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Monday, November 30, 2015

Resisting Cravings During Addiction Recovery

resisting cravings addiction recoveryIf you are recovering from substance abuse and have been working your way through SMART Recovery, you know that “Coping with Urges and Cravings” is Point 2 of the program. Everyone who has struggled with addictive behaviors understands the power of cravings. At times, they are so intense that they can cause you to lose focus on your sobriety goals altogether. If you fear that you won’t be able to fend off the next urge to drink or use, remember that cravings are normal. Normalizing these uncomfortable desires can help you realize that they won’t last forever.

4 Ways to Beat a Craving
According to the SMART Recovery program, there are dozens of ways to deal with addiction urges. Consider these sample strategies offered by SMART Recovery UK next time you feel compelled to drink or use:

Delay. We are more likely to give into temptation when we allow a craving to hold our attention. The urge to use drugs may come from exposure to a place, a person, or a bad feeling, but the key to overcoming it is removing the stimulus and riding out the craving. Urges pass when you choose not to give in. Over time, you will have fewer cravings—and they will become more manageable. Stay strong in the meantime.

Escape. It stands to reason that if you are in a threatening situation, you should leave. The same is true for cravings. When your sobriety is on the line, take action. Change the television channel, leave the party, or avoid shopping in stores that sell alcohol. Escape the trigger that is tempting you and focus on something else.

Substitute. When cravings come on fast, be prepared to shift gears. Have a list of activities that you substitute for drinking or using. These may include exercise, reading, music, massage, or yoga. The quicker you are able to deploy a substitute activity, the lower the chances of giving into an unhealthy urge.

Accept. Put substance urges into perspective and learn to accept discomfort as you travel through the recovery process. Remember that cravings won’t kill you. Instead, they present an opportunity for you to overcome them and experience growth in your sobriety journey. With each craving you combat, you become more able to deal with the next one.

Complete Harmony Helps You Say “No” to Cravings
Complete Harmony is a non-traditional drug and alcohol recovery program offering SMART Recovery training, among other options. Empowering clients to achieve and maintain sobriety through non-12-step and holistic therapies, we help you find the inner strength you need to become your very best you. To begin fighting cravings and discover the freedom that comes with taking charge of your sober lifestyle, call 866.930.4673 today. Our compassionate team members are waiting to take your call and begin the admissions process.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The New Frontier: Virtual Reality Therapy

virtual reality therapy addiction treatmentScience fiction is becoming reality in addiction treatment as researchers bring online the newest application for virtual reality: drug and alcohol addiction therapy. Teams in South Korea and at the University of Houston have been studying this new form of therapy, and their research is yielding promising results.

Situational Therapy at a New Level
For years, therapists have employed role-playing as a technique to prepare their recovering patients to deal with uncomfortable interactions and relapse triggers. Modeling situations which might induce a return to addictive behaviors gave therapists insight into the vulnerability and unpreparedness of their clients. They were then able to replay the scene, using strategies and coping mechanisms for successfully managing such situations without returning to risky behaviors. With the advent of virtual reality, such role-playing scenes become much more realistic and provide an experience that more closely mirrors real life.

Involving All the Senses
The virtual reality programs that are being developed for addiction therapy are rooted in realism, using input from actual users. Scenes reference the settings, sounds, smells and activities common to drug and alcohol use. These atmospheric cues are used to induce cravings, indicating how completely users can be involved in the program. More sophisticated VR programs are giving operators the ability to change details and present specific cues, indicating the extent to which such programs may one day be tailored the individual.

Still in the Research Stage
Virtual reality as a treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is still being developed and tested. Studies have been small, and more research is needed to measure the long-term effectiveness of the therapy. For the time being, VR programs are being studied as a complement to established therapies.

The potential for virtual reality therapy is enormous. The technology is being tested in conjunction with treatments for smoking cessation and PTSD, as well as alcohol abuse, marijuana use, and even heroin addiction. The greatest promise lies in the potential of VR to offer a low cost, individualized, avoidance therapy which may some day be delivered right to your smart phone, for use whenever you need it.

State of the Art Holistic Treatment
If you have tried to shake off your addiction without success, Complete Harmony, CA’s holistic drug treatment center, may hold the answer for you. Cutting edge therapies and alternative approaches address the needs of the whole person: mind, body, and spirit. You will be empowered to take charge of your life, your choices, your recovery. Call 866-930-4673 to learn about our comprehensive residential treatment plans and start your admission process.

Monday, November 16, 2015

For a Happy Holiday Season, Stay the Course in Recovery

holidays in addiction recoveryThis is the time of year when traditions take center stage as friends and families plan to gather for festive meals and holiday celebrations. Decorations come out of storage, favorite recipes are featured on the menu, and friendships and family ties are renewed. Life takes on a warm aura of happiness and anticipation.

At least, that is the myth. 
The reality is that these holiday celebrations often bring feelings of stress, anxiety, and dread. For people in early recovery, the holidays can be an especially difficult time, when you are likely to be exposed to social occasions with alcohol, uncomfortable questions, old friends, and old habits. In other words, you will probably encounter every one of those relapse triggers you were warned about in rehab.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays and still stay on your recovery path. 

1. Feel free to say, “No.” Give yourself permission to stay out of situations that are unhealthy for you – even if they are fine for other people.
2. Anticipate uncomfortable situations. Prepare an answer for those life-update questions your great aunt always asks. Make sure your favorite non-alcoholic beverage is on hand. Have an alternative engagement planned in case old friends try to coax you into old partying habits.
3. Stick to a regular schedule. Don’t neglect your exercise, meditation, sleep, and nutrition routines. You’ll be better able to cope with holiday stress.
4. Use your support network. Attend extra meetings and talk with your sponsor, counselor, or pastor. Your support network may offer holiday social functions that are now more satisfying for you. Enjoy your new friends.
5. Break with tradition and try something new. Plan a holiday trip or a local excursion. See a play or attend a museum. Volunteer to help distribute toys or serve a holiday dinner for the homeless.
6. Practice gratitude for the opportunities recovery has given you. Look beyond the holidays to your life in sobriety. New interests, new friends, a sense of self-worth, energy, and accomplishment are all possible in a sober life.

Are the holidays the right time to begin your recovery? 
There is no season to addiction or recovery. If it is time for a new beginning in your life, don’t let the holidays stand in your way. Complete Harmony, CA’s alternative, holistic rehab center, can tailor a treatment program to meet your needs at any time of year. Call 866-930-4673 to begin the streamlined admissions process and insurance verification today.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Empowering Change with SMART Addiction Recovery

SMART addiction recovery rehab CAAt Complete Harmony, we partner with clients seeking to fuel their recovery success with non-traditional, non-12-step programs. One of our program offerings, SMART Recovery® (Self-Management and Recovery Training), helps people recover from cocaine addiction, prescription drug addiction, gambling addiction, alcohol addiction, pornography addiction, chemical dependency, and other destructive behaviors by providing the tools for self-directed change. During your SMART experience, you may participate in face-to-face and online meetings, 24/7 chat rooms and forums, and other recovery support opportunities.

What makes SMART Recovery® different from 12-step programs? 

• SMART Recovery provides a groundwork of evidence-based addiction science to help participants take control of themselves and abandon destructive, self-defeating behaviors. The science of addiction is a critical part of the SMART Recovery plan. The program is a secular alternative to AA, NA, and similar 12-step programs, and it continually evolves as addiction research evolves.

• While participants may embrace spirituality on their own, the SMART Recovery program does not focus on religious or spiritual beliefs. Instead, it emphasizes that real change lies in self-empowerment.

• You will not have a sponsor in SMART Recovery, and are encouraged to avoid labels like “addict” or “alcoholic.”

• You will talk with one another rather than to one another during SMART Recovery meetings. The SMART Recovery program encourages dialogue as part of the learning process, but participants are not pressured to participate.

SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program 

SMART Recovery teaches men and women a four-point program, offering support and teaching tools for each point. The four points include:

1. Building & maintaining motivation to abstain from addictive behaviors.
2. Coping with urges and cravings.
3. Problem solving through rational management of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
4. Achieving lifestyle balance by learning to balance short-term and enduring pleasures and satisfactions.

Smart Recovery Program at Complete Harmony

SMART Recovery is ideal for men and women seeking an alternative to 12-step approaches, which may not align with their spiritual values, personal beliefs, or recovery objectives. The Complete Harmony team will help you determine if the Self Management for Addiction Recovery plan is right for you, and will help you join a community of individuals seeking a self-reliant approach to treatment. To learn more about our other alternative therapies and non-12-step plans, call 866.960.4673 today!
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