Friday, September 28, 2018

Opioid Bill Receives Bipartisan Support

opioid use disorder
It isn’t a secret that there is little love lost between elected officials on both sides of the aisle in American politics. The endless news cycle about what is happening in all three branches of government is at times hard to watch regardless of where one’s affiliation rests. Nevertheless, with lives hanging in the balance owing to an addiction epidemic, it is paramount that partisans look past their differences and at least try to enact legislation to combat the ever-rising death toll linked to substance use and use disorder.

In a divided nation, interestingly, it seems the only thing Senators and members of the House can agree on is addressing the scourge of opioids and other drugs with the power to kill. With each passing year, the annual overdose death toll continues to elevate exponentially. It is hard to disagree with enacting common-sense legislation that could lead to mitigating the pernicious effects of mind-altering substances.

In recent years, lawmakers have reached across the aisle to change public policy; to make it harder for individuals to acquire dangerous narcotics, expand access to evidence-based addiction treatment, and make the overdose reversal drug naloxone more readily available. Notably, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires insurance companies and group health plans to provide benefits for mental illness and substance use treatment and services that are on par with how they cover medical/surgical care. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), among other things, expanded the availability of naloxone and access to addiction treatment services, and strengthened prescription drug monitoring programs.

Bipartisan Opioid Bill Package

This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate achieved something that many thought unthinkable, bipartisan agreement on a 653-page bill designed to address addiction and overdose, The New York Times reports. It is impossible to cover everything in the package, but some of the critical facets include a measure that will hopefully make it harder to smuggle dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the country.

The agreement reached by lawmakers could allow more Medicaid recipients to receive residential addiction treatment in the coming years, according to the article. A measure allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug used for treating opioid addiction. The legislation also channels more funding for researching and developing nonaddictive medications for pain management.

While anything is better than nothing when it comes to tackling addiction and helping more people into recovery, as well as lowering the number of overdose deaths each year, many lawmakers and experts have expressed concerns. The primary source of contention with the bill is that it is woefully underfunded. It is expected that the bill will cost around $8 billion, which some have pointed out is significantly less than what was is allotted for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990’s.

“While there is more work to be done, this bipartisan legislation takes an important step forward and will save lives,” said Republican and Democratic committee leaders. 

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat can assist you or a family member in breaking the cycle of opioid use disorder and begin a journey of addiction recovery. As National Recovery Month concludes, we are hopeful that more people will make the courageous decision to seek care. Please take the first step and contact us today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

4 Holistic Therapies That May Help Your Recovery

holistic therapiesWhen used with traditional addiction treatment, holistic therapies have been proved to help both the physical and psychological effects of addiction. Alternative treatments are becoming more mainstream for helping people with substance use disorders develop the necessary skills for long-term sobriety. What’s more, holistic therapy is being used among patients who are struggling with chronic pain and addiction – helping the body heal by tapping into the mind, body and spirit connection.

Here’s a look at a few holistic therapies that you might experience during rehab – and how they can help you or someone you love: 

  1. Meditation: The ancient practice of meditation has numerous health benefits, including helping you to learn how to stay in the present, manage stress and connect to your divine nature. Meditation has also been study-proven to increase oxygenation of the blood and decrease heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure.
  2. Therapeutic Breathing: Also called “mindfulness breathing,” therapeutic breathing is a holistic practice that enables you to use breath to let go of any negative emotions, feelings and distractions. The result: Your “prana” or life force will flow more freely.
  3. Guided Imagery: This type of focused relaxation helps you develop a deeper sense of peace, harmony, balance and understanding. Guided imagery teaches you to focus your imagination to create a “mental escape” and tap inner strengths to find hope and courage to cope with a variety of conditions.
  4. Heart-Mind Coherence (HeartMath™): During stress and negative emotions, the heart rhythm pattern becomes erratic and disordered and limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason and make rational decisions. Similar to biofeedback, HeartMath helps you to visually observe heart function in response to contrasting emotional states and teaches you how using breathing techniques to establish a state of heart-mind “entrainment.”

About Our Holistic Therapies 
At Hemet Valley Recovery Center, we offer a host of holistic therapies that take into account the body, mind and spirit, which are all impacted by the disease of addiction. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs and services, call today: 866-273-0868.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Why Older Americans Are Overdosing on Opioids

senior opioid abuseWhen you think of opioid misuse, you may not think about the elderly. But the reality is that those over 65, who are often struggling with chronic, painful health conditions like arthritis and cancer, are becoming a big part of the opioid epidemic. In fact, the population of older adults who misuse opioids is projected to double from 2004 to 2020, from 1.2 percent to 2.4 percent, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

So what’s contributing to this rise? An analysis of Medicare Part D data by the Office of the Inspector General revealed that more than 500,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries received high amounts of opioids in 2016, with doses exceeding the recommended amount set forth by the manufacturer, says SAMHSA. What’s more, older adults who face barriers getting pain medications have been found to get prescriptions from friends and family without proper instruction. 

Perhaps the biggest explanation, notes a recent poll, is that doctors aren’t communicating the risks that come with pain meds. Beyond the risk of addiction, opioid abuse can increase the risk of breathing complications, confusion, drug interaction problems and increased risk of falls for the older adult population, according to SAMHSA. 

“The messages that doctors give to patients are largely dictated by how they perceive patients,” Sheila Vakharia, a policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, told The Atlantic. “You don’t often see the elderly as a population at risk for developing substance use disorders.” And yet with higher levels of pain, the risk to misuse and abuse is also higher. 

Older Adult Addiction Treatment Program
Prescription medication misuse is the most common substance related problem among older adults, with alcohol running a close second.
If you’re concerned about an older adult in your life and don’t know how to help, contact us. To learn about our drug and alcohol rehab for older adults, call today: 866-273-0868.

Friday, September 7, 2018

National Recovery Month: Join the Voices for Recovery

Recovery Month
Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat would like to use this opportunity to acknowledge the thousands of men and women dedicated to helping another find recovery at treatment centers, recovery centers, and meeting houses across the country. We would also like to take a moment to celebrate those who manage the symptoms of alcohol and substance use disorders by working a program of recovery. Making a daily commitment to lead a drug and alcohol-free life takes both diligence and constant dedication to adhering to the principles of the program and practice them in all of one’s affairs. Taking action to keep the disease at bay is worth being proud, and worth commendation; after all, not everyone finds him or herself able to commit to a different way of living, and such people are at risk of ultimately succumbing to their condition.

Of course, anyone can recover from mental illnesses like an addiction; but, making recovery a reality often depends heavily on seeking the assistance of addiction treatment services. Those who reach out for help find detoxing and laying a foundation for healing a much easier undertaking than going it alone—or “white knuckling” it as it is often called. Across the United States, there exists a vibrant community of men and women working together to keep their diseases in check; and, people in recovery typically owe much of their progress to working in accord with others who share congruent goals.

It is an unfortunate fact that in the 21st Century many individuals find themselves unable to seek assistance. The stigma of addiction and mental disease, while somewhat diminished compared to generations past, is still alive and as counterproductive as ever. The fear of being ostracized by one's friends, family, and community keeps people from opening up about their struggle and deciding to give a new way of living a shot. It is for the above reasons that it is paramount that people in our society open their mind and cast aside the binding yoke of stigma once and for all.


National Recovery Month

The U.S. has long been in the grips of a polysubstance use epidemic, the news media never lets us forget, nor should they; Americans must bear witness to the preventable tragedy unfolding before us. With that in mind, while reminding average citizens of the dangers of substance use is vital, it is also salient to highlight the progress that individuals make every day working programs of recovery. If more people see that leading a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle is possible, they might find the strength to cast the guilt and shame of addiction aside long enough to pick up the phone and call for help.

Some of our readers are aware that it is National Recovery Month; a critically important time for anyone who's been touched by addiction to playing a part in encouraging others to seek treatment. Naturally, Recovery Month is a multifaceted observation involving myriad public health agencies, treatment centers, and countless individuals in the program. Nearly one-thousand events are taking place throughout the country this September to increase awareness of the power of recovery. There is a high likelihood that some events are occurring in your community. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the official sponsor of Recovery Month, writes:

“There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.”


Support Is Available

Not everyone can attend an event, but such people can still be of assistance to others during Recovery Month. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” provides a platform for people to share their story and progress made in recovery online. If you are interested in being a “voice for recovery,” please click here.  

Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover. 

For those who are actively battling a mental or substance use disorder, or both, HVRC can help you start taking steps toward leading a healthy and rewarding life. We offer several addiction treatment programs tailored to the specific needs of our clients; please contact our highly trained admissions staff to answer any of your questions.

We provide the environment and pace conducive to the individual needs and abilities of adults.