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Facebook and Social Media Addiction

As much as social media has made the world a global village, a section of individuals is engrossed on social media exceedingly. However, companies, politicians, Non-profit organizations, and other people use social media platforms to convey messages to their target audiences. A section of social media users has managed to amass huge followings on the platforms and therefore earning through them by monetizing their activities. This is through promoting and advertising company products and several market brands.  The desire to be influential on social media and commercialization of brands has been on the rise in the recent past. This has resulted in a few millennials feeling pressurized, thus seeking to imitate the lifestyles of celebrities and other online influencers. Since millennials come from all walks of life, they end up living fake lifestyles by posing in posh places in photos, attending high-end events to get affiliated to a certain social class. They end up spending a lot of time on the platforms without realizing they are getting addicted. Approximately 10% of Americans are social media addicts, according to psychologists.

What Extent Is Regarded as Addiction?

As an Individual, if you are greatly concerned about what is happening in various social media platforms or you have a compulsive urge to log onto them, thus spending a lot of time on them, you are considered to be an addict.  Social media addiction can be significantly attributed to the provision of ‘feel-good‘ chemicals such as Dopamine and Serotonin. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat release a similar nervous speedway that recreational drugs and betting give to users. woman taking photo of pizza, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles, addiction treatment centers Research studies have shown that the brain centers that are triggered by drugs like Cocaine are responsible for the compelling urge for social media addiction. Social media use has also resulted in poor decision making, whereas social media addicts portray behavioral signs, thoughts, and attitudes similar to drug-addicted individuals. When you post something on social media, and you get appealing responses, the brain releases dopamine a ‘feel-good’ chemical thereby perpetuating a habitual social media behavior.

Using Social Media Networks as a Coping Technique

Some individuals use social media to receive the recognition which they are not accorded in life. Other people use social media to deal with inner battles such as loneliness, depression, and stress. The frequent use finally causes problems like scorning work, school, poor physical health, and irritability, and mood changes. This makes you turn to use of social networks to relieve themselves, thus increasing dependency.

How to Detect Social Media Addiction

Using various social media platforms has become a norm for everyone, and therefore it’s advisable to be cautious not to fall into the cycle of addiction. As an individual, you are therefore encouraged to practice digital detoxification, which comprises a period of spending time away from electronics such as smartphones and laptops. This involves enacting easy steps such as deactivating one or more social networks, logging onto them once or twice every couple of hours, leaving your gadget on in a different room when going to sleep, and self-discipline by not holding your device during mealtime. These self-made rules and regulations enable you to be focused on physical relations, thereby reduction of dependency on social networks. Social media addicts portray nervousness and anxiousness after being away from social media platforms. You may also isolate yourself from your peers and family and a loss of enthusiasm in hobbies you once treasured.

8 Tell-tale Signs of Addiction:

1. Lying on the Duration Spent on Social Networks

The majority of social media addicts tend to feel guilt and shame as you spend a lot of time on social platforms. To cover this up, you opt to lie to your peers and family on time spent on networks since you can’t moderate your behavior as much as you are aware of its wrong.

2. Isolation from Peers and Family

Gradually, social media addiction increasingly consumes your time as an individual. Due to this, you may isolate and withdraw from your loved ones and participate actively in social platforms. man in red crew neck sleeping on a laptop, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles

3. Loss Of Enthusiasm In Activities You once Loved

As social media participation progresses, as an addict, you increase your duration spent on social networks. This overindulgence takes up the time that you pursue other interests and hobbies you once loved.

4. Scorning Work and School to Spend Time on Social Networks

Since social media addicts over indulge on social networks actively, you may tend to abscond duties like work and school assignments. This is because you are unable to moderate your time and energy and prioritize other important key areas.

5. Feeling Stressed and Finding Life Meaningless

As an addict, at a certain point, you may feel as if life is meaningless due to boredom. Take into consideration that whatever you see on the social networks by the influencers and celebrities is barely a third of their lives. Also, they mostly highlight spectacular events in their lives, and they also have tight schedules of social networks. Most importantly, keep in mind that you have to work to maintain your lifestyle as well as learn and step out to experience the beauty of life.

6. Interruption of Talks to Log Onto Social Networks

As an addict, you are compelled by social platforms to the extent that you become restless and have difficulty concentrating during conversations with friends and family. Many a time, you may seem distracted and frequently check your smartphone for updates and notifications.

7. Anxiousness, Irritability and Mood Changes

Due to the inability to control your feelings, as an addict, you tend to feel anxious when you can’t regularly check your devices for updates and notifications. As much as you feel guilt afterward, you still do that over and over again.

8. Interferences in Professional and Personal Activities

As an addict, if you are schooling, you may experience poor grades, and missing out deadlines may be shown in the workplace. If you experience the specified signs, it is advisable to consult mental health services to be assessed and get individualized treatment.

Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is a health and wellness center that helps men and women recover from drug and substance use, mental health disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. Our team of expert health professionals is available 24/7 as needed, and our clients can participate in mandatory house meetings and other social activities. We have a sober living house in Southern California and sober living in West Los Angeles. At our sober living house Los Angeles, we offer services such as couples sober living as well as upscale sober living facilities. Riviera sober living has two house locations that are Pacific Palisades house and the Barrington house.  The Pacific Palisades house offers serenity with beautiful ocean views under the Santa Monica Mountains. It is also co-ed and has separate bathrooms for every gender. The Barrington House is an all-male facility with close proximity to several parks and shops. It has a cozy lounge area and a BBQ at the outdoor patio.  Clients can visit museums, gyms, yoga, and meditation classes since it’s centrally located to Beverly Hills, LAX, and Santa Monica.   men and women at the beach, sober house los angeles, affordable sober living in los angeles At our sober house Los Angeles, we also provide treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholics seeking help for alcohol treatment Los Angeles, 90067, can turn to us to begin your recovery journey. Our medical team of experts facilitate sober living in Los Angeles and is there with you throughout your journey, and they monitor your progress over time. Reach out today to get our help.

Conclusion

As much as anyone can suffer from food addiction, genes play a significant role in an individual’s likelihood of addiction. Factors such as ethnicity and gender also increase food addiction risks. Environmental factors like peer pressure, lack of parental guidance, and economic status also increase addiction likelihood.  Just like any addiction type, food addiction can be mitigated and treated. To increase the chances of full recovery and reduce relapse after some years, a twelve-step program and abstinence from the addictive foods should be considered by medical experts.  Since addicts react differently, even upon using similar foods, medical experts use personalized treatment plans for each person. As an addict, consult your medical service provider for help as soon as possible and start the recovery process
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What Does Living in a Sober House Mean?

Life after rehab or inpatient treatment can be a little challenging. Just detoxification of some drugs involves the use of tapering. Getting back to your life needs the same principle. In the late 1800s, prisoners in England transitioned from prison life to civilian life with the help of halfway houses. These houses were later used to serve various purposes, for example, to shelter the homeless or use disorder patients.  If you need help transitioning back to the community and your life, you will need to understand what a sober house is, how it works, and how it benefits you. You may also use sober house living if or you need rehab for a while longer as an outpatient. 

What is a Sober House?

sky blue couch with a pillow, sober living los angeles, couples sober living, sober living house los angeles A Sober house is a residence specially designed to host individuals discharged from use disorder inpatient treatment. People often confuse sober houses with halfway houses. Sober houses belong to individuals or private addiction treatment organizations and centers. Halfway houses, on the other hand, are owned by government agencies. Sober houses do not receive any funding from the government, which means you have to pay rent for your stay. You will have access to various programs to help you maintain sobriety. The sober house will equip you with the skills necessary to function as a sober individual. You will be able to learn skills like responsibility, how to compromise accountability, and cooking and cleaning for yourself. Sober house living is also covered under addiction rehab licenses, which makes it possible to offer various programs to help continue with treatment after treatment in an inpatient rehab clinic.

How Does it Work?

You will begin at the intake process, where you are expected to provide adequate information that will be used to support you during this. We will ask for details on your general health, mental health condition, and addiction history. The medical professionals will want to know the last time you used any substance if you are under the care of a physician or have any existing medical conditions.  Treatment consultants in sober houses are always non-judgemental, so you should be straight forward when they ask standard questions such as your education, occupation, and criminal background. Addiction consultants also take part in the intake to help prescribe the right program for your use disorder.

What Does Living in a Sober House Mean?

Living in a sober house means that you will undertake daily operations with house managers overseas. Sober houses have evolved to try and offer the best care for their residence. For example, residences like Riviera Recovery have an entire staff that is ready to assist the residents at any time. They have overnight staff or resident managers who will support you when you face cravings, and your sponsor is unavailable.  Some of the staff may not be medical professionals; however, they are well trained in addiction and recovery. Other sober houses rely on community fellowship for support counseling sessions and daily therapy.

Types of Support Available 

a smiling chef holding a cup, sober living los angeles, couples sober living, sober living house los angeles Most community based sober living Homes focus on peer recovery and support. They help establish these bonds through wellness classes outdoor excursions group therapy and 12-step meetings to stop sober houses highly recommend 12 step meetings as they have a high recovery success rate.  The use of group therapy helps residents find solutions for anxiety loss stress from addiction to depression and more. Individuals will feel less lonely when they exchange experiences and relate to what the members are going through. It helps to increase a sense of understanding, empathy, patience, support, and more, which will benefit the community as a whole. The availability of support is important in a sober house. It is a criterion you should consider when selecting which sober house to go to.

Day to Day Life in a Sober House

Rules routine and structure will have a significant impact on your sobriety. They will help you reduce seclusion feelings and outside influences that may trigger a relapse. A healthy routine will not only help with addiction treatment, but it is also used to help with mental health illnesses. The routine in a sober house will include choosing house activities or group activities. There are those residences that the residents attend a school or go to work. This is an outpatient treatment program for such facilities.  Typical activities in a sober house routine include 12-step meetings and house activities such as yoga adventure therapy or holistic treatment. Most residences have a strict visitor policy and a curfew which the residents must abide by. All the treatments and activities you partake in have proven to have a positive effect on the body mind and spirit of residents. There is also a significant emphasis on sobriety healing and self-care as they are recurring aspects of your daily life, even outside the sober house. These activities and routines prepare you for believing when you leave.

How Successful Are Sober Houses?

The biological components make it hard to maintain sobriety after a chemical dependency, but Sober Houses have high success rates. The success depends on the period you stay at the Residence. Most people spend 3 to 6 months in the facility. However, you have an increased chance of sobriety if you visit longer, especially if you have been struggling with use disorder for years. This gives your brain ample time to reset itself.  During this time, you will deal with emotional problems and their underlying causes. Time is also necessary for those struggling with mental illnesses such as depression who are chief stability. The strict house rules and peaceful environment help you to stay sober. There will be random drug tests that will discourage you from relapse.

Riviera Recovery Sober Living

The Riviera recovery sober house helps you in sobriety general wellness and independence. Our health community offers multiple services, including referrals to other outpatient programs, weekly social activities, nightly check-ins, personal trainers, 12-step meetings, food management, random drug testing, and more.  We are a team of medical professionals and non-medical professionals trained with Addiction and recovery. Our organization has two main facilities; the Palisades house and the Barrington house. They are equipped with amenities such as housekeeping private security suites, self-help library weekly family updates participation in outpatient programs weekly mentoring, and more.  a person lying on a sofa while reading a book, sober living los angeles, couples sober living, sober living house los angeles The Palisades House overlooks the Pacific Ocean from the foot of the Santa Monica mountains. You have access to various activities within the local eating places like Malibu Pacific palisades and Santa Monica. Contact us to start rehab today at this high-end facility for long-term sobriety. The Barrington house residence is an all-male location that has access to a couple of Parks and shops within walking distance. It is located in West La with easy access to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. We offer a thriving 12-step program with daily meetings.

Final Thoughts

You can get help to help you lead a sober life in Sober houses. A sober house is a residential facility that enables you to transition back into your life after rehab. You will participate in Multiple activities to help you gain sobriety skills. Such activities include outdoor excursions group therapy, individual therapy 12-step meetings, and more. Sober houses have a high success rate, which makes them trust me.  You can start sober living today in a top facility like Riviera recovery, which is run by medical professionals who know how to handle transition. You may expect to stay in this residence for 3 to 6 months. However, the longer you stay, the better chances you have to lead a sober life over a long time.
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The Dangerous Rise of GHB

Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid, most commonly known as GHB, is a controlled substance in the state of California, but that doesn’t stop people from abusing it. Sometimes it’s called “liquid ecstasy” when it’s sold in small dosages on the street. GHB is well-known as a “date rape” drug due to coverage in the media in the past few years. It has been used to commit sex crimes because it’s hard to detect when it’s dissolved. When the dosage is a large one, the drug can make a person pass out for many hours and lose their memory. Doctors can prescribe GHB, in its basic form, for specific rare medical purposes. The GHB that people tend to abuse, however, does not typically come from any doctor.

Why Do People Use GHB?

While some people have a valid prescription for GHB, it’s a medication that doctors rarely prescribe. When it is legitimate, a doctor prescribes it to people with narcolepsy, a disorder where a person falls asleep minute to minute. In small doses, GHB acts as a stimulant. Some bodybuilders also use GHB for performance-enhancement. They usually buy it illicitly and often from an internet supplier. They believe that it’s a relatively safe and easy way to bulk up by increasing their growth hormone, therefore increasing their muscle mass and decreasing their fat mass. Many people don’t realize is that GHB is also used recreationally. Sometimes it’s called “liquid ecstasy.” Like all narcotics, the drug is addictive and dangerous. Most of the people who abuse the drug get it through illicit means. Usually, GHB is snorted, smoked, or dissolved in a drink. Higher doses of the drug that have a reputation as a date rape drug – it can knock a person out cold. Most of the people who abuse the drug are taking it in small doses for the euphoric and “hypnotic” feeling they say it gives them. GHB is commonly abused by people who are in drug treatment, on probation or parole and need to pass a urine test. That’s because it doesn’t stay in the body as long as other addictive drugs. GHB sticks in a user’s body for only four to twelve hours after they ingest it.

Dangers of GHB

GHB is classified as a narcotic for a reason – it’s dangerous, and side effects could be deadly. Many people like to take methamphetamine/crystal meth with GHB, believing it counteracts some of the depressive effects GHB. This combination is a terrible idea – it can cause a severe reaction such as heart attack, seizures, or stroke. Some people have a bad reaction to the drug on its own and have similar health emergencies. Overdoses are common with the drug. People tend to underestimate its effects and like to mix it with other substances as they continue to party. Symptoms of GHB Use Include:
  • Drowsiness or nodding off.
  • Blackouts where the user doesn’t remember what happened.
  • Balance and speech difficulties, similar to being drunk.
  • Agitation or anxiety.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Lack of response.
  • Slowed breathing or trouble with breathing.
  • Blackout or short-term memory issues.
  • Trouble speaking or focusing.
If a person has overdosed on GHB or another drug, medical help is necessary. There are many dangers from the damage caused by overdose, including a heart attack or coma. People who use other drugs alongside GHB, especially other stimulants like methamphetamine/crystal meth, are highly likely to experience an overdose that leads to seizures, coma, or death.

Is GHB Addictive?

Many people start out using GHB for its euphoric effects but soon find that they’re addicted to it. It’s a drug that quickly changes your brain to depend on it. An addicted person will quickly build a tolerance to the drug and need more of it to get the feeling they crave. The feeling of euphoria is a powerful thing, and many users chase this high. People who are addicted may start to depend on the drug to have fun. When they stop using, they also experience physical and mental withdrawal effects. These include feelings of anxiety or irritation, shaking, sweating, and changes in a person’s sleeping patterns. Other withdrawal symptoms a person can have from GHB include high blood pressure, diarrhea or stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting. Withdrawal from GHB can be dangerous, but it’s not impossible. Within five days of initially detoxing from GHB, a person can end up having severe mental health symptoms or psychosis. They may have complicated delusions, hallucinations, and seem confused. Some people become violent in this state, but when a person detoxes in a clinical environment where symptoms can be treated and monitored by a nurse and doctor. All of these symptoms should resolve within a few weeks, although some people have these symptoms for months or even permanent brain damage from long-term use. GHB is a dangerous and addictive drug, and if you or somebody you know is secretly using this drug, they’re doing damage to themselves. You don’t have to go it alone; there is plenty of help available. No matter what path you’ve been on, recovery is available to you. Give yourself a chance! Learn more about the options available to you to reclaim your life.

Join Our Community at Riviera Recovery

Are you looking for a community that is safe and sober? We want to help you achieve lasting, meaningful long-term sobriety in the comfort of a “home” away from home. Are you ready to commit to yourself and your recovery? Learn more about what we offer by calling us at 1-855-207-9708.

LA Sober Living Lifestyle

Many people new to recovery wonder what life will be like now that they are living a clean and sober lifestyle. Sober living is often a next step for people who have completed a treatment program. What will a sober living lifestyle be like for you?

Building a Recovery Foundation

Lasting sobriety is the top goal for everyone new to recovery. Building a foundation, of course, is what strengthens your sobriety on the way. One of the first steps to building this foundation is creating a healthy, safe support system. Going to 12-step meetings in the LA area, attending any therapy and work, family, and friendship-related commitments are also important. You’ll learn a lot about time management while you’re in sober living in Los Angeles, among others in recovery. You’ll also be able to meet some great people at meetings and build out your support network. A sponsor, sober friendships, and new hobbies and interests can help you create a healthy support system to fall back on. You’re never alone in recovery. A sober living arrangement can help you develop lasting friendships and live in a structured, safe environment where everyone is working towards the same goals. You’ll also learn more about how to maintain healthy relationships, taking responsibility for your behavior and obligations. Living with others who are in sobriety can help you build strong bonds and build confidence. A recent study on sober living programs revealed that long-term outcomes of recovering alcoholics/addicts who participate in these programs are more likely to achieve lasting sobriety/clean time. Transitioning to a reside in a local LA sober living environment is a powerful way to commit to your long-term sobriety and forge new bonds as you build confidence and a foundation for your life after treatment.

Building a Life in Recovery While in LA Sober Living

Stay sober will always be your top priority, no matter what is going on in life. As you begin living a life substance-free, you’re going to grow and change. Preoccupation with getting and using your substance of choice often got in the way with living a fulfilling life. Once you have been sober for a while, you’ll find that there’s a lot of time for fun, relaxation, and reflection in your life. Living in the Los Angeles area provides a lot of opportunities for these things during your “me” time. Some outings will be done with others in the program and the companionship of a chaperone. You’ll bond with your fellow house-mates and make new friends. You might even discover that you find new, healthy activities that you join and interests to pursue. You’re in a perfect location to explore your surroundings and find new passions and return to a safe and supportive home aftwewards. Some of the activities that clients enjoy in Riviera Recovery’s Los Angeles location include:
  • Swimming
  • Meditating
  • Spending time with pets (live-in pets allowed)
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Gyms
  • Cooking
  • Playing an Organized Sport (such as baseball or soccer)
  • Surfing
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Meditation
  • Attending Local University Classes (Santa Monica College and UCLA)
Our Western LA Sober Living home is a great place to build your foundation in recovery.  You’ll be in a living situation where everyone is working towards a goal. You’ll have the guidance from a trained staff that wants to help you move forward. Transportation is provided for most outings. Your aftercare treatment will be coordinated with other professionals you see. For example, we may keep in touch with your doctors, therapist, or psychiatrist. If your family is part of your treatment plan, we may talk to them sometimes as well. While you’re working your program, you’ll still have rules and structure in your life. But you’ll also learn to be comfortable in your own skin and learn to enjoy the freedom that a life in recovery provides for you. You can explore your hobbies and passions.

Building a Strong, Sober Life

Living in a sober home can help you build a fulfilling, inspired lifestyle. At both our Malibu and West LA sober living homes, there are amenities and opportunities to learn more about yourself. Transportation is available to 12-step meetings, scheduled activities and appointments. Sober living allows you to build a lifestyle in a home that has structure but also helps move you towards freedom. You’ll have responsibilities, but you’ll also be in a place that’s comforting. You’re in a home away from home and with awesome weather with beautiful places to explore, hike. There is also a vibrant, artistic vibe Life after drugs is a different type of life. A life of purpose and fulfillment awaits if you’re ready to put the work in. Getting sober and working a recovery program can help you approach life differently. Early recovery is a great time to begin confronting your issues. It’s also a great time learn how to work, play, and live a lifestyle that brings you inspiration.

Want to Learn More?

If you or somebody you love, a client or a friend, are looking for sober living options, we’re here to help. Find a peaceful place to live and grow. Get in touch at 1-855-207-2798 to learn more about sober homes in Western Los Angeles, Malibu/Palisades.  

An Important Tool: The Recovery Compass Workbook

In recovery, you are always working on improving yourself and your life. Sometimes it’s not easy, but it’s still worth it. Research shows that it takes about 20 to 30 days to establish a new physical or emotional habit. In recovery, you’re learning all the time. It can feel overwhelming at first to get your bearings as a newly sober person. That’s why we provide you with a Recovery Compass as a tool to help you along the way. The Recovery Compass workbook was created as a guide to help you navigate your way through early recovery. The book enables you to schedule your time, create and achieve goals, and learn more about living a healthy, satisfying life without the use of alcohol or drugs.

How the Recovery Compass Workbook Works

The Recovery Compass is a guidebook that helps you learn more about what to expect as you acclimate yourself to living in recovery and sober living. Your time at Riviera Recovery can help you grow, heal, and begin the work that will help you stay substance-free for life. How you spend that time is essential. You’ll have structure, meetings, and support throughout the journey. The Recovery Compass workbook is a tool that’s unique to our sober living program. A staff mentor will be your partner in this journey as you make your way through the exercises in your workbook. If you have questions, need motivation, or need to talk to somebody about your recovery, your staff mentor can help you. The workbook can help you focus, learn new life skills, and learn about what makes you happy and what you want to do with your life when you’ve graduated. You’re never “alone” when you’re in recovery, and you’re not limited to what you learn while using the book.

Living With Purpose

Living with purpose means finding inspiration, direction and working toward new goals. Goals can be short-term or long-term. Having these goals is a great thing! However, when you’re new to recovery, living life one day at a time is crucial. Short-term goals help you concentrate on what you want to get done every day. Longer-term goals help you look forward to the future and truly work toward what you want most in life. Your first goal should always be to maintain your recovery. Don’t drink or use drugs! Many of your daily tasks will revolve around this goal. Attending 12-step meetings, connecting with your sponsor, and meeting other commitments will help you build on your recovery. Other goals you create may be new or goals that got interrupted. Many people take time to pursue new career goals,  continue their education, and learn other new skills once they feel secure in their recovery.

Becoming a Better You in Recovery!

The workbook that you receive will also take you through some exploratory exercises. It’s hard to think of the future if you’re sitting around feeling inadequate. Recovery can lift you out of the guilt, shame, and pain of addiction. You’re taking action by staying sober and working on becoming a better person – a better YOU! – every day. You’ll learn how to plan your finances, work on relationships with family or friends, and become responsible for your actions in recovery. Doing groundwork like the exercises in the Compass Workbook will help you learn more about yourself and set a trajectory for your life after drugs and alcohol. Every day you stay sober is another day that you can take time to work on yourself. There’s no way that you can “fix” everything about yourself overnight. It’s okay to take some parts of your recovery in “baby steps.” Know what those steps are, and approaching them with the right attitude and a spirit of acceptance can help you achieve new things in your life. Not sure what your next step is? Ask your staff mentor or your sponsor for help.

Finding Happiness and Passions

Recovery is in no way limited to hard work, therapy, and meetings. When you’re feeling more stable in your recovery, you may find yourself antsy. Even with your scheduled recovery program, you’ll probably find you have a lot of time on your hands. How you use your time at Riviera Recovery is essential. There are some goals you must meet to continue to the next phase of the program and earn new privileges. Getting out and about, learning self-care and taking time to exercise are all ways you can enjoy your downtime. Clients of Riviera Recovery love to go to the gym, get some surfing time, and to participate in relaxation like yoga and meditation.  Exploring what makes you happy, learning new hobbies, and pursuing new interests along with your goals are hallmarks of living a healthy, substance-free life.

Structure and Time Management

  Time management is one new way to maintain focus in your life. When you were using substances, you probably had trouble sticking to a schedule. After all, cravings seem to have a plan of their own. There were perhaps days, weeks, or months lost to using your drug of choice. Addiction does this to people. You’re not alone in this. As a disease, addiction is powerful and insidious. It captures and hijacks your goals, causing you to deprioritize things that once were important. It generally makes it impossible to stick to things you’d promised yourself you’d get done. And there are few goals that you can achieve while you’re feeling trapped in a vicious cycle. Now that you’re sober, there’s a lot of time on your hands. But that doesn’t mean you’re left to your own devices. Recovery requires structure. Sticking to your recovery goals, meetings, and appointments is vital to setting a foundation that can help you throughout life. Knowing what time you plan on doing things can also give you something to look forward to every day. You don’t have to deal with fear of the unknown. Being able to plan, prepare, and show up for things when you say you will can help you build character and self-esteem.

Interested in Sober Living?

Riviera Recovery presents a great opportunity for people in early recovery to continue to build their foundation, learn to live a fulfilling life, and begin living responsibly in the “regular world”. Are you looking for a place to land after treatment? Or simply want to explore your sober living options? We have homes in West LA and Palisades/Malibu that offer time and space to grow. Give us a call at 1-855-207-2798 to learn more about your options.  

Can I Have Fun in Recovery?

A large barrier towards individuals beginning to undertake the recovery journey is that they may feel as though they will never again have fun, or be able to experience a night “just like old times” again. Just as it’s true that recovery from addiction will require some drastic life changes, it is equally true that remaining in recovery requires vigilance in all areas of life, socializing notwithstanding. This, however, does not mean that you will never again be able to have a night out or nurture new social connections.  Social behavior is a natural part of life, and finding ways to remain connected with important others is vital to recovery. But can you trust yourself to go out like you used to and remain sober? Will you be able to meet up with old friends, or go back to the places where you were once a regular?  Depending on your recovery journey, the answers may differ, however, there is no sugar-coating the fact that the familiar people and places when you were entrenched in your old lifestyle carry with them the possibility of being detrimental to your current progress. Navigating these waters should be done with extreme caution and intention.

Prepare Yourself with a Plan

Before deciding that you want to risk a night out, it is best practice to prepare for every possibility of how the night may go. Start at the beginning of the night, and identify potential triggers: What if the waitress offers you a sample of wine or someone buys you a drink? What if you feel pressured by your friends, or you realize that you’ve never danced sober before? If you prepare yourself for every possible scenario, you will be more likely to stick to your plan and avoid quick in-the-moment decision making that has not been your friend in the past. Don’t underestimate the power of your triggers, especially the nostalgic ones.  An important part of this plan is making sure that you have a sober support system available to you at all times. Whether this means bringing a sober friend along with you, setting up a system of check-ins with a sponsor or supportive other, or seeking the wisdom of someone experienced in their recovery to go over the plan for the outing, this is vital to the plan. 

Start Small & Resist Peer Pressure

Making the choice to remain sober while the rest of your social circle continues to drink or abuse drugs can be the most difficult experience for those recovering from addictive tendencies. It may be difficult to even fathom walking away from friendships that have a great deal of history behind them, but how can you expect to pursue a recovery lifestyle when these individuals remain unsupportive? Not everyone will try to pressure you into “just having one drink”, but in friend groups where that is the case, consider whether these people are your true friends at all, or if they see their ability to wreck your recovery as justification to avoid trying themselves. Make sure you enlist a friend who has your best interests at heart to help keep you in line, and better yet, avoid all instances of social pressure, keeping your social circle small and supportive. 

A Night Out While Staying In Recovery

Before you were in recovery, you had a reliable and easy access to fun: whether nights out with friends, intoxicating adventures, and an external substance regulating your body’s consistent release of dopamine. Now your body needs to learn new ways to regulate itself, and so too do you need to learn new ways to access a fun time. Of course, things will be different.  Going out and having a social life is always going to be one of those things. It may be that thinking through the challenges involved in planning a night out may sway your decision making towards a night in instead. But this does not mean that you have to stop living. By taking the time to prepare yourself ahead of time, enlisting support, and starting with a small group of trusted friends, you can maintain an active social life without sacrificing your sobriety.  Give us a call today to learn more about the accountability and support we provide at Riviera Recovery!  

Smart and Sober Living

One’s discharge date from residential or inpatient treatment is likely a day that has been highly anticipated and fought for with blood, sweat, and tears. It represents the end of one key phase of treatment. However, for many individuals, that much sought-after date also represents one of fear and uncertainty related to what they may face once they return home, and how they will be able to put their learning into practice. Individuals may be concerned about their ability to stay sober once they’re back in their old environment, or once they face those old triggers. While facing them is inevitable, there are some smart ways to go about this transition and some key benefits to enlisting supportive housing to facilitate the process. 

Adjustment to Daily Life

Many individuals choose to seek supportive housing as the step in-between residential treatment and coming home, due to an awareness of the stark contrast between the level of support available to them at home and anticipation that they may require more than is currently available. This solution offers them the opportunity to slowly adjust to life outside of a residential center, to the unplanned and unstructured. In this adjustment, individuals can live in the middle ground, still actively working their recovery, while also experiencing aspects of the real world that they may have been sheltered from while in active treatment. 

Accountability in Daily Practices

Living in a sober house offers an opportunity to live in a community of individuals who are pursuing similar goals. Finding others at a similar stage in recovery once back home is absolutely still possible, however, takes commitment and follow-through in order to do so. For those transitioning home right away after treatment, this may not rank as high on the list once all of those real-world concerns come flooding back, despite its importance in sustaining recovery. Seeing others you respect successfully manage the transition to sober living in the real world can offer inspiration to work with equal vigor, to create a sense of structure for yourself, with daily routines and practices, and the accountability of others who believe in your ability to follow through. Once you learn that you can be successful in a less structured environment, you will likely be more inclined to believe in your abilities to do so once you return home. 

Opportunity for Daily Compliance

With those daily routines and practices, you have the opportunity to develop confidence and establish a greater sense of self-esteem regarding your own ability to handle your affairs and sustain recovery. Each day that you follow through with a self-directed routine or accomplish a goal (no matter how small) and you allow yourself to feel proud of your behavior, you are one step closer to being ready to face the triggers that will present themselves once you return home. Again, once you are able to feel confident in your ability to thrive in the less-structured but supportive environment of a sober living house, your likelihood of putting those very same skills into practice once you return home is much greater. 

Transitional Periods

Sober living is a perfect fit for transitional periods of all kinds, but especially when leaving inpatient or residential treatment. Namely, by offering an adjustment period back to reality, and a place for an individual to focus on creating community and establishing daily practices of their own, sober living is truly the smart way to ensure a lasting recovery. Tour our sober living home online now, and see for yourself why Riviera Recovery is right for you!

The Importance of Keeping Busy

The idea of ‘keeping busy’ may seem exhausting to an already overworked generation of individuals out there in the workforce. They can’t bear the thought of adding one more thing to their packed schedule and may wonder about the sustainability of their ventures. In theory, these individuals know the merits of relaxation, however, the messaging may seem at odds at first to find that a healthy existence values both.  Keeping busy involves one’s ability to separate the important from the trivial. It is dependent upon prioritizing what actions are meaningful and pursuing them while refraining from getting caught up with those that waste precious time. A person who keeps themselves busy embraces change and hard work and acts accordingly to achieve their goals in life.

Staying busy for your mental health

However, for those who are anxious or depressed, their life likely reflects a diminished capacity to go on with ‘life as usual’ or to do things that they would otherwise enjoy were they not experiencing such mood disorders. They have likely lost sight of all values for their life, of pursuing health, security, personal growth or development, of taking time to build positive relationships or make time for social activities.  Truly, it can become a vicious cycle, as inactivity can be a source of depression, of boredom and unhappiness, and it is these individuals that most benefit from creating more structure and activity in their daily lives. To be clear, however, the advice is not simply to fill your days with more Netflix, or more “chill”. It is getting your butt out of bed, out of the house, even if it is just a walk to the end of the block to start. 

Behavioral Activation Strategies

Behavioral Activation is a specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique that focuses on the ability of our actions to influence how we feel and is the process for assisting individuals in creating routines to fill their life with positive practices.  Think of your mind as a car’s battery, that has gone cold from not being used in a long time. It will likely have a hard time getting started, or building any sort of momentum. This is what it’s like to be depressed– You become more detached from people, places and things that once brought you joy. Behavioral activation, in this case, is like the jumper cables, that presents a strategy to activate the proverbial “stalled engine” by helping you regain your focus by closely examining yourself and daily routine. Researchers have found behavioral activation to be slightly superior to medication because it shifts away from cognitions and feelings to focus on an individual’s behavior and environment and works to identify and observe patterns of behavior. Negative life events such as grief, trauma, life stressors, or even just having a genetic tendency toward depression can lead someone turn to unhealthy behaviors like alcohol and drug use, or even social withdrawal in an attempt to avoid the uncomfortable emotions associated with certain activities. Behavioral activation will not only help in replacing negative avoidance behaviors with new ones but it also increases the amount of positive reinforcement a person experiences in real life. One main symptom of depression is loss of interest in things that were enjoyable. In this case, this therapy can help an individual engage more enjoyable activities and experience the rewards of feeling accomplished and even leading to having a sense of meaning.    Working with a therapist and implementing behavioral activation strategies will also encourage people to schedule enjoyable experiences and taking actions that steer them toward a positive solution and goal. Consequently, it moves them past the paralyzing inaction that once locked them in the clasps of depression.

The Importance of Relaxation

When we picture ‘relaxation’, we may allow our minds to drift to a scene complete with some exotic island, a beautiful view, and our toes in the sand, where the stresses of our daily to-do list are far from our awareness. In this place, we are calm, we are centered, and uninhibited by the prisons of our minds.  For many of us, relaxation feels like it can only exist in this other world, as the reality of our everyday life is demanding: dishes piling up in the sink as one reminder of all of the housework that needs attention, countless emails to respond to and errands to run to stay on top of your job, workouts to complete to stay healthy, and in the midst of it all, remembering to feed yourself, and select good options at that. We all know that in order to stay healthy, we must have well-exercised, well-rested, and well-fed body, therefore, we work extra hard to achieve this, but we neglect our mental health. Or you may even find yourself desperate to find ways to unwind, but incapable of doing so. Some studies even suggest that when you are working too hard at relaxing or stress too much about it, you simply cannot let go enough to induce the feeling.

The Mind-Body Connection

Keep in mind that our bodies affect our minds and emotional wellbeing and vice versa, therefore psychological issues ranging from traumatic stress, depression, anxiety or even a lack of sleep all create a physical response. These and other forms of mental disorders often heighten the “fight or flight” mechanism of the nervous system, leaving the body on high alert. Consequently, this makes it virtually impossible to induce relaxation even in the best of circumstances or environment.  Between the round-the-clock demands of family responsibilities, commitments to work, and all the indeterminable stressors that add up to leave you too exhausted to be bothered with practicing self-care until your body is tense, your neck is full of knots, and your brain is fried. Our bodies often intuitively know what we need, and all but demand that we remember to tune into our internal states. 

How do I find relaxation?

To make it worse, most of us can rarely find the time, let alone the money to afford time away from work to create the sort of imagined scene we think is necessary to relax. Fortunately, just making small lifestyle changes can help you achieve relaxation here and now, and ultimately find a bit more serenity in your life. When it comes to relaxation, one of the most significant barriers that most people face is overcoming a negative mindset about what ‘relaxation’ really is all about. For example, you may sit down to relax, but you may sense that you can’t let go simply because your mind will be spinning thinking about everything that needs to be done. Remember: the world won’t end if you do press-pause once in a while, and there is a reason that most guided imagery tapes begin with something along the lines of, “become aware that there is nothing that you need to do, and no one that you need to respond to for a while”. The key is allowing yourself the time to become present at the moment, trusting that the future will work itself out, and making an investment in one form of relaxation for your physical and mental well-being. Something as small as sitting in a relaxed but uplifted posture or a 5 to 10-minute yoga session while breathing through some poses for a few seconds will not only relax your mind and body, but it can alleviate issues ranging from problems with digestion, stress, and even aid in addiction recovery. Practicing a few minutes of relaxation techniques can have profound benefits, such as:
  • Lowering mental fatigue, improving concentration, mood, and sleep quality
  • Reducing the activity of stress hormones
  • Alleviating frustration and anger
  • Improving digestion 
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Aiding in slowing down your heart rate and consequently lowering blood pressure
   In moments of turmoil or uncertainty, just going outside for a few minutes observing nature and focusing in the stillness of your surroundings can center you and induce relaxation. Whether you’re listening to a guided visualization or meditation script, or even just decided to leave your phone at home for a neighborhood walk or while you sit in a sauna, true opportunities for relaxation are present, if only we’ll value them enough to seek them out and commit. 

How to Quit Drinking

Do you ever think to yourself that perhaps it’s time to quit drinking? Maybe you’ve managed to skate by unnoticed at work, and for the most part, been able to keep up with appearances. Maybe your family member has expressed concerns about your patterns, but you never wanted to believe them.  But how can you stop drinking because, in essence, it is much easier to overindulge and grow addicted to alcohol than it is to quit drinking, right? Quitting would mean owning up to that thing you said, or that thing you did. It would mean making apologies, trying new things, and changing your way of life. You may hear all of the difficulty and the challenge written in those words, and it is true, that will come, but also contained within those words, within a life of pursuing sobriety, is hope.

Alcohol Use and Alcohol Dependence

Understanding the dangers as well as the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and its impact on overall life and society at large can help you make healthier choices and eventually quit drinking. Alcohol dependence affects people from all walks of life and has profound negative effects, especially on the brain, as well as the heart, pancreas, liver, and immune system.    Despite its negative impact, alcohol continues to be one of the causes of preventable death, followed closely by tobacco, a poor diet, and living a sedentary lifestyle.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder, and at least 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related deaths.    Do you suspect that you might be struggling with an alcohol use disorder?  Here are the warning signs to look out for:
  • Sub-par or worse performance at work or school
  • Engaging in risky behaviors: drunk driving, sexual promiscuity, and the resulting legal problems
  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or memory loss after drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite health issues like liver or heart disease including diabetes that is made worse by alcohol
  • Failed interventions from family members and friends who are worried about your drinking
  • Making excuses for drinking like to help deal with stress, to relax or feel normal
  • Choosing to drink instead of following through with responsibilities 
  • Distancing yourself from people which may result to drinking in secrecy
  If you exhibit any of the abovementioned warning signs that detect potential alcohol abuse, don’t stop alcohol use abruptly because depending on the severity you may put your life at risk. You may need to attend a detox facility or call in a professional to safely detox from the comfort of your own home   Alcohol abuse can begin to impact a person’s life negatively and tends to spiral out of control quickly if left unaddressed. Of course, signing up for a treatment program is an excellent place to start, as they can assist you with all of the following, but until then, here are a few tips to help you quit drinking:
  1.     Before you can successfully kick alcohol to the curb, you must first take the time to discover why you no longer need it in your life anymore
  2.     Accept that you have a problem and realize you have control over what enters your body. By so doing, you empower yourself, not your addiction
  3.     Recognize and admit your weaknesses when it comes to alcohol and enact change. For example, you may want to avoid going to bars, or being around any alcoholic beverage, and cleaning out your home of all temptations. Remember, you’re only weak if you give weakness a foothold.
  4.     When you catch yourself in the throes of “a happy drinking memory,” stop for a moment and play that memory all the way through and remember how it felt when you woke up the next day.  Use that feeling to fuel your determination to quit drinking
  5.     Reaffirm the benefits you will notice in your life from quitting drinking
  6.     Seek help from family and counseling support groups for a judgment-free, supportive environment
  7.     Contact us today to get started on your treatment journey!