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Friday, August 18, 2017

AUD Among Women Rising

AUD
When you think of heavy drinkers you are likely to picture a man taking shots in a dimly lit bar or a frat boy taking “keg stands.” Associations that would be accurate, but men are not the only Americans drinking in unhealthy ways. Women are touched by addiction, and millions of American women struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) every year. However, it hardly gets the attention that it deserves.

Alcohol is a dangerous substance, even when used in relative moderation. Due to the drug's legal status, it is an accepted pastime in the United States. Yet, when recreation turns into addiction society is not all that kind. The stigma of alcoholism prevents many alcoholics from seeking the help they desperately require. In 2015, around 1.3 million adults received AUD treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Of those who received treatment 898,000 were men, which equates to 8.8 percent of the number of males who needed treatment. Only 417,000 women got treatment, 7.5 percent of females who needed treatment.

The lack of people seeking treatment for AUD is troubling, especially when you consider that a new study shows that alcohol use, high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders, has increased significantly among women leading up to 2015. The findings were published in JAMA Psychiatry.

 

High Risk Drinking and AUD Among Women


In order to prevent and educate people about the dangers of alcohol, we need to know who is at the greatest risk. This will allow experts to better target their preventive efforts. The new study showed increases in high risk drinking and alcohol use disorder among men as well. Yet, the most significant increases were found with:
  • Women
  • Older Adults
  • Racial/Ethnic Minorities
  • Individuals with Lower Educational Levels and Family Income
"These increases constitute a public health crisis that may have been overshadowed by increases in much less prevalent substance use (marijuana, opiates and heroin) during the same period. ... Most important, the findings herein highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and AUD, destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment," the authors write in JAMA.

AUD Treatment 


Alcohol use disorders are progressive forms of mental illness. Left untreated typically leads to tragic outcomes. But, much of the heartache typical to alcoholism can be avoided by making the brave decision to seek help, sooner rather than later. If you are a woman who is struggling with AUD, recovery is possible, if you are willing to take certain steps.

At Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea, we can guide you to the road of early recovery. Starting with breaking the cycle of alcoholism. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a consultation. Please give us a call.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Avoiding Triggers in Early Recovery

addiction recovery
Living a life free from drugs and alcohol is no easy task. It is not a coincidence that most relapses happen within the first year of recovery. Whether you sought help by way of treatment or not. Of course, those who do seek the assistance of a substance use disorder treatment facility are given tools and taught skills to better mitigate the risk of relapse.

When you go to treatment for alcohol or substance use disorders, getting you off substances is the first order of business. Next, comes the work. Learning, understanding and accepting ways of living that can help you avoid the temptations lurking around every corner. One of the reasons that staying clean and sober for long period of time is so difficult is triggers. People, places or things that can elicit certain responses and feelings in thee mind.

In early recovery, avoiding triggers is absolutely paramount. Those who delude themselves into thinking they are stronger than they are, often encounter problems. People with less than a year sober have no good reason to be in an environment where people are using. If there is a party that requires your presence (i.e. work related event), bringing a friend in the program with you is always wise. That being said, it is possible to stay out of shark infested water in early recovery. If one is honest about their limitations.

Triggers In Addiction Recovery


Alcohol and drugs are triggers. But, there are other subtler triggers that can make a person want to use, too. After years of living in addiction, there are number of mental associations that form. Stimuli and behaviors that went along with your disease, but are not necessarily things that will get you drunk or high on their own.

For instance, everyone listens to music. Perhaps there was a band that you listened to a lot when you were using. Now in recovery, you may play a song that could make you have fond memories of when you were using. Forgetting all the pain that drugs and alcohol caused, you find yourself with a smile on your face. This can be dangerous. In early recovery, you would be wise to make a list of certain bands that could trigger your appetite for particular substances.

Music is just a general example of something benign in nature that can have catastrophic impact on your program. Early on in treatment, you and your counselor will likely narrow down things in the outside world that could jeopardize your recovery. Identify places that should be avoided, and people that you should try to stay clear of. One’s addiction will be constantly trying to steer you towards the precipice of relapse. Working a program counters the sinister drive of addiction. After leaving treatment, you will work with a sponsor and go to meetings. It is vital that you talk with your fellows in recovery about any and all urges to use that you are having. Not doing so is a slippery slope to relapse.

 

Addiction Treatment As A Model


Some of you reading this are not in recovery yet, but need it. If that is the case, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you build a solid foundation for recovery, and teach you about the people, places and things that should be avoided—at all costs. Achieving long-term recovery is possible, let us show you how.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Opioid Addiction Report: Declare A National Emergency

opioid addiction
There is a good chance that you have been affected by the widespread misuse of opioid painkillers. Either yourself personally, or you have a loved one or close friend who's been touched by the disease of addiction. Right now, there are millions of Americans living with an untreated opioid use disorder. You may have heard tell that the White House appointed a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The hope is to find viable solutions to our nation’s most serious public health crisis.

Solutions are desperately needed, people are dying and many more are meeting the criteria for opioid addiction with each day that passes. Confronting this epidemic has proved to be a serious challenge. While there have been efforts to both assist addicts get help and make it harder to acquire prescription opioids, still around 142 Americans die of an overdose every day.

Last year, Congress approved and President Obama signed into law a couple piece of legislation aimed at putting an end to the epidemic. Legislation that called for funding addiction treatment services, expanding access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone and training doctors to be more frugal prescribers. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act have yet to bear quantifiable proof. Only time will tell. The current administration has placed their trust in the opioid commission to address the epidemic.

 

Opioid Crisis Report



Many addiction experts have eagerly awaited what conclusions the commission would make. This week, the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released a preliminary report, according to the Associated Press. Wherein, the first order of business calls for the President to declare the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency. Report says that roughly 142 deaths each day is "equal to September 11th event every three weeks."

“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life. It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.” 

The commission included several recommendations in their report, including:
  • Enforcing mental health parity laws, ensuring people get the coverage they need for addiction treatment.
  • Equipping “all” law enforcement officers with naloxone.
  • Funding federal agencies to develop fentanyl detection sensors.
  • Increasing the use of opioid addiction medications, such as buprenorphine.
  • Require doctors and other people working in the medical field to get buprenorphine prescribing waivers.
  • Facilitate state prescription drug monitoring programs data sharing nationally by July 1, 2018.
The commissioner stated that it will release another report later this fall.

 

Addiction Treatment


Opioid addiction is difficult to recover from, but it is possible. The process usually begins with detox to help you get through the withdrawal process, the pain of which often leads to immediate relapse without assistance. Then followed by residential addiction treatment to teach you how a life in recovery can be achieved, teaching you skills and providing tools to help achieve success. After treatment, a continued program of spiritual maintenance is how one holds on to their recovery for years to come.

If you are ready to take the journey of addiction recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Mental Health Treatment Around The World

mental illness
In the United States there are resources available to help people dealing with mental health disorders, such as depression. Yet, only 44.7 percent of adults with any mental illness received any mental health services in 2013, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). If you are familiar with the field of mental health you may not be surprised by SAMHSA’s findings. Because you know that reaching out for help is extremely hard for people living with mental illness.

We live in a society that still struggles to understand that mental health disorders are serious impairments. These conditions require treatment and continued therapy over the course of one’s life. People living with mental illness often fear that asking for help will result in them being stigmatized by the peers. Thus preventing people for taking the first step to recover.

To be sure, we have come along way with regard to stigma, but it is a fight that is extremely hard to win. Consider the general public’s lack of understanding about conditions like depression or addiction. Despite the fact that there is ample evidence showing that treatments are effective, they are widely underutilized. Those living with any type of untreated mental illness are at great risk of developing problems with mind-altering substances. That is because people with untreated mental health problems often self-medicate, leading to the development of co-occurring mental health disorders. In turn, requiring an extra level of treatment.

 

Talk Therapy for Mental Illness


The SAMHSA report indicated 43.8 million adults (age 18 or older) experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2013. Given that 9.3 million Americans reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, the need for encouraging more people to seek help is great.

Mental illness is a worldwide problem, with depression affecting more than 300 million people around the globe, according to the the World Health Organization (WHO). Because treatment rates are so low in this country, perhaps American health experts should look for examples in other countries.

A campaign was launched in 2008 to help people living with mental illness in England, called Healthy Minds. It has the expressed goal of creating a system of primary care for mental health across the UK, The New York Times reports. Healthy Minds offers free open-ended talk therapy at clinics throughout the country. Since the program’s inception, adults in England receiving mental health treatment increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3. What’s more, people all over the country have access to talk therapy and not just in cities. Brits are getting help, according to the article, in:
  • Desolate Farming Villages
  • Industrial Suburbs
  • Remote Immigrant Communities
The program has had a serious impact on the stigma surrounding mental illness, as well. This gives more people the strength to seek the help they desperately need.

“You now actually hear young people say, ‘I might go and get some therapy for this,’” said Dr. Tim Kendall, the clinical director for mental health for the National Health Service. “You’d never, ever hear people in this country say that out in public before.”

 

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


If you are living with any type of mental illness, the problem is always made worse by using drugs and alcohol. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we specialize in treating clients with a dual diagnosis. Please reach out to us to begin the process of recovery.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Less Addictive Prescription Opioids?

Nearly 20 years into a prescription opioid epidemic, it is fair to say that opioid painkillers are not going anywhere. At least anytime soon, that is. Try as one might to find an alternative form of pain management that does not carry the potential for abuse, few options are available. Drugs, such as Exparel have shown promise regarding post-surgery pain, but it is not widely used, yet. As far as the day to day chronic pain that millions of Americans suffer from, there just isn’t anything as effective as opioids, seemingly.

Nevertheless, the search must continue to find replacement pain therapies and to reduce the practice of over-prescribing these deadly narcotics. One need only look at the front pages of newspapers across the country to get an idea of the scope and scale of this epidemic. Hundreds of people die from overdose every week from prescription opioids prescribed for pain. Yet, doctors continue to prescribe, and in way they must. Patient pain, and the treatment of it is important. But, the cost of doing so is exceedingly great.

There are alternative forms of pain management, perhaps less effective but certainly not carrying the risk of overdose. Over the counter pain relievers can do more than most people think. Combine those with holistic approaches, like acupuncture and yoga, and good results can be achieved. Although, there will always be some people who will not respond to safer approaches. Reducing the need for opioids remains a serious challenge.

 

Less Addictive Opioids?


New research suggests that NKTR-181, by Nektar Therapeutics, may be a safer opioid for managing pain, according to a press release. NKTR-181 has a unique molecular structure, which patients may be less likely to abuse.

Unlike other opioids currently on the market for pain management, NKTR-181 may provide effective pain relief—without intense euphoria. Which might make users crave it less, mitigating the potential for addiction. The drug also acts on the brain slower than other opioids being prescribed today. The Food and Drug Administration has given NKTR-181 a fast-track designation.

"Getting very high, very fast, is a mark of conventional high-risk, abused opioids," said Jack Henningfield, PhD, vice president at Pinney Associates and adjunct professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "NKTR-181 represents a meaningful advance in the treatment of pain as the first opioid analgesic with inherent brain-entry kinetics that avoids this addictive quality of traditional opioids. This prevents the rapid 'rush' that abusers seek during the critical period immediately after dosing. Importantly, these properties of NKTR-181 are inherent to its molecular structure and are not changed through tampering or route of administration."

 

Prescription Opioid Addiction


So, if opioids are not going anywhere, less addictive and tamper resistant is a good start, at least. Opioid use disorder is major problem, and any effort to reduce the likelihood of addiction is paramount. In the meantime, pain patients should be leery about a doctor who is quick to resort to opioids before exhausting all other options.

If you have become addicted to your painkillers, please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab. We can help break the cycle of addiction and help you find ways to combat your pain without the use of opioids.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Prayer and Meditation In Addiction Recovery

prayer
Anyone who is new to recovery finds it difficult to take every suggestion given to them. After all, addicts and alcoholics can be stubborn to the bone. Even though their way didn’t work for them, one still wants to hold on to the illusion of control. The idea that, despite all the wrong turns leading up to recovery, we know what is best for us.

Resistance to suggestion can take a number of different forms. What one decides to heed or doesn't, varies from case to case. In early recovery there is a lot of information being bombarded from several directions, one may find it hard to act in accordance to what is suggested. Early on, some of the more common advice that is given that newcomers struggle to take without question, includes:
  • Get a sponsor, don’t put it off.
  • Staying away from romantic entanglements in the first year of recovery.
  • Go to 90 meetings in 90 days.
  • Pray and/or meditate daily.
  • Keep it simple…
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously, and any one of a number of platitudes.
All of which, believe it or not, may seem straightforward and easy to follow, but many in early recovery struggle with some of them. But, all of such advice is sage wisdom when it comes to staying clean and sober. For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the suggestion to pray or meditate, daily.

 

Spirituality in Recovery


If you have been in the program for even a short time, then you are probably aware that ours is a spiritual program. One’s connection to a “higher power” of their own understanding is what holds a program together. Without something greater to be accountable to, we resume the comfortable position of thinking we are running the show. It’s probably been said to you by now that it doesn’t matter what your higher power is—as long as you have one.

Choosing something greater than yourself may come easier to you than keeping in constant contact with said higher power. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to drown out the noise and connect with the spiritual. The suggestion to pray or meditate at the start or end of your day is a good one. When the outside world quiets down a bit, early in the morning or late at night, one is in a better position to connect. Better able to open oneself up to the sunshine of the spirit. If you are new, you may be adverse to “God,” or any ideas of omnipotence, for that matter. This is pretty normal. You may find it hard to get down on your knees and open your soul to the spiritual plane. That’s alright. Practice makes perfect.

Are you like the many who are new to the program, who feel a little goofy getting down on your knees and asking for guidance? Or perhaps you have trouble remembering to pray and meditate, after all, in early recovery we have busy lives to contend with. If you are one of those people, perhaps you would entertain another suggestion that might help. When you get ready for bed at the end of your day, put your shoes under the bed. When you wake, unless you are planning to walk around in your socks you will need those shoes. Voila! And there you find yourself already on your knees, open to the light of your higher power. It might sound corny, but it works.

 

Prayer In Addiction


It is not uncommon for people who are still struggling with substances to pray for a way out of the despair. Some of us, after all, grew up with spirituality in our live. Despite the fact that the drugs and alcohol make us deaf to the spirit, we still send out prayerful signals hoping for a response. If you have been praying to change, that is great and change is possible. But it will require something from you, first. Picking up the phone. If you would like to be free from the bondage of self, and break the chains of your addiction, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

alcohol use disorder
Do you drink regularly? If so, it may not be cause for concern. Millions of Americans imbibe on regular basis, the majority of whom will never develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD). But that does not mean that there aren't inherent risks to regularly consuming alcohol, or that you will not develop a problem with the world’s most used mind-altering substance. What’s more, the majority of people with an alcohol use disorder may not even be aware that they have a problem.

If you are a regular drinker, and are unsure if there is a problem that needs to be addressed, it might be worth looking into. AUDs that are left untreated can cause a host of medical problems and increase the risk of premature death. One way to assess if you have a problem is to talk to your primary care physician. They can shed light on the subject. Doing so could lead to addiction treatment, and in turn greatly improve the quality of your life. If you have an inkling that your drinking is problematic, please do not hesitate.

Furthermore, it is never wise to gauge the severity of your drinking by comparing yourself to your peers. Their drinking is not relevant to your situation. Every one of us is different. Drinking may not affect your peers' lives in the negative ways it affects your own. It is quite common for people to continue fueling the fire of an alcohol use disorder because they think they do not have a problem based on how their friends drink. It is worth remembering that perceptions are not fact.

 

The Criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder


When diagnosing any health disorder, certain criteria must be met. Whether it is diabetes or depression. One should see a specialist to identify a problem, which is always advised. But you can also utilize resources from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). Currently, there are eleven symptoms of alcohol use disorder, which include:
  1. Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol.
  5. Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
  8. Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  9. Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: a) A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect b) A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: a) The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol (refer to criteria A and B of the criteria set for alcohol withdrawal) b) Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

AUD Severity and Treatment


If you met two of the symptoms criteria, then you meet the criteria for AUD. Depending on how many of the eleven that you meet, will determine the severity of the disorder.
  • Mild: The presence of 2 to 3 symptoms.
  • Moderate: The presence of 4 to 5 symptoms.
  • Severe: The presence of 6 or more symptoms.
So now what? If you meet the criteria for a mild AUD, it may possible to start the process of recovery in the rooms of 12-Step programs or SMART Recovery. For those who have over four symptoms, it is likely that more help assistance initially will be required. At Celebrate Hope, we can help you detox from alcohol and get you started on the road to recovery. Our trained professionals can give your tools and skills for avoiding relapse and achieving long-term recovery. Please contact us today, recovery is possible.
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