Seven Tips to Prevent Relapse

About 570,000 people die annually from drug use.  Many of these people have had substance abuse problems for a long time.  Many have even gone through addiction recovery programs.  Substance abusers and addicts learn in rehab that addiction is something that they will work on dealing with for a good portion of their lives.  The battle to prevent relapse begins immediately after you leave the safety of an addiction treatment program.  Having a strong relapse prevention plan can really help you in your battle to stay clean and sober after rehab.

1. Watch for Triggers

Your triggers are the things that make you want to take drugs or drink alcohol.  They can be people or places or things that make you want to go back to your actively addicted life.  You will need to be watchful of triggers. You can make a plan for what to do when you encounter your triggers.  Having a plan about what to do when you encounter a trigger situation can take away the fear and the anxiety surrounding the situation. 

2. Create a Support Network

There are many different kinds of support for people after they are finished with rehab.  Many of these organizations are based around living a sober life.  One of the most common ways for people in recovery to get support is to go to a recovery meeting.  There are a number of different kinds of recovery meetings such as 12-step meetings, religion based meetings, family groups, or secular community meetings.  Some groups are for specific demographics such as women, gay men, teens, or specific professions.  All of these meetings will create a firm basis for your continued recovery.

3. Be Reasonable with Your Expectations

Addiction and recovery is a long road.  You will need to be realistic about your expectations with yourself.  Set small goals so that you can feel like you are making headway and getting things accomplished.  Break larger tasks into smaller tasks to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed.  Small successes contribute to the bigger picture and to your ultimate bigger successes.

4. Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal may feel overwhelming at first, but it does not need to be difficult.  You do not need to make entries about everything that you have done that day.  You do not need to write about everything you think and everything you say.  You should write about things that are important to you.  You can write about your struggles and your successes.  You can write down your prevention plans and triggers you encounter.  You can write daily affirmations and you can write about gratitudes.

5. Keep a Gratitude List

In your journal or separate from your journal, make a list of several things each day or a few times a week of the things you are thankful for or the things that are positive about sober living.  Keep this list close at hand and update it often.  You can bring it up whenever you need a little boost.  It will remind you of how hard you have worked and how far you have come.  This list can be a very strong relapse prevention tool.

6. Get and Stay Healthy

Your body has been through a lot when you were in active addiction.  Now, you should be taking care of it.  Taking care of your body involves eating right, exercising enough, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep.  To eat right, you should be eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, omega-3 rich foods, and whole grains.  Any kind of exercise is going to be good exercise.  Take a walk about the block, do some yoga, or ride a bicycle.  Moving around is good for your whole body and your mind.

7. Meet Some New, Positive Friends

Since you have left behind your addiction life, you may be looking for some people who can be supportive of you.  It is important to find a social group where you can be yourself and still receive the support that comes with having friends.  Finding people who have similar backgrounds to yourself can be useful so making friends at your recovery meetings can be very useful.  You will also be able to help your friends by being supportive as well since you understand where they are coming from.

Five Specific Reasons to Get Help For Substance Abuse

So you have a substance abuse problem.  You have probably had it for a while.  And you keep thinking about doing something about it.  You may have thought about how much money drug and alcohol are costing you, or how much your substance abuse is effecting your personal life.  And then you may have thought about how hard it is going to be to quit and all of the stories you hear about people suffering.  If you have a substance abuse problem and you sometimes think about giving it all up to go to rehab, you will probably be able to come up with many, many reasons why you do not want to quit.  There are, however, many, many more reasons why you should get help for substance abuse, quit doing drugs and drinking – and take back control of your life. 

1.  Your Memory Will Improve

When your brain is not being fed foreign chemicals and toxins, it will be better able to process the situations at hand.  Once you are better able to process, your brain will be more apt to remember things that are important.  Once you are better able to remember, you will be better equipped to be responsible and let people count on you.  When you are high much of the time, it is difficult to commit anything to long term memory which can mean that whole parts of your life are going to be missing when you look back.  When you make the commitment to get help for substance abuse, you will have a whole new life of memories to build.

2.  Your Health Will Improve Tremendously

If your substance of choice has been one that is smoked, your lungs will clear.  Your throat will be less raw and you will be able to breathe better once you stop using.  Once you have completed detox, your drug use will expose any underlying illnesses or conditions so that then may be treated.  It is very possible that any illness that is being covered up by your substance abuse is wreaking havoc on your body and you have no idea.  Getting treatment for hidden illnesses is essential.  And you will need to stop abusing your chosen substance to get that kind of help.

3.  Your Communications/Social Skills Will Improve

There are going to be some relationships that need mending after you give up your substance abuse.  You will need your improved communication skills to help with this kind of healing.  You brain will be clear, and you will be able to take responsibility for your actions and behaviors while you had a substance abuse problem.  By using your communication skills, you will have the opportunity to talk it out and work on starting over with your spouse, your parents, your children, your friends, and anyone else who care about you.

4.  Work and School Performance Will Improve

If you have continued on with work or school during your substance abuse problem, your performance is likely to have slipped.  Your co-workers have likely noticed that you are not dependable and not able to be responsible in the ways that you once were.  The teachers and other students may have noticed your grades being lower or your attendance being spotty.  Once you give up substance abuse, you will be able to go back to meeting deadlines, writing papers, keeping promises, being dedicated, and doing what is required to get through the day while doing what is expected of you.  Your performance will improve and others will take notice.  If you remain dedicated, you may even start to move up the ladder to a higher position or to a more advanced class.

5.  You Will Have More Money

At the start of your detox, put away any of the money you had been spending on drugs that you do not need to live.  Keep doing that for a few years.  It can be incentive to keep going with your chosen programs.  Eventually, you will have built up quite a savings for yourself.  You may eventually be able to use that money for something that will improve your future like a house or an education.  Or you can save it to take a dream vacation with your family or buy a few things that you have always wanted.  

Is Alcohol Detox Right For You? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

Have you found that recently alcohol has become a bigger part of your life than it has been in the past?  You may be finding that most of your social gatherings revolve around alcohol.  It is possible that your personal time is revolving around alcohol as well.  It might be time to start thinking about alcohol detox.  There are many reasons to seek alcohol detox from a detox program.  There are also many reasons why you may think that seeking professional help is not the answer for you right now.  Either way, if you are thinking about alcohol detox at all, you may have a bigger problem than you realize. 

Ask yourself the following questions if you are thinking about getting help for what could be an alcohol addiction.

Do you cope with stress by indulging in alcohol?

Everyone has a bad day now and again.  And many will have a drink when they come home from a hard day.  But there is a difference between drinking after a difficult day or drinking at a social event and drinking enough that professional alcohol detox is needed.  It is normal to have a glass of wine with dinner, a beer after work, or a cocktail with some friends at happy hour.  Even to have a few drinks sometimes is fine.  It is when it becomes a habit to deal with any kind of stress at all by turning to alcohol first that it becomes a problem.

Do you lie about how much alcohol in which you indulge in a day?

So you’ve had a drink or two or three in a day.  And then maybe you have some more.  When your husband asks you how much you’ve had, do you tell the truth?  If you do tell the truth, what is his response?  Do your loved ones think that you might have a problem?  Do you lie?  If you do lie, why do you lie? 

Are you spending more money on alcohol than you are on anything else?

Everyone has expenses – rent, utilities, car payments, grocery expenses, doctor bills.  Is the money you are spending on alcohol eating into the funds you have kept aside for all of your other bills?  Are you hiding where those funds are going?  This may be part of the lying mentioned above.  If you are spending money on alcohol purchases that was meant to be for something else that is essential, it is time to seek professional help.

Does it take more alcohol than it used to take to get the same effect?

Last year, two drinks was enough to get a buzz.  Six months ago, four drinks was just enough to keep your buzz on.  And now, it’s six drinks at the very least.  Does this sound familiar? Your body will build up a tolerance to alcohol with more and more use.  You will drink more to be able to numb yourself and your body will respond by needing more and more to feel the same effects. 

Has your alcohol use affected your work, your health, or your family?

Have you been missing more work than you should because of your drinking the night before?  Have you been given warnings by your boss to shape up or ship out?  Has your family noticed changes in your behavior?  Are you there for your children when they need you?  When alcohol starts to negatively affect your work and your home life, it is time to seek help.  If you are starting to feel the effects of alcohol on your health such as frequent memory lapses, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, breathing difficulties, and gastritis it is time to get yourself some help.

If answered yes to more than one of these questions, or you find that you are regularly using alcohol to cope with life or that your alcohol usage is interfering with your life and your family, then professional rehabilitation could be the right decision for you.  

What Type of Treatment is Right for You? 5 Types of Rehab Explained

When looking for the right kind of rehab treatment for yourself or for a loved one to follow up a detox program, you must consider all of the possibilities.  All rehabs are not created equal.  Different approaches to rehab and recovery are going to be better suited to different people.  When trying to make the sometimes difficult decision about which drug rehab centers to check out further, think about the personality of the person who will be going.  He or she may need to get certain things from a program that aren’t offered at certain types of rehab.

Types of rehab for drug and alcohol problems

Consider these five types of rehab. Most treatment centers will base their treatment approach around one, or a combination or these models.

12-Step Programs

12-step rehabilitation programs are based around the literature and philosophies of Alcoholics Anonymous.  By working through the 12 steps, attending regular meetings, and working with a sponsor, patients are able to look at their addiction from the outside and make changes accordingly.  The 12 step module is also complimented with individual and group therapy.  Most 12-step recovery programs are designed to help people create a new life for themselves that does not involve drugs or alcohol.  These programs encourage people to build happy, healthy and productive lives by completing and living the 12-steps.

Faith Based Programs 

In rehab programs based on faith, the focus is on spirituality and a closeness with God.  Most faith related programs are based on the Christian faith though occasionally other religions pop up as well.  The focus of most faith based recovery programs is that God is the one who grants recovery to patients.  Leaders believe that drug and alcohol users turn people to addictive behavior because they are filling the void in their lives created by a lack of spirituality.  Patients focus on working hard and trying to better understand God and therefore are granted sobriety.  The theory is that adding God or another higher power will fill the void and remove the need for the addictive behavior.  Many programs funded by religious organizations and non-profits fall into this category. 

Evidence Based Programs 

Science is the order of the day at evidence based treatment facilities.  These programs generally employ the latest psychological methods to treat patients.  Since science is the basis for these programs, the protocols and practices are always changing based on what the latest research suggests is the best way to help patients through recovery.  All treatment methods are backed by research which makes it easier for doctors to determine what the best treatment options will be for each individual patient. 

Medicine Based Programs 

Medicine based programs treat any kind of addiction as an illness or a disease that should be managed with medication like any other illness or disease.  Medications such as methadone are intended for and prescribed for long term use.  Medicine based programs are sometimes called Harm Reduction Programs because they are transferring a patient’s dependence from one drug to another.  The main principal of harm reduction is keeping drug and alcohol users healthy and alive long enough to be willing and able to seek treatment when they are ready.

Alternative Care Programs 

More and more people are starting to be drawn toward programs that focus on alternative and more natural treatments for their addiction difficulties.  Many of the treatment employed in alternative care programs are not available at tradition rehab centers because science does not yet support their inclusion.  For example, acupuncture has been used in Eastern medicinal treatments for centuries, but since Western medicine had been slow to adopt its practice, it is not widely available.  In alternative treatment centers treatment like acupuncture are made very available to all patients.  Other kinds of alternative therapies that can be available include massage, meditation, yoga, vitamin supplementation, reiki, chanting, and yoga. 

There are yet other types of rehab programs that use a combination of these treatment models and others to meet the demand that patients have for new and different kinds of care.  The goal of all rehabs is to help you let go of addition and become clean and sober permanently.  It is up to you and your doctors to make the decision about what kind of rehab is going to be of the most benefit to you. Every recovering addict is unique in the type of treatment that they will require to get clean and sober. 

Five Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Many of us often confuse substance abuse and addiction.  Many believe that they are the same thing.  And while they both refer to conditions involving the overuse of drugs or alcohol, they are actually very different conditions. 

Substance abuse is generally the precursor to active addiction.  During substance abuse, drug or alcohol users participate in reckless behaviors that are associated with drug and alcohol use.  These reckless behaviors often endanger the safety of the user and the safety of others.  Users continue to indulge in their substance of choice even though it is likely to be causing stress in their relationships, strain on their finances, and possible problems with the law.  Substance abusers are also very likely to suffer performance difficulties at work or school.  A person is considered a substance abuser if he or she exhibits these behaviors for over a year.

Substance-Abuse-Florida-House-Detox

Active addiction is the more severe of the two conditions.  Many of the characteristics of addiction are psychological or physiological in nature.  Addicts have developed a tolerance for their drug or drink of choice meaning that it will take more and more of the substance to achieve the desired effect.  Addicts will probably experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop indulging in their substance of choice.  These withdrawal symptoms usually lead right back into addiction even with repeated attempts to quit using.  Often, addicts are ingesting dangerous amounts of their chosen substances which could lead to overdose or death.

Since substance abuse is the precursor to addiction, here are some warning signs that someone you know may be slipping from substance abuse into active addiction.

Here are five surefire signs of substance abuse:

1.  Replacing old friends with new friends

While this not necessarily a sign that someone you love has a substance abuse problem, it can be.  People who become involved with drugs or alcohol often find that they cannot relate to their old friends anymore and gravitate toward people who will be more supportive of their chosen habits.  The substance abusers will seek out friends who are more involved with their own drug or alcohol related lifestyles.

2.  Poor work or school performance

When a drug or alcohol user reaches the level of substance abuse, he or she will become less reliable.  He or she will have difficulty focusing on anything but finding the drug or alcohol of his or her choice.  This causes work or school performance to suffer.  He or she will likely start to drop the ball on important assignments, miss meetings or activities that are essential, and not be able to be relied on for anything important.

3.  Driving while intoxicated

Driving while intoxicated is one of the definitive signs of substance abuse.  Users who drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol have moved well passed good decision making and moved well into the realm of substance abuse.  This and other kinds of reckless behaviors including high risk sexual behaviors and violence against strangers are prime examples of the reckless behaviors present during substance abuse.

4.  Lying

Lying is one of the primary behaviors of a person with a substance abuse problem.  The substance abuser will lie about anything: where he or she has been or is going, why he or she needs to borrow money, the reasons for the difficulty at school or work, what he or she is doing when out for a long time.  All of this lying is very difficult on personal relationships.  The significant other of a substance abuser may eventually get tired of all the lies and leave.  One of the major parts of rehab is rebuilding relationships that were severely damaged during substance abuse and addiction.

5.  Illegal activity

Eventually, people with a substance abuse problem will do anything to support their habit.  Doing anything to support their habit may include stealing, more lying, and dealing in all kinds of criminal activities just to get enough money to feed the habit.  It is at this point that substance abuse is likely to have become a full blown addiction.

Nine Useful Ways to Handle Withdrawal Pains

The aches and withdrawal pains you will experience during the first few days free from opioids (nd many other drugs) are completely normal.  They can; however, make an already difficult situation a little bit more difficult.  There is not much that you can do to completely stop these aches and pains, but you can try a few home remedies to make yourself feel a little better and make the withdrawal process more comfortable. 

 1. Over the Counter Medications 

Taking some over the counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen can help ease some of your discomfort.  These pain relievers can help ease the aches, pains, and tensions associated with withdrawal.

 2. Hot BathHot bath is a good way to ease withdrawal pain

Taking a hot bath or a soak in a whirlpool or sauna tub can relax your muscles and ease some of your tension.  Adding some Epson salts to your bath can help as well.

 3. Drink Water 

Dehydration can be the cause of some of your pain.  It can cause headaches and muscle pain.  It is essential for proper body function that you drink enough water.  If you are having trouble with vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive sweating, you will need to drink either sports drinks with electrolytes added or water with electrolytes added.  When your electrolytes are out of balance, it can cause painful cramping.

4. Aromatherapy

There are a great many essential oils that can be used for helping pain management.  Particularly, a small amount of lavender oil can be rubbed into the temples to ease headache pain.

5. Exercise 

Try some stretching exercises to help your muscles get warm and loose in an effort to release some of the tension.  Or do little spurts of vigorous exercise.  Vigorous exercise is probably one of the last things you are going to feel like doing, but it can get your blood flowing.  Longer bouts of vigorous exercise can potentially make you tied enough to get some much needed rest.

6. Heat and Cold heat and cold is a great way to ease withdrawal pains

Try applying a cold compress to your head or the back of your neck to cool your whole body.  Or try a hot water bottle or a warm compress for any area that is particularly achy.

 7. Self-Massage 

There are pressure points all over the body that can potentially give you some relief.  Gently massaging the muscle area between your thumb and your pointer finger can give you some assistance.  It may be slightly painful at first, but applying continuous pressure for a minute or more can help you relieve pain in some of the other areas of the body.

8. Get Out

Get out of your room.  Go for a walk.  It may feel like the last thing that you want to do, but often a change of scenery can lift your spirits and do wonders for your mental outlook.  The light exercise of walking can relieve muscle tension and get your blood moving.  You can also pay attention to what is going on around you and focus on the rest of the world rather than your internal struggle.

9. Distract Yourself 

The more you focus on the pain that you are experiencing, the worse that pain is going to be.  There are a millions ways that you can distract yourself.  You can watch a cheesy movie.  You can read or write or draw.  You can play video games or play around on the internet.  Anything that you can do to keep your mind on something else is going to be a good idea.

Withdrawal Pains Will Go Away Eventually

Once you get through these first few days, you will be able to make it through the rest of your detox period.  And then there is more work to be done.  The hardest part of detox is not getting clean, it is staying clean.  Fighting against relapse is not just important for your health, but you also do not want to have to People who achieve abstinence from drugs or alcohol are still at a high risk for relapse.  With opioids, there are medications like Suboxone or methadone that can reduce the odds of relapse, but many people choose to go without these potent medications. 

To safeguard your sobriety, you should definitely consider professional addiction treatment in addition to professional detox treatment.  You can also look for assistance from some sort of community support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous.  Through addiction treatment programs, you will learn skills and tools to help you avoid relapse and keep from ever having to go through withdrawal again. 

Seven Things You Should Know About Drug and Alcohol Detox

Detox from drugs or alcohol is a very important step in the healing process.  Without drug and alcohol detox, the steps you can take toward recovery are limited.  Trying to start the healing process while there are still toxins in your systems left there by drug and alcohol use is next to impossible.  There are many misconceptions about what drug and alcohol detox can and should involve.  There are some things that you should keep in mind when you are making the courageous decision to begin down the road to recovery.

DidYouKnow9

Detox will happen before rehab.

There are some detox centers that are located within rehab programs.  They will help you seamlessly make the transition between detox and rehab.  There are also some detox programs that are separate from rehab programs as well.  Either way, it is expected that you or your loved one will have completed detox before entering a formal rehab situation.

Detox does not have to be followed by rehab.

You or your loved one who suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction do not necessarily have to follow up detox by moving on to formal rehab.  While detox is normally considered to be only part of the recovery process, it can be enough to break the cycle of addiction.  However, for long term addicts or addiction sufferers with co-occurring illnesses, detox alone is not very effective.

Detox should take place under medical supervision.

There are likely to be quite a few withdrawal symptoms that come with your detox.  Medical supervision provides you with a safe environment and people who know what to look for in order to keep you safe.  Utilizing the medical care that can come with detox is the best way to keep yourself safe and the best way to ensure your success.

Drug and alcohol detox is not easy.

The toughest part of detox is making the commit to go and to stay involved.  The next toughest part of detox is getting through the withdrawal symptoms.  Typical withdrawal symptoms can include excessive sweating, nausea, insomnia, headache, tremors, and anxiety or paranoia.  All of these symptoms and many of the others that you could experience can be challenging to get through.  But knowing that you will come out the other side a stronger and healthier person can help keep you positive and motivated to continue on.

There is not specific amount of time that you will spend in detox.

Detox can be done for varied amounts of time.  Everyone is different and will have different amounts of toxins that their bodies need to work through.  Generally detox can take anywhere from four days to ten days.  Usually, detox does not last longer than that, but if there are co-occurring medical conditions to be considered or you have any kind of medical complications, the detox and withdrawal period could be a bit longer.

Detox programs will protect your privacy.

Sometimes detox, like drug use, causes people to behave in ways that they would not ordinarily be okay with.  You may not want your friends and family, or other patients with whom you may be going on to rehab to hear about your detox experiences.  An established and professional detox program will keep your struggles within the confines of the detox center. 

Not everyone completes detox the first time through.

For some people it takes several tries to successfully complete detox treatment.  Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be too much for people who are not ready to make the commitment to become clean and sober.  If this happens to you, there is no reason to get discouraged.  You can always try again.  If you are committed to making this change in your life, you will eventually be able to complete detox and move on with your healing.

 

The Three Most Important Tips to Stay Sober Long-Term After Fast Detox

Fast detox can help you quit opiates without suffering a protracted withdrawal syndrome. With a little planning and the right program, you can get through fast detox in a weekend. That means you don’t even need to take time off work to break your physical dependence on opiates.

But true recovery from addiction takes more than just overcoming your physical dependence on your substance of choice. You have to resolve the issues that drove you to substance abuse in the first place, and develop new coping skills that can help you stay sober in the face of whatever life dishes out. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to a substance abuse problem, and no magic bullet. Find a counselor who specializes in addiction treatment, and a recovery support group, and follow this plan to turn your detox into long-term sobriety.

Take Care of Yourself

You’ve spent plenty of time neglecting yourself, both emotionally and physically – now it’s time to take care of yourself. Attend 12-Step meetings, go to therapy, look for a job or, if you already have a job, give your all at work. Read books about addiction and recovery. Get plenty of sleep at night.

Your substance abuse will have caused potentially lasting physical damage. One of the ways in which you can begin to recover from that damage is by eating nutritious meals and taking vitamin supplements. Consult a nutritionist – be honest about your history of substance abuse and tell the nutritionist that now you’re in recovery and want to know what foods and supplements you should use to help your body heal. Follow the nutritionist’s advice. It’s important, too, that you eat at regular intervals – as a recovering addict, you may not be capable of recognizing hunger signals, and may take them for emotional disturbances. Hunger is a well-known relapse trigger.

Another way you can help your body heal after fast detox is by exercising regularly. Exercise stimulates your brain to release endorphins, which can give you a natural high and help lift feelings of gloom and depression that are common when you’re in the early stages of recovery from addiction. It’s not unusual for recovering addicts to become “addicted” to exercise because of the endorphin rush it gives them. Daily exercise – even just a 30 minute walk – will help your brain and body heal from addiction, and fend off the feelings of depression that recovering addicts are prone to.

Be Patient

You probably chose fast detox because you wanted to speed up your recovery process as much as possible. While that’s understandable, the emotional and psychological healing that must now occur is not something that can be rushed. It will take as long as it takes.

Once you have completed your fast detox and returned home, give yourself time to learn about the disease of addiction. Give yourself time to recover physically from the aftermath of substance abuse. Give yourself time to learn genuine coping strategies.

It’s normal to want things to “go back to normal” as soon as possible after your detox is over. But keep in mind that, for some time now, “normal” has been “addicted to drugs.” It probably took you a long time to get to the point where you felt that fast detox was necessary. It will take you a long time to get back.

Besides, recovery from addiction isn’t something you do just once. It’s something you do every day for the rest of your life. There’s no point in trying to rush through something you’re going to be doing forever, is there?

Appreciate Where You Are

When you find yourself constantly looking forward to the day when your recovery can take up less of your energy, you will forget to appreciate what you have already achieved. Just going through fast detox and getting sober is a big achievement in and of itself. Each day that you stay sober and build on what you’ve already learned is an accomplishment. Take time each day to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Staying sober after detox is a lifelong journey. As you continue to work on your sobriety and build more coping skills, however, recovery will get easier. Someday, it will be second nature. Don’t give up. 

Five Tips to Stay Strong in Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Once you get through detox, you might think the hard part of cocaine addiction treatment is over. The truth is, recovery can stay pretty difficult throughout your entire life. But the longer you stick with your treatment goals, the easier recovery will get. Eventually, your drug-free, sober life will be better than you could have ever imagined when you were using – but you have to get there first. Here’s five things you can do to give yourself the best chance of never using cocaine (or any other drugs) again.

1. Focus on the Essentials

When you first leave cocaine addiction treatment, you’re going to want to keep things simple in your life. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. On a daily basis, stick to doing only what you must do to get through the day and remain healthy. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise. Go to work. Take time for your loved ones, time to relax, time for a favorite hobby. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to take on too much at once.

Keeping things simple won’t stop challenges and problems from appearing. An easy-to-manage daily routine isn’t going to protect you from mood swings, cravings, post-acute withdrawal symptoms or other recovery hardships. But it will help you keep your stress levels down so that when stressful situations do arise – and they will – you’ll have that much less cumulative stress to manage.

2. Go to Meetings

No matter what kind of cocaine addiction treatment program you’re in, you can benefit from 12-Step meetings. Meetings offer you the fellowship and support of others who know what it’s like to navigate life in the early stages of addiction recovery and beyond. Attending meetings can help you feel less alone.

Go to meetings as often as possible – preferably every day – even after your cocaine addiction treatment program ends. When you feel close to relapse, or when something bad happens, you need support and encouragement from people who understand how difficult it can be to resist the urge to use when you’re in recovery from cocaine addiction.

No matter what time of the day it is or where you are in the world, there should be a 12-Step meeting available to you. You could probably attend meetings three times a day if you wanted to and had the time. In the rare circumstance that there aren’t any meetings near you, you can telecommute to a meeting over the Internet.

3. Lean on Your Sponsor

One of the advantages of making the 12-Step program a part of your cocaine addiction treatment program is that it gives you the chance to connect with a sponsor, someone who can be there for you in a crisis. If you need someone to talk to, your sponsor will be there for you. He or she will be able to listen, offer support and encouragement, and give you advice. Your sponsor can help you work the 12 steps and can be a lifeline that makes all the difference for you in your recovery. Eventually, you will have the opportunity to become a sponsor yourself.

4. Put Your Own Needs First in Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Putting your own needs first might sound selfish, but it’s essential if you hope to maintain your sobriety in the long term after cocaine addiction treatment. If you’re not putting your own needs first, you won’t have anything to give to the others who rely on you. Make sure you take care of yourself not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

5. Avoid Things that Remind You of Drugs

When you successfully complete cocaine addiction treatment, you may think that you no longer need to worry about avoiding the places, people and things that remind you of your using days. But if you try to maintain those old friendships or continue to do the things you did when you were using, you will eventually use again. Besides, you’ll soon realize you have little in common with the majority of your old friends, now that you’re no longer using. You’re living a different life now, and unless they also decide to enter recovery, you must leave them behind.

No one ever said recovering from cocaine addiction was easy. But it does get easier as time goes by. As you learn how to weather the rough spots of recovery, you will become a stronger, more resilient person. 

What to Do When an Older Person Needs Alcohol Detox

When you think of an alcoholic, chances are you don’t think of a little old lady or a little old man. But the fact is, many senior citizens struggle with alcoholism – 70 percent of hospitalized senior citizens and 50 percent of nursing home residents struggle with alcoholism or alcohol-related health problems. But it can be hard to tell when an older person needs detox for alcoholics – symptoms like frequent falls, forgetfulness and shaky hands may be ordinary symptoms of aging, right? Like other addicts, older alcoholics are often very adept at hiding their addiction.

Many older people in need of detox for alcoholics have been heavy drinkers all their lives. Others started drinking after retirement or to cope with the death of a spouse. No matter how long the elder in your life has been drinking, it’s never too late for him or her to get help. While you might think your elderly friend or relative is too old to change, the fact is that many elders thrive after alcoholism treatment.

How can you tell if an older person in your life has an alcohol problem? And how can you broach the subject of getting him or her into a detox for alcoholics? The signs of alcoholism are often very different in older adults than they are in the young, but talking to your elder friend or relative about his or her drinking problem still requires a certain amount of delicacy.

Signs of Alcoholism in Older Adults

One reason why it’s often hard to spot problem drinking in older adults is the fact that many of them drink at home to avoid paying bar prices and so they don’t have to drive at night. If an elder lives alone, he or she may be able to get away with drinking as much as he or she wants, unnoticed. Unexpected visitors can be easily turned away with the excuse of ill health. Since older adults usually don’t work and don’t drive often, they’re unlikely to have the professional and legal problems that often reveal a need for alcoholism treatment in younger individuals.

An elderly person may need detox for alcoholics if they exhibit some or all of the following signs:

  • Solitary or hidden drinking
  • Preference for social events where drinking is accepted
  • Making a ritual of having drinks
  • Loss of interest in activities he or she formerly enjoyed
  • Drinks with medications he or she shouldn’t drink with
  • Signs of intoxication
  • Unexplained bruises or burns
  • Memory problems
  • Irrational fears or delusions, excessive stress
  • Hostility
  • Depression
  • Has a smell of alcohol on his or her breath
  • Neglects personal appearance
  • Problems with routine chores or paperwork
  • Disposes of large amounts of empty liquor or beer bottles

Some of these symptoms may occur as a result of legitimate medical problems. It’s important to gather as much information as you can about an elder’s medical history when determining whether he or she might need to go to detox for alcoholics.

Talking to an Older Person About His or Her Need for Detox For Alcoholics

If you think an elder in your life needs detox for alcoholics, first gather as much information as you can about his or her drinking, family members and friends who may be willing to help, his or her present condition, prescription and over-the-counter drugs he or she is taking, and doctors he or she is seeing. You may need to enlist the help of a pastor, physician or old friend to help you talk to the person.

When talking to an elder person about his or her drinking, choose a time when he or she is sober. Don’t be confrontational; be compassionate and focus on how much you care for the person. Avoid using the term “alcoholic,” since this term can carry a great deal of stigma for older people.

Don’t bother to throw out the person’s alcohol – if he or she isn’t ready to get help, he or she will simply buy more alcohol. You may, however, have to talk things out with the elder over several sessions, according to his or her age and ability to understand. Be direct, however, and speak to the person like you would to any other adult – don’t coddle your elderly friend or relative. Mention specific facts – say things like, “I notice that you drink a whole bottle of wine every night,” rather than “You get drunk a lot.” Avoid making statements that start with “you,” since these can sound accusatory. Bring up how alcoholism can affect the things that matter to the elder most – their health, reputation, memory or relationships with children and grandchildren.

At our detox for alcoholics, we treat people of all ages. Getting an elderly person in your life to agree to treatment may be hard, but it’s worth it.

Call 888-342-1456 today for more information about our detox programs.