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Friday, September 13, 2019

September Is National Recovery Month

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration commemorates National Recovery Month. 2019 marks the 30th annual such observance, which reminds Americans that it’s possible for people to learn to manage a substance addiction and go on to live a happy, healthy life. The goal of Recovery Month is to spread the positive message that addiction is a disease people can learn to overcome with the right tools.

By celebrating the triumphs of the millions of Americans living in recovery, Recovery Month goes a step beyond educating the nation on the benefits of addiction treatment. The path to sobriety is not easy or straight, and those who walk it every day deserve well-earned recognition for their accomplishments, both large and small.

Why Should We Spotlight Addiction and Recovery?

From coast to coast, millions of people struggle with addiction. According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 21.5 million people aged 12 or older have suffered from a substance use disorder. Drug overdose – particularly from opioids – is now the top cause of accidental death in the United States.

Tragically, these are only two of the many sobering statistics regarding addiction that have come to light in recent years. Recovery Month sparks the public conversation around addiction and recovery. Crucially, Recovery Month drives home the understanding that recovery is possible through qualified treatment, and that the battle against addictive behavior is winnable.

The Importance of National Recovery Month

Unfortunately, addiction is an illness surrounded by stigma. People often assume addicts are weak-willed or immoral, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The lack of understanding surrounding addiction and what treatment entails can, sadly, discourage people from seeking the treatment they so desperately need.

To make recovery attainable, we must first be able to talk candidly about addiction, treatment and recovery. National Recovery Month is the ideal opportunity to break through the shame surrounding addiction with your family, friends, co-workers and anyone else you can think of. By starting the conversation free of stereotypes or prejudice, you might even encourage people who have been silently struggling with an addiction to move toward getting help.

The hope and promise of National Recovery Month don’t end on Sept. 30. Through educational resources, SAMHSA aims to provide our nation with a supply of knowledge we can use to increase public awareness and help reshape the conversation surrounding addiction and treatment all year long.

Explore Your Long-Term Treatment Options

At Canyon Crossing, we love seeing our clients and their families celebrating National Recovery Month. Though their stories can be a sad reminder of how devastating addiction can be, they also serve as uplifting examples of the healing that can occur with substance misuse treatment and recovery. Because of this, we invite our alumni to share their successes with others.

If we want to put an end to the tragedies addiction can cause, we must flip the script on the way we talk about treatment and recovery. This Recovery Month, take the opportunity to celebrate your successes in sobriety. Learn more about addiction as a disease and how treatment can be beneficial. Don’t be ashamed to speak up about your experiences with addiction – you never know who may need to hear your story.

Are you ready to seek treatment for your substance misuse disorder and get your life moving in a positive direction? At Canyon Crossing, we offer programs designed to help you break free from your addiction. Take the first step in your new life and contact us today.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Celebrate Your Sobriety Successes

Milestones are part of life, whether you are observing a graduation, marriage, a birthday or accomplishing a significant goal such as a promotion at work. While you were in active addiction, you probably used drugs and alcohol as an integral part of these celebrations, and now that you’re sober, you may find you don’t know how to commemorate happy events without them. However, making time to congratulate yourself for accomplishments you achieve in sobriety is essential.

With that in mind, here are some reasons to be proud of yourself, as well as suggestions of drug-free ways to pat yourself on the back for all the progress you’ve made.

Why You Should Congratulate Yourself

Don’t be shy about claiming your victories, even the small ones. Even if you’ve been sober for a year or more, celebrating helps you reflect on how far you’ve come. It also reminds you about all the times you prevailed when the odds seemed to be stacked against you.

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs traditionally use different-colored chips or coins to help recovering addicts track their progress and honor milestones such as number of years in sobriety. These can serve as a motivational tool that discourages you from slipping up and drinking or using “just one more time.” Especially in early recovery, tokens like these provide a concrete reminder that every day you spend sober is a significant accomplishment.

Sober Celebration Ideas

If you’re struggling to come up with ways to congratulate yourself on your sobriety milestones, here are some suggestions you can use to get started.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

If you’ve never heard of a gratitude journal, it’s exactly what it sounds like -- a notebook where you write down things you’re grateful for. If you don’t consider yourself a writer, don’t worry. The entries in your journal can stay private if you want them to, and a best practice is to keep them short and sweet. A single sentence can be enough to go on. There are some surprising benefits of this style of journaling, including stress relief and improved sleep quality, and getting in this habit will also help you appreciate the value of things you normally wouldn’t notice.

2. Treat Yourself

It’s OK to reward yourself with small gifts occasionally. Your indulgence might be going out to a gourmet restaurant and ordering a four-course meal, or getting a salon or spa service you’ve been wanting to try for a while. Or, maybe it’s something smaller, such as taking an evening bubble bath or buying yourself a flattering new outfit. It can be whatever you want, as long as it’s something that motivates you to keep making progress.

3. Give Back to the Community

Every success you achieve in sobriety represents an opportunity to acknowledge all the hard work you’ve put in, as well those who have helped you along the way. You can “pay it forward” by volunteering at a local nonprofit or becoming a recovery sponsor for someone who is newly sober. Your volunteerism doesn’t have to be recovery-related, though many recovering addicts find this type of service profoundly rewarding and therapeutic.

Honor Your New Beginning

Life can be unpredictable, and perhaps nobody understands this better than a recovering addict. The low points you have experienced due to your addiction can make the positive moments in life feel even sweeter. Take time to be thankful for what you have, and your sobriety will be better for it.

At Canyon Crossing, women who struggle with the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction can find a place to rediscover their potential and their joy. Our innovative women’s-only treatment facility in Arizona takes a variety of approaches to treating the root causes of addictive behaviors. If you are ready to learn how to manage your addiction, our admissions specialists are waiting to hear from you.

Friday, August 30, 2019

When Is the Right Time to Get Help?

People begin drinking and using drugs for a variety of reasons, whether it is out of curiosity, peer pressure or to relieve stress and anxiety. These effects may seem positive at first, which makes it more challenging to recognize when substance use crosses the line from casual to problematic.

Understanding Addiction as a Chronic Disease

The progression of addiction as an illness means that, at some point, you will lose control of the ability to moderate your use, and lose sight of when your destructive behavior has begun disrupting your life. Seeking help can save your life and prevent severe ramifications like legal and financial problems or damaged relationships.

Though there is a persistent belief that people who fall prey to addiction do so because they lack willpower or moral fiber, this stigma is outdated. Because prolonged drug and alcohol use changes the brain, people who have a substance misuse disorder can’t walk away on their own, no matter how motivated they are to quit. Powerful cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms keep users coming back, despite the adverse consequences.

How to Tell If You Should Seek Help

Usually, there is not one defining, “rock-bottom” moment that will cause someone to admit they have a problem with substance abuse. Even if you seem to have your life together in public, you can still be falling apart in private.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you are wondering whether you should consider seeking treatment at an addiction rehab facility.
  • When you run out of drugs or alcohol, do you find yourself thinking obsessively about how to get more?
  • Have you ever experienced consequences such as bankruptcy, arrest or the loss of a job because of your substance misuse?
  • Do you spend an excessive amount of time trying to obtain drugs?
  • Have you ever committed to quitting, only to realize you can’t?
  • Have drugs and alcohol become a priority in your life, taking the place of your relationships or career?
  • Do you often try to justify your “need” for drugs or alcohol to those around you?
  • Do you find yourself lying about the extent of your substance misuse?
  • Have you ever stolen drugs or the money to pay for them?
  • Have the people closest to you ever expressed worries about your behavior?
If you answered “yes” to most or all these questions, it’s likely your substance use is adversely affecting your life or the lives of others around you, and you could benefit from seeking immediate treatment.

A Life of Freedom Can Be Yours

Admitting you have an addiction problem is the beginning of your healing process. If you are ready to accept help and make significant changes in your behavior, you can learn skills to help you manage your illness and go on to reclaim your life. At a qualified treatment facility like Canyon Crossing, our state-licensed clinicians provide individualized treatment plans that address the unique needs of women in addiction recovery. To learn more about the unique features and amenities of our Arizona women’s rehab center, reach out today.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Explaining Ecotherapy

explaining eco therapy Ecotherapy is not a new concept but the defining of the approach as a specific therapeutic intervention may seem like a new and outrageous idea. The purpose of “Ecotherapy” is to simply allow nature and our interactions with nature to sooth the soul. I base my Ecotherapy approach upon the foundations of Shinrin-yoku or Japanese forest bathing. Forest bathing, simply “being in the presence of trees” became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982. As a member of the National Association of Forest Therapy and a longtime outdoor adventurer and “tree hugger”, nature has always played a large part in my philosophical approach to healing both myself and others. This evidence-based practice not only promotes physical health but allows space for mental and emotional healing as well as meditative practice. We live in a time of great technological innovation. As a consequence of this gift, we have forgotten how to slow down and spend time with ourselves as we bustle through our ever-increasing daily responsibilities. Ecotherapy allows for this time while utilizing the natural offerings of our beautiful planet.

Links for further research:

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Benefits of Napping in Addiction Recovery

Taking time for a refreshing nap can turn your entire day around, especially if you are having trouble fitting in your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. On days when you feel overtaxed or are having trouble getting your thoughts together, a nap can enhance your focus and mental acuity, and give you a much-needed mood boost.

Despite all the well-documented benefits of napping, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. For example, too much shut-eye in the middle of the afternoon can rob you of the sleep you need at night. That’s why learning to nap correctly could become a secret weapon in your recovery arsenal.

Napping Pros and Cons

The advantages of napping include the following:
  • Naps can make you more alert and improve your productivity.
  • Napping helps replenish your energy and regulate your emotions.
  • An afternoon nap can be like a mini-getaway in the middle of your day.
  • After years of depriving your body of what it needs to be well, napping in recovery can be rewarding and healing.
The downsides of napping include:
  • Naps can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented, especially if you nap for longer periods. That means you could have trouble concentrating on any tasks you try to take on immediately after waking up.
  • Catching shut-eye too late in the day might make you have trouble getting the good-quality sleep you need at night. If you are already struggling with insomnia, napping can make that problem worse.

How to Make Naps Part of Your Recovery Routine

If you think you don’t have time to take daily naps, think again. The “sweet spot” for adult napping is a 10- to 20-minute power nap, which is just enough time to give your brain a break without going into a deep sleep. You will wake up well-rested and ready to take on the challenges of the rest of your day. On days when you feel like you need more than 20 minutes of rest, you should still limit your snooze to less than 90 minutes to avoid disrupting your nighttime sleep schedule.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not possible to catch up on sleep. That means if your regular sleep schedule gets disrupted, a nap will not fix it. Instead, the goal of napping is to recharge and give yourself an energy boost.

Tips for Maximizing Your Naps

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your afternoon rest.
  • Approach it with the right mindset. Trying too hard to fall asleep can make you feel stressed and frustrated, which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve with a nap. If you aren’t feeling sleepy, close your eyes and meditate for a little while.
  • Set the mood. A comfortable place with minimal light and no interruptions will take you to the most restful sleep stage faster.
  • Don’t overdo it. Twenty minutes of quality time is enough to leave you feeling well-rested.

Get Your Zzz On

Instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again each morning, devote those minutes toward an afternoon power nap instead. You’ll be glad you did. And, if you’re looking for more strategies for your holistic addiction recovery, contact us at Canyon Crossing. As a unique women’s-only rehabilitation facility, we provide a range of unique features that help our clients discover their best and most satisfying lives in a caring environment.

Friday, August 16, 2019

What Does It Mean to Set Healthy Boundaries in Recovery?

Drug and alcohol misuse exact a heavy toll on relationships, as addicts begin to prioritize substance use above all other activities. Along the way, you may have hurt the people who cared most about you by sending the message that drugs and alcohol were more important to you than spending time with them. Now, in recovery, you will have to focus on healing those damaged relationships. Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is one place to begin.

How Do Boundaries Work?

Boundaries are the rules you set to define your space and determine what is acceptable in your relationships. Effective boundaries help build trust and strengthen relationships. You can determine the consequences for any behavior that is unacceptable. That way, nobody can fall back on the excuse of, “I didn’t know that wasn’t OK with you.”

You cannot dictate other people’s behavior, but you can be clear about what you do not want them to do. For example, if seeing others drinking or using drugs is a trigger for you, you can politely request that they not bring over a bottle of wine when they come to your home for dinner. In that way, a boundary can help you and everyone in your orbit.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

When you start to set healthy boundaries in recovery, you may need to start almost totally from scratch. In your years of active addiction, you may have had little to no boundaries, which resulted in relationships characterized by co-dependency, enabling and similar challenges.

Creating boundaries, then, represents an essential milestone on your pathway to recovery, since you and those around you are so used to the status quo you established with your addictive behaviors. If you want to help create positive boundaries in your family and friendships, you can start by considering a few things:
  • Not all your relationships will remain the same. Change is never easy, but your health and happiness are your biggest priority now. If others don’t understand – or can’t accept – your need to protect your sobriety, you may need to move forward without them.
  • Say what you mean. Defining boundaries requires you to stick to your guns. That means you can’t be noncommittal. If someone challenges the rules you’ve set, you have every right to tell them no without feeling bad or ashamed about it.
  • Word choice matters. Reframe your language and use “I” statements instead of “you” statements, which can make the other person feel as if you’re blaming them. You are only responsible for your feelings, and vice versa. Honesty is the best policy.

Your Happiness Awaits

When setting boundaries, having a support network is paramount. The people you choose to be in your corner can include your sobriety sponsor, a parent, a sibling or anyone else who can help you navigate challenging situations. Finding people to be on your team can be invaluable as you seek ways to change your lifestyle and set clear boundaries for a healthier recovery.

At Canyon Crossing, our mission is to help women rediscover how to break free of addictions and start on the road to wellness. We are a premier residential drug and alcohol rehab facility in beautiful Prescott, AZ, offering a range of programs that provide structure and teach positive life skills. For more information, contact our staff today.

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Client's Perspective Of Long Term Treatment

client perspective long term treatment
1.  They say that if you stay in a safe place for an elongated period of time that symptoms of PTSD will diminish.
That has been my experience here at Canyon Crossing.
A constant state of anxiety.
That’s what I was in
“It’s like there’s an elephant on my chest.”
That’s what I would say.
And it was like was a hummingbird’s heart lived inside of me.
Constant panic, fear.
Will I have a panic attack today? Will I be able to breathe?
I had crippling anxiety.
Debilitatingly so.

But it’s not like that today.
Through being here, I would say I found peace. But truly, peace found me.
I didn’t expect it to come,
and now that it’s here, I can’t imagine it would leave.
Whereas, when I got here, I couldn’t sit with myself. Today, I feel good inside of me.
Today I am strong. I am healing.
I am lucky. I am blessed. 

I’ve gotten past surviving to where I can truly live.  

2. I’ve been in treatment for eleven months now. When I came in my fears were missing out on what’s going on with the people in my life and the unknown that comes along with being in a long term treatment center. My fears are still the same, but I have more acceptance around them now. Something that helps me a lot with my fear is my relationships with the women around me and the love that I share with them. It makes the time more enjoyable and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on life as much. 

3. At first I was absolutely terrified to come to a long term treatment center. I did not want to leave my life and my friends for this long. When I got here I was very scared and my first month went by so slow. I didn’t get comfortable because I didn’t plan on staying longer than 90 days. And now here I am 6 months later, calling this place my home, and the girls here family. Treatment is like a time warp. I’ve been here 6 months and it feels like I just got here. I still have fears sometimes about being here forever, but then I look at how short it is compared to the rest of my life and I know I’m doing the right thing. I can sit here and honestly say that if I wasn’t in a long term program I wouldn’t be sober. If you are willing to save your life then in my opinion you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that, even if it’s a hard, long term, treatment program. 

4.  I never really had too many fears about long term treatment except for the fact that I knew I was going to have to really take a look at my past and be done with the life I was used to. I knew coming here meant that I was done for good with my destructive coping skills. And that was extremely terrifying. I knew I had to do something different. Short term treatment programs just didn’t work for me to get me back on my feet. If I wanted to make it, I had to really put in the time and work on things I didn’t want to look at. I had to give my brain the time it needed to balance out in a safe environment. Long term treatment has saved my life. That is a hard fact. I didn’t know how to leave short term treatment and survive in society afterwards. I now feel prepared and confident in my recovery. I am leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the reasons I did drugs. I had to dig deep and compost my entire soul. I can honestly say that I do not fear relapsing anymore or even have the desire to. I have learned to love myself and heal and grow here. I have learned to connect and be there for others and let them be there for me. I feel like a person again. A strong woman at that. Seven months ago, this was not the case. I have had the willingness the whole time, but long term support is what I needed to get up off my knees and on my own two feet. Life is not scary anymore and I have found peace and acceptance. I am so grateful and it has not been easy but was been worth it. I wish that every addict had this opportunity in the beginning of their fight to get clean. It is the best gift I have ever been given and I would strongly recommend it to anyone considering or in need of desperate help. It’s the best decision I ever made.

Friday, August 9, 2019

How to Make Peace With Yourself in Recovery

After completing rehab, you’ll need to find ways to take care of yourself and focus on your needs. Of all the things to work on when you are looking to preserve your newfound sobriety, restoring peace of mind should be at the top of your list. Here are some things to try if you are working on making peace with yourself.

Rediscover Your Spirituality

An essential part of recovery requires you to look deep within yourself to discover the underlying causes of your problems with substance misuse. Regardless of what form it takes for you, a spiritual practice can help you deepen your appreciation for where you have been and what lies ahead for your future. Having a spiritual foundation can be your shelter from the storm when times are rough. Being able to center yourself through a practice like yoga or meditation can be calming for anyone navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of recovery.

Be Patient 

One significant obstacle facing many people in recovery is their expectation that going through a rehab program will fix all their problems. In our culture of instant gratification, it can be discouraging to realize that recovery is not an overnight cure, but a journey you will be on for the rest of your life. To make peace with yourself, you must accept the fact that healing from addiction requires patience and gratitude.

Let Go of Perfection

You are bound to make mistakes in recovery, and that’s OK. Don’t think of setbacks as failures, but as learning opportunities that help expose areas where you need to work harder. Instead of immediately blaming yourself, look for the lesson or takeaway. If you need to, talk your mistake through with your therapist or write about it in your recovery journal to help you process what you’ve learned.

Accept Yourself

Inner peace is a result of learning to love and accept yourself for who you are. Embrace all your flaws, because they have shaped you into the woman you are today. You need to focus on the positive and support yourself just as much as you would support anyone else who has been through the same struggles with addiction as you have.
  • Speak as kindly to yourself as you would to anyone else you care about.
  • Recognize and release negative self-talk that is holding you back.
  • Realize your past does not define your future.
  • Accept today as an opportunity for you to change yourself to be better tomorrow.

Finding Inner Peace Begins With Treatment

Your pathway to peace starts with finding quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. As someone in recovery, you can innovate solutions to move past some of your challenges on your own, but discovering peace with yourself is a lifelong journey. Health and happiness are waiting for you in treatment, if you keep your heart and mind open to the process.

If you are searching for a place to begin your drug or alcohol addiction treatment, learn more about the innovative women’s-only program we provide at Canyon Crossing, and contact us to talk with our admissions specialists.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Understanding Why Addiction Isn’t a Weakness

Many people remain in denial about their addiction for years by hiding it behind normal, everyday activities like holding down a good job, exercising and spending time with their families. The reality is that anyone can wear a mask when interacting with others, but how you behave when you’re alone says it all. Perhaps you stay up drinking alone, long after everyone else in your household has gone to bed. Or maybe you leave work in the middle of the day for a “doctor’s appointment” and spend the rest of the afternoon getting high.

Only you know how hard you need to work to seem “normal” so no one will suspect the extent of your problem. You may even fool a therapist if you enter a program to deal with your illness. In others’ minds, you are nothing like the “rock-bottom” stereotype of people who have lost their homes, jobs and families, but you know you can’t stop drinking or using drugs on your own.

Suffering in Silence

Individuals who get caught up in substance misuse often view themselves as falling short of their standards. Feeling guilt about your perceived shortcomings leads to a negative mindset, and the public stigma around the so-called “failings” of people with addiction doesn’t encourage anyone to seek treatment. You also know being honest with other people about your addiction might cause them to treat you differently. For example, if you tell your boss you are going to rehab, you could put your reputation and your job on the line. Many people living with an active addiction do not want to take these risks, so they stay quiet and struggle alone.

Even people who exert strong ambition and willpower in other areas of their lives have trouble saying no when an addiction takes hold. That’s because of the way drug and alcohol use impacts your brain chemistry, creating powerful feelings of fulfillment and well-being that become increasingly difficult to resist. Media depictions of addiction often portray addicts as people who have lost all hope, but who choose to keep using regardless of the harm they are doing to themselves and others. The reality, however, is that once you become physically and psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol, it can be a nearly unsurmountable challenge to walk away without professional help.

Don’t Let Your Addiction Define You

Substance addiction can transform you into a different person. Your illness might make you lie, steal, mislead others and rob you of everything you love – all because you can’t stop using your drug of choice on your own. Because of the behavioral problems associated with addiction, most people find it difficult to view the addiction and the individual separately. Instead, they conflate the two and assume addicted people have no willpower or sense of morality.

At Canyon Crossing, women can find a new meaning to their lives by separating themselves from their substance misuse issues. In our transitional living program, you will find the compassion you need to work through your challenges in a supportive environment. Admitting you need help for your addiction is not a sign of weakness, but of courage. When you are ready to make a second start in life, we are here for you.

Friday, July 26, 2019

How to Explain to Your Kids That You’re Going to Treatment

If you have children, they are probably your prime motivation to seek help for your substance abuse. You want them to grow up knowing their mom is there to support them, and your goal is to serve as a role model.

Many parents feel as if they need to shield their kids from the truth that they have an addiction and are going to get help, but this belief is unhealthy. Kids are more perceptive and observant than many adults give them credit for being, and it’s likely your children have realized something is wrong with your behavior, even if they don’t entirely grasp what it is.

By deciding to enter addiction treatment, you will give your children a sense of relief that things are going to get better. However, it’s understandable they might be scared or confused, especially about the idea that you are going to be away from home for a while. That’s why a fundamental part of preparing to enter treatment is to explain to your children, in an age-appropriate way, that you are going to a rehab facility.

Define the Addiction

Open the conversation by spelling out that you are sick, and that you are going to a special place where kind people will help you get better. Be sure to use child-friendly language that they can clearly understand. Depending on their age, you may want to ask if they are aware that you have an illness called addiction. If their answer is yes, follow up by asking them to explain their thoughts and feelings about it.

Stay Calm

Explaining to your children that you are going to treatment can be an emotional conversation, but breaking down in tears will not make it easier on you or your children. If you feel yourself struggling to keep your composure, pause for a moment to collect yourself and take a few deep breaths. Meanwhile, be sure your children understand it’s OK for them to feel sad, angry or afraid, and that you will listen to anything they want to tell you.

Tell Them Where You’re Going

Your children will probably have several questions about where you are going. Describe what the treatment facility is like, and show them photos online. Explain the activities you’ll be doing while you’re there. Reassure them that it is a safe environment where you will make new friends and have caring people looking after you. Reinforce the message that as soon as you are feeling better, you will return home to be with them.

Addiction Is a Family Disease

When you’ve finally stopped denying that your substance use is out of control and you need to seek help, you have given yourself an opportunity to make a fresh start in life. However, you also need to recognize you aren’t the only person your addiction has affected. Your entire family will be feeling the pain as well, especially younger children. Going to treatment gives you the chance to heal and move forward as a family.

At Canyon Crossing, our family program is part of the range of treatment options we offer at our accredited Arizona drug and alcohol rehab center. To learn more about how we can help you recover, reach out to us anytime.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Best Sober Vacation Ideas

Many people living with active addiction sustain their self-destructive ways by telling themselves the lie that alcohol and drugs make their lives richer and more fulfilling. When you begin pursuing sobriety, it can improve your life in a variety of ways, including your vacation choices. Not only will you have more time, money and motivation to pursue different experiences, you will rediscover who you are without the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Traveling While Pursuing Your Sobriety

Maintaining sobriety can be challenging enough to achieve in familiar surroundings. When you go on vacation and disrupt your typical recovery routine, the temptation to relapse into alcohol or drug use can become overwhelming. In some situations, you will have less control over what triggers you might become exposed to, or what difficulties you might encounter.

For example, if you choose to go on a typical cruise or resort vacation, you could meet many fellow travelers with a party mentality who encourage you to drink or use drugs with them. That’s why your choice of destination and activity can be essential in helping you maintain your recovery goals as you travel. With that in mind, here are five suggestions for planning the best sober vacation of your life.

1. Yoga or Meditation Retreat

On a retreat that focuses on yoga or meditation, you will be surrounded by people who share your goals of being mindful and health-conscious. You will also rejuvenate yourself mentally and spiritually by allowing yourself plenty of opportunity for self-reflection, which is a vital part of being happy in your life.

2. Camping, Hiking or Backpacking

Are you looking for a vacation where you can genuinely get away from it all? The great outdoors is one way you can appreciate nature while staying sober. Depending on how rustic you want to get, and how far outside the city you travel, you can put miles between yourself and the nearest place to get alcohol or drugs.

3. Activity-Based Adventures

If you’re more athletic and up for a challenge that gets your blood pumping, plan a trip around a physical activity like surfing, rock climbing or sailing. You’ll need to have a clear head to concentrate fully on the activity at hand, plus these activities are an excellent way to achieve a natural rush from adrenaline.

4. Volunteer Holidays

If you’re searching for a feel-good vacation that gives back to others as well, volunteer travel might be a good fit for you. Plenty of opportunities exist in bucket-list locations around the world, from caring for rescued bears in Cambodia to preserving at-risk marine ecosystems in Belize. You can focus on something larger than yourself while doing something that benefits people and the planet.

5. Explore Sober Cultures

In Muslim-majority countries, such as Egypt and Jordan, their religious beliefs prohibit consuming intoxicating substances. You can explore Egypt’s astonishing archeological marvels and rich cultural history, or the spectacular sandstone city of Petra in Jordan, without compromising your recovery.

Sobriety Starts Here

At Canyon Crossing, we focus on women’s-only addiction services that help our clients live a joyful life. If you are seeking help for yourself or someone you care about, contact us to learn more about our programs and benefits.

Friday, July 12, 2019

4 Reasons Recovery Is a Lifelong Process

The word “journey” is one of the best ways to describe recovery. Along the way, you will experience many peaks and valleys. Some days, the path will be clear and straight, while other days will feel as if you are wandering through the wilderness. Though recovering addicts will all share the same goal of lifelong sobriety, no two people will have identical experiences in getting there. It requires patience, perseverance and dedication to reap the ultimate rewards of your recovery.

1. Treatment is only the beginning.

Treatment is valuable because it will equip you with the therapeutic background and coping skills you need to start your life over. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the longer you spend in treatment, the more successful you will be in recovery, but even a long-term program can’t teach you everything about how to live a fulfilling life as a recovering addict. It will take the rest of your life to absorb valuable lessons about love, patience and self-acceptance.

2. Your mindset matters.

There’s a common misconception that people who enter rehabilitation will be completely healed when they leave the program, but it’s important to consider that the process of becoming addicted changes your brain. That’s why recovery is not a one-and-done task, but a dynamic, fluid process that evolves with time. You need to accept that getting sober isn’t something you can achieve, cross off your list and never look back again. Instead, you need to carve out time every day to dedicate yourself to your recovery, whether it’s attending therapy sessions, going to sober group meetings, meditating, doing yoga or some combination of those activities. You can’t afford to lose sight of your objectives. One lapse in judgment could be all it takes to weaken your resolve.

3. Sobriety requires an ongoing commitment.

Deciding to get clean and sober by entering treatment is just one of many decisions you will have to make in your recovery. Not only will you need to make your health your top priority every day, but you will also have to renew your commitment to the process time and time again. Unfortunately, there is no cure for addiction, but just as with other chronic illnesses, you can learn to manage it with the skills from your recovery program.

4. There will be challenges along the way.

No matter how much your life will improve after you break free of the addiction cycle, life isn’t always fair. You may encounter stressful situations like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, an illness or an injury. When drinking or drug use has been your go-to coping mechanism for so long, obstacles like these can jeopardize your sobriety, even when you are doing the right thing. At difficult times like these, you will need to take a deep breath and reassess your reasons for getting sober and all the progress you have made. Meditation can be a helpful way to restore your sense of equilibrium.

Healing You Mentally, Physically and Emotionally

Many people who get sober will freely admit that they couldn’t have done it alone. Indeed, some days will be more challenging than others, and there will be times when you need a healthy support system of family, friends and therapists to help pick you up. Recovery will always involve learning, growing and facing your challenges with a positive mindset. At Canyon Crossing, our mission is to help women overcome their battle with substance misuse and forge a new path as the best version of themselves they can be. Contact us today to begin your recovery at our beautiful Prescott, AZ addiction recovery facility.

Friday, July 5, 2019

5 Reasons You Need a Support System in Recovery

When you were in active addiction, you probably spent a lot of your time alone, withdrawing from friends and family who didn’t share your routine of heavy drinking or drug use. The people you spent the most time with were probably those who encouraged your bad habits. When you decided to clean up your act and enter a rehab program, it may have been the first time in years you realized how many people you pushed away with your self-destructive behaviors.

Once you commit to making a fresh start, you might feel like you want to take complete ownership of your recovery and meet your challenges head-on. However, embarking on this journey requires plenty of help and support. Taking it on without a team at your back can be a significant source of stress, which can jeopardize your well-being and put you at a higher risk of relapsing.

Why Seek Support in Your Recovery?

As you embark on this new phase of your life, you will need to find family and friends who understand what you’re going through and are there to pick you up when you’re struggling with self-doubt. Your sober support group will help you in a variety of ways that will change you for the better.

  1. Facing challenges will be easier. When you encounter a hurdle or roadblock on your path, you might feel overwhelmed. Your first impulse in a stressful situation might be to revert to your old habits of drinking or drug use. In this scenario, you need people you can count on to help prevent you from falling back into a cycle of self-sabotage. The insight and advice of supportive family members and friends can help put a difficult or emotional situation in perspective.
  2. Friends help reduce tensions. You might have begun using alcohol or drugs to smooth your anxiety in social situations, only to discover your addiction made your anxiety deepen. Bringing a sober supporter with you to parties or other social scenarios helps reduce the stress and awkwardness associated with these situations.
  3. Family and friends keep you grounded. Sometimes, you might become too confident in your ability to confront triggering situations, which could increase your risk of relapse. Someone who knows what you’re going through and understands how important it is to preserve the progress you’ve made can offer valuable insight about your behavior.
  4. You will always have people to celebrate with you. Being surrounded by people who support your progress is invaluable, especially when you are struggling. They can help you look back and see how much progress you’ve made along the way and will always be there to cheer for you, even when you are feeling dissatisfied with yourself.
  5. You will gain a boost in your self-confidence. Nothing feels better than having a group of positive people who are proud of you and enjoy seeing you succeed. Their role in your recovery can help build up the self-esteem that years of substance misuse wore down.

You Can’t Go It Alone

Recovery is a lifelong journey with many peaks and valleys. Some setbacks and struggles are inevitable, which can create stress that puts you at risk of relapse. However, having a sober support system will make your recovery more manageable and bring more joy into your life.

When you are ready to make a new start, contact the Canyon Crossing team. Our women’s-only treatment facility in Prescott, Arizona, is here to provide the foundation for your sobriety with our range of programs that will heal you physically, mentally and spiritually.

Friday, June 28, 2019

How to Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates addiction has relapse rates of 40 to 60 percent, which is lower than the relapse rates of other chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and asthma. If you return to using drugs or alcohol after a period of abstinence, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed in your recovery. You can still resume your sober lifestyle and sharpen your focus on your goals with a relapse prevention plan.

What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

The warning signs of relapse often come well before you fall back to old, bad habits, so it’s essential to be able to recognize the red flags. A relapse prevention plan is an evolving document that helps keep you accountable for your life in recovery.

Taking time to craft a plan that encompasses your unique needs is an essential part of helping you remain on a positive path. Though no two plans will be identical, here are some components you can use to get started.

1. Understand yourself.

What made you want to turn to drugs or alcohol in your previous life? Was your substance use a coping mechanism? Did you use alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of depression or trauma? Write down a list of common situations where you were accustomed to using or drinking in the past. Understanding your typical usage patterns when you were in active addiction can help you recognize and avoid circumstances that might cause you to relapse back to substance misuse.

2. Make a list of your triggers.

An addiction trigger is any place, experience, event or even a person that causes you to step off your path of sobriety. Everyone’s triggers are different, but understanding yours can help you be more proactive about how to handle them as they arise. Common examples of triggers are stress, loneliness, visiting with old drinking buddies or being in surroundings where you used to do drugs. Realistically, some of these triggers are impossible to avoid, so it’s smart to ask your therapist to help you develop specific strategies that will help you manage each trigger on your list.

3. Involve others.

Successful recovery cannot happen in isolation. Reach out to a friend you made in rehab, a close family member or your therapist and ask if it’s OK for you to text or call them if you’re struggling. Come up with a set of healthy activities that will distract you from your cravings and help you deepen relationships with positive people who want to support you in your recovery journey.

4. Set specific goals.

Another vital aspect of your relapse prevention plan is setting short- and long-term goals for your sober lifestyle. Examples could be practicing yoga for 30 minutes a day, learning a new life skill or volunteering at your local animal shelter once a week. Making daily efforts to prioritize your overall well-being not only helps you manage stress, but also reinforces your sense of self-worth and accomplishment.

Your Relapse Prevention Plan Is Not Static

Once you have created your relapse prevention plan, your work isn’t finished. Return to your plan periodically and revise it to reflect new goals or progress you’ve made on your journey. And if you’re new to sobriety and haven’t already created a plan, ask your therapist to help you get started on one today.

Your Best Days Are Still Ahead

If you’re searching for a women’s-only drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, contact Canyon Crossing today. Long-term treatment and relapse prevention are only two facets of our well-rounded program offerings. Our admissions team is happy to help verify your insurance and walk you through our enrollment process.

Friday, June 21, 2019

When Getting Sober Reveals Another Illness

As you settle into your sobriety, you may initially marvel at how much better you feel. Not only will you experience sharper mental clarity, but your time in an accredited drug and alcohol treatment facility will teach you how to reestablish a healthy sleep schedule, how to exercise and how to eat a balanced diet.

However, despite the initial burst of wellness you feel, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that prolonged drug and alcohol misuse takes a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. For some people, their addiction masks other health issues that only rise to the surface after they achieve sobriety. Here’s what you should be aware of.

Why Haven’t You Noticed This Problem Until Now?

Those in the grip of active addiction prioritize obtaining and using their substance of choice beyond all else. As the addiction worsens, they fail to keep up with other responsibilities. Those with behavioral or mood disorders like substance misuse and depression often ignore fundamental personal hygiene. They also avoid visiting the doctor or dentist because they want to hide the extent of their substance misuse. Because of factors like these, you may begin noticing health problems when you are sober that never appeared on your radar when you were actively drinking or using.

Drug Use Causes Health Issues

Long-term drug and alcohol use affects every major system in the body, weakening your immune system and putting you at a higher risk of developing an illness or infection. With prolonged drug or alcohol use, you may also develop conditions such as:
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Liver damage
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired decision-making ability
  • Anxiety or depression
The earlier you get your addiction under control, the sooner you will be able to work with health care providers to begin undoing the damage you did to your physical and mental health.

Prioritizing Your Health in Sobriety

Once you have moved out of your initial residential treatment phase, restoring your physical and mental well-being should be a fundamental part of your aftercare plan.
  • Visit your general practitioner. Make sure to be upfront with them about the fact that you have gone through a rehabilitation program. Ask for a full checkup, including screenings for any health problems you are at particular risk of.
  • Get a dental checkup. Your oral health and your overall wellness are more closely linked than you may have realized. Your dentist may be able to spot emerging health issues and alert you to them.
  • Make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Don’t neglect your mental health as part of your self-care strategy. By visiting a mental health professional, you can give yourself an outlet to talk about any emotional imbalances you are experiencing after achieving your sobriety.
  • Eat well. You are what you eat, after all. By cutting processed foods out of your diet in favor of fresh, colorful produce and lean protein sources, you’ll have more energy and will feel better about yourself. If you’re not sure where to get started, reach out to a nutritionist.

The Rest of Your Life Is Waiting for You

At Canyon Crossing, we are here to help you achieve lifelong freedom from drugs and alcohol with our women’s-only treatment program in Prescott, AZ. You deserve to discover your full potential, and our comprehensive programming will teach you how to live a rewarding life outside the cycle of addiction. Contact us to begin the admissions process today.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Ways to Get Ready for Rehab

Deciding to seek treatment for your addiction is never easy, but it can change your life by empowering you to start over, free from the burdens of your past. However, the way you prepare for rehab can make all the difference in setting you up for success. Here are some strategies you can use to get ready for rehab and maximize your time in treatment.

How to Prepare for Rehab

These are some of the top things to keep in mind, both as you’re getting ready to enter an accredited rehab center and while you are receiving treatment.

1. Take Care of Loose Ends Ahead of Time

During your stay in inpatient recovery, your entire focus should be on healing yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. Before entering rehab, you should wrap up any outstanding work, financial or family obligations. If you are preoccupied with your obligations in the “outside world,” it will be challenging to maintain that focus. Additionally, stress is one of the most significant relapse triggers, so returning to a disorganized situation after rehab is setting yourself up for failure.

2. Only Bring the Essentials

In preparation for treatment, consider what you want to bring with you. It’s understandable if you think about bringing mementos from home to your recovery center, but those may distract you from your goals. Bringing only the basic necessities is an extra step to help you maximize your time away.

3. Be Optimistic

Being open to new experiences is a vital component of recovery. It’s never easy to enter unfamiliar territory, but the more you can maintain an open mind, the more benefit you’ll get out of it.

4. Be Patient

It’s easier to talk about than it is to accomplish, but if you can keep an even keel, it will serve you well in both the short and long term. A great way to teach yourself patience is through mindfulness meditation, which has numerous benefits for your mental health. Learning to appreciate the present moment enables you to cultivate patience.

5. Look Forward to New Friendships

One of the benefits of rehab is that you’ll get to meet many people who have been through the same experiences that have challenged you throughout your life. Addiction is inherently isolating, which can make the thought of forming new friendships seem intimidating. It’s natural to have periods of low self-esteem in recovery, but remember everyone in treatment with you is going through many of the same ups and downs together. The relationships you make in rehab will provide you with a support network that can remain with you for years.

Prepare for the Next Chapter in Your Life 

At Canyon Crossing, we believe you deserve to become whole. Discover how fulfilling your life can be when you free yourself from the cycle of addiction. At our women’s-only rehab facility in Prescott, Arizona, we provide long-term treatment, coupled with transitional living and outpatient treatment, to ensure higher rates of success for our clients. Contact us to learn more about our admissions process.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Substance Misuse and Co-Occurring Disorders in the LGBTQ Community

Around the world, the LGBTQ community celebrates Pride Month in June. However, while the LGBTQ community has made great strides toward achieving equality with their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, there is still much opportunity for progress. One noteworthy area is in addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ people.

How Vulnerable Are LGBTQ People to These Issues?

2015 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows a clear connection between sexual orientation, gender identity and substance misuse. More than twice as many LGBTQ adults compared to heterosexual adults reported using drugs, smoking cigarettes or binge drinking.

Additionally, LGBTQ adults are much more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to have depression, anxiety or other emotional or behavioral problems and to think about or attempt suicide, all of which increase the risk of substance use. Why?

Factors That Contribute to LGBTQ Mental Health and Addiction Issues

While the U.S. has made promising strides in gay rights over the past 50 years, many LGBTQ individuals still face social prejudice and other daily indignities those who identify as heterosexual and cisgender typically do not encounter, including:
  • Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Hate crimes, emotional abuse, threats or public humiliation
  • Estrangement from family or friends after coming out
  • Loss of employment or not receiving promotions
  • Internalized homophobia or self-loathing
Consider, for example, the “bathroom bills” many states have recently tried to pass to prevent transgender people from using the public restroom or locker room that matches their gender identity. The pernicious myth that letting trans people use these facilities would lead to higher rates of sexual predation has been disproven time and time again, but it persists regardless.

LGBTQ people are also subject to discriminatory laws in employment, housing, health care and relationship recognition – including legal hurdles to adopting children. For these and other reasons, many people in this community struggle with their identities because they fear encountering backlash from friends and family members. This intense level of chronic stress can lead to higher levels of anxiety, fear, isolation and anger, which can increase the chances they will turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate.

Co-Occurring Disorders in the LGBTQ Community

One aspect that may be an intense source of conflict for LGBTQ people is their perceived need to lead a double life, hiding their true sexual orientation or gender identity from some while being themselves around others. This dual nature creates a significant psychological rift that may lead them to develop emotional disorders like anxiety, depression, PTSD and suicidal ideation.

Many individuals who identify as LGBTQ also have a co-occurring mental or physical health disorder that either led to a substance misuse problem or is perpetuating the cycle of abuse. When members of the LGBTQ community are weighing treatment options, they should focus on finding holistic treatment programs that work on healing them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Women’s-Only Rehab in Arizona

If you are looking for a drug or alcohol treatment program, you deserve to find one that not only makes you feel comfortable, but also offers you the highest chance of achieving sustained sobriety. Commemorate Pride Month 2019 by making this the month you commit to breaking free of your substance abuse problems and co-occurring disorders. At Canyon Crossing, we are here to help you find happiness and integrity in your life. To learn more or verify your insurance, contact our admissions team today.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Should You Date in Recovery?

When you first begin to explore a new romantic relationship after you clean up your act and get sober, it’s normal to feel confused about where to begin. You may be surprised to learn that you relate to others very differently in sobriety than you did back when you were actively drinking or using. It may take you time to learn how to form healthy, loving relationships with people when drugs or alcohol are out of the picture and no longer clouding your judgment.

Getting back onto the dating scene as a recovering addict can make you more vulnerable to relapse if you are not ready for the road ahead. The emotional upheaval at the beginning or end of a romantic relationship can cause you to lose sight of your recovery priorities and put your sobriety at risk.

How Long Should You Wait to Start Dating?

When you’re in early recovery, you’ll often hear the advice that you should hold off at least one full year before embarking on any new relationship. That’s because the first year of addiction recovery is a crucial time when you need to devote all your time and energy to managing your health and maintaining your newfound sobriety.

During the first year of your recovery, you’ll also be rediscovering yourself, learning who you are without the influence of drugs and alcohol, adapting healthy coping skills and rebuilding your self-confidence. That’s a lot to have on your plate without adding the complexities of a romantic relationship into the equation.

If you do meet someone who sparks your interest within the first year of recovery, it’s essential to take things one step at a time and be honest with your potential partner that your sobriety needs to remain the top priority in your life. After all, you must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else.

Ideas for Great Sober Dates

As you explore the world of dating in your newfound sobriety, you may wonder what activities you can do. If getting drunk or high was how you spent most of your time until fairly recently, it might make it difficult for you to think of fun things you can do with a significant other that don’t revolve around harmful substances. However, with a little creativity, you can overcome this difficulty. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
  1. Go to an art gallery or museum.
  2. Try to solve an escape room.
  3. Go thrift or antique shopping.
  4. Enjoy an evening at the ballet, symphony or theater.
  5. Explore a local tourist attraction neither of you has visited before.
  6. Go on a hike or bike ride – you’ll get some exercise while taking in the scenery.
  7. Visit a nearby zoo or aquarium.
  8. Tour a factory to learn how they make their products.
  9. Learn a new skill by signing up for a cooking, dancing, drawing or photography class.
  10. Give back to the community by volunteering at an animal shelter, soup kitchen or another deserving nonprofit.
Remember, all your dates will be substance-free. You can avoid boredom – a risky trigger for many in recovery – by finding an activity you love to do together, adding a spark of competition or developing new twists on old date ideas.

Discovering the Rewards of Dating While Putting Your Recovery First

Among all the other ways substance abuse wreaks havoc on your life, it severely impacts your ability to maintain healthy relationships. When you date in recovery, you can discover a more genuine connection than you have experienced before. However, even when you have fallen head over heels for a special someone, you should always keep addiction recovery as your first priority.

At Canyon Crossing, we have helped hundreds of women reconnect with their true selves and learn how to maximize their potential in life by breaking free of substance misuse. We offer traditional 12-step-based therapy, as well as complementary treatment options that provide a foundation for a healthy recovery and put your needs first. If you feel as if your life has gotten out of control, contact us today to start your admissions process.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Developing Healthy Coping Skills in Recovery

Successfully healing your body, mind and spirit from a substance misuse disorder is a lifelong process. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is not a behavioral issue or a matter of choice, but a chronic brain disease.

Like other long-term illnesses, such as cancer, there isn’t a cure, but people with addiction shouldn’t give up hope – it’s something you can learn to manage for the long term. Part of that process includes learning how to identify and cope with triggers so you can focus on avoiding relapse and living a healthy life free of intoxicating substances.

Weaving Coping Skills Into Your Aftercare Plan

Addiction recovery doesn’t end with completing a rehab program. Indeed, rehab is only the first part of the continuous journey of discovering long-term sobriety. Aftercare is an umbrella term that refers to all the steps you will take to remain on the path to your healthy lifestyle.

People with addiction disorders often turn to drinking or drugs to help them manage the stressors of daily life, insead of developing healthy coping mechanisms like exercise and meditation. That means part of your rehab and aftercare process means learning how to fill your time with hobbies other than drug use and drinking, as well as how to deal with stress and process other emotions in a constructive way. Look for a drug rehabilitation program that offers educational workshops on life skills you can use as part of your aftercare process.

Why Healthy Coping Skills Are Fundamental

Unfortunately, we don’t often learn healthy coping mechanisms in school or from our families. Under times of duress, people often turn to the simplest remedy to handle the tension – and alcohol and drugs are readily available in most communities.

A crucial part of addiction recovery is learning how to recognize people, places, emotions, memories and situations that pose a threat to your sobriety – also called addiction triggers. Your rehab program should include both therapy and various workshops designed to provide foundational coping tactics that work for a wide range of different personalities and situations. These can include simple mindfulness exercises, behavioral issues and how to set boundaries in your relationships.

Common coping skills you can learn in your recovery process include:
  • Diet and exercise
  • How to identify and steer clear of triggers
  • Attending therapy
  • Going to support group meetings
  • Maintaining healthy relationships
  • Practicing relaxation and stress management techniques, such as yoga and meditation
  • Keeping a sobriety journal
  • Becoming a recovery sponsor for other addicted individuals

What Else Can You Do to Cope?

People with addiction can use many other coping skills to smooth the pathway for your sober lifestyle. It boils down to what makes you happiest and healthiest, as well as what suits the way you like to do things. It will be entirely up to you to determine what you enjoy doing, and how to exercise your options.

It’s also helpful to prepare yourself when you know you’re going to be in a stressful situation, or an environment with lots of triggers. Make a list of things that are stress-relief outlets for you, and revisit this list periodically to make sure you are engaging in self-care. Treat yourself to things like delicious meals, massages or anything else that soothes you and helps you remain calm.

Welcome to Your New Life

The only way to start fresh is to commit to making a change. At Canyon Crossing, we are here to help you experience long-term freedom from drug and alcohol use. Our women’s-only treatment programs provide gender-specific recovery that recognizes our clients’ unique psychosocial needs and helps them become well-rounded individuals. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.

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.