Choosing a Life in Recovery with Help from Above It All

No one grows up picturing themselves spending time in a drug and alcohol rehab facility. No one plans to become addicted, and yet it happens to so many people. You realize that your life has turned in a direction that you never expected and you wonder what you’re doing. You may see the hurt and fear in your family’s eyes; their concern for your well-being. And so you decide that it is time to reach out for help. Above It All is here with open arms to support you along every step of the way.

The team at Above It All understands the challenges you are facing and your fears about rehab. When you feel like you can’t go any further, we provide the support you need to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward. You can learn from others who have been in your shoes and walked that same path. People who have committed themselves to recovery and turned their lives around.

At Above It All, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to succeed and establish a substance-free lifestyle. You’ll be able to develop effective coping strategies to handle the emotions that arise with sobriety and the feelings you tried for so long to numb or push away. And Above It All will be by your side through each stage of recovery.

You deserve another chance. You deserve to experience a new way of living. Drugs and alcohol do not have to control your life; take back control and overcome the feelings of hopelessness and despair. Above It All empowers you to make the changes that can save your life. All you have to do is call. Hear stories from real clients and staff at Above It All on our YouTube channel, and subscribe today to ensure you never miss a video of hope and inspiration.




I was on a bus going to work, dope sick and ready to commit suicide the day before.

Alcohol was always on the table, benzodiazepines, I really enjoyed crystal meth and cocaine.

During the end the typical day would be trying to get something down and going to the bathroom and just dry heave, eyes watering and looking in that mirror and saying “what the hell are you doing?… What the hell are you doing?”

When someone comes into the treatment center, they are completely broken. They are ashamed, they’ve hit the bottom.

I remember sitting there and researching rehabs online, and thinking “I can’t believe that I have to do this… I’m not that person, you know? I am so much better than this. How can this be happening to me?”

You can see everybody’s pain and tears and how you’re tearing everybody apart and it hurts… but you don’t know how to stop.

I called my mom and I could not stop crying. I could not. Every time I would hear her voice I could not stop freaking crying. At that point she said “Okay, we need you to get help.” The next day I was in Above It All.

You need to have someone to be there for you. It’s hand in hand. Someone to pick you up when you are about ready to fall and you don’t think you can go any further. And I’ll be there to give you that hand.

Your best thing is what got you in all that trouble. So you have to take some kind of direction from somebody that’s walked this path before you.

For an addict to live in the developmental stages of recovery, to live without substances… illicit substances is very difficult. It’s like a mountain climber climbing a frigid mountain without any tools. So essentially, I come in and I provide those tools.

The first little while, that’s very difficult. There’s all these emotions that start coming back, you start feeling things and you just want to numb those feelings. You know? That’s very hard in the initial 30, 60, 90 days is very hard because you get off the drugs and then your feelings start coming back and you are thinking about all the things you’ve done and all the people you’ve hurt and then it really hurts you, you know?

Kory is, he is, phenomenal. He goes so far and above and beyond what is required. He wants everyone to have the ultimate experience.

Within two days you start to see a difference. Within a week a huge difference and in just a matter of days or weeks it’s totally amazing. Totally amazing.

If you don’t want that feeling of hopelessness and despair, Above It All saved my life.

Make the call and you know, jump in with both feet.

You’re a beautiful person and you deserve to have a new life and have an experience.

All you have to do is make the call, you know? All you have to do is make the call and it’ll save your life.

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Is Your Drinking Becoming Problematic? Recognizing Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

Not everyone who drinks develops alcoholism or a substance use disorder. There are many people who can go out and have a drink with friends and be done with it. They don’t need to have alcohol to be social or to wind down after a long day. If they do drink, they only have one or two, then stop. However, sometimes people have a hard time knowing their limit and keep drinking more or more frequently. Before they know it, their drinking can become problematic and lead to more serious issues such as alcoholism.

Substance use disorders are not something to be taken lightly. They can take a major toll on your health and quality of life. In addition, they also impact those around you. Addiction does not exist in a silo. However, Above It All can help you to turn your life around and overcome addiction. You can get the support you need to quit drinking and stay on the road to long-term recovery. Your family can also get help and together you can rebuild your life and create stronger, healthier relationships and routines.

But the first step is recognizing when your drinking is becoming problematic and taking action.

Signs Your Drinking is Becoming Problematic

Drinking often and in greater quantities that can be a red flag.

  • You drink more than you used to or more often.

What started as one drink after work has turned into several drinks. You may justify it to yourself saying, “Just one more,” but one more turns into a few more. Or perhaps you only used to drink on weekends and now you’re drinking on weeknights too. Overall, the amount of alcohol that you’re consuming has gone up.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends no more than four drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week for men, and no more than three drinks per day and no more than seven drinks per week for women.

  • You need to drink more to feel the same effects.

In time, your body develops a tolerance to alcohol. In order to feel the same effects, you have to drink greater quantities. Some people mistakenly believe that having a higher tolerance is a good thing, but it actually puts them at greater risk because they may not be aware of exactly how much they’re really drinking. If you’re developing a tolerance, it could be a red flag that your drinking is becoming problematic and it’s time to seek help.

  • You’ve tried to cut back or stop drinking on your own but it hasn’t worked.

Have you tried to stop drinking but always ended up starting again? Not being able to quit despite your best efforts can be a sign of addiction. However, entering treatment for addiction can provide you with the strategies and support you need to stay sober.

  • Your drinking is negatively influencing your education, career, family, or more.

Have friends or family expressed their concerns about your drinking? Do they not enjoy being around you when you’re under the influence? Alcoholism can also take a toll on your job if you’re calling out sick a lot, showing up late, missing deadlines, or not performing as well as you used to. This may not seem like much at first, but it can build over time.

  • Drinking is your go-to when you’re stressed, bored, upset, celebrating, etc.

Do you always have a drink in hand or think about drinking? If you use alcohol as your main way to relax and unwind, feel more comfortable in social settings, or deal with challenges, this can be unhealthy. You can easily end up drinking more than you intended. It is essential to find other ways of coping and healthier ways to reduce stress.

  • You’re having trouble with your memory.

Forgetting someone’s name or what you went into a room for happens to everyone now and again. But excessive drinking can lead to more serious problems. If you have trouble remembering what you did the night before, are blacking out, or just feel as though your mind is always hazy, it’s time to get help for addiction.

  • You experience symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking.

After you stop drinking, you may feel dizzy, nauseous, or restless. Your muscles may tremble, you may get sweaty, and you may have trouble sleeping. These are just a few of the signs of withdrawal, and a major sign of problematic drinking. With proper treatment, you don’t have to always feel sick, tired, or hungover.

Overcoming Addiction

If your drinking has become problematic, there is help available. Above It All offers comprehensive treatment from inpatient to outpatient to recovery support and more, allowing you to enter into long-term recovery and build a brighter future. You can figure out what works best for you and implement new strategies and routines to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t have to be controlled by addiction, and drinking doesn’t have to be a part of your life to have fun or relax.

If someone you love is exhibiting these signs, let them know that you’re concerned and you want to see them get better. Provide support and encouragement to help them get into the treatment program that’s right for them. Holding an intervention can be helpful if they are in denial or other attempts to talk to them about entering treatment have been unsuccessful.

There is life after addiction, and Above It All can help you to better see what your future holds. Learn to reduce temptation and cravings, create a healthier lifestyle, build a strong support system, and reduce your risk for relapse. Recovery is possible at Above It All, and we want to help you make the most of your future and live free from addiction.

[cta] Is your drinking taking a toll on your life? Contact Above It All today to learn more about how we can help you turn things around for the better. [/cta]

The High Cost of Addiction

There is no denying that addiction can come with a high price tag. Drugs and alcohol are not cheap, especially when used in excess. Addiction can quickly eat away at a person’s paycheck and savings. In addition, there are associated costs as well. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance abuse racks up “more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.”

Monetary expenses are not the only costs associated with addiction, however. It can take toll on all aspects of a person’s life.

  • Health: Drugs and alcohol may contribute to risk of heart disease, liver disease, mental health problems, several types of cancer, and more. Individuals are also at greater risk of illness or injury while under the influence. This can result in poorer health and increased spending on healthcare.
  • Career: Addiction can seriously impair productivity and decision making. Employees may end up calling off more often or showing up late as a result of drug or alcohol use. Individuals may lose their job, have trouble keeping a job, or be passed over for promotions or other opportunities due to the effects of untreated addiction.
  • Family: Addiction takes a toll on the whole family. It can strain relationships, tax finances, break trust, and create unstable environments for children. Family members may feel stressed trying to handle the effects of addiction and not let it negatively impact their lives.

Friends may start to distance themselves because they don’t like who the individual becomes when they’re under the influence. People may find that addiction racks up high costs that go beyond finances and transform their lives in a way they ever expected. Addiction treatment at Above It All can help people to turn their lives around and rebuild relationships in recovery. They can get back to pursuing their goals and living a healthier lifestyle. It’s not too late to get help at Above It All.

[cta] Tired of the negative impact addiction is having on your life? Contact Above It All today to start your journey to recovery. [/cta]

What Are Protective and Risk Factors in Addiction?

There is not a single cause of addiction. It does not stem solely from genetics or environment. It results from a culmination of different factors. Many of these factors are viewed as either protective or risk factors. Protective factors are elements that reduce a person’s risk of engaging in substance use or developing an addiction. Risk factors are elements that make them more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as substance use.

Many factors can either work for or against an individual depending on how they are presented. For instance:

Parental Involvement: If a parent is very involved in their child’s life, they maintain open and honest communication, set rules and expectations, and create a safe, nurturing environment, this works in the child’s favor. They are less likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol. However, if a parent is not around much, treats them poorly and is not supportive, doesn’t enforce rules, or uses drugs or alcohol themselves, this can increase a child’s risk.

Substance Availability: Drugs and alcohol should be kept out of sight and out of reach of children. If parents are using these substances, they should be doing so responsibly and setting a good example. When youth have easy access to addictive substances, it can increase their risk of use.

Environment: It is a good idea for youth to be involved in activities that promote self-esteem, self-confidence, and healthy decision making. They should be surrounded by people who support them and care about their well-being. Very unstructured, unpredictable, or unsupportive environments can act as risk factors. Children may feel more pressure or temptation to try drugs or alcohol. They may not understand the dangers.

Above It All helps clients to overcome challenges that have contributed to their substance use and create a sustainable lifestyle in recovery. Individuals can be more proactive in their own recovery and preventing loved ones from developing addictions.

[cta] If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get the treatment you need at Above It All so you can be a more positive role model. [/cta]

Benefits of Volunteering in Recovery

Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process. Once you have completed a treatment program, that doesn’t mean the work is over. You must find ways to continue implementing what you have learned to sustain healthier routines, keep a positive attitude, and reduce risk of relapse. One activity that many people in recovery find beneficial is volunteering.

Volunteering keeps you active and gives you something to look forward to. Boredom and isolation are common triggers for relapse, but by volunteering you are getting out into the community and keeping yourself busy. It can also challenge your mind and help you to focus on things other than substance use.

Choosing an organization or activity that you are passionate about also helps you to find a greater sense of purpose. Your time is spent making a difference, whether it’s serving meals, sorting donations, taking care of animals, or promoting environmental awareness. Pick an activity or organization that you are proud to stand behind.

You’re making a difference in others’ lives by volunteering. Think about how many people have helped you throughout your life; now it’s your turn to give back and help others. You never know how much your efforts may change someone’s life.

While you’re volunteering you’ll also be learning new things and building connections with others. This can help you to develop job skills and life skills. Networking can get your foot in the door for potential job opportunities. Volunteering can help you to feel more confident about your ability to hold yourself accountable, be on time, complete tasks, and hold down a job. It can be very empowering to see that you’re making a difference and doing something positive with your life.

Above It All can help you get on the road to recovery through treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. You’ll learn valuable strategies for recovery and relapse prevention that you can use for the rest of your life. It can be the first step in turning your life around for the better.

[cta] Share your story of how volunteering has helped your recovery! How do you recommend others get started? [/cta]

Why Now is the Right Time for Recovery

If you’re looking for the “perfect” time to enter treatment for addiction, you’re never going to find it. You have to decide that now is the right time and make your recovery a priority. If you think about it enough, you can find a million-and-one reasons to delay treatment and why right now just isn’t a good time.

  • You can’t take the time off necessary for treatment.
  • It is too expensive.
  • It costs too much.
  • You can stop on your own.
  • You have X coming up at work/school/home that you need to do.
  • Rehab doesn’t work.

These are all things you’re telling yourself to justify not seeking treatment. These are all things that can be overcome and should not act as barriers to your health and well-being. September is National Recovery Month and a great time to reflect on why getting treatment for addiction is so important.

Delaying treatment can make things worse: The longer you wait, the more damage you are doing to your body, your relationships, your career, your finances, your future, and more. It only takes one time to overdose on drugs. Is it really worth risking your life over whatever reason you have for putting off treatment when recovery is within your reach? Effective treatment is available and can help you turn your life around.

Choosing to get help now can lead to a brighter future: Why continue to struggle when you can start your journey toward recovery and achieving your goals and dreams? The sooner you enter addiction treatment, the sooner you can start implementing positive changes in your life. Looking back on how far you have come can be very rewarding. You’ll be opening new doors for yourself and living a more fulfilling life.

Above It All can help you to get there. All you have to do is call, and we’ll help you with the rest. Recovery is possible. Make the choice to turn your life around today and enter addiction treatment.

[cta] Don’t put off addiction treatment any longer. Call Above It All today to make a change and get the help you need to overcome addiction. [/cta]

Tips to Avoid Enabling Addiction

It can be incredibly hard to watch someone you love struggle. You want to do whatever you can to help them and save them from this pain. However, this often only serves to enable your loved one to continue their pattern of substance use and doesn’t lead to necessary changes.

Signs of Enabling

Some people don’t even realize that they are enabling addiction. They fail to see the connection between their actions and their loved one’s ongoing addiction. These are some common enabling behaviors:

  • Giving someone money for rent, utilities, groceries, etc. because they spent their money on drugs or alcohol.
  • Driving them to or from the bar so they won’t be driving under the influence or because they have their license suspended.
  • Making excuses for their behavior while they are intoxicated.
  • Covering up for them or trying to fix their mistakes.

Stepping back and letting them experience the natural consequences of their actions can be a wake-up call. Allowing them to struggle can help them to see that it is a serious situation and they need help.

Stopping Enabling Behavior

Although you may feel as though you are helping your loved one out, what you are doing is giving them no reason to change. They can continue doing what they’ve been doing because the consequences have been minimal and someone always has their back. It’s time to stop this behavior and support them in entering treatment.

Express your concerns about their well-being and encourage them to seek treatment. Let them know that you will support them in recovery and want to see them get better. If you have been enabling, set clear boundaries and expectations. Let them know that you’ll no longer be financially supporting them or covering up for their mistakes.

Above It All can help you hold an intervention and direct your loved one toward treatment. We provide the comprehensive care you’re looking for to support your loved one in achieving long-term recovery.

[cta] Are you worried about your loved one’s substance use? Contact Above It All to schedule an intervention. [/cta]

Relapse Does Not Mean You Have Failed

Addiction recovery is an ongoing process and requires continued attention and commitment. Those in recovery must always be aware of their surroundings, feelings, and potential triggers to keep themselves on the road to long-term recovery. Like other chronic diseases, it is something that must be managed. And also like other chronic disease, there is always the possibility of relapse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that between 40 and 60 percent of people who go through addiction treatment relapse at some point in their life.

Relapse is not a rarity, but it also doesn’t have to be the norm. There are many clients who go through treatment and make positive changes in their lives that allow them to remain substance-free for the rest of their life. There are also those who face setbacks and may go through treatment more than once before achieving long-term recovery. Relapse is a not a sign of failure. It does not mean that treatment has failed or recovery is impossible. Rather, it means that an individual must re-evaluate their situation and adjust their relapse prevention plan. There are changes they must make in their actions, behaviors, and thought processes to decrease their risk of future relapses.

Common Triggers for Relapse

Relapse does not happen unexpectedly. There are warning signs leading up to it and changes that indicate things may be going downhill or temptation is creeping up. It can be difficult to stick with necessary life changes to support recovery, but they’re essential. Here are some common triggers that may lead to addiction relapse:

  • Spending time with people who are still in active addiction or do not support your recovery.
  • Going to places where you used to go to drink or use drugs, or places where there is a lot of temptation or pressure to use.
  • High levels of stress and not practicing healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Unmanaged mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
  • Isolating yourself from others and not having a strong support system in place.

You may feel strong and confident following addiction treatment, but early recovery is a delicate time. Letting yourself slip back into old habits or spending time with friends who are a negative influence can take a toll on the progress you’ve made. It can increase your temptation for “just one” drink or “just one” use of drugs. This can quickly spiral back into active addiction.

Not taking care of your mental health can also be detrimental. It requires conscious effort to focus on your own well-being and know your limits. When you feel yourself becoming stressed out, or anxiety is creeping up, it is important to implement strategies to keep these things under control. You may have to say no to a person, project, or obligation, and that’s okay. Focus on what is best for you and your recovery.

Trying to go it on your own can also be unhealthy. When you isolate yourself from others – even if you’re doing so to keep temptation at bay – this can lead to boredom and depression, which can be triggers for substance use. Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your recovery and will engage in sober activities with you. Have people that you can turn to when you’re having a tough day and who will celebrate with you when you’re having a great day.

Bouncing Back from Addiction Relapse

One of the most important things to remember is never to give up. Just because you relapsed does not mean that your journey is over or that you can’t be successful in recovery. Remember, you are in a different place in your life now. You are not the same person you were before. You achieved sobriety once and you can do it again. There is always more to learn and new things to try. Don’t give up on yourself or your goals. You are deserving of another chance.

If you do relapse, stop and get yourself back into treatment. You may go back to the same treatment facility you were in before since they already know you and you know them, or you may choose a different program if you feel somewhere else may be a better fit. The important thing is to admit that you need help and to get it. Once in treatment, you can get yourself back on track and make adjustments to your relapse prevention plan. Some things to consider:

Try a new program: Be open to different types of therapy or counseling. You never know what will stick for you. If you weren’t in outpatient treatment before or didn’t stay in a sober living home, these may be good options. Talk with your treatment team about what might be most effective for you and your goals.

Explore new activities: Keep yourself from falling into a rut by trying new things. Look into community classes, activities at the gym, new hobbies, volunteering, or other things that pique your interest. These can give you something to look forward to and a way to continue having fun and learning while in recovery.

Identify breakdowns: Figure out where your recovery started to go off track and what may have led to your relapse. Then do your best to prevent these issues from occurring again. Decide what changes you can make and how to hold yourself more accountable. What strategies and support structures can you put in place in case you struggle? Set yourself up for success.

Keep a positive attitude: This is often easier said than done, but don’t let a relapse deter you from trying again. You can be successful with the right strategies and support. Recovery is possible and there is hope.

Above It All provides clients with comprehensive services and support to help you stay on track and overcome addiction. If you are going through a difficult time, speak up and ask for help. The team at Above It All is on your side and will help you along each step of the way. Whether it is your first time in treatment or you’re trying again, now is your chance to make a positive change in your life.

[cta] If you or a loved one is concerned about relapse or has relapsed, call Above It All today to get the support you need for recovery. [/cta]

Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Treatment: Does it Matter?

No two people are exactly the same—and neither are any two struggles with addiction. That’s one of our guiding principles here at Above It All. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment because we understand that what works for you may not work for the next client. Everything is individualized, and everything is tailored to fit specific needs.

This is true even on a big-picture scale—such as the question of inpatient versus outpatient care. Some clients stay with us to receive residential treatment while others continue to live in their homes and go to school and work as usual. Which approach is better? Neither; it all depends on the specific needs of the client.

Certainly, there are many clients who do better in a residential setting. These are the clients who need more medical attention and supervision. That’s one of the main advantages of inpatient care: There’s around-the-clock medical care and guidance available for those who need it.

This intensive approach may not be what everyone needs, though. For other clients, the best thing we can do for them is to point them in the right direction, but also give them plenty of independence to work toward their recovery goals. That’s what outpatient care allows for.

Moreover, there are some cases where clients may do better beginning in inpatient care but then stepping down to an outpatient level as they work on their life skills and relapse prevention—an additional level of flexibility that Above It All provides.

The bottom line: There’s no one way to pursue addiction recovery, and the necessary starting point is to see which approach to treatment is best for you. Begin the process today by speaking with one of our addiction care specialists for an evaluation.

[cta] Contact us today to begin your recovery journey. [/cta]

Addiction and Anxiety: A Vicious Cycle

Addiction and anxiety may seem, at first, like two separate conditions—and to be sure, there are many people who experience them independently from one another. Just because you have a substance use disorder, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have an anxiety disorder, and vice versa.

In other cases, though, one of these conditions may contribute directly to the other; in fact, anxiety and addiction can feed off of each other, and end up becoming a vicious cycle.

Often times, someone who has an anxiety disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medicating, which can quickly spiral into a problem with addiction. At the same time, high levels of alcohol consumption or drug use can actually cause anxiety to worsen or deepen. (The common conception of alcohol as a way to sooth anxiety is only true when alcohol is consumed in moderation.) Thus, the two conditions can exacerbate each other and grow increasingly intertwined over time.

More specifically, there is evidence to suggest that alcohol and drugs can actually cause panic attacks—and if you already have an anxiety disorder, your risk rate for this is heightened. Meanwhile, anxiety is a key symptom of PTSD, and addiction is incredibly common among PTSD patients because it is seen as a way to calm that anxiety—but in reality, it makes the symptoms of PTSD far more pronounced.

All of this points to the need for dual diagnosis care: If you are struggling with both addiction and anxiety, it is important to have both conditions diagnosed and treated, not just one of them. Seeking a treatment plan that encompasses the full breadth of your mental health concerns is a key factor in finding lifelong recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the dual diagnosis care you require.

[cta] Contact us today to learn about dual diagnosis care. [/cta]