Entries tagged with “Addiction”.


Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love and appreciation for your significant other, but date night can feel awkward when you’re newly sober. Instead of worrying about how you’ll avoid the drinks at your favorite restaurant or club, why not plan an alternative Valentine’s Day date?

Create a Custom Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you’re willing to put in the prep time. If you’ve been together for several years, your clues can lead to locations such as where you went on your first date, where you had your first kiss, and where you said “I love you” for the first time. If you’re a new couple, you can use simpler riddles leading to basic locations such as the glove box of your sweetheart’s car or inside her coat pocket. Whichever approach you choose, just make sure to be standing by with hints in case your partner has trouble deciphering each clue.

Don’t forget to have a special surprise waiting at the end of the hunt. Try a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a scrapbook of memories you’ve shared together, or tickets to an upcoming concert or sporting event.

Plan a Movie Marathon
Cuddling with your sweetheart under a cozy blanket while you share a tub of buttery popcorn is indescribably romantic. The possibilities are endless with this Valentine’s Day date idea, but here are a few film suggestions to inspire your creativity:

  • Grease with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
  • Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze
  • Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
  • 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
  • Twilight with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
  • The Notebook with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdam

If you’d rather forgo the overly romantic movies, try sharing your favorite films with each other or binge watching a TV show on Netflix you’ve always wanted to see.

Get Moving
Any activity that keeps you moving will take your mind off your first sober Valentine’s Day. Physical activity releases endorphins, leading to feelings of closeness and connection. Biking or hiking through a favorite park or nature trail is always fun, especially if you plan a special picnic lunch at the end of the day.

For the young at heart, miniature golf is another wonderful Valentine’s Day date idea. Some mini golf courses also have go-karts, batting cages, paintball, or laser tag— giving you endless activity possibilities.

Learn Something New
The recovery process involves replacing past destructive behavior patterns with positive new coping mechanisms. One way to do this is by exploring new hobbies that you can enjoy by yourself or with your partner.

Community colleges have a number of adult continuing education classes you can take. Cooking and ballroom dancing classes tend to be the most popular choices for couples, but you’ll also find classes covering everything from aromatherapy to how to plant a garden in your backyard.

If you can’t find a class that interests you and your partner, plan to master a new skill together at home. For example:

  • Buy the ingredients to make each other a plate of homemade truffles instead of a store-bought box of chocolates.
  • Pick up a pair of white coffee mugs and oil-based paint Sharpie markers, then get in touch with your artistic side to make each other a sweet keepsake of your love.
  • Read each other classic love poems, then try to write your own romantic poetry.

Museums are another wonderful place to go when you’re looking for a drug and alcohol free way to expand your mind. Whether you’re passionate about art, history, or science, there are an abundance of museums to explore in almost every city in the country. Look for one offering guided tours, then plan to stop at the gift shop for a special memento of the day.


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People often ask us “what does faith-based mean?”  “Does it mean that you will be preaching at me?”  “Will I be welcome if I don’t participate in organized religion?” “Can you help me re-connect with my faith?”

These are important questions.  In a world where all-to-often we see people seeking to impose their beliefs on others, it is easy to become apprehensive.  When we hear of people claiming to have all of the answers, we become suspect.  When people are condemned or ridiculed because they do not know what to believe, we fear rejection.

Addiction Recovery through Spiritual HealingHopefully, none of these attitudes or actions will be evident at St. Joseph Institute for Addiction.  We want to help people grow spiritually – discover a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives – but we believe this is a journey that each person must travel on their own.  We encourage, we provide information and we share what works for us, but we believe each person must have the freedom to find his or her own answers.

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is built on a Christian faith tradition.  We believe there is a God and he cares deeply for each of us.  We believe that Jesus has shown us the path by which to live, love, and find meaning & purpose for life.  We believe that if Christianity is to be real, it must guide the way we live and treat one another day-by-day.

St. Joseph Institute for Addiction is non-denominational.  We do not advocate the teachings of a specific church or theology.  There are many Christian traditions and we seek to draw wisdom from many places.  When we discuss forgiveness, we may recount the teachings of the early church fathers, who lived centuries ago.  If we talk about the need for humility in achieving lasting recovery, we may share the words of Andrew Murray, a protestant minister in South Africa.  At Christmas time we adopt a carol for each day, drawing upon Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran and many other traditions. We encourage our residents to discover the place of worship that feels right for them.

In welcoming people of different backgrounds and beliefs, we do not judge or condemn.  We encourage people to find the answers that will guide their life and give them peace.  It is not for us to judge lifestyles, or condemn the choices people have made.  We educate, share the solutions that have helped others, and help people find a better way when their past actions have led to dead-ends.  Very importantly, we challenge people to allow their spiritual self to heal and grow – for all too often addiction shatters that aspect of who they are.

A story is told of St. Francis who lived in the thirteenth century.  Hundreds of friars had joined his community of believers, and he gathered them together and provided instruction before they spread out across Italy.  The commission he gave them was “go forth and spread the gospel, and when necessary use words.”

The message is that faith is most powerful when it is lived.  I hope that our residents see in the staff of St. Joseph Institute for Addiction a spirit of compassion & concern, a sincere commitment to their healing, and a desire to help them grow to experience more of life’s joy and happiness.  If we do our best in this regard, then we are truly Christian.


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Michelle didn’t seem to take her job too seriously; she was usually 5-10 minutes late, took an excessive amount of breaks and often called in sick, all without remorse. However, she was clearly one of the best saleswomen in the region. Her convivial way with shoppers carried over to managers, to whom she promised she would never show up late again or simply that she would make up for all of her break through record sales. Unfortunately, her tardiness continued and eventually her skills began to deteriorate.

Employee stressed about telling boss he's an addictOne day, Michelle was on one of her many breaks when a coworker came running out and asked, “Where did that lady go who you were helping?” Michelle sat silent and confused for a second, then realized she had brought her to a cash register… and left her there, too focused on her cigarette to remember to ring her up. Turns out that lady had walked out; annoyed with the poor service she had received. And she took her unpaid clothes with her – a hand bag, 2 pairs of jeans, 3 nice tops and 2 pairs of earrings valued at $1035. Michelle was interrogated by her boss and forced to take a mandatory drug test. Her immediate termination was based on the cocaine found in her system, and she was forced to forfeit her final paycheck along with an additional $400 to make up for her drug induced mistake.

The US Department of Labor supplies the following incredible statistics to business owners and managers as a warning:

  • Employees with drug & alcohol problems are 25-30% less productive than others
  • They miss work 3 times as often as their non-abusing coworkers
  • 65% of all work-related incidents are caused by those using
  • Not only does this add stress to the workplace, but it also adds $100 billion in costs to the economy every year

Obviously, businesses cannot afford to ignore the signs of addiction, even when they think there are no other options. So how can owner and managers spot an addict? Here are a few common signs we look for:

  • General inconsistency (effort, showing up, attitude, etc.)
  • Lack of punctuality and excessive nonappearances
  • Lots of breaks throughout the day
  • Judgment mistakes and calculation errors
  • Difficulty remembering requests and concentrating on tasks
  • Anxiety, moodiness, excessive energy or lack of energy, and quick to anger

As a business owner or manager, try not to avoid confronting employees for displaying these signs. Far too often this is done and leads to unnecessary incidents in the workplace. Sometimes it is blamed on personal problems, issues at home or personality traits, when illegal and dangerous substances more often cause it. Addiction cannot go unnoticed.

An easy solution is to implement a company policy to require random drug tests. Inform managers to be on the lookout for the common signs of addiction listed above. It may even be necessary to refer suspicious employees to the HR department or an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) for an assessment and list of places where he/she can get help. Without doing one of the latter, owners and managers are simply enabling the addict and hurting their own bottom line in the long run. So please, keep addiction out of your workplace. It’s good for business.


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