Holiday Self Care: Avoid the Holiday Blues

Protect Your Sobriety During the Winter Holidays holiday depression

Although the holidays are often a time of parties, family gatherings, gift giving and winter activities, this time of year can be difficult for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, or are in recovery. It is an important time to take stock of your feelings and the things that may be stressful so you can protect your recovery process and maintain positive mental health practices. The unique stressors that come with the holidays may trigger depression or trauma based behaviors. Exposure to family toxicity, memories of childhood trauma, addiction temptation and disruption to routine will require a solid plan for self-care and frequent check-ins with yourself.

With dedication and a clear vision of your goals and desire to persevere despite outside stressors, you can navigate the holidays and better maintain your recovery. Whether you are recovering from drug or alcohol addition, recovering from an eating disorder, or are fighting depression, you can use the tips provided by our team at Fresh Start of California to get through the holidays and continue moving forward.

Take Care of Yourself During the Holidays

Avoid the stressors and risks of holiday blues by being aware of them and counter-acting them with mindful choices. Being self-aware and prepared is your best defense when facing disruptions to your routine.

Routine: Stick to your routine and current self-care regimen as much as you can during the holidays. Eat healthy, balanced meals when not at gatherings or parties and continue with your exercise regimen or modify it to accommodate changes in routine, such as moving it or making shorter visits but going harder. If journaling is part of your recovery process, bring it with you wherever you go and take 10-15 minutes out of the day to write. If you practice meditation or yoga, carve out 30-60 minutes a few times each week to be sure you are finding your center and relaxing amongst the chaos. If your routine involves going to meetings, seek out meeting options in the place you are visiting or ask your sponsor to help you link up with someone in the town you are traveling to. It is better to be prepared than to scramble once out of town and facing temptation.

Expectations: Be mindful of setting unrealistic expectations. Whether it is tackling a holiday party where there will be alcohol or visiting family who do not know of your eating necessities, you must set realistic expectations and be prepared. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you must protect your recovery by declining or by planning ahead. If you are recovering from an eating disorder and are worried about food choices at a family event, bring your own alternatives that you feel comfortable eating, or eat before you go. This can help to not fall into a precarious spot where you may be triggered to fall back into old habits. If you are in recovery from substance abuse, consider bringing your own cooler with non-alcoholic beverages, or attend sober holiday events rather than put yourself in a dangerous place. Protect your sobriety as if it is your life, because it is. When facing family obligations, or financial obligations, remind yourself that the holidays will pass, and those who care about you will understand that you have limitations. Pressure to spend lots of money or to spend all of your time with family is unrealistic and will be detrimental in the long run. It is not worth it.

Comparison: The holidays will undoubtedly result in tons of photos on social media. Most of these will be staged and well edited. Be aware of the reality versus social media life, these photos can skew perception. Your reality, and their reality, is not what they share online or on social media. Keep this in mind when you may be suffering and everyone around you is showing their good side. Mindfully choose gifts, if you are buying them, and pay attention to the thought rather than the price tag. Being aware of the things that you tend to do when thoughts of comparison arise can help you be prepared and to fight those thoughts before they take hold.

Scheduling: Do not make the mistake of packing your schedule full of activities and obligations. Be conscious of the fact that you may need to cut back on family gatherings, parties, and running-around while you are in recovery. You will risk burnout and potential relapse or addiction behaviors if you are pushed to the max with obligations. If you do need to schedule events, schedule down-time as well, and stick to it.

Gratitude:Counteract the stressors by practicing gratitude. Give back to your community, volunteer, help others in recovery, or do something for your local animal shelter. Giving back is a surefire way to feel good during the holidays while brightening another’s day. The attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Write out a list of things you are thankful for, from your first breath of the day, to your warm bed, to the chance to make new memories. Make plans with friends to go to a retirement home and spend time with people who no longer have family visitors, or volunteer to feed the homeless.  You can’t lose when helping others.

Find Recovery at Fresh Start of California

Our California addiction treatment team understand that everyone’s recovery needs are different. And we know that when you decide to make a change, it helps to have a dedicated and enthusiastic team beside you to walk the path of recovery. At Fresh Start of California, we are here for you, and we want you to succeed. Protect your recovery this holiday season or take this time to take steps to a new life.

Find our team of addiction specialists, therapists and staff ready when you are this holiday season. 

The 12 Principles of Healthy Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a treatable yet chronic disease that affects both behavior and brain function. For this reason, treatment centers must acknowledge and include in their programs various concepts to ensure patients move through healthy treatment that is likely to yield successful results.

Below, our California detox team has included a list of important principles of healthy addiction treatment that must be cared for in effective treatment facilities:

  1. There is not one treatment that will be effective for every person
  2. A person suffering from addiction always needs immediate access to treatment
  3. An effective treatment program will address all a person’s needs, not just his/her addiction
  4. Remaining in treatment for the appropriate amount of time is key to success
  5. Effective treatment programs use counseling and behavioral therapies in conjunction with physical therapies
  6. A person’s treatment program must be supervised and modified based on the person’s needs
  7. Medical detox (the use of medication during detox and recovery) is an important and effective part of a treatment program
  8. Treatments should also address any mental disorders a person may be diagnosed with
  9. Medical detox is only the first section of a successful treatment program and should be followed by behavioral therapy via residential treatment, which is commonly referred to as rehab
  10. A treatment facility must closely supervise and monitor a patient’s medication use during treatment
  11. Treatment programs should test each person for AIDS /HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and other diseases
  12. Successful treatment facilities should teach patients about ways they can reduce the risk of the illnesses listed above

Effective Treatment Programs Yield Beyond Successful Results

Treatment programs that hold true to the aforementioned principles will likely produce beyond successful results for patients who move through their programs. In many cases, successful programs will allow the patient to:

  • Stop drug and alcohol use and consumption
  • Remain completely free of drugs and alcohol
  • Thrive productively at work, in society, and with his/her family

Ready for a Fresh Start? Call our California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility

At Fresh Start of California, our California addiction treatment team is dedicated to effective treatment programs that address both physical dependence and behavioral issues. To ensure our clients are successful beyond treatment at our facility, we guarantee individualized treatment for every patient. We understand the journey to sobriety can be intimidating, and that is why our team works diligently to create a home-like setting with a supportive, caring team.

Don’t wait another day for a fresh start! Call our California addiction treatment team for your free, individualized assessment.

6 Steps to Help Someone with an Addiction

Friend Being Supportive with Friend Suffering from Addiction

Watching a loved one suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction can be one of the most painful and emotionally taxing experiences. If you are in this predicament, you may be wondering what steps you can take to help. Our Orange County detox and residential treatment team at Fresh Start of California is here to help you understand the process so you can begin helping your spouse, friend, or family member.

Step 1: Educate Yourself

It can be easy to become frustrated with your loved one. In fact, you might find yourself grappling with thoughts like, “They should just stop doing it,” or “They are so selfish,” but the fact is, addiction leaves the addict helpless. Addiction is a disease, and unless it is properly handled and treated, the addict may be unable to achieve sobriety.

For this reason, the first step should be to educate yourself on addiction and the addict’s disease process. You may even consider learning about the way addiction can affect friends and family. Although the process may still be difficult for you and other friends and family members, educating yourself may allow you to feel normal as you move through the emotional process.

Step 2: Get the Support You Need

As you move through the process of helping your loved one get the help they need, it is crucial you have a supportive group that understands the hardships you have and will endure. For this reason, you may want to consider joining one of the following groups:

Step 3: Establish Trust with Your Loved One

This can be the most difficult step, especially if your loved one has already betrayed your trust through the use of drugs or alcohol. However, it is critical you establish a level of trust with your addicted loved one if you want them to consider getting help. Build trust with your spouse, friend, or family member who may be struggling with addiction by keeping the following in mind:

  • Do not criticize, lecture, or nag them
  • Do not yell at them
  • Do not name-call
  • Do not engage in ill behavior yourself

While building trust with your loved one, it is also important to do the following:

  • Hold them accountable to expectations
  • Offer direction to treatment when needed or when they are ready
  • Remain patient with them and with yourself

Step 4: Do Not Enable Your Loved One

Trust is not established by enabling your loved one to exhibit bad behavior. Often, an addict will need to experience the consequences of their addiction before reaching out for help. In many cases, family and friends support the person’s addiction without noticing. For this reason, it is critical you remain aware of your own actions and be sure to consider the following:

  • Refrain from financially supporting your loved one and his or her addiction
  • Do not provide financial assistance to pay for his or her attorney fees and court fines
  • Do not pay his or her rent

While all the actions listed above may appear harsh, not following the advice can prolong your loved one’s disease. Remember, an addict cannot achieve sobriety until he or she is ready to receive help or treatment.

Step 5: Communicate with Your Loved One

While you may feel like pushing your loved one to change, remember that they will only move towards treatment options when they make the decision for themselves. It is, however, important to note that they may be more open to change if you communicate honestly and in a way that does not sound pushy or threatening. Be sure to:

  • Share your feelings
  • Explain what you would like to happen
  • Explain what the process of their addiction has been like from your perspective

Step 6: Be Encouraging Throughout the Treatment Process

When your loved one is ready, he or she may ask you to contact a rehab, detox treatment facility, or residential treatment facility. When that time comes, be sure to be open to their desires in regards to the type of program they would like to enter, the location for their treatment, and any other requests they may have. Be sure to speak with multiple treatment centers before deciding on a facility. You want to be sure that the facility’s goals and treatment options are customized for your friend or family member’s addiction.  It is crucial to find a treatment center that does not have a cookie-cutter approach for every client.

Need More Help? Call Our Orange County Rehab and Detox Today

If your spouse, friend, or loved one is struggling with addiction and you would like to speak about treatment options, call our Orange County addiction treatment center right away. Backed by a compassionate medically trained treatment team, Fresh Start of California will answer all your questions and find a solution that best fits your needs. We understand the process is difficult, and we want to be there for you.

Call Fresh Start of California at 833-852-3470 for immediate help. Our detox treatment center in Orange County, California accepts client from all over the US. Get the Fresh Start you need today!

12 Physical and Behavioral Signs of Drug Addiction

If you suspect a loved one is using drugs, it can be extremely difficult to process. You may undergo confusion as to what to do or how to pinpoint if the new symptoms suggest your loved one is suffering from drug addiction or not.

For this reason, our Orange County detox and residential treatment team has provided a list of signs and symptoms to help you determine if your friend or family member has a drug addiction and needs help. In this list, we will note both physical and behavioral signs.

Drug and alcohol addiction

Physical Signs of Drug Addiction

Physical signs are often the first indicators of drug addiction. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  1. Sleeping issues: difficulty sleeping, being awake at irregular times, falling asleep at irregular times
  2. Lethargy or excessive amounts of energy
  3. Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  4. Pupils that appear irregularly smaller or larger
  5. Bloodshot eyes or watery eyes
  6. Odd body scent
  7. Slurred speech
  8. Tremors or decrease in coordination
  9. Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  10. Clenched jaw
  11. Decline in personal hygiene or grooming
  12. Paleness of the face or a flushed look

Behavioral/Psychological Signs of Drug Addiction

While physical symptoms can be the most obvious, it is important to look for behavioral signs of substance abuse as well. Below are some psychological symptoms of drug addiction:

  1. Extreme personality change that cannot be otherwise explained
  2. Change in attendance at school or work
  3. Change in participation or performance at school or work
  4. Sudden secretiveness
  5. Sudden change in hobbies
  6. Sudden change in groups of friends
  7. Defensive or combative attitudes
  8. Irritability or moodiness or sudden outbursts
  9. Dishonesty
  10. Anxiety or nervousness
  11. Paranoia
  12. Lack of interest in social interactions with friends and family

Of course, not all people who are using drugs will show the same symptoms, and some symptoms may worsen as drug usage grows. Typically, behavior becomes more severe as the person’s focus will increasingly shift to obtaining drugs or their next fix.

Get Help Now! Call our Orange County Detox and Residential Treatment Center!

If you suspect your loved one is using drugs, it is crucial you contact help right away. Waiting to reach out for help can lead to a more severe addiction. By calling Fresh Start of California, you can rest easily knowing our Orange County detox and residential treatment team will provide you with helpful options right away. We are passionate about helping our clients achieve sobriety, and we are ready to stand by the sides of clients’ families as they undergo this difficult time.

Call our Orange County addiction treatment team 24/7 at 833-852-3470 or fill out our contact form online! We are ready to help.

How Quickly Can Someone Become Addicted to a Drug?

Drug addiction develops at different rates for every person. While some can develop an addiction after the first time using, others do not develop the disease until later and after several uses. Although the amount of time it takes for a person to develop a drug addiction varies, there are several factors that can help you understand the rate at which the disease can occur. Drug Addiction

How Drugs Affect the Brain

Each drug has a different effect on the brain and affects a different part of the brain.

  • For example, painkillers, formally known as opioids, bond with the brain’s opiate receptors, allowing the effects of pain relief to move through the body’s nervous system. This effect on the brain causes a person to feel calm and relaxed.
  • On the other hand, ecstasy, formally known as methylenedioxymethamphetamine, increases the activity of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, all of which are neurotransmitters that act as chemical messengers of brain cells. The result is a change in perception and mood.

Because every drug affects the brain differently, and every person’s brain is slightly different, the effects of drug usage can cause addiction at different rates.

Quantity and Frequency of Drug Usage Can Affect the Rate of Addiction

The rate of addiction can be quicker depending on how the drug is consumed, the frequency of usage, and the quantities in which the drug is consumed each time. Typically, the more a drug is consumed or the greater the dosage, the higher tolerance a person develops. As tolerance develops, the effects of the drug begin to weaken, and cravings begin to heighten. This is an addiction.

Early Exposure to Drugs Can Lead to Addictive Traits

Drug usage can manipulate a baby’s brain even when it is still in the mother’s womb. If a child was exposed to drugs before or during birth, the child’s brain may have already developed a mild dependency for that drug. As the child grows older, he or she may develop a need for the drug that he or she was exposed to at a young age, leading to an expedited rate of addiction.

Our Orange County Detox is Here to Help 24/7

At Fresh Start of California, our Orange County detox and residential facility is dedicated to helping you move past addition and into a life of joyfulness without the need for drugs. That is why we take the time to understand your history and individual needs. From there, we can create a treatment plan to help you achieve long-term results. Our treatment team truly believes the key to happiness in sobriety is self-exploration, self-love, support, and an adoration for life. When you choose to receive treatment from our team, we will stand by your side every step of the way

Call our detox in Orange County today at 833-852-3470, and let our team give you a fresh start! It’s never too late to make the change of a lifetime.