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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5 Tips to Absolve Guilt

absolving guilt

When it comes to a loved one in recovery from addiction, there seems to be never-ending bouts of guilt. During the addiction it can be hard to see what you are doing to your loved ones, your job, or even to yourself. In hindsight, it can be horrific to relive the things that you did over and over again. Most people that are recovering from alcoholism and addiction will continue to beat themselves up once they know that they hurt the people that are closest to them, or even an innocent bystander, that are affected by the misbehavior that results from their addiction.

Having a guilty conscious can be the very thing that can hold you back in your recovery. You may get scared of having to look inside yourself, because it would be much easier to sweep everything under the rug instead of facing it head on. If the guilt is not absolved, it will keep coming up and keep standing in the way of having the contentment that you probably have always longed for.

Stop dwelling on it.

When you keep recalling the past, it is difficult to move forward when you are continuously moving backwards with your guilt. There is nothing you can do to change it in the present moment. Move on and focus on what you are doing now.

Stop the behavior.

If you change your actions, people will eventually take notice. Making living amends to those around you will keep you in better standing than continuing to take the same actions that you took while you were living in your addiction.  

Stop thinking you are a bad person.

We are who we think we are, so you must stop thinking you are a bad person. Every human being makes mistakes. Some actions are worse than others, but we all do things we are not proud of. Changing your thinking will help you to think more highly of yourself which will make you do things with more confidence.

Stop trying to measure up to other people’s standards.

There will always be people that will have higher expectations to what your actual capabilities are. When you were abusing drugs and alcohol the bar was probably set low for you. In your recovery, the standards that you set for yourself should be standards that are attainable and reasonable by being true to yourself.

Sometimes you will continue to feel guilt even when situations have settled. Guilt is a wasted emotion that can really bring you down if you are not careful. Get some help to process and absolve your guilt, so that you can keep progressing in your recovery.






If you, or someone you know, is struggling with guilt from your addiction, let Serenity Oaks Wellness Center show you how to absolve your guilt and breakthrough in your recovery. Our well-trained staff is here to show you how to adorn your soul.

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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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Assertiveness vs. Aggressiveness


We are taught early on in our lives that if we want to get our point across, we have be assertive. This can be misconstrued sometimes as being aggressive, or even in a milder state of passive aggressiveness. There is a distinct difference between the two words that should be recognized as such.

Assertiveness is a positive way to set boundaries and let people know where you stand. There is nothing wrong with having your own beliefs and opinions, if you let others have theirs as well. This is where aggressiveness can be a problem. People these days can be quick to give their opinions without giving anyone else’s a chance. With social media, it has become very easy to get online while sitting behind a computer to make negative statements that they would probably not make in person.

Being assertive shows that you are trying to be diplomatic by insisting on your stance for the better good of everyone, and not just yourself. Appropriately pointing out the cause of the situation at hand rather than demanding it will help you to amass the respect of your peers and show your leadership abilities. When you are aggressive, it can show a real coarseness to those around you that can get them to back off from you instead of supporting you in your cause.

Being emotionally centered can aid in how you are perceived by others. Accessing your circumstances in a way to learn from mistakes, validate the feelings of others, and gauge how others are reacting to your approach to adjust it, can be the very thing to further you along more successfully with the people that you meet. An assertive person is thoughtful with their intelligence, while an aggressive person will roll over anyone in their way to make sure that everyone knows that they are right.

The saying, “Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy”, applies nicely in the search of finding how assertiveness and aggressiveness differ. Someone in the aggressive nature is just on the constant to hunt to prove that everything that they do and say is right without listening to the sentiments of anyone else. Assertive people make their intent to take in the point of view of others while going with the flow. Being assertive is a healthy balancing act that can make you be the very best version of yourself.





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center has a 5-week intensive recovery program that can show a loved one struggling with drugs and alcohol how to stay sober. Our qualified staff will use 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy to show you how to adorn your soul with assertiveness.

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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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6 Benefits to Quitting Drinking in Recovery

quitting alcohol

Quitting drinking is not an easy feat. It takes dedication and determination to keep on the path of sobriety. With all the effort that you have mustered into your recovery, you can easily see the benefits of quitting drinking.


  • You will remember everything.


One of the most frightening thing that happens when you come to after a bender, is trying to account for all the events of the night before to no avail. Putting the pieces together can be quite shocking, if you can even remember at all, without someone else filling in the blanks. When you are sober you do not have to worry about all that unnecessary drama and you will not feel like you had a piano dropped on your head.


  • You will make better decisions.


The best abstinence comes with the conclusion to stop drinking altogether. Once the fog has lifted and you can see more clearly, there is no doubt that your decision-making will become better than what it was, especially with a plan of recovery to back those decisions up.


  • You will feel better.


Alcohol abuse is straight poison in the body. Drinking in abundance can deteriorate the body quickly from a myriad of different alcohol-induced ailments. If you cease your alcohol intake, you will not necessarily feel better instantaneously, but in the long run your overall health can revitalize itself.


  • You will get a host of new friends.


If you are someone that has struggled with addiction, then hanging out with other people with addictions is a bad idea. To people that you previously drank and did drugs with, you may presently seem like a drag. To someone in recovery, you will be hailed as a someone who wants to live a better life. Finding new friends that support your sobriety may give the extra push to stay sober.


  • You will be a good example.


Once you quit drinking and get into recovery, you can show others that are struggling with alcohol that they can too can stay sober. By taking the actions to quit drinking you will build your experience, strength, and hope to share with someone who thinks that they cannot stop drinking.


  • You will learn how strong you really are.


Quitting drinking is not a piece of cake and once you do stop, it should take some work to maintain your sobriety. Through the trials and tribulations of staying sober, it will become apparent the strength that it takes mentally, physically, and spiritually to get over the hump of early sobriety.

What a difference quitting drinking makes in a person’s life. The benefits keep multiplying the longer that you stay sober. There is nothing so bad that a drink will not make worse.





If you, or someone you know, has a problem with drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can aid in showing you how to stay sober. Our medical and clinical staff is well-trained to help you in adorning your soul one day at a time.

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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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Mixing Medications with Drugs and Alcohol

mixing medication

Mixing any drugs with alcohol is extremely dangerous and can be deadly. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and recreational drugs. Drinking alcohol with medication or drugs increases the risks of health complications and causes harmful effects to the liver, heart, and breathing. This toxic combination can also have negative effects on your emotional stability and mental well-being. Taking prescription or over-the-counter medication with alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication.

Alcohol acts as a depressant and can heighten a person’s level of depression. Some medications that treat depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses have risks of complications on their own. Drugs and alcohol alter your brain’s ability to function normally. They are mind-controlling substances and when taken with medication, can have unintentional consequences.

Some medications cause dizziness, fainting, or drowsiness and alcohol only exasperates the side effects.  Many people take medication for chronic conditions high blood pressure, diabetes, or cholesterol. Alcohol consumption affects a person’s coordination and ability to live productively. When you drink while taking medication for illnesses or chronic illnesses, you risk the possibility of worsened conditions, overdose, and death.

People who use recreational drugs increase the risks of developing physical, mental, and emotional health problems. When alcohol is used with recreational drugs, these dangers are amplified. Mixing any two drugs together will increase your chances of hurting yourself or others and can cause fatal accidents.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications usually have a warning label indicating the harmful effects they have when mixed with alcohol. Most medications are safe and effective when taken appropriately or as prescribed. Serious liver complications develop when consuming alcohol while taking an over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen. Pain medicine, cough syrup, and allergy medications have ingredients that can cause adverse effects. Prescription medicine mixed with alcohol causes serious drug interactions and increases the risks of stomach bleeding, heart attack, stroke, or impaired breathing.

Avoid alcohol when taking any drug or medication. All drugs have side effects whether over-the-counter, prescription, or recreational but when alcohol is involved, your health is at risk. Mixing drugs with medication and alcohol is not recommended and is a deadly combination. Read warning labels, know the side effects, and ask a doctor or pharmacist about adverse interactions.






Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can show someone struggling with drugs and alcohol how to take away deception in addiction and adorn their soul with sobriety. Our comprehensive programs are personalized to each one of our clients which can be instrumental in learning how to live a life in recovery. Call us today: 855-652-2683

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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What You Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a common mood disorder that affects millions of adults. The disorder has no bias with who attains it because it affects people in all walks of life. It has been thought of as a disease that only impresses upon addicts and homeless people, but the truth is that anyone can suffer from this condition. Unusual shifts in moods, energy, and being able to conduct normal responsibilities are influenced by this brain disorder.

When bipolar disorder is thought of, the most universal characteristic is the manic and depressive stages that people who have it experience. Individuals will encounter extremely high highs followed by extremely low lows and vice versa. The positive and negative behavior can last for days or up to months.  

When someone with bipolar disorder is in their manic phase they appear to be as happy as a lark and can be productive amidst being easily distracted by their heightened levels of euphoria. Once they have reached the highest level of their mania, they begin to chatter about things that may not make sense by jumping from subject to subject. Along with their non-stop dialogue, it also becomes clear that they have racing thoughts that coexist with one another.

Other signs of mania is declining sleep patterns. People with bipolar are not necessarily being affected with insomnia, but the energy surges that come upon them will keep them from being able to sleep. Exercise and other activities, such as sex, can become a problem when they use them to dispel their pent-up energy. The intensity of their energy builds up and must be relieved in some capacity, so they will overly do these actions in hopes of exerting their access energy.

Once the energy and extreme happiness dissipates, the depressive side of bipolar will show itself. Sufferers will experience acute sadness and hopelessness, chronic pain that cannot be diagnosed to any specific cause, and extreme tiredness. Due to the fatigue that bipolar patients combat, constant decelerated feelings of mental fogginess can lead to suicidal thoughts.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder can force someone to miss many of their day-to-day obligations because they are lethargic during depression. Instead they will seek other endeavors that they perceive to be more important than their true responsibilities. Addiction can be prevalent in persons with bipolar because they are looking for a way to stabilize their mood. Drugs and alcohol will undermine bipolar making symptoms worse.

Consulting with a doctor can help a patient search for answers regarding their disorder. Getting treatment for bipolar disorder is important for someone to get a chance to regulate mood swings and symptoms.





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center treats someone struggling with drugs and alcohol to give them a ray of hope with their addiction. We use 12-Step program aspects and holistic therapy together to give clients a better chance of staying sober for the long-run.

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