National Recovery Month at Choices Recovery

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September is National Recovery Month.

Although we celebrate recovery every month of the year at Choices Recovery, September is National Recovery Month. Our graduates wish to share their stories with others, as a way of giving back and offering hope to people experiencing struggling with addiction.

Matt J. struggled with alcoholism for many years. He had several periods of sobriety, but relapse was a constant issue for him.  “I’ve gone several years without drinking,” he said, “but I kept relapsing and could not understand why.” Through his individualized treatment program at Choices Recovery, Matt uncovered the issues fueling his drinking, and now has a more positive outlook for the future.

Keisha started smoking pot at a young age, and her drug use escalated quickly. “By the time I was 15-16, I had started pretty much doing everything,” she admits. “My life was very unmanageable. I wasn’t taking care of myself, and it was taking a toll on me.” After her time at our recovery center, Keisha discovered that a lifestyle without drugs or alcohol is more rewarding than she ever thought possible. “I’m excited to see the change in myself, and to see other people see it, but most of all just to know it in my heart.”

Brian started abusing alcohol when he was 20 years old. His addiction took over his life, and things began to get complicated. “I made a few bad decisions that I’ll be paying for the next few years. So, I brought myself here to fix and mend the problems that I had.”

Recovery is Different for Everyone.

Lewis abused opiates throughout high school, eventually leading to a heroin addiction. This went on for close to a decade until he started using Crystal Meth. “I’ve done a lot of AA. It’s a nice program, but AA doesn’t really get to the ‘why’.” While AA and NA work for many, others find more benefit in a different recovery method. At choices, we offer multi-modality treatment options.

Linda lived a life of a functional alcoholic. “I have been drinking for many years,” she admits. “Still working, holding a job, hanging out with friends every once in a while. I realized that when I start drinking I couldn’t stop.” Many people think that as long as they aren’t getting fired from their job or losing their home, there isn’t a problem. “I knew I needed help, but when it came out of my daughter’s mouth, that was a real big awakening,” she explains. “You’ve got to be ready. If you aren’t ready, it’s not going to work.”

We find that the most important part of a successful rehabilitation is the individual. Our patients are encouraged to explore all of our options until they find what will work best for them. They learn that recovery is a way of life, and that a brighter tomorrow depends on the choices that they make today.


Matt’s Recovery Month Review

“I Truly Believe they Saved my Life Here”

At Choices Recovery, we’re saving lives this Recovery Month. What are you doing? Call Today.

Matt struggled with Alcoholism on and off for years. His periods of sobriety were short-lived, and he found himself in a volatile cycle of relapse and recovery. Finally, he and his wife decided to try an inpatient addiction rehabilitation program with Choices Recovery. Matt was hesitant to try a residential addiction rehabilitation program at first. He did not believe he had a real problem. Through the counseling and skills training programs at Choices Recovery, Matt uncovered the root issues contributing to his alcohol addiction. He realized that he had serious problems to address before he could be genuinely healthy. Until this point, he merely dealt with the symptoms of his addiction problem, which lead him to relapse over and over. This Recovery Month, Matt is empowered to truly maintain a sober recovery.

Together, Choices Recovery and Matt developed coping skills, and found recovery. Matt encourages anyone struggling with addiction to seek services and help at Choices Recovery. Rehab is only for a short time in what can be a long life. Consider calling for help today, and we’ll help you on the journey towards the rest of your life.

Join Choices Recovery and SAMHSA Voices for Recovery as we celebrate National Addiction Recovery Month this September, 2016.




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Offering Hope – Graduates of Choices Recovery Share Their Stories

Graduates of Choices Recovery

With courage, support, and determination, recovery from addiction is possible – our graduates are proof

According to an annual report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost 25 million people in our nation use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis. This is close to 10% of our total national population. That same report goes on to say that, of those 25 million people, 21.6 million were classified with chemical dependency. That’s more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Phoenix – combined.

The effects of this national epidemic are seen in every corner of our nation, and in every city, town, and rural community. Those who are struggling with addiction, or who have a loved one travelling the dark and dangerous path of substance abuse, may feel like they are trapped in a hopeless situation. It can be tough to know where to turn for help, and the whole situation can be very overwhelming.

There is hope, however. Recovery is possible. Recovery happens. Though it can be a difficult decision to make, and the road to overcoming addiction is not an easy one, recovery is absolutely worth it. A lifestyle of healthy, happy, and positive choices lies ahead, if we are ready and willing to work for it. The graduates of the Choices Recovery treatment program are proof.

Christina’s addiction began in a way that is becoming increasingly common in the patients that we see – with a doctor’s prescription. She was injured in a biking accident and was given very strong pain medication. “At first, I took them right, like you are supposed to,” she recalls, “but then I started taking more and more of them, and I was running out. So then I went to heroin.” So many of our patients have similar stories.

As she recognized that her addiction was affecting her life and the lives of those around her, Christina made the first of many decisions that would help her find her path to recovery. “Everything was going wrong,” she continues. “My family was getting upset with me, I was lying, I was manipulating – I was becoming a person that I didn’t like at all. So I chose to find a rehab.”

Today, Christina sees things in a different light. She has confidence in her recovery, and in herself to be able to remain clean and sober. “I have the tools to cope with everyday life on my own,” she says.

A lot of the patients we see at Choices Recovery have been through treatment programs and facilities before, with little success. Matt has struggled with alcohol abuse for many years. He was able to quit drinking several times, but would always return to the bottle. “I’ve gone several years without drinking,” he shares, “but every few years I just continued to relapse. My relapses were short, but devastating to the family.”

Though he knew there was a problem in his life, Matt wasn’t sure exactly what that problem was. Our rehabilitation strategy helps our patients to uncover and address the underlying causes of their addictive behaviors to discover the “why” behind their substance abuse. That is exactly what Matt was missing. “I really did not think that something was wrong with me,” he admits. “I came to the realization, after some sessions with my counselor, the issues that were causing me to relapse that I didn’t even know about – the things that I could remember but just really did not understand the gravity of how that can impact someone’s life.” This understanding combined with a strong support network and a solid foundation in recovery provided by his treatment plan will help Matt to maintain long-term sobriety.

The focus of our program on the causes of the patient’s compulsion to use drugs or alcohol is just one factor that makes the Choices Recovery treatment strategy so effective. What really makes a difference is the ability of our patients to make certain decisions in the direction their rehabilitation program will take them. Rather than a single-modality program, where every patient goes through the exact same treatment in the exact same way, we offer several different treatment methods and supplemental groups. With guidance from their case manager and counselor, patients are encouraged to explore those options to figure out what will work best for their individual needs.

Through the individualized program at Choices Recovery, Katherine was able to find the tools and skills that would help her in overcoming her drinking problem. Her treatment plan included a focus on recognizing things that may spark the urge to drink, different methods of controlling those impulses and preventing relapse, and how to identify and address the negative thought processes that could lead her to drink. “Once I started learning more about my underlying causes and why I did the things I did, I started to understand my addiction,” she says. “I’m extremely excited to experience a sober life for the first time.”

As effective as our treatment strategy is, it is made even more successful by the patients that we see in our hallways. Corey discovered that the support he got from the other patients at Choices was just as important in his recovery as his treatment plan was. “Everybody here is just real welcoming, and real understanding,” he says. “There’s no judgment. Talking to them, releasing whatever was holding me back. I am more than happy to be here, sharing my story, and hopefully help some other people, because in the end that’s what it’s about. People need help.” Corey’s addiction had negative effects on his relationships with his family, including his 12-year-old son. As he progressed through his program, he became close with others, forming healthy and functioning relationships, drawing strength and offering support in return. This helped him in learning how to repair those personal connections that may have been damaged through their substance abuse.

Graduation from our rehabilitation center is not the end of our commitment to the successful recovery of our patients. The transition from the focused environment back to the often-hectic atmosphere that is daily life can be quite stressful. It is important to have a plan to follow after they leave our treatment center, and our extensive Aftercare Department is here to help with that. Our Aftercare specialists assist with making sober living arrangements, locating support groups, and, in some cases, can also help with job placement. “A lot of times, coping mechanisms aren’t in place the way that they need to be – dealing with urges, triggers, things like that,” says Lori, who had been sober for some time but ended up relapsing. Working with our Aftercare Department, she now has a plan that will help her with her continued sobriety. “I am going to meet with a counselor weekly,” she says. “I also see a psychiatrist.” Lori now understands that rehabilitation is not a quick fix for addiction, and that she will have to continue to work on her sobriety on the months and years ahead.

At Choices Recovery, our patients find much more than just a way to get clean and sober. They find a thorough treatment program that focuses on healing the individual as a whole, Body, Mind, and Spirit. Our graduates are proof that there is hope for anybody that is struggling with addiction, no matter how far they have gone or how many times they may have tried. They now have the strength and ability to make the right Choices for a healthy lifestyle.

Understanding the Importance of a Drug Treatment Program

Drug Treatment Program

Every day more than 100 people die from a drug overdose. If you are surprised by this number, consider the fact that it is getting worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drug overdoses have doubled in the last fifteen years. In fact, deaths from drug overdose are more common than any other form of accidental death.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, you know that substance abuse is a very serious problem. No one wants to be addicted, but every year there are thousands more men and women who realize that their substance use has gotten out of control and they need help. If you or a loved one is using alcohol or drugs, you are probably wondering what to do.

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Benefits of Choosing an Inpatient Addiction Recovery Program

Addiction Treatment Recovery Progra

It’s not an easy task to overcome any type of addiction. Substance abuse of any nature can present many challenges, even when an addict realizes that they need professional help. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addicts tend to have higher recovery rates when entering inpatient treatment programs where every phase of the process can be carefully supervised in a more structured environment. It’s important for prospective patients to develop a solid understanding of what to expect, taking time to weigh their options.

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Why Inpatient Rehab Provides More Lasting Recovery

Inpatient Rehab

Individuals who have ever grappled with an addiction or attempted to help a loved one with an addiction know how difficult recovery can be. Because addiction is a physiological and psychological reality, helping an individual recover from the influence of a potentially harmful substance can be complicated and difficult. Despite the difficulties that result from attempting to help a person get on the road to recovery, addiction treatments are available. While there are a plethora of different forms of treatment that addicts can access, inpatient treatment can be particularly effective. By learning more about addiction and inpatient treatment, you can take a step towards developing and maintaining a more productive, positive life.

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How to Find the Best Drug Rehab Program

Drug Rehab

Millions of people abuse drugs or alcohol. A large percentage of them abuse both, many times, at the same time. To overcome a substance abuse addiction, whether it be from alcohol or drugs or both, it is imperative that an abuser obtain proper substance abuse treatment. In rare cases, substance abusers are able to beat their addiction(s) without high-quality rehabilitation treatment; however, the most of abusers have to go through a treatment program before recovery becomes possible.

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Signs your Addiction Recovery is Not Working


Undergoing drug addiction treatment is no easy matter. Getting clean from substances such as illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs requires great determination. Along with that determination, a recovering addict also needs willpower, focus, perseverance, support and most importantly – a plan. Without a plan for recovery, the effort is destined to fail. A ship wouldn’t set sail without a destination. A plane wouldn’t leave the ground without a flight plan. So why do some recovering addicts feel as if they can negotiate their recovery without a plan? It’s impossible. A plan allows the recovering addict the best chance for success. A plan allows for the possibility of relapse, but frames this possibility in such a way as to make the recovering addict aware of the situations that are likely to lead to a relapse.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have compiled the following statistics regarding recovery and relapse:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder.
  • Substance abuse relapse rates fall somewhere in the range of 50% to 90%. The rates vary depending on the substance of abuse, severity of addiction and length of treatment.
  • Relapse is often preceded by feelings of anger, stress, frustration, overconfidence, social pressures and severity of addiction.
  • Substance abuse relapse rates can be compared to those of chronic illnesses. Hypertension has a 50% to 70% relapse rate. Type 1 diabetes has a 30% to 50% relapse rate and asthma occurs at 50% to 70%.
  • Women relapse less frequently than men and these gender differences suggest that different relapse prevention methods be used for women and men.
  • There are several contributing factors to a failed recovery. This relapse can happen at any time, while in treatment or post treatment.

The Quick Fix

Searching for a quick fix to one’s personal problems is often what leads to addiction in the first place. It doesn’t matter if it starts as innocently as taking a doctor prescribed painkiller for an aching back or if it’s using methamphetamine to stay awake while working long hours. Both are quick fixes to problems that might better be solved with proper rest, exercise, diet, etc. For recovering addicts whose drug addiction treatment includes medical aids such as methadone or naltrexone, this can especially be a problem since the addicts behavior is reinforced by taking a substance to deal with the issue. Real recovery requires the patient to get out of the mindset of “taking something” for the pain and instead learning to be proactive in other areas of their life to help alleviate the source of the pain.

Unhealthy Behavior

One of the hardest things about recovery for an addicted person is making the changes in their personal life necessary for success. An alcohol dependent person is not giving themselves the best chance for recovery if he or she continues to meet friends after work for happy hour. Even if the alcohol dependent person does not drink during happy hour, this is not a healthy environment for him or her to be in. Being able to recognize the “triggers,” those external stimuli that make an addictive person want to use a substance, is very important for addiction recovery. The person in recovery must be hypersensitive about his or her environment and take effort, at least initially, to avoid contact with drugs or alcohol. A failure to do this, or a lessening attitude about how important it is, can often be a sign that the recovery process is not working.

Seeking Help

Many people in addiction recovery refuse to seek help even when they know they are at risk of relapsing. No relapse just happens. The situations and signs leading up the actual relapse are loud and clear. This is when the recovering addict should speak to someone about their feelings. Support groups are often a component of many addiction treatment programs and are in place to help recovering addicts with their issues. The primary reason women are less likely to relapse than men is because women are more likely to maintain contact with their support groups. The danger of isolation is greatest after treatment has ended and the recovering addict is on his or her own in the real world. This is the most crucial time to keep the lines of communication open with a support group, counselor, family member or therapist. By not talking with someone, the recovering addict allows those old addictive emotions and behaviors to build up until old habits surface.

Hoping to Fail

Many addicts do not really want to succeed at full recovery. The process of recovery is ongoing and requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Many people in recovery just want to be “better” already without having gone through all of the work it takes to get there. Or, they secretly wish they could drink again, or use drugs, just without all of the negative consequences on their bodies and lives. Depending on the severity of the addiction, this can be a big problem in the recovery process. With some drugs, the psychological addiction is so strong that the person in recovery feels like he or she is a better person when using the substance than when not. Adjusting to environmental factors also plays heavily into this. Friends may say the sober person isn’t as “fun” or “cool” as the old one, but it is up to the person in recovery to determine what he or she wants out of life and how to achieve it.


Addiction is considered a chronic disease just like diabetes or hypertension by most mental health professionals. One of the greatest dangers for a recovering addict, especially early in the recovery process, is to think that he or she is cured. Most recovering substance abusers will always be in some form of recovery. While they may not need medicine, or have to attend support groups for the rest of their lives, ongoing awareness of their mental and emotional state is what will maintain a clean and healthy quality of life.

No recovery from substance or alcohol abuse is without peril. The statistics support the fact that relapse is real. The only way to stave off a relapse, or manage it when it happens, is to be aware of the warning signs. Staying in tune with one’s state of mind is the best way to gauge just where one is in the recovery process. One must always remember that if truly an addict, the recovery process is ongoing. A relapse can happen at any point. For those that are less full-blown addicts and are simply “problem” drinkers and “recreational” drug users, it is still helpful to be aware of social situations and internal “triggers” that are likely to lead to such use. All recovery is ongoing and no recovery is safe from relapse. By following a solid plan and maintaining due diligence, a recovering addict gives themselves the best chance for success.

The Key to Being Successful in Recovery

With more than 13,000 treatment centers located in the United States, obtaining treatment for a substance abuse addiction is fairly simple. The overall success of a recovering addict will largely depend on his or her own actions. The help of doctors, therapists and counselors will also be of great assistance, but it mainly relies on the addict’s behaviors as to whether or not he or she will stay clean. If you are struggling with staying clean, there are eight steps to be taken that are key in being able to stay successful in addiction recovery.

Step 1. Obtain Proper Withdrawal Treatment

When using drugs and/or alcohol, a person’s brain will change in the way it functions. It will become so accustomed to the substances that it will cry out for more when the person quits using them. Withdrawing from some substances is not near as hard as withdrawing from others. For example, a person withdrawing from marijuana will not endure the extreme withdrawal symptoms that an opiate addict will. Unfortunately, most drugs do come along with severe withdrawal symptoms, causing many addicts to return to their usage before recovery can be started. To help overcome withdrawal symptoms, it is imperative to take part in a proper detox program.

Step 2. Participate in Treatment

Going through treatment and participating in treatment are two totally different things. People who are court ordered to go through a treatment program, as well as people who are there because their loved ones are making them, readily just go through the motions. They don’t participate in their therapy sessions, nor are they honest with their counselors; this will cause treatment to be ineffective. If a person really wants to get sober and stay clean, it is important to take part in the treatment plan that is created. If at any time the person feels uncomfortable with his or her treatment, it is important to voice these opinions. By communicating with treatment staff members, a treatment plan can be created that everyone is comfortable with.

Step 3. Take Part in Community Resources

Addicts use drugs and/or alcohol for many different reasons. To properly address these reasons, it is important to take part in community resources. For example, if an addict is abusing substances because he or she has been dealing with unemployment, there are many community resources that can be accessed to help the person find a job. If the addict is abusing substances due to being a victim of domestic violence, there are community resources that can be accessed to help with this type of issue. By dealing with the underlying problems that are driving a person to use substances, it becomes much easier for the person to stay successful in recovery.

Step 4. Be Willing to Learn

During a substance abuse treatment program, there is much to be learned. Many programs last anywhere from 30 to 180 days; however, this is still a small amount of time to learn all that there is to learn about an addiction and overcoming it. To help make treatment more effective, it is important for a person to be open-minded and that he or she be willing to learn as much as he or she possibly can.

Step 5. Finish Treatment

One of the most important keys for a successful recovery is to finish treatment. No matter how long the treatment lasts, 30 days or 24 months, it is important to finish it. If a substance abuser does not finish treatment, he or she often feels that there is no chance of being able to stay clean. It is important to remember that not every treatment program will be suitable for every substance abuser. For example, an 18 month program may not be the best program for an addict who has only been suffering from an addiction for two months. A 30 day program may be more suitable. Generally, the longer a person has been abusing drugs, the longer they will need to stay in treatment. For those who have been abusing drugs for several years, at least a 90 day treatment program is highly recommended.

Step 6. Build a Support System

Through the support of family and loved ones, it becomes much easier to stay clean of drugs and alcohol. It is imperative that recovering addicts build a support system that includes a safe place to take refuge in, as well as people with whom they can be honest. In order for the support system to be effective, the people within it should do their best to understand the addiction that the substance abuser is recovering from. There are many family therapy programs available for friends and family members to take part in, making it easier for them to understand the different stages their loved one is going through. These programs also help friends and family members to understand their role in the recovering person’s life.

Step 7. Maintain Abstinence

Without abstinence from drugs and alcohol, a recovering person risks falling back into active addiction. After remaining clean for an extended amount of time, many recovering people believe they can take one hit of a drug and control the outcome; this is a false belief. Staying abstinent is the only way to be successful in recovery. To help maintain abstinence, it is pertinent that a person remain active in his or her recovery plan as well as avoid those people who were part of their old lifestyle.

Step 8. Have Faith

Without faith, a person will succumb to the feeling that there is no hope of a drug-free life. Having faith in oneself that recovery is possible makes it much easier for a person to remain clean. A great way to keep the faith is by hearing the testimonies of those people who have remained successful in recovery. It is also important for a person to understand that relapse is likely, especially for those who have entered into recovery for the first time. Just because a relapse takes place does not mean all hope is lost. There still must be faith that successful recovery is possible and that it will take place.

How to Reconnect with Family Members After Rehab

It’s not unexpected that a severe substance abuse problem will cause problems at home for the family, but even after an individual comes home from treatment, there will still be issues to resolve. Active management of a recovery program takes support from family and friends, and a person’s circumstances at home will directly impact whether it will be possible to stay clean and drug free.

Addiction and Family Crime

Sometimes a drug addiction is viewed by an outsider as a crime that has only one victim, the addicted person. This way of thinking is often incorrect since a person’s drug problem may cause significant strife within the family unit. The Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that at least 30 percent of all the crimes committed between the years of 1998 and 2002 occurred when an individual was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Shockingly, that number jumped up to almost 39 percent when considering crimes against family, and the percentage rose even higher to greater than 40 percent when a crime was committed against a spouse. Issues of violence and distress in the family due to a drug addiction may interrupt the necessary emotional connection provided within the family unit.

Family Involvement with Rehab

Strong support before, during, and after rehab offers a number of benefits to individuals who are addicted to drugs, and who must stop the self-destructive behaviors of addiction. Not only are there opportunities for the family to remain connected with an addicted person while they are in treatment, but some programs offer self-help options for family members of the addict.

One of the primary benefits of involving family in the rehabilitation process is that the family’s wounds, too, may be healed through the recovery process of their loved one. Fighting, deceit, manipulation, and even violence result from a severe addiction to drugs, and the physical impact of drug addiction on a person mirrors the emotional trauma often experienced by the addict’s family.

Plans After Rehab

It’s essential to consider that even after a person is “out” of rehab, they are still in a period of recovery and need to approach each day as a learning experience of how to maintain a drug-free lifestyle. A supportive family in such circumstances may mean the difference between success and failure after the rehabilitation process.

A person emerging from a treatment facility will want to create a treatment plan with his or her counselor for reconnecting with family. Sometimes that professional might need to intervene on the addict’s behalf with family members to set up a meeting in a neutral location for the first post-rehabilitation meeting.

Communal Support Groups

A person fresh out of rehab will often need to attend meetings to help maintain recovery, and today’s support groups provide options for a family experience in some settings. Requesting attendance of family members may allow the family to feel as though they are assisting in a family member’s recovery.

These meetings have the opportunity to mend wounds and heal relationships between estranged family members. When an addict asks their family to attend recovery meetings, it also provides a way for that person to receive additional support outside the confines of a treatment facility or individual meeting with a professional.

Create Drug-Free Experiences

Remaining drug free often requires a change of behavior from the individual in recovery and creating activities and engaging in new hobbies with family offers a terrific opportunity to strengthen a post-rehabilitation lifestyle. Activities to consider include:

  • Group sports
  • Hobbies
  • Home improvement projects
  • Family gatherings (like barbecues and pool parties)
  • Volunteering

The social aspect of drug-free gatherings and events with family offer the dual benefits of repairing family ties and ensuring an individual has outlets for drug-free activities.