Holiday Stress Can Lead to Relapse

Holiday relapses are common; holidays are stressful times for alcoholics and drug addicts. With families wanting to see their loved ones again in the midst of their recovery.  Early recovering addicts have problems with overconfidence. becoming blinded by their disease of not being able to see the truth from the false.  

As a recovering addict, I had the ability to lie to myself on where I was with my recovery.  I would tell myself, that I can handle any situation any time. My life had to become one of structure. I had to learn this from people with knowledge on how to help me.  The process that I had to take to get there was through inpatient rehab for detox. After that, I continued with an outpatient holistic therapy program.  I needed 12-step meetings and a sponsor. I lived in transitional living or a halfway house for 8 months which brings me back to why holidays relapses were an issue.  

Over the time being there I watched many addicts and alcoholics in early recovery go home to soon in their sobriety, and I watched them relapse or stay up there to go on a “run”.  Now I get to watch as an industry professional usually with similar results as what I saw living in a halfway house.  Addicts and Alcoholics are good manipulators at their craft and in early recovery those behaviors are still very much alive.  

As parents, the line of “I’m going to a friends, I want to see him before I go back. I’m sober now you don’t have to worry about me, I called my sponsor.”  Family members want to believe their loved ones that they are going to stay “sober” this time around.  Family members are also dealing with a lot of hurt and pain, which a couple months of sobriety is not enough time for that to be built back.  I would like to see everybody have safe and sober holidays because they can be daunting for the addict and alcoholic.

How to Avoid Holiday Relapses:

The stretch of time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be overwhelming for the addict and alcoholic as well as the families of these loved ones.  Here are 5 stressors to look out for this season to prevent holiday relapses:


During the holiday season, it seems like everyone is partying, decorating, arranging for guests, sending out invitations, reminiscing, and stocking up on food and alcohol. Just knowing that there’s an annual office party, the family gets together, or your “old friends” want to catch up will spike your stress levels higher.  This is a huge holiday stress because we are intuitive enough to realize that there will be drugs and alcohol at the parties we go to.   As drug addicts and alcoholics it is always important to figure out what are motives are at those parties and where our sobriety is at.  


During the holidays we can get caught up on how much money we are spending, bills we have to pay, and trips to go and see our families.  There are a lot of emotions around holidays and finances due to the thought of how we put ourselves into financial stress.  “What-If” I never went on that last run, “I wouldn’t be in this spot right now.”  It is a difficult task for recovering addicts to face the financial burdens we create during our “using”.  Managing money and getting rid of the selfishness are huge tasks for addicts in recovery to work on.  In recovery we learn tools to not “expect” financial help because I have been sober for any period of time.  


The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year when it comes to emotional turmoil. Feelings of shame, guilt, humiliation, embarrassment, anger and depression may be associated with this period. Many people in recovery report they experience increased anxiety with respect to triggers and cravings during the holidays.  Going back to your home environment and facing those that you have hurt in the past can be a burden to your conscience.  We often go back home earlier than what may be healthy for us to be put back into the situation of dealing with those emotions that have been buried for years.  Addicts and alcoholics learn the tools they need to be able to deal with their emotions through a healthy recovery path.  

Family Conflict:

Being in close contact with family members is another serious stressor during the holiday season. Coupled with the likelihood that alcohol will be served during family get-togethers or parties and the outlook is not promising for maintaining your sobriety. Old wounds may be reopened when family members drink, with resulting increase in conflict that may get out of hand –- not the least of which is the urge to drink or use just to escape it, likely a coping method used in the past.  You may have been away to treatment and have had time to build back healthy relationship with your family, they may not be receptive to your needs of recovery.  

Disruption in Schedules, Time Demands:

With so many people busy with holiday parties, taking time off from work and schedules taking a backseat to holiday plans, is it any wonder that your normal routine will be disrupted? With work schedules jammed due to deadlines to meet before everyone takes off for a break, therapists or sponsors going out of town, increased demands from your spouse, partner or other family members, and your own inability to say no when asked to do something, schedule disruptions and demands on your time can put serious stress on your sobriety. It is also likely to affect your regular meeting attendance, exercise routine, even healthy eating patterns.  Going through the stress and the demands that a family may press upon you, and the underlying feeling of not seeing your family for long periods of time.  

The facts of holiday relapses are uncharted and won’t necessarily prove that it is any greater risk than the usual day to day.  From an addict/alcoholic that has experienced these stressors first hand, I can tell you that the risks are real and need to be thoroughly discussed before putting ourselves in high risk situations.  I had to plan every decision around my recovery or I put myself at risk for a relapse, I continue to think about the above described before I go back to my old environments and people that have put my sobriety at risk.  To be successful we have to prepare and weigh out all the options of “what might happen” before we put ourselves in harms’ way.  

If you or a loved one you know needs help please reach out and seek a better way of life.  It takes a large amount of courage and willingness to take the next step to sobriety, and everyone deserves to be free from addiction.  I am blessed to have found that path, and I put that willingness to action.  I took a lot of time to listen to the suggestions to those around me and take what others had to say seriously which led to my success today.

Finding Help With Holiday Relapses

Holiday relapses happen. Don’t give up. If you or a loved one are in need of addiction treatment, please contact our recovery center office via the form on this page, or call our recovery specialists at 1-800-249-1932. All calls are free and confidential. We can also verify your insurance coverage over the phone.

Photo credit to Flickr user chinglecats.

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Oxycontin Epidemic Goes Global

The OxyContin epidemic goes global. OxyContin is a business that is dying out in the United States as a result of a nationwide epidemic that has seen over 200,000 lives taken as a result of opioid abuse. Health officials are instructing primary care physicians from prescribing these drugs for chronic pain, stating that there is no evidence that they work in the long term and that they increase patients’ risk of addiction.

Since 2010, prescriptions for OxyContin have decreased by almost 40 percent. As a result, billions of dollars in revenue were lost by Purdue Pharma, the brand’s manufacturer based in Connecticut. The Sackler family, which owns the company, has a new goal in mind, one that seems very rash: the plan is to put the drug that started the opioid crisis in the US in medicine cabinets throughout the globe.

This is a plan that can backfire and result in an OxyContin epidemic globally. A group of international companies owned by the Sackler family is entering the areas of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, among others, and is trying to push for a broader use of painkillers in regions that don’t have the resources to deal with problems stemming from opioid abuse and addiction.

The network of companies, collectively called Mundipharma, are relying on controversial marketing tactics that led to OxyContin becoming so widespread in the US. It is easy to envision a headline of “OxyContin addiction goes global” as a result of these practices.

In countries like China and Brazil, the companies are hosting seminars attended by physicians and are urging them to get past their feeling about opioids and prescribe painkillers to patients who need them. The companies are also hosting campaigns to raise public awareness to encourage patients dealing with chronic pain to seek medical treatment and even offering discounts to make prescription opioids cheaper.

With the worry of the possibility that OxyContin addiction goes global, Vivek H. Murthy, US Surgeon General, states that he urges doctors “to be very careful” with such medications and to learn from the problems that have come about with opioid use in the US. He stresses that using caution is important when marketing the drugs and that the benefits didn’t outweigh the risks for many individuals.

OxyContin Epidemic Marketing Help

David A. Kessler, former US Food and Drug Administration commission, compared Mundipharma’s push of opioids in foreign markets with the marketing of big tobacco companies pushing cigarettes.

Representatives of the companies have pushed marketing materials that downplay the risks of becoming addicted to opioid drugs. It is reminiscent of the marketing of OxyContin in the late 1990s in the US when Purdue Pharma lied to doctors about the addictiveness of the drug.

In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pled guilty to misbranding of the drug, a federal charge that saw them ordered to pay $635 million. The FDA claimed that the company used inappropriate, aggressive and excessive marketing and made the abuse and trafficking of OxyContin even worse.

In spite of the high risks of addiction when taking OxyContin, the managing director of Mundipharma’s office in Cyrus, Menicos M. Petrou, stated that it is “an excellent product” and that he was happy to meet members of the Sackler family when they visited a factory located on the island. He claimed that if people misuse drugs, there is usually not much a pharmaceutical company can do about it.

Overall, there is little regard for the possibility of an OxyContin epidemic. Time will tell how the use of opioids going so widespread will go and if there will be more responsible use of the drugs.

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How to Keep Your Job During Rehab

Addiction is never easy, especially when you’re trying to keep your job. Once you have reached the point where you can no longer deal with your addiction, you will want to enter or attend inpatient rehab. However, that is a time where it is extremely difficult to keep your job. Keeping your job while you are in rehab is challenging, but certainly not impossible. You will no doubt have the question of “how do I keep my job in rehab” in your mind during this trying time. Here are the steps you must take to keep your job during rehab.

Family Medical Leave Act

One of the most important tools available to you while in rehab, is the Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. This is a federal law that is in place specifically for individuals who take an extended time away from work because of “serious health conditions”. Substance use disorder is included under that category. Under the FMLA, a person is able to take 12 weeks off to attend inpatient rehab. This law also allows them to keep their job during rehab, although they are not paid during that time.

To qualify for leave for rehab under the Family Medical Leave Act and keep job during rehab, you must meet the following requirements:

• Work for an employer who covers the FMLA
• You must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours
• Work within the United States and for a public or private employer that has at least 50 employees
• Have a “serious health condition” that requires you to take extended medical leave (of course, if you have a necessity to enter a rehab program, you qualify as having a “serious health condition”)

It is important to know that drug and alcohol addiction does qualify as a “serious health condition” according to the standards set forth by the FMLA. You will want to request a leave of absence with your employer and consult with a treatment provider that can give you a full assessment and provide advice on treatment options that would best suit your needs and circumstances.

Meeting the Criteria

Substance use disorder is considered by the FMLA to be an “illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition”. It means that you require a legal extended leave of absence from your job, provided you meet certain criteria:

• You must receive inpatient rehab in a medical facility
• You require ongoing treatment that includes the inability to work more than three consecutive days; the inability to work at the first seven days and within the last 30 days of your treatment; and the inability to work within the first seven days and you have a requirement of medication or therapy
• You are unable to work and are receiving treatment over an extended amount of time and that requires two healthcare provider visits per year
• Your treatment requires your absence from work so you can receive multiple treatment options that would otherwise leave you incapacitated for more than three days without said treatment

There is another law that helps protect you when you need rehab and allows you to keep your job. This is the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. Addiction does qualifies as an impairment under this law, and it prevents individuals from being discriminated against. This enables their job to be protected if they have a need for a leave of absence. Both drug addiction and alcoholism are included as “disabilities”, according to the ADA. This allows people to seek treatment and recovery meetings under reasonable accommodations from employers.

Keep Your Job During Rehab

With these things in mind, you don’t have to worry about “how do I keep my job in rehab”. These laws exist to protect you.

Our recovery specialists at Anchor Bay Recovery are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Please call us at 800-249-1932 or use the form on this page. We can also verify your insurance coverage online, or over the phone. All calls are free and confidential!

Photo credit to Flickr user Kevin Lamb.

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Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Oxycodone is a narcotic painkiller drug mostly prescribed for people suffering from moderate to severe pain. The drug, however, can lead to extreme physical dependence or outright addiction, it is extremely habit forming. In most instances when Oxycodone is taken for purposes of reducing pain it actually increases the pain. A condition referred to as opioid-induced hyperalgesia.

Oxycodone addiction has led to a number of crimes, illnesses and even sudden deaths in the United States. Individuals suffering from this addiction, however, have the opportunity of turning a new leaf courtesy of treatment which is available.

How Oxycodone Addiction Happens

Oxycodone addiction is commonly caused when you take more of oxycodone drug than was prescribed. You might take too much of the drug each day or take the drug for a long period of time. In both scenarios, it is more probable that your doctor never paid the required attention to ensure that you understood how addictive oxycodone can get to be or even never sought to know how you are fairing on.

Symptoms of addiction

Apart from taking a drug test you can look at certain symptoms to detect oxycodone addiction. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Sedation.
  • Euphoria.
  • Drowsiness, in some instances up to the point of nodding off.
  • Respiratory suppression.

Overdose deaths can sometimes happen due to respiratory suppression, especially when oxycodone is combined with other drugs that suppress respiration for example benzodiazepines or alcohol. In case a person misses to get his or her normal dose of oxycodone, they start suffering from withdrawal symptoms. He or she will become restless, sweaty and agitated. He/she will suffer from bone and muscle pain, diarrhea, depression insomnia, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone can be uncomfortable and long lasting. Due to this, people attempting to quit oxycodone more often benefit through seeking professional treatment. Depending on the frequency, amount, and duration of oxycodone addiction, a supervised detox might be recommended.

Detoxification is the reduction of oxycodone in the body of the addict. The process involves monitoring and reducing the amount of oxycodone in your body system under close medical supervision to ensure you still feel comfortable. In most instances, it is carried in an inpatient setting to enable medical professionals to take care of your safety and comfort.

During this oxycodone addiction treatment process, other medications can be prescribed alongside to reduce unpleasant symptoms and cravings. When detoxification is over, you can be referred to 3 treatment options. The available alternatives come either as residential rehabilitation, outpatient treatment, or mental health/dual diagnosis treatment.

Residential Rehab Programs

Residential rehab programs keep you recovering from the addiction at the treatment center for some period of time. The oxycodone addiction treatment duration vary but in most cases range from several weeks to several months. During this period there is an intensive focus on recovery throughout the duration. Addiction therapy can likewise be administered via outpatient programs. The outpatient addiction treatment, however, is less time intensive compared to residential or inpatient programs. It typically involves weekly or daily counseling and education sessions to discuss recovery options and learning of methods of maintaining abstinence.

These oxycodone addiction treatment options might share a number of similarities including:

  • Medical management that seeks to address mental health issues related to substance addiction and their associated cravings.
  • Behavioral therapy to identify causes of use of oxycodone and the mechanisms that maintained such patterns. Some behavioral programs use what is referred to as token economies or offer rewards for certain durations of abstinence. Their main aim is to identify the forces behind the desire to use the drug and designing strategies to counter them.
  • 12-step programs to build a sense of community connection and fellowship with others in the recovery program. With a closer and stronger bond created between a recovering user and his or her community, the programs are able to enhance a self-driven desire to recover from the user.
  • Family education and therapy to offer loved one’s information to assist in recovery and to address their own needs connected to addiction. This is based on the important role of a family in influencing personal decisions. Family members can be the best placed to help addicts make informed decisions.

Contact Anchor Bay Recovery

Our recovery specialists at Anchor Bay Recovery are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Please call us at 800-249-1932 or use the form on this page. We can also verify your insurance coverage online, or over the phone. All calls are free and confidential!


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Inpatient Drug Rehab Helps Addiction Treatment

One of the biggest crises many Americans face is drug addiction. If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction, a good option is inpatient drug rehab. This type of rehabilitation can help you in many ways. In addition, live in Florida, you should also know how to go about selecting the right Florida inpatient drug rehab facility.

Making the decision to go into drug rehab is one that is never easy. It requires that you take the step of acceptance that you have a problem and need help. The biggest benefit of admitting you have a problem and seeking a rehab facility is that it is the largest guarantee of being able to get sober and stay sober in the long term.

Why Enroll in an Inpatient Drug Rehab?

Enrolling in an inpatient drug rehab program gives you the opportunity to get better. It offers you plenty of time and the ability to focus on what’s important and what you need to do on your journey toward sobriety. Choosing the right program and right rehab facility can also determine whether you eventually relapse or enjoy sobriety for the rest of your life.

When you check into the drug rehab center you eventually choose, you will undergo detoxification. This is the best alternative to quitting cold turkey. That is often ineffective and results in people falling right back into their drug habits. Detox eliminates the risk of overdose because there is no access to drugs. This greatly improves your chance of a successful rehabilitation.

Frequently, when a person is trying to quit their drug habit, there are certain triggers in their environment that lead to them having a relapse. However, with inpatient rehab, there are none. This means that the individual doesn’t have to worry about the constant temptation of using.

Getting Professional Help

Our skilled medical personnels are constantly on hand at Anchor Bay Recovery to support you when you want to stop using drugs and get clean. Our professionals can help to ease your symptoms of withdrawal.  They are also aware of situations that might prove to be a threat to the progress of your rehabilitation.

There are also psychological benefits for individuals in inpatient rehab. Therapy is always available, and it is an integral part of the rehab process. The best programs will offer a wide variety of psychotherapy options. In addition, no two treatment programs are the same because each person is different and has a unique situation.

Many rehab centers also offer emotional benefits. In some cases, these are considered spiritual benefits, depending on the program’s philosophy. Whatever the case, such benefits are never minimized. People will get the peace of mind that their needs are met while they’re in treatment.

There are many inpatient drug rehab facilities that are funded by the state, which means that the patient does not have to pay out of pocket for their treatment. Individuals can qualify to be admitted depending on their lack of income and/or insurance, legal residence in the United States and official residence in the state. This includes Florida inpatient drug rehab facilities.

Our recovery specialists at Anchor Bay Recovery are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Please call us at 800-249-1932 or use the form on this page. We can also verify your insurance coverage online, or over the phone. All calls are free and confidential!

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Holistic Addiction Treatment: Can It Work For Me?

Researchers are finding more and more evidence to support the idea that there are multiple reasons for addiction. Ranging from genetic predispositions to environmental issues, a number of factors can come into play. Addiction tends to be complex and personal. As an addict, you are often faced with cookie-cutter treatment programs. We strive at our treatment center to guide and support you with a holistic addiction treatment plan.

Personalization, Teamwork and Care That Sets You on the Right Path

When you come to our treatment center, you’ll immediately sense the difference. By focusing on your habits and lifestyle, we can truly support you through the most important transformation of your life. We tailor our holistic addiction treatment programs to support you as an individual. We address the deep challenges in your life that may have led you to the path of drug or alcohol addiction.

Holistic Addiction Treatment: Techniques to Support Your Success

Our philosophy is that addiction treatment should not be punitive; it’s not your fault that you’re in this situation. Adopting a new set of behaviors will support you in your quest to remain sober. Learning yoga and meditation will help you to ground yourself and discover the parts of your personality that are strong and healthy. Adventure-based activities will help you to dive deeply into the present moment, remember that recovery happens one step at a time.

Grace, Compassion and a Process You Will Enjoy

We realize that drug or alcohol addiction can be overwhelming and all-encompassing, but you can recover well. At our facility, we enjoy taking the opportunity to get to know you better. We strive to empower you with the tools that you will need to triumph on a daily basis. Our staff want to see you succeed. We are experienced in using these types of therapies, and you will feel a strong shift within your mindset and worldview.

Resources You Can Use for the Rest of Your Life

Yoga and meditation both demonstrate a proven track record for helping people throughout their lives. These activities can truly make all the difference in the world when times become challenging and you need a way to clear your mind. The lessons learned during our adventure-based activities will also stay with you for your entire life, further supporting you during the recovery journey. These are the tools that set our facility apart, giving patients the gift of holistic healing.

Our recovery specialists at Anchor Bay Recovery are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Please call us at 800-249-1932 or use the form on this page. We can also verify your insurance coverage online, or over the phone. All calls are free and confidential!

Photo credit to Flickr user Mike Roguez.

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10 Tips for Recovering From Addiction

Tips and Reminders for a Successful Recovery
from Dr. Urschel, Enterhealth LLC and The National Geographic Channel

Anyone who is in recovery or seeking help for the first time should understand that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or a weakness of willpower or a lack in ability to just say ‘no’.

Addiction cannot be cured, but it can be managed.   Getting help from a professional that approaches addiction as a disease is first step to a successful recovery.  By following the recommendations of experienced professionals with access to the latest advances in therapy and medicine, individuals will have the best chance at recovery and bright and happy future.

Here are 10 key tips for making a successful recovery:

1.      Make your recovery a priority – put yourself first and stay in touch with trained professionals who know you and can provide you with comprehensive treatment options and sound advice throughout your recovery.

2.      Take it one day at a time – recovery is a process, not a destination.  Do not let thoughts of use or old habits get the best of you.  Learn techniques to overcome any negative thoughts and feelings

3.      Communicate – addiction can be very isolating so talk to your friends and family about your challenges.  While it may be tough, the support system you create will give you an enormous boost.  They will be there when you need them and will help you stay motivated and focused.

4.      Change your environment – one of the best ways to maintain a healthy recovery is to replace your bad habits with healthy, new ones.  Surround yourself with positive people, things and experiences.  Search out cultural events and activities in your area that can stimulate your body and mind in a new, exciting – and healthy way.

5.      Change your friends – some of your friends may have been enabling your addiction instead of helping you control it.  If you have friends that may jeopardize your recovery, it is time to find a new circle of friends.  The right friends will help you to maintain a healthy recovery.

6.      Get out and exercise – spending 30-60 minutes walking or at the gym will just a few days a week will do wonders for you.  Exercise will not only boost your physical strength, it will boost your mental health as well.

7.      Improve your diet – in addition to exercise, eating right is another key ingredient to a successful recovery.  Whether you get help or do it on your own, improvements in diet will make you healthier mentally and physically.

8.      Join a support group – whether you join a church based group, AA or other social support network, they can provide wonderful value, help and wisdom to your recovery efforts

9.      Work or donate some of your time – being productive at your job or giving back to a cause you believe it will do wonders for your self-esteem.  Making a positive contribution at work or for others will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride.

10.   Never give up – whatever you do, regardless of the challenges or obstacles you face, do not give up or give in to the disease.  Rely on your family, friends and support tools to keep going in the face of temptations and difficult days.

Source: 10 Tips for Recovering From Addiction