Addiction Recovery Blog

Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina
Russ Kallina is Aquila Recovery of Virginia's Program Director of Operations.

Recent Posts

How to Maintain a Social Life While Sober

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 18, 2022 / by Russ Kallina posted in Alcohol, Sober Living

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When you first get sober, it can be intimidating. You’re worried that you will lose your friends and your social life, or that you’ll be bored without alcohol. At the beginning, it can feel lonely. The friends you used to go out drinking with might stop inviting you to come along, and you may feel like you’re missing out. While getting sober will definitely be life-altering, you can still have a social life without alcohol. 

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How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Opioid Epidemic

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 20, 2022 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, For Family Members, Drugs, opioids

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The opioid epidemic is becoming increasingly rampant in the United States and across the world. This past year, the drug overdose deaths reached an all-time high of approximately 100,000 in the US, and about 65% of these deaths were related to opioids. 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus and all the uncertainty that came with it, only made the opioid epidemic worse. With health departments spending so much time and money on COVID, the spotlight has shifted away from the opioid crisis. 

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Best Ways to Support Addicted Family Members During the Holidays

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 22, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, For Family Members

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For many, rather than being a season of gladness and hope, the holidays are filled with grief and anxiety. Whether spent alone, or with friends and family, the holidays can be a very stressful time, which can cause people to lean on their destructive coping mechanisms.

Addiction does not only affect the addicted individual - it affects the whole family. Addiction can destroy relationships, and cause a lot of hurt among family members, which can become magnified during the holiday season.

Whether your loved one is currently in recovery, or is needing to begin their recovery, here are some ways in which you can support them during this time.

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Tips for Having a Sober Halloween

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 21, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, Sober Living, Positive Recovery

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If you love Halloween festivities, and are newly sober, you may be worried that sobriety will cause you to miss out on the Halloween fun.

However, there are plenty of ways you can still have a great Halloween while being sober, you will just want to be more mindful of your triggers so that you can manage them effectively. 

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How Tough Love Affects Addicts

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 15, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, For Family Members

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What is the best way to show support to an addicted loved one? Some believe that tough love is the only way to get addicts “back on track,” while others enable their loved one in hopes that this will help them curb their addiction.

Fortunately, there are other ways to support your loved one that will not only be beneficial for them, but also for you. 

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A Guide to Sober October

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 29, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs, Sober Living

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October is here, and it's a time when people from all across the world participate in the Sober October challenge. 

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Benefits of Attending Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Virginia

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 10, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs, Sober Living, treatment program

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The first step to recovery is acknowledging that you need to help. Substance use disorders are complex and it requires time and commitment in order to attain sobriety. While going to treatment may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be that way. September is National Recovery Month, and it’s important to be aware of the types of treatment that are available across the country so that you can decide which one is best for you.

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Maintaining Sobriety in a Post-Covid World

[fa icon="calendar'] May 27, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Alcohol, Sober Living, covid

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When the pandemic first hit, many turned to alcohol as a way of coping with the initial isolation, boredom, and financial stress. Zoom happy hours and “quarantinis” quickly became all the rage, and no one questioned it because everyone had a “good reason” to be drinking.

However, some individuals found that the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders helped them recognize that they had a drinking problem. As a result, many decided that this was the perfect time to try out sobriety.

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How Alcohol Affects Your Mental Health

[fa icon="calendar'] May 13, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Alcohol, Sober Living, mental health

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, where we strive to break the stigma surrounding mental illness, so we want to share how alcohol affects your mental health. 

It’s probably no surprise that one-third of people with major depression also drink. Millions of people also struggle with mental health, and it’s killing about 3 million people per year according to the World Health Organization.

Mental health is about more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities though, it’s also about looking after ongoing wellness and happiness. Alcohol can make it even more difficult, and here’s why: 

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How to Remain Alcohol Aware All Year Long

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 28, 2021 / by Russ Kallina posted in Alcohol, Sober Living, Alcohol awareness

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Alcohol awareness is all about being aware of our own alcohol consumption and how alcohol can affect us. Drinking alcoholic beverages is so normalized in our culture, that many will dismiss any negative effects it may cause. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol contributes to 95,000 deaths in the US every year. The reality is, alcohol is a drug that has the potential to ruin lives if we aren’t careful. 

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