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alcohol myths

11 Common Myths About Alcoholism

Although we know more about the effects of alcohol than we did in the past, there are still some popular myths about alcoholism and drinking problems. Learning the truth as opposed to the myths can help you make healthy decisions.

1. If you can “hold your liquor,” you have a lower risk of alcoholism.

This is one of the long-standing myths about alcoholism. Truth: Having a few drinks without feeling any effects sounds like a good thing. However, if you need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to feel an effect, this is called tolerance. This could be a sign that you have a problem with alcohol.

2. You won’t become an alcoholic if you only drink on weekends.

Truth: You don’t need to be a daily drinker to have a problem with alcohol. Heavy drinking is defined by how much you drink in a day or in a week. 

You may be at risk if you:

  • Are a man and have more than four drinks in a day or more than 14 drinks a week
  • Are a woman and have more than three drinks a day or more than seven drinks in a week

Drinking this amount or more is considered heavy drinking, even if you only drink on the weekends. Heavy drinking can also put you at risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, sleep disturbances, and some types of cancer.

3. The risk of having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) decreases as you get older.

Truth: In case you thought that alcoholism has to start early in life, the fact is that some people develop alcohol problems at a later age.

People become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older. Some people take medicines that make the effects of alcohol stronger. Sadly, some older adults may start to drink more because they are bored or feel lonely or depressed.

Even people who never drank much when young can have problems with drinking as they get older. A healthy range of drinking for men and women over 65 is:

  • No more than three drinks in a single day
  • No more than a total of seven drinks in a week

Adults aged 65 and older tend to drink less than they used to, but 40% of them still drink. Because of the way the body breaks down alcohol with age, they often feel the effects quicker. Signs of alcohol dependence particular to older adults include:

  • depression and anxiety,
  • loss of appetite,
  • mysterious bruises, and
  • poor hygiene or cleanliness.

4. If you only drink wine or beer, you don’t have a problem.

Truth: Problem drinking isn’t about what you drink. It’s about how it affects your life. If you can answer “yes” to two of the following statements, you have an alcohol problem:

  • Sometimes you drink more or longer than you planned to.
  • You haven’t been able to stop or cut down on your drinking on your own, even though you have tried to or you want to.
  • You spend a lot of time drinking, being sick from drinking, or getting over the effects of drinking.
  • Sometimes your urge to drink is so strong, you can’t think about anything else.
  • Because of your drinking, you take care of your responsibilities at school, work, or at home. Maybe you keep getting sick because of drinking.
  • You continue to drink even though it’s causing problems with relationships.
  • You have cut back or quit taking part in activities that you used to enjoy. Now you use that time to drink.
  • Drinking has led to situations that could lead to you or someone else getting injured, such as driving while drunk or unsafe sex.
  • Drinking makes you feel anxious, depressed, and forgetful or causes other health problems, but you continue to drink.
  • You need to drink more than you used to to get the same effect from alcohol. 
  • When the alcohol wears off you have symptoms of withdrawal. These could include tremors, sweating, nausea, insomnia, seizures, and hallucinations.

5. Drinking is a good way to take the edge off chronic pain.

Truth: Pain relievers and alcohol are a bad mix. Drinking while taking painkillers may increase your risk of liver problems, stomach bleeding, and other issues. Additionally, drinking to relieve pain increases your risk for alcoholism. Most people need to drink more than a moderate amount to relieve pain.

Also, as you increase your tolerance for alcohol, you will need to drink more to get the same pain relief. Drinking at that level increases your risk for alcohol dependence and addiction. Ironically, long-term alcohol use can actually increase pain. If you have withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, you may become more sensitive to pain. Heavy drinking over a long time can also cause a certain type of nerve pain.

6. If you drink too much, coffee will sober you up.

Truth: If you are drunk, only the passage of time can sober you up. Your body needs time to break down the alcohol in your system. The caffeine in coffee will help you stay awake but it won’t help your coordination or decision-making skills. These can be affected for several hours after you stop drinking. This is why it is never safe to drive after you’ve been drinking, whether you’ve had coffee or not.

7. One drink equals whatever I pour in my glass.

Truth: A drink is defined as:

  • 12 fluid ounces of beer
  • 5 fluid ounces of wine
  • 1½ fluid ounces of liquor

Many American glasses and mixed drinks hold much more than one serving. For example, some cocktails count as three or more standard drinks.

8. Drinking makes you more social.

Truth: An alcoholic drink may cause you to lose some of your inhibitions. However, overdoing it can actually hurt your social life. You might say and do things you really shouldn’t. Over time, heavy drinking can harm healthy relationships and cause problems when you fail at your responsibilities at home, school, or work.

9. Kids can safely drink some alcohol.

Truth: Even before birth, drinking can harm children. If mothers use alcohol while pregnant, it increases the risk of learning and behavior problems for their children. Also, young people who begin drinking before age 15 have five times the risk of alcohol problems when they become adults.

10. Alcohol doesn’t cause as much harm as other drugs.

Truth: Drinking can create many health dangers. In the short term, excessive alcohol use can increase your risk of accidents, injuries, and violence.

In the long-term, chronic drinking increases your risk of :

  • liver damage,
  • high blood pressure,
  • irregular heartbeats,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • memory loss, and
  • some types of cancer.

For people with mood disorders or osteoporosis, the risk is even greater.

11. It’s okay to drive as long as you don’t feel drunk.

Truth: Alcohol almost immediately impairs the coordination you need to drive safely, even if you aren’t slurring your speech or stumbling. And you’re still not safe after you stop drinking. The alcohol in your stomach and intestines continues to enter your bloodstream for hours. 

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Although it is a serious disease, there is treatment for alcohol use disorder. Unfortunately, only about 15-20% of people with alcoholism get help from doctors or treatment programs. A lot of people don’t get help until they are forced to by a court, family member, or employer. 

Still, studies show that 66-75% of problem drinkers are able to make positive changes. Recovery for AUD follows a continuum. Each step flows into the next with the goal being long-term sobriety. Steps along the continuum include:

Detox

The first important step for people with AUD is detox. The point of detoxification is to give your body time to clear out the alcohol and return to a normal balance. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within six to 24 hours after the last drink. The symptoms can begin even while there is still alcohol in the bloodstream. Most people require a medically supervised detox in a treatment center to help deal with these withdrawal symptoms:

  • Tremors (mainly in the hands)
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Unstable heart rate and blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens (DTs): A life-threatening symptom that can make a person restless, confused, and cause seizures, fever, and hallucinations

Individuals in a medically monitored detox receive 24-hour supervision with clinicians available to give medications if necessary. The main goal of detox is to stabilize the patient and prepare them for a formal treatment program.

Residential Treatment Program

The highest level of patient care is offered by a residential (or inpatient) program. In this type of program, the individual lives at the treatment center for a duration of time that meets their needs. This typically ranges from a month to a year. 

Residential treatment provides the patient a secure, safe, and structured environment in which to recover. This allows the addict a safe space free of any triggers or reminders of alcohol use. The focus each day is on them, their recovery, and how to prevent a relapse.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Also sometimes called partial hospitalization programs, IOPs offer a second level of care. Depending on the severity of the patient’s AUD and their support network at home, this may be a good alternative to a residential program. 

In an IOP, patients are able to live at home and attend therapy and group sessions during the day. It is usually three to five times per week for several hours a day. Because the individual will be living at home, IOPs are frequently used after residential programs as a step along the continuum of care. This is meant to ease the patient back to an unsupervised life while maintaining sobriety.

Outpatient Program (OP)

An OP could be considered the next level of care. These programs are similar to the IOPs but require fewer days at the treatment facility, for fewer hours. Once again, another stop along the continuum of care meant to ease the transition into normal life.

Aftercare or Sober Living Program

If, after completing the formal treatment programs, an individual is still not feeling confident in their sobriety, they may want to enter an aftercare program or sober living residence. Recovering alcoholics find valuable support through continuing therapy, participation in 12-step groups, or sober living homes. Studies show that people who continue in some type of aftercare have a better chance at long-term abstinence and recovery.

How To Help an Alcoholic

Maybe you have a friend or other loved one who is an alcoholic. Now that you know the myths about alcoholism, here are some ways to help.

  • Stop hiding the problem. When everyone knows about it, it can be dealt with.
  • Get support. Make a plan to talk to the alcoholic person with whoever they respect most.
  • Do not attempt to talk to the person when they have been drinking or are stressed.
  • Form a non-accusing team to confront the person with the damage they are doing to themself, their job, and their community. Be specific.
  • If this is the first confrontation, you may want to give them another chance to quit on their own. If they are a long-term drinker, it probably isn’t the first confrontation.
  • If the person has had second chances and failed, they will have plenty of excuses. This is the time to discuss rehab.
  • If they refuse to talk about rehab, family, and friends will need to agree on consequences.
  • If these steps fail, find someone that the individual holds in high regard, or as an authority. Sometimes that person can convince them.
  • Finally, you may reach the point where you need to contact a professional interventionist. Bring in the interventionist and give them all the help they need to get your friend or loved one into treatment.

Getting Treatment at Intrepid Detox

You can get this type of comprehensive treatment for alcoholism at Intrepid Detox. Whether it is for yourself or your loved one, you can be assured that we have the expertise and experience in handling this condition. 

Our clinicians are certified professionals whose only goal is to help you succeed. Plus, many members of our staff were former clients. They understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through. And they are able to relate to family and friends at the same time. Do not hesitate. This issue is too serious to let it go and hope for the best. Contact us now.

Need to Go to Detox

Do I Need to Go to Detox?

Most effective drug treatment programs have several distinct phases. The first phase is almost always medically monitored detox, where men and women are closely monitored as they undergo withdrawal. Individuals who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any length of time are at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using chemical substances abruptly.

While most of the time these symptoms are not life-threatening (depending on the type of substance being abused and the severity of abuse), they are usually uncomfortable enough to lead to relapse when attempted in an at-home setting.

Some people mistakenly believe that because their substance abuse disorder was not that severe, they can skip detox and go straight to inpatient or outpatient treatment. It is recommended that those who are serious about maintaining sobriety enter into a medical detox program for at least two to three days. Once they are medically cleared, they can transfer directly into a higher level of clinical care.

If you have attempted to detox on your own and been unsuccessful, entering into a medical detox program is a great idea. However, it is important to know that there can be several roadblocks when it comes to entering into such a program. We have made a list of these potential roadblocks and included effective ways that you can overcome them.

Roadblocks To Medical Detox

1. The age-old problem of “not enough beds.” Most state-run detox facilities fill up fast – so does the detox portion of most hospitals. If you have tried to enter into a state-run detox program beforehand, you might have been turned away and told, “Sorry, we don’t have any more beds.” One great way to avoid this roadblock is by finding a detox program that is privately owned and operated.

Not only will this allow you instant access to quality clinical care, but you will be provided with more services than you would find otherwise. These services often include rehab placement, which can be extremely beneficial if you are looking to enter into the next appropriate level of clinical care once you have completed detox.

2. Financial capability. Most people let the price of medical detox drive them away. It is important to consider the fact that active addiction is not only financially draining, but it robs you of the opportunity to thrive in any area of life. While it is true that medical detox is not always cheap, undergoing treatment pays for itself inevitably.

It is also important to note that many reputable treatment centers and medical detox centers accept regional and national health insurance. At Intrepid Detox Residential we work with most major providers, making medical detox even more accessible. In some instances, we also offer financial assistance – simply reach out to us today for more detailed information.

3. Fear of undergoing withdrawal. Sadly, many men and women who desperately need addiction treatment let the fear of undergoing withdrawal prevent them from entering into a medical detox program. However, the benefit of medical detox is providing a pain-free withdrawal and offering 24-hour access to professional medical care.

While the prospect of experiencing a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms can be scary, it is also important to understand that the longer you go without seeking treatment, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be when you finally do.

4. Failure to admit that a problem even exists. One of the most difficult parts of the addiction recovery process is admitting to yourself and your loved ones that treatment is necessary. Addiction is a disease of denial, and we very often convince ourselves that nothing is wrong and that we can still stop at any point in time – even when this clearly isn’t the case.

In order to overcome a substance abuse disorder, you will need to acknowledge the fact that your substance use has become a problem. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do this right away – all you really need to do is accept that the withdrawal process will be easier with a little bit of assistance.

5. Personal obligations and responsibilities. Some people are the primary caretakers of one or more dependents, or they have high powered careers that they cannot easily step away from for days at a time. Sometimes personal obligations like these prevent people from seeking the help they need.

If you give us a call, we will gladly help you develop a plan of action that takes these considerations into mind. At Intrepid Detox Residential we offer a flexible program of clinical care that can be modified to fit your personal needs.

If you have been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity, medical detox is always necessary. You might feel as if you can successfully detox on your own, but serious and dangerous complications can occur even when the symptoms of withdrawal are not too severe.

Men and women who attempt to detox in an at-home setting have a very low chance of maintaining sobriety for longer than several days. If you are serious about overcoming a substance abuse disorder long-term and finally going on to lead the life you deserve, Intrepid Detox Residential is available to help.

What To Expect From Medical Detox

What will the detox experience be like? Will you be situated in a luxury facility, wearing a fluffy white bathrobe and sipping on herbal tea? Will you be stuck on a hard cot in a prison-like room, shaking and sweating as doctors pass by the window with clipboards? Most medically monitored detox centers were carefully designed with client comfort in mind. At Intrepid Detox Residential, we provide our clients with an extremely comfortable luxury-style facility, which was decorated to facilitate healing.

We offer a wide range of amenities and services, including private and semi-private bedrooms, around-the-clock access to an incredible (and fully stocked) kitchen, chef-prepared meals and expansive common areas where clients can relax and mingle. There’s really nothing to be scared of or apprehensive about. Reputable detox centers focus on providing a completely pain-free withdrawal experience.

You might not be feeling your best, but we do everything in our power to ensure that you are not feeling your worst. Most of the time, the symptoms of withdrawal are not as severe as people might think. They generally subside within a few days, and they can mostly be treated with a combination of non-narcotic pain relievers and a great amount of rest.

How Long Will Medical Detox Last?

The length of your stay in medical detox depends heavily on what type of substance or substances you were actively abusing, how long your active addiction lasted and whether or not there are any underlying issues present (physical or psychological in nature). Most detox experiences last for between three and five days. However, if chemical substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines were being abused, detox might last for between one and two weeks. You will be released from the detox program and admitted to the next appropriate level of care once withdrawal symptoms have predominantly subsided.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Personal Recovery Journey

Don’t let a fear of the unknown prevent you from living the life you deserve. Men and women who struggle with drug addiction or alcoholism often lose sight of how “normal” life can be. Their day-to-day lives are completely consumed by substance use, and normalcy flies out the window completely – out of sight, out of mind. In order to regain the sense of normalcy, you must simply take the first step – reach out for help and admit yourself to a medical detox program. For more information on our program of recovery or to begin your personal journey of healing, reach out to us today.

Taking Suggestions

Why Taking Suggestions is So Important

Living a life of recovery is not always easy – this is especially true when you first start out on your personal recovery journey. They say that the first year tends to be the hardest, and many individuals who have made it through the first year unscathed can vouch for this fact. This is around the time when you are attempting to find your footing; navigating an entirely new way of life and learning how to sit with yourself without the assistance of chemical substances. It can be uncomfortable. It can even be quite brutal. But as time goes on and you continuously stay sober, you learn more about yourself and what makes you tick. You embark on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, and by the time the second year of your recovery rolls around you feel a little more confident in who you are and what you are capable of – and things only get better from there.

But here’s the tricky part. Many of us enter into addiction recovery truly believing that we already have it all figured out (despite the fact that our best thinking landed us in rehab). I remember when I first got sober and I heard all of the crusty old suggestions the AA “old timers” were slinging in my direction. Some examples of these suggestions included:

  • Make at least on 12 step meeting every single day
  • Get a Big Book and read through that thing
  • Begin working through the steps with a sponsor as soon as possible
  • Develop a structured, recovery-friendly schedule
  • Stay out of romantic relationships during your first year of sobriety
  • Men stick with the men, women stick with the women
  • If you feel triggered or unstable in your sobriety, call a sober support
  • Pray and meditate on a daily basis
  • Prioritize your recovery above literally everything else

Some of those suggestions were acceptable by my standards. I could probably make a 12 step meeting every day – unless I had something significantly more important to do, of course. I could probably shoot someone a text if I was feeling off of my game (actually calling someone seemed a little bit extra). I could meditate on a daily basis if I found the time, but praying every morning and every night? That was a little excessive for someone of my agnostic persuasion. Women with the women? I was going to pass on that one. Stay out of romantic relationships for a full year? No thanks. After all – these were only suggestions, right? They certainly weren’t rules, so I could pick and choose what sounded appealing. Not so much. After countless returns to drinking, I finally decided to listen to what others had to say. Once I succumbed to taking suggestions, I was actually (finally) able to stay sober.

Why Taking Suggestions is Important

Why are they called suggestions if they’re so important to take? Shouldn’t they be called something else, like “The AA Guidelines” or “The Sober Dogma?” Well, here’s a little secret – you don’t HAVE to take any of these suggestions in order to stay sober long-term. All you really HAVE to do is remain completely abstinent. However, taking these suggestions makes doing that a whole heck of a lot easier. There are people who get romantically involved within the first six months of their sobriety but successfully prioritize recovery and still make a 12 step meeting every day. There are people who befriend a member of the opposite sex who serves as a good role model, and there are people who have a difficult time remembering to meditate every day but still manage to make it beyond their first year. Everything is relative. These suggestions have been developed over time because they generally make staying sober easier, and because that’s the whole goal. Remember that if someone who has decades of sobriety offers you a suggestion, they are not trying to put you in a corner or dictate the way you live your life. They are simply encouraging you to make choices that are conducive to your overall quality of life.

Is taking suggestions important? Yes, it’s very important. What happens if you fail to take suggestions? Well, you sure as heck won’t wake up drunk (not unless you decidedly picked up a drink, that is). But you might make the road to recovery far more difficult than it needs to be.

What it Means to Turn Over Your Will

Turning over your will might seem like a super involved, complicated and terrifying process. But really, all you need to do in order to turn over your will is admit to yourself that help has become necessary, and that your life has become unmanageable as a result of your substance use. Simply saying, “Okay, I can’t do this without help” is enough to get started. There is this whole thing in AA (somewhere around Step 3) that goes something like, “Turn over our will and our lives to the care of God as we understand Him.” The religious component of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous scares many people away. Just try to remember that the book itself was written in the 1930s, and that most things are open to some level of interpretation. A higher power of your understanding means just that – it could be the ocean, it could be your homegroup, it could be – as they say – a doorknob. Just so long as you believe that you are not the end all be all, you’re in good shape. Turning over your will doesn’t have to involve some big sacrificial ceremony, complete with linen robes, ancient chants and goats. Turning over your will is just saying, “I’m addicted to drugs and I can’t recover without help.” It really isn’t all that scary.

Once you turn over your will (and stop being so gosh darn stubborn), you open yourself up to take suggestions. You start listening to and heeding the advice of others – men and women who have stayed sober long-term and who generally know what’s up.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Journey of Healing

At Intrepid Detox Residential we understand just how tough getting started on your personal recovery journey can be. Not only is addiction a disease of denial, but it is a disease of completely skewed thinking. Most of us believe that we can handle things on our own – that help isn’t necessary, and that with a little dedication we can get and stay sober all on our own. Of course, we eventually come to understand that this is far from the case, and that we need other people – and their suggestions. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder of any severity, we are available to help. Simply give our dedicated team of professionals a call and they will set to work developing a thorough intake plan – which includes transportation whenever necessary. The first suggestion you will need to take – and one of the most important suggestions of them all – is admitting to yourself and to others that you cannot overcome substance abuse without help. It can be a scary and extremely difficult thing to admit, but we are available to help every single step of the way. You can do this.

Marijuana Withdrawal

Is Marijuana Withdrawal Really a Thing?

Marijuana – The Lesser of All Evils?

When most people think about casual, recreational drug use, they think about passing around a joint at a low-key party or taking a massive bong rip after a riveting game of beer pong. Marijuana is almost as much a part of American culture as alcohol consumption – and it’s essentially been socially acceptable since the ’70s. Because of how much the specific drug is normalized, many people fail to perceive it as dangerous or addictive – they see marijuana as a harmless pastime, one that can cause no serious issues even among those with addictive tendencies or personal histories of substance abuse. In fact, the idea of “marijuana maintenance” has been circulating throughout recovery communities for quite some time. Those who subscribe to this idea believe that smoking marijuana is a much safer alternative to using their drug of choice, and as long as they don’t experience a range of personal consequences as a result of their habit, using cannabis occasionally is passable. Of course, this notion is extremely controversial. Most subscribe to the idea that marijuana is still a mood and mind altering chemical substance, and that if you are in recovery you certainly can’t be smoking it.

In any case, the point is this – marijuana is still a drug, and even though it is socially acceptable and widely used it can still cause physical and psychological dependence. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 30 percent of all individuals who use marijuana will end up developing a marijuana use disorder. men and women who begin smoking marijuana before the age of 18 are between four and seven times more likely to become physically or psychologically addicted as adults. Just like any other chemical substance, marijuana is associated with dependence – essentially meaning that people who have been taking the drug for an extended period of time begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped abruptly. NIDA also reported that roughly 4 million men and women throughout the United States met the criteria for a diagnosable marijuana use disorder in the year 2015 alone. Of these 4 million, only 138,000 sought any level of professional treatment during the same year. Unfortunately, professional treatment is rarely sought because marijuana dependence is so widely stigmatized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that as many as one out of every 10 American adults who uses marijuana will eventually become addicted. This number increases to one out of every six Americans for those who began using the drug before the age of 18. If you have been suffering at the hands of a marijuana dependence, know that you are far from alone.

Marijuana Withdrawal – Signs and Symptoms

Yes, marijuana addiction is actually a thing, and so is marijuana withdrawal. No, the symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal are not going to kill you – but they can be extremely uncomfortable, and individuals who are experiencing those symptoms have a very time getting sober on their own accord. Some of the more common symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal include:

A loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss
Mood swings, usually marked by irritability and agitation
Sleep related issues, including insomnia and major changes to sleep patterns
Persistent headaches
An inability to focus and a lack of attention paid to important subjects
Experiencing intense psychological cravings for marijuana
Profuse sweating, including cold sweats and night sweats
Feelings of depression which can, in extreme cases, lead to suicidal ideation
Feelings of extreme nervousness and anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks
Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – or chronic constipation
These symptoms will vary in severity depending on how much marijuana was being used and how long the substance abuse disorder persisted. For example, someone who has been using marijuana everyday from morning until night for the past five years will likely experience extreme symptoms of withdrawal, while someone who smokes in the evenings four or five days a week will typically experience less severe symptoms. Many men and women who use marijuana recreationally use it in conjunction with another chemical substance, such as alcohol or opioid narcotics. Of course, polydrug abuse only works to intensify symptoms associated with withdrawal.

Is Detox Necessary?

If you have been consistently using marijuana for an extended period of time, then detox probably is necessary. Unfortunately, many men and women who could seriously benefit from medically monitored detox avoid it entirely, either because they believe that their withdrawal symptoms are not going to be severe or because of the stigma surrounding marijuana dependence. if you have tried to quit smoking and you have been unable to do so for any extended period of time, it is never a bad idea to check yourself into a short-term treatment program – which typically begins with two to three days at a medical detox facility. At Intrepid Detox Residential we have extensive experience working with men and women of all ages who have struggled with marijuana use disorders. We understand just how uncomfortable the withdrawal process can be, and we also understand how difficult it can be to seek help for a disorder that most people believe doesn’t exist in the first place. If you still are unsure as to whether or not medical detox is truly necessary, feel free to give us a call at any point in time. We are more than happy to conduct a brief pre-assessment over the phone, which will help you determine whether or not treatment is necessary.

What is the Next Step After Detox?

Okay, so say you do come to terms with the fact that you might have developed a marijuana dependence over time. You have tried to quit on your own multiple times but you have been repeatedly unsuccessful. So you decide to go to medical detox in order to take an extended break and undergo a safe and completely pain-free withdrawal. But… then what? What steps do you take once the medical detox process is complete? Do you actually need to go to a rehab for 30 full days, or can you just flush your weed down the toilet and hope for the best? If you were only abusing marijuana, and you were not taking any other chemical substances at the same time, there is a very good chance that outpatient treatment will be sufficient as a stand-alone option. Most outpatient treatment programs offer intensive therapeutic care, but provide their clients with a much higher level of flexibility and personal freedom than they would find in a drug or alcohol rehab.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Quality Clinical Care

At Intrepid Detox Residential we are dedicated to consistently delivering the highest level of clinical care available. If you are someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of a marijuana use disorder, know that it is far less uncommon than you might think – and that recovery is completely possible. If you would like to learn more about our medically monitored detox program, or if you would like to undergo a brief pre-assessment to determine whether or not treatment is actually necessary, reach out to us today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping in any way we can.

Common Relapse Triggers

Common Relapse Triggers

So, the main point of getting sober is… you guessed it – staying sober. There’s no point to committing to a long-term program of addiction recovery (including medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare) if you just plan on drinking or using again at some point down the line. Coming to terms with “never again” can be extremely difficult, which is why it is recommended that those who are new to sobriety take things one day at a time. Taking things in stride helps ease the sense of panic that might be aroused by thinking, “Well, that’s it, then. I guess I’m going to be completely sober for the remainder of my sad, boring life.” Over time, of course, you will start to recognize that sobriety is actually a heck of a lot better than using ever was. You gain authentic friends, you start to learn what it is you love to do, you are actually able to hold down a career and your family is finally proud of you (and maybe they even trust you enough to invite you over for dinner without worrying that you’ll raid the medicine cabinets).

When it comes to maintaining long-term sobriety, relapse prevention training is absolutely essential. Most medical detox centers and inpatient rehab facilities put a strong emphasis on relapse prevention, helping clients identify and successfully work through their personal relapse triggers. If you have completed treatment already you likely have a nice range of tools and coping mechanisms under your belt already. Of course, when you come face-to-face with one of your personal triggers, it can be pretty difficult to drop everything and engage in some deep breathing exercises, or take a walk around the block and ground yourself. So how do you effectively handle common relapse triggers when stuff actually hits the fan? We’ve compiled a list of several useful tips. If you need additional support, remember that you can reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential at any point in time.

Common Relapse Triggers

Below we have listed some common relapse triggers. Remember that this list is far from all-inclusive, and that personal triggers vary on a person-to-person basis.

Returning to an environment in which you used to drink or use drugs. If you get sober and then continuously hang out at your favorite dive bar, you’re obviously playing with fire. If you get sober and then immediately go to all of the same music festivals where you used to get super high on all kinds of drugs, you are playing with fire. This is not to say that you can never return to that old dive bar (why would you want to, though) or that you can never return to those same music festivals again. This is simply to say that while you are still finding your footing and working through the steps, precarious environments are best avoided.
Spending time with people that you used to drink or use drugs with. Same concept. It is important that you spend time with people who are completely supportive of your recovery, and who are not actively using drugs or drinking.
Experiencing chronic pain (or another pain-related issue). If you have dealt with chronic pain, you know how triggering physical discomfort can be. The good news is that most treatment centers focus on physical therapy, massage therapy and other non-invasive methods of pain management. For more information, reach out today.
Undergoing extreme stress. Stress is triggering, whether it be work-related stress, school-related stress or the stressors that go hand-in-hand with daily life. Stress management is an important skill to learn for this very reason.
An undiagnosed or untreated mental health disorder, like anxiety or depression. If you are struggling with the symptoms of a mental health condition, get in touch with a licensed psychiatrist or seek the care of a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Experiencing a significant personal loss. This could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a career (unemployment) or the end of a long-term romantic relationship. Loss leads to emptiness, and we are inclined to fill that emptiness with drugs and booze – learning to fill it with other (more productive) things is a process, one that takes time and patience.
Guilt or shame. These feelings (or any uncomfortable emotions, really) can put you in a bad spot. This is why you will need to learn how to effectively work through your discomfort – remember, everything is temporary!
Self-pity. You might have heard the saying, “Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.” Sitting in a place is self-pity is absolutely not conducive to the maintenance of sobriety. However, it is also not uncommon for recovering addicts and alcoholics to feel exceptionally sorry for themselves.
A lack of sober support. Surrounding yourself with a solid group of like-minded, sober individuals often means the difference between relapse and recovery.
Straying away from your personal aftercare program. Stick to it! Commit!

How to Actually Avoid Relapse

You have probably learned a few healthy coping mechanisms already, but how likely is it that when faced with a serious trigger you will calmly excuse yourself from the current situation and meditate for 20 minutes. “Oh, hello emotionally (and maybe physically) abusive ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s great to see you in this supermarket. So nice to run into you. Your presence makes me extremely uncomfortable and kind of makes me want to slam some dope, so please excuse me while I inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds.” That’s not super realistic. It’s good to know how to self-soothe and calm yourself down, but when you feel that lump climb into your throat and you want to do nothing more than crawl out of your own skin and Alex Mack into the nearest storm drain, what techniques will actually work?

Here are some tips on how to realistically avoid relapse when you’re feeling extremely triggered and you need to chill out fast:

Leave. Book it. Bolt. If you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, head for the door, and remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
Call someone you trust immediately. Preferably a sober support, like your sponsor or someone else you know from the rooms. But seriously, just get on the phone with anyone. It could be your mom, it could be your grandma, it could be your best friend – just pick up the phone and explain your situation. Be honest about the way you’re feeling, and if you need physical company, ask for it. Say, “Hey, I need you to come over.” Or, “Hey, listen, I’m feeling really crappy right now, I could use some coffee and conversation.”
Hold yourself accountable in a group setting. Ideally, this would mean getting your booty to an AA meeting and sharing about what just happened and how it made you feel. But this could also mean sending out a group text to some of the people in your sponsorship family. “Hey guys, I just ran into my ex who I used to shoot dope with, and it seriously triggered me.” Get the word out there. Be vulnerable.
Play the tape through. This is a pretty cliche relapse prevention technique, but that is because it works. Playing the tape through means quickly weighing out all of the potential consequences, and being honest with yourself about what will actually happen if you decide to pick up. Maybe you feel better for 10-15 seconds. Then you feel worse. You feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, you need to fess up to your sponsor, your friends and your family members, you need to pick up a white chip again, you might even need to go back to detox. Sure, using might sound rational in the moment – but how rational is it REALLY?

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Journey of Addiction Recovery Today

If you have been struggling to stay sober or if you have been abusing chemical substances for an extended period of time and you are ready to begin living the life you deserve, give Intrepid Detox Residential a call. Our addiction treatment center is located in Riviera Beach, Florida, and it has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most reputable and effective treatment centers in the area. We believe in a multi-phased approach to recovery – one that begins with medical detox, progresses to inpatient rehab and concludes with a long-term aftercare program. For more information on our individualized recovery program or to begin your own personal journey of healing, call us now.

Stay Sober In Any situation

How to Stay Sober in Any Situation

If you are currently in recovery or a substance abuse disorder, you understand firsthand just how tumultuous the road to long-term sobriety can be. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse and wondering how in the world you are ever going to get and stay sober, you also know just how difficult the process can be. There are many factors at play when it comes to the hurdles involved in seeking help. People put-off seeking professional treatment for a number of reasons, including:

  • Financial concerns. People who are under-insured or entirely uninsured might not be able to afford to cover the cost of treatment out-of-pocket. What they fail to realize is that there are innumerable resources available to help those in need receive the quality clinical care they deserve. There are scholarships available to qualifying men and women, some rehab centers offer sliding scale coverage or payment plans – the list goes on. For more information on these resources, reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential today.
  • Denial. Addiction is a disease of denial. If you are currently in the throes of active addiction, you have probably repeatedly convinced yourself that “everything is just fine” and that you can “quit without help if things get bad enough.” It is important to understand that addiction is a chronic, relapsing and progressively worsening brain disease. The longer you put off treatment, the more severe the consequences of your action will become.
  • Not knowing where to start. Do you try to get a bed at a state-run detox facility? Do you check yourself into the emergency room at your local hospital? Do you call a hotline and say, “Hey it’s me, I’m ready to get clean now?” Where do you start?! A good rule of thumb is calling a licensed addiction counselor and explaining your situation or calling up a rehab facility in your immediate area and asking some questions. The progression of addiction treatment typically goes like so – medical detox, residential rehab, intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare. However, recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, and some people might benefit from a lower or higher level of clinical care than others.

Don’t let anything stand in the way of having you finally receive the clinical care you both need and deserve. Reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential to learn more about getting sober.

Staying Sober Through Anything

Okay, now, time for Step Two – once you successfully obtain sobriety, what steps can you take to stay sober long-term while effectively avoiding relapse? Below we have written out several steps to follow, but remember – recovery is an individualized process, and you will undeniably learn what works for you as you get deeper and deeper into your personal recovery journey.

  1. Identify your personal relapse triggers and relapse warning signs. It isn’t like one day you’ll wake up drunk or suddenly find yourself knee-deep in a bottle of Percocet without knowing what happened. There will always be something triggering you, and there will always be warning signs. Are you showing up at the local bar “just to play pool?” Are you feeling angrier and more irritable than normal, and lashing out at your loved ones? Learn what to look for and figure out how to make necessary changes.
  2. Avoid people, places and things that make you feel as if you’re “missing out.” FOMO is real. If hanging out with your old friends in a hot-boxed basement makes you feel like smoking weed might be fun and appropriate, get the heck out of dodge. If spending happy hours at the local Applebee’s makes you miss $4 margaritas something awful, find a new chain restaurant with great deals on greasy appetizers (there are plenty). Protect yourself and your sobriety at all costs.
  3. Build out a solid system of sober support. The process of recovery is communal. Regardless of what you think, you will not be able to do it on your own. There are many ways to develop and maintain a support system, but the best way is by entering into a 12-step program (like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) and sticking around after the meeting to talk to people. Raise your hand and share during the meeting, even though doing so might make you a little bit uncomfortable at first. The more people you have in your corner, the better chance you will have of staying sober. You can also meet like-minded men and women in an outpatient treatment program – give us a call for additional resources, or to learn more about our outpatient program.
  4. Stick to a solid routine, characterized by healthy life choices and sobriety-friendly activities. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you keep showing up to the barber shop, you are eventually going to get a haircut.” The same goes for any place you spend your time. If you keep showing up to the bar, you’re eventually going to take a drink. If you keep showing up to your old drug dealer’s house, you’re eventually going to buy some drugs. Change your routine completely when you get out of rehab. Wake up early, make a healthy breakfast, reach an excerpt from a daily Reflections book, meditate for 20 minutes and take a nice long shower before you head to work. If you stay busy (and stay busy doing things that will bolster your recovery) you are going to be in good shape.
  5. Take things one day at a time. As soon as you get sober, you might want to rush through all of your amends and let everyone know how good you’re doing, or deal with addiction-related consequences all in the same day. Try not to bite off more than you can chew – you will get overwhelmed, and you might consider returning to old behaviors in order to deal with the stress. Map out each day as soon as you wake up, and only tackle what you feel comfortable tackling. You got this.

Intrepid Detox Residential and Relapse Prevention Training

At Intrepid Detox Residential we work hard to ensure that each and every one of our clients is instilled with the coping mechanisms and life skills he or she needs in order to maintain sobriety for years to come. Relapse Prevention Training is an important part of our multi-phased recovery process, and clients explore ways to prevent relapse in individual and group therapy sessions. In some instances, they have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in real-life situations and discuss their experiences with their peers the following day. Relapse Prevention Training focuses on helping clients identify and work through their personal relapse triggers. Some examples of potential triggers include:

  • High-stress situations
  • Experiencing uncomfortable emotions like sadness or anger
  • Intense psychological cravings
  • Being around people who are drinking or using drugs.
  • Being around family members (if the family is dysfunctional)
  • Experiencing loss, like the loss of a loved one or long-time career
  • Going through problems in a romantic relationship
  • Experiencing immense stress or pressure at work or at school
  • Financial or legal issues

It is important to remember that personal problems are always exacerbated and worsened by a return to substance use – picking up a drink or a drug will NEVER make things easier, especially if you already have some sobriety under your belt. For more tips on how to stay sober, or if you are ready to begin an entirely new way of life and commit to a program of addiction recovery, reach out to us today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any additional questions you might have for us.

Stay Sober on New Years

How To Stay Sober on New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve is going to be one for the books – there’s no doubt about that. This year has been a crazy hectic whirlwind for all of us, from a monumental and quite emotionally devastating election to a global pandemic and nationwide quarantine mandates. We have all been forced to navigate quite a lot, and there’s no doubt that some of us (if not all of us) are eagerly anticipating the arrival of 2021. It’s not like the clock will strike midnight and suddenly all of our issues will be resolved, but most of us are holding on for hope that this coming year will be a little bit brighter than the last.

With this added pressure, and with the pre-existing expectations that go hand-in-hand with New Year’s Eve, those of us in addiction recovery might find it a little bit more difficult to hold on than normal. New Year’s Eve is another one of those holidays that essentially revolves around excessive alcohol consumption – after a year like we’ve had, this will probably be more true than ever before. We’ll be facing a heck of a lot of triggers, from the classic champagne toast at midnight to the triggers that go along with spending holidays alone (as many of us have grown accustomed to doing in light of social distancing requirements). Either will be spending the holiday with friends and family members, or spend it alone wishing that things would hurry up and get back to normal. Fortunately there are several ways that you can effectively combat triggers this New Year’s Eve, and welcome 2021 with a big sober smile.

Overcoming Triggers on New Year’s Eve

The first tip we have is this – go easy on yourself! The holiday season is always especially hard to navigate – even for men and women who are not in addiction recovery. Remember that you are and have been doing the very best you can, and that the resolution to continue on on your journey of sobriety is more than good enough.

Below are six more tips that we have gathered, geared towards helping you stay clean and sober this New Year’s Eve. Feel free to add your own, and reach out to us for more information on getting and staying sober.

  1. Keep yourself accountable. There are numerous ways to keep yourself accountable, but some good ideas are by letting people know where you will be and making sure the people you are with know that you aren’t drinking. For example, if you’re going to a New Year’s Eve party (which you honestly shouldn’t be unless you’ll be wearing a mask the whole time) let a few people in your sober circle know the address, how late you’ll be staying, and that you might be giving them a call at some point during the night. Let the host of the party know that you won’t be drinking, and if someone offers you a drink at any point during the night let them know that you are planning on staying completely sober. You don’t have to tell them you are in recovery, and you don’t have to tell them your life story and all the people you slept with when you were drunk, but the more people you tell that you aren’t drinking, the less drinks you will be offered.
  2. Walk around with a champagne flute full of Martinelli’s. A really good rule of thumb is to always have a drink in your hand. When you’re holding a drink, especially one that looks like it could pass for an alcoholic beverage, people will leave you alone and they won’t offer to bring you another. Even if you’re holding a can of Coca-Cola, there is a good chance that people will just let you be without trying to booze you up. But holding something that could pass for booze is always a good idea (if you feel comfortable doing so, of course).
  3. If you start to feel triggered, get the heck out of there. Remember that the only person you owe anything to is yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable in a situation, just bounce. The truth is, people are too wrapped up in their own New Year’s kisses and failing resolutions to care about whether or not you stay for the toast. Remember that you can always leave – your sobriety is your number one priority.
  4. Stay on top of your meeting schedule. it’s easy to get a little too relaxed around the holidays. Make sure that you’re sticking to a strict schedule, and that you are making at least one 12-step meeting every day. In this day and age, it is far more likely that you will be attending virtual meetings than in-person meetings – which leaves you with even less of an excuse to miss them. Map out a list of seven meetings in advance, and let some of the meeting members know that you might need a little bit of additional support around the holidays. Just because it’s a virtual meeting doesn’t mean you can’t stay afterwards and collect phone numbers.
  5. Make a new New Year’s Eve tradition – one that doesn’t involve alcohol (duh). Find a movie that you and your sober friend like, and stay up until midnight eating popcorn and relaxing. Make a list of all of the things you hated about 2020, rip it up and throw it in the fire. Find a new recipe online, pick up the ingredients and cook yourself an extravagant meal. You got the idea. By coming up with the new tradition, you will take your mind off of the classic, booze-fueled New Year’s Eve parties.
  6. Bring a buddy. if there is an event that you really want to go to but you aren’t sure how triggered you are going to be, just bring a friend – a sober friend. Most parties accept a plus one. But again – avoid large social gatherings! What an incredible excuse to stay home and veg out in front of the television.

A Little Something On Resolutions

The same rules apply when you are planning out this year’s resolutions – go easy on yourself. After last year, many of us are expecting the bare minimum, and we aren’t setting expectations for ourselves or for others very high – just to be on the safe side. but if you do decide to ride out a list of New Year’s resolutions, make sure that you are focusing on achievable goals and that you are considering the fact that the beginning of the year still won’t look exactly the same as you’re used to. Gyms will probably still be closed, it can be hard to eat healthy when you’re unemployed and living off of ramen and cold cereal, and saving up enough money to buy your dream car isn’t easy with such an intense lack of job security and the next round of stimulus checks still up in the air. Be realistic, and give yourself a giant hug for making it through such a mess of a year.

Taking Additional Steps to Stay Sober

If you feel like you need even more support, there is no shame in seeking it. Many men and women who are in recovery choose to up the ante when it comes to one-on-one therapy sessions, for example. do what you need to do to stay sober, because after you’re like we’ve had there is no sense in staggering into 2021 with an adult beverage of defeat in your hand. If you have not yet gotten sober and you are still considering doing so, there is truly no better time. Call Intrepid Detox Residential today for more information and to begin your own personal journey of addiction recovery. Give yourselves the healthy and sober start to the new year that you deserve.

Interview-With-a-Xanax-Addict

Interview with a Xanax Addict

Xanax is a brand name prescription benzodiazepine (the active ingredient being alprazolam), one that is most commonly used for the treatment of severe anxiety disorders, like panic disorder. Because this medication is so potent and has such a high potential for abuse, medical professionals typically prescribe it to be taken short-term, or only during the onset of more severe symptoms (like a panic attack). Benzodiazepines in general are extremely habit-forming, and it was reported that during the year 2015 alone there were over 8,000 overdose deaths directly linked to benzodiazepines throughout the United States. Still, Xanax is one of the most frequently prescribed medications throughout the country. During the year 2013, over 50 million prescriptions were written for Xanax – compared to 38 million prescriptions written in 2006. Since the year 2008, the rates of Xanax prescriptions have been steadily increasing by 9 percent annually. It is estimated that 55 percent of men and women who suffer at the hands of a benzodiazepine abuse disorder obtained the medication from a friend or a relative – only 17.3 percent of individuals who abuse this medication obtained a written prescription from their own doctor.

Because Xanax is so addictive, substance abuse disorders involving Xanax can rapidly progress. additionally, it has been found that the majority of American adults who abuse this specific prescription medication often use it in conjunction with another chemical substance, like alcohol. If you have been suffering at the hands of a Xanax abuse disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone – and that help is available.

At Intrepid Detox Residential, we sat down with an individual who suffered at the hands of Xanax addiction for nearly 6 full years before reaching out for professional help. This individual actually went through our treatment program and has maintained sobriety for a number of years. For anonymity purposes, we will use this individual’s first and last initials only. If you have any additional questions about Xanax abuse, or if you are ready to seek the professional care you need, reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential today.

Interview with a Xanax Addict

IDR: Would you mind telling us a little bit about when and how you were introduced to Xanax?

SR: Yeah, no problem. I started taking Xanax when I was pretty young. I had experimented with marijuana; I think at the time I was maybe a sophomore or a junior in high school. I was always a really straight-laced kid, I got good grades and I never really got into trouble. But at the time, my home life was pretty stressful and so I started smoking pot and maybe drinking a little bit too. It was really nothing crazy, just blowing off steam with my friends. But then things at home started to get worse. So basically, for a little bit of background, my parents were going through a divorce because my dad was abusive. My brother and I kind of just got caught in the middle of everything and it wasn’t pretty at all. So anyways, I started getting kind of distracted. Not by the pot or the beer or anything like that, but by the way things were going at home. I wasn’t getting a ton of sleep and I felt super stressed out all the time. In my senior year of high school things kind of came to a head. My friend offered me a Xanax one day, knowing that I had been super stressed out, not just about my parents but also about schoolwork and college and just a bunch of stuff. I was at a party the first time I took it, and I still remember how it made me feel. I felt calm and relaxed and like everything was going to be okay for the first time in years.

IDR: How did your substance abuse disorder progress?

SR: Well, I really like that feeling, you know, so I asked my friend if he knew where I could get more of it. It turned out that his cousin had a prescription and that he would give him some pills sometimes to use recreationally. I got a few of those pills at first, the ones from his cousin, but then I realized that it would be a lot cooler if I could just get my own prescription. So, I actually set up a meeting with a psychiatrist, or an appointment or whatever, and tried to get a prescription of my own. I must have gone to the wrong psychiatrist because they weren’t about it. I wasn’t too stressed though, because I still had that connection. I just knew that I was going to need more soon because I was developing a tolerance, even though I didn’t know what that word meant at the time.

At this time, I was taking maybe two bars a day, and a lot of the time I was also drinking because that would enhance the effects. I found a couple more connections and I started taking maybe three or four bars a day, which is when things got a little bit more gnarly. I was blocking out a lot, and I would wake up somewhere without remembering how I got there, or I wouldn’t be able to remember if I had eaten over the course of the past couple of days, things like that. I was starting to feel out of control. when I didn’t have enough Xanax to get me through the day, I started to feel super panicked.

IDR: When did you finally recognize that you had a problem?

SR: So, there was one event in particular that I remember that kind of made me scratch my head and go, “Dang, is this an issue?” I was at a party, I think it was a basement party with some people – at this point I was supposed to be in college and, yeah, that’s kind of a long but self-explanatory story, I didn’t end up going. So, I was at this party and I had taken some Xanax and I was drinking whiskey and I blacked out. That wasn’t anything unusual at this point. I ‘came to’ outside of a bar. Well, outside of a bar like, down in an alleyway. I wasn’t wearing underwear or shoes, I didn’t have my phone or anything else on me, and I had absolutely no idea what had happened. The bar wasn’t even open, so I had no idea what day or time it was, or even where I was in the city, I just kind of started walking. Basically, I had been messed up for three whole days and I have no recollection of what happened during that time period. I still don’t know what happened to me. That was my wake-up call, and I went to rehab the next day.

IDR: Would you mind telling us a little bit about your recovery journey?

SR: Yeah, of course. I mean, it’s honestly been awesome. Things had gotten so bad, I had completely lost sight of who I was and what I was doing with my life. So, I went to the medical detox, and then I went to rehab for three months, then I moved into a sober living home and I stayed there for about six months. And I’ve been one of the lucky people who has been sober ever since I went to treatment. I just have too much respect for myself now to go back to that way of life.

IDR: How have you managed to stay sober for three full years? What’s your routine?

SR: I mean, Alcoholics Anonymous is a really big part of my life. I worked through the steps with a sponsor and now I sponsor other people, and I go to at least one meeting every day, which I know has been super helpful. I still deal with anxiety which is difficult because obviously I can’t take any benzodiazepines or anything for it, but I’ve learned tools and techniques that help me make it through the day.

IDR: Do you have any advice or insight for someone who is abusing Xanax and considering reaching out for help?

SR: I would definitely say reach out for help as soon as you feel like there might be a problem, because getting to the point that I got to just is not worth it. I was really worried to reach out for help, I mean, I was worried to even tell my parents – obviously they knew that something was up. It’s kind of funny, I convinced myself that nobody knew. but yeah, as soon as I reached out for help there were people there to support me and help me get into treatment the very next day. Just do it, just make a phone call.

Recovery-Related-Resolutions

Recovery-Related New Year’s Resolutions

New Year, New Me

2021 is right around the corner – and most of us are eagerly anticipating its arrival. 2020 has been an absolute s***storm, from the untimely death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant and the onset of that pesky little global pandemic to what shaped up to be one of the most ridiculous, stress-inducing elections in history. Most of us are ready to move on – and never look back. For many of us, especially for men and women who were struggling with substance abuse before this year hit, the devastation of 2020 took a somewhat personal turn.

Rates of substance abuse and dependency skyrocketed during the COVID-related quarantine and associated lockdowns. Many existing cases of substance abuse worsened, and many new cases of substance abuse developed in response to the unique set of stressors that we are all currently facing. Many of us lost our jobs and struggled with unemployment, facing intense and persistent financial and security for what might have been the first time ever. Some of us even lost our homes, finding that without work we were unable to pay rent or cover utilities. We are all still grappling with fear of the unknown, as no one fully understands the long-term implications of COVID and despite the newly emerging vaccine, the future is still entirely uncertain. Many of us are fearful for our elderly or immunocompromised family members and friends… altogether, this year has been one riddled with stress and anxiety, fear of the unknown and compromised mental and emotional health.

There is no question that some of us are going to entirely discard the idea of a New Year’s resolution list – making it through 2020 was stressful enough, no need to set any expectations for the new year. However, for those of us who have been struggling with substance abuse or who have remained sober and might be on shaky ground, developing recovery related New Year’s resolutions is probably a good idea. But how do we stick to these resolutions, ensuring that this year is better than the last at least as far as our recovery goes?

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions

We have compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks that might make it easier to stick to your recovery-related resolutions. Please feel free to add your own, and reach out to us directly for more information – or if you have any additional questions.

  1. Choose one or two specific goals – don’t bombard yourself with lofty resolutions. We have a tendency to lay it on a little too thick. We might write out a list of 15 different resolutions, including everything from losing 20 pounds and hitting the gym everyday to saving up enough money to buy a house or making a major career change. Rather than bombarding yourself with a lengthy list of unattainable resolutions, stick to two easily obtainable goals. If you’re in recovery or if you’ve been struggling with substance abuse, try developing goals that are related to sobriety. For example, if you are currently in recovery, make one of your resolutions to attend at least one 12-step meeting every day. This should be obtainable – of course, if you work a full-time job or if you have a wide range of other personal obligations, adjust this goal so that is obtainable for you. Rather than one meeting every day, change it to five or six meetings a week. If you aren’t sober but you’ve been considering sobriety as a prospect, set a resolution to reduce your drinking or recreational drug use. For example, “I will limit my alcohol consumption to two alcoholic beverages every week.” if you find that you can’t do this for any extended period of time, it is a good idea to take a more honest look at your relationship with alcohol.
  2. Make a comprehensive plan of action. Don’t just leave things up to fate. Once you have settled on a couple of attainable goals, write down a list of steps you’ll take in order to reach them. If you find that whatever goal you have set is a little bit lofty, there’s no shame in scrapping it completely and coming up with another one. Having a plan of action in place will help keep you accountable.
  3. Baby steps! It is pretty unrealistic to expect yourself to lose 20 pounds, jog 14 miles a day, go vegan and completely eliminate all chemical substances all on the first of the month. Breaking your personal goals down into bite-sized pieces will help them see more manageable and attainable.
  4. Take an inventory of your past mistakes, and avoid making these same mistakes twice. If you have been setting the same New Year’s resolution for 20 years, you probably aren’t doing something right. Why did your resolutions fall through in the past? Were you setting too many goals at once, or were you consistently biting off more than you could chew? Examine your past failures and where you have fallen short and make sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
  5. Reach out for support whenever necessary. No matter what your resolutions, there is a good chance that you cannot obtain all of them on your own. This is especially true when it comes to sobriety. Reach out for help and support whenever necessary, and remember that there is no shame in asking for what you need.
  6. Adapt to potential setbacks rather than allowing them to throw you completely off-track. Say you said the resolution to attend one 12-step meeting every day, but you weren’t feeling well two days in a row and you skip two full days of meetings. Rather than throw in the towel and say to yourself, “Ah well, I’ll try again next year,” jump back on the horse immediately.
  7. If you have been struggling with substance use, admit yourself into a medically monitored detox today – there is no sense in waiting! If you have been evaluating your own behaviors and you were pretty sure that drinking (or drug use) has become a problem, there’s no sense in waiting until January 1st rolls around. Addiction is a progressive disease, and without professional intervention the symptoms associated with addiction will only continue to get worse – they will never resolve on their own. You could experience a wide range of severe consequences over the course of one month or even a week or two. All it really takes is one drunken night to get a DUI, completely ruin a lifelong friendship or suffer from any one of a variety of interpersonal consequences. Getting help sooner rather than later is always a good idea. As soon as you become willing to seek professional treatment, give Intrepid Detox Residential a call and we will begin developing a plan for your intake.

Getting Sober in 2021

Even if you don’t regularly engage in problem drinking (or if you have effectively convinced yourself that you don’t have a problem with alcohol despite the fact that you do), going sober in 2021 is not a bad idea. In fact, the benefits of cutting out alcohol – even for a month – are truly endless. Some of the benefits associated with cutting back on booze include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Your sleep patterns will begin to regulate, and you’ll be able to sleep deeper and experience more restorative sleep. Oh, and you’ll never wake up with a raging hangover.
  • You will inevitably lose a good deal of weight. Alcoholic beverages are packed with calories – in fact, drinking only 6 pints of beer over one week period of time is equivalent to eating five chocolate bars.
  • You’ll save money. Alcohol is expensive, and it’s even more expensive if you are a social and generous drunk. You’ll be amazed by how much you save if you give up drinking for even just a month.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Get Sober Today

If you want to get sober in the new year, there’s no sense in waiting. Call Intrepid Detox Residential today to learn more about our comprehensive program of addiction treatment, and to begin developing your own personal plans for program admission.

riviera beach fl

Interview with an Alcoholic

Alcoholism is a complex and all-consuming disease – one that completely overwhelms the life of the sufferer and leads to vast and far-reaching destruction. Those who suffer at the hands of alcoholism typically engage in a persistent pattern of denial, convincing themselves that despite a steady accumulation of personal consequences, their lives are still manageable, and their drinking is not a “problem.” Excessive drinking is one of the largest public health threats that America currently faces. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 85.6 percent of men and women over the age of 18 report consuming alcohol at least once in their lifetimes. 69.5 percent reported drinking alcohol within the past year, and 54.9 percent reported drinking alcohol within the past month. Because alcohol consumption is so socially accepted and culturally encouraged, it can be difficult for some to identify whether they are struggling with problem drinking. They might believe they’re simply going through a phase, or maybe they believe that they haven’t yet lost control and they can cut back or quit whenever they want to with no issue. If you have been struggling with excessive drinking and you are not sure whether or not your alcohol consumption warrants professional intervention, there are several signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for. When Intrepid Detox Residential sat down with a middle-aged recovering alcoholic for an in-person interview, we started off by asking him how he knew that drinking had become a problem. Here was his response to that question – along with many others. For anonymity’s sake, we will refer to this recovering alcoholic as Jim R.

IDR: How and when did you first suspect you had a problem with drinking?

Jim R.: I think I always knew in the back of my mind, although I didn’t admit it to myself for quite some time. While the way I drank was normal to me, I could look around and see the other people didn’t drink the way that I did. I was able to hold my liquor for quite a while at first, but after a while things started getting messy and people in my life started getting really concerned. when the people I love started getting concerned like that, that’s when I had to stop and take a look at myself, which wasn’t easy to do.

I think when I really knew I had a problem with drinking was when I started to black out every time I drink, which was almost every night. I also thought about it all the time. When my friends and I were doing anything, even just hanging out in the basement playing a board game or whatever, I would always try to bring alcohol into the mix anyway that I could. It would shock me that my friends didn’t want to be drunk all the time, the same way that I did.

IDR: Do you remember when you took your first drink?

Jim R.: I was young, I remember being really young. I stole some alcohol from my parent’s liquor cabinet, and I’ve heard the same story a lot. I was curious, you know how kids are. I would always see my parents pull out these bottles of liquor when they had their friends over, and they would get all happy and they would start to laugh a lot. And I just didn’t feel happy like that, and I thought that maybe drinking from those bottles would help me feel that way or help fill a void that I didn’t know I had at the time.

IDR: Would you say you were self-medicating, or were you a social drinker? Do you attribute your alcoholism to anything in particular?

Jim R.: I mean, I was a social drinker when there were people around. But yes, I would definitely say I was self-medicating. I didn’t know this at the time, but I do have depression – I was diagnosed with depression later on in life, after I had been sober for a couple of years. But I think a lot of the time people don’t really know that, people don’t know that they’re self-medicating, I mean. I really just thought that I enjoyed drinking. I guess that’s the denial part of it though, isn’t it? No matter how things turned out, no matter how bad things got, I would just tell people, “Oh, no, I just like to drink. I like the way it makes me feel.”

IDR: What was your “drinking career” like?

Jim R.: It was messy, it really was. It was long, too. I started drinking when I was, oh I don’t know, maybe around 13 or 14 years old. Things started to pick up when I was 16, and I drank all throughout my twenties and early thirties. So, when I started out I was doing a lot of social drinking, and then I started drinking alone in my bedroom – first just at night while I was reading, and then, you know, earlier in the afternoon and then sometimes in the morning too, especially when I was hungover. I partied a lot all throughout my twenties. I got married at some point, and that didn’t last long. It was really just a decade or two of complete self-destruction. I started getting into bar fights, I started getting in trouble with the law. I got a DUI and my license was taken away. I really didn’t care though. I didn’t care how much damage I was doing to myself or how much I was hurting other people.

IDR: When and why did you decide to get sober?

Jim R: Things got really bad right before I stopped. I woke up in jail with no shoes on, and I had no idea which city I was in. I didn’t know why I was in jail or when I was going to get out. It turns out that I had just been found wandering down the street, drunk out of my mind. I had driven to a local bar, gotten into a fight, and left my car somewhere… I had no idea where it was. I never found it. Things were that crazy. I started crying when I woke up, I started crying and I couldn’t stop. One of the cops in the jail told me about some Alcoholics Anonymous meeting down the road, and he told me I should check it out. I was so broken that I actually did.

IDR: How did you get sober?

Jim R.: That’s how I got sober. I got sober and Alcoholics Anonymous. The first time, at least. I ended up having to go to rehab because I couldn’t stay sober. I was in rehab for 6 months, and then I was in a sober living house for another 6 months. During that time I worked the 12 steps, and I ended up staying sober after that.

IDR: What does your sobriety and your recovery program look like now?

Jim R.: My sobriety is so solid. It is given me a life beyond my wildest dreams, and I don’t just throw that phrase around because we are supposed to say s*** like that. I really mean it. I have a family, I have a wife that loves me, I have children that look up to me, I’m a business owner, and I can genuinely say, for the first time ever, that I am truly happy. I go to at least one AA meeting a day, sometimes more if I’m taking a new guy or if I’m feeling a little shaky. But I don’t really feel shaky anymore. I feel good.

IDR: If you could say one thing to a newcomer or someone who is on the fence about getting sober, what would you say?

Jim R.: I would say, “Things are not going to get better if you don’t reach out for help. If you’re on the fence, just do it. If you don’t get help now, you’ll probably end up in jail, institutionalized long-term or dead. Recovery really isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s f****** incredible.”

If Jim’s answers resonate with you and you believe that you might have a problem with alcohol, the good news is that there is help available. Medical detox is a crucial first stage of every long-term program of alcohol addiction recovery. Intrepid detox residential offers a combination of medically monitored detox and residential treatment, providing the most comprehensive and individualized care available. For more information on our recovery program or to learn about alcohol abuse and recovery in general, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics