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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ER Visits for Opioid Abuse Soaring

A new government report released more stats surrounding America's opioid epidemic – and, once again, it’s pretty scary.

In the new report, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified 142,557 opioid overdose victims from 45 states spilling into ERs from July 2016 to September 2017. Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased nationwide and across all demographic groups. The Midwest was hit hardest; data showed an overall 70 percent increase in overdose treatment rates in emergency rooms.

"This fast-moving epidemic does not distinguish age, sex or state or county lines, and it's still increasing in every region of the United States," said Dr. Anne Schuch, CDC Acting Director, during a press conference. "This data sends a wake-up call about the need to improve what happens when patients leave the emergency department."

Added U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams during the briefing: "It is a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, compassion and urgency."

Do You Know About the "Good Samaritan" Law?
Indeed, acting with urgency is imperative for saving the life of someone overdosing on opioids. And, yet, it’s common for friends and family members who are also misusing drugs to delay help for fear of arrest. 911 “Good Samaritan” laws exempt an individual from arrest and prosecution for mild drug and alcohol law violations if they call for help to save someone else’s life. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have some type of Good Samaritan law.

Getting Help for Opioid 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 an opioid addiction, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Benefits of Gender-Specific Treatment

There’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to addiction and addiction treatment, and this is especially true among men and women, who have distinct emotional and physical needs. Men and women experience addiction and relapse very differently and often wrestle with different societal pressures and co-occurring disorders.

A growing body of research is continuing to explore gender differences in substance use disorder as well as other addictive behaviors. And more addiction treatment centers are offering specialized programs and even different lengths of stay for men and women. 

Here we take a look at a few of the reasons why both sexes can benefit greatly from gender-specific addiction treatment. Read on and decide if an all-female or all-male rehab program would be right for you or someone you love: 
  • You’ll better address gender-specific issues and triggers: A gender-specific rehab is sensitive to the needs of each group and enables the client to focus on issues specific to his or her sex. For example, men often battle barriers such as pride and denial while a high percentage of women struggle with histories of physical assault and emotional abuse. 
  • You’ll experience enhanced support: A same-sex environment often fosters a more personal, intimate atmosphere that allows clients to be less self-conscious and more open to sharing and forging relationships with one another.
  • You’ll have less romantic or sexual distractions: Gender-specific treatment programs can reduce the likelihood of sexual tension or romantic relationships, which especially during the first year can be a slippery slope into relapse. 
Is a Gender-Specific Program Right for You?
The Haven at Pismo’s men- and women-only recovery homes give guests the tools they need to feel safe, empowered, and confident in their sobriety walk. To learn more about The Mesa House for Women or The Solana House for Men, call us today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Practice Self-Love

Self-love isn’t selfish, but a matter of survival to give yourself the respect and attention you deserve as you journey toward lasting sobriety. 

In fact, building (or improving upon) a love relationship with yourself will help you make better decisions, pick better partners and friends and better cope with the ups and downs of your new sober life. 

A few relatively simple activities can help ensure that you’re kind to yourself – mind, body and spirit. Start by giving a few of these self-love activities a whirl this Valentine’s Day:
  • Wake up with love. Instead of grabbing your smartphone, grab a piece of paper and write yourself a little love note. Remind yourself why you are so deserving of the great day you are bound to have today. 
  • Make time to meditate. If this isn’t already part of your daily practice, you may consider giving it a try. Start with five minutes of quiet meditation and follow it up with five minutes of writing in a journal to document your experience.
  • Put a stop to negative thinking. Grab an elastic band and put it on your right wrist. If you criticize yourself today, move it to your left as a reminder to put an end to any negative self-talk. 
  • Enjoy little pleasures. Go for a brisk walk or jog, cook up a healthful breakfast, take an extra long shower, sit with a crossword puzzle, meet a friend for coffee, splurge on a movie – do something today that awakens your body and mind. 
Your Path to Better Mental Health
The Haven at Pismo can help you achieve inner harmony while building the skills to maintain it over the long term. Our dual diagnosis programs are recommended for those experiencing the doubly damaging effects of addiction and mental illness. To connect with a caring and understanding admissions counselor, call today: 805-202-3440.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Talking to Kids About Drugs

With the current opioid crisis and increasing legalization of marijuana, parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs more than ever. But how do you get started?

Experts say open, honest and ongoing communication is best and that parents should look for “teachable moments” in daily life. And your kids will listen. According to research, kids want their parents' advice about drugs and children who hear the facts from their parents are significantly less likely to use. 

Here are some tips from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on making drug prevention part of your parenting strategy: 
  • Give the facts. Explain why taking drugs can hurt their health, friends and family and future.
  • Set clear rules and consequences. Rules help kids learn what is safe and what can get them in trouble. Research shows that children are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs if their parents have established a pattern of setting clear rules and consequences for breaking them.
  • Be a part of their lives.  Give your child your full attention. This means putting away your smartphone or computer and really listening. Similarly, make a point to know where your children are and what they’re doing – and get to know your child’s friends and their parents. 
  • Teach your children how to refuse drugs. Kids often do drugs just to fit in with the other kids. Help them practice how to say no if someone offers them drugs. Give some examples: "My mom (or dad) would kill me if I smoked pot," for instance, or "No thanks, I don’t do drugs.”
  • Be a good example for your children. Always try to be a good role model. Your actions speak louder than words. Show them how to deal with stress in a healthy manner and how to care for your mental and physical health. 
  • Make your home safe. Know the people you have in the house and avoid having people who abuse drugs and alcohol there. Lock away any painkillers and keep track of medicines and cleaning products you have in the house.
Did You Do Drugs?
If you choose to tell your kids about your past drug use, here are a few things to keep in mind, according to NIDA:
  • Don't give a lot of details about your past drug use.
  • Point out the problems your drug use might have caused. For instance, are there things you don't remember because you were on drugs? Did drug use keep you from saving money, getting better grades or getting a better job?
  • Talk about how we now know more about the bad effects of drugs, especially how drugs can hurt the developing brain.
  • Tell your kids that you want them to avoid making the same mistakes you made.
  • Be open to responses that your kids may have to your past drug use.
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, 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.