Thursday, July 25, 2019

Sharing About Addiction Recovery Inspires Others

recovery
The road to addiction recovery is a little different for each person, but once people decide to turn their lives around, the outcome is universal. Working a program gives men and women the tools to lead productive lives. No longer choosing to escape one’s problems, they can tackle obstacles head-on.

Sobriety is the solution for so many, molding individuals into better friends, parents, spouses, and employees. The list of gifts that recovery bestows upon a person are too many to recount, but each story of healing shares common traits. Those who show up and do the work, day after day, find results. At times the path is rocky, and many want to quit before the miracle happens, but with support there is no problem that can’t be worked out in recovery.

Over the last two decades, there has been a collective effort to shatter the myths and stigma of addiction. There’s been a drive to bring mental illness out of the darkness. As a result, more people are empowered to share their experience, strength, and hope, outside the rooms of recovery.

Publicly sharing one’s story was relatively unheard of not too long ago. Men and women went to great lengths to keep the history of abuse under lock and key. While it was not too uncommon for a celebrity to share a little about his or her struggle with addiction, in an interview or tell-all, that was veritably not the case for average citizens. Not anymore. Today more Americans are finding the courage to talk publicly about their battles with alcohol and substance use disorder.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Addiction


Instead of viewing addiction as a failure, more and more people are accepting the disease for what it is — a treatable mental health condition. The millions of people working programs of recovery prove that to be true. As the number of men and women in recovery grows, the stigma of addiction shrinks. No longer paralyzed by shame, those leading lives in sobriety empower and affect change in the lives of others.

The New York Times Magazine recently published an article written by a former aircraft maintenance technician for the U.S. Air Force. Heather King is in recovery for alcohol use disorder and has penned a beautifully written piece about her road to sobriety. She shares with readers about the complications that alcohol caused her and her family, and how recovery changed her life. She eloquently relates many of the reasons she kept drinking, even though the decision to do so nearly cost her everything.

King shares that although she had a full-time job, a house, and a graduate degree, she was plagued by depression, alcohol use, and suicidal ideation. Her drinking led to a couple of DUIs, one of which could have been fatal. After her second offense, King said, “I could no longer see myself drinking, but I had no idea how to live my life without alcohol."

Like so many people before her, King found help in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. People in the rooms told her that if she attended meetings and didn’t drink, they would show her a new way of life. If you have an opportunity to read what Heather King wrote, in full, please do.

If you are in recovery or are thinking about taking steps to recover, there is probably much you can relate to in her essay.

“I’ve been sober now for two years and 10 months. The decision to get sober and stay sober, by no means easy, was the single most important decision I have made in my life. Sobriety has allowed me to become a better parent. My life as a sober mother has cured the awful ache deep inside my core. It has given me a life I always wanted but never thought I deserved. It has taught me what is most important in motherhood: showing up for your children and being fully present for them.” — Heather King

Finding the Courage to Share


Talking about your history with drugs and alcohol is not easy; there are many painful emotions attached to years of active use. If working a program is new to you, and it takes every ounce of courage you have to share, then please know that you are not alone.

Sitting among relative strangers and talking about being brought to your knees by drugs and alcohol is, for most people, a daunting task. Some will attend a large number of meetings before they feel up to speaking in front of an audience. However, once a person shares their story, it is not uncommon for them to feel a wave of calmness and serenity.

Every individual with alcohol or substance use disorder in their past has said and done things they are not proud of and would rather not recount. Active addiction impacts one’s decision-making process, which leads men and women to harm those they care most about in life. Talking about those things with nonjudgmental people is a vital component of the healing process. Doing so allows people to find it in their hearts to forgive themselves.

At the core of recovery is changing your life for the better; working a program is the mechanism that manifests progress. If you have been attending meetings and are reticent about sharing, that's alright. Just keep coming back and talk with a man or woman you feel comfortable with either before or after a meeting. In time, your reservations will diminish, and the desire to open up with the group will increase.

California Addiction Program for Adults


At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we offer a full continuum of care to help men and women heal from addiction and lead productive lives in sobriety. Our facility is equipped to provide acute medical detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Prescripion Opioids in America

prescription opioids
Chronic pain affects millions of Americans. The standard treatment for persistent discomfort is prescription narcotics—opioids. When prescribed responsibly and taken as directed for short durations, they are a relatively safe method of mitigating pain. However, drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone are overprescribed, and they have a high propensity for abuse.

A significant number of chronic pain patients struggle with opioid use disorder. The need for adequate pain management can lead to dependence quickly. Once this occurs, it is incredibly challenging to stop taking painkillers without assistance.

Since accessing evidence-based addiction treatment is difficult in most parts of the country, many people see their issues with opioids worsen. Moreover, the risk of overdose increases with each day of continued use; prescription opioids are responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths each year.

Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The surge in prescriptions for pain relievers over the last two decades has led to increases in both heroin and synthetic opioids use. A significant number of today's heroin users (80 percent) started with prescription opioids.

The Scope and Scale of Opioid Distribution


Assurances were made in the late 1990s and early 2000s by pharmaceutical companies that the risk of opioid addiction was low. Physicians ran with inaccurate information and proceeded to prescribe narcotics for all things painful. MDs dealt with both acute and chronic pain in the same way, prescribing potent opioid analgesics.

Prescription drug companies benefited immensely from reckless prescribing. They continued to push a false narrative about the dangers of opioids despite an ever-rising number of patient overdose deaths. If you have been following the news lately, then you are aware that many states and victim families are demanding some accountability. More than a thousand lawsuits have been filed against the nation's largest opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Experts have a relatively clear picture of the number of people who are addicted to opioids (between three and six million) and the number of lives lost. However, the true scope and scale of opioid distribution were less clear, that is up until this week.

The Automation of Reports and Consolidated Order System, known as ARCOS, is a database that the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains. It's a system that keeps tabs on every single pain pill sold in the United States, The Washington Post (WAPO) reports. Gaining access to the data has proved to be an exceedingly difficult task.

Opioid Transparency


Justice Department and DEA officials have fought tooth and nail to keep ARCOS data from the public eye, according to the article. This week, US District Judge Dan Polster removed the protective order for part of the database.

The exact scope and scale of the prescription opioids came into focus with the release of long-awaited data. ARCOS indicates that 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills hit the market between 2006 and 2012.

A WAPO analysis found that six companies – McKesson Corp., Walgreens, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, CVS, and Walmart – distributed 75 percent of the pills during this time frame. SpecGx, ­Actavis Pharma, and Par Pharmaceutical manufactured 88 percent of the opioids.

"The depth and penetration of the opioid epidemic becomes readily apparent from the data," said Peter J. Mougey, an attorney for the plaintiffs from Pensacola, Fla. "This disclosure will serve as a wake up call to every community in the country. America should brace itself for the harsh reality of the scope of the opioid epidemic. Transparency will lead to accountability."

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Chronic Pain Patients


NIDA reports that around 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed narcotics for chronic pain misuse them; between 8 and 12 percent develop opioid use disorders. Those who develop an opioid addiction can safely detox and recover.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center's Chronic Pain and Addiction Treatment Program was designed to assist people living with daily, physical discomfort who become dependent on opioids. Our team helps this demographic detox, discover alternative forms of pain management, and learn how to lead a healthy life in recovery.

Please contact us today to learn more about our program. 866·273·0868

Friday, July 12, 2019

Depression and Co-Occurring Addiction Recovery

addiction recovery
A significant number of people who seem put together on the surface contend with something lurking beneath that can upend their lives. It goes by many names but fits under one umbrella: mental illness. Those who struggle with mental health disorders hail from all walks of life. Psychological disorders are pernicious, and they affect men and women regardless of their financial status, race, gender, or upbringing.

More than 300 million people suffer from depression globally. However, many individuals struggle to believe that some men and women battle mental illness. This is partially due to the misconception that symptoms of mental health disorders are circumstantial. People wonder, ‘how could that person, with all their success, battle depression?’

The same is true for addiction! One might muse, ‘what cause does this person have to drink and drug to excess when they have so much going for them in life?’ None of these questions are easy to answer, nor do they need to be. Public perception is rarely rooted in hard science, which contributes to stigmas.

Since one in five Americans will battle with mental illness, it stands to reason that successful people will too. Some of our most beloved actors, musicians, and icons are in recovery from addiction or another psychological condition. Moreover, many celebrities are candid about their issues and what they do to keep them in check.

When a person who is looked up to opens up regarding their trials and tribulations, the effect is enormous. Unreserved disclosure about mental illness and recovery both comforts and inspires average citizens to take action. When John Q. Public learns that they share similar struggles with a person they admire, they feel less alone. He or she becomes empowered to seek recovery!

The Universe Gives Back When You Quit Drinking


Simon Pegg (Shaun Of The Dead, Mission Impossible, and Star Trek) is a British actor who many Americans adore. Not only can he act, but he is also funny. Over the last two decades, his career has gone in one direction—upward. Unfortunately, Pegg’s road to stardom was impacted by depression and addiction.

The English actor, writer, and comedian recently spoke at length with GQ about his battles with mental illness. He discloses how he used alcohol to contend with his depressive symptoms; he shares that drinking helped, at first. However, self-medicating the symptoms of mental illness made his life unmanageable and developed into a co-occurring alcohol use disorder.

“You just can’t rely on any kind of stimulant to make yourself feel better and expect it to solve anything,” said Pegg. “At some point the effects wear off and you need more and more. And so with something like alcohol, you just end up being drunk all the time.”

In 2010, Mr. Pegg hit rock bottom and decided to address his problems fully, according to the article. He sought assistance at a mental health hospital and addiction rehab clinic. The actor learned that the substance he thought was helping was making matters worse. It is a realization that many people come to after seeking help for a dual diagnosis. He tells GQ:

“It’s a strange thing and I have had conversations with other people about this, that when you quit drinking the universe starts to give back to you a little bit. Maybe it’s because I figured out why I was drinking, which was to combat the depression and so I was able to get on top of what was the real issue. I spoke to people and got proper help. That’s when you realise you don’t need to get drunk because you don’t need to escape from things. By actually confronting it, my reward has been these last ten years.”

Chemical Dependency and Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment


Millions of Americans find themselves struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental illnesses. Those who meet the criteria for depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher risk of also developing alcohol or substance use disorder.

Fortunately, long-term recovery is possible when individuals seek treatment to address each disorder simultaneously. If your or a loved one’s life is negatively impacted by drugs, alcohol, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please contact us today.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat is a hospital-based addiction treatment center. Our clients benefit from being treated in a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH); they have access to more than 185 physicians.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Addiction Recovery: A Freedom to Decide

addiction recovery
On this day, 243 years ago, the thirteen original colonies came together as one resounding voice and declared independence from Great Britain. Each year at this time, Americans are asked to reflect on the importance of freedom. For most people, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate around the barbecue and watch fireworks with friends and family, but for people in recovery, Independence Day can have more than one meaning.

People in recovery acknowledge their varying lengths of sobriety on the date that they began taking steps to be free from the bondage of self. It is a day of significant importance to millions of people across the country. In a sense, recovery is a declaration of independence from the disease of addiction.

Alcohol and substance use disorders hijack the lives of individuals. Breaking the disease cycle and forging a unique path is one of the greatest acts of courage found in modern times. Through hard work and dedication to abstain from drugs and alcohol (no matter what), men and women can find a new kind of freedom.

With the above thoughts in mind, perhaps you will find time today to think about how grateful you are to have sovereignty. No longer confined by the prison of self, so total that it’s hard for most of society to understand, you can decide the kind of person you’d like to be. People working programs of recovery have the freedom to choose how they will affect those around them and their society.

A Freedom to Decide, in Recovery


Addiction recovery is liberating; it opens doors to new worlds of possibility. Sobriety gives men and women the freedom to decide how they will look at things. They can choose to find the positives in life, even though the addict and alcoholic’s natural default setting is the belief that he or she is the center of the universe. They can decide to squash negative feelings about others and see the good. One remarkable aspect of recovery is the freedom to care about other people.

It is freeing to realize that the gift of recovery is something that you have the honor to be able to pay forward. The humanity shown to newcomers is then passed along; it’s a relay of healing involving men and women with a common goal.

Those who are in the grips of the progressive illness that is addiction are forced to focus only on themselves to survive. Once in recovery, they learn that not only can they care about others but that it is a requirement. Being of service and accountable to something higher enables recovering addicts and alcoholics to find independence. No longer bound by the yoke of addiction, they can spread their wings and soar to new heights of existence.

There is a caveat, of course; detox, treatment, and working a program gives people the ability to manage their condition. Action in perpetuity is required for continued progress; recovery has a start date but no end. Through continued service and a commitment to practice certain principles in every aspect of life, men and women learn what it means to be free.

On Independence Day, please find a moment to consider the many gifts in your life today and show gratitude toward those who helped you be free from the bondage of self. If you attend a meeting, maybe there will be an opportunity to be of service; bring cookies, stack chairs, or introduce yourself to a newcomer.

If you have plans with your peers in recovery for after the meeting, invite said newcomer along. It will make their day, and the invite might be the thing that keeps them from picking up a drink.

Addiction Recovery is a Doorway to Independence


Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat is licensed as a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH). We utilize evidence-based practices to help people take their first steps toward a life in recovery. Our clients significantly benefit from hospital-based care and specialty services that we provide at HVRC. Please contact us today to take the first step toward finding independence from addiction.

At HVRC, we hope that everyone in recovery has a safe and sober 4th of July. Please keep your phone charged and never hesitate to call your support network for assistance.