5 Levels Of Addiction Treatment For Continuum of Care

There is no fixed treatment plan that can be applied to every recovering addict. Each patient is different, with a unique history of substance abuse, severity, and personal traumatic experiences. As such, rehabs use a continuum of care in which the patients are afforded a level of care that is appropriate for their condition. The levels must align with their needs for effective treatment and recovery. Additionally, they can just move through the levels as they get better. Their treatment adapts to their progress.

WAccording to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), there are five levels of the continuum of care for substance abuse patients. Each level indicates the intensity of the patient’s condition as well as the intensity of care that corresponds to their situation. The levels are as follows:

·         Level 0.5: Early intervention and detection

·         Level I: Outpatient

·         Level II: Intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization program

·         Level III: Residential or inpatient programs

·         Level IV: Intensive inpatient programs with medical management

5 Levels Of Care For Addiction Treatment

Level 0.5: Early Intervention

This level is exclusively for people who have high risks of developing substance abuse disorders. This level of care aims to preemptively intervene before the addiction potentially worsens. This is applicable for patients who are predisposed to drug abuse. Part of the program is close monitoring in case the patient’s addiction develops even further.

Level I: Outpatient Treatment

Patients at level 1 are not required to be admitted or to reside in the rehab premises. They are free to live in their residential areas for as long as they are able to attend regular meetings and therapy sessions. These sessions include one-on-one consultations with therapists and counselors. Additionally, patients get access to group therapy. In this way, they can receive continuous treatment while living a relatively normal life.

Outpatient treatment is more affordable compared to residential or inpatient treatment simply because there is no need to cover the residential costs and 24/7 medical care. In this level, the services provided are as follows:

·         Evaluation of the patient’s condition to identify the addiction level

·         Treatment of the patient

·         Follow-up treatment to monitor the patient’s progress

·         Help the patient implement behavioral  changes they have learned from therapy

·         Help improve the patient’s mental health, functioning, and stability

Level I treatment can be a transitional point for patients who came from higher levels of care. It is also beneficial for patients who are not yet ready to conclude their treatment journey.

Level II: Intensive Outpatient Programs or Partial Hospitalization Programs

Level II programs, which include IOP and PHP, are designed to provide the following:

·         Consultation services

·         24/7 crisis hotline

·         Psychopharmacological care

·         Psychiatric care

·         Medical assistance and management

·         Support training and services such as vocational training, child care, and transportation

While the two types of treatment are categorized at the same level, there are some differences that truly matter when searching for the right treatment plan that the patient needs. IOP provides education and counseling to help the patient gain a better understanding of their mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. The patients receive referrals to the respective psychiatric and medical departments that will care for them. Take note that unstable psychological conditions and severe medical problems cannot be remedied by IOP.

For severe cases that require close medical monitoring, PHP is highly recommended. PHP provides direct access to medical professionals as well as laboratory services. The program provides a multidimensional approach for patients with co-occurring disorders with a focus on hospitalization.

Level III: Inpatient Programs or Residential Treatment

Level III provides a stable, safe, and comfortable environment that is conducive for recovery. The patients will be admitted to the rehab center wherein they are to be isolated from the rest of the world so that they will be far from temptations. In the center, they can focus on recovery by attending group meetings, individual therapy, and even holistic treatment programs.

Level 3.1: Low-intensity, clinically managed residential treatment

This level provides 24/7 care and support. This level focuses on teaching the patients the different recovery skills they need to attain sobriety. They will also be taught how to form their own relapse prevention plans while training them to have a more stable emotional status.

Level 3.3: Medium-intensity, clinically managed residential treatment

This is also known as extended or long-term care. This level focuses on slower and repetitive steps that are essential for targeting mental illnesses linked to substance abuse. This level provides ongoing case management, vocational training, self-help meetings, and transportation services.

Level IV: Medically-Managed Intensive Inpatient Program

Level IV is referred to as the most intense and comprehensive treatment plan reserved for the most severe cases. The patients are medically detained in the facility where there is professional staff on-call, 24/7. The staff is also trained with acute care skills and resources to deal with co-occurring disorders. This level of care is designed to help patients transition to lower levels of care as they recover.

Consult us at R&R Recovery today to learn more about the different levels of care as well as what will best suit your or your recovering loved one. Take your first steps towards recovery with us today.

Why Is Drug Rehab So Expensive? The True Cost Of Rehab.

Drug Rehab

It is no secret that drug rehab is a costly affair. Inpatient rehab for drug and alcohol use disorder may cost $5,000 to $50,000 per month. The costs vary from center to center. You may also find programs that are free especially if they are national programs.

Why Is Drug Rehab Expensive?

There are numerous factors to this. The factors that affect the price of rehab include:

Accommodations

Inpatient rehab is significantly more expensive than outpatient rehab. The patient will stay in the premises which means that they are paying for the roof over their head. This is beneficial for severe cases since this means they will be surrounded by medical staff 24/7. As such, the price racks up even further.

The patient has the option to purchase individual rooms or become roommates with fellow patients. Shared accommodations are cheaper. There’s also an option between shared baths and private bathrooms, in which the latter is more expensive.

Lastly, the location of the rehab center also directly affects the price of accommodations. Rehab centers in coastal Malibu or La Jolla will cost more compared to the rest. These luxurious centers are filled with extra amenities that will rack up the price even further. Others may have tennis courts, an exclusive hiking trail, and more. You need to consider if these features are actually imperative to healing.

Treatment Options

Each rehab center varies in terms of the treatment options available. Rehabs with more individual sessions are usually more expensive compared to centers that focus on group therapy and holistic treatment. It still depends on the recommended individualized treatment plan that the patient needs. There is no fixed estimated cost for the whole package since each patient story varies in terms of severity.

Professional Staff

This is related to the treatment plan that is recommended to the patient. Rehab centers are typically manned by counselors, clinicians, and other healthcare workers with years’ worth of experience under their belts. They are qualified to serve in such an environment simply because they put in the time and energy to reach the level of expertise they currently possess. As such, these capable hands are more costly compared to healthcare workers who are new to the field.

Resident Assistant Staff

The resident assistant staff can be viewed as the heart of every rehab center. They take charge of running the place and overseeing every single activity. They command medication disbursement, resident monitoring, and household tasks. They spearhead the operations that promote the clients’ healing and reintegration into society.

There are also rehab centers that invest in ongoing resident assistant staff training to ensure that their quality of service does not decline over time. The staff is also legally mandated to know how to administer CPR and first aid response in case of emergency. All of these are necessary to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for the clients.

Food

A healthy diet is essential for a successful recovery. A healthy body translates to a healthy mind with balanced hormones and better control over intrusive thoughts, thereby lessening the risks of a relapse. Rehab centers prioritize preparing fresh, whole foods that are not processed. Most rehab centers emphasize farm-to-table foods.

The client can specify their diet so that the center can adjust to their preferences. Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, kosher, lactose intolerance, or more, your preferences will be upheld. This may increase the fees in rehab but it is an important area that shouldn’t be compromised, especially if it helps the patient stay sober.

Transportation And Other Activities

Some rehab centers provide outdoor activities that will require the patients to be transported to and from the center. These shuttles may travel to the airport, the gym, or even medical appointments. This is a good service since it eliminates any inconvenience the patient may face while trying to organize their transportation.

At RnR Recovery, the patients are guaranteed to get their money’s worth. Our accredited facility is equipped with essential features and perfectly capable staff who can help our patients achieve recovery. Contact us today for more information.

How to Make the Most Out of Group Therapy

The road to recovery is long and arduous – one that is filled with doubts and temptations that will probably discourage you from moving forward. This journey is a lifelong commitment that necessitates constant rigor and conscious efforts to maintain sobriety. In this process, uncertainties and even relapses are almost an inevitability because, at some point, it will get so hard that you would want to give up. However, all of these things are part of the process to make you better and get out of the woods that have surrounded you. The light at the end of the tunnel is a bright one and it promises better opportunities and an optimistic future that you otherwise will not find.

Part of the process of recovery is admission. Addiction is a disease and it is through accepting the help you need will your prospects get eventually better. Part of this help is going through proper channels and gaining access to therapy to facilitate your recovery.

Therapy and Recovery

Seeking professional help is vital to help manage your recovery. While recovery is not a one-size-fits-all where a singular solution can be given to help your problems, therapy is usually one that is recommended to almost all cases of addiction, irrespective of the severity of the case. Different treatment modalities are recommended for different patients depending on where they are on their path to recovery, but therapy is generally integrated into almost all treatment options. Therapy is when licensed professional talks with you to help you navigate your struggles and problems. A lot of questions are answered and things are made clear with the help of these trained individuals.

Making the most out of group therapy

At this point in your recovery where you have acknowledged that you need help, having a support system will greatly increase your chances of recovering. For this reason, group therapy is usually recommended because having a group of people going through the same journey as you may help you. Furthermore, since the group is undergoing similar struggles, the bond and relationship you can form may prove to be invaluable to help you get better.

1. Be yourself. The first thing you should remember to make the most of your therapy is to be your authentic self. The goal of therapy is to make sure that you get the care that YOU deserve. Putting on a façade to protect yourself will be detrimental to the process and will be a disservice to your recovery. You should be raw and not hide within a “perfect” image you constructed so that others will not judge you. The thing you should remember in group therapy is that, except for the professionals, all of you have messed up. You are facing similar struggles and are seeking answers to similar questions. Being someone else in front of others – something addicts tend to be an expert in – will do you no favors. You should think that therapy is a judgment-free zone and thus, you should be yourself and present the most genuine version of yourself.

2. Be honest. The thing with addiction is that it tends to make people into great liars. To find that next high, people tend to make excuses and stories out of thin air with such expertise you would think they’re being truthful. In a group therapy scenario, this will do nothing to help you. Similar to the abovementioned, you should talk about things as they are. Yes, what you are going through is messed up and sad. It may even be a horrid experience that you wish you could forget. However, your honest accounts of your experiences may help others in their journey. Hopefully, that will inspire you to be better as well. People relating to your stories and connecting with you on such a profound level may potentially help you with your recovery.

We all know the old saying which goes “honesty is the best policy”. Truth be told, in a group therapy session, it is such an important thing you must do. Therapy is built on trust, and if people cannot trust a word you say, it will stifle all the progress that you may have made with them.

3. Give and receive feedback. You are in group therapy not just so you can be a listening ear for others. You are on the receiving end of particularly heavy baggage that someone else has been carrying on their backs. They need help, and that is one of the reasons why you are there. You can help them by giving feedback on their experiences and reflecting on whether or not you went through the same. Furthermore, you can share certain ways you coped with similar problems that other people are going through, as well. Therapy is a two-way street. You are not a wall that simply exists as a sounding board for other people to vent to. You are there to give inputs that would hopefully be helpful for others.

Another reason why you should give feedback is that it gives you a feeling of pride to have helped others. It is such a gratifying feeling to be someone who has made an impact on other people’s lives in such a massive way. Your words can be something that touches them for their entire lives, so you forge a deep connection with such people. Who knows? Your words may have completely changed their future and you might not know it.

Group therapy is unique in the sense that it gives you the capacity to help shape and influence other people’s lives. That feeling of connection, the deep bond you cultivate with others, all of those are such important factors that can help you recover. The words “you are not alone, we are here for you” may be annoying if you constantly hear it from professionals who are not going through the things you are struggling with, but seeing others who are the same as you be successful can be very inspiring. We hope that that inspiration can help you turn your life around and become the best version of yourself that you can be.

Start your journey to recovery now.

How Long Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Typically Last? Timeframe and FAQs

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An intensive outpatient program is a type of outpatient rehabilitation. The patient does not reside within the premises but rather goes in for treatments multiple times a week. This is more intensive than other types of outpatient programs.

Since the patient does not live in the facility, they have the freedom to schedule appointments and resume their normal life outside of treatment. These sessions can be scheduled during the mornings or evenings, on weekdays or weekends.

IOPs have goals which include:

·         Helping the patient maintain abstinence and promote sobriety

·         Attain behavioral change through cognitive behavioral therapy

·         Encourage the patient to increase their participation in 12-step programs

·         Help the patient transition better to be more capable of addressing psychosocial issues (employment, housing, financial issues, and meeting probation standards)

·         Develop a strong network of support systems to assist them through rough patches

·         Encourage the patient to learn more problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through life skills training and real-time application

How Long Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Typically Last?

This depends on numerous factors, specifically the patient’s rate of recovery. Some patients only go in for a month while others can take up to six months. IOP normally requires patients to commit 15 to 25 hours per week which means that they may attend 3 or 5 days a week. It really depends on what you need as a patient.

IOP contains the following steps which may also affect the timeline:

·         Registration for the intensive outpatient program

·         Assessment by healthcare professionals

·         Therapy sessions (both individual and group which may last for at least an hour or so)

·         Motivational identification

·         Participation in treatment by friends, family, and loved ones

·         Periodic evaluation to determine if the patient needs to commit more hours or fewer hours each week

You may expect that the early stages of treatment will require you to come in daily. You will be scheduled daily individual or group therapy sessions. After a while, you will transition to a few days a week for 2 to 4 hours each day. IOPs are designed to operate around your schedule. The patients are meant to keep their jobs or pursue an education and those are entirely possible with IOPs. You only need to consult in terms of your availability so that you can perfectly balance all of your commitments.

Typically, a session should last for at least 90 minutes. Your activities may be scheduled back-to-back. For example, your individual therapy may be followed by a group therapy session. Others include family therapy and more counseling.

How To Know If You Are Ready For IOP

Here are some guidelines on how to know if you are ready for IOP. If you have met at least three of the following, then you are eligible.

·         You are facing serious financial problems due to your addiction and you are unable to afford inpatient rehab.

·         You are unable to hold your job and have been fired on numerous occasions.

·         Your family has intervened and talked to you about your addiction.

·         You are diagnosed with a mental health disorder that exacerbates your addiction problem and you are now ready to take some serious action to get better.

·         You are determined to find a sustainable way to become sober and stay clean.

To know more about whether or not you are ready or eligible for IOP, read more here.

Do Intensive Outpatient Programs Actually Work?

The answer is yes. Staying sober isn’t just about your resolve to stay clean forever. It is normal for you to face triggers and temptations that may cause you to relapse. However, when you have a continuous commitment to treatment, the chances of you relapsing will significantly lessen.

Additionally, IOPs offer a wide range of treatment options for you. It is a learning process between you and your psychiatrist to find which method works best for you. Most patients thrive with individual and group therapy while others may prefer 12-step sessions or family therapy. The options are endless and you may even access holistic therapy options, such as:

·         Yoga

·         Deep breathing exercises

·         Acupuncture

·         Sports massage

·         Arts and crafts

·         Mindfulness-focused meditation

·         Volunteering

Recovery will have its own share of problems and hurdles. The good news is that you are never alone on this journey. We at R&R Recovery have countless resources at your disposal. We will assist you in finding the best treatment plan that works best for you.

If you are ready to change your life, you know the next step. Contact us at ___ to get started.

PHP vs IOP vs OP: Which Is The Right Treatment For You?

Addiction recovery is not just about getting yourself admitted into inpatient rehab and calling it a day. It is about establishing a lifelong system that will help you stay sober and be perfectly capable of resisting any temptation that comes your way. After inpatient rehab, the next step is to choose the right outpatient treatment for you.

There are three main types of outpatient programs: partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and outpatient (OP). The three vary in terms of intensity of care but they all allow you to live your normal life since they require less commitment compared to inpatient rehab. Here is a guide on how to differentiate the three so that you may pick the best one for you.

Partial Hospitalization or PHP

Partial hospitalization is a combination of outpatient and residential care. The patient gets to decide whether they wish to live at home or in a controlled environment. Regardless of their choice of residence, they will be required to attend substance treatment sessions during the day.

Partial hospitalization is highly structured since each day is filled with activities and sessions dedicated to substance abuse treatment. PHP entails group sessions six days a week and provides a high level of support while still offering some flexibility. You have time to socialize with the important people in your life, pursue an education, or even get a part-time job.

The treatment sessions involve the following:

·         In-depth discussion and personal assessment of your substance abuse history

·         Assessment for co-occurring disorders

·         Analyzing your family structure, how your family unit operates, and your role in it

·         Meditation that enforces mindfulness

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

Here are the benefits of partial hospitalization:

·         PHP serves as an excellent transition from inpatient rehab to outpatient treatment

·         The patient can regularly interact and consult with medical and behavioral experts

·         A personalized health care plan will be provided

·         Significantly more affordable than inpatient rehab since there is no need to pay for accommodations

·         The patient has a more flexible schedule to allow them to pursue commitments and live a relatively normal life

Intensive Outpatient or IOP

Intensive outpatient treatment is less strict and more flexible than partial hospitalization. This is an excellent option after you have completed PHP and you still wish to continue with a structured treatment plan. It provides structure and consistency with more freedom. This is particularly ideal if you have family obligations or a job. The freer schedule allows you to juggle these commitments. You may expect to commit about 15 to 25 hours each week. This depends on the time allocated for individual therapy and other aspects of the treatment.

This type of treatment includes:

·         In-depth discussion and personal assessment of your substance abuse history

·         Assessment for co-occurring disorders

·         Analyzing your family structure, how your family unit operates, and your role in it

·         Meditation that enforces mindfulness

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

·         12-step

Here are the benefits of intensive outpatient treatment:

·         It provides you with additional support before you leave a program or you transition to a more flexible plan

·         It helps strengthen your relationships with family and friends

·         It allows you time to keep your job, pursue an education, and other commitments

·         It allows you to uphold a daily routine

·         This is less expensive than other treatments

Outpatient or OP

Outpatient is the least intensive treatment option among the three. This is highly useful if you are dealing with mild substance abuse. It is also the next step after you have finished more intensive treatment.

This is very flexible so you can uphold your daily or weekly routine. Unlike other treatments, this does not require you to dedicate your entire daytime to the treatment. You get enough flexibility and freedom to schedule appointments when your schedule permits. As such, it frees up your evenings and weekends to do more things.

Here are the features of outpatient treatment:

·         Individual therapy

·         Group therapy

·         Life skills training

·         In-depth analysis of your family structure, how your family unit operates, and what your roles in the unit are

·         Mindfulness-focused meditation

·         Guided discussions on your personality and identity

Here are the benefits of outpatient treatment:

·         It is significantly cheaper compared to residential treatments or more intensive treatment options

·         You get flexibility so you can keep your job or spend more time with your family

What’s The Next Step?

Now that you got an overview of the three different types of outpatient programs, the next step is to identify the best option for you. There are numerous factors that will come into play, such as the severity of your substance abuse and the progress you have made so far. Ideally, patients should transition from PHP to IOP to OP until they are fully ready to live an independent life. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional for the full assessment of your case. Contact us at R&R Recovery for more questions. Our mission is to empower you to make the right choice that suits your needs and ultimately leads to your healing.

6 Signs Of A Successful Recovery From Addiction

Addiction recovery is a lifelong process. It is an arduous journey filled with ups and downs. However, the setbacks do not automatically mean a failed treatment plan. These should not discourage the patient from striving towards full independence from addictive substances.

When you are in the process of healing, you might be tempted to only look at your deficiencies. We all have natural tendencies to focus on the negative instead of being optimistic. To help you out, here are signs of a successful recovery from addiction. These signs will help you quantify your steps in the right direction so that you will be motivated to achieve full recovery.

Signs Of Recovery

Improved Aura

Experts say that you can sense a person’s recovery deep in your gut simply because of their improved aura. A person may seem calmer and less controversial. A good sign is if you willingly want to spend time with them and interact with them because they are pleasant company. They do not make you nervous nor do they cause stress or any discomfort.

Additionally, recovering patients seem quieter. They are a lot more introspective as they internalize their recovery process. They no longer boast of their experiences with addictive substances. Instead, most of what they say has value.

Surrendered To The Disease

Another sign of recovery is when a person has admitted that they are indeed sick and in need of urgent medical attention. Acknowledging that addiction is a disease puts them in a state of humility so that they will be more receptive to treatments. You will notice that a patient who is successfully recovering will no longer be in denial that they need help. On the contrary, they concede that they do and they do not resist treatment.

Improved Company

A patient who is truly recovering would have changed their friends. They will cut off ties with their enablers in the past. They will have a noticeably smaller circle of friends, usually consisting of family and close friends.

These individuals serve as their support system towards recovery. They will encourage a positive, addiction-free environment that is free of temptations. They also serve as an accountability system to keep the patient in line. The mere fact that they swapped out “bad” friends with the better company means that they are recovering.

Change In Environment

A patient who is successfully recovering may change their environment to fit their current healthier lifestyle. They might change their room into something brighter and more cheerful to encourage positive thoughts. Their house might be filled with furniture and other items that spark joy. Some patients may even become cleaner as they realize that their environment affects their stress levels and their mental health. As such, they will actively craft an environment that promotes happiness and wellness.

Willingness To Attend Treatment

The true sign of recovery is a patient’s willingness and openness to attend sessions that promote the continuity of their treatment. This includes attending AA meetings or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. They will also willingly show up for supplementary therapy sessions and other outpatient treatment plans.

Additionally, they will maintain close contact with their sponsor or accountability buddy. This means that they are in the stage of active healing. They no longer resist the clearly beneficial treatment. They no longer go against the flow or try to control every little thing out of their scope of power. Rather, they cooperate and surrender themselves to the process.

Stay Away From Hotspots

A recovering patient will make a conscious effort to avoid the hotspots that may trigger a relapse. These hotspots may include drug dens, bars, pharmacies, and other locations that enabled their addiction and other pre-recovery behaviors.

These are just some of the signs that a person is healing and is making the necessary steps in the right direction. Healing is never linear so a couple of setbacks are to be expected. However, the patient does not have to go through the relapses alone. Contact R&R Recovery for assistance in your loved one’s healing journey.

Essential Life Skills Recovering Patients Should Learn

Addiction recovery does not end after inpatient treatment. It is a lifelong journey that must be sustained every single day in order to prevent a relapse and to achieve full independence. After inpatient treatment, it is time to teach the patients some essential life skills so that they can rejoin society as better individuals.

These life skills will help them stay sober and prevent a relapse. The normal world is filled with temptations, from seeing an addictive substance on the TV to bumping into an enabler from the past. These could trigger a thirst for a fix but with the essential life skills, the patient can have the proper tools to resist such temptations.

Relapses typically occur within the first 6 months after being released from inpatient professional treatment. However, this does not mean that a relapse should automatically be a part of your story. You can use these skills to arm yourself against relapse and help you recover at the instance of one.

Essential Life Skills To Learn

Self-Care

Self-care is the baseline for successful recovery. It stems from the patient’s love for themselves which leads them to make healthier choices. Self-care is all about maintaining one’s health and wellbeing. It is about putting yourself first and prioritizing doing things that you love and make you happy.

You can practice self-care by first listing down the things that make you feel happy and positive. Next, engineer your environment so that these things will be supported. For instance, if you feel like yoga and meditation make you feel better, then you should structure your daily schedule to include a time slot for a meditation session. It also helps to have some meditation essentials like a yoga mat as well as a quiet place at home to perform your session.

Healthy Routines

A healthy mind and body are your first line of defense against a relapse. Being healthy physically and mentally allows you to think clearly and make better choices. As such, it is important to uphold a healthy daily routine that focuses on physical health, personal hygiene, and a good diet.

Your routine should also include getting an ample amount of sleep so that you can wake up each morning feeling refreshed and energized. Treatment plans like 12-step programs and therapy sessions should also be a part of your routine. Having a fixed schedule and flow of events each day will help you stay busy and grounded. You are less likely to dwell on negative thoughts when you are busy nurturing your body and soul.

Time Management

This life skill is related to establishing healthy routines. Your addiction may have been a result of too much idle time. Your days might have been a blur and disorganized which led you to try out addicting substances. Eventually, you might have let go of time management as you succumbed fully to the addiction. Every waking moment is either spent with it or looking for it.

Time management helps you prevent relapse by ensuring that every hour each day is accounted for something healthy and positive.

Problem Solving

Decision-making and critical thinking are important life skills for correct guidance. This allows the patient to carefully assess their next steps as these have impacts on other people and on their future. Problem-solving skills allow them to face any hurdle and overcome it, rather than be consumed by negative feelings that can spiral into a relapse.

Problem-solving allows the patient to spot a problem before it worsens and provide solutions for it. This allows them to pick the best route that will benefit them and do no harm to their friends and loved ones.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking allows the patient to see more details about the world we live in. This empowers them to explore different possibilities, particularly those beyond the norm. Creative thinking inspires a person to be ambitious and strong. This does not necessarily need artistic skills. A creative form of thinking can also be applied in places of employment so that one can come up with creative solutions to overcome struggles.

Resilience

Resilience is the ability to handle loss and disappointment. Life is hard and having the mental tools to understand that such is the case instead of trying to control everything can make the difference in a successful recovery.

The patient must learn how to be resilient so that they can handle anxiety, grief, and anger better. These feelings usually arise from facing hurdles and learning resilience allows them to come out stronger. Their optimism and positive spirit will give them a better fighting chance against the hardships of life.

These essential life skills will be introduced in inpatient rehab. The patients will be taught how to be more intentional with their words and actions so that they will develop these skills over time. They will also be taught how to engineer a life post-rehab so that these skills will be supported.

There is no crash course that instantly grants you these skills as they take hard work and habit formation for them to stick around. Developing them alongside experts at R&R Recovery will greatly accelerate the process.

How To Deal With A Recovering Alcoholic During the Holidays

The holiday season is fast approaching. This means family gatherings that will give everyone a chance to catch up and reconnect with the recovering family member. It may be tricky to interact with them. For instance, should you put out alcohol? Should the celebration be in a party form? What if they relapse? How do you talk to them about their recent struggles?

This article will serve as a guide on how to deal with a recovering alcoholic during the holidays. The basic principle is to create an environment that will make them feel loved and supported so that they can continue their successful recovery.

Tips For Dealing With Recovering Alcoholics

Talk To The Family

Celebrating with a recovering alcoholic is a major milestone that must be discussed by the family. Their alcoholism may have caused financial problems and emotional rifts. The holidays are better celebrated when these wounds are no longer as fresh and that they are in the process of healing.

It is important to consult the rest of the family simply because everyone gets affected with addiction. Assess if everyone is in the proper mental shape to welcome the patient back into everyone’s lives. One good marker is if everyone is no longer in denial or shame about the incident. Check if everyone is willing to host a non-alcoholic event. Ask yourself and the family, “Are we ready?”

Ask The Family Member Who is in Recovery

It helps to give the patient some heads up before the party. Ask them if they are comfortable enough to rejoin the rest of the family rather than mandating their presence. If you are serving alcohol, check-in with them to see if they can handle it. Naturally, serving alcohol is not recommended if the family member is in the early stages of recovery.

Ask The Family Member If They Wish To Invite Friends

A recovering alcoholic will undoubtedly make new friends as they go through their journey to recovery. They will meet new people in rehab, in Alcoholics Anonymous sessions, in group therapy, and more. These individuals are helpful for their recovery since they keep each other company and encourage one another to be better. They are going through a unique recovery experience that no one else can relate to.

You may want to ask the recovering alcoholic if they wish to bring friends. They should also be warned if there will be alcohol at the party so that they can assess if they can handle it. The additional company will also be great for your recovering loved ones so that they’ll have someone to talk to during idle moments at the party.

Ask For Their Preferred Beverages

You may be tempted to serve mocktails to make them feel included in the holiday spirit, but these festive drinks may be a trigger for some. Mocktails may be a visual reminder of alcohol which can make them crave for the real thing. It could also be a painful ordeal to drink a fake drink when they want the real one.

Ask them their preferred drinks and whip up some safe options that are more appropriate for the holiday season, such as hot spiced cider, hot coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and more. If the patient is in long-term recovery, they could have some non-alcoholic beer or wine.

Provide A Safe Space

The socialization process can be overwhelming and draining for the patient, especially if it is their first social encounter in a long time. Being surrounded by prying family members who drink alcohol could feel like too much. The normal party scene could trigger the patient’s anxiety.

As such, allot a time and space for them to have some down time so that they could recollect themselves. You may invite them for a short walk after dinner or open the guest room for them to go into if they need to rest. If you will invite them to walk, be discreet about it since there is no need to make a show out of giving them the quiet that they need.

Listen To Them

When they talk, be attentive. Be open to their needs. Ask them if they are comfortable about talking about their journey. If they would rather table the topic for later, then respect their wishes. Inform the rest of the family so that everyone will be aware that it should not be discussed.

General Tips For The Family

·         Plan the holiday party. Avoid downtime that can result in idleness and awkward conversations. Make the patient participate in the activities so that they will feel included.

·         Create a plan in case of a relapse. Inform the members of the family about hotlines as well as the contact information of the patient’s sponsor, mentors, and recovering peers.

·         Be mindful of the risk factors. It could be a drink left unattended or conversations that dwell too much on the patient’s past. You should also brief everyone about the warning signs of relapse so that you can intervene accordingly.

·         Know that recovery is a long and hard process, and that nothing should reverse it. At the instance of a relapse, the patient must not be shamed. Act calmly to reconnect them with their rehab center so that relapse recovery may commence.

R&R Recovery has an open hotline for cases of relapse and recovery emergencies. We value the patient’s recovery as well as the family’s ability to handle such delicate cases. 

6 Holiday Solutions For Recovering Loved Ones

The holiday season is particularly challenging for recovering addicts. Every pub or home is brimming with joyous celebrations, and that means social gatherings and an influx of alcohol. It is almost as if alcohol is a staple during the season since it can be found in every holiday party, from office gatherings to intimate house parties.

As a recovering addict, it may be difficult to navigate the season. It is even more troublesome to isolate oneself from all the merrymaking as this can lead to negative feelings of isolation and depression. The best one can do is to find a way to stay sober during these gatherings.

However, this does not apply to all recovering addicts. Addiction recovery comes in varying stages. People who are fresh out of rehab are discouraged to attend gatherings with alcohol, especially without an accountability buddy. Long-term recovered patients could attend but may still need some help in maintaining sobriety.

Tips For Staying Sober During The Holidays

1.       H. A. L. T. Rule

The recovering patients’ community has a technical term called H. A. L. T. This acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. These are emotions that can serve as guidelines to keep you in check. Solving these emotions will help with your sobriety.

Hungry – It is very important to eat regular meals. Do not forget to eat despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Eating regularly helps keep your sugar levels stable. This will eliminate feelings of hunger and thirst which are often confused as a drug or alcohol craving.

Angry – It is crucial to stay calm and avoid being angry. You may avoid anger or irritability by applying the stress and anger management techniques you may have learned from rehab. You should also use the holidays to get a rush of endorphins so that you will stay happy.

Lonely – Remember that you are not alone on your healing journey. Create a list of the people who love and support you. The list may include friends, family, your sponsor, or even AA or NA members. Whenever you feel like you are alone, you can simply call one of them for some reassurance. These people are there for you.

Tired – This is a reminder to take care of yourself so that you won’t get tired. Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night so that you will have enough energy for the holiday festivities. Feeling cranky due to exhaustion may cause you to spiral into unhealthy habits.

2. Create New Traditions

You do not have to miss out on the holiday fun just because you cannot participate in the partying. You can always create new traditions which can be something to look forward to each year. You may go ice skating, decorate your tree, make homemade gift wrappers for presents, or bake and decorate pastries. These festive activities will make you feel optimistic and will take your mind off of your cravings.

3. Plan And Fulfill Your Holiday Obligations

Let go of the misconception that you need to attend every single holiday event during the season. You should prioritize your wellness and only take things into stride. Do not feel pressured to  RSVP to every invitation. There is also no need to over explain your side as your friends and loved ones would understand.

Going through a string of holiday parties can feel emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Pace yourself and space out the holiday parties you can attend. And when you do, make sure to bring a trusted friend or loved one to keep you company. It also helps to bring your own car so that you drive yourself home if you need a quick getaway.

4. Have An Exit Strategy

It helps to have an exit strategy that serves as a backup plan for when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Aside from a comprehensive plan, you need to learn how to be comfortable with saying “no.” This helps you establish boundaries so that you won’t be forced to participate in things you find uncomfortable.

There are different ways to exit an event. You may slip out quietly when you feel uncomfortable. There is no need to say goodbye and you don’t necessarily owe anyone an explanation because your recovery should always be the priority. Another option is to identify a specific reason which will cause you to leave early for the night. It could be to go home to your dog, to pick up your kid from the babysitter, or an early morning the next day. With that, you can just leave whenever you wish.

Another thing is to put out a disclaimer that you will be unable to stay long which makes it acceptable for you to leave at any given moment. Lastly, plan with your partner or companion. Inform them of your preference to leave early so that the two of you will be on the same page.

5. Stay Grateful

Gratitude plays a huge role in continued recovery. This enforces a positive mindset that will prevent you from relapsing. You can practice gratitude by gratitude journaling or enforcing a grateful mindset each day. Incorporating gratefulness in your daily life makes it easier to uphold regularly. It will allow you to appreciate the holidays and see that it is the season of love, not sorrow.

6. Attend Your Meetings

Make sure to consistently attend your meetings for recovery. You may have to increase your attendance if you feel like it is a sensitive and vulnerable season for you. If you have travel plans, make sure to scout your travel destination and check if they offer meetings there. 

It also helps to stay connected to the rest of your group by forming an accountability group chat or downloading a sober app.

If you are still having troubles with recovery during the holidays, do not hesitate to contact R&R Recovery for further assistance.

4 Steps To Manage Your Dual Diagnosis

Individuals with mental health issues are the ones most likely to develop substance abuse problems. The existence of both issues is called dual diagnosis. This condition means that there is a presence of mental health issues alongside drug or alcohol addiction. A recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse states that 17.5% of people with mental health issues have substance abuse issues. This is roughly equivalent to 8 million people. And among the 8 million, only 12.4% are receiving the appropriate treatments for their dual diagnosis.

What Are The Common Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders?

  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
  • Depression
  • Disordered eating
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)

What Are The Root Causes Of Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues?

Self-Medication Theory

The self-medication theory states that a person may use drugs and/or alcohol to medicate their mental illnesses. These substances provide them with relief from reality. However, the relief is temporary and reliance on these substances will only result in harmful effects in the long run. Alcohol and drugs may even worsen pre-existing mental health disorders. These substances may heighten anxiety and depression. They may also lead to other types of mental disorders.

Multiple Risk Factor Theory

This theory states that shared risk factors can result in co-occurring disorders. These risk factors include social isolation, poverty, lack of structure in everyday life, or living in close proximity to drugs.

How To Manage Your Dual Diagnosis

1. Get A Diagnosis

The first step is to get a solid and valid diagnosis for your co-occurring disorders. The people who have the following diagnostic requirements will receive dual diagnosis

  • History with substance abuse
  • Presents mental disorder symptoms
  • Poses as a danger to others and themselves

You may begin treatment as soon as you express your willingness and motivation to recover. The first phase of treatment is getting admitted to rehab and detox from the substance. Diagnosis is a crucial first step so that your healthcare professionals can craft the best treatment plan that suits your needs. Your psychiatrist should be able to assess your situation, outline your condition, and provide the next steps for treatment.

There is no sure way to identify if you have co-occurring disorders by yourself. The best you can do is to analyze if you are feeling negative emotions, such as:

  • Worthlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Hopelessness
  • Panic
  • Racing thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts

2. Look For The Right Treatment Plan

After your diagnosis, the next step is to identify the rehab center that best caters to your needs. Not all rehabs are equal. Some centers specialize in certain treatments over others. It is preferable to go for the rehab center that has had experiences with dealing with co-occurring disorders. Focusing on one or the other may be counterintuitive to your healing.

Some common treatment plans offered by these centers include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on eliminating harmful actions and thought patterns. This is highly effective against depression and other mood disorders. This type of treatment aims to take negative thoughts and transform those into positive and more meaningful messages.

This type of therapy also helps the patient to create an effective coping mechanism to combat mental disorders and substance abuse. This is often issued as a short-term solution and may work alongside individual psychotherapy.

Medication

This type of treatment involves pharmaceutical drugs recommended by your physician in order to treat or manage your co-occurring disorders. The prescription medication greatly helps in altering your mood by stabilizing your hormones and regulating chemical imbalances in the brain. Some examples include antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an excellent treatment plan for people with dual diagnoses. The group sessions educate the participants based on their types of diagnosis. Everyone is empowered to cooperate and heal as a group. The feeling is a sense of belongingness is highly beneficial for people with co-occurring disorders as it makes them feel less alone and it fuels them to strive to become better.

Group therapy sessions are held with a moderator or therapist. The members share their journey and personal experiences. These are motivational for individuals who are in the same plight. Group therapy sessions are excellent sources of hope, optimism, and self-worth.

Individual Psychotherapy

This is also known as counseling or talk therapy, where a patient and a therapist work hand-in-hand to instill positive change in the patient’s life. Individual psychotherapy gives the two a chance to discuss private matters that may be impeding the patient’s healing.

This type of therapy is very broad and can cover all topics and factors related to the patient’s dual diagnosis. The goal of the sessions is to instill compassion, courage, and love so that the patient may overcome their addiction. The therapist typically outlines goals for the patient which will serve as markers for the patient’s recovery and overall health improvement.

3. Remember The Importance Of Sobriety

For dual diagnosis treatments to work, the patient must strive to maintain sobriety at all costs. Staying sober allows the patient to continue their healthy habits so that they won’t slip back to old patterns. You must take your recovery as a fresh start and a chance to eliminate addiction as the norm.

There are countless ways to stay sober, but the basic underlying principle is to have a healthy daily routine. Your routine may include:

  • Good night’s rest of at least 8 hours
  • Healthy meal preparation
  • Exercising or any other physical activity
  • Meditation or yoga
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Cleaning your house
  • Bonding with friends and family

It may be challenging to establish a healthy daily routine. Seek assistance from your therapist so that you may be guided on how to start and maintain one.

4. Remember That You Are Not Alone

Feelings of social isolation may cause you to feel discouraged about your healing process from dual diagnosis. It is important to know that you are not alone on this healing journey. There are other people in the world who are likewise going through a rough patch. Treating co-occurring disorders is no easy feat, but rest assured that there are other people in the world who are going through the same situation.

You may seek inspiration from their success stories and have hope that you will someday get there, too. You should also take comfort in the fact that you have friends and loved ones who are supportive of your journey.

You may find your community in group therapy sessions, online forums, or your close circle of loved ones.

Overall, dealing with dual diagnosis is no easy feat. Co-occurring disorders require a special treatment plan as compared to dealing with substance abuse. Contact R&R Recovery for a consultation and get started today.