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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Maintaining Your Emotional Sobriety

Though everyone in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse hopes to maintain a lifestyle that is free of the debilitating effects of their substance of choice, some people lose sight of the emotional part of the equation. Your goal in recovery should be to achieve not only physical sobriety, but emotional sobriety – the ability to live a satisfying and productive substance-free life.

What Is Emotional Sobriety?

Physical sobriety means learning to live without drugs and alcohol. Though it can present several roadblocks, the path itself is relatively straightforward. Achieving emotional sobriety is somewhat more challenging because it involves the ability to face your feelings, particularly those connected to drug and alcohol use.

Everyone relies on specific coping mechanisms to help them deal with realities that are otherwise painful or uncomfortable to confront. People who become addicted to drugs and alcohol begin to find solace in these substances, instead of relying on healthier outlets. As a result, addicts become experts at numbing their feelings instead of facing up to them and dealing with them as they arise. Becoming emotionally sober means learning how to reconnect with your emotions and allowing yourself to fully feel them again.

Initially, you may feel as if drug or alcohol detox is the most challenging part of your recovery. However, learning to process your emotions in a healthy way can be an even more significant hurdle in the long run if you have become accustomed to masking your feelings with chemical dependency.

Achieving Emotional Sobriety

All addiction rehab should involve some element of emotional sobriety. Though your goal in recovery should be an overall sense of happiness, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you are having an off day. Rather, emotional sobriety is about being present in the moment, finding your true self and accessing all your feelings, regardless of whether those are good or bad.

Emotional sobriety has a different meaning for everyone in recovery; however, it generally boils down to:
  • Maintaining a healthy emotional balance
  • Accepting reality as it is
  • Letting go of the past
  • Not worrying about what might happen in the future
Achieving harmony and balance in your life involves learning how to leverage proven therapies to process emotions and learn healthy coping mechanisms. Addiction treatment offers many beneficial therapeutic approaches, such as:
  • Life coaching
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Individual and group counseling

Find Your Emotional Center

If you achieve physical sobriety but never work on confronting your feelings, you are putting yourself at higher risk of a relapse. Accepting that addiction recovery is a lifelong process can help shift your focus. Although you may experience occasional setbacks, stick to the goals of living in the moment and maintaining control of your emotions. Give yourself permission to embrace whatever you are feeling without judging yourself harshly.

Hope Academy offers a program tailored specifically to help young adults achieve lifelong freedom from chemical dependency and lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. We provide much-needed structure and guidance for young adults and college-aged students who are entering into adulthood and have lost focus on a healthy mindset. Contact us today for young adult addiction treatment in California.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: What Are the Differences?

alcohol abuse
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it’s the perfect time to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol addiction and its treatment. Today, we’re taking a look at two terms that you’ll likely hear when talking about alcohol addiction: alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Although these terms are often used interchangeable, understanding the differences between the two can help you to better understand the severity of your addiction and get the help you need.

What Is Alcohol Abuse?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines alcohol abuse as a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships or ability to work. This can include an inability to meet responsibilities at home, work or school, relationship problems and legal problems – all caused or worsened by drinking. Alcohol abuse can also cause harm to one’s mind, body and spirit.

Typically, someone who is abusing alcohol can learn from negative consequences and change their behavior with a brief intervention, including education on the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. That said, alcohol abuse is a slippery slope into alcoholism. This is especially true if you begin drinking heavily at a young age, before 15.

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependency and alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake and a negative emotional state when not using, notes the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Roughly 16 million people in the U.S. have AUD – and yet less than 10 percent get proper treatment. 

To determine whether your alcohol abuse has progressed into an alcohol use disorder, the NIAAA recommends asking yourself the following questions. In the past year, have you…
  • Experienced times when you drank more or longer than you intended?
  • Tried several times to reduce or stop your drinking but couldn’t?
  • Spent a big portion of your time drinking or recovering form the aftereffects?
  • Experienced cravings, or strong urges to drink?
  • Found that drinking caused job or school troubles or caused trouble with family or friends?
  • Scaled back on activities that you used to enjoy in order to drink?
  • Gotten into more than one risky situation while or after drinking? For example, drinking while driving, walking in a dangerous area or having unsafe sex?
  • Continued to drink even though it made you feel depressed or anxious?
  • Found that you need to drink more to feel the same effects?
  • Experienced withdrawal symptoms like trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea or sweating, when not drinking?
According to the NIAAA, the more symptoms you have, the more urgent the need for change and professional help. People diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder typically require professional help to stop drinking. This can include:
  • Detoxification
  • Disease education
  • Group & individual therapy
  • Interactive workshops
  • Peer outings & recreational opportunities
  • Fitness & nutrition guidance
  • Family therapy
  • Dual-diagnosis management

Help for Alcohol Use Disorders

If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol dependency, Hope Academy can help you get the help you need today. To learn more about our young adult alcohol rehab, call toll-free today: 866-930-4673. 

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