cash ball of dollars, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

Money Addiction. Does it Exist?

Money is essential in life. You need it to stay afloat in life. However, is it possible for a person to develop an unhealthy dependency on cash? Some money addiction habits are obvious to notice while most are not. It is easy to spot some of these obvious manifestations, such as a money gambler or one who flashes their designer clothes or new luxurious cars. However, the challenge comes in noticing the hidden signs that even you could be having.  Anything can get you addicted. However, money addiction is easily dismissed since there are addictions that are considered worse, such as substance dependence. While money addiction is not as bad as substance dependence, the consequences are equally dire. Dependency on money can undermine integrity and honesty, ruin relationships, destroy careers, and even trigger depression. Let’s break this down to signs of money addiction and how you can beat money addiction.

5 Signs of Money Addiction

person holding a US dollar bill, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles

1. You Are Obsessed With Obtaining Money

Your mind is ever preoccupied with the idea of obtaining money or getting more money. Consequently, even your behavior revolves around acquiring money. Such acts may include gambling or buying lottery tickets with the hope of winning and also overworking.

2. Being in Denial

When you are in denial about money addiction, you will tend to be unclear about your earnings, savings, expenditure, and debt. It is common for people to live in an obscure financial situation where you do not know the sum of money in your bank account or the total debt you owe your credit card company. You can also be in denial about your financial status, which may cause you to overspend and live a lifestyle you cannot afford. This will make you get into more financial debt and bankruptcy. Lack of financial goals, such as a retirement plan or saving for rainy days, is also a form of living in denial.  In such cases, you tend to think that a solution will come up when the problem arises, which is unrealistic. Denial does not only happen to irrational spenders and chronic debtors. It can easily happen to people who save excessively and hardly spend the money they have. Such people tend to worry about the numbers in their accounts and believe that the more the money, the happier and more satisfied they will be, but in most cases, the amount in their accounts will never be enough. Denial keeps people from seeking help, even as these behaviors continue to destroy their lives.

3. Self-image Tied to Money

People who have an addiction to money tend to believe that their self-image and self-worth is determined by the amount of money they earn, the money in their bank accounts or how much they spend. The hoarders go to the extent of missing events or social gatherings where they are expected to spend money with the fear of losing it.

4. Involving Yourself in Dangerous Behaviors

This is a common trait in people who are obsessed with money.  You tend to engage in risky behaviors such as gambling, overindulgence in the stock market with the hope of making more money and overspending. This occurs even if the gambler or the over spender cannot afford to make potential losses. However, this behavior of involving yourself in risky behavior to earn more money does not apply to all people who can be termed to be addicted to money.

5. Inability to Change Your Money Habits

You lack control over your money, and you cannot change your money habits despite the horrible consequences that come with your money dependence.  You have probably tried to change, but no solution is working, no matter how hard you try.  You have probably made decisions such as using cash instead of your credit card, but you end up carrying and using your credit card instead or you take some more money from your family savings to hit the casino one last time and swear you will return the money, but this never happens. If this is the case, then you have little to no control over the financial aspect of your life.

Effects of Money Addiction

People who are addicted to money require money to feel happy and satisfied, but the feeling is short-lived, and you end up brainstorming on other ways to make more money. You may also feel the need to keep your destructive behavior private due to the shame that comes with it, and this may cause more impulsive gambling or shopping. The consequences could be as bad as getting divorced, losing all your property, or bankruptcy.  You may lose self-confidence due to these recurring habits and begin to doubt your inherent abilities. Eventually, all of this will trigger depression.

3 Strategies for Beating Money Addiction

 man wearing gray tank top, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles
  1. Be Honest With Yourself. If you identified with the signs listed above, you likely have money addiction. Admit it to yourself that you have a problem, and you need to seek help. This is the first step in dealing with money addiction.
  2. Have a Genuine Desire for Change. Consciously and willingly admit that you want to change and make inventories on your spending and study the patterns. This will help you see where your negative money habits are at.
  3. Seek Professional Help. Most times, you are too deep into the addiction and negative habits that you need professional help to help you begin your sober living.

Getting Help from Riviera Sober Living

Riviera is a health and wellness community helping men and women recover from substance use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. We, at the Riviera Sober Living, have a unique and holistic approach to establishing long-term recovery. These programs also include couples sober living. The Riviera team provides the necessary guidance to support successful recoveries.  people standing on sandy beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles Our personnel dedicates their time to ensure you’re comfortable and have a friendly stay at our homes. Our therapists work with you to identify where the problem stems from and how to help you recover. Our services include treatment and therapy activities. Residents can also come and go as they please, and this creates a balance between the inpatient facility and the real world.  Riviera Sober Living has two facilities. The Palisades House and the Barrington House. The Palisades House is located at Pacific Palisades. It is co-ed with separate bathrooms for each gender and is a short walk to the beach with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. The Barrington House is in West Los Angeles. The location is all male and a walking distance to various parks and a couple of shops. It is also close to schools such as UCLA, USC, SMC, LMU, and other schools.

Conclusion

Money addiction is an unhealthy dependence on money. Some signs of money addiction are gambling, overspending, or excessively saving.  The signs of money addiction are living in denial and obsessing over obtaining more money. These signs can also portray themselves in habits such as the inability to change unhealthy money habits, the self-image and self-worth of the person tied to the amount of money they have, and involving yourself in risky behaviors to get more money. The effects of dependency on money are undermined integrity and honesty, ruined relationships, destroyed careers, and can even trigger depression. You can cope with money addiction by being honest and coming into terms with your problem, open up to those closest to you and ask for their help. You should also make strong and intentional plans to beat the negative spending patterns you have and by seeking help from health and wellness communities such as Riviera Sober Living. The primary reason to work for money is to be able to purchase your tangible needs. This is the traditional way of thinking about money. Nevertheless, human beings don’t tend to behave in that way. Sometimes getting money only further fuels your urge to get more money. This behavior of human beings tends to be highly influenced by the situations they are in and environments from which they come from. At Riviera Sober Living – West Los Angeles Home, we are a sober house in Los Angeles, and we provide support to people dealing with alcohol and drug use, mental health, and co-occurring disorders. Our personnel and therapists work to ensure a holistic approach to establishing long term recovery. Contact us today and let us help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. Protected by Copyscape
stay home corona posta, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

Addiction Treatment and COVID-19: Sobriety in Isolation

The COVID-19 disease has resulted in turmoil all over the world. The economy has dipped and continues to decline each day; industrialization has drastically come to a halt, and it’s no longer normal to be outside in some parts of the world. It’s easy to look at the effects of the virus on major aspects of human life like the economy and forget about the small extra battles that people have to face as a result of COVID-19. It’s easy to assume that ‘Everyone is fine as long as we’re all at home’ or that ‘It’s nice that everyone finally gets a break from the daily hustles of life.’ One of the main directives from the World Health Organization (WHO) is that people should maintain social distancing at all times, wash their hands frequently and practice self-isolation as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 a man washing his hands as a coronavirus preventive measure, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles While directives from the WHO are in everyone’s best interests, people suffering or recovering from addiction have to deal with a whole new set of problems. Addiction treatment has been proven to be most successful when conducted together with other members of the community battling the same addiction.

How to Stay Sober During Self-isolation 

1. Talk to People 

A lot of people are going through the same harrowing experience just like you. Call your loved ones and tell them exactly what you’re going through, and you’ll feel better by the end of the phone call. Most addiction treatment centers also have on-call professionals who are available 24 hours a day, every day, for over the phone counseling services.  People on social media platforms have even formed forums for people recovering from addiction where they talk just like they would during the support group meetings. It may not compare to face to face interactions, but it’s a great place to start.

2. Seek Help Online 

With everything coming to a halt, organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have made most of their services available on the internet. Alcoholics Anonymous has made use of applications such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, where you can browse through and find options that are best for you. Narcotics Anonymous also has a similar website. Being able to talk to someone is better than just sending a text as you end up feeling better and stronger from an encouraging and soothing voice rather than just a text with emojis. It’s just like one on one meetings but over the Internet.

3. Try Something New 

It’s easy to get into your head during self-isolation. Boredom is the ultimate breeding ground upon which addicts who have been sober for years, suddenly relapse. Find a new hobby, like reading books or painting. Adopt a pet so that you have someone to take care of and think about other than yourself. Whatever it is, don’t be alone with your thoughts. woman reading a novel, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

4. Design a Structured Recovery System 

A recovery system is a set of activities that you take part in to ensure that you remain sober. This focuses more on sobriety as a journey rather than a goal. Everything you do from the point you wake up should be geared towards remaining sober. An efficient system is one where every part of your day is planned, such that you know exactly what you’re going to be doing at 6:59 pm on Tuesday. It also ensures that there is no room for boredom or zero activity.

5. Consider a Sober Living Home 

This is a sure method of ensuring you avoid relapse, especially if you’ve just left rehab recently. It is a residential place where individuals who are in recovery reside and live normal lives but in a more controlled environment. It reduces the chances of coming across triggers, and you have support from people just like you. Living with people going through the same thing as you encourage especially during stressful and tempting times such as these. Most sober living homes have requirements such as you should pay rent just like a normal home, no drugs, support meetings are generally encouraged, and you just do your share of household chores.  Visiting numerous homes is ideal for you to find a place that is exactly like your actual home.

Riviera Recovery Sober Living

Riviera Recovery is not only a sober living facility, but it’s also a community. Our facilities are found all over the coast so that you can practice sober living in Los Angeles and sober living in southern California. They are designed to meet everyone’s preferences with numerous services and programs available for everyone who walks through our doors. We realize that home, or at least an environment like home, is the best place for recovery, and thus we have designed our facilities for the best sort of upscale sober living just like home. Our sober houses in Los Angeles include:

Barrington House

This is a high-end facility for sober living in West Los Angeles. Barrington house was specially made to make patients undergoing drug and alcohol treatment in the Los Angeles area and its environs. It is truly made to suit the home environment with social amenities found within a walking radius of the facility. You are sure to be in a cozy environment where you can relax on the facility’s outdoor patio or play ping pong indoors as you recover. The 12 step community is also found in numerous neighboring areas with meetings taking place both during the day and at night. There are also gyms and schools nearby plus a farmer’s market once a week!

Palisades House:

This facility is a co-ed residential sober living house in Los Angeles found in an affluent neighborhood between the Santa Monica mountains and the Pacific Ocean. There’s nothing quite healing like the sound and feel of the ocean, making it the perfect location. Men and women here have different bathroom facilities and can live normal lives, all the while getting treatment. Activities such as hiking and swimming at the beach will probably make up most of your time here, and what’s not to love about that?  This facility also allows you to take part in 12 step recovery programs found in the Malibu and Santa Monica area. woman doing yoga exercise on a beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles

Final word 

While the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 are top on the list of priorities in the health sector, addiction treatment isn’t any less important. In any case, you’re more likely to suffer to a greater extent if you keep an addiction problem to yourself.  Reaching out to those who are going through the same thing will always go a long way in encouraging you. Addiction treatment in isolation may not be an easy task, but it can be done with discipline and determination. Things are probably going to change once this virus has passed; don’t let it be the only thing. Protected by Copyscape
an image of a man writing on a notepad, sober living los angeles, couples sober living, sober living house los angeles

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.
Protected by Copyscape

Recovery, Your Pet, and YOU!

It’s no secret that there is a certain amount of comfort and joy that is brought to most humans when in the presence of an animal that they can give affection to and receive affection from. It is an indescribable feeling that at the end of every day,  you are coming home to an animal that expresses unconditional love towards you, no matter what. Often we attach ourselves to our pets, they become family. They need us as we need them. It has been proven that there are ways to benefit from the presence of an animal, be it emotional or physical support. Additionally, those who are in addiction recovery can find many benefits of having a pet as they make their way through the life transition of becoming sober.

Unconditional Acceptance

When faced with the fear of judgment or acceptance throughout this process, there is an undeniable source of the love you desire that comes from a pet. You can depend on your cat or dog to show you unquestionable love in times you may need it the most. This feeling of acceptance is healthy in the healing process as it allows you to become more relaxed and able to open up about your feelings.  A lot of pets are incredibly intuitive and can sense when you are unhappy and make for great snuggles and comfort in darker times. Because some animals are completely capable of expressing emotions like fear, anger, excitement, and a sense of being content, a recovering addict may benefit from this emotional honesty. After spending time becoming numbed by the substances they were addicted to, this interaction with emotion may encourage them to revisit those forgotten emotions.

Learning Responsibility

Because your pets need you, this can help keep you accountable in your recovery process. Committing to giving your pets the love and attention required can be rewarding and can provide a sense of goal achievement for taking great care of your animals. These small victories can easily build a driving force in you that can help your self-esteem and to acquire the ambition to take better care of yourself. Having a loved pet that gives you the feeling that you are wanted and needed is a huge step in building your confidence and in turn, giving you the strength and drive to keep moving forward.

Energy

When you think of a dog, you are most likely to imagine an outgoing, happy, and energetic personality. To be around a dog could benefit you by increasing these mannerisms in yourself, ultimately helping your social skills. Coming out of addiction can be a dark and lonely place if you let it, but with the help of a furry four-legged friend’s upbeat characteristics, you may find yourself less likely to be feeling alone and more likely to have the desire to engage yourself in activities with other people. Animals have so many different quirks and characteristics, and it is uncommon to find an animal that does not make someone smile with their cute and silly behavior. This is why we find the internet filled with videos and memes of cute animals. For someone struggling with an addiction, just the act of smiling because of an animal can be a step in the right direction. The process of recovery can be long and stressful. To have close friends and family is imperative in order to keep accountability and communication, however, there is something so unique to having a relationship with a pet during this time. After everyone leaves, there they are, sympathetic and caring. At Riviera Recovery, we understand the importance of this primal relationship, and the need to keep your dog by your side during this time, which is why we are a pet-friendly sober living facility.

DBT for those in Recovery

Dialectical behavior therapy, also known as DBT, is an effective treatment method for those looking to overcome addiction and begin a successful recovery. The purpose of DBT is to provide clients with skills that will assist them in managing their emotions effectively and reducing conflict in their relationships. Although this form of therapy was initially intended to treat personality disorders, it has been discovered that DBT is equally effective as a substance abuse treatment, especially for individuals with comorbid conditions. There are four main areas of dialectical behavior therapy: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.  Riviera Recovery believes in the power of each one of these areas as essential because to provide key skills to those in recovery.

Mindfulness

Drawing from ancient eastern traditions, the mindfulness skills that clients gain through DBT practice encourages them to focus on the present and avoid getting drawn too far into the future or the past at any given time. Having a focus on the present provides clients with the ability to take things one day at a time, or one step after another, rather than always looking at the long road ahead. Not only does mindfulness avoid a future mindset, but it also helps to relieve some of the tension clients may feel from thinking about the past as well. Although it can be easy to look at the past and find mistakes, drawing up old wounds from five years or five minutes ago and ruminating over them rarely is going to be helpful and can actually be damaging to the recovery process. Learning to focus the mind, and bring it back to the present moment brings with it daily opportunities to practice concentration, and become connected with one’s inner world

Distress Tolerance

DBT has been shown to increase clients’ ability to manage their stress and reduce anxiety because they gain valuable distress tolerance skills. These skills combine several techniques that relax the mind and body, creating a sense of comfort. With the use of distress tolerance techniques, clients can also make wiser, more informed decisions because they are not frantic or stressed when making crucial decisions. Having a focus on the current moment helps clients to reduce the likelihood of relapse because they are less likely to return to unhealthy coping methods because they are more fully aware of the choices presented to them in any given moment. In this way, being able to accept their current reality, choosing a healthy way to deal with the issue, and move forward with recovery is key to preventing relapse.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation is an aspect of DBT that urges participants to incorporate new ways of dealing with intense feelings such as anger, stress, and depression. The idea presented here is that once these emotions are more effectively managed, clients can begin to understand their feelings and make positive decisions, rather than acting on impulse. Within this aspect of DBT treatment, time is taken to ensure that clients have a deeper understanding of their emotions and know how to process through and manage them effectively. When clients are educated about how to deal with their feelings positively, they can prevent having negative feelings that urge them to stray from their path to a successful recovery.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness is a significant component of DBT because it provides skills in navigating and understanding relationships. Clients that participate in DBT gain a deep understanding of the relationships in their life, what they need from them, and what they are looking to accomplish in the relationship. Frequently, stressors in relationships can be challenging to overcome because they cause unwanted tension, conflict, or anger in relationships that are unhealthy. Interpersonal effectiveness skills provide clients with tools that increase their emotional intelligence and increase the probability of having positive, healthy relationships with less conflict. Although the road to recovery is not an easy one, DBT has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce relapse. Rivera Recovery specializes in providing care to clients and assisting them with their recovery in healthy ways. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about DBT, and how it can be used to help you, please contact us!

How to Have Fun While Maintaining Your Sobriety

Detoxing alcohol and drugs from your body can be a difficult process. Once you have gone through the detox process and have begun your journey to recovery, you may want to start living your life again. One thing many addicts struggle with is enjoying their life and having fun, while also maintaining their sobriety. For many years, the fun has included the use of alcohol and drugs for many addicts, so many addicts are unsure how to find a new normal that does not include these things. Fortunately, there are many fun things you can do to entertain yourself and enjoy your life, while also maintaining your sobriety. Here are five ways to have fun while maintaining your sobriety.

Improve Your Health

One of the ways that you can fun while maintaining your sobriety is to work on improving your health. Many people focused on their sobriety turn to working out as a way to have fun, release tension and cope with the challenges of daily life while remaining sober. Every person has their own individual likes and dislikes when it comes to fitness, but the great thing is, there is a workout that is perfect for everyone. If you like more calming and relaxing workouts, yoga or pilates may be ideal for you. If you want to burn off some steam and enjoy listening to your music, running or brisk walking may be perfect. Team sports offer you the ability to interact with others while also improving your health. And lifting weights can help to strengthen your body and your resolution to remain sober.

Educate Yourself

Most people do not immediately think of school and learning as being fun. However, attending classes that interest you or can help you grow in your career can provide you with mental stimulation and a sense of accomplishment. For those working towards their sobriety, you want to do things that make you feel proud of yourself and give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Taking educational courses can provide you with this, and if you enjoy the courses you are taking, can also be fun.

Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the community can be more fun than most people realize. Not only can it be fun, but you are working to help others in need in your community. At one point in time, you were likely in need and your friends and family may have stepped in to assist you. What better way to pay it forward than to do something great for your community. There are many different ways you can give back to your community, including helping at a homeless shelter, serving meals at a soup kitchen, or walking dogs at an animal shelter. Find something that interests you and volunteer your time.

Find a Hobby

As you work toward maintaining your sobriety, it is important to take time for yourself and to find things that you enjoy. Many addicts lose themselves in being an addict. You may no longer know exactly who you are and what you enjoy. Take the time to rediscover yourself and what you like by finding a hobby. You may want to take up carpentry and woodworking, or you may wish to join a bowling league. Find a hobby allows you to spend your time doing something that you enjoy and something that provides you with pleasure.

Cultivate Healthy Relationships

Lastly, take the time to cultivate healthy relationships. Get to know people who live a healthy, sober lifestyle, and then spend time with those people. Go out to lunch, take in a movie, or just go for an evening walk with them. You may lose friendships when you get clean, as you are no longer wish to hang around those who are involved with alcohol and drugs. It can be lonely without those friends who have been in your life. Cultivating healthy friendships helps you to overcome loneliness and allows you to have fun with people who have a positive influence on your life. Are you struggling with addiction? Getting sober is not an easy process, and is not something you should attempt to do on your own. If you want to kick your addiction and work on your sobriety, Riviera Recovery can assist you. Riviera Recovery is a sober living home with locations in Malibu and in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Contact us today to learn how we can help you on your path to sobriety.

How to Get Clean & Sober for Good

Have you recently stopped drinking, or given up your addictive behavior? Are you serious about remaining sober this time? Do you want to find a way to avoid having a relapse? The fact is, up to 90 percent of people who achieve sobriety for the long term experienced a relapse along the way. As a result, you may need some tips for recovery. After all, being informed, knowing what to expect and how to conduct yourself is the best way to continue living your new, sober lifestyle. Make Smart Changes If you want to maintain your sobriety, then it is absolutely essential you abandon your old hangouts, habits, and routines. In some cases, you may need to make other changes, too. It doesn’t matter what type of changes you make – the goal is to participate in behavior that’s different than what you did in the past. If you want to develop and keep a drug- and addiction-free lifestyle, you will know the immediate changes that need to be made. These include things like not hanging around people you got drugs from or drank with. If you want to remain sober, you can’t hang around the people you used to drink with. There are some people who have discovered it’s best to make new friends if they really want to remain sober. If you find this challenging, then consider joining a support group, or even participating in a fellowship. Another option is to try to spend more time with your family. Plan activities that everyone will enjoy and that will help your entire family live a healthier life. This can also help you avoid situations where you would be tempted to drink or do drugs. Find a Sense of Balance in Your Life A common mistake for many people who have recently become sober is substituting a brand-new compulsion or addiction for the ones they had in the past. After all, someone who has become an alcoholic or addict is typically compulsive, which can be quite dangerous and lead to a relapse. If you are new to recovery, you may find that you are compulsive when it comes to a new diet, exercise routine, or even a support group. If this is the case, you are simply substituting one addiction for a new one. Even if your new activity is productive and healthy, it can be a stumbling block that prevents you from ever fully recovering. The goal is for you to find some level of balance and to take control of everything in your life, as well as all of the choices that you make. You need to figure out that you have options and that you can maintain control of your life. If there is any part of your life that is considered out of control, then this is going to hinder your ability to continue living your new, sober life. Deal with the Mistakes You Made in the Past If you have made it to recovery, chances are you have also left quite a bit of suffering and pain behind you. There are probably many things in your past that cause feelings of guilt and shame. If you want to maintain your sobriety, there is no question that the guilt and shame may become toxic. This can result in you relapsing if you don’t properly deal with it. Shame is when you have negative believes about yourself, as well as your self-worth. Guilt is if you have any type of negative or bad feelings about your past behavior. If you are in recovery you may have shame for getting addicted to being with. The best way to deal with these feelings is by facing your past. You have to apologize to those you hurt and try to make amends. This is going to help you maintain your new-found sobriety. Living a Sober Life: It’s Possible Remaining drug and addiction free for life is your ultimate goal. If you want to achieve this goal, then you have to take control and stop living in the past. The only way to ensure you don’t repeat the behaviors of the past is to move forward and live each day in your new sober life. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do NOT be afraid to reach out. Contact us today to talk to an addiction treatment professional.

Coping with Stress

You’re running late, you have an overwhelming workload, you’re suffering under unrealistic expectations, feeling burnt out, exhausted, and on top of all of this, you are HANGRY. What does all of this lead to? Headaches, tension, restlessness, and a low sex drive, all of which are caused by stress. We’ve all been there. In fact, most of us are probably enduring some amount or form of stress this very moment. It is not uncommon. But how can we overcome this stress rather than letting it occupy every fiber of our being? It seems simple, but let’s face it, with only 24 hours in a day, life can sometimes have the upper hand on how you spend your time. The challenging part in all of this is taking time to prioritize and eliminate even the smallest of things that do not serve you in order to make time for yourself. Let’s look at a few of the ways that we can have power over the stress that can so easily tie us down to unwelcomed discomfort. Relax. Close your eyes and breathe. Find a way to pull yourself out of whatever environment is causing you to stress or causing you to think about the weighing pressures in your life. Perhaps turning down the lights and taking a bubble bath or hot shower with candles and essential oils sound relaxing to you. Or you may find a sunny day on a secluded beach listening to the repetitious calming sounds of the waves and feeling the warm breeze tingle on your skin. Maybe a float in a swimming pool. A walk in nature. A walk around the block. Simply shutting your eyes and breathing. Yes, this all requires time, which we all know there is never enough of. However, managing and organizing your time will allow you to phase out the things that are otherwise avoidable causes of stress. Put down the phone, pick up a book. Disconnecting from the world wide web and social media platforms will eliminate any distractions and unnecessary clutter in your head. In today’s culture, it feels obligatory to be plugged in at all times to some sort of technology. We scroll through other’s feeds, watch shows, download movies, check emails, etc. Somehow, we are almost always faced to screen in some way or another. Just for a while, put it away. Open a book to read, or a notebook to a journal, color or draw in. Engage your mind in activities that do not require you to focus on a screen. It may be unrealistic to say that this can be done over an extended period given that most of our work and social lives depend on technology, however, boundaries can be set to help limit the usage of your devices. At the end of the day, rather than staying connected and checking your emails after hours of mindlessly scrolling, put your phone away and immerse yourself into a good book or puzzle. Invest in you. It is so easy to resort to binge eating, drinking alcohol, or participating in other self-destructive behaviors when we feel stressed out. In fact, it is what a large majority turn to. But is this a long term beneficial resort? Absolutely not. These decisions will only increase and intensify the level of stress we feel once the temporary comfort of these substances or behaviors fade. Rather than turning to unhealthy habits, consciously decide to take time for self- care. This could include yoga, walking, running, swimming or any other form of exercise in addition to engaging in a healthy diet. You do not need to be a health nut in order to take interest in your body and mind. You simply have to set a little bit of time aside to look after yourself. The simple act of moving in whatever way you choose is scientifically proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in your brain. Who wants to argue with science? The bottom line is, stress is unavoidable. There is very little that we can do to prevent stress in our lives, otherwise there would never be any. What we can do is take measures to avoid letting stress get the best of us. Recognize your limitations. Accept what is in your control. Find the positive rather than the negatives in situations that you have no control over. Give yourself a break. Take the time to appreciate how much you do achieve and persevere. And lastly, don’t forget to prioritize your time in order to make room for habits that will actually benefit and serve you.

5 Great Books on Addiction

The quality of life you enjoy now has a lot to do with the books you read in the past. The information you got through such books put you on the path to the career you have and helped shape your beliefs on life. The same can be said of great addiction books. They can not only help you overcome addiction but also give you insights to help family members faced with the disease. Even fiction novels based on dependence can give you new ideas and a better understanding of substance abuse. Here are some of the best books on addiction.

1.The Shining by Stephen King

What better way to get into the mind and experiences of someone fighting alcoholism than to read a book written by someone who had his battles with alcohol. In The Shining, Stephen King brings out the struggles of an ex-alcoholic, which is perhaps made all the more captivating by the author’s personal experiences. In the book, Jack Torrance, an ex-alcoholic is employed as a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. It’s winter in Colorado, and he hopes to enjoy the warmth of his family – his wife, Wendy, and son, Danny – away from his latent alcoholism. But it’s not long before he’s pulled back in by a ghostly bartender serving him gin, depicting the struggles many recovering alcoholics face in kicking the habit. And soon Jack goes insane to the extent of attacking his family.

2.Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

One of the most startling revelations you get from Johann Hari’s Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, is that drug addiction is far more dependent on your childhood and quality of life than the actual drugs or your genes. This, among other incredible insights, puts a stark contrast between the United States’ war on drugs and how drug addiction could be handled better. The book takes you through a heart-wrenching journey of the moving human stories in the disastrous war on drugs. The reporter himself took a two-year, 20,000-mile journey to discover the real-life stories of people affected by the poorly implemented war on drugs. Even the author shares the personal experience of witnessing a close relative and ex-boyfriend bottoming out on heroin and cocaine.

3.Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis & Larry Sloman

This book delivers such an authentic narration of heroin addiction experience that it’s not recommended to someone in early recovery or treatment. For the general public, it gives illuminating insights on the downright heart-wrenching experience of heroin addiction, a far cry from the glamorous hype. The fact that it’s a memoir about Anthony Kiedis, the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman, makes it deeply touching. The author doesn’t spare readers of the raw sadness and deep despair accompanying heroin addiction. He shows just how strong the hold of addiction is such that Anthony Keidi couldn’t kick off the habit even after the loss of Hillel Slovak, his best friend, and bandmate, to overdose. The real-life experiences show the extremely depressing state that an addict falls into.

4.Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

This is one of the best books for families of drug addicts and alcoholics. Many families end up bearing the burden of caring for drug addicts/ alcoholics. This goes to the extent of such family members losing sight of their own lives while tending to the drug addict/ alcoholic. Such codependency is dangerous and hinders good addiction therapy. No wonder this book is incredibly valuable. It gives you deep insights to understand codependency and helps you unlock the hold it has on your life. It’s not merely instructive lessons, but also illuminating life stories with personal reflections, self-tests, and exercises to help you take practical steps towards a life of freedom. It helps you realize that you deserve happiness, healing, and hope, especially when faced with the challenge of a family member addicted to drugs/ alcohol. And it helps you achieve that.

5.Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery by Erica Spiegelman

What better person to understand your struggles than an addiction counselor who has had her struggles with addiction and alcoholism. That person is Erica Spiegelman, a respected addiction counselor. She wrote this addiction recovery book to present a different way of thinking about embracing recovery and living clean. In the book, she goes beyond drug and alcohol abstinence and ventures into a holistic approach in the recovery process. She tackles the attitudes and beliefs accompanying and fueling the disease. The insights in this book are aimed at changing your focus, so your mind, body, and spirit will follow. Best of all, it gives you practical action-oriented positive affirmation and intentions to achieve this.

Conclusion

Reading such books can inspire you to consider addiction therapy seriously so you can take back control of your life. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, do NOT be afraid to reach out. Contact us to get more information and to speak to an addiction professional.

The Power of Sleep

Have you ever known what it’s like to start a full day on empty? You know that you needed that sleep, but you either voluntarily or involuntarily got little to none. So, here you are packing up your things for a long day ahead and you find yourself feeling empty inside. Your brain feels foggy, you’re cranky and can’t focus. That cup – or pot – of coffee is the only thing you’ve got going for you in order to make it through the day. In this scenario, you represent one-third of American adults who are not getting the sleep they need on a regular basis, which the CDC estimates to be 7 hours a night. Why is sleep so important to our mental health?         With good sleep, you can think more clearly, stay focused and make informed decisions, which plays a large part of your daily successes in schooling, family responsibilities or at work. Well- rested, your productivity and problem-solving skills are greatly increased, which in turn makes for greater ease in avoiding relapse. However, sleep deprivation has quite the adverse effect: cue “brain fog”. This term finds its origin in describing the disconnect between neurons (cells of the brain) and their inability to communicate properly with one another, usually resulting in temporary mental lapses and slowed response times . Having a consistent sleep routine is one way to ensure that your brain is functioning on all levels properly. Life is stressful, so let’s get less sleep?         The first aspect of the above sentiment is true: life is stressful.  However, the answer to a hectic day should be anything but reducing Z’s. After a restless night, you may find yourself more likely to be irritable and more emotionally reactive to situations. However, sleep is in itself a powerful and restorative stress reducer.  A good night’s sleep can assist with your cognitive skills and alertness. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, sleep tends to be one of the first things to go when we feel under pressure. Lack of sleep will reduce your mental clarity, which, when combined with traffic jams, a demanding workload, or any attempt to remain in control of a chaotic life, will likely lead to stress. This becomes a vicious cycle when that stress then becomes the cause of the next restless night, further preventing you from the experiencing the restorative effects of sleep. Cycles such as this delay someone from entering the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of the sleep cycle. REM is the sleep stage responsible for restoring mental function, and how the brain processes emotions and memories.  Conversely, too much time in REM sleep can also cause daytime fatigue, which can further disrupt normal sleep cycles and mood. Sleep is Important for Mental Health and Recovery         Good sleep also helps prevent depression and anxiety. While these, in addition to one’s current stressors, make it difficult to fall asleep, quality sleep is what helps to decrease the amount of anxiety you experience by allowing you the mental clarity to see and work through the root cause of the anxiety. For those in recovery, sleep is vital, as it leads to less impulsive behaviors, and reduces one’s risk for relapse. While the experience of disturbed sleep is common for those in early recovery, failing to establish a sleep routine lends way to destructive habits like reaching for caffeine, nicotine, or sugary or processed foods just to make it through the day, furthering the cycle of and not addressing its root cause. Your Future Self Will Thank You Our bodies work best when they are on a set schedule, waking up and falling asleep at the same time every day. Try to relax your mind before getting into bed by avoiding blue light (phones, TVs, etc.) for at least an hour before crawling into bed, as this is known to disrupt the circadian rhythm. Listen to calming music, read a book, count backward from 500, or write in a journal. But once you are lying down, try to turn your mind off so you can receive the restorative sleep you so desperately need. When you prioritize getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night, your body and mind will thank you, your friends and family will thank you, and quite possibly so will your boss, your bank account, and those who share your commute. Good sleep is a vital aspect of everyday life. It influences your health, feelings, and ability to effectively work your recovery. We at Riviera Recovery know the importance of sleep and value it’s healing powers, especially for those in recovery. Learn a little bit more about our mission, and what is important to us, or contact us with any specific questions you may have.