Celebrities in Recovery: 10 Sober Stars

Celebrities in Recovery: 10 Sober Stars

In every corner of society, from our neighborhoods to glittering Hollywood, addiction casts its challenging shadow. This struggle doesn’t discriminate by fame, fortune, or demographics.

At its core, addiction is a human challenge, reaching individuals of every background and reminding us of our shared fragility and strength. Yet, amid these challenges, hope shines brightly through the stories of those who embark on the journey of recovery.

Role models in the recovery community — from our close friends to celebrities we admire from afar — serve as powerful beacons, showing that recovery is possible.

Let’s celebrate the spirit of resilience and remind ourselves that sobriety is not just a personal journey but one that many, including some familiar faces, tread upon with grace and determination.

10 Sober Celebrities in Recovery

Each celebrity story sheds light on the universality of addiction challenges, but more importantly, on the strength and willpower inherent in all of us to overcome and find our way back.

1. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato’s journey, like so many, has been paved with ups and downs. From 2010, they’ve been candid about their challenges with substance use, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder.

In 2018, they experienced a particularly dark moment; after marking six years of sobriety, Demi faced a relapse and a harrowing overdose. However, adversity can lead to profound transformation.

Demi’s commitment to a revitalized, sober life is evident almost five years after the hospitalization. They have discussed how they are committed to being more than “California Sober” and has leaned into therapy, found solace in joyful hobbies, and surrounded themselves with a community that reinforces their positive choices.

Demi’s triumphant return was marked by a successful tour in 2022, showing that with determination and the right support, a comeback is always possible.

2. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore’s story begins astonishingly early. Finding fame as a child, she experienced the pressures of Hollywood firsthand, leading her to experience alcohol addiction by the age of 11 and cocaine addiction by 12.

At just 13, after a suicide attempt, she entered rehab. While Barrymore was sober for many of the following years, life threw more challenges her way. Her third marriage in 2016 ended, leading her to a relapse.

Yet, Drew’s story is not one of defeat but resilience. Relapse, though difficult, is a chapter many face in their recovery journey. It’s not an indication of failure but a reminder that recovery is a continuous process.

Drew’s journey teaches us the importance of seeing relapses not as reasons for shame or judgment but as moments that can be overcome with the right tools and resources. Now, having journeyed through the highs and lows, Barrymore stands strong.

She continues to host her successful daytime show and is not only sober but also managing a fulfilling personal life, dating, co-parenting her children, and surrounding herself with supportive friends. Her story is a testament to the fact that with determination and support, recovery is always within reach.

3. Robert Downey Jr.

A tale of revival and determination defines Robert Downey Jr.’s journey. With a family history of addiction, the early chapters of Downey Jr.’s life are filled with tumultuous stories.

From being a teenage sensation to navigating the pitfalls of stardom, Downey Jr. battled with cocaine, heroin, and alcohol abuse. Court-mandated rehab and prison were recurring phases of his life. But, during what Downey Jr. considers one of the lowest points of his life, he took the leap of committing to his recovery journey.

Leaving behind his troubled past, Downey Jr. embarked on a new chapter of sobriety and renewal. This remarkable turnaround saw him rise from the shadows of obscurity to the limelight of Hollywood’s A-list.

With iconic roles in movies such as Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, and the Avengers series, he reminds us that the path to redemption is paved with resilience.

4. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper’s story is an intimate tapestry of success, vulnerability, and redemption. While Cooper is now committed to his sober lifestyle, his experience with addiction — which he channeled for his 2018 Oscar-nominated role in A Star Is Born — is raw and personal.

The year 2006 marked a challenging chapter, with an arrest for cocaine possession that thrust him into international headlines, threatening to overshadow his ascending career. Yet, adversity can be a catalyst for profound transformation.

With 19 years of sobriety now under his belt, Cooper’s commitment to recovery isn’t just personal. He actively supports others in his circle in navigating the challenges of addiction.

Over the years, Cooper has been a voice of transparency, candidly sharing his battles with substance abuse and overcoming them. In doing so, he offers hope to countless individuals, reminding them that they can rewrite their narratives with determination and support.

5. Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell’s journey through the world of fashion is not just about her prowess on the runway but also about the inner battles she fought away from the spotlight. The iconic supermodel has opened up about her struggles grappling with alcohol and cocaine addiction during the early 2000s.

Recognizing that her drinking was interfering with her life, Campbell decided to join Alcoholics Anonymous, which provided her with a community and approach that helped her embrace sobriety. That was not her only fight; in 1999, she checked into rehab to address her cocaine addiction, signaling her resolve to prioritize her health and well-being.

Today, Naomi stands not only as a beacon in the fashion world but also as a testament to the power of recovery. By sharing her experiences and vulnerability, she offers solace and motivation to others on their journey, highlighting that no matter how steep the path, with support and tools, one can indeed rise again.

6. Samuel L. Jackson

A titan of the film industry, Samuel L. Jackson’s cinematic journey is interwoven with personal growth and self-discovery. With nearly a quarter-century of sobriety behind him, Jackson’s commitment to his recovery has reshaped his personal life and profoundly influenced his approach to character creation.

Jackson’s openness about his experience reminds us that addiction is not a moral failing but an opportunity for growth and transformation. As he says in his words: “I understood, through rehab, things about creating characters. I understood that creating whole people means knowing where we come from, how we can make a mistake, and how we overcome things to make ourselves stronger.”

Through his recovery journey, Jackson beautifully encapsulates the essence of perseverance and self-awareness.

7. Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps’ tale is one of extraordinary triumph, both inside and outside the pool. As the holder of the most Olympic Gold Medals in history, his accolades speak for themselves.

But, behind the medals and applause, Phelps grappled with personal challenges. His second DUI arrest in 2014 led him to seek addiction treatment, a decision that became a turning point.

Phelps’ resilience saw him return to the pool, securing five gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Reflecting on his journey, Phelps has shared how his alcohol use correlated with depression and anxiety — a common experience known as a dual diagnosis.

This realization led Phelps to take steps to regain some control. He checked himself into an in-patient treatment center and has become an advocate for therapy — helping others feel more confident in reaching out for seeking out support.

8. Lindsey Lohan

From charming audiences as a child in “The Parent Trap” to making waves in hits like “Mean Girls,” Lindsey Lohan’s early career was nothing short of stellar. But with the highs came the lows. Her journey became tumultuous, marked by drug and alcohol challenges that led her to rehab and jail.

After a period of self-reflection and healing, including her sixth visit to rehab and her eye-opening 2014 docuseries with Oprah Winfrey, Lohan embarked on a new chapter. Now several years sober, she’s channeling her energies into positive ventures.

Her podcast, “Lohdown,” is a platform where she engages with guests about their impactful life journeys. In 2022, she returned to the screen with the heartwarming film “Falling for Christmas.”

And, in a testament to the new chapters and joy recovery can bring, she celebrated the birth of her first child with Bader Shammas this summer. Through her resilience, Lohan reminds us all of the beauty and possibilities that recovery can offer.

9. Brad Pitt

The story of Brad Pitt’s journey to sobriety highlights the power of self-awareness and the courage to face one’s vulnerabilities head-on. In a candid chat with the New York Times, Pitt unveiled a side of himself that many hadn’t seen.

He spoke about attending 12-Step meetings and deciding to relinquish alcohol. Brad’s honesty about revealing the less-than-perfect parts of his life resonates deeply.

He has spoken about the feelings of freedom that come with building awareness of and being open about his less glamorous sides. His journey underscores that embracing our flaws can often pave the way to profound growth and liberation.

10. Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry, globally recognized for his role as Chandler Bing in Friends, has a personal story marked by struggles and triumphs. His battles with alcohol and opiates became the foundation for a future of service and advocacy.

Having embraced sobriety in 2001, Perry transformed his personal struggles into an empowering mission to help others. With a heart driven to make a difference, Perry has championed the cause of recovery support.

He donated his Malibu home to foster a sober living environment and stood before the U.S. Congress, emphasizing the need to expand Drug Courts and improve treatment services for veterans.

He believes that sharing his struggles now can help others come to terms with their own addiction, underscoring the importance of community and peer support in addiction recovery. His tale is a beacon of hope, showing that even after the darkest nights, a new dawn awaits, filled with purpose and promise.

Starting Your Own Sobriety Journey: What To Know

Every journey begins with a single step, and when it comes to the path of sobriety, that step is often wrapped in courage and hope. If you or a loved one is contemplating this transformative voyage, knowing you’re not alone is essential.

Seeking help and embracing personalized care, like the one offered at SOBA New Jersey, can make all the difference. At SOBA New Jersey, we understand the importance of an environment that listens without judgment and understands with empathy.

Every individual’s journey is unique and filled with its own set of challenges and victories. It’s crucial to have a support system that tailors its approach to your individual needs, mirroring the same principles on which SOBA New Jersey builds our community and programming.

The Bottom Line

The resilience and strength displayed by the celebrities we’ve discussed are nothing short of inspirational. Their stories aren’t just tales of fame and fortune but testaments to the human spirit’s undying tenacity.

And if there’s one thing to take away from their narratives, it’s this: recovery is a universal possibility. It isn’t limited by status, background, or past mistakes. It’s a testament to the human spirit’s ability to heal, grow, and thrive.

If you or someone you cherish is battling addiction, remember that help is just a call away. Recognizing the need for support isn’t a sign of weakness but a celebration of strength. It’s an acknowledgment that every mountain is easier to climb when you have someone walking beside you.

Here at SOBA Recovery, we’re ready to walk this path with you, tailoring individual recovery plans that fit your unique needs. Embrace the chance to rewrite your story, filled with hope, healing, and endless possibilities.

And remember, every day offers a new beginning. Reach out to us, and let’s welcome that new day together.


Relapse | Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Dual Diagnosis: Definition & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Benefits of talking therapies | NHS

Opioids | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Pathways to Long-Term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation | PMC

Why Do People Do Drugs?

Exploring the reasons behind drug use with empathy. Dive into the complexities of addiction and discover the promise of recovery.

When someone we love is struggling with a drug addiction, it is common to feel helpless and confused. We may wonder, “Why are they doing this?” or “Why are they choosing something that is hurting themselves and others in the process?”

As difficult as this is, it’s important to remember that addiction is not a choice made out of malice or ignorance. It’s a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that can pull individuals into its grip. Approaching the topic with compassion, understanding, and an open heart can pave the way for healing and support.

Instead of passing judgment, let’s embark on a journey to comprehend the intricacies of addiction and how we, as a community, can offer the right support.

Why Do People Do Drugs? 8 Reasons To Consider

Every individual’s journey with drugs is unique. While we may never fully understand every reason, shedding light on some known factors can guide our compassion and empathy.

1. Biological Factors

The brain is at the heart of our feelings, emotions, and even decisions — an organ guiding our every move. One significant area is the brain’s pleasure center, which rewards behaviors that promote survival, like eating and socializing, with feelings of joy and satisfaction.

Drugs can intensely stimulate this center, giving powerful sensations of pleasure. Over time, the brain can rely on these substances to feel good, leading to a cycle where seeking out the drug becomes a priority.

Genetics also plays a pivotal role. Some individuals might be genetically predisposed to addiction.

Research shows that they might inherit genes that make the effects of drugs more pleasurable or decrease the impact of withdrawal symptoms. This genetic lottery doesn’t mean someone will inevitably become addicted, but it might make the journey into addiction swifter for some compared to others.

2. Emotional and Psychological Reasons

Life is a mosaic of experiences — some uplifting, others heart-wrenching. Research suggests that many people turn to drugs to respond to or cope with trauma, mental health struggles, and emotional distress.

The burdens of past traumas, unresolved emotional pain, or even daily stressors can lead someone to seek solace in substances. For many, drugs offer a temporary escape, a momentary relief from the overwhelming feelings of despair or anxiety.

Yet, it’s essential to understand that this isn’t about seeking harm but rather a search for respite. Self-medication attempts to manage unbearable feelings or psychiatric symptoms that haven’t been addressed appropriately. Though offering temporary relief, this cycle can exacerbate the underlying issues, leading to a deepened reliance on drugs.

At SOBA New Jersey, we understand that turning to substances can sometimes seem like the only way out for many amidst the tumultuous storm of emotions. But we also believe in the strength of the human spirit and the potential for healing, recovery, and rediscovery.

3. Social and Environmental Factors

Our surroundings have a profound influence on our choices. They shape our perceptions, beliefs, and, often, our actions.

One of the most powerful social influences is the longing for acceptance and the fear of exclusion. Peer pressure isn’t just a term thrown around in school assemblies; it’s a genuine force that can lead individuals to adopt behaviors, including drug use, in the hope of fitting in or gaining approval.

Family dynamics play an essential role as well. Upbringing, family values, and even observed behaviors can shape one’s attitude toward drugs. Growing up in an environment where substance use is frequent can normalize the behavior, making experimentation seem less risky or taboo.

The sheer availability and exposure to drugs can be a determining factor. If substances are easily accessible and commonly seen in one’s community or social circles, the barrier to trying them can be much lower.

It’s the communal gatherings, the parties, and the weekend hangouts where drugs can be presented as a casual and regular activity, making it challenging for some to abstain.

4. Curiosity and Experimentation

From touching a hot stove as a toddler to exploring new hobbies as an adult, humans are inherently curious. This innate desire to explore, understand, and experience can sometimes lead to drug experimentation. Especially when it comes to teenagers and young adults, those who are curious about the effects of drugs may be acting on impulse.

The brain development at this stage correlates with an invincibility complex, where one might feel they are almost immortal, believing that potential negative results of dangerous or risky behavior won’t happen to them. This mentality can lead individuals to experiment without acknowledging the risks.

While not everyone who experiments will develop an addiction, understanding the risks can pave the way for informed decisions.

5. The Role of Mental Health

Our mental well-being is deeply interwoven with our choices, behaviors, and life experiences. When mental health struggles exist, they can push individuals towards substances as a way of coping.

This phenomenon, known as dual diagnosis, arises when substance abuse coexists with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. In many cases, individuals might use drugs to manage or mask the symptoms of their mental health challenges, creating a cycle where one exacerbates the other.

This is why, at SOBA New Jersey, we emphasize the importance of holistic treatments. Addressing just one aspect, be it the addiction or the mental health disorder, isn’t enough.

True healing and lasting recovery demand an approach that caters to the entirety of an individual’s well-being, both mental and physical.

6. Pressure To Perform

In our society that is always expecting more from us, pressure to always be at the top, excel, and outperform can sometimes feel never-ending. This constant hustle, whether in the classroom, sports field, or boardrooms, creates tangible pressure.

The desire to perform optimally, to meet deadlines, and to exceed expectations might lead some to seek shortcuts, and this is where substances like stimulants come into play. Adderall, for instance, is a prescription stimulant drug for ADHD that is often misused to enhance focus and efficiency.

But while it might offer short-term advantages, the potential long-term harm and dependency can outweigh the benefits and interfere with our ability to accomplish everyday tasks as addiction takes over.

7. The Chemical Effects

The allure of the high, that fleeting euphoria, can be tempting. It’s a momentary escape, a burst of pleasure that promises an immediate reprieve from life’s challenges.

But herein lies the trap. While drugs can initially stimulate pleasurable feelings, they can trick our brains into a state of dependency. Over time, our natural ability to feel joy diminishes, and we become reliant on substances to recreate those moments of happiness.

The more we lean on these drugs, the harder it becomes for our neurotransmitters to induce pleasure on their own. It’s a dangerous cycle where chasing that initial high requires higher doses, leading to heightened dependency and a profound alteration in our brain chemistry.

8. The Cycle of Addiction

The journey from experimentation to dependency can sometimes be subtle and swift. It starts innocently enough — a curious taste, a momentary escape.

Yet, over time, the body and brain begin to expect and rely on the substance. This increasing reliance is known as tolerance, wherein one requires more of the drug to achieve the same effects.

But it doesn’t stop there. As dependence grows, the body negatively reacts when deprived of the substance, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

These can range from mild discomforts to severe physical and psychological challenges. The resulting pain and distress further drive the individual to consume the drug, reinforcing the cycle of addiction.

It’s a daunting path, but it’s crucial to remember that it’s not a one-way street. Recovery, though challenging, is entirely possible.

With individualized care, understanding, and the right tools, one can break free from this cycle. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re dedicated to providing that support, ensuring everyone has a chance to reclaim the life and happiness they deserve.

Recovery Is Possible: The Importance of Community

One of the pillars of successful recovery is the embrace of a loving and understanding community. Many find their road to healing in the strength of unity, the warmth of shared experiences, and the compassion of kindred spirits.

For anyone navigating the labyrinth of addiction, having a support system is not just comforting but also crucial. It’s the gentle reminder that they’re not alone, that there are shoulders to lean on and hands to hold.

At SOBA New Jersey, our commitment is unwavering. We’ve cultivated a sanctuary where individualized care meets the power of community and provides resources to support their loved ones through the process.

Our approach is rooted in understanding and personalized treatment, always with the belief that with the right support, anyone can reclaim the joy and purpose in their life. Encourage your loved ones. Approach them with an open heart, and together, let’s pave the path to recovery.


Genetics and Epigenetics of Addiction DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Substance use, childhood traumatic experience, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an urban civilian population | PMC

The adolescent perception of invincibility and its influence on teen acceptance of health promotion strategies | PMC

Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects | PMC

Dual Diagnosis: What Does It Mean?

Dual Diagnosis

Navigating the twists and turns of life can often seem overwhelming, and even more so when faced with the added complexities of mental health and substance abuse. If you’re here, reading this, please remember you’re not alone. Your strength and courage are already evident.

A dual diagnosis intertwines two major life challenges. Yet, it’s a situation that’s far more common than you might think. This journey can be particularly arduous, but understanding its nature and impact is the first step toward healing.

At the intersection of mental health and substance use disorders, dual diagnosis highlights the deep-rooted connections between our minds and our choices. This vital topic carries significant weight, not just for those directly affected but for everyone who touches their lives.

What Is a Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis, also referred to as a comorbidity or co-occurring disorder, occurs when a person experiences a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder simultaneously.

A dual diagnosis can involve a range of mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders or bipolar disorder, and a variety of substance use disorders, like alcohol or drug abuse.

The coexistence of these conditions is not unusual. According to a 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 9.2 million U.S. adults experienced mental health and substance use disorders that year. You’re not alone. There are many others sharing this challenging journey, and together, progress and healing become more attainable.

What Diagnoses Could Be Part of a Dual Diagnosis?

When it comes to a dual diagnosis, the co-occurring mental health conditions can vary. They may range from anxiety disorders, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to attention-deficit disorders.

Each of these can considerably impact a person’s quality of life, and when coupled with substance use disorders, the effects can be compounded.

Along with a mental health disorder, those experiencing a dual diagnosis also struggle with substance use disorders, which involve recurrent use of alcohol or drugs causing significant clinical and functional impairment. This could be reflected in health problems, disability, and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home.

Specifically, these disorders can relate to alcohol use disorder, drug abuse — with a particular emphasis on opioids and other substances — and practices of self-medication.

As we delve into these disorders, it’s vital to approach this conversation with understanding and empathy. Approach this learning without judgment, and remember, mental illness and addiction are not a cause for shame.

In fact, gaining a deeper understanding of these conditions can empower you. Each new insight you gain is a significant step on the path to healing.

What Can Cause a Dual Diagnosis?

The interplay between mental health problems and substance use disorders can be influenced by various factors, including risk factors such as periods of heightened stress, trauma, and genetic factors. Each individual’s journey is unique, and no single path leads to a dual diagnosis.

In the landscape of the mind, periods of extreme stress or trauma can amplify the likelihood of both mental health disorders and substance use disorders coinciding. When life’s trials press heavily, some individuals may find themselves turning to substances as a way of coping, unintentionally paving the way toward a dual diagnosis.

Genetic factors also contribute to the complex tapestry of dual diagnosis. Just as hair color or height can be inherited, so can predispositions to certain mental health conditions and tendencies toward substance abuse. Understanding this can help to unravel feelings of blame or guilt that you may carry.

Substance abuse can also heighten the symptoms of mental health issues and vice versa. This reciprocal relationship exists because both conditions often serve as coping mechanisms for the other.

A person experiencing heightened anxiety, for example, might resort to alcohol or drugs to mitigate their feelings of unease. In turn, the substance use could exacerbate the symptoms of their anxiety, creating a cyclical and challenging situation to navigate.

How Is a Dual Diagnosis Diagnosed?

When faced with the complex situation of a dual diagnosis, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Seeking help from professionals is an act of courage and self-care, and there are many resources and specialists ready to guide you on your recovery journey.

Healthcare professionals, clinicians, and psychiatrists play an integral role in the diagnosis process. These experts in mental health and substance use disorders are equipped to provide a comprehensive diagnosis, often employing resources like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Once you have received a dual diagnosis, rather from a professional or through self-diagnoses, seeking support for both the mental health condition and the substance abuse disorder plays a key role in the recovery process.

What Are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Options?

Following a diagnosis, an integrated treatment program is a beacon of hope, guiding you toward recovery. Integrated treatment refers to concurrently addressing mental health and substance use disorders — an approach that holistically considers the unique intricacies of each individual’s situation.

Inpatient and outpatient treatments both have their place, and the choice between them often depends on personal circumstances and the severity of the conditions. While inpatient treatment provides a structured, residential setting, outpatient treatment allows for flexibility, enabling individuals to live at home while attending regular treatment sessions.

The treatment process may encompass medication, psychotherapy, and detoxification. Medication helps manage mental health disorder symptoms and ease withdrawal symptoms, psychotherapy allows for exploring underlying issues and building coping strategies, and detoxification aids in eliminating substances from the body.

Importantly, personalized treatment plans cater to individual needs, histories, and goals, creating a bespoke roadmap that respects each person’s unique journey. With professional guidance, even challenging withdrawal symptoms can be managed effectively, reducing discomfort and aiding in the transition toward improved health.

At Soba New Jersey, dual diagnosis treatment is one of our specialties, and we are committed to individualized care. We understand that the journey to recovery is deeply personal, so our professional team tailors each treatment plan to cater to your unique needs.

When it comes to a dual diagnosis, addressing the root of the issue is key to empowering you to navigate current and future challenges. Our mental health professionals are seasoned in managing various mental health disorders, often accompanying substance abuse issues.

Our center provides a nurturing, secure environment for you to explore your healing process while our experts help navigate the complexities of your condition, offering an array of treatment options from detoxification to psychotherapy. Remember, at SOBA Recovery, your journey to wellness is ours too.

Support Systems and Resources for Dual Diagnosis

As essential as professional help is, the value of support systems in managing dual diagnosis cannot be overstated. These networks of understanding and encouragement often include peer support groups, which provide a safe space to connect with others navigating similar journeys. Such shared experiences can offer both comfort and practical insights.

Beyond support groups, various behavioral health resources and interventions can play a significant role in recovery. These can include educational materials, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and stress management techniques.

At SOBA Recovery, we believe in creating connections that can help foster healing and recovery. We offer both inpatient and outpatient plans, utilizing an array of treatment options that can include cognitive behavioral therapy, peer support, and adventure therapy — which promotes community, engagement, and personal growth.

This combination of one-on-one therapy and group outings into nature allow for new experiences that often works as a catalyst for profound, therapeutic change, aiding in the recovery process while strengthening the bonds within our supportive SOBA community.

Steps To Take If You or a Loved One Has a Dual Diagnosis

When you’re dealing with a dual diagnosis, either personally or in a loved one, the path forward can seem daunting. But by being observant, proactive, and supportive, you can navigate these complexities with grace and courage.

Firstly, recognizing the warning signs is crucial. These could include:

  • Noticeable shifts in behavior, mood, or health
  • Increased substance use
  • Heightened emotional distress

If you notice any such changes, it’s important to seek help, either through a healthcare professional or a peer support group. If a loved one is facing this battle, you can offer support through encouragement, reminding them of their strength and worth.

And remember, the journey doesn’t end at diagnosis or even after initial treatment. Continued care and management are key to long-term recovery, and regular check-ins with health professionals can help maintain progress.

The Bottom Line

Navigating the complexities of dual diagnosis can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that understanding and treating this condition is possible and within reach.

Both mental health and substance use disorders require attention and care, and resources like health professionals, support groups, and comprehensive treatment plans can provide vital support.

At Soba New Jersey, we’re here to walk alongside you on your journey to recovery. We believe that each individual deserves a path to recovery tailored to their unique needs, and our experienced team is equipped to deliver comprehensive, individualized treatment plans.

We prioritize creating a comfortable, safe environment to navigate these complexities with mental health professionals who specialize in the disorders often found in dual-diagnosis cases.

Remember: recovery is possible. Taking the next step requires courage, resilience, and persistence, but you don’t have to take it alone. Reach out to us today, and let us guide you to the healthier, happier life you deserve.


Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health | SAMHSA

Addressing Trauma in Substance Abuse Treatment | NYU

Part 1: The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) | NIH

Tips for Coping with Stress | CDC

Cognitive behavioral therapy | Mayo Clinic

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

Have you ever wondered why some people are more prone to substance use and addiction than others? This complex issue has puzzled healthcare professionals, families, and those struggling with addiction for years. Understanding the key risk factors for addiction can provide critical insights and help prevent or mitigate substance use disorders.

Substance use disorder, often referred to as addiction, is a pervasive issue that affects millions globally. It’s an intricate problem with roots entwined in a person’s environment, biology, and experiences. There’s a significant degree of variability in who becomes addicted and why, and the answer often lies in a combination of risk factors that increase an individual’s vulnerability to addiction.

Let’s dive into the top three addiction risk factors: genetics, environment, and mental health. Additionally, we’ll explore protective factors and interventions that can help reduce these risks and provide a safer, healthier path forward for individuals at risk.

Understanding these components can empower us to take proactive steps in addiction prevention and support those affected by substance use disorders.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction. The word can conjure up stark images — of people we’ve known, scenes we’ve witnessed, or even personal battles we’ve fought. But what does it really mean?

In the broadest sense, addiction, or substance use disorder, refers to the compulsive use of substances despite harmful consequences. It’s a brain disorder characterized by altered structure and functioning, leading to changed behavior, including an increased craving for the substance and continued use despite damaging effects.

But let’s get this straight — addiction doesn’t play favorites. It can affect anyone, irrespective of age, income, education level, or social standing. It’s not a choice nor a moral failing; it’s a chronic disease, much like diabetes or hypertension.

One of the most distressing aspects of addiction is its impact on mental and physical health. Substance use can exacerbate mental health disorders like ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder or even lead to dual diagnosis, where a person experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Physically, the effects range from minor health problems, such as fatigue or diminished immunity, to major issues like heart disease and liver failure.

But addiction’s ripple effects reach far beyond the individual. Family members and loved ones are often caught in the turmoil, suffering emotional pain and, in many cases, bearing the burden of caregiving and financial support. The social cost is equally enormous, from healthcare expenses to lost productivity and crime.

What Is Substance Dependence?

While “addiction” and “substance dependence” are often interchanged, they depict different facets of substance use disorders. Substance dependence, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is the body’s physical adaptation to persistent substance use, leading to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon reduction or cessation of the substance.

Tolerance necessitates higher substance quantities to attain the effect once achieved with less. Conversely, withdrawal symptoms are the physical and mental distress that arises when regular heavy substance use is discontinued.

Yet, addiction delves deeper, straddling physical and psychological dimensions. It involves physical reliance, compulsive behavior, inability to regulate substance use, and continued use despite harmful consequences.

So, while substance dependence may be a component of addiction, it’s not the entirety of it. One can be dependent without addiction — for instance, a patient may be physically reliant on a prescription drug but not misuse it compulsively. Alternatively, an individual could be addicted without dependence, like a cannabis user who compulsively uses but isn’t physically dependent.

Understanding these distinctions aids in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating substance use disorders while dispelling misconceptions about addiction.

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

The factors that contribute to substance use and addiction are numerous and varied. However, research suggests that certain factors tend to hold more weight than others.

Let’s explore the top three risk factors consistently associated with an increased risk of addiction.

Genetics and Family History

It’s true — addiction can run in families. But it’s not as simple as inheriting a “substance abuse” gene. Rather, a complex interplay of genetics and environment comes into play. Researchers estimate that genetics accounts for 40 to 60 percent of a person’s risk of addiction.

Certain genetic factors can predispose an individual to addiction. For instance, genes can influence how one experiences the effects of a drug or how quickly they metabolize it.

Other genes may be linked to impulsivity, a trait often seen in those with substance use disorders. Moreover, a family history of addiction can also imply a shared environment that increases risk.

This could include the availability of substances, lack of parental supervision, or normalization of drug use. It’s essential to remember that a family history of addiction doesn’t guarantee a person will develop an addiction, but it does increase the risk.

Early Exposure and Adolescence

The early bird may catch the worm, but when it comes to drug use, early exposure can be a recipe for disaster. Adolescent brains are still developing, particularly the parts involved in decision-making, risk assessment, and impulse control.

Young people who start using substances at an early age are at a much higher risk of developing addiction. Early drug use can prime the brain for addiction, making young adults more vulnerable to substance use disorders later in life.

Additionally, adolescence is a time when peer pressure and the desire for acceptance are at their peak. The pressure to fit into a peer group can lead adolescents to experiment with drugs, and in some cases, this experimentation can progress to addiction.

Mental Health Disorders

The link between mental health conditions and substance use disorders is well established. Those who struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, are at a greater risk of developing substance use disorders — a phenomenon often referred to as “dual diagnosis.”

The reasons for this are twofold. On the one hand, individuals may use substances as a way to self-medicate, attempting to alleviate symptoms of their mental health disorder. On the other hand, substance use can exacerbate mental health conditions, creating a vicious cycle.

Understanding this correlation is crucial because treating only one condition can leave the other untreated and likely lead to a relapse. Therefore, an integrated approach that treats both conditions simultaneously is often the most effective.

Protecting Against Addiction: The Role of Protective Factors

Though risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction, the presence of protective factors can significantly mitigate these risks. These factors act as a safety net, reducing the impact of risk factors and promoting healthier decisions and behaviors.

Family and Community Support

One of the most potent protective factors against addiction is strong family support. Love, understanding, and communication can help a person navigate the challenges of life without resorting to substance use. Encouraging open dialogues about substance use and addiction can also play a critical role in prevention.

Additionally, community support plays a substantial role in preventing substance abuse. This can come in various forms, such as school-based interventions, community recreational activities, or local support groups. Communities that offer these resources provide healthier outlets and alternatives for individuals, especially young adults and adolescents.

Positive Social Connections and Peer Groups

The company we keep can significantly impact our behaviors and decisions, especially during our formative years. Friends who discourage drug use and partake in positive, healthy activities can act as a strong protective factor against addiction.

Having supportive, positive friendships can provide emotional comfort, reduce feelings of loneliness, and promote better coping mechanisms. In the face of peer pressure, having at least one friend resistant to drug use can make a big difference.

Mental Health Care and Coping Skills

Access to mental healthcare is a crucial protective factor. Regular check-ups with healthcare providers can help identify mental health conditions early and provide the necessary support or intervention. It’s important to remember that mental health conditions can often precede addiction, so managing these conditions can significantly reduce the risk of substance use disorders.

Developing healthy coping skills is another effective protective factor. Stress is a part of life, and how we manage it can impact our susceptibility to addiction. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and other stress management methods can serve as healthier alternatives to substance use.

Getting Help With Soba

At Soba Recovery, we understand the complexities of addiction and the unique challenges each individual faces. Our compassionate, holistic approach to treatment ensures that you or your loved one receives the necessary care to overcome addiction. Whether you’re struggling with opioids, methamphetamines, alcohol, or other substances, our experienced team is here to help.

Our treatment programs address not just the physical symptoms of addiction but also the underlying mental health conditions and environmental factors that may contribute to substance misuse. We believe in equipping our clients with the tools they need to live fulfilling, substance-free lives.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, don’t wait. Reach out to Soba Recovery today, and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter future.


What Is a Substance Use Disorder? | American Psychiatric Association

Drug addiction (substance use disorder) – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Is Addiction Hereditary? | Cleveland Clinic

Stress: Coping with Everyday Problems | Mental Health America

DSM-5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorders | Gateway Foundation

GEHA Insurance: A Comprehensive Overview

What Services Are Available for Outpatient Rehab?

GEHA Insurance: A Comprehensive Overview

If you’re seeking reliable health insurance options, GEHA Insurance might have caught your attention. With a history spanning over eight decades, Government Employees Health Association, commonly known as GEHA, has established itself as a trusted provider of health insurance plans. In this article, we’ll delve into what GEHA Insurance is all about, its offerings, and what makes it a noteworthy choice for many.

1. A Brief Introduction to GEHA:

GEHA is a non-profit organization that primarily serves federal employees and their families. It was founded in 1937 and has since grown to become one of the largest health and dental plan administrators in the United States. GEHA’s mission is to provide quality and affordable healthcare coverage to its members while focusing on their overall well-being.

2. Membership Eligibility:

GEHA primarily caters to federal employees, retirees, and their dependents. This includes members of various federal agencies and departments. The organization offers exclusive plans for federal employees and retirees, leveraging its understanding of their unique needs.

3. Range of Health Plans:

GEHA offers a wide array of health insurance plans, catering to different needs and preferences. These plans include:

  • Elevate: This is GEHA’s flagship plan, known for its comprehensive coverage, nationwide network, and access to a wide range of healthcare providers.
  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): Ideal for those who want to take advantage of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for tax benefits and lower premiums.
  • Standard Option: A traditional insurance plan with a network of preferred providers.
  • Value Plan: Designed for cost-conscious individuals or families, offering essential coverage at lower premiums.

4. Dental and Vision Coverage:

GEHA doesn’t limit its offerings to just health insurance. They also provide dental and vision insurance plans, ensuring that members have access to comprehensive healthcare services. These plans cover routine check-ups, eye exams, dental cleanings, and more.

5. Focus on Wellness:

What sets GEHA apart is its emphasis on wellness. They provide resources, tools, and support to help members live healthier lives. This includes access to wellness programs, telehealth services, and preventive care initiatives.

6. National Network:

GEHA has a robust network of healthcare providers, including physicians, specialists, hospitals, and pharmacies. This national network ensures that members can receive care regardless of where they live or travel.

7. Financial Stability:

GEHA’s financial stability is a testament to its commitment to serving its members. As a non-profit organization, it reinvests earnings to improve its services and keep premiums competitive.

8. Member Satisfaction:

Member satisfaction is a top priority for GEHA. They regularly seek feedback from members and use it to improve their services continually. High member satisfaction ratings are a testament to their dedication to quality care.


In conclusion, GEHA Insurance is a respected and established provider of health insurance plans, serving federal employees, retirees, and their families. With a range of health, dental, and vision coverage options, a focus on wellness, and a nationwide network, GEHA strives to offer comprehensive and affordable healthcare solutions. If you are eligible for GEHA membership, it’s worth exploring their offerings to find a plan that suits your specific healthcare needs and preferences. GEHA’s commitment to its members’ well-being and satisfaction makes it a notable choice in the realm of health insurance providers.

Heroin Detox: What To Expect

When grappling with the thorny issue of heroin addiction, many people might feel overwhelmed and alone. But it’s important to remember that there’s help available, and taking the first step toward seeking this help is a commendable milestone in the recovery process.

Here at SOBA New Jersey, we understand the struggle and are dedicated to providing the necessary support and care to guide you or your loved one through this challenging journey. One of the crucial steps in this journey is the detoxification process, a medical procedure aimed at clearing toxins from the body and managing withdrawal symptoms.

What Should You Know About Heroin Addiction?

Understanding heroin addiction is essential on the road to recovery. But what exactly is heroin addiction, and how does it affect those who struggle with it?

Heroin, an opioid drug derived from morphine, is highly addictive. It operates by interacting with opioid receptors in the brain, inducing feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria. Over time, repeated use of heroin can lead to physical dependence and addiction — an intense, compulsive urge to use the drug despite its harmful consequences.

Addiction doesn’t just impact the individual; it can also affect those around them, causing emotional distress and strain in relationships. The disruptive nature of heroin addiction often extends beyond the user, touching every aspect of their life.

Employment, education, social activities, and family bonds can be severely affected, further underscoring the comprehensive care and support required to overcome addiction. That’s where SOBA New Jersey comes in.

As a trusted and dedicated rehabilitation facility, we’re here to provide a safe, warm, and non-judgmental space for recovery. We understand that addiction is not a choice, but recovery is. Our mission is to guide you through every step of your recovery journey, starting with understanding the nature of heroin addiction.

Why Is Detox an Important Part of Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Detox, short for detoxification, is an essential part of heroin addiction treatment. It’s the first step in the recovery process and involves the removal of heroin and other toxins from the body. This helps to manage withdrawal symptoms when one stops using the drug.

The detoxification process is pivotal as it addresses the physical aspects of addiction, helping the body rid itself of the drug’s influence. Moreover, detox is essential because it initiates the physiological healing process, preparing the individual for the next stages of recovery, which address the psychological aspects of addiction.

Attempting to detox from heroin at home, or “self-detox,” can be hazardous due to severe withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, vomiting, and more. These symptoms can become overwhelming without medical support and potentially escalate to life-threatening conditions.

Unsupervised detox can also increase the risk of relapse due to the discomfort and distress associated with withdrawal symptoms. That’s why a professionally supervised detox is crucial.

At SOBA New Jersey, our expert medical team ensures a safe and comfortable detox process. We provide medical supervision and care tailored to each individual’s needs, making the detox process manageable and significantly safer than attempting it alone. Our team is prepared to manage any complications that may arise, providing reassurance and expert care to individuals during this critical first step toward recovery.

What To Expect During a Heroin Detox

If you’re preparing to undergo a heroin detox, feeling a bit apprehensive about the unknown is natural. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re committed to making this process as comfortable and manageable as possible for you. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect during detox with us.

Upon admission, our experienced medical team will assess your health status, history of substance use, and any co-occurring mental health disorders. This comprehensive evaluation is crucial as it provides a holistic view of your current situation.

The information gathered is vital in helping us develop a personalized detox plan that caters to your unique needs. Our approach to care is tailored, ensuring that your treatment plan aligns with your physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

The Detoxification Process

During detox, our primary aim is to manage withdrawal symptoms while your body adjusts to the absence of heroin. This might involve using approved medications to alleviate discomfort and potential cravings under the careful supervision of our medical staff.

While challenging, it’s important to note that this phase is temporary and a significant first step towards recovery.

Part of our detox protocol involves regular check-ins and monitoring, allowing our medical team to adjust your treatment plan as necessary and respond quickly to any medical needs. This level of attentiveness ensures your detox process is as comfortable and safe as possible.

Compassionate Care Throughout the Detox Process

Regarding detox, we understand that your mental and emotional well-being is just as crucial as your physical well-being. With us, you can expect to be treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and compassion throughout your detox process.

Our team at SOBA New Jersey is dedicated to providing a high level of care and attention, offering reassurance and support around the clock. Our small size allows us to focus on you as an individual, ensuring you receive the personalized care you deserve.

We understand the emotional challenges of detox, and our team is committed to providing emotional support, empathy, and understanding throughout the process. This compassionate approach underscores our belief in each individual’s strength and resilience in their recovery journey.

At SOBA New Jersey, we acknowledge you as a distinct individual with your own unique needs and strengths, and we passionately believe in your potential to lead a fulfilling life free from addiction.

Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can be one of the most challenging aspects of the detox process. These symptoms, which can range from mild discomfort to severe physical and psychological distress, are a natural response as the body adapts to the absence of heroin.

Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Sweating and fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Intense cravings for heroin
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Flu-like symptoms (chills, runny nose, fever)

At SOBA New Jersey, we utilize evidence-based medications to alleviate symptoms like restlessness, nausea, muscle aches, and anxiety.

It’s essential to remember that withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous if not managed under professional medical supervision. That’s why it’s crucial not to attempt detoxification alone.

Remember, recovery is a journey, and each step, no matter how difficult, brings you closer to reclaiming the life and happiness you deserve. You don’t have to go through it alone.

Moving Forward After Detox: Treatment Programs at SOBA New Jersey

Once the detox process is complete, it’s crucial to understand that the journey to recovery doesn’t end there. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re dedicated to supporting you through the next steps of your recovery journey, providing a variety of treatment programs tailored to your individual needs.

Our treatment programs are designed to address the root causes of addiction, offering you the tools and skills needed to achieve long-term sobriety. We offer a range of services, including Dual Diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, short-term residential and long-term rehab programs, outpatient treatment, family programs, and much more.

Our holistic approach includes therapies like adventure therapy and spiritual care alongside traditional treatment methods to foster overall wellness and ensure a comprehensive recovery journey. You can also benefit from our telehealth services, bringing our dedicated support and care directly to you, wherever you may be.

We work with you to create a robust aftercare plan, ensuring you’re well-equipped to face the world with a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in your sobriety. We believe every individual is unique, and we strive to cater to these unique needs to ensure you have the foundation for sustained recovery.

Start Your Journey Towards Sobriety

Embarking on the journey to recovery is a courageous act, one that is built on healing, self-discovery, and personal growth. In this journey, the first significant step is the detoxification process, an essential part of recovery where the body rids itself of the heroin’s influence.

This process, while challenging, is made safer and more comfortable when supervised by professional medical teams like the one at SOBA New Jersey.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. At SOBA New Jersey, we are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way, helping you reclaim the life and happiness you deserve. Our team of skilled professionals, including medical staff, wellness coaches, and aftercare planners, stand ready to provide personalized and compassionate care.

Your journey to recovery starts with understanding, compassion, and quality care. Reach out to us at SOBA New Jersey when you’re ready to take the next step toward sobriety. Together, we can pave the way toward a healthier, happier future that is within your reach.


Heroin DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

How opioid drugs activate receptors | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings | NCBI Bookshelf

6 Months Sober: What To Expect

If you’ve made it to six months of sobriety, congratulations! Not only is six months a major milestone, but we here at Soba Recovery know just how difficult the journey to get there is. In just six months, you have exponentially improved your quality of life through dedication and determination.

If you’re here because you want to start your recovery journey but want to know more about why choosing sobriety is beneficial, we’re here to bring you some peace of mind. Keep reading to learn more about how your body and mind benefit from sobriety, even after just six months.

Physical and Emotional Sobriety

When you are actively using, you might notice that your overall demeanor is depressed and your morale is low. You might become easily irritated and withdrawn around family and friends trying to help you. Jobs and other responsibilities might falter as you choose substances over taking care of yourself.

With sobriety comes a sort of clarity. While this clarity can be difficult to accept, as it might bring feelings of shame and guilt, it allows you to move forward. Seeing how just six months of sobriety affect you, both physically and emotionally, should be enough to motivate you to continue.

Some people like to document their sobriety journey through photos so that they can see the improvements they are making. You will look and feel better every day, no longer spending days feeling unwell or anxious. Relationships improve, and opportunities start coming your way that could benefit your mental health.

Sobriety Benefits You in More Ways Than One

Throughout the first six months of sobriety, you will have to fight your addiction and stay committed to recovery. If you think you will go through withdrawals, consider starting your journey with the detoxification process. This will allow you to start supervised and safely in a controlled environment.

As you continue your sober journey, the changes in your health and emotional well-being will become apparent. You can maintain these improvements through resilience and commitment and get back to living your best life possible.

Healthier Appearance

When you are in an active addiction, your body struggles to keep up with you. You likely cannot maintain your health due to the toxins in your body from every substance you take.

When you use alcohol, for instance, signs of premature aging can present themselves. Drugs and alcohol can also make you feel anxious, fatigued, and sore. You may lose some of your strength.

Six months into sobriety and your skin may appear healthier, with less dry skin and discoloration. Your eyes might not seem bloodshot, and the dark-colored circles under them may disappear. You may gain back some healthy weight and notice less bloating and puffiness. You might feel more like yourself again when you look in the mirror!

Relationships Improve

Addiction doesn’t just impact you. Friends and family are often at the other end of your addiction without even realizing it. Even if you think you’re hiding it, your loved ones can usually tell when something is wrong.

Substance use can strain the most important of relationships, and though being supportive and loving is a necessity, you can’t force someone to stay beside you and help you manage your pain.

With sobriety comes the opportunity to heal the wounds you’ve created with your loved ones. With a clear mind and goals, you can open conversations that may have been impossible to start while using. Trust and communication are key to maintaining sobriety, and opening up to those close to you can help with accountability.

Balanced Emotions

Drugs and alcohol are known to numb the pain you feel daily. You might want to stop feeling your feelings, but that can be incredibly unhealthy. When you become sober, you begin to feel emotions you have been suppressing with substances. It can be difficult to face, but it shows emotional maturity and balance.

This doesn’t just happen naturally for everyone; going through therapy is a great way to help you get there. Therapy is often required when entering inpatient services at a treatment facility. Even if you are in outpatient, treatment centers can help you get what you need.

You may quickly notice improved moods, less irritability, and a more positive outlook on life. Little things will no longer set you off, and if you are triggered, you can use coping skills to prevent becoming overwhelmed.

Reduced Social Anxiety

Social anxiety might be one of the reasons that you felt comfortable using substances, but they don’t go away just because you are under the influence. You might notice that your social anxiety is back when you first become sober.

You may feel worried about telling people you are sober and wonder how people perceive you if you aren’t partaking in substance use.

If the right people surround you, they won’t even think twice and will support your sobriety. Soon, you’ll notice how much more confident and comfortable you are on your own. You won’t need to hide behind substances to feel good about yourself.

Liver and Brain Damage Control

Alcohol and other substances have a really negative impact on your liver and brain. When you cut back on using substances, your body can begin to repair itself. Alcohol specifically increases the amount of fat in the liver, which can cause the liver to react abnormally. After six months, your liver can become healthier and function properly.

Substances have varying impacts on the brain. Substances can give you brain fog, lower your inhibition, and lead you to lose memories or have a false sense of reality.

Throughout the first six months, you may feel the fog lifted. Your reaction time will improve, you may have more coherent thoughts pop into your head, and your ability to communicate may become easier.

The first month of sobriety is always hard. Feelings of depression or genuine sickness might occur due to withdrawals, which might keep you from being motivated. Persevere, and you will get to the point where the withdrawals don’t exist anymore, and you can feel healthy and happy.

Better Sleep

When you cut back on alcohol, you may begin to feel improvements in your sleep. You are more likely to have deep and restorative sleep when you cut out alcohol from your life because you aren’t waking up as frequently.

Though, this doesn’t happen instantaneously. The first month of sobriety may include a lot of restless nights. Many people use alcohol to help them fall asleep, forming an unhealthy pattern. By the six-month mark, you will likely have a restored natural sleep pattern and feel much more rested.

Better sleep leads to many improvements in your life, including improved appearance, higher energy levels, and balanced moods.

Improved Focus

When you use substances, you never truly have a clear mind. By this point, many individuals claim they have a better outlook on life. People are more likely to reach their goals and maintain good habits after six months of sobriety.

Your thoughts will be clearer, and you will likely be able to communicate them better. At this point, it’s important that you focus on the next steps.

Your recovery journey doesn’t end in six months. It is a lifelong commitment that you need to make every day. Use your newfound focusing skills to make new goals so you hit the next milestone in your sobriety — one whole year.

Continued Care Is Important!

Sobriety takes hard work and dedication. No one has a perfect recovery, so don’t let any slip-ups discourage you. Use them as motivation to continue on your journey to sobriety. Individual therapy and group therapy can be great ways to continue your addiction treatment even after you’ve started to hit sobriety milestones.

With Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you get a personalized treatment plan that puts your needs first. We will help you hit all of your milestones and offer multiple solutions to maintain your sobriety. You may not need to stay with us inpatient or undergo detoxification again, but we have resources available to assist you.

Call today to learn more about the treatment services that we offer and how we can help you live your best sober life.



Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-Sectional Survey | NCBI

Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder Comorbidity in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions | NCBI

Brain Structure and Function in Recovery | NCBI

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance abuse affects millions of people in the United States every year, yet many misguided understandings exist. Addiction is a disease, not a choice. The people that struggle with addiction did not choose for their lives to play out this way, but choosing to get better isn’t always easy.

Substance abuse is often misunderstood, meaning that the people seeking help are misunderstood. We need to understand it better to better treat addiction and allow for a more open-minded approach to treating individuals with substance use disorder.

Keep reading to learn more about different statistics connected to substance abuse of different kinds.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is a disease that impacts a person’s brain and behavior and causes intense cravings for substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more. People who struggle with substance use disorder use even though they are aware of the consequences. They become reliant on the substance and can experience distress and withdrawals without it.

Causes of Addiction

People can be impacted by addiction as a result of many factors. It is a mental health disorder that has both environmental and genetic influences.

Environmental: Someone who grows up around other people with substance use disorder can be influenced to use substances as they develop. You might have friends that don’t have your best interests in mind and introduce you to substances. You might have grown up with trauma and other mental health issues that were never treated. All of these things in your environment can lead you to addiction, whether or not you want them to.

Genetics: Addiction is a disease that can be passed down through genetics. Some people are more prone to developing substance use disorder, especially if people in their bloodline struggle with it. However, not all people that have the addiction gene become substance abusers.

Addiction and Abuse Statistics

Every substance has different statistics attached to it. Not all substances affect a person in the same way; some are considered more dangerous or damaging than others. It’s important to know the different statistics for each substance to create a more informed environment.

Substance abuse does not just impact the person who is using. Friends and family suffer at the same time as the people using them, and trying to get help for your loved ones is not easy. Staying informed and understanding the intricacies of substance use can help everyone involved seek help.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. With it being legal, many people use alcohol once they have turned 21. Additionally, there are many underage users of alcohol, which can be dangerous, especially when being misused.

Even though it’s the most abused substance, people with alcohol use disorder often go untreated. This is partly due to the general acceptance of alcohol use in the United States. Some statistics that you should know about binge drinking are:

  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcoholism, and alcohol abuse account for nearly six percent of global deaths.
  • Around 141,000 people in the United States die every year from the effects of alcohol.
  • One in 10 Americans over the age of 12 suffer from AUD.
  • Men make up about 62 percent of people diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder; women make up 36 percent of people diagnosed with AUD; adolescents make up about three percent of people with AUD.
  • As with many substances, excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related substance use disorders are often associated with other mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.


The opioid epidemic is a public health emergency affecting thousands of Americans daily. Anyone can use opioids, and many start when prescribed an opioid to treat pain. There is a high risk of overdose when using a high dosage of opioids. They can slow your breathing which can lead to death.

Opioids are controlled substances that, in the wrong hands, can be detrimental to a person’s livelihood. Statistics about opioid use disorder (OUD) are:

  • Almost four percent of adults in the United States abuse opioids.
  • From 1999 to 2019, the percentage of overdoses on opioids increased by over 519 percent.
  • Opioids are a factor in seven out of 10 overdoses that occur.
  • There is an average of 103,333 opioid users a day.
  • Teens who were prescribed opioids were 33 percent more likely to misuse opioids after high school.
  • Fentanyl is the most dangerous opioid out there, with Fentanyl overdoses surpassing prescription opioid overdoses by over 550 percent.

Heroin falls under opioid misuse disorder and is one of the more dangerous opioids to get your hands on.

Some statistics involving heroin are:

  • Fourteen thousand people die every year from heroin overdoses.
  • Over six million Americans have used heroin in their lifetime.
  • Eighty percent of people who misused heroin first abused prescription opioids.
  • Over ten thousand men die annually from a heroin overdose; 3,500 women die annually from a heroin overdose.


With the legalization of marijuana in parts of the United States, like alcohol, it has become more widespread and accepted. While it’s thought that cannabis is less dangerous than other drugs, such as alcohol and opioids, people can still develop substance abuse issues with it.

Some statistics that are important to know are:

  • There are about 55 million people who use marijuana in the United States.
  • Almost half of Americans have tried marijuana once in their lifetime.
  • The amount of people that use marijuana is about 20 million more than the number of people who currently use tobacco.
  • Seventy-six percent of the population think marijuana use is less dangerous than tobacco use.
  • Chronic users can develop a mental dependency on marijuana, resulting in physical symptoms.
  • Forty percent of high school students have admitted to trying marijuana before.
  • Thirteen percent of young users will develop a dependency on marijuana.


Stimulants include various drugs known for the euphoric and energetic feeling you get when using them. They also increase your heart rate and blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart conditions in the future or overdosing.

There are also prescription stimulants like Adderall and Preludin that treat people for disorders such as ADHD or help someone lose weight. Without proper care, these prescription drugs can be abused as well.

Stimulants include:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Nicotine

Some statistics about stimulants are:

  • Almost two million people admitted to having used meth in 2018.
  • Over five million people admitted to having used cocaine in 2018.
  • One in five drug overdose deaths was related to cocaine use.
  • Caffeine is considered a stimulant and can become addicting, just like other stimulants.


Hallucinogens, like marijuana, have started to make their way into the mainstream. Some medical professionals now use ketamine for treatment-resistant depression in some parts of the United States. Additionally, the legalization of mushrooms (psilocybin) in Colorado has sparked interest nationally.

LSD and ecstasy are also hallucinogens, as well as PCP and DMT. Some statistics on hallucinogens are:

  • Around 7.4 million people have used hallucinogens in the last year.
  • Around 493,000 people have a hallucinogen use disorder.
  • LSD is the most powerful hallucinogen and can create the most issues for a person later on in life.

How To Find Help With Substance Abuse

No matter what you or a loved one is struggling with, Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, is here to help. If you think that someone you know is in need of a treatment program for alcohol or drug use disorder, it’s never a bad idea to give us a call and discuss our treatment options. Our healthcare providers are ready and able to help.

Substance abuse is a debilitating mental health disorder that can ruin a person’s life. No matter what the substance is that you use, the effects that come from long-term misuse can be deadly. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do, and seeking addiction treatment might be a part of your self-care routine.

Call today to learn more about our services and how we can get you on the road to recovery today!


Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health | SAMHSA

Substance Use Disorders and Addiction: Mechanisms, Trends, and Treatment Implications | American Journal of Psychiatry

Drug Abuse Statistics | NCDA

What is the scope of hallucinogen use in the United States? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

Recovery from substance abuse can be intimidating and isolating. Deciding to take care of your addiction can mean leaving a lot of your life behind, including friends you have shared your addiction with. Finding a support system that focuses on building community and creating new connections is essential to your recovery.

Joining a substance abuse group can open you up to new experiences different from your own. Not only do you meet people who understand your struggles, but you can open up and speak freely about your addiction with no fear of judgment.

If you are part of a group or considering joining, here are some activities you can share to try at your next meeting.

The Importance of Substance Abuse Group Activities

The goal of support groups for substance abuse is to bring people with similar struggles together and create a safe space for expression. It can be hard to open up to people you do know, but for some reason, opening up to strangers feels less intense.

In group therapy, you can learn about coping strategies that have worked for others, find out about activities or hobbies you may have never thought to try, and build friendships with people you can talk to about your addiction.

Group topics will apply to anyone struggling with addiction, including how to battle cravings and rebuild healthy relationships with loved ones.

Why Does It Work?

There are multiple reasons why substance abuse recovery groups are effective. For one, they bring together a community that can feel comfortable with one another. Accountability and encouragement are offered throughout sessions, showcasing the progress of everyone’s recovery.

Isolation is a real fear among people with substance use disorder. Whether it’s because you have lost friends due to addiction or have strained relationships with family and friends, sometimes seeking community is not an option you feel comfortable with.

Group therapy eliminates the fear of standing out because you are all there for the same reason. You can also find role models in the group who have been on the recovery journey longer and gain their wisdom.

Where Can You Find Group Activities?

When you go through the recovery process, you will work with the recovery center staff to develop your perfect recovery plan. This might include medically-assisted therapy (MAT), individual therapy, or group therapy. Most treatment centers, such as Soba Recovery Center, offer group therapy to people undergoing both inpatient and outpatient services.

Emotional Health Group Activities

Group therapy activities will have a wide range of topics with unique goals. Not every activity will be your favorite, but others might stick, and you’ll find yourself practicing them on your own.

When dealing with addiction recovery, it is important to check in with yourself and see how you are doing mentally and emotionally. Substance abuse group therapy activities can be aimed at helping you to discuss your emotional health and find ways to improve your overall well-being.

Discussing Triggers

Everyone has different triggers. Discussing them in your group can be helpful in learning about the different ways people have learned to cope. Not every method you try will work for you, so it’s good to learn about various coping skills, including anger management skills, communication skills, and stress management.

Through this activity, you can recognize patterns in your addiction treatment. This might help you learn how to take yourself out of situations that might trigger you before anything ever happens. This is one of the first steps in harm reduction and prevention.

Sharing Your Fears

Every group member takes a piece of paper and writes down what they fear. It can be anything from dealing with their addiction to fears they have in their everyday life. What you write down does not have to be shared publicly unless that is something you’re comfortable with.

Take these lists of fears and put them into a box. Have the group leader read off the lists one by one anonymously. What you are sure to find will be that some of you have similar fears. This helps to recognize that you are not alone in these fears; it’s just that everyone deals with things differently.

Talk About Your Journey So Far

One of the biggest struggles with addiction is feeling isolated and alone. Sharing your journey within your group will help others to feel more comfortable. In this exercise, you can all share one bad thing that has come from your journey to sobriety and one good thing that has come from it.

Shame is often associated with addiction recovery, but if you are all sitting in a room dedicated to recovery, you should be proud of how far you’ve come. You are deciding to turn your life around, and others around you are supporting you.

Share Your Favorite Memory

This activity allows people in your group to lighten up and share something that makes them happy. This can be a memory from childhood, about a good day you had at school or work where you felt accomplished, or the moment you met someone that changed your life.

With addiction comes bouts of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness struggles, and staying positive can be difficult. Sharing memories that bring you joy can brighten the mood in group therapy and remind everyone why they are there.

Sharing Positive Affirmations

Until you’ve done them, you might be hesitant about how well positive self affirmations work. By speaking highly of yourself, you can help to motivate yourself through your recovery journey.

In this group activity, you should write down the affirmations you say to yourself when you’re struggling. Share in a circle what these affirmations are and how they’re intended to help. Who knows? You might learn about new ones that could benefit your daily life.

Self-Care Group Activities

Properly taking care of yourself while in addiction recovery is essential. During the worst parts of addiction, hygiene, physical and mental health, and nutrition often decline. It can be difficult to take care of yourself, but it is so important to get back on track during your recovery journey.

Talk About Your Self-Care Routine

Everyone needs a self-care routine, no matter what you think! Self-care is not just about taking yourself out to nice dinners or buying yourself something when you want it. Self-care is all about doing things that are good for you, and that will help you to be more successful in your life.

Share with the group what it is that you do for self-care. Through this, you might find new habits to pick up on that will benefit you. Your self-care routine might include:

  • Waking up at 7 a.m. and going on a brisk 10-minute walk.
  • Coming home and making yourself coffee and breakfast.
  • Reading or journaling while you drink your coffee.
  • Practicing yoga for 10 minutes before heading off to work.

Make a List of Bad Habits You Want to Break

Speaking of new habits… it’s time to get rid of your bad ones. Write down a list of habits that you want to break and partner up with someone in the group. (If the group is small, share with everyone.)

This person(s) will be your accountability partner and will check in with you throughout the week or at each meeting to see how you’re doing. Check off habits that you’ve broken as you go. It’s almost more satisfying and encouraging to break them when checking them off a list!

Share Your Favorite Recipes

For this activity, you can create a cookbook with your substance abuse group members. Nutrition is part of self-care, but finding the time and energy to develop new recipes can be difficult.

Have everyone in your group bring in two of their favorite recipes: one that is savory and one that is sweet. Put them together in a binder or a shared online document, and try them for yourself. Maybe cooking will become your new hobby!

Physical Group Activities

Exercising and moving your body should be a refreshing part of your recovery. Keeping up with your physical health during active addiction is not easy, but starting on your own can be intimidating. That’s why many people have gym buddies to help motivate them and keep them on track.

Practice Meditation

Stress and anxiety are common for those undergoing addiction recovery. You might find that meditating for the first 10 minutes of every group therapy session sets the mood for the rest of the meeting.

Put some soft and peaceful music of white noise in the background. Have everyone close their eyes and focus on their breathing. Let your mind relax and concentrate on how your breath feels coming in and out of your body. When you’re done, allow people to share how the experience made them feel before moving on.

Start a Hiking Group

You may find people in your substance abuse group who want to spend more time outdoors. Start a hiking group within your substance abuse group. Set up times and places to participate in group hikes or even group walks.

If you aren’t interested in solo hikes, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. Spending time outdoors is good for your mental and physical health. Finding a hobby that brings you joy is essential during recovery, and doing it with friends with similar goals can make it all the better.

Artistic Group Activities

Expression and creativity can free a person from the hurt they carry inside. Art therapy is a form that is used for people of all ages. Anyone can be an artist or use art as a way to help them cope and grow. Find a time, maybe even as you discuss other topics, to sit around and create together.

Paint Night

Painting is a great way to express yourself because there are no rules. Everyone can get a piece of paper or canvas and paint together as they tackle other topics. You can even have it so every time you paint; there is a prompt that everyone can follow.

Share with the group your finished product at the end of the meeting. Find a space where you can hang up all of your pieces so that they can remind you of your strength and creativity the next time you go for group therapy.

Vision Boarding

Vision boarding is a fun activity that can be done in group therapy. Everyone brings in a posterboard and some old magazines. Use these tools, along with stickers, markers, paint, colored pencils, or stamps, to map out what you want the next year of your life to look like.

Keep these vision boards on display throughout the next year to remind you of your goals.

Create a Playlist of Shared Music

Creating a shared playlist is an easy and relaxing activity you can all participate in. Everyone in your group is bound to have vastly different tastes in music. Music is its own therapy for people, so sharing your favorite songs can be really cathartic.

Have someone in the group create a playlist of all of the songs loved by your group members. You can share it so everyone can access it and have it playing in the background of your next meeting.

Finding Help With Soba

Group therapy is essential. Finding people you can relate to and building a safe community to grow in can help your recovery journey immensely. Soba Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, can help you get started on your journey today.

After going through an intake process with staff from Soba, a personalized treatment program will be created to give your recovery the best chance. Group therapy is likely to be a part of that treatment plan.

Get help today and see just how bright your future can be!


1 Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment | NCBI

Emotional and Social Loneliness in Individuals With and Without Substance Dependence Disorder | NCBI

Mindfulness Meditation In The Treatment Of Substance Use Disorders And Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms And Clinical Implications | NCBI

Drug and Alcohol Addiction: What Is Detox?

Drug and Alcohol Addiction: What Is Detox?

If you or a loved one are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you know just how difficult getting sober can be. The process of getting sober requires a lot of support and effort. It’s not easy to do, let alone on your own.

The first step towards recovery is admitting that you need help. Often, the second step is detoxification. Detoxification is also known as withdrawal treatment, and the goal is to get you off a substance at a safe pace.

To learn more about detoxing from alcohol and drug addiction, keep reading.

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is when your body rids itself of drugs or alcohol after stopping your use of substances and starting a treatment program. Many people attempt to enter into detoxification on their own, but it is not an easy process and can be very dangerous. Many people become very ill during the detoxification process, making it easy to relapse into alcohol or drug abuse.

Depending on the substances you are detoxing from, your process might look different than someone else’s. Different drugs, how long you have been using, and other health-related factors, might influence how detoxing goes.

The main goal of monitored detoxification is to ensure that a person is safe and receiving proper treatment as their body goes through withdrawals. Entering into a rehabilitation facility that provides monitored and medically-assisted detoxifications can ensure that you are taken care of properly by healthcare providers specializing in substance abuse recovery.

What Are Withdrawals?

Withdrawals happen after you begin to rid your body of substances it is used to. Drugs and alcohol use can alter the chemistry in your brain and cause you to become dependent on the substance. You will have tricked yourself into thinking that you need the substance to function, and it’s partly true.

When you become dependent on a drug or on alcohol, your body believes it needs it to feel “normal.” When you aren’t using, you will begin to feel severe withdrawal symptoms from that substance. Not only are these symptoms painful, but they can be debilitating.

The quickest fix to stop these symptoms is to use again, but it’s not what you actually need if you are looking to recover from substance use disorder. Drug and alcohol withdrawals are dangerous when they aren’t monitored properly at a treatment center.

Some common symptoms of withdrawal are:

  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings

The Dangers of Detoxing At-Home

A drug detox or alcohol detox at home instead of within an organized detox program can seem like it’s an easier and less expensive way to get help, but it is not recommended that you try it yourself. Quitting “cold turkey” or trying different home remedies can be potentially fatal, depending on the severity of your addiction and what assistance you require.

If you or a loved one are struggling with dependence on alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines or have co-occurring mental health disorders on top of addiction, medically supervised detox is almost required. The side effects of detoxing these substances are potentially life-threatening, and there is a high risk of relapsing or developing additional health problems.

When you are at home, you can’t receive life-saving treatment if you need it. You will find it difficult to stay sober, even if the symptoms aren’t that bad, simply by being unsupervised in your own space. If you can enter a detoxification program at a rehabilitation facility, we highly recommend you do so.

High-Risk Symptoms

While some symptoms of withdrawal and the detoxification process might seem manageable on their own, a few can regularly occur and create issues. For example, if you are a long-term user of methamphetamines or alcohol, the withdrawal symptoms you may experience will likely be more severe than someone trying to stop using cannabis after only a few weeks.

Some high-risk symptoms that you might encounter if you attempt to detoxify at home without medical advice are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Severe agitation
  • Delirium

What Is Medically-Assisted Detoxification?

A medically-assisted detoxification, also known as inpatient detox, will provide a patient with around-the-clock care and support during their toughest times. During these treatment services, you will be monitored to stay as safe as possible while experiencing withdrawal from a certain type of substance.

This allows medical professionals to administer proper medication to you on an as-needed basis during the detox process. Some detoxes from certain substances require medication to help subdue some of the withdrawal symptoms.

Depending on how long and severe your addiction is, you may need these medications for longer or shorter than other people. Having medical personnel there to administer the medication, control the dosages, and watch your symptoms should put you at ease.

Going through detoxification alone is scary and intimidating, yet rehab often scares people away. While getting help may not be what you want, you know it’s what you need. We understand that addiction is not a choice and that sometimes you can feel really lost.

It is important to know that while that may be true, it is a choice to get better. And it is one of the best choices you can make for yourself.

The Detoxification Process

Detoxification is scary, but choosing to enter detoxification can be scarier. If you want to go through detox, you have to admit to yourself that you have a problem that needs outside help. The first thing to know is that no one will judge you for your addiction, especially not for seeking help.

After you decide that a detoxification program is right for you, there will be a few steps you go through to complete the process.


Before you proceed with the detoxification process, the rehab center staff will conduct a few tests to better understand your needs. They will determine what substances are in your system, how long you have been using them, any symptoms or health concerns that might be related to your substance use, and if you have co-occurring mental health disorders.

This helps them decide what kind of treatment and medication you will need. From the moment that you enter a rehab facility, you are going to be monitored. This may seem invasive at first, but all the information gathered by the staff will result in a comprehensive treatment plan that is specialized for your needs. The more information you can provide them, the better your detoxification journey will be.


After you have undergone the intake process, you will begin the actual detoxification process. The medical staff monitors this, and you are given the necessary treatment. You might require addiction prevention medications for only a few days or weeks until you can be considered stable.

The journey may change as you undergo the detox, but any choices made by the people in charge of keeping you safe will be essential. This part of the process ensures that the treatment is working, there aren’t any complications, and that you are as comfortable as possible. All these things work together to help you experience detox in the easiest way possible.

Entering Treatment

The entire time you are undergoing detoxification, there is a team behind you crafting a treatment plan specifically for you. Detox deals with your physical dependency on drugs but doesn’t quite yet get to the psychological part. While detox helps control your symptoms and rid your body of substances, that is only the first step toward recovery.

A treatment plan will help you focus on goals for your addiction recovery. Your addiction treatment team will work with you to create a plan that is useful to you and more likely to be sustained. They take into consideration your environment and history and craft a plan that is specifically tailored to you.

Seeking Help With Soba

Getting help can be overwhelming. Especially if you think you are alone and are anxious to ask for help. At Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you never have to feel alone throughout your recovery journey. With a safe and successful detoxification program, we can help start you off strong and follow through with treatment plans specific to you.

With inpatient and outpatient treatment services, you can find an option that is right for you and your addiction recovery with inpatient and outpatient treatment services. You will undergo both individual and group therapy, form a community, and feel seen by your peers. We can offer you sober living situations if you need a safe environment post-treatment that encourages sobriety and happiness.

Reach out to a Soba representative to learn more about how you can get started with the detoxification program today!


The Addicted Human Brain: Insights From Imaging Studies | NCBI

Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders | NIMH

Pharmacological Strategies For Detoxification | NCBi