• Staying Sober in a “Let’s Grab Drinks” Culture

    Posted on January 25, 2019
    By the team at Practical Recovery Separating libations from social situations in American culture is about as easy as separating hassle from air travel.  A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that alcohol consumption is on the rise in the United States, especially among women, older adults, ethnic minorities, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.  Going out for drinks is such a staple of US culture that establishing a natural, rich, and fulfilling social life is a legitimate challenge for those who pass on the party scene.  For those who resist liquid luncheons, thirsty Thursdays, not-so-happy hours, and whiskey sours, it is important to have some ways of staying sober in a “let’s grab drinks” culture. People don’t drink for a variety o...
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  • The Best College Recovery Programs for Students in Every State

    Posted on November 28, 2018
    A collegiate recovery program can mean all the difference to a young person in recovery. Having a program like this available on campus means they do not have to choose between recovery and a higher education. It provides students with an avenue to stay committed to recovery, while focusing on school, and having a community of support in a setting where it’s stereotypically a place to overindulge in substances. We researched colleges across the country that understand this and have dedicated university resources to supporting students in recovery. This is far from all, but is a great showing of support for the recovery community in higher education. U.S. Universities with Recovery Programs for Students Alabama University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL - The Collegiate Recovery and...
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  • Self-Care in Recovery: H.A.L.T. at the Crossroads

    Posted on January 20, 2017
    Self-Care in Recovery H.A.L.T. At The Crossroads by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. I recently received a request from a reader to examine H.A.L.T. in light of current research. H.A.L.T. is a commonly used acronym by 12-Step circles in discussions of triggers and relapse prevention, and it stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It is based largely on the content of four chapters from the Alcoholics Anonymous publication Living Sober. This article will explore each of the four topics referenced in the H.A.L.T. acronym with empirical and self-empowering inclusions. Hungry The Living Sober book suggests that eating or drinking something, particularly something sweet, is an effective method of dampening the desire to drink. SMART Recovery would call the technique of eating ice cream in...
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  • Rebuilding Your Life After Addiction, Pt. 2

    Posted on July 1, 2016
    Rebuilding Your Life after Recovery, Pt. 2: Time Management Last week, we covered work ethic in terms of rebuilding your life after recovery. This week, we cover how to better manage your professional and personal life with time management skills. We all have busy lives managing several parts of our professional and personal life.  Do you have that friend that seems to always have extra time on their hands and seems to be able to get everything done in a day?  Do you also have that friend who seems to always be rushing, late to events or appears to be challenged with multi tasks? Managing our time effectively is a skill we can all improve upon. It is easy to get distracted or lose focus with so much going on in our lives, even though the concept itself is quite easy to understand. I...
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  • Recovery from Addiction: Forgiving Yourself

    Posted on April 8, 2016
    Learning to forgive yourself in recovery is essential. Learning to forgive yourself is essential as you begin to do more self-healing in your recovery.  We often have a tendency to hold ourselves to such strict standards that we find no reason or justification to forgive ourselves.  Maybe you’ve found yourself in a certain situation, able to forgive someone else for even the harshest of pains yet you may be torturing yourself over a lesser offense. It is common to hold on to past mistakes that we feel are not forgivable out of fear of forgetting the hurt and repeating the behavior. So, we torture ourselves by replaying the feelings, punishment or guilt over and over again.  Staying in this cycle keeps us stuck. It is nearly impossible to truly move through the stages of healing while h...
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  • Self-Confidence vs. Self-Esteem

    Posted on March 25, 2016
    The difference between self-confidence and self-esteem: Confidence and self-esteem are often confused with one another, when in fact there is something unique and different to be said about them both individually.  "Confidence" comes from the Latin confidere, meaning "to trust." To be self-confident is to trust in oneself, particularly in one’s ability or aptitude to engage successfully or at least adequately with the world. The more successful and positive experiences we have in a designated area helps increase our self-confidence in that skill or area of interest.  However, it is possible to be self-confident in a specific area such as writing or sports, yet simultaneously feel insecure in another area (for example, cooking). "Esteem" is derived from the Latin aestimare, meaning, ...
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  • On Being a SEN Master, Part 2

    Posted on January 29, 2016
    by A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Part 1 of this 2-part series focused on the importance getting a good night’s sleep in recovery from addiction. Here, in the second part of this series, we focus on exercise and nutrition. Exercise The three components of fitness are endurance (of the heart-lungs, or “cardio”), strength and flexibility. The benefits of having a basic level of fitness are numerous: improved mood (lower stress), weight loss, prevention of many health problems, more energy, etc. Sleep also improves with exercise. The components of SEN can work together in a mutually reinforcing upward spiral of healthy living. If you have not been exercising regularly the simplest way to begin probably is walking. Of course, if you are under a physician’s care (or should be) it would ...
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  • 8 Tips for Better Sleep

    Posted on October 2, 2015
    Sleep is a crucial element of healthy recovery from addiction. “Without sleep, we all become tall 2 year olds.” -JoJo Jensen According to a study by Harvard Health, lack of sleep affects many aspects of our overall well-being, including memory, metabolism, mood, cardiovascular health and disease. In early recovery, sleep is especially important, giving you energy and willpower to cope with cravings and make rational decisions. There are lots of ways to set yourself up for a restorative night of sleep. Here are some reminders: Set a regular time for sleeping and waking up. Stick to this schedule! (Even on the weekends) Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day if you’re sensitive, after mid- to late afternoon. (According to information from the National Sleep Foundation, once in...
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  • Recovery: Separating Using from the Stuff of Life

    Posted on September 18, 2015
    One recovery group states, “We know that when your addiction is over, your other problems will probably fade or disappear, and that in a consistently abstinent state, you will find solutions to the problems you face.” Indeed, life tends to get better as you remove a major source of your problems. But some people are really bummed to find out that once they stop using drugs and alcohol, their problems don’t just disappear and they really have to do the hard work of separating using from the stuff of life. In other words, long-term recovery can involve much more than just giving up your drug(s) of choice. It also includes learning how to cope with life’s ups and downs without a glass or bottle in your hand or without turning to drugs. So many of those past associations are strong – for...
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  • Dating In Recovery: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

    Posted on July 30, 2015
    So you’ve begun to get the cravings under control and are starting to rebuild your life. You’re changing habits, changing your thinking and feeling hopeful about the future. As you begin to find more enjoyment throughout your days, you might also be thinking it would be nice to have someone to share all these beautiful things with. But before you jump head first into dating, or a relationship, you need to ask yourself if you’re really ready for dating in recovery. While finding that special someone to share your life with has many benefits, it’s also a big responsibility. Below are four questions to help you decide whether it’s time to write dating into this chapter of your life. 1. Have you given yourself enough time to develop your ideal version of you? Often during active addiction...
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