When a loved one is confronting an addiction, the single most important thing we can offer is support and understanding. If you or someone you know has ever had to deal with addiction, you know how difficult it can be. There is learning how to cope with stress without using drugs or alcohol. There is learning how to handle negative emotions in a healthy way. There is uncovering the underlying causes of addictive behaviors, and regaining physical strength and ability after months or years of substance abuse has taken its toll. And that all comes after the hardest part – reaching out for help. Overcoming addiction is difficult and stressful from the very beginning, and sometimes that can be enough to keep someone for reaching out for help when they need it. That is why support and encouragement are necessary, not just at the beginning but continuing throughout the recovery process. Without constant positive reinforcement and motivation, many people would simply give up and resign themselves to a life of addiction. That is no reason to lose hope, however. If anything, that is all the more reason to fight even harder alongside your loved one – to show them that they are cared for and loved. And, if the struggle you are dealing with is your own, you can still be instrumental in supporting others through their recovery. Trust us, the favor will be returned 1000 times over. At Choices Recovery, we understand that support and encouragement are necessary for successful rehabilitation, and we do all that we possibly can to provide that for our patients. But, if people don’t get the support they need before they reach our treatment facility, what good will our support system do if they never reach our doors? This is why we have taken on the responsibility of sharing our message of support and erasing the stigma attached to addiction in the general public. This goal took us to Park City, Utah during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a sponsor of the EcoLuxe Lounge, a gathering of some of the world’s leading providers of holistic and environmentally friendly products and services that makes appearances at various awards ceremonies and red-carpet events throughout the year. Organized by Debbie Durkin of Durkin Entertainment, the industry’s leading on-screen sustainable product placement producer, the EcoLuxe Lounge was held in The Blue Iguana in Downtown Park City. Guest host Gretchen Rossi was with us in the Choices Recovery Media Center, where she spent her day chatting with many of the entertainers and production specialists who visited the EcoLuxe. One of the dozens of people that Gretchen spoke with was a young actress named Christina Robinson who, among other roles, is probably best known for her work on the TV series “Dexter.” Christina shared some of her personal experience with a close friend who was struggling with substance abuse. “A friend opened up to me about their problem,” she remembers. “It was out of the blue, was not expecting that. But he did open up to us, and we’ve been there to support him.” The importance of the support and encouragement that Christina was able to offer her friend cannot be measured. Especially in those first moments, when a person has debated and argued with themselves, justified their substance abuse, denied their addiction, and finally come to the decision to reach out for help, compassion, understanding, and love can make all of the difference in the world in a successful rehabilitation. It is a decision that they come to on their own, even when influenced by others through intervention or confrontation – the decision to find a path to sobriety is ultimately their decision alone. “I realized no matter what you say, everything that they do is up to them,” Christina observes. “They’re going to do what they want to do. It really takes a person getting into the right mindset.” Because of the personal struggle they have made throughout their addiction and the difficult process of realizing that help is needed, we must do everything that we can to make sure that the individual knows that they are not alone – that we are here for them throughout their recovery, with support, care, and encouragement. At Choices Recovery, we are committed to the success of each of our patients, even after they graduate from our treatment center. Our extensive Aftercare Department offers assistance with the transition back into the real world, from sober living arrangements to finding local recovery support groups, and much more. We do everything we can to let them know that in recovery they are never alone.