How Group Learning During Treatment Benefits Recovery

How Group Learning During Treatment Benefits Recovery

Many treatment methods have been proven to treat substance addiction successfully. These methods can be a combination of mental and physical health treatments, as substance abuse affects both the body and brain. One successful treatment involves group learning, in which one or more facilitators lead a group of clients, perhaps anywhere from five to 15 people, to discuss their sobriety journeys with one another.

This may seem intimidating on its face, but it’s a similar model that sobriety groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs use and have seen great success from. For people who are afraid of upsetting close friends and relatives or may experience a good deal of judgment for this particular struggle, it can actually be easier to share with strangers than people they actually know. In group settings like these, there is no prior reputation to uphold; it’s already a given that everyone is there for the same reason. One thing is certain: These people understand how hard it is. They understand at a personal level that few others can.

Many group sessions are organized around an issue that is common to group members, regardless of age, sex, background, etc. These topics can range from dealing with stress or loneliness in healthy ways to building self-confidence and developing a sense of self-awareness and humility. The support that is built in group learning is different than what you would experience when meeting with a therapist one-on-one (though that is also helpful for many people).

The Benefits of Group Learning for Sobriety

There are many causes of addiction; scientists believe it’s a combination of environmental factors and genetics. Whatever it was for you, there is likely another person (or two, or three, or more) in a group whose addiction has similar roots. Knowing you aren’t the only person to experience trauma, depression, grief, or family members who also use drugs or alcohol can help make it easier to open up about your own struggle. You may not feel comfortable speaking up at first, but you never know what you might say that makes another group member feel seen and less alone.

Additional benefits of group learning include:

A Supportive Network

People need communal support to thrive, with or without an addiction problem. But in the process of recovery, it’s essential. It can be hard to find that particular support in one’s own family or friend group, but a group learning environment at a treatment center is full of people working towards the same goal. Having a support network can also show you how to effectively communicate your needs and learn to ask for help when you need it. The fear of asking for help often keeps addiction hidden and enables it to thrive. But asking for help can break the spell of secrecy and shame.

Feeling Connected

Group therapy probably isn’t the first place one would think to go to make new friends, but it happens. People who have been through the same depths can often bond for life. When you have a solid connection to others, you also develop a strong connection to yourself by recognizing your own strengths. Connecting to others in group learning can help provide a greater sense of purpose after you leave the recovery program and start a new sober life.

Getting Beyond Your Comfort Zone

This is arguably one of the hardest parts of group learning activities and therapies, especially for introverted personalities. But seeking help for addiction is already a hard, uncomfortable process. This is a place where it’s safe and encouraged to take emotional risks. Communicating your struggles with a group can make it less intimidating to advocate for yourself outside of the group – that is, asking for help or support when you need it. Communicating fears, traumas, and other emotional stressors can become easier with time and deepen your relationships with others going through similar things.

However, while there is a lot of overlap in experiences in group settings, no two people are exactly alike. Exposure to different perspectives and stories is part of how we grow into more well-rounded, compassionate people.

Learning New Skills

Part of rewiring a brain that’s been damaged by long-term substance use involves learning new cognitive and behavioral skills. This can look like replacing unhealthy behavior patterns with healthier ones and learning better coping mechanisms. One benefit of learning these skills in a group setting is that it allows you to practice them with others. Interacting with others can help inspire new ways of thinking and interacting with the world around you.

Group settings can also allow for feedback, both to you and to others. When your self-image is distorted, learning new skills in a group can increase self-awareness. It is essential to improve how we live and interact with others before reinitiating ourselves into the world outside the treatment facility.

Learn From Others at Enlightened Solutions

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of group learning activities to help our clients heal and cope. Some groups are gender-specific, while others are co-ed to enhance learning from those who differ from us. We also offer nutrition groups, family therapy, and more.

Many people might feel strange about doing group learning activities while in recovery simply because addiction is such a personal thing. However, you may find (as many of our clients have) that group learning allows everyone to learn from and encourage one another. At Enlightened Solutions, we firmly believe that it takes a community and a strong support network to fully recover from substance addiction. This community not only encourages you during challenges to sobriety but can also help hold you accountable and remind you why you are pursuing sobriety in the first place. To learn more about the treatment programs we offer, contact Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Do I Choose the Right Treatment Program?

How Do I Choose the Right Treatment Program?

Addiction is a challenging yet treatable disease. Research has found many methods that can help people stop using drugs and live healthy and sober lives. Of these methods, one of the most crucial is to find effective treatment that fits your needs. Spending time choosing a treatment program that is right for you is well worth it, as you are more likely to get the help you need to be delivered in a way that you connect with.

Choosing the best treatment program for you can seem daunting, but luckily, there are many different options out there. They vary in the types of therapy they offer, what they specialize in, cost, location, and other factors. These are all aspects of a treatment program you should consider when exploring the right treatment program for you.

Identifying What You Need From a Treatment Program

The first step to identifying the right treatment program for you is to determine what you need out of it, recognizing what substances, behaviors, and mental health disorders you are looking to find treatment for. For example, if you need treatment for addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, you will want to look for a program that includes dual-diagnosis care.

You also need to explore different treatment approaches and which of them you think will work for you. It can be challenging to figure this out, but speaking with a mental health care provider can help you to identify your needs better if this is something you are struggling with.

Treatment Program Options

Addiction treatment programs include different options. Below, we will discuss what aspect of a treatment program to ask about and consider when deciding on a program.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Addiction treatment generally comes in two forms – inpatient programs and outpatient programs. An inpatient program offers live-in care as you receive treatment; this often includes a medical detox that initiates the treatment process. Outpatient programs require you to live at home as you go to a treatment center to receive services during the day.

Each of these options has a place in treatment and recovery. Inpatient programs are generally suggested for those entering treatment for the first time. However, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) is beneficial for individuals concerned about relapse or who have recently relapsed.

Treatment Specialties

Every treatment center has certain types of addiction they treat and methods of treatment. For example, some treatment facilities only offer treatment for alcohol addiction.

Specialties can also include the approach of the treatment center. For example, at Enlightened Solutions, we specialize in holistic addiction treatment. This means that our treatment options are centered around treating the whole person. Due to this specialty, we include organic food, exercise programs, and stress management skills in our treatment programs.

Treatments and Therapies Available

Different types of therapies and treatments will be more effective for you than others. If you do not know what is or will be most effective for you, that's okay. The first step is reading about the types of treatments available for addiction and learning what is offered within the programs you are looking into.

Treatment options often include some of the following:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Different types of group therapy
  • Learning life skills
  • Therapy for specific mental health disorders
  • Detox

Speaking with a mental health care professional at a treatment facility can help you decide. Such a conversation will be two-sided and informative. They will ask you questions that help them – and you – learn if the specific treatment program is well-suited for your individual needs.

Location of the Treatment Program

The location of a treatment program is also essential. However, this is a preference that will vary for each person. Some may want to stay close to family and friends, while others may desire and benefit from treatment far from home and in a different environment.

Length of the Treatment Program

Treatment facilities often offer multiple options regarding the length of treatment. Standard program lengths are 30, 60, or 90 days. An ideal length of a program will vary depending on your needs. The cost, amount of time available, and need for detox can all play into your decision.

Again, speaking with a provider will help you to determine what is best for your needs in terms of length of stay. They will be able to help you understand the benefits and downsides of different program lengths.

Price of Services

The cost of addiction treatment is an important factor when considering different programs. Asking the facility what options are available and the cost of different programs will help you to learn if they will work for you.

Many treatment programs take insurance and will verify if your insurance company will cover your treatment if you inquire about it. This is a great option to look into and can make treatment affordable.

Treatment programs vary in price, length, location, and more. Finding the right program that fits your needs will help you to be more successful in your recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer holistic treatment options that address mental health and substance use disorders. Our specialty is treating each client as a whole person. We help our clients learn life skills through treatment so they can return to their everyday lives with a foundation to build a sober life. If you are searching for the best treatment option for you, we can help. Call us today at (833) 801-LIVE to speak with a staff member about our program and if it is the right fit for you. 


How to Avoid Using Substances to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

How to Avoid Using Substances to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Recovery from substance abuse is challenging at any time of year, but it can be especially discouraging during the long winter months. We often forget just how much impact natural light has on our overall mood until the days become shorter and cloudiness is the new norm. Increased feelings of sadness during this season are such a common phenomenon that it has a name: seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Those in recovery from substance abuse may already have depression. Seasonal depression, on top of that, can potentially increase the risk of relapse. Fortunately, support is out there. Learning about healthy resources can help you cultivate healthy coping strategies that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD functions similarly to clinical depression. The symptoms – pervasive feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of energy for longer than two weeks – can overlap. For most people, the onset of symptoms happens during autumn and worsens after Daylight Savings time, when the days contain less sunlight. Symptoms can naturally dissolve on their own come spring, but the months leading up to that change in season can feel long and begrudging.

Other symptoms of SAD include losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, disrupted sleep, and sometimes suicidal thoughts. People in recovery from addiction may experience an increased temptation to use substances during this period.

The Link Between Seasonal Affective Disorder and Substance Abuse

It’s quite common for people experiencing addiction to have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The most common mental health disorders include anxiety and depression, which can be an underlying cause of substance use as a means of “escaping” negative emotions. Using substances as a coping mechanism for depression can train the brain to rely on those chemicals to feel better, altering the pleasure center to lose interest in other activities. When the effects wear off, it will require higher amounts of drugs or alcohol to reach that place of pleasure again. This is how addiction develops.

SAD and substance abuse can go hand in hand, though they do not have to. While the correlation between SAD and substance abuse exists, there is no definitive proof that one causes the other. These conditions are more likely to affect people who are already predisposed, either through genetics or their environment.

Building Resilience While Coping With SAD in Recovery

It’s a two-fold battle to simultaneously deal with SAD and substance abuse recovery. Don’t beat yourself up for struggling more during this season – you are far from alone! Here are a few suggestions to prioritize recovery during these literal dark days.

Attend Recovery Meetings

Local 12-Step meetings can be constructive for building community and finding encouragement. Chances are, you will not be the only person struggling harder with recovery during the winter months. This is an opportunity to talk with others who share that same experience.

Meet With a Mentor or Sponsor

Most 12-Step groups have a sponsor or mentorship program where you can meet one-on-one outside of group meetings for individual help. These mentors or sponsors are often further along in their recovery journey and can offer encouragement, accountability, and advice.

Practice Healthy Self-Care Habits

You’ll want to be especially kind to yourself during the winter season. Make sure you’re eating well, getting plenty of exercise, and getting outside when you can. The sun is still present even on cloudy days, and a little bit of natural light is better than none at all.

Holistic Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

The most common treatment for depression is antidepressants. These medications are an effective solution for managing depression symptoms for some, though not everyone responds well to them. Some antidepressants cause unpleasant side effects in certain people, which your doctor should explain before prescribing them. These side effects can include weight gain, insomnia, and a loss of libido. It often requires tinkering with the dosage or changing medications more than once to find the proper regimen.

These medications can correct chemical imbalances in the brain but aren’t a permanent solution. That’s why Enlightened Solutions believes in developing healthy coping mechanisms along with holistic treatments that can be easily integrated into your lifestyle. There is no prescription needed for healthier life choices. Many people who have had little luck with prescription drugs find renewed hope and solid answers in our treatment program. The natural healing path may not be for everyone, but we believe it is the most effective.

Natural Treatments for SAD in Recovery

We offer a variety of treatment methods for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse that are natural and sustainable. While we are not against using medications, we discourage relying on them as the primary way of changing negative thought and behavior patterns. Instead, we recommend a combination of herbal supplements, experiential therapies, acupuncture, and more.

We believe that true clarity and peace are possible when the body is free of as many unnatural chemicals as possible. This is part of our comprehensive “whole-person” approach. Being unwell in the body leads to unwellness in the mind and spirit. Our treatment methods aim to heal you completely rather than specific parts and pieces. We teach our clients to find solutions within themselves, which are free to access at any time, without a prescription or the need for insurance. With this approach, unwanted side effects can be avoided.

Recovery from substance abuse is hard, and the dark days of winter certainly don't make it any easier. If you struggle harder with depression and the temptation to relapse once you turn the clocks back, you are not alone. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of natural and sustainable treatments for co-occurring disorders, including mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, and more. Whether you need to detox from drugs or alcohol or a rehabilitation program specific to your situation, we are here to help. If you're struggling with SAD, addiction, or both, please call us today at (833) 801-LIVE and speak with our knowledgeable, compassionate staff to learn about your options. 


5 Ways to Connect With Nature Through Horticulture Therapy

5 Ways to Connect With Nature Through Horticulture Therapy

Most people enjoy getting outside and enjoying the beauty of nature. Aside from being abundantly beautiful, did you also know that it’s good for your health? Nature has intrinsic properties that help restore balance to our souls and peace in our moods. Whether you’re getting outside for a hike, paddling across a lake, or simply admiring a beautiful flower in your yard, you are not just feasting your eyes: you are healing your body and your mind.

This process is a form of horticulture therapy, which encourages healing from all types of maladies, addiction being one of them.

The Health Benefits of Being Out in Nature

Saying “nature heals” isn’t some new-age quackery; it’s legitimately backed by science. Being out in nature has been proven to heal the body and mind in many ways, from relieving depression and anxiety symptoms to lowering blood pressure. Spending roughly half an hour per day outdoors, away from screens and other technological distractions, is enough to improve your health a little bit each day. You can notice an increase in your health and overall mood just by making time outdoors a regular part of your day (just don’t forget to put on sunscreen).

There is also much to be said about exposure to natural light as opposed to synthetic light. These days, most of us get light exposure from artificial means, such as light bulbs and phone or computer screens. These forms of light can be useful but pale in comparison to the benefits of natural sunlight. No form of electricity can replicate the vitamin D that sunlight contains. Exposure to natural light elevates mood, boosts creativity, helps relieve anxiety, and reduces the side effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the long winter months when days are shortest.

How Nature Affects the Brain

For people affected by substance abuse and depression, serotonin levels in the brain need to increase in order to feel happier. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood, and clinical depression happens when your brain doesn’t make enough of it. While prescription antidepressants can help (“store-bought serotonin”), being out in nature is a natural way to enjoy this benefit. Natural beauty increases blood flow in the brain’s amygdala, which is where fear and anxiety are manufactured. Natural scenes, such as mountains, trees, ocean fronts, or flowers, activate the pleasure and empathy centers of the brain. Walking through these scenes, as you are able, decreases activity in the part of the brain that is linked to depressed rumination.

In other words, plants and nature activate the parts of the brain that make you happy. Do you need a better reason to get outdoors?

Horticulture Therapy for Recovery

Horticulture therapy has been used for centuries to treat all kinds of maladies, both physical and mental. It depends on the use of plants, as well as plant-based activities, for healing and rehabilitation. As an official therapeutic practice, Dr. Benjamin Rush is credited with its founding in the early 19th century. As a psychiatrist, Rush noticed how his patients seemed to improve in mental health as they worked with plants, which led him to prescribe them as part of treatment for mental illness.

Horticulture therapy is a highly accessible form of treatment, regardless of gardening experience. Anyone with a variety of physical, mental, social, and other disabilities can find plants to be non-discriminating and welcoming when working in a stable, calm environment. Plants also don’t care about cultural or ethnic differences related to race, religion, sex, or creed, which helps lend to horticulture therapy’s high success rate. When recovering from substance abuse or other traumatic experiences, working with plants can help re-develop core skills for adjusting to the world once again.

Types of Horticulture Therapy

Horticulture therapy is hardly monolithic. It largely depends on the facility and the clients in terms of what it looks like in practice. Fortunately, it is highly adaptable to different treatment centers and therapeutic needs, including but not limited to substance abuse treatment, nursing homes, and even prisons.

There are at least three different types of horticulture therapy that are most commonly used: vocational, therapeutic, and social.

Vocational Horticultural Therapy

Intended to teach skills and behavioral practices for jobs and workplaces, vocational horticulture therapy is useful for people pursuing careers in greenhouses, gardening, landscaping, and plant sales and services. Skills learned in this department include repotting, water usage, and moving plants from one space to another. It relies heavily on basic plant root systems and the environments they need to thrive. While mostly career-based, people also learn how to support themselves mentally as well as financially.

Therapeutic Horticultural Therapy

While all forms of horticulture therapy are beneficial for mental and physical wellness to some degree, therapeutic therapy is explicitly for that purpose. Activities may include repetitive actions such as digging or watering in order to improve motor skills and other physical functions. Making observations about plant growth, starting from seed to full development, helps sharpen mental health. Even the excitement that comes with observing the health of something you nurtured is beneficial to emotional health and establishing confidence.

Social Horticultural Therapy

Focused on plant growth as a form of building a support system, social horticultural therapy seeks to enhance quality of life. Participants will be advised about herbs and spices to both add flavor as well as cure minor maladies. The experience of growing, cultivating, and picking their own herbs helps foster confidence and community.

At Enlightened Solutions, we don't just believe that being out in nature is good for one's health: we know it is! That's why we offer horticulture therapy as part of the treatment plan for our clients. Nothing quite heals the mind and body like natural light, fresh air, and the beautiful sights of the outdoors. Our treatment programs include teaching clients how to nurture themselves by nurturing living things, taking the focus away from the self. If you're struggling with substance addiction and want to learn more about the programs we offer, please call us today at (833) 801-LIVE. Our programs are individualized and tailored to meet your unique needs. 


Am I Putting Off Treatment?

Are you a procrastinator? Maybe you are when it comes to little things. Or, perhaps, you tend to put off the things that matter most. This may be out of fear of failure or rejection or for other reasons.

When it comes to making the call to seek treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol, you do not want to procrastinate. If things have escalated enough to make you consider getting help, you need to take that first step.

Putting off getting help for a substance abuse issue can be extremely common. We will discuss some of the reasons one might do so below. You might relate to a few.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that procrastinating when it comes to seeking treatment can be a life-or-death decision. One day can make all the difference when it comes to getting help. You could overdose or make a risky decision that could cost you your life.

Reasons People Avoid Getting Help

Asking for help is not always easy. Depending on the type of person you are, there could be a long list of undesirable things you would rather do. It is important to understand how strong the power of addiction can be and recognize the urgency of the situation.

A few things that might lead someone to put off treatment could include the following:

  • Denial
  • Shame or guilt
  • Stigma
  • Fear of loss

Denial

One of the more common reasons you might be hesitant to seek treatment is denial. You might think you have everything under control. Can you really stop using substances at any time? Do you have the desire to stop?

You might find yourself going back and forth about whether you actually need treatment or not. The word "addiction" refers to something that has grown out of your control. Could this really be the case for you?

If you are contemplating whether or not your problem is worthy of treatment, the answer is probably yes. More than likely, you have felt the inability to make the decisions you want to make regarding substance use and need some support.

Shame or Guilt

Shame and guilt almost always accompany addiction. We all have people we care about in our lives. Typically, the choices we make due to substance use cause some disappointment or hurt for those we love. This can lead you to feel ashamed or even embarrassed.

The fact that you have lost control can be cause for shame in itself. If you are someone who likes to feel in control, knowing that substances have stripped that away can feel very defeating.

Do your best to accept these feelings, but fight to overcome them. There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, it is a sign of strength and concern for your well-being. Those who love and care for you will support your decision.

Stigma

The stigma around addiction has evolved throughout history and still exists in today's society. Luckily, therapy, treatment, and speaking up when you need help are becoming more widely accepted.

Unfortunately, the stigma associated with substance use disorder (SUD) is one that is still relevant enough to create some fear of judgment and rejection for those struggling with it. Do your best to let go of these fears. Putting yourself and your health first is commendable.

Fear of Loss

When you think about entering treatment, you might think that this will lead to great loss. You might be concerned about losing your job, friends, or relationships. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer several different program options, some of which allow for flexibility that could enable you to keep working. Of course, this depends on your specific situation and the level of care you need.

As far as friends and loved ones go, our family program encourages others to get involved so they can learn more about addiction and develop tools for healing and moving forward. Those who truly care will want the best for you and they will be supportive of your journey to recovery.

Don't Wait Any Longer

These are just a few reasons you might avoid making the call to seek treatment for your addiction. You could make many different reasons and excuses to justify delaying treatment. Whether you are struggling with alcohol, opioids, benzos, cocaine, or other substances, you need to take the first step to regain control of your life.

Continuing to make excuses prolongs the problem and can lead to a more difficult healing a recovery process. Every day and every minute counts when it comes to seeking treatment for addiction. If you are considering making a call, it is time to take action. You have a beautiful life waiting for you in recovery.

It can be easy to put off seeking help for addiction to drugs or alcohol and entering treatment for a variety of reasons. Shame or guilt can keep you from confronting the issue and making the call. Even stigmas or fear of judgment can stand in the way. Perhaps you are worried about losing your job or someone you love. Delaying treatment will only make matters worse. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to speak to you about our programs and discuss how we can help. To begin your journey to recovery, reach out and call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Can I Give Back During Treatment and Recovery?

How Can I Give Back During Treatment and Recovery?

What does giving back mean to you? For some, giving back might mean donating to charity. Others may consider giving back as helping someone with their groceries or paying for the coffee for the person ahead of them in the drive-thru.

Whatever giving back looks like for you, it probably gives you a sense of warmth and fulfillment to do it. During treatment and recovery, giving back is essential. Addiction has a way of making you lose your sense of purpose. You may lose sight of your goals and feel disconnected from loved ones and the community.

One of the best ways to reconnect and find your place in society in recovery is by giving back. There are many ways to contribute to your community while healing and recovering from substance use disorder (SUD).

Volunteering/Community Service

Community service tends to have a negative connotation. The truth is, however, that people may participate in community service for many different reasons. One of them, of course, can be to fulfill a court order. Some, however, choose to serve the community voluntarily.

For many, giving their time and efforts to better their neighborhoods is very rewarding. Working together to accomplish a common goal that will be seen or experienced by other community members can be very healing. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a volunteer program through the Enlightened Farm that welcomes treatment recipients and community members to work together.

Giving back through our volunteer program allows clients to connect with supportive members of the community who share common goals and believe in the mission. An added advantage is an opportunity to learn farm functions and develop new skills.

Sharing Skills and Talents

During treatment and recovery, you may likely tap into some skills and hobbies you may have forgotten about. It can be common to neglect your interests and passions amid addiction. One way of giving back during treatment and recovery is by using your skills and abilities to benefit those around you.

For example, suppose you are a skilled singer or musician. In that case, you may volunteer to play for special recovery events or utilize your talents to support others during a music therapy session. Perhaps you have a green thumb and want to contribute by offering to teach a skill during therapeutic horticulture.

Through Enlightened Solutions' employment program at the farm, we urge clients to learn new skills and build confidence in their ability to use them. Giving back to the program by putting newly acquired skills to work really becomes a full-circle moment that clients tend to feel great about.

Alumni Program

Remaining involved after completing your treatment program has many benefits. New clients can see that success through the program is possible, which gives them hope.

Alumni events at Enlightened Solutions occur regularly and focus on interaction and having fun. Allowing incoming clients or individuals who may be new to recovery to hear firsthand stories of success can be incredibly motivating.

Additionally, our alumni program encourages graduates of the program to remain connected. A robust support system is critical in recovery. Our programs promote relationship-building and encourage clients to form bonds with each other as they work toward a common goal of sobriety. By staying active as alumni, clients can continue to grow these relationships and support each other throughout recovery.

Benefits of Giving Back

Doing good for others benefits both parties. It helps the recipient, which could be a person, a group, or the community as a whole. Giving back also benefits the person doing the giving in many ways.

Finding Purpose

As mentioned, addiction can leave you feeling unsure of what is next and uncertain of your purpose in the world. Giving back reminds you that you can make a difference in the lives of others and your community despite everything you have been through. It can help ease the feelings of shame and guilt that so often accompany substance abuse.

Staying Busy

It is important to stay busy and productive during treatment and recovery. By participating in any of the activities mentioned above or by finding other ways to give back, you can occupy your time with positive activities. You will learn to replace old, bad habits with new, healthier ones. These can include eating well, staying active, remaining mindful, attending 12-Step meetings, and more. Along with these lifestyle changes, scheduling time to do something good for others is a great addition.

Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of ways for clients and alumni to give back on a regular basis. We understand the importance of connecting with the community and contributing in a positive way. Consider giving back to others during treatment and recovery; the benefits are endless and can remind you how much you matter.

Giving back while you are going through treatment and as you enter recovery has many advantages. Getting connected with others in the community is crucial when recovering from addiction. This can help establish a network of supporters who can encourage and motivate you when you need it most. Giving back can also restore your sense of purpose and keep your mind and body busy. Enlightened Solutions offers many opportunities for clients and alumni to give back to others and the community. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to help. To learn more about our treatment programs, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Do I Know if I Am an Alcoholic?

How Do I Know if I Am an Alcoholic?

Sometimes, the line between drinking socially and abusing alcohol can be blurry. What defines alcohol abuse? Is your drinking more of a social thing or a coping mechanism? Are you an alcoholic? Often, the answer isn't black and white. If you are questioning whether your drinking has become a problem, there are a few things to consider. A few questions you might ask yourself could include the following:

  • How much are you drinking?
  • At what frequency would you say you drink?
  • Is alcohol interfering with your responsibilities?
  • Are you taking risks or putting yourself or others in danger?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you are not drinking?

Quantity

The amount of alcohol you consume at one time is a huge factor. Social or casual drinking usually consists of having a couple of drinks after work or on the weekends. It could involve drinking for an occasion or at a special event. The key here is that you aren't drinking to get drunk. You are aware of your limits and know when to stop.

If drinking is, in fact, a problem, you may drink large quantities at a time. This could lead to sickness or blacking out. You may be unaware of your limit, or you may have no concern for the amount you drink or the consequences.

Frequency

How often you drink is also essential to consider. Some people who drink casually may have a beverage or two every day. More commonly, however, social drinkers tend to only partake on the weekends or during certain activities or events. The quantity you drink and at what frequency is especially relevant.

For example, there is a big difference between having a glass of wine with dinner each night and finishing a few bottles. If you find that you are drinking in excess regularly and find it difficult to stop or limit yourself, it may be time to seek help.

Interfering With Life

If alcohol begins to take such a priority that it interferes with other aspects of your life, this is a sign that you may have a problem. When people are struggling with alcohol addiction, it can be common for their performance and functioning at work and home to begin to slack.

You may notice that you struggle with short-term memory or focus. Staying on task can be difficult when you are battling addiction, especially if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Family members may notice a difference in your behavior or level of interest. It can be hard to balance your typical responsibilities when you have developed an addiction.

Risk-Taking

Do you sometimes drink heavily and choose to get behind the wheel? This can be a sign of a problem. If you find yourself consuming large amounts of alcohol and driving while intoxicated, you are taking a considerable risk. Not only are you putting yourself in danger, but others too.

Those struggling with an addiction to alcohol are also more likely to black out or behave in ways that may be out of character. Blacking out results in memory loss and a lack of awareness and allows an opportunity for assault or other forms of harm.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when you drink heavily for long periods of time. Your body and your central nervous system adapt and respond to the presence of alcohol in your system. This disrupts normal functioning and sends your body into overdrive in order to keep your brain and organs functioning. Once your body becomes accustomed to running this way, it continues to do so even on days you do not drink. This is what causes the unpleasant symptoms.

If you find that you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, it likely means you are drinking large quantities at a high frequency. Seeking treatment can help you detox and rid your body of all of the toxins. Your brain and body can then learn how to function again without alcohol. A few symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can include:

  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety

Seeking Treatment

Enlightened Solutions offers a variety of treatment methods for drug and alcohol addiction. Our holistic approach promotes healing the body, mind, and spirit. This allows clients to achieve overall wellness and develop strategies for maintaining it throughout recovery.

Our program begins with detox, which allows your body to cleanse itself of all substances and start fresh. Following detox, you will begin participating in various groups, activities, and therapeutic experiences. A few of our treatment strategies include:

Determining whether or not you have a drinking problem can be challenging. If you can relate to any of the issues mentioned above, it may be time to seek help.

Admitting that you have an addiction to alcohol can be difficult. What you considered social or casual drinking may have gotten a little out of control over the years. Some turn to alcohol in response to trauma, loss, or conflict. Regardless of what led to your addiction, Enlightened Solutions is here and ready to help. We conduct a thorough assessment at intake to help identify any underlying conditions and determine what could have contributed to your alcohol abuse. Treating the whole person is our goal. Our staff and therapists can help you develop healthy routines and habits that will enhance your recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


What is Codependency and Am I Impacted By It?

What Is Codependency and Am I Impacted by It?

Codependency refers to being reliant on someone else for your own happiness and sense of well-being. In a codependent relationship, one individual requires the support of the codependent person. Over time, both individuals will normalize their lack of independence and rely on one another in unhealthy ways. You can see how this could create some conflict. It can even destroy the relationship by leading to resentment or unhealthy boundaries.

In terms of addiction, codependency usually refers to a loved one becoming consumingly concerned with supporting and caring for another. For the person struggling with an addiction to substances such as benzos, opioids, or alcohol, this can encourage substance use. This can lead to enabling and create more of a problem for both people.

In a codependent relationship, there is an imbalance. One person is putting in a lot of effort while the other is not. Often, this level of giving and not receiving leads to neglect of the codependent person's personal needs. This can result in poor mental health, financial struggles, and resentment toward the other person.

Signs of Codependency

There are some telltale signs of codependency that could indicate a problem. Sometimes, it can be hard to detect codependency in the thick of things. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you may not discover it until treatment is underway and you both begin to recover. Getting help can help restore balance to the relationship and allow time and space for healing.

It is important to know that codependent relationships stretch far beyond solely romantic relationships or partnerships. Still, it is important to be aware of the common signs that could indicate that your relationship with a loved one may be codependent.

Weak Boundaries

One of the signs of codependency is weak boundaries. Setting boundaries in relationships is essential. When it comes to addiction, boundaries are often crossed or disregarded. For the codependent person, boundaries are not important. They are so concerned with caring for the other person that they lose sight of what is important to them.

Unhealthy Caretaking

Often, a codependent person takes on the role of taking care of the other. This may eventually cause them to neglect their own needs. Rather than prioritizing their own health and well-being, a codependent person may prioritize the health and well-being of their partner who is struggling with an addiction. This might involve paying their partner's bills or loaning them money. It could also include offering a place to live or providing transportation.

Many consider themselves caretakers by nature. Having a gift or passion for caring for others is very different than codependency. Caring for others while also caring for yourself can be healthy and rewarding. However, taking on the caretaker role while ignoring your own self-care and mental health is harmful.

Low Self-Esteem or Self-Worth

In a codependent relationship, the person struggling with codependency often experiences low self-esteem or self-worth. This is because they gauge their worth by the success, happiness, and well-being, of the other person. Taking on this responsibility can be a huge burden and is often a losing battle.

If your loved one is struggling with addiction, chances are they will not be successful or well until they seek treatment and begin their recovery journey. Working to control the situation and worrying about their well-being amidst their addiction can be exhausting and defeating.

This leads to low self-esteem and discouragement that carries over into all areas of life for the codependent. They may see their performance at work start to falter. Other relationships may begin to fail or become tense and uncomfortable. Their ability to communicate and make decisions can also be affected.

Identifying and Healing From Codependency

Enlightened Solutions helps clients and their families heal after addiction and learn to grow together in recovery. Parents, spouses, or other loved ones often become so concerned with controlling and managing the situation that they become codependent without realizing it.

Our family programs help loved ones identify codependency and work to become stronger in order to improve wellness and serve as a healthy support system. We understand the impact addiction can have on the family and recognize the need family members have for healing as well.

Codependency affects many people who are impacted by addiction. It not only brings the person experiencing codependency down but also enables the destructive behavior fueling the addiction. This prolongs the problem and leads to more potential for problems such as increased use, overdose, and more.

Identifying codependency is critical. If you discover that you have any of the signs noted above, it may be time to seek help. Our staff at Enlightened Solutions can help you and your family determine the best course of action to ensure success and healing.

Don't let codependency keep your loved one from getting the help they need. Enabling their addiction is causing more harm and is not addressing the real problem. Encourage treatment instead.

No one wants to admit that codependency is affecting their relationships and life. It can be embarrassing or shameful for some. The truth is that it can be pretty common in the realm of addiction. Loved ones can become so consumed with caring for and worrying about their spouse or family member that they develop codependency without realizing it. It is important to recognize that codependent actions often lead to enabling the behavior of a person struggling with addiction. This only prolongs their substance use and keeps them from seeking treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of groups through our family program that can help identify and address codependency. This will allow for healing and growth and can instill strategies for setting healthy boundaries and mending broken relationships. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we would love to help. Call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


How Do I Explain Employment Gaps Due to Addiction Treatment?

How Do I Explain Employment Gaps Due to Addiction Treatment?

For many, a job is more than just a means of making money; it can be part of their overall identity and why they get up each day. Because employment is so important, it can serve as a barrier to seeking treatment. The thought of losing a job or having a gap in one's employment history due to treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol can be troubling.

The truth is, you may be questioned if there are gaps in employment on your resume. In today's society, hundreds, even thousands of people are often applying for just one job. The thought of this can be very discouraging for anyone looking for work.

Since the job market is so competitive these days, it is essential to be prepared to explain any gaps in employment you may have due to seeking addiction treatment.

Build New Skills

If you make the decision to seek treatment and potentially step away from work, it is important to take full advantage of the opportunities provided. Focus on the new skills you are developing and make every effort to learn when you can. Many of the groups and therapeutic activities that are offered by treatment facilities provide chances to learn new things.

For example, you might pick up a new hobby during horticulture therapy that could eventually lead to an employment opportunity. You might gain new or improved interpersonal skills as a result of a therapy group that will serve you well in your next interview.

Prepare for Future Job Interviews

Preparing is one of the best ways to ensure an interview goes as planned. If you have gaps in your employment history, you need to come prepared to discuss them. While they may not even come up, it is a good idea to have something to say if you are questioned.

Coming prepared for an interview also involves doing a little research. Look into the mission of the company. Research the size and recent growth patterns. Think about what skills you can offer to enhance the organization. Also, be ready to ask a few questions of your own based on your research. The better the conversation goes, the less likely they are to harp on anything from your past.

Be Honest

When discussing reasons for your gaps in employment with a potential supervisor or interviewer, be honest. Often, employers will understand and support your decision to step away from work to seek treatment.

It can be intimidating to have a conversation like this when you are unsure of the outcome. When you are new in recovery, you want to find a workplace that is supportive. Surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you and lift you up. is critical If you find that the discussion does not go as planned after being honest about your past, it may not be the right fit.

Focus on Healing

Seeking treatment for addiction can be a little scary. Walking away from a job or a career to seek help is not always easy, even when you know it is the right thing to do. The truth is, you are not functioning your best at work, or at home, while you are struggling with addiction.

It is time to put yourself first and focus on healing. You will develop new skills, improve your focus, boost your energy levels, and increase your overall wellness by choosing to seek treatment. A gap in employment due to your addiction is a hurdle you can overcome. Focus on the good. Imagine what you will bring to your next job as a result of your sobriety.

Career Building Programs in Recovery

There are several ways to make this transition into the workforce easier. One way is to continue participating in something worthy of noting on your resume while in treatment. Enlightened Solutions offers several different programs through our Enlightened Farm. These programs are designed to help clients develop new skills, build confidence, and give back to the community in a productive and meaningful way.

Enlightened Farm allows those in inpatient treatment, partial care, and sober living – as well as community members – to get involved. The Growing Gratitude Program provides an opportunity to give back through community service. This promotes skill-building and general farm knowledge, which can be added to a resume and used again.

The Solid Roots Employment Program offers job opportunities and stable income for those in sober living and who are new to recovery. This can serve as an excellent stepping stone between treatment and embarking on a new career path.

Having to explain a lapse in employment can be uncomfortable. Going into treatment knowing you are going to have a gap to explain to future employers can sometimes serve as a deterrent for seeking help. Don't let this keep you from getting help. There is plenty you can do while in treatment for addiction to make sure you are gaining experience, building skills, and preparing for life and success afterward. At Enlightened Solutions, we provide several different opportunities through the Enlightened Farm to help clients develop new transferrable skills, gain work experience, and earn an income in recovery. Our therapy and wellness groups also promote skill development and provide chances to practice and improve various soft skills. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to hear from you. To begin healing, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.


Harnessing Your Creativity in Treatment and Recovery

Harnessing Your Creativity in Treatment and Recovery

Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? Whether your answer is yes or no, creative outlets are important to have when recovering from substance use disorders (SUDs). They can serve as healthy escapes or coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety.

Creativity can be incorporated into almost any activity. Take cooking, for example. You are expressing your creativity by putting your own spin on a recipe. Maybe you are decorating cookies for a holiday party. This involves creativity too!

Expressing creativity is something we all should strive to do. Creating has a long list of benefits regarding mood, mental health, and motivation. In treatment and recovery, finding ways to express yourself creatively can enhance your experience and lead to better success long term.

Benefits of Creativity

As mentioned, finding creative outlets and opportunities for expressing creativity can have many advantages. For those struggling with addiction, creative activities can offer a reprieve from the many significant challenges associated with it.

#1 Aids in Relaxation and Stress Reduction

For many, activities that involve being creative can offer a sense of relaxation. This could include drawing, painting, making pottery, writing, and more. The therapeutic nature of these activities can help calm your nerves and help you focus on what your hands are creating in the moment. This allows you to drown out the things that may be weighing you down or causing stress.

#2 Boosts Confidence

There is something about creating something beautiful with your own two hands that brings a sense of pride. Even if the result may not seem beautiful to others, the beauty is often in the process. Learning to create something usually involves developing new skills. With building new skills comes more confidence.

#3 Fosters Socialization and Community

Activities that involve creativity can often be delivered in group settings. This creates an opportunity for you to bond with others over a common goal. Even if everyone is creating something of their own, the shared experience promotes communication and bonding.

Creative Expression During Treatment

At Enlightened Solutions, you are sure to exercise your creativity regularly. We offer a variety of therapeutic activities that promote healing and encourage creative expression. You may even discover a skill or ability to create that you did not know you had before entering treatment.

We understand that talk therapy can sometimes be intimidating or difficult, especially in the early stages of treatment and recovery. Expressive art therapy techniques, such as the ones we utilize, offer you a different modality for expressing your thoughts and feelings. It can be hard to find words to explain certain emotions at times. Painting a picture or writing a poem that is representative of how you are feeling can sometimes feel more manageable.

Our treatment facility utilizes a variety of different mediums when it comes to expressive art therapy. We offer art therapy groups that can involve painting, sculpting, sketching, and more. Our music therapy classes may include listening to music, playing musical instruments, or even singing. We also aim to help clients harness creativity throughout wellness and nutrition groups.

Creative Outlets Enhance Motivation in Treatment

Staying motivated to engage in creativity-focused activities throughout treatment and recovery can sometimes be challenging. This is most common, perhaps, once you have completed treatment and resumed your busy schedule. It is essential, however, to make time for the things that help you manage stress, build confidence, and offer a sense of community.

This may take some planning ahead and time management. For some, expressing creativity may fall into the self-care category due to the mental health and mood-boosting advantages. Learn more about the importance of self-care in recovery here.

It is essential to recognize how versatile exercising creativity can be. It may look different for everyone. Think about how you might be able to express creativity while participating in hobbies or activities you already enjoy. For example, consider taking a photo of the beautiful sunset next time you are out on your paddleboard. Photography can serve as an excellent creative outlet. Or, consider picking up a few flat stones on your next hike. They can make excellent canvases for painting.

Harnessing your creativity in treatment and recovery can benefit your mental health and help you avoid relapse. Usually, when you are doing something creative, your energy and thoughts are focused on what you are creating. This allows you to ignore and fight cravings, drown out stressors, and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Consider picking up some paintbrushes, or even take a few minutes to doodle or draft a quick poem. You might feel a little more relaxed and joyful as a result.

Everyone has the ability to create. Some may enjoy it more than others, but everyone is capable. For many, the challenge is finding something they actually enjoy doing or believe to be meaningful. There are tons of different activities that can incorporate creative expression. A few common mediums include painting, making music, sketching, writing, acting, and even cooking. Sometimes, trying some of these activities for the first time can lead to new hobbies or coping strategies when it comes to managing stress or processing trauma. At Enlightened Solutions, we facilitate various activities that promote creative expression and help clients recognize the impact. Our trained therapists provide art therapy, music therapy, horticulture therapy, and more. If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we would love to help. Call Enlightened Solutions at (833) 801-LIVE.