Life After Relapse — How to Bounce Back and Start Over

Posted on December 8, 2016

By Robert Parkinson

smart-recovery_imageYou made it through recovery treatment. You were doing well. And then one night, a coworker asks you to grab a drink after work. “Just one drink.” It can’t hurt, you tell yourself. That’s the last thing you remember when you wake up in the hospital the next morning.

Relapse is one of the most frustrating, humiliating experiences you can face in recovery. It leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed and tempted to throw in the towel and just keep using. Unfortunately, relapse is also common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people who go through addiction treatment programs go on to relapse at least once. In fact, many people relapse multiple times before finally achieving a full recovery. Continue reading

Getting Through the Holidays, with Dr. Joe Gerstein

Posted on November 30, 2016

DATE: Saturday, December 3, 2016, 5:00 pm EST

SIGN UP AT www.smartrecovery.org/eventsjoe-gerstein-001

Joseph F. Gerstein, MD, FACP, SMART’s founding President, will join us during the holiday season to share some strategies on using SMART tools so we can make getting through the 2016 Holiday Season as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. In addition, Dr. Gerstein will spend some time discussing the fundamental importance of motivation in the recovery process and ways to enhance that, as well as introduce an interesting phenomenon observed in study of the change process. It will be a wide-ranging conversation with lots of interesting food for thought.

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Holiday Challenges to Addiction Recovery

Posted on November 22, 2016

What’s your plan?

Holiday TemptationDecember is right around the corner, and and opportunities for urges and cravings seem to be everywhere. SMART volunteers have put their heads together to offer some suggestions to help you navigate the holiday challenges.

People who achieve long-term sobriety have three characteristics in common:

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How to help: sifting through advice

Posted on November 16, 2016

advice2 As we move into the holiday season, we thought it would be helpful to share some thoughts on family – and what to do when a family member is struggling with addiction.  The following post is reprinted with permission from the Center for Motivation and Change.  (Be sure to click on the links for more info on each topic below.)

At Center for Motivation and Change, we have lots of family members call us to ask for advice about how to help someone they love who they think is struggling with a substance use problem. We get moms calling about their children, husbands calling about their wives, adult children calling about their parents. And one of the things we hear from these folks is “everyone has given me so much advice, I really don’t know what to do”! They have often read articles and books. Have often gotten a wide range of advice or feedback from friends, other family members, therapists, and the media. And more often than not, they feel MORE confused about the best way to move forward rather than less.

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Spend It Wisely: What to Do with Your Newfound Time

Posted on November 1, 2016

Spend It Wisely: What to Do with Your Newfound Time

http://blog.smartrecovery.org/

By Micah Robbins

smart_newfound-time-imageIt feels like a distant memory: Nights spent in bars and clubs followed by dark days under the covers. Partying used to take up a lot of your time, and now that you’re clean, your schedule is pretty clear. This newfound time can present both opportunity and angst. The secret to success is to spend your free hours wisely, so you can continue down the right path toward the best possible you.  Continue reading

5 Tips to Enjoy a Sober Holiday Season

Posted on October 20, 2016

Addiction recovery during the Holidays
by Richard Song

Plan For Holiday Triggers

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for people new to recovery. The number of challenges to your recovery can be daunting, between family gatherings, parties where alcohol is present, and emotional triggers such as stress and sadness related to past memories. You can build resistance to these triggers by preparing a plan. Here are some general tips that can help those recovering from an addiction through the holidays:

1) Be careful about which events you attend. Avoid those that will be highly tempting and that focus around “using” such as wine tastings and cocktail parties. When you arrive at an event, take note of the potential triggers and come up with a plan that will address each of those triggers – for instance, position yourself away from the bar.

2) Have a backup plan in case the temptation is too strong or you feel uncomfortable at an event. Bring a sober friend who will support you and leave with you if you don’t feel comfortable staying. If you feel comfortable doing so, let the hosts know your situation. That way, you won’t feel like you offended them if you decide to leave early. Continue reading