How to Avoid a Holiday Relapse

Elderly man sitting in front of Christmas tree with cup of coffee smiling
Recovering from addiction and substance abuse can feel like a big challenge, especially during the holidays. People often spend the holidays drinking with family and friends, but for many, the celebration is more about their successful journey to recovery. And we're here to help you stay on that path! Here are eight tips to help you avoid a holiday relapse this season: Avoid high-risk situations Don't find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before heading home or going out for the holidays, think about the people and places you should avoid. Don't call up your old drinking/using [...]

First Step Recovery's Family Program

the shadows of two people walking together
For years Nancy lived in fear. In silence. Worry-filled days and sleepless nights were her reality. Her son, Trevor*, was an alcoholic. He’d turned to alcohol to self-medicate his anxiety, only for things to get worse. Nancy tried to help. She pleaded and bartered with Trevor, but she couldn’t fix it. Nancy had read that alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they become serious about recovery. Rock bottom happened, and in a desperate Sunday morning phone call, Trevor asked for help. A friend had told Nancy about First Step Recovery. Trevor made the call, and Nancy drove him. She asked if [...]

Holly's Recovery Journey

pathway going up and down and then forward
Sept. 22, 2015, marked the beginning of Holly Heiser's recovery journey. "I can't believe my life has gone the direction it has. I have been given a huge gift, I got my life back!" she says. In 2018, Holly shared her story in an article for It's Her Brand magazine. An updated version of that story is below: No one would have guessed Holly Heiser was a closet alcoholic. The Moorhead mom kept her house neat and clean. Her son always looked cute and took part in lots of organized activities. But it was all part of the lie, a way to cover up her drinking. By this point, Holly had told so many lies [...]

Learning to Walk Down the Road to Recovery

Road with the word recovery across it
September is Recovery Month, a time to celebrate recovery and raise awareness that addiction is a treatable disease. John's story demonstrates that recovering from addiction is possible! John was struggling mightily. He had started drinking every day. He was at risk of losing his family, his business, his sense of self. His physical and emotional well-being were all going downhill. His wife, Aaste, told him he needed to go to treatment. She gave him a list, and suggested he call First Step Recovery. Walking through the doors of First Step was scary, John says, but not as scary as where his [...]

Better Way of Living: A Personal Story of Recovery

During Recovery Month, observed nationally every September, we remember the lives lost to the disease of addiction and celebrate with those who found the treatment they needed to get well. Here is one of those stories, as told by an alumnus of First Step Recovery of The Village: It was May 2015, and I was scared. My health was suffering with several short hospital stays for pancreatitis (too much alcohol for too long) and ketoacidosis (high blood sugars for too long). My career was in stress and legal problems had been the reason for several job offers being pulled. In short, I knew I was in [...]

What Does Recovery Mean to Those Affected?

First Step Recovery wall covered in slogan submissions surrounding the words Recovery Wall
September is Recovery Month! Recovery Month is the perfect time to recognize what recovering from substance use really means. Take a closer look at the effects of addiction and celebrate those who have started on the pathway to long-term sobriety. The Village’s First Step Recovery program provides a caring environment for adults struggling with substance use disorders. Slogan Contest This month, First Step is celebrating Recovery Month in a number of ways. One of those ways was a slogan contest. The First Step team set up a wall in their office where clients could write their ideas for a [...]

What Happens during a Substance Use Evaluation?

You're worth it.
Substance use is something that impacts people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 10.2 percent of Americans battled a substance use disorder in 2020. That's 28.3 million people. Has a family member raised concerns about your substance use, or has your use interfered with your personal relationships and job? Maybe you've noticed that your substance use is problematic and you're tired of choosing to numb your pain with a temporary fix, rather than acquire skills that will help you lead a [...]

Crumb by Crumb: First Step Recovery Saved Thad's Life and Family

Thad Stafford standing with arms crossed in front of First Step Recovery sign
In 2018, Thad Stafford was arrested for driving while intoxicated in his hometown, the city where he’d served on the police force for more than two decades. He entered treatment as a means to save his career, to ensure he could continue to provide for his wife and four kids. But shortly into his stay at an inpatient center, he realized there was more to his story. The stress and trauma of his job as a sergeant who investigated child abuse cases had created deep wounds that he had buried. The drinking was a symptom of greater issues. “Over 20 years, crumb by crumb, it starts to pile up. I wasn [...]

Busted: What happens after you get a DUI?

Keys and drink sitting on table next to handcuffs
You made a poor decision to drink and drive and got caught. Now what? If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), it can be a very scary and uncertain experience. After getting a DUI, you may have to appear in court. In most states there will be a loss of driving privileges for a certain amount of time. Some states offer a hardship license that allows you to drive to work or school during the time your license is revoked or suspended, but your driving privileges will be limited. In North Dakota, drivers will need to have an evaluation completed by a Licensed Addiction [...]

The Impact of Addiction on the Family

mom and son looking sad behind blurred man
When a family member is in serious trouble, many families will go to any length to help the one they love. It’s like their battle cry, whether spoken or unspoken, is, “All for one, and one for all.” Unfortunately, with the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction (substance use disorders), this desire to be helpful can become unhealthy for both the helper and the addict. Family members are confused by the change occurring in the one they love. They don’t understand the increasing consequences, and are baffled by how distant, angry, manipulative, self-absorbed, or careless their loved one has [...]