12 Step Programs and Addiction Recovery – A Winning Combination?

A life after addiction is achievable, as long as people are willing to do what’s necessary to make that life become reality. One way to do that is to go through a 12 step program, such as Alcohol Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There are some strong advantages to going to a 12 step program, and we’ll cover them in this article.

First and foremost, you’re immediately placed into an understanding community. Gone are the days of trying to convince friends and family that you deserve worth as a person. If they can’t see it or if they’re dealing with addiction issues themselves, you can go a better network of people that are committed to supporting you. These programs are often free, run on donations only. So there’s no cost barrier keeping you from the support you need.

Addiction Recovery

Second, there’s a time tested framework in place.  There is a rulebook that guides all of the meetings, so everyone tends to stay on task. Can you really say that you would do better on your own, with no real support? Probably not. When you go to a meeting, you know that you’re going at the same time every week. You get to know people that aren’t judging you because of the decisions that you used to make.

Finally, there’s a sense of real community. Just because you don’t have to see these people outside of the meeting group doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to try to reach out and talk to you. We’ve seen cases where people went to AA and found new people to spend time with. When you first get done with your drug of choice, chances are good that the people that you used to socialize with aren’t going to be interested. After all, you left something that they’re not willing to leave just yet, so there is going to be some animosity there. That’s part of the process.

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3 Things a Sober Living House Can Do For You

The effects of sober living have been studied in-depth over a long period of time. A study in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs highlighted sober living houses, along with where people that “graduate” from the program end up.

But what does this mean for the person struggling? What does this mean for someone who genuinely wants help, but doesn’t know how to break the cycle of addiction? It’s time to see what a sober living house can really do for you. There are essentially three main benefits that these centers bring to the table. They’re listed below in this article.

sober living houses

1. Boundaries

Most dysfunctional environments have a lack of boundaries. Boundaries, in their simplest form, help us determine how others treat us but more importantly, how we treat ourselves. It’s very easy to just assume that people will respect you, but that isn’t always the case. What you must do is focus on setting new boundaries. A sober living home does that by removing you from the toxic environment. It gives you a way to see people in a different life. Once you cannot use alcohol or other drugs, you have to interact with everyone and process emotions without relying on these substances. This helps your mind set new boundaries and when you return to your life, you will see a sharp contrast in many of the same people that used to enable or even participate in your drug abuse.

2. Community

Do you have a problem with heavy drinking due to loneliness or a sense of not having a purpose? A sober living home will help you find new hobbies to try, but the other residents will also gather around you. Lifting each other up is what these homes are all about!

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3 tips to help someone with a Drug Addiction

What’s the first thing that you think of when someone mentions that they have a problem with drugs? Chances are good that you think of a lot of illegal drugs, but they aren’t the only danger to be wary of: prescription drugs have their share of abuse problems as well. Over 52 million Americans have used prescription medications non-medically over the course of their lives, for various recreational purposes.

drug addiction

Clearly, there needs to be a conversation taking place, but the problem is that a lot of people don’t know what that conversation should be. We don’t know how to approach people that are clearly suffering. The addictive nature of both prescription and illegal drugs is well documented, but that doesn’t mean that sitting down with a friend or loved one is any easier. The person is in the grips of powerful addictive drugs, and those drugs do not let go easily. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: there are plenty of people that have managed to overcome a drug addiction. Want help approaching this conversation? Here are three real world tips to help someone battle a drug addiction effectively.

1. Be Available

Everyone battling addiction is going to have different preferences. Some people want to stay up all night talking through their problems, while other people just want to sit in silence. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let them go through it alone. Be available as much as you can, and be flexible when they ask for something. Addiction disrupts a lot of normal functions of life. Maybe they don’t want to eat alone, so you can cook a small meal for the two of you.

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Understanding the Physical and Mental demands of drug rehab

Walking away from a life filled with substance abuse isn’t easy or simple. It starts with knowing that it’s time to heal, but simple knowledge isn’t enough. Leaving the world of substance abuse isn’t an overnight process, nor is it considered an easy process. People that have entered recovery successfully have always cited that there was something that led them to finally seeking help, and they are constantly looking for ways to stay clean for the long term. Rehab is just one way to go through the process, but it’s a time-tested way of getting things done.

The first step is often the physical detox process, which means that you have to go through withdrawal steps. This is where a lot of people report that they struggle, because their bodies are being forcibly removed from something that makes them feel good. Detoxification is necessary — there is no way to be in recovery if you’re still getting to abuse the substances that are destroying your life.

drug rehab

From here, you have mental issues that often spur an addiction. People feel inadequate, and they often come from backgrounds heavy with abuse. It’s hard to believe in a clean life if you’ve never seen anyone do it. That’s why rehab can be effective in reversing addiction, because the person gets to see what life can really be like after an addiction. It’s definitely worth it to keep trying.

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Handling Social Interactions While Facing Alcohol Addiction

Does being sober now mean that you can’t enjoy social gatherings? Some people believe that it does mean exactly that, and they should stay away from any party where there might be alcohol served. But that’s not the way to a healthy life. Sooner or later, there is going to be someone enjoying an alcoholic beverage. This means that two things have to change: your mindset, and your goals. You can’t make it a goal to never be around drinkers, because our culture assumes that adults are going to enjoy alcoholic beverages. You need to shift your thinking towards being comfortable in your own skin and your own beliefs, even if you’re surrounded by people that have different beliefs.

social gatherings

There are three strong ways to handle social interactions while recovering from a drinking problem:

First, you need to understand that your problem isn’t everyone else’s problem. This means that while other people may be able to handle a few drinks, you already know that this isn’t you. And that’s totally okay: after all, you’re not the only person struggling with alcohol abuse issues. Plenty of people find that they just can’t handle alcohol, and they tend to crave it. We do not recommend mixed-company (that is, interacting at parties with drinkers) until you’re consistently sober. Reaching the year mark is great, because you can really see what a sober life looks like.

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Here’s why the functional drug addict idea is a dangerous myth

Society paints the picture of a functional drug addict, similar to the role of Dr. Gregory House on House. We see smart people, with plenty of talent that are portrayed with drug problems. They’re labeled as functional drug addicts to give a sort of odd contrast against what we stereotype as the “bad” addict: the ones that can’t hold employment, that can’t keep their promises, that can’t take care of families.

functional drug addict

The truth couldn’t be more different. The “bad” addicts are simply the ones most visible to us because they’re struggling. We need to think carefully on the so-called functional addict, because they are living a very dangerous myth. The idea that everything is okay because you’re able to pay your bills and provide some sort of care for children is ridiculous. The reality is this: addiction matters no matter how your life appears to the untrained eye.

A high functioning addict is still ruled by their addiction. Don’t believe us? Just try to take away their substance of choice and see how they react. They’re not going to necessarily be happy about it, and we shouldn’t assume that they don’t need help simply because they’ve been able to hide so many signs.

Another reason to not discount the high functioning addict is simple: their bodies are still facing the damage caused by a drug addiction. It’s important to still reach out to family members that are struggling, even if they look “fine”. People have gotten very good at hiding their issues, and acting as if they don’t need to seek out help. The high functioning addict may also feel that we don’t take them as seriously because their lives haven’t completely fallen apart. If that’s the case with you, then you need to look at things in a different way.

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