Tips for Staying Sober After Drug Rehab

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a challenging process that involves many ups and downs. After you complete your initial stay in a rehab program, the hard work is only beginning. Returning to “normal” life comes with its fair share of struggles, and you'll want to do everything you can to avoid a relapse.

Lifestyle Changes

Life after your formal discharge from drug or alcohol rehab generally involves some long-term lifestyle changes that promote health, wellness and sobriety, while preventing a return to substance abuse. Specific changes can benefit people who have recently completed a treatment program.

Do you want to know how to become fully sober? These lifestyle tips can keep you on track with addiction recovery.

  • Eat a balanced diet: Healthy eating will keep your energy levels up and help you feel your best. Be sure to include lean proteins and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The detoxification process can be tough on your body, and addiction often causes malnutrition, so fuel yourself with unprocessed, whole foods to provide all the nutrients you need.
  • Find an exercise program: Exercising is always beneficial for your mental and physical health, keeping your body in shape while you recover. Not only that, but exercise is an excellent stress-relief outlet and can help distract you from cravings and negative thoughts. It also releases endorphins — the feel-good hormones — to help you feel refreshed and energized. Find an enjoyable activity that gets you moving, like walking, biking, swimming, dancing or yoga. That way, you'll want to keep exercising and it won't feel like a chore.
  • Choose social outings carefully: If it is too triggering to be around people you used to drink or use drugs with, you may want to keep your distance for a while. Likewise, you should avoid events and locations where drinking will be a central part of all the activities. You may want to seek new friends and activities that better promote and support your sobriety, especially at first.
  • Do what you love: Sometimes, addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues can cause you to lose sight of responsibilities, hobbies and activities. Now is an excellent time to rediscover the things you once loved doing and spend time exploring new passions. These can keep you happier and help you stay busy to avoid cravings and temptations.

Support Systems

One of the most critical factors in long-term success with sobriety is having a robust support system of people who care about you and understand your goals. Your circle can consist of family members, friends, co-workers and anyone else you regularly interact with. It can even include online connections or fellow support group members who are also in recovery. These are the people who can uplift you when you're struggling and celebrate your milestones and successes with you.

Having a solid support network is crucial for anyone, especially those who are newly out of drug or alcohol rehab. When you have people you know you can count on for help, it can enhance your ability to cope with challenges, relieve stress and boost your mental health. Those with healthy support systems have reduced levels of anxiety and depression, and relapses are less common too. That's why we encourage participation in long-term group therapy and working with a sponsor or mentor. These systems ensure everyone has someone to contact when they need help.

If you want to know how to stay sober after rehab, start by thinking about who is in your support network. Don't be afraid to reach out to loved ones to let them know how to encourage you better. Seek out new friends, in person or online, who share your experiences and interests.

Self-Control and Resilience

If you want to know how to achieve lifelong sobriety, self-control and resilience are critical. Even after detox and rehab, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are typical and may continue for some time. Giving in to your impulse to drink or use drugs doesn't mean you've failed or lack willpower. However, self-control and resilience are skills you can practice, strengthen and improve with time.

One of the best things you can do to help with self-control is remove all temptations. Dispose of any previous substances of use and any items that might be triggers for you. If you live with family or roommates, you can politely ask them not to drink or use around you and keep any alcohol or drugs away from the home. Maintaining healthy habits and having a practical plan for long-term recovery are also crucial for strengthening your self-control over time.

Remember, there is no shame in succumbing to cravings or having a relapse is normal. Strengthening your sense of resilience means picking yourself up and trying again. Don't beat yourself up over a slip-up — know that you are human and can still achieve long-term health and sobriety.

Coping Strategies

Recovery is a long-term process that requires daily work. And while the journey is different for everyone, you'll be more likely to succeed if you have some coping strategies like these in your arsenal.

  • Accept that you may not have full control: It's OK to surrender the idea that you can control everything.
  • Set personal goals: Even small, attainable goals give you something to work toward and celebrate your successes every day.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize doing what you need to recharge and protect yourself.
  • Embrace spirituality: Whether this includes following a specific religious tradition, meditating or even yoga, these practices help give you hope and deal with your negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Develop connections: Make new sober friends and attend meetings and events where you can connect with people who have similar experiences and will support you.
  • Believe in yourself: Though overcoming addiction is challenging, nurture the idea that you can achieve sobriety. Trust yourself and have confidence.

Get Help From Transformations By The Gulf

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, the professionals at Transformations By The Gulf are here to help. Our unique treatment centers can give you the coping strategies you need to achieve long-term sobriety. If you want to know how to stay sober, our holistic therapies provide everything you need. Contact us today to get started on the path to recovery.

 


Signs You Need Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Addiction affects millions of Americans, but only a tiny fraction ever
seek treatment. They may not realize they have a problem or don’t believe their substance use adversely affects their
lives.

If you routinely drink or use drugs to excess, you may be wondering, “Do I need rehab?” Consider the signs below to
figure out how to know if you need rehab.

You’re Dependent on the Substance

You can become physically and psychologically dependent on any mind-altering substance. That's because alcohol and
drugs change your brain's reward pathways until you feel you need them to be happy. However, alcohol and drug
addiction drastically affect your physical and mental health, including side effects such as:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Organ damage
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Poor cognitive functioning
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Potential coma or overdose

Some people also start using substances to cope with uncomfortable feelings or symptoms from various mental health
conditions, such as stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness. You might rely on substance use to manage stress
instead of dealing with your problems head-on.

Maybe you depend on drugs or alcohol to have fun, especially if you start drinking or using in social situations.
Eventually, you may think these substances are the only way to relax and have a good time if you don't have any
healthy outlets.

Are you wondering how to tell if you need rehab? A worsening substance dependency is one of the most severe signs you
need alcohol rehab from a qualified inpatient or outpatient facility. Addiction specialists can help you safely detox
from harmful substances and equip you with the tools to cope with stressful situations. Your physical and mental
health will also improve throughout your recovery journey.

Your Abuse Is Affecting Your Personal Life

As an addiction takes over, you will eventually lose sight of your other priorities, including the people you care
about most. One of the primary problems with substance abuse is lowered inhibitions, putting you at risk for severe
injury from falls or accidents. You might also engage in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence, having
unsafe sex or sharing needles. Some substances can also cause blackouts, leading to irresponsible activities during
periods of memory loss.

Drinking or using drugs can also affect your personal life in various ways. People addicted to substances may
experience:

  • Strained relationships
  • Social isolation from loved ones and the community
  • Irritation and anger causing you to say or do things you don’t mean or that are out of character
  • Lack of interest in social outings or activities
  • Reduced productivity at work
  • Inability to keep up with responsibilities, such as child care or professional tasks
  • Failure to take care of yourself or your home

If you notice your life has become adversely affected by substance use, it’s time to seek professional help. Addiction
specialists can help you repair your relationships and life through treatment, allowing you to enjoy sober living.

Your Loved Ones Have Tried to Get You to Go

Your loved ones have your best interests at heart and only want you to be healthy and happy. If they’ve noticed your
substance use and its effect on your life, they have likely tried to convince you to seek treatment to improve your
well-being and get you back on track toward sobriety. They may have staged an intervention or talked with you one-on-one in hopes of persuading you to enroll in a rehabilitation facility. Sadly, since denial,
anger and irritability are hallmarks of active addiction, you may have responded to these attempts with
hostility.

You might believe you are doing a good job hiding your illness, but your loved ones know you best. If people close to
your heart have pleaded with you to seek help, your substance use is likely taking a more significant toll on your
life than you realize.

You Need to Take Excessive Amounts of the Substance to Feel Any Effects

People seek different substances for various reasons, including:

  • Self-medicating for physical and mental health conditions
  • Reducing stress from work, relationship problems and family conflict
  • Dealing with traumatic experiences
  • Alleviating uncomfortable feelings, such as boredom or loneliness

The first few times you drink or use drugs, you won’t need much to feel the effects. While alcohol and drugs can
provide short-term relief, your body will start to build a tolerance over time, so you'll need more and more to
experience the desired effect. Increasing your dose and frequency of use puts you at risk for coma, overdose and
death.

If you’ve noticed you're drinking and using excessive amounts, it’s an obvious indication that you’ve built a
tolerance and should seek professional help to break free from your addiction, improve your health and prevent a
potentially fatal overdose.

You’ve Unsuccessfully Tried to Quit

Addiction is a lifelong condition, and it has a
similar relapse rate as other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and asthma. A return to substance use isn't a failure, but it
means you haven’t learned appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations or addressed the root cause
of your addiction.

If you’ve tried to quit independently without professional help, it may indicate that intervention is necessary to
help you get your life back on track.

An accredited treatment facility can help you understand your disease and why you may rely on drugs or alcohol. The
professional staff will also equip you with the tools to successfully prevent relapse in triggering situations where
you may feel cravings to start using substances again, sustaining your recovery and improving your quality of life.

These treatment facilities offer multiple levels of care to address the unique nature of your addiction. Additionally,
if you’ve tried professional treatment before but have still found it challenging to quit drinking or using, that
could be a sign that you need a higher level of care, such as residential inpatient rehabilitation or frequent attendance in an
intensive outpatient program.

How to Know When You Need Rehab – Take Our Quiz!

The first step in the recovery process is realizing you have a disease that's harming every aspect of your life. Using
the signs above, you can determine whether you need professional addiction treatment to help you get back on track.
Can you just walk into rehab? At Transformations By The Gulf, our experienced providers can assess your condition and
create a treatment plan for you as soon as possible.

If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, you’re not alone. Transformations By The Gulf offers holistic
addiction treatment programs with a personalized approach to help you achieve sobriety and improve your quality of
life. Our dedicated staff will start you on your recovery journey and provide you with the tools you need to succeed
after treatment. If you’re not sure you need help, you can
take our “Do I Need Rehab” quiz or contact us to learn more about our programs.


Addiction Rehabilitation for Athletes

Athletes demand a lot of their bodies. Whether they are involved in sports professionally or recreationally, they push themselves through training and competition. While this level of physical performance can be good for the body, athletics can also put incredible strain on people physically and mentally. Athletes can experience physical injury and endure intense pressure to maintain peak performance.

It is not uncommon for athletes to engage in drug abuse, whether to cope with the pain caused from an injury or to enhance performance. While drug addiction can be a difficult cycle to break, there are treatment options for athletes.

Risk of Addiction in Athletes

Nearly 20% of people have used illicit drugs at least once. Of course, illicit drugs are not the only substances that come with the risk of addiction. Alcohol and prescription drugs can also play a role in addiction. Why are athletes at risk of substance abuse and addiction? Some reasons include:

  • Availability: Addictive substances may be readily accessible to athletes. For example, alcohol and binge drinking can be a part of the culture for college athletes. Athletes at all levels may also have ready access to performance-enhancing drugs through fellow athletes or authority figures, such as coaches.
  • Pressure: Athletes can face an enormous amount of pressure, both external and internal. For athletes who publicly compete, they may feel pressure from their teammates, coaches and fans to deliver on their performance. Internally, athletes of any level often feel the need to drive themselves to achieve their goals. If they aren't performing as well as they think they should, they might turn to performance-enhancing drugs or use other substances, like alcohol, to cope with feelings of failure.
  • Injury: Physical injury is common among athletes. Whether from overuse or an accident, athletes can break bones, tear muscles and tendons and experience head injuries. Chronic pain can lead to the abuse of prescription medication.

Prescription Painkillers for Sports Injuries

Some sports injuries can resolve quickly, with no lingering effects on performance and comfort level. Other injuries can result in chronic pain. Some athletes may be prescribed medication to manage that pain. If the pain persists, they may start to self-medicate or abuse painkillers. Common prescription painkillers for sports injuries include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): You can buy several NSAIDs, such as Advil, over the counter. But there are also strong versions of NSAIDs that are only available via prescription. Celebrex and Nalfon are examples of prescription NSAIDs used for back and neck pain.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, are prescribed to address inflammation. Athletes may receive an injection of corticosteroids to treat an injury.
  • Muscle relaxants: Benzodiazepines are a common type of muscle relaxant that can be prescribed to help ease pain and improve mobility in athletes. Benzodiazepines can be addictive if abused.
  • Opioids: Opioids are commonly misused painkillers. In 2019, more than 10 million people misused opioids. This class of drugs, including prescription medications such as Vicodin and Oxycodone, consists of powerful painkillers. Athletes may be prescribed an opioid to manage pain following an injury or surgery.

What Are the Risks of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs?

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used by athletes to gain a competitive edge. Anabolic steroids and human growth hormone are considered PEDs. Most of these drugs are banned in sports, regardless of the level of competition. In addition to the possibility of disqualification, PEDs come with other risks, including:

  • Physiological: PEDs affect a person's body in many different ways. Some of the common physiological consequences of using PEDs are acne, changes in breast and testicle size, changes in sex drive, infertility, joint pain, high blood pressure and liver damage. Depending on what drugs are used and for how long, effects may be permanent.
  • Psychological: PEDs can also affect your mental health. Psychological effects of these drugs may include changes in mood, depression, impaired judgment and suicidal thoughts.

Many athletes who use PEDs do not consider the negative side effects of these drugs, focusing instead on the potential gains in their performance.

Warning Signs and Symptoms for Drug Use in Athletes

If you are concerned that an athlete you care about is using, some of the signs may include:

  • Changes in appearance: PEDs can significantly impact a person's appearance. Men may develop breasts, while women begin to appear and sound more masculine. Some drugs can lead to dramatic weight gain or weight loss. Any change in appearance without explanation may indicate drug use.
  • Sudden changes in performance levels: Many athletes improve over time with hard work and training. Sudden leaps forward in performance, beyond what you might expect, could be an indication that an athlete is using PEDs. On the other hand, an unexplained decrease in performance could mean that an athlete is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or prescription painkillers.
  • Personality changes: Many addictive substances can impact a person's mood, behavior and personality. If an athlete is struggling with sudden outbursts and bouts of irritability, these issues could be related to substance abuse.
  • GI symptoms: Many PEDs and painkillers can affect the stomach. If an athlete is exhibiting regular signs of nausea and diarrhea, substance abuse can be a possible explanation.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety and substance abuse often go hand in hand. The drugs can make the user more anxious than normal. Additionally, the athlete who is using a substance may be anxious about keeping that behavior hidden from others.

Sometimes it can be hard to recognize the warning signs of addiction. It can be even harder to speak up if you do recognize the signs in a loved one or in yourself. If you suspect you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, do not ignore the symptoms. It's best to seek help as soon as possible.

Reach out to Us Today

Asking for help can be hard, particularly if you are used to pushing yourself in your athletic pursuits. However, recovery is possible if you take the first steps. At Transformations By The Gulf, we take a personalized approach to addiction treatment to give every client the individual care they need. Your experience is unique, and your road to recovery will be too. You don't have to go it alone, either — support is always available.

Our team partners with you to address your needs and give you varied treatment options. We are here to help you get back on your feet and move forward with your life. If you are ready to make a change in your life, reach out to us to get started.


Alcohol and Drug Rehabs That Allow Cell Phones

Rehab centers are a place to go for recovery from alcohol and other drugs. Group therapy and meditation sessions combined with calming interactions make up the better part of the day. Some people may be unsure whether to enter these rehab centers because the experience is new to them, and their bodies must adjust to learning to live without chemical dependency. With so many changes all at once, entering rehab can have a bit of a learning curve.

For most people, their cell phones are the primary communication pipeline to the outside world while they're in rehab. During the first phase of treatment, however, most rehab centers won't allow cell phones. This guideline is set in place so clients can acclimate to a new environment without outside aggressors and influences making it more challenging. Below, learn more about the use of cell phones in rehab and why Transformations By The Gulf allows them.

Why We Allow Cell Phones During Treatment

Completely sheltering clients from contacting anyone outside the rehab center could hinder their recovery and stress out loved ones. Not allowing cell phones at all also creates a situation after discharge where patients can become overwhelmed. They'll be re-entering society's fast-paced lifestyle and having to manage overwhelming amounts of communication from people who were unable to talk to them for an extended period. All these things hitting them at once could trigger a relapse, which could put them right back where they started before they entered rehab.

Allowing cell phones encourages clients to embrace change while staying connected to the right kind of people. In the beginning, there needs to be some oversight of communications to ensure people who would be harmful toward recovery are not communicating with patients. That way, their experience with rehab and with being allowed to use their devices will be pleasant. Rules help establish proper and healthy usage of devices for communication and learning. Some of those rules can include:

    • Blackout period: Upon entry into the rehab center, there will be several days when you'll have no access to your devices to help with acclimation.
    • Prior assessments for usage: Before you enter the rehab center, you may be interviewed so the center's staff can learn about your phone usage needs, current daily routines and things you like to use your devices for. This assessment helps the rehab center establish individual usage parameters.
    • Specific usage times: Creating particular times throughout the day when clients can use their devices gives them something to look forward to and helps them relax from the days' recovery-related stresses.
    • Privacy laws and rules: Your rehab center will have strict policies it must follow for preserving client privacy and safeguarding other information about your medical history and recovery. These rules help keep your personal data safe and instill confidence that your devices will remain secure during your stay.

Benefits to Staying Connected While in Rehab

Another reason cell phones often need to be part of recovery is because society heavily relies on these devices to keep functioning. People are very connected to their devices, whether they're using a cell phone, laptop, tablet or all three. Letting patients keep their electronics helps them build trust with their counselors.

This element of trust also applies to their family life, with their relatives knowing their loved one can handle using their devices and being on the internet without contacting their drug dealer or finding ways to get alcohol. Making people give up those comforts that are not directly a part of their addiction could be just enough to make them not want to try rehab.

Allowing cell phones also lets patients periodically contact their employers to keep them updated and hopefully keep their jobs while in rehab. That way, patients can be reassured they'll have somewhere to work when they're released. Leaving rehab and not having a job waiting for you gives you too much free time and could be a potential danger.

When you get bored, your mind will wander, and you could start reminiscing about old "fun" times when you were high or drunk. For many people in recovery, their job is the most sacred aspect of their lives, and they identify themselves with it.

If you have any romantic partners, staying in touch with them poses a substantial beneficial factor, letting them have a role in your recovery. Your partner can encourage you to keep moving forward, congratulate you on your achievements and make you feel that much more remarkable that you're accomplishing these tasks and changing your lifestyle for the better.

If clients are not allowed to talk to their romantic partners, it could add to their stress and increase the strain on the whole recovery process, making it more probable that they will leave prematurely or not go through rehab at all.

Cons to Having Your Phone in Rehab

While there are plenty of positive reasons cell phones need to be allowed in rehab centers, there are some cons to allowing patients too much device usage or any usage at all. If patients stay in contact with the wrong people, this could pose a danger to them, and they may leave the program before finishing. Clients could also use their devices to contact their dealers or external people to procure drugs and alcohol to sneak into the rehab center or somewhere else on the facility grounds.

If a client makes contact with these negative people, it could trigger relapse and ruin the program before they can genuinely see all the benefits of rehab. Those potential dangers can be avoided with clear rules, security on the grounds and vigilant staff.

Reach Out to Transformations By The Gulf Today to Get Started

If you're ready to begin bettering your life or want to seek help for a loved one, reach out to Transformations By The Gulf. People who seek rehab from us often have fantastic experiences. Our clients have lots of personal time with their counselors and attend smaller group sessions for a more intimate setting. 

With many clinical services available to you, Transformations By The Gulf is ready to help you make lifestyle changes to better your future. Our services include but are not limited to boat therapy, group therapy, intensive outpatient programs and more. 

Change your life for the better by joining us today! Your loved ones can enjoy your next steps in life right alongside you and congratulate you on your successes. Start your journey to recovery and contact Transformations By The Gulf to fill out an admissions form.