Recovery Unplugged's Tips for a Fresh Start to the New Year

by Jill Gleeson

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday December 28, 2018

Recovery Unplugged's Tips for a Fresh Start to the New Year
  (Source:Getty Images)

It's the holiday season's most enduring and powerful cliche: When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, not only does it usher in a new year, it also offers those seeking it a chance to begin anew. January is the month when people looking to better their lives begin weight loss programs, exercise regimens or vow to save more money. Moreover, according to Paul Pellinger, chief strategy officer for Recovery Unplugged treatment centers, the New Year can also present a turning point for addicts and alcoholics.

"Yes, a New Years resolution definitely can be used as a catalyst to engage a recovery," Pellinger says. "It's usually a good opportunity for those who are on the fence, thinking 'Hmm, you know I might need some help,' or 'I might need to change my lifestyle.' It's not like somebody's going to wake up from a blackout for the first time on January 2 and want treatment. It's usually a series of events and consequences that have been going on for quite a bit of time."

Recovery Unplugged's Fort Lauderdale facility.
Recovery Unplugged's Fort Lauderdale facility.  

Your Best Chance at Success

Unfortunately, most resolutions are not known for being a particularly effective way to enact long-lasting change. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of people have given up on their good intentions. Addicts and alcoholics fight a difficult battle no matter the season, with somewhere between 40 to 60 percent relapsing, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

But thanks to Recovery Unplugged's unique program, which harnesses the power of music to break down emotional barriers and help unearth the root traumas that are often the cause of addiction, the centers' rates of client relapse are four to five times better than the national average. And that's not all, Pellinger says.

"The average heroin addict leaves treatment against medical advice about 42 percent of the time," he notes. "Our AMA rates are about 7 to 9 percent. In all the facilities I've opened up, the first person I usually hire is the person who can block AMAs, who can convince the client to stay when they want to get high. This is the only facility I've ever opened where I don't even have that person. Because we don't need to do that here. It's the opposite. It's like, 'Okay, John, it's time to go, you've been here for a few months, brother...' That's a statistic I'm really proud of."

(Source: Getty Images)

Take the First Step

Thinking that you might be in need of Recovery Unplugged's services? Pellinger has a few suggestions to help you take a turn onto the street to sobriety. "The first thing is," he says, "if you think you might have a problem, you probably do. So the first step is honor your truth. The second is that you might want to get educated on what this is all about and how it applies to you. You can call Recovery Unplugged — we have a call center staffed around the clock, seven days a week, to answer questions." (Recovery Unplugged's 24/7 hotline number is 888-895-5066.)

"The third tip," Pellinger continues, "is that is after you do get educated and realize on some level that your life is unmanageable as a direct result of your using, then get help. If you've never been in treatment before, and you don't require some type of medical stabilization like detox offers, maybe just some outpatient therapy would help, attendance at some 12-step meetings, but it all depends on the severity of your issues."

What if you're still not sure if you have a substance abuse problem? Put on a favorite song, Pellinger advises — something that reminds you of a loved one who's passed, or a childhood memory. It can be anything, as long as it's meaningful to you (one of Pellinger's go-to recovery tunes is Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come"). Then sit down, alone, and listen to it. "After that song is over," Pellinger says, "see what you're motivated to do. You might find the answer has become much more clear."

To learn more about Recovery Unplugged, visit

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Jill Gleeson is a travel and adventure journalist based in the Appalachians of Central Pennsylvania. Find her on Facebook and Twitter at @gopinkboots.