Sober Tips for the Holiday Season
The holidays are upon us. That means it’s time with family and friends. And for many of us, it also means being in the presence of alcohol or drugs, and we know what challenges that bring to the dinner table. So, to be sure this holiday season is what you want it to be, have a three-fold plan: (1) consult with your sponsor before any holiday planning; (2) if traveling someplace, research in advance for local meetings for recovering addicts; and (3) customize your holiday season according to three scenarios in which you may find yourself.
Scenario 1: Holiday Parties & Get-Togethers with Friends & Acquaintances
In this scenario, you may find yourself at a dinner party or other get-together and the crowd is a mix of people you know well, somewhat, or just met. Depending on the situation, you may not want to divulge you are going through recovery immediately, but you also don’t want to be the party-pooper. What do you do?
- Stay committed to yourself and recovery. Believe in yourself. Love yourself. And know that you can do it.
- Know someone. Prior to going to the party, make sure you know at least one person who knows you well and knows about your addiction. He or she will be a source of support and comfort.
- Be prepared. Stay away from any get-together you know will have temptations or triggers. That said, also be prepared about how you will turn down a glass or alcohol and other temptation. Then, you need to have an exit strategy; know your exit plan before going to the party, so you don’t find yourself hesitating.
Scenario 2: Time with Family & Close Friends
Time with family and friends over the holidays, especially when they know you are a recovering addict, is always a great option. They may be aware of your addiction and your progress at recovering, and therefore, may be prepared to support you. But the holidays are a sentimental time, and though joyful, holidays can also bring about strong emotions that may affect you in ways you would not have anticipated. When that happens, have a plan.
- Be honest. Be honest both with yourself and your family and friends. Know your triggers so that you can address them with your family. You may not want to spoil the fun, but they likely don’t even realize how it is affecting you. To be clear. Speak up. And they will be happy you did so.
- Have fun. Try to let go and enjoy time with family and friends; it can be one of the most therapeutic activities for you.
- Know when is when. When the fun has stopped, know it and act on it. It’s best to exit when you are ahead of the game.
Scenario 3: Alone
This is probably the worst scenario for you. You may want some quiet time, but too much can take your mind to unknown places. So, when you find yourself alone, know what to do.
- If you are hungry, eat.
- If you are sad, call a close friend, relative, or your sponsor.
- If you are questioning yourself, remind yourself how far you’ve come and how important you are.
The best thing about holidays – apart from sharing them with family and friends – is celebrating. That means: celebrating you, for what you’ve been through, where you are, and where you are going. If you, nonetheless, find yourself struggling, contact us today to help you get the spirit of the holidays back again.
Recognizing the Risk Factors for Addiction
Addiction is a personal human struggle as old as time. In its latest iteration, addiction has resurfaced at crisis levels. Clinically, addiction is a condition that begins when a person takes a chemical substance (or engages in a behavior), which begins as hedonistically gratifying, but quickly evolves to an uncontrolled compulsion that interrupts your life.
WHO CAN DEVELOP AN ADDICTION?
“Many people engage in the risky use of alcohol and drugs and anyone can develop a substance problem. Some people may progress and develop a severe addiction. The vast majority of people who use drugs and alcohol – even those who partake in them routinely – do not develop the disease of addiction.”
~ The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
WHY ARE CERTAIN PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO BECOME AN ADDICT?
The answer to this question depends on a variety of influences the medical community has codified as “Addiction Risk Factors”.
#1 Let’s go to the DNA
The Hedonistic Human’s ethos is: If the feeling were pleasurable, you would seek to repeat it. Although somewhat tame concept at first glance, hedonism often leads the way for other factors to become triggers.
#2 Home is Where the Trouble Shouldn’t Be
If you have grown up in an unhappy home, or, wrestling with the residual effects of a traumatic childhood, you are likely to want to self-medicate, often the root cause of addiction.
When children go with care, witness family fights, or have a parent using drugs, Addiction risks simply rise.
#3 The Dangerous Combination of Mental Health Issues & Drug-Use
Mental health diagnoses range across a spectrum of causes and remedies. Mental health issues (which are often solvable) that go unchecked will insidiously present as depression, anxiety, and ADD. This is another reason to self-medicate.
#4 Troubled at Work & School
Life’s frustrations knock us down to the ground when least expected. They appear at birth and never disappear. If someone has failed at anything, internal conflicts begin to haunt him or her. Life becomes difficult and presents yet another opportunity to self-medicate.
#5 Friends Wanted: Drug Users need not apply
Friends or family members who use drugs might present (purposeful or not) an opportunity that causes a relapse.
#6 I Started Too Early
Drug use at a young age increases the chances of becoming addicted as an adult.
Smokers, alcoholics, and drug abusers have a larger proportion of offspring with addictions than the rest of the population. The social and environmental issues that exist are also important in nurturing addictive behavior.
Renaissance Recovery Center Can Help You Be Free from Addiction
Renaissance Recovery Center is a drug treatment and alcohol rehab center in Arizona. We are situated among some of the nature’s most beautiful, energetic and healing backdrops. The power of the word renaissance lies in its meaning: Renewal of Life And Vigor! If you or, someone you love suffers from addiction, reach out to Renaissance Recovery Center for a free consultation at 480.725.8560. Renaissance Recovery Center is clinically driven, but also integrates a faith based 12-step recovery program. We promote healing and wellness for addicts and their families. Renaissance Recovery Center is an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility.
Most common co-occurring disorders with substance abuse
Have you ever come across a chronic alcoholic? If you have, you might already know that people who are used to substance abuse usually suffer from some degree of psychiatric disorder. This combination is sometimes referred to as co-occurring disorder or dual disorders. The psychiatric component is extremely crucial, as people with mental disorders are more likely to indulge themselves in substance abuse. It is just like a vicious cycle.
Alcohol and mental health disorders
A chronic alcoholic individual usually suffers from several mental disorders including diseases such as mania, major depression, personality disorder, or even schizophrenia. Sign symptoms might vary depending on conditions. For example, people suffering from mania might exhibit periods of high excitement or euphoria, often interspersed with periods of depression. Because alcohol is so closely associated with having a good time, both extremes may drive the individual to drink, whether to celebrate or to console oneself. (more…)
Bible Verses for Addiction Recovery
Each person has pains, bad habits and hang-ups in their life. These can often lead individuals to consume alcohol or drugs to dull the pain. Renaissance Recovery Center in Gilbert, AZ is a faith-based addiction treatment center that helps people with all sorts of addictions find freedom and deliverance from the substances. God is bigger than our troubles, and he can help us overcome any obstacles we encounter. Having this in mind, here are 14 Bible verses to turn to when working to overcome an addiction. (more…)
Women More Likely to Get Addicted to Cocaine
Addiction is a behavioral disease that affects people all around the world, regardless of demographics like class, race, or gender. However, it would be naive to assume that these factors didn’t play a part in particular substances and their prevalence on a particular demographic. For example, despite its stereotype for primarily being a male drug, cocaine addiction is actually more prevalent amongst women, who are more likely to get addicted to cocaine than men. Here are some reasons why this appears to be the case… (more…)
Rising Addiction Rates in Afghanistan
While addiction is a prominent problem in the United States, it’s important to recognize that it is something that goes far beyond our borders, and is truly a global epidemic. Addiction is an issue that is pronounced all over the world. One area of the world that has a particular effect on addiction everywhere might surprise a lot of people: Afghanistan, the source of 90% of the world’s heroin. Afghanistan is no stranger to its own issues with addiction. Here is some information about the rising addiction rates in Afghanistan… (more…)
Naloxone Prices Have Skyrocketed
In the world of addiction recovery, there are many different tools that we have available to us to help people who are struggling with addiction. However, our options are sometimes mitigated by the trends of the market around us. The rising prices of many lifesaving drugs on the marketplace have been commonplace for years, and have recently become a hot topic in the national conversation about healthcare. In particular, Naloxone is one drug in the addiction recovery world that has been particularly susceptible to this issue… (more…)
HBO Documentary Examines Risky Drinking
For many people in America, binge drinking has become a core part of their social lives. This has created a culture that, in many cases, excuses dangerous behavior that is caused by alcohol abuse. Because of this, it is imperative that we, as a society, have a hard discussion about what this means for our young people, our future, and how far past the point of unacceptability we have come. Recently, HBO and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have produced a documentary called Risky Drinking, which looks into the lives of various people who suffer from their own battles with alcohol abuse. (more…)
Funding to Fight Opioid Abuse
Drug abuse, and particularly opioid addiction, has skyrocketed over the past decade. Based on current models that rightly view addiction as a mental disorder, addiction has become an epidemic that has spread across the entire country. Indeed, addiction adversely affects every demographic in the United States, regardless of class, race, gender, or geographic divisions. Not only does this problem destroy the lives of millions of Americans, but it also is a costly issue that causes billions of dollars in losses for our economy. Here is some information about how our government is planning to handle the problem, and what issues are going overlooked… (more…)
Does Alcohol Cause Cancer?
Obviously, engaging in heavy drinking doesn’t do any favors for your health. However, over drinking can cause a lot more damage than you think it can. There is an ample amount of research that shows it is very likely that alcohol can be a major component of increasing an individual’s risk to cancer. Here are some of the links between cancer and alcohol abuse that an alcoholic should be worrying about… (more…)