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Friday, October 12, 2018

Cure Stigma: Suffering Because of Silence

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

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

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

 

Encouraging Treatment


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

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

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

Please take a moment to watch a video about stigma:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

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

 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment


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

Friday, September 28, 2018

Young Adults Using Cannabis On The Rise

cannabis use disorder
Most Americans are in favor of either medical cannabis programs, recreational use laws, or both. There may be a day that comes in the not too distant future when we see cannabis downgraded to a status similar to alcohol, decriminalized on the Federal level. Naturally, there exists two pretty good arguments for supporting or criticizing legislation that will bring about more relaxed marijuana laws. Each case should, and likely will be considered carefully before any national decisions are made in the future.

Maintaining the status quo of marijuana legality is harmful and has disrupted the lives of millions of Americans. The fact that people are serving lengthy sentences in prison for cannabis is almost hard to believe, and yet that is the reality of many Americans. Even though the drug is habit forming for some people and can lead to a cannabis use disorder, doesn’t mean that locking people up for using the substance is the right course.

However, it is vital that legislation in this country, and the rolling out of laws that allow for adult use, be guided by public health and addiction science experts. Americans need to be able to access the facts about the drug so that they can make informed decisions at an age when the brain is still not fully developed. Simply put, there are inherent risks to using cannabis; many Americans, especially young Americans, are unaware of such hazards.

 

Young Adult Cannabis Use


The majority of people who use cannabis recreationally do so in moderation. Your average smoker is lighting up first thing in the morning, maintaining a high throughout the day, and then using the drug just before bed. Just like with alcohol, most Americans exercise caution when it comes to using the drug. However, research shows that young people who use the drug are at a heightened risk of experiencing cognitive deficiencies, social problems, and developing a cannabis use disorder.

Teenagers and young adults, in states permitting medical use or people over the age of 21 years, need to understand better what is at stake before they begin using the drug regularly, or at all for that matter. Millions of people in this country currently meet the criteria for a cannabis use disorder; such people seek the assistance of addiction treatment centers regularly. With that in mind, it is clear that cannabis – as some purport – isn't benign; those who attempt to quit on their own will often experience withdrawal symptoms that can precipitate relapse before recovery takes root.

The addictive nature of cannabis use is incontrovertible, and young people are vulnerable; which is why it is concerning to learn that the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found that more non-college young adults are using the drug than ever. The MTF shows that daily, or near daily, marijuana use among non-college young adults is climbing. Last year, use reached its highest level (13.2 percent) among the mentioned demographic. Non-college attending young adults use marijuana at nearly three times the rate of college students.

Please take a moment to watch Dr. Nora Volkow discuss some of the findings of the survey:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

 

Cannabis Use Disorder


At Celebrate Hope, we can help men and women struggling with cannabis use disorder break the cycle of addiction. Please contact our skilled team of professionals to learn about our recovery programs and discuss treatment options.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Inspiring Others During Recovery Month

Recovery Month
If you are working a program of recovery and are dedicated to leading a life free from drugs and alcohol, then September is an important month. Each year at this time Celebrate Hope and treatment centers across the United States observe National Recovery Month. This a time when those working a program can play a critical role in encouraging others to take steps toward transforming their life.

Those who follow the news understand that millions of people across the country are currently wrestling with addiction and other debilitating mental health conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and bipolar disorder. While recovery is attainable for anyone who is willing to take action and seek help, the vast majority of those who have mental illness never seek assistance. But, we can all do our part and encourage others to reach out for help.

National Recovery Month “provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate” the accomplishments of individuals in recovery, and in doing so, we inspire others to embrace change. Sadly, many people feel making changes for the better an impossible task; whether it be stigma or trying to recover without support, it is easy for people struggling with addiction to remain silent. And, if an individual isn’t able to speak up and call out for assistance, nothing is likely to change.

Join The Voices for Recovery


“The observance [Recovery Month] reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.”

One way to help people who are in the grips of addiction to see that recovery is possible is to amplify the message of the many men and women, young and old alike, who are committed to long-term improvement. People can and do recover when they believe it's possible; what better way to show the promise of tomorrow than providing a vehicle for those working a program to share their story.

The 2018 Recovery Month theme is, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.” If you are in recovery, then you have an opportunity to inspire others by sharing your experience. You might find it surprising, but your story may be one of the catalysts that helps another make the courageous decision to reach out to a treatment center. What’s more, SAMHSA and other entities are hosting events throughout the month to spread these important messages:

There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.

 

Addiction Treatment


Celebrate Hope commends the hard work of men and women in recovery, and we are confident that your actions this month will inspire others to follow a similar path. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder, please reach out to us as soon as possible to discuss addiction treatment options and start celebrating hope today.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Motherhood and Meth In Fresno

meth
After years of apparent decline in methamphetamine use – following the significant government intervention in the early aughts – meth is back with a vengeance. In past articles we have discussed how the powerful stimulant people are using today is even more potent than the stuff Americans smoked, snorted, or injected once upon a time. Gone are the days of clandestine trailer-park labs or making meth in the trunk of a car, no today’s meth or “Ice,” as some people refer to it, is made in super laboratories south of the border. The crystalline substance used today is significantly stronger, purer, and deadlier than anything found at the height of this country’s last drug-related public health crisis.

Between 2000 and 2016, there was more than a five-fold increase in the amount of methamphetamine confiscated by California law enforcement, according to a new documentary that is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators. “Motherhood and Meth,” directed by Mary Newman, provides an up close and personal look at meth use in Fresno as experienced by law enforcement, addiction treatment professionals, and mothers addicted to methamphetamine. In the U.S., an estimated 19,000 methamphetamine users are pregnant women.

“The power methamphetamine has on a person’s life was the most surprising part of [reporting] this story,” Mary Newman, a journalist at the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, tells The Atlantic. “I would speak with people struggling with addiction and they would have a certain self-awareness that their decisions were derailing their life, but they would also describe a feeling of complete helplessness.” 

Motherhood and Meth


In many of the more rural areas of the country, meth use surpasses that of heroin. In Fresno, California, (Population: 522,053 [2016]), almost 273 miles to the northeast of San Juan Capistrano, Ice is taking a severe toll. The drug isn’t just affecting people with stimulant use disorder; it is impacting children and the entire community. Being a border state, it’s not surprising that California sees a massive influx of meth trafficking and use. After medical marijuana was legalized in 1996, drug cartels began making pure liquid meth, according to the article. Once the liquid is transported across the border, it is then crystallized in conversion labs.

William Ruzzamenti, who appears in the documentary, is a 30-year Drug Enforcement Administration veteran; he says that there is more methamphetamine than ever, and it is significantly less expensive to buy. Ruzzamenti points out that an ounce of meth fell from nearly $968 in 2013 to around $250 in 2016. The drug is cheaper, purer, and there is a plentiful supply; all of which is fueling a new crisis in California.

“I think a lot of people associate meth with the 1990s, and this comeback has gone largely unnoticed in the shadow of the heroin and opioid epidemics,” said Newman. 

You can watch the short documentary below, but please be advised that there are some graphic content and some footage of people using meth. If you are relatively new to the program, you may want to skip the film or talk to someone in your support network about watching it beforehand.


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

 

Stimulant Use Disorder


Please contact Celebrate Hope if you are struggling with methamphetamine or prescription stimulants. We can assist you in breaking the cycle of addiction and teach you how to navigate life in recovery. Start celebrating hope today!

Friday, August 24, 2018

No Safe Amount of Alcohol

alcohol use
There are many myths about alcohol use that people hold on to despite the science. Occasionally, the media covers stories about the potential health benefits of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol; which undoubtedly adds to the confusion of the general public. Headlines reading that wine promotes a healthy heart is just one of many fictions promulgated by news networks.

Researchers across the globe work tirelessly to glean a more concise picture of the effect that alcohol has on the human body. While there is little doubt about prolonged heavy alcohol use leading to myriad health concerns, there is still a small number of scientists who argue that moderate drinking carries few risks in the long run. However, research teams continue to make associations between alcohol use in any amount and potentially life-threatening health conditions.

Any action a person can take – whether it be driving or walking next to a busy road – can lead to injury. There is an element of risk to everything we do in life. Alcohol is terrible for people to be sure, but no amount of scientific evidence is going to result in banning the substance or the majority of people choosing to abstain. The best we can hope for is that science helps Americans and people abroad to make informed decisions about using the substance. It is of the utmost importance that everyone knows that there is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol.

 

Alcohol Isn’t Good for Overall Health


At Celebrate Hope, we treat clients whose alcohol use is more substantial than average; people whose use negatively impacts their life to a pernicious degree. Beyond meeting the criteria for alcohol use disorder, some of our former clients have severe health conditions stemming from alcohol use like liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. Merely put, alcohol isn’t just destroying such peoples’ lives, it is severely damaging their body.

Naturally, your average drinker doesn’t meet the criteria for alcoholism, nor do they experience all the pain and suffering that accompanies the condition. Most people have a couple of drinks each night after work or during the weekend; they probably are not thinking about the possible physical problems that can arise from their moderate alcohol use. It is essential that we discuss a new analysis of global alcohol consumption and disease risk.

New research, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, from an analysis of the 2016 Global Burden of Disease report, shows that no amount of alcohol is safe, CNN reports. The findings which appear in the journal The Lancet, indicate that alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death for people between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016, regardless of sex.

"The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally," said senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. "We're used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence." 

Gakidou points out that while moderate amounts of alcohol may be slightly beneficial for some health problems, i.e., Type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease, the benefits are outweighed by the overall adverse health impact of any amount of alcohol, according to the article. This state-of-the-art study is likely to fly in the face of many previous studies on moderate drinking.

"This study is a stark reminder of the real, and potentially lethal, dangers that too much alcohol can have on our health and that even the lowest levels of alcohol intake increase our risks," Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK.

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Please reach out to Celebrate Hope if alcohol is wreaking havoc on your life or that of a loved one. We can help you break the cycle of alcohol addiction and give you the tools and coping mechanisms for leading an alcohol-free life in recovery.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Diagnosing Mental Illness With AI

mental illness
More than half of the people living with an alcohol or substance use disorder also contend with a co-occurring mental health condition. In the field of addiction medicine, it is critical that patients receive screenings for a dual diagnosis. Research indicates, unequivocally, that individuals who do not receive simultaneous treatment for coöccuring disorders while in rehab are unlikely to stay on track working a program of addiction recovery.

Addiction is a treatable mental illness and success depends on treating the whole patient. Attending to a use disorder without addressing a client's comorbidity almost guarantees a relapse down the road. Conversely, when people receive treatment for all of their conditions at once – learning how to manage the symptoms without drugs and alcohol – they can lead productive lives in recovery.

While conditions like depression and bipolar disorder are manageable with the help of evidence-based therapies, there are times when medication is required to keep symptoms at bay. Naturally, there is a multitude of prescription drugs that can help improve people’s life quality. Deciding which drug works best depends entirely on how a patient responds; it is often the case that several different meds are tried before finding the one that works best. The process of finding the right drug for a client can be a challenging task, but technology may one day help things along.

 

Using Artificial Intelligence to Better Diagnose Mental illness


Diagnosing mental illness is a complicated task that can take a significant amount of time; finding the medication that works best for a patient, often takes even longer. Research shows that A.I. has something to offer in the quest for diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Researchers at Canada’s Lawson Health Research Institute, The Mind Research Network in New Mexico and the Brainnetome Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, designed an artificial intelligence algorithm that analyzes brain scans to classify illness in patients with a complex mental illness, PyschCentral reports. What’s more, the algorithm can predict how a patient will respond to a particular medication.

“Antidepressants are the gold standard pharmaceutical therapy for [major depressive disorder] MDD while mood stabilizers are the gold standard for bipolar I,” said Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a clinician-scientist at Lawson and co-lead investigator on the study. “But it becomes difficult to predict which medication will work in patients with complex mood disorders when a diagnosis is not clear. Will they respond better to an antidepressant or to a mood stabilizer?” 

When the researchers tested their algorithm on 78 adult patients from mental health programs, it correctly classified their illness with 92.4 percent accuracy, according to the article. And, 11 out of 12 participants responded to the medication predicted by the algorithm.

“Patients may also have more than one diagnosis, such as a combination of a mood disorder and a substance abuse disorder, further complicating diagnosis,” said Dr. Osuch. “Having a biological test or procedure to identify what class of medication a patient will respond to would significantly advance the field of psychiatry.”

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


If you or a loved one is living with addiction and co-occurring mental illness, please contact Celebrate Hope. We specialize in treating patients with a dual diagnosis and can help you begin a life-changing journey of recovery.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Encouraging Loved Ones Into Addiction Treatment

intervention
Addiction, as many people well know, disrupts the entire family. The impact of active alcohol or substance use disorder occurring in the household is significant in both scale and scope. Merely put, chemical dependency is a family disease; and family involvement aids successful recovery outcomes. Evidence-based treatment centers, including Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea, understand that family can play an instrumental role in helping their loved one accept treatment; we also take steps to include the family in the recovery process so that all concerned parties can heal.

The first step in the process of addiction recovery is encouraging the person you care about to seek treatment. Naturally, people in the grips of the disease are not always receptive to the idea of changing their life, even when it’s for the better. Addicts and alcoholics often wait until they are looking up from the bottom before they accept help. With that in mind, it is possible for interventions to go awry unless professional advice is sought. Unguided intervention often devolves into finger-pointing, guilting, and shaming; which, naturally, is hardly productive.

There are so many ways an unchoreographed intervention can go wrong that we strongly recommend you reach out to us for help. Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction treatment track, which means we join biblical principles with evidence-based addiction treatment techniques. For those who lost their connection with God, and strayed from the teachings of Jesus, faith-based treatment is an ideal method of breaking the cycle of addiction. When individuals turn to God for guidance and surrender to His will, long-term recovery is made possible.

 

More People Than Ever Need Addiction Help


A new Gallup poll shows that substance abuse is causing a higher number of families problems in the last decade and a half, The Hill reports. In 2005, 22 percent of respondents said drug use caused familial issues, whereas 30 percent report such troubles today and 37 percent report family problems related to alcohol. When Gallup asked about the impact of substance misuse on the family for the first time in 1995, only 19 percent reported concerns. It is likely that the sharp rise in drug-related family problems is connected to the opioid addiction epidemic in America.

The organization found that women were more likely to report family problems stemming from substance use than men, according to the article. What’s more, the highest number of respondents reporting issues reside in the West, 38 percent, compared to 26 percent in the South. The findings come from a survey of 1,033 adults nationwide.

 

Encouraging Recovery


Putting an end to family problems relating to substance use is possible, with the help of a recovery program. Celebrate Hope can assist you in expressing your concerns to a loved one productively and healthily. Please contact us to learn more about planning a Christian intervention.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Real Friends In Recovery

Recovery is a gift! Setting aside the first benefaction, life, those who work a program are awarded loads of excellent opportunities. Trustworthiness and accountability are a couple of salient aspects of note that accompany those living a life free from drugs and alcohol. Being able to rely on others for support, to have your back, when the going gets tough is another miraculous thing that staying clean and sober offers people.

Let’s face it, when you are drinking and drugging, people only tend to stick around when things are good. At the first sign of conflict, the majority of your using buddies would cut-and-run; and, hopefully, they are no longer a part of your inner circle. Today, you have something that you’ve probably not experienced in a very long time, maybe never, the gift of community.

Owing to working a program of recovery, the individuals in your life care about how you are doing. There is a good chance that you have become a vital component of your peers' program, and together you are making progress (another gift). However, people who are new to abstinence and spiritual maintenance may find it hard to sever ties with their past completely. Putting down the "booze" and "dope" was one thing, saying goodbye to people who you have known for years is not always a simple feat to accomplish.

Real Friends In Recovery


addiction recovery
Those who’ve committed to living life on life’s terms have to wrestle with the reality that some individuals from their past must go. If long-term abstinence is to come about, hanging around with people who are still using is not conducive to one’s well-being. Relapse in early recovery is often precipitated by trying to maintain old relationships. Even though treatment centers, sponsors, and “oldtimers” enjoin people who are new to the program to let go of unhealthy connections, many ignore the advice.

If you recently completed rehab, it’s likely that you are trying to decide how to inform the people you used to imbibe or get high with, that you are making changes. It isn’t easy, but please think long and hard if such people are actually your friend, or if they were instead relationships of convenience. It’s no secret that misery loves company. Those same people may try to convince you that having just a little of a substance won’t hurt; they may try to downplay the severity of your condition. Do not give in, do not believe what they are saying.

People do not seek treatment by accident! Your life had to be pretty unmanageable to invest the kind of time and money that help demands. If you believe in your heart-of-hearts that you are an addict or an alcoholic, then keeping your distance from anything that can jeopardize recovery is critical.

Naturally, there are several ways of discontinuing contact with old peers. Sometimes ripping the band-aid off quickly, is the most effective. Of course, specific relationships may be more complicated— mainly if romance is a part of the equation. In such cases, ask your sponsor or support group for advice; they have been where you are today and can steer you in the right direction. Investing energy into fostering relationships with people who share your goals will go a long way and carry with it its own set of rewards.

Start Celebrating Hope Today


Celebrate Hope gives people the tools for building a strong foundation for recovery. We offer several unique and innovative programs that suit the particular needs of each client. Please contact us to learn more about making recovery you or your loved one’s reality.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Prescription Stimulants Don't Boost Neurocognition

Adderall
Young people who are relying on “study drugs” to improve their performance in school, please be advised, drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are both addictive and dangerous. It can be easy to forget that even though doctors prescribe some stimulant narcotics, they still carry inherent risks that can alter the course of life.

Drugs with which doctors treat conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are stimulants. The base of such substances is often amphetamines, which cause users to experience euphoria along with the supposed cognitive enhancements like an increase in focus and energy. Regular use of prescription stimulants can lead to dependence and use disorders. It is essential for young people to keep in mind that there isn’t much of a difference between amphetamine-based drugs and methamphetamine.

Most young people without a diagnosis for ADHD who engage in nonmedical stimulant use, do so to get an edge in class. College is demanding, and it can be challenging to find the energy to keep up with writing papers and studying for exams. Stimulants allow people to stay up for more hours in the day and keep focused. There is a shared belief among nonmedical Adderall users that the drug is boosting their performance. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Brown University decided to put the idea to the test.

 

Misconceptions About Stimulants


Research, published in the journal Pharmacy, shows that while a 30-milligram dose of Adderall improves attention and focus, the enhancement didn’t convert to better performance on neurocognitive tests, Science Daily reports. In fact, the researchers found that the drug may impair short-term memory, reading comprehension, and fluency. Non-ADHDs are found to experience a more significant effect on mood and bodily responses when taking Adderall.

"If your brain is functioning normally in those regions, the medication is unlikely to have a positive effect on cognition and may actually impair cognition. In other words, you need to have a deficit to benefit from the medicine," said Lisa Weyandt, professor of psychology and a faculty member with URI's George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience. She adds, "They are subjecting themselves to physiological effects but do not appear to be enhancing their neurocognition."

Weyandt, and co-investigator Tara White, assistant professor of research in behavioral and social sciences at Brown University, intend to apply for federal funding to expand their research on a more significant number of students who do not meet the criteria for ADHD, according to the article. If their findings remain consistent, it could mean that fewer students will take the risk of using amphetamines to try to get ahead in school. The result could lead to fewer cases of stimulant use disorder among young people in the future.

 

Stimulant Use Disorder Treatment


If your use of prescription stimulants is negatively impacting your life, please reach out to Celebrate Hope. Relying on evidence-based addiction treatment approaches, we can help you begin a remarkable journey of recovery.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Drinking Too Much Alcohol in America

alcohol use disorder
Addiction is challenging to recover from, particularly when your drug of choice is accessible just about anywhere. Such is the case for a substance that is legal, pervasive, addictive, and harmful to one’s health. Each year, over 88,000 Americans to lose their life to alcohol-related causes; and, more than 15 million adults meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder.

One of the concerning facets of alcohol use is the fact that many people are not aware that the way they drink is problematic. A lot of people gauge their relationship with alcohol, good or bad, on the way they see their peers drink. People shouldn't form impressions on their use based on what they see with others. What ends up happening, much of the time, is that men and women keep drinking in harmful ways for great lengths of time; dependency, alcohol use disorder, and physical harm is often the result.

Alcohol is ubiquitous and harmful drinking is pervasive in the U.S. It is unlikely that alcohol will ever be replaced as the go to substance for both times of happiness and sadness. With that in mind, we must do everything that we can to educate people about the costs of prolonged, habitual drinking patterns. In every sense, this a matter of life and death.

 

Nearly Half of Imbibing Adults, Drink Too Much


Young adulthood is typically a time of excess; once children leave home to begin writing their story, they find themselves no longer bound by restrictions. Young adults can make decisions for themselves, including how much or how often they consume alcohol. Many such individuals indulge in their newfound freedoms; in some ways, we can expect that those embracing their twenties will consume copious amounts of liquor and beer. For some, for most for that matter, will let up on frivolous drinking as they get older and settle in with the responsibilities of life, i.e., career and family. But, and for a not small number of men and women, alcohol ends up playing a significant role in their life.

New research suggests that nearly half of the adults in America who drink alcohol, consume too much and they do so for many years, Science Daily reports. Researchers from Boston University School of Public Health found that about 40 percent of U.S. adult drinkers drink in potentially dangerous ways. What’s more, the research shows that 73 percent of high-risk drinkers were continuing to imbibe perilously two to four years later; and 15 percent of non-risky drinkers started drinking harmfully by the end of the research period. The findings of the BU study appear in the Journal of Substance Use.

"Some people just stop drinking too much, but most continue for years, and others not drinking too much will begin doing so during adulthood," says lead author Richard Saitz, professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. "Public health and clinical messages need repeating, particularly in young adulthood. Once is not enough."

Without intervention people are likely to keep drinking in harmful ways, Saitz adds; and, he says that more must be done to interrupt at-risk drinking patterns, according to the article. As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that research appearing in the British Medical Journal this week shows that since 1999, deaths from cirrhosis of the liver rose roughly 65 percent in the U.S. Such deaths are increasing 10 percent a year among Americans ages 25 to 34.

 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Harmful drinking patterns can, and often do, result in the development of alcohol use disorder. Without treatment and a program of recovery, the outcome of excessive alcohol use is never promising. If drinking is severely impacting your life, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea to begin a journey of lasting addiction recovery.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Media Giants Address Mental Health

mental health
Perhaps it is a sign that We are finally entering a new era when it comes to handling the stigma of mental illness in America, when mainstream media outlets use their massive following to promote self-care. Mental health has been ignored for too long in the U.S., and most people that are struggling from any one of many mental health conditions feel they can’t talk about their problems. If you think about it, it makes sense; society has looked down upon individuals struggling with conditions like addiction, depression, and bipolar disorder for decades.

When people feel they must hide their problems lest they are treated differently or disenfranchised, it is unlikely they will seek the care that they desperately require. Isolation and loneliness are the lot of the mentally ill, and when there is no one to talk to many are apt to give up altogether. It isn’t a coincidence that people living with mental health disorders are far more likely to engage in self-harming behaviors or attempt suicide.

Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States in 2016, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports. Recently, the world lost fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain to suicide, resulting in a national push to open up the dialogue about mental illness. Tragic losses often lead to steps in the right direction!

Premium Cable and Streaming Services Address Mental Health


Some of our readers probably watch shows on Netflix and HBO from time-to-time. Netflix tackles the subject of mental illness in several of its shows, such as 13 Reasons Why and a host of social documentaries. At the beginning of 13 Reasons Why, season 2, the show opens with a disclaimer about reaching out for help for mental health problems.

HBO released a show last weekend called Sharp Objects; the main character of the show has an alcohol use disorder and engages in self-harm. It doesn’t take long for viewers to understand the show's protagonist Camille Preaker, is battling a mental illness that potentially stems from untreated trauma. The show, which airs on Sunday nights, features an end card disclaimer at the end of each episode, which reads:

“If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm or substance abuse, please seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 1-800-662-HELP (4357).” 

Hopefully, young and old viewers alike will feel empowered to reach out for mental health support. Media giants like HBO and Netflix reach millions of homes each day of the week, psychological health disclaimers could give people the courage to ask for help. It takes significant courage to seek assistance, but efforts to erode stigma make it a little easier.

 

Addiction and Mental Health Treatment


Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment center located in San Juan Capistrano, California. We can assist you or a loved one in beginning the life-long journey of recovery. Please contact us for more information.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Alcohol Use Disorder Medications

alcohol use disorder
Alcohol use disorder may not steal as many headlines as opioid use disorder, but the condition is even more deadly. To be clear, any form of addiction requires treatment and a program of recovery; and, in a perfect world, all types of mental illness would receive the attention they deserve. With that in mind, there exists a dire need to develop methods for helping alcoholics abstain from alcohol. While treatment works, and recovery is possible, the risk of relapse is expressly high for multiple reasons; a primary factor being that alcohol is exponentially more pervasive than other addictive substances.

A heroin addict who finds recovery has a pretty good shot at never coming into contact with the substance again provided however that they stay out of environments where the drug is used. Given the legal standing of heroin, it is unlikely in most cases a person will attend a family gathering and see people using the drug; the same cannot be said for alcohol, and whenever a person is close to the substance, cravings are likely to develop. In early recovery, cravings are too much for some people to contend with and a decision might be made to use again.

Beer, wine, and liquor are everywhere! It is challenging to go anywhere, be it a grocery store or a sporting event, and not run into the substance. Unless someone's program is particularly strong, exposure can trigger cravings and cravings can trigger a relapse. While there are a few medications that individuals can turn to, to keep urges at bay or cause sickness if one drinks, none of the available medicines are ideal. Since abstinence is the goal and relapse rates are notably high, researchers are working tirelessly to find a means of keeping cravings for alcohol to a minimum.

Alcohol Use Disorder Medication


Each year, some 88,000 Americans die of alcohol-related causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); alcohol's death toll significantly surpasses that of opioids. A professor from the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy is working to find a medication that can help people recover from alcohol abuse, according to a URI press release. With the help of a $1.65 million federal grant, Professor Fatemeh Akhlaghi, the Ernest Mario Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutics, is testing a Pfizer drug initially developed to treat obesity and diabetes.

The research centers on a drug that targets ghrelin, a peptide that stimulates appetite and food intake, the article reports. Individuals with higher concentrations of ghrelin are found to have more significant cravings and consume more alcohol. A preliminary study, appearing in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, involving 12 patients using a ghrelin-blocking drug to help curb cravings for alcohol shows excellent promise. A larger placebo-controlled clinical trial is underway to determine the drug's efficacy.

"The drugs that are available to treat alcohol use disorder either came from opioids or other drugs that make you have an aversive effect if you drink, and each of them has only small effects," Akhlaghi said. "The study with the 12 patients shows potential success, although the results are clearly very preliminary and in need for replication. In the new phase, we are looking at the efficacy of the drug. We cannot say this is a cure; we can say it is a promising therapy."

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment


Please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab if you or a loved one has an alcohol use disorder. Addiction recovery is possible! Help is needed. Support is available. Call Today! (800) 708-3173

Friday, June 29, 2018

Marijuana Use Disorders Affect Many Americans

marijuana use disorder
Thirty-two percent of people who try tobacco, 23 percent of those who try heroin, 17 percent who try cocaine, 15 percent who try alcohol, and 9 percent who try marijuana become dependent, The New York Times reports. There is a prevailing misconception that cannabis use is safe and nonaddictive. While it is true that smoking pot isn’t associated with serious life problems or mal-health, the same way that other substances typically are, the reality is that marijuana is not benign. Those who use the drug frequently and in substantial amounts do experience consequences, are at risk of use disorders, and often require treatment to find recovery.

The truth is that despite America's new-found relationship with weed, there are risks tied to using cannabis. Legal is does not imply safe; alcohol has had a legal status since time immemorial (excluding the brief prohibition), and yet it is one of the leading causes of poor health and premature death. And marijuana, like alcohol, certainly carries the risk of addiction; the fact that the general public should be made aware of as more states consider legalization.

It is worth noting that just because a substance carries the potential for addiction, shouldn’t mean that it is worthy of prohibition. Most adults are aware of the severe damage that the “war on drugs” has wrought on the fabric of society, mainly affecting minorities and the impoverished. Since California legalized recreational marijuana use, efforts are underway to reverse some of the damage caused by prohibition. Still, moving forward people must have the facts so they can make informed decisions regarding their relationship with marijuana.

 

Marijuana Addiction


It seems like every time Americans go to the polls these days, one or more state lightens their stance of cannabis regulation. The trend we are witnessing is not inherently bad for America, but it is critical that individuals understand the potential effects habitual marijuana use can have on their life—especially young people for that matter. Legalization in California took effect this January; since that time some addiction medicine clinicians in Northern California began seeing a rise in the number of people seeking assistance, The Denver Post reports. Heavy and long-term users can develop physical dependence; and when such people attempt to abstain on their own, withdrawal symptoms can include:
  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
“There should be no controversy about the existence of marijuana addiction,” avid Smith tells the Denver Post, he is a physician who has been treating addiction since the 1960s. “We see it every day. The controversy should be why it appears to be affecting more people.”

Smith’s theorizes that the marijuana users today are treated to a far more potent substance than in decades past, according to the article. Stronger marijuana, grown with nutrients that bolster the drugs strength and overall quality could explain increasing cannabis use disorder rates.

An estimated 2.7 million Americans are meeting the diagnostic criteria for marijuana dependence, according to the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow.

 

Marijuana Use Disorder Treatment


If you are struggling with marijuana use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can show you what is needed for achieving lasting recovery and give you the tools for everlasting progress.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Polysubstance Epidemic in Rural America

methamphetamine
Recently, NPR pulled up the shades on the opioid epidemic in rural America; specifically Vinton County, Ohio. While the opioid epidemic is not unique to rural America, something is changing in places like McArthur, Ohio (pop. about 2,000) the county seat of Vinton. Even though many opioid addicts can access addiction treatment services to address opioid use disorders, in many cases relying on controversial medication-assisted treatment (MAT) drugs like Vivitrol (naltrexone)—which blocks the euphoria and sedation that central nervous system depressants cause, specifically alcohol and opioids—the medication has no effect on other dangerous substances.

Certain medications like Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) and Vivitrol can help people break the cycle of addiction. However, without cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT) and some sort of program of recovery, the prospects of continued progress is unlikely. Removing drugs like OxyContin and heroin from the picture is excellent, but something needs to fill the void that people formerly attempted to fill with drugs and alcohol.

Back in Vinton County, many opioid addicts are receiving some form of treatment at one of the three rehab centers in the one-traffic-light-town of McArthur. Amanda Lee, a counselor at one the treatment centers tells NPR that in the last 4 to 5 months the threat to the residents of the small village which she compares to a drug-laden version of Mayberry, is methamphetamine.


Methamphetamine Complicates the Opioid Epidemic



Amanda Lee points out that patients began abusing the Suboxone that they were receiving for opioid use disorder; this resulted in a more significant push to provide opiate addicts monthly Vivitrol injection which is not susceptible to abuse like buprenorphine drugs. While Vivitrol efficacy shows promise, especially in the right setting with concurrent therapy, it is not a panacea; the drug, as Lee correctly points out, does not work on the receptors in the brain that meth targets. People still have cravings to get high, Lee says, and Vivitrol doesn’t block the effects of methamphetamine.

Andy Chambers, an addiction psychiatrist and researcher at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, tells NPR that Vivitrol is not responsible for the surge in meth use; he believes that people’s meth addiction isn’t addressed when they receive opioid use disorder treatment. We could argue that in places like Vinton County and other parts of rural America contending with opioids and meth—when it comes to treating addiction they are failing to see the forest for the trees.

"The reality is meth has been with us for many years," Chambers says. He says that there is an advantage to no longer saying we have an "opioid crisis" or a "meth crisis," when in fact the crisis is "polysubstance epidemic." Chambers adds that in rural America there are severe mental health provider shortages. 

"I'm concerned about the ongoing shortages," Chambers said. "If you want decent mental healthcare in the U.S. you better live in the big cities."


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment



If you are struggling with opioid use disorder or methamphetamine addiction, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can show what is needed for achieving lasting recovery and give you the tools for everlasting progress.

Friday, June 15, 2018

25 Bills Tackle Opioid Epidemic

opioids
More than 42,000 people died from opioids in 2016, according to the latest-available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Total drug overdose deaths in the same year puts that above number to over 60, 000 people. An epidemic in every sense of the word is really the only way to describe the climate of opioid use in America.

A good number of people believe that there is not much that can be done to curb the deadly crisis we face. The right to have one’s pain managed effectively is one that practically every patient, and doctor alike, takes seriously. While it is true that until something better comes along that carries less of a risk of addiction and overdose, prescription opioids are here to stay; yet, there is much that can be done to prevent people from going down the path of addiction, making it easier for reversing the symptoms of an overdose, and ensuring that every American can access addiction treatment services.

The death toll has not gone unnoticed by lawmakers in the House, Senate, and ostensibly the White House. In recent years, bipartisan support has led to several bills aiming to affect changes that can save lives. Unfortunately, the problem we face is severely complex; even if prescription opioids magically disappeared or are made extremely difficult to acquire, people will still find a way to get their hands on this most deadly class of narcotics. Still, it is vital that we do not lose hope and work together as a society to prevent and treat opioid addiction.


Changes On The Horizon


All week-long lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have been passing legislation meant to tackle the epidemic, according to the Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, so far legislators approved 25 such bills that could bring about significant changes:
  • H.R. 449, the Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2018, requires the U.S. Surgeon General to submit a comprehensive report to Congress on the public health effects of the rise of synthetic drug use among youth aged 12 to 18 in order to better educate parents and medical community on the health effects of synthetics.
  • H.R. 5009, “Jessie's Law,” requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and disseminate best practices regarding the prominent display of substance use disorder (SUD) history in patient records of patients who have previously provided this information to a health care provider.
  • H.R. 4684, the Ensuring Access to Quality Sober Living Act of 2018, authorizes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop, publish, and disseminate best practices for operating recovery housing that promotes a safe environment for sustained recovery from substance use disorder (SUD).
  • H.R. 4284, the Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids (INFO) Act of 2017, directs HHS to create a public and easily accessible electronic dashboard linking to all of the nationwide efforts and strategies to combat the opioid crisis.
“Individually, these bills target some key aspects of the opioid crisis – such as how we boost our prevention efforts, and how we better protect our communities. Taken together, these bills are real solutions that will change how we respond to this crisis, and make our states and local communities better equipped in the nationwide efforts to stem this tide,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).

For a synopsis of all 25 Bills, please click here.


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can show you what you need for achieving lasting recovery and give you the tools for everlasting progress.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Having Fun Finding Yourself in Recovery

recovery
The stakes of addiction recovery are incredibly high; a wrong turn or wrong decisions can lead one down a path toward relapse. If you are working a program, then you know that there are not any guarantees; in order to achieve lasting recovery, you need to be ever vigilant in the pursuit of progress, not perfection. You pray, go to meetings, take care of your obligations, eat right and get plenty of rest; which are all useful practices for sustaining a program of recovery. Those who make it in the program are people who waive what they want, in service of what they need. Making progress often rests on making sacrifices, it usually depends on doing the opposite of what you feel like doing from one day to the next.

Structuring your life around a recovery routine is instrumental; at a certain point your daily movements become muscle memory, you don’t even have to think about your next right move. When you follow a set of directions long enough, the choreography of recovery becomes part of your DNA, seemingly. However, progress in your life is also dependent on balance; recovery is about far more than going to meetings, doing step work, etc. One must make a point of being a part of the world, getting out there, seeing new things and meeting new people.

Working a program asks that you don’t do anything that can jeopardize your program, but that doesn't mean you should always stay in your comfort zone. People with years of active addiction are often unfamiliar with themselves when newly sober. Many don’t know what their passions are because drugs and alcohol didn’t permit such fancies. Much of recovery is self-discovery; getting to know the person that is You. Early on in the program it is natural to be guarded, to follow every instruction to a T—which is a good thing; and yet, you may find at times that you are taking yourself too seriously; in your quest to stay on track you find yourself hesitant to do anything that involves letting loose.

 

Having Fun Finding Yourself in Recovery


One of the most significant gifts the program affords is meeting new people from many walks of life. Each of us has a unique story and experiences that we should share with each other. Some of your peers may engage in activities that are foreign to you, if they ask you to go for a bike ride or a paddle board ride consider saying yes before the alternative. Maybe you befriend an artist who invites you to an exhibit or a poetry reading, what do you have to lose by going? After all, only a brief part of your life is in the rooms of recovery; there is a lot to be learned outside.

“Besides, nowadays, almost all capable people are terribly afraid of being ridiculous, and are miserable because of it.” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

Now that summer is upon us you can engage in activities that the winter prohibits, depending on where you live of course. Anything you can do to stay out of your head will pay off immensely in the long run. Engaging with your peers may do more to keep you clean and sober than you think. If you are doing the Work and going to meetings, then you are well within your right to get out into the world and have some fun. Explore parts unknown to you, immerse yourself in activities that force you to open your mind; doing so can result in some unexpected transformations and strengthen your resolve for long-term recovery.

Southern California Addiction Treatment


If you are struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by the Sea. We can show what you need for achieving lasting recovery and give you the tools for everlasting progress.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Enough Fentanyl to Kill 26 Million People

fentanyl
Opioid use disorder is a treatable mental illness; those who undergo treatment and commit themselves to working a program of recovery can lead productive lives. While useful forms of treatment are available, many find it difficult to seek help due to the intense cravings typical of opioid addiction. Everything that public health officials can do, must be done, to encourage as many people as possible to seek addiction treatment—the risk of overdose death is notoriously high.

Many of you are probably aware that the likelihood of fentanyl exposure among heroin addicts is exceedingly high. With each year that passes, more and more people succumb to fentanyl exposure, an analgesic that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50-80 times stronger than average batches of heroin. When people cut heroin with fentanyl, the result is a deadly cocktail. In fact, research shows that fentanyl-related deaths more than tripled between 2010 and 2016.

One of the reasons fentanyl is more prevalent than ever is because cartels in Mexico can synthesize the drug with ease. Drug cartels acquire the necessary precursors from Asia and then chemists south of the border manufacture the hazardous substance. Once in powder form, the drugs is either stamped into pills disguised as highly coveted OxyContin or cut into batches of heroin to boost potency. In either case, opioid users on this side of the border have no way of knowing that the drug they are about to ingest, smoke, snort, or inject contains the presence of fentanyl.

Fentanyl is Everywhere


So just how likely is it that people will come in contact with fentanyl? Highly likely! The drug made the headline once again after a Nebraska State Trooper pulled over a truck hauling 118 pounds of the deadly substance, CNN reports. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that 2 milligrams of fentanyl is a lethal dose; a little math shows that there was enough fentanyl confiscated to kill roughly 26 million people.

"This year is going to be a banner year, a record year in a bad way, in overdose deaths in the United States," said Matthew Barden, an associate special agent with the ‎DEA.

Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the deadly symptoms of an overdose; unfortunately, fentanyl is so potent that it often doesn’t work and people die. When a fentanyl overdose is reversed, first responders often have to give victims multiple doses of the drug. Pharmacies sell naloxone under the name Narcan. Fentanyl is only going to be more prevalent in the coming years. Anyone caught in the destructive cycle of opioid use disorder should seek help immediately and begin working a program of addiction recovery.

 

Southern California Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea can assist anyone struggling with an opioid use disorder. We can help you end the cycle of addiction, please contact us today.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Recovery Begins With Treatment

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

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

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

 

Recovery Begins With Treatment


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

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

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

 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment


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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Latinos

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

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

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

Opioid Use Disorder, Overdose, and Latinos


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

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

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


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Seizing the Day In Recovery

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

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

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

Seizing the Day In Recovery


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

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

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

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

 

Addiction Treatment


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

Friday, May 4, 2018

Mental Illness Campaigns In May

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

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

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

 

Sharing Your Story, Helping Others, and Curing Stigma


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

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

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

 

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Synthetic Cannabis Is More Dangerous Now

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

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

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

 

Synthetic Marijuana Shouldn’t Be Fooled With, Ever!


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

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

 

Synthetic Cannabinoids Treatment


If you are struggling with Synthetic Cannabinoids, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you end the cycle of addiction and provide you with the tools and skills necessary for achieving lasting recovery.
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Our Christian counselors and campus Pastor walk with clients in their journey of recovery and reconnection to God.


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