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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nearly Half of Americans Have Loved One With Past or Current Addiction

Do you have a good friend or family member with a current or past substance use disorder? If so, you’re among nearly 46 percent of U.S. adults, according to a Pew Research Center Survey. And, according to the survey, there's no statistically significant differences between sex, race, age, education levels and even partisan lines.

In 2016, nearly 20.1 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And opioid use disorder (2.1 million) and alcohol use disorder (15.1 million) topped the list. 

When a Loved One Has a Substance Abuse Problem
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) put together a list of questions to help you determine if someone you care about needs help. If the answer to some or all of these questions is yes, your friend or loved one might have a substance abuse problem.  ("Drugs" is used here to refer to illicit drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol, notes the NIDA.)
  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  • Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
  • Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  • Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  • Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  • Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
  • Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
  • Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  • Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  • Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle — like irritability or nervousness.)
Getting Help for Drug or Alcohol Abuse
The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care that includes medical detox, residential programs for men and women, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. If you or a loved one is showing signs of a substance use disorder, call today: 805-202-3440. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

DEA Reveals Cocaine Use on Rise

Cocaine use is on the rise and, not surprisingly, the drug is easily available in most areas of the country, according to the DEA's 2017 National Drug Assessment. 

Other findings in the report included:  
  • In 2016 and 2017, multiple DEA [offices] reported increases in the quantity and purity of cocaine available. 
  • First-time use of cocaine within the past year rose 26% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Workplace drug tests that were positive for cocaine increased 12% between 2015 and 2016.
  • Cocaine-related overdose deaths increased 25.2% between 2014 and 2015, reaching the highest levels in nine years. 
Yet perhaps most scary is that cocaine, already dangerous on its own, has become deadlier as more dealers have laced it with fentanyl. Between 2010 and 2015, deaths involving both cocaine and opioids have more than doubled, from 2,000 to over 4,000, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

“The emergence of cocaine mixed with fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances in select markets is a potential trend of concern,” the DEA report notes. Though still relatively rare around the country, the trend has already been seen in areas including New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Tennessee. 

Spotting the Signs of Cocaine Use
If you suspect cocaine abuse by someone you care about, you should be on the look out for the following: 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose (snorting)
  • Nosebleeds (snorting)
  • Track marks (injecting)
  • Burned lips or fingers (smoking)
  • Mood swings
  • Extreme happiness and energy 
  • Aggressiveness
  • Paranoia
  • Distrustful of other’s intentions
  • Antagonistic behaviors towards others
  • Defensiveness
  • Changes in sleep (awake all night, sleeping in the day)
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
It’s extremely difficult to stop abusing cocaine without professional help. The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care that includes medical detox, residential programs for men and women, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Many Don’t Know Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Do you know the signs of prescription drug abuse? If you answered no – or maybe you’re not quite sure – you’re not alone. A new national survey conducted by researchers from Michigan State University found that out of 4,600 respondents, a full 32 percent were unsure of the signs of pill addiction. And men as well as those who lived in an urban setting were particularly bad at recognizing when something was amiss.

“My sense is that people just don’t recognize the risk factor or take the necessary precautions to look at what’s happening,” Michigan State economics professor Mark Skidmore, director of behavioral-health organization CAPE and a co-investigator on the survey, told New York Magazine. “Loved ones around may not be watching whether or not a prescription is being followed.”

If we’ve learned anything from the opioid epidemic – with more than two million Americans abusing prescription opioids or heroin in 2015 – it’s this: Anyone can become addicted to pain pills. This includes moms, professionals and young student athletes alike. Many people struggling with opioid addiction appear to be so-called normal; certainly not the typical image of a strung-out junkie looking for their next fix. 

The Signs of Opioid Abuse
Mood swings, changes in energy levels and sleep habits (all signs of opioid abuse) can be relatively easy to conceal from friends and family. Here, we take a look at these and other warning signs:

Increased or ongoing use: People taking painkillers most often become tolerant to the effects of their prescribed dose, needing more and more to get the same effects. 

Unusual drowsiness: A common symptom of opioid use is drooping eyes, or eyes that look like they’re about to fall asleep. A loved one struggling with prescription pill abuse may tend to nod in the middle of a conversation, during a TV show, or at the dinner table.

Shifts in sleep patterns: This can include sleeping longer than unusual or staying up and awake all-night and sleeping all day. 

Changes in appearance: In addition to dropping tired-looking eyes, opioid abuse can lead to metabolic changes that cause weight loss as well as compromised personal hygiene and appearance. Physical signs that a loved one is high includes: 
  • Red, glazed eyes
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Flushed face and neck
  • Constant cough or runny nose
  • Slurred speech
  • Intense calm
  • Nodding head
Persistent flu-like symptoms: If your loved one always seems to be “coming down with something” and then feeling fine again, it could be a sign of abuse and withdrawal. Long-term abuse can also compromise the immune system, making the user more susceptible to flu, viruses and infections. 
More signs of withdrawal include: 
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Severe insomnia 
Getting Help for Prescription Drug Abuse
The Haven at Pismo provides a continuum of care that includes medical detox, residential programs for men and women, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. If you or a loved one is showing signs of a pain pill addiction, call today: 805-202-3440. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

National Recovery Month: Benefits of Sharing Your Story

This year, the theme of National Recovery Month is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities” – and all month long, the organization has been inviting individuals in recovery and their family members to share their personal recovery stories. 

Whether you choose to share your personal story in a group meeting, one on one with a close friend or family member, on social media, in the form of a blog or via the “Voices for Recovery” section on – the benefits of telling your recovery tale are plentiful. For one, it’s perhaps the best thing you can do to stop stigma and spread awareness – and it can help your own recovery, too. 

Here’s how: 
  • You’ll remember why you've worked so hard to stay sober. Talking about the details of the past is perhaps the perfect reminder of how terrible you felt and the bad things that happened due to addiction. 
  • You’ll feel less alone. Sharing your story will help you feel part of the addiction recovery community and open the doors for meeting others who can help support you along your journey.
  • You’ll boost your confidence. Taking the time to articulate your recovery journey can help reinforce how hard you’ve worked, how far you’ve come and how strong you are. This will also help keep you motivated to remain sober. 
  • You’ll potentially help someone else. Being visible and letting others know your recovery story may just help someone imagine him or herself in recovery, too.
  • You’ll feel lighter and freer. Telling your story opens you up to more support and emotional feedback that can help you move past any negative emotions, like shame or embarrassment. Many people in recovery say they feel a bit lighter and freer each time they share their recovery story. 
Start Your Personal Recovery Journey
There’s no better time then today to get the addiction help you need and begin your own journey toward lasting sobriety. We’re here to help. To learn about our addiction treatment services, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5 Holistic Therapies You'll Experience in Rehab

When used in conjunction with traditional addiction treatment, holistic therapies have been proved to be very effective in addressing both the physical and psychological impact of addiction. In fact, alternative treatments are becoming more mainstream, helping those struggling with substance use disorders to develop the necessary skills for lasting sobriety. 

Here’s a look at a few holistic therapies that you might experience during rehab – and why they can work for you: 
  • Equine therapy: Spending time with horses has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions, including addiction. Horses have been found to help clients recovering from substance use disorders to build relationships, develop rapport, communicate trust and learn healthy boundaries. Horses can also teach clients to be gentle and kind with themselves and with others.
  • Art therapy: Art therapy has become an integral part of the counseling and support services in many addiction centers. By drawing, painting and using other creative media like sculpture, clients learn to increase self-awareness and express emotions (both conscious and unconscious) about addiction and recovery – and even the meaning of life.
  • Adventure therapy: Adventure therapy encourages patients to use recovery tools to complete a team task, achieve a fitness goal or overcome adversity. Whether surfing, kayaking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing or rappelling, adventure therapy helps clients move beyond their comfort zone to achieve better self-understanding, self-confidence and self-esteem. The healing power of nature also helps tame anxiety and stress.
  • Hypnotherapy: Especially helpful for clients dealing with buried resentment, fear, regret, jealous or anger, addiction professionals use hypnosis to delve into the root of a client’s addiction. Some of its many benefits include the ability to treat trauma, resolve self-sabotaging thoughts, correct destructive habits and bring about behavioral changes that align with sobriety goals.  
  • Sound therapy: This cutting-edge alternative therapy works at a cellular level to initiate healing. Sound therapy uses vibrations played at varying pitches and intervals to help improve chi, release negative emotions, alleviate pain and stress and balance the mind, body and spirit. It’s also helpful for clients who struggle with the practice of meditation, as the vibration provides a targeted focal point to distract from outside influences.
About Our Holistic Therapies 
The Haven at Pismo is set apart from other California addiction recovery facilities by our unique blend of multi-modal therapies. We believe that the most successful addiction treatment programs take into account the body, mind and spirit, which are all impacted by the disease of addiction. To learn more about our specialized treatments and customized holistic therapies, call today: 805-202-3440.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How to Discover Your Personal Strengths

Learning to identify your personal strengths can greatly benefit your recovery. Once you become aware of what you’re good at and what makes you unique, you can utilize these qualities to stay confident and motivated as you create a new sober life. 

Recognizing your personal strengths isn’t easy, especially when you’re rediscovering yourself in recovery. Below, we list a few simple ways to find your personal strengths. Give them a try or cherry-pick the tips that resonate most with you. 
  • Create a personal strength wish-list. Jot down what qualities and traits mean most to you and your recovery – and then take a look and think about whether you display any of these strengths yourself. 
  • Note the things you enjoy. What do you really love to do? Often, the kinds of activities you enjoy require the skills and traits you naturally enjoy and excel at.  
  • Ask a friend or family member to weigh in. It’s not always easy to see ourselves clearly, so you may need an outside perspective. Ask those whom you trust most to tell you some of your strengths – and see if any surprise you. 
  • Take compliments to heart. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a loved one to weigh in on your personal strengths, then think back to any compliments you’ve received. Have you been told that you’re a good listener, for example, or that you’re funny?
  • Think about what makes you proud. Write down three times in your life that you truly felt proud to be you. How did you act or what did you do? What values did you display? Your answers will likely reveal your personal strengths.
Learning Life Skills at The Haven
Working collaboratively with our coaches to uncover new perspectives and new life skills, program participants learn what their best life can look like and receive the support to take the actions to make it a reality. To learn more, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tips to Nix Negative Thinking

Whether you always focus on your flaws or anticipate worst-case scenarios, negative thinking can be demoralizing, de-motivating and damaging to your recovery efforts. 

Unfortunately, becoming sober doesn’t mean you’ll develop a sunny outlook. And for many folks in recovery, negative thinking has likely become yet another hard habit to break. 

Now for the good news: You can put a stop to your pattern of pessimism and learn to brighten your perspective. These tips can help:  
  • Switch your thoughts from negative to positive. For example, instead of thinking: “I’m going to have a hard time with recovery,” think: “I’ll face some challenges during recovery, but the hard work will pay off.”
  • Head outdoors. It may sound simple, but stepping outside into the sunshine will give you a sunnier outlook. Breathe in the fresh air and breathe out those negative thoughts. 
  • Reach out. We all have that one notoriously optimistic friend or loved one who is masterful at turning negative chatter into positive thinking. Pick up the phone and reach out when you’re in a rut. 
  • Meditate: Whether you choose to mediate when you first wake or before bedtime, this calming practice can help quiet your mind and keep you positive.  
  • Help someone else: Donating your time and energy to a worthy cause or organization is often a great wake-up call. It will help you to put things in perspective and be thankful for the good in your life – and you’ll be making someone else’s day sunny. 
  • Stop and write. The next time you find yourself spiraling into a negative cycle, stop and list five things that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be complicated: your cat, fresh fruit, your friends, your family, your sobriety – anything that makes you feel happy and positive. 
Dealing With Emotions During Addiction Treatment 
Meditation is just one of the many holistic approaches we teach clients to help them stay positive, motivated and mentally strong as they journey toward sobriety. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.