Five Ways to Have Fun While Staying Healthy

Many people with substance addiction imagine a healthy lifestyle to be boring. But real healthy living can be fun and enjoyable. During recovery, you will have the opportunity to explore alternative ways to feel good without risking your sobriety. Below are five ways to have fun in recovery while staying healthy.

#1. Partying Without Drugs or Alcohol

You may have had years of partying experience without being able to tell the difference between sober fun and experiencing the high after substance use. On many social occasions, people consume alcohol or use drugs as a way to loosen up and unwind. The rush of adrenaline and specific hormones that are released when you drink or use drugs feels good, which makes you want to continue to party. While this kind of relaxation may feel good at the moment, it always ends up causing impulsive behaviors or depression the next day.

Believe it or not, there are many different alternatives to alcohol that people turn to in social situations to feel as though they are drinking without actually risking their sobriety. For example, you can host a party providing alcohol-free drinks. Beverages that are carbonated, sparkling, or have a tang to them, such as kombucha, can make you feel like you are drinking alcohol, even though you are completely sober.

You can also create social occasions just with a circle of sober friends. Sharing the same desire to prioritize sobriety, there will be a low risk of substance use at the party. For example, plan for a weekly movie night. Maybe suggest each person bring food and alcohol-free drinks rather than drugs or alcohol. Even better, these parties can happen outdoors, such as going on a hike, watching a movie, or bowling. You can stay sober while enjoying the company of friends.

#2. Setting New Healthy and Fun Goals

Goal-setting is important for recovery from addiction. New goals can feel like new starting points to keep you motivated. Adding fun to goal-setting can be every more interesting. Consider setting new fun goals on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly. For example, set a new goal for this week that you are going to go jogging in the morning or take your family on a day trip over the weekend.

Mid-term or long-term goal-setting is a way to maintain a positive outlook on life. It is also beneficial for strengthening your decision-making muscles. For example, set a goal to get a degree or certificate in an area of interest for next year. This can help you invest time into building work in that direction. Attach a reward to these long-term goals so it is more fun to reach them.

#3. Exploring the Unknown in Nature

Nature offers so much unknown and fun discoveries for recovering individuals. If you are into adventures, plan a camping trip with family or friends. Travel to a natural resort you have always wanted to visit. Make use of guided tours offered by local observatories and zoos. Take your children on a summer night trail to experience some excitement while searching for fireflies and insects.

The vast inclusiveness of nature can make you feel a sense of awe, which is important in healing. It will expand your horizons. Feeling the smallness but inherent oneness of your being with the universe can better ground you. There is so much more to life than just the past. The future is full of exciting moments of exploration.

#4. Giving Back to Your Community

Volunteering for community services can also be a fun way to be active and give back. You can implement your creative talents by making posters for a cause or decorating a venue for an event. Being able to help others in need is a way to get out of your small circle of concern. Find homeless shelters, care homes, and children’s charities—they need all the help they can get.

Giving back to your community through such services can strengthen your sense of agency. You get to participate in meaningful activities that make a difference in people’s lives. Your words and action can impact children and families. And all these community activities are not just beneficial but also fun.

#5. Discovering and Nurturing New Hobbies

In the past, you probably used to spend the majority of your energy and time using drugs or alcohol. Now that you are sober, you should spend that time with hobbies and other things that you enjoy. Participating in healthy and fun activities can help to prevent relapse. Hobbies are always ways to connect with yourself.

The first step is to assess your strengths and preferences. What are you good at? What do you like? Identifying some of your strengths as well as what you enjoy doing can help you find the best hobbies or activities for you. For example, if you have a good sense of humor and like to laugh, you might consider participating in a local improvisation group or doing stand-up comedy.

Whether it is learning to play an instrument, joining a book club, or learning photography, these activities are surely going to be fun and enriching. They will connect you with new relationships and new opportunities for personal growth.

What do you envision a healthy and sober lifestyle to be? Are you worried that it will turn out to be boring? The fact is, real healthy living is fun and enjoyable. During recovery, you will have the opportunity to explore alternative ways to feel good without risking your sobriety. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to a sustainable, long-term recovery. Our programs enrich your physical and mental well-being through various creative and unique experiences. We also offer inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs. The level of comfort we provide is unmatched. We provide an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can participate in many fun sober activities. Our extended care programs will connect you with many sober friends. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

Envisioning Ten Amazing Things About Sobriety

What do you envision your future to be like when you reach sobriety? Can you foresee the many benefits that sobriety will bring to your life? Sometimes people need to be motivated by the vision of living a sober lifestyle. The positive benefits of staying sober involve your body, mind, spirit, and social life.

#1. Physical Benefits

Detoxing and quitting drugs or alcohol can stop the harmful effects these substances have on your physical health. It may take a while for you to see the healing happen. But over time, you will surely sleep better because the influences of substances that are used to suppress sleep are gone. Your body will feel more energized. Physical improvement may show in your appearance.

#2. Mental Health Benefits

During recovery, your inner world can emerge from its past chaotic order. The urge to cover up your addiction and the worry about securing drugs or alcohol are gone. You finally have a chance to relax. There is more stability and peace in both your emotional and mental state. Shortly after detox, your memory will rapidly improve. The worry of getting in trouble also disappears. You find yourself having fewer mood swings and an increased level of ease and happiness.

#3. Social Relationship Benefits

Recovery also gives you a second chance to repair relationships with family and friends. With the help of therapists, you will learn how to best express and communicate emotions. You can be present and engage in deeper conversations with family. Although it takes time for trust to rebuild, these relationships are in the process of healing.

Knowing that you need to prioritize sobriety in your social life allows you the opportunity to make new sober friends. Soon you will realize that friendships made in recovery support groups are not just beneficial for your sobriety but also for your overall wellness. This may even lead to you wanting to sponsor a newcomer in the recovery community.

#4. Celebrating Milestones of Sobriety

Whether you have been sober for three months or three years, it is always worthwhile to celebrate a milestone. As you progress from weeks to months and years, the power of sobriety will continue to grow. Your confidence and faith within yourself will be harder to break. Some milestones are not time-based. Maybe you are able to repair an important relationship. Or, you became a star employee for the month. These are all moments of personal growth.

#5. Sobriety Can Be Fun

There will be a time when you realize that life without drugs or alcohol can be deeply fulfilling. Once you are grounded in your own recovery, you can travel, visit places, and attend concerts. Or you can join a new hobby club such as rafting and exploring nature. Life can be adventurous and exciting again. You will find yourself creating fun and fulfilling memories together. Maybe you have thought about adopting a family pet. Now is the time to do that. Animals are fun to play with and can provide us with further emotional support.

#6. Making Self-Care an Everyday Practice

The most important key to reaping these many benefits of sobriety is through practicing regular self-care. Your life needs to extend beyond just sobriety. Intentional self-care and wellness regimens can become a positive lifestyle. Recovery offers an opportunity for you to explore your place in the world. With years of self-reflection and mindfulness practices, you may become a new person. That newness of life continues to grow. Life is much richer when you invest time in learning who you are, exploring new places, discovering new activities, or expressing yourself to bless others.

#7. Model A Healthy Lifestyle to Your Loved Ones

For parents, sobriety not only helps you stay present in parenting and family life but also makes you a role model for living a healthy lifestyle. Action speaks louder than words. When educating young children to adopt healthy habits, you need to, first of all, live out these values.

Maintaining sobriety also makes you a role model for family and friends. You can serve as a sponsor for newcomers to a support group. Giving back to the community enables you to thrive toward long-term recovery.

#8. Financial Security

Sobriety grants you more financial security because not only do you stop spending on drugs or alcohol but your desire and ability to put money away or into good use may increase. The best part is, that you get a sense that the work you do is more meaningful than before you are contributing to the welfare of your family.

#9. Cherishing Precious Moments of Life

Once having achieved sobriety, you can build a meaningful life full of great memories. Sobriety allows you to access what life has to offer. Before, drugs or alcohol may have created distance between you and your life. Darkness constantly overpowered that potential for joy. Your days of using may have become hazy, as you struggled to remember the better times. Sober living allows you to regain the positive aspects of your life, to access and experience them wholeheartedly.

#10. Connecting with Your True Self

In sobriety, you will enjoy a deeper connection with yourself. Removing negative thoughts from your life may lead to personal growth. Listening to the body and observing its changes during exercises can help you connect with yourself. By practicing self-care and self-love, you will treat your body and mind with gentle respect. Being able to love who you are despite all of your imperfections, is nothing short of a miraculous gift in sobriety.

Recovery from substance addiction is a long journey. You need motivation and hope to keep going. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we can walk alongside you. We know how to keep recovering individuals engaged and motivated. Our team takes pride in our holistic approach by providing care for the whole person. We have expertise to help you in each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide the comfort needed with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. You can find our facility a relaxing place to heal. Capo Canyon Recovery help you plan out a fulfilling life after sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714. You do not have to embark on this journey alone. We help you succeed.

READ MORE

Think Positive!

If you are struggling with negative self-talk during recovery, you are not alone. Many recovering individuals experience the voice of an inner critic that produces a stream of negative thoughts and dialogues in the mind. If these cycles of negative self-talk happen unchecked, they can fuel addiction and mental health issues.

Deeper Causes of Negative Self-talk

Many recovering individuals harbor guilt and shame for their past addiction. Even when making progress in recovery, they still give in to self-blame. Recovery experts observe that people with low self-esteem tend to develop addictive habits, which continue to fuel the already low sense of self-worth. People who have this mental habit tend to beat themselves up for anything bad that happens in life. Negative self-talk sometimes personalizes a bad situation by such self-blame.

The negativity of attitudes is also demonstrated in the mind’s tendency to gravitate toward the worst-case scenario. There is a catastrophizing voice in the head saying, “This will be a disaster.” One only focuses on the negative and filters anything positive thing in sight. This may happen before or during a depressive episode. With time, habits of negative self-talk may evolve into chronic depression.

Changing How You See Things With Positivity

A person with a harmful self-talk habit may need external help to see the positive sides of life. People going through addiction recovery treatment can get help from cognitive-behavioral therapists. The latter’s job is to help identify negative thinking patterns and their connection to one’s mood and behavior.

Any reflective activities such as keeping a gratitude journal may help recovering individuals gain a different perspective on life. Just as how negative self-talk changes brain structures through neuroplasticity, the reinforcement of positive thinking methods can also help the brain reverse course. Of course, it takes time and perseverance to achieve optimal results. As you get better at recognizing negative thinking patterns, you can dive deeper and develop new outlooks on life.

Positive Thinking Exercises

There are many ways to practice positive thinking. One way is through counting one’s blessings in life. Carve out a routine time in the evening to do this. You can write them down for consistency, just like keeping a gratitude journal. This simple yet powerful exercise can break the cycle of negativity.

Another mental exercise is to step outside of yourself when you are stuck in a negative thought cycle. Imagine what your best friend or a compassionate person would say about this. Because we often do not practice self-love and self-compassion, removing ourselves one step from the situation may help create some needed self-empathy.

Another common method of reversing negative self-talk is through mindfulness meditation. By focusing on the present moment with self-acceptance, mindfulness exercises allow you to stop and refocus. Even when your mind begins to wander into negative corners again, simply recognize this and bring your focus back to the present moment.

The Benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common approach to help recovering individuals address negative thought patterns. Unlike other forms of psychological treatment, CBT is based on the understanding that faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking may lead to mental health problems. A therapist will help you recognize distortions in thinking and use problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations.

CBT treatment also helps people face their fears instead of avoiding them. The therapist may use role-play to help you prepare for problematic interactions. Most importantly, CBT therapists have a wide toolkit to help calm the mind and relax the body. Because psychological and emotional stress is at the root of negative self-talk, CBT directly addresses these sources of stress.

Practical Self-Care Methods to Promote Positive Thinking

Recovering individuals should integrate positive thinking into their daily actions and interactions. One way is to practice positive affirmations. Repeat a positive phrase to encourage yourself every day. While you can analyze what went wrong in certain challenging situations, give yourself enough time to let the issues settle before making judgments about yourself.

Positive thinking is very important in family life and work scenarios. Learn to relax and let things happen. Acknowledge failure but always be quick to forgive others and yourself. Do not dwell on past mistakes. If certain relationships or personalities are triggering, try to remove yourself from meeting them. Surround yourself with sober and positive friends. Always be open to others’ perspectives. Learn to accept compliments and enjoy them as a way to connect.

Self-care also means watching your own cheerfulness, energy level, anxiety levels, and satisfaction with life. If you feel stressed or anxious, maybe it is time to take a quality break from work and family responsibilities. Reserve some quiet and relaxing time for yourself to recharge.

If you are struggling with negative self-talk, it is time to work with mental health professionals who use evidence-based methods to help you. Unchecked negative thinking patterns may fuel your cravings and lead to a full-blown relapse. If you are looking for a quality program that offers cognitive-behavioral therapy, you do not need to look beyond Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA. Our team takes pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

The Signs of Heroin Use

With the increasing accessibility of prescription opioids, many parents are concerned if their teens or adolescents use illicit drugs such as heroin. If you are one of them, do you know how to identify early signs of heroin use? The more informed and educated you become about illicit drugs, the more prepared you are when it actively comes to preventing teen addiction.

Prescription Opioids and Heroin

The opioids epidemic has affected many families and communities. It is now widely known that prescription opioid pain medications can be highly addictive. Among all opioids, heroin is another type of drug that people experiment with because it seems to promise a quick surge of pleasurable sensation.

As an opioid drug, heroin is made from morphine, a natural substance extracted from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants. As a rapidly acting drug, heroin quickly enters the brain and binds to receptions in many brain areas, especially in nerve systems that manage pain and pleasure. Along with the surge of pleasure, people who use heroin may feel warm flushing of the skin, mental clouding, and other short-term effects.

With repeated use of heroin, people may develop physical and mental dependence. The withdrawal symptoms can be severe, including:

  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Cold flashes
  • Spontaneous leg movements

In the long run, people who use heroin may develop infection of the heart valves, liver disease, kidney disease, pneumonia, and mental disorders.

Heroin Addiction and Changes in the Brain

Like other addictive drugs, heroin attaches to brain molecules that are known as opioid receptors located in many areas of the brain. These areas function your breathing, pain perception, and regulation of pleasure. Because of the heroin-induced brain chemical changes, people may feel drowsy and have a rush of clouded thinking while their heart rate and breathing slow down.

Heroin affects the brain stem, which is in charge of all the body’s major functions, from breathing and movement to digesting food. This drug also impacts the limbic system that controls emotional responses and causes feelings of pleasure. Lastly, heroin use also changes the cerebral cortex, a mushroom-shaped outer part of the brain (the gray matter), which controls our senses and ability to think and make decisions.

Behavioral Patterns of Heroin Addiction

Due to the above-mentioned reasons, people with heroin addiction inevitably demonstrate altered behaviors, including neglect of personal hygiene and other responsibilities, withdrawal from family and friends, problems in interpersonal relationships, need for money, secrecy, and lying. They tend to sleep more and eat less, sometimes with deterioration of appearance and weight loss.

Some cognitive symptoms include decreased problem-solving and decision-making abilities, lack of self-control, memory impairment, and lack of ability to pay attention. Their emotions also show many changes, including sudden outbursts of anger, mood swings, paranoia, fearfulness, and anxiety.

The Dangers of Heroin Overdose

Early intervention is especially key when heroin use is suspected because the risk of overdose is high. Most heroin users will do anything to avoid painful withdrawal symptoms, and they become dependent on higher and higher doses. When you suspect a potential overdose has happened, watch for these signs and symptoms:

  • Cold skin
  • Constipation
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Discoloration of the tongue
  • Delirium
  • Muscle spasms
  • Extreme hypotension
  • Weak pulse
  • Labored breathing

Heroin intoxication may last around one to three hours. There are medications (e.g., Naloxone) to treat heroin overdose, and they need to be given right away. Sometimes more than one dose may be required to help a person with an overdose start breathing again. This is why people with overdose risks need to be sent to an emergency room immediately. Surviving a heroin overdose may be the opportunity to persuade your loved one to begin treatment.

Heroin Addiction Can Be Treated

Although substance addiction leads to chronic brain disease, it is still treatable. There has been a range of treatments in the medical field, including medically-assisted detoxification, medications, and behavioral therapies that have been proven effective in helping people stop and recover from heroin use. For example, medications like buprenorphine and methadone work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain and reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Because most heroin users suffer from co-occurring mental health problems, they need to begin behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps identify and modify a person’s drug-induced emotional and behavioral patterns. Every recovering individual needs a customized treatment plan and relapse prevention plan. Most likely, they will be in inpatient treatment which offers a monitored environment. With the support of family, friends, and recovery experts, you or your loved one can regain sober control of life.

If you want to support a loved one who is recovering from heroin addiction, you need to work with experienced recovery experts and mental health specialists. We have a strong recovery system to support you. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, our licensed health professionals have helped many families care for their loved ones with heroin addiction. We have the knowledge and expertise necessary, and most of all, compassion. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits for each client. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. At Capo Canyon Recovery, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you on how to best support your loved one, we walk alongside you to face all kinds of challenges. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

When Loving Becomes Enabling

Are you supporting a loved one’s recovery from substance addiction? Do you know the difference between helping someone with their substance use issues versus enabling them to continue using? The line can get blurry when the person that is using is someone close to you. If your end goal is to support your loved one to reach and maintain sobriety, do not be a codependent enabler.

Understanding Relational Codependence

Codependent relationships refer to patterns within close ties that support any harmful or problematic behavior and make it easier for that behavior to continue. Many people who are in codependent relationships do not realize that the effects of their actions are counterproductive. Instead of helping your loved one recover, you are having a damaging effect on that person.

When it comes to substance addiction, codependence may look like easing the boundaries for substance use, allowing for financial resources to be used in purchasing alcohol or drugs, or going along with problematic behaviors instead of putting them in check. This often happens with parents whose teen or adolescent children develop substance addiction. Some parents avoid talking about the issue because they are afraid that more people might know. However, this is enabling the problem to continue.

Close partners can also become reluctant enablers for a loved one’s substance addiction. Covering for the negative consequences of a loved one who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a form of codependence and enabling. Your actions may seem to help at the moment, but it gives your loved one a message that there is nothing wrong with their addiction-related behavior.

Sacrificing Your Own Needs

People who support their loved ones going through recovery can often find themselves in another type of codependence. You might become so involved in taking care of that person, and you have to sacrifice more than that is acceptable in a normal situation. This sacrifice may include time, other relationships, and self-care.

Just like people on an airplane need to secure their own oxygen masks first before helping others with theirs, you need to take care of your own mental health first. For example, parents who are helping their teens recover tend to do all things for their children instead of teaching them extra responsibility. This may become exhausting and puts more stress on marital relationships. When the home is ridden with conflicts, it is not an ideal environment for a recovering teenager to heal.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

At the core of enabling behaviors is the lack of healthy boundaries. These problems may have partly led to your loved one’s stress-induced addiction. It is time to re-examine what can be done differently in these close relationships. You can also consider working with a professional interventionist who is experienced in coaching families in resetting their boundaries in order to have a more recovery-supportive home environment.

Health Professionals Can Help

When it comes to close relationships, we all need a clarifying perspective from an outsider. You may have gotten so used to old boundaries that they do not feel wrong to you. Recovery experts can help you understand these dynamics from a family system point of view. Many treatment centers offer family-based therapy for this exact purpose.

With proper coaching and intervention, you will begin to identify interactions that cross certain pre-set boundaries. For example, if your loved one starts shouting and requesting substance use, you can back away from that situation to show your disapproval. They may get the message that such problematic behavior is crossing the line for you.

It is always best to openly talk about some agreed-upon boundaries. If you are not on the same page about what are healthy boundaries, your changed action may invite resentment from your loved one. When asserting your ground, sometimes by saying “no” to a request, you need to remain calm and firm.

Building A Support System Around Yourself

Again, your well-being is first and foremost if you want to care for a loved one for the long term. It is essential that you intentionally build a strong support system. This may include regular therapy for yourself or a peer group. Sharing with people who are also caring for a loved one in recovery can be empowering and liberating. You get to see how others approach unhealthy boundaries.

Family-based therapy or counseling can provide you with more stress management tools, such as mindfulness and meditation. By connecting with them, you can stay informed and involved with your loved one’s recovery progress. The more support you have from health professionals and recovery experts, the more confident you will become when proving support and support to a loved one.

If you are supporting a loved one in recovery, do you know how not to become enabling or codependent? Relational codependence is harmful to your and your loved one’s progress in recovery. You can work with experienced recovery experts who counsel the whole family to support a loved one’s recovery. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

Who Needs Recovery?

Many people enjoy a drink or two during social or leisure time. Alcoholic drinks have been so normalized in today’s society that they are not always associated with the risk of addiction. The same goes for the widespread use of drugs for entertainment. Should everyone who uses either of these substances think about their potential need for future addiction treatment? Why does substance dependence happen to one person but not others?

Substance addiction robs individuals of their potential to perform in school or at work. It is also destructive to families and society as a whole, as so many tragic stories are always happening around us. Overdose, poor health, broken homes, violence, and child abuse are just some related harms. Understanding how people become addicted to alcohol and drugs is the first step in fixing the addiction epidemic in America.

From Casual Drinking to Alcohol Dependence

Not all casual drinking leads to alcoholism, but the latter always begins with the former. Being dependent on alcohol means a person feels they’re not able to function or survive without it. This happens when casual drinking becomes too frequent, and they need to drink more to get the same intoxicating effect. Alcohol dependence also causes physical withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult and uncomfortable.

Deeper causes for alcoholism also include genetics, family history, and traumatic circumstances. For example, children who are exposed to parental alcoholism may be at a higher risk of using alcohol as a way of self-medicating when they experience stress in adulthood. The sudden loss of loved ones may create emotional pain and traumatic stress for some individuals to self-soothe with alcoholic drinks. When drinking happens regularly, alcohol dependence forms in the brain.

Health Problems Caused by Alcohol Dependence

It is the liver’s job to break down alcohol, which is why too much drinking can cause three types of liver diseases. The first common condition is fatty liver- when fat builds up inside the liver cells. This happens to most people who drink regularly. The second type is alcoholic hepatitis, which is an acute inflammation of the liver caused by the death of liver cells and permanent scarring. The third condition is alcoholic cirrhosis which causes destruction to normal liver tissues and leaves scar tissues in place of the working liver tissue.

Before people with alcoholism are diagnosed with these specific conditions, they may show symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, pain in the liver, fever, nausea, jaundice, and hypertension. Diagnosis of alcohol-induced liver disease may include blood tests, liver biopsy, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. Treatment involves medically-assisted detoxification, therapy, and sometimes a liver transplant.

Drug Addiction Happens the Same Way

Medical professionals classify alcohol and drug addiction into the same category of substance use disorders because they happen pretty much the same way. Casual use of drugs may bring temporary pleasure, but people’s tolerance levels build up, and they begin using higher and higher dosages to get the same effect. Meanwhile, withdrawal symptoms start to show up, which discourages people from quitting.

Today, drugs are becoming more accessible to young people than alcohol. Due to peer pressure, they are more vulnerable to experimenting with prescription drugs and illicit drugs for blending in. While young people’s brains are still developing, these drugs may have more addictive effects on them. Like alcohol, drug addiction is more than just a chemical process in the brain. Several combined risks reinforce their ongoing use, such as genetic predisposition, gender, ethnicity, or having a co-occurring mental disorder.

Preventing Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Since substance addiction is increasingly becoming a public health crisis, everyone plays a role in addiction prevention. This involves a lot of awareness advocacy and continued education about how addiction happens and what recovery entails.

On the one hand, we need to understand and educate others about the long-term harmful effects of substance addiction. On the other hand, we also need to resist the danger of stigmatization by emphasizing that addiction is treatable. Because no one single factor can predict whether a person will become addicted to alcohol or drugs, we need to understand prevention and recovery from a combination of factors.

Removing Barriers to Treatment

Lack of education about addiction is a major barrier to receiving treatment. Another is shame and guilt related to the stigma brought by substance addiction. As citizens, educators, and health professionals, we all need to play an active role in raising awareness about removing barriers to treatment. The general public needs to know that early intervention can ensure better recovery.

Addiction recovery is not a failure stage. Many people who have recovered from addiction can testify that recovery is a journey of self-discovery, like healing from other chronic diseases. Rebuilding connections with a real community and learning to care for yourself is what everyone needs. Recovering individuals just need some extra help from health professionals.

Do you or a loved one have casual drinking or substance use habits? Are you aware that even casual drinking may lead to alcohol dependence? You need to stay on top of the knowledge about addiction recovery. If you are concerned about how to intervene with a loved one’s substance use, we have trusted recovery experts to work with you. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic path, which is incremental to a sustainable, long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

How Can Creative Stimulation Strengthen Recovery?

Do you know there is a connection between creativity and your overall health? The healing power of creative activitieshas been confirmed by medical research. For people who are recovering from substance addiction, creative therapies can also help improve their physical, emotional, and mental health.

The Importance of Creative Stimulation

Being creative is an important foundation for human flourishing. When you are absorbed in making art or listening to music, there tends to be a flow of ease and happiness. This reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate. Repetitive creative activities such as drawing, writing, and knitting generate flooding of dopamine, the feel-good chemical that helps motivate you in life.

It is not news that listening to music produces better connectivity between the left and right brains. In other words, listening to music improves cognitive function. Making art can help the mind focus, which improves mental health. Creative activities can be compared to mindfulness exercises because you focus on the present moment movements. They produce a calming effect on the brain. Activities like gardening integrate the healing power of nature into creative stimulation and may produce natural anti-depressant effects.

Creativity and Addiction Recovery

Many treatment programs integrate art and music therapies because of the above-mentioned reasons. People who are recovering from substance use disorders need time for their brains to heal. Many suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions that make it hard for them to relax and enjoy life. Art and music therapies can be instrumental in calming anxieties, helping recovering individuals focus and relax.

Recovery experts also use these creative therapies as a channel for people to express their previously bottled-up emotions. During recovery, emotional management is key to preventing relapse. Art-making and music-making can serve as nonverbal ways of processing complex feelings and expressing one’s emotions.

How Art Therapy Works in Recovery

Art therapy is the use of visual arts to serve a therapeutic purpose. A licensed art therapist may work with you closely and tailor each activity to meet your needs in recovery. Usually, these art therapy activities are conducted in a group. This helps build healthy connections among recovering individuals. Many people form friendships by doing sober activities together.

The art therapist may assign you to express yourself through a theme. You can use art supplies to create whatever comes to mind. The art-making process makes you slow down and explore the theme based on your own imagination. The focus of art therapy is often on the process and not the final product. But the final product can often still be quite self-revealing.

Who Can Participate in Art Therapy?

Many addiction treatment centers integrate art therapy to complement traditional mental health treatment methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Art therapy aims to help recovering individuals process feelings, reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and cultivate new hobbies. Many people who have gone through art therapy begin a self-discovery journey because creating art helps them acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been locked up.

You do not need to be a talented artist in order to try art therapy. This activity may evoke the innate creativity that you did not know you had. When making art, be sure to stay honest with yourself and your emotions. Unleash your inner artist.

The greatest benefit of art therapy is allowing for a healthy outlet for expressing and letting go of negative emotions and fears. Sometimes complex emotions such as grief, anger, or sadness cannot be expressed with words. Making art can help people release them. This previously bottled-up emotional trauma can find a way to come out of the mind and body.

Other Creative Therapies

Music therapy works in about the same way as art therapy. You are led to do an activity of making your own music, including lyrics. This helps you express emotions in a nonverbal way. The release of creative energy that is inherent in everyone can be awakening and esteem-boosting.

Creative therapies can be integrated with nature therapy. There is creative energy in nature all the time, and you just have not taken the time to notice it. Placing yourself outdoors and breathing in the fresh air can enhance your creative processes. You can carry a notebook and write down some poetic inspirations. Many treatment centers are located in a natural environment so that they can make use of the healing power of the outdoors.

There is a wide range of creative therapies, including dancing, embroidery, jewelry-making, poetry, creative writing, scrapbooking, videography, woodwork, etc. Each of them may open the door to a new social life. You will be amazed to find that life in sobriety has so much to offer. The more you participate in and enjoy these creative activities, the more sustainable your recovery becomes.

Do you know that creative activities such as drawing, writing, and knitting produce better brain connectivity and improve cognitive function? Creative activities can produce a calming effect on the brain. This is why many treatment centers use them to help people heal. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic methods, which are incremental to your path to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both physical and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. Here, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you to cope with upcoming stress and challenges, you can start your journey with experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

How Our Relationships Can Change in Recovery

Substance addiction tends to disrupt close relationships, including those with family members, friends, and co-workers. During recovery, you might face the challenge of rebuilding some of these connections. It is a lot of work.

Meanwhile, you also need to initiate changes in certain relationships, such as with friends who have used substances with you in the past. Remember that your sobriety is a top priority now, which determines what kind of relationships you need to invest in.

Repairing Broken Relationships

If you have decided to rebuild some key relationships with family members who suffered hurtful experiences due to your addiction, be prepared for a lot of trust-building at first. Many people struggling with addiction lied to their families, and that has soured the trust. You need to invest time in mending these treasured relationships by showing true personal accountability and progress in recovery.

One key aspect of rebuilding family relationships is setting up healthy boundaries. This means that the dynamic of the relationship can and should change dramatically. You need to guard yourself against falling back to old habits, such as dishonesty or codependence. Explain what new boundaries you need to maintain sobriety, and ask your family to support you.

If you are a parent who has missed many years of your child’s growing up because of emotional absence, this task of rebuilding parent-child bonding also requires a lot of time and patience. Learn about your child’s experiences and feelings. Be open to communication about your recovery. Develop new hobbies that you can engage with your child. Live a healthy and active lifestyle to show your child that you are making positive changes.

Avoiding Unhealthy Relationships

There are certain relational dynamics that you need to watch out for or even avoid. First of all, you should avoid hanging out with friends who are using. This may sound difficult, but for the sake of your own sobriety, spending time with these friends who show no intention of abstinence may trigger a relapse. Remember how far you have come from that kind of lifestyle. Do not try to play savior to your friends. You need to work harder on solidifying your own sobriety first.

Equally important, you need to avoid toxic personalities and relationships during recovery. These personalities or relationships might show up in workplaces or at family gatherings. Finding yourself entangled in complex or unhealthy relationships can be very stressful. Your top priority for the present moment is to reduce the level of stress from social interactions. Workplace toxic interactions can also be a source of stress. You need to make wise changes to avoid getting deeper into these interactions.

Building Healthy New Relationships

It is not uncommon for recovering individuals to leave rehab with a smaller support system than they had before. During early sobriety, you can start making new friendships. It is actually beneficial for your emotional and mental health to explore new social connections. As human beings, we thrive with pleasurable social interactions. However, the need for sobriety should dictate who you befriend. Try to form new friendships with shared healthy and sober interests.

By now, you should have learned a lot about what makes healthy relationships. These are built upon mutual respect, healthy communication patterns, and they also involve kindness and caring. Prepare yourself to be that kind of friend. When you make new social connections, guide the relationship to focus on each other’s health and wellness.

Valuing the Health of Relationships

When building your relationships and social life after rehab, you should focus on the health of these relationships. Watch out for signs of relational toxicity, including interactions that dimmish your self-worth and self-image and behavioral patterns that perpetuate negativity. Meanwhile, you cannot make your new phase of socialization completely stress-free. At the end of the day, you need to learn how to de-stress from relational frustrations.

Reducing stress and relaxation is also a way to reconnect with yourself. Whether you have realized it or not, your relationship with yourself has also changed since rehab. You need to extend loving kindness to yourself first before you can live out that ideal externally. Your relationship with yourself is the foundation upon which all other relationships are built.

No matter what external relational challenges you encounter, there is always an internal approach you can cope with. First of all, refuse to consider yourself a failure. Be compassionate and gentle toward yourself. Do not blame yourself for your problems and mistakes. Accept responsibility for your problems and simply develop strategies to improve. Remember to lean on your recovery community for support, as they know the same principles well. With time, you will enjoy this exciting new phase of social exploration.

Do you find it challenging to transition back to socializing after achieving early sobriety? You are not alone in this. Many people find that their relationships have changed after coming back from rehab. When navigating this new phase, you need a strong support system. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we provide counseling and other aftercare programs with a holistic approach. Our team specializes in caring for both your physical health and mental health. Even after completing inpatient residential treatment, you can still stay connected to us by using our long-term outpatient care programs. While you are here, we provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our own organic garden. You can rely on us to help your relationships prosper so you can gain their benefits while maintaining sobriety. Do not delay. Let us help you recover. Act now. Call us today at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

Tips for Staying Healthy During Recovery

If you or a loved one has completed addiction treatment, the next phase of transitioning to normal life can be a new beginning. However, now that your body has been detoxed of drugs and alcohol, how do you stay healthy and maintain sobriety from here on out? There are a few basic building blocks to your overall health, and you should make them the foundation of a balanced lifestyle.

A Healthy and Balanced Lifestyle in Recovery

Do you know the secret to staying sober? The answer is a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Daily activities keep your body and mind nourished and energized, so you do not need to go back to the old habits of using drugs and alcohol. Physical recovery is a vital part of your journey, and it is important to lay a solid foundation for these lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle refers to how you live your life in various aspects, including diet, work, hobbies, and sleep habits. People with substance addiction tend to gradually shift into a chaotic lifestyle. They consume less food or more processed food, pay little attention to their appearances, rarely exercise, and experience sleep loss. That lifestyle is very unhealthy because the preoccupation with drugs and alcohol has consumed all their attention and energy.

These old habits may still linger in recovery, although you no longer use drugs or alcohol. What these unhealthy habits do to your body and mind is cause continued malnourishment and a lack of balance in life’s rhythm. Detoxing the harmful substances from your body’s system is one step, but it may take longer for the brain and your lifestyle to readjust to a balanced state.

Maintaining a Well-Nourished, Active Lifestyle

First of all, you need to make sure your body takes in enough nutrients it needs. Substance addiction may have already done damage to your physical health. You need to follow a balanced diet regimen to get the body’s systems in sync with healthy eating. Try to stay away from processed fast food if that is your old habit. Consider working with a nutritionist referred by your recovery treatment center. Follow through on this nutritionist’s recommendations.

The importance of good nutrition also lies in the fact that it helps decrease symptoms of depression or anxiety which often accompany recovering individuals. There have been scientific studies showing that certain foods can improve mood. What you eat every day can affect your emotional and mental health. Certain foods may also improve your immune system and the functioning of key organs that were previously damaged by substance addiction.

It goes without saying that a healthy and balanced lifestyle is also an active lifestyle. You should grow into a daily routine of active exercises, including walking, running, aerobics, cardio, swimming, or hiking. Physical exercises in a natural environment can best improve your mental health. Even slow movements like yoga can also help your body reduce stress and increase energy. All these benefits are essential for preventing relapse.

Developing a System of Personal Accountability

You need to be responsible for how your actions impact your health from now on. You can find ways to set up a system of self-monitoring and tracking to stay vigilant. For example, keeping a recovery journal may serve the purpose of tracking progress. It is also a good way to articulate and manage emotions. If you continue to keep daily journal entries, you can look back every month to see how much progress you have made.

Other new routines like talking to your sponsor or concerned family members about your progress are also helpful to keep yourself accountable. The danger is to hide your struggles and deal with stress all by yourself. When you are alone on this journey, it is more likely that you may lose alertness. Keeping yourself in an open space for safe and supportive communication can help you build positive momentum.

Managing Stress by Relaxation Techniques

A healthy and balanced lifestyle is marked by breaks and relaxation. Keeping a recovery regimen can be hard work. Sometimes you may need to just relax a bit. Find some sober activities to distract yourself from the pressure of always keeping up with progress. Develop some new hobbies or simply spend an afternoon wandering at your favorite museum or park.

When you feel tense or stressed, learn to use meditation and mindfulness techniques to help you relax. Deep breathing can help clear the mind and renew the spirit. Loving-kindness meditation is another way to nurture an attitude of gratitude toward life. It is never too late to pick up these exercises and connect with yourself. With enough time, this new lifestyle can become part of your daily comfort zone.

Now that your body has been detoxed of drugs and alcohol, do you know how to stay healthy and maintain your sobriety? There are a few basic building blocks to your overall health, and you should make them the foundation of your new and balanced lifestyle. For better results and sustainable progress, you can work with experienced therapists who can coach you. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we have a professional team of health experts who help clients at each stage of recovery, both in terms of physical health and mental health. We provide excess comfort during your sobriety journey with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you achieve long-term sobriety and a healthy lifestyle. Want to work with coaches so that you can start building healthy habits? Call today us at (800) 804-8714.

READ MORE

Find Yourself Having Fun in Recovery

Substance use is often associated with a fast-paced and chaotic lifestyle. Recovery can also seem dull and restricted to some people. This misperception has been a common reason why many people resist entering into treatment. The truth is, you are encouraged to have fun during recovery as long as you are engaging in sober activities. Fun and relaxing things are actually important components of self-care.

Redefining Fun and Relaxing Activities

Having “fun” is a general statement to describe being in a good mood. People with substance addiction may think that using substances is fun because they allow you to feel high. However, long-term negative effects of drugs and alcohol have deprived many people of truly living independent lives. Life with substance addiction is inevitably chaotic and stressful because the brain is constantly stimulated by external chemicals. The “fun” moments are artificially generated and harmful to the body.

Human beings naturally long for fun and pleasure. When we hang out with good friends, taste good food, watch a good movie, or visit interesting places, the brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” chemical. Your emotional and mental health get boosted. There are many natural and sober ways to have this kind of healthy fun in life. Health professionals actually encourage recovering individuals to carve out time for this kind of sober fun. After you complete treatment, do not go back to working without relaxing and having fun because that will put you under stress, which triggers relapse.

Learn to Relax and Connect With Life

Many working professionals are so preoccupied with work that they cannot afford the time to slow down, relax and do something fun. Overworking can also lead to substance addiction because the latter becomes a way of self-medication to deal with stress. Working professionals need to build a balance of fun and relaxation into their life so that their emotional and mental health are not undermined.

When recovery stops your previous busy and chaotic lifestyle, it is time to consider living differently. Think about what kinds of activities might bring you joy. Maybe you have always wanted to visit certain places or go camping. Join your sober friends on their kayaking tours. Nurture new hobbies such as baking or photography so that you can enjoy creating something again. The bottom line of having real fun is to avoid substances and enjoy natural ways of relaxation.

The Fun of Socializing

One misconception some people have about addiction recovery is that sober people are too lonely to have fun because they get to only hang out with certain boring folks now. The truth is, getting sober does affect who you socialize with and how you go about doing that. People with addiction tend to think that drugs and alcohol help them socialize. Without substances, they have no idea how to socialize.

However, there is nothing lonelier than being caught in the spiral of substance addiction. You actually do not have a lot in common with friends who are also using substances other than drugs and alcohol themselves. That kind of shallow socializing deprives you of building truly meaningful connections and relationships.

In recovery, socializing with sober friends and building relationships offer more fulfillment. When you open up to somebody, or when that person confides in you, that is what human beings consider satisfying. You feel more connected to others in a deeper and more authentic way because you are sharing the real self. Joining a hobby club and creating something together allows you to enjoy the good feeling of creativity.

You Should Not Feel Guilty for Having Fun

Recovery takes a lot of hard work, but it is not all work. Some people have felt the shame of their past addiction that they want to put a lot of serious work into making things right again. If that is the case with you, you need to first practice self-forgiveness. Then you have the chance to re-explore who you are and what the world offers. Addiction recovery allows you to become a child again with curiosity about things around you.

Recovery can and should be fun because this is a new beginning. You can choose a different lifestyle with healthy food, routines, and hobbies. Health professionals have coached you to listen to your body. Have you realized that sometimes a burst of good laughter can be powerful in resetting your mood? Having fun and enjoying fun activities can help get the brain back on the right track. Recovery can be sustainable only when it is also fun.

You can have fun during recovery. You can choose a different lifestyle with healthy food, routines, and hobbies. If you don’t know how to relax and enjoy this phase of life, maybe you should consider working with trained therapists to help you transition to a joy-filled recovery. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we embrace a holistic approach to sustainable and long-term recovery. Our methods are incremental in a satisfying recovery and feeling of overall wellness. No matter what stage you are in, we care for your physical health and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer unmatched benefits. We provide excess comfort with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and an onsite organic garden during your sobriety journey. With Capo Canyon Recovery, you can rely on us to help you relax and have fun while recovering. Do not let the hard work rob you of joy and hope. Call us at (800) 804-8714.