Thursday, May 18, 2017

Keeping Recovery During the Summer

addiction recovery
Whether you live on the east or west coast of America, summer appears to finally be at our doorstep. Phew! The winter can be a hard time for people in recovery for addiction. Less sunshine, cold days and nights often makes people depressed, particularly people who have a history of mental illness. It can be difficult to muster the strength to work and be active; and idle time for addicts is most certainly the devils…

Not feeling well because of the weather can cause you to think that maybe a drink or drug will improve your state of being. One must constantly be replaying the tape of where that kind of thinking can take you. Reminding oneself of the leaps and bounds you have made in life which you owe entirely to your recovery. If you managed to make it through the winter without a relapse, we at HVRC thank you for being living proof that even in tough times, the practices and principles of recovery work.

If on the other hand, you happen to have relapsed and returned to the program despite the feelings that come with a relapse, you made the right choice. Perhaps you are still in the midst of active addiction post relapse, we implore you to seek treatment immediately.


Addiction Recovery Over The Summer

While the warmer months certainly bring more opportunities to get out of one’s own head, suck the marrow out of life, it is not always a walk in the park. Particularly for alcoholics who long associated warm weather with drinking cold beer. Going to parties on the major holidays, and barbecuing every weekend can also carry a host of triggers.

Recovery is 24/7, 365 day-a-year is a mission to live a life free from drugs and alcohol. In order to experience the gifts that the program can afford you, vigilance is a must. If you find yourself experiencing triggers, then get to a meeting, talk to someone. Call Your Sponsor. Call Your Sponsor, Again. You can never protect your program too much.

Make plans to soak up the sun with others who are working towards your common goal of recovery. It cannot be said enough, we can have fun in recovery. If you are taking trips around the country or world this summer, have a plan in place. Find meetings to go to along the way, before you depart. Going to meetings in different cities, states and countries can be a really fun experience. You never know what kind of interesting people you will meet at foreign recovery meetings. Potentially making lasting connections.


This Could Be A Life Changing Summer

If you are in the grips of active addiction currently, the summer might be the perfect opportunity to address the problem and seek treatment. Many people will tell themselves that they do not have time to go to treatment for three months, worried that it will impact schooling or their job. But the summer may provide you the time you need. Even if it doesn’t, failing to seek help will eventually result in education or career losses. Ultimately, untreated addiction takes everything.

Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat today, to start a new existence. One free from the stranglehold of active drug or alcohol use. Recovery is waiting for you.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cannabis Use Disorder In America

cannabis use disorder
Every couple of years it seems like more states alter their policy regarding marijuana use, whether that be for medical or recreational purposes. While California was the first state to successfully pass and implement a medical marijuana program in 1996, the Golden State would not be the first to legalize recreational pot use for adults. But, nevertheless California voters passed legislation ending the prohibition last November, joining: Alaska, Colorado, DC, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. All told 29 states and Washington DC have medical marijuana programs operating or in the works.

The issue of cannabis use in the United States has historically been a hallmark of political division across the country, but it is clear the gap continues to diminish in size—arguably the result of fewer Americans viewing the plant as inherently dangerous. Even Americans who do not use cannabis products (or plan to) now believe that possession of the drug is not cause for arrest and/or imprisonment. More and more people in the U.S. understand that our prisons have more inmates (by far) than any other country in the world, and that the majority of the people behind bars are there because of nonviolent drug offenses. The product of a seemingly futile war on addiction—masquerading as a “war on drugs.”


The Big Picture

The arguments for legalization of medical marijuana and recreational use are very appealing when you consider the damage done to individuals whose only crime was simple possession of what even members of the government consider to be a fairly benign substance (relatively speaking). Such arrests do not just affect the individual, they impact families and entire communities that are by and large impoverished and mainly populated by ethnic minorities like African Americans and Latinos. Whether you are for or against marijuana use, it is hard to disagree with the statistics of who has been affected the greatest by the war on drugs.

On the other hand, it is important that we take a look at the big picture and what an end to prohibition can bring with it—particularly heightened addiction rates. There is still a lot that scientists do not understand about cannabis, and the drug's impact on humans. We know that it can wreak havoc in the developing brains of teenagers and young adults, and impact cognitive function in older adults. But there is rarely much talk about marijuana addiction, otherwise known as cannabis use disorder. However, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Medical Center have attempted to shed some light on progressive marijuana policies and addiction.


Cannabis Use Disorder

One reason why people do not speak much of weed addiction is because when compared to other substance use disorders it can be hard for people to view the former as being a big deal. Stereotypical representations of pot smokers do not show such people pawning all their belongings so they can inject weed into their arm. Sure, people who smoke pot may have a deficit in motivation, but they are not robbing pharmacies to get their fix. Even in rooms of addiction recovery, some people are prone to look down their nose at those whose life became unmanageable because of smoking marijuana. Yes, even among addicts there is at times what could be called a reverse hierarchy. To be clear regarding recovery programs, people viewing other problems as somehow lacking the credentials for free admission to recovery is not the norm—but rather the exception.

Opinions aside, there is clear evidence that cannabis use disorder is real. It can, and does, negatively impact people's lives. The condition is recognized in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and furthermore, pot addicts who attempt to quit the drug do in fact experience withdrawal symptoms which can precipitate relapse.

Even though the country is steaming towards an end to prohibition on the Federal level, it is important that people living in states where the drug is now legal understand all the risks. A new study looked at cannabis use and cannabis use disorders before and after medical marijuana laws were passed in certain states, ScienceDaily reports. The researchers found that illicit marijuana use decreased and marijuana use disorder remained flat between 1991-1992 and 2001-2002, but both illicit use and cannabis use disorder rates increased between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. Naturally, more research is needed to better understand the correlation.

"Medical marijuana laws may benefit some with medical problems. However, changing state laws -- medical or recreational -- may also have adverse public health consequences, including cannabis use disorders," said study author Deborah Hasin, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "A prudent interpretation of our results is that professionals and the public should be educated on risks of cannabis use and benefits of treatment, and prevention/intervention services for cannabis disorders should be provided."



If marijuana is impacting your life in negative ways, it is possible that you are dependent on the substance. If you continue to use despite adverse effects, it is a usually a sign that a problem exists. Help is available and there are a significant number of people who are recovering from cannabis use disorder, living productive and fulfilling lives. Please reach out to us at Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat to discuss treatment options and beginning the journey of recovery.