Folks in 12 step programs understand that in early recovery, we can't remember things even if we want to. They provide us with acronyms and simple sayings that speak volumes.
Inside (65 articles)
Relapse after long term sobriety: embarrassment is normal but shame and embarrassment can kill you if they keep you from getting the help you need. Learn what to do after relapse, no matter how many years of sobriety you have behind you.
Most medical professionals receive very little training in addictions so you need to protect your own recovery. You may need addictive medications. Make sure to consider the risks, ask the right questions and advocate for yourself.
Staying anonymous in a social media world - how to balance getting the recovery support you need with maintaining anonymity.
Decrease your relapse odds and increase your happiness, resilience and health by focusing on balanced wellness. Here’s an 8 item wellness checklist with suggestions for small changes you can make today.
Recovery milestones like the first 30, 90 or 365 days can increase your relapse risks. Learn about the specific dangers and pitfalls at each stage and get prepared to avoid them
Do you have anything to lose from taking a leap of faith? Learn more about choosing a higher power - even if you're not religious.
Learn how getting and staying sober can spark a life of purpose and passion.
Don't let a criminal record, probation or parole break your recovery efforts. Read on for 6 tips on building a better future, despite a difficult past.
You can't live recovery at the same pace you lived addiction - all or nothing. Learn new speeds beyond "all out" and "dead stop".
Self-discipline and restraint: willpower isn't something you have or don't have - it's something you can build on your own and with others.
From the high-life to minimum wage - how do you start over again at the bottom rung without feeling like a loser?
Ask and answer the following 13 questions after a slip to identify exactly what led you into trouble.
One of the greatest things about recovery is that there's always something you can add. Online resources fortify your recovery.
Domestic abuse complicates addiction recovery and addiction makes it harder to break free from abuse. This article explores recovery options.
This article describes what a relapse prevention plan is and how to write an effective plan. It includes ideas for what you can include in a simple relapse prevention plan or a detailed recovery plan.
The best of the best – an incredible collection of 12 comprehensive expert answers on subjects as diverse as the ethics of passing bipolar on to biological children, organ donation for alcoholics, talking to small children about addiction and staying sober at college as a freshman alcoholic.
The 12 most read, influential and helpful resource articles of the past 12 months.
Worried about how you’ll make it through Thanksgiving? Here are 7 simple suggestions for making sure your holidays don't end in relapse.
Addiction may cause debilitating or even fatal health conditions. How do you start recovery when you've already done so much damage? This article explores the worth and benefits of late-stage recovery.
How to be happy right now. We don't find what we're not looking for. In the midst of striving for a better life we often lose sight of all we have to be grateful for.
Grief and loss can rock you, no matter how strong your recovery. Learn to grieve in healthy ways to sustain your recovery and honor your departed loved-one.
You can't keep it unless you give it away. Here are practical tips for using your own strengths and experiences to help others build recovery.
Alcoholics and addicts do things in active addiction which leave them feeling guilt and shame. Learn what you can do to get over your guilt and shame to forgive yourself and let go of the past.
Addiction is a disease that damages the body, mind and spirit. Here's a how-to guide to healing your physical, mental and spiritual health once in recovery.
Worrying doesn't actually help but it could make things worse. Learn how to really offer support by taking care of yourself first, learning from others via self-help groups and by working to transform the whole-family dynamic for the better.
We often talk about formal treatment and self-help groups like AA, but we rarely mention the third essential pillar of recovery – peer driven recovery support services. Find out how recovery support services can help you stay clean and sober for good.
In recovery and thinking about becoming an addictions counselor? Here's what's needed to get in and do well in this very worthwhile field.
This article explores the importance of learning financial responsibility in recovery. Addicts in recovery need to learn to place financial needs over material wants. This can take planning, budgeting and thinking of long-term needs over the instant gratification of wants.
Resilience is the greatest form of strength. As hard as getting back up after a relapse is, it's vital. The question we're left asking ourselves is, "What's going to be different this time?"
Early recovery is an emotional rollercoaster. We want to celebrate, recruit others to join our new fantastic way of life, make up for lost time and take on way too much all at once! With patience and prioritizing you can enjoy all the good without falling back into the bad.
It's easy to confuse acceptance with passivity, but one keeps you sober and one doesn't! Learn how to find acceptance and peace in your life through active recovery.
Learn this effective system for accomplishing short, middle and longer-term goals.
New relationships can be stressful and place a burden on recovery. This article includes tips for reducing the stress of new relationships.
Boredom in recovery can lead addicts to relapse so it is important to find ways to have fun in recovery. This article explores ways to discover new interests and fun activities to keep people in recovery from feeling bored and restless.
Getting your first job in recovery can be a scary thing to consider. You probably need the money, but you're also scared of relapse - how can you know when you're ready? Read on to find out how to prepare yourself for safe employment now that you're in recovery.
An article about the benefits of and how to prepare for going back to school in recovery. It includes information and resources for getting your GED, going to college or to a trade school and has links to GED testing and financial aid for school sites.
Guidelines for getting back to work once safely in recovery. How much to reveal, how to deal with questions, how to return to your old job, or if you can't or don't want to - how to get a new one even with a large gap in your resume.
Discover who you are without alcohol or drugs! Many addicts and alcoholics fail to complete some of the normal developmental tasks due to their addiction. Recovery becomes a time to go back and complete tasks that were delayed because of addiction.
An explanation of the first 4 stages of recovery: how long each one takes, what kind of treatment you need in each stage, and what you need to accomplish before you can graduate to a higher stage.
Some basic facts about relapse, why a slip never needs to mean the end of a recovery or that treatment has failed, what to do if you slip (right away) and how to reduce your odds of relapse in the first place.
After a few months, it’s easy to hit a recovery wall and start to feel bored and dissatisfied with your new clean and sober lifestyle. This dissatisfaction will pass, but until it does, you can lower your risk of relapse by taking some time to plan islands of excitement to look forward to.
Quitting drugs or drinking often means severing ties with your old drinking/using buddies…but what do you do if you don’t have any other friends? Here’s a how-to guide to starting over and building sober friendships.
The most talked about, most influential and most important (helpful) addiction and mental health articles of the past 12 months.
It’s hard to avoid the craziness of the holiday season and there’s no doubt that holiday periods create extra stress and lead to extra exposure to triggers and cravings. Do the holidays threaten your recovery? Take this self test and see if your Christmas season habits put you at risk of relapse.
There's an adage in self help, "We found the only thing we needed to change was everything." As we adjust to life without drugs and alcohol, we need to develop new habits to guard against our old ones.
A relationship strengthening worksheet: once in recovery you can improve intimacy and relationship satisfaction and you can do it from day 1, and since a sober intimate partner can provide such great recovery support, making things right at home is one of the best things you can do for everyone involved.
Until you learn to deal with difficult emotions without falling into a bottle or getting high you’ll have a hard time truly breaking free. Fortunately, you can learn ‘distress tolerance’ skills and with a little practice you won’t need to run and hide from your feelings anymore.
If you’re in recovery you’re probably used to dealing with problems by getting drunk or high. Unexpected problems are still coming (as they always do) so get ready for them. Learn effective problem solving techniques today and avoid relapse tomorrow.
Clinical research proves that one of the greatest indicators of relapse is poor sleeping during initial sobriety. Unfortunately, the legacy of alcohol abuse on sleeping cycles makes falling asleep and achieving a restful sleep very difficult. Learn about the influence of sleep on recovery, and tips on getting a good night's sleep.
7 tips and tricks for getting the most out of your phone, tablet and laptop as you work to maintain your recovery.
Discover the 6 life practices associated with healthy self esteem and make a few changes to boost your own sense of self worth!
Feeling stuck in addiction? Lacking confidence or motivation for change? Read on and get inspired by 12 wisdom-filled quotes on addiction recovery from some of history’s greatest writers and thinkers.
After convening a panel of experts and consumers to talk about what’s really important in the recovery process SAMHSA has released an updated 10 rule guidebook on sustaining a successful recovery. Here are the 10 things you need to do to achieve and maintain your recovery.
Resilient people adapt to change and bounce back from adversity – and resilient people are less likely to react to tragedy or great stress with relapse back to substance abuse. If you’re in recovery, resilience can save your life. Read on to learn 8 ways to become a more resilient person.
The best of the year's addiction and addiction recovery articles on ChooseHelp!
For the next 10 seconds, try not to think of a pink elephant…Impossible, right?! The fact is, the more you try to suppress an impulse to use drugs or alcohol the more fixated your mind becomes on that very impulse, and this is bad news for anyone serious about maintaining their sobriety. Fortunately, you don’t have to drink or use and you don’t have to fight or suppress your cravings, all you have to do is surf over them and they’ll disappear – using a proven mindfulness technique known as urge surfing.
Make a few minor changes, take on a few of those tasks that have been weighing on you, pamper yourself a little bit and learn to accept yourself for the great person - with strengths and weaknesses - that you already are.
In recovery, it’s helpful to avoid over exposure to peers who abuse drugs and alcohol. Here’s some information on the occupations that are most and least associated with substance abuse.
Idle hands and too many idle hours aren’t often helpful as you strive to maintain your recovery – and also, everyone needs to make a living, right?! Problematically though, addiction is rarely associated with high job performance and though you’re now in recovery and ready to do great work – the gaps in your resume can make it hard to even get in the door. In a booming economy, it might not matter, but when times are tight, getting a job in early recovery can be really tough. Here’s a list of resource agencies that specialize in helping people in recovery find work – as well as a list of tips for general job searching success.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as long as you no longer use illegal drugs, you have a right to treatment and you cannot face discrimination at the workplace because of your past addiction. Learn more about your rights under this federal law and find out what to do if your employer violates the law.
Getting and staying involved in a community self help and support group during the initial period of recovery is a very good idea. Support groups can keep help keep you motivated to stay at the fight, can offer wisdom and encouragement and can be an excellent source of sober support and friendship. 12 steps groups are the most common type of community support group, but not everyone finds what they need though the 12 steps - and some people find the spiritual component uncomfortable. Here then, are 6 great alternatives to AA and NA.
Addictive pain medications pose a real threat to anyone in recovery, but then, so does chronic and untreated pain. Learn of drug-free pain management strategies, and a safer way to take narcotic drugs.
Why rehab graduates stay on after graduation, and how to choose a quality rehab.
A long period of alcohol abuse can take a heavy toll on the body, and few people enter treatment in optimum health. Heavy drinking interferes with the body's absorption, processing and even consumption of vitamins and nutrients, and chronic drinking often causes serious vitamin deficiencies.
With more than 75 years of history, and literally tens of millions of lives bettered, 12 steps recovery programs have value. they don't work for everyone, but they're free, they're everywhere and they might just work for you. Give 12 steps a try...and stay sober one day at a time.