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Redpoint Center Expands Mental Health Drug Alcohol Rehab Fort Collins Colorado

The Redpoint Center Expands to Fort Collins, Colorado

By | Alcohol rehab, Featured, Mental Health

Redpoint Center Fort Collins is here and we’re thrilled to offer our services to those in need. During the pandemic, the caring Redpoint team has been busy opening our new location in Fort Collins, Colorado. We are so excited to expand our facilities and bring professional care to the greater northern Colorado area. 

“I feel very fortunate,” says Redpoint Team member and Northern Colorado Program Manager and Senior Counselor, Wendy Stine, “to be helping in my community of Northern Colorado. We’ve been typically underserved and I am excited to be part of the solution. Covid has created a great strain on the population, particularly those who might have mental health issues and/or addiction. We are seeing a mental health pandemic as a result of the Covid pandemic. I’m witnessing some really good work being done with our clients under the circumstances.” 

Our founder and CEO, Cody Gardner, expressed his enthusiasm for the recent move saying, “This is a very exciting expansion for the Redpoint Center. Expanding our recovery services throughout Colorado means we help more individuals and families in need. Our licensed treatment professionals understand the complex challenges associated with substance abuse and mental health concerns. Now, more than ever, our citizens need professional treatment support”. The Redpoint Center focuses on an outpatient approach to drug and alcohol recovery as well as mental health services. Offering treatment for adults and adolescents, our new center will allow us to serve a greater range of clients seeking recovery and support. 

We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Fort Collins area and welcome our new move with tenacity and grace. “It’s an honor to provide the much-needed treatment needs of our community,” Gardner added. 

Mental Health Treatment in Colorado

The Redpoint Center mental health and drug rehab treatment program is thrilled to expand our services to Fort Collins, Colorado. We will continue to offer quality care for those struggling with mental health and substance use issues, in Boulder Country and now in Larimer County. The Redpoint Center programming includes adolescent and adult outpatient treatment services that empower clients to find community, purpose, and recovery. 

 “This is a very exciting expansion for the Redpoint Center,” says Cody Gardner, founder and CEO of Redpoint. “Expanding our recovery services throughout Colorado means we help more individuals and families in need. Our licensed treatment professionals understand the complex challenges associated with substance abuse and mental health concerns. Now, more than ever, our citizens need professional treatment support,” adds Gardner

 Redpoint addresses alcohol and drug use, as well as trauma and stressors that influence destructive behavior patterns. The mission is to teach clients how to live a healthy life of recovery. Now, the Fort Collins facility now provides rehab in Larimer County, Colorado, to serve more of those who need drug treatment and alcohol rehab, as well as mental health support. With CSU and a younger community, outpatient services mean more of those who need it to find help.

“We are thrilled that The Redpoint Center is able to offer outpatient services to our home state of Colorado. Expanding to Fort Collins with another addiction treatment facility allows us to continue to serve the rehab needs, and beyond. It’s an honor to provide the much-needed treatment needs of our community,” Gardner added. 

If you or someone you love needs help, contact us. We are here 24/7 to assist you and yours on the path to healing. You are not alone.

Redpoint Center Blog Recovery Sayings

Recovery Sayings: Wisdom for Daily Living

By | Addiction, Mental Health

Recovery sayings may seem overly simplistic, but for many, they are powerful messages. Even if you don’t attend 12-Step programs, you may hear the same AA or recovery-oriented sayings and cliches from others in sobriety. Often, these phrases go in one ear and out the other. But every now and then, when we find ourselves struggling or having a rough day, these sayings hit us with such clarity and truth that we see them in a brand new light. Recovering from substance abuse and mental health struggles is a lifelong journey. These are just a few tried and true statements that circle addiction recovery on a daily basis. 

AA Sayings and Wisdom

One Day at a Time

Overwhelm can lead to a lot of destruction in our lives. We may feel powerless and small when fantasizing about the future, the bills we have to pay, and the unfathomable idea of being sober forever. Therefore this core saying is spoken in 12 steps rooms across the globe. One day at a time. Focusing on the now allows us to return to ourselves, our bodies, and our feelings right here and now. This is more manageable than getting swept away in a lifetime of worries, doubts, and fears. Staying present is one of the greatest tools in addiction recovery. This moment is all we have. Furthermore, this awareness is highly beneficial for mental health and stress reduction. What’s more, in many Buddhist and other wisdom tradition teachings, it is said that now is all we really have. The future and the past are an illusion. We have no control over the past and we do not know what is yet to come. Hence, staying present in the now is key. In recovery, we often say – just “take the next right step”. In addition, “just for today”, is one of the greatest assets for people who are sober—and all humans for that matter!

Keep it simple

In recovery, if you don’t have your sobriety, you don’t have sh*t. Most of us watch our professional and personal lives crumble when drinking or using. “Keep it simple” helps keep your ground and focus on what matters — the basics. Feed yourself. Get good sleep. Love yourself (though this may not seem easy all the time it’s a big one). Be grateful for what you do have, and be proud of yourself.  Even if you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing today, you are sober and that means everything. You are worthy of love and happiness. 

Life on life’s terms

Every now and then life hands you something unexpected. There are things that we can’t control. This saying helps us with radical acceptance. We didn’t choose addiction. Furthermore, only when we accept this can we get better. We don’t choose when loved ones leave us or what happens in the world. We don’t get to choose whether or not there is a worldwide pandemic. Accepting life on life’s terms allows us to not panic in the face of uncertainty. Allowing ourselves to flow with the punches of life actually returns power to our hands, granting us the ability to focus on what we do have control over, our actions and reactions. 

Cunning, baffling, powerful 

Straight from the big book of AA, this statement illustrates our addiction. Many of us have tried to have that “one beer”, only to find ourselves bewildered again at the depth of our addiction sometimes only days later. This describes the power that substances have over us despite our best efforts to remain in control. When we respect our addictive ways and no longer underestimate the power destructive patterns can have over us, we allow ourselves to no longer be consumed by them. 

Recovery Sayings: Mental Health Healing

What happened is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility 

Much of our trauma, especially in childhood, was not our fault. We may harbor great resentment at the hurts of our past. We may sit angrily, arms crossed, waiting for the apology that may never come. If we want to heal, we must accept that we have to do the work. It is our responsibility, to no longer pass on the pain of our past by hurting those around us with our addiction and behaviors. Though this may be frustrating, it is truly a gift we give to ourselves to move on and heal. 

You can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick 

We are creatures of habit. Our biology is hardwired to return the familiar. In earlier times, these mechanisms kept us safe, knowing which berries were not safe to eat and which well-trodden paths would lead us home. Unfortunately, when struggling with addiction,  things that feel familiar and safe may be perpetuating our illness. It is our job to create new pathways of thought and action to lead to a healthier life. This may include hanging out with different people, not the usual crowd you partied with every weekend. It may mean different relationships: ie, find a partner who is nothing like your ex. No longer visit areas of town that trigger your cravings and remind you of your rock bottoms and drug dealers. In addition, we choose different activities. It can be amazing to rediscover what you love to do and how you spend your time soberly. Limit the amount of time we spend with people who belittle our worth. Though these people may feel familiar, after we spend time with them we feel bad about ourselves. Find people that lift you up and support you in sobriety and your dreams. It can be hard to recognize which behaviors and relationships need changing, but if we observe and remain present, they will become clear and our resilience and desire for well being will strengthen. 

 

Though we may tire of hearing these recovery phrases, evaluate them with a fresh eye. And lean into the wisdom of daily recovery and sober living. As a result, we have the chance to learn deep wisdom. If you or someone dear to you is in need of support, please reach out for help. You are not alone. 

Redpoint Center Blog Overdose Awareness Colorado

Treat Addiction, Save Lives: Boulder County Overdose Awareness Day

By | Addiction

BoCo Overdose Awareness Day 2020

Over this past weekend, Boulder County promoted 2020 Overdose Awareness Day with free education and Narcan distribution as well as a drive-in style showing of the movie “Beautiful Boy”. The aim is to de-stigmatize overdose, drug-related deaths, and spread awareness on how to help those struggling with addiction. Though overdose awareness is always relevant, it’s importance during this time is becoming increasingly important. In addition, focusing on opioid addiction plays a big part in overdose education.

Today, the whole world is uncertain in the face of Covid-19. Unfortunately, stress from the pandemic is creating and compounding preexisting conditions of mental illness and substance use disorder. Addiction can become a coping mechanism for those attempting to regulate their nervous system during times of stress, depression, or anxiety. In addition, challenging times, such as these, can exacerbate stress, leading to greater mental health concerns. In the US, alcohol sales have risen by 27% since March.  Isolation can have very negative effects on depression and mental illness. 

Overdose Awareness & Mental Health Support During COVID-19

Though some feel it is still too early to draw any definite conclusions on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting substance abuse, some organizations like Millennium Health report an increase in drug use. In a recent analysis of 500,000 urinalysis drug tests from mid-March into May, a 32% increase is shown for nonprescribed Fentanyl, 20% for methamphetamine, and 10% for cocaine. The ODMAP (Overdose Mapping Application Program), run out of the University of Baltimore, reported almost an 18% increase in suspected overdose in participating counties after stay-at-home orders were implemented in March. In light of these increasing numbers, we see the importance of education, relationships, communication, and compassion. People are struggling—financially, health-wise, emotionally. Mental health support is vital. Substance use disorder programs and detox centers remain open and 12-steps meetings are held virtually online. This helps but more needs to be done.

How to Support Overdose Awareness

There are many things we can do in our communities to create awareness around substance abuse and overdose awareness. Here are some tips from our team!

  • Know the signs. When it comes to substances, educate yourself. In addition, it is wise to know the warning signs of addiction or what an overdose looks like.
  • Stay connected. When it comes to addiction, we know isolation is the silent killer. When we are alone, with our thoughts, we can go to dark places. Even the best of us can experience this so it’s very important to stay connected to those you think might be at a higher risk of substance use issues. Check on your loved ones. Furthermore, if you know someone who has struggled with addiction in the past, reach out just to say hello. When we show up for other people we can truly save lives. 
  • End the stigma. Be an advocate. What we know, from experience, is that there is still a lot of stigma around substances, especially hard drugs such as opiates and heroin. Not only do we need education, but we also need to chip away at this stigma. Some ways to do this are:
    • read about mental health and substance abuse to really understand how interconnected the two are. Some great options are here.
    • talk openly about substances with those you care about
    • let others know there is no shame in struggling

Finally, stay in communication in your region. When we advocate for awareness, education, prevention, and safety, we can help local representatives who need support (and they always do!). If you or someone you know is having a hard time, help is available. Even if Redpoint is not the appropriate fit, we will guide you and help you find what is.

We are here for you. The Redpoint Center offers two locations in Colorado. Call us. (888) 509-3153

Redpoint Center Blog Fentanyl Addiction Denver Opiates

Fentanyl in Colorado

By | Addiction, Treatment

Fentanyl Alert

Fentanyl is a highly addictive and dangerous opiate that is often used for pain management. It is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Opiates are a major source of addiction in the US. Overdoses caused by fentanyl can happen faster and are harder to stop than those caused by other opioids. The drug comes in many forms, including pills, capsules, rock, and powders. 

On Wednesday, July 22, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) issued an alert about an increase in overdose-related deaths in Denver linked to the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. Compared to 2019, January to May of 2020 yielded a 282% increase in fatal overdoses involving fentanyl. Fentanyl, 50 times more potent than heroin, is an extremely dangerous substance that is undetectable when mixed with heroin, cocaine, crack or methamphetamines. The substance is often mixed with other narcotics to increase the high for a limited cost.

Fentanyl-Related Deaths

The rise in fentanyl-related deaths is not exclusive to Denver county. In NYC in 2017, fentanyl was involved in 57% of overdose deaths.

As Boulder County District Attorney Michael Doughtery stated: “It’s cheap to manufacture and easier to distribute because it’s harder to crack and detect. It’s also more difficult for people using the drug to understand or to know what they’re putting in their bodies.”

For those who are active drug users, the DDPHE offers these precautions against overdose: 

The DDPHE offers the following precautions against overdose:

  • DON’T USE ALONE: If you are using, let someone know or don’t do it alone. 
  • CARRY NALOXONE: If you are an active user, carry naloxone with you to counter an opioid overdose. Available to purchase at www.stoptheclockcolorado.org.
  • TEST YOUR DRUGS: Use smaller doses to test potency, or inject slower if injecting. 
  • DON’T MIX YOUR DRUGS: Mixing opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin) can increase risk of overdose. 
  • CALL 911: If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately.  

Please be careful when dealing with this substance. It is highly dangerous.

 

Image courtesy of unsplash

Redpoint Center Cross Addiction Recovery

What Does Cross Addiction Mean?

By | Addiction, Treatment
Cross addiction is a term we hear often. But what does it mean? When we move away from self-destructive habits, we learn about our behaviors. In addition, we start to uncover the conditions that led to our alcohol and substance use. This is often called peeling away the “layers of the onion” in sobriety. Furthermore, it is about learning what makes us tick. In addition, we learn about the habits that cause self-destructive behaviors. What’s more, we learn the various ways we act out. When we get sober, we may quit using alcohol but start using nicotine. This is an example of cross addiction.

What is Cross Addiction?

Cross addiction is also called addiction transfer or Addiction Interaction Disorder. This occurs when we have two or more addictive behaviors. The addictions can include alcohol, drugs, gaming, sex, food, or other compulsive behaviors. Getting sober from alcohol and drugs can be challenging and arduous.
“After my first year of sobriety, not doing drugs or drinking started to come naturally. As it turns out, that was actually one of the easiest parts of my journey. But, if you want to know why I got sober, see my article, Four Lies I Told Myself About My Alcohol Abuse.”—Rachael Messaros, Director of Admissions & Marketing at Redpoint Center
Navigating sobriety comes with learning about ourselves. Once the substances are out of the system and we have a fair amount of recovery time, something profound begins to happen. The underlying issues become readily apparent. You know, the things that led you to alcohol and drug abuse in the first place? When they are no longer suppressed by alcohol or numbed by drugs, they start begging you to pay attention to them. These things, such as childhood trauma, depression, or anxiety, are important and need to be addressed.
Cross addiction, a pattern of replacing one addictive behavior with another, complicates your journey to sobriety and wellness. For some recovering addicts, sugar is the next addiction to take them for a ride after they have ‘solved’ their problem with drugs and alcohol. For others, perhaps an eating disorder develops. Still, others may turn to sex to fill the void. The phenomenon of cross-addiction is all too common.
“Cross addiction played a part in my journey. There is some good news here, though: getting sober from drugs and alcohol forces me to learn new techniques for living a better life. I discovered the importance of asking for help, serving others, cultivating a supportive and healthy social circle, attending 12-step meetings, and most importantly, maintaining a spiritual connection with a power greater than myself. These are the exact same strategies you can use to recover from new addictions that may develop over time.”—Rachael Messaros

Avoiding Complacency

At times, we get complacent. We may notice that addictive behaviors creep back into our lives when we are not maintaining healthy habits. In addition, we can become overly comfortable and confident. The truth is, sobriety requires constant attention to spiritual fitness. When we no longer think about drugs and alcohol every day, we may slip into thinking we don’t need to do much to maintain sobriety. But this assumption is incorrect and dangerous. We need to always keep in mind that anything worth having takes work. It isn’t easy, but just like staying in physical shape can lower a person’s risk of illness, staying in good spiritual condition reduces our susceptibility to cross addiction. Putting in this work also helps all of us appreciate the blessings and beauty of life. And it’s an incredible gift to be sober. Gratitude keeps us humble.
Redpoint Center Rehab Exercise for Recovery

Exercise for Recovery

By | Addiction, Mental Health, Treatment
Exercise for recovery can be a powerful practice. Recovery looks a little different for everyone. An important part of one person’s journey may not play as significant of a part in someone else’s. That being said, scientific evidence shows that exercise is an important tool for a healthy mind and body—a key component of recovery. Medical professionals are recommending the benefits of physical activity and its many mental health applications. However, establishing a routine exercise regimen is something that forces many to struggle. Here are a couple of reasons to get off the couch and move your body.

Exercise for Recovery and Mental Health

For many, exercise has powerful mental health benefits. The research validates this fact. To start, exercise for many can be a form of meditation. It creates the space and time to simply be present. Much of recovery is about learning to live in the present moment. Fears, doubts, insecurities, and anxieties typically live in the past and the future. When you’re engaged in cardio, practicing yoga, or lifting weights, you are aware of your heartbeat and your breath. Furthermore, you are quieting the mind and initiating the release of endorphins, which generate a greater sense of ease and calm. Tapping into the body and remaining present is a meditative experience.
In addition, exercise is a powerful, and completely natural, anti-depressant. It is also free, depending on what activities you enjoy. The chemical release that occurs during physical exercise is proven to be as effective as leading anti-depressant medications (without the negative side effects) when treating mild to moderate depression. “Even if it’s a temporary fix, I can count on 30 hard minutes on the Stairmaster to rescue me from my own mind,” says Rachael Messaros, outreach coordinator at the Redpoint Center.
Exercise provides structure and leads to healthy choices. Sometimes we just need a reason to get out of bed in the morning and starting the day with movement sets us up for a far better day. “When I can work exercise into my weekly routine, it provides me with a healthy structure and promotes self-care. It provides evidence that I am taking time out of the day to make a healthy decision for myself, which in turn leads to more of the same, like eating well and getting enough rest,” adds Rachael.

Exercise as a Spiritual Practice

Exercise for recovery can be a spiritual practice for many of us. While exercising in nature we are more attuned to the greater world around us. In addition, even riding the cardio bike in the class at the gym can help you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. We become more aware of a sense of connectivity.
“Nature nourishes my soul, and so do other humans working towards a similar goal,”—Rachael Massaros, Outreach Coordinator at Redpoint Center
As mentioned before, what works for one person doesn’t always resonate with another. There is however a growing body of evidence that suggests getting outside (or inside) and moving your body has significant benefits for not only physical but also mental health. Perhaps the two aren’t so different from one another in the first place.
Redpoint Center Drug Rehab 30 Days

Why is Rehab 30 Days?

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab

Why is Rehab 30 Days?

Is rehab 30 days usually because that’s how long it takes to cure an addiction? No.
Is rehab 30 days because that’s how long it takes to break or form a habit? No.
Is there scientific evidence proving that attending rehab 30 days is a sufficient amount of time for treating addiction? No.

So, why the arbitrary number then? Why does insurance cover residential treatment for 30 days or less? And once someone has completed 30 days of residential treatment, what should they do next? Counseling? Sober living? Outpatient?

Rehab 30 Days: The History

There are a few different explanations for the 28-30 day model. One article cites the Minnesota Model founded by Daniel Anderson that aimed to help alcoholics who were locked up in rooms by putting them to work on a farm for 28 days instead. Others speculate that it takes about a month for an alcoholic to stabilize in sobriety. Some cite that the 28 or 30-day model is not based on medical evidence. Instead, it is based on a model originally used by the U.S. Air Force. If men or women were away from their post for more than 30 days, their position would need to be replaced by someone else. Because the Air Force did not want to replace these positions, they had them go for only 28 days. Later, when the insurance companies began seeing the need for treatment, they looked to the Air Force to see how they were handling it. They saw that they were treating people for 28 days and followed suit. Unfortunately, this model has not been updated since, despite overwhelming evidence that 28 days is not enough time for treatment.

Efficacy of the Model

The model fails at times. Alcoholism and drug addiction are medical diagnoses that require treatment over a longer period of time than just 28 days. These diagnoses are chronic, and treatment should be a lifelong process. More and more people are coming to realize that residential rehabilitation is only the first step in treatment, and aftercare is the critical next step to ensure success. Aftercare can be anything from Intensive Outpatient Program (or IOP), sober living, individual therapy, a combination of all of the above, or other options, depending on a case-by-case basis. The good news is that many insurance companies now cover these aftercare options, usually called PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program), IOP, OP (Outpatient Program). Most insurance companies also cover individual therapy, which is important to utilize as well. It can be helpful to think of the disease of addiction similar to other more well-known diseases such as cancer. The best way to treat cancer is with many treatments over a long period of time. The same is true for addiction. Keep in mind that if the treatments for cancer aren’t working, one doesn’t just stop trying; they keep getting more treatment. We should think of addiction treatment the same way.

Redpoint is here to guide every step of the recovery process and to support the individual and their loved ones along the way. Contact us if you or someone you love needs support. We are here to help.

Redpoint Center Marijuana Facts Myths

Debunking 3 Myths About Marijuana Use

By | Addiction, Treatment
by Cody Gardner
Marijuana use is the topic of much debate. Marijuana is often regarded as a safe alternative to harder drugs. But is this based on facts? The truth is that there is concern about how safe it truly is, especially for the developing brain. There are outdated ideas about cannabis—the actual name for marijuana—and it’s good to know the myths. In addition, because of how socially acceptable cannabis is now, it’s important to be educated. In the book by Ben Cort, Weed, Inc., the cannabis industry is exposed. Along with this research, I see firsthand the impact the drug has. I work with adolescents and adults in treatment who struggle with marijuana use disorder. And it’s a difficult road for many. Furthermore, there are facts about the dangers of marijuana that everyone should know.

The Facts About Marijuana Use

 

Myth: Marijuana is natural, straight from the earth, and therefore organic
Truth: Commercial growing operations often use pesticides. Ben Cort researches the marijuana industry for a living. He tells a story in one of his Ted talks about an employee who left his job at a growing operation because the staff wore hazmat suits working with the plants. In fact, Cort says, “Pesticide levels six times the maximum allowed by the federal government have been found on plants quarantined at marijuana grow houses in Denver.”
Myth: Marijuana has the same level of THC today as it always has
Truth: Today, marijuana is often modified to increase the potency of THC. In 1996, the average level of THC in marijuana measured 5% or less. Today, 30% of THC is the norm in Colorado. Furthermore, there are now powerful concentrates with THC levels as high as 98%. There is not as much research on what higher THC levels do to the human brain. There’s a significant difference between marijuana as a plant and the THC in distillates, also known as “dabs”. Dabs contain more THC because they are highly refined from hash oil. In addition, dabs yield levels of THC up to 97%. These levels can subject the brain to damage. Also, they can be more harmful to the lungs. Along with this, it increases the risk of dependency.
Myth: Marijuana doesn’t cause psychosis or schizophrenia
Truth: Documented research concludes that “Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Hospitals have an influx of teens with drug-induced psychosis. In addition, this is correlated with High THC drugs such as dabs, and edibles.

Marijuana Use – Risks and Concerns

Current cannabis practices leave plenty of room for concern. Along with the toxic chemicals used in production, we need to be aware of the elevated levels of narcotics. In addition, due to the dubious strains and forms of the drug, you may not know what you’re really getting. Also, the developing brain is at potential risk. Therefore, if you choose to consume THC, know the medical and psychological risks. Furthermore, the marijuana industry downplays the risks of use. Similar to the 50s and 60s with the rise of Big Tobacco, credible information about THC and marijuana is harder to source. At Redpoint, we are committed to evidence-based information. Hence, it is our mission to empower our community to make educated decisions about substance use.
If you are in need of more information on this topic or others, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here for you and your loved ones. You are not alone.
Redpoint Center Alcohol Abuse Addiction Treatment

Four Lies I Told Myself About My Alcohol Abuse 

By | Alcohol rehab, Treatment

by Rachael Messaros, Director of Admissions & Marketing at Redpoint Center

Admitting Defeat: Alcohol Abuse & the Brain

Alcohol abuse is insidious. It took me time to come to grips with my addiction. In addition, it took time to see the denial in my life. We all tell ourselves stories, all the time, about why we do what we do. And some of these stories are used to justify behaviors, especially when it comes to destructive patterns. While sober, I realize that the addicted part of my brain tries to convince me to listen to these stories. Alcohol abuse and addiction start in the mind. Furthermore, these reasons I used to drink and continue drinking are really fictional — they are lies. Consequently, as we start breaking down the lies, we can get closer to healthy patterns of behavior. So, I share the lies I used to drink alcohol abusively. This may help you or someone you love to see the problem and seek help.

Lies About My Alcohol Abuse

I can quit anytime I want to, I just don’t want to.

This was an easy way to take the blame off of myself. And what’s more, I could pretend I was calling the shots in my life, when, in reality, alcohol was making all of my decisions for me. One time I decided I would not drink for 7 days. On day one, I was annoyed that I had set rules for myself and so I drank because I felt entitled to do so. It wasn’t until I finally got sober and did a lot of soul searching, 12 step work, and therapy, that I realized that my “alcoholic” brain, or my “lizard brain” was in control of my life – not my logical human brain. To me, knowing I abuse alcohol means that when I put alcohol in my body, my ‘lizard brain’ categorizes it as a necessity, much like food and water. Unfortunately, that lizard brain has a much louder voice than my logical brain and therefore I believed that I was drinking to survive. The truth is obvious – alcohol is poison, and normal people’s bodies reject poison after a few drinks. Normal people enjoy the feeling of being drunk and then stop. Mine did the opposite. No matter how many drinks I had or how many consequences I faced, my body always wanted more. Alcohol abuse takes over in the cycle of addiction. The only thing that would stop me was passing out. Inevitably, this would all start over the next day.

Everyone drinks as much as I do, if not more.

I ran with a wild crowd in college. A lot of drugs were ingested, alcohol consumed, and many illegal things took place. That being said, it always seemed like my drinking and drugging were worse than everyone else’s. When others would take some days off, I would pressure them into joining me. I would continue the never-ending “party”. None of them were arrested, none of them lost their jobs because of alcohol or drugs, and none of them were experiencing major familial and friend relationship issues. These things were only happening to me, it seemed. I later realize that not everyone drinks to blackout and pass out. Some people enjoy one glass of wine and feel content. In fact, the majority of people have a normal response to alcohol. However, this is not the case for me.

Life without alcohol is boring.

There is nothing more boring than blacking out and remembering nothing. The first concert I went to, once sober had me in tears because I couldn’t believe how incredible it was without drugs. I thought that music and concerts were only good because I was on so many drugs. That is truly not the case. Music is incredible. Furthermore, I’d go so far as to say it’s a natural drug. Experiencing life without drugs or alcohol is a beautiful thing. Sadly, many people, including myself, use (or used) alcohol or drugs as an attempt to escape reality or to make it more fun. But it only lasts so long. It may have worked for a little while, but once I realized my addictive tendencies, my life was not improving because of these substances. In fact, it was quite dark and hopeless.

You can’t be an alcoholic when you’re young.

If you can’t stop once you start, and you can’t stop starting, you have a problem. It doesn’t matter how old you are. When I got sober at 21, a lot of people made comments like “you can’t be an alcoholic at 21”, or “it’s probably just a phase, just take some time off”. I learned that once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it cannot go back to being a cucumber. I am a pickle. I know now that my body has an abnormal reaction to alcohol. I could never have just 2 or 3 drinks. Or, on the rare occasion that I did only have a few, it was miserable and I wanted more. Sometimes I joke with my friends saying, “If I could drink like a normal person, I would do it all day every day.” Herein lies the insanity. At the end of the day, the truth is, I have no desire to drink like a normal person. And this alcohol abuse pattern started when I was 18. I’m extremely grateful that I got out of the grips of this at such a young age and didn’t have to get into serious trouble. I know people who face serious consequences.
If you get really honest with yourself and take a good look at whether you are in charge or if the drugs or alcohol are in charge, and you see that they are in fact in charge, get in touch with us. We have a lot of experience with this here at The Redpoint Center. We know how scary it can be to acknowledge it’s time to stop, but you are not alone. What’s more, this is a curable disease.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
What to Expect in Longmont and Boulder Sober Living

Longmont and Boulder Sober Living – What to Expect

By | Addiction, Community, Mental Health

You or a loved one has completed residential treatment, now what? First of all, congratulations. Taking and completing that step is a huge one in and of itself. Typically the next step on the road of recovery after rehab is a sober living environment. A sober living home is a supervised, structured space in which folks new to recovery live. Accountability and monitoring are key components to what makes a sober living environment work effectively. In addition, these elements are key to help people stay sober throughout the transition between residential treatment and independent living.

How Does Sober Living Work

Sober living homes provide a safe, structured environment for individuals to learn how to thrive in recovery. These homes are a vital part of the recovery process. Often, those new to recovery start to get back to daily living while in a sober house. In addition, sober homes provide camaraderie and peer support. Studies show that sober homes can increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.

How long do people stay in sober living? There is no set answer to this question. Some people are in sober living for as many as two years, some as short as a few months. Different people need varying levels of accountability and monitoring. Furthermore, a supportive living environment offers different lengths of time because some need more or less structured than others. Hence, the main idea of sober living is a group environment to learn how to practice the tools learned in treatment before living independently.

How to Find a Quality Longmont or Boulder Sober Living House

Professionals, especially clinicians and staff at inpatient or intensive outpatient programs are great resources to rely on. In fact, professional services are ideal when navigating your needs or the needs of your loved one. Those in the recovery field have experience with the varied types of programs and can make the best recommendation based on the individual.

Sober living homes are often helpful to live in when a person is in an intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization program. In addition, IOP or PHP helps to provide safety and understanding while that person is continuing therapeutic work at the treatment level. Peer support and safe housing is often recommended by a treatment team at this stage because of the risks associated with immediately going back to life as we once knew it. Consequently, when we return the same environment in which we were living prior to treatment, it can be stressful. Also, we may feel loneliness, misunderstanding, or simply have too much responsibility too soon.

Sober Houses = Healthy Living

Colorado-based recovery speaker Don C. often likens this process to the replanting of a dying tree into new soil. If a tree is dying, the soil in which it exists is often unhealthy. To rehabilitate that tree, one must relocate that same tree into new, healthy soil. Often, when that tree is relocated, it tends to thrive and pick up the nutrients from the new soil. Sober homes can be thought of in a similar way. It is the new soil and environment in which someone can begin to build their new life in recovery, rich in the nutrients of daily peer support, and monitoring. Hence, one builds the life skills needed to operate successfully in the world. Community and accountability are two keys to early recovery. A sober house is often the right choice for a person in early recovery to transition back to independence.