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Staying Connected

September 16th, 2014

Staying Connected Through the Cirque Lodge Reunion
Big thanks to all of our alumni and friends that joined us for our annual reunion this weekend. It’s amazing to think that it was our 15th and our biggest turn out yet! The ropes course was full Friday night and we had as big a number around the fire on Saturday! It’s a powerful weekend for alumni and residents alike in rekindling that resolve for recovery. It is even stronger for us, the members of staff that show up at the drug rehab facility each day to provide help. It strengthens us with a new resolve to continue what we do each day!

One of the themes of this weekend was connectedness, staying connected to those who are positives to your recovery and to the Cirque where you got clean and sober. For all the thousands of residents that have come through our doors since the beginning. We consider all of you “one of ours”. We want you stay connected and in touch. We want to continue to play part in your recovery process. Just like in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous we encourage all our alumni to keep coming back! We have created and implemented a bunch of ways to keep you connected to the Cirque wherever you are.

Ways to Stay Connected

  • Aftercare: (Local) for those located near the studio facility of Cirque Lodge, you can stay connected by attending weekly aftercare meetings and 12-step meetings. Aftercare is held on Monday nights. It is a check in group to see how everything is going in recovery. The Studio also hosts a number of open 12-step meetings each night for the local community to be involved in. In our alumni section, you can find Utah Meetings held at the Studio drug rehab facility.
  • Events and Dinners: Outside of the reunion, Cirque Lodge sponsors a number of events and dinners across the country each year. In the winter we have a ski retreat. In the summer we head to the beach. Cirque sponsored dinners happen monthly in Utah and Southern California and are usually combined with check-in groups and AA Meetings. We also schedule other dinners around the country when members of staff visit local areas. The best way to receive information about dinners is to contact our Alumni Director, Chris Rueckert and get on our alumni mailing lists and private Facebook page.
  • Mentoring: Cirque Lodge has more residents on a daily basis than we have ever had before. This means we have more graduates of the program and more individuals new to sobriety returning home. A Cirque Lodge mentor is not a sponsor. It is a phone call. It is an alumnus who is willing to extend a hand of support to those returning home. Show them where the good meetings are and provide advice on what has been helpful with transition back to your community. In a way this keeps you connected to the drug rehab facility here in Utah, wherever you may be. Mentoring opportunities are posted each month in our alumni bulletins and newsletters.
  • Guesting: Keep coming back. Through Cirque’s guesting program you can do just that. Guesting is a privilege extended to all our alumni. It allows you to return to the facility free of charge when you need to recommit to your sobriety. Most importantly, IT IS A LIFETIME PRIVILEGE. Whether you are 3 months sober, a year, or have been doing good for a while longer than that, you can come back at any time and guest with us! We do require that you are clean and sober to guest. If you have relapsed, we can help you there too with a condensed treatment program or with admission back into facility if you need it.
  • Relapse Track: For those who have relapsed and need help, we offer a two-week relapse track to get you back on target. You return to the facility and work on the areas that you struggled with in recovery. We help you rework your continuing care plan to discover what went wrong and what other resources might be of service to you in the recovery process.

Recovery Bonfire - Cirque Lodge Drug Rehab Facility

Continuing the Circle

The word old-timer means something to those in the rooms of A.A. It stood out at the bonfire on Saturday that Cirque Lodge has its own old-timers, those original residents who continue to stay connected to the program and drug rehab facility. In their way, they are continuing the circle. By returning and sharing their experience, strength and hope, they touch the hearts of current residents. Through this, the circle continues when those current residents return home and share their experiences in the rooms of their recovery community. In time, they can be the old-timers that return each September and take part in the reunion.

Again a big thank you for making this one of the biggest and best Alumni Reunions we have ever had. As rewarding as it is for those who come and attend, it is ever so much more to us the staff. It is difficult to describe what it does in rejuvenating us to this noble cause of treating the still struggling alcoholic / addict. We encourage you to stay connected and again, Thank You!

Seeking Addiction Treatment for a Loved One?
Some Questions to Ask

August 13th, 2014

Asking Questions About Addiction TreatmentWhen you have a loved one who is struggling with an alcohol problem or drug addiction, getting them into treatment can seem like a daunting task. This is especially challenging when you aren’t really sure what you are looking for when it comes to a treatment program. In this case it pays to be a questioning consumer as we are talking about a loved one’s health, safety and wellness. Addiction treatment providers should be able to provide answers to any or all of your questions or concerns.

Below are questions you should be able to ask every treatment provider and they should be more than willing to help you with answers. These questions are based upon a more detailed guide provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. By doing a Google search you will find that there are a number of programs available. We also advise to seek out professional help from intervention services and medical professionals if you need more educated assistance on finding an alcohol treatment or drug rehab program for a loved one.

  • Question #1 – What is the Treatment Based On?

    There are a number of proven treatments, both scientifically and through experience that have shown to be beneficial in treating chemical dependency. This consists of both therapies and support types of programs. One such approach is through behavioral therapies and effective treatments involving individual, group and even some have family therapy sessions. In addition to discussing treatment and therapies that a program offers, It is also important to learn about those who provides these treatments. A good rule of thumb is to find programs that have licensed, practicing addiction professionals which is sometimes not the case.

  • Question #2 – What is Involved in the Treatment Program?

    No single treatment works for everyone. Effective addiction treatment should work to meet varying needs of alcoholics and addicts. This means more than just therapy in most cases. It needs to be a combination of services that involves medical help if needed, as well as family and social support. Mental health disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD) also co-occur with alcohol and drug addiction quite often. A program should be able to help with such concerns with diagnosis, medications and therapies.

  • Question #3 – Is Addiction Treatment Individualized?

    Once again treatment must meet the needs of the individual. Over time, these needs can change based on progress or even digression. An individualized program should be able to adapt and provide continued effective treatment as the individual progresses. In the case of relapse, adapting does mean providing services that address the concerns behind the relapse with furthering therapies and support.

  • Question #4 – How Long is the Program?

    Will it be enough time for your loved one to receive sufficient care? Appropriate time in treatment should be based upon the individual case as well. It depends on factors like the types of substance that was abused, how long the individual has been abusing the drug, and any underlying factors that require attention in treating the addiction. A good rule of thumb is 90 days or three months in a program. This can involve both efforts of inpatient and outpatient care. Remember that like other diseases that recovery from addiction is a long-term process and that a program should reflect this by providing sufficient care over an appropriate amount of time.

  • Question #5 – Do you offer a Continuing or After Care?

    Self-help groups and recovery fellowships like 12-step programs further the efforts of professional treatment. It has already been stated, but recovery from addiction is a long-term process and not all of this takes place within the walls of an alcohol or drug rehab facility. Most professional drug addiction providers will offer a program to continue help. Sometimes this is called aftercare. It can involve living in a sober home and continuing with professional counseling. Most drug addiction programs will also encourage involvement in groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to surround the individual with a social support network.

  • What About Success Rates? When you do searches on the web, you will see addiction treatment facilities that are open about their success rates, even boastful. Seeing high success rates can be very tempting. After all you want your loved one to recover and to get your money’s worth. Studies have shown that success rates when it comes to addiction are not entirely accurate. Facilities can qualify these numbers in a number of ways. One example is by only counting individuals who have successfully finished the program. It is also not uncommon for alcoholics/addicts who have relapsed to not be entirely honest on follow-up phone calls. So be wary when it comes to success rates. You should make decisions by the answers you get by asking informed questions.
  • When it comes to the Cirque Lodge addiction treatment facility, we encourage you to call us. You are not going to get a sales pitch, but answers to your specific questions. We will teach you more about our program, and can even recommend professional services like 3rd party interventionists to help you. Even if you feel like Cirque doesn’t have the answers you are looking for, let us use our professional resources to help your loved one find an appropriate treatment program.

4 Ways Nature Can Help in Addiction Recovery

July 1st, 2014

Nature Helps in Addiction RecoveryThere is a healing power in nature that can’t be explained or quantified. Yet, when we get out into nature there seems to be an uplifting and healing balance that nurtures and restores our body, mind and soul. One of the unique advantages of the Cirque Lodge alcohol and drug rehab facility is our location and proximity to some of the most breathtaking mountain venues. Those seeking respite from their struggles with alcohol, drugs and prescription medications can find and experience nature’s healing through our program. Here are four ways in which nature helps in the addiction recovery process:

  1. Nature Brings Renewal

    Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” The Naturist John Muir spent every possibly moment that he could in the mountains and surrounded by nature. He experienced firsthand the renewal that it provides. For the struggling alcoholic or addict, nature can be the location for a fresh start.

    It is an example of life and recovery. A new day is found with the rising of the sun. Every spring brings us a promise of new life. Even after devastating fires and other disasters, nature always finds a way to restore itself and rebuild. Those bankrupted by addiction can have the same experiences in the recovery process. We incorporate nature activities into our alcohol and drug rehab program. Through experiential therapies we see this renewal and recovery in our residents.

  2. Nature Speaks to the Soul

    Typically, when someone comes to addiction treatment they are in a bad way. Emotionally and spiritually they probably are at an all-time low. Treatment and therapy are used to help determine solutions and answers questions. A caring surrounding provides a support to help with a personal morale. Here at the Cirque, we use the mountains and nature to help with restoring the spirit. It is a venue where our residents can find themselves and make connections to a power greater than their own.

    As a 12-step alcohol and drug rehab program, we strive to provide our residents with a solid foundation of those initial steps of recovery. These involve making connections to a higher power and we can think of no greater venue than out in surrounding of nature. Time is taken in these activities for reflection, self-discovery and meditation. It is time to do some soul searching. Somehow, in its own unique way, nature plays a role in providing healing and vital spiritual experiences.

  3. Physical Recovery in Nature

    Nature is also a venue to exercise in. No matter if it is the mountains, the beach, or even the desert, you will always see individuals engaged in hiking, running, swimming or biking. It is part of a healthier lifestyle. In addiction recovery, these activities also help in a number of ways. Such activities promote physical recovery over addictions. At Cirque, these start through our experiential program in the mountains. We incorporate daily activities of hiking, biking, river rafting, and even some mountain climbing as a means to physical renewal. It helps the body recover. It is positive on the mind and provides a natural reward.

  4. Nature is a Venue for Continuing Recovery

    Addiction recovery is a long-term process. It starts with an alcohol or drug rehab program and continues through a personal effort. Those in recovery will incorporate positive things in their effort to assist them in staying clean and sober. Typically, this might include continuing with A.A., working with a sponsor, outpatient programs, and additional individual and family therapies. One thing that can be incorporated into these effective tools of sober living is nature. It can benefit you in your recovery to still get outdoors and in a natural environment. Whether you are going to the mountains, your local park, or just out to work in your garden, you will be surprised as how it continues to restore and support your recovery process.

In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

Caring Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

May 12th, 2014

Treatment for Co-occurring DisordersOne way that we strive to help individuals and families at Cirque Lodge is to provide the most compassionate alcohol and drug rehab program by meeting the specific needs of our clients. This especially means those residents who are dealing with a co-occurring disorder of substance abuse and a mental health problem. The numbers are not solid but estimates say that between 40-60% of individuals faced with mental health problems also struggle with substance use disorders like alcoholism and drug addiction. To help these individuals, great strides have been taken to create an integrated approach to treatment and therapy for these concerns.

Cirque Lodge offers a caring and dedicated recovery program with a focus on dual diagnosis care for mental health disorders. Our psychiatrist meets and counsels with residents on proper diagnosis and with treatment planning. Personalized therapy with a master’s level counselor involves cognitive and behavioral treatments for both alcohol or drug addiction and mental health concern. We also focus on providing a continuum of care for moving forward after treatment with furthering recovery programs and counseling help.

More on Co-occurring Disorders

Research is continually being done on the correlation between mental health disorders and with alcoholism and drug addiction. Disorders like depression, anxiety, bi polar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and borderline disorder are common among individuals who also struggle with substance use problems. This has to do with the biology of things as these disorders and addiction affect the frontal cortex of the brain. Though much research is being done on why this is, experts still have not come down with concrete answers. Things that are common with co-occurring disorders are:

  1. Individuals faced with underdiagnosed or undiagnosed mental health disorders can turn to drugs and alcohol and a means to self-medicate. This can lend to the development of a chemical dependency and addiction.
  2. Those with co-occurring disorders have more difficult outcomes with recovery due to the complications involved in either the disorder or addiction.
  3. Those who abuse drugs or alcohol can develop behaviors that are similar to those you would see in mental health disorders.

Treatment and Recovery Efforts

Both sides of co-occurring disorders are considered chronic conditions, meaning that an individual will always require a level of maintenance in their lives to stay sober and balanced. To this end a recovery oriented system can be effective in treating those individuals with addictions and mental health problems. Alcohol and drug rehab at Cirque Lodge begins with a thorough assessment process to determine if any, what type of dual diagnosis care is needed. A multi-systemic approach is then implemented to treat the individual body, mind and spirit with emphasis in the following areas of co-occurring treatment:

  1. Education – Part of the treatment and healing process involves a psycho-educational effort. Those with a co-occurring diagnosis can greatly benefit from receiving this level of education when it comes to their chronic diseases. At Cirque Lodge, we feel that the more our residents know and understand, the more prepared they are for the recovery process. Educational pieces are found not only through lectures and workshops, but also through counseling, our 12-step work and through the activities of experiential therapy.
  2. Therapy – Personal, group and family counseling sessions provide us with a platform for treating co-occurring disorders. Again multi-systemic approaches are used to give each resident the best-rounded effort for dual diagnosis therapy. Cognitive and behavioral therapies are a platform for analyzing and assessing thought processes and subsequent behaviors. By adjusting these thoughts and actions positive outcomes are more likely to be developed in the recovery process. Alcohol and drug rehab at Cirque consists of multiple individual counseling sessions each week. Also, a weekly medical session is scheduled with our psychiatric professional to ensure all is going well with dual diagnosis programming.
  3. Medications – On the mental health front, pharmacological treatments have shown to be quite effective at stabilizing and helping with a great number mood disorders. Part of the diagnosis process is to determine and prescribe any meds that may be helpful. Medications for the right reasons can be miracles!
  4. Support – Staff and resident support is also an effective approach to assisting with the treatment and recovery of co-occurring disorders. Through staff, fellow residents and through family members, a resident can receive a supportive hand in the healing process. There can be just the right level of empathy and empowerment found through those who are in recovery for a similar diagnosis. Supportive involvement also is a preparatory tool for involvement in similar programs after the completion of treatment.

Recovery & Relapse Prevention

With advancements to treatment and recovery, those going through dual diagnosis treatment are more prepared than they used to be. With the understanding we currently have of co-occurring conditions, we know that it does take a long-term effort for sustained and successful sobriety. Extended residential care is available at Cirque Lodge to properly treat these individuals. In addition to this level of care is a coordinated Continuing Care Plan for the recovery process.

Continuing Care involves all the forms of additional outpatient and recovery efforts that are available for those in recovery from co-occurring disorders. This can involve a transitional / sober living home for the first few months, involvement in a 12-step community and sponsor, and even drug monitoring services. Recovery for mental health concerns should involve continued individual, group, couples and family counseling when appropriate. This should also involve continued sessions to help with any dual diagnosis medications to ensure that proper dosing and effectiveness is maintained. Prior to discharge from the Cirque Lodge these efforts are put into place through a continuing care plan. These are coupled with a fully integrated Alumni program to help with continued support and activities intended to sustain recovery.

Talking Opioids and Prescription Drug Abuse

April 3rd, 2014

Opioids and Prescription Drug AbuseCirque Lodge is dedicated to providing the most compassionate and professional drug rehab care for individuals struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction. Medications for the right reasons are miracles. They help to treat us in dealing with health problems and maladies that we are faced with. They allow us to get on with our lives. However, for some of us, certain medications can be a risk and danger. Due to their makeup, prescription opioids have a much higher tendency to be abused and sadly have claimed many through overdose. Opioids are a synthetic ingredient found in many prescription strength painkillers.

New Prescription Opioid

Recently, a new opioid medication has hit the market and has caused much controversy in its approval. Zohydro ER was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year and was made available at the end of March. Doctors may prescribe Zohydro ER for individuals who are dealing with chronic pain conditions as an alternative to other forms of pain relief that may not have worked. The medication’s sole ingredient is the opioid hydrocodone, which has been documented in many cases of prescription drug abuse and addiction. The ER stands for extended release and the medication lasts for up to 12-hours. It’s classified as a schedule 2 drug.

The controversy surrounding this medication is in its likelihood of being abused. The recent increase in prescription drug addiction cases and overdose deaths has raised red flags in communities. Now there is a new pill to contend with. The Governor of Massachusetts announced a ban on Zohydro ER in their commonwealth prior to its release. His concern was that: “Zohydro is a dangerously addictive pharmaceutical painkiller, approved by the FDA recently over the objection of their scientific advisory council and is not available in an abuse-deterrent form.” Bills have been introduced in both the Congress and Senate to seek for withdrawal of approval of the drug.

The concern over this new medication is a valid one. The United States has seen a steady growth of prescription drug abuse in the recent decade, which coincides with the drastic increase in prescribing opioid medications. The intent of these medications is to help people initially. In Zohydro’s case, meant to help individuals with an alternative for their debilitating pain. However, they end up in the hands of those who can abuse them. Many feel that Zohydro ER can be quite helpful, but in a tamper resistant form that discourages abuse.

Prescription Drug Abuse and Preventative Measures

To avoid the increased risk of prescription drug abuse, there are preventative measures to take. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that the risks for addiction arise when medications are used in ways other than they are prescribed (e.g. at higher doses, by different routes of administration, or combined with alcohol or other drugs). NIDA also suggests involving your healthcare professional when it comes to the medications you are taking and always consult with them if you feel you need a change to your dosing regimen. They also warn against taking medications that are not prescribed specifically to you, even if you feel they might help.

Other measures you can take are:

1. Educate yourself on medications you are prescribed.
2. Always keep your medications in a secure location.
3. Keep your healthcare professional informed about any and all medications you may be taking (including over-the-counter drugs).
4. Properly dispose of medications that you are no longer using.

Helping Those with Addiction

What are being overlooked in the controversy surrounding the approval of Zohydro ER are those who are struggling with addiction. This is the problem at hand. Individuals who are abusing prescription opioids need help and treatment before the problem becomes one involving an overdose. There is a new pill on the market that can be abused, but what are we doing to deter those individuals that might abuse it? What is being done to change their way of life from pill seeking and using? More often than not it takes a loved one, a coworker or unfortunately the criminal justice system to help these folks. Let’s get them the help they need.

When Cirque Lodge opened its door the majority of those that were treated identified as alcoholic. Since that time we have treated an ever growing number of folks who have a dependency to prescription meds. Our message is that people can and do recover from this malady. They have shown a remarkable ability to. If you or someone you care about is suffering and struggling due to prescription drug abuse, now is the time to help them. We encourage you to look into treatment options and contact us at Cirque Lodge if you feel it is the place where you can find the solution for your addiction problems.

There is Help for Heroin Addiction

February 27th, 2014

Help for Heroin AddictionIt seems that heroin addiction has become a growing concern and issue. There have been an ever increasing number of cases and even spikes in overdose deaths in many parts of the United States. What has been brought to light is a very real concern surrounding the seeking, use and abuse of heroin. Stories are coming out every day about individuals with prescription drug problems turning to the cheaper street drug to get high. At Cirque Lodge, we just want you to know that it isn’t hopeless. There is help for heroin addiction. We offer a caring and compassionate drug rehab program within a private mountain facility

Get beyond the Myths

Each and every day another addiction treatment program or facility opens its doors to assist individuals who are struggling with heroin addictions. And still, the numbers reflect that just a small percentage of heroin addicts get admitted into treatment. Part of this has to do with the stigma and many myths people have about substance use disorders and treatment programs. People cannot improve their situations without getting beyond these myths. Here are some common ones:

  • Heroin addiction is a choice
  • For treatment to be effective, the person has got to want to get better.
  • A person should hit rock bottom before they should seek help.
  • So-and-so went to treatment and it didn’t work for them, so it won’t work for me.
  • My heroin use is just a problem of willpower. I can stop when I want to.

These are very dangerous and risky modes of thinking. In reality they could not be further from the truth. Early detection, intervention and drug rehab treatments are more effective in dealing with heroin addiction. Hitting bottom with heroin runs life threatening risks like overdose. Whether you or someone you love is struggling each day with seeking and using heroin, get beyond the myths and get help.

Treatment Approach

There are many different approaches to treating individuals faced with heroin addiction. One of the more effective approaches is through behavioral therapies. Cirque Lodge utilizes a personalized treatment with individual therapy sessions focused on a cognitive and behavioral approach. This tool can be used to determine underlying reasons behind the heroin abuse, including undiagnosed mental health disorders. A great number of educational, supportive and even family efforts are utilized to arrest the heroin addiction and to provide skills of recovery.

Where we differ in our approach from other drug rehab facilities is that we believe treatment has got to be fun, attractive and an enjoyable experience. No one has ever gotten better by yelling, intimidation or shame. So part of our program is devoted to uplifting activity. These are things that help to restore joy, positive thinking and hope for a better life. We have an experiential program with daily activities to engage and inspire. When coupled with the clinical piece it provides one of the most effective drug rehab approaches that we know of.

Like all forms of addiction, heroin is a chronic condition. However studies have shown that it does have a much higher possibility of relapse. Treatment is also a time to create and make preparations for a long-term recovery effort. We are a 12-step based drug rehab facility. We take particular care in introducing and teaching these concepts. After one leaves treatment it oftentimes comes down to working these steps and continuing the process to keep us from relapse. We also focus on abstinence based recovery, which means our program is not one centered on replacement medications commonly prescribed for heroin/opiate addictions.

“You Can Always Come Back.” For individuals and families who are faced with heroin addiction and relapse, we want you to always understand this, you can return to Cirque when you need it. We host weekly aftercare meetings to keep alumni connected. A lifetime guesting privilege allows those who have remain sober to return anytime they need it free of charge to refocus. For those individuals who have relapsed, we offer a two week program to get you back on track. You can always find help for your heroin addiction here in the serenity of the mountains. Whether you are seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, or are alumni looking for help with relapse, we encourage you to contact our admissions department for help. 1-877-997-3422 or info@cirquelodge.com

Having a Relapse Prevention Plan

January 13th, 2014

Taking Time for Self-Care
It is often said that ‘recovery is a process and not an event’. The same can be said for relapse. The process it takes to actually get to the stage of using or drinking again can take time to develop and can be attributed to a number of different factors. It can start with just a simple emotional response where you are thinking about using, but can escalate from there. Having a relapse prevention plan in place can keep you prepared. Below are some suggestions on things to put into a plan for relapse prevention. We encourage you to come up with the ones that would work best for you and keep at them.

Always Continue to Work Your Program. Stay engaged in the recovery effort. By all means continue to attend meetings. If you haven’t been going to meetings…START! Continue to work the steps in the different stages of your life and be of service to others.

Call Somebody – Those engaged in a 12-step community can always call their sponsor. An excellent suggestion is to keep a business or index card on you with contact numbers that you could use in such a situation. It can have numbers of those in your support community, but can also have the number of helplines, a counselor or therapist, or even loved ones that can support you.

Take Time for Self-Care. Perhaps the most important preventative measure is that you are always taking proper care of yourself, physically emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There are many suggestions for practicing self-care here are a few:

  • Eating Right – 3 balanced meals a day
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercise / going for a jog (walk) / Yoga
  • Do something fun or creative
  • Meet with your counselor /therapist
  • Go to church
  • Be involved in service
  • Journal writing
  • Meditation / Prayer
  • Spend time with family
  • Get out into the outdoors

Calling Cirque Lodge – For alumni of the Cirque Lodge we want you to continue the recovery effort that you developed here in treatment. We also understand that recovery does take a time and effort. If you feel relapse could be a possibility, please call us here at the Lodge. We have in place a Guesting Privilege, free of charge, to allow you to return to treatment for 3-4 days. This can be a means to refocusing your efforts on recovery. Our ever developing alumni program is a means to staying connected to individuals and the facility through dinners and activities. And when a relapse does occur, by all means call our facility and let’s get you on a 2-week Relapse Track or back into treatment if needed.

Holiday Stress – Tips for Those in Recovery

December 3rd, 2013

The Holidays in RecoveryThe holidays are a time of celebration. They are a time to get together with loved ones. Sadly, they are also a time of unwanted stress, pressure and expectations, which can be particularly tough on those in recovery. The acceleration of stress in what is supposed to be a festive time of year can be difficult and dismal and magnified in those seeking to stay sober. Well it doesn’t have to be. There are things you can do to have a great holiday without the stress of the season taxing your sobriety.

Make a Plan – It really is impossible to account for everything going on during the holidays. One of the stressors can be feeling like you have fallen short when it comes to being there for everything or everyone. Plan ahead, and don’t let negative feelings about not having enough, or not giving enough take over. It is a season of celebration and not of competition. And always remember it is okay to say ‘No’ to the festivities when the pressure gets too overwhelming. You don’t have to attend everything.

Talk to Someone – If you are feeling pressure and stressed out by all these things, perhaps you should talk to someone about it. More specifically, you should talk to someone who can help you on the emotional side of things and in your recovery. 12-step folks have a sponsor that can provide them with advice and experience about handling the stresses of the holidays. They can be a sober “Plus One” to activities that have alcohol involved. You can also seek out the help of professional counseling and therapy if the pressure becomes too much.

Make it About Service – The holidays provide us with a unique opportunity to help others. It becomes much harder to focus on our own internal shortcomings when our focus is on those less fortunate. Make the holidays a time to give back, to pay it forward and carrying out the message of experience, strength and hope to those who may really be in need of it. And through service you will find that you receive far more than you could ever give.

Take Time for Self-Care – Don’t forget to take time out of the ‘hustle and bustle’ to focus on yourself and your recovery. It is a stressful time, but you should still take the time each day to do the things you normally do for self-care. This can require you to slow down once and awhile, but I’m sure your family and friends who are helping you in your recovery will understand.

Spiritual Connection – The holidays are also unlike any other time of year when it comes to spiritual connection. Take the time to assess how you are doing with your higher power in your recovery. You can draw from the events of the season that help you with your spiritual side. It can also be helpful to take time out of the celebration aspects of the holiday and focus more on the spirit of the season through giving and service.

Building on Your Recovery

July 11th, 2013

Outdoor Activities can help you in RecoveryAfter someone goes through drug or alcohol treatment, part of the process of recovery is learning to live again, learning to adapt to experiences and situations that will seem very different sober. It is important as the alcoholic/addict takes on this process that they put their recovery first. Going to meetings, working the program, continued counseling should all be central to the individual as they begin to go to work again, or school, or repairing their lives by cleaning house. There are still other ways that person can build upon their recovery with other positive aspects of the world around them. This post takes a look at different ways you can positively build on your recovery. These are only suggestions and you should find those positive things you can do in your life to build upon your own efforts.

Building with Being Active

Being active in your recovery is always a positive. It gives you a regular daily activity that is not only physically positive, but also provides the body with natural rewards. Cirque Lodge introduces this to individuals in treatment in different ways. Our experiential program introduces very healthy and healing ways to get active in recovery. With it being summer, this activity can involve getting out into nature, by going hiking in the mountains, running on the beach, Or just finding a quiet outdoor place to meditate or read.

Building Recovery with Service

Helping others comes naturally with working the program. As you continue the process of the steps, you will find many opportunities to build upon your recovery through service in ways that you never imagined. At first, it can be by being that guy who makes the coffee or cleans up after meetings, but after a while the mindset of service becomes a part of life. You will see the opportunities around you in your neighborhoods, home and communities.

Building with your Talents

There are ways that an individual can build recovery within them and find healing through expanding talents. There are so many ways to use one’s talents to show gratitude or to experience self-discovery. For those who are artistic this can be through painting or drawing. For the musical, recovery can be shared through song. Those who are good with words can share their experiences of strength and hope through a book by other means. Nowadays you can share these things online, through social media, blogs and even through something like a podcast. As you expand on your talents they can be a positive to the process of continuing to put recovery first and healing.

Recovery does take time and it is always something that should be central to you. Positive means to living can be a healthy avenue for staying focused on not only your own recovery, but on being a better individual in family, fellowship and community.

3 Advantages of Personalizing Addiction Treatment

May 22nd, 2013

Personal therapy Session in Addiction TreatmentAddiction treatment for alcoholism and drug problems comes in many forms, depending on the provider. Therapies and programs are used to treat an alcoholic or addict in an effort to get them to abstain from the need of addictive substance. The more effective programs focus on a personalized care. There are many advantages to personalizing an alcohol or drug rehab program. This post talks about a few of these.

  • Personal and Individual Concerns

    To properly treat an alcoholic or addict, it is best to take it on a case-by-case basis. While those in addiction treatment all share the common malady and problems of substance abuse and chemical dependency, the reasons for this problem can be very different. Personalized care is based upon individual needs. Programming is tailored to meet these needs more effectively. While some in rehab will really connect with therapy groups, others may require more one-on-one help to properly connect. A personalized program should be able to adapt and meet these specific needs.

    Mental Health Concerns - Most individuals who have a drug addiction can also be diagnosed as having a co-occurring mental health disorder. This can be a preexisting condition that led to the drug abuse, or can be something that is developed over a period of abusing harmful drugs and alcohol. Many alcohol and drug rehab treatments provide diagnosis, therapy and medication of such disorders and integrate it into personalized care.

  • Addiction Treatment for the Underlying Concern

    Personalized addiction treatment is also essential at addressing the underlying concerns of substance abuse or chemical dependency. There are different factors, influences and experiences that can lead to self-medication. Traumatic experience, such as divorce, a death of a loved one, or childhood abuse can very painful and difficult to cope with. Drugs or alcohol can be a brief respite from the pain. In the long run, this reprieve is complicated by the development of addiction and dependency. Personalized therapies with a clinical professional are a platform for talking about these difficult things. When combined with other caring drug rehab therapies the individual can develop the skills needed to cope and heal from such underlying conditions.

  • Personal Support and Care

    Coming into an addiction treatment facility or program can be very difficult in the beginning. The alcoholic/addict may have difficulty fitting in at first. In many folks that is a common problem with alcoholism and substance abuse; they feel like they don’t fit in or belong. Personalized care gives them a one-one-one support for those initial difficult transition stages from chemical dependency to recovery. This personal support of an addiction professional can be built upon with the community of the alcohol or drug rehab program, or with the fellowship of 12-step recovery groups. Over time the recovering individual can find they do belong and have a system of support in place to carry forward.


There are many other areas where personalized care is a great benefit to those who struggle with drug addiction or alcoholism. When looking into treatment for yourself or your loved one, we encourage you to ask them questions about individualized care and ask them to be specific. It is an effort that can greatly help the struggling individual with their immediate concerns both personal and related to substance abuse.