Recently, Northpoint Recovery’s Robert Castan interviewed to spread the word on recovery and relapse during the Holiday Season. Robert shared his own struggles of being homeless and an alcoholic in the interview with Karen. After Robert’s own successful recovery, he has spent his time assisting others to be as fortunate. Robert co-founded Northpoint Recovery in Boise, Idaho in 2014 to help share his experiences further.
“I am extremely proud of what we have created at Northpoint Recovery, we get to do something we love and help people change their lives”
~ Robert Castan
Managing Sobriety with Stress
Robert explains further in the interview with Karen that the holiday season can be especially stressful for those in recovery, and that relapse rates increase during this timeframe. Robert describes why sobriety is harder during the holidays, “essentially it’s like all of their triggers compounded on one. They have to show up at events, they have to be on point, [and] they spend more money”.
Robert further explains the main ways to manage sobriety is maintaining a strong support system and hope. Robert encourages others to reach out to those who may be struggling this holiday season and let them in. Providing a safe and friendly environment can make a world of difference in that person’s life.
Other ways to stay on track with sobriety is to manage the stress that comes with the holiday season. Here are five ways to help manage stress so you can focus on what really matters – you and staying clean!
- Remove yourself from the stressful situation – Even taking a short 20-minute break will allow a person to feel less overwhelmed and provide a new outlook.
- Working out – Exercising has extensive benefits for a person’s physical well-being, but can also provide a nice mental break as well.
- Smiling – Smiles are contagious, this is true! Additionally, the face holds a lot of our stress so by smiling and/or laughing you are able to release some of the built up tension.
- Support System – Sharing your thoughts and feelings with those close to you will help you relax and provide comfort for the situations you are dealing.
- Meditation – Becoming mindful allows the body to relax and the mind to focus.
Relapse is defined as “the process that leads people in recovery to return to their drug abuse”. Relapse is a process and as such has been broken down into three main parts: mental relapse, physical relapse, and relapse. In the first stage, mental relapse, a person is thinking about using; it is usually this mental struggle that ultimately wears them down and leads them to the next stage. Physical relapse is the second stage when an individual has a slip and uses a substance. The last stage is relapsing where the user returns to uncontrolled drug use.
The best way to help prevent relapse is to build a solid prevention plan. However, even with the best-laid plans in place relapse is still possible. Relapse rates are estimated to be 40-60% with substance use disorders. Even with the high relapse rate, it is possible to not fall victim by staying busy.
The best way to ensure a successful recovery from addiction is to seek professional help. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we understand the complex nature of addiction and how to help others break the cycle. If you or someone you love is struggling this holiday season, please reach out so we can help! Remember it is never too late to start your day one!