Social Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse
Social Anxiety Disorder symptoms can be onset by a plethora of situationsOften time’s people use alcohol to relieve daily stressors or to calm their nerves before a situation that causes anxiety. Public speaking, work environments and social gatherings can bring about symptoms of SAD. Although symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder can be temporarily alleviated by the consumption of alcohol, the long term affects can cause an opposite reaction. An article published by the NIAAA notes; ““Clinical reports indicate that people use alcohol as a means of coping with social fears as well as with stress. One standard theory of why people drink—the tension reduction hypothesis—implies that alcohol acts as a negative reinforcer to reduce stress and anxiety. A negative reinforcer is something that eliminates an unpleasant experience. In this case, anxiety or stress is the unpleasant experience and alcohol consumption, which reduces these feelings, would be considered the negative reinforcer. Once a person experiences stress relief after consuming alcohol, he or she is likely to continue to use alcohol for its stress–reducing properties. Whether alcohol actually reduces stress is debatable (see Carrigan and Randall, in press). In fact, some researchers have argued that based on its pharmacological properties, alcohol actually should increase stress and that therefore negative reinforcement using alcohol would be ineffective (Spencer and Hutchison 1999).” NIAAA“ In another article (Alcohol, Aging, and the Stress Response), the NIAAA describes how the consumption of alcohol can stimulate the release of stress response hormones, which contributes to the effects of alcohol that reduce anxiety and lower inhibitions. Continued consumption can lead to a tolerance to alcohol, as well as the stress response hormone. Alcohol is known to cause fear and anxiety hours, or days, after an episode of drinking. Some fear based feelings may include; guilt or shame, anxiety due to memory loss or even obsessive thinking over alcohol induced behavior. These feelings, and the inability to cope with the anxiety they cause, can lead to more drinking. As this cycle continues, the tolerance to alcohol increases which can lead to alcohol abuse and physical dependency. Many people with SAD self-medicate with alcohol and don’t even realize it. Some of the symptoms of SAD and Alcohol Abuse disorder include, but are not limited to:
Social Anxiety Disorder
- Increase heart rate
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Dizziness or sweating
- Uncontrollable trembling
- Panic or anxiety attacks prior to stressful situations
- Avoiding social engagements
- Inability to communicate in social settings
Alcohol Abuse Disorder
- Inability to control your drinking
- Drinking to reduce stress
- Shame or guilt after drinking
- Hiding when or how much you’re drinking
- Shaking or increased heart when you haven’t had a drink
- Missing appointments or commitments due to drinking
What can you do if you’re Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) has led to a Substance Abuse Disorder?Detox and rehab, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, personal counseling and medication are a few options for treating Social Anxiety and Alcohol Abuse. Many addiction treatment facilities offer counseling for mental disorders, including SAD. If you would like more information on your treatment options contact Riviera Recovery today (866) 478-8799.
Why is Los Angeles the Best Place to get Sober?
Los Angeles Offers an Abundance of Sober Living AccommodationsThere are a plethora of sober living options in, and around, the Los Angeles area ranging from inpatient treatment facilities to more flexible transitional homes. Transitional living provides those recovering from substance abuse a safe, sober home environment while they get back on their feet. It’s not uncommon for those in recovery to make a home here, especially after they experience the amazing recovery community the city has to offer.
12 Step Meetings and Fellowship GaloreThere are thousands of A.A. meetings in Los Angeles. From industry people to Midwest transplants, you’re bound to find people with similar interests. The fellowship in L.A. doesn’t stop at beach meetings and speaker conferences though. The sobriety community creates their own fun; from retreats and music festivals, to nonprofit organizations and outings, there’s never a dull moment. They even hold “Soberchella”; created by a husband and wife who wanted to attend the music festival Coachella without the temptation of drugs and alcohol. There is a powerful dynamic between those who recovered from substance abuse in L.A., and they are on a mission to show those who are still suffering from their disease just fun life in sobriety can be!
The Weather – Need I Say More?Southern California is known for its beautiful weather, palm trees and sandy beaches. The sunny climate offers plenty of opportunities for sober activities, not to mention the vitamin D is good for your soul. While people often associate L.A. with night life and Hollywood parties, the city has so much more to offer. Between the beautiful hikes, beach walks, coastal road trips, weekly festivals and street fairs, there are plenty of opportunities to “party” sober. There’s nothing more dangerous for someone recovering from substance abuse than boredom; and staying active is easy in such a bustling city.
Getting Sober in Los Angeles – Diversity and OpportunityIt’s no secret that Los Angeles is known as the “land of opportunity” and it lives up to that name. People come from all walks of life to sober up in the “City of Angels” and end up gaining so much more. Due to the dense population there are endless job and career opportunities. Recovering addicts and alcoholics are making a life for themselves in L.A. by building a foundation for life-long sobriety; and they’re having a blast doing it. While many people migrate to Southern California to chase their dreams, addicts and alcoholics from around the country come to Los Angeles to find relief from addiction. They end up staying for the weather, unlimited outdoor activities and abundant recovery community and fellowship the city has to offer. Visit us here for more information about treatment and sober living opportunities in the Los Angeles area. We invite you to call Riviera Recovery today for a free confidential assessment, and to learn more about sober living & individualized recovery counseling: 310-872-1908
What to Expect After Rehab for Alcoholism
Upon graduating from a residential treatment program for alcoholism you have a couple of options.You can return home, with the tools you gained during rehab, or you can temporarily move into a sober living home. The purpose of a sober living home is to be in a safe sober environment, around like minded individuals, while you start to put the tools you learned in rehab into practical use. A sober home allows you to come and go as needed for work, school or appointments, but with more structure than living at home. Most sober living homes have a curfew and a live in house manager, as well as shared chores and other responsibilities. Many people find a lack of structure to be a relapse trigger in early sobriety, so moving into a transitional home is very common after rehab.
Life after rehab will be full of learning experiences.You’ll probably leave treatment with a packet of resources, as well as an aftercare program designed by you and your counselor. Make sure you know what your days and weeks will look like following rehab. Having a set schedule will keep you focused and on track.
Life after alcohol rehab may include, but is not limited to:
- Weekly outpatient groups
- 12 step meetings
- Counseling appointments
- Sponsor check ins
- Job search activities
One of the most important things to be mindful of after you leave rehab are your triggers.Make sure you have a relapse prevention plan and a phone list of people to call if you get in a bind. Alcoholism is tricky, and triggers can come at the least expected time.
Communication is imperative to a comfortable transition after returning home from rehab.Talk to your loved ones ahead of time about what is expected of each other and what your immediate needs are. If you’re returning to a high stress job, communicate with your boss about required post rehab meetings and other sobriety related appointments. If you don’t put your recovery first you run the risk of slipping into old behavior that can cause triggers and relapse.
Stay active in your recovery and find a fellowship of other sober people who know what you’re going through.Life after rehab for alcoholism will be very different than the life you’re used to. In early recovery you may have feelings of restlessness and irritability. You may be walking through challenging situations that the people around you who do not have a substance abuse disorder won’t understand. There are thousands of 12 step meetings nationwide, so there are bound to be a few in your area. Get active in the sobriety community and stay connected. These meetings are a great place to meet other people in recovery and start doing things outside of meetings that don’t include alcohol. With determination and a solid aftercare plan, your outlook on what to expect after rehab for alcoholism will be undaunted! We invite you to call Riviera Recovery today for a free confidential assessment, and to learn more about sober living & individualized recovery counseling: 310-872-1908
Pros and Cons of Sober Living Homes
You’re probably excited to get back to the comfort of your own home; the thought of being surrounded by family and friends is appealing, but is it too soon?A sober living home PRO is a safe option for transitioning back to daily life, but you may be wondering if it’s the right choice for you. Going home after 30-90 days in a structured environment isn’t always the best idea. The stress of daily life and the possible temptation of going back to your old environment could be disastrous without the proper foundation.
What is a Sober Living Home?A sober living is a house for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s designed to offer a safe and stable environment, while you lay the groundwork for lifelong sobriety. Most of these homes have a live-in house manager who ensures everything runs smoothly. Residents work together to share chores, as well as provide peer support while navigating the challenges of early recovery. There is often a curfew; however you are allowed to come and go during the day.
Is a Sober Living Home Right for You?If you’ve been using your drug of choice for some time, the majority of your day probably revolved around getting and using drugs or alcohol. Learning to fill that time with healthy activities, while processing the feelings you’ve been numbing, can be challenging and takes time. It’s important to focus on your recovery and a sober living home is a great place to start building that foundation.
Your loved ones fantasize about how wonderful everything will be when you return home drug free.They may have expectations and feel hurt or let down when those expectations aren’t met. Healing any damage done with your family relationships will be easier when you have the life skills to effectively communicate your feelings. Living in a home with people who understand what you’re going through is important; everyday stress and feelings of guilt are huge contributors to a relapse.
Here are a few pros to moving into a sober living home:
- Personal Responsibility – You’ll be expected to pay rent, do your own grocery shopping and will be assigned household chores. Reorganizing your priorities and building a routine is an important discipline to learn in recovery.
- No Rehab Required – Although you must be sober, most sober livings do not require that you come from a treatment program. If you’ve safely detoxed from drugs and alcohol you can move into a sober living and further cultivate your journey in sobriety.
- Communication Skills – Living with several roommates will allow you to practice setting healthy boundaries and utilize proper communication skills.
- Structure – Most recovering addicts and alcoholics need some structure to stay sober. A sober living home provides accountability, support, curfews and random drug testing. Remember, recovery is a marathon, not a race. It’s all about transitioning back into your normal routine.
- Safe Sober Environment – This is probably the most important benefit if there is drinking or using in your home. Being around other people with similar goals, in a substance-free environment, will ensure you stay on the right track.