Thursday, August 17, 2017

Addiction Recovery In College

addiction recovery
The summer is quickly coming to a close. Which means that a number of young adults in recovery are preparing to head back to college. If you are among such people, we commend you for furthering your education whilst working a program of addiction recovery. It is not an easy task and should never be discounted. Staying clean and sober under average circumstances can be a real challenge. Addiction is always jumping at the bit for you to slip up, thus inviting the disease back into your life.

The disease of addiction thrives best when individuals are stressed out or overworked. Two things that go hand in hand with modern college class loads. In the ever-modernizing world, students must go far above and beyond to get ahead in this world. Demanding that students take difficult classes and participate in extracurricular activities. Given that young people in recovery have a most important mission outside of school, already, it can be hard to juggle all that is expected of young collegians today.

However, it is possible to navigate the rigors of college life and not fall back into the cycle of addiction. If you have completed an addiction treatment program, have a sponsor and go to meetings several days a week—you have already acquired many of the necessary coping skills for dealing with stress in recovery. So, when you head off to school, if you can utilize what you have learned, you should be able to get through the semester without incident.


Protecting Addiction Recovery In College

Many young people in recovery attend college outside of their home town, or the area they first got clean and sober. Which means that you will be away from you inner-recovery support circle and sponsor. If that is the case for you, it is absolutely paramount that you get plugged into a recovery community where you go to school. Many students in recovery actually get a second sponsor to work with while they are away. An extra line of defense to protect one’s sobriety.

It is vital that you develop connections with other young people in recovery who are attending the same college as you. People who you can both socialize with in your down time, and turn to when you are having a hard time. A number of colleges even offer sober housing services, which can be super beneficial. When you are living with other people who share your common goal, who are also navigating the stress of college, you will not feel like you are alone. The power of recovery depends on fellowship.

It practically goes without saying that being unable to connect with a recovery community when away at school can be disastrous. It could precipitate spending time with people who are partying or using. In turn, leading to a relapse. Making recovery one’s first priority will help prevent such an occurrence. Please keep in mind that without your recovery, the likelihood of being successful in college is quite slim.


Taking A Semester Off

Some of you reading this may still be in the throes of active addiction, but are still plan to go back to school. Or are heading into your freshman year. If that is the case, you may want to consider holding off on college until after treatment and getting established in a program of recovery. Doing so will not only protect you from the dangers of active addiction, it will help you achieve your maximum potential when working towards your future.

Our young adult addiction treatment program is specifically designed to meet the various needs of young people. Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat today, being the first step in the lifesaving journey of addiction recovery.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Opioid Misuse Among Older Adults

addictionEarlier this summer we wrote about an alarming trend of overdose deaths involving older Americans. Overdose is quite common among opioid users, but people over the age of 50 are far more likely to be on several other medications. Compared to younger adults, that is. The mixture of opioids and other medication can have a synergistic effect, heightening the risk of an overdose. Opioid abuse hospitalizations involving people over 65 quintupled over the past two decades.

“The high rates of [multiple] illnesses in older populations and the potential for drug interactions has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults who continue to misuse opioids,” Dr. Kimberly Johnson, Director for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, said in a news release.

When following the various developments of the opioid addiction epidemic, the news is usually concerning. Earlier this week, the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued its first report. Key findings included that around 142 Americans die of an overdose every day in the United States, The Washington Post reports. The report included several recommendations that could help combat the epidemic, starting with the President declaring the opioid epidemic a national emergency. The commission believes that by doing so, it will “force Congress to focus on funding” and to “awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.”


Older Adult Opioid Abuse

One of the takeaways of a 20-year-long epidemic is that addiction does not discriminate. The quote from above could not be more apt. A poignant reality that will hopefully sway more lawmakers to tackle the addiction epidemic with compassion, rather than punishment. Nobody is safe from the long reach of opioid addiction.

While there have been some positive strides made regarding the epidemic, there is still a staggering amount of work to do yet. A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that opioid misuse among younger has decreased (11.5 percent to 8 percent) from 2002 to 2014, HealthDay reports. Unfortunately, opioid misuse involving heroin and painkillers with adults over 50 rose from 1 percent to 2 percent in the same time frame.

Five strategies for addressing the epidemic have been put forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
  • Improving access to addiction treatment and recovery services.
  • Promoting targeted availability and distribution of naloxone.
  • Better reporting of public health data on the opioid epidemic.
  • Increasing support for research on pain and addiction.
  • Utilizing safer pain management methods.


Addiction Treatment Is The Solution

The recommendations from the HHS could do a lot of good, but it could easily be argued that expanding access to addiction treatment services will be most effective. Simply making it harder to get certain drugs only addresses a symptom of the much greater problem of addiction.

If you are an older adult struggling with prescription opioids and/or heroin, it is strongly advised that you seek help. Sooner, rather than later. The longer one puts off treatment, the greater the likelihood of premature death. Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat to learn more about our Older Adult Addiction Treatment Program. This is addiction treatment specifically tailored to meet the needs of people over 50 years of age.