Addiction Treatment Tips

Helpful Addiction Treatment Tips for the Pandemic

The addiction treatment tips that will be helpful during the pandemic will vary from regular ones. Simply put, the times are different now and we should adapt appropriately. Due to the pandemic sweeping across the globe, feelings of anxiety and panic are in abundance. For regular people, this can be a stressful situation. However, if you are in addiction recovery, with poor management, this situation can lead to a relapse. 

60% of those in addiction recovery experience a relapse at one point or the other. With the threat of job loss, sickness and stricter social distancing measures, it easy to get overwhelmed. Additionally, the nature of this pandemic means that we have to socially distance ourselves from one another. For addicts who live alone, this may mean that there will be nobody to call 911 if it becomes necessary. This why you need effective and helpful addiction treatment tips that will help in surviving the pandemic. More importantly, to help you survive without a relapse.

To stay the path to complete addiction recovery in Toronto, you can take up a new hobby. For some people, the solution may be to articulate their feelings using words. Over the course of this blog, we will go into major details on how to stay sober even with the realities of a pandemic and addiction treatment. 

Related article: Should I Go To an Addiction Treatment Centre during the Pandemic

Stay Sober During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How To Stay Sober During the Coronavirus Pandemic

For most people, addiction treatment is an unknown field. However, we can help you. With the tips in this section, you can avoid unwanted social as well as mental complications. Here’s how to stay sober during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Have a system that you follow

Due to the coronavirus, a lot of people are without the structure they have become used to. For some, the everyday effort to get to work is absent. For others, they can’t get to the weekly support group meetings that help them stay sober. Top of the list of helpful tips for the COVID-19 pandemic is to create a routine for yourself.

Don’t just get out of bed whenever you feel like. Have a time-based routine that will cater to your physical, social and emotional well-being. Schedule wake-up times, breakfast times, work sessions etc. Doing this will help you stay in control, especially when it comes to cravings and negative thoughts.

Got to bed early

You may be wondering what sleep has to do with how to stay sober and focus on addiction treatment during a pandemic. The simple answer is that sleep is vital for your emotional and mental well-being. 

More importantly, addiction services near you recommend consistent bedtimes. 8 hours of sleep at around the same time every day can refresh you. With refreshing sleep comes a reduction in stress and feelings of anxiety. Regardless of the presence of a pandemic, that’s how you want to feel. 

Don’t leave your bed scattered

There’s a link between our immediate surroundings and mental balance. This is the reason making your bed is a helpful addiction treatment tip fit for a pandemic. Since you are spending more time at home every day, the chances are high that you’ll be seeing more of your bed. Sometimes, an unmade bed may be the last stressor that leads to addiction relapse.

Making your bed as soon as you wake up comes with psychological benefits that will boost your addiction treatment. It’s the foundation that offers a positive momentum for the rest of the day. You start out with a clean bed, next you’re humming your favourite tunes. Before you know it, you will end the day in the best of moods. Another day without any addiction treatment issues. A win!

The little things matter

The previous point is proof that the little things can hold the most powerful sway. Therefore, a helpful pandemic tip for those in addiction treatment is to pay attention to the smallest things. When everything starts to feel overwhelming, it’s a sign that you need to come back to the present.

Instead of worrying about where to find addiction services near you, this quick technique will help you stay in the present. Look around you and focus on:

  • 5 visual objects 
  • 4 objects you can touch 
  • 3 different sounds 
  • 2 unique scents around you 
  • 1 food or drink you can taste

As you check off each item on the list, you will start to calm down. If you are wondering how to stay sober during the pandemic, this helpful tip is great for refocusing thought patterns.

Spend time outside your house

At most, social distancing may mean you are not in close contact with people. However, it does not mean you should cage yourself indoors all day long. Even if you work from home, find time to take a walk or a run outdoors. This is top on our list of proven tips to help the addiction treatment process during a pandemic.

For those in addiction recovery, staying indoors all day can cause feelings of anxiety and stress. By letting yourself out, you are doing the same for your mind and mental energies. Even if you can’t run, walking can provide you with the movement you need. Additionally, you won’t be contravening any social distancing rules. Ease your mind today with a brisk walk.

Try journaling

Journaling can be a substitute for that all-important one-on-one session with your therapist. Since you may not have access to addiction services near you right now, you have to learn other ways to stay sober. Writing your feelings down is a coping mechanism and a helpful addiction treatment tip. 

It’s completely normal to have anxious, pesky feelings during this period. However, instead of letting them stress you, write them out and leave them in your journal. Writing 5 pages every day is not compulsory. Just reflect on your day and pour out both negative and positive feelings via words. At the end of the day, you may find that the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Try out meditation

If you are getting professional addiction treatment in Toronto, you may be familiar with the benefits of meditation. However, if you are new to this discipline, it’s a helpful practice that can combat uncertainty, anxiety and intense feelings of stress.

Usually, stress and anxiety can lead to addiction relapse. Meditation as a helpful addiction treatment tip allows you to change the way your mind works. Simply put, you can review negative thought patterns and make better decisions. Therefore, your mind will have the tools to avoid addiction relapse.

Meditation in addiction treatment

Stop using your phone

Not totally. However, you should limit the amount of information you consume via your phone. Although addiction treatment experts in Toronto recommend using social media to connect with loved ones, there’s a negative side to it. The type of information you take in through your phone can affect your mental and emotional balance.

Now is not the time to read about that dreadful COVID-19 related incidence. Nor is it the time to do life comparisons with old friends and exes using social media. As much as possible, only take in good vibes. Once you do this, you are one step to cracking how to stay sober in the middle of a pandemic.

Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Tips For Maintaining Sobriety During Social Distancing


Addiction Treatment Tips

Traveling for Addiction Treatment Improves Long-Term Recovery

When an individual has made the decision to visit a rehabilitation centre for their addiction, a few questions might come to mind first including, “Where should I go?”, “Should I stay near home?” and “Would I benefit from going away?”

Oftentimes users will assume that it makes the most sense to get help in their own town. The travel time is shorter; they can still see their friends/family and they won’t have to miss school or work. However, convenience or fear isn’t always the best solution for someone fighting a drug dependency.

In fact, traveling away from home might be exactly what a user needs. If you or someone you know is deciding on a treatment center for their drug abuse, the following are some of the benefits of traveling for addiction treatment.

Related article: How To Help A Loved One In Recovery

Specialized Treatment

Not every treatment center is capable of offering all of the same tools and programs, which means some centers aren’t able to provide the specific solutions a user needs. In these cases, users will only be getting part of the treatment that would be best for them.

A drug addict who considers all of their options- including those that are far away- will be much more likely to find a center that provides exactly what they need to quit.

Away from Temptation

 It is a lot easier to fall back into old habits when you’re in a familiar place. Users who stay close to home will often be exposed to the same triggers that made them start using in the first place, including specific places, situations and groups of people.

Traveling somewhere new can expose users to the feeling of a fresh start, in a place where they’ve never been and with people they’ve never met. The experience can inspire them to stay on the right track, since this new location is a constant reminder of the decision they’ve made and how far they’ve come.


Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of people knowing about their addiction troubles. One of the benefits of traveling for addiction treatment, is that users can travel out of their town where everyone knows everything about everyone.

Instead of a user worrying about what everyone is thinking and adding to their stress, traveling away from home can help them to focus on the task at hand in a comfortable environment.

New Relationships

The opportunities for meeting new people in a new place are endless, and users will have no trouble finding people who share the same kinds of interests, personalities and future goals.

These kinds of relationships are critical for users once they’ve left treatment. Users can stay in contact with new friends online, or agree to meet a couple times a year to update each other on their progress. Users who are now drug-free might also be able to help one another to get past potential relapses, and to remind each other of everything they’ve overcome.

The benefits of traveling for addiction treatment are plenty, but there are also benefits to staying close to home. The individual admitting themselves will ultimately make the decision that suits them best, but it can be helpful to list out the pros and cons of each before choosing.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 8 Exercises That Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Addiction Treatment Tips

Addiction Is a Lot Like Heart Disease, So Why Are We Not Approaching It The Same Way?

Drugs – whether alcohol, cannabis, heroin, opioids or any other addictive substance – alter how the brain functions. These changes persist long after the drug’s effects are gone and even after an individual has stopped using the drug. This is possibly an explanation as to why people who abuse drugs often relapse even after years of abstinence. When experts started looking into addiction and associated behaviour back in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were perceived to lack willpower, be morally flawed and many times instead of being given the help which could’ve made a difference, they were met with stigma.

These prejudices shaped how societies responded to drug abuse and addiction. Only as of several years ago, addiction and people affected by it started receiving the attention and understanding needed and more prevention initiatives were put in place. Science definitely played a key role in all of this. In-depth research into how addictive substances act on the brain and the compulsive, incontrollable biological responses they trigger thus influencing the behaviour as well, has helped break down silos and better position authorities to effectively address the problem. Imagine that genetic factors can increase a person’s vulnerability to addiction by about 60%.

However, polls such as the one conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in 2018 continue to show there is still more work that needs to be done and more awareness raised to position addiction as a disease. It’s great that most medical authorities see addiction this way, but when it comes to the public the gap becomes more evident. For instance, 53% of Americans involved in the AP-NORC survey said they view addiction as a medical issue, but they still have concerns regarding addicts and their ulterior motives.

Less than one in five admitted to being willing to be associated with a person suffering from addiction, even more worrisome they said that this would apply whether it’s a friend, neighbour or co-worker. These heart-breaking findings should make us all think about the ramified difficulties addiction entails. Despite research, scientific advancements and more media attention than ever before, 44% of respondents think addiction to an opioid is a sign of weak willpower, a lack of discipline or a moral flaw. Even more so, a staggering 55% would be in favour of severe measurements to be taken against people who abuse drugs. Almost 90 years down the line and even with evidence staring right in our faces, there’s still a lot more convincing and educating that needs to be done.

In Canada, one in eight people have a friend or relative who has become dependent on opioids in the last five years, according to a new findings from the Angus Reid Institute. The poll which looked at over 5,000 respondents also revealed that one in five people have been themselves prescribed a powerful pain killer, putting them at risk of misuse and addiction. Similarly, nearly 5.8 million Canadians aged at least 12 years old are classified as heavy drinkers and over 47,000 deaths are attributed to substance abuse annually.

Addiction is very similar to chronic illnesses, such as heart disease for example. Both disturb the typical, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, expose the client to devastating risks, and at the same time can be prevented and treated, but if left unaddressed, they will affect the rest of the person’s life and increase the risk of early mortality.

Much like heart disease which silently kicks off during childhood and adolescence and then develops over the years, the drug use danger zone peaks between 16 and 17 years old, but it is not uncommon for 12-15 years old to experiment with at least one substance. The Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey is the longest ongoing survey of young Canadians in grades 7 through 12 and one of the biggest in the world. The latest one published in 2017 has surveyed a total of 11,435 students on their past year experiences with alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and prescription medicines.

In line with adult population figures, findings concluded that alcohol was in the lead across both male and female of all grades mentioned, with over 42% having had at least a couple of drinks. And it gets worse, among 9 to 12 graders: 14% said they drank hazardously in the past year, 16% could not recall what happened when they got drunk on at least one occasion and 8% were injured or injured someone else because of this. Probably another shocking thing to learn was that 27% of respondents said they are permitted to drink at home with their friends. These results alone should raise a lot of concern.

Research has demonstrated that the earlier a child starts to consume alcohol, the higher the chances of developing an addiction. Moreover, drinking at a young age can have irreparable health consequences, particularly due to the fact that their bodies are in the midst of development. It is important to address addiction as early as possible to minimize future risks.

Cannabis is the next drug in the top after alcohol. 19% of Canadian students report having tried it at least once between 2016 and 2017, and as result of that, 2% say they are experiencing symptoms of addiction. Another shocking discovery was that one in ten (10.6%) students polled have used opioid pain relievers and more than 9% of them have tried getting kicks from cough medication. Regarding other illicit drugs, the study focused on young Canadians’ responses in grades 9-12 and they revealed that 4% have tried magic mushrooms, 3.4% have had ecstasy (MDMA) and 2.7% have used sedatives, at least once in the run up to 2017.

As a result of all these habits, one is seven students report symptoms of a drug use problem. That is almost 110,000 young Canadians that are more or less suffering in silence in need of support, or in worse cases, they continuously put themselves in life-threatening situations. Also important to stop upon and reflect is the fact that 3,800 Canadians in grades 9-12 have been in a treatment because of their substance abuse. There are few things more shattering than imagining a child going through detox and rehab, or endangering themselves, their friends, families and communities.

Nevertheless, just like dealing with a heart condition, appropriately addressing the problem and managing the symptoms as well as working to prevent it from recurring, addiction should be approached similarly. Fortunately, drug rehabilitation in Canada is among the best in the world.

A new national survey conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction studying recovery from drug and alcohol addiction has revealed encouraging results. Conducted online and involving 855 Canadian men and women who went through recovery, the study emphasized that getting clean is much easier than many would think, with the main hurdles being in terms of lack of support, information or financial resources. More than half of participants (54% respectively 51%) said they experienced no barriers in keeping up with the recovery plan as well as avoid having a single relapse.

The latest available Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction report published in 2017 looked at addiction treatment as seen through the eyes of 150,222 unique individuals. The vast majority (92%) accessed publicly funded treatments for their substance abuse and 8% did so for a friend or a family member. Nearly 64% of Canadians who accessed recovery services were males and as expected the primary drug abuses for which they seek treatment were alcohol, cannabis, opioids and cocaine. These figures do not include private rehab services which makes the learnings even more dismaying. If we were to round them all up the numbers would reach millions and it’s not just the person who’s battling the addiction, it’s their family and close friends who also get affected in the process.

Can addiction be cured? This is a question that’s floating around many people’s minds. Exactly like a chronic disease, the aim of the treatment is to be symptom-free and go on to live healthy and productive lives. It takes medication, therapy and lifestyle changes to do it, just like you would with a heart condition. And just like that, if the treatment plan is interrupted, the symptoms will reappear.

Related article: Addiction Treatment: Here’s Why You Should Celebrate Sobriety

What numerous people fail to understand is that once a person is addicted, the drugs are not used to make them feel good, they are used to make them feel normal. Science has demonstrated that consistently using a drug, whatever it may be, leads to tolerance and severely limits a person’s capacity to feel any pleasure at all. Because the first couple of times a drug is being used it floods the brain with dopamine, over time that effect is diminished. That sadly means that not only the brain’s reward centre will be far less responsive to drugs, but also to typical activities that individuals used to enjoy prior to their drug addiction. Imagine going to a concert to see an artist which has been a lifelong dream, only to find yourself unable to focus and enjoy the experience without a stimulant.

Addiction has a chronic nature – meaning relapse is not only a possibility, but it’s likely to happen. To put things into perspective even more, the rates of relapse are comparable to the ones for other chronic illnesses. In heart disease, hypertension specifically having a relapse has a probability between 50 and 70%, resembling the ones for asthma and just a bit higher than the rates for diabetes. Just like it wouldn’t be the case for these diseases, relapse does not mean treatment failure, it just means the existing plan needs to be revisited and adjusted accordingly.

On the other hand, addiction has been known to co-exist alongside other medical conditions. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has warned that as many as 6 in 10 people living with addiction have at least one other mental health illness such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or others. It does not necessarily mean one leads to the other, it just shows how important it is to not judge based on biases and understand that many times not addressing these co-occurring issues can sabotage the entire recovery process.

In any given year, about 1 in 5 Canadians experiences a mental health issue or an addiction problem. If we also factor in that 70% of mental illnesses have their onset during childhood and adolescence, it becomes quite obvious how fate is tempted. The more we learn about these patterns and threats, the easier it will be to tackle them.

It is a problem that concerns every single Canadian. In Ontario alone, the burden of mental illness and addiction is 1.5 times higher than all cancers altogether and over 7 times than that of all infectious diseases. Reality is it’s a crisis and as any crisis if not addressed properly and timely, the aftermath will be devastating, costly and irreversible. Even giant Google, which previously stripped rehab-related search terms from its AdWords, is now back to accepting ads from alcohol and drug addiction treatment services, under a much better supervised context. The decision will have an impact on in-person rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, and support groups. It may not seem as a huge effort, but if we think back to survey results which revealed people don’t know where to find information and how to access it, technology should be able to help.

The world finds itself at a unique point in history where we can foster the many benefits of advancements in science to improve the lives of millions. Leveraging these strengths can help lead to a more positive life and improve overall public health, not only in Canada but all around the globe. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How to Stay Sober After Addiction Treatment