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How to Maintain Accountability in Addiction Recovery

 

Recovering from addiction or substance abuse is never easy or straightforward. Parts of your brain have been rewired due to substance use, and getting things back to normal takes work and, oftentimes, some outside help. In the process, there will be certain things that you may be able to do or ways to go about recruiting others to help that will be instrumental in your journey to recovery.

Make a Plan

While it may seem obvious once you think about it, it is not always the first move we take to accomplish things. However, without a plan, recovery becomes significantly more difficult. A plan is important because it sets a standard; it tells you what the conditions of success and failure are, and it tells you this explicitly. Of course, it is easier not to plan because then you cannot fail the plan. This does not mean that you are not failing; however, you are not aware of it as clearly because you do not have a plan to show this to yourself. A plan gives you direction; it tells you step by step what direction to move. While this can be confining or overwhelming, it is an important step to recovery. Making the plan alone, however, is not sufficient.

Let Others Know About Your Plan

It would help if you let others know about your plan. Making the plan establishes a degree of accountability with yourself—you are telling yourself what you need to do. Letting someone else know about the plan establishes some outside accountability. Now, this other person also knows and has expectations of you. This can be a powerful source of motivation to work towards completing the plan you have created. However, it is important that the person you let know about your plan actually cares whether or not you stick to it. Ideally, this is someone who is not struggling with the same issue or in the same way as you.

Find an Accountability Partner

Closely related to the second method of maintaining accountability is this step of finding an accountability partner. This can potentially be the same person who knows about the plan, but the accountability partner goes further than just knowing about the plan and expecting you to stick with it. An accountability partner is someone you meet regularly and with whom you share details about what is going on as you attempt to stick with the plan. This should be someone who deeply cares and holds you to stick with your recovery goal and is understanding and empathetic. This must be someone with whom you feel comfortable being completely honest.

Do Not Be Afraid to Get Treatment

Sometimes these first three options are not quite enough to help you with the journey to recovery. It is not shameful or wrong to seek professional treatment through a rehab center or other treatment facility. This can be an important and effective way of getting further accountability. The professional team at a treatment facility provides an additional layer of structure and accountability that can be extremely beneficial on the journey to recovery. Sometimes, the addiction is so powerful and aggressive that you are unable to handle things alone. Do not keep going in circles with your recovery if you need more outside accountability and assistance.

Surround Yourself with Friends and Family

While this may not be an option that everyone has, it is ideal to surround yourself with family and friends if possible. Whether a family member or friend is your accountability partner or not, having support in this way can be central to your progress in recovery. This can be a difficult process since family and friends may not always fully understand the nature of your struggle, and there will sometimes be conflict; at the end of the day, though, these are the people who are on your side, rooting for your victory. Fostering good relationships with family and friends and allowing them into your journey can be an incredible source of accountability and foster your recovery.

Avoid Sources of Temptation

It is of great importance that any people or places that may be sources of temptation are avoided. For some individuals with an addiction, there are certain people whom they can hang around and find themselves pushed in bad directions, tempted toward the substance again, and so forth. These bad influences must be avoided at all costs. This is a difficult thing to do in many cases since there are often established relationships and the person may be reaching out and trying to encourage you to come to hang out and spend time with them. Unfortunately, this should not be done. No matter how you are pressured, you must avoid hanging with anyone who will lead you into temptation. The same can be said for places. There may be certain environments, locations, or activities, like bars or parties, which open the door for temptation and substance usage. Any time you encounter a temptation of this sort, it is imperative that you avoid it. It may seem reasonable to think that the person or place is not directly connected to substance abuse. It is not a real concern—or to full yourself into thinking that you will avoid certain situations after you go or that you will be strong enough in the moment. But none of these things are true. As humans, we have easily swept away at the moment; you cannot rely on your willpower when you are in the situation. You must prepare in advance by thinking about places and people that open doors of temptation and closing those directions beforehand.

Maintaining accountability is an essential part of addiction recovery. These steps will allow you to begin making headway towards recovery, but there may be other things you find to help you as well. Everyone has individual differences, so be on the lookout for things that you know help you in recovery or make things more difficult and include those in the plan you make. A sure way of never recovering is never preparing to recover. You do not fall into recovery; you work at it. You have to muster your strength and courage, make a plan, gather support around you, and then give it everything you have. It is hard work, but it is doable work, especially when you have the right people.

Alcohol and Anger

Not the Cure for What Ails You: Alcohol and Anger

Your heart starts to race uncomfortably as you see the headlights of your husband’s car as he pulls into the driveway later than usual.

He stumbles into the house, gives you and the kids a quick hello, and makes his way into the living room, where he turns on the ball game.

His ruffled demeanor suggests he had gone to the bar after a hard day at work. He’s gone out for a drink from the office before, and everything was fine. But lately, it’s been more often and slightly more noticeable – the smell of alcohol on his breath and his fluctuating moods.

As you try to make small talk, you can tell he’s uncharacteristically short and inpatient in his responses to you. Even the kids’ happy chatter and playing seem to frustrate him as the evening goes on. Your husband says drinking helps him relax, but it just seems to make him a tense and angry person you don’t recognize.

Everyone has a different response to alcohol. While it relaxes some people, alcohol can make others feel angry. Let’s take a look at why this is.

Why Does Alcohol Make Some People Angry?

Alcohol affects different people in different ways, but lowered inhibitions are a commonly experienced outcome. For some, this may allow repressed anger to bleed through a person’s typical restraint.

Some people use alcohol as a coping mechanism to avoid painful feelings or thoughts. Blaming others for those troubles may follow, as this also helps your loved one avoid accepting responsibility. Anger is often easier to observe than other emotions so that it might be masking different emotional responses to mental or physical trauma or other issues.

Chemical changes in the brain occur with alcohol consumption that disrupts the normal regulation of feel-good chemicals and pain responses. As a person comes down from the alcohol high, he’s hit with a wave of discomfort that can lead to more alcohol use to deal with the feelings—developing a perpetuating cycle of anger and substance abuse.

When people feel judged for their drinking, they may lash out. It’s often difficult to see when you have a problem with alcohol yourself, so as friends and loved ones start pointing this out, it may come across as nagging or overreacting.

How Should You Approach Someone with Alcoholism and Anger Issues?

There’s no easy way to confront a person about alcoholism, but keeping these guidelines in mind can help you stick to your game plan.

  • Talk about it when he is sober.
  • Have the discussion shortly after negative consequences of drinking have been experienced.
  • Approach the conversation from a non-judgmental place of love and concern. Avoid lecturing.
  • If an argument breaks out, don’t take it personally. Denial and anger are common responses. Take a break and resume the conversation once everyone has cooled down.
  • Offer to help your loved one find treatment for alcoholism and other issues like anxiety or depression that could be complicating matters.

Don’t Let Someone’s Anger and Alcohol Dependence Consume You.

It’s easy to get caught up in concern over your loved one’s issues. But you need to remember to take care of yourself, too! Make sure you’re appropriately managing your own responses. Anger and resentment can enable further issues with problem drinking.

Take advantage of support systems in your area. Al-Anon for family members can provide educational materials and counseling for those dealing with an alcoholic in their lives.

Treatment for Alcohol and Anger Issues in Palmdale, CA

If you’ve tried addressing the issue with your loved one without success, it might be time to stage an intervention. Cycles of Change Recovery Services in Palmdale, CA, has skilled interventionists that can help.

We expose clients to various therapeutic techniques—including 12-step programs, music therapy, and more—according to the individual’s specific needs. Family therapy is often an integral part of healing both the individual and those around him.

Talk to one of our compassionate, experienced professionals today about how we can help your loved one recover from alcohol addiction.

having a positive attitude

Finding a Positive Attitude

For many people new to recovery, there can be a lot of positive and negative emotions. Keeping a positive attitude can be hard when a person first gets sober. The good news is it gets better the longer you stay sober! Learning to live life on life’s terms is something you can work on for a day at a time.

One thing you can start working on today is a positive attitude. Your attitude can affect everything you do. Nobody has a complete attitude breakthrough overnight, but a day at a time, you will grow. As a person in recovery, you will begin to gather some hope and realize your capacity for resilience. You’re a strong human being, and you’ve been through a lot!

Accepting Yourself and your Circumstances

A positive attitude is easier to achieve once you realize that you need help, but you’ve found the way out! You’re powerless over your addiction. One of the first things you’ll work on when you get sober is accepting that you have an addiction. Once you’ve done that, you’ll start to learn to accept the other circumstances (and even other people!) in life for what they are.

Everything you do in recovery can be done a day at a time. You don’t have to become perfect or right all your wrongs overnight. You can accept that you have a problem and that you need help. Willingness will help you stay sober, so you no longer have to struggle through life sick from your addiction.

When you start treatment or go to 12-step meetings, you’ll find you’re not alone in your experiences. Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone from any background. It’s not a moral failure but a condition that affects the body, brain, and spirit.

Finding An Attitude of Gratitude

Finding gratitude can be hard when you first get sober, especially if you have many problems to face. An attitude of gratitude will probably come easier as you stay sober longer. Every day you stay sober is something you can be grateful for!

One way you can start to feel better about your future is to create a gratitude list. Every day, write a list of things you are grateful for. Even if it is something as simple as a juicy orange with your lunch, keeping track of the good things in life is essential. Also, every day sober is something you can add to that list!

Keeping a journal can also help you keep track of your victories in life. Every time you accomplish something you’re proud of, start to write it down.

Life changes quickly! Try to remember to take things a day at a time. If you’re having a bad day, there’s always tomorrow! Read back some of your lists and journal entries when you’re having a bad day.

Getting Help for Substance Use

Are you ready to reclaim your life from addiction? We can help you get sober and being the steps to healing and meaningful life. We’re here to help you; just reach out. You can contact us to learn about your options at 855-976-1495.

troubled man about myths

Five Myths About Addiction

Addiction is a topic often discussed in the media, but it is still the subject of many stereotypes. It’s easy to imagine heroin addicts and homeless people addicted to alcohol. If you or somebody you love has a problem with alcohol or drugs, you’re not alone. You may wonder if a person can be addicted if they don’t meet your preconceived notions of addiction or alcoholism. There are a lot of myths about addiction. A lot of these myths can be harmful and keep people from getting the help they deserve. If you don’t fit a myth, you may wonder if you’re truly addicted or not.

Here are five significant myths about addiction:

  • Myth 1: You have to hit a really low bottom to be considered an addict. Many people imagine a person addicted to drugs as being homeless or somehow derelict. While there are people who hit extreme “bottoms” with their drug use, there are also countless people who don’t fit that image. People with substance use disorders come from pretty much all walks of life. Many people manage to hold down jobs or responsibilities but are quite miserable because of their addiction.
  • Myth 2: Addiction is a choice. Addiction is a disease that no one chooses. Many factors probably make some people more likely to be addicted than others. There is still a lot of research out there about addiction that needs to be discovered, but this is one of the most common myths about addiction. Studies show that some people experiment with substances, while others find substances impossible to put down.
  • Myth 3: Pills aren’t a problem. Some people take drugs like Adderall for ADHD, but other people abuse them. Pills can be an addiction, even if a doctor continues to write you a prescription for them. Drugs like Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, can be highly addictive.
  • Myth 4: Binge drinking isn’t addictive behavior. Binge drinking can involve drinking until you’re blackout drunk. This kind of lifestyle can place you in danger of alcohol poisoning and leave you to risky, scary behavior. What’s even worse is that you won’t remember it in the morning.
  • Myth 5: I’m too young to be addicted. Young people can have substance use disorders, just like adults can. You can be an alcoholic and be drinking age or become addicted to marijuana in a state where pot is legal. Addiction can be to anything that alters your mood.

If you feel bad about your drinking or drug use, you probably have a problem with a substance. If your use of substances is causing you legal, physical, or relationship problems, there’s a good chance you will benefit from sobriety. If you’re having trouble getting sober on your own, then there is help available to you. You don’t have to face addiction on your own.

Getting Help, Getting Sober

We offer several services, including intervention services, to help you and your family recover from addiction. You can recover, and the great news is that help is available every step of the way. The first step is picking up the phone to learn more about how we can help. We’re here to answer any questions you may have. Contact us at 855-409-8869 to learn more about our services and how we can help.

young man addicted alone

What Drugs Are The Most Dangerous/Addictive?

Almost any drug that can cause psychological effects such as euphoria can be abused. People can become both psychologically and physically addicted to drugs or abuse, including alcohol. Addiction is a disease that does not discriminate. People from all walks of life can and do develop addictions to all kinds of drugs. Drug addiction is a massive problem in the United States, especially due to the opioid epidemic.

The good news is that people can also get clean and sober no matter what type or quantity of drugs they use.

Understanding Addiction

Drugs like opioids and methamphetamine are considered highly addictive. Addiction takes place because the continued use of these drugs causes physical changes in the brain. These changes make a person develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring more of it to get the same effects.

Not only do these drugs cause withdrawal effects, but they also cause a person to be more compulsive and do things they usually wouldn’t do, all in the pursuit of a high. Most people addicted to drugs or alcohol display addictive behavior. They may sell possessions, try to get illegal prescriptions, or even try a more potent drug to get the relief they’re seeking.

Withdrawal effects like cramps, shaking, nausea, and bone pain often occur if a person goes without their drug of choice for some time.

The Most Dangerous Drugs

Which drugs are the most dangerous? Drugs that are highly addictive and can cause overdose deaths would be a the top of the list when it comes to danger. However, almost any drug can cause a person to do illegal, dangerous, or out of character.

Here are some of the most dangerous drugs:

  • Opioids like Oxycontin, Vicoden, heroin, opium, and fentanyl are all dangerous. Fentanyl, in recent years, has been the cause of thousands of overdose deaths because of its potency. Sometimes street drugs are laced with fentanyl without the user’s knowledge.
  • Cocaine and crack can cause users to act erratically, be paranoid, or violent. They both can damage the heart, while crack can cause damage to the lungs as well. Some people who overdose experience seizures or heart attacks.
  • Methamphetamine is an intense, highly addictive drug that can cause hallucinations and extreme paranoia when a user has stayed awake for days. Addiction devastates the body, causing skin problems, rotten teeth, and weakening the heart.
  • Benzodiazepines such as Klonapin are usually prescribed to help people with anxiety or muscle tightness. People who abuse the drug can become physically addicted and develop irregular heartbeat, lung problems, and depression. Combined with other drugs or medications, there is a potential for fatal overdoses.
  • Alcohol addiction is one of the most prevalent addictions in the world. Alcohol overdose can cause death. People who combine alcohol with other substances are more likely to overdose or cause serious injuries.

Addiction isn’t a choice. Some people are more prone to substance use disorders than others. When a person is addicted to a drug, trying to stop using it can be a constant struggle. Physical withdrawal symptoms are often intense and sometimes even dangerous. For highly addictive drugs, a clinical detox is usually required. Some people also need Medication-Assisted Treatment to help them decrease cravings and begin the journey to recovery. Detox is an important starting point to help people get clean in a safe, comfortable environment.

Any drug that can be abused has the potential to become an addiction. If you’re experiencing a substance use disorder, help is available.

Getting Help

Do you or a loved one have a problem with substance use? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? You’re not alone! We can help you get sober in a safe, professional, inspiring environment. Even during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re here to help you.

Call us at 855-409-8869 for more information on our recovery services.