Staying Sober This Summer

With summer approaching and festivities on everyone’s schedule, now is an important time to learn how to stay sober and celebrate sobriety. Whether this will be your first summer sober or twentieth, reminding yourself of the importance of your clear state of mind will prove to be invaluable.

It’s easy to surround yourself with supportive people at an alcohol rehab facility, but once you return to normal daily life in Salt Lake City, things can feel different. To help, Next Level Recovery is happy to share some tips — it might take knowing a couple easy tricks or some extra steps to help stay sober this summer.

Get Active and Treat Your Body Like the Temple It Is

While addiction recovery can sometimes feel like more of a mental battle than a physical one, your sobriety benefits your body too. This summer, we recommend that you take advantage of the good weather and longer days to engage in healthy exercise.

Whether you set goals of learning how to ride a bike or of running a marathon, having a good reason to respect your body and treat it like a temple will keep healthy habits in your life and substance abuse out.

Think Outside the Box with Plans

It doesn’t take a creative mind to plan on getting drinks at the bar, so we encourage you to think outside the box when making plans. Whether you want to go see a concert or plan a trip to the zoo, there are plenty of ways to engage with friends in a safe and comfortable setting. With a clear creative mind, socializing never has to be a pathway back to alcohol addiction.

Have Fun With Non-Alcoholic Drinks

There’s something unquestionably satisfying about a cold drink on a hot summer’s day, but there’s no need for alcohol to stay refreshed. Lemonade and other juices help you cool off, but getting creative with some “mocktails” can help you feel even cooler. Getting creative with combinations of juices, seltzers and fun summer flavors can help you stay exciting with your drinks without needing to put your sobriety at risk.


Addiction and the Brain

Addiction can be exhausting mentally, physically and emotionally. It involves a craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use and continuing involvement with it despites negative consequences. We understand at Next Level Recovery that many people expect those struggling with drug addiction and alcohol addiction to jump out of it or tell them to immediately change their ways, but that isn’t possible most of the time.

Addiction changes the brain by subverting the way it registers pleasure and then corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation. This doesn’t mean sobriety isn’t possible. It is — it’s just difficult.

You’re Not Alone

Addiction can be a pretty taboo topic, but nearly 23 million Americans, almost one in 10, are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Addiction is common, and people should be knowledgeable about it to further help those in need. Today addiction is recognized as a chronic disease that changes both brain structure and function, basically, it hijacks the brain. Substance abuse causes the brain to go through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behavior.

Pleasure Principle

The brain registers all pleasures in the same way. It releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine into the nucleus accumbens which can be referred to the brain’s pleasure center. All substance abuse can cause a particularly powerful surge of dopamine in that pleasure center making it hard for addicts to stop their actions.

Dopamine not only contributes to the experience of pleasure but also plays a key role in learning and memory. This is what can distinctly change from liking something to being addicted to it. Dopamine then interacts with another neurotransmitter to take over the brain’s system of reward-related learning. This is another key element that makes addiction difficult to quit. The reward circuit in the brain includes areas involved with motivation and memory in addiction to pleasure. Addictive substances and behaviors stimulate the same circuit and then overload it.

Addiction is a very complicated process intertwined in the brain from certain actions. A drug rehab center like Next Level Recovery is a great way to learn how to fight addiction in an individualized way and overcome the stimulation of addiction within the brain.

Recovery and Community

Having a reliable community is critical for the rehabilitation of addicts. Find your community at Next Level Recovery today.

What Happens in Outpatient Rehab?

Have you ever wondered what happens when a person enrolls in a drug rehab center? If you are considering going to rehab and are in the Salt Lake City area, you should go to Next Level Recovery. Next Level Recovery is an outpatient rehab center that will help you every step of the way to find an addiction treatment program that works for you.


Outpatient rehab begins with staying a few days on site so that you can be under supervision while you detox. In a short amount of time (varies depending on what the substance abuse problem was with), the substance will have left your body. This is when withdrawal symptoms will start in earnest. The intensity of symptoms will depend on a few different variables — amount used, frequency, the length of use and genetic factors. Being under supervision during this detox time allows you to be in the safest place possible. Our staff is trained to handle all sorts of situations.


The next step for most patients will be therapy. Different styles of therapy are effective for different people and for different addiction treatment programs. We will work with you to find out your triggers are that make you want to start using again. People, situations and places can all be triggers. The goal of therapy is to teach you alternative ways of dealing with stressors and different activities you can engage in.


The third step is the longest one. It goes from the end of your outpatient care and continues forever. Many people find benefit from enrolling in a 12-step or similar program that helps keep accountability high. Counseling can be used as it is needed to help with changing situations or difficult stretches of time.

Drug addiction treatment needs to be altered to the needs of the individual. Some people find benefit from getting out of their current living situation and living for a time in a sober living house. Our success is you, so we will do what we can to get you to where you want to be.

Giving Back

Wherever you are on your journey to addiction recovery, volunteering in your community offers many motivational benefits. Challenge yourself to get out of your head and experience the joys of service.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs

Salt Lake City parents want what’s best for their kids. They want their children to get good educations, have good friends and avoid many of life’s pitfalls. One of the most common things parents want their children to avoid is substance abuse. Although this is something nearly all parents want for their children, many parents don’t know how to talk about it to their children. Unfortunately, kids are being exposed to tobacco, alcohol and other substances at increasingly younger ages. If you wait until you think they are ready, odds are they will already have heard about it from their peers.

Opening a Channel of Communication

Parents, the most important thing you can do to prepare for the “tough” conversations you will have with your kids is to create a channel of communication. If you children feel they can come to you with anything, odds are you won’t miss the boat when it comes to talking about substance abuse. This communication channel should be created during spontaneous, everyday moments.

What to Do During the Preschool Years

When you child is between the ages of three to five, you should begin having talks about what is healthy for our bodies. Proper nutrition, good hygiene and exercise are all things to talk about at this age. You should start allowing your children to make small decisions, such as clothing choices or food for lunch. It’s important that your child begins learning to decide things for themselves, so they are prepared when tough decisions come up. Focus on teaching your children about the dangerous products in your home like bleach and other cleaners.

When Your Child Is Ages Five to Eight

This is the time when it becomes important to let your child know how you feel about drugs and alcohol. Talk about substance abuse and how it can affect a person’s life. Point out drug-related messaging in media. Make sure your child knows what the family rules are. You should also focus on continuing to build your child’s problem-solving skills.

When Your Child Is Eight and Older

During your child’s preteen and teenage years, peers start to become increasingly more powerful influencers of your child’s decisions. Do what you can to teach your child about the importance of good friends. Set clear boundaries and rules about any form of substance abuse. Don’t teach your children through fear, empower them to make the right decisions with facts.

Your kids are your pride and joy. Protect them from the dangers in the world as much as you can, while preparing them to protect themselves as they grow up. Making the decision to talk to your children about substance abuse is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Consider what you can do today to help your kids feel comfortable coming to you with their problems.



Saying No to an Addict

Seeing a loved one going through an addiction can be scary. You might not know how to handle their emotions, actions and the chances of relapse. Individuals from “The City That Never Sleeps” to Salt Lake City know how you feel.

During one’s drug addiction, it’s important to stay strong and support them. Here are a few tips that will make saying no less complicated

How to Say No

Saying no to someone facing drug addiction can be hard, especially if it’s a loved one. It’s important to realize that saying no to them is helping them, even if they say it isn’t. By saying no you’re showing support for their recovery process. You may not be trained by an occupational therapist, but you can do it.

Saying no isn’t the only way you can prevent a relapse. If you don’t think you are strong enough to say no, simply change the subject. Avoid talking about drugs altogether. Bring up other things you can do with them like hiking, painting and reading. Though saying no may make your loved one dislike you now, but they’ll thank you at the end.

Staying Strong With Saying No

You’re not alone in the battle of living with an addict. People all across the world area facing it. Make sure you’re not only being strong for them, but for yourself. Though saying no repeatedly drains you, you can pull through it. Remember boundaries when it comes to saying no. Though you are there to support and help them on the road of recovery, you can’t control any of their actions.

When saying no, make sure you are actually helping your loved one. Just saying no again and again, can actually help a relapse. During your loved one’s drug addiction, check up on yourself. Negative feelings towards their recovery can promote the idea of using again. To prevent this join a support group for loved ones of addicts. They can support you during this time and help you find alternate ways to say no.

Saying no to a loved one that is facing addiction can be difficult, but you can do it.

Outdoor therapy

Outdoor therapy is proven to help with addiction recovery. Take the first step and join Next Level Recovery Today.

What you Can and Cannot Do Around Those Struggling with Addiction

At Next Level recovery, found in Salt Lake City, we are an outpatient addiction treatment program that is customized to the individual needs of those involved with addiction. Battling through an addiction is a mentally, physically and emotionally tiring time. The way you act around people struggling with addiction, whether it’s alcohol addiction or substance abuse, can be crucial to their recovery. However, although you can be very influential, you aren’t in control of their addiction. Here are a few suggestions to know what you can and can’t do when a loved one is struggling with an addiction.

You Can’t Make Them Quit

No matter how much you love them, or how hard you try, you can’t be the one to cure an addiction. Even after an intervention, putting a loved one through an effective addiction treatment center or being a great support and example, you can’t force someone to quit their addiction or speed up the process. An addiction can be overwhelming and all consuming, and expecting a loved one to stop their addiction because they love you, is unrealistic and unfair. Stay a support, but understand that you cannot fix their problem, they must be willing to do it on their own.

You Can Get Educated  

You can’t fight an enemy you don’t understand. Communicate with your loved one who is struggling with an addiction and with their treatment workers. Learn about the addiction –the signs, relapse triggers, treatments etc. Get educated and understand the addiction. This will be of great help to not only you, but also those struggling with addiction.

You Can Be a Great Communicator

Talking with your loved ones won’t take away their addiction, but will be very helpful in the road to recovery. Work on building a great relationship without judging or accusing. When a loved one is going through an addiction, whether it is substance abuse or alcohol addiction, they need support and love, not shame. Find a way to communicate their hardships but also learn how to be a support.

We understand that addiction can be painful to everyone associated with addiction. There is hope and empowerment in understanding what you can do to best help yourself, and your love one who is battling with an addiction.







Personal Development

Personal development starts small with improving simple behaviors.