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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tips for Enjoying a Sober Winter Break

Every year, students from coast to coast look forward to their holiday break from school. Whether you are anticipating having more time to visit with friends, or enjoying the opportunity to put last semester behind you and not have to stress about your studies for a little bit, winter break is your chance to do so.

If you are in the early stages of recovery from substance misuse, you may be unsure what this holiday will hold for you. However, your sober winter break may be one of the most enjoyable holidays you’ve ever had.

Shift Your Perspective

Often, newly sober people find one of the most challenging parts of the holiday season is feeling left out of the activities they once enjoyed. You might know people who are going to a different party every night this winter break, while you are trying to avoid exposure to common addiction triggers. Unfortunately, this mindset might leave you feeling angry or resentful, which isn’t conducive to your successful recovery. You’ll need to change your outlook on a couple of things.

Firstly, it’s crucial to realize that not everyone you know is out partying and drinking during winter break. Some students may do that, but others might be taking the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones or stay home indulging in the hobbies they don’t get a chance to do when school is in session.

Also, “fun” is not synonymous with getting drunk or high. As you will discover, there are many other ways to enjoy life once you get sober. By being open to alternative ideas for spending your free time, you can find new ways to feel happy and fulfilled on your winter break.

Plan a Sober Getaway

Just because you are working on your recovery, that doesn’t mean you can’t go out there and make the most of your winter break. Substance use is common at many winter break destinations like ski resorts, but there are also many ways to refrain from drugs and alcohol on a trip. Imagine traveling without having to worry about losing control of yourself, or waking up with hardly any memories of anything you did the night before. Sobriety allows you to enjoy your vacation to its fullest.

If you feel ready to take a new step in your recovery, plan a sober vacation this winter break. Invite family members and friends who support your recovery, or ask someone you met while you were in treatment to join the fun. Here are some ideas to get you started.
  • Spiritual retreats
  • Sober tours
  • Volunteer tourism: Is there a cause that’s near and dear to your heart, like working with endangered animals or saving coral reefs? Eco-tourism can help you see the world while you donate your time to a worthy reason.

‘Tis the Season to Recover

Winter break is an excellent time of year to focus on your sobriety because it gives you more opportunities for stress-relieving self-care activities as well. Be good to yourself this holiday, and welcome the chance to reset your recovery routine. You will be glad you did.

If you’re looking for addiction treatment tailored to the unique needs of younger people, Hope Academy is your starting point. We provide services for young adults aged 18 through 26 to give them the resources they need to recover. Contact us today to learn more about our structured programming.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lessons Parents of Young Adult Addicts Should Learn

Living with someone who has a substance misuse disorder can be incredibly challenging – even more so if you are watching your child struggle with the various issues related to substance misuse. Not only do you constantly worry about their well-being, but you may also find yourself in completely unfamiliar territory when it comes to how to help your son or daughter deal with their problems.

As a parent, you probably have an array of questions:
  • What are they using, and how much?
  • Is this a passing phase of experimentation, or a genuine addiction?
  • Am I being overprotective, or am I right to be concerned?
  • If I put my foot down and set ultimatums around my child’s drinking or drug use, will it push them even further away from me?
  • Is this problem somehow my fault?
  • Is my child’s future at risk?
  • Should I be looking into qualified treatment facilities?
Here are the top four lessons you should learn about young adult addiction.

1. Parents Can Enable an Addiction

As a parent, you would do almost anything to keep your child from experiencing pain. You want their journey in life to be free of as many obstacles as possible. Unfortunately, those same impulses can cause you to develop the habit of enabling a child’s addiction.

You raised your child in the best way you knew how. It can be a bitter pill to swallow when you realize you can only do so much to support them, and at some point, they are responsible for the decisions they make. As much as you may want to smooth out the bumpy road to addiction recovery, your child must experience the natural consequences of their actions and do the hard work of getting better on their own.

2. You Can’t Help Someone Who Isn’t Willing to Accept Help

As well as you think you know your child, unless you have battled addiction issues yourself, it can be challenging for you to understand what they’re going through. Because of the denial that often accompanies addiction, addicted people may refuse to admit when they need help. When addiction takes hold of someone’s life, they often can’t walk away. However, coming to terms with this is a gradual process.

You can play a role in helping your child work through addiction by being there to support them, researching a treatment center and learning more about their substance of misuse and how it affects them, but your son or daughter won’t heal from an addiction until they are willing to accept they have a problem they can’t solve by themselves.

3. Be Patient

It takes time to heal from a drug or alcohol addiction. There are no shortcuts or quick-fix solutions, no matter how much you might wish there were. There will be easy days and hard ones. The best thing you can do is to be there to support your child and provide unconditional love when they are struggling.

4. Addiction Doesn’t Define Your Child

One of the most challenging lessons learned in addiction recovery is for the addicted person to rediscover who they are without the influence of drugs and alcohol on their life. Along the way, they will also need to accept that it’s fruitless to dwell on mistakes made in the past. You can help your child learn to live in the moment by encouraging them to try supplementing their therapy with approaches such as meditation.

Start Healing Your Family Today

At Hope Academy, we know how devastating addiction can be for families. Learn more about our young adult addiction services for ages 18 through 26, and get your child the necessary help to recover. Contact us today to learn more about our application process.
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