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5 Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Art therapy provides an opportunity to express yourself and heal when you're working toward recovery. A therapeutic approach to making art offers a path to improving mental health and well-being with conditions like substance use disorder.

Art therapy activities for addiction recovery involve creative mediums like drawing, painting and writing. Art can become a healthy coping mechanism to communicate feelings and experiences, self-reflect and build confidence. Here's some insight into the benefits of art therapy for addiction recovery.

1. A Way to Communicate Emotions

Art therapy can help you communicate any challenging emotions you're experiencing without the need to speak. The first days of inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. After all, some things are difficult to express with words. It's natural to feel hesitant to talk about personal details with a staff of professionals and other strangers.

Any form of artistic expression can help you communicate, whether you paint, write or create music. In art therapy, mental health professionals may ask you to show your feelings in the medium of your choice. As you work on your art, you'll likely discover the thoughts and feelings you haven't been able to put into words.

Art therapy can also help reduce symptoms of co-occurring conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and dementia, providing more comprehensive addiction treatment. Art can help you discover deep feelings and emotions, express them healthily and heal.

2. An Opportunity to Self-Reflect

Drawing, painting or other creative activities create a relaxing space to process your thoughts and emotions. Giving yourself time to think and allowing your brain to wander often leads to self-reflection, letting you form connections that can help you heal.

A mental health professional might ask you to draw or paint your emotions in art therapy. Creating visible representations can help you connect with your feelings and learn how to differentiate various emotional states. They may also ask you to ponder specific questions after completing the work, such as:

  • What were you thinking about as you created this piece?
  • Did you experience any intense emotions?
  • Are there any words you associate with this piece?
  • How does this piece relate to your healing?

You might think about significant life events as you create art — a job change, meeting close friends or the death of a family member. The piece can reflect how you felt during these events, including any words you ascribe to these experiences. Over time, you can start working through unresolved conflicts that may contribute to your addiction.

You might think about your current reality as you work through the beginning stages of recovery. As you start considering how your life could be different after reaching sobriety, art can help you visualize the conditions of a healthier, more positive future.

3. The Skills to Build Confidence

As a skill-building activity without expectations or goals, art therapy can help you build confidence during addiction treatment. Developing your skills can help you battle self-doubt, build healthy relationships and feel more optimistic about working toward recovery. When you're happier and more confident in your own skin, you'll have more motivation to participate in positive new activities.

Here are a few ways art therapy promotes self-confidence:

  • Allows self-expression: The creative process helps you learn how to express yourself without limitations or verbal censorship.
  • Provides a sense of autonomy: Art therapy lets you make your own choices about art materials and how you use them in your project.
  • Offers validation: Art therapy can increase feelings of self-worth as you express your unique self and fulfill the desire to be heard, seen and validated.
  • Increase self-esteem: Many people with addiction also struggle with low self-esteem. Making art can help increase self-esteem by boosting your belief in your ability to create and express yourself.

Art therapy focuses on the process of art making rather than the creative outcome. It provides an opportunity to embrace imperfection and feel playful in a compassionate setting. You'll gain a broader definition of art and what it means to you personally, which can significantly boost levels of self-confidence.

4. A Foundation for Building Healthy Relationships

Building healthy relationships is one of the most crucial benefits of art therapy for addiction recovery. When you take art therapy at a professional treatment center, you'll spend plenty of time discussing your work and connecting with others. Over time, this discussion can foster healthy relationships as you work toward avoiding relapse together.

It's essential to surround ourselves with art that other people create. While you may intuitively connect with your peers' stories, voices and experiences, their work can introduce you to experiences and ideas you've never witnessed before. Since everyone will have similar experiences with addiction, they'll have the insight to understand the process and the symbolic work of each person in the group.

Art can provide validation while facilitating insight and discussion, helping you form relationships that transcend differences. Over time, these friendships can become a source of encouragement through recovery and support in times of need.

5. The Tools to Help Prevent Relapse

Relapse prevention is a crucial aspect of treatment. Once you leave a professional treatment setting, you may face triggers — specific places, people, objects or emotions that you associate with substance use. Working through your cravings via creative expression is a skill that can benefit your recovery for the rest of your life.

Art provides a healthy coping skill when you feel the urge to seek substances. It can also help reduce symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety, which often contribute to substance use disorder. Ultimately, art therapy can empower you to overcome your triggers and maintain a substance-free life.

Contact Transformations By The Gulf and Start Your Journey Today

Ultimately, art can give you a voice and help you heal. It's also a powerful way to form connections and build healthy relationships with people who share similar experiences. Art therapy, in combination with other evidence-based treatments, can benefit people recovering from addiction.

Transformations By The Gulf offers art therapy activities for addiction recovery. Our recovery staff is ready to help you learn more about the emotions and underlying thoughts that might contribute to your substance use disorder.

At Transformations By The Gulf, we integrate holistic practices with traditional therapies, providing comprehensive treatment to address your unique needs and goals. You'll enter a compassionate environment to learn more about yourself, build a support system and establish coping skills to break the cycle of addiction. Our programs include day and residential programs. To start your journey, get in touch with us today.

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Why 24/7 Rehab Is the Way to Go

Today, over 20 million Americans have substance use disorder and require help from some type of recovery program. While many people succeed in outpatient drug rehab centers, others appreciate the benefits of 24/7 inpatient rehab. Inpatient treatment provides a supervised setting with a team of addiction experts to help clients safely recover from substances and prevent relapse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, know that you are not alone and recovery is possible. Keep reading to learn about the difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab and the benefits of 24/7 rehab.

What Is Inpatient or 24/7 Rehab?

Inpatient drug rehab centers, or 24/7 rehab, are places for people seeking help for drug or alcohol addiction, where they live full-time. Also called residential treatment, inpatient rehab is helpful for severe addictions and offers care 24 hours a day. It's typically a non-hospital setting that provides a community of support and around-the-clock supervision for people recovering from substance use disorder.

The length of your stay varies depending on your needs, though the average time ranges from 30 to 90 days. Some clients might require a long-term 24/7 rehab to address their issues and meet treatment goals. While not appropriate for everyone, 24/7 rehab can be significantly helpful for many people with drug or alcohol addiction.

Treatment at 24/7 rehab typically consists of the following:

  • Evidence-based clinical interventions
  • Medications prescribed by physicians
  • Holistic and traditional individual therapies
  • Support groups

Inpatient treatment requires clients to live onsite and take time off work, family or school to get the help needed to recover from substance use disorder. Generally, the goals of 24/7 rehab are to keep you safe, help you recover and prevent relapse. The type of rehabilitation setting consists of health care providers, therapists and other addiction specialists. They are there to help you combat drug cravings and learn healthy coping mechanisms to avoid drug use. They also provide 24/7 medical assistance and mental health support to help you stay safe.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

While addiction is often a chronic and complex health disorder, inpatient and outpatient programs can aid in your recovery. Both programs provide individual and group counseling programs to treat addiction and help you stay sober. The primary difference is inpatient, 24/4 rehab is offered in a supervised setting where you live full-time. At the same time, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are typically attended just a few times a week during the day, so clients return home at night.

Neither plan is more effective or better than the other. The severity of your addiction and your unique needs will determine the type that's appropriate for you.

24/7 rehab provides around-the-clock care and supervision, healthy foods and a comfortable place to rest your head at night. Outpatient rehab offers a more customizable approach, and factors such as your home and work life are considered to design the most effective recovery plan. Like inpatient rehab, professionals will track your progress throughout outpatient treatment and customize it for your needs.

7 Benefits of 24/7 Rehab

Inpatient rehab is most beneficial for those with severe addictions or co-occurring mental health conditions. It's also helpful for those who lack an immediate local or experienced support system. The following are seven benefits of 24/7 rehab:

1. Medical Assistance for Withdrawal

One of the most significant benefits of 24/7 rehab is that it provides medical assistance for withdrawal. Detoxification programs involve safely and effectively removing substances from the body, usually through prescribed medications and other forms of therapy. Physicians will closely monitor you to ensure your safety and comfort to avoid withdrawal complications and help you begin the recovery process in inpatient rehab.

2. 24/7 Psychological Treatment and Protection

You can access 24/7 care and protection from experienced, highly trained therapists in residential treatment. It can be challenging to curb cravings and deal with life changes caused by substance use disorder. Therapists can help you reach goals and maintain sobriety by teaching healthy coping mechanisms and treating you for any co-occurring mental health disorders.

3. Community

One of the primary components of addiction treatment is the community created between staff, counselors and fellow recovering individuals. That's one of the reasons 12-step programs like Alcohols Anonymous have success. In 24/7 rehab, you'll have a support system of people who understand the struggles of addiction and can be a shoulder to lean on. These relationships are often crucial for recovery.

4. Structure

Structure and routine are essential for helping you recover from substances. Inpatient rehab programs emphasize creating daily routines with productive activities and counseling sessions to keep you engaged. Routine also helps eliminate distractions so you can focus on your sobriety. You'll learn how to replace self-destructive activities with positive ones focused on healing.

5. Multiple Therapies and Treatments

Addiction is a mental and physical disease, and therapy is crucial for helping you understand your emotional triggers and develop new healthy coping techniques. With several types of treatments, inpatient rehab programs can help reduce your chances of relapsing and help you get back on track if it does happen. You'll learn new attitudes, beliefs and behaviors concerning substance use and be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Some evidence-based therapies typically offered include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency Management
  • Family therapy
  • Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

6. Setting Goals and Building New Habits

In 24/7 rehab, counselors will help you set and accomplish goals. Building healthy habits is a critical part of self-care for a person in a recovery setting. Objectives will focus on your physical and emotional health, relationships and aspirations. Ultimately, it's designed for your success after completing the program.

You'll learn the tools needed to manage stress, avoid triggers and manage them when unavoidable to help prevent relapse.

7. Ongoing Support

The goal of inpatient rehab is to help clients engage in abstinence and recovery on a long-term basis, which is why many offer aftercare programs. You'll often continue meeting with support groups and get recommendations for counselors after completing inpatient treatment, allowing you to get the ongoing recovery assistance you need after returning home.

For many, this step in the recovery process is one of the most crucial, as it helps you translate a successful addiction treatment into a successful future.

How to Know if You Need Inpatient Rehab

Everyone has unique requirements in addiction treatment, though generally, you might enter inpatient rehab if you:

  • Are attempting to live sober for the first time
  • Struggle with severe addiction and require medical detox
  • Are a danger to yourself or others
  • Have a non-supportive home life
  • Have a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • Have had no success with past outpatient programs or support groups
  • Are worried about triggers or lack healthy coping tools

In 24/7 rehab, you'll find a team of health providers, therapists, addiction specialists and peers eager to help you recover.



Get Comprehensive 24/7 Rehab at Transformations By The Gulf

Addiction treatment is often an ongoing process and one that you don't have to go through alone. There are so many benefits of 24/7 rehab, including community, structure, medical support and aftercare.

Through inpatient treatment at Transformations By The Gulf, you'll have 24/7 access to addiction specialists and medical professionals who want to see you recover and live a happier, healthier life. Our residential treatment programs offer a safe, homelike environment for recovery. We provide evidence-based therapies, medical assistance and holistic practices for comprehensive, personalized care for your needs.

To learn more about our inpatient rehab programs, contact us today.

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Benefits of Didactic Group Therapy

Didactic group therapy is an educational approach providing knowledge, support and beneficial coping skills. Substance abuse groups surround people in recovery with others experiencing similar challenges to reduce feelings of isolation and guilt. Treatment programs that implement didactic group therapy provide additional support by teaching clients about their substance use disorder and equipping them with healthy coping skills.

What Is Didactic Group Therapy?

Another name for didactic therapy is psychoeducational therapy. It's an instructional technique that provides comprehensive information about substance use disorders. Didactic therapy uses a classroom-type format to teach people about substance use disorders, so they can recover successfully. In didactic therapy, you can learn about:

  • Signs of substance abuse and relapse
  • How substance abuse has affected your life
  • Symptoms of substance use disorder and relapse
  • Neurobiological associations with substance use
  • Specific interventions for aftercare and recovery, such as nutrition, meditation and anger management

Group therapy involves interactive conversations held under a counselor's supervision. During didactic group therapy, several people meet to receive expert guidance from a therapist. The therapist may lead the discussion and provide feedback when group members share their experiences, or they may present a short lecture to encourage members to express themselves. Each session focuses on a specific topic, and meetings can vary in length based on group size.

The primary purpose of didactic group therapy is to teach members about their substance use disorder and healthy coping skills. Attending and participating in these discussions can provide you with:

  • Improved self-awareness about substance use and its consequences
  • A comprehensive understanding of the recovery process
  • Evidence for change and growth
  • Community resources
  • Healthy coping strategies

Benefits of Didactic Group Therapy

Didactic group therapy is highly beneficial during recovery. Gaining a clearer understanding of substance use, its effects and healthy ways to cope and recover provides the following advantages.

Better Awareness

Didactic group therapy educates members about their substance use disorder for enhanced mindfulness. You'll learn how addiction affects the brain and body to understand what you are experiencing and why. You'll also discover the science behind the recovery process and how to maintain sobriety.

Knowledge to Make Healthy Choices and Motivation to Actively Participate in Recovery

Members also learn about healthy coping strategies and how to recover successfully in substance abuse groups. You'll have opportunities to reflect on the information you receive and apply it to your specific experiences, lifestyle and routines.

With this additional knowledge and support, you can approach your recovery with more motivation to take the necessary steps to maintain sobriety. Healthy coping strategies can also help you manage a co-occurring disorder.

Increased Support and Decreased Isolation

Recovery takes patience, and the process can feel lonely sometimes. Didactic group therapy provides extra support because it surrounds you with others who have similar experiences and challenges to overcome. It removes isolation and reminds you that you are never alone on your journey.

Improved Self-Esteem

Identifying the root causes of addiction and learning about successful coping strategies can provide a much-needed self-esteem boost, while reducing any guilt or shame you feel. Belief in yourself is vital during recovery because a healthy self-image can prevent relapse.

Better Interpersonal Skills

A relapse prevention group is a safe, judgment-free place where you can share your thoughts, experiences and obstacles. Healthy, positive interactions challenge group members to relate to others and themselves in healthier ways. Honest feedback will help you reflect on your perceptions and behaviors, positively adjust your habits and form meaningful, healthy connections with the people in your life.

Privacy in Group Therapy

While didactic group therapy does not require you to share personal experiences, you can feel safe doing so. Therapists must maintain confidentiality, and they hold group members to the same standard. No one will share what you say with non-members, so you can feel sure your identity and information will stay in the room.

How to Get the Maximum Benefit From Didactic Group Therapy

In didactic therapy, you can overcome challenges and maintain sobriety with healthy lifestyle changes. To benefit from this therapy, you must attend group sessions with an open mind and a willingness to accept the facts and content you learn. Acknowledging how substance use has impacted you psychologically and physically can be hard, but it will give you a better appreciation of what you need to do to recover.

Sharing your experiences and challenges during didactic group therapy sessions can also maximize each session. Talking about what you're going through can make you feel more connected to other members and allow you to receive valuable feedback. After each session, you should reflect on what you learned and how you can apply it to your life.

How to Prepare for Your First Group Session

Attending a didactic group therapy session is an excellent step toward sobriety. If you are unsure what to expect at your first session, you can prepare in the following ways.

Listen and Share

Didactic group therapy sessions are instructive. Be ready to listen and focus, so you can retain the content presented. As an instructor-guided approach, the goal of didactic therapy is to help you learn about your substance use disorder, recognize the consequences of it and take steps to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Understand Others in the Group Have Similar Experiences

If you feel nervous about attending your first meeting, remember many of your fellow members have been through similar challenges. You are not alone, and you can attend sessions without shame or guilt. Think of the group as an outlet for your most complex emotions.

Why Didactic Group Therapy Is Beneficial in Substance Use Treatment

Didactic group therapy benefits people by providing them with valuable knowledge. Didactic therapy's academic structure fosters logical thought, leading you to develop healthier problem-solving and life skills. By providing knowledge and productive coping strategies, didactic group therapy can enable you to resist self-destructive behaviors and influences.

The Role of Codependency in Addiction

Both addiction and codependency are psychological issues that often reinforce one another. Also known as “love addiction” or “relationship addiction,” people who are codependent often find themselves in one-sided relationships, whether they be familial, platonic or romantic, where they're constantly “the giver” while the other person is “the taker.” More commonly, codependency is associated with people who have loved ones struggling with substance use or who are in addiction recovery.

Though everyone has codependent tendencies in relationships, people who are codependent feel a much more intense need to save others. As a result, they may find themselves attracted to those who are emotionally unavailable or where they're in the caretaking role. Keep reading to learn the signs of a codependent relationship and how to get help for addiction recovery.

What Is Codependency in Addiction?

Codependency is an unbalanced relationship that, while seemingly caring, perpetuates and enables a loved one's irresponsible or destructive behavior. While it may seem completely normal to care for a loved one, the codependent partner aims to alleviate any pain or inconvenience their partner is feeling. This is often an attempt from the codependent partner to try to justify or excuse their partner's irresponsible or reckless behavior.

However, their sole focus on the other person only exacerbates deep-seated issues. The relationship often becomes a cycle that takes on a life of its own, where the person with substance use disorder (SUD) and the codependent reinforce each other's behaviors. The codependent becomes obsessive, and the person with SUD might become more self-destructive or manipulative, leading to an unhealthy dynamic.

Some codependents feel that caring for others gives them self-worth and validation. In that sense, they may be motivated by a lack of self-love, hoping they'll get the same love they provide in return. Like many relationship issues, codependency can be rooted in a dysfunctional childhood. For instance, children may have learned their only value was how much they gave to others, translating into codependency in adulthood.

Signs of Codependency in Addiction

Addiction and codependency often go hand in hand. Like individuals, families dealing with addiction often use codependency as a coping mechanism. They usually don't realize how their behavior enables the person struggling with addiction.

While they may not recognize the signs listed below, the following signs typically indicate codependency:

  • Having trouble expressing feelings and emotions
  • Being unable to set clear boundaries
  • Ignoring or denying problems
  • Having poor communication skills
  • Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings
  • Wanting to be liked by everyone
  • Being withdrawn and depressed
  • Suppressing thoughts and feelings out of fear or guilt
  • Needing to control and fix others
  • Having low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Setting aside your interests to do what others want
  • Being too loyal
  • Refusing to seek help because you feel like the problem isn’t bad enough or can't be changed

If the codependent individual can't recognize the above signs or chooses to ignore them, they may unknowingly hinder their partner's recovery. Poor boundaries, martyrdom and resentment often characterize codependent relationships with a person with SUD.



Codependent Relationship Dynamics

Experts note that substance use disorder isn't just about the one affected but also the family and friends interfering with the recovery process.

Codependent individuals often believe they can take away another's pain. This belief may subconsciously encourage codependents to enable their partner's behaviors. Over time, this can create an unhealthy relationship dynamic that only feeds the codependent's self-esteem and self-worth. It might also cause the codependent caregiver to become entangled in their partner's lifestyle, leading to resentment.

If a codependent person enters a relationship with someone who allows the caretaking to continue, both people will be unable to grow or maintain a healthy dynamic. Three common types of substance abuse and codependency dynamics include:

  • Codependent relationships with people with SUD: Codependents may provide money to enable their loved one's addiction. They might also let them stay with them rather than attend treatment or even supply them with substances.
  • Codependent relationships with people who are abusive: In relationships where one person abuses the other or their power, the codependent is forced to comply with their orders to keep the abuser in control. For example, the abuser may attempt to rationalize their poor behavior or manipulate the codependent to continue enabling their self-destructive behavior.
  • Codependent relationships based on peer pressure: A codependent with self-esteem issues will typically fold under pressure to accommodate their partner's demands.

How Can Codependency Affect Recovery?

Addiction codependency creates a fear of change for each person in the codependent relationship. Individuals undergoing recovery may be afraid to let go of their old behaviors for fear they'll stop receiving care and attention from loved ones. At the same time, family members might avoid intervention, believing treatment “won't work” or their loved one “won't go.”

The actual reason families may be fearful is they see intervention as a step toward giving something up rather than an opportunity to help themselves and their loved ones. These fears aren't based solely on the change itself but instead on the unknown that comes with change. One of the major issues to focus on in addiction recovery is to break the co-dependent patterns at home that enable and negatively support the person in treatment.

When a family member acquires maladaptive coping mechanisms and displays codependent or enabling behaviors, these skills become the new normal. The longer it takes for the SUD to be addressed, the more difficult it can be to change the dynamics, and the more likely families will ask fear-driven questions about recovery. Often, these expressions conceal their true feelings — a fear their loved one might say yes.

A loved one accepting help might give family members the message they need to change their behaviors. A successful intervention also means no more martyrdom or codependency. They now have to give up the caretaker role to the treatment center, which can be alarming to a codependent.

These thoughts and behaviors don't make family members bad people but rather individuals caught in the throes of another's issues and the resulting family roles. Fortunately, addiction treatment centers are equipped to handle substance abuse and codependency situations. We help families see their position from another perspective, so they may allow their loved ones to receive help.

Speak With Transformations By The Gulf for Help Today

Whether you believe you may be codependent or wish to seek addiction treatment services, Transformations By The Gulf can help. Our inpatient and outpatient programs can help you based on your psychological, biological, social and familial needs.

Our residential homes and treatment facilities provide a discreet, comfortable setting for rehabilitation. If you or a loved one needs help, contact us to learn more about our recovery services.

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Ways the Beach and Nature Improve the Rehab Experience

Ways the Beach and Nature Improve the Rehab Experience

Successful rehabilitation requires care and attention for both the mind and body. A beach rehabilitation center offers individuals a recovery environment that benefits their physical and mental health. Many people see beach rehab benefits like improved physical strength and endurance, reduced depression and increased happiness. Spending time at the beach — and in nature in general — can significantly enhance the recovery experience in several ways.

Physical Health Benefits of the Beach

To recover from drug or alcohol use, you must care for your whole self, including your physical and mental health. The beach is good for you for several reasons. The sand and ocean waves provide an excellent exercise environment, and the exfoliating sand is great for your skin. Spending time on the beach is also a fantastic way to get better sleep and enjoy the health benefits of an improved sleep schedule.

Access to Water Activities

The beach is full of exercise opportunities. From the warm sand to the cool waves, the beach offers a place to swim, surf, walk, run and practice beneficial exercise routines. Swimming is an excellent cardio exercise, is easy on the joints and helps strengthen muscles and improve endurance. Simply being in seawater is advantageous because the ocean's minerals are healthy for the body. You can take a refreshing swim to benefit your body and enjoy bobbing with the waves.

The ocean is also a great place to practice surfing. Whether you're an experienced surfer or a beginner picking up an exciting new hobby, surfing is an excellent physical activity. Simply paddling out on a surfboard strengthens your arms, and you use different muscle groups to control your board when you catch the perfect wave.

Beachside Exercise Opportunities

You can also get some great exercise without even entering the water. The shore's warm sand offers an excellent surface to practice exercise routines such as yoga, pilates and strength training. Make the experience yours by rolling out a yoga mat by the waves or enjoying feeling the sand beneath your feet.

Walking and running on the beach are excellent cardio exercises. Walking on sand increases resistance for improved muscle strengthening, and sand's softness makes it gentle on joints and bones. Sand is also an excellent exfoliant for the skin, and feeling it against your bare feet can make you feel grounded and more relaxed while walking.

Better Sleep

After a day of working your muscles and releasing endorphins, you can also get a great night's sleep at the beach. Watching the ocean waves rise and fall or listening to the waves crash can put your mind into a meditative state, inducing a relaxation response. Many people who experience insomnia use white noise machines with ocean sounds to help them drift off to sleep at night, but being fully immersed in the experience can help the surf's sounds be even more effective.

You can watch the sunset on the beach before going to bed or open your window to listen to crashing waves as you drift off to sleep. Spending time at the beach is an excellent way to manage insomnia.

Why Is the Beach Good for Mental Health?

Beach time can also improve your mental health, which is incredibly important during recovery. The beach provides sunshine, fun opportunities and a relaxing atmosphere where you can reduce stress.

Sunshine Reduces Depression

The sun provides vitamin D, which is essential to the brain for mood regulation. Increased vitamin D levels can decrease depression and its symptoms. When you spend time outside, your skin absorbs vitamin D from the sun, so sun exposure can significantly improve your mood.

The Beach Boosts Happiness

While sun exposure can increase your vitamin D levels and boost your mood, it is not the only part of the beach that affects happiness. The beach can improve your mood in several other ways. Simply being at the beach can relax you and help you feel more at peace. Whether you sit with your toes in the sand or let the waves flow over your ankles, you can relax and enjoy the present.

The beach also boosts happiness because people associate it with having fun. It is a top vacation destination for many individuals for a good reason. There are plenty of fun things to do, and visiting may invoke fond memories if you vacationed by the ocean as a child. The beach provides a setting where you can relax, swim, toss a frisbee, read a book, fly a kite, meditate, recover and simply escape life's stressors.

Why Is the Beach so Relaxing?

The beach is a peaceful environment that engages your senses with its sights, sounds and smells. You may feel instantly relaxed when you step onto the sand, see the ocean's blue horizon, hear the crashing waves and smell the salty sea air. This effect happens because the motion and sounds of waves can put your brain into a meditative state.

The beach is also relaxing because the ocean's negative ions can produce beneficial chemical reactions in the body. Negative ions are electricity-charged molecules floating in the atmosphere, and they can exist where ocean waves cause water to collide with itself. They can help reduce depression and increase cognitive performance.

Choosing Yourself

Your health and well-being are essential. Taking the first step toward healing is the first of many steps in your recovery, and doing so in a peaceful environment allows you to recover in comfort.

Substance use recovery requires more than abstinence from drugs and alcohol. It requires holistic treatment that cares for your whole self, including your mind and body. Deciding to recover at a beach rehab center is a fantastic way to choose yourself and put your well-being first.

Receive Treatment in a Beautiful, Peaceful Environment

If you are looking for beach rehab in Florida, Transformations by the Gulf offers a holistic recovery approach and comfortable recovery housing only blocks from St. Pete Beach. Our unique program individualizes treatment to care for each person's specific needs based on psychological, biological, social, gender and family factors. We offer structured outpatient and inpatient/residential programs focused on treating the whole person. Beyond our dedication to compassionate, effective care, we believe recovery can be beautiful.

Transformations by the Gulf provides housing near the beach so you can embrace the physical and mental health benefits at any time of the day. Whether you want to enjoy a walk at sunrise, relax on the sand or ride some exciting waves, you can benefit from the shoreline's proximity to our housing facilities. Contact Transformations by the Gulf to learn more about our treatment options and begin your recovery journey.

How Exercise Can Help Your Sobriety


How Exercise Can Help Your Sobriety

Exercising does more than keep your body healthy. Exercise helps you recover from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Spending time exercising may reduce your cravings while improving your mental health, which can help enhance your quality of life. Participating in different types of exercise, such as cardio, stretching and strength training, can positively impact your life and recovery process, especially when combined with professional treatment from a compassionate addiction treatment center.


8 Benefits of Exercise for Sobriety

Pursuing and living a sober life is possible, especially with a healthy lifestyle and coping strategies. A consistent exercise routine has the following benefits for sobriety:

1. Stress Relief

Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can lead to physical and mental complications, including potential relapse. Exercise is one of the best ways to combat any stress you may feel from your personal life or due to your addiction. Moving your body helps release the endorphins in the brain, which helps your body balance stress hormones.

Low-intensity exercise or anaerobic exercise benefits your mind and body by combating stress. Going for a walk, running on a treadmill or completing a workout routine can help you manage stress and reduce your cravings when you encounter stressful situations or triggers.

2. Healing and Physical Health

Prolonged alcohol and drug use impact significant organs, but exercise can help promote healing for your body and make you feel better. Exercising regularly can protect your body from developing potential health risks, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Metabolic syndrome

Exercising can also help you improve your muscle and bone strength and slow the aging process, which will help you feel better during and after recovery. Taking care of your body allows you to accomplish more physical tasks easily and live an easier life than you would by avoiding exercise. Exercise also benefits your mental health by releasing serotonin, a chemical believed to act as a mood stabilizer. Those advantages can help your recovery journey, and you'll feel healthy, happy and eager to continue pursuing treatment.

3. Healthy Distraction

While recovering, it's essential to find activities that take your mind off cravings and triggers to sustain your recovery. Exercise is a great way to fill your day with healthy activities so you can focus on the positivity in your life. Establishing a routine filled with exercise benefits your mind and body. It gives you goals to work toward and opportunities to feel productive and accomplished, feelings that are beneficial in recovery.

4. Improved Mood

If you're struggling with a substance use disorder, you may use drugs or alcohol to deal with intense emotions or feelings, such as anxiety, depression or exhaustion. Exercising is a healthier way to break free from these negative emotions and releases neurotransmitters in the brain, which are chemicals produced in the brain that can make you feel happier and reduce your negative emotions.

Exercise and mental health are connected, so exercising can help you improve mental health symptoms that may contribute to substance use. Improving your mood is essential to help you progress through your recovery.

5. Increased Energy

Regular exercise can make you feel more energized and motivated throughout the day. This motivation can help encourage you to pursue addiction treatment, whether attending group meetings or individual therapy.

When you exercise, your heart pumps blood faster, increasing muscle nourishment and delivering more oxygen through the body. This strengthens your body and increases its ability to release energy.

6. Better Sleep

Getting enough sleep each night is essential to make you feel better throughout the day so you can perform at your highest level. Sleep is essential to help you maintain your physical and mental health, and exercise can help you sleep better. Exercising before you go to bed can make your body cool faster and help you fall asleep easier. Try to exercise an hour before bed, as working out right before trying to sleep can amp you up rather than wind you down.

Exercising also helps your body's natural healing process, which allows your body and mind to heal and regain strength while you sleep. Insomnia is a common symptom people experience when going through withdrawal, but exercise can help you get the sleep you need to aid your recovery.

7. Self-Compassion

Working out is kind to your body and teaches you to treat yourself with love, as long as you’re not overdoing it. Taking the first steps towards caring for your mind and body can help you participate in other types of self-care that can improve your overall life, such as focusing on positivity and setting and achieving goals.

8. Social Connections

Exercising with a group can help you recover from addiction, whether you participate in classes or visit a gym. You can connect with others who enjoy exercising, which can help you find a support network. The social benefits of exercise can help you feel more motivated to progress through your sobriety journey.

How Does Exercise Help With Addiction Recovery?

Exercise benefits your recovery for many reasons, especially since physical activity releases chemicals in your brain that is responsible for happiness. When these chemicals are released, it reduces stress and cravings. Training your brain to enjoy a natural amount of these chemicals can replace the cravings you experience from alcohol or drug withdrawal. You can improve your physical and mental health, which can help you handle the challenges you experience throughout recovery.

Exercise releases various neurotransmitters that can help you create a healthy, natural high, including:

  • Endorphins: Endorphins are the brain’s natural pain relievers that block pain, reduce stress and create feelings of pleasure and well-being. They are the chemicals the brain releases when someone eats delicious food, falls in love or has sex.
  • Dopamine: Dopamine can invoke feelings of pleasure while regulating mood, heart rate, attention, motivation, sleep cycles, learning, pain processing and working memory. Substance use can eventually decrease dopamine in the brain, but exercise can replenish the brain’s dopamine supply and increase a person’s capacity to feel joy without substances.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin can naturally stabilize your mood, create feelings of happiness and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that may have led to substance use.
  • Endocannabinoids: Endocannabinoids create a calm euphoric feeling following strenuous physical activity.

7 Types of Exercise for Recovering Individuals

When you’re adding exercise to your recovery plan, try to find activities you enjoy — that will make them more fun, and you can feel more motivated to exercise. It’s OK to try an activity a few times, decide it isn’t for you and move on to something else. If you are new to recovery or want to try some new activities to maintain your sobriety, consider these fun exercise options:

  1. Walking and hiking: Walking is good for your mental health and is a simple way to exercise daily. Even a short walk around the block or on the beach can improve your health and help you maintain a sober life. Hiking is a great way to walk while exploring nature, which can help take your mind off your cravings and give you time to reconnect with your environment.
  2. Running: Running is an excellent cardio exercise that releases endorphins and gets your heart pumping blood faster. Running can also be done in groups, which can help you form social connections essential to addiction recovery.
  3. Cycling: Cycling is also a great cardio exercise if you prefer wheels. Like running, you can cycle in groups to connect with those around you.
  4. Swimming: Swimming is a fantastic cardio exercise if you enjoy the water. Swim some laps in the pool or take a dip in the ocean to get your
    endorphins flowing.
  5. Team sports: Joining a team sport is an excellent way to get exercise while developing healthy relationships with others and gaining a support network.
  6. Muscle strengthening: Activities such as CrossFit routines, weight lifting, squats and push-ups combine resistance and repetitive motions to strengthen muscles, which improves your overall well-being so you can progress through treatment.
  7. Yoga and Pilates: Yoga and Pilates can increase flexibility, reduce stress, and improve balance with specific stretches targeting various body parts.


Pursue Recovery With Transformations by the Gulf

With a healthy lifestyle, you can pursue and maintain sobriety. Implementing a consistent exercise regimen into your routine can help reduce cravings and help you feel your best. But exercise isn’t the only way to pursue sobriety. Professional support and therapy services can also help you in recovery. Transformations by the Gulf offers holistic treatment to help individuals recover from substance use.

When you stay in our spacious facilities near the beach, you can recover comfortably and enjoy plenty of exercise opportunities just a short walk away. Whether you do some push-ups in the sand or swim in the ocean, Transformations by the Gulf is an excellent place to pursue recovery and maintain your health. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you live a healthy, sober life.


A woman in the woods with a backpack, smiling at the sky. The text reads,

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

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

  • 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

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

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.

intensive outpatient therapy

How Intensive Outpatient Therapy Helps Patients Cope With Depression

17.3 million people in the United States are affected by major depressive disorder. If you’re one of them, you know how bad the bad days can truly be.

If you’re dealing with depression surrounding your sobriety, you know how bad days can turn into devastating days.

You should reach out for help even if everything seems like it’s okay. One of the best resources out there is intensive outpatient therapy. Keep reading to learn about this amazing treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy: The Basics

Intensive outpatient therapy is less structured than an inpatient mental hospital. However, it’s still more structured than traditional therapy.

This kind of therapy typically meets three to five times a week for three to four hours a day. Many participants work or go to school full-time while they’re in therapy.

Intensive outpatient therapy is also great for those who have just left an inpatient treatment center. This kind of therapy can help individuals transition back into the real world. This is useful for them as they navigate their symptoms and situations again.

This is a great way for people to continue recovery while working their ways into old patterns and old situations. It is also a safer way of doing this for people who struggle with suicidal ideations.

Intensive outpatient therapy also typically also offered in group settings. This means that you will be surrounded by people who are going through what you’re going through. These people are also trying to navigate the world with you.

Having people to bounce ideas off of it great for those who may feel alone in the cloud of depression. Their situations may also help with learning coping mechanisms and living strategies.

This group will become a community of people to build off of. Having a counselor tell you who to approach situations may be nice, but having others who understand your situation offer you advice is better.



Intensive Outpatient Therapy: The Goals

There are different forms of intensive outpatient therapy. Different forms help people with different conditions.

There are intensive outpatient therapy programs for people with anxiety, people with depression, and people who struggle with substance abuse. Some groups are even catered to certain ages and genders.

There is bound to be a program that you’ll succeed in. With all of these forms, there is bound to be a group that can meet your personal goals.

Intensive outpatient therapy is made to help you build a successful foundation for mental health skills. Furthermore, it is made to help those individuals face any triggers or other stressors that they may face as they experience life.

More specific goals will shift with the purposes of the program that an individual joins. However, the main goal of trying to help the individual navigate life stays the same throughout all of the programs.

For example, there are programs that are designed to help people with substance abuse disorders. There are made to assist individuals in identifying triggers and maintaining sobriety in the presence of those triggers.

There are other goals involved in these intensive outpatient therapy programs as well. You will learn problem-solving skills, coping skills, and self-awareness. These skills will help you maintain sobriety.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy: The Difference

You may be wondering why some people choose intensive outpatient therapy over inpatient alternatives.

The most commonly reported reason is that outpatient therapy allows the patient to be present in the world while getting therapy. Inpatient therapy does not allow the patient to be present in the world while getting help.

The advantage of the outside exposure is that the patients can ask real-world questions and transition into the hardships rather than being shielded from them. The transition into the real-world is better for those people who may experience triggers throughout their lives.

However, inpatient therapy does use physical separation. Someone in an inpatient facility will not have access to any of their triggers.

You will have access to alcohol and drugs in the real world. Outpatient therapy will give you the resources you need to feel confident about your sobriety. Even though you do have access to substances, you will understand how to cope.

People who are employed, in school, or have families have more trouble completing inpatient treatments. This is because of the time commitment. Outpatient therapy allows its patient to balance life while still receiving the help that they need.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy: The Patients

Outpatient therapy is not for every patient. Intensive outpatient therapy is not for every patient.

Inpatient therapy may be best if you have severe depression and cannot thrive in the real world yet. You may want to consider outpatient therapy after you’ve had a stay in an inpatient therapy program.

There are levels of addiction treatment for those who experience substance abuse disorders. These different levels represent the severity of their substance abuse disorder. It also shows what treatment each level of severity may benefit from.

Level 0.5: This is the earliest stage of addiction treatment in which early intervention services work the best.

Level 1: This is where outpatient services may be needed. These patients are still able to benefit from outpatient therapies.

Level 2: These patients benefit the most from intensive outpatient programs. They could also see improvement with partial hospitalization programs.

Level 3: These patients may want to take part in residential treatment services or inpatient treatment services.

Level 4: This is the highest level of addiction treatment. Medically managed intensive inpatient treatment services may be best for patients at this level.

Intensive Outpatient Therapy: Our Services

Here at Transformations by the Gulf, we offer intensive outpatient therapy programs. Our program occurs three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 AM to 12 PM. Our participants typically take part in our services for 8 to 16 weeks, depending on their individual needs.

Our services are accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer a 3:1 client-to-counselor ratio so that your treatment is more individualized.

If you’re interested in intensive outpatient therapy, feel free to contact us for more information. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help with your specific situation.

intensive outpatient program

6 Tips to Help You Adjust to Your New Life After an Intensive Outpatient Program

Adjusting to life after an intensive outpatient program can be both overwhelming and exhausting to think about. It can also be terrifying for a recovering addict because completing the program isn't the end of your recovery journey.

While some walk out of the rehab doors excited and looking forward to the future, others may be terrified about relapsing once treatment has ended. Most programs that are centered around substance abuse treatment only last for a couple of months.

With the help of counselors, patients within the program learn to process life without the haze of drugs and alcohol. The program will also teach them coping tools so that they are able to handle future decisions without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Here we are going to provide you with information that will help make your transition from treatment back into the real world less intimidating.

Have a Post-Treatment Plan

If you are returning home or making your way to a sober living house, you will need to have a plan once you get there. Once you are nearing the end of your outpatient program, the counselor should be working closely with you to develop a plan to help you maintain your sobriety.

The plan will include treatment outside of the program that will help an addict continue to move forward rather than backward. A treatment plan will insist that a recovering addict has a healthy support system.

This system will be made of family, friends, and health care professionals that are reliable and will help them maintain their sobriety one day at a time. The plan will also illustrate ways to continue living a healthy lifestyle.

Things such as exercising daily, spending time meditating or writing in a journal, and perhaps perfecting a new hobby will help you stay focused on maintaining your sobriety. For some former users, the treatment plan includes medications that will help to curve cravings.

Counseling may be apart of a post-treatment plan because not every single life crisis can be worked out in 3 months. Recovering addicts must continue to meet with someone that helps them to process their feelings and thoughts regularly.

Lastly, the treatment plan will outline how the addict will need to manage situations that could cause them to be triggered to use.

Find a Support Group

After rehabilitation programs, most recovering addicts will attend support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These 12-step programs, and at each step of the program, the addict works on a different phase of the healing process with a sponsor.

It may sound incredible to finally have to stop going to meetings after a rehab program. Still, it is recommended that you join a support group such as the ones listed above. This is because, in these programs, you will be around other addicts and can speak freely without the feeling of being judged.

It takes the stress off your shoulders that you may feel if you were attempting to share your feelings with your family or friends. Plus, your sponsor will be able to point out any backsliding you may be doing that family and friends can't easily spot.

Make Better Friends

It can be comfortable to sleep back into the same old circles with the same old friends, but after rehab, when you're adjusting to life again, you should make new sober friends. Your friends will help you steer clear of things that may trigger you and tempt you to use it again.

Some addictions began because people were peer pressured by their friends to start using. Therefore a recovering addict should eliminate that negative peer pressure. If you are upfront with your new friends about your past struggles, they can help you maintain your new lifestyle.

Continue to Work on Your Mental Health

Mental health plays a large part in addiction, and some addicts have underlying psychological issues. Life after alcohol rehab can leave a recovering addict with anxiety and stress about the things that they will soon face. The important thing is to focus on establishing a positive new routine.

This routine could mean starting the day with positive affirmations and meditations throughout the day. It can also mean maintaining your new exercise regiment.

Working on your mental health means doing your best to steer clear of focusing and obsessing about all of the negative thoughts that are swirling around in your head. It is crucial to find a way to silence the noise in your head and remind yourself that you can do this.

If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed and overcome with negativity, it is never to early to seek a therapist.

Intensive Outpatient Program: Volunteer

A significant focus of the recovery process is sharing your story with other recovering addicts. In that way, you are helping one another. Your past struggles and traumas may be beneficial and help another addict relate to you and the things you've gone through.

When your program is complete finding a place where you can volunteer and continue giving back to others. It will make you not only feel good to help others, but it will also keep you busy and help ward off thoughts of using.

Know the Signs of Relapse

Within the first year of sobriety, more than 85% of recovering addicts will relapse and begin using drugs and alcohol again. This doesn't mean that your outpatient program wasn't effective. It just means that adjusting to life is hard, and you may not have seen all of the signs.

Before treatment ends, you will discuss your triggers and things that make you vulnerable to using again. After treatment, you must continue to be on the lookout for triggers that may cause you to relapse.

Triggers can come from anything, and once you allow it to grow in your mind, it is easy to relapse.

You've Got This

Whether you are fresh out of an intensive outpatient program or have been out of your program for a while, we can all use some support. It is crucial that you use these tips above to maintain your sobriety.

If you want more tips and information on maintaining sobriety and continuing the steps of rehabilitation, check out our blog.

intensive outpatient

What Exactly is an Intensive Outpatient Program? An Informative Guide

The latest statistics show that 23.5 million Americans struggle with an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

Of these individuals, it's hard to say how many will break their addictions. There is one thing you can know, though. It is easier to break an addiction if you seek help.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction right now, there is help, and there is hope.

One of the options you can choose for treatment is an intensive outpatient program (IOP). IOP programs are not only useful for helping people break addictions, but they offer a lot of other benefits too.

If you are interested in learning more about IOP programs, here is a detailed guide that will help you understand more about these types of programs.

The Basic Characteristics of Intensive Outpatient Programs

There is not just one treatment option available for treating addiction. Instead, there are many types, and one is called intensive outpatient. An intensive outpatient program has unique characteristics that set it apart from other treatment plans.

One trait of an IOP is that you live at home while completing the program. This quality makes this form of treatment different from inpatient programs. An inpatient plan requires you to stay at a facility for weeks or months.

Living at a facility during your treatment plan isn't the most convenient option for many people.

With an IOP, you get the convenience of living at home. During this time, you can continue working, spending time with your family, and doing all your regular daily tasks and routines.

For an IOP to work effectively for you, you'll need to make sure your home life is stable, healthy, and safe for you during this time.

Another type of treatment you can select is a traditional outpatient plan. The difference between this type of plan and an intensive plan is the amount of time you must devote to the program. An intensive program will be more time-consuming.

The Time Frame of an IOP

An intensive outpatient program is a commitment. Most programs generally require attending treatment three to four times every week for around eight to sixteen weeks. Each session lasts approximately three hours.

While this may seem like a significant commitment, it can be well worth the time you spend there. Developing an addiction might be easy to do, but breaking one takes time and effort.

Some people find that completing an inpatient program first is beneficial. IOPs do not provide detoxification services.

If you need to detox first, you will benefit by enrolling in a program that helps with that. If you already detoxed, IOP is a smart choice.

What the Sessions Involve

Each session with an IOP involves several different things. Here are some of the activities that take place during these sessions:

1. Individual Therapy

Part of the time you spend in the program will involve one-on-one counseling. Individual counseling helps you specifically address the issues you are dealing with.

It can help you learn why you chose this path in life, how to break free from it, and how to develop the best methods for avoiding relapses in the future.

2. Group Therapy

You will also spend time completing group work. Everyone working through the program will participate in these sessions, and you will have people in all different stages.

Group work helps you find assurance that you're not alone. You can hear stories from other addicts, and you can learn the methods they are using to stay sober.

You'll also be encouraged to talk about your story during these meetings. Opening up and discussing your struggles is an effective way to help you face the truth and work towards a new life.

3. Educational Activities

You will also learn a lot about addiction, the way it develops, and the effects it has on your brain. Learning and understanding how addiction works is a crucial element in recovery.

You may have homework assignments to complete before your next meetings, and you should always complete these projects if required.

What You Will Learn

Not only will you learn the things mentioned already, but you'll learn a lot more, too. One critical factor you'll learn during this time is triggers. You'll discover what your triggers are and healthy ways to respond to them.

They will also teach you the importance of attending meetings for your addiction. Attending NA or AA meetings can be helpful for you right now and in the future, and they will encourage you to participate in these meetings.

Additionally, you'll learn what to avoid in the future. A lot of addiction centers focus on helping addicts learn the importance of making the necessary changes for recovery.

The Goals of an IOP

The goal of any treatment program is to help addicts break their addictions and learn how to stay clean and sober afterward, and this is true for IOPs, too.

The other goal of an IOP is to find a support system to lean on for help. When you commit to a program and complete it, you are always welcome to come back.

The group of people you meet will be your support system, and you'll need people to encourage and support you in the future.

The third goal is to provide a safe environment for you during this time. Treatment centers know how hard it is to decide to break an addiction. Because of this, they offer help in a non-judgmental environment for everyone who enrolls.

Help Is Only a Phone Call Away

You can find many types of treatment options for breaking addictions, but an intensive outpatient program might be the best choice for you.

To learn more about these programs and other forms of addiction treatment, call us today or visit our website for more information.