Monday, December 26, 2016

Set Yourself Up for Success: 3 Tips to Cut the Clutter in the New Year!

Woman recycling
Part of the journey from addiction to recovery is getting rid of the things that don’t serve you well. In part, it’s about saying goodbye to the destructive behaviors and negative influences standing in the way of your newly sober (and much happier!) lifestyle.

If you’re starting a new life of sobriety, it’s also a great time to think about de-cluttering other parts of your life to help you focus on your sobriety and the things (and especially the people) that are truly important to you.

With the New Year just a few days away, why not carve out some time to think about streamlining your life and your priorities for 2017? Here are a few ideas for getting rid of the noise to set yourself up for a successful, sober, organized and happy year!

(1) Go green! 
If you aren’t recycling already, it’s never too late to get started. Most metropolitan areas offer a curbside recycling program. In most areas, all you need is a designated recycling bin to participate. If you don’t have one already, contact your city's waste management department for more information.

(2) Donate clothes that you haven’t worn in a year. 
Do you have a few sweaters hanging up in your closet that haven’t seen the light of day in a while? If so, you might consider donating clothes that you don’t regularly wear to a non-profit organization in your community. You’ll enjoy the extra space in your home while also helping neighbors in need.

(3) Create a cleaning schedule. 
You may not realize it, but letting the laundry pile up can cause you anxiety subconsciously. To help give you peace of mind to focus on your sobriety, consider mapping out a regular cleaning schedule. Hang up a whiteboard that outlines what you need to do each week and write down the day of the week you plan to accomplish each task. This way, you’ll stay on track and enjoy a clutter-free living space!

Transitional Living for Women

Our Rise Up Program was created for women seeking additional care after primary treatment. If you are graduating from a stabilization program and realize you need more help, then this program is for you. Rise Up can help you establish your goals for the next 90 days for your sobriety and beyond. To find out more about Rising Road Recovery’s transitional living program for women, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cultivating a More Meaningful Life: The Power of Empathy

Married couple on a bench
Take a minute to think about your week. In the midst of all of the grocery shopping, laundry folding and email sending, what stands out as a bright spot? If you’re like most, you likely thought about time well spent with someone you care about. Sharing a laugh with a friend at the coffee shop or getting a much-needed hug from your partner on a particularly challenging day.

On the spectrum of life experiences, connecting with others on an emotional level is one of the most fulfilling. And, especially important for those in recovery. Having a solid and close-knit social network not only reduces your risk of depression and anxiety – it also reins in your risk of relapse.

If you’re on a journey towards sobriety, you can repair relationships that may have been neglected by an addiction to drugs or alcohol. And, it starts by simply developing a greater sense of empathy for others.

To start creating more meaningful connections with others, here are three ways you can cultivate a greater sense of empathy.

(1) Start a conversation with someone you don’t know. (Yet!) 
Make the effort to strike up a conversation with someone the next time you’re at a yoga class or on the subway. And, it’s more than simply going through the motions of talking about the weather. By cultivating a genuine sense of curiosity about the lives of others, you’re able to connect with them on a deeper level. Striving to understand their motivations, goals and emotions.

(2) Consider the “bigger picture”. 
Being able to interpret the actions of others in the context of their life story is one dimension of empathy. Instead of taking a reactionary stance to their actions (which may just fuel the fire), consider if they are going through a particularly rough day or chapter in their life. You might reconsider your response.

(3) Challenge judgment. 
When you are talking to a friend, coworker or a family member, it’s all too easy to internally criticize and judge them. But, in doing so, you’re blocking your ability to truly seek to understand them. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their values and actions. It’s simply about being an active listener with an open mind.

Transitional Living for Women: Family Addiction Counseling

At Rising Roads Recovery, we offer family addiction counseling. Using individual and group therapy sessions, the entire family unit can learn how to communicate more effectively, honestly and empathetically. To learn more about our comprehensive addiction recovery services for women, call (866) 746-1558.

Monday, December 5, 2016

4 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of Yoga

Woman practicing yoga on the beach
Yoga is one of the most powerful tools for addiction recovery. It teaches the student to choose mindfulness over impulsivity, calmness over agitation and gratitude instead of discontent.

Some practitioners believe that yoga works, in part, by helping to release negative, residual emotions and traumas from the past – which reduces your risk of relapse. While, at the same time, mitigating the symptoms of withdrawal.

If you’re on a journey to addiction recovery and need a little extra motivation today to hit the mat, here are four MORE reasons to practice yoga on a regular basis. Namaste!

(1) Your cortisol starts to drop. 
While this hormone is a natural reaction within your body to stress, chronically high levels can negatively impact your body. In one study, researchers compared the health benefits of yoga versus simple stretching exercises and found that women who practiced yoga had the steepest decline in their cortisol levels throughout the day.

(2) It reduces inflammation. 
Chronic and systemic inflammation is associated with a myriad of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Though, yoga has been shown to help combat inflammation in the body. Ohio State University researchers monitored women who practiced yoga throughout a three-month period and found that inflammation markers were down by 20 percent.

(3) Yoga helps you fight depression. 
With regular practice over time, yoga can regulate your mood and strengthen your mental health. How? It fundamentally changes your brain chemistry by increasing levels of the hormone oxytocin and GABA, an amino acid, both of which are linked to nervous system regulation. In fact, one study found that the levels of GABA in the brain increased by 27% as a result of practicing yoga!

(4) It can reduce your risk of developing cancer. 
Did you know that nearly 40% of Americans will be given a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime? But, by practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can lower your risk. Multiple studies have shown the protective health benefits of getting regular exercise - including yoga.

Discovering Yoga During Addiction Recovery

At Rising Roads Recovery, we firmly believe in the power of exercise during addiction recovery. Using a combination of boot camp workouts and meditative yoga sessions, we help clients learn healthy life skills they can practice in their new life of sobriety.

To learn more about our comprehensive addiction recovery services for women, call (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mindful Eating: Replenishing Your Body During Recovery

Woman eating lunch at a cafe
“Never eat carbs after 7:00 PM!” “Always, ask your server if the fish is farm-raised or wild-caught!” You can’t eat ice cream and stay skinny.”

Why is it that so many diets and articles about nutrition only emphasize what you can (and can’t) eat – and to extremes? These days, it can be overwhelming (and downright confusing at times) to know what to eat and what to steer clear of in the grocery aisles.

But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. Many nutritionists recommend a more holistic approach, mindful eating. It’s all about getting back to the basics of eating well – and most importantly, being thoughtful about it. Truly enjoying a meal and taking the time relish all of the textures and sweet and savory flavors.

By taking the time to get in tune with your body and understand when you’re hungry and savor the food you’re eating, you can reduce your risk of eating too much. And, that’s an especially important skill to learn while on a journey to addiction recovery. It can help you sidestep the risk of eating to fill the emotional void that addiction once occupied while also helping you consciously replenish your system with the right foods during and after detox.

Want to stop mindless snacking and start becoming more mindful about what you eat? Here are three tips to help you get started.

(1) Put away your phone and turn off the TV. 
A big part of mindfulness is all about being tuned in to what you’re doing and tuning out the distractions. Before you sit down to eat dinner, take a quick look around. What might interrupt your meal? Get up and turn it down or turn it off before you pick up your fork.

(2) Take a seat at your dining room table, not your coffee table. 
Eating something great, with your friends and family by your side is something worth relishing. It may sound trivial, but the mere act of enjoying a meal with others, can help you appreciate what you’re eating a little bit more.

(3) Skip the drive thru for the grocery aisle. 
When you take the time to cook something, you’re not only enjoying the meal, you’re also enjoying the entire process. From shopping, to prepping to putting the meal together, you’re embracing (and appreciating!) the process from A to Z.

Embracing New Life Skills During Transitional Residential Care 

Our Rise Up Program was created for women seeking additional care after primary treatment. If you are graduating from a stabilization program and realize you need more help, then this program is for you. During transitional residential care, you’ll learn critical life skills for independent living including nutritional guidance, healthy coping skills, relapse prevention strategies and more. To learn more, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

3 Reasons Why Doctors Should Prescribe a Daily Dose of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude at Thanksgiving
Instinctively, you know that being grateful for what you have just feels right. When you think about how fortunate you are, you’re more apt have a brighter outlook, be more productive at work and have more energy throughout the day.

And, for those pursuing a new life free from addiction – the benefits are much more profound. Filling your heart with gratitude can reduce your risk of relapse too. But, did you know that the benefits of practicing gratitude can go much deeper than that? Multiple scientific studies have proven that it can do wonders for your health overall.

In addition to helping you walk towards a life of sobriety, practicing gratitude on a regular basis can help boost your emotional, psychological and physical health too.

If you need a bit of encouragement to start making more time for gratitude in your routine, here are three reasons to help you get inspired and give it a try!

(1) You’ll feel better about yourself. 

It’s a fact. We could all benefit from a boost in self-esteem from time to time. And, gratitude can help you do just that. In fact, in a 2014 study that appeared in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, athletes who practiced gratitude on a regular basis reported higher levels of self-esteem.

(2) Your heart will thank you.

Literally. In recent study, researchers compared the rates of heart damage among two groups of adults – those that practiced gratitude frequently and another cohort that didn’t. They found that heart damage was substantially lower among those with higher levels of gratitude. That same group also reaped even more health benefits including more positive moods, less inflammation and better quality sleep.

(3) You’re more likely to make heathy choices at the dinner table. 
You might be surprised to know that the simple act of giving thanks also correlates to better nutrition. One study actually found that people who keep gratitude journals have reduced dietary fat intakes up to 25 percent lower than those who do not.

Practicing gratitude on a regular basis can help improve your quality of life in lots of ways and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Grab a notebook, find a quiet spot and write down a few things (and people!) you are thankful for today.

Reduce Your Risk of Relapse by Learning New Life Skills

Rising Roads Recovery wants to help you educate yourself on your very own patterns. Addiction is a chronic disease and a previous relapse does not mean failure – nor is relapse necessary for long-term recovery. Just like everyone’s recovery plan looks different, so does everyone’s relapse avoidance plan. You have a unique history that needs to be accounted for in your plan. And we’re here to help; we’re here to plan, support, and love. To learn more, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Happiness Checklist: 3 Ways You Can Practice Positivity

Happy Woman Smiling
They are easy to spot. In crowded restaurants, you can hear their laughter break through the din and chatter of fellow patrons. At the office, they are always ready to lend a helping hand to coworkers and never seem to complain. Why is it that some people seem to exude an aura of perpetual happiness while others find it hard to just get by?

While some are lucky enough to be born with a “congenial gene”, many people have learned how to build their lifestyle in a way that reduces their risk of depression, improves their quality of life and boosts their positivity.

If you are on a journey to addiction recovery, you may periodically experience self-doubt, guilt and depression, but you can learn how to support your emotional health and reduce your risk of relapse. By adopting a few of the most common strategies that many happy people use to boost their mood, you can improve your outlook on life and become more positive about your future and your sobriety.

(1) Prioritize your social connections. 
Multiple studies have shown that meaningful relationships with friends and family members can offer a wide variety of mental and physical health benefits. Researchers have found that individuals who are socially isolated with limited face-to-face social contact are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.

(2) Practice gratitude.
Individuals who experience gratitude on a regular basis are more likely to be confident and happy with their lives and report feeling less stress. Want to incorporate more gratitude in your life? Set your alarm 15 minutes early each day and make a simple list of the things, experiences and people that you appreciate.

(3) Develop healthy coping mechanisms. 
You might think that the people around you who seem happy were dealt a better hand. But, that may not be the case. They may just be addressing issues in a different way. While everyone is on a different journey in life, it’s important to exercise healthy coping mechanisms when problems pop up. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, use positive strategies to work through the situation.

Learn More About Addiction Recovery Treatment for Women 

At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you find sobriety and learn new life skills to create a vibrant, fulfilling life – one that includes profoundly meaningful relationships with friends and family. We are here to help; we are here to plan, support, and love. To find out more about Rising Road Recovery’s treatment program for women, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nurturing Yourself During Recovery: 4 Tips for Boosting Your Body Image

Woman with sunglasses smiling
When you look in the mirror, you probably think about how you look. But, do you ever take the time to think about the way you feel about your body? Living a healthy, well-balanced life is an important part of addiction recovery and that also includes maintaining a positive body image. While it may not come naturally to you, you can learn how to become less critical of yourself, resist stereotypes and become more comfortable in your own skin.

If you are in the process of creating a new, addiction-free life, you can support your sobriety by simply boosting your self-esteem and cultivating a healthier relationship with yourself.

Want to change the way you think about your body and stop the negativity? Here are four ways you can take charge of how you judge – YOU!

(1) Focus on what your body can do, instead of simply what it looks like. 
Instead of judging yourself on arbitrary measures like your weight, try to reframe your thinking to take a more holistic approach. The next time you are going for a walk or riding your bike in the park, take a moment to appreciate all the things you can do.

(2) Prioritize health and fitness, not a number on the scale. 
If you want to build a healthier relationship with your body, think about creating goals that are related to improving your overall health like running a 5K, eating more fruits and vegetables or lowering your cholesterol.

(3) Limit negative self-talk. 
The next time you catch yourself being overly critical of your appearance, replace those thoughts with more positive statements. Instead of “I hate my thighs” or “I look old” take a moment to appreciate what you do love about your body.

(4) Abolish “perfectionism”. 
When you find yourself being overly judgmental about your appearance, consider if you are holding yourself to an unrealistic standard of what you think is attractive. Would you judge a friend that same way?

Learn More About Transitional Living 

Recovery is challenging and is more than just being physically sober. Recovery includes physical as well as emotional and spiritual healing. We can help you cultivate a life free from addiction by nurturing your mind, body and spirit. To find out more about our addiction treatment services including Rising Road Recovery’s transitional living program for women, call (866) 746-1558. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

4 Ways to Get More Confident About Cooking and Love Being in the Kitchen!

Woman cooking as part of an addiction recovery program
One surprising side-effect of sobriety? More trips to the grocery store.

If you’re on the path to recovery, you’ll likely start craving whole foods instead of the #3 combo meal. So, why the change in appetite? Your hunger for healthier fare, packed with vitamins and nutrients, is likely a signal that your body needs to repair itself and flush the toxins that have been built up in your system.

Are you working to quit the behaviors of addiction and a dependency on drugs or alcohol? Cooking at home can help you do just that – and in a lot of different ways. The simple act of preparing a meal can help you build self-esteem and a greater sense of independence. And, you’ll become more conscious of what you’re putting in your body.

But, if your cooking chops are a little rusty, you can learn new recipes and culinary skills at any age. With practice and a little coaching, you can make your kitchen an extension of your addiction recovery plan.

Here are 4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence in the Kitchen 

(1) Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store.
To get started, keep it simple and start with healthy ingredients. Most grocery stores stock processed foods in the center aisles. Stick to the outer areas of the store where you can find fresh produce, meat, fish and dairy items.

(2) Make it a social event.
If you’re interested in learning how to cook, chances are, your friends are too. Ask your friends to help you host an interactive dinner party where you pick a healthy recipe to make (and enjoy) together as a group.

(3) Start with just a few ingredients. 
When you’re starting a new habit, like cooking, it’s always smart to start small. To avoid getting overwhelmed, look for recipes that have just a handful of ingredients. That way, you’ll have less prep work, measuring and cleanup in the kitchen.

(4) Get inspired! 
Cooking should be more than just a chore. It can grow into a fulfilling hobby and a source of pride. To get started, you first need to get inspired. There are a lot of great (and free!) websites that not only offer step-by-step recipes, but also include fantastic photos of the finished product. By taking the time to research new recipes online, you can find new motivation to get in the kitchen.

Cooking Classes and Nutritional Guidance 

As part of our holistic approach to addiction rehab, we offer weekly nutrition courses, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. At Rising Roads Recovery, we aim to fix old patterns and replace them with a healthy relationship with food. If the client feels they need additional help from our Registered Dietician, additional support will be arranged. Reach out today by calling us at (866) 746-1558.

Welcome Mike Robertson, National Outreach Representative!

I am pleased to announce that the Rising Roads Recovery family is expanding once again as Mike Robertson joins us as the National Outreach Representative. In this newly created position, Mike will focus on expanding our reach to help even more women on a courageous path to sobriety. 
Since the inception of Rising Roads Recovery, I have been searching for opportunities to help me find more space to do what I love the most – help women. With the addition of Mike, I will be able to spend less time traveling, and more time working directly with our amazing staff and clientele. 
As the National Outreach Representative, Mike will be responsible for marketing and public relations initiatives and will serve as the primary liaison for Rising Roads Recovery at conferences and networking events nationwide.
Driven by a passion to help others, Mike began working in the chemical dependency and mental health field and has dedicated his career to helping those on a journey to lasting sobriety. By partnering with other industry-leading substance abuse recovery advocates, Mike has cultivated an extensive knowledge base regarding local and national treatment centers, eating disorder programs, wilderness and therapeutic schools. 
As a trusted authority and highly regarded by his peers in the treatment field, Mike brings with him a wealth of experience and a dedication to ethical treatment marketing.
On a personal note, Mike is a native to Southern California and enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and children. In his spare time, he is also an avid fisherman and photographer.
I am blessed and honored to have Mike join our team and we look forward to working together to help even more women and their families travel a healing path to long-term recovery.

About Rising Roads Recovery
At Rising Roads, we believe that lasting sobriety requires you to have a life you're not willing to give up. Creating this life takes a combination of Eastern and Western philosophies and care plans as well as 12-step participation. Our mission is to provide a program where this is not only possible but is probable. Let the road rise up to meet you. Reach out today by calling us at (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Going from Here to There: 3 Small Habits to Fuel Big Changes

Woman making her bed in the morning
There is no “cure” for addiction or destructive behaviors. It’s a process. It begins with making one small step today to get you closer to the future you want and deserve. And then, you’re able to use that positive momentum to propel you closer to achieving your personal and professional goals.

If you are looking to making a change in your life, rethink your current path and make a course correction towards sobriety, you can actually fuel that change with a lot of small, incremental steps along the way.

In order to successfully say “Goodbye” to your old life, one filled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you need to make a build a positive foundation on which to build your new sober lifestyle.

For those courageous enough to pursue a new life and work towards their dreams, it may seem insurmountable at first. But, by making a few positive changes in your life today, you can use that growth to build a greater sense of pride, self-esteem and self-worth to make even more profound evolutions in your life.

(1) Make your bed every morning.
It may seem like a small thing, but the simple task of straightening your sheets and plumping your bed pillows can actually set you up for a more productive day. You’ll start your day with a sense of accomplishment, and even start to crave more organization in other parts of your life.

(2) Create a vision board. 
You may daydream about the life you’d like to have and the job that you’d like to have one day, but if you don’t have a daily reminder of your goals, it’s all too easy to get distracted and forget them. By creating a visual representation of what you are seeking, you are much more likely to pursue those passions and objectives.

(3) Set a goal to learn one new thing each week. 
If you’re in the process of making big changes in your life, it is all too easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to start small. Consider trying a different fitness class at your gym or try a new recipe that supports your goals of heathy eating.

Transitioning from Addiction to Recovery Can Start Today

Our Rise Up Program was created for women seeking additional care after primary treatment. If you are graduating from a stabilization program and realize you need more help, then this program is for you. Rise Up will help you establish your goals for the next 90 days for your sobriety and build on the healthy habits you’ve already begun. To learn more about Rising Roads Recovery, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Holistic Addiction Treatment and Running 101: Strategies for Beginners

Woman running on the beach as part of a holistic addiction treatment
Have you ever seen a running group jog by and wished that you could be that athletic, that active and that committed to your health? Well, you actually can. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or a former high school track star to start forming new healthy habits like running.

And, many former addicts have found that running is a great addition to their new, sober lifestyle after quitting drugs or alcohol. It can help you manage anxiety (a common relapse trigger), boost your self- confidence and help control your weight.

If you are thinking about becoming a runner, here are a few proven strategies you can use to ease into it.

(1) Buy quality running shoes to avoid injuries. 
Did you know that buying the wrong size or shoes without the right support can increase your risk of developing a running injury? To protect your health, consider shopping at a store that specializes in selling running gear. In many instances, they can actually watch you jog to identify your form, stride and fitness level to recommend the right shoes for you.

(2) Keep a training log.
If you are starting a new running regimen, consider recording your mileage in a notebook or with a fitness app on your smart phone. That way, you can track your progress as you gradually increase the distance of each run and celebrate your fitness goals along the way.

(3) Don’t push yourself too hard or too quickly. 
This is one of the most common mistakes that new runners make – which can lead to burn-out and injuries. Remember that it takes time to build stamina and strength.

(4) Visit your doctor for a checkup.
Before you start any new type of exercise, it’s always a good idea to get approval from your doctor first. This is especially important if you’ve been sedentary for more than a year, are overweight or have a history of high blood pressure.

Boot Camps, Yoga and Exercise to Support Your Sobriety 

At Rising Roads Recovery, we understand that fighting addiction is more than simply giving up drugs and alcohol. It’s also about creating a new sober lifestyle that supports your health holistically. That’s why we offer a wide variety of fitness classes including boot camps, yoga and more to help with stress relief and strengthen your body during addiction recovery. To discover more about our drug and alcohol rehab, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The (Not So Secret) Art of Forging New Friendships

Women laughing together celebrating a friendship
If you’re traveling the road from addition to recovery, you’ve likely weathered many emotional storms along the way. Bouts of self-doubt, anxiety and depression may have riddled your past – likely serving as addiction triggers where you turned to drugs or alcohol to push down uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

Though, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to wake up with a hangover the morning after a stressful day or worry about failing a drug test at work. No matter where you are on your journey, you can learn to navigate life and discover healthy coping mechanisms to avoid turning to negative and destructive behaviors.

You may be surprised to learn that having a solid, supportive social network is actually one of the most powerful tools to boost your physical and mental well-being and reduce your risk of relapse. Research has shown that individuals with strong social relationships are less likely to die prematurely, experience less stress and report a greater quality of life.

And, it’s never too late in life to invest in growing your friend group – especially if you are working towards creating a new life – one free from addiction. If you’re interested in protecting your sobriety and searching for a more meaningful life – consider making your social networks more of a priority.

Here are a few tips to get started.

(1) Create a social routine. Most friendships are forged by consistently spending time within social networks. So, for new friendships to form, try joining some groups or clubs in your community that meet on a regular basis. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know like-minded people and learn more about them over time.

(2) Invite “friends of friends” to hang out. Planning a dinner party or rounding up the crew for a Saturday morning yoga class? One of the best ways to meet new people is actually by extending your existing social networks.

(3) Volunteer for a cause you love. One way to meet people in your neighborhood and your community is by donating your time to a worthy cause. By working side-by-side cleaning up a community garden, fundraising for a local nonprofit or helping dogs and cats find a “forever home”, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people who share the same interests and passions.

Learn More About Transitional Living 

At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you find sobriety and learn new life skills to create a vibrant, fulfilling life – one that includes profoundly meaningful relationships with friends and family. We are here to help; we are here to plan, support, and love. To find out more about Rising Road Recovery’s transitional living program for women, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Is a Toxic Relationship Secretly Fueling Your Addiction?

Man and woman in a toxic relationship
If you are dealing with substance abuse issues, you are probably aware of the common triggers that increase your cravings – things like being in social situations where drugs and alcohol are present and emotional issues like anxiety and depression.

But, did you know that your significant other can potentially cause you to relapse? Toxic relationships – ones fueled by jealously, resentment and control – can increase your risk of using and abusing in an attempt to avoid reality and numb the painful emotions.

While it is normal to experience a few bumps on the road in any relationship, toxic relationships are very different in that the chronic “bad times” actually threaten your physical and mental well-being. If you on a path to recovery from a lifetime of addiction, take a few moments to inventory your current relationship to see if it is helping, or harming your sobriety.

3 Symptoms of Toxic Relationships 

(1) There is a cloud of jealousy and suspicion. Solid, healthy relationships are built on trust and faith in the other person. On the other hand, toxic relationships are often shrouded in distrust, lies and deceit. Does your partner often demand to see your phone or hack into your email?

(2) Excessive criticism. Does your partner find fault in everything you do? One hallmark of a healthy relationship is that you work to support each other using healthy forms of communication. In contrast, toxic relationships do quite the opposite – one or both partners feel like the other person consistently puts them down and erodes their self-esteem.

(3) Professional success and personal growth are frowned upon. One of the best parts of being in a healthy relationship is that you have someone to help you celebrate your accomplishments like achieving a weight-loss goal or getting that big promotion at work. In toxic relationships, partners often intentionally manipulate the other person by withholding praise and support. Does your partner regularly celebrate your success – or remain silent?

No relationship is perfect – it’s a given that you will both experience emotional highs and lows from time to time. But, it’s important to take a step back and reflect to see if your relationship is creating a barrier to achieving lasting sobriety. If so, it’s important to seek help from licensed addiction recovery support specialists that also offer comprehensive family and relationship counseling as part of their overall treatment.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery and Healthier Relationships

At Rising Roads Recovery, we help women overcome their addiction issues and learn important communication skills and conflict resolution strategies to help build healthier relationships. Start your healthy life today by calling us at (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saying Goodbye and Working Through Your Grief After a Breakup

Woman grieving after a breakup
After a loved one passes away, it’s normal to experience extreme feelings of grief and sadness while mourning that loss. Relationships play an important role in our well-being and sense of identity in the world and it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions during the grieving process – everything from numbness, shock and denial.

And, experiencing a breakup or divorce can have a similarly devastating effect. In a study led by psychologist Art Aron, neurologist Lucy Brown, and anthropologist Helen Fisher, MRI scans of heartbroken individuals mirrored activity in the same area of the brain that is associated with physical pain when participants were shown images of their former partners.

If you are going through a difficult period in life and are separating from your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s important to take the time to properly acknowledge your feelings and experience the grieving process. By understanding what you are feeling and empowering yourself with healthy coping skills, you can avoid turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the emotional pain.

The Stages of Grief When a Relationship Ends 

(1) Denial. When your relationship starts to fade and a breakup seems inevitable, it’s normal to initially deny that it is ending. You may tell yourself that your argument was just a blip on the radar and that you will work through your issues tomorrow or the next day.

(2) Bargaining. The second stage of grief is all about second-guessing yourself and your relationship to search for an alternative solution to avoid ending it. But, it’s not healthy to dwell in this stage of wishful thinking.

(3) Depression. While mourning the loss of a romantic relationship, it’s normal to move through a period of depression which can bring up feelings of self-pity, lack of energy and changes in sleep patterns.

(4) Anger. During a breakup, you may experience feelings of anger towards your partner – you are hurt and fragile and may try to make the other person feel as bad as you do.

(5) Acceptance. It may take some time to work through all of the stages of grief, but at the end you’ll find acceptance. You can finally come to terms with what has happened and start to move on.

If you are working through a breakup or a divorce, be kind to yourself and understand that what you are going through is hard, but it is part of the normal grieving process.

Instead of trying to run away from the situation by using drugs or alcohol, take the time to journal your emotions and reflect on what was said and how you feel. In time, you’ll get through this challenging time in your life and start to feel whole again.

You Don’t Have to Battle Addiction Alone 

Most of the women who come to Rising Roads have grief and loss as a part of their story – you are not alone. Whatever the emotional fallout of your story is, we are here to help you on your path to addiction recovery and we offer specialized care - including help for grief and loss. Call us now at (866) 746-1558.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fueling Your Recovery from Depression

A healthy, nutrient-rich meal to fight depression
According to the Depression and Bipolar Alliance, nearly 15 million men and women are currently battling a major depressive disorder. And, it impacts individuals from every socioeconomic background, race and gender.

While no one is immune, unfortunately, women are more susceptible than men to depression with more than 12 million women in the United States diagnosed with the condition each year.

Though, the good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. Many find help through the combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, prescription medications including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and holistic treatments such as yoga and acupuncture.

But, it may be surprising to know that what you put in your grocery cart can also help relieve the symptoms of depression and aid in your recovery.

3 Good-Mood Foods to Combat Depression

1.    Omega-3 Fatty Acids. One Norwegian research study, encompassing more than 22,000 participants, found that individuals who regularly consumed nutritional supplements rich in Omega-3 fatty acids were 30% less likely to report symptoms of depression. Natural sources of this inflammation-fighter include flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines and salmon.

2.    Complex Carbohydrates. While an excessive consumption of refined sugars and processed foods have been shown to increase insulin levels and spike blood sugar levels, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid carbs completely. Complex carbohydrates, which are slower to digest, can help you curb the symptoms of depression by supporting healthy levels of serotonin, known as the “calming” components of your brain chemistry.

3.    Lean Meat, Fish and Legumes. Eating a balanced diet that includes natural sources of protein can also help you beat the blues. Why? Foods rich in protein such as turkey, tuna and beans are great sources of an amino acid critical to your brain chemistry, called tryptophan, which supports the production of serotonin, a powerful mood regulator.  

Depression and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand. Sometimes those dealing with behavioral health issues turn to drugs and alcohol in an effort to self-medicate and tame the uncomfortable emotions and urges associated with their disease. If you are dealing with a mental health issue or an addition to drugs or alcohol, it’s important to get help from an experienced addiction counselor or behavioral health professional.

Find Lasting Sobriety – Healing Your Mind, Body and Spirit

On your path to addiction recovery, we can help you overcome the emotional roadblocks that may have tested your sobriety in the past.

If you are looking for a partner and support system to help you start a new life, Rising Roads Recovery can help. We are dedicated to helping women get - and stay sober.

Contact us for more information at (866) 746-1558.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why Art Therapy Works

Woman in art therapy for addiction
If you are battling an addiction or behavioral health issue, you are likely familiar with the most common forms of treatment available including 12 Step programs, cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy.

But, did you know that many leading addiction treatment facilities now recommend the use of art therapy to help augment the recovery process?

What is Art Therapy? 

Art therapy is a powerful tool that enables you to freely express your thoughts, emotions and improve your self-esteem.

While art therapy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, art therapy has been shown to effectively treat those battling substance abuse issues. It is important to note that art therapy is much more than the act of creating art. It’s actually a two-step process where you are first encouraged to visualize your thoughts and feelings and then create visual expressions of those emotions using mediums including music, dance, painting and drawing.

Then, with the guidance of an experienced art therapist, you are able to explore the underlying meanings and the personal experiences that have helped to inform your artistic expression.

3 Benefits of Art Therapy 

Art therapy has been shown to help addicts overcome substance abuse issues and provide a wide variety of benefits.

Three of the most powerful outcomes from art therapy include:

1. It gives you the freedom to communicate feelings that you can’t verbalize. When you are dealing with memories or emotions that are hard to process, art therapy provides a safe outlet for release. And, it offers the opportunity to revisit those emotions at a later date when are you are more comfortable talking about those issues.

2. A healthy stress relief. Everybody experiences stress periodically. With hectic work schedules and personal commitments, it’s important to consciously create outlets to relieve your stress that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. With art therapy, you can tune out the noise and get peace of mind knowing that you are doing something truly good for your emotional and physical well-being.

3. Your art therapist may identify opportunities for personal growth. Sometimes it takes the perspective of someone else to help you understand what you are feeling and why. Art therapy is unique in that you may paint something or draw an experience from your past that you didn’t realize was creating an emotional blockage. With the insight from an experienced art therapist, you can help explore subconscious toxins that need to be addressed.

Holistic Addiction Therapy 

Art can be a phenomenal tool when used to promote emotional and cognitive growth. Through image making and creating you can tap into parts of your inner self.

Rising Roads uses both “Art therapy” which is facilitated by a therapist as well as “Art Expression” which can be facilitated and encouraged by anyone on our staff. Our hope is to enhance your therapeutic experience with the incorporation of artistic expression in many different mediums.

Begin your individual journey to recovery in our serene and supportive environment by calling 866.746.1558.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The 12 Step Alcohol Addiction Treatment Model: What You Need to Know

Women in a support group for alcoholics
If you are researching rehab facilities and their treatment services, you’ve probably noticed that many offer 12 step programs for those dealing with an addiction to alcohol.

Originally created in the 1930s, the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 step model is one of the most widely recommend programs for addiction recovery and has transformed the lives of millions, enabling them to finally achieve a lifetime of sobriety.

But, you might be wondering what a 12 step recovery program is - and how exactly it works. In general, this treatment model is firmly grounded in a spiritual approach where alcoholics find inner strength by turning to a higher power. With the help of licensed addiction specialists and regular support groups, alcoholics are guided through a series of twelve core beliefs in order to find and maintain a sober lifestyle.

The Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable. 
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

How Can Addicts Apply This Information to Real Life?

It’s important to note that these 12 steps represent more than just a lesson plan or a list of “rules” that participants must abide by. 12 step programs are actually much more powerful than that. Addicts who take part in 12 step programs use these teachings to begin an entirely new, sober lifestyle. This treatment method helps those dealing with addiction issues learn how to apply these principles in virtually each and every part of their life by taking accountability and making healthier choices. 

Many addicts initially learn the principles of these 12 steps as part of inpatient and outpatient care at rehabilitation centers and then go on to continue their sobriety by attending weekly support groups in their community.

Rising Roads Recovery Rehab Treatment Services 

Rising Roads Recovery is a small residential treatment center in Orange County, California dedicated to helping women heal from addiction and co-occurring disorders. With comprehensive clinical care and a 12 step model for alcohol addiction recovery, Rising Roads Recovery can help you find lasting sobriety and a more promising future.

And, with hundreds of 12 step addiction recovery groups in and around the area, you can also find extended support by attending weekly meetings in the community.

To learn more, call (866) 746-1558.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Getting Back into the Workplace After Addiction Recovery

Women in a business meeting
If you’re on a journey to sobriety, you may have had to take a leave of absence from your job or quit entirely to get the help you need. But, you may be wondering how to reenter the workforce? While finding a new job may seem like a daunting task, it’s an important part of addiction recovery. The simple act of going to work can help you regain a sense of independence and normalcy in your life.

3 Strategies for Going Back to Work 

1. First and foremost, you should know your rights as an applicant. As part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against recovering drug addicts and alcoholics seeking employment. And, if you feel that you’ve been discriminated against as a result of seeking addiction treatment in the past, you can file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2. Take the time to reevaluate your professional goals. While you may be eager to jump back into the workplace, consider the type of work you did before seeking treatment and explore the pros and cons. Did you enjoy that line of work? Great! If not, think through why. Was it too fast-paced? Were you unhappy with the lack of on-the-job training opportunities? During your journey to living a sober life, you have grown mentally, spiritually and physically. As a result, take this opportunity to ensure your next line of work supports your new, stronger self.

3. Ease into the transition. Protecting your health and your sobriety should be your number one priority. That’s why it’s important to avoid rushing into major life changes that may cause stress and trigger the unhealthy coping skills you worked hard to put behind you. If you’re worried about reentering the workplace, consider just starting with part-time work or finding a workplace with flexible hours.

Employment and Educational Assistance 
Rising Roads offers women comprehensive employment and educational assistance to help you with the application process including interview coaching, resume building and professional networking. Begin your individual journey to recovery in our serene and supportive environment by calling 866.746.1558. Together, we can help you find your way into the workforce and regain your confidence.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Developing Healthy Coping Skills

Woman walking in the park
Every once in a while, life will throw you a curveball. Your car might break down on the way to work or your boss might give you a last minute deadline for a big project. Unexpected events like these can’t be avoided, but the good news is that you can learn healthy coping skills to reduce stress and avoid turning to drugs or alcohol.

3 Healthy Coping Skills 
1. Connect with Nature. When you’re anxious or depressed, it’s natural to seek the comfort of your own home, crawl into bed and binge-watch reality TV on Hulu. But, during times of emotional stress, isolating yourself can actually make things worse.

Instead, lace up your running shoes and take a walk around your block or drive to a local park and simply appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. And, you don’t have to invest a lot of time outdoors to enjoy substantial health benefits. According to a 2010 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers found that people experienced a boost in their mood and self-esteem after spending just five minutes outside!

2. Phone a friend. It’s normal to occasionally feel anxious and stressed when the unexpected happens. But, you should remind yourself that you’re not alone. Everyone is on their own journey in life and we each must learn how to deal with difficult circumstances. When you’re stressed out, pick up your phone and call a trusted friend or family member. Sometimes it’s helpful to get another perspective and if nothing else, simply hear a friendly, caring voice.

3. Treat yourself to a nutritious meal. Emotional and physical stress can wear on your mind, body and spirit. To keep yourself strong and avoid getting fatigued, prioritize your health and well-being by nourishing your body. Had a bad day at work? Why not take the time to relax and enjoy a healthy meal at your favorite restaurant? Put away your phone, slow down and appreciate your surroundings. 

Stronger Together 
By learning and practicing healthy coping skills, you can empower yourself and feel more confident about dealing with stress for a healthier, happier you. Finding the right addiction treatment center can help you get on the path to healing. Rising Roads Recovery has created a program that is dedicated to helping women get and stay sober. Contact us for more information at (866) 746-1558.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Newly Licensed Treatment Center for Women

newly licensed treatment center for womenLife is a beautiful gift. A complicated, beautiful gift that we are bestowed. At certain turning points, we will struggle, we may pause. But, those moments of contemplation and reflection are purposeful. They are there to teach us just how strong we are, collectively and individually.

I began this journey several years ago, wanting to help women in my community dealing with substance abuse. My desire to help wasn’t born of a need to mend, it was actually a mission inspired by the strength in those I witnessed on a courageous journey. I was fortunate to stand with women that bore strength and perseverance with no boundaries.

That is why I founded Rising Roads Recovery. I wanted to create a safe place for women to rediscover their true selves. To build a community where healing can thrive and souls can prosper.

To that end, it is with a full, warm heart that I am happy to announce that Rising Roads Recovery is now Licensed by the state of California Department of Health Services as a substance abuse treatment center. Rising Roads Recovery is here to provide a safe place where every woman can find her wholeness.

If you, or someone you love, is seeking help with substance abuse in conjunction with an eating disorder and/or traumatic experiences, please contact us today. I welcome you to join us.

Let the road rise up to meet you and continue on a healing path. Reach out today about our programs and services by calling us at 866.746.1558.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Are You Addicted to Toxic Relationships?

Sure, this sounds like something you’d read in a women’s magazine (and you may very well have) instead of on a rehab site, but the truth is that a toxic relationship can be detrimental to your lasting sobriety.

Now more than ever it’s important to reflect about past partnerships and to be honest about your dating history. This way, when you are ready to put yourself out there, you can make better judgment calls about who to date and who not to date. And, ultimately, you can learn to recognize a healthy relationship and a person who will make you proud of you and your journey toward a sober life.

Here are some of the many warning signs of a toxic relationship.

Your partner…
  • Brings you down or makes your feel inferior
  • Is unable to give you emotional support 
  • Makes you question your self-worth
  • Gets you involved in unethical or illegal behavior
  • Pressures you to get high or drunk
  • Uses you for sex
  • Disappears for periods of time without any explanation
  • Lies to you over and over again (small and big lies)
  • Makes you feel more sad than happy
  • Never makes compromises; you’re always the one giving in
  • Is emotionally or physical abusive
  • Is very controlling and you feel frightened to share your opinions
  • Is always calling the shots and making the plans
  • Never shows gratitude or appreciation for you
  • Tries to make you feel jealous
  • Constantly criticizes or makes fun of you
Healing Relationships and Attachment Wounds
Our goal at Rising Roads Recovery is for you to be able to identify a healthy relationship and actively participate in it by the end of your addiction treatment. We assist you in being able to speak up for yourself and to respect yourself and your partner in all areas. To learn more, call: 866-746-1558.

Monday, July 25, 2016

7 Things to Do Today to Raise Your Self-Esteem

You have a right to feel good about yourself, especially now that you’ve taken that huge leap into recovery. In fact, boosting your self-esteem is essential for your sobriety. Low self-esteem can prevent you from enjoying life, doing the things you want to do, and working toward your personal recovery goals. It can even lead to relapse if you start to feel so badly about yourself that you give up and start drinking or using again.

The better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll take care of yourself – so what are you waiting for? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends doing one of these simple things every day to boost your self-esteem.

Listen to your body, mind, and heart. For instance, if your body is telling you that you have been sitting down too long, get up and go for a walk. If your heart is lonely, make a date to meet up with a good friend. If your mind is thinking about using again, take those thoughts seriously and seek support right away.

Take very good care of yourself and start to practice daily self-care. A few ideas:
• Opt for healthy fare over junk foods high in sugar, salt, and fat
• Add exercise (walking, riding a bike, dancing to music) to your routine
• Practice good hygiene: take regular baths and showers, style your hair, trim your nails, floss and brush your teeth
• Schedule an annual physical to make sure you’re in good health

Take time to do things you enjoy. When you feel badly about yourself, it’s easy to spend little or no time doing things you enjoy. Make an ongoing list of activities/hobbies that make you happy –whether writing a poem, playing a musical instrument, or going for a hike – and choose something to do from that list daily.

Do something you’ve been putting off. Completing a nagging task – no matter how small – can boost your confidence and lead to a sense of accomplishment. So go ahead and pay that bill, clean out the pantry, write that letter, organize that closet, etc.

Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Now more than ever is the time that you want to avoid people who mistreat you and surround yourself with friends and family members who respect your sobriety and value you.

Learn something new or improve your skills. Sign up for a class or attend a seminar; many education programs for adults are free or fairly inexpensive.

Do something nice for another person. Smiling at your neighbor or saying a few kind words to the cashier at your local grocery store is a simple way to make yourself and another person feel good. Some other ideas:
• Help your spouse with an unpleasant chore
• Take a meal to a sick friend
• Send a card to a long-lost pal
• Volunteer for a worthy organization 

Boosting Your Self-Esteem After a Relapse

The shame and self-loathing that occurs after a relapse can be hard to work though. The Boost Up Program at Rising Recovery aims to help by offering new healthy coping skills so you can keep your positive trajectory. To learn more, call: 866-746-1558.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cooking 101: How to Follow a Recipe

It may sound silly, but something as simple as following a recipe can feel like a monumental challenge. After all, your mind is bursting with new tools for long-term sobriety; not to mention you’re likely experiencing sleep troubles and “brain fog.” 

To feed your recovering body and mind, it’s important that you learn to cook (and learn to like to cook). And being able to read and follow a recipe is the first step.

7 Tips for Evaluating and Following a Recipe
  1. Read through the entire recipe – and then read it again. If you found the recipe online, then you may even want to print it out. 
  2. Ask yourself if it’s a well-written recipe. In other words, does it have three components: ingredients, amount of ingredients, and preparation instructions? Does it spell out pan size, cooking temperature, and how much of each ingredient to use? 
  3. Before you begin cooking, check out the nutritional information. Is the recipe high in fat, salt, or sugar? (If so, you’ll want to skip it.) Does it use mostly whole foods? 
  4. During the second read, highlight or circle any of the important steps. This is also the time to research any cooking methods or cutting styles that are unfamiliar or confusing to you.
  5. Take special note of the time allotted for the recipe – and make sure you have ample time to complete the task at hand. 
  6. Jot down all of the recipe ingredients and add them to your grocery list. 
  7. Set up your Mise en Place (MEEZ-ahn-plahs). This is a French culinary phrase that means “everything it its place” and refers to purchasing, prepping, and pre-measuring all of the ingredients prior to making the dish. This process of cooking is said to be more efficient and helps prevent you from making mistakes or missing ingredients.

Nutritional Guidance at Rising Roads
Rising Roads offers weekly nutrition classes, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. The camaraderie of cooking together, gaining new skills, learning new recipes, and enjoying the process is a positive move forward. To learn more, call 866-746-1558.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Laugh It Off

humor in addiction recoveryRecovery is a hard road, but keeping your sense of humor just might help you along the way. That’s according to a new article in The Open Nursing Journal that looked at laughter theory in the medical literature. Keeping your wit about you can be an advantage if you’re working toward your recovery from substance abuse.

Here’s are ways the article says you might be able to benefit from a little humor right about now during the recovery process:

• Responding to stressful situations through humor often helps people feel less threatened and less stressed out as well.

• Humor can release pent up emotions and even improve mood.

• Having a good laugh can lower anxiety and release tension.

• Finding humor can help replace negative emotions with positive ones and may even help resolve interpersonal conflicts.

• People in recovery (as well as those who treat them and coach them) can use humor to lighten up the seriousness of many situations, which is a healthy way to cope with problems.

• It’s only natural to laugh at our own behavior when is outside the norm. Doing so can help you think of alternative behaviors through creative problem solving.

• Bantering and poking fun of our own past, intoxicated behavior is a way people in recovery groups can help relieve tension. Inside a safe community of people who have also been there—and done that—these moments of laughing at our former selves can be healing rather than embarrassing.

You can’t always lighten the mood with humor. Sure there are going to be many hard moments ahead on your way to recovery, but don’t forget that it’s okay to chuckle when the moment’s right. In fact, a good giggle might be just what you need to help make your recovery a success.

Experiential Therapy
One great place to let your laughter flow is during recreational experiential therapy sessions at Rising Roads. During these sessions, you’ll have a chance to try confidence-building activities like going rock climbing or kayaking. We also have music, role playing and drama experiences to offer. Begin your individual journey to recovery in our serene and supportive environment by calling 866.746.1558. Together, we’ll help bring laughter back into your daily life.

Belonging to Something Bigger

belonging to something bigger
When you make the important decision to seek treatment for your addiction, you may feel completely isolated and alone, but when you join a 12-step program, you are becoming part of a group of people who are facing similar struggles. And being part of a community may be a more essential part of the healing process then we realize.

A History of Effectiveness
12 steps have been successful for recovering addicts for many years. Originally based on a process that was formulated in the 1930s for treating alcoholism, today a large portion of addiction treatment programs are based on an evolved version this methodology.

By admitting there is a substance abuse problem, acknowledging and taking responsibility for the fact that we have hurt people in our lives due to our addiction, attempting to make amends with our loved ones, meditating and trying to help heal other addicts, the therapy can be very effective.

Social Interaction Helps With Sobriety
A study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism looked at how helping other alcoholics going through step 12-treatment created increased interest in others and decreased alcohol use over a 10-year period of engagement. In addition, the study showed that alcoholics who helped others also did more personal step-work and attended more meetings than those who didn’t help others.

For young people with social anxiety disorder, performing simple 12-step service tasks, like making coffee at meetings, is often associated with abstaining from substance abuse. Being actively part of a group can help those who are in recovery feel like they belong somewhere.

In younger adults with addiction, active involvement in community Twelve Step groups also tends to have a positive impact. Attendance and participation in AA/NA meetings following discharge from a residential treatment center seems to be associated with a higher number of days of sobriety.

In all these situations, people recovering from addiction tended to stay sober longer by having some form of communication with others, no matter how subtle.

Sticking To It
Perhaps the most essential way to remain sober after treatment is to continue attending meetings, working with the steps of the program and helping others.

But finding the right treatment center can help you get on the path to healing. At Rising Roads Recovery, you will have a sponsor to guide you through this 12-step process. For more information, call 1-866-746-1558.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

How Addiction Affects Women and Men Differently

addiction affects women differently men
Today in the United States, women are the fastest-growing portion of the population dealing with substance abuse. The Federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention estimates approximately 2.7 million women in the United States abuse alcohol or drugs.

No Longer Ignored 
Traditionally, research on substance abuse and addiction used to focus on men. It has only been during the past two decades that there was a shift after U.S. agencies made it a requirement to include women in federally funded studies. Addiction treatment facilities once used research based on men to create their programs, but this has now changed and differences in gender are taken into account.

The Facts
In 2008 it the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 11.5% of men and 6.4% of women are addicted to substances. Despite the fact that men are more likely to have substance dependence or addiction problems, women tend to become dependent on addictive substances more quickly, can find it harder to quit using and are more likely to relapse.

Although both men and women deal with addiction, females face unique challenges. Here are five things you might not know about women and addiction:

Women and men metabolize substances differently. Because women are, on average, smaller than men one alcoholic beverage has about twice the impact physically that it does on a man, especially on the organs—potentially doing serious damage to a woman’s body much more quickly than it would on a man.

Women are less likely to seek treatment. In addition to financial challenges and social stigma, childcare responsibilities often keep women from seeking the help they need.

Women’s body chemistry can make them more susceptible to addiction. While more research is necessary, some studies have suggested that estrogen may influence the feeling of pressure in the brain that occurs while using substances, potentially making women more likely to experience intense cravings and become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Women are more likely to relapse. Because women are biologically more vulnerable to addiction, they can be prone to falling back into substance abuse.

Women can be at risk for abusing prescriptions. While men may experiment with prescription opioids to get high, women tend to keep unused medications or even use sedatives to enhance the efficacy of pain killers. Due to the fact that they are more prone to suffer from chronic pain conditions, women are more likely to receive prescription pain relief, which can lead to opioid abuse.

Moving Forward
Women may deal with many trials while battling addiction, but there is hope. Finding the right 12-step program that is specifically designed for women’s needs can help you heal. Rising Roads Recovery has created a program that is dedicated to helping women get and stay sober. Contact us for more information at 1-866-746-1558.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Art of Recovery

art therapy addiction recoverySeeking inpatient treatment for addiction is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your recovery. But verbally expressing your feelings about the issues in your life that led you to substance abuse can be difficult. Psychologists understand that sometimes seeking an alternative form of communication can be helpful in the healing process and art therapy can help many work through their emotions in a healthy manner.

It has helped patients for decades
Art therapy has been used in addiction treatment since the 1950s. By using the creative process, patients can express themselves in non-verbal ways. They can make incident drawings, which recreate an image of an instance that happened while they were using drugs or alcohol, as well as sculptures or even an art journal. Painting during times of anxiety can be extremely helpful in relieving stress.

Over the years, research has suggested that art therapy offers many benefits, including helping patients work through feelings of denial and shame, as well as reducing their resistance to addiction treatment, all while giving them a healthy outlet for communication. Sometimes art therapy can motivate patients to take an active role in their recovery.

It’s beneficial to women
Art therapy has been shown to be helpful when treating women who have addiction, and with adolescents as it is theorized that women’s social roles and psychosocial needs often respond well to less traditional treatment options. It may help with depression and reduce feelings of anger and stress.

It’s a stress buster
Creating art also reduces stress hormones according to research. After as little as 45 minutes of making art, cortisol levels can lower significantly. Using art therapy often works well within 12-step programs. 

It’s not just one size fits all
Just like art comes in many forms, art therapy can go beyond drawing and painting for patients who express themselves better in other mediums. Music is often part of these programs, as is creative writing, journaling, creating collages, dramatic role play and even sometimes basic construction or woodworking projects. You can try different forms until you find the one that suits you best.

It can help you heal
Creating and completing a work of art – whether it is a sculpture, portrait or short story – can give a patient a sense of accomplishment and this boost of confidence can sometimes ignite the initiative to move forward in the healing process.

So don’t worry if you aren’t Pablo Picasso and can barely draw a straight line – the act of creating and expressing yourself can help soothe your anxiety and lift your mood, allowing you to open up and release some of the tension that holds you back.

Rising Roads Recovery offers art therapy as one aspect of its treatment program for addiction. We understand that art has the potential to be a powerful tool to use for emotional growth and we encourage our patients to use it to express themselves. Please inquire at 1-866-746-1558 to start your recovery today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Using Yoga to Help Heal the Suffering of Addiction

yoga for addiction treatment

When starting out on the road to recovery from addiction, finding ways to manage the stressors in your life while staying healthy and active can be an overwhelming challenge. But for many women going through treatment, taking up yoga in a 12 step program can offer complimentary help to them in getting back on the path to living a fulfilling lifestyle.

Yoga has been aiding people with handling the physical and mental complexities of life for centuries. Although it originated in Northern India more than 5,000 years ago, it started to gain attention in the West during the late 1800s when Indian yoga masters introduced it to other cultures while traveling abroad. Today it is estimated that over 20 million Americans now practice this ancient discipline. 

Beyond Deep Breathing 

While to non-practitioners it may at first appear to be a lot of stretching and breathing and intricate poses, yoga enthusiasts enjoy it for the sense of emotional and physical equilibrium that it brings them. And as more and more people embrace this custom, we have learned that humans benefit from the many advantages derived from this ancient practice:

It helps reduce stress and anxiety – By learning to relax and breathe through the practice of yoga, you can start to develop healthy coping mechanisms during difficult times. The mechanisms provide a lasting alternative to unhealthy coping skills established during active addiction.
It’s exercise – Research has shown that much like aerobics, yoga can increase your energy level, flexibility, strength and even help with weight loss.
• It’s good for your physical health – Yoga can help repair your body from the wrath of addiction by helping you maintain a balanced metabolism, improve your circulation, increase muscle tone and potentially decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease.
• It’s a natural mood lifter – Yoga can aid you in releasing aggression, anger and tension in a constructive manner, which is key for those who previously turned to substances to relieve uncomfortable emotions.
• It can help with pain relief – While it can provide a reprieve from back pain, yoga can also potentially protect you from some forms of injury. Yoga has been used as an effective pain management alternative to addictive opioid medications.

 Rehabilitating Your Mind and Body 

By calming the mind and toning the body, yoga can help you get back in touch with yourself while you heal. In addition to how beneficial yoga is to the mind and body, it can help you obtain a level of self-discipline, if you practice it regularly, and it integrates well into a 12-step recovery program. 

Rising Roads Recovery helps women address their addictions and build skills to move forward in life. From transitional residential care and post relapse care to specialized care, Rising Roads Recovery offers nutritional guidance, art therapy, cooking and yoga classes, 12 step groups and educational and employment assistance services that allow women to move toward a brighter future. Learn more by calling 1-866-746-1558.