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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Addressing the Costs of Untreated Addiction

The impact of prevention and treatment of mental illness like addiction is significant, considering that both efforts save lives. People in the grips of alcohol and substance use disorders can and do recover from this deadly disease, provided however that they have assistance. Those who attempt to overcome addiction on their own, more times than not, fall short of the mark. Encouraging anyone with a mental health disorder to seek help is not just right for the individual, it’s essential for everyone.

It should go without saying that more than just the alcoholic or addict feels the impact of addiction. When individuals suffer, so too do friends and family; such people go to great lengths to help those with the disease get help. If recovery doesn’t come to fruition, there is significant emotional toil for such people. Friends and family members will also help people with addiction financially, i.e., treatment, medication, and hospitalization costs. In many cases, mothers and fathers pay bills for their sick loved one. At times such behavior is healthy, in other instances, it’s enabling; the difference between the two is often a gray area.

Most people understand that addiction treatment services are costly, saving a life can involve many addiction experts and treatment stays before recovery takes root. Lasting recovery is usually brought about by enlisting the help of outside parties; it’s difficult to avoid such costs. For most mothers and fathers there is no limit to what they would invest in the well-being of their child.

Focusing On Treatment for All

addiction treatment
Unfortunately, not every addict and alcoholic can still rely on friends and family to invest in their well-being. When that occurs, any form of help the addict or alcoholic requires comes from the state. Nary an American is unfamiliar with the havoc wrought by opioid addiction, with around a hundred people dying of overdose each day. Emergency services spare substantially more people from premature death, i.e., first responders, emergency room visits, and state and local mental health services. As you can probably imagine, much of the epidemic's financial toll stems from emergency hospitalization.

Altarum, a nonprofit group that studies the health economy, analyzed CDC mortality data through June of last year, NPR reports. The organization's assessment indicates the cost of the opioid epidemic, from 2001 to 2017, is upwards of $1 trillion. Emergency room visits, ambulance costs, and the use of naloxone accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Much of the financial toll stems from work productivity and tax losses, given that young people in the grips of addiction are unable to hold down employment. Of course, the significant mortality rate from opioid use has drained the American workforce as well. If things do not change, researchers predict that in the next three years the epidemic will cost at least another $500 billion. The cost growth is occurring at an exponential rate; avoiding such increases will depend mainly on investing in addiction treatment services. The Altarum researchers say we need a “comprehensive and sustained national response.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

When people go to treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders, they have the best chance of achieving long-term recovery. Any delays in seeking help can lead to disastrous consequences; please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to begin the life-saving journey of recovery.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Service Commitments for Recovery

It feels good to be there for others when called upon for help. Being of service to others is an excellent way to get out of your head, a place that is at times dangerous to linger in—especially in recovery. Few people who are actively using drugs and alcohol can perform selfless acts; addiction demands too much from the individual to expel any energy on others. Conversely, recovery affords ample opportunity to resend selfish and self-centered behavior, allowing one to dedicate themselves to assisting others in times of need.

Many of our readers are in early recovery which means that they are still figuring some things out regarding working a program and this is not by accident; Celebrate Hope is committed to introducing men and women to recovery. We serve as guides when rehabilitation is in its infancy. Our desire to help doesn’t cease when a client passes to the other side of our recovery safety threshold. We hope to provide sound advice for navigating recovery long after treatment comes to a close.

The majority of our former clients now subscribe to the tenets of the 12 Steps and strive to practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs. Such people endeavor to make progress, but are not always perfect, which is more than OK provided however that they adjust their program when necessary. Once you get into the swing of recovery—going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and such— it becomes easy to see that the enterprise of restoration rests on helping others. In early recovery, one is inclined to think that help is a one-sided affair. However, it is difficult to see how you might be aiding others in their recovery. Rest assured, you are doing more for your fellows than you realize.


A Fellow of Recovery

We all have a natural desire to form an understanding of our role in any system or organization, a fellowship is no different. In time, you form strong bonds with other people in your support network, people you can turn to when times are hard, or your recovery is in jeopardy. Some of you haven’t had the privilege, yet, of walking somebody with less Time than you through the steps. A fact that might lead you to believe that you are taking more from the program than you’re giving back. The truth is altogether different.

Each time you share your story or current difficulty at a meeting you are helping your fellows in recovery. Even those who are new that share rarely, if at all, are doing the group a service; the mere act of being a presence in a meeting on a regular basis is empowering for your peers. Merely showing up to daily meetings inspires people with less time than you to keep coming back. Rarely sharing is not prohibited in recovery, but keep in mind that the more you share, the more likely you are to receive constructive feedback applicable to your recovery.

It is also worth noting that sponsorship is not the only way to give back to the program. At every meeting across the country and beyond, exists service commitments. Chores in a sense, but ones with a priceless reward; as with any exercise in selflessness, you get back far more than you put in. Showing up early to a meeting for set-up or breaking down after meetings; making coffee or supplying snacks for the group, are all commitments you can volunteer for in early recovery. When you act in service to the group, a power Greater than yourself in effect, you’re helping yourself and others as well. Service commitments are perfect opportunities to practice the principles of recovery.


Together, We Stay Sober

The next time the option to help a fellow in recovery or your “homegroup” arises, please accept the honor. In doing so, you learn a valuable lesson, when others trust you it's a sign of progress and feels terrific being trusted by your peers; a feeling that doesn’t exist in active addiction. When you fulfill your commitments, you learn the value of accountability, which is vital.

If you are struggling with drugs and alcohol and would like to begin a life-changing journey of recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can answer any questions you might have, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Overcoming Fear, Seeking Addiction Treatment

addiction recovery
Talking about what’s going on inside you isn’t an easy job, especially if you are struggling with mental illness. Fear is one of the most significant barriers to addiction recovery—even when you need help the most feeling paralyzed is a common occurrence. Regardless of how your disease manifests itself, i.e., one is predisposed to have reservations about discussing it with peers. Sadly, we all worry too much about what others think about mental health problems; it’s the byproduct of hundreds of years of stigma. Overcoming the worries we have about what people think of us is vital to seeking help; failing to do so can be deadly.

Please take a moment to consider how many people around the globe struggle with untreated mental health conditions, you might find it paradoxical that such people continue to eschew treatment. After all, over 300 million people battle depression each year, worldwide. Millions and millions of others struggle with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and substance use disorder. In the United States, more than 2 million American meet the criteria for opioid use disorder, over a half million have a heroin use disorder. An even higher number of people are addicted to alcohol, and untreated alcoholism is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide.

With so many people who have a mental illness, you may find it troubling that mustering the courage to seek help is such a monumental task. Both people in recovery and in need of treatment make up a vast demographic; by joining together, we can end the stigma that prevents addiction recovery.


Addiction Recovery Works

Far more people are in active addiction than active recovery; a fact that may lead many individuals to think that recovery is a fluke. The reality is that anyone who openly and honestly works a program of healing can achieve lasting recovery. The likelihood of your recovery cannot rest on statistics or the mindset of those that addiction has passed over. Your recovery begins with a decision to try a different way of life, a polar opposite way of thinking. The first manifestation of that is surrender; admitting to yourself and another person that your way of living is no longer tenable.

Overcoming active addiction and taking steps for recovery usually involves talking to a friend or family member about seeking help. It’s likely that there is at least one person in your life who will not pass judgment about your struggles; a person who will encourage you to seek assistance and support you along the way. We realize that many people in late stage addiction have burned most of their bridges with family and friends. Perhaps you are one of those people, do not be discouraged; there exists a fellowship of people who want to see you get better, even if they have never met you. And their support is usually just a phone call away.

Those working in the field of addiction medicine and treatment are acutely familiar with what keeps people from asking for support. Many of those same people are in addiction recovery them self; meaning, they too struggled to reach out for help before they finally surrendered. Reaching out to an alcohol and substance use disorder treatment center can be your first step to ending the cycle of self-defeating behavior and a sign that fear will no longer drive you.

Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. —Paulo Coelho—


Addiction Recovery

Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help you discover the journey of lasting recovery. We are here for you 24hrs a day to discuss your options for embarking on a new way of life. Please contact us at your earliest convenience; we would love to be a part of your addiction recovery.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Encouraging Mental Illness Support

mental illness
‘Hi, How Are You?’ is an important question to ask your friends and family; and it’s more than just a generic greeting said countless times throughout the day. It also the name of a musician's album. Daniel Johnston (b. January 22, 1961) is not a name your average American is familiar with, his eclectic music is bound to be known even less. For musicians working in the industry, however, Daniel Johnston is a name that elicits both joy and sadness.

Johnston’s body of work is quite large. He started off in the 1980’s in Austin, Texas making a name for himself as an odd yet immensely talented young musician. One of his first albums, "Hi, How Are You?," was released in 1983; his talent did not go unnoticed by the music community in Austin and pretty soon prominent musicians where adorning t-shirts with the album cover plastered on the front.

At this point, you might be wondering what Daniel Johnston has to do with the field of addiction and mental health? If you are one of the many people unfamiliar with his work, it likely due to the severe impact that mental illness had on Johnston's career. After all, he says that “Hi, How Are You?” was recorded while he was struggling with a nervous breakdown. Over time, it would become clear to everyone who knew him that Daniel suffered from multiple forms of mental illness.


Encourage Mental Health Support

Johnston is arguably one of Austin, Texas’ most loved musicians. Many people have devoted extensive amounts of time and energy helping Daniel have a career, for a time it seemed he would get his act together. However, progress was always fleeting, a fact made clear in a 2005 documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston."

Like most people who struggle with mental health disorders, talking about one’s condition is hard. Accepting help from others and asking for help is even more difficult. You see, Daniel is living with schizophrenia and manic depression, or bipolar disorder. Over the years his symptoms led to erratic behavior forcing the need for extended stays in psychiatric hospitals. He managed to return to the music scene on several occasions over the years, retiring from live performing in 2017. The heights of his career may not have matched his genius, but to those who’ve felt his music, he will always be dear, especially in Austin.

Recognizing Daniel's body of work, and the impact mental illness had on him, the City of Austin declared January 22nd "Hi, How Are You?" Day, NPR reports. The goal is to encourage people struggling with mental illness, like Daniel, to talk about their suffering. Doing so could lead to receiving support. If all of us asked, 'Hi, How Are You?,' we can make a difference in people’s lives.

“Please hear my cry for help and save me from myself.”—Daniel Johnston

Please take a moment to watch a short video below:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

"'Hi, How Are You?' is more than one of Austin's most iconic murals," Austin Mayor Steve Adler says. "It's a reminder to reach out to our friends and neighbors to see if they're OK, and for those experiencing mental health issues it's a reminder that you've got a whole community that can handle an honest answer because we want to help you get the help you need."


Mental Health Support

If you are living with an untreated mental illness such as addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you discover the gifts of recovery.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Smoking?

With the New Year well underway hopefully you are sticking to your resolutions. Each year, many people working programs of addiction recovery make an effort to quit smoking cigarettes. Having the goal of stopping, and managing to accomplish the task, could reduce a person’s risk of premature death significantly. Everyone knows that setting a goal is much simpler than achieving it, the addictive pull of tobacco products is exceedingly strong. Nevertheless, those who make a conscious effort to nip the habit in the bud can succeed, provided they have help.

While it’s possible to curb a smoking habit cold turkey, it's rare; very few people can beat the addiction without assistance. Even those who take advantage of smoking cessation products, like patches and gums, are in many cases unsuccessful. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of quitting aids in conjunction with behavioral therapy; the best outcomes come about by utilizing both tools for cessation.

Gums, patches, inhalers, and medications have all proved beneficial for some people; it depends on the individual regarding what works best. Research on the efficacy of such products is far from promising, which serves to confuse people on which route to take when trying to quit. In recent years, more people are talking about e-cigarettes than Nicorette for kicking tobacco products. Experts have conflicting opinions about the devices, but most agree that e-cigs are healthier than traditional tobacco products.


Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Smoking?

Here’s what we know right now: tobacco products kill people and are one of the leading causes of preventable illness and premature death. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, are not 100 percent safe but are a healthier alternative to tobacco and may aid one in their effort of kicking nicotine. The Annual Review of Public Health published an article recently about e-cigarettes, harm minimization, and smoking cessation, according to an NYU press release. The authors say vaping can help smokers who want to quit and mitigate the risk of premature death.

"Studies show that if most current American smokers switched to vaping e-cigarettes over the next 10 years, there could be as many as 6.6 million fewer premature deaths and 86.7 million fewer life years would be lost," said David Abrams, PhD, the article's lead author. "The safest course is to stop smoking or, better, never to start. But a harm minimization approach recognizes that demanding absolute perfection is often counterproductive and that, when a harmful behavior cannot be eliminated, we can still dramatically reduce adverse health consequences."

Vaping may not help you quit right away but will do less damage than smoking. What’s more, unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs let users taper their nicotine dose. Over time, vaping can lead to quitting nicotine altogether. In the past, we have mentioned that smokers in addiction recovery are at a greater risk of relapse, quitting could help you or a loved one better achieve lasting recovery.


Addiction Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is committed to helping people lead a life without drugs and alcohol. We have helped many of our clients quit smoking while learning how to abstain from mind-altering substances. Please contact us if you are ready to begin the remarkable journey of recovery.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Prop 64 Impacts Marijuana Convictions

Prop 64
Proposition 64 went into effect this month which means that adults can now use marijuana recreationally. The fact that California has the most significant economy and largest population could mean that Federal prohibition will soon come to an end. No other drug is associated with the “war on drugs” as much as marijuana, thousands upon thousands of lives have been and are dramatically altered by possession arrests. In some cases, people across the country are serving lengthy prison sentences due to cannabis cultivation and distribution.

While the passing of Prop 64 is progressive and is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, people in recovery must resist the temptation to pick up the pipe, rolling paper, and cookies. Marijuana may not have brought you to your knees praying for God’s help, but using it today could be a slippery slope back to your drug of choice. Please avoid taking a leisurely stroll through dispensaries; the novelty isn’t worth the inherent risks it will pose to your program.

If you are working a program of long-term recovery, then it stands to reason you have used cannabis before—most likely on more than one occasion. You know the feeling it produces, which means that a refresher is not required. Those who value all the hard work that has been invested in leading a healthy and productive life will avoid anything that could lead to relapse.


Marijuana Conviction Recourse

While staying off the "grass" is vital, it doesn't mean you can’t take advantage of one of the provisions in Prop 64. The progressive piece of legislation didn’t just legalize weed; it gives some of the thousands of people with cannabis convictions on their record an avenue of recourse, The Huffington Post reports. Such people can now petition the courts to reduce criminal penalties relating to the controversial substance.

The particular provision is of the utmost importance; one could even argue that it’s the most salient feature of the bill. We know that a significant number of people in recovery have marijuana convictions on their record. In some cases, rap sheets littered with weed offenses keep people in the program from landing good jobs, applying for apartments, and financial assistance. Under Proposition 64, people with a history of marijuana arrests can have their convictions retroactively reduced, reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor, or dismissed outright.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in California who stand to benefit from the process mentioned above, according to the article. If you are one of those people whose life is impacted by a cannabis conviction, you must first submit an application to a court for review. In some instances, you may have to enlist the assistance of a private attorney. However, money paid out now will likely pay off in the long run.

“In many ways, Proposition 64 has already been a success because we’ve ended the unnecessary and arbitrary criminalization of Californians around this issue, and helped tens of thousands of people who were unjustly unable to seek career and education opportunities due to prior non-violent marijuana offenses,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told HuffPost.


Cannabis Use Disorder

Just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean that there isn’t a risk of addiction. Today, there is a significant number of Americans living with cannabis use disorder. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we can help you recover from the condition and show you how to lead a life in recovery. Please contact us today!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Recovering from Relapse After SLIP

If you attend meetings of addiction recovery regularly, let’s start by saying that you are on the right track; lasting recovery is ever-dependent on continued maintenance manifested by routine. Prayer, meditation, meetings, sponsorship, step work, and paying it forward are all necessary ingredients for achieving long-term recovery. Those who show up and follow direction, are the people who succeed at keeping their disease at bay. People who are unable to do such things are usually unable to stay the course.

When sobriety loses its priority (SLIP), it’s only a matter of time before one’s addiction resumes control over the dominion of Self. That which protects one from acting upon triggers and cravings loses its strength when one puts other things ahead of recovery. When that happens, relapse is typically a foregone conclusion. Those of you who attend meetings on a daily basis are guaranteed to find yourself in the company of people who at one point let their program take precedence; relapse is a part of many peoples’ recovery story. If you are new to the program, you might consider paying extra-special attention when people talk about a previous relapse; doing so will provide you with valuable insight into your program.

Relapse doesn’t need to be the end of one’s recovery; in fact, it can be the catalyst for an even stronger program moving forward. You’ve probably heard people say that recovery is about progress, not perfection. We, all of us in recovery, are human; each of us errs at times, and unfortunately, sometimes that leads to a relapse. What’s more, the slip-up itself is of little importance, it’s what one does afterward that is most salient.


Recovery 2.0

Everyone in recovery knows the dangers that the holiday season poses to one’s program, and each year during this time individuals slip up for any one of many reasons. Whatever the perceived causes of a relapse are, they can all be boiled down to people losing sight of their mission—live life on life’s terms, one day at a time.

Remember, committing oneself to living by the principles of recovery is about more than just not drinking or drugging. Programs of recovery are a model for living an honest, open, and productive life. In a sense, the Steps are a recipe for creating the best version of yourself; a person who people turn towards rather than detract. The road to relapse may start with neglecting meetings and step work, but it ends with one acting in ways reminiscent of their old behaviors. Selfishness, self-centeredness, and dishonesty rise inside people from the depths; the abyss of one’s psyche where the disease of addiction resides. If such traits are not nipped in the bud immediately, they place individuals on a fast track to relapse.


Recovering from Relapse

You might be a person who found trouble during the holiday season, and hopefully, you have already committed yourself to practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs. If not, it’s likely a sign that you are still using and are letting fear or guilt block your way back to the program. Natural feelings to be sure, after all, nobody wants to identify as a newcomer in front of their peers, again. Please do not let that be a cause for staying “out there,” members of the recovery community don’t pass judgment on those who relapse. We open our arms lovingly, and eagerly await your return.

This is a program of fellowship, sometimes our peers fall or lose sight of their recovery. We help each other when things are rough, and encourage each other to continue moving forward. Recovery isn’t a competition, there are no winners or losers, and your popularity is not of any great concern. You are not the first to relapse, and sadly you’ll not be the last; be grateful that your relapse wasn’t fatal, get to a meeting, and grab a 24-hour chip or key chain. Your chair is waiting for you, and your experience will help someone else avoid a similar SLIP, believe it or not.

In some cases, more help is required; if you need extra assistance, please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab. We are standing by 24/7, 365 days a year.
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