Separating Behaviors From Thoughts

Separating Behaviors From Thoughts

Ever wondered why we do the things we do? If so, you aren’t alone. Answering the question of why we do what we do has been the unending goal of psychologists, scientists, philosophers, and humans as a whole for centuries. Some say everything we do is to satisfy basic human needs. Others say this can’t be the case, because there’s no clear definition of what exactly constitutes a human need. Then there’s the question of– as is the case with addiction recovery clients in dual diagnosis treatment plans– how our thoughts actually translate to actions. When we have a mental illness, what thoughts are ours, and what thoughts stem from the dysregulation or dysfunction of the illness– and who or what decides which thoughts are translated into which actions?

Dr. Miki Kashtan of PsychologyToday has an interesting theory that works really well here. She says “When we instantly translate feelings into actions, we sidestep any understanding of what we truly want. Because of the strength with which our feelings “command” action, we don’t have the opportunity to use feelings as what I believe they are designed for, which is to be sources of information.”

Oftentimes, we act impulsively and immediately translate our feelings into actions. Sometimes, we do this so quickly that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. When we put feet to our thoughts instantaneously, as Kashtan suggests, we forego our ability to understand our feelings and comprehend what they really mean.

In treatment, we learn how to separate our addictive behaviors from the thoughts that cause them. This helps us dive down to the root of the issues that may have led to our addiction in the first place. One of the modalities used to do this is referred to as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

According to its technical definition, “Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving.” In a nutshell, it’s a form of therapy that focuses on helping us assess the thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes that cause us to behave the way we do. By changing our thoughts and attitudes, we can also change the behavior tied to them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a buzz term in many circles, but it’s not so much the modality that makes the difference, as the process behind it. When we’re able to take a hard look at the driving forces behind why we do what we do, we gain more control over ourselves, and our reactions to stressors as well as other outside influences. Even when we’re not in the most ideal situations or we can’t control what’s around us, we’re always able to control our responses to our situations. Even though we may have negative thoughts about what’s going on in our lives, CBT helps us make sure those negative thoughts don’t encourage us to do something rash or regrettable. The skill sets we develop through cognitive behavioral therapy help us create balance between our thoughts, our feelings, and the way we react to life.

Why is it important to separate behaviors from thoughts?

When we separate our behaviors from our thoughts, we gain more understanding as to why we react the way we react to life. When we’re addicted, there never seems to be rhyme or reason behind why we’re acting the way we’re acting- both under the influence of drugs and in between moments of intoxication.

How does CBT tie into dual diagnosis treatment?

For those of us going through dual diagnosis treatment, CBT can be even more helpful. In fact, the concept of cognitive behavioral therapy was first created by psychiatrist Aaron Beck upon realizing that his patients seemed to talk to themselves. His theory– that we all have these “automatic thoughts” that pop up in our heads and influence our behaviors– corresponds with the idea of treating multiple illnesses holistically, as is the case with dual diagnosis treatment. Whether dual diagnosis treatment or any other form of treatment, the process of separating our thoughts from our behaviors in order to better understand them is a process that can only be good for us. As we grow throughout our recovery journey, we’ll find that the strategies we learn to separate thoughts and behaviors can be used anytime, anywhere, and in any situation.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient treatment facility that helps our clients learn how to assess their thoughts in order to change their behaviors. Through modalities that build confidence and independence, we also help our clients conquer the self-defeating thoughts that keep us down. With over thirty years of combined experience, we have what it takes to help you defeat addiction for good. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

Men’s, Women’s or Co-Ed? Pros and Cons

Men’s, Women’s or Co-Ed? Pros and Cons

The debate between whether gender-specific treatment programs or co-ed treatment programs are the right way to go is one debate that doesn’t have a clear winner. Simply put, because addiction is such a personal and complex mental illness, different people fare better depending on their particular circumstances. Although there may not be a specific right or wrong here, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both gender-specific and co-ed treatment programs to find out which one is right for our own personal needs. There are many benefits of rehab facilities in Santa Monica– and reaping those benefits starts with choosing the right facility.

What are the benefits of rehab facilities in Santa Monica?

Rehab facilities like Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California, take pride in providing personalized treatment options for every person that walks through our doors. As an outpatient treatment facility, many of our treatment options are ideal for students or employees who want to stay on track for graduation or have to financially support their families. We provide holistic recovery options that help treat the underlying causes of addiction, and we provide those options in a way that allow our clients to continue with their lives in the process.

Some of the benefits that rehab facilities here in Santa Monica provide include things like individual and group therapy, alcohol and drug education, 12-step work, relapse prevention, life and re-socialization skills, and referrals to sober living homes. We wholeheartedly believe that addiction can be defeated, and we devote all of the time and resources we need to in order to help our clients take the right steps towards recovery. At Thrive Treatment℠, our goal is to teach our clients how to uphold the nuts and bolts of life like accountability, values, life skills, boundaries, trust and responsibility and learn how to manage both sobriety and the anxiety that can come along with living life sober. Santa Monica’s rehab facilities don’t just help men and women recover from addiction and mental illness– they help men and women become stronger, more confident, and more independent than they’ve ever been before.

Does it matter what type of treatment facility I choose?

It certainly matters what type of treatment facility we choose, because while the goal of all facilities is to help us conquer addiction, the way they go about that can be very different. For those of us that are looking for focus and limited distractions, for instance, a gender-specific treatment facility might be the way to go, if we think the opposite sex will distract us. Alternatively, if we’re looking for a way to get sober in an environment indicative of Santa Monica and pretty much everywhere else, it may make more sense for us to choose a co-ed facility. The choice is up to us, but whichever choice we make will certainly play a large role in our recovery process.

What’s the argument between different facility types?

Proponents of the gender-specific mode of treatment indicate that men and women have different needs in treatment. If we take a concept like a dual-diagnosis treatment program, for instance, we can see where men and women might need different medications to take for specific illnesses, different ways to cope, and different resources to feel comfortable. The argument here is that the co-ed treatment program doesn’t have the capacity to adequately address many underlying issues of addiction that both genders don’t share. For instance, according to one report, “74% of addicted women have been victims of sexual abuse, 52% have been victims of physical abuse, and 72% have been victims of emotional abuse.” Unless the numbers are the exact same for men, proponents of gender-specific treatment indicate that there’s no way treatment can do both genders justice simultaneously.

On the other side of the spectrum, proponents of co-ed treatment indicate that being in the same environment with the opposite sex is just what individuals need in order to learn how to interact with their peers in a “healthy, modernized way.” Additionally, proponents say that sharing the same space also helps breed a mutual respect between the two genders, and that by realizing that they share many of the same issues and maladies, both genders are able to form bonds with each other that may not have been formed otherwise. Addiction is not gender-specific, and neither is life, they argue– so it’s fitting that treatment shouldn’t be either. Finally, in the case for a concept like dual-diagnosis treatment, those that support the co-ed treatment process indicate that while medicines and dosages may differ according to gender, treatment methodologies can be adapted to work for just about anyone, regardless of whether they’re male or female.

Whether choosing a gender-specific or a co-ed treatment facility, what’s most important is finding a facility that is able to cater to our specific needs. After all, no matter the debate between dual diagnosis treatment plans or best socialization techniques, at the end of the day, what’s most important is conquering addiction for good.

Thrive Treatment℠  is an outpatient treatment facility located in Santa Monica, California. We help our clients defeat addiction by helping them uncover its underlying causes and learn sustainable methods to get rid of them. Through a series of modalities like art therapy, yoga, meditation, and group outings, our clients learn to conquer the self defeating behaviors that keep them down, and build the confidence and independence they need to become pillars of their communities. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

Why Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Matters

Why Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Matters

Self medication is a real issue for millions of Americans. When it comes to dual diagnosis issues, of a substance use and mental health disorder, many people turn to self medication as a means of coping on their own, most often through more substance use. This couldn’t be more dangerous. Not only can self medication increase the complications of addiction– it can also make an additional mental illness much more severe.

In addiction recovery, dual diagnosis treatment is defined as a recovery method that “blends the most successful aspects of mental health care and substance abuse treatment.” Dual diagnosis treatment provides holistic care for clients who are battling addiction and another mental illness– sometimes an illness that was a direct result of or contributing factor of addiction. Oftentimes, a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, and more was present long before addiction, but went undiagnosed or untreated, inspiring a deep need to cope with unmanageable feelings.

The relatively new entry of dual diagnosis treatment in the addiction recovery space speaks to its importance. Previously, if a client came to an addiction recovery center with other mental illnesses, there was little that could be done to help with the additional mental illness. Even if the best treatment plan was put in place for the individual, whether or not they recovered wasn’t a sure bet. It depended on the severity of and complications surrounding the additional mental illness. Would the client be able to cope in a normal group setting? Would the rules and regulations of the addiction treatment center be feasible for him or her? The answers were often up in the air. Likewise, if a patient were to report to a mental health facility and was also addicted, many times they’d be sent away and told to treat their addiction before seeking help for another mental illness.

By combining the best practices from the medical and counseling worlds, dual diagnosis treatment offers a solution to this conundrum. Moreover, quality dual diagnosis treatment options, like the ones in place at Thrive Treatment℠, work wonders not just in treating addiction or another mental illness with medicine, but in really diving deep to untangle what’s going on below the surface.

Dual diagnosis treatment matters because addiction is much more than simply craving a substance. As The Big Book says, addiction is spiritual, mental, and physical. In the same vein, treatment has to be more than simply stopping cravings. It’s got to be able to get to the root of the issue.

Thrive Treatment℠ is a premier outpatient addiction treatment center in Santa Monica, California. We offer advanced dual diagnosis treatment options for clients dealing with more than one mental illness. By combining state of the art research with quality counseling and brilliant medical practitioners, we make addiction a thing of the past. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to see how we can help you today.

Individualized Care: Why Your Program Should be Your Program

Individualized Care: Why Your Program Should be Your Program

There’s not one of us on this earth that’s exactly like another. Even identical twins– though they may share the exact same chemical makeup and physical characteristics as each other– have drastically different personalities, thoughts, and opinions. As human beings, we’re all unique– with unique talents, skills, and issues to deal with. Our different experiences are what makes us who we are.

When it comes to addiction treatment, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all programs simply don’t work because they don’t cater to our own unique needs. That’s why here at Thrive Treatment℠, our programs are tailored to the individual. We believe that individualized treatment plans allow our clients to recover in a way that’s best for them spiritually, mentally, and physically.

What is individualized care?

Addiction isn’t a blanket illness– it’s as individualized as the people who go through it. Care for addiction treatment should be equally as individualized. There are many types of individualized care plans, but the goal of all of them is always the same– breaking down the classical treatment process and restructuring it to get the best results to meet each client’s individual needs.

One of the more common forms of individualized care is dual diagnosis treatment. As the name suggests, dual diagnosis treatment is the process of treating both addiction and another mental illness simultaneously. Oftentimes, a person that’s been battling the mental illness of addiction for some time will have other issues that have either stemmed from the addiction itself, or been one of the contributing factors to the addiction. A dual diagnosis treatment program doesn’t necessarily isolate each illness and deal with them separately, but instead finds a way to treat all of the illnesses holistically. Dual diagnosis treatments may include working with medical professionals as well as counselors and therapists, and introducing a regimen of counseling and medications to help us conquer our illnesses as efficiently as possible.

Another way treatment facilities personalize care is by offering different treatment options that cater to various treatment needs. Here at Thrive Treatment℠, for instance, we offer a number of options, including a partial hospitalization program, an intensive outpatient program, and more. When you enter a treatment facility, the intake process usually involves our therapists, nurses, and counselors helping you and your loved ones figure out which plan is right for you.

Why is individualized care so important?

Whether we’ve been through addiction or not, we’ve all dealt with situations, thoughts, and ideas that we weren’t sure how to handle. We go through life on a daily basis and don’t know what to expect out of it. We don’t always have control over what happens to us, nor the impact it may have on our lives. If we can accept that we are often unsure of what we’ll encounter even on a daily basis in our own lives, then we, too, should be able to see just why treatment needs to be personal enough to mean something to us, and to work the way it should. Life is complicated, and unpredictable, and it’s through individualized care that we learn to prepare ourselves for the unique experiences we may face after we graduate.

The Big Book suggests that addiction is broken down into three parts: the spiritual, the mental, and the physical. An individualized treatment plan helps us get to the bottom of each of those three parts to resolve their underlying causes.

If we take another look at the dual diagnosis treatment plan, we can see just how this works. When a client is given more than one diagnosis, a plan is set in place to address the physical components of the diagnosis. This means health care professionals and therapists will work together to ensure the proper medications are prescribed, the proper nutrition is given, and that the client gets the right amount of exercise and sleep. Next, the mental component is addressed, including making any additional provisions for the client– things like additional one-on-one therapy sessions, if needed. Finally, the spiritual side is addressed– in the form of helping the client build a support system, making them feel comfortable expressing their opinions throughout the treatment process, and developing methods to help them boost their confidence and embrace the treatment journey. As well, clients are directed toward developing a spiritual manner of living which works best for who they are, whether that is through religion, meditation, developing new spiritual beliefs, and discovering a relationship with a higher power.

This one particular treatment plan will be repeated and altered in-depth for every other person with a dual diagnosis. Other plans are conducted just as thoroughly for every single additional client that walks through the door.

Individualized care is so important because addiction is a fiercely personal mental disease. In fact, it’s one of the only diseases that displays itself differently in just about everyone fighting it. Just as addiction is personal, the way we fight it must be as well. Every person is unique, and needs unique assistance to make treatment work for them. Here at Thrive Treatment℠, whether it’s dual diagnosis treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, or another form of treatment, we take the time to make sure our clients are truly getting the specific help they need.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient treatment facility that specializes in individualized plans designed to help our clients get the most out of treatment. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution to treatment. Everyone is unique, and they deserve a unique team that will help them get to the bottom of what’s caused their addiction in order to fix it. We are that team. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

The Science of Prayer

The Science of Prayer

Prayer is perhaps the most powerful vessel of our time. Whether we’re religious or not, there’s something calming and reassuring about having someone or something to confide in when we need help– something to help give us guidance, or to simply help us feel better. Prayer can be a very powerful tool when it comes to both emotional sobriety and defeating addiction— mainly because it allows us to connect with and encourage ourselves when we need it most. Spirituality isn’t dead. It’s a large part of the addiction treatment experience.

The Study

In 2016, New York University undertook an arduous task: trying to find relevant science to back up the theory that prayer actually does work. They chose the Alcoholics Anonymous model to test, and in their conclusion confirmed what addiction treatment specialists have known for a long time– that prayer really does work in reducing the urge to use. The study, spearheaded by senior author Dr. Marc Galanter, took brain images of about twenty long term AA members that had reported no cravings within the weeks leading up to the testing. The brains were scanned before and after providing each individual with first a neutral newspaper article and then an AA prayer “promoting abstinence from alcohol” and showing pictures of various people drinking and using alcohol in an attempt to stimulate cravings. According to Galanter,  “[the] findings suggest[ed] that the experience of AA over the years had left these members with an innate ability to use the AA experience—prayer in this case―to minimize the effect of alcohol triggers in producing craving.”

In essence, reciting the prayer led to decreased cravings from everyone that recited it. While the individuals still had cravings, it was the prayer that helped them better manage them. According to Galanter, who’s also spent a significant amount of time studying emotional sobriety and spirituality in addiction treatment, previous studies have suggested that alcohol users that have reported a “spiritual awakening” in AA or other addiction treatment programs have also been about half as likely to report cravings even after leaving initial treatment.

The relation of prayer and emotional sobriety

Studies like the ones presented by New York University make a strong case for the intersection of spirituality and sobriety– and the consistent results agree with an assertion made by The Big Book that tells us addiction is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. Here, the spiritual malady concept indicates that once we overcome our spiritual illness, the mental and physical aspects of our addiction also straighten out.

In order to understand how emotional sobriety as a concept corresponds with prayer, it’s important to have a working definition as to just what emotional sobriety is. According to Psychology Today, emotional sobriety revolves around the general ability to feel our own feelings. It’s being one with ourselves, living in the present moment, and being mindful. It’s about balance, and learning how to cope with our emotions– both good and bad. In the vein of being one with ourselves, prayer often acts as a way for us to connect with ourselves presently, much like meditation. It also helps us find ways to cope with situations that we may have turned to substances before to deal with. The truth of the matter is that even though treatment helps us conquer addiction, we still have to conquer sobriety everyday, and it’s our ability to be emotionally sober that helps us do just that. As Bill W. says in The Big Book, “we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we do have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning – through practicing the Twelve Steps and through sharing at meetings – how to cope with problems that we looked to booze to solve back in our drinking days.”

When it comes to the science behind prayer, we need look no further than Bill W.’s assertion that prayer helps us examine ourselves internally, much like a surgeon examines his patient. “If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand,” Bill W. says.

When we repeat prayers, as is often the case in addiction treatment programs like AA, our praying can also play a role that’s entirely different but just as effective– the role of constant reassurance. We all know the classic story of the little engine that could– that small train engine that made his way up the hill by nothing more than hard will and saying “I think I can.” Not only has science proven time and again that repeating ideas and concepts can help us remember them better– but science has also proven that words in and of themselves can have a powerful impact on our brains and spirits. By constantly motivating ourselves through prayer, we’re not just uttering a few words– we’re reassuring ourselves that our sobriety journey is possible.

Thrive Treatment℠ of Santa Monica, California is an outpatient treatment facility that helps our clients master the nuts and bolts of life in order to excel in the recovery process. We rely on the power of prayer, reassurance, and spirituality to treat addiction just as much as we rely on hardcore science and proven methods. When you begin the Thrive Treatment℠ experience, you’re welcomed into a family that has just one thing in mind: getting you better. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.

What is Emotional Sobriety?

emotional sobriety

The technical definition of emotional sobriety is hard to come by. This could be because emotional sobriety, like many aspects of the addiction treatment process, is fiercely individual and means different things for different people. It’s true that emotional sobriety certainly embodies a number of different concepts. In fact, according to Dr. Allen Berger, emotional sobriety includes “keeping our emotional center of gravity within, learning to hold on to ourselves without letting other people’s limited perceptions of us or our addiction define us or impact our behavior, pressuring ourselves to change, and seeing struggle as beneficial and grief as necessary.” While this definition of emotional sobriety covers a lot of different concepts, it’s Dr. Ingrid Clayton’s significantly more vague definition of emotional sobriety that actually digs deeper still: “I believe that emotional sobriety is less about the quality of the feeling… and more about the general ability to feel one’s feelings,” she says. “Being restored to sanity isn’t about getting the brass ring—or cash and prizes—or being “happy, joyous, and free” all the time, but it is about being in the present moment, whatever it happens to look like.

Emotional sobriety can take many forms, and be defined many ways. Whichever way it is defined though, achieving and maintaining emotional sobriety is a very important part of the addiction recovery experience.

Why is emotional sobriety so important?

The Big Book mentions emotional sobriety in Step Twelve as an outcome of practicing all steps of the program and applying them to our daily lives: “Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety.”

Emotional sobriety is important in addiction treatment because it is, in essence, self-regulation. As introduced by the Alcoholics Anonymous community, emotional sobriety allows us to “experience, confront, and accept” all of our emotions– even the not so good ones. As Bill W. and the AA community realized early on, recovery is about substantially more than simply not using a substance and avoiding relapse. Just as addiction is spiritual, mental, and physical, so, too, is the recovery process. While we can train our bodies to accept the physical aspects of no longer using, it is emotional sobriety that helps us gain control of the spiritual and emotional. When we can appraise and manage our emotions, we no longer have to live at their mercy. Of course, we will still have times when we’re sad, angry, or upset, but these emotions will no longer define us, because we’ll understand how to balance them out and cope.

As Clayton says, “sometimes emotional sobriety is about tolerating what you are feeling. It is about staying sober no matter what you are feeling. It means that you don’t have to blame yourself or your program because life can be challenging.”

How do I achieve emotional sobriety in addiction treatment?

There are several ways we work to achieve emotional sobriety in treatment. The first and perhaps most common means of achieving emotional sobriety is through a modality like cognitive behavioral therapy. Praised for years for their effectiveness, cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapy methods that borrow from its practices help us become aware of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, so that we can change the self-defeating behaviors that stem from them. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, we learn to make sense of the thoughts and perceptions that may have contributed to our addiction, and we’re able to see how those thoughts and perceptions could have contributed to our behavior.

We also work to achieve emotional sobriety in treatment by practicing mindfulness. Becoming aware of our feelings and emotions is the first step to accepting them, and mindfulness is the perfect way to achieve that first step. The technical definition of mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.” In layman’s terms, mindfulness means living in the present. When we narrow our view to only what’s in front of us at this present moment, we allow ourselves to become aware of thoughts and feelings we may never have listened to otherwise.

Finally, we achieve emotional sobriety by building a strong social network of peers and mentors in our recovery community. Having a social network that we can talk to about how we’re feeling, and that we can trust will have our best interests at heart no matter what we share is key to being comfortable with our feelings. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t have to have a plethora of social connections, but the ones we do have ought to be deep and beneficial. These connections can serve as an outlet when we want to share troubling feelings and emotions. The social support fostered by a loving and caring addiction recovery community can help us build our confidence and not be ashamed to assess and share how we’re feeling in the future.

Thrive Treatment℠ is an outpatient addiction treatment center in Santa Monica, California that’s committed to helping our clients achieve and maintain emotional sobriety through modalities that encourage them to stop, acknowledge, and accept their feelings. We believe that our emotions play a very big role in the addiction treatment process, and that being able to balance our emotions is one part of a successful recovery experience. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to see how we can help you today.

Dating During Treatment

dating during treatment

A love life seems to be par for the course when you’re an attractive man or woman here in Santa Monica. No matter where you look, it seems like just about everyone has a significant other. However, dating during treatment isn’t always as cut-and-dry as dating outside of treatment usually tends to be. While treatment definitely doesn’t mean that we can’t be involved in relationships with others, there’s something to be said for waiting until after treatment before pursuing a love life, or even casual dating. One big benefit of rehab in Santa Monica is that no matter whether we’re dating or not, there’s so much sober fun to have here that we’ll hardly have time to think about romance.

Why should I wait to date?

As lovely as the men and women of Santa Monica are, waiting before we get involved romantically is a rule of thumb that makes sense to follow. Many Alcoholics Anonymous-based groups emphasize the one year rule– a rule that basically advises people just entering recovery to wait until one successful year of sobriety before making any big changes to their lives. According to psychologist Anne Lewis, waiting until after treatment– whether it’s one year or longer– isn’t just a way to prevent us from having any fun. It’s actually beneficial for our sober health. “The first year of sobriety is fraught with challenging issues,” she says. “It will be easy for many to find replacement addictions, such as a love addiction, to replace the high the drug or alcohol provided.”

When we jump into a relationship too quickly while in treatment, we run the risk of getting hooked on another drug– love or lust. While this drug might not be one we’re ingesting, it affects our bodies and brains in much the same way a physical drug does. Treatment works best when we’re completely devoted and dedicated to it– and even though an outpatient treatment facility like ours is devoted to providing treatment that still allows our clients to live their lives, the concept behind outpatient treatment is providing clients with the ability to continue to work or go to school– not date! Dating during treatment has the capacity to be a huge distraction, even if we don’t realize it or it doesn’t seem like it would be. Furthermore, dating can introduce a whole new array of stressors and temptations that can complicate the methods we’re currently learning in treatment.

Another reason it always pays to wait until after treatment to date is because we can often be at our most vulnerable during treatment. As we learn to peel back our layers and dig deeper into the thoughts and perceptions that contributed to our addiction, we can find ourselves grasping for things or people to lean on. This is what our recovery family is for. When we’re going through a rough patch in therapy, or need help willing ourselves to dredge up some of the issues that are buried down deep, our recovery family can provide the uplifting emotional and spiritual support we need to help us keep going. With a relationship, there’s always the possibility of being manipulated or taken advantage of by a person that’s decided to prey on our weakness. To be frank, we just don’t really know the intentions of the people we meet, and it’s more beneficial for our recovery if we’re able to limit both distractions and possible complications that can come from dating during treatment. The benefit of rehab in Santa Monica is that there are many recovery communities that can provide us with the support we need during treatment– so we don’t have to go looking for it in a relationship that might distract us from our sobriety goal.

Finally, it’s wise to wait to date because dating during treatment is often not fair to us, our romantic partner, or the relationship as a whole. Many dating relationships frequent areas known for alcohol, like bars and nightclubs. One of the biggest Sunday morning pastimes, after all, is brunch mimosas. Furthermore, Santa Monica alone is home to dozens of bars, and we barely have 100,000 residents. When we date during treatment, we often have to keep ourselves and our partners tucked away from environments that are quite normal for couples to frequent. Our partner may not be able to have a drink themselves, because even the taste of alcohol on their lips could be enough to cause us to relapse and flush months of treatment down the drain. This unconventional means of dating could lead to resentment, jealousy, and anger later on down the road, even if it doesn’t seem like an immediate issue. There’s nothing worse than adding unnecessary complications to a recovery journey that is supposed to help us learn to cope with complications and stressors.

Knowing the right time to date doesn’t have to be challenging, and, once we’re confident in our sobriety, dating can be a great way to get back out on the town and enjoy life with someone we care about. When deciding when to date, we just have to remember one thing: our sobriety is most important.

Thrive Treatment℠ is an outpatient treatment center in Santa Monica, California that teaches our clients to uphold the nuts and bolts of life so that they don’t just beat addiction– they become better, stronger, more independent people from it. Addiction is a mental illness that requires dedication and commitment to control. Our process helps clients focus on the task at hand, and minimizes distractions that could dilute the impact of treatment. One benefit of rehab in Santa Monica is that we get where our clients come from, and we use all of the resources available to us to help make the treatment process as efficient as possible. Call us at (888) 975-8474 to get started today.