Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Depression Education and Awareness Month: Seeking Treatment

depression awareness
October is National Depression Education and Awareness Month. The observance is about teaching the public to recognize the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for depression. Depressive disorders are the most common form of mental illness; the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide.

A combination of factors can lead to the development of depression. Experts believe that both genetics and environmental influences can trigger depressive disorders. People who have a history of substance use also have higher rates of depression compared to the general public. Individuals who’ve experienced a significant trauma in their lives are also at an increased risk.

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we specialize in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental illness. Many of our clients also contend with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or both. Our facility is unique, being that we operate at an acute care hospital.

Our patients have access to a medical staff of over 185 physicians representing most medical specialties. We are licensed as a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH); this allows us to provide programs and specialty services all under one roof. Men and women who are struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental illness benefit significantly from the HVRC difference.

People who meet the criteria for dual diagnosis must receive simultaneous treatment to achieve lasting recovery. Our staff addresses with equal care each condition a client presents with in order to ensure they are able to acquire the tools for long-term recovery and to manage their mental health disorder.

Depression Education and Awareness Month

On the heels of Mental Illness Awareness Week, we observe National Depression Education and Awareness Month. It’s vital to get the word out that treatment works, and recovery is possible. We need to spread the message that people living with depression no longer need to struggle in silence.

At HVRC, we understand that seeking treatment for behavioral and mental health disorders requires tremendous courage. Societal stigmas and misunderstandings about mental illness cause people to think that they are at fault for their disease.

Ignorance is harmful to us all, so educating the public about conditions like depression saves lives. When society has a better understanding of the mechanisms of mental illness, they are more likely to show compassion. When communities care about the well-being of others, it has a ripple effect.

During Depression Education and Awareness Month, we ask that you take an active role in spreading the message about treatment and recovery. Those who are already working a program and managing their mental health can do an excellent service by sharing stories of hope on social media. Your experience can be a catalyst for change in the life of another.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are perfect forums for disseminating valuable facts about depression and the benefits of treatment. Let people who may be suffering know that they are not alone. Kindly use #DepressionAwareness.

California Addiction Treatment Hospital

Please reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat if you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring depression. We can help you take the first steps toward lasting recovery. We are available at any time to field questions you may have about our programs. You will be pleased to know that we accept most insurance providers to help lessen the financial burden of treatment.

If you are battling depression and feel suicidal or are contemplating self-harm, call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recovery Requires Listening Up

In early recovery, learning how to listen is key to absorbing the information you need. Those who are new to the program have a lot to get off their chest; the weight of addiction is massive, and everyone desires to feel unburdened. There are ample opportunities to share your experience with the group in the countless meetings to follow. However, it's beneficial to prioritize hearing what others have to say early on.

The people in your support group have been where you are, and they know how you are feeling exactly. Your newfound peers understand the anxiety and fear that accompanies early recovery. They also grasp the desire to run when something isn't going the way you'd hope.

The temptation to use is paralyzing at times, urges to return to drugs and alcohol can crop up without a moment's notice. Persistent cravings are one of the reasons one must attend as many meetings as possible in the first 90 days of recovery. The more meetings you attend, the more tips and tools you will absorb.

Your support group is nothing short of a life raft floating in a turbulent sea; if you do not follow the direction of those with more experience, then you risk falling overboard.

At this point, you may have heard an oldtimer make a statement like, 'take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth.' Curmudgeonly, to be sure, but not without some merit; the point they are trying to make is that if you are going to make it in the program, then there is a lot you have to learn.

If you are talking too much, then you can put yourself at risk of not hearing something you need to understand.

Listening in Recovery

People with more time in the program stay sober by helping others achieve similar feats. Once a person's program is strong enough, he or she is in a position to impart wisdom to men and women with less time. Each time an oldtimer shares, it is an opportunity to glean valuable suggestions that can help you stay clean and sober.

Surround yourself with people who are carrying the message and listen up. Whether you are in a meeting or having coffee with your sponsor, remember that what is shared with you can help you stay on the path down the road. You will not always be around your recovery peers, so it's prudent to have a firm set of coping mechanisms to manage cravings.

There will also be times when you find yourself in risky situations that can derail your recovery. If you have been listening to your sponsor and support peers, then it's probable that you know how to comport yourself and extricate yourself from danger.

The stakes in recovery are high, and long-term sobriety is never a foregone conclusion; there will always be dangers and pitfalls to skirt. Do everything you can early on to position yourself for success so that one day, you can help others find what you've found.

This post is not about admonishing newcomers against sharing. It's meant to explain the importance of listening more than talking in recovery's infancy. If you have a burning desire to share, then by all means share. You may be struggling, and people can't help you if they do not know you are having challenges. Just try to be cognizant and be sure that you are soaking up as much or more than you are putting out.

Those who invest all their energy into learning the way of recovery early on will set themselves up for realizing long-term recovery. They will develop the skills for leading a fulfilling and productive life.

California Addiction Treatment and Medical Detox

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we help men and women caught in the cycle of addiction to be free. Our addiction hospital assists patients in all aspects of their care, from detoxification to aftercare. Please contact us today to learn more about the HVRC difference.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Friends In Recovery: Stick With The Winners

In early recovery, you will meet many new people in a short time. You will likely attend several meetings at different locations after treatment in search of a homegroup. That is a particular meeting that you frequent most often. Some of those who attend your homegroup will become part of your "deep bench"—the individuals you turn to for support and guidance.

In time, you will develop friendships with men and women; these relationships are about more than just talking recovery. The acquaintances people make in early recovery often become lifelong friends provided one stays the course. The time you spend with them outside of meetings will prove to be just as valuable as when you are inside.

Recovery is about so much more than weekly meetings and working the steps. It's about more than total abstinence, as well. Recovery is a complete life redesign that involves changing a myriad of aspects of one's existence. Those who achieve lasting sobriety adopt new traditions and behaviors; they walk a different path than before. In the process, they must surround themselves with people who share common goals and mindsets.

The first meetings you attend post-treatment will include vetting individuals to determine who shares a similar drive for progress. Unfortunately, many newly sober people fall into crowds who are not committed to doing the work. The truth is that not everyone at meetings is in it for the long haul; some people are attending due to exigent or compulsatory circumstance. Once their obligation is fulfilled, a good number will return to active use.

It's critical that you foster relationships with individuals who are in recovery for themselves, with men and women who are willing to do whatever it takes to excel. There is a common saying in the rooms, stick with the winners. That's not to say that people who aren't committed to long-term recovery are losers, but they certainly have different priorities. Stick with people who share your vision for a healthy and productive life.

Bonding in Recovery

Finding a sponsor or recovery mentor is one of the first things people do following treatment. After a few meetings, you will have heard several people share; at least one likely said something that resonated. Hopefully, you approach said person after the meeting and ask if they will guide you through the steps.

If they accept, they will probably ask you to meet up regularly, call every day, and commit to reading recovery related material. In most cases, the time spent with one's guide leads to friendship. The sponsor-sponsee relationship should not be viewed as hierarchical. Instead, take the perspective of it being two people working together to help each other stay sober.

Sure, your sponsor will have more time sober than you, but that does not mean they are above you. Since you're both on equal footing, you can form a lasting bond. The sponsor-sponsee connection is beneficial in several ways; you have someone to turn to in good times and bad. What's more, your sponsor's friends will likely become yours as well. If your recovery guide has confidence in other people's commitment to progress, then it's safe to say you can too.

You will, over the course of recovery, make friends with individuals outside of your sponsor's inner-circle. Early on, the practice of sticking close to your sponsor is beneficial. However, in time, you will start to sponsor people with less time and making new friends along the way. Fortunately, you will have gleaned from your sponsor by then some protocols for deciding whom to invest your time and energy.

As an aside, please remember that the people from your substance-using past should remain in the past. Trying to hold onto old acquaintances will compromise your mission. Moreover, most of the people you used with were friends of convenience. Recovery, on the other hand, is an opportunity to forge healthy and spiritually uplifting connections with people who care about your well-being and continued progress.

California Addiction Treatment Center

We invite you to reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat for a complimentary assessment if you feel that your drug and alcohol use is problematic. We offer several programs to help people take the first step toward lasting addiction recovery. HVRC works with most insurance providers.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Mental Health Days Off in Recovery

mental health
Some 23 million Americans are living in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Many of them are managing other forms of mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Lasting sobriety is only possible when people with co-occurring disorders prioritize well-being.

Leading a balanced life in addiction recovery is challenging enough and having to deal with a dual diagnosis only complicates matters. Still, it’s possible to keep the symptoms of mental illness at bay and abstain from drugs or alcohol.

The work doesn’t stop after treatment or going through the steps; people with comorbidity must also continue with therapy. In many cases, both ongoing counseling and medication are required to prevent compromising one’s recovery.

While being in recovery makes the task of juggling life significantly more manageable, there will be days that test one’s program. Co-occurring mental illness is with people for life, and symptoms will crop up throughout the months and years. If you have the tools to cope and a support network to consult, then there is no reason men and women can’t overcome mental health episodes.

However, individuals in recovery are not always the best at emphasizing their needs; they are prone to mismanage their priorities. It can be hard for people who have families and work responsibilities to pause and tend to their mental needs. Nevertheless, it is essential to know when taking time for mental health is necessary. Failing to do so can and does compromise a person’s recovery.

Mental Health Days Off

As many of you well know, September is National Recovery Month. Moreover, the first full week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week. The observation’s purpose, like Recovery Month, is educating and increasing people’s awareness about mental illness.

For those currently in recovery, this time of the year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on if you are meeting your mental health needs. It is vital to consider if you are handling stress healthily and productively. Perhaps you are working too much, or have taken on too big of a class load? Maybe current life circumstances have caused a reversion to some old behaviors and mindsets? If not, then it probably means you have to keep an even keel. However, if the opposite is true, then doubling down on your recovery efforts is prudent.

When a hard day comes along, please consider taking a day off from work or school to nurture your mental health. Instead of mowing through the day despite symptoms, call out and reach out for support. People in recovery have the benefit of a vast network of peers who can help with keeping things together. Individuals with co-occurring disorders should go one step further by contacting their therapist or primary care physician.

Mental health is vital to overall health; neglecting the former will jeopardize the latter. It’s easy to convince oneself that taking time off for mental and spiritual well-being is an impossibility. What, with pressing bills to pay or course work and all, it’s hard to justify taking time off. Although, sometimes it is vital to ignore the temptation to put quotidian responsibilities ahead of mental health and recovery. If you don’t put mental well-being first, then you stand to lose far more than money or a good grade.

During National Recovery Month and beyond please take a close look at your needs to see if they are being met. Talk to your peers about ways to balance life and recovery better. Remember, there isn’t any shame in taking time off for mental health and addiction recovery.

California Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital

Take the first step toward a life in long-term recovery with Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat. Our team of dedicated professionals provides the highest degree of medical and psychological expertise in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental illness. Please contact us today for a complimentary assessment and to discuss treatment options. 866-273-0868

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cannabis Use Concerns Surgeon General

More than 30 states have passed laws that permit the use of cannabis and a myriad of products containing THC—the psychoactive ingredient that causes euphoria. Some states only allow people to use the drug for medical purposes, while other states permit adult recreational marijuana use.

The findings of 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) shows that 22% of those aged 19-22 perceived regular use of marijuana as carrying a significant risk of harm. That is a five percentage point decline from the previous year and the lowest level since 1980, according to the University of Michigan. The research is somewhat concerning because marijuana use is not without risks.

Comparatively speaking, cannabis isn't the most dangerous mind-altering substance. Some people use the drug to varying degrees for the majority of their lives and face very few side effects. However, there is a growing body of research that suggests the drug can wreak havoc on developing brains. What's more, regular use can lead to dependence and addiction.

People living in states that permit the use of cannabis should have all the facts about prolonged use, especially young people. The MTF survey shows that marijuana use among U.S. college students is at a new 35-year high. Given the reduction in perceived risk, many young people could be on a path to addiction or other problems unknowingly.

Moreover, marijuana being smoked today is far more potent than in years past owing to enhanced growing techniques. Researchers are still trying to figure out what long-term effects this will have on individuals. It's worth noting that young people are vaping highly concentrated THC oils and distillates, the long-term ramifications of which are not yet known.

Surgeon General Warning On Cannabis Addiction

At a recent press conference, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that cannabis is not safe for teens, young adults, and pregnant women, NPR reports. Surveys indicate that the number of adolescents and pregnant women using the drug is rising. Adams added that a large number of people do not understand how potent marijuana is today.

"While the perceived harm of marijuana is decreasing, the scary truth is that the actual potential for harm is increasing," said Adams. He adds that, "The higher the THC delivery, the higher the risk."

The surgeon general pointed out that nearly 1 in 5 adolescents who use cannabis become addicted, according to the article. He explains that regular marijuana use among young people can impair attention, memory, and decision-making. They may also begin to struggle in school. More research is necessary to understand better the drug's true impact on developing brains.

What research can tell us is that cannabis is not a benign substance, mainly when used in large amounts. Millions of Americans meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder, and those who try to quit can experience withdrawal symptoms. Without professional assistance, relapse is likely to occur.

Please take a moment to listen to a short broadcast on the subject:

If you are having trouble listening, please click here.

If you use cannabis regularly and have trouble quitting even though it interferes with aspects of your life, then please reach out for help. Addiction treatment can help you break the cycle of addiction and begin the journey of recovery.

California Addiction Treatment Center

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we have extensive experience in treating marijuana addiction or cannabis use disorder. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and to determine if HVRC is right for you or a loved one. Recovery is possible, and we can help.