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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.
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