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Friday, May 17, 2019

Overcoming Addiction: When Willpower Alone Isn't Enough

You may see yourself as a strong-willed person who has accomplished a lot in life through your dedication and determination. However, even people who have successfully exerted their will to attain educational or career goals find themselves baffled when they can’t will themselves to quit using drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that people with a substance abuse disorder can walk away from drugs or alcohol if they just use enough willpower. If you’ve tried and failed to overcome your addiction using willpower alone, it’s not your fault.

When Willpower Isn’t the Answer

The most fundamental thing to realize about addiction is that it isn’t the result of a series of bad decisions or a lack of moral fiber. It’s a chronic and progressive disease. Think about it in these terms: Nobody expects people with diabetes or cancer to cure themselves through sheer willpower, so why would you feel like you are “less than” if you have tried and failed to quit drinking or abusing drugs?

Because of the way addiction changes the brain’s chemistry, all the conviction in the world is fruitless if you don’t follow a process for proper recovery. Indeed, surrendering and admitting you can’t go it alone can help give you the motivation you need to recover successfully.

5 Reasons Willpower Alone Will Not Help You Recover

1. Support is essential. If you believe you can get through this with willpower alone, you’re likely being too stubborn to admit when you need help. In addiction recovery, isolation can be a recipe for disaster. A successful recovery doesn’t take place in a vacuum. You cannot expect to regain your mental and physical health completely on your own, nor should you try to.

2. You’ll need daily reinforcement. You’ve likely heard someone say, “There are no days off in recovery” – and as you’ll discover, there’s a good reason for that. When you quit using drugs or alcohol, you’ll need tools and coping mechanisms you can use daily to defeat cravings and triggers and silence the tiny voice that keeps telling you things like, “This time, it’ll be different,” or “Just one drink won’t hurt me.” Permanent recovery is an ongoing process that requires re-committing every day to your physical, mental and spiritual healing, and maintaining the skills necessary to build a fulfilling, sober life. Certainly, willpower can be an asset on this journey – but it’s not the only answer.

3. Merely choosing to quit is not going to cut it. Have you ever decided you were going to stop using drugs or drinking and then found yourself unable to keep that promise? Resolve and commitment are not sufficient to make such a significant change and stick to it for the long term. Restoring physical and psychological balance takes time and professional therapy.

Find Your Solution at Canyon Crossing

Changing habits is not easy, and it can feel intimidating. Your strong will can help you know when it’s time to ask for help, and your determination can help you follow through with the actions that will lead you to discover a new way of life.

If you are tired of the way you are living and are ready to make a fresh start, call our admissions specialists today. We provide women’s-only addiction recovery and transitional living in Arizona that can help you regain your sense of purpose.

Friday, May 10, 2019

What Is Cross-Addiction?

Maintaining an addiction is time-consuming. When you are no longer spending hours of your day obtaining and using drugs or alcohol, it can feel as if you have too much time on your hands. In looking for a way to fill these empty hours, you may turn to an activity such as overeating, online gambling or experimenting with a different substance. When you allow that activity to evolve into a compulsive behavior, you have effectively replaced your original addiction with a new one – a phenomenon called cross-addiction.

Who Is at Risk for Cross-Addiction?

Cross-addiction can occur at the same time as you are actively using drugs or alcohol, or you can become vulnerable to this problem after you successfully complete a rehab program. Cross-addiction is a common issue among people in the early phases of their recovery, but even those who have been sober for many years can develop an addiction to another drug or later engage in a habitual behavior that triggers the same reward pathways within the brain. People who have already developed one addiction are more likely to fall into cross-addiction.

Imagine, for example, you have been successfully managing an addiction to opioids. You enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner every night to help you unwind. Over time, this drinking spirals, and every time you encounter a stressful situation, you turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. While you have remained opioid-free, you haven’t fully addressed your issues with substance misuse.

Cross-addiction doesn’t always involve substance abuse disorders. Some recovering drug or alcohol addicts develop behavioral problems such as a gambling, sex or eating addiction instead of turning to a different drug.

What Causes Cross-Addiction to Happen?

Cross-addiction occurs for a variety of reasons, but often it is accidental and can appear relatively harmless at first. For example, if you come down with bronchitis, your doctor may write you a prescription for an opioid cough medication like codeine. The calm, relaxed feeling this drug gives you makes you want to use it more, eventually leading to a higher tolerance and increased use until it becomes an addiction.

You can also develop a cross-addiction if you have lingering mental health issues, otherwise known as co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. If you have a history of trauma, depression or anxiety, you may start using alcohol and other drugs, or start practicing compulsive habits such as gaming that help ease your emotional discomfort.

A lack of understanding is another reason cross-addiction can occur. For instance, perhaps you already know you are addicted to alcohol, and then your doctor prescribes you benzodiazepines to help manage anxiety symptoms. If you are not aware of how addictive benzodiazepines can be, you may start using them without realizing they may cause you to develop a cross-addiction. To be on the safe side, if you have struggled with substance misuse in the past, you should always mention that to any doctor who treats you. There are many different alternatives to potentially addictive medications, and your physician should know what those are and how to prescribe them in such a way that you stay safe and sober.

Recommit to Your Life’s Purpose

At Canyon Crossing, our Arizona drug and alcohol treatment facility provides a structured environment and a sense of accountability for women who need help finding a path to sobriety. We offer a variety of holistic treatments that help address the root of addiction and related mental health disorders, allowing women to focus on reclaiming full, healthy lives without relying on harmful substances. Our staff are available to answer any questions you may have about beginning your recovery journey with us.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Addiction and the Cycle of Isolation

Addiction can be an incredibly lonely disease. Though you may have initially started drinking or using drugs in social situations, as the illness takes hold, the impulse to withdraw from the rest of the world gets stronger. Why do addicts isolate themselves, and how can you break the cycle?

What Makes Addiction So Isolating?

It’s common for people who have mental health disorders like anxiety and depression to have problems forming relationships with others. Using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and drown out the inner voice telling you that you are worthless becomes a compulsion so strong, it eventually causes you to detach from anything that gets in the way of their drive to misuse substances and escape the real world.

The further your mental health deteriorates, and the more your disease progresses, the less you will desire to connect with other people. Addiction-related guilt can make you want to avoid facing others for fear they will tell you the uncomfortable truth about how much you are harming yourself. When you are alone, nobody can object to your behavior. Eventually, you build a wall around yourself that nobody else can pass through.

How to Overcome Isolation in Recovery

One of the first steps in the addiction recovery process is learning how to break down the barriers you have built around yourself so you can start to build the strong sober support network you need to succeed in drug and alcohol rehab.

For many people, the built-in peer group they meet by participating in 12-step programs is their first introduction to what this support network will look like, and how it will benefit them. In these groups, you will meet other people who are experiencing many of the same challenges as you are, and who will hold you accountable for achieving your goals and moving in a positive direction. To fully maximize your participation in these groups, you have to get past your mindset of isolation and learn how to ask for help when you feel frightened or hopeless.

Moving Through Isolation

Once you learn to recognize your desire to isolate yourself is a sign that you are regressing to your old habits, there is hope of turning things around. It’s OK to feel like you don’t belong at times. Just don’t let these negative thoughts take over. Not every recovery group will be exactly the right fit for you, so it may take some trial and error before you find a setting where you feel comfortable expressing yourself and sharing your feelings. Be patient and tell yourself it will come with time.

When you are at meetings, practice active listening skills and try to empathize with what others are saying. Look for ways in which their thoughts, feelings and behavioral patterns are similar to yours, and understand that they may feel just as disconnected as you do at times.

When you can look around and realize you have surrounded yourself with a network of compassionate people who have the desire to help you, it will give you the self-confidence you need to end your cycle of isolation. You truly are not alone on this journey, and there is every reason to feel hopeful about what the future has in store.

Drug and Alcohol Recovery for Women

When you are ready to accept that you need help for your drug or alcohol addiction, Canyon Crossing Recovery is here for you. At our accredited women’s-only treatment facility, we offer a 12-step approach to therapy, in addition to our well-rounded holistic care options. Contact us today to learn about beginning your recovery journey here.

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Client’s Perspective on a Women’s Only Treatment Program

client perspective women treatmentBeing in a woman's only treatment center has really made my connection to my womanhood and girl power stronger. Being alongside women who have conquered death essentially and have also been given a chance to fight for their lives has been such an empowering experience. Women are bad ass! Sometimes it is a challenge, when you put 20 girls into a confined space, but it really gives you a chance to embrace all it means to be a woman and a woman in recovery!

- Client A

Men were a great distraction for me - so when my mom told me in the car that I was on my way to an all women’s treatment center I was not very happy about it. When I first arrived I was not very comfortable with being around so much feminine energy, but now that I've been here for a couple of months - I can honestly say it is the best thing that's ever happened for me. I've been given the opportunity to really heal in an environment that allows it. I have been to other co-ed centers and I didn't get half the amount focus on my inner issues as I am here. I'm becoming an empowering woman who holds herself with grace... and I never knew that person was inside me all along.

- Client B

Canyon Crossing has done miracles in my life. When I first heard that Canyon was only women - I was not a fan. "I don't get along with girls that well," was the first and only thing I said for a little. After getting here and meeting all the girls I was still a little weary about it. As time went on I learned to tolerate it, then like it, then absolutely love and appreciate all the women here. They have been through all the laughs, smiles, tears, breakdowns, and even the snotty cries. I actually trust these women. Being in an all women’s treatment center has been the best choice for me. I have been in co-ed treatment centers before and I just wasn't comfortable letting all my emotions out in front of males and females in a mixed setting. Being here also teaches that we as women don't need men all the time. I love these women and I know they love me too. These women will always have my back and I will always have theirs. Canyon Crossing is full of women with integrity and grace, will help pick you up when you fall, and will love you till the end. Lets just say that I am more than happy with the decision that I made to come to an all women's treatment center.

- Client C

I have enjoyed being in an all women's program because I have learned how much I have in common with every women I meet. I have learned to focus on our similarities and not our differences. I have learned how to have safe and loving relationships with women when in the past I have been afraid to start relationships with women. The benefits of this program are learning that women are kind, safe, and loving.

- Client D


Friday, April 26, 2019

Letting Go of Shame in Recovery

Guilt and shame are normal human emotions – nobody’s perfect, and everyone has regrets in life. How you react and respond to shame is key, however, because if you can’t learn to let go, these feelings will weigh you down, preventing you from realizing your true potential.

We don’t get a chance to go back in time and do things differently. That’s why the best thing you can do to stay healthy is to accept that fact and keep moving forward. Doing so is vital to your growth as a person. With that in mind, here are some ideas for getting past guilt and shame in recovery.

Moving Past the Shame Cycle

Recovering from an addiction often involves feeling guilt for what how you behaved in active addiction, and shame for allowing yourself to make decisions that harmed yourself or others. If you try not to think about these mistakes, it can lead to a shame cycle that traps you in feelings of worthlessness.

The first step to breaking out of this downward spiral is to make a written list of all the mistakes you believe you made. Then, go back over the list, and next to each item, write down at least one lesson you can learn from them. Next, do at least one positive thing each day to cancel out negativity from your past. The antidote to shame is pride. If you do things that make you feel good about who you are today and who you will become in the future, your pride will gradually chip away at your shame.

Self-Forgiveness

You can’t heal and rebuild your life if you don’t learn how to forgive yourself. Most of us are our own worst critic, so the process of self-forgiveness isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. However, there are steps you can take to help it go more smoothly.
  • Take ownership of your actions: Your addictive behavior probably hurt some of the people who care most about you. Hold yourself accountable and apologize. You’re not the same person today as you were when you were letting your addiction control your life. There’s still time to make things right with your family members and friends.
  • Seek therapy: A therapist can help you learn to understand and process your emotions. Identifying the root cause of your addiction can help you understand why you behaved the way you did, and unlearn the unhealthy coping mechanisms you developed as someone with an addiction.

How to Get Over Guilt

As hard as it may be for you to accept, guilty feelings represent a step in the right direction. They mean you are aware of the times you did something wrong. Now that you are admitting to yourself where you went astray, learn to embrace those mistakes as learning experiences that are shaping you into a better person. Yes, it can be difficult to learn from your mistakes, but that is not an excuse to stop trying.

Like learning self-forgiveness, getting over guilt takes time. Start by exploring what is making you feel guilty, and whether there is a logical reason for you to feel guilt over it. Maybe the guilt is valid, but it’s also possible for it to be all in your mind, and something you’re beating yourself up over for no reason. Write it down or talk through it with your therapist. Once you scrutinize your guilty feelings, you’ll be able to decide how to put them behind you and take the appropriate steps to heal.

Your New Life Is Ready to Begin

At Canyon Crossing, we believe there are always reasons to be hopeful about what tomorrow will bring. When you choose to start your recovery at our women’s-only drug and alcohol rehab facility, you will discover the benefits of holistic therapy in a serene desert location that gives you time and space to grow as a person. Contact us to learn more about admissions.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pitfalls to Avoid in Early Recovery

The disease of addiction presents many paradoxes, not the least of which is that recovery becomes easier when you begin to accept how challenging it can be. Managing your illness involves tremendous emotional fortitude as you recommit to the process every day. Because this new path presents so many challenges, you can expect to encounter speed bumps or periods where things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. Here are four of the most common obstacles to avoid in the early stages of recovery, along with how you can avoid them.

Pitfall 1: You expect too much too soon.

Substance misuse disorders revolve around the idea of immediate gratification. People turn to drugs and alcohol because they believe it will help them solve problems and feel better about themselves right away. However, achieving long-lasting success takes time with any endeavor, and that is especially true of addiction recovery. Sobriety is a process that takes re-committing yourself with the dawning of each new day. You will need to make peace with the fact that it doesn’t happen automatically.

Pitfall 2: You constantly compare yourself to others.

According to social comparison theory, it’s human nature to use other people as a yardstick for your life. You may look at others, assume they’ve figured it all out and get frustrated when you can’t say the same about yourself. However, all you can see about those other people is the superficial details of what they are presenting to the world. You have no way to know what they are going through or what issues they may struggle with in their private lives. The most reliable way to judge your progress is by looking inward.

Pitfall 3: You aren’t living in the moment.

Focusing on the here and now – without dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about what might happen down the road – is an essential part of mental health. Think about what you can accomplish today to hold yourself accountable and make it easier for you to stay on track. It’s OK if the only thing you can do right now is something small. Those baby steps add up.

Pitfall 4: You take on too much, too soon.

You’ve finally started working on your health and happiness, and are starting to see the benefits, both mentally and physically. But just because you feel markedly better, that doesn’t mean you should bite off more than you can chew. Early recovery is a time to look after yourself and put your best interests first. De-prioritize anything that isn’t essential to your recovery. By doing so, you’ll take some of the pressure off your shoulders and have fewer burdens weighing on your mind.

You’re Worth the Effort

Every journey in life requires time and work to succeed. Giving it your best every day, especially in the earliest phases of recovery, will help you achieve significant results. Avoiding these four mistakes and continually committing to the process of recovery and self-improvement will help you reap the rewards.

If you are looking for a qualified, caring treatment facility where you can get your life back on track, contact us at Canyon Crossing. As Prescott, AZ’s leading women’s-only drug and alcohol rehab center, we help our clients rediscover their hope and sense of purpose.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Do You Need a Holistic Treatment Program?

Alternative therapies have become an increasingly popular and mainstream option in the medical community. According to the Mayo Clinic, more than 30 percent of U.S. adults report using complementary therapies to treat illnesses, and the disease of addiction is no exception.

People develop addictions for a variety of reasons. Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate physical challenges, such as post-surgical pain. Others might use these substances to cope with difficult emotions or to self-medicate when they are feeling anxiety or depression. Many people seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol problem benefit from holistic rehabilitation programs that treat a full spectrum of issues. Holistic rehab differs from traditional therapy because it focuses on addressing the mind-body-spirit connection to heal people from addiction and provide a stronger foundation for long-term sobriety.

The Holistic Treatment Difference

People who struggle with substance abuse often have unique, complex needs. A treatment plan that focuses on improving all three areas of health and helps restore both mental and physical equilibrium has the best chance of helping you attain and preserve your sobriety.

No component of health is isolated from the others. For example, if your emotional health is suffering, it will begin to take a toll on you physically as well, and vice versa. Holistic drug and alcohol rehab will work to heal each of the three components of health and teach you smart strategies for managing stress and anxiety so you can prevent a relapse.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Holistic Treatment?

Almost anyone can benefit from getting help at a holistic or alternative rehab center. The only requirement for attending is a willingness to work on your recovery.

Holistic addiction programs are known for their calming and restorative qualities, which make them an excellent supplement to traditional 12-step recovery and cognitive behavioral therapy. Options in a holistic therapy program include yoga and mindfulness meditation, spiritual retreats, equine therapy and more.

How to Find the Right Holistic Rehab Program

Many drug and alcohol rehab centers offer some form of holistic treatment options. The key to finding the right one for you is to look for one that will tailor your rehab experience to your specific needs and addiction history.

Once you find holistic addiction rehab programs whose offerings and philosophy align with the approach that makes you feel comfortable, try to visit the centers in person if possible. The more comfortable the environment makes you feel, the higher the likelihood you will be motivated to complete your recovery there.

Holistic Recovery in Prescott, AZ

Because effective addiction treatment should address the entire individual and not just the behavioral component of the addiction, finding a program that focuses on the mind-body-spirit connection for addiction rehab can be a life-changing way to begin your path to wellness.

At Canyon Crossing, we believe in helping women with addiction problems rediscover their possibilities in life by treating the root of the issue with programming that addresses each client’s particular needs. You have the potential to heal from your addiction and make the most of your life. Reach out to us today to learn more about starting your recovery here.