24/7 Confidential Hotline

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Addiction Recovery Following An Overdose

addiction recovery
People who experience an overdose risk experiencing another if there isn’t an intervention. It is not uncommon for an individual to suffer multiple overdoses before ultimately succumbing to their disease. In fact, having more than one overdose in a single day is not unheard of in the United States.

The time immediately following an overdose is crucial. When someone is most vulnerable it is believed to be an ideal opportunity to encourage addiction treatment services. A new study shows that most overdose victims who receive naloxone – an overdose reversal drug – can safely be released from hospitals in just one hour, HealthDay reports. Which can cause a person to wonder, are overdose victims ready to go back “out there” shortly after near-death experiences?

It is no secret that a lack of substance use disorder treatment is one of the most significant obstacles to curbing the American opioid addiction epidemic. As the crisis continues to devastate many states and countless families, people living in rural areas continue to struggle to acquire the help they require.

While some progress has been made, we continue to fall short as a nation. Only 10 percent of people with a substance use disorder get specialty treatment, due to an inability to access care, according to a 2016 surgeon general report.

Addiction Recovery Following Overdose

Drug overdoses – the majority of which involved opioids – took the lives of more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the final tallies are not available yet for 2018, the death toll is likely to be in the same range as previous years.

Experts agree addiction recovery is the most useful means of reducing the death toll. Naloxone can prevent drug toxicity from becoming fatal, but it does little to address the substance use disorder. Addiction treatment works, and recovery is possible provided however that a person is willing to surrender and make specific changes in their life. What’s more, recovery does not happen in a vacuum; individuals suffering from the disease require the assistance of professionals and continued support.

For men and women who recently experienced an overdose, the reality is that now is the best opportunity to embrace addiction recovery. The stakes of opioid use disorder are overwhelmingly high. If you are a person who is using again, post overdose, we strongly encourage you to embrace a new path. At The Haven, we ask that you look past the stigma of addiction and the humility that comes with accepting that outside help is needed.

We implore you to keep in mind that nothing changes if nothing changes, as people frequently say in the rooms of recovery. Those who continue down a self-defeating and self-destructive path are guaranteed to witness their disease progress; such individuals are also at extreme risk of history repeating itself by way of an overdose.

The Haven at Pismo Can Help

Any individual can find recovery and lead a fulfilling and productive life. Please contact The Haven to learn more about the programs we offer. Men and women who choose our center benefit from highly credentialed counselors and therapists practicing exclusively in the field of addiction. At The Haven, we help to Rebuild Lives and Restore Hope.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Healing Hobbies for Recovery

healing hobbies for recovery
Hobbies can have many healing powers when it comes to recovery and your overall good health. In fact, having a hobby as an adult has been linked with numerous health perks including increased self-confidence and reduced stress and depression.

A big part of a successful recovery is rediscovering sober fun and finding activities that provide a fulfilling, productive use of our free time. And the right hobby can do this and more.

Here are some activities that you may enjoy – and that can help give you the tools to fend off stress and depression, stay in the moment and focus on building a new sober life for yourself.

  • Visual arts (photography, painting/drawing): The process of creating art can bring greater awareness of the beauty in your life and have a positive impact on your emotions.
  • Writing: Writing has been linked to a number of mental and physical health benefits, including better memory, sleep and stress management.
  • Playing or listening to music: Music has been found to boost the body's immune system, lower levels of stress and anxiety and ease depression.
  • Cooking: Not only can cooking teach you about the right foods to fuel your recovery, but the repetitive tasks inherent to prepping meals (washing, chopping measuring) can become meditative and teach you to stay in the present.
  • Yoga: This ancient practice can do wonders for stress and anxiety by increasing the brain chemical Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, which plays an important role in behavior, cognition and the body's response to stress.
  • Running: This is perhaps the best hobby for blowing off steam, managing depression and dealing with cravings. Running increases the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine as well as other neurochemicals that are vital to the recovery process.
  • Gardening: Not only are you soaking up mood-boosting vitamin D, but gardening helps to slow the mind and remind you that you’re just one small part of the greater universe.
Healing at The Haven
Our Central Coast location is blessed with year-round sunshine, making it the perfect place to explore some outdoor hobbies as part of your recovery. To learn more about our location and programs, call today: 805-202-3440.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Benzodiazepine Use and Abuse Concerns

Prescription opioids and the substance use disorder that can result has dominated national news cycles for more than a decade. Practically every American adult understands the dangers accompanying opioid use. When addressing addiction stemming from prescription drug use, it is critical to remember that other pharmaceuticals carry significant risk as well. This fact is especially true when two forms of narcotics are used simultaneously.

During the period when opioid prescribing surged dramatically, so too did prescription sedatives. Benzodiazepines are one type of drug that is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression in the United States. Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin are prescribed the most; and, such drugs can also lead to addiction. What’s more, when benzos are misused or mixed with other drugs like opioids, patients can experience a potentially fatal overdose.

"The risk of poisoning from benzodiazepines alone is very high, but is compounded for those who misuse benzodiazepines -- a central nervous system depressant -- along with opioids, which suppress respiration,” said Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis with the Center on Addiction. “When combined with alcohol, also a depressant, the effects can be similarly severe." 

Those patients who become dependent on benzodiazepines can also face complications when attempting to stop. It is vital that people struggling with use disorders resulting from the use of sedatives seek professional attention when making efforts toward recovery. One of the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal is seizures, which can be fatal if they occur unsupervised.

Benzodiazepine Use Is On The Rise

While studying current U.S. data, Dr. Donovan Maust, an assistant professor with the University of Michigan's department of psychiatry, found that about one in five people prescribed benzodiazepines are misusing the substances, HealthDay reports. Moreover, Dr. Maust found that misuse was as common as prescribed use among young adults. The findings of the research appear in Psychiatric Services.

Most experts agree that opioid misuse and overdose in America began steadily increasing in the late 1990s. Disturbingly, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that annual benzodiazepine overdose deaths rose from 1,135 to 8,791 between 1999 and 2015. The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finds that almost one in three opioid overdoses involve a drug like Valium or Xanax.

Even though benzodiazepines are of little to no value in treating anxiety, panic disorders or insomnia, according to Maust, the data indicates that nearly 13 percent of adults used these types of drugs in the past year. He points out that cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT and psychotherapy is typically more effective at treating symptoms than sedatives. Dr. Maust adds that benzos may be more of a hindrance than a help.

"Benzos for anxiety is like opioids for chronic pain. There's a small subset of patients with treatment-resistant conditions where use may be appropriate," Maust said. "The current amount of use way, way exceeds what the evidence would support."

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If your use of benzodiazepines to treat symptoms of mental illness resulted in developing a use disorder, please reach out to The Haven. We provide medically supervised and top-quality care for addressing both the addiction and co-occurring mental illness like depression and anxiety. Our premier central coast addiction treatment center is the perfect place to renew your best today.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Resolution for Addiction Recovery

addiction recovery
Just about everyone sets New Year's resolutions they hope to keep. Some plan to make 2019 the year they start exercising or eating healthier. Others might strive to read more and watch less television. There are those too who intend to give up cigarettes finally.

The goals mentioned above are achievable, and some people will manage to adhere to the changes. However, there exist objectives that are exponentially more difficult to meet, at least on one's own. Addiction recovery falls into that category.

Millions of Americans would like nothing more than to overcome substance use disorder and embrace recovery. While such targets are possible to hit, success often rests on surrendering and asking for assistance. Addiction recovery is a life-changing experience, one that demands a person change just about everything. Such a monumental endeavor proves too much for self-will alone; after all, self-will run riot is what often brings people living in the grips of addiction to their knees. Fighting fire with fire is not an effective means of healing.

No, outside assistance is what's needed for achieving lasting addiction recovery, most typically. Use disorders are debilitating mental health conditions that men and women are unlikely to recover from if they refuse to reach out. Which is why it is vital to seek the aid of an addiction treatment center that provides a full continuum of care.

A Year to Recover

If you are living with addiction or with a co-occurring mental health disorder, The Haven understands how challenging it can be to surrender and accept that you require help. One of the terrible paradoxes of mental illness is that people affected have a way of convincing themselves they can manage on their own. They come to believe that seeking assistance is an admission of failure or evidence of weakness. The truth is something altogether different!

Men and women living with addiction are never stronger than when they come to terms with the fact that their illness will bring nothing but disaster. Those who are willing to open their heart and mind to a new way of living position themselves for realizing their most significant achievements.

Social stigma has a way of encouraging persons living with mental illness to hide their disease. Shame silences those who are most in need of a voice. Such people believe that asking for help will "out" their issues to the world; and, no one will ever look at them the same if the truth comes to the surface.

Fortunately, tens of millions of Americans have faced societal stigmas head on and lived to talk about it. Those very same people commit daily to making the next right move for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. They are living testaments to the potential of recovery and the gifts that come to those who chart a course toward progress.

Addiction Recovery With The Haven

If you are one of the millions of people struggling with addiction, we are hopeful that you will make recovery your resolution. We are confident that making the decision to seek help will be the most important choice you ever make; and, with the right assistance lasting recovery is within reach.

At The Haven, we work closely with each client to create a recovery and treatment experience that meets each person's unique needs. Together, we can help you rebuild your life and restore hope. Please contact us today to learn more about how 2019 can be the year you make lasting changes for the better.

The Haven at Pismo would like to wish everyone a safe and sober New Year's Eve and a productive New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Boosting Your Recovery in 2019

A new year is always a new opportunity to evaluate your daily habits and find ways to make yourself a little healthier and happier as you work hard to live a full and fulfilling sober life. If you haven’t already, consider adding these recovery boosting activities to your day-to-day in 2019.
  • Exercise: There’s a reason that exercise tops the list when it comes to staying healthy – it makes you feel great physically and mentally. Taking up yoga or going for a daily walk or jog can make sober living more bearable, too. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins in the brain and can boost your self-esteem, which can be a major benefit for people in recovery.
  • Journaling: Writing can be a great therapeutic tool that allows you to check in with your inner dialogue, express your thoughts and feelings, learn from any mistakes and set goals for a sober future. Make it a point this year to make journaling a daily activity – when you wake up or before bedtime.
  • Proper nutrition: Eating healthy can make you feel so much better during recovery. Proper nutrition can help heal any organ damage due to abusing drugs or alcohol. It can also help increase your energy. Since substance abuse alters the “reward system” in your brain, you may find yourself craving foods high in sugar, fat and carbs – but resist. Instead, do your best this year to fill your body with “real food,” including fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish and tons of water!
  • Positive thinking: If you’re still feeling guilty for your past or angry at your addiction, this is the year to try to change that. Certainly, this is easier said than done, but keeping your mind from negative thoughts and feelings can be a great boon to your recovery. Your thoughts have the ability to impact your behavior and how you experience the world. Making a habit of seeing the positive side of situations can help reduce your stress levels and make you happier and more at ease during the recovery process.
Wishing you a safe, sober, healthy and happy 2019!

Start Your Sober Life at The Haven
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.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Addiction Recovery Tips for Christmas

addiction recovery
With Christmas less than one week away, now is the perfect time to fine-tune a plan for keeping your addiction recovery strong. Holidays can bring a host of unwelcome emotions that must be dealt with in healthy ways to avoid unfortunate events. Those who discount prioritizing sobriety during the holidays are at significant risk of relapse.

The good news is that there are plenty of examples at one’s disposal for managing holiday difficulties. Each person in your support network has various lengths of recovery time, which means some people have made it to the other side of many holidays without drugs and alcohol. Such individuals can help by giving you tips for maintaining sobriety during Christmas. Relying on the wisdom of your peers can be of immeasurable help on the 25th.

Below you will find some guidance for keeping yourself on the right path during any major holiday. If something doesn’t apply to you, then just focus on what refers to your program.


Sobriety Tips for The Holidays

Expectations: We all have expectations of ourselves and others, but we must be sure that they are realistic. It is easy to expect that Christmas will be a certain way, but it is vital that each of us goes with the flow. Holidays in sobriety are likely to be vastly different than previous iterations. Lowering your expectations will help prevent upset.

Personal Limitations: All happens during the holiday season. Christmas work parties and family gatherings should always be approached with caution. In early recovery, being around alcohol can be especially risky; if you are planning to attend an event, please discuss it first with someone in your support network, i.e., sponsor, recovery coach, or a friend in sobriety. If it’s decided that attending a gathering is not in your best interest, there is no shame in not showing up. If your presence is required, then see if one of your peers can accompany you.

Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings: On every notable day of the year, e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve, meetings are held at the beginning of every hour. There are ample chances for attending meetings this Christmas; and, it is advisable to participate in several meetings on major holidays. If you have plans that may be stressful, going to a group before and after is an excellent practice. Men and women who have no scheduled engagements with family should make a point of spending time around your peers in recovery.

Being in the company of like-minded individuals will help you stay grounded and accountable.


A Safe and Sober Christmas

The Haven at Pismo would like to wish everyone in recovery a safe and sober holiday. We are confident that if you follow the direction of people with more time in the program, you will not jeopardize all your hard work. Utilize your tools for coping with difficult situations and your sobriety will remain intact.

Please contact us if you run into a problem over the holiday and require assistance getting back on track.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Cannabis Use Carries Significant Risk

cannabis use disorder
Many individuals perceive marijuana or cannabis as benign. Most people have never heard of a person overdosing or dying from smoking "weed." Unlike alcohol, nobody associates cannabis with life-threatening health conditions like liver disease. The fact that medical marijuana and recreational use laws are in place in many states helps a significant number of people justify their "pot" use.

A nationwide survey shows that 22.2 million people aged 12 and older said that they had used cannabis in the past month, according to Medical News Today. While many who partake in marijuana use, do so intermittently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that as many as 30% of marijuana users may have some degree of cannabis use disorder.

It is fair to say that society does not deem chronic marijuana use as particularly harmful. While hearing of a friend seeking addiction treatment for cannabis is rare, it happens all the time. Marijuana use disorder is a real mental health condition that often demands outside help to overcome. Like the heavy use of any mind-altering substance, cannabis users build up tolerance and encounter problems when trying to quit. Hardly the markers of a healthy pastime.

The Risks of Cannabis Use

Experts believe that adolescents are highly susceptible to experiencing negative consequences from use and they are at a heightened risk of developing a use disorder down the road. New studies presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, sheds some more light on marijuana's effect on developing brains. While the findings presented last month involved animal models, the results are important nonetheless. At the meeting in San Diego, researchers showed:
  • Exposure to cannabis at a young age led to faulty development of brain circuits for memory and learning;
  • enhanced activity in brain circuits that regulate the formation of habits; and,
  • physical alterations in the development of brain regions involved in self-control, making decisions, and planning.
Parents living in states like California should be wary of co-signing their teenager's cannabis use. The evidence is clear, marijuana disrupts and alters cognitive functions; those who start using early in life are at high risk of developing a use disorder.

Marijuana use can cause health and social problems. Those who are addicted to marijuana find that stopping is an impossible task without assistance. Withdrawal symptoms are also common for such people when they attempt to quit, including:
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness


Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment

If you or a loved one is unable to stop using marijuana on their own, it is possible that cannabis use disorder is presenting. The Haven at Pismo can help you break the cycle of addiction and develop a plan for achieving long-term recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our services. The Haven is the perfect place to renew to your best today.