Addiction Recovery Blog

Johnny Allem

Johnny Allem
The philosophy and practice of Aquila Recovery stems from more than 25 years of recovery experience; engaging in my personal recovery, serving as a citizen advocate for addiction disease, researching new brain science developments, in addition to over 55 years of practical business experience.

Recent Posts

Is Drug Addiction the Same as Alcohol Addiction?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 22, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, Alcohol, About Aquila, Drugs, treatment program

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There is a common misperception that some addictions are more “serious” than others, that alcohol addiction isn't as serious as an addiction to heroin, crack, or methamphetamine. 

Common stereotypes paint images of alcoholics getting drunk at home and heroin addicts as engaged in criminal behavior, unemployed, homeless, or giving up on life. After all, alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable substance here in the U.S. Thus, it is perceived as less serious.

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The Relationship Between Alcohol and Stress

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 08, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, Alcohol, About Aquila

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After a long day, there is nothing more relaxing than having a few drinks to help you unwind, right? But did you know that drinking can make you feel more stressed? 

Many people talk about having a drink to take the edge off when they are feeling stressed, but studies have shown that alcohol has the opposite effect. Alcohol increases the stress response by stimulating the production of the same hormones produced by the body when under stress. 

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The Problem With Using Alcohol To Unwind

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 24, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Alcohol, About Aquila

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Do you know what this day needs? Wine! 

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How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 10, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders, treatment program

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Substance abuse typically occurs along with other mental disorders. The co-occurrence of two or more disorders complicates recovery as one can make the other worse. If conditions are not treated together, then recovery is unlikely.  

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Dating in Recovery

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 27, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, Sober Living, SMART Recovery, treatment program, Dating in Recovery

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There is an unwritten rule against dating during addiction recovery. Recovery programs commonly recommend abstaining from dating the first year. Recovery is all about healing and learning how to live without substance use, and that first year of sobriety can be a challenge. Navigating the dating scene or starting a new relationship while working through recovery is a recipe for disaster. 

Managing Emotions

At the beginning of a new relationship, we are inundated with emotions — thrilling highs and lows. Learning to manage emotions is one of the greatest challenges of recovery since drugs and alcohol are typically used to numb emotions.

Choosing a Partner

The rush or highs of dating can be intoxicating, literally. Those fresh out of recovery may be susceptible to that intoxicating feeling which can lead to substituting one addiction for another. Infatuation can be mistaken for love. Thus, someone could fall victim to the pitfalls of dating because they have not fully resolved their emotional issues of seeking things outside themselves to fill a void within.

Developing an unhealthy attachment to someone can also derail recovery efforts. Within that first year of recovery, one is still emotionally unstable and unhealthy.  If you are emotionally unhealthy, then you are likely to attach to other unhealthy people. People in recovery often look to others to rescue or fix them. It can be especially burdensome to put your emotional baggage on your partner, making forming a healthy relationship impossible. 

Once you have successfully completed treatment and waited a year, you will have a better chance of picking the right partner.  Recovery programs help people to develop coping skills and to seek comfort within themselves rather than with drugs or relationships.

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Step 1 of Addiction Treatment: Being Ready to Receive It

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 13, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, SMART Recovery, treatment program

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Denial is often the greatest obstacle to alcohol dependence recovery. After all, it is not only difficult to identify the problem, but also to admit you have a problem.

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Why Alcohol is Addictive (and 10 signs of addiction)

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 10, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction

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The first time *Sarah had a drink, she remembers being just eleven years old. "I stole liquor out of my parents cabinet, because I wanted to know what was so great about it. Every night, my parents would sit down and pour more and more out of the bottle. They seemed more and more happy each time they had a drink. I wanted to try it - it seemed fun."

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Helping Your Loved Ones Stay Sober In 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 14, 2019 / by Johnny Allem posted in Alcohol, Sober Living, Positive Recovery, SMART Recovery, treatment program

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When a loved one announces that they plan to start the New Year sober, it can be an enormous relief. However, cutting back on drinking is just the first step. Recovery is an ongoing process and the support you offer your loved ones is often invaluable during their New Year's resolution.

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Dual Diagnosis: How can anxiety affect my recovery?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 16, 2018 / by Johnny Allem posted in Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders, treatment program

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Mental health and substance use disorders go hand in hand. At times it is difficult to separate one from another. More often than not, each condition exacerbates the other. More than 50% of those suffering from a substance abuse disorder have what is considered dual diagnosis. The term dual diagnosis is more commonly referred to as a co-occurring disorder .

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Celebrating New Holiday Traditions

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 14, 2018 / by Johnny Allem posted in Alcohol, Sober Living, Positive Recovery

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According to a survey conducted by Yahoo, New Year’s Eve and Christmas are the biggest drinking days of the year in the United States. For those in recovery, it can be a challenge to maintain sobriety throughout the busy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s period with so many parties and celebrations on the agenda. But that’s no reason to isolate yourself from friends and family or avoid the festivities altogether by staying home. There are many sober and safe ways to celebrate.

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