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Friday, November 20, 2020

Navigating Thanksgiving in Isolation

recovery
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and it looks like it could be a more challenging holiday than usual for people in recovery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Americans avoid flying. California’s governor has issued a temporary curfew that stops gatherings and non-essential work between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout most of the state. 

 

If you have been following the news, then you know that the spread of coronavirus is rampant right now. Nearly 2,000 Americans died from COVID-19 yesterday and there were close to 200,000 new cases. The risks of contracting the virus are extremely high right now, which means Thanksgiving gatherings could be dangerous. 

 

Holidays are always trying times for people in recovery. Having to spend time around others who are drinking can be extremely difficult, especially in early recovery. What’s more, many people new to working a program are estranged from their families. Normally, such individuals would get together with other people in recovery to keep their recovery intact. 

 

This year, it may not be possible for people in recovery to join forces in-person to navigate Thanksgiving. Moreover, isolation isn’t good for one’s recovery. Members of the fellowship will have to be particularly vigilant next Thursday. 

 

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving in Recovery

 

If you are unable to get together with family or members of a support group next week, do not be discouraged. You may feel like you are alone, but millions of other people in recovery are facing the same obstacle. 

 

Computers and smartphones will be vital tools in the coming days. Utilize video conferencing platforms to connect with others in recovery. You can find thousands of meetings each day online. If you are alone this Thanksgiving, then attend several meetings from your home. Share about your struggles or what you are grateful for today, thanks to recovery. 

 

Prayer and meditation will be vital as well; you may need to utilize such practices many times next Thursday. You can also benefit from journaling and writing gratitude lists to clear your mind and ground yourself. Thinking about what you are grateful for is highly beneficial. 

 

Talk to your support network, maybe there are virtual Thanksgiving events you can attend. Just because you are not with others doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the holiday. It’s important to remember to give thanks; that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. Men and women in recovery have so much to be thankful for today. Every day clean and sober is a blessing. 

 

Pick up the phone if you find yourself wanting to drink or drug and connect with your support network. You are not alone, and you have the power to abstain during this likely challenging holiday. Reaching out for support will help you prevent relapse and protect your progress. 

 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

2020 has been an arduous year and many people have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. However, there is another way. Please contact Celebrate Hope if you are struggling with addiction. We are available around the clock to answer any questions you may have. Our team relies on evidence-based therapies along with the teachings of Jesus Christ to help men and women achieve long-term recovery.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

OxyContin and Opioid Epidemic Settlement

opioid addiction
When discussing the American opioid addiction epidemic, the name OxyContin is synonymous. The brand name of oxycodone, a powerful prescription opioid, is closely associated with our toxic relationship with painkillers in the United States. 

 

Even people who've never been prescribed an opioid are familiar with OxyContin. The drug was prescribed by doctors in large amounts from the mid-nineties onward. The drugmaker – Purdue Pharma – marketed OxyContin as safe for users; the company contended that it carried a low risk of addiction. 

 

Now 25 years later and tens of thousands of overdose deaths, OxyContin is anything but safe when prescribed in high doses for protracted periods. What's more, most of today's heroin users were introduced to opioids via drugs like oxycodone. Around 80 percent of people using heroin started down the path of opioid use disorder with prescription painkillers. 

 

In recent years, the prescription drug industry or "big pharma" has been asked to account for its role in creating the public health crisis we face today. From doctors to drug distributors to the makers of the drugs themselves, many entities are in the hot seat for the more than 450,000 Americans who have died from an overdose since 1999. 

 

While heroin and illicit fentanyl – a drug 100 times more potent than morphine – dominate the headlines today, the epidemic's origin goes back to rampant overprescribing dating back to the 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many doctors continue to prescribe high doses of oxycodone across the country more than two decades later. 

 

In 2017, there were still almost 58 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans; more than 17% of Americans had at least one opioid medication filled. More than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to Americans that year. 

 

OxyContin Maker Held Accountable

 

Last month, the U.S Justice Department and Purdue Pharma agreed regarding its role in the opioid epidemic. The pharmaceutical giant agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and face penalties of around $8.3 billion, The New York Times reports. Members of the Sackler family – the owners of Purdue Pharma – agreed to pay $225 million in civil penalties. 

 

Purdue will plead guilty to felony charges of defrauding federal health agencies and violating anti-kickback laws, according to the article. The company will be ordered to pay $3.54 billion in criminal fines, $2.8 billion in civil penalties for violating the False Claims Act, and $2 billion in criminal forfeiture of profits. 

 

It's worth noting that there are thousands of pending lawsuits against Purdue Pharma. The agreement with the justice department could pave the way to a resolution in many of those cases. Steve Miller, chairman of the company board, said: 

 

"Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice in the agreed statement of facts." 

 

While more than $8 billion is a lot of money, there is little indication that the company will pay anything close to that because it filed for bankruptcy court protection when the lawsuits started piling up. What's more, there are some who feel that the agreement does not go far enough even though it did not preclude the filing of criminal charges against Purdue executives or members of the Sackler family. Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, said: 

 

"The D.O.J. failed. Justice in this case requires exposing the truth and holding the perpetrators accountable, not rushing a settlement to beat an election. I am not done with Purdue and the Sacklers, and I will never sell out the families who have been calling for justice for so long." 

 

Massachusetts is moving forward with depositions against the Sacklers this month. It will be interesting to see how the cases against Purdue Pharma plays out. It could set a precedent; it is not the only company facing lawsuits for impropriety related to prescription opioids. 

 

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

 

Please reach out to Celebrate Hope if you are struggling with prescription opioid or heroin addiction. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and get on the path toward healing. Opioid use disorder is treatable and recovery is possible

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Prayer and Meditation in Recovery

prayer
During these difficult times, it's essential to manage and use your time wisely. Many of us are leading more isolated existences, and some are finding it challenging to prioritize their recovery. If you are cut off from your usual support channels (in-person meetings) because of COVID-19, please consider establishing a routine, prioritizing meditation and prayer. 

 

In early recovery, many have a hard time processing their thoughts, leading to old patterns coming back into the picture. If you are spending more time at home than in past months, it can be hazardous to your recovery. 

 

It's vital to find healthy ways to occupy your time and stick to a routine. Writing down a schedule will help you adhere to your routine, which will strengthen your program in turn. Determine how often you need to pray and meditate, attend meetings virtually or in-person when safe and available, eat healthy, and exercise. 

 

All of the above activities will help you in your recovery and weather the pandemic until life returns to normal. Always remember that you're not alone. Your support network is still a phone call away. Call someone whenever you find yourself struggling with a specific matter, especially if you are craving drugs and alcohol. 

 

With the above in mind, if you can adhere to a routine, you will be less likely to spend too much time in your head. Routines help individuals stay focused, and writing down your daily schedule ahead of time will help you stay on track. Many will argue that the time you spend praying and meditating is salient.

 

Is Prayer and Meditation Important to Your Recovery?

 

Those working a faith-based program of addiction recovery must prioritize their daily prayer and meditation. Upon waking each day, it's always beneficial to start your day by praying. 

 

"In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out." —Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Pg. 102— 

 

People who meditate find that they are more open-minded and better able to receive guidance from the "higher power." Remember, each person can pray and meditate in their own way; there is no right way to communicate with your higher power. 

 

Having a conscious contact with a higher power is vital, but many people new to the program have a hard time with spirituality. You do not have to dive headfirst into spiritual concepts; you only have to keep an open mind when self-examining. Remember, spirituality isn't religion; but, religion is often a component of people's spirituality. 

 

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life." —Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Pg. 98— 

 

Prayer, meditation, and self-examination are critical to navigating life today. It isn't comfortable being cut off from one another; fellowship feels a little different from afar. However, the knowledge that you have supportive peers advocating for your well-being should give you pause and make you feel grateful. 

 

If you are not praying, it's never too late to start. If you find it challenging to pray, then ask one of your peers for guidance. Many people struggled at first like you are; they can help you introduce prayer and meditation into your routine. Once again, remember—you are not alone. 

 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Program

 

Please contact Celebrate Hope if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol. Our team utilizes comprehensive, cutting edge treatment and offers Christian counseling. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and reconnect with your higher power Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 9, 2020

World Mental Health Day 2020

mental health

We continue carrying the message of recovery at this time. The first full week every October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. As we have shared on numerous occasions, mental illness and behavioral health disorders like addiction can occur concurrently. More than half of individuals living with addiction have a co-occurring mental illness. 

 

All week long, organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have hosted events to raise awareness about the importance of mental health. Tuesday was National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding and Thursday was National Depression Screening Day. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, is World Mental Health Day and NAMIWalks National Day of Hope. 

 

Mental illness impacts the lives of one in five adults in America, according to NAMI. Close to one billion people are living with a mental health disorder worldwide, WHO reports. The scope and scale of mental illness demand our attention; mental health should be a priority for everyone, whether you have a mental health disorder or not. 

 

Each of us can help NAMI and WHO raise awareness about the prevalence of mental illness. We can all have a hand in eroding the stigma that prevents people from reaching out for help. NAMI invites you – if you are comfortable – to share your experience with mental illness. 

 

During Mental Illness Awareness Week. NAMI is featuring personal stories from people like you who are experiencing mental health conditions all week. NAMI also shares personal stories year-round as part of its You Are Not Alone campaign. During these difficult times, your story can encourage another to seek help and find recovery

 

World Mental Health Day

 

COVID-19 continues to strain the global health care system; thus, many people are struggling to get the care they need for mental illness. Since there isn't health without mental health, it's vital to encourage governments to channel resources toward mental health services. 

 

Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day. This year's theme is Move for mental health: let's invest. WHO, together with United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, is calling for a significant "scale-up in investment in mental health." 

 

"World Mental Health Day is an opportunity for the world to come together and begin redressing the historic neglect of mental health," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. "We are already seeing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people's mental well-being, and this is just the beginning. Unless we make serious commitments to scale up investment in mental health right now, the health, social and economic consequences will be far-reaching." 

 

COVID-19 has forced billions of people to isolate themselves from each other. For those who struggle with mental illness, isolation can be hazardous. Many people have turned to drugs and alcohol to cope; self-medicating mental health disorder symptoms is pernicious

 

Perhaps more people than ever before will require assistance. A more significant investment in mental health services will help get quality, affordable mental health care. "With so many people lacking access to good quality, appropriate mental health services, investment is needed now more than ever," said Elisha London, Founder and CEO of United for Global Mental Health. 

 

"Everyone, everywhere can participate in this year's campaign. Whether you have struggled with your own mental health, know someone who has been affected, are a mental health expert, or if you simply believe that investing in mental health is the right thing to do, move for mental health, and help make mental health care and support accessible for everyone." 

 

Today, people around the globe are encouraged to participate in the 24-hour March for Mental Health. In order to safeguard your well-being, you can participate virtually. If you would like to take part, please click here

 

During World Mental Health Day, WHO is hosting a global online advocacy event on mental illness—the "Big Event for Mental Health." Tune in from one of WHO's social media channels to see WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, world leaders, mental health experts, and celebrity guests as they talk about its importance of mental health. At the event, "WHO will showcase the work that its staff are doing around the world to reduce mental illness and the harmful use of alcohol and drugs."

 

Faith-Based Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

 

Please contact Celebrate Hope to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program for men and women. Our staff understands the importance of addressing both addiction and co-occurring mental illness. We can help you reconnect with your higher power, Jesus Christ, and begin the journey of recovery.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Suicide Prevention Month 2020

Suicide Prevention Month

With National Recovery Month coming to a close, we would like to remind you that you still have time to get involved. Even now you can help raise awareness and celebrate your success or the progress of others in recovery. Events will continue until the end of the month; it's not too late to attend. 

 

Addiction and mental illness often go hand and hand. More than half of men and women living with a use disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Those who meet either criteria must receive the help they require to bring about recovery. 

 

Both mental and behavioral health disorders require treatment and continued maintenance to prevent relapse. Those who seek addiction treatment but don't address conditions like depression or bipolar disorder are unlikely to have favorable outcomes. 

 

At Celebrate Hope, we treat addiction and any dual diagnosis simultaneously to ensure our clients have the best opportunity for long-term recovery. Our team understands the complex nature of mental illnesses and how they can impact alcohol or substance use disorders. 

 

When mental illness that accompanies addiction is ignored, individuals are more likely to relapse. Such individuals are at a more significant risk of experiencing suicidal ideations as well. While September is Recovery Month, it is also National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

 

There is a good reason for the observances taking place simultaneously: substance use and mental illness are almost always a factor in suicides. California's Each Mind Matters campaign is encouraging organizations that observe Suicide Prevention Month to place a "special focus on the intersection between suicide prevention, alcohol and drug use and efforts that foster resilience and recovery." 

 

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

 

While September is coming to an end, you still have an opportunity to raise awareness about the salient topic of suicide. Many people in the grips of addiction contemplate and attempt to take their lives, and there are things you can do to give them hope. 

 

This month, many people have shared their experiences in order to encourage others to seek help for addiction or mental illness. Suicide is preventable, and you can be a part of the solution. Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have a platform for getting the message out that suicide isn't the answer, and recovery is possible. 

 

You can share your story on the subject of suicide. All month, NAMI is featuring personal stories about how suicidal ideation/behaviors or suicide prevention have affected people's lives or what the message of "You Are Not Alone" means. 

 

Social media accounts are excellent for disseminating facts about suicide. NAMI has created a plethora of infographics for all the major social media platforms to aid you in the mission to raise awareness. When more people have the facts, they can better intervene on behalf of a loved one. 

 

For instance, did you know that more than one in three people who die by suicide are found to be under the influence of alcohol? Or that 46 percent of suicides have a diagnosed mental health condition? What's more, 90 percent of people who die by suicide experience mental illness symptoms. 

 

If you'd like to share infographics, please click here. NAMI recommends using #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree when posting to expand the reach of your audience. Your participation can impact the lives of others. NAMI writes:  

 

"While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life." 

 

Faith-Based Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

 

Please contact Celebrate Hope if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. Our faith-based treatment center can help you reconnect with God and begin the journey of recovery. We utilize cutting edge treatment modalities and Christian counseling to help our clients change their lives.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Celebrating Connections in Recovery

recovery month
In June, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) made a significant announcement regarding the future of National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). The agency stated that the Recovery Month torch was now in the hands of the men and women in recovery.

For 30 years, SAMHSA and its directors have acted as a leader in the fight to break the stigma of addiction, advocate for health parity, and get the message out that recovery is possible. Now, Faces & Voices of Recovery will lead the way; the initiative writes:

"Though SAMHSA will no longer sponsor this celebration, their support of Recovery Month continues as they embrace the community's efforts to speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share our stories with neighbors, friends, and colleagues...Whether our faces and voices are shared through digital platforms or safe, social-distanced gatherings, we celebrate the millions of people who have found, are finding, and have yet to find this path to hope, health, and personal growth." 

We have a long way to go in the fight to end the stigma preventing individuals living with mental illness and addiction from reaching out for help. However, when the recovery community and fellowship come together with a common voice, significant feats are achievable.

While SAMHSA is no longer the spearhead of Recovery Month, they are still hosting recovery-related webinars throughout the month.

Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections


"Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections" is this year's theme for Recovery Month. Faces & Voices of Recovery writes that the theme:

"Embraces the challenges experienced in 2020. When we celebrate our connections to the diversity of people from all walks of life striving for recovery, we find support and courage to speak up for inclusion, respect, and opportunity." 

2020 is likely the most challenging year ever for the addiction and mental health recovery community. Healing is a process that comes about when men and women join forces. The COVID-19 pandemic made and is still making it hard for the community to meet on common ground; the internet is a godsend in that regard.

Without digital meeting platforms, maintaining one's sobriety would've been an even more formidable challenge. Thankfully, many parts of the country have made gains containing the coronavirus. However, many of you are still meeting online, especially those who are immunocompromised and can't risk contracting COVID-19.

"Whether our faces and voices are shared through digital platforms or safe, social-distanced gatherings we celebrate the millions of people who have found, are finding, and have yet to find this path to hope, health, and personal growth." 

We hope you can take part in Recovery Month 2020. There are many events listed on the Recovery Month website that you can attend and check your local area resource listings. You can also spread the message of hope for the alcoholic or addict still suffering; social media is an excellent way to share the message of recovery.

If you or your organization is planning on hosting an event this month, be sure to let Faces & Voices know the details. The initiative can help you get more participants and expand the reach of your message.

Reach for Recovery in 2020


Please contact Celebrate Hope for more information about our faith-based addiction recovery programs and services. We can assist you or a loved one get on the path toward lasting recovery and help you reconnect with your higher power, Jesus Christ. National Recovery Month is an opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and begin the healing process.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

As Overdoses Spike, States Slash Addiction Treatment Funding



During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and organizations are struggling financially. The economic challenges of the coronavirus outbreak have reached virtually everyone in the US. For people fighting addiction and seeking treatment, the financial challenges are even more devastating. Unfortunately, as overdoses spike, states slash addiction treatment funding as they also are experiencing significantly reduced budgets.

Worsening Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people across the country, as does the opioid epidemic. There have been an increasing number of reports from national, state and local media suggesting increases in opioid-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs. More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder.

Barbara Andraka-Christou, an assistant professor of health management and informatics at the University of Central Florida, says “"The coronavirus pandemic is, unfortunately, expected to worsen the opioid overdose crisis. Many individuals are experiencing triggers, such as family- or job-related stress, that may lead them to relapse." She added, "Many people are losing their jobs and the funds necessary to pay for lifesaving health care. Those of us working in public health research are very worried."

Early research shows that accessing addiction treatment is becoming more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. A third of Americans have noted disruptions in care. Approximately 14% say they’re unable to access treatment at all.

Disruption in Service


The Addiction Policy Forum conducted an anonymous survey between April 27 and May 8, 2020, and found that:

  • More than one in three (34%) of the 1,079 respondents reported changes or disruptions in accessing treatment or recovery support services.
  • Fourteen percent say they were unable to receive their needed services and 2% say they were unable to access naloxone services.
  • Nationwide, 4% of respondents report an overdose has occurred since the pandemic began. The South Atlantic region reported the greatest number and percent of overdoses. The region includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and the District of Columbia.
  • Twenty-four percent of respondents indicate that their/their family member’s substance use has changed because of COVID-19, with 20% reporting increased substance use.

State Cuts


During COVID-19, as these overdoses spike, states slash addiction treatment funding often because they are cash-strapped themselves. Oregon is slashing $69 million from the state’s 2021 budget for behavioral health services, including a $2 million reduction for outpatient programs in particular. Colorado has cut $26 million from its treatment funding. In addition, the state’s plan to invest in training for medical professionals to identify individuals at risk of substance use disorder will take a $1 million cut. Minnesota will also see service reductions because of shortfalls in fees collected from pharmaceutical companies.

Georgia has cut $5.7 million from its substance use disorder programs, including residential treatment facility expansions. New Jersey and Utah have also slashed millions from the budget for future substance use disorder programs. In Florida, the governor vetoed over $12 million in behavioral health funds meant to go toward initiatives such as substance abuse prevention programs, crisis intervention programs, and a long-acting injectable buprenorphine pilot program.

Medicaid funding, which supports about 21% of the country’s substance use disorder program spending, is being cut back significantly in many states across the country. The federal government earmarked $425 million for behavioral health in its emergency relief package, but the experts say that won’t come close to filling the gap left by the state slashes.

COVID Challenges


Given orders to stay home and maintain social distances, many treatment programs are challenged with providing addiction treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth has become more acceptable and more common. However, many treatment facilities are having to cut back on their capacity, which has the circular effect on their budgets as well.

The National Council for Behavioral Health surveyed its 3400 members in April 2020. It found that 92.6% of both residential and outpatient centers — had cut back their programs, forcing many to furlough employees or lay them off. A month into the pandemic, two-thirds of those centers said they had enough cash to last three months or less.

Addiction Treatment During a Pandemic


At Celebrate Hope, we recognize that these are challenging times. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to get help with your addiction. We are following all CDC COVID-19 guidelines for your health and safety. A Christian treatment center, we are located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano, in Southern California. We provide faith-based, compassionate addiction programs for you when you are battling a substance use disorder. Start celebrating hope today! Please contact us to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program and how we ensure that our clients are safe.
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