It’s the holiday season, and while we’re still living with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, strides have been made. Many people who have been vaccinated are now around other people for the first time in a while. It may seem that everyone is partying and celebrating.

Most people in recovery choose to stay away from parties or events where there may be drinking or other substance use. But you may feel pressured to go to family events after a long time of not seeing them. Or you may end up at an event you thought was straight-edge, only to learn there is substance abuse taking place.

A Few Easy Ways to Say No

Saying “no” to somebody isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You may feel pressured if the question catches you by surprise. Making “excuses” isn’t necessarily healthy, so don’t feel pressured to make up a lie. Saying “no” and continuing with whatever you’re doing is a good plan.

Again – for the most part, lying isn’t worth it. If you aren’t upfront about the reason you’ve quit drinking, you may be tempted. However, being upfront doesn’t mean breaking your anonymity. Here are a few ways to reject a drink:

You may want to make an excuse or lie up if you’re with strangers, and you don’t want to divulge what’s going on. But if you’re around people you know, don’t be dishonest. Let them know you don’t drink (or smoke weed) and do not intend to any time soon. If that offends them, that’s their problem.

Think, Don’t Drink! Have A Plan

You don’t have to drink or use marijuana or any other substance if you don’t want to. However, if you’re worried about triggers at holiday events,  it’s vital to have an “exit plan,” such as planning to go to a 12-step meeting or another sober gathering.

In recovery, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. Your safety and serenity should come first in your life. For one thing, COVID isn’t over, and it hasn’t been cured, and you may not even want to go to a party.

If you realize that you’re in a sketchy or uncomfortable situation, it’s time to THINK of your exit plan. Call your sponsor, text a friend, or let somebody else you trust that you’re having a bad time and are heading to a meeting.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help you get started on your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about your options.

Many people who are in recovery have experienced depression. There are many ups and downs in early recovery. For some people, depression is a mental health disorder that needs to be treated by medications, therapy, or other clinical means.

People in your life may want to help you but not know how. They may expect you to “cheer you up” on-demand or try to get you to be social when you really don’t feel up to it. If you suffer from depression, you probably want to talk about it with your support network.

In recovery, depression can feel especially isolating if you don’t share what you’re going through with others. Yet recovering from depression is important! Doing so with the help of others can be very rewarding.

Sharing About Depression With Others

All conversations must start somewhere, but you may worry about how you can kick off a chat about your mental health. In addition, you may wonder if there’s a right way or a wrong way to approach the conversation.

There’s no wrong way, really, but you can do things to help yourself feel more comfortable.

Getting The Conversation Started

Understand that you aren’t obligated to tell anyone about your depression if you’re not comfortable doing so. That includes family, friends, and 12-step support members. Likewise, you’re allowed to keep some information about your life private if you choose to.

If you feel like certain people in your life won't understand will react poorly, the best thing is to protect yourself and do what you need to help yourself.

When you’re ready to talk about your depression, here are some tips on getting the conversation started:

 

Mental Health, Depression and Addiction

Mental health disorders like depression are common among people who have experienced addiction. Many people describe substance use as a way to “self-medicate” or “feel normal.” However, when a person gets sober, they may feel the symptoms of depression or more intensely.

In treatment, you also may find you need help coping with depression or another mental health disorder. Again, this is a good thing – getting help for a mental health disorder can help you reclaim your life and feel better in general!

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to guide you. Many of our clients also have co-occurring disorders like depression or generalized anxiety. We can help you get the most out of recovery and make a plan for success. Get in touch!

 

To feel is to be human, and when you first get clean and sober, you’ll go through recovery. Everyone has fears in recovery, especially when they’re brand new to it. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but it can be uncomfortable.

 Doubt Or Fears About Recovery

You may also have doubts that help feed your fears in recovery. What are doubts, exactly?  Doubts are those little voices that haunt you when you’re feeling insecure or afraid. For people with a substance use disorder, doubt is familiar. It’s often because a person is used to being disappointed. They may have tried many things to get sober, only to relapse again and again.

The disease of addiction, also called substance use disorder, is insidious. It causes a person’s brain to think differently than a healthy brain. It can talk people into relapsing if they’re not using the tools

It’s okay to have doubts, and fear is natural too, but give yourself a chance. Take suggestions if you can, and listen closely to others in therapy and 12-step meetings.

Writing Down Your Doubt And Fears

Doubts and fears are close relatives of each other. For example, you may doubt that something like the 12 steps can work for you. Maybe you think the program didn’t work the first time you tried it, so it can’t work now. Perhaps you think you are endlessly broken and beyond repair.

Write down your doubts and fears. If you’re afraid of failing, write it down. What are you afraid of failing at? If you doubt that you can stay sober, write about that feeling.

As you write, you may discover that you have more fears than you realized. These are some good things to share with somebody you trust, whether it’s your sponsor or your sister. Write down all of your fears and share a few of them. (Share as many as you can, but if you’re not comfortable, then read the paper silently in your head. Or hand it to your trusted partner so they can read it.)

Once you have done this, set yourself free. Let those fears go. Take them to a safe space outdoors and set them on fire.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, we’re here to help! No matter what your fears are, you deserve a chance to get sober. We’ll help you get started in a safe and compassionate environment. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

Many people know that fentanyl is a growing problem in all corners of California as well as America. Unfortunately, however, a silent crisis is growing in San Diego County. The most sobering part is that the drugs are the kind that are legally available as well as sold on the street; prescription drugs. And overdoses related to prescription drug use, including opioids,  in 2020 rose to 576 deaths. That’s nearly double the number of overdoses in 2019.

Who Are Most Vulnerable To Overdosing on Prescription Drugs?

According to the Prescription Drug Report Card, men are the most likely to die from an overdose. Out of the 576 overdoses last year, 430 victims were men, and 146 were women.

Prescription drug statistics included opioids, including fentanyl, which has contributed to the most overdose deaths in the nation in the past year.

Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths Are Preventable

Many institutions, including music or arts venues, now keep their supply of naloxone to help reverse overdoses. Naloxone can start working in a matter of minutes, and it’s available from harm reduction organizations and healthcare providers. People who use Medicare or Medi-Cal need a prescription from their doctor for it to be covered. However, some participating pharmacies offer it without a prescription.

The best way to prevent an overdose is to get clean and sober. Staying sober in the long term can help you live your best life. Addiction is a progressive disease, and few people have found recovery without a bit of help.

If you’re addicted to prescription drugs, help is available.

Symptoms of a Prescription Drug Addiction

If somebody you love may have a problem with drugs, you may wonder what the symptoms of a substance use disorder are.

Evidence of misusing prescriptions:

  1. Powder in bags or on mirrors or hard surfaces. Some people with substance use disorder crush pills and snort them. Some people smoke them or inject them. Needles, plastic bags with residue, and glass pipes with burn marks may be evidence of misusing prescriptions.
  2. A person “nods out” or is often groggy during the day, even when they get more than 8 hours of sleep. They may slur words or seem drunk if they are shaken awake.
  3. Hoarding pills from multiple doctors. Evidence of numerous bottles of pills that contain the same prescription.
  4. A considerable change in their lifestyle; they may avoid all of their family and friends. They may begin to have financial trouble, have trouble keeping a job, or simply seem to have ultimately decided to “opt-out” of their former lifestyle.
  5. They may try to stop using prescriptions or promise to stop using, only to start again a few days later. This may be due to physical withdrawal symptoms that make it incredibly challenging to get sober without help.
  6. They may have legal trouble, get DUI’s, or be arrested for forging prescriptions.
  7. They may steal or mismanage the family finances or have other secrets that alienate them from others.

Getting Help for Addiction in San Diego

If you or somebody you love has a problem with prescription drugs, we’re here to help. Getting sober can seem to be a huge task if you’re addicted to a substance. This is why getting help is important! We’re here to help you get started on the journey to recovery. Give us a call at 619-363-4767.

 

Fentanyl-laced cocaine recently made headlines after a shocking loss in the world of comedy, but it’s not a trend that’s in California alone. Drugs of all kinds across the US have been laced with fentanyl, a drug over one hundred times the strength of cocaine. Last August, in New York, six people died from batches of cocaine within the span of a few weeks. And in 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration put a warning about trafficked cocaine they uncovered that contained both fentanyl, and its cousin, carfentanil. Carfentanil is at least one thousand times as strong as fentanyl; its medicinal use has only been for tranquilizing large animals like elephants.

Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine Tragedy in Los Angeles

Earlier this month, a heartbreaking tragedy involving four prominent comedians took place. After snorting cocaine at a party in Venice Beach, first responders were called to a home in Venice Beach. Upon arrival, they found comedians Fuquan Johnson, Natalie Williamson, and Enrico Colangeli dead from a suspected overdose. In addition, comedian and actress Kate Quigby spent over a week recovering after entering the hospital in critical condition.

Investigators presume that fentanyl in the cocaine was the cause of death but do not confirm yet. It's a trend that first responders are seeing across the country.

Why Is Fentanyl in Cocaine So Dangerous/Deadly?

Many people who use drugs like cocaine recreationally don’t use opioids regularly. People with substance use disorder may have a drug of choice, preferring only “uppers” like cocaine and meth. Other people with addiction may use a cocktail of drugs, especially to counteract one drug with unpleasant side effects.

Fentanyl is a silent killer; it’s white and easily added to pills or powders without detection.

The reason fentanyl can cause deadly overdoses is simple. If a person who accidentally takes the potent drug doesn’t use opioids, they have no tolerance to the drug. So it can quickly kill a person who doesn’t use opioids.

Another reason tainted cocaine is so dangerous is that its potency as an opioid is nearly 100 times as strong as morphine. As a result, ingestion can be harmful to even a regular heroin user.

Naloxone, the opioid reversal drug, can only reverse the effects of opioids. If a person who uses cocaine overdoses, there is no way to reverse the results of the cocaine. Often, it can cause a heart attack or other life-threatening issues, which can really only be handled by a first responder.

Harm Reduction / Overdose Prevention

There is no 100% way to avoid an overdose from illicit drugs. Drug dealers may buy their supplies from sources overseas, which often are tainted with fentanyl.

People with substance use disorder should carry Naloxone, the overdose reversal drug. Even if your drug of choice isn’t opioids, it’s a good thing to have around in case of accidental overdose or if an acquaintance or friend uses opioids. Some nonprofits also offer needle exchanges for intravenous drug users and fentanyl test strips, which are very useful in helping drug users recognize a tainted supply of drugs and make better decisions about their use.

If you or somebody you love suffers from addiction, harm reduction can help save a life. However, the only foolproof way to stay safe from overdose is getting clean and sober.  It's a way to reclaim the quality of life for people who are tired of suffering from addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction

Are you sick and tired of your addiction? Are you ready to reclaim your life? Substance use disorder is a disease that requires treatment. We can help you get started on the path to recovery. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options. We offer a safe and compassionate environment to help you begin the journey.

For many people in recovery, addiction was an all-consuming lifestyle. When you were using drugs, you probably didn’t worry as much about consequences. Drugs and alcohol can cause people to lose their inhibitions. When it comes to addiction, the compulsion to get high or drunk may be more powerful than the wish to stay out of trouble.

Today, in recovery, you’re supposed to do the next right thing. Instead of reverting to your old behavior, you can challenge yourself to use your new coping skills and make better decisions. But everyone is human and makes mistakes every once in a while, including risky behaviors. Some behaviors you may revert to are considered to be a stepping stone to relapse.

Risky Behavior Is Relapse Behavior

Not everyone changes their behaviors overnight, so you may still be acting out in old behavior patterns when you first get sober. But risky behavior can be a slippery slope. Risky behavior is often impulsive and thoughtless behavior. Unfortunately, it’s also a clear sign that you’re vulnerable to relapse. So if you find yourself creeping into old habits, it’s time to take your inventory and change what you’re doing.

What kind of behavior is considered risky? Typically, it’s anything immoral or illegal that you’ve done that gives you a “rush.” Unfortunately, these rushes, like a physical high, are short-lived and typically cause damage to your life.

Here are some examples of risky behavior:

A lot of these patterns may have been second nature when you were living with your active addiction. But as a person in recovery, you are trying to live a good life. So you can focus on putting negative behaviors in the past and concentrate on being a good person today.

If you find yourself reverting to risky behaviors, and you’re unsure how to stop, speak with your sponsor or a therapist. Change is hard, but you can do it! Staying sober one day at a time is just the beginning. You’re now on a lifelong journey to being the most authentic self you can be. The journey is always one day at a time.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. We can answer any questions you may have. Give yourself a chance.

The benefits of residing in a sober living environment (SLE) are self-evident if you have recovered from a substance use disorder.  Living with other recovering people is helpful to avoid relapse.

It’s well known that long-term recovery is aided by extended treatment. For the purposes of this discussion, sober living is not technically treatment. However, it’s a crucial part of a recovering person’s life – the eight hours they spent sleeping and is also where they started and ended their day, in the sphere of influence of their roommates or family.

Testing and Accountability

A reputable sober living home will require regular testing, which should be facilitated by a house manager and given randomly.

The majority of sober living homes also require participation in support groups (usually 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous), and possibly tasks. These layers of accountability really add up, giving people a reason to stay sober and constant reinforcement for their continuing sobriety.

Supportive Peer Relationships

One great benefit of SLEs is that the residents bonds with each other. These bonds provide peer support and helps the individual throughout the period in early recovery when they are still experiencing Post Acute Withdrawals Syndrome (PAWS).

Longer Treatment Equals Better Outcomes

There's a strong correlation between longer-term treatment and better sobriety outcomes.  The sober living home is a crucial component to the recovering persons support system, and while not technically “treatment”, a crucial component to the life of any recovery individual.

Independent Recovery

The ideal goal for any recovering person is to be able to remain sober without any external help. However most people who start down the path of recovery take a liking to their support groups in many of the new processes and habits they developed.

A benefit of sober living is that it starts you down the path of building interpersonal connections, and strengthens your daily regimen of activities to support your long-term recovery when you are no longer in a recovery residence. When people eventually move back home (or to their own independent living space), they can still benefit from all the support groups and the connectors they made without any fees that are associated with treatment in the sober living.

Only One Piece of the Puzzle

Sober living by itself should not be considered as a guarantee against relapse. However, it is clearly a beneficial and supportive element that is too often overlooked by those who have completed a short period of residential treatment or managed to obtain a period of sobriety on their own.

The benefits of participating in a sober living house include:

Our San Diego Sober Living Helps Men Stay Sober

Are you or somebody you love interested in a sober living in San Diego? Learn more about the options we offer by calling 760-216-2077.

 

 

As the world re-opens, many people are experiencing a range of emotions, from grief to excitement or fear. It’s an emotional time for everyone! After all, many people have felt isolated and lonely. There have been a lot of things we’ve all gone through as a result of the pandemic, and no two people’s pandemic experience was precisely the same. Now, many people are vaccinated and able to mingle in person again.

Staying sober as the world re-opens may be a challenge for people new to sobriety. It’s exciting, frightening, and a time to celebrate! But, unfortunately, all of the emotions also can be triggers to drink or use substances. So how can you make sure your re-opening experience is safe and sane?

Getting Plugged Back Into In-Person Recovery

Many parts of the US, including California, are having in-person 12-step meetings. Some meetings are even taking place outside when the weather is nice. So, as you resume your in-person way of life, getting into the groove of going to 12-step meetings in person is essential.

Recovery is the most crucial part of your life – the rest of it won’t stay together if you lose it. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your social life. Hang out with people who are sober and support your recovery. On the other hand, don’t give in to the temptation of re-connecting with old friends who may still be using drugs.

Avoid Triggering Situations

As the world re-opens, there will be more temptations than ever. This summer, it seems everyone is experiencing nostalgia. Many people had their favorite restaurants close or favorite businesses shutter. Things aren’t the same as they were in 2019, but they are certainly better than they were in 2021.

You may feel nostalgia is a good excuse to revisit old haunts, but that’s your disease talking. It’s not safe to seek out old people, places, or things related to your life when you were using drugs.

Make a plan to avoid triggering situations. If you’re feeling tempted to drink or use drugs, contact somebody in your support system or go straight to a 12-step meeting. Having a support system with other people in recovery can help you stay sober, even when you’re feeling bad.

Getting Help for Addiction

Do you or somebody you love need help with a substance use disorder? Recovery is possible! Reach out to get the help you need by contacting us at 619-363-4767.

If you or somebody you love are new to recovery from addiction, you probably have some questions. The most basic questions usually are about recovery itself. How does recovery work? What does recovery mean in terms of the individual and their future?

Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. Usually, it means that a person is beginning to heal their life and leave their addiction behind. Usually, a person gets clean and sober before they begin a treatment program. Sometimes this means they go to a detox program then inpatient treatment. However, there are also outpatient options available for many people.

Most people are in recovery from addiction because they want to stay clean and sober. Addiction can take a great toll on a person’s health, mental health, and relationships. Improving your life, repairing relationships, and picking up the pieces, are also a part of the recovery process.

Addiction, like diabetes, or depression, is a disease or disorder. To recover from a substance use disorder, continuous abstinence is a goal.

New Life Skills in Treatment Recovery

Most people find that time in treatment helps them build a solid recovery foundation. For many people new to recovery, it’s hard to imagine coping with life’s challenges without using drugs. Yet, millions of people in recovery learn new tools that help them stay sober. Treatment is where you’ll learn the basics of healing and learn to overcome some of your obstacles to success.

Gaining new life skills means that you first need to understand your addiction. What triggers you to get high? What situations do you need help coping with? You will also learn about how to cope with triggers that typically can cause relapse.

In treatment, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You’ll also learn to live life on its terms without the use of substances. Through therapy, support groups, and other guidance, you’ll learn new life skills that help you stay sober in the long term.

The journey to recovery usually starts in treatment or detox, but it is a lifelong journey.

12-Step Programs and Recovery

Many people in recovery find that 12-step programs offer them the support and structure they need to begin healing the damage of addiction. The 12 steps of recovery help people learn to rebuild their lives and repair relationships.

Staying sober requires support and open-mindedness. Sometimes the most challenging part of sobriety is the first step when a person asks for help. Admitting you have a problem and need help can be scary, yet it’s the first step to getting better and starting a new journey. Once you’ve finished treatment, 12-step members can provide an essential lifeline to sanity and sobriety in the long term.

Recovery is Here When You’re Ready

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom to get clean and sober. If you or somebody you love wants to stop using substances and needs help, we're here to help. Give us a call to learn more about our programs and how we can help.

You deserve to reclaim your life, give yourself a chance by calling us to learn more about your options. Reach out at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

For months, public health experts have predicted an onslaught of addiction alongside the COVID-19 crisis. Now stark numbers show that over the course of a year, over 87,000 Americans died from drug overdoses.

About the Overdose Numbers

The study, which examined drug use from September 2019 to September 2020, showed a steep increase in the mortality rate of drug overdoses. Many of these overdoses were due to the introduction of fentanyl, whether the users knew it or not. Many drug dealers have been “spiking” other opioids like fentanyl.

Police often see it as an ingredient in cocaine here in America. Sometimes overdoses involve a fake opioid pill like Oxycontin or Percocet bought on the street. Fentanyl is becoming an easy-to-get drug that dealers seem to like to add “pep” and create a deeper addiction.

Before the pandemic, the number of opioid overdoses had begun to decrease, but there was a sharp reversal in early 2020. The highest number of overdoses in 2020 can be tied directly to the pandemic.

Loss of Services Caused Desperation

People in recovery are included in those overdose numbers. People who lost jobs, family members and faced uncertainty didn’t have the support systems to stay sober on their own. People sent home from sober living and rehab were vulnerable to relapse as they sheltered-in-place alone.

People with opioid use disorder who relapse are more likely to overdose because their body isn’t used to the amount of drugs they take. Fentanyl, a drug that’s 50 to 100 times as strong as morphine, causes overdoses precisely because the users are either experienced or do not have the physical tolerance for the powerful drug.

Getting Help for Addiction

The good news is that there’s still help available. Recovery rooms are opening up around the country, and treatment centers have been operating safely for months. Help is possible and available! Let us help you reclaim your life and find purpose again. We offer programs in a safe, compassionate environment. Call us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about what we offer.

 

 

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