New Year’s Resolutions Can Increase your Chance of Success with Drug Rehab

new years resloutionThose who make New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to change their behavior than those who don’t, according to researchers at the University of Scranton. A resolution to enter drug rehab can be an important first step towards a new and better future.

Every New Year brings a significant increase in people accessing drug rehab, so anyone resolving to break free of their addiction won’t be alone, according to Gilbert Lichstein Program Director at the Chicago West facility of Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers.

“One of the best predictors for success in treatment is one’s readiness to change.  Committing to change, like making a New Year’s resolution, means you’re more likely to succeed,” Lichstein said.

Setting specific goals can increase the chance of a New Year’s resolution succeeding: simply resolving to lose weight is not as effective as deciding to exercise a set number of days each week. Those looking to break free of addiction can increase their chance of success by resolving to enter a drug rehab program in January of the New Year.

Enlisting the support of friends and family members can also help a New Year’s resolution succeed.

“Many people will spend the holidays with their friends and loved ones. This is a great opportunity to share your resolution with them and rally their support,” Lichstein said. “If a drugs and alcohol have isolated you from those you care about, treatment can put you on the path to reconnect with them.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drugs, visit recovergateway.org or call 877-505-4673 to learn more about treatment options, insurance coverage, and Gateway’s free, confidential consultation.

Gateway Tip: Mindfulness Solutions to Boost New Year’s Resolution Success

mindfulness-new years resolutions gateway alcohol and drug treatment

To increase resolution success rates in 2015, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment recommends mindfulness to help ease the burden of change.

According to a 2014 study analyzing the custom of making New Year’s resolutions, approximately 45 percent of Americans declare annual intentions, however only 8 percent achieve them. To increase resolution success rates in 2015, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment recommends mindfulness  to help ease the burden of change.

Regardless of the goal—from losing weight to getting organized to saving money—an effective way to break bad habits is to form good habits incompatible with the behaviors people want to change, and stick with it.  The reward may not be apparent at first as it can take several months on average to form a new habit through repetition.

“When a person is mindful and makes a concerted effort to ‘stick with it’ eventually new connections to the brain’s reward center will form.  When this happens, the new behavior becomes easier and easier, and as a result the person has a healthier habit to replace a less desirable one,” explains Dr. John Larson, Medical Director, Gateway Treatment Centers.

How can mindfulness improve resolution success? Mindfulness is a  mind-body technique involving awareness of breath, which induces the relaxation response–a physiological response in which blood pressure drops, heart rate slows and stress hormone levels decrease. With a little guidance and practice, mindfulness can help de-program conditioned responses, which can undermine self-awareness and personal growth.

To keep New Year’s resolutions in 2015 and beyond, try these simple tips that promote mindfulness:
  • Sit on it, then commit. People tend to stick to goals that are in line with their core values. So take time to reflect and prioritize before penning resolutions on paper.
  • Celebrate progress. From the start, create a game plan for each goal and determine milestones. Prominently display a calendar to tracks all events and activities related to resolutions, including milestones and rewards to encourage the “stick with it” factor.
  • Roost with birds of a feather. To benefit from positive influences of others, seek out people or frequent places with others likely to share similar goals. Join a running club or meet ups, explore yoga studios (many offer free community classes), volunteer for local charity groups, join a professional networking group, take class at park district, etc.
  • Visual affirmation. Visual prompts keep help what matters most front and center. Post pictures and inspiring notes in car, office and throughout home.

For people who need help in attaining resolutions related to drinking alcohol or drug use, Gateway can help get life back on track. Visit RecoveryGateway.org to learn about a free, confidential consultation.

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