If you feel like God is far away,

ask yourself “who moved?”

Get Admitted

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Your Recovery This Christmas and Beyond

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Recovery in 2021

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

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

Friday, December 4, 2020

Opioid Addiction Epidemic Lawsuits Pile Up

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

Many Players Involved in the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

California Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

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

Friday, November 20, 2020

Navigating Thanksgiving in Isolation

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving in Recovery

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

 

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

OxyContin and Opioid Epidemic Settlement

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OxyContin Maker Held Accountable

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

 

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Prayer and Meditation in Recovery

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Is Prayer and Meditation Important to Your Recovery?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Program

 

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

Friday, October 9, 2020

World Mental Health Day 2020

mental health

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

World Mental Health Day

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Faith-Based Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

 

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

Friday, September 25, 2020

Suicide Prevention Month 2020

Suicide Prevention Month

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Faith-Based Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

 

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

Friday, September 11, 2020

Celebrating Connections in Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reach for Recovery in 2020


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

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

As Overdoses Spike, States Slash Addiction Treatment Funding



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

Worsening Crisis


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

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

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

Disruption in Service


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

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

State Cuts


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

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

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

COVID Challenges


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

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

Addiction Treatment During a Pandemic


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

Thursday, August 13, 2020

What Families Need to Know About Addiction

what families need to know about addiction

When your loved one is showing signs of being addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can affect your entire family. You are undoubtedly worried about your loved one’s health and well-being. Their addiction may strain your relationship. You may even feel helpless as you watch them continue their addictive ways. What families need to know about addiction is what is behind it, how it works in your loved one’s mind and body, and how you can help them.

A Complex Disease


People don’t choose addiction. It is a complex condition, a brain disease manifested by compulsive substance use despite the harmful consequences it can cause. Addiction takes over your loved one’s life. They will keep using drugs or alcohol, and doing whatever it takes to get them, even when they know it will cause problems for them and their families.

When your loved one is addicted, they have distorted thinking, behavior, and body functions. They experience changes in the wiring of their brains, resulting in intense cravings that make it very hard to stop using. Brain imaging studies have shown physical changes in an addict’s brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavior control.

How It Starts


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that people have a variety of reasons for taking drugs or drinking alcohol. They may do it:
  • To feel good — feeling of pleasure, “high”
  • To feel better — e.g., relieve stress
  • To do better — improve performance
  • Because of curiosity and peer pressure

The Need for More


Regardless of why they started taking drugs or drinking alcohol, they will build up a tolerance over time. Your loved one will then need to consume larger amounts to feel the same effects. Even if they are aware of emerging health problems, as well as problems at work or with family and friends, they could simply be unable to stop on their own.

The Addiction Experience


A research study published by NCBI attempted to learn more about addiction, from the perspective of those individuals who were addicted. Their stories are unique and insightful as to why they began using drugs or alcohol and what their experience was as an addict. These stories add to what families need to know about addiction, to understand what their loved one is experiencing.

A mother, Latoya, who was in treatment for heroin and nicotine addiction, believed that addiction was a part of human nature. She said, “I feel like everybody got addiction, you know what I mean, ‘cause they have addiction to smoking, addiction to going to work, you know, so somebody has an addiction somewhere in them.” Connecting her experience to a trend she perceived in others, Latoya had developed a sense that her addiction, though problematic and disabling, was not unique to her, but in fact, a common experience along the spectrum of “normal” human behavior.

Joe, who was a self-described blue-collar worker in his late forties, shared what he believed to be a strong connection among his mental health, employment, and alcoholism cycles. He said, “It is anxiety and stress that I was dealing with. [Alcohol] just calmed me down so that I used it as a tool, like a self-medication for me...I have depression and anxiety and overwhelming problems with employment, it was very stressful...but it has nothing to do with family or anything...I would quit for a month here and there; I have quit for a couple of weeks here and there. But I always went back when the anxiety and depression set in when I'm dealing with work.”

Paige, a housewife in her fifties, spoke about her pattern of abuse and the bargaining process. She said, “I had a blackout, don't remember, ended up in the hospital...then I got out of the hospital after three days and swore I would never drink again. And within two weeks I was having wine again. I told myself it was just wine, it couldn't do any damage. So, yeah. And it just spiraled down and I was very, very depressed and constantly hopeless... I have emotional triggers that are problematic.”

The Impact on the Family


What families need to know about addiction is that they are not necessarily overreacting when they notice problems in their loved one’s work, health, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem, or self-respect. Their substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. When your loved one continues to use drugs or alcohol in spite of the fact that their behavior is causing these problems, that is a problem in itself – for them and for you.

As untreated problems continue, family members develop their own issues. Partners of people who have substance use problems can suffer greatly. Common symptoms include headaches, backaches, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Children of parents with substance use disorders can experience school behavior problems, poor academic performance, and are more likely to struggle with addiction themselves.

Help for Your Loved One and Your Family


Taking those first steps to help your loved one begin treatment can be a painful process. Celebrate Hope can guide you through the challenges of helping your loved one realize their brokenness and getting treatment at a reputable Christian addiction treatment facility. We are a faith-based addiction program firmly rooted in the 12 Steps and in the teachings of Christ and we are here to help you and your loved one. For more information about our evidence-based addiction treatment, contact us today.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

PTSD Talk Therapy Doesn't Lead to Relapse in Recovery

PTSDMany Americans could be at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those living with any mental illness face significant obstacles at this time, as well. Any person in recovery for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders must prioritize their well-being every day.

While these are challenging times financially for millions of us, it's vital to continue taking steps to address your mental and behavioral needs. Attend 12 Step meetings and call your support group whenever you feel the need. If you see a therapist, please do not let up because of the coronavirus. Counselors are utilizing virtual platforms to serve the needs of their patients.

In the last several months, more and more men and women have reported experiencing mental illness symptoms. Those who find themselves dealing with psychological distress benefit when they don't ignore their symptoms; unfortunately, many people are accustomed to shrugging off mental health conditions because of misconceptions and stigma.

If you are feeling alone with what you are experiencing, please keep in mind that one in five Americans has a psychiatric disorder. What's more, there is a large community of individuals in recovery who can support you along the way. Anyone struggling with behavioral health disorders like addiction and mental illnesses can recover with the help of treatment providers, mutual-help groups, and professional therapy.

It's worth remembering that new conditions can arise while in recovery. Traumatic events, such as natural disasters or a public health crisis, can jeopardize your progress. If you've been significantly affected by COVID-19, then you may consider seeking the assistance of a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) disproportionately impacts men and women living with alcohol or substance use disorder. PTSD symptoms can be a catalyst for relapse if left unaddressed. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, around one-fourth of people living with addiction also have PTSD.

PTSD Talk Therapy Doesn’t Trigger Relapse in Recovery


It's natural to avoid talking about painful memories, but doing so is beneficial in many ways. A failure to process what you have been through can lead to self-destructive behaviors. Mutual-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can help with what you've experienced; however, it might not be enough for some individuals. You might have concerns that facing your trauma will do more harm than good or be the impetus for a relapse. Some providers are under that opinion too.

New research appearing in the Journal of Traumatic Stress shows that PTSD talk therapy doesn't cause a drug or alcohol relapse. The study involved comparing the week-to-week craving comparisons of 44 patients. The researchers found that participants had no rise in stress or cravings for drugs after PTSD therapy sessions.

"Now that we have evidence that treating PTSD won't impact recovery, patients can request therapy, and mental health providers have a duty to make it available," said study author Jessica Peirce, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "There is a lot more resilience within this population than many health care providers give them credit for, and not offering the proper treatment is doing patients a disservice."

Faith-Based Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we offer medical and therapeutic assistance for individuals living with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. We treat both use disorders and accompanying mental illnesses alongside one another. Please contact us today to learn more about our faith-based co-occurring disorder treatment program.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Addiction Treatment Centers Take COVID-19 Precautions

addiction treatment
People living the disease of addiction who are actively using drugs or alcohol still require help, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The American addiction epidemic existed long before this public health crisis and will be present long after the matter is suppressed.

Public health precautions have led to border closures and greater scrutiny at every point of entry in the United States. The result: getting drugs into the country is significantly more challenging, and many people will resort to desperate measures to sate their addictive needs. With few avenues for acquiring illicit substances, many are considering taking steps toward recovery.

Fortunately, addiction treatment centers are still operating across the country. Such programs have had to alter their operations in many ways to ensure the safety of their clients. Nevertheless, it’s normal that those who need assistance harbor concerns about contracting the coronavirus while in treatment.

Close Quarter Recovery


Addiction treatment centers emphasize the importance of working closely with others who share similar goals. Throughout the day, clients attend group therapy and socialize with each other at night. Many inpatient treatment centers bunk more than one client to a room, and not just to save space. It’s common to bond and form friendships with the people you share a bedroom with at the facility.

Recovery is about fellowship, inside treatment and out. Rehab centers teach clients how to rely on their peers to achieve long-term recovery. Progress doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Life-long bonds are often formed in addiction treatment centers; you meet and befriend people you can call when problems arise.

In light of COVID-19, there are concerns about safely social distancing at residential treatment centers. Staff members have had to change the structure to ensure clients keep their distance from one another, and regularly screen for the virus to prevent an outbreak. You can rest assured that clinicians and support staff diligently strive to ensure that patients can focus on their recovery rather than live in fear of contracting a deadly virus.

Fears of Inpatient Addiction Treatment


It’s hard to deny that it isn’t challenging to institute social distancing protocols in a treatment center. Nevertheless, Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea, and many others are rising to the challenge. We implore men and women to believe that addiction treatment providers have their best interests at heart and are doing everything in their power to protect clients from the pandemic.

There are reports that even though drug and alcohol use is on the rise, fewer people are seeking addiction treatment. Marvin Ventrell, CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), reports that around 1,000 members saw a 40 to 50 percent census drop in March and April.

The above data is concerning, especially when you consider that opioid overdoses could be up 40 percent during the pandemic, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). With substance use on the rise, people need to have faith in treatment more than ever.

“It’s hard to underestimate the effects of the pandemic on the community with opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Caleb Alexander, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “The pandemic has profoundly disrupted the drug markets. Normally that would drive more people to treatment. Yet treatment is harder to come by.” 

Addiction Treatment During a Pandemic


During these troubling times, we invite you or a loved one to start celebrating hope today! All CDC COVID-19 guidelines are being followed. Please contact us to learn more about our faith-based addiction treatment program and how we ensure that our clients are safe.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Raising Awareness About PTSD

PTSD
Last month, we directed our focus on mental health and co-occurring mental illnesses that accompany addiction. May was Mental Health Month. Today, we would like to direct your attention toward post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Every June is PTSD Awareness Month.

PTSD is a condition you may hear about a lot in the coming months and years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus public health crisis has impacted countless lives across the globe. More than 2.5 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 120 thousand have died from health complications related to the virus.

Post-traumatic stress can arise in a person's life for a number of reasons. It's not just people in the military who contend with the severe form of mental illness. Experiencing any kind of traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one, can have a dramatic impact on a person's life.

Prolonged stents of loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on your psychological well-being. It's worth noting that millions of Americans live alone and cannot rely on others' support while weathering the pandemic storm.

Isolation also has a pernicious effect on men and women who struggle with mental illness. Those living with mental health disorders have found the current crisis a real challenging event. With no end in sight, anxiety plagues millions of people, including those who contend with PTSD.

PTSD Awareness Month: Treatment Works


PTSD is not a rare disorder; some 8 million people live with PTSD in America. At this time, it is vital to support those living with the condition and let those with untreated post-traumatic stress know that treatment works. Many people who meet the criteria for PTSD also struggle with addiction. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol is exceptionally common amongst those afflicted by the condition.

Addicts and alcoholics living with co-occurring PTSD must receive simultaneous treatment for both conditions. Each of us can play a role in raising awareness and encouraging those who are struggling to seek assistance. We can all make a difference in the lives of Veterans and anyone who has experienced trauma. It's a critical mission; the National Center for PTSD points out that:

"Most people who have PTSD don't get the help they need...Everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of sexual assault, serious accidents, natural disasters, or other traumatic events—needs to know that treatments really do work and can lead to a better quality of life."

As the month ends and all year long, you can join the National Center for PTSD in raising awareness and help people in your community find the courage to seek treatment. Men and women living with untreated mental and behavioral health disorders are at significant risk and more prone to self-destructive behaviors and suicidal ideations. Please keep in mind:  

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. There are factors that can increase the chance someone will develop PTSD, and these are often not under that person's control.
 

Faith-Based Dual Diagnosis Treatment


Celebrate Hope is a faith-based addiction treatment center in Southern California. We utilize evidence-based therapies, 12 Step principles, and the teachings of Jesus Christ to help men and women overcome addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses like PTSD. Please contact us today to begin the journey of recovery.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Risk Factors for Youth Substance Use

risk factors

Since the beginning of America’s opioid epidemic, research has focused on how drug use begins and how it progresses. Many different factors, environmental and genetic, can contribute to someone’s risk for a substance use disorder.

The Facts of Youth Substance Use 


Since 1975, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has monitored trends of drug and alcohol consumption among adolescents. Current data reveals that while the prevalence of cigarette use and binge drinking have dropped in recent years, the use of tobacco products remains high. Marijuana use has increased, with 12.5% of 8th graders, 28.8% of 10th graders, and 36.4% of 12th graders reporting that they had used the drug within the past year. Prescription medications like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Adderall, and Ritalin are of particular concern; in 2009, the CDC reported that more than 20% of high school students had misused a prescription drug. 

The risks of substance use among young people are significant. Research shows that using drugs and alcohol earlier in life can result in increased rates of sexually transmitted infections, juvenile delinquency, vehicular fatalities, and other issues associated with mental and physical health. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable due to the underdeveloped state of their brains, which can lead to worsened decision-making abilities and increased long-term effects of alcohol and drugs. Finally, using these substances in one’s teen years can result in an increased risk of serious drug use and dependence later in life. 

Risk Factors 


It is important to know that risk factors do not predict a child’s future; instead, they provide a general gauge regarding the likelihood of drug or alcohol use. By addressing risk factors early and providing extra assistance to higher risk children, it is possible to avoid the path of substance use. Prominent risk factors for youth substance use include

Family history. If a child’s family members have had addiction problems in the past, there is a heightened biological and social risk that this child will misuse alcohol or drugs. Adults should let their children know that they are more likely to develop drug or alcohol problems when they reach their early teens. 

History of trauma. Research shows that children who have been through car accidents, sexual abuse, or other traumatic incidents are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol later in life. It is vital for parents to help their teens to receive proper treatment for these concerns. 

Impulse control issues. Teens who love risk-taking or who have difficulty controlling their impulses are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. Because teens’ brains are not fully developed, it is critical that parents educate their children on the risk factors for youth substance use. 

Mental health problems. Children with diagnoses like depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or anxiety are at higher risk for addiction. These individuals aren’t guaranteed to develop a substance use disorder, but because of their reduced ability to regulate emotions and behavior, parents should be watchful. An open dialogue with your child’s primary care provider is advised. 

How to Prevent Youth Substance Use 


Teens use drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons, and understanding these motivations is critical to prevention efforts. During this phase of their lives, young people struggle to cope with transitions, grown-up emotions, and hormonal surges. They may turn to drugs in an attempt to escape or self-medicate feelings of depression and anxiety. It’s also possible that they see substance use as a tool of their rebellion, or as a way to fit in. The risk factors for youth substance use are as complex as teenagers themselves. However, it is possible to prevent them from taking over your child’s life.

Know your teen’s activities and friends. Be aware of their whereabouts, and find out which adult-supervised activities your child is interested in. Encourage them to get involved in these activities, rather than letting them have unlimited downtime – boredom can be a reason that teens turn to substance use. 

Create rules and consequences. Family rules are important to young people and serve as helpful boundaries for their behavior. Explain what these rules are – for example, you may forbid riding home with a driver who has been drinking – and consistently enforce the consequences when necessary. 

Know the signs of substance use. Early intervention is key, and behavioral change is usually one of the first things parents notice. If your child is using drugs, you may observe worsened academic performance, self-isolation and secrecy, complaints from teachers and classmates, unexplained disappearances, changing friend groups, and defiant or disrespectful behavior. Keep an eye out for physical signs of substance use, including slurred speech, mood swings, inappropriate laughter, loud or obnoxious behavior, paranoia, low energy levels, and unexplained changes to their personality. 

Set a good example. Parents should model the behavior they wish to see – do not drink to excess, misuse prescription medications, or use illicit drugs. This is particularly salient for those in recovery, who should avoid drinking or drug use altogether. By setting a good example, you show your child how to behave and how to overcome the risk factors for youth substance use. 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment 


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is a faith-based addiction treatment program rooted in the 12 Steps and the teachings of Christ. Many of our clients first began a pattern of substance abuse in their youth and are now working to lead prosperous lives in recovery. Others reached the age of 18 and realized that treatment is necessary. For more information about our evidence-based addiction treatment, contact us today.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Mental Health Awareness Month: Ending Stigma

Mental Health
The month of May has been especially challenging for millions of Americans living with and mental health disorders. Nearly two million Americans have contracted the coronavirus COVID-19, and 100,652 have lost their lives to the deadly virus. This is an unprecedented time in modern history, and the events of the last few months have severely impacted the entire country.

More than 40 million Americans have been laid off, fired, or furloughed. The unemployment rate has exponentially eclipsed the "Great Recession" of 2008 and will likely surpass the "Great Depression" of 1929. However, unlike the former sources of significant unemployment, this crisis is the result of an invisible force that has nothing to do with greed.

All of us are living in an unrecognizable world; face masks, social distancing, and government-mandated stay at home orders, to name a few. Millions of individuals are living in fear for their lives as the death toll continues to rise globally. At least 360,000 people have died from health complications related to the coronavirus worldwide. Americans nearly make up a third of the global death toll.

For the one in five Americans who contend with a mental illness every day, the last three months have been traumatic. Stress and feelings of uncertainty trigger symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. When people living with mental illness feel backed into a corner, they are apt to resort to self-destructive coping mechanisms.

Stigma prevents people from reaching out for professional help; fewer than half of American s living with a mental illness receive the assistance they require. Now, more than ever, we need to work tirelessly to change that statistic.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020


A new study predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to as many as 150,000 Americans dying from alcohol, drugs, or suicide this year. Naturally, many of those people will have pre-existing mental health conditions. Many deaths can be prevented if actions are taken to remind people that they are not alone.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The theme this year is "You Are Not Alone." The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America (MHA) asks that we all join forces to break the stigma of mental illness that is a barrier to treatment. Each of us can play a critical role in saving lives during these troubling times of uncertainty. NAMI writes that the:  

"You are Not Alone" campaign features the lived experience of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever before, it is important for the mental health community to come together and show the world that no one should ever feel alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness with the digital tools that make connection possible during a climate of physical distancing. Even in times of uncertainty, the NAMI community is always here, reminding everyone that you are not alone. 

How can you help during Mental Health Month? For one, you can share your story and experience with mental illness, provided you feel comfortable. You can also take to your social media account to disseminate #NotAlone graphics and messages with your community and mental health resources with your friends who may be suffering in silence.

Faith-Based Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Illness Treatment


At Celebrate Hope, we can help you or someone you care about with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We rely on evidence-based therapies along with the teachings of Jesus Christ to help our clients begin a journey of lasting recovery.

The Celebrate Hope team is keeping every soul impacted by COVID-19 in our thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Easter for People in Faith-Based Recovery

Faith-Based Recovery
The last three months have been especially hard for millions of Americans, particularly for men and women in addiction recovery. Sheltering in place and stay at home orders have altered the trajectory of all our lives. All non-essential businesses are closed, and those in recovery have not been able to attend meetings in person.

For those working faith-based addiction recovery programs, attending their local house of worship has proved impossible in most places. Countless people recovering from addiction rely on the support of their congregations and spiritual leaders.

Fortunately, your higher power, Jesus Christ, is with you wherever you go, whether you are at home in isolation or church. You can pray at any time, and God is always listening. If you remember that His presence is around you, then it will help keep your recovery intact through this pandemic.

Now is an excellent time to make gratitude lists and share with your recovery peers how grateful you are to have their support in your life. You have the power to brighten other people’s day and strengthen your program in the process. We are all in this together and are praying for one another to stay safe and sober.

It’s hard to predict how much longer life will be the way it is considering that the COVID-19 death toll continues to climb across the nation. The Washington Post reports that 1,097,249 are infected in America, and 64,260 have died to date in the United States.

An Interesting Easter for People in Recovery


Adjusting to the new normal is no easy task, but we all must do our best and find uplifting things to do while at home. You can read your Bible and The Big Book. There are a number of podcasts and inspirational reading materials available online.

You may be aware that Pope Francis celebrated Easter Sunday Mass last month on YouTube to a mostly empty room, followed by the Pope’s “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and to the World) blessing that is traditionally given only on Christmas and Easter.


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

On the same day, April 12, 2020, the Italian global music icon Andrea Bocelli was invited by the City of Milan and the Duomo cathedral to give a solo performance representing a message of love, healing, and hope to Italy and the world.


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

You do not have to be a Catholic to appreciate the steps religious leaders and musicians are taking to shine a light on the dark times. Perhaps you will enjoy both videos and take time to reflect on your spirituality during this public health crisis.

California Faith-Based Addiction Recovery


Please contact Celebrate Hope if you require assistance with addiction or co-occurring mental illness. Our addiction professionals can help you get on a path to recovery and reconnect with your Lord and Savior. We utilize evidence-based therapies, 12 Step recovery, and the teaching of Jesus Christ to bring about lasting recovery.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Addiction Recovery and "The Hounds of Heaven"

addiction recoveryWeeks of social distancing and sheltering in place have had a significant impact on all of us. The human being is social in nature; we are communal and rely on one another for support. Being cut off from our friends and family is challenging, but necessary for contending with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen confirmed cases of coronavirus grow exponentially. Nearly 700,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and almost 37,000 have died from complications related to the virus.

While there is rambling on the television that “stay at home” orders may be lifted soon, experts warn that such a move is premature. A severe lack of testing means that we don’t fully know how many Americans have the virus. With that in mind, there is a high likelihood that sheltering in place protocols will continue indefinitely.

People working programs of addiction recovery are doing their best to maintain their sobriety despite the stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, and unemployment. Members of the community are able to connect online via video conferencing platforms, which is helpful.

Still, there are significant chunks of one’s day that need to be filled in order to keep from entertaining thoughts of drugs and alcohol. Praying throughout the day is one way to keep your spirituality alive and well. Reading and writing are beneficial too.

Indeed, millions are binge-watching television shows and streaming movies, but there comes a time when that ideal behavior is exhausting. Do your best to find a balance in your daily activities and do things that stimulate your mind and spirit.


National Poetry Month



Aside from reading books and magazines, you may want to consider poetry. For those working programs of faith-based addiction recovery, you will be pleased to know that there is a lot of poetry that incorporates elements of Christianity. Since April is National Poetry Month, we thought you would find it interesting to learn about a truly gifted Victorian Era poet.

Many poets were devoutly religious, and some were also plagued by addiction during their lifetime. One such poet was Francis Thompson (December 16, 1859–November 13, 1907). He was an English poet who had both a short and remarkable life; he left behind some of the most beautiful poetic verses when he died from tuberculosis at the age of 46.

Thompson was expected to become a priest despite the fact that he wished to be a writer. When priesthood was no longer an option, he tried his hand at medicine, but that was not his calling either. After leaving school, he moved back to his parents' home in Northern England.

One morning his sister woke up to find a note, which indicated Francis had run off to London. Once there, he fell on hard times; Thompson would eventually become homeless and addicted to the opioid tincture laudanum. He was down and out to be sure but was still writing. One day he dropped off a manuscript and some poems to a publisher, and the man instantly knew that there was something special in Thompson.

The publisher convinced Francis to seek medical help for his laudanum addiction and then stay at a monastery in the country to recover and prevent the risk of relapse. While under the care of monks, and no longer in the yoke of opium addiction, Thompson healed and reconnected with God. He began to write with a new sense of purpose. At the monastery, he wrote one of the most beautiful poems about redemption and finding the embrace of God, titled “The Hound of Heaven.” Please watch a fascinating video about Francis Thompson’s life:


If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

 

"The Hounds of Heaven"

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; 
I fled Him, down the arches of the years; 
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways 
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears 
I hid from Him, and under running laughter. 
Up vistaed hopes I sped; 
And shot, precipitated, 
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears, 
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,

They beat - and a Voice beat 
More instant than the Feet -'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me'.

I pleaded, outlaw-wise, 
By many a hearted casement, curtained red, 
Trellised with intertwining charities; 
(For, though I knew His love Who followed, 
Yet was I sore adread 
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.) 
But, if one little casement parted wide, 
The gust of His approach would clash it to: 
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue. 
Across the margent of the world I fled, 
And troubled the gold gateway of the stars, 
Smiting for shelter on their clanged bars; 
Fretted to dulcet jars 
And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.

I said to Dawn: Be sudden - to Eve: Be soon; 
With thy young skiey blossom heap me over
From this tremendous Lover - 
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see! 
I tempted all His servitors, but to find 
My own betrayal in their constancy, 
In faith to Him their fickleness to me, 
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit. 
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue; 
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind. 
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet, 
The long savannahs of the blue; 
Or, whether, Thunder-driven, 
They clanged his chariot 'thwart a heaven, 
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet:- 
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue. 
Still with unhurrying chase, 
And unperturbed pace, 
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, 
Came on the following Feet, 
And a Voice above their beat - 
'Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.'

I sought not more after that which I strayed 
In face of man or maid; 
But still within the little children's eyes 
Seems something, something that replies, 
They at least are for me, surely for me! 
I turned me to them very wistfully; 
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair 
With dawning answers there, 
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.

Come then, ye other children, Nature's - share 
With me (said I) 'your delicate fellowship; 
Let me greet you lip to lip, 
Let me twine with you caresses, 
Wantoning 
With our Lady-Mother's vagrant tresses, 
Banqueting 
With her in her wind-walled palace, 
Underneath her azured dais, 
Quaffing, as your taintless way is, 
From a chalice Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring'. 
So it was done: 
I in their delicate fellowship was one - 
Drew the bolt of Nature's secrecies. 
I knew all the swift importings 
On the wilful face of skies; 
I knew how the clouds arise 
Spumed of the wild sea-snortings; 
All that's born or dies 
Rose and dropped with; made them shapers 
Of mine own moods, or wailful divine; 
With them joyed and was bereaven. 
I was heavy with the even, 
When she lit her glimmering tapers 
Round the day's dead sanctities. 
I laughed in the morning's eyes. 
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather, 
Heaven and I wept together, 
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine: 
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart 
I laid my own to beat, 
And share commingling heat; 
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart. 
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven's grey cheek. 
For ah! we know not what each other says, 
These things and I; in sound I speak - 
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences. 
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth; 
Let her, if she would owe me, 
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me 
The breasts of her tenderness: 
Never did any milk of hers once bless 
My thirsting mouth. 
Nigh and nigh draws the chase, 
With unperturbed pace, 
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy; 
And past those noised Feet 
A voice comes yet more fleet - 
'Lo! naught contents thee, who content'st not Me.'

Naked I wait Thy love's uplifted stroke! 
My harness piece by piece Thou has hewn from me, 
And smitten me to my knee; 
I am defenceless utterly. 
I slept, methinks, and woke, 
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep. 
In the rash lustihead of my young powers, 
I shook the pillaring hours 
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears, 
I stand amidst the dust o' the mounded years - 
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap. 
My days have cracked and gone up in smoke, 
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream. 
Yea, faileth now even dream 
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist; 
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist 
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist, 
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account 
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed. 
Ah! is Thy love indeed 
A weed, albeit an amarinthine weed, 
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount? 
Ah! must - 
Designer infinite! - 
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it? 
My freshness spent its wavering shower i' the dust; 
And now my heart is as a broken fount, 
Wherein tear-drippins stagnate, spilt down ever 
From the dank thoughts that shiver 
Upon the sighful branches of my mind. 
Such is; what is to be? 
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind? 
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds; 
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds 
From the hid battlements of Eternity; 
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then 
Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again. 
But not ere him who summoneth 
I first have seen, enwound 
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned; 
His name I know and what his trumpet saith. 
Whether man's heart or life it be which yields 
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields 
Be dunged with rotten death? 
Now of that long pursuit 
Comes on at hand the bruit; 
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea: 
'And is thy earth so marred, 
Shattered in shard on shard? 
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me! 
Strange, piteous, futile thing! 
Wherefore should any set thee love apart? 
Seeing none but I makes much of naught' (He said), 
'And human love needs human meriting: 
How hast thou merited - 
Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot? 
Alack, thou knowest not 
How little worthy of any love thou art! 
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee, 
Save Me, save only Me? 
All which I took from thee I did but take, 
Not for thy harms, 
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms. 
All which thy child's mistake 
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home: 
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!' 
Halts by me that footfall: 
Is my gloom, after all, 
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly? 
'Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest, 
I am He Whom thou seekest! 
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.'

 

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment


Celebrate Hope at Hope By The Sea is a faith-based addiction treatment program that incorporates the 12 Steps and the teaching of Jesus Christ. If you're struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder, then please know that a life in recovery awaits you. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you break the disease cycle of addiction and reconnect with God.
CignaAetnaBlueCross BlueShieldUnited HealthcareMore Options/Verify Benefits

Contact Celebrate Hope

Our Christian counselors walk with clients in their journey of recovery and reconnection to God.


Request a Call From Us