Category Archives: Recovery

What Happens to Your Job When You’re in Rehab?

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Are you considering rehab but you’re concerned about your job and what will happen to it? According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 76 percent of people with substance abuse have jobs. You are certainly not alone. You may also have a family to take care of, bills to pay and a home to maintain.

It’s understandable why you would be scared to seek treatment. You can’t afford to lose your job or hurt your career. Fortunately, there are laws to protect people in the workplace with substance abuse disorders. Addiction is viewed as a mental illness and is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Knowing your rights can provide you with the reassurance you need to seek treatment. Plus, by getting sober, you can keep your job and advance your career. Let’s learn more about your rights in the workplace and what happens to your job when you’re in rehab.

Understanding Your Rights

Once you enter a treatment program, the ADA protects you. You cannot be fired for reasons related to your addiction or the treatment process. This includes missing work. If you are fired, you can file a charge of discrimination against your employer.

Under the FMLA, you can take 12 weeks of medical leave each year for a wide range of issues, including addiction. You must be a qualified employee, however. If you are not sure if you qualify for FMLA, talk to your company’s Human Resources department. Unfortunately, this leave is generally unpaid, but you are guaranteed a position when you return.

Obtaining Disability While in Treatment

If you cannot get pay while you are out of work, consider applying for disability benefits until treatment is finished. This can be a long and complicated process, however. You must qualify for the disability, and Social Security can deny your claim because of the materiality determination. Talk to a lawyer who is experienced in how drug and alcohol abuse can affect a disability case to learn more.

Talking with Your Employer

Before you leave for treatment, talk to your employer and HR team. HR managers are trained to handle these types of circumstances, though it helps to speak with a medical professional and your insurance company to be as informed as possible. Your employer will need to know how the treatment will interfere with your work schedule. Even if you choose an outpatient program and won’t be missing much work, you will still be going through changes that will affect your ability to focus. It’s best to be honest with your employer.

Above all, rest assured that seeking treatment will not cause you to lose your job. In fact, you can return to work with a renewed focus and accomplish more than you thought possible! With substance abuse costing billions of dollars each year in workplace accidents, crime, healthcare and lost productivity, your employer will be happy you’ve made this decision.

Sauna Detox: The Safe Way to Eliminate Toxins

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The River Source offers infrared sauna treatments to assist patients in the detox and recovery process. Sauna detox is becoming a more popular method for treating certain conditions, but it’s still new to many people. Regardless of what an infrared sauna treatment is being used for – fibromyalgia, heart support or drug addiction – the goal is the same. To rid the body of heavy metals and toxic chemicals to aide in healing and restoration.

Let’s explore more about sauna detox and why it’s one of the safest way to remove toxins from the body.

The Role of Sauna Detox

Everyone is exposed to heavy metals and toxins. If these toxins build up in the body, it can lead to a wide range of symptoms such as digestive distress, chronic fatigue or generally feeling ill. It’s also believed that a buildup of toxins can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and certain cancers.

When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the toxins in the body are even greater. Not only are they regularly feeding their bodies with harmful chemicals and poisons, but also they usually are not taking care of themselves. It’s rare to meet an addict who eats healthy, stays hydrated and exercises!

By the time a person comes to us for treatment, their body is very run down. It’s addicted and almost always malnourished. Depending on the addiction, the addict may be over- or underweight. In order to go through the withdrawal process and have the energy to succeed in counseling, sauna detox is an effective treatment.

Benefits of Sauna Therapy

Sweating is one of the body’s most safest and natural ways to heal the body and maintain good health. Here are some of the benefits that can be expected from infrared sauna treatments.

  • Skin cleansing. The skin is the largest organ in the body and the main barrier against environmental toxins. Through detox, toxins are pushed out of the pores so that the skin can be an effective barrier.

  • Purification. Sweating and increased circulation can purify the body from toxins. Preventing toxic buildup can prevent a wide range of symptoms and chronic health conditions.

  • Circulation. The heat from the sauna induces relaxation and increases heart rate. This improves overall circulation and may help your body release toxins even when you’re not in the sauna.

  • Fever response. Fevers are a natural response to killing harmful microorganisms in the body. Sitting in a sauna provides similar effects, potentially killing off bacteria, viruses and tumor cells.

Sauna Detox Offered at The River Source

The River Source offers sauna therapy to all patients. Our naturopathic doctors always take the highest precautions when using this treatment, including making sure that our patients are well-hydrated. When combining infrared sauna with IV vitamin therapy, the effects on the body are even more pronounced. Because essential vitamins and nutrients are delivered back into the body, it’s like getting a clean slate!

To learn more about sauna detox, vitamin IV therapy or any of our other holistic treatments, call The River Source. We are happy to answer your questions and make this type of treatment affordable to you!

What Does it Mean to Have a 12-Step Sponsor?

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It’s not uncommon for people to have hesitations about sponsorship when they are new to recovery. Some people think that a sponsor is like a parent – a person that tells them what to do and when to do it. It’s also a concern that the sponsor will judge them and their approach to recovery. Understandably, a recovering addict wouldn’t want to take part in a relationship like this. Fortunately, having a sponsor is completely different.

What is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is someone who has been through the 12 steps of the 12-step program. Their role is to guide you through these steps so that you may make the most of your recovery. The steps may look simple in theory, but they are extremely complex. It’s helpful and encouraging to have someone on your side that can share their strength and experience.

For instance, the 8th step is about making amends with others. This is not easy to do. There is a time and place, as well as a right approach for each amend that you have to make. If you attempt this on your own without help from a sponsor, you could end up causing further damage to these relationships. Sometimes, the person you’re trying to make amends with will need to be left alone. You must be prepared for things not going the way you had hoped.

What Do Sponsors Do?

As you’ve learned, a sponsor’s job is to lead you through the steps and help you understand what they are about. They are not there to boss you around or condemn you. If you ask, they will be happy to provide you with personal experience and guidance. As you’ll learn through a 12-step program, you must have your own experiences in life and recovery. No one can do this for you.

A sponsor is also a great person to share things with. Whether it’s past experiences, misconceptions about the 12 steps or insecurities about your recovery, your sponsor will be there for you. They can assist if you find yourself in a tough spot and be the first person you call when you have the urge to use drugs or drink again. Many longer term recovering addicts admit that their sponsors were the one bright spot in their recoveries and they still talk to them regularly.

Don’t let the misconceptions of having a sponsor scare you away from the idea. Having a sponsor is necessary as you commit to a 12-step program and start moving through the steps. Your sponsor will be your advocate and can help you grow in your understanding of a higher power, living a life of sobriety and helping others.

Learn the Basics of a 12 Step Program

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Have you ever wondered what is meant by a “12 Step program”? Do you have to be religious? Spiritual? Are all programs the same? If your loved one is entering a 12 Step program, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the process. Rather than feeling confused or left out of the recovery process, you can be an important player in your loved one’s healing simply by understanding the 12 Steps.

How Did the 12 Steps Come to Be?

The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. The purpose was to develop guidelines for recovering alcoholics to follow when overcoming addiction. As the program saw success, other programs implemented the Steps, too. Though the model does involve spirituality and the presence of a higher power, it’s flexible enough that people of all beliefs, no belief and backgrounds can come to their own interpretations.

Another aspect of the 12 Steps is that there is no “right” way to recover from an addiction. Some participants will need to revisit certain Steps or spend longer on some Steps than others. Sometimes, participants can practice more than one Step at a time. The 12 Step-based perspective views addiction as a lifelong disease that requires a new structure for living.

What are the 12 Steps?

Here are the 12 Steps that your loved one will follow, as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Do the 12 Steps Work?

One of the first questions that people have about this model is whether or not it works. Because participants are anonymous and formal research is limited, it’s difficult to say for certain exactly how successful the 12 Steps are.

What we do know is that many addicts have been able to recover from addiction thanks to the 12 Steps. Based on their testimonials and the stories they choose to share, the model helps them achieve sobriety and lead a life that is rewarding and fulfilling. At the very least, the 12 Step model provides support, accountability and encouragement for the people who need it most.

Are you ready to start your recovery? Call The River Source. Your call is confidential.

Coping Skills to Assist in Your Recovery

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Coping skills are tools that people use to deal with stressful situations in life. Not all stressful situations are negative, however. Things like moving to a new home or starting a new job are positive but stressful. People must have ways to manage these situations. When recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, coping mechanisms become even more important. The problem is, they don’t come easily.

It’s important to remember that coping skills are different for everyone. What works for one person may not work for you, and vice versa. It may take experimenting with different strategies until you find the ones that work for you. Be patient, and don’t give up. The cravings and temptation can be persistent in early recovery, but there are ways to cope. 

Let’s look at some different coping skills that can aid in your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.


 Exercise is one of the most helpful coping mechanisms. It allows you to maintain your weight, sleep better and lower the risk of developing certain conditions. Exercise also improves your emotional well-being. Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals in the brain that boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Meditation is often related to religion, but you don’t have to be religious to practice meditation. Taking just a few minutes a day to meditate can release negative thoughts and reduce stress and anxiety. As you get more comfortable with this practice, you can do it anytime, anywhere.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises are also effective coping skills. When you’re feeling angry, upset or stressed, deep breathing calms you down and eliminates negative emotions. Like meditation, the more you practice deep breathing, the better you’ll be at it.


Even if you’re not much of a writer, it’s mentally liberating to write down your thoughts and feelings. In a safe, private place, you can express anything you want. The more you write, the more insight you gain into your feelings. Journaling also prevents negative emotions from bottling up.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is so important in recovery. It might not come natural right now, so you’ll have to consciously look for things in your life to be grateful for. It could be the ability to get out of bed or having a bright, sunny day to enjoy. You might even want to keep a gratitude journal to track the positives in your life.

There are no right or wrong ways to cope. It’s all about finding what works for you. As you practice different coping strategies, you will come to find the ones you like best.

Are you ready to start your recovery? Call The River Source today and speak with one of our representatives. Your call is confidential.

Who Should Be On Your Addiction Recovery Support Team?

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If you are a recovering addict or alcoholic, you need your friends and family to get you through the hard times. Your loved ones will help keep your mind off drugs and alcohol, fill your time with constructive activities and assist with keeping you on track with your recovery goals. But friends and family aren’t the only ones who support your recovery. There are many people you can surround yourself with that are positive influences.

Below are key individuals that should be added to your addiction recovery support team. Each person’s support network will look slightly different, but this gives you a good place to start!

A Longer Term Recovering Addict 

This support person can usually be found in a 12-step program. In fact, they may be your sponsor! It’s important to have this frame of understanding from someone else, especially if you want to share your thoughts and feelings to a person who has been there.

A “Speed Dial” Friend 

This type of person is someone you can count on 24/7 if you’re tempted to drink or use drugs. This person may or may not be in recovery, but you’re confident they can talk you through high-risk situations. Make sure you have a preferred way to get a hold of them, either through phone, text or chat. 

An Honest Abe

When your brain was addicted, it lied to you. As a result, you lied to yourself and others. Now, it’s hard to trust. You might find yourself questioning what’s real and what’s not. Include a truth teller on your support team who isn’t afraid to tell you when you’re veering off track or need professional help.

An Unconditional Love

In most cases, this is a parent, child or spouse. It can even be a pet. Unconditional love is important for those in recovery, as it means loving you no matter what. Sometimes you just need that reassurance. 

A Health Advocate

As you physically recover from your addiction, you must start taking care of your body. Having a fitness partner keeps you accountable and makes working out or cooking more fun. Your health advocate may also join you on doctor’s visits so that you can listen while he/she takes notes.

A Planner and Sitter

One thing to prevent in early recovery is boredom. Add a friend or family member to your support team that can help you organize a healthy schedule. They may even map out days for paying bills, running errands and attending support groups. Also, consider adding a sitter to your network. If you need a break from the kids or a pet, it’s nice to know you have someone to call. 

This is by no means a complete list of the people you should have in your support circle. However, you can get a better idea for the types of people that should be included and the impact they can have on your recovery.