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With upwards of 15,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you or a loved one. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment program is to consider the facilities certifications. A seal of approval from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) is considered the highest award available


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As addicts, drugs and alcohol take over our actions, as well as our thoughts. The “great obsession” of using liquefies any desire to pursue interests that we either used to love or might find enriching to our lives. Refreshed and renewed, many of us feel the overwhelming need to replenish our desires with healthy actions. And this is where the concept of a new #drugofchoice is formulated.



Women and Addiction

As the stigma of addiction begins to lessen, more studies and stories are being released explaining the reasons for addiction in our culture. In specific, women have unique realities – both physiologically and societally – that differ from men, which researchers have been identifying lead them to addiction.

Overall, studies still show that more men in the United States are dependent on drugs and alcohol than women, about 20% of men suffering versus between 7% and 12% of women.

However, the dangers of addiction have been shown to be significantly greater for women primarily because of their physiology. Women weigh less than men, which means that alcohol affects them quicker and with more severity. In addition, women typically store more fatty tissue, where alcohol is retained while it is filtered from the system. Finally, two enzymes which help to break down alcohol – alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase – are lower in women, leading to more absorption into the bloodstream. Hormonal differences in women are also highly influential on the potential negative side effects of substance abuse. Hormones have also been shown to affect relapse rates in women as it affects their emotions, urges and will-power during abstinence.

Experts have concluded that women develop dependency and physical deterioration much more rapidly than men do too, leading to earlier onset problems like brain atrophy and liver damage. In addition, a theory known as “telescoping” identifies that women appear to more rapidly accelerate from the first drink or drug to full-blown dependency than their male counterparts.

Women also are more susceptible to emotional or physical trauma, which if experienced, makes them highly susceptible to substance abuse and addiction as a means to self-medicate. Some of these experiences include violence, sexual abuse, trauma and low self-esteem, just to name a few. In a recent study, 74% percent of addicted women reported sexual abuse and 52% percent reported physical abuse in their personal histories. Addiction is similarly apparent in women suffering with a co-occurring disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or bipolar disorder.

But increasingly, substance abuse has unquestionably become a mainstream affliction – not just affecting women who are genetically disposed to addiction or those with a history of emotional trauma. Stay-at-home-moms, sorority girls and high-functioning professional women have become the latest wave of sufferers of substance abuse. The number of DUI arrests of women rose 30% between 1998 and 2007, helping support the claim that with a rise in equality, expectation and responsibility, modern-day -women are, like never before, increasingly more at risk of addiction.

Some Societal Reasons for Increased Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Women are being introduced early-on in high school and college to prescription stimulants and painkillers, as well as alcohol and illicit drugs such as marijuana to alter their mood, paving the way for a future of potential dependence.

Modern day medicines like Adderall and Ritalin, which are commonly prescribed as ADHD medication, are readily available and have become widely acceptable stimulants for students and professionals alike. Glamour magazine reported just this month (September 2015) that “Women using them are trying to sculpt their best selves—the smartest, the most productive, the thinnest, the most social.”

Needless to say, adolescent women are binge drinking earlier and with more frequency than ever. However, studies have shown a dramatic increase of professional women binge drinking on a regular basis. In fact, one study showed that professional women are 19% more likely to binge drink at home than non-professional women. Overall, it is believed twice as many professional women binge drink regularly than the general female population. Some of this is believed to be due in part to rising responsibility and stress in the workplace, in addition to opportunities to indulge with co-workers after hours.

And on the home front, it is not uncommon for mothers to fall into the grips of loneliness, monotony, boredom, depression and a loss of self. Many turn to alcohol or prescription drugs to quell their emotions, or stimulants to increase productivity. As these behaviors become more accepted, especially when shared between similar social groups, it can easily lead to a loss of control and dependency.

And the false safety of prescription drugs are also contributing to an alarming rise in overdoses and hospital visits. Chemically speaking, Adderall and Ritalin are practically identical to cocaine. When mixed with alcohol, this combination can easily result in death. “Every day, nearly 400 people visit the emergency room after mixing drugs and alcohol”, Glamour reports. Many women are not aware of the uncontrollable effects of mixing prescription drugs and alcohol, and unwittingly self-administer combinations that can cause blackouts and overdose.

Rehabilitation Programs for Women

Most professionals agree that both women and men stand the same likelihood of rehabilitation regardless of undergoing a gender-specific program. Comfortability should first be addressed, and if a gender-specific program feels safer for the individual, it would certainly benefit them to enroll in a program that caters to females only.

However, the most important factor when reviewing a facility is understanding the therapy programs available, which can include specializations such as trauma, eating disorders, psychiatric programs, PTSD and family services, to name a few. Facilities that offer specialized therapy for co-occurring disorders, together with addiction rehabilitation, offer the best opportunity for sustained recovery.



GLOUCESTER — Chief Leonard Campanello and Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken are pleased to announce that The Hope Center For Rehabilitation in Florida is joining the Gloucester Police Department’s ANGEL Initiative.

As of Tuesday morning, 137 people have been placed into treatment programs by The Gloucester Initiative since June 1, when the program began. 

The Gloucester ANGEL program allows people who suffer from addiction to turn over their remaining drug supply and paraphernalia to the Gloucester Police Department without the threat of arrest. Those in need of help are put into treatment programs as opposed to jail cells. The policy went into effect last month in an effort to address a growing opioid epidemic and to reduce the number of overdoses in Massachusetts. Click here to view the official police policy document.

“It’s an honor to be joining The Gloucester Initiative to help make a positive difference in people’s lives,” said James Durkin, CEO of The Hope Center For Rehabilitation. “We are committed to guiding our guests along their path to recovery, and in turn, allowing them to make a complete 360-degree turn into a new, healthy lifestyle.”

Chief Campanello and businessman John Rosenthal have launched The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) — a new nonprofit organization created in response to Gloucester’s revolutionary drug addiction program and the immediate positive feedback from local, state and national organizations.

Both Chief Campanello and Mayor Romeo Theken are pleased to be expanding The Gloucester Initiative’s dedicated team of partner treatment centers by adding The Hope Center to the program.

About The Hope Center For Rehabilitation

Based on Boynton Beach, Fla., The Hope Center For Rehabilitation, provides a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment. This includes professional interventions, medically assisted detox, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient services.

The Hope Center also offers group activities, including kayaking, zip lining, beach trips, movie nights, paddle boarding, gym membership, snorkeling and wakeboarding. Transitional housing units are provided for both men and women, known as Magnolia Place. Each gender-specific home offers state-of-the-art amenities for clients looking to continue living in a safe, 12-step supported environment with like-minded individuals for up to nine months after treatment. Staff offers part-time supervision to help guests transition as they embark on their post-treatment plan.



Getting Sober at any Age

…and finding happiness & success too

If you’re someone who has discovered that they are either too young to get sober, or perhaps too old, I can assure you age is not a factor, but merely an excuse. Don’t allow your disease to talk you out of this. I’ve heard countless people praise young members within the recovery community for having found sobriety in their youth. You can feel their deep desire to have had the courage to do the same. What I notice is their longing to have the years they wasted back, and to be able to reverse all of the damage they have done in that time.

Let’s not assume that “late” even merely refers to age. I’ve known many alcoholics and addicts who by all accounts seemed far past the point of saving. They had habits that should have long ago killed them, despite their youth. Yet, I’ve witnessed some of the most severe cases return to sanity. You can find plenty of these inspiring stories in our Big Book, which gives any suffering addict hope that it really never is too late to recover.

Granted, getting sober at a young age will strip you of some of the wilder times you may have waiting ahead. And often, that is a deterring factor. Or perhaps you’re worried life won’t be enjoyable any longer without the drugs and alcohol. But if you’ve reached a point, like the majority of us, where your use is inhibiting you from the joys in life, your ambitions, is ruining your relationships and preventing you from most if not all of your goals, then you will find that sobriety will not hinder your life, it is actually the only thing that may save it.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have climbed down the ladder to rock bottom at a young age however. An older member of our fellowship, a gentleman at the age of 75, shared one day that he had recently celebrated an anniversary. Assuming he had many years, the group members were surprised to hear him say he was celebrating 1 year sober. The man stated that the last year had been the happiest of his life. He had reconnected with his children, his grandchildren and had found a completely new level of happiness he had never imagined for himself. This story, and many others like it, are the tales of inspiration that keep many members spiritually connected to the promises of our program. It also reminds us that we are never too old to experience self-discovery, true happiness and to learn.

If you’re still not convinced of the irrelevance of age, here are a few other success stories reached at an unlikely time:

  • At age 7, Mozart wrote his 1st symphony
  • At just 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France
  • At 21, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants with just $1,000 in the bank
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh picked up a paint brush for the very first time
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40
  • At age 45, George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship
  • Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s at age 57
  • At 86 Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours

 

No matter what your age is, embracing recovery is like hitting a “restart” button on your life. It is a spiritual rebirth. Our fellowship gives us a perfectly designed plan of action to remain teachable, to practice honesty and to clean away the wreckage of our past.

It also allows us to build a future of our dreams. If you’re young, our program enables you to journey through life with integrity and gives you the optimal environment to succeed and to look back with gratitude. If you’ve spent many years in your disease and have reached a mature age where the future doesn’t seem as bright, don’t be deceived. By this point, having had real-life experience, you’ve been given the opportunity to discover what your needs, desires and tastes are in addition to understanding what it feels like to fail.

I recently heard another member share that he had experienced great wealth and success, but was failing in the game of life. When he got sober, he humbled himself by taking a low-level job and working his way up again, much like he did for his personal life by working the 12-steps. By the time he got sober, he knew what his tastes and interests were. He knew what it felt like to fail, which made it easy to do things differently this time. He also experienced re-growth, having built his life back up from the foundation. Without having had a lifetime of experience, he would not have so successfully trail blazed his sobriety and shared his story to other alcoholics.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your life if you are still alive. Each of us has a desire to win the lottery in life. So often we hear stories of amazing success, joy and happiness. Often, especially as a suffering addict, those dreams seem completely unrealistic. But in reality, recovery – at any age – is practically guaranteed if you follow this simple plan of recovery outlined in the 12-steps. Diane Ackerman once said “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”. While you may not achieve great fame or release a Nobel Peace Prize winning novel, you will give yourself the opportunity to live a life that you never thought imaginable – a sober one.

 

…and finding happiness & success too

If you’re someone who has discovered that they are either too young to get sober, or perhaps too old, I can assure you age is not a factor, but merely an excuse. Don’t allow your disease to talk you out of this. I’ve heard countless people praise young members within the recovery community for having found sobriety in their youth. You can feel their deep desire to have had the courage to do the same. What I notice is their longing to have the years they wasted back, and to be able to reverse all of the damage they have done in that time.

Let’s not assume that “late” even merely refers to age. I’ve known many alcoholics and addicts who by all accounts seemed far past the point of saving. They had habits that should have long ago killed them, despite their youth. Yet, I’ve witnessed some of the most severe cases return to sanity. You can find plenty of these inspiring stories in our Big Book, which gives any suffering addict hope that it really never is too late to recover.

Granted, getting sober at a young age will strip you of some of the wilder times you may have waiting ahead. And often, that is a deterring factor. Or perhaps you’re worried life won’t be enjoyable any longer without the drugs and alcohol. But if you’ve reached a point, like the majority of us, where your use is inhibiting you from the joys in life, your ambitions, is ruining your relationships and preventing you from most if not all of your goals, then you will find that sobriety will not hinder your life, it is actually the only thing that may save it.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have climbed down the ladder to rock bottom at a young age however. An older member of our fellowship, a gentleman at the age of 75, shared one day that he had recently celebrated an anniversary. Assuming he had many years, the group members were surprised to hear him say he was celebrating 1 year sober. The man stated that the last year had been the happiest of his life. He had reconnected with his children, his grandchildren and had found a completely new level of happiness he had never imagined for himself. This story, and many others like it, are the tales of inspiration that keep many members spiritually connected to the promises of our program. It also reminds us that we are never too old to experience self-discovery, true happiness and to learn.

If you’re still not convinced of the irrelevance of age, here are a few other success stories reached at an unlikely time:

  • At age 7, Mozart wrote his 1st symphony
  • At just 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of France
  • At 21, Fred DeLuca co-founded Subway Restaurants with just $1,000 in the bank
  • At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh picked up a paint brush for the very first time
  • Julia Child didn’t learn to cook until she was 40
  • At age 45, George Foreman recaptured the heavyweight championship with a 10th round knockout, becoming the oldest person ever to win the heavyweight championship
  • Ray Kroc founded MacDonald’s at age 57
  • At 86 Ruth Rothfarb ran the Boston Marathon in just over 5 hours

 

No matter what your age is, embracing recovery is like hitting a “restart” button on your life. It is a spiritual rebirth. Our fellowship gives us a perfectly designed plan of action to remain teachable, to practice honesty and to clean away the wreckage of our past.

It also allows us to build a future of our dreams. If you’re young, our program enables you to journey through life with integrity and gives you the optimal environment to succeed and to look back with gratitude. If you’ve spent many years in your disease and have reached a mature age where the future doesn’t seem as bright, don’t be deceived. By this point, having had real-life experience, you’ve been given the opportunity to discover what your needs, desires and tastes are in addition to understanding what it feels like to fail.

I recently heard another member share that he had experienced great wealth and success, but was failing in the game of life. When he got sober, he humbled himself by taking a low-level job and working his way up again, much like he did for his personal life by working the 12-steps. By the time he got sober, he knew what his tastes and interests were. He knew what it felt like to fail, which made it easy to do things differently this time. He also experienced re-growth, having built his life back up from the foundation. Without having had a lifetime of experience, he would not have so successfully trail blazed his sobriety and shared his story to other alcoholics.

Remember, it’s never too late to change your life if you are still alive. Each of us has a desire to win the lottery in life. So often we hear stories of amazing success, joy and happiness. Often, especially as a suffering addict, those dreams seem completely unrealistic. But in reality, recovery – at any age – is practically guaranteed if you follow this simple plan of recovery outlined in the 12-steps. Diane Ackerman once said “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well”. While you may not achieve great fame or release a Nobel Peace Prize winning novel, you will give yourself the opportunity to live a life that you never thought imaginable – a sober one.

 



 Addicts Achieve Sobriety Through Rehab

Each year, the National Institute on Drug Abuse releases a report detailing a number of statistics on substance abuse treatment facilities throughout the country, in addition to sharing some global statistics on the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse happening within our population.

Addiction is commonly disguised or silenced for most individuals and families, as there is still a prevailing stigma around the topic, but the numbers don’t lie. It is estimated that annually, 23.1 million Americans are in need of some form of treatment, including addictions to alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription medication. In 2013, only 2.5 million people received the needed treatment, about 10% of all afflicted.

Of those in need of treatment, last year 88,000 died as a result of alcohol use in addition to the over 22,500 deaths that occurred form illicit drug use. The most startling figure was the rise in deaths due to heroin overdose, which jumped from approximately 3,000 deaths in 2001 to 8,000 deaths in 2013. Nationally, it is estimated that 1 in every 10 deaths that occur are alcohol related.

It has never been more important to educate our community on the prevalence of drug and alcohol addiction. Today, because of the need for long-term treatment centers as well as the Affordable Care Act, passed just last year, finding and enrolling in a treatment center that fits your needs or a loved one is more accessible than ever. If insured, most clients can have access to a full-service treatment facility at almost no charge. There are over 14,500 treatment centers in the United States, all of which offer different levels of care and accept all types of insurance plans. In addition, many treatment facilities offer scholarships to offset the cost of treatment.

And with treatment, recovery is possible. One of the most successful paths to recovery is committing to a 30 day treatment program. Those who enroll in an inpatient treatment program within 30 days of detoxing stand a better chance at achieving long term sobriety than those who don’t. For those who do relapse, it takes them 40% longer to do so than individuals who abstain without the help of a treatment center. It’s important to understand that for many people, relapse is a part of their path toward recovery. Studies suggest that those who have attended treatment gain the tools and faith needed to overcome their addictions, even when relapse occurs.

Studies also show that those who went through an inpatient program noted improvements in their quality of life, even if abstinence was short lived. In the short term, patients are looking to stay sober. In the long run, clients are able to live a life of integrity, honesty, balance and happiness.

If you are someone who needs the help of an inpatient treatment program, or know someone who does, contact one of our team members at The Hope Center for Rehabilitation at 1.866.233.1869



Achieving Sobriety: Why Long Term Treatment Centers Work

There is no formula to decipher what path or method will get a person to reach long term sobriety, but most experts agree that the best advice is to commit to a long term treatment plan. This means a minimum of 6 months at a treatment center which offers different levels of treatment, including a detox inpatient and extended care program. While the commitment may seem difficult, or even impossible, the truth remains that with a little faith and the right facility the best chance to understand and embrace a life of recovery starts with a long-term stay at an accredited and multi-faceted rehab center. Here are some of the main reasons why treatment really works.

1. Long Term Detox
Depending on one’s drug of choice, it can take between 1 and 6 months to detox from the long time “hangover” associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Your body needs time to rid itself of the toxins it has built up over time. Simply abstaining on your own, without the accountability of being in a rehab setting or having the support of experts, is nearly impossible. Will power alone is not enough to stop an afflicted person from choosing to pick up their drug of choice again, but in a supervised atmosphere, the first few months of recovery are dramatically easier to overcome.

2. Repetition of Sober Living
When under the care of a rehab facility, clients are guided daily with repetitive teachings on how to remain sober. Therapists and technicians cultivate an atmosphere where afflicted clients can begin rebuilding daily life without the use of drugs and alcohol, as well as help clients develop skills of accountability toward themselves and family members. In addition, clients are taken to 12-step meetings where they can network with other sober contacts as well as understand what life after treatment looks like.

3. Illumination
Understanding the blessing of sobriety and all that it brings takes time. Often clients reach a “pink cloud” of happiness when they have initially overcome the first phases of detoxification from their addiction. This usually happens within the first 30 days. In the short term this is positive, but there are successes and failures in sobriety and true illumination happens months after this point. Eventually, a “miracle”occurs when a person makes a significant shift in their journey toward recovery and from then on have the motivation and clarity to continue in their journey. Overcoming the “obsession” of using and embracing a journey through the 12 steps outlined in most recovery programs is the goal of any long-term treatment plan.

4. Distance
Spending a significant amount of time away from the people, places and things that “trigger” addicts to use again is a very important factor that makes long-term treatment programs successful. Even the most motivated individuals find it difficult to resist the urge to use again when confronted with their old situations and lifestyle. By remaining away from those places, either geographically or just physically, a client has the opportunity to focus on the solution rather than face their old problems. Over time, most addicts find themselves able to show up to the situations which used to cause them to use, helping them remain sober when life begins again outside of treatment.

5. Making Friends & Networking
Seldom are people able to make significant connections in 30 days or less. When an individual embarks on multi-month journey toward recovery, they are able to form significant relationships with their peers, therapists and community of people in recovery. This not only makes them more accountable for their actions but also strengthens their sober support group. Having a sober network is forever a key element of long term recovery, even when an individual has achieved multiple years of abstinence. It is considered one of the golden “tools” for continued growth in sobriety.

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation is located in Boynton Beach, Florida and specializes in drug and alcohol addiction. Treatment plans range from 1-9 months. If you know someone who is in need of inpatient treatment, or want to know more about the programs we offer, call one of our team members at 1.866.233.1869.



What Is a “12 Step” Program?

Many initially agree to go to drug rehab under the false pretense that a 1-3 month stint in an inpatient facility will cure even the most sick and suffering drug addict of his or her addiction. As a matter of fact, the role of drug rehab is not to rid the addict of his or her addiction, or even to put the disease into remission. In most instances, the role that drug rehab plays is simply one of initiation – an introduction to the overall healing process and to the lifelong progression of addiction recovery. Inpatient treatment is important in equipping patients with a set of tools that will prove necessary in maintaining sobriety, as well as a therapeutic (and in most instances, a holistic) approach to uncovering, addressing, and treating underlying factors and causes of addiction. One of the most important roles drug rehab plays, however, is the introduction to a 12-step method of recovery. The 12-step program, as proven time and time again, is what will work to keep individuals sober, happy, and free long after drug rehab concludes.

The vast majority of drug rehabilitation centers across the country will expose patients to several 12-step fellowships, the most common being Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Many inpatient facilities will provide clients with the AA literature and transport them to outside meetings several times per week. In many cases, 12-step meeting are also brought directly to the residence. Alcoholics Anonymous and all other 12-step fellowships consist of a group of men and women (or exclusively men or exclusively women) that join together and help one another to overcome alcoholism and other potentially lethal forms of addiction. So what exactly is a 12-step program?

Alcoholics Anonymous is One of The Most Popular and Well-Known 12-Step Programs

Let’s use AA as an example, seeing as it is potentially the most widely known of all the 12-step fellowships. An individual who has a desire to stop drinking will typically find an AA meeting in their local area. Most meetings can be found online, and most big cities have ‘clubhouses’ where meetings are held multiple times a day. This individual will identify him or herself as an alcoholic at the meeting, and begin actively looking for a sponsor – a man or women who has been taken through the 12-steps and is now qualified to take others through the steps. Essentially, the steps are an outline for better living – a simple set of tasks that when completed honestly and thoroughly are promised to result in a spiritual awakening and an overall improved life. While drug rehab is an important part of the foundation setting for sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous will begin the true spiritual shift necessary to overcoming addiction for years to come.

What Does A Typical 12-Step Meeting Look Like?

Stepping into anything unknown can be both scary and unsettling. No matter how prepared you are educationally, attending your first 12-step meeting may be frightening – but there is truly no reason to be afraid! You will never be forced to do anything you do not want to do, and if you choose to you can simply sit in the back of the room and listen your first few times. Most meetings will have a ‘chairperson’, a man or a woman who leads the meeting and either asks a sober individual to speak (sharing his or her experience, strength, and hope) or leads the meeting with a topic of discussion. Other alcoholics in the meeting will raise their hands and share on the topic. Basically, a meeting is a group of like-minded individuals coming together to discuss how they are doing, and to share their personal experiences with alcoholism with others. Working the steps is essential to continued and fulfilled recovery, and one of the main jobs of drug rehabs nationwide is to introduce clients to this life-saving program.



Committing to recovery is potentially one of the most terrifying actions an addict or alcoholic will ever take. In attending an inpatient drug rehab and pledging to a professionally formulated aftercare program, you are essentially promising yourself and those that love you that you will completely change your life permanently and for the better. As logical as the transition from a depraved and miserable life of isolation and physical discomfort to a life of general ease and happiness may seem, many face the opportunity of recovery with extreme apprehension. The fear of the unknown comes into play in this situation – a fear that may prevent those in desperate need of professional help from seeking it before it is too late. One fear in particular that may hinder a fair amount of addicts from seeking treatment and from succeeding in maintaining sobriety for any prolonged length of time is the fear of making new friends. There is essentially nothing more frightening than approaching a stranger and introducing yourself – especially if you are not yet entirely confident in who you are. However, in order to enrich your own life significantly and thrive in your recovery it is essential to surround yourself with genuine and reliable sober supports – and this means, unfortunately, stepping outside of your comfort zone and making new friends.

Making Friends in Early Recovery

It may be surprising, but making friends in early recovery is far, far easier than you could ever imagine. As it turns out, most of the individuals you will meet in 12-step meetings are just as insane as you are, making the ability to relate a non-issue. Additionally, all those in the rooms of AA and other 12-step fellowships are going through exactly the same thing as you are – or have been through what you are going through before. Simply approach a stranger after or before the meeting and begin conversation, and you will be shocked to find that you can relate on at least several levels. It may seem awkward and uncomfortable at first, but take comfort in knowing that most everyone feels the same exact way you do. Still, it may help to have several conversation starters on hand.

Conversation Starters to Make Introductions Easier

In order to make your assumedly awkward (it is easier and less awkward than you think) introductions more self-assured, we have compiled a list of potential friend pick-up-lines.

  • “Hey, I heard you share in a meeting and thought you had some really good stuff to say. I was wondering if I could get your number?”
  • “Hey, I’m looking for a couple people who are solid in their sobriety to talk to, maybe we could get together for coffee?”
  • “Hey, I like your shirt.”
  • “Hi, my sponsor wants me to get phone numbers and call a few people… is it cool if I give you a call later tonight?”
  • “How long have you been in [insert city name here]?”

You can pretty much get away with any introduction, no matter how lame you think it is. Reach your hand out and introduce yourself by name. If someone is wearing an LA Dodgers cap and you know something about baseball, ask them if they have ever been to a game. Be creative and be brave – approaching people is not necessarily easy, though making friends in early recovery is.



An unfortunate amount of individuals who are attempting to recover from addiction to drugs or alcohol will relapse at some point in time. The vast majority of men and women who attend an inpatient drug rehab for the length of an entire program will relapse in less than 3 months after graduating. In fact, the rate of relapse far exceeds the rate of maintained recovery. Why is this, and what can you do to avoid this disturbing trend?

When committing to drug rehab, it is important to understand that you are simultaneously committing to a life completely abstinent from chemical substance. Because this concept is overwhelming for many who have dedicated so many years of their lives to drinking and drugging, it is often far easier to agree to these terms on a day-to-day basis. If you can agree to abstain for one day at a time, this is good enough to start. Additionally, when committing to treatment you are making a vow to leave your old life behind and begin completely anew, building a new and better life (one beyond your wildest dreams) entirely from the ground up.

This can also seem quite overwhelming, especially if you have not lost everything as a result of your addiction – if you still maintained friendships, a career, and upkept a home while actively using. In this case, the emotional turmoil and severe spiritual void and desperation that inevitably motivated you to seek treatment should be kept at the forefront of the mind. Are you willing to begin anew mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Are you willing to sacrifice an immediate return to your career and loved ones in order to promote and maintain internal peace and wellness? Carefully consider your level of willingness before committing to a program that will, if adhered to with dedication and open-mindedness, wholly change your life permanently and for the better.

Taking The Cotton Out of Your Ears and Putting It In Your Mouth

If your addiction has lead you directly to a point of utter desperation, you are likely willing to go to whatever lengths necessary in order to ensure a healthy and joyous life free from the unrelenting grips of drugs and alcohol. Yet sometimes, addiction treatment is not quite what you may have in mind. Most treatment programs consist of a variety of intensive therapeutic methods, geared towards uncovering and treating underlying causes of addiction. Many individuals who battle substance dependency began using drugs and alcohol in order to self-medicate emotional wounds caused by past trauma or undiagnosed co-occurring disorders. One of the major roles inpatient treatment plays is treating underlying causes – though this can drive some patients away, especially those who have never attempted to face past issues. Yet if you entirely commit to bettering yourself and dedicating yourself to bravely facing temporarily uncomfortable situations, you will undeniably be giving yourself a better opportunity to make your first rehab your last rehab, and maintaining fulfilled sobriety for the remainder of your life.


The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.