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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.