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Recovering Addict Advice

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  • December 18, 2015 11:59:16 AM
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A Little About Us

I’m a Recovering Addict, Child of an Addict and Psychology Major. I write this blog in the hopes that sharing my knowledge of addiction recovery can help people achieve a happy life in recovery. I want people to know they are not alone in this fight. This common struggle will hopefully bring us together so we can find support, in which we can gain the strength and the courage to keep fighting. I want this blog to help people understand addiction and inspire compassion within them for addicts. I hope to eliminate the discrimination and stigma of an already difficult struggle by raising awareness of the challenges addicts face, and hopefully increase people’s acceptance of them. As a society, I believe we need to stop punishing addicts and increase our harm reduction efforts.

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Coping With the Holidays in Recovery

By John Kahal, C.E.O. Solutions 4 Recovery and Capo by The Sea While the gift of sobriety is the best holiday gift of all, hanging on to it amidst a plethora of merry making during the holiday season is not an easy task. It seems every holiday celebration and office party is steeped in alcoholic […] The post Coping With the Holidays in Recovery appeared first on Recovering Addict...

By John Kahal, C.E.O. Solutions 4 Recovery and Capo by The Sea

While the gift of sobriety is the best holiday gift of all, hanging on to it amidst a plethora of merry making during the holiday season is not an easy task. It seems every holiday celebration and office party is steeped in alcoholic toddies, taunting triggers that can trip up the newly sober.

So how does one go about enjoying the festivities that the holidays bring without losing the grip on sobriety? How does one not become reeled in to old habits when encountering the usual carousing that so often accompanies the season? Believe it or not, with some careful planning and strategizing, there is plenty of cheer awaiting those in recovery to prevent relapse.

10 Helpful Tips to Stay on Track With Recovery During the Holiday Season

When considering the potential recovery pitfalls of the upcoming weeks, it helps to remember that this period is no different from any other time of the year—it just consolidates many of the challenges to sobriety into a tight four-week timespan. All year individuals in rehab recovery navigate weddings, office outings, birthday celebrations, sports events, and parties by carefully sidestepping situations where there is too much risk to recovery. Recovery is a day to day effort, if not hour by hour, so all year long those in recovery are fine tuning their recovery skills. Putting these to work during the holiday season is no different—just possibly a bit more often than usual.

Here are 10 helpful suggestions to help you cope with the holiday festivities:

  1. Beverage in hand. When at a holiday gathering, having a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand all the time will ward off the offers of wine and booze. You just say, “No thanks, I’m good,” and that is that. You can bring your own beverage or order some sparkling water with lime, whatever suits you, and just enjoy some conversation.
  1. Have an exit strategy. Each person will have some sense of the risk they can take in recovery. If one is newly sober, avoid any high risk booze fests or pub crawls…just skip them entirely. When venturing into low risk holiday outings, drive yourself so you can escape if cravings hit.
  1. Take a sober friend along. Sometimes having that sober buddy next to you is a great insurance plan for avoiding trouble at holiday festivities. You can watch each other’s backs and have someone there in your corner to chat with if the scene becomes iffy. It also makes leaving early easy, just stating that so-and-so has to be somewhere.
  1. Go to extra meetings. During the holiday season sentimental emotions and wistful memories of holiday’s past can trigger the urge to use or drink. Regardless of whether you even plan to attend any parties, going to extra meetings during the holidays can help bolster your resolve and avoid slipping.
  1. Change it up. There is nothing written in stone that says you have to stick to old traditions. Why not host your own sober party? Have a pot luck, light a fire in the fireplace, play some party games, and have a white elephant gift exchange. Redefine what a holiday party looks like.
  1. Volunteer. The essence of the season is all about love and giving, so why not shift your focus to charity work versus partying? Find some local organizations that could use some help distributing food to the needy or collecting toys for kids from around the community. Find a soup kitchen and jump in there to cook or serve a holiday dinner.
  1. Have an excuse ready. When you are at an event that you can’t really get out of, and if someone gloms on and badgers you about why you are not drinking, just tell them you are on antibiotics and can’t mix it with alcohol, or some such fable. Practice your line a few times ahead of time so it will flow like honey when accosted.
  1. Remember H.A.L.T. As with any other time of the year, paying heed to the H.A.L.T. triggers is well worth it. Remember that being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired will set you up for caving in to the complete falsehood that you can enjoy “just one drink.” Do not go out if you are agitated or angry about something, and when planning to attend a gathering, it helps to eat something ahead and to be well rested.
  1. Manage stress. The holidays are insanely busy and stressful. It seems everything is ratcheted up a few notches for those four or five weeks, and stress is a trigger for using or drinking. Learn some relaxation inducing techniques to help manage stress, such as deep breathing exercises or taking some yoga classes.
  1. Access your support system. If you are feeling wobbly, contact your sponsor, a sober friend, or a supportive family member for support. Just a few minutes discussing the potential pitfalls of an upcoming holiday event can bolster your commitment to sobriety.

Additional Steps to Shore up Sobriety During the Holidays

Early recovery is especially fraught with potholes, so why not take extra measures during your first holiday season in recovery. Accessing outpatient services is an excellent source of ongoing support following the completion of a rehab program. By attending one or two therapy sessions or group counseling sessions per week, you can work through any challenges to recovery with your psychotherapist and/or the group.

Sober living is another layer of defense in early recovery. If you anticipate the home environment will be saturated with booze and parties during the holidays, opt for a month or two in sober living for added support and companionship. Sober living adds the deterrent effect of regular drug and alcohol testing to help you stay motivated as you wind through the holiday season. The peer support found within a sober living community will help stave off the dreaded loneliness that the holidays can sometimes stoke.

About the Author

John T. Kahal is the founder and CEO of Solutions 4 Recovery and Capo by The Sea, addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs located in Southern California. The programs treat adults, males and females, for addiction to alcohol, heroin addiction, prescription drugs, cocaine, meth, and most other substances. After his own successful experience with the recovery process and journey, Kahal decided to create a unique program that was individualized for each client’s specific treatment needs. Kahal’s passion to share his own positive experience with others, while being a living example of the freedom found in recovery, is what motivates him to guide clients toward their own stable, long-term recovery.

The post Coping With the Holidays in Recovery appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.


Compounded Buprenorphine: Opioid Addiction Treatment Reimagined

A miraculous new way for patients to take buprenorphine for opioid addiction This morning, I had an enlightening conversation with pharmacist Dr. Steven Mougeot of Thrive Pharmacy in Jacksonville, Florida. While we spoke of many things relating to the field of opioid addiction treatment, we discussed compounded buprenorphine at length. Dr. Steve manufactures a product in […] The post Compounded Buprenorphine: Opioid Addiction Treatment Reimagined appeared first on Recovering Addict...

A miraculous new way for patients to take buprenorphine for opioid addiction

This morning, I had an enlightening conversation with pharmacist Dr. Steven Mougeot of Thrive Pharmacy in Jacksonville, Florida. While we spoke of many things relating to the field of opioid addiction treatment, we discussed compounded buprenorphine at length. Dr. Steve manufactures a product in his pharmacy known as a troche (pronounced tro-kee). In fact he makes a variety of troches, containing different medications.

Compounded Buprenorphine Troches

A troche is a small tablet or lozenge that can dissolve under the tongue, quickly delivering medication to the patient. Dr. Steve makes compounded buprenorphine troches that dissolve in about three minutes, rivaling the top brands in dissolving speed. Furthermore, he adds an ingredient that can help with dry mouth, resolving a common issue. Additionally, he flavors the troches with flavors such as watermelon, bubblegum and apple pie.

As American as apple pie

Dr. Steven Mougeot is as interesting as the magical products he creates in his space-age, cutting-edge pharmacy lab. During our conversation, he spoke with caring and compassion about those who struggle with opiate and opioid addiction. In fact, he is someone who truly understands the nature of addiction. And most importantly, he understand that his patients are human beings who deserve respect and empathy. While many practitioners in the medical field do not understand what “the new recovery” means, Dr. Steve certainly does.

The Science of Spirituality revisited

I have written previously about Dr. Anna Yusim and her book, The Science of Spirituality. Dr. Yusim is listed on our resources page. There is no doubt that spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer, breathing, gratitude and journaling will help you to get clean and stay clean from drugs. In my conversation with Dr. Steve, he often quoted bible scripture and discussed his involvement in the church. While we all may choose different spiritual paths based on our upbringing and beliefs, the importance of having a strong spiritual connection and a foundation of faith cannot be underestimated.

In conclusion

In conclusion, I want to say that Dr. Steven Mougeot did not ask me to write this article or to promote him in any way. I believe that when I meet someone who has the potential to make a positive difference in people’s lives, I have an obligation to help get the word out. So, if you are a doctor or other prescribing practitioner, addiction treatment program director, a person struggling with opioid addiction or a loved one, I strongly recommend looking up Dr. Steve here and considering reaching out to see how he might be able to help you. I should also say that he has some interesting ideas in other areas, including the treatment of alcoholism and many other areas outside of the field of addiction treatment.

It is important to note

Dr. Steve does not manufacture compounded medications for specific medical purposes. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the doctor to make the decision to use these compounds for specific medical treatment.

The post Compounded Buprenorphine: Opioid Addiction Treatment Reimagined appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.


Recovering Addict: Healing In Time

The world needs you back As a recovering addict, you may feel like you have little worth in the world. You have just come back from a nightmare and you still struggle with it. While somewhere, deep inside, you know that you are special and unique, you may be surrounded by people who continually put […] The post Recovering Addict: Healing In Time appeared first on Recovering Addict...

The world needs you back

As a recovering addict, you may feel like you have little worth in the world. You have just come back from a nightmare and you still struggle with it. While somewhere, deep inside, you know that you are special and unique, you may be surrounded by people who continually put you down.

You are not just a name

Anonymous meetings are great to support your recovery. You can also find some great recovery resources here. Yet, as a recovering addict, you may feel like just a number. Or rather, just a name. The program doesn’t celebrate your uniqueness and the gifts you have to offer the world. Anonymity requires that members do not stand out other than to celebrate their clean time.

Develop your gifts as a recovering addict

It is well known that addiction hits creative geniuses the hardest. Just look at the news. In fact, you cannot miss the trend. An unusually large number of musicians, artists and performers struggle with addiction. It is not just due to the world they live in. It happens to be an occupational hazard of being a powerful force of creativity.

Never give up

So, now is the time to apply yourself in working on your strengths and talents. While you should still work on recovery activities, such as therapy, meetings, journaling and meditation, it is the perfect time for you to put in daily practice and study into the creative outlets where have the highest level of talent. Read more about the importance of creative outlet here.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not special

Parents and siblings tend to beat the self-esteem right out of the most special children. Does this sound familiar? You always knew that you had so much potential as a child. Yet, they kept making you feel bad about yourself. Why would your loved ones do this? It is simply the nature of the common dysfunctional family. As a recovering addict, you cannot let them hold you back.

Time will heal you

As you continue to put more clean days together, you will see that you are healing. Your mind comes back and starts working again. Now is the time to write, draw, compose, speak or whatever you love to do. Early recovery is a perfect time to explore creative outlets. Don’t be afraid of failure. This is a time to practice and try things out. The only place in which you must not fail is staying clean. Do not use drugs again today no matter what.

 

The post Recovering Addict: Healing In Time appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.


Subutex Shot: Please, Let Us Be Open-Minded

Open-Mindedness Saves Lives Recently, I wrote an article about the new Subutex shot, the Sublocade injection. While I thought I was being helpful in providing this information, some people emailed me to complain. As you can imagine, there are people in the recovery community who believe that there is only one path to recovery. The […] The post Subutex Shot: Please, Let Us Be Open-Minded appeared first on Recovering Addict...

Open-Mindedness Saves Lives

Recently, I wrote an article about the new Subutex shot, the Sublocade injection. While I thought I was being helpful in providing this information, some people emailed me to complain. As you can imagine, there are people in the recovery community who believe that there is only one path to recovery. The one true path must involve abstinence. Strangely, the rule is that if you are prescribed methadone or buprenorphine for addiction, you are not clean. However, if you get these same drugs for any other reason, such as pain, there is no such issue.

I am willing to be open-minded.

Of course, we are all different. I accept that fact that medication is not the solution for everyone who is trying to get clean from opioids. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to recovery. Open-mindedness is a principle of the first step. It is a key principle of 12-step recovery. So, why are there long-time members of 12-step recovery who are not open-minded about medication being the right choice for some people?

The Subutex Shot is here to stay.

What I mean by the Subutex shot is the newly approved Sublocade. As I have written before, this new product has advantages over Suboxone and Subutex. Doctors and loved ones do not have to worry if you are taking your medicine. You get a shot each month and you are done. It lasts the whole month.

Acceptance of the new recovery.

Recovering with the help of medication assisted treatment has been called the new recovery. We should accept this new reality. The fact is that it is saving lives. Hence, reducing harm should be our primary goal.

Let us not play doctor.

It is wrong to tell people to stop taking their medicine. However, you are free to tell someone to talk to their doctor or to get a second medical opinion. It is my opinion that we should not get in the way of life-saving medical treatment, especially when it comes to successful treatments like the Subutex shot.

 

The post Subutex Shot: Please, Let Us Be Open-Minded appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.


Sublocade Doctors Near Me: Finding Docs Who Give The Suboxone Injection

The Subutex Shot Is Here To Stay While meds such as Suboxone are controversial in some recovery circles, we must admit to ourselves that these medical tools work. In fact, more people are staying clean from heroin and pills than ever before, thanks to MAT. MAT stands for medication assisted treatment. The real name for […] The post Sublocade Doctors Near Me: Finding Docs Who Give The Suboxone Injection appeared first on Recovering Addict...

The Subutex Shot Is Here To Stay

While meds such as Suboxone are controversial in some recovery circles, we must admit to ourselves that these medical tools work. In fact, more people are staying clean from heroin and pills than ever before, thanks to MAT. MAT stands for medication assisted treatment. The real name for this shot is Sublocade, a monthly injection to treat opioid addiction. So, how can I find Sublocade doctors near me?

First, check the website

The makers of this new tool to fight opioid addiction have provided a website. On this site, they have a doctor directory. So, you may want to start there. You can find that website right here.

What is the next step to find Sublocade doctors near me?

Next, you are going to want to do a bit of research. While many doctors in your area may be listed, you will want to be sure that they are a good fit for you. Sometimes doctors even sign up for these directories and then decide they don’t want to be involved anymore.

Should I make some phone calls?

While calling the phone numbers listed may be helpful, often, when you call clinics, you can get frustrated with being put on hold and possibly getting misleading information.

What is another source of information to find Sublocade doctors near me?

After finding the names of local doctors in your area on the Sublocade website directory, you can then look these docs up on the web. See if they have a website for their medical practice. If they do, you can then read up all about what they do in their office. Therefore, you will see if they actually list Sublocade therapy as a service. An example of a doctor website listing Sublocade therapy service can be found here. You can also see if the doctors you look up provide services that may indicate you should stay away. If you see any mention of prescribing of opioids for pain, you may want to avoid that doctor. I am sure you understand that sitting in a waiting room with people who are there for an opioid prescription is not a good idea if you want to stay clean.

In addition to searching for Sublocade doctors near me on the web, you may want to also look for useful recovery resources that will help to you to have the best chance for success in your recovery.

 

The post Sublocade Doctors Near Me: Finding Docs Who Give The Suboxone Injection appeared first on Recovering Addict Advice.


Finding The Best Recovery Meetings In Your Area: 5 essential tips.

5 tips to finding the best meetings for your recovery Recovering from addiction has never been easy. If you have been in rehab, you may have already been sent to aftercare. Otherwise, if you are addicted to drugs and trying to find a way out, you must first realize that you have a problem. After […] The post Finding The Best Recovery Meetings In Your Area: 5 essential tips. appeared first on Recovering Addict...

5 tips to finding the best meetings for your recovery

Recovering from addiction has never been easy. If you have been in rehab, you may have already been sent to aftercare. Otherwise, if you are addicted to drugs and trying to find a way out, you must first realize that you have a problem. After this self-admission, you then must ask for help. So, where can you go to safely get help from trusted people? Here is a short guide to finding the best recovery meetings.

The wild west of recovery meetings.

Showing up to a meeting for the first time can be scary. Not only do you not want to be there, you have the additional pressure of your addiction telling you to leave. In fact, your addicted brain will tell you to get out at all costs. Hence, you will find any excuse possible to go away.

Tip #1, avoid clubhouses.

First, I should say that the best meeting is the one that you can go to right now. What I mean is that you should not use any of my criteria as an excuse to not go to a meeting. That being said, when it comes to finding the best recovery meetings, I want to tell you about the problem with many clubhouse meetings. Clubhouses are places that exist to host recovery meetings. They may have NA, AA, CA, OA and more. Or, they may focus on just one type of meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous clubhouses are fairly common.

While you can find many meetings to attend at such a clubhouse, you fill find a rougher crowd here. If you are concerned about fights, shouting, disrespectful behavior, drug dealers outside and other things that can disrupt your recovery, you will find that the clubhouses have a higher incidence of these problems. On the other hand, many clubhouses do have excellent meetings and solid recovery. But why take a chance?

Tip #2, ask an expert!

If you are making an effort in finding the best recovery meetings, why not ask an expert? So, how can you find such an expert? Call the helpline! Most organizations that host meetings have local helpline phone numbers. Local members usually answer these phones. Hence, you will find that they often have the best information about local meetings. When you call for help, don’t just ask where any meeting is, ask where the best meetings are! If you cannot find a local helpline number, try this national helpline.

Tip #3, Stay until the end.

When you go to a meeting of AA or NA for example, you will find that the meeting starts with a prayer and ends with a prayer. So, try to stay from the first prayer to the last. When you are fighting an addiction, you will find that you are often tempted to walk out early. Whatever you do, don’t walk out! Stay for the whole meeting and listen carefully. In fact, you should stay a bit after the meeting and get to know the people who have a lot of clean time. Try to talk to the people who spoke about recovery in a good way during the meeting.

Tip #4, Get to know people of your gender.

This is an important one. When you go to a meeting, it is to save your life from the disease of addiction. While you do enjoy meeting new and attractive people, a meeting is not the place for this. Of course, I should mention that when I say you should associate with people of your gender, I realize that gender and sexual orientation are more complex than boys liking girls and girls liking boys. To simplify, don’t make best friends with people whom you are physically attracted to. Therefore, you will keep your focus on your recovery.

Tip #5, Find a sponsor.

Maybe, this should have been tip #1. For the best results, you should find a sponsor. Even though a sponsor is important to your success, you don’t have to overthink it. If you are concerned that you will choose wrong, ask someone to be your temporary sponsor. This way, you will have a chance to get to know them a bit. And don’t forget, read tip #4 to see who you should not pick for a sponsor.

Bonus tip for finding the best recovery meetings

While there are no definite rules for what makes the best meeting, you will likely find that there are some common characteristics. While many of the best meetings take place in churches this does not mean that they are religious. Churches often rent space for weekly meetings. What you will find is that the bad meetings get kicked out of the churches, so meetings that have been in a church for a long time tend to be good. For some reason, the good meetings tend to meet weekly, in the early evening, from around 5pm to 8pm.

Good luck in finding the best recovery meetings! When you find a good one, take note of when and where it is. Set an alarm so you remember to show up every week. When you find a bunch of good meetings, you will be able to fill out your whole week with the best recovery your area has to offer. We wish you the best of luck and success!

 

 

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