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07 Aug

Finding a rehab facility for yourself or someone you love might seem like a seriously intimidating task. There are so many factors to consider, from the accommodations to the treatment style. We consulted with premier Southern California treatment facility, Oceanside Malibu, to identify the important questions to ask when finding the right treatment center. 

1. What kinds of programming options does it offer, and do those options suit your or your loved one’s specific needs?

First of all, this depends on what the substance is and if detox is needed. If so, what kind of a detox program is available? Is there a step-down residential program that follows, or perhaps an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)? Learning how exactly how treatment is structured can help someone decide right away if a facility is a good fit. 

2. What are the accommodations and amenities like?

This mainly pertains to residential facilities, though it may come into play for clients in a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or IOP, since they spend several hours a day at a facility. There are many different types of rehabs all over the world that vary greatly in amenities and extras. But with this, some follow up questions may be about the sleeping arrangements. For example, are the bedrooms private or shared? What’s the bathroom situation like? Is there is a gym on site, or do clients have access to working out? Much of these stipulations boil down to personal taste, affordability and proximity to one’s home. Oceanside Malibu offers a beachside home that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, along with comfortable bedrooms and entertainment options. Knowing what one is walking into can ease the process considerably. 

3. What are the treatment methods offered? 

Is the program centered around the 12 steps, or is it mainly a talk therapy style of treatment? Are part of the programming elements faith based, or is it non-denominational? What about dual diagnosis care? Is medication management available? Knowing what kinds of approaches are used on a daily basis and what to expect from the program is essential to the success of every client. 

4. How long is the program, and is an extended stay an option if needed? 

While the typical length of treatment is 28 to 30 days, in most cases that is not enough time for a patient to really feel secure in their recovery efforts. If the main program is 28 days, is there a transitional or sober living housing program through the facility that clients can move into? 

Going to rehab is just the very beginning of recovery. While getting clean is the first step, staying that way is the real challenge. Having a rehab with long term treatment options or a sober living program can make a huge difference. Oceanside Malibu has a sober living house and outpatient program for those who wish to continue their progress in treatment. 

5. How important is the nutritional aspect to the program? 

Studies have discovered that having a balanced and healthy diet aids in the recovery process. Finding a rehab that emphasizes the importance of nutrition as a standard in their addiction program is essential. Follow up questions may include asking how the meals are prepared, and by whom? Are specific dietary restrictions taken into consideration? Oceanside Malibu for instance has an on-site chef who not only prepares meals, but also teaches clients how to create healthy and tasty food on their own. 

6. Are their programs individualized? 

Most rehabs will claim that, yes, they do offer customized care for all their clients. However, in some cases, that is not necessarily the case. Learning if there are gender-specific groups or specialized elements to a program are important in the decision making process. 

7. What kind of specialized training does the staff have? 

Does staff include an on-site or consulting psychiatrist? Are the therapists specially trained in addiction? How large is the treatment team? Knowing the qualifications of the staff is incredibly important when seeking out a treatment program. This can mean the difference between having a successful experience in treatment or not. 

8. Are there alternative or holistic therapies offered? 

This can include treatments like equine therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture, massage, and/or meditation. While not having these programming options certainly doesn’t reflect poorly on the facility or its treatment, it may be the extra part thing that sells the client. Oceanside provides a bevy of experiential treatment options, like Salt Water therapy, surfing, and yoga. 

9. What is the success rate of the clients? 

What can you expect for yourself or loved one coming out of this program? The success rate can be a sure fire way to know if the protocols are effective. While this can be hard to keep track of, some facilities maintain ties with former clients so there can be at least a rough estimate of who from the program has stayed in recovery.

10. Are there extracurricular or off-site activities offered at the facility? 

Do the clients have group movie nights or cooking classes? Are they able to check out a local event or museum within the community? Do they leave campus from time to time, or does everything happen right where they are? Going to rehab is a serious thing, but having clients get to experience fun without drugs and alcohol is extremely important. Having a facility that provides that fun is always a good thing. 

11. What kind of aftercare support to they provide?

Do the clients have access to alumni groups or events? Are there monthly get together at the facility? Are there ways to reach out and communicate with staff if there is a need? What are the protocols when it comes to relapse? 

12. How much does it cost, and does it accept insurance? 

This is probably the most important question to ask when it comes to choosing a treatment facility. Knowing what you can actually afford versus what you need can certainly make or break the situation. It is also helpful to find out what coverage your insurance offers, which may narrow down your initial search. However, most facilities, including Oceanside Malibu, have staff who are able to communicate with insurance companies and find out exactly what they can cover. From there they are able to break everything down in a clear and concise manner, which can really lessen the confusion and stress associated with paying for treatment. There may also be options for payment plans if applicable. 

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at http://oceansidemalibu.com/. Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

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06 Aug

Not long ago, people who were interested in sober dating spent lots of time trying to figure out how they would come out to potential partners about their sobriety. Today, there’s no need to worry, since sober dating has become downright trendy. 

The summer of 2019 could easily be considered the year of sobriety, and not just for people who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. More and more people are choosing to be sober as part of an overall approach to health and wellness. Instagram influencers and companies cooking up mocktails to die for are strengthening the trend.

“As the trend towards overall wellness continues and people abstain from alcohol for health and personal reasons, it’s possible that you’ll see more sober dating in the future,” Simone Paget, a relationship expert, told GQ. 

In that piece, writer Graham Isador discussed his bumbling attempts to avoid bars while sober dating by suggesting yet another coffee shop. However, he expressed hope that the tide is starting to turn for sober dating. 

“Dating culture and bar culture can seem intertwined, but recently alcohol-free dating has become more common,” he writes. “It’s a part of a larger trend of people cutting back on booze—or cutting it out entirely. See: the rise of sober bars, temperance cocktails, and the increased use of weed.”

For people who are interested in sober dating, that means more options — both for who to date and where to go for a night on the town. Sober bars are popping up across the nation while traditional bars are even beginning to offer sober nights. University of Kentucky professor William Stoops told USA Today that having options to socialize without pressure to drink benefits people who are looking to have a good time while keeping their focus on health. 

“We evolved as social creatures,” he said. “This is a good trend if you want the experience of companionship and social culture but don’t want the negatives. It can help people make better choices.” 

Chris Reed, who owns the Chicago sober bar The Other Side, said that being in a sober space with other people who are not using drugs or alcohol helps facilitate the fellowship that is instrumental to successful recovery. That environment may even help spark love. 

“It brings us together and it shows us recovery doesn’t suck, that you can still socialize,” Reed told The Fix.

In addition to having more places to meet without being inundated by booze, people who are dating sober are also able to connect directly online using an array of dating sites and apps that serve people in recovery. 

Still, it’s important that people who are interested in sober dating consider where they are in their recovery journey, and how dating might affect their continued sobriety. 

Comedian Krissy Howard urged others to be cautious when starting to date sober for the first time. 

“I definitely tried to replace drugs with people, which just damaged the relationships,” she said. “You can’t pick up a person like you would a bag of dope and just expect them to make you feel good all the time.”

Consider how you’ll feel not just during the good times, but also if someone stands you up or dumps you. Rejection can be hard to handle during early recovery. 

“Remember that getting sober is giving up most of your die-hard coping mechanisms, and when you do so, you’re walking around like a raw nerve in the early days,” Bridget Phetasy writes for Mel Magazine. 

However, as Petasy points out, dating sober can result in a more intimate and authentic connection. 

“For me, sobriety is a constant exercise in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and nowhere is this more evident than on a date,” she writes. “I deal with awkwardness by calling it out or making jokes. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers. If you truly ‘practice these principles in all your affairs’ show up to a date the way you show up to life — with love and in service.”

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05 Aug

When Jeff H. was using, summer was a dangerous time of year. That’s when everyone — even people with generally healthy approaches to drugs and alcohol — went into party mode. Then, Jeff’s behavior didn’t stand out so much.

“It was the time of year when people started to party the way I partied all year long,” Jeff says. “For me it seemed like the only time of year that it was acceptable for me to behave the way I did once I started drinking or using.”

That’s why summer can be so challenging for people who have substance use disorder or who are in the early stages of recovery, says Jeff. He’s now been sober for three years and works at Asana Recovery, which offers detox, residential treatment and an outpatient program in Costa Mesa, California. 

“It’s really easy to decide to keep using in the summer,” Jeff says. “You have warm weather so if you get stuck on the street you won’t freeze, and there are plenty of people partying.”

When Jeff decided to get sober in July 2016, he wondering what he would enjoy doing without drugs or alcohol. He was worried that he wouldn’t be interested in any of his favorite activities, but his sponsor helped him come to an important realization. 

“I knew how to have fun sober, but I had just started drinking instead,” Jeff says. “All those things I enjoyed as a kid I actually still enjoyed. They just weren’t a priority over drugs and alcohol.”

During his first sober summer, he did all the things he loved to do, but this time without getting high or drunk. 

“I enjoy going to concerts and baseball games,” he says. “Going to the beach and just spending time in the outdoors, hiking and camping.”

Some of those activities had been pushed aside as Jeff’s addiction became more severe, but in sobriety he has been able to reconnect with them. 

“Basically, all the things I enjoyed up until I started using were things I started doing again in my sobriety,” he says. 

Still, Jeff says that summer can be a complex time for people who are in recovery. He has these tips for people who are looking to have a great sober summer:
 

1. Don’t Let Your Program Slip

When the sun is out and there are endless events happening around town it might be tempting to skip your meeting. However, that’s a slippery slope toward not prioritizing your recovery program.

“The main lesson I learned my first summer of being sober was that once you start feeling better doesn’t mean you can stop working on yourself,” Jeff says. Rather than letting your program slip this summer, lean into the opportunity for more personal growth. “When I am feeling better is typically when I need to start working more in improving myself.”
 

2. Talk to Your Friends and Family

During the summer a lot of activities revolve around drinking. Make it clear to your friends and family that you will not be partaking, and let them know what they can do to help support your sobriety. Chances are, your loved ones will be happy to hang with the new, sober you.

Jeff says that his friends never pushed him to drink, whether or not they were in recovery themselves.

“They are either good friends and respect my choices or they have just seen me drinking and using and know what it’s like to deal with me under the influence, so they are super grateful I’m sober,” he says.
 

3. Have Fun

Just because you’re not using doesn’t mean that you can’t have tons of fun during the summer months.

“For me, having fun in sobriety is very important,” Jeff says. “If I’m not having fun I just don’t see why I would put in all the work to be sober.”

Connecting with other people in recovery is a great way to grow your community and try new activities this summer.

“Getting involved in the fellowship will also open doors to having fun in sobriety,” Jeff says. “Members of the program go on fishing trips camping trips and sporting events all summer long. When you are doing the deal and really working a solid program you won’t ever have to worry about how to explain why you’re sober.”

Asana Recovery offers residential and outpatient treatment in Costa Mesa, California. Learn more by calling 949-438-4504.

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16 Jul

Clients of this luxury program can expect to receive hospital level care in a spa-like facility.

Located in Provo, Utah, Ardú Recovery Center provides luxury detox and residential drug and alcohol treatment services in a gorgeous natural environment just off of Utah Lake. Ardú is a treatment leader in the Utah area. What sets it apart from other facilities is cutting edge medical services. This is a facility that is uniquely tailored to provide treatment to those with complex medical situations that can arise as the result of chronic alcohol/drug use, or other intersecting medical issues that may be complicated by addiction. 

Dr. Blake Rapier, the Assistant Medical Director of the program, offered some insight into what treatment looks like at Ardú. “Ardú provides hospital level care in a spa like facility,” he said. In fact, other treatment facilities in the area depend on Ardú as a go-to resource for cases they are not medically equipped to handle. Dr. Rapier explained that it is understood among the facilities that if a client is referred to Ardú, he or she will be sent back to the referring facility as a professional courtesy. This says a lot about the high standard of care provided by the Ardú staff during the detox process.

Dr. Rapier mentioned some highly complicated cases Ardú has successfully treated. One of these included a case where a patient experiencing organ failure was successfully detoxed and treated. Plenty of other complications that might prevent someone from even being accepted into residential are no problem for the team at Ardú. Other conditions, such as the aforementioned chronic pain, abscesses and shingles, or detoxification cases with unusually high drug levels or blood alcohol content, liver damage or complicated diabetes can all be handled at Ardú. 

It’s true that Ardú does boast some unique medical offerings such as IV Amino Acid Therapy, which isn’t usually a service that most residential treatment centers offer. Dr. Rapier confirmed it can be beneficial in facilitating a quicker and more effective recovery for someone whose body and brain are trying to repair themselves during the early stages of recovery. By properly infusing amino acids, those who have seriously offset the levels of protein and other neurochemicals in the body and brain can achieve physical and mental equilibrium in a smoother and quicker manner. For someone who has made multiple attempts at treatment to no avail, and especially those whose medical issues have caused barriers to achieving sobriety, Ardú may make the difference. Many facilities will not even admit someone whose medical issues are too complex because it is seen as a liability.

While this is a facility that specializes in the medical component of addiction, there are plenty of other unique amenities too. Ardú actually has a epsom salt float tank, a flavored oxygen bar, and an acoustic audio meditation lounge available to those in residential treatment. Some of the other more traditional amenities are yoga and massage.

If you are looking for luxury residential detox or residential drug and alcohol treatment, Ardú Recovery Center is a viable option. This is particularly true for those whose addiction is advanced to the point of manifesting serious medical issues, and perhaps for those who have made numerous attempts at treatment and are looking for something a little bit different—and all this is situated in the beauty of Provo.

To learn more, visit Ardú Recovery Center’s website. Reach the facility by phone at (801) 823-6832 or by email. Find Ardú Recovery Center on Facebook and Instagram

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15 Jul

Setting up life in recovery is a long process. First, you have to learn to live without substances, then relearn how to face the highs and lows of life during sober singles dating. Many people need to spend time during early recovery repairing the damage that they have done to their relationships, finances or careers during active addiction. 

But eventually you’ll be interested in dating again. For may sober singles, dating is intimidating. You have all the regular insecurities — about putting yourself out there, meeting new people and being vulnerable — as well as the unique worries about how dating will affect your sobriety. 

Here’s how to know whether you’re ready to give sober singes dating a try, or whether you should spend more time strengthening your recovery. 

Have you been sober for at least a year?

In many recovery traditions — specifically 12 step traditions — people are advised to wait until they have been in recovery for a year before they begin dating. This gives people time to focus on their recoveries, without the distractions and challenges of dating. 

“The first year of sobriety is fraught with challenging issues,” psychologist and addiction counselor Anne Lewis told U.S. News and World Reports. “It will be easy for many to find replacement addictions, such as a love addiction, to replace the high the drug or alcohol provided. Many people enjoy the honeymoon phase of relationships, feeling euphoria from the new love, making it more challenging to address issues that underlie the addiction. Typically these underlying issues are related to our negative core beliefs, a difficult thing to uncover when we are viewed as ‘perfect’ by our new partner.”

Although a year might seem like a long time, it will pass quickly. Remember, thousands of people have been on this road before, and learned hard lessons along the way. If you’re considering dating before the first year is up, take a moment to reconsider. 

Are you comfortable talking about your sobriety?

Oftentimes dating centers around drinking, since going to a bar an easy way to catch up in our culture. Because of that, people dating need to be comfortable explaining their sobriety and owning their recovery story. 

Lucy Price spoke to Glamour for a story about sober singles dating and said that in early recovery she had to joke about her sobriety, but with him she became more comfortable being upfront and honest. 

“I would make jokes like, ‘When I drink I tend to break out in handcuffs,’ which lightened the mood,” she said. “But as the years went by, I became more comfortable in my skin, so now I’ll just say I’m an alcoholic in recovery.”

If you’re not comfortable discussing your sobriety, you might find yourself in situations that are triggering, so it’s a good idea to practice what you’ll say before you are on a date where you may encounter an uncomfortable situation. 

Are you adding something or filing a void?

Sometimes people look for love for all the wrong reasons. It’s easy to think that a new relationship will add something to our lives, help us be our best selves, or aid in overcoming challenges. However, to really solve problems in your life you need to work through them yourself, not look for external solutions. 

Writing for The Fix, Kristin Fehrman reflected on her tendency to always want something more, rather than being mindful about her current state. 

“My life has been a variation of this experience, from shopping to dreaming about my future. What was right in front of me was never sufficient; I was always fixated on what was next,” she said. 

Many people — in recovery or not — do this in their love lives as well. If you’re considering starting to date in sobriety, ask yourself whether you are looking to fill a void or give yourself distraction. Those are not good reasons to start dating. However, if you find that you’re genuinely looking to add something into this new, healthy life that you’ve created, it may be time to give sober dating a try.

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08 Jul

If you’re gay and looking for love, connecting with other men is easier than ever before. If you want to get out in person you can head down to the bar or club and have a few drinks. Or, you can opt for one of the many apps that help gay men connect. 

However, for men in recovery, gay sober dating can be a challenge, even in 2019. In gay culture using drugs and alcohol is pervasive, so connecting with someone who shares your sobriety can take time. That’s where gay sober dating site come in, helping you cherrypick men who are also avoiding drugs or alcohol. 

This is particularly important in a community that has higher rates of drug and alcohol use than other groups. Writing for The Fix, Tessa Torgeson recalls how using substances made it easier for her to become comfortable in LGBTQ+ space, and eventually begin dating.

“I also realized that alcohol and pills were the easiest way for me to ‘break bread,’ in the LGBT community,” she writes. “They were magical potions that could teleport me from being an outsider to an insider, give me the courage to flirt with women, to numb the shame. I’m not alone. For many, Pride and being part of the queer community is synonymous with drinking and drug use.”

People who are sober can’t utilize this easy connection over drinks or drugs, so they sometimes feel it’s harder to meet people to date. That’s why connecting in a space that is LGBTQ-focused and sober — like a gay sober dating site — can help people blend both parts of their identity. 

Embracing your sobriety and your sexuality can help you connect with people on a deeper level, since you’re not hiding any aspects of who you are. Writing for Into, Seamus Kirst said that he used to think his sobriety would stand in the way of dating other men. But once he embraced gay sober dating he realized that his sobriety was actually an asset. 

“I used to feel embarrassed by my sobriety, and feared it made me less attractive to other young people. Years of therapy, trial and error, and just putting myself out there, over and over again, has made me me realize how wrong I was,” Kirst writes. “After four and a half years of sober dating, I have come to find that my sobriety is an asset. My sobriety is a testament to my strength, and it is a part of who I am. My addiction, and my recovery, have shaped the way I approach life, the things I value, and my sense of humor.”

Like many people who have tried dating sober, Kirst found that it was best to be up front about sobriety. This meant that perspective partners or dates already knew an important part about him — he didn’t need to come out all over again, about his sobriety. 

While some people feel they can safely go to gay bars and date people who are using without compromising their sobriety, others chose to exclusively date men who are sober. Dating someone who is also sober is a good choice for many people. It not only helps you avoid the temptation of the bar scene, but it can also help avoid smaller triggers, like being around someone who smells like alcohol. 

“Some choose to only date other sober people, and I completely understand that decision,” Kirst wrote. “I have spoken to sober people who have discussed how it can feel triggering for them to kiss someone who has been drinking, as their mouth might literally taste like alcohol. I have friends in recovery who believe that only another sober person will be able to understand their emotional needs based on that shared experience of overcoming addiction.”

Dating in sobriety can be nerve-wracking, especially for the first time. However, using a dating site that connects you with other people with the same values that you have can take some of the unknowns out of it. By connecting with other singles who are gay and sober, you ensure that you can have fun and enjoy dating, while also continuing to grow in your sobriety.

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25 Jun

There are very few things about life in addiction that were easy. But, meeting someone new was pretty simple. After all, you simply needed to stroll into a bar or a party, get some liquid courage and offer to buy a cute person a drink.

In sobriety it can be much trickier to meet people who you are interested in romantically. You’re not comfortable slipping into a bar or a booze filled mixer, and you can’t rely on substances for a confidence boost.

Despite that, summer is a great time to connect with other people who are in recovery. Here are five ways to meet sober dates, and ensure you have a summer to remember.

  1. Use sober dating sites.

Today, more people than ever meet online. Not only have dating sites and apps allowed you access to more eligible singles than ever before, but they have also allowed people to look for people in specific niches. In recent years, more sober dating sites have popped up to connect people who are in recovery and looking for love.

Sober dating sites are great, because you don’t need to worry about breaking the news of your sobriety. Instead, you know that you’re in a group of like-minded people, taking one big worry off the table from the start.

  1. Connect with the sober-ish movement.

If you’re not sure whether you want to date someone else who is in recovery, you can try meeting people who are involved with the sober-ish movement, reexamining their relationship with alcohol and other substances. These people have already rejected society’s idea that alcohol is necessary to have a good time, and they’re open to meeting other people who are sober. The movement is becoming so popular that some are calling 2019 the Sober-ish summer.

  1. Volunteer

Any activity that gets you out and about will help you meet new people that you might be interested in dating. But volunteering is an especially great way to meet people. That’s because you are automatically aligning with people who have shared interests: if you’re volunteering at an animal shelter you’re going to meet fellow animal lovers, for example. In addition, people who are volunteering are giving of their time freely, so they’re likely connected with their personal growth or higher power, just like people in recovery.

  1. Take advantage of summer outings

Summer is the perfect time to try new outdoor activities. Although these outings are explicitly for people looking to date, they are a great way to connect with a new group. Community centers, Parks and Recreation Departments and outdoor clubs all organize summer hiking, kayak trips and other adventures that are perfect for connecting with others. People in these groups are generally health-oriented, and are likely open to dating someone who is sober.

  1. Take a class

During the summer, school is out, but there are many opportunities to learn a new skill. Cities, museums and restaurants all offer summer classes on everything ranging from pottery to cooking. Even if you don’t meet someone interesting during the class you’ll come away with a new skill and a fun memory. After all, what’s life in recovery about if it’s not trying something new every now and then?

Although it’s tempting to date within the rooms or with other people who are in your recovery program, it is generally best to avoid this. You want your recovery group to remain your safe space, without the complications of a budding relationship. If you do wind up dating someone in your program, it is a good idea that both of you keep some parts of your recovery separate, like maintaining separate meetings in addition to the ones you attend together. That way, you always have a safe space to focus on your sobriety without the distractions of your relationship.

Sober Dating Site connects people in recovery.

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24 Jun

“I’m bored!”

It’s a refrain that can instantly make parents’ blood boil, especially when it’s issued during the first few weeks of summer vacation. Hearing your child grumble about having nothing to do can be extremely frustrating, especially when you’ve been listening to the grumbling about going to school all year.

It’s tempting to tell bored kids to “go find something to do.” While that may work for many, it can be dangerous for teens who are prone to risky behavior or substance abuse, said Jaymes Murphy, business development assistant at Clearfork Academy, a residential, Christ-centered treatment center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Too often, instructions to “find something to do” can lead to troublemaking or risk-taking behavior. Given those instructions, teens might go find a swimming hole (a healthy way to push the boundaries with friends), or they might engage in riskier behavior like experimenting with drugs.

Luckily, parental involvement can help teens stay on track throughout the summer. Here, Murphy shares tips for keep teens engaged, healthy and yes, entertained, all summer long.

1. Help them get working.

Holding a summer job used to be a rite of passage, but today only about one-third of American teenagers work during the summer. That’s problematic for a few reasons: not only does your teen have more free time on their hands, but they also have less of their own money to spend, so they may be coming to you with their hand out.

Having a job has many benefits. It’s a social outlet for teens who may otherwise spend too much time behind screens. It also teaches teenagers responsibility and accountability, qualities that are essential to living a healthy, successful life. Plus, it gives them the feeling of accomplishment for having earned their own cash.

If your teen is having trouble finding a traditional summer job, consider letting them complete tasks around the house for pay. These should be projects beyond the normal chores that kids are expected to complete as member of the household. Instead, consider bigger projects like painting or clearing brush. Make sure your teen knows your expectations, and once the job is done pay them promptly, like you would any other employee.

2. Encourage them to explore healthy hobbies.

Kids who are engaged with extracurricular activities are accountable to people outside themselves and their family. This can help kids stay focused and avoid morally compromised situations. This summer, help your child explore their interests in a more in-depth way.

If your teen is interested in a sport, consider paying for a camp that will help them hone their skills. If they have aspirations for a particular career, like law enforcement, see if you can connect them with a local internship or ride-along.

If you are willing to invest time and money as a parent, it can pay off big by building health habits and confidence in your child, as well as keeping them busy during the summer.

3. Limit their screen time.

Today, most kids are glued to their phones. It’s not just annoying — it’s dangerous. Overuse of technology, especially social media, can erode teens’ mental health and even contribute to depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.

Work with your teen to develop boundaries around social media and other screen-time. By involving your child in this conversation you are inviting them to have skin in the game, and to propose solutions that work for the whole family.

If your teen isn’t willing to follow these rules, you may have to take more proactive measures like regularly changing the wireless password or setting a curfew for phone use.

4. Consider treatment, if needed.

If your teenager is already struggling with substance use disorder or mental illness, summer is the perfect time to get them connected with a quality treatment center. During the summer teens can complete treatment without missing out on school, a major concern for kids and parents alike. In addition, because many of their peers will be traveling during the summer, your child will be able to slip away unnoticed to get the help they need.

Teens might push back on the idea of using their precious vacation time to seek help. However, getting treatment during the summer will allow them to start the next school year in better mental health, prepared for any challenges that may arise.

5. Let them choose the family fun.

This summer, try to spend extra time with your teen. Connecting with parents and other family members can help teens stay connected with their family’s values, and avoid peer pressure. At an age when your child spends more time with friends than with you, having face-to-face time is invaluable.

Rather than planning an outing, let your teenager decide how they would like to spend the day, and just follow their lead. It may not be your perfect day out, but they will cherish the opportunity to introduce you to their interests and feel like you respect them enough to let them take control.

Clearfork Academy offers residential treatment for boys ages 13-18 in Fort Worth, Texas. Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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20 Jun

Diving back into the dating pool once you’re sober can seem like jumping into the ocean without any life raft. However, it doesn’t have to be that scary. The truth is, dating sober allows you to avoid many pitfalls of dating and find genuine connection sooner.

Here are 8 reasons why connecting directly with other sober singles is the best way to find love.

1. You’re dating someone with amazing will to live.

People who are in recovery from substance use disorder have overcome incredible challenges. Anyone who has tried to kick a habit knows how much hard work and determination goes into getting sober.

When you connect with other sober singles, you are connecting with people who have overcome the odds and survived a life-threatening illness. With that shared new lease on life you’ll have many adventures ahead.

2. You’ll never have to wonder what you did last night.

When you’re structuring all your dates around drinking, it’s easy to get carried away. Most people have had the experience of cringing after a date remembered something awkward that they said or did when liquid courage got the best of them.

When you’re dating sober, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you were on bad behavior after too many drinks. You’ll remember all of your dates, and will have many fewer cringe-worthy moments.

3. You can focus on genuine connections.

How many times in the past have you gone out with someone you didn’t really like, just because they were fun to party with? When you’re focused on finding genuine connections, you’re not going to continue dating someone purely because they know how to have a (substance-filled) good time.

When you connect with other sober singles you’re able to quickly judge whether there is chemistry or not. That way, you can focus on the people who matter, and move on from those who are not a good fit.

4. They’ve examined their flaws.

Living in recovery requires you to take an honest inventory of your flaws. Once you’ve done that, it’s hard to be in a relationship with another person who isn’t willing to work on themselves.

By dating other sober singles, you raise your chances of connecting with someone who is open about their flaws, and willing to do the work to heal them. What could be sexier than watching someone continue to grow into their best self?

5. You can focus on your sober life.

Drinkers and non-drinkers can co-exists and even have happy relationships. Still, there is something nice about knowing that your partner won’t be drinking or using around you.

By dating other people in recovery you know that you won’t be put in the awkward position of sipping water while your date downs a cocktail, or watching your husband habitually crack a cold one to relax after work.

6. They’re not afraid of deep topics.

If you’re looking for someone to share deep and meaningful conversations with, dating someone who is sober is a great idea. After all, people in recovery have talked through traumas, illnesses and near-death experiences.

When you’re dating another sober single you can skip the small talk and have conversations about your higher power, your will to live, and the why that helped you achieve sobriety.

7. You have a built in support system.

No one can support an addict like another addict. Unless you’ve been desperate for another hit, you don’t know the feelings that addiction can bring. Even the most beloved people in your life can only relate so much if they haven’t experienced addiction first hand.

When you date someone in recovery, you are tapping into a support system that can help you on the tough days. You won’t need to explain why you need to go to a meeting, or take a late-night call with your sponsor. Instead, you loved one will support you, because they know on a personal level how important these things are to maintaining your sobriety.

8. They understand that recovery comes first.

Perhaps the best thing about dating someone else who is sober is that you’ll never have to explain the importance of your sobriety. They know that without recovery, there can be no relationship, and they will support you in prioritizing your program.

Clean Sober Dating connects people in recovery who are looking for love.

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