If you are planning on getting sober, there are probably many things you have questions about. You may wonder why you can’t simply get the drugs out of your system and get on with your life. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t work like that. To stay sober once you’ve rid your body of substances, you’re going to need some help. There are going to be changes you need to make in life to maintain your recovery. That’s where therapy can help you make choices about your recovery.
Detox and Therapy
Most people who are addicted to a substance need help to get sober. Your body and brain have been used to getting a certain amount of a substance every day. Because of this, you probably will experience some withdrawal effects. Detox is a safe and comfortable place that can help you through the challenges of your first few days or week clean and sober.
While you’re in detox, you’ll have the chance to go to group sessions and speak with counselors. You’ll be able to plan your next moves in recovery. For example, you may want to go to an inpatient program or try sober housing. You must get help from addiction professionals to help you find the right treatment plan to fit your needs.
Much of your first days sober will be an emotional roller coaster as your body and brain adjust to life without drugs. This is normal, and will pass after a week or so.
Therapy for Recovery and Healing
Once you’ve been sober for a few more weeks, you’ll probably be in another group setting. Group therapy is important because it allows you to learn more about yourself in a room of peers. You’re able to offer both your support and insight as somebody with similar experiences. You can also benefit from the insight from your peers and trained professionals.
One-on-one therapy in recovery can help you work through more personal issues. A therapist can help you learn how to cope with challenges in your life. They can also help you learn to cope with painful situations and problems as they come up in life.
Most treatment centers will help you by engaging in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which enables you to change your actions and reactions. You’ll learn more about yourself and how to live life on its terms as you develop a relationship with a therapist.
AA, NA, and Other 12 Step Meetings
Twelve-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous aren’t technically therapy, but they are a support group full of people who want to stay sober. Some of them have experience from years of sobriety, while others are new, just like you.
Twelve-step meetings are a place to meet others and learn what has helped them achieve long-term sobriety. They also offer fellowship and friendship if you go to them regularly. Most people in recovery make 12-step meetings a part of their daily life. The community can help you through thick and thin.
If you need help with a mental health disorder or substance use disorder, support is available! Seeking out a professional therapist, treatment program, or doctor to help you get sober is an important first step!
You deserve to reclaim your life!
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you looking for a sober living program? Our programs will help you get sober and plot your next step in your recovery journey. We offer a safe space for you to begin to heal and start your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn more about your opeions.
For the past several years, there has been a lot of interest in the wellness community about an herb sold online called Kratom. Kratom is a drug that has been used for centuries in Southeast Asian countries for various reasons. The most notable of reasoning has been as a "substitute" for opiates. Because of this, many people who are desperate to quit opioids turn to this drug to help them ease their withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, this quick fix isn't a fix at all; the Food and Drug Administration has received reports of similar withdrawal symptoms when a user tries to quit taking Kratom.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a green powder supplement that has been sold as a sort of snake oil online. People have claimed it can boost their energy and moods, kill pain, and even fix their opioid withdrawal symptoms. All of these short-term effects are possible, but that doesn't make the supplement safe. Kratom is an unregulated drug that has been outlawed, in fact, in some Asian countries due to its similarity to opium.
Kratom is a quasi-legal substance, according to the FDA. They have already halted the drug's importations due to a lack of evidence that it has value as holistic medicine. People usually administer Kratom by drinking it as a tea or putting the powder into capsules they can swallow.
Kratom Is Probably Addictive, Too
Long-term users anecdotally will describe the need for more Kratom to get a similar effect as before. This is evidence that people who use Kratom build a tolerance to the drug similar to opioids. Some people who try to quit Kratom have what is described as a "rebound effect." They feel much worse when they are off of it than on it. If they took Kratom for anxiety, for example, they might discover that without Kratom, they feel worse than they did before when they're anxious.
People also have reported that they have gone through withdrawal when ceasing the use of the substance. According to Poison control centers in the United States, seven infants were exposed to Kratom and were hospitalized. Five of these children experienced withdrawal effects when the Kratom left their system, suggesting that it is powerfully addictive.
Other side effects from Kratom include liver damage, trouble breathing, muscle pain, chills, vomiting, nausea, and constipation. All of these symptoms are similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms. More troubling effects reported by Kratom users included dizziness, hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions during use or withdrawal.
Due to these issues, Kratom use is not recommended by medical professionals or the addiction recovery community. If you or a loved one need help to get clean from opioids, there are safer, more recovery-affirming options available. Don't trade one addiction for another.
Consider Sober Living
Staying sober can be difficult during these times. A sober living home can help you stay focused and grounded as you start your new life in sobriety. Make friends and learn to live life on its terms. Learn more about your options by calling us at 760-216-2077 to learn more about our residence, amenities, and recovery activities. We're happy to answer any questions you may have.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all a lot about patience, loneliness, and resilience. No matter where you are in your recovery, you have managed to stay alive through this pandemic. Unfortunately, many people have had problems with being isolated or feeling despair. These feelings are natural, especially for the times we live in. Sometimes, though, it is hard to be patient. That’s why this article is about practicing patience. No one is perfect, and many people work on their character defects a day at a time.
Patience in the COVID-19 Era
Life man seems like it’s going in slow-motion, especially if you’re following the lockdown rules. The hardest part of the COVID-19 era for most people is the unknown.
Modern society hasn’t faced a pandemic like COVID-19, but your grandparents and great-grandparents may have lived through several epidemics. You’re living through history! While that may not be comforting, it shows how resilient you’ve become. You get up and face a day full of unknowns. You don’t drink or drug. You do your best. For many people – maybe even you – this doesn’t feel like enough. People feel like they have had to push the “hold button” in life, and time is slipping away.
Patience is an important quality to practice when you have to wait in lines or social distance. Everything that was once easy to do now takes more time!
It makes sense that learning how to be patient can help bring serenity to anxiety-provoking situations. But patience is always something you’ll need to use in your life. You’re powerless, after all, over other people, places, and things. And when you’re dealing with other people, especially employers or the government, impatience can worsen your life.
How to Practice Patience
Are you an impatient person? Are you quick to “freak out” or anger when you find out you have to wait for something you consider essential? Often people are impatient because they are anxious or upset about other things.
Here are some ways you can begin to practice patience in recovery:
- Do breathing exercises. Don’t focus on the situation but instead focus on how your body feels as you inhale and exhale deeply. Feel your belly extend and retract. Do this for at least ten full breaths (in and out) before you open your eyes again, if possible. Learn more about breathing exercises here.
- Say the serenity prayer. (Not everyone feels comfortable with prayer at this time, but if you believe in a higher power, the serenity prayer can help you let things go.) God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
- If you have to wait, plan to use the time wisely. There’s nothing wrong with taking a book to the DMV or doctor’s office and reading while you wait. Work on your step work, study for a class, or spend time doing something leisurely and relaxing like listening to meditation music. Distraction can help make waiting easier.
- If you lose your cool, apologize for it, and move on. Everyone gets upset once in a while, and nobody is perfect. Go ahead and apologize if you snap or blow up at somebody. We’re all human, and it’s okay to make mistakes.
Sober Living Options
Living with others in a structured, safe, empathetic environment can help newcomers build skills and learn life on its terms. Learn more about what sober living options are available to you by giving us a call.
Have you decided it’s time to spend more time on self-improvement this year? For many people in recovery, self-esteem is an ongoing issue. Many people with substance use disorders report having trouble with self-esteem. You may have struggled with it when you were younger or something in your life shook you that made it hard for you to feel good about yourself.
For some people, their self-image slowly chipped away as addiction changed them.
Whatever the case may be, there’s a good chance you can benefit from better self-esteem. Working on it slowly can help you begin to reclaim your negative thoughts about yourself and create a new narrative.
Self-Esteem Building Activities
What kinds of things help you grow your sense of self-esteem? Many different activities can help! Here are some ideas for you to try to help build your confidence and feel good about yourself:
- Learn a new skill. That may mean something for a workplace or it could be a skill like learning to listen actively. It’s always good to challenge yourself and realize you’re still able to learn something new.
- Build a new habit, such as going for a walk every day to clear your head. New habits help us engage fully with the world, and replace our older habits that aren’t as productive.
- Read a self-help book and try out some of the exercises.
- Practice being assertive if you’re timid. Let people know how you feel and ask for help when you need it. You deserve to get your needs met!
- Practice affirmations. Focus on challenging your negative beliefs about yourself. Write out statements about yourself that are positive and practice starting your day with them, every day.
- Ask for help. Asking for help opens the door for getting what you need out of recovery. If you’re feeling low or bad about yourself, talk about those feelings with others and ask for their experience, strength and hope.
As you stay sober longer, you’ll begin to value yourself again and build a new life in recovery. In recovery you’ll learn that you’re not a bad person, just a human with flaws and feelings like everybody else.
Recovery means you’re getting better every day. Take it a day at a time! You didn’t become addicted overnight, so you’re not going to be 100% perfect with your recovery overnight. Give yourself a chance and be gentle with yourself.
Getting Help Through Sober Living
Sober Living is a great way to build more confidence in yourself and your recovery. In a structured environment, you’ll learn more about how to stay sober on a daily basis. Learn more about what our sober housing offers by giving us a call at 760-216-2077.
By now, you’ve probably heard about how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle when you get clean and sober. It’s true that by treating your body well, you can heal from much of the damage you did to yourself while in your active addiction. Exercise is one of the most important things to help you get a boost! It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit to get exercise. Getting active in recovery can help you immensely improve the quality of your life.
Why is Exercise So Important in Recovery?
Exercise is an integral part of both physical and mental wellness. It can help you relieve stress and calm down from anxiety. A chemical process takes place when a person exercises. As their body begins to sweat and heartbeat increases, chemical such as oxytocin are released. (Oxytocin has shown to be released more frequently in mice that exercise every day, and they exhibit more empathetic behavior and seem less anxious.)
Seratonin, a feel-good chemical, is also released by exercise. It helps people with mental health disorders manage symptoms like depression and anxiety. Everyone in recovery needs a natural boost to help manage negative feelings.
Exercise helps us detox our bodies from the toxins of everyday life. It can help you soothe your anxiety and help regulate your blood pressure. Our bodies were meant to stay in motion, and exercise is the key to make that so.
Exercise for Beginners (and the Reluctant)
Not everyone who exercises finds that it comes easily. While some people may have participated in sports or fitness before their addictions, other people may never have had the opportunity to find an exercise they enjoy.
There aren’t many safe opportunities for in-person exercise classes right now due to COVID. You can, however, find online exercise classes. Check Eventbrite or Youtube for people who do live sessions for free or within your budget. There are also plenty of people who teach a yoga class or boxing online – and some of these sessions are live with an instructor! Also, consider taking up surfing, or swimming, daily. The sun gives you Vitamin D to ward off depression, too!
If you can’t find a sport or organized activity you enjoy, just walk. Walking has fantastic benefits as a cardiovascular exercise. It’s the perfect exercise for all ages and fitness levels, especially for people who haven’t exercised a lot. Make sure you wear a mask when you go out and that you have an exact, safe route you plan on taking. Walk with a socially-distanced sober partner if you can.
Living in a Sober Home in Recovery
Living in a sober home helps people new to recovery to bond and learn to have friendships without using substances.
Living with others in recovery and having structure is an important way to help build a solid foundation in sobriety. Activities such as group outings are common in our communities. We’ll help you learn how to have fun in recovery! Learn more about what our sober homes offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. By now, you’ve probably learned about tools to help you stay focused and motivated. Some days are easier than others in the journey. Everyone has their struggles, hopes, and dreams. What are some good ways, however, to make sure you stay on the path to success?
Stay Focused: Unplug a Little
We spend a lot of time doing countless small things that we don’t even think about, especially when it comes to media consumption.
How often do you check the news, scroll through Instagram, or read other people’s tweets? It’s the culture we live in. But the same culture that we live in is the culture that stresses us out. Much of the news is “bad news,” and many things that go viral on Twitter or Facebook are negative. And studies have shown that Instagram tends to make us feel inadequate, even though the photos we see aren’t even usually an accurate representation of life.
Try to limit your screen time and focus more on real-time and the people you talk to on the phone and care about at meetings. Focus on the people that help you with your recovery and less on things you can’t control.
Build Strong New Habits
Taking care of yourself is important, and it’s one of the things you’ll have to maintain in recovery. By building healthy habits, you’ll be able to create more success in life. These habits can help you stay focused and motivated.
What do I mean by strong habits? Simple things!
- Build-in self-care: Get up a half-hour earlier than you usually do so you can have some time to yourself in the morning. Use that time for self-care, such as meditating or exercising. You can even just use that time to doodle in your journal and enjoy your team or coffee. Starting your day with this focus helps you remember you’re on a path to recovery.
- Try to keep a schedule that centers your recovery. Sure, go to work in the morning, but start your day with meditations that help you focus on yourself. Take lunchtime to communicate with others in your support network or read your Big Book.
- Stick with your 12-step meetings no matter what. Having them online makes your excuses less viable. You can even use Zoom on your phone if you’re not at home.
- Take care of your health. In a pandemic, this means to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Take a COVID test if you travel or think you have been exposed. And if you have underlying health issues, continue to stay in close contact with your doctor.
- Practice being kind to others and gentle with yourself as well. Life isn’t always a bunch of roses or a giant ball of sunshine! Practice being kind by doing things for others – like doing the dishes, giving somebody a ride, buying milk without expecting anything back. Practice being kind to yourself by getting enough rest, accepting that you have flaws, and working hard on your recovery program.
Consider Sober Living
Sober living helps a lot of men and women stay focused on their new life in recovery. Have you considered sober living? Get in touch. We can answer any questions you may have at 760-216-2077.
Self-care rituals are a great way to take time to nurture yourself this winter. Whether you love the holiday season or hate it, this year will be different than most. This is especially true for people in recovery who are navigating a different world. Today, you have the tools to help you stay sober. Self-care is an important tool, especially during a stressful time such as pandemics and the holiday season.
Self-care isn’t just a buzz word. It’s an important recovery tool that can nourish your body, mind, and/or spirit. Finding things that can help provide this type of relief is important throughout recovery. Self-care rituals can be powerful tools for confidence-building and long-term sobriety.
Many people find that self-care is best as a routine or ritual. Think about it: you get up, you shower, brush your teeth, and you get dressed all to face the day. If you don’t do this ritual every day, you might feel out of step. You’ll probably feel awkward if you stop doing part of your ritual, such as brushing your teeth.
When you were active in your addiction, you probably stopped carrying out your rituals. Addiction gets in the way of life-affirming activity.
But when you are sober, your morning routine becomes a ritual you do without thinking about it too much. That’s because it helps you prepare to face the day.
Here are a few ideas for morning self-care rituals:
- Go for a jog or jump on the exercise bike for 10-15 minutes. You’ll wake up and get your mind moving as well, helping your body regulate your blood pressure and releasing feel-good chemicals.
- Do yoga or meditate. Some people do better with quiet and calm in the morning, especially to reduce anxiety. Take the first 15 minutes of your day to nurture yourself in quiet.
- Journal your hopes or goals about the coming week or day.
- Take a walk outside first thing, sit down, and practice mindfulness meditation.
- Drink some tea or coffee. Savor it while you read the news, watch a few funny cat videos, or work on a crossword puzzle.
- Recite affirmations to yourself. What are you working on changing today? What kind of person are you working to be? Focus on positive statements about yourself, such as “I am a hard-working man who is learning to be open and honest.”
- Write and think about your intentions for the day. What do you want to accomplish? What general goals do you have for the day, too? Do you want to speak up more in class or work on being more humble?
These are just some ideas for getting started with your day. Planning and living with purpose is an important approach to living in recovery. You’re in charge of a lot of things, including your own actions and reactions. Work your program, and stay sober. Most likely, the best is still yet to come.
Consider Sober Housing
Are you or somebody you love interested in sober housing? Living among others who are also in recovery can provide a way to create new friendships and find community among others who are sober. Get in touch to learn more about our programs at 760-216-2077.
Every year, thousands of people who live in California get a DUI. It’s one of the most costly consequences of alcohol abuse, yet incredibly common. Many people in recovery initially get sober due to a DUI and stay sober because it improves their lives immensely.
Monetary Costs of a DUI in California
For fines and court costs, California DUI fines can cost you anywhere from around $400 all the way up to $5000, depending on your conviction. Costs of a DUI can range depending on the circumstance when you were arrested. Here are a few scenarios that can impact your fines:
- Is there a minor or person under the age of 14 in your car? If there is a minor, especially a person under the age of 14 in your vehicle, there can be additional penalties.
- Aggravated DUI, where you have a blood alcohol of more than .20%, which is two and a half times the legal limit, has much harsher penalties.
- If you’re speeding or driving recklessly, there are harsher penalties as well.
- If you're convicted of a felony DUI a $3,000 fine and a four-year license suspension.
- If you are charged and convicted of a 4th DUI, you face up to 18 months in jail and $15,000 fine.
- Any injuries to other parties or property damage will cost more money in fines as well as jail or prison time in addition to your DUI.
- If you’re under the influence of another substance, whether it’s marijuana (which is legal, but not to drive under) or cocaine, which is totally illegal, you will face charges for those and fines, too.
- Missing work due to jail time can cost your family a loss of income, and you will have trouble finding work once you have a criminal record. Bail money comes out-of-pocket too.
- Classes and/or drug rehabilitation also can cost additional money as well as time off from work.
Aside from fines from a DUI conviction, you will probably incur other costs if you’re charged with a DUI. If you have a job, you’ll have to pay for your own attorney, which can cost upwards of $1000. You’ll probably have to pay for your own transportation on public transportation, Uber, or taxi to get to work. If you can’t pay for these things, your family may have to help you pay them, or you will stay in jail until trial.
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that can cause a lot of wreckage in your life. You don’t have to be alone! You CAN recover and learn to thrive in a community of people focused on recovery.
Sober living is a great experience where you can make new friends with others who share your goals and understand your experiences. Our residences are located in a walkable area with plenty of transportation and access to meetings.
Learn more about our communities by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Many people who get sober did so in the beginning because of legal troubles. The courts often sentence people with a DUI to 12-step meetings, drug education, fine and/or rehab. Not everyone who gets a DUI will change their ways. If you are sick and tired of the consequences of your alcohol use, you are more likely to seek recovery.
Once you have been sober for a while, you'll start to look forward to the future again. Drug treatment, therapy, and 12-step meetings provide you with a new strategy for life. However, even once you have completed rehab, you will still have to live with the consequences of your addiction. And if you have a DUI, you will also need to do what the government asks to comply with your probation.
Living With Humility After DUI
One thing that living with a DUI conviction can teach you is humility. Yes, you are sober now, but the consequences of your alcohol and/or drug use are apparent every day. Staying sober is the only way to avoid getting a DUI or drunk-in-public charge. And that makes the future up to you!
Being humble, asking for help, and doing what the court requires are critical aspects of your life in recovery. You're responsible for the damages you've caused and the laws you've broken. As a responsible member of society, it's up to you to accept this and do what is required to regain others' trust.
Dealing With The DUI Aftermath
Recovery is full of ups and downs. After you've completed the bulk of your treatment program, you may feel different and healthier. However, you can't expect family, friends, and society to believe you have changed without proof. It will take time to grow your relationships and regain trust. Taking responsibility is an essential aspect of this.
After a DUI, you will probably be on probation and have conditions to meet before you are allowed to get your driver's license back. If it were your first DUI, you'd be without your license for six months. Subsequent DUI's and offenses combined with it (such as a controlled substance or aggravated DUI), will cause you to lose your license for longer.
Go to the meetings your probation officer requires. Call when you are supposed to. Check-in with your sponsor and work on your recovery program.
Living Life On Its Terms
While it may be a challenge to deal with these consequences, they are YOUR consequences. If you owe fines, it's up to you to find a way to pay them. (And if your family pays them for you, it's your job to pay them back, no matter what!)
While you may feel like your DUI has held you back from some things in life, this too shall pass. In some cases, you may even be able to get a DUI expunged from your record.
Getting where you need to go is one logistic you'll need to overcome in recovery. It will be humbling to ask for rides or take Uber rides for long distances. However, you can also get along fine in the California weather without a car at all. Skateboard, jog, or bike wherever you choose once you're out of rehab. AA meetings and NA meetings are currently online due to COVID-19.
Ask for help when you need it, and keep doing the right thing for your recovery! Time will make all the difference. One thing for sure: You'll never get another DUI as long as you stay alcohol and drug-free.
Consider Sober Living
Are you looking for a safe and friendly sober living home? By the Sea is a great community to support your sobriety, with lots of public transportation nearby and centrally located to lots of jobs and schools. Read about how our sober living home supports DUI offenders here.
The support of others in your household can help you learn to live life on its own terms. Learn more about the benefits of sober living by getting in touch at 760-216-2077.
When you're new to recovery, you're told to get a sponsor and check in with them. Usually, you're given simple suggestions by your sponsor, such as attending a meeting every day or learning more about the first step. Choosing a new sponsor is easy when you're brand new to recovery – after all, anyone who's been sober a year or so has a lot of sobriety experience to share.
However, as time goes on, for whatever reason, you may end up switching sponsors. This can happen for various reasons, but hopefully, you're doing it for a cause that will help you change and grow.
When to NOT Switch Sponsors
If you're new to recovery, you may be skeptical of your first sponsor. After all, who are they to tell you what to think about or do?
A sponsor is a person who has knowledge of the 12 steps and staying sober in general. Typically, they will have a year or more of consistent sobriety. They will have also gone through some struggles and stayed sober. They usually have worked at least four or five of the 12 steps. (It's best if they've done all 12 – they'll have a lot of experience!)
For a newly sober person, your sponsor's sober experiences are a testament to the importance of the 12 steps. Your sponsor knows how to stay sober, but you don't quite know how to do it yourself. Listening to them will help you learn the basics.
Switching sponsors because you don't like their suggestions won't help you stay sober. In sobriety, you'll have to do some things that you don't like. Most people will give you step work and other tasks that you might find unpleasant and help you grow. So stick it out. You're worth it! Don't sabotage yourself because you're afraid of the challenges they give you. You're resilient.
There are many legitimate reasons you may want to switch sponsors.
You may feel like he or she is just a wrong fit, or maybe they are moving away from the area and won't be able to see you regularly. Sometimes you'll find that you don't feel that your sponsor has enough time for you.
You may even want to switch sponsors because you've found somebody you relate to. If you are gay, you'll feel more comfortable with another person who is LGBTQ. Or, you might simply relate to another person's story and feel like you want to learn to live like them! There are no requirements for choosing a sponsor, only suggestions! Sticking with your gender and somebody who has at least a year sober will help you avoid drama and focus on your recovery.
You don't have to tell your sponsor that you're looking for a new one right away. You may be worried that you'll hurt their feelings. Even if that were to happen, in recovery, you have to put your own needs first.
You can also always ask somebody to be your "temporary sponsor" until you find a permanent one. This way, you'll have a new friend that you can also check in with until you decide.
Getting Help for Addiction
In sober housing, you can be among your peers and learn to live life on its own terms. You’ll also develop meaningful friendships, learn to take responsibility, and learn to have fun in sobriety. Give us a call to learn if our programs are right for you. Reach out at 760-216-2077.