broken bone or a car accident. Relapse is generally a combination of several events or repeated exposure to triggers that lead an individual to reach for drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. Historically, their substance of choice has been their methodology for coping during stressful or emotional times. Therefore, they reach for that same substance when their current situation has become too difficult to handle.

Often there are a variety of signs and symptoms one might exhibit when experiencing a relapse. Some of the most common include destructive thoughts, compulsive behavior, a return to unhealthy behaviors or environments, mood swings, recurrence of previous mental health symptoms, and isolation from groups or activities.

What Are the Stages of the Relapse Process?

As previously mentioned, relapse is a process. It often takes weeks or even months before someone “slips” for the first time after leaving a treatment program. There are several steps to the stages of the relapse process that one goes through before fully relapsing, and those have been divided into three phases to make it easier to understand.

Emotional Relapse

The first stage of relapse is emotional relapse. During this stage, a person has not returned to or even considered drinking or using yet. However, during emotional relapse, they do not practice the coping behaviors or self-care techniques they were taught during treatment to help cope with triggering events and maintain their sobriety.

Some signs of emotional relapse may include distancing oneself from supportive friends or family, attending recovery meetings, but not participating and mood changes. The lack of proper self-care during emotional withdrawal often leads to feelings of unhappiness, negative emotions, and increased levels of stress; All of which cause them to use in the past. As inadequate self-care continues, a progression into mental relapse occurs.

Mental Relapse

During the mental relapse phase, people begin to consider turning to drugs or alcohol to cope. Because they know using is not a healthy or positive solution, they try to use the coping behaviors learned during therapy; however, a negative mental state often overpowers learned protective factors.

During this second stage of relapse triggers such as places, people, and events associated with past addictive behaviors can trigger cravings. During mental relapse, addicts in recovery may minimize the adverse side effects of drinking or using. Also, they may start to look for opportunities to relapse or even make a plan to relapse.

Physical Relapse

The final stage of relapse is physical relapse. This stage begins when the person uses again or “slips.” Sometimes, immediately after a slip, people regret using or drinking and find an even more powerful passion for recovery. Still, for others, this may not be the case.

It is essential to seek recovery after a slip to prevent a potentially dangerous spiral back into addiction. Those who do not seek treatment after a slip will generally experience physical relapse (withdrawal). To avoid the symptoms associated with the stage of relapse, they often turn to obsessive or compulsive substance use.

Learn Coping Mechanisms at Soba Recovery

Achieving sobriety can be difficult. The first and most crucial step is to seek treatment. At Soba Recovery, we offer an affordable substance abuse treatment program in a luxury setting. Our team of highly trained addiction treatment professionals understands how challenging the decision to seek treatment can be. But we also know detox and therapy at a center like Soba Recovery is the safest and most effective way to defeat addiction. If individualized one-on-one treatment at a renowned residential treatment center is the next step for you, contact Soba Recovery today.

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

am i addicted to alcohol

The stereotype of someone addicted to alcohol is a person who always drinks in excess and as a result, their life is crumbling. However, the reality is some people are functioning or high-functioning alcoholics, which means even though they depend on and abuse alcohol, they have the appearance of being fine. Though you may know problem drinking as alcoholism or alcohol abuse, addiction to alcohol is officially referred to as alcohol use disorder, an addiction that is estimated to affect 15 million people in the United States. At Soba Recovery, we feel receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder is critical to success in overcoming it, but the first step toward treatment is identifying the problem.

Identifying an Alcohol Addiction

The signs of alcohol use disorder vary from person to person, but some common red flags in assessing whether you or a loved one has an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Needing alcohol to relax or feel confident
  • Drinking when you are alone or in secrecy
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Drinking more or longer than you intended
  • Losing friends or having relationship problems due to drinking
  • Drinking or being sick from drinking interferes with taking care of your family, working or attending school
  • Experiencing short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts
  • Feeling irritable or having extreme mood swings
  • Having legal problems related to drinking
  • Denying drinking or getting angry when confronted about drinking

If you or a loved one is exhibiting these symptoms their drinking may be cause for concern. Alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe and the urgency for treatment depends on the amount and severity of the symptoms displayed, though recovery is possible regardless of the severity.

How Is Alcohol Addictive?

Though alcohol is legal, it can still be a dangerous substance with serious side effects. One of these is the addictive qualities of alcohol which keeps people coming back for more and consuming it in unhealthy amounts. Alcohol is a chemical that causes our brains to release endorphins, making us feel more content and less sensitive to pain, associating these pleasurable sensations with drinking can encourage us to keep drinking even when we know it can harm us. In addition to the chemical reaction alcohol causes, we often tend to socially and in our own lives associate alcohol with positive stimuli, like having a glass of wine after a long day or getting beers with friends. When we make alcohol a reward or a treat that we use to socialize and celebrate, we create positive associations with it. Alcohol dependency doesn’t happen all at once, but rather over time as our brains are trained to crave the endorphin release of alcohol.

  • An individual’s personality and genetics might make them predisposed to alcohol use disorder as well.
  • Thrill seekers have a greater risk of addiction to alcohol because they seek the endorphin rush alcohol offers.
  • Shy individuals are also prime candidates for developing alcohol use disorder because alcohol can help alleviate social anxiety and an individual can get addicted to or reliant on that effect.

What Happens When You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Quitting drinking can be daunting because physical alcohol withdrawal is particularly tough on the body. However, there are many benefits of stopping drinking:

  • Improved heart and liver health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Elevated self-esteem
  • Better sleep quality
  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Improved focus on relationships and work
  • Lower cancer risks
  • Strengthened immune system

How to Get Help For Alcohol Abuse

If you think you are struggling with alcohol use disorder or are not sure if you have a problem or not please contact Soba Recovery today. We have professionals who can assess your situation and help determine what kind of treatment is suitable for your individual needs. Our two locations in Texas and Arizona are both amazing options for anyone struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse.

How to Get My Friend Help With Addiction

help a friend with addiction

Watching a friend struggle with addiction can make you feel powerless, but you can help your friend along the road to recovery. By knowing the signs of addiction and treatment options, you can recognize whether your friend needs help and find them the help they need. At Soba Recovery, we know broaching the topic of addiction may feel as though you’re overstepping your bounds, but if someone you care about is suffering from addiction, starting a conversation about their addiction is an important step toward life-saving help.

Signs of Addiction

If you suspect a friend might have an addiction, you might notice changes in their physical appearance, such as:

  • Unkempt appearance
  • Decreasing personal hygiene
  • Weight loss
  • Pale skin

Addiction also affects people mentally and emotionally. Commons signs of addiction as a result of this mental and emotional toll include:

  • Defensiveness when asked about changes in behavior or substance use
  • Depression
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Becoming argumentative
  • Noticeable lack of energy
  • Failure to fulfil obligations at work, home, or school
  • Self-isolating and secretive
  • Risky or erratic behavior

If you notice a friend constantly displaying any of these warning signs or symptoms of addiction, they may need treatment.

Addiction Treatment Options

The purpose of addiction treatment is to help individuals struggling with addiction to stop compulsive use of drugs or alcohol. Because addiction is chronic, treatment is often a long-term process. Soba Recovery offers holistic drug and alcohol treatment in Mesa, Arizona as well as San Antonio, Texas from detoxification to continuing care.

Detoxification

Detoxification is the medical treatment of freeing the blood from toxins. At Soba Recovery, detoxification is medically supervised by certified doctors, registered nurses, behavioral health technicians, and drug and alcohol counselors. Our inpatient facility has 20 beds, allowing for 24-hour monitoring of the process and individualized care. Detoxification is the first step on the road to recovery and usually takes three to seven days.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment, sometimes known as residential treatment is a treatment for addiction in which individuals struggling with addiction stay in a controlled environment. At Soba Recovery, inpatient treatment is tailored to individual needs and all those participating in inpatient treatment are at similar points in their journeys to sobriety. Inpatient treatment allows patients a critical point between detoxification in sober living in which to transition and gain more confidence on their road to recovery.

Outpatient Treatment and Sober Living

In outpatient treatment, a patient goes to treatment during the day but lives at home. Outpatient treatment can be stand-alone, or part of a long-term treatment program. At Soba Recovery, outpatient treatment is one step in a longer treatment process to continue to provide support to those on their way to recovery. Outpatient treatment can also include sober living homes, which are spaces specifically for individuals working on their addiction recovery. Sober living homes are free from drugs and alcohol and offer a community for motivation and support as well as assistance to rebuild skills lost or muted during addiction. Soba Recovery offers sober living in conjunction with outpatient treatment to create a supportive, community-oriented environment for recovery.

How to Approach My Friend About Their Addiction

Approaching a friend about addiction can be uncomfortable, but early intervention is important for recovery. Remember, a common sign of addiction is denial, so it is important to be gentle rather than accusatory. Make sure the conversation doesn’t take place while your friend is under the influence, as they may react more negatively than they would otherwise.

To start a conversation about a friend’s addiction, begin with your observations that you’re concerned about. This might look like:

  • “I wanted to check in on you because I’ve noticed you’ve been acting different lately”
  • “I’ve been worried about you because I’ve noticed you haven’t seemed like yourself lately”

After starting the conversation, you might ask questions about how they’re feeling; if they are dependent on a substance, how you can support them, or if they’ve thought about getting help. When providing support it’s important to listen to your friend to allow them to tell you about what is going on in their lives. If you know a friend is struggling with addiction, your presence as a friend can be invaluable to their recovery.

Get Help With Addiction at Soba Recovery

Please don’t hesitate to contact us today at Soba Recovery regarding a loved one’s addiction or your own. Soba Recovery offers multiple locations in Arizona and Texas. We offer a full range of addiction treatment options, from detoxification to aftercare. We know addiction is a lifelong journey, and we’re dedicated to helping anyone and everyone pursue it!

Support Groups for Parents of Addicts

support group for family

Addiction is currently a serious public health problem in the United States. Addiction has been better understood in the past few years as a disease, but addiction is not only a disease that the individual addict struggles with—addiction is a family disease. Addiction hurts everyone with a relationship with the addict. Parents of addicts especially are confronted by the challenges of navigating relationships with their children struggling with substance abuse. However, the increased recognition of addiction as a family disease has resulted in an increase of resources designed to not only help parents find their loved one help to tackle addiction, but also to help for parents of addicts themselves.

Addiction Is a Family Disease

At Soba Recovery, we can’t stress enough that addiction is often referred to as a family disease because it doesn’t only affect the individual struggling with substance abuse, it also impacts the loved ones of the addict. Parents of addicts in particular struggle with a complex mix of emotions when faced with the realities of their loved ones’ addiction, whether their child is a minor or an adult. Parents of addicts may take on the guilt, blame, or shame belonging to the addict, or experience these emotions as a result of embarrassment.

Parents of addicts can also easily be engrossed in the behavior of an addict, hyper-focusing on their child’s addictions and trying to fix them. If they are close to their loved one, parents of addicts may bear the brunt of unpleasant behaviors their loved ones exhibit as a result of their addiction. Addiction can also affect the marriage of parents of addicts. Most of all, like any parent, parents of addicts are faced with a situation where their child is facing a dangerous disease that they may feel powerless or hopeless against. If you have a child struggling with addiction, you are not alone—there are several resources that offer help for parents of addicts. One of the most invaluable resources are support groups for parents.

Support Groups for Parents of Addicts

Parents of addicts may feel alone in their experiences with their child’s addiction, but support groups for parents of addicts can help combat these feelings. It is common for parents of addicts to focus on the addicted loved one rather than themselves, however, support groups for parents can offer them emotional support in navigating their loved one’s addiction.

Al-Anon

Al-Anon is one of the oldest support groups for family members of someone with a drinking problem. Al-anon offers free family groups open to any family member of an alcoholic looking for support. Meetings are usually one hour where attendees are encouraged to listen, learn, and share if they’re comfortable doing so. All meetings are anonymous and confidential is a foundational aspect of the groups. Al-Anon uses an adapted version of the Twelve Steps of Alcohols Anonymous as a tool for healing and growth for family members of addicts. Though Al-Anon family groups are not specifically for the parents of addicts, they are often among the family members of addicts that attend the meetings. The meetings can offer help for parents of addicts in finding validation of their experiences by individuals who have intimate understanding of the same issues through their own experiences. If you are interested in attending an Al-Anon Family Group, you can begin by looking for a group in your community on their webpage.

Nar-Anon

Whereas Al-Anon is for family and friends of individuals with dependency on alcohol, Nar-Anon is for the family and friends of those with dependency on drugs. Though the stories of how addiction to alcohol impacts families are similar to those of addiction to drugs, the stories at Nar-Anon focus specifically on drug use rather than alcohol. Nar-Anon similarly uses a Twelve Step Program to help families and friends of addicts find strength and hope. Nar-Anon does not require dues or fees and though its membership is not limited to parents of addicts, many attend the meetings. If you are interested in joining a Nar-Anon group, you can begin by looking for a family group in your community.

PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones Group)

Unlike Al-Anon and Nar-Anon, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones, or PAL, is a support group specifically for parents of addicts. PAL was created based on the recognition that parents have a different relationship with the addict than a sibling, friend, or spouse. When confronted with a loved one addicted to drugs or alcohol, parents have the tendency to revert to treating adult sons or daughters like younger children. PAL acknowledges this reaction to addiction is unique to parents and uses nine individual non-sequential lessons in meetings that teach about addiction both from an addict’s and a parent’s perspective.

How to Get Your Loved One Help

Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and PAL are all useful support groups for parents of addicts. But it is important to remember these are non-professional support groups, meaning they offer a space for members to share their experiences, hope, and strength—they do not offer professional treatment for addicts. If you’re seeking help for your loved one’s addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, is the agency leading the public health effort to combat substance abuse and offers a range of resources.

Get Help With Addiction at Soba Recovery

If you’re looking for professional treatment for a loved one’s addiction, Soba Recovery is also here to help. We offer compassionate, quality addiction treatment services in San Antonio, Texas, and Mesa, Arizona. Please contact us for information about how we can help. Our professionals are here to help individuals and their families get through drug and alcohol addiction.

Why Drug Rehab Aftercare Programs Are Essential to Success

drug rehab aftercare

Addiction treatment or “rehab” programs are fundamental to recovery from substance abuse. Through yours, you’ll go through detox and withdrawal, then learn important coping skills and self reflection through counseling and therapy. Chances are, you’ll leave your program feeling refreshed, healthy, and ready to start your new life in recovery.

But this is only the beginning. Addiction is viewed as an ongoing condition that can be managed, not necessarily cured. Addiction alters brain chemistry, and it often goes hand-in-hand with mental health disorders that also require lifelong care. Relapse is more common than many people realize — a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that up to between 40 and 60 percent of people who have been through treatment fall back into substance abuse within a year.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that failure is inevitable. Far from it. You have the power to stay in recovery and even bounce back if you do relapse. In order to maintain sobriety long-term, you will need to stay strong and keep yourself in the right place mentally. At Soba Recovery, we’re here to tell you participating in aftercare programs will play a crucial role in this.

What Is Drug Rehab Aftercare?

Residential inpatient treatment (the most common type of rehab program) is there to help you overcome your every day urges to abuse substances and prepare you for leading a life of sobriety. However, real life is not so simple. When you leave your treatment program, you will suddenly be back in everyday life, complete with its triggers. This is why it is important to incorporate drug rehab aftercare programs into your addiction recovery. Put simply, rehab aftercare is a personalized plan that keeps you on track long after your initial addiction treatment is over.

Think of your primary addiction treatment as a training program to help prepare you for the real world. But since the real world is filled with unpredictable challenges, ongoing support is necessary to make sure that things don’t get out of control. Addiction aftercare takes many forms, but above all, it offers an outlet for the stresses of everyday life. Whether you’re participating in group or individual counseling, or even staying active in a hobby you picked up while in rehab, addiction aftercare services are crucial to keeping you on track.

Aftercare for substance abuse also provides you with focused support that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Even the most understanding and supportive friends and family members may still not be able to understand what you are dealing with if they haven’t been there themselves.

Aftercare Programs Guide You to Long-Term Sobriety

With the right addiction aftercare plan in place, you will not feel like you are suddenly left all alone back in the real world. But it’s not just about coping with your life in early sobriety. While again, individual aftercare plans can (and do) vary greatly, they are there to ensure you keep on top of both your long-term and short-term goals. Many people choose to tailor their aftercare plan so it can be adjusted throughout their real-life progress. At Soba Recovery, we feel this leads to successful lifelong management of addiction and substance abuse.

While relapse rates remain high, studies have shown aftercare for substance abuse programs to be highly effective in curbing them. One study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine journal revealed that the likelihood of long-term abstinence rises by about 20 percent for every consecutive month individuals participate in an aftercare plan during the initial six months after they complete addiction treatment.

Forming Your Own Addiction Aftercare Plan

There are many different forms of ongoing treatment that can go into a drug rehab aftercare plan. Your own will depend on your own situation and preferences. For most people, however, aftercare plans contain a combination of the following:

  • Relapse prevention counseling
  • Mental health care (usually ongoing from initial addiction treatment)
  • Physical health care (may also include a fitness regimen plan)
  • Healthy activities / guidance on living a healthy, fulfilling life
  • Assistance finding safe housing removed from substance abuse triggers
  • Vocational counseling (help with conducting yourself professionally and finding employment)
  • Community-based support groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.)

It’s worth noting that while a good addiction treatment center will help you form an aftercare plan and even provide some of the involved services, many plans include support from outside groups. This is all part of your long-term addiction recovery, allowing you to grow strong bonds with your local community and build a successful healthy life for yourself.

We Can Help With Drug Rehab Aftercare!

At Soba Recovery, our team is here for you both through initial treatment and addiction recovery. Our full-service program will help you through detox and into sobriety, as well as an aftercare plan that is unique to you and your specific needs. In fact, we consider aftercare to be a vital component of the recovery process as a whole. Whether you’re still in need of initial addiction treatment or have questions about forming an aftercare plan, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can achieve long-term sobriety and the life you deserve.

A Brief History of the Opioid Epidemic

history of the opioid epidemic

Soba Recovery understands the importance of spreading awareness of the opioid epidemic in America. Today we’ll share a brief history of the opioid epidemic; how the U.S. got to this point in the first place; and what we have done to contribute to societal improvements during the epidemic.

Opioid Crisis History and Background

Opium made its first appearance in the US in 1775. During the civil war, opioids were used to treat pain caused by battle wounds. Consequently, numerous soldiers became addicted to opiates. Resulting in lawmakers passing The Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 to prevent recreational use of opioids. In the 1970s, the stigma about addiction caused by opioids was so severe that doctors and surgeons ceased the use of narcotic agents for pain treatment. Opioids made a strong comeback in the late 1980s and early 1990’s when drug manufacturers published statements promoting the use of opiate drugs by assuring the medical community that prescription opioids did not cause patient addiction. This led to a tremendous increase in opioid prescriptions.

What’s Happening Today in the Opioid Epidemic

In 2017, the Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency to address the national opioid crisis. Here are some of the most recent statistics according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Since 1999, more than 750,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Overdose deaths include prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
  • In 2018, 47,000 cases of opioid overdoses resulted in death, with 32% of those deaths involved prescription opioids.
  • In 2018, the states with the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths were West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire
  • 2018 data also shows that 128 people in the United States died from opioid overdose every day.

This is just a brief snapshot of the big picture. Mortality rate, without any doubt, is one of the gravest consequences of the opioid epidemic in the US. However, the opioid crisis also imposes an immense effect on the general welfare of the community. Not to mention, the economic impact that it has on our society in addition to the emotional and psychological effects on the patients’ families and their loved ones.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s stand during the opioid epidemic:

With the goal to alleviate problems caused by the opioid epidemic and formulate solutions to improve how the U.S healthcare system should be dealing with this crisis, HHS and NIH focus their efforts into five major priorities:

  • Improving access to treatment and recovery services
  • Promoting use of overdose-reversing drug
  • Strengthening public understanding of the epidemic through better public health surveillance
  • Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction
  • Advancing better practices for pain management

As the U.S. is providing efforts to alleviate the devastating damage, we at Soba Recovery provide more education for the general public and potential patients through our blog. In addition to that, a representative is available on-line 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns that potential clients and their families may have without compromising their privacy. We create a safe space for people to talk and to reach out if they are seeking treatment for themselves or for their loved ones. Our staff is expertly trained in educating and discussing treatment plans while providing realistic expectations and being emotionally supportive.

Soba Recovery Is Here to Help You

From day one, our core focus is on being caring. Here at Soba Recovery, you are not just a client, you are one of us. That is why we use a combination of different modalities to optimize your recovery treatment and provide you with the most holistic care. In addition to medication-assisted therapy, we utilize psychological counseling, acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy.

Unfortunately, the stigma of addiction and addiction treatment still exist. Soba Recovery is here to contribute efforts to erase that stigma. We ensure a judgment-free zone for anyone who comes here to seek treatment or know someone who is dealing with addiction disorder.

Soba Recovery thrives on providing gold-standard treatment along with education. We are a Joint-Commission accredited facility with top of the line treatment modalities. Not only do we satisfy the national guidelines on substance abuse treatment, we go above and beyond to exceed the requirements. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable staff. We are here for you!

A Letter From the Addict to the Addiction

For many, cutting ties with an addiction is similar to breaking up a long-term relationship. Going through detox and addiction treatment is effective, but it’s common to enter sobriety feeling like there are unresolved issues. After all, you’ve spent a significant amount of time entertaining your addiction with drug abuse, and you’ve likely let other relationships fall to the wayside as a result.

Like all unhealthy relationships, it’s time for you to end things with your addiction once and for all. It starts with you confronting your addiction head on.

A Letter to Addiction

Ongoing counseling and participation in addiction recovery programs are recommended long after your initial treatment ends. However, you may also find it useful to express your feelings via a letter. Your own thoughts and feelings will be unique, but here is an example that you may find helpful:

Dear Addiction;

For a time, it felt like all I needed in the world was you. For much of our time together, I felt happy and free of other desires. My pain seemed to go away, and I didn’t worry about life. I even let my other relationships disintegrate because of how strongly I felt towards you.

I now know that none of these feelings were genuine and that I was being manipulated throughout our time together. Whenever I felt like you were the key to getting through life, it was nothing more than a lie. For this and many more reasons, it is now time to bid you “goodbye” forever.

You see, I am so much more than just another person risking their life through drug abuse, and I will not be a statistic. As good as I felt when I was with you at times, I felt terrible during others. I missed out on important events and gave up things that once meant a lot to me. I hit some of the lowest points in my life, and I now realize that I am worth more. It is time for me to regain control. I will pursue new opportunities, achieve new goals, and adopt a healthy lifestyle. And to do all of this, I need you out of my life.

That said, I know I cannot blame you entirely for the way things have gone. Just as I am working to regain control in my life, I am also taking responsibility. I chose to start our relationship, and now I am choosing to end it. I know that saying “goodbye” to you for good will take hard work, but I am doing exactly that.

I will also apologize to those whom I have hurt because of how you influenced me. The relationship between you and I may be at an end, but it is not too late for me to rebuild my relationships with my family members and friends.

As challenging as this ending may be, I know it is the right thing to do. I look forward to new beginnings, and you and I will never cross paths again. Goodbye.

Writing Your Own Letter

The letter above is just an example, and yours should be focused on your own experience and feelings. It’s okay to feel sad while writing your letter, but it’s also important to focus on the good things that are about to come. Writing your letter is already a major sign of progress.

What you do with your completed letter is up to you. Many people choose to keep the letter in a safe place where they can revisit it occasionally for inspiration or to see how far they’ve come since writing it. Others choose to destroy their letters as a sign of being done with their addiction once and for all.

If you write your letter as part of an addiction treatment group or in a counseling session, you may be able to share it with others. Doing so can help you relate to others suffering from drug abuse and help you realize you are not alone. Your letter can also serve as a source of inspiration for others.

It’s Not Too Late to Get Help

Grappling with an addiction is not easy, but it is not something you have to keep living with. With the right treatment and addiction recovery plan, you can successfully achieve a life of sobriety. If you are in the Texas or Arizona area and are looking for the right addiction treatment program, our team at Soba Recovery is here for you. We offer comprehensive detox and inpatient treatment for drug abuse, and if you’re reading this, it is not too late to get the help you need. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services!