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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Is Perfectionism Interfering With Your Recovery?

Many people view perfectionism as a positive trait – it’s a hallmark of high achievers, after all. Yet being a perfectionist is not always a good thing – and it may even have played a role in your addiction.

The Link Between Addiction and Perfectionism
Struggling to be “the best” can create anxiety, depression and social alienation – all which can lead to a desire to “self-medicate” with drugs or alcohol.

Perfectionism can also prevent you from seeking proper treatment. If you’re a perfectionist, for example, you might not accept the fact that you lost control to your addiction. Or, you might view asking for help as a sign of weakness. Denial is common among many with a substance use disorder and it’s even stronger in those with perfectionist tendencies.

How Perfectionism Can Hinder Your Recovery
Because perfectionists often beat themselves up over the slightest failure, recovery can be an especially challenging time. Holding yourself to unrealistic, high standards can even sabotage your recovery. Let’s take a deeper look.

  • You expect to get it right the first time. Setbacks are a normal part of recovery and perfectionists may reject this idea and believe they should get it right the first time or not face any roadblocks. This can interfere with learning and lead to impatience with the recovery process. It can also make it that much harder to recover from a slip-up.
  • You set unrealistic goals. Recovery is a process that requires setting a lot of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely or Time-sensitive) goals to help build confidence and rediscover your strengths. This can be a hard concept for a perfectionist, who is used to setting the bar too high, to grasp.
  • You don’t need help. The road to sobriety is a long one and definitely not one best traveled alone. Most perfectionists will tell themselves that they can overcome addiction alone and with sheer willpower. Yet this is not a healthy (or successful) approach for overcoming a substance use disorder.
Help for Perfectionism and Addiction
Don’t let perfectionism stand in the way of a healthy, fulfilling, sober life. At Haven at Pismo, we provide clients with the tools and strategies needed for early recovery and beyond. To learn more about our addition treatment programs, call today: 805-202-3440.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Alcohol Use Disorder Impacts Mind and Body

alcohol use disorder
Alcohol use disorder or AUD plagues the lives of millions of Americans. Drinking beer, wine, or liquor can do irreparable damage to mind, body, and spirit. If treatment is not sought in a timely fashion, the consequences can be dire. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that around 88,000 Americans succumb to alcohol-related illness and injury each year. Furthermore, upwards of 16 million people in the United States meet the criteria for AUD.

Too many young adults fail to realize the impact of having a dangerous relationship with alcohol. Without intervention, such people stand to lose more than jobs and relationships. For men and women whose lives are being disrupted by alcohol use, it is critical that assistance is sought immediately. The sooner addiction treatment is found, the less harm alcohol will have on one’s vital organs.

Teenagers and people new to adulthood often think that heavy drinking will not do much damage in the short term. The majority of people associate alcohol-related illness with older adults who have been consuming alcohol for decades. In a sense, such a mindset might fall in line with conventional wisdom. While it is true that older habitual drinkers are at significant risk, so too are young adults who make a practice of binge drinking or daily consumption.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Since this is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week or NDAFW, a health observance linking young people to science-based facts to Shatter the Myths® about drugs and alcohol, it is prudent that The Haven joins the effort. Research shows that a litany of potentially fatal conditions can arise from an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Young adults struggling in California, who would like some examples of the impact alcohol can have are welcome to click here; in short, notable alcohol-related illnesses include, alcohol-related liver disease, pancreatitis, and a litany of cancer types.

In fact, fatal liver disease is on the rise, according to research appearing in BMJ last year. Moreover, the demographic hardest hit by the increase is young people. The findings, boiled down from CDC data, show that the number of 25- to 34-year-olds who died annually from alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) nearly tripled between 1999 and 2016 (259 in 1999 to 767 in 2016).

It is also worth noting that findings from research at University of California-San Francisco show that 36.7 percent of almost 33,000 studied liver transplants patients since 2002, had ALD in 2016, NBC News reports. More young people struggling with AUD and subsequent ALD means it is not uncommon for young adults to require a transplant.

Please take a moment to watch a short video on the subject:

If you are having trouble watching, please click here.


Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

If you are struggling with alcohol use, then our team of dedicated addiction professionals can help. We can assist you in safely detoxing from the substance and provide you with the necessary tools for working a program of long-term sobriety. Please contact us today to learn more about our evidence-based addiction treatment. The Haven at Pismo is the perfect place to renew to your best today.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Methamphetamine Addiction in America

stimulant use disorder treatmentThere is an epidemic that is quietly tearing lives apart while being overshadowed by opioid addiction in the United States. Before the nation, including lawmakers and medical professionals, began voicing severe concerns about opioids, the primary topic of drug-related discussion focused on methamphetamine. Not too long ago, American public service announcements and national headlines drove the dangers of meth home for every citizen. And then, seemingly overnight, the conversation about the “scariest drug in America” went silent.

Opioid use disorder – conditions involving the use of prescription painkillers or heroin – is a life-threatening mental health condition. More than 70,000 Americans perished in 2017 from an overdose, and opioids were involved in about two-thirds of all cases. The efforts to address this most severe crisis must continue on every applicable front, but it is vital to remember that just because there is little mention of meth these days doesn’t mean the country isn’t in the midst of a devastating and emerging problem. Methamphetamine is, in fact, a more serious dilemma than opioids in many parts of the United States.

Unfortunately, clinicians lack medications for assisting meth addicts in transitioning from addiction into recovery unlike what is available for opioid use disorder. Moreover, there is not a drug like naloxone to reverse the effects of a methamphetamine overdose. While stimulant use disorder recovery is possible, there are few pharmacological solutions to aid people in early abstinence. Since most addiction researchers are focused on curbing the opioid epidemic, it is critical that more people start talking about this deadly drug. The fact is that meth use has done anything but decrease since the U.S. government began cracking down on homegrown meth labs in the 2000s.


Combating Methamphetamine Addiction in America

When laws were passed to make it more difficult for Americans to acquire the necessary precursors (i.e., pseudoephedrine) meth lab explosions and busts decreased dramatically. This led some to believe that the problem was mostly solved. However, wherever there is a demand someone will find a way to supply; and that someone turned out to be Mexican drug cartels.

Not only is there more methamphetamine than ever in the U.S., what is available today is more potent and is less expensive. The price is the lowest the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has witnessed in years and the product being consumed is more than 90 percent pure, ABC News reports. Meth-related overdose deaths more than tripled from 2011 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The University of Texas at Austin found that meth use led to 813 deaths in Texas, compared 591 heroin-related deaths in 2017.

While traditional treatment therapy models are useful in facilitating long-term recovery, experts in the field express a need for drugs, like buprenorphine or naltrexone, to aid people with stimulant use disorders. Such medications help men and women in the earliest stages of recovery stay on track and avoid relapse.

“We’re realizing that we don’t have everything we might wish we had to address these different kinds of drugs,” said Dr. Margaret Jarvis, a psychiatrist and distinguished fellow for the American Society of Addiction Medicine. 

Fortunately, there may be solutions on the horizon! The National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network is testing the efficacy of combining naltrexone and the antidepressant bupropion (e.g., Wellbutrin), according to the article. Researchers at the Universities of Kentucky and Arkansas created lobeline, a molecule that may be able to counter methamphetamine’s effects in the brain.


Stimulant Use Disorder Treatment in Central California

The short-term effects of meth use carry significant risks to one’s health. Any person finding him or herself battling meth addiction should reach out for assistance immediately to begin the recovery process. Immediate intervention can help individuals avoid the impact of long-term meth use. Methamphetamine wreaks significant havoc on both mind and body.

Please contact The Haven at Pismo to learn more about our innovative substance abuse treatment center. We have extensive experience in bringing the light of recovery into the lives of people living with stimulant use disorders. Our commitment to integrity and excellence makes our inpatient addiction rehab the perfect place to renew to your best today.

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.