Tag Archives: sobriety during the holidays

Sober Living: Benefits and How to Choose

What is Sober Living?

 

 

Sometimes known as a halfway house, sober home living facilities act as a bridge between the in-patient care facility and going back to the real world. These facilities are designed to assist individuals to learn how to function again in society by participating in various responsible tasks, such as paying bills, household chores, meetings, and participating in events and activities that are drug-free. 

 

Before leaving the drug/alcohol rehab, physicians, mental health professionals, and the client will discuss the rehabilitation and recovery afttercare process. For many who suffers from drug/alcohol addiction, going straight from the in-patient care to the real world is not a good idea. Life issues may arise that may be too challenging to the recovering addict. And as a result, the newly, drug/alcohol-free person can easily return to his/her old ways. So, physicians and mental health experts will usually inform the patient about aftercare at a sober home especially since the recovering addict will stay in the drug/alcohol rehab for only a short period. And if the person has been on drugs/alcohol for a long time, it may be in his/her best interest to get involved in this type of facility to have a better chance in recovering. 

 

The Benefits of Sober Home Living

 

While these types of facilities can be very helpful, these organizations don’t have the same structure level as an in-patient facility. These facilities, however, have curfews, household chores, and other obligations. When living at these facilities, clients will adjust to normal life through accountability, therapy, and support. 

 

Having said this, the following includes the benefits of sober living: 

 

  1. They are a peaceful, warm, and stable living environment.
  2. They are completely free from harmful influences. 
  3. There is usually a house manager of staff who works and lives on-site to assist the residents and run operations. 
  4. There are usually other healthy activities, depending on the type of facility. These activities can include yoga, hiking, mindfulness, or meditation programs. 
  5. Group counseling and individual therapy are required. An example of group counseling is the 12-step sponsorship programs. 
  6. These homes have strict rules which are a good thing. Recovering addicts must get used to following strict guidelines. They typically have random drug testing. 
  7. No overnight guests are allowed. 
  8. There must be sobriety for the entire stay. 

 

How to Choose a Sober Facility?

 

One main thing to do is that the loved ones of recovering addicts must choose a sober home facility that is a safe residing place. When families are choosing a facility for their spouse, their child, or a relative, it must be a safe living environment that is favorable for their recovery. There must be supportive people going through and went through similar issues of substance abuse. There must also be professionals to guide them. The following includes more details in choosing a facility: 

 

  1. Structure

 

It’s imperative to investigate how structuralized these facilities are. Even if some of these programs have the loftiest amenities and perks, they don’t necessarily provide the top-notch structure needed to ensure the clients have the best tools and gain the most strength to be healed and recover holistically. 

 

Having said this, top-notch facilities enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward alcohol and drugs by them establishing random drug tests, regular house check-ins, and a curfew. Clients should always feel comfortable asking team members how they maintain schedules for residents. Every program has its own distinctive routine on an individual and collective scale. 

 

A collective routine for a community can range from assigning chores around the house to group activities. When it comes to an individual scale, many communities assist residents in working toward keeping a schedule that encourages recovery, like attending therapy and a twelve-step program regularly. With this schedule, the client can thrive at school, work- at life! 

 

  1. Safety

 

The neighborhood where the sober home living facility is located, may also have an effect on your decision. Along with your family member staying sober, you want to know that they’re safe at the facility. A house should ensure the safety of residents and have some form of security. Safety within the house is also important. Your family member may need medication management, or you may want to know about specific risk-reduction and plans in case of emergencies. You can always ask the people in charge of a sober living about any of the above and feel that your questions are fully answered.

 

  1. Team

 

Meeting the staff in charge of these facilities will also give a great impact in deciding whether this program is the right choice for the loved one. As previously stated, all places don’t have the same staff structure. Some may have inexperienced team members in handling clients who have a dual-diagnosis. Some communities have a clinical nurse. So, in choosing a high-quality program, clients/their loved ones should consider one with good clinical support, strong administration, and some experienced team members. These team members should be experienced in handling many situations, such as having different personalities under one roof, and remaining calm and diplomatic when handling conflicts and tough situations. Also, there should be some experienced team members with experience in the 12-steps program. These members will understand the addict’s mindset and are helpful in assisting clients with their struggles, and in sharing their own experiences that continually helped them on their successful sobriety path. 

 

  1. Community and Culture

 

There are a different community and culture in every sober home that is based on its residents and staff. A facility with all-female or all-male is highly recommended. However, there are also co-ed facilities available in most cities. Nevertheless, the sober house should foster cooperation, friendship, and unity between residents. A program with regular group meetings provides residents the opportunity to discuss issues in the house and to constructively and openly speak about their feelings to promote a positive environment. The goal here is to assist residents to adjust to this new lifestyle and to let them know that they are not alone in their recovery process. 

 

Conclusion

 

Many times, it is best for people suffering from substance abuse to get afttercare once they complete drug/alcohol rehab. This fact is especially true for those who have been experiencing substance abuse for a long time. Getting involved in a safe and effective sober living community is the way to go. 

 

With these types of facilities, there are various benefits. The most costly ones don’t necessarily mean they are the best ones. And thus, it’s imperative that these facilities meet the qualifications mentioned above to ensure great success in recovery.

 

Vacation Hacks for Staying Sober

Vacation is a great way to get away from the stresses of life, spend time with people you care about, and have fun. But if you’re in recovery, vacation isn’t as simple as getting away for a while. Everything you do need to help support your sobriety, including vacation. Just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation. But if you’re thinking about taking some time away, it’s important to stay sober the whole time. Understanding why you should stay sober for life, including on vacation, and using some tips to help support your sobriety can make the difference between a great vacation and a relapse.

The importance of sobriety on vacation

When you’re in recovery, establishing routines in your daily life can make it easier to maintain your sobriety. You know what to expect each day, and your habits throughout the day help promote your sobriety. But when you go on vacation, your routines are disrupted. That can make it harder to resist temptations, especially if you’re in an environment where your will power is being challenged. But it’s just as important to stay sober on vacation as it is in your regular daily life. If you slip up, you run the risk of turning back to the life you had before and undoing all the work you did to get sober.

How to stay sober on vacation

Vacation should be a part of normal life. But when you’re working to stay sober, vacation can be a trigger for falling back into past behaviors. Here are some things you can do to help yourself stay sober when you’re on vacation.

Make sure you can handle the vacation

The timing of your vacation is a big consideration. Recovery is a process. The longer you’re sober, the easier it may be to go on vacation and use your willpower to avoid temptation. If you’re still early in your recovery, going on vacation may not be a good idea. Instead, it would be better to stick with your normal daily routine so you can reduce the risk of relapsing.

Communicate with your travel buddies

It’s also important to have open communication with the people you’ll be traveling with. They should know that you’re working on staying sober for life, and that a relapse could cause major problems in your life and recovery. Being open and honest with your travel buddies can help make sure that the vacation will be enjoyable for everyone and you’ll have the support you need to stay sober while you’re away from home. If your travel buddies can’t support your sobriety on vacation, it might not be the best idea to go.

Plan your itinerary around your needs

Staying sober means that you make decisions for your life based on your sobriety needs. The lifestyle you develop in recovery can be maintained while you’re on vacation. But that means that the itinerary for your vacation needs to be built around your needs for sobriety. If you need down time every day, make sure you get it. If you need time to exercise or have diet restrictions, make sure that your vacation can accommodate those needs. You want to have fun while you’re on vacation, but you still have basic needs that have to be met. If your vacation can’t meet your basic sobriety needs, it’s not a vacation for you.

Suggest activities that work for you

When you and your travel buddies are planning activities for the vacation, be sure to suggest activities that work for you. The people you’re traveling with may want to be supportive, but they may not know what that looks like on vacation. By suggesting activities you can do, it’s more likely that your vacation itinerary will be fun for you as well as for the people you’re traveling with. This is especially important if you’ve developed new interests and hobbies since getting sober. If your travel buddies are set on certain activities and those activities don’t support your sobriety, that may mean that you should reconsider going on vacation with those people.

Research destinations carefully

Some vacation destinations are better than others. Some vacation locations are built around drinking, for example. So if you’re working on sobriety, that wouldn’t be a good place for you to visit. As you’re planning your vacation, be sure to do research into what’s available in the area, what the big attractions are, and what you want to do while you’re away from home. For example, you might want to look for a destination that’s more “family-friendly.” Those locations tend to have activities that are good for people of all ages, which means there would be things to do that don’t involve substances or activities that might be triggering for you.

Don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle

Ultimately, whether or not you can and should go on vacation is up to you. If there are any red flags about the trip, or you think it’s too soon for you to disrupt your regular daily routines, don’t be afraid to use your ‘no’ muscle and say no to the vacation. Your travel buddies may be disappointed, but they want you to be healthy, happy, and sober. They’ll understand if it’s just not a good idea for you to go on vacation with them at that time. Your sobriety is the most important thing, so every decision you make should be for that goal.

Your sobriety is important. That doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation with people, but if you’re going to, then you have to make sure that your vacation is going to support your sobriety. From communication to planning to being willing to say no, your vacation can be a way to get away from the stresses of life without relapsing. Use these tips as you prepare for your vacation, and then you can be sure that you’ll come home with great memories and that you’ll still be sober for life!

Navigating Safely into the New Year while in Recovery

While recovering from any addiction, it’s important to avoid anything that can trigger a relapse. This is especially difficult during the winter holiday season because it tends to be longer than the others. Also, there are more celebrations, family and friends reunions scheduled for this time of the year than at any other time of the year.

 

To stay sober, you should start your transition on to the New Year with a resolve to stay sober. As hard as it might be, especially for a person who has just gone through intensive treatment for an addiction, it is crucial that you discipline yourself and be aware of negative habits that might crop up as you try to avoid the primary addiction. Here are strategies for staying sober during the holiday season.

 

Have a Plan

 

It’s the festive season and just because you are in recovery does not mean that you cannot have some fun as most of the world is. The only important thing is to have a plan. Only attend important meetups or celebrations and have with you someone close to watch and offer the support system you need. Some alcohol addiction patients may get an urge or temptation to taste alcohol just by seeing or smelling it at the party. If you think you can have these tendencies avoid such parties. Most family gatherings are relaxed and have less alcohol served. These can be ideal for a start. However, when going to such parties, prepare your mind for any eventuality. You might come face to face with alcohol, smell it and even watch people as they enjoy the drink. You can carry with you an alcohol-free drink that soothes you and helps keep your mind off alcohol.

 

Reduce Stress

 

Stress can trigger a relapse. Some situations are unavoidable but being prepared can make a lot of difference. Apart from the celebrations, sibling rivalry, fights with friends and other misunderstandings are a normal part of the festive season. You cannot avoid people because this can lead to other problems like screen addiction or tech addiction as happens to people who stay indoors for too long. To avoid stress, always be in the company of people who understand, support and are ready to help you through the setbacks. If you reach out to stress-relieving pills every time you experience anxiety or stress, you are at  risk of dependency or drug addiction.

 

Avoid Old Friends

 

As much as you can, avoid friends you used to party with or who drink or abuse drugs. The more you associate yourself with them, the easier it will be for you to slip back to your old ways. Sober living requires you to drop as many of your old friends as possible and get new ones, probably those who are walking your journey. When you have like-minded people, the journey becomes easier, and there are fewer temptations along the way. If you can’t avoid drinking friends, let them know of your intentions to stay sober, the effort you have been putting to fight alcohol addiction and ask for their help. Most probably they already know you were drinking way too much or were battling other addictions such as tech addiction or screen addiction. Ask them to avoid bringing alcohol along when they visit you.

 

Eat

Hunger is one of the triggers for most addictions including alcohol,video gaming addiction, and drug addiction. Having a meal or snack every three hours ensures that your blood sugar levels are optimal, your thinking is not affected and you have the energy to make the right decisions. Before joining a party, make sure you have eaten well, you can even carry a snack along. Other triggers include anger, loneliness, and fatigue. If you find yourself idle, your mind can go back to the things it was accustomed to.

 

To avoid tech or video gaming addiction, keep yourself busy with meaningful things. Being in control of your mental and physical health is important for your wellbeing. When you overwork, your energy levels go down which can trigger a relapse. Holiday festivals demand that you sleep late, party a lot and work hard to entertain guests. Having a plan ensures you get enough sleep and take breaks to avoid burning out.

 

Learn How to Say No

 

Most often, recovering patients shy away from telling their extended families or friends about their healing process. This puts them into awkward situations in parties or family gatherings where alcohol is being served. A well-meaning aunt or friend can hand you a glass or a whole bottle of wine, how do you politely say no? You need to have rehearsed this before. This gives you the preparedness to say no and settle for it. You don’t have to say no to the offer outrightly but can use a clever way to get out of the situation. Not involving everyone in this journey can be an advantage because you don’t have to endure the judgment that comes with such a revelation but you need to have a plan that gets you out of any tricky situation. To be on the safe side, always have an accountability partner every time you attend parties.

 

Evaluate Your Progress

It’s not an easy journey. Sometimes you will fall, other times you will have relapses, and in some instances, you will feel desperate and ready to give up. The urge to drink at times will be so strong that sober living will seem like an impossibility. Do not be too hard on yourself. If you slip once or twice, dust yourself and keep pushing forward. With time, things will get better. To be on the safe side, book yourself into more stay sober treats and make sure you attend all your therapy and counseling sessions. If possible, stick close to the support groups, make friends within the circle and find entertaining but safe ways to spend the holidays within the circle. This is especially important if you have just come out of an intensive treatment plan.

 

What you should always remember during the New Year season is that there are busy and not too busy triggers. Busy triggers include friends and family parties and old friends visiting you. Not busy triggers include loneliness, shame, guilt, and loss.

 

Conclusion

 

It’s essential to identify each emotion and take the necessary steps to deal with it. One of the things you may experience when around the extended family is low self-esteem. Addiction comes with a loss of earnings, poor health, marital and family problems that cannot be hidden. People may judge you, others may not be willing to forgive or accept you back or even help you on the journey to recovery, but you need to be strong and always stay close to positive people who embrace and love you just the way you are. If all fails, opt for sober living houses. This will significantly help you transition into the new year sober and focused on your long-term goal of kicking out the addiction.

Dogs Help with Recovery

Recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is a big step towards reclaiming your life. However, given that addiction is a highly individualized disease, treatment may take several forms depending on your case. During the recovery process, support systems are vital in helping the addict not to relapse into the addiction. One of the popular support approaches is dog-assisted therapy. This therapy involves giving those healing from addiction a dog to aid them during the recovery process. The dog offers the patients a connection to another living being. This is something that most patients lack. For these reasons, Omega Recovery is dog friendly. Just down the street from Omega is a great place to find a new best friend, Austin Pets Alive. Austin is leading the way as a no kill city for over 8 years.

Dogs are compassionate and they love you

Dogs are very good at showing compassion to their owners especially when the owners are low in spirits. A recovering addict will have their moments of low spirits and may lack someone that can give you that touch of assurance. A pet can play this role perfectly. It can curl, perch on your shoulder or lie beside you. It reassures you that everything is okay and will be fine. Dogs are great partners who never get bored with you and can be with you wherever you go or are doing. Given that you may regularly suffer from these moments of loneliness especially if you lack family support, getting a pet to be on your side is a noble idea.

Helps return your mind to the normal routine

Drug addiction alters your normal habits and makes you forget your responsibility. A significant step towards recovery is getting back to your normal routine. For you to form new habits, you need responsibilities that need to be fulfilled on a daily basis.

One of these activities is to take care of a dog. If you have a dog that needs to be fed, a dog that needs to be walked and you are most likely going to push yourself to wake up and get going. This daily commitment eventually turns into a routine. With the basic routine in place, you can add in other routines such as cooking, bathing and so forth. With time, you are able to get your normal life back.

Unlike other activities that you may postpone, a task around a pet cannot be postponed. When struggling to complete the task, you will end up completing other tasks in the process.

Gives you a sense of purpose

Most people are engulfed into a sense of hopelessness when they cannot control their drug or alcohol habit. Over time the hopelessness leads to frustration and more drug use. Unfortunately, you may feel the same when trying to get out of addiction. You may be struggling so much to keep within the recovery boundaries especially if are on extended care at home or rehab center.

Pets can give you a sense of hope, self-worth, and direction. You may be having a hard time getting on with the family members or connecting with friends who may affect your social life as you feel unwanted. However, your pet depends on you for grooming, food, and shelter. It gives you a reason to wake up each morning and do something for it. This reason is what helps you to rebuild your self-worth and a sense of purpose. In the long run, it enables you to regain the confidence of the people around you that you can take care of more than just yourself.

Helps the Whole Family Recover

Dogs help families take time out for play, it’s fun to chase your dog around the yard, go for walks, play fetch, learn new tricks, etc. Dogs provide loyalty, companionship and love. Studies show that owning a dog reduce stress and lowers cholesterol, and can add years to your life. See this article at WebMD for a list of benefits. Dogs greatly enrich the lives and help with recovery for both individuals and families.

Helps in socialization

One of the things that drug abuse kills off is the connection between you and the people around you. Drugs may have ruined relationships through withdrawal, risky behavior or unpredictable temperament. It is always a tough task to learn to socialize again when you get sober again. In fact, one of the aftercare objectives is to get you to become integrated into society and enable you to create friendships with people around you.

Dogs can act as middle persons in your journey to socializing again. You can walk the dog to a pet park and engage in some talk with other dog owners. Friendship with other pets helps you to regain the ability to trust others and learn new ways to handle relationships.

Pets are also known to ease social pressures that your friends and companions feel when they visit you. Friends may not have a lot to share. However, on meeting a pet at home he or she can start a small chat around the dog. Soon, the ice is broken, and other topics come into the foreground.

Keeps you active

As you recover, you need to keep your energy levels up by keeping yourself busy. Unfortunately, you are likely to end up feeling worn-out. A dog can come in to keep you motivated. Animals are exercise ready and awesome exercise companions. You may put off your next activity if you feel like not doing it. However, you cannot keep postponing your dog care activities such a dog walking, playing with the pet, and grooming. You will be forced to compose yourself and do what you are required to do. This motivation slowly turns seemingly tough or boring activities into routine activities. In addition, remaining active improves the rate of recovery and lowers the risk of relapse.

Conclusion

If you are in Austin, sober living is possible. Adopt a dog at Austin Pets Alive within walking distance from Omega Recovery Center in downtown south Austin. Having a pet near you is one of the most effective ways of speeding up recovery. Visit the pets center today and let your new friend walk with you to a drug-free life.

Sober Living During the Holidays

For all the reasons that the holidays are great – family, friends, food, and general good cheer in most cases – they can prove to be particularly trying times for someone who is struggling with addiction recovery. The nature of holiday festivities can create huge challenges for those struggling with eating disorders, alcohol addiction, and drug addiction.

Luckily, there are countless ways to make the holidays a little bit easier. As told in a press release by PRNewswire.com, one organization in particular is offering a quick tip sheet for those struggling with various addictions during the holiday season. We thought this would be a good time to share such beneficial advice.

Below are the tips to avoiding relapse during the holidays, as suggested by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Weigh your options. You don’t have to attend every social gathering of the season. If the event is something that you aren’t required to attend, and you don’t feel strong enough to manage it, it might be best to decline. Sticking to stress-free events this holiday season is the best way to avoid relapse.

Plan ahead. Before you go to an event, think about the situations you might face. How will you respond when offered a drink or dessert? Prepare yourself with a few responses to help you kindly refuse the tempting offer.

Engage your support system. Bring a friend or your sponsor along who can help you stay on track. If you can’t bring a friend, reach out to your sponsor and think about attending a support group meeting before and after the event.

Take a break. The Holidays are stressful and good stress management is essential for avoiding relapse. Fighting off the temptations of the holiday season can be exhausting. There are many things you can do to help clear your mind, such as deep breathing, taking a walk and getting plenty of rest.

Remember that you have a disease called addiction. It can be easy to tell yourself “it’s just one drink” if you are not prepared to say “no.” Remember: just one bite, drink or hit can lead to severe relapse. Once you take the first drink, that drink is in control–not you. Remember the saying “one is too many and 1,000 is never enough.”

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, ya’ll!