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.

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!

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!

Community: Finding Your Tribe in Recovery

Recovery from addiction can be difficult. We may need to distance ourselves from those who enable our addictive behaviors. Due to this separation, we might feel alone during a time where we may need the support of others the most. When you are in recovery, you can find a new sense of community among your peers. Your peers can help you fulfill your needs of belonging and teach you healthy ways of building new relationships. Your peers can also teach you new ways of having fun without engaging in addictive behaviors. Finding a new “tribe” in recovery can help you feel less alone and less isolated. Remember that you are not alone. You now belong to the greater community of all those in recovery, where a helping hand is always nearby!

Replacing Unhealthy Relationships with Healthy Ones

Much of the recovery process involves replacing old, unhealthy behaviors with new, healthy ones. Relationships are also important to our recovery, and we may need to seek building healthy relationships. Healthy relationships can give us the support and understanding that we need while going through the emotional process of recovery and healing. One way to start building healthy relationships is by looking to your peers in recovery. Your peers are also making changes in their lives and may have similar goals in recovery. Finding a common ground or similar interests is one of the fundamental steps to building any relationship. Peers in recovery already share many things, such as common backgrounds, similar struggles, and comparable goals for wellness. 

Recovery treatment programs and sober living homes foster a sense of community by bringing people together with the common goals of making their lives better and changing their lifestyle habits. The common bond of those in recovery gives us a sense of belonging and fulfills our need to find people from a familiar “tribe.” We share stories, express emotions, and help one another with our goals. Community is one of the pillars of many recovery programs. By supporting one another, peers build their own sense of community to ease the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can accompany recovery from addiction. Peers in the same recovery program help to hold one another accountable toward achieving common goals.

We may feel bad that we have to “replace” some of our friends. Some people have been in our lives for many years and will forever be a part of our stories. Unfortunately, sometimes our  closest friends do not respect our desire for change and may enable us to continue our addictive habits. Change can be difficult for anyone, and our friends may have a tough time seeing us change, even when we change for the better. They may also be struggling with their own addictions and might fear that they are losing a “partner-in-crime.” They may also enable your behaviors to maintain their own sense of belonging. When you notice that your friendships are not helping you change to build a better life, you may need to walk away from them. While saying good-bye and letting go of these people may be difficult, your fellow peers in recovery may have felt the same sense of loss. Your peers might be able to relate to the pain of losing friendships that you have built over the course of a lifetime. During recovery, you are not alone and you have the chance to rebuild a sense of community with others, who will support you in your goals.

Defining a Recovery Community

A community can be defined as a group of people sharing common interests that live within the same area. In recovery, our definition of a community may extend outward beyond a specific place or region. Often, those in recovery consider themselves to be part of a larger network of all others in recovery. We may find people in our community or “tribe” on online recovery groups or in our support groups, like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Most recovery support groups consider themselves to be a part of a larger group of individuals attending groups across the nation. We may also meet community members during stays at long-term treatment homes. Community in recovery can consist of a sense of being part of a larger group within the entire country or being part of a smaller group of supportive individuals within your hometown. Remember that there are many others out there with similar struggles and challenges as you who can help you find the resources and the support that you need to continue with your recovery.

 

One of the most difficult aspects of growth and change is realizing that we may need to let go of some unhealthy relationships. Sometimes, these relationships keep us stagnant and prevent us from achieving our life goals. We may feel lost or alone when beginning recovery, as we may be cutting ties with people we have known for years. Long-term treatment programs and sober living homes can help you foster a sense of community during your recovery. Many programs emphasize the feeling of community among all those in recovery. You are not alone in your recovery and others are willing to help you with the process. At Camelback Recovery, we have a structured home environment with individuals learning to cope with similar issues as you. Through our common goals, we cultivate a sense of community among the peers within our home. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 for more information!

Where Should I Live in the Early Stages of Recovery From Addiction?

“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.”

-Dan Sullivan, Author and Speaker

Success in recovery can depend significantly upon the environment in which you choose to live. Where you live when you are clean and sober plays a significant role in your life. The people you surround yourself with, especially at home, will play a key role in your ability to remain clean and sober. Choosing to live with people who are like-minded and on a similar path to recovery will help you in your recovery. Your living environment can help or hinder your chances of success and your long-term recovery. Think about what you want to become in your future and find people on the same path. You might also consider finding people who are already where you would like to be. These people can provide you with a positive role model for maintaining sobriety.

Environments that are conducive to making good decisions will help you succeed. When you live with people who are not clean and sober, you may be triggered or tempted to engage in addictive or unhealthy behaviors more easily. You want to find people who are not drinking or taking drugs. Ideally, you want to find people working a 12-Step program as well. People with shared goals can support and encourage each other. In the early stages of recovery, building a support system will help you overcome some of the initial challenges of sobriety. Surround yourself with people who are understanding and can cheer you on. You can also help your peers in recovery by setting an example and embodying a robust and positive presence. 

You will also want to be mindful of your surroundings and the community outside of your home. For example, most people would have difficulty living next to a bar or night club. You might be triggered by the behaviors of those going to those places. You may also find those places to be loud and disruptive to keeping a regular sleeping routine.

Community Means Everything

Community is one of the pillars of recovery that Camelback Recovery believes will help you in your recovery. Often, we hear that each person is a composite or an average of the five people they spend most of their time with. Surrounding yourself with people who are stable and also want to be better can help you build the community you need in recovery. Look for people with regular routines and schedules, people with a purpose in life, and people who make good decisions. Live in a supportive environment with people who will hold you accountable to your sobriety and encourage positive life changes. Find people who are able and willing to call out destructive behaviors or notice when you are slipping. You also want to be able to provide this accountability to others to foster a structured community.

Sharing Healthy Habits and Routines

“Your daily routine is the clearest indicator of where you’re going.”

-Benjamin P. Hardy, Author of Willpower Doesn’t Work

A living environment without a clear structure or routine can lead you back to unhealthy habits. When choosing where to live when in recovery, find people who engage in healthy daily habits, like exercise and eating nutritional meals. You will be able to build a healthy structure together if you live with others who are serious and committed to sober living. When you surround yourself with others making good decisions, you have more opportunities to make good decisions yourself. Essentially, you want to find partners in sobriety and other healthy lifestyle choices. You also want to have a sense of camaraderie among your peers as you create a healthy living routine.

Combating “Decision Fatigue”

Decision fatigue occurs when a person has recently undergone a long period of making decisions. Think about how many decisions you have made along your path to recovery! You had to decide on a program, a treatment plan, a facility, additional medical support, or other therapies. You also needed to make decisions as a result of engaging in sober living, such as decisions based on finances or family contact. You may have needed to make decisions about ending unhealthy relationships in your life. Decision fatigue happens when you spend a length of time making numerous decisions. Your decision-making skills begin to fall apart. You may become susceptible to making bad decisions at this time. Finding a structured and supportive sober living environment with others holding you accountable for making good choices can combat decision fatigue.

 

Your environment will play a key factor in your ability to commit to a clean and sober lifestyle, especially during the early stages of recovery. You want to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can both support and inspire you in your sobriety. Find people taking their life changes seriously as they continue to find healthy ways of living in recovery. By being around people of a similar mindset, you can build a supportive and structured community within your home. Finding people with a purpose can inspire you to seek meaning in your life. A supportive environment will set you up with opportunities to make good decisions and combat decision fatigue. Camelback Recovery believes that supportive environments are essential to recovery and sober living. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living programs and recovery coaching!

Structure and Routine: Pillars of Recovery

Building a routine is a key component of many recovery programs, and establishing structure is considered an important pillar in the recovery process. For some of us at the beginning stages of our recovery, we may be missing structure in our lives. When we lack structure, we may feel that life is chaotic and unpredictable. If we feel this way, our recovery may take a backseat, as we are merely trying to navigate through the chaos of our daily lives. We may feel that we have little control over our daily lives if we are not adhering to a structure or a routine. Many recovery treatment programs and sober living homes can help you build a routine outside of treatment. These treatment programs often have structured activities and expectations to help get you on the right path and regain control of your day.

Routines: We Are Creatures of Habit

Most of us follow some sort of habitual routine. Human beings tend to be “creatures of habit.” Our bodies function optimally when we fall asleep and wake up around the same time each day. We generally eat three meals a day, and many of us have days that are structured similarly by going to work. Establishing routines help us to accomplish our daily tasks with less resistance. When we have a routine, we know what to expect each day and feel more in control of our lives. We can benefit from re-examining our daily structure every once in a while to form healthier and more efficient daily routines. We can learn how to be more proactive in our planning and scheduling; this enables us to find more time for fulfilling activities. Some of our addictive behaviors may be triggered by boredom; structure helps us to stay focused and occupied.

Scheduling for Mental Health and Stability

We may fantasize about having no obligations: free days with no expectations or things to do; days with no schedule to maintain, where we can do as we please. While this may be a pleasant thought when we feel overwhelmed, creating a schedule can help us find the structure we need to overcome the chaos in our lives. When we are in a daily routine of only going to work, coming home to watch TV, and then going to bed, we get lost in the humdrum of our lives. We may feel unfulfilled, yet feel unable to make any changes. Creating a schedule can help you build a healthy lifestyle for recovery. Some of our unhealthy habits occur due to a lack of preparedness to fulfill some of our basic needs. 

Some of us may want to eat healthier meals, yet we feel like we do not have the time to prepare meals. We then microwave frozen foods or eat fast food, because we need to eat. We then feel like eating healthy is impossible. If we create a schedule to structure our eating habits, we can replace our unhealthy habits with healthy ones. We can start by scheduling a specific day of the week and a time to go grocery shopping. We can start planning meals weekly or by setting time aside to learn healthy recipes. Once we build these activities into our routine, we will be less tempted to make unhealthy choices at the last minute.

What about planning for fun? Some of us who are new to recovery, may resort to our addictive behaviors out of boredom. We may engage in unhealthy behaviors when we have nothing else planned during our free time. Structuring fun and fulfilling activities into our day can help us resist the temptation to go to the bar or to visit old friends, who trigger our old behaviors. By allocating time to engage in a new hobby or spending time with healthy people, we can curb our temptations to make unhealthy choices out of boredom or loneliness.

Structure for Recovery

Many recovery treatment programs may require that you schedule your day around activities and sessions conducive to your wellness. Often, long-term treatment programs and sober living programs have expectations that you maintain a routine during your stay. Having a structure will hold you accountable for participating in your recovery, and will make keeping appointments easier for you. By building a healthy and structured daily routine, you will find that the pathway to wellness will become easier. By having structure, you are being proactive and getting out ahead of your triggers before letting your day control you. By planning your daily routine, you are taking charge of your life and are taking a healthy step on the pathway to recovery. 

 

Many recovery programs and sober living homes have a daily structure, which you will be expected to adapt to. While this structure may feel restricting as you first engage in the program, you will likely find that having structure rids you of the uncertainty and anxiety that affects your day-to-day life. Structure is one of the key aspects of recovery. Learning to build a routine is a healthy habit that will help you minimize your temptations to engage in addictive behaviors. Camelback Recovery emphasizes building a routine and having structure during our recovery treatment program. We can teach you how to build a routine and alleviate the feeling of a chaotic lifestyle. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to get started with your recovery today.

Am I Too Old for Recovery and Sober Living?

Older adults may feel that recovery and sober living have passed them by. They may think that the opportunity to change their behaviors has been missed. They may feel that at an advanced age, change is pointless and burdensome. No matter what age a person is, they still have a lot of life left to live! Recovery is possible at any age, from 18 to 85 or older! Camelback Recovery in Arizona believes that everyone deserves the gifts of recovery. Anyone at any age can benefit from making better choices to improve their overall quality of life. When considering sober living for older adults, we here at Camelback believe we have the right elements to create a successful experience for all ages!

Strong and Stable Community in Sober Living

When considering sober living for an older adult, a stable community is one of the most essential elements for success. Sober living homes with shorter time commitments tend to have residents in-and-out. These homes are often referred to as “revolving door” homes and have new faces coming in and out of the home weekly or even daily. Short-term stays may work for some depending upon their needs in recovery. Older adults, however, may have been engaging in their addictions for decades! Changing behaviors after such a long time requires an environment with higher expectations of commitment.

Stable sober living communities can be built by having expectations of at least three to six months per stay. Some individuals stay longer depending upon their needs. Changing behaviors and habits can take a lot of time, especially if they have been in someone’s life for a long time. Ideas about sobriety and addiction have also changed tremendously over the years. Older adults may need more time to process the changes in societal attitudes towards drinking or drug use, as some of these behaviors may have accepted or simply not discussed years ago. The best chance for anyone to be successful in recovery is to engage in a long-term program with peers doing the same. After all, building a community and forging camaraderie does not happen overnight! 

Healthy communities are also built by instilling a feeling of togetherness among the staff and peers in recovery. Older adults tend to appreciate family-style community meals during their treatment. Meals have often been a means of bringing individuals together. Families may share breakfast to get started with their day or enjoy dinner together at the end of the day to catch up with each other’s lives. Work colleagues share each other’s company during meal breaks while on shift. Camelback Recovery believes in the practice of sharing healthy meals with our staff and residents to bring people together. Sharing meals can forge a sense of camaraderie among everyone within the sober living home.

Higher Levels of Accountability

Older adults may also require a high level of accountability. By doing drug testing regularly, everyone in sober living can benefit from being held accountable for their sobriety. Older adults, who may have been engaging in their addictions for decades, may have learned many ways of hiding their addictions. To be successful in sobriety, drug testing can help a person stop covering up or hiding their behavior. High levels of accountability are essential for older adults desiring recovery and sober living.

Support and Structure

Camelback Recovery provides high-levels of hands-on support for those in recovery. Support extends not only to our residents but our staff as well. Our house managers are supervised and guided by other administrators to ensure the highest quality of service for all our residents. We want to teach our house managers and staff to be the best supports they can be for our residents. We encourage growth and professionalism and hold our house managers to high standards. We provide them with the means for success. The success of our program leaders is passed on to people in early recovery, strengthening and reinforcing new, healthy behaviors.

Other Considerations

Some other considerations for older adults may be programs that offer weekly payment options. Due to older adults potentially having limited or fixed incomes, Camelback Recovery can accept weekly payments if needed. We encourage you or your loved ones to take a tour of our homes or read the testimonies of others. We also believe in discussing sober living with experts in the field to find the best fit for you. We have had a lot of success in introducing recovery and sobriety to older adults and believe that it is never too late to make a positive change in your life!

Camelback Recovery welcomes adults of all ages to enjoy the benefits and quality of life provided by sober living. We believe that everyone deserves the gift of recovery and that it is never too late to change! Older adults may face unique challenges in facing sobriety. They may have been engaging in their behaviors for many years and have a difficult time adjusting. They may have developed ways of covering up their actions that can be challenging to change. All adults, regardless of age, can benefit from programs with stable communities, high levels of personal accountability, and house manager oversight. Take some time to review our testimonials or call us at (602) 466-9880 to discuss our sober living homes. Our staff will be more than happy to discuss our quality program with you or schedule a tour of our homes!