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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Patrick Kennedy Reflects on Cousin's Overdose

mental health
The Kennedy family has a long history of falling victim to tragedy, from assassinations to substance abuse and mental health issues. Many Americans are familiar with Ted Kennedy’s alcohol use earlier in his career, which led to a car wreck that took the life of a young woman. His son Patrick, a vocal advocate for recovery and mental health parity, also struggled with substance use for many years.

Recently deceased author, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, was also in recovery for mental health-related issues. Last week, tragedy struck the family once again when Robert Kennedy’s granddaughter died from a suspected overdose, People reports. Saoirse Kennedy Hill, Patrick Kennedy’s cousin, died at the age of 22.

If the reports are accurate, Saoirse is now among the staggering number of Americans who lose their lives to an overdose. Three years before the young lady’s untimely death, she wrote an essay for her high school newspaper about her battles with depression and suicidal ideation.

"My depression took root in the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life," Saoirse wrote. "Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest."

At a time like this, who better to speak on the subject than former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy. 

 

Bringing Depression and Addiction Out of the Shadows


Patrick Kennedy has been fighting to end the stigma of addiction and mental health disorders for years. He has a track record for working on expanding access to treatment and recovery services. His effort to ensure that insurance companies cover mental health services, in the same way they would other diseases, has been instrumental in protecting the rights of millions of Americans.

Following his cousin’s death, Patrick shared some kind words about her with People. He said that "She opened the door for her peers to also come out and not feel shamed by this illness and she is a real hero in my family."

"She broke the silence. And we mourn her loss but her memory will live on as someone who wasn’t going to keep silent and wasn’t going to be feeling as if she had something shameful, but rather something medical that she sought treatment for."

Saoirse’s story is not unique; millions of Americans continue to struggle in the shadows with mental illness and substance use disorder. Patrick Kennedy used the opportunity to call for a more significant response in dealing with the epidemic we face.

"This affects every single family in America," said Kennedy. "It’s way past time that we deal with this in a way that we would deal with any other public health crisis."

Seeking Help for Addiction and Mental Illness


At Celebrate Hope, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kennedy family. We understand the deadly nature of mental disease and hope that Hill’s memory will inspire other young people to seek assistance.

Please contact us at your earliest convenience if you are struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder. We offer several programs that can help you learn how to lead a life in recovery.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Honing Life Skills in Recovery

life-skills for recovery
Addiction recovery teaches people how to deal effectively with life on life’s terms. Even though a person has stopped drinking or drugging, they are still going to struggle with the demands and challenges of life. Since stress is one of the leading causes of relapse, it’s prudent to discuss some ways to keep it at bay. There are many things you can do to make navigating life in recovery less challenging.

Most people, it’s fair to say, lack specific life skills when they get to addiction treatment. Alcohol and substance use disorders take precedent over practically all else. It takes an enormous amount of effort to ensure one has their drink or drug of choice, day in and day out. Few people can manage other important tasks when in the grips of the disease. This is especially true for those who began using at a young age.

Neglecting nutrition, school, work, and bills go hand in hand with mental illness. Being responsible and accountable is not often said about those living with a use disorder. Neglecting aspects of one’s life becomes a vicious cycle. Failing to accomplish everyday tasks causes stress in a person’s life; addicts and alcoholics will use drugs and alcohol to cope with that stress.

In recovery, people learn that mitigating stress is vital. Men and women are taught that fostering life skills is a must, in order to maintain balance. Addiction thrives in extremes; if life becomes chaotic, the risk of relapse increases significantly. To avoid doing things that can jeopardize progress, men and women need to discover ways to keep their lives in order.

Life Skills for Addiction Recovery


There are several types of life skills, such as managing finances and living within your means. Other fundamental skills in life include practicing self-care (i.e., eating right and exercising), time management, and keeping an organized living space. Naturally, we could dedicate separate posts to each of the above skill sets. Today’s post will focus on the need for emphasizing the importance of organization.

Early recovery is a fragile time for individuals for several reasons. Sobriety is not a natural state for people with a history of addiction, nor is doing something every day to prevent a return to drugs and alcohol. Years and years of substance use changes how people think and process information. Such men and women have trouble dealing with anything that is outside their control. As such, it is vital to do things that establish and support equilibrium.

Organization is central to preventing outside variables from causing stress. Keeping a tidy household is critical since we spend most of our time in the place we reside. Knowing where essential belongings are will help you avoid getting upset when something can’t be found.

Doing laundry each week will ensure you have clean clothes for work and social engagements. Dedicating small chunks of time throughout the week to domestic chores will help you stay organized and prepared for whatever comes up. Moreover, having a clean living space can also improve how you feel.

Keeping an orderly domicile is a skill that dovetails nicely with financial management. Many people are inclined to let their mail pile up; they sometimes open envelopes weeks after receipt. Making a point of sorting your mail will contribute to tidiness and also help you stay on top of your bills. When bills are paid on time, it alleviates stress.

Honing your life skills takes practice, but it’s doable for anyone clean and sober. You might try dedicating certain days of the week for a particular task (i.e., dusting on Monday, laundry on Wednesday, and bills on Friday). It will make things more manageable.

Learning Life Skills in Christian Rehab


At Celebrate Hope, we believe that clients who adopt new routines are less likely to fall back on old behaviors. We work with clients to hone their life skills. Please contact us today to learn how our Christian drug and alcohol rehab center can help you overcome the emotional and physical bondage of addiction.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Alcohol Use

alcohol use
Alcohol is legal for adults over the age of 21 to use, even though it is responsible for more than 88,000 deaths per year. The toll the substance takes on families and society is enormous. Still, most people look fondly upon an opportunity to drink at the end of a long day or week.

Less than 100,000 alcohol-related deaths may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things. However, more people succumb to illnesses linked to alcoholism than that of opioids. Globally, 3 million lives are lost due to hazardous alcohol, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. It is a staggering number, and the exact figure is substantially higher in all likelihood.

While most developed nations have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, finding solutions to the problem is not simple. The legal status of drinking makes it challenging to tackle alcohol-related issues like addiction. Most states, counties, and cities lack the resources to assist everyone who drinks hazardously.

Addiction treatment and recovery services are wanting in many parts of the United States. The same is valid internationally. The WHO believes that they can offer some guidance in addressing the harmful use of alcohol. The organization has developed a global strategy to help nations reduce morbidity and mortality due to alcohol use.

How to Address the Social Consequences of Alcohol Use


“The WHO global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol seeks to improve the health and social outcomes for individuals, families and communities, with considerably reduced morbidity and mortality due to harmful use of alcohol and their ensuing social consequences. It is envisaged that the global strategy will promote and support local, regional and global actions to prevent and reduce the harmful use of alcohol.”

The organization focuses on ten specific areas of policy options and interventions at the national level. They include:
  1. Leadership, awareness and commitment
  2. Health services' response.
  3. Community action.
  4. Drink-driving policies and countermeasures.
  5. Availability of alcohol.
  6. Marketing of alcoholic beverages.
  7. Pricing policies.
  8. Reducing the negative consequences of drinking and alcohol intoxication.
  9. Reducing the public health impact of illicit alcohol and informally produced alcohol.
  10. Monitoring and surveillance.
At the heart of the organization’s plan is raising awareness and putting an end to stigmatization. They encourage nations to implement policies that will increase access to alcohol use disorder screenings and treatment services. Developing strategies that prevent easy access to alcohol by vulnerable and high-risk groups is also essential.

Countries that increase alcohol prices can reduce underage drinking and episodes of heavy use, according to the strategy. Moreover, it is vital that each new policy is monitored to determine which initiatives are successful.

If you would like to read more about the WHO global strategy on alcohol, please click here.

Faith-Based Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we specialize in the treatment of alcohol use disorder; our team relies on a combination of faith-based principles and evidence-based modalities. Those who are able to adopt certain practices can turn their lives around completely.

Please contact us today to learn more about our compassionate, faith-based addiction programs and services.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Exercise in Recovery is Beneficial

exercise in recovery
People in recovery who emphasize the importance of not just mental health, but physical health too, benefit significantly. The mind and body support one another in multiple ways; neglecting one side of the system impacts the other.

Evidence-based addiction treatment programs encourage clients to focus on eating healthy and exercising as a means of promoting healing. People with a history of drug and alcohol misuse are typically out of shape and malnourished. They may also have physical health problems associated with their addiction.

Taking steps to bolster physical wellbeing will help the body heal from the damage done and make people feel better. Moreover, physical fitness can benefit the mind in several ways; even light workouts release endorphins: a type of hormone produced by the nervous system. Endorphins are beneficial because they help men and women cope with pain or stress.

Individuals in early recovery are susceptible to high levels of stress in addition to physical and emotional pain. Anything that can be done to mitigate discomfort healthily promotes healing. Exercise can also serve as a distraction from the triggers and cravings that can lead to relapse.

Incorporating Exercise Into Your Recovery Routine


One of the first things that people who are new to recovery learn about is finding balance. A common pitfall among men and women in early sobriety is going full-steam-ahead into everything. As such, things that should be healthy can become counterproductive.

Introducing exercise to one’s life should take place at a moderate pace. Personal limitations must also be considered to avoid injuries. Diving head first with all a person has into working out can lead to problems. What starts as a healthy distraction can end up distracting a person from the needs of their program.

Those looking to prioritize their physical health do well to talk first with doctors, therapists, and support networks. If the goal is to feel better and to be able to handle stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol, asking for guidance on physical fitness in recovery is wise.

Naturally, men and women with limitations must look for low-impact activities. Short walks and swimming are examples of low-impact aerobic exercises. People with pre-existing physical health conditions should seek out exercise routines that will cater to their constraints.

Working out with a peer in recovery can help strengthen personal connections. Isolation isn’t recommended in early sobriety; finding someone who shares similar goals is doubly beneficial. There are also some physical fitness organizations bringing together men and women in recovery.

The Phoenix is a nonprofit organization operating in several states that offers anyone with at least 48 hours of sobriety the chance to engage with a community committed to staying active. The organization provides addicts and alcoholics an opportunity to participate in peer-led boxing, CrossFit, hiking, rock climbing, and running events.

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment


Celebrate Hope assists adult men and women who are struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based addiction rehab center and the programs we offer.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide, and Millennials

overdose
Good news! New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests deaths from drug overdoses decreased slightly between 2017 and 2018. After two decades of steadily rising overdose death rates, a little headway has been made. There were 21.7 deaths per 100,000, compared to 20.8 deaths per 100,000 for the 12 months ending in the second quarter of 2018.

Efforts to increase access to addiction treatment services and the overdose reversal drug naloxone has paid off, some. However, the public health crisis this country faces is still as real as ever. As many as six million people could be living with an opioid use disorder involving the use of prescription painkillers or heroin.

Each day, more than 100 Americans succumb to the deadly effects of an overdose. While the above findings are promising, there continues to be a significant cause for concern, particularly with younger demographics. A new analysis of alcohol, drug use, and suicide among Millennials is startling.

Troubling Statistics About Alcohol, Drug Use, and Suicide


The latest federal data indicates that drug-related deaths skyrocketed 108% between 2007 and 2017 among people 18 to 34 years old. Alcohol-related deaths rose 69 percent and suicides increased 35 percent during the same period, USA Today reports. The findings were published by the organizations Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust.

“There is a critical need for targeted programs that address Millennials’ health, well-being and economic opportunity,” says John Auerbach, CEO of the Trust for America’s Health and Massachusetts’ former health secretary. 

What are the driving forces behind what some experts dub “deaths of despair?” According to Mr. Auerbach, there are several, including:
  • Education debt
  • Housing costs
  • The Great Recession
  • Opioid epidemic
When people are unhappy, or they feel unable to get ahead in life, they are more likely to look for relief and escape. Drugs and alcohol can ease people’s worries for a time, but such effects are fleeting. Those who attempt to anesthetize their feelings put themselves at significant risk of developing a use disorder, and co-occurring mental illnesses as well.

The executive director of the mental health services non-profit agency, McClendon Center, Dennis Hobb, points out a disconnect between mental health and addiction services adds to the problem, according to the article. He said that it impacts patients who struggle with co-occurring illness.

“When people are ready for treatment you have to get them into treatment right now, you can’t wait,” said Hobb.

People who are dealing with a mental illness are at a higher risk of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. The behavior can lead to behavioral health disorders, such as an addiction. It is vital that each condition is treated simultaneously. Many of the young people who resort to self-harm and suicide never receive treatment.

Faith-Based Dual Diagnosis


If you are struggling with alcohol or substance use and feel that you may be contending with a co-occurring mental illness, please contact Celebrate Hope. Our faith-based dual diagnosis treatment program can help you address both disorders concurrently.

We are standing by to answer any of your questions and to help you get on the road toward recovery.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Addiction Recovery Turns Lives Around

addiction recovery
Good people often find themselves struggling with issues that bring out their worst. Addiction is a condition that can lead people to the depths of despair. When men and women lack healthy coping skills and are in the grips of mental illness, they make decisions that can change their lives forever.

On this blog, we make a point of searching for stories of rebirth. Instances when individuals rise from the ashes of addiction and mental disease are worth retelling. Such stories can act as beacons of hope to all those who think that they are beyond help.

Jails, institutions, and death are said to await persons who do not receive assistance for addiction. Many people who’ve struggled with drugs and alcohol know that there is truth to those words. Nonviolent drug offenders make up a large portion of the U.S. prison population. There is also a significant number of inmates whose addiction lead them to commit previously unthinkable acts of violence.

While substance use is not a sound excuse for harming others, it does not mean that those who do are unredeemable. Addiction has brought many men and women to prison, but there are some who use their jail time to change their life.

Quintin Storey, 40, spent 19 years and seven months in a state prison located in Florida for committing second-degree murder, WBUR reports. His nearly two decades of imprisonment was a reformative period; he found addiction recovery and developed a passion for the culinary arts. Today, with the help of another chef in recovery, he is helping other felons as they transition back into the community.

 

From Prison to Addiction Recovery to Helping Others


Mr. Storey tells WBUR that he had a mostly normal childhood, one that involved family, music, and religion. He played sports and went to church; Quintin remembers being happy. Then, when he was ten, his whole world was flipped upside down—his parents divorced.

He found himself incapable of making sense of his parents separation through the lens of his devout Christian beliefs. Lacking coping skills, Storey began hanging out with the wrong crowd, smoking pot, and drinking. After high school, Quintin started using and selling drugs and abusing alcohol. In 1999, he was charged and convicted with homicide.

While in prison he started working in the kitchen, where he discovered a passion for cooking. In January 2018, Mr. Storey was released from jail; being a felon, he needed assistance. Then, Quintin learned about the REfire Culinary Program.

Chef Rebecca Kelly-Manders, 45, started REfire to assist felons transitioning back into society, according to the article. The eight-week program instructs students on knife handling and food safety.

“My darkest past can be a beacon of light for somebody else,” Rebecca says. “I can say, ‘Hey, look what I’ve walked through. You can walk through this, too. Let me show you how I did it.

The founder of the program knows how challenging it is for individuals with felonies on their record because of her past. Drug and alcohol addiction led Kelly-Manders on a destructive path; she was convicted on felony charges more than once before finding recovery.

In February 2018, Storey took the REfire course and graduated eight weeks later, the article reports. Despite being an exceptional student, he struggled to find a job. Kelly-Manders chose to hire Storey, making him supervisor of her cafe and the food protection manager at the Big Bend Homeless Coalition.

“My felony conviction was something that was basically a wall that was built up to where it was difficult for me to get a chance,” Quintin says. “And Rebecca helped to tear that wall down.” 

California Faith-based Addiction Treatment


We invite anyone struggling with addiction to contact Celebrate Hope to discuss treatment options. At our center, we rely on evidence-based modalities along with Biblical principles to help men and women discover lasting recovery.

Start celebrating hope today by speaking to a faith-based recovery specialist. (800) 708-3173

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mental Health Disorder Recovery

mental health
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 43.8 million adults experience mental illness each year. That remarkable figure can be boiled down to 1 in 5 adults living with mental health conditions. About 10 million people, above the age of 18, live with severe behavioral health or mood disorders in the United States.

When looking at the startling facts about mental health in America, it isn’t challenging to see that many individuals face serious adversity. Those affected by psychological health disorders require care, therapy, and ongoing support for symptom management. They also require compassion and understanding from society.

Substance use disorders and depression, for instance, are highly stigmatized in the U.S. and abroad. Stigma causes people to feel shame and guilt about the problems they struggle with, even though those affected are not responsible for their disorders.

While addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are treatable, many men and women have difficulty accessing care. A significant number of people living with mental health disorders are reticent to seek assistance due to fear. Some will convince themselves that suffering in silence is better than having their peers look at them differently.

When mental health issues are ignored the result can be deadly; by the same token, stigma has fatal consequences. Fortunately, each day is a new opportunity to combat stigma, and encourage more people to seek life-saving support and adopt programs of recovery.

May is Mental Health Month (MHM)! In observance of the annual event, Mental Health America (MHA) is calling on every person to prioritize overall health and well-being. People in recovery can use the occasion to talk about their successes in recovery, perhaps inspiring others to make similar efforts.

Giving Hope to People with Mental Health Disorders


The fact that millions of Americans are in recovery from addiction and other forms of mental illness is indeed inspiring. It means that it is possible to lead a full, productive life in spite of a mental health disorder diagnosis. However, individuals do not recover on their own; effective treatment and continued maintenance are imperative.

When men and women share their story with others, it can have a cathartic effect on other people. There is power in sharing! Those who ignore the stigma and tell what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now, give others hope. Those who share their personal experience inspire others to seek help and not give up, no matter what.

Mental Health Month is led by MHA, an organization that has been advocating for people living with mental illness for more than a century. The nonprofit spearheads several campaigns, many of which connect people living with psychological issues. One MHA initiative worth further discussion is #mentalillnessfeelslike.

Persons with social media accounts can share their struggles and successes with others who face similar experiences. Some will use the #mentalillnessfeelslike to ask questions about treatment and recovery. Help is out there, but sometimes an individual needs to hear about it first from real people, not experts.

There are other social media opportunities that people in recovery can utilize to inspire others to make changes. Please click here for a Mental Health Month toolkit, to help guide your involvement.

Through open and honest conversations about mental illness, we can affect real change in the lives of others. In the process, we can break the stigma of mental illness that stands in the way of recovery.

Almost 60 percent of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Together, we have the power to reduce that figure!

 

Faith-based Addiction and Dual-Diagnosis Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, our dedicated team of addiction professionals can help you or a loved one lead a fulfilling and productive life in recovery. Alcohol and substance use disorder is a form of mental illness. However, such conditions are often accompanied by one or more co-occurring mental illness.

It’s vital to treat the addiction and dual-diagnosis at the same time so that neither condition stands in the way of recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based dual-diagnosis program.
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