Addiction is a terrible disease that continues to run rampant globally. There are a lot of resources to help adults get back on their feet and receive treatment for their substance use disorder. However, young adults who have issues have an even more difficult time returning to normalcy because they must return to an (often) highly enabling environment. While available to adults, transition coaching focuses more on adolescents and young adults who have suffered from addiction-related issues. The purpose is to help young adults and adolescents cope with their unique circumstances when returning to their everyday lives.
A Culture of Binge Drinking
Referencing a SAMHSA report, 74% of adults participating in a substance abuse treatment program had started the use of drugs and/or alcohol before the age of 17. Of the estimated current number of alcohol drinkers, 19.3% of them comprise the youth of America (12-20).
Animal House, Van Wilder, American Pie, Neighbors, there are no shortage of raunchy college-comedies past present or future. It is almost a genre qualification for these movies to feature excessive drinking and partying. Undoubtedly, the purpose of this is to make these movies appealing to young adults—both in high school and in college.
This isn’t film class, so rather than analyze the genre we should look at what the genre imparts on the expectations of young adults. If you’re a young person—in high school, middle school even, you’ll undoubtedly have access to these films. They give an expectation of what the high school and college experience should be like. This is called normalization and it essentially means that expectations enable circumstances.
In this example, modern films, music, television all portray high school and college in America as a time to party, binge drink alcohol, do drugs, and participate in hook up culture.
We tend to think of alcoholics as older people encroaching on or beyond middle-age. However, as the statistics show, a great portion of the youth of America drink alcohol.
College is a Breeding Grounds for Substance Use Disorders
Why is the college experience so prominently involved with substance abuse—particularly alcohol? The most straightforward answers are that students are away from home for the very first time in many instances. This sudden freedom encourages many students to let loose from their ordinary constraints in an environment with people relatively close to their age who are doing the same.
When you add alcohol into the mix, it quickly escalates. Notice that the YA demographic stops at age 21, drinking behaviors tend to deviate at age 21 as well. Young adults who cannot yet legally purchase alcohol are much more compelled to binge drink whenever the opportunity to drink alcohol presents itself.
Transition Coaching for Young Adults
If you are a young adult who is suffering from a substance use disorder or the guardian of one, consider how irresponsible it would be to return a student to that environment. In the addiction treatment community, a great deal of time is spent discussing triggers and in this case, enabling behaviors and environments. Before one can learn to resist these things through practice, they must first put distance between themselves and these environments so that they can gain perspective.
However, in the case of school or being involved with young peer groups, it’s almost impossible to avoid witnessing binge drinking behaviors or seeing it glorified.
This is where transition coaching becomes an incredibly powerful component and deterrent to re-engaging in negative behaviors and patterns that will lead to relapse.
Addiction Transition Coaching in Virginia
Recovery Care Partner is with you every step of the way during the addiction treatment process. We firmly believe that this process does not end with the completion of a treatment program, we are always concerned about the wellbeing of our current patients as well as alumni. In certain cases such as with young adults and adolescents, we can understand they face some unique issues when returning to a normal life. They do not yet have the flexibility to completely remove themselves from people who may pose a negative influence on their recovery, and so it is for this group especially that transition coaching is a great way to follow through with treatment.
Let us be your partner in recovery, contact Recovery Care Partner today to consult about transition coaching or addiction treatment.Learn More
This is something you wish you were wrong about, but also something that you need to be right on if its true. Does that make sense? In other words, no one wants to believe a friend or family member has an addiction. At the same time, you also do not want to see your loved one succumb to an addiction. It’s very important that if you start to see signs a friend or family member may be experiencing issues with addiction, it is your duty (as well as ours) to help them enter treatment.
A Shift in Moods and Motivations
Sounds vague, right? Of course any sudden mood shift is not indicative of addiction. However, when that behavior is accompanied by lying and dishonesty—it’s clear that something must be going on. This is often the first sign that arouses suspicion but it is too often the case we ignore that sense of something being off for a long time. That is why you should trust your instincts and keep an eye out for more unusual behavior and circumstances.
A shift in mood can be more pronounced such as volatility in behaviors, angry outbursts, disproportionate sadness, anxiety. Remember, many Substance Use Disorders are often comorbid with a mental health condition such depression, an anxiety or personality disorder.
Sudden Weight Loss or Gain
This is the next sign that can be passed off as almost normal, the truth is people don’t just randomly gain a large amount of weight or lose it. Your body strives to achieve homeostasis—or stability, in medical terms sudden gain or loss in weight is grounds for further medical inquiry and testing. This may seem like a minor point, but many statements from those who have realized their loved one had an addiction have reflected on the past and realized just how many behaviors they recognized but brushed aside as irrelevant.
Having Enlarged Pupils and Bloodshot Eyes
Certain drugs can cause your pupils to become dilated—these are typically psychotropic drugs or stimulants such as cocaine. Be aware of bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils as they are dead giveaways that your loved one is misusing drugs. Dilated pupils are not so easily explained away, there are many charts online that can show you what normal pupil dilation in response to factors such as light look like in comparison to drug use.
Poor Work or School Performance/Financial Difficulties
If your friend or family member is suddenly flunking their classes or experiencing troubles at work—even have been let go, this is yet another sign that they are failing to maintain their daily obligations for a reason that is unclear. If they were financially stable and are now having financial difficulties, this is another red flag. This one can be difficult to determine with friends as opposed to family members as we are typically not privy to their finances.
Drug use is incredibly expensive in that the substances themselves are costly, but also the user’s increasing tolerance to those drugs requires more and more. As the addiction takes hold, the desire to use more frequently also occurs in tandem, creating a vicious cycle of abuse that wrecks the person’s health, finances, and takes control of their life.
Pre-treatment Addiction Consultation in Virginia
Do you suspect your loved one is struggling with addiction? There are many more signs and symptoms we at Recovery Care Partner can recognize. We have dealt with many cases of addiction and intimately understand what to look out for. We offer guidance and support to those who believe they may have a friend or family member dealing with addiction.
Contact us today to tell us your story so that we can help your loved one enter treatment, whether that is through coaching and consulting with you, or offering our intervention services so that a more direct approach can be taken.Learn More
An intervention is sometimes necessary to help the ones we love come to grips with their addiction. Think of how many times you’ve swept something under the rug or neglected a fact only to realize it later. Even something as trivial as making an expensive purchase and justifying it to yourself, only to admit several months later it was not a good purchase. Addiction is not trivial, but the point of the analogy is to say that it’s common for people to have trouble admitting things to themselves.
This is why interventions are necessary, what is a glaringly obvious problem to others may be something incredibly difficult to come to terms with for the person suffering from a substance use disorder. That being said, here are 3 tips to help an intervention succeed.
1 – Carefully Pick Who is Involved
An intervention is not a courtroom drama, no one should be here to make sweeping accusations and control the narrative through force. An intervention is at it’s heart, a compassionate engagement with another person. It requires the addict to be incredibly vulnerable with their feelings, and so you should only involve people whom the addict trusts not to judge them or mishandle their feelings.
This is also one of the major reasons why a skilled interventionist should be contacted. It can be easy to get lost in family or friendship drama due to the emotional atmosphere. The addict may attempt to draw others into arguments that deflect from the issue at hand—their addiction. Having a qualified interventionist present can make sure the intervention stays on track.
2 – Practice What You Want to Say
Rehearsing your most salient points is incredibly important. While you are not here to give a speech, it is crucial that you understand the point you want to get across. This requires some finesse with words because you want to avoid anything that smacks of blaming or judgment. You also want to avoid making it seem like the person’s addiction is a burden to you and that is your motivation for the intervention.
We know that if you are here, reading this, those things are certainly not what you mean. However, language can be tricky. Certain phrasing and language can appear to be more self-interested than others. This is another reason why an interventionist will be useful for the intervention. They can coach you on things to avoid saying or how to present your feelings in a way that will help the person see that you truly want to just see them get better.
3 – Keep a Contingency Plan
Things do not always go as they should during an intervention, and people respond wildly different to being confronted with their addiction. Some people break down and cry, others calmly listen to what you have to say, some people become irrationally angry and storm out of the room. Whatever the case, understand that just because you have rehearsed your end, doesn’t mean you can predict how they will act.
Addiction Intervention Service Virginia
A skilled interventionist can assist you in helping your loved one enter treatment. Interventions can be a very tricky ordeal, having someone who has done dozens, if not hundreds of them, can boost your success rate dramatically. Contact Recovery Care Partner and inquire about our intervention services.
We are deeply passionate about getting people to enter treatment, as such we always coach and prepare you on tactics that will increase the success rate of the intervention. We will also recommend a type and level of care that is suitable for your loved one’s circumstances.
Make the call today, (240)-206-6324.Learn More
Recovering from addiction can be a harrowing ordeal when going through detox and finally emerging into your first few weeks of true sobriety. It is tragic, but 70-80% of people relapse within the first 90 days after their inpatient treatment experience. It is for this reason that we offer Recovery Care Monitoring. One of the many reasons why people relapse is the sudden shift in their emotional landscape.
The Dam Has Burst
Addiction is like building a dam, if you’ve been constantly medicating yourself as part of a set of maladaptive behaviors, then it can be easy to forget just how much lies beneath the surface. Emotions are like water, they flow in and out if you let them be expressed normally. When you’ve been using, however, it’s like the hole has been plugged up.
Many people who have entered recovery find that their entire emotional landscape has been upheaved. Suddenly, many of the emotions that were plugged up have started to come out. Here are some common feelings that many people who enter recovery report:
Feeling Anger After Getting Sober
Anger is a feeling that is often misunderstood. To feel anger is not a bad thing, not something to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, anger can be directed in many ways. It can be directed at others, at situations, at yourself. Those who have gotten sober may find themselves feeling incredibly angry from time to time. It may even be unclear where the anger is coming from.
The important thing to remember is that you do not need to rationally identify with the emotions you experience. The reason this is important because it is highly likely that you will feel overwhelming emotion in response to trivial things. This is the hallmark of feelings that have been bottled up and have yet to run their course, much like the stereotype of the driver being cut off and experiencing road rage.
Experiencing Anxiety After Getting Sober
Anxiety is another emotion that people commonly feel acutely in the beginning stages of recovery. Anxiety can be very crippling and is one of the primary emotions that can lead to relapse if left unattended. This is why coaching and therapy are so important, not because they can make the feelings magically go away, but they truly teach the person in recovery what to expect and how to react.
The Sense of Being Overwhelmed
A tragic error in perception would be that someone just entering recovery is dealing with all of these difficult emotions and feel overwhelmed. They then think that it’s going to be like this forever, that sobriety and reality will be this difficult to contend with.
Once you’ve had a few months of sobriety under your belt, you start to gain a better perspective, of course. But in the moment, the thought can trigger a relapse.
Recovery Care Monitoring in Virginia
Recovery Care Partner knows that treatment doesn’t stop after in-patient care has been completed, rather, it’s only just begun. Prolonged recovery depends on consistency in going to meetings, developing good habits. When you’re suddenly experiencing a lot of emotions that have been released due to sobriety, it can be a very frightening experience. Receiving therapy/care from those who have experience in this arena can assure you that what you’re going through is par the course.
Our Recovery Care Monitoring is an example of our understanding and dedication to our patients who seek care with us. We are your partner in recovery, if you require a sober transport, companion, or recovery care monitoring services, contact us here today.Learn More
A joke. That’s what interventions are. Somewhere along the line in the hazy history of sitcoms from the 70s up through the 2000s, there were many shows (and cartoons) that depicted the intervention as a comical device aimed at highlighting a silly fixation or obsession a character has come upon. The whole cast would get together, sit the person down, and break it to them: we know about your addiction. It’s tearing your life and our life apart and we have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: you need help. Something has to change, otherwise this can’t continue as is. The main character surrenders and promises to stop obsessively trimming the hedges—or whatever mundane task is comically taken to the extreme. While a joke on your favorite sitcom growing up, it’s no joke at all in real life, and interventions will not go as smoothly without a skilled interventionist to manage them.
What is an Intervention Really?
An intervention is counseling, really. An intervention is like driving on the highway and forcefully swerving into a love one’s lane in front of them to block them from uncontrollably speeding. And like real life, the outcome is not always good, sometimes they choose to change tracks and go ahead of you anyways.
Metaphors aside, interventions are to prevent you or a loved one from succumbing to your addiction and letting it drive you all the way to rock bottom. If you’ve ever been to rock bottom, you’d know the bottom is fake, there’s always a floor lower than you anticipated. It just gets worse until one day…you’ve gone too far. A look into the statistics behind the number of drug and alcohol overdoses every year in the United States is a chilling example of this in action.
Few people overdose intentionally—the distinction in intent is the difference between overdose and suicide. Most people who are in the throes of addiction do not overdose intentionally; this is very important to understand. It truly highlights how a strong addiction makes a person lose complete and utter control. Without external help and support, it is difficult to break out of this.
An intervention is one of the first tools on the road to recovery that can help disrupt the pattern of substance use disorders.
What Does an Interventionist Do?
At Recovery Care Partner, we specialize in offering intervention services for those in need. Our skilled intervention specialists have ample experience in this space and have conducted many successful interventions. It’s always a wonder what honesty, compassion, and expertise combined can provide for people who are suffering.
Intervention specialists can take the concept of the intervention and anticipate what sorts of resistance the addict may put up or common problems and rationalizations that pop up. This is the most important thing, as well-meaning family and friends are not well-rehearsed in dealing with the often-smooth ways in which addicts are accustomed to excusing their behaviors and habits. This will only hurt them if we cannot defuse these arguments with clarity.
It’s not unusual for an intervention to reach a “breaking point” and the addict in question will break down and admit to their addiction. This can be such a heartbreaking moment for friends and family who knew all along but are confronted with the reality themselves—the truth. However, these tears and changes in disposition are ultimately a good thing. Before we can seek to remedy our problems, we must confront them bravely and openly.
Once the addict—with the help of the interventionist and family, has openly stated what they hid for so long, that is when true healing can begin. Dragging your problems out into the light is the first step towards true recovery. Hiding your addiction makes it nearly impossible to receive treatment for it.
Intervention Specialist in Virginia
Recovery Care Partner has conducted many successful interventions; we know that the success rate of an intervention depends first and foremost on approaching the situation with compassion, skill, and most importantly an uncompromising belief that the subject can be helped. For us, there is no situation or addiction that cannot be successfully treated.
Our clients can sense this and know that when they visit our facilities for treatment, they are working with people who truly care about the outcome.
If you or a loved one has an issue that they are unwilling to admit or discuss, it’s perhaps time to stage a professional intervention so that they do not continue to hurt themselves and others.
Contact Recovery Care Partner today at (240)-232-5464 so that a better tomorrow is possible starting today!Learn More
Addict, now that’s a loaded word, isn’t it? Addict, addiction, substance abuse, those are words addicts have heard for all of their lives, even before they knew they were one. The word has a negative connotation, why do we still use it in recovery facilities? Because for lack of a better word, it’s short and to the point. If you have had difficulties quitting something like cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or even something such as video games, you are an addict and should seek addiction counseling if you can’t stop.
The Life of an Addict is No Different Than Ordinary Folk
Truly, why do we call a person addicted to drugs an addict, but a person who is addicted to work a go-getter? Do we call Steve Jobs an addict for working tireless hours building up one of the top technology companies in the world? Jobs gave his all to Apple, and it paid off. The iPhone will go down in the annals of history as inciting a huge technological revolution. He was also reportedly a terrible father, and an insufferable boss at times.
We praise Jobs for being addicted to work, but we don’t praise addicts for being addicted to substances. I don’t want to belabor the point, both are instances of addictive behavior/tendencies, and both involve an addictive compulsion towards an activity that comes at the cost of every other aspect of the person’s life
While there are many genetic and biological reasons that make addicts much more susceptible to the effects of substances than others, at the end of the day it’s the use of such things as a coping mechanism that creates the vast majority of addictions.
The premise is simple, everyone has addictive tendencies, and no one is free from the human condition that drives us to seek out refuge in habits. In other words, the mental desire to be addicted to something is prevalent in everyone, it’s just most unfortunate when that is attached to a highly unhealthy habit as opposed to a good one. A good addiction is physical exercise, but even that becomes a problem when your body needs rest but you’ve become compulsive about working out—which is often tied to poor self-image and a desire to constantly punish oneself to remedy that.
Your Cravings Are Here to Stay
It’s not something people want to hear, but as addiction counselors and addiction recovery specialists, it would be irresponsible to not say so. Many former addicts who have been clean for years still attend meetings and programs because they foster a sense of community and family, as well as solidarity in addiction-related troubles.
Just like how someone who has struggled with losing weight their entire life will always have that temptation to binge-eat in response to emotional stressors, so too will a former alcoholic momentarily have the temptation to kill a whole bottle of liquor even 10 years into sobriety. With time, experience, perspective–and the right training, someone who has been in recovery for a lengthy period can learn to simply observe those tremendous urges and understand their irrationality. In other words, they can detach from them and view them as apart from themselves.
Addiction Counselors in Virginia
Don’t let this article dishearten you, friends. Despite the fact that cravings never go away, that does not mean they do not lessen in severity or frequency. Most people who have been in recovery for many years report that it’s often the opposite which is true. Cravings will seemingly disappear and then startle you in unexpected moments. They remind you that the addict in you is always dormant, but that’s nothing to fear. We’re all addicts, really. There’s no shame in it, and those are the beliefs that Recovery Care Partner was built upon. We believe that love and compassion are what free us from the bonds of mental and physiological slavery in the form of addiction. That’s why we still use the word addict because we don’t judge it, it simply is.
If you are seeking help substance use help or require a skilled interventionist, contact Recovery Care Partner here!Learn More
Much of the focus on addiction and relapse is centered around topics like acknowledging addiction and seeking out treatment to begin with, how to handle relapses, tips to stay in recovery and identifying your triggers. One factor that is not discussed as often is the impact that social media has on the underage/younger demographics and the development of addictions.
Social Media and Substance Use
While you’d be hardpressed to know an exact percentage, it’s fairly well studied that addiction has a tremendous genetic component. It is greater for some and lesser for others, but let’s say for the sake of a hypothetical scenario, addiction is 50% genetic and 50% maladaptive coping strategies. Additionally, the children of addicts—current or former, have a much higher susceptibility to spiraling into addiction themselves. This gives great credibility to the notion that addiction is highly genetic since someone who may not have even met their alcoholic grandfather or grandmother could have just as much of an issue with it. Addiction also unsurprisingly runs in families.
I digress, the example is this: picture an adolescent or teen from age 12-18 that goes on social media. It’s highly likely that this teenager uses social media quite frequently. Social media usage among teenagers is quite high and the activity levels in terms of posting and sharing is much higher in this age group if not the highest. While teens may post about anything or everything, there is certainly going to be posting about alcohol and drug use.
The true issue with social media is that it’s a simulacrum of what people think is a good life or cool for their age. In the case of teens, many of them opt to post pictures of parties, drinking and sometimes drugs. In other words, these behaviors are glorified on social media. They’re made out to be cool, popular, and things that you can post about to make yourself out to be that way as well. It’s a surely overcooked topic, but teens are in a phase in life where appearances and acceptance matter the most.
Ask any addict, most of them started young. Social media coincides with a greater likelihood of drinking, smoking, and doing drugs according to a back to school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia).
Social Media: A Boon or a Setback?
Thus far, we’ve painted social media as a place that can present temptation to younger people who may be primed for addiction due to genetic reasons or because they are susceptible to falling into poor coping patterns. Like most things, there’s a flipside. While social media can be bad because of the exposure factor to drinking and drugs and the glorification of those things, it can also be a powerful tool for recovery.
Consider how many people can share their stories about addiction and post motivational/inspirational things online and impact God only knows how many people? Not only that, but social media is a place where addiction outreach can take place. Additionally, people are more easily able to find local events or addiction therapy groups in their local area. Being able to scope these things out online can take some of the certainty and fear out of visiting an addiction treatment center or group therapy session if you’re able to see a picture of the place, the room, the people, etc.
Addiction Counseling Specialists in Virginia
As always with anything, you’re the one in charge, whether you realize it or not. You’re the most powerful person you know. This is important to remember when you feel like your addiction runs your life and temptation and fear are abound. Social media can be a place of great temptation or great connection and community. It depends on who you choose to surround yourself with—take it from us, we’re surrounded by the best addiction treatment specialists that we know.
Our professional and compassionate staff have helped many people on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance in managing their substance abuse issues, Recovery Care Partner is here for you. We firmly believe that the foundation of recovery is built on a platform of dignity and respect. Every day we treat people who have enormous potential to do well for themselves and for their community. Give us a call today at (240)-224-3509 to get started in exploring treatment options for any addiction issues you or a loved one may have!Learn More
If you read our post about accountability, then you’d know that regardless of how you came to cope with your stressors through addiction, it’s your problem to fix. Yes, you’ll have help. Yes, you deserve compassion and understanding but know that change starts with you. Proper addiction treatment and counseling are paramount to successfully keeping yourself in recovery. However, all the counsel in the world may not be able to help you if the thing that drags you back time and time again is not your nature, but your nurture.
Addiction: With Friends Like These…
We’ve seen it all, from the most beautifully supportive family and friend groups that help their own through addiction to toxic friend groups that don’t want anyone to get sober. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it’s necessary to leave your friend group if you hope to start life anew.
You cannot stay friends with your friends who use if you hope to start a new life of sobriety. It’s often one of the toughest aspects of getting into recovery. These are in many cases, people the addict has known for a majority of their lives, childhood friends, romantic partners, even family members. Fellow humans who you’ve shared not just the ups but the downs as well with.
Addiction and Friendships
Friendships and addictions interact principally two ways:
- The friends you had prior to your substance use disorder and/or the worsening of it will pose a threat or challenge to that addiction. Addiction can both isolate you and also keep you entrenched. Many people are not equipped to deal with someone who has a full-blown addiction issue. It can wreak havoc in so many ways on relationships and stability that inevitably, old friends eventually realize they must cut ties with the addict for two reasons. One is to prevent all their time and energy being sucked into the drama that addiction creates. The second is to show the addict that they will not enable their behaviors any longer and that if they can get clean they will gladly be friends once more.
- The second way is that friendship is predicated addiction itself. Unlike the first reason, old friends are left behind. Ask anyone who has been in the grips of an addiction of any sort—whether mild or extreme, if you can find other people to engage in that behavior with you, it becomes a social problem as well. You’re getting your social needs met through unhealthy behaviors. Self-destructive behaviors that are done in social groups end up being far worse because groups inevitably create isolating “us vs them” dynamics. Suddenly, it feels like if you try to go clean, you’re abandoning and betraying the group. Many people try to justify their behaviors by keeping others down with them, this is the “crabs in the bucket” phenomenon. When one crab tries to escape, the others crabs pull the escaping crab back down.
Old Habits Die Hard
Have you ever met up with your old friend group from school or an old job—the people you haven’t seen in years, and much to your surprise, upon reuniting with them you have snapped back into your old self? Years of growth, change, and development…temporarily erased. It’s mind-boggling, but at this moment you should realize that a big part of our behavior comes from our environmental cues. We are far more conscious of what our role is in our friend groups than we give credit for.
Now, maybe ordinarily this would just be a situation where you went from being your socially assertive and outgoing self to being the shy wallflower that you used to be. However, in the case of addiction treatment. Suppose that you’ve been in recovery for a couple of months, things are going great, then you hang out with some old friends who still use…and you relapse. You may feel guilty, you may be incredibly frustrated, but the fact remains.
There are many people in recovery who do end up going back to old friend groups and managing to help a few people get into treatment. They are an inspiration, but this takes a lot of strength and time spent in recovery to get used to the lifestyle and to become resistant to the temptation of falling back into old habits.
Addiction Consulting in Virginia
At Recovery Care Partner, we’ve seen an array of circumstances that people who are in the grips of addiction find themselves in, and we’re always there to provide counsel and proper treatment. One of the things we see often is addicts who are unable to separate themselves from their old social circles where substance abuse is still rampant. Time and time again they relapse because the social and psychological factors involved with being in those groups is too much. This is why we specialize in offering post-treatment consulting and recovery care monitoring—our framework for ensuring the recovering individual has the perspectives they need to best avoid relapse on their own after they leave treatment.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder, please do not hesitate to contact us here or give us a call at (240)-224-3509.Learn More
Meditation, mindfulness, breath practice, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), all of these practices have something in common—they can help people break out of bad patterns and habits. In fact, all of these practices are based on the same idea, which is that we can ultimately choose our own behavior. In life, and in addiction counseling, this is a highly freeing idea. Many addicts can feel as if they are prisoners to their own compulsions, but this is far from the truth.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
As of 2019, meditation needs no marketing. It is the beloved practice of people who are spiritual as well as rigidly scientific. Whether you are a materialist, or you are religious, meditation has a certain secular appeal and well-studied benefits. Prominent neuroscientists of our day are fascinated with the practice and have found a litany of benefits ascribed to it that are demonstrably valid.
While there are differences between mindfulness meditation, insight meditation, and many, many other practices. The basic technique is the same:
Sit for a period of time and concentrate on your breathing. Any time a thought or feeling comes up, simply note it and refocus back on your breathing.
You must be thinking, that’s it? What good will that do? And there’s the problem, you are too beholden to your thoughts. Many people rationalize excuses for why they can’t sit for 5 minutes and avoid doing anything, but the inability to do so is the issue itself. Our mind, whether we realize it or not, is constantly racing and attaching to thoughts and rejecting others. This is exhausting but also leads to people being stuck in faulty patterns.
When you slow down and allow yourself to observe your thoughts without judgment, as if you were someone else, you begin to see these patterns. Pattern recognition is the first step to breaking habits, and addictions are nothing if not a bad habit when put in the simplest terms possible.
Mindfulness Meditation and Addiction Counseling
Addiction counseling is a vital part of recovery and preventing relapse, however, it may come as no surprise that relapses don’t happen in the presence of counselors in most cases. They happen in between sessions when something triggers you, or you’re feeling hounded by the pressures of life. It is in these moments a solid meditation practice can pay off. Being able to get out of your own head and observe the spiraling thoughts, excuses, and rationalizations that can all lead you to relapse can give you just enough mental space to wait for the temptation out until a subsides a bit in intensity.
Just as important, viewing your thoughts objectively and observing the feelings that come up can illuminate just how much you beat yourself up. Almost all addicts feel some sense of guilt and shame when it comes to addiction, and those emotions—while valid to feel, are not helpful to recovery. It’s important to recognize that feeling guilt or shame is perfectly human, but needlessly dwelling on them is not healthy.
Someone who practices mindfulness meditation every day will be better equipped to step out from the chain of thoughts that lead to unnecessary anxiety and self-loathing, both of which are common relapse triggers.
Addiction Counseling in Virginia
Whatever the problem may be, Recovery Care Partner is here for you. Our methods are rooted deeply in compassion and non-judgment. We have seen a countless amount of people come in at the lowest points in their lives, afraid, and without hope, and have learned ways to manage their substance use disorder. It’s okay to be susceptible to addiction; it’s not okay to do nothing about it. That’s why Recovery Care Partner was founded, to help those who suffer from addiction DO something about it. We want to be your partner all of the way through the process!
Don’t hesitate to contact us here and start life a new life today!Learn More
A certified substance abuse counselor is an important facilitator of conversation for in recovery or recovering addicts. A certified substance abuse counselor can make the difference in a persons life by offering keen addiction education and helping addicts come to terms with behavioral patterns or thought patterns they may not realize they’re stuck in. In group therapy, people can come together and share their thoughts and join in on an atmosphere of solidarity.
Group Therapy Reduces Isolation
Many around the world suffer from addiction or substance abuse issues, the vast majority of them are receiving treatment nor are they seeking it. Therefore, when a person comes to an addiction treatment center to receive care, it is doubly important to make sure they understand that they are not alone.
One of the best ways to do this is through group therapy. In group therapy, participants come together to discuss their issues maintaining sobriety or the day to day challenges they face in trying to reach or sustain recovery.
In substance abuse group therapy, some common questions or procedures would be:
- Introductions – Be asked to introduce yourself and what your main addiction issues are. This appears deceptively simple however it serves to create the foundation of acceptance. Without acceptance and acknowledgment about where you currently are in your journey.
- Triggers – What stress factors do you think drive you to use. Have you relapsed? If so, looking back what do you think was the trigger which preceded your relapse and how can you best avoid that in the future?
- Keeping Busy – How do you keep busy? Ask any reformed addict or someone who has been in recovery for many years, cravings never stop entirely. You can be sober for 10 years and the desire to have a drink can still come on suddenly. Accepting this as a part of you can go a long way to preventing relapse, just like how someone who may have a problematic relationship to food must accept that they will always be drawn to sweets or be susceptible to stress eating. The best way to keep cravings at bay is to always have things to keep you busy. Hobbies, fulfilling work or responsibilities to your family can be great ways to channel that energy towards something productive.
This TIP (Treatment Improvement Protocol) by the NCBI states that group therapy can be powerful in reducing isolation and treating substance abuse. The reason for this is because humans are intrinsically very group-oriented, as we have lived in this manner for thousands of years.
The effect of being able to witness and learn from the lives and progress of other people uplifts those who are struggling and gives them a positive example to emulate. Having a role model is important when trying to formulate new ideals to aspire towards. These things give hope to people on the road to recovery.
Substance Abuse Group Therapy in Virginia
At Recovery Care Partner, our mission is to provide all the tools necessary for you or a loved one to be on the path to recovery. We pride ourselves on being able to tailor our methods to the unique circumstances every individual possesses. We specialize in interventions and our founder, Don Sloane, has facilitated hundreds of interventions rooted in compassion over the course of 30 years. If you would like to take the first step towards recovery, visit our contact page or reach out to us at (240)-232-5464.Learn More