Healing Together: The Role of Family Support in Veteran Recovery

Role of Family Support in Veteran Recovery

Supporting veterans through their recovery journey requires multiple efforts extending beyond the individual but also to their family and community. They often find themselves caught in the middle of their loved one’s struggles, looking for ways to support their recovery in hopes of restoring harmony within the family.

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Can Cocaine Make You a Better Athlete or Worker?  

cocaine use

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug widely known for its recreational use. It is not uncommon for people to believe that this drug can enhance their performance and make them better athletes or workers. This belief has led to an unfortunate trend of some individuals using cocaine as a means to improve their productivity and gain a competitive edge.   

But is there any truth to this belief and can cocaine make you a better athlete or worker? Are there side effects of cocaine use? In this blog, we will explore the facts about cocaine, its effects and discuss its implications and dangers.

What is Cocaine?  

Cocaine is known as a highly addictive stimulant drug that is dispersed worldwide. In fact, the National Institute for Drug Addiction Statistics places cocaine it as the second-most trafficked illegal substance consumed globally. However, it also carries a high risk of addiction and a range of negative health consequences. Cocaine has been designated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II drug in the United States because of its high potential for misuse and addiction. 

According to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 24,486 people died from an overdose involving cocaine. This stimulant poses a significant threat to the life of the users, particularly to athletes and workers.  

How does Cocaine affect the Brain and Body?  

Several articles, such as Medical News, explain the detrimental effects of cocaine on a person’s performance and health. Most noted that cocaine could increase heart rate and blood pressure, putting athletes at risk of heart attack, stroke, and sudden death. Also, the drug can cause mood swings, aggression, and impaired judgment, negatively impacting a person’s ability to compete at their best.

Additionally, American Addiction Centers (ACA) notes that cocaine abuse over an extended period can result in numerous bodily issues. It is occasionally possible to undo the harm that cocaine consumption has done to the body, but repeated abuse over time may have irreparable consequences on health. Also, treating chronic conditions results in a lifetime of medical issues, hospital and doctor appointments, and financial burdens.

Given the facts about this stimulant, why do some athletes and workers still use it? Now, we will give clarity to the contentious topic of cocaine.

Can Cocaine make you a better Athlete or Worker? 

The answer is no. Cocaine cannot make you a better athlete or worker. In fact, using the drug can seriously negatively affect your health and ability to perform. It can temporarily increase your energy, focus, and confidence. But many short-term and long-term effects of cocaine can harm your body and even threaten your life. It can also lead to addiction, further undermining physical and mental health and interfering with work and athletic goals.

Negative effects of Cocaine on Athletic Performance 

Cocaine is one of the stimulant drugs that increase energy and alertness. Unfortunately, using this drug can harm an athlete’s health and career in sports. These may include:    

Physical Effects: Numerous physical effects are harmful to the body, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can reduce endurance and impair performance. It can also cause dehydration which can lead to fatigue and cramping. It can also disrupt sleep, which is essential for athletic recovery and performance.   

Mental Health effects: Cocaine can harm an athlete’s mental health, including anxiety, paranoia, and mood swings, which can interfere with concentration and focus during competition.

Effect on Career: It is important to note that the use of Cocaine is prohibited by the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA). Athletes who are caught using drugs can face serious consequences, including suspension, disqualification, loss of sponsorship, damage to their reputation, and even legal consequences. The use of the drug violates the ethical principles of fair play and sportsmanship, as well as the rules and regulations of most sports organizations. 

Negative effects of Cocaine on Working Professionals   

Similarly, some workers may use Cocaine to improve their performance at work, but the risk and dangers of using it in the workplace are consequential. In terms of performance, the use of this drug can have an impact on an individual’s ability to function effectively. Some effects can lead to several problems in the workplace, including:     

1. Decreased productivity and work quality     

2. Missed deadlines and poor time management     

3. Increased absenteeism and tardiness    

4. Accidents or injuries due to impaired judgment     

5. Conflict with colleagues and superiors     

6. Loss of employment due to a drug test or poor performance 

7. Impaired judgment, decreased concentration, and increased risk-taking behavior. 

Healthy Ways to Improve Your Athletic and Work Performance  

There are healthy and legal ways to improve your athletic and work performance. This can be achieved through regular exercise, healthy eating, adequate rest, a good self-care strategy, and seeking professional help if underlying mental health issues are affecting performance. Seeking treatment for cocaine addiction is essential to manage and overcome the problem effectively. Some benefits include improving your physical and mental health and having better relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, which can help reduce relapse.  

Using drugs in sports and workplaces is strictly prohibited and carries significant risks to individuals and those around them. Therefore, athletes and workers need to understand the dangers of this stimulant and seek appropriate help if they struggle with addiction or other drug-related issues. It is always best to avoid using drugs and instead focus on healthy habits and training.

Seek Professional Help with California Recovery Center

Seeking help is not shameful, taking the first step toward recovery can be life-changing. If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction or any other drug, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. California Recovery Center is a reputable treatment facility offering evidence-based addiction recovery approaches, including detox, therapy, and ongoing support. Learn more by reaching out to us at (866) 864-1986. 

Self-care in Recovery from Substance Use Disorder

self care in recovery

Many people think that self-care means taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, or going for a vacation and pampering themselves with a luxurious experience. Some thought that self-care activities would break their banks. Contrary to this, self-care does not require spending much money, as it can be done in simple ways. To answer the question that people are often confused about, what is self-care and why is it essential in the recovery process of substance use disorder?  

Here, we’ll discuss how crucial it is to practice self-care in recovery from substance use disorder and give some practical self-care strategies that will be helpful to the process of getting better.   

What does self-care mean?

Self-care as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a means of taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.  

Self-care is a process. It involves different activities such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, going to spa sessions, meditating, etc. It also includes spending time with family members and friends in order to create a positive environment around you so that you can get rid of all negative thoughts and emotions which are associated with substance use disorder and help you stay away from any relapse. 

How does self-care affect recovery from substance use disorder?

For individuals with a history of substance abuse, self-care becomes even more critical. Substance abuse often leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, making it even more challenging to care for oneself. However, research also proposes that self-care encourages favorable health outcomes like building resilience, increasing self-awareness, living longer, having better stress management skills, and reducing the risk of recurrence. With self-care, you nurture your mental and physical health so that you reduce your chances of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope. 

It’s easy to think of self-care as a luxury. It’s not—it’s absolutely a necessity 

In fact, studies have shown that people who engage in regular self-care are more likely to stick with their recovery programs and stay sober for longer periods of time. That’s why rehab facilities often encourage their patients to find ways to take care of themselves during treatment.  

If you are worried that practicing self-care will break the bank, then it’s time to reverse the old perceptions. Here are some practical tips on taking a time off without spending a dime and prioritizing yourself:  

  • Break off from a disruptive lifestyle 
  • Halt activities that stress you,   
  • Learn to say no to people that might make your recovery more difficult.  
  • Get enough sleep and rest  
  • Eat healthy food with balanced nutrition  
  • Exercise regularly, whether just walking, consistently jogging, or going to a gym  
  • Avoid anything that might trigger cravings for drugs or alcohol, such as parties that involves binge drinking.  
  • Set aside time for relaxation—whether that’s reading a book or meditating  
  • Catching up with friends every week  
  • Being open to talking about your problems or struggles.   

When you’re feeling good about yourself, you’re more likely to be able to reach out for help when you need it and accept help when it is offered. You’ll also have the energy necessary to stay on track with treatment goals like staying sober or abstaining from drugs and alcohol. 

How do you make time for self-care?

There are so many things competing for your attention: your job, your family, your friends… what about yourself?  

It can seem overwhelming at first. But it’s really just about making small changes. Here are some self-care ideas that can help you manage your time for yourself without compromising your activities:  

1) Take some time every day to recharge on your own—even if it’s only a couple of minutes at first! Set the alarm on your phone and sit quietly by yourself (maybe with a cup of tea). Or go outside and breathe deeply while looking up at the sky or listening to birds chirping. You might even want to try meditating or doing yoga! Just give yourself permission to take this time for yourself—you deserve it!  

2) Schedule some fun activities into your week or month ahead of time—things like going out. It is better to plan ahead so that your primary commitments won’t be compromised. Also, scheduling your activities can give you a detailed plan ahead and time to prepare. It is also a way of rewarding yourself with a break from the busy hustle of life.  

3) Having someone to accompany or remind you of your scheduled activities is a great help. You can lean on people you trust and spend time with them.   

4) Allow yourself to dive into the process of self-care. It doesn’t happen all at once, but a consistent effort to do it. Give yourself time to go through the long-term experience of self-care and not hurry up.  

So why is self-care important?

Individuals with substance use disorder tend to neglect themselves and do things that can harm them, and often neglect the importance of self-care. When recovering from substance use disorder, it can be hard to remember how to take care of yourself. You may not feel like you deserve it, or you may be so focused on getting better that you don’t have time to think about your own needs. But taking time off and practicing self-care in recovery from substance use disorder is crucial if you want to get better and stay sober

In order to be able to function and thrive, you need to take some time for yourself. You need to nourish your body and mind so that you can make better decisions, have more energy, and feel more confident about yourself in every area of your life. 

Practice self-care with California Recovery Center

Make a habit of incorporating self-care into your lifestyle and be kind to yourself. Individuals may interpret and practice this according to their preferences and need, which is why it is important to be more attuned to yourself. You may not be struggling with addiction, but if you know someone that needs treatment, reach out to us. At California Recovery Center, we integrate self-care into our program for a comprehensive journey to recovery. Learn more by reaching out to us at (866) 864-1986.

Thanksgiving: How It Helps in Recovering from Alcohol and Mental Health Issues 

Family enjoying Thanksgiving recovery

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family and friends to gather and share delicious food and happy memories. However, it’s also a time where alcohol consumption runs higher than usual. It has become so rampant that states like Pennsylvania are cracking down on reducing alcohol-related accidents, with the years 2016 to 2020 seeing 138 DUI-related (driving under the influence) accidents due to alcohol intoxication. 

This can make Thanksgiving sound scary for those recovering from alcohol abuse. On the contrary, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be intimidating but exciting for those in recovery. 

Here’s how: 

What is Thanksgiving? 

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is dedicated to celebrating a good harvest for the year. People usually celebrate the event by preparing meals like turkey, fruits, vegetables, and grain-based foods. 

Like many other holidays, Thanksgiving is seen by many people as an opportunity to drink alcohol. For those recovering from alcohol dependence, this can make Thanksgiving pretty intimidating. 

They may be afraid of accidentally drinking a beverage that turns out to have traces of alcohol. Plus, it can discourage them from going to social gatherings and parties out of fear of missing out when everyone else is drinking alcohol. 

Thus, instead of being a wholesome holiday, Thanksgiving can become a challenging time for recovering alcohol abuse patients. However, this shouldn’t be so – the essence of Thanksgiving is not about drinking alcohol. It’s about being grateful for what we have and expressing our hopes for fortune in the future. 

In fact, Thanksgiving is an incredible opportunity to help recover from co-occurring alcohol and mental health issues. It’s just a matter of perspective and surrounding yourself with the right people to celebrate it with. 

How can Thanksgiving help with your mental health? 

Gratitude, unity, and hope are some of the values that we’re reminded of as we celebrate Thanksgiving. The best example of how these values manifest is the fact that we’re always with our loved ones during the holiday. 

One of the most common images that come to mind when thinking about Thanksgiving is a family on a table eating a roasted turkey together. It may seem like a simplistic reduction of what Thanksgiving is about. Yet, it also accurately represents part of what Thanksgiving is about: sharing happiness with each other. 

Altogether, this happiness comes in three ways: 

  • Eating the delicious food on the table 
  • Spending time with your friends and family 
  • Recalling the happy memories that you have together 

These make up the experience of celebrating Thanksgiving — no alcohol necessary.  

Seeing it this way, Thanksgiving sounds like an incredible time for those recovering from alcohol dependence. 

One of the key aspects of recovery is to eliminate the unhealthy positive association that your brain perceives with alcohol. Rather than seeing alcohol as the only way to achieve happiness, you’ll eventually see ways to be happy that are also healthy at the same time. 

Thanksgiving helps tremendously in this by giving you opportunities to: 

  • Strengthen relationships. Acknowledging the people that appreciate your existence is a massive step towards sobriety. 
  • Remember the positive aspects of life. The good people, food, and laughs you share on the table will show you that happiness without alcohol is possible (and better). 
  • Be more hopeful of the future. Alcohol wasn’t there when you were born, but your family and friends were, and you made wonderful memories with them. Besides reminiscing on the past, this makes you realize that a happy future is possible beyond alcohol. 

Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving in recovery 

With all that said, the challenge still remains: how can you celebrate Thanksgiving while recovering from alcohol dependence? 

There are actually numerous ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, and these all entail participating actively in the celebration. Of course, these are also all while avoiding alcohol. 

Here are some tips for celebrating Thanksgiving in recovery: 

  • Stay with family and friends who support your recovery. These people are the key to helping you make the most out of Thanksgiving. Their support means that they value your well-being, which makes their presence valuable not only during the holiday but for life. 
  • Maintain your distance from people who are otherwise unsupportive. Admittedly, some of your loved ones may be indifferent to your recovery. Whatever their reason may be, it may be best to celebrate Thanksgiving without them. Express what you feel about their lack of support, that you want to retain a good relationship with them still and that you would prefer to celebrate Thanksgiving with the right people. 
  • Join in the cooking. With a lot of food comes a lot of preparation. Even if you’re not quite skilled in cooking, you can do simple tasks like cutting up the ingredients or even washing the dishes. This establishes a sense of unity with your loved ones, because you’re all acting towards the same goal. 
  • Plan fun group activities. Play games, watch a movie, have a road trip — these are some of the ways you can express gratitude for your loved ones sticking with you until the end. 
  • Take pictures and videos of the celebration. Thanksgiving isn’t an annual holiday, but a reminder to be thankful. And what better way to remember the good memories of celebrating Thanksgiving than memorializing them through videos and pictures? 

What about Black Friday? 

For many people, one of the most exciting aspects of Thanksgiving is Black Friday. The massive product deals that stores and malls put up can make nearly everyone want to wait in line. 

At first, this may seem like a good time for recovering alcohol patients. After all, the feeling of getting what you want at a huge discount feels extremely rewarding. 

However, it’s a different experience for everyone, as Black Friday usually experiences a lot of physical injuries due to the rush of other people getting to the items that they want. 

It is still possible to make the most out of the sales, though it’s best to do it safely. Here are two ways you can celebrate Black Friday while in recovery: 

  1. Go online shopping. Some ecommerce platforms and online stores offer massive discounts during Black Friday. While there’s still a chance that you won’t get what you want, at least you’ll still be in the safety of your home. 
  2. Ask a loved one to get your desired products for you. This only works if you do have a family member or friend who will actively participate in the sales. 

Celebrate Thanksgiving in recovery with California Recovery Center on speed dial 

Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity for recovering substance abuse patients to reinforce relationships, recall happy memories, and speed up their recovery. However, it still poses risks and challenges that you need to anticipate ahead of time to avoid curbing your recovery or falling into relapse. 

No matter the holiday, it’s always best to keep a recovery center on speed dial in case you accidentally consume alcohol. Here at California Recovery Center, we firmly believe in the power of holidays in substance abuse recovery. At the same time, we also acknowledge its risks. If you feel that you’re at risk of consuming alcohol or any other substance while recovering in Thanksgiving, feel free to reach out to us at (866) 864-1986. 

Telehealth vs. In-Person Therapy: Which is Better for Substance Abuse Recovery? 

Therapist explaining telehealth vs in person therapy

You may have heard about the idea of telehealth for therapy and wonder one of two questions: “How does that even work?” and “Telehealth vs. In-person therapy – which one is better for substance abuse recovery?” 

Understandably, a lot of people would wonder why there’s even a consideration to have remote options for addiction therapy. The main concern is effectiveness: can you achieve the same safe space of comfort and empathy in in-person therapy through a screen? 

Telehealth for therapy does have its own merits. Since the start of COVID-19, remote options for all facets of daily life have grown in demand. In the ecommerce industry, for example, Amazon had 3.68 billion monthly visitors in 2021. Other industries, including healthcare, are expected to follow suit. 

Still, comparing telehealth to in-person therapy is a legitimate concern for those who want the best possible treatment. With that said, here are some factors to consider if you’re deciding between in-person therapy or a telehealth program for substance abuse recovery: 

Factors to consider

1. Severity of symptoms

In-person therapy works with all forms of substance abuse treatments. This includes the two main types of treatment: 

  1. Outpatient treatment – The patient goes to the facility on a scheduled basis 
  2. Inpatient treatment – The patient stays at the facility for more than one night 

Outpatient treatment is ideal for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of substance dependence. On the other hand, inpatient treatment is best for patients with a severe degree of substance dependence that requires extensive supervision. 

The only type of treatment that telehealth can provide is outpatient treatment. This is because in many cases, those who undergo inpatient treatment require more involvement from therapists than those under outpatient treatment. 

It does boil down on the discretion of the recovery center. If the therapist believes that you can manage your symptoms well on your own, telehealth may be a viable option. Otherwise, they’ll recommend that you receive treatment in the facility.

Convenience versus flexibility

One of the main advantages of telehealth is that it doesn’t require you to travel to the facility. You simply have to hop on your device and connect with your therapist to receive treatment. 

This benefits a lot of people who are too busy with their commitments and cannot travel consistently, such as: 

Plus, a telehealth program may also be great for those who have already received in-person treatment and want to continue their recovery. 

In contrast, in-person therapy gives you access to facilities you’ll otherwise be unable to enjoy virtually. For instance, recovery centers have serene, open dedicated spaces that promote peace of mind. 

Another distinct advantage of in-person therapy is keeping in touch with people. You may prefer the warmth of the human touch over words of reassurance through a screen, which can be a deciding factor in your road to recovery. 

In other words, while telehealth programs have the advantage of letting you stay at home, in-person therapy offers a wide range of amenities and benefits that you can only enjoy if you go to the facility.


The price difference between telehealth and in-person therapy varies depending on a lot of factors. What you can accurately estimate is your personal expenses as you receive treatment. 

These include: 

  • Travel cost – Commute or gas for your car 
  • Equipment – Internet connection and a device for virtual therapy sessions 
  • Lifestyle amenities – Food, beverages, and other items that you might buy as you move along your recovery 

In this regard, telehealth does hold the advantage of in-person therapy. It only requires internet access and smart devices, which are very commonplace today. Thus, you barely have to spend more out of your pocket with telehealth. 

With in-person therapy, you have to worry about the costs of traveling which come not only in the form of financial expenses but also time. Travel time can vary wildly, which can make it challenging to manage your personal schedule. 

How do you know which one is right for you? 

In the end, the telehealth vs. in-person therapy debate comes down not to “Which one is better?” but “Which one is better for me?” Neither option is completely better than the other. The nature of substance abuse recovery is that it depends on the unique needs of every individual. 

That’s why when you first inquire about the services of a treatment facility, you have to undergo a series of assessments to determine the best kind of treatment for you. 

In terms of virtual therapy vs. in-person therapy, some factors of this process include: 

  • Therapist’s opinion – Does your therapist think that effective treatment at home is possible? Or will it be best in the facility? Do they think that your symptoms are manageable on your own, or do you require extensive supervision from therapists? 
  • Circumstances – Are you busy with work or school? Far or near to the facility? Can you travel consistently to the facility? 
  • Your discretion – Do you think that you can recover better in the facility? Or can you recover just as well remotely? 

Ultimately, it boils down to your choice. You may choose telehealth because you’re too busy with other commitments, cannot travel, or simply prefer receiving treatment remotely. Conversely, in-person therapy may be your most desired option if you think that you’ll recover better in a facility. 

Find the best treatment for you with California Recovery Center 

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment when recovering from substance dependence. Each abuse case is as unique as the patient itself. While telehealth may be attractive to you as a therapy option at first, it may not be the best treatment for you. At the same time, in-person therapy may seem effective because of the physical access to the facility. But if the daily commute and expenses make it stressful to maintain the program, it can actually be counterproductive. 

That’s why it’s vital that your treatment centers deeply assess your specific case so they can best help you recover. Here at California Recovery Center, we take the unique needs and circumstances of each patient into very close consideration to create the most effective treatment plan for them. Our therapists are dedicated to letting you know the best options that are available for you.  

Each of our in-person outpatient and inpatient treatment services is equipped with proven professionals and equipment to secure the success of your road to recovery. If you decide to receive treatment remotely, our telehealth programs have the same continuum of care as our in-person services. This means that the quality of care you receive will always be the same, whether you receive treatment in-person or remotely. 

Learn more about our services by viewing our treatment page or reaching out to our experts at (866) 864-1986. 

Alcohol Relapse: How to Deal with the Temptations 

Man with drink struggling with alcohol relapse

No matter where you are on your path to recovery, one day, it will just happen: alcohol relapse. You may feel like your progress has gone to waste as thoughts of alcohol start taking over your mind. 

Fortunately, there’s still time to put a stop to relapse. Here’s what you need to know to deal with the temptations of alcohol relapse: 

What are the signs that you’re at risk of falling to alcohol relapse?

Alcoholic relapse is a gradual process. It builds up from a slowly growing set of symptoms, eventually culminating in a return to the same state of alcohol dependence prior to your recovery. 

Here are some of the signs that you’re at risk of relapse: 

  • Post-acute withdrawal symptoms – You’ll feel the same symptoms you experienced in your first withdrawal like sleepiness, irritability, and forgetfulness. These symptoms return especially during very stressful situations. 
  • Self-isolation – Being with friends and loved ones suddenly becomes uninteresting or irritating to you. You now prefer to stay by yourself and immediately turn down invitations to social events. 
  • Loss of interest in recovery – When you first started recovering, you were eager and hopeful to achieve sobriety. Those sentiments, however, gradually faded, and you were no longer interested in making a full recovery. 
  • Losing track of routine and structure – You probably also established a systematic lifestyle for yourself earlier in your recovery, which recently started breaking down due to an apparent lack of focus or interest in maintaining it. 
  • Clouded judgment and decision-making Your actions and choices have started to become illogical, and you’ve become frequently unsure of what to do. 

No matter which symptoms are present, and how severe they are, the moment you experience one of them, you have to start defending yourself from relapsing. 

How to avoid falling into alcohol relapse

When it comes to dealing with alcoholism relapse, prevention is the best cure. You have to create a strong system that proactively ensures that you stay on your path to recovery. 

This involves planning and coordination with your family and friends to become successful. 

Here are very effective ways of preventing yourself from falling into relapse: 

  • Coordinate with your loved ones. Discuss the best course of action when you feel the symptoms of relapse. Create emergency protocols for when the temptations become too overwhelming. Knowing that you have a safety net adds a level of assurance that you’ll triumph against relapse. 
  • Access a strong support system. Whether it’s family, friends, or support groups, establishing rapport with other people is fantastic for curbing relapse. If possible, make friends with people who are also undergoing recovery from alcohol so you can have someone to relate to. 
  • Learn how to manage your stress. Wherever you are in life, stress will always be present — it’s just a matter of managing it. Learning stress management techniques allows you to stay ahead of temptations. 
  • Take up a new hobby or interest. Diverting your attention to doing and learning something new is a very powerful tool against relapse. This gives you something transformative and positive to look forward to and takes you further away from alcohol dependence. 
  • Avoid places and objects that remind you of alcohol. When you’re early into your recovery phase, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is an important motto to live by. Stay away or steer clear of anything that makes you remember the pleasure of alcohol. For best results, ask your family and friends to help out. 

What to do if the temptations still happen

Unfortunately, no matter how much you’ve planned to avoid temptations, they will somehow find their way into your lives. 

Thus, besides finding ways to prevent getting tempted, it’s also crucial to plan what to do if you receive sudden urges to fall into relapse. 

Such protocols should be short, straight to the point, and easy to execute on the spot. Some examples include: 

  • Call a friend or family member about your urges 
  • Leave or remove the trigger out of your sight immediately 
  • Take deep breaths and clear your mind 
  • Distract yourself with something fun or engaging 
  • Return your focus on whatever you were doing prior to the urges 

The most effective technique is to remember that you always have a shoulder to lean on through your loved ones. Part of how relapse occurs is when you feel hopeless and alone. Always remind yourself that, no matter how hard the road to recovery is, your family and friends are there to help you in every step of the way. 

Can I prevent relapse from ever happening again? 

Relapse is a constant challenge to those recovering from alcohol dependence. It’s extremely difficult to overcome in the early stages of recovery. According to a 2011 study on addiction relapse, between 50-75% of patients recovering from alcohol abuse relapse within their 1st year of treatment. 

The rate of relapse decreases over the years, but the challenge still remains. Hence, you must manage your expectations with your recovery and anticipate alcohol relapse as a recurring challenge of the process. 

At the same time, sobriety is a goal that is still very much possible to achieve. Detoxing yourself from alcohol dependence is, in truth, an uphill battle. Stumbling on the way to the top is a natural part of recovery. Besides, if you’re struggling, it means that you’re progressing. 

Fight alcohol relapse with professional treatment 

Recovering from alcohol dependence is never a one-man job. It requires not only focus and dedication on your part, but also a thorough support system from your family and friends. However, if you do fall into relapse, you have to speak with a professional therapist who knows what to do when an alcoholic relapses. 

At California Recovery Center, we believe that every individual has the strength to grow and overcome those challenges. Our therapists will be beside you through thick or thin on your path to recovery. We have custom-tailored outpatient programs to suit the unique needs of patients who want to recover while achieving a healthy work-life balance. Plus, we make sure that patients who completed treatment still receive support through our lifetime aftercare plans for alumni. Whether you’ve relapsed or want someone to talk to, we’ll always be there for you. 

If you feel like you’re at risk of falling, or have already fallen into alcohol relapse, remember that you’re never alone. Our therapists and facilities here at California Recovery Center are always just a call away. 

Supporting Our Veterans: Substance Abuse and Mental Health 

Veterans substance abuse affecting him

The pressure of military life often leads to veterans undergoing substance abuse. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day later this week, we must remember not only their accomplishments and courage but also their struggles both during and after service. 

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders continue to haunt our veterans, and we must always be there to support them. Here’s how we can celebrate Veteran’s Day in a meaningful way. 

Why do veterans turn to drug and alcohol? 

Military life is stressful for many veterans. Some of the things they experienced include: 

  • Constant risks of injury or death on the field 
  • Losing colleagues while on duty 
  • Worrying about their loved ones back home 

To cope with the stress, some of them abuse substances. The most abused substance is alcohol, with 1 in 3 service military personnel found to be “binge drinkers.” 

This abuse continues well after service, as they face difficulties rejoining civilian life like: 

  • Catching up with the rest of the world 
  • Mending relationships formed before the war 
  • Finding stable employment 

Many studies have dug into the incidence of veterans and substance abuse. A 2019 study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed the following statistics: 

  • 11% of veterans are diagnosed with having a substance use disorder (SUD). 
  • Veterans diagnosed with having an SUD are 3-4 more likely to be found with co-occurring PTSD or depression. 
  • Between 37 to 50% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were diagnosed with co-occurring SUD and mental disorders. 

Solving this issue has turned out to be challenging as well. In the 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey (HRBS) that studied drug use among veterans, only 8.6% of respondents self-reported their substance abuse. 

Besides wanting to avoid the punishment of discharge, this is because they want to steer clear of: 

  • Being mocked by their peers for being “weak” and seeking support for their addiction 
  • The stigma towards substance use victims 
  • Facing the risk of losing job prospects and relationships 

In other words, veterans turn to substance use because of their experiences both during and after service. Even with treatment services like Veterans Affairs (VA) drug rehab, many veterans prefer to hide their issues than risk facing judgment by society. 

How to support veterans against substance abuse 

The first thing you need to do to help veterans is to determine if they’re undergoing substance abuse. To do that, you need to look out for the signs. 

In particular, there are 3 types of signs that you have to look out for: 

  1. Appearance – Disheveled image, wearing the same clothes for extended periods of time, lack of hygiene 

  1. Behavior – Occasionally spacing out while being with someone, forgetfulness, staring into the distance on their own 

  1. Sociability – Isolating themselves during social events, constantly stuttering while talking, unenthusiastic responses when being talked to 

The key to supporting veterans against substance abuse is to help them reintegrate with daily life. They have been away from home for a long time — the last thing they need is to be alienated for their substance abuse problems. 

Of course, reducing their substance usage is one of your main objectives, but you have to do it in a very supportive and welcoming way. This means that you have to avoid being upfront about it as much as possible. 

Here are very effective ways you can help them combat their substance use: 

  • Always engage in casual, friendly conversations with them. Most of their social interactions in the field were often serious, stressful, and required quick responses. Talking to them in a relaxed, easygoing way helps them socially reintegrate with normal daily life. 
  • Help them through their personal problems. Be it financial or social, supporting them through their current problems keeps them away from the substances. 
  • Suggest recreational activities that don’t involve alcohol. Sports, board games, hobbies—these activities, in general, help them redirect their energy to something that utilizes their physical prowess in a fun way. 
  • Encourage seeking professional treatment. Seeking professional assistance will provide them with the necessary coping tools and strategies. They’ll be able to navigate difficult situations with greater awareness.

Remember to always exercise patience and empathy, as this process will take time. 

Helping veterans with their mental health 

All veterans deserve support and care for what they experienced during their service. Even if a veteran currently doesn’t consume any substances, at some point, they eventually might. 

They may have been mentally and emotionally drained from the stress of military service. Returning home should mean more than just being away from the battlefield — it has to be a genuine, fruitful reintegration into normal daily life. Otherwise, they might be unable to cope with their negative experiences and eventually resort to substances. 

  • Invite them to social gatherings. They lost time away from home and may have greatly missed their family and friends. Inviting them is a good way for them to catch up with loved ones while reintegrating themselves to peacetime. 
  • As much as possible, try to avoid asking about their experiences in the field. You may unknowingly cause them to feel discomfort as they remember harrowing moments while in service. 

  • If they are vocal about their experiences, talk about them in a positive light. Compliment their bravery, resourcefulness, or physical prowess as an acknowledgment of their accomplishments. Avoid asking about touchy subjects and be polite if you do decide to ask. 
  • Always ask them how they’re doing. Give them a phone call or shoot them a message every once in a while. Doing this lets them acknowledge that they are, indeed, back home and that their presence is appreciated outside of military life. 

Alcohol and drug rehab for veterans 

Remembering Veteran’s Day should not be confined to just 1 day. It’s a continuous process of establishing a strong, holistic support system for veterans undergoing substance abuse. If we continue to aid veterans struggling with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, we can open up a culture where other veterans can feel welcome in showing their vulnerabilities — we can show that life after the military is filled with hope and support. 

At California Recovery Center, we solemnly salute our troops for braving struggles even after the line of duty. Our line of treatments includes specialized veteran substance abuse programs for our heroes returning from the battlefield. If you or your loved one is a veteran struggling with alcohol or drugs after service, we eagerly welcome you with open arms and a sure plan for your recovery. 

Tips for Enjoying Halloween During Recovery from Substance Abuse

Person getting alcohol from a punch bowl while celebrating Halloween during recovery

A 1993 research article on 1,250 college students is one of many studies that confirmed Halloween is a holiday where alcohol and drug consumption are rampant. This still rings true today and makes it challenging to celebrate and enjoy Halloween during recovery from substance abuse. 

Of course, the true spirit of Halloween is found in the witty costumes and the spooky decorations. You don’t need to consume alcohol or drugs to make Halloween an enjoyable event. Nevertheless, there are real risks around substance consumption that you may fall victim to inadvertently. 

Thus, vigilance is the key to celebrating the holiday. Here are some tips to help you through Halloween during recovery: 

Steer clear of peer pressure 

Peer pressure often runs high during holidays like Halloween. Your friends or loved ones may entice you by saying: 

  • “One drink can’t hurt you.” 
  • “Come on, it’s Halloween! You can let go every once in a while, right?” 
  • “It’s just one day. You can get back to recovery right away!” 

These comments may mean well, since they want you to enjoy Halloween, too. However, notice that these statements can apply to practically any other area in your life. 

Giving in because of what they said can result in you using the same reasons yourself. This makes celebrating Halloween on recovery significantly more difficult to continue. 

Take the first step and avoid peer pressure altogether. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Remind yourself to say, “No, thanks.” There’s no need to explain why you’re refusing the offer. A simple no will suffice. 
  • Stay with loved ones or friends who are supportive of your recovery. They know that you have to avoid substances to recover successfully and will never think to pressure you. 
  • Consider avoiding parties. Everyone is expected to drink in a party. It doesn’t have to involve a person actively pressuring you to drink. Just being surrounded by people drinking can have an influence on you. Thus, you may have to rethink joining that party you were invited to. 

These suggestions may sound like they take a lot of fun out of Halloween, especially since it’s a social event. However, remember that Halloween is about dressing up as your favorite character through a witty costume. 

Drinking and consuming other substances is optional at best. But to truly celebrate the essence of Halloween, socialize and mingle with people whose costumes you like. 

Check the candy you receive 

On September 2022, 8 students at the Litchfield Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio, were hospitalized after consuming cannabis gummies. Gummy candies are an example of “edibles,” which are foods that contain cannabis. 

Edibles can come in various forms, including: 

  • Pastries 
  • Brownies 
  • Other baked foods 

Usually, your peers will let you know that they’re giving you edibles. Sometimes, however, you’ll receive food that may actually be edible without your knowledge. It’s also possible that you’ll take a bite off of a brownie or some food on a baking tray during a party that secretly contains cannabis. 

Thus, it’s important that you exercise caution whenever you receive candy. To do that, here are some things you should remember: 

  • Wrapped candies, chocolates, and other sweets by reputable companies should be fine. On the other hand, you should take homemade foods with a grain of salt. 
  • If it’s homemade, ask the person who gave it to you if it contains cannabis. Explain that you’re recovering from substance abuse and that you can’t risk consuming a drug by accident. 
  • When in a rowdy party, try to avoid the food stand. You may end up hungry during the party, but you’ll also guarantee a sober Halloween. 

Be cautious of drinks given to you 

In the same light, you should also be careful of drinks that may be given to you. This is especially in parties where the punch bowl may contain some trace of alcohol. Some people can mix the drinks so well that you’ll barely taste the whiskey or gin that was mixed in. 

To protect yourself, here are some key things you need to remember: 

  • Drink only from pre-packaged juices or bottles. Avoid drinks that have signs of being previously opened, as it may have been spiked. 
  • Avoid homemade beverages from a party. You can never be too sure if the punch bowl has alcohol in it. 
  • Bring your own drinks. The best guarantee of protection is to drink only the beverages you brought yourself. 

Some people, however, may have nefarious reasons and spike your drink without your knowing. Hence, always keep a watchful eye on your beverage. 

Open up about your recovery  

If you do decide to accept the candies or beverages given to you, it’s alright. Discerning which foods or drinks are safe to consume for you is vital if you choose to celebrate Halloween with some decreased restraint. 

In any case, it’s always highly advisable to open about your recovery when you receive such gifts while celebrating Halloween. This lets your peers know about your situation and act accordingly around you. For instance, they may cross out offering you edibles or cocktails and, instead, give you juice or sweets that don’t contain cannabis. 

However, it’s also possible that they simply don’t care, or may think that you just want to miss out on the fun. This may be discouraging to you, but it can eliminate some risks of being offered substances. 

Stay with loved ones 

Who else better to celebrate the spookiness of Halloween than with your family and friends? 

Indeed, there are a lot of people out there from all walks of life who come in interesting costumes, have compelling personalities, and be overall fun to be with. Unfortunately, not all of them will be supportive of your path to recovery and may even tempt you to consume substances during the celebration. 

On the other hand, your loved ones are significantly more likely to support you in your recovery – and in, fun ways, too! You can bake delectable brownies, cook up some delicious food, and whip up drinks, all without substances. 

Staying with your loved ones during Halloween makes you realize not only that you can have fun without substances. It also shows you the value of your loved ones in helping you through your recovery. 

Keep professional help on speed dial during Halloween

When celebrating Halloween recovering, substance abuse is one of the biggest risks you can face. If you’ve consumed a substance by accident while celebrating, it’s best to act fast to make sure you stay on your path to recovery. At California Recovery Center, we attend to each client based on their needs. If you happen to consume alcohol or a drug while celebrating Halloween during recovery, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our outpatient and inpatient treatment options will help you get back to recovering right away. 

Recovery at Home with California Recovery Center


Why is recovery at home important? For most, recovery begins when you decide that you’re ready. This decision can come about in a number of ways, but when that choice has been reached, you’ll begin looking at options to help you on the path to recovery. However, sometimes even when you decide you’re ready to begin your substance abuse recovery, the timing may not feel right.  

Many of us hold jobs we can’t simply walk away from for a month or more. Some are caretakers of children, parents, or elderly relatives who need us to remain at home. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes we are not able to take the time for ourselves to enter an inpatient program at a recovery center.   

This is where one of California Recovery Center’s newly introduced outpatient programs can come in and help with recovery at home. Our founder and the team realize that the road to recovery is different for everyone, and no one should have to put their goals on hold because of a busy schedule. This is why our certified healthcare specialists have put together a new series of programs to serve those who can’t join us at our Roseville, California location.  

Now, you can recover remotely with CRC by enrolling in one of our outpatient programs. You no longer need to choose between your work and family time and recovery; now, you can have both simultaneously! Our programs allow you to maintain your daily schedule while receiving treatment.  

Depending on which program you select, you’ll join us onsite for 1-3 hours per week and remain at home the rest of the week, allowing you to continue your normal life. You will still receive access to 24/7 support from our healthcare technicians without staying onsite.  

California Recovery Center’s goal is to expand our reach to as many people as possible. Now we’re able to serve individuals within our Roseville and Greater Sacramento communities, as well as those outside of CRC’s surrounding area. We’re excited for you to grow with us!