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Chapter Resources - ARM Topics

Updated 6/12/2023

Chapter Lead Submitted Ideas


I think our most memorable meetings include our chapter members hitting their Recovery Anniversaries. The celebrant gets to choose the format of the meeting, who they want to chair the meeting and we go around during introductions so that anyone who knows the celebrant says a few words about them so it makes the meeting very special. Since its an ARM, we have had the family members of the person with SUD talk too and even a Drug Court Judge. We have had meetings with candles and we all stood in a circle holding the candle. The closer we made the circle the brighter the light got which symbolized how together we can shine brighter than apart. When one person let their candle out; the light from the adjacent candles kept that person lit.

Some of my favorite meetings are usually unexpected formats. We have a different chapter member chair each month and they get to choose what type of format they want the meeting to be. We have had meditation, water coloring, writing prompts, popcorn style, breathing exercises, speakers, topic discussions, inspirational readings, music videos, and more. What makes our meeting special is that each person claims their recovery date and what recovery means to them when we go around the room for initial introductions. This “sobriety date” addition held a very important part in my own recovery journey.

Some of our speakers have been a mother of one of our members who works the Al Anon program, a person recovering from an eating disorder, and my own father who is in AA himself.

Powerlessness

Forgiveness

Combatting negative self talk

Recovery Capital Index

Denial/Acceptance

Mental health

How to maintain a job while in recovery

Ways to handle stress.

Goal setting

Employment

A sense of normalcy

Healthy Boundaries- https://blog.calm.com/blog/9-tips-for-setting-healthy-boundaries

Emotional Wellness- https://www.nih.gov/health-information/emotional-wellness-toolkit

Attitude- https://faculty.kutztown.edu/friehauf/attitude.html


Recovery Dice With word list and or quote list.

Risk taking in addiction vs in Recovery (fear as well).

Mentors, sponsors, inspirational people in your life. I usually start this meeting of with the icebreaker “Tell us someone that we should meet, who’s had a profound impact on you”
Identity

Finding what makes us happy/proud

Change
Positive language

Community/support is a must

Consistency doesn’t mean there aren’t set backs.
Gratitude

Empowerment

Relationships
Triggers

Coping mechanisms

 

Women in Recovery

Men In Recovery

Triggers and Coping Skills in Recovery
Women’s meeting

Codependency
Popsicle stick meeting- popsicle sticks with words on them that each person picks one before the meeting meant as a topic starter for them encouraging each one to share.

Tag meetings- check in and share what is on your mind and heart that you might be struggling with snd when you are done you choose the next person who speaks

Speaker night- we invite someone to come share their story of Addiction, Recovery and hope. Speakers can range from someone in our own community to someone in a different city .

Being transparent

Surrendering the outcomes

Doing the dirty work

 

Topic: Understanding the Cycle of Addiction

Talking Points:
1. Discuss the stages of addiction: Introduce the stages of addiction, including initiation, escalation, maintenance, and recovery.
2. Explore the impact of addiction: Highlight the physical, psychological, and social consequences of addiction.
3. Explain the cycle of addiction: Describe how the cycle of addiction perpetuates the behavior and discuss the importance of breaking the cycle.
4. Address triggers and cravings: Discuss common triggers and cravings experienced during the cycle of addiction and strategies for managing them.
5. Highlight the path to recovery: Share information about recovery options and resources available for individuals seeking to break free from addiction.

Resources:
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – The Science of Drug Addiction: Provides comprehensive information about drug addiction, including the stages of addiction and the impact on the brain and behavior.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-addiction

2. SMART Recovery – Understanding the Stages of Change: Offers a detailed overview of the stages of change, including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/understanding-the-stages-of-change/

3. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – The Cycle of Addiction and Recovery: Provides an article discussing the cycle of addiction, the role of denial, and the steps to recovery.
Link: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt3.pdf

4. AddictionCenter – Understanding the Cycle of Addiction: Offers an article explaining the cycle of addiction and the various stages involved.
Link: https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/addiction-cycle/

5. Psychology Today – Breaking the Cycle of Addiction: Provides insights on breaking the cycle of addiction and developing healthy habits for recovery.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-high-functioning-alcoholic/201703/breaking-the-cycle-addiction

Please let me know if you would like to continue with the next topic, and I’ll be glad to provide the resources and talking points for that as well.

 

Topic: Coping with Triggers and Cravings

Talking Points:
1. Define triggers and cravings: Explain what triggers and cravings are in the context of addiction recovery.
2. Identify common triggers: Discuss common triggers such as people, places, emotions, or situations that may prompt cravings.
3. Explore coping strategies: Share coping mechanisms and techniques for managing triggers and cravings, such as mindfulness, distraction techniques, deep breathing exercises, and seeking support.
4. Discuss the importance of self-care: Highlight the role of self-care in reducing triggers and managing cravings, including practices like exercise, healthy eating, sleep, and stress reduction.
5. Encourage seeking professional help: Emphasize the importance of seeking professional guidance and support, such as therapy or counseling, to develop effective coping strategies.

Resources:
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Understanding Drug Use and Addiction: Triggers and Cravings: Provides insights into triggers and cravings, their impact on addiction, and strategies for managing them effectively.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

2. SMART Recovery – Coping with Urges and Cravings: Offers a helpful guide on managing cravings and urges, including practical techniques and strategies.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/coping-with-urges-cravings/

3. Verywell Mind – Coping with Triggers in Addiction Recovery: Provides an article on identifying triggers and practical tips for coping with them.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-with-triggers-in-addiction-recovery-22358

4. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – A.A. for the Alcoholic with Special Needs: Focuses on addressing specific triggers and cravings in recovery, including guidance for managing cravings during special occasions or events.
Link: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_AAforAlcoholicwithSpecialNeeds.pdf

5. Addiction Hope – Coping with Triggers and Cravings in Recovery: Offers a comprehensive article on understanding triggers and cravings, along with coping strategies for maintaining sobriety.
Link: https://www.addictionhope.com/blog/coping-with-triggers-and-cravings-in-recovery/

Topic: Building a Supportive Network

Talking Points:
1. Emphasize the importance of a support network: Discuss how having a supportive network can significantly impact recovery and provide a sense of belonging and understanding.
2. Identify types of support: Introduce different types of support, including peer support groups, therapy or counseling, family and friends, and online communities.
3. Discuss the qualities of a supportive network: Highlight the qualities of a healthy support network, such as empathy, non-judgment, accountability, and encouragement.
4. Explore ways to build a support network: Share strategies for building a support network, such as attending recovery meetings, joining support groups, reaching out to friends or family, and utilizing online resources.
5. Encourage open communication: Emphasize the importance of open and honest communication within a support network, as it fosters trust, understanding, and effective support.

Resources:
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Find Treatment: Provides a search tool to find local treatment options, support groups, and recovery services.
Link: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

2. Refuge Recovery – Community Finder: Offers a community finder tool to locate Refuge Recovery meetings, which are peer-led addiction recovery support groups.
Link: https://refugerecovery.org/meetings

3. In The Rooms: An online recovery community that hosts various support group meetings, discussion forums, and a social network for individuals in recovery.
Link: https://www.intherooms.com/

4. Psychology Today – Therapist Finder: Allows users to search for therapists in their local area specializing in addiction recovery and support.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

5. SoberRecovery – Online Addiction Recovery Community: A forum-based online community offering support, resources, and discussions related to addiction recovery.
Link: https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/

 

 

 

Topic: Recurrence of Use Prevention Strategies

Talking Points:
1. Understand that a recurrence of use can be a part of someones recovery journey. Discuss that relapse is not a sign of failure but a common part of the recovery process. Emphasize the importance of learning from what may feel like a failure and developing prevention strategies.
2. Identify triggers and warning signs: Help participants recognize their personal triggers and warning signs that may lead to use again. Discuss common triggers such as stress, negative emotions, social situations, or exposure to substances.
3. Explore coping strategies: Introduce various coping strategies to manage triggers and cravings effectively, such as developing healthy habits, practicing self-care, seeking support, engaging in mindfulness or meditation, and utilizing positive distractions.
4. Create a recurrence of use prevention plan: Guide participants in creating a personalized relapse prevention plan that includes specific strategies for avoiding triggers, managing cravings, and seeking support. Encourage them to have a plan in place to prevent relapse.
5. Promote ongoing self-reflection and growth: Emphasize the importance of continuous self-reflection and growth in recovery. Encourage participants to regularly assess their progress, identify areas of improvement, and adjust their relapse prevention strategies accordingly.

Resources:
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Preventing Drug Abuse Relapse: Offers research-based information on relapse prevention, including strategies for avoiding relapse and managing triggers.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-relapse

2. SMART Recovery – Stages of Change and Relapse Prevention: Provides an article on understanding the stages of change in relapse prevention and practical strategies for each stage.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/stages-of-change-and-relapse-prevention/

3. Addiction.com – 5 Relapse Prevention Techniques: Presents five relapse prevention techniques, including mindfulness, self-care, stress management, avoiding triggers, and building a support network.
Link: https://www.addiction.com/a-z/relapse-prevention-techniques/

4. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – Relapse Prevention: Offers insights and guidance on relapse prevention, including identifying relapse warning signs and developing a relapse prevention plan.
Link: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_howardClarenceP__RelapsePrevention.pdf

5. Verywell Mind – How to Prevent Relapse: Provides practical tips and strategies for preventing relapse, including creating a relapse prevention plan and building a support network.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-prevent-relapse-21900

Topic: Healthy Coping Skills

Talking Points:
1. Discuss the importance of healthy coping skills: Emphasize the role of healthy coping mechanisms in maintaining sobriety and managing stress, emotions, and challenges.
2. Identify unhealthy coping strategies: Discuss common unhealthy coping strategies, such as substance use, avoidance, or self-destructive behaviors, and highlight their negative impact on recovery.
3. Introduce healthy coping skills: Share a range of healthy coping skills, including mindfulness practices, exercise, journaling, creative outlets, connecting with nature, seeking support, and engaging in hobbies.
4. Highlight the power of self-care: Stress the importance of self-care in recovery and discuss various self-care practices, such as getting adequate sleep, practicing good nutrition, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.
5. Encourage practice and experimentation: Encourage participants to explore and experiment with different coping skills to find what works best for them. Emphasize the value of consistency and incorporating these skills into daily life.

Resources:
1. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Coping Skills: Provides an overview of coping skills and offers a list of coping strategies for managing stress and promoting mental well-being.
Link: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Coping-Skills

2. Verywell Mind – Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress: Offers a comprehensive article on healthy ways to cope with stress, including various coping techniques and practices.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/healthy-ways-to-manage-and-reduce-stress-3145239

3. Mindful – 10 Mindfulness Practices for Coping with Difficult Emotions: Presents ten mindfulness practices that can help individuals cope with challenging emotions and promote emotional well-being.
Link: https://www.mindful.org/10-mindfulness-practices-for-coping-with-difficult-emotions/

4. Recovery.org – Coping Skills for Recovery: Provides an article with practical coping skills for individuals in recovery, including tips for managing stress, emotions, and triggers.
Link: https://www.recovery.org/therapy/coping-skills/

5. HelpGuide – Healthy Ways to Cope with Addiction and Mental Health Problems: Offers a resource with information on healthy coping skills for managing addiction and mental health challenges.
Link: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-disorders/helping-someone-with-an-addiction.htm

 

Topic: Gratitude and Positive Mindset

Talking Points:
1. Discuss the power of gratitude: Explain how practicing gratitude can shift perspective and foster a positive mindset, enhancing overall well-being and recovery.
2. Explore the benefits of gratitude: Highlight research-backed benefits of gratitude, such as improved mental health, reduced stress, enhanced relationships, and increased resilience.
3. Introduce gratitude practices: Share various gratitude practices, such as keeping a gratitude journal, expressing gratitude to others, practicing mindfulness of gratitude, and focusing on the present moment.
4. Encourage positive self-talk: Discuss the importance of positive self-talk and cultivating a positive mindset. Provide techniques for reframing negative thoughts and practicing self-compassion.
5. Promote a gratitude mindset: Encourage participants to incorporate gratitude into their daily lives, fostering a mindset of appreciation and finding the positive aspects even in challenging situations.

Resources:
1. Greater Good Magazine – The Science of Gratitude: Explores the science behind gratitude, its benefits, and practical tips for cultivating gratitude in daily life.
Link: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_science_of_gratitude

2. Happify – How Gratitude Can Change Your Life: Provides an interactive article with insights on the impact of gratitude on happiness and practical exercises to cultivate gratitude.
Link: https://www.happify.com/hd/how-gratitude-can-change-your-life/

3. PositivePsychology.com – 28 Gratitude Exercises and Activities: Offers a comprehensive list of gratitude exercises and activities to practice gratitude and enhance well-being.
Link: https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-exercises/

4. Tiny Buddha – How to Shift from a Negative to a Positive Mindset: Provides guidance on shifting from negative to positive thinking, including practical tips for cultivating a positive mindset.
Link: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-shift-from-a-negative-to-a-positive-mindset/

5. PsychCentral – The Power of Positive Self-Talk: Offers insights into the benefits of positive self-talk, techniques for fostering positive self-talk, and tips for building a positive mindset.
Link: https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-power-of-positive-self-talk


Topic: Building Resilience in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Define resilience: Explain resilience as the ability to adapt, bounce back, and thrive in the face of adversity. Discuss its relevance to addiction recovery.
2. Highlight the benefits of resilience: Discuss how building resilience can support long-term recovery by helping individuals navigate challenges, prevent relapse, and maintain a positive outlook.
3. Explore strategies for building resilience: Share various resilience-building techniques, such as developing a support network, practicing self-care, cultivating positive coping skills, setting goals, and fostering a growth mindset.
4. Discuss the role of self-reflection and learning: Emphasize the importance of self-reflection, learning from setbacks, and utilizing them as opportunities for growth and increased resilience.
5. Encourage perseverance and optimism: Encourage participants to embrace perseverance, maintain a positive outlook, and cultivate optimism as they navigate the ups and downs of recovery.

Resources:
1. Mayo Clinic – Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship: Provides an overview of resilience, its benefits, and practical strategies for building resilience.
Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/resilience-training/in-depth/resilience/art-20046311

2. Psychology Today – The Road to Resilience: Offers an article on building resilience, including tips and techniques to enhance resilience in the face of adversity.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-road-resilience

3. American Psychological Association (APA) – Building Your Resilience: Provides resources and tools for building resilience, including self-assessment quizzes, articles, and resilience-building exercises.
Link: https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

4. Verywell Mind – 10 Ways to Build Resilience in Recovery: Presents ten strategies to cultivate resilience in addiction recovery, including seeking support, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/build-resilience-in-recovery-4178520

5. TED Talk – Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance: Features a TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, where she explores the concept of grit and how perseverance contributes to resilience.
Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance


Topic: Mindfulness and Meditation in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Introduce mindfulness and meditation: Define mindfulness as the practice of being present in the moment without judgment, and meditation as a technique to cultivate mindfulness. Discuss their relevance in addiction recovery.
2. Discuss the benefits of mindfulness and meditation: Highlight the research-supported benefits of mindfulness and meditation, such as stress reduction, emotional regulation, increased self-awareness, and improved overall well-being.
3. Explain mindfulness techniques: Share various mindfulness techniques, such as focused breathing, body scans, mindful walking, and loving-kindness meditation. Provide guidance on incorporating mindfulness into daily life.
4. Explore meditation practices: Introduce different meditation practices, such as guided meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and transcendental meditation (TM). Discuss their applications in recovery.
5. Encourage regular practice: Emphasize the importance of regular mindfulness and meditation practice for developing mindfulness skills, managing cravings and triggers, and promoting overall mental and emotional well-being.

Resources:
1. Headspace: Offers a popular meditation app with guided meditation sessions, mindfulness exercises, and resources on mindfulness and its benefits.
Link: https://www.headspace.com/

2. UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: Provides free guided meditations and resources on mindfulness, including downloadable audio recordings and articles.
Link: https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/

3. Mindful.org: A website dedicated to mindfulness and its application in various aspects of life. Provides articles, guided practices, and resources for incorporating mindfulness into recovery.
Link: https://www.mindful.org/

4. Insight Timer: A meditation app featuring thousands of free guided meditations, music tracks, and talks by meditation teachers from around the world.
Link: https://insighttimer.com/

5. Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP): An evidence-based program that integrates mindfulness practices with relapse prevention strategies. Offers resources and information on MBRP.
Link: https://www.mindfulrp.com/

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Topic: Building Healthy Relationships in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Importance of healthy relationships: Discuss how building and maintaining healthy relationships is crucial for support, accountability, and overall well-being in recovery.
2. Identify red flags and toxic dynamics: Educate participants on recognizing red flags and toxic patterns in relationships that can undermine recovery, such as codependency, enabling, and unhealthy boundaries.
3. Communication skills: Highlight the importance of effective communication in building healthy relationships. Discuss active listening, assertiveness, and conflict resolution techniques.
4. Setting boundaries: Explain the significance of setting and enforcing boundaries in relationships. Provide guidance on identifying personal boundaries, communicating them effectively, and maintaining self-respect.
5. Nurturing supportive relationships: Encourage participants to seek out and cultivate relationships that support their recovery journey, such as 12-step groups, support networks, or therapy. Emphasize the value of connection and accountability.

Resources:
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Chapter 5 – Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Use Disorder Treatment): Offers insights on building healthy relationships in recovery and the role of social support.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment

2. PsychCentral – Healthy Relationships in Recovery: Provides an article discussing the importance of healthy relationships in recovery and tips for building and maintaining them.
Link: https://psychcentral.com/lib/healthy-relationships-in-recovery/

3. SMART Recovery – Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships: Offers a resource guide on building healthy relationships in recovery, focusing on communication, boundaries, and trust.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/building-and-maintaining-healthy-relationships/

4. Loveisrespect.org – Setting Boundaries: Provides information and resources on setting healthy boundaries in relationships, including signs of unhealthy boundaries and tips for establishing and maintaining them.
Link: https://www.loveisrespect.org/content/setting-boundaries/

5. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – Relationships in Recovery: Offers insights on building and repairing relationships in recovery, addressing common challenges and providing guidance on communication and amends.
Link: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_talk_relationships-in-recovery.pdf


Topic: Stress Management in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. The impact of stress on recovery: Discuss how stress can be a common trigger for relapse and the importance of effective stress management in maintaining sobriety.
2. Recognizing stressors: Help participants identify common sources of stress in their lives, such as work, relationships, financial pressures, or health issues.
3. Healthy coping mechanisms: Explore healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques (deep breathing, meditation), engaging in hobbies, practicing self-care, and seeking social support.
4. Time management and prioritization: Discuss the significance of effective time management and prioritization in reducing stress. Offer strategies for setting realistic goals, creating schedules, and establishing boundaries.
5. Seeking professional help: Encourage participants to seek professional help when stress becomes overwhelming. Discuss the role of therapists, counselors, or support groups in managing stress effectively.

Resources:
1. American Psychological Association (APA) – Stress: Provides information and resources on understanding and managing stress, including practical tips and strategies.
Link: https://www.apa.org/topics/stress

2. HelpGuide – Stress Management: Learn How to Relieve Stress and Overcome Obstacles: Offers a comprehensive guide on stress management, including techniques, self-help strategies, and resources for support.
Link: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm

3. Mayo Clinic – Stress Management: Provides information on stress management techniques, relaxation exercises, and practical tips for reducing stress.
Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management

4. MindTools – Time Management: Provides tools and resources for effective time management, including tips on prioritization, goal setting, and overcoming procrastination.
Link: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm

5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Offers resources to locate quality treatment providers, including therapists and counselors who specialize in stress management and addiction recovery.
Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery


Topic: Overcoming Shame and Guilt in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Understanding shame and guilt: Discuss the difference between shame and guilt and how they can impact the recovery process. Explain that shame is a negative belief about oneself, while guilt is the recognition of a specific behavior as wrong.
2. Recognizing shame and guilt triggers: Help participants identify common triggers that can lead to shame and guilt in recovery, such as relapse, past behaviors, damaged relationships, or societal stigma.
3. Practicing self-compassion: Emphasize the importance of self-compassion in overcoming shame and guilt. Encourage participants to develop self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, and self-love as they navigate their recovery journey.
4. Challenging negative self-talk: Provide strategies for challenging and reframing negative self-talk and self-judgment. Teach participants to replace self-criticism with self-encouragement and positive affirmations.
5. Seeking support and therapy: Discuss the value of seeking support from trusted individuals, such as therapists, support groups, or sponsors, to process and heal from shame and guilt. Encourage participants to explore therapy options that specialize in shame and guilt issues.

Resources:
1. The Meadows – Overcoming Shame: A Self-Help Guide: Offers a comprehensive guide on understanding and overcoming shame, providing practical exercises and strategies for healing.
Link: https://www.themeadows.com/uploads/files/Overcoming%20Shame%20-%20Self-Help%20Guide.pdf

2. Psychology Today – Healing Shame and Guilt in Recovery: Provides an article on understanding and addressing shame and guilt in recovery, offering insights and techniques for healing.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/heartache-hope/201603/healing-shame-and-guilt-in-recovery

3. SMART Recovery – Overcoming Shame, Guilt, and Stigma: Provides resources and tools for overcoming shame, guilt, and stigma in recovery, including articles and online meetings.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/overcoming-shame-guilt-stigma/

4. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Therapeutic Communities Research Report: Offers information on therapeutic communities as an effective treatment approach for addressing shame, guilt, and other emotional issues in recovery.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/therapeutic-communities

5. American Addiction Centers – Healing Shame in Recovery: Provides an article discussing the role of shame in addiction and recovery, along with strategies for healing and moving forward.
Link: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/blog/healing-shame-recovery


Topic: Coping Skills for Stress and Anxiety

Talking Points:
1. Understanding stress and anxiety: Explain the difference between stress and anxiety and how they can affect mental and emotional well-being. Help participants recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety.
2. Deep breathing exercises: Teach participants deep breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing, as a simple yet effective strategy for managing stress and anxiety in the moment.
3. Mindfulness and meditation: Introduce the concept of mindfulness and guide participants through mindfulness exercises and meditation practices to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce anxiety.
4. Physical activity and exercise: Discuss the benefits of physical activity and regular exercise in reducing stress and anxiety. Encourage participants to engage in activities they enjoy, such as walking, yoga, dancing, or sports.
5. Self-care practices: Emphasize the importance of self-care in managing stress and anxiety. Encourage participants to prioritize self-care activities that promote relaxation, such as taking baths, engaging in hobbies, practicing gratitude, or spending time in nature.

Resources:
1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress: Provides practical tips and coping strategies for managing anxiety and stress in everyday life.
Link: https://adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress

2. Headspace – Stress and Anxiety Relief: Offers guided meditation and mindfulness exercises specifically designed to reduce stress and anxiety.
Link: https://www.headspace.com/collection/7-days-of-stress

3. HelpGuide – Stress Relief in the Moment: Provides a range of techniques and exercises for managing stress in the moment, including deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
Link: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-relief-in-the-moment.htm

4. Mayo Clinic – Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress: Provides information on the connection between exercise and stress reduction, along with tips for incorporating physical activity into daily routines.
Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469

5. Psychology Tools – Self-Care Assessment Worksheet: Offers a self-care assessment tool to help participants identify self-care activities that can effectively reduce stress and anxiety.
Link: https://www.psychologytools.com/assets/self-help/self_care_assessment.pdf

Topic: Exploring Spirituality in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Understanding spirituality in recovery: Discuss the role of spirituality in the recovery process and how it can provide individuals with a sense of purpose, connection, and guidance.
2. Exploring personal beliefs: Encourage participants to explore their personal beliefs and values, including any spiritual or religious traditions they resonate with. Emphasize that spirituality is a personal journey and can take various forms.
3. Mindfulness and spiritual practices: Introduce the concept of mindfulness as a way to cultivate spiritual awareness and connection. Discuss other spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, gratitude, or journaling that can support individuals in their spiritual exploration.
4. Connecting with a higher power: Explore the concept of a higher power or a power greater than oneself in the context of recovery. Encourage participants to develop their own understanding of a higher power that aligns with their beliefs.
5. Seeking support and community: Highlight the importance of finding support and community within spiritual or religious groups, such as attending services, joining prayer or meditation groups, or participating in spiritual retreats.

Resources:
1. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Provides a spiritual approach to recovery through the Twelve Steps, including the recognition of a higher power. Offers local meetings and resources.
Link: https://www.aa.org/

2. Center for Spirituality & Healing – Exploring Spirituality: Offers resources and articles on exploring spirituality, including practices for deepening spiritual connection and well-being.
Link: https://www.csh.umn.edu/program-areas/spirituality

3. Spirituality & Health Magazine: Provides a wide range of articles and resources exploring the intersection of spirituality and health, including personal stories, practices, and research.
Link: https://spiritualityhealth.com/

4. The Recovery Book: Provides guidance on incorporating spirituality into recovery, including spiritual practices, exercises, and reflections. Written by Al J. Mooney, Catherine Dold, and Howard Eisenberg.
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Recovery-Book-Answers-Addiction-Overcoming/dp/0761176111

5. Beliefnet: Offers a comprehensive online resource for spirituality and faith, providing articles, prayers, meditation practices, and discussions on various spiritual topics.
Link: https://www.beliefnet.com/

6. Book: “The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham
7. Website: intherooms.com

Topic: Navigating Social Events and Peer Pressure in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Understanding social events and peer pressure: Discuss the challenges that social events and peer pressure can present in the context of recovery. Explain how these situations may trigger cravings, temptations, or feelings of isolation.
2. Setting personal boundaries: Emphasize the importance of setting clear boundaries to protect one’s recovery. Encourage participants to identify their personal boundaries regarding alcohol or substance use and communicate them assertively when necessary.
3. Developing refusal skills: Provide participants with strategies for effectively handling peer pressure, such as learning to say “no” assertively, offering alternative suggestions, or removing oneself from triggering situations.
4. Building a sober support network: Highlight the significance of surrounding oneself with a supportive network of individuals who understand and respect their recovery journey. Discuss the value of connecting with sober friends, sponsors, or attending recovery-focused social events.
5. Self-care before, during, and after events: Discuss the importance of self-care practices as a way to manage stress and maintain balance during social events. Encourage participants to prioritize self-care activities such as mindfulness exercises, journaling, or reaching out for support if needed.

Resources:
1. SAMHSA – Tips for Socializing Without Using Drugs or Alcohol: Provides practical tips and strategies for navigating social events in recovery, including coping with peer pressure and managing cravings.
Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/recovery-support/tips-socializing-without-using-drugs-or-alcohol

2. SMART Recovery – Handling Urges to Drink or Use: Offers resources and tools for managing cravings and handling peer pressure in social situations, including a downloadable workbook.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/handling-urges-to-drink-or-use/

3. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Includes a section on dealing with peer pressure and strategies for resisting substance use in social contexts.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment/social-context-substance-use

4. Women for Sobriety – The New Life Program: Provides a set of recovery tools specifically designed for women, including guidance on handling social situations and maintaining sobriety.
Link: https://womenforsobriety.org/new-life-program/

5. Sober Grid: A mobile app that connects individuals in recovery, offering a supportive community, resources, and the ability to find sober events and meetups.
Link: https://www.sobergrid.com/


Topic: Developing Effective Communication Skills

Talking Points:
1. Importance of effective communication: Discuss the significance of effective communication in building healthy relationships, expressing needs and boundaries, and resolving conflicts.
2. Active listening: Teach participants the art of active listening, including techniques such as maintaining eye contact, paraphrasing, and avoiding interruptions. Emphasize the value of truly understanding and validating others’ perspectives.
3. Assertive communication: Introduce the concept of assertive communication as a balanced approach that respects both one’s own rights and the rights of others. Provide tips for expressing thoughts, feelings, and needs assertively, while also actively listening to others.
4. Non-verbal communication: Explore the impact of non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, in effective communication. Discuss the importance of congruence between verbal and non-verbal messages.
5. Conflict resolution: Provide strategies for managing conflicts constructively, including active listening, expressing emotions without aggression, finding common ground, and seeking win-win solutions.

Resources:
1. HelpGuide – Effective Communication: Offers a comprehensive guide on improving communication skills, including active listening, non-verbal communication, and assertiveness techniques.
Link: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/effective-communication.htm

2. MindTools – Assertiveness: A practical guide to assertive communication techniques, providing tips for expressing needs and boundaries confidently while respecting others.
Link: https://www.mindtools.com/Assertiveness.html

3. TED Talk – Julian Treasure: How to Speak So That People Want to Listen: In this engaging talk, Julian Treasure shares tips for powerful and effective communication, including vocal exercises and storytelling techniques.
Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_how_to_speak_so_that_people_want_to_listen

4. CommunicationSkills365.info – Non-Verbal Communication: A comprehensive resource on understanding and improving non-verbal communication skills, including body language and facial expressions.
Link: http://www.communicationskills365.info/nonverbal-communication.html

5. MindTools – Conflict Resolution: Provides guidance on managing conflicts effectively, including active listening, problem-solving techniques, and negotiation skills.
Link: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_81.htm

6. Book: “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg

7. Website: positivepsychology.com

 

Topic: Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Understanding co-occurring disorders: Explain the concept of co-occurring disorders, which refers to the presence of both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. Discuss the high prevalence of co-occurring disorders and the importance of integrated treatment.
2. Importance of professional evaluation: Encourage participants to seek professional evaluation and assessment to identify any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be present alongside their substance use disorder. Highlight the benefits of a comprehensive treatment approach.
3. Integrated treatment approach: Discuss the advantages of integrated treatment, which involves addressing both the substance use disorder and mental health disorder concurrently. Explain how integrated treatment can lead to better outcomes and improved overall well-being.
4. Support and therapy options: Provide information on various support and therapy options available for individuals with co-occurring disorders, such as individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. Emphasize the importance of building a strong support network.
5. Self-care and self-awareness: Discuss the significance of self-care practices and self-awareness in managing co-occurring disorders. Encourage participants to prioritize activities that promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being, such as exercise, healthy lifestyle choices, and self-reflection.

Resources:
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Co-Occurring Disorders: Provides information, resources, and treatment guidelines for addressing co-occurring disorders.
Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/co-occurring

2. Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA): A 12-step fellowship for individuals with dual diagnoses of substance use and mental health disorders. Offers meetings and support resources.
Link: https://www.draonline.org/

3. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Dual Diagnosis: Offers educational materials and support resources for individuals and families dealing with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Link: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Dual-Diagnosis

4. Psychology Today – Find a Therapist: An online directory to search for therapists specializing in co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis treatment.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

5. Dual Diagnosis.org: Provides information, articles, and resources on understanding and treating co-occurring disorders, including self-help tools and support options.
Link: https://dualdiagnosis.org/


Topic: Practicing Self-Compassion and Self-Forgiveness

Talking Points:
1. Understanding self-compassion: Explain the concept of self-compassion as extending kindness, understanding, and acceptance towards oneself, especially in times of difficulty or when facing personal challenges.
2. Benefits of self-compassion: Discuss the positive impact of self-compassion on overall well-being, mental health, and recovery. Highlight how self-compassion can help individuals navigate setbacks, reduce self-criticism, and promote self-care.
3. Recognizing the need for self-forgiveness: Emphasize the importance of self-forgiveness in the recovery journey. Help participants understand that mistakes and relapses are a natural part of the process and that self-forgiveness is essential for growth and moving forward.
4. Cultivating self-compassion: Provide practical strategies for cultivating self-compassion, such as practicing self-care, self-reflection, self-acceptance, and challenging negative self-talk. Encourage participants to develop a supportive and compassionate inner dialogue.
5. Embracing a growth mindset: Explore the concept of a growth mindset, which involves viewing challenges and setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth. Help participants shift their perspective towards self-improvement and resilience.

Resources:
1. Self-Compassion.org: Offers resources, exercises, and guided meditations on self-compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff, a leading expert in the field.
Link: https://self-compassion.org/

2. Mindful.org – The Transformative Effects of Mindful Self-Compassion: Provides an article on the benefits of mindful self-compassion, including practical tips for incorporating self-compassion into daily life.
Link: https://www.mindful.org/the-transformative-effects-of-mindful-self-compassion/

3. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown: A book that explores the importance of embracing imperfections, cultivating self-compassion, and letting go of shame and self-judgment.
Link: https://brenebrown.com/books-audio/

4. Greater Good Magazine – The Science of Self-Compassion: Offers articles and resources on the science behind self-compassion, including research-backed strategies for self-compassion practices.
Link: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/self-compassion/definition

5. Tiny Buddha – How to Forgive Yourself: Provides a blog post on self-forgiveness, including practical steps and strategies for letting go of self-blame and embracing self-forgiveness.
Link: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-forgive-yourself-7-steps-to-letting-go-of-guilt/


Topic: Exploring Different Paths to Recovery (12-Step, SMART Recovery, etc.)

Talking Points:
1. Understanding different paths to recovery: Introduce the concept that there are various paths to recovery, each offering unique approaches and philosophies. Emphasize the importance of finding a path that resonates with the individual’s needs and values.
2. 12-Step programs: Discuss the history and principles of 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Highlight the role of fellowship, peer support, and working the 12 Steps in these programs.
3. SMART Recovery: Provide an overview of SMART Recovery, a science-based program that focuses on self-empowerment and self-directed change. Explain the principles of SMART Recovery, including setting goals, managing urges, and building a balanced lifestyle.
4. Refuge Recovery: Introduce Refuge Recovery, a Buddhist-inspired path to recovery that incorporates meditation, mindfulness, and ethical principles. Discuss the emphasis on compassion, forgiveness, and self-reflection in this approach.
5. Other recovery pathways: Mention other recovery pathways and support groups, such as Women for Sobriety (WFS), LifeRing Secular Recovery, and Moderation Management. Explain their respective philosophies and resources.

Resources:
1. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): The official website of Alcoholics Anonymous provides information on the 12-Step program, meeting directories, literature, and resources.
Link: https://www.aa.org/

2. SMART Recovery: The official website of SMART Recovery offers tools, resources, online meetings, and a community forum for individuals seeking a science-based approach to recovery.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/

3. Refuge Recovery: The official website of Refuge Recovery provides information on the Buddhist-inspired path to recovery, including meetings, meditation resources, and study materials.
Link: https://refugerecovery.org/

4. Women for Sobriety (WFS): The official website of Women for Sobriety offers resources, online support, and a New Life Program focused on empowering women in recovery.
Link: https://womenforsobriety.org/

5. LifeRing Secular Recovery: The official website of LifeRing Secular Recovery provides information on their secular approach to recovery, including meetings, online support, and recovery tools.
Link: https://lifering.org/

6. Moderation Management: The official website of Moderation Management offers resources and support for individuals seeking moderation rather than abstinence as their goal in recovery.
Link: https://www.moderation.org/


Topic: Cultivating Gratitude and Positivity in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. The power of gratitude: Discuss the transformative effects of practicing gratitude in recovery. Explain how cultivating a grateful mindset can shift focus from challenges to blessings, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.
2. Gratitude practices: Introduce various gratitude practices that participants can incorporate into their daily lives, such as keeping a gratitude journal, expressing gratitude to others, or practicing mindfulness of the present moment.
3. Positive affirmations: Discuss the benefits of positive affirmations in promoting self-belief, self-worth, and optimism. Teach participants how to create and use positive affirmations as a tool for personal growth and positive mindset.
4. Surrounding oneself with positivity: Encourage participants to surround themselves with positive influences, supportive individuals, and inspiring resources. Highlight the importance of creating an uplifting and positive environment for personal recovery.
5. Celebrating milestones and progress: Emphasize the significance of celebrating milestones and progress along the recovery journey. Encourage participants to acknowledge their achievements, no matter how small, and to practice self-compassion and self-appreciation.

Resources:
1. Greater Good Magazine – Gratitude: Provides articles, research, and practical tips on cultivating gratitude and its positive impact on well-being.
Link: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition

2. The Science of Happiness – Positive Affirmations: Offers insights and scientific research on the benefits of positive affirmations, along with guidance on creating and using affirmations effectively.
Link: https://www.thescienceofhappiness.org/blog/positive-affirmations

3. The Five Minute Journal: A popular gratitude journal that provides prompts and daily exercises to cultivate gratitude and positivity.
Link: https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journal

4. Happify – Positivity and Optimism: Provides science-based activities, games, and resources to boost positivity, optimism, and overall well-being.
Link: https://www.happify.com/

5. Tiny Buddha – How to Celebrate Milestones: Offers practical suggestions and ideas for celebrating milestones and achievements along the recovery journey.
Link: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/celebrate-life-how-to-celebrate-milestones/


Topic: Overcoming Fear and Uncertainty in Sobriety

Talking Points:
1. Understanding fear and uncertainty: Discuss the common experiences of fear and uncertainty that individuals may encounter during their sobriety journey. Explain that these emotions are natural and can be opportunities for growth.
2. Identifying triggers and patterns: Help participants recognize their personal triggers and patterns of fear and uncertainty. Discuss the importance of self-awareness in understanding and addressing these emotions.
3. Developing coping strategies: Provide practical coping strategies for managing fear and uncertainty, such as deep breathing exercises, grounding techniques, mindfulness practices, and reaching out for support from peers or a sponsor.
4. Building resilience: Discuss the concept of resilience and its role in overcoming fear and uncertainty. Encourage participants to cultivate resilience through self-care practices, healthy coping mechanisms, and positive mindset.
5. Embracing change and taking small steps: Help participants reframe their perspective on fear and uncertainty as opportunities for growth and personal transformation. Encourage them to embrace change, set realistic goals, and take small steps towards building a fulfilling life in recovery.

Resources:
1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – Overcoming Fear and Anxiety: Provides resources, articles, and tips for overcoming fear and anxiety.
Link: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/overcoming-fear

2. Headspace – Meditation App: Offers guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to manage fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
Link: https://www.headspace.com/

3. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: Contains personal stories, insights, and guidance on overcoming fear and uncertainty in recovery.
Link: Available through various retailers.

4. Verywell Mind – How to Overcome Fear: Provides strategies and techniques for overcoming fear and building resilience.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-overcome-fear-4174521

5. Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation – Embracing Change: Offers resources and articles on embracing change and navigating uncertainty in recovery.
Link: https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/embracing-change

Topic: Exploring Trauma and Healing in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Understanding trauma in the context of recovery: Discuss the impact of trauma on individuals in their recovery journey. Explain how trauma can manifest in various ways, including emotional, physical, or psychological, and how it can influence addictive behaviors.
2. Trauma-informed care: Highlight the importance of trauma-informed care in recovery. Explain the principles of creating a safe and supportive environment that acknowledges the impact of trauma and promotes healing.
3. Recognizing and addressing trauma triggers: Help participants identify their personal trauma triggers and discuss strategies for managing them effectively. Emphasize the role of self-care, healthy coping mechanisms, and seeking professional support when necessary.
4. Healing modalities: Introduce various healing modalities that can support individuals in their trauma recovery, such as therapy (including trauma-focused therapy), support groups, art therapy, mindfulness practices, and holistic approaches like yoga or meditation.
5. Building resilience and post-traumatic growth: Discuss the concept of resilience and post-traumatic growth as individuals navigate their trauma recovery process. Highlight the potential for personal growth, strength, and empowerment that can arise from healing trauma in recovery.

Resources:
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Substance Use Disorders and Trauma: Provides information on the connection between trauma and substance use disorders, along with resources for treatment and recovery.
Link: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/frequently-asked-questions/how-do-co-occurring-disorders-affect-drug-abuse-treatment

2. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk: A renowned book exploring the impact of trauma on the body and mind, and various pathways to healing.
Link: Available through various retailers.

3. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN): Offers resources, articles, and tools for understanding and addressing trauma in individuals of all ages.
Link: https://www.nctsn.org/

4. The Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist-inspired path to recovery that incorporates trauma-informed practices and healing principles.
Link: https://refugerecovery.org/

5. Psychology Today – Finding the Right Therapist for Trauma Recovery: Provides guidance on finding a qualified therapist specializing in trauma recovery and healing.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empowerment-diary/201808/finding-the-right-therapist-trauma-recovery


Topic: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Importance of finding purpose: Discuss the significance of finding purpose and meaning in the recovery process. Explain how having a sense of purpose can provide motivation, direction, and fulfillment, leading to a more meaningful and sustainable recovery journey.
2. Reflecting on personal values and aspirations: Encourage participants to reflect on their personal values, aspirations, and passions. Discuss how aligning their recovery goals with their core values can bring a sense of purpose and enhance their overall well-being.
3. Exploring interests and talents: Encourage participants to explore their interests, hobbies, and talents as a way to discover and nurture their sense of purpose. Discuss the benefits of engaging in activities that bring joy, fulfillment, and a sense of accomplishment.
4. Serving others and giving back: Highlight the power of service and giving back in finding purpose in recovery. Discuss the opportunities for volunteering, supporting others in their recovery, or getting involved in community initiatives as a way to create meaning and make a positive impact.
5. Continuous personal growth and self-discovery: Emphasize that finding purpose in recovery is an ongoing process of self-discovery and personal growth. Encourage participants to embrace the journey, be open to new experiences, and adapt their sense of purpose as they evolve in their recovery.

Resources:
1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl: A profound book that explores the pursuit of meaning and purpose in life, drawing from the author’s experiences in a Nazi concentration camp.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. TED Talk – Emily Esfahani Smith: There’s More to Life Than Being Happy: A thought-provoking TED Talk that explores the concept of a meaningful life and the elements that contribute to a sense of purpose.
Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_esfahani_smith_there_s_more_to_life_than_being_happy

3. VolunteerMatch: An online platform that connects individuals with volunteer opportunities based on their interests and location.
Link: https://www.volunteermatch.org/

4. PositivePsychology.com – Finding Meaning: Provides practical strategies and exercises for finding meaning and purpose in life, including in the context of recovery.
Link: https://positivepsychology.com/finding-meaning-in-life/

5. The Recovery Village – Finding Purpose in Recovery: Offers an article on finding purpose in recovery, exploring various approaches and strategies to discover meaning.
Link: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/recovery-blog/finding-purpose-in-recovery/

 

Topic: Overcoming Loneliness and Building a Sober Support System

Talking Points:
1. Recognizing the impact of loneliness: Discuss the emotional and psychological impact of loneliness on individuals in recovery. Explain how loneliness can trigger cravings, negative emotions, and hinder progress.
2. Understanding the importance of a sober support system: Highlight the significance of building a sober support system in recovery. Explain how having a supportive network of individuals who understand and relate to the challenges of recovery can provide companionship, encouragement, and accountability.
3. Seeking community: Discuss the various avenues for finding community and connection in recovery, such as 12-step meetings, recovery support groups, online forums, and social events. Emphasize the benefits of engaging with like-minded individuals who share similar goals and experiences.
4. Nurturing existing relationships: Encourage participants to nurture and strengthen their existing relationships with family members, friends, and loved ones who support their recovery. Discuss the importance of open communication, setting boundaries, and seeking understanding from loved ones.
5. Developing new relationships: Provide guidance on how to develop new relationships in recovery, such as reaching out to peers in recovery, attending social events, and participating in sober activities. Discuss the value of shared experiences and mutual support in building meaningful connections.

Resources:
1. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): A fellowship and support network based on the 12-step program. AA provides meetings and resources for individuals seeking support in their recovery journey.
Link: https://www.aa.org/

2. SMART Recovery: A science-based recovery support group that focuses on self-empowerment and self-reliance. SMART Recovery offers meetings, online forums, and resources for individuals in recovery.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/

3. Sober Grid: A mobile app that connects individuals in recovery and provides a supportive community for those seeking sober connections, resources, and encouragement.
Link: https://www.sobergrid.com/

4. Psychology Today – Building a Sober Support System: Offers practical tips and insights on building a sober support system, including finding support groups, therapy, and online resources.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/addiction-recovery-101/201911/building-sober-support-system

5. The Recovery Village – Overcoming Loneliness in Recovery: Provides an article on overcoming loneliness in recovery, offering strategies, and insights for building social connections and combating isolation.
Link: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/recovery-blog/overcoming-loneliness-in-recovery/


Topic: Managing Sleep and Establishing Healthy Sleep Patterns in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. The importance of sleep in recovery: Discuss the crucial role of sleep in the recovery process. Explain how quality sleep supports physical and mental well-being, helps regulate emotions, reduces stress, and promotes overall healing.
2. Understanding sleep disturbances in recovery: Address common sleep disturbances experienced in recovery, such as insomnia, vivid dreams, and disrupted sleep patterns. Discuss the potential causes, including post-acute withdrawal symptoms, anxiety, and changes in brain chemistry.
3. Establishing a sleep routine: Emphasize the significance of establishing a consistent sleep routine. Discuss the importance of setting regular bedtimes and wake-up times, creating a relaxing pre-sleep routine, and optimizing sleep environment (e.g., comfortable mattress, dark and quiet room).
4. Sleep hygiene practices: Provide practical tips for practicing good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime, limiting exposure to electronic devices before bed, engaging in relaxation techniques (e.g., deep breathing, meditation), and maintaining a comfortable sleep environment.
5. Seeking professional help: Encourage participants to seek professional help if they continue to experience significant sleep disturbances despite implementing healthy sleep practices. Discuss the potential benefits of consulting a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for evaluation and guidance.

Resources:
1. National Sleep Foundation: A reputable organization that provides resources and information on sleep health, including articles, tips, and tools for improving sleep quality.
Link: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/

2. Sleepio: An online sleep improvement program that offers evidence-based techniques and personalized support to help individuals overcome sleep problems.
Link: https://www.sleepio.com/

3. The Sleep Book by Dr. Guy Meadows: A comprehensive book that explores the science of sleep and provides practical strategies for improving sleep quality and overcoming insomnia.
Link: Available through various retailers.

4. Mayo Clinic – Healthy Sleep: Offers a wealth of information on sleep health, including tips for establishing healthy sleep patterns and managing sleep disorders.
Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

5. Headspace – Sleep by Headspace: A meditation app that offers guided sleep meditations and relaxation exercises to support a restful night’s sleep.
Link: https://www.headspace.com/sleep

 

Topic: Parenting in Recovery: Challenges and Strategies

Talking Points:
1. Recognizing the unique challenges: Discuss the specific challenges faced by individuals in recovery who are also parents. Address issues such as rebuilding trust, managing guilt and shame, balancing recovery and parenting responsibilities, and addressing the impact of addiction on children.
2. Prioritizing self-care: Emphasize the importance of self-care for parents in recovery. Discuss how taking care of oneself physically, emotionally, and mentally can positively impact parenting abilities and provide a stable environment for children.
3. Seeking support: Highlight the value of seeking support from professionals, support groups, and other parents in recovery. Discuss the benefits of attending parenting classes or therapy, joining parent support groups, and utilizing community resources for assistance.
4. Open and honest communication: Emphasize the significance of open and honest communication with children. Discuss age-appropriate ways to discuss addiction and recovery, answer questions, and address concerns. Encourage parents to maintain a safe and supportive environment for children to express their feelings.
5. Developing healthy coping strategies: Provide strategies for parents to develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress and emotions. Discuss the importance of modeling healthy behaviors for children and utilizing positive parenting techniques that promote emotional well-being.

Resources:
1. National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA): Provides resources, information, and support for children and families affected by addiction, including parenting resources and tips.
Link: https://nacoa.org/

2. Partnership to End Addiction: Offers resources, support, and guidance for parents and caregivers navigating addiction and parenting challenges, including articles and helpline services.
Link: https://drugfree.org/

3. Positive Parenting in Recovery: A website that provides resources, articles, and strategies for parents in recovery, focusing on positive parenting techniques and building healthy relationships with children.
Link: http://www.positiveparentinginrecovery.com/

4. SMART Recovery – Family & Friends: A program specifically designed for family members and friends affected by addiction, providing support, education, and resources for parenting in recovery.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/family/

5. Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell: A book that explores the impact of parents’ own histories on their parenting and provides insights and strategies for developing secure parent-child relationships.
Link: Available through various retailers.


Topic: Exploring the Role of Creativity in the Recovery Journey

Talking Points:
1. Understanding creativity in recovery: Discuss the concept of creativity and its relevance in the recovery journey. Explain how engaging in creative pursuits can provide a healthy outlet for emotions, boost self-expression, enhance self-esteem, and promote personal growth.
2. Expressing emotions through creative outlets: Highlight the role of creativity in expressing and processing emotions. Discuss the benefits of engaging in activities such as art, music, writing, dance, or other forms of creative expression as a means of exploring and communicating inner experiences.
3. Building a sense of identity and purpose: Explore how engaging in creative endeavors can help individuals in recovery develop a sense of identity and purpose. Discuss how discovering or rediscovering creative passions and talents can contribute to a fulfilling and meaningful life beyond addiction.
4. Mindfulness and flow in creative activities: Discuss the connection between creativity, mindfulness, and the state of flow. Explain how immersing oneself in a creative activity can cultivate a sense of presence, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.
5. Embracing a growth mindset: Encourage participants to embrace a growth mindset when exploring their creative abilities. Discuss the importance of focusing on the process rather than the outcome, embracing mistakes as learning opportunities, and celebrating personal progress and self-expression.

Resources:
1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: A renowned book that explores the connection between creativity and spirituality, providing practical exercises and insights to unlock creativity and overcome creative blocks.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. TED Talk – Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius: A thought-provoking TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, where she shares her perspective on creativity, inspiration, and the role of the creative process in our lives.
Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius

3. Creative Recovery: A website and online community dedicated to exploring the role of creativity in recovery. Provides resources, inspiration, and a platform for individuals to share their creative expressions.
Link: https://www.creativerecovery.com/

4. The Recovery Village – The Role of Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment: Offers an article that highlights the benefits of art therapy in the recovery process, exploring how creative expression can support healing and self-discovery.
Link: https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/recovery-blog/the-role-of-art-therapy-in-addiction-treatment/

5. The Healing Power of Music: An article that discusses the therapeutic effects of music in recovery, highlighting its ability to promote emotional expression, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-healing-arts/201602/the-healing-power-music

 

Topic: Cultivating Resilience in Times of a Reoccurrence of Use or Setbacks

Talking Points:
1. Understanding the nature of setbacks: Discuss the common occurrence of setbacks and reoccurrence of use in recovery. Emphasize that setbacks are a normal part of the recovery journey and do not define a person’s worth or ability to achieve long-term sobriety.
2. Embracing resilience: Define resilience as the ability to bounce back and adapt in the face of challenges. Explain the importance of cultivating resilience in recovery to navigate setbacks effectively and continue progressing towards long-term recovery goals.
3. Developing coping strategies: Provide practical coping strategies that can help individuals in recovery navigate setbacks and reoccurrence of use. Discuss techniques such as reaching out for support, practicing self-care, utilizing healthy coping mechanisms, and reframing setbacks as learning opportunities.
4. Strengthening support networks: Highlight the significance of having a strong support network in times of setbacks. Encourage participants to lean on their support system, such as friends, family, recovery peers, and professionals, to gain encouragement, guidance, and accountability.
5. Practicing self-compassion: Discuss the importance of self-compassion during setbacks. Encourage individuals to be kind and understanding towards themselves, recognizing that setbacks do not define their recovery journey. Emphasize the value of learning from setbacks, adjusting strategies, and moving forward with renewed determination.

Resources:
1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown: A book that explores embracing imperfections, cultivating resilience, and developing a sense of self-worth. Provides insights and strategies for navigating setbacks and living a wholehearted life.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. American Addiction Centers – Building Resilience in Recovery: Offers an article that explores resilience in recovery, providing tips and strategies for cultivating resilience and bouncing back from setbacks.
Link: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/blog/building-resilience-in-recovery

3. SMART Recovery – Dealing with Relapse: Provides resources and strategies specifically addressing relapse and setbacks in recovery. Offers tools, articles, and a supportive online community for individuals navigating relapse.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/relapse/

4. Verywell Mind – 5 Ways to Cultivate Resilience in Addiction Recovery: An article that provides practical tips and strategies for developing resilience in the face of setbacks and challenges in recovery.
Link: https://www.verywellmind.com/developing-resilience-in-addiction-recovery-4157296

5. Psychology Today – The Power of Self-Compassion: Explores the concept of self-compassion and its role in navigating setbacks. Offers insights and practices for cultivating self-compassion during difficult times.
Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-nourishment/201811/the-power-self-compassion

Topic: Addressing Codependency and Enabling Behaviors

Talking Points:
1. Understanding codependency: Define codependency and explain how it can manifest in relationships with individuals struggling with addiction. Discuss the dynamics of codependency, such as enabling behaviors, excessive caretaking, and an unhealthy focus on others’ needs at the expense of one’s own well-being.
2. Recognizing enabling behaviors: Identify common enabling behaviors that can perpetuate addiction and hinder recovery progress. Discuss examples such as covering up for the person’s addiction, making excuses for their behavior, providing financial support without accountability, and neglecting one’s own needs to prioritize the person struggling with addiction.
3. Setting healthy boundaries: Emphasize the importance of setting and enforcing healthy boundaries in relationships affected by codependency. Discuss the role of boundaries in promoting self-care, establishing clear expectations, and creating an environment conducive to recovery.
4. Seeking support and education: Encourage individuals affected by codependency to seek support and education. Discuss the benefits of attending support groups such as Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous, engaging in therapy or counseling, and educating oneself about codependency and enabling behaviors.
5. Fostering self-care and personal growth: Highlight the significance of self-care and personal growth in breaking free from codependency patterns. Discuss the importance of focusing on one’s own well-being, pursuing individual interests and goals, and developing a strong sense of self outside of the codependent relationship.

Resources:
1. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA): A twelve-step program and support group for individuals seeking to break free from codependency. Provides meetings, literature, and a supportive community.
Link: https://coda.org/

2. Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie: A book that explores codependency and offers guidance and tools for recovery. Provides insights on breaking free from enabling behaviors and fostering healthier relationships.
Link: Available through various retailers.

3. SMART Recovery Family & Friends: A program designed for family members and friends affected by addiction, including codependency issues. Offers tools, resources, and online meetings to support individuals in overcoming codependency and enabling behaviors.
Link: https://www.smartrecovery.org/family/

4. National Resource Center on ADHD: Provides resources and information on codependency and enabling behaviors in relationships affected by ADHD. Offers articles, webinars, and tools for understanding and addressing codependent patterns.
Link: https://www.chadd.org/

5. Codependency for Dummies by Darlene Lancer: A comprehensive book that explores codependency, enabling behaviors, and provides practical strategies for breaking free from codependent patterns and fostering healthier relationships.
Link: Available through various retailers.

Topic: Exploring the Connection Between Trauma and Addiction

Talking Points:
1. Understanding trauma: Define trauma and discuss its various forms, including physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Explain how trauma can impact individuals’ emotional well-being, coping mechanisms, and overall functioning.
2. Trauma and addiction: Explore the connection between trauma and addiction. Discuss how individuals may turn to substances as a way to cope with the distressing symptoms of trauma, numb painful emotions, or self-medicate. Highlight the potential role of trauma in the development and maintenance of addiction.
3. Trauma-informed care: Explain the importance of trauma-informed care in addiction treatment. Discuss the need for a compassionate, supportive, and understanding approach that acknowledges the impact of trauma on individuals’ lives and incorporates trauma-sensitive strategies into recovery programs.
4. Healing trauma in recovery: Discuss the significance of addressing and healing trauma as part of the recovery process. Emphasize the benefits of trauma-focused therapies, such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and trauma-informed counseling, in helping individuals process trauma, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and reduce the risk of relapse.
5. Building resilience and support: Highlight the importance of building resilience and a strong support system for individuals with a history of trauma and addiction. Discuss the role of support groups, therapy, and connections with understanding and empathetic individuals in fostering healing, recovery, and post-traumatic growth.

Resources:
1. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk: A renowned book that explores the impact of trauma on the body and mind. Provides insights into trauma’s effects on the brain and offers approaches for healing and recovery.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services: Offers information and resources on trauma-informed care, including principles, practices, and training materials for professionals and organizations.
Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/trauma-violence

3. National Child Traumatic Stress Network: A comprehensive website providing information, resources, and evidence-based interventions for individuals affected by trauma, including children, adults, and families.
Link: https://www.nctsn.org/

4. EMDR International Association: Provides information on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a widely used approach for treating trauma. Offers a directory to find EMDR therapists in specific locations.
Link: https://www.emdria.org/

5. Book: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction” by Gabor Maté

6. Website: trauma-recovery.ca


Topic: Embracing Healthy Nutrition and Physical Well-Being in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Importance of nutrition and physical well-being: Discuss the role of nutrition and physical health in overall well-being and addiction recovery. Explain how proper nutrition and exercise can support physical and mental health, enhance mood and energy levels, and aid in the recovery process.
2. Mindful eating: Introduce the concept of mindful eating and its benefits in recovery. Discuss the importance of being aware of hunger and fullness cues, making conscious food choices, and developing a healthy relationship with food.
3. Balanced diet: Provide guidelines for adopting a balanced and nutritious diet in recovery. Discuss the importance of incorporating a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Emphasize the role of hydration in maintaining optimal health.
4. Regular exercise: Highlight the benefits of regular exercise in recovery. Discuss how physical activity can reduce stress, improve mood, promote better sleep, and boost self-esteem. Encourage participants to find physical activities they enjoy and incorporate them into their daily routine.
5. Seeking professional guidance: Recommend seeking professional guidance, such as a nutritionist or registered dietitian, to develop an individualized nutrition plan that meets specific needs and supports recovery goals. Emphasize the value of collaborating with healthcare professionals to address any dietary concerns or challenges.

Resources:
1. Food for Recovery: The Complete Nutritional Companion for Recovering from Addiction by Joseph A. Annibali and Melanie A. Solomon: A comprehensive guide that explores the connection between nutrition and recovery. Provides practical advice, meal plans, and recipes to support optimal nutrition in recovery.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Find an Expert: Offers a searchable database to find registered dietitians specializing in addiction recovery and nutrition. Allows individuals to find professionals in their local area.
Link: https://www.eatright.org/find-an-expert

3. Recovery Fitness: Provides online resources and fitness programs specifically designed for individuals in recovery. Offers exercise routines, workout videos, and tips for incorporating physical activity into a sober lifestyle.
Link: https://recoveryfitness.net/

4. Nutrition.gov – Smart Nutrition 101: A government website that provides evidence-based information on healthy eating, meal planning, and dietary guidelines. Offers resources to support individuals in making informed food choices.
Link: https://www.nutrition.gov/smart-nutrition-101

5. Exercise is Medicine: A global initiative that promotes the integration of exercise and physical activity in healthcare. Offers resources, educational materials, and tools to help individuals incorporate exercise into their recovery journey.
Link: https://www.exerciseismedicine.org/

 


Topic: Embracing a Life of Purpose and Service in Recovery

Talking Points:
1. Discovering personal values and passions: Encourage participants to explore their personal values, passions, and interests. Discuss the importance of self-reflection and identifying what brings meaning and fulfillment to their lives.
2. Setting meaningful goals: Emphasize the significance of setting goals that align with their values and aspirations. Discuss the benefits of having a sense of purpose and direction in recovery, as it provides motivation and a sense of accomplishment.
3. Giving back and service: Highlight the role of service in recovery. Discuss the benefits of engaging in acts of kindness, volunteering, or supporting others in need. Explain how service can promote personal growth, enhance self-esteem, and strengthen the recovery journey.
4. Finding purposeful activities: Encourage participants to explore activities and hobbies that bring them joy and a sense of purpose. Discuss the importance of engaging in activities that promote personal growth, self-expression, and a positive mindset.
5. Engaging with the recovery community: Encourage participants to actively participate in the recovery community. Discuss the benefits of connecting with others who share similar experiences, attending support group meetings, and engaging in fellowship and peer support.

Resources:
1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl: A renowned book that explores the search for meaning and purpose in life. Draws on the author’s experiences as a Holocaust survivor and offers insights into finding meaning in the face of adversity.
Link: Available through various retailers.

2. VolunteerMatch: An online platform that connects individuals with volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Allows users to search for volunteer positions based on their interests, skills, and location.
Link: https://www.volunteermatch.org/

3. Purpose Fairy: A website offering articles, resources, and inspirational content on living a purposeful life. Provides practical advice and guidance for discovering and embracing personal purpose.
Link: https://www.purposefairy.com/

4. Recovery Dharma: A Buddhist-inspired approach to recovery that emphasizes mindfulness, meditation, and community support. Offers online meetings and resources to support individuals in finding purpose and meaning in recovery.
Link: https://recoverydharma.org/

5. TED Talks: A collection of inspiring and thought-provoking talks on various topics. Encourage participants to explore TED Talks related to finding purpose, living with meaning, and making a difference.
Link: https://www.ted.com/


Tipic: People, Places, Things
An Introductory meeting topic to explore and discuss how to deal with triggering people, places, and things.

Topic: Negative Self Talk:
Discuss the importance of recognizing negative self-talk, Discuss the importance of positive self-talk.

Topic: Goals, Hopes, and Aspirations:
While recognizing the importance of treating your sobriety one day or one moment at a time, also recognize the importance of hope and realistic dreams for the future and how sobriety can lead you there.

Topic: Dealing with Triggers: Discuss practival tools and methods to recognize and deal with triggers. Investigate the difference between triggers and cravings.

Topic: Relationships:
Compare the depth of relationships formed in the problem to the ones formed in sobriety. How have the importance of relationships changes in recovery and who is important to you?

Topic: Trauma
Comment on the prevalence of trauma. How traume carries a braod definition. Recognize that it is up to the individual to address when reat. How does your recovery recognize and deal with trauma.