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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Recovery Begins With Treatment

mental illness
As May winds down hopefully all of our readers found some time to take part in some of the events involving mental illness. May is Mental Health Month after all, and even in the 21st Century millions of people are reticent to seek help for addiction, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The good news is that mental illness campaigns empower people to take action in service to well-being.

Addiction and co-occurring disorder recovery are vital; the lives of those unable or unwilling to seek treatment are at significant risk. Over time, the symptoms of mental health disorders only get worse; those using drugs and alcohol are also at risk of severe physical health problems, i.e., overdose and liver disease. Raising awareness about the efficacy of mental health treatments is of the utmost importance, people suffering need to understand that treatment is available, and recovery is possible.

Mental illness is paradoxical in many ways, most notably concerning some individuals' resistance to seeking help. Those who are in the deepest depths of despair often have the most challenging time mustering the strength to reach out for assistance. While a person needs just one reason (life) to seek treatment, those living with mental health afflictions adduce scores of reasons (i.e., work, school, and the risk of others finding out) for not utilizing the available clinical services. And yet, paradoxically, without treatment life is in jeopardy; if life is at risk, or ceases to continue, all the explanations for not seeking help are moot.

 

Recovery Begins With Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we understand the difficulty in asking for help; the members of our team of skilled professionals know how hard it is to rebel against their condition and disregard the social stigma of addiction and accompanying co-occurring mental health disorders. Those who have a long history of battling psychological illness convince themselves that they are doomed to suffer, some even convince themselves that they deserve what they are experiencing. An objective look at the points above reveals that neither is correct; no one deserves the mental distress, and it is always still possible to turn one’s life around provided one takes action.

If you are living with addiction, there is an exceedingly high likelihood that you meet the criteria for three conditions: major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder. Such illnesses, like addiction, are treatable and recovery from each is possible for anyone who commits their self to working a program of long-term maintenance. We must stress that successful treatment outcomes rely heavily on treating both the addiction and dual diagnosis at the same time. Addressing one, and not the other, sabotages making headway with either condition.

Mental illness is not something to feel shame about; hundreds of millions of people around the globe have any one of many conditions. Putting it simply, individuals living with mental illness are not alone, and together all can experience the miracles of recovery. Please use Mental Health Month to say no to stigma and take advantage of the help that is available. Let treatment be the catalyst for progress and lasting change.

 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea can help anyone struggling with an addiction and dual diagnoses, or co-occurring disorders. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and help you manage several co-existing conditions, including but not limited to, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, PSTD, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Please contact us today!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Latinos

"I'm a serious addict," Julio Cesar Santiago (44), tells NPR. "I still have dreams where I'm about to use drugs, and I have to wake up and get on my knees and pray, 'let God take this away from me,' because I don't want to go back. I know that if I go back out there, I'm done."

The above quote is likely to resonate with anyone who lives with alcohol or substance use disorder and finds addiction recovery. In early recovery, most people kneel and pray regularly throughout the day; the gravitational pull of drugs and alcohol is a force to be reckoned with requiring eternal vigilance to prevent relapse. While all mind-altering substances carry inherent risks of injury and premature death, one could argue that opioids exist in a separate class with exponentially higher stakes.

The American opioid addiction epidemic remains as one of the chief public health concerns. Many of you are aware that roughly a hundred people perish from an overdose each day usually stemming from prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl (a synthetic opioid approximately a hundred times stronger than morphine). Almost 3 million American battle opioid use disorder, an estimate that some experts feel is probably conservative. One of the ways researchers develop stats on how many people are struggling with a condition is by the number of individuals that receive treatment. Given that the vast majority of people living with addiction never access care, it is hard to develop an accurate picture of the problem. Even still, we can confidently assert that more than 2 million people are bound to OUD in this country.

Opioid Use Disorder, Overdose, and Latinos


opioid use disorder
Most of the news about the epidemic focuses on the disproportionate number of non-Hispanic whites suffering from opioid use disorder and dying of an overdose. As a result, the media and many experts overlook specific demographics struggling with opioids, especially Latinos. In fact, research shows that opioid overdose deaths among Latinos is on the rise nationwide, and in Massachusetts, ODs are increasing at twice the rate of whites and blacks, according to NPR. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) reports that Latino overdose deaths rose 52.5 percent between 2014 and 2016, as compared to 45.8 percent for whites.

"What we thought initially, that this was a problem among non-Hispanic whites, is not quite accurate," says Robert Anderson, mortality statistics branch chief at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "If you go back into the data, you can see the increases over time in all of these groups, but we tended to focus on the non-Hispanic whites because the rates were so much higher."

It is challenging to extrapolate what's behind the surge in opioid overdose deaths among Blacks and Hispanics. After conducting scores of interviews with addicts, physicians, and treatment providers a more precise picture emerged; a lack of bilingual treatment options, cultural barriers, and possible deportation fears likely have a hand in the growing death toll. What’s more, NPR points out that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website is only available in English; however, they do offer a toll free number "for free and confidential information in English and Spanish for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues." Mind you, that it's SAMHSA's responsibility to improve the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services.


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


If you are suffering from addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Seizing the Day In Recovery

recovery
Each of us has hopes for the future, looking forward often seems to be a part of our DNA. However, when a person is in the grips of active addiction it is challenging to have dreams for the days ahead; about the only thing one can think about is maintaining the disease and avoiding withdrawal. Managing an addiction is a 24 hour-a-day job which does not afford most people many opportunities for dream quests that have a basis in reality.

Most active addicts and alcoholics think about recovery on a regular basis; and, what it would be like to lead a life free from dependence. Although, without help, the vast majority of such individuals are unable to bring about lasting changes.

Those who resolve to seek assistance and begin a journey of recovery quickly discover a whole world of opportunity. After recovery commences, slowly the mind starts to clear up, and one can start thinking about their future. It is reasonable and healthy to set realistic short-term goals in early recovery. With each benchmark a person checks off the list, they are one step closer to achieving long-term dreams. In each case, each person has their path, and there isn’t a standard time that it takes to see one’s hopes come to fruition; the point: patience is key to survival in recovery. Reminding oneself that good things will happen as long as one continues to do the work can make a huge difference.

Seizing the Day In Recovery


Working a program of addiction recovery is a tremendous endeavor, the pull of the disease is substantial; keeping one’s focus is key to staying on track in recovery. Each day, people in the program must recommit themselves to the cause of sobriety; some days, redoubling one’s efforts is necessary. Individuals who have been in the rooms for several months often allow their program to become stagnant; they stop making a daily commitment to progress, toward working for something more significant.

When a program becomes sedentary, it is easy to revert to living in the past or spending too much time focusing on what is next in life. When this occurs, people lose sight of the precious present and what they have to do Today for bringing about their dreams for tomorrow. Goals are dependent upon doing the work; just refraining from drugs and alcohol is not going to help one meet their objectives.

It’s OK to think about what the future holds, but fixating on it is a sure path to problems, i.e., relapse. Conversely, those who pay little mind to the future and keep their “mind’s eye” on the present, position themselves for success. At times it helps to remind yourself that the way life in this instant, is precisely the way it should be; see in your daily actions some higher plan, even if you can’t see it clearly. Take the opportunity each day affords you to become the best version of yourself there ever was; and, with each passing week, you’ll find that you are one step closer to fulfilling dreams.

"Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality." —Malala Yousafzai

 

Addiction Treatment


If you are suffering from addiction and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Mental Illness Campaigns In May

mental illness
Every day, millions of people across the country congregate in rooms of recovery to share their experience. Individuals living with alcohol and substance use disorder discuss what is going on in their life with the hope of getting feedback or to providing valuable insight to others in the circle. Addiction recovery, after all, is a collective process; without a support network, the prospect of long-term progress is unlikely.

When recovery modalities like the 12 Steps first took root here in America, the social stigma of addiction was significant. The founders of Alcoholic Anonymous understood the value of anonymity for a program such as theirs; who would want to take part if it meant branding yourself with an “A” for Alcoholism? Naturally, people worried what might transpire if their employer found out that they have struggled with alcohol, let alone mental illness. So, as many of our readers know, people rarely share their last name in meetings of recovery still to this day.

In the United States, Americans have come a long way since 1935 regarding the stigma of addiction and mental health disorders as a whole. Science gives the general public a far more precise understanding of what it means to live with mental illness; and, there is ample evidence that supports compassion and treatment versus ridicule and punishment for those with depression, addiction, or both. However, as the saying goes, we would be wise to not rest on our laurels; millions of people are still hesitant to say that they have a problem aloud and seek assistance. Millions more people still maintain accurate ideas about mental illness. Simply put, the effort to fight social stigma continues!

 

Sharing Your Story, Helping Others, and Curing Stigma


Mental Health Month is underway; it is a national observance led by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America. The former calls upon Americans to take some time this month to evaluate their perceptions about mental health disorder, take the #CureStigma Quiz, and do what you can to encourage those struggling with psychological disorders to seek help. The latter, on the other hand, is focusing on fitness #4Mind4Body; the organization provides valuable resources about what we as individuals can do to be fit for our futures.

The above campaigns are of the utmost importance, and hopefully, you will find time to take part. There are other ways in which can help chip away at the stigma against people living with mental illness, such as the #MentalIllnessFeelsLike campaign. Mental Health America asks that people share what is like to live with mental health disorders, reminding individuals that there is power in sharing. Those who would like to take part can find more information here. While #MentalIllnessFeelsLike is a social media campaign, not everyone uses an alias to disguise their identity. We also understand that some people may not be at a point in their recovery or have other valid reasons preventing them from expressing how they manage mental illness; MHA provides a method to share your experience with others anonymously, as well.

If you feel comfortable with sharing, you may affect change in the lives of others! Every time a person resists fear and opens up about mental illness, stigma decreases.

 

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


If you are suffering from addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Synthetic Cannabis Is More Dangerous Now

synthetic cannabis
Synthetic cannabis is in the headlines once again due to a spate of deaths in the Midwest and Maryland. It turns out that the already dangerous compounds sprayed on plant matter are now infused with rat poison in some cases, according to Scientific American. Believe it or not, there is a precedent for this kind of behavior, drug users consuming toxic substances, specifically brodifacoum, to lengthen their “high.” Brodifacoum is a chemical found in pest poisons sold across the country; when its ingested by humans, it can cause internal bleeding and brain damage.

Experts say they are unsure the intentions behind mixing brodifacoum into chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana, but they speculate it’s to increase the duration of user's euphoria. Toxin ties up liver enzymes that metabolize drugs, extending their effects. Douglas Feinstein, a neuroscientist and brodifacoum expert, says that the poison binds with liver enzymes that metabolize narcotics, resulting in elongating the drug's effects. He says there are case studies of people ingesting brodifacoum when using drugs like cocaine.

“We don’t know the exact doses these people are getting, but it’s a lot,” says Feinstein, who is hoping to analyze blood samples from those affected. “It could have been added intentionally to prolong the high.”

 

Synthetic Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Fooled With, Ever!


Most of our readers are probably familiar with the litany of horror stories involving synthetic drug use; the types of drugs have been in the news a lot and not in favorable light. The only thing Spice and K2 (familiar brands of synthetic cannabinoids) have in common with cannabis is that the chemical found in the former act on the same brain cell receptors as the latter.

The side effects of synthetic marijuana use are unpredictable, and in a number of cases have led to death. Even the psychological effects of use are concerning, i.e., extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations. The physical dangers include:
  • Violent Behavior
  • Suicidal Ideations
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid Heart Rate (tachycardia)
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Reduced Blood Supply to the Heart
  • Kidney Damage
  • Seizures
With so many inherent risks, adding rat poison to the equation will hopefully make people think twice about experimentation. It is also worth noting that synthetic cannabis use can be habit-forming and lead to addiction. Today, it is not uncommon for individuals to seek treatment for synthetic drug addiction.

 

Synthetic Cannabinoids Treatment


If you are struggling with Synthetic Cannabinoids, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Opioid Addiction Survey Results

prescription-opioids
Nearly 20.5 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD), and 64,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2016. Anyone can see that addiction in the United States is a serious cause for concern. It is worth pointing out that the general public has come a long way regarding views about prescription opioids; this is important because most experts agree that overprescribing is one of the major causes of the American opioid addiction epidemic.

As a country, we still have a long way to go! Many people do not have a problem sharing their pain medications with friends and family members. However, the number of people viewing medication diversion as a problem is growing. More Americans than ever, consider alcohol and substance use disorder as a disease and a treatable mental health disorder. Even still, efforts to raise public awareness and take the pulse of society regarding drug use remains of the utmost importance. A survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research aims to do just that, giving us a clear picture of areas that need consideration.

"In the national effort to grapple with the enormous issue of opioid addiction, it is important to know the level of awareness and understanding of Americans who find themselves in the midst of an epidemic that is claiming growing numbers of lives," said Caitlin Oppenheimer, senior vice president of public health at NORC. "This survey provides important, and in some cases troubling, information."


Opioid Addiction in America


NORC at the University of Chicago reports that Americans view the scourge of opioid abuse as a much more significant problem than just two years ago, according to the Associated Press. In 2016, only 33 percent saw prescription opioid misuse as a major issue; in two years' time, that figure rose by ten-percent. The survey shows that 13 percent have lost a relative or close friend to an opioid overdose.

"The number of people who recognize how serious the opioid epidemic is in this nation is growing," said Trevor Tompson, vice president for public affairs research at NORC. "There is clearly a continuing challenge to ensure that what is learned about the crisis is grounded in fact." 

The survey found that:
  • Two-thirds of respondents say their community is not doing enough to make treatment programs accessible and affordable or to find improved methods of treating addiction.
  • Sixty-four percent would like to see more effort to crack down on drug dealers.
  • Fifty-seven percent of Americans have experience dealing with substance misuse ranging from taking a painkiller that wasn't prescribed to overdosing.
  • Twenty-four percent say they have an addicted relative, close friend, or that they (themselves) are addicted to opioids.
Unfortunately, some of the findings were less than encouraging. The research indicates that 32 percent say addiction is the result of a character flaw or poor parenting; fewer than 1 in 5 Americans are willing to associate closely with anyone addicted to prescription drugs. Such findings are a clear indication that the stigma of addiction remains alive and well in America. It is vital that we all continue to work toward educating the general public about mental illness


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, involving either prescription drugs or heroin, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you break the destructive cycle of opioid addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Young People's Perceptions About Alcohol Use

alcohol use
Many of our readers are aware of the fact that April is Alcohol Awareness Month; it is an opportunity to educate young people and adults about alcoholism, treatment, and recovery. Naturally, as with most events like AAM, the primary focus is to reach young people with the hope of helping prevent the consequences of alcohol use.

Of course, it doesn’t make any sense to maintain the hope that educating young people will prevent alcohol use altogether, but even reaching some of the demographic is valuable. Teenagers and young adults harbor many misconceptions of drinking that experts work tirelessly to dispel. A significant number of American youth fail to understand the slippery slope that is heavy alcohol consumption evinced by the rates of binge drinking. When unsafe drinking behaviors prevail, the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder down the road increases dramatically.

With the aid of the current research available, hopefully, we can all have a hand in disabusing teens and young adults over the myths of alcohol use. Knowledge is a powerful tool that, if wielded correctly, can change people’s perceptions about drinking.

 

Youth Perceptions About Alcohol


A new study presents interesting findings on the subject of alcohol use in college. Researchers conducting a secondary analysis of a longitudinal study reveals the value of having a greater insight into young people’s attitudes about alcohol, Science Trends reports. The findings were published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Study lead author, Angelo M. DiBello, of Brown University, and his colleagues found that a person’s positive attitude of “heavy alcohol use” was notably associated with consuming more alcohol, binge drinking more often, and are more likely to experience alcohol-related problems, according to the article. Whereas, those with approving attitudes about of “moderate alcohol use” are less likely to consume alcohol, binge drink, or experience problems related to imbibing.

The researchers define heavy drinking as 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men on a single occasion. Moderate alcohol use they define as less than 4/5 drinks for woman/men at one time.

Alcohol is a substance that can cause significant harm. The findings of this analysis could help experts better target their prevention efforts. The research helps to paint a clearer picture of the reasons why young people drink in unhealthy ways, the article reports. As a result, the study could assist in the creation of new prevention and intervention methods.

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help any young adult break the destructive cycle of alcohol use disorder. We provide clients with the tools and skills necessary for leading a productive life in addiction recovery.
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