What is a Spiritual Awakening in Recovery?

what is a spiritual awakening in recovery

what is a spiritual awakening in recovery

 

What is a spiritual awakening in recovery? Spirituality is one of the more misunderstood elements of addiction treatment and recovery, but often one of the most important. We encourage everyone to explore spirituality in a way that works for them, both during treatment and throughout their life. 

Your spiritual journey and spiritual practice are likely to become something you rely on throughout your life, well after you go to addiction treatment. Active addiction affects your spirit in so many ways, and you might not even see those effects right away. You’re never truly present or in the moment because you always feel the influence of drugs or alcohol. You might feel like you have no worth because of your addiction and like your only purpose is using drugs or alcohol.

You get lost in your addiction without the chance to experience your emotions. The process of recovery often goes hand-in-hand with the spiritual awakening process. Learning how to start your spiritual awakening can be so challenging because it looks different for everyone.

We’ll explore below what we mean when we talk about a spiritual awakening in recovery and how that can happen for different people regardless of differences in their belief systems. 

 

What is a Spiritual Awakening?

A spiritual awakening isn’t something you experience exclusive to addiction recovery. Awakening can happen at any time in your life, regardless of your circumstances.

You often experience something profound or on a deeper level that leads to a breakdown of your ego. You may feel a tug or call toward deeper mental awareness. The result tends to be a personal transformation along with a shift in how you see yourself and the world around you. For many of us, a spiritual awakening comes after a catalyst in our life.

If you’re going to addiction treatment or struggling with a substance use disorder, the realization that you’ve hit rock bottom or are not in control of your drug use can be that triggering event. It’s usually that initial realization about the true depths of your substance abuse that many people say is the hardest part of recovery. You have to see for yourself the impacts of your addiction on every area of your life before you reach any kind of deeper spiritual awareness. Awakening doesn’t always stem from addiction.

For some people, it’s a traumatic experience such as surviving an assault or abuse, or maybe the loss of a loved one. When you go through something traumatic, it affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You may go through an extended period of healing but emerge on the other side of that in a more vital place spiritually. If you have depression or a mental health disorder, it can lead you to what we call an existential crisis. You start to look more at the purpose of your life, and you may want a shift due to that assessment.

You can engage in practices through your daily life that might also activate an awareness or awakening. For example, mindfulness and meditation can be a way to transform yourself on a spiritual level, even without a major life event happening. According to Deepak Chopra, when you experience an awakening, you’re not in a dream world anymore. 

Instead, based on Chopra’s framework, you are aware of yourself but only in a way that puts you within the context and connection of everything else. This period is also sometimes called enlightenment or nirvana.

 

 

How to Start Your Spiritual Awakening

The process of how to start your spiritual awakening is deeply personal, so below are only suggestions, but you may find a path that’s entirely your own.

  • Start to observe and notice. Many of us go through our lives on autopilot. We don’t think about what we truly want, who we are at our core, or why we’re at a particular point in our lives. When you become aware and observant, you’re better able to make changes then. For example, this might be when you question your drinking or drug use and start to delve more into why you’re doing it.
  • Develop a sense of connection. Specifically, as it relates to addiction and recovery, that sense of connection can come from participation in a support group, like a 12-step program.
  • Let go of attachments. We all have extensions that aren’t relevant to our true selves. You can begin to eliminate whatever those are through your awakening.
  • Find inner peace. When you cultivate inner peace, things still go wrong in your life, but it doesn’t lead you down dark paths. Instead, you learn how to cope with things as they go wrong effectively. When you’re experiencing things that aren’t pleasant, you recognize them as a fleeting moment in time.
  • Feel more compassion and empathy. When you’re participating in an addiction treatment program, you’ll start to learn more about how your substance abuse affected the people around you. This is an excellent starting point as you begin to become more empathetic and compassionate in all areas of your life.
  • More authenticity. You’ll start to grow into someone who feels your self-worth on a deep level. That will allow you to be more authentic in who you are.

The final step in an awakening of your spirit is that you’ll be happier and healthier. You’ll be able to thrive in your life rather than just surviving in your recovery process. 

 

Spirituality in Recovery 

In many ways, having a successful long-term recovery from addiction relies on spiritual growth taking place. You have to change your perspective to be in recovery. As part of treatment for substance abuse, you can begin to identify and reconnect with the aspects of your life that are most important to you.

Spiritual power can become your most incredible tool for healing, personal growth, and having a thriving life. You can develop a sense of purpose, and at the same time, learn that you’re not alone.

 

Spirituality Is Not Religion

We often hear from people who worry spirituality is about God or religion. However, it’s important to note that you do not need religion or a belief in God to have a spiritual experience, although you certainly can get your spiritual power from God. A true awakening in the spiritual sense is about having your own beliefs and developing your sense of self that connects you to everything else in the world in your everyday life. You can give credit to whatever force or power you choose.

Are you ready to begin learning how to start your spiritual journey? We encourage you to reach out and learn more about our addiction treatment programs. We prioritize spirituality in whatever terms work for you. Your spiritual life is very personal, which is how Anchored Tides Recovery develops our addiction treatment programs as well, call 866-600-7709 to learn more. 

Support starts here. 

Quitting Nicotine: The Next Step to a Healthy Life

how long does nicotine withdrawal last

how long does nicotine withdrawal last

 

Many people will tell you that quitting nicotine is the hardest thing they ever do. Despite the immense challenges, it is possible to stop smoking and using nicotine products in general. We’ll discuss more addiction and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. We’ll also mention some of the things you can do to deal with physical symptoms and psychological symptoms of an addiction to nicotine. Options include nicotine patches and other nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, and working with a professional counselor. 

There’s a lot to look forward to in a nicotine-free life; when you decide to quit using tobacco for good, the health benefits include: 

  • Reduced risk of heart disease 
  • Lower risk of a heart attack
  • Less exposure to secondhand smoke for the people around you
  • Improved your overall lung health 

 

How Does Nicotine Work?

Understanding why quitting nicotine is so challenging relies on understanding just how this potent drug works. If you use something with nicotine, your brain and body are being exposed to a stimulant. A stimulant speeds up processes in your body and central nervous system. A chemical containing nitrogen, nicotine is made by plants like the tobacco plant. There’s also synthetic production.

On its own, nicotine doesn’t increase the risk of lung cancer or have significant adverse health effects. The issue comes from the fact that since it is so addictive, you can become dependent on tobacco products that are cancer-causing and dangerous. Snorting or chewing tobacco will release more nicotine into your body than smoking, but smoking is America’s most common preventable cause of death.

Interestingly, nicotine is both a stimulant and also a sedative. When you first expose your body to nicotine, you’ll experience a kick. This kick occurs because nicotine stimulates your adrenal glands; adrenal stimulation causes an adrenaline release. Adrenaline stimulates the rest of your body, causing a glucose release. 

Other short-term effects include an increase in blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. Your pancreas produces less insulin in response so that you might have an increase in your blood sugar.

 

Nicotine Addiction and Dependence

Nicotine addiction is physical and behavioral. Physical dependence means that you crave the chemical. Behavioral addiction refers to situations where you might be used to using tobacco in particular situations, and you want to keep doing that. For example, you might always find yourself smoking when you feel stress, which can be a sign of behavioral addiction.

As we talked about above, when you use nicotine, it creates pleasant feelings and sensations in your mind and body. Your brain releases neurotransmitters, including dopamine, creating feelings of pleasure and happiness. These pleasant effects are one way you can develop an addiction to nicotine. Signs of addiction include:

  • You’re not able to stop using tobacco
  • You experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use nicotine
  • You have a desire to continue using tobacco even though it’s causing adverse outcomes, such as health risks
  • Someone with an addiction to nicotine will keep using tobacco despite harmful effects on their life

Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and common side effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability
  • Problems concentrating
  • Nicotine cravings
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Aches and pains
  • Eating more
  • Weight gain
  • Restlessness

According to the American Heart Association, it’s one of the hardest things to quit when you use tobacco. Quitting nicotine can be as hard as stopping heroin, mainly heavy smokers in stopping or long-term tobacco users. In many cases, the more cigarettes you have per day, the more difficult it might be to go through the withdrawal symptoms from nicotine. 

So, how long does withdrawal last?

For most current smokers, quitting nicotine and nicotine withdrawal symptoms will start anywhere from one to three hours after your last tobacco use. Symptoms in a nicotine addict can last a few days up to a few weeks. Some people experience tobacco cravings for months or even years. 

 

Can Your Lungs Heal After Smoking?

As we mentioned above, it’s not necessarily nicotine itself that’s harmful to your health. Instead, the products containing nicotine are dangerous and can cause conditions like lung cancer and lung damage. Your lungs can clean and repair themselves over time, luckily, but maybe only to an extent.

After you stop smoking and end your toxic chemical exposure, your lungs can begin to not only heal but also regenerate. How quickly your lungs can heal depends on how long you used tobacco and the extent of the damage. Two types of permanent and potentially irreversible damage can occur, which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Even so, quitting nicotine and tobacco products can help you avoid worse damage, and you may see improvements in your lung health and your quality of life. 

 

Tips for Quitting Nicotine

If you’re interested in quitting nicotine, some methods may be helpful for you. First, as is the case with other types of addiction, you’ll need to prepare yourself to change your routines and behaviors. Specific treatment options to reduce tobacco cravings include:

 

Cessation Medications and Nicotine Replacement Products

Medications can help you stop using tobacco and reduce cravings. One of the more popular options is nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine replacement therapy includes:

  • Nicotine inhalers
  • Nasal sprays
  • Lozenges
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine patches. 

Some people might use electronic cigarettes to help them with intense cravings, but you have to be mindful that these can also put you at risk for lung disease and other harmful chemicals. When you take a nicotine replacement medication, it provides you with nicotine, but not the other chemicals in tobacco. Another option that a professional might prescribe to you is an antidepressant. Antidepressants can improve your mood by increasing your dopamine production. More dopamine production may help you stop using tobacco.

 

Therapy and Support Groups

You can work with a professional therapist or counselor as you go through the common withdrawal symptoms. You might also choose an in-person or virtual support group. Support groups help tackle all types of addiction, and you can learn better coping skills and be with people who are going through something similar to your situation.

 

Lifestyle Changes

When you’re quitting nicotine, you’ll want to make sure that you’re identifying new ways to cope with stress and cravings.

There are a lot of lifestyle changes that might work for you.

  • You might focus on getting regular physical activity. 
  • Keep your hands and mouth busy with healthy snacks or gum.
  • Remove temptations from your home, and try to avoid situations that could trigger you, such as hanging around with smokers.
  • When you’re quitting nicotine, you should also set manageable and achievable goals and treat yourself when you meet those goals.
  • Some people find that alternative remedies help with their addiction, like acupuncture, the use of certain herbs, essential oils, and hypnosis.

It’s never easy to beat any addiction, and many people say overcoming nicotine dependence is one of the hardest things they ever do. 

If you’d like to learn more about professional support and create healthy coping skills for addictions to nicotine or any other substance, we encourage you to contact Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709. With professional help, you can improve your chances to kick the addiction. 

PTSD Symptoms in Women

PTSD symptoms in women

PTSD symptoms in women

 

PTSD symptoms in women can look different than how they manifest in men. These differences aren’t just actual post-traumatic stress disorder. Across the board, women may experience the symptoms of mental disorders differently than men. Understanding these sex differences is essential in diagnosis and treatment.

We delve into how you experience PTSD symptoms as a woman can differ and its role in addiction and substance abuse.

 

What is PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, develops following exposure to a scary, dangerous or shocking event. If you’re in a traumatic situation, it’s not abnormal to feel fear, anxiety, and even a sense of terror. Your body will launch a fight-or-flight response. The response is your body’s natural way of protecting you from harm and danger. Sometimes this initial response is called acute stress disorder. 

Most people will then recover from those initial fight-or-flight symptoms after the immediate threat of danger passes following exposure to trauma. When those symptoms don’t go away or maybe even worsen, you could have PTSD. If you believe you have symptoms, you should speak to a mental health professional. 

Possible risk factors include:

  • Living through something dangerous or traumatic such as sexual or physical abuse
  • Being physically hurt
  • Seeing someone else getting hurt
  • Seeing a dead body
  • Trauma during childhood
  • Feeling extreme fear or helplessness
  • Having little social support after the traumatic event
  • Dealing with additional stress after the event like losing your home or job
  • Having a history of drug or alcohol abuse 
  • A history of mental disorders 

According to mental health care providers, general symptoms of PTSD that we see in both men and women fall into one of four categories. 

 

Re-Experiencing Symptoms

These symptoms might include flashbacks, where you constantly relieve the traumatic event. Re-experiencing symptoms can also be physical. For example, you might have a racing heart. Bad dreams and ongoing scary thoughts fall into this category. We often talk about flashbacks in the context of combat veterans, but they can occur in anyone who’s gone through trauma. 

Your re-experiencing symptoms can create problems in your daily life. You may also feel like certain situations, words, objects, or even people remind you of the trauma, leading to re-experiencing symptoms.

 

Avoidance Symptoms

After you go through a traumatic event, if you have PTSD, you may develop avoidance symptoms. You might avoid the events, objects, and places that remind you of the event. You may prevent feelings or thoughts that relate to the trauma. Out of a desire to avoid reminders or triggers, you could completely change your daily routine.

 

Arousal and Reactivity

These physical symptoms can lead you to feel edgy or tense and have angry outbursts consistently. You might have physical health symptoms like problems sleeping, and you could startle easily. These symptoms are different from the other types because they’re constant and not usually triggered by anything.

 

Cognition and Mood Symptoms

These symptoms can lead you to feel alienated or withdrawn from your loved ones. You might have trouble remembering key facts of the traumatic event. These symptoms could lead you to negatively view yourself or the world, and you could have guilt or blame yourself. 

Cognition and mood symptoms also include a loss of interest in things you once found enjoyable. While it’s relatively normal to experience some or all of these symptoms as part of your reactions to trauma, if they last for more than a month, it might indicate you have PTSD.

 

Are PTSD Symptoms in Women Different?

PTSD symptoms in women may be different from what men experience. For example, PTSD symptoms in women are more likely to include being easily startled and feeling numb. You may have a hard time experiencing emotions. Avoidance is more common in women than men, and women with a history of PTSD are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than men.

The symptoms may last longer in women than men. For example, women have symptoms on average for four years, while men, on average, experience symptoms for a year. If you’re a woman with PTSD, you are less likely to have a drug abuse problem after the trauma compared to a man.

 

Is PTSD More Common in Males or Females?

There are gender differences in the prevalence of PTSD. Healthcare providers estimate that one in 10 women will develop symptoms of PTSD during their lifetime. As a woman, you are around twice as likely as a man to develop PTSD. The most common type of trauma women experience is sexual assault, and the rates are higher than in men. Women are also more likely to experience childhood abuse or domestic violence in their life, which can lead to PTSD.

 

Effective Treatments 

If you believe you have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, reach out and get help. There are excellent treatment options available, and they tend to be highly effective.

For example, the primary treatments are talk therapy and medication.

  • Medications include antidepressants to help with symptoms like worry, numbness, and sadness.
  • Talk therapy for PTSD usually lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. You can work one-on-one with a therapist or participate in group therapy.
  • The goals of talk therapy include learning about symptoms, beginning to identify triggers, and developing skills that help you manage your symptoms.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a specific type of talk therapy that we often use for PTSD. When you participate in CBT, you may go through exposure therapy. 
  • Exposure therapy will introduce you to the trauma in a prolonged, safe, and managed way. Then, from there, you can start to cope with your feelings more effectively.
  • Goals of any type of talk therapy include learning about the effects of trauma, developing relaxation skills, and dealing with feelings like guilt or shame.

 

What Happens when PTSD Is Not Treated?

We want to emphasize the risks of untreated PTSD. When you have untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s doubtful symptoms will just go away. Instead, what happens without treatment is that more complications and comorbidities can develop.

For example, not getting proper treatment and mental health care can make you susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, sleep problems, and depression. There are also links between not getting treatment and then developing chronic pain. Other long-term effects of PTSD that goes without treatment include:

  • Anger management issues—you may start to have angry outbursts. These anger problems can lead to violence in your life or the breakdown of relationships.
  • Loneliness—you may end up withdrawing from the people who care about you, leading to isolation.
  • Comorbid depression—this is a considerable risk of untreated posttraumatic stress disorder. Major depression can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • Substance abuse—the potential for substance misuse to occur is mentioned above, and we can’t overstate the risk of this. When you have any mental health condition for which you’re not getting treatment, it increases your risk of developing a drug or alcohol problem. The increased risk could be due to multiple factors. For example, if you’re not getting professional treatment, you might attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Also, the areas of the brain playing a role in mental disorders contribute to addiction.

The most powerful message we want you to take away from this is that you don’t have to suffer alone; if you’re a woman with posttraumatic stress disorder, Anchored Tides Recovery can help. Whether it’s stemming from sexual violence, military combat, substance abuse, or another traumatic event, we are here for you. Treatments are available to help improve your quality of life and relationships and lower your risk of developing complications like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Contact us at 866-600-7709 to learn more.

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does To Your Brain

what never leaving your hometown does to your brain

what never leaving your hometown does to your brain

 

Have you ever felt stuck in any way? If so, does it at least partially stem from where you live? So many people who stay in their hometowns throughout their lives do feel that it negatively affects them. This can be especially true if you’re struggling with a substance use disorder. What never leaving your hometown does to your brain and life can be striking and negative.

Does that mean that leaving your hometown is going to automatically cure your substance use disorder or fix problems in your life? Of course not, but a change of scenery can have pretty significant benefits, even for a short time.

 

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does to Your Brain In General

Before we go specifically into how staying in your hometown can affect you when dealing with addiction, what about in general.

Things never leaving your hometown does to your brain and life include:

  • You may be less independent. When you’re geographically close to your family, you may be less likely to do things like buying a home or starting a career. You have a safety net close by, and while that can be a good thing, it can also hold you back. When you handle something stressful like moving away and being on your own, it can help you learn how to manage other difficult situations in your life and build confidence.
  • It’s easy to feel like you’re stuck being the person you were known as in your hometown, even if that’s not who you indeed are. If you live in the same town where you grew up, it’s very easy to feel like you’re stuck in a particular identity. That can limit your future growth. Leaving your town gives you the chance to recreate your identity based on who you want to be, rather than who other people think you are. If you’re overwhelmed by your past mistakes, moving can help you get “unstuck.”
  • When you never leave your town, you may not expand your social circle. Having lifelong relationships can be valuable, but not always, especially if you don’t feel like the people you know are a good influence on you.
  • It’s tough to learn new skills when you’re in a stagnant environment, and not ever learning new things will have an impact on your brain. When you move away, you may learn new skills because you’re forced to or because you choose to.
  • Not leaving where you grew up is going to limit your perspective of the world and other people. If you come from a small town primarily, you might not interact with people from different backgrounds or people with unique opinions.
  • Your career options could be somewhat limited if you stay in your hometown, and that can limit overall opportunities in your life.
  • When you force yourself outside of your comfort zone, you can then be more welcoming of change in general.
  • If you never leave your comfort zone, then fear can become part of who you are. Your goal should always be to view fear as an emotion but not part of your identity.
  • When you’re not with them every day, it can be easier to strengthen your relationship with your loved ones. You’re likely to be more present when you’re talking with them or visiting them because it’s something you don’t get to do all the time.

 

 

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does to Your Brain When You Have an Addiction

Above, we’re just talking generally about what never leaving your hometown does to your brain and your life, but what about when you have a substance use disorder? These effects can be even more significant.

When you have an addiction, triggers are people, places, and things. When you stay in your hometown, you’re probably spending time with people who are also trapped in the same cycles. It becomes more challenging to break out of the cycle of addiction or find the motivation to go to treatment because you’re always in your old patterns. That’s why a lot of people opt to travel for rehab.

When you travel for rehab, you take yourself outside of those triggers and old ways of doing things. You’re no longer trapped in a cycle of your environment. That change in scenery and perspective can go a long way in helping your treatment and addiction recovery.  Specific benefits of leaving your hometown for treatment include:

  • It can deepen your commitment to your addiction recovery. You are packing up and leaving home, and that’s symbolic in a lot of ways. You’re not going to be in your comfort zone, which shows other people but also yourself that you are serious about treatment and recovery. Taking a big first step helps strengthen your resolve.
  • When you’re outside of your environment, you can focus only on yourself. It’s not selfish when you’re in those challenging early days of treatment and recovery. You don’t have to think about anything but your recovery, which is valuable.
  • Traveling away from your home for treatment or during addiction recovery allows you to reflect and take on a new perspective that you might not otherwise have.
  •  If you leave your town for treatment, it’s not as easy for you to leave treatment early. You’re putting physical distance between treatment and your home, and that can help you stay dedicated when you want to go.
  • You have more privacy in an out-of-town treatment center. If you’re going to treatment in your small town, you may feel like everyone will know, and you might feel ashamed or embarrassed. That’s the last thing you should think about when you’re in treatment.

Overall, when you leave for rehab or to start over in your sobriety, you’re getting the benefit of leaving the place that you associate with your addiction. This includes your self-identity during that time, the people you spent time with, and the situations and locations where you might have used drugs or alcohol.

If you’re planning to relocate following treatment and early in your addiction recovery, you do want to be aware that it can be stressful. Before you move, line up resources that will help you manage your stress in healthy ways. For example, find a 12-step program or support group in the new city or town where you’ll be living. If you go to treatment somewhere else and then plan to return home, your treatment center should provide you with an aftercare plan and connect you with resources in your hometown.

 

Final Thoughts

We don’t always associate our location with addiction, but there are strong ties in many cases. What never leaving your hometown does to your brain can affect your efforts to get sober, which is why going to rehab in another city or even state might be beneficial.

We encourage you to call 866-600-7709 and contact Anchored Tides Recovery’s team of addiction treatment specialists if you’d like to learn more about the treatment options available to you. Our team can go over different program options and help you take the steps to begin a new life in recovery for yourself or your loved one.

Careers that Go Well with Being In-Recovery

addiction recovery

addiction recovery

 

The most significant transition for adults who have recovered from addiction lies in one of those four words: “after” addiction. So many people relapse or never fully recover because they return to the same environment that caused their addiction in the first place. 

People just out of a treatment program are often left to fend for themselves. Many former addicts get trapped in the cycle of poverty and compromise their sobriety when they do not have the support and resources they need to find employment. One of the best ways to regain stability after completing your drug addiction treatment program is finding and keeping a job. 

Down the road, you might feel like you’re at a crossroads. You know who you are and what you want, but how will you handle the challenges along the way? It’s essential to always keep in mind that no matter where life takes you or what curveballs it throws your way, you’ll be stronger because of all your past experiences. That’s why starting with a simple job search is so important.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or where you are now; what matters is that you never give up and continue to learn, grow, and develop new skills. If you’re willing to approach your job search strategically, you can take your career wherever you want to go. If you’re hoping to recover and find a new job after your addiction, there are things you can do to make it easier. Find out how to have a successful career after addiction recovery.

 

Decide What You Want to Do

After completing rehab, many people are confused about what career they want to pursue and how they will get there. Are you wondering what you should do? Do your research ahead of time and determine your options.

Once you have completed your recovery program, it is time to determine where you want to go. Do you want to stay in the same line of work? Do you want a new career path? There is never just one correct answer to these questions either way – only the answer that feels best for you, given your circumstances. You may be feeling anxious about your future or confused about what steps to take next, and we can help you move forward and feel good about moving on.

 

Update Your Resume

Your resume is the first form of contact for potential employers, so it is vital that it stands out and tells your story. Suppose you are applying for a position you previously held or closely resembles the one you have held. In that case, you can also save time and effort by updating your resume after recovery. Since the basics of your career are still the same, not much needs to be added or altered from how it was before your addiction.

 

Explore Job Options for Recovering Addicts

People in recovery can find job opportunities in a wide variety of fields, from retail to technology. Some career paths may require some extra work to take, but those willing to work hard will reap the rewards. You can also do an online job search on sites such as Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, or ZipRecruiter, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook job pages.

Additionally, most states offer assistance (and sometimes priority) for people who are recovering and looking for work. You can find resources online, like this service for people in California.

 

 

Where Can I Work While in Addiction Recovery?

After getting sober, recovery can be frustrating. Worrying about where to find a job and how to keep it after finishing treatment are a few of the most common concerns among people who have just completed or are about to begin addiction recovery. Many fear that the lack of employment on their résumé will prevent them from finding work, but working for several years while in active addiction is not uncommon.

If you’re recovering from an addiction, don’t panic about where you’ll be working. Some companies offer special assistance to employees undergoing treatment, and others may provide support if you’re looking for work. 

If you are a recovering addict, your experience and first-hand knowledge of addiction can be an asset in helping others overcome their struggles with addiction. As an Addictions Specialist, you will provide coaching, consulting, and therapy to individuals with substance use disorders and their families. Your work could help them reach recovery and live full, meaningful lives.

 

Social Worker

Addiction social work is a growing profession that provides treatment and support to people with addiction problems. It also looks to recognize the need for family members of people with an addiction to receive support. These workers are employed by several different organizations, including residential facilities, outpatient clinics, community services programs, hospitals, and government agencies.

 

Substance Abuse Counselor

A substance abuse counselor is a professional who works to help those who are abusing substances or alcohol. This person counsels, educates and treats those within an organization or community struggling with addiction and substance abuse problems to reduce alcoholism or other substance abuse symptoms. Substance abuse counselors work in hospitals, treatment centers, neighborhoods, schools, and many different settings.

 

Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant

An addiction rehabilitation assistant is a job that provides client support to a substance abuse rehabilitation facility. This includes various responsibilities such as maintaining the facility, coordinating client activities and clinical needs, and working with the clinical staff members. 

To become an addiction rehabilitation assistant, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, be 18 years old, and complete an inpatient drug treatment program. If you are interested in becoming an addiction rehabilitation assistant, talk to the administration office of the rehabilitation facility regarding requirements for employment.

 

Find your Dream Job Online

It’s hard to stay sober when you’re losing your home, family, and friends. While in recovery, the internet can be a powerful tool to help you get back on track. Sites like Craigslist and eBay offer opportunities to find gainful employment and even employment related to your addiction, for example, webmaster. Hundreds of sites out there can help you regain control of your life via the internet while recovering. You can also opt for a part-time job while focusing on long-term sobriety at a treatment facility.

Find jobs online, fulfill your life while getting clean with a position in a real company, find your new purpose, and learn what recovery is all about while making money and building new meaningful relationships. Suppose the whole process of admitting your drug and alcohol addiction problem and finding a job seems overwhelming. In that case, you can contact Anchored Tides Recovery and have a care coordinator guide you through the process. Give us a call today at 866-600-7709.

The Facts About Addiction and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

what is oppositional defiant disorder

what is oppositional defiant disorder

 

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and how does it relate to addiction? These are common questions. ODD is a common co-occurring diagnosis along with substance use disorder. So what does all this mean? Below, we explain.

 

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

ODD is something that’s most often initially seen in children and teens. Of course, no matter their age, there are times when children and teens are challenging, as they’re known for pushing the boundaries and seeing what they can get away with.

There are times when behavior can go beyond what’s considered normal, and that can be characterized as an oppositional defiant disorder or ODD. If you have a child or teen who’s frequently angry, irritable, or argumentative or seems to be inherently opposed to authority figures, it could be ODD.

For many children, ODD symptoms begin to appear as early as preschool ages but can develop later. It’s almost always something you’ll see in your child’s behavior before they reach their teen years. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), emotional and behavioral symptoms must be present for at least six months to diagnose ODD. These symptoms can include:

  • Frequently losing their temper
  • Being easily annoyed
  • Often being angry and resentful
  • Arguing with people in authority
  • Not complying with rules or requests from adults
  • Trying to annoy or upset people purposely
  • Blaming others for their mistakes
  • Spitefulness or vindictiveness

The symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. The symptoms might only occur in one setting with mild ODD, like at home but not at school. Moderate ODD means symptoms occur in at least two settings, and a severe diagnosis indicates there are symptoms in at least three settings. ODD can be treated with therapy, but if not, complications can include impulse control problems, performance issues at school and work, and antisocial behavior. Substance use disorders are also considered a complication of untreated ODD.

 

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment

To begin treatment, first, there has to be an official diagnosis of ODD. A mental health professional can make a diagnosis by doing a psychological evaluation. The assessment might include assessing overall health, family member interactions, and the intensity and frequency of symptomatic behaviors.

From there, treatment can include:

  • Parent training: Many of the treatments for ODD are family-based interventions. That can include parent training. A mental health professional can work with you to develop parenting skills that are positive and consistent and will be helpful for your child.
  • Parent-child interaction therapy: Also called PCIT, therapists will coach parents in their interactions with their child during this treatment. This helps parents learn how to improve their parenting techniques, enhancing their relationship with their children.
  • Individual and family therapy: Your child might learn how to express feelings healthily and manage anger; family therapy may be a way for everyone to improve their communication and relationships.
  • Social skills training: Some children with ODD will participate in social skills training, a type of therapy that teaches positive interaction strategies to engage with peers.
  • Cognitive problem-solving training: This type of therapy helps children identify and change the thought patterns that contribute to behavior problems.

It’s not common to use medication as treatment unless there’s another condition that’s also happening, like ADHD, depression, or anxiety. There’s not any medication right now that’s exclusively for the treatment of ODD.

 

What is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

Suppose you recognize signs of ODD in your child. In that case, it’s essential to start working with a professional therapist on a treatment plan as soon as possible, because again, this can reduce the risk of complications. Complications can include the development of a co-occurring disorder, such as substance abuse. The term co-occurring refers to a situation where someone has both substance use and another mental health disorder. We see that the most commonly diagnosed co-occurring are mood and anxiety issues.

 

 

What’s the Link Between ODD and Substance Abuse?

Another question we commonly hear is why it is linked to substance abuse, particularly in teens? There is often a relationship between what are broadly categorized as disruptive behaviors and substance abuse. ODD is just one type of disruptive behavior disorder.

Younger people who report using drugs are four times more likely than those who don’t have a disruptive behavior issue. A child or teen with a DBD is six times more likely to have an addiction. Additionally, adolescents and teens with addiction and ODD are more resistant to treatment. With that in mind, we have to wonder why there are such significant links. It’s complex, but some of the likely reasons include:

  • There could be genetic and biological links between ODD and substance use. For example, a young person with both could be more prone to impulsive behavior. When you’re impulsive, you’re more likely to do things that could cause harm to you, including using substances.
  • For a young person who’s dealt with ODD in their life, they may turn to substances as a way of self-medicating. For example, they may feel like drinking or using drugs helps them experience fewer ODD symptoms.
  • There is also the possibility that life experiences factored into both the development of ODD and a substance use disorder. For example, a child from a chaotic home could be at a higher risk of developing both.

 

Takeaways

Oppositional Defiance Disorder is, relatively speaking, fairly common in children and adolescents; it’s also highly associated with addiction. Early intervention, including therapy and parental training, are significant ways to reduce the symptoms of ODD and lower the risk of later co-occurring issues like addiction.

With that being said, if someone has both ODD and a substance use disorder, they may be more resistant to treatment. That can make it challenging for you if you’re a parent or a loved one.

If you’re looking for treatment programs, you want one that’s going to offer in-depth treatment for co-occurring disorders. It’s almost impossible to treat substance abuse without also treating the symptoms of any other underlying conditions, including ODD, and vice versa.

If you have questions or want to learn more about treatment for co-occurring disorders, Anchored Tides Recovery is here and can talk to you any time, so reach out to our team at 866-600-7709.

Self Awareness & Mastery of Emotional Intelligence

self awareness

self awareness

 

The buzzword “emotional intelligence” was created by Yale researchers Salavoy and Mayer, who first published their theory in 1990.  Their research was prompted by studies that demonstrated that people with average IQ’s outperformed their higher IQ counterparts in life success terms over 70% of the time. They theorized the missing link to overall lifetime success as emotional intelligence or EQ.   

When you struggle with an addiction you, and the people who are close to you, will be on an emotional rollercoaster as you find your way to recovery. Even after you’ve stopped doing drugs, there is a wide array of emotions you will face that could potentially end in relapse. We all have strengths and weaknesses, but your level of self-awareness and how you react to your emotions directly relates to good mental health and the potential for long-term sobriety

This article will explore the idea of Emotional Intelligence and give you a better idea of how to gain mastery over self-awareness. 

 

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

Emotion means energy in motion. Emotional intelligence is the ability to demonstrate self-awareness on an emotional level and manage those emotions effectively.  Everyone has emotions and that is normal. No internal feeling is considered unacceptable. However, there are inappropriate ways of expressing and managing those emotions.  

Emotions tell you something about how you perceive the world, so listen to them and learn from them.  When you deny yourself the opportunity to feel them, you also deny yourself the opportunity to learn something about yourself, the accuracy of your perceptions, and the chance to improve self-awareness.

27 Different Kinds of Emotions

The psychology community once assumed that most human emotions fell into the universal umbrella categories of happy, sad, angry, surprise, fear, and disgust.  Current studies by the Greater Good Science Center report at least twenty-seven distinct emotions all intertwined and connected.

People feel frustration, disappointment, rage, embarrassment, guilt as much as they do joy, happiness, delight, expectation, and enthusiasm.  They are all OK to feel; it’s how you manage and express them that counts.    

“Managing your thoughts and feelings” does not mean suppressing them, or pretending you do not have them.  It’s about becoming accepting and comfortable with the idea that you are experiencing an emotion and it means something to you. The theory is when you bury or stuff down the ability to avoid pain, you also bury or suppress the ability to fully experience joy.  It’s about opening the door of possibility that you can fully feel an emotion and not decimate or destroy you or your relationships.  

Effective management of emotions means developing the ability to fully feel the emotion that you are experiencing, effectively express what you are feeling, and work smoothly with others towards a common goal.  It means feeling the feeling, understanding that it will pass, withstanding the impulse to bury it or move too quickly to react to it, and learning what it means to you and then doing something proactive about it. 

Goleman identified five (5 primary) areas of emotional intelligence.

  1.     Self-Awareness
  2.     Managing Emotions
  3.     Motivating Oneself
  4.     Empathy
  5.     Social Skills

 

How does Mastering Emotional Intelligence Help Me With Addiction? 

Learning emotional intelligence is a critical tool in the toolbox of life skills necessary to negotiate life’s challenges. Addiction comes with a complex set of emotions that people may have a hard time empathizing with. How you handle these emotions while you’re active on the road to recovery will affect who’s in your life when the smoke clears and relates directly to how difficult of a time you will have managing your recovery.

The goal is to align your vision of your life values with your behaviors and act accordingly.  Self-leadership and mastery start with identifying your core values and designing a life built on them. Mastering emotional intelligence has a ripple effect that benefits you and the people who surround you.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. External self-awareness is the ability to weather the storm of life and negotiate rough waters without sinking your life’s ship; not avoiding rough waters, but sailing through them to sunnier and smoother shores.

 

It’s Not All About You

Disappointed?  It’s ok!  In some ways, life is a solo journey, but it’s a lot more pleasurable when you have the support and camaraderie of others along the way.  Human interaction means bumping up against the rough edges of others sometimes, and emotional intelligence is one of the best GPS systems for a worthwhile trip through life.

Many people consider addiction to be a selfish disease because while you’re active in addiction nobody will ever come before your drug use. A lot of lying and manipulation is involved to try to manage this lifestyle along with having relationships with people who care about you, but this causes many relationships to go up in flames. Human beings are social beings, and we benefit and thrive best when we exist cooperatively and meaningfully within our chosen social circles.  Becoming emotionally intelligent and self-mastered requires mastery of two kinds. 

There are two components to emotional intelligence.  The first is developing mastery of intrapersonal or personal competence, which is clear and aligned with the emotional self. The second component is developing mastery of interpersonal or social competence, and that is how you interact with the world. When you authentically align your emotions with how you interact with the world, your world changes accordingly. 

 

Empathetic Leadership

Empathetic Leadership is recognizing what you are feeling when you are feeling it, deciding what to do about it and when, and forging the best course that serves both you and others.  It’s about stopping to feel the twinge of emotion and exploring it a bit before it becomes a snowball of momentum that damages many things in its path. Buried emotions don’t stay buried.  The emotions surface in other ways and are constantly seeking escape routes, whether it’s an untimely hissy fit or chronic low back pain.  Buried and unprocessed emotions are not benign.

It sounds effortless, but it takes dedication and practice and a bit of a thick skin to start.   It’s never too late.  

 

Seeking Treatment

Anyone can learn emotional intelligence through dedication to practice to improving communication between your emotional and rational parts of the brain; it’s like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. However, emotional mastery doesn’t come naturally, and while you’re in recovery there are many difficult and complex emotions to juggle and react to. 

Anchored Tides Recovery will provide you with a support system that will help you keep your emotions and addictions in check while you focus on your life and relationships. Call us today to talk to a coordinator and get on your path to emotional mastery. 

Does Being In Recovery Have to Be a Life Sentence?

being in recovery

being in recovery

 

There are many debates about what “being in recovery” means on a personal and definitive level. Most addiction treatment programs subscribe to the modality that addiction is a disease you carry with you for your entire life, even if you are not actively using drugs, you may again one day. 

The “forever” mentality is controversial amongst people who don’t want to be labeled “an addict” for their whole lives or believe that they can overcome their shortcomings. Others believe that this type of thinking is a crutch that some people with addiction use to justify when they slip up. 

Even though most treatment centers teach addiction is forever, this article delves deeper into the conversation, looks at the facts, and will try to answer the question “Do you have to spend your entire life in recovery?” 

 

What Does Being In Recovery Mean?

An is challenging because everyone’s journey is unique. In its simplest terms, being “in recovery” is a stage of the addiction cycle that comes after you’ve completed addiction treatment. Experts have made a distinction between recovery and sobriety, which mostly correlates to your desire to use drugs. Sobriety is when you abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol.

So what does it mean to be in recovery from addiction?

  • You take care of your physical and emotional health and make informed decisions about your care.
  • You have a stable home environment that’s also safe.
  • You’ve found a sense of purpose in your life that gives you meaning and income, as well as participation in society.
  • You have a network of people around you who provide you with love and support.

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a list of principles that they believe fulfill the criteria. These include:

  • Having hope to stay sober
  • It can occur in different pathways
  • It’s holistic
  • Support from peers and allies
  • Culture influence
  • Traumas are addressed
  • A sense of individual responsibility
  • A basis of respect
  • Following the rules to reduce the risk of relapse

SAMHSA goes on to describe signs that characterize being active in recovery. For example, you address problems as they occur, but they don’t lead you to feel overly stressed or to relapse. You have someone in your life that you can be entirely honest. You know what your issues are versus which are other people’s. You have personal boundaries, and you take time to care for your physical and emotional needs.

 

Rules to Reduce the Risk of Relapse

  • You have created a new life that focuses on health and wellness, having fun without drugs or alcohol, strong relationships, and dealing with stress in productive ways.
  • Complete honesty is essential. When you were in active addiction, you may have lied often to others and yourself. Now is a time when you can be honest and learn how to trust yourself and other people.
  • You ask for help.
  • You engage in self-care.

 

 

The Stages of Recovery

Just as there are phases of addiction, there are also phases of recovery. Everyone may define these a little differently, but they could look similar to the following steps:

  • For many, the first stage is acknowledging that addiction exists and that you need help. The first stage is one of the most pivotal stages because you no longer deny you have a problem, and you start working toward fixing it.
  • In the next stage, you become more aware of how your addiction has affected your life and hurt others.
  • The third stage requires you to seek help if you can’t stop using drugs or alcohol entirely independently.
  • Some will say relapse is part of the process, although this isn’t something everyone agrees on. If relapse does occur, it’s important to realize it’s not a failure but instead that You may need more treatment or different treatment.
  • The final stage is known as termination. During this phase, you are confident in your ability to live your life without a relapse. You are less afraid of the possibility of relapse, and you’re moving forward.

Once you go through the steps above, then you may be able to feel like you’re active in recovery, and instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.

 

Addiction As a Chronic Disease

There is no cure for chronic diseases. instead, you just work to manage the symptoms, at which point you’re in remission. Addiction is viewed as a chronic illness because of the impacts of substances on the brain. There are also predisposing factors such as environment and genetics that can lead to an increased risk of addiction, which is the case with other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.

Since science views addiction as a chronic disease, relapse will occasionally happen. There are high relapse rates across the board with chronic illnesses. Interestingly, getting treatment for a substance use disorder is often compared to criminal rehabilitation.

 

Treatment vs. Criminal Rehabilitation

Some states have criminal rehabilitation efforts that seek to treat a person’s mental health disorders and other root causes of their criminal behaviors. Treatment is holistic, and the outcome of criminal rehabilitation can be better overall. Someone who has participated in a criminal rehabilitation program might be more able to contribute to society in a productive, meaningful way.

 

Final Thoughts

So, does being in recovery have to be a life sentence? 

That is something that you can decide for yourself. What works for one person might not work for another, so rather than thinking being in recovery means you have to fit in a box, just consider your own needs and your journey. Some people make it to a point where they no longer consider using drugs or alcohol, but for others, it helps to feel like it’s something they will never stop working on. Doing what is best for you is always the right decision. 

Being a woman in recovery is easier with aftercare, which can help you avoid a relapse. Aftercare can include group therapy, individual therapy, or participation in a self-help group, or even direct work with a social worker. Anchored Tides Recovery offers all of these aftercare services, plus the comfort of a woman-only environment. Addiction in women requires a different approach, and having a support system of other women who can share in your experience helps a lot. Call us today to learn more about our program and find your recovery.

Can Having an Emotional Support Animal Help with Recovery?

emotional support animal

emotional support animal

 

There are so many different things that can help you stay grounded and on track in your recovery, but perhaps none is better than a pet. Pets can be considered emotional support animals when they help someone in recovery, and they can also be part of recovery and treatment itself.

 

What is an Emotional Support Animal?

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) is a pet that is recommended by a therapist to help with emotional issues. This differs from a Service Animal, as service animals are professionally trained to help with specific issues. 

An ESA isn’t trained to do anything in particular, however, having pets or the company of animals is scientifically proven to help with many mental and physical symptoms; such as anxiety, blood pressure, depression, and more.

 

What is Animal-Assisted Therapy in Treatment?

When you go to an addiction treatment program, whether inpatient or outpatient, it’s typical for many different types of therapy to be used; for example, you may do cognitive-behavioral therapy or a different kind of talk therapy (one-on-one with a counselor or in a group.) You might also do yoga, art therapy, music therapy, or other holistic therapies.

Animal-assisted therapy can fall into the larger category of holistic therapy during addiction treatment.

Medical professionals don’t just use emotional support animals for substance abuse treatment. Animal-assisted therapy benefits people with other mental health disorders/illnesses, like Alzheimer’s, and even incarcerated people. Animal-assisted therapy is also being looked at for its potentially valuable role in helping children with an autism spectrum disorder.

Animal-assisted therapy has been shown in research to help reduce depression and anxiety as well as aggression. It can help participants feel calmer and overall better. There’s even research that has found dog visits can reduce physical pain and related symptoms.

Specifically, research has found benefits of animal-assisted therapy that include the following:

  • When humans interact with animals, it can promote hormones like oxytocin, serotonin, and prolactin. Those hormones play a role in improving mood, and they can create a relaxation response. 
  • Animal interaction can help improve mental stimulation. 
  • Using animals as part of therapy can reduce anxiety, increase relaxation, and provide comfort and reduce loneliness. 
  • There’s some evidence that animal therapy can help reduce initial resistance to treatment, including substance abuse treatment. 
  • Researchers have found that animals as part of therapy can lower blood pressure and improve heart health. 
  • In substance abuse treatment, animal therapy helps people with trauma hesitate to talk about their situation. 
  • Another specific benefit of animal therapy and the use of an emotional support dog in addiction treatment is that animals can distract from triggers or cravings.

Generally, in an addiction treatment program, there is either canine-assisted therapy or equine therapy. Canine assistance therapy using an emotional support dog can help open up lines of communication. Specifically, studies have found that when a dog is in a rehab facility, the clinicians can gain more insight into their patients, which can help them provide better treatment.

With equine therapy, not only do you do horseback riding, but you may also provide care for the horse, such as feeding, cleaning, and grooming. That gives a sense of responsibility to patients who are recovering from addiction.

Equine therapy can also be beneficial because horses are so powerful and gradually develop trust with the humans around them; this creates a bonding opportunity for people in recovery.

Equine therapy can also help with recovery as addicts learn how to control their emotions because being overly emotional or having an outburst around a horse will diminish the sense of trust.

 

 

How Can an Emotional Support Animal Help Your Recovery After Treatment?

While it’s increasingly common for animals to be part of rehab programs, having a pet when you leave treatment can be beneficial too. For example, many people find that having a dog is a tremendous part of helping them stay sober.

  • If you’re ready for the commitment and have the resources and stability for a pet, it can help you keep negative emotions such as depression or anxiety under control. 
  • Since pets do trigger positive emotions, this is an excellent way to avoid relapse triggers. 
  • When you’re around a dog, for example, it lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Stress and anxiety are big triggers for relapse, so anything you can do to combat those feelings is suitable for your recovery. 
  • Having a pet creates a sense of unconditional support and love which is key to maintaining sobriety. When you leave treatment, you may still be working on rebuilding your relationships with humans, but a pet offers a non-judgmental relationship. There’s comfort in the relationship with pets. 
  • Even beyond creating positive feelings and reducing stress and loneliness, something beneficial about pet ownership in recovery forces you to have a routine and be responsible for something aside from yourself. You have to schedule times to feed and walk your pet, take him to the vet, plan ahead if you’re going out of town, and more. These are life skills that are rewarding for you to learn. 
  • Having a pet can help you get out and about more, so you aren’t sitting inside all the time. You have to walk your dog, so you’re going to get off the couch and get fresh air, even when you don’t want to. 
  • Getting an ESA is a good shift for your perspective if you’re feeling a bit stuck, and you’ll also be active. When you’re engaged, it helps you stay sober and promotes better mental and physical health.

Finally, when you have a pet, especially a dog, it may encourage you to socialize. Dog owners often bond with one another at the dog park or around the neighborhood. You can meet new people who will be a positive force in your life thanks to your dog.

 

Are You Ready for a Pet in Recovery?

If you’re considering an emotional support animal, you need to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility.

You’ll have to learn more about pet ownership first to make sure you understand the full responsibility. A few other things to consider before you get a pet in recovery include:

  • Are you financially ready? A pet will have costs, even if you’re adopting. Think about how things like food, vet visits, and other supplies will impact your budget.
  • Do you have enough space? If you live in a smaller home or apartment, you may still be able to get a pet, but you will have to limit your options based on the space you have available.
  • Do you have the time to dedicate to a pet? If you’re going to get a dog, you will have to commit to going on daily walks and spending time caring for your pet.

Many people find that having an emotional support animal in treatment or as a pet after treatment is one of the most important and rewarding parts of their recovery. There are genuine, studied benefits of pets in recovery, and they can help you make progress in so many areas of your life, as long as you’re ready for the responsibility. 

Having an emotional support animal is an option that goes well with other treatment options for addiction recovery. Anchored Tides Recovery can help assist you and your furry friend with your long-term goals of recovery. Contact one of our care coordinators today for a free consultation.

Benefits of Having a Social Worker in Your Support Group

Social Worker

Social Worker

 

Your support group is one of the most important resources you have in recovery; you will have a better chance at maintaining long-term sobriety if your group is strong. Most people on your team will be friends, family, or even other people in recovery who understand your struggles, but don’t you agree it would be good to have someone on your side that can help with issues beyond cravings. One professional who can play a valuable role as you’re navigating recovery is a social worker.

Social workers are trained to help you solve and cope with problems in your everyday life. The benefit of a social worker being in your support group is that they can also serve as a resource for you to rebuild your life and to thrive.

Anchored Tides Recovery Center has social workers on our staff to help with issues beyond the basic addiction troubles. Situations like career-related issues, custody, living arrangements, and more. These are the sorts of services that help us stand out from all of the other treatment centers, in a good way. 

 

What Does a Social Worker Do?

A social worker has a degree in social work and is trained to work with individuals to solve, and cope with, problems that arise in their daily lives. A clinical social worker can also diagnose and treat behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues. In general, some of the specific things a licensed social worker might do includes:

  • Determining the needs and strengths of individuals then help them develop goals
  • Assisting clients to adjust to challenges that exist in their lives, including addiction recovery
  • Referrals to community resources like healthcare and childcare services
  • Crisis response during mental health emergencies
  • Continual follow-up with clients to check in and see if they’re meeting their goals and their lives are improving
  • Providing therapy services

Within the larger category of social workers are other areas of specialty. For example, bachelor’s social workers (BSW) and (MSW) will work with community organizations and policymakers to create programs that benefit the community on a more significant level. Both have degrees in social work education, a BSW has a bachelor’s degree and a MSW has a master’s degree; once an MSW has a certain amount of hours of clinical experience they can become a (CSW) and a (LCSW). 

A clinical social worker (CSW) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW)  require a master’s degree and can provide individual or group therapy. They can work with clients and other health care professionals to create customized treatment plans. Some social workers specifically help people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders; they can help their clients find support groups and other programs and rebuild their lives.

 

 

The Consequences of Addiction on Daily Life

Social workers are multifaceted as far as their services and the benefits they can provide to clients. This is important when discussing a substance use disorder because of how far-reaching the effects are on every aspect of a person’s life. Once you go to treatment, you may find that there is a lot of work to do to get your life back on track the way that you envision it.

Some of the ways that addiction can affect your life include:

  • You may be facing legal problems; if you’re charged with a crime because of your substance use disorder, you may have to go through the court system and pay fines or face other punishments.
  • You might have family-related legal matters; for example, you could have lost custody of your child, or you may be going through a divorce. 
  • You may have financial problems or have lost your job as well.
  • Your relationships may have been deeply affected by addiction; Your loved ones may be hurt by what happened during your active addiction, and they might have lost faith in you or trust. 
  • You could be dealing with chronic health issues resulting in, and you may need regular medical care and treatment.
  • You may have ongoing mental and emotional side effects from your addiction, even if you’re sober. Many people with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health disorder.

 

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

It’s worth talking about co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders on their own because this highlights the benefits of a social worker. A co-occurring disorder is when someone has two or more either mental or physical health disorders. Substance use disorders are strongly correlated with mental health disorders. Around half of the people with substance use disorder will develop at least one mental health disorder in their lifetime, and vice versa. There are three reasons that doctors and researchers believe this might be true.

  1. The risk factors for substance use disorders and mental health conditions often overlap with one another: For example, trauma exposure, abuse, and genetics play a role in substance use disorders and mental health disorders. 
  2. Self-medicating: Someone with a mental illness might use substances to deal with their symptoms. 
  3. Changes in the brain stemming from substances: The parts of the brain most affected by the use of substances are associated with the areas that relate to mental health disorders.

 

The Benefits of a Social Worker in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

The above factors highlight the benefits of a social worker in treatment and recovery from substance use disorders. Social workers are educated in mental health, and they can also specialize in helping clients with substance use disorders. An addiction social worker understands psychology and psychiatry, biology, and physical health. They are also connected with the safety net of social services in the community where they work. A trained social worker knows a balance and connection between mental health, behavior, and physical health. They can also oversee the different services included in an addiction treatment plan like counseling and medication.

Specific benefits of a social worker in addiction include:

  • Assessment: Before a social worker begins treatment, they will conduct a complete evaluation that will help them understand each of the factors that contributed to someone’s addiction and its effects. This allows them to create a very tailored treatment plan.
  • Treatment plans: Social workers can oversee treatment plans that last for months or even years. Social workers collaborate with other providers in the delivery of treatment plans.
  • Coping skills: Working with a social worker can help someone in addiction recovery learn new coping skills, such as stress management and conflict resolution.
  • Resource connections: Social workers are well-versed in the various resources and systems available. They work within the system to help with bureaucratic or legal issues you might face; they can even connect clients with employers who are hiring. 

Social workers can be beneficial and empowering if you are dealing with addiction or you’re in recovery. They are part of a continuous aftercare plan for many people following treatment, and they can help you set and meet your goals.

 

Seeking Help

Long-term sobriety is a marathon, not a sprint; the process of getting sober and staying sober can sometimes last a lifetime. The quality of the skills and resources you develop on your road to recovery directly relates to your chances of maintaining sobriety. Anchored Tides Recovery has the aftercare and resources, like social workers and group therapy, that will help you at any stage of recovery. Call us today for a consultation and take the first steps towards long-term happiness.