Why Do Recovery Treatment Facilities Restrict Television Time?

Many sober living homes and treatment facilities for addiction recovery may limit or restrict the amount of time that clients can access television. Some places may only allow the television to be turned on during certain times of the day. Others may limit the total amount of time that a person can watch television on a daily basis. Some of us may enjoy watching television to relax or catch up on current events. We may have shows that we want to watch as part of a series that we follow and might be upset by this restriction. However, treatment centers are strict about television access for many reasons that can be beneficial to our overall health and wellness. Changing our relationship to television might even help us find more fulfillment when we leave our treatment center.

Television as a Sedentary Activity

Recovery from addiction involves adopting healthy habits to replace unhealthy ones. Recovery involves looking at our whole-self health and wellness, which might include changing some other patterns that are not directly related to our addictions. Television can eat up huge parts of a person’s day. Our brains and bodies are wired to attempt to gain the most stimulation for the least amount of effort. This adaptation made sense in primitive times when food and other resources were scarce. We now live in a world where most of our necessary resources are accessed with ease. We no longer need to walk or run several miles to get a change of scenery or see new people. We can simply turn on a television and gain these visuals. Unfortunately, we advanced in technology and resource allocation quicker than our bodies could adapt to the change. Therefore, we still require exercise and movement to maintain our physical health. Television can take away time that we could otherwise use to engage in more meaningful and healthy activities.

Distracting Effects of Television

Television can also be distracting us from our recovery. Even if left on in the background, we might find it challenging to focus with too much noise or stimulation going on around us. By keeping televisions turned off during the day, sober living homes can set up a quiet and distraction-free environment. We can then focus on our recovery and learn the new skills needed to cope with life when we leave treatment. Television can also distract us from learning new activities that we might enjoy more. Many programs will introduce us to new ways of living during treatment, which involves more than just coping skills! We might learn new hobbies or divisionary activities that can bring value to our lives. Recovery is really about enhancing our overall quality of life–when has television ever improved anyone’s quality of life? We may feel that television can help us to socialize. To a degree, television can give people something to talk about. However, when joining a new recovery group, people may benefit from activities that focus on one another instead of a screen. Television can deprive us of the focus that we need to be successful in our recovery from addiction.

Television as an Addiction

Addiction can take many forms in different vices. Overall, addiction occurs when we gain a high reward for a meager amount of effort. Substances, like cocaine, can quickly hijack our brain’s natural reward system. At the same time, we have done nothing to gain such an extreme and unnatural high. Television can be similar in that we get a lot of stimulation for a very low amount of effort. Any substance or activity that has such a disproportionate effort to reward ratio can be addictive. We may spend hours in front of the television as our brains do very little work to gain a high reward for stimulation. Recovery treatment facilities are actively focused on steering us away from quick-fix solutions to boredom or loneliness. Television can easily replace other addictions with its allure and ease of access. We can easily fall into the trap of disconnecting with our loved ones at home or escaping from our lives by watching hour upon hour of television. 

Recovery is about learning to appreciate healthy habits that might require more effort while helping us to grow as individuals. Television, while providing us with information and new, does little in terms of helping us grow. We can start by taking the hours we may be spending in front of the TV and putting that time to something of value.

Sober living homes create a healthy, safe, and supportive environment for people needing recovery from addictions. Many of these homes have guidelines and rules that may seem restrictive or unreasonable at first glance. Many treatment programs restrict the amount of time people spend on devices, like cell phones, tablets, and laptops. They may also enact strict television watching policies, like limiting the number of hours that a TV can be turned on or restricting television to specific times of the day. Recovery from addiction involves making lifestyle changes for the better. Recovery is about more than just remaining sober. Recovery is about adding value to life, finding purpose, and connecting to ourselves and others. At Camelback Recovery, we believe that our residents can focus on their recovery with much more clarity by minimizing distractions. We offer plenty of activities that will enhance your life and help you find healthy ways of coping when out of treatment.

Call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs!

Supportive Environments: Growth Occurs in a Fertile Garden

A rose grows best in a healthy garden. Provided with adequate, yet not overbearing, amounts of sunlight and water and fertile soil, a rose can blossom to its full potential. In a similar manner, when we are in recovery, we grow to our full potential within a supportive environment. We can become our best selves when we are nurtured with a sense of community and belonging. We thrive within stable and predictable structures. Much like a healthy garden, our environment can determine our potential for growth and change in recovery. Some of us may not have the proper resources for recovery in our current or past home environments. You may have attended short-term recovery programs for only a week or two, then returned prematurely to an unstable home life. The instability, lack of support and structure, and overall feeling of chaos may have led you right back to engaging in your past addictive behaviors.

The Revolving Doors of Treatment

Short-term recovery programs sometimes operate as if they have “revolving doors.” People go into treatment, live a sober life for a few days, feel confident in their recovery, go home, and then find themselves seeking help again only a few weeks later. What happens? Often, we do not have the resources at home to maintain our recovery. We might live with loved ones, who care for us but enable our behaviors. We could live in an area where access to our means of addiction—such as living near a local bar—is readily available. Living in unhealthy environments can lead to us feeling triggered and we can relapse. Then, the cycle of the revolving door treatment begins.

While short-term treatment programs have the best intentions, they may not always provide the adequate length of time necessary for us to change our behaviors. Humans are considered by many people to be “creatures of habit.” We thrive on routines and tend to resist change. Change, for many people, may seem scary. Even change for the better can open the door for more challenges that we may not be ready for. Short-term care may help us find some coping skills or tools to help us manage our addictions. However, if we are returning to an environment that triggers our unhealthy habits before we have had time to develop a truly healthy mindset, we may be doomed to fail and find ourselves going back into the revolving door treatment.

Healthy Environments for Recovery: The 5 Pillars of Recovery

What constitutes a healthy environment for recovery? Mainly, a safe and comfortable home that encompasses these five pillars of recovery:

  • Accountability
    • We need to be held accountable for our actions in order to change for the better. Sometimes, in our homes, we are not held accountable by our loved ones. Though they care for us, they may unintentionally enable our unhealthy habits.
  • Support
    • A healthy environment is made of both the place and the people. Finding support among peers, who are struggling with similar issues, will help you recover. They will understand what you are going through in a way that other individuals in your life may not.
  • Structure
    • Some of us may live in chaotic environments with a lack of routine or structure. We may not have the skills to build a routine and find ourselves lost throughout the day. Healthy environments are structured and predictable. We may struggle at first with healthy routines. However, as time passes, we can adjust and learn how to put more structure into our lives.
  • Community
    • A sense of having a connection with others who are striving toward common goals can help us feel a sense of belonging. Healthy environments help us feel like we are accepted for who we are. Having common goals with those in our immediate environment can help us find support in achieving our goals.
  • Purpose
    • Being in an environment that encourages us to find or to live out our purpose in life can set us on the right track to recovery. When we are surrounded by positive and encouraging people for adequate lengths of time, we can find a new way of looking at life.

Time For Change

Learning new behaviors takes time. A healthy environment for recovery treatment will allow for longer exposure to a supportive and structured space. Often, short-term recovery programs do not provide us with enough time to learn new skills or build resilience. Without building resilience and taking the necessary time to change our mindset, we may be unprepared to face our unhealthy environments and become tempted to utilize our negative coping skills. By spending time at a long-term treatment program or a sober living home, we will likely have an adequate amount of time to acclimate to our newly found sense of hope in recovery.

 

Have you been struggling with relapse due to “revolving door” treatment programs? Is your home environment enabling your unhealthy habits and behaviors? Have you learned healthy ways of living during a week-long recovery program only to find yourself falling back to your unhealthy habits? You may not have had enough time to learn new habits and skills. Learning how to recover from addictions and how to live a healthy lifestyle takes time. You are unlikely to master the skills necessary to maintain sobriety for a lifetime in a short-term treatment program. Camelback Recovery believes that recovery habits need to be fostered in a safe and supportive environment over a long period of time. We use the five pillars of recovery to teach you how to cope with life outside of treatment. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information on how we can you or a loved one recover from addictions.

Interventions Start With Love and Compassion

Joe Capela reveals his personal history with drug and alcohol addiction that led to a $400/day cocaine habit, and how an intervention saved his life. Joe now helps other families intervene in their loved one’s lives and offers them a solution from a…

Joe Capela reveals his personal history with drug and alcohol addiction that led to a $400/day cocaine habit, and how an intervention saved his life. Joe now helps other families intervene in their loved one’s lives and offers them a solution from a place of love and compassion, instead of blame and frustration, that helps them get their lives and relationships back on track.

  • Tim tells the story of Robert and his brother who struggled with addiction, asking the question about whether it was right to kick his brother out of his house and stop being an enabler.
  • Joe was in denial regarding his addiction and it took a family intervention to get him into recovery. He wasn’t happy initially but a few days into treatment he realized the intervention saved his life.
  • Setting boundaries is easy, keeping those boundaries is the challenge. When families hire Joe to intervene, it’s as much for the family and helping them establish boundaries and make a shift in the family dynamic.
  • Joe grew up in California and looking back on his childhood he always believed his family didn’t have an addiction problem, even though he exhibited that behaviour early on.
  • Even after graduating, getting married and having kids, Joe still enjoyed the party life. He recalls the moment he first tried cocaine was the beginning of the end. What started as a once a month cocaine habit eventually became a $400 a day habit.
  • Joe never realized that he had a drug problem, he thought he had a marriage and a financial problem. When he was in treatment he realized that those problems were actually a direct result of his drug problem.
  • Joe entered into an outpatient problem in 1986 where he managed to complete the one-year program, but not while clean and sober. Three years later Joe was intervened on again and went into a residential program at that point. He’s been clean and sober since.
  • They started by chipping away at his denial and helping Joe realize the extent of his cocaine and alcohol addiction.
  • One of the initial motivations of starting treatment was for Joe to save his marriage, but on the 26th day of the program, his wife informed him that she was filing for divorce. That day was when Joe tried to leave and finally understood the meaning of surrendering. Surrendering to the process and being willing to take suggestions is the reason that Joe is clean and sober today.
  • Many people that get clean want to work in the field and help other people recover as well. For Joe, he felt the call after getting sober and decided to quit working in the automotive industry to go back to school and train to work in a treatment facility. Joe set a 5-year goal for himself and managed to work in the same center he recovered in at the two-year mark.
  • He has since worked at several treatment centers around the world. When Joe got started there weren’t very many interventionists in the world and he never intended to be one. When he went to work with the County he started exploring the interventionist path and fell in love with it.
  • The time to call an interventionist is when you recognize there is a problem. If you have someone who has relapsed or failed treatments, that’s when it makes sense to bring in a professional to help facilitate the process.
  • Joe’s approach to intervening is from a place of love and concern, with no shaming or blaming involved.
  • By the time a family gives Joe a call, they have already tried intervening on their own. They’ve set boundaries but they couldn’t keep them because the family dynamic is usually too close. The trouble is there is a window of opportunity early on and waiting to call an interventionist can cause you to miss that window.
  • When it comes to interventionists, your best bet is to find someone who has experience with the work.
  • A common fear for families is that if they set a boundary the person they are trying to help will kill themselves, and while that is a risk the addict is already killing themselves. By setting the boundary you are at least giving the addict a chance.
  • Joe is trained in multiple models of intervention and it really depends on the family dynamics that determine how he goes about working with people. Joe also brings in the family to help deal with their own issues because addiction is a family disease.
  • It’s crucial for the family to go out and find their own support. Most people don’t understand mental health disorders or how to deal with them.
  • Joe is available to the family up to six months after an intervention and will travel to wherever in the country he needs to be to make sure they get the best results. Joe tries to keep everyone involved engaged for as long as possible because it dramatically increases the odds of success.

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

How Can Going to the Gym Help My Recovery from Addiction?

Many treatment facilities and sober living homes have been emphasizing the importance of physical health in sobriety. Some, like Camelback Recovery, even offer gym memberships to those attending their programs. What does exercise and going to the gym have to do with recovery from addictions? If addiction is rooted in the brain, how can physical activities help? Why are so many programs encouraging fitness in treatment? 

Addiction can be treated with holistic approaches, which involve both our physical and mental health. Holistic approaches are treatment methods and health habits that include strengthening the mind-body connection. We can help our minds recover by focusing on our physical health as well. During addiction, we may have allowed our physical health needs to fall by the wayside. We may have neglected healthy eating and exercise habits. Our physical health can impact how we feel and can play an essential role in our emotional regulation. 

Releasing “Feel Good” Chemicals

Exercise can help us manage anxiety and depression by burning off excess energy and releasing “feel good” chemicals in our brains. These chemicals are released in our minds when we do any physically exerting task. The “feel good” chemicals help us get through challenging physical exercise by rewarding us with good feelings in our minds. We may have used alcohol or other substances to release these chemicals artificially. However, alcohol, substances, or other addictions only provide temporary relief at a substantial cost to our overall physical health. The root cause of addiction may be an underlying issue with anxiety or depression (or both). By exercising or going to the gym during recovery, we can help to address this underlying issue by introducing a healthy habit into our lives.

Building Self-Esteem and Confidence

Exercising can provide us with challenges that we can use to boost our self-esteem and confidence. We can set goals in the gym and see the results as we watch our bodies change and grow stronger. When we accomplish goals or other physical achievements, we can notice a change to our mindset as we begin to believe in ourselves. We may be surprised at what we can accomplish in the gym! This confidence can carry over into other areas of our lives. If we can regularly tackle a challenge in the gym, we may feel more confident dealing with other obstacles on our path to recovery. 

Tips for Success in Exercise and Gyms

When we go to the gym, we may jump into the activity quickly and burn out within a few weeks. This can happen to a lot of people both in and out of recovery treatment. Gym memberships and attendance tend to spike following the New Year’s holiday, as people make vague health resolutions. As weeks go on, attendance drops as people fail to commit to their resolutions and new-found goals. Often, these people are unprepared for the commitment of building a weekly routine for their exercise goals. They also may not be prepared for the length of time required to form new habits and give up before giving themselves an appropriate amount of time to change. Here are some tips that we can use to be more successful in maintaining our exercise and gym routines:

  • Create a playlist of songs we enjoy. Music can help us focus on our exercise routines by cutting out other background noises that can be distracting. Music can also boost our mood or make us feel good or powerful! We might even find that we enjoy going to the gym as a time to listen to our favorite songs.
  • Pick the right time. Many people think that we have to work out in the mornings to get the best results. The truth is that the best time to exercise is whenever we are exercising! Finding a time that will work best for ourselves will help us stick to our new habits. For some people, this is before or after work. Others may have extended lunch breaks and can exercise at this time.
  • Go with a partner. Starting a new workout routine can be challenging to do alone. We might know someone else interested in our new goal. Our gym partner can help to support us and keep us motivated. They can also help to hold us accountable.
  • Set a goal. Our goals to exercise can be simple. We may want to keep a number in mind to help us stick to the plan. Our goal can be something like, “I will run on the treadmill for 20 minutes, three times per week.” Another goal may be, “I will complete a weight lifting routine four times per week.” (Bonus tip: when starting with exercise, set a goal around building the routine and not losing a specific amount of body weight, running a certain speed or benching pressing a set amount of weight.) As we build the habit of going to the gym or routine exercise, we can then start to work towards those other goals. Keep it simple at first!)

 

Physical health and wellness can go a long way in our recovery. We can open the door to forming new healthy habits, building new friendships, and building our self-confidence by exercising regularly. Many recovery treatment facilities and sober living homes emphasize the importance of maintaining our physical health needs as we form healthy habits during recovery. Addiction can take a tremendous toll on our physical selves. We may have gained weight or lost strength due to our bad habits. We may get winded easily and struggle to get through the day. By building up our physical selves, we can be strong to face the daily challenges of recovery! Camelback Recovery understands the critical role that healthy eating and exercise can play in addiction treatment. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss how our sober living programs can help you with your whole-health needs!

Overcoming Shame and Recovering From Sexual Addictions

Many of those seeking to recover from addictions of all kinds struggle in dealing with shame. Sometimes, you experience shame due to feeling weak, admitting that you need help, or having guilt over past actions. For those with sexual addictions, shame is a common barrier to treatment and many people may never find a way to recover. Sexual behavior is a private and personal matter for most people. When sexual behavior is used to cope with other stressors in life, a person might become addicted to the feelings of excitement and release, much like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. While anyone in recovery from sexual addiction or any other addiction has likely hurt others in their past, the key to recovery is separating your addictive behavior from your true self. During recovery, you have to accept responsibility for your actions and make amends. However, you do not need to burden yourself with holding onto shame for your past. Hope is possible and you can change for the better. 

Similarities Between Substance and Sexual Addiction

One way to overcome the shame of sexual addiction is realizing that the motivations for sexual addiction are similar to those of substance or alcohol addictions. When experiencing shame, you may feel that others in society will judge you harshly. You may feel like a criminal or that your actions are beyond redemption. Society has come to terms with viewing addictions to drugs or alcohol as a problem that people can recover from. While in the past, many of those addicted might have denied their issues or hidden them from others, brave individuals have come forward to pave the path for others to heal from their addictions. While sexual addiction might be a somewhat taboo topic today, those who come forward now to face their addiction head-on will help to clear the pathway for others in the future.

Sexual behavior can have similar effects as other substances, which is why some people are vulnerable to addiction. Sexual behavior, like drugs or alcohol, can make a person feel a “high” that they continue to chase. Some people might use sexual behavior to cope with stress or anxiety, just like others may use alcohol or other substances to achieve the same ends. A sign of addiction is when chasing this “high” comes ahead of all other things. When prioritizing sexual behavior above everything else in life, the person might have an addiction. You might also be addicted if sexual behavior is the only way that you cope with any stressors in your life. Many people are susceptible to addictive behaviors and are not alone in recovery. Although sexual addiction may be different from others, the motivations and emotions involved are similar and often the same.

Shame: A Barrier to Healing

Shame can get in the way of healing from all forms of addictive behaviors. For those addicted to sexual behaviors, feelings of shame may be the result of having victimized others or treating a romantic partner poorly. While you need to accept responsibility for your past and your behaviors, the cycle of shame only serves to prevent you from real change. Shame can be a negative coping skill for you; shame enables you to avoid dealing with your addiction. When experiencing shame, you may feel like punishing yourself or feel like your guilt justifies any pain you may have inflicted on others. Shame becomes a layer that separates you from dealing with your emotional pain. Feelings of guilt and shame only block you from dealing with the underlying causes of your addictive behaviors. Being vulnerable to share your experiences with others in recovery can help you begin the process of healing and growth. You will find that you are not alone in your experiences.

Your addictive behaviors are different than who you truly are. Many people with sexual addictions think that they are flawed on the inside and are incapable of change. They may be unable to recognize that their behaviors were the result of poorly coping with stress or other underlying issues. To recover from sexual addiction, you must realize that your past behaviors do not define who you are today. You have other qualities and values that define you. While you cannot change your past or things that you might have done, you can change for the better. Recovery from sexual addictions—like all other addictive behaviors—is possible and there is hope for all those who are struggling. Let go of your shame and guilt; allow yourself to enjoy the gift of recovery. 

 

You are not alone in your addiction, whether you are addicted to substances—like drugs or alcohol—or addicted to behaviors, like sex or gambling. Other people are in recovery from their addictions and are learning new ways to cope with life. They have separated themselves from their addictive behaviors and have broken down the barrier of shame, which impedes many from true growth and change. You may feel guilt for your past behaviors, or you may feel that all hope is lost. However, you can recover from sexual addictions as others have in the past. At Camelback Recovery, we open our doors to those suffering from all kinds of addictive behaviors. Our home environment is a safe place for everyone to share their stories and experiences. 

Call us at (602) 466-9880 to begin your recovery today.

What If You’re Not Broken? Exploring Conscious Recovery

Tim Westbrook and TJ Woodward dive into the power of Conscious Recovery and explore the root causes of addiction. Learn about TJ’s journey in recovery and the powerful spiritual principles he uses to help people change their false beliefs and…

Tim Westbrook and TJ Woodward dive into the power of Conscious Recovery and explore the root causes of addiction. Learn about TJ’s journey in recovery and the powerful spiritual principles he uses to help people change their false beliefs and embrace their infinite potential, instead of viewing themselves as broken people that need to be “fixed”.

  • Tim wouldn’t know what his life would look like in the midst of the pandemic if he weren’t clean and sober. Addiction, suicide, and mental illness is up by 600% and fewer people are coming into recovery.
  • White collar workers are working from home while still continuing to drink, which means that they aren’t getting into the trouble they normally would and their addiction is getting worse without it being obvious.
  • The impact of the shelter in place policies has created a secondary effect on people and we probably won’t know until this time next year what level the impact is.
  • Being sober is the very foundation for the success that TJ Woodward has enjoyed in his life.
  • Many people have asked TJ how he can know whether he still has a problem with addiction when he got sober at the age of 20. His answer is that he loves his life and being sober so much so having a drink wouldn’t enhance his life in any way so it’s not even a question for him.
  • When your life is so good, it’s not worth the risk of having one drink and going down that path. As long as you continue being grateful and stay connected to other people in recovery, you will know that that life is not what you want.
  • An extensive clinical study revealed that people who had higher levels of anxiety about Covid had higher levels of anxiety before Covid. We don’t change our habits based on what we don’t want, we change our habits based on what we do want. Recovery becomes about “what life do I want?”
  • Whatever you put energy into grows, so if you put energy into what you don’t want, you’re putting it into the wrong place.
  • TJ grew up in the 90’s and recalls coming into the world pretty happy, but that quickly changed into fear and wrongness which changed his worldview. He shut down at an early age, feeling damaged and broken until he discovered drugs and alcohol.
  • One of the narratives that we hear in recovery is that someone has to hit bottom before embracing recovery. For TJ that meant feeling empty and grasping for something or someone just to feel better or feel less.
  • At the age of 13,TJ started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but he didn’t realize it was a problem until a couple years later. We don’t call drinking or using drugs an addiction as long as it’s working, we call it “fun.”
  • There was no intervention for TJ. The last year of his addiction was particularly damaging internally and his sense of emptiness and disconnection pushed him further. Luckily for TJ, he had a sober friend who planted the seed in his mind that led him to his own recovery.
  • Abusing drugs and alcohol isoften an attempt to fill a sense of emptiness, but it never works. For TJ, what he was really missing was a sense of spiritual wholeness.
  • Relapse is often accepted as part of recovery. TJ was so disconnected that once he discovered recovery he was willing to do whatever it takes.
  • At the time TJ got sober in 1986, the idea of treatment was becoming widespread for the first time. In the beginning, TJ didn’t know that he would be working to help others in recovery, he was in his late 30’s when he went back to school and focused on spiritual counselling, which he now brings to the people he helps.
  • There was no classic addiction in TJ’s family. There is a common narrative that addiction is passed on and if the addiction isn’t present in your family, maybe you don’t actually have a problem. The issue is that addiction takes many forms and doesn’t always manifest as drug or alcohol abuse.
  • TJ took on the generational trauma from his parents and internalized it.
  • Most of the treatment in recovery focuses on symptoms and behaviors. Mental health and addiction were considered separate and unrelated. TJ came into the field with a spiritual approach of reconnecting people with their wholeness in the form of Conscious Recovery.
  • One of the practices that has been very powerful for TJ is listening to his inner wisdom. The idea for writing his Conscious Recovery book came to TJ during meditation.
  • TJ loves the 12-Step program but his path took him in a different direction. Conscious Recovery is not an alternative to the 12-Step program, it’s an additional tool in the toolbox. The 12 Steps are the foundation for the recovery of millions of people.
  • Being with a community of supportive people that helps you connect with others as well as yourself is the goal, whatever form that happens to take.
  • There are more opportunities now to connect in different ways than ever before.
  • TJ’s life changed dramatically early on in recovery after meeting a particular woman who opened his eyes to the story of his recovery. Instead of trying to figure out what’s broken about someone, Conscious Recovery focuses on the infinite potential of what that person is capable of.
  • Personality isn’t permanent, we are changing all the time and we can choose the language we use to describe ourselves and our future.
  • The power of “I am…” is really important. Your “I am…” statements shape how you think of your identity and move you in ways that you may not realize. Recovery is about changing the narrative that you tell yourself.
  • In the Western medical model, we look at symptoms and try to eliminate them. The issue is that the Western approach doesn’t always deal with the root cause. The issue with the DSM is that it often puts people into a category that may not be the right one. It’s not necessarily bad, but a diagnosis can sometimes keep people trapped in a belief about themself that is not necessarily permanent.
  • The root causes of mental disorders are often some unexamined trauma, and just dealing with the symptoms is like putting a bandaid on a bleeding wound.
  • If we only treat symptoms and behaviors, nothing really changes. The seeds you plant in your unconscious grow into fully formed beliefs. Healing your core false beliefs is the path you need to pursue.
  • Your beliefs about yourself also determine who you attract into your life. If you believe you are unworthy, you will choose an unworthy life. You will choose relationships that confirm your core false belief.
  • When TJ was five years old he decided he was stupid. The healing work involved going deep and embracing the emotions of the past and understanding how and where that seed was planted.
  • It takes time to heal. Don’t rush the process but focus on dealing with the root cause as early on as possible. One of the things that treatment practitioners can do right now is start to recognize that they can address root causes much earlier.
  • Conscious Recovery says underneath all your addictive behavior is a whole, imperfect person. The wisdom is within you. It’s not the counsellor, sponsor, or therapist’s job to fix you because you are not actually broken.
  • The person who has relapsed multiple times is carrying a great deal of shame about themselves.
  • If we start to explore anxiety as a strategy than a condition, we can start to explore what it’s managing.
  • If you really want to be clean and sober, take the time to explore what is happening within you and think about what communities you want to connect with to accelerate your recovery.

Mentioned in this Episode:

What Is Meant by “Revolving Doors” in Addiction Treatment?

Treatment centers can vary in the expectation of stay for those in recovery. We may have heard phrases like “revolving doors” or “frequent fliers” in addiction treatment. What does this mean, and how can you prevent these potential pitfalls for successful treatment from addiction? 

“Revolving doors” refers to treatment centers where people seem to come in-and-out frequently. Generally, facilities that are considered to have revolving doors have short stays or no means of keeping people engaged in long-term recovery. Short-term stays may work for some people. However, many people benefit from long-term stays in sober living from three months to a full year. The habits that we have formed during addiction need to be given an appropriate amount of time to change. Shorter stays of only a few weeks often do not provide a person enough time to form new habits. As people go in and out of short term treatment centers in a rapid cycle of treatment-relapse-treatment-relapse, they may be referred to as “frequent fliers” in recovery. 

Forming New Habits Takes Time

What is a habit? Generally speaking, a habit is a behavior that a person engages in automatically or with very little thought. Patterns can help us minimize how much conscious time we spend on making decisions. When a behavior is completed consistently and over a long period, we can usually engage in conduct somewhat effortlessly or with little mental resistance. When forming healthy habits or making any change, our bodies and minds initially resist. Our minds are wired to get us through our day by spending the least amount of calories possible. Thinking and other brain functions expend calories. When learning new things, we burn calories in our brains to understand the task. Forming new habits requires our minds to burn more calories than usual. We may resist the activity to keep our bodies operating at a consistent caloric rate. Holding ourselves accountable to a consistent schedule will help us override our brain’s resistance to forming healthy habits and change for the better. 

Most people have heard something to the effect of “it takes 21 days to form a new habit.” If this were true, then recovery programs of about three weeks should be sufficient. However, the duration needed to form a new habit is much longer. Most people’s actual time to create a new routine is anywhere from two months to eight months on average! Several factors can influence the time required to form new habits. Some habits may be more comfortable for one person to learn due to their experience. For example, let’s say two people want to learn to play the ukulele. If one person can play the guitar and the other person has never played an instrument in their life, which one will be more likely to learn to play the ukulele faster? Other factors influencing habit formation can be the relative difficulty of the task and the learning environment.

The Importance of Supportive Environments

Information about recovery is everywhere. There are self-help books available, and a plethora of information about addiction recovery is all over the internet. However, if we try to master these skills or learn these new, healthy habits in non-supportive environments, we will be less likely to succeed. Sometimes, our home environments are disruptive or triggering and can make recovery difficult. When we enter a supportive and structured environment for long periods, we improve our recovery chances. Imagine trying to stay sober in a home where people drink daily? A supportive environment with others who are clean and sober can lead to better outcomes for those in recovery. 

Treatment facilities can vary in the length of stay and the structure of support within. When looking for a treatment center or a sober living home, we might increase our chances of success by finding programs with minimum stays of at least three to six months. When we are in environments with others committed to long-term recovery, we can also increase our chances of success. When our peers and companions in sober living are also committed to long-term treatment, we increase our chances of forming bonds and support networks with our recovery peers. To avoid “revolving door” treatment and “frequent fliers,” we may want to look into a long-term sober living home to give ourselves time and support to learn better ways of living.

 

Long-term treatment facilities can help us avoid going in-and-out of treatment. Sober living homes that offer long-term stays allow us an appropriate amount of time to form new habits and make lifelong changes in our lives. Everyone learns at a different pace depending on the knowledge and skills that they already possess. When we are new to recovery concepts, we may need more extended periods to learn the skills and break our habits. Change, even for the better, will be met with some resistance by our minds. We can make this easier on ourselves by seeking the high quality, long-term treatment that we deserve! Camelback Recovery believes that individuals in recovery need time to make changes and form better habits. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to get started on your recovery journey! We hope to reduce the number of people engaged in “revolving door” treatment. Our sober living homes can help you or a loved one live their best life!

Replacing Unhealthy Behaviors with Healthy Ones

Recovery can be defined as a process of building a healthy lifestyle and making lifelong changes to better our lives. If you are in recovery, you have most likely had some unhealthy habits and behaviors that have held you back from growth and change. When you engage in the recovery process, you may have to give up a lot of your unhealthy habits. While these unhealthy habits or behaviors were not conducive to building a meaningful life, they were likely motivated by fulfilling some need or want. To find suitable replacement behaviors, you have to consider the underlying motivations of your unhealthy behaviors. When you know why you engaged in your addictive behaviors, you can start to explore healthier options to meet the same needs, wants, or desires.

Behavior: A Form of Communication

Most of our behaviors serve as a way of communicating something to ourselves or others. Generally, behaviors are ways of communicating about what we want by taking action to obtain those things. What purpose did your unhealthy behaviors serve? What were you trying to communicate by engaging in them? Here are six common reasons people give for their unhealthy behaviors:

  • The need to belong. Peer pressure is a common reason that people engage in risky behaviors. Peer pressure is motivated by the need to be accepted and liked. The need to belong and having a sense of community is a strong motivator for behaviors, both healthy and unhealthy.


  • Boredom. Sometimes, we are simply bored and are unsure of healthy ways to quell our boredom. We may have grown up with parents who also engaged in unhealthy recreational activities, such as drinking excessively or using drugs. We may not have a good example to follow for how to occupy our time appropriately.


  • Co-occurring disorders. Some of us have underlying co-occurring mental health issues that drive our unhealthy behaviors. Some people use alcohol to cope with social anxiety. Others may become addicted to drugs to cope with depression. If our primary motivation is that we are seeking relief from mental anguish, then we can seek healthy treatment options for our mental wellness.


  • Pain management. We may be suffering from chronic pain and use unhealthy methods of numbing the pain by using alcohol or other substances. We also might find ourselves addicted to substances following dependence on pain management medications. Underlying emotional and physical issues might need to be addressed for recovery.


  • Trauma. People may behave in unhealthy ways to deal with trauma or to numb themselves from past experiences. Risky or unhealthy habits might serve as a distraction from thinking about our traumatic past.


  • Stress. We may not have learned healthy ways to manage stress or other emotions. Unhealthy behaviors might be our way of coping with stress. However, they usually lead to a lower quality of life and can cause more problems than the issues we sought to solve. Stress management techniques, like mindfulness and deep breathing, can enhance our quality of life and help us in our recovery.

 

Did any of these stick out to you as a motivation for some of your unhealthy habits? If so, now you can begin to find healthy methods of obtaining the same needs. When you engage in healthy behaviors, you set yourself up for growth and positive changes. 

Healthy Replacement Behaviors

Healthy replacement behaviors are ways of meeting our needs with ways that do not cause more problems in our lives. For those of us in recovery, we may need to explore some of our hobbies and interests to find new activities to fill our time. We might want to try physical fitness or other exercise programs to release natural endorphins that make us feel good. We may need to learn to express our emotions to heal from them, rather than numbing them to escape our pain. We might need to make some life changes to manage our stress levels. We also may need to learn how to say “no” and set boundaries with others, who pressure us to do things we do not want to do. 

Once you understand your motivations, you can begin to find healthy coping mechanisms. Recovery is the process of replacing your unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones. Healthy behaviors enhance our lives and help us change for the better. On your recovery path, you will learn new ways of living that may not have been apparent to you before. Be open-minded and try new things to live the best life on your journey of recovery.  

 

One of the hardest parts of recovery is changing our habits. Most of us are so accustomed to our routines that we have a difficult time making any changes, even changes for the better. Sometimes we know we want to make a change, yet we are unsure of where to start. By understanding our underlying motivations, we can begin to find healthy replacements for our unhealthy and unfulfilling habits. Once we understand why we behave a certain way, we can begin to find alternatives to achieve similar ends. We might need some time in a positive and supportive environment to create new habits. Change is hard, but you do not have to do it alone. At Camelback Recovery, we teach replacement behaviors to help others learn new ways of replacing bad habits. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information to help you or a loved one!

What Are Sober Transport and Sober Companion Services?

Sober transport and sober companions can help those in need of assistance during vulnerable points of their recovery. While beginning in sobriety, you may feel alone and lacking support. You may have had to distance yourself from past friends who have triggered or enabled your behaviors. You may also have had to stay in a hospital due to medical issues from your addictive behaviors. Now you need to get somewhere safe upon discharge from the hospital. Staying sober and secure without any support can be difficult. You may feel triggered if you are all alone, or getting to a treatment facility is difficult for you. Sober transport and sober companion services can help you stay safe while transitioning between different stages in your recovery.

Sober Transport Services

You may have relapsed while far away from home. You might have been triggered while on vacation and are now stuck in a different place with no immediate support. You may also be at a wedding or social gathering and need help out of the situation. You might also need someone to help you maintain sobriety during triggering social events. Sober transport services at Camelback Recovery can help you get from an unhealthy or triggering environment to a treatment facility. This service is available to anyone under the influence, yet safe enough to travel and in no need of immediate medical attention. Sober transport services can help you anywhere in the world get to a safe place to begin recovery treatment. Sober transport can also help those traveling who feel vulnerable while in airports or riding in a plane.

Sober transport services can also assist those traveling from one facility to another. If you were placed in a hospital due to harming yourself under the influence, sober transport services could safely get you from the hospital to a treatment facility. Sober transport also helps those involved in the criminal justice system by taking people from jail to treatment. This service can also get you to court for essential hearings when you are struggling to maintain appointments. While in a treatment facility, you may need assistance to get to and from work. If you are currently out of treatment and triggered by “happy hour” after work, sober transport services can help you get safely to and from work as you transition back to everyday life.

Sober Companions

Sober companions are similar to sober transports in how they can help you with your recovery. Where sober transports can drive you from one place to the next, sober companions are for those who need social support without the transportation piece. You may feel lonely during the beginning of sobriety, especially following discharge and completion of a residential treatment program. The initial stages of recovery can leave you feeling vulnerable, as you are now applying the new skills you have learned in treatment to your daily life. You may have had to end past friendships or have damaged other relationships in your life while addicted. Sober companions can help you transition back to normal life following treatment.

Sober companions can accompany you to social gatherings with friends, attend group meetings in the community, go to business meetings when you return to work, or follow-up appointments after completing a treatment program. Your sober companion will remind you to make healthy choices while you re-engage with life and adapt to your sobriety. Sober companions can also encourage and support you in repairing past relationships or making new friends. Sober companions can accompany you on vacations and may even live with you for a brief time.

Recovery and sobriety can be difficult, but living clean and sober is worth it! You might feel alone or uncomfortable using the skills learned during treatment as you transition back to everyday life. Any change, even change for the better, can be difficult without the proper guidance and support. Learning new ways of navigating friendships and relationships can be overwhelming at first. Treatment facilities provide you with structure, support, and accountability. You may find it difficult to quickly leave all those supports behind when you get back to living your life outside of treatment. You might also feel lost or lonely in your former surroundings, having been away in treatment for so long. Sober transport and sober companion services can help ease your transition back to your normal life following treatment by encouraging you in your recovery! Make sure to take advantage of each and every tool out there. In recovery, it never pays to be hasty or take shortcuts, after all. 

 

Sober transport and sober companion services can significantly enhance a person’s success in going back to their lives following time in a treatment facility. Sober living homes and other facilities may require long-term stays, and the return home afterward can be overwhelming. You might feel lonely, lost, or anxious. You might be worried that you will come in contact with people or situations from the past that may have triggered your addictions. Sober transports can help you get to treatment successfully. Sober companions can offer the social support you may need while transitioning back to life. Returning to our lives with a new set of healthy skills and habits is one of the goals of Camelback Recovery; however, we understand that it may be challenging to do this alone. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to ask about our sober transport and sober companion services!