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Friday, January 11, 2019

Addiction Recovery Miracles Aplenty

faith-based addiction treatment
People in addiction recovery are granted the opportunity to realize their dreams. Those who seek help and set out on the path of sobriety are able to accomplish just about anything. Even people with significant amounts of wreckage from their past can find a way to overcome obstacles and lead a fulfilling, productive life.

At Celebrate Hope, we have had the good fortune of seeing many men and women turn their life around with the help of God and a program of addiction recovery. Our clients come from all walks of life; while their stories are unique, they each share the common bond of mental illness, spiritual sickness, and desire to heal. With a yearning to get sober, and to embrace honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness, the cycle of addiction can be broken.

Of course, the decisions made while under the influence of mind-altering substances can significantly impact the course of one’s life. Some poor choices made in service to the disease can result in having to serve time in a penal institution and potentially leave a seemingly permanent mark on one’s record. For such people, deciding to lead a life in recovery doesn’t mean that a criminal record will not stand in the way of one’s dreams. But, as with all things in life, if a person chooses to continue to do the next right thing, good things can happen. At least, one man’s story makes that abundantly clear!

From Manufacturing Meth to Life In Recovery


Some 13 years ago, former meth user Derek Rygh was literally feeling the heat of his addiction. At the time, Rygh was allowing people to cook methamphetamine in his home in Minnesota, which, subsequently went up in flames, according to The Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Mr. Rygh did not deny to the police what was going on and he went on to be convicted for manufacturing meth. It turns out that this conviction may have been the best thing that ever happened to Rygh.

While in jail for his felony sentence, Rygh was accepted into a faith-based, inpatient addiction treatment program, the article reports. He was in the program for more than a year and never encountered a relapse.

“The program was not easy, but it was my only hope when I felt so completely hopeless,” he said.

After completing the faith-based addiction treatment program, Derek worked for two years to earn an associate degree in Christian leadership. He used the degree by working for the very treatment center that helped him turn his life around. The recovering meth addict got married and now has two children. The next chapter of Derek’s story indeed shows the miracles that recovery can provide.

“I want to become a nurse, but you can’t if you are a felon,” Rygh said. “I have had a lot of hardships in my life that I have survived and a lot of that had to do with nurses and doctors who I am grateful for.” 

The young man went before the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ Board of Pardons and requested a pardon extraordinary, which would clear his criminal record, according to the article. With 13 years sober, Rygh was granted his pardon in the twelfth hour of 2018.

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment


We invite men and women battling substance abuse disorder and other addictions to contact Celebrate Hope. Our supportive Christian rehab can help you find freedom from addiction and assist you in reconnecting with God. Our team of addiction professionals shows clients how to put Biblical principles to work as they journey toward long-term recovery.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Returning to Recovery After Relapse

relapse
Each year around this time many addicts and alcoholics in recovery face an unfortunate reality. Stemming from stress, emotional upheaval, or any one of myriad reasons some men and women experience a relapse. While such events are undesirable, they do not spell the end of a person’s recovery.

People living with the disease of addiction are contending with an incurable mental illness. With that in mind, it is important to remember that active addiction recurrence is always a possibility; this is especially true if a person lets up on their program of recovery. What’s more, people who slip and relapse are prone to hiding a relapse from their peers owing to the shame and stigma that accompanies the disease. There is perhaps no other malady that humans suffer from that victims feel guilty about when relapse happens.

Everyone desires continued progress in recovery, but things happen, poor decisions are made that result in return to using drugs or alcohol. The problem of relapse is compounded by the fact that people feel they must hide such events from their support network. Some people will continue going to meetings and appear to be doing the work, only to go home and use once more. In that way, a slip can quickly morph into a full-blown relapse and thus, active addiction.

Given the deadly nature of the disease, it is vital that people who relapse come forward and share the news of their relapse. The sooner an admission takes place, the faster the process of healing can begin.

 

Don’t Let Guilt and Shame Stand In The Way of Recovery


The only person who gets hurt by omitting the occurrence of relapse is the person who relapsed. Some people think that they are fooling their peers, but they are only fooling themselves about the stakes of their disease. The longer a return to recovery is put off, the worse life becomes and the risk to one’s health is more significant.

If you relapsed, Celebrate Hope understands. We also are hopeful that you have already discussed what happened with your support network and the ball of recovery is rolling anew. If that is not the case, we strongly implore you to disregard the guilt and shame you might be feeling and act in your best interest. The members of your support group will understand, many of whom are probably no stranger to relapse.

A relapse can either be a tragedy or salient moment in recovery; it can be an opportunity to come back from an upset and invest oneself with more dedication to sobriety than ever before. Right now, there exist people with decades of clean and sober time who have a relapse in their recovery history. We would ask that you consider that before deciding to continue on the path you are on; because such individuals are proof that relapse does not have to be the end of the story but rather the beginning of something better.

Greater Assistance After A Relapse


Following a relapse, some individuals find that they need more than meetings to get back on track. They decide that to get back on track more structure is required. It is not uncommon for men and women to return to addiction treatment following a relapse, especially when such incidents result in a return to active daily drug or alcohol use. If you feel that you require professional assistance, then we invite you to reach out to Celebrate Hope to discuss treatment options.  

All of us at Celebrate Hope wish each person in recovery a safe and sober New Year! We hope everyone has a productive 2019 in recovery.

Friday, December 14, 2018

"Don't Deny Me:" Mental Health Parity Campaign

Despite the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), a federal law meant to prevent issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits compared to medical/surgical benefits, many insurance companies still deny claims. The passing of the Affordable Care Act took parity one step further, expanding mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans. However, insurers still refuse to cover treatments for mental health conditions.

Addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment centers not only save lives, but they can also give individuals the tools to turn their lives around. Mental health recovery is good for everyone; there isn’t a family in America that does not include at least one loved one living with mental illness. Those who have access to evidence-based mental health services can recover, and so can their families.

As mentioned above, laws are in place to protect people with health insurance from being denied coverage. And still, the fight for mental health parity continues. One of the leaders of the effort to ensure Americans receive the benefits they deserve is one of the most vocal parity advocates, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

"Don’t Deny Me" Coverage


Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, is no stranger to mental illness. It just so happens that the younger Kennedy is in addiction recovery. He was one of the architects of the MHPAEA, along with the bill’s co-authors Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici. While Mr. Kennedy is no longer a member of Congress, his battle to ensure Americans living with mental illness are afforded favorable benefits continues. He is spearheading a new campaign to raise awareness about parity and is encouraging individuals to join the fight to take insurance companies to task. The campaign website states:  

Join us in creating a consumer-driven movement to demand parity rights and save lives. More and more frequently, families are being ripped apart by overdoses and suicides because their health plans failed them. Recovery from mental health and substance use disorders is possible with treatment. Let’s break down the barriers to care with one powerful voice.

The webpage gives consumers valuable information about what to do if they feel their insurance provider is violating parity laws. It turns out, most people have no idea that their parity rights are being infringed. Please follow the link to learn more about mental health parity and discover ways you can join the effort to ensure that all who need assistance get the coverage they deserve under the law.

Addiction Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we work together with your health insurance company to ease the financial burden of Christian addiction treatment. Please contact us if you are in need of assistance for yourself or a loved one; you can start celebrating hope today.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Gratitude: The Heart of Recovery

Many of our readers are familiar with the names David and Nic Sheff. Perhaps you have read the bestselling books about addiction and recovery from the father and son authors. For those of you who haven’t had an opportunity to immerse yourselves in their writing, please consider doing so at your earliest convenience. People recovering from mental illness and their families will discover a lot of useful information packed inside the Sheffs' books; titles which include:
The two writers have more books in their respective catalogs, but the titles above are an excellent place to commence reading. While the primary focus of the above reads is Nic’s addiction and recovery, there is much packed inside that the families of alcoholics and addicts can find useful for their lives. Alcohol and substance use disorder, after all, is a family disease; the condition does not discriminate, and without treatment, the outcomes are never optimistic.

 

The Heart of Recovery


recovery
It’s likely that you have seen the title, "Beautiful Boy" in the headlines of late due to a recent movie release. David Sheff’s memoir and Nic’s memoir were used as source material for the film. Those interested in seeing the movie would do well to read their publications first, but doing so is not a requirement for following along.

While we do not want to include spoilers in this article, we thought we'd share a few kernels from a recent interview Nic gave to The Fix. As a matter of fact, since finding sobriety Nic has written many articles for the online addiction and recovery news publication. Sheff was asked if gratitude is the very heart of his recovery? His response is inspiring:

 “Every day, gratitude is such an essential part of my existence. Battling this disease, I have gone through such hell that coming out the other side is something I need to acknowledge on a daily basis. I try to be grateful and to express my gratitude. The amazing thing about being sober is how you learn to appreciate and love the simple moments of life. I am so grateful to be able to go out on a walk with my dogs or go out to dinner with my wife. The little things are so sweet like just watching a movie. Gratitude is a gift of sobriety that I keep close to me.” 

Please take a moment to watch a short trailer:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

The Miracle of Recovery


Healing is possible for all who ask for help and are willing to take steps toward a better future. At Celebrate Hope, we can help you put an end to the cycle of addiction and bring about lasting changes. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program. Help is available. Call Today! (800) 708-3173.

Friday, November 9, 2018

High-Volume Alcohol Use is Risky

alcohol use
Experts in the field of addiction medicine understand that there is no safe amount of alcohol. While one can imbibe the substance moderately and experience few, if any, problems, research continues to show that even occasional drinkers are at significant risk of health problems.

At Celebrate Hope, we use this platform to shine a light on drug and alcohol use with the intention of helping young people make informed decisions about substance use. Many factors determine who will experience issues with drug and alcohol use, but there are certain behaviors that experts believe elevate an individual's likelihood of developing a use disorder.

When it comes to alcohol – the most popular drug worldwide – heavy episodic use is associated with increasing one’s risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. Teenage and young adult binge-drinking is also a common trend among individuals who often go on to experience problems later in life. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above; typically, when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. People who drink heavily put themselves at a higher risk of alcoholism and alcohol-related health problems.

The Risks of High-Volume Drinking


Impressing the dangers of alcohol use upon young people is vital. It is fair to say that too many young adults fail to see the harm in high-volume drinking. A new group of studies shows that many college students do not grasp the specific behaviors and risk factors associated with alcohol-induced memory loss, otherwise known as ‘blackouts or brownouts,’ according to a Brown University press release. The findings come from three separate studies appearing in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, the journal Addictive Behaviors, and in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"We don't yet know what long-term effects having a blackout or repeated blackouts has on the brain," said Kate Carey, a professor with the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown's School of Public Health. "We do know that having alcohol-related memory impairment is associated with other negative consequences." The consequences include:
  • Hangovers
  • Missed Classes
  • Fights
  • Sexual Assault
  • Overdoses
  • Mental Health Problems
The research shows that forty-nine percent of participating college students experience blackouts and brownouts in the past month, according to the press release. Brownouts were found to be more common than blackouts, 32% compared 5%.

“Studies like these, addressing attitudes toward blackout drinking as well as what students know and do not know about blackouts, give us clues about how we might intervene to reduce this high-risk outcome,” said Jennifer Merrill, an assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown who was involved in the studies. “This work helps us to identify where there is room to correct any misconceptions students have about the causes and consequences of blackouts.”

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Again, there is no safe amount of alcohol! Risky drinking practices can be a slippery slope to myriad problems down the road. If you are struggling with alcohol use and are in college, we can help you break the cycle of use disorder and to begin working a program of recovery. Please contact us today.

Celebrate Hope would like to thank our veterans for their service, and we wish you a peaceful Veterans Day.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Mental Illness Survey Asks Novel Questions

mental health
Even though World Mental Health Day and Mental Illness Awareness Week 2018 is behind us, it doesn’t mean that efforts to encourage more people to seek treatment come to an end. Observances do much good in the way of raising awareness, but the quest for developing more effective evidence-based therapies of addiction and other forms of mental illness is a must.

As we pointed out earlier this month, 1 in 5 Americans lives with mental illness, and at least 20.2 million adults in the U.S. are living with a substance use disorder. The creation of new, more effective therapies rightly hinges on extensive research. Study after study informs the latest advancements in a field that can only be described as complex, dealing with conditions that are both frustrating and deadly.

While scientists are usually responsible for dictating the terms of surveys and peer-reviewed studies, calling for participation from those dealing with mental health conditions, a new project is asking for such people’s advice in guiding future research.

What Should Mental Health Research Focus On?


The Milken Institute and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance created a new survey that asks an original question to people living with mental illness, STAT News reports. Thus far, more than 5,600 people have submitted answers to the query:

“What questions about your health and experience with depression or bipolar disorder would you most like research to help you answer?” 

One of the project managers, Cara Altimus, an associate director at the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy, says that the responses are vital to guiding research and medication development, according to the article. The researchers presented their preliminary findings at the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit in Washington, this week.

“The entire field is moving toward listening to people and finding out what they want,” said Dr. Ken Duckworth, the medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Designing research studies, we should involve the patients quite directly.”

A final report on the survey could be available sometime early next year.

 

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


Celebrate Hope can help any adult that is struggling with addiction or co-occurring mental illness. Please reach out to us to learn more about our programs. Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction recovery track at Hope By The Sea.

Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Americans are invited to dispose of their unused and unwanted prescription drugs at any one the DEA collection sites during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 


Friday, October 12, 2018

Cure Stigma: Suffering Because of Silence

cure stigma
Wednesday was World Mental Health Day; this is Mental Illness Awareness Week 2018. Please join the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and everyone working in the field of addiction medicine and dual diagnosis treatment in putting an end to the virus keeping people from seeking help. The target virus? Stigma!

NAMI’s Cure Stigma campaign or #CureStigma aims to identify individuals who are infected by stigma and educate them as to the facts of mental illness with the hope that such people will exercise more compassion, empathy, and understanding. Mental health disorders are far too prevalent to be treated as anything but the severe health conditions that they are; such issues are not moral failings or the fault of anyone. However, unlike other serious medical problems, much of society looks at mental illness through a distorted lens.

Most Americans are unaware that 1 in 5 Americans lives with mental illness and that nearly 60 percent of those individuals have never sought treatment. Far too many people consider alcohol and substance use disorders as being the result of bad decisions rather than mental health disorders; it also isn’t a coincidence that among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experience a substance use disorder, more than half have a co-occurring mental illness. What’s more, both figures are probably low estimates; the exact prevalence is believed to be much higher because of under-reporting. Stigma keeps people in the dark, they fear that opening up about their illnesses will lead to ridicule and social ostracization.

 

Encouraging Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, many of our articles deal with stigma and the value of combating stigma. We follow studies in the field of mental health with great interest and make a concentrated effort to disseminate the facts to our readers. When people are informed, they are more likely to disregard preconceived notions and do what they can to effect change in their community. Since mental illness affects every town and city across the country, we can all benefit from encouraging men and women into treatment. A mission that many agree revolves around ending stigma.

When people in society have open and honest discussions about mental illness, everyone benefits. When more individuals voice support for those in the grips of illness, more of the afflicted seek help. Anxiety disorder, depression, PTSD, and bipolar disorder – for instance – are psychological conditions accepted by science and included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the same can be said for alcohol and substance use disorder and dependence.

Mental illness is real, and people are suffering, and they will continue to do so as long others play host to stigma. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others despite the existence of effective treatments, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Council.

Please take a moment to watch a video about stigma:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

You are also invited to take the Cure Stigma quiz. Please click here.

 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Dual diagnoses, or co-occurring disorders, are common in patients dealing with addiction. When people have a dual diagnosis, it is paramount that both the use disorder and other forms of mental illness are treated at the same time. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you or a loved begin the courageous journey of addiction recovery.
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