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Friday, January 15, 2021

How to Stage an Intervention for a High-Functioning Alcoholic

stage an intervention for a high-functioning alcoholic


In America, our society has created many stereotypes about alcoholism. Movies, TV shows, and even cartoons depict people with this substance use disorder as chaotic, struggling, and stumbling. In reality, an alcoholic may look very different.


Most people who struggle to control their drinking seem entirely normal. To confirm this, we need look no further than the current statistics: today, thirty percent of U.S. adults are estimated to have a problem with alcohol. These individuals are going to work, raising families, and navigating relationships just like the rest of us – however, they still need help. Today, we’ll guide you through the process of staging an intervention for a high-functioning alcoholic. 


What is a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

Alcohol is the most widely used (and abused) mind-altering substance around the world. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (also called the NIAAA), in a given year, over 26% of U.S. adults reported binge drinking at least once per month. Binge drinking is just one subtype of problem drinking: a pattern of addictive behavior that can lead to a substance use disorder. The more a person binge drinks or drinks heavily, the more likely they are to develop a problem – even if they seem completely fine on the surface.


Like all disorders, addiction exists on a spectrum. This chronic, progressive disease tends to get worse over time. When a person has developed a dependence on alcohol but is still able to function in daily life, he is considered a high-functioning alcoholic.


Functioning alcoholics battle constant cravings, problem drinking, or heavy drinking, but still manage to get through their day-to-day tasks. They maintain employment, complete school, and have fulfilling relationships. However, despite their outward appearance, they do not “have it all together.” Someone in this situation is often entrenched in deep denial about their problem. Until they experience some sort of breaking point – a DUI, health issue, or job loss – they are unlikely to seek help on their own.


Look for the Signs

Before you decide to stage an intervention, we encourage you to evaluate your loved one for the telltale signs of high-functioning alcoholism. While they may not display all the clinical criteria for a substance use disorder, many early symptoms may still be present. If any of these bulleted items remind you of your friend or family member, it’s time to take the next step.


Early signs of alcoholism include…

  • Difficulty controlling their drinking
  • High tolerance for alcohol (being able to drink a lot at one time)
  • Saying they will stop drinking (and being unable to do so)
  • Always wanting to go out or drink while staying in
  • Behaving very differently while intoxicated
  • Drinking at inappropriate times
  • Changes to mood, attitude, or speech
  • Regularly blacking out
  • Changes to eating or sleeping patterns
  • Using alcohol to unwind or reward themselves
  • Calling in sick or skipping social events
  • Drinking to build confidence in social settings
  • Joking about a potential drinking problem
  • Hiding alcohol or otherwise concealing how much they drink


Don’t Wait for Rock Bottom

You may be familiar with the old adage that you should let an alcoholic “hit rock bottom” before seeking help. In reality, we are called to help people well before this point. If you see someone beginning to struggle, do not wait until things get worse. Treatment is often most effective when obtained early in the cycle of addiction.


Staging an Intervention

Because a person in the early stages of alcoholism tends to hide their problem (and exist in a state of denial), it is important for loved ones to intervene. This process can be uncomfortable, but it is incredibly valuable and can even save a life.


First, speak with the rest of the family and decide who you would like to be a part of the intervention. While some people may be close to your loved one, those who will cast blame or react dramatically should be excluded from this occasion. Ensure that everyone involved knows that the tone of the conversation should be concerned and not explosive.


Next, plan what you will say and how it will be said. Each person should get a turn to speak, but try to keep everyone’s contributions relatively short. Interventions should not drag on for hours; the goal is to inspire your loved one to address their problem immediately.


After you have practiced, choose a time and date to stage the intervention. Be sure to pick a time when your loved one is sober; early morning is usually best. In the time before the conversation takes place, research treatment centers, iron out your financial options, and speak with admissions professionals from each facility. This will ensure that you have a plan for what your family member will do afterwards.


Finally, it’s time to intervene. As we’ve stated, a high-functioning alcoholic may be in deep denial about their problem. Don’t be upset if you have to repeat your concerns, or if things don’t go exactly according to the schedule you made. Instead, stay flexible and help everyone to list their grievances and provide the ultimatum. You can then help them to get to treatment.


While many interventions are successful, other people require multiple conversations before they finally agree to get help. Regardless of the outcome, set boundaries and support your loved one. Your continued involvement in their lives can guide them to treatment at another point in the future.


Christian Addiction Treatment for Alcoholism

At Celebrate Hope, our team of addiction specialists is prepared to help your family to walk with Christ and find recovery along the way. Through a combination of cutting-edge treatments and Biblically rooted counseling, we have helped hundreds of people to break the cycle of addiction. Please contact us today for more information about our faith-based treatment programs for alcoholism


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Your Recovery This Christmas and Beyond

recovery
The most wonderful time of the year can be the most challenging time of the year for men and women in recovery. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, and it’s essential that you start marking a plan for navigating the holidays. You must do everything in your power to stay on track and avoid relapse. 

 

Holidays can be particularly challenging to manage for individuals in early recovery. Those who do not have experience coping with the emotions and stress that accompany Christmastime should defer to their peers for guidance. Others who have experience with such matters can help you make sound decisions that will protect your recovery. 

 

It’s vital not to leave anything to chance; have a plan and stick to a schedule. While many of you will probably be spending the holiday alone or in the company of a small number of people, it’s still possible to run into hiccups. If you know that you will be around drinking, please be sure to have an escape plan if you find yourself craving. 

 

Depending on where you live, it may be possible to attend meetings in person during the coming holidays. If you live somewhere heavily impacted by COVID-19, you may have to attend 12 Step meetings virtually. Whichever is the case, be sure to participate in at least one meeting this Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 

 

Remember, your recovery must come first, no matter what. If you find yourself putting something before your program, the correct course immediately. Those who stay in regular contact with their support network will find that it’s much easier to navigate significant days of the year. The Fellowship is always a phone call away; pick up the phone if you run into problems. 

 

Recovery in 2021

 

During this time, most people start thinking about what they would like to accomplish in the year ahead. For those in recovery, it’s critical to set your sights on achieving realistic and manageable goals. If you are in your first year, a resolution could be as simple as doing everything in your power to get one year clean and sober. 

 

If you are a fixture in the rooms of recovery and have some time under your belt, you may want to start thinking about some long-term goals. Perhaps you’d like to go back to school or finish college. If you are putting your recovery first, you can achieve anything you put your mind to and excel. Many people in recovery have earned college degrees. 

 

Men and women who are still in the clutches of addiction might want 2021 to be the year they get clean and sober. There is no time like the present. Addiction treatment centers are essential businesses and continue to provide life-saving care to those in need. Now is an excellent opportunity to research the kind of treatment you are looking for; there are many different programs and services—gender-specific or faith-based

 

You may have heard that 12 Step recovery is a spiritual program. Many people who start down the road of recovery have a history with organized religion, and they are already familiar with their higher-power. Working a program of recovery is an opportunity to reconnect with God. 

 

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

At Celebrate Hope, our addiction specialists provide comprehensive, cutting edge treatment and Christian counseling. We help our clients find hope and purpose as they begin a new relationship with their higher power, Jesus Christ. Please contact us today to make 2021 the year you find recovery.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Opioid Addiction Epidemic Lawsuits Pile Up

opioid addiction epidemic
Thanksgiving is now behind us, and we hope you made it through the holiday drug and alcohol-free. At Celebrate Hope, we understand how challenging it is to navigate holidays in recovery. Every holiday celebrated clean and sober is a remarkable accomplishment worth acknowledging. 

 

We wanted to take a moment to follow up on a previous story covered recently on our blog regarding Purdue Pharma—the maker of OxyContin. As we shared in an article last month, Purdue agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges regarding its role in the American opioid addiction epidemic. As part of the settlement with the Justice Department, the pharmaceutical giant also agreed to face penalties of about $8.3 billion. 

 

Purdue pleaded guilty to the criminal charges two days before Thanksgiving, The New York Times reports. During the November 24th hearing, Purdue admitted to misleading the federal government about OxyContin sales. 

 

Purdue’s chairman, Steve Miller, conceded that the company was marketing the potent narcotic to over 100 physicians suspected of illegally prescribing the drug. What’s more, Purdue pleaded guilty to paying doctors illegal kickbacks for prescribing OxyContin. Thus concludes the federal government’s case against the pharmaceutical company.  


“The abuse and diversion of prescription opioids has contributed to a national tragedy of addiction and deaths,” said Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general. “Today’s convictions underscore the department’s commitment to its multipronged strategy for defeating the opioid crisis.” 

 

We want to remind our readers that there are thousands of pending lawsuits against Purdue. Purdue’s guilty plea does not shield the company from the suits brought by state and local governments. Moreover, Purdue is just one company that contributed to the opioid epidemic; many companies had a hand in the more than 450,000 American deaths since 1999. 

 

Many Players Involved in the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

 

Just as Purdue turned a blind eye to the devastation caused by OxyContin, so too did other narcotic makers and the companies that distribute such drugs. Pharmacies and the companies that distribute to them are also facing thousands of lawsuits. 

 

Johnson & Johnson and three drug distributors are hashing out a $26 billion deal with state and local governments for their hand in the opioid addiction epidemic, according to The New York Times. The distributors involved in the negotiations are McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen. If an agreement is reached, it will shield the four companies from future lawsuits by these governments. 

 

Prescription opioids had a hand in more than 232,000 American deaths from 1999 to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than three-quarters of the nation’s opioids shipped to pharmacies came from the three distributors listed above, the article reports. If approved by the governments involved in the lawsuits, most of the $26 billion would go towards treatment and prevention in areas severely impacted by opioids. 

 

“The deal gets money to all of the communities in the United States that are suffering from insult upon injury, first from the opioid epidemic and now with COVID as well,” said Paul J. Hanly Jr., an attorney who represents numerous small governments. “We believe it’s in the best interest of these communities to begin receiving a payment stream. We looked at the finances of these companies and believe the numbers are now appropriate.”

 

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

If you or a loved one struggles with opioid use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program. Our team helps men and women break the cycle of addiction and begin anew. We rely on the teachings of Jesus Christ, along with evidence-based therapies to get individuals on the path of recovery.

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.

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