How to Stay Sober at Christmas

The celebrations during the Christmas season typically include large gatherings with friends, family, and co-workers. While these can be relaxing and fun for many people, Christmas presents an obstacle to those recovering from addiction. Fortunately, no holiday is an insurmountable obstacle when you follow the tried-and-true methods of staying sober at Christmas. 

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4 Great Sobriety Gift Ideas

Giving a sobriety gift honors a friend or family member’s efforts to recover from an addiction. The right gift can mark their beginning, encourage them to continue, or celebrate an anniversary of their success in the journey toward a sober life. Below are four great sobriety gift ideas for that special and sober person in your life.

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How To Tell People You Don’t Drink in 3 Ways

If you seek to live a sober life, you already know that you will face some uncomfortable social situations. Drinking alcohol is a prominent part of so many events in our culture; weddings, parties, family gatherings, beach trips, ball games, and most anytime people gather together may include sharing alcoholic beverages. Your pursuit of sobriety faces its most significant challenges in these settings, where the pressure to conform can be intense.  That is why we put together this article on how to tell people you don’t drink. 

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Veteran Substance Abuse: Signs, Statistics & Risks

Military life is honorable and deserving of everyone’s utmost respect. Unfortunately, service members are especially vulnerable to a variety of substance use disorders. Many men and women in our Armed Forces to smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and abuse drugs. Additionally, many who need help with substance abuse avoid seeking help because of a perceived stigma associated with any mental health issues. Learn more about veteran substance abuse signs, statistics, and risks below. Read more

How to Deal with Alcohol Cravings

The intense alcohol cravings can cause fear, confusion, and temptation during recovery. Alcohol cravings can lead to a preoccupation with drinking, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, and mental confusion. Although these cravings are common during recovery, you may feel shame, guilt, and a loss of control that hamper your recovery. However, you can prevent these issues with strategies that help you understand and manage your urges to drink. Here are some tips on how to deal with alcohol cravings in recovery. Read more

5 Healthy Habits to Replace Drinking

For many individuals, enjoying an evening glass of wine or beer feels ritualistic. However, drinking frequently can take a toll on your health. Whether you’re trying to adopt a cleaner lifestyle or are recovering from alcoholism, these 5 healthy habits to replace drinking can help you get on the right track.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Track Your Cues

The first healthy habit you need to practice is tracking the cues that make you want to reach for a drink. Perhaps you find yourself craving alcohol around the same time each day, or maybe you experience a cue around certain individuals. Understanding these cues can help you avoid them, hence lessening your desire for a drink.

Exercise is Key

Exercising regularly can work wonders for cutting your alcohol cravings. After working out, your body releases dopamine which stimulates feelings of pleasure. Exercise can help you both mentally and physically relax, possibly even more so than alcohol. Plus, you’ll gain the added benefit of better sleep and renewed energy rather than the next-day grogginess from consuming alcohol.

Visualize Your Success & Remember Your Hangovers

Another important habit to internalize is visualizing what your success will look like when you cut out alcohol. Perhaps it’s weight loss, saving money, improved mood, or something else. Whenever you experience cravings, visualize what it will look like to achieve your goals.

You might also reflect on the side effects of a hangover, such as nausea, upset stomach, irritability, grogginess, and more. Reminding yourself of these uncomfortable symptoms can help you stay on track and start the following day on the right foot.

Feel Confident Saying “No”

It’s time to get into the habit of saying “no.” At some point in your journey, you’re likely to get offered a drink by a well-intentioned individual or egged on by friends for an evening out. Know that it’s always ok to say no. You don’t owe anyone a reason for no longer drinking, but feel free to let others know why if you prefer. Never compromise your goals because you feel pressured to say “yes” to a social obligation involving alcohol.

Stock Drink Alternatives

One of the easiest options for replacing drinking is, well, replacing what you drink. Stock your refrigerator up with healthy alternatives that you enjoy, such as Kombucha, juices, and sparkling water. Having a satisfying beverage that you can reach for and sip on will serve as a nice replacement option.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope you try these 5 healthy habits to replace drinking. If you or a loved one need further assistance pursuing a sober life, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here to help. Our sober living environment allows individuals to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

Teenage Alcoholism: Warning Signs & How You Can Help

Did you know that more than half of Americans aged 12 – 20 have experimented with alcohol? Adolescents who drink are at a high risk of engaging in various dangerous activities. Learn more about teenage alcoholism, warning signs, and how you can help.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Risks Associated with Teenage Drinking

Teens are still developing. When drinking alcohol, their ability to make smart, informed decisions significantly decreases. Making poor choices at an early age can lead to long-term consequences that impact their future and health.

Some of the primary risks associated with teenage drinking include:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Drunk driving
  • Destroying property
  • Engaging in violence
  • Getting arrested
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviors
  • Falling victim to sexual assault
  • Experimenting with other drugs
  • Long-term organ damage
  • Impaired memory
  • Decreased academic performance

Warning Signs

Parents and loved ones need to know what to look for to identify if the teen is experimenting with alcohol. These are some key warning signs of teenage alcoholism:

  • Difficulty getting up for school in the morning (more so than usual)
  • Covering up school absences
  • Withdrawing from formerly close friends and family
  • Withdrawing from extracurricular activities
  • Being sick or exhausted often
  • Appearance of unaccounted-for bottles or cans in their room or the garbage
  • Stealing money
  • Radical changes in behavior
  • Spending time with new people who are poor influences, such as friends who drink
  • Drinking in isolation
  • Drinking more frequently
  • Drinking large amounts at a time

How You Can Help

If you suspect your loved one is experiencing teenage alcoholism, here are some ways you can help them get back on the right track:

  • Confront them directly. Present your teen with evidence as to why you believe they are experiencing teenage alcoholism. Point out their mood swings, how you’ve found their empty bottles, and anything else that has been telltale warning signs.
  • Get to the root of their behavior. Ask your child what lead them to start drinking. Perhaps they were peer pressured and wanted to fit in, or maybe they’ve been struggling with anxiety. Whatever the case, it’s important to know the root of their behavior to help them recover. Addressing these issues is what will help them find an alternative coping method to drinking.
  • Provide professional help. It’s best to convince your teen why they need to seek professional help so that they do so willingly. However, a parent or guardian has the legal ability to enroll them in professional help even if they are unwilling.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

It’s important to be aware of the risks of teenage alcoholism, the warning signs, and how you can help. If you believe your teen’s drinking habits have gone too far and that they need assistance pursuing their sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here to help. A sober living environment will allow your teen to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help your teen needs.

Understanding Different Types of Alcoholics

Alcohol is an addictive substance that can cause dependency in those of many ages. Understanding the different types of alcoholics can help you determine when you or a loved one’s drinking habits have gone too far. Read on to learn more about the various categorizations.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Five Types of Alcoholics

There are five primary types of alcoholics:

Young Adult

People in this group are, on average, 25 years old. However, they usually become alcohol-dependent around age 20. While they don’t drink as frequently as those in other groups, they often engage in binge-drinking, which is an episode of heavy drinking with the intention of getting drunk. That said, on the days that they do drink, the maximum average young adult alcoholics consume is 14 drinks.

Young Antisocial

The young antisocial group of alcoholics is characterized by those who are alcohol dependent and have antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). The average age of someone in this group is 26, but their dependency usually begins around age 18.

On average, they drink 201 days out of the year, primarily engaging in binge drinking. The maximum average young antisocial alcoholics consume is 17 drinks, the highest out of all the alcoholic groups. These individuals also have higher rates of substance abuse, and more than half of people in this group have a close family member that’s also dependent on alcohol.

Functional

Functional alcoholics tend to be slightly older, averaging 41 years old, with their alcohol dependency beginning around age 37. Their drinking habits consist of consuming alcohol every other day. The maximum average they consume in a day is ten drinks. They are also known as high-functioning alcoholics.

Over half of functional alcoholics are full-time employees and male. While they have the highest income and education level than all other alcoholics, they are least likely to report their drinking problems. These individuals may appear to have their life together, but in reality, they suffer from severe addiction.

Intermediate Familial

The average age of this group of alcoholics is 37 years old, with their alcohol dependency forming around age 32. Almost half of these individuals have a close family member with AUD. The maximum average number of drinks they consume in a day is 10.

Over half of intermediate familial alcoholics are men, and this group has the highest employment rate of all other alcoholic groups. They also have very high rates of both mental illness and other forms of substance abuse.

Chronic Severe

Chronic severe alcoholics often begin drinking at age 16, develop a dependency around age 29, and average 38 years old. Out of all other alcoholic categories, these individuals have the highest alcohol consumption rates. On average, they drink 248 days of the year, and they binge drink on over half of those days. The maximum average number of drinks they consume in a day is 15. This is the rarest but most dangerous type of alcoholic group.

Over half of these individuals are men, and they have the highest rate of family members who also have AUD. They also have the highest divorce rates of all groups, as well as the most increased likelihood of having mental health illnesses and other substance abuse issues.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Understanding the different types of alcoholics can help you identify when your drinking habits have gone too far. If you or a loved one need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

Dealing with Depression After Alcohol Recovery

Deciding to undergo alcohol recovery is a huge success, but it’s only the beginning of a long journey to sobriety. A common speedbump many people experience during this time is the presence of depression. Below, we’ll give you some tips for dealing with depression after alcohol recovery and discuss why it so often occurs.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Why Does Depression Occur After Alcohol Recovery?

Understanding the connection between depression and alcohol recovery can help you overcome it. There are several reasons they are so closely related, and one or all may apply to you:

  • Withdrawal. Depression is a well-known symptom of withdrawal. Addiction lessens your brain’s ability to produce normal levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure. Remember that your brain is physically recovering from alcoholism and that it simply needs time to heal.
  • You feel a dulled sense of fun. You might feel like the activities you enjoyed before recovery are less fun without alcohol. In addition to your brain not producing dopamine at a normal rate, it’s likely most activities you enjoyed before were centered on alcohol. It’s important to seek alternative ways to have fun.
  • You’re experiencing loss. When you give up alcohol, it may feel like you’re giving up a big aspect of your life. During depressive thoughts, be kind and remind yourself that you are experiencing loss. It’s ok to feel this way.
  • Alcohol was a coping mechanism. Without alcohol, difficulties you face can feel harder to combat, leading to depressive feelings. Learning new coping mechanisms is crucial in recovery.

Tips for Dealing with Depression

In addition to reminding yourself about why you’re feeling this way, use the following tips to help you manage depression in recovery:

  • Take care of your body. After experiencing withdrawal and throughout recovery, your body needs extra care and attention. Make an effort to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest to help you stay energized and begin producing more dopamine.
  • Find new hobbies. Recovery is a great time to try something new or pick up a hobby you neglected before. This could include reading, writing, painting, biking, gardening, or anything that you find pleasure in that doesn’t involve alcohol.
  • Develop new coping mechanisms. This point is key. One crucial coping mechanism is to build a support system that you can talk to about what you’re going through, such as family, friends, and/or an alcoholism support group. Other ways to cope with your feelings include meditation, removing yourself from triggering situations, and taking deep breaths. Find a few techniques that work for you.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope these tips for dealing with depression after alcohol recovery help you. If you or a loved one need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

How to Help an Alcoholic Parent

Having a parent that’s afflicted with alcoholism can be emotionally trying. While it’s ultimately up to the addicted to seek proper help, there are ways that you can support them while respecting your boundaries. Read on to learn how to help an alcoholic parent.

If you or a loved one need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Know the Signs of Intoxication

It’s crucial to be able to identify the signs of intoxication. This will help indicate relapse or guide you in the next steps to take. Look for the following cues:

  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Altered mood
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired reflexes

Is Your Parent in Recovery?

There are different ways to assist your alcoholic parent depending on whether they’re in recovery or not. If they are, take the following steps:

  • Be positive about their recovery. When they go to meetings or talk about their progress, be there to listen and encourage them.
  • Squelch hostility. As a child of an alcoholic, you may harbor some resentment. It’s ok to feel this way, and there are ways to talk about these feelings to your alcoholic parent in a non-hostile way. Hostility will only intensify the alcoholic’s sense of guilt, which is likely the reason they sought recovery.
  • Watch for relapse. Being fully aware of the cues of relapse is crucial so you can help your parent get back on track.
  • Have a plan in place. If you notice your parent has relapsed, you need to have a plan ready in advance. Know who you need to call to assist you with the situation, take away car keys, and avoid confrontation until they are sober again.

Is Your Parent Not in Recovery?

If your parent is not yet in recovery for their alcoholism, here’s how you can help them:

  • Have an intervention. With the help of close family, friends, and a therapist, plan an intervention for your parent. Interventions often help alcoholics realize they need to seek professional help.
  • Set boundaries. When your parent is intoxicated, know that you can only do so much for them. Ultimately, it is up to them to get the help they need. If they are impeding on your emotional or mental well-being, it is completely ok to remove yourself from their presence and take care of yourself first. This will help show your parent that you will not put up with their behavior.
  • Don’t accept excuses. If your parent tries to make excuses for their poor behavior, remind them of your boundaries. An excuse does not make up for the fact that a boundary was crossed. Accepting excuses will enable their behavior.

Have a Support System

If you have an alcoholic parent, you need to have a support system in place. You cannot support your parent if you’re not supported yourself. Seek out a professional group, family, or friends that you can go to for advice and openly talk about your situation.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

It’s important to know how to help an alcoholic parent, but remember, it is up to them to put in the work to change. If you or a loved one need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.