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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.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Treatment

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

At the Redpoint Center, Alcohol Use Disorder is the most common type of substance abuse disorder that we treat. For this reason, our staff is familiar with the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and know when to refer clients to see our medical director or to a higher level of care.

Many people with Alcohol Use Disorder do not manifest symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when they stop drinking. In fact, it is estimated that only around half of people with alcohol use disorder experience withdrawal when they stop consuming alcohol.

Some predictors of alcohol withdrawal are as follows:

  • How often a person drinks
  • How frequently a person drinks
  • The presence of alcohol related medical problems
  • The severity of the dependence on alcohol
  • A history of alcohol withdrawal in the past
  • A history of alcohol withdrawal seizures or delirium tremens

Like most medical conditions, the severity of alcohol withdrawal varies between individuals and depending on the above variables. In most cases, alcohol withdrawal is mild, but 20% of individuals undergoing alcohol withdrawal experience severe symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations or delirium tremens.

In most cases, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin within 6 to 24 hours of the cessation of drinking or a sudden reduction in the amount of alcohol consumption.

Mild alcohol withdrawal is the most frequently seen type of alcohol withdrawal. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety, agitation and/or restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremor (the shakes)
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Craving more alcohol

Alcohol hallucinosis is a more severe type of alcohol withdrawal that typically occurs between 12 and 24 hours after the cessation of alcohol consumption or a sudden decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. The risk for alcohol hallucinosis may be partly determined by genetics and /or a decrease in thiamine absorption.

Alcohol hallucinosis typically involves visual hallucinations, often involving insects or animals, but auditory or tactile hallucinations (feeling something crawling on your skin) can occur as well. These hallucinations typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours.

Alcohol withdrawal seizures are a worrisome type of alcohol withdrawal, and occur in 10-30% of individuals in alcohol withdrawal. The seizures are typically tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal) and occur in clusters of 2 or 3.

Alcohol withdrawal seizures can occur between 6 and 48 hours of the cessation of alcohol consumption or a sudden decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. Personal history of an alcohol withdrawal seizure greatly increases the likelihood of recurrence in subsequent episodes of alcohol withdrawal.

Delirium Tremens, or DT’s, is the most severe type of alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal if not treated in a timely manner. Delirium Tremens typically doesn’t occur until 72 to 96 hours after the cessation of drinking or a significant decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. Signs and symptoms of Delirium Tremens are as follows:

  • The rapid onset of fluctuating cognition and attention in the face of alcohol withdrawal
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drenching sweats
  • Increased blood pressure

As noted above, Delirium Tremens can be fatal. In fact, the fatality rate has historically been as high as 20%, but with appropriate medical treatment can be as low as 1-4%.

Any sign of alcohol withdrawal is very concerning and requires immediate medical attention. Proper evaluation by a medical professional can determine the appropriate type of care needed, which may range from home management to formal alcohol detox or hospitalization.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addictiondrug addictionMental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 303-710-8496.

 

Medical Model

Medication Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, defines Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, as the use of FDA approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

At Redpoint Center, one of the most common substance use disorders that we see is Alcohol Use Disorder. This is largely a result of the prevalence and societal acceptance of alcohol use in our country.

Alcohol Use Disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-V), was previously referred to as Alcohol Abuse and/or Alcohol Dependence in the DSM-IV. Alcohol Use Disorder  is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health, behavioral, interpersonal relationship or occupational problems.

At The Redpoint Center, we believe that recovery from an Alcohol problem is a process, not an event. We also believe that this recovery requires a combination of treatment modalities including individual and group therapy, recovery coaching, physical and wellness coaching, community building and medical evaluation. In some cases, our medical director, who evaluates all clients upon admission, might suggest Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) to assist in the recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder.

There are several medications that can be invaluable in helping an individual abstain from alcohol and subsequently recover from Alcohol Use Disorder. If MAT is suggested by our medical director, it is only after a comprehensive physical examination has been performed and in conjunction with the other treatment modalities mentioned above.

One of the most commonly used medications to treat alcohol use disorder is naltrexone. Naltrexone works by blocking a receptor in the brain known as the mu-opioid receptor. The stimulation of these receptors is what causes the euphoric effects of alcohol, and by taking medications to block this receptor, a person will not get the same pleasurable sensations if they drink alcohol. Naltrexone has also been found to reduce cravings for alcohol, which can be very helpful in the initial stages of abstinence from alcohol.

Naltrexone comes in two forms: oral and injectable. The oral form, of course, only works if you take it. Therefore, some people prefer the injectable form (Vivitrol) which is given intramuscularly and stays in your system for four weeks.

The most common side effects of naltrexone are nausea, headache and dizziness, and these tend to diminish as a person continues to take the medication. It can also cause a mild elevation of liver enzymes, so your doctor might monitor blood work while you are taking this medication.

Another medication that has been used to help people with alcohol use disorder maintain abstinence is acamprosate. This medication works by modulating the neurotransmission of glutamate, which is a completely different mechanism of action than naltrexone. One drawback to acamprosate is that it needs to be taken orally three times daily, which is challenging for most people.

Although it has been shown to increase the duration of abstinence in people who stopped using alcohol in some studies, other studies have shown that it is no better than placebo. The results, therefore, are conflicting. The primary side effects of acamprosate include nervousness, diarrhea and fatigue. These symptoms usually diminish with continued use of the medication.

Disulfiram is another commonly used drug in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. It is also known by the trade name Antabuse. Antabuse doesn’t work by decreasing the desire to drink, but instead will cause a very unpleasant physical reaction if a person drinks alcohol while taking it.

Antabuse works by blocking an enzyme that breaks down one of the metabolites of alcohol, acetaldehyde. If a person drinks alcohol while taking Antabuse, acetaldehyde accumulates in the body and causes uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, headache, flushing, shortness of breath, low bread pressure, nausea and vomiting.   The result is that a person will not want to drink alcohol while taking Antabuse because they don’t want to get sick. Again, Antabuse only works if a person takes it, so a person has to be highly motivated to stay sober, or take the drug under supervision, for this drug to be considered.

There are other drugs that are being studied to treat alcohol use disorder, but clinical trials are limited. If one of the drugs above cannot be used, other options might include topiramate and nalmephene.

In summary, some medications have been found to be effective in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. MAT is used to increase a patient’s chance of long term sobriety, since up to 70% of people getting psychosocial treatment (counseling and behavioral therapy) alone, will relapse. However, it is imperative to stress that these medications should never be used alone, without some sort of psychosocial intervention, to treat alcohol use disorder.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, Redpoint Center is here to help. Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

New, Deadlier Version of Fentanyl

By Addiction, Community, Mental Health, Treatment

Synthetic opioids’ increased availability on the black market poses a threat to worsen the opioid overdose epidemic now raging in the United States. New synthetic opioids are evolving, being abused, and being trafficked, all of which pose serious risks to public safety.

A POWERFUL NEW OPIOD HAS MADE IT’S WAY TO COLORADO

A new deadly narcotic has surfaced in Colorado. “Pyro” (N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene) has already claimed the lives of at least one Denver resident. Pyro is a highly potent synthetic opioid having a chemical structure similar to that of the synthetic opioid Etonitazene, which is a restricted narcotic.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Pyro has flecks of a darker blue color all over it and is almost identical in look to Fentanyl the counterfeit and deadly version of Percocet (M30’s). Replicating the image of both fentanyl and M 30’s – Pyro is branded on one side with an “M”, and on the other, a “30”.

EVEN MORE POWERFUL THAN FENTANYL

The drug is anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 times more powerful than morphine, and 10 times more powerful than Fentanyl. Fentanyl, for reference, is about 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Pyro, unlike Etonitazene and it’s relative Fentanyl, does not exist in any earlier medical literature or patents, according to the Center for Forensic Science Research, & Education.  It is a brand-new medicine with a distinct mechanism of action that was probably developed outside of the influence of the American pharmaceutical industry. According to a report by the CFSRE, in just two years, at least 21 fatalities have been related to the substance, and up to 44 fatalities may be attributable to Pyro use.

OVERDOSE AWARENESS

A Pyro overdose resembles the majority of other opioid overdoses almost exactly, with respiratory depression being the most common fatal symptom.  Fortunately, the drug responds to Naloxone, and if the poison is immediately neutralized, the devastating effects of an overdose can be avoided.

For more information on Narcan and overdose education, please visit the Narcan website.

If you come across PYRO, please contact law enforcement immediately. You can also report drug-related crimes anonymously to Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

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Making a Difference: Q & A with Donnie Hagenbart at Redpoint Center

By Treatment

Making a difference in other’s lives can be a rewarding part of getting sober. The Redpoint Center, a highly regarded outpatient treatment center, is a distinctive program that provides easily accessed outpatient services while remaining in the comfort of home. Recently, we sat down with team member Donnie Hagenbart, the Executive Director of Redpoint, to ask him what makes Redpoint special. 

Why the Redpoint Center Program Works

Q: If you had to summarize why Redpoint is successful what would you say?

D: I think what makes Redpoint so unique is how much we dedicate ourselves to creating a program that works for each individual and what they need. Flexibility and compassion are key. For us, it’s about meeting folks where they are and making a difference in their lives right away. At The Redpoint Center, we focus on the individual client rather than checking off boxes. With a flexible program and accessible therapeutic services, Redpoint allows clients to show up while maintaining their daily responsibilities.

Some treatment centers are removed from life – away from society, requiring people to travel and put everything on hold. As many of us know from experience, this isn’t always easy. What’s more, it does not always stick. We need to change the patterns now, in our daily lives. And that can be hard at any point but with a continuum of support in our community, it makes a big difference. 

Q: How do you treat clients at Redpoint?

D: We treat each person as important—because they are. That means working with families to determine how they will access care. It means working with insurance providers to cover the costs and make sure our program is accessible. It also means advocating for clients, sometimes having their insurance providers make exceptions to cover care for people. Whatever it is—we will find a way.

Our team of licensed, caring professionals understands the challenges associated with starting anew while maintaining daily responsibilities and commitments. And we’re here to empower those we serve to find what works for them. As a leading provider of Colorado mental health and addiction treatment services, Redpoint provides a diverse set of skills and tools so clients can safely navigate the challenges faced when experiencing substance use or mental health concerns.

Making a Difference at Redpoint

Q: If you had to comment on why you are part of the Redpoint team, what would you say?

D: I am in recovery and have been in the treatment field for a long time. I know what it is like to feel like a number, to wonder if sobriety is going to work back “in the real world”, and to worry about covering healthcare services. These stresses are thoughts we all have on the path to recovery. It’s natural to be concerned. At Redpoint, we come from a place of understanding and truly walk side by side with our clients so they feel less alone and know they’re being held through it all. We hold people accountable and we do so from a place of understanding. For me personally, I have days where I answer the phone and hear the desperation or sadness in someone’s voice and I know by the end of the call that they feel different. This is what it’s all about for me. We are changing lives, one day at a time. This is meaningful work and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to help others.

Asking for Help

If there is one thing to remember, never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. For all of us here at Redpoint, making a difference means showing up, no matter what. We know, from personal experience, what it’s like to struggle. And we also know the way back. Even if Redpoint isn’t the right fit, we are here to help you find what works best for you and your family. Contact us for a free consult.

If you have questions about The Redpoint Center’s program or would like to speak with an expert, please don’t hesitate to call (888) 509-3153. Free consultations!

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-Mental-Health-Addiction-Outpatient-Telehealth

Social Distancing and Mental Health: Telehealth Saves Lives

By Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment
There’s a saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s never been more true in the instance of telehealth. While telehealth has been around for a while, it’s only been widely used as of late. The COVID-19 epidemic has brought a tool that rural and underserved communities use to the fore. In addition, studies show that telehealth services can be highly effective. Furthermore, when we maintain communication with our support team, we practice self-care. It’s vital, during challenging times, to get the help you need.

What is Telehealth?

Some wonder, what exactly is telehealth? It’s healthcare services, including mental health, that utilize telecommunications and virtual technology. Both the patient and the therapist are on HIPAA-compliant video, so clients, groups, and therapists can all see each other.  It allows practitioners to reach patients that are off-site for whatever reason. It’s got a list of benefits including:
•Convenience: You can receive services from your own home or office. No need for travel!
•Privacy: This communication is between you and your therapist, only.
•Efficacy: Research shows telehealth to be equally effective in the treatment of most mental health disorders
•Affordability: Services are often covered by insurance
•Comfort: You can wear pajama pants and no one will know!
While talking online isn’t always the best substitute for face-to-face human interaction, it does allow critical
care to continue amid these tenuous circumstances; a way to stay connected. And that is a beautiful thing.
If you or someone you know is in need of support right now, the Redpoint team is here to help. Contact us, any time. We are here 24/7 for you and yours.
Boulder and Larimer County Mental Health and Drug Rehab Social Distancing and Mental Health: Telehealth Saves Lives Photo
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.