Tag Archives: Drug Rehab Programs

How to Avoid Relapsing in Rehab Programs

The journey from being an addict to becoming a healthy person again is difficult and filled with trials that will be unique to each person. The process of recovery once rehabilitation has begun can only be achieved by each individual. Therapy, rehab programs and support networks are all there to help. But it is up to the willpower and determination of recovering addicts to change their lives for good.

Will Power

It is an interesting word with so much meaning, but willpower is the fundamental way one breaks with addiction. For whatever reason, many addicts have incredibly low self-esteem, which in turn weakens or destroys their willpower, reinforcing the addiction.

Therapy and Rehab programs are designed to restore that self-confidence and enable a person willpower to take over; No one wants to be an addict, showing people that they have the power to end their dependence is the only way to ensure a viable long-term recovery.

How to Avoid Relapsing in Rehab Programs

Avoid/Deal with Trigger

Triggers are situations or actions that can lead a recovering addict to crave there for dependence. These triggers are often related to people in the person’s life or in situations they may find themselves in.

Lowering the number of potential triggers and dealing with the few that will inevitably surface is a key factor in avoiding a relapse.

Support Networks

No one person is an island and having people that either care for you (friends/family) or those who recognize your struggles (a support group) is a vital factor for avoiding a relapse.

At this point a potential sore topic; cutting out ‘’toxic’’ relationships; For many recovering addicts, some friends or family will be a trigger for them, in these circumstances, often the only way to avoid relapsing is to remove these people from one’s life.

This will often be an extremely painful process, these co-dependent relationships could be between lovers, or siblings, or parent/child and the severing of them will not be easy, but it may be necessary. In such circumstances, consulting with a therapist or other support networks may be key in facilitating this course of action.

Keep active

Physical health and Mental health are linked, both affect each other in a feedback loop. If one increases, so does the other, the same for decreases.

This means that exercising regularly is key for all forms of health. Finding a form of a workout that suits each individual is key; for some, it may be running, for others cycling.

Sex is also a great workout, whether it is with a partner or not, make sure to be safe!

The Big Boogeyman

Many recovering addicts view relapse as a sign of failure but it is not. Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured, it is managed. Once you’re an addict, you remain one for the rest of your life. These are hard words to hard but honesty is key to staying healthy.

Many recovering addicts will relapse over the course of a lifetime; some will be lucky enough not to but they are in a minority. If a relapse does occur the key is to pick yourself up again and learn from ones’ mistakes.

If you or a beloved one is in need of rehab programs, please call Summit Estate at (866) 569-9391.

Silicon Valley Burnout: When Stress Leads to Self-Medicating

 stressed out silicon valley worker

You’re a highly paid, successful professional working in Silicon Valley’s legendary tech industry. You regularly work 80 + hour weeks because:

  1. Everyone in your firm does it.
  2. Your bosses expect it.
  3. Elon Musk does it, Jeff Bezos does it, and Steve Jobs did it.

At this point, your mom would ask you this question:

If Elon Musk jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?

To which you might answer:

Yes, because I’ll land in the electric flying car I designed during my marathon weekend work sessions. It’s synced with the altimeter app (the one I designed) on my smartphone, and will catch me at just the right moment.  

All jokes aside, have you thought much about your work habits?

Granted, when you signed on the dotted line or took the plunge and launched your own startup, you knew exactly what you were getting into. You knew full well the dominant cultural paradigm in the Silicon Valley tech world is like Max Weber’s Protestant Work Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism on super-sized doses of Adderall. You knew there’d be fierce competition to succeed, and once you achieved success, you knew you’d have to turn yourself inside out to stay on top. You knew you’d get emails after midnight and your manager would expect you to reply immediately. You knew half the employees in your company would compete to see who’d stay at their desk after 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and the other half would compete to see who’d arrive at the office before 5:00 a.m. every other day of the week.

You knew you’d have to sacrifice to make it.

So, perhaps a better question for you is this: have you though much about your relaxation habits?

Stress Management and Self-Medication

Since you work in a high-stress environment in an industry characterized by obsession with profit and progress, it makes sense that at the end of the day – even if the end of your day is technically the middle of the night – you may have a hard time winding down. It makes sense that front and center in your mind is the project you’re working on. It makes sense that all you can think about is the product review meeting you have bright and early the next morning.

It makes sense you pour yourself a stiff drink when you get home.

You need something to help turn off your brain. Something quick and effective that doesn’t require more work on your part. You don’t have time for yoga or meditation. Your company has napping pods but you have no idea what the inside of them looks like. Your company has a gym but you’re not even sure if your key card works on the door. The only new-age extras you take advantage of at your cutting-edge company are the free lunches and the espresso machines, and you only use those because they help you maximize your productivity.

Besides, typical stress management techniques just sound like another thing to add to your to-do list, which – paradoxically – stresses you out.

The stiff drinks work much better, anyway. And the fact you need to take a sleeping pill every so often is no big deal, because it helps you get the rest you need so you can get your shoulder back to the wheel the next day.

The thing is, the drinks and the sleeping pills aren’t a big deal until they are. And when you finally realize what you’ve been doing all along is called self-medication, as opposed to stress management, it might be too late. You might be smack dab in the middle of a toxic Alcohol Use Disorder or an unexpected benzodiazepine addiction. You may have become a daily marijuana smoker without even realizing it. A functional drunk, a pill-popper, an accidental pothead: it’s hard to imagine any of those things were on your list of long-term life goals.

Get Help at Summit Estate

We understand why you work as hard as you do. We understand you’re driven to succeed. We get that there are million and one reasons you spend so many hours at the office. Maybe you’re striving to provide for a family. Maybe you want to retire early and travel the world. Maybe you have a sick relative you need to care for. Or maybe you want to make a name for yourself and leave your mark on the world.

All that makes sense – and all we’re asking is that examine your work habits and your relaxation habits sooner rather than later. We want to make sure you’re not slowly working yourself into a set of self-destructive patterns that have the potential to consume you, sabotage all your good work, and have negative effects on your health and well-being. We want you to understand that if your work has driven you to extremes, and those extremes include an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or other substances of abuse – we’re here for you.

We offer full service luxury addiction treatment services convenient to the Bay Area and San Francisco Peninsula. If you need help, you have options: you can choose the level of care that works for you and your specific situation. From our state-of-the-art Medical Drug and Alcohol Detox Center to Residential ProgramsDay Programs, and Outpatient Programs, we’ll work with you to create a custom treatment program that meets your needs. We’ll help you find your way back to a healthy, sustainable life, free from the cycles of addiction we’re sure were never on your to-do list in the first place.

Call Us Now. Our counselors and psychotherapists are standing by, ready to listen to your story.

Healthcare Insurance: What’s Our Future?

health insurance claim form

Pity the average citizen trying to figure out what’s going to happen with healthcare.  During the week of July 9, proposed legislation changed in a day.

Before July 13, this is where things stood:

BCRA—the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, released on June 22—was still waiting to be approved by the Senate before being sent to the president’s for signing. More than a few people were worried, especially those concerned about healthcare coverage for those suffering from addiction. Ask anyone—those working in addiction and recovery, to families of loved ones caught up in the disease, to anyone who has been through an insurance coverage nightmare or who has heard tales from friends—how difficult it can be to navigate the system when the problem is addiction and mental health, it hasn’t been easy.

For years, a number of people had been working for parity in coverage for mental health and addiction disorders, and Obamacare —the Affordable Care Act —achieved that, according to The Fix.  The ACA was passed in 2008 and by 2014, what so many people dreamed about came into being, starting with increased access to healthcare for many “by expanding Medicaid and offering low-cost insurance through the ‘Health Insurance Marketplaces’.” The law also stopped insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, such as substance abuse.

BRCA benefits are listed at https://www.dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill61.pdf and explained at sites like http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/07/12/breaking-down-the-senates-bcra-proposal. (The latter is a resource for benefits professionals.) Even Wikipedia does a good job of explaining them.

Addiction experts were sounding off about what it would mean should BCRA pass. A July 6 opinion column on an independent Park Forest, Illinois website included comments from over 60 experts who opposed the proposed healthcare act. The Senate’s version of healthcare repeal would cripple national efforts to address this public health epidemic, the article said, and the piece backed that statement up with several arguments. Two are below.

1 “Research has clearly shown that substance use disorders are complex, chronic medical conditions, best treated with comprehensive and integrated care” (and we cannot go back to financing them separately and treating them the same way, as before the ACA.)

2 Medicaid reductions and caps in BCRA mean that many substance abusers will lose coverage for treatment designed to save their lives.

On July 13, the Senate introduced a revised plan:  

As CNN reported:

1 The new bill has an amendment allowing inexpensive, deregulated insurance plans

“as long as Obamacare-compliant plans are sold.”

2 States will receive more money for their healthcare initiatives, including $45 billion for fighting drug addiction.

There is more, but those seem to be the changes most important related to addiction treatment.

Two moderate Republicans immediately took issue with the revision, saying that it will “hurt people with pre-existing conditions…who got coverage under Obamacare” and adding that the reductions in Medicare funding will hurt low-income families and others.

The revised bill also increases the number of people who will be left without insurance.

The finishing touches to the plan are due July 17, and now, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Bill Cassidy have yet another proposal.

If you’re not following all this, it’s understandable. There will not be a quiz.

Rehab After Relapse: Motivating Yourself to Make the Right Choice

upset young woman

Every person who commits to recovery from alcohol or substance abuse must face the fact they may relapse. That’s why all quality treatment programs design a re-entry plan for their clients meant to last past the first few days after discharge. Clinicians, counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists all understand one crucial thing about recovery: it’s a life-long process.

Substance abuse treatment professionals know that creating a custom, multi-layered, comprehensive post-treatment support system is the key to sustained sobriety. If you’ve been through rehab yourself – whether your program was residential, outpatient, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient – it’s almost certain you spent hours in classes, workshops, group therapy, and individual sessions on the subject of relapse prevention.

Why?

Because the statistics on relapse are scary: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 50-90% of alcoholics and 40-60% of people recovering from substance abuse relapse in the first four years after rehab.

That’s the reason you learned how to identify your triggers. That’s why your counselors and therapists taught you how to rebuild your social network and stack it with people like sponsors or recovery partners who are as committed to recovery and sobriety as you. That’s why you learned how to set healthy boundaries with family members and old friends from your use and abuse days, and that’s why you learned stress-management techniques from yoga to meditation to exercise to sleep hygiene.

That’s also why you need to understand that relapse is not the end of the world – but you do need to do something about it.

What Should I do if I Relapse? Do I Need to Return to Rehab?

The answer depends on you.

The first thing you need to do is identify what really happened. Meaning you need to understand the difference between a slip and a full relapse. A slip is typically a very short, one-time occurrence where you drink or do drugs for one day or one evening, but quickly realize the danger you’re in and get back on your sobriety program right away. A full relapse, on the other hand, is when you fall back into your addictive patterns for days, weeks, months, or even years.

Don’t misunderstand, though: a slip is serious. It’s an indication you need to shore up your sobriety plan, identify why you slipped, and recommit yourself to recovery. If you slipped and righted the ship immediately, then it’s unlikely you need to return to rehab. If you truly relapsed, however, that’s a different story. The hard truth is that if you went down back down the rabbit hole, you probably need help getting back out.

You need to get back into rehab.

Returning to Rehab: How to Do It

Intense feelings of guilt, shame, frustration, and anger typically accompany relapse. All these feelings are valid and reasonable. They also don’t help. Yes, you need to work through them. Yes, a bit of anger can act as a catalyst and get you back on track. But the important thing to remember – something you most likely learned when you were in rehab the first time – is that you need to let go of what’s done, focus on where you are now, and commit your recovery.

Here’s a list of things to help you get back into rehab after relapse:

  1. Own it. If you relapsed, it’s done. You can’t go back in time, you can’t undrink a drink, you can’t unsmoke a joint, and you can’t untake a pill. Take personal responsibility for your relapse. Don’t try to shift accountability to other people or circumstances. Face reality and move forward.
  2. Don’t beat yourself up. If you need to, go ahead and re-read the relapse statistics above to remind yourself that relapse is part of recovery. You’re not alone: people have been there before and you can use their wisdom to help you move forward. Spending time wallowing in your shame and sorrows will exacerbate the downward spiral. Don’t do it. Remind yourself of how good it was when you were following your program, and know – really know deep inside – that it’s possible to get back to that good place.
  3. Use the phone. If you went into an extended relapse, it’s likely the people in your support network know about it. They’ll be ready to help you get back on track. Pick up the phone, dial those numbers, or go to a support group meeting and talk. Don’t wait: do it now.
  4. Evaluate Your Sobriety Strategy. That may seem too obvious to say, but it’s important: if you relapsed, something went wrong with your long-term sobriety plan. You need to take a long, serious look at what went wrong and what you can do to shore it up to decrease the chances of it happening again.
  5. Take action. Get yourself back into rehab. Quickly. You may want to go back to your original treatment center, or you may not – that’s up to you. Some people find comfort in working with familiar faces in familiar places, while others may want to start new, with a completely different approach and a new set of doctors, counselors, and therapists. Both choices are equally valid. It all depends on you.

Returning to Rehab: A Learning Experience

Committing to treatment and recovery the first time was probably the most courageous thing you’ve ever done in your life. It’s time to tap into that same courage again. You know you can do it because you’ve done it before. This time around, you have the advantage: you know what works, what doesn’t, and you know you’re not immune to relapse. Recovery is like a muscle. If you slipped or relapsed, it’s time to strengthen that muscle again – and the only way to do that is to get to work.

You may be humbled, but there’s also reason for optimism: you can take all this knowledge back to rehab with you, and get more out of the process this time than before. Every relapse prevention workshop you attend will have that much more meaning. You’ll understand – and hopefully embrace – the entire concept of relapse prevention in ways you never did before. If you had doubts, they should be gone now: this time around, you can take the insight of your therapists and counselors, the collective wisdom of your recovery partners and support system, combine it with your personal experience, and create a post-rehab sobriety program that significantly decreases your chance of another relapse. Even better than that, you can pay it forward, and use your experience to help others in rehab for the first time, the same way your recovery partners helped you during your first rehab experience.

If you’re reading this article and you’re in the middle of a relapse, call us here at Summit Estate now at:

800-701-6997

This is your chance to get back on track.

Don’t let it slip by!