Addiction Recovery During Coronavirus

Life has been quite different for all of us these last few weeks, as social distancing and stay-at-home orders have become the new normal. But as we work and shelter at home, many of us are understandably feeling isolated and disconnected from our friends, family and support systems.  This, in turn, has left more recovering addicts vulnerable to relapse. And health officials are seeing just that, as more people are reported as having urges and cravings to use drugs and alcohol. 

Triggers Caused by the Coronavirus

We, as human beings, thrive on interaction and connection with others, and not being able to have contact with other people has real consequences on our mental health.  Under normal circumstances, those recovering from addiction rely heavily on their community and routine for support.  But now, since large gatherings and support groups meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), have been cancelled and put on hold, feelings of depression and isolation are more likely to creep in– both triggers for those dealing with substance abuse issues. 

People are also under a great deal of stress right now, which is another trigger that can lead to self-medication with drugs or alcohol.  This is especially true for the many who have been laid off due to the coronavirus or who have loved ones who’ve gotten sick.  Another trigger is the anxiety around the uncertain future we’re facing.  No one knows how long this crisis will last and what its impact will be not only in regard to health, but also to school, finances and the economy.  These concerns and fears could most certainly lead those in recovery back into addiction. 

Relapse Prevention Tools

Because these uncertain times can pose significant challenges for those in recovery, it’s important to find alternative ways to receive ongoing support during this time.  These include:

  • Staying virtually connected

Whether it be to friends, family, sponsors or others in recovery, having someone to confide in, connect with and talk to will help make the stress and uncertainty of the situation seem more manageable.  Telehealth technology has also become an important part of addiction treatment during this pandemic.  According to PBS News, a growing number of treatment providers are now utilizing videoconferencing, texting and mobile apps. 

  • Maintaining a structured routine

Structuring each day provides stability and helps us feel a sense of control and security.  It can also help maintain focus and keep those in recovery from slipping back into old addictive thinking patterns.

  • Practicing self-care

Since there is so much uncertainty right now, maintaining a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and finding a healthy outlet to relieve stress can all help keep concentration and emotional stability intact. 

  • Reading Recovery-Oriented Literature

For those who relied on attending meetings in-person, continuing to read recovery-related literature is a great way to get the additional support you need, as well as stay in the right frame of mind. 

  • Get Moving

Instead of turning to drugs and alcohol as a stress reliever, it’s important to find healthy outlets to relieve frustrations. Exercise releases natural endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body; plus, it’s a great way to burn off all the stress and anxiety that you may be holding in. 

  • Trying Something New

Now is a great time to start a project or a new hobby.  Not only will it help keep addictive thought patterns at bay, but learning something new will also provide a great sense of accomplishment.  

  • Stopping and Breathing

This is an unprecedented time for all of us, and sometimes the magnitude of the situation can feel like too much to bear.  However, it’s important to realize that this uncertainty, anxiety and stress IS temporary, and we’re not alone in our feelings.  By taking a moment to pause and reflect, we can think rationally about what we’re experiencing and remind ourselves that maintaining sobriety is possible during this time.

Though this new normal has brought its fair share of challenges, options do exist to get the care you need.  At Arise, we are now offering telehealth options, in addition to our in-person outpatient drug and alcohol rehab services.  To learn more about how we can help you during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit

How Do You Make Sobriety Easier?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after getting treatment. This is a daunting statistic, but, really, should come as no surprise. After all, there are many reasons for why people revert back to their addiction after seeking help. For some, it may be due to their ambivalence to get sober – as in, they were never truly committed to put down the drug or drink in the first place. But for others, it may be because they didn’t adequately prepare for the difficult transition from rehab to home life. Moving from a protected, structured environment to one where all temptations are suddenly within reach can be a huge challenge for anybody. Hence, having appropriate aftercare lined up after completing a treatment program is essential. 

Aftercare is a necessary part of treatment that helps bridge the gap between rehab and real life. It guides and supports a recovering addict as much as needed to help prevent relapse and can include teaching him or her new life skills, how to make positive lifestyle changes and encouraging him or her to strive for goals not related to addiction, like relationships, work or education. Aftercare programs can also encourage those in recovery to adopt a new vision and outlook on life – a crucial step so that they can enjoy sober living.  

But, besides aftercare planning, there are other ways to make the journey into sobriety an easier one, too, such as:

Knowing Your Triggers. A trigger is any form of stimuli that can prompt cravings to use drugs or alcohol, and it is typically associated with a memory or situation that relates in some way to past use. Thus, getting – and staying – sober often requires cutting off contact with all people, places and things related to your past drinking or drugging. Knowing your triggers ahead of time can prevent you from becoming trapped in negative thought patterns and keep you focused on being successful in your recovery. 

Surrounding Yourself with Like-Minded People. Who you hang around with can determine whether your sobriety will be successful or not. Hence, spending time with those who don’t use is essential. Twelve-step meetings and group therapy are some of the best places to forge these positive relationships and connections. Being around those who have been in your shoes also brings about great compassion, understanding and healing, too. 

Keeping Busy. Too much idle time can cause a person to get stuck in their own head, leading to feelings of self-doubt, self-pity and even glorification of his or her drug-using past. To combat this, keep your calendar booked with new activities and friends. This way, there will be less temptation to fall back into negative situations and thinking patterns.

Implementing Self-Care. When in recovery, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Being well-rested and providing enough nourishment to the body can go a long way in battling relapse and staying physically and mentally strong.

Taking it One Day at a Time. There is no cure for addiction – just a responsibility to yourself to remain sober with each new day. This mindset lessens the pressure associated with the commitment to stay sober forever and allows the person to focus on the present day. Thus, a “taking it one day at a time” approach makes sobriety an easier pill to swallow and allows recovering addicts to feel comfortable with their recovery goals.

Are you looking to make your sobriety easier? If so, seeking outside support can help. Arise Recovery Center provides aftercare planning for those seeking to maintain and build upon the progress already made in the first phases of treatment. For more information on our individualized aftercare programs, please visit our Aftercare Planning page on our website, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at

The Power of Acceptance

When I got out of prison after serving time for a DUI Serious Bodily Injury conviction, day-to- day life was overwhelming, to say the least. For four years, I’d never had to make a decision for myself, and I found I’d forgotten how to cope with life’s unpredictability due to being away from society for so long. But, even though I was already struggling to adjust, things managed to get worse: my long-time boyfriend broke up with me, the kitten I’d just adopted from a local shelter died from a rare virus and I couldn’t get hired anywhere due to my “felon” label. Life as a free woman was nothing like I expected it to be, and all I wanted to do was give up and check myself back into the gated community.

But a big part of me knew I’d come too far to simply run away when times got tough. After all, that’s what the old me would have done, and I’d been through too much to revert back to the person I once was. Instead, I started practicing the way of thinking I’d adopted in prison: acceptance of the things I could not change. True, life wasn’t fair, but by putting my trust in a power greater than myself and realizing that my life was unfolding the way it was supposed to, I began feeling more at peace and a lot less hopeless.

Living life on life’s terms can be easier said than done, especially when it feels like nothing is going right. But, it’s crucial for the success of your sobriety. Struggling to accept reality and your present circumstances can keep you stuck in an addiction, as you can quickly become reliant on drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy behaviors when things don’t turn out the way you want them to.

Therefore, it’s important to learn to accept whatever life throws at you, whether it be good or bad.
Acceptance gives us much-needed perspective and reminds us that many things are out of our control. After all, life is never going to be perfect – not even in sobriety. Even when situations don’t play out the way we want them to, true peace of mind can be found in believing that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be and the universe is unfolding exactly the way it should.

To better learn how to live life on life’s terms, Arise Recovery Center can help. We provide intensive outpatient treatment for those ready to take on their drug and alcohol addictions. Now, with our Fort Worth drug treatment facility open to the public, we’re able to cater to an underserved market and help even more clients develop new life skills that result in long-term recovery. For more information on our Dallas, Fort Worth, McKinney and Southlake outpatient facilities, contact us at 1-888- DFW-ARISE (1-888- 339-2747) or by email at

Having Fun in Sobriety

You did it – you took that first step by becoming sober.  But now that drugs and alcohol are out of the picture, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to ever have fun again without using.  This is a common concern for those in early sobriety, but one that is entirely possible to overcome.

So, if you’re looking to have fun while in recovery, put a couple of these tips to the test and see what they do for you:

Get Active

During physical activity, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins.  These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and trigger a positive feeling in the body, known as a “runner’s high.”   This runner’s high can have a profound effect on mental health and can relieve stress and improve memory, as well. Yoga, jogging, hiking – all of these activities can put you in a better frame of mind and help make recovery more enjoyable.

Get Involved

When you attend 12-step meetings or complete a treatment program, you will open yourself to new opportunities to participate in sober activities.  Here, you will meet new people to connect with, as well as learn more about yourself and recovery. Having new, sober friends leads to fun and is a great way to steer clear from temptation.

Try Something New

Now that you’re sober, being open to different experiences helps you find yourself and enjoy life again. Trying something new can also spark creativity and become an outlet for frustration and stress.  So go ahead: try paddle-boarding, take a cooking class or learn how to play an instrument. Now that you’re free from the constraints of drugs and alcohol, the possibilities are endless!


Nothing is going to be fun if you don’t get enough shut eye.  When you sleep, your brain recharges, ensuring that you wake up alert and clear-headed.  Without enough, your energy, attention and memory are all reduced and stress hormones go through the roof.  Thus, people who are having fun in sobriety make sleep a priority, not only because it makes them feel great, but they know how negatively affected they are when they’re sleep deprived.

Give Back

One of the most endearing parts of being in recovery is the happiness you will find in helping others.  It takes the focus off you, which gives you a different perspective on life and helps you appreciate what you do have, rather than what you don’t.  In addition, it’s rewarding to help those in need, and this sense of accomplishment can go far in preventing relapse in the future.

Arise Recovery Center’s outpatient programs not only provide intensive treatment, aftercare and therapy, but they also teach our clients how to have fun in sobriety.  Now, with our Fort Worth drug treatment facility open to the public, we’re able to cater to an underserved market and help even more clients develop new life skills that result in happiness and long-term recovery.  For more information on our new outpatient program in Fort Worth, please contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at

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