Monday, September 23, 2019

Mental Health Days Off in Recovery

mental health
Some 23 million Americans are living in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Many of them are managing other forms of mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Lasting sobriety is only possible when people with co-occurring disorders prioritize well-being.

Leading a balanced life in addiction recovery is challenging enough and having to deal with a dual diagnosis only complicates matters. Still, it’s possible to keep the symptoms of mental illness at bay and abstain from drugs or alcohol.

The work doesn’t stop after treatment or going through the steps; people with comorbidity must also continue with therapy. In many cases, both ongoing counseling and medication are required to prevent compromising one’s recovery.

While being in recovery makes the task of juggling life significantly more manageable, there will be days that test one’s program. Co-occurring mental illness is with people for life, and symptoms will crop up throughout the months and years. If you have the tools to cope and a support network to consult, then there is no reason men and women can’t overcome mental health episodes.

However, individuals in recovery are not always the best at emphasizing their needs; they are prone to mismanage their priorities. It can be hard for people who have families and work responsibilities to pause and tend to their mental needs. Nevertheless, it is essential to know when taking time for mental health is necessary. Failing to do so can and does compromise a person’s recovery.

Mental Health Days Off

As many of you well know, September is National Recovery Month. Moreover, the first full week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week. The observation’s purpose, like Recovery Month, is educating and increasing people’s awareness about mental illness.

For those currently in recovery, this time of the year is a perfect opportunity to reflect on if you are meeting your mental health needs. It is vital to consider if you are handling stress healthily and productively. Perhaps you are working too much, or have taken on too big of a class load? Maybe current life circumstances have caused a reversion to some old behaviors and mindsets? If not, then it probably means you have to keep an even keel. However, if the opposite is true, then doubling down on your recovery efforts is prudent.

When a hard day comes along, please consider taking a day off from work or school to nurture your mental health. Instead of mowing through the day despite symptoms, call out and reach out for support. People in recovery have the benefit of a vast network of peers who can help with keeping things together. Individuals with co-occurring disorders should go one step further by contacting their therapist or primary care physician.

Mental health is vital to overall health; neglecting the former will jeopardize the latter. It’s easy to convince oneself that taking time off for mental and spiritual well-being is an impossibility. What, with pressing bills to pay or course work and all, it’s hard to justify taking time off. Although, sometimes it is vital to ignore the temptation to put quotidian responsibilities ahead of mental health and recovery. If you don’t put mental well-being first, then you stand to lose far more than money or a good grade.

During National Recovery Month and beyond please take a close look at your needs to see if they are being met. Talk to your peers about ways to balance life and recovery better. Remember, there isn’t any shame in taking time off for mental health and addiction recovery.

California Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital

Take the first step toward a life in long-term recovery with Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat. Our team of dedicated professionals provides the highest degree of medical and psychological expertise in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring mental illness. Please contact us today for a complimentary assessment and to discuss treatment options. 866-273-0868

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cannabis Use Concerns Surgeon General

More than 30 states have passed laws that permit the use of cannabis and a myriad of products containing THC—the psychoactive ingredient that causes euphoria. Some states only allow people to use the drug for medical purposes, while other states permit adult recreational marijuana use.

The findings of 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) shows that 22% of those aged 19-22 perceived regular use of marijuana as carrying a significant risk of harm. That is a five percentage point decline from the previous year and the lowest level since 1980, according to the University of Michigan. The research is somewhat concerning because marijuana use is not without risks.

Comparatively speaking, cannabis isn't the most dangerous mind-altering substance. Some people use the drug to varying degrees for the majority of their lives and face very few side effects. However, there is a growing body of research that suggests the drug can wreak havoc on developing brains. What's more, regular use can lead to dependence and addiction.

People living in states that permit the use of cannabis should have all the facts about prolonged use, especially young people. The MTF survey shows that marijuana use among U.S. college students is at a new 35-year high. Given the reduction in perceived risk, many young people could be on a path to addiction or other problems unknowingly.

Moreover, marijuana being smoked today is far more potent than in years past owing to enhanced growing techniques. Researchers are still trying to figure out what long-term effects this will have on individuals. It's worth noting that young people are vaping highly concentrated THC oils and distillates, the long-term ramifications of which are not yet known.

Surgeon General Warning On Cannabis Addiction

At a recent press conference, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that cannabis is not safe for teens, young adults, and pregnant women, NPR reports. Surveys indicate that the number of adolescents and pregnant women using the drug is rising. Adams added that a large number of people do not understand how potent marijuana is today.

"While the perceived harm of marijuana is decreasing, the scary truth is that the actual potential for harm is increasing," said Adams. He adds that, "The higher the THC delivery, the higher the risk."

The surgeon general pointed out that nearly 1 in 5 adolescents who use cannabis become addicted, according to the article. He explains that regular marijuana use among young people can impair attention, memory, and decision-making. They may also begin to struggle in school. More research is necessary to understand better the drug's true impact on developing brains.

What research can tell us is that cannabis is not a benign substance, mainly when used in large amounts. Millions of Americans meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder, and those who try to quit can experience withdrawal symptoms. Without professional assistance, relapse is likely to occur.

Please take a moment to listen to a short broadcast on the subject:

If you are having trouble listening, please click here.

If you use cannabis regularly and have trouble quitting even though it interferes with aspects of your life, then please reach out for help. Addiction treatment can help you break the cycle of addiction and begin the journey of recovery.

California Addiction Treatment Center

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we have extensive experience in treating marijuana addiction or cannabis use disorder. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and to determine if HVRC is right for you or a loved one. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Suicide Prevention Awareness: Treatment and Recovery

suicide prevention awareness
At Hemet Valley Recovery Center, we hope that our alumni and weekly readers are getting involved with National Recovery Month. Anything that encourages personal recovery is beneficial to the nation. We can all make a difference in the lives of people living with mental illness.

Beyond National Recovery Month events and activities, there is another observance occurring this month. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month! At this time, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling upon Americans to confront stigma and help to encourage treatment for mental illness.

One in five adults is affected by mental illness which means toxic stigmas impact the same number of people. That is 46.6 million adults, and many are needlessly suffering in silence because of their disease. No other group of people affected by medical conditions is subjected to the kind of shame that men and women with mental illness face daily.

Stigma stands in the way of treatment; fortunately, we can work together to cure stigma and inspire recovery. We can all help NAMI get the word out about mental illness and the effective treatments available. Each of us can spread the message that mental health disorders do not have to end in suicide and that healing is possible.

Supporting People with Mental Health Conditions

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, according to NAMI. 46% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental illness. Moreover, psychological autopsies show that up to 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental health condition. Alcohol and substance use disorders are types of mental illness that often play a role in suicide.

In 2016, approximately 22 percent of deaths by suicide involved alcohol intoxication, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). At the same time, research shows that:
  • Opioids were present in 20 percent of suicide deaths.
  • Marijuana in 10.2 percent.
  • Cocaine in 4.6 percent.
  • Amphetamines in 3.4 percent.
Previous research indicates that alcohol misuse or dependence is associated with a suicide risk that is ten times greater than the general population, SAMHSA reports. IV drug users are at about 14 times greater risk for suicide.

Suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable; people dealing with mental illnesses of any kind can recover with effective care. However, under half of the adults in America get the help they need. We can change that by confronting stigma and compassionately encouraging men and women to reach out for help.

Individuals in recovery – especially those who have dealt with suicidal ideations – can play an essential role during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. NAMI is asking such people to share their experience. Two safe, moderated spaces for sharing stories and creative expression exist that allow you to share anonymously—You Are Not Alone and OK2Talk.

“You have an authentic voice. You can make a difference for yourself and others by sharing your experiences and perspective. What has helped? What hasn’t? What has been most discouraging about your condition? What has given you hope? There are all sorts of things you know that other people want to know—you are not alone. Let them know that they aren’t either.”

Seeking Help During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Naturally, there are several ways you can help during this vital observance. NAMI has created graphics and promotional messaging to share facts about mental illness and suicide. Please promote awareness on your website and social media accounts using #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree.

Please contact HVRC if you are struggling with mental illness, including addiction and co-occurring disorders. Our team of experienced clinicians can help you break the disease cycle and teach you healthy ways of coping with symptoms. We can get you on the road to long-term recovery. Take the first step...during Suicide Prevention Awareness and National Recovery Month.

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

National Recovery Month 2019: Together We Are Stronger

National Recovery Month
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) is calling upon people to share their stories of recovery. September is National Recovery Month! The observance has several goals, but encouraging more people to seek help may be the most salient.

SAMHSA would like to hear from people about their successes in recovering from addiction and any mental health disorder. The branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hopes that personal stories will inspire others to reach out for support. The millions of men and women in healing from mental and behavioral health disorders can be Voices for Recovery. The organization writes:

The 2019 Recovery Month theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger," emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across the country to support recovery. It reminds us that mental and substance use disorders affect us all, and that we are all part of the solution. The observance will highlight inspiring stories to help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and personal growth.

If you would like more information about how your story can serve to inspire the hope of recovery in others, then please click here. Please do not discount the effect your experience can have on other men and women. The recovery community is millions strong, and each person can have a lasting impact on someone else who has yet to seek support.

National Recovery Month Turns 30

This vital nationwide observance has significantly grown and evolved over the years. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month. Today, SAMHSA's efforts to encourage recovery and break stigmas are supported by more than 200 federal, state, and local government entities.

Nonprofit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders assist SAMHSA in planning events and disseminating information about recovery services. This month, at least 362 National Recovery Month events are happening across the country. However, there is room for more recovery-related events; SAMHSA provides a toolkit that can guide individuals and organizations that would like to host local events.

National Recovery Month is also about acknowledging the efforts of treatment providers numbering in the thousands. Mental and behavioral health rehab centers – whose staff work tirelessly to show men and women how to recover – are instrumental in combating the epidemic of mental illness.

Many people are probably unaware that National Recovery Month evolved out of Treatment Works! Month. The previous iteration – founded in 1989 – honored the work of substance use treatment professionals in the field.

If you work in the recovery services field, please take a moment to appreciate the excellent job you've done helping others find the light of recovery. Without you, significantly fewer people would have the gift of addiction and mental health recovery in their life today.

Take the First Step Toward Recovery

At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we are grateful for the countless men and women who've helped those who struggle with mental illness. We'd also like to recognize the millions of people who are both committed to making continued personal growth and helping others do the same. Recovery is only possible when we work together to foster progress.

If you are struggling with addiction or co-occurring mental illness (dual diagnosis), then please contact HVRC today. We offer several programs that can help you turn your life around and go on to lead a productive life in recovery. HVRC is in-network with most insurance providers to help lessen the financial burden of treatment.