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We’ve all been in this situation. Having to explain to someone else that you’re sober and working a program of recovery. Typically, it becomes easier to do the longer we are in the program, as naturally with time we not only become stronger in our sobriety, and more grounded in our recovery, but the stigma of our old behaviors begin to drift away, opening up space to show others our fresh, refined selves.


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December 31, 2015 Marissa ObrienUncategorized

Every now and then, someone says something, or does something so profound that it sticks with you for your whole life. Maybe it was something a relative said to you as a child, or a boss’s piece of advice or maybe even a great movie line that you’ve carried with you as a sort of mantra.


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December 21, 2015 Marissa ObrienUncategorized

The Best Gifts to Give for Recovery. Whether it’s for a holiday, birthday or especially an anniversary, gift-giving for someone in recovery is often a very special, and personal choice. There are so many great options as most recovery gifts are laced with spiritual teachings, personal sentiment and support. So with all possibilities out there, and as the holidays quickly approach, we wanted to put together some of our favorite gifts for the next time you’re celebrating an anniversary, or looking for the perfect gift to give your friend, sponsor, sponsee or family member.



September 22, 2015 Marissa ObrienUncategorized

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.



Signs That Show You Are Drug or Alcohol Dependent

1. Tolerance
Have you noticed needing to use more of the same substance to get the desired effect? Our bodies grow increasingly more tolerant of drugs and alcohol the more often we use them. Tolerance is a signal of abuse and your bodies way of handling the toxicity. In reality you are allowing your body the ability to absorb more toxins when you increase your tolerance.
2. Withdrawal
As drugs or alcohol leave the body, classic symptoms of withdrawal set it. These include anxiety, jumpiness, shakiness, trembling, sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue and headaches. Severe withdrawal can include seizures, hallucinations, fever and even death, especially for alcoholics. Your body, which is getting used to having the drugs and alcohol in your system, is reacting to the void. To calm these symptoms, addicts and alcoholics drink or use to calm their symptoms, or to avoid symptoms at all. Many turn into morning drinkers or all-day drug abusers.
3. Loss of Control
Have you found yourself drinking or using more than you wanted to, and for a longer time than you intended? This is a classic sign that your using is getting out of control, because you are no longer in charge of when you choose to stop using. Many consider this the powerful “obsession” of using.
4. Desire to Stop But Can’t
You’ve identified that your drinking or drugging problem is causing negative consequences in your life. But despite changing up your routine, using in different ways or trying to abstain altogether, you find you cannot quit. This is also a classic signal that you or a loved one are in need of professional help to relieve you of your dependency.
5. Neglecting Other Activities
As drugs and alcohol become an everyday need, it requires more time to get and use them in daily life. Addicts find themselves doing less of the activities they used to enjoy in order to concentrate more on their drug of choice. In addition, it can become difficult to do some of the activities they once enjoyed while under the influence of powerfully mind and mood altering substances.
6. Continue To Use Despite Negative Consequences:
As drugs and alcohol become abused with greater frequency, it commonly interrupts daily life and leads to substantial issues with family, loved ones, the law, your career and ones health. What maybe used to seem unimaginable becomes reality like incarceration, loss of relationships, loss of jobs and a deterioration in health. Despite these radical consequences, the power of addiction usually overwhelms these dire circumstances and the user finds themselves relying more than ever on their drug of choice.
If you’re not sure if you or a loved one are exhibiting these symptoms, there are also other warning signs to be on the lookout for. Some include weight loss or gain, loss in appetite, seizures, unexplained accidents or injuries, shakes, tremors, slurred speech, drop in performance or attendance, unusual need for money (borrowing, stealing or missing valuables), frequent arguments, unexplained change in attitude and mood, frequent irritability, outbursts, unusual hyperactivity, lack of motivation and paranoia.
It’s important to remember that these are all normal reactions to drug and alcohol abuse. After a time, it becomes difficult even for the most determined people to kick their addiction without outside help and a dramatic lifestyle change. If you think you may have an addiction problem, or know someone who is showing these signals, call one of our specialists at 1-866-233-1869 and they’ll be happy to recommend a treatment plan to overcome the powerful obsession of addiction.



Invest In Your Future with Vocational Rehabilitation

Often, the most difficult part of the recovery process is adjusting to the responsibilities and requirements of real life as well as managing the consequences from addiction. The Hope Center has a staff dedicated to helping clients successfully maneuver back into the real world without the overwhelming stress of having to balance a life of recovery with building back a future by offering Vocational Rehabilitation. This is a process which enables clients to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to a normal way of life and employment. In addition, vocational rehabilitation offers opportunities for clients to discover their own hobbies so they can pursue a life they’ve always imagined with a new foundation in recovery.

For those who are still in school, or are looking to advance their education, our on-staff Director of Education aids each client, who can choose to receive tutoring to obtain a GED or diploma. They are also available to help with the application process for colleges or assist in resume building and job placement if a client has already completed their schooling.

For clients who already have a career history and are in need of proper job placement, our facilitators will help with resume building and interview skills. In addition, we have a strong local network of professionals who can help our clients receive job placement so they can begin working during their long-term recovery process. It is recommended that a client stay 6-9 months at a facility for the best chance at achieving long-term sobriety. With the help of local job placement, even temporarily, we can help our clients build a strong foundation for when they are ready to return home full-time.

For clients who are in need of case management, our therapists work on an individual basis with them to ensure their appointments are met and that they are adhering to the guidelines of their judgements. We’ve seen many people become overwhelmed with their legal consequences, resulting in anxiety, depression and often relapse. At the Hope Center, our team is committed to supporting our clients through this often confusing time so they can remain connected to their sobriety, not their sentences.

The Hope Center prides itself on offering residents extra-curricular activities not only to add diversity and enjoyment to the day but to open clients up to activities they may have put on hold, or never even tried in the past. Addiction often takes over the desire to pursue hobbies and other interests in order to use more often. In recovery, we want to deliver our clients activities that will help them reconnect to their former or emerging passions. Some of our specialized activities include yoga, art classes, kayaking, zip-lining, beach trips, movies, paddle boarding, fitness training, snorkeling, wake boarding and group games like softball, soccer and volley ball.

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation, located in Boynton Beach, FL, offers a variety of rehabilitation services including in-patient and out-patient programs to help clients form a foundation of recovery for practically any lifestyle arrangement. To learn more about our services, contact one of our specialists at 1.866.233.1869.



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Armed Forces and Addiction

It seems unearthly that our bravest men and women, who selflessly fight for our freedom and protection, are the most susceptible group to fall into drug and alcohol dependency brought upon by mental and physical trauma.

The connection to substance abuse for military members is very clear. Due to the nature of active duty, our military personnel are exposed to the harshest of human conditions of any other professional group. Combat itself requires witnessing and participating in brutal acts of war, experiencing countless loss as well as contributing to the elimination of life. There is no question that the lingering effects are profound after living within such a harsh environment.

Since 2001, which marks the start of the war in the East, statistics have shown a remarkable increase in the tendency for substance abuse and cognitive disorders amongst active duty and veteran soldiers. Since the military has a zero tolerance policy on illicit drug use, most cases include the abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs. A recent study shows that 11% of the military population is misusing prescription drugs and 47% are binge drinking, which is 17% higher than the national average that estimates about 30% of the American population is doing the same.

In 2001, only about 1% of active military members were using pain medication. Since then, the amount of prescription drug scripts have quadrupled to about 3.8 million within the armed forces, representing about 10% of the group.

This does not mean that military members are inherently prone to addiction. Understanding the effects of active warfare illustrates the pattern of abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 4 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans has developed a mental or cognitive disorder. 1 in 6 of our veterans have reported symptoms of PTSD. Since substance abuse is often followed by trauma, the proclivity to use mind and mood altering drugs to quell the traumatic effects of war is profound. It is estimated that 29% of military member suicides have indicated the use of drugs or alcohol.

The high rate of cognitive disorders and substance abuse as a result of trauma from active duty is unprecedented. Our current and former military members are at a far greater risk than any other group in our country to develop a crippling addiction because of their profession. They deserve the help of our rehabilitation centers to help heal them of their mental scars and physical dependency resulting from active duty. The best facilities offer programs specifically target to this segment who’s afflictions are distinct from other groups.

It can be very difficult for veterans to find the help they need after returning home, but facilities like the Hope Center for Rehabilitation have therapists who specialize in treating post-war trauma and addiction. In addition, military members suffering from similar behavioral issues are able to network with other veterans, helping grow their connection to a program of recovery within a group of like-minded individuals. If you are someone, or know someone in need of rehabilitation after returning home from war, call one of our specialists at 1-866-233-1969.

Our thanks to the members of the Veteran Vision Project who’s powerful images we used to make this article. Visit http://veteranvisionproject.com/ to see and learn more about the campaign.


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.