Remaining Sober

Coping Skills in Sobriety: How Can I Reduce Anxiety?

Overcoming a crippling addiction can be a very difficult and rocky journey. Oftentimes, those recovering from addiction may feel the mental symptoms of sobriety, specifically anxiety. Unfortunately, sobriety and anxiety go hand-in-hand and it can be very tough to manage both. This is one of the reasons why many people turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with their anxiety. Luckily, there are effective and safe ways of recovering from anxiety while practicing sobriety. 

Sobriety and anxiety can be a potentially dangerous situation due to the chance of relapse. Some people may have urges to turn back to drugs or alcohol to cope with their anxiety. However, this only ends up making the situation worse as time goes on. There are several coping skills to reduce anxiety while staying clear of drugs and alcohol. Practicing these tips can be an excellent way of keeping a clear head while recovering from anxiety. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, Sana Lake is here to help. We offer comprehensive treatment for you and your family. The first step towards sobriety is getting professional and trusted help for you or a loved one. It is time to start your journey towards a better and brighter life. 

The Importance of Preventing Relapse During Sobriety

Recovering from anxiety and addiction can both be shaky endeavors. However, there are many ways you or a loved one can reduce anxiety and focus on remaining clean. Unfortunately, many people relapse due to the stress caused by anxiety, cravings, and other reasons. Without the proper tools, a person may have a strong urge to turn to drugs or alcohol again. Using drugs again and returning to old habits after recovery is considered relapsing.  

During sobriety, there will be moments where situations trigger your anxiety and urge to use again. Anxiety can be triggered by many different things, big or small. Some of the more common trigger to a person’s anxiety include:

  • Isolation/loneliness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • New environments and surrounds
  • Starting a new career
  • Meeting new people

It is completely normal to feel this way but it’s important to have the right coping skills to reduce anxiety. While it may feel like a juggling act to handle both sobriety and anxiety, it is completely possible and achievable with the right techniques. Early recovery can also be shaky but practicing these coping skills to reduce anxiety can make a world a difference for long-term sobriety. 

Coping Skills in Sobriety

Coping Skills to Reduce Anxiety

Luckily, there are plenty of tips and skills that can be used while recovering from anxiety during sobriety. It is important to try these strategies when you feel anxious or hopeless. No matter what happens, having a set of tools and strategies at your fingertips can mean the difference between staying sober and relapsing. Something as simple as a hobby or a distraction can be a game-changer for sobriety and anxiety. Let’s take a look at some coping methods for your anxiety. 

Utilize Healthy Distractions

Sometimes a healthy distraction can be all that’s needed to take your mind off your anxiety for the time being. There are many different tasks and activities that you can do to keep your mind and body active (and away from drug use). Both your sobriety and anxiety can benefit from healthy distractions. One of the reasons why distractions can help you cope with your anxiety is they give off healthy endorphins and rewarding experiences. Reading a good book, writing in a journal, listening to music or a podcast, attending a local play, or drawing are all healthy distractions. 

Recovering from anxiety is not easy but having healthy and positive distractions can help you escape and be creative. Exercise is another big help when it comes to sobriety and anxiety. Going out for a jog or hitting the gym can be super beneficial and positive distractions. With all this in mind, it’s crucial to not ignore or avoid your anxiety. You should be aware of your anxiety and be open to talking about it as well. 

Talk to Someone

While some may find it embarrassing to speak out about their mental state, it is crucial to recovering from anxiety. Pushing back anxiety in your mind and letting it grow/fester can be a recipe for disaster. This only helps avoid the issue and can become extremely risky when dealing with both sobriety and anxiety. Talk to someone about your feelings and anxieties. No matter how trivial or silly your worries may appear to be, don’t hesitate to open up.

Speaking up about what’s making you anxious helps you recognize it and gives a voice to it. It makes it more manageable while you receive advice. You can speak to a friend, parent, sibling, or even a therapist. Being open and honest about your anxieties can help you cope with them in the process. Don’t be afraid to talk about your sobriety and anxiety struggles, nobody is perfect. 

Try Meditation

We’ve all heard of meditation but many don’t realize the great effects it can have on a person’s mind and body. Meditation seems simple enough yet can have massive impacts on a person’s sobriety and anxiety. Meditation can be done anywhere with anything (somewhere you feel comfortable) – on the floor, with or without background noise, in the morning or the evening. There are also many different phone apps and resources to help you get started. 

Meditation helps a person clear their thoughts and truly focus on their body/mind on a spiritual level. This can help a person cope with anxiety and clear their mind, even just for a minute in their day. It’s highly recommended to get into a routine of meditating every day if you can. This can help you tackle the day with a fresh and clear mind. 

Reduce Anxiety

Get in the Habit of Exercising 

Returning to the topic of healthy distractions, exercise is an extremely powerful tool for recovering from anxiety. Exercise is not only very beneficial for your physical health and well being but it’s also great for the mind. Exercise is proven to reduce stress and make you feel better. Whenever you feel that your anxiety is acting up or those urges are appearing, go for a 20-minute jog. 

Additionally, getting your heart pumping can do wonders for both sobriety and anxiety. Create a healthy routine and go at your own pace when you get the chance. There are so many benefits to experience including reduced stress, better sleep, a healthier mind, a strong heart, etc. 


Yoga is in this same realm of meditation and can help you cope with life’s stresses and anxieties. Yoga can also include meditation as well. Yoga is a combination of stretching, chants, and other soothing techniques in the process. In the same vein as addiction treatment, there is also a 12-step recovery version of yoga. This mixes the practice of yoga with some of the 12 steps/recovery techniques. Yoga can be a great way to aid in sobriety and anxiety coping skills. 

Try Grounding Techniques/Exercises

Sometimes life’s stresses can pile up and take a toll on our bodies and minds. Along with practicing the tips above you can also try grounding exercises. Grounded exercises help a person acknowledge their senses and surroundings so they can think clearly. One of the more commonly used grounding exercises includes counting down from 5 (5-4-3-2-1). This technique can help you with coping and recovering from anxiety.

Let’s take a closer look at this exercise. Starting from 5, you acknowledge five objects or things around you (ones you can see). Moving onto 4, acknowledge four things you can physically touch. Next, focus on three things you can hear (external sounds). Then two things you can smell. Until finally, you focus on something you can taste (a sandwich, water, coffee, orange juice, etc.). This simple exercise can help you stay grounded and out of your head. This can be the turning point of coping with your anxiety and life’s stresses. 

Practice Healthy Sleeping and Eating Habits

Recovering from anxiety takes more than the occasional jog and meditation session. A healthy body means a healthy mind in most cases. This is why it’s important to make sure you are eating healthy and getting enough sleep. These two factors have a direct impact on a person’s sobriety and anxiety. Set a strict schedule of well-balanced meals and when you go to sleep. But more than just saying you’ll do something is doing it. For you to truly use these coping skills to reduce anxiety, you must practice discipline. 

Start Your Journey at Sana Lake

Recovering from anxiety takes time and effort but it is achievable. Since both sobriety and anxiety are closely related, it’s essential to practice healthy habits to help cope with these. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, now is the time to get help. Let Sana Lake help you towards a better, cleaner life today. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment options and additional resources. 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? How Can You Beat it?

The American Family Physician writes that up to 6% of people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But, up to 20% of people have a mild form of it. SAD, or winter depression, can make a person who is normally content with their life spiral out of control. Thus, a person with a substance use disorder can be more at risk for a psychiatric disorder with the threat of SAD. 

What is seasonal affective disorder is imperative to know to mitigate the effects of winter depression. Knowing what it is can help those suffering from a substance use disorder know how to beat season affect disorder. Sana Lake Acute Detox can help.  

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder ?

You might be wondering what is seasonal affective disorder and can it affect me? SAD is a form of depression that occurs on a seasonal basis. It’s known as winter depression because it typically happens when it gets darker out quicker. Daylight hours shorten during fall and winter. That’s why SAD is commonly referred to as winter depression. 

On the other hand, some people experience it during summer months. This type of SAD is aptly referred to as summer-pattern SAD or summer depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), SAD is identified as a Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Basics behind what is seasonal affective disorder: 

  • Occurs primarily in January and February in the United States 
  • Happens to around 5% of American adults 
  • It lasts around 40% of the year 
  • It’s linked to a biochemical imbalance 
  • Not every person suffering from SAD experiences symptoms every year 
  • It’s more common in people with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder 

Although the symptoms are similar to major depressive disorder, the treatment is different because of where it stems from. The APA writes that SAD partially stems from the fact that humans work on a biological clock, known as a circadian rhythm. The change in seasons and lack of sunlight can stress out their circadian rhythm. 

On the other hand, major depressive disorder doesn’t have a single cause. It can happen due to stressful events in life, a brain injury, or a chemical imbalance. People react to stress differently, just as SAD doesn’t affect all people. Though, both forms of depression look similar to each other. Being sad is a normal part of life, but it shouldn’t last for months, unhinge a person’s life, and come about seasonally like clockwork. Knowing the symptoms of SAD can help get diagnosed quicker. 

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder in Terms of Symptoms? 

When wondering about what is seasonal affective disorder in terms of symptoms, it’s similar to those of major depressive disorder. As mentioned before, the difference is that it lasts around four to five months out of the year. A person will be diagnosed with SAD if it occurs for over two years. Yet, it’s tough to pin down signs and symptoms of SAD because it doesn’t happen every year for some people. 

NIMH writes that the symptoms of summer-pattern SAD and winter-pattern SAD differ. They also write that the signs of this disorder are different per individual. Hence, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose a patient with SAD. A report by NIMH writes that depression is often misdiagnosed. Around 70.6% of participants received the wrong diagnosis. 

There are tell-tale signs of SAD despite this: 

  • Hypersomnia (oversleeping) 
  • Craving carbs 
  • Overeating 
  • Weight gain 
  • Weight loss (more typical for summer depression)
  • Becoming excessively introverted 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Restlessness 
  • Increased agitation 

These symptoms can separate other mood disorders from SAD. Though, there is some overlap. The biggest indicator is when the mood change happens. Scientists believe that stressors that can lead to major depressive disorder may increase chances of SAD. This may be why there is a large overlap between the two. 

Symptoms of major depression and SAD include: 

  • Feeling sad almost all the time 
  • Lost interest in hobbies 
  • Wanting too overeat or to not eat at all 
  • Irregular sleep patterns 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration 
  • Wanting to be dead 

It’s easy to downplay the danger of SAD. But suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018. It takes the lead over homicides (48,344 deaths versus 18,830) and claimed 48,000 lives in 2018 alone. Undiagnosed SAD can lead to suicidal ideation, especially with a substance dependency. 

What Causes SAD Symptoms?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), scientists don’t understand what causes seasonal affective disorder in full. Scientists think that symptoms of this disorder come about because of low levels of the chemical, serotonin. Regular levels of sunlight supposedly regulate this brain chemical which makes people feel relaxed and content. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Another factor that leads to symptoms of SAD is too much melatonin. Melatonin is another brain chemical that tells the brain and body to relax. Though, its main role is letting the body know it’s time to go to bed. Human’s circadian rhythm revolves around the light-dark circle. The pineal gland produces melatonin when it’s dark out, which makes a person feel tired. 

Scientists also think a vitamin D deficiency can lead to SAD symptoms. NIMH states that serotonin regulation has to do with normal levels of vitamin D. The sun is a major source of this vitamin. A healthy diet and supplements provide it as well. 

Certain Areas Should Know What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder 

People should be aware of SAD if they live in a country farther away from the equator. For example, a person living in Alaska should worry more about SAD than a person living in Florida. The further north a person lives in Alaska, the darker it gets on a daily basis. A town in Alaska, called Barrow, experiences 67 days of straight darkness throughout the year. 

The Washington Post broke down 30 years of sunlight data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unsurprisingly, states closer to the equator like southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico had the most sunlight per day. on the other hand, northern states experienced less sunshine. 

People in these states should be more concerned about SAD than others: 

  • Maine 
  • Vermont 
  • New York 
  • New Hampshire 
  • Minnesota 
  • Michigan 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Pennsylvania 

Honorable mentions for lack of sunshine go to: 

  • Washington 
  • Idaho 
  • Montana 
  • North Dakota 
  • Ohio 

That said, SAD can affect anyone even if they live in a sunny state. A state’s landscape has to do with how much daylight it receives, too.  Areas where mountains overcast cities are at a disadvantage. The article notes that citizens on the coast will see more daylight than others. A vacation to a sunnier place, like Key West, isn’t a remedy for SAD. But it certainly couldn’t hurt. 

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder for Men Versus Women  

More women than men suffer from SAD. The journal, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, writes that women experience SAD differently. They were more likely to have a thyroid issue and suffer from mood swings. Also, they reported overeating more than men. Though, they also report that the symptoms were not too different in regards to either gender. 

How To Beat Season Affect Disorder

It can be tough to figure out how to beat season affect disorder alone. Unfortunately, a substance use disorder and SAD can make treatment more difficult. Luckily, most detox and treatment centers are well-versed in dealing with a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder, is when a person suffers from a mental illness and substance use disorder simultaneously. 


Treating SAD without treating a substance use disorder can hinder recovery. That’s why detox is an important part of recovery. A person with this kind of dual diagnosis must go through a detox program before anything. Trained clinicians will help members purge the body of toxins from substance use. Then, they can look into treatment options. 

The Four Main Methods to Relieve SAD Symptoms 

  1. Talk therapy – This is also known as psychotherapy. There is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically for SAD. NIMH writes that it, ” …is typically conducted in two weekly group sessions for 6 weeks and focuses on replacing negative thoughts related to the winter season (e.g., about the darkness of winter) with more positive thoughts.” CBT may be more effective in the long-term. 
  2. Antidepressants – Another name for antidepressants is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They can help regulate an individual’s serotonin levels.
  3. Vitamin D – Using vitamin D for SAD has a checkered history. Yet, nutritional supplements may aid recovery. 
  4. Light therapy – This is a main form of treatment. Traditionally, people will use a light box, which is 20 times brighter than the sun. They will sit in front of it everyday for 30 to 45 minutes during fall to spring. Research indicates its best to do this first thing in the morning.  

A person with SAD might try one on its own or in tandem. People with a substance use disorder and SAD may find. combination of talk therapy and antidepressants to be helpful. They might even combine all four. Seeking a professional opinion is essential to recovery. They will be able to figure out the best method for long-lasting recovery. 

Sana Lake Shows Patients How To Beat Season Affect Disorder 

Sana Lake can help people with SAD and a substance use disorder in Missouri. We answer all the important questions like, what is seasonal affective disorder and how to beat season affect disorder with a substance use disorder. We use evidence-based programs in a scenic setting to provide the best care possible in the area. Contact us now to take the first step on the road to recovery. 


Blood Pressure

How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can result from a variety of factors. But, does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes, the more you drink, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure. But how does alcohol increase blood pressure? 

In the U.S., high blood pressure is a common health problem. In fact, almost 75 million adults have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, it can lead to severe medical conditions such as heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. 

What is Blood Pressure?

Each heartbeat pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of this blood pushing against arterial walls. Blood pressure is at it’s highest when your heartbeats. This pressure is known as your systolic pressure and is the first recorded number. Your blood pressure is at it’s lowest in between beats and is the diastolic number. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure

Some critical blood pressure thresholds include:

  • Normal – Less than 120/80 mmHg
  • Prehypertension – Between 120/80 and 129/89 mmHg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension – Between 130/80 and 139/89 mmHg
  • Stage 2 Hypertension – 140/90 mmHg and higher
  • Hypertension crisis – over 180/120 mmHg

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure stays elevated longer than usual. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure makes the heart beat harder. Over time, this can lead to kidney disease, stroke, and heart attack.

Causes of High Blood Pressure: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Family history and genetics increase your risk of hypertension. But your lifestyle and behaviors can also increase your risk. However, high blood pressure is a silent killer because of the lack of symptoms.

Lifestyle factors that increase your risk may include:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD), particularly Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. But, certain factors can increase your risk, such as drinking alcohol. Just one alcoholic drink can increase blood pressure, although it typically corrects itself in 2 hours. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure: How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure? 

Blood pressure is also indirectly affected by alcohol. This effect is because alcohol affects the entire body, which affects blood pressure. These effects include:

  • Nervous system – Although little is known about the effects of alcohol on the nervous system, alcohol can affect nerves throughout the body. And, the nervous system helps control blood pressure.
  • Change in pressure receptors – Baroreceptors sense blood pressure and make adjustments when needed. Alcohol affects these receptors and increases blood pressure. 
  • Increases cortisol – Cortisol, a stress hormone, can raise blood pressure. Alcohol increases cortisol production, therefore increasing blood pressure. 
  • Increases calcium levels – Alcohol increases calcium amounts in the muscles that line arteries. As a result, the arteries become constricted, which elevates blood pressure.
  • Weight – Blood pressure increases if you are overweight. Alcohol is empty calories that, over time, cause weight gain and increases blood pressure. 

One factor alone does not cause high blood pressure. Instead, it is a combination of factors that together leads to high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure: Does Beer Raise Blood Pressure?

Heavy and regular consumption of alcohol can increase blood pressure. For this reason, it’s crucial to drink in moderation. Furthermore, it can lead to irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure. 

Drinking in moderation means two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A standard drink is:

  • 12 oz beer
  • 4 oz glass of wine
  • 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor
  • 1 oz of 100-proof liquor

Binge Drinking: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes. In addition, drinking over several days, binge drinking, and long-term heavy drinking can cause chronic hypertension, which is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. 

Furthermore, binge drinking can lead to atherosclerosis. This condition is the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which increases blood pressure. Between the increase in sugar from binge drinking and the constant rise in blood pressure, it puts people in danger of a stroke or heart attack.

Explaining the Phases of Alcoholism and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

There are five phases to explain alcoholism and high blood pressure. They include:

  • Phase 1: Alcohol does lead to an increase in blood pressure. The effects of alcohol on blood pressure are independent of age, race, and sex.
  • Phase 2: Abstaining from alcohol will reduce both systolic and diastolic numbers.
  • Phase 3: Resuming the consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure again.
  • Phase 4: The continuous rise in blood pressure can lead to liver damage.
  • Phase 5: The onset of end-stage liver disease is when blood pressure is typically it’s highest.

Should You Drink With High Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid drinking alcohol. Doctors often recommend exercise and a healthy diet for those with high blood pressure. And part of a healthy diet is avoiding alcohol. 

What is Blood Pressure

Although alcohol does contribute to high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (AHA) says those with hypertension should drink in moderation. However, the less you drink, the better it is. Furthermore, The AHA recommendations may not work for everyone, so it’s crucial to talk to your doctor.

Low Blood Pressure and Drinking Alcohol

If you have low blood pressure, does alcohol increase blood pressure? You should never use alcohol to treat low blood pressure. In fact, people with low blood pressure can still raise blood pressure when drinking alcohol.

Can Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder Reverse High Blood Pressure?

Alcohol use disorder is treatable but is it possible to reverse alcohol-induced high blood pressure?

Although there are multiple ways to treat alcohol-related high blood pressure, the most effective is to quit drinking. But, this lifestyle change isn’t easy. Above all, you are not alone. Our therapists at Sana Lake walk with you through our comprehensive, holistic addiction treatment.

It’s More than Just Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Although treatment for alcohol use disorder will help normalize blood pressure, it takes more than just addiction treatment. A healthy lifestyle is required for normal blood pressure. So, regular exercise and physical activity can go a long way to healing your body.

Instead of sitting in front of the tv with a beer, take a walk, a bike ride, or play sports with friends. A healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Throw out the junk food and replace it with fruits and vegetables. 

The healthier you become, the higher your motivation to maintain Recovery for Life. 

How Does Stress and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is managing stress. Stress especially plays a role in high blood pressure. When stress and alcohol use disorder are combined, you are at a greater risk of high blood pressure.

In treatment for alcohol use disorder, you will learn coping skills to manage stress. Stress management not only lowers blood pressure but also encourages lasting recovery. 

What to Expect in Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Misusing alcohol is a serious problem that affects your health and quality of life. We have focused on how alcohol increases blood pressure, but there is more. Alcohol also causes other adverse effects, such as work and relationship problems. 

High Blood Pressure

Depending on the severity of your alcohol use disorder and other factors, inpatient treatment is highly recommended. Even though blood pressure typically returns to normal when you stop drinking, it can sometimes increase. 

For this reason, medical detox and inpatient treatment provide 24-hour supervision. In detox, this supervision can manage withdrawal symptoms as they begin. At the same time, inpatient addiction programs offer safety and supervision to prevent the recurrence of use. 

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder can prevent you from having to ask, “Does alcohol increase blood pressure?”

  • Drinking more than intended
  • Unable to stop drinking
  • Drinking to cope with mental and physical issues
  • Blacking out from drinking
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Relationship issues
  • Job loss because of alcohol use
  • Legal troubles such as a DUI

Inpatient Treatment at Sana Lake

Besides inpatient treatment providing a safe environment free from drugs and alcohol, it also eliminates distractions and fears that interfere with recovery. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find support in recovery. Maybe you pushed away your family and healthy friends when they didn’t accept your addiction. But, group therapy proves you are not alone in recovery. 

Inpatient treatment gives members the chance to receive and provide support and guidance to motivate and encourage Recovery for Life. Our inpatient program offers individualized treatment plans that include individual and group traditional and holistic therapies. Our therapies focus on ensuring members feel heard and understood as well as recover from past traumas. 

Improve Your Life and Health at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder, there is hope. You deserve to be happy and healthy while living your best life. Contact us today, and start your recovery journey.


Paul Melnuk

Check out this article on Forbes from our very own Paul Melnuk!

“This past year has been a tough one for everyone. Communities, government bodies, businesses and individuals have all dealt with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and continued civil unrest that have gripped the country for much of the year. 

While statistics have been coming out en masse for months regarding the impact of 2020’s events, the conversation around substance use and addiction rates can’t take a back seat. I believe it is every bit as much of a crisis and, left unfettered, it will continue to inflict prolonged damage on the country on both a sociological and economic level…”

Read the Full Article Here:

rehab instead of jail

Is it Possible to Substitute Rehab for DUI Jail Time?

Driving under the influence can be a dangerous situation for you and the people around you. Not only can you cause harm to yourself but you can injure or potentially kill another person. A person may be suffering from alcoholism or alcohol misuse underneath this situation. In some circumstances, a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time. 

This is dictated by a couple of different factors and may not be available depending on the state. Rehab can be an excellent way of growing and learning from your mistakes. DUI help through rehab can be extremely beneficial and much more productive than jail time. There are several things a person can do to attend DUI rehab instead of jail. Getting comprehensive help from qualified professionals can help a person a lot. 

At Sana Lake, we want to help you get to a better place. Alcohol can take over a person’s life and cause them to act dangerously and carelessly. Our passionate staff is ready to help you improve and become sober. Rehab can be an option instead of going to jail for months or even years. Let’s take a look at the ways a person may be able to attend rehab instead of jail time and how Sana Lake can help you today!

What is DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence, specifically under the influence of alcohol. This goes for anyone operating a vehicle and can be applied to more than just a car. A person can receive a DUI for operating a watercraft, mopeds, and even lawnmowers if they are under the influence. If a person is caught driving a vehicle while intoxicated they are arrested and charged. This is a very serious offense and can damage a person’s record and (potentially) their life.

dui rehab instead of jail

There are serious consequences for driving intoxicated, not only with the law but with those around you. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured or killed due to car accidents involving a drunk driver. In some severe cases, a person dealing with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may drive under the influence a multitude of times. Driving under the influence causes a massive risk for those driving around the person and themselves. 

When a person initially gets a DUI it is considered a misdemeanor. However, if anyone is injured or killed due to the incident (under the influence of alcohol or drugs), a person will be charged with a felony. There are some states that immediately charge a person with a felony if their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is high. However, in most cases, the standard is a BAC that is 0.15 or higher. This is a huge red flag that comes with consequences.

The Severe Consequences of a DUI

Apart from being charged with a felony or misdemeanor, there are other consequences for driving under the influence of drugs. It is important to know the consequences of a person’s actions so you can plan accordingly. This of course comes down to a case-by-case basis. How much you were drinking, who was injured, and other factors can make the consequences worse. Other consequences of a DUI include:

  • The intense expenses for the DUI (court bonds, towing charges, attorney, trials, etc.) 
  • Ramifications to a person’s driving privileges (restricted, revoked, or suspended driver’s license). Note that those with first-time offenders may just have their license suspended for 90 days (this of course depends on the case) 
  • Probation for a period of time
  • The possibility of an alcohol education program
  • Possible jail time 
  • The chance of paying more fines after conviction 
  • A requirement to undergo substance use disorder treatment

A DUI is a serious offense that can cost a person thousands of dollars and sometimes, even their life. It is important to get serious help if you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction. It can take one bad decision to cost someone their life. Under no circumstance should you or anyone you know drive under the influence of drugs. Be smart and think about the consequences that could occur if you are not careful. 

Avoiding Jail if a Person is Arrested for DUI

Every case of DUI is different and there are several factors that determine whether you will go to jail or perhaps rehab. However, the most telling factor is how much a person has to drink when they are arrested. 

If a person’s BAC is very high, they will most definitely be going to jail. Another big factor of whether you go straight to jail over rehab is compliance. It is important to comply and follow the requests of the police officers arresting you. As a citizen, you have your individual rights but being kind and compliant can go a long way in the future. 

Some states of different laws when it comes to aiding alcoholics who are facing DUI charges. This varies greatly from state to state. In some states like California, a first-time offender can avoid jail altogether (this varies depending on the case and any injuries/deaths involved). In cases where injury or high speeding are involved, a person will go straight to jail, even on a first-time offense. With this in mind, compliance with court requests and seeking rehab help can help a person avoid jail.

It is worth noting that if this is a person’s third or fourth offense, they will have a much more severe sentence. Jail time is almost guaranteed if a person has repeated offenses over the last 10 years. However, there are things you can do to ensure you can look for DUI rehab instead of jail 

Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail Time

Seeking a residential rehab (like Sana Lake) can be a great alternative to jail time. Residential treatment usually has a person staying in a rehab center with 24/7 supervision and assistance. This can be extremely beneficial and can help a person cope with their alcohol or drug problem with professional help. 

The treatment plan will most likely have to be laid out for the court, along with meeting obligations and program agreements. A person will need approval from the judge (this is where consulting a lawyer can help in these matters). 

The quality of the treatment center also plays a role in whether or not you can attend DUI rehab instead of jail. At Sana Lake, we provide quality care as we take all factors in mind when treating you or a loved one. Residential rehab can be a great alternative to jail time and can provide long-term sobriety in the process.

Depending on the case you can also look for possible outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment allows a person to live out their life while attending weekly sessions. This is typically for those who have prior responsibilities back at home (work, school, kids, etc.). However, the judge may be skeptical about outpatient treatment because of its need for transportation and accessibility. Other factors like your compliance, the detail of the DUI, and your age can have an impact on the decision. 

Addiction and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If a person is able to trade for jail time for DUI help, they can now focus on comprehensive addiction treatment. Drugs and alcohol can have a serious negative on a person’s body, mind, and behavior (hence the DUI). Luckily, there are evidence-based therapy and treatment options to help someone out of their hole of addiction. At the end of the day getting help can be the difference between a life of stress and addiction and a life of sobriety and mental ease. 


Detox is usually the first step of any alcohol or drug-related addiction. Detox completely rids the body of any and all alcohol. During the process, a person will experience the withdrawal effects of stopping their drug intake. This is where our staff at Sana Lake come in to make sure the process goes smoothly and safely. If you are able to go to rehab instead of jail time, your residential treatment will begin with detoxification. 

Therapy Options

Addiction and alcohol abuse is just as much of a mental thing as it is a physical one. Different therapies are used to pinpoint the reasons why a person uses drugs in the first place. In almost all cases of drug addiction, therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on behavioral and thought changes for the better. As well as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in some cases. Each can help you cope with the stresses of life and any cravings you may experience. 

Let Sana Lake Help you Today!

Even with a DUI, there are better alternatives with DUI rehab instead of jail. After that, it’s about getting quality care for long-term sobriety. At Sana Lake, we want to help you towards a better life for you and your family. Let our passionate team help you today with our drug and alcohol treatment program. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and addiction resources. 

covid heroes

Forgotten Heroes of the COVID Pandemic Story

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. The COVID pandemic has added a whole other dimension to being good parents and role models to our children.

Mention the coronavirus in any situation and you never know what kind of reaction you’ll get. Attitudes, beliefs, and tempers have run rampant in media, in public, and in personal relationships. Should we wear masks, or not? It is a hoax, or not?

Amongst all the uncertainty and angst, we have been hearing more lately about the real heroes of this story, the heroes that may be going unnoticed: our children.

They hear us. They listen to the news, even from the other room. They may not know or understand exactly what’s happening as a result of the onset of COVID-19, but they sense it. They know something’s not right. And they’re scared.

We at Sana Lake want to acknowledge and honor these heroes. The young ones, the parents, relatives, caregivers, and all who have a hand in raising and caring for our little people. With school starting or just around the corner, how do you make the best decisions for you and your family, and help your kids weather the stress?

There’s no right answer. 

The decisions are hard ones, no matter how we look at it. We honor your courage.

To the teachers who would like nothing more than to offer reassurance to your students, you are unsung heroes, too. We can imagine how frustrating it must be to hear and see the heartbreaking stories of kids trying to learn in less than ideal conditions. Children trying to learn in abusive homes, surrounded by substance users acting out their addictions, or with screaming babies in the background. Children who want connection but don’t have internet access nor a computer, or have challenges keeping up in an online world.

The stories have touched us deeply. We extend our utmost respect and support to all the children in our communities, their families, relatives, friends, and professional support networks through this COVID pandemic.

You all are our heroes.