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Friday, December 29, 2017

2018: A Year for Recovery

addiction recovery
It’s always the right time to begin a life-changing journey of addiction recovery. While it’s easy to make excuses for continuing down the dark road of the disease, any justification to keep using that one comes up with can easily be refuted. If your life is unmanageable and you are powerless over drugs and alcohol, please give recovery serious thought; those who stay the course of addiction find that life only gets harder—or worse.

The United States has been in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic for roughly two decades. Around a hundred Americans die from opiate overdoses every day, and a higher number of people nearly succumb to drug toxicity. It isn’t a secret, people who experience an overdose are at high risk of overdosing again, such people may not be so lucky the next time. If you have survived an overdose, please consider going into substance use disorder treatment.

At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we know the power of one’s disease; we know that it does not let go of its host without putting up a fight. Due to the compelling nature of mental illness, it’s critical that individuals seek assistance; typically, those who attempt to recover on their own do not last long. Once the symptoms of withdrawal and the pressure to use from the outside world set in, it’s usually only a matter of time before one uses again. The good news is that when people seek assistance and follow a few simple recommendations, addiction recovery is possible.


2018: A Year for Recovery

Maybe you’ve decided that 2018 is the year that everything changes? Having come to terms with the fact that your condition is a progressive illness, perhaps you are ready to take specific steps for bringing about recovery? If so, please do not hesitate and strike while the iron for progress is hot. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to talk yourself out of making a change. So, let 2018 be a year for addiction recovery.

You have probably heard that working a program of recovery involves a spiritual element. With that in mind, maybe you grew up with Christianity in your life and would like to follow His teaching once again? If that’s the case, our faith-based addiction treatment program is precisely what you’re seeking. Along with evidence-based therapies, we emphasize Christ-centered values into every aspect of the healing process. People who learn how to live life on life’s terms at our center, do so in the company of other Christians who’ve lost their way. Together, you will learn how to walk the road of recovery.

With the help of your God and adherence to the principles of addiction recovery, you can lead a fulfilling and productive existence. What better time to start fresh than January 1, 2018? With the New Year, you can get a new lease on life.


We Can Help

Please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab for a free consultation. Our experienced staff can help you break the cycle of addiction, teach you how to rekindle your relationship with God, and show you that living life one day at a time is possible. The beginning of your recovery is just a phone call away!

To everyone currently working a program of recovery, we hope that you have a safe and sober New Year’s Eve.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Recovery: Keep It Simple This Christmas

You are not alone this Christmas; the fellowship of addiction recovery has your back. However, the group can’t help you with issues you are dealing with unless you share in a meeting or voice your concerns to a sponsor or mentor. In some ways, attending meetings during the holidays is more important than your average day of the year. Given people in recovery struggle with emotions at times, it makes sense that the feelings that arise during Christmas can present some problems. With that in mind, it's critical you make a point of getting to at least one meeting on both Christmas Eve and Day.

If you decide to open up about the emotions you're dealing with, you not only help yourself—you help others too. Something what you give to the group may assist others in warding off cravings that could lead to a relapse. The feedback you receive from your peers could be the catalyst for maintaining your sobriety during these trying times. The point is that we all keep our sobriety intact by working together. It’s called a fellowship for a reason; we’re all in this together.


Keep It Simple This Christmas

It’s vital that you do not bite off more than you can chew in the coming days. Remember to keep it simple, and stick to your usual routine as much is allowed. You may have committed to being present at a holiday party or dinner with friends and family; which means that you are at risk of being pulled in different directions. You might feel obligated to attend an event that could jeopardize your recovery. It’s critical you discuss the pros and cons of attending with your sponsor or another peer in recovery. Together, you might decide that skipping an event is the right thing for one’s program.

If you feel you must attend something where alcohol will be present, go to a meeting before and after; if you can have a plus one, maybe you can have a friend in recovery accompany you for support. No matter what you decide to do during the holiday, be sure that the event is secondary to your recovery. Schedule things around your program, not the other way around; your recovery must come first, always.

People in recovery must also consider self-care during major holidays. If you exercise regularly and eat healthily, make a point of adhering to your exercise schedule and eating well. Our physical well-eing is of the utmost importance, and it has a direct effect on our emotional state. Staying balanced is key to surviving the holidays. Don’t forget “HALT:” Hungry; Angry; Lonely; Tired. One must do everything in their power to avoid any one or more of those things from occurring this weekend. Simply put, you must avoid anything that could potentially weaken one’s program, at all costs.


Recovery Must Go On

One’s program is the most valuable thing in one's life, and if you follow the lead of your peers this weekend, there is no reason why it can't continue to be after the holiday. If you stay close to your support network, everything will be fine come Tuesday. Please keep in mind that making it through the holiday without drinking or drugging is a remarkable achievement of which to be proud. After all, holidays are hard for people with significant lengths of sobriety time; people in early recovery that can traverse the holidays without relapse show remarkable strength and commitment to something greater than themselves.

Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea would like to wish everyone a merry, safe, and sober Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Legal Cannabis On The Horizon

Early recovery is a difficult time, and some would argue that getting sober was the hardest thing they have ever done. It makes sense; years of abusing drugs and alcohol takes a severe toll on one’s mind and body. Recovering from the damage takes enormous commitment and courage. Those working a program must confront aspects of their life that are difficult to process; the wreckage of one’s past is not something people want to face, but face it they must.

The process is even more complicated by the fact that one is conditioned to do certain things on a daily basis when they are using. Then, having to flip the script to do the complete opposite in many situations. Much of recovery has to do with reprogramming oneself to live by a new set of principles. People have to make a conscious commitment to abstain from any form of mind-altering substance ever again, not an easy task by anyone’s standards.

One area that people new to recovery get hung up on is total abstinence. Some people have a hard time grasping why they can’t enjoy substances that they don't have a history abusing. People who identify as a drug addict wonder why they can’t drink anymore; those with an alcohol use disorder question the suggestion to stay away from drugs. It would be easy to answer such musings by merely saying, “because!” However, it’s unlikely that that will suffice; the ever-questioning addict will desire a more concise explanation.

So, please consider this, addiction is an addiction; if you have an alcohol use disorder, then you are at risks of developing problems with another substance. What’s more, using a drug that you’ve never abused can be a quick trip back to one’s drug of choice.


Legal Weed Is A Breach In Sobriety

The New Year is around the corner, which means that adults over the age of 21 can legally smoke marijuana in the State of California. While those who regularly attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings are aware that marijuana is not an option, some people attending Alcoholics Anonymous might convince them self that a little weed couldn’t hurt. It’s a regular line of thinking, but one that should be squashed, immediately.

It doesn’t matter if you have an alcohol use disorder or a substance use disorder, anything that causes feelings of euphoria when introduced into your bloodstream is harmful. Legal or illegal, mind-altering substances are a recipe for disaster and will jeopardize all the hard work you have put into recovery. Marijuana's benign reputation is not justification for taking the risk, the drug is habit-forming, and cannabis use disorder is a genuine condition. Many people have gone back to treatment because they convinced themselves that pot was OK for their recovery. If you got sober in treatment, then you made a significant investment in breaking the cycle of addiction and learning how to live a life in recovery. A little bit of marijuana could make all your hard work be for naught.

Toying with the idea of smoking cannabis is natural, but if you are seriously considering the action, please discuss it with your sponsor. Those of you who don’t have a sponsor (yet) can merely pose the question to the group at a local meeting. In no time, people with share how their thinking on marijuana cost them much. Meeting the criteria for addiction means that any drug can impact your life; people in recovery should avoid "grass," at any cost.


Faith-based Addiction Treatment

Even though marijuana is now legal, millions of Americans meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder. Perhaps pot is having a negative impact on your or a loved one's life? Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is a faith-based addiction treatment program that utilizes the teachings of Jesus Christ in conjunction with evidence-based addiction recovery modalities. Please contact us today to see how we can help you experience the miracles of recovery.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Addiction Treatment That's Right for You

addiction treatment
Drugs and alcohol take everything from you, and can even steal one’s life if a decision to seek recovery is put off. Time is rarely on the side of alcoholics and addicts, especially for the latter using drugs like OxyContin or heroin. If your life has become unmanageable and you are powerless over mind-altering substances, the good news is that help is available and recovery is possible. However, deciding to seek treatment is often the hardest choice men and women ever make; despite the fact that one can see their own life spiraling out of control right before their eyes.

Knowing that help might be right around the corner doesn’t mean that everyone is going to utilize it. Addiction, after all, is cunning, baffling, and powerful; even with one’s life in pieces, the will to carry on using drugs and alcohol is particularly compelling. What’s more, people who use drugs and alcohol for decades tend to convince them self that recovery isn’t possible.

The truth is the exact opposite, but choosing treatment over continued use requires one to summon enormous amounts of courage. Like the bravery to say, ‘this is not the life I want to lead, anymore,” the audacity to set one’s pride aside and ask another human being for help. The realization that you can’t carry on like this anymore is perhaps your first lesson in humility; being humble is a vital part of working a program of lasting recovery.


Recovery Requires Help

So, you know you need help, how do you go about asking for assistance? Naturally, everyone finds their way into treatment by a different path. Some people’s families hold interventions; they contact an addiction treatment center for guidance and an interventionist is enlisted to help encourage a family member into treatment. Others, people who have no illusions about the severity of their problem, will browse the Internet in search of the right fit. If you fall into the latter camp, you’ve realized by now that there is a plethora of options to choose from, i.e., 12 Step, Smart Recovery, and faith-based addiction treatment.

Maybe you grew up in a household that went to church regularly and had a family that adheres to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you had a relationship with God and communicated via prayer. As you got older, and substance use became more of a priority in your life, you probably found that you could no longer talk with your higher power. You're not alone; substance use shades everyone from the sunshine of the Spirit.

You may have learned already that spirituality will be a critical component of working a program of recovery, which means you will have to ask for guidance from a power greater than yourself at some point. If you are leaning toward a faith-based treatment center, such as Celebrate Hope, you will be happy to learn that you will be in the company of other people with similar spiritual histories. Together, you will draw strength from one another, enabling you to reconnect with Him; you’ll learn how to let go, and let God guide you in all your endeavors. We cannot overemphasize the importance, of understanding that God never turned His back on you, instead, he could no longer serve as a guide for people in the fog of addiction. Take the drugs and alcohol away, and one’s connection with Him can resume.


Christian-based Addiction Treatment

If you would like to learn how to live a life in recovery among peers who share similar spiritual beliefs, Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is an ideal starting point. Please contact us today; we are happy to help you break the cycle of addiction and assist you in re-adhering to His teachings.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

National Resilience Strategy for Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide

A new report was released, “Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Epidemics and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy,” showing that deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide could be responsible for 1.6 million fatalities through 2025. The findings of the report are probably not surprising for people familiar with the opioid addiction epidemic. In small and rural states across the country, the devastation caused by opiate use is impossible to ignore.

The report, from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being, showed that by 2025 there could be 88.1 deaths per 100,000 from drugs, alcohol, and suicide in New Hampshire. Given the relatively small population in the Granite State, the findings are serious cause for concern.

"These numbers are staggering, tragic – and preventable," John Auerbach, president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, told The New Hampshire Business Review. "There is a serious crisis across the nation and solutions must go way beyond reducing the supply of opioids, other drugs and alcohol. Greater steps that promote prevention, resiliency and opportunity must be taken to address the underlying issues of pain, hopelessness and despair."


Treating Addiction Saves Lives

The Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being offered up recommendations for addressing the nation’s problem with premature death. The report suggests creating a “National Resilience Strategy,” recommending:
  • Improvements in pain management and treatment.
  • Promotion of responsible opioid prescribing practices, public education about misuse and safe disposal of unused drugs; expanding the use of rescue drugs (naloxone), sterile syringes and diversion programs.
  • Expansion and modernization of mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
There are several other recommendations, including expanding crisis-intervention services for preventing suicide, making alcohol more restrictive, and expanding the availability of mental health and other services in schools. The report is comprehensive and covers a lot of areas of importance, preventing suicide is undoubtedly on the top of the list. Taking one’s life is often the result of untreated mental illness, anything that can help prevent it is welcome.

This week, Facebook unveiled a new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help detect users at risk of suicide, TechCrunch reports. The AI will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, sending mental health resources to the user, their friends, or contact local first-responders. Facebook’s VP of product management Guy Rosen, said, “we have an opportunity to help here, so we’re going to invest in that.”


Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health condition, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. We can help you learn how to live a life in recovery and cope with the obstacles of life without drugs and alcohol.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Opioid Epidemic Remedies Require Funding

Opioid addiction was declared a national emergency, but that doesn’t mean, as a society, we're any closer to ending the scourge. Experts are confident that many more people will succumb to complications from their addiction before we see evidence of progress. While efforts have long been underway to stem the tide of over-prescribing and ban synthetic opioids responsible for many overdoses, our nation continues to have an unhealthy relationship with the poppy.

What’s more, the true extent of harm caused by this family of drugs is nothing short of catastrophic. In fact, a new report indicates that the real cost of opioid use in the U.S. is far higher than initial estimates. The Council of Economic Advisers says the epidemic cost the United States $504 billion in 2015, more than six times above the most recent estimate, The Guardian reports. Financial loss aside, the most considerable toll of the opioid epidemic is the loss of life; no one can put a price tag on even a single entity. Over 64,000 people died of a drug overdose last year, alone; it’s likely the death toll this year will surpass 2016.

“Previous estimates of the economic cost of the opioid crisis greatly underestimate it by undervaluing the most important component of the loss – fatalities resulting from overdoses,” said the report.

Opioid Epidemic Remedies Require Funding

At the beginning of this month, we discussed the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ final report, which called for more drug courts and extensive training for doctors. The report also called for penalizing insurers who refuse to cover addiction treatment. Everything the commission recommended makes perfect sense, and hopefully following the suggestions will affect change. However, the report lacks specificity about funding for such efforts.

The commission’s report didn’t call for any new funding to cover the cost of the proposed initiatives, according to the article. Creating drug diversion courts, expanding access to treatment, training doctors, increasing the availability of naloxone, and holding insurers responsible will not be accomplished without significant funding. Good intentions without a purse are unlikely to bear fruit.

Channeling every available dollar for accomplishing the efforts above is a must. The more people who receive addiction treatment directly correlates to lives saved; given that more than two million Americans are actively battling opioid use disorder, substantial financial resources is the only way to ensure progress. The stakes are far too high to waver on providing funding.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

If you or a loved one is in the grips of opioid use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea. Our experienced staff can help break the cycle of addiction and begin the process of lasting recovery. Recovery is possible with help.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude and Paying it Forward

If you have been attending recovery meeting for some time, then you have undoubtedly heard hundreds of acronyms. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), H.A.L.T (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired), and G.O.D. (Good Orderly Direction) just to name a few. At times you might get tired of hearing the little sayings, but you shouldn’t discount their importance.

Alcoholics and addicts have tendency to overcomplicate the simplest of situations. We over-think things that don’t even require thought, only action. If life in addiction is complicated, recovery should be an elementary iteration of existence. One need not worry about the things that once consumed their day in addiction. You no longer need to ask the question of how you will fuel the disease for just one more day. We don’t have to keep track of who we are dishonest to anymore because we are working an honest program.

In recovery, one commits him or herself to putting their best foot forward. They follow the lead of those who came before, to experience the miracles of recovery, too. More importantly, those in recovery have different perspectives than they once had, in turn giving them a new lease on life. This current mindset allows one to exercise an attitude of gratitude for those who support them in their endeavors.


Paying It Forward

When a person works the Steps and follows the direction to live a spiritual life, it allows them to strive for serenity. In doing so, one can be available to their fellow members of the program. No longer trapped inside our heads, consumed by our selfish desires, we can be there for others. After a person becomes versed in the steps (having gone through them with their sponsor), they are in a position to serve as a guide to a newcomer. This leads us to the next acronym, S.P.O.N.S.O.R. (Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery).

Accruing sober time in recovery is excellent, but if you want to keep it, you have to pay it forward. When you arrived in the Rooms, someone else selflessly guided you along the way. They walked you through the steps, lathered you with platitudes and acronyms until your head spun, and then told you to pass the message to the newcomer. That's what keeps the cycle of addiction recovery going. We can't rest on our laurels; we are not cured, we must carry the message that if one is willing to do the work—recovery is possible.

You may not be at the point of sponsorship (yet), but it’s beneficial to take stock of the things you hear or see that help you stay sober Just for Today. Please do not write off pithy sayings and acronyms as being overused and unuseful. There will come a time when someone needs to hear what you have learned along the way, and it may be as simple as telling someone P.A.C.E. (Positive Attitudes Change Everything).


Addiction Treatment: A Gateway to Recovery

Not everyone can march into a room of recovery with a desire to quit drinking or drugging. Heavy abuse for an extended period can make abstaining from drugs and alcohol exceedingly tricky. Detox and addiction treatment are proven methods of traversing the early stages of recovery. If you or a loved one is battling alcohol and substance use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

If you have made it onto our blog there is a good chance you are here for one of two reasons. You are considering addiction treatment, or you are seeking help for a loved one. If it is the former, we at Celebrate Hope understand the difficult decisions you face. On the one hand, you know that your life has become unmanageable, that to keep on your current course will likely be your demise. On the other hand, you have a disease that is ever trying to convince you that all is well. Even if you know that your addiction is out of control, you continue to try and convince yourself otherwise.

People in recovery sometimes say that nobody flirts with the idea of addiction treatment by accident. Those who can drink alcohol or do drugs casually never consider that they need 90-days of treatment to balance out their lives. What’s more, the typical person who seeks treatment doesn’t have an on/off switch, and the word moderation isn’t in their lexicon. Use disorders take many different forms, but the underlying currents are all the same.

Do you spend time each day trying to figure out how you are going to juggle your substance use with responsibilities? Have you lost important people and possessions due to drugs and alcohol? When you tried to stop in the past (without help) what was the outcome? The last question is somewhat rhetorical, but it makes a salient point; it’s unlikely that people who don't suffer from substance use disorders ever ask themselves such questions. That’s not to say you are an addict or alcoholic, and only you can make such a determination; although, if you meet certain diagnostic criteria it’s usually indicative of a problem.


Making Decisions for Recovery

Recovery is possible, but it’s next to impossible to achieve on one’s volition. Seeking the help of an addiction treatment center increases one’s chance of achieving lasting recovery greatly. Of course, there are many different ways you can bring such a goal to fruition.

The majority of treatment centers use the 12-Step model of recovery; a modality that relies heavily on spirituality. Those who engage in Step work foster a relationship with a power greater than him or herself, a “higher power.” For many Americans, Christianity was a major part of their life before addiction set in. Many addicts and alcoholics once had a close relationship with Jesus Christ until substance use came into the picture. At which time, all communication went dark. However, you can reestablish a connection with Him.

It makes sense for those who are ready to take steps for addiction recovery, to seek help from a treatment center that shares a common spiritual language. You may be more receptive to a Christian faith-based program than other types of treatment. Spirituality will be that which holds your recovery together, without it relapse is inevitable. If long-term recovery is your goal, reconnecting with Christ can give you the best chance of successful outcomes.


We Can Help

Anyone in need of treatment should carefully explore all their options. Being in treatment for 30 to 90 days is a tremendous commitment, such decisions shouldn’t be made lightly. If you are ready, open your heart and soul to Christ again, and accept His help; Celebrate Hope can help assist you. Please contact us today.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Opioid Commission's Final Report

Treatment is the answer to the opioid addiction question, without it more people will needlessly perish. There are over 2 million people with an opioid use disorder in the U.S., according to available data, but it’s likely a lowball estimate. In reality, experts believe there are far more individuals in the grip of opioid narcotics who have not been accounted, for many reasons. However, the true number of opioid addicts isn’t what’s important; how to provide such people with treatment is the more salient question.

Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) can only do so much in the way of preventing abuse. Addicts who desire drugs will always find a way to acquire what they need, especially if they otherwise risk withdrawal symptoms. What’s more, state PDMPs are not connected nationally, which means that one only needs to cross state lines to acquire their drugs from unfamiliar doctors. Even if there were a national PDMP, a large number of doctors do not utilize the programs despite the epidemic.

Naloxone can, under normal circumstances (sans fentanyl and carfentanil), reverse an overdose if administered in time. Unfortunately, a new study showed that people saved by naloxone were still a high risk of another fatal overdose. The research indicates that about 10 percent of patients treated with naloxone had died within a year, half of those who died did so within one month of their overdose reversal. The reason for these overdose deaths is relatively straightforward; steering victims towards addiction treatment at the time of overdose is not happening enough. More than half of doctors who participated in a poll at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) said that “detox and rehabilitation facilities were rare or never accessible."

Opioid Commission's Final Report

Last summer, we discussed the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis' preliminary report calling on the President to declare the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency. The commission released its final report this Wednesday recommending:
  • More Treatment Options
  • Tighter Prescribing Guidelines
  • Additional Drug Courts
The report highlights that only 10.6 percent of people who need treatment actually receive help, Reuters reports. The commission calls for a national media campaign to embolden addicts to seek treatment; encouraging people with use disorders to “stop being afraid or ashamed of seeking help when facing their addiction.”

“This sounds to me like a very progressive and very needed move,” said Professor Kosali Simon, a health economist at Indiana University. 

The report lacked at least one vital aspect, how everything that is needed will be funded, according to the article. Without substantial funding, these recommendations would be “toothless,” says Paul Hanly, a New York lawyer representing local governments suing opioid makers. The opioid epidemic costs billions of dollars each year, and an even greater cost in human life.

Providing adequate treatment for millions of Americans battling the mental health condition known as substance use disorder will have a high price, but it will save countless lives.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

If you are struggling with opioids of any kind, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Our professional team can help you break the cycle of the disease and give you the tools for living a life in recovery.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cocaine and Fentanyl Overdose Death Concerns

Cocaine, unlike heroin, is considered a party drug by most people despite the fact that it’s highly addictive and can cause an overdose. Heroin is used mostly in relative secrecy, whereas cocaine is something far more socially acceptable. People are far less likely to feel the need to be discreet; it’s a drug that is regularly passed around at parties.

Two drugs, heroin and cocaine, both addictive and hazardous to one’s health yet one of the drugs is cast in a far darker light. One might argue that the discrepancy is for a good reason; after all, a far more significant number of overdose deaths stem from opioids than stimulants like cocaine. People consider cocaine as being safer than heroin resulting in increased social acceptance. More than a hundred people aren’t dying from cocaine overdoses every day.

While heroin and opioids, in general, are deadlier than cocaine, the latter is used more often—especially for recreation. The potential for cocaine misuse and abuse is significantly higher, and the drug is commonly used in conjunction with other substances as well, mainly alcohol. You may not associate cocaine with overdose, but it was involved in thousands of deaths in past several years across the country.


Cocaine with a Side of Fentanyl

Mixing stimulants and opioids occurs on a regular basis among people with opioid use disorder. However, your average social cocaine user flirts with opioids only on rare occasions. If offered a “downer,” most people who use cocaine recreationally will say, “no thanks.” Which is why a new trend has people concerned, the heightened prevalence of cocaine laced with fentanyl. Having an opioid "tolerance" and being exposed to fentanyl is dangerous enough, for those without a tolerance—overdose is almost a guarantee.

In New York, 37 percent of overdose deaths in 2015 involved cocaine and fentanyl; heroin was not part of the equation. Officials see cocaine and fentanyl admixtures outside the Empire State; cocaine samples tested positive for the synthetic opioid in both Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, USA Today reports. Anyone who uses or abuses cocaine should understand that the stakes just got higher.

“To be blunt, what you might buy and use [cocaine], thinking it’s a good time, could cost you your life,” warns T.J. Jordan, Assistant Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation: Drug Investigation Division. 

Overdose death can easily happen without the introduction of synthetic opioids. Fentanyl and carfentanil, an even stronger analog, are being mixed with other drugs frequently these days. Naloxone, to make matters worse, is not enough to reverse an overdose in many cases. The only 100 percent effective way to avoid the risk of overdose is addiction treatment and working a program of recovery. Perhaps the most concerning feature of this new trend:

“Those that are using cocaine recreationally, their usage is going to increase because of the physical addictive aspects of opiates are being injected into the cocaine,” said Patrick O’Shea, a former recreational drug user. “It’s shaping up to be a disaster.”


Recovery is the Solution

Those caught in the vicious cycle of substance use disorder face great risks today. Fentanyl isn’t going anywhere and is likely to become more prevalent. Seeking addiction treatment and recovery is the only sure way to avoid exposure to fentanyl. Please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to begin the life-saving mission of addiction recovery.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Addiction Recovery: A Commitment for Change

addiction recovery
People who attempt addiction recovery without assistance experience disappointment relatively quickly. Alcohol and substance use disorders take tremendous effort to overcome and require a lifelong commitment to going against one’s programming. Simply put, recovering from addiction is not something accomplished on your own. If you have been unable to break the cycle of self-defeating behavior using nothing but will, there is a good reason for the outcome you found. Recovery requires support, a network of lifelines, one can turn to when the going gets tough.

Use disorders develop over time, and the disease is progressive. What starts off as recreation transmogrifies into addiction; once that happens, it’s impossible to reverse the change. You can turn a cucumber into a pickle, you can’t (try as you might) make a pickle a cucumber. Those who try to stop using experience fleeting results. Many people have managed to avoid using for short periods of time, but use recommences sooner rather than later because there isn’t a program to rely upon for coping with all things Life. As a result, people convince themselves that they are doomed to the fate of addiction.

Fortunately, such a conclusion is flawed because it's derived from going about recovery in the same way one went about keeping the flame of their addiction afire—on one’s own. With the help of others and the practice of constant spiritual maintenance, we can and do recover.


Seeking Assistance is Required

Individuals battling use disorders know that their condition will likely be their demise if they are unable to stop. Attempts made to free one's self from bondage rarely result in success. Again, we cannot find recovery by the ways and means that we found addiction. A different course of action is required, and one that should begin with alcohol and substance use disorder treatment; to be followed by a continued program of recovery, i.e., 12 Steps or SMART Recovery.

If you are still in the grips, you might ask yourself, ‘why can’t I skip treatment and just join a program? After all, there are meetings in my neighborhood.' Well, you can do that, and that's worked for many people. However, if you are in the late stages of use disorder or dependent on a particular substance — there’s a good chance that the symptoms of acute withdrawal and the people, places and things that trigger you to use will derail your efforts. The pain of withdrawal typically leads to a relapse before one has even contemplated what it means to be powerless over alcohol or drugs.

Medical detox and treatment, on the other hand, are safe environments staffed by people who can help you get through the earliest stages of recovery. This is the time period when the risk of relapse is at its highest. Various medications will dull the symptoms of withdrawal reducing the urge to quit abstinence and return to active use. Treatment centers offer clients 30, 60, or 90-days of trigger-free living. The elements that are known to precipitate substance use don't exist in recovery centers.


Treatment: A Commitment that Pays for Itself

Deciding to seek help via treatment should be made as carefully as possible. You are going to be away from your family and be unable to bring home a paycheck (in most cases) for an extended period. When you check into treatment, you are in effect checking out of your previous sphere of existence. It’s a move that gives one the opportunity to shut down, make necessary adjustments conducive to recovery, and reboot. It is a time-consuming and significant commitment.

Some people, have concerns that the financial investment they will have to make by deciding to go to an addiction treatment center may not be worth it—it’s only natural. It is a considerable investment in oneself. Although, the returns will be far higher than the initial investment; especially when you consider the fact that one has no future without recovery. Active addiction always has the same outcome: jails, institutions, and death.

Have you tried to get clean and sober on your own, to no avail? If so, please consider taking a different approach. You will not regret it in the long-run. Please contact Celebrate Drug Rehab today, to begin the life-saving journey of recovery. We have helped a significant number of people achieve what they once thought was impossible—a life without drugs and alcohol.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Advocating for Addiction Treatment

Over the years we have discussed the “war on drugs,” and the fact that handcuffs are not the solution to addiction. We've considered the impact mandatory minimum sentencing laws have had on society in creating a prison industrial complex in America. More people in the United States are incarcerated than any other country in the world, despite the fact that Americans only making up 5 percent of the global population. In the “land of the free,” 737 of every 100,000 (2,193,798) Americans are behind bars, according to International Centre for Prison Studies. Around half of all prisoners are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses, whose only crime was an addiction.

Efforts have been made to approach substance use disorder more humanely in recent years. People found in possession of a small amount of drugs are, in many cases, given the option of treatment rather than jail. Some prisoners arrested in the 1980’s and early ‘90’s have received pardons and sentence commutations. In individual states, judges can decide if a mandatory minimum is warranted or not, on a case by case basis. All of the above are steps in the right direction, but more needs to be done to undo the effects of waging war on drugs for decades.

It’s easy to understand the mindset of people who are (or were) in favor of a zero-tolerance approach to addiction. Drugs are addictive and hazardous, people who sell drugs turn a profit on others' misery. Handcuffs and prison time seem like the only way to make individuals change their behavior, at least that is the general line of reasoning regarding the war on drugs. However, evidence suggests that the vast majority of people do not learn the lesson that lawmakers would have one learn. Look no further than recidivism rates in America, and they are staggering.


When Addiction Hits Home

Historically, the law enforcement officers charged with arresting and imprisoning drug offenders believed that what they were doing what was just. That is what Kevin Simmers, a former drug cop from Hagerstown, Maryland, thought about the work of getting drugs addicts off the streets, WAMU reports. Until that is, addiction found its way into his own home.

“At the end of the night, we’d go home and say ‘man — we got seven arrests tonight, we’re putting a dent in this stuff,” said Simmers. “I felt like I was doing God’s work. Then when it hit my own family, I was in for an awakening.” 

Mr. Simmers went from fighting addiction on the streets to becoming an advocate for addiction treatment, a change of heart that came at a significant cost. In 2013, his daughter Brooke confided that she was dependent on Percocet, according to the article. Brooke was seventeen, at the time. Prescription opioids led to heroin, and her opioid use disorder required addiction treatment. Brooke went through several programs, halfway houses, and experienced many relapses. She finally wound up in jail, and it seemed like she was ready to pour all of herself into recovery.

While in jail, Brooke had a dream that she shared with her father. Brooke dreamt of building a home for women in the throes of addiction, according to the report. Unlike the crumby houses, where she tried to recover; her house would be “clean and beautiful.” Not long after Brooke’s release from jail, she died of a fatal overdose on April 14, 2015.

“I believed wholeheartedly that enforcement — incarceration — was the answer to this,” Simmers said. “But then when addiction hit my house, I saw that that wasn’t true. What we need is drug treatment. We need to help the person.”

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

Simmers has every intention of building Brooke’s House and has raised more than $500,000. The home will be just as Brooke envisioned it in her jailhouse dream, a long-term residential treatment center for young women.


Opioid Addiction Treatment

More than a hundred overdose deaths occur in the United States, every day. Synthetic opioids are more prevalent than ever, exponentially increasing the risk of death. If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. Recovery is the only way to break the cycle of addiction and avoid a fatal overdose.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Alcohol Industry Targets Underage Drinkers

There is a voluntary code in the alcohol industry: Only promote to adults. There is a good reason for such a code. Underage drinking leads to a host of problems, including alcohol poisoning, driving under the influence and the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. Influencing young people to drink can have a serious impact on both individuals and society.

It’s worth pointing out that alcohol is used and abused among young people more than any other mind-altering substance, including tobacco and marijuana. While legal, the short-term risks associated with alcohol consumption are typically much greater than smoking cannabis and/or cigarettes. But, if you have ever watched beer commercials on television it’s probably occurred to you that such advertisements are often geared toward a young audience. Despite the voluntary code of social responsibility.

Look no further than a college sports game to see what we are talking about. A group of researchers decided to investigate how often corporate social contracts are breached, and young people are the targets of alcohol adverts. A study published in Alcoholism Clinical & Experimental Research showed that the alcohol brands most popular among underage drinkers run television ads that violate the industry's voluntary code, Science Daily reports. The beers teens drink the most are made by companies who regularly violate.


Preventing Underage Drinking

Drinking alcohol, especially in the manner that young people often do, can be particularly hazardous to one’s health. We have written often about the dangers of “binge drinking” and heavy episodic drinking. Nothing good comes from teens and young adults who engage in such practices. In our own field, the evidence is clear; young adults regularly seek treatment for alcohol use disorder. People whose own drinking was likely influenced at a young age by the alcohol industry.

Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers found that youth-preferred beer brands are made by the industry's biggest violators of the corporate social responsibility code, according to the article. The findings come from an analysis of 288 brand-specific beer advertisements, representing 23 brands. All of the ads aired during the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's and women's basketball tournaments between 1999 to 2008.
"This is the first systematic investigation of the relationship between beer brands popular among youth and these brands' youth-targeted contents among their television advertisements aired during a decade of a major national sports event," lead author Ziming Xuan, associate professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. "It is no news that advertisements influence consumer behaviors, but to discover such a close link between brand-specific youth-appealing advertisement content and beer brand preference among underage drinkers is new, and certainly a concerning public health issue."
The research team found that 21.5 percent of the advertisements breached the voluntary code. The brands that violated the code aired ads far more often than the companies not popular among young people.

"These results suggest that some beer producers are successfully targeting underage youth and therefore deriving profits from illegal alcohol consumption," the researchers wrote. "Our evidence underscores the need for strong and independent enforcement of the code to prevent continued inclusion of youth-appealing content in alcohol marketing materials.”


Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If you are a young adult whose life has become unmanageable due to heavy alcohol use, there is a good chance that treatment is required. Young adults can recover from alcohol use disorder, with help. Please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea if you are ready to break the cycle for addiction, and seek recovery.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Vietnam War, PTSD and Addiction

There is a significant number of people working programs of addiction recovery today who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A serious mental health condition involving individuals who feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger. In many cases, people’s addiction was the result of coping with untreated PTSD. The symptoms can be blunted, for a time, by drugs and alcohol; but, in the end substance use and abuse only serves to worsen one's symptoms. When one’s PTSD is triggered while in recovery, there is great risk of relapse.

The disorder can manifest itself in a number of ways, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), such as:
  • Re-experiencing Symptoms: Flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts.
  • Avoidance Symptoms: staying away from places, events, or objects linked to the trauma. Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the trauma.
  • Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms: Being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge,” difficulty sleeping and outbursts of anger.
  • Cognition and Mood Symptoms: Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, negative thoughts about oneself or the world, distorted feelings like guilt or blame and loss of interest in enjoyable activities.
PTSD can occur in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, such as a violent attack or serious injury. However, the condition is most commonly associated with combat veterans, and for good reason. Those who go off to war or armed conflict of any kind are exposed to horrific events. Asked to do things that under normal circumstances would be unthinkable. While most people make it through to the other side of battle without the lingering effects of trauma, many are not so fortunate. People with PTSD are at risk of being triggered by a host of cues for the rest for their lives.


The Vietnam War and PTSD

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans. As was pointed out earlier, PTSD episodes can be triggered by anything linked to the traumatic event. So, it is fair to say that "The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick" is the epitome of a trigger. The ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series is chock full of the graphic images and sounds of one of the darkest chapters in American history.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is urging Vietnam Vets to take precaution if they are planning to watch the series. Watch the series with a loved one and be prepared to reach out for help from the VA. Viewing the documentary can easily trigger PTSD.

PTSD and Addiction

Many Vietnam Veterans went years before seeking help for their PTSD. The United States has been in many armed conflicts since that time, and there are many young men and women who are
self-medicating their PTSD with drugs and alcohol today. Treatment works, but it requires that both the PTSD and substance use disorder be treated at the same time. If you or a loved one is living with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder like PTSD, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inspiring Recovery In Others

recovery monthWe are now in the final days of National Recovery Month. Hopefully, you are all aware of what it is, and its importance. Recovery Month is about many things. From addiction recovery related events hosted across the country, to taking time to reflect upon how far you have come in your own recovery. Every September, people around the United States acknowledge the brave men and women who have turned their lives around with the help of a program of recovery.

If you are in recovery yourself, then you know how hard it was to break the cycle of addiction. To ignore your programming which tells you that you can drink or drug without consequence. Even when you know that it isn’t reality. And because mental illness has no known cure, every day you must recommit yourself to the practices and principles of recovery. Doing so requires tremendous effort, using drugs and alcohol is easy—recovery mandates work.

For every one person in recovery, there are scores more still in the throes of addiction. Which is why every day in recovery is both a blessing and a privilege. Never to be minimized. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we hope that all of you actively working a program takes a moment to acknowledge the strides you have made. Not only are you living life on life’s terms, you serve as an inspiration to the millions of people still actively using.


Take Pride In Recovery

While pride is said to come before the fall, there is such a thing as healthy acknowledgement of one’s good work. If you are working a program, then you have helped others even if you don’t know it. Even those of you with 30-days or less, show others still “out there” that recovery is possible. People working in the field of addiction medicine understand the power of fellowship. Togetherness is what allows this whole enterprise to remain afloat, and has done so for almost a century.

People in recovery are part of something great, awe inspiring even. It does not take much energy to remember what it was like out there. The things that one had to do to keep the fire of addiction burning, were in many cases unconscionable. Not anymore. Today, you can wake up and be of service to your fellow recovering addicts and alcoholics. And, to society as a whole.

As you well know, millions of Americans have not been fortunate enough to find recovery, yet. Many of those people don’t believe that recovery is possible. You might be able to change their opinion on that front. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is asking those who are willing to Join the Voices for Recovery. You can share your experience with recovery online by video or written word. By doing so, you can inspire and encourage others to embrace a program of recovery. Please take a moment to watch a short example below:

If you are having trouble viewing, please click here.


Addiction Treatment Works

Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea would like to honor everyone actively working a program of recovery. You have so much to be grateful for, today. If you are still in the grips of active addiction, please contact us to find out how recovery can be a part of your story.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Practicing Patience In Recovery

Patience is a virtue, albeit one hard to attain for many people. Particularly for those who have a history of addiction. Everyone in recovery knows what it means to, ‘want what I want, when I want it.’ Knows firsthand about seeking instant gratification, and becoming upset when pleasure needs be waited on. While it is not a mindset wholly unique to addicts and alcoholics, it is certainly a pervasive trait among such people.

When you embark upon a journey of recovery, the eternal act of recreating oneself for the better, you find out pretty quickly that you’re not the center of the universe. That time does not belong to you, more importantly: you are not god. You are not the most important person in the room. You learn right off the bat, life happens on life’s terms and your once inability to accept that reality contributed to your downward spiral.

Thus, a change was needed, if you were going to make it in recovery. You would have to re-learn what patience is, remind yourself of its value. Because, if you cannot wait for the miracles of recovery to present themselves, you’d likely return to the banes of addiction. Whether you like it or not. If you are new to the program, there will be many realizations in the coming weeks, months and years. After all, recovery is a lifelong endeavor, we don’t wake up one day and think to ourselves, ‘voilá, I’m recovered.’ Whatever vehicle of recovery you choose to take the ride in, it’s a journey that should not stop. If it has ended, one of two things has occurred: relapse or expiration.


Practicing Patience in Recovery

To be sure, patience is not inherent or innate, we are not born with the virtue; one need only observe the movements of a child to see that for truth. No, we learn it along the way, and like anything you want to get better at—practice makes perfect. With that in mind, a good approach to improving your ability to exercise patience is to ever remind yourself (as clichĂ© as it sounds) that everything happens in its own time and that everything happens for a reason.

In early recovery, it can be easy to convince yourself that because you are sober now, windfalls are on the near horizon. While it is great that you have chosen to embark on a new path, much work is needed before the blessings of recovery (usually) occur. For many, the wreckage of one’s past is extensive. A great number of people walk into a meeting for the first time with few resources. Homeless, unemployed and financially destitute. Others have significant debt, that will need to be paid along the way. The list goes on, but you get the point, surely. It is impossible to determine when one’s lot will change. But, one thing is certain, things will never change if recovery is abandoned. And, it is worth noting that your worst day in recovery is far better than your best day in active addiction. Why? Because you have options in recovery, whereas…

If you are willing to do the Work, good things will come your way eventually. Recovery is a process, it takes time for improvements to be seen. Which is OK. This is not a race where speed is the most important attribute one can have. There's much to be unpacked mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if long-term recovery is to be obtained. Both your higher power and sponsor will be there for you along the way, if you let them. Ever remind yourself that you are no longer running away from yourself, you’re running towards. With a clear head and clear conscious the miracles of recovery will inevitably present themselves to you, often when you least expect. As long as you can remember that there is nothing to be lost by staying the course. Those who drift away from the program stand to lose — everything.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

Let Addiction Treatment Guide You

In addiction treatment, much time is spent learning how to ground oneself in the present. Exercises in how to cope with situations that could send one down an unhealthy path. Learning how to trust. Not just another, trust in yourself. If you are ready to begin the process of addiction recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today. We can equip you with the skills and tools for successfully achieving long-term recovery.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Raising Awareness About Overdose Deaths

overdose deaths
As things stand right now, experts believe that there will be more overdose deaths in 2017 than last year. Before this year comes to an end, over 50,000 more Americans will likely succumb to an overdose. Just to give you an idea of the staggering death toll, 64,000 people died of an overdose in 2016. That is 11, 596 more Americans than the year before (52,404). We probably do not have to mention that the cause of these terrible incidents was opioid narcotics. Such as prescription opioids, heroin and synthetics like fentanyl (100 times stronger than morphine).

With ever-mounting opioid-related morbidity rates, it’s fair to say that this problem demands the attention of every American. And that all of Us, can have a hand in raising awareness about opioid addiction and treatment. Particularly regarding the fact that treatment works and addiction recovery is possible. Believe it or not, many of the afflicted do not think that they can break the cycle of addiction. It is a belief that is often fortified by individuals' attempts to abstain from opioids on their own. That is, not having the aid of medical detox and addiction treatment professionals. Without assistance, relapse is almost always a given. Being more a question of “when,” rather than “if.”

Even if someone manages to get past the acute withdrawal stage on their own, which is possible (believe it or not), the likelihood of achieving long-term recovery is slim. The pull of opioids is extremely strong, and without a Program and a “higher power” to rely on, relapse is usually a foregone conclusion. Which is why lawmakers, health experts and local clergymen to double their efforts to encourage people with opioid use disorders to seek assistance.


#2069 Opioid Overdose Deaths

In the wake of last year's overdoses, Rev. Ron Tibbetts of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Wrentham, MA, decided to launch a novel campaign. In 2016, the state of Massachusetts lost 2,069 of its citizens to opioid-related overdoses, The Boston Globe reports. Upon learning of the startling figure, Rev. Tibbetts started the #2069 sign campaign to raise awareness.

Here’s how it works; the church has made simple lawn signs that people in Mass can order to place in their yard. The signs have a white background with “#2069” on them, intended to be stark and bleak, according to the Reverend. Signs can be purchased by making a $12 donation which will go towards an awareness rally the church is holding on Oct. 28, 2017, The Globe reports. Called No Shame 2017. The event is meant to raise opioid awareness and recognize first responders who have been assisting overdose victims. By the end of August, some 277 signs had been ordered from the Trinity Episcopal Church.

“It’s empowered us to become a lot more aware of the world around us,” said Tibbetts.


Addiction Recovery

The work of Trinity Episcopal Church is just one example of houses of faith doing their part to address the epidemic. Across the country, churches have been opening their doors to addicts with nowhere else to turn. At Celebrate Hope we commend the good works happening in Mass, and would like to help spread the message that addiction recovery is possible with the help of Christ. If you are struggling with opioids please contact our faith-based residential addiction treatment center. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and help you re-establish contact with your higher power.

Friday, September 1, 2017

E-Cigarettes Linked to Smoking Cessation

smoking cessation
Tobacco products despite being both addictive and deadly are often considered to be of little concern in comparison to other addictive substances. The reasons for this mindset are numerous, with the most notable being the legality of the products and the fact that death is usually meted out slowly. Smoking related illness typically comes later in life. It is true that cigarettes and their ilk are legal for adult use. And most people won’t end up mortgaging their home to support the habit. They are deadly and kill more people every year than opioids, drugs that have stolen the spotlight in recent years.

Aside from the fact that cigarettes are addictive, cessation is important to professionals working in the field of addiction for other reasons. Research suggests that smokers working a program of addiction recovery for another substance(s), are at an exponentially greater risk of relapse. Which is why reputable alcohol and substance use disorder treatment centers place a major emphasis on clients embracing smoking cessation while in their care.

So, if smoking can result in recovery efforts being for naught, those in treatment would be wise to heed the advice to quit. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it’s possible, nonetheless. Especially with the help of one of the many smoking cessation aids in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Upon hearing this you may be wondering if e-cigarettes qualify as acceptable smoking cessation aids. Until recently, the answer to that question might have been an emphatic “no,” depending on who you asked. However, new research indicates that some people may benefit from e-cigarettes.


Quitting Smoking With E-Cigarettes

Whether you are in recovery or merely thinking about giving recovery a chance, you know of the existence of e-cigarettes. Vaping has become a mainstream activity and is a multibillion dollar industry. There is a high likelihood that you are familiar with the ongoing debate of the safety of the devices, as well. While most health experts tend to agree that e-cigs are safer than traditional nicotine products, there has been little consensus about the efficacy of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. New research has shown that those attempting to quit tobacco could be aided by e-cigarettes, according to a Georgetown University Medical Center press release. The study was conducted at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Together with research published this July in BMJ, there is a clear connection between e-cigarettes and smoking cessation. The Georgetown researchers analyzed a national survey of more than 24,500 current or recent former cigarette users, the press release reports. The survey, Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), tracks long-term trends in tobacco use, cessation attempts and tobacco-related policies. David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi and lead study author points out that e-cigarettes may not be effective for every smoker. He says of the research:

"Our findings are consistent with randomized trials and those observational studies that measure frequency of e-cigarette use. These results support the use of e-cigarettes -- especially, consistent use -- as an effective smoking cessation aid. Since e-cigarettes are generally estimated to have a small proportion of the mortality risks of cigarettes, this represents an important life-saving intervention that doctors can recommend when other forms of treatment fail."


Addiction Treatment: A Great Time to Quit, Everything

If you are in need of help for substance use and dependence, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can assist you in breaking free from all mind-altering substances that are negatively impacting your life, including tobacco. While no one can force you to quit smoking, it could be beneficial to achieving the goal of long-term recovery.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Methamphetamine Induced Stroke Among Young People

Verily, there isn’t a narcotic without inherent risks. Each of us knows this to be true. Even if you have never been touched by addiction, you know someone whose life was turned upside down by substance misuse. Untreated substance abuse will ultimately end with institutions and premature death. That does not need to be the case though. There is treatment available to those who would seek it, but most will never get the chance. However, if you are reading this it means that you still can find recovery.

These days we seem to give almost exclusive attention to prescription opioids, heroin and synthetics like fentanyl or carfentanil. And for good reason, the epidemic we have been confronting for nearly two decades is like nothing we have ever faced before. Over a hundred Americans lose their lives every day from overdose. The government has declared a state of emergency, with lawmakers and health experts being confounded over what to do about it. But, the essential solution (which has been under-utilized) is providing greater access to treatment. Better educating doctors and patients about the dangers of opioids to prevent future use disorders and potential overdoses. Because at the end of the day, ours is a problem of addiction. Preventing it, and treating the disease will save lives.

When focusing on the opioid addiction epidemic we must not take our eye off some of the other narcotics both ruining and taking lives. In many ways, like the somnolence typified by opioid use, the epidemic has put us in a state of sleepiness regarding other substances. You know, not too long ago all the talk was about methamphetamine. Once called the most deadly and pernicious substance being abused by Americans. But a combination of numerous factors caused many Americans to think that the tide of the meth epidemic had been stemmed. Which makes sense, after all everyone was talking about meth — then they weren’t. So, meth must not be a problem anymore, right?


Meth Hasn’t Gone Anywhere, We Stopped Talking About It

Not for nothing, addiction has been around forever. But when it takes people’s lives in overwhelming numbers at young ages, people seem to give it more credence. Such was the case with opioids. As the death toll continued to mount with each year that passed, we were all forced to confront the opioid epidemic. Especially when people from nearly every demographic are dying every day. Unfortunately, while we were all focusing on opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine use continued and increased with few taking notice. Perhaps some new research will cause people to divert their attention from opioids for a moment.

A review of research, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, indicates a heightened risk of stroke among young people who use meth, BMJ reports. This is concerning considering that methamphetamine use is on the rise, especially in North America. Methamphetamine can be swallowed, inhaled, or injected. Swallowing and injecting meth was associated with Haemorrhagic strokes (bleed into the brain) risks. Whereas, inhalation was linked to ischaemic stroke (caused by a clot).

“With the use of methamphetamine increasing, particularly more potent forms, there is a growing burden of methamphetamine related disease and harms, particularly among young people, in whom the majority of methamphetamine use occurs,” the researchers wrote. “Indeed, it is likely that methamphetamine abuse is making a disproportionate contribution to the increased incidence of stroke among young people observed over recent years.”


Methamphetamine Treatment

Meth addiction, as you can see, can lead to premature death. It may not be as common as opioid overdose, but worth everyone's focus. This is not just a drug that makes people “hyper” and rots out one’s teeth. The caustic effect it has on the human body can be fatal. If you are addicted to methamphetamine, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea to discuss treatment options. Recovery will save your life.

Friday, August 18, 2017

AUD Among Women Rising

When you think of heavy drinkers you are likely to picture a man taking shots in a dimly lit bar or a frat boy taking “keg stands.” Associations that would be accurate, but men are not the only Americans drinking in unhealthy ways. Women are touched by addiction, and millions of American women struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD) every year. However, it hardly gets the attention that it deserves.

Alcohol is a dangerous substance, even when used in relative moderation. Due to the drug's legal status, it is an accepted pastime in the United States. Yet, when recreation turns into addiction society is not all that kind. The stigma of alcoholism prevents many alcoholics from seeking the help they desperately require. In 2015, around 1.3 million adults received AUD treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Of those who received treatment 898,000 were men, which equates to 8.8 percent of the number of males who needed treatment. Only 417,000 women got treatment, 7.5 percent of females who needed treatment.

The lack of people seeking treatment for AUD is troubling, especially when you consider that a new study shows that alcohol use, high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders, has increased significantly among women leading up to 2015. The findings were published in JAMA Psychiatry.


High Risk Drinking and AUD Among Women

In order to prevent and educate people about the dangers of alcohol, we need to know who is at the greatest risk. This will allow experts to better target their preventive efforts. The new study showed increases in high risk drinking and alcohol use disorder among men as well. Yet, the most significant increases were found with:
  • Women
  • Older Adults
  • Racial/Ethnic Minorities
  • Individuals with Lower Educational Levels and Family Income
"These increases constitute a public health crisis that may have been overshadowed by increases in much less prevalent substance use (marijuana, opiates and heroin) during the same period. ... Most important, the findings herein highlight the urgency of educating the public, policymakers and health care professionals about high-risk drinking and AUD, destigmatizing these conditions and encouraging those who cannot reduce their alcohol consumption on their own, despite substantial harm to themselves and others, to seek treatment," the authors write in JAMA.

AUD Treatment 

Alcohol use disorders are progressive forms of mental illness. Left untreated typically leads to tragic outcomes. But, much of the heartache typical to alcoholism can be avoided by making the brave decision to seek help, sooner rather than later. If you are a woman who is struggling with AUD, recovery is possible, if you are willing to take certain steps.

At Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea, we can guide you to the road of early recovery. Starting with breaking the cycle of alcoholism. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a consultation. Please give us a call.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Avoiding Triggers in Early Recovery

addiction recovery
Living a life free from drugs and alcohol is no easy task. It is not a coincidence that most relapses happen within the first year of recovery. Whether you sought help by way of treatment or not. Of course, those who do seek the assistance of a substance use disorder treatment facility are given tools and taught skills to better mitigate the risk of relapse.

When you go to treatment for alcohol or substance use disorders, getting you off substances is the first order of business. Next, comes the work. Learning, understanding and accepting ways of living that can help you avoid the temptations lurking around every corner. One of the reasons that staying clean and sober for long period of time is so difficult is triggers. People, places or things that can elicit certain responses and feelings in thee mind.

In early recovery, avoiding triggers is absolutely paramount. Those who delude themselves into thinking they are stronger than they are, often encounter problems. People with less than a year sober have no good reason to be in an environment where people are using. If there is a party that requires your presence (i.e. work related event), bringing a friend in the program with you is always wise. That being said, it is possible to stay out of shark infested water in early recovery. If one is honest about their limitations.

Triggers In Addiction Recovery

Alcohol and drugs are triggers. But, there are other subtler triggers that can make a person want to use, too. After years of living in addiction, there are number of mental associations that form. Stimuli and behaviors that went along with your disease, but are not necessarily things that will get you drunk or high on their own.

For instance, everyone listens to music. Perhaps there was a band that you listened to a lot when you were using. Now in recovery, you may play a song that could make you have fond memories of when you were using. Forgetting all the pain that drugs and alcohol caused, you find yourself with a smile on your face. This can be dangerous. In early recovery, you would be wise to make a list of certain bands that could trigger your appetite for particular substances.

Music is just a general example of something benign in nature that can have catastrophic impact on your program. Early on in treatment, you and your counselor will likely narrow down things in the outside world that could jeopardize your recovery. Identify places that should be avoided, and people that you should try to stay clear of. One’s addiction will be constantly trying to steer you towards the precipice of relapse. Working a program counters the sinister drive of addiction. After leaving treatment, you will work with a sponsor and go to meetings. It is vital that you talk with your fellows in recovery about any and all urges to use that you are having. Not doing so is a slippery slope to relapse.


Addiction Treatment As A Model

Some of you reading this are not in recovery yet, but need it. If that is the case, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea. We can help you build a solid foundation for recovery, and teach you about the people, places and things that should be avoided—at all costs. Achieving long-term recovery is possible, let us show you how.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Opioid Addiction Report: Declare A National Emergency

opioid addiction
There is a good chance that you have been affected by the widespread misuse of opioid painkillers. Either yourself personally, or you have a loved one or close friend who's been touched by the disease of addiction. Right now, there are millions of Americans living with an untreated opioid use disorder. You may have heard tell that the White House appointed a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The hope is to find viable solutions to our nation’s most serious public health crisis.

Solutions are desperately needed, people are dying and many more are meeting the criteria for opioid addiction with each day that passes. Confronting this epidemic has proved to be a serious challenge. While there have been efforts to both assist addicts get help and make it harder to acquire prescription opioids, still around 142 Americans die of an overdose every day.

Last year, Congress approved and President Obama signed into law a couple piece of legislation aimed at putting an end to the epidemic. Legislation that called for funding addiction treatment services, expanding access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone and training doctors to be more frugal prescribers. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act have yet to bear quantifiable proof. Only time will tell. The current administration has placed their trust in the opioid commission to address the epidemic.


Opioid Crisis Report

Many addiction experts have eagerly awaited what conclusions the commission would make. This week, the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released a preliminary report, according to the Associated Press. Wherein, the first order of business calls for the President to declare the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency. Report says that roughly 142 deaths each day is "equal to September 11th event every three weeks."

“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life. It would also awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.” 

The commission included several recommendations in their report, including:
  • Enforcing mental health parity laws, ensuring people get the coverage they need for addiction treatment.
  • Equipping “all” law enforcement officers with naloxone.
  • Funding federal agencies to develop fentanyl detection sensors.
  • Increasing the use of opioid addiction medications, such as buprenorphine.
  • Require doctors and other people working in the medical field to get buprenorphine prescribing waivers.
  • Facilitate state prescription drug monitoring programs data sharing nationally by July 1, 2018.
The commissioner stated that it will release another report later this fall.


Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction is difficult to recover from, but it is possible. The process usually begins with detox to help you get through the withdrawal process, the pain of which often leads to immediate relapse without assistance. Then followed by residential addiction treatment to teach you how a life in recovery can be achieved, teaching you skills and providing tools to help achieve success. After treatment, a continued program of spiritual maintenance is how one holds on to their recovery for years to come.

If you are ready to take the journey of addiction recovery, please contact Celebrate Hope at Hope by The Sea today.
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