Tips for Making Your Home Conducive to Sobriety

How to Minimize Triggers at Home

Whether you are working through an outpatient substance use program or living in a residential treatment facility, your home environment can be a triggering space if you do not pay it the proper attention . Healing and recovering from a substance use disorder means implementing the lessons and coping skills learned during treatment to successfully choose a different path when triggers to use substances arise. This is especially important if you live with another person who uses or struggles with substances, or if your home has historically been a preferred space to use substances.

You can transform your home into a place for healing and sobriety by starting with four key changes to your living environment:

  • Keeping it clean: A chaotic or messy home can make you feel unstable or unable to relax. On the other hand, a clean, organized home can contribute to feelings of balance and a commitment to making positive choices. Tend to your home environment by tidying up regularly, adding plants or other soothing visual elements to your space, and maintaining access to healthy, enjoyable activities in your home.
  • Sticking to a routine: Triggers for substance use can arise in chaotic or stressful times, but they may also influence you during idle time. Properly tending to your home and your health takes time and effort, and you can reduce the temptation caused by boredom or idleness by busying yourself with housekeeping, cooking, exercise, and other healthy, constructive activities in the home. It is also particularly important to decide in advance how you will spend your free time in the evenings and what time you will go to bed. Following a schedule can help you maximize your free time and reduce your risk of falling back into unhealthy habits. You can even post your schedule or to-do list in a visible space as a frame of reference when your routine falls out of balance.
  • Minimizing stress: Stress is hard enough to manage without the added difficulty of managing a substance use disorder, but it can be even more difficult for people who are in recovery. While there is no such thing as a completely stress-free life, avoiding stressful situations is essential when seeking to remain sober at home. If your relationships with your spouse or children are a source of significant stress, consider incorporating counseling [LINK TO FAMILY THERAPY BLOG] into your routine or taking steps to learn to approach conflict more constructively. If your roommates stress you out, consider having an honest conversation about what you’re going through and how they can help, or think about finding a supportive place to go when things become overwhelming.
  • Keeping Inspiration Visible: When triggers arise, it is vital to remember why you are taking steps toward healing and recovery. Keep reminders of your reasons for changing your behavior visible in your home environment. Think of quotes, photos, or affirmations that resonate with you, and display them throughout your home to support you in difficult moments.

Overcome Unhealthy Substance Use with Therapeutic Solutions

When seeking to overcome a substance use disorder, it can be disheartening to battle temptation day in and day out—but don’t give up. Healing is possible, and we are here to help.

At Therapeutic Solutions, we offer substance abuse therapy for people throughout Chico and Northern California. We can help you address the mental, physical, and environmental stressors and temptations you face and work with you to find ways to develop healthy coping skills and resources that support recovery. Our compassionate, understanding clinicians can help you evaluate patterns leading to substance use and help you figure out what can be done to get well, stay well, and be well.

Get started today by calling (530) 899-3150 or requesting a free program assessment.


Why Some Psychiatric Drugs Don’t Work as Well as Others

Factors that Hinder the Effectiveness of Psychiatric Drugs

Anyone who has been treated for a psychiatric disorder knows how challenging it can be to find a medication that works. Sometimes all it takes is a change in dosage, but other times people will bounce from drug to drug, hoping for relief, only to experience exacerbated symptoms or minimal changes.

This is the common experience of many people seeking pharmaceutical treatment for psychiatric problems like depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and others. The reasons why certain medications work for some patients and not others is largely unknown. There are plenty of success stories about certain psychiatric drugs, but there is relatively no guarantee that a medication that effectively alleviates one person’s symptoms will do the same for another, even if their symptoms are virtually identical.

Despite all these unknowns, there are a few identifiable reasons why certain medications and doses may not work, including:

1. Inaccurate Mental Health Diagnoses

Psychiatric disorders are notoriously difficult to pinpoint, creating the potential for imprecise diagnosis. Most psychiatrists and mental health professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in order to diagnose patients who describe certain symptoms, but diagnoses which rely exclusively on patients’ self-described symptoms and DSM descriptions of psychiatric disorders can be skewed.

Along with inaccurate diagnosis comes incorrect treatment, which can lead to greater frustration and worsened symptoms for patients.

There is also the possibility that persons who do not respond to typically successful treatments for their behavioral health concern could be suffering from one of many varying subcategories of a disorder, which may require an entirely different class of drug. Some research has been done that may suggest patients suffering from varying degrees or subtypes of disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, may respond well to different drugs, though proper treatment is, once again, impossible without a proper diagnosis.

2. Lack of Biological Markers for Psychiatric Illness

Psychiatric disorders often do not manifest themselves in a chemically or biologically measurable way, making it difficult to discern and identify the best treatment for each patient. When it comes to diagnosing mental health problems and chemical imbalances in the brain, physicians are still largely restricted to lists of behavioral signs listed in the DSM. This may lead to incorrect diagnosis, treatment for the wrong disorder, and either lack of relief for the patient or worsened illness. (This is especially true when physicians are operating independently, without the help or second look of other physicians.)

3. Varying Pharmacokinetics

Most psychiatric medications come with a recommended dosage. However, certain patients metabolize and excrete drugs more quickly than others (varying by weight, fat composition, ethnicity, etc.), making a one-size-fits-all dosage oversimplified and even harmful for some patients. Drugs tend to accumulate and spread throughout the body in fat and water, the proportions of which vary widely among recipients of psychiatric medications, and it is up to the overseeing physician to thoughtfully evaluate just how often and how much of a psychiatric medication each specific patient ought to take.

Careful, Attentive Psychiatric Care in Chico & Northern California

At Therapeutic Solutions, we provide thoughtful, personalized psychiatric care for people battling with issues like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Our Chico psychiatrists team up and work together when diagnosing and treating patients. This collaborative approach increases our chances of properly identifying and treating a psychiatric disorder.

We also keep a watchful eye on all those under our care, in order to ensure dosages are accurate and helpful for recipients, and we provide various tailored treatment options to suit your individual needs. Get in touch with a member of our team today to schedule your assessment.

Let’s figure it out together. Call (530) 899-3150 or contact us online to get started.