Tag Archives: Self-Help

Don’t Be a Hermit in Recovery: Getting Outdoors and Enjoying Yourself in Sobriety

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They don’t call the outdoors “great” for nothing. Receiving professional treatment inside of a facility or a hospital is all well and good, but sometimes, people in recovery just need to get outdoors.

Getting out in the sun is associated with numerous health benefits, and exploring nature tends to help people realize all of the good things in the world they missed out on while they were more concerned with cracking open their next bottle or chasing the next high.

The Benefits of Sunlight

The positive effects of sunlight are truly amazing. Granted, you can overdo it and get sunburnt, but even five to 15 minutes of natural light each day can work wonders.

First, exposure to sunlight is associated with increased levels of vitamin D and serotonin. The benefits are:

  • Vitamin D has a direct correlation with one’s mood: If the level is high, then the person’s mood should be positive.
  • Serotonin is also associated with mood, in addition to calm and focus.

Low vitamin D and serotonin levels can bring feelings of depression flooding in. If you’ve struggled with anxiety or depression in the past, taking in more sunlight is a natural way to reduce some of those symptoms.

Additionally, vitamin D plays a role in bone health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children.

Helping with Skin, Digestive, Reproductive and Other Conditions

The World Health Organization  states that sun exposure might help with several skin conditions, such as:

  • Acne
  • Jaundice
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema

Although still being studied, sunlight is also showing some promising early results in treating other health conditions, such as:

  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • Thyroiditis

If a skin or other health condition isn’t bothering you as much because you’ve taken in enough sunlight, then your mood is going to be further elevated.

Remember to use sunblock if you’re going to be outside for more than 15 minutes, especially if you have fair skin. Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15, and consider a hat or shirt with sun protection, as well.

Recreational Activity Options

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of being out in the sun, let’s look at several of the activities you can do while you’re outdoors. Some of the more high-intensity activities that people in recovery tend to enjoy include:

  • Hiking
  • Swimming (in pools or lakes)
  • Running
  • Biking (or BMXing)
  • Skateboarding
  • Outdoor Basketball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Mountain climbing
  • Outdoor yoga

And for the more leisurely pursuits that still give you an excuse to get outdoors, consider:

  • Walking
  • Golf
  • Painting or drawing
  • Playing instruments
  • Photography
  • Barbecuing with family and friends
  • Bonfires
  • Camping
  • Boating or Jet Skiing
  • Sightseeing
  • Watching soccer or baseball games
  • Relaxing poolside or on a beach

And those are mostly warm-weather activities. If you’re out in the snow, you still have plenty of options for recreation, from skiing or snowboarding to sledding or simply building a snowman.

The point is, the opportunities are almost limitless when you get outdoors, and you can pick what works for you. In many cases of addiction, the substances slowly robbed users of their creativity, dignity and sense of purpose. As you’re recovering from addiction, the outdoors will help rekindle your imagination and childlike wonder, giving your new purpose on your journey to sobriety.

Don’t Be a Hermit!

Another benefit of outdoor activities is that they usually have a social component. Even if you can’t talk some friends into joining you on a particular day, there’s a good chance you’re going to bump into and meet new people as you’re out swimming solo or on a hike by yourself.

Isolation is one of the most prominent triggers for relapse, but that’s rarely an issue when you’re committed to doing activities outdoors every day, or at least several times per week. When you’re cooped up inside and all alone, the thoughts and cravings of prior substance use might come roaring back. You can sidestep these temptations by developing an active and outdoor-oriented lifestyle.

What to Look For in a Rehab Program

We firmly believe that some of the best inpatient rehab centers in this country are located in rural or semi-rural areas. Or, at least, they are situated on a large enough property to allow clients to get outside and “stretch their legs.”

Rehab facilities that are landlocked and that offer an overly clinical or hospital-like environment tend to be at a disadvantage. They are missing a piece or two of the puzzle when it comes to holistically helping people recover from addiction.

When you start searching for addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, you should factor in the facility’s location within a city and its immediate surroundings. You should then see if the facility offers treatment methods such as:

  • Wilderness therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Outdoor therapy
  • Outdoor behavioral health care
  • Experiential therapy

These are all essentially synonyms for the same concept: therapy that takes place outdoors. You might even see some facilities that call themselves an “outdoor rehab,” or that they offer an “outdoor rehab program.”

Granted, the amount of emphasis each facility places on wilderness/adventure/outdoor therapy and the types of activities it promotes will vary. But, the point is to at least check to see if a facility of interest offers this type of therapy before you start digging further and making your final selection.

Outdoor Therapy for Relapse Prevention

Encouraging you to take a greater interest in the outdoors isn’t just good advice for a healthier recovery lifestyle; it’s a full-fledged relapse prevention tool. Ideally, the treatment center you choose is going to introduce or reintroduce you to a handful of outdoor pursuits that you’re going to take a huge passion in. And by no means do these pursuits need to stop once you graduate the rehab program.

Addiction treatment programs spend considerable time on relapse-prevention education, giving clients concepts, strategies and tangible tools they can use to ward off substance use – in the immediate sense and down the road. Helping clients find their passion in the great outdoors is one of those tools – depending on the program you pick.

And, when you think about it, enjoyment of the outdoors is one of the most practical long-term tools one can have after graduating rehab. A therapist or a sponsor can’t be there to hold your hand every step of the way in the post-rehab phase, but there’s little stopping you from going on a run, hike, bike ride, etc. when your mood is low and you’re battling drug cravings. Getting outside just makes sense.

Your Turn at Bat

Now that you’ve brushed up on the benefits of natural sunlight and the types of outdoor activities you can pursue, we want to hear from you! In the comment section below, please answer one or both of the following questions:

If you’ve been through rehab before, which outdoor activities did you come to love through the program?

Which outdoor pursuits do you personally find the most beneficial for staying committed to sobriety?

If you haven’t been to rehab before but you’re thinking about searching for treatment, Fight Addiction Now can help you find treatment centers that offer outdoor therapy and then evaluate which one is right for you. Just click immediately below to get in touch with our team or call now: 1-844-313-4448.

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What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?

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What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?

Poor nutrition affects the body and mind, making detox an even more painful experience. If someone is nutrient deficient while they are going through withdrawal, his or her first days of sobriety can be more difficult, and that person is more likely to relapse. Most rehabilitation facilities offer nutritional support as part of their services as well as advice on nutrition in addiction recovery.

Foods For Recovering Drug Users

Drugs and alcohol take nutrients from the body while preventing the body from absorbing nutrients from food. The result is malnourishment, which builds slowly through the addiction and gets worse the longer the addiction continues. Eating healthy foods for recovering alcoholics can help heal malnourishment.

Drug And Alcohol Fatigue

Constant fatigue and lack of energy plague drug and alcohol users. This can be due to a lack of iron, protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C, B1, and B12. Most people struggling with addiction are deficient in all or some of these vitamins. Further health problems can develop, including hypothyroidism, anemia, cardiac failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, or serious depression and anxiety.

Skin Irritation

People who abuse alcohol and opiates often complain of skin problems such as itchy skin, red or flushed patches, dry skin, and bruising. They are not getting enough fatty acids or vitamin C.

Muscle Pain

Heavy alcohol use deteriorates muscle tissue. Muscles need vitamins D, B1, magnesium, sodium, and potassium to repair themselves. Without these nutrients, muscles are prone to cramps, spasms, and soreness that will only get worse over time. Those going through opiate withdrawal are all too familiar with muscle pain. These vitamins can help relieve their discomfort.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Alcoholism often comes with diarrhea due to a B3 deficiency. If you do not correct this, irritable bowel syndrome can develop. Opiate users often suffer from constipation, because the body is trying to break down the filler ingredients in pharmaceuticals such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Fiber, potassium, magnesium, and plenty of water will help relieve this issue.

Neurobiological Problems

The brain responds to poor nutrition with restless legs, muscle spasms, loss of balance, vibrations or numb spots, weakness, shakiness in extremities, peripheral neuropathy, and tingling in the hands or feet. The brain needs vitamins B1, B12, B3, B6, and E to maintain proper function. It also needs the appropriate dose of fatty and amino acids to maintain proper nervous system function.

Depression, Anxiety, And Irritability

Mood changes are a normal part of withdrawal symptoms, but you can lessen or alleviate these symptoms by getting enough of vitamins C, B, B3, B12, fatty acids, iron, and magnesium. A proper diet and nutritional plan can greatly improve the moods of those struggling with alcohol and opiates.

Foods That Help Heal The Body After Addiction

The adage that you are what you eat is especially important during recovery. A body that has had poisons like drugs and alcohol for so long now needs the best ingredients and fuel to overcome withdrawal. Good nutrition can relieve painful symptoms and help the body heal quicker.

Water

Hydration is a key element in recovery. Most people don’t drink enough water as it is, and a body healing from addiction needs water even more to promote healthy body function. Water and drinks with electrolytes are beneficial but avoid sugary drinks like sodas.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens are great sources of vitamin B6, iron, and calcium. If you are not a fan of vegetables, there are loads of recipes online to help you sneak them into your diet in delicious ways. One easy way to do this is to add spinach or kale to a morning fruit smoothie – you won’t even be able to taste it with all the sweet fruits.

Lean Protein

All proteins have amino acids, which are necessary for maintaining healthy muscles. Poultry contains vitamin B6, and red meat is high in iron. Salmon and other fish are good sources of omega 3, fatty acids, and calcium. Plant proteins, including tofu, beans, and quinoa are excellent options for those considering veganism or vegetarianism.

Bright Fruits And Veggies

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, oranges, mangos, pineapples, and strawberries are all high in vitamin C. Carrots are full of vitamin A. A good rule of thumb is to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to collect all your daily nutrients.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel, and a body in recovery needs a lot of fuel. Whole wheat bread, rice, and potatoes are high in fiber. Eating healthy whole grain carbs is better for the body than processed carbs such as white bread.

Low-Fat Dairy

Milk, butter, and cheese are good sources of calcium and vitamin A. Yogurt is an excellent probiotic for people with stomach issues during recovery.

Healthy Eating Practices

What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?Getting into the habit of eating three whole meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day will put your body back on the right track for nutrition. It is important not to force food, but regular meals will promote an appetite that drugs or alcohol suppressed. It is important to remember that the body may not be used to healthy foods, and when cravings come, they may be food cravings and not drug cravings.

Getting into healthy activities, such as daily walks, and learning a few healthy recipes are beneficial for several reasons. Exercising, even if it is just a walk around the block, will raise endorphins and promote a healthy appetite. Learning to cook will promote good eating habits and become a sober hobby you can enjoy.

Some Foods Are Not Helpful

When it comes to eating, remember that some foods do not promote a healthy body or mind. A person going through withdrawal from alcohol develops intense sugar cravings, but that sugar will eventually lead to a sugar crash that could put the person at risk for relapse. Caffeine may seem like the sober kick you need, but it can snowball back into relapse if you are not careful. Fast food is not nutritious and isn’t good food for recovering alcoholics or drug users. It is better to spend the extra time making healthy meals and sticking to healthy diets for addiction recovery.

Breaking old nutrition habits and creating new ones is difficult for someone going through the early days of sobriety. Take advantage of nutrition specialists’ offers at rehab to create an exercise plan and sober diet that will encourage a healthier lifestyle. They can teach you the basics of nutrition and how to keep your body and mind healthy.

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10 Daily Affirmations for Addiction Recovery

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10 Daily Affirmations for Addiction Recovery

Anyone who’s been through rehab has learned we need a heck of a lot less than we thought we needed to live. When it comes down to the bones, we can live on food, water, and shelter. Clothing is even optional.

And if we have those basic needs, we can be OK — happy even — if we’re OK with ourselves.

One way we can be OK and take care of ourselves is by using positive affirmations. It may sound cheesy and we may not even believe them at first, but like any recovery skill, the more you practice it, the more you ingrain it in your soul.

Tips for Staying Sober

Recovery takes work. The pink clouds of joy eventually drift away and reality hits us — sometimes like a dark cloud, sometimes like a dark bus.

Maintaining a successful recovery, whether in rehab in Prescott or in rehab in Colorado, demands we never forget why we chose to get sober and why we choose to remain that way.

Reading daily affirmations, creating our own positive statements (in the first person), or adopting a set of affirmations that resonate personally reminds us who we are and why we are passionate about getting that next-level sobriety coin.

Top 10 Daily Affirmations

Affirmations work well when we start our day looking in the mirror and say them out loud to ourselves. We talk to ourselves all the time in our heads. Why shouldn’t we talk to ourselves with the same loving kindness we would show a friend?

Here are some of our favorite daily affirmations with some explanative tidbits of wisdom. Drumroll, please!

Our top ten affirmations for addiction recovery are:

  1. I am loveable. Just as I am right now.

When we work down to our core issues, most of us find that our deep-seated fears revolve around feeling unlovable or feeling like failures. These are two of the most basic human fears, and triggering those fears propels us toward our addiction.

  1. I already have everything I need inside of me.

It seems to be human nature to look for something outside ourselves to make us feel better, feel that we are someone special and that we can be more. Maybe instead we should look inside ourselves and find someone special waiting there all along.

  1. I face and overcome my challenges.

Every breakdown carries an opportunity to break through. When we view challenges as opportunities to grow, optimism reminds us of the challenges we’ve already surmounted.

  1. I am courageous.

It takes courage to change. We’ve already changed a lot, and we can continue growing and changing our whole lives. Courage leads to success.

  1. I am living an extraordinary life.

Most people live mediocre lives. But we have the opportunity to live an extraordinary life…because our sobriety requires we do. Those of us in recovery are chosen to create a life so good we wouldn’t want to give it up, and we are chosen to help others who are still lost in their addiction.

Eventually, our pain dissipates and risking the loss of this beautiful life prevents us from going back to a life of using.

  1. I am mindful.

Mindfulness is linked to happiness. Letting the negative thoughts pass out of our minds and then pausing to convert them into positive thoughts reminds us that thoughts — and feelings — are transient.

  1. I am finding my authentic self and living with a purpose.

It takes strength to take off our masks and be at peace with who we really are. If we think about the strength it has taken us to get this far, we know we can stay strong even longer.

Even if some of us haven’t found our life’s calling yet, we have found things to live for and we are living determinedly, purposing to do the right thing.

  1. I am proud of myself.

We have already mastered some emotional sobriety skills, and we need to praise ourselves daily for it. Our Higher Power is proud of us.

  1. I am successful.

We have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to get where we are today. We are OK just as we are right now. Addiction doesn’t mean we are bad or worthless people – quite the contrary: It means we have an unrelenting disease that we are fighting tooth and nail.

  1. I am a miracle.

Some of us have looked death in the eye and been brought back to life. Some of us have survived the unthinkable. And some of us have escaped before our lives imploded. No matter what, we are all created wondrously.

Tips for Addiction Recovery

Using affirmations for addiction recovery helps us hold onto positive beliefs about ourselves.

Problems drive you to ask for help…

Pain drives you to change…

The enjoyment of life keeps you sober.

Repeating daily affirmations to stay sober validates the good in you and reinforces an optimistic perspective on life. Viewing things optimistically helps us find the enjoyment of life.

No matter how tough the days get, we are doing so much better than we thought possible. We are better people sober, can lead better lives for ourselves and our loved ones, and can hold hope in a better future.

Let’s stay passionate about our sobriety!

See Real Recovery Success Stories Recovery Stress-Relief Tips

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Minimizing the Risk of Developing Process Addictions in Recovery

Prevent Process Addictions Replacing One Addiction With Another - Fight Addiction Now

Overcoming substance use disorder is only one step in the process of addiction recovery. When a recovering addict can’t get their fix through the use of drugs and alcohol, they’ll often turn to pleasurable yet destructive behaviors to satisfy their addictive urges, leading to bad habits in sobriety. When done in excess, these behaviors and activities can become what are known as process addictions.

Let’s take a closer look at the unique dangers that recovering addicts face when it comes to developing process addictions, as well as strategies for minimizing the risks and ensuring complete addiction recovery.

What Is a Process Addiction?

Process addiction – also known as behavioral addiction – refers to a class of mental health disorders in which a person compulsively engages in certain activities or behaviors, regardless of the negative consequences.

Unlike an alcoholic or drug addict, a person with a process addiction doesn’t rely on a substance to get high. However, this doesn’t mean that breaking a process addiction is easy. In fact, process addictions can be just as strong as any other type of addiction.

What Are Some Common Process Addictions?

Almost any activity or behavior that causes the brain to release dopamine can become the source of addiction. Some of the most common process addictions include:

  • Gambling addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Food addiction
  • Video game addiction
  • Shopping addiction
  • Kleptomania
  • Pornography addiction
  • Internet addiction

What Are the Causes of Process Addiction?

You’ve probably heard many people describe themselves as having an “addictive personality,” but what exactly do they mean? Why are some people able to keep their gambling habit limited to a monthly game of poker, while others pour money into slot machines until their bank account is completely empty?

Three of the biggest factors associated with the development of process addictions are personality type, genetics and history of substance abuse.

Personality Type

Behavioral addictions are more commonly seen in people with specific personality traits. For example, people who score high on tests for impulsiveness often engage in harmful addictive behaviors because they don’t stop to think about the consequences. People high in the personality trait neuroticism will often turn to addictive behaviors to soothe their frequent feelings of fear, anxiety, guilt and depression.

These personality traits can pose problems even in sobriety. People high in the personality trait sensation seeking, for instance, are at risk of developing sex addiction in recovery to satisfy the rush drugs once provided.

Genetics

If you have a parent or sibling who struggles with a behavioral addiction, then you are at an increased risk of developing one yourself. In fact, research performed on both identical and fraternal twins has shown that a person’s genetics account for between 12 and 20 percent of the risk of developing an addiction to gambling.

It’s also been shown that genetics account for more than 60 percent of the risk of developing a dual addiction to both alcohol and gambling.

Substance Abuse

There is strong evidence that substance abuse and process addiction often go hand in hand. For example, a recent study found that 71 percent of male sex addicts also suffer from substance use disorder. Gambling addicts are also almost 4 times as likely to abuse alcohol.

It’s hard to tell whether drug and alcohol abuse leads to process addictions, or if certain people are drawn to addictions of all kinds. Regardless, understanding that these two types of addiction are strongly linked is important when trying to achieve recovery.

The Risk of Replacing One Addiction with Another

Fight Addiction Now Addiction Is A Disease QuoteIndividuals who are recovering from substance use disorder frequently end up channeling their addictive urges into other activities. These can either be healthy activates like personal hobbies and exercise, or they can be destructive activities like binge eating and gambling.

When you think about it, has someone really recovered if they jump right into an unhealthy sugar addiction after drug and alcohol addiction, for example? Even though a process addiction may look like a healthier alternative to drug and alcohol use, addiction of any kind can have the same disastrous consequences.

Some signs that a recovering addict has developed a behavioral addiction include:

  • Giving up sleep in favor of the new activity
  • Damaged relationships caused by the activity
  • Prioritizing the activity over financial and social obligations
  • Stress or anger when they can’t engage in the activity
  • The inability to think about anything other than the activity

Healthier Ways to Replace Addiction

After overcoming the initial pain of quitting drugs and alcohol, recovering addicts are frequently hit with the terrifying question, “What do I do now?” Drugs and alcohol had consumed so much of the addict’s time and energy that their absence leaves a massive void.

In the first few months or years of recovery, it’s very easy to fall back on old, addictive habits and pick up a sex, food or gambling addiction when sober. However, there is a better path.

Remember What Your Passions Are

Think back to a time before addiction. What hobbies and activities did you abandon to make time for drugs and alcohol? What were you passionate about? What brought you joy?

Perhaps you used to love dancing, writing or painting. Recognize that your struggles with addiction do not define you, and that those things that used to bring you happiness likely still can.

Discover a New Hobby

It’s possible that as you’ve grown and changed throughout your life, so too have your interests and passions. Making a fresh start in your life is the perfect time to find out what you really care about. This process can seem daunting, but you can start by asking yourself a few questions.

Do you love art? Consider taking a few classes, or just buy some supplies to blow off steam at the end of the day.

Does helping others make you feel fulfilled? If that’s the case, there are likely plenty of volunteer opportunities in your community.

Go Forth

Remember, you are not alone in the struggle to achieve addiction recovery. Others have been there before and can help you on your journey. If you would like to share your experiences with addiction replacement or a process addiction, come and join us on our forum here at Fight Addiction Now!

Read Our Process Addiction Fact Sheet and Then Find Treatment

Process Addiction Treatment Resource

When Sadness and Depression Show Up in Sober Life

When Sadness and Depression Show Up in Sober Life

Tackling Depression After Becoming Sober

“Depression” is a word you may hear often during addiction recovery. Depression and addiction often go hand in hand, in a cycle that can feel impossible to break.

Feelings of depression and sadness are common during drug and alcohol abuse recovery, especially seeming to appear at the six-months sober milestone. If you’re one of many people who relate to feeling depressed in sober life, there are ways to tackle the depression demon without disrupting your progress.

Breaking the Stigma Surrounding Depression in Recovery

Addiction Recovery Meme Fight Addiction NowStigmas plague the world of addiction and recovery. There are numerous stigmas surrounding depression after becoming sober. Thanks to public figures like Demi Lovato, Kristen Bell and members of the Royal Family, the stigmas around mental health are slowly starting to dissipate.

Several major roadblocks, however, still exist. It can be difficult for a person in recovery to know how to cope with depression in a healthy, substance-free way. Education about depression in recovery is key.

Depression after becoming sober is completely normal. This may come as a surprise since the assumption is often, “If I get clean, I’ll feel better.” While this is true in many ways, it doesn’t necessarily mean saying goodbye to depression forever.

Some people live with depression their entire lives. There is not something wrong with you if you feel sad after achieving sobriety. Depression and addiction are often a dual diagnosis. You’ve dealt with your addiction, but have you addressed your underlying issues?

The Connection Between Addiction and Depression

Recovering alcoholics and depression will unfortunately always have some kind of relationship. People who develop substance dependencies often already have underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or trauma. People turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of depression – only to end up with addiction.

During recovery, the underlying issues will remain with you and rear their ugly heads every so often…unless you address them properly. This is why it’s so important to work with a professional detox and rehabilitation facility in the first few weeks of sobriety.

Clinical depression is a mental disability. It is not just a feeling, or only in your head. It is a real condition with real treatment needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in 20 Americans report feeling depressed in the past two weeks. These are just the people who willingly admit to feeling depressed; the actual number is likely much greater.

Substance abuse is common among people with depression. Many believe drugs and alcohol will help them escape depression. In reality, nervous system depressants like alcohol often exacerbate feelings of sadness. To tackle your depression after recovery, you may need therapy, medication or a combination of treatments.

Take Action Against Depression

The secret to conquering sadness and depression is to take action. It can be irritating to hear people tell you to “just change your mood.” If you have depression, you know it’s not that easy.

Yet this piece of advice does hold some truth. It is up to you to recognize the signs of depression and to take action against it – before it consumes you. Over time, recognizing triggers and learning healthy coping mechanisms can eventually enable you to prevent depression before it even occurs.

Getting sober does not mean banishing your depression. It simply means that you’re sober. Healing the issues that sparked your addiction in the first place takes rehabilitation, therapy and learning healthy coping techniques. These “answers” will look different to everyone.

Explore different ideas and see what works for you. You may find that a practice such as yoga or meditation provides a peaceful, relaxing solution when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Or perhaps a tough workout is what you need to work through your feelings.

Turn to art, leisure, sports, hobbies, games, exercise, therapy or time with a pet or loved one to actively try to combat depression in recovery. Remember that you are not alone. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last, person in recovery to experience depression. Simply accept your feelings for what they are, and take steps to feel better – without substance use.

Do You Struggle with Sadness and Depression in Recovery?

Forums are excellent outlets for people struggling with sadness and depression in recovery. Getting these topics out there, shining a light on depression and talking about our unique experiences all facilitate true healing.

Have you dealt with depression during your recovery journey? You might answer “yes” if you’ve experienced:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of low self-worth or self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Change in weight or appetite
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Feeling like you have no energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts

Feel free to share your ideas on how to tackle depression in sober life. Are you feeling depressed right now? Help is available through hotlines, professional therapy and simply talking about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with depression; a brighter future could be just a conversation away.

Click on “Start Chat Now” or Visit Our Online Discussion Forum

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The Moment You Realize You Are an Addict

Moment You Realize You Are An Addict

You really miss him. If someone were to ask you if you did, you’d probably say, “Of course I miss him, a lot.” And then there are those times that you’re not thinking about him; you’re doing something else: laughing with new friends, watching the latest on Netflix, answering an email or driving to work and “boom,” there it is, wishing you were back there with him again, the way it used to be.

The “him” is your former drug of choice: meth, weed, alcohol, heroin or that stash of Oxy or Adderall that some doctors convinced you was needed to function properly. Boy, were they wrong.

Random Acts of Awesome

When you think back on your time during active addiction, the relationship you had with drugs or alcohol had some crazy similarities to a psycho romance. (It’s OK to laugh a little about it now, because you’re so…over it.) But back then you weren’t just hooked, you were obsessed. And no matter how you tried to shake off this twisted love affair, the drug was in control.

Just when you think you were trapped in this toxic relationship (and what else could addiction be), something happened. Somehow and somewhere, you had a moment of clarity. Maybe it was an intervention from a parent or friend. Maybe it was an unsuspecting “aha!” moment or a mandatory court order that threw your ass into treatment or a 12-step program.

How you found yourself on the path to clean or sober living is not something to keep to yourself. Your story is one of many invaluable addiction recovery stories that not only serve to remind you of how awesome you are, but how your inner strength can help others who remain in their relationship with him, still hoping for a way out.

Speak to Their Pain and Help End It

There are true stories of alcoholics. There are true stories of drug addicts. But until someone stops using, the stories told can be skewed as fake or fiction. Because until the mind heals, mental and emotional perception is unclear and imbalanced.

So addiction stories don’t get real until recovery begins. It starts the moment you own your addiction.

Addicts may not share the same neighborhood, social status, age, race, religion, sexual preference or gender identity as one another, but there is one commonality: Drug and alcohol addiction is an equal opportunity abuser.

Three ways to stop addiction:

  • You end it.
  • It ends you.
  • Share the moment you quit with someone else.

Faster Isn’t Better

Jennifer was on top of her game. Just a couple years out of college and she was killing it at work. Not just hitting sales goals, but exceeding them. Because the pressure was on. It was always on.

With so many distractions from friends, family and even coworkers, it was hard to stay focused. Until she heard about Adderall. In fact, everyone in the office had their own prescription. It was practically corporate culture! Until she misjudged a traffic light when she was texting her boss. That was the moment Jennifer realized she was an addict.

A Shot in the Dark

Brian had a lot to live for, but he didn’t think so. His drinking began when he was 12 years old. It escalated through high school. And while it was cool back then, he learned to hide it well throughout his career as an X-ray technician at the hospital. Adding vodka to his morning orange juice seemed to put the jumpstart in his day.

Everything changed one afternoon after Brian downed his sixth shot of Gentleman Jack while watching an NFL playoff game in January. His older brother just called, sounding out of his mind. He was sitting on the edge of his bathtub, screaming at the top of his lungs about their alcoholic parents, contemplating suicide while pointing the barrel of a Colt .45 to his lips. That’s when Brian went from addiction mode into recovery mode.

Positive change can happen when you least expect it. Stay open. Be ready.

Addiction Stories Differ, but Outcomes Can Be the Same

Help us inspire others to find hope and the strength to say, “Enough is enough.” Through you, we can shift the consciousness of addiction and move many more toward their individual path of recovery.

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Exercise and Addiction: Is Lack of Physical Activity Causing or Worsening Your Daily Problems?

Exercise And Addiction Lack Of Exercise Causing Daily Problems - Fight Addiction Now

Most people know the value of exercise and the physical benefits that come along with it. Working out regularly helps you manage weight, improve physique and maintain the energy to handle everyday life.

However, many people neglect exercise and suffer more consequences beyond what happens to one’s physical appearance. It’s vital for everyone to know and appreciate the value of exercise for improved mood and emotional health, especially when recovering from addiction.

Why Exercise?

People who exercise on a regular basis are generally healthier, happier and more energetic than those that do not. Exercising has scientifically proven benefits to mood and happiness. Research indicates that exercising for just 20 minutes has a positive effect on mood that can last up to 12 hours. Many studies also indicate that exercise is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, depression and addiction issues.

Positive Effects on Brain Chemistry

Exercise also encourages endorphin production in the brain and reduces negative chemical levels, particularly cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” linked to inactivity, poor diet and psychological disorders like depression. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone that usually floods the bloodstream in response to fear and danger stimuli.

A person who does not exercise regularly has a harder time flushing these negative chemicals than a person on a regular exercise routine.

What Type of Exercise Is Best?

There is no “perfect” exercise routine that will work for everyone. A healthy exercise regimen is one that is challenging but possible, or “just right.” Some people are more competitive than others and may enjoy competitive sports for exercise, such as tennis, basketball or football.

While sports such as those are fantastic methods of increasing your physical activity, very competitive people should try to focus on other, noncompetitive forms of exercise. The reason behind this is that the desire and motivation to win can actually limit the exercise’s benefits on brain chemistry and sometimes turn it into a stressful experience.

Tips for Mood-Improving Exercise

If you already exercise but wonder if there are things you can change about your routine to reap greater mental health benefits, start by moving your workout outdoors. A half-hour on a treadmill or elliptical machine may be great for your body, but taking your exercise outdoors will have a much more positive impact on your mood.

If you live in an urban area, retreating to the quieter suburbs or rural areas for walks, hikes and runs will have a much more positive impact than attempting to get outside in the middle of the city. While some people enjoy running through busy city streets, urban environments have several drawbacks. There is more traffic congestion and thus a greater chance of suffering injury from drivers. There is also a higher concentration of pollutants in the air, which can have a negative effect on your respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Additionally, the noise and bustle of the city can be stressful for some people. Research indicates that exercise in quieter, more natural environments like state parks and rural areas helps you feel more relaxed and revitalized than exercise in densely populated areas. Keep that in mind as you exercise just to maintain your overall health or as a relapse prevention technique to keep addiction at bay.

Small Changes You Can Make at Home

If outdoor activity isn’t practical for you, you can still make the most out of working out at home. Research shows that music has a profoundly positive effect during exercise, so create a playlist of your favorite feel-good, energizing tunes to listen to during your workout routine.

If you have a treadmill but dread spending 30 minutes on it three to five times a week, watch one of your favorite shows while you run or use the elliptical. Watching TV or movies can help distract you from the exercise and make the workout seem faster.

Sex is another great way to exercise at home. Exercise researchers report that the average person burns three to four calories during every minute of sexual activity, which counts as moderate exercise.

You and your significant other can enjoy the positive benefits of regular exercise through intimacy. Additionally, maintaining a healthy exercise regimen boosts sexual desire and stamina, which can be incredibly valuable in intimate relationships.

Changing Your Diet Is Another Small Change

Exercise and Addiction Recovery:
Join the Discussion with Your Advice

Do you have an exercise routine that works really well for you? Do you do any particular exercises for specific issues like depression or anxiety? Are you looking for tips to improve your exercise regimen in realistic ways?

The Fight Addiction Now Facebook group is a grassroots community of individuals who share their thoughts and experiences about addiction, including coping mechanisms and tips for leading healthier lives. Many people who have struggled with addiction and substance abuse in their lives have discovered the value of exercise and come together here or on our Facebook page to share their experiences.

Even if you have never felt the negative effects of addiction in your own life, you can still participate in our discussions and gain valuable insight from other members in the group. If you are interested in talking about the benefits of exercise with others in a constructive and supportive environment, feel free to get the discussion started in our new online forum.

For help in finding a professional addiction treatment program that incorporates exercise into its rehab process, whether you’re currently struggling with substance abuse or it’s your loved one, let Fight Addiction Now be your guide.

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Overcoming Addiction: Can You Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol by Yourself?

Overcoming Addiction Can You Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol Yourself - FAN

If you’ve been wondering, “Can I quit using drugs and alcohol by myself?” the answer really depends on your particular situation.

Data suggests that about half of people who recover do so with some sort of help, while about half do so on their own. Many of the people who recover on their own do so with the help of community support, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, instead of going to formal rehab.

So what path is right for you? Let’s explore what you need to know before making this important decision.

Detox vs. Rehabilitation: What You Need to Know Before Quitting Drugs Without Rehab

Although the majority of the recovery process can be managed by the addict, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional help for the first stage of recovery: detox.

The acute withdrawal symptoms that occur when you first stop using a substance can be severe – not only unpleasant to experience, but also life-threatening in some cases, especially when coming off alcohol or benzos.

At a detox center or other medical facility, you will have physicians checking your vital signs on a regular basis to ensure your safety and to intervene if your symptoms become dangerous. They may also be able to prescribe medication to help ease the severity of the symptoms, making withdrawal less painful.

For heroin and opioid addiction, it’s not the physical withdrawal symptoms that can kill you, but rather the state of mind it puts you in. Withdrawal is known to cause suicidal behavior is some cases, so medical supervision during detox helps keep patients from hurting themselves in a low moment.

If you do decide to detox from opiate addiction at home, make sure there’s someone else there to watch over you and that all dangerous items have been removed from the house.

Overcoming Addiction Without Rehab

Percentage People Who Got Help for Addiction Recovery Statistical Image - Fight Addiction NowRehabilitation – which is staying off drugs and alcohol after the initial acute withdrawal period is over – can definitely be done on your own, as many people have proven through their own experiences.

In fact, whether you choose to recover on your own or in a rehab program, it is always you that is rehabilitating yourself. No one can make you get sober; you have to want it on a deep level.

You have to be willing to do what it takes to make the necessary changes in your life. You have to embrace the trial by fire. Without that, no treatment program or AA process will be able to help you.

What everyone does usually need is some support along the way. Recovery is hard enough; doing it with the help of others eases the burden.

However and wherever you choose to recover, you may need some or all of these things:

  • Support from people like you who’ve been through this and understand what you’re going through, and can provide advice on what worked for them
  • Tips and training on how to prevent relapse
  • Counseling or therapy
  • Medication to ease post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
  • Help with establishing a new life – work, living arrangements, etc.
  • Ongoing encouragement during this months-long (or even years-long) process

Why People Relapse

The question to ask yourself is, “What support do I need to prevent relapse?” The most common reasons why people relapse are:

  • Motivation wasn’t strong enough
  • Not enough changes to environment or habits
  • Strong PAWS symptoms (physical addiction still at play)
  • Other contributing factors such as trauma, mental illness, etc. haven’t been properly addressed

You may find success in recovering on your own if:

  • You have an intense motivation to quit using substances and recreate your life.
  • You’re typically good at exercising willpower (i.e., “mind over matter” works for you).
  • You’re willing to make changes throughout your life to support your commitment to sobriety, including saying goodbye to old relationships and other situations that you used to enjoy but which may tempt you into relapse.
  • You don’t have a mental illness or psychological issue that is contributing to your drug use.

When It’s a Good Idea to Get Professional Addiction Treatment Services

In addition to professional detox, opting for a formal treatment program may be a good idea for you if you have one of these situations:

Dual Diagnosis

If you have an underlying mental health issue, then having a psychiatrist’s help is very important because both the substance use disorder and mental health disorder need to be treated at the same time. The methods and/or medications that will be used to treat these two conditions will vary, depending on the specific circumstances.

More On Mental Health

History of Relapse

If you’ve tried to quit on your before and keep relapsing, then there’s no shame in getting professional help. Everyone is different, and just because someone else recovered without going to rehab doesn’t mean the same strategy will work for you.

Find The Right Treatment

Relapse Prevention

Motivation Problems

If you’re having difficulty really committing to sobriety, maybe because you fear that life without your substance of choice wouldn’t be any better, or some other reason, then seek out an option with one-on-one therapy to help you get to the bottom of your motivation issue.

Services for these types of issues are available in inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, and from psychiatric practices.

There Are Many Ways to Beat Drug Addiction

Each person caught up in addiction has a unique situation. The type of drug being used, how severe the physical addiction is, the underlying psychological and lifestyle factors that support the addiction – all these things and more play into how a person experiences addiction and what they need to do to quit.

Some people are able to quit on their own without enrolling in a rehab program. Others benefit greatly from the support that a formal program provides, either at a treatment center or in a community based program like AA.

It Comes Down to You

Regardless of whom you turn to for help, the No. 1 factor that will determine your success is your internal level of commitment. You have to truly want to live a sober life, deep down, in order to have the motivation necessary to weather the changes ahead.

Once you’ve made that commitment and your resolve is firm, seeking out support in the community, from AA and NA programs, from rehab programs or other medical professionals should give you tools to beat addiction, as well as resources to make the changes that will save your life.

If you’re confident you can do this on your own with free support in the community, go for it. If you’re pretty sure that you’ll back out when things get tough (maybe because this has happened before), don’t feel bad about this.

Acknowledge the reality of your situation and opt for a rehab program where there will be people to help you find the motivation to tough it out. If you’re afraid that beating addiction alone isn’t possible for you, then don’t hesitate to seek out support.

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Bam, Demi and Ben: Erasing the Stigma of Addiction

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Because of stigma and misconceptions about drug and alcohol addiction, it continues to be a controversial topic, one that rarely makes headlines in the news. In the past few weeks, several celebrities have helped to break the stigma by opening up about addiction, spreading positive messages about recovery and sobriety.

Read about how professional skateboarder Bam Margera, actor Ben Affleck and actress-singer Demi Lovato have dealt with their addiction struggles.

Bam’s Story

Bam Margera had a quick upbringing into fame, and was plunged into a “rock star” lifestyle, including lots of partying and drugs. He says that he never had any pill problems and had never tried heroin in his life. However, alcohol was difficult for him to refrain from. After losing his best friend, Ryan Dunn, he found himself spiraling into an alcohol addiction problem that he would struggle with for years.

One of his major concerns was that skateboarding and alcohol didn’t mix. He knew that this would be a problem for him both physically and mentally. Recently, the “Jackass” star opened up about his alcohol problem in an episode of “Family Therapy” and revealed that his focus is back on skateboarding.

When asked how he managed to stay sober, Margera replied, “It’s been a real struggle for me to stay off the alcohol. But just as long as you’re surrounded by good people and you have something to do, you’ll be good”.

His new wife, Nikki Boyd, is pregnant with his child and his life appears to be back on a positive track.

Affleck’s Addiction

Ben Affleck’s recovery story begins with his children. His ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, threatened that he must submit to drug testing or not be allowed to see his children. He announced on Facebook that he had gone to rehab in order to be “the best father I can be.”

Alcoholism was exposed to him since he was a child as he witnessed his father’s drinking problem firsthand. Although he saw his father drink every day growing up, he also saw his father quit drinking and become sober for several decades.

In Ben’s Facebook post, he wrote, “I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step.”

With the support from family and friends, Affleck says he is committed to staying sober and living life to the fullest.

Demi’s Struggles

You might have seen Demi Lovato’s popular documentary, “Simply Complicated,” in which she talks about her drug addiction and eating disorder. She admits that she had struggled with her self-image since she was 12 years old. By the time she was 17, she was working with the Disney Channel, and had tried cocaine for the first time.

Before she knew it, she was struggling with a full-blown cocaine addiction. Many people tried to help her, but she didn’t stop until she had no other choice. Her management threatened to drop her. At this point, she was at risk of losing her career. She didn’t have the heart to let down all of her fans.

Today, Lovato celebrates nearly six years of sobriety and isn’t afraid to share her story with the world.

How Their Stories Help Us

Celebrity addiction stories help to break the stigma and prove that addiction can affect anybody. The public can learn valuable from celebrities and everyday individuals who speak up on the topic.

Together, we can conquer addiction and empower each other by sharing our own stories. Take part in the Fight Addiction Now community today.

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