Category Archives: Sober Living

Consequences for the Child of a Heroin Addict Dad

How Do I Know If The Rehab My Son is Going To in Florida is Good and Reputable?

There are a lot of rehab facilities out there, and if your son is planning on going to one in Florida or elsewhere across the country, you probably want to make sure that he’s going to a rehab that you can count on. These are a couple of ways that you can help ensure that this is the case.

Ask a Lot of Questions

Consequences for the Child of a Heroin Addict DadFirst of all, it always pays to talk to someone from the facility and ask lots of questions. For one thing, you will probably want to look for a facility that has been in the business for a long time. You may want to ask about the screening process that staff members go through as well so that you can ensure that qualified individuals will be working with your adult son.

Additionally, you will probably want to ask a lot of questions about the various methods and processes that the Florida rehab center uses to help its clients. For example, you will generally want to look for a supportive facility that puts a focus on safe detox practices, that understands the importance of a dual diagnosis in treating addiction and that offers counseling, meetings, classes and more. It’s also critical to look for a rehab facility in Florida that puts a focus on providing education and tools that clients can use to stay sober after they leave the rehab facility.

Look for More Information Online

Nowadays, you can often find out a lot of information about a rehab facility by looking online. First, you may want to start with the rehab center’s actual website; this can provide you with a lot of valuable information, can provide you with contact information so that you can ask questions and can show you testimonials from people who have been treated there in the past.

You can also perform an online search about the rehab center in question. This can be a good way to find other, unbiased online reviews and can give you an idea of the experiences that others have had when going to the center for treatment.

If your son is going to Florida rehab, you are probably excited about the fact that he is planning on making changes in his life. However, you are probably also concerned about ensuring that the rehab facility that he is visiting is a good one. Luckily, following these tips can help.

Call us today 855-782-1009

Advice for getting the most out of treatment and beyond

the-way-outStarting addiction treatment is the best and most unselfish decision you can ever make, but it can be quite frightening. When someone is in active addiction, their mind tries dozens of little tricks to convince us against good decisions and talk us into making, or continuing to make, bad ones. As treatment is such a major threat to active drug and alcohol addiction, our mind will try to overwhelm us with exaggerations and misconceptions around treatment and our ability to overcome our illness.


  • Treatment doesn’t work
  • It won’t work for me because I am too weak/too bad/too complicated.
  • I can get well all on my own.

And so on, and so on.

Treatment does work. It will work for you and will probably be delivered by people who are in recovery themselves. If you could get well on your own, you already would be.

When I went into treatment, I was afraid and confused and overcome by a feeling of shame and failure. My new therapist walked up to me, sat down and said “The war is over. You lost it, by the way, but you aren’t on your own anymore. You are going to be fine.” I burst into tears, but he was so right.

The best way to overcome the fears that are blocking you from talking that first step on your journey to wellness, is to plan for success. Make some commitments from day 1 to get the most out of the experience, and, after 15 years in recovery and doing this work, here are some pieces of advice to decide, now, to follow:

  • Be honest from day 1. Our lies keep us ill. The relief will be amazing when, for the first time in a very long time, you are able to sit down and tell people everything. Trust me. They’ve heard it all before and you will be amazed how much you have in common with your fellow clients.
  • Let go of control. Stop trying to charm and manipulate everybody. Trust your therapists and give their advice a go. (Including this advice).
  • Don’t isolate. Our addiction wants us on our own, holding things back, pushing people away. Stay right in the middle of things and get greedy for knowledge and other people’s time and support.
  • Commit to seeing it through. Commit to staying, and working, and flourishing.

You can do it. You deserve to do it.

5 Things you can do to stay Sober after Treatment

Woman listening to herselfSetting out to select a quality drug or alcohol treatment program can be a very daunting task.  Prospective clients and/or their families are inundated with multiple solicitations once they begin their web based quest.  There are many factors to consider such as geography, cost, therapeutic approach, Abstinence based vs Harm Reduction model, etc.  Once a selection is made and the client subsequently arrives in treatment, it is vitally important that the client makes the most of the valuable resources offered.  Drug or Alcohol Detox and Treatment provides addicts and alcoholics with the building blocks necessary to build a solid foundation in early recovery. 

While safely in the cocoon of drug or alcohol treatment, clients will not encounter “real world” temptations like hanging out with old using or drinking buddies or driving near places where they used to use drugs or drink. During the treatment program, other clients and staff anticipate abstinence as it is difficult to become inebriated in a well managed program. However, once a client leaves treatment, the normal stresses of life and frequent temptation may return.  So, what things can someone do to stay clean and sober after leaving drug or alcohol treatment?

IOP Program

Typically, an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) consists of 9 weekly hours of drug or alcohol treatment programing.  The majority of that time is spent in group therapy and psychoeducational sessions.  Clients also get one on one time with their primary therapist at least once a week. An IOP Program is a critical part of the client’s continuum of care not only for the sustained therapy, but for the accountability of ongoing drug and alcohol testing and for the support they are able to get from their peers.

Recovery Housing

Returning home immediately after leaving drug or alcohol treatment can be very dangerous.  A newly recovering addict or alcoholic is extremely susceptible to triggers like people, places and things that remind them of using or drinking.   Recovery Housing also known as Sober Living offers those new to recovery a structured environment in which to learn valuable life skills.  While this environment is structured, it is much less restrictive than a Residential Treatment Program.  Those new to recovery will hugely benefit from the positive peer influence obtained in a Recovery Housing setting.


Counseling is an essential part of continuing care for recovering addicts and alcoholics. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family counseling, and other therapy approaches can help people recovering from addiction stay clean and sober. Psychotherapy can also treat the other mental health conditions that often contribute to drug and alcohol abuse.   Addiction is more than a physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Even after detox, when physical dependence has resolved, addicts and alcoholics are at high risk for relapse. Psychological and social factors are often powerful stimuli for relapse.

12 Step Program or Smart Recovery

Both the 12 Step Program and the Smart Recovery Program offer continued support and growth through a philosophy of mutual aid and reliance on believing in a power greater than one’s self.  Each program offers in person and online meeting options to help you connect with others in recovery.  The crux of the 12 Step Programs and Smart Recovery is growth achieved through continued work on one’s self.   Through regular attendance and adherence to spiritual principles espoused in these programs, lives continue to change for the better.

Support Network

Possibly the most critical piece of the aftercare puzzle is the development and maintenance of a peer support network.  Most clinicians will say that human interaction and connection via sharing of personal experience fosters feelings of belonging and inclusion.  Addicts and alcoholics tend to come from lonely dark places where isolation occurs.  Isolation is the enemy of those in recovery.  In early recovery, one’s support network becomes their social circle.  It’s important that recovering addicts and alcoholics come to the realization that life in recovery can be fun and enjoyable. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill to take for achieving lifelong sobriety.  However, when combined, these five suggestions have shown to increase your chances for a successful recovery. 

If you or a loved one needs help or is struggling with drugs or alcohol, Waters Edge Recovery can help.  Please call or chat with us now.

2017 open enrollment drug alcohol addiction

OPEN ENROLLMENT 2017 – Are you prepared for the unexpected?

2017 open enrollment drug alcohol addictionAs we approach Open Enrollment for our health insurance coverage, what thoughts come to mind? As much as we would like to assume good health will accompany us throughout our lifetime, the reality is that we must be prepared for the unexpected health crisis. And who hasn’t experienced dismay at being underinsured or realized your favorite physician is not a provider in your plan? For the most part we approach Open Enrollment cautiously, choosing to select the best and most comprehensive coverage our budgets allow. Our employers invite advisors to walk us through the daunting process of selecting the specific benefits to meet our healthcare needs and those of our families. Time passes. When a crisis develops involving situations we did not plan for, we are often blindsided. A review of our policies shows we never prepared for cancer, or hospitalization, or disability or a mental health crisis or substance abuse treatment. Unfortunately, unless these realities have been in our past, we rarely anticipate them in our future. Therefore, at the time of Open Enrollment we put our premium dollars elsewhere.  Per, mental health services and addiction treatment is defined as “inpatient and outpatient care provided to evaluate, diagnose and treat a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder. This includes behavioral health treatment, counseling and psychotherapy. Limits must comply with state or federal parity laws.” This coverage is considered to be part of “ten essential health benefits”.

Our country is experiencing an unprecedented increase in opioid overdose deaths. It is common now for communities to come together to plan marches to raise awareness of this epidemic. It is common for law enforcement to join communities in getting addicts into treatment. It is common for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and grandparents to publicly mourn the passing of a cherished child who could not be saved, many of whom never entered treatment. And these family members are just like you and me. This is not a temporary crisis. It is a nationwide public health tsunami. How can we head this crisis off? How can we give ourselves an edge in facing it if and when the time comes that our son or daughter or spouse succumbs to the effects of substance abuse? The ability to cover the cost of treatment will determine whether you or your loved one benefits from the expertise of the clinical community that is prepared and capable of providing effective treatment.

During Open Enrollment 2017 read the fine print. Look at all benefits that are available to you. Make a deliberate effort to look for the specific language of addiction treatment in your enrollment package. The advisors who enroll you are skilled at explaining all available benefits, including mental and substance abuse coverage.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and the one good decision that can change an addict’s life

Happy ThanksgivingFor those of us who work in the addiction field, we prepare for the inevitable influx of requests for treatment that follow any important family gathering. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and so on.

You may have heard of the phrase ‘rock bottom.’ This refers to a crisis situation or a moment of reckoning too impactful or painful to ignore, which brings the suffering addict or their family to the point of needing to reach out for help. This may be the result of waking up in ICU, or a jail cell, losing your job, having your wife or husband threaten to leave you. The list is as endless as human beings are complex. Why wait until things get so bad that treatment seems the only option? As if treatment – kind, professionals dedicating their time and resources to helping you become the person you deserve to be – is only slightly worse than the worst day of your life! How damaging a rock bottom moment has to be, tragically, is really just measured by the sufferer’s ability to tolerate pain. I was homeless, mostly alone, broke and broken before I hit rock bottom.

For many, many people, death occurs before a rock bottom is even reached. According to “Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends.”  From the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (Accessed June 9, 2014), about 8.9 percent of the American population needs treatment while only about 1 percent of Americans are actually receiving it. A quarter of all deaths in the United States are attributed to illicit drug, alcohol and tobacco use (“Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse.” (Dec. 2012). NIDA: National Institute on Drug Abuse). NIDA also estimates that drug use alone kills around 570,000 Americans a year.  These are deaths that can be directly attributed to medical consequences of drug or alcohol misuse. The number of deaths is far higher than that. The number one cause of death, for instance, among people who are chronically addicted to alcohol is accidents, followed by suicide. There is also the consideration that addiction is much harder to treat, like all illnesses, the later that treatment is requested and provided.

Let’s go back to rock bottoms. I have been privileged to work in this industry for many years and have heard thousands of rock bottom stories. (I must confess that I hate the term ‘rock bottom’ – as if it’s something we have to wait until we reach – almost as much as I hate the phrase ‘self-inflicted condition’). I’m going to tell you something I have noticed about these rock bottom stories: no matter what the circumstances, the one thing every single one of them have in common is it is that moment that your lies run out.  It is the moment when you, the sufferer, and all the people who are enabling you or suffering in silence, are faced with a cold, hard, painful moment of complete acceptance that something has to change.

Which brings us full circle to why we get more requests for help around family gatherings. They represent a time when everybody is together in one place. They are a time when the addict’s behavior cannot be ignored any longer. One special day ruined. Or one special day where everybody can decide to have a serious conversation with a serious plan and intent behind it. It can be the day everything changes for the better. My sobriety date is March 14th, three days after my wife’s birthday. No coincidence.

This year, at Thanksgiving, I will thank my wife for finally saying ‘stop’. I will thank all the marvelous professionals, friend, family, strangers, the fellowship and the million bad decisions that forced me to make the one good one that changed my life.

30 days of thanks

Take the ‘30 Days of Thanks’ Challenge

30 Days of ThanksWelcome to The Waters Edge ‘30 Days of Thanks’ Challenge, a 30-day project created to help you take note of the sunnier side of life.

At Waters Edge Recovery, we believe that sharing gratitude for everyday experiences can revitalize our commitment to living life in an extraordinary way. As a result, we invite you to spend a few minutes each day appreciating all of life’s little blessings.

Beginning today, write down one thing each day for which you feel grateful or express gratitude in some way.

Download the calendar here.

Please feel free to do so in any medium available to you, whether that’s in a journal or on a personal blog and post to Facebook with the hashtag #WER30thanks.  

Express why you accepted this challenge and what you hope to achieve from it.

Here are some ways you can express gratitude each day:

  • Thank someone (tag them) who has been a guiding light in your life or critical in your recovery journey.
  • Write about something you feel grateful for in your life today.
  • Use the alphabet as a fun and quick format for making a list of things for which you feel grateful. Share this list with your social network through email, a blog post or a Facebook page.
  • Write a short message of thanks for some of the “negative” things in your life.
  • Take a few minutes to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them how much you appreciate them.
  • Take a picture of one thing, person, place or specific moment that makes you feel grateful. Share it with your social network.
  • Give thanks for useful feedback, and the growing pains it engendered. Thank the person(s) who helped you grow.
  • Take five minutes to write about how grateful you are for all of the wonderful things that you currently have in your life. Don’t long for what you don’t possess—instead, take stock of all the blessings you already enjoy.
  • Send thank you notes to five people who deserve a little recognition.
  • Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities and personalities.
  • Give thanks for the wisdom and patience you have acquired through the years. Teach wisdom and patience by modeling it every day for thirty days!
  • Pick one of your five senses to focus on each day. Take note of how many gifts come to you via that single port of entry. Write about this experience.
  • Try to see the world through the eyes of a child. Think about the things you take for granted on a daily basis, and then express gratitude for everything down to the basic necessities that sustain your current life.
  • Pick three friends or family members you see regularly. View their actions and gestures through a positive lens, assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.
  • It’s been two weeks since you started The WER 30 Days of Thanks challenge. Write about how the Challenge has changed your perspective thus far.
  • Give thanks for special friends and family who have passed this way before but are no longer with us. Make note of the impact they had on your life and express thanks for the time you shared. You can write this or verbally share your memories with a friend.
  • Give thanks for useful feedback, and the growing pains it engendered. Thank the person(s) who helped you grow.

Today, make the effort to live life with a positive outlook. Restrain from criticizing the people around you. Dare to see the glass half full. Listen more than you speak. Give freely of yourself. Practice kindness and thankfulness at every opportunity.

Make a commitment to take note and give thanks for the next 30 days!

Sober Halloween

5 Awesome Tips for surviving Halloween and the holiday season

Sober HalloweenFall is upon us and the holiday season has begun. Holidays can be a risky time for people who are newly sober. Statistics show that as many as 50 percent of people in recovery experience at least one relapse. For many people, relapses can be triggered by family functions where alcohol is being consumed, making holidays stressful.

On Halloween, you may be faced with the stress of being around people who are drinking at events that you are expected to attend, such as neighborhood parties. The stress of being around people you’d rather not be around could cause you to join them in their substance use.

Here are some tips for enjoying a sober Halloween:

  1. Hit a 12 step meeting to lay a strong foundation for the coming day. You can attend any Open meeting if you do not considering yourself a 12-step program member. To find live meetings in your area go to You can also attend online meetings at
  2. Start your own tradition! There are always plenty of other things to do besides drinking; tour a haunted mansion or graveyards or maybe a hay ride at the local farm.
  3. Better yet, throw your own Halloween costume party! You can invite all your sober friends who I am sure are also looking for something fun to do sober.
  4. Surround yourself with sober friends. Having a friend that is aware and supportive of your decision is like having an additional safety net. Also, what holiday gathering isn’t more fun with a friendly face?
  5. Don’t suffer in silence. Above all, please remember that the holidays should be a time to celebrate with family and friends. If you’re having a bad day and feeling insecure, tempted to drink alcohol or just depressed, there’s always help available. If you can’t reach a friend or a sober peer, call your local recovery hotline, head to a meeting or visit

It’s just one day. No matter how you feel about Halloween or any other holiday, remember that it is just one day. You can get through it.

Sober Dating App

Pros and Cons of a Sober Dating App or Sober Dating Website

Sober Dating AppIt’s often recommended that people in their first year of sobriety don’t date, but this suggestion isn’t actually in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous or Basic Text from Narcotics Anonymous. Getting into a relationship in sobriety is completely normal as long as you have a strong foundation of recovery, but relationships ending are one of the primary reasons that people relapse.

If you’re interested in dating in sobriety and feel like your recovery is strong, you may be interested in going to a sober dating website or using a sober dating app. When using a sober dating app or sober dating website, there are pros and cons that you should be aware of.

The Pros of Using a Sober Dating App or Sober Dating Website

One of the reasons that recovery relationships sometimes lead to bad results is because people do so within the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. It’s similar to trying to date someone that you work with. If the relationship goes south, and it’s someone you met at one of your favorite AA or NA meetings, you may not want to go back to the meeting that was keeping you sober.

By using a sober dating app or sober dating website, you can meet other sober people who may not go to the same meetings as you. If it doesn’t work out, there’s not really an issue returning to your same meeting. The other benefit is the same reason people use these apps and websites in the first place, which is that you can get to know someone before actually going on a date with this individual.

The Cons of Using a Sober Dating App or Sober Dating Website

Much like other dating apps and websites, sometimes sober people aren’t on there with the best intentions. Sobriety is tricky because many people who were abusing alcohol and drugs were using them to fill a void within themselves, and now they’re addicted to relationships while in sobriety. By using these sites to find other sober people, you may find someone who isn’t yet emotionally stable enough to be in a dedicated relationship.

Navigating the waters of sobriety takes time, and the most you can do is work on yourself so you can present a potential partner with the best version of yourself. If you’re struggling with addiction, there’s hope to regain control of your life as well as find meaningful, long-lasting relationships when you’re willing to do the work.

The first step toward getting your life back from addiction is by seeking the help you need to overcome your addiction. Call Waters Edge Recovery today at 855-782-1009. We can help.

The Struggle of Children with Alcohol Abuse in the Home

Children Who Grow Up in a Home of Alcohol Abuse

Children of alcoholics often feel very alone. Since they don’t know any different, it may take them awhile to realize that something is wrong in their household. They may not know exactly what the problem is, but when talking about family, many children of alcoholics will become embarrassed and avoid talking about the alcohol abuse in their family.

alcohol drinking children adult recoveryChildhood Confessions of Alcohol Abuse in the Home

Dawn Clancy writes in an article on about how she finally got the courage to open up about the alcohol abuse going on in her home. She told a group of friends during a sleepover. Clancy writes, “I was surprised and secretly relieved when it appeared that my friends were hardly fazed by the details I shared.”

This made Clancy think that maybe her problems weren’t so unusual after all. She felt better after opening up about the hurt she experienced due to alcohol abuse.

But then a few days later, Clancy’s friends decided that they thought she made the whole story up. This rejection reinforced everything that Clancy was nervous about. Now she was not only a weirdo with a messed-up family, but she was also a liar.

Taking the Blame: Children of Alcoholics

Children of alcoholics have a tendency to internalize the problems in the home. They may take all the blame for the alcohol abuse they see, and think that they’re causing the problems.

Sadly, this usually seeps into adulthood. As adults, children of alcoholics will judge themselves very harshly and be unforgiving to themselves. Low self-image and self-hate are mainstays of children of alcoholics.

Getting the Best Treatment Before It’s Too Late

If you’re abusing alcohol and have kids in the house, you must protect them from alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is not just a problem for the abuser—it deeply affects the entire family, especially children.

Finding a reputable rehab center can help you end alcohol abuse and establish a safe environment where your kids can grow up without fear or shame. You only get one childhood, and this early period in life is when kids develop thinking patterns that last a lifetime.

The Top 5 Myths About Marijuana Use - Marijuana Addiction

The Top 5 Myths About Marijuana Use

Compared to “hard drugs” like cocaine and heroin, marijuana may seem nearly harmless. But marijuana is more dangerous than many people believe. Here are the top five myths about marijuana use that can lead to drug abuse:

The Top 5 Myths About Marijuana Use - Marijuana Addiction
1. Marijuana is Not Addictive

Over extended periods of use, marijuana has been shown to cause changes in the brain, which result in addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that 9% of marijuana users become addicted to it.

Addiction is defined as a state of altered brain chemistry where the brain makes decisions to continue drug use despite the obvious sacrifices to well-being and relationships.

2. Marijuana Use Doesn’t Cause Birth Defects

Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy can have a number of significant negative effects on newborn babies, “including decreased cognitive function and attention.” Researchers have been looking into the possible connection between marijuana use during pregnancy and the rampant incidence of attention deficit disorder in America in recent years.

3. There’s No Risk of Driving Vehicles Under the Influence of Marijuana

Everyone is aware of the legal limit for blood alcohol content. But many people don’t consider the impairing effects of marijuana on drivers. With the legalization of marijuana in some states, new laws are under way to measure the level of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in the bloodstream of drivers.

Colorado has already passed a law of no more than 5 nanogram per milliliter.

4. The “Gateway Drug” Theory is False

The gateway theory has taken a lot of criticism recently, but there are still reasons to support it. For instance, according to a recent study at Yale University, marijuana use increases the likelihood for prescription drug abuse for certain populations.

5. Drug Rehab is Only for “Hard Drug” Addictions

Marijuana abuse functions very similarly to all other forms of substance abuse, including hard drugs. Addiction to marijuana can be treated effectively with a quality rehab program. There is a similarity between all addictions, whether cocaine, marijuana, or even sex. The key is to take control of your addiction and overcome the forces that hold you back.