addiction recovery

12 Stupid Things That Can Affect Your Recovery

Recovery from addiction, whether it’s recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction, requires us to truly emerge from the addiction a different person. During addiction treatment (or drug rehab), we have the opportunity to heal from past trauma and pain, and we learn to live and practice a more spiritual and conscious life. Once our time in treatment is over, we take these new practices into our daily lives.

This means we have to be on the lookout for things that could trip us up; those little crossroad moments and decisions that can easily spiral into a relapse. Here are 12 of the most common things you might do in early recovery that have the potential to destroy your hard work and put you in danger.

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addiction recovery

Getting Through Xanax Withdrawal: What You Should Know

Are You Experiencing Xanax Withdrawal? 

Xanax, the trademark name for Alprazolam, is a medication prescribed to provide temporary relief from panic and anxiety disorders. It increases a neurotransmitter called GABA, which soothes the brain when it becomes overexcited. Some individuals may begin to self-medicate, however, which leads to increased use over a short period of time and physical dependence. When the drug is no longer available, or available in smaller doses, Xanax withdrawal can occur.

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addicted seniors

Addicted Seniors: Talking to Your Parents About Treatment

Are You an Adult Child With an Addicted Parent?

Addicted seniors. It’s a real problem.

If your parents were ill, you’d do anything you needed to in order to help them. Unfortunately, when adult children begin to see their older parents sink into alcoholism or drug addiction, they often are unsure how to approach the situation. It’s difficult to see a 50- or 60-year old parent and come to the realization that they may be an alcoholic or addicted to pain medication; then, to find a way to talk to them about it without damaging the relationship can be very difficult.

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Gracious Care’s Programs and Philosophy

At Gracious Care Recovery, we help clients overcome their addictions by first focusing on God and Jesus Christ’s plan for our new lives in recovery. Without this spiritual connection, recovery is much harder to get. With God’s power and by utilizing traditional treatment methods, such as individual and group counseling, twelve step philosophy and meetings, Gracious Care’s Recovery have saved lives and changed lives.

Another program we use to support our clients is Holistic therapy. Holistic therapy treats the whole person’s mind, body, spirit, and emotions as one. It includes guided meditations, art and music therapy, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care. We have found a genuine solution that leads addicts and alcoholics to recovery and that is treating the individual as special and acknowledging their own unique set of life experiences. With us, no two people are the same. This outlook for substance abuse treatment has proven effective and we believe in thorough individualized treatment planning and support.

We have developed an easy approach that highlights our faith in God as our main form of support. Gracious Care knows that by giving attention to your faith while in early recovery and throughout your recovery, you can stay clean and sober. God won’t let you down! Also for substance abuse treatment to be effective, recovery also needs to be made simple. The three things every recovering addict needs to do daily is. First, pray and honor God for getting you sober. Second, connect with your sober support. Sober support includes friends in recovery, family, counselors and going to regular meetings. The third is employment. Employment is not just essential for life it builds self-esteem and helps every recovering addict and alcoholic feel valued and a part of life again.

We have found that it is these three simple ways of living that all people in recovery depend on and value the most once they are clean and sober. Gracious Care is here to love you, support you and stay with you from the very first day of your recovery and throughout. God’s plan for every addict is to get them clean and sober.

Why Sober Living Is Important for Recovery

It is not uncommon for people in addiction recovery to live at a sober living house for many months and sometimes even years. People who choose sober living for themselves do so because they are serious about their recovery, and what it provides them. Here we give you the best reasons sober living is important for recovery.


The best thing that happens at sober living for the newly recovering addict is how much support they get from their roommates on a consistent basis. The support that roommates provide for each other is mainly about helping one another stay clean and sober, and how to cope with everyday life. If one person in the house is struggling, someone else will be there to listen to them, and be by their side. As well, sober living roommates support each other in other ways. Like reminding one another to do their chores, or to lock the front door, and to go to meetings.

The support from this type of community teaches the newly recovering addict that they are cared about, liked, and able to succeed in recovery. Lifelong friendships are formed and never forgotten in sober living. Sober living housemates bond as closely as a famiily does, yet in some ways even closer.

Every sober living house has an onsite manager who leads by example and helps with inspiring each resident to become responsible and to stay strong in their recovery.

Cost of Living

 Newly recovering addicts are usually pretty short on money. Some are even overcoming homelessness. Sober living is much less expensive than an apartment and does not require a deposit, credit check or rental references. Sober living is where most residents build their references and rental history. The cost cannot be compared when you count in the support that is free at a sober living house.

As well,  FYI, for many residents, private insurance can also cover the costs of sober living.

After Relapse

It is not uncommon to see an addict relapse. I think we all wish this was not true. However, time is of a crucial essence after someone relapses. This person is guilt-ridden and ashamed and needs help getting through the negative emotions. Of all the reasons to go into sober living this one is the biggest. Returning to recovery after a relapse is (usually) harder than initially getting sober. Here the support factor of a sober living house is incomparable. This is the time when an addict needs to be understood and loved the most, and sober living residents will do just that.

Being Forced To-Go

Being forced to go to a sober living house is not uncommon. That is why we feel it should be mentioned as one of the reasons sober living is important because so many people fall into this category. Court mandated, or it’s the last stop before the streets and homelessness, and the family may be saying ‘to go or else,’ is a typical scenario for many residents at sober living houses.

What is also typical of persons who are in some ways forced to reside in a halfway house, is that over time they adjust. If you asked a room full of successful recovering addicts and alcoholics: how many of them did not want to be in sober living, and they went to please someone else? All of them would raise their hands (as a yes).

One can rest knowing that in time recovery will win and the newly recovering addict will stop fighting. They will come to terms that sober living is the best decision for them.


This word is no simple one for addicts and alcoholics to gauge, and they are going to need assistance with understanding what it means to be responsible and how to navigate a new moral compass. This is not to imply that persons in new recovery are incapable, bad, or even unintelligent. It only means they require guidance. Sober living houses have set rules in place that help newly recovering addicts learn how to become accountable for their actions. Curfews, ‘get-up-by’ times and doing daily chores, are very basic life skills, however, recovering addicts and alcoholics abandoned these skills or regular way of living in their addictions and will need help in learning to do them again.

The good news is that once an addict or alcoholic gets clean and sober they do return to caring about a routine. Learning how to uphold that routine with others is what accountability is about at a sober living house.

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What is a PHP treatment program?

PHP stands for partial hospitalization program. It is intended for people who have recently completed detox and who are ready to get further treatment for their addictions. Gracious Care’s PHP program is more flexible than other PHP programs because we allow our clients to live onsite at our residential PHP facility or remain at home and attend PHP during the day. However, PHP is considered the most intensive treatment program that Gracious Care offers.

PHP clients are overseen by our professional staff of physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists. In PHP clients help design their own treatment plan with the guidance of their counselor. This treatment plan has specific goals for their recovery and is updated and modified as progress is made, or given more attention when it is not.

Gracious Care’s PHP groups include holistic therapies, facilitator-led groups and workshops, group therapy, and individual counseling. Clients are also taken to outside twelve step meetings and attend in-house twelve step speaker meetings. Other activities that clients will participate in on a regular basis include yoga therapy, art therapy, spiritual meditation, and fitness therapy.

The PHP treatment program has a twenty-four-hour medical staff to administer medications and address medical needs. Gracious Care’s staff of healthcare technicians or ‘techs’ oversee daily routines, safety and give support around the clock. PHP is the program where addicts begin to accept their addiction and grow in their recovery. Treatment stays vary in length per the client’s needs. We offer a minimum stay of thirty days.

Gracious Care’s residences are modern and luxurious. All our treatment houses are gender specific and each room has large comfy single beds and private bathrooms. Clients will have access to the internet and other sources of entertainment (Netflix, Cable, Games). Clients are also allowed to bring and keep their cell phones. Our outdoor areas are beautifully landscaped and there is plenty of nature to enjoy and relax in. All meals are prepared fresh by five-star chefs and nutritious snacks are available always.

All our treatment centers and residences are in Deerfield beach. We are steps away from the beautiful clear blue Atlantic Ocean in an upscale neighborhood with shopping, entertainment, and transportation close by.

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Sober Housing Program

Gracious Care’s ‘Must-Do’s for Your Recovery

With 2017 just around the bend, most of us are excited to begin a new year in recovery and for some of us we will be remembering where we were last year in recovery and in our addictions. Some of us may have made it to double digits in weeks, months or years, and no matter the sobriety date… hasn’t your life gotten better!? Did you ever think you would be where you are today?

Gracious Care has put together a little must-do list to help remind you how wonderful you are. God’s plan included you getting clean and sober today and now look at you go!

Map All Your Successes in Life

Map your life and leave the failures out! Unfortunately, as recovering addicts and alcoholics, we often spend a lot of time remembering our failures, and we forget about the things we used to be good at. As well, for most of us who have been to treatment, we have been asked to do a variety of therapeutic activities or lifelines that map our addiction and our failures. And this is a healthy thing to do to point out the seriousness of your addiction and how it got worse, so you will have a realistic perspective about it. 

Yet, what can get overlooked and forgotten are all the things we were good at before our addictions completely took over. So, what you need to do is make a map of everything you have done well in your entire life and don’t forget any of them no matter how you young were! This is a map of successes, so leave the failures out.

Think back to when you were a kid or a teenager. Weren’t you the best at volleyball, chess, Legos, archery, drawing, swimming or soccer? Maybe you were a really great poet or musician? Whatever it was that you used to be really good at- MAP IT!

The point of a success map is to help you remember all the talent you have and to remind you how great you really are.

Do Something Nice for Yourself

Now we aren’t talking just some little cup of coffee or a sandwich here. What we mean by doing something nice for yourself is GO BIG. Plan something memorable for yourself and enjoy. Don’t just go get your nails done, or have lunch with a friend. Go get your hair and nails done and have lunch with a friend by the beach. Then go shopping at a really nice mall, and buy each other a quirky little gift. Then show your gift off at your favorite church or meeting.  

For guys, don’t just go buy a new watch. Wear that watch and go see a cool new movie with your best friend, and have a great dinner after you check out the latest new stuff at the Apple store. Or cruise up to Disneyworld. We mean what can’t be more special than Disneyworld-right?!

And if you are on a budget, then look to your sponsor and friends for help. Tell them you want to do something nice for yourself. Watch the ideas and help come at you! Doing something nice for yourself is therapeutic and will be remembered, especially if you make a Big Deal of it! This can be your go-to memory of how great you have made your life in recovery!

So, remember you make your recovery what it is. Also, you have to let it happen or become. As recovering addicts and alcoholics we are often resistant to new things, or to doing things for ourselves at all. Recovery takes effort as well as letting yourself have it.

So, do something special for yourself this end of the year and do it in a BIG WAY. You will thank us once you did.

HAPPY 2017

 With LOVE from All of Us at Gracious Care Recovery!

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Our Team

5 Things People in Addiction Recovery Can Do to Feel Better

Having a bad day does not just happen to people in addiction recovery. It happens to everyone, and that is life. Yet for people in recovery, especially early recovery, feeling bad can really feel horrible. It’s hard to explain to others, isn’t it? Sometimes we recovering addicts and alcoholics can just feel desperate, alone, angry, and emotionally deprived or overwhelmed.

When we experience such heavy negative emotions, it is important to take positive action to help lighten our feelings up. Here we give you the 5 best things you can do when you feel like something has got to help you feel better- now!

Call your Sponsor

If this seems obvious, or typical, then you must already be calling your sponsor, and we are proud of you! Or, you may not have a sponsor to call. If that is the case then don’t worry, call a friend in recovery right now. Don’t even read the rest of this post. Finish reading it later. What is important right now, is being able to help you feel better. So pick up the phone and talk about it.

Tell Yourself You Are Worth Recovery

Telling yourself you are worth recovery and that you can stay clean and sober, is so mega-important because whether you realize it, or not, your words to yourself mean more than from anyone else in the world. Encouraging self-talk equals a positive frame of mind. To really do this effectively when you are down, and this will surely shed some tears, is to practice talking to yourself as if you were a child.

Imagine you are talking to yourself as a child, or like you would talk to your own children. Tell them you know they are feeling bad right now but it is going to get better. Tell yourself or your child self, you are valuable and that You Are Worth Recovery.

It is Okay to Blame Satan

It is okay to blame your bad feelings on Satan. Yes, we are using the “S” word here. Why? Because it is powerful, and it will help you feel less at fault. If that does not make sense to you, what we are trying to explain is, sometimes you just have to blame someone for you to feel better. It’s putting the responsibility of feeling bad on someone else. And who better and more deserving to blame than Satan. Say it! Say you feel really bad and guess whose fault it is? And by the way, we think this is true.


Stop and Thank Jesus

As a Christian or even someone who prays to a higher power, if you have not been doing this, then now is the best time ever to thank Jesus Christ for loving you and being in your heart. Jesus Christ lives in all our hearts and it is very powerful to acknowledge him there. Even if you are not a Christian just give this a try and we promise you will feel better. 


Get on With Life and Get Busy

A busy life is a hard mind to mess with. Whoever realized that staying busy helps you feel better was a genius. Try it, and watch how much better you will feel by keeping your schedule full especially when you are down. Therefore, do not remain in bed all day long. Do not ignore taking a shower. Do not forget to eat at least three times per day. And definitely– Do Not Give Up! Reacting to bad feelings and drinking or using will make everything worse! Relapse never makes anything better.

Stay busy, stick to your best routine. Love your friends in recovery and your life in recovery. And always remember to talk to your higher power and God, and we promise you will feel better!

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My Child Has an Addiction Part 14 How to Support Recovery After Treatment

The Best Apology is Changed Behavior

When it comes to addiction and your path to recovery, you’re often faced with relapse issues. These problems on top of everything else may seem as if it’s almost impossible for an opportunity to heal. Often your relapse and the way you handle your situation affects your loved ones even though that’s never the intention. The words “I’m sorry” may have lost their meaning to those around you who want nothing more than to see you overcome your addiction.

Recovery is a fight and losing means death. Think of what that would say to your significant other, parents, siblings and real friends. Death would torture them beyond words. It’s vital to both your loved ones and yourself to find a better solution when apologize, and the inevitable will be detrimental.

Changing one’s behavior is the best way for you to say “Thank You” to your loved ones, therapist and anyone else that may have influence in your life. Changing the behavior doesn’t mean changing the person. That change goes way deeper. No longer should you feel or say you’re sorry to yourself or anyone else.

By looking for alternatives to your behavior and replacing the addiction with something else, you’re not only freeing yourself from the depths of your addiction; you’re taking control and that you’ll never have to apologize.

By changing your behavior, you will no longer be sabotaging your life; you’ll be able to embrace it.

Changed behavior means using your emotions to find positive channels for the energy you would normally be wasting.

Your new-found practice will allow new doors to open, new people to walk in and a new life to take place. Habits can’t be broken, but better ones can replace them. Practice using new practices daily until they’ve become second nature to you.

You don’t have to feel sorry for yourself or your situation. Your habits, your attitude and the way you conduct yourself, will become joyous and unremorseful because they will fill your world with endless gratitude.

You can stop regretting everything once you’ve found a way to change the behavior that has trapped you from enjoying the rest of your life. There’s no reason to be apologetic for reaching new heights toward the recovery when you stick to the form; your recovery has helped you achieve. That my friend is nothing to feel sorry.

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The Holidays and Your Sobriety: What to Keep in Mind


If you are not feeling the joy and cheer you think everyone else has all around you this Holiday season, DO NOT FEEL ALONE! The holidays are ruthless for causing people of any type, clean and sober, rich and poor, functioning and not, to become depressed. As well, for our circle of recovery we all know how notorious the holidays season is for causing recovering addicts and alcoholics to relapse.

During this holiday season, there are some things to consider with regards to how all this joyous frolicking may affect you and your recovery, so read on!


This is no small matter. The holidays bring up feelings from the past that are good, bad, sad, and the holidays really make the past a central focus. Think about it. All we do during this time is ‘compare’. We compare where we were last year to now, who we spent last Christmas with before, to who we are with now. It’s endless, even on Christmas Day itself we will be comparing our gifts and probably wishing we got something better.

What is important to realize is that the Holidays draw out feelings regardless of who you are or not. It is meant to be a time of love and joy and sharing. These are great big emotional situations. Take care of yourself right now, and allow yourself to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE if you are affected negatively during the holidays.

Re-consider the Christmas-Family-Visit

This is mega of all whammies for people in recovery and especially for people in early recovery. Seeing the family at Christmas is very very emotional. Do not feel obligated to make appearances for the family’s sake. If you are not ready to take on the family and Christmas all at once, spend Christmas with your sober family!

For many successful recovering addicts and alcoholics, it took one, two, three years and more before they could join the family for Christmas. Because of all its old baggage, old habits and disappoints, together combined with the overfilled emotional celebrations of the holidays, for them, was just too much before they knew they could go and stay clean and sober- AND FEEL HAPPY!!


If you don’t understand what a recovery tool is then we will make it easy for you and name the best ones. First, make sure your sponsor, or sober circle of friends, are available to see you and to talk to you EVERY DAY of the Holiday season. Second, GET REAL AND DO NOT GO TO X-MAS PARTIES WHERE ALCOHOL IS SERVED! This is a no brainer, it will suck and you will be tempted as well as miserable. Third, make more than one Christmas and New Year’s plan. You may change your mind about wanting to go one hour before. In this case, what is important is to have a backup plan, so you don’t feel left out or alone.

For example, where and when are some good meetings or church services to go to? Fourth, DO NOT GO TO PARTIES WHERE ALCOHOL IS SERVED. Fifth, it is okay to stay at your sober home, or in, and not celebrate the Holidays. In fact, a lot of regular people in America think of Christmas or New Years as just a long weekend off from work and do nothing but rest! RIGHT ON!! So watch that awesome movie, go take a long bath or stroll by the ocean. Be YOU and be comfortable!


Love yourself, love your recovery, and most importantly Do Not Feel Alone because REALLY, we are ALL feeling the emotional ups and downs in a big way during the Holiday season.


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