Friday, July 26, 2013

Life After Rehab

Rehabilitation from drug or alcohol addiction can last for weeks, sometimes months. Following treatment, patients must learn to cope with real world experiences and settings in order to ensure a healthy and long-lasting recovery. In this entry we will outline some of the challenges ahead, alongside strategies to help you through the transition.  


Aftercare is an important, even vital aspect of the recovery process. Types of aftercare can range from group and individual counseling sessions to education and 12-step programs such as AA.

12-Step Groups

Participation in 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous is highly encouraged for those recovering from alcohol and drug abuse issues. Most specialists recommend attendance at one of these programs daily for the first 90 days of post-rehabilitation recovery. Not only will your attendance promote a focus on your sobriety, and healthy interaction amongst others who have been through similar situations.

Living Arrangements

Though many patients choose to return home following rehabilitation, others may benefit from the additional support of a transitional living program or halfway house. These programs serve as a means for addicts to move smoothly back towards normal life without the stress involved with full immersion. Residents are generally required to obtain and maintain employment, pay bills, and complete household chores.


Temptation is an inevitable part of the recovery process. Whether through relationships, old haunts or experiences, temptation will often pop up at some point during the transition back to normal life. Preparation and awareness is key to ensuring that these temptations remain temptations, and not a full-scale relapse.


It’s not uncommon for friends and family members of an addict to feel some level of resentment, anger or disappointment following rehabilitation. Trust must be reestablished and cultivated in order to move forward from the experience. Some addicts may be forced to find new friends who support and encourage their recovery.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Your AA Experience

AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is based on the idea that an individual may enjoy recovery following addiction through the process of letting go of aspects in their life they are unable to control, having faith in a higher power and living “in the moment”. If you are seeking recovery from alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous may be an option to consider. As they like to say in the program, “it works if you work it.” Learn how below! 


1 - Locate AA meetings that are close to work and home and attend them regularly. If you are new to recovery and the program, it’s recommended you attend meetings daily for the first 90 days, if at all possible.

2 – Choose and secure a sponsor. Sponsors are longtime AA members with experience in recovery and stability that can guide you through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous while promoting your progress along the way.

3 – Get involved! Volunteer for a service position within your alcohol 12 step program. AA service positions can be anything from representing your chapter at the national service organization to leading meetings. The more involved you are, the more you will get out of your involvement.

4 – Dive into the “Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous” on a daily basis. This applies especially on days when you are unable to make a meeting.

5 – Recite the Serenity Prayer when you feel upset or when triggers present themselves. This will help return your focus to the positive in the present.

6 – Life goes one day at a time. Address your recovery accordingly.

7 – Don’t be afraid to contact fellow AA members when you require assistance. The community is in place for a reason – use it when necessary. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

What’s To Gain From Alcohol Counseling?

Alcohol counseling helps those struggling with alcoholism to overcome their addiction, while learning healthy, new means to cope with daily life. For most alcoholics, recovery is a lifelong process, made successful alongside the support of friends, family and other recovering alcoholics.

One-on-one Counseling 

Individual sessions with addiction counselors are perhaps the most common type of recovery counseling. One-on-one counseling generally occurs on a regular basis; sometimes up to 7 days a week. During each appointment, therapists and patients discuss specifics pertaining to the root of the addiction, different trigger types, and additional factors that play a part in the individual’s addiction. Sessions are also a platform to plan out strategies and techniques to help ensure a successful and long-lasting sobriety. 

Root Causes

People become addicted to drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons. Determining the roots of the addiction is imperative to the recovery process, as these factors often serve as triggers for relapse and abuse. Common factors include stress, childhood abuse and traumatic events. Mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and personality disorders may also be to blame in some cases of alcoholism. More often than not, a combination of factors is to blame.

Trigger I.D.

Triggers are situations, behaviors and events that lead alcoholics to use. Identifying each patient’s trigger set is crucial in helping the addict avoid temptation while learning to cope with problem situations if and when they arise. Triggers are commonly associated with the root issues of the addiction.

Group Counseling

Group session provide alcoholics with the opportunity to share their feelings, goals and experiences with others in similar situations. These types of sessions help addicts understand that they are not alone in their struggles.

Family Counseling

Alcoholism is a disease that affects both the addict and surrounding family on a large scale. Family counseling works to rebuild relationships that have been damaged or lost due to the addiction. These sessions also help family members to better understand the disease while building healthy support for the addict on their path to alcoholism recovery.