Keeping Your Recovery Strong This Winter

The winter is a wonderful time of year and yet it’s also a time where stress, cold and flu and temptations can put your health and your recovery at risk. Here’s help: Safeguard against stress. Chronic stress can drain your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick. In fact, one study found that people who experienced a major stressful event were two times more likely to catch the common cold. Think of “chilling out” as just another recovery to-do this season. Cuddle up with a good book, soak in a warm bath, sip some warm tea, meditate, color […]

Tips for Surviving Mental Relapse

mental relapse

During recovery, it’s pretty common to think about using again – or mentally relapsing – but it can be a slippery slope if these thoughts aren’t fleeting. If you remain in a mental relapse for too long, you may find yourself battling intense cravings, bargaining, skipping therapy sessions or meetings and/or putting yourself in risky situations. Perhaps worse, you might even begin mentally planning your relapse. Now, here’s the good news: Even if you’re in a mental relapse, you can prevent yourself from using again with some healthy coping skills. If the thought of using becomes too great – even […]

Rural Community Is Treating Opioid Problem Like Natural Disaster

opioid

The opioid epidemic is hitting rural communities across the U.S. hard – and, in fact, a  recent poll found that it’s the most urgent health problem facing rural Americans. A whopping 48 percent of poll respondents said opioid addiction has worsened over the past five years. But what’s the solution? Should the current opioid crisis be treated like a natural disaster? That’s the unique approach a rural community in Washington is taking as they fight against the increasing rates of overdoses. Members of Snohomish County in Western Washington are responding to the drug crisis the same way they did a […]

Doing Your Best on Bad Days

bad days

Addiction recovery is filled with hope and possibility – but you’ll also experience your fair share of down days. We all do. But how do you cope without jeopardizing your hard-won sobriety? Here are a few tips to help you survive those bad bays so you come out shining and even stronger in your recovery. Write it down. Journaling is a great exercise to help you process and put into perspective any negative feelings that are causing a down mood. In fact, studies show that expressing your feelings through words can decrease the power they have over you and your […]

4 Myths About PTSD

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is quite common – with roughly 8 million people reported to have PTSD in the United States – and yet the condition remains fairly misunderstood. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, we’re setting the record straight on some of the most common and damaging myths surrounding PTSD. Share this information and help to stop the stigma and encourage people with PTSD to get the help they need and deserve. Only military veterans can get PTSD. While PTSD does impact American soldiers, it can also impact someone who has lived through sexual assault, domestic abuse, a natural […]

Addiction and Your Oral Health

oral health

Did you know that people with substance use disorders are less likely to seek regular dental care, despite having higher rates of tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population? Going to the dentist is likely the last thing on your mind while you’re in active addiction. But now that you’re in recovery, caring for your oral health is an important part of self-care. Proper dental hygiene will make you look and feel good and it will also prevent conditions like heart disease or diabetes that can be caused by the chronic inflammation and bacteria in the blood that […]

How Mind, Body, Spirit Healing Helps Your Recovery

mind, body, spirit

There are so many important aspects involved in a successful recovery. Yet one of the best ways to ensure long-term sobriety is to focus on all aspects of healing — including the mind, body and spirit. Here’s a look at why holistic healing matters: Your mind: From poor self-esteem to guilt and shame and depression and anxiety, addiction can cause and/or be accompanied by a host of mental health issues. This is especially true if you’re struggling with a dual diagnosis or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. What’s more, caring for your mental health and getting a handle […]

How Unrealistic Expectations Can Harm Your Recovery

unrealistic expectations

Now that you’re in recovery, it’s natural to expect things to change for the better – but you’ll need to be careful that you don’t expect things to change too fast or too drastically. Recovery is a journey and the goal is progress, not perfection, after all. Setting unrealistic expectations during recovery can mean setting yourself up for failure. In fact, for many people, unrealistic expectations can lead to relapse. For example, a person can create a list of impossible demands for sobriety and, when those demands aren’t met, he or she can use it as an excuse to drink […]