Author Archives: Summit Estate

25 Ways To Reward Yourself – Without Alcohol Or Drugs – For Recovery Milestones

It’s important to reward yourself for your accomplishments during your recovery, whether for behavioral changes and/or milestones in sobriety. The purpose of rewarding yourself is to strengthen your resolve to keep alcohol and drugs out of your life. Rewarding yourself increases your awareness of all that you have accomplished.

Here are 25 ideas of ways you can give yourself a pat on the back for reaching certain milestones in your recovery.

Ways To Reward Yourself Without Alcohol Or Drugs

Ways To Reward Yourself Without Alcohol Or Drugs

  1. Begin a “Success Savings.” Put $1 away for every day you have stayed sober or put $2 for each recovery meeting attended. You decide the amount of money you give yourself for the desired action. At the end of a year, take the money and use it towards a mini-vacation.
  1. Buy or make a special piece of jewelry. A bracelet, necklace, earrings or rings will do. Every time you wear the new item, you’ll be reminded of how far you have come since you have gotten sober.
  1. Begin a collection. It can be stamps, thimbles, spoons, dolls, action figures, sports memorabilia, etc. Each time you achieve a sobriety milestone (30, 60 or 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc.), go ahead and buy another item for your collection.
  1. Get a massage. It’s relaxing and will reenergize you from the inside out. A little pampering can go a long way.
  1. Get your hair styled, dyed, or cut. Try something daring. Have fun and experiment with your new look.
  1. Get a makeover with a professional. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside.
  1. Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. If you need to watch what you spend, do it yourself at home.
  1. Have a night out at the movies with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Self-explanatory. Who doesn’t enjoy a good night out at the movie theater, especially with someone you need to catch up with.
  1. Enjoy a leisurely morning at the park. Breathe and take in the fresh air. Feed the ducks. Watch the children play. Get in tune with the simpler things in life.
  1. Attend an art show, a gallery or your local museum. Check your local paper or news website for the exhibitions in your area.
  1. Be a kid again! Go to your local amusement park and recapture the “awe” that you felt as a child.
  1. Buy yourself a new outfit. If you are low on funds, go thrift store shopping.
  1. Redecorate a room in your house. Let your creativity flow. Let the room capture the real you. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild. If you don’t have money to redecorate, you can just rearrange the space.
  1. See your favorite sports team play live. Reward yourself with the best seats you can afford.
  1. Do something daring. Make it something you’ve always wanted to try. Go bungee jumping, hang gliding, parachuting, whitewater rafting, etc.
  1. Get a new tattoo (or piercing). Get something that’s uniquely you.
  1. Have a long, relaxing bubble bath. Light some candles around the tub and make it serene and memorable.
  1. Buy a new book. Schedule some uninterrupted time to read it.
  1. Sign up for a team sport such as softball, basketball or hockey. You’ll have fun and maybe meet some new friends!
  1. Rent a boat or Jet Ski. Spend the day soaking up some sunshine and riding the waves with family and friends.
  1. Go to a concert or theatrical event. Do this especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to see, and if it falls around a certain recovery milestone.
  1. Take a cooking class. If you can’t afford a cooking class, then look up a fun recipe online or YouTube a recipe and try it at home.
  1. Try an architecture tour or some other “tourist” activity in your own city. You’ll get a new appreciation for your hometown.
  1. Start a new routine when you get home from work. Instead of rewarding yourself with a drink when you get home from work, have some hot herbal tea, light a scented candle and read some recovery literature.
  1. Announce your accomplishments and sobriety milestones to others. Allow yourself to hear and soak in the congratulations! It is a big deal that you are in recovery and have changed your life. You deserve the praise.

Written by: Sarah F. Scott, CADC-CAS – Outpatient Counselor

Is My Partner An Addict? What Can I Do?

It can be painfully difficult to witness anyone going through addiction. However, when it’s under your roof and it’s your partner who is addicted, the situation can be scary, stressful, and very uncertain.

In the early stages of the addiction, there may be confusion in the household. The non-addicted partner begins to see behavioral changes and other uncharacteristic symptoms. Interestingly, it’s often the ones who are closest to the addict who are the least likely to notice the changes because the behaviors are often gradual and subtle.

Is My Partner an Addict-What Can I Do-SummitEstateRehab

Common Behavioral Changes In Addicts

However, over time, there are telltale behavioral changes that indicate that addition is a very real possibility. Some of the most common behaviors displayed by addicts include:

  • anger
  • flying off the handle
  • paranoia
  • anxiety
  • difficulty at work
  • lack of interest in personal hygiene

Is It Time To Address The Problem?

It’s never easy confronting a loved one who may be struggling with addiction. A good place to start is to consult with an addiction expert or a physician for clinical signs to look for. From there, the next step can be to encourage the individual to see their physician or to get a medical opinion. However, if there are very noticeable signs of an addiction that appear to be getting worse, such as a stash of empty bottles, bags of pills, or containers with drugs, it may be time to conduct an intervention.

Before doing this, it’s wise to obtain the help and advice of either a professional interventionist or a family support group for addicts. It’s also a good idea to find a professional addiction treatment center or detox facility that is ready to provide the appropriate care.

Time Is Of The Essence

Addiction can destroy relationships and families. Addicts often exhibit behaviors and actions that can affect everyone around them. They are also at risk of accidents, injuries and serious illnesses. Addiction is not something to put off for another day or to sweep under the proverbial rug. It’s a very real disease that requires immediate attention.

Is your partner falling further into the grip of addiction? Call Summit Estate for help today. We are here to guide you in the process of getting your loved one the help they need and deserve.

Get More Help From Our FAQ Page – Questions Family Members Ask About Recovery

5 Activities For Inner Strength To Support Sobriety

Many people in recovery will talk about how their inner strength is helping to sustain their sobriety. For those who are just beginning their journey of recovery, it can be challenging to determine what is required to strengthen that somewhat mysterious, intangible trait called inner strength.

Laugh As Much As You Breathe-5 Activities For Inner Strength

What Exactly Is Inner Strength?

The reality is that inner strength is a learned trait or skill that is a hybrid of discipline, willpower, concentration, persistence, and self-control. It isn’t something that someone is born with, but it can be developed like other important life skills.

As inner strength is developed, it is enlisted by those in recovery to make choices, avoid temptations, overcome negative habits, battle complacency and follow through with the positive actions that are necessary in recovery.

How Can Inner Strength Be Developed?

Because inner strength is so incredibly necessary for anyone who is battling an addiction, it’s important to have practices or activities of self-expression in recovery that promote the development of inner strength. The following five are particularly beneficial.

5 Activities For Inner Strength

Meditation – This holistic activity is something that can be practiced right from the first days of detox and throughout the rest of one’s life. It helps to promote inner strength by providing clarity and stress relief while boosting energy.

Deep Breathing – Focusing on breathing is something that can be done anytime, anywhere. By breathing deeply and rhythmically, there is an increase in the intake of oxygen which promotes healthy brain function and decreased anxiety.

Exercise – Regularly scheduled physical activity helps to increase discipline, concentration, and willpower. It also provides the added benefits of jumpstarting energy, improving sleep, and reducing stress.

Forgiveness – Pent up anger and resentment can lead some individuals into a relapse of their addiction. These negative feelings are both consuming and draining. By being able to release the grudges you hold against those in your life, you can move beyond the anger and discover a life that is more peaceful and meaningful.

Laughter – Whether you’re having a giggle with a friend about a funny story or enjoying the latest comedy at the theater, laughter is a wonderful way to build inner strength. The act of laughing releases feel-good endorphins which improves blood flow and heightens awareness and energy.

Emotional, Physical And Spiritual Healing

Do you want to learn more about how inner strength can help those dealing with drug or alcohol addiction? Call Summit Estate today! We will work on helping you recover emotionally, physically and spiritually with our holistic, individualized recovery plans.

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Exposure To Triggers And How To Avoid Them

On the long journey of recovery, there will be many twists and turns. The challenges of life that affect all of us can be more difficult to navigate when you’re in recovery. In fact, they can sometimes lead to relapses that can result in a return to an addiction.

Tough Times Never Last-How To Avoid Triggers-SummitEstate.comMost addiction experts will tell you that symptoms of post-acute withdrawal can last two years or longer. During this time, those in recovery are more likely to re-embrace unhealthy, dysfunctional behaviors that led to addiction. The possibility of relapse is very real.

Yet, the process of working through the early stages of recovery are necessary to reach the state where long-term recovery truly becomes a journey that will last forever. The key is being able to work through life’s unexpected situations and identify the triggers that they can create.

By understanding these triggers and learning how to stop the stages of relapse before they start, recovery becomes easier to sustain.

Common Triggers And What To Do To Combat Them

The following are some common triggers that can threaten recovery. Anyone who is focused on staying sober should be on guard for any of these warning signs of a possible relapse.

Self-Pity – Not taking ownership for choices and feeling like a victim.
Dishonesty – Telling small lies to family, friends or employers can be a slippery slope that can lead to being untruthful about working your program or remaining sober.
Depression ­– Feelings of despair can often happen in cycles. These need to be addressed and treated.
Frustration – Not everything is going to go your way in recovery. Coping skills are required to successfully sustain recovery.
Fatigue – It’s important to avoid becoming over tired. Recovery is largely rooted in embracing good self-care behaviors such as adequate rest, balanced nutrition, and regular exercise.
Impatience – When you’re taking life day-by-day or even minute-by-minute, recovery can seem excruciatingly drawn-out. Instead of focusing on how it’s not going fast enough, it’s important to stay in the moment.
Complacency – Letting up on the vigilance and discipline required for recovery can quickly lead to a relapse. Being committed to taking a daily inventory, 12-step meetings, therapy, meditation and other positive activities can help minimize triggers and the chance of a relapse.

You’re Not Alone – We Will Be With You On Your Journey

Have you or a loved one had a relapse? You’re not alone, and help is available. Don’t try and tackle this problem alone. Our caring and professional staff will treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve. We will also create a personalized treatment program made just for you.

Call Us Now To See How We Can Help You Break The Cycle Of Addiction!

Is My Loved One Using Drugs? What Should I Do?

Is My Loved One Using Drug-What Should I Do-Summit EstateDo you suspect that your loved one is using drugs? It can be both incredibly stressful and heartbreaking to be worried that someone you care deeply about is risking their life by abusing drugs.

What To Do If Your Loved One Is Using Drugs

While it can seem like you’re helpless when you witness someone succumb to addiction, there are actually action steps you can take to help them and help yourself during this crisis.

Don’t Blame Yourself

First, it’s important to not blame yourself. Drug addiction is a disease and not something you caused. It’s also vital to learn the warning signs and symptoms of drug abuse. Often, there are physical evidence to look for including:

Watch For Physical And Behavioral Signs Of Drug Addiction

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Dramatic shifts in sleep patterns
  • Unusual smells on their breath, body, or clothing
  • Shaking hands
  • Difficulty walking or executing fine motor skills

Along with physical signs a loved one may have an addiction, there are often recognizable behavioral changes:

  • Attendance or performance problems at work or school
  • Stealing or borrowing money
  • Secretive or suspicious behavior
  • Unexplained new friends or activities
  • Run-ins with the law such as DUIs, fights, theft, or other illegal activities

These behaviors are also combined with some notable psychological signs of abuse such as mood swings, irritability, out-bursts of anger, hyperactivity, anxiety, and even paranoia.

Take A Proactive Stance To Address Drug Abuse

When the writing on the wall is indicating a drug problem or even addiction, time is of the essence. This isn’t when a wait and see approach is the right decision. With each passing day, a drug addiction can get more severe, making it more difficult to overcome.

Don’t Delay In Getting Help

Most often, the best approach for addressing a loved one’s drug use is guiding them to professional addiction treatment. Now is the time to stay strong and help lead your loved one to the care they need. Personalized, on-going support is necessary for breaking an addiction and staying clean and sober.

Treatment for drug abuse is multi-layered to treat the mind, body, and soul and usually includes individual therapy, family therapy, 12-step meetings, and a variety of holistic treatments. In some cases, outpatient treatment is sufficient. However, many individuals can benefit from the comprehensive, round-the-clock care that inpatient addiction treatment offers.

Want to learn more about obtaining addiction treatment for a loved one? Contact Northern California’s premier drug and alcohol rehab recovery center – Summit Estate.

Don’t Wait Another Day – Your Loved One Will Thank You Later – Call Us Now.

How Much Time Is Enough For Long-term Rehab?

There are a lot of unknowns when you are considering entering rehab for drug or alcohol addiction. One of the most common questions asked is, “How long will I need to stay in rehab?”

This is a fair question. An inpatient rehab program takes you away from everyday activities including work, school, and social activities. However, there is no clear cut answer to how long rehab takes. The length of stay is based on your individual needs (including your substance abuse, relapse and mental health history).

Who Long-term, Inpatient Rehab Is Best For

How Much Time Is Enough For Long-term Rehab-Summit EstateLong-term rehab is the right choice for those with severe addiction, particularly for men and women who have attempted rehab in the past and have relapsed. It’s also extremely beneficial for individuals who are dealing with co-occurring disorders of both addiction and conditions like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.

At Summit Estate, we ask that every person who is entering inpatient rehab commit to a stay of at least 30 days. Substantial evidence has shown that 28 to 30 days are necessary for changing a person’s behaviors.

For many clients, the stay is longer than 30 days. Often, the stay for inpatient substance abuse treatment is between 45 and 120 days. Interestingly, research has shown that inpatient care of 90 days or more is most likely to lead to lifelong sobriety.

What Happens In Inpatient Treatment?

Ninety or 120 days can seem like a long time to recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Yet, recovery is actually a life-long process with significant work accomplished during this pivotal inpatient phase in the recovery process.

Upon completing the initial detox, inpatient rehab is focused on healing the mind, body, and spirit. This means acquiring new ways of living and being able to manage the triggers that led to the addiction in the first place. This is accomplished at Summit Estate’s long-term inpatient drug rehab in the Malibu area with a personalized treatment program that can include one-on-one therapy, group therapy, a 12-step program, and holistic treatment like meditation, yoga, and nutritional counseling.

Find out more about getting the help that you need today! With a single call, you can take the first step in overcoming addiction and reclaiming a life free from addiction and pain.

Call Us Now To Learn More Or To Begin A Life Free From Bondage – You Are Worth It & Always Have Been!

5 FAQs About Detox That You Need To Know

Destination-5 FAQs About Detox-Medical Detox In Northern CA

One of the most talked about but least understood aspects of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction is detox. The mystery surrounding the process often stems from the fact that everyone’s experience with it is different.

FAQs About Detox

To help minimize the unknowns, we’ve listed five of the most common questions we get asked about detox and have provided answers. If you’ve had questions about the process, we encourage you to keep reading!

1. What Exactly Is Detox?

Prior to entering a recovery program, you will need to rid your body of all intoxicating substances. If you’ve been abusing drugs and/or alcohol for an extended period of time, your body has built up a tolerance. The elimination process of these substances from your body is called detoxification or detox for short. This is the first step in breaking the dangerous cycle of addiction and establishes the foundation for starting on the journey of recovery.

2. How Do I Know If I Need Detox?

Anyone who is considering treatment for drug or alcohol addiction should be evaluated to determine whether or not detox is needed. Although you’ve probably been in denial for some time about your problem, this is the time to be honest with your healthcare provider. Leaving out key details about your usage may cause you to not get the help that you actually need.

There are also symptoms that you may have already experienced that signal that detox is necessary. These include loss of appetite, abdominal pains, fever, sweats, blood pressure or heart rate irregularities, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, depression, restlessness, poor concentration, insomnia, and paranoia.

3. Is Detox Painful?

This is probably the most common question asked about detox. This has much to do with how detox is depicted on TV and in movies. Fortunately, there have been tremendous advances when it comes to recovery and medically-supervised detox. Many individuals who complete detox will tell you that their experience was not as bad as they thought it would be. Of course, some have painful and unpleasant symptoms.

What is important to remember is that detox is an intense experience, and it isn’t easy to break old, destructive habits and experience the physical withdrawal as toxins leave the body. Different substances present varying detox symptoms. This is why it’s so vital to get help at a medically supervised detox center.

At Summit Estate’s medical detox program, we regularly monitor your symptoms and vitals and most importantly, we strive to keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible.

4. How Long Does Detox Last?

This is another very common question because there are no set guidelines. Just as symptoms can vary, so can the length of the detox process. In general, the longer you’ve been using the substance, the longer the detox process will take. If you’ve done any internet research on the topic of detox, you probably noticed a variety of average lengths of time. However, most of these fall into the range of several days to several weeks.

5. What Happens After Detox?

This may be the most important question of all! It’s very important to know that detox is only the first step in the recovery process and is never considered to be a stand-alone treatment option. Once you’ve achieved physical stabilization and are substance-free, it’s time to enter a recovery program that can help you understand triggers that led to the addiction, overcome cravings, and build a new life that will help sustain your goal of lifelong recovery.

Start On Your Journey To Healing And Recovery

A safe and comfortable detox is available to you through our medical detox program in Northern CA. We will create a customized rehabilitation plan for your individual needs and goals. Why not take the first step in recovery? Our caring and professional staff is waiting for your call.

To Begin Your Journey To Healing And Recovery – Call Now!

What Are Hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens, also called psychedelics, are a classification of drugs that affect an individual’s self-awareness, thinking, sensations, emotions, and perceptions. These drugs work by disrupting the functioning of the brain’s serotonin system.

Types Of HallucinogensWhat Are Hallucinogens-Summit Estate Rehab Facility

Drugs that are categorized as hallucinogens include:

  • LSD
  • PCP
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Mescaline
  • Psilocybin
  • Psychedelic Mushrooms

The Effects Of Hallucinogens

Depending on how much and how long you use, the effects of hallucinogens can have both short and long term consequences.

Short-term Effects

The effects of hallucinogens vary, but most begin immediately and can last between 30 minutes and 12 hours. These effects can be unpredictable, depending on a variety of factors such as how much of the drug was taken, the user’s personality, and the surroundings in which the drug is used.

Physical effects can start quickly including dilated pupils, raised body temperature, increased heart rate, sweating paranoia, and tremors. Emotions and moods can swing wildly, and sensations can even seem to cross over causing the user to feel sound or hear color. This overload on the brain can result in feelings of fear, panic, and anxiety.

Long-term Effects

Individuals who frequently use LSD or other hallucinogens experience changes in their brain function over time. This often leads to memory loss, confusion, and problems with cognitive thinking. Taken in large doses, these drugs can cause sleepiness, convulsions, coma, and death.

In the case of PCP, there is also an increased risk of heart and lung failure, ruptured blood vessels in the brain and violent, bizarre behaviors. These behaviors have led to some users experiencing serious injury and death due to drowning, falls, auto accidents, and burns.

The dangers of LSD and other hallucinogens can also lead to a risk of psychosis and a disorder called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) which causes users to experience flashbacks long after the drug’s effects have worn off. These occurrences can last for years after the drug use has subsided.

Getting Help For Hallucinogen Abuse

While many have debated whether or not hallucinogens are addictive, the reality is that they are dangerous. And, many require help in overcoming their use of these dangerous drugs. If you or a loved one is abusing hallucinogens, Summit Estate’s drug addiction treatment center in the Bay Area can help.

Call Now To Learn More And To Take The First Step In Getting Effective Treatment!

Is There A Link Between An Empty Nest And Depression?

Link Between An Empty Next And Depression-SummitEstate.comThe time when children leave home for college or careers can bring on feelings of sadness, loneliness, and grief in many parents. Coined “empty nest syndrome” by health professionals, this transition can lead some men and women to depression and even to turn to drugs or alcohol.

As a parent, the focus is on providing a loving, nurturing environment for children. When they begin to establish their independence, it can bring on a sense of loss and negative feelings that persist and lead to depression.

Although many “empty nesters” find freedom and a sense of relief in an empty house with more time for hobbies and interests, others find themselves emotionally vulnerable. Some even dwell on lost opportunities or begin to feel like they’re no longer needed.

Who Is At Risk Of Empty Nest Syndrome?

Those who have experienced depression in the past or who have a family history of the condition are more likely to develop empty nest syndrome. Major life changes such as a child leaving home can spawn negative feelings and the desire to self-medicate with alcohol, prescription pain medications, or other substances.

Factors That Can Cause Empty Nest Syndrome

There are often multiple contributing factors that cause this type of depression including:

Loss Of Identity – As a primary caregiver, it’s easy to become engrossed in the role of being a parent. When an adult child leaves home, there sometimes is a loss of an identity that has been present for 18 or more years.

Guilt – Many parents fear that they did not adequately do their job to prepare their children for the real world. This can spawn feelings of guilt and regret.

Financial Issues – Worries about college tuition and other college-related expenses can place many parents under a high level of stress.

Relationship Changes – Without the time-consuming task of raising children, many couples are unprepared for how to live life without having to manage the daily responsibilities of being a parent.

Getting Help For Depression And Addiction

For many parents struggling with empty nest syndrome, it’s wise to get help from an experienced mental health professional. If there is also a co-occurring addiction, a recovery program might be the right first step in recovery.

Summit Estate offers in-patient co-occurring disorders treatment in Los Gatos, CA for substance abuse and depression. If you need help for the feelings you’re experiencing since your children have left home, don’t delay in getting help.

You Don’t Need To Hurt Another Day – Call Us Now – We Are Here For You 24/7

3 Activities Of Self-Expression In Recovery

Make Time For Yourself-Self-Expression In Recovery-Summit EstateFor those who are in addiction recovery, one of the primary goals is to develop strategies that can help overcome negative emotions and behaviors. Before starting on the road to recovery, the substance was used to numb feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, and shame. Without the substance as a crutch, feelings are often more pronounced and require an outlet.

Fortunately, there are many beneficial activities that can facilitate self-expression in a positive way as part of a holistic healing treatment program. The following are three activities that can help manage feelings and support positive behaviors.

Activities Of Self-Expression In Recovery

The Mindful Walk

Without a doubt, walking is a great exercise that you can do almost anytime and anywhere. Yet, most people do not practice mindfulness while on a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or a power walk on a park trail.

Being mindful on a walk requires one to be aware of surroundings and to make note of feelings and sensations that they are experiencing. Extra attention should be placed on breathing. A 15 minute mindful walk followed by journaling about the experience can help encourage feelings of centeredness and stress-relief.

The Visual Journal

Writing in a journal can be a very therapeutic activity. This can be made even more beneficial with the addition of visuals such as signs, marks, sketches, and symbols. There are no rules when it comes to putting your feelings down on paper. The key is to do this on a regular basis. This visual journal can be discussed with a therapist to delve deeper into feelings and strategies for sustaining long-term recovery.

The Process Of Creating, Building, Or Refurbishing

A metamorphosis occurs in recovery. Over time, there is positive change and growth. To help express this process, it can be useful for some individuals to work on a project that requires extended effort. The process of creating, building, or refurbishing is very similar to the journey of recovery. The item that is worked on literally becomes a symbol of the renewal and the forward movement towards a new, more positive life.

Find Out More About Holistic Addiction Treatment

To learn more about self-expression in recovery and how it fits into a larger customized treatment program, call Summit Estate today.

We Will Be With You Every Step Of The Way – Call Now!