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Mental Health

Understanding the Effects of AUD

Understanding the Effects of AUD

By Mental Health

Alcohol has many effects on an individual, with profound consequences if an individual does not moderate the frequency or amount of alcohol ingested. However, there are many long-term effects of alcohol use in addition to its short-term dangers. Those overcoming alcohol use disorder (AUD) may experience a number of challenges related to their use of the addictive substance. Understanding the effects of AUD is paramount, not only for creating a comprehensive recovery plan but also for loved ones to understand the challenges of the healing journey ahead for the most effective communication and support during this transformation.

Understanding the Effects of AUD as a Disease

Addiction is devastating to entire families, with alcohol being a common addictive substance used. It can be difficult for families to understand the disease while also having such an emotional connection with a loved one with AUD. However, understanding AUD as a disease is paramount for creating a healthy approach to healing as a family.

First, addiction is not a kind of moral failing of any kind, nor is it the product of ill wishes. Many of those who engage with addictive substances do not do so out of malice or with the intent to harm another, despite any prevalent feelings. While feelings of resentment are common among families with at least one member overcoming AUD, it is important to understand that a loved one does not continue to engage with the substance with malintent. A loved one themselves may still feel great regret, shame, and more while engaging with the substance, and may even feel compelled to continue using alcohol against their own wishes or better judgment.

Rather than holding on to blame, resentment, and other feelings that may hinder the healing process, approaching AUD as a disease that needs to be overcome together is necessary to begin the journey to familial healing.

Persistent use of alcohol can hijack the brain’s own normal processes and functions, and many of those overcoming addiction may feel that the use of drugs or alcohol is as necessary to their life or emotional state as much as eating or drinking, and may sacrifice other areas of their lives in order to fulfill these basic survival needs. Working together to change this idea and address the physical and chemical effects of alcohol use is paramount.

Recognizing the Signs of AUD

AUD can manifest in various ways, and may not affect each individual in exactly the same manner. Knowing the signs of AUD is necessary in order to know when to pursue the proper treatment. Being cognizant of the various signs of AUD is necessary for the most proactive approach to recovery and sobriety.

Some of the possible signs or symptoms of AUD include:

  • Feeling the need to engage with alcohol multiple times a week
  • Being unable to stop drinking once beginning, even if an individual does not drink often
  • Increased feelings of anxiety, depression, or mood swings if unable to engage with alcohol
  • Other withdrawal symptoms
  • Creating daily routines around the availability of alcohol
  • Difficulty managing other responsibilities or obligations, such as at-home responsibilities or professional tasks
  • Continuing to engage with alcohol, even after experiencing negative consequences
  • Engaging with alcohol at inappropriate times, such as gatherings where alcohol is not otherwise offered
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior
  • Feelings of shame or guilt following the use of alcohol, but continuing to use it anyway
  • The use of alcohol to cope with anxiety or depression, even if the use of alcohol is causing such emotions
  • Feeling the need to use more alcohol to achieve similar intended effects as before

It is not necessary for all of these signs to be present for an individual to benefit from professional help for overcoming their use of alcohol. Rather, talking to a loved one and dedicated treatment facilities can be necessary when observing only some signs.

Each of these effects of AUD can fundamentally affect a person’s personal and professional life in equal measure. Missing work to engage with alcohol or as a result of a hangover is common, just as much as changing relationships and emotional states. AUD is a devastating disease that can continue to develop until professionally addressed. Overcoming its effects is incredibly difficult on one’s own. Professional treatment and communities, such as those available at Redpoint, are instrumental in addressing the use of alcohol and its impact on each person’s life as a whole.

Finding Treatment for Overcoming the Effects of AUD

AUD is incredibly complex, with many emotions, physical needs, emotional needs, and more. Overcoming the effects of AUD takes professional and comprehensive support. From education and personalized outpatient care to creating new life routines, skills, and strategies to cope with the emotional and familial impact of AUD, Redpoint takes a unique and comprehensive approach to a sober life. Identifying the signs of AUD is just the first step in a long recovery journey, but a community of peers and an array of trained staff are available to help individuals and families heal from its effects for a healthier, happier life.

Alcohol can be wholly detrimental when its use begins to usurp and replace other needs and responsibilities, and overcoming AUD can be incredibly complex. At Redpoint, we understand the difficulties and stresses inherent in the recovery process and are prepared to help you take your recovery and sobriety into your own hands. We combine professional support and effective, supportive communities in our dedicated outpatient programs, allowing you to pursue a healthy sobriety while managing your life outside of the facility. With multiple locations and programs across Colorado, we are committed to helping you find your best approach to a healthy future. For more information on how we can help you, call to speak to us today at (303) 710-8496.

Incorporating Mindfulness Outside of Treatment

Incorporating Mindfulness Outside of Treatment

By Mental Health, Treatment

Overcoming addiction is an ongoing process. Those navigating their sobriety in outpatient treatment will be tasked with balancing their personal lives with their continued sober efforts. Mindfulness is a core part of managing this balance, helping those in recovery address prevalent urges and cravings while gaining a better understanding of their own emotions, needs, and progress. Recovery is a wholly transformative experience, and incorporating mindfulness practices outside the walls of a treatment facility is crucial for maintaining these changes for a healthy and sober future.

What Is Mindfulness?

Effective mindfulness practices are an integral part of effective recovery efforts and can take many forms depending on what works best for each individual. Mindfulness is any kind of exercise or activity that helps an individual focus on their own current physical and emotional state in the present moment, all while helping them better identify and overcome challenging emotional states or stresses safely. Being able to live in the present moment while becoming more cognizant of their emotional state is essential for managing the stresses and challenges of ongoing recovery.

Accepting the reality of the present situation, both emotionally and physically, is necessary to better identify and address personal stresses and navigate urges, cravings, and more in the journey through maintaining a person’s hard-earned sobriety. While professional outpatient treatment programs utilize mindfulness strategies during recovery sessions, mindfulness practices are most effective when employed consistently throughout daily life. Using mindfulness practices both during professional treatment programs and outside the walls of a treatment facility is necessary to make the most of their healing potential.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Daily Life

Those in recovery can benefit greatly from the regular use of personalized mindfulness strategies. Being able to calmly (emotionally and physically) resituate oneself throughout the day has many benefits, helping to not only quell difficult feelings or urges but also to best help identify particular stresses that may impact an individual’s sobriety and mental health. Regular use of mindfulness practices can empower those in recovery to better understand, confront, and overcome the challenges common throughout the recovery process while maintaining a sober life.

Each individual will have their own best practices. Finding the techniques that work best for each individual will be a personal journey. Exploring various techniques can ensure that there are always opportunities to explore effective mindfulness practices.

Use the Structures in Treatment

Professional outpatient treatment offers many unique ways to approach mindfulness practices, and bringing these practices to life outside of the treatment facility can ensure they stay practiced, effective, and consistent. Practices like meditation, yoga, and personalized techniques can all be first explored in outpatient treatment. These strategies can be easily transposed into a person’s life outside of the walls of the treatment facility. For those still uncertain about their own best practices, using the structures and guidance of professionals can be instrumental in ensuring that they still have access to effective strategies.

Incorporating Mindfulness in Morning Routines

Morning routines are instrumental for starting the day off right. Incorporating mindfulness into these daily routines can help each individual comfortably situate themselves before taking on the challenges and stresses of the day ahead. Feeling cold tile beneath a person’s foot while brushing their teeth or taking a moment to relax and pay attention to one’s breathing, heartbeat, or any tension are all great ways to start the day, informing an individual of their emotional state to take appropriate action. For some, this can inform the need and use of other coping strategies, while others may use this time to clear their minds and prepare for any personal or professional stresses.

Utilizing Breathing Techniques

Breathing is a strange thing to need to “practice,” but utilizing breathing techniques with a focus on mindfulness is a powerful strategy when rehearsed. Effective breathing techniques incorporate the entire body, forcing an individual to focus on their breaths, counting, releasing, and more. Some may use these techniques to calm their nerves or other physical challenges, while others may benefit from the time used to avoid compulsive behavior in the face of stress. Using the 3-3-3 technique in inhaling for three seconds, holding for three seconds, and exhaling for three seconds, can help increase a person’s awareness of their own body and process their present state in a healthy way.

Situating Yourself in Your Environment

Other mindfulness practices help an individual by situating them in their physical environment. Anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, and more are all common among those overcoming addiction. Being able to have an accurate understanding of a person’s current environment at any moment in time is necessary for challenging and contextualizing difficult feelings. Naming objects in the vicinity, touching and feeling a chair or trinkets in reach, and other tactile practices can all help an individual focus on their feelings of touch and get a better understanding of their present environments, challenging stress, anxiety, and more.

Finding Your Best Practices

There are many different ways to incorporate mindfulness in daily life beyond these introductions. For some, the use of yoga, meditation, and other methods can all be great ways to gain a better understanding of themselves. Others may prefer physical outlets like sports to gain a deeper insight into their bodies and minds while processing stress. Constantly exploring new opportunities is part of the constant evolution needed for a sustainable and successful recovery.

Mindfulness practices can make for a truly comprehensive and healthy approach to recovery and sobriety. Redpoint is ready and able to help you explore your own best mindfulness strategies while overcoming addiction, mental health, or any other personal challenges that you may face in your journey to a healthier life. We employ a personal approach to each individual, combining the strategies that work best for you and helping you transpose these effective strategies to your life outside our walls. Mindfulness is just the first step in creating a comprehensive set of skills and strategies to maintain the powerful transformations made throughout recovery. For more information on how we can help you, call to speak to us at (303) 710-8496.

Balancing Work Life and Sobriety Through IOPs

Balancing Work Life and Sobriety Through IOPs

By Mental Health

Pursuing a life of sobriety is an amazing experience. However, taking time off work to commit to treatment can be incredibly intimidating for many. It can leave an individual feeling like they have to choose between sobriety and professional life.

Taking time off can be challenging, either because of fear of how it will affect a person’s employment or if they feel they cannot take it for financial reasons. While there are protections in place for an individual to pursue treatment while maintaining their employment status, outpatient treatment can provide the resources, structure, and education to facilitate a sober life while continuing to address the need for sobriety and change.

The Importance of Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) help individuals navigate their journey to sobriety and overcome challenges, urges, cravings, prevalent emotional challenges, and mental health disorders. Individuals can address these needs with professionals and peers while still maintaining their daily life outside the treatment facility.

Those engaging in dedicated outpatient programs will attend meetings at the facility for individual, group, and experiential therapies and other forms of support at a predetermined time. This approach allows each person to continue exploring their sober practices and personal life while doing the following:

  • Building relationships with peers
  • Developing effective techniques to balance work stresses
  • Furthering a culture of healing

Working professionals can best utilize IOPs to balance their sobriety with their professional development. The community and flexibility available at Redpoint can create a program to help each individual work towards their goals while tending to personal needs and professional responsibilities.

Creating Your Own Recovery and Work Schedule

Managing an effective schedule can be one of the most challenging parts of continuing to tend to an individual’s dedicated sober efforts throughout daily life. Workplace schedules can make it challenging for individuals to find time for themselves and their needs.

Those working inconsistent schedules or shifts can find these challenges further exacerbated. The IOP structure at Redpoint is designed to fit the needs of the individual and work around their schedule to ensure that there is always an opportunity to engage in effective treatment for overcoming addiction.

With programs available both in the morning for those working nights or in the afternoon for those working earlier day shifts, each individual can choose the best schedule. This way, they can create a personalized approach to recovery with pertinent skills and strategies. Additionally, individuals can create a personalized approach to creating the most effective schedule.

Those in recovery can also fluctuate between different times for their program to adjust to their changing work schedules to ensure that each individual always has access to the care needed. Coupled with the ability to keep weekends with the family and to schedule around any familial traditions, such as family game nights, this malleable approach to addiction treatment can be instrumental for pursuing treatment while still tending to professional life and personal life.

A Resource for Overcoming the Stresses of Work

Sobriety is a complex thing to achieve and maintain. Those overcoming their use of drugs or alcohol while at work can be under a lot of stress. A person’s work can greatly influence their continued sobriety in the following ways:

  • Urges and cravings to reengage with destructive substances
  • Coping with the inherent and trying stresses of the workplace
  • Pending deadlines
  • Responsibilities
  • Expectations
  • Responsibilities
  • Less than understanding or challenging coworkers

Surprise overtime, stressful workplace confrontations, and even learning to navigate work holiday parties where the use of addictive substances may be accepted and celebrated can all be challenging situations for those in recovery. However, IOPs are an invaluable resource for overcoming these stresses alongside supportive and understanding peers.

IOPs provide a space to empower individuals to continue focusing on their sobriety while also exploring how these stresses impact their recovery. Developing new strategies for processing workplace stress, embracing new self-care routines, and having an opportunity to explore these strategies in IOPs before putting them into practice in a real-world professional setting can be a truly transformative experience.

Coping with the stresses at work, and understanding how these stresses can continue to affect an individual’s health outside of the workplace, can be best addressed in IOPs while directly challenging these feelings in a safe and supportive environment.

Creating Your Structure

IOPs are flexible enough to help working professionals manage their daily life while still having access to dedicated addiction treatment. The structure and time-management skills practiced in maintaining this balance are also instrumental life skills outside the treatment facility. Having the schedule and structure to build a new life of sobriety around can be an amazing resource. Those in recovery can continue to spend time with family and friends and tend to professional responsibilities while committing to a truly effective IOP for a healthier, sober life.

Outpatient treatment programs are instrumental in getting each person the necessary treatment for overcoming addiction without impeding professional responsibilities. Balancing work life and continued sobriety is difficult, and Redpoint is committed to helping you take the necessary steps toward your sobriety while continuing to tend to these responsibilities. Our flexible schedule and personalized approach to every treatment program are designed to empower those in recovery to take their recovery into their own hands, developing their most effective strategies and schedule while providing education, support, and practical strategies to continue navigating the stresses of the workplace. For more information on how we can develop a program that is right for you, call to speak to us at (303) 710-8496.

Spiritual Awakening Through Recovery From Addiction

By Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Before I got sober, I had a pretty negative outlook on religion. I thought it was just a bunch of rules and regulations with no real substance. But as I progressed in my recovery, I started to see how spirituality could be an integral part of the process—something that gave me hope and helped me stay focused on my goal of remaining sober.

When I first entered recovery, the idea of finding spirituality through religion didn’t seem appealing to me. After all, religion had been something that caused me a lot of pain and hurt in the past. However, as time went on and I got more involved in the recovery community, I realized that there was something deeper to spiritual awakening than just dogma and doctrine.

The main thing that helped me make peace with religion was learning about the concept of “Higher Power” or “God” – whatever name works for you. This is an idea that can be interpreted in many different ways, but essentially it boils down to believing in some kind of power greater than yourself that can help guide you through difficult times and provide you with strength when you need it most. For me, this meant learning to trust myself and others around me—something that was incredibly hard for me to do before getting sober.

I also began to understand how important belief systems are for people in recovery. Having a strong set of beliefs can give us the foundation we need to stay on track with our sobriety goals and help us cope with life’s challenges without turning back to drugs or alcohol as a crutch. Even if those beliefs don’t include traditional religious values, having something like meditation or mindfulness practices can provide us with a sense of peace and connection that we might not have found any other way.

As someone who used to be skeptical about religious principles, I now understand how they can be helpful when it comes to recovering from addiction. It’s amazing how much we can learn about ourselves when we open our minds up to new ideas and experiences! Spiritual awakening doesn’t have to come from any one particular place; instead it’s an individual journey where each person finds their own path towards inner peace and joy. No matter what your beliefs may be, taking time each day for self-reflection can provide great insight into your personal journey away from addiction towards wellness and health!

The Good Thing About Feeling Bad

By Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

A potentially hollow greeting most of us hear on a near-daily basis: “How are you?” sets us up for failure without question. This is because most often we respond with “good,” “fine,” or my personal favorite “living the dream!” Unfortunately, the number of times I’ve answered this question I was not actually living the dream, most often I felt quite different on the inside but was too scared to answer their question honestly. When we hear this question, we so often have our “real” answer and one that we want to share, and due to social constructs and anxiety, we often avoid sharing any negative or “bad” experience when that is truly where we are at. Why do we do this? What makes us scared of living up to our authentic selves when given the opportunity by someone to share how we are doing? Unless it is the case where this person doesn’t want to know how we truly are doing (DUN DUN DUUUUUN). Although this may be true, the underlying experience of the question surrounds an underlying experience that many of us have in common, we don’t want to admit to others that we feel “bad.” 


When people share, they feel bad or “not good” has always left me with a strong question mark over my head, but something we all can admit we’ve experienced. Bad is a human experience that includes so much, including rejection, sad, grieving, anger, anxiety, and so much more. When we feel the tightness of our chest from anxiety, the hot sweaty rush to our head from anger, or the overwhelming heaviness that is grief; we boil it down to one simple word: “bad.” Although this word could come across as all-encompassing, it leaves out a strong long-term implication of each of these emotions, in that none of them are bad. Each of these emotions, although loaded with fear and stress, they serve very specific functions for our bodies, minds, and souls to help us grow, learn about ourselves, and develop resiliency for the future. My hope in writing this blog today is to identify where these fear-based experiences stem from, the factors that influence them, and in turn reframe the experience of these emotions away from bad and into a better understanding of how much good they can do for us in hopes of promoting better self-love and acceptance for all parts of our experience, despite how much they can hurt at times.  


What are good and bad emotions? Most stereotypically we often associate good with happy, excited, content, joy, love, or satisfied. We are taught to seek these experiences as our purpose in life, in that we should always seek to feel these things to be satisfied with life. When we have this expectation, black-and-white thinking is present, leading us to perceive any other experience to be bad. But where does this experience stem from? One major factor that is often discussed is underlying messages from the media that we consume. This has influenced the internalization of high expectations by presenting people doing well with strong connections, love, admiration, and self-confidence. When characters do not have this, we often experience the exact opposite, disconnection and hatred from others. Due to us being social beings, we fear the exile of disconnection. An example of this would be how movies and TV shows instill messages of how we “should” feel about emotions. Imagine the common scenario of a high school lunchroom and the new kid is walking around trying to find a spot, when watching it we feel our skin crawl and heart race in embarrassment for that kiddo. Inevitably that kid escapes the situation by skipping lunch, eating in the bathroom, or eating by themselves. In this, we learn not only the physical reactions to that situation, but we recognize that embarrassment is bad and something to escape. This situation is one among so many that we covertly learn how to feel each time we watch TV, a movie, or even listen to some music. 


Another major factor that influences this dichotomous thinking is attachment perceptions growing up. Our early experiences have a strong influence on the way we interact with both ourselves and others in that the messages we receive when expressing our emotions throughout our life. If I receive the message growing up that when I act happy, content, or calm I get to experience love, affection, and compassion from others, specifically parent or guardian figures. However, on the contrary, if I learn that if I show anger, fear, or anxiety and that leads to disconnection or personal failure, then I am going to avoid with every fiber of my being to stay connected to those around me by being “good.” Even if this comes with long-term consequences of increased anxiety, depression, trauma, and even physical problems such as heart disease or cancer. This strong aversion to any negative feelings will enable us to attempt to avoid sharing our negative feelings with others, because long story short, we believe it will end with rejection from others, leading to us rejecting crucial parts of ourselves. We hope for a better connection with others, but because we hide parts of ourselves, we end up disconnecting from everything and everyone. This rejection can make us walk away with stories or narratives about ourselves that are rooted in shame, negativity, and just aren’t true. 


One thing that is often lost when it comes to “bad” emotions is the incredible functionality of them and how much they help us. Whether it’s anger giving us the strength and adrenaline to state and uphold our boundaries and protect ourselves or sadness allowing us to recognize the underlying hurt and suffering that we hold, these emotions allow us to feel most connected to ourselves. On another side of things, they allow others to better understand what our needs are! If you’re with a friend or loved one and they begin to cry, we automatically know that they need connection and compassion. This is an innate human experience and the more these underlying cultural and attachment narratives tell us things like sadness or anger are bad, the more we disconnect from others, ourselves, and our needs. 


So, if I learned to hide all my negative feelings growing up and disconnect from myself does that mean I’m just screwed? Of course not! The beauty of the situation is there is still time to change our perceptions and embrace all parts of ourselves using corrective emotional experiences. This comes in two different forms, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Interpersonal corrective experiences come from our interactions with other people, meaning giving all parts of ourselves and specifically our nervous systems experiences that challenge the underlying narratives. For example, if a child grows up experiencing emotional neglect from their parents when they experience anger, shame, or fear, they could walk away with the belief that they are undeserving of love or there is something innately wrong about them. This can enable this child throughout their life to disconnect from others by pushing them away or using substances/behaviors to rupture relationships. This happens because these underlying narratives are so strong that they convince us all the way down to our innate bodily experiences that we will be rejected, so we need to push them away before they can hurt us. A corrective experience can look like allowing our example person (whether still in childhood or as an adult) to experience both their negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, shame) and still retain the relationship and not experience rejection. Although this is a vulnerable experience, over time it can change the underlying narrative if they experience negative emotions and still get their needs met. On the other side of this intrapersonal corrective emotional experiences stem from our internal experience and can look like strongly internalized self-love and compassion. Essentially giving the same acceptance and care from our example of an interpersonal corrective experience and make it all our own acceptance and compassion of ourselves when we feel negative. 


These experiences show the beauty and “good” that comes from “bad” emotions. Although we can be taught by family, media, school, and friend groups that these bad emotions are something to avoid or to be shameful of, they are the innate thing that helps us grow. The more we reject parts of our own experience, the more we disconnect from ourselves and others and in turn, the worse things get. I encourage anyone reading this to be more curious about your negative emotions. What are they there for? How do they make you feel physically? Get to know and accept all parts of yourself and I hope the negative parts feel lighter because of it. 


Staying Sober During the Holidays

By Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Community, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

The holidays can be a joyous time of year for most, but for those struggling with substance abuse, it can present a unique set of challenges. With the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easy to slip back into old habits. However, with the right strategies, you can stay sober during the holidays and still enjoy the festivities. There are many ways to stay healthy and happy during the holiday season, from attending support group meetings to setting realistic goals for yourself. By taking the time to plan ahead and create a solid foundation for yourself, you can stay sober and enjoy the holidays without the risk of relapse. With the right attitude and the right tools, you can make the most of the season and have a sober and happy holiday.


Learn To Enjoy Yourself

When we let life pass us by while we’re focused on our next drink, we miss out on a lot of things. Substance abuse doesn’t just impact your health, but it also impacts your relationships, your finances, and your ability to be productive and happy in life. By letting your drinking consume you, you miss out on all of the other aspects of life that make it worth living. Spending time with friends and family, exploring new hobbies, or pursuing a passion are all great ways to let go of the stress of the season and just enjoy the moment. Creating new traditions or building on old ones is another great way to focus on enjoying the season. By taking time to appreciate the traditions you grew up with and adding your own spin to them, you can create new memories to cherish for years to come.


Focus on Gratitude

One of the best ways to stay happy during the holidays is to shift your focus from negativity to gratitude. Instead of dwelling on the stress of the season or the fact that you don’t have enough time to get everything done, focus on what you have to be thankful for. This can be as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for each day or setting aside time to help someone in need. By taking time to be thankful for the things in life you have, you shift your focus away from being overwhelmed by the things you don’t have time for or the things you’re lacking. This can help you stay grounded and use the holiday season as an opportunity to give back to others.


Use the Time to Give Back To Others

While the holidays can be a great time to spend with loved ones, it can also be a busy and stressful season. By taking the time to give back to others in need, you can shift the focus of the season away from your own stress and create a positive impact in the world. Whether you volunteer at a soup kitchen, collect toys for children in need, or help make decorations for someone’s house, giving back at this time of year is a great way to stay healthy and happy. The holidays are a perfect time to do this, as many organizations are in need of help during this busy time of year. Taking the time to help others is one of the best ways to stay focused on gratitude and stay healthy and happy during the season.


Let Yourself Get Swept Up in the Season

While it’s important to stay focused on staying healthy and happy, it’s also important to let yourself get swept up in the holiday spirit. By letting yourself get lost in the season, you can make the most of the festivities while staying sober. You can do this by creating a fun holiday schedule for yourself, setting goals for the season, and accepting help when needed. By setting goals for yourself during this busy time of year, such as attending a certain number of events or finishing a project you’ve been working on, you can use this as a motivator to stay on track with your health and happiness goals. Being open to receiving help when needed is another great way to stay happy and healthy during this busy time of year.


With all of the festivities, family gatherings, and temptations, it can be difficult to remain committed to sobriety. However, with the right strategies and support, it is possible to stay healthy and happy throughout the holiday season. By developing self-awareness, having an open dialogue with family and friends, and creating a safe environment, those in recovery can stay on the right track. This article will explore the different strategies for staying sober during the holidays, and how to stay healthy and happy while doing so.

Meditation for People Who Hate Meditating

By Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Community, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Most people are aware of the benefits that mediation brings; reduced stress and anxiety, increased self-awareness, improved memory and sleep, just to name a few. Nobody is going to argue that focusing the mind and practicing mindfulness isn’t a good thing. The problem is that for many, the path to finding that quiet place seems to be very narrow. A lot of people have an idea in their head about what mediation is: sitting quietly, alone, and turning off your thoughts for extended periods of time. While this is certainly one method that many use to practice mediation, the reality is that it does not work for everybody. The good news is that there are an almost infinite number of ways that someone can practice getting out of their own head and practicing mindfulness. Here are just three examples of meditative practices for people who hate meditating.

Mindful Cooking

 This isn’t the hurried meal that gets thrown together after a long day at work. It’s crucial to not rush when practicing mindful cooking in order for it to be a contemplative and soothing activity. Just as you would make time to exercise, set aside some time to prepare a meal. Consider cooking as a form of self-care rather than a duty. By approaching meal preparation in this manner, you may immerse yourself in it rather than just concentrating on getting it done. The goal of meditation is to enjoy the journey.

Of course, you get to eat what you make. That is the best aspect of mindful cooking. Traditional meditation certainly has many health advantages, but those advantages are not often as apparent as the immediate enjoyment of a wonderful meal. Feel good about yourself since you not only made time for yourself to unwind, but you also prepared a satisfying meal. The best way to nourish both your body and mind is to thoughtfully prepare your food.

The process of cooking a meal intuitively incorporates all five of the senses. Be intentional about paying attention to them during the activity. The sounds of the knife hitting the cutting board, the smells of the onions sautéing, the feel of the dough in your fingers. Cooking a meal is the perfect space to connect with yourself and your surroundings using your senses.



 Mindful exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Even though rhythmic exercise alone can help you reduce stress, the benefits increase if you practice mindfulness at the same time.

In order to engage in mindful exercise, you must be totally present in the moment—paying attention to how your body feels rather than your regular cares or anxieties. Concentrate on the feelings in your limbs and how your breathing accompanies your movement to “switch off” your thoughts.

Focus on the physicality of each step when you’re walking or running, for instance—the sensation of your feet contacting the ground, and the rhythm of your breathing as you move. If you find that your mind starts to wonder, try to bring them back to your breathing and movement.



A good jigsaw puzzle can be captivating, whether you’re finishing it by yourself or with family or friends. They also promote mindfulness and assist with brain function, which are both long-lasting advantages. Being mindful involves paying attention to our bodies’ current activities and our feelings. In today’s quick-paced, technologically dependent environment, it’s a useful ability to have.

The level of thought, patience, and focus required by puzzles is sure to stretch the intellect. It’s meditative and enjoyable to focus while sorting among the pieces or gazing at the image for extended periods of time. Our brains release dopamine as we put two puzzle pieces together, which enhances our motivation, mood, and memory.

Spending hours putting together hundreds of puzzle pieces may seem like a mindless activity but can in fact be a great exercise in mindfulness if some intentionality is incorporated. Think about the challenge in front of you and understand that no external or internal factors are going to affect the end result of this project in front of you. Allow yourself to get lost and forget what time it is, enjoy your heart rate slowing down. Enjoy the process.



Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

By Addiction, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Treatment

As of today, marijuana is legal for recreational use in twenty states.  While cannabis may have some legitimate medical benefits, the reality is that for many, there can be serious medical side effects that come with heavy use, including anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosis.

More frequent marijuana use is linked to an increased risk of psychosis, or losing contact with reality, according to research. Now, a new study that was just released in The Lancet Psychiatry shows that regular marijuana use—especially regular use of high-potency cannabis—increases the risk of later experiencing a psychotic episode.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in cannabis that gives the drug its psychoactive properties. According to the study’s authors, high-potency cannabis is defined as products with more than 10% of this chemical. The fact that ingesting high-THC cannabis products has a greater risk is troubling because these products are increasingly widespread in the market presently.

Because they contain bigger amounts of resin than a typical Cannabis flower, extracts and concentrates are more potent than a flower. Resins, the separated active components of marijuana, have 3 to 5 times more THC than a marijuana plant, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Symptoms of cannabis-induced psychosis:


  • Delusions – characterized as fixed and false beliefs that contradict reality
  • Hallucinations – a false perception of objects or events involving your senses
  • Dissociation – a mental process of disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, memories, or sense of identity
  • Disorganized thoughts – thoughts lose almost all connections with one another and become disconnected and disjointed
  • Affect and behavioral changes – alterations or adjustments of behavior that affect functioning


Three separate types of cannabis-induced psychosis can occur: acute psychosis while under the influence, acute psychosis following the drug’s intoxicating effects, and long-term chronic psychosis. Some users will continue to have episodes of psychosis after the drug has worn off, despite the fact that some psychotic effects (hearing or seeing things) are rather frequent during intoxication. Within a month or so, these signs and symptoms usually go away. For those who use marijuana frequently or chronically, especially high-potency marijuana, this poses an obvious difficulty.

The user finds these symptoms unpleasant, and a family finds them frightening. We advise quitting marijuana use and getting professional assistance if you or a family member is having a psychotic episode or any of the aforementioned symptoms while also using it. If you live anywhere close to Longmont or Fort Collins, give us a call at 888-509-3153 to arrange a consultation. If not, look for a local treatment center or seek a  healthcare professional’s advice.



The Importance of Community in Recovery

By Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Misc, Treatment

When somebody is trying to recover from a battle with drugs and alcohol, there are several things that need to be addressed.  Physically, the drugs and alcohol need to leave the body and the person needs some time to heal.  There is often a need for clinical or therapeutic work so that the recovering addict and start to understand themselves and their relationship with drugs on a deeper level.

There is one piece of the recovery process that is often overlooked: the need for community.  Active addiction can be a very lonely place, and sometimes those who are experiencing that loneliness forget about the importance of human connection.  There are so many benefits to sharing experiences with other people, all of which can lead to a better understanding of oneself and one’s importance to society.

Isolation Is A Menace

The need to withdraw leaves us trapped in the grip of our addiction with little hope of recovery. The problem with isolating ourselves while we are still actively abusing drugs is that we keep reinforcing the lies the drug is telling us. The drug convinces us that we must have it to exist. We have to block everyone and everything out of our hearts and brains in order to keep that outlet in our life.

We need forms of social connection that provide coping skills, support, and opportunity for a healthy lifestyle because humans are, by nature, social beings. Disconnection can worsen melancholy, sleeplessness, low self-esteem, worry, and stress. Even if it’s only a small group of people, having a strong support system is crucial.

Leaning On Others

An important realization in early recovery is the understanding that you are not alone.  The idea that there could be others out there who understand the pain and misery that you’ve gone through, and have even experienced it themselves, is truly liberating.  The walls that are built up during the isolation of active addiction and be torn down, and the benefit of shared group experience can be utilized.

During the healing process, developing relationships with others can help you write a new chapter in your life.  When people in recovery surround themselves with healthy, like-minded individuals it creates a space for them to learn more about themselves and others.  The opportunity to openly exchange ideas and information with people who have the best interests of others in mind is an invaluable tool for growth.

A Whole New Life

Change is not necessarily comfortable for anyone, and that is often especially true for addicts.  Part of what keeps people in active addiction is the inability to break free from the lifestyle and routines that have been developed.  Despite the dangers inherent in the day-to-day activities of a using addict, many tend to find comfort in that familiar minutiae.

Ceasing the use of drugs and alcohol is often just the first step on the road to living a health lifestyle.  When the brain fog caused by substance abuse is cleared, mental and physical health can become more of a priority.  Yoga, exercise, and meditation are just a few examples of practices that can lead to someone become wholly healthy after getting sober.  Whatever mental, physical, and spiritual health looks like to each individual; the excitement comes in finding what speaks to you.  A life free from the bonds of active addiction provides an opportunity to create new routines and participate in new activities that promote a healthy mind and healthy life.

Giving It Back

When people are in the midst of a battle with drugs and alcohol, their thoughts and actions often become singularly focused on doing whatever necessary is to maintain the addiction.
The ways that the addiction is kept alive are often highlighted by thoughts and actions that are most accurately described as selfish and self-centered. The need to escape becomes so consuming that it can be difficult for addicts to make the basic needs of other people, or even themselves, a priority.

Many people find that one of the greatest joys of recovery is the renewed pleasure that is found in getting outside of oneself and helping others. Doing things from a place of selflessness and a desire to help others can keep the passion for recovery alive. In short: giving back can keep you sober. The best part is that there is no limit to the ways that people can be of service and help others. Whether that is service work within a recovery community, doing volunteer work, or simply sharing experience and hope with someone in need, the opportunities to give back are almost infinite.

Asking For Help in Recovery

By Addiction, Featured, Mental Health, Therapy

Asking For—and Accepting Help

Asking for help is not easy. In a lot of ways, it means letting go. In addition, many of us were taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Asking for help might feel like the opposite of self-reliance. But that’s a myth. What’s more, it’s one we need to break.

For many in recovery, the term surrender is common. But what does it really mean? Surrender is usually experienced involuntarily at first. We find ourselves in the midst of another personal mess, bender, hangover, or some other mistake. As a result, we are helpless—our egos bruised so much that for a single moment we surrender to the thought: I need help. As time passes, however, it is all too common for our tough exterior, ego voice, to kick in and say, “I can handle it. I’ll never get that bad again.” This leads us to the same cycles of addiction and isolation. So how do we accept support?

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Why We All Need Help

No one wants to struggle and feel like they can’t do it alone. Culturally, it can make us feel weak or impotent. Also, vulnerability is scary. It takes courage to share our pains and sorrows. But when we find ourselves in this position, momentary surrender can save our lives. And asking for help provides a gateway to vulnerability and courage. Our society today praises independence, being self-made, and fighting for what we earn. It feels good to be responsible and on top of our own lives. However, as many experience in addiction or mental health struggles, pulling yourself out of these dilemmas alone can feel impossible. In earlier times, the individual could not survive without the tribe. The safety, camaraderie, and power of the group allow for the conditions of survival. Biologically, we are no different than our ancestors. Sometimes, we need people. And it’s truly okay to need help.

Quieting the Ego

The ego is the voice in our heads that defines our sense of self and the surrounding world. It assigns this meaning based on the past. Furthermore, the ego is influenced by childhood experiences and can impact the way we feel about ourselves and others. In addition, if we are not aware of it, it can drive our behaviors, sometimes into the ground. Depending on what kinds of experiences we had as a child, how we were spoken to, and what beliefs were instilled, we may have a healthy sense of balanced ego-awareness or a distorted one. When the ego is distorted, through abuse, neglect, emotional abandonment, or unhealthy attachment, it is traumatized. This trauma influences our lives. It can isolate us, it can mean we project our fears and insecurities onto others, it can tell us we’re not enough. Therefore, when we dwell in the ego state, we isolate. We don’t ask for help or reach out when hurting. Studies find that extreme self-reliance can be detrimental to our well-being, especially for our youth.

Asking for Help in Recovery

For those of us in recovery, the ego surrender is a part of healing. We let go of the hardness, the layers of protection, the false beliefs to soften towards ourselves and others. Consequently, this allows us to give ourselves a break, and to accept help. We surrender to our humanness. The fellowship in substance abuse programs or AA reminds us of the tribal connection, where we could find help around any corner. Therapists and addiction specialists dedicate their lives to helping others because they truly love doing it. Helping others is their greatest joy. The reality is that we all need help sometimes, and it is there for us, if we surrender to it.

If you are starting to awaken to your sense of self and wondering if support might help, know that you are not alone. Help is available. Whether it is a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional mentor, clinician, or therapist, don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t let your inner voice or resistance dominate. It is in vulnerability that we find true courage.

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The Redpoint Center
1831 Lefthand Cir, Suite H
Longmont, CO 80501

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