• What Am I Going to Do With All This Time?

    July 6, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    One of the first questions many people have in early recovery is, “What am I going to do with all this time?” Addiction can, indeed, consume a large portion of your daily life. In addition to the amount of time you spent actually using the substance itself, you likely used a good deal of time thinking about, procuring, and/or preparing for using. There’s no question that it can be tough in early sobriety to fill all that extra time... (more...)

  • On Character Defects and Making Amends

    June 20, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    One of the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous that, in the text of Twelve Steps and Traditions is said to “separate the men from the boys,” has members express their readiness to have their higher power remove all their “defects of character.” Although some delay “might be pardoned,” it’s suggested that being willing to aim toward perfection is recommended. Interestingly, even though early AA participants recognized an “illness”... (more...)

  • The Language of “Using Again”

    June 2, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

      For a long time, addiction treatment programs have used the word “relapse” to describe a return to drinking or drug use following a period of voluntary abstinence by people with drug and alcohol problems. Often the words “lapse” or “slip” are used to distinguish a brief period of “using again” from a return to more extended and long-term use. At Practical Recovery, we’re joining hands with a number of experts in... (more...)

  • Think the Drink (or Drug) Through

    May 24, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    So often, a return to drinking or drug use happens in a “screw-it” or “just-this- once” moment. Maybe it’s after a horrendous day or when everything seems to be going wrong at once. On the other hand, impulsive use can occur when celebrating something really great. The thinking commonly goes, “I’ll just have one or two drinks [or a few snorts], and that will be the end of it. But will it be just one or two? What about the next... (more...)

  • Should You “Come Out”? Part 2 – Practical Considerations

    May 23, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    While celebrities and other famous people “come out” about their addictions and recovery all the time – seemingly with few consequences – the reality is that addiction still carries stigma, and most people need to consider their “personal liability”. Will such a revelation have an immediate or lasting impact on your work situation? How are your medical providers likely to receive the information if they don’t already know about... (more...)

  • Working out to work it out

    April 25, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    One of the more promising and least talked about tools for treating and recovering from addiction is exercise. Anne Fletcher made note of this in her book, Sober for Good, when she asked more than 200 people who had at least five years of sobriety how they sought pleasure after giving up alcohol and found that one of their most common responses was “exercise.” This was also one of their most frequent answers to her question about how... (more...)

  • Don’t leave your brain at the door

    April 5, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    Many of our clients have been exposed to Alcoholics Anonymous/ Narcotics Anonymous meetings or 12-step-based treatment programs, and then find their way to Practical Recovery because they’re looking for something different. Also, the 12 steps have become part of popular culture – with TV shows and movies seldom depicting alternative recovery options and the proliferation of 12-step groups for every problem under the sun. For these reasons,... (more...)

  • Setting up a winning “competition” with using

    March 22, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    So often, when someone is trying to get off drugs or alcohol, it’s all about the substances. The focus is on notdrinking, not taking painkillers, having urine tests showing you’re off the stuff. But an extensive body of research demonstrates that reinforcing an alternative, competing behavior can reduce participation in an unwanted behavior.  So instead of focusing on “not using”, Practical Recovery encourages setting up a... (more...)

  • Moving away from “not using” and “addiction”

    March 18, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    Recently at Practical Recovery, we invited Anne Fletcher, author of Sober for Good and her new book, Inside Rehab, to visit with a group of current and past clients for several hours. We asked everyone to share with Anne what percentage of time they felt we at Practical Recovery focus on addiction. Nearly everyone in the room said that it was less than 30 percent. Anne observed this, too, when she came here four years ago to do research... (more...)

  • Don’t Toss Away The Serenity Prayer

    March 8, 2013 by   Filed under Blog

    For people opposed to “prayers”, AA meetings, traditional 12-step-basedtreatment, and/or prayer in general, it’s too bad that the Serenity Prayer has beenco-opted. What you probably don’t know, according to “The Secret History ofthe Serenity Prayer” by author Susan Cheever at, is that the prayerwas originally conceived by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr – “not as an antidoteto addiction but in response to the barbaric... (more...)

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