Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery-min

Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery

It would seem like a no-brainer that the foods you eat can affect your mood. It might also seem obvious that someone with a drug or alcohol problem would be the first to understand how substances they put into their body can affect their mental and physical health — but that isn’t always the case when it comes to healthy food and nutrition. Many people enter rehab with little to no knowledge about proper nutrition and how important it is to the treatment and recovery process.

Therefore, one of the most important components to look for in any prospective drug or alcohol rehab program should be the meal plans they offer and the foods they include in their daily menu. Here are some tips about nutrition during early recovery, as well as a sample rehab meal plan.

Foods That Are Good for Your Recovery

A well-balanced and diversified diet that is rich in whole foods from the five recommended food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy — is a good daily discipline to follow for anybody, not just those in recovery. (If you have intolerances to certain foods, such as dairy products, your diet may be more restricted.)

The point of emphasis here is on whole foods, as opposed to processed foods or fast foods. A whole food is any fruit, vegetable, grain, protein or dairy product that has not been artificially processed or modified from its original form. Fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs and ancient grains like quinoa and oats are good examples of whole foods.

While any whole food is good for your recovery, certain whole foods are especially good for early recovery because their nutrients can boost brain health and mood, alleviate some of the mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal, and speed the healing process. Some examples of whole foods that are often incorporated into a rehab plan of treatment include:

— Whole foods that contain the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is the precursor to the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine, which typically occurs at abnormally low levels in early recovery and is associated with low energy and motivation, apathy, a depressed mood and intense substance cravings. One way to naturally boost dopamine levels is to eat tyrosine-rich foods that will convert to dopamine during the digestion process. Examples of high-tyrosine foods include bananas, sunflower seeds, soybeans, lean beef, lamb, pork, whole grains and cheese.

Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery.-min— Whole foods that are rich in L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid that offers immune and antioxidant benefits, among others. L-glutamine can help reduce sugar cravings, which can be common during early recovery. Research has linked sugar consumption to higher rates of anxiety, depression and inflammation, which can potentially hamper progress in a plan of addiction treatmentDark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and parsley are great for boosting L-glutamine levels. Some other natural sources for this amino acid include beets, carrots, beans, Brussels sprouts, celery, papaya and protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, fish, dairy products and eggs.

Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery.2-min

— Whole foods that are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help to rebuild your immune system in the aftermath of addiction-related damage and speed the body’s cleansing process during detox and withdrawal. Foods that are high in antioxidants include berries like blueberries and strawberries as well as leeks, onions, artichokes and pecans.

— Whole foods that boost your levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and relaxation. During early recovery, anxiety, restlessness and insomnia are very common symptoms that can often accompany withdrawal. Kefir (a fermented yogurt-like drink), shrimp and cherry tomatoes are some of the foods that can help alleviate and offset these symptoms by boosting GABA levels.

— Whole foods that contain tryptophan, which can lift your levels of the “happy” neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan is another essential amino acid in the body that is the precursor to serotonin — a neurotransmitter that at optimal levels promotes a positive, happy mood. It is found in a number of foods, including cheese, turkey, lamb, pork, tuna fish, oat bran and beans and lentils.

A Sample Rehab Meal Plan

A wide range of whole foods that can, in various ways, support recovery from a substance use disorder means there is virtually no end to the potential daily meal plan options available to people in substance abuse treatment. Here is just one sample rehab meal plan of many:

Foods That Are Good for Addiction Recovery.1-min

Breakfast: A fruit smoothie that combines protein powder, unsweetened Greek yogurt or kefir, oats, a banana, blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.

Morning snack: A piece of whole grain bread layered with peanut butter — ideally, the organic variety containing no refined sugar — and honey.

Lunch: A large plate of dark leafy greens, like spinach, topped with tuna or chicken salad.

Afternoon snack: A handful of nuts and sunflower seeds.

Dinner: Salmon, quinoa (or another whole grain), Brussels sprouts and a green salad topped with pecans and goat cheese.

There are multiple ways to cultivate a recovery-friendly diet that will support your end goal of lasting freedom from substance abuse. As long as you stick to fresh, whole foods, you can boost your nutrition and feel healthier throughout your recovery.



5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction Recovery

5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction Recovery

Completing treatment for substance abuse or alcohol addiction is a major accomplishment. But the real work starts when you walk out the door. You are now making a commitment to abstinence from drugs and alcohol every single day.

You will encounter cravings for your drug of choice, and for any escape, an opportunity to numb out, and perhaps, sometimes, an overall desire to not feel what you are feeling.

You will encounter triggers in the form of events, people, and subsequent emotions that will make you want to drink or get high again. What can you do in these situations?

Here are 5 tips for managing triggers during recovery from addiction:

  1. Identify your personal triggers.Everyone is different, so every recovering addict’s set of triggers will be different as well. Some common triggers are walking by a bar, seeing someone who is drunk or high, getting paid, the end of a grueling workday or -week, getting into an argument with someone, and being bored.
  2. Know what you are working with.Triggers and cravings are a very real part of recovery. Do not try to fool yourself into thinking that they will not happen to you. Instead, know your triggers, stay open to anything that may surprise you, and have a plan for when you feel yourself being triggered.
  3. Practice your trigger plan.Role play, even just with yourself in the mirror, what you will do when you feel like using again. You may save yourself from a rough day, a temporary lapse, or a full relapse back to substance abuse.
  4. Take care of yourself.You can handle triggers more easily when you are eating and sleeping well, exercising, and remaining aware of your emotions. You are probably familiar with H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These four things are said to cause more lapses and relapses.

    When you are taking care of yourself you can identify when you feel any of the four, and that is when you can take action. Taking action, but not reacting, puts you back into the driver’s seat. The trigger may be emotionally affecting you, but you will not act on it. If you are hungry, you will eat. Tired? Take a nap or at least rest your eyes or meditate. Lonely and angry can be a little harder to manage, but phone a friend (or your sponsor) and talk it out.

  5. Do not test yourself.If you know that walking by a bar is a definite trigger for you, for example, then do not knowingly walk by a bar to see if your recovery is as strong as you believe it to be. Maybe that time you are able to avoid going into the bar. But the seed of a trigger is planted. Something else you have not identified yet as a trigger can occur, and the combination can lead you right to a drink.

    There is no need to test yourself. When you identify your current triggers, are aware of what you are working with, practice a plan, and employ good self-care, you are managing your triggers during recovery from addiction.



Promoting Mental Health at Home How to Design the Perfect Meditation Room

Promoting Mental Health at Home: How to Design the Perfect Meditation Room

There are all kinds of benefits to meditation, both physical and psychological. From reduced chronic pain to better cognitive function, meditating every day or even a few times a week is a wonderful way to boost your overall well-being and happiness. Creating the ideal space for your quiet reflection isn’t difficult, but there are specific elements you’ll want to include and others you’ll want to avoid. Let this be your guide to designing the perfect meditation room in your own home, and reap the most benefits from your meditation time.

Pick the right location

Naturally the first step is to choose a room. Make sure it’s a space where you feel relaxed and comfortable from the moment you walk in. Avoid using a home office or workspace so that no worries of unpaid bills, lingering deadlines, or upcoming projects can invade your peaceful state. If possible, you should also avoid rooms that are sleep-focused, like your bedroom or even in the living room near your favorite napping couch.

Your meditation room should be somewhere away from the house’s general traffic flow so that no matter when you’re meditating, you won’t be disturbed by passersby. Make it somewhere as isolated as possible, and be sure your family or roommates know it will be a special, quiet place where you shouldn’t be disturbed. If you live in an urban setting and just about every room carries noise from the outside world, pick the one that’s most quiet — ways to drown out external distractions will be discussed later on.

Promoting Mental Health at Home How to Design Perfect Meditation Room

If possible, choose a room that offers a view of nature, whether it’s your backyard, the lake just beyond your neighborhood, or mountains in the distance. If you find water particularly soothing, you could pick a place that has an unobscured view of your pool. It could even be a small window that overlooks the giant oak tree in your neighbor’s yard. Just be sure that your perspective won’t be invaded by traffic — be it automobiles or people — that could be distracting and prevent you from finding the focus and tranquility you’ll need to meditate.


Lighting is another important consideration, but it ultimately depends on what works best for you personally. Some people prefer to let in as much natural light as possible, while others may prefer a dimmer space. There are even those who prefer mostly-to-total darkness. Choose whichever lighting method you’ve had the most success with, and if you’re a newbie (or if you think you’re ready for a change), consider a room with easily-adjustable light: perhaps a room with blackout curtains or a dimmer switch.

There are also some choices to be made about the size of your meditation space, and often it ties in with the lighting you’ll choose. There are some who find that a wide, open room with plenty of natural light allows the most mental harmony. Others find comfort and solace in a more confined, “womb-like” atmosphere where they are enveloped by the dark. Again, it’s important to consider what works best for your own needs and practices.

If you do prefer natural light and a scenic view, you can even consider converting your porch or patio space. This is best suited for those who live in rural areas where outside traffic and noise is little to none, and even better in spaces that allow a breeze. If, however, you live in a city or even just a busy residential area, it’s better to stick with an indoor room.

If space is limited in your house, don’t worry. Many people opt for only a small corner of a room, and some even choose to adapt a closet or unused pantry for their meditation needs (those areas are especially ideal for those who prefer a smaller, darker meditation space). The key is simplicity, so don’t feel like you have to go overboard. What’s most important is that it is a specific, dedicated area for that purpose only — and that everyone in the home, regardless of whether or not they meditate themselves, sees it as so.


The most important part of your meditation room’s organization is to keep it completely clutter-free. Do what you can to relocate anything that isn’t vital, especially if you’re able to devote an entire room. There shouldn’t be any laundry baskets with clothes, piles of mail, children’s toys, or other items on the floor, and surfaces like tables and dressers should be cleared off, as well. The only items you truly need to have are those required to meditate — your mat, rug, or pillow where you sit, and an altar if you prefer — while all the rest should be taken to another room or tucked completely out of sight.

Promoting Mental Health at Home How to Design A Perfect Meditation Room

If you do choose to have an altar, it doesn’t have to be anything overly-elaborate or formal. Most people choose to use a small table or window sill, or perhaps even a small chest of drawers. It should be eye-level while sitting. On it, you should place items that are meaningful to you: photos of loved ones, special mementos, or anything else of important significance that brings you comfort. You can also keep religious items like rosaries and statues of saints or other spiritual figures on your altar.

If part of your meditation routine involves yoga and you plan to use your space for both activities, be sure to keep your supplies tucked away. If your altar is a chest or there is a closet nearby, store your yoga mat, blocks, straps, and any other tools inside so that they are completely out of sight until you’re ready to use them — but still in their rightful home room.

If someone else in your home will be using the same space for their own meditation needs, make sure you each have your own designated areas. Your altar and general reflection space should be completely personal to you in order to receive the most benefits, so make sure there is a distinct separation between yours and anyone else’s. You may even want to have your areas in two diagonal corners — that way, there’s less chance one of you will disturb the other mid-meditation, nor will their altar be distracting to you.


Remember, the key to a perfect meditation room is simplicity, so keep this in mind when it comes to personalizing. If you plan to paint, stick with earth tones and pastels. If you’re devoting a corner in an existing, decorated room, don’t choose one with busy wallpaper or ornate designs. It may not seem distracting, but your unconscious mind has a much better time focusing on introspection with as little environmental stimulation as possible.

If your meditation room is simply too drab and depressing without some accents, find ways to incorporate elements of nature. It could be a painting of a peaceful river, that beautiful piece of driftwood you brought home from the beach, or even some fresh-cut flowers. If you don’t have any nature-related décor, choose simple objects in natural hues like green, yellow, blue, and gray.

Promoting Mental Health at Home How to Design the Perfect Meditation Rooms

Unless you prefer darkness meditation, you’ll need to take some additional considerations for lighting your room. Even if your space allows quite a bit of natural light, you’ll want brighten the room enough for any evening or pre-sunrise meditation. If there’s primarily overhead lighting, consider adding some lamps or wall sconces — the combination of the two creates a better balance of illumination and warmth needed for meditation. Sheer curtains are another simple touch that can help regulate light while still allowing brightness into the room.

An important part of meditation is discipline, so a timer is a must. Don’t depend on your phone or use an app — in fact, your phone should be switched off or in airplane mode while you meditate, and ideally out of your reflection space completely. Instead, a kitchen timer or a testing timer commonly used by educators is ideal. Make sure it has a non-jarring alarm sound, perhaps even muffling the sound with a pillow, blanket, or t-shirt if it’s too loud.

Some people like to burn incense or candles while they meditate, and these items can make a pleasant addition to your altar. If there isn’t space on that surface, or if you don’t have an altar, place your aromatherapy tools somewhere they won’t be easily knocked over or otherwise disturbed. If smoke or too much aroma bothers you, you can still keep these items in your meditation room and instead burn them ahead of time. Just make sure you don’t leave them unattended and risk a fire hazard.

If you’re in a busy metropolitan area, or even if you live near a school or children’s playground and tend to hear quite a bit of commotion in your meditation room, you’ll want a calm, soothing way to drown out the noise without creating a new distraction. In this instance, you might want to include an outlet for music in your meditation room. Again, avoid depending solely on your phone as it can be a distraction in itself. Instead, opt for a small stereo if you have one. If not, an easy alternative is switching your phone to airplane mode, connecting it to a Bluetooth speaker, and placing the phone in the phone in the other room once your music is playing. If the speaker’s range is limited, place your phone in a nearby drawer or chest — just make sure it’s out of sight and out of mind while you’re meditating.

In the end, focus on achieving two main goals with your meditation room: keep it simple and make it personalized to you. It’s important that you create a space you look forward to spending time in, and that from the moment you enter you feel more calm and relaxed. Don’t get overwhelmed by feeling that you “have” to include anything; you just might discover that the simpler you make your space, the easier it is to find inner harmony.




12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze

Think outside the bar.

Bar carts can do so much more than just hold booze! Whether you recently picked one up at the store or you scored one at a sale, here are some creative ways to repurpose a bar cart around your home.

1. Use it as a nightstand.

Put a bar cart to work by your bed.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 1

2. Grow plants.

Liven up your living room with a plant cart.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 2

3. Beautify bathroom storage.

Toilet paper never looked so stylish.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 3

4. Create a coffee corner.

You need your coffee way more than that whiskey, anyway.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 4

5. Corral kids’ stuff.

At last: a place for those art supplies and stray toys.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 5

6. Organize office supplies.

Now, don’t you feel productive?

7. Serve birthday brunch.

Or any brunch, for that matter (ahem, Mother’s Day!).

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 7

8. Stock the guest room.

Best. Hostess. Ever.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 8

9. Display books and art in your living room.

Fun and functional.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 9

10. DIY a grill station.

Repurpose one as an outdoor grill prep station, like Chic Little House did.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 10

11. Put it on the porch.

Revive the lost art of “porching” and greet guests with a cold (nonalcoholic) drink.

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 11

12. Store dishes.

Or baking supplies, or pantry items…

12 Clever Ways to Use Bar Carts That Have Nothing to Do With Booze 12



When you or a family member returns home after undergoing drug or alcohol recovery, you need to plan so that your home will be conducive to recovery and not an ongoing source of temptation. When someone leaves a rehabilitation center, they will have left a very clean, supportive, nurturing, environment that was free of temptations. The daily routine had structure and positive activities. There was always someone to talk to. Venturing back into the real world with its everyday problems and stresses can be overwhelming. A person alone in their home can get into trouble with everyday items. Because they used drugs and alcohol for coping in the past, they might be drawn to those substances again. Relapses following rehabilitation aren’t unusual, but by keeping certain items out of your home, you can reduce the chances. There are a many items recovered addicts should avoid, and substitutions that you can make for them.


It might be obvious to you that maintaining drug paraphernalia and bar equipment in your home isn’t a good idea during recovery. Artisans and manufacturers create stunning barware that might appear decorative to you, but to a recovering alcoholic, those items can be a reminder of past behaviors. They can be an invitation to indulge in social drinking or drug use. Social drinking is never a good idea, because it can quickly spin out of control. Before the person comes back from rehab, you should lock up or completely remove alcohol and recreational drugs from the house. You aren’t trying to send a message of mistrust. You’re trying to help someone succeed.


Family gatherings and alcohol go hand in hand for many people. Wine and cheese before a family dinner, or beer and pretzels while watching a big game together in front of the TV might seem like harmless fun, but it’s too risky for a recovering addict. Try to think of it like this. If you had a family member just released from the hospital following serious asthmatic complications, you wouldn’t insist that everyone hang out around a campfire together in the name of tradition would you? Or would you have a huge dessert spread set out when one family member is recovering from critical blood sugar issues?

But the addict made choices, you might argue. The asthmatic and the diabetic couldn’t help themselves. Maybe so. The addict did make choices, but they have a disease just like someone with respiratory or insulin problems. It’s harder for them to consume alcohol or drugs casually. Your compassion is required. Reserve the tempting items for yourself if they don’t cause problems for you, but don’t make the road to recovery hard for your loved one.


You might expect to find items in the medicine cabinet that are concerning for a recovered addict, but there are plenty of household items and products that can be abused. Let’s start with bath salts. After all of the pressure you’ve been under, it might seem like a great idea to relax in a hot bath after the ordeal of getting your loved one through and out of a rehabilitation center. But many bath salts contain mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). MDPV is an ingredient that can elicit a high similar to that of meth. Users can have hallucinations, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, suicidal thinking or suicidal behavior. Typically, users eat, smoke or inhale MDPV. Consider having other bath products in your bathroom such as bubble bath or fragrant soaps and lotions. You definitely deserve to pamper yourself after what you’ve been through, and the recovering addict needs to find ways to maintain their stress levels, too. By taking a few minutes to make sure you have the safest products in your home you can both relax.


Prescription medication can be a good substitute for someone looking to get high or to escape reality. Common anti-anxiety medications like Xanax or Valium and pain medications like Vicodin can help a stressed out person to calm down or shut off for a while. As you can imagine, a person leaving the comfort and safe environment of a recovery center might find the return to normal life challenging or downright frustrating. The easy availability of prescription medication can take the edge off. You definitely don’t want to give up prescription medication that you need. Invest in a small safe to store your medicine and keep it out of sight. There’s no reason to make a big production to your loved one about this. You aren’t trying to shame them. If you cannot keep medicine in a safe, store it in a discreet location. Just remove the temptation to increase their chances of success with their recovery journey.


Drugs from a legitimate provider are not the only threat to rehabilitation. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be just as threatening to a person’s recovery. OTC medications are fairly inexpensive, easy to purchase and can frequently be found in everyone’s home. Because they are so easy to purchase you might be surprised to learn how dangerous they can be.

OTC cough syrups and similar remedies containing Dextromethorphan (DXM) are safe and have no side effects in the small doses recommended by the manufacturers. However, for a recovering addict looking to get high, DXM can cause a disorienting and potentially dangerous high similar to phencyclidine (PCP) in larger doses. Users who abuse DXM in combination with other drugs or even alcohol can experience out of body sensations or psychosis when repeatedly misused. The side effects can last for up to six hours.

If you must keep cough syrups around, you should transfer them to your locked safe. If a safe isn’t available, it’s up to you to monitor the levels in your supply on a regular basis. Don’t stock up on them just because there are sale prices. Buy them only has you need to. Common names of products that contain DXM are Robitussin-DM, TheraFlu, NyQuil, Day Quill, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold and Cough, Tylenol Cold, Dimetapp DM, Drixoral, Coricidin and St. Joseph’s Cough Suppressants. Mucinex is a safe product for recovering addicts.

If you’re uncertain whether your OTC cough remedy has DXM, read the labels on the product. If you no longer have the ingredient packaging, It’s best to discard it down the drain. Get immediate medical help if you suspect someone has been abusing DXM. Signs of DMM abuse include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Dramatic change in blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Stomach cramps
  • Blurry vision
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Twitching muscles
  • Blue fingernails
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Blue lips
  • Coma


Anti-allergy medications are another OTC drug that you might have in your medicine cabinet. Diphenhydramine, a common active ingredient in antihistamines, is in products such as Benadryl. One of the common side effects for people using them is drowsiness. Someone who has a drug addiction problem might abuse an antihistamine in order to calm themselves down or to sleep, but it can cause unusually heavy sedation when used repeatedly or at high doses.

Here are some potential side effects to watch for:

  • Struggle To Wake Up
  • Confusion
  • Dry Mouth
  • Ear Ringing
  • Blurry Vision
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Dry Mouth
  • Hallucinating
  • Fever
  • Shaking
  • Extreme Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Overall Weakness
  • Seizures

Studies have shown that long-term diphenhydramine abuse can lead to an enlarged prostate, dementia, cardiovascular disease, seizures and glaucoma. Parents tend to stock up on this medication during cold and flu season, which isn’t a good idea when you have someone going through recovery in your home. If you like to have anti-allergy medications on hand for legitimate reasons, you should keep them in a locked safe and periodically monitor the amounts on hand. Allegra, Claritin and Zyrtec are much safer options for OTC allergy control.



There are times when everyone needs medication, even recovering addicts. Suffering from a headache, cough or common cold doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable just because you’re in recovery. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your problems, but be sure to let them know that you have just completed rehabilitation. Sometimes doctors don’t understand the full process of addiction and will be reluctant to prescribe you what you need. Nevertheless, it would be unreasonable to deny you medication that you truly need. Extreme discomfort will only increase your stress and make it harder for you to stay on track.

Many OTC drugs are perfectly safe to use. Eye, skin, vaginal, anti-diarrheal, tooth, antifungal and antacid products are generally safe. Be very careful of mouthwashes. Many of them contain alcohol to kill germs. Other mouthwashes on the market are alcohol-free, so there is no reason to keep the alcohol types on hand in your home. You just need to read the labels. When in doubt ask your physician or do some research yourself. The information you need is available so there’s no excuse for ignorance. Keep in mind you set a goal to get clean and be healthy.

If you have pain, you can try a heating pad or ice packs. Many OTC pain relievers are perfectly safe. Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Midol and aspirin are fine. Avoid any OTC drug with PM in the name, but anything that says Extra Strength is okay. Drugs with PM in the title contain diphenhydramine, as found in Benadryl, and can be habit forming for you. When taking, just follow the dosage directions on the back of the package.

If you need to have surgery or if you have a serious injury, your doctor might want to prescribe a narcotic. Don’t worry, they’re prescribing it for you because they don’t want you to be needlessly in pain. The important thing is to make sure that you will have support while you are taking this medication. It’s best if somebody else hangs on to it for you, and gives you the exact amount you need at each dose. You definitely don’t want to keep unused medication when you no longer need it. It’s too tempting to have on hand.

While you were in recovery, your rehabilitation physician may have prescribed you something for mental or behavioral health problems. If they prescribed you something for depression, anxiety, insomnia or ADHD, you can trust that they have your overall health and recovery in mind. Take the medications as directed. Never take OTC or prescription medications for trouble sleeping. Always talk to your doctor if you’re having a problem with insomnia.

Maintaining your mental health is an important component of a successful recovery. If your primary care physician wants to prescribe you something for your mental health, be sure to tell them that you are recovering, so they can avoid giving you a drug that is going to interfere with your goals to be free from addiction.


Inhalants can be a particularly cheap and easy way to get high by using common products found around the home. These items are harder to keep locked up because of the sheer volume you’re likely to have in your home. You should consider getting rid of any of these that you can do without and not buying anymore unless you will be able to use them up immediately after purchase.

Inhalants are quite dangerous because they interfere with the cardiovascular system, which can be fatal. The name for deaths that occur immediately after sniffing these products is Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome (SDDS). When a person gets high from inhaling, it can create an adrenaline rush in their system. If they become too excited or suddenly startled after sniffing, the adrenaline can cause cardiac arrest, collapse and death. They also might die from asphyxiation, because the air in the lungs has been replaced with toxic inhalants. Inhalants are most popular with middle schoolers and teenagers, but adults use them, too. Nitrite inhalers dilate the blood vessels, enhancing a person’s sexual experience in addition to the high.

Some common products that function as inhalants include:

  • Rubber cement
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinner
  • Aerosol cans of whipped cream
  • Canned air for computer cleaning
  • Sharpie pens
  • Butane
  • Hairspray
  • Spray paint
  • Cooking spray
  • Model glue

This isn’t an exhaustive list. More than 1400 products qualify as inhalants. Any product that comes in a pressurized can has the ability to be an inhalant for someone desperate for a high. If you have any concerns that something in your home can be used as an inhaler, do some research on the Internet.

What should you look out for when you suspect that someone has been using inhalants in your home? The person may appear intoxicated, drowsy or dizzy. Other symptoms include slurred speech, rapid heart rate, excitement, trouble concentrating, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness or lack of interest. You might also notice a chemical odor on the person, paint stains on the body or clothing, soaked rags in the person’s room or about the home, redness or rash around the mouth or nose, and persistent runny nose and head cold symptoms.

The long-term damage from abusing inhalants can include irreversible damage to the central nervous system, the heart, bone marrow, liver and kidneys. Inhalants are incredibly addictive. If you have to keep these items in your home, be sure to monitor the quantities that you have on a regular basis.

Interestingly, most nasal sprays are safe to use, even though they are inhaled. Don’t use nasal sprays that end in the letters “ine.” Also avoid Alllergen, Afrin and Vicks Inhaler.


You might be questioning some of the items in this article. Canned whipped cream and cooking spray seem like just harmless food products, right? But there are more dangerous foods that could be lurking in your cabinets, too, especially in your spice cabinet.

Vanilla is a wonderful scent to add during baking, but it contains ethanol, which is similar to alcohol. In fact, vanilla contains  35% ethanol. The content is high enough that drinking it can lead to terrible stomach pain and even respiratory distress when consumed in large doses. Other signs of “vanilla abuse” are vomiting, low blood pressure and dilated pupils.

Nutmeg is another potential problem. If a person consumes 5 teaspoons of nutmeg, they can experience a high that can last up to two days! One of the complicating factors of abusing this warm, woodsy spice is that it can be several hours before the nutmeg takes effect and auditory hallucinations start. Someone eager to experiment with this item can easily overindulge while waiting for the high to occur, because they will think that they haven’t taken enough and consequently consume even more. Here are the side effects of a nutmeg abuse:

  • Tingling skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Severe stomach pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Think vitamins and herbs are safe? Vitamins can be a great part of a recovery regimen, and good nutrition can help your body have the energy and building materials it needs to heal. That said, herbal supplements are an entirely different matter. Some herbs have stimulant or sedative properties. Valerian root and St. John’s Wort are herbs you should avoid but most herbs can be quite beneficial. Again, do your homework and research them.


What can you do if you suspect the person recovering in your home has begun abusing household items? This is a sign of a relapse and you should contact the counselors at the recovery center that the person just left. The team will be able to address your concerns and help you encourage the person to contact their counselors or members of their 12-step recovery program. If you think there is a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we understand relapse. We know that there can be warning signs of a pending relapse and we can help you spot them. You want to watch for problems like insomnia, irritability or glamorizing the glory days of drug and alcohol abuse. Remember, relapse isn’t uncommon. An estimated 40 to 60% of recovering addicts will seek treatment for relapse of drugs or alcohol.

Understandably, it can be difficult to avoid the temptation when everyday is hard to deal with and your home is filled with products that can be easily abused. If you indulge in alcohol or drugs at a family gathering or while hanging out with old friends, it doesn’t make you a loser or a failure. It just means you need to get back in touch with your goals. Remember that you went through detox and rehabilitation in order to free yourself from addiction and have a better life. You just need to get back on track.

At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we care about your goals and we want you to succeed. After you have gone through recovery with us, you have a year of aftercare available to you. We know that this time can be challenging for you and we want to help you through it. We have counseling available for you as well as your family. You can even download a mobile app, JourneyPure Coaching, to help you. You are definitely not on your own! If you need us you can contact JourneyPure Emerald Coast 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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