Working Through Recovery Setbacks


Unfortunately, many people experience setbacks during recovery. This doesn’t mean it will happen to you, but if it does there are steps you can take to ensure a slip-up doesn’t completely derail your hard-won sobriety. Your first step is to remind yourself why you decided to begin recovery in the first place – and the many “good days” you have to look forward to in sobriety. Here are a few more tips to help you better handle any setbacks along the way: Take responsibility. Blaming someone else for your actions won’t make you feel better and it certainly won’t help […]

5 Things You Gain in Addiction Recovery

5 Things You Gain in Addiction Recovery

Especially during early recovery, it’s tough to believe that you’ll ever feel better. But as you begin to heal your whole self, the mental, physical and spiritual gains are plenty. Here are a few ways that addiction recovery can improve your health and overall outlook on life. Increased energy. Recovery affords you the time to find healthy activities and hobbies to make you feel energized and alive. Plus, you’ll have no more hangovers and you’ll learn healthier habits to ensure a good night’s sleep. Better appearance. Addiction can take a big toll on your appearance. Luckily, even a few weeks […]

What Is a Relapse Prevention Plan?


Think of a relapse prevention plan as your guide to living an addiction-free life. It’s a recovery roadmap that helps you maintain your sobriety, achieve your goals and create the life you’ve always wanted. During residential treatment, a client works one-on-one with a case manager or counselor to create a relapse prevention plan tailored to suit his or her needs. Each relapse prevention plan contains a few elements: 1. Your Reasons Why You Want to Be Sober or Clean Acknowledging the “why” behind your decision to be sober or clean enables you to understand why recovery is important to you. […]

5 Ways Addiction Impacts Families


Substance abuse damages a person’s physical, mental and spiritual health, but families and close friends of someone struggling with substance use disorder aren’t immune to negative consequences either. It’s common to become so wrapped up in a loved one’s addiction that you forget to think about how it’s affecting you, which can cause lasting damage to family dynamics if unaddressed. 1. It causes isolation. Substance use can seriously impact a person’s cognitive functioning, judgment and sense of self. They may be embarrassed by their substance use, to the point where they begin to withdraw from friends and family and retreat […]

Can Peer Recovery Coaches Keep Patients Engaged in Addiction Recovery?


Boston Medical Center (BMC) recently launched a program to improve engagement among patients in recovery from opioid use disorder. Project RECOVER (Referral, Engagement, Case management and Overdose preVention Education in Recovery) will connect people who have been in outpatient treatment for a minimum of 6 months with trained peer recovery coaches. There isn’t a lot of existing research on this subject, so the program will serve as a study of the long-term benefits of peer recovery coaches and how they may or may not help patients achieve sustained recovery. Although the United States is grappling with the opioid epidemic, which […]

Recognizing the Signs of Relapse


Completing an addiction treatment program is a huge accomplishment, but the hard part isn’t over. In fact, it’s only beginning. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people will experience at least one relapse, and the transition from treatment back into the community is a time where the risk of relapse is at its highest. Relapse isn’t a sign of failure. It’s a part of recovery, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken any less seriously. Relapse can be really dangerous, especially for someone who has abstained from substance use for a long time. Once you’ve lost your […]

Self-Care: Your Most Valuable Tool In Recovery


Taking care of yourself may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it’s something many people struggle with or neglect entirely, especially those in active addiction. When someone is drinking or using drugs, the substance becomes their priority, and physical and mental well-being fall to the wayside. Self-care is in our best interest, but many people – especially those in recovery – are resistant to it. That resistance stems from a lack of awareness. People who have a substance use disorder may be dealing with feelings of guilt, shame, depression or low-self esteem as a result of family-of-origin issues, […]

5 Ways for Families to Support Their Loved One in Recovery


Early recovery is challenging both for the person in recovery and their loved ones. Addiction is a family disease, and family involvement in recovery is beneficial for everyone. However, those struggling with addiction often isolate themselves from family and loved ones, even though it’s a time where they need that connection most. It’s so helpful for family members to get involved with their loved one’s recovery, as long as it’s appropriate. Demonstrating your support lays the groundwork for lifelong sobriety. 1. Be patient. Recovery is full of changes, and it can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Your loved one may […]

Enabling: Are You Helping or Hurting Your Loved One’s Recovery?


Addiction is a disease that impacts the entire family and disrupts family dynamics. As a family member of someone with substance use disorder, you walk a very challenging line between offering unwavering support and getting your loved one the help they deserve. How you respond to your loved one’s behavior is critical in supporting their recovery. Some will try to control or change their loved one’s destructive behavior, while others will be in denial or try to rationalize it. While each of these attempts to cope may come from a well-intentioned place, it often ends up creating more harm than […]

Healthy Boundaries: What They Are & How to Set Them


Healthy boundaries are critical to establishing healthy relationships, especially when a relationship involves someone who is struggling with substance use disorder. Boundaries set expectations as to what behavior you find acceptable and what you do not. Boundaries that are too strict or too relaxed can be harmful in their own ways, so it’s crucial to strike a healthy balance between the two. There are three stages of setting and maintaining a boundary: Defining the boundary. Setting the boundary. Maintaining the boundary. Boundaries are a two-way street. You have to feel comfortable establishing your own, but able to respect the boundaries […]