How to Avoid Relapse Around Addicted Family Members

When you leave the lifestyle of active addiction, one of the biggest challenges is reconnecting with people from your old life. Many of them knew you when you were using, and some of them might still be using, too. However, what can you do when the person in your life who’s still using is a family member?

Dealing with drug use in your family is always a challenge. Knowing the difference between helping and enabling can be difficult at times. And watching someone go through something as terrible and life-altering as active addiction can cause heartache. However, when you have your own recovery and sobriety to consider, the challenge increases dramatically.

Maintaining your sobriety is one of the most important ongoing parts of your recovery, and it requires continual commitment. If a loved one is using around you, it poses a significant threat to your drug abstinence. Learn more about how you can deal with an addicted family member without relapsing.  

Don’t Accept Drug Use

As part of your relapse prevention plan, you might have set rules and boundaries for yourself. You might have resolved to avoid parties where you know there will be drug use. You may even avoid certain routes that go past some of your old favorite bars.

When you encounter friends and family members who are still in the throes of active addiction, it’s important to have boundaries for them, too. If you live with or spend a lot of time with someone who uses, you should let them know that you won’t tolerate drug use in your presence. If someone uses legal recreational substances like alcohol, you can still tell them that it makes you uncomfortable to be around it.

Setting clear boundaries for yourself removes some of the uncertainty when it comes to certain high-risk situations. It’s easier not to cross the line when the line is clearly drawn. Setting boundaries with someone who is addicted can also show them your commitment to sobriety. In some cases, you may have to cut ties with them until they seek recovery.

Avoid Constant Triggers

Triggers are a fact of life for people who are living in recovery from addiction or other mental health issues for that matter. Some triggers come from inside your own mind and can be difficult to avoid completely. Others can come on suddenly, like when a billboard ad for some ice-cold beer triggers alcohol cravings. While it’s important to learn to cope positively with cravings and triggers, you should also avoid regular sources of triggers when you can. A friend or family member who continues to use around you can cause you to continually cause you to have thoughts and triggers toward relapse, testing the limits of your coping mechanisms.

If you have gone through addiction treatment, you may have experienced elements ofcognitive behavioral therapy at some point in your treatment process. In the cognitive-behavioral model, high-risk scenarios are the first catalyst for a relapse. A relapse doesn’t start with the first time you use again; it starts with the way that you cope with a high-risk situation. If you live with, or if you are always around someone who uses, you are constantly in a high-risk scenario. Relapse is a very real threat to recovery. Like other chronic diseases, addiction relapse occurs in more than50 percent of people in recovery.  

Avoiding triggers might mean distancing yourself from people who are still using. While this may sound harsh, it might be as beneficial to your addicted family member as much as it is for you.

Don’t Be an Enabler

While you were going through active addiction and treatment, your family may have had to learn how to avoidenabling behaviors. Now that you’ve completed treatment, and you’re encountering other people in your life in active addiction, it’s important to learn to avoid enabling as well. If a family member is struggling with active addiction, you, more than anyone, understand what they are going through. You might want to help them, ease their pain, or cover for them.

However, enabling is often defined as shielding an addicted person from a consequence of their addiction. Softening the blows that are coming as a result of their actions and behaviors can prolong the time they spend in active addiction before seeking help. If you’ve set clear rules about being around drug and alcohol use and abuse and a family member continues to break them, one of the consequences of their addiction might be that they see you less often.

It may seem like a drastic move, but if a family member is putting your sobriety at risk, it might be best to remove yourself from those high-risk situations. You can let the addicted person in your life know that you will be there to help them find addiction treatment as soon as they agree to seek the help they need. However, risking your own sobriety to be around someone who is using, may only serve to enable them and risk your recovery.

Continue Your Recovery

Addiction treatment is important in achieving and learning how to maintain sobriety. However, after you complete your addiction treatment, it’s important to continue your pursuit of recovery. People often relapse when they become complacent in their recovery process, and when you encounter high-risk situations like a using family member, it puts a strain on your resolve. However, going to 12 step meetings, connecting with your support group, and connecting with your alumni coordinators, can help heal you on the road to recovery, even as new challenges pop up.

Seeking Addiction Help

If a loved one or family member is ready to address their substance use disorder, you might be able to help them find the right addiction treatment services for their needs. Call the addiction treatment specialists at The Palm Beach Institute at 855-534-3574 or contact us online to learn more about the available therapy options and how you can help your loved one get the care they need. If you are worried that you might need help preventing your own relapse, or if you’ve started to use again, we might be able to help you find additional treatment or aftercare services as well. Call anytime.

 

10 Awesome Non-Alcoholic Drinks: Throwing A Sober House Party

Many people constantly argue that once you enter recovery, any and all fun is completely out of the question. Now that you’re sober, it’s time to settle down into a dull, boring life and never have a good time again! Right? Wrong. In fact, while sober, I’ve had the best times of my life!

But what about throwing an actual party? What’s a sober host to do when picking up beverages for their houseguests in recovery? Check out these awesome non-alcoholic drinks you can whip up for your party without having to sacrifice your sobriety!

Non-Alcoholic Beer

The first non-alcoholic drink up on our list is none other than non-alcoholic beer. A classic drink among people who are avoiding alcohol, non-alcoholic beer has come a long way from the traditional, less than tasty predecessors. While there are a variety of non-alcoholic beers currently on the market, some of the more popular choices are Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei, from the oldest distillery in the world, Brewdog Nanny State, which comes the makers of the most alcoholic beer known to man, and Clausthaler Golden Amber, who created their own unique fermentation process that yields the product before it becomes alcoholic.

O’Doul’s is a classic non-alcoholic beer you may be missing. It turns out, that while O’Doul’s is synonymous with non-alcoholic beer, it actually does contain .04% alcohol! While it is not enough to get you inebriated, it’s best to stay away from the drink entirely if you are in recovery.

Shirley Temple

A classic non-alcoholic drink in and of itself, the Shirley Temple is a fan favorite around the world! Featuring ginger ale mixed with a splash of grenadine, this delicious drink is usually also garnished with a maraschino cherry. It’s a great alternative to other mixed drinks and has stood the test of time to make it one of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks around!

Asian Pear Sparkler

If you’re looking for something sweet and bubbly, look no further than the Asian Pear Sparkler as a featured non-alcoholic drink! This smooth, sweet drink is likely to be a big hit at your party!

Here’s what the ingredients feature:

  • 1 cup freshly pressed Asian pear juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cups honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into coins
  • Small grating of fresh nutmeg
  • Ice
  • Soda water

Millionaire Sour

Up next on our list of non-alcoholic beverages is the Millionaire Sour. If you’re looking for something a bit classier, this it the one for you! A delicious mocktail (non-alcoholic cocktail) that’s a classic drink with a non-alcoholic twist!

Here are the ingredients per glass:

  • 2 ounces Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 2 ounces ginger ale if you wish to go non-alcoholic
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice
  • 1/4 shot grenadine
  • Lemon slice & cherry for garnish

Margarita Mocktail

Margaritas are a staple at almost any dinner party. Luckily, just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you have to miss out! Non-alcoholic margaritas are not only possible, but also still delicious!

Here’s what you need for your delicious marg’:

  • 2 oz. honey or agave
  • 1 oz. limeade concentrate
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz. grapefruit juice SAVE $
  • 2 drops almond extract (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract or orange bitters
  • ¾ cup ice SAVE $
  • 1-tablespoon flake salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Limes for garnish

Peach Bellini Mocktail

A brunch favorite, bellinis are usually synonymous with a girl’s day out. Now you can still feel a part of by trying out this non-alcoholic drink!

Here’s how you, too, can enjoy a bellini:

  • ¼ cup peach nectar, chilled
  • ¾ cup ginger ale, chilled
  • ¼ cup fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, and sliced strawberries)

Cucumber Mojito

While this particular drink isn’t necessarily non-alcoholic, by forgoing the rum called for in the recipe, you don’t sacrifice flavor! You can still enjoy this classic drink without the alcohol!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ lime, cut into wedges
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and pureed
  • Ice
  • 4 ounces club soda

Hocus Pocus Fizz

Just in time for Halloween, this is one of the coolest non-alcoholic drinks on the list! You can still have your cake and eat it too at your sober Halloween party this year and impress all your guests with this delicious, recovery-safe drink.

Here’s how to make one for yourself:

  • 1 ½ cups pineapple juice
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 1 bottle sparkling white grape juice
  • Cranberries (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • 5 drops yellow food coloring

Non-Alcoholic Sangria

Another classic party drink, Sangria is usually the staple for any outdoor barbeque, which is why it’s such an important part of our non-alcoholic drink list! You can feature Sangria at your party without sacrificing your clean time!

Here’s how to make this delicious beverage:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 black tea bags (or 2 teaspoons loose-leaf tea in an infuser; decaf tea is fine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 medium orange, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 medium lemon, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 medium lime, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 medium apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 cups carbonated water
  • Pour the boiling water over tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.
  • In a large jar or pitcher, combine tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime, and apple. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.
  • Just before serving, stir in carbonated water. Serve in glasses over ice.

Roy Rogers

A spin on the Shirley Temple, the Roy Rogers uses cola instead of ginger ale to make another great addition to our list of non-alcoholic drinks you enjoy!

The ingredients are simple:

  • 1 Can or Bottle of Coca Cola
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry

Call the Palm Beach Institute Today

While entering recovery can significantly change your life, one thing that you never have to sacrifice is fun! At the Palm Beach Institute, we pride ourselves on our ability to help our clients achieve recovery, while also having fun! If you or someone you know is currently struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, give us a call at 855-534-3574 or contact us online to get connected to one of our addiction professionals who can help you get the help you need!

 

10 Awesome Sober Summertime Activities

They say that idle hands are the devil’s playground. While that may or may not be true, individuals in recovery are often told to keep themselves busy, especially when experiencing cravings, so that the mind doesn’t become preoccupied with substance abuse. In that way, boredom could even be considered dangerous to those who are still new to recovery and still adjusting to their hard-won sobriety. Although being productive offers feelings of accomplishment, fulfillment, and pride, even individuals in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction need to have a little fun every now and then.

The summer season is ripe with an air of possibility. This probably comes from the experience of summertime during adolescence when a few months of freedom between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next are cherished and exciting in a way that few other things ever could be. It’s the season of leisure, the time to be carefree. The summer is the part of the year where having fun is less an abstract wish and almost an expectation.

Those who have experienced chemical dependency have become accustomed to a very particular and harmful brand of summertime excitement, which is why it’s important for individuals in recovery to plan plenty of summertime activities that don’t require intoxication to be enjoyed. To honor this season of sunshine and adventure, consider these seven ways to enjoy the summer season and make memories that you’ll want to remember.

#1 – Take a Summer Vacation

friends on summer vacation

For many of us, the summer season is often associated with fond memories of family vacations taken over the course of our youths. The beach is a popular destination for families looking to soak up the summer sun, but it’s not uncommon for some families to take summertime sightseeing trips around the country or even abroad. In the United States alone, there are thousands of miles of beaches on either coast as well as plenty of sights to see like the Grand Canyon, Disney World, the massive redwoods of Washington State, Mount Rushmore, the Florida Everglades, and so on.

If you’re more of a world traveler, historic ruins in Greece and Italy, Big Ben in London, the Eiffel Tower, and the pyramids of Egypt might be more appealing. No matter what location represents the ideal destination, summertime vacations are one of the best seasonal activities; you’ll see so many beautiful places and have so much fun that alcohol and drugs will be the last things on your mind.

#2 – Learn Something New

learning guitar

Taking the opposite approach as the previous entry on the list, summertime is an ideal season for learning something new. Since many of us will have extra leisure time, taking advantage of the longer days by learning something new is not only a productive investment of time, but it can be a lot of fun too. Consider taking this time to learn a new skill or trade such as sewing or carpentry, or you could learn a language like you’ve always wanted to do, or take a business class so you can learn how to turn your brilliant idea into a thriving start-up, or learn to play the piano or guitar so you can start a band. The sky’s the limit.

#3 – Start or Join a Book Club

womens book club

With the advent of social media and things like Netflix and Roku, reading has fallen further and further by the wayside for many people. However, one needs only to step into a bookstore and look around at the millions of books there are at our disposal to see that reading is far from a lost art. In fact, nowadays a number of the Hollywood movies we come to love are based on books, which means that there are a number of books out there that could be your next favorite movie.

Why not just skip the middleman and start reading some books? Studies on the effects of reading have found that there are a lot of benefits to reading books, which includes mental stimulation, stress reduction, expanding and improving grammar and vocabulary, increasing knowledge, improving concentration and focus, and a number of other benefits as well. You can even make reading more of a social experience by joining or starting a book club, meeting with groups of other readers to discuss and share your favorite summertime reads.

#4 – Find Opportunities to Volunteer or Help Others

community service

Giving selflessly of oneself in order to help others is one of the most rewarding feelings there is. It feels better than any drug, lasts much longer, and doesn’t involve the risk of financial ruin. Many towns have a Salvation Army where altruistic individuals can donate their time and energy to help those in need; it’s also helpful to volunteer for things like soup kitchens or clothing and book drives. For those who don’t have a lot of extra time on their hands, donating unneeded, unused, or unwanted clothes and furniture to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army can be just as rewarding. There are even a number of websites—such as VolunteerMatch.org—that allow individuals to find opportunities to volunteer right in their own towns.

#5 – Go Solo

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Some of the most satisfying summer activities don’t involve being in a group. One example of an enjoyable solo summer activity is going to the park and enjoying a great book. You can also people watch from a local coffee shop or eatery that has an outdoor patio. Additionally, you can attend free community events, church festivals, or other gatherings solo. Doing so may be a great way to meet new people and make friends.

#6 – Exercise

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Exercise not only provides a flood of dopamine and other natural “feel good” chemicals to the brain and body, it can also be a great way to meet new people that have healthy lifestyles and mindsets. Many communities may have informal running or biking clubs that you can join. If your fitness levels increase, you could sign up for a half-marathon, zombie run, or enter in Tough Mudders. Additionally, you can take advantage of the local scenery by hiking, rock climbing, or even taking your dog for a stroll.

#7 – Get Crafty or Creative

young boy being creative

One of the most time-tested and effective ways to keep busy while having fun is by doing some arts and crafts. Scrapbooking became popular several years back, which is a great activity for those who take or have a lot of pictures and need something other than a shoebox to keep them in. However, individuals who don’t find scrapbooking to be that appealing can choose from a wealth of other options for expressing or exploring one’s creativity, whether it’s in painting, sketching with charcoal, sculpting with modeling clay, sewing quilts or clothes, making collages, refinishing and repurposing old furniture, and so on.

#8  – Check Out Local Concerts and Festivals

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Outdoor concerts and festivals can be dangerous for those in recovery because of the number of people and casual drug use. However, these events can be safe and enjoyable when you attend with others who may be sober or with trusted friends.  Many of the major festivals may have online message boards and, as an option, you may want to organize a group of sober festival goers.

#9 – Make Extra Spending Money with a Part-Time Job

help wanted sign

Maybe working isn’t the most fun or appealing activity in the world, but who doesn’t love extra spending money? Those who find themselves with a surplus of downtime during the summer might consider finding themselves a part-time job, whether it’s their only job or a second job with just a couple shifts each week. Having the extra income means more money for things like going to dinner or the movies with one’s significant other or with friends, being able to splurge on a day at the spa or that tablet computer that’s just gone on sale, or even just saving it for an emergency or a rainy day.

#10 – Join and Engage with Local Recovery Groups

support group

Recovering from addiction can be a little lonely, especially in the beginning after having to abandon old friends who still recreationally abuse alcohol and drugs and, consequently, would jeopardize one’s recovery. However, since many people have extra leisure time during the summer season, this is a great time to explore local recovery groups in the community and begin making new friends.

This might mean joining a new Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous group nearby, or maybe there’s some other locally-run recovery support group that welcomes new members. Making new friends who are supportive to one’s recovery means having a number of peers with whom recovering addicts can enjoy leisurely summertime activities without worrying about compromising sobriety and recovery.

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction to alcohol or drugs, the Palm Beach Institute can help. We have a team of knowledgeable addiction and recovery specialists who have helped countless individuals recover from chemical dependency, becoming healthier and more productive individuals who can enjoy life while being free from addiction. Call us today at 855-534-3574 or contact us online so we can help you regain your independence.

Staying Sober at Work: Know When it’s Time to Leave

For adults in rehab who struggle to balance a family, career, finances, and drug treatment, switching jobs is probably the last thing they want to worry about.

Yet, those same jobs that they may have fought to keep through policies such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may have been the catalyst toward their addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), from 2008 to 2012, full-time construction (17.5 percent) and mining (16.5 percent) workers had the highest rates of past month alcohol use. The same survey also found that when it came to the construction industry, the percentage remained the same even when age and gender differed.

When it came to illicit drug use for full-time employees ages 18 to 64, the accommodation and food services, and arts and entertainment industries surpassed other workplaces at 19.1 percent and 13.7 percent.

Whether you are a construction worker or work in the entertainment and arts industry, substance abuse is a prominent effect of the environment.

But just like rehabilitating from an addiction, you can learn to control your response to enabling factors like stress, unrealistic expectations, and negative influences.

Construction Workers Drill Deeper Into Alcoholism, Hollywood Produces Addiction

After a 30- to 90-day drug and alcohol treatment program, expenses are racking up, so it’s only right to rush back to a reserved job as soon as possible.

For some in the entertainment industry, taking time off from work may cost them record deals, deadlines, and the ability to expand their talents.

In an article published by The Fix, “Trouble in Paradise— The State of Addiction in Hollywood,” Dae Medman, Employment Assistance Director of the Actor’s Fund, depicted how actors and creatives in Hollywood are secretly seduced by drugs and alcohol in the light of attention, pressure, and rejection.

“Hollywood is a microcosm of that macrocosm, but the backbone of the industry has always been the creatives. The personality types of such people seem to have a propensity to abuse substances. The pressure to succeed, an underlying need for money and a diet of constant rejection exacerbates the problem,” Medman said in the article.

And that same dedication and loyalty invested in those jobs may cost the sacrifice it takes to remain sober.

Last February, ABC7 NY took a look at the correlation between construction work and drinking. What an undercover reporter discovered for one New York construction site’s noon break was comparable to a bustling, after-work happy hour.

In the video, a construction worker is seen taking a shot of Bacardi for what he deemed a “liquid lunch.” And a carpenter sucked down five beers before being seen at his construction site with a chainsaw in hand.

The construction workers give a glimpse into high stress and rigorous blue-collar jobs that drive some to substance abuse even while on the job.

For those who are working to remain sober in an environment riddled with substance abuse, the inquiry may be posed: Do I have to switch careers?

Sobriety vs. Stability: Tips to Remain Sober While Career-Oriented

Deciding to make a career shift is not an easy choice, especially if that means giving up a steady salary. Yet it’s important to weigh the costs of going back to enabling environments that may cause a relapse.

But even if you choose to stay in the same industry, there are ways to make necessary changes that will protect your sobriety.

1. After drug and alcohol treatment, consider working part-time so you can fit aftercare organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, into your daily routine.

2. Listen to motivational podcasts in the morning and decline those invitations to happy hour get-togethers at a local bar or lounge.

3. Find what you’re passionate about. If you don’t want to go back to your job but want to reroute your skills for something positive, discover the things that ignite your purpose. For instance: a musician in recovery may decide to abandon the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to start teaching music lessons to children with disabilities. A construction worker may ditch their 9 to 5 job to start building homes for struggling, impoverished families.

4. Stay in the same industry, but switch employers. A solution to maintaining similar work with the same pay is to switch companies. This way, you can get a new start without feeling alienated at a completely different company. Also, a different company’s location will force you to stay away from former favorite bars and drug dealers.

5. When stress is starting to poke at old habits, don’t be afraid to express this to your boss or mentors. You can receive the necessary help without soothing your work anxiety with alcohol or drugs.

Looking for Drug and Alcohol Treatment? Call Us Now

If you, or a loved one, are looking for drug and alcohol treatment, Palm Beach Institute can help you with inpatient care. Our family of counselors, nurses, and addiction professionals are dedicated to quality care. Call our 24-7 hotline at (855) 534-3574 or contact us online to speak with one of our specialists to learn more about inpatient treatment. Make the call that can ultimately help you uncover new dreams within your career. Recovery can be your source to true internal success.