Rocco’s Recovery 3 Pillars to a New Life
1. Addiction Recovery
Why Online Outpatient Treatment Programs Work for Young People
When addiction really starts to impact your life, it can feel like everything is spiraling out of control. If you’ve realized that you can’t overcome your addiction alone, it’s time to take action. Although AA and inpatient treatment facilities remain incredibly popular, you’ll be glad to know they’re not your only choices.
Thanks to a drastically different approach, more people than ever are using an online outpatient treatment program to find their life’s purpose, overcome addictions, and improve their overall health and wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know about what to expect and why it works.
What is an Online Outpatient Treatment Program?
Rather than put your life on hold for intensive treatment, online programs give you access to a live chatroom where you’ll connect with other people just like you. Whether you use this as your sole treatment option or as a supplement to face-to-face therapy, you’ll find that it’s a highly effective approach and an excellent starting point for getting your life back on track.
Top 5 Benefits for Young People
There are many reasons why young people avoid going to rehab. These are the same reasons why traditional treatment often doesn’t work. Once you consider the benefits of online outpatient treatment, you’ll understand why it’s becoming so popular.
-Effectiveness (include statistics w/ links)
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 27 million Americans, or 10.2% of the American population over the age of 12 reported using illicit drugs in 2014. In a Yale study, it talks about why changes in a young persons brain increases the chance of addiction. Here are 4 points pulled from their study as to why:
The Yale study has four key implications.
First, the longer that adolescents can delay alcohol and other drug use, the less their chance of becoming addicted. Previous research, including a January 1998 study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), links early drug use with significantly higher risk of addiction. Programs to prevent drug use must start early, before kids become teenagers.
Second, we can no longer afford to dismiss teenage drug experiments as harmless rites of passage. Even a single incident of alcohol or other drug use can have implications for a lifetime. It means early intervention programs for substance abusers are increasingly important. The NIAAA reports that nearly 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink by the time they reach the eighth grade–and over 20 percent report having been drunk.
Third, we need to look beyond genetic influences and peer pressure to use drugs as sources of addiction risk. “Several lines of evidence suggest that sociocultural aspects particular to adolescent life alone do not fully account for greater drug intake,” says Chambers. The Yale study, he adds, confirms that “a neurodevelopmental stage common to virtually everyone regardless of genetic make-up confers enhanced neurobiological vulnerability to addiction.”
Finally, Reedy points out, “among teenagers who enter treatment for addiction, many of the behaviors that we might view as ‘out of control’ are simply adolescent behaviors–products of a developing brain. While in treatment, teenagers often need more external controls and structures than we give to adults. When we remember this, we’re more likely to provide treatment that works.”
If you’re ready to experience how an online outpatient treatment program can help you, there’s no time like the present. Contact us today to learn more and get started.
The Surprising Connection Between Nutrition & Addiction Treatment
When you’re facing the challenges of addiction recovery, improving your diet might seem like a low priority. However, taking steps to improve your eating habits is actually one of the best ways to set yourself up for long-term success with your addiction treatment.
Poor nutrition and inconsistent eating habits create serious stress on your body and your brain. This makes it harder for you to feel good physically and to make good decisions. Maintaining a well-balanced diet will help you create a healthy lifestyle that supports your overall well-being and aids in addiction recovery.
The Problem with Malnutrition
When you’re struggling with addiction, you’re dealing with more than just substance abuse. Before you can truly feel better, you also have to address the health issues that your substance abuse has created. Some of the effects you’re probably feeling include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Low energy
- Loss of muscle tone
- Irregular heartbeat
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Skin problems
These issues are often caused by a weakened immune system, unhealthy gut bacteria, and an inability to properly absorb nutrients.
Many addicts are deficient in Vitamin B-12, which is necessary for the production of healthy nerve cells, DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. B-12 deficiency can also lead to chronic fatigue, which creates additional challenges to your addiction treatment.
Magnesium deficiencies, which are also common, can lead to muscle pain, muscle disorders, and nervous system disorders. Improving your diet and taking supplements can help reverse the damage caused by vitamin deficiencies.
Prolonged alcohol and drug use can take a major toll on your gastrointestinal system. If you’ve been abusing substances for a while, you’re likely to have issues with stomach inflammation, irregular bowel movements, and a shortage of healthy gut flora.
Eating probiotics and prebiotics can help restore your system to its previous balance, normalizing bowel movements and allowing your body to once again absorb the nutrients it needs.
Avoiding the Sugar Trap
Many people going through addiction treatment turn to sugary foods and drinks because they impact the same part of the brain as many drugs. Binging on sugary treats causes your blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, seriously impacting your energy levels. When you come down from a sugar “high” you’ll experience a “crash” that leads to intensified cravings and a loss of willpower. Uncontrolled, this could easily send you spiraling into relapse.
Simple Steps for Improving Your Diet
While you may agree that eating better sounds like a good idea, many people (addicted or not) don’t know where to start when it comes to cleaning up their diet. These simple tips will help you get started.
1. Eat Regularly
Your body and mind are constantly using up energy. Eating every three to four hours will help keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable. This gives you the ongoing support you need without spikes and dips.
2. Choose Your Foods Wisely
Your overall goal should be to consume the right amount of calories to support your body’s functions, maintain a healthy weight, and give you enough energy to be physically active. Focus on getting these calories primarily from whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. If possible, avoid fast food, refined sugars, and other junk foods completely.
3. Keep it Simple
When you’re first starting to improve your diet, try to keep things simple. You’ll need to use your energy to focus on your addiction treatment, so now isn’t the time to push yourself out of your comfort zone with a lot of exotic foods. Instead, choose a few healthy staples that you enjoy eating.
Learn how to make some fast and easy recipes that don’t have a ton of ingredients. If you crave variety, try experimenting with making one new meal a week until you have a good rotation of simple meals that you enjoy.
4. Expect Mistakes
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a constant struggle, even for people who aren’t struggling with addiction. Expect that you’ll slip up once in a while, and don’t beat yourself up if you do. Instead, acknowledge that you made a poor food choice and get right back on track.
5. Seek Support
Overcoming addiction is hard. So is changing your eating habits. Luckily, you don’t have to do any of it alone. Seeking help from an online outpatient addiction treatment program will help you get the support you need throughout your recovery.
The Future’s in Your Hands, Start Today
When you start incorporating nutrition & addiction treatment, your body will begin to heal itself. You’ll quickly notice improvements in your mental clarity. You’ll start feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Best of all, your cravings for drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy foods will begin to wane. When this happens, you’ll know you’re on the track to true recovery.
3. Finding Purpose
Finding Your Life’s Purpose After Getting Sober
When you’re newly sober, life can seem like a boring stream of monotonous tasks. Most addicts, especially those who are in their teens and twenties, crave excitement. Without the thrill of using drugs or alcohol and the constant drive to find your next fix, you can start to feel lost. You might even question whether getting sober was worth it. After all, if your life isn’t going to be better than it was before you stopped using, what’s the point?
Whether you’ve gone through an inpatient program or are using an outpatient drug rehab, it’s important to understand that quitting your drug of choice is only one part of addiction recovery process. To get sober and stay that way, you also need to learn how to enjoy a fun and fulfilling life without leaning on the crutch of your addiction.
When you’ve found a purpose for your life, everything becomes more meaningful. It’s far easier to stay on a sober path when you have something important to do and people who rely on you.
While it’s easy to tell someone they need to find their life’s purpose, it’s much harder to actually do it. There are plenty of adults who have never struggled with addiction but still have no idea what they want to do with their lives, so how are you supposed to do it? The soul-searching necessary to find your true purpose is never easy, but it’s definitely worth it. These tips for self-exploration will help you find your way.
1. Focus on the Purpose You Already Have
After you’ve finished an inpatient program or outpatient drug rehab, it’s common to feel like your life is meaningless. Almost always, however, all you need to do is take a second look. Are you raising children or supporting a family? Do you have a Mother or Father who loves you? Do you have a job where your employer depends on you? Do you have any friends that can benefit from your example? Playing an important role in someone’s life is a truly noble purpose.
While you’re exploring your current life, remember that your purpose doesn’t have to be something grand. There’s no purpose too small and no reason to search for something new if you’re happy where you are. If you’ve found something in your life that sparks your passion and makes you happy, focus your energy on that.
2. Explore Your Passions and Dreams
Self-exploration is the key to finding out what truly makes you happy. Writing in a journal will help you explore your thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way. When you’re journaling, don’t think about spelling or grammar, and don’t edit while you’re writing. Just write (or type) whatever comes to mind without censoring your thoughts. When you think you’re done, force yourself to keep going for at least ten more minutes. That’s where the magic really starts to happen.
Start by writing down all of your interests and passions. Then make a list of the people and things that bring joy to your life. Take your self-exploration a step further by writing out your answers to the following questions:
- When was the happiest time in your life?
- What have you done that made you truly feel proud of yourself?
- What gives you energy and makes you feel really alive?
- Who are the top five people you admire most, and why?
- If you could do one thing to make yourself happier, what would it be?
- What things would you want to do if you didn’t feel like you “should” be doing other things?
- What’s the one thing you would change about the world if you could?
- If you found out you only had one week to live, what would you do with your time?
Take your time and explore each of these questions in depth. For some people, this process causes a light bulb to go off. They’ll experience an epiphany and suddenly everything will make sense. Others won’t be so lucky. In this case, don’t push yourself too hard. Let the words settle in and keep thinking about what you wrote. Eventually, something will click and you’ll know you’re on the right path.
3. Listen to Your Intuition
Do you remember who you were before everybody started telling you who you’re supposed to be? Far too often, young people lose their passion because other people tell them their dreams aren’t realistic. If there’s something your heart is telling you to do, don’t squash it because it will be hard or it doesn’t make complete sense.
Following your passion is usually scary. Your family and friends might tell you not to start that business, travel the world, or start a charity. They’ll be worried about the stress it will bring and the potential challenges to your sobriety. Take their concerns into consideration, but also don’t let fear keep you from pursuing your dreams.
If you’re concerned about your sobriety, consider continuing your treatment through an online outpatient drug rehab while you’re working on your new project. This will help put everyone’s minds at ease and give you the support you need when times get tough.
4. Create an Action Plan
Once you’ve found a purpose worth pursuing, it’s time to actually do something about it. Start by writing down your life’s purpose in the form of a personal mission statement. Keep it simple and make sure to use a format that’s actionable and easy to follow.
Next, write down the action steps needed to start living the life you’re dreaming of. Divide these action steps into short, intermediate, and long-term goals. Every morning review your list of goals and make sure you do at least one thing each day that will bring you closer to accomplishing them.
If you start to lose your motivation, go back to your journal and re-read some of your initial entries. Reminding yourself why you’ve decided to focus on your new goals will help you stay motivated and see it through to the end.
5. Ask for Help When You Need It
Recovering from addiction is no easy task, and neither is finding your life’s purpose. In both journeys, there are going to be ups and downs. There will be times when you wonder if you’re on the right track and moments when you feel like giving up.
Whether you’ve found your sobriety through an inpatient program or an outpatient drug rehab, you’re going to need ongoing support. Talking to other young people struggling with the same issues is one of the best ways to work through your problems. The types of live chat rooms you’ll find in an online outpatient drug rehab can mean the difference between working through your challenges and slipping into relapse.
Get Ready to Live the Life of Your Dreams
Remember that this is your journey and there’s no right or wrong answer. If you think you’ve found your calling, try it out for a while. If it turns out not to be the right thing, keep looking. There’s no science to finding your true purpose in life, so don’t beat yourself up if the process takes time.