More than ever, this is the time to be encouraging of your loved one’s efforts.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
There are so many emotions at a time like this.
On one hand, you’re so relieved that your loved one is in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. It’s the thing you’ve wanted most in the world—and it’s finally happened.
But on the other hand, there’s so much resentment, worry and pain. So much damage has already been done.
You knew this wouldn’t be easy for your partner and it won’t be easy for you either. There are, however, steps you can take that will help both of you.
During the first few weeks of treatment, there won’t be a whole lot for you to do. Your loved one is going to be encouraged to focus on his or her recovery—not on staying connected to the outside world.
That makes this a great time to educate yourself about addiction. Attend support groups like Al-Alon or Nar-Anon if you find them helpful. Read books and seek the support of people who have been in your situation.
Forgive and Start Fresh
It’s critical to try to look past the damage caused by the disease of addiction and see the person you fell in love with.
One review, done by the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, found that those in recovery who felt “reassurance of worth” had significantly improved treatment outcomes, even if they’d relapsed in the past. On the flip side, the review reports that “marital distress and spousal criticism are frequently associated with worse outcomes in treatment-seeking addicts.”
That doesn’t mean you allow yourself to be treated poorly in any way, but it does mean that you must find a way to move beyond what has happened in the past.
Participate in Your Loved One’s Recovery
Family workshops and therapy are usually a part of any treatment program. This isn’t an item just to check off your list. It’s an opportunity for your loved one—and for you—to do the kind of healing needed to move forward.
The huge benefit, of course, is that you’ll have a trained therapist there to guide you.
For many people, it’s not easy to open up and talk about feelings. If that’s something you struggle with, remember that there will be someone there to help you. And remember what your goal is—to help your loved one recover and to restore your relationship.
How to Support an Addict in Recovery: What Not To Do
When trying to convince a loved one to seek help and get better, there’s just about nothing that most people won’t try. If you loved me you’d stop using. Why are you hurting me like this?
But now your partner is in rehab, so using blame and guilt as tactics is no longer needed. If you’re still angry, hurt or feel the need to punish your loved one, therapy can help you work through those feelings.
Comprehensive Addiction Rehab Near Denver
The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver where your loved one can get the help he or she needs to heal and grow. Our team of experts works together to tackle the physical, psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
Forming friendships with people who share your same values and goals is one of five steps you can take to support your recovery.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
While in rehab, you have constant support and are surrounded by people who are as committed to your recovery as you are. Then, you get home—and things can go one of two ways.
You can put yourself in the exact same situation you were in when you were using or drinking. Or, you can take a few critical steps to create an environment that, like rehab, helps support your recovery.
1. Surround Yourself with Good People
Staying in close contact with people you used to drink or use with is universally considered to be a terrible idea. In fact, some experts go so far as to suggest you delete their contact info—or even change your phone number.
At the same time, you’ll want to cultivate the relationships in your life that are positive. Stay in close touch with your sponsor, make new friends with others in recovery and continue to spend time with friends and family members who are supportive of your new life.
2. Take Care of Yourself Physically
Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep will make you healthier, but that’s not the reason they’re so critical right now. More importantly, taking these steps will provide a much-needed mood boost. Life after drug rehab can be challenging. Consider self-care as your first line of defense.
3. Create a Daily Routine and Stay Steady
Establishing a daily routine can be helpful in a number of ways. First of all, a routine can help you be productive and accomplish the things that are important to you each day. Secondly, having your day planned out can prevent boredom from setting in. Lastly, knowing what you’re going to be doing each day eliminates the need to make constant decisions—which is important as research shows that willpower is a finite resource.
Remember, too, that those in recovery are advised against making life-changing decisions during the first year of recovery. This probably isn’t the time to decide to have a baby, get married or make a career change.
4. Make Time for Fun Each Day
First, make a list of all the activities you enjoy doing. This list can include things like taking a bath, walking your dog, playing the guitar, making a good meal, reading a book, watching a favorite television show or playing tennis with friends. Next, make a list of all the things you’d like to try, whether it’s sculpting, making homemade jam or learning to speak Italian. Try to make time each day, even if only for a half hour, for one of the items on your list.
5. Be Thankful and Celebrate Life
Positive psychology research indicates that showing gratitude is one way to consistently make yourself feel better. You can do this by keeping a gratitude journal, praying, writing thank you notes, meditating or even just mentally thanking people.
Along those same lines, take the time to celebrate sober anniversaries and be thankful for them. You can do this by treating yourself to a massage, new book or something else you’ve had your eye on. Or perhaps start a tradition—maybe a hike with friends or a special brunch with family.
How to Stay Sober After Addiction Rehab
The thought of giving up drugs or alcohol can be frightening. Not because you don’t want to do it, but because you don’t know if you’ll be able to do it.
What many people don’t understand is that you won’t have to figure this out on your own. The whole point of a good rehab program is to teach you how to stay sober, while still living a good life.
The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver where you can find the help you need to learn how to live—and to thrive—without drugs or alcohol. Our team of experts will work with you to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
Fear is a reality of life. The question is do you avoid your fears or do you face them?
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Fear can only exist in the future. That’s because we fear things that haven’t happened yet. And, in this world, there is plenty to be afraid of.
There are many different strategies for getting past your fears. But fear of failure at work can be one of the toughest to conquer. There’s good reason for that. Losing your job, for example, results in both a loss of income and a huge blow to your self-esteem.
Fear of Failure at Work and Addiction
Fear is like a fork in the road. When we’re faced with it, we have two choices: Face our fears or numb ourselves to fear.
We numb ourselves with all kind of things. Shopping, binge eating, web surfing, drugs and alcohol.
Then there is the other option—facing your fears. Consider this quote by Winston Churchill:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Another way to phrase that, courtesy of French writer Victor Hugo, is: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.”
The big question, then, is how do you master your fear?
How to Face Your Fears
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to fear. Finding exactly what works for you will take effort. Here are some strategies that have worked for others:
Acknowledge your fears. Take time to think and actually zero in on your specific fears. Podcaster and best-selling author Tim Ferriss calls this “fear-setting,” and says it can be more important than goal setting. He outlines how to do that in this TED talk.
Be vulnerable. Brene Brown is a researcher at the University of Houston and author of the best-selling book, “Daring Greatly.” In it, she argues that we cannot be truly courageous unless we are willing to be vulnerable. If we’re willing to let people see who we really are, it’ll allow us to walk in the arena and live life to the fullest.
Address stress. Stress and fear often feed off of each other. Exercise and meditation are two powerful ways to deal with stress and stop the vicious cycle of fear-stress from getting out of control.
Visualize obstacles. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that people who visualize what’s in store for the upcoming week feel more energized and accomplish more than those who don’t. Think of a specific work situation you are afraid of. Visualize it happening, allow yourself to feel the fear and then see yourself moving forward. The study found that visualizing obstacles yielded better outcomes than simply imagining that everything would go smoothly.
Getting the Help You Need
It’s true that everyone has a choice in how they react to the challenges and fears of life, but that’s not quite the whole story.
Once you become addicted to drugs or alcohol, your brain has changed in a way that can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to stop using on your own.
A good treatment program can give you the tools you need to get your life back on track, including coping strategies to deal with life’s difficulties without numbing yourself.
About The Raleigh House
The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver where you can find the help you need to rebuild your life. Our team of experts works together to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
Johnny Manziel may never return to the glory of his college football days, but he says he’s addressed the issues that tanked his career.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Johnny Manziel: The first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy and the 22nd pick in the 2014 NFL draft with a short-lived gig as starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
It seemed like the stars had aligned for the young star. But in 2016, he was released by the Browns. The reason? Frequent trips to Las Vegas to party, missed team meetings and even a domestic violence charge. His agent dropped him and his father called him a “druggie” and said he feared he’d be dead by his 24th birthday.
Manziel had spiraled out of control and there didn’t appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. Then, something big happened.
Manziel was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He realized he’d been self-medicating with alcohol and drugs and resolved to straighten his life out.
“I can’t help the fact that my wires are crossed a little differently than yours,” he told “Good Morning America” in February. “The main thing to me is not physical health. It’s mental.”
Mental Health and Addiction
Compared with individuals with no mood disorders, those with bipolar disorder are approximately seven times more likely to have a substance use disorder.
That astonishing—and enlightening — statistic was found in a 2005 study conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina. But it confirms what has long been known to be true at treatment programs across America. People struggling with mental health issues often self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to feel better.
The solution, as Manziel found, is to address both the addiction and the mental health issue. In the rehab community, that’s called dual diagnosis treatment and it means that both issues are addressed at the same time during rehab.
As for Manziel, his goal since being cut from the Browns has been to get back on the field—and it’s about to happen.
Manziel is joining the NFL’s Spring League, which was created in 2017 to help grow and showcase talent for potential NFL and Canadian Football League teams. Games will be held from March 28 to April 15 in Austin, Texas.
Whether Manziel will make it back to the NFL is an open question, but what is clear is that he couldn’t fix his problems or manage his addiction without first addressing his mental health.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Colorado
No matter what addiction has taken away from you, there is a way to get your life back on track. At The Raleigh House, we believe that everyone can break free from the chains of drugs or alcohol. Treatment isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about finding your own path to happiness and fulfillment, which often means addressing co-occurring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
When it comes to craft beer, one drink may be more than you think.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
You’ve probably heard it said that a shot, a glass of wine and a beer all contain the same amount of alcohol.
That used to be (mostly) true, but then the craft beer market exploded. These days, your beer could have an alcohol content of anywhere from 2 to 20 percent—or even higher.
Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the alcohol content of some typical drinks.
Average Alcohol Content of Wine
In the United States, a standard serving of alcohol is considered to be 14 grams. When it comes to wine, which is usually about 12 percent alcohol, that’s roughly the equivalent of five ounces.
Although the alcohol content of wine doesn’t vary as much as beer, there are definitely differences. A California white zinfandel, for example, is usually about 12 percent alcohol, while a port could come in as high as 20 percent. That’s why a serving of port is usually only about three ounces. If you were to drink a “standard” five ounces of port, you’d actually be consuming 1.7 drinks.
Average Alcohol Content of Vodka and Other Liquors
Most types of liquor have an alcohol percentage of around 40 percent, which means that a standard serving is 1.5 ounces. Unlike beer and wine, there’s not a whole lot of variation.
Average Alcohol Content of Beer
While a Bud Light comes in at 4.2 percent alcohol, craft beer usually has a much higher percentage.
The strongest beer in the world is the Scottish Brewmeister Armageddon, which has an astonishing alcohol percentage of 65 percent.
Most craft beers don’t contain anywhere near that much alcohol, but they almost always have more than the average domestic beer. The consumer research group Mintel found that the average alcohol content of craft beer is 5.9 percent. But there are many heavyweight or extreme beers that can have as much alcohol as 20 percent.
If you’re drinking a 17.5 percent Samuel Adams Triple Bock, a 12–ounce serving clocks in at way more than 14 grams of alcohol. So while you may think you’re drinking one beer, you’re actually drinking the equivalent of 3.5 drinks.
Calculate Your Drink
If that’s all getting a little confusing and you’d rather not do the math, the National Institutes of Health provides this drink size calculator.
Knowing exactly how much you’re drinking, after all, is the first step in staying in control of your alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Colorado
If you can’t control your drinking, then it may be time to seek help. Over time, alcohol can change the brain, making it difficult, if not impossible, for some people to stop drinking without help.
At The Raleigh House, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially, as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.
As a society, we tend to give up on older adults facing addiction, which robs them of the chance to find peace and happiness.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Addiction is a disease, not a moral failure—and that message is beginning to resonate with younger generations.
For many older adults, however, the stigma of addiction persists and keeps them from seeking the help they need to break free from drugs or alcohol.
Compounding the issue are those who believe addiction isn’t really a problem for older adults or, even worse, that it’s not worth the effort to help them.
The reality is that addiction takes a toll on everyone, but it can be especially harmful to those battling other health issues. And everyone deserves a chance to enjoy life without the noose of addiction.
Addiction Rehab for Older Adults
In a research paper on addiction and the elderly, American Family Physician notes that older adults vary in their commitment to treatment, burden of comorbid disease, extent of family support, insurance coverage and access to transportation.
All of these factors should be considered when determining the best type of treatment.
Family also has a role to play, including the following:
Seeking medical attention for decline in cognitive ability or self-care
Corroborating information on recent and long-term drinking patterns
Participate in confrontation, if needed
Provide support during detox and treatment
Assist in coordination with community services at home
Make decisions for those who are unable to do so due to cognitive decline
The bottom line is that addiction can and should be treated—at every age.
Colorado Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Many older adults turn to alcohol or drugs as an escape from the realities of life and of ageing. But the truth is that people in their twenties also use drugs and alcohol to escape their problems. That’s why it isn’t just our goal to make sure your loved one stays sober. It’s our goal to make sure they have a healthy outlook on life—and develop the tools needed to deal with the challenges that face all of us. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the treatment programs at The Raleigh House.
Addiction can be harder on older adults, yet we tend to think of it as a problem not worth treating.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
When an older adult is clearly drinking too much or abusing drugs, we tend to have one of two responses:
What’s the harm? They’ve earned their fun and aren’t hurting anyone.
They’re so old; that problem probably isn’t worth fixing.
But both of those attitudes fail to consider a fundamental truth about addiction: It makes your life really bad—no matter what age you are.
Even worse, those attitudes are blatantly ageist because they assume older people don’t deserve—or can’t have—a happy and fulfilling life.
The Risk of Addiction in Older Adults
So what exactly is the extent of the problem?
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers the following statistics:
Fourteen percent of elderly emergency room admissions are due to alcohol or drug related problems.
Widowers over the age of 75 have the highest rate of alcoholism in the United States.
Older adults are hospitalized as often for alcohol-related problems as for heart attacks.
Nearly 17 million prescriptions for tranquilizers are prescribed for older adults each year. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly misused and abused prescription medications.
Symptoms of Addiction in Older Adults
While many of the symptoms of addiction look the same no matter a person’s age, there are specific things to look for in older adults, including the following:
Secretive drinking or drinking alone
Frequent visits to the emergency department
Recurrent accidents, injuries or falls
Not keeping medical appointments or following doctors’ advice
Cognitive decline or lack of self-care
A ritual of drinking before, during or after dinner
Drinking in spite of warning labels on medications they are taking
A loss of interest in activites they used to enjoy
Hostility or depression
Contrary to the message society sometimes sends, older adults can and should be treated for substance abuse.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment near Denver
Addiction impacts everyone’s heath negatively, but it’s especially hard on older adults. At The Raleigh House, we believe that everyone should be able to live their lives free from the chains of drugs or alcohol. Treatment isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about finding your own path to happiness and fulfillment, no matter your age. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.
Flushing drugs is not ideal, but even the FDA says there are times when it’s the right thing to do.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
To flush or not to flush.
That is the question—or at least one of them—when disposing of pain pills. Before we get to that, let’s discuss the one thing you should never do.
When you’re done taking pain pills (for whatever reason you were taking them), get them out of the house—immediately.
A 2014 review done by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Oakland, California, found that most parents didn’t worry at all about having pain pills in the house. And yet, at the same time, our nation is in the middle of an opioid epidemic.
And it’s not just teens we have to worry about. Painkillers left sitting around a house can be tempting to just about anyone.
The bottom line? Don’t keep medicines you’re done with, especially painkillers.
Where to Dispose of Unused Pain Pills
Let’s get back to the question of flushing. There’s a bit of an urban myth floating around that you should never ditch painkillers in the toilet because they’ll end up in the drinking water.
That’s both true and not true.
There are traces of many different kinds of medications found in our drinking water, but they get there primarily through our waste.
Still, flushed medicines do contribute to the problem, so experts say you should avoid the practice unless—and this is a huge “unless”—the drugs are potentially fatal.
By now, we all know that prescription painkillers can indeed be deadly. In fact, more than 15,000 people in the United States died from a prescription opioid overdose in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So here’s what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends: The best thing to do is to dispose of your unused pills quickly through a medicine take-back program (call your local law enforcement agency to find one near you) or by taking them to a DEA-authorized collector.
If that’s not possible—for whatever reason—go ahead and flush them.
Opioid Addiction Treatment in Colorado
If you’d like to get painkillers out of your life, we can help.
At The Raleigh House, you’ll be assigned your own master’s level therapist who will work with you to come up with a plan for rehab—and to rebuild your life. One-on-one and group therapy sessions will help you heal emotionally, while chef-prepared meals and activities like yoga and boxing help heal your body.
Life after rehab isn’t perfect, but it can get better every day.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
When your loved one was living with addiction, drugs or alcohol were the most important thing.
After rehab, that changed—but maybe not in the way that you expected.
It’s normal to hope that your relationship will improve and that you will become a priority. The reality, however, is that your loved one’s number one focus will be on his or her recovery.
Intellectually, you may know it has to be that way. But after years of being hurt and having your feelings ignored, the truth may still sting.
Rehab truly does save lives. It can give your loved one the tools he or she needs to live a full and happy life without drugs or alcohol.
Here’s what it can’t do: Make everything perfect right away. (Although you should probably stop looking at Facebook if you think anyone has a perfect life ever.)
It will take time for you and your partner to settle into a new normal. Give yourselves breathing room.
Chances are, you participated in some family therapy while your loved one was in treatment. Hopefully, it helped you work through some issues and build a new foundation for your relationship.
But relationships are hard—for everyone. Don’t be afraid to seek out additional therapy once your loved one returns home.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ve spent so much time over the last few years endlessly worrying about your partner. You’re probably optimistic, but still concerned.
Just as your loved one is still working on his or her recovery, you should still be seeking out sources of support. Maybe that’s a traditional support group—or maybe it’s just a good friend who understands.
Don’t forget about fun. Do yoga if that works for you or go to an art exhibit. Read books again, even books that are not about addiction.
For so long, you were operating in crisis mode. It won’t happen overnight, but you will slowly begin to rebuild trust and, as you do, you can lessen your grip on the wheel just a bit.
After a while, you may just find you’re enjoying the ride.
Nationally Recognized Addiction Treatment in Denver
Addiction can take so much away from a person—and their family. Rehab offers the chance to get it all back—and maybe even more. We’d love to help your loved one discover his or her path to a healthy, fulfilling and rewarding life. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs at The Raleigh House.
Purdue Pharma has made billions on OxyContin while the death toll from the opioid epidemic continues to climb.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Imagine you’re on the Titanic as it hits the iceberg. You’re running for the lifeboats when you get a telegram from the White Star Line. It’s good news! They’re going to take more safety precautions when they build their next ship.
That’s sort of how the recent news from Purdue Pharma struck me. It’s great that they’re going to stop marketing OxyContin to doctors. It will help future generations if doctors use more caution when prescribing highly addictive painkillers.
But then I take a look around at the people scrambling to survive.
I meet people every week who started taking OxyContin because they believed it was a safe way to treat their pain. Why did they think that? Because Purdue Pharma’s shiny brochures and videos clearly stated that only about 1 percent of opioid users become addicted.
As we all know by now, that turned out to be wrong. According to a Los Angeles Times investigative report, more than 7 million Americans are estimated to have abused OxyContin since its 1996 debut. And when they couldn’t get enough Oxy, many of them turned to heroin.
Thousands of people have died too young. Families have been torn apart. Communities have been ravaged. Children have been orphaned.
Meanwhile, Purdue went from a revenue of a few billion in 2007 to a reported $35 billion in 2017.
To be sure, the opioid epidemic can’t be attributed solely to OxyContin. There’s also Vicodin, Percocet and a whole bunch of other drugs But Purdue Pharma led the charge.
So is this merely a public relations move as Purdue Pharma faces criticism—and lawsuits filed by more than 400 cities and states alleging that it misrepresented OxyContin’s risk? Or is the drugmaker actually trying to do the right thing?
You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see Purdue Pharma help with the lifeboats. We don’t have nearly enough resources, as a country, to save everyone.
Don’t just make some token gesture designed to (maybe) help those down the line. Take the billions you’ve made and get down here in the mess.