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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Recovery Fun With Your Friends

Finding ways to have a good time with people in recovery is difficult for many individuals. It is a particular challenge for some persons who are new to the program. Anyone in recovery will tell you that maintaining an addiction is a full-time job, acquiring one’s drug of choice used to take up a significant portion of their day. Once such people began living life in a new way, it became critical to find methods of filling their time that didn’t revolve around substance use.

To be sure, working a program takes up a good part of a person’s day. Attending meetings, working with a sponsor or mentor, reading approved literature, and practicing prayer and meditation consume a good number of the available hours in each day. However, there is another facet of recovery that is oft left unmentioned. That of fun! What’s more, the need for enjoying one’s self is an aspect of healing that the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous emphasize in the “Big Book.” A sentiment that even people working a different recovery program than A.A. can see the importance of; on page 132 of the Big Book it states:

“We absolutely insist on enjoying life …. So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.”


Enjoying Recovery to the Fullest

For most people in recovery, having fun often involves socializing with each other before and after meetings. Coffee houses across the country have long catered to individuals who no longer drink or drug. A good number of people plan recovery retreats, go for group hikes, lay around on the beach in an attempt to enjoy their sobriety. Some even go bowling, an activity that most addicts never could’ve imagined being a part of their lives just a short time ago. In early recovery, it’s a wise practice to stay away from wet environments, places where alcohol is likely to be on tap. However, for people whose recovery is robust and the risk of relapse less likely, there exists a desire to have some kind of nightlife. That’s not to say that they want to be in a bar; instead, they would like to confab with adults not sitting at a table across from students typing their thesis.

For Elissa Emery, the daughter of an addict, the desire to create just such a space was real. Along with Sarah Wehnau, Emery opened 'Unbreakable Nutrition' on August 1st, CBS6Albany reports. Instead of cocktails, they serve healthy beverages reminiscent of what you might find at a bar, sans alcohol of course. The idea for a sober bar came about when Emery’s friend started working a program of recovery and two could not find anywhere to hang out that was alcohol-free.

“Trying to find a space we could both go where we both felt like this is a great place where we can go and hang out, that wasn't like a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Starbucks, there really wasn't anywhere,” says Emery. “We hope we're setting the new standard to include everybody, including those in recovery.”


Addiction Treatment

Please keep in mind that while the above idea is novel and could be beneficial for some people in recovery, visiting such an establishment may present problems for people in early recovery. Even a “mocktail” can cause feelings to arise that could trigger a person. It is hard to know how you will respond to feeling like you are back in the bars again after being sober for a stint. Before attending alcohol-free bars and nightclubs, please talk it over with your support group.

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, The Haven at Pismo can assist you to begin the journey of recovery. Please reach out to us today, to learn more about our innovative addiction treatment programs.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cannabis Use Disorder In America

Cannabis Use Disorder
If you live in California, or Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, then you live in a state that allows for adult recreational marijuana use. Perhaps you smoke pot or eat edibles? Maybe you maintain an opinion that there are worse vices that a person can have? You wouldn’t be inaccurate having such a mindset; after all, compare the host of other mind-altering substances that are ripe for misuse. Cannabis ranks reasonably low on the list of drugs that can ruin a person's life. However, safer doesn’t imply safe; and since states began adopting less harsh pot laws, more people than ever are seeking treatment for cannabis use disorder. Approximately 4.0 million people aged 12 or older in 2016 had a marijuana use disorder in the past-year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Many people in the United States have a challenging time wrapping their heads around marijuana addiction. People rarely hear about reefers destroying lives; the headlines don’t indicate pot overdoses as being a thing worth concern. The majority of marijuana users, like that of alcohol imbibers, never face any consequences due to using the drug. In reality, more people have a problem with the drug – experience repercussions – than you would think; and, believe it or not, dependence is real and far from a walk-in-the-park to quit.

“Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University, tells The Atlantic. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.” 

Cannabis Use Disorder Isn’t Benign

Any substance that is used in excess can result in dependency and, for some, addiction. And, just because a drug carries inherent risks isn’t necessarily cause for prohibition. You are probably more likely to find research supporting the inefficacy of waging war on drug use than you are to discover incontrovertible evidence about dangers of marijuana. Still, if a drug is going to be bought and sold out in the open with levels of government oversight, there also needs to be a campaign to educate Americans about the potential harm that can come from smoking weed.

Cannabis is a mind-altering substance that people form unhealthy relationships with over the course of varying lengths of time. A significant number of people, who attempt to quit, experience withdrawal symptoms that often lead to relapse before recovery has a chance to take hold. Symptoms which include but are not limited to mood changes, irritability, insomnia, and headaches; the list is far longer, but these are some of the more common experiences. In 2012-2013, nearly 3 of 10 marijuana users manifested a marijuana use disorder, according to research appearing in JAMA Psychiatry.

“In large national surveys, about one in 10 people who smoke it say they have a lot of problems. They say things like, ‘I have trouble quitting. I think a lot about quitting and I can’t do it. I smoked more than I intended to. I neglect responsibilities.’ There are plenty of people who have problems with it, in terms of things like concentration, short-term memory, and motivation,” Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, reports to The Atlantic. “People will say, ‘Oh, that’s just you fuddy-duddy doctors.’ Actually, no. It’s millions of people who use the drug who say that it causes problems.”


Cannabis Use Disorder Treatment

The Haven at Pismo inpatient addiction treatment is the ideal location to begin your journey of recovery from marijuana addiction. If cannabis use is negatively affecting your life, it is possible that you require assistance to break your cycle of self-defeating behavior. Please contact us to learn more about how our programs can assist you in living a substance-free life. The Haven provides you with possibilities to renew to your best today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

4 Benefits of Traveling for Addiction Treatment

traveling for addiction treatment
Once you’ve decided to seek addiction treatment, you might be wondering whether you should travel or stay close to home. Traveling for addiction treatment isn’t for everyone. But if your community doesn’t have high-quality treatment available and/or you’re looking for a fresh start away from triggers in your home environment, traveling for addiction treatment might be a worthy consideration. 

Here, we take a look at some of the key benefits of traveling for treatment:
  1. You’ll have more choices. Obviously, expanding your rehab search to others cities and states means you’ll have more choices when it comes to finding the right treatment fit for you – depending on type of addiction treatment, insurance, financial situation, interests, goals, etc. 
  2. You’ll gain perspective. The physical distance between yourself and your triggers can help you look at your old habits through a more objective lens. It may even help further reduce your desire to use.
  3. You’ll have fewer distractions. Traveling for treatment makes it easier to completely immerse yourself in the recovery process – without family, friends and stressors of daily life. Removing yourself from triggering people and situations has been shown to improve treatment outcomes and help those in recovery better manage these triggers once they return home.
  4. You’ll have more privacy. If you’re worried about privacy or protecting your reputation, attending treatment outside of your community may be the right choice.  Although, any reputable addiction treatment center will mostly place a premium on privacy. 
Traveling to The Haven at Pismo
We pride ourselves on being a haven for men and women looking to heal from addiction –whether they’re traveling for treatment or not. We are the only residential detox and addiction treatment center on California’s Central Coast and offer clients a multi-faceted, outcome-focused program that includes traditional and complementary therapies. To learn more about how our programs and services can help you or someone you love, call us today: 805-202-3440.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Saves Lives

opioid use disorder
People suffering from an opioid use disorder are mostly aware that the drugs they use carry several risks. While such people may know that recovery is achievable, the vast majority of people living with opioid addiction have not had any therapy. A severe lack of individuals being unwilling or unable to seek treatment needs to change, especially when one considers that fentanyl becomes more ubiquitous with each passing year.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent pain medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes the use of fentanyl for treating cancer pain or palliative care. While doctors prescribe the drug off-label quite regularly – for unapproved conditions like back pain – the fentanyl showing up in batches of other narcotics doesn't come from the same place as what you find in hospitals. With relative ease, drug cartels can both acquire the precursors and make the substance. The synthetic opioid – 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin – is then mixed with other drugs to boost potency.

It is highly likely that the majority of Americans who succumb to an overdose involving fentanyl didn’t know that their heroin was mixed with the deadly substance. What’s more, public health officials need to make people who use cocaine and anti-anxiety drugs, like benzodiazepines, aware that fentanyl is combined with those drugs as well. There is little indication that the trend of mixing synthetic opioids with other narcotics is going to wane; which is why it is so critical – perhaps now more than ever – that more is done to encourage addicts of any kind to seek treatment.


Opioid Overdose Deaths In America

If the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has it right, one American dies from an overdose every eight minutes. The agency states that in 2017 more than 72,000 people lost their lives to an overdose, roughly 200 per diem; the death toll is up almost 10 percent from the 12-month period before. While heroin continues to be one of the deadliest drugs abused, the culprit behind rising mortality rate is synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and its analogs, The Washington Post reports. Provisional estimates show that synthetics had a hand in almost 30,000 overdoses last year.

To say that the CDC's report is troubling is probably an understatement. Annual data from one year to the next shows us that fatal overdose rates continue to go in one direction: UP! Increasing access to the life-saving drug naloxone, while helpful, can only do so much; and, in many cases, naloxone is ineffective in reversing fentanyl-related overdoses. Opioid use disorder is a treatable mental health condition, with professional assistance men and women can recover from the disease of addiction. The CDC report shows that the states hardest hit by the epidemic have reduced the number of fatal overdoses, the result of (in part) expanding access to treatment. For instance, Vermont and Massachusetts saw significant reductions in overdoses, according to the article. Still, millions of Americans are continuing down the deadly path of opioid addiction.

More than 2 million Americans are living with opioid use disorder according to a 2016 phone survey; however, Dr. Dan Ciccarone, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, tells The New York Times that the number is much higher. Dr. Ciccarone has reason to believe around 4 million Americans are living with opioid addiction.


Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Here at The Haven, we offer people, caught in the vicious cycle of addiction, detox and residential treatment. Located on the Central Coast of California, our center is in the ideal setting to begin the journey of recovery and healing. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

5 Forms of Active Meditation to Strengthen Your Recovery

active meditationDoes the idea of sitting still, closing your eyes and meditating make you feel uncomfortable? If so, take heart. You can still reap the many recovery benefits of meditation, including less stress, better emotional control, more energy and motivation and improved sleep. Start by trying one of these active approaches today: 
  1. Journaling. Making journaling a daily activity – when you wake up and before bedtime – is a great way to check in with your inner dialogue as you observe and express your thoughts and feelings without judgment. 
  2. Coloring. Adult coloring books are all the rage and for good reason. Coloring is a great way to relax, find peace and quiet your mind as you learn to focus on the present. Find a quiet place – inside or outside – and take 10 minutes to get absorbed in the vibrant colors and designs. 
  3. Yoga. Similar to meditation, yoga brings balance to the mind and body. It teaches you to become acutely aware of your breath and physical sensations while letting go of any mental clutter. 
  4. Cooking. It’s more than a hobby, but an act of self-care. Beyond nourishing your body and mind, cooking healthy foods can help keep the brain occupied and teach you the art of staying in the moment. 
  5. Walking. Walking meditation can be just as powerful as sitting meditation and it doesn’t matter if it’s formal or informal, as long as it helps you bring greater awareness to this everyday activity.
Nurturing Your Mind, Body and Spirit
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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Addiction Science People Can Understand

If substance use disorder or SUD is a part of your or a loved one’s life, please do not wait to seek help. Like any health condition that can result in premature death, the longer a person remains unchecked, the worse the symptoms become. When it comes to the progression of addiction, it isn’t a question of if but rather when — fortunately, evidence-based therapies exist to help people recover. Those who seek addiction treatment have an opportunity to lead a wholly new existence, and repair both physical and mental damage caused by prolonged substance use.

While researchers and doctors have a reasonably comprehensive understanding about the disease of addiction, the same cannot be said for the general public. Everyone has an opinion about the mechanisms of addiction; some consider it a mental health condition whereas others view it as a lack of willpower — despite evidence to the contrary. Misunderstandings and misconceptions about mental illness have long played a role in contributing to the age-old stigma of addiction. It’s vital that policymakers and health experts do what they can to educate the public about this most severe disorder and encourage those living with SUD to seek help.

Conceptualizing addiction in the brain isn't easy to wrap one’s head around. After all, neurochemistry isn’t a prerequisite for most college degrees. Many people know what the disease looks like symptomatically from firsthand experience or what one sees a loved one go through. Even still, such people may have a hard time making sense of substance use disorder development and progression. A new cartoon series produced by the Addiction Policy Forum aims to bring the disease into more precise focus.

APF Turns The Science of Addiction Into Stories That Stick

The Addiction Policy Forum is a community of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders working together to educate the public about substance use disorder. What’s more, the Washington DC-based collective takes substance use disorder discoveries and turns them into methods that can help people struggling with, or in recovery from addiction.

Over the course of a month, the Addiction Policy Forum is releasing short info-toons about addiction and recovery. Now in its third week, viewers can learn more about the disease as long as YouTube is accessible. “Addiction” is animated by artist Patrick Smith and the episodes are as follows:
  1. Episode I: The Hijacker, or How addiction changes brain function.
  2. Episode II: Whirlpools of Risk, or Risk factors for developing substance use disorder (SUD)
  3. Episode III: Understanding Severity, or Why addiction treatment can’t be one-size-fits-all.
  4. Episode IV: Don’t Wait for ‘Rock Bottom,’ or Why engaging in treatment as early as possible is so important.
“There’s so much misinformation about this disease, everything from this being a choice and not a disease, the misunderstanding about how treatment works, misunderstandings about medications, about lengths of treatment and recovery support, how you develop this disease in the first place,” Addiction Policy Forum president, Jessica Hulsey Nickel, tells The Chicago Tribune. “We are surrounded and drowning in misinformation and myths.”

Please take a moment to view the available segments:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.


Addiction Recovery Support

The Haven at Pismo offers clients a multi-faceted, outcome-focused program for treating substance use and/or co-occurring disorders. If you would like to learn more about our specialized therapies and what sets us apart from other treatment centers, please contact us today. The Haven is the perfect place to renew you to your best today.