CALL NOW

1-805-202-3440

24/7 Confidential Hotline

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?

It’s a great question, and one that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) set out to answer in one of its articles. 

The short answer is yes, but before we go into how it can help your health (and, of course, your recovery), let’s take a look at what mindfulness really means. 

What Is Mindfulness?
This ancient practice involves being completely aware of what’s happening in the present, including what’s going on inside of you and around you. It’s about experiencing each moment of life – the good and bad – without judgment or preconceived notions, notes the NIH. 

How Can Mindfulness Help You?
People who practice mindfulness report a greater ability to relax, more enthusiasm for life and enhanced self-esteem. This is because mindfulness practices can help you better manage stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and let go of any negative emotions. 

The concept of mindfulness is simple, but it takes practice. You’ll need to flex your mindfulness muscle daily to keep it strong. Start with these tips from NIH: 
  • Practice conscious breathing. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often throughout the day.
  • Take a thoughtful stroll. Note your breath as well as the sights and sounds around you as you walk. And, if negative thoughts and worries enter your mind, be sure to acknowledge them but then quickly return to the present.
  • Practice mindful eating. As you take a bite, hone in on the taste, textures and flavors of the food. Also, listen to your body to tell when you are hungry or full. 
  • Seek out mindfulness resources. This can include yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, guided meditations and/or books.
Staying Centered at The Haven
Taking a few moments to meditate before stressful situations can lead to more mindful decisions and greater strength to remain sober. At The Haven at Pismo, we offer a variety of holistic treatment approaches, including yoga and meditation, to our clients. To learn more, call 805-202-3440.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Recovery Activities to Count Down the New Year

Whether you have been in recovery for just a few short months or for many years, the upcoming New Year is the perfect time for reflection and celebration. With the New Year less than a week away, here are a few recovery activities to squeeze in before 2018.
  • Count your blessings. The New Year is the perfect time to reflect on your recovery and the positive impact it’s had on your life. Take a few hours this week to make a list of the things you’re grateful for in 2017. 
  • Record your milestones. Taking stock of both big and small recovery wins is a great way to stay motivated. As the year ends, time to write down a few of these victories. Some examples: “I’ve gone 100 day without a drink.” “I’ve spoken up in group therapy.” “I’ve gotten out of bed on days that feel hopeless.” 
  • Share your recovery story. Giving back to others is an important part of recovery and the perfect way to stay focused on your own goals. Think back to what inspired you and find an opportunity to share these tools to inspire someone else in recovery. 
  • Set some goals. Your new sober life is full of new experiences, a wider social circle, better health and a wealth of opportunities. Think about what you’d like to achieve in both the short- and long-term and list a few small steady steps to ensure you get there. 
  • Make a promise for better health. This time of year it’s typical to hear folks make a lot of promises to themselves – “I’m going to lose 20 pounds or exercise every day or quit smoking for good” – but what about just try to be a healthier you. Promise yourself to practice self-care, including eating better, exercising more and learning to better manage stress.
Wishing you a safe, sober, healthy and happy 2018! 

Start Your Sober Life with Complete Harmony
If you are starting the New Year with a resolution to begin life without addiction, we can help you progress along your journey. To learn about our addiction treatment programs and services, call us today: 805-202-3440. 





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How Creativity Can Help Your Recovery

A little creativity comes with a long list of benefits for people in addiction recovery. For one, a creative hobby is the perfect sober distraction to fill the void you may feel after years of active addiction. 

Creativity has also been linked with better emotional health. From simple doodling to singing your favorite song, moments of intentional creativity can come to the rescue during the highs and lows of recovery.

Here are a few more ways that creativity can benefit your recovery: 
  • You’ll process your feelings. Addiction recovery comes with a host of emotions and tapping into your creativity can help you better understand and resolve those emotions so they don’t lead to relapse. 
  • You’ll ease anxiety. Even creating for 45 minutes with simple art supplies — like markers and paper — can help decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to a study published in Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. Similar to meditation, artistic expression provides a perfect distraction and mental space from daily stress. 
  • You’ll experience sober fun. An important part of lasting recovery is creating a fulfilling sober life – and finding a creative hobby can help make this happen. Creative activities promote play, after all, and can help you rediscover the fun, lighthearted part of yourself. 
  • You’ll grow your sober social circle. People bond through common experiences and interests. Joining a knitting group, for instance, can help you meet new, like-minded friends. 
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, November 20, 2017

Great Ideas to Express Gratitude

Counting your blessings comes with a host of benefits – today, on Thanksgiving and every day. We’ve talked in the past about how practicing gratitude can help with your overall health and recovery. To recap: It improves your sleep, self-care, self-esteem, emotional balance, willpower, stress management skills and more. 

Perhaps the most popular (and helpful) way to express gratitude in your daily life is to write down what you’re thankful for. You can do this in a formal journal or on post-it notes to remind yourself of all the good in your new sober life. And there are other ways to express gratitude, too. 

Here are some ideas – take a look and add any that you think might work for you. 
  • Take part in a “30 days of thanks” challenge, either formally or self-created.
  • Call a friend or family member and let them know how much they mean to you. 
  • Invite a loved one to coffee to thank them for supporting your recovery.
  • Write a note or email to a recovery peer or addiction counselor and let them know how they’ve helped you.
  • Take a picture of something in your every day life your grateful for. 
  • Hold the door open and/or give someone the gift of a smile.
  • Focus on one of your five senses and uncover some amazing things around you. 
  • Head out into nature and take time to notice and appreciate the beauty.
  • Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen. 

We Are Grateful for the Chance to Help You
The Haven at Pismo is the only residential detox and addiction treatment center on California’s Central Coast. Our multi-faceted, outcome-focused program includes traditional and complementary therapies offered at our beautiful, private campus. To learn more or to speak with a caring and understanding admissions counselor, call today: 805-202-3440.


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.