Stopb4ustart Takes Orange County's Youth By Storm [Guest Blog Post]

This informative guest blog post was written by Jason Peters, Director of Operations at Stopb4ustart. 

Despite the best efforts of doctors, psychologists, teachers and politicians, drug addiction and alcoholism among our youth continues to soar, there are 2.5 Million alcohol related deaths worldwide annually, 320,000 of those being young people, ages 15-29 years of age. At Stopb4ustart, we asked ourselves what we could do to make an impact? Opening another recovery home or rehabilitation center are very effective modes of treatment but only address the problem after the fact. We wanted our focus to be on prevention as opposed to rehabilitation. For that, we certainly recommend New Method Wellness. 

Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders

An Eating Disorder (ED) as defined by NEDA is: "...extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences." 

You probably see 'Eating Disorder' thrown around in the media frequently. "This model has an ED, that actor was heard purging in the bathroom on set," etc. Unfortunately, the phrase 'Eating Disorder' has become desensitized over the years directly correlated with the increasing sum of tabloid magazines.

Let us set the record straight, right now: eating disorders are serious. They are not a 'cool new fad,' they are not a solution to your weight problems, nor are they something to be taken lightly by any means. Eating disorders do not discriminate; regardless of your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, hobbies, or your childhood, you could suffer from an eating disorder. 

Opioid Addiction: Heroin Withdrawal

You are possibly reading this blog post because: 1) You are curious about the process of heroin withdrawal, 2) You or your loved one is addicted to heroin and you are looking into treatment, 3) You are currently sober and reminding yourself why you stay sober and how you never want to have to get sober again. 

Heroin use has doubled among 18-25 year-olds in the United States and is becoming a popular drug of choice. As a result, heroin overdoses have quadrupled and as of 2014, 8,200 Americans die yearly from heroin use.

HallowCLEAN Sober Photo Contest

We're asking YOU to showcase how creative you can get with your Halloween costumes for 2015. Whether you're flying solo with your Halloween costume, you have a group costume, or you just have a group of friends who want to dress up however they want... We don't care if you're at a sober party, a small get together, you're dressing up to carve pumpkins, or you're taking your siblings trick-or-treating. Whatever your plans, we want to see your costume and we want to see what your sober Halloween looks like.

We are giving you 11 days to Tweet us your HallowCLEAN sober photo. On November 2nd, a panel of judges will go through all of the Tweeted photos and select the winner of 'Best Costume' for HallowCLEAN 2015.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual Diagnosis as defined by the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) is: "... The term used when a person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) and a problem with alcohol or drugs. A person who has a dual diagnosis has two separate illnesses, and each illness needs its own treatment plan" (DBSA). 

How to Stop Self-Harm Urges

Self-harm is often considered as a ‘taboo’ topic of which to be kept to oneself or ignored unless there is a perceived suicidal impulse with each cut.

Unfortunately, that leaves the majority of us who have the overwhelming tendency to either cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or a different slew of emotions with a ‘harmless’ cut.

But, who is to judge what type of cut is harmful or harmless? Who’s to say that the collective small cuts may diminish our self-worth enough to leave us no other option but to make a daring dive into the overeager pool of harmful cutting?

10 Reasons Sober Grid is The Best Sobriety Tool Out There

It has come to our attention that the greatest sober app ever to be invented has recently been released to the public at the start of this month. The app is called Sober Grid, and it is the greatest sobriety tool ever to be created for the iPhone. 

Here is why we think that Sober Grid is the best app ever, and why you should download it immediately.

15 Addiction Statistics You Need to Know (Shareable Images)

"That won't happen to me; I am a safe user." - Most Active Addicts

As active addicts or alcoholics, we tend to think we are invincible. We push drug and drink into our bodies with little to no thought about the danger of what we are doing. 

If we happen to think about the chaos we are causing our bodies, it is swiftly followed up by the thought, "(Insert addiction related disease here) won't happen to me."

The fact of the matter is that death or irrevocable health issues generally go hand-in-hand with addicts and alcoholics. So encompassed by our disease and the mental obsession of the next 'quick fix' far outweighs our body's cry for help. 

Vivitrol: What's the Big Deal?

Vivitrol is an injectable medicine used for treating the dependence of alcohol and opiates. 

Okay, but what does that really mean? In layman's terms, Vivitrol is used to prevent alcohol or opiate relapse (Codeine, Vicodin, Hycodan, Oxycontin, Percoset, Dilaudid, etc.). 

Vivitrol is used as a supplement to substance abuse counseling or an outpatient treatment program.

Going To College... Sober

Alas, August has arrived.

Some of you may only be contemplating the prospect of returning back to school, while many of you may actually start school in August... eek!

Fortunately, sobriety allows us to see our full potential; so, getting a stable 9 to 5 job, pursuing our life-long dream, or going back to school may be prominent prospects for the near future. Unfortunately, the thought of these new-found talents and motivation often surface emotions other than excitement... Emotions like fear.

A Letter to My Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

I am massively resentful towards you for the constant strain you put on my daily life.

You take over my simplest, most innocent thoughts and turn them into negative experiences. You then proceed to attack every part of my body from my head down to my toes; you send chills down my spine and sweat down my face. You prevent me from enjoying the moment, as you have coerced me to think about every, single, potential discrepancy that could arise from every situation.

Fun Things to do Sober, Part II (With Pinnable Posts)

The first part of our 'Fun Things to do Sober' was quite a hit! And rightly so, who doesn't love adding to their sober bucket list? We sure do! 

This time, we want to hear from YOU. Send a list of your favorite things to do sober to our Director of, and we'll add them to part 3 of this series for a fun little roundup. 

Now, for the moment y'all have been waiting for, as curated from sober people in Orange County, here is Part 2 of fun things to do sober!

5 Super-Awesome Sober Apparel Brands

Getting sober has been the biggest awakening in my entire life; not because I have refrained from jell-o wrestling, frequent blackouts, and crying while watching How I Met Your Mother because I wanted friends...

Rather, I finally became a part of something bigger than myself! Having a sense of community and essentially 'belonging' to a community was what I longed for my entire life. 

Get Your Life Back: Codependency in Recovery

More often than not, as alcoholics and addicts, we struggle with some form of codependency.

Codependency is not black and white, by any means.

Codependency can manifest itself in a variety of ways: people pleasing, manipulation, narcissism, drama-loving, controlling, stalking, 'doormat' syndrome, and more.

The term 'codependent' generally has a negative connotation. We use the term to inflict emotional pain on someone by saying: "She/He's sickly codependent,' 'I wouldn't date him/her, they're too codependent,' or "What's wrong with him/her? They're so sensitive and codependent."

Navigating Social Media... Sober

I wish someone told me how to navigate social media when I got sober...

I'm one month shy of my 21st birthday, attending my junior year of college in Los Angeles, and trying to accept my powerlessness over alcohol in the midst of the constant glorification of partying on social media.

Practically everyone I was following on Instagram and Facebook posted pictures of their 21st birthday drink, which was on average the size of Mount Vesuvius, and they looked so put together and happy. They weren't crying, alone, on their couch with a bottle of Sky vodka and Diet Coke (with lime) watching How I Met Your Mother, wishing they had such dedicated friends... Or just one friend.

4 Awesome Books on Sobriety

Literature is one of the most powerful tools in sobriety.

Literature allows us to access the experiences, strength, and hope of those who came before us.

From the early days of sobriety to, higher power permit, years down the road of our recovery journey, addiction/alcoholism literature can become a monumental pillar in the fight against our disease.

The following 4 books featured in this infographic have either been suggested to me by a fellow trudger or utilized in my personal recovery. Each book visits the depths of despair and hopelessness we feel as alcoholics/addicts in the midst of our disease but also presents glimpses of the freedom, happiness, and serenity of sobriety.

Why Gratitude Keeps You Sober

If you have been sober for a couple of days so far, chances are you have heard someone say the word 'grateful' in a sentence.

If you have been sober for 1-2 weeks, chances are you have heard the word grateful used in so many sentences you feel overwhelmed by the word and are starting to question whether 'grateful' is a substitute for a word other than 'grateful'.

Understandably so.

Gratitude is thrown around a lot in recovery. You hear the hard-core sober men and women say: "Get off your pity-pot and get in gratitude." You hear gratitude is a necessary component of sobriety," and "Write a gratitude list when you get in your head."

Fun in Sobriety Part 1

"Since I've gotten sober, my life has sucked and I have no fun" -Said No Sober Person EVER

Okay, drama queen/king. I hate to break it to you, but sobriety is nothing but fun.


Sorry to burst your little negative bubble; you are now free to do ANYTHING. You are a free man/woman from the constraints of alcohol and drugs. You are not bound to anything; you can go wherever you want to go, do whatever you want to do, and be whoever you want to be.

If you're stuck in the short-circuit thought: "My life is over; I'm sober," you're not alone. But, you are wrong.

The 4-1-1 on Meditation

What is meditation?

Hint: it's probably not what you think.

Let me guess... the first words that popped into your head were: God, Buddhist, Yoga, Hippie, Vegan, Pescatarian, religious, spiritual.

None of these words are an accurate depiction of meditation. You don't have to be a Catholic, Buddhist, Yogi, Hippie/Hipster, Vegan/Vegetarian/Pescatarian, devout Christian, or a spiritual mogul to meditate.