Recovery

6 Tips to Avoid Holiday Triggers

Holidays can be tough. Family get-togethers can reignite ongoing arguments. Old friends can come back in town and try to pick up right where they left off. The stress of these and other factors can make it difficult to maintain sobriety. These mental triggers as well as old and familiar circumstances that had previously led a person to use aren’t always able to be avoided. In that case, it’s essential to pay attention and navigate these situations in a way that won’t lead you back into old habits.

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How to Choose a Rehab Facility

The success of recovery for you or a loved one is crucial. Many rehab centers exist to help treat specific kinds of intoxicants or to focus on different "methods." Understanding the options and the depth of each treatment on offer will help determine which program will be the most beneficial.

Because so much weighs on the support received from treatment centers, you need to find out which facilities will meet your needs. At S2L Recovery, we're not just helping others lead an addiction-free life; we were addicts as well. We understand how important it is to find a program and facility that will support you throughout your journey. We've put together these recommendations help you in your research.

Looking for a Rehab Facility

Know their definition of “success.”

Each facility has a different mission. When you're searching for a rehab center, you want to ensure their goals align with yours, especially when it comes to identifying success. Some facilities consider treatment "over" after the program. Others want you to continue attending regular meetings. Understand the scope and expectations of the program before enrolling to determine if their definition of success is righteous.

Investigate all program options.

Accessing as much information as you can about the facility’s programs can help identify which one will help you or a loved one lead an addiction-free life. Well-known addiction recovery programs are typically science-based, spiritual-based, and faith-based. Each one provides a unique approach to obtaining sobriety. At S2L Recovery, we offer a Non-12 Step program designed to prioritize growth, healing, and identifying who we are in Him.

Participants receive individual attention.

Group sessions are notorious for supporting others as they overcome addiction. Studies were conducted and found attending group sessions and relying on mutual support while obtaining sobriety reduced the need for intoxicants. However, not everyone moves at the same pace. Every participant is going to find their journey to be different. Programs that allow men to move forward at their own pace helps them stay on their course. At S2L Recovery, we provide detailed evaluations to determine whether or not each man is ready to advance to the next phase of his journey.

The program has established faith in God.

When an addict is ready to start their new journey, the addiction center should offer a program with lasting benefits that impact the participants emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Faith-based rehab programs are statistically better at helping addicts live a life without the need of intoxicants. Faith in God is a powerful force that helps in healing. By focusing on the will of God, addicts are guided into sobriety with higher rates of long-term sobriety.

Participants are offered life skills.

The first three months after leaving rehab is crucial. Facilities that offer assistance as participants transition from rehab back into their life make a lasting impact. Learning a new normal is taxing. Reintegrating back into society requires support. Find out if your facility offers 24/7 support services for not just the participants, but their families as well. Additionally, ask if they teach participants to believe in their sobriety and the changes they've made. Just because you were an addict once, doesn't mean you will be an addict forever.

The facility is a nonprofit.

Working with nonprofits fair better for attendees. They rely on donations and grants, which means the program is reviewed annually. Rest assured that enough people have seen the program and approved the treatment. Nonprofits are often more affordable than other organizations. Because they don't have to hike up their rates, it gives more people access to their treatment.

You can speak to past participants.

The success of the program can be identified through those who have lived it. Do your due diligence and ask for testimonials or whether or not you can speak with any of the men who have taken the program. A telltale sign of prosperity will be past participants who join the faculty or staff. It means that not only was the treatment helpful but valuable. So much so, they decided to stay to carry on their mission and share in their good faith.

Faith-Based Rehab with S2L Recovery

S2L Recovery's CEO, Adam Comer, says, “truly, I’ve been set free from the grips of addiction. My passions, pursuits, and purpose revolve around the belief that all who are weary from life-controlling issues and addiction can be led to true freedom through Christ”.

Many of our coaches at S2L understand the anguish of living with addiction and share in our passion for helping others. We are a Christian-based rehab center that focuses on sharing the word of God and assisting others to connect in the strength of His word. For more information about our programs, facility, and recovery coaches, visit our website.

Warning Signs of Relapse

We don't instill in our participants the notion that once an addict always an addict. But, we would be remiss to say that once you find freedom, you are immune to all temptations. Relapse is possible. Statistically, the first 90 to 180 days after leaving an addiction center are the most crucial for individuals. Recognizing the signs of relapse will go far regarding treatment. We are complex humans put on this earth by our Creator. Each response to triggers will be different. But, general awareness is progressive.

The Stages of Relapse

Relapse doesn't come to light over a singular event. It evolves over a series of stages.

Emotional

Maybe the first warning sign would be emotional changes. An emotional change would happen before anyone would start using again. Things to look for are a shift in moods, highly anxious, or more negative responses to everyday situations. When the emotions change so will eating and sleeping habits. Lack of sustenance will alter other states of being. But, a good indicator that someone is under emotional duress is not turning to their support system. Identifying any or some of these traits could have a crucial part to play in preventing relapse.

Mental

Mentally relapsing is the second characteristic change. Mentally relapsing includes an internal struggle. The person might question why they stopped using and ask themselves if going back to that lifestyle is something they want. At S2L, we don’t encourage our participants to believe that once an addict always an addict. In times of mental anguish, we encourage those to pause, reflect, and be reminded of the Freedom found in the Lord.

Physical

The final stage is the actual use of the substance. Whether it is drugs or alcohol, once the person has decided to use, it's only a matter of time before they do. The physical stage of using is what most people associate with "relapse." But, as you can see, there are other indicators that if addressed in time, could help someone.

Common Relapse Triggers

We could break down the triggers into two categories: internal and external. External triggers include people, places, and any activity that could spark a response. Internal triggers are complex. These triggers are emotional responses, feelings, or thoughts.

External Triggers

  • People - From friends to family, even strangers can become a trigger. Ideally, those who are going through treatment won't engage with those they know who are using substances.
  • Places - Somewhere with a strong emotional connection could be considered high risk. It could involve negative experiences while they were growing up or have some connection to them while they were using.
  • Activities - Family gatherings, holidays, or celebrations are challenging for those who are going through recovery. Sometimes these events include substances which make attendance even harder.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you." – 1 Peter 4:12

Internal Triggers

People are complex by design. Our Creator designed us this way. Internal struggles will look differently for everyone. But, some common issues transcend most individuals. Stress from work, relationships, or finances could impact the way a person walks through recovery. Assigning negative thoughts or emotions to our self-worth is another strain. Managing and tolerating negative thoughts and feelings is what faith-based recovery treatment centers, like S2L, are designed to do.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Becoming aware of your triggers takes time. That's why support from the community at S2L is beneficial for success. External triggers can be managed through the identification of people, places, or events. Here are a few questions to ask yourself or a loved one who might be going through a relapse:

  • Are you currently in a situation that makes you want to use?
  • Did any new situations spark thoughts of using substances?
  • Will an upcoming event or time spent with friends or family cause cravings?

You can approach internal triggers the same way. Since internal responses of emotional connection are a little more nuanced, it's encouraged to spend some time on internal reflection and prayer. At times, when we feel like we are empty, we try to fill that void with a form of idol worship.

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry." Corinthians 10:13-14

Faith-Based Recovery with S2L

S2L Recovery is a Christ-Centered rehab facility located in Middle Tennessee. We believe your addiction doesn't define you. Our curriculum is based on the idea that you do not have to be an addict for the rest of your life. Getting the help you need is the first step to success. Once you commit to S2L, we will be there with you every step of the way, offering you 24/7 support. Contact us to learn more about our curriculum.

Recovery Tips for a Sober Summer

Summer is just around the corner. For us Middle Tennessee residents it can mean an increase in activities. We often associate winter weather with negative moods, but summer can bring about negative changes also. You would think with more sunshine it would have the opposite effect. But, in truth, we always need to manage our recovery process regardless of the season. We take a closer look at how temperatures affect our mood and give you some tips to help you stay sober.

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Avoiding Relapse During the Holidays

Between gift giving, celebrations, and time with family, the holidays are stressful. And, for everyone. Those who are recovering from addiction may find it harder. With an amplified social calendar, money spent on gifts, and spending time with loved ones, we can forget to think about ourselves. What is supposed to be a time full of love and cheer can turn into stress and dismay if the appropriate steps aren’t taken. There are many ways to celebrate the life God has given us and honor the birth of Jesus while avoiding relapse.

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Addictions, Recovery, and Faith

Right now, our country is facing unprecedented circumstances with ever-rising rates of overdoses. The number of opioid overdoses from 2017 is estimated over 72 thousand. This does not take into account overdoses from alcohol, other narcotics, and deaths from drug-related crimes. It stands to reason that this crisis needs to be addressed. Instead of getting caught up in semantics, consider an even more pressing matter than what to call the current predicament, and that is how do we deal with this harmful epidemic, successfully?

Currently, the national standard for someone struggling with an addiction is a referral to a 12-step program. A program that touts a mere 10-12% success rate. In comparison, Christ-based programs using the same criterion hold a much higher rate of success with approximately 60%. This is such an interesting paradox. In a country where less and less of the population identify themselves as Christian, it is that same Christ-centered doctrine, the Gospel of Jesus, that is saving so many from the bondage of drugs and alcohol.

While the difference in success rates could be argument enough, let’s delve further into why those statistics are so drastically different. I would posit to you that in a 12-step program the definitions along the path to recovery become vague and blurry. For example, you will forever identify as an addict. With that you choose your own higher power, then you make your own moral inventory according to whichever moral standard you choose. Now compare this to Christianity. In faith, God gives a clear, moral code through His infallible word that is the same for all of us. It creates a much clearer path for us in our recovery.

S2L Recovery Helping Heal Addicts

A recent survey found that a year after having completed the S2L Recovery program in Middle Tennessee, 60% of alumni are sober. This high success rate is due in large part to the curriculum used. Lost and Found – Recovery in Christ expounds on the love God has for all of his creation. This curriculum teaches us through our faith in Jesus Christ, who was the perfect atoning sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins, we can find peace. Through surrendering all we thought we knew to be true, we can heal from any detrimental addiction thanks to the light of the Lord.

According to Peter 1:5, 6, this new-found peace is maintained by adding goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, affection and love to our faith. This is the core and heart of S2L Recovery, and it provides the broken and desperate with an entirely new perspective on life. This perspective teaches the individual to stop identifying as an addict, to discard the old self, and identify as a child of God.

In a new identity with Christ love becomes our peak intellectual and ethical alignment. S2L Recovery, along with numerous faith-based recovery centers go beyond just providing an avenue to be free of drugs and alcohol. They provide a way of life that when adhered to allows us to leave the shame of our past lives as far as the east is from the west. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us and begin the path to recovery.