9 Ways Fishing Benefits Those In Recovery

According to “Partnership for Drug-Free Kids,” 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. That is approximately 1 in every 10 Americans over the age of 12. That is roughly equal to the population of Texas. But only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment.

WHAT DOES ADDICTION RECOVERY TREATMENT TYPICALLY INVOLVE?

It is very surprising to me that even now in 2020, there are still many people who do not know what drug and alcohol rehabilitation consists of and they definitely do not know what those individuals that are in those programs go through on a daily basis. So I compiled this short list to insure that everyone who reads this is on the same page when it comes to this topic.

  • A. Before someone can decide on finding treatment for their addiction, they first need to admit to themselves and acknowledge their personal struggle with substance dependency. Once they make that decision to overcome their addiction and improve their overall state of life. Then they can start researching what treatment program would be best suited for themselves.
  • B. There are many different types of treatment programs available with inpatient and outpatient options. Some may decide on an inpatient program for the benefits of a detox program before going into a rehabilitation program. Others may decide that a MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) program, such as the Suboxone or Methadone Programs, is better suited for them for the outpatient benefit and minimal interruption to their daily life.
  • C. No matter what treatment plan is chosen, the road to recovery is not an easy or short one by any means. It requires a lot of willpower and self-discipline to get through the first stages of recovery and even more so for the stages beyond. Some people may decide to go into a sober-living home to help them adjust to their sobriety after rehab. Whatever the course of action that may be taken, the key to sustainable recovery is building strong relationships with others that are also in recovery. Along with repairing and strengthening relationships with family too.
  • D. The reason those relationships are so vital during recovery is because once a person has completed their initial treatment, they will then participate in daily or weekly support groups to help with sustaining their sobriety. These support groups vary in their location, focus, and demographics but will generally consist of some of those other patients they built relations with during treatment. “Alcoholics Anonymous” and “Narcotics Anonymous”, being among some of those available groups, provide a stable support community that helps to encourage and motivate its members to help insure their long-term sobriety.
  • E. Outside of those support groups and meetings, it is up to each individual person to do what they need to do to make it to the next day. Whether it is going to work, spending time with family, or spending time working on a hobby. It is always a constant struggle and to prevent relapse, they must avoid triggers and stressful situations whenever possible. Many people will shut out full sections of their lives because it reminds them too much of times prior to recovery. Faith, exercise, hobbies, and relationships are what help those individuals get through to the next day besides their chosen support groups.

“Remember: there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach to addiction recovery. Whichever treatment path you choose, be sure that it has everything you need to help you achieve a successful recovery.”

For more information regarding Addiction and available Addiction Treatment Options, please visit Addiction Center for more details.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT FISHING THEN AND FISHING NOW

Whether your ancestors traveled to America from another country or were among the first Native Americans, it does not matter. Most of us are guaranteed to have fishing in our blood. Fishing first started out as an essential survival trait to help feed not just a fisherman’s family, but their entire community too. Since then fishing has evolved throughout the ages from a key element in survival to a leisurely family hobby and international outdoor sport.

A. According to “Wikipedia”, throughout the world today there are roughly 38 million commercial and subsistence fishermen and fish farmers consisting of both men and women. Apart from the commercial fishermen, subsistence fishermen, and fish farmers. There are also fishermen known world-wide as Professional Fishermen or Anglers.


B. Professional Fisherman or Anglers consist of both men and women. These people make a living in the sport of fishing by competing in tournaments with a paid entry fee and high payouts for the winners. Professional Fisherman can also refer to someone who helps educate others about the sport of fishing or by being involved in an industry promotion.

“The salary of a Professional Bass Fisherman in the U.S. ranges from $13,149 to $350,382 with the top 82 percent making that $350,382.”

As posted on “Comparably.com

9 WAYS THAT FISHING BENEFITS THOSE IN ADDICTION RECOVERY

As said earlier in this post, a crucial element in the longevity of someone’s recovery is to have a steady routine consisting of daily/weekly support group meetings. Along with staying focused on things like work or hobbies to help minimize the chance of relapse. Fishing offers a wide range of benefits for those in or out of recovery and those benefits are:

  1. Exercise – This is one of my favorite parts of going out fishing. As I have explicitly stated on different parts of my website, I do not come from nor do I currently have a large amount of money or perks at my disposal. One of those perks being a boat. Since I do not have a boat, I am restricted to shoreline fishing only now which is perfect since I need to lose some weight and get back in shape to improve my overall well-being. This is something that everyone can benefit from but especially those in recovery. Fresh out of rehab is one of the hardest times physically since you are going to be feeling many different things that has been numbed for a long time. To get through those different pains and aches, you are going to want to stretch out and exercise. What better way to do that then hiking along a river or around a lake with the added benefit of working your arms by casting out and reeling in.
  2. Outdoors – For me personally when I first started down my road to recovery. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck inside every day after just being locked indoors throughout the initial parts of rehab. I also did not want my outdoor time to be limited to my travel to and from work. That is when fishing became a shining beacon to help me get out and about without risk of visiting any of that might trigger any kind of negative urges. As well as that, for most people, there is usually an accessible body of water within walking distance from their home. Making it an easy go to if you are not able to drive or do not have a vehicle. That would also coincide with benefit number 1 adding to one’s overall workout.
  3. One, Two, or More – After being in a rehabilitation center filled with other people or going to support meetings that consist of 5 or more people. There comes a point in time where you just want some nice quiet time to yourself, but in a healthy way so that you do not run the risk of getting stuck in your head wanting to escape. That there is a perfect example of when you should grab your fishing pole and tackle bag then head out to the water. Fishing has been widely known to be a more solitary activity but with the added benefit of being able to include in others if you choose to. Bring a buddy, introduce your child, or get out for the quality alone time. No matter what you choose or when, fishing is always an available option.
  4. Never Ending Consistency – When someone first decides on picking up a new hobby or trade, one of the main things they consider is how long it will hold their interest before they get bored. Same thing goes for trending fads. How long until the next big thing swoops in and takes it over. When it comes to the vast world of fishing, neither of those concerns would ever become an issue. Fishing is a constantly growing sport and hobby that is passed down from generation to generation. Each generation evolves and improves upon the techniques and equipment passed down to them before it is then passed on again. Even if one day the sport of fishing dies out and holds little interest as a hobby. The need to fish as a source of food will always be a necessity. Making fishing an undying and beneficial skill for all.
  5. Little to No Money – As a recovering addict, I know all too well how much debt is acquired from having a previous addiction. Does not matter if it is drugs or alcohol. Whatever money someone had or earned during the time their addiction was in control, all went to feeding that beast. So, once you begin recovery and start off down that road, it is very unlikely that you have any money to spare. Luckily, fishing is not an expensive hobby to get into. Depending on your family or friends, it is usually a good chance that someone has or does fish. If that is the case, you can probably get away with not spending anything at all when starting out and instead borrow just the basics to help you get out there sooner rather than later. This also comes with the added benefit of being able to try fishing to see if you even enjoy it before spending money on something you might not like. Nonetheless, if you have no way of borrowing some of the basics. You can go to places like Wal-Mart or Dick’s Sporting Goods to purchase a beginner’s rod and reel tackle kit from anywhere between $20-$40. Though the starter kits are not high-quality pieces, they are more than enough when starting out and getting a feel for whether fishing is a hobby and sport worth pursuing.
  6. Water Is Not Always Necessary – Typically when it comes to fishing, the only way to catch a fish is by going to a body of water or a running stream. Yet there is so much more to the world of fishing then just that. There are many fishermen out there that live and breath all things fishing both on the water and at home. There are many different types of fishing as well as many different types of equipment and gear that is used to fish. Before all these big companies started producing things like lures, baits, and tackle. Many fishermen would make home made lures and baits to help them land that prize catch. Today’s fishermen are no different. Whether it is making home made flies for fly fishing or melting down plastics to pour into molds to create different colored artificial creatures. Fishing provides countless options both on the water and at home to help keep you busy and improve your game.
  7. Opportunity Knocks – It is no secret that everyone wants nothing more then to become a financial success. Every day there is something new and exciting that comes onto the market. Whether it is an upgrade to something already available or something totally unique and new. The world of fishing is no exception to this. There are companies filled with research teams designing new ways to catch more and bigger fish. On YouTube there are many people out there producing fishing videos that range from tips and tricks, product reviews, and much more. All over the United States, businesses and groups hold local tournaments for professionals, amateurs, or newcomers. You may pick up fishing as a hobby, but it is quite possible for you to turn that hobby into a new source of income.
  8. New Beginnings – My biggest hope for myself when going into recovery was the chance at a new beginning. After all the wrongs I’ve done during the peak of my addiction, all I wanted a chance to do was become a better person and try to make up for all those wrongs in anyway I could. When starting back into fishing, I was granted a big part of that hope. As I began to meet other anglers and explore new places, I began to understand and realize that it didn’t matter what I did, where I came from, or that I was a recovering addict. After I got over that fear of rejection and judgement, I was immediately met with a huge feeling of relief when these new people I started to meet fully accepted me for who I was and never put a second thought into what I had done in my past. It did not matter to any of them whether I was an addict, had a record, or didn’t really know much about this new world I was trying to become a part of. When you and your fishing buddies are out on the water, everything else is just left on land.
  9. One-Size-Fits-All – Last but not least, it is never too late to pick up fishing. On the flip side, there is no such thing as starting too early. Whether you are 10 years old or 60, it does not matter. The best time to join in on the fun is all up to when you decide you want to. You do not need to be fortunate enough to have had your father or grandfather take you out and teach you what they know. Everyone must start somewhere and if it is something you genuinely want to do. Then the only thing stopping you from starting is you. The fishing community is well-known for being family friendly and overly generous. It is not an uncommon occurrence to bump into other fishermen while out on the water and have them greet you as if you are their long-lost brother/sister. Most fishermen are outgoing and well spoken. Always ready to share some of what they know with others. So do not worry that you may not know all you need to successfully land a big catch. There is always someone out there ready to help answer any question you may have so that you too can enjoy this fantastic world of fishing.

CONCLUSION

I am sure that much like myself, never would you think that something as simple as fishing could ever be so beneficial to someone that has hit their own personal rock bottom. Now it is important that those in recovery do not substitute one addiction for another. There are healthy addictions, such as exercise, but the list of healthy addictions is quite small. So taking things in moderation after getting out of rehab or initial recovery programs is important. Never go rushing into something in hopes of filling that void where your addiction once lived because you can risk trading one addiction for another. You were strong enough to get into recovery and you will continue getting stronger every day that you stay in recovery. The possibilities are endless to those who want it bad enough.

It took me quite awhile to find something I can truly be passionate about, apart from my child and family. Fishing was not my first choice as a hobby and I did not really get into it much the first year because of my lack of experience mixed with some bad first times going out. It took me a bit to finally have a good experience, but that one good experience was all it took. Since then I have learned so much and have grown to be “That Guy” that my buddies and family go to for advice or to learn new things so that they may improve their own experiences.

I leave you with what will be my motto here at Lifeoholics Anonymous for all those in recovery who are looking to jump into the world of fishing and give it a try. It comes from the fishing term “Catch and Release” which refers to when a fisherman catches a fish and releases it right after so that that fish may get bigger or for someone else to have a chance at catching it.

“Catch A Better Future and Release Your Past!”

– Lifeoholics Anonymous

Thank you for checking out my post! Please leave a comment below to let me know what you thought and also please hit that “Like Button” if you enjoyed it. Do not forget to subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail so that you get updates on all new posts and changes!

9 Comments on “9 Ways Fishing Benefits Those In Recovery

  1. Pingback: Matthew Wright: Presenter Champions Mental Health Benefits of Fishing

    • Thank you so much for the shout out in your article! You have no idea how good it feels to get this information out there to people in hopes that it will help them as it has helped me.
      I will be editing my original post to add in your article so that others may also find the fantastic resources you sites.
      Thank you again!

      Like

    • Thanks! I definitely agree, especially during these times of isolation. You just have to find some kind hobby to keep yourself busy. We will all get through together and be all better for it.

      Like

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