Author Archives: Recovery Centers


When I Knew I Was An Alcoholic

My relationship with alcohol was never “normal.” The first time I drank was at a high school party when I was 14 or 15 years old. As soon as I had swallowed the first few sips of flat, lukewarm beer, I felt as if there was nothing I couldn’t do. I transformed from a somewhat shy and self-conscious “theater kid” to a loud, funny, boisterous party girl. I didn’t put down that party girl persona until after college, when I found myself in a psychiatric ward after a blacked-out joy ride. From there I was transferred to a rehabilitation center in Southern Florida. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite ready to admit that my relationship with alcohol was unhealthy, or that I would never be able to drink like other people. I refused to believe that I was really an alcoholic, blaming my binge drinking on my youth and my daily drinking on my… youth. “I just really like drinking,” I would tell my sobbing mother over the phone. “I like alcohol; drinking is still fun for me.” In reality, drinking had crossed an important threshold several years back. It was no longer fun, it was a necessity. My alcohol consumption had become compulsive, and I no longer had control over the first drink.

I can’t pinpoint an exact moment when I knew I was an alcoholic. I remember being 15 and working my first ever job as a cashier at Carl’s Jr. I remember waking up with a little baby teenager hangover from a high school party, throwing two beers into my backpack, and chugging those beers in the restaurant bathroom at about 9am before taking as many Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger orders as I could muster before going home “sick.” No one had taught me “hair of the dog.” I drank alcoholically from a young age. If you or someone close to you has been showing the warning signs associated with an alcohol use disorder, it is important to acknowledge that alcoholism is a progressive medical condition, meaning symptoms will worsen in severity the longer they are left untreated. Fortunately, at Recovery Centers we are available to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Coming to Terms with Alcoholism

Admitting that I was an alcoholic felt, in many ways, like admitting defeat. There is a saying in 12 Step programs that goes, “Surrender to win.” When I first heard this saying I thought it was counterintuitive and (frankly) ridiculous. Surrender? As in, admit total defeat — lie down on my back and take the loss? How could that be a positive thing? I soon realized that alcoholism was not something that defined me. It was not something that I could rationalize, talk my way out of, or get rid of it. It was not something I could conquer. It was something that was always going to be a part of me, and something that I needed to address on a daily basis. But it was not something that needed to dictate my life — not anymore. The more I dove into self-work the more I began to view my personal history of alcoholism as a strength rather than a weakness. I could stay in remission and continue along on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, living my best life and not being helpless caged by chemical substances.

“There Is a Solution”

At a certain point I drank because I had to, not because I wanted to. Drinking was no longer fun. It wasn’t a social event, it wasn’t glamorous, it wasn’t the precursor to a night of adventure. It was killing me, and I wanted to stop. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t stay away from the bottle for long enough to acknowledge this reality to myself, let alone anyone else.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 24, reads, “At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of absolutely no avail. This tragic situation has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected. The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.”
There was a point in my drinking career when consumption became completely compulsive. I would wake up with the hangover to end all hangovers; laying on the bathroom floor, shaking, crying, shooting out foxhole prayer after foxhole prayer. “Please God, I won’t drink anymore. Just let me feel better. I won’t drink ever again.” As soon as I was done vomiting and as soon as panic attacks had subsided just enough, I would drag myself to the kitchen and pour myself a glass of fruit fly-filled wine (if there was any left over from the night before, I certainly didn’t have the wherewithal to put the cork back in the bottle).

The 2nd chapter of the Big Book goes on to read, “The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us. If these thoughts occur, they are hazy and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people. There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove.”

I was being burned over and over again. Did I really think that things would turn out differently; that this time I would have lighthearted fun again? Wake up without a hangover knowing exactly where my car keys and dignity were? I could no longer differentiate the true from the false.

“The alcoholic may say to himself in the most casual way, ‘It won’t burn me this time, so here’s how!’ Or perhaps he doesn’t think at all. How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, ‘For God’s sake, how did I ever get started again?’ Only to have that thought supplanted by ‘Well, I’ll stop with the sixth drink.’ Or ‘What’s the use anyhow?’”

This thought process had become all too relatable. Night after night I would tell myself, “I’m just going to have one glass of wine, just going to take the edge off or enjoy a little respite after a particularly tough day at work.” Soon I would be two glasses in, then three, and after long I was hopping behind the wheel of my car to drive-drunk to the gas station down the road for another bottle or two (usually two). When I came to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I learned that I was not alone in this behavior. I was not alone at all. There were thousands of people who had successfully recovered from alcoholism, and help was available as soon as I was ready to reach out and accept it.

Coming to terms with a drinking problem is never easy. For many, denial runs so deep that admitting powerlessness over alcohol can take years. Unfortunately, because alcoholism is a chronic and progressive medical condition, associated symptoms only continue to worsen the longer they are left untreated. If you or someone close to you has been struggling with an alcohol use disorder of any severity, Recovery Centers is available to help. We have developed an effective program of alcohol addiction recovery, one that begins with identifying the root causes of alcohol use and focuses on the development of relapse prevention skills. In some cases, committing to a short stay in an inpatient detoxification might be a necessary first step on the road to recovery. This is especially true if you or your loved one has been drinking heavily for a prolonged period of time. In most instances a multi-staged program of recovery comes recommended, beginning with medical detox, progressing to inpatient treatment, and continuing with aftercare. To learn more about the best treatment options for you, contact us at Recovery Centers today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you get started on your personal treatment journey as soon as possible.

Gifts of Sobriety

The Gifts of Sobriety

Sobriety is one of the most beautiful gifts you will ever give to yourself and to those you love. However, getting sober and beginning to live a life of recovery is not something that happens overnight. The road to recovery can be treacherous, and you will inevitably feel like throwing in the towel from time to time. You might feel overwhelmed and in too deep, frustrated by your snail’s pace-progress, unwilling at times to take suggestions and truly go to any lengths. Growth can be incredibly painful. However, when you make it to the other side, you will start to recognize how immensely all of your hard work is paying off.

At Recovery Centers we believe that recovery should be available to all those who seek it. We have developed a comprehensive treatment program geared towards helping people heal on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual basis. We adequately prepare our clients for continued success in sobriety by equipping them with the tools and skills they need to navigate any challenges life should throw at them. If you or someone you love has been struggling with addiction and is ready to take the first step towards a life of happiness, fulfillment, and freedom, contact us today.

The Gift of Honesty and Authenticity

When you were active in your addiction, there is a good chance that honesty eluded you entirely. Those who struggle with substance use disorders go to great lengths to protect their drinking or drug use. This typically means lying to their loved ones and to themselves on a daily basis. When you get sober, you have to be honest with yourself for (maybe) the very first time. You have to admit that drinking or drug use has become a serious problem, and come to terms with the fact that you cannot recover without help. This can be extremely difficult to do, especially considering the fact that most people who struggle with addiction stay stuck in a place of complete denial for so long. You likely convinced yourself that everything was fine, you had it all under control, and that you could stop anytime you wanted to. When you realized this wasn’t the case you reached out for help, and you have finally embarked on your recovery journey. Being honest takes practice, especially when it doesn’t come naturally. But once you get into the habit of living an authentic life, you will open up the door for true fulfillment.

The Gift of Total Freedom

There is truly no sense of freedom like the freedom you will feel once you realize that you can live a happy and fulfilling life free from compulsive substance use. When you were active in your addiction you became a slave to chemical substances; your life began to revolve around them. Every decision you made was directly tied into hope and when you could take the next drink or experience the next high. You spent a significant amount of time obtaining your drug of choice, using it, and recovering from its effects. You spent even more time trying to put out all the little (and big) fires your substance use constantly caused. When you wake up in the morning without a hangover, without feeling dopesick, depressed, and entirely hopeless, you will experience a freedom like you have never known. Life becomes your oyster and you have endless possibilities at your disposal.

The Gift of Healthy, Mutually Beneficial Relationships

When active in your addiction, you likely forged relationships based solely on what the other person could do for you. When you commit to a life of recovery you begin learning how to develop mutually beneficial relationships, relationships that are based on things like common interests, fundamental similarities, and healthy communication. Sounds pretty crazy, right? It can be difficult to imagine, especially if you come from a dysfunctional family (which many of us do, in one way or another). The good news is that you will be guided through the process. You will start forging healthy relationships while you are still engaged in treatment. You will develop a bond with your individual therapist, with your peers, and with other sober people you meet in 12 Step fellowships. Before you know it you will have an expansive network of people you can truly rely on; people who have your best interest at heart.

The Gift of a Full Spectrum of Emotions

This might seem like a curse rather than a blessing, and it certainly can be. When we commit to addiction recovery we commit to navigating bad days, knowing that better days are on the horizon. When you were active in your addiction you likely experienced a series of very low low and very high highs — at least at first. Over time, every day became a battle. Most days you wished you wouldn’t wake up. Experiencing a full spectrum of human emotions — joy, sadness, grief, elation, nervousness, fulfillment, love — can be quite a whirlwind. It is certainly a change from going to any length necessary to numb everything out. But once you belly laugh for the first time in sobriety, you will recognize how very worth it the bad days are.

The gifts of sobriety are endless, of course, they cannot be accessed until the initial step on the addiction recovery journey is taken. This initial step is making the decision to reach out for help. As soon as you contact Recovery Centers you will be connected with someone who will help walk you through the admissions process. We understand that committing to change can be scary, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect from the treatment process. We are standing by to answer any additional questions you have by walking you through the first stages of the process, step by step. At Recovery Centers we believe that effective addiction treatment options should be available to those in need, and we work closely with major insurance providers to ensure our clinical program is as accessible as possible. To learn more about the gifts of sobriety or to learn more about getting help for addiction, contact us today.

Self Love

The Importance of Self-Love in Addiction Recovery

When I was at the peak of my alcoholism, I hit a point where I genuinely didn’t care if I lived or died. I would engage in dangerous, high-risk behaviors without any desire for self-preservation. I would get behind the wheel of a car mid-blackout, go home with strangers, mix alcohol with any other substance I could get my hands on. I would do crazy things while intoxicated, and wake up the next morning with (what felt like) a life-ending hangover and a giant pit in my stomach. I drank to numb the sharp and incessant ache of self-loathing that emanated from my brain, to drown out the voice in my head that screamed, “You’re not worth anything. You don’t deserve to be here. You’re better off dead.” I didn’t choose to get sober. Why would I? People who choose to get sober typically do so because they want better for themselves; they want a shot at a healthy and happy life. Not me. I didn’t deserve a better life. I didn’t deserve fulfillment — I didn’t deserve contentment. I deserved to stay stuck in the vicious cycle of binge drinking and blackouts, booty calls and bruises, lost jobs and ruined relationships. I didn’t choose sobriety, but at a certain point in time it chose me. I was shipped off to sunny Southern Florida where I would be separated from my best friend for the first time since I picked it up. I would be left sober and alone, hating myself, forced into years of intensive therapeutic healing. Learning to love myself was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But in retrospect, I wouldn’t change the trials and tribulations I went through for the world, because they brought me to where I am today. If you or someone you love has been struggling with addiction, beginning the journey of recovery is as easy as picking up the phone and making a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you begin healing today.

What Is Self-Love & Why Does It Matter?

Self-love and self-esteem have a lot in common. Both have to do with cultivating a stable sense of self. According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, “Self-esteem is a simplistic term for varied and complex mental states pertaining to how one views oneself.” Oxford Academic states, “Self-evaluation is crucial to mental and social well-being. It influences aspirations, personal goals and interaction with others. Evidence is presented illustrating that self-esteem can lead to better health and social behavior, and that poor self-esteem is associated with a broad range of mental disorders and social problems, both internalizing problems (e.g. depression, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders and anxiety) and externalizing problems (e.g. violence and substance abuse).” Before working on loving yourself, it is a good idea to first develop a stable sense of your own worth and value. You might hear the advice, “The best way to build self-esteem is through esteemable acts.” Self-esteem isn’t something that will just show up someday — in order to cultivate it, you must continuously do things that make you feel good about yourself. There are many ways to build self-esteem and foster a deep, genuine love for yourself in the process. It is important that you are gentle with yourself as you make personal progress — the journey of recovery is certainly not easy!

How to Develop a Stable Sense of Self

Developing a stable sense of self might look like:

  • Spend your time doing things you enjoy. Prioritize yourself and your own happiness. Rather than bend over backwards to make others happy and consistently deny your own wants and needs, start clearing your schedule one or two days out of the week and spend quality time with yourself.
  • Develop a strong self-care routine. This might look like waking up in the morning, putting on a record, and journaling for 30 minutes before you “officially” start your day. This might look like turning your phone off every Sunday until 4pm and going on a solo hike, hitting a 12 Step meeting, and making yourself a healthy and delicious lunch. Self-care looks different for everyone. Spend some time developing a strategy that works for you.
  • Making yourself available to help others. Could be as simple as picking up the phone when a friend calls you, or helping an elderly neighbor take the trash to the curb every Sunday. You might choose to pick up a service commitment at a 12 Step meeting you regularly attend, or volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Prove to yourself that you are, in fact, a good person — someone who cares about and shows up for others.

Learning to love yourself takes time, patience, and a lot of hard work. Even those with decades of sobriety under their belts struggle with self-love on occasion. It is important to first find compassion for yourself, and a great way to do this is by acknowledging that you are not your disease. Unquestionably, when you were active in addiction, you behaved in ways you were not proud of. You were sick and suffering. Your behaviors while active in addiction are not a representation of who you are at your core.

At Recovery Centers we believe that everyone who is struggling with a substance use disorder should have access to top-quality clinical care. We have developed an integrated and highly individualized addiction recovery program based on a range of evidence-based modalities and facilitated by a team of experienced industry professionals. If you or someone close to you has been suffering from addiction, we are available to help. As soon as you make the decision to reach out for help you will be connected with someone who can guide you through our admissions process, which always begins with a no obligation health insurance benefit check (for those who are currently insured through a major regional or national provider). If you are currently uninsured or insured through a Medicaid or Medicare program, we will help you determine the best course of action. Once we have determined whether or not the addiction treatment services we provide are going to be covered partially or in full, we ask a series of questions designed to help us determine the best level of care for you. For most individuals struggling with addiction and any co-occurring issues, entering into a medical detox program is an important first step. Once you or your loved one has been physically stabilized they will transition into a higher level of care, which might be an inpatient rehabilitation center, a partial hospitalization program, or an outpatient program. To learn more about the best treatment options for you or to begin your personal recovery journey, contact Recovery Centers today.


sober living

Sober Living: What I Would’ve Done Differently

My recovery journey started out just like many others. I regained consciousness in a psych ward, unsure of how I had gotten there, wondering how and when I was going to take my next drink. I was promptly shipped off to Southern Florida where I would undergo medical detoxification and stay engaged in an inpatient treatment program for 90 days. Once I had “done my time” I moved into a female sober living home, where I would learn how to function as an adult while trying as hard as I could not to relapse. Looking back, I wish I would have made more of my time in treatment.

I spent most of my time reconciling how something like this could have happened to me.


I was just a run-of-the-mill party girl in her early 20s, living life the way I wanted and saw fit. I didn’t really need to be in treatment. My parents were being a little bit dramatic. Sure, I had driven three hours in a blackout, totaled my car, burned every bridge I ever laid eyes on, and nearly flunked out of college, but rehab was a little much. Yes, maybe I had been drinking around-the-clock for years, but this new life in Florida wasn’t really my style.

Because I am a stubborn alcoholic, I fought the process every step of the way. I certainly didn’t want to move into a women’s sober living home once treatment concluded. First of all, I didn’t like women. They were mean. Secondly, I was tired of the whole “sobriety” thing. I was ready to throw caution (and everything else) to the wind and get back out there.

Fortunately for me, I did move into a sober living home, where I not only learned how to be a functional adult, but where I learned how to develop healthy, mutually beneficial friendships with other women. There are many things I would have done differently, but overall I am immensely grateful that I gave myself a fighting shot at true sobriety.

If you have been struggling with alcohol or drug use and you are on the fence about getting clean, I encourage you to at least investigate. What would sobriety look like? How would your life improve? Change can be very scary — even (sometimes especially) positive change. At Recovery Centers we know how difficult it can be to reach out for help. The majority of our staff members have been through recovery themselves, and they are standing by to help guide you through the beginning stages with compassion. Contact us today to learn more.

What is Sober Living?

A sober living home (also known as a halfway house) is a structured, substance free living environment for people who are new to sobriety. Sober living homes provide an increased level of accountability and support, often conducting drug tests and implementing a set of rules geared towards helping people stay sober. An article published by the National Library of Medicine states, “Lack of a stable, alcohol and drug free living environment can be a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol and drug free living environments for individuals attempting to abstain from alcohol and drugs. They are not licensed or funded by state or local governments and the residents themselves pay for costs. The philosophy of recovery emphasizes 12-step group attendance and peer support.” The study ultimately found that those who moved into a sober home directly following treatment had higher success rates than those who moved home after discharge.

Is Sober Living Important to the Recovery Process?

Sober living is an important part of the recovery process for many individuals. This is especially true in the following circumstances:

  • You do not have a safe or supportive living environment to return to once treatment concludes (you are coming from a dysfunctional household or a living environment that condones substance use).
  • You have traveled out of state for treatment, and staying engaged in a lower level of care (outpatient treatment) is part of your personal aftercare plan.
  • You want to continue seeing the individual therapist or psychiatrist you saw while you were engaged in residential treatment.
  • You are still dealing with the consequences of active addiction, and you need extra help navigating these consequences.
  • You are in a tough financial position — in many cases, sober living homes take into account the fact that people who are new to sobriety might not have the financial means to pay for a full month of rent, and many offer payment plans to residents.

What I Would Have Done Differently

There are a few things I would have done differently if I could do the process over again. That being said, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I learned some lessons the hard way, but that allows me to share my findings with others who might be in a similar position.

No Relationships

I got into a relationship almost immediately. It would have been a great idea to focus all of my attention on my sobriety, but that’s not the way that things played out. Of course, I was not emotionally stable enough to handle a relationship, and it blew up in a hot, fiery burst of devastation and pain.

Follow the House Rules

I didn’t listen to all of the house rules, which I later recognized were designed to help me grow into a functional, self-sufficient adult. Instead, I focused on what other people were doing wrong.

Moved in With Women

Following sober living, I made the decision to move into a house with two sober dudes. They were nice enough, but it would have been a good idea to move in with women, even though it was less comfortable for me at the time. I didn’t follow suggestions, which made my life a lot more difficult in the long run.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

If you or someone you love has been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, there is help available. If you have never previously considered entering into an addiction treatment program, you might be unsure of where to begin. First of all, we recommend considering which level of care will best meet your unique clinical needs. If you have been using one or several chemical substances regularly for longer than several weeks, we encourage you to begin your personal recovery journey with a short stay in an inpatient medical detox center. Once you have undergone withdrawal in a safe, structured environment, you will be cleared to transition into the next appropriate level of care.

If you need help finding the right medical detox or treatment center for you, feel free to contact us at any point in time. At Recovery Centers we are standing by to help guide you in the right direction. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery as soon as possible.

Stay Sober

Why Do Some People Stay Sober While Others Don’t?

Addiction is a unique condition in the sense that it affects everyone in such dramatically different ways. While some of the associated symptoms remain consistent, others vary so significantly it seems impossible that they classify the same chronic health condition. One person might start using drugs recreationally at a young age, and go on to use drugs on a daily basis for years. They might still show up to work, get their job done (however imperfectly), successfully hide their drug use from loved ones, and suffer no real consequences until much later on in life, when their health starts to decline. Another person might start drinking later on in life, avoiding alcohol almost entirely until their 50s. They might become a daily drinker within weeks, soon losing their career, ruining their marriage, and finding themselves in financial ruin and without a place to live. The reason people turn to chemical substances is different, the present risk factors are different, the effects are different. In the vast majority of cases, the recovery journey is different.

If you or someone close to you has struggled with addiction, you likely understand how highly individualized the experience is. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that some people stay sober once they commit to a life of recovery, and others experience relapse. At Recovery Centers we believe that recovery is possible for all those who seek, so long as the right treatment options are in place. Regardless of your age, location, drug of choice, or current financial standing, there is an effective addiction treatment option available to you. Contact us today to learn more.

Why Do Some People Relapse?

Why do some people stay sober while others don’t? Those who attend treatment are significantly more likely to stay sober than those who attempt to maintain sobriety without any degree of professional intervention. Personal experience heavily dictates how likely a person is to stay sober following treatment. The reason behind relapse varies, but in most cases, a person will experience at least one of the following.

  • A person is more likely to relapse if they steer away from their personal aftercare plan. The vast majority of treatment centers offer personalized aftercare planning. This means that a plan of action is mapped out for each client to implement once they discharge. Most aftercare plans include a continuation of individual therapy, daily involvement in a 12 Step program of their choosing, and the practice of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • A person fails to continue honing their relapse prevention techniques. While in treatment a person will likely start honing their relapse prevention skills, which could include setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, considering consequences, reaching out for help, and staying grounded in the present moment. Those who relapse tend to forget their relapse prevention skills, and find themselves unequipped to handle uncomfortable emotions when they arise (which they inevitably will).
  • A person fails to change people, places, and things. This might mean they return to a dysfunctional household as soon as they discharge from treatment, or they return to a living environment that condones drinking and recreational drug use. Maybe they keep spending time with friends they used to drink or use drugs with, or frequently go to the local bar “just to shoot pool.” Changing the structure of your life is not easy, but it is almost always necessary.

Three Ways to Stay Sober Long-Term

There are many ways to bolster your recovery and increase your chances of staying sober long-term. The most effective route for you will depend on your unique circumstances and distinct clinical needs. If you are interested in learning more about the most effective ways to avoid relapse, contact us today.

Stay Involved With a 12 Step Program

One of the best ways to ensure continued sobriety is by staying actively involved in a 12 Step meeting like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. This doesn’t mean showing up to a meeting once or twice a week and bolting out the door as soon as the closing prayer is said. It means actively participating; working the steps with a sponsor, sponsoring others, sharing at meetings, doing service work. 12 Step programs offer a wide range of benefits including increased accountability, fellowship, and cost-effective mutual support.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Additional Help

The more time you stay sober, the more you will learn about yourself — and you might be surprised by what you learn. Perhaps after several months you find that your post-acute withdrawal anxiety hasn’t subsided. Rather than continue suffering through the symptoms, it is a good idea to reach out for some degree of outside help. This might mean scheduling an appointment with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist. Go to whatever length necessary to protect your sobriety and avoid self-medicating underlying symptoms.

Remember — You Don’t Have to Relapse to Go to Treatment

This might actually come as a surprise. Why would you ever go back to treatment if you didn’t pick up a drink or a drug? Going back to treatment doesn’t necessarily mean checking yourself back into a 30 day inpatient treatment program. If you are really struggling and you feel you would benefit from additional help, you can look into finding a low-commitment outpatient treatment program. This will give you a dedicated environment in which to continue honing your relapse prevention skills while working through day-to-day challenges in real time.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, there is help available. If you have never previously considered entering into an addiction treatment program, you might be unsure of where to begin. First we recommend considering which level of care will best meet your unique clinical needs. If you have been using one or several chemical substances regularly for longer than several weeks, we encourage you to begin your personal recovery journey with a short stay in an inpatient medical detox center. Once you have undergone withdrawal in a safe, structured environment, you will be cleared to transition into the next appropriate level of care. If you need help finding the right medical detox or treatment center for you, feel free to contact us at any point in time. At Recovery Centers we are standing by to help guide you in the right direction. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery as soon as possible.

Addictive Personality

What Does It Mean to Have an Addictive Personality?

It is not uncommon for a person to find something they love, dive in headfirst, and burn themselves out within a short matter of time. For example, say you discover a new flavor of potato chip that absolutely blows your mind. You have a small bag of the potato chips on Monday and find yourself craving them so intensely on Tuesday you run to the store on your lunch break and pick up a bigger bag. The remainder of the week is filled with potato chips — you can’t seem to control yourself. By Friday you are so burnt out on the flavor you need to take an indefinite break. Does this mean you have an addictive personality? Maybe. But more likely, you just went a little too hard on some potato chips.

Having an addictive personality doesn’t necessarily mean you find something you like and burn yourself out on it. Someone with an addictive personality has a certain set of personality traits and pre-existing risk factors that make them more susceptible to the development of an addictive disorder. Addiction comes in a variety of forms. A person can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, gambling, shopping, eating, sex, love… the list goes on.

If you or someone close to you has been engaging in patterns of addictive behavior that pose a risk to themselves or others, reaching out for some degree of professional help is likely a good idea. At Recovery Centers we understand that addiction impacts everyone differently, and the treatment options best suited for one individual might not be as effective for another. As soon as you make the decision to reach out for help, you will be put into contact with someone who will guide you in the right direction. Reach out today to learn more.

Impulsivity and Addiction

Certain personality traits are more commonly found among those who struggle with addiction. Examples of these personality traits include perfectionism, low self-esteem, and impulsivity. According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, “Personality features have long been associated with addictions. Recently, impulsive tendencies have been considered important in the psychopathologies of addictions. Impulsivity may contribute to a wide range of psychopathology, including bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, pathological behaviors associated with Parkinson’s disease, and substance addictions. This review will focus on recent studies (published within the last year) that investigate impulsivity and addictions. Impulsivity has been described as rapid, unplanned behavior with little forethought of the consequences. Given this definition, some impulsivity may contribute to optimal decision-making and be advantageous in certain situations.”

Additional Risk Factors For Addictive Personalities

Impulsivity is not the only risk factor for an addictive personality. Other risk factors include:

  • An underlying mental illness like anxiety or depression.
  • Underlying attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Beginning to use drugs and alcohol from an early age.
  • Genetic predisposition — having a parent/parents who struggle with an addictive disorder of some kind (either a substance use disorder or behavioral addiction).
  • An increased propensity towards risk taking.
  • Unresolved trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Continuing to engage in certain behaviors despite negative consequences.
  • An inability to follow rules.
  • A propensity towards obsessive thinking.

Getting Help for an Addictive Disorder

If you or someone you love has been struggling with a substance use disorder or behavioral addiction, there are several effective treatment options available. The best course of action for you will depend on your unique case.

  • Medical Detox — If you have been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, entering into a medical detoxification program is an important first step on the road to recovery. The physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous when left untreated. Once you have been physically stabilized, you will be cleared to move onto the next appropriate level of care.
  • Residential/Inpatient Treatment — This level of care is ideal for those who are struggling with a severe substance use disorder or behavioral addiction, or for those who have a more complicated diagnosis (co-occurring disorders). Residential treatment is typically preceded by medical detox and followed up by a step-down level of care.
  • Partial Hospitalization (PHP) — PHP is one step lower than inpatient treatment, the main differentiating factor being that clients return home in the evening once the full day of treatment concludes.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) — IOP is an ideal option for individuals looking for a more flexible treatment option. In most cases, a person will attend IOP for between 4 and 5 days a week, either earlier or later in the day. This flexibility in scheduling allows for continued fulfillment of work-related obligations. IOP is typically recommended as a step-down level of care following inpatient treatment, but can serve as a standalone treatment option in the case of mild or moderate addictive disorders.
  • 12 Step Programs — 12 Step programs are an ideal option for those looking for supplemental care following addiction treatment or for those who are struggling with a mild or moderate behavioral addiction and no co-occurring disorders. There are 12 Step programs for alcoholism, drug addiction, compulsive overeating, sex and love addiction, gambling addiction, and more.
  • Individual Therapy — Those with addictive personalities often benefit immensely from individual therapy sessions conducted by a licensed professional. A therapist can help identify where the propensity towards addiction first originated, tackling it at its roots.
  • Psychiatric Services — Individuals with addictive personalities often struggle with underlying mental illness, more specifically anxiety or depression. For those with co-occurring mental health concerns, ongoing psychiatric care is often necessary. Medication might also be recommended.

If you or someone you love has been struggling with an addictive disorder of any type or severity, there is help available. If you have never previously considered entering into an addiction treatment program, you might be unsure of where to begin. First of all, we recommend considering which level of care will best meet your unique clinical needs. If you have been using one or several chemical substances regularly for longer than several weeks, we encourage you to begin your personal recovery journey with a short stay in an inpatient medical detox center. Once you have undergone withdrawal in a safe, structured environment, you will be cleared to transition into the next appropriate level of care. If you need help finding the right medical detox or treatment center for you, feel free to contact us at any point in time. At Recovery Centers we are standing by to help guide you in the right direction. We look forward to speaking with you soon and getting you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery as soon as possible.