Author: Shernide Delva
In areas where bar crawls were once a standard weekend ritual, a new trend is taking over, and it does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. The trend is sober juice crawls, and millennials are flocking all over the country to celebrate. All this non-alcoholic fun has resulted in researchers pondering, is sober becoming the new drunk?
Juice crawls are only one of many booze-free events in the US catering towards millennials who want to ditch the booze for clarity. New York is a prime location for Juice Crawls. At one crawl in the big apple, participants forego alcohol shots in favor for juice shots with names like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Kalefornia.”
The Guardian highlighted this trend by visiting a monthly juice crawl event where participants hop from different shops and sample 19 flavors of juices in a 2 oz. plastic cup. This event is just one of many that have popped up in major US cities to cater to the millennials who are now saying no to alcohol.
The people who go to these events are not all recovering addicts. In fact, it is quite the contrary. These juice crawl groups are full of people who would rather engage in mindfulness activities and indulge in healthy juices then wake up with a hangover. While in the past, cutting booze would have been a significant social change, now events like these are more mainstream.
In addition to these crawls, there are now sober day races, alcohol-free bars, boozeless dinner, and alcohol-free dance parties. There is even a sober social network and a dating app for sober people that became so popular, it temporarily shut down.
In these tough economic times, many millennials are opting to stay away from alcohol. A recent study on millennials in five countries found that 75% of those surveyed drink in moderation when they go out at night.
Auzeen Saedi is a clinical psychologist that spends lots of time with younger patients. She mentioned in an article the biggest fear millennials have about the future is fear:
“I think the pressures are higher because [young] people see that even if you have a great degree, that does not guarantee you a job by any means.”
All of this uncertainty is due to the financial strains millennials have observed the past few years, and understanding that nothing is guaranteed upon graduation. Fortunately, mindfulness and yoga have become extremely trendy, and millennials often use these activities for stress-relief.
“Right now there are all these yogi Instagram celebrities with millions of followers … and they’re not drinking beer, they’re drinking juice,” she says. “Mindfulness, in a way, is the new church.”
Spirituality is becoming a big practice among millennials. Many are opting for meditation retreats to connect to something higher. The great thing about these retreats is that they reduce stress, and allow the ability to go on vacation with a purpose without fear of being intoxicated. The trend has saturated social media. On Instagram, there are celebrities with millions of follows. They are not drinking beer. They are not promoting the drunken party life. They are exercising, meditating and drinking juice.
Of course, not everyone loves this trend. Ross Haenfler became a straight-edge punk in the late 80s and was part of a group that embraced drug and alcohol in favor of political activism. Haenfler believes these new sober groups need to have a bigger message that fights more significant issues such as consumerism, homophobia, and racism. Otherwise, he questions the motive behind it all and whether or not people are participating in it due to the sudden popularity.
Overall, the clean healthy living movement is full of those who rather opt for glowing skin and yoga classes than party like it’s 1999. For most, it is far from a political movement. But regardless of the reasons people do it, more and more people are finding sober outings a more enjoyable experience for the mind, body, and soul than boozing up all night ever was.
The culture of drinking is changing, and more and more people would rather socialize through healthy activities than using drugs and alcohol as a conversation starter. If you are struggling, remember there is life after recovery. It is up to you to discover what that looks like. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Author: Justin Mckibben
In life there are plenty of insecurities to match every extremity of unique personalities, and any of us can devise a copious collection of excuses as to why we don’t achieve the goals we set for ourselves. For those of us in recovery from drugs or alcohol, we are typically experienced in creating stories of negative self-talk that gives us a way out of working on ourselves and the ambitions we set for our futures.
In life we set intentions, and it is important to believe in our capacity to fulfill them. While drugs or alcohol may have held you back with a corrosive life-style, when you get clean and sober it is essential to believe in your dreams in recovery- how else could you live a life beyond your wildest dreams?
Here are 6 reasons to believe in your dreams in recovery.
- Because it’s YOUR dream
Number one comes with a tone of responsibility to set the tone, because after all- it is YOUR dream, and if you don’t believe in it, no one is going to believe in it for you. It is your responsibility to make that dream happen, and in recovery taking responsibility for your own life is a huge part of the process.
Our dreams for ourselves are so unique with passion and creativity that we are the only ones able to make them real; only you can make it yours.
- Because addicts and alcoholics are ambitious
I don’t know about you, but I have never met an addict or alcoholic (or living human being for that matter) who didn’t possess some level of ambition. Addicts and alcoholics are very ambitious people; even though while using we may not have been ambitious about the right things. We often make things work for us in some of the direst circumstances and we sacrifice for what we want- THAT is ambition.
In recovery that ambition can be utilized toward the things that actually matter to us. When you believe in your dreams in recovery it will add meaning to your life and make your efforts mean even more to you.
- Your dream shapes your future
After-all, our future is a product of our actions and how we play into our roles we have assigned for ourselves in life. Our behaviors are based on our belief systems. Our dreams are what the future is made of and history shows us that. Every invention or innovation was once a dream; every artwork and relationship.
In recovery we may live one day at a time, but we are allowed to have hope for our future. Believing in your dreams in recovery means knowing that we have the opportunity to help create a future better than the life we’ve known, for us and others.
- A dream can save your life
In recovery from drugs or alcohol, we see that we are in a life-or-death fight that could all depend at some point on how we justify fighting in the first place. A dream give us purpose, and when days seem darkest we can look toward the dream like a light at the end of the tunnel… we may not be there yet, but if you believe in your dreams in recovery you can give yourself a reason to keep fighting.
So many people are too lost in thoughts of hopelessness and futility, the addict is no stranger to this feeling and often times it feeds our addiction. Having a purpose and a course of action can align us with faith again.
- You deserve your dreams
Despite what a life of drugs and alcohol leads to; despite the person you may have to become in order to sustain and rationalize the kind of pain and suffering you feel or cause, you deserve your dreams! Every human being has the potential to offer something incredible and irreplaceable to the world.
To believe in your dreams in recovery you are reinforcing the new idea of the person you want to be. Believing in your dreams and knowing you deserve them helps nurture the character of the individual and cultivates the principles of who you strive to be.
And if you don’t feel like you deserve them, you can tell yourself you do or you can start developing yourself into the version of you that could deserve them.
- It’s an amazing feeling to achieve a dream
In my own experience, when you look at yourself in active addiction you can see that you used drugs or drank alcohol because you liked the effect it produced; you liked the way it made you feel… or sometimes not feel at all. What greater feeling could there possibly be than having dreams in recovery that are imprinted on your heart… and then having them come true?!
The best thing any human being can possibly do for themselves is live into their intentions and passions in life. Knowing that what you do is meaningful and cathartic while making a contribution to the love and life of the world is the expression of your dream. No substance on this plane of existence could ever surpass the joy of making your own dream come true.
Overall, success in recovery depends on you and how you choose to define it. How do you define your dreams and how do you see yourself working towards them in recovery? Do not let anything stop you from having a dream. Maybe your dream right now is just to get your life back. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Justin Mckibben
It’s about time someone said it to your face. Yes… you read that title right…
Drunk driving is tragically irresponsible and has a habit of causing irreparable damage to not only the drunk driver, but also to the innocent individuals who lose their lives to drunk driving accidents in America. Every year an astonishing number of people are killed in drunk driving accidents, and community leaders and organizations all over the nation have used shocking, innovative and informative strategies to change these statistics. One bar in Los Angeles, California has done something pretty amazing to raise awareness, delivering very direct doses of reality and consequence to patrons through a live video in the bathroom mirror.
Mirror, Mirror at the Bar
This powerful campaign was quite literally an “in your face” tactic for raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving in the Los Angeles bar. A video of the campaign is currently also circulating the internet, and once I stumbled upon it I was very impressed by how they used this unique technique to reach out to people in real time… people who may or may not have been exactly the person who needed to hear it that night.
In the video of the campaign you watch several male patrons enter a restroom. After supposedly “handling their business” the men walk up to the sink to wash their hands, and suddenly the mirror flashes to the image of a man dressed in jail-house blues staring them in the face. Then once he starts talking to them and interacting, they realize this is LIVE, not just a pre-recorded commercial.
Of course a few of them are a little freaked out… I mean, you would have to wonder how long this guy has been watching you from some hidden camera… but once the conversation gets going the real motive comes out pretty quick, and it can be pretty intense.
Inmate Kris Caudilla
The live video stream is of Kris Caudilla, an inmate in prison who has been convicted of drunk driving and is currently serving 15 years. Caudilla asks one man what he is drinking, some he asks how their night is going… then drops some real-time-live-action TRUTH on them, sharing his story of being out one night having drinks with friends, then deciding to drive drunk he was in an accident and killed someone.
That someone was a police officer- 44 year old Deputy James Anderson Jr. Caudilla drove head-on into Anderson’s patrol car with a blood-alcohol level of 0.158. The office later died at Shands Jacksonville hospital in Florida. Caudilla plead guilty to DUI manslaughter and testified in court, taking full-responsibility for Anerdson’s death. Caudilla was 27 at the time of the accident.
In the mirror Caudilla speaks his truth to men drinking at a bar on the other side of the country; men that stand in paralyzed shock holding cocktails and glasses of beer as another man trapped by his decision tells them with conviction,
“He had 4 children, a wife and I took him away from them…
I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car. You don’t have to make that choice…
So take a good look in the mirror man. Should you be driving tonight?”
In the video you can see the look on their faces, and you can tell some are second guessing a lot in these few passing moments. To watch this video, click HERE.
Reflection From Inside Campaign
This video is part of the Reflection From Inside campaign that has been put together by We Save Lives as part of a progressive effort to:
- Educate people
- Hold drivers accountable
- Support victims’ rights
- Help others find the courage to intervene
We Save Lives (WSL) is an international coalition that works to help protect the public by preventing crashes and crimes from “the 3 Ds” which are:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Distracted driving
We Save Lives works through legislative efforts and grassroots organizing at the national, state, and local levels to make a difference on the road.
While many would say this is a “major buzz-kill”, and plenty have if you find the video on Facebook and read through some of the more less-sensitive comments, the fact is this is a powerful and profound way to try and pull the attention to something that is incredibly important.
So what if it “kills your buzz” for a little bit… it is better than doing nothing and letting you get behind the wheel and kill another human being. Even if not everyone listens, it might make a huge difference to the person who does.
I feel like this campaign is an amazing and creative way to try and interrupt the thought process to introduce the dangers of drunk driving to the people that need it most… people who are drunk and possibly going to drive! Every opportunity we have to make a statement and raise awareness in a new way gives us the chance to change something. Grabbing someone’s attention at a pivotal moment like that could be the difference between life and death. I applaud the creators and participants in this campaign, and I hope more people take this warning to get home safe.
Fatal drunk driving accidents occur all across the country, claiming thousands of innocent lives, all because of those who get drunk and get behind the wheel. Saving lives could be as easy as stopping yourself from driving drunk, and if you have a habit of drunk (drugged) driving perhaps it is time to consider how getting help could save your life, and others. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Flakka, the infamous “$5 insanity” that surfaced nearly 2 years ago and flooded the news with the impending doom it seemed to add to the already corrosive drug scene, has seemingly dissipated to the point of practical extinction according to reports that have left authorities across the country puzzled. With the wild stories of erratic behavior, hospitalizations and even horrendous attacks it is strange that a synthetic nightmare that came out of nowhere has apparently disappeared out of nowhere. Is Flakka really gone?
Florida Finds Huge Flakka Decline
According to CNN, 63 Flakka users died in South Florida between September 2014 and December 2015. Last spring, about four people were hospitalized for a Flakka-related incident every day in South Florida, and for the last two years Florida authorities have been working diligently to warn the public about the dangers of Flakka. Now suddenly it seems Flakka use has plummeted. Jim Hall, a drug abuse epidemiologist in Fort Lauderdale, Florida stated,
“I have never seen an epidemic emerge so rapidly but literally disappear so quickly,”
“Anecdotal reports from both street users and law enforcement officers say that Flakka is not even available in the street drug market.”
Compared to two years ago there have been no reported deaths in 2016 related to Flakka. Florida treatment centers reported:
- Last fall they admitted about 50 Flakka users every month
- This year they have admitted only 6 Flakka users in January
Florida is not the only place where the terror of Flakka has hit a stark decline. Reports of fewer sightings of Flakka have also come in from other areas such as:
- Rural areas of Kentucky
So how could such a demonizing substance that hit these areas so hard be suddenly wiped out?
Chinese Chemical Cut-off
Authorities still aren’t 100% sure how Flakka managed to fizzle out so fast, but Jim Hall believes the shift can traced back to a ban in China on the production and export of alpha-PVP, the chemical name for this dangerous drug. Since the beginning of the synthetic outbreak the source of this chemical was presumably tracked to Chine, and U.S. officials had been applying some real pressured to China to enact the ban, which includes 115 other synthetic drugs.
In October the ban finally went into effect.
Something else that also probably had an enormous impact was that nearly all the drug producers were in one Chinese province, which allowed authorities to cut-off the chemical cooks right at the source. Other factors probably had an impact, including:
- Public awareness campaigns
- Law enforcement hunting down dealers
- Word on the street about the nasty side effects
Will the Peace Last?
A few questions come to mind when enjoying this small hurdle we seem to have overcome: with cooks ordering the chemicals from overseas and making a 2,000% profit from the drug, is it likely they will not fight to get the drug back on the market?
Will another replacement synthetic appear to fill the void? Michael Baumann, who studies designer drugs for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stated:
“History has shown that one of the unintended consequences to banning certain drugs is that it typically leads to an explosion of new replacement drugs.”
So far, no replacements have been reported, but how long will the peace last? You may remember Bath Salts as another horrific example of a synthetic drug exploding onto the market and causing wide-spread panic before losing momentum, and Flakka was not far behind it.
For now officials and community workers are not resting on the laurels of Flakka’s disappearance, and they have continued to be focused on educating the public about the dangers of Flakka and other synthetic drugs. And still, community leaders are putting an emphasis on comprehensive drug abuse and addiction treatment programs to help address those issues that still exist.
Synthetic drugs like Flakka are extremely dangerous, and while they may be on a decline in popularity these kinds of drugs are disastrous and can turn fatal regardless of the name attached. Thankfully no addict has to suffer through this alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Depression can occur at any time, but sometimes we choose to ignore it. Some of us would much rather fall apart on the inside, rather than admit to needing help. While you may look tough and confident on the outside, on the inside, you could be fighting an internal struggle. Even more interesting is the fact that many of us are so good at hiding our depression; we do not even realize we are really depressed. Does this sound like you?
If it does, you are not alone. You can feel secure knowing that 350 million people are affected by depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That’s really sad but oddly comforting?
Regardless, there are too many people in the world who are depressed who are not getting help simply because they feel embarrassed or ashamed. Perhaps people have made you feel weak or guilty about feeling that way. We live in a world that promotes having a tough exterior over admitting to vulnerabilities. Now is the time to change those perceptions.
Knowing the signs of concealed depression is the best way to find out if you need help. Many people, myself included, try to hide their depression and tell themselves they are over dramatic and weak. However, that is not a healthy way of coping. This list will help you understand whether or not you have a deeper issue that needs addressing. Look out for the following seven signs both in yourself, and the people you care about.
HERE ARE 7 SIGNS OF CONCEALED DEPRESSION:
You have lost interest in everything you were once passionate about.
Many people who suffer from depression find that activities that meant the world to them at one point mean absolutely nothing to them now. For example, if you once enjoyed playing music, you may find the idea of playing an instrument exhausting and emotionally draining. If you once were super fit and into sports, you may find the idea of going outside a bore. There is a Regina Spektor song called Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori which has the lyrics:
It’s hard, it’s hard
To live, to live
It’s hard, it’s harder
Than it’s ever been before
Things that used to comfort me
Don’t comfort me anymore
Essentially those lyrics describe what the feeling is like. You feel as though activities and things that once gave you pleasure no longer comfort you anymore. If this feeling does not go away, you could be depressed. People who are depressed try to engage in things they once enjoyed in the past, however, they no longer find those activities pleasurable. If you feel this way, now is the time to get help.
You’re super low energy. Everything is draining.
One of the biggest indicators of depression is a lack of energy. Feeling depressed is very exhausting to the mind and body. In addition, your feelings of depression may affect your sleep patterns making you feel MORE tired. Feelings of hopelessness and despair plague the mind and result in exhaustion. One way to combat this is through eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. Try exercising, socializing and getting fresh air even when you don’t want to. Try not to over-schedule your day as that can also be overwhelming. Take it one day at a time.
You’ve seen changes in your weight and eating habits.
Are you gaining or losing weight uncontrollably? This is a common symptom of depression. Concealed depression can result in overeating or a loss of interest in food. You may not even notice at first, but a sudden change in weight can be a major warning sign of depression. Watch out for this sign especially if you have a history of depression in your family. Weight change can be unhealthy so try not to eat (or skip meals) based on your emotions. Instead, seek help.
Insomnia or Hypersomnia: You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.
Patients who suffer from insomnia have triple the chance of developing depression. It is possible that your feelings of depression are a result of lack of sleep. Talk to a professional about tools you can use to improve your sleeping habits. While a few nights of restlessness is nothing to be alarmed about, not being able to sleep over a long period could point to more severe circumstances. If you notice this happening often, it is time to reach out for help. On the other side of the spectrum, if you find yourself oversleeping or craving sleep, you may be trying to escape your problems instead of face them. Seek help instead of ignoring the problem.
Abusing Substances to “deal.”
People often use substances to escape their mind and emotions for a short period. However, it can be easy to become addicted to substances if they provide an easy solution. Over time, this behavior can become addictive. Many addicts who abuse substances avoid admitting to their depression and instead state they are using drugs for other reasons such as to “relax” or “let loose.” If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. Do not feel ashamed about coming out with having a problem.
You never admit when you are feeling depressed.
People who hide their depression are experts at covering up their true feelings. Often, they feel it is a hassle to bother others about their problems. They usually feel embarrassed about feeling bad in the first place, which makes the problem worse. If you find yourself wanting to push through your depression rather than face it, take a step back. Many people who have concealed depression never reach out until it is almost too late. Do not wait to get to that point, get help now while you still can. Covering up your feelings is not worth it.
You prefer to be alone than with people.
I am naturally an introvert so find I love spending time alone, however when it becomes excessive, it is something to think about. If you find yourself not wanting to do ANYTHING around people, you may be hiding an internal issue. People with depression tend to want to isolate themselves from others. They turn down social events in order to spend time alone in their room. If this sounds like you, you may be concealing your depression and need to reach out for help. Being around people can be a good thing if you learn how to cope.
Overall, depression is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. If you are experiencing any of the signs above, please get help. Do not let your depression result in you participating in unhealthy behaviors to cope. Seek help from a professional and find ways to move forward. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135