What Are the Alternatives to 12 Step Programs in Addiction Recovery?

What are the alternatives to 12 step programs in addiction recovery?

12 step programs and addiction recovery seem like they go hand in hand, to the point that you almost might think it’s required to be a part of one in order to successfully stay sober.

Developed and started by Alcoholics Anonymous well over half a century ago, the twelve steps have truly been revelatory for many and have indeed helped countless men and women, millions over the years, stick with their recovery.

That said, it’s not ideal for everyone and that’s fair enough. Not everyone likes the same flavor of ice cream, after all. Certain aspects might not click for each person in recovery, the religious and spiritual parts of it, for example, may turn people off. Another big factor that may strike people as negative, or that they object to, is that 12 step programs require an admittance that you’re powerless over addiction (it’s the first of the steps).

Again, that’s not to say AA isn’t a fine program for some. 

Fortunately, there are alternatives to 12 step programs for those that are seeking them.

SMART Recovery

Whereas the 12 steps have a higher power at the core, SMART Recovery is rooted in science. An acronym, SMART stands for “Self-Management And Recovery Training” and, like AA or NA, is a global community of support groups.

Rather than 12 steps, SMART operates on a 4-point program:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
  4. Living a Balanced Life

They add, “our science-based approach emphasizes self-empowerment and self-reliance. There’s no lifetime commitment; you decide when the time is right to move on. You choose how to personalize your own plan for successful change”.

Refuge Recovery

While Refuge Recovery is inspired and informed by Buddhist ideas, it’s a non-theistic program. Moreover, you don’t have to be well versed in Buddhism, or know it at all, to get the benefits of what they offer.

Refuge Recovery is rooted in the idea that “Buddhists commit to the path of awakening by taking refuge in three things: awakening (Buddha), truth (Dharma), and community (Sangha)”.

Additionally, it incorporates the Buddhist concepts of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Four Noble Truths

  1. Addiction creates suffering
  2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving
  3. Recovery is possible
  4. The path to recovery is available

Eightfold Path

  1. Understanding
  2. Intentions
  3. Speech/community
  4. Actions
  5. Livelihood/service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Concentration

The recovery program includes meetings, meditation, mentorship, and retreats.

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Some rehabs are fully committed to the 12 step cause, and that’s OK. If the ideology and principles of the 12 step program don’t gel with thought, you don’t have to go to a rehab where that’s the cornerstone, quite frankly.

The point of rehab is to do what works best for you.

If you’re uncomfortable with any part of it, it stands to reason that you’ll be reluctant to commit wholeheartedly because of that inherent skepticism. Without total commitment, whatever program you choose won’t be nearly as effective. It can’t be.

Non 12 step rehabs, like their 12 step counterparts, start with detox and from there move into evidence-based approaches to treatment that are personalized to your particular needs.

These mainly focus on various types of psychotherapy or talk therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with the aim being to get to the root cause of why you started using substances in the first place. The emphasis is on empowering you to change your way of thinking and behavior rather than the notion that overcoming addiction is beyond your reach or control.

If you’re on the fence about 12 steps or non 12 step options, give us a call at Footprints of Serenity and we can talk you through them both in more depth.

Find a Drug Addiction Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Today

How to find a Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles near me

Addiction is stubborn.

That’s sort of an obvious statement but it’s true nonetheless and a core reason why many who need treatment, don’t seek it.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out;

  • In 2015, an estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. This number represents 10.8 percent of the 21.7 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year.
  • Among the estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older who were classified as needing but not receiving substance use treatment at a specialty facility, about 18.4 million or 95.4 percent did not think that they needed treatment in the past year for their substance use.

In other words, only around 11% of people sought rehab. As you see, addiction is stubborn.

What can be done then to help get your loved one the treatment they so clearly need?

An intervention.

What Is a Drug Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

It involves several respected and loved people close to the addict gathering to confront a person, in a non-threatening and non-aggressive way, to lay bare the depths of suffering that their addiction is causing themselves and their friends and family.

The idea is to hold a mirror to drug use and show them the effects. Similar to the  TV show “Intervention”, you won’t want to let your loved one know about the intervention beforehand. If they do know about it, they most likely won’t want to attend or will go into it with their guard up.

The goal is to get them to commit to receiving help in the form of rehab and to that end, another critical element is the consequences and ultimatums that must be followed through on should your loved one refuse treatment.

How an Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Will Help Your Loved One Get Sober

An intervention isn’t just having a quick chat, suggesting rehab, having your loved ones accept, and dropping them off.

As you most likely know very well by this point, it’s hard to convince someone who doesn’t think they have a problem to fix it. There can be rampant denialism that’s wrapped up in addiction and often discussions about drug use become contentious, accusatory, and ultimately counterproductive. Serving only to further cement the use of drugs or alcohol.

Therefore, attempting an intervention without professional guidance is generally asking for trouble.

A trained interventionist understands this and works with you and the rest of those who will be participating in the intervention to develop a plan of action. In fact, they’ll help you form the most effective and convincing “team” with which to confront your loved one.

Once in preparation, you may find you don’t know exactly what to say, an experienced interventionist can assist you in developing the messaging that will truly connect and hit home, as well as help you create meaningful consequences if they refuse care.

Additionally, there’s the important task of making arrangements with a treatment center. An interventionist can ensure you cover all the bases in finding one that truly is a good fit for your family member or friend. 

Most importantly, they’ll be there on the day of the intervention to guide and lead it. It can be a tense, overwhelming and fraught meeting and for those who are unprepared for the torrent of emotions or haven’t been through it before – which is almost everyone – it can be hard to get through. 

Let Footprints of Serenity Guide You Through the Intervention Process

Working with someone who’s been there many times before, an intervention specialist in Los Angeles, means you can rely on their steady guidance to get everyone through it and with maximum impact.

If you think your loved one may be at the breaking point and that an intervention could be effective, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity to learn more.


What Is A Recovery Coach?

What Is A Recovery Coach?

As you start traveling along the road of recovery, you quickly realize that the journey isn’t actually an individual one. In many ways, recovery is very much a team sport.

From the earliest days of the process, there’s an emphasis on not going it alone and leaning into the support of others. There are people involved in all aspects of recovery, from those closest to you that participate in the intervention through to inpatient and outpatient rehab and then aftercare and support groups.

A sense of team camaraderie permeates everything.

And what does every successful team have?

A coach.

Recovery Coaching Explained

What does that look like in the context of recovery though and, importantly, what is a recovery coach?

Just like a coach develops and implements strategy and lends support to lead a team to success, a recovery coach performs similar tasks for someone in recovery. They’re there to support you, promote continued recovery and are very much future-focused, whereas a therapist is concerned with the past and working through what caused your addiction in the first place.

A recovery coach works with you to set goals, create plans to reach them and offer motivation along the way while helping to remove barriers to recovery that might trip you up.

Again, as compared to a therapist which requires considerable schooling and accreditation, there aren’t any prerequisites to becoming a recovery coach or federal licensing guidelines. That said, there are thorough training programs so when seeking a coach, make sure whomever you’re considering received certification from an accredited organization.

Given that, it’s especially important to note that a recovery coach is not a replacement for therapy whatsoever and a coach could work in tandem with a therapist or begin once your rehab is already complete.

Additionally, a coach can sound a little bit similar to a sponsor at a 12 step program, but a couple of key things separate the two; first, a sponsor is tied to that particular group and second, they aren’t compensated. A sponsor is someone who has been in a 12 step program longer and can help you make the most of that by sharing their experiences. It’s nonetheless a wonderful tool but not as hands-on as a recovery coach, which is much more a true partnership.

Benefits of Having a Recovery Coach

Relapse Prevention

The prospect of relapsing is no doubt a scary one, but it doesn’t have to happen especially if you have a recovery coach. They can help you to stay mindful of triggers and identify behaviors that could lead to a relapse as well as get you through moments of weakness when cravings hit hard.


Just like accountability plays a big role in a relationship with a sponsor, it’s a critical part of having a coach too. You’ll be able to plan regular check-ins and won’t ever have to worry that you might be imposing or creating an inconvenience. A recovery coach is just as dedicated to the mission as you are.

Support and Development of Skills

Knowing that you have someone in your corner is already a relief but when that person is well equipped to support you and has a broad base of knowledge from which to pull, it’s all the more beneficial. Often a coach will have their own history with recovery so can pull from their experience in helping you. On top of that, they can help you identify barriers or obstacles to your success and work with you to get around them.

Can Be Anywhere

You might think that coaching is done purely in person but that certainly isn’t the case, particularly these days with the pandemic keeping people apart. You can find recovery coaches that offer online services and still get all the benefits of the real-life experience.

Find a Recovery Coach With Help From Footprints of Serenity 

At Footprints of Serenity, we’ve seen the value that a recovery coach can deliver firsthand. If you’re curious about if partnering with a coach is the right move for you, reach out to us and we’d be happy to talk it over with you. We also work with a network of treatment providers across the country so can even help you find the right coach for you.

Intervention for Alcohol Abuse: Get Help for a Loved One

alcohol intervention los angelees

Because our societal relationship with alcohol is so open and friendly, alcoholism is able to do its damage right out in the open. People, your friends or family, can hide drinking problems behind the general acceptance that others tend to have and thus those problems easily grow. Metastasizing into full-fledged alcohol abuse and dependency before your very eyes.

It’s hard to watch, no doubt. Harder yet to know exactly what you can do to help.

Being a bystander eventually wears thin though and your ability to take proper action is rooted in knowing what to look for in terms of what constitutes alcohol abuse and what resources are available to help.

The Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse

Like a drinker’s vision, the line between various types of drinking behavior tends to blur and the difference between alcohol abuse and binging becomes hard to see.

Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to .08 percent – or .08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher. It’s roughly 5+ drinks for a man or 4+ for a woman within ~2 hours.

Binging is widespread with a 2018 study showing that roughly 25% of people in the US aged 12 and up have done so within the last month.

Alcohol abuse or as it’s officially known, alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic relapsing brain disorder characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.

It’s diagnosed along a spectrum running from mild to moderate to severe with 15 million or so Americans having AUD.

The abuse and binging take a catastrophically heavy toll with nearly 95,000 people dying from alcohol-related causes per year. In addition to that, the financial toll on the U.S. economy is stark as well with the cost of excessive alcohol use coming in at just about a quarter of a trillion dollars back in 2010.

Importantly, binge and excessive drinking by themselves wouldn’t necessarily constitute an alcohol use disorder but they very much can lead to it.

How to Stage an Intervention for Alcohol Abuse

If someone you love is plagued by an inability to control their drinking and it’s causing ever-growing problems in their life, it just may be time to step in and stage an intervention for alcohol abuse. However, it isn’t something you should try to do or plan on your own. There are a lot of moving parts to take care of and expertise is required to lead a person into an intervention and out to proper addiction treatment, which is the ultimate goal.

The whole point is to shine a light on how their behavior is destroying themselves and the people and things they hold most dear. Holding a mirror to it in a sense.

Staging that necessitates careful planning and coordination as well as a trained interventionist to lead and a treatment center lined up that they can go to.

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help

The decision to move forward with an intervention is certainly a tough one. It represents a distinct crossroads both for yourself and the one you’re trying to help and there are real consequences that potentially will be faced. At Footprints of Serenity, we understand the gravity of that because it’s what we’ve done for a combined 2 decades.

Reach out to us and let’s have a talk and see if now is the time to step in.

Different Types of Treatment for Addiction

Different Types of Treatment for Addiction

Finding the right treatment program for substance abuse and addiction is not always easy.  It can be difficult to find the  program that fits each of your individualized needs and works with your schedule. Here at Footprints of Serenity, we want to help you succeed within your recovery process. Whether you are just beginning, starting over, or finding treatment for a friend, please read below for the different types of addiction treatment options available! 

Different Types of Drug Treatment

There are many different types of treatments for addiction. These treatment programs can range from inpatient treatment programs to outpatient treatment programs, and even group counseling. It is important to find a treatment program that fits your individualized recovery needs. In the beginning it will probably be difficult for you to determine what your needs are (especially if you’re seeking treatment on behalf of someone else), but with a little research you should be able to tell! 

Each of the drug treatment programs listed below can be different depending on the facility. This means that inpatient treatment at one rehab may vary from inpatient treatment at another. That is why it is important to research each program and each facility that you are interested in. These programs can range and depend on time, severity of the addiction, individualized needs, and so much more. 


Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient Treatment programs can range from long-term residential treatment to short-term residential treatment. Long-term residential treatment  provides 24-hour care and may have a length of stay between 6 to 12 months (or shorter).  This treatment focuses on developing accountability and responsibility within the client’s personal lives. 

Short-term residential treatment programs can help to provide an intensive of brief treatment. The short-term residential treatment program usually ranges from 3 to 6 weeks. After the 3-6 weeks of the inpatient program, then the client usually has an extended outpatient therapy and/or group counseling. After this treatment program, it is important for clients to continue to remain in a support group to stay connected to sobriety. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs vary in all types and intensity of services. Outpatient treatments cost substantially less than inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment programs are suitable for people who aren’t able to remove themselves from ‘reality’ for an extended period of time, meaning outpatient treatment is possible if you work full time. These programs will help to work around your schedule and your lifestyle. Group counseling can be an important component of outpatient treatment programs. They may also be designed to help not only with the recovery process but also with co-occurring disorders. Some intensive outpatient treatment programs provide direct services for individuals suffering from a substance abuse disorder or a substance abuse disorder with a co-occuring disorder.

Recovery Groups

Group therapy can be used to capitalize on social reinforcement. It can be offered by peer  discussion, accountability superiors, and promoting drug-free lifestyles. There are many different types of recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous, SMART Recovery program, Women for Sobriety, Moderation Management, and so much more. These programs help connect individuals with others who were also struggling with the same type of addiction or substance abuse problem. Not only are they similar within their substance abuse problems, but they are all so similar with their goals. That goal being: continuing the recovery process and sustaining sobriety.  These recovery groups are a way for each individual to get support from one another, and can offer insight and hope.

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help You Today

Here at Footprints of Serenity, we strive to help our clients find the treatment program that fits their unique needs. It is important that our clients feel supported throughout their recovery journey and while they are continuing their maintenance of sobriety. We want our clients to succeed in finding a program that best fits their individualized needs, can work around their schedule, and is the most comfortable program for them. We understand that sometimes it may be hard to find support, so we want to help support each of our clients in every way possible. Please reach out to us today to find out which treatment program may be right for you, or for someone you care about. 

Popular Addiction Support Groups

popular support groups

Receiving support is so important when going through the recovery process. Sobriety and recovery are a lifelong process, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone. At Footprints of Serenity, we’re here to let you know that detox and addiction treatment (rehab) are just the first steps to take on your sober journey. Once you’re settled at home or in a new place, it’s imperative to stay connected with other sober people. Addiction support groups are a great way to do this. 

What Is an Addiction Support Group?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, support groups can be an amazing source of recovery support. These groups can also provide a safe, encouraging environment, while individuals are going through the treatment process. They are also important to continue after treatment to prevent a future relapse. These programs generally follow steps or guidelines in helping an individual overcome their addiction and maintain sobriety. These programs encourage not only self-support but the support of others. Finding support is crucial in the recovery process, and joining a support group may be one of the most beneficial forms of support that an individual can receive when overcoming an addiction. Support groups promote abstinence and help to prevent a future relapse. These groups can help shed light on what the recovery process is like and how it is unique for each person.


Addiction Support Groups

There are many different support groups for addiction. Some of the more popular groups include: 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of both men and women who are suffering from a drinking addiction. This program is an international program that is multiracial and apolitical. AA is a self-supporting program that is nonprofessional but fully supportive. There are no requirements when it comes to age and education. AA follows the 12-steps of Alcoholic Anonymous for those who want to receive help for their drinking problem. 
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)Narcotics Anonymous is a nonprofit society of men and women who are suffering from drugs. This program promotes abstinence of all drugs and sets specific guidelines/steps to follow when recovering from an addiction. This program is a global program which is multicultural and multilingual.
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA) – According to Cocaine Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women alike who have all shared the same sort of suffering from a cocaine addiction. It is important that each individual meets on one common ground so they feel equal within this group. Anyone who suffers from any addiction, not just a cocaine addiction, is welcome to join. 
  • Refuge RecoveryRefuge Recovery is a recovery program that is based on Buddhist principles. This program’s basic statement is that all of the individuals invested in this program have the power and potential to overcome the addiction that they are suffering from. This program supports the belief of training your heart and mind to live in understanding and free from addiction. You don’t have to practice Buddhism to be a part of Refuge Recovery.

These are just a few of the more well known addiction support groups. If you or someone you know is a family member or friend of an addiction, there are support groups for that as well. Al-anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and CoDa just to name a few. 

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help

Here at Footprints of Serenity, we are a group of interventionists/ addiction specialists with over 20 years of experience in the recovery field. Our services include staging drug and alcohol interventions, sober companionship, recovery coach, detox placement, and more. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact us today. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the addiction treatment process, relapse prevention tips, etc. 

Should I Get a Recovery Coach?

should i get a recovery coach

Recovering from addiction can be a tedious process, but do you know that there are coaches that can help ease the burden and show that you are not alone in this process of pursuing sobriety? These coaches are called recovery coaches. At Footprints of Serenity, our mission is to help our clients succeed right where they are, while providing each of our clients with the resources they need to fit all of their unique individualized needs. We not only offer interventions, but we also offer recovery coaching as well!


What Is a Recovery Coach?

A recovery coach is someone who mentors a client who is recovering from an addiction. The recovery coach will provide guidance and help remove barriers by guiding the client throughout their recovery process. These coaches will reassure and affirm health & wellness in each of our recovery clients. They will help our clients see that their life is worthy and resourceful during this recovery process. Our coaches stand by our mission in making sure that each client receives individualized treatment for sobriety, recovery, and abstinence. The recovery coaches help our clients maintain a healthy and happy life throughout this recovery process which helps prevent relapse. In order to do this, the recovery coaches assist the recovering addicts in finding their own values and strengths. It’s common for addicts to lose their sense of self when they’re using drugs or alcohol, so it’s important in early sobriety to figure out who you are again!

According to the Association for Addiction Professionals, there are different roles that recovery coaches take on. These roles consist of many different things. 

  • Motivator & Cheerleader – motivates and encourages.
  • Ally & Confidant – loyal and trustworthy.
  • Truth Teller – honest and does not sugar coat things.
  • Role Model & Mentor – offers their own life as an example.
  • Problem Solver – assists in problem solving and non-judgmental.
  • Resource Broker – helps find a linkage in the community of support. 
  • Advocate – assists clients in protecting their rights. 
  • Community Organizer – helps the clients establish a network of support.
  • Lifestyle Consultant – offers feedback on the client’s recovery lifestyle.
  • Friend & Companion – shows the client that they are equal and a friend. 

How Do Recovery Coaches Help in Recovery?

Recovery coaches help within the recovery process in many different ways. As stated previously, recovery coaches help remove our client’s personal and environmental obstacles that are in the way of our clients reaching sobriety. The coaches guide our clients throughout the recovery process and help our clients reach their full potential while investing in a healthy lifestyle. This can be done by removing certain triggers and potential harm from the client’s environment and within their own mind. Recovery coaches create a mindset of positivity throughout the client’s life during this recovery time. This positivity is created physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. For example, the recovery coach will help find support within the community, find resources for recovery, and become a friend and ally to their clients.


Should You Get a Recovery Coach?

The key to a successful recovery from addiction and maintaining sobriety is changing one’s mindspace that has been created throughout their addiction. A recovery coach is someone who is willing to help you right where you are in this recovery process. A recovery coach meets you there and helps you become the best person you can be while maintaining sobriety. It is helpful to have someone rooting for you and to have someone that is in your corner. We believe in our clients preferences and we are flexible to any and all of the needs that our individual clients may have. It is truly up to the client in deciding if they think that a recovery coach is something that they wish to have/that they will benefit from.


How Footprints of Serenity Can Help

If having the benefits of a recovery coach is something that you or a loved one would like to experience, reach out to us. Here at Footprints of Serenity, we want to help our clients have the best recovery process possible in the simplest way possible. Contact us today for more information!

Relapse Prevention Tips

tips for preventing relapse

Relapse: the elephant in the recovery room. The thing that looms over every recovering addict’s head. It can happen at any time, sneak up on you when you least expect it. Will today be the day that I use again? Will tomorrow be? Although it’s very common to experience these thoughts in recovery, you definitely don’t have to have them. At Footprints of Serenity, we want to rid the elephant of the room. We want to openly talk about relapse and let you know that with the right coping strategies, relapse is preventable. 

So, What Is a Relapse?

Relapse is the term used when an addict is in recovery and starts using drugs or alcohol again. Relapses can happen at any time. Sometimes someone relapses right after they complete detox and sometimes people relapse after being sober for 10 years. Like an addiction, relapse can take many shapes and forms. Relapse can be a vicious cycle of getting sober, making a mistake, feeling bad, then using again. Relapse can also be an ‘innocent’ slip up – like having one drink because nothing will happen to you if you just drink one beer. 

Relapse is common in recovery and sobriety so if you have relapsed, don’t let it get in the way of you getting sober again. Just because you relapse doesn’t mean you can never achieve long term sobriety. Whether you’re new to recovery or have relapsed, below are some tips on how to prevent a future relapse. 

How to Prevent a Relapse

There are a few tips that people can follow to help them maintain sobriety. Some of the most important tips to remember include:

Tip 1: Although relapse can technically happen at any time during your sobriety, there are warning signs that will let you know you’re on the brink of relapse. All relapses will start in your mind before anything actually happens. If you can be in tune with yourself, and spot the mental signs, you can reach out for help before it happens. Common signs are feeling like you want to isolate, feeling hopeless or like nothing else matters, feeling angry, feeling unmotivated to take care of yourself, starting to think about what it would be like to drink or do drugs again. 

Tip 2: Be aware of how you’re feeling. This includes both physically and emotionally. If you aren’t totally aware that you’re anxious, depressed, or angry often, you may not be able to realize you’re on the verge of a relapse. All of the negative feelings mentioned can trigger drug or alcohol use. By staying in touch with your emotions, you can determine whether or not you need to talk to someone, attend a support group, or do some self-care, instead of turning to drugs or alcohol. 

Tip 3: Stay busy and productive. Boredom is going to happen from time to time and it is important to learn ways to manage boredom in recovery. Constructive hobbies like exercise, reading, and writing, are all healthy ways to cope with boredom. Feelings of excessive boredom and restlessness can lead to feelings of not having a purpose, which can lead to a relapse. 


Tip 4: Prioritize sobriety. The most effective relapse prevention tip is to work at recovery every day. Unfortly addiction is a chronic disease. There’s no magic pill you can take to make it go away. Actively working on recovery daily can look like a lot of things: you can attend 12-step support groups, you can meditate, you can make a gratitude list, or go to individual therapy. Addiction is different for everyone so it’s only natural that working at sobriety is different for everyone as well.

If you’re sober and experience a relapse, don’t be discouraged. Relapsing doesn’t mean you will never be sober. Relapse is just a bump in the road. The most important thing to do if you relapse is examine why it happened. You can then use that information in the future to avoid future relapses. 

We’re Here to Help

At Footprints of Serenity, we are a drug & alcohol intervention service provider located in the gorgeous area of Southern California. We also provide services such as recovery coaches, recovery companionship, detox placement, treatment placement, addiction counseling, relapse prevention, and transportation for your recovery needs. Reach out to us today & let us know how we can help you. 

Use gratitude to stay focused during and beyond addiction recovery

An important part of overcoming addiction is improving your lifestyle for the better. For some, this takes the shape of focusing on health and wellness and for others, it involves more meditation, greater spirituality and a deeper connection with others. Gratitude can also be an important part of a focused recovery effort because it provides a deeper appreciation for the positive parts of your life. 

Correlate gratitude and compassion 

Many addiction recovery programs, including the services provided by Footprints of Serenity in Beverly Hills, offer a compassionate treatment environment. By focusing on care and companionship through all aspects of the recovery process, your journey to sobriety will be less harsh and uncertain. Learning to express gratitude can help you better accept the loving assistance of others and lean on the help provided to you when the path gets rocky. 

Develop a grateful attitude and outlook

For many battling addiction, the world does not seem like a happy place. Negative emotions, including feelings of despair as you attempt to sober up, can overwhelm your life. During recovery, starting a daily or regular practice of gratitude helps you gradually change your mindset. By acknowledging what you have, how you feel and how others have helped you, you start to reprogram how you feel about life. When you realize what you have — even when it’s primarily intangibles like health, a clear mind or a committed family — it is so much easier to be happy. As your outlook improves, you may find it easier to stay sober. 

Explore gratitude and recovery 

Expressing gratitude for the addiction recovery process itself also reinforces your acceptance of sobriety and its value in your life. By regularly acknowledging how your life has improved, you commit to continuing on the journey. This can take place as part of a solo journaling habit, daily affirmations or in the presence of others at recovery meetings and counseling sessions. Focus on thanking those who have helped you along the way and less on the negative aspects of your life, such as friends or family who are unsupportive. By doing so, you lessen the power of the negative acts by inflating the positive.

Embrace simple efforts 

Grateful feelings do not always have to apply to sobriety or other weighty topics. You can be appreciative for so many different things — large and small. You can reflect on these privately and also say “thank you” more daily. When a barista nails your coffee order, that is a win. If a person holds the elevator door for you, you can tell them thank you and pay it forward to make yourself feel even better. Try to make it a regular habit to make the day of one person brighter and enjoy the positive feelings it brings. Over time, the short burst of joy will become a regular feeling as considering the feelings of others becomes second nature.

Experience little treasures

As you start to see the world through new, sober eyes, you may start to notice little things more as your senses return to “normal.” Embrace those new sensations and remember how it feels to be totally in touch with the world. Gratitude can include loving the sounds of leaves crunching under your feet on your morning walk with your dog or appreciating the clarity of downtown lights without a buzz. 

Learn how to face struggles

A practice of gratitude isn’t 100% easy. You must also be able to face struggles with an open mind and a strategic plan instead of crumbling under their weight. See new challenges, such as a difficult conversation with a family member or friend, as an opportunity to improve your life instead of a weight making you feel oppressed. 

Establish a gratitude ritual

Giving thanks daily should become a part of your life. In the beginning, it will likely be more purposeful. Daily journaling of a few things you are grateful for helps you acknowledge the good and hard parts of life. It can help you sort through difficult emotions as you search for the bright spots in a day that felt dark and gloomy overall. 

As time goes by, helping others and acknowledging positive acts is likely to become second nature, and you may find daily journaling feels less necessary. This is perfectly fine. However, you should always be ready to pick up the writing or typing habit again if you start to feel less hope.

For the more spiritually inclined, daily meditation and prayer can serve the same purpose as a gratitude journal. If you prefer action more than reflection, flip the script and express your gratitude out loud. Speak words of thanks to others more frequently and with more meaning and start a dialogue on gratitude with your friends and family.