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  • Instant Gratification: This Thanksgiving Don’t Have the P.I.G.

    Posted on November 23, 2016
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Thansgiving and the Problem of Instant Gratification Somehow Thanksgiving, our holiday of gratitude, has morphed into a gluttonous melee of over-indulgence and excess.  If there is ever a time to practice coping with urges, resisting temptations, and moderate indulging, it is amidst the relentless onslaught of food and drink offerings that we are bombarded with throughout the celebratory festivities of November’s final Thursday. The P.I.G., or Problem of Instant Gratification, is a hallmark of the feverish consumer culture that abounds today.  As if the multitudinous dishes of the Thanksgiving meal weren’t enough, now we have trample-happy shopping sprees to add to the frenzied fervor of our most indulgent holiday.  One-click buying, drive-through “dining...
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  • New Year’s Resolutions - The Successful Way

    Posted on January 1, 2016
    Originally posted December 26, 2014 As the new year approaches, many of us are considering the resolutions that we want to put in place in order to improve ourselves and/or our lives. Unfortunately, New Years resolutions often fail, typically within the first few weeks of January. Consider the following tips to increase your likelihood of successfully sticking with your resolutions: 1. Check your motivation for the resolution. —Is this really a change that you want to make (and feel ready for), or are you just feeling pressure to do so as you realize that time continues to pass? The more motivated you are, the more likely you are to be able to successfully stick to your resolution. Consider doing a cost/benefit analysis. If the costs of the old behavior clearly outweigh the benefi...
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  • 9 Reasons Not to Drink or Use During the Holiday Season

    Posted on December 18, 2015
    Need some extra reasons not to drink or use this holiday season? We've got you covered with these 9 benefits of staying sober. Print out the list and hang it up at home, keep it in your purse or pocket when you go out, or just take a mental note to remind yourself why you're not giving into the urge this season. 1. No Embarrassing Behavior Drinking and using too much can bring out our wild side. Skip the table dancing at the company party, the brawl at the bar, passing out at the parents' house or the number of other embarrassing things we do when intoxicated and celebrate the dignity of maintaining control this year. Your future self will thank you! 2. Build Your Confidence in Your Ability to Pass Up Drugs and Alcohol Take on the challenge of saying no during this time of indulgenc...
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  • How to Help a Loved One Who Drinks Too Much

    Posted on November 17, 2015
    By Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Does your loved one drink too much during the holidays? Or at any time for that matter? What’s the best way to respond? Here are some general guidelines for navigating this challenging time. Every person and situation is different, so these guidelines are just a beginning. Let’s start with what is ineffective and possibly harmful. Don't ignore the excessive drinking. Sometimes ignoring a problem is sensible, especially if it clears up later on its own. Here we assume it is not clearing up. Like drinking too much, ignoring problems is a short-term solution that masks, or tries to mask, something deeper. Looking for treatment for someone you love? Click here. Don't tell your loved one what to do or how to do it. Perhaps the most important fact about ad...
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  • 5 Ideas for an Awesome Sober Halloween

    Posted on October 30, 2015
    With Halloween kicking off the official holiday season, some of us in recovery (especially newbies) are faced with figuring out how to spend the holidays sober. Celebrating without drugs and alcohol can actually enhance the season, rather than make you feel like you’re missing out. Here are 5 ways to get your holiday season off to an awesome start with a fabulous Halloween! 1 – Decorate your house for trick-or-treaters Aim to be the spookiest house (or apartment) on the block. It’s not too late to go all out! Whether you choose to splurge on some decorations (after all, you have saved some money by not drinking or using), or decide to get creative on a shoe-string budget, there are tons of options. Give the kids something to talk about and see if you can be “that house” on the block t...
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  • Staying Sober on Labor Day

    Posted on September 4, 2015
    Labor Day, like other holidays, can be challenging for people in recovery (and especially early recovery). You may feel like everybody else is drinking and partying, while you are missing out. But in reality, there are lots of ways to celebrate holidays while still staying on track with your goals. Here are some tips for ways to enjoy the holiday, without compromising your recovery: 1. Make plans with supportive/sober friends You may want to avoid gatherings and events where people are likely to be drinking heavily, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sit home alone! Reach out to friends who are also in recovery, or friends who are supportive of yours. Let them know that you don’t want to put yourself in a risky situation, but that you’d still like to celebrate the holiday. There a...
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  • Mocktail Recipes for Summer Parties

    Posted on July 1, 2015
    Deciding not to drink at the summer parties this year? We totally support you. That's why we've scoured the Internet for some of the best mocktail recipes out there. Here are our favorites: Orange Earl Grey Iced Tea Ingredients: ¼c loose tea or 12 Earl Grey teabags Peel of one orange Instructions: Steep tea and orange peel in 4 c boiling water Add sugar and stir until dissolved Add cold water and refrigerate until chilled Serve in mason jars and garnish with orange slices Blended Strawberry Basil Lemonade Ingredients: ¼ c fresh basil leaves 4 strawberries hulled 1 lemon, peeled and halved 4 strawberries, hulled 4 tbsp honey or agave 1/2c-1c ice cubes Instructions: Blend all ingredients together Serve in mason jar and garnish with a sprig of ...
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  • Party-Time: Enjoying the Holiday Party Season... Sober

    Posted on July 1, 2015
    Originally posted 12/11/2013, revised for 2015 holidays Tips for making the holiday party season a sober success! It's no surprise - alcohol is a staple of the holiday season. This can prove to be a tough challenge for individuals in recovery but with a little planning and strategy, the holidays can be an enjoyable and successfully sober experience! Following is a list of suggestions for non-drinkers when they’re in social situations involving alcohol, as well as tips for friends and family so everyone can enjoy the party: For the Non-Drinker: BYO – bring your own nonalcoholic drinks to the function. (If it’s a big party, no one will notice.) Create your own cocktail – for instance, ask the bartender to mix cranberry juice, a splash of orange juice, club soda and add a pi...
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  • Is Someone You Care About Getting Drunk?

    Posted on December 17, 2014
    by Dr. Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Holiday gatherings can be high-risk times if alcohol is involved—as it usually is. Most of us in the moment will attempt to ignore excessive drinking. It’s not a good time for a rational discussion; there's a good chance the discussion will lead to an angry argument instead. Yet, while it may not be the time for a discussion, it is important not to ignore the excessive drinking entirely. Make sure to take care of the excessive drinker: no driving, a trip to the ER or whatever else might be needed. Alcohol related injury and death will be all too frequent over the holiday season. Once the drinker has sobered up, you may find yourself deciding between saying something and just hoping he/she will be better next time. As for the latter option, how many times...
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  • 3 Tips to Help You Through the Holidays

    Posted on November 21, 2014
    by Devon Berkheiser, Psy.D. While the holidays can be a joyous and festive time, they can also be difficult, and triggering, for many people. Holiday parties often include alcohol, and family gatherings can sometimes feel more stressful than fun. Additionally, many people put pressure on themselves to make this time of year almost magical, and then feel guilty or sad if reality falls short of their expectations. While we all hope that the holidays are an enjoyable time of year, it can be helpful to prepare for the possibility that they may, in fact, cause some stress and urges to use. Here are some tips for getting through the holiday season: 1. Be proactive—Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans for the holidays, as doing so could leave you bored and alone when the big da...
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