5 Things To Know When You Hit Rock Bottom In Sobriety

Hitting rock bottom gives you a feeling of hopelessness, despair, and desperation. When at the lowest point in life, you feel like you’re entirely alone, and there’s no way life would ever get better. The crash is painful in every way, and this pain is what makes you take action. Most people hate to feel pain, and they will be moved to act to get rid of the pain.

The pain of being at the rock bottom can ignite your strength and bravery to do that which you thought was initially impossible. So, instead of feeling remorseful about yourself, you can take the negative stuff and turn it into your motivation and propel upwards again. The most crucial thing to do when you are down there is to reach out to people who love and care about you so they can support you emotionally. They’ll lend you a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on whenever you need.

Here are five things to know when you hit rock bottom in sobriety. These lessons will help you to learn what to do through your journey to recovery so that you can start all over again without the pressure that comes from yourself or others.

Disempowering Behaviors and Patterns Manifest

Both men and women suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), but women face more significant health risks like accidents, assaults, risky sexual behaviors, and various types of cancers. Hitting rock bottom triggers behavior patterns that were not conducive for your growth.

However, you can break these behavior patterns and start the journey back to your true self as you align your purpose and life back on track.

There’s Hope Even At The Darkest Moment

Rock bottom is called so for the reason that you can’t go any lower than you already are. When most people find themselves at the rock bottom, some dysfunctional behaviors finally manifest. When you find yourself at the lowest point of your life, you may find it impossible to go on in life without turning to alcoholism or turning to some form of addiction to help you go through the tough moments.

Playing under the radar of denial can create a more prominent dysfunction and a harder crash that will be almost impossible to get out from making the situation worse than before. Hitting rock bottom is a stimulus for sobriety that allows you to resolve inner personal conflicts. Many people believe that rock bottom is a prerequisite for getting sober or starting life anew.

You Can Always Learn Again

When you are at the top, say of your career, you assume that you know it all and this could be the reason why you’ve found yourself at the rock bottom. What you need to do is to eat the humble pie, learn what went wrong and learn what you need to do or where you need to make changes. Learn all that you can to move forward.

In those dark moments of despair, you cannot predict or alter what is going to happen, but it’s at this moment of life that you have more clarity of things and start to appreciate what you want in life and how you want your life to look. Just hold to the fact that it can only get better if that is what you truly want in your life.

You Appreciate What You Have

It’s at your lowest moment in life that you realize the most important things in your life. It could be your marriage or a child. Being at the rock bottom will help you to appreciate the things that you have – if you still have anything.

You can find out something that you can be genuinely grateful for no matter how small and insignificant it previously seemed to you.

An Opportunity to Recreate Your Life Again

Rock bottom can be a solid foundation which you can use to rebuild your life again. You can’t possibly go lower, and it’s when you are at the lowest you wake up and see how you’ve continually relied on the externals to make you happy.

If you want to go back on track whether it’s on your morals, your workout regimen, diet or a relationship, you can make use of the moment and make it a springboard from which you can push yourself up to the surface again.

Bottom Line

Rock bottom can mean something different for everyone. To one, it could be a loss of a job, business, a marriage, or recovering from alcoholism. These are moments that have the power to make someone feel incredibly uncomfortable as they try to figure out how to make a change. The good news is that you can get off any addiction the time you hit rock bottom.

You’ll need information, support, and love to overcome and recover. Being at the rock bottom can be a beautiful beginning of starting all over again if embraced positively. Reach out to us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction. Newport Beach Recovery Center will be there with you every step of the way. Contact us today.

Understanding Relapse

Addiction can be viewed as a disease, and just like other diseases, understanding one’s health issues and admitting that they need to be addressed and creating a plan for recovery are steps to help overcome addiction. A relapse occurs when an individual who has done the good work of undergoing an alcohol or substance abuse program once again begins using drugs or alcohol. The National Institute of Health notes that although there are now “US Food and Drug Administration–approved treatments for nicotine, alcohol, and opioid addiction, more than two-thirds of individuals are known to relapse after initiating treatment for substance use disorders.”

Some challenges in recovery include addressing past traumas and co-occurring disorders, exploring issues that need to be examined and re-envisioned, modifying behaviors, and developing and implementing stress management techniques.

It’s important to look at relapse as a chance to learn and to grow rather than as a failure. A balanced perspective, patience, and sympathetic overview of the situation can all be aids to personal growth and to re-committing to recovery. Rehab, counseling, and support groups may be quite useful to help to teach new stress management techniques, and help to supply encouragement and feedback while the person working on wellness practices incorporating new techniques in an organic and well-organized way.

Reasons an Individual May Relapse

Relapse is a common fear of people in recovery because committing to giving up drugs and alcohol can be quite challenging. The reality concerning recovery is that it is something that needs to be re-committed to every day, and this is especially true when working through the early period of sobriety. Some common issues that may lead to relapse include:

Early Days: Many people face the challenge of relapse when going through withdrawal and the first year of recovery.

Triggers: Revisiting old environments that the addict spent time in while using, and interacting with acquaintances and friends who are still using drugs and alcohol can provide temptation to give in to addiction.

Challenges: One of the challenges to recovery is of everyday routines, such as returning to work and chores and responsibilities; the previous routines may be overwhelming for some people right out of recovery.

Stressors: Whether moving to a new dream home or facing a lay-off at work, emotionally charged events can cause issues for individuals overcoming addiction.

What to Do If a Relapse Occurs

Re-examine triggers and stressors, such as people, places, events, and anniversaries that may set off a renewed episode of drug or substance abuse. Utilizing this awareness, the individual working through addiction issues can use their own insights or, with the aid of a counselor, develop a plan to avoid falling back into issues of alcohol or drug abuse the future.

A relapse can be an invitation to explore different types of treatment, consider the frequency of treatment sessions, and take into account the occurrence of other health and psychological concerns that may be affecting therapy.

Re-commit to sobriety by drawing up plans to utilize resources. These can be supportive individuals, safe environments, and exploring counseling, therapeutic modalities, and sober living peer programs.

Work with medical professionals to find medications that can help during detox, times of the great pressures, or while learning new techniques to healthy living.

It’s not uncommon for people to relapse a number of times before finally coming to long-lasting sobriety. Research shows that with each effort towards recovery, an individual’s probability of long-term sobriety increases. Many relapses transpire when addicts are still in the early stages of withdrawal. The good news is that the risk of relapse steadily decreases. Consider the viewpoint that relapse is imparting important lessons about what one can do to increase the odds of successful sobriety the next time.

Implementing a Recovery Plan

Awareness: Be aware of the triggers that can challenge sobriety and implement rewards when successfully overcoming them.

Allies: When you are trying a new activity or an old challenge, consider asking for help from an ally if it is possible.

List: Create a list of rewards and things that bring pleasure, such as entertainment, hobbies, engaging in the arts or sports that the person working towards recovery can turn to for inspiration, comfort, and enjoyment.

Celebrate Sobriety Milestones: Whether it’s a day, month, or decade, honor the good work of wellness and recovery.

Preventing Future Relapses

Relapse may be a common part of recovery, yet it’s challenging not to be discouraged by this setback. The recovering addict may feel sad to let down people who are encouraging and helping one work towards sobriety.  People may suffer guilt, embarrassment, and shame at using again, and feel overcome by the challenges of committing to sobriety once more, but this needn’t be the case.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that treatment address the whole person, with continuous evaluation and modification, just like the approach taken for other chronic diseases.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do not be afraid to reach out. Newport Beach Recovery Center is here to help. Contact us today to receive more information and to talk to an addiction treatment professional.

Inpatient vs Outpatient: Which is best?

Addiction treatment is something that doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all style. When you or your loved one has reached the place where you are ready to heal and move on to a healthier, more fulfilling life, you have some decisions to make regarding where you will seek help. One of these decisions involves whether you will enter an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Knowing the ups and downs of both types of addiction treatment programs will help you make the best decision for you.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

This is the type of treatment you hear about most often. You are admitted to a facility that literally becomes your world for the duration of the process. The person undergoing treatment may first have to undergo a detox program for a few days at a hospital or other facility where the process is supervised by medical doctors. Some inpatient facilities are able to accommodate you during this time, but you will need to ask if they have that capability. Detox itself is the most dangerous time of addiction treatment physically and undergoing it without medical help is often dangerous. Once the drug or drugs in question are out of your system, the healing process can begin.

Inpatient treatment requires you to live at a facility where you will be scheduled for things like one-on-one counseling, group counseling, recreational activities and more. You will be totally immersed in the recovery process. Decisions such as when to eat and sleep will be made for you. Friends and family will only be able to call or visit during scheduled times. These programs normally last an average of ten weeks but the time can vary.

During an inpatient stay, your entire focus is on recovery and learning the skills that will help you stay strong when you leave.

What is Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows you to live in your home and visit a facility several times a week for counseling sessions. These may include individual, group, family counseling, or a combination of these. During outpatient treatment, you are able to continue living in your own home and going to work each day. You maintain your own schedule and decide when to see friends and family. Many times, outpatient treatment will include having someone to call when you feel you may backslide. Before undergoing outpatient treatment, you will likely have to spend a few days in a hospital-type setting to undergo physical detox.

Unlike inpatient treatment, your entire focus will not be on treatment. You will most often continue your job, interact regularly with friends and family and otherwise continue with the responsibilities you normally take on.

So, Which Treatment Option is Best?

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs have pros and cons and only you and an intake counselor will be able to determine which is best for your particular situation. Some of the major differences include:

*With inpatient treatment, you are in a completely new environment and surrounded by others who are also undergoing drug rehab. This allows you to be around others who can fully understand what you are going through. The downside is that you have limited contact with friends and family who may be important as part of your support system.

*In outpatient treatment, you are in a familiar environment, can continue the positive routines such as work and parenting, and can regularly access the support of positive friends and family. If, however, this environment or these people are going to expose you to the drugs or alcohol that have been a part of your problem, it can undermine your efforts at healing.

*Some insurances won’t cover the cost of one kind of treatment or another. You will have to find out in advance exactly what your insurance will and won’t cover. Outpatient programs cost less than inpatient ones because they don’t include a room to live in or food. Cost may be a factor in making your decision.

*With inpatient rehab, you are taught new coping skills and ways to replace your addiction with positive activities. When you are discharged, you have the knowledge but must take time practicing these new skills. With outpatient treatment, you will also be given these skills but must practice them immediately. This helps you master the skills earlier, but may also make it more difficult as you are putting them into practice before you may be ready.

Final Thoughts

Talking with an intake person will help you make your decision about which type of program is best for you. Each person has a different set of needs, different severity of the addiction, and different support system, so there is no one program that is perfect for everyone. When you are ready to put addiction behind you, contact Newport Beach Recovery to speak with an intake counselor. We’re waiting for your call.

Benzos & Women: A Common Problem

Drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are often prescribed for conditions like anxiety and insomnia. These drugs are part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, or more commonly Benzos. These drugs are often prescribed along with opioids and are only often just as responsible for addictions. In fact, the  National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that thirty percent of overdoses involving opioids also involve Benzos. The two drugs alone are highly addictive and when combined they can be a very deadly combination. Use, and abuse, of Benzos, has increased over the past several years in every age group but the most affected group is women, who have prescribed this class of drug at a rate twice that of men.

Why Women Become Addicted to Benzos

Most addictions to Benzos start out as the woman being prescribed the medication when she goes to the doctor and complains of anxiety attacks or stress-related insomnia. Women are often more willing to express these things to a doctor. Today’s women are often caretakers to both children and aging parents. They take on many responsibilities and are not as willing to take time for themselves to relax. They worry about the people under their care and forget to care for themselves.

Benzos were meant to be a short-term solution to problems such as anxiety and insomnia but many doctors will prescribe them over a long period of time because they understand the conditions causing the stress in a woman’s life are not always ones that disappear. Women become addicted easier than men because their body weight is lower and chemical changes within their bodies occur more frequently. It becomes easy to rely on the medication to unwind and get a good night’s sleep after a day of worry and stress. When waking up has the woman facing the same stressors, another dose will help her get through the day. The body builds a tolerance to Benzos quickly and larger doses are increasingly required in order to relax.

Signs of Benzo Addiction

Anyone, not just women is at risk of addiction. The fact that women are prescribed Benzos at twice the rate of men accounts in part for the increased number of addictions to Benzos we see in women. Because they are prescribed, and only a small number of women turn to illegal means of obtaining them, the signs of addiction often go unnoticed. Some of these signs include:

*An increased need for the medication to get through the day. Feeling you can’t get through the day without it.

*Immediately reaching for your prescription when you anticipate a stressful situation.

*Having to change brands (say from Valium to Xanax) because a former prescription doesn’t seem to work any longer.

*An inner knowing that tells you it is time to get help.

Treatment

Rehab for Benzo addiction must not only address the physical drug addiction but also the underlying condition that put the woman at risk to start with. While the causes of extreme stress can’t always be eliminated, learning how to deal with these situations is important. In addition to counseling, both individual and group, and possibly even family counseling, learning positive coping skills is necessary. These include learning ways you can relax, methods for taking care of your own needs, and overall skills for relaxation and stress management. Often this is best done on an inpatient basis as it allows you to put aside other responsibilities and concentrate on getting well.

Final Thoughts

Many women feel they don’t have time to devote to recovery. They are afraid that their family or job will be lost without them. It is essential to realize that if you fall apart, you can’t do your best for others. There is a good reason for airlines to caution parents to put on their own air masks first during an emergency. If you aren’t functioning, you can’t be there for others. Newport Beach recovery has experience helping women like you and your loved ones overcome their Benzo addictions. Contact us today and start on your road to recovery now. Tomorrow will dawn brighter and see a stronger you ready to face whatever may come from a place of empowerment.

A Guide for Addicted Couples

Close relationships, including family and friends, can also be the first casualties of addiction and substance abuse. A significant other is the one most directly in the line of fire when an addict is under the influence. So, as part of the recovery process, it’s important to understand how addiction has affected loved ones and even destroyed relationships. Then, the next step is to implement support systems, and determine how to repair those broken relationships before it’s too late.

How Addiction Affects Couples

Addiction and substance abuse can destroy a marriage or relationship. It can also be psychologically damaging even if the couple stays together, since patterns of co-dependency and enablement, as well as physical and psychological abuse,  can also be part of the equation.

Secrecy:

One of the devastating effects of addiction is the damage to open and honest communications in relationships. Deception and lies can go hand-and-hand with guilt and shame. A reality of substance abuse is that it can change a person’s behavior, even their personality.

Mistrust:

Even if you’ve been with the person for years, it’s still difficult to overcome the loss of trust. After all the painful episodes where trust might have broken or twisted in the past, it can be difficult for a couple to move forward. It takes a lot of strength and forgiveness to rise above as the history of repeated breaches in trust, even if each of them loves each other still.

Financial Difficulties:

Relationships can be even further destroyed and put in jeopardy when substance abuse and sometimes-erratic behavior leads to financial hardship. Beyond just the cost of booze and drugs, addiction leads those affected to make poor decisions, which in turn can lead to a devastating loss.

Partner Support

A relationship where one of the individuals is in recovery is not easy. Depending on the past history, the couple may be struggling with coming to grips with a partner who is trying to improve, perhaps even trying to change their habits, but it can also be easy to fall back into old patterns of addiction. A committed relationship is difficult, but it can also be one of the best ways to keep on that path toward recovery. A loved one/partner can offer support and encouragement, both in demonstrating love and forgiveness, but also in understanding the personal history that may have led to the addiction. A partner can also help by avoiding those people or places that were most associated with substance abuse.

Beyond just assisting in distraction and avoidance, a couple can support each other in a second-chance for their relationship, but also so their lives. Recovery from alcohol and substance abuse is a wake-up call to many, particularly when health, wellness, and even job and joint relationships hang in the balance. It often comes down to a choice of recovery or a permanent split, and even then, the relationship may be beyond repair.

Tap into Couples Therapy

Whether a couple moves forward with that “lifetime of love” together or not, couples’ therapy is an essential component of recovery. With what may have been years of secrecy, lies, growing mistrust, financial hardship, and loss, sobriety may sound too good to be true. Plus, there were probably other episodes when that road to recovery was attempted, with the only result being a heartbreaking relapse.  That’s why couples’ therapy is so important. After a history of a painful and difficult relationship, it’s important that both partners understand that recovery is a joint effort.

How to Sustain Recovery

Substance abuse affects every part of a relationship, so a couple who is working through recovery together can be presented with both positive and negative results. But there are several very important things to keep in mind:

  1. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
  2. Relapse is possible, even when you love each other.
  3. Time really doesn’t heal all wounds, but forgiveness can help.
  4. Each partner is important to the survival of an addicted couple.
  5. The scars may fade, but it may be difficult to forget.
  6. Therapy really is essential to the survival of a couple dealing with addiction.
  7. Couple revitalization and survival also must involve communication and rebuilding a life back together.
  8. Sobriety is a choice an addicted person must make every day, but so too is the decision to support and stay in a relationship that has been dismantled by substance abuse.
  9. A very real part of the recovery of an addicted couple is also the process of building new habits.
  10. While not fast or easy, the journey toward recovery for an addicted couple can be rewarding.

Ultimately, the direction of your recovery may not end up where you’d anticipated, but we don’t have any really great way of predicting the future of a relationship. Even without drug abuse, alcohol, or substance use, a relationship can be hard. So, allow yourself time and space, and seek out the help you need as you journey toward recovery together.  Contact us today to make the first step on the right path to recovery. Newport Beach Recovery Center is here to help.

Sexual Trauma & Substance Abuse: How to Recover from Both

The troubling high rate of boys and girls who experience sexual trauma and abuse leads to a lifetime of challenges that include substance abuse. The signs are all there, and the findings from the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support the troubling realities. These traumatized kids turn into adults who struggle to come to terms with the emotional and psychological shrapnel of abuse. Survey results indicated that of those adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse, some 70% had associated trauma.

In turn, the reports offer insight into some of the most prevalent tendencies and mental-health struggles associated with sexual trauma and abuse. Here’s a quick overview:

Depression

Sexual abuse often leads to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and self-deprecation, which also leads to clinical depression and often to substance abuse. It’s a vicious spiral, which also leads to severe difficulty in functioning on a daily basis in school, at work, or in your interpersonal relationships. It can just be something as simple as weight fluctuations, but there’s also the associated feeling of apathy. A depressed person may just not care what happens anymore, a self-loathing and self-destructive trend that can lead to falling even deeper into the abuse of alcohol and drugs. If the person doesn’t care anymore and simultaneously wants to forget the sexual trauma, substance abuse can be a dangerous avenue toward self-harm.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Any traumatic event can cause severe and long-lasting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You may be most familiar with associating PTSD with war and battle, but the effects can be felt when you’ve had a car accident, a surgery, or a vicious attack. The memory becomes linked with the physical and emotional repercussions, as nightmares and panic or anxiety attacks can lead to severe physical reactions: loss of breath, distress and increased heart rate related to sudden sounds, lights, smells, or anything related to the traumatic event.

Dissociation

Also, linked with traumatic encounters and abuse is the dissociation, which is also linked to PTSD. That’s the feeling of being separate or absent from one’s own body. It’s often associated with a feeling of being disconnected, an outsider. In trauma cases, dissociation is a coping mechanism to allow the person to survive and function. Long term, though, it can lead to more troubling effects like trouble focusing or concentrating. In more severe cases, dissociation can lead to a loss of the ability to function for periods of time. Depending on the severity of the dissociation symptoms, those affected by the disorder can also turn to alcohol or substance abuse to help or reinforce the numbing feeling that helps them cope with everyday life, and avoid memories of the past trauma.

How to recover

Even by itself, sexual trauma and abuse present difficult challenges coping with life and all of its challenges. Combined with the major depression, PTSD, and dissociation (as well as the potential for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychological illnesses and disorders), the obstacles may seem insurmountable.

Just as the studies track the troubling trends of trauma and substance abuse, though, they also offer hopeful moments. Recovery is possible, but awareness of the relationship between sexual trauma and substance abuse is key. If we don’t understand or grasp what is happening, we are not able to take the steps to prevent it from happening to other young trauma survivors, and we also will not be prepared to implement the appropriate treatment that’s so desperately needed (and lacking in many cases).

The process of recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not an easy journey, but with the right help and continued support system in place, you can be on the road of recovery.  Contact us today to make the first step. Newport Beach Recovery has trained professionals to help you get through this.