Tag Archives: 12-step

Young People In Addiction Recovery

addiction recoveryThere is no question about it, the picture of addiction recovery in America is rapidly changing. Historically, when the general public thought about those who are seeking or found recovery, pictures of people who had hit rock bottom would come to mind. They would conjure up images of bottom of the barrel drunks living on skid row, or addicts doing anything in their power to acquire their next fix. However, the true picture of an addict or alcoholic can be hard to define as science shows us that addiction can touch people from every corner of life and social-economic status has little bearing. What’s more, one’s age, race or gender isn’t indicative of who meets the criteria of addiction.

In the past, the rooms of 12-Step recovery meetings were epitomized by older adults, sharing their stories while the aroma of stale coffee and cigarettes permeated the air. While the majority of people working a program of recovery are indeed beyond the years of young adulthood, addiction recovery is a young person’s program as well. It is not uncommon for one’s abuse of drugs or alcohol to morph into a serious problem in adolescence. Many teenagers and young adults seek help at treatment facilities every day. If you are in recovery yourself, it is somewhat likely that you have met someone who began the journey when they were around the age of 15—managing to acquire over a decade and counting of long term recovery time.

Young Adults In Recovery

All across the United States and in other countries as well, recovery meetings for young people are held every day. A collective effort is afoot, where young people (like their elder peers) practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs—helping each other stay clean and sober—one day at a time. It’s strongly encouraged that younger people create relationships with one another, as it is likely that you will have much more in common with people in the same age group. While there is a lot that young people in recovery can learn from “old timers,” and you would be wise to listen to what they have to share, in the timeless goal of searching for the similarities rather than the differences, connecting with young adults working a program is paramount.

If you are a young adult whose life has become unmanageable due to drugs and alcohol, you may want to consider a treatment center that is designed for your demographic. On top of learning and acquiring the tools necessary for achieving continuous long term sobriety, you will create bonds with other young people who have walked a similar path as you. Such bonds can last decades. You will also be introduced to young people’s meetings, events and conventions that are geared towards creating networks with other young people in recovery.

Young People In Recovery

If you find yourself reading this article and you happen to be a young person working a program, we encourage you to keep reading. It is no secret that the gift of recovery can only be held onto if it is given away freely. Paying it forward. If you have worked the 12-Steps and are sponsoring others, then you know that to be a reality. Only by helping others can we continue to help ourselves. Or perhaps you are reading this and are thinking that you need to step up your service to others. If so, you may want to look into “Young People In Recovery” (YPR), as it may help you stay on the path of abstinence and spiritual betterment.

The mission of YPR is as follows:

Our national leadership team creates and cultivates local community-led chapters through grassroots organizing and training. Chapters support young people in or seeking recovery by empowering them to obtain stable employment, secure suitable housing, and continue and complete their educations. Chapters also advocate on the local and state levels for better accessibility of these services and other effective recovery resources.”

If you would like to locate a chapter or start one in your local area, please click here.

Please take a moment to watch a short video below:

If you are having trouble watch the video, please click here.

Addiction Recovery Requires Assistance

addictionThose of you who have ever spent time in 12-Step meeting, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), are probably aware that a number of people found their way to addiction recovery via the legal system. Over the last several decades people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or possessing an illegal narcotic are commonly required to attend 12-Step meetings.

From Incarceration to Recovery

While many of the people who are mandated to go to recovery meetings are only doing so to fulfill an obligation, a significant number of people hear something said that resonates and they decide to give recovery a shot. Another group of people with substance abuse disorder find their way on the road of recovery while they are behind bars—serving time for a felony drug conviction.

Despite the fact that the recidivism rates for felony drug offenders is nothing short of staggering, there are some who are tired of living in the insidious cycle of addiction and manage to work a program of recovery while incarcerated. It becomes a new way of life which they plan to embrace and continue to work at after their release. Unfortunately, the odds of success outside prison walls are low, partially due to the fact that the options for felony drug offenders are limited. If you are working a program of recovery, it is likely that you are no stranger to the feeling of hopelessness—and you are probably aware that such feelings can lead to relapse.

In fact, in many states across the country, those who are released from a penal institution after serving time for a felony drug offense, find that there they are not eligible to state assistance programs. Such benefits do not apply to people with the aforementioned past, yet those same people often require such services more than anyone when you consider the fact that it can be hard for a felon to find work. Without work, being able to afford sustenance is difficult to say the least.

A Second Chance

In recent years, lawmakers have begun to sing a different tune regarding addiction in light of the American opioid epidemic. It seems like that with each day that passes, Americans become more accepting of the idea that addiction is mental health disorder rather than a moral failing. The paradigm shift in thinking has led to changes in mandatory minimum sentencing laws for nonviolent drug offenders; therefore, giving addicts the option of treatment over jail time. Moving away from draconian drug sentencing laws has lead the current White House administration to commute 562 sentences since 2008. The vast majority of those incarcerated were serving time for nonviolent drug offenses, some of which were serving life. But what about those who have already served their time and the felony on their record makes it next to impossible to survive in an above the board manner.

Recognizing that drug felons need help upon release if the chance of recidivism is to be mitigated, a number of states have begun let up on restrictions that prohibit such people from receiving state assistance, such as food stamps, PBS NewsHour reports. Thus another move in the fight to change archaic laws that only serve to disenfranchise those whose only crime was that of addiction.

One of the best ways that someone can move on after they’ve been released from prison is their ability to eat and take care of themselves,” said Marissa McCall Dodson of the Southern Center for Human Rights.

In 1996, a federal ban went into effect that prohibited those convicted of felony drug crimes from receiving food stamps and cash assistance, according to the article. You may find it interesting to learn that the ban did not apply to all felons, just drug felons. Fortunately, states have the option of loosening up on such restrictions. And now, there are only seven states that still enforce the full ban on drug felons receiving food stamps. Those states include

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia

Intensive Outpatient Treatment Is An Option

PACE Recovery’s men only rehab and intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment is ideal for men that require additional support with their addiction and/or behavioral health issues. The curriculum is flexible to allow clients to continue their everyday activities, such as work, school, volunteer or family commitments. We understand the importance of helping our clients learn to manage both recovery and life’s obligations.

Relapse: Rejoining the Circle of Recovery

relapseThe holiday weekend is now several days past and hopefully those of you who are working a program of addiction recovery were able to get through Independence Day without incident. We at PACE Recovery understand all too well just how difficult it can be to navigate the waters of recovery during any major holiday. Abstaining from drugs or alcohol during any given day of the week can be a real challenge, during the holidays the obstacles are exponentially greater.

Those who have managed to acquire significant recovery time know that there are certain measures to be taken to aid one in making it through the holidays without a drink or drug. Staying close to your support network, going to 12-Step meetings and keeping your cell phone charged are a few of the ingredients for a safe and sober day of celebration. Naturally, avoiding risky people, places and things that could jeopardize your sobriety and clean time is always advised—especially for those who are in early recovery.

While we fully grasp the difficulty of maintaining your recovery over the holidays, we also regretfully know that many people did in fact relapse over the Fourth of July weekend.

Honest Relapse

Experiencing a relapse is an upsetting event, one that brings about a number of painful feelings. Shame and guilt typically go hand-in-hand with a relapse. One cannot help but feel as though they have not only let themselves down—but also their friends, family and recovery peers. While as natural as those feelings may be, shame and guilt can be a slippery slope manifesting into trying to maintain a lie.

Every person who found recovery in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is aware of what it felt like to identify as a newcomer in front of a number of people who have more time in recovery than you. You meet people who have several years of clean and/or sober time, and wonder if you will ever be able to accomplish such a feat. After 29 days of identifying as a newcomer, it is likely that you said to yourself—never again.

It is quite common for people who relapse to not tell their recovery peers about a relapse, but still continue to go to meetings as if nothing had happened. Failing to humble yourself and be honest about what happened will eventually begin to weigh on you, a burden that usually leads to more drinking and/or drugging. The sooner you are honest with yourself and those within your recovery circle, the better off you will be. Please do not let a relapse lead to full on active use on account of your pride. Remember the stakes of addiction are ever so high—the difference between life or death.

Rejoining the Circle of Recovery

If you did in fact relapse and have not yet called your sponsor, please do so immediately. If you don’t have a sponsor, get yourself to a meeting and raise your hand when asked if there are any newcomers in the room. Walk up to get a newcomer chip and a hug, so you can reboot your recovery. Such a humbling experience can be the catalyst for a new journey, one where you learn from your past so that you can have a future free from drugs and alcohol; all while in the company of meaningful friends and peers who share the same goal.

Relapse may be a part of your story, but not as mark of shame but rather a reminder of how fleeting your recovery will be if you let down your guard. Eternal vigilance is required to protect against your addiction that is waiting for you to become vulnerable. You are not alone, recovery is an individual goal, that can only be accomplished collectively. Your relapse, while unfortunate, can serve to strengthen your volition.

12-Step Recovery Roots—Eighty-One Years

12-StepsIt is a common saying that alcoholics drink alone—but they get sober together. If you have ever attended a 12-Step meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), there is a good chance you have heard someone say something to that effect. Whether attending 12-Step meetings to help abstain from alcohol, other mind altering substances or for any one of a hundred unhealthy behaviors, it is by and large agreed upon that the 12-Step modality of recovery has proven to be the most effective method of recovery for the greatest number of people.

Millions of people across the planet have been able to break the cycle of addiction, live a healthy productive life and help others do the same by using the principles laid out in 12-Step programs. It is fair to say, that many of those same people owe their lives to such programs of recovery. The acknowledgement of which is the catalyst which compels addicts and alcoholics in recovery to help the newcomer find the miracles of recovery through sponsorship and a deep rooted community.

Eighty-One Years of Recovery

No matter which “anonymous” program[s] you find yourself affiliated with, the modality of recovery can be traced back 81 years this month. In 1935, two hopeless alcoholics converged in Akron, Ohio. At which time Bill Wilson explained to Dr. Bob Smith how he had found a way to refrain from drinking, which led the two men to develop a program of sobriety through the support of other alcoholics.

The meeting between Bill W. and Dr. Bob would be the spark setting off a chain reaction that was perhaps the first miracle of recovery. It was determined that only by giving the gift of sobriety away, could one keep their own recovery—becoming the “golden rule” of addiction recovery.

Over the years, what started as a meeting of two alcoholics driven to abstain from alcohol, morphed into three—exponentially increasing its size with relative speed. Chapters were formed across the country and today AA meetings can be found in all fifty states. What’s more, you can find one alcoholic helping another through the principles of AA in approximately 170 countries worldwide, according to AA’s General Service Office.

12-Step Gateway

At PACE Recovery Center, we would like to acknowledge everyone who has come before and is working a program of recovery through the 12-Steps. Our mission is to provide our clients with a safe and supportive environment to help them overcome the challenges of addiction. We’ll introduce you to the principles of 12-Step programs, by way of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), et. al. It is an introduction which will help you maintain your sobriety, upon completion of your stay with us.

Spring: A Time to Recover from Addiction

addictionLast Sunday marked the beginning of Spring and with it comes the long thaw up to Summer. The transition from Winter into Spring is not just about the changing of seasons, it is also about changes with one’s self – or can be. People often associate Spring with a time to set new goals which they endeavor to achieve. Spring cleaning doesn’t apply only to dusting around the house; it’s about cleaning out the bad from your internal dwelling. Perhaps there are some things in your life that you would like to do away with, such as drinking and drugging?

It is quite common for people to add sobriety to their list of New Year’s resolutions. Every year, a number of people who have made an addiction recovery resolution, manage to learn how to live a life free from drugs and alcohol – maintaining a program of recovery. This is usually accomplished by entering a substance use disorder treatment center and/or attending 12-step recovery meetings. Unfortunately, some people do not succeed at bringing recovery resolutions to fruition, falling back into the cycle of addiction.

With the Spring Equinox still in the rear-view mirror, this may be a perfect time to give recovery an honest go – doing away with what doesn’t work in your life and adopt healthy practices for a successful future. If you have never been to a 12-step meeting, you may find it to be intimidating. Do not be discouraged, everyone sitting in a meeting house probably had similar feelings when they attended their first meeting.

It is often said in recovery circles that reaching out to newcomers is of the utmost importance. Those who found recovery before you were guided by those who came before them, and in turn they will not only make you feel welcome – they will help you learn how to live a life in recovery, the way they learned how. If you choose to move forward with the 12-step route of recovery, we implore you to keep an open mind – look and listen for the similarities you share with others, not the differences.

It’s possible that you may need more, initially, than just meetings. Depending on the type of substance you struggle with, and the severity of your addiction, checking into a treatment facility may be the best avenue. A number of treatment centers have detoxification units, which help clients to ease into recovery in safe way, mitigating withdrawal symptoms in closed environments – free from the distractions and triggers of the outside world. Treatment stays vary in length, but 90-day stays are generally considered to be the duration associated with the greatest chance of success. The longer the stay, the stronger you will be when you transition back into everyday life.

If you feel that treatment at an all male inpatient treatment facility would benefit you, please contact PACE Recovery Center. Our extended residential care program incorporates the principles of 12-Step recovery programs including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). We can offer you a safe and comfortable environment to begin your journey of addiction recovery.

New Year’s Resolution: Recovery?

For all who are working a program of recovery, Pace Recovery Center would like to commend you for making it through the holiday season without having to use a drink or drug. We know that New Year’s Eve consists of people around the globe consuming copious amounts of alcohol, which cause people in recovery to crave alcohol or other mind altering substances. The temptation to drink can be strong.

Every New Years, sadly, a number of people do end up relapsing, often the result of not staying focused on one’s program and forgetting that recovery comes first – always. However, those who may have relapsed need to pick themselves back up with haste, lest they make a bad situation even worse. Relapse is not a rare phenomenon, especially during the major holidays, and what’s required is that you re-commit yourself to the program. Call your sponsor, and get to a meeting as soon as possible. Don’t let a relapse cause you to lose faith in the program, the program works, you probably need to make some adjustments in how you work the program.

On another note, there are a number of people who have made giving up alcohol and/or drugs their New Year’s resolution. Hopefully that goal is not fleeting, and you are willing to take certain steps to make sobriety a reality. There is probably a 12-step meeting close to where you live that you can attend. It’s likely that you know somebody in recovery, give them a call; there is a great chance that they would be willing to accompany you to a meeting. The hand of recovery will always be there if you reach for help.

While attending 12-Step meetings is one way to begin, there are some people who need more help at the beginning. Withdrawing is extremely difficult, and the pain and/or cravings that some experience will drive people to use before they get to the other side of a detox. In some cases detoxification can be medically dangerous, many people are at risk of seizures, especially if you have been using benzodiazepines, such as Klonopin or Xanax.

If you believe that you require medical assistance, followed by residential treatment, please contact Pace Recovery Center. We can assist you in finding recovery, and help you learn how to maintain continued sobriety.

Educating Americans About Substance Use Disorders

Millions of people around the world are currently working programs of recovery, determined to live a life free from all mind altering substances and to be productive members of society. While the nation and the rest of the world have a long way to go with regard to understanding that addiction is a treatable disease, one that should be openly discussed to break the stigmas that have long been associated with drug and alcohol use – in recent years Americans have come a long way and addiction is no longer viewed as a moral failing.

The Internet has played a large role in bringing addiction out into the open, and has become a vital tool for those looking for information or help for themselves and/or a loved one. There are hundreds of organizations that are devoted to breaking the stigma of addiction, so that those who are struggling can receive the help that they so desperately need. One such organization, is the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), an advocacy organization which has been addressing alcoholism and drug dependence since 1944 – the oldest of its kind in the nation.

Last week, via a press release, NCADD announced the launching of their new website which encompasses the organization’s commitment to educating Americans about substance use disorders. The organization’s goal is to inform people about the fact that addiction is treatable, preventable and millions of people do recover.

The new website gives users the ability to access a wide range of information that both addicts and their loved ones can harness to make informed decisions. The NCADD site works on multiple platforms, and is an inclusive resource that people can turn to for more information about alcoholism, drug dependence and options individuals can turn to for finding recovery.

We have reconfigured the website to reach more people,” says NCADD President Andrew Pucher, “making it easier for those searching for answers about alcoholism and drug dependence to find them – regardless of what device they choose to utilize.”

In the 21st Century, those battling with addiction are fortunate to have resources as informative as the NCADD at their fingertips, which could not be more useful at a time when our nation continues to face an insidious opioid epidemic; a scourge linked to thousands of overdose deaths every year. Learning that you are not alone can often be the catalyst required for people to reach out for help in the form of treatment and/or 12 step programs.

NCADD makes available a number of personal recovery stories that people can not only learn from, but relate to – the tie that binds. While every story of addiction is different, the underlying themes are the same, which are easy for any addict or the loved ones of an addict to identify with. One’s story of recovery is the common bond, recovery is not possible alone.

Personal experience provides the heartbeat of recovery,” says Pucher.
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If you are or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

September is National Recovery Month

Orange County, California is well known for many things; such as its affluent communities and sandy beaches. It is also known for its large recovery community, being home to many substance use disorder treatment facilities, sober living homes and hundreds of 12-step recovery meetings held every week. People working programs of recovery make up a large part of the community; triangle and square stickers proudly adorn many a car bumper.

While today and this month will be the same as yesterday and last month when it comes to working the principles of recovery, this month is a special time for many who are working a program or work in the field of addiction medicine. September is National Recovery Month, a time to recognize the countless people working towards living a healthy life – free from drugs and alcohol.

If you would like to find a Recovery Month event in your area and learn more about local activities to support recovery efforts, click here. You are welcome to attend, even if you are not in recovery; the disease of addiction touches everyone in one way or another, when more people support the efforts of recovery it reduces the stigma that has long accompanied the illness.

Recovery month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and if you are interested in hosting an event they have a number of tools at your disposal to guide you through the process.

Use these tips, guidelines, and resources to help you plan your Recovery Month event:

The President issued a Proclamation endorsing National Recovery Month, and it is worth reading in full:

NATIONAL ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY MONTH,
2015

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Every day, resilient Americans with substance use disorders summon extraordinary courage and strength and commit to living healthy and productive lives through recovery. From big cities to small towns to Indian Country, substance use disorders affect the lives of millions of Americans. This month, we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all those who are seeking or in need of treatment, and we recognize the key role families, friends, and health care providers play in supporting those on the path to a better tomorrow.

This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, Valuable!” It encourages us all to do our part to eliminate negative public attitudes associated with substance use disorders and treatment. People in recovery are part of our communities — they are our family and friends, colleagues and neighbors — and by supporting them and raising awareness of the challenges they face, we can help eradicate prejudice and discrimination associated with substance use disorders, as well as with co-occurring mental disorders. Prevention and treatment work, and people recover — and we must ensure all those seeking help feel empowered, encouraged, and confident in their ability to take control of their future. Americans looking for help for themselves or their loved ones can call 1-800-662-HELP or use the “Treatment Locator” tool at www.SAMHSA.gov.

My Administration remains dedicated to pursuing evidence-based strategies to address substance use disorders as part of our National Drug Control Strategy. Seeking to widen pathways to recovery, our strategy supports the integration of substance use treatment into primary health care settings and the expansion of support services in places such as high schools, institutions of higher education, and throughout the criminal justice system. In the wake of public health crises related to non-medical use of prescription drugs and heroin in communities across our Nation, my Administration has pledged considerable resources to help Federal, State, and local authorities boost prevention efforts, improve public health and safety, and increase access to treatment in communities across the country. And the Affordable Care Act has extended substance use disorder and mental health benefits and Federal parity protections to millions of Americans.

Behavioral health is essential to overall health, and recovery is a process through which individuals are able to improve their wellness, live increasingly self-directed lives, and strive to fulfill their greatest potential. During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we reaffirm our belief that recovery and limitless opportunity are within reach of every single American battling substance use disorders, and we continue our work to achieve this reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

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If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

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