Category Archives: Recovery

Integrative Treatment: Why it Works

Massage therapy

Treatment centers follow various therapeutic styles to effectively meet the needs of their patients. The River Source is pleased to offer integrative care to address patient needs. There is a strong link between mental illness and substance abuse, and the integrative care model successfully addresses two or more disorders at one time.

Let’s learn more about the integrative care model and why this might be the best form of treatment for yourself or a loved one.

What is Integrative Treatment?

The integrative approach meets the needs of people with two or more mental health conditions, such as bipolar depression and substance use disorder. When treating a patient for substance abuse, a treatment center will look at the bigger picture, not just the immediate issue.

Let’s say that you are seeking treatment for your 20-year-old son. Your child may be suffering from addiction, but he is not the addiction. There are other parts to your son. He may suffer from depression, have trouble making friends or have abuse in the past. All of these parts make a difference when putting together a personalized care plan and delivering treatment.

It’s not just weaknesses that we focus on but also strengths. Natural skills and abilities can be implemented into your son’s treatment plan to give him confidence and help him recover from his addiction. Maybe your son does well at school, excels in a sport or has a natural talent for art. A successful treatment plan could include sober activities such as wellness or painting.

What are the Pros and Cons to Integrative Care?

Integrative treatment is an effective approach to treating co-occurring disorders. Mental illness and substance abuse go hand-in-hand, so it’s very common for patients to have both disorders when entering a treatment center. If one of the conditions is not treated or is given a contradictory type of treatment, it’s possible that the patient’s symptoms will not improve.

The benefits to integrative treatment are:

  • Coordinated treatment for multiple conditions

  • No separation between mental health and addiction treatment

  • All health professionals work together

  • Reduced risk of hospitalization

  • Improved quality of life

  • More progress made in a shorter period of time

Integrative care has no limitations. It can be used to treat any patient with multiple mental health conditions. The only limitation is when a patient is at a facility for a short time. The integrative care model is most effective when the appropriate time is given to address both the addiction and the mental illness.

If you are interested in learning more about the integrative approach to treating addiction, call The River Source.


What are the Pros and Cons to Drug Testing a Loved One?

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Open hand

Helping someone heal from addiction is one of the most important jobs you will have. With so many ups and downs, mood swings and personality changes, it’s normal for both the addict and family members to feel depressed. It’s also understandable that you may feel on edge all of the time. Will your loved one be able to remain sober? What if they are lying? What happens if they relapse?

With so much uncertainty in early recovery, some families feel that it will ease their mind to have their loved one drug tested. This way, they can have the reassurance that their family member is sticking to their recovery goals. But, is drug testing really the best choice? Can it do more harm than good?

Drug Testing Can Work, But Not Always

Each family is unique, so we can’t say that drug testing is either good or bad. For some families, it does work. Knowing that drug testing is a possibility can be motivating. On the other hand, drug testing can create more strife in the family. The recovering addict might feel that their loved ones don’t trust them or that their privacy is being invaded.

Before making a decision for the recovering addict in your life, consider the pros and cons to random drug testing.

Pros of Drug Testing

  • Peace of mind. If the test comes back clean, it’s peace of mind that your loved one is following their recovery plan and that your efforts are paying off. This can create a more positive environment and loving relationship.

  • Improved trust. Recovering addicts want to be trusted again, but it’s understandable that the people around them might not be ready to. Having physical proof that your loved one is telling the truth can strengthen and build trust.

  • Private and confidential. If you choose to do a home drug test, the process is private. If the test comes back positive, you can address the next steps to getting help. For example, The River Source allows patients who have completed 90 days of inpatient treatment to return to our facility for additional treatment at no extra cost if they relapse in the first year.

  • Opportunities for rewards. If the test is negative, use this as a time to celebrate. Something simple like a dinner out is a great way to strengthen family ties and reward good behavior.

Cons to Drug Testing

  • Feeling inadequate. Understandably, not all recovering addicts agree with drug testing. Feeling untrusted or demeaned can lead to a more hostile home environment.

  • False results. At home drug testing kits are not as reliable as ones done in a medical laboratory. It’s possible that your loved one could tamper with the results. It’s also possible that things such as vitamin supplements or specific foods can alter the results.

  • Confirm fears. You may not be ready to see a test come back positive. However, it’s important to have a plan of action and a support system in place in the event a test comes back positive.

At The River Source, we recommend working with a counselor if you do choose to drug test. A counselor will serve as a mediator so that your loved one knows their guidelines and expectations. Families can also receive support on what to do if the test has positive results.

Feeling Lonely? The Steps to Making Friends in Early Sobriety

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Addiction specialists and research scientists agree that a strong support network is crucial in early sobriety. An addict’s friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc. influence how well he or she does in recovery. This is why addiction experts recommend severing old ties to reduce temptation and easy access to drugs and alcohol. While this is good in theory, it also means that many newly recovering addicts feel lonely.

Having a positive social circle is not just beneficial for a healthy, balanced life but also as a safeguard to sobriety. Let’s discuss the ways that you or a loved one can make friends that you enjoy and relate to in the early days of sobriety.

Start in Your Recovery Groups

One of the built-in benefits of a 12-step group is that support is readily available. This is the best kind of support because these individuals can relate to what you are going through. You don’t need to explain anything or worry about being judged; support groups offer a place of acceptance. In fact, members in your group are likely to be some of your first friends.

It’s common for addicts to seek friendship in those who are going through the same phases of recovery as them, but this isn’t always effective. These relationships can be unstable and lead back to addiction. It’s recommended to develop relationships with those who are confident in their recoveries, as they can offer a unique perspective and also identify potential signs of relapse.

Look for Shared Interests

Just because someone is going through recovery with you doesn’t mean you will have much else in common. The best friendships have shared interests, such as sports, music or art. Start by identifying your personal hobbies. Have you always wanted to try yoga or a spinning class? Do theater and music excite you? Perhaps joining a book club is more up your alley. By taking part in these activities, you will naturally meet others who share the same passions.

Identify Specific Traits and Qualities

It’s smart to build a well-rounded circle of friends and family. No one person can serve every purpose. For example, you may have a few friends that you can count on to catch a movie or go out for dinner with. Your siblings may be the ones who offer a shoulder to cry on. Think about the type of people that you want/need in your life. Even if someone doesn’t enjoy the same hobbies as you, they may offer a different quality such as being a great listener or motivator.

Be Open and Transparent

One of the difficulties in forming friendships in early sobriety is that you may not be sure of who you are. What do you enjoy doing? What are your talents and skills? Recovery is a learning process, so give yourself time to explore your place in the world. As you go through this beautiful experience, you will naturally meet people that appreciate you for who you are.

When you start your journey to sobriety, each day is a step forward. Even the hard days. The River Source offers integrative treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders. Our success rates are higher than average, and we have a strong continuing care program. Call us today to learn more.

Why Encourage Your Loved One to Attend Support Groups

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Friends together

You’ve probably heard plenty about 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but you may not know much about them. AA has been helping people get sober for over 80 years. The original model was created for alcoholics, but it has been modified over the years to accommodate other types of addictions.

There are also extensions of these groups that offer help to the family members and friends of addicts. The goal is to bring together people who are going through similar experiences for the purpose of mutual support, compassion and understanding.

As your loved one prepares to come home from drug rehab in Arizona, you may be wondering how important 12-step groups are. Is this something that you should continue to encourage? What does your loved one have to gain?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should encourage your loved one to attend their recovery groups.

Prevent Loneliness and Isolation

Addiction is a disease of isolation. Now that your loved one is working on their recovery, they probably feel alone in a different way. Their personal relationships are probably a mess. They’ve likely lost friends and aren’t sure how to interact with others just yet. Some newly recovering addicts reveal that they don’t know where they fit in. Attending 12-step meetings prevents solitude. It connects addicts in all phases of their recoveries and reminds them that they are not alone.

Reduce the Risk of Relapse

The risk of relapse is high in the beginning. It subsides over time, but it can never be completely ruled out. Some recovering addicts admit that they relapsed when they stopped going to their groups, as the meetings reminded them of their purpose and sense of belonging. Self-help groups encourage addicts to stay sober, and if something is off, members often notice it.

Connect with Others and Relieve Stress

No matter how close you are to your loved one, it’s possible that they will have a hard time being open and honest. Many recovering addicts tend to be more comfortable in their support groups, as the environment is non-judgemental and the members are supportive. Being able to release anxious thoughts in this setting is powerful.

Maintain a Structured Schedule

In the early days of recovery, your loved one will benefit from a structured schedule. Boredom can be one of the worst enemies. Going to support groups requires some time and effort. It’s a healthy activity that will keep your loved one on track with their sobriety goals and add organization to their schedule.

You should always encourage your loved one to attend their support groups. This is one of the best tools they have in their recovery. Don’t forget that there are groups for people like you, too! Check out Al-Anon or Nar-Anon Family Groups for more information.

Ways to Thank Someone for Supporting Your Recovery

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Friends talking

Being an addict comes with many consequences. One of them is hurting the ones you love. Whether it’s by lying, stealing or keeping them up at night, family members are almost always affected by the addiction. Now that you are doing your part to get clean and repair your relationships, you may be wondering how you can thank those who have stood by you. Below are a few ideas.

Issue an Apology

When you give a sincere apology, you show loved ones that you accept responsibility for the hurt you caused. A genuine apology also shows that you are prepared to change your life. When you are ready to apologize, recognize your role in the hurt. Avoid blaming others, talking about others or making excuses.

(Note: Always work with your sponsor to determine the right time to issue an apology.)

Listen and Be Open to Feedback

Another way to show gratitude is by listening with an open mind. Getting defensive doesn’t allow you to grow in your mistakes – or your relationships. As you listen to what the person has to say, think about how you can act in the future to avoid similar situations.

Maintain Sobriety

Probably the best way to show your thanks is by maintaining your sobriety. You may come across some friends or family that don’t buy into the “thank yous” or “I’m sorry’s.” Show them you mean what you say by staying committed to your recovery goals.

Help Others

Just as your loved one stood by you, consider some of the ways you can help others. Volunteering your time at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen is a valuable way to spend your time. You can also be of help to others in the home. Cook dinner, take out the garbage or mow the lawn.

Be Present

As you strengthen your connections with others, make it a priority to be there and be present. Don’t miss out on birthday parties, graduations, theater plays, etc. Invite a friend or sibling out for coffee on the weekends. When you are with someone, be fully present.

Acknowledge Their Role

If you would like, you can ask someone to join you at one of your 12 step groups and thank them publicly. Sometimes, writing a letter is the best way to explain your feelings. Be specific about the ways your loved one made a difference and what it means to you.

Final Thoughts

Sadly, not everyone that used to be in your life will want to stay connected, even after a genuine apology. If this is the case, you will need to move on. Everyone responds differently, and it’s possible the person will want to reconnect at a later time. It’s possible they may not. Respect these decisions. This is part of the recovery process. Concentrate on those who have supported you and want to be in your life today.

Are you ready to change your life? Call The River Source and let’s start a recovery plan that is tailored to your needs.

September is National Recovery Month!

Holding Hands

Welcome to September – or as we in the recovery community know it as – National Recovery Month!

Every September, SAMHSA sponsors Recovery Month to raise awareness and help others better understand substance abuse disorders. This month is also a time to celebrate those who are going through recovery, whether they are new to the process or veterans. As we know, recovery is a lifelong process that involves constant attention, smart choices and awareness.

This month’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities. We really like this theme because we feel that families and communities need to be strengthened, as we are all facing a heroin epidemic. Everyone is affected in some way. Assuming it’s poor choices, a lack of self-control or bad parenting is not going to help families or communities heal. To fight the opioid crisis, we must come together, support those in need and grow our understanding of addiction.

Ways to Celebrate National Recovery Month

If you are a recovering addict or know someone who is, there are many ways to promote recovery. Don’t feel ashamed – be proud! Addiction is a devastating disease that many people lose their battles with. Beating the odds and living a life of sobriety is something to be celebrated, not pushed under the rug. We recommend visiting this page where you can download logos, banners, flyers and a toolkit to help promote National Recovery Month.

During the month of September, there are also many wonderful events to take part in. If you click on this link, you can find events in your area or plan your own event. There is something for everyone to enjoy, ranging from yoga classes to rallies to 5K runs/walks. Find something that fits your interests and go for it!

If you’re not comfortable being open about your recovery, that’s OK too. We are all different, and we all heal in unique ways. You can benefit by quietly connecting with this cause at home. Follow Recovery Month on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. This way, you can receive updates, be motivated by positive messages and feel connected to others.

Remember, fall is a great time to seek recovery! Call The River Source to learn about our affordable, convenient and effective treatment options that can start as soon as today.