How Long Do I Have to Stay Sober?

Should Alcoholics Participate in Stealth Drinking?

People that have an addiction to alcohol and drugs usually do not have the luxury to start and stop whenever they want. Once they have one drink or one drug, an allergy of the body will take over the addict to kick off a non-stop obsession in the mind that provokes them to ingest one continuous substance after another in hopes to not have to breathe in one sober breath.

An addict that has a lack of control when it comes to substance abuse and has incurred more consequences than they care to admit, must launch an efficient plan of action to keep them from drinking or using again. To say that an addict should stay sober forever is too big of an order to fulfill, so the philosophy of one day at a time is used with addicts.

A recovering addict in early sobriety can have a hard time comprehending how to jump through the perceived hoops that they must undertake to stay sober. Keeping things simple in recovery can help a recovering addict focus on first things first. The main thing is staying sober no matter what. Trying to remain sober one day at a time is more achievable than trying to look way into the future that is completely unknown.

Taking sobriety in daily increments can also put a recovering individual’s recovery into context in a sustainable way. Doing step work with a sponsor and connecting to a Higher Power on the daily is way more manageable to those who want long-term sobriety. People that have addictive personalities will pile on as much as they can to feel good, even in sobriety. By doing too much too soon someone in recovery can fizzle out pretty quickly with an all-or-nothing mentality.

The length of the sobriety is not quite as important as the quality of the sobriety. In fact, a fun way to look at the one day at a time philosophy is whoever wakes up first has the most sobriety even between someone who has 21 years versus someone who has 42 days. It should not be as much a competition as recovery should be about people supporting each other to stay sober on a daily basis.

To answer the hard-hitting question of how long does an addict need to stay sober? The real answer – one day at a time.  

If you, or someone you know, has substance abuse with drugs or alcohol, there is a way out. Together here at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center we can take recovery one day at time. Our staff is here to encourage you to make the best of your recovery. Call us today: 855-652-2683

How to Help a Loved One When They Return from Rehab

How to Help a Loved One When They Return from Rehab

When a loved one who has become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol gets sober and goes to rehab, it is an exciting, but also a trying time for everyone involved. On one hand, an addict’s loved ones are relieved that their loved one is accounted for and they no longer must second guess what is going on. On the other hand, everyone is trying to acclimate to the new changes that must take place when their now recovering loved one finishes their treatment and returns home.

Attending a rehabilitation facility means having a well-structured environment.  Outside of the walls of the rehab, your loved one is now responsible for making new decisions that can be difficult for them. Fear can surround your family because they may feel like they must walk around on eggshells to prevent unnecessary conflicts and to prevent the much-dreaded relapse.

Before your loved one leaves the treatment center, an aftercare plan will be established for when they feel vulnerable to the obsession of their addiction and help them to transition back into their real life easier. Loved ones also need some help transitioning into the new world of recovery to make sure that certain actions are more helpful rather than harmful.   

Putting demands on a newly recovering loved one may keep them from solidifying their recovery by doing too much too soon. The first 90 days of sobriety can be the most difficult due to all the changes that they are making. Try to be supportive and give them time to adapt to their new sober lifestyle.

Learning how to be happy for your recovering loved one can be a hard task to pull off especially when you might be under the impression that family no longer comes first. Being jealous of the time that they are spending with their recovery peeps, in meetings, and in therapy sessions takes away from seeing their real purpose of trying to live a healthier life. All the effort that your loved one is putting into the recovery is giving them a chance to acquire long-term sobriety.

Getting help to stop enabling addict-behaviors will benefit your recovering loved one as well as your loved one finding difficulty in supporting another’s recovery. Having tools to dictate how to navigate through an addict’s recovery can show a loved one how to keep from being judgmental, taking the blame, being in fear of saying the wrong thing, or putting expectations on a recovering loved one that they might not be able to live up to.

Addiction is a family disease that can also be a family recovery. Everyone must have their separate program to get better. Growing together in recovery, can help heal old wounds that can open the family to bloom.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help an addict in need to help them thrive in recovery. Our staff of therapists, counselors, doctors, and nurses are here to help make your treatment as comfortable as possible. Call us today: 855-652-2683

Why Do People Laugh so Much in 12-Step Meetings?

6 Reasons To Stay Sober During Stressful Times

People who are newly sober are also new to having joy without having alcohol or drugs to accentuate their mood. Early recovery does not always entail smiles and laughter because the reality may have set in for what is exactly happening to them. They are probably getting and staying sober without really wanting to, which is pretty normal with addicts.

Most addicts are directed to 12-Step programs to get the support they need to maintain long-term sobriety. Meetings are the basis of how to get started in the program. Without attending a meeting, you are less likely to meet someone who attends the 12-Step program due to the principle of anonymity that the program is established on.

Once you get to a meeting for the first time, you may hear the sounds of laughter and giggles and wonder if you are in the right place. Seeing people seemingly so happy may have you taken aback trying to figure out how this can be. People that are sick and tired of being sick and tired are usually lacking any sort of real elation without being under the influence. Going into a meeting where people are so friendly and are smiling and laughing may make you feel uncomfortable, but it does not have to stay that way for long.

As open sharing begins, people will start sharing some of their most shameful actions when they were abusing drugs and alcohol. You might not comprehend while others in the meeting are laughing at the darkest moments in someone’s life. Again, you may feel uncomfortable that someone should get upset for what you perceive as inappropriate laugher. To the other members, laughing is a sign that they too have endured the same circumstances, as well the same feelings. The laugher is indicative of being able to relate to the other person while being able to turn the pain into laughter to grow in their recovery.

Once this process takes place, Rule 62 can be applied to the addict’s life of “not taking yourself too seriously”. Then the progress of being able to help others in the program can get you to put your hand out to someone else in need. The laugher can help you to flourish in recovery to become the person that you always wished you could be. You let drugs and alcohol stand in the way for long enough. Now is the time you should laugh with someone else or at yourself.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is here to help anyone who is losing the battle against their addiction. Our holistic therapy and 12-Step aspects can help individuals looking for a way out of their addiction struggles. Call us today: 855-652-2683

How to Deal with Anxiety in Early Recovery

Reasons Why You Need to Go to Al-Anon

Early recovery is a time of transition and transformation. There are so many changes going on that it is not abnormal to experience some anxiety. Painful memories, shame, guilt, and remorse all may pop up once the fog of the drugs and the alcohol is lifted, and you can see your addiction for what it really is.

Trying to navigate life sober, can create stress and anxiety that may give addicts the delusion that their old lifestyle is better suited for them even though the addiction continued to chew them up and spit them out. The most important thing to learn first in early recovery is that you need new coping skills to keep you from picking up where you left off in your addiction.


Join a 12-Step Program.


Your best bet is to get involved in a support group, like a 12-Step program, with people that have experienced many of the same things that you have while in the throes of addiction. There is relief that you can encounter while working the steps with the sponsor in hopes of finding a Higher Power to guide you through the anxiety that early sobriety brings out. Go to as many meetings that you need to go to get connected to the group. While you are there, it will benefit you to learn everything about your addiction and how it has manipulated you repeatedly.


Find some support.


Consider finding people that you can trust to talk to you about your anxiety. Getting the support that you need can come from a therapist, a sponsor, a recovery friend, or someone in your church. Anxiety can leave you to feel helpless and hopeless, but leaning on people can help influence you to lessen your anxiety.


Acquire new productive activities.


Staying busy with healthy activities can help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. Isolating can make you withdraw and feel loneliness that can lead you back to thinking that your addiction is the only solution and your only “friend”. Learning to discover the things that you enjoy can also take your mind off the obsession that your addiction tries to trick you with.

Stopping an addiction all together takes some significant change from someone willing to stay sober. It may be difficult at first, but the rewards that can be benefited from by continuing to prevent relapse through early recovery can help you to build a sober foundation that can minimize your anxiety you one day at time.

If you, or someone you know, has a problem with dependency to drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can instruct them on how to stay on the beaten path of recovery. Our holistic therapy along with our 12-Step aspects can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Call us today: 855-652-2683

What is a God Shot?

Is Depression Contagious?

When you hang around the meeting rooms of a 12-Step program, you may hear the term “God shot”. You might cringe because the use of God makes you uncomfortable. On the contrary, it could make you feel like you belong because you have an amazing relationship with your Higher Power which you choose to call, God. The overtone for the moniker of God shot is intended in a positive way.

A God shot refers to an unexpected favor or a sign. The phrase attributes to a profound happening that cannot be explained, but not quite as remarkable as a miracle. It is something that gives an addict a warm feeling inside that indicates to them another reason to why they should stay sober. An example would be a rainbow at a time of self-pity or a prayer request answered in a timely manner that is beneficial. A God shot can accredit something that is unique and special to a spiritual person.

While a God shot may offer itself to someone as a coincidence, spiritual people typically do not believe in coincidences when mentioning something having to do with a Higher Power. “It’s not odd, it’s God”, is how it may be best explained in spiritual terms. People with spirituality using do not believe in chance occurrences. They generally will believe that things are exactly the way things are supposed to be, and that a there is a substantial plan that is part of the indication of a God shot.

God shots are only visible to people who can see it when their eyes are open to believing in them and when their heart is wide open to feeling their spirituality. There may be a message behind the God shot or there could be just an opportunity to know that there is a spiritual connection that is indeed something bigger than themselves.

Some people like to say that these God shots are accidents and they may well be to some people. People that do not believe in God shots have the right to believe in what they want. Other people in the coffee world, specify a God shot as the most heavenly, perfect espresso shot that there is to drink. Whatever the meaning of a God shot differs to, the one thing that remains the same, is the correlation – it is something out of the ordinary.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is 5-week addiction treatment where our qualified staff is instrumental in helping an addict start their plan of recovery. Every plan is uniquely customized to help them accomplish their long-term sobriety. Call us today: 855-652-2683

Ways Depression Can Affect Your Holiday Spirit

Types of Guilt that Affect Recovery

The stigma that depression is rampant around the holidays really happens to many people. Celebrating during the holiday season may be the last thing that someone with depression may want to do. Financial stress, social anxiety, and family conflicts may cause someone to want to lie dormant during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are some ways to help alleviate depression during the holidays.


Avoid isolation


This is easier said than done for someone who has depression. Isolation is the natural action to take for someone who experiences depression because trying to interact socially can be awkward for them. They may be comparing themselves to others that seem to be jolly and wondering why they are unable to experience joy like others. Getting out and doing something can give you more ambition to connect with others rather than withdrawing and feeling lonely.


Celebrate the Reason for the season


The holiday spirit should not just be about presents which can bring about financial resentments. Be of service or volunteer. Let your loved ones know that you will be giving your time and money to others in need or make easy homemade gifts. If someone is upset by either one of those choices, then they probably should get a lump coal anyways.


Self-care is the best present


Taking care of yourself is important. Make sure you are not overcommitting yourself and sleep, eat healthy, and get some regular physical exercise to feel good during the holidays.

  • Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can be instrumental in not making the excuse to retreat to your bed every time you start feeling down.
  • Avoid binging on food and alcohol to make yourself feel healthier.
  • Moderate physical activity produces the feel-good endorphins that boost your mood.


Attend your therapy sessions


Depression is real disorder that can thrive during the holidays. Taking the extra effort to show up to your appointments can make a difference with your holiday spirit. Talking about your stressors and fears surrounding the holidays might get you to let go of any negative feelings that may be holding you back from enjoying yourself.

Trying to get the most of your holiday spirit can be lessened by your depressive state. Depression is no joke and usually needs professional help to regulate it. Use the tools that you have to revel in the holiday spirit you were meant to endure.

If you are someone you know someone who binges on drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can set you up with a personalized treatment plan to get you sober during the holidays. Our well-trained staff is here to point you in the direction of adorning your holiday spirit. Call us today: 855-652-2683

Is Everyone Addicted to Something?

Are Bath Salts Addictive?

Everywhere you turn you will hear someone stating that they are addicted to this or addicted to that. There is no real research that shows that everyone is addicted to something, just the percentage of people that are addicted to singular widespread addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, food, and gambling, or someone who might have a dual-diagnosis of some sort.

You might listen to someone affirm that they are addicted to binge-watching TV or movies, to exercising, or even crafting. Most people use the term “addicted” to imply that they are embarrassed by what they are doing and being addicted is used as scapegoat terminology to make sure that people will not judge them. The truth of the matter is that most people like to say they are addicted to something. What they really mean to say is that they overly enjoy something that they may assume others are looking down on them for.

People that seem to have it all together and under control can win the confidence of other people by using terms as “addicted”, “guilty pleasure”, or proclaim, “I just cannot help myself”.  This will show that they do indeed have certain weaknesses, and that they are a human that does not have complete restraint over everything. While these people only mean to justify their quirky behaviors, it may water down the people who are actually crying out for help.

People do get addicted to things all the time when the brain gets a feeling from a substance or an activity that the it remembers. Addiction is a very serious condition that takes usually takes intensive care to be able to treat it. Frequently people with an addiction can pull the wool over the eyes of many people. Addiction, however, is a life and death matter that cannot be completely identifiable on the outside to other people, although the inside may be dying enough to lead someone to unknowingly overdose.    

When the term “addicted” is merely used to justify what the person considers enjoyment to the excess and there is no real addiction and no negative consequences – own it. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Congratulate yourself on finding something that you really enjoy and keep doing it.

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, we can assist you here at Serenity Oaks Wellness Center. Our 5-week program can help you to identify the thoughts and feeling that kept you in your addiction for long enough. Call us today: 855-652-2683

3 Tips to Connect to a Higher Power

3 Tips to Connect to a Higher Power

Spirituality is a concept that can mean different things to different people. The concept of spirituality is one of a personal choice and not necessary one of a religious connotation like many people think. The main idea of spirituality has to do with one’s own perspective of what it means to them and trying to connect to what that idea is.

God, a Higher Power, or some sort of divine deity is put into place to give someone their own personal definition of what their spiritual being entails. By having faith in something that is vast in its makeup, can bring brilliance for the benefit of the one’s well-being and guidance. Connecting to a Higher Power may seem easier for some, but is doable for everyone by following a few simple tips.


Enjoy the silence


The world that you live in is a loud place and your head may be even louder. Getting your head to be still for any amount of time can be quite the task for many people. Silence can be achieved differently depending on who you are. Mental silence is connecting to your Higher Power which may take some practice. You may have to start with a one-minute timer to train yourself to gradually move up to more time.


Sweet surrender


Finding the qualities that you want in a higher being can help you to surrender to one. By acquainting yourself to a Higher Power, you will be given the ability to take the qualities that the Higher Power possess and implement them to benefit your life.


Thy zeal be done


Having the willingness and enthusiasm to connect to a Higher Power can be miniscule at first. Any bit of zeal that you can muster up counts. Since there may be no tangibility with your Higher Power, it may seem like you are reaching to a nonentity. The age-old saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” will work remarkably here. Keep attempting to connect because whatever your Higher Power is, it is waiting for you to mingle with them.

The subject of a Higher Power can be touchy for some, but it does not have to be. A Higher Power is not trying to control your every move or punish you. The point is to have something that can help heal you and guide into the direction of radiating love and light.

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a 5-week program that can be instrumental in helping you connect to your Higher Power through our holistic therapy that we offer along with our 12-Step aspects. Our clients are given the structure and opportunity to follow our intensive program. Call us today: 855-652-2683

Is Addiction a Choice or a Disease?

s Addiction a Choice or a Disease?

Most medical associations characterize addiction as a disease. Defined as a “chronic brain disorder”, the disease of addiction is caused by the combination of behavioral, environmental, and biological factors that create changes in brain function. Addiction is a tumultuous situation for the addict and the people that the addiction comes into contact with because of the addictive behaviors that an addict displays. What baffles most people is that other diseases such as diabetes and cancer do not make a patient lie, cheat, and steal like addiction does.

A chronic disease endures and can be controlled, but not cured. Addiction is in that same category because it is progressive, can involve relapsing, and is treatable with intensive care and a continual aftercare. This chronic brain disorder can be reversible with long-term treatment care and support although some of the ailments caused by addiction are permanent.

The question that is thought provoking for everyone is whether an addiction is a choice or if it is a disease. When somebody takes their first drink or takes their first drug, typically it is because they make the choice, regardless of peer pressure. What happens after that is different for everyone. Some people can live without it, some people can drink moderately, others are binge drinkers, while still others become addicted and it no longer becomes a choice for them.

Once an addiction come to fruition, all bets are off. The addict can no longer show restraint and becomes dependent on the drugs and alcohol. Once the changes in the brain take place, willpower becomes flawed and one of the symptoms of addiction, loss of control, takes over.

Because an addict is usually not in their right mind from the inception of their addiction, the actions that they take can be less than desirable and cause relational, emotional, physical, and legal problems. Having an addiction is not a valid reason to justify all these problems. A way to justify these predicaments is solely by cessation of drugs and alcohol and making amends for the troubles that the addict has caused.

With any disease there are mild cases and there are severe cases and all symptoms vary. Addiction is no different and comparing one addict to another is irresponsible just like it would be to compare cancer patients or patients with diabetes. Seeking treatment is important whether it is diabetes, cancer, or even the disease of addiction.

If you are trying to get and stay sober, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is well-versed in all things having to with drug and alcohol addiction. We can set up with your own individualized plan to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us today: 855-652-2683

5 Tips to Disarm Your Fears

How Can I Help Someone to Get into Treatment?

Fear is human trait that embodies our society everywhere with everyone every day. Other variations of fear include fright, panic, phobia, despair, angst, and the list could go on and on. Fear does not show bias to anyone as it prevails to make life more difficult than it has to be.


Recognize your fears


The first step to getting through your fears is to know what they are. Sometimes they are easier to figure out such as spiders or the dark. Other times they can be deep-rooted fears that may stem from trauma in your childhood that has been continuously stuffed away to help you cope and has not yet been processed. Naming your fears will give you something to commence on.


Unchain your energy


Putting energy into positive things rather than into yours fears, will alleviate much of your stress and worry. Let go of your fears and replace it with tranquility knowing that everything will happen exactly the way it is supposed to.   


Create balance


Balance can be formulated by connecting your body, mind, and soul together. If one of those aspects are lacking, then fear becomes a working part of the body, mind, and soul that can lead to stress affecting you in variety of different ways. Stress can bring about headaches and tension to keep you emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.


Disassociate from propaganda


The news and social media have invoked a fear-based society due to the stories that are reported. People will share those stories regardless of having factual evidence of what is communicated to them. The ripple effect can occur creating unnecessary apropos fear. Keep to sources that can backup their information instead of believing everything that you read.


Use therapy to get through trauma


People that have been through abuse and trauma are more likely to act in the exact same ways, especially when driven by fear. Getting professional therapy can help you sort through the issues that could make you still unknowingly suffer. Getting to the root of your fears can help give you the breakthrough you need to move past it.

Fear will keep you locked in your past instead of being able to appreciate what is going on in the moment.  Learning how to disarm your fear will help you to become more proficient in your sanity and your serenity.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center has a 5-week program that can be designed especially for you or a loved one. Our partial-care program will adorn your soul by disarming your fears and reconnect you to the life you were meant to live. Call our staff today: 855-652-2683