Tag Archives: Drug Addiction

7 Things That Could Derail Your Sobriety

You have gotten past a lot of hurdles to get sober. It’s been a tough road, but it’s been worth it. The following seven things could derail your sobriety and set you back at square one. Find out what they are and learn how to keep your sobriety in check.

  • 1. Being Around Friends Who Are Using

    You may think you can keep your old drug friends around because they promise not to use in front of you. But think about it. Can you really trust that they always do what’s in your best interest? People with drug addictions often say things they cannot back up with actions. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be helpful to you. They have lost control, and so will you if you stay around them.

  • 2. Losing Touch With Your Addiction Support Network

    Your support network could include your friends and acquaintances from AA, people you got to know in drug rehab, or maybe even your sponsor. It’s great to be in touch with close friends and family who really care. But you can’t lose track of people who know the real dangers of addiction. They can help catch red flags of relapse that others might miss.

  • 3. Deciding You Can Achieve Recovery Without Support

    Isolation is a close friend of addiction. It keeps you away from fresh ideas and perspectives. Human beings can easily over-interpret bad things or fail to appreciate the small blessings in life. Having other caring people around you keeps you reaching out instead of just looking inward.

  • 4. Quitting Drug Rehab Early

    There are certainly some people out there who have skipped out on part of their drug treatment, maybe more than once. If they found their way back to sobriety, it’s probably because they stuck with a treatment program and opened themselves up to the process. Give drug rehab a full chance and give yourself a full chance at sobriety.

  • 5. Avoiding Necessary Life Changes

    Let’s imagine that when you came out of drug treatment, you really avoided dealing with your money issues. If this was a big stressor during your active addiction days, it could still trigger relapse in the future.

    Whether it’s finances, legal problems, unemployment, or something else, your sobriety will go more smoothly if you face these issues head-on. Find someone to help you with these problems, make some changes, and the stress won’t be such a threat to your sobriety anymore.

  • 6. Letting Healthy Habits Slip

    In drug rehab, you learned or relearned many healthy habits. Eating right, getting good sleep, starting an exercise plan, and relaxation – these are all necessary parts of a healthy sober lifestyle. But it’s easy to let these habits slip away if you aren’t paying close attention. Join other people who exercise regularly, cook with friends, or set reminders so you can keep these important habits going.

  • 7. Losing Focus on Staying Sober

    Mental drift happens to everyone. You get complacent, you justify loosening your standards, and you hardly notice what’s happening. Pretty soon your sobriety is just one of those things rolling around in your mind. Keep in touch with your sober network and you’ll keep sobriety at the top of your list.

Keep This List as a Reminder

This article can be a great reminder list as you establish a healthy lifestyle. When you stay aware of things that threaten your sobriety, you can keep relapse at a distance.

If you feel that your recovery may be in danger, we can help. Our experienced recovery professionals are available, day and night, to take your calls. Recovery is within reach. Call us today at 760-548-4032.

Start the Journey Today!

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The Mental Side of Addiction Recovery

If you took a running tally of all the negative thoughts that pass through your mind in a few minutes, would they outnumber the positive or neutral ones? If you did this several times during the day, what would you notice? You might be surprised by what you find.

If you are in addiction recovery, a lot of negativity could be a sign of trouble.

The mental side of addiction recovery is just as important as the physical side. Negativity and black-and-white thinking are hallmarks of addiction. During drug rehab or alcohol treatment, you really take notice of what’s going on in your mind. After you finish rehab, you’ll need to stay aware of anything that could put your sobriety at risk.

Negative Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Worried woman with head in handsEveryone has negative thoughts at one time or another. It’s not realistic to assume you won’t have negative thoughts at all. Everybody has those at times, especially when in a bad mood or just after a bad experience. But consider this – are your negative thoughts just passing through, or do they color your perspective most of the time? That’s the difference between having some negative thoughts and having a surplus of negativity.

So what does the negativity have to do with addiction recovery? You may be less likely to relapse if you are able to stay calm and shake off your emotional upsets fairly quickly. While no one can avoid bad situations, everyone can add coping skills to get through even tough moments. Even when things don’t go right for a while, you can see better opportunities in the future or acknowledge that “this too shall pass”. You feel it, you come out of it, and you keep moving forward.

If you feel it and stay stuck in negative emotions, you aren’t going to feel that hope for tomorrow. Your feelings of despair and emptiness will only grow, and the temptation to drown them in drugs or alcohol will escalate. When you learn how to stay away from the negativity trap, you greatly improve your chances of staying sober longer.

Black and White Thinking in Addiction Recovery

Now, let’s focus on black-and-white thinking, also known as “all or nothing” thinking. This is like looking at a distorted mirror in a funhouse. Your head gets squished all the way to the top and your feet are spread out on the bottom. Everything in-between is skinnier than a stick, almost invisible. Your perception of the world can become like this if you don’t catch yourself. Mistakes become unacceptable. Things need to either be all going right or it’s not worth putting in the effort.

Sure, anyone in addiction recovery would love to have things roll along smoothly from one step to the next. But in real life, bumps happen. Setbacks happen. Temptations happen.

Sometimes people give in to them and sometimes they don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s pointless to stay sober just because you feel a difficult craving one day. When you can learn to accept some of the gray areas in life, you can learn how to see the bigger picture. You can avoid getting trapped in all the ups and downs.

The Mental Battle of Addiction

Negativity and black-and-white thinking are two roadblocks that most recovering addicts or alcoholics face. They are part of reality, but they don’t have to bring you down. Reach out, stay in touch with your support network, and always be aware of negativity and black-and-white thinking in your daily life.

No one is born with perfect coping skills. If we don’t learn good coping skills early in life, it can be possible to learn them later in life. It never hurts to make improvements.

The good news is that you don’t have to make improvements on your own. There are millions of people who seek positive change in the world, and many of those people would help support your journey to wellness.

The staff at Michael’s House have dedicated their lives to helping people reach brighter futures. Our experienced and educated staff can help you and your family overcome the difficulties of addiction to build a more positive future. Give us a call at 760-548-4032 to find out how we can help you today.

Drug Addiction and Marriage

There are few things that can harm a marriage as thoroughly as a drug addiction. Certainly, many people who struggle with substance use manage to save their relationships and sometimes even grow stronger through their recovery. But many marriages do not survive the damage addiction inflicts. Consider a few ways that an untreated drug addiction cuts away at the very heart of a solid marriage.

Drug Addiction Destroys Trust

Woman contemplating divorceWhen you constantly say one thing and then do another, trust can disappear quickly. Trust is the foundation of a marriage. Without it, a relationship will eventually fail. When a person can’t count on their spouse anymore, they start to withdraw from the relationship and go into self-protection mode. Obviously, this doesn’t do good things for a marriage.

Drug addiction does a lot to sabotage trust in a relationship. Intoxication can lead to many poor decisions including extra-marital affairs, mismanagement of money, and risky behaviors such as driving under the influence. Intoxication makes effective communication impossible. Continued damage occurs when an addicted person chooses drug-related activities over family obligations.

Trust is much harder to keep once it’s been damaged like this. However, treatment can make a difference and possibly save relationships that have been devastated by substance use.

Drug Use and Drug Abuse Make Marriage Imbalanced

Addiction causes a person to become very self-focused and self-serving. Everything is about them getting their drug fix or drink while avoiding reality. Marriage is supposed to be about two people supporting and leaning on each other. When one gets down, the other lifts them up. They go through the ups and downs together with each other in mind.

This is not the case when someone has an active drug addiction. The non-addicted spouse often feels neglected in the marriage. If there are children in the family, the sober spouse may also feel like they are a single parent. Nothing is balanced as the addicted spousepursues self-serving behavior. Unless something changes, all the promises to do better become lip-service. A spouse can really feel abandoned because of this.

Both Partners Can Be Hurt

As you might expect, someone with a drug addiction can really hurt their spouse’s feelings and sense of respect. Words can absolutely hurt, especially when they come from someone you’ve pledged your life to.

The other risk is real physical harm coming to one or both people in the marriage. A person who is abusing drugs can become violent.Violence and violent tendencies may vary due to the addicted spouse’s drug of choice,his or her personality, and his or her intoxication levels. If the substance-using spouse blacks out and becomes aggressive, abuse or injury may occur to the spouse or family. The risk of harm increases if children are in the home. The unpredictable nature of a drug addict puts everyone at risk.

Drug Rehab Can Help Families

Not every marriage that has been impacted by substance use can be saved. However, many relationships can improve when the addicted spouse goes through drug rehab and sticks with sobriety. Even if a marriage ends, drug rehab can help both parents cooperate better for the sake of their children. Drug rehab can also help make the future brighter for each spouse, whether the relationship survives or not. Wellness and recovery simply offer a way for people to experience better outcomes in general.

Drug rehab programs can connect spouses with support groups. Many rehab centers also encourage spouse participation during family treatment sessions. Marriage is a two-way street and addiction does a lot to block the whole road. With a good drug rehab program, recovery and marriage can move forward together.

Addiction Relapse: Getting Back On Track

Your drug rehab counselor says relapse can happen to anyone going through recovery. Your recovery friends tell you that relapse is part of the process, it’s not the end of the world, and you can get through it.

That’s what they say, anyway. It sure feels like the bottom of a dark pit to you.

Your efforts with sobriety are not lost just because you’ve had a relapse. The positive changes you find in recovery are never lost.You just need to find your recovery again– it’s still yours and it’s still inside you. You may feel down and out now, but you are just one step away from getting your sobriety back on track.

Take One Step Back to Sobriety

Woman in hoodie on beachThat’s right, it just takes one step to get back on the path of sobriety. What is that step? It’s the decision that you are going to be sober for the next moment, no matter what it takes. Don’t think about next week, last month, yesterday, or tomorrow.

The next moment is all you need to focus on. Before long, the next moment turns into the moment after that, and the next five minutes, and the next hour. Whatever you need to do to stay sober for the very near future will get you through the worst of it.

Get in touch with a good sober friend and start talking. Go somewhere with a lot people where you can just walk around for a while. Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, maybe even some sunshine. Find some good music and soak it up. Do something that distracts you from the cravings, changes your mood, gets you out of isolation, or gets you away from your triggers.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Black-and-white thinking is a big part of addiction. Even when you are sober, this kind of negative, all-or-nothing outlook can make sobriety challenging. You may tend to look too far out into the future with many “what if” questions.

It will help you more to stay with your current moment of reality. When you get caught up in lots of worry about staying sober in the future, you lose sight of what you can do to be sober right here and now. The future will take care of itself. Stay where you have the power; you have power in the moment you are in at this very moment.

Rebuild Your Sobriety After Relapse

Take that one small step towards sobriety and slowly build your future again. Don’t let the emotional leftovers of your relapse take away the importance of this first step. It’s the beginning of your sobriety and it’s important. If you have trouble taking this first step, talk to a drug or alcohol rehab counselor for more help. You can call us anytime to learn more about getting and staying sober.

Drug Addiction Recovery: Filling the Void

When you stop using drugs, you begin to see the big, ugly gap you were trying to fill. This gap existed long before the addiction developed. In fact, it was probably a large part of the reason you began using drugs in the first place. There was a void or emptiness you didn’t know how to face or manage. You felt overwhelmed by your emotions or frustrated by a lack thereof. You tried to cover gaps so you wouldn’t fall into them. You tried to numb emotions or raise the right ones.

Addiction only made the void bigger and the feelings more powerful, but you couldn’t see that. Addiction wouldn’t let you see that. Now that you are beginning your recovery journey, the void is visible. And it is scary. Don’t worry! When you have the support of peers, loved ones and experienced professionals, there is always a person or a method on hand to help you fill the void.

Addiction and the Void

Addiction is closely tied to your thoughts and emotions. How you think and how you act are interrelated. When your thoughts lead to drug use, the action that was supposed to fill or at least hide a void only makes it bigger. Translational Psychiatry1 shares, “The prefrontal cortex has extensive connections with subcortical structures that regulate emotional processing, including the amygdala. Alcohol and drug exposure impairs emotion regulation in this region, with interconnected medial and cingulate networks showing enhanced reactivity to arousing stimuli and reduced capacity to suppress negative affect. The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) also act to appraise and regulate negative emotions. These cortical areas over-activate in response to substance-related stimuli.”

This is a complicated way of saying drugs impair your ability to manage your emotions. If you turned to drugs to help you feel better or fill a void, you already didn’t know how to positively process or manage your feelings. Addiction only makes this worse. Luckily emotional regulation is a skill, and skills can be taught. You can learn how to look at and fill the void.

Start Where You Are

Woman with head in hand

Facing, much less filling, the void may seem overwhelming. When you begin your recovery journey, step back from the edge. You don’t have fall in. You don’t have to fill it at once. You don’t have to leap across it. Recovery is gradual. Your treatment team will push your boundaries and comfort zone, but they will never ask you to do more than you can manage. They understand that getting sober can be as scary as staying addicted. Psych Central2 considers this the most common fear related to recovery. They explain, “Getting sober means replacing your primary coping mechanism – drugs and alcohol – with new, unfamiliar ones. The process can be uncomfortable, particularly for someone who is afraid of feeling in general.”

There’s no denying that recovery is mentally challenging. You are facing a void you’ve been ignoring for a long time. You have to change habits, thoughts, and ways of acting that, if not safe, at least felt comfortable.

Change is a necessary part of recovery. However, you will never be asked to do more than you can handle. You aren’t expected to leap into the void of recovery feet first and hope you’ll be fine. You turned to drugs and alcohol for distraction and false feelings. You wanted a solution. You knew drugs and alcohol probably weren’t the best choice, but they seemed to work at first. You did the best you could with what you had and what you knew.

As Scientific American3 explains, “Recovery programs teach…fundamental principles of emotional regulation because addicts do not know them intuitively.” You don’t enter treatment knowing the right way to fill the void. You don’t enter treatment prepared to face the gaps in your life. If you knew how to do these things in a healthy, positive way, you would have already.

Recovery is here to teach you how to face the void. Peers and professionals gently guide you and help you develop the skills and strengths you need for recovery. Treatment teaches you how to not just fill the void but repair the gap that began it in the first place.

Pausing for Perspective

When the void seems too big or recovery too overwhelming, don’t give up. Pause and find perspective. Ask for professional support. The void won’t be, and can’t be, filled overnight. You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to do it alone. You can step back from things that are too difficult or painful to manage right now. This doesn’t mean you get to avoid coming to terms with experiences, memories, and feelings. It does mean you don’t have to face them all right at the beginning. It does mean you will never have to face them without support and understanding. Learn how to manage your emotions. Learn how to fix the gaps in your life rather than widen them with the wedge of addiction. Take the right first action, and the rest will follow. Call Michael’s House at 760-548-4032 for immediate support and information.

Start the Journey Today!

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1. http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v7/n3/full/tp201734a.html. “Effects of naltrexone are influenced by childhood adversity during negative emotional processing in addiction recovery.” Translational Psychiatry. 7 Mar 2017. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

2. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/06/6-common-fears-in-addiction-recovery-and-how-to-face-them/ “6 Common Fears in Addiction Recovery – and How to Face Them.” Psych Central. 9 Jun 2015. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-nuts-and-bolts-of-emotional-sobriety/. “The Nuts and Bolts of Emotional Sobriety.” Scientific American. 1 Mar 2012. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

Drug Addiction: “You Don’t Understand Me”

Addiction is influenced by your specific body, biology and brain chemistry. It is a result of your past experiences and your current environment. It reflects your personality and that of the people around you. It is the accumulation of an infinite number of factors that can never be duplicated or replicated.

Knowing this, how could anyone ever understand you? How could they understand the and why of your addiction? How could they help? They can, because although addiction is a unique and individual experience, it is also a universal and shared one.

The Guardian[1] shares, “One in seven Americans will experience a problem with alcohol or other drug misuse in their lifetimes, and some 20 million have current substance use disorders.”

No one faces your specific circumstances, but many can and do understand. As with any disease, there are treatment paths and outlines. As with any disease, addiction’s expression and your experience of it are influenced by past and present factors. Treatment outlines adjust to fit your unique circumstances. Professionals and programs recognize and provide for your personal recovery needs.

Understanding Addiction on a Biological Level

Brain retro xrayAddiction is a biological disease. As the American Society of Addiction Medicine[2] (ASAM) explains, “Genetic factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction.” The body and brain you are born with shape your future drug use trajectory. This doesn’t mean addiction is inevitable or inescapable. It means you need to be aware of your genetic risk and how it impacts your thoughts, behaviors, and recovery. Treatment professionals understand addiction on a biological level. They help you explore how your genes and your physical health have interacted with your drug use. They understand how some factors leading to addiction were beyond your control. Michael’s House helps you develop coping mechanisms for managing your health. We provide the experienced medical support that is a necessary part of full understanding and recovery.

Understanding Addiction on a Social Level

Addiction is a social disease. Friends, family, peers and community members have influenced and continue to influence your drug use. A lack thereof can be just as detrimental. You may think no one understands your addiction, but your addiction may be the result not understanding others.

The Huffington Post[3] explains, “Human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe…A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.”

Before you retreat further into addiction with the excuse that no one understands, consider how reaching out could lead to discovering much-needed social support. Recovering from addiction involves more than knowing how people influenced your drug use. It involves knowing how they can help you heal. You can and will find others in recovery who understand you. Open up to others. Share your story and listen to theirs. No one perfectly fits the stereotypical “addict” mold. You may not find understanding from everyone, but you will find understanding from someone. You will find people who have had similar life experiences, face similar challenges, and feel and think similarly about certain issues or concerns. Doing so begins with knowing that others understand you, and you can understand them. Make yourself open to the possibility of friendship and support.

Supportive friendsRecovery involves finding a community of like-minded, supportive peers. Negate social risk factors by finding the people who understand your desire for a better, healthier life. ASAM explains, “As in other health conditions, self-management, with mutual support, is very important in recovery from addiction. Peer support such as that found in various ‘self-help’ activities is beneficial in optimizing health status and functional outcomes in recovery. Recovery from addiction is best achieved through a combination of self-management, mutual support, and professional care provided by trained and certified professionals.” Michael’s House teaches self-management skills. We teach you how to find personal strength and the strength to find additional help when you need it. We connect you to professionals who understand addiction and recovery. We connect you to peers who may just become lifelong, sober friends.

How Can Treatment Help Me, Specifically?

You may think you don’t need treatment. You may think other patients won’t have a similar story to yours. You may think professionals can’t help you with your personal challenges. None of this is true. No matter how “mild” your substance abuse or addiction seems, treatment helps. No matter how alone you feel, understanding exists. Call Michael’s House and speak with our caring, compassionate staff. We want to get to know and understand you. We can create a personalized treatment path that reflects your unique situation and recovery needs.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/18/us-drug-alcohol-addiction-statistics-treatment-reform. “US addiction statistics are dire. Small changes won’t solve the problem.” The Guardian. 18 Nov 2016. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

[2] http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction/. “Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 19 Apr 2011. Web. 23 Mar 2017.

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html. “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think.” Huffington Post. 25 Jan 2016. Web. 24 Mar 2017.

Your Drug Addiction – Who Does It Hurt?

You’ve been using drugs or alcohol for a while now. You recognize that you use in unhealthy ways or amounts, but you’re not really sure it’s a problem. You’re pretty sure you’ve managed to hide your use from your boss, your family, or your friends. You still feel okay, even if some aspects of life may seem a little out of control.

Unfortunately no matter how much you deny the impact of substance use on yourself and your loved ones, addiction does hurt. You know this is the truth at the same time your addiction argues otherwise. Addiction has changed your life. It changes the lives of people around you.

Drug Addiction Hurts You

Woman in denial with hand over faceYou have denied, minimized, ignored, or excused it. However, the truth is that addiction hurts you. It changes how you feel and how you think. You’ve given up things that once brought you joy. You wake up feeling sick or sore. You don’t feel like the same person you once were. This sometimes seems okay, especially if you began using drugs or alcohol because you didn’t feel good in the first place. However no matter what mental or physical health challenges you face, you have to recognize that substance use hasn’t made them better. One or more aspects of your life has suffered.

The American Psychiatric Association explains, “Substance use disorders are associated with impairments in psychological development and social adjustment, family and social relations, school and work performance, financial status, health, and personal independence (e.g., as a result of legal charges associated with substance use, suspension of the individual’s driver’s license after being convicted of driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance).”

You have been hurt by addiction. Drugs or alcohol may let you push aside concerns for short periods of time, but these physical, mental, social, or emotional concerns return. They return and hurt even more than before. Recovery brings real healing and real relief.

Drug Addiction Hurts Your Family

You feel like you put on a good show around your family. You smile when you’re supposed to. You hide the extent of your drug or alcohol use and stay away when you are high. You think you’ve managed to protect those you love the most. However, anything one family member does can hurt the others.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration[1] shares, “A family is a system, and in any system each part is related to all other parts. Consequently, a change in any part of the system will bring about changes in all other parts.”

Addiction impacts everyone in the family even if you are the only one it has directly changed. Positive change can have a similar cascading effect. Getting clean and sober means healing the hurt you have unintentionally caused those who love you most.

Drug Addiction Hurts The Community

Police officer with patrol carYou don’t have to personally know someone for your addiction to impact their life. On a large scale, addiction touches every single life with no exception. The Surgeon General shares, “Alcohol misuse, illicit drug use, misuse of medications, and substance use disorders are estimated to cost the United States more than $400 billion in lost workplace productivity (in part, due to premature mortality), health care expenses, law enforcement, and other criminal justice costs (e.g., drug-related crimes), and losses from motor vehicle crashes.”

You don’t even have to look at the social impact of addiction to see how it changes lives. On just a purely financial level, every taxpayer is hurt by substance abuse. Coworkers face greater workloads on the job as they take up your slack. You risk the lives of strangers through vehicle or other accidents. You support crime and the cost of fighting that crime. You hurt the community by removing your contributions to it. Addiction is not an individual problem. It hurts every life. Recovery goes a long way towards healing that hurt. It lets you give back to the world rather than take from it.[2]

Drug Addiction Hurts

Drug addiction hurts you. It hurts the people you love and the people you haven’t yet had a chance to meet. Continued drug use puts your life, your family, and your community at risk. Begin the healing process to end the hurt and harm. Feel better and protect your family. Call Michael’s House at 760-548-4032 and learn about your opportunities for a bigger, better life.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2004. Web. 22 Mar 2017.

[2] https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/surgeon-generals-report.pdf. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nov 2016. Web. 22 Mar 2017.

Blind Spots With Drug Addiction Keep You Trapped

You’re on the freeway heading toward your destination. You go to switch lanes, and you suddenly hear the blast of a car horn. Another vehicle was there in your blind spot. It feels like the other vehicle came out of nowhere.You just narrowly avoided having an accident. Drug addiction recovery has a lot in common with this example. You may think you are safe and everything is fine, but you may be putting your sobriety at risk. Please read on and see if you are ignoring any blind spots in your recovery.

You Hang Out With Old Friends Sometimes

Young men having lunchYou may think it doesn’t matter if you still see your old drinking buddy from high school on the weekends.The truth is, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. Old friends with addictions or substance abuse problems do not have your best interest at heart.

Your emotional ties will make you think you can make the relationship work. Unfortunately, you are likely to be proven wrong. Someone may say, “just one drink,” or you may start having cravings when you go to an old hangout. Before you know it, you may find yourself relapse right in the face.

You Don’t Go To Meetings Or Counseling Anymore

You may think that going to support meetings is pointless or that counseling doesn’t work anymore. Perhaps you need to take a slightly different perspective on this. You may be slipping into some typical addiction all-or-nothing thinking. This form of thinking is when seeing things as all good or all bad and allowing for no middle ground.[1]

If you aren’t in a meeting that feels like a good fit, you are less likely to stick with it. And if you felt like counseling wasn’t doing anything for you, take a look at why you stopped going. Was it really time for you to stop? Maybe your counselor was not a good fit and that lead to feelings of boredom.

Keep in mind that counseling and support groups aren’t really there to do things for you. They are opportunities for you to do things differently and learn about yourself. Getting isolated socially and mentally can take you right down the path of relapse. Contact someone you trust about this.Look into getting reconnected with the services and support you need.

You Have Quit Doing All Those Healthy Things From Rehab

In drug rehab, you learned different ways to help you stay sober. Some of these may have been foreign to you from the onset. Lifestyle changes include things like yoga, eating new foods, and getting active outdoors.

Now if you find yourself being pretty sedentary, eating plenty of junk food, and not getting good sleep, you are likely setting yourself up for trouble. Your drug addiction was at least partly based on your body’s physical sensations from taking drugs. When your body doesn’t feel that great, you may be tempted to get a zing from something you know will work – drugs and alcohol. Your physical health is closely tied to your mental health. Poor physical health brings an increased risk of depression and other mental health issues.[2] When you are depressed, you are more likely to turn to substance abuse as a way to cope.

Staying On Top Of Addiction Recovery Blind Spots

Nobody likes to admit they have blind spots. When problems trip you up, it can be tough to acknowledge that you should have known better. Pay attention to any potential blind spots so they won’t take your sobriety off track. If you are struggling, please feel free to reach out to one of our admission’s coordinators at Michael’s House. We are here to help you live a life of sobriety.


[1] http://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc6000-mc6099/mc6064-12.pdf The Disease of Addiction: Changing Addictive Thought Patterns

[2] https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/ The Relationship Between Mental and Physical Health. Collingwood, Jane.

Coping Skills for a Sober Life

Sobriety requires intentionality. You have to rebuild your life to make sobriety a reality. And it’s not just about refraining from drug use; it’s about managing your mental and physical wellness so you don’t become vulnerable to relapse. Drug rehab is a key step in recovery, but once you leave rehab, your sobriety hinges on the decisions you make. Coping skills are essential to help you stay on track each day.

Physical Health

When you are addicted to drugs, there are often several long-term consequences. Some of these health problems may include lung or cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, lung disease and Hepatitis B or C.[1] To keep cravings at bay, you’ll need to get your body back on track.Regular exercise is very beneficial for someone in addiction recovery. It makes you feel stronger and more energetic. You may feel extra tired when you start exercising. Once your body adjusts, you’ll look forward to exercise as it boosts your endorphins and gets your blood flowing more freely.

You can try yoga, a fun aerobics class, biking, or even walking in your neighborhood every day. A simple exercise plan will help you keep you on track. Exercise boosts your mood and makes your body learn how to feel good without drug use. Exercise is also a great stress reliever, which you’ll need as you make big changes in your life.

Bicycling family

Mental Health

Mental wellness is another key part of staying sober. Painful emotions are a pathway for relapse, so you need to be aware of your moods. If you have a diagnosed mental illness—such as depression or PTSD—be sure you take your medication, go to your treatment sessions, and do whatever your doctor recommends. Putting off your mental health care is not an option.

Also, keep in mind what events or places cause you stress. Do you need to learn how to let go of an argument? Maybe you need to take a more flexible point of view? Perhaps you just need to unwind your muscles on a regular basis? There are lots of ways to relieve stress so you can have a positive mindset – funny movies, journal writing, some alone time, a long walk, prayer, or listening to something inspirational. Do these kinds of things regularly to fight off negativity and anxiety.

Social Environment

Your social connections with friends, family and support group members can help you get through the ups and downs in your sobriety. This group will congratulate you on your victories and also lift you up when you are down. Staying connected to sober people is a terrific and vital coping skill. But you must communicate with them about the challenges you face with your sobriety.

It’s not enough just to know them and make small talk when you are around each other. You need to take the risk of opening up. When you cultivate honest, caring relationships you’ll have someone to laugh with and someone to cry with.

Putting It All Together

As you move forward in your recovery, your sobriety depends on having—and using—coping skills. Keep in mind that drug addiction is a chronic disease like cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes or cancer.[2] Continual treatment is required. We at Michael’s House are here to help you stay sober. If you would like to talk to one of our admissions counselors, please call today.


[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/addiction-health What Are the Medical Consequences of Drug Addiction?

[2] https://archives.drugabuse.gov/publications/drug-abuse-addiction-one-americas-most-challenging-public-health-problems/addiction-chronic-disease Addiction is a Chronic Disease.

Surviving Heroin Addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs. People who use heroin often develop a tolerance, which means that they need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects.[1] 

Heroin can take over someone’s life in short order. Each time you use heroin, overdose is a possibility. It’s like playing Russian Roulette –when the gun points at you, will it be loaded this time? Or will it be a friend that dies this time? It can be hard to see a way out of this kind of hellish maze. People can and do survive heroin addiction, but it takes courage to get help.

How Heroin Works And How It Kills

Heating heroin in spoonA heroin user likely snorts or injects the drug into the blood stream. Heroin users are commonly thought of as urban homeless criminals, but heroin use cuts across all ages and lifestyles. In 2012, approximately 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year. This figure is up from an estimated 373,000 in 2007.[2]

Heroin acts as a depressant to the natural body systems in charge of breathing. Because of this, a heroin habit can lead to respiratory failure that leads to overdose which may cause death. The purity of heroin is often unpredictable. This fact makes the risk of an overdose ever present. The same amount of heroin used from one day to the next can be disappointing or fatal. It is also common for heroin deaths to occur from the drug being taken with other physical depressants like alcohol.

Heroin And A Risky Lifestyle

Heroin users are likely to do just about anything to be sure they have a steady supply. Not only do they have a strong urge to use the drug over and over, but they also try to avoid deeply unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. If getting heroin means they need to take risks, then they will take whatever risks are necessary.

People may offer sexual favors for drugs or cash. Others may take money from friends and family, commit crimes, or even sell drugs to get what they need. They spend time with shady characters that will not hesitate to kill if they don’t like the drug deal. A drug addict risks being put behind bars and getting caught up in a life of crime.

Getting Sober From Heroin

Getting sober is not easy, but it is definitely worth it. Heroin addicts in recovery can have withdrawal symptoms for several days at a time. Cravings can come and go long after their last use. Sobriety is ultimately better than active addiction, but daily life can be full of tests and temptations.

It takes a good support network and commitment to a high-quality drug program to make sobriety work. But even with all this, the addict has to want and work for sobriety each and every day. They have to be the one who makes sobriety their ultimate priority. Over time, sobriety can become more familiar than addiction. Surviving heroin addiction is possible – contact us today to learn more or get started today.


[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin What Is Heroin?

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states What Is the Scope of Heroin Use in the United States?