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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Few Recovery Tips for Thanksgiving

If you are in recovery from addiction, the holiday season may not be a big deal. Thanksgiving or Christmas are just another day. If you are new to recovery, the holidays may be hard to navigate. You may be confronted by a number of feelings and emotions that, left unchecked, can lead one down a slippery slope and potentially result in relapse. Do not become discouraged, you can make it through the day without picking up a drink or drug, and you may find that you have a good time.

It is important that you stay in close contact with your sponsor and/or recovery network - the people you see day in and day out at your home group. Keep your cell phone charged, so that if problem does arise help is only a phone call away. It is always easier to make a phone call before a relapse than it is to make afterwards.

There will be meetings happening over the course of the day, make sure that you attend at least one - especially if you are having a hard time. It is a safe bet that others are struggling as well. One of the beautiful aspects of recovery is that we draw strength from each other, you never know who is going to share something that will help you with what you are dealing with. And conversely, what you say may help another with their issues.

Here are a few tips to help you get through thanksgiving:
  • If you attend a party, LEAVE EARLY! Don’t overexpose yourself to alcohol.
  • Make a gratitude list, be thankful for what you have in recovery.
  • Plan out your day, lest you find yourself in a risky situation.
  • Have realistic expectations, do not set yourself up to be let down.
  • Don’t attend holiday parties ALONE.
  • Meetings, Meetings, Meetings...
At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we wish you all a safe and sober Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 20, 2015

AMA Calls for Ban on Prescription Drug Ads

It would seem next to impossible to sit down for an hour to watch television without seeing an advertisement for a prescription drug. You know: Those ads that tell you about a new miracle drug that lists over ten serious side effects - many of which sound worse than the problem the drug is meant to treat? Many of the drugs advertised can also be habit forming.

This week, the American Medical Association (AMA) called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription medications and implantable medical devices, CBS News reports. Advocates of the ban say that such ads contribute to increasing prescription costs, and increase patient demand for inappropriate treatments.

“Today’s vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices,” AMA Board Member Dr. Patrice Harris said in a news release. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.” 

Naturally, the pharmaceutical industry is against the ban. Trish Stow of the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says that direct-to-consumer ads are meant to give "scientifically accurate information to patients so that they are better informed about their health care and treatment options."

The price of prescription drugs jumped almost 5 percent this year, according to the article. The AMA reports that pharmaceutical companies spent $4.5 billion on direct-to-consumer advertisements (a 30 percent increase) in the last two years.

“Patient care can be compromised and delayed when prescription drugs are unaffordable and subject to coverage limitations by the patients’ health plan,” Harris said. “Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate.”

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt

It is often said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Nevertheless, every day people attempt and succeed in taking their own lives. More times than not, the underlying causes for a person attempting suicide stem from a psychiatric problem, such as depression and addiction. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that 90% of people who die by suicide have a treatable psychiatric disorder.

Around one million people take their own lives every year, according to the World Health Organization. On average, nearly 3000 people commit suicide every day; for every person who commits suicide, 20 or more make an attempt at taking their own lives.

Drug and alcohol abuse, in conjunction with co-occurring disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression, is often too much to bear. Without help in the form of treatment and intensive counseling, it becomes easier for individuals to make decisions that cannot be reversed. What’s more, people who have made a suicide attempt are far more likely to try again.

In an effort to help those who have made a suicide attempt, SAMHSA and the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention are offering a free PDF entitled: A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt.

The handbook’s goal is to:
  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
  • Improve education about suicide.
  • Spread information about suicide awareness.
  • Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.
If you know someone who is suffering from substance abuse and/or a co-occurring disorder, share this post with them or their family. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

SAMHSA Announces Position Change

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services. The agency is at the forefront of research that helps both private and public sectors in the field of addiction medicine make informed decisions.

This week, SAMHSA announced that Rear Admiral Peter Delany, the Director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ), has been asked to serve as a Special Advisor to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Delany will be analyzing data and policy issues in support of the President’s Initiative to Combat Opiate Use.

“I am grateful to Rear Admiral Delany for his many years of service to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) and am confident that he will make a great contribution in this exciting new role,” said Kana Enomoto, Acting Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Enomoto reports that Daryl Kade has been asked to serve in Delany’s stead as the CBHSQs new director. Over the last year, Kade has been in charge of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

“I appreciate Ms. Kade’s agility and demonstration of the true spirit of the Senior Executive Service by accepting this new assignment as we work toward the placement of a permanent CSAT Director,” Enomoto added. 

Most experts offer that 25% of the American population is impacted by the disease of addiction, and this number may be much understated. SAMHSA continues to fine tune their efforts in prevention, as well as offering resources and promoting recovery for all affected members of our society.
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