Fun Fall Activities to Support Recovery

Fall is in full swing bringing with it cooler weather, changing landscapes, and plenty of fun activities. Keeping yourself active this fall can support recovery, expose you to new opportunities, ward off boredom, and create lasting memories with family and friends. Trade in a pastime of drinking for healthier activities instead; you never know what might strike your interest.

  • Check out local fall festivals: Many towns hold parades, festivals, and special events to celebrate autumn and all that it brings. This can be a great way to get out of the house and do something fun with friends or family.
  • Go apple picking: ‘Tis the season and the trees are heavy with fruit just waiting to plucked and eaten or turned in to applesauce, pies, or cider.
  • Watch the leaves change: Take a hike and enjoy the beauty of nature. Breath in the crisp, cool air and check out the beauty of the fall foliage. It’s a perfect place to take pictures too.
  • Have a bonfire or picnic: Pack up some of your favorite snacks and have a picnic overlooking the city, the sea, the mountains, or your favorite escape. Toast marshmallows and make s’mores come evening for a tasty treat as you warm up next to the fire.
  • Try your hand at DIY: Get a head start on making your own holiday gifts, or create handmade décor for around your house. There are tons of projects online for all skill levels and interests. Let your creativity shine.

Find what works for you. Try activities you’ve never done before but always wanted to do. You never know when you’ll find your next hobby or tradition. Above It All can help you navigate addiction treatment and recovery so that you can make the most of your future. Regain control of your life and prove to yourself that recovery is possible.

[cta] Leave a comment and let us know what your favorite fall activities are! [/cta]

5 Tips for Taking Thanksgiving in Stride

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends and reflect on all of things you are thankful for. However, as with any holiday, it can come with its share of stress and challenging situations. For those in recovery, that means having to be especially diligent about planning and staying proactive in reducing risk of relapse. Here are a few ways that you can make the most of Thanksgiving without sacrificing the progress you’ve made:

  1. Attend a meeting before or after get-togethers: Get yourself in the right frame of mind and feeling more confident by connecting with others in recovery around the holidays. Reaffirm your commitment to your recovery.
  2. Have a plan: What will you do if there is alcohol is available? What if a difficult relative shows up? What if you’re ready to leave? Plan ahead so you know how you’ll deal with stress, temptation, and other challenges in a healthy manner.
  3. Focus on gratitude: Instead of thinking about the things you’re not doing any more, focus on the things you are doing. Reflect on the progress you’ve made and how your life has changed for the better. Tell others how much you appreciate them and the support they have provided.
  4. Create new traditions: If your old tradition was to drink and watch football on Thanksgiving, start a new tradition instead. Take a walk as a family, play games, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find a different way to celebrate that is meaningful to you.
  5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling: Listen to your body and mind. If you’re hungry, bored, lonely, angry, or tired, take steps to change things before they lead to temptation. Stay away from triggers and know when it’s time for a change of pace or scenery.

Empower yourself over your recovery with support from Above It All. Get the personalized help you need to turn your life around and embrace a lifestyle of recovery.

[cta] If you’re struggling with addiction this holiday season, turn to Above It All for comprehensive treatment. [/cta]

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

When it comes to addiction, many people think of substances like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, opiates, and prescription drugs. However, nicotine is an addictive substance as well, and smoking can take a serious toll on your health. Some people smoke in addition to using other drugs or drinking, enhancing their risk of health complications. According to the American Cancer Society “tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States.”

Making the decision to quit smoking can have a positive impact on your life almost immediately. Within just 20 minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and within 12 hours your blood’s carbon monoxide level returns to normal. In less than one day you are already turning your health around for the better.

Over the next few days, weeks, and months of not smoking, you are reducing your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart disease, cancer, and more. You’ll begin to notice that you can breathe better, are not coughing as much, and have more endurance when doing physical activities. After five to 15 years of not smoking, your risk of developing certain cancers and heart conditions are the same as those of nonsmokers. It may take a while, but you can get there.

Another benefit of not smoking is increased savings. Calculate how much money you spend on cigarettes each week, and then think about everything else you could be putting this money toward – bills, savings, vacation, education, or something else you’ve had your eye on. In addition, foods will taste better, your sense of smell will improve, and you’ll start looking and feeling better.

As with any addiction, there is a period of withdrawal when you quit smoking. However, you can cope with these challenges in a safe, supervised detox program at Above It All while in treatment and recovery for substance use. Make the choice to turn your life around for the better and improve your health, well-being, and future, by quitting smoking (and other substance use) today.

[cta] Receive the support you need to quit smoking while in addiction recovery at Above It All. [/cta]

Keeping Cravings in Check

One of the ongoing challenges of addiction recovery is coping with drug and alcohol cravings. Individuals must resist the desire to give in to these temptations and instead find healthier ways of coping. It is important to remember that experiencing cravings is a normal part of recovery. The urges will diminish in strength and frequency over time. When a craving hits, remind yourself that it will pass, usually within about 15 minutes, and you do not have to give in. You will be okay.

Here are a few ideas for things you can do to keep cravings in check and wait it out until they pass:

  • Keep busy to distract yourself from thinking about it. Work on a crossword puzzle, listen to music, knit, shoot hoops, go for a run, or play a computer or video game.
  • Accept it. Journal about how you are feeling and face your craving head on. You’ll be able to better recognize the feeling and realize that you are in control. You may also choose to talk about it with someone close to you who can help you stay accountable.
  • Incorporate foods in your diet that may help reduce cravings such as whole grains, salmon, peanut butter, bananas, and walnuts. Try to eat at regular intervals to stabilize your blood sugar and keep yourself feeling full.
  • Change locations to somewhere free from triggers. Removing yourself from one environment and focusing on another can help you reassess and collect yourself. It can also be a healthy distraction.
  • Practice meditating when cravings strike to clear your mind and feel more in control. Meditating can be very relaxing and soothing when dealing with the stress of cravings.

Above It All supports clients in developing personalized relapse prevention plans that fit their needs and lifestyle. Clients are equipped with the tools and strategies to make healthy decisions and cope with cravings so they can focus on making the most of their future. Take back control of your life at Above It All and start your journey to long-term recovery.

[cta] Learn how to cope with cravings and other challenges surrounding addiction recovery at Above It All. Call today to get started. [/cta]

Changing the Language of Addiction and Recovery

The language used when discussing substance use and addiction matters. Certain words can give a positive, negative, or neutral impressions. Labeling individuals as “addicts” or “junkies” enhances the stigma around substance use disorders and can deter people from seeking the treatment they need for recovery. Medical providers, community leaders, family, and friends all need to think twice about what terminology is used to discuss substance use disorders and the image that it presents.

Addiction is a disease, but one that is manageable. You wouldn’t talk down about someone with heart disease or diabetes and shame people away from getting help, so why should these issues occur with addiction? Instead, we should be using language that promotes understanding and supports recovery. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2014 there were approximately 22.5 million individuals in need of treatment for substance use disorders, but only 2.6 million received the care they need. It’s time to break down the barriers that language creates.

Here are a few ways you can change the way you talk about addiction and recovery:

  • Use “substance use disorder” as opposed to “abuse” or “dependence.” You can also use “misuse” instead of “abuse”.
  • Use person-first language: a person with a substance use disorder or struggling with addiction, not an addict, junkie, druggie, etc.
  • Refrain from using “dirty” or “clean” when talking about drug use; instead say someone is in active addiction or is substance-free or in recovery.

In general, stop to think about what you are saying and how it may be perceived. It will take time to create change when it comes to weeding out stigmatizing language, but every voice counts. Start by changing how you talk about substance use disorders and recovery and then encourage others to do the same.

If someone you love is struggling with addiction, turn to Above It All to help them get the treatment they need for recovery. There is hope and recovery is possible.

[cta] Don’t let social stigmas keep you from getting the help you need. Turn to Above It All for comprehensive addiction treatment. [/cta]

Interest in Naloxone and Opiate Addiction Treatment Growing

Over the past few years, the term “opiate addiction” is one that has taken center stage. It has garnered increased attention from medical professionals, addiction treatment providers, researchers, lawmakers, and the general public due to the fact that addiction and overdose rates have skyrocketed. More than 27,000 people die each year from opiate overdoses.

This is a cause for alarm. Lawmakers and medical professionals are stepping up, calling for improved education about licit and illicit opioids and the risks they can pose. More training is being demanded for doctors in addiction risk, diagnosis, and treatment. The public is also striving to learn more and be proactive when it comes to opiate addiction.

Week-over-week, Google searches for “addiction treatment” have increased by 22 percent. This should not come as a surprise due to the fact that opiate addiction has reached epidemic levels. According to the American Society of Addictive Medicine, in 2014 “1.9 million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 586,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.” These drugs led to nearly 30,000 overdose deaths in 2014.

Fighting Back Against Opiate Addiction

Americans are taking a vested interest in addressing the problem. Opiate addiction is treatable. It is possible to live a meaningful and fulfilling life in recovery. Above It All Treatment Center provides clients with the comprehensive care and services necessary for recovery. From safe, supervised detox and evidence-based therapies through holistic treatment and ongoing support, clients can turn their lives around. Therapy and counseling helps individuals to identify underlying problems and risk factors for opiate addiction and effectively address these issues.

Medical professionals are also becoming more cautious about prescribing powerful pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone. Prescription drugs do not have to be a first-line defense; treatments such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, meditation, hot/cold therapy, and over-the-counter medications are being incorporated into treatment more often. Many people find these approaches to be beneficial in relieving pain while reducing risk of addiction to opiates.

Some of these same techniques are also integrated into addiction treatment programs. These complementary therapies may support clients in achieving better physical, mental, and emotional health as they progress in recovery. These methods may help ward off relapse and promote more positive mental health as well.

Naloxone: Saving Lives

With the rise of the opiate epidemic, there has also been more talk about naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses. Google searches for naloxone have recently increased by 160 percent. As stories emerge about the impact of this drug and how it can save lives, they want to know more about it. Being revived by naloxone can be a wake-up call to the need to seek professional treatment for opiate addiction at a facility like Above It All.

Naloxone works by replacing opioids in the brain’s opioid receptors. This can help to reverse an overdose within minutes depending on the amount of opiates taken. While it used to be that only doctors and medical personnel could administer naloxone, it is now more widely available to the public as well. Common brands include Narcan and Evzio. Nasal sprays and auto injectors make it easier for individuals such as family, friends, or first responders to administer this recue drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27,000 overdoses have been reversed since 1996.

In some states individuals can purchase naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription. In other areas a prescription can be provided to individuals who are on prescription pain relievers, or have experienced an opiate overdose in the past. Family members can often get it as well in case of an emergency. Understanding how and when to administer naloxone can save a person’s life and allow them to seek emergency medical treatment in the event of an overdose.

Treating Opiate Addiction

The increased focus on the opiate epidemic and naloxone shed light on the need for improved access to addiction treatment and reduced stigmas regarding addiction.  Substance use disorders are commonly regarded as a disease and part of mental health disorders due to how they interact with the brain and its function. Talking about addiction and the effectiveness of current treatment programs can help individuals to overcome these challenges and reduce their risk of overdose and relapse.

Above It All works with clients to develop an individualized treatment plan aligned with their unique needs. Everyone is affected by addiction differently and responds to various treatment approaches in their own way. Above It All provides comprehensive care that addresses physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of addiction and recovery.

If you or a loved one is taking prescription opioids, it is essential to understand the risk for and warning signs of addiction. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If you are concerned about a loved one, take action. Let them know that you are concerned and encourage them to seek treatment. Support their recovery efforts and do your part to create a safe environment and strengthen communication.

You can also stand up for legislation that supports addiction treatment, prevention measures such as prescription databases, and increased awareness to break down stigmas and reduce misconceptions. Get involved and educate yourself and others; every voice and every vote counts.

Historically, only a small percentage of those in need of addiction treatment actually obtain it. With an increase in addiction-related searches, perhaps more people are taking notice and recognizing the seriousness of the opiate epidemic. It is essential that people realize that there is help available for opiate addiction. At Above It All, clients are supported through detox and engage in treatment that fits their needs. Overdoses are often unintentional, but treatment can help reduce risk and empower clients to live a healthier, more fulfilling life in recovery.

If you are concerned about your own well-being or that of a loved one and want to learn more about how treatment at Above It All can help, contact us today. Learn more about how you can build a brighter future in recovery.

[cta] Take action against opioid addiction and get yourself or a loved one effective addiction treatment at Above It All. [/cta]

Celebrating Halloween in Sobriety

Halloween can be an exciting time for kids and adults alike. It’s a time to dress up, have fun, and spend time laughing with friends. Halloween celebrations don’t have to compromise your recovery, and just because you’re in recovery doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. By spending a little time planning ahead, you can make sure you’re ready when Halloween rolls around.

  • Stick with substance-free activities: Keep yourself distracted and active by taking your kids trick-or-treating or going to a family-friendly event. You can enjoy time with your family and take comfort in knowing that drugs and alcohol won’t be part of the scene.
  • Accept party invites carefully: You don’t need to go to every party just because you’re invited. If you know drugs and alcohol will be present and there will be pressure or temptation to join in, politely decline. If you do go to a party, take care of getting your own drink – and keeping an eye on it – so you know no alcohol will be involved. Also, always have a plan for how you will leave so you’re not stuck in an uncomfortable or tempting situation.
  • Choose an alternate celebration: Who says you have to go to a party? Invite friends to go on a ghost tour or haunted hayride or to Halloween at the local amusement park. You could also stay in with popcorn and a stash of candy watching scary movies with friends.

There are plenty of ways that you can celebrate without putting your recovery in jeopardy. Prove to yourself that you can have fun without drugs or alcohol. If you need additional support or encouragement, attend a meeting beforehand to reaffirm your commitment to your recovery and talk through your concerns. Above It All supports clients with ongoing recovery through life skills and planning programs, sober living, and relapse prevention planning. If relapse does occur, Above It All is here to help you get back on track.

[cta] Join in the conversation on Facebook and let us know how you plan to celebrate Halloween in recovery this year! [/cta]

Starting the Conversation: Talking About Substance Use Prevention with Kids

As a parent, you play an important role in your child’s development. Whether you realize it or not, your kids are always watching and listening. They base a lot of their decisions on what they see, hear, and are taught by you. Making substance use prevention a regular part of conversation and modeling healthy behaviors is essential. It’s almost Red Ribbon Week, so get the discussion started.

Keep the Conversation Going

Talking about drugs and alcohol should not be a once-a-done conversation; it should be an ongoing discussion. Learning takes repetition. Use teachable moments to bring up substance use and let your children’s questions and answers guide the way. When you’re watching television or a movie, talk about the character’s choices and their consequences. Do they try to make drinking or smoking look cool? What makes it unhealthy and dangerous? The same goes for stories you hear on the news or things you see out in the community. Talk about them.

Set Expectations and Consequences

Let your children know that drug use and underage drinking are not acceptable. Establish clear consequences and be proactive in helping your children stay involved in activities that build their self-esteem and promote healthy decision making. Talk about how drugs and alcohol can lead to risky decisions and legal problems. How it can get them kicked off of sports teams or out of clubs, and they could lose their license. They’ll also face consequences at home.

Be a Positive Role Model

Pay attention to your own behaviors and conversations regarding drugs and alcohol. Show your children that you use these substances responsibly or not at all. Talk about the risks of addiction and how recovery is possible through addiction treatment. Break down stigmas about addiction and clear up any misconceptions your children may have.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, seek treatment. Above It All can help you make your well-being a priority and show your children that change is possible and there are healthier ways of dealing with challenging situations than drugs or alcohol. Start the conversation today.

[cta] Make recovery a part of your discussion by seeking treatment for substance use disorders at Above It All. [/cta]

What Should You Look for in a Rehab Facility?

Making a resolution to seek addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one is a major decision. Another significant choice is deciding where this treatment will occur. There are thousands of addiction treatment programs and centers available, so how do you know which one is right for you?

Remember that no two people are exactly the same. What worked for a relative, colleague, or friend, may not be the best choice for you. Their situation may have been completely different. Do your research and ask questions to find a program that fits your needs and goals while providing high quality care. Here are a few things to consider:

  • It is a licensed or accredited facility? What type of training or licensure does the staff have?
  • What kind of results should you expect? What are the program’s goals?
  • What approaches to treatment are used?
  • What does aftercare or relapse prevention planning look like?
  • What types of treatment are available? Are mental health or co-occurring disorders treated?
  • Is treatment tailored to your individual needs?

Every facility will be slightly different, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure that you are comfortable with the answers provided. You want to be confident in the care you are receiving. Above It All provides a full continuum of care from initial intervention services and detox through connecting clients with sober living options for continued progress in recovery. Clients are supported along each step of the way and engage in evidence-based and holistic therapies that promote physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual healing.

In addition, treatment plans at Above It All are tailored to meet each client’s individual needs. Clients receive treatment and support that align with where they are in recovery and their individual goals. Make sure when choosing a rehab facility that it focuses on your unique needs as there is no blanket solution to addiction recovery.

[cta] Curious about whether Above It All is the right fit for you? Contact us today to learn more and we’ll address any questions you may have. [/cta]