When a person first gets sober, they change their lifestyle. Some of these changes may be challenging, especially in early recovery. Cognitive flexibility refers to your ability to adapt and adjust to changing situations and tasks, which involves modifying your thoughts and behaviors to meet the demands of new or changing circumstances.
In addiction recovery, cognitive flexibility enables you to adapt to a life free from drugs or alcohol. Recovery, after all, involves a significant change in a person's thinking and behavior. You can learn to make these changes, a day at a time, by boosting your cognitive flexibility. Progress in recovery means continually working toward being a better person - to yourself and others.
One way cognitive flexibility is essential in addiction recovery is in enabling people to overcome the rigid thinking patterns that often contribute to addiction. When a person gets sober, they're told that being open-minded and willing can help them begin to heal. Addiction is often associated with black-and-white thinking. If this sounds familiar, it's because people who struggle with substance use often see things as "all or nothing."
This thinking can be fatalistic and set a person up for relapse. After all, life is full of shades of gray. Having a bad day or feeling frustrated doesn't have to lead to a relapse. In early recovery, it may be difficult for somebody to consider alternative options or realize instinctively that there may be more than one perspective in any situation. In treatment or therapy, however, cognitive flexibility allows individuals to consider a range of possibilities and weigh the pros and cons of different options. Tools that help you begin to think differently, and react in more productive and positive ways, are important to helping you stay sober.
Another way cognitive flexibility is essential in addiction recovery is in enabling individuals to cope with stress and negative emotions. Addiction often develops as a way of dealing with difficult feelings or stress, so individuals in recovery must learn alternative coping strategies. Cognitive flexibility can help individuals develop various techniques for dealing with difficult emotions rather than relying solely on drugs or alcohol.
Studies have shown that cognitive flexibility is associated with better outcomes in addiction recovery. For example, one study showed that individuals with higher cognitive flexibility levels were likelier to abstain from drugs and alcohol over a 6-month follow-up period. Other studies show it can also be a valuable skill for coping with anxiety disorders.
Learning new things is critical in addiction recovery. Openmindedness can help you begin to adapt to a lifestyle of sobriety and overcome negative and toxic thinking patterns.
Research has consistently found that higher levels of cognitive flexibility are associated with better treatment outcomes. The great news is that cognitive flexibility can be both practiced and taught.
Various ways exist to teach and improve cognitive flexibility in individuals. Therapy and peer support groups can help you change your thinking. Your therapist can work with you to help you counter negative thinking patterns that lead to old, counterproductive behavior.
Learning new thinking and perspectives can help you stay open-minded and focused throughout recovery. Learning new tools to cope, think more critically, and react healthily will help you stay sober in the long term.
If you're having trouble adapting to life as a sober person. some of these activities can help you change your thoughts, actions, and life! You CAN overcome the rigid thinking patterns that can contribute to relapse behaviors, giving yourself a chance for long-term sobriety. Ask others in recovery how they learned to change their thoughts and actions. You'll find there are a lot of healthier coping strategies to try.
Sober living homes are a great place for people new in recovery to begin to get their bearings and put new coping skills to the test. Learn more about our sober living homes, our amenities, and how we help keep you on track in recovery.
Fentanyl seizures at border continue to spike, according to the U.S. Department of Justice making San Diego a national epicenter for fentanyl trafficking. According to the DOJ release, more deadly fentanyl is being seized by border officials in San Diego and Imperial counties than at any of the nation’s 300-plus ports of entry, making this federal district an epicenter for fentanyl trafficking into the United States.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported recently about a California high school that made arrests after a student overdosed on fentanyl pills on campus during school. Notably the perpetrator used social media to market the pills. Using social media channels (like Snapchat) to market fentanyl laced pills is increasingly common, especially among teens, and often with predictably tragic effects
Researchers have sounded an alarm for the past few years about the rise in overdose deaths involving fentanyl. The majority of overdoses now involve the drug, which is 50-100 times as powerful as Morphine. Overdoses that involve fentanyl are usually deadlier because of the potency of the drug.
For people who have an opioid use disorder, there are many risks to take when buying drugs. Regular drug supply chains are strained, and China has outlawed the manufacture of oxycodone (aka Oxycontin) and fentanyl. Because of this, chemists that rely on illicit drug sales have been offering fentanyl either as an adulterant or alternative to other opioids. Chinese drugmakers funnel fentanyl through the Mexico border, and from there, it makes its way into heroin, Oxy, and other street (and internet) drug dealers.
Roneet Lev, an emergency room physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, told Bloomberg that most of the overdose deaths she’s seen in teens are accidental overdoses. One of her young patients, 14 years old, died from a fentanyl overdose.
“The problem is both supply and demand,” she said. “There’s already a lot of fentanyl coming into our market, and now we have a pandemic where people are isolated and not working, or not in school. These teenagers probably don’t have a substance use disorder, they’re experimenting, making a bad choice, and they end up dead.”
Many cities and nonprofits say that harm reduction is an integral part of tackling the opioid epidemic. After all, many of the young people who are dying don’t even mean to take fentanyl. They often believe they’re taking a pill such as Percocet, Adderall, Ecstacy, etc. It may be the first time they have ever taken a drug at all.
Many law enforcement agencies are trying to get the word out about counterfeit pills and the dangers of fentanyl.
Some nonprofits offer fentanyl testing strips as a harm reduction measure that can test drugs for the presence of fentanyl. Then, the user can decide if they want to take it or flush it. Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, is also available to people who use opioids and other concerned community members. Carrying this drug can help reverse fatal overdoses, but when it’s a drug like fentanyl, reversal may require multiple doses of Narcan.
If you or somebody you love needs a safe living space to continue their recovery journey, sober housing may be the answer. We have an excellent, enthusiastic, peaceful environment where you can learn to live life on its terms, substance-free. Call us to learn more about our programs at 760-216-2077. Our treatment team is also very familiar with recovery from fentanyl and other opioids.
For many people in recovery, the idea of "anonymous" recovery feels beneficial. After all, there is still some stigma attached to addiction. Not everyone deserves to know about your recovery, and that's okay. Some people can be insensitive or stubborn about their wrong beliefs. Even members of your family!
While the FDA now recognizes addiction as a disorder of the brain, there's still a lot of myths out there. Sometimes these stereotypes can be hurtful. It’s understandable you may be nervous talking about your recovery with people in your family.
Family can be an excellent support network or a trigger that fills you with intense feelings. Usually, a family falls somewhere in between, even if you're estranged. Many people have a few family members that they trust or talk to. Other members of the family may not be people you trust or want to confide in. If you're going to talk about recovery, it's important to make sure you're with somebody you trust.
You choose what you share with whom. And if you are at a family event and you're feeling triggered, it's okay to make an exit plan. Staying clean and sober is the most important task for a person in recovery day-to-day. Your sobriety is precious, and you deserve to keep it. So use the tools you've learned in recovery; pick up the phone and call your sponsor, text a recovery friend, or look up the closest 12-step meeting and grab rideshare to get to it.
Take the time to set up a meeting with your loved one where you can have privacy.
It's fine to limit what you share with your loved ones. They don't need to know about the desperate things you did during addiction. However, now is not the time to speak about amends you make; that comes later in recovery when you are ready for the ninth step.
Here are some things you may be willing to share with them:
Your family members may simply be curious or they may misconceptions about addiction. If they say something mean or hurtful, it's okay to end the conversation. They may be coming from a place of hurt or past experiences with addicted people. It's not your job to argue with them about the science of addiction. Sure, you can get their email to forward them some information. But you don't have to prove that your addiction is a serious disease that deserves treatment.
Many people who have attended either outpatient or inpatient treatment transition to sober housing once they complete the program. It's a place to start to spread your wings and grow! There's both structure and independence, and you'll have the added benefit of living with people who are working towards similar goals.
Learn more about our programs and how we can help by calling us at 760-216-2077. We're happy to talk about your options.
Addiction is a progressive disease and has a way of consuming everything you care about until, sooner or later—there’s nothing left but a desire to use more. While some people realize what’s happening and get help early, most of us don’t wake up to what is happening until we’re totally at the mercy of the addiction. By this time, everything else is going or long gone.
Once you make the decision to get help, the path to rebuilding your life needs to be a holistic process. You need to commit to changing everything in your life that contributed to your addiction. This is how you make sure your life is filled with a new, healthier focus, new habits, and peers that support your recovery and healing.
A Good Start is Changing the Way You Take Care of Yourself
You need to eat healthy, nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get good sleep. Think of it as making a living amends to your body for years of abuse. Your body has worked hard to keep going despite the poison you’ve been ingesting and other unhealthy habits most addicts share. You can become your body’s friend by eating nutritious food at regular intervals, taking vitamin supplements, and getting plenty of good exercise.
If you can develop a new, fun hobby such as biking, jogging, or working out at the gym, you’ll be having fun while giving your body the exercise it needs. These are all activities you can enjoy with others who are recovering or just into a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that exercise relieves stress, raises the endorphin level to help you feel good, and helps you to get restful sleep.
Connect With Others Who Are Into Recovery and Healthy Living
People who spend time together tend to have a profound influence on each other, whether healthy or unhealthy.
You’ll meet new people by attending support group meetings and seeking out healthy activities that people enjoy together, such as cooking, yoga and sports. You can take a class to learn a new skill or hone one you had before addiction took over your life.
Practicing Gratitude and Helping Others
These two activities, finding things to be grateful for and actively being of service to others are great for your recovery. By helping others, we can both forget our own troubles and learn to value ourselves again. By being grateful for what we have, we learn to see life in a more balanced perspective.
As you continue to grow into healthier habits and a changed lifestyle, don’t beat yourself up if you struggle occasionally. It’s all part of the process. Do the best you can, a day at a time. Before you know it, you will be thriving in recovery. Your loved ones will notice and comment on it as well.
Recovery is always a journey, not a destination. However, many people find that they want to remain in a supportive and structured environment after treatment.
Our San Diego sober living home can help you maintain your recovery and continue to work your program as you start to take back your life. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about how we can help!
Betrayal is not just about infidelity, or lying, or stealing.
You can betray someone’s trust in you by becoming a drastically different person than the person he or she fell in love with.
It could be that you broke your word numerous times; or only lied once but it was a biggie. Maybe you did have an affair. Or perhaps you just weren’t there when they needed you most. Maybe you ran up huge debts from gambling or another addiction that they didn’t even know you had. There are innumerable ways one person can betray another.
At some point you come to your senses and realize that you’ve made a huge mistake or series of mistakes and you desperately want to save your relationship. The first thing you need to understand and accept is that it won’t be easy. Once trust is broken, especially after a series of betrayals, it takes time and commitment to earn somebody’s trust back. Your loved one may never trust you completely.
Take responsibility for your mistake(s). If you imply the betrayal was due to forces beyond your control he or she won’t have a reason to trust you again. If there was an outside factor that impaired your judgment and/or subsequent behavior you need to eliminate it from your life if you want to be trustworthy in your relationship.
Of course you should apologize without trying to minimize the betrayal. However, words won’t go far towards helping someone to trust you again, especially if the betrayal involved lying. You need to prove that you are stable, reliable and trustworthy. This can take months or even years, depending on how shattered your relationship is and what you did to betray your loved one.
Again, telling somebody you love them won’t be very convincing once you’ve betrayed their trust. There are many ways to show another how much you value your relationship with him or her. You could start with a few simple actions, such as
Other actions which can convince your loved one you are trustworthy include
Depending on your situation, it could take years to convince your loved one that it’s safe to love you again. You must commit to taking the right actions on a daily basis for months, years, or however long it takes.
Don’t demand that your loved one trust you again. Give them time to heal. By showing your loved one that you’re committed to your relationship and are doing all you can to show that love and commitment, he or she will gradually begin to heal.
Your loved one’s healing journey will begin with hope as they experience your actions daily. Gradually whatever hope you give them will become faith in your commitment to your mutual love and to the relationship. At some point they will be able to trust you again.
While your relationship will never be the same as it was prior to the betrayal, it can become better and stronger due to your mutual commitment and shared struggle to weather a major storm.
Honest communication in a safe environment is a very good way for both you and your loved one to begin to understand how the other feels. When you communicate with a licensed therapist present, you’ll have the security of knowing that there’s an experienced and impartial mediator involved who will help you both to work through underlying issues that may have contributed to your broken relationship.
If you could talk honestly with someone who has been in a committed relationship for decades, they would invariably admit to having had had their share of trouble. People are not perfect and there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. What you would likely read in their expression is an absence of anger or pain. Instead you would see satisfaction and pride in having stayed with the relationship when it was hard to do so, and they’d likely tell you that the struggle was hard but worth the effort.
Are you or somebody you love interested in a sober living in San Diego? Learn more about the options we offer by calling 760-216-2077.
Recovery is a lifestyle you must adhere to year-round. Different times of year bring different experiences, and you must get through them to stay sober! The winter months may feel difficult or emotional for the first few years you're sober. Today, with the complication of the coronavirus pandemic, life can sometimes feel like a struggle.
Few people feel like winter is their favorite season. If you're like many people, you may find yourself in the doldrums or suffering from seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression brought on by the changing seasons. With less sunlight and colder weather, humans naturally turn into homebodies. In recovery, however, isolation can quickly turn into loneliness or depression.
There are also other reasons that people feel like winter is hard in recovery. Many people also associate the winter months with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years' holidays. Of course, holidays can be challenging times for people in recovery. Sometimes you'll feel quite emotional about the past or even feel triggered by it.
For many reasons, winter can be a challenging time for people in recovery. This winter may even seem a little more difficult due to the ongoing emotional and economic strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking care of yourself and focusing on your recovery is an integral part of the game plan. Here are some ideas to help you lift your spirit every day.
If you live in a warm climate, you won't have to deal with the cold. Yet there are still some effects that you have to cope with during the winter months. Holidays, shorter days in general, and less activity are all things that seasons have in common coast-to-coast.
Consider Sober Living
Have you thought about living in a sober home? Living among other people in recovery can help you have a sense of stability. Learn more about what options are available and how we can help by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Acceptance is one of the most essential principles of 12-step recovery. When you first get sober, you do so as you accept that you have a problem. Once you admit you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, you must also accept that you need help.
Throughout early recovery, you’ll learn there are many things you need to learn to accept. Acceptance isn’t an action – it’s a process. As you grow and change in recovery, you’ll discover that it can be a daily struggle. There are many things out of our control that we must accept, and it can be challenging! This is why you’ll continue to work the 12-steps even after you’ve been sober a few years.
You may think that you’ve already mastered acceptance. Acceptance, however, isn’t something you can master. It’s something that will crop up throughout your life as a human being.
If you’re in early recovery, you might still be grappling with the idea of acceptance. That’s a normal part of the process of getting sober. The good news is that you can take things a day at a time.
Here are some questions you can use to explore the idea of acceptance. You can write the answers to these questions in a journal, meditate about them, or simply ask yourself the questions and answer as you read.
During the era of COVID-19, many people are feeling isolated. It’s easy to understand why. If you or a loved one is looking for stability and continuity after treatment, consider sober housing. We offer a family-like atmosphere that allows for growth and stability. We are still taking clients while we use COVID-19 safety procedures. Please get in touch at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your options.
For many people with opioid use disorder, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) such as Suboxone or Vivitrol is a lifeline to long-term sobriety. While MAT is not the best option for everyone, thousands of people across America have used it in one form or another to help put distance between themselves and their last use of illicit drugs.
MAT is considered an important tool for people with opioid use disorder. The recovery community has not necessarily embraced it as the go-to tool for addiction recovery, mainly due to worries about its safety. Many people who got sober without the aid of MAT may have reservations about its use. However, the FDA has recently recommended the use of agonist or partial agonist medications (methadone, buprenorphine) to support abstinence. Through this endorsement, more treatment centers have decided to add MAT as a tool for people new to recovery.
Like all treatment tools, MAT is an option, but it’s not the only way people can get and stay sober. We’re fighting a deepening opioid crisis, and treatment providers, as well as their clients, deserve to have as many tools at their disposal as possible. MAT definitely can provide a life-saving function for people who suffer from opioid dependence and addiction.
It is the role of the treatment providers and medical professionals to learn the facts about how medications work and find ways to support long-term recovery for individuals using these medications. This education on MAT includes those who run sober homes and housing programs for people in recovery.
According to data from 2018 gathered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 128 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses every day. Medication-Assisted Treatment has helped thousands of people beat those odds by reducing cravings and assisting individuals to put more time between themselves and their drug of choice.
New guidance has been released by NIDA to help addiction treatment providers understand the ins and outs of prescribing and helping people use MAT as a part of their overall treatment plan.
While all treatment providers and sober housing professionals have their own programs that help them build a safe community, this information is vital to assisting professionals to make the right choice for their clients to begin their journey in recovery.
The guidelines brief attached can help sober living homes and other providers understand where MAT fits into an overall treatment plan. While MAT is still new to the sober housing community, it has been safely used in treatment facilities for a number of years. Understanding what role it can play will help housing communities draft their own policies based on science and information on treatment outcomes.
NARR's mission, according to their website, is "to support persons in recovery from addiction by improving their access to quality recovery residences through standards, support services, placement, education, research, and advocacy."
Now, more than ever, it’s important to have people in your life who support your recovery. Sober living situations are a great way to rebuild your life and adjust to working on your new goals. Learn more about how our sober home can help you in your recovery. Call us at 760-216-2077 to learn about housing options.
If you've been in recovery for months or even a few years, you may come to the point that you think you've got this recovery thing down, and there are no dangers left to avoid in terms of recovery. You've begun to work on repairing your relationships. Maybe you've got a great new job or mended ties with family and friends. You may even start to feel a bit of that serenity that people talk about in 12-step meetings. All of this can be a good thing, but it doesn't mean you're cured of your addiction.
Addiction is a disease. While you're taking care of life on life's terms, everything will change in an instant if you choose to pick up a drink or drug.
With more power over the decisions in your life comes more responsibility. There will come a time soon that your recovery is tested. Long-term recovery is an exciting accomplishment, but no one is immune to dangerous thinking or behavior. Backsliding can easily lead to a full-scale relapse if you're not paying attention to your sobriety program. Here are three dangers to watch out for:
Life is about choices. Mistakes happen when we make the wrong ones, but it's not the end of the world. If you were perfect, you certainly wouldn't be in recovery in the first place. It can be humbling to admit you're struggling because of your own behavior, but sharing with others will help lessen the burden.
If you're feeling guilty, scared, or having trouble because of your behavior, the first thing to do is "own it." Tell your sponsor, share at a meeting, and listen to the feedback of others. When you're feeling overwhelmed, it's time to hold on to your recovery as hard as possible. "Keep coming back", even when you feel bad. Recovery can bring you progress, but there's no perfection.
Asking for help when you've fallen into a trap in recovery will help you save yourself. There's nothing you can face in recovery that somebody else hasn't lived through. So if you find yourself engaging in destructive behavior, it's okay to feel bad about it. It's okay to say you don't know the way out. Just remember that you're worth saving, and this too shall pass. You don't have to face anything alone.
Are you looking for sober living in the San Diego, California, area? We have a place for you to call home! Living with others in recovery offers fellowship and a way to be accountable to others. Our programs are an excellent launchpad for people new to recovery who need time to transition to daily life. We offer options for housing and aftercare. Call to hear more about how we can help you by calling 760-216-2077.
Everyone needs a friend, and as you spend more time in recovery, you’ll find you have a lot of people you call when you need support. Supporting others is an important and productive way to give in recovery.
The 12-step world can be a big second family as you start to find your way without the use of substances. The experience, stories, and support that other people share with you is essential to making your way in life. You'll end up becoming part of a support network for others, too.
As time goes on and you begin to feel more confident with your new life in recovery, you’ll want to be able to give back to others. Supporting others is a great way to do that. But how can you make sure you’re doing it in a healthy way.
You’ll want to be cautious as well as supportive if the person you’re trying to help as been sober less time than you.
Make sure you set healthy boundaries in your friendships. If you become friends with somebody who does risky things, be wary. A friend who is in relapse mode may end up trying to take somebody with them. Offer to be a shoulder or a ride to a meeting, but never put yourself in a situation where you’ll be around drugs or drug users.
Let people call you, but if you can’t take calls at work, don’t. Turn off your phone if you’re sleeping or at work. Let new friends know which hours are best, and it’s okay to send a text message to you.
If you become friends with the opposite sex, be aware that there may be complications. 12-step programs often warn newcomers from getting into any romantic (or potentially romantic) relationships within the first year of recovery. Relationships can be thorny and complicated. When you care for somebody romantic, you won’t be able to focus on your own recovery. Take some time to get to know yourself.
You may want to limit your outings to groups of people, or “guy’s night” outings rather than spend time alone with the opposite sex. Most of all, try to make friends with people who have been clean and sober longer than you. Don’t surround yourself with newcomers. You need other people with more experience for support, too.
If you’re looking for an excellent place to take your time transitioning to “regular life,” sober living may be the right choice for you. In sober housing, you’ll learn to stand on your own two feet while living among others working on their personal goals in recovery. You’ll have space, structure, and support to help you continue the journey. Call us at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your options.