How Can I Avoid Relapse?

avoid relapse

Whether you are newly sober, or you have been sober for a while, protecting your sobriety at all costs is a must especially when you know that you might be going through a tough season of sobriety.

Reach out

Getting involved in a 12-Step program will give you some much needed support during a trying time. Encouragement and inspiration to stay on the path of recovery can be offered to you by going to meetings and reaching out to your sponsor. Although you may feel like disengaging with others during this time, taking contrary action will produce better results.

Get out

You may feel like you need to hide from the dangers of relapse. The good news is that you can get out and face your demons in a sober atmosphere. If you are feeling weak and drinking or using is all you can think of, you probably should stay away from slippery slopes such as a bar or a party that is full of people that are ready to drink. There are sober activities that can be enjoyed with people like you that want to stay sober too.

Peace out

Give serenity a try. Meditating in any capacity can help you to get centered to remember why you got sober in the first place. Use mindfulness, yoga, or uplifting music to help you reach a peaceful place in your day. Invite others to join you so that you can pass on some peace and goodwill to all.

Shout out

One of the best ways to help you to stay sober is to get your mind off your addiction and put your hand out to someone else in need. Especially if you are a member of a 12-Step program, there is always somebody that would benefit from the support that you have to offer. Call other addicts to ask how they are doing. Go to a meeting to help set up or greet people at the door with a smile.





If you are struggling with staying sober during the holidays, let Serenity Oaks Wellness Center reinforce your sobriety with an action plan. Our clinical and medical staff will collaborate to help you prevent a relapse.

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What is Naloxone?


The opioid crisis has become a national nightmare that has put our country under a Public Health Emergency in the recent months. Narcotic abuse has taken the United States by storm and has become a major concern with the number of overdoses that continue to result from morphine, oxycodone, and heroin use. While the only way to prevent overdose a 100 percent is through complete abstinence, there is a highly effective prescription medication that can temporarily block the effects of opioids.

Naloxone is used as a medication-assisted treatment to counter an opioid overdose. Known as Narcan in the medical industry, once an overdose from opioids is discovered, the medication can be administered to bring back someone who requires immediate emergency medical attention. Recognizing the signs of overdose are important to assess the situation. Someone who has a grayish-blue skin color and has become unresponsive with erratic breathing along with sounds that resemble gurgling or faint snoring has the propensity to overdose.

The medication can be given to someone that has overdosed through a few different methods. Naloxone can be injected intravenously or into the muscle which must be administered by someone has been trained to do so. An intranasal spray can also be dispensed to someone that is laying on their back. Another choice is the auto-injectable device that can be injected into the inner thigh through the skin to stop the symptoms of overdose.

Ultimately Naloxone is a relatively safe medication that can be of real use to someone that is experiencing an overdose. A doctor should be notified if any of these serious side of effects of Naloxone present themselves once the medication has been disbursed.

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Severe nausea
  • Migraines
  • Ear ringing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath  
  • Faintness
  • Seizure
  • Decreased pulse

Signs of withdrawal can become prevalent with the cessation of narcotics in someone’s system especially if they are addicted to opioids.

  • Muscle pain
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate

There are risks that can be prevented to help the proclivity for someone to overdose. A fatality from opioid overdose can happen when an individual mistakenly takes an unrecommended dose of a prescription opioid, knowingly uses an illicit drug, takes medication that is prescribed for someone else, or if drugs and alcohol are mixed with opioids. Being careless and exercising addictive behaviors could make all the difference between life and death.





If someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can be of use by constructing a personalized plan of recovery. Our medical and clinical staff work together to give an addict the best chance at sobriety.

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Is Alcohol or Cannabis More Harmful?


The debate of whether alcohol or cannabis is more harmful has been a perpetual question for decades on decades. The country is still divided on deciding if marijuana should be legalized. Since the 1930’s, marijuana has been classified as a schedule one controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that has kept it illegal for all uses including medicinal.  

As far as the physical effects that alcohol and marijuana have on an individual, there are more reports of fatalities by alcohol abuse than there are about cannabis. There is little doubt and a ton of research to prove that alcohol is the most destructive drug in the world since it is considered to be 114 times deadlier than any other drug. In 2012, the World Health Organization stated that were over 3 million deaths alone due to drinking alcohol. Marijuana pales into comparison to those statistics of alcohol, however marijuana is still a mind-altering substance that can be addicting in some people.

The difference between an alcohol addiction and a cannabis addiction is that alcohol completely deteriorates the body the longer and harder one drinks. Alcohol has had continuous reports of deaths, injuries, cancer, overdoses, and a variety of other maladies that are caused by the over-indulgence of alcohol. While marijuana can be addicting to some, it is not as injurious or fatal as alcohol. In fact, to overdose on cannabis, one would have to ingest a thousand percent more of a single dose to get to that point.  

Both drugs are dangerous when it comes to driving under the influence which must not be overlooked. Although you hear more about drunk driving, driving under the influence of marijuana is just as threatening in the exact same way. Being impaired while driving puts so many of the lives of others in harm’s way, as well as the person that is driving. Alcohol and weed both jeopardize balance and coordination and take away the ability to make sound decisions for someone’s well-being. Being drunk or high leads to more risky behaviors that includes driving under the influence and unprotected sex.

While both drugs have their positive and negative points, alcohol is more harmful than cannabis on many different levels. The one thing that should be a definite, is that driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance should be discouraged to anyone anywhere. Take a cab, get an Uber, or use a designated driver to help keep the roads safe.





If you, or somebody you know, has a problem with drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center has an intensive recovery program to set an addict on a solid path. We take addiction seriously, and will assist anyone on their way to long-term sobriety.

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What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Antidepressants?


People struggling with depression will feel lonely and isolated while feeling powerless to their current mood. Depression is a disorder that should be treated with the assistance of a healthcare provider because without help, the illness can continue to progress with persistent sadness and hopelessness. During depression, the brain function becomes imbalanced from the chemicals in the brain that work inside and outside nerve cells that determine perceptions and moods. There are many causes to depression such as stressful life events, genetic predisposition, medical problems, and inadequate mood regulation.

SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors) are antidepressants that benefit people by keeping the serotonin from being reabsorbed back into the brain which makes more serotonin readily available for the brain to knock out depression. Getting on antidepressants may help to alleviate some symptoms to help people feel better when they are depressed. Once prescribed by a doctor, the antidepressant will work to balance out some of the chemicals in the brain that may be out of whack. Antidepressants are responsible for producing the chemicals that make individuals feel good by the taking the recommended dosage to increase the concentration of the brain’s neurotransmitters that must communicate with each other.  

There may be an experimental period to see which antidepressants are better suited for each individual. Side effects and interactions from other drugs, including alcohol, can sometimes limit how efficient they will work for each person. Since alcohol is a depressant and the purpose of the antidepressant is to keep a person from being depressed, the two will most surely counteract one another.

While the SSRIs are busy helping to build serotonin, the alcohol does just the opposite by decreasing the levels of serotonin. The effectiveness of the antidepressants will recede making someone feel even more depressed and possibly suicidal. An individual may think that having an occasional drink will be fine, but the likelihood of the medication doing what it is supposed to do, will be lessened by joining the two together. Another reason to stop drinking while someone is on antidepressants is that depression can also lead to an increased risk of becoming addicted to alcohol.

Being prescribed an MAOI for depression, could cause a significant rise in blood pressure to put someone at risk for stroke and other complications with the combination of alcohol and the MAOI. The liver has a harder time disposing of the toxins which can also cause fatal toxicity when mixing the two together.

Incorporating alcohol with antidepressants produces adverse effects that can be detrimental to a person’s recovery and health. If someone is depressed enough to be on medication, they should probably just skip the alcohol altogether.


Serenity Oaks Wellness Center has an extensive 5-week program that provides life-changing treatment to assist addicts and alcoholics in staying sober. Our dedicated faculty is here to help find a recovery plan that works best for each individual.

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Can The Elderly Be Alcoholic?

elderly alcoholism

Depending on what age that a person is, can affect how the body processes alcohol. In younger people, their bodies have not yet built up a tolerance and the potency can affect them much greater in smaller amounts. In adults, with even moderate drinkers, the amount that they consume typically will have to increase to catch the buzzed effects that alcohol provides. For elderly adults, alcohol influences them in different ways as they begin to age.

Statistics show that one third of older alcoholics develop their addiction later life, while the rest of those two-thirds have been an alcoholic since their early inception of alcohol. As life changes for both groups from retiring, health issues, and loss of loved ones, alcohol abuse can be incited exponentially in seniors.

Alcoholism remains undiscovered in many senior patients until it may be too late. Doctors can mistakenly diagnose an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia, when the prognosis should really be alcohol-induced dementia. Seniors can be deceitful when it comes to hiding their addiction because they can hide the alcoholism behind their ailments that they have incurred due to getting older. There is also danger with mixing alcohol and prescription drugs when the elderly alcoholic does not disclose their alcohol abuse to the doctor. Older patients are prescribed on the average 2 medicines for daily intake, which can be unsafe or fatal depending on the type of ingredients that are being mixed.

The problems that arise with alcoholism in geriatric patients are changes that take place amongst cellular and organ systems. Increases in ethanol concentration of these systems occur because of the natural loss of lean body mass from aging. Fat takes longer to absorb alcohol than lean body mass, which makes a higher content of alcohol circulate in the bloodstream. The risks of having larger contents of alcohol in the blood can also affect blood pressure on a lower scale making someone feel dizzy or faint. This makes the elderly alcoholics more susceptible to falls and possible delirium. There are many more maladies that are possibly caused from alcoholism in seniors that need to be pinpointed as soon as possible.


  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Cancers
  • Strokes
  • Immunosuppression
  • Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Impairment of the Brain


Getting treatment for alcoholism at any age may make the difference in helping to alleviate the symptoms that may or may not have been caused from drinking. Cessation of alcohol should be monitored by the help of a physician to monitor severe withdrawals that may ensue.





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help someone who has an addiction to alcohol to get sober. Our comprehensive environment offers a program of recovery to foster a promising new beginning.

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Do I Need to Go to Meetings When I Go Out of Town?

traveling sober

Just because you got sober does not mean that you must stay home forever. There may be a time where you will have to go outside your recovery bubble and travel somewhere else for work or leisure. Although you already have your schedule set in place, once you go on your trip, you must figure out a traveling schedule for your recovery. Many people fall out of their recovery routine when they travel, but that does not have to be the case. To somewhat save your normal recovery groove, you will just need to plan ahead.    

The great thing about 12-Step programs is that most of them conduct meetings nationally and internationally, so that you can stay sober wherever you go. You had to decide if you were willing to go to any lengths to stay sober, and if you said yes, then that means you should probably go to meetings while you are out of town as well as resume your daily recovery step work.

Call up the central office in the city that you are visiting to figure out the time, the location, and the type of meetings that they offer to see if it fits into your schedule. You should also check for an online schedule for many locations around the globe. It is such a good feeling to travel miles away to see that the 12-Step program still runs itself in the same manner due to the Traditions that keep the program in place abroad. You will hear people share the same program colloquialisms and prayers that can make you feel like you are exactly where you supposed to be.

If you are unable to attend meetings in the capacity that you had hoped for, do not let that discourage you to keep on track in your recovery. You can get together a call list to “meet” with other addicts or alcoholics over the phone. Use FaceTime to be “face to face” with people that help you to feel confident in your sobriety. Other tools that can help, is to pack a few recovery books so you can have a morning devotion with your Higher Power. With your books in tow, you can read your daily readings before you go to bed and thank your Higher Power for another day of sobriety.

Wherever you are, your recovery should follow. When you are out of town, it is probably not a good idea to take a vacation from your recovery. Incorporating recovery into your daily life should be your goal no matter where you are. Finding new meetings and new sober friends can help you on your journey to stay sober one day at a time





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help you, or someone you love, to find a plan of recovery that will work for you. Our 12-step aspects and holistic therapy together can reinforce you into long-term sobriety.

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Can I Go to a Party in Early Sobriety?

early sobriety

Your life in recovery is now upon you. You got through detox, treatment and aftercare sober, but now it is time to focus on getting through your first party sober. Parties can be rampant with alcohol and drug abuse so there is no wonder that you may be worried about going for the first time in early sobriety. If you really want to attend a party where triggers and cravings can formulate, then there are some things that you should ponder on first to protect your sobriety and prevent relapse from happening.


  • Am I solid enough in my recovery to go to a party?


Your first knee-jerk response is probably to say, “Yes, of course!” Check with your sponsor, your therapist, or a pastor to get their feel on how sturdy your recovery is going. Since they are already someone that you trust to help you make your decisions, take their suggestions on something that could impact your sobriety.


  • What will I do if I start feeling the obsession coming on?


You will have to pack your tool kit before you go. Make a list of people to call. Tell people where you are going so they can check on you. Go with sober people who can support you when triggers and cravings present themselves. Follow your gut and get out if you feel uncomfortable. Strategize an exit plan if you are feeling weak to let the host know that you are leaving and thank them for their hospitality. Even if it is for only 30 minutes, there is no time limit to save what you are working so hard for in your recovery


  • Is my spiritual condition intact?


Only you will have the answer for this. Recovery pushes for a spiritual connection so that you can lean on something bigger than yourself to help you through the times you feel a desire to use or drink. Praying and meditating can be the very things to get you closer to your Higher Power and to use at a raging party to get you to leave with your sobriety still in place.

Bottom line is that you do not want to do anything that will jeopardize your sobriety. The fear of missing out can come with the cost of relapsing. The most important thing to consider is to make sure that you are stable in your recovery because there is always next year.






If you, or someone you know, wants to learn how to get and stay sober, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can give you the tools you need. Our personalized recovery guidelines also include a relapse prevention plan to assist you when you are in need.

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How Can I Replace 12-Step Meetings if I am Snowed In?

12-step meetings

During the winter there are different parts of the United States that accumulate a ton of snow that can be dangerous to travel in. You probably have been taught that “Meeting Makers Make It” and that you should go to any lengths to stay sober. All true except that your Higher Power probably does not want you to trudge the snowy road of happy destiny. You got sober to get out of danger not travel in precipitous, inclement weather conditions.

This is where you can get creative to find other solutions to 12-Step meetings. You go to meetings to connect to people in recovery that remind you what your purpose is and how you can stay sober together. When drastic weather hits, it is time to take drastic measures to ensure that you stay spiritually aligned to your recovery and the people that are a part of it.

Use Video Chat

There are a variety of video chat application software that you can operate on your computer or on your phone. Skype, Viber, or Google Hangouts are good ones to try. You can have an impromptu 12-Step meeting with the group calling feature that Skype or Google Hangouts have to offer or just a one-on-one with all three of them. This way you can see faces and smiles to brighten your day.

Read the Book

Pull your “big book”, Alcoholics Anonymous, or the book of your personal 12 step group, off the shelf to remind yourself why you are in recovery. The stories in the back are good way to relate to your sobriety like you would physically being in a meeting. The feelings the stories describe are the same feelings that are articulated in a meeting.

Get a Grapevine Subscription

This is the AA meeting in print or meeting on the web. The International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous is a magazine that includes stories and articles about sobriety that can be used interchangeably with other 12-Step programs. They also have an app that is downloadable onto your phone and tablet to make it easily accessible.

Download Speaker Recordings

You can get the feel of a meeting atmosphere when listening to speakers that have been taped for the past decades. Not only will you hear the speaker, but usually you can hear the laughter of the people in attendance as well. Unless you were at the meeting live, you cannot get more authentic than that.

Just because you may feel isolated, does not mean that you must isolate. Keep in touch with your friends in recovery and do whatever it takes to be in constant conscious contact with your Higher Power. Once the snow melts, your recovery will be intact, and you can continue to spring into action.





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center promotes 12-Step aspects in our program along with our holistic therapy. Our devoted staff is here to walk you, or your loved one, through an individualized recovery plan.

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What is Telemedicine?


Active addicts will have all sorts of excuses not to get treatment for their addiction. They are not ready, they cannot leave their families, or that they are not an addict or an alcoholic even though their behavior shows something completely different. Sometimes in more remote or rural areas, the help that is available can be limited to what is offered in more populated areas. This is where telemedicine can be a beneficial solution to someone who needs immediate help for substance abuse.

The use of technology can provide health care options from afar which constitutes the term of telemedicine. Information technology and telecommunications make it more convenient to be able to be transmit medical and health data safely from one to another. Communication between a patient and medical staff is permitted to overcome the distance and help people that are in need of critical care. In-home care is supported through the technological advances of videotelephony by audio-video signals with users at different locations. This can provide patients with prompt care and can give recovering addicts the support that they need to stay sober.

Treatment can be different for recovering addicts in all walks of life. Some may not have any vacation accrued to take time off for treatment. Others may not have a safe place for children to reside while the single addict parent is away for rehab. Using telemedicine as an outpatient program, can give the addict the means they need to stay sober while still having to sustain their responsibilities in their daily life. By using different methods of combining remote monitoring, real-time interactive services, and teletrauma care, recovering addicts can basically receive all the elements of treatment without the residential aspect of a rehabilitation center. One of the reasons that telemedicine has helped with some recovering addicts is because it gives accountability and treatment past the 30-90 day mark to help them maintain sobriety for the long haul.

While every addict is different, it is important to get a treatment plan that will work for each individual. With the opioid crisis and being declared on a Public Health Emergency, finding something that can promote sobriety just might help some of these people out of their addiction. Telemedicine is just another choice to the diverse addiction treatments that our country has to offer. To accommodate every addict individually, there must be a variety of choices to get some of them into a recovery program that they would be willing to follow and specially to plant the seeds that sobriety is feasible.






Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is here to help struggling addicts to commit to sobriety. Our 5-week partial-care program has been instrumental in assisting recovering addicts to maintain long-term sobriety.

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Is Vaping a Better Choice Than Cigarettes?


The earliest forms of cigarettes have been dated back to the 9th century and has evolved into what is offered today. Cigarettes are finely cut leaves of tobacco that are rolled into thin papers to smoke. The end of the cigarette is ignited on one end allowing the smoke to be inhaled from the other. Even though cigarettes are readily available to anyone over the age of 18, there has been a decline in cigarette use because of the tobacco taxes that have been imposed over the last few years and the problems that are caused from smoking it. Cigarette have been proven to be dangerous in variety of different ways.


  • Nicotine is addictive.
  • Half of cigarette smokers die from tobacco-related disease, like:
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Stroke
  • Smokers lose, on the average, 14 years of their life.
  • Second hand smoke causes injury to innocent bystanders.
  • Cigarettes cause fires.
  • Pregnant women are at risk for birth defects, premature birth, and fetal abnormalities.
  • Tobacco smoke contains a myriad of toxins.


With the decline of cigarettes, electronics cigarettes have become a frontrunner as an alternative. Users of “e-cigs” or “vapes” can inhale vapor through an electronic device known as a vaporizer consisting of an atomizer or cartomizer, housing cartridge, and a battery. The heating element in the atomizer or cartomizer generates power into the battery. Once connected, the vaping material, or e-juice, converts to vapor that can be inhaled. The vapor creates a thicker cloud of smoke than tobacco does, and it smells much better, as an electric cigarette has different flavors of e-juice to choose from.

The risks of the electronic cigarettes are relatively still unknown, but are thought to not have the potential dangers like tobacco does. Although the vapor is comprised of glycerin, glycol, propylene, metal nanoparticles, carcinogens, small amounts of toxicants, heavy metals, flavors, and sometimes nicotine, the amount of each varies in concentrate and composition from each manufacturer. There could be risks from bystanders from the smoke especially if the vapor is contained indoors. Nicotine also has risk factors, for the user and the bystander, that can be avoidable by eliminating it from the e-juice completely.

There has been research that indicates cigarette smoking is 95 percent more harmful than vaping, which can be instrumental in helping someone to quit smoking tobacco. The downside to that statistic is that electronic cigarettes can be the gateway drug to lead someone to smoking tobacco, especially with teens and young adults.

The best choice to smoking or to vaping is to just refrain from either all together. Tobacco is addictive and without knowing the lasting effects of electronic cigarettes, both are better just not being inhaled.






Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a partial-care center that can help addicts and alcoholics with the cessation of drugs and alcohol. Our staff is here to assist you, or your loved one, with tools to aid in their recovery.

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