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Friday, April 20, 2018

Opioid Addiction Survey Results

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

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

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

Opioid Addiction in America

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

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

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

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

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

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Young People's Perceptions About Alcohol Use

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

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

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


Youth Perceptions About Alcohol

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

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

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

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


Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

Eating Healthy In Recovery

You are what you eat! So, the age old saying goes, are valuable words to heed and can help you as you walk the road to happy destiny in recovery. It should go without saying that a good many people in recovery are not the best at taking care of themselves. People in the grips of active addiction rarely excel at putting their physical wellbeing at the top of their priority list; it’s challenging to concern yourself with eating healthy when a person is just trying to make it through the day without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Let’s face it; food is hardly a primary concern among people using drugs and alcohol in destructive ways.

Given that recovery is the opposite of addiction, one must endeavor to do everything differently, which includes diet and exercise. Those of you who have sought the help of addiction treatment centers might have undergone a crash course on nutrition. Many rehab centers actually employ nutritionists to design client dietary plans. If that was your experience, it is likely you came away from it with a better understanding of how to take care of yourself and your recovery, in turn.

Having made a commitment to recovery, hopefully, you make a point every day to nourish your body and mind with foods conducive to wellbeing. Of course, it not always easy to eat healthy all the time. Grabbing a healthy snack isn’t always possible, but whenever you can, please, seize the opportunity. Addiction is a mental illness; what we put in our body, feeds our minds; thus, healthy eating is conducive to promoting a healthy mind.


Mental Health is Everything

It is worth mentioning that one of the byproducts of years of active addiction is poor physical health. Alcohol and drugs take a detrimental toll on vital organs; since all the organs (including the brain) work together to keep the mechanisms of life operating—eating as healthy as possible is the goal. A significant number of people who welcome recovery into their life struggle with health conditions that require monitoring; for instance, many alcoholics also have diabetes. Failing to watch what they eat can be deadly for such people. There are other examples, but you probably get the message.

At Boston Medical Center, people in recovery now have access to a culinary class called, "Cooking for Recovery,” ABC News reports. Successful outcomes are more likely to come about when the whole patient/client receives treatment; abstaining from drugs and alcohol, while important, it just one facet of recovery.

"Good health care is about more than just direct clinical services," said Michael Botticelli, executive director of the medical center's Grayken Center for Addiction and former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "Recovery is not just about stopping the use of alcohol and drugs, it's about how do we return people to a sense of wellness and a sense of well-being." 

Dietitian and chef Tracy Burg, who leads the classes, says addiction strips people of vital nutrients, according to the article. She adds, that when people no longer have drugs and alcohol in their life, they often crave sugar. Addicts and alcoholics may not realize that sweets target some of the same neurotransmitters as mind-altering substances. People in recovery who are eating unhealthy gain weight and experience blood sugar fluctuations; they are also at risk of depression and possible relapse.


Addiction Recovery

At Celebrate Hope, we stress the importance of nutrition to our clients; we understand that all the pieces matter in recovery. Please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea, to learn more about how we can help you begin a remarkable journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Rebirth, Resurrection, and Recovery on Easter Sunday

The Vernal Equinox is now behind us, officially marking the end of winter and beginning of spring; this is a time commonly associated with new beginnings. This time of the year should resonate with people working programs of addiction recovery, given that your recovery officially marked a new start in life. Most of you are probably aware that Easter Sunday (or Resurrection Sunday) occurs this weekend, and for many Christians, it is the most critical time of the year. Again, the circumstances of this celebration can speak to people working programs of abstinence; your recovery is, in effect, a form or resurrection.

During this time in history over the span of just a few days, Jesus had the “Last Supper” (Passover), he was crucified (Good Friday) and rose from the dead (Easter). This weekend, billions of people around the globe will observe one or all of the unique events listed above; it is a fact that more than a considerable number of such people are in addiction recovery.

If you are beginning the process of healing or have been in the program for a time, you have probably come to understand that big holidays can place a heavy burden on recovery. With that in mind, it is entirely paramount that you do everything in one’s power to strive for serenity. Before and after attending your religious service and spending time with your family, please make a point of attending meetings. Spending time with your peers in recovery will help you steer clear of risky situations that can lead to relapse. You can also benefit from acknowledging some of symbolism of the extraordinary days ahead as they pertain to recovery.


Finding Meaning In Recovery

Alcohol and substance use takes an enormous toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Use disorders are a mental health issue, many of the behaviors and actions that typify the disease are the byproduct of self-will run riot. Years of self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors leave a person with a hardly recognizable version of their former self. It is safe to say that when the addict and alcoholic are finally ready to accept treatment and dedicate themselves to recovery, they are living in the depths of despair. In some cases, addicts and alcoholics are knocking on death’s door.

Recovery offers people a chance at finding a form of living salvation. Those who commit themselves to opening their heart and mind to the sunlight of the spirit have an opportunity to take back their life. It is important to remember that substance use is a symptom of a far more profound spiritual problem. Drugs and alcohol serve as a barrier to connecting with your “higher power,” and without spiritual guidance in one’s life, the prospect of healing goes out the window. Once the fog of anesthetization lifts, you are better able to reach out and ask for God’s assistance in finding your way. Speaking relatively, after a short time enmeshed in the program you can begin setting right your existence. You rise from the ashes of active addiction and start sowing the seeds of progress; and, there isn’t a limit to what you can achieve with the principles of recovery in your head and God in your heart.

Addiction recovery is a second chance, and you should never downplay the importance of this opportunity. Remember, that not everyone is fortunate enough to find recovery; the nature of untreated addiction is exceedingly fatal. Over the weekend perhaps you might exercise gratitude for this life-saving gift, this rebirth. Draw power from the spirit that accompanies you on your path toward healing


Addiction Recovery

Celebrate Hope would like to wish you a safe, sober, and spiritual Good Friday and Easter Sunday. If you are actively in the grips of alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. Our experienced staff of addiction professionals can help begin the life-changing journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Alcohol Industry Funds NIAAA Research

People working in the field of addiction understand that there isn’t any safe amount of alcohol for those in recovery. One beer quickly leads to another, and the cycle of addiction continues. Everyone working a program tries various ways to moderate their drinking before concluding that they need help; there isn’t a cure for mental illness, any attempt to curb use on your own will find you right back where you started.

Alcohol is an exceptionally caustic substance. Even if booze weren't addictive, those who drink too much of it are at significant risk of adverse effects on their health. A large percentage of people who choose treatment have conditions relating to their heart, liver, and pancreas. It can be easy to think that only alcoholics experience health problems relating to alcohol use. The truth is, addiction isn't a prerequisite for experiencing alcohol-related illness. Which, begs the question, is there any amount of alcohol that is safe to imbibe? Of course, in regard to addicts and people with alcohol use disorders, the answer is, no! What about your average adult that doesn’t have a problem with the substance? The latter question is much harder to answer, for several reasons.

With each year that passes, it seems like researchers discover a new way in which alcohol wreaks havoc on the human body. It’s highly likely that you have read headlines saying that a little wine is good for your heart, and the like. Doctors throughout modern history have gotten behind pseudoscience to support the idea that drinking can be useful for both mind and body. Some physicians and scientists, whatever their reasons, propagate ideas that can harm rather than help uninformed people.


Big Alcohol Wants People to Drink More

The global alcohol industry is a multibillion-dollar affair, controlled by just a few mega-conglomerates. The more people drink, the more money companies like Ab InBev rake in annually. Naturally, significant purveyors of alcohol know that they are peddling a substance that can cause severe harm; so, it makes sense that they would love to see scientists publish research that supports the idea that some alcohol is good for the drinker. What better way to go about realizing that goal than funding said research?

You’d probably think that it would be the alcohol industry requesting researchers to focus on proving that some amounts of alcohol are safe; however, a new expose shows the opposite. The New York Times reveals that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), an agency that has long been at odds with big alcohol, successfully solicited alcohol industry executives to fund their research. With the help of millions of dollars from five alcohol companies, NIAAA researchers are conducting a controlled trial to see if moderate drinking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The agency says the test “represents a unique opportunity to show that moderate alcohol consumption is safe and lowers risk of common diseases.” As you can imagine, medical professionals and scientists are not impressed with the newfound kinship.

The NIAAA study “is not public health research — it’s marketing,” Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, told Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin. An investigation is underway to get to the bottom of what currently appears to be a scandal.


Alcohol Use Disorder Recovery

If alcohol has made your life unmanageable, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. Our experienced staff of addiction professionals can help you begin the life-changing journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Music That's Right For Recovery

Music is an integral part of most people’s lives; without it, existence would be exceedingly dull. We all have bands, singers, and songwriters whose arts speaks to us in ways that are hard to describe. Few words can accurately convey how a song makes you feel inside; excited, amped, relaxed, and alive are a few that might come to mind. Music can be your best friend when you are having a hard time in life; if you are struggling through a situation, then putting an album on can give you perspective or give you a brief respite from your woes. Simply put, instruments in harmony can be quite cathartic; which means that people in recovery can significantly benefit from listening to some tunes.

While it is true that the right melody and lyrics can bring you back to earth or help you carry on in times of mental strife, there is an excellent chance that certain songs or bands are inextricably linked to your past substance use. Everyone working a program of recovery can probably think of a song that, if they were to hear it, would bring back memories of getting drunk or high. Naturally, such associations between music and using drugs is problematic for people in early recovery. One must do everything in their power to limit exposure to anything that might trigger a desire to use.

That’s not to say that you have to turn your back on all your favorite bands just because you used to listen to them under the influence. But, given that hearing a song may only remind you of the fun you had in active addiction, rather than the heartache, you can benefit from steering clear of particular artists or types of music when recovery is in its infancy. It's possible that you were taught this in treatment when the facility confiscated you iPod.


Is This Beneficial to My Recovery?

In life, triggers can arise from just about anywhere and from anything. Those dedicated to working a program of addiction recovery must take steps to avoid specific people, places, and things. If you are unable to cut ties with particular individuals or stay out of wet areas, you will find it challenging to keep on track. Remember, there is only one thing we need to change in recovery, everything!

If you recently completed an addiction treatment program and find yourself back in the real world diligently avoiding the trappings of drugs and alcohol, it might be time to reconsider your record collection for the foreseeable future. At least until your program of recovery is strong enough to rebel against any urges to use that might stem from listening to music. Naturally, you don’t have to cut music out for your life completely, just exercise caution when it comes to your playlist.

Recovery is a journey toward progress. We adopt specific practices and foster behaviors and traditions that will give us the power to abstain from drugs and alcohol for the rest of our lives. If you know that certain types of music or a given artist is deeply associated with your past, then it is easy enough to stay away. Perhaps you might broaden your musical horizons by giving something new a chance. There are plenty of artists who are in recovery themselves who write songs that speak to others in the program. Ask your peers what they listen to these days, you can make this task a bit of an adventure. Who knows what you might discover along the way?


Addiction Recovery

Have drugs and alcohol negatively impacted your life and well-being? At Celebrate Hope we can assist you in laying a foundation for lasting recovery. Please contact us today to begin the journey.

Friday, March 9, 2018

SAMHSA National Prevention Challenge

You cannot turn back the clock, if you have an alcohol or substance use disorder, you will contend with the disease for the rest of your life. Such a reality is a difficult thing to process at times, but it shouldn’t be a cause for malaise. Those living with mental illness can lead productive, healthy lives provided they take “certain steps” to keep the condition in remission (for lack of a better word).

If you are working a program of addiction recovery, then you know that life today is a complete 180 from your previous existence. Instead of acting selfishly in service to your disease, you act selflessly in service to your recovery. Instead of looking for ways people can benefit you, you strive to aid others in their quest for lasting change. The idea being that if you want to keep the improvements made in your life, you need to affect change in the lives of others. If you're going to keep what you have, individuals in recovery need to give it away.

There are various ways you can pay it forward in recovery. Sharing in meetings, working with a newcomer, and answering your phone when another person in the program calls are ways to give back. However, there are subtler ways that you can affect change in your small sphere of influence; as a matter of fact, how you go about your day today can inspire others to make little changes that can have a massive impact in their life.


A Healthier Tomorrow In Recovery

Early recovery is both a confusing and trying time for most people adopting a new way of living. Those in their first year of recovery have said goodbye, in many cases, to a dear and deadly friend; learning how to live without mourning the loss of drugs and alcohol isn’t an easy task. Although, while removing mind-altering substances from your life is especially beneficial, the rub lies in practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs.

When you consider what you need to change (perceptions and behaviors), you realize that the only thing that needs to change is everything. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol is monumental, changing the way you look at things and proceed through your day in ways conducive to your health is paramount. All the pieces matter in recovery! Individuals must diligently maintain and act in ways advantageous to your mind, body, and spirit.

Once the mind becomes clear(er), and you get into the swing of daily meetings, calling your sponsor, working the steps, and so on and so forth, then please strongly consider making small adjustments to your routine. Please do not dive headfirst into making alterations talk to your sponsor beforehand; everything in its right time in recovery, always. After careful and cautious consideration, perhaps you can incorporate exercise and healthier eating into your program. Recovery significantly improves your physical and mental health, but working a program isn’t a panacea. Any auxiliary efforts made for your health can drastically improve your quality of life, i.e., exercise, mindful eating, and quitting smoking. Did you know that researchers believe smoking increase the risk of relapse?

If you can adopt new behaviors that are conducive to healthy living, doing so can and will encourage people with less time. Ask yourself, ‘what can I do today to ensure a healthier tomorrow?’


SAMHSA National Prevention Challenge

As all of us approach the ides of March, we thought it prudent to bring National Prevention Week (NPW) to your attention. The annual health observance means to increase public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. See the schedule below:
  • Monday, May 14: Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness
  • Tuesday, May 15: Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
  • Wednesday, May 16: Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse
  • Thursday, May 17: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana
  • Friday, May 18: Prevention of Suicide
  • Saturday, May 19: Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use
Why are we bringing NPW to your attention now, at the beginning of March? Good question! The event is brought to you by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and one of the components of NPW is the National Prevention Challenge. The organization has already begun accepting submissions for the challenge. SAMHSA wants to know:  

What would you say to your future self about what you’re doing today to ensure a healthier tomorrow? Share your answer by joining the NPW 2018 Prevention Challenge: Dear Future Me!

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Sharing: Giving Up Fear, Embracing Courage

Silence isn’t a luxury in addiction recovery. Years of drug and alcohol use and abuse teaches you many things, one item of instruction being what happens when you stay quiet about your struggles. Fear of opening up about your mental strife only serves to keep you in bondage. Secrecy is a symptom of your disease; as if your condition knows it will lose power over you if you open up with another person. We are, in fact, as sick as our secrets! As a result, active addiction persists long after one’s self-destructive behaviors become untenable.

All of us, in recovery or not, have fear regarding what others think of us. Even those who ardently protest their lack of concern or care for what other people think about them struggle to open the door for their peers' opinions. Humans regularly fear the truth, understanding the reasons for trepidation is not easy; we all have our reasons for taciturnity when it comes to discussing what is going on beneath the surface. It is unfortunate, that fear is a pervasive driving force in most people's lives; because if we don’t talk about our problems how can we expect ever to heal.

Recovering from any form of mental illness requires individuals to throw caution to the wind, mostly. Ironically, the longer one's active addiction persists, the easier it becomes for a person to do just that, choosing to resist fear and surrender. When a person nears the edge of spiritual annihilation, they are better able to toss aside illusions of control. When an individual realizes they are not in control of their future, they can ask for help. Pleas for help are, in most cases, audible; when there is smoke, yelling fire alerts your peers. Asking for help gets you into treatment, asking for help brings your support network to your side in recovery.


Help Surrounds You

In early recovery, you’ll learn right away the vital importance of your peers, of fellowship. Whether you are working the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or a faith-based modality, there is one glaring similarity; lasting recovery hinges on one’s ability to work with and rely on others for support. Nobody who works a program of recovery is perfect, and no one is ever cured; we’re all works in progress, which means that there will be days that you don’t feel like you can continue doing the next right thing. What you do in those hours of darkness can dictate the future of your program. Will you speak up and talk to your peers in a meeting or one-on-one, or will you be unforthcoming?

Recovery provides allies who can assist in overcoming any problem we are having in life. Naturally, some issues are extra-personal; it’s best to choose with care who you share such things with, probably with someone who you feel most comfortable, i.e., sponsor. You should talk about problems that you are having even if you think they are unworthy of discussing. There is an excellent chance your peers have dealt with a similar situation. Remember, there is little if anything you can say that will scare or shock an addict or alcoholics. Keep in mind the dark places most people in recovery escaped in opting for recovery.

In many cases, individuals struggle or take issue with a component of the program. Failing to see the value of something often leads people to resist doing it, a choice that can prove detrimental to one’s program. If ever you feel an aspect of recovery doesn’t suit you, rather than just opting out, why not share your feelings with the group. There are no wrong questions in recovery and your opinion matters; it’s likely that somebody else in the meeting shares your concern. When you share and ask questions, you are helping other people who may not yet have the strength to address the group.


Giving Up Fear, Embracing Courage

Again, silence isn’t a luxury you can afford in recovery. Silence keeps us from the sunshine of the spirit; it cuts us off from fellowship. Without community, no one would be long for recovery. With that in mind, do you have questions or problems that are affecting your program? If so, raise your hand or stand up at your next meeting; throw your reservations to the wind and seek guidance. Every time you share in a meeting it is an exercise in courage, speaking up makes your program stronger. It makes you more resilient to the slings and arrows of addiction, made manifest by incessant urges and cravings.

If you been thinking about drinking or drugging after abstaining for any length of time, sharing can save your recovery. It can save your life! Furthermore, if you are actively battling an alcohol or substance use disorder, picking up the phone and sharing with us what you are going through is the first step to lasting recovery. Silence is addiction; recovery is communication. At Celebrate Hope we can help you achieve your goals and heal from the insidious disease of addiction. Please contact us today.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Many Roads to Success in Recovery

Addiction is a baffling disease that steals much from its victims. If that were not bad enough, the conditions take a heavy toll on those whose loved one struggles while caught in a seemingly endless cycle of mental hardship. Few health disorders are as frustrating as alcohol and substance use disorders, mainly because friends and family find themselves powerless in helping those suffering. Even when you think you’re doing all the right things, being careful not to enable destructive behaviors and encourage changes made for the better, trouble can arise.

Things don’t always go the way you’d hope in the realm of alcohol and substance use disorder. Many parents know first-hand the feelings that come upon learning of a son or daughter's relapse. A return to drugs and alcohol is a painful occurrence for all concerned parties, especially when it happens after your child completes a treatment program. You did all the right things, and yet, the disease becomes active again. While it may seem logical to give up all hope that your adult child will find recovery, please resist the urge; relapse need not become the end of the story, countless people with long-term recovery share the common bond of a relapse in early recovery.

When all seems dark, hope is the flame that will help you guide your loved one out of the shadows and into the light of the spirit. Please don’t resign to thinking that treatment doesn’t work, and lasting recovery is a fiction; the former is an effective means of breaking the cycle and acquiring the tools for sustained progress, the latter is a reality and working a program allows people to lead a fulfilling life.


There Are Many Roads to Success in Recovery

Treatment and working a program works provided however that one is eternally vigilant in keeping the disease in remission. Problems arise when an individual becomes complacent, which is often the result of downplaying the importance of spiritual connection and fellowship. There is a salient acronym worth remembering, S.L.I.P. or Sobriety Lost Its Priority. People with a little bit of recovery time can delude themselves into thinking that life is good now, and they puzzle over why they need to “keep coming back.”

Telling yourself not to drink or drug, no matter what is helpful and all; although, it’s hardly a prophylactic for the cunning nature of one’s mental illness, alone. It’s amazing how effortlessly, and quickly a person can forget how bad it was before treatment, prior to learning that life is less complicated when you follow some simple suggestions. Individuals must never relent in recovery or lose sight of the fact that we are a work in progress; in more cliché terms, it’s the journey, not the destination that’s vital. Never will a day come when people wake up and think, ‘oh good, I’m recovered now.’ Unfortunately, the disease has a way of encouraging that line of thinking; seeds of doubt in the program’s value can quickly sprout into a relapse.

People relapse for different reasons; sometimes, chronic relapse ensues before finally grasping what is needed to stick with the program. At times, a regression is a merely a slip; it’s unfortunate, but individuals manage to get back up and address where they went off course. As long as addicts and alcoholics keep working at it, and families remain supportive even when it’s hard—such people will find the strength to carry on in recovery. There isn’t one path to lasting improvement, but there are things people can do and approaches they can take after a relapse that makes it harder to achieve one’s goals, i.e., shame, guilt, and unwarranted tough-love posturing.


Supporting Those Who Relapse

In meetings of recovery, members understand that relapse happens to even those who appear most diligent. Cunning, baffling, and powerful is the disease we’re contending with, so it’s vital for recovery fellowships to be a counterforce. Anyone who relapses is welcome back, the community’s arms are always open to those who want IT, and even for those who do not. Each person’s path is their own; we are all responsible for our inventory—nobody else's. The fellowship lends a hand whenever and wherever it can, without judgment.

At times, a relapse develops into full-blown active use; in such cases treatment might be in order. Just like a relapse, multiple stays in treatment are a part of many people’s story. It’s not uncommon to miss things the first time in a therapeutic environment. It’s critical, again, to not convince yourself that treatment didn’t work and decide that it doesn’t make sense to try again. Perhaps you might look at it a different way; it’s not that treatment didn’t work and that’s why you had a relapse; instead, the return to drugs and alcohol was the result of discontinuing practicing the things taught to you in rehab.

The next time around you or, in the case of parents, your loved one will investigate everything that precipitated your relapse. With help, people can see better that they lost sight along the way of some of the vital components of recovery. The course is then corrected, and the journey commences. Please contact Celebrate Hope to discuss treatment options.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Addressing the Costs of Untreated Addiction

The impact of prevention and treatment of mental illness like addiction is significant, considering that both efforts save lives. People in the grips of alcohol and substance use disorders can and do recover from this deadly disease, provided however that they have assistance. Those who attempt to overcome addiction on their own, more times than not, fall short of the mark. Encouraging anyone with a mental health disorder to seek help is not just right for the individual, it’s essential for everyone.

It should go without saying that more than just the alcoholic or addict feels the impact of addiction. When individuals suffer, so too do friends and family; such people go to great lengths to help those with the disease get help. If recovery doesn’t come to fruition, there is significant emotional toil for such people. Friends and family members will also help people with addiction financially, i.e., treatment, medication, and hospitalization costs. In many cases, mothers and fathers pay bills for their sick loved one. At times such behavior is healthy, in other instances, it’s enabling; the difference between the two is often a gray area.

Most people understand that addiction treatment services are costly, saving a life can involve many addiction experts and treatment stays before recovery takes root. Lasting recovery is usually brought about by enlisting the help of outside parties; it’s difficult to avoid such costs. For most mothers and fathers there is no limit to what they would invest in the well-being of their child.

Focusing On Treatment for All

addiction treatment
Unfortunately, not every addict and alcoholic can still rely on friends and family to invest in their well-being. When that occurs, any form of help the addict or alcoholic requires comes from the state. Nary an American is unfamiliar with the havoc wrought by opioid addiction, with around a hundred people dying of overdose each day. Emergency services spare substantially more people from premature death, i.e., first responders, emergency room visits, and state and local mental health services. As you can probably imagine, much of the epidemic's financial toll stems from emergency hospitalization.

Altarum, a nonprofit group that studies the health economy, analyzed CDC mortality data through June of last year, NPR reports. The organization's assessment indicates the cost of the opioid epidemic, from 2001 to 2017, is upwards of $1 trillion. Emergency room visits, ambulance costs, and the use of naloxone accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars.

Much of the financial toll stems from work productivity and tax losses, given that young people in the grips of addiction are unable to hold down employment. Of course, the significant mortality rate from opioid use has drained the American workforce as well. If things do not change, researchers predict that in the next three years the epidemic will cost at least another $500 billion. The cost growth is occurring at an exponential rate; avoiding such increases will depend mainly on investing in addiction treatment services. The Altarum researchers say we need a “comprehensive and sustained national response.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

When people go to treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders, they have the best chance of achieving long-term recovery. Any delays in seeking help can lead to disastrous consequences; please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to begin the life-saving journey of recovery.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Service Commitments for Recovery

It feels good to be there for others when called upon for help. Being of service to others is an excellent way to get out of your head, a place that is at times dangerous to linger in—especially in recovery. Few people who are actively using drugs and alcohol can perform selfless acts; addiction demands too much from the individual to expel any energy on others. Conversely, recovery affords ample opportunity to resend selfish and self-centered behavior, allowing one to dedicate themselves to assisting others in times of need.

Many of our readers are in early recovery which means that they are still figuring some things out regarding working a program and this is not by accident; Celebrate Hope is committed to introducing men and women to recovery. We serve as guides when rehabilitation is in its infancy. Our desire to help doesn’t cease when a client passes to the other side of our recovery safety threshold. We hope to provide sound advice for navigating recovery long after treatment comes to a close.

The majority of our former clients now subscribe to the tenets of the 12 Steps and strive to practice the principles of recovery in all their affairs. Such people endeavor to make progress, but are not always perfect, which is more than OK provided however that they adjust their program when necessary. Once you get into the swing of recovery—going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and such— it becomes easy to see that the enterprise of restoration rests on helping others. In early recovery, one is inclined to think that help is a one-sided affair. However, it is difficult to see how you might be aiding others in their recovery. Rest assured, you are doing more for your fellows than you realize.


A Fellow of Recovery

We all have a natural desire to form an understanding of our role in any system or organization, a fellowship is no different. In time, you form strong bonds with other people in your support network, people you can turn to when times are hard, or your recovery is in jeopardy. Some of you haven’t had the privilege, yet, of walking somebody with less Time than you through the steps. A fact that might lead you to believe that you are taking more from the program than you’re giving back. The truth is altogether different.

Each time you share your story or current difficulty at a meeting you are helping your fellows in recovery. Even those who are new that share rarely, if at all, are doing the group a service; the mere act of being a presence in a meeting on a regular basis is empowering for your peers. Merely showing up to daily meetings inspires people with less time than you to keep coming back. Rarely sharing is not prohibited in recovery, but keep in mind that the more you share, the more likely you are to receive constructive feedback applicable to your recovery.

It is also worth noting that sponsorship is not the only way to give back to the program. At every meeting across the country and beyond, exists service commitments. Chores in a sense, but ones with a priceless reward; as with any exercise in selflessness, you get back far more than you put in. Showing up early to a meeting for set-up or breaking down after meetings; making coffee or supplying snacks for the group, are all commitments you can volunteer for in early recovery. When you act in service to the group, a power Greater than yourself in effect, you’re helping yourself and others as well. Service commitments are perfect opportunities to practice the principles of recovery.


Together, We Stay Sober

The next time the option to help a fellow in recovery or your “homegroup” arises, please accept the honor. In doing so, you learn a valuable lesson, when others trust you it's a sign of progress and feels terrific being trusted by your peers; a feeling that doesn’t exist in active addiction. When you fulfill your commitments, you learn the value of accountability, which is vital.

If you are struggling with drugs and alcohol and would like to begin a life-changing journey of recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can answer any questions you might have, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Overcoming Fear, Seeking Addiction Treatment

addiction recovery
Talking about what’s going on inside you isn’t an easy job, especially if you are struggling with mental illness. Fear is one of the most significant barriers to addiction recovery—even when you need help the most feeling paralyzed is a common occurrence. Regardless of how your disease manifests itself, i.e., one is predisposed to have reservations about discussing it with peers. Sadly, we all worry too much about what others think about mental health problems; it’s the byproduct of hundreds of years of stigma. Overcoming the worries we have about what people think of us is vital to seeking help; failing to do so can be deadly.

Please take a moment to consider how many people around the globe struggle with untreated mental health conditions, you might find it paradoxical that such people continue to eschew treatment. After all, over 300 million people battle depression each year, worldwide. Millions and millions of others struggle with anxiety, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and substance use disorder. In the United States, more than 2 million American meet the criteria for opioid use disorder, over a half million have a heroin use disorder. An even higher number of people are addicted to alcohol, and untreated alcoholism is one of the leading causes of illness worldwide.

With so many people who have a mental illness, you may find it troubling that mustering the courage to seek help is such a monumental task. Both people in recovery and in need of treatment make up a vast demographic; by joining together, we can end the stigma that prevents addiction recovery.


Addiction Recovery Works

Far more people are in active addiction than active recovery; a fact that may lead many individuals to think that recovery is a fluke. The reality is that anyone who openly and honestly works a program of healing can achieve lasting recovery. The likelihood of your recovery cannot rest on statistics or the mindset of those that addiction has passed over. Your recovery begins with a decision to try a different way of life, a polar opposite way of thinking. The first manifestation of that is surrender; admitting to yourself and another person that your way of living is no longer tenable.

Overcoming active addiction and taking steps for recovery usually involves talking to a friend or family member about seeking help. It’s likely that there is at least one person in your life who will not pass judgment about your struggles; a person who will encourage you to seek assistance and support you along the way. We realize that many people in late stage addiction have burned most of their bridges with family and friends. Perhaps you are one of those people, do not be discouraged; there exists a fellowship of people who want to see you get better, even if they have never met you. And their support is usually just a phone call away.

Those working in the field of addiction medicine and treatment are acutely familiar with what keeps people from asking for support. Many of those same people are in addiction recovery them self; meaning, they too struggled to reach out for help before they finally surrendered. Reaching out to an alcohol and substance use disorder treatment center can be your first step to ending the cycle of self-defeating behavior and a sign that fear will no longer drive you.

Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. —Paulo Coelho—


Addiction Recovery

Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help you discover the journey of lasting recovery. We are here for you 24hrs a day to discuss your options for embarking on a new way of life. Please contact us at your earliest convenience; we would love to be a part of your addiction recovery.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Encouraging Mental Illness Support

mental illness
‘Hi, How Are You?’ is an important question to ask your friends and family; and it’s more than just a generic greeting said countless times throughout the day. It also the name of a musician's album. Daniel Johnston (b. January 22, 1961) is not a name your average American is familiar with, his eclectic music is bound to be known even less. For musicians working in the industry, however, Daniel Johnston is a name that elicits both joy and sadness.

Johnston’s body of work is quite large. He started off in the 1980’s in Austin, Texas making a name for himself as an odd yet immensely talented young musician. One of his first albums, "Hi, How Are You?," was released in 1983; his talent did not go unnoticed by the music community in Austin and pretty soon prominent musicians where adorning t-shirts with the album cover plastered on the front.

At this point, you might be wondering what Daniel Johnston has to do with the field of addiction and mental health? If you are one of the many people unfamiliar with his work, it likely due to the severe impact that mental illness had on Johnston's career. After all, he says that “Hi, How Are You?” was recorded while he was struggling with a nervous breakdown. Over time, it would become clear to everyone who knew him that Daniel suffered from multiple forms of mental illness.


Encourage Mental Health Support

Johnston is arguably one of Austin, Texas’ most loved musicians. Many people have devoted extensive amounts of time and energy helping Daniel have a career, for a time it seemed he would get his act together. However, progress was always fleeting, a fact made clear in a 2005 documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston."

Like most people who struggle with mental health disorders, talking about one’s condition is hard. Accepting help from others and asking for help is even more difficult. You see, Daniel is living with schizophrenia and manic depression, or bipolar disorder. Over the years his symptoms led to erratic behavior forcing the need for extended stays in psychiatric hospitals. He managed to return to the music scene on several occasions over the years, retiring from live performing in 2017. The heights of his career may not have matched his genius, but to those who’ve felt his music, he will always be dear, especially in Austin.

Recognizing Daniel's body of work, and the impact mental illness had on him, the City of Austin declared January 22nd "Hi, How Are You?" Day, NPR reports. The goal is to encourage people struggling with mental illness, like Daniel, to talk about their suffering. Doing so could lead to receiving support. If all of us asked, 'Hi, How Are You?,' we can make a difference in people’s lives.

“Please hear my cry for help and save me from myself.”—Daniel Johnston

Please take a moment to watch a short video below:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

"'Hi, How Are You?' is more than one of Austin's most iconic murals," Austin Mayor Steve Adler says. "It's a reminder to reach out to our friends and neighbors to see if they're OK, and for those experiencing mental health issues it's a reminder that you've got a whole community that can handle an honest answer because we want to help you get the help you need."


Mental Health Support

If you are living with an untreated mental illness such as addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you discover the gifts of recovery.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Smoking?

With the New Year well underway hopefully you are sticking to your resolutions. Each year, many people working programs of addiction recovery make an effort to quit smoking cigarettes. Having the goal of stopping, and managing to accomplish the task, could reduce a person’s risk of premature death significantly. Everyone knows that setting a goal is much simpler than achieving it, the addictive pull of tobacco products is exceedingly strong. Nevertheless, those who make a conscious effort to nip the habit in the bud can succeed, provided they have help.

While it’s possible to curb a smoking habit cold turkey, it's rare; very few people can beat the addiction without assistance. Even those who take advantage of smoking cessation products, like patches and gums, are in many cases unsuccessful. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of quitting aids in conjunction with behavioral therapy; the best outcomes come about by utilizing both tools for cessation.

Gums, patches, inhalers, and medications have all proved beneficial for some people; it depends on the individual regarding what works best. Research on the efficacy of such products is far from promising, which serves to confuse people on which route to take when trying to quit. In recent years, more people are talking about e-cigarettes than Nicorette for kicking tobacco products. Experts have conflicting opinions about the devices, but most agree that e-cigs are healthier than traditional tobacco products.


Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Smoking?

Here’s what we know right now: tobacco products kill people and are one of the leading causes of preventable illness and premature death. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, are not 100 percent safe but are a healthier alternative to tobacco and may aid one in their effort of kicking nicotine. The Annual Review of Public Health published an article recently about e-cigarettes, harm minimization, and smoking cessation, according to an NYU press release. The authors say vaping can help smokers who want to quit and mitigate the risk of premature death.

"Studies show that if most current American smokers switched to vaping e-cigarettes over the next 10 years, there could be as many as 6.6 million fewer premature deaths and 86.7 million fewer life years would be lost," said David Abrams, PhD, the article's lead author. "The safest course is to stop smoking or, better, never to start. But a harm minimization approach recognizes that demanding absolute perfection is often counterproductive and that, when a harmful behavior cannot be eliminated, we can still dramatically reduce adverse health consequences."

Vaping may not help you quit right away but will do less damage than smoking. What’s more, unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs let users taper their nicotine dose. Over time, vaping can lead to quitting nicotine altogether. In the past, we have mentioned that smokers in addiction recovery are at a greater risk of relapse, quitting could help you or a loved one better achieve lasting recovery.


Addiction Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is committed to helping people lead a life without drugs and alcohol. We have helped many of our clients quit smoking while learning how to abstain from mind-altering substances. Please contact us if you are ready to begin the remarkable journey of recovery.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Prop 64 Impacts Marijuana Convictions

Prop 64
Proposition 64 went into effect this month which means that adults can now use marijuana recreationally. The fact that California has the most significant economy and largest population could mean that Federal prohibition will soon come to an end. No other drug is associated with the “war on drugs” as much as marijuana, thousands upon thousands of lives have been and are dramatically altered by possession arrests. In some cases, people across the country are serving lengthy prison sentences due to cannabis cultivation and distribution.

While the passing of Prop 64 is progressive and is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, people in recovery must resist the temptation to pick up the pipe, rolling paper, and cookies. Marijuana may not have brought you to your knees praying for God’s help, but using it today could be a slippery slope back to your drug of choice. Please avoid taking a leisurely stroll through dispensaries; the novelty isn’t worth the inherent risks it will pose to your program.

If you are working a program of long-term recovery, then it stands to reason you have used cannabis before—most likely on more than one occasion. You know the feeling it produces, which means that a refresher is not required. Those who value all the hard work that has been invested in leading a healthy and productive life will avoid anything that could lead to relapse.


Marijuana Conviction Recourse

While staying off the "grass" is vital, it doesn't mean you can’t take advantage of one of the provisions in Prop 64. The progressive piece of legislation didn’t just legalize weed; it gives some of the thousands of people with cannabis convictions on their record an avenue of recourse, The Huffington Post reports. Such people can now petition the courts to reduce criminal penalties relating to the controversial substance.

The particular provision is of the utmost importance; one could even argue that it’s the most salient feature of the bill. We know that a significant number of people in recovery have marijuana convictions on their record. In some cases, rap sheets littered with weed offenses keep people in the program from landing good jobs, applying for apartments, and financial assistance. Under Proposition 64, people with a history of marijuana arrests can have their convictions retroactively reduced, reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor, or dismissed outright.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in California who stand to benefit from the process mentioned above, according to the article. If you are one of those people whose life is impacted by a cannabis conviction, you must first submit an application to a court for review. In some instances, you may have to enlist the assistance of a private attorney. However, money paid out now will likely pay off in the long run.

“In many ways, Proposition 64 has already been a success because we’ve ended the unnecessary and arbitrary criminalization of Californians around this issue, and helped tens of thousands of people who were unjustly unable to seek career and education opportunities due to prior non-violent marijuana offenses,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told HuffPost.


Cannabis Use Disorder

Just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean that there isn’t a risk of addiction. Today, there is a significant number of Americans living with cannabis use disorder. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we can help you recover from the condition and show you how to lead a life in recovery. Please contact us today!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Recovering from Relapse After SLIP

If you attend meetings of addiction recovery regularly, let’s start by saying that you are on the right track; lasting recovery is ever-dependent on continued maintenance manifested by routine. Prayer, meditation, meetings, sponsorship, step work, and paying it forward are all necessary ingredients for achieving long-term recovery. Those who show up and follow direction, are the people who succeed at keeping their disease at bay. People who are unable to do such things are usually unable to stay the course.

When sobriety loses its priority (SLIP), it’s only a matter of time before one’s addiction resumes control over the dominion of Self. That which protects one from acting upon triggers and cravings loses its strength when one puts other things ahead of recovery. When that happens, relapse is typically a foregone conclusion. Those of you who attend meetings on a daily basis are guaranteed to find yourself in the company of people who at one point let their program take precedence; relapse is a part of many peoples’ recovery story. If you are new to the program, you might consider paying extra-special attention when people talk about a previous relapse; doing so will provide you with valuable insight into your program.

Relapse doesn’t need to be the end of one’s recovery; in fact, it can be the catalyst for an even stronger program moving forward. You’ve probably heard people say that recovery is about progress, not perfection. We, all of us in recovery, are human; each of us errs at times, and unfortunately, sometimes that leads to a relapse. What’s more, the slip-up itself is of little importance, it’s what one does afterward that is most salient.


Recovery 2.0

Everyone in recovery knows the dangers that the holiday season poses to one’s program, and each year during this time individuals slip up for any one of many reasons. Whatever the perceived causes of a relapse are, they can all be boiled down to people losing sight of their mission—live life on life’s terms, one day at a time.

Remember, committing oneself to living by the principles of recovery is about more than just not drinking or drugging. Programs of recovery are a model for living an honest, open, and productive life. In a sense, the Steps are a recipe for creating the best version of yourself; a person who people turn towards rather than detract. The road to relapse may start with neglecting meetings and step work, but it ends with one acting in ways reminiscent of their old behaviors. Selfishness, self-centeredness, and dishonesty rise inside people from the depths; the abyss of one’s psyche where the disease of addiction resides. If such traits are not nipped in the bud immediately, they place individuals on a fast track to relapse.


Recovering from Relapse

You might be a person who found trouble during the holiday season, and hopefully, you have already committed yourself to practicing the principles of recovery in all your affairs. If not, it’s likely a sign that you are still using and are letting fear or guilt block your way back to the program. Natural feelings to be sure, after all, nobody wants to identify as a newcomer in front of their peers, again. Please do not let that be a cause for staying “out there,” members of the recovery community don’t pass judgment on those who relapse. We open our arms lovingly, and eagerly await your return.

This is a program of fellowship, sometimes our peers fall or lose sight of their recovery. We help each other when things are rough, and encourage each other to continue moving forward. Recovery isn’t a competition, there are no winners or losers, and your popularity is not of any great concern. You are not the first to relapse, and sadly you’ll not be the last; be grateful that your relapse wasn’t fatal, get to a meeting, and grab a 24-hour chip or key chain. Your chair is waiting for you, and your experience will help someone else avoid a similar SLIP, believe it or not.

In some cases, more help is required; if you need extra assistance, please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab. We are standing by 24/7, 365 days a year.
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