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Rebuilding Trust in Recovery

August 21st, 2017

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

Whether you know it or not, addiction plays an enormous role in your life and the lives of those around you. From your connection to God to your family structure, a dependency on substances alters everything about who you are.

Trust is a central element in virtually all relationships, both personal and professional. As you show others that you are responsive, responsible, and reliable through your interactions, a level of confidence develops, building your esteem in the eyes of others. Unfortunately, the deeper addiction goes, the more the trust others have in you erodes. When substance use takes precedence over meetings, appointments, and obligations, the respect and admiration previously held by those in your life slides away, transforming over time into resentment, anger, and betrayal.

During recovery, regaining lost trust is often a priority for those who are attempting to return to normal life, but the road to safe, stable relationships is often harder than it appears. Soon after achieving sobriety, many suffering with substance dependency find themselves facing a proverbial minefield left in the wake of addiction with no clear path ahead. In this time, it’s easy to feel hurt and lost, as if there’s no way to go back to the life you used to know. You may believe your old life is gone for good, or that your relationship with Christ is ruined beyond repair. However, with dedication, commitment, and faith, it’s possible to slowly regain the trust you lost, one day at a time.

Rebuilding Trust

Trust is a valuable commodity, especially in relationships. When your friends and family trust you, they are willing to put faith in you, seek help from you, and rely on you to be an important part of their lives. However, when trust is gone, it’s extremely challenging to bring back. This is especially true for those who were seriously harmed through the struggles of addiction, like the members of your immediate family.

Even though the road ahead may seem impossible, trust is still an important part of living a healthy life and maintaining your faith. As Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie.” With convictions and a change of character, you can take the necessary steps forward to alter the way others see you and make amends for the hurt you caused. These steps can help you seek forgiveness and prove your reformed nature, leading to positive, healthy changes as you work through recovery.

1. Focus on Yourself

All positive change starts from within, and this is especially true during recovery from addiction. No one else can help you achieve sobriety; the power to cease use comes from you and you alone. In order to promote a shift in the way others see you, you must first alter the ways in which you see yourself, working to overcome your demons and stand strong in your faith once more.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” God puts trials and challenges in your path, but it is up to you to use His strength to overcome them. Addiction is no different.

2. Be Accountable for Your Actions

A big part of recovery hinges on accountability for your mistakes, both internally and externally. No wrongdoings made throughout the course of addiction are anyone’s fault but yours, and the sooner you are able to accept this reality and work to move past it, the better prepared you are to make amends for the damages caused through the course of addiction.

Proverbs 28:13 is an important verse for those in recovery, reminding us that “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” In order to demonstrate your commitment to change, both to those around you and to God, you must work past your mistakes rather than making excuses.

3. Create a Routine

A failure to meet obligations is often one of the most damaging components of addiction. As a need for regular use grows, it’s not uncommon for users to find themselves skipping work, missing appointments, and failing to fulfill family plans, like picking up the kids from school or date night.

It’s easy to say you’re different now that you’re not using, but as the adage goes, actions speak louder than words. In order to prove that you can be trusted to care for your family, complete projects at work, and support your loved ones when they need help, you need to demonstrate that you can do this. For most people, a routine will help accomplish this. When your family and employers know when you’ll arrive, when you’ll leave, and where you’ll be, it’s easier to believe that you’re dependable and available.

4. Don’t Expect Praise

Recovering from addiction is an enormous stride forward, requiring conviction, dedication, and faith to ensure success. For many in recovery, the months following rehabilitation are ones of exceptional pride, especially when sobriety begins to replace poor behavior. However, this pride is largely internal, and you are unlikely to receive praise for the things others around you have managed to do all along.

Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” As you work to regain trust, don’t make changes solely out of anticipated praise from others; instead, do right by the Lord and reap His rewards.

5. Say What You Mean

In the depths of addiction, lying is extremely common. Many users will use falsehoods to cover up use or make excuses to obtain more drugs, creating a web of lies from which escape can be a challenge. These lies can significantly affect how others see you, painting you as a dishonest person only concerned with himself.

Instead of allowing others to maintain these damaging viewpoints, commit to following your word. If you say you will be home at 6 PM, be there. If you say you can pick up the kids from school, do so. If you are asked a question, answer honestly. Proverbs 12:22 states “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy,” so make it your mission to earn the respect of God as well as those who matter in your life.

The road to trust is long and bumpy, but the rewards are worth the struggle. With the right perspective, you can slowly begin to rebuild your relationships with friends, family members, employers, and Christ.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, help is here. Contact Road to Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about our Christian-based rehabilitation and detox programs. All consultations are confidential.

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Intervening in a Loved One’s Addiction

August 14th, 2017

Active Addiction - How to Intervene

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” – Hebrews 6:10

Addiction is a pervasive problem throughout the United States, affecting approximately 24 million adults nationwide. Due to the prevalence of substance use disorders, virtually everyone, no matter lifestyle, location, or beliefs, knows someone struggling with addiction.

Seeing the signs of addiction in someone you love can be extremely concerning. It’s easy to live in denial and make excuses – “he’s just young and having fun,” or “everyone drinks; there’s nothing wrong with that” – but an accelerating pattern of substance use is often the start of an extremely serious and potentially fatal disease.

Finding the strength and confidence to speak up can be a challenge, but an effective intervention may be the difference between successful sobriety and ongoing issues. Galatians 6:2 says to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Giving back to others is one of the key tenets of the Lord’s teachings. When someone you love is in need, it is your duty as a Christian to provide the assistance, love, support, and guidance necessary to inspire recovery and a Godly lifestyle. Here’s how to intervene when someone you love needs help.

Form a Group

An intervention is most successful when a large group comes together as opposed to a one-on-one conversation. Before approaching your loved one, speak with friends, coworkers, and family members who may have noticed signs of addiction to create a united front. Be sure to ask for opinions or stories from those you speak with as there may be other indications of a problem that you have not personally witnessed that should be addressed.

Solicit Professional Help

Moving forward with an intervention can be very overwhelming, especially for those who have never experienced the process before. In order to ensure an appropriate presentation, a professional can help you properly manage intervention preparation. Many faith leaders and counselors have experience in planning and executing interventions, providing a reliable strategy that will increase your odds of making a statement in your confrontation.

Develop a Strategy

Before sitting down with your loved one, you need to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. In general, interventions utilize a combination of stats and personal experiences to demonstrate how substance abuse can affect all areas of life. Many abusers are unaware of how their actions affect others, and these speeches and stories and trigger a moment of clarity. Working with your intervention team, plan a series talking points that will have a positive impact while sharing the severity of the problems at hand. If possible, hold at least one rehearsal; practicing what you’re going to say makes it easy to control your emotions when the time comes.

Be sure to have an end goal in place as well; if your loved one decides to proceed with treatment, have an idea of treatment centers and therapists that may be a good fit.

Choose a Time and a Place

Interventions should be planned carefully, and that includes when and where you are going to meet. As a general rule, interventions should never be held in a public or unfamiliar place as this can make an emotional process even harder to handle.

In order to help your loved one feel safe and comfortable, choose a familiar location that is enclosed and free of potential disruptions. Make sure you have access to your area for at least 90 minutes.

Speak Honestly and Openly

When your intervention finally occurs, do your best to manage your emotions. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or angry, but keep these feelings hidden to avoid exacerbating the pain of this troubling time. Do not take a “tear them down to build them up” approach; instead, proceed with compassion and support. Remind your loved one that God loves them and will always love them, and share your stories with openness and honesty.

Where possible, use positive body language, including keeping arms and legs uncrossed, maintaining eye contact, leaving hands open and unclenched, and leaning in for emphasis.

Stay Dedicated and Follow Up

It’s easy to leave an intervention feeling positive and uplifted, but there’s no guarantee your loved one will be willing to act on your messages. Provide some time for them to process the information you shared, but stay vigilant in promoting the benefits of treatment. Studies indicate that those who are confronted about their addictions are more likely to get sober and stay that way, so your job is not done. Sometimes, a second or even third chat may be needed to prompt action, so stay dedicated to your efforts.

Seeing the signs of addiction in your loved ones can be extremely hard to handle, but Road to Freedom is here to help. As a faith-based rehabilitation facility, we are prepared to offer comprehensive, customized Christian treatments to those in need. Contact us today at (844) 402-3605 to learn more about what our facility has to offer. All consultations are fully confidential.

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Does God Forgive Me for My Sins

August 7th, 2017

Will God Forgive me For My Sins?

As a Christian, God plays a significant role in your life. As you worship, pray, and read His word, you are doing all you can to live your life in devotion to Christ.

However, no one is perfect. Even Christians make mistakes and sin, no matter how much time is spent studying the Bible or living a good, productive life. This is especially true when it comes to substance abuse. Many Christians drink socially and are able to reconcile consumption with faith, but drunkenness and addiction are clear sins in the eyes of the Lord.

Addiction can happen to anyone, no matter age, faith, or creed. Falling victim to the pleasing effects of drugs or alcohol doesn’t mean you’re a bad Christian or a bad person; it simply means you’re human. However, this isn’t always easy to accept. Many Christians feel deep shame when confronting addiction. They may feel abandoned by God or as if they have let God down.

When coming to terms with addiction, it’s important to realize that you are not alone. God loves you and will forgive you, especially as you recommit to sobriety and seek treatment for your pain and suffering.

Will God Forgive Me?

Making mistakes that go against God’s teachings can be very hard to bear, especially for those who feel as if they have rejected their faith forever in the course of their transgressions. This is, of course, not true. If you are ready to admit your mistakes, seek forgiveness, and work to overcome your sins, you are able to seek forgiveness from Christ and deepen the bonds of your relationship with Him.

1 John 1:9 states that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When you are ready to give control over to God, you may seek the forgiveness you deserve.

The Road to Forgiveness

While God is willing to forgive the sins of his followers, simply asking isn’t enough. These steps can help you work through your feelings and struggles as a Christian to seek forgiveness and dedicate yourself once more to the teachings of Christ.

1. Acknowledge Your Sins

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” – Psalms 51:1

Before you can seek forgiveness, you must accept the reality of wrongdoings. This step involves coming to terms with the mistakes you made and being prepared to confess to the wrong you have done.

2. Confess to God

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” – Psalm 32:5

While God is omnipotent and omnipresent, forgiveness requires true confession. In order to receive the forgiveness you seek, you must confess your mistakes and take ownership of your actions.

3. Change Your Behavior

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19

In order to truly work through your sins and prove to both God and yourself that you are committed to a better life, it’s important to show your dedication to a Christ-like existence. This means changing your behavior and resisting the temptation to sin. While this can be a challenge when confronting an addiction, seeking outside help in order to change your behavior may be the best course of action.

4. Seek Forgiveness From Others

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Admitting to wrongdoing does not erase the mistakes you have made. If your drinking or drug use hurt those around you, it’s important to atone for your transgressions. In order to unburden your soul, you must seek forgiveness from those you have wronged and make restitution whenever possible.

5. Ask God for Forgiveness

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

After accepting your mistakes, confessing to God, changing your behavior, and seeking forgiveness from others you have wronged, you are finally ready to ask for forgiveness for your sins. As long as you are pure and honest in your dedication to move beyond your mistakes, God will forgive you for your transgressions and help you to lead a better life in His image.

Seeking and receiving forgiveness for your sins isn’t an easy journey, but it’s a necessary step in strengthening your relationship with God. However, overcoming addiction isn’t something you can do alone. When you are seeking Christian help in recovery, Road to Freedom is here for you. Offering faith-based resources, Bible study, and Christian counseling, our team is can help you rediscover sobriety and move forward with confidence. Please contact us at (844) 402-3605 to get the help you deserve.

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Bible Verses to Help You Through Recovery

July 31st, 2017

Here are some verses to help you in your early recovery

While addiction therapy and counseling are essential for achieving and maintaining sobriety, people learning how to live, think and act as drug-free individuals often experience depression, frustration and hopeless as they struggle to find meaning and peace. In addition to talking to addiction counselors about distressing emotions and thoughts, our clients also rely on powerfully moving Bible verses to help them through darker moments in their lives and reinvigorate their faith in God’s goodness and strength.

Bible Verses to Encourage and Inspire

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you. He will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

Bible Verses for Peace and Serenity

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. Philippians 4:6

Bible Verses about Faith and Trust

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto youMatthew 17:20

Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon youDeuteronomy 31:6

Do not be afraid. I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord, your God because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor, do not be afraid—I am with you. Isaiah 43: 1-5

No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:16

The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:7-8

Bible Verses about Hope, Purpose and Meaning

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a futureJeremiah 29:11

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-33

 

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Reading Through Recovery: Christian Books on Addiction

July 24th, 2017

Christian Books on Addiction

Reading Christian books on recovery is one way some individuals discover paths to sobriety, come to understand their place in God’s plan or find encouragement in their own struggle with drugs and alcohol. While simply reading books doesn’t usually help someone recovery fully from a substance abuse disorder, we believe that reading can be a healthy habit and outlet during rehab and through the years of recovery that follow. But, what should Christians in recovery read?

Obviously, we think reading the Scriptures is a good idea for anyone, but outside of that, every person has to find the right type of book for them. Here’s a short list of recommended Christian books on addiction and related subjects that provide a jumping off point for your explorational of Biblical and spiritual literature on the topic.

Prayer Steps to Serenity: Daily Quiet Time Edition

This book by L. G. Parkhurst is available in both paperback and an affordable Kindle edition. It’s a great companion book for those who are getting involved with the 12 Steps during recovery, but you don’t have to be following the 12 Steps to benefit from this devotional book. The book includes 60 short meditations that can be used for individual prayer, Bible study, reflection time or even group discussions. The meditations are all related to topics involved in the 12 Steps, such as righting your wrongs, praying and seeking to do right.

The Life Recovery Bible

This is a New Living Translation Bible with passages and devotionals incorporated throughout that are specific to recovery. The Life Recovery Bible was written by leading addiction experts Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Carrying it allows those who are recovering to have ready access to the Scriptures and to written guidance in seeking passages that speak to addiction.

NIV Recovery Devotional Bible

This is another Bible that incorporates extra devotionals and information for those in recovery. If you’re going to start reading Christian books on addiction, then starting with a recovery Bible is a good idea, and this version lets you access the user-friendly NIV Scriptures, recovery resources and a year’s worth of addiction-relevant devotionals.

Chasing the Dragon: One Woman’s Struggle Against the Darkness of Hong Kong’s Drug Dens

This book tells the true story of Jackie Pullinger, a woman who felt called by God to preach Christ in some of the darkest areas of Hong Kong. While not a recovery book in the sense of some others on this list, it presents a powerful, courageous look at what addiction and drugs are capable of and how the love of Christ is more than able to overcome addiction — even in dangerous, dark places.

Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions

This book by Dr. Gerald G. May covers a variety of types of addiction, making it a good Christian book on recovery for those dealing with substance abuse disorders or addictions to gambling, sex, food or other activities. Dr. May covers topics such as how spirituality and addiction can be related and impact each other and how substance abuse is sometimes an attempt to exert control over our lives in in appropriate ways.

Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story

This memoir from Korn co-founder Brian Welch tells the musician’s story, including his dramatic conversion to Christ and his battle with drugs and through recovery. In this book, Welch tells about the years of his life caught in sin and addiction and how he ultimately ended up finding Jesus. The honest way he talks about his addiction may resonate with many, and the fact that someone so publicly caught in drugs and the related lifestyle turned to God and recovery in this way is inspirational to those in recovery.

These are just a few Christian books on addiction and recovery. Pastors, Christian therapists and even librarians can probably recommend many others, so if you don’t get inspired by something on this list, don’t give up.

If you’re not already in recovery and are dealing with substance abuse or addiction, don’t rely solely on reading online and off. Instead, reach out for help from professionals. At The Christian Addiction Treatment Center, our Road to Recovery program combines proven rehab and behavioral therapy techniques with Biblically based methods to help you break free from addiction and improve your relationships with Christ.

For more information about how you can break out of the addiction cycle with God’s help, call us today. Our caring admissions counselors are always available to take your call.

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Addiction Industry in South Florida Impacted by Federal Crackdown

July 17th, 2017

Federal Crackdown - Addiction Industry

One of the foundations of addiction treatment is honesty. First, you have to be honest with yourself about your addiction: it’s not just on television and movies that one of the first steps toward recovery is admitting the problem. At The Road to Freedom, we also believe you have to be honest with your family, your God and the professionals who are guiding you through recovery. Here, we make the commitment to return that honesty.

It’s a shame, then, that not all providers in the addiction industry — or the healthcare industry at large — make the same commitment. Unfortunately, a few people or organizations act outside of professional boundaries, sometimes in an effort to increase revenue, and that can be bad for everyone in the industry. It can be especially unfortunate for someone seeking help with a substance abuse disorder.

We support the recent efforts by the government to crack down on fraud in the healthcare sector. Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening currently and why it’s positive for those caught in addiction or seeking recovery.

FEDs are cracking down on fraudulent billing and prescription writing

The U.S. Attorney General said the recent crackdown, which affects dozens of organizations nationally, is perhaps the largest of its kind in American history. Two of the areas that were targeted during these recent moves by law enforcement were fraudulent billing and illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Some providers who were lying on billing forms or billing for more services than they provided were arrested, as were numerous individuals who were prescribing or distributing opioid that weren’t medically necessary.

When providers submit fraudulent claims, it hampers the process for every other provider. Good claims get caught up in limbo as healthcare payers try to discern what is fraud and what is legitimate, which can make it harder for honest, caring providers to seek payment for the work they do. That puts all true addiction recovery facilities in potential financial risk.

The supply of narcotics and opioids through supposedly legitimate channels also makes it difficult for those in recovery and those providing addiction treatment services. The easier it is to get these addictive drugs, the harder it is to stay sober. Ready supply also increases the number of people who end up in addiction in the first place.

South Florida Addiction Industry Crackdown

Consequences for those who take illegal kickbacks

The federal crackdown also included some arrests related to kickbacks or patient brokering. A kickback occurs when one person is financially rewarded for recommending or transferring a patient to another organization. A hypothetical kickback situation might look like this:

  • A family medical doctor has a relationship with an addiction recovery center.
  • The family medical doctor is paid a certain amount of money for every person he refers to the center.
  • The doctor now has a conflict of interest: he financially benefits from referrals, so he may be tempted to refer people only to that center (even if another facility or treatment might be better for the situation). He might also be tempted to refer people who are not in need of treatment at all.

The vast majority of medical providers do not engage in this type of behavior. But it does happen, and it creates challenges for legitimate addiction treatment centers. It also means that individuals facing substance abuse disorder may not end up in the best possible treatment program for their needs.

Seeking addiction treatment from honest organizations

South Florida Addiction RegulationsFor families or individuals seeking addiction treatment in South Florida, these concerns are very real. At the same time, fear of a few fraudulent providers should never keep anyone from reaching out for the treatment they need. Here are a few tips for finding honest, high-quality recovery facilities.

  • Ask a trusted medical provider or therapist for recommendations. Recommendations from providers you’ve trusted for years aren’t illegal. Most doctors and therapists are happy to give some options, and no one is paying them to push a certain facility.
  • Take time to peruse any site the addiction center might have online. If the facility seems transparent and have a wealth of information about treatment, addiction and how they operate, it’s a good sign.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau or other review sites for a trend of negative reviews or actions. Remember that any business is likely to have one or two negative commenters, especially on the internet, but a consistent trend might be worrisome.
  • Finally, take time to talk with admissions counselors at a facility. Take a trusted friend or family member with you if you like; sometimes having someone else feel out the situation and provide you with feedback helps you feel more sure of a decision.

The burden of these arrests and new regulations mostly fall on to treatment providers, not the patients. Our promise to our patients is that despite any regulations or financial hardships, we will not compromise our quality of treatment provided to our patients. You can contact The Road to Freedom right now to find out how our faith-based recovery programs work.

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Listening in Recovery: To Yourself, to Therapists, to the Still, Small Voice

July 10th, 2017

Why listening is important for addiction recovery

For most people, the thing they know about recovery is that you talk about your addiction. It’s shown on television and in movies: aren’t you supposed to verbalize your addiction and share your story? While that’s true in many cases, and sharing and talking about substance abuse can be a healthy step in recovery, listening is also critical to successful treatment and ongoing sobriety.

What does it mean to listen during recovery?

Listening is not the same as hearing. Unless you have a physical impediment, you automatically hear every sound around you. In a group or individual therapy setting, in Bible study or pastoral counseling or even at a shared table during meals, you are hearing the words spoken to and around you. That doesn’t mean you are listening.

Hearing is passive. It happens to you because you are equipped with ears that work. Listening is active: it is something you chose to do as you take action to engage with the speaker and process what he or she is saying.

Probably the biggest step to take when listening in recovery is to STOP. Stop talking. Stop considering everything in your own mind. Stop making assumptions about the speaker or what he or she is about to say. Instead, listen and receive their words.

There are different types of listening you might employ during recovery, and you will probably use several types of listening skills as you work through treatment. Here are a few to keep in mind.

  • Critical listening involves taking in the words and information in an attempt to gain information and make decisions. You might use critical listening when you’re learning about nutrition, coping mechanisms or studying Scripture.
  • Discriminative listening means you take non-word context clues into account, including the volume and passion with which words are spoken and body language. You aren’t discriminating against the listener, but you are building a fuller picture of what they are saying. You might use this as you listen to people share their testimonies and stories in group settings.
  • Sympathetic listening provides the other person with the chance to share their emotions and experiences with you; this is something you might employ during group sessions or during fellowship times. By supporting others in recovery, you become part of a structure that also provides you with support.
  • Therapuetic listening is a type of listening pastors and counselors who work with you might use. They are trained to react and work with you in a way that helps make speaking a cathartic and healing process for you.

Who should you be listening to?

During recovery, you might listen to a variety of people and voices. First, you’ll be hearing from counselors, pastors and other providers. Whether they’re offering stories, Scripture knowledge or education on addiction recovery, listening fully to them helps you prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for sobriety outside of treatment.

Second, you’ll likely listen to those who are in recovery with you. In some cases, you might simply be providing an audience for them so they can share their story in a cathartic way. In other cases, you may glean some wisdom, insight or support from what they have to say. It’s important to listen without coming to rely heavily on other patients, as they are also seeking the same recovery you are.

Third, you need to listen to yourself in recovery. Start learning to know what your body is telling you and work with therapists to understand triggers and stressors that put your sobriety at risk.

Finally, at the Christian Treatment Center, we believe you should always listen to God first and follow him. Work with pastoral staff and through Bible study to better understand what God is telling you.

How to listen for God in your life

Listening for God is a spiritual skill that comes with a lot of practice, and the voice of God is unique for every person. Some people hear him audibly, some hear that still, small whisper, and others feel him in their hearts. Some people say God talks to them through the things they read or see; others find his words in Scripture alone.

To get better at listening for God:

  • Spend time in prayer. Instead of filling the time solely with what you have to say to God, sit quietly and give him time to speak to you.
  • Read and study Scripture, on your own and with others.
  • Talk to others about God, Jesus and the Bible on a regular basis.
  • Start looking for God in all things: from the movie you watched on television to the stroll you took in the yard.

Listening is a critical step in a solid recovery. If you’re dealing with alcohol or drug abuse now and need someone to listen to you, call The Christian Treatment Center now to find out about our Road to Recovery program. (844)402-3605

 

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Isn’t my Faith in God Enough to Handle my Addiction?

July 3rd, 2017

Isn't my Faith in God Enough to Handle my Addiction?

Sometimes, without context, Scripture can lead us to a conclusions or down a road that very quickly seems to admonish seeking help. God’s love and ultimate plan can lose focus when you put the microscope on a single verse or chapter in the Bible without considering everything else that comes before or after. Even honing in on some red letter words from Jesus without considering what else Jesus said — or the life that Jesus lived and died for us — can lead you astray, so it’s no wonder that many Christians can be left with the impression that seeking help for their addiction or substance abuse disorder might be wrong or unnecessary.

Let’s look at a few verses, how they can be taken out of context to give you the wrong idea about seeking help, and what we believe God really wants for you.

All things through Christ

Philippians 4:13 is a great verse, and it’s a favorite for Christian coffee mugs and t-shirts. It says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That short statement from Paul says just how much be believes and relies on Jesus, a message that every Christian should be striving to practice. Taking that statement alone, however, we often misinterpret it to believe that we shouldn’t seek help because we need to rely on Jesus – that relying on anything or anyone BUT Jesus would be less-than faithful. But this interpretation discounts completely the fact that God often acts through others, and it also completely removes the sentence from everything else Paul is saying in that chapter.

Right before Paul says he can do all through Jesus — talking in this context about how he has learned to be content through Christ in all circumstances — Paul thanks the Philippians for sending him aid. Right after the statement, he tells the Philippians they have done well to share in his distress. Clearly, Paul is not downplaying either seeking assistance or giving it. He’s saying he’s content in Christ, but that it’s great that these other people, who are following Jesus, are reaching out to help him as Christians ought to do for each other.

God’s mighty power

Ephesians 6:10 is another coffee mug verse. It says “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” This verse begins the famous armor of God sequence in Ephesians, which tells us to arm ourselves with the tools God gives us so that we can follow his will and resist the temptations of the devil. Taken completely alone, this section of Scripture might cause Christians to believe that praying, reading the Bible and other spiritual preparation is all they need to deal with an issue such as substance abuse.

However, the armor of God is spiritual. While faith, prayer and all the other spiritual disciplines are certainly major parts for a faith-based recovery program, if your addiction is also physical in nature, then spiritual armor might not be all the help you need. It’s also true that some things in our life can keep us from putting on the armor of God, leaving us at risk spiritually. Addiction can be one of those things; if you can’t put on the armor of God because of your addiction, then you can’t stand fully on Ephesians 6 to deal with your addiction.

What does the bible say about getting help for addiction?

The ever-present help

Yet another one for the t-shirts, Psalm 46:1 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” But if anyone knows that seeking help isn’t wrong, it’s the psalmist. Whether you’re reading Psalms written by King David or someone else, certain themes emerge. These are people who loved — who adored — the Lord their God. But they are also people who dealt with a wealth of woe while in this world, and sometimes they did so with the help of their friends and supporters. They didn’t seek that help instead of God; they sought that help through and because of God — and the help was given for the same reasons.

Yes, God is bigger than your addiction

The same Psalm, in verses 10 – 11, says “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Yes, God is bigger than your addiction. But you are not. And you also don’t know how God is acting in your life to be with you and to be your fortress. We believe that God provides a way for his plan to unfold, and we also believe that God acts through people on earth. One reason is so those people can help each other.

It is not wrong to seek help for your addiction. It isn’t putting God on the back burner: it’s seeking help through your faith and through God so you can have a stronger, better future. To find out more about faith-based addiction treatment, call us today (844)402-3605.

Related Articles:
Paying for Christian Drug Addiction Treatment: ACA, Sharing Plans & Your HSA
How do you know that Professional Addiction Treatment Is the Right Choice?
What Does the Scripture Say About Alcohol?

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Am I a Functioning Alcoholic?

June 26th, 2017

Am I a Functioning Alcoholic

We often talk about how drinking an alcoholic beverage now and then isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While many Christians don’t see eye-to-eye on the topic, many people who follow Biblical principles believe that a social drink here or there or a glass of wine with dinner is a safe habit. There’s even some indication that very moderate drinking might have health benefits for some people. That being said, it’s important to be able to tell if or when you’ve crossed the line between having an occasional drink with friends and addiction.

Alcoholism is often painted in a very certain way: articles say to look for signs that a friend is not performing at work, living up to social or family obligations or is changing habits. But not all alcoholics show these signs; some people struggling with addiction are able to keep up appearances in almost all aspects of life. That means they still do well at work or school — if their addiction is discovered, people are often surprised, saying things like “It seems like they had it all together.”

This is called functional alcoholism (or a high-functioning alcoholic), and it can be dangerous because it lulls a person into believing they have their drinking under control. It also makes it easy for someone not to seek treatment. If your drinking isn’t yet causing serious issues in your life, you might think that you can keep going as you are.

The risks of functional alcoholism

Excessive drinking is never a healthy habit, even if you can do so and remain productive at work or in other areas of your life. Outwardly, you might believe you are fine, but a constant influx of alcohol into your body can cause serious long-term health consequences. It’s also probable that you aren’t quite as in control of your drinking as you might believe. If you are “functional” while drinking, imagine what you might be able to accomplish if you were sober!

It’s not just your body at risk when you remain in a state of functional alcoholism, either. When you drink, your cognitive functions don’t work the same. That means you might make risky decisions or do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Functioning alcoholics often find themselves in sexual relationships, legal woes or other situations without fully understanding exactly how they got there.

What is a functional alcoholic?

The signs of functional alcoholism

If performance at work or an inability to keep up with obligations doesn’t clue you in, what are some signs that you or someone you love is a functioning alcoholic? First, if you drink heavily, you are at risk. Heavy drinking is described by WebMD as seven drinks in a week (or three in any one day on a regular basis) for women. For men, the numbers jump to 14 a week or four a day.

One night of celebration and imbibing (though not always the wisest choice) doesn’t mean you have functional alcoholism. At the same time, every person and every body is unique, so you could have a substance abuse problem without hitting the drinking numbers defined by WebMD. Some other signs of functional alcoholism include:

  • You get drunk when you had no intention to do so, and it happens on a regular basis
  • Your relationships are put at risk or damaged because of drinking, but that doesn’t cause you to stop
  • You joke or are sarcastic about what you might refer to as your habit, problem or even alcoholism
  • You lie about drinking or try to hide it, even if you don’t think you are an alcoholic
  • You make excuses about why you drink so much or try to assure friends and family that you don’t drink as much as they think you do
  • You have been arrested or cited for DUI, even if you blamed it on a one-time situation
  • You are struggling to keep up with obligations and having to put on a front to make people believe you are doing okay

What Should You Do Next?

If you believe you are a functioning alcoholic — or even if you aren’t sure but think it’s a possibility — then don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Talk to a trusted friend or family; ask them if they’ve seen the same signs you have and what they think. Reach out to a family doctor or therapist, or call The Road to Freedom to find out about options for recovery.

Your life doesn’t have to be falling apart before you seek help. Don’t let the fact that you can keep up appearances fool you. Functioning alcoholism can last for years, but often, it becomes more difficult to maintain your lifestyle as you feel the need to drink more and more. Even if you are functioning in the world today, if you can’t stop yourself from the next drink, it’s time to get help. Call Today (844)402-3605

Related Articles:
What Does Scripture Say About Alcohol?
Addiction’s Impact on Children
Keeping Your Job While in Rehab

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Paying for Christian Drug Addiction Treatment: ACA, Sharing Plans & Your HSA

June 19th, 2017

What is the cost of Christian Drug Addiction Treatment?

In many cases, drug rehab and addiction treatment is at least partially covered under a health insurance plan. If treatment isn’t fully covered, though, you may be able to pay for some of the expenses with funds from a Health Savings Account, or HSA.

Coverage for addiction treatment under the ACA

If you are covered by an ACA-approved plan purchased via the state or federal marketplaces, then behavior health and substance abuse treatment benefits are a part of your plan. That doesn’t mean that your coverage will be 100 percent covered, and you should also raise questions about insurance coverage with admissions counselors to ensure you know the facts, but federal law doesn’t allow ACA-approved insurers to treat addiction treatment substantially different than it might treat medical treatment for illnesses such as cancer.

If you can’t afford an ACA-approved plan and need substance abuse treatment, your admission counselor may be able to help you start the application process for Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is available to individuals who fall below a certain income threshold and it does include substance abuse benefits.

What if you have a faith-based medical sharing plan?

Due to both the cost of traditional health care coverage and philosophical differences with ACA plan requirements, many Christians are opting instead to belong to a faith-based medical sharing plan. Such plans typically require members to belong to a church and profess Christian values, including a belief in God, the Holy Scriptures, and Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.

While medical sharing plans do satisfy coverage requirements for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties (as of 2017), they are not the same thing as insurance. Because of that, they don’t have to be regulated in the same way. Faith-based sharing programs typically don’t pay for certain types of treatment or preventative measures, such as birth control, and they often don’t include sharing allowances for mental health or substance abuse treatment.

If you have a medical sharing plan, review all the documents you received when you signed up or call the plan customer service line to find out whether addiction recovery expenses can be part of the sharing network. If your plan does allow sharing of addiction treatment bills, explain the plan to your admissions counselor and ask what type of discount is offered for self-pay patients, which is what you’re considered to be in such a situation. Your medical sharing plan can also often offer assistance with planning for invoices and appropriately settling bills following treatment.

Paying for Christian Addiction Treatment

Covering substance abuse treatment expenses with an HSA

Finally, whether you’re covered by an ACA plan, part of a medical sharing network or don’t have coverage at all, if you have a Health Savings Account, you can use those funds to cover certain costs associated with addiction recovery. An HSA account is funded with your money, and while there are some rules on how you can get reimbursed for medical costs from it, it’s not controlled by an insurance company or your employer. Allowable costs are automatically approved and reimbursed after you complete applicable paperwork and submit invoices or receipts.

Some things you can use HSA funds to cover might include:

  • Copayments or deductibles to licensed providers of addiction treatment services
  • Invoices and bills related to treatment in inpatient or outpatient programs or for individuals services from doctors or counselors
  • Medications — both over-the-counter and prescription — that are related to your recovery
  • Nontraditional treatments that are recommended or ordered by a medical provider, including, but not limited to,:
    • Acupuncture
    • Massage
    • Some recreational treatments
  • Travel costs incurred while attending treatment, NA/AA meetings or follow-up doctors and therapy appointments
  • Meal costs incurred while traveling or attending treatment

Each HSA may have it’s own processes and detailed rules, so ensure you understand what those are as you file for reimbursement.

Don’t put financial concerns before your own health

It’s important to note that financial worries should not be a reason that you completely forgo treatment for addiction or substance abuse. Putting off treatment because your worried about paying for it can make the situation much worse and lead to even more expensive treatment needs. Many options for treatment exist, and numerous assistance programs and billing options let providers work with you so you can get the help you need.

If you are dealing with substance abuse or addiction and you have coverage, gather your insurance cards or other documents and call The Road to Freedom now to find out about treatment. Even if you don’t have coverage, call us to speak with a caring, licensed admissions counselor who can help you understand your options and what steps to take next.

For anyone — of any income level and background — professional addiction treatment is often the best way to seek a sober, more positive future. Call Now for More Information  (844)402-3605 .

Read more:
The Cost of Treatment & Insurance
Keeping Your Job While In Rehab
How to Find a Rehab

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