What’s the Best Alternative to the 12 Step Recovery Program for you?


The 12-step was developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous as a set of rules for overcoming an addiction to alcohol. Early on, the method was successful enough for other addiction support groups to modify the stages to fit their particular substance or addictive behavior.

Fortunately, in recent decades since then, an addiction recovery alternative with non-religious aspects has been increasing. They operate similarly to the 12 Steps such as members running neighborhood meetings and some companies provide both live and virtual meetings.

If you want to explore an addiction recovery alternative that doesn’t dote on the religious aspect of each participant, here are the top 3 alternatives to the 12-step programs to consider:

Smart Recovery

A secular substitute for AA and other 12-step organizations is SMART Recovery. Members of groups like AA are encouraged to accept that they have no control over their alcoholism and to embrace a Higher Power. Substance abuse is seen by SMART Recovery as a bad habit that people may change for themselves. The approach integrates techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based approaches for behavior change. 

SMART Recovery derives from self-management and recovery training. And their “4-Point Program,” is based on the following:

  1. Creating and maintaining a motivation to change behavior.
  2. Coping with drug temptations.
  3. Effectively controlling one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions without engaging in addictive behaviors.
  4. Living a healthy, balanced, and positive life.

LifeRing Secular Recovery

While the spiritual aspect of AA meetings can be overpowering, LifeRing Secular Recovery offers those in need a recovery program that does not place their ultimate sobriety in the hands of a “higher power.”

The secular identity of LifeRing welcomes people from all corners of both religious and non-religious life; according to LifeRing, around 40% of participants attend a house of worship. The main distinction is that spiritual beliefs are kept private and that faith is not the main pathway to healing. In addition to using cognitive behavior techniques, LifeRing is an abstinence program that according to the organization, these approaches “rely on human efforts rather than on divine intervention”

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)

Another alternative option for those with drug, alcohol, or food addiction is Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS). It is based on the writings of its founder James Christopher, who chose to create a rehabilitation program for non-religious substance abusers after becoming sober in 1985. Based on personal integrity, principles, and convictions, SOS believes that individuals can maintain sobriety based on personal integrity, values, and beliefs.

It rejects the idea of the 12-step program that the only way to get well is to surrender your will to a Higher Power. According to this addiction recovery alternative, anyone can maintain sobriety if they make it the top priority in their lives.

Behavioral SOS encourages participants to:

  • Acknowledge they are an alcoholic or addict.
  • Every day, acknowledge and embrace this fact.
  • Make sobriety a top priority every day by doing whatever is necessary because abusing alcohol or drugs is not a choice.
  • No matter what challenges you face, don’t drink or use drugs and realize that while life is unpredictable, it may also be quite good.
  • As sober individuals, speak openly and confidently.
  • Recognize that each person is accountable for their sobriety and quality of life.

Looking for help?

Since recovery is a lifelong process that is challenging to maintain on your own, nearly all programs for addiction treatment emphasize developing strong support systems based on direction and trust. Each addiction recovery alternative focuses on providing you with sincere support from people who understand what you’re going through, as well as advice and treatment from qualified individuals who will enable you to seek alternatives to the 12 Step Addiction Recovery Programs and freely and openly express your feelings. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

What are the 12 Step Recovery Programs And Are They Right For You?

The 12-step addiction recovery

The 12 Steps were developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous as a set of rules for overcoming an addiction to alcohol. Early on, the method was successful enough for other addiction support groups to modify the stages to fit their particular substance or addictive behavior.

And until the 1970s 12 step recovery programs were the only choice of its kind for those in recovery, but today there are many options for those who don’t connect with their focus on a higher power. The first 12-step program was Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which served as the model for subsequent 12-step programs like:

  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a support group for drug addicts.
  • For those who are battling dysfunctional relationship patterns, there is Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA).
  • For those suffering from bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders, there is Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA).
  • For those with gambling addictions, there is Gambling Anonymous (GA).
  • For those with sex addictions, there is Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA).

There is no wrong way to approach the 12 steps as the participant determines along the way what is most effective for their particular circumstances because recovery is a lifelong process. 

In reality, the majority of participants discover that as their recovery progresses, they may need to go through some steps again or even take on more than one step at once. It is said that a 12-Step program is built around Steps 1, 2, and 3, which should be practiced every day.

The 12 steps according to Alcoholics Anonymous are the following:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Benefits of the 12 Step Recovery Programs

Without a plan, maintaining sobriety is all but impossible, however, the 12-step recovery programs provides participants with a plan of action to move forward. With the assistance of a sponsor, you begin with step one, recognizing your helplessness against the addiction, and progress through each step as often as necessary. The steps urge you to examine your addiction’s driving forces, make apologies to people it has wronged, and work toward a spiritual awakening that will give you humility, honesty, and a desire to be of service to others.

People who had been living in the disarray and chaos of addiction are given structure and routine by attending the groups of the 12-step recovery programs. Unstructured time can be risky for many people in recovery because it can cause anxiety, boredom, restlessness, and cravings for the addictive substance. 

Drawbacks of 12 Step Recovery Programs

The 12-step program is very well-liked, yet many people have issues with it. These often fall into three categories: evidence suggesting dubious effectiveness; the fundamental role of spirituality and faith; and the possibility of coercion among attendees.

Finding a successful non-12-step alternative to AA or other non-religious addiction meetings may be challenging because 12-step groups are receiving the majority of the attention. So to address the latter, a 2018 study that was published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment examined the efficacy of 12-step and non-12-step programs.

It was discovered that participants in the mutual assistance, and nonreligious alcohol support groups showed comparable levels of involvement and activity to those in the AA 12-step groups, but had higher levels of satisfaction and cohesion.

It also found significant demographic characteristics, such as the fact that mutual support group participants were less religious, more affluent, and less dedicated to abstinence from alcohol, suggesting that they would be more interested in moderation.

Looking for help?

Recovery is a lifelong process that is difficult to sustain on your own which is why almost all programs for addiction recovery promote building strong support rooted in guidance and trust. You need genuine support from people who know what you’re going through with guidance and treatment from professionals. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

What is Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)? and how does it affect your rehabilitation.


In the early stages of addiction rehabilitation, psychological withdrawal symptoms from drugs or alcohol are referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS. This occurs as your brain attempts to rebalance itself without using addictive substances that it has grown accustomed to.

One of the main reasons to drugs and alcohol is because of endorphins. The body’s “natural painkiller” is a feel-good chemical that is released by the brain to alleviate pain and promote pleasure.

It’s unconsciously addicting and frequent use of alcohol or drugs instructs your brain to make more endorphins. So when you drink or use drugs, that’s what causes the high or relaxed feelings you experience. 

However, continued drug abuse depletes your body’s natural supply of endorphins forcing your brain to rely on alcohol or other substances to create normal quantities of chemicals, many of which are connected to bodily processes. That’s why quitting the use of addictive substances throws your system into shock because your body is trying to balance itself without drugs and alcohol.

When this happens the result is the physical withdrawal symptoms that people associate with detoxing like tremors, vomiting, and others. Usually, physical withdrawal symptoms subside over a few days or, at most, a few weeks. However, PAWS symptoms may persist and can last for weeks or months.

This is because addiction leaves a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes physical withdrawal and may also manifest mental illness symptoms. Chemicals play a central role in mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, PAWS symptoms usually begin about two to four weeks after a drug or alcohol detox, and from there it gradually gets better.

Some common post-acute withdrawal symptoms to take note of are the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Panic and anxiety attacks
  • Irritability
  • Low energy and motivation
  • Uncertainty and haziness

One of the biggest PAWS risks is relapse. Commonly due to the overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety, boredom, or apathy. These can drive you to begin self-medicating with substance abuse as drugs or alcohol were your prior coping mechanism for these emotions.

So it’s important to remember that while using or drinking may help numb these feelings and make you feel great for a few hours, the repercussions will ultimately make mental health symptoms worse.

How do you treat PAWS?

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a protracted withdrawal which means that it’s the longer-term aftermath of substance abuse. The symptoms can be treated through a combination of medical and behavioral approaches such as the following:


Prescription drugs like antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help ease depression and reduce symptoms of anxiety that accompany PAWS. They help correct some of the chemical imbalances left over by the stimulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

Behavioral Therapy

Research shows that behavioral therapy coupled with medications is effective in helping ease mental health symptoms and helps with rehabilitation. Evidence-based addiction treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy helps in regulating your emotions and addresses unhealthy thought patterns that increase the possibility of a relapse.

Support Groups

The benefits of doing rehabilitation therapy in groups such as attending 12-step groups or 12-step alternatives give each patient a sense of support and accountability in early recovery. So when PAWS symptoms are beginning to manifest and threaten your sobriety, having peers or sponsors to help guide you is critical to staying on track.

Exercise and Nutrition

The synergistic connection between the mind and body is every bit as real and critical in preventing or easing psychiatric symptoms. Research tells us that the benefits of exercise with proper nutrition help in making a positive impact on your brain and overall well-being. This is simply because when you feel good it’s easier to resist triggers that can provoke a relapse.

Mindfulness Exercises

Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can also help you stay grounded in moments of challenges and in this case help alleviate stress and do away with negative thoughts. Since spirituality gives you a sense of being part of something bigger than yourself and what you’re going through.


And lastly, in addition to eating well and exercising, other forms of self-care can help support and promote your sobriety. Such activities as getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on your rehabilitation and your ability to cope with difficult situations. Hanging out with friends and family can help bring your mood up and participate in hobbies that you enjoy. 

Above all else, remember that post-acute withdrawal syndrome is a normal part of recovery and not everyone will experience it. The severity of it depends on a lot of factors that differ with each person such as the depth of your addiction and your physical make-up. 

Everything gets better with time and there is nothing wrong with taking each step in your own time. What matters is that you’re making progress in your recovery.

Looking for help?

Find a safe space near you so that you can freely and openly express your feelings and be guided throughout your rehabilitation journey by professionals and people who are going through the same thing. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

Can IOP Rehab Centers Report Addiction As Crime?

 A lot of addicts are hesitant to begin their journey simply because they are afraid of being convicted. Drug use is illegal in most areas and the patient may feel scared to get admitted for fear of getting jailed. To ease some of your hesitations, the answer is that drug rehabs cannot call the police just because a patient is admitted for drug use. This is also applicable to people with criminal records. The rehab center cannot call the police if you are merely seeking help.

Rehab centers focus on your recovery from substance use disorder. These centers will equip you with life skills to help you attain recovery and live a healthy and sober life.

There may be instances when a rehab center needs to call the police. Learn more about these instances, patient confidentiality, and your rights in this article.

What is Patient Confidentiality?

Rehab centers have the obligation to protect the personal information of every patient. These centers will issue a privacy policy or confidentiality agreement that states that your personal information will not be released or used for anything else other than your treatment. The staff will also sign the confidentiality agreement. This confidentiality agreement is further supplemented by the following laws:

1.       The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

The HIPPA is created in 1996 with the goal of preventing health care professionals from exploiting or sharing sensitive patient information. The information can only be shared if there is explicit consent from the patient. This is also known as doctor-patient confidentiality. This law also covers drug rehab centers. This means that they cannot share your personal information even with the police. The law gives patients privacy and full control over how their medical information can be utilized.

However, there are exceptions to when the information can be legally shared even without your consent. These instances include:

·         Life-threatening medical emergencies

·         Signs of neglect or abuse

·         Subpoenas or legal warrants

·         Certain types of researches

For these cases, the facility is allowed to share your information but only enough to fulfill the goals and needs. This means that not everything will be released. Drug rehabs can be severely penalized for unlawful sharing of personal information with up to 10 years of prison.

2.       The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records

The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records was introduced in 1975 and was revised in 1987. This states that rehab centers are not legally allowed to divulge the personal information of their patients, especially if the information will confirm the patient’s enrollment in the rehab center. This still applies even after the patient has left the rehab center. It can only be overruled if there is explicit consent from the patient or if there is a warrant or subpoena from law enforcement. Any staff member who breaks this law can face legal consequences.

Can Patients Be Convicted In Rehab?

No. patients enter rehab for treatment and will therefore not be turned into the police. However, there are special cases in which law enforcement may have to get involved. One instance is if the person is arrested for non-violent drug abuse. They will go to drug court instead of jail in which they will be mandated to get admitted into court-ordered rehab. This is necessary to reduce the likelihood of relapse or simply for crime prevention.

Patients must show up to drug court because failure to do so will get the police involved since it is an explicit violation of court orders. This may lead to harsher punishments.

Essentially, the police can only be involved if the drug abuse patient is:

·         Exhibiting violent or destructive behavior

·         Wanted by the police (with a warrant to prove it)

·         Only going to rehab to avoid criminal detention

The personnel in the drug rehab center may also call the authorities if the patient is caught using more drugs in the treatment facility. In some cases, law enforcement agents may choose to wait for the patient to complete their inpatient treatment program before they are arrested.

The conclusion is that patients will not get arrested just for having a substance abuse disorder. Treatment facilities will not get the police involved unless the aforementioned criteria are met. At the end of the day, rehab centers have the goal of getting patients the help and treatment they need and deserve. Patients do not need to worry about their personal information being released since there are laws in place that are designed to protect their privacy and wellbeing.

About R&R Recovery

R&R Recovery is proudly accredited by the Joint Commission. The professional staff passes industry standards and is guaranteed to provide clients with the highest level of care possible. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

Why Is Drug Rehab Accreditation Important For IOP?

Selecting a drug rehab for you or for your loved one is a challenging and overwhelming process. There are so many rehab centers to choose from and it can be difficult to take the time to assess each one, compare their features, research their success rates, compare their rates, and more. It is even more challenging to select one today since the digital era resulted in a rise in deceptive marketing techniques. There are a lot of credible and trustworthy facilities but there are also misleading rehab centers that you should steer clear of.

It is essential to find the best rehab center that suits your needs, especially since substance abuse is a prevalent problem that can negatively impact all aspects of life. With so many facilities to choose from, one way to narrow down your search is to take a look at drug rehab accreditation.

What Is Accreditation?

All rehab facilities are required to meet certain industry standards and state licensure requirements. After that, these facilities may undergo accreditation. They attain accreditation after they have passed a series of evaluations that allow them to obtain approval from certain agencies.

Accreditation involves a series of thorough reviews. The third-party agency will take a look at the programs offered which include drug rehab programs and therapy programs. The third-party agency will also review the business records to ensure that the business is legitimate and fit to operate in the industry. Even the client care program, staff, policies, operations, and safety programs will be thoroughly reviewed. Accreditation is a lengthy process that may even be expensive but it helps the consumers since it adds a layer of credibility to the center.

After successful accreditation, the drug rehab center will receive regular on-site visits as well as paper audits. Additionally, the staff will be trained to comply with the standards set by the agency. All of these will be compliant to privacy laws and other sensitivity programs.

Basically, an accredited program is proven without a doubt to be able to provide effective therapeutic treatments that aid clients suffering from substance abuse. The proof of accreditation may be included on the rehab’s website and other marketing materials to let clients know that they are perfectly capable and trustworthy of providing care to those who need it.

What Are The Organizations That Provide Accreditation?

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) organization is a non-profit accrediting agency that focuses on dual-diagnosis and addiction treatment programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The organization covers 90 different types of programs. This organization has issued 25,000 individual accreditations.

Joint Commission (formerly known as JCAHO)

The Joint Commission is the largest accrediting body for medical facilities and hospitals, and the second largest for drug rehab centers. The Joint Commission has issued over 20,000 individual accreditations for health care programs and independent facilities.

Why Does Drug Rehab Accreditation Matter?

When you or a loved one are suffering from substance abuse disorder, then it can be challenging and confusing to pick the best drug rehab center that can cater to your needs. There will always be the risk of clicking on misleading links online that redirect you to rehab centers that are worse than promised. This will lead you to possibly commit to a center that may fail at giving you the medical care you need for recovery. What every patient needs is a center that can provide high-quality treatment that is backed by science and proven to be effective.

You may limit your search to centers that are accredited which indicates that the facilities have experienced professionals that meet the highest standards of care. Accreditation processes are also continuous and rigorous so you can rest assured that the information on the rehab center’s credibility is up to date. The accreditation can also be revoked if the center declines in terms of quality of service.

Here are other benefits of accreditation:

Insurance reimbursement for patients

Most insurance companies will take a look at the presence of accreditation to determine if the facility will be approved for reimbursement.

Safe environment

The third-party agencies will physically visit and inspect the centers to ensure that the patient has a safe and comfortable therapeutic environment to support their recovery.

Does Accreditation Guarantee a Successful Recovery?

There are numerous factors that come to play when it comes to successful recovery. The rehab center of your choice is just one of the many. The success is also largely dependent on the patient’s determination to get better and stay sober. However, an accredited facility definitely increases the chances of a successful recovery. Accreditation shows that the center is more than capable of meeting the client’s needs.

About R&R Recovery

R&R Recovery is proudly accredited by the Joint Commission. The professional staff passes industry standards and is guaranteed to provide clients with the highest level of care possible. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

Is Alcoholism Hereditary? An In-Depth Explanation


Genetics can play a huge role in the transmission and manifestation of alcoholism in the family. Alcohol is a prevalent substance in society and it is easily accessible by the population. Small amounts are not dangerous, but frequent and larger consumption of alcohol can lead to the development of alcoholism, which in turn can become hereditary.

Genetics And Alcoholism

Research suggests that genetics can play a huge role in determining whether or not an offspring can develop alcoholism. Further studies indicate that about 45% to 65% of alcohol-related risks are hereditary. This means that children who come from a family with a history of alcoholism are twice more likely to develop alcoholism compared to the rest of the population.

Is There A Specific Gene For Alcoholism?

There is no specific gene for such a complex disease but there is a collection of genes that may increase the likelihood of its transmission. The ADH1B and ALDH2 genes are two examples of genes that are correlated to alcoholism risks. Other examples include the genes GABRA2, CHRM2, KCNJ6, and AUTS2. These genes also increase the risk for alcoholism-related diseases, the most common of which include:

  • Liver damage
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • Higher risk for cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to control alcohol consumption

Factors For Hereditary Alcoholism

Hereditary alcoholism differs from genetic alcoholism. Genetic alcoholism pertains to the transfer of genetic material that pertains to alcoholism. This means that the entire genetic unit is passed on to the individual and it is part of their genetic blueprint. This may also be considered as hereditary alcoholism.

Hereditary alcoholism is when a person’s genes get mutated as it is passed down from one generation to another. In other words, the hereditary traits may intensify and evolve according to the person’s environment. 

There are two types of factors that affect hereditary alcoholism: social factors and environmental factors.

Social Factors

Social factors refer to the social network surrounding an individual. This includes the people they constantly interact with as well as the general society that surrounds them. There are regulations in place that do not allow underage drinking which means that teens should generally be protected against these risks. However, teens can still be surrounded by peers who have access to alcohol and they may be pressured into consumption at such an early age. There is also a trend of faking IDs and credentials so that they can purchase alcohol themselves.

Social factors highly influence a person’s actions simply because people are naturally malleable by the community that surrounds them. For example, a family’s stance on alcohol consumption will mold every member’s stance on it, whether they are pro or anti. A person who is constantly surrounded by friends and peers who drink a lot may pick up the habit of drinking a lot as well, which may escalate to alcoholism. The body may unknowingly get used to certain amounts of alcohol which snowballs into dependence and eventually, an addiction.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors likewise play a huge role in molding a person’s susceptibility to alcoholism. People who grew up in poverty-stricken areas or abusive households are associated with alcohol dependency. Other factors include unstable family relations, lack of reliable role models, and socioeconomic disadvantages. 

Conversely, there are environmental factors that can reduce the likelihood of alcoholism. These factors include increased career opportunities, education, healthy social networks, and stable family environments.

Tips For Reducing The Likelihood Of Alcoholism

Alcohol is a prevalent member of society. It is easily accessible since it is available in most social gatherings. Alcohol is safe when consumed in reasonable amounts and people like it because of the “buzz” it gives. However, this is the exact same characteristic that makes it susceptible to abuse. Individuals may turn to alcohol to experience some form of relief or escape from their current predicament. 

They help parents feel calm amidst the chaos

Support groups are safe and private spaces that serve as emotional outlets for parents. In these sessions, parents can freely express their thoughts and emotions without fear of being judged. Letting go of these negative feelings is a part of recovery. Without an outlet, they risk allowing these negativities to fester which may affect the way they treat their children. Over time, parents will become stronger support pillars which are exactly what patients need for successful recovery.

Here are some tips to reduce alcoholism risks.

Learn about your family history

Analyze your family’s current stance and historical relationship with alcohol. If you have family members with a history of alcohol abuse, then you possess an increased risk of developing the illness yourself. Make sure to be mindful of your alcohol consumption so that you won’t drink more than necessary. Be aware of your personal limits.

Do not drink when you are underage

Underage drinking is not only illegal but also increases the likelihood of alcoholism. Drinking at such a young age may lead to irresponsible drinking and alcohol dependence.

Consider counseling

If you feel like you are no longer in control of your drinking habits, then it is time to seek counseling. Professional help from licensed counselors can do a lot of preventative measures to ensure that the problem is targeted at its root.

Observe your social circles

Are you surrounded by friends who drink a lot? Does your company consist of people who drink at the slightest inconvenience? Do you feel comfortable with their drinking habits? If not, it is time to extract yourself to avoid constant exposure to such occurrences.

Watch out for symptoms of alcoholism

Alcohol dependency manifests in varying severities. If you are not aware of the symptoms of the disease, then you might be unable to catch it until it is way worse. Read our blog for more information on the symptoms of alcoholism.

Get Help Today

Recovery from alcoholism does not need to be lonely. The path is long and arduous enough as it is so R&R Recovery is here to help. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

Why Do Parents Of Addicts Need Support Groups?


Drug addiction does not only affect the patient; it also affects their family and friends. Most people overlook how stressful these cases are for the parents of addicts. Parents often slip into negative thought patterns in which they feel the need to take on the blame for everything that happened. It is also a painful ordeal for parents to watch their beloved children fall into the pits of addiction. They deserve as much emotional support as patients since they are likewise victims of the situation.

Parents do not have the luxury to just opt out of their children’s recovery process. They are the pillars of family support and their presence is a huge asset for recovery. They need to be present because recovery is a long journey that is only made possible if the patient has a stable family support group. This may be challenging since addiction often results in distrust and broken hearts.

If you are a parent of a recovering addict, then you might be feeling a huge weight on your chest as you watch your child struggle through it all – the addiction, the admission, and the long recovery. We understand the pressure to remain strong at all times just so your son or daughter won’t feel neglected or abandoned. For this case, it is highly recommended to attend support groups for the parents of addicts.

Why Are Support Groups For The Parents Of Addicts Important?

Support groups are excellent resources for parents of addicts who have their own share of struggles throughout the recovery process. In these groups, the parents may come together with other parents experiencing the same plight. They get access to a safe and open space to voice out their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Parents can exchange stories of what they have gone through, which often include stories of how they learned about their children’s addiction, the struggles the entire family faced, and the strains in their relationships with their sons or daughters. Listed below are some of the benefits of support groups for the parents of addicts.

They make parents feel less alone

Support groups help parents feel less alone which is important since addiction is an isolating disease. Parents may find themselves isolating in their negative thoughts and emotions. They may also feel pressured by the stigma surrounding addiction which will cause them to refrain from talking to their friends and peers. Support groups for the parents of addicts make them feel less alone so as to combat this stigma. They can listen to the stories of other parents and glean inspiration from how they fought to restore normalcy in their lives. These inspirational stories will also strengthen their resolve to support their child through recovery, no matter how hard it gets.

They change the parents’ misconceptions

Addiction is very much viewed in a negative light. Parents may wallow in their negative thoughts and feelings which may come out as resentment if left unchecked. Support groups allow them to redefine these thoughts and adapt a more sympathetic and compassionate stance. These support groups show them that their children are victims to the disease and that they deserve love and compassion. These groups also eliminate the stigma that states that addiction officially ends a person’s life. Recovery is very much possible especially if sustained with positive reinforcement, love, and support.

They help parents feel calm amidst the chaos

Support groups are safe and private spaces that serve as emotional outlets for parents. In these sessions, parents can freely express their thoughts and emotions without fear of being judged. Letting go of these negative feelings is a part of recovery. Without an outlet, they risk allowing these negativities to fester which may affect the way they treat their children. Over time, parents will become stronger support pillars which are exactly what patients need for successful recovery.

Examples Of Support Groups For Parents

Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and Fam-Anon

These support groups are specifically for the families of the patients. Their founding principles are patterned after the 12 Steps that originated from AA support groups. Al-Anon is for families of alcoholics. Nar-Anon is for the loved ones of drug addicts. Fam-Anon is a UK-based version of 12 Steps support groups for families.

Step Together

Step Together is a UK-based family support group which is founded in conjunction with the 1st Step Recovery Café. The 1st Step Recovery Café is designed for recovering addicts. They later realized that the family members likewise need support throughout the recovery process which resulted in the birth of Step Together.

Family Drug Addicts Support

Family Drug Support is a family support group based in Australia. The organization hosts non-religious support meetings to cater to everyone who just wishes to talk about their experiences with an addicted loved one and hopes to be listened to.


AdFam’s tagline is “A place for families because you don’t have to use drugs to be affected by them.” Aside from organizing support group meetings, the organization’s website also hosts a wide array of resources that loved ones could peruse so they could gain a better understanding of the intricacies of addiction.

Get Help Today

You take care of your addicted loved one, but who takes care of you? Find a safe space near you so that you may express your feelings and gain wisdom from parents who are going through the same thing. Contact R&R Recovery IOP Treatment in Huntington Beach for options, consultation, and more.

How Do People Get Addicted To Drugs? The Science Behind Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a complex subject with an even more complex mechanism. It is often hard to discern the beginning of its manifestation in an individual, especially to the untrained eye. Even if you are fully knowledgeable of its symptoms and warning signs, by the time of its discovery, it may have already developed into a serious severity.

Learning about the science behind drug addiction can be enlightening for you. It will help you grasp a better comprehension of how exactly it happens. Addiction is not an overnight occurrence; it slowly develops over time through sustained habits which lead to dependence. In other cases, it may even be caused by the inheritance of genetic material. This means that some people have a higher risk of developing drug addiction compared to others simply because they come from a line of addicts.

Furthermore, drug addiction is characterized as a chronic disease that plagues the mind and body. It is deeply rooted in the person’s system and cannot be simply extracted in an instant. If you feel frustrated that the recovery process is long and arduous, then it may help to understand the exact mechanisms that cause drug addiction.

Why Do People Get Addicted To Drugs?

Why do some people get addicted while others do not? The truth is that anyone can get addicted and it’s just a matter of different factors that prevent or allow it. These factors include:

·         Experiencing constant stress especially at an early age

·         Being abused or experiencing trauma

·         Genetic predisposition

·         Prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol

·         Absence of role models or parental supervision from childhood to adolescence

·         Constant interaction with drug addicts and enablers

·         Peer pressure from social connections who use drugs

·         Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression which may lead to self-medication through drugs

·         Socioeconomic status

·         Lack of career opportunities

·         Living in poverty-stricken areas·        

· Lack of education

The aforementioned list tells you that it is a combination of environmental and social factors that may increase the risk factors for a person to become a drug addict. Research reveals that individuals who began usage at a young age are also more likely to grow up to become a drug addict. This is because their stance on drugs will be altered during their formative years which then leads to irreversible damages to the brain. Almost 70% of adolescents who have tried drugs will most likely develop an addiction within just 7 years. People who take drugs between ages 18 to 25 are also likely to develop addictions simply because their brains are still maturing and are therefore still very much malleable.

How Exactly Do People Develop Drug Addictions?

Decades’ worth of extensive scientific research has been extremely helpful in illustrating the pathway between regular drug usage to a full-blown addiction. Scientists have utilized advanced technology such as brain scanning and imaging. This revealed images that clearly show the negative impacts of drugs on the brain.

Addiction starts with prolonged drug usage. Repetitive intake changes the brain functions. Some drugs offer a rush of happy hormones. Drugs trigger the brain to release dopamine which is also known as the pleasure chemical. The user feels a euphoric rush that makes them feel high, good, and happy. As the user takes more of the drugs, the brain rewires by being reliant on these synthetic drugs to attain that level of happiness. The drug-related effects become part of the brain process so when the drugs are taken away, the brain seeks more of it. Eventually, drugs will be the person’s highest priority just so they could experience the euphoria again.

The problem is that the human body adapts and builds up a tolerance. This means they need to up the dosage to achieve the same effect and this only worsens the brain’s circuitry. Other aspects of the brain are also affected. The focus will be on attaining drugs and everything else becomes less important which will compromise the person’s ability to think, make sound decisions, or control their drug-related impulses. The user stops having a choice about whether or not they need drugs because their brain tells them they do. They become a slave to their impulses.

There are physical effects as well. More specifically, the parts of the brain responsible for decision-making, self-control, learning, and critical thinking become damaged. This pushes the person deeper into the pit of usage and it gets harder for them to crawl out and stop using altogether.

How Can People Overcome Drug Addiction?

Thankfully, it is perfectly possible for patients to overcome their addictions. The brain simply needs to be rewired so that it stops being dependent on drugs. Once the addictive substance is eliminated, the brain can re-learn to naturally generate dopamine without the need for synthetic ingredients. The process itself is challenging since it will take some time to revert the brain to its original health just as it took some time for it to succumb to an addicted state.

The best way is to get the patient admitted into drug rehab so that they will be assessed and an individualized treatment plan may be created. There is no clear-cut way for recovery that works for everyone since every case is different. Contact R&R Recovery addiction treatment services in Huntington Beach to learn more about the power of professional treatment as well as the exact services offered to help rewire the addicted brain to its healthier state.

How To Deal With Alcohol Withdrawal?

IOP- In house patient care

Alcohol detox is a necessary and the first step towards sobriety. However, some patients may be so physically and mentally dependent on the substance that the moment the alcohol is taken away from their presence, they experience withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms depend on how dependent the person was on alcohol. It could be mild to severe to the point of medical intervention. There is also the main issue of preventing the patient from relapsing since they will do everything to get access to alcohol in order to relieve their pain. As such, we have created a guide on how to successfully deal with alcohol withdrawal at home.

Alcohol Withdrawal Relief Tips To Try

Drink electrolyte-rich fluids

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms often include nausea and dehydration. As such, it is important that the patient stays hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, preferably those rich in electrolytes. Sports drinks will keep them hydrated and help them stay energized. They may also consume foods rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium as these are likewise rich in electrolytes. The electrolytes help the body hydrate itself.

Be with company while going through alcohol withdrawal

Inform your friends and family when you are about to begin your detox journey so that they may make themselves available for you. They will help you throughout the detox process by eliminating alcohol in your presence, treading the subject of your recovery lightly, and overall become a supportive entity to motivate you through it all. Detoxing alone is very difficult and you must take all the help you could get to make it more bearable.

You are not alone

It is very comforting to know that you are not alone on the difficult journey of alcohol detox. Millions of patients have gone through it and survived. They came out stronger than ever, with more resistance to their cravings. Take comfort in the fact that that is perfectly attainable and that you are not in solitude on this journey. You may attend group therapy and other group counseling sessions to seek inspiration from fellow patients’ stories.

Conquer your cravings

Expect your alcohol cravings to become persistent during detox. There will come a time when you will badly crave a drink. It helps to be aware of what your personal triggers are. These could be stressors or certain social situations. It is best to avoid these triggers and find a way to ride out your cravings. You may do this by distracting yourself with activities, contacting your sponsor, or just talking to a friend. Once you master the art of conquering the first few cravings, the next ones should be more manageable.

Stay grounded

It is easy to lose sight of why you are even attempting to become better in the first place, especially if your cravings are intense. As such, it is important to stay grounded so that you will be mentally prepared for all the hurdles of recovery. You may begin by writing yourself a letter full of encouragement, love, and support. Keep this letter nearby so that it is easily accessible whenever you are tempted to quit from recovery. Another tip is to create a “first aid kit.” This kit will not contain medical items but rather meaningful items that will help you stay grounded and motivated. The items may include letters from loved ones, photos of your family, or simple reminders of the good life before the addiction. Whenever you feel like you are on the verge of relapsing, just sift through the items to help you stay on track.

Stay healthy

A healthy mind and body will do a lot in keeping you motivated. When your health is declining, your thought processes may be compromised which means that you are more likely to relapse. As such, it is important to nourish your mind and your body. Stay active. Eat a balanced diet. Regularly journal or meditate.

A healthy body is also more resistant to alcohol cravings since your sugar levels are stable. Alcohol turns into sugar when metabolized which means that sugar imbalances may trigger cravings. Make sure to incorporate lots of whole foods and less sugar in your diet to keep your sugar levels stable.

Steer clear of enablers

Do not interact with your drinking buddies since they can easily influence you to go back to drinking. These drinking advocates will hamper your growth. They will cause you to fail your mission for sobriety by tempting you with “just one drink” which can easily turn to more. They do not carry your best interests at heart since they themselves are not interested in recovery. They would want to see you suffer alongside them which is why it is best to cut ties with them during your detox period.

Practice breathing techniques

Breathing techniques are powerful quick fixes for cravings. Breathing techniques engage your prefrontal cortex which is the region of the brain responsible for reasoning and critical thinking. Simply put, breathing techniques help you reset. One simple exercise is to breathe in through your nose, hold for four seconds, breathe out through your mouth, and hold for four seconds. Repeat for as many times as necessary.

Get medical assistance when going through alcohol withdrawal

It is not recommended to go through alcohol detox alone. Severe withdrawal symptoms may manifest and these will require professional medical help. Contact R&R Recovery for an individualized plan on how to detox safely and correctly. If necessary, you may be admitted to inpatient rehab so that you will be surrounded by healthcare professionals 24/7 to medicate the worst withdrawal symptoms you may experience.

Trauma Recovery: Why This Is An Essential Step To Overcome Addiction

In numerous cases, it has been discovered that alcohol and substance abuse addiction often comes from deep and unresolved trauma. As such, trauma recovery is a key step to ensure a successful rehabilitation since it means being able to target the issue at its root cause. Some may feel like uncovering such dark pasts may be risky during recovery especially since the patients are at their most vulnerable and volatile. However, it is still very much possible provided that the patient is in the care of experts dealing with such matters.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is characterized as a person’s psychological response to a specific event. This is the way a person responds to a negative experience. Traumatic events are very formative since they influence a person’s thoughts, feelings, and coping mechanisms. It also affects a person’s emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being.

Genetic research on alcoholism also revealed that people with long lines of alcoholics in their families eventually translate into inheritable DNA. This means that the genetic trait can be passed to their offspring and makes them react differently to alcohol. The alcoholic gene may make you have a higher tolerance for alcohol or experience more cravings than any normal person would.

Types of Trauma

There are numerous types of trauma. The most common types include the following:

·         Physical assault

·         Rape

·         Domestic violence

·         Sexual assault

·         Terminal illness

·         Accidents such as fire or car crash

·         Parental neglect

·         Bullying or persistent harassment

·         Natural disasters

·         Verbal abuse

·         Emotional abuse

Trauma is not limited to the occurrences listed above. Traumatic events often lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Signs of Trauma

People who underwent traumatic experiences will be negatively impacted mentally, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are some signs of trauma:

·         Intense mood swings

·         Unpredictable behavior

·         Inappropriate or excessive display of emotions

·         Chronic anxiety, fear, or nervousness

·         Irritability

·         Prolonged agitation

·         Timidity due to lack of confidence

·         Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating

·         Constant avoidance of matters that may trigger memories from the traumatic experience

·         Constantly reliving the traumatic experience

·         Negative effects on relationships with friends, loved ones, and acquaintances

·         Failure to uphold professionalism in the work environment

·         Romantic issues

How Does Trauma Lead To Addictions?

Human brains have a trait called plasticity which is when it automatically responds and adapts to any experience to ensure survival. As such, the brain is malleable by events and it will undoubtedly be affected by traumatic experiences.

A person’s toms”>trauma response can be described as the brain’s attempt to keep the person safe and at a good distance from anything that may resemble the said traumatic experience. Trauma causes the person to change in which the neurons grow or even break just so the person is kept safe. It rewires a person into something more sheltered which explains their tendency to isolate themselves or avoid circumstances that will put them back in the place of trauma.

toms” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Traumatic experiences may also cause brain abnormalities, especially if these occurred during a person’s formative years. These abnormalities may manifest in the form of cognitive or behavioral problems. People with childhood trauma also have higher levels of cortisol and stress hormones which may further damage the brain or impede its development.

As such, this ultimately leads to the formation of PTSD and other chronic mental illnesses. Consequently, this triggers the patient to find ways to self-medicate just so they can cope for the short-term. It is reported that 65% of patients diagnosed with PTSD develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. They become overly dependent on drugs and alcohol to mask their pain or numb their thoughts. PTSD is a risk factor that must be remedied for effective eradication of addiction.

How To Treat Trauma For Successful Addiction Recovery

A person with PTSD and addiction is known to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. The patient may use alcohol and drugs to handle their PTSD triggers and symptoms which include insomnia, hypersensitivity, agitation, social isolation, and depression. They will turn to these addictive substances whenever they wish to feel better. This then increases their tolerance which makes them seek more of the product, and then the cycle continues. It can only be broken if the addiction and the PTSD are treated simultaneously.

Co-occurring disorders can be treated for as long as the patient is working with rehab centers that have experience with dual diagnosis cases. First, the patient will be assessed so that a comprehensive addiction treatment plan that suits their needs may be formulated. Next, the patient will have to go through detoxification. This eliminates the addictive substances from their system to stop their dependency from worsening. Detox will result in withdrawal symptoms that depend on the severity of the addiction. As such, it is helpful to have the patient checked into rehab so that they will be surrounded by trained medical workers to help alleviate their withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, the patient shall proceed with the treatment plan that is recommended for them. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and more. RnR Recovery specializes in dual diagnosis cases so that the toxic cycle may be put to an end. We prioritize freeing our patients from both types of shackles so that long-term recovery and sobriety will be achieved. Contact us today for more information.