Why Do I Keep Relapsing? 5 Ways To Become Stronger

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If you find yourself asking this question, either for yourself, a family member, loved one, neighbor or coworker just understand that a relapse is a very normal part of recovery. If you have been through a successful addiction treatment program, experienced a period of sobriety and fell into a relapse, please know you are not alone. Relapses are not uncommon and it does not mean you are a failure. Hope is always an option and there are many resources that can help you. How you react to your situation after experiencing a relapse is critical in your overall road to recovery. In this crucial time, forgiveness is an important factor to express to yourself or your loved one. Learn to forgive yourself or your family member for the recent relapse into substance use.  This is a better, more productive attitude to have that in the long run will help you or your loved one keep striving to maintain their sobriety.

Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.”–National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

It is estimated that 40-60 percent of people who maintain sobriety through rehab, treatment and recovery will relapse into heavy use, while 70-90 percent will relapse and use again at least once. In the medical field, a relapse used to be treated as an uncommon thing but that has largely changed due to the advances in behavioral science and addiction therapy. Sadly, many addicts are stigmatized by society as hopeless drug fiends or treated with the perception that they are a bad person for their substance use. Many of us here in the addiction treatment industry are advocating a different perspective. With addiction being a curable disease, you could compare it to the relapse rates of people with other medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. The rate of relapse into these common medical diseases is close to the same as for people with a substance abuse disorder. Treating this as a medical condition will help ease the stigma associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

As we have seen the overdose epidemic explode in the United States, it is important for us to begin treating this as a serious medical condition, not a criminal activity reserved only for the ‘bad people’ in society. As you are reading this now, most of us know someone dearly who has struggled with some form of substance abuse. While we look to help those closest to us, deep down inside we know there is still a good person underneath the surface of their drug or alcohol addiction.

It is estimated that nearly 72,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in 2017. That’s close to 200 people each and every day. – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

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Finding the right coping mechanisms and staying the course in recovery is the key to overcoming an addiction.

Warning: Your Drug Tolerance Levels Will Change

It is extremely important to note here that many who relapse will overdose their first time because they think they can do as much of the drug as they had been doing before they went through detox and a period of sobriety. Simply put, your body cannot handle as large an amount of the drug, even though they had built up a tolerance over their period of substance abuse. Your tolerance has changed through recovery and you might not be able to handle the “usual dose” as you have in the past and immediately die. We cannot stress this enough, so please keep this in mind throughout your post-recovery stage as most people do not plan to have a relapse.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual in recovery to actively want to change things in their life to help them maintain their newfound sobriety. This is a difficult path to navigate and there are many things you can do to help you avoid the temptation to relapse into substance use.

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Tips on how to overcome a relapse and not give up on your addiction recovery

Specific Risks to Avoid During Your Process of Recovery:

 

  1. Avoid drug-related ‘triggers’: Many in recovery can be tempted to relapse if they are around old hangouts where they used to purchase or consume drugs or alcohol. Even the sight of drug paraphernalia or a drink can be too much to handle for some. Also known as drug-related cues, these thoughts can come from a variety of places, depending on your individual situation. Most treatment programs will help you identify your potential triggers and help you formulate a plan to avoid them.
  2. Be extra cautious during the first 90 days: Most relapses occur during this crucial period of recovery. Your addiction doesn’t simply stop once your detox is completed. For many, addiction can shape your thoughts and behaviors for the rest of your life. The good news is the longer you stay sober, the easier it will be for you to avoid a return to your past substance abuse.
  3. Find help in a structured environment: Rates of relapse are much lower for people who participate in some sort of organized support group after their drug or alcohol detox. Relapse prevention or twelve-step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are great at helping people maintain their sobriety and offer personal help when you feel the urge to use again.
  4. Start creating healthy lifestyle habits: Studies have shown that even a mild amount of exercise can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms for recovering addicts. Eating healthy foods and thinking healthy thoughts are important to developing and rebuilding the self-confidence necessary to maintain your sobriety. Controlling your emotions and developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with difficult situations can greatly increase your success in recovery and sober living.
  5. If you do relapse, don’t be afraid to ask for help (again): When a relapse occurs, know that there are a multitude of resources willing and able to help you break the cycle of your addiction. Sometimes treatment needs to be tried several times before the patient is fully recovered. Remember, relapse is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed about. Your family and loved ones will be happy you were honest and asked for help. Repeated attempts will work eventually and it will help you develop the desire for a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Getting Sleep While Going Through Withdrawals

Remember during the process of getting clean that withdrawal insomnia is only temporary for most people.

The more disciplined you are in following guidelines for good sleep hygiene, the quicker your withdrawal insomnia will disappear. Over time, your sleep patterns will return to normal and, quite often, the simplest things you can do are the best.

  • Establish good sleeping habits. Replace bad habits with healthy ones. Avoid blue light from computer monitors, phones, & televisions. Don’t eat too late. Get a mattress that is just right for you, like a Leesa one.
  • Re-establish your body’s sleep cycle. Addiction can be difficult on your natural sleep cycle and your body may have become accustomed to staying up most of the night, break the cycle with high lumen light therapy early in the day.
  • Real natural alternatives. Drink a delicious cup of warm, herbal tea before bed, try meditation, and stay active during the day. These are just a few natural approaches you can take to improving your sleep. You may want to try cannabis products as a slightly more alternative method. Some assume that smoking cannabis means having to inhale smoke via a bong or a spliff. This is no longer the case as dispensary supplies now cater to a wider audience.

Try these first, as medications of any kind for sleep, usually have their own set of problems.

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Establishing your body’s sleep cycle to a normal pattern will greatly help in early recovery.

Good Sleep Is Crucial To Long-Term Recovery

Establishing good sleep habits — as difficult as that may be — early in your recovery can increase your chances of avoiding a relapse. You will hear this advice from former addicts, recovering alcoholics, and, most likely, your doctors and counselors as well.

A study of cocaine-addicted rats showed that sleep abnormalities increased the chances of relapse. Those animals that were able to have fewer? interruptions and sleep longer were less likely to exhibit cravings for cocaine. The researchers speculate that the same association, even long after the withdrawal period, supports sleep-based therapies for people with cocaine addiction.

This is a very reasonable hypothesis because sleep is one of the keys to a healthy body. That is, after all, one of the goals for overcoming addiction. While it may seem impossible at the moment, whatever you can do to get a decent amount of sleep can help in your long-term recovery.

Source:

Chen B, Wang Y, Liu X, Liu Z, Dong Y, Huang YH. Sleep Regulates Incubation of Cocaine Craving. Journal of Neuroscience. 2015 Sep 30;35(39):13300-10. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1065-15.2015.

DuPont RL. “Should Patients With Substance Use Disorders Be Prescribed Benzodiazepines?” No. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 2017 Mar/Apr;11(2):84-86. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000291.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Commonly Abused Drugs Charts. 2016.

What is Treatment?

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Treatment for an addiction is possible.

Dealing with addiction isn’t for the faint of heart. For someone to understand how to help a loved one or even themselves, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what addiction treatment really is and what to expect. Our admissions team receives many calls and emails inquiring about treatment, but many people are still unaware of what treatment actually is.

The following scenario will be used to help us explain. In order to comply with HIPAA regulations, the names have been changed and we are using a fictional scenario, but it’s based on very real situations. Below is an example of a person calling in for help for the first time. But, what is help in a situation like this?

Real Life. Real Talk.

Arthur: Ummm hello, my name is Arthur and I’m calling because I need treatment.

Tony: Hello Arthur, my name is Tony and I’d be happy to help. Okay Arthur, tell me a little bit about what’s going on. How can we help you?

Arthur: I’m addicted and need treatment.

Tony: Okay Arthur, what is your drug of choice? When was your last use? How long have you been using? Have you had any recent breaks in the usage cycle? Have you ever received treatment before?

Arthur: I use heroin everyday. I’ve never had treatment, but I need it. I know you guys can help me. I’m looking for outpatient. Do you do that?

Tony: Arthur, I’m definitely going to help you as as best as I can. I just want to make sure you get the right help. Do you mind if I ask you what you know about treatment?

Arthur: Nothing, but I need help.

Treatment Isn’t Magic

It seems that some people think that treatment will miraculously solve all of their day to day issues. Although many of us that work in the field of addiction wish we could just wave a wand and cure people indefinitely, it’s just not realistic.

There’s also a misconception treatment is all about medicine. While some stages of addiction treatment and stabilization of individuals rely on medicine, only the detoxification and stabilization period relies on medicinal remedies. The brunt of treatment is takes place in a group or individual therapy setting conducted by psychologists, social workers, therapists, and behavioral health technicians. Above in the example, Arthur knows he needs treatment, but he doesn’t know what treatment is. How does he know he should be at the outpatient level of care? In fact, outpatient treatment should only take place after an individual has achieved educational and motivational milestones over a period of inpatient or residential treatment.

Addiction treatment uses Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) to help diagnose and address possible behavioral issues, trauma, environmental issues and character defects that might cause the patients to behave in a particularly negative manner. EBPs are tested methods of treatment used by professionals to help modify and avoid certain behavioral patterns and thought processes that cause issues such as substance abuse or chronic relapsing. You can read more about EBPs here on the SAMHSA website.

Work Work Work

Treatment isn’t about what the staff at the treatment facility can do for an individual. Rather, it’s mainly about how to take what is learned in treatment and apply that to reality after treatment. Treatment itself requires a lot of hard work and self assessment. In order to solve any problem, one has to be educated on the subject matter. That is why there is such a large emphasis on the education of the disease of addiction in treatment. Without the proper knowledge and coping tools, it’s almost impossible to achieve lasting results.

During the phone conversation, Arthur says, “I know you guys can help me.” While most treatment centers will be able to help educate and provide coping mechanisms, it’s important for the patient to be motivated to help themselves. An effective treatment facility will try to identify an individual’s motivating factors so that they can help a patient build on those things. Whether it’s family, health, or a combination of both, a part of treatment is to help a patient identify what motivates them to want to break their addiction cycle.

Program Manager, Charlie Truslow, has worked with countless individuals here at 10 Acre Ranch spanning over ten years. Charlie knows first-hand that “what you get out of the program depends on what you put into the program. If you don’t change then nothing else will, and if you’re the same person when you’re done with the program then it’s likely that you’ll use again.”

If you’ve ever had to deal with the heartbreak that is addiction, then you’ve probably heard that the person struggling has to be “ready” before they can receive any meaningful help. But what does it mean to be ready? Being ready means that the individual has come to terms with the fact that they have a problem, they can no longer control it and they can not fix the problem alone. Until an individual is able to recognize this, they will not be ready to truly change.

Recognizing “Ready”

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if someone is actually ready to do the work. Some may say all the right things and show all the appropriate signs but in fact, they still might not be ready to do the work. The following examples tend to show an individual’s readiness to change for all the right reasons:

1. They’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. (It’s just not fun anymore…)

2. They genuinely express that their life has become unmanageable and want to change it.

3. They’re concerned with what they’ll lose if the continue their habit. (A job, marriage, etc…)

4. They’ve genuinely begun to ask for help to correct the mistakes they’ve made.

5. They’re willing to accept professional help immediately. Not tomorrow, not next week, NOW.

10 Acre Ranch is a non-profit treatment facility that has been serving Southern California families for over 25 years and we’re ready to help you. Do you have questions about being ready?

If so, or if you or a loved one are ready to get help, please don’t wait, give us a call at (877) 228-4679. Our treatment specialists will get you on the right path to a clean and sober lifestyle.

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Addiction recovery is possible with the right help.

Addiction: Disease or Decision?

If you drive down the streets of Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, or almost any other major city around the country, you are more than likely to notice masses of homeless people who look like they’ve been through hell and back. Unfortunately, a majority of these people are not only homeless, but many of them also tend to be addicts. As professionals in the addiction field, one of the most controversial questions that we come by almost daily is, whether we believe that addiction is a disease or if the addict made a choice to “be this way.” According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) addiction is in fact a disease.

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Getting help for addiction can improve other aspects of your life.

What Makes It A Disease?

Dr. Kevin McCauley, who is also a recovering addict, offers this definition of addiction: “Addiction is a genetic and stress-induced defect in the midbrain and prefrontal cortex dopamine/glutamine reward-learning system resulting in symptoms of decreased functioning, namely:

  • Loss of control.
  • Craving.
  • Persistent use of drug/behavior despite negative consequences.”

Generally, the first time time a person uses a substance or alcohol it might have been a choice, but depending on the substance, there are effects on the circuitry of the brain and internal organs of the body which might have a lasting effect.

While some substances might not immediately cause an addictive reaction, others can immediately hook the unsuspecting soul who thought they would “just try it once”. Even legally prescribed medications can lead to addiction. For example, you most likely already know, there is a terrifying opiate epidemic that is going on today. In fact, due to this epidemic, many health providers have been asked to take the pledge not to prescribe addictive medications unless absolutely necessary.

A person’s genetic inheritance can also have a great deal to do with their likelihood of becoming an addict. Other factors include: metabolism, weight, amount of a substance used, components in the substance being used and several other things that can attribute to whether someone might become addicted or not.

Addiction Revealed.

Having the unfortunate task of hearing several heartbreaking yet necessary stories everyday is just part of what needs to be done in order to figure out how to help a suffering addict. Some people are addicted to porn from websites such as tubev. It can come from a variety of sources. One part of almost all of the stories we hear is the need to maintain. What does that mean?

10 Acre Ranch’s very own Jeffery Burke, Certified Addiction Counselor, explains that neurotransmitter receptors in our brain are developed by different sensations within different environments. Depending on how these neurotransmitter receptors are developed, there can be an increased or decreased likelihood of someone becoming an addict. In other words, when someone is using, their genetics may render their usage involuntary. Some addicts feel the necessity to continue their normal regimen of usage or else they feel they would not be able to function. Bodily functions could literally shut down, they feel it. This is not a myth, but a reality.

For example, if someone was an avid alcoholic and then they decided to quit cold turkey, there is a 50 percent chance that they could experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) could lead to seizures, dehydration, delirium tremens, and even death.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t wait to get help! Call us today.

Our System.

The sad reality is that an addict today has more of a chance winding up in jail than getting into treatment. A majority of the time, our legal system seems to choose punishment over treatment. Would you condone throwing someone in jail because they have diabetes?

Without changing the public perception on addiction, this epidemic will not get better any time soon. We need good doctors to stop prescribing bad medication. We need good officers to stop seeing addicts as criminals. We need good substance abuse rehabilitation facilities to take in addicts and give them the care they deserve. And, we need the politicians to step up and make it easier for people to get help.

We are playing our part and doing everything we can to help as many people as possible. It’s your turn, if you know a struggling addict, don’t wait, call us at (877) 228-4679 and our treatment specialists will assist you on your road to recovery.

Recovery: Setting Goals for 2018

With the New Year upon us, many people in recovery are undoubtedly considering what they’d like to accomplish in the upcoming 365 days. While “future tripping” is frowned upon in recovery, that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals. In fact, writing down a few things that you hope to alter, amend, or add to your life is healthy as long as one is realistic about what you wish to bring to fruition.

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Setting goals for recovery from addiction.

Those who work a program of recovery learn right away that they can no longer have illusions of control. They realize that trying to play God did not have the intended outcome. We must keep in mind that letting go, and allowing one’s “higher power” to preside over the course of your life is a vital component of achieving lasting recovery. We only have the power to make choices and hopefully our decisions today are conducive to addiction recovery.

Your life today consists of doing the next right thing, which you accomplish by being open and honest with not only ourselves but with others too. It’s often said that most anything is possible in recovery, and individuals find that things are made possible through living by the principles of recovery. With that in mind, if there are things you would like to see changed or bring into your life, just keep attending meetings and following directions. Good things happen in the lives of people who stay the course.

Realistic Resolutions In Recovery

Just to be clear, working a program doesn’t mean that your higher power will grant everything you want. However, if you set goals for yourself and go about achieving them by honest means, there is an excellent chance you will see your dreams realized. While people who have been around for a while might set more ambitious goals than someone in early recovery, the vehicle used for progress in one’s life is the same.

If you are in early recovery, maybe you’d like to have cravings disappear. Even though everyone’s desire to use drugs or alcohol dissipates at different times, those who continue to do the work eventually find that their sporadic insatiable urges to use wane. Every time you resist the yearning to get high or drunk, it gets easier. At first, it’s a mental battle; down the road, however, you just brush the yen to use off your shoulder. People in their first year of recovery may have had to resist scores of times in 2017; if you keep doing what you’re doing, you might find it occurs less or not at all in the coming year. Please keep in mind that cravings are normal, not acting on them is progress, and that is a remarkable achievement. A realistic resolution in early recovery is endeavoring to not act on cravings and praying that they one day will be nonexistent.

Resolve to Help Newcomers

Individuals who’ve been around a bit longer might consider talking to more newcomers a goal for 2018. In the hustle of everyday life, we can lose sight of the importance of newcomers, and how vital it is to support their recovery. When we reach out to people who are fresh in recovery, we strengthen our recovery.

Everyone in the program was a newcomer at one point. People introduced themselves to you and made you feel less alone. They invited you to be a part of something life-changing and lent their support to you. Now that you have been around a bit, perhaps you might consider asking a newcomer if they need a ride home or to the meeting. In 2018, consider making it a point to introduce yourself to a newcomer at every meeting you attend. Such a selfless resolution will have a positive effect on your program; you never know what will come from relationships you foster in the program.

Whatever you decide via resolutions, please be realistic about them and emphasize the importance of having one’s motives in the right place. If you do, it will have a positive effect on your life. All of us at 10 Acre Ranch would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and sober New Year’s Eve and a productive 2018 in recovery.

Smart Resolutions for the New Year

If you’re planning to make a New Year’s resolution this year, it’s important to be smart about it. This means staying away from any big and broad resolutions that will just set you up for failure. Instead, to reach your goal and enhance your recovery, you’ll need to pick a resolution that’s specific and realistic. Here are some examples of some common resolutions – and what works and what doesn’t, according to the experts at Men’s Health:

Don’t: Resolve to “take control of your health.”
Do: Resolve to “make an appointment for a yearly physical.”
Why it works: Did you know that nearly one in four men haven’t seen a physician in over a year, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. By vowing to scheduling a visit to your doctor, you’re take a doable and actionable step toward taking control of your health.

Don’t: Resolve to “eat healthier.”
Do: Resolve to “eat two pieces of fruit per day and a salad before dinner.”
Why it works: This works in two ways: For one, it’s easier to focus on one or two things than to overhaul your diet completely. And it eliminates the idea of restricting food, which can lead to binge eating.

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Can food help cure addictions? In the field of drug rehabilitation and recovery from addiction, nutrition is an important part of treatment.

Don’t: Resolve to “exercise every day.”
Do: Resolve to “get moving two or three days a week.”
Why it works: “Going from zero to 100 just isn’t realistic,” obesity specialist Spencer Nadolsky, DO, told Men’s Health. What’s more, if fitness isn’t part of your daily routine, you can easily burn yourself out after a month.

Don’t: Resolve to “save money.”
Do: Resolve to “create and stick to a budget.”
Why it works: Again, saving money is too broad and you need to take small steps to reach this goal. Creating and sticking to a budget gives you the tools to save more, Ted Braun, a certified financial planner, told Men’s Health.

Don’t: Resolve to “stress less.”
Do: Resolve to “incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine.”
Why it works: Whether you meditate daily or practice breathing techniques, these actionable steps will bring results that will motivate you to stick with your resolution.

Helping You Achieve Your Goal
Are you a man 18 or older who has resolved to get sober this year? At 10 Acre Ranch, we have the treatment and support to help you make it happen. Call 877-228-4679 to verify insurance coverage and start the enrollment process, or to speak with a member of our team about your sobriety goals.

Recovery Support This Christmas

recoveryIt’s Christmastime, and for those working a program of addiction recovery, it’s a time for extra vigilance. People who are working a Program must double their recovery efforts to ensure relapse isn’t a part of one’s holiday. This weekend may be the first sober Christmas for some of our readers; as a treatment provider, we’d be remiss for failing to share some helpful advice for making it through the holiday dry.

Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter how much sobriety time you have, important holidays can wreak havoc on anyone’s program. Being around friends and family for extended periods of time can be too much for some. Not having family in one’s life can be extremely difficult for others. Emotions run high this time of year, but that doesn’t mean we have to react to such feelings in unhealthy ways.

The program teaches us to live one day at a time, staying present is vital to the goal of lasting recovery. If we are having a rough day, we know that “this too shall pass;” we know that drinking alcohol or doing drugs will not help us feel better about our current situation. If malaise comes over you this Christmas, you know what you need to do—get to a meeting, share with the group, and call your sponsor.

Staying Close to Recovery Support

Programs of recovery are jeopardized during the high holidays, more times than not, because individuals do not have their finger on their recovery pulse. Some convince them self that their program is stronger than it is, and as a result, they decide to go to a holiday gathering. Once there, such people are usually OK for a little while, and then other party goers start offering them beverages. If one’s program is healthy, a simple “no thank you” should suffice. If a person’s Program is fragile, the temptation may prove too much.

Keep in mind, those in their first year can take part in holiday festivities, but preparations are in order. While the safest course is to stay close to your recovery support network this weekend, we know that some people will attend parties due to a sense of obligation. Please note, you don’t have to attend Christmas parties, rather than risk relapse just don’t go. If you feel you must go to a party, then maybe you can bring a friend who’s in the program. Have your phone charged so you can call someone in the program if you get shaky, such as your sponsor. Go to a meeting before the gathering, and one afterward; even if you don’t feel it’s necessary—go anyway. Better to be safe and sober, than drunk and sorry. If you are planning to go to a party, and you’ve discussed it with your sponsor and home group, here are a few tips:

  • Get a nonalcoholic beverage immediately upon arriving and keep it by your side at all times. People are less likely to pressure you to drink if they think you are already drinking.
  • If someone notices you are not drinking alcohol and inquires, simply inform them that you have to drive; everyone agrees DUIs are not worth the risk.
  • Have a way home from the party, either in your car or have somebody to pick you up. You never want to be beholden to another partygoer in these kinds of situations.
  • Again, if not going to the party better protects your sobriety, strongly reconsider not going to the party at all. If you don’t hang around the pool, you won’t get wet.

A Sober Christmas to All

Everyone working a program of recovery has a lot to be proud of, and you can use such feelings to empower your resolve. Our future depends on continued spiritual maintenance and practicing the principles of recovery in all our affairs. Take stock of the progress you have made, doing so may help you ward off the temptation to drink or drug this Christmas. A relapse-free holiday is the best Christmas present of all.

All of us at 10 Acre Ranch hope you have a sober and safe holiday and if a problem arises, remember, you are not alone.

5 Self-Care Strategies for the Holidays

Are you on your holiday list this year? If not, you should be. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s an act of love and a crucial part of staying sober. Here’s how to maintain your personal health and wellness while managing the holiday season.

1. Just breathe. It’s easy to get swept up in the season and to forget to slow down and breath. Deep breathing is a great relaxation strategy that you can do anytime, anywhere.

2. Set boundaries. Take a minute to slow down and ask yourself: What do I want to gain this holiday season? What traditions are most important to me? What do I value most?

3. Tap into your senses. Our senses are an important yet oft-overlooked part of self-care Think of ways to include sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing in order to rejuvenate your body and mind. Some ideas:

  • Take a bubble bath and light some scented candles.
  • Wrap yourself in a snuggly blanket and watch a holiday movie.
  • Play your favorite music while sipping a cup of soothing tea.

4. Strive for moderation. It’s easy to overindulge this time of year – over scheduling, eating too much, staying up too late and spending too much, for instance – but excessive behaviors can be risky for your recovery. Do enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it. Remember: Your recovery and overall health comes first.

5. Let go of expectations. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time is to give up your expectations of the perfect family with the perfect tree with the perfect gifts. This type of thinking is extremely damaging to your recovery. Letting go of these unrealistic ideals will help you to experience greater joy in the reality of the moment.

May health and happiness be yours this holiday season and throughout the year!

Begin Recovery at 10 Acre
Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean you need to hold off on beginning your recovery journey. If you are a male ready to discover the miracles of addiction recovery, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today. Call: 877-228-4679.

Addiction Recovery in The Music Industry

addictionWith each year that passes, it seems like another talented musician falls victim to addiction and other forms of mental illness. For some people that may feel commonplace; after all, genius is often accompanied by psychological turmoil. On the other hand, most of the general public is shocked when they learn about the passing of a beloved musician. Who can forget the confusion in many people’s mind upon learning of Prince’s death last year, a megastar who was known to rail against substance use and abuse only for Prince to die of a fentanyl overdose!

What we imagine the lives of celebrities to be like is usually miles off the mark. All of us are accustomed to thinking that fame, fortune, and success are impervious to despair; we say to ourselves, ‘how can a person who has everything throw it all away for a high.’ A line of thinking that just goes to show the paradox of addiction; the disease does not care who you are, how many friends you have, and what your financial standing is presently. Everyone has some level of propensity to get caught up in the cycle of substance use when the factors and conditions are just right.

With the year coming to a close, we should all consider the number of people who seemingly had everything, but still could not escape the consequences of untreated mental illness. Some of you were probably saddened to learn of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell’s suicide after struggling with addiction. A short time later Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington followed suit. Just last month, Lil Peep, a young rapper with a promising future ahead of him died of an overdose, he was 21.

Addiction Doesn’t Need to Be The End

It might come as a surprise to learn that there are some mental health resources available for musicians. In fact, it’s not uncommon for meetings of recovery to take place backstage before a concert. The Recording Academy’s charity MusiCares, helps people in the industry get assistance for mental health conditions, such as addiction. The foundation has helped struggling artists get into treatment, and in some cases covers the cost.

“I actually used MusiCares’ Musicians Assistance Program to get sober,” MusiCares board chairman, Michael McDonald, tells Billboard. “They provided two group therapy sessions a week. Eighteen years later, I’m sober.”

It’s also worth pointing out that a significant number of famous musicians have given up drugs and alcohol, adopting a path of addiction recovery. Including, but not limited to Trent Reznor, Billy Joel, Elton John, Flea and Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pete Townshend, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Smokey Robinson, U2 bassist Adam Clayton, Billy Idol, Slash, and the late David Bowie. The list goes on, but you get the idea; recording artists can recover from mental illness, too.

“During the past 13 years, the organization [MusiCares] has provided close to $10 million in ­assistance to nearly 3,000 people in need of help,” said Harold Owens, who assists The Recording Academy’s MusiCares ­foundation address ­substance abuse, addiction and ­recovery in the industry.

You Are Eligible for Addiction Recovery

Alcohol and substance use disorder can affect the lives of anyone, and we can say the same for recovery. It’s sad to learn that the disease wins from time to time, but the list of musicians above is testament that working a program of recovery saves people’s lives. If you are a male struggling with addiction, musician or not, please contact 10 Acre Ranch. We can assist you in realizing your dream of recovery.

Ideas for Sober Holiday Fun

sober fun

For men with a substance use disorder, especially if you’re new to recovery, this time of year can be extra challenging. It may even feel like the only way to survive is to hide away and wait it out. Yet isolating yourself is certainly not the answer. In fact, addiction experts agree that the holiday season is the perfect time to step up your efforts by attending more 12-step meetings and being among your recovery peers as much as possible.

And you should indulge in a little sober fun, too. Try one of these festive and joyful holiday activities:

  • Go caroling. You don’t have to be a trained singer to spread holiday cheer one song at time. It’s bound to become a sober memory you’ll cherish for years to come.
  • Decorate cookies. A cookie decorating party is a great holiday tradition to share with your friends and family. And it doesn’t matter if you make the goodies from scratch or pull them from the freezer aisle; the fun is in the frosting!
  • Lend a helping hand. Giving back is an important part of moving forward in your recovery. And it’s a great reminder to be grateful for your sober life. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, participate in a toy-drive or make holiday cards for patients at your local hospital — all time is well spent.
  • Get active together. Gather some friends and go bowling or ice skating together at an indoor rink. Or, if weather permits, bundle up and play a game of flag football or take an invigorating group hike. It’s the perfect opportunity to exercise and have some clean fun!
  • Plan a sober party. If you’re not ready to attend festivities where alcohol is served, why not plan your own sober party? Make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring a gift for a white elephant gift exchange.
  • Host a holiday movie night. Pop some popcorn and cue up some classics — like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story.”

Relapse Prevention at 10 Acre Ranch
As part of a comprehensive approach to outpatient addiction recovery, clients at 10 Acre Ranch learn important relapse prevention strategies, including anger management, handling social pressures, handling high-risk situations and long-term sobriety planning. Whether you are seeking help for you or a loved one, our all-inclusive residential facility offers one of the industry’s highest recovery success rates. To learn more, call us today: 877-228-4679.