Are Drugs Drying Up During Quarantine?

are-drugs-drying-up-during-quarantine-addiction-treatment-Riverside-California-COVID-19-testing-detox-safely

All across the globe, people are feeling the effects of Covid-19. Also commonly known as the Coronavirus, Covid-19 has caused widespread panic as the rates of infection continue to grow increasingly higher. This pandemic has caused major disruptions to everyone’s daily way of living, even for drug addicts. As we witness this unprecedented time in history, even the manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs has been affected. Many items, including drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

Many of us have never seen a time in our lives where shelves in grocery stores remain nearly empty as masses of people panic buy items for safekeeping. This virus has also caused economic shut downs, calling for the forced closure of any business deemed non-essential. While the world has slowly tried to return back to normal we are still reminded that this is not over yet. Along with the shutdown of businesses, and the laying off of millions people, has come the restrictions on travel.

Covid-19 has severely impacted day-to-day living.

are-drugs-drying-up-quarantine-social-distancing-addiction-Riverside-CA-drug-rehab-mental-health-care
The COVID-19 pandemic has not just affected our physical health. Many struggle with mental health issues due to social distancing and fear of these uncertain times.

The coronavirus has caused a number of ramifications on daily life, that are more than surface deep. One issue at the forefront of discussion, at least for some, is the impact it has had on the substance abuse community. Early records indicate that there has been an increased rate of relapse among those in sobriety, this is in part due to unemployment and stimulus money. Seeing as how we are now a few months into this pandemic one may begin to wonder what effect that has had on the drug community in terms of access to their substance of choice?

Drug use has increased, even as the supply of drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

 

While data shows that there has been an increase of drug trade activity, primarily in England, on the dark web, an area of the internet that requires certain knowledge or software in order to access, the majority of the drug trade in the United States has all but dried up. Of course, that is not to say that there is no way to continue getting drugs, because most addicts will find a way. But, for several reasons, the illegal drug trading market has also taken a nose-dive during this time of quarantine and self-isolation.

A major reason why drug dealing has taken a hit is because of a rather obvious reason– the lockdowns that were being enforced across the country. With less and less people going out, drug dealers and buyers who were used to meeting face-to-face somewhere like in the supermarket parking lot would likely be putting themselves more at risk of getting caught as they could easily be seen as most people were at home or otherwise practicing social distancing. Social distancing has also led to a sharp decline in club drugs, such as ecstasy, as people were no longer able to gather together and use drugs to party. This has also led to an increase in pricing, which in turn has also caused some people to stop buying certain drugs on such a frequent basis.

illegal-drugs-drying-up-quarantine-COVID-19-coronavirus-addiction-substance-use-disorder-marijuana-heroin-crystal-meth-rehab-SoCal
People often turn to drug use during stressful or unstable times. This has increased dramatically during the coronavirus global pandemic.

The closing of stores also seems to have had a major impact as addicts who made their money by criminal activity, such as pawing stealing items or shoplifting, were now left without a way to make money and support their habit. Without many options to “hustle” or make money to buy these drugs that are being steeply priced, this left many addicts without another option.

As the supply of drugs is drying up, drug street prices have increased.

A major increase in prices across the globe has also become a major concern for those in the illegal drug trade or black market. Many suppliers are being faced with shipment difficulties, causing them to hike up their prices as uncertain availability seems  to loom somewhere in the near distant future. There has been a huge spike in prices for many drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and spice (synthetic marijuana). Additionally, a large number of suppliers in the illegal drug trade operate their business out of China, a known source of the coronavirus outbreak.

Another explanation for why the drug supply in America is drying up is the increased restrictions on United States borders. Due to this, many Mexican drug cartels are suffering as the transportation of illegal drugs across different countries has become more and more difficult. Many dealers became worried about a border shut down and retreated back to their hometowns in Mexico, leaving a huge hole in the local drug trade of many cities.

government-crackdown-drugs-drying-up-quarantine-travel-restriction-addiction-treatment-California-Mexico
As the government cracks down on the illegal drug trade, availability of certain street drugs is decreasing in American cities.

While the drug trade drying up may sound like a good thing to some, and surely it is, but, what many people may not be aware of are the further implications that this has caused on the drug abusing population. As addicts are now having to look for new sources they are also having to adjust to different products whose strength to them is highly unknown. Unfortunately, has led to an increase of drug-related overdoses even though many drugs are not as readily available.

get-help-for-addiction-treatment-drug-rehab-Riverside-California-SoCal

People with an addiction are finding other, sometimes more dangerous ways to maintain their drug habit.

Another factor to consider in all of this is what happens when an addict is cut off from their drug of choice? Many of them are unable to stop using drugs on their own, and will turn to other substances, such as heroin or alcohol, in order to continue getting high. This can have major ramifications as people are not used to dealing with that certain substance, this issue has also led to an increased number of unwanted overdoses.

There still remains a huge gap in data as far as how exactly the illegal drug trade has suffered, and just how deep it goes exactly, due to the coronavirus. But many addiction specialists and law enforcement agencies agree that, for the most part, there has been a significant decrease in drug availability. Although that seems to be true, there has also been an increase in overdoses, largely related to opioids, along with increased rates of relapse, as this epidemic continues.

quarantine-isolation-alone-drug-use-addiction-recovery-southern-California-drug-rehab-detox
Isolation can be incredibly difficult for an addict, or someone who is in recovery. Reach out for help. It’s never too late to turn your life around!

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from a substance abuse disorder, especially during these trying times, then we are here to help. We have many trained addiction specialists who are able and ready to help get you back on track to a healthy and fulfilling life of sobriety, even during quarantine.

Do not hesitate to call, we are here 24/7.

(877)-228-4679

Sleep and Addiction: Is Sleeping Too Much Okay?

addiction-recovery-sleep-over-sleeping-drug-detox-Riverside-California-SoCal

Anyone who has ever gone through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or anyone who has ever watched a loved one struggle with one, knows firsthand just how difficult that journey to sobriety can be. An addiction, or substance use disorder, can wreak havoc on all areas of a person’s life. It can cause financial hardship, deterioration in health, loss of one’s job, homelessness, death, etc. Addiction can also have a devastating effect on a person’s sleep. Some people end up sleeping too much, which can result in other problems for your ultimate recovery from your addiction.

Addiction is often defined as “a brain disease brought on by chronic drug use that interferes with and makes changes to brain circuitry and chemistry, and these changes lead to compulsive drug using behaviors.” These changes in the brain are also what lead to both long-term and short-term sleep difficulties. The connection between drug use and sleep often goes both ways; substance abuse can hinder a person’s ability to sleep, and subsequently, difficulty with one’s sleep can also lead to an addiction or substance abuse problem as people turn to them in order to help them fall asleep.

over-sleeping-too-much-addiction-recovery-LA-CA-drug-rehab-near-me
Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms from an addiction can cause problems with your sleep schedule, which can result in over-sleeping.

Unfortunately, once someone achieves sobriety, this problem doesn’t just go away. During the first week of sobriety, most people experience some level of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. While the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced can differ depending on things like that type of drugs that were used, the amount of drugs that were used, and how long the person has been using those drugs or alcohol, problems with sleep remain the most common withdrawal symptom regardless of what substances were being used.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep in Sobriety

If you are like millions of other Americans who are new to recovery, then here are a few tips to help you get restful sleep while still maintaining your sobriety.

  • Stick to a Schedule- If you used drugs or alcohol shortly before bed, then it can be even more difficult to fall asleep once you get sober as your brain is no longer sure when it is time to go to bed. Creating a new, and healthy, sleep schedule is essential to getting good sleep while sober. Going to bed at the same time every night will help let your brain know when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Have a Nightly Routine- While this may be difficult for those who work odd hours or those who don’t have a set schedule, doing the same thing each and every night before you go to bed will help ensure you fall asleep faster. Try doing a light exercise 30 minutes before you go to sleep, or read your favorite book for an hour. This will also help train your brain when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Eliminate Screen Time- Research has shown that electronic devices, such as computers, phones, or TVs, can have a negative impact on the quality of one’s sleep. Cutting back on the amount of screen time you have, at least one hour before bed, can greatly reduce the chance of disrupting the quality of sleep.
  • Create a Space for Sleeping- Limit the amount of extracurricular activities you do while in bed, such as checking your phone, watching TV, or stressful conversations with your partner. This will help train your brain that the bed is where you sleep, not for everything else.

These are just a few tips you can implement to help increase the quality of your sleep, especially early on in recovery.

sleeping-too-much-addiction-recovery-sobriety-drug-rehab-detox-alcohol-mental-health
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to help you maintain sobriety, early in your recovery from an addiction.

Effects of Oversleeping

While sleep is essential early on recovery, there is still a chance that you could be sleeping too much. There is a difference between getting the right amount of sleep needed to recover and simply just getting too much sleep to begin with. It may sound absurd at first because whoever thought you could get too much sleep, but it is possible. The amount of sleep needed can vary depending on the individual, but most experts agree that anything above 10 hours for an adult is considered to be too much.

Oversleeping can be a sign of many underlying issues, such as depression and heart disease. The effects of oversleeping are much like the effects of not getting enough sleep to begin with. Getting enough sleep especially while undergoing withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is essential as the brain and body need this time to repair itself. However, a person can sleep too much. Here are a few side effects associated with getting too much sleep;

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Depression
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Higher risk of overall mortality (death)
withdrawal-symptoms-drug-alcohol-rehabilitation-Riverside-CA-addiction-treatment-healthy-sleep-tips
Sleeping too much can become a problem in addiction recovery.

The importance of a healthy sleeping schedule in addiction recovery

Just like with anything in life, having a proper sleep schedule requires a good amount of balance. While it is important to get enough sleep to ensure a successful sobriety, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much. We know that this can be a struggle for many Americans, as nearly 70 million people in the United States all suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. There has long been a connection between sleep problems and substance abuse disorders, that is because many drugs and alcohol disrupt that natural circuit in the brain. Not only that, but there is also a link between poor sleep and the rate of relapse. For those in recovery, and anyone else who might be curious, we hope that this information was useful to you!

If you, or a loved one, are new to recovery and are having a difficult time with getting the right amount of sleep, then please reach out to an addiction specialist today. There is no shame in asking for help, especially when you need it! We know what a huge struggle trying to get enough sleep can be, especially early in the road to recovery, that is why we are here and we are always ready to help! We wish you the best!

 

(877) 228-4679

 

Can Brain Imaging Help Beat Drug Addiction?

addiction-disease-brain-mental-health-California-crisis-center-drug-rehab-Riverside-CA

The word addiction itself comes from the latin phrase meaning “enslaved to” or “bound by”. Addiction is a disease of the brain that is characterized by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite the user having experienced severe negative consequences throughout their everyday lives, such as job loss, relationship problems, or extreme poverty. People who suffer from this disease experience compulsive behavior related to using drugs and alcohol, they are unable to stop doing them even though they know it will cause further problems in life or keep them from bettering their situation entirely.

People with substance abuse problems have distorted thinking, behavior, and bodily functions. However, not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol will become addicted, there are many factors that can lead to someone developing an addiction, such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors like peer pressure, and dynamics in the family and home. When someone begins using drugs or alcohol, a surge of chemicals, mainly dopamine, are released inside the brain. Dopamine is often referred to as the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, this chemical is released naturally in the brain when we experience pleasurable moments like eating a delicious meal or participating in your favorite activity. When a person continuously uses drugs or alcohol, our brains begin to rely on this surge of chemicals and it needs them in order to function properly.

Riverside-Los-Angeles-drug-alcohol-addiction-treatment-CA

Disease is any condition that changes the way an organ functions, much like how heart disease permanently damages the heart. With prolonged and repeated use of drugs and alcohol, the brain begins to change over time, creating new pathways for these chemicals to go back and forth between neurons. This ultimately causes changes to the brain’s structure and the way the brain functions, some of these changes are even permanent. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in many ways but there are 3 areas that are most heavily affected.

Areas of the Brain Affected by Drugs and Alcohol

  • Basal Ganglia- This area of the brain plays an important role in positive forms of motivation and our habit forming principles. This area of the brain allows us to feel pleasure and when it becomes inundated by drugs and alcohol it becomes less sensitive to the natural reward system, making it difficult to feel pleasure without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Extended Amygdala- The extended amygdala plays an important role in producing feelings such as anxiety, irritability, and overall uneasiness, which are typically synonymous with feelings of withdrawal. With repeated use of drugs and alcohol, this area of the brain becomes more sensitive, causing the user to seek drugs and alcohol again to avoid these negative feelings.
  • Prefrontal Cortex- Perhaps the most crucial of all, this area of the brain plays an important role in the ability to think, plan, solve problems, make decisions, and exert self control over impulses. This is also the last part of the brain to mature, making teens more susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. When drugs and alcohol are repeatedly used, it shifts the circuits from stress, to reward, to lack of impulse control, ultimately creating a situation where drugs and alcohol have taken over.

How Brain Imaging Can Help Fight Addiction

With the evolution of science, this has changed the model of addiction. What was once seen as lacking moral fortitude or the ability to control one’s actions, scientists and doctors now understand that it requires more than good intentions to fight this disease. Now widely recognized as a brain disease and cataloged as a mental health disorder, doctors and scientists have been conducting brain imaging studies in order to better understand how to effectively treat and manage this chronic disease.

Since addiction causes changes to the brain, there are differences when comparing brain image scans of a non addict to an addict. Areas like the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, show major differences that can be attributed to the lack of self control in addicts and their inability to stop using drugs and alcohol. Using brain scans to help treat addiction has shown significant promise to recovering addicts and their families. Aside from the medical standpoint, brain scans help in many ways when it comes to recovery.

SoCal-drug-rehab-addiction-recovery-science-evidence-based-treatment-California

How Brain Scans Help Recovering Addicts

  • Brain Scans Don’t Lie- Brain scans clearly show toxic damage and exposure that is caused by drugs or alcohol. These illegal substances negatively impact areas of the brain that play an important role in being able to control one’s emotions and critical thinking abilities, brain scans show the damage left by drugs and alcohol.
  • Brain Scans Reveal Effects of Drugs- Seeing as how brain scans don’t lie, it is much easier to understand the correlation between drug and alcohol use and the visible damage caused by them. Substances like marijuana and nicotine cause significant changes in brain function and even everyday things like sugar can impact the way our brains operate on a daily basis.
  • Brain Imaging Shows That There is More Than One Addiction- Through brain imaging, we have been able to gain a deeper understanding into addiction. Now, addiction can be broken down into different categories.
    • Compulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive-Compulsive Addicts
    • Sad or Emotional Addicts
    • Anxious Addicts
    • Temporal Lobe Addicts

Researchers have gained valuable insight into how to effectively treat and manage multiple types of addiction, instead of grouping them all together.

  • Brain Imaging Helps to Break the Stigma and Shame- For years, decades even, addiction was treated as a lack of will power and moral discipline. With the advancement of technology, brain scans prove that drugs and alcohol alter the structure of the brain. An addict who is suffering may also feel as though it is all their fault, brain imaging helps show that addiction is a disorder of the brain.
  • Brain Scans Help Remove Denial- Many people with addictions are in denial that they even have a problem. When an addict is confronted with a brain scan image that shows visible damage from drugs and alcohol, it is difficult to deny that there is an underlying issue.
  • Brain Images Help Families Understand- Much like when an addict is shown their brain on drugs, when a family member is shown the scans of loved one it can help remove any blame they place on each other knowing that addiction is a result of chemical and structural changes to the brain, not something they did personally.
  • Brain Scans Can Reveal Co-occurring Disorders- Another benefit when using brain imaging as an additional tool to combat addiction is that it can also reveal co-occurring disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, depression, or ADHD. In order to heal from addiction, these issues also need to be addressed.
  • Brain Scans Give Hope- Being able to see that your brain is toxic can be a great motivator. Brain scans also make it easy to track the progress of an individual throughout their treatment plan and their sobriety. Using before and after pictures can help someone stay motivated by being able to actually see the healing of their brain.

With a deeper understanding of addiction, we hope to remove the stigma surrounding it. There is no shame in asking for help, if you or someone you know are addicted to drugs, reach out to us for help today! We have many treatment programs available designed to fit your needs.

 

(877) 228-4679

Why Do I Keep Relapsing? 5 Ways To Become Stronger

California-drug-rehab-Riverside-addiction-treatment-substance-abuse

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)


 

relapse-prevention-techniques-drug-abuse-recovery
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.

 

why-do-I-keep-relapsing-overcoming-addiction-CA-drug-rehab
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.

Conflict Management in the Workplace: 4 Strategies

photo of some people in the office during a meeting

Finding a career that’s rewarding (professionally and financially) is an important milestone that signals the successful transition into adulthood. You’re finally able to support yourself, become more independent and begin a new chapter of your life.

You might be surprised to learn that one of the most important factors influencing your success in the workplace is how you relate with your coworkers. In virtually every line of work, employees need to be able to collaborate and work together to get the job done. And, when disagreements and conflicts do arise, it’s critical to work through those situations in a productive way. This can help you avoid turning to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with unresolved stress and resentment.

4 Strategies for Dealing with Conflict at Work

(1) Understand when to alert management.

While you can handle many conflicts directly, it is important to note that serious workplace issues (like harassment based on age, gender, race) should be addressed by human resources. When in doubt, ask your manager.

(2) Be honest and open with the person.

If a coworker does something that irritates or offends you (like interrupting you repeatedly during meetings), complaining to other coworkers won’t solve the problem at hand. Have the courage to speak with the person directly and privately – and calmly talk about what happened. Chances are, they may not even be aware of their behavior and how it is affecting you.

(3) Listen carefully.

After you’ve had a chance to share your thoughts, give them the same professional courtesy and be open to their response. Try to really understand their point of view.

(4) Stay positive.

Keep an open mind. Don’t go into the discussion thinking that the other person intentionally tried to put you down or make you frustrated. You’re not a mind-reader so don’t jump to conclusions.

Learning conflict management skills for the workplace is a valuable skill to develop. By addressing issues early, and in a healthy manner, you can help protect your sobriety and create a more open and honest dialogue with your coworkers.

Interpersonal Skills Development at 10 Acre Ranch

Because substance abusers tend to spend time with enablers, dealers, and other negative influences over the course of their addiction, they often distance those they love. Many people withdraw into isolation to avoid the consequences of their behavior while others develop unhealthy codependent friendships. Our Southern California rehab for men is built around a social treatment model that helps residents develop healthy interaction patterns. Interpersonal skills are crucial to long-term addiction recovery and are taught as part of our group therapy curriculum. Call (877) 228-4679 to learn more.

Battling Addiction…with Gratitude?

man writing in a gratitude journal

If you’re grappling with addiction and searching for the path to recovery, you’ve likely researched the advanced treatments available today – things like cognitive behavioral therapy, disease education classes and comprehensive life skills training. Though, you might be surprised to learn that one of the most effective ways of overcoming substance abuse is actually very simple. It’s all about acknowledging and expressing gratitude for the gifts you have been given in life.

Being thankful for the simple things can actually help you on your journey to addiction recovery in a lot of ways. It can help you see that you are worth fighting for while also helping you rebuild your self-esteem and boost your outlook on life.

And, active gratitude can take many forms – it can be as simple as watching a vibrant sunset, feeling the crisp morning breeze and enjoying a cup of coffee with your next door neighbor.

If you are taking the first step towards a life of lasting sobriety, try incorporating more gratitude into your everyday life and start a gratitude journal. Here are a few tips to help you get started.Focus on people, not material things. If you are starting a new habit of expressing gratitude, you shouldn’t limit your gratitude to material possessions or lavish vacations. Think about the people in your life who have helped you navigate the rough times and never gave up on you.

  • Don’t edit yourself. If you are working on expressing your gratitude each day, it might seem overwhelming at first. But, you need to remember that you’re not writing a novel or a newspaper article for other people to read. Your gratitude journal is meant for your eyes only. Pull out your pen and open your journal and just start writing.
  • Schedule your time of gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day activities and overlook some things on your to-do list – especially when you are starting a new routine. To make gratitude more of a priority in your life, add it to your regular routine. Consider setting your alarm an extra five minutes earlier in the morning to make time for gratitude.
  • Be honest. Being grateful means different things to different people. If you are keeping a journal of gratitude, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about expressing your personal thoughts.
  • Don’t give up. Starting any new habit may seem difficult at first but eventually adding gratitude to each day will become part of your normal routine.

Addiction Center for Men

Welcome to 10 Acre Ranch, a comprehensive drug and alcohol rehab for men 18 and older. We are fully licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services and have been serving men struggling with addiction since 1992. We accept most insurance policies and our private pay fees are economical and affordable. To tour our facility or discuss alcohol rehab for yourself or a loved one, dial 877-228-4679 or submit a confidential online inquiry today.

Addiction Recovery: 3 Strategies for Improving Communication Skills

photo of two men talking in the cafeteria Improving Communication Skills

Drug and alcohol rehab programs are designed to heal the addict – mentally, physically and spiritually – freeing them from a life controlled by the vice grip of addiction. Though, effective addiction recovery doesn’t end there. To help treat the whole person, it also needs to extend beyond the addict to help them mend the broken relationships within their entire social network of family and friends. By repairing old relationships and learning how to create new, healthier ones, addicts can fuel their sobriety with a strong support system and a more fulfilling life.

And, developing better communication skills can help addicts do just that. By learning how to communicate more effectively (and positively), individuals with alcohol and substance abuse issues can build and maintain stronger relationships with others – one of the cornerstones to lasting sobriety.

Here are a few strategies you can use to boost your communication skills:

  • Start with yourself. If you’ve battled substance abuse issues in the past, you may get into a negative cycle of beating yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made. Though, you can’t build healthy relationships with others if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. Try to be more mindful of your own “self-talk” and challenge those thoughts that don’t serve you.
  • Ask questions. One of the easiest ways to start a conversation and keep it going is to have a genuine interest in what the other person has to say. More often than not, your friends and family will thoroughly appreciate your interest in their life.
  • Put away your phone. These days, it fairly common to see people checking in on social media, texting and reading emails on their phone – virtually 24/7. Though, if you find yourself getting distracted by your phone during conversations, make a point to put it away or turn it upside down so you can’t see the screen. You can’t fully engage in the conversation if you’re preoccupied by something else.

Achieving and maintaining a life of sobriety can be challenging. Though, it also represents an opportunity to strengthen your personal relationships with others once you are free from the cloud of addiction. By ending negative communication patterns that were holding your relationships back and replacing them with healthier alternatives, you can enjoy more meaningful and honest relationships with others.

Comprehensive Life Skills Training

10 Acre Ranch drug rehab is a social treatment model that emphasizes therapeutic group activities like anger management, cognitive therapy, and 12-step programming. Living in a supportive community prevents clients from becoming alienated during recovery, and teaches them interpersonal skills that are helpful during and after rehabilitation. While group therapy is a powerful tool in the recovering addict’s arsenal, individual therapy may also be recommended for addiction treatment.

To tour our facility or discuss alcohol rehab for yourself or a loved one, dial (877) 228-4679 or submit a confidential online inquiry today.

Avoiding Common Relapse Triggers: Protecting Your Sobriety Post-Rehab

a man following the road to recovery by avoiding relapse triggers

Choosing a life of sobriety is a bold step towards a brand new life. It’s a chance to rediscover yourself, make a fresh start and recharge mentally, physically and spiritually. The courageous choice to end the cycle of unhealthy behaviors isn’t always easy, but the long-lasting rewards are certainly worth the effort.

That’s why it’s important for individuals who have made the courageous choice to seek help for an addiction to alcohol or drugs to understand the underlying environmental and social triggers that may increase the risk of relapse. If you’ve invested the time and energy to make profound strides in your recovery, it’s important to protect your newfound and well-earned sobriety.

By working with licensed addiction recovery specialists, you can identify the potential hazards that might derail your efforts and arm yourself with proven strategies for protecting your health.

3 Common Relapse Triggers

Your emotions. Feeling depressed, anxious or stressed can trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms. If you turned to drugs or alcohol in the past as a way of dealing with uncomfortable emotions, take the time to make a list of healthy strategies you can use instead.

Social situations. It’s common for individuals with addiction issues to associate certain social situations with substance abuse. Take the time to reflect on your past to identify where and when drugs and alcohol were within easy reach. If necessary, consider avoiding places like bars and instead choose to socialize with your friends in drug-free zones.

Happy occasions. You might not realize that attending a celebratory event like a birthday party, wedding or even a baseball game can make relapse more likely. If you’re having fun catching up with friends and family, it’s easy to become distracted from your goals and become tempted to revert to old habits.

By knowing the warning signs and triggers for a potential relapse, you can protect your sobriety and continue your journey to better health.

Getting the Addiction Treatment You Need

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction or drug abuse, 10 Acre Ranch can help you break free. Our Southern California rehab for men offers personalized treatment, as well as extensive aftercare support to help you maintain your hard-won sobriety. By emphasizing exercise, nutritional balance, and recreational activities, we encourage clients to develop a healing lifestyle that sticks—during and after recovery.

Call (877) 228-4679 for program details or to discuss your customized recovery program with an addiction counselor.