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
800 interventions. 35 years. When you speak to Don Sloane, Founder and Owner of Recovery Care Partner, you have no doubt that you’re speaking to someone who knows and understands substance use disorder and addiction intimately.
Don is a man in long term recovery and knows all too well the reality of this daunting statistic: one in ten Americans suffer from a substance use disorder. Nearly every family is touched by the disease and we have all seen it play out in our own communities. This is why Don has dedicated his career to helping families and businesses learn that addiction is not a curse but rather a disease and that through intervention there is hope and a path to recovery.
This April, as we acknowledge alcohol awareness month and substance use challenges at large, we interviewed Don about what he wishes more people knew about substance use disorder, what he views as warning signs that you or your child might be struggling, and what to be aware of when you’re researching treatment options for you or your loved one.
1. This April marks alcohol awareness month which presents an important opportunity to focus on this specific substance use issue. What do you wish more people knew about alcohol addiction?
In 2017, 65,000 lives were lost to opiates. Over 80,000 lives were lost to alcoholism. The opiate crisis is tragic, but it’s also important not to overlook other forms of substance use that are taking lives: alcohol addiction is the third leading cause of death in America after cancer and heart disease. It is the most treatable, but also the one with the fewest number of people seeking treatment and care. The reason is multi-layered. Alcoholism is tightly wound in decades of stigma; it’s deeply personal, cultural, psycho-emotional and because there can be a genetic predisposition, it’s often linked to generational use and is embedded in the fabric of families. The hidden tragedy is that substance use, like alcoholism, not only impacts the person who has the disease but it can have a particularly powerful ripple effect. It’s estimated that seven to eight people in a person’s community (peers, friends, family) can be directly and adversely impacted by someone who has an addiction.
2. What about alcohol addiction in young people?
There really is no distinction between alcoholism and addiction other than the drug of choice. For some, they may only use alcohol, others may use prescription or street drugs or some combination of both. Regardless of the drug of choice, addiction is an addiction. Roughly 10-20% of people use only alcohol in an addictive way.
What we do see is that for the 10% of the population that is genetically predisposed to substance use disorder addiction they tend to first present in late adolescence or as college-age adults. This time in life can be a key turning point. If there is a co-occurring disease that a young person is already struggling with, this can trigger or ‘turn on’ the addiction once they reach a certain age or face specific pressures – of which there is no shortage once a young person leaves home, goes to college or enters into the workforce for the first time.
3. What are some warning signs that your adolescent or young adult child may have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol?
This is best explained by recalling one of the most common things I hear from parents and families – a parent will come to me and say, “Don, my kid was an honor student with a full scholarship to play sports at X school,” (or something along those lines), “Now, I feel like I don’t know them anymore. Are we crazy here? How can they not see this?”
4. Does someone (a young adult, adolescent or adult) have to drink daily to have an alcohol use problem?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that there is a continuum between what we see as alcohol or substance ‘use’ and what we consider alcohol or substance abuse: the disease.
There are people (90% of the population, in fact) who use alcohol, who even self-medicate or soothe with alcohol, but who don’t suffer from an addiction.
Then there is an invisible line on that continuum — and it can sometimes be hard to see where that line is — where an individual crosses from having the ability to choose to drink to losing the option or choice of using. At that point, the substance use becomes chronic and progressive in nature. A key characteristic of the active disease is that it starts to manifest with adverse impacts on your life – at school, at work, at home. In this way, it is completely possible that someone can have an addiction but only drink three times a year, but when they do, they end up in jail or in the hospital. On the other hand, you could drink a glass of wine — or many — daily, and not be considered an addict at all.
5. What do you think makes the structure/philosophy of Recovery Care Partner particularly helpful for young people and families struggling with addiction?
Treatment professionals know how to effectively treat this disease (and there are strong statistics that indicate that it can be treated – a survey conducted on doctors who underwent a strict treatment plan in 2009, found that 80% were still abstinent after 5 years). Our approach (and that of places we are confident referring to and working with like The Dorm), is to recommend three key parts of establishing a sustainable recovery: participation in a 12-step program, an accountability structure and random screening. I would add to that: love, compassion, clarity and firmness. By clarity and firmness, I mean that it is possible to love your child/friend or partner to death if you don’t know how to draw the line and establish healthy boundaries and limits. Compassion can be saying, “We can’t have a relationship right now if you refuse the help you so desperately need.”
6. What challenges do you see in the field of substance use, addiction and recovery care, particularly as it relates to young adults today?
• Marijuana. As marijuana becomes legalized, we’re seeing more and more young people using it than ever before. And many individuals don’t know that marijuana can ‘switch on’ mental health issues and even psychosis (for those who have a genetic predisposition). People forget that though alcohol is legal it remains the third biggest killer in the United States; just because something is legal doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful.
• Many families struggle to realize that the entire family unit might need support, not just the individual in isolation. Plucking a child from their dorm, or life, and sending them to treatment, only to return them to the same situation and dynamic, is nonsensical. I’m encouraged to see more service providers that keep families involved through family therapy or that go so far as to have them live with a child during therapy as part of a family restructuring.
7. On the flip-side, what makes you optimistic about supporting individuals in need today versus when you started Recovery Care Partners in 2009?
There is always, of course, a lot to be optimistic about, but right now the most glaring shift I’ve seen versus ten plus years ago is how much therapy and recovery programming has become big business. Many providers have opened up that simply have deep pockets. The treatment industry is estimated to be worth $35B in the United States and there are many groups and investors willing to take advantage of this and have acted irresponsibly. I see many, many families who have spent their hard-earned discretionary money with a treatment center, only to be left more fractured and desperate than before.
The good news is that there are plenty of ethical and value-based providers, many of whom are members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) who has started lobbying on Capitol Hill in the hopes of enacting change and encouraging more oversight.
8. It’s an important point and a worrying trend. What recommendations do you have for families and young people who are trying to find legitimate and value-based care for addiction?
A few things:
• Trust your gut – I truly believe that you know when you’re being ‘taken for a ride’. Does the person on the other side of the call sound like they are interested in providing care, or taking your money? If one of the first or second questions they ask is, “What is your insurance?”, hang up. Plain and simple.
• Speak to your community and to individuals who have gone through what you have. Oftentimes, they will become the biggest advocates for the resources that have worked for them. Look up resources on Al-Anon or ask around in your 12-step groups. Also, look up providers on SAMHSA and NAATP that have been more thoroughly vetted.
9. Anything else you want to share that we didn’t already cover?
I do want people to know that there is hope — no guarantees — but plenty of hope.
When people look for treatment, be it for cancer or heart disease, they don’t hesitate or pause to seek out care or help, even if there is a 50% success rate. For many reasons I’ve covered, this is not the case with substance use addiction, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
And, please stop Googling. The best step is to seek out professional support. It’s there, I promise you.Learn More
Not all people are created equal; neither are interventionists. A person that is severely addicted – whether it is gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex, food, or other means – will typically not want to go to treatment. The job of an interventionist is simple: interrupt an addicted person’s negative life choices long enough to hopefully inspire a change, such as agreeing to go to an inpatient rehab. The goal of any intervention is to ultimately help and heal the addicted person, and subsequently, the health of the family.
What to Look for in an Interventionist
Research suggests that interventions work about 9/10 times. An intervention lets an addict know that their behavior is clearly over the line; it lets an addict know that they are not just hurting themselves but that they are negatively affecting the people that are closest to them. Our interventionists aim to educate, encourage, and support your loved one during their battle with addiction. Aiding the process of transitioning into a sober life often starts with an intervention, so it is key to hire an experienced professional the first time-round.
- Look for an interventionist that has a long and successful track record. How many interventions have they facilitated? What is their success rate and how long have they been practicing?
- An interventionist needs to think quickly, calmly, and efficiently. They are trained to handle an addict’s rebuttals in a calm and controlled manner. The job of an interventionist is not to shame or attack the addict; rather, their job is to make an addict understand that the intervention is coming from a place of love.
- If your addicted loved one has a dual-diagnosis, such as a mental health disorder like anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia, be sure to tell the interventionist or addiction consulting service ahead of time. Many interventionists specialize in dual-diagnosis cases, and they can be a valuable asset when trying to get the help your loved one needs.
- Often times, interventionists can partner with your health insurance to provide a reduced rate. Getting your loved one the help he/she needs doesn’t have to leave your family crippled with debt.
- The interventionist should always have an emphasis on the involvement of the family. Gathering the addict’s circle of friends, partner, and family is an effective way to gently nudge them in the right direction. An interventionist should understand the importance of friends and family and how they can help an addict finally take the first step.
- An interventionist should have a clear plan laid out. Is the goal inpatient treatment? Is it anger management? Is it getting back on their medication? Every step needs to be thought through thoroughly to determine the best course of action.
Interventionist in Virginia
Recovery Care Partner understands the importance of interventions. Addiction is a crippling disease that is also the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Professional support is not just recommended; it requires a trained professional to tackle something as important as this. We treat life-threatening circumstances with compassion, love, and understanding, while being firm, professional, and clear in direction. We highly choreograph and plan our interventions to deal with the anger, fear, and anxiety that will ultimately arise from the situation. We offer interventionists in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Connecticut, and the DC/Baltimore region.
If you are ready for change, contact us at (855) 727-2887 or visit our contact page for more information.Learn More
A healthier lifestyle should be a necessary component to anyone that is recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Recovery is an ongoing process that needs to include multiple avenues of treatment. This may include 12-step meetings, working with a therapist, talking with sober supports and friends, hiring a sober escort or companion, staying active, and eating healthy. Support for your mental wellness should be just as important as support for your physical well-being. A strong mind and a strong body will help ease the transition from addiction to a sober lifestyle.
Post-Treatment Addiction Consulting
While Recovery Care Partner offers post-treatment support such as sober escorts, sober companions, and sober transport, a certain degree of personal responsibility needs to come from the addict themselves. Maintenance of a healthy lifestyle can be achieved through outdoor activities, group activities, exercise, proper nutrition, and mindfulness meditation and exercises. 12-step meetings don’t hurt either!
Exercise in Early Recovery
Exercise has been scientifically proven to boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These two “feel-good” hormones can contribute to better sleep, better mood, and an overall improved sense of well-being. It’s a smart idea to adopt a new exercise program or regime to help bolster yourself in early recovery.
Many people benefit from group fitness classes such as CrossFit, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning classes, and group weightlifting exercises. Finding other sober people that enjoy the same physical activities as you can not only motivate you to achieve better physical health; it can also help build new sober friendships and relationships.
Having sober friends can make all the difference in early sobriety, as it gives you a chance to connect with people who have gone through similar things. Many people do not understand just how devastating and debilitating addiction can really be. This is why having people that can relate to your experiences can make all the difference; they are also people that you can attend meetings with. Many former addicts in recovery state that the friends they made in early recovery have been friends for years.
Try activities such as rock climbing, camping, hiking, martial arts, kayaking, paddle boarding, and going to the beach! Group sports such as volleyball, basketball, and flag football are also great ways to build friendships and comradery.
Nutrition for a Recovering Body
Fueling your body with the right food is absolutely necessary! Early recovery is tough and many people choose to make it even more difficult by not giving their body the proper nutrition it requires. A body weakened by drug and alcohol addiction needs time to recover, so make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and legumes. Try to avoid foods that can cause mood crashes, such as processed foods, sugary drinks, soda, and processed sugar. While pizza is fine once in a while, try not to make it a daily occurrence!
Drinking enough water will help keep you hydrated and feeling healthy, so make sure not to neglect drinking this vital substance. Here are just a few examples of healthy food to help get you started:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, peaches, plums, mangos, and avocados.
- Lean Meats: turkey, sirloin steak, chicken, ham, and turkey.
- Fish: salmon, trout, halibut, swordfish, tuna, mackerel, herring, haddock, mahi mahi, and catfish.
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, onion, asparagus, beets, carrots, peas, corn, sweet potatoes, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, chard, and red cabbage.
- Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and navy beans.
- Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, pasta and crackers, millet, bulgur, and buckwheat.
Mindfulness Exercises for a Calm Brain
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool, especially when used with other therapies. Mindfulness meditation means quieting your brain and becoming an observer to your thoughts; it means not emotionally reacting to negative feelings and deliberations. Zen can be thought of as the moment before a thought, and many people practice for a lifetime to try and reach this state. No one is perfect with their practice; trying your best is all that you should ask of yourself and others.
Mindfulness meditation groups can often be found within yoga groups and classes or through certain therapists. Ask around! You’ll never know what you may find through this powerful practice.
Addiction Counseling and Intervention Specialists
You can only help a person as much as they want to help themselves; this is why it is so important for an addict to take personal responsibility and care for their mental and physical well-being.
Recovery Care Partner offers people that are currently facing addiction – as well as recovering addicts – the chance to help them land on their feet. Everyone, at some point in their lives, is going to need a little help from others.
This is where Recovery Care Partner shines. Our sober companions and sober transition coaching offers people in early recovery the tools to help succeed in life; life skills augmentation, proper nutrition, mindfulness exercises, exercise regiments, resume writing, and skill building are all facets that our sober companions and addiction coaches love to teach.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, or you need some additional support yourself while going through early recovery, do not hesitate to call Recovery Care Partner at (855) 727-2887. You can also reach us via our contact page by clicking here.
Respect your body. It’s the only one you get.Learn More
Breakups can be incredibly difficult. The end of a romantic relationship brings fear of the unknown, many “would-haves” or “should-haves”, and intense feelings of loss. Do not use this pain to justify a relapse; use this pain to create something beautiful with your life. Sure, the relationship is over and done and you’re hurt. Accept that the pain is temporary and move on. It is very important to deal with the breakup as healthily and quickly as possible, and to always put your sobriety as the number one thing in your life.
Feel the Pain, but Don’t Wallow
Do not try to resist the pain of a breakup. It hurts. This is a normal human reaction to the loss of a romantic relationship. Psychological discomfort is completely natural and is part of the normal grieving process; don’t be too hard on yourself! Unbearable suffering can occur if you resist this type of pain. Remember that it will get better soon.
If you loved someone, you are going to feel pain after a breakup. In fact, it would be very abnormal if you didn’t feel bad! Be comfortable being uncomfortable and try not to wallow in the pain. There is no right way or wrong way to recover from a breakup, but there are a couple things to avoid. If checking their social media, wearing old clothes, or romanticizing a future with them is painful, then you must do everything in your power to redirect these thoughts when they occur. Think about the future. Be your best friend.
Show Yourself Some Love
Become an expert in self-compassion. Don’t allow negative self talk to dominate your head. Any time you have a negative thought or start obsessing about the past or your ex, change your inner dialogue to words filled with love, self-encouragement, and a promise of a better future. Don’t “pain-shop” by looking at the pictures you took together or their social media profiles. Exes are exes for a reason.
This is a powerful tool used by thousands of people going through a breakup, regardless of whether or not they are in sobriety. Mindfulness is rather simple in theory but can often be difficult to practice:
• Observe your thoughts, emotions, and feelings in a more objective way. Do not think of them as your own thoughts. Just observe and let them pass.
• Here is a Buddhist metaphor: people are often hit with two arrows, when they only need to be hit by one. The first arrow is the event, and the second is the pain attached to the event. The second arrow is the unnecessary pain caused by resistance to the event. One of the main goals of mindfulness is to avoid the pain of the second arrow and to relish in the first. The pain passes faster if you are only hit with one.
Go to More AA Meetings
During this difficult time, you need to surround yourself with like-minded sober people. Don’t text your ex or their family asking for a second chance. Take comfort in the fact that millions of people have gone through breakup and heartbreak and have come out on the other side as better people. Hang out with your family and friends and do your utmost to avoid isolation or isolating activities. This is paramount to your success in early recovery.
Sobriety is Your Number One Priority
Even though a breakup can be very painful, sobriety should remain your number one priority. Do not feel embarrassed about the breakup, no matter what you said. What is in the past is in the past and you must look towards the future for growth. Learn from the experience and think about the lessons your learned in the relationship. It can be a tempting thing to blame the other person, but it takes two to tango; consider the part you played in the relationship and then take ownership for your actions. Remember: there’s a difference between taking ownership and wallowing in self-pity.
Sober Companion and Sober Coaching Services
If you or a loved one is going through a breakup in early recovery, a sober escort, companion, or coach can help you transition from the early phases of post-treatment into a healthy and sober life. We are addiction specialists that have experience in every part of the healing process; from intervention and rehabilitation, all the way to post-treatment and recovery care monitoring, Recovery Care Partner is here to get you or your loved one that is struggling with addiction back on their feet.Learn More