Practical Tips to Avoid Alcohol during Social Distancing

Knowing how to avoid alcohol may be the deciding factor that helps you maintain sobriety during this pandemic. In recent times where isolation and social distancing have become the norm, recovering alcoholics need to be more intentional about their recovery. Most recovering alcoholics rely on treatment centres and support groups to keep up with their recovery. However, due to the social distancing laws, it may be difficult to attend support group meetings. As a result, we have come up with a few concise tips to help you avoid alcohol.

Times of crises such as the coronavirus pandemic can increase the chances of a recovering alcoholic suffering a relapse. This is because the isolation protocol can lead to heightened feelings of stress and anxiety. Since statistics have shown that many alcoholics use the bottle as a tool to cope with stress and anxiety, isolation can be a danger. However, a relapse is preventable, and you can stay sober. 

For people trying to stop drinking, the road to alcohol recovery can be steep, at best. However, without the company of trusted peers and supports, it can be an even harder journey. If you have recently completed an addiction program, the prospect of being on your own can be scary. But, the good news is you can practice social distancing, stay safe from the coronavirus, and still say sober. 

It goes without saying that the first step should be to get rid of all forms of alcohol in your home. However, there’s more. As experts with practical experience dealing with alcohol addiction, we offer hands-on knowledge that can help you stay away from alcohol.

Tips to Avoid Alcohol during Social Distancing

Tips To Help You Avoid Alcohol

The first step to ensuring that you stay sober, even in isolation, is to learn how to avoid alcohol. We will be giving you a few practical tips that will prove useful.

However, you should note that it is not enough to know these steps. You must put in the effort and stay committed to your alcohol recovery journey. Here are a couple of practical ways you can avoid alcohol during this period.

Stay positive

Positivity is key in alcohol addiction recovery. First off, know that you can get through this period without slipping back into your old drinking habits. However, to be able to do this, you need to maintain a healthy, positive mental attitude. You must believe that you can get through the pandemic without alcohol. Once you have this strong mindset, you will find that it is easier to resist the urge to start drinking again.

Understandably, it may not be easy to maintain a positive attitude at all times. Sometimes, a shadow of doubt may creep into your mind. This may be unavoidable. But, you can control whether or not you will dwell on these negative thoughts. Instead, you can carry out activities that can distract you until the moment has passed. Or better still, you can pick up the phone and call your sponsor a loved one. Whatever you do, always try to stay positive.

Eat healthily

One of the essential tips to avoid alcohol is to practice a proper diet. Good food can go a long way to help you with your sobriety. So, if you want to stay sober and off alcohol, then you should check what you are eating. 

Food influences the way the brain functions. Without a healthy diet, your brain may not be able to produce enough neurotransmitters. Or even worse, it may provide it in excess. This can cause you to feel anxious, irritable or starved. All these are feelings that will not help you with alcohol addiction recovery.

Also, you should have a good food diet regimen. This will help your brain to balance the levels of serotonin, a hormone that will help you relax. To maintain a proper diet, you should eat foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as those found in legumes and vegetables. 

Furthermore, you should also combine your carbs intake with protein. This will help to keep your body functioning optimally. Similarly, a proper diet will help keep your cravings for alcohol to a minimal level.

Find a hobby

Another tip to help you avoid alcohol is to find something that you love doing and invest time in it. Social distancing and isolation protocols may mean that you have to spend long hours at home. This can lead to an intense level of boredom and idleness. These are two things you do not want if you are looking to maintain sobriety. Idleness will give your mind time to reflect on your drinking past. Worse, you may start to obsess over the future and your alcohol recovery.

This can be a danger for a recovering alcoholic. So to prevent such mind-roaming, you should get a hobby. Preferably, choose something that you love doing and will keep you happy.  Keeping your mind engaged continuously will help you to avoid drinking alcohol. However, this does not mean that you should not spare time for rest and sleep. Sleep if you have to, as this is equally important for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Exercise regularly

The role of exercise in preventing alcohol relapse cannot be overemphasized. Regular exercise will promote your physical and mental health. Furthermore, engaging in active activity can help to boost your mood and make you feel better. This way, you are less likely to turn to a bottle to help you cope with a dampened mood. 

Also, exercise can help you reduce stress as it raises your heart rate and causes your brain to release certain chemicals. These chemicals can help to combat both short-term and long-term stress.

Besides, regularly engaging in exercise can help you reduce the urge or craving to drink. We are not saying you should go to the gym as this may be against social distancing laws. But, you can exercise in and around your home. 

Whether through yoga, aerobics or weights, exercise can help you put a stop to alcohol addiction. There are home workout routines that can help you stay on your exercise game. You should take advantage of them.

Connect with people

Reaching out to people that support your treatment can help you avoid alcohol. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. In recent times, a lot of addiction support groups have moved online. Take advantage of these online platforms to reach out to peers that can help you. 

Also, if you feel the need to, you can place a call to your sponsor or addiction treatment centre. This can be very effective in helping you prevent a relapse. The internet and telecommunication channels can bring you closer to loved ones and your support systems. Connecting with these people is a significant way to avoid alcohol during social distancing.

Final Take

Hopefully, you have learned a few things about how to avoid alcohol during this pandemic. But, remember, you have to practice these tips and commit to them. It may not be easy, but if you put in your best, you can avoid an alcohol relapse. 

Do you have further questions on ways to avoid alcohol? Or perhaps you need help with your alcohol recovery? Please reach out to us. We’d love to help!

Related article: Addiction Treatment Centres in Vancouver: Are They Prepared To Handle The COVID-19 Outbreak

Inhalent Abuse

What are the Signs of Inhalant Abuse?

Inhalant abuse is the intentional inhaling of chemicals, meant to create the feeling of being “high” and obtaining feelings of euphoria. Individuals who abuse inhalants often become dependent on them, based on their high level of accessibility. As opposed to other forms of drugs that are obtained through dealers or prescriptions, inhalants can be found in regular household items.

Although not as popular as they were in the 90’s, inhalants continue to be an issue, specifically for younger generations. The reason for this may be because of the level of accessibility as well as the affordability. Inhalants can be created from items such as nail polish, common house cleaners, hairspray, etc.

If you suspect that someone you know may be abusing this type of substance, there are signs to watch out for. If you’re wondering ‘What are the signs of inhalant abuse?’, consider the following symptoms that may tip you off.

Physical Symptoms

When looking for signs of inhalant abuse, physical signs will be much easier to spot with this drug than others. One of the first tell-tale signs of use may be paint stains on the user’s face, or they may carry a strong smell of solvents on them.

Someone who has just recently used will likely have symptoms similar to that of someone who is intoxicated, including having slurred speech, nausea and disorientation. It can also be helpful to look for dilated pupils, and a lack of appetite.

Long-term physical effects of inhalant use include weight loss, lack of coordination, weakness and mood swings.

So, what are the signs of inhalant abuse in a user’s home? Physical signs to look out for include an excess of empty containers and canisters. Collections of empty items such as paint cans, cleaners and air compressors can all be signs, as well as rags saturated in liquids like paint thinner or gasoline.

The Most Dangerous Symptoms

The outward physical appearance of an inhalant user may make their addiction known, but the most dangerous effects of inhalant use cannot be seen.

Less obvious signs include varying levels of damage to body parts such as the liver, the heart, the kidneys and bone marrow.

For those individuals that use inhalants heavily and over a long period of time, the lungs are continuously filled with gas instead of fresh air. Serious effects of this act can include irregular heartbeats, suffocation, seizures and brain damage. Those users who inhale gasses from containers such as whipped cream canisters may experience severe headaches, glaucoma or blindness. Of the most serious symptoms of inhalant use, comatose and even death can occur.

What to Do

Individuals who are addicted to inhalants will require rehabilitation just as much as someone who is addicted to alcohol or heroin. Although inhalants are much easy to access, they can be just as deadly to the health of an individual; those who start early are likely to experience long-term effects that disturb their health for years to come.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering ‘What are the signs of inhalant abuse?’, consider these suggested symptoms. Keep in mind that not all individuals will demonstrate the same signs; however, if many of the suggested signs are present it may be time to speak to your friend or family member about their potential inhalant dependency.

Ways to help a recovering addict

Ways to Help a Recovering Addict

Substance abuse is a continuous and serious problem for Canadians. Many people are dealing with substance dependencies all over the country, and as a result, many people are directly affected by their struggles.

Whether you’re a friend, family member or acquaintance of an individual who has experienced substance addiction, you’d be surprised how helpful or harmful even the simplest of actions can be.

If you’re in the presence of a recovering addict, there are things that you can do to help them continue forth on their journey to sobriety Encourage their hard work and progress with these ways to help a recovering addict:

  • Educate Yourself

It is important not to assume that you know everything about substance abuse, or what a specific individual has experienced during their journey to recovery. Educating yourself might mean learning what kinds of things can cause addiction and what certain drugs can do to the body.

It can also be very helpful to ask about the personal experience of the recovering addict you know. Try to point out that you only want to educate yourself about the topic so that you may genuinely be able to help them more efficiently.

  • Avoid Judgement

It is never right to be negative towards others; we should always be supporting one another.

Hearing positive reinforcement and support is one of the best ways to help a recovering addict, because it helps to keep them in a healthy mental state. That means offering positive reinforcement, supporting their goals and offering to help them along the way.

  • Remove Triggers

If you still want a recovering addict to be a part of your life, then it is ideal to remove any triggers from the surroundings when they’re around.

That means keeping substances out of your home when they’re with you, and considering all of the places you’re taking them. Avoid bars and clubs, and instead try a new activity together like hiking or curling.

Removing recovering addicts from potential trigger situations is a great way to keep them on their new path. If you don’t know what places and things set them off, ask them so that you can be prepared.

  • Try New Things

Recovering addicts often find that staying busy keeps their mind off of wanting to relapse. If this is the case, consider taking them out to try some new things.

It can be anything: Sports games, painting, picnics, etc. Trying new things will show them all of the great opportunities they were missing out on before, and they may even begin to enjoy their new activities more frequently.

This is also a great way to help them meet new crowds of people, and to move away from previous people or places that had a bad influence on them.

  • Listen

Always be willing to listen to a friend or family member who is a recovering addict. Even if they don’t make it known, some people really need someone to talk to.

Keep in mind, actively listening won’t just mean hearing what they have to say; get rid of distractions and communicate with them by both listening and offering your own sound advice.

Conclusion

Addiction recovery is much easier for individuals who have a sound support system of family and friends. If you want to help someone on their journey to sobriety, consider these ways to help a recovering addict.

If you notice the individual struggling, suggest that they join a support group, or volunteer to go with them for support.

Recovering addicts reduce stress

Ways a Recovering Addict Can Reduce Stress

Stress affects us all; however, what is different for each of us, is the ways our bodies react to it, and how we respond to it. For some people, stressful situations might be easily-managed. For others, however, stress can be a very debilitating emotion.

Individuals who are recovering from an addiction often have a hard time managing stress, because they no longer have the outlet they used to rely on. Without the option to drink or abuse substances, finding a healthy balance is a bit trickier.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways a recovering addict can reduce stress without the need to use again. The following options offer alternative options that are healthier and much more efficient.

Create a Manageable Schedule

This is especially important for the first few months after recovery, when the potential for relapse is much stronger. Create a schedule that requires you to accomplish a few things a day, but no more.

Having too much free time might cause a user to spend a lot of time thinking about using; on the other hand, doing too much can also cause some unnecessary stress. Have two or three events planned for each day, to stay busy but organized.

Recognize and Remove Triggers

Even before you head home after recovery you might request that someone removes any potential triggers from your environment. Even if triggers don’t cause an addict to use again, it may increase their levels of stress. This also means avoiding any people or places that encouraged using before.

Other triggers that might cause stress can be everyday life factors, such as old relationships, traffic or unfinished work. Recognize things that need to get done or lifestyle changes that need to be made, and slowly tick them off your list to avoid unnecessary stress.

Meditate

Slow-moving, relaxing activities are a great way to focus on the present and bring stress levels down. Activities such as yoga and meditation are great for finding balance amongst our busy lives, and they can be practices at home or amongst others in a class.

Mind your Body

Maintaining a stress-free attitude isn’t just about mental health—it is physical, too. One of the ways a recovering addict can reduce stress is by taking good care of their body by taking part in daily physical activity and practicing a healthy diet.

Exercise is said to increase our endorphins, resulting in a more positive mindset. Eating healthy can also make us feel better, assuming that we ingest a healthy number of minerals, vitamins and whole foods that help our bodies perform at their best.

Communicate

One great stress reliever for recovering addicts is to talk out their worries and concerns. It doesn’t matter if this means finding a trustworthy friend/family member, or taking part in weekly support meetings; being verbal about things that are stressful is a great way to get them off of your chest.

Sleep

Without sleep, our bodies quickly become run down and much less efficient. Trying to get through the day without enough energy can often be stressful in itself; add to this being late for work or forgetting your lunch and a relaxing day just became stressful.

Conclusion

There are lots of ways a recovering addict can reduce stress; it is merely a case of finding which suggestions work best for each individual. A combination of these tips may be ideal, in order to help an addict experience a calmer, more enjoyable recovery.

Living with recovering addict

Tips for Living with a Recovering Addict

When an addict returns from their rehabilitation treatment, this doesn’t mean that they’re automatically cured. In fact, the recovery process of an addict is a life-long journey that requires the daily decision to avoid temptation and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

For those who are living with an individual who is recovering, they will know that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. Addiction touches many people close to a suffering addict, and when the time comes for recovery, loved ones can have a huge impact on their success or failure.

If you are living in the same home as a recovering addict, you will be exposed to the ups and downs of their journey much more than others. Fortunately, there are ways that you can be an asset to their recovery, while still maintaining your own health and that of your families.

The following are some of the best tips for living with a recovering addict, including some of the typical challenges you’ll face and how to deal with them.

Learn About the Recovery Process

Of all of the tips for living with a recovering addict, this is one of the most important. Lack of preparation before welcoming a recovering addict home can spell disaster, so learning what you can is necessary.

If you can, take some initiative before your loved one comes home. Research the types of behaviors and attitudes you can expect from a recovering addict, and the best ways to support them.

This is important for partners as well as children, siblings, parents, etc. It is ideal if a family can ban together to make sure everyone is doing their part to help the process.

Embrace Family Counseling

As mentioned, addiction can hurt more than just the addict. Families and friends often battle immensely with the struggles of a loved one, which may mean some relationship issues in the home during recovery.

Consider taking part in some family counseling. This type of program will allow any family members to express how they’re feeling, and help them come to resolutions about how to handle this new situation.

Practice a Substance-Free Home

Even if the other individuals living in your home have no issue with substance abuse, it is important that a recovering addict’s home is free of triggers and temptations.

This means getting rid of all drugs and alcohol in the home, or any other item that may stir up cravings. It may even be necessary for family or friends to embrace a new lifestyle that is free of substance-use; or to at least practice self-discipline when they’re at home.

Attend Meetings

It is very helpful for a recovering addict to attend consistent meetings post-rehabilitation; therapy programs offer support and guidance during this difficult time that can be attended by both the addict and their family.

This not only shows support for the individual, but also helps to keep family/friends in the loop about how the individual is doing.

Encourage Doctor Visits

It’s no secret that substance abuse can have all kinds of negative effects on the body.

If you can, encourage the recovering addict to attend consistent doctor visits during the early stages of their recovery to ensure that everything is healing properly and that there are no areas to worry about.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, every individual is going to make their own decisions post-rehabilitation. Fortunately, a support system that genuinely wants to help can make a huge different in the eyes of an addict, so it’s important to do your best to offer a helping hand.

Consider these tips for living with a recovering addict, to ensure that you’re doing all you can to make their home space the ideal place for recovery.