Understanding Addiction Recovery: What to Expect in Early Sobriety

Getting an understanding of addiction recovery can be just as important as learning about the disease of addiction. The reality is that recovering from addiction may bring up all types of emotions, challenges, and internal thoughts, which is why it is helpful to prepare yourself for the journey ahead when you’re beginning your recovery.

Understanding Addiction Recovery

Recovering from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol isn’t always smooth-sailing. There are bound to be challenges and opportunities that come up. While some people in addiction recovery may have been able to get sober and stay sober after seeking treatment for the first time at a rehab center, others may relapse or stray away from their program of recovery before they are able to truly reap the benefits of sobriety.

Relapse is unfortunately common and while it does happen to a large percentage of addicts in recovery, it doesn’t always have to. If you remain committed to working a program of recovery, continue to seek support, listen to addiction professionals, and become willing to take suggestions from others in recovery from addiction, then you are likely to keep on the right path and hold onto your sobriety long-term.

What Can I Expect in Early Sobriety?

While recovery can provide a newfound freedom, it can also be difficult. There may be times when you want to cave in and revert back to using drugs or alcohol. You may find yourself feeling sad, angry, or frustrated. Though these feelings may be unpleasant, it is completely possible to work through them with healthier coping mechanisms. For example, you may want to talk to an addiction professional, sponsor, sober support, or trusted friend. You could also go for a walk, exercise, paint, or distract yourself in some way.

It’s also helpful to know that no matter what situation you are in or what you are experiencing during early recovery, it always gets better. The negative emotions you may be feeling won’t last forever. You won’t be in rehab forever, and you won’t be in sober living forever. It’s all temporary, and you can regain privileges back that you may have become accustomed to. In order to move forward, you need to be exactly where you are, and there should be no shame in that. Life in recovery does get better and you will get to experience more of it as you move along in your recovery.

These are just a few aspects of what you can expect when you’re early in your addiction recovery, but it’s also critical to recognize that everybody’s journey is their own. You may have one experience, but the person next to you may have other difficulties and lessons come their way. Appreciate your journey in sobriety as your own, and above all, keep moving forward and don’t pick back up – no matter what!

What Does It Mean to Be Free from Addiction?

If you’ve ever dealt with an alcohol or drug addiction, then you understand the painful desire to be free from addiction. The disease of addiction can leave anybody feeling trapped and empty inside. So how do addicts break free from the chains of addiction to live in the freedom of sobriety?

Being Free from Addiction

In order to be free from addiction, addicts and alcoholics must seek help. The reality is that addiction will not go away on its own. Like any other medical condition, addiction requires continual treatment in order for recovery to be maintained. Treatment can begin with medical detoxification and inpatient rehabilitation but it can also include and/or extend to outpatient therapy, sober living, 12 Step Programs, support groups, and additional therapeutic practices.

Being free from addiction can refer to when an addict has regained the power of choice. Addiction prevents the addict from having a choice because their incessant desire to use drugs. They become obsessive and compulsive with their drug use in spite of any consequences that may have occurred. Suffering from medical problems, worsening a mental health condition, and/or struggling with finances as a result of drug use is not enough to get an addict to stop using drugs because of the lack of having the power choice.

While there is no cure for addiction, treatment can be provided. Treatment is critical for addicts because it helps them get weaned off all substances and learn how to live in recovery. Living in recovery allows addicts to be free from addiction because it shows them that there is a better way to live – and it’s in sobriety. In recovery, addicts learn healthier ways of managing and dealing with problems in their lives. They learn how to work on themselves and support others. Ultimately, sobriety lets addicts become better versions of themselves because they get to take away the drugs and face the real issues in their lives.

Recovering from addiction isn’t easy, and it does take hard work. However, it’s completely worth it if an addict can be free from addiction. While recovery can provide a newfound freedom, it is not intended as a quick fix or cure. Sobriety must be maintained and in order to do this, individuals in recovery must continually work on themselves and their program of recovery.

Recovering from Addiction at an Inpatient Rehab Center

If you’ve been feeling stuck in your alcohol and/or drug addiction, then make now the time that you call for help to free yourself from addiction.

What Is Trazodone and Can You Become Addicted?

If you’ve heard about Trazodone, you might wonder, “What is Trazodone exactly?” and “Can you get addicted to Trazodone?” Knowing the facts about any medication, including Trazodone, is important because it can help prevent and raise awareness about misuse.

What Is Trazodone?

So, what is Trazodone exactly? Trazodone medication is a prescription drug used to treat depression. It is classified as both an antidepressant and sedative. The medication may be prescribed by the doctor to address conditions and side effects such as insomnia and anxiety. When taken as prescribed by a doctor, Trazodone can help with changes in mood and appetite.
While Trazodone is approved as an antidepressant, there are several off-label uses for the medication as well. In addition to insomnia, these off-label uses also include anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, and certain mental health conditions like schizophrenia.

Understanding Trazodone Addiction

Trazodone is considered a “non-addictive” medication with low risk for abuse, but very high doses could potentially lead to hallucinations, depressant effects, and/or mild physical dependence. When it comes to addiction, the reality is that an addict can become addicted to any drug. If medications are taken without being prescribed by a doctor or in any other way than prescribed, the abuse could lead to addiction. The same is the case with Trazodone and Trazodone addiction.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

While Trazodone and other medications can be abused and lead to addiction, there is viable treatment available. It’s not unusual for addicts who abuse Trazodone to abuse other drugs either initially or eventually. Some people may even begin abusing Trazodone until they find other drugs they prefer or until they are led right back to their drug of choice. Whether for Trazodone addiction or polydrug abuse, a medical detox may be necessary if the individual is physically dependent on any substance. In addition to a medical detox, an inpatient rehab program may be necessary to address the underlying causes of addiction and introduce the individual into a new way of life in sobriety.

Anxiety and Addiction: Do Drug Addicts Use to Self-Medicate?

There’s no denying the relationship between anxiety and addiction. In fact, many drug users begin abusing substances to deal with feelings, co-occurring disorders, and underlying conditions. It’s common for people to engage in drug abuse as a form of “self-medication” but this can all too easily lead to dangerous consequences like drug addiction.

Understanding Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and addiction can go hand in hand, especially when a drug addict abuses substances as a way to cope with problems. People who struggle with drug addiction often suffer from underlying conditions, like anxiety, depression, and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.

Dangers of Self-Medicating with Drugs

Turning to substances as a form of “self-medication” can be extremely dangerous, not only because it can lead to an addiction to drugs but also because it can result in delayed treatment for underlying issues, risky drug interactions, improper dosage, and even overdose.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Anxiety and Addiction

If anxiety is an underlying condition, then it’s important to not only treat the addiction to help the addict but also treat the anxiety. There are a number of ways to treat underlying conditions like anxiety, including with individual counseling sessions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, support groups, medications, etc. When the underlying problems of addiction are addressed, healing can truly begin.

Alcohol Treatment: Why Alcohol Rehab Is Critical for Recovery

Alcohol treatment plays an important and necessary role in recovery for alcoholics all throughout the nation. When you’re suffering from the disease of alcoholism, life can become unmanageable as you simply cannot stop drinking or obsessing over it on your own. Like any other illness, alcoholism needs to be treated in order for a successful recovery to occur, which can start at an alcohol rehabilitation facility. But what exactly is so beneficial about receiving treatment for alcoholism at an alcohol rehab center?

Why Alcohol Treatment at an Alcohol Rehab Is Important

Alcohol treatment is important to receive when you are suffering from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. An alcohol rehab center can provide this necessary treatment, which typically begins with a medical detoxification and inpatient stay. There are several reasons that receiving alcohol treatment at an inpatient rehab center is important, with one of the most obvious being that alcoholics will be removed from their environment long enough to detox off all substances and work on any issues that may have contributed to their drinking.

Safe Environment to Recover from Alcoholism

Receiving alcohol treatment at an alcohol rehab facility allows for patients to be removed from alcohol and their former surroundings so that they can gain some time in sobriety to work out other issues that may have perpetuated their drinking. It helps to star the recovery process in a safe environment where others are on the same journey toward sobriety and where professionals can help assist you with your goal of living a clean and sober lifestyle. Without being removed from former surroundings, it can be difficult to start to recover because the same triggers and problems will be present. If you leave to go to an alcohol rehab center, you will be removed from the triggers and temporarily taken away from other stressors long enough to figure out how to effectively deal with these problems in the healthiest manner.

Alcohol Treatment from Medical Professionals & Specialists

When you go to a reputable alcohol rehab facility to receive treatment for alcoholism, you will be cared for by a team of qualified medical professionals, specialists, and professionals. If you were to detox or start the recovery process on your own, you put yourself at risk because there are complications like seizures that can occur as a result of alcohol withdrawals. In addition to this, you won’t have the professional care and support that you may need to understand your disease, which will ultimately help you prepare how to appropriately fight triggers, cravings, and stress.

Addresses Co-Occurring Disorders with Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Another reason that it’s beneficial to receive alcohol treatment at a trusted alcohol rehab is because you may have other conditions that need to be treated as well, such as depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If this is the case, then you will want to make sure that you go to an alcohol rehab center that offers dual diagnosis treatment.

Introduces Structure, Healthy Coping Mechanisms, & Support

Getting help for alcoholism at an alcohol rehab also allows for you to have structure that you may not otherwise be familiar with. When you’re an active alcoholic, you may sleep in late, show up to work late, miss occasions, events, or responsibilities, etc. However, the best alcohol rehab programs provide a structured environment which helps promote a consistent routine and ultimately reinforces stability. Not only is this is a benefit, but it also helps that alcohol rehabilitation centers provide support and resources as well as teach healthy coping mechanisms to replace ineffective, negative behaviors.

Helps You Save Your Life

The reality is that alcohol treatment at an alcohol rehab facility can save your life. Alcohol can be deadly, especially when consumed in excess or destroying the quality of your life. Alcoholism can take a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual toll on a person. The sooner you can get help and start recovering from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder, the better it will be for your mind and body. It can save your life and help you live the life you were meant to live in sobriety.

How Long Do Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

If you struggle with an opioid addiction and find yourself wondering how long opioid withdrawal symptoms last, then it can help to learn what you can about the opioid detoxification process.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Understanding what opioid withdrawal symptoms are like can help you prepare yourself, or a loved one, for the detoxification process. It is best to seek medical attention when coming off opioids because detoxing alone without medical supervision can lead to dangerous side effects.

When you seek treatment at a medical detox, a team of medical professionals will be able to monitor you and treat your symptoms so that you feel as little discomfort as possible for the situation.

What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

There are a number of opioid withdrawal symptoms, some of which include:

-Chills

-Body aches and pains

-Diarrhea

-Vomiting

-Nausea

-Anxiety

-Agitation

-Dilated pupils

-Insomnia

-Heart palpitations

Some of these opioid withdrawal symptoms can be extreme. The side effects of opioid withdrawal can become so uncomfortable that addicts revert back to using just so that they do not feel sick or experience the symptoms of withdrawal. This is why it helps to receive treatment for the symptoms.

How Long Do Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

You may experience opioid withdrawals as early as a few hours since the last dose. Some withdrawal symptoms may be more intense for you than others. Opioid withdrawals tend to peak after a few hours and can last up to a week to a month.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome can also occur, even when the drugs are no longer present in your system. It is also known as PAWS and refers to opioid withdrawal symptoms that linger on for weeks and/or months after the last use of opioids.

What Is an Opioid Detox Like?

Opioid withdrawals can result in unpleasant side effects, but the opioid detox process can be made more comfortable when you receive treatment for your symptoms at an opioid detox center.

Without receiving care for opioid withdrawal symptoms or treatment for opioid addiction, individuals who are addicted to opioids are likely to relapse due to the severity of symptoms and possible complications that can occur as a result.

A medical detoxification center will provide adequate treatment from a team of medical doctors who can supervise and prescribe medications to lessen the intensity of the side effects.

What Treatment for Opioid Addiction IS Available?

After the medical detoxification phase, it is critical to receive inpatient rehabilitation treatment. This is because opioid addiction is both a physical and psychological illness.

Once the physical aspect of addiction is taken care, then the real work on the underlying causes of the condition can be addressed. Through treatment that addresses each aspect of the disease, individuals can recover from addiction and learn how to maintain sobriety long-term.

12 Step Recovery: Online AA Meetings & Online NA Meetings

Looking for online AA meetings and online NA meetings to enhance your 12 Step recovery program? If you are fortunate enough to live in an area like South Florida, then chances are you’re able to attend a local AA or NA meeting every day, which you may prefer.

AA

However, some people live in different parts of the country, which is why online AA meetings and online NA meetings might be more preferable. After all, meeting times and locations might be a little more limited in some areas. Or, maybe you can only get to a few meetings a week and really want more, or maybe you are going through a trial in your life and you really can’t get to a meeting. What can you do? Fear not, where there is willingness, there is a way.

Online AA meetings and online NA meetings have started to grow in popularity for this very reason. This does not mean you should replace all your meeting attendance online, but it can at least help keep you connected in between your actual meetings. Check out this list  of online AA meetings and online NA meetings that you might enjoy.

Online AA Meetings & NA Meetings

In The Rooms

intherooms.org (multiple 12-step program meetings)

In The Rooms is a large community of online 12-step members which include online AA meetings as well as NA. They are not affiliated with any 12-step program, but merely host a place for members to connect. Much like what club houses are to actual 12 step meetings.

AA Intergroup

aa-intergroup.org 

AA Intergroup is affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous and has a list of online AA meetings. It also provides other resources for AA members, including information about their monthly magazine, Grapevine.

AA Speakers Online

xa-speaker.org is a great resource if you are interested in listening to speakers from around the world online.

NA Online Meeting

na-recovery.org is not affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous but does host a platform to help NA members connect online for extra support.

Online Support

Whether you can make it to a meeting every day or every week, having extra support from online AA meetings and NA meetings can be helpful. Just remember, as with any engagement online, practice discretion when sharing any personal information.

Your recovery is important to us and we want to be part of your support circle.

Do you know of any online AA meeting and NA meetings that aren’t listed here? Let us know in the comments below!

Is Drug Addiction a Disease or a Crime?

Whether or not you are aware of the drug epidemic in the nation, you may still find yourself wondering, “Is drug addiction a disease? Is addiction a choice? Or is it just a crime?” The nation certainly has continued to treat addiction as a crime, but just because it is treated that way doesn’t mean it should be. Getting an accurate understanding of addiction is critical, especially now that the nation is facing such a horrific epidemic and in need of the most effective treatment options and prevention services to combat it.

Is Drug Addiction a Disease?

Is drug addiction a disease? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a disease. In fact, NIDA explains addiction as a complex, chronic brain disease. So, if addiction is categorized and labeled as a disease, why isn’t alcohol and drug addiction being treated as such? This is the question that many addiction recovery and mental health advocates continue to press.

Why Is Drug Addiction Treated Like a Crime?

With more people coming to terms with the fact that addiction is a disease, it’s a wonder why this public health problem is still being treated as a criminal issue. Some may see that drug addiction is not the type of issue that the nation can arrest itself out of but rather an illness that requires treatment for the best rate of recovery. While drugs and related charges remain criminal, it is important to realize that addiction itself is not. The stigma on addiction deserves to be dropped and proper awareness should shed light on the need for treatment rather than punishment.

How Society Could Treat Drug Addiction

How else can society address drug addiction? More focus should be on finding evidence-based treatment practices to help curb addiction at the source. In addition to awareness being spread about the disease of addiction, there should also be a light shed on mental health conditions, especially because it is not unusual for addicts to suffer from both an addiction and mental health issue. By focusing on the root causes of addiction and treating them at the source, people can be restored back to health rather than penalized over their illness. Addiction involves a loss in the power of choice, so to continue punishing individuals who are addicted to drugs doesn’t make sense.

11th Step Prayer

Alcoholics Anonymous 11th Step Prayer

Spiritual growth comes from seeking in a power greater than ourselves. It is in that seeking through the 11th Step and the 11th Step Prayer, that we continue to grow closer to our higher power and thus in our sobriety. Let us take a deeper look into Step 11 and the Step 11 Prayer so that you can maximize your relationship with yourself and your Higher Power.

AA 11th Step Prayer

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. AA Big Book, p96.

Step 11 is an action step that suggests prayer and meditation in the morning before continuing on with the day, and again in the evening before falling asleep. There are actually specific instructions for how to practice this step and meditation in the AA Big Book on pg96.

Step 11 allows you to start each day new and end each day cleansed of any negativity that could hold you back from growing towards the best version of yourself. It is the act of prayer and meditation, in combination with all the other steps, that helps keep alcoholism in remission. Once all the steps are complete; steps 10, 11, and 12 become our maintenance steps to continue on in sobriety.

Step 11 Prayer: Found in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is the Step 11 Prayer (also known as the Saint Francis Prayer). This prayer is an excellent reminder of what we strive for in our sobriety. It is by living this way of life that we become whole and feel a sense of peace and serenity.

11th Step Prayer:

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life. Amen.”

Prayer & Meditation In Sobriety

In addition to the 11th Step Prayer, there are many other very good prayers that are suggested throughout the program to help you grow spiritually.

3rd Step Prayer

“God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me & to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life.” – AA Big Book, p63.

7th Step Prayer

“My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me,  good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do Your bidding. Amen.” – AA Big Book, p76.

Serenity Prayer (Long Version)

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next. Amen.”

Your Meditation Is Unique To You

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t believe in one particular God. Your higher power is personal to you and it can be mother nature, the universe, the desire to do the steps, or even AA as a group. You can also totally change the language of any of these prayers so it feels personal and comfortable to you. Many people also include daily readings, art, music, yoga, etc… into their meditation. It is entirely up to you how to enhance your 11th Step Prayer practice. These are merely suggested prayers to help you get started, so that you can allow your higher power, the steps, and the program of AA to work in your life instead.

How do you practice Step 11 prayer and meditation? We want to know! Please share in the comment feed below.