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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Celebrate Hope On New Year's Eve

On the eve of the New Year, Celebrate Hope would like to wish everyone in recovery a safe and sober holiday. Today is synonymous with excessive alcohol consumption, which can be difficult to avoid being around, especially if you are obligated to attend a New Year’s party. If you are planning on attending an event where alcohol will be present, it is important that you discuss it first with your sponsor and/or addiction therapist. It’s crucial that people working a program of recovery remain accountable on days like today.

While you may feel strong enough to be around heavy drinking at this point in your recovery, it is easy for dangerous thoughts to enter one’s mind that can lead to a decision that may compromise your program. Most people in recovery probably have some fond memories of New Year’s eves, having drinks with friends and family as midnight approaches. Such reminiscences can cause you to forget where alcohol brought you to, and you may begin to romance having a drink. Such occurrences have brought countless people in recovery to relapse on the final day of the year.

If you do not feel comfortable being around drinking, it should not be an excuse to just stay in for the night. It’s highly probable that you have heard of some recovery events taking place in your area tonight, especially if you attend meetings on a regular basis. Such events can be a lot of fun and help you create new rituals and traditions that do not involve drugs or alcohol. There is a good chance that your recovery peers will be attending as well.

It is never wise to isolate yourself - even if that is what you feel like doing. Being alone is a sure way for addictive thinking to creep into one’s mind, which could potentially result in a relapse. The mind can be a very dangerous place, a perfect environment for cravings to fester. Get out of the house, go to some meetings and have fun with your friends in recovery as you await the New Year.

Take a moment to reflect upon the strides you have made since first getting sober, every day that goes by that does not involve using drugs and alcohol is a remarkable accomplishment - definitely worthy of being proud.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Alcohol is Taking More Lives Than Opioids

In recent years, when it comes to talking about deaths related to substance use, it is usually with regard to opioid overdose deaths. The nation has been battling prescription opioid and heroin use for over a decade, and the wake of the epidemic has been followed by a dramatic rise in overdose deaths. While the statistics are concerning and worth the attention of lawmakers and health officials, it is important that we do not lose sight of the impact that other mind altering substances are having on people's lives, especially when it comes to alcohol.

New data from the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) shows that alcohol is taking the lives of American adults at an alarming rate, The Washington Post reports. Excluding the deaths that resulted from drunk driving, more than 30,700 Americans lost their life as a result of alcohol related causes last year, such as alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis. The rate of deaths is an increase of 37 percent since 2002. Since the late `90s, per-capita alcohol consumption has been steadily on the rise, according to Philip J. Cook, a professor at Duke University.

"Since the prevalence of heavy drinking tends to follow closely with per capita consumption, it is likely that one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more," Cook wrote in an email. 

The findings are almost hard to believe, considering that the majority of talk regarding substance use related death involves painkillers and/or heroin. However, more people died from their use of alcohol last year (30,722) than from overdoses of prescription opioids and heroin combined (28,647). The data is a clear sign that we need to focus more on alcohol use prevention policies than we have been in recent years.

Alcohol is used more than any other drug on the planet, and abuse affects countless lives. The substance is highly addictive, and is essentially a poison with adverse effects on the human body. If you are or a loved one is battling alcoholism, Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea can help you break the cycle of addiction and begin recovery.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Prescription Drugs and Risky Sexual Behavior

The excessive use of drugs and alcohol is often associated with poor decision making, using anything that has the power to cause insidious harm is risky - to say the least. What’s more, when people are under the influence of mind altering substances, they are more likely to engage in risky behavior across the board, such as driving while intoxicated, fighting, and promiscuous sexual behavior. Any of the three aforementioned behaviors can result in serious consequences, including: arrest, injury, disease transmission, and death. 

Unfortunately, many teenagers experiment with and/or abuse drugs and alcohol, and in the process make risky decisions which can impact the course of their life. It is no secret that the nation is currently in the grips of a prescription drug epidemic, and a number of teenagers have used and are using the highly addictive medications. New research, conducted by the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), shows that teenagers who use prescription narcotics are more likely to practice risky sexual behaviors, HealthDay reports. The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics.

 Teens who use prescription drugs recreationally are more likely to:
  • Be Sexually Active
  • Not Use Protection
  • Have More Partners
  • Use Drugs or Alcohol Before Sex
“About one out of every five high school students reported non-medical use of prescription drugs,” said study author Heather Clayton. “This behavior is very concerning, as overdoses and deaths related to non-medical use of prescription drugs is on the rise.” She added, “Non-medical use of prescription drugs and sexual risk behaviors are likely to be part of a constellation of risk-taking behaviors.” The prescription drugs most commonly used by teenagers include:
  • Painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet or codeine)
  • Sedatives (Xanax or Ativan)
  • Stimulants (Ritalin or Adderall)
Abusing those types of drugs during one’s teenage years can result in addiction right into adulthood. If you or someone you care about abuses prescription drugs please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Our Christian track incorporates compassionate, faith-based addiction programs for clients battling substance abuse.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Exposure to Drugs and Alcohol Leads to Antisocial Behavior

The adolescent years are a time for new experiences, which can be dangerous for those who have a history of addiction in the family. Young people are impressionable, the things they see others do, by family members or peers, are often things they try as well. When teenagers see people drinking alcohol or using drugs, they are more likely to not associate harm with the activity even if they have been educated otherwise.

In high school, it practically goes without saying that teenagers will experiment with drugs and alcohol, which for the majority of people can be relatively harmless. However, for those with a predisposition for addiction, experimenting with mind altering substances can be a slippery slope - leading to harmful behaviors and potentially years of substance use and abuse.

New research has found that teens who saw people using drugs or alcohol were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior on that same day, MedicalXpress reports. The researchers at Duke University observed that teens “who have a 'risk-taking' gene (called DRD4-7R) associated with sensitivity to substance use exposure” are at the greatest risk.

Using smartphones to respond to survey questions three times daily for a month, 151 teens reported what they were experiencing, according to the article. The researchers compared the participants behavior on days they were around people using mind altering substances, to their behavior on days that they did not witness such activities.

The findings indicated that teens were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior on the days they saw others using drugs or alcohol, the article reports. For the 30 percent of teenagers involved in the study that carried the DRD4-7R gene, the risk was even higher. The findings are published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

“Past research has shown that children who grow up in families, schools and neighborhoods where alcohol and drugs are frequently used are at risk for behavioral problems later in life, but our findings demonstrate that these effects are immediate,” researcher Candice Odgers of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy noted in a news release

If you or a loved one grew up with a heightened exposure to drugs and alcohol, and are active in addiction, please contact Celebrate Hope. We are a Christian drug and alcohol rehab that takes addicts beyond recovery into a daily renewing walk with Christ.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tobacco Taxes May Reduce Infant Death Rates

There is a lot to be said for raising the price of tobacco products through tax hikes. The more expensive a pack of cigarettes is, the more likely people will be to opt out of a purchase. It has long been known that tobacco is one of the leading causes of preventable illness, and that nicotine use can lead to addiction. The less people smoke, the healthier we are as a society.

It is widely accepted that pregnant women who use addictive substances risk putting their child at risk. Staying clear from drugs and alcohol while pregnant should be of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, many women choose to drink and/or smoke while pregnant despite the countless warnings. Efforts to reduce the use of such substances will result in healthier babies being born into the world.

In fact, new research has found that raising the price of cigarettes may actually reduce infant mortality rates across the nation, HealthDay reports. The researchers point out that each $1 per pack increase in the tobacco tax rate between 1999 and 2010 may have resulted in two fewer infant deaths each day. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

Infant death rates and tobacco taxes from 1999-2010 were tracked by the researchers, according to the report. During that time period inflation-adjusted tobacco taxes on the state and federal levels were raised from 84 cents a pack to $2.37 per pack. Interestingly, the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births fell from 7.3 to 6.2 overall, and from 14.3 to 11.3 among blacks. However, the researchers point out that the findings do not necessarily prove that higher taxes translate into fewer infant deaths.

"Smoking in pregnancy can lead to poor outcomes like premature birth, the number one cause of death for infants in the first year of life," said study author Dr. Stephen Patrick, an assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "As a neonatologist, I commonly see premature and low birth weight infants born to women who smoke, and we know that nearly one in five women smoke during pregnancy." 

For those who are in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse, smoking may make you more susceptible to relapse. Yet another reason for staying away from the insidious products. If you go to treatment for a substance use disorder, it is advised that you make a concerted effort to curb your addiction to nicotine.
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