IHAT Institute Blog

The Importance of Family Support for Addiction Recovery

“Addiction is a family disease”- a quote many have heard but the application is not always fully understood.  Too often there is a compartmentalization within a family system regarding addiction.  This can lead the family member with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) to be viewed as the one who needs to work on themselves, while […]
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Sober Summer!

Summertime often involves many social events, the beach, vacations and warm weather.  This can be a challenging season for those in early sobriety.  However, this Summer poses unique obstacles in that most people have been more isolated due to COVID-19 lockdowns in the previous months.  Businesses are now starting to reopen and smaller social events […]
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Effectively Navigating the COVID-19 Reopening

For many individuals, it has felt like forever since they were able to sit outside at their favorite coffee shop, shop in their favorite small store, get their hair done, see friends and attend small social events. Summer is upon us, and this reopening may be a time of relief for many as well as a newfound sense of freedom. People may be experiencing a lift in their mood and in their sense of hope. However, for others, this time may be stress and fear producing.
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Adapting to Changes in Addiction Treatment

The prevention efforts surrounding COVID-19 have led to various changes in the way that addiction treatment services and support are delivered. The most notable change is that many services are being delivered remotely through telehealth. While the addiction and mental health care field are fortunate to have the technology to offer this option, there are both benefits and drawbacks to this modality.
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Redefining Recovery Progress During the Pandemic

This has been a time of change, unknowns and confusion. Progress can be defined as “forward or onward movement toward a destination”. For those in early recovery, the path towards progress that they had laid out initially to maintain sobriety has inevitably been altered in some way as a result of this pandemic. A typical […]
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Addiction Treatment During COVID-19

This has been a time of adapting to change, to new schedules and in many cases, less structure within our days. There have also been many health and mental health stressors associated with COVID-19 that have added another layer of complication to individual’s lives. Many parents are multitasking homeschooling their children while working from home. […]
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Avoiding Social Isolation During COVID-19

“Social Distancing”. The term is being used daily, and is the complete opposite of what individuals in early recovery from substance use disorders (SUD) should be doing under normal circumstances. The addiction treatment field and mutual help groups focus on the healing benefits of community and social support.
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Keeping Your Home Environment Peaceful Amidst the Panic

If you watch, read or listen to the news right now, it is hard to hear about anything other than concern about the Coronavirus.  While it is important to stay informed and to adjust your life accordingly, it can be harmful to hyperfocus on this topic. For those who have preexisting fears around germs, contamination, […]
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Dealing with Winter Blues and Recommitting to Resolutions

January and February are often months that people may experience Winter Blues or seasonal mood issues. As Holiday celebrations subside and we get deeper into Winter, some people may experience a decline in their mood and motivation. For those living in regions with four seasons, many struggle with seasonal mood fluctuations. This can be a result of many factors that can include less exposure to sunlight, cold weather, boredom, increased substance usage, relapse, limited activity and exercise, less visible sunlight, Vitamin D3 deficiency, serotonin level changes and more.
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Sober Travel: How Not to Get High in the Skies

We are approaching the time of Winter when people often travel to warm destinations, or even cold locations to engage in Winter sports. This is also the season for school vacations and Spring Break. Many people look forward to as well as save money and work vacation time to enjoy. However, for those in early […]
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We all Need Support During the Holidays!

Many people pride themselves on “doing it all” throughout the year and especially throughout the Holidays. Our society praises the go-getters, the super moms and dads and keeping up with a fast paced technology driven culture. However, when an individual gets sober, they are given the opposite suggestions.
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It’s the Happiest Time of the Year…and Most Stressful!

“Are we having fun yet?” Is a question I often think of in the midst of Holiday chaos. This is supposed to be an enjoyable time of year to connect with friends and family and to celebrate the New Year. The problem is, life continues to march on while additional expenses, tasks, social events and traditions pile up.
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Families Need Help Too!

Everyone knows of a family or family member struggling to deal with a loved one with a Substance-Use Disorder (SUD). Friends and acquaintances may watch, sometimes with judgment and confusion, as family members try to navigate this stressful situation.
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There is No Place Like “Home” for the Holidays!

Enjoying the Holidays at home can be both comforting but also challenging for those in early recovery and their families. There are many holiday traditions that can include alcohol and substance usage, but most importantly, family. Addiction is a family disease, and these relationships can often be emotionally loaded. This time of year can exacerbate […]
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Recommitting to Recovery: The Key to Long-Term Recovery

Recovery is an ongoing process and those fortunate to have long-term recovery have one thing in common- an ability to recommit themselves. It has been observed that people often get sober and as a result expect that life should go their way—a reward, in a sense, for their “good” behavior. However, that is not generally what happens. In fact, many individuals report that their lives often get worse before getting better. While this may seem unfair, it can be a blessing in disguise- for it can ensure that the motivation to remain sober becomes intrinsic.
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Trauma, Sobriety, & 9/11

This week marks the 18th Anniversary of 9/11- an unforgettable and traumatic date for so many. It reminds us that even though time passes, wounds can be reopened as anniversary dates come to pass and memories surface. The word “trauma” can imply a terrifying and cosmic event that occurs in a person’s life. However, traumatic events can come is so many forms-some subtle- and are proportionate in terms of their impact on an individual. What may be traumatic for one person many not be for another.
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Embracing Life’s Transitions

August 29, 2019 Summer is coming to an end, which means that a transition is approaching- small for some and more difficult for others.  Kids and young adults are getting ready to go back to school, parents, are changing gears to a more regular schedule with their children in school and the season is shifting […]
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Sober Scheduling

Active addiction can infiltrate every aspect of one’s life and occupy a significant amount of time and mental energy When an individual is in the throws of addiction, their life revolves around substance usage and the negative side effects in a conscious or unconscious way. The people they spend time with, their work and academic schedules, leisure time, lack of schedule are all impacted by substance use.
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Sober Summertime Survival Guide

Things are heating up and that means more challenges for people in recovery. Summer is a time that is notoriously more difficult to stay sober. People in recovery frequently struggle are often bombarded with the constant barbecues, pool parties, and trips to the beach. How do we enjoy the season and not get off track?
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Independence From Addiction

July 3, 2019 July 4, 2010 was the least freeing Independence Day I have ever experienced. Like most days, I focused on one thing: how to avoid the withdrawal sickness I was feeling. I was addicted to heroin and cocaine, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to stop. I watched the fireworks […]
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Take PRIDE in Quality Care!

It's National Pride Month; a time in which we celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community and all of the hard-fought progress we have made towards equality. However, there are still ongoing challenges. The LGBTQ Community historically has experienced significantly higher rates of mental illness and increased barriers to quality healthcare
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Barriers to Accessing Treatment

“I’m sorry, we just can’t let you stay. You haven’t used long enough.” I was 19-years-old, the secret I had been keeping had just been revealed: I was addicted to opioids.
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