Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Safe and Sober Thanksgiving

Tomorrow, we give thanks for all that is good in our lives and ask our higher power for guidance. Gratitude is paramount to long-term recovery, and we must take stock of the people who have helped us up to this point. None of us in recovery made it where we are today on our on, we all had help. If you completed an addiction treatment program, then several people at the center helped you achieve the goal of living life on life’s terms. Those of you who continue your efforts daily by way of going to meetings, working with a sponsor, and extending your hand to newcomers—know that without your family in recovery you would have already used alcohol or drugs.

While Thanksgiving is an opportunity to give thanks to those who’ve assisted your efforts, it’s also a time that requires vigilance. The snares and traps of addiction seem to rise from the depths of our minds more profoundly during important holidays. After all, certain days of the year center around sentiment and emotion, two things that can disrupt one’s program. People in recovery can go through the whole year without thinking about using, only to find an overwhelming desire to use bubbling up during the holidays.

We could compile a list of reasons why people if they are going to relapse, often do so during big holidays; although, it’s more salient to discuss how to get to the other side of the holidays without picking up drugs or alcohol. It’s worth noting, if you’ve gone through treatment and work a program, then you already have tools at your disposal that can assist you. What’s more, there are several people in your life today, undoubtedly, who are committed to supporting your efforts for recovery.


Recovery Support Network

Are you traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving? Those who answer “yes” to that question have hopefully drafted a plan-of-action for keeping your recovery intact this Thursday. You’ve made a list of meetings to attend and schedule a time each day that you are away for talking with your sponsor. Having a schedule in place is a commitment, in effect, which holds you accountable to something other than yourself. Sticking to the plan will give you a sense of accomplishment and strengthen your effort to abstain, while away from home.

Those of you staying local this Thursday should also have a plan established for continued recovery. Even though you have plans to spend time with family, you’d be wise allowing some time for going to a meeting, or several meetings if you are in early recovery. Making a point to be present at your home group at some time over the course of Thanksgiving will help protect your program from jeopardy. In recovery, going to meetings is vital; just because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean our addiction took a vacation. The disease is just around the corner waiting patiently for your return.

Treating tomorrow like you would any other day of the year is beneficial, as well as staying close to your support network. Even if you’ve been in the program only a short time, there is probably select individuals who you have made a bond. People, like yourself, committed never to feel the way they felt in active addiction, again. Ask them what they are doing tomorrow; you may find that they need your support more than you theirs. In recovery, we have a responsibility to each other. Again, we all help each other stay on the miraculous path of recovery.


Safe and Sober Thanksgiving

At HVRC, we would like to wish each of you in recovery a happy Thanksgiving; for those of you who completed our treatment program, we’d like to share how grateful we are to be a part of your recovery. Holidays too shall pass. Please remember what you’ve learned along the way and stay close to your circle of support; if you do that, there is no reason why Thanksgiving can’t be a beautiful day.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Prescription Opioids Should Be A Last Resort

prescription opioids
Doctors rely heavily on prescription opioids for the treatment of pain, and for a good reason, they work. There is no other form of medication which dulls pains quite like opioids, but that doesn’t mean doctors must turn to opiates as a first resort. Given the state of opioid addiction in America, physicians should only turn to narcotic painkillers after all other options are exhausted.

One way to reduce American reliance on opioids is to offer patients alternative means of managing pain. Naturally, there will always be instances when prescription opioids are the right call; however, more times than not a non-narcotic alternative can be just as effective. What’s more, non-opioid alternatives don’t carry the risk of addiction.

In the United States, the majority of the more than 2 million people with an opioid use disorder began the perilous road of addiction using painkillers. In many instances, physicians prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Percocet for acute pain caused by an injury of some kind. Such people went to an emergency room and were prescribed opioids. When sprained ankles progress to substance use disorder, something’s got to give.


Opting Out of Prescription Opioids

There is a growing body of evidence supporting the belief that prescription opioids are not the only solution to pain. In fact, a new study shows that a cocktail of ibuprofen and acetaminophen provided relief relative to opiates for acute pain patients, The Los Angeles Times reports. The researchers published their report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The research involved 416 patients suffering from acute pain stemming from a variety of injuries. While 20 percent of participants had a bone fracture, others were treated for minor injuries like sprained ankles.

Patients who received the two non-addictive, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs reported pain relief on par with participants who received prescription opioids. Emergency room doctors treating acute pain with prescription opioids was one of the driving forces of the addiction epidemic, according to the article. Interestingly, and despite the ever-mounting death toll linked to painkillers, this kind of study was a first. While Dr. David Clark, a Stanford pain medicine specialist, was not a part of the new study, he said the research, “could shape practice really very profoundly.”

“I would have thought that people who came to an ER with pain that could be managed with just pills wouldn’t be given opioids,” said Clark. “The fact that investigators thought the question needed to be answered is sort of an indicator of how oriented we are to using opioids for pain, even when simpler and safer approaches might work just as well.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

If an injury led you to prescription opioids and subsequent misuse, you might meet the criteria for an opioid use disorder. Reliance on these types of drugs regularly results in addiction and overdose. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat, we can help you manage your disease and show you how to live a life of recovery. Please contact us today.