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  • Addiction and Stress (COD Lesson)
    • Addiction and Stress (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson will help you discover how stress affects your body, thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and relationships. Many people use alcohol and drugs because they are under stress. However, by using or abusing substances, stress is often made many times worse. This lesson outlines more than seventy various consequences, circumstances, and physical and emotional stressors that occur following alcohol or drug…
  • Anxiety with a Shot of Alcohol Abuse (COD Lesson)
    • Anxiety with a Shot of Alcohol Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • Anxiety with a Shot of Alcohol Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • Many people who experience chronic feelings of anxiety about social situations, work, relationships, or other aspects of everyday life may reach for a beer or glass of wine to calm their distress. In this lesson you’ll learn the destructive interaction between alcohol and anxiety, and look at how this seemingly pleasant escape of having a drink or two can quickly…
  • Applying Change Statements (COD Lesson)
    • Applying Change Statements (COD Lesson)
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    • Perhaps somewhere along your recovery journey you have become caught in your own negative thinking. Thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and actions and can be either positive or negative. When the thought is negative and pessimistic, it may lead to worrisome, depressive feelings and careless or poorly planned actions. Many people regularly repeat self-deprecating statements to themselves. This exercise…
  • Being Intentional (COD Lesson)
    • Being Intentional (COD Lesson)
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    • Most people spend their entire lives living thoughtlessly and without aim. When someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, they spend more time and attention diligently pursuing whatever supports the addiction than any other endeavor. Dreams and aspirations fall by the wayside. Time spent planning and focusing on the pursuit of life goals may have evaporated completely. As you enter…
  • Breaking Spending and Shopping Habits (COD Lesson)
    • Breaking Spending and Shopping Habits (COD Lesson)
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    • Breaking Spending and Shopping Habits (COD Lesson)
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    • In a materialistic world that can provide a seemingly never-ending supply of almost anything, it is easy to use shopping as a hobby. Shopping and purchasing products is a necessary part of living. It can however, become a problem if it is used to cope with emotional problems and difficulties of life. Shopping may be used by some as a…
  • Changing Habit Patterns (COD Lesson)
    • Changing Habit Patterns (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson looks at numerous lifestyle preferences, both fulfilling and frustrating. It will give you an opportunity to carefully examine which areas of your life you would like to restructure, help you evaluate your current level of motivation, and make necessary changes. Furthermore, you will be better understand which of your behaviors and attitudes hinder change and damage your recovery.…
  • Changing the Way You Think (COD Lesson)
    • Changing the Way You Think (COD Lesson)
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    • Negative thoughts including inaccurate exaggerations, irrelevant thoughts, misperceptions, doubts, deceptions, and lies you tell yourself influence your feelings and actions and can drive your addiction. With substance use these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often become confused and distorted, leading to problematic actions. In this lesson you will identify how negative thoughts influence your feelings and actions. As you begin to…
  • Choosing to Accept Help (COD Lesson)
    • Choosing to Accept Help (COD Lesson)
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    • Many co-occurring disorder clients enter chemical dependency treatment against their will. If they had their way, they may not come at all, or perhaps may try to delay treatment until much later. This lesson is designed to stimulate a dialogue about common reluctances and resistance to treatment. It will help you examine your own hesitancy’s and reservations in the beginning…
  • Clarifying Your Values (COD Lesson)
    • Clarifying Your Values (COD Lesson)
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    • This exercise will help you discover character traits and values that are personally important and relevant to you. Co-occurring addictions and mental health problems can be overwhelming and treatment may be a great opportunity to slow down and think through your life. What is important to you? What do you value? What gifts, talents, and abilities do you have? Living…
  • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Close and Intimate Relationships in Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • As you move through your recovery journey and maintain sobriety, you may have noticed the complicated and multifaceted nature of recovery. Your addiction has likely had a negative impact on your health, job, finances, reputation, self-esteem, and mental health. You may have compromised, damaged, or destroyed friendships and family relationships along the way. Discover seven key ways to improve relational…
  • Conquering Self-Sabotaging Views (COD Lesson)
    • Conquering Self-Sabotaging Views (COD Lesson)
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    • Our behavior is connected to the way we see ourselves. When those views are negative, we can sabotage our lives and recovery. For example, if someone sees themselves as inferior, they may avoid people. Or someone who views themselves as weak may avoid conflict. A distorted view can lead to self-defeating actions. It is important to understand the distortions you…
  • Correcting Common Relational Problems (COD Lesson)
    • Correcting Common Relational Problems (COD Lesson)
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    • Relationships are not always easy to navigate, even under the best of circumstances. Every relationship takes work. Substance use and mental health disorders may make relationship issues more intense and difficult to manage. It is possible, with commitment and work, to make adjustments, correct serious difficulties, and build the relational closeness you desire. This lesson includes eight of the most…
  • Cultivate Your Spiritual Life (COD Lesson)
    • Cultivate Your Spiritual Life (COD Lesson)
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    • Spirituality is often defined broadly and makes room for many different perspectives and opinions. It includes being connected to something larger than yourself, and typically involves understanding the purpose and meaning of life. It is a universal concept of defining your heart or inner life and can develop and deepen your value system. Working on your spiritual life may or…
  • Developing an Active Lifestyle (COD Lesson)
    • Developing an Active Lifestyle (COD Lesson)
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    • Physical activity and regular exercise can be an integral part of your recovery. Exercise can lead to an increased sense of accomplishment, better health, and improved self-esteem. It also increases endorphins, which act as the body’s natural antidepressant. Abusing drugs and alcohol damages the body’s ability to feel pleasure. Increasing activity and exercise can be a way to increase endorphins…
  • Developing Frustration Tolerance (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Frustration Tolerance (COD Lesson)
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    • As we go through life, we are often irritated by people, annoyed by delays, and frustrated when things do not go our way. We too often display our irritation and live our lives almost constantly upset. Being frustrated from time to time is a common fact of life. Low frustration tolerance is having oversized or extreme reactions to normal stressors…
  • Developing Hope (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Hope (COD Lesson)
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    • Becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol can often bring a sense of discouragement and hopelessness. Failures and mistakes of the past are often the chief motivation for seeking help. Past difficulties all too often color the present moment. Previously failed treatment programs and relapse may add to your current level of discouragement. This lesson is designed to build self-assurance and…
  • Developing Refusal Skills (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Refusal Skills (COD Lesson)
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    • Abstaining from alcohol and drugs is challenging for many reasons. Temptation often comes from within a person and includes such things as a longing to relax or escape, physiological craving, and a desire to comfort oneself. Cues, urges, and temptations come from external sources and involve the circumstances and environments of life. Certain situations bring about an almost automatic urgency…
  • Developing Self-Affirming Statements (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Self-Affirming Statements (COD Lesson)
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    • This exercise will help you build a healthier self-image by listing numerous possible statements for reflection and contemplation. Many people with co-occurring disorders of mental health and substance abuse desperately need affirmation and encouragement. This affirmation exercise is designed to bring awareness to the progress you’ve already made, encourage positive attitudes, foster a new disposition to bring personal growth, and…
  • Developing Your Recovery Attitude (COD Lesson)
    • Developing Your Recovery Attitude (COD Lesson)
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    • Having a positive and cooperative attitude will make an enormous difference in your recovery. A negative, defeated mindset can sabotage your progress in treatment and make recovery much more difficult. This skill building exercise is designed to help you take a fiercely honest inventory of your attitude toward treatment and your ongoing recovery. Changing your outlook and mindset are foundational…
  • Domestic Violence and Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Domestic Violence and Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Many addicts have problems dealing with anger and expressing it in appropriate ways. Feelings of anger can be linked to relapse because using their drug of choice to mask feelings is often the only way an addict knows how to deal with anger. A person who is unable to express anger in a healthy way may resort to using more…
  • Eliminating Exceptions and Excuses (COD Lesson)
    • Eliminating Exceptions and Excuses (COD Lesson)
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    • Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is not a quick and easy process. It is important to have a defined goal and good strategies in order to make progress possible. Motivation often starts high and then diminishes over time. Part of what sustains addiction is the rationalization and defensive posture that accompanies it. Most addicts can almost brilliantly blame others,…
  • Emotional Pressures in Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
    • Emotional Pressures in Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • Emotional Pressures in Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • There are many factors to consider in addiction. People may use drugs and alcohol to enjoy themselves or feel a sense of relief and euphoria. The emotional reasons for substance abuse are many. When life feels out of control, we can feel useless and unhappy. Many substance abusers use alcohol and drugs to help soothe or deal with these painful…
  • Establishing a Support Network (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing a Support Network (COD Lesson)
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    • People entering treatment for alcohol and drug addiction are often coming from environments that allow, and even encourage, their addictive patterns. Frequently, clients do not have good emotional, spiritual, or relational support. They have very few people in their network who support their recovery or appreciate the efforts they are making to change their lifestyle. It can be a difficult…
  • Establishing Boundaries and Setting Limits (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing Boundaries and Setting Limits (COD Lesson)
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    • A boundary is like a fence or property line. It distinguishes between what is yours and what belongs to someone else. It also distinguishes between what you are responsible for and areas that are not your responsibility. In addictions, boundaries can be unclear, difficult to define, and hard to maintain. The boundary is necessary for healthy functioning and ultimately helps…
  • Establishing Your Recovery Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (COD Lesson)
    • Establishing Your Recovery Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (COD Lesson)
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    • It is not always easy to feel confident. Many people move through life with numerous doubts and insecurities. You may doubt yourself, others, or the world around you; perhaps you look at each of these areas suspiciously. This level of doubt makes solid decision-making difficult. Some people respond by wavering between several options, unable to make a choice. Even when…
  • Examining Codependent Relationships (COD Lesson)
    • Examining Codependent Relationships (COD Lesson)
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    • This lesson describes the helping, rescuing, and enabling behaviors that define codependent relationships. In an effort to help a loved one, we often cringe when their actions bring unpleasant consequences. We wish we could interrupt the inevitable. Reducing the consequence for someone may appear helpful at first, but reducing the pain of a consequence often reduces the behavior change that…
  • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Examining Common Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Anxiety disorders are very common and about 40 million adults will experience an anxiety disorder in any given year. In this lesson the six types of anxiety disorders are listed and signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders are discussed. Included is a general anxiety disorder scale. This lesson includes an overview of treatment for anxiety disorders. Learn how to produce…
  • Handling Holiday Pressures (COD Lesson)
    • Handling Holiday Pressures (COD Lesson)
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    • Holiday celebrations can be much-loved occasions, filled with family, friends, and fun. They often come with laughter, family time, parties, music, gifts, the joy of childhood, vacations, and much more. They can also be stressful and marked by family conflict, alcohol and drug temptations, financial stress, time crunches, and a host of other challenges. The good news is because you…
  • Identifying Anxious Thoughts (COD Lesson)
    • Identifying Anxious Thoughts (COD Lesson)
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    • Anxiety changes the way you think and feel. When you are feeling anxious, it is easier to look at everything with a negative view and imagine unpleasant and frightening things are going to happen. This pattern of thinking makes you even more anxious. We all look ahead, down the road, and into the future a bit, planning our days, looking…
  • Increasing Happiness and Contentment (COD Lesson)
    • Increasing Happiness and Contentment (COD Lesson)
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    • The term happiness is often used to describe a range of positive emotions such as contentment, joy, and gratitude. We often use it to mean satisfied and content. To be happy is not just being emotionally cheerful or constantly smiling. It has depth and purpose to it. In this lesson, you will learn how happy people have more friends, are…
  • Increasing Relational Connection (COD Lesson)
    • Increasing Relational Connection (COD Lesson)
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    • Conflict is inevitable and should be expected in any relationship, but when handled poorly, disagreements and arguments can quickly get out of hand and cause lasting damage. By learning how to manage conflict in positive, healthy ways, those disagreements can be navigated without damaging the relationship. In fact, by treating the other person with respect and using the relational skills…
  • Issues of Self-Control (COD Lesson)
    • Issues of Self-Control (COD Lesson)
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    • Our self-centered culture is more interested in controlling other people than one’s self, and the concept of self-control is nearly forgotten. Yet it is essential for living successfully in all areas of life, including staying in recovery and maintaining a sober lifestyle. Self-control can be developed and cultivated by understanding what contributes to your ability to control your mood, actions,…
  • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (COD Lesson)
    • Journey to Recovery Philosophy of Care (COD Lesson)
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    • The resources found at Journey to Recovery are designed as practical tools to help you in your treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. It is our philosophy that successful recovery must tackle substance use and emotional issues at the same time. Treatment of co-occurring disorders is designed for two primary reasons: 1) to reduce symptoms and 2) prevent…
  • Learning to Tolerate Distress (COD Lesson)
    • Learning to Tolerate Distress (COD Lesson)
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    • When circumstances feel overwhelming, a person may be flooded with wide-ranging emotions. Frustration, confusion, anxiety, despair, and anger all pile up to create an overpowering experience. Distressing experiences can create a desire to flee the pain, escape the feelings, and avoid the problems of life. In times like these, the temptation to drink or use drugs again can feel crushing,…
  • Managing Anger (COD Lesson)
    • Managing Anger (COD Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets angry occasionally, but sometimes people have problems managing and expressing anger appropriately. Feelings of anger can be a major trigger for a relapse because using alcohol or drugs to manage strong or difficult emotions may have become a pattern over time. This lesson will help you understand the difference between anger and aggression. It describes the relationship between…
  • Managing Anxiety Symptoms (COD Lesson)
    • Managing Anxiety Symptoms (COD Lesson)
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    • In another lesson we examined the symptoms of the six main types of anxiety disorders including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Because untreated anxiety disorders often predict problems in obtaining and maintaining sobriety, it is vital to successfully manage anxiety symptoms. In this lesson we will look at a…
  • Out-Thinking Social Anxiety (COD Lesson)
    • Out-Thinking Social Anxiety (COD Lesson)
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    • Social anxiety disorder is best defined as an excessive fear of social situations and affects between two and thirteen percent of the US population. About one out of five patients with social anxiety disorder also suffer from an alcohol or substance use disorder. One common theory supposes that alcohol is a means of coping with social fear and anxiety. Many…
  • Overcoming Depression (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Depression (COD Lesson)
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    • Depression is a medical and emotional illness that influences young and old rich and poor. It is common in co-occurring disorders for patients to struggle with depression. The good news is treatment works. This skill builder includes a depression self-evaluation, a myriad of depression facts, and numerous ways to manage your symptoms. Failure to deal with emotional issues such as…
  • Overcoming Learned Helplessness (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Learned Helplessness (COD Lesson)
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    • People struggling with substance use disorders, anxiety, and depression frequently complain about feelings of helplessness. They can point to a series of past life circumstances they had no control over. These experiences often include job loss, marital conflict, death of a loved one, infidelity, divorce, a serious accident, illness, or injury. In many of these situations, the person did not…
  • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (COD Lesson)
    • Overcoming Roadblocks to Listening (COD Lesson)
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    • The ability to listen can be learned and developed and, like any skill, must be honed to increase your skill level. Listening is not simply hearing someone. It is the art of being present with them in such a meaningful way that they feel understood. It involves facial expression, eye contact, body posture, attention, attitude, and purpose. Good communication seeks…
  • Planning Your Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • Planning Your Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Almost nothing gets done without a solid plan. However, almost anything can be accomplished with a well thought out plan that is strategically executed with patience and persistence. Accomplishing recovery and establishing a positive future also requires a good plan and diligent effort. It is always easier to hit a target if you know specifically what the target is. A…
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (COD Lesson)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often follows a severe traumatic event such as a natural disaster, surviving combat, rape, childhood neglect, abductions, airplane crashes, hostage situations, sexual or physical abuse, the death of a loved one in many others. This lesson outlines a wide variety of traumatic experiences. Between 25 and 42% of those seeking substance use…
  • Quitting Smoking (COD Lesson)
    • Quitting Smoking (COD Lesson)
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    • Nicotine dependence is the most prevalent substance abuse disorder among individuals with mental illness. Studies show that individuals with mental illness smoke nearly twice as much as those in the general population. Because they are often heavy smokers, individuals with co-occurring mental illness or addictive disorders are now estimated to make up forty-five percent of the US cigarette market. Learn…
  • Raising Your Self-Esteem (COD Lesson)
    • Raising Your Self-Esteem (COD Lesson)
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    • Self-esteem is the way you see and value yourself. Do you see yourself as likable and important? Or, instead, do you consider yourself to be inferior, inadequate and lacking in importance? To have a healthy self-esteem means to feel positive, be assertive and act confident. It includes being resilient and having an overall sense of well-being and is an important…
  • Rebuilding Trust (COD Lesson)
    • Rebuilding Trust (COD Lesson)
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    • Renewing trust is not just a decision – it’s a lifestyle change. It requires honesty with the person you have hurt, and with yourself. When we lie or cheat, we weaken the foundation of our relationships. Substance abuse and addiction often lead people to hide in the shadows, work in the dark, and keep things secret. Because changed behavior over…
  • Recognizing Relapse Points (COD Lesson)
    • Recognizing Relapse Points (COD Lesson)
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    • Relapse is defined as becoming ill again after a period of improvement in health has occurred. Treatment for co-occurring disorders focuses on substance use and mental health issues. Relapse can mean a return of mental health symptoms, or substance use may begin again. Because the issues are so interwoven, a return of symptoms in one category may inflame or initiate…
  • Recognizing Signs of Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Recognizing Signs of Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is often a chronic problem. It is progressive, continuous, and long-term. People suffering from serious addictions engage in compulsive behaviors and gradually lose control of their lives. They continue to drink or use drugs, even when they know it will lead to negative consequences. People who are becoming increasingly more addicted over time are…
  • Reducing Relational Conflict (COD Lesson)
    • Reducing Relational Conflict (COD Lesson)
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    • Close, personal, intimate, and deeply connected relationships do the most to bring happiness and contentment in both your life and recovery program. Although difficult, establishing meaningful relationships is extremely valuable and worth the effort. This lesson reviews specific strategies to reduce relational conflict including rebuilding trust, creating relational intimacy, building safety, developing your character, becoming a gifted problem solver, and…
  • Restoration Through Forgiveness (COD Lesson)
    • Restoration Through Forgiveness (COD Lesson)
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    • When we are hurt, betrayed, or mistreated, we can end up with a lingering pain we often refer to as bitterness and resentment. These damaging wounds caused by others can fester and become more destructive in our lives. Resentment can damage relationships and rob us of the simple joys of living. Most addicts have been misused and hurt by others.…
  • Rewriting Your Script (COD Lesson)
    • Rewriting Your Script (COD Lesson)
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    • If you were acting in a play, your behavior and lines would be directed by the script. In life, too, you are acting and speaking according to pre-written scripts. We often feel and act in strict accordance with how we see ourselves. If you see yourself as adequate, influential, and valuable you might act more assertively, talk to others freely,…
  • Setting Reasonable Expectations (COD Lesson)
    • Setting Reasonable Expectations (COD Lesson)
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    • I want things to go well. And I want things to go well for you in recovery and beyond. Even when an outcome turns out well in the end, there are often difficulties along the way. This lesson will help you navigate the tension between expecting the best and enduring difficulties as they arise. It will help you overlook faults…
  • Six Types of Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Six Types of Anxiety Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets anxious, worried, and has occasional fears. Anxiety disorders are different. Anxiety disorders refer to a wide range of difficulties characterized by disabling levels of dread, worry, and anxiety that is not brief or passing. In co-occurring disorders, as anxiety increases, the need to escape the discomfort propels the addict to use alcohol or drugs to reduce the tension…
  • Sleep Problems in Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Sleep Problems in Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • The lack of sleep takes a heavy toll in the human body. Sleep issues contribute to many health concerns. Some substances users begin using drugs or alcohol in an effort to fall asleep or stay asleep. Others begin misusing medications in order to stay awake during the day. Alcohol and drugs can seriously alter the quality of your sleep. This…
  • Staying Motivated (COD Lesson)
    • Staying Motivated (COD Lesson)
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    • Most people in recovery are extremely motivated to do whatever it takes to stay sober, be healthier, and feel better – at least at first. This lesson is designed to help you sustain or regain that strong desire to change your life. Sometimes, “I’ll do whatever it takes,” becomes “how little can I do and still get by?” Recovering addicts…
  • Staying Positive (COD Lesson)
    • Staying Positive (COD Lesson)
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    • Living in a negative world can sometimes take its toll, but you do not have to be at the mercy of a negative environment. There are practical ways you can be in a positive state of mind. Like the gravity which pulls you down, it is easy to be pulled down into a sour mood by worries and difficult situations.…
  • Strategies to Change Your Thinking (COD Lesson)
    • Strategies to Change Your Thinking (COD Lesson)
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    • Negative thoughts influence your feelings and actions and can drive your addiction. Automatic negative thoughts are those deeply-held, and often repeated, pessimistic thoughts that lead to intense emotions and wayward actions. It is necessary to reflect on which thoughts are distorted and which are accurate. Negative thoughts that accompany drug and alcohol use are often irrational and exaggerated and they…
  • Stress Management Techniques in Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • Stress Management Techniques in Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • In an attempt to manage stress and anxiety, many people turn to substance use. After prolonged use and abuse, serious and long-term consequences add to already-present tension. While the best stress-reducer is to quit using, it is important to remember stressful situations in life still remain and need to be managed. Reducing stress and anxiety helps make the best recovery…
  • The ABCs of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (COD Lesson)
    • The ABCs of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (COD Lesson)
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    • Because we are whole people, our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are connected. In order to change the way you feel and act, you have to change the way you think and believe. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) requires recognition of past cognitive, or thinking, errors and creates challenges for each thought distortion. By confronting these distortions and negative thought patterns, behavior…
  • The Emotional Aspects of Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • The Emotional Aspects of Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • The Emotional Aspects of Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Many people use alcohol and drugs for a variety of emotional reasons. They may feel sad, distressed, lonely, upset, happy, frustrated, or bored. Many emotions produce the thought or compulsion to use or to drink. This lesson will help you dissect relapse and increase your understanding of the relapse progression. You will also discover the common emotional urges and the…
  • The Road to Relapse Prevention (COD Lesson)
    • The Road to Relapse Prevention (COD Lesson)
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    • The Road to Relapse Prevention (COD Lesson)
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    • To keep your recovery strong, there are numerous things you should not continue to do. But there are numerous things you can do to prevent relapse from occurring. Examine a list of over 40 items and rate yourself on each item to determine the strength of your recovery progress. This inventory will help you detect key areas of progress and…
  • The Ten Core Principles of Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • The Ten Core Principles of Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • The Ten Core Principles of Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Integrated treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders is particularly helpful in producing a sustained recovery. Longer and more intense treatment, ongoing abstinence monitoring, and increased recovery support services all work toward long-term success. Treatment works. It should not be avoided, but rather, seen as an avenue to keep what you have and reclaim what you lost. Don’t…
  • The Ten Essential Traits of Recovery (COD Lesson)
    • The Ten Essential Traits of Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • The Ten Essential Traits of Recovery (COD Lesson)
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    • Over the last 30 years, I have noticed those who obtain lasting recovery possessed certain qualities. Sobriety behaviors, such as abstaining from substances, attending meetings, and reducing legal entanglements, were high priorities. They worked diligently to develop key character traits that strengthened the sobriety behaviors. Those who succeed in recovery are more balanced, positive, connected, determined, and hopeful than when…
  • Thinking in Shades of Gray (COD Lesson)
    • Thinking in Shades of Gray (COD Lesson)
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    • Thinking in Shades of Gray (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding that reality is black and white with a multitude of gray in between is an important concept to wrestle with, especially in mental health. Realizing there is often more than one right answer, and sometimes no good answer, is considered being “dialectical” and is a helpful skill. For many people with co-occurring disorders, having two or more forces conflicting…
  • Time Management Strategies that Work (COD Lesson)
    • Time Management Strategies that Work (COD Lesson)
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    • Time Management Strategies that Work (COD Lesson)
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    • As you continue in recovery, you are likely changing what you do with your time. Getting the most out of each day can help you feel satisfied and productive. Becoming more productive can be a difficult transition as you move from a life of drug and alcohol use and abuse to a healthier lifestyle. Review the numerous pitfalls to effective…
  • Top Ten Mood-Boosting Strategies (COD Lesson)
    • Top Ten Mood-Boosting Strategies (COD Lesson)
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    • Top Ten Mood-Boosting Strategies (COD Lesson)
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    • As part of your co-occurring disorder, you may have struggled with depression for a long time. Depression tends to be a chronic illness and it can come and go. Your depression and substance use may go hand-in-hand. You may become increasingly more depressed as you use alcohol and drugs, or your depression may increase as you try to abstain from…
  • Trading Your Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Trading Your Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Trading Your Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • It seems as though whenever you defeat one addiction, another vice, addiction, or bad habit is just around the corner. In recovery, cross-addiction refers to trading one addiction for another. In cross-addiction, a new addiction takes the place of a previously addictive substance or behavior to produce a similar feeling or high. Addicts are not only craving the physical substance;…
  • Transforming Your Life Through Positive Thoughts (COD Lesson)
    • Transforming Your Life Through Positive Thoughts (COD Lesson)
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    • Transforming Your Life Through Positive Thoughts (COD Lesson)
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    • When a thought is negative and pessimistic, it may lead to worrisome and depressive feelings, and careless or poorly planned actions. Negative thoughts include distortions, inaccurate exaggerations, irrelevant thoughts, misperceptions, doubts, deceptions, and lies you tell yourself. Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often become confused and distorted, especially with substance use and abuse. Confused thoughts and inaccurate beliefs lead to compromised…
  • Understanding Ambivalence to Change (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Ambivalence to Change (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Ambivalence to Change (COD Lesson)
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    • Sometimes our thoughts, values, and beliefs are in harmony with each other. And sometimes they are at complete odds, competing with each other. Ambivalence is that place where contradictory thoughts and feelings pull in opposite directions and leave no middle ground. And while it is not uncommon to hold competing beliefs and strong convictions, the tension, when forced to choose…
  • Understanding and Managing Stress (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding and Managing Stress (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding and Managing Stress (COD Lesson)
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    • Everyone gets stressed and the list of stressors is almost endless. We are stressed out on our jobs, in our homes, and on the road in between. This lesson will give you some ideas and strategies to reduce stress before it breaks you. Substance abuse and stress are intertwined. People often say one of the reasons they drink or use…
  • Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Abuse (COD Lesson)
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    • An attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition affecting a person’s ability to concentrate and stay on task. People with ADHD may have trouble staying focused, difficulty controlling behavior, and can be fidgety, restless, and overactive. Being easily distracted can be problematic in the classroom, on the job, and in relationships. It can cause numerous driving difficulties, including…
  • Understanding Bipolar Disorder (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Bipolar Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Bipolar Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Bipolar disorder is a treatable medical illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. It is also known as manic depression because a person’s mood can alternate between symptoms of mania and depression. This resource includes a mania symptom checklist, a depression symptom checklist, and a wellness checklist. This lesson will help you understand how the highs…
  • Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • The field of chemical dependency treatment is rapidly changing. With each passing year we have a greater understanding of how mental health issues affect substance abuse disorders. Additionally, substance abuse problems impact, launch, or exacerbate mental health problems. Many treatment programs are responding to the multifaceted interaction of substance use and mental health problems. This lesson presents information imperative to…
  • Understanding Gambling Addictions (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Gambling Addictions (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Gambling Addictions (COD Lesson)
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    • While addictions carry with them financial consequences, gambling addictions focus specifically on the use and misuse of money. This is, like most addictions, accompanied by shame, guilt, and embarrassment and tend to be hidden from family and friends. Mood disorders can influence how severely this addictions impact a person. This lesson reveals the signs and symptoms of a gambling disorder…
  • Understanding Grief and Loss in Addiction (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Grief and Loss in Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Grief and Loss in Addiction (COD Lesson)
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    • It is natural and normal for people to experience loss in their lives and to have feelings of sadness and sorrow. The losses experienced in addiction often bring additional and intensified feelings of grief. When the loss is perceived to have been preventable, it often adds to our sense of despair. The more attachment you had to a person, or…
  • Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (COD Lesson)
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    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the six major types of anxiety disorders. It involves recurring, unwanted thoughts and actions. Like many anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug addiction often co-occur with OCD and make it worse. This tormenting illness may include intrusive thoughts and rigid and repetitive behaviors which follow strict self-imposed rules. This illness can rob you of the…
  • Understanding Relapse (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Relapse (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Relapse (COD Lesson)
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    • Once you have made a commitment to not use and have started recovery, strong desires to use again may still exist. Relapse is returning to using drugs or alcohol after a period of being drug-free. Many people who struggle with addiction will have one or more relapses. This lesson will help you understand the key physiological changes occurring in the…
  • Understanding Resentment and Bitterness (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Resentment and Bitterness (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Resentment and Bitterness (COD Lesson)
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    • The word resentment is best understood as having bitter indignation at being treated unfairly or unkindly. Resentment can come when you are misunderstood, neglected, rejected, slighted, and mistreated. This treatment is followed by bitterness, discontentment, and dissatisfaction. When resentment goes unresolved, it can have a variety of negative effects. You may feel easily irritated, touchy, or have a sense of…
  • Understanding Substance Use Disorders (COD Lesson)
    • Understanding Substance Use Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Understanding Substance Use Disorders (COD Lesson)
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    • Substance use behaviors of any kind can be described as an intense effort to fill an underlying hunger. This is not a hunger for food or nourishment, but rather for comfort, approval, and a yearning to fill an emotional emptiness. In this lesson we will examine primary reasons to engage in addictive behavior and consider some of the numerous consequences…
  • Using Structure to Manage Cravings (COD Lesson)
    • Using Structure to Manage Cravings (COD Lesson)
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    • Using Structure to Manage Cravings (COD Lesson)
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    • Establishing structure and planning routines, can be helpful ways of reducing temptations, urges, and cravings. People are often more productive and feel more emotionally in control when they are guided by positive practices and good habits. The lack of structure can lead to boredom and create endless opportunities for temptation to use drugs and alcohol. This lesson will help you…
  • Worry: Noise or Signal? (COD Lesson)
    • Worry: Noise or Signal? (COD Lesson)
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    • Worry: Noise or Signal? (COD Lesson)
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    • Many people who come to treatment have lots of worry, apprehension, and anxiety. Alcohol dependency in conjunction with a co-occurring anxiety disorder, complicates withdrawal and is correlated with increased rates of relapse. Co-occurring alcohol and anxiety issues interfere with progress in treatment and increase the risk of suicide. For best treatment outcomes, it is important to treat chemical dependency and…