If you feel like God is far away,

ask yourself “who moved?”

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Advocating for Addiction Treatment

addiction
Over the years we have discussed the “war on drugs,” and the fact that handcuffs are not the solution to addiction. We've considered the impact mandatory minimum sentencing laws have had on society in creating a prison industrial complex in America. More people in the United States are incarcerated than any other country in the world, despite the fact that Americans only making up 5 percent of the global population. In the “land of the free,” 737 of every 100,000 (2,193,798) Americans are behind bars, according to International Centre for Prison Studies. Around half of all prisoners are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses, whose only crime was an addiction.

Efforts have been made to approach substance use disorder more humanely in recent years. People found in possession of a small amount of drugs are, in many cases, given the option of treatment rather than jail. Some prisoners arrested in the 1980’s and early ‘90’s have received pardons and sentence commutations. In individual states, judges can decide if a mandatory minimum is warranted or not, on a case by case basis. All of the above are steps in the right direction, but more needs to be done to undo the effects of waging war on drugs for decades.

It’s easy to understand the mindset of people who are (or were) in favor of a zero-tolerance approach to addiction. Drugs are addictive and hazardous, people who sell drugs turn a profit on others' misery. Handcuffs and prison time seem like the only way to make individuals change their behavior, at least that is the general line of reasoning regarding the war on drugs. However, evidence suggests that the vast majority of people do not learn the lesson that lawmakers would have one learn. Look no further than recidivism rates in America, and they are staggering.

 

When Addiction Hits Home


Historically, the law enforcement officers charged with arresting and imprisoning drug offenders believed that what they were doing what was just. That is what Kevin Simmers, a former drug cop from Hagerstown, Maryland, thought about the work of getting drugs addicts off the streets, WAMU reports. Until that is, addiction found its way into his own home.

“At the end of the night, we’d go home and say ‘man — we got seven arrests tonight, we’re putting a dent in this stuff,” said Simmers. “I felt like I was doing God’s work. Then when it hit my own family, I was in for an awakening.” 

Mr. Simmers went from fighting addiction on the streets to becoming an advocate for addiction treatment, a change of heart that came at a significant cost. In 2013, his daughter Brooke confided that she was dependent on Percocet, according to the article. Brooke was seventeen, at the time. Prescription opioids led to heroin, and her opioid use disorder required addiction treatment. Brooke went through several programs, halfway houses, and experienced many relapses. She finally wound up in jail, and it seemed like she was ready to pour all of herself into recovery.

While in jail, Brooke had a dream that she shared with her father. Brooke dreamt of building a home for women in the throes of addiction, according to the report. Unlike the crumby houses, where she tried to recover; her house would be “clean and beautiful.” Not long after Brooke’s release from jail, she died of a fatal overdose on April 14, 2015.

“I believed wholeheartedly that enforcement — incarceration — was the answer to this,” Simmers said. “But then when addiction hit my house, I saw that that wasn’t true. What we need is drug treatment. We need to help the person.”


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Simmers has every intention of building Brooke’s House and has raised more than $500,000. The home will be just as Brooke envisioned it in her jailhouse dream, a long-term residential treatment center for young women.

 

Opioid Addiction Treatment


More than a hundred overdose deaths occur in the United States, every day. Synthetic opioids are more prevalent than ever, exponentially increasing the risk of death. If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Recovery is the only way to break the cycle of addiction and avoid a fatal overdose.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Alcohol Industry Targets Underage Drinkers

There is a voluntary code in the alcohol industry: Only promote to adults. There is a good reason for such a code. Underage drinking leads to a host of problems, including alcohol poisoning, driving under the influence and the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. Influencing young people to drink can have a serious impact on both individuals and society.

It’s worth pointing out that alcohol is used and abused among young people more than any other mind-altering substance, including tobacco and marijuana. While legal, the short-term risks associated with alcohol consumption are typically much greater than smoking cannabis and/or cigarettes. But, if you have ever watched beer commercials on television it’s probably occurred to you that such advertisements are often geared toward a young audience. Despite the voluntary code of social responsibility.

Look no further than a college sports game to see what we are talking about. A group of researchers decided to investigate how often corporate social contracts are breached, and young people are the targets of alcohol adverts. A study published in Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research showed that the alcohol brands most popular among underage drinkers run television ads that violate the industry's voluntary code, Science Daily reports. The beers teens drink the most are made by companies who regularly violate.

 

Preventing Underage Drinking


Drinking alcohol, especially in the manner that young people often do, can be particularly hazardous to one’s health. We have written often about the dangers of “binge drinking” and heavy episodic drinking. Nothing good comes from teens and young adults who engage in such practices. In our own field, the evidence is clear; young adults regularly seek treatment for alcohol use disorder. People whose own drinking was likely influenced at a young age by the alcohol industry.

Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers found that youth-preferred beer brands are made by the industry's biggest violators of the corporate social responsibility code, according to the article. The findings come from an analysis of 288 brand-specific beer advertisements, representing 23 brands. All of the ads aired during the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's and women's basketball tournaments between 1999 to 2008.
"This is the first systematic investigation of the relationship between beer brands popular among youth and these brands' youth-targeted contents among their television advertisements aired during a decade of a major national sports event," lead author Ziming Xuan, associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. "It is no news that advertisements influence consumer behaviors, but to discover such a close link between brand-specific youth-appealing advertisement content and beer brand preference among underage drinkers is new, and certainly a concerning public health issue."
The research team found that 21.5 percent of the advertisements breached the voluntary code. The brands that violated the code aired ads far more often than the companies not popular among young people.

"These results suggest that some beer producers are successfully targeting underage youth and therefore deriving profits from illegal alcohol consumption," the researchers wrote. "Our evidence underscores the need for strong and independent enforcement of the code to prevent continued inclusion of youth-appealing content in alcohol marketing materials.”

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


If you are a young adult whose life has become unmanageable due to heavy alcohol use, there is a good chance that treatment is required. Young adults can recover from alcohol use disorder, with help. Please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea if you are ready to break the cycle for addiction, and seek recovery.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Vietnam War, PTSD and Addiction

PTSD
There is a significant number of people working programs of addiction recovery today who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A serious mental health condition involving individuals who feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger. In many cases, people’s addiction was the result of coping with untreated PTSD. The symptoms can be blunted, for a time, by drugs and alcohol; but, in the end substance use and abuse only serves to worsen one's symptoms. When one’s PTSD is triggered while in recovery, there is great risk of relapse.

The disorder can manifest itself in a number of ways, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), such as:
  • Re-experiencing Symptoms: Flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts.
  • Avoidance Symptoms: staying away from places, events, or objects linked to the trauma. Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the trauma.
  • Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms: Being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge,” difficulty sleeping and outbursts of anger.
  • Cognition and Mood Symptoms: Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, negative thoughts about oneself or the world, distorted feelings like guilt or blame and loss of interest in enjoyable activities.
PTSD can occur in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, such as a violent attack or serious injury. However, the condition is most commonly associated with combat veterans, and for good reason. Those who go off to war or armed conflict of any kind are exposed to horrific events. Asked to do things that under normal circumstances would be unthinkable. While most people make it through to the other side of battle without the lingering effects of trauma, many are not so fortunate. People with PTSD are at risk of being triggered by a host of cues for the rest for their lives.

 

The Vietnam War and PTSD


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans. As was pointed out earlier, PTSD episodes can be triggered by anything linked to the traumatic event. So, it is fair to say that "The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick" is the epitome of a trigger. The ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series is chock full of the graphic images and sounds of one of the darkest chapters in American history.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is urging Vietnam Vets to take precaution if they are planning to watch the series. Watch the series with a loved one and be prepared to reach out for help from the VA. Viewing the documentary can easily trigger PTSD.


PTSD and Addiction


Many Vietnam Veterans went years before seeking help for their PTSD. The United States has been in many armed conflicts since that time, and there are many young men and women who are
self-medicating their PTSD with drugs and alcohol today. Treatment works, but it requires that both the PTSD and substance use disorder be treated at the same time. If you or a loved one is living with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder like PTSD, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inspiring Recovery In Others

recovery monthWe are now in the final days of National Recovery Month. Hopefully, you are all aware of what it is, and its importance. Recovery Month is about many things. From addiction recovery related events hosted across the country, to taking time to reflect upon how far you have come in your own recovery. Every September, people around the United States acknowledge the brave men and women who have turned their lives around with the help of a program of recovery.

If you are in recovery yourself, then you know how hard it was to break the cycle of addiction. To ignore your programming which tells you that you can drink or drug without consequence. Even when you know that it isn’t reality. And because mental illness has no known cure, every day you must recommit yourself to the practices and principles of recovery. Doing so requires tremendous effort, using drugs and alcohol is easy—recovery mandates work.

For every one person in recovery, there are scores more still in the throes of addiction. Which is why every day in recovery is both a blessing and a privilege. Never to be minimized. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we hope that all of you actively working a program takes a moment to acknowledge the strides you have made. Not only are you living life on life’s terms, you serve as an inspiration to the millions of people still actively using.

 

Take Pride In Recovery


While pride is said to come before the fall, there is such a thing as healthy acknowledgement of one’s good work. If you are working a program, then you have helped others even if you don’t know it. Even those of you with 30-days or less, show others still “out there” that recovery is possible. People working in the field of addiction medicine understand the power of fellowship. Togetherness is what allows this whole enterprise to remain afloat, and has done so for almost a century.

People in recovery are part of something great, awe inspiring even. It does not take much energy to remember what it was like out there. The things that one had to do to keep the fire of addiction burning, were in many cases unconscionable. Not anymore. Today, you can wake up and be of service to your fellow recovering addicts and alcoholics. And, to society as a whole.

As you well know, millions of Americans have not been fortunate enough to find recovery, yet. Many of those people don’t believe that recovery is possible. You might be able to change their opinion on that front. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is asking those who are willing to Join the Voices for Recovery. You can share your experience with recovery online by video or written word. By doing so, you can inspire and encourage others to embrace a program of recovery. Please take a moment to watch a short example below:


If you are having trouble viewing, please click here.

 

Addiction Treatment Works


Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea would like to honor everyone actively working a program of recovery. You have so much to be grateful for, today. If you are still in the grips of active addiction, please contact us to find out how recovery can be a part of your story.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Practicing Patience In Recovery

recovery
Patience is a virtue, albeit one hard to attain for many people. Particularly for those who have a history of addiction. Everyone in recovery knows what it means to, ‘want what I want, when I want it.’ Knows firsthand about seeking instant gratification, and becoming upset when pleasure needs be waited on. While it is not a mindset wholly unique to addicts and alcoholics, it is certainly a pervasive trait among such people.

When you embark upon a journey of recovery, the eternal act of recreating oneself for the better, you find out pretty quickly that you’re not the center of the universe. That time does not belong to you, more importantly: you are not god. You are not the most important person in the room. You learn right off the bat, life happens on life’s terms and your once inability to accept that reality contributed to your downward spiral.

Thus, a change was needed, if you were going to make it in recovery. You would have to re-learn what patience is, remind yourself of its value. Because, if you cannot wait for the miracles of recovery to present themselves, you’d likely return to the banes of addiction. Whether you like it or not. If you are new to the program, there will be many realizations in the coming weeks, months and years. After all, recovery is a lifelong endeavor, we don’t wake up one day and think to ourselves, ‘voilá, I’m recovered.’ Whatever vehicle of recovery you choose to take the ride in, it’s a journey that should not stop. If it has ended, one of two things has occurred: relapse or expiration.

 

Practicing Patience in Recovery


To be sure, patience is not inherent or innate, we are not born with the virtue; one need only observe the movements of a child to see that for truth. No, we learn it along the way, and like anything you want to get better at—practice makes perfect. With that in mind, a good approach to improving your ability to exercise patience is to ever remind yourself (as cliché as it sounds) that everything happens in its own time and that everything happens for a reason.

In early recovery, it can be easy to convince yourself that because you are sober now, windfalls are on the near horizon. While it is great that you have chosen to embark on a new path, much work is needed before the blessings of recovery (usually) occur. For many, the wreckage of one’s past is extensive. A great number of people walk into a meeting for the first time with few resources. Homeless, unemployed and financially destitute. Others have significant debt, that will need to be paid along the way. The list goes on, but you get the point, surely. It is impossible to determine when one’s lot will change. But, one thing is certain, things will never change if recovery is abandoned. And, it is worth noting that your worst day in recovery is far better than your best day in active addiction. Why? Because you have options in recovery, whereas…

If you are willing to do the Work, good things will come your way eventually. Recovery is a process, it takes time for improvements to be seen. Which is OK. This is not a race where speed is the most important attribute one can have. There's much to be unpacked mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if long-term recovery is to be obtained. Both your higher power and sponsor will be there for you along the way, if you let them. Ever remind yourself that you are no longer running away from yourself, you’re running towards. With a clear head and clear conscious the miracles of recovery will inevitably present themselves to you, often when you least expect. As long as you can remember that there is nothing to be lost by staying the course. Those who drift away from the program stand to lose — everything.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

Let Addiction Treatment Guide You


In addiction treatment, much time is spent learning how to ground oneself in the present. Exercises in how to cope with situations that could send one down an unhealthy path. Learning how to trust. Not just another, trust in yourself. If you are ready to begin the process of addiction recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today. We can equip you with the skills and tools for successfully achieving long-term recovery.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Raising Awareness About Overdose Deaths

overdose deaths
As things stand right now, experts believe that there will be more overdose deaths in 2017 than last year. Before this year comes to an end, over 50,000 more Americans will likely succumb to an overdose. Just to give you an idea of the staggering death toll, 64,000 people died of an overdose in 2016. That is 11, 596 more Americans than the year before (52,404). We probably do not have to mention that the cause of these terrible incidents was opioid narcotics. Such as prescription opioids, heroin and synthetics like fentanyl (100 times stronger than morphine).

With ever-mounting opioid-related morbidity rates, it’s fair to say that this problem demands the attention of every American. And that all of Us, can have a hand in raising awareness about opioid addiction and treatment. Particularly regarding the fact that treatment works and addiction recovery is possible. Believe it or not, many of the afflicted do not think that they can break the cycle of addiction. It is a belief that is often fortified by individuals' attempts to abstain from opioids on their own. That is, not having the aid of medical detox and addiction treatment professionals. Without assistance, relapse is almost always a given. Being more a question of “when,” rather than “if.”

Even if someone manages to get past the acute withdrawal stage on their own, which is possible (believe it or not), the likelihood of achieving long-term recovery is slim. The pull of opioids is extremely strong, and without a Program and a “higher power” to rely on, relapse is usually a foregone conclusion. Which is why lawmakers, health experts and local clergymen to double their efforts to encourage people with opioid use disorders to seek assistance.

 

#2069 Opioid Overdose Deaths


In the wake of last year's overdoses, Rev. Ron Tibbetts of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Wrentham, MA, decided to launch a novel campaign. In 2016, the state of Massachusetts lost 2,069 of its citizens to opioid-related overdoses, The Boston Globe reports. Upon learning of the startling figure, Rev. Tibbetts started the #2069 sign campaign to raise awareness.

Here’s how it works; the church has made simple lawn signs that people in Mass can order to place in their yard. The signs have a white background with “#2069” on them, intended to be stark and bleak, according to the Reverend. Signs can be purchased by making a $12 donation which will go towards an awareness rally the church is holding on Oct. 28, 2017, The Globe reports. Called No Shame 2017. The event is meant to raise opioid awareness and recognize first responders who have been assisting overdose victims. By the end of August, some 277 signs had been ordered from the Trinity Episcopal Church.

“It’s empowered us to become a lot more aware of the world around us,” said Tibbetts.

 

Addiction Recovery


The work of Trinity Episcopal Church is just one example of houses of faith doing their part to address the epidemic. Across the country, churches have been opening their doors to addicts with nowhere else to turn. At Celebrate Hope we commend the good works happening in Mass, and would like to help spread the message that addiction recovery is possible with the help of Christ. If you are struggling with opioids please contact our faith-based residential addiction treatment center. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and help you re-establish contact with your higher power.

Friday, September 1, 2017

E-Cigarettes Linked to Smoking Cessation

smoking cessation
Tobacco products despite being both addictive and deadly are often considered to be of little concern in comparison to other addictive substances. The reasons for this mindset are numerous, with the most notable being the legality of the products and the fact that death is usually meted out slowly. Smoking related illness typically comes later in life. It is true that cigarettes and their ilk are legal for adult use. And most people won’t end up mortgaging their home to support the habit. They are deadly and kill more people every year than opioids, drugs that have stolen the spotlight in recent years.

Aside from the fact that cigarettes are addictive, cessation is important to professionals working in the field of addiction for other reasons. Research suggests that smokers working a program of addiction recovery for another substance(s), are at an exponentially greater risk of relapse. Which is why reputable alcohol and substance use disorder treatment centers place a major emphasis on clients embracing smoking cessation while in their care.

So, if smoking can result in recovery efforts being for naught, those in treatment would be wise to heed the advice to quit. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it’s possible, nonetheless. Especially with the help of one of the many smoking cessation aids in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Upon hearing this you may be wondering if e-cigarettes qualify as acceptable smoking cessation aids. Until recently, the answer to that question might have been an emphatic “no,” depending on who you asked. However, new research indicates that some people may benefit from e-cigarettes.

 

Quitting Smoking With E-Cigarettes


Whether you are in recovery or merely thinking about giving recovery a chance, you know of the existence of e-cigarettes. Vaping has become a mainstream activity and is a multibillion dollar industry. There is a high likelihood that you are familiar with the ongoing debate of the safety of the devices, as well. While most health experts tend to agree that e-cigs are safer than traditional nicotine products, there has been little consensus about the efficacy of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. New research has shown that those attempting to quit tobacco could be aided by e-cigarettes, according to a Georgetown University Medical Center press release. The study was conducted at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
e-cigarettes

Together with research published this July in BMJ, there is a clear connection between e-cigarettes and smoking cessation. The Georgetown researchers analyzed a national survey of more than 24,500 current or recent former cigarette users, the press release reports. The survey, Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), tracks long-term trends in tobacco use, cessation attempts and tobacco-related policies. David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi and lead study author points out that e-cigarettes may not be effective for every smoker. He says of the research:

"Our findings are consistent with randomized trials and those observational studies that measure frequency of e-cigarette use. These results support the use of e-cigarettes -- especially, consistent use -- as an effective smoking cessation aid. Since e-cigarettes are generally estimated to have a small proportion of the mortality risks of cigarettes, this represents an important life-saving intervention that doctors can recommend when other forms of treatment fail."

 

Addiction Treatment: A Great Time to Quit, Everything


If you are in need of help for substance use and dependence, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can assist you in breaking free from all mind-altering substances that are negatively impacting your life, including tobacco. While no one can force you to quit smoking, it could be beneficial to achieving the goal of long-term recovery.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Methamphetamine Induced Stroke Among Young People

methamphetamine
Verily, there isn’t a narcotic without inherent risks. Each of us knows this to be true. Even if you have never been touched by addiction, you know someone whose life was turned upside down by substance misuse. Untreated substance abuse will ultimately end with institutions and premature death. That does not need to be the case though. There is treatment available to those who would seek it, but most will never get the chance. However, if you are reading this it means that you still can find recovery.

These days we seem to give almost exclusive attention to prescription opioids, heroin and synthetics like fentanyl or carfentanil. And for good reason, the epidemic we have been confronting for nearly two decades is like nothing we have ever faced before. Over a hundred Americans lose their lives every day from overdose. The government has declared a state of emergency, with lawmakers and health experts being confounded over what to do about it. But, the essential solution (which has been under-utilized) is providing greater access to treatment. Better educating doctors and patients about the dangers of opioids to prevent future use disorders and potential overdoses. Because at the end of the day, ours is a problem of addiction. Preventing it, and treating the disease will save lives.

When focusing on the opioid addiction epidemic we must not take our eye off some of the other narcotics both ruining and taking lives. In many ways, like the somnolence typified by opioid use, the epidemic has put us in a state of sleepiness regarding other substances. You know, not too long ago all the talk was about methamphetamine. Once called the most deadly and pernicious substance being abused by Americans. But a combination of numerous factors caused many Americans to think that the tide of the meth epidemic had been stemmed. Which makes sense, after all everyone was talking about meth — then they weren’t. So, meth must not be a problem anymore, right?

 

Meth Hasn’t Gone Anywhere, We Stopped Talking About It


Not for nothing, addiction has been around forever. But when it takes people’s lives in overwhelming numbers at young ages, people seem to give it more credence. Such was the case with opioids. As the death toll continued to mount with each year that passed, we were all forced to confront the opioid epidemic. Especially when people from nearly every demographic are dying every day. Unfortunately, while we were all focusing on opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine use continued and increased with few taking notice. Perhaps some new research will cause people to divert their attention from opioids for a moment.

A review of research, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, indicates a heightened risk of stroke among young people who use meth, BMJ reports. This is concerning considering that methamphetamine use is on the rise, especially in North America. Methamphetamine can be swallowed, inhaled, or injected. Swallowing and injecting meth was associated with Haemorrhagic strokes (bleed into the brain) risks. Whereas, inhalation was linked to ischaemic stroke (caused by a clot).

“With the use of methamphetamine increasing, particularly more potent forms, there is a growing burden of methamphetamine related disease and harms, particularly among young people, in whom the majority of methamphetamine use occurs,” the researchers wrote. “Indeed, it is likely that methamphetamine abuse is making a disproportionate contribution to the increased incidence of stroke among young people observed over recent years.”

 

Methamphetamine Treatment


Meth addiction, as you can see, can lead to premature death. It may not be as common as opioid overdose, but worth everyone's focus. This is not just a drug that makes people “hyper” and rots out one’s teeth. The caustic effect it has on the human body can be fatal. If you are addicted to methamphetamine, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to discuss treatment options. Recovery will save your life.

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.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Recovery Tips For The Fourth

recovery
It’s safe to say that when it comes to holidays, Southern California goes above and beyond the call of duty. On Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, for instance, it is not uncommon for the police to close major streets from 10:30 a.m. on July 4th to approximately 3 a.m. on July 5th. The hope is to prevent people from driving under the influence. The amount of heavy alcohol use that occurs on in Orange County on the Fourth is absolutely mind boggling.

As you can probably imagine, with so many parties taking place along the coast, it can be a real challenge for those working a program of recovery. However, the Fourth of July can be a challenge for anyone in recovery no matter where you live. It is absolutely paramount that all our readers in the program take certain steps to safeguard their recovery during the long weekend. Failure to do so could result in a relapse, or worse.

While the holiday is on Tuesday, you can trust that people will begin celebrating, around the country, tonight. It is rare that Americans get a four-day weekend, and it will surely be taken advantage of to the nth degree. So, with that in mind, do you have a plan for keeping your recovery intact for the next 4 days? If not, here are some friendly reminders.

 

Planning for Every Eventuality


It should go without saying that getting to at least one meeting a day is a must. Thinking that holidays justify a break from meetings is a slippery slope. Treat the next several days the same way you would every day of the year in recovery. Given that it is likely you will be exposed to some people’s drunkenness and debauchery, being totally grounded is invaluable. Going to meetings will help you remain centered and focused. Being able to keep your eye on the prize of recovery.

If any of your peers in recovery are hosting gatherings, such as a barbecue, during the holiday—make a point of attending. You may find yourself wanting to isolate over the long weekend, please do not act on this urge. Being by yourself means that you are inside your own head, which usually isn’t the safest place to be. Especially during a holiday, when the temptation to drink is often stronger than normal. Getting out of the house, and engaging with your peers in recovery is that best thing you can do. It can also be a lot of fun.

Are you new to the program? If so, stay close to where you go to meetings. Keep your phone charged and don’t hesitate to call someone else in the program, even if you are not feeling tempted. And remember, you can never go to too many meetings in early recovery. On Tuesday, there will be meetings going on around the clock. It is not uncommon for people to go to several during a holiday. We at Celebrate Hope would like to wish everyone a safe holiday. Please do not pick up a drink or drug, no matter what—it’s not worth it.

 

Breaking The Cycle of Addiction


If you are still in the active cycle of addiction, maybe this Independence Day is a good time to make the decision to seek help. Freedom from addiction is not only possible, it is necessary. We can help you start the life-saving process of recovery. Please contact us today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fewer Teens Using Tobacco Products

tobacco
“Gateway drug” is a term that many young people are familiar with in the United States. In elementary school and beyond, by way of programs like DARE, kids are cautioned about staying away from drugs and alcohol. With good intentions to be sure. However, marijuana is often talked about in the context of being a gateway drug that will lead to the use of other, more dangerous drugs.

In some cases that is true. Teenagers who use marijuana in high school are far more likely to try, experiment or abuse harder substances. Yet, research over the past few years has shown that alcohol and tobacco is the true gateway drug for young people. So, with that in mind, it makes sense that prevention efforts be focused more on the two legal substances, before addressing marijuana.

It is worth noting that fewer Americans, regardless of age group are smoking cigarettes than in decades past. But, a significant number of young people are still smoking either traditional tobacco products or e-cigarettes. We have written in the past about concerns over young people using e-cigs, many high schoolers now prefer them over normal nicotine delivery systems. A number people close to the field of addiction, expressed concerns about nicotine initiation via e-cigarettes. Fearing that it would start people who would never have tried regular tobacco on a slippery slope to addiction.

 

Good News On Tobacco


New research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, shows that fewer teenagers are smoking e-cigarettes or using other tobacco products, The Washington Post reports. The study showed that in the past year 11.3 percent of high school students engaged in e-cigarette use, compared to 16 percent in 2015. The data can be viewed on the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Regarding e-cigarettes that is good news, but the highlight of the report is with regard to traditional tobacco products. The study showed the lowest numbers on record for high school students using any type of tobacco product, according to the article. With 8 percent reporting smoking cigarettes in the past year and 20 percent using any form of nicotine product. Including:
  • Cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Hookahs
  • Pipes
  • Smokeless Tobacco

 

Young Adults Smoking


People who smoke cigarettes or use nicotine products in high school are far more likely to drink alcohol or use other drugs. Which is why it is so important that the rate of tobacco use continues to decline. Teenagers who abuse substances in high school often end up abusing in young adulthood. It can be a sign that addiction has developed and it is vital that intervention occurs before the problem gets worse.

If your young adult child has been abusing drugs and/or alcohol, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Our highly-trained staff can help break the cycle of addiction and get them on the road to recovery. The sooner recovery starts, the better.

Friday, June 16, 2017

1 Million Heroin Users in America

 heroin
Grim news was printed this week, courtesy of The New York Times. And, once again opioids are at the center of the discussion. Preliminary data compiled by the newspaper indicates that drug overdose deaths in America probably exceeded 59,000 last year. Unless something drastic is done soon, this is a trend that will likely continue in the coming years.

People are dying. Opioid use disorder, or opioid addiction is the root of the problem. Yet, in 2017, nearly twenty years into the 21st Century, millions of Americans still struggle to access addiction treatment services. Even when they want help. In rural America, the closest addiction treatment center is sometimes hundreds of miles away. Given that fact that many opioid addicts are at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, the likelihood of traveling such distances for help is slim to none.

In addition to a lack of treatment options, many addicts still have hard time getting naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug that has saved thousands of American lives, and will continue to do so. But, getting the drug without a prescription is still not possible in certain places. Even if one can acquire it, affording the medicine is a whole different story. Perhaps you've heard the news about ever-increasing naloxone prices. Wherever you find demand, you find greed.

 

An Epidemic That Costs Billions


Prescription opioids are still a problem, to be sure. Yet, heroin use has steadily increased in recent years. What’s more, the mixing of heroin and fentanyl has become a common occurrence. Users who don’t know their heroin was mixed with the deadly painkiller are at great risk of overdose death. There are an estimated 1 million people actively using heroin in America today, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago press release. All told, heroin use in the United States costs society $51 billion in 2015. The costs are tied to:
  • Addiction Treatment
  • Heroin-related Crime
  • Imprisonment
  • Treating Chronic Infectious Diseases
  • Treating Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
  • Overdose Deaths
  • Lost Job Productivity
“The downstream effects of heroin use, such as the spread of infectious diseases and increased incarceration due to actions associated with heroin use, compounded by their associated costs, would continue to increase the societal burden of heroin use disorder,” said UIC pharmacoeconomists, Simon Pickard.

 

The Greatest Cost Is Life


Loss of productivity pales in comparison to the staggering death toll that could be reduced by increasing access to addiction treatment services. The longer one goes without treatment, the greater the chance of an overdose. If you are struggling with addiction to any form of opioids, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea today.

Our highly-trained staff specializes in the treatment of opioid use disorder. The opioid addiction epidemic is the most serious drug crisis the world has ever seen, and putting an end to it starts with treatment.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Recovery: You Have A Lot to Be Grateful For

recovery
Are you working a program of recovery? Or maybe you are in treatment, one that allows you access to the internet? Either way, you have a lot to be grateful for, and our hope is that you know the importance of your decision to find recovery. You know what it was like out there. Lying and manipulation is the code of the active addict and alcoholic—burning every bridge like it was built for the sole purpose of destruction. And in the end, one finds oneself in relative solitude, without anything worth smiling about. Recovery, of course, it the complete opposite.

Whether you are in treatment or have completed a program and are now working a program via the 12-Steps or Smart Recovery, you know that the place you find yourself in today is far safer than where you were before. To be sure, recovery is hard work, but one could easily make the case that maintaining an addiction is much harder. Consider the constant effort required to keep from withdrawal or the radar of the law is arduous. It is hard to sleep soundly when you are always having to cover your tracks, and keep the drinking or drugging pumps primed.

With that in mind, recovery then is a breath of fresh air, and one should never hesitate to take a moment to remember everything they have to be grateful for, today. Even when you don’t feel like you have much, you might surprise yourself.

 

Gratitude


If you are new to the program, you may be reading this and are thinking that you don’t have much for which to be thankful. But, consider the fact that you are reading this sober and have begun to develop relationships with others who share a common goal of recovery: People who will have your back and provide you support for little but honesty in return, and to whom you reach out your hand to when they are in need.

That’s what makes the program so special, perfect strangers willing to drop everything to come to the aid of a fellow alcoholic or addict. None of your using buddies could be counted on in such a way. Which is why one could be family-less, homeless, jobless and car-less, yet still have something to be grateful about. Even having the hope or belief that one day continued spiritual maintenance will result in one getting some of the aforementioned things back in their life—is something to cherish. In active addiction, hope turned its back on you years ago.

Perhaps by now you have started working with a sponsor. Maybe you are trudging through the steps as we speak? Working towards the goal of long-term recovery is something worth taking stock of on a daily basis. At Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea, our team’s wish is for you to never discount the importance of what you are working towards. We know the dedication it takes, and in time it will seem like everything is working against you. But if you stay the course, your list of things for which to be grateful will only grow.

 

Need Help With Addiction


If you are still in the grips of your disease, it is vital that you seek help immediately. Drug and alcohol abuse, left unchecked, has only a few logical ends. Jails, institutions or death. None of which are promising. Please contact Celebrate Hope today, to begin the journey.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Opioid Epidemic: Naloxone Pricing Revisited

naloxone
Most Americans have heard of the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, often sold under the brand names Narcan, Hospira, Amphastar and Evzio. The latter of which comes in auto injector form, to be used with little training by addicts and their family members in the case of an emergency. While these overdose antidotes don’t always work, especially if other drugs or more powerful opioids like fentanyl are involved; they have been proven to be extremely effective in most cases, saving thousands of lives each year.

At the end of last year, we discussed how the companies who make naloxone products have been dramatically raising their prices. Price gouging is status quo for most drug companies whose product is essentially one of a kind. However, unlike a lot of drugs that carry a high price tag, drugs like Evzio can be the difference between life and death. If a patient or a police department can’t afford to resupply, untold numbers of people may perish as a result.

Around the country, both lawmakers and health experts were up in arms about what was happening in the industry. How could a company ethically justify such egregious price hikes, with full knowledge that people may die as a result? For example, in January 2016 the makers of Evzio, Kaléo, charged $937.50 for two injectors, which by most people's standards is unreasonable. In April of the same year, Kaleo raised the price of their life saving product to $4,687.50.

 

The Reasons Offered


The explanation given by Kaléo was that the price increase was meant to offset the costs associated with a new patient-assistance program, The New York Times reports. This patient-assistance program means to lower the out-of-pocket costs for patients unable to afford Evzio. Kaléo eats the bill on all out-of-pocket costs for patients with private insurance, and for anyone making less than $100,000 per year—the drug is free.

The counter to Kaléo’s reasoning is that such programs end up increasing the costs of the drug, placing a huge burden on the American health care system, according to the article. Insurance companies being forced to pay for the majority of the bill has a rippling effect, potentially resulting in the raising of everyone’s insurance premiums.

 

No Easy Solutions


Evzio is ideal because people can use the auto-injector without much instruction. But there are other naloxone delivery systems that are much less expensive. And thosee are not being utilized as much as they should be. But, at the end of the day, both drug makers and insurance companies are corporations concerned with profit and cutting costs. The best solution, perhaps, would be for the Federal government to step in, mandate some form of fixed pricing, or reasonable cost standard. After which, buy up the bulk of the drug and provided it to states to hand out for free.

One could even argue that the opioid painkiller makers should provide the drug for free to every patient taking their medications. Such companies helped create the epidemic, they should have a hand in mitigating the risk of overdosing on their medications.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day, PTSD Addiction Recovery

PTSD
We are more than halfway through the three-day weekend, and tomorrow is Memorial Day. This weekend marks the beginning of the summer which is most certainly cause for smiles. However, it is important that you have a plan in place for tomorrow if you are working a program of recovery.

On Memorial Day, we should all take a moment to reflect on the brave American soldiers who gave their lives to protect all that we hold dear. We would be wise to remember the sacrifices made by veterans who are still with us, but have been changed by the trauma of armed conflict. Thousands of veterans are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

PTSD In The Military 


The Department of U.S. Veteran Affairs reports that:
  • About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) deal with PTSD in any given year.
  • About 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in any given year.
  • About 15 out of every 100 Vietnam Veterans (or 15%) were currently diagnosed with PTSD at the time of the most recent study in the late 1980s. It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.
PTSD is a debilitating mental health disorder, one that wreak havoc on the afflicted lives. Without adequate treatment, such individuals are left to manage their symptoms on their own which often makes the problem worse. It extremely common for people battling PTSD to use drugs and/or alcohol to calm their symptoms, a counterproductive behavior that actually makes one’s symptoms more severe and often leads to a co-occurring substance use disorder. If you have loved one self-medicating their untreated post-traumatic stress, please call Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today.


Staying Clean and Sober On Memorial Day 



If you are new to the program or have been in the rooms for a while, it is vital that you have a plan for getting to the other side of major holidays. Memorial Day often involves barbecues and family gatherings where drinking alcohol is pervasive. If you are planning to attend get-togethers where people are drinking, talk to your sponsor or recovery coach beforehand. It is always a good practice to attend such events with somebody from your homegroup. Even if you feel strong in your recovery, temptation can rear its ugly head. Do your best to attend a meeting tomorrow, one's addiction does not break for holidays. Nor should your recovery. We hope that everyone has a safe and sober Memorial Day.

If a relapse does occur, then please get back to the program immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it is. If you need extra assistance, please contact Celebrate Hope.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stigma: Talking About Depression and Anxiety

depression
It is fairly well understood that the best weapon against stigma, and to promote compassion, is to talk about mental illness. No easy task, to be sure. For time immemorial, people have been made to feel that talking about their psychological symptoms of addiction, depression and anxiety would be a road to social exile. Brain diseases are not as well understood as other health conditions, for many reasons. And due to the reality, most people will fill in the blanks with stereotypes and pejorative remarks that do little good for both society and especially the afflicted.

To be fair, we have come a long way in the mission to talk about mental illness and encourage people to seek help without fear of reprisal. Yet, the fact remains that the clear majority of people living with any form of mental illness never receive any form of treatment. Without such care, the consequences are typically grave. Commonly people with mental health disorders abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with the debilitating symptoms they face. Addiction is usually the result of self-medication. Worse, left feeling like there are no more options, people suffering from depression and anxiety often try to take their own life. Many succeed.

 

Shining a Light On Mental Illness


In popular culture, several movies and televisions shows now cover the topic of mental health. And not just because mental illness is fascinating, but due to the fact by doing so—lives can be saved. It is a trend that tells people who may be afraid to seek help that they are not alone. That treatment can improve the quality of one’s life dramatically. It is worth noting that around the world some 300 million people suffer from depression, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. Many of those people live in countries that are not as fortunate as Americans are when it comes to mental health care.

The World Health Organization has deemed depression to be the leading cause of poor health on the planet.

 

Katie & Shaun Talk About Depression and Anxiety


On May 26, 2017, a new web series will debut on YouTube which focuses on depression and anxiety. Katie & Shaun is the name of the show, which was created by husband-and-wife Matt Thomas (Writer) and Susan Allen (Director), according to Broadway World. The six-minute episodes are based on the creator's own experiences. Susan Allen says:

"We both have personal experience with mental health, and we've supported family and friends over the years, so it's a story close to our hearts. First and foremost, we hope people will find the show entertaining. And if someone feels less alone, or more like they can handle their own problems because of it, that would be amazing. By illuminating the characters' struggles with anxiety and depression - which are often confusing or debilitating, sometimes downright frustrating, and yet just one part of who they are - we hope to foster a deeper and broader understanding of mental health, and its role in the human experience." 

Please take a moment to watch the trailer below:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.
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