Saturday, February 23, 2019

Mental Health Benefits Linked to Fruits and Vegetables

mental health
Long-term addiction recovery depends on transforming the mind, body, and spirit. Neglect the brain—the body and spirit will suffer. Ignore physical wellbeing—mental health and a person’s connection to something “deeper” will decline. Merely put, the whole person is only as strong as its weakest link.

When a person enters into a program of addiction recovery for alcohol, substance use, or co-occurring mental illness, they realize that their journey will require more than saying goodbye to mind-altering substances. Men and women discover that lasting transformations and continued progress will hinge on a complete overhaul.

Regardless of the mental disease in question, those struggling with such illnesses are in poor health by the time treatment commences. It is critical that patients adopt changes that go beyond embracing abstinence. Incorporating a healthy diet and a routine of physical fitness significantly increases a person’s ability to heal from that trauma that so often accompanies mental health disorders. Again, the mind, body, and spirit connection is a system; neglecting one aspect can result in systemic failure.

Eating healthily and prioritizing even light physical exercise will assist the healing process of recovery. Moreover, people who embrace such changes can better connect with the spiritual realm—in turn enhancing their ability to achieve the goals they desire.


The Foods We Eat Impact Our Mental Health

In 2016, a relatively small study found that eating more fruits and vegetables led to improvements in mental well-being. A research fellow in behavioral economics and an associate professor of economics at the University of Leeds set out to determine if the same held true with a larger sample. Neel Ocean and Peter Howley shared their findings in a commentary for CNN recently.

The researchers looked at more than 40,000 participants from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, according to the article. They found a link between eating healthy foods and increases in self-reported mental well-being and life satisfaction throughout five years.

The scientists note that their study, “alone cannot reveal a causal link from fruit and vegetable consumption to increased psychological well-being.” But, their “work adds weight to a growing body of evidence that eating fruits and vegetables and having higher levels of mental well-being are positively related, and the signs of a causal link from other recent studies are encouraging.”

Neel Ocean and Peter Howley also point out that consuming healthy foods is not a substitute for medical treatment. The findings of this kind of research is beneficial for both mental clinicians and people working a program of recovery. Making changes to your lifestyle is a process; and, major, notable transformations will not take place overnight. For those in early recovery who are resistant to embracing a healthier diet or physical exercise, please keep in mind that making such changes can happen gradually.

The authors of the study say that “adding just one serving of fruits or vegetables daily may have as many benefits for mental well-being as adding seven to eight walks per month to your physical regimen.” Simply put, achieving mental health recovery benefits doesn’t require men and women becoming vegetarians or gym enthusiasts. Small, incremental lifestyle changes could pay significant dividends.


Chemical Dependency and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder Treatment

Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat offer people struggling with mental health the highest degree of medical, psychological, and spiritual expertise. Our team of clinicians can help you or a loved one take the first steps toward healing the mind, body, and spirit. Upon completion of our program, our center continues to prioritize clients’ aftercare as they walk the road to long-term recovery.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

COA Awareness Week: Helping Children Heal

COA Awareness Week
The impact that addiction has on the family is immeasurable. Those who contend with alcohol and substance use disorder put enormous stress on their loved ones. In the field of addiction medicine, experts refer to alcoholism and chemical dependency as family diseases. They do this for two primary reasons 1) the genetic links of the disease and 2) the trauma that individuals inflict on their loved ones requires recovery support services.

It is fair to say that the demographic that feels the effects of a loved one's addiction most is the children. Young people growing up in a household with one or more parent in the grips of mental illness face enormous obstacles. Without intervention, there is a high likelihood of a child experiencing developmental issues. The children of alcoholics and addicts require support, lest the end up walking down similar destructive paths later in life.

Parental alcohol and substance use take an enormous toll on young people. Boys and girls living with parents who battle substance use are the most vulnerable to developing an addiction later in life. When you consider that one in four children resides in a family impacted by use disorder, it easy to see the need for support is high.

COA Awareness Week

National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) is an organization that advocates for children and families adversely impacted by alcohol or drug use in the family. For over 35 years, NACoA has envisioned a world that fully supports the children of alcoholics and addicts. At no other time in history has the need been more significant; the insidious opioid epidemic has left many young people especially vulnerable. The staggering overdose death rate has left thousands of children without mothers or fathers.

February 10 - 16, 2019, is COA Awareness Week. The annual observance aims to “break the painful silence and offer hope to the vulnerable kids and teens impacted by parental addiction.” Throughout the week, people in recovery and beyond are compelled to spread the message that:

With the right support, children can begin to heal. With appropriate services, children can learn how to live without shame. With hope, resilience is possible. 

NACoA encourages Americans to spread messages of hope for at-risk children. We can all have a role in supporting young people who are affected by addiction. The organization asks that we take to social media; disseminating posts like:

#COAAwarenessWeek2019 is coming! Join us February 10-16 and raise awareness about children of addiction and join us in #CelebratingHopeAndHealingForALifetime! Learn more at #COAWeek2019 #VoicefortheChildren


Together let’s bring hope and healing to children living with parental addiction! #CelebratingHopeAndHealingForALifetime #COAWeek2019 #CaringAdult #Teachers #SchoolPsychologists #Pediatricians #YouthMinisters #DrugCourt Learn more at

Since addiction is a family disease, loved one must recover too. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat, we encourage our clients’ family members to participate in either our Three Day Intensive Family Week or our Weekly Family Groups. Our lectures and groups address the needs of the family so that everyone can recover.

HVRC Family Program

If your loved one requires addiction treatment, we invite you to contact HVRC to learn more about our approach to bringing about lasting changes. You can also find more information about the Family Program at Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat by reaching out to our Admissions & Assessment Department. 951-765-4903 or 1-866-273-0868.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Older Americans Require Addiction Treatment

age-specific addiction treatment
Most Americans, by now, are acutely familiar with the addiction epidemic disrupting millions of lives. While heroin and fentanyl remain the focus of many news stories, prescription narcotics are still a significant issue. It has become more difficult to acquire such drugs from doctors, but they are still misused at alarming rates.

It is right to say that overdose and addiction headlines almost always focus on younger generations. However, older Americans are not immune from either, and without treatment, the outcomes are the same. It doesn’t matter where a person procures their substances; when misused, such people face clear and present dangers.

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that people over 50 are being especially affected by substance use disorder. Older Americans who think that addiction is a young person’s problem should reconsider their position. Whenever an individual's life quality is severely impacted by substance use – young or old – action is required.

Prescription Drug Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that 18 to 25-year-olds are misusing prescription narcotics at the highest rates. However, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found that opioid-related emergency room visits were up 74 percent from 2010 to 2015 and opioid-related inpatient stays were up 34 percent among people 65 and older, according to U.S. News & World Report. The article rightly points that opioids are not the only danger affecting older Americans.

JAMA Internal Medicine published a study that shows one-third of older adults prescribed benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications), uses them long-term. Like opioids, benzos such as Xanax and Valium are highly addictive. Moreover, when anti-anxiety meds are used in conjunction with opioids, the two types of drugs make for a potentially deadly cocktail.

It is vital that older Americans – who take prescription narcotics long-term – reach out for support if they have concerns about having a use disorder. The stigma of addiction can be paralyzing; it often leads people to suffer in silence. Help exists, including treatment programs and support groups that cater to older adults. If accessing age-specific treatment is not possible, it’s critical that older people understand that evidence-based addiction treatment programs are useful for all ages.

“While substance abuse in older adults often goes unrecognized and therefore untreated, research indicates that currently available addiction treatment programs can be as effective for them as for younger adults,” according to NIDA. 

Age-Specific Addiction Treatment at HVRC

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center, we offer programs that are tailored to specific demographics. Those include, but are not limited to, age-specific addiction treatment. We understand that alcohol and substance use disorder are non-discriminating conditions. Moreover, our experience has taught us that the young and old people have unique concerns. As such, older adults respond better –at times – when they are working together exclusively with their peers.

Addiction treatment can be beneficial for everyone; but, there is ample evidence that certain individuals can benefit more from gender or age-specific programming. At HVRC, we have witnessed this first hand. If you are over 50 and are struggling with prescription drugs, please contact us to learn more about our older adult addiction treatment program.