Friday, September 25, 2020

An Attitude of Gratitude During Recovery Month


Recovery Month ends in less than one week, and we hope that you have taken time to acknowledge the progress you've made since you began the journey. It's easy to lose sight of the things you have to be grateful for in recovery. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. 


Addiction recovery – no matter the length of sobriety or clean time – is a remarkable achievement. It's hard to forget how challenging life was before beginning the journey of recovery. Even tasks that seem insignificant today, like paying bills on time, were likely difficult before you found recovery. Showing up to work on time or at all was probably arduous too. Today in recovery, you probably don't have to worry about such things. 


Working a program with a sponsor or mentor gives men and women the tools to surmount any obstacle. Recovery gives people the keys to open doors to new opportunities—both personally and professionally. There is no limit to what can be accomplished if one stays on course. 


Not only do you have the chance to help yourself by working a program, but you also get to help others realize their own aspirations. Recovery, simply put, is the gift that keeps on giving. 


In early recovery, it's challenging to believe that you will one day have the sense of freedom you see your fellows exhibiting. Thinking that you will, at some point, have all your affairs in order may seem like a miracle. However, what once seemed like far-etched dreams will unfold in front of you the longer you stick around. 


Those who stay on the path of recovery improve with each passing day—mentally, physically, and spiritually. They "comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace." 


Stay the Course of Recovery


If this is your first National Recovery Month, then you may be piecing your life back together still. You may not have experienced most of the promises of recovery that you hear about time and again at meetings. However, there is still much to be grateful for in your life today. Acknowledge the changes in your life today, and be proud of all your accomplishments. 


Staying sober from sunup to sundown for another day is worth appreciating. It was probably not long ago that such a milestone was unthinkable. It's an excellent practice to write down all that you have to be grateful for at the end of each day. Refer to your list the following morning; the procedure will enable you to go through the day with an attitude of gratitude. You will feel more positive and be less bothered by aspects of your life that you would hope to be different. 


A positive attitude makes staying the course of recovery that much easier. With each passing day, you will see subtle changes happening before your eyes. In time, small changes will add to up to more significant alterations. 


Working the Steps is a formula for living a fulfilling and productive life. Working a program keeps you on track to seeing anything you put your mind to come to fruition. Such goals can include paying off debt, finishing school, or landing employment that you enjoy waking up in the morning for each day. 


No matter the obstacle, you will be able to navigate through the problem. Gone are the days of feeling like you need drugs and alcohol to cope. When people ask for your assistance, you will be able to be there for them. It feels good to know you are a reliable person who people can turn to for support. Recovery teaches you how to handle any situation—big or small. 


Before Recovery Month comes to an end, take stock of where you are today because of your program. Doing so will help you set your sights on achieving future goals. 


California Addiction Recovery Program for Adults


Hemet Valley Recovery Center is a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH) located in Central California. Our CDRH license allows us to provide programs and specialty services all in one facility. Our patients have access to Hospital level diagnostic services and physician specialists. Take the first step toward a life in recovery by contacting us today at 866-273-0868 for a confidential assessment.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Substance Use Disorder and COVID-19

Many people who begin journeys of recovery also contend with co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. What's more, many individuals working programs also have physical health problems linked to years of alcohol or substance misuse. While it's still possible to achieve lasting recovery, such individuals must address comorbidity; successful outcomes depend on managing any illnesses that might jeopardize one's efforts. 


Drugs and alcohol affect both mind and body. Part of the recovery process is about no longer neglecting one's physical health. Eating healthy and prioritizing physical fitness is strongly encouraged by addiction professionals, as both help with the recovery process. Healthy foods nourish the mind and body. Making eating right a priority can help repair the damage caused by prolonged use of mind-altering substances. 


Learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle is a crucial facet of addiction recovery—the mind, body, and spirit are connected. Choosing to eat nutrient-rich foods and establishing an exercise routine pays off, especially in early recovery—when one's neurological and physiological systems are off-balance. A healthy diet can boost your immune system, which helps the healing process in turn; it can also help ward off sickness. 


People in early recovery also benefit from choosing to give up tobacco products. There is evidence that smokers are at a higher risk of relapse. Moreover, tobacco can slow down healing, and the long-term damage that cigarettes and smokeless nicotine products cause is well documented.


Substance Use Disorder and COVID-19


There are individuals in early and long-term recovery who have compromised immune systems. A large cohort of recovering alcoholics and addicts have heart, liver, and lung conditions. As such, men and women with physical health problems benefit from doing whatever they can to improve their health. 


In the year of a novel coronavirus that has infected nearly 7 million Americans and taken almost 200,000 lives, the term immunocompromised is part of the national lexicon. Those with pre-existing health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, and they may be less likely to recover. Naturally, the above should be concerning for many men and women in recovery for the reasons stated above. 


New research appearing in the journal Molecular Psychiatry confirms that people with substance use disorders (SUD) are more susceptible to COVID-19 and related health complications. The National Institutes of Health-funded (NIH) study found that individuals with a SUD diagnosis on record were more likely to contract COVID-19, be hospitalized, and die from COVID-19 than people without a SUD. 


The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Nora Volkow and Rong Xu, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, analyzed non-identifiable electronic health records (EHR) of millions of patients in America. While patients with a SUD accounted for 10.3 percent of the total study population, they represented 15.6 percent of the COVID-19 cases. The correlation was strongest among people with an opioid use disorder or tobacco use disorder. 


"The lungs and cardiovascular system are often compromised in people with SUD, which may partially explain their heightened susceptibility to COVID-19," said study co-author, Dr. Volkow. "Another contributing factor is the marginalization of people with addiction, which makes it harder for them to access health care services. It is incumbent upon clinicians to meet the unique challenges of caring for this vulnerable population, just as they would any other high-risk group." 


According to the study authors, the research confirms that health care providers should closely monitor men and women with SUDs. The researchers also recommend that doctors "develop action plans to help shield them from infection and severe outcomes." 


Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital


Please contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat if you or a loved one struggles with drugs, alcohol, or a co-occurring disorder. HVRC is still fully-functional during these unprecedented times, and we are strictly adhering to CDC guidelines to safeguard our patients' well-being. Our admissions team is standing by to answer any of your questions about our programs and services. 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Recovery Month 2020: Celebrating Connections

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day! September 10th is an excellent opportunity to show your support for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Together, we can encourage men, women, and teenagers to seek help and get on the path toward recovery.

Each Mind Matters would like you to show your support by placing a burning candle in your window at 8 pm as a symbol of hope and support for suicide prevention and remembrance of those we've lost to suicide. If you don't have a candle, no problem; you can post an image or GIF of a candle on Facebook or another social media platform. You can use #SuicidePreventionWeek 2020 #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree to expand your post's reach.

As we shared last week, Each Mind Matters would like us to shine a light on "the intersection between suicide prevention, alcohol, and drug use and efforts that foster resilience and recovery." Substance use and addiction often play a role in suicides; the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) shares that more than one in three people who die by suicide is under the influence of alcohol. It's also worth noting that many drug overdose deaths are intentional.

September is a salient month. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month coincide. Throughout the month, organizations and individuals join forces and voices to educate the public and those still suffering that recovery is possible. Faces and Voices of Recovery writes:

"National Recovery Month is now in its 30th year. It is an annual event sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) with the goal of letting Americans know that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and fulfilling lives." 

Recovery Month

recovery month

There are many ways to participate in Recovery Month, such as attending virtual events and webinars. SAMHSA is hosting a webinar series during Recovery Month. Today’s (Thursday, September 10, 2020) webinar is Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment at 1:30PM (ET). The webinar highlights the salient role that employment can play in recovery.

While SAMHSA is still involved with Recovery Month, this is the first year that the recovery community is guiding the observance. This year's theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.

"Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible."

All month, individuals and organizations around the country are celebrating the millions of men, women, and teens who have transformed their lives in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. We have an opportunity to break the stigma of addiction by acknowledging the gains made by people in recovery.

Each day, those working a program are living examples that recovery works—that it's possible to rejoin communities and society at large. Moreover, members of the recovery fellowship give hope to the tens of millions of individuals who are still in the grips of their disease.

California Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital

National Recovery Month is an ideal opportunity to reach for support and begin your journey of healing. Hemet Valley Recovery Hospital & Sage Retreat are fully operational and continue to accept new patients during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Please rest assured that our highly qualified team of clinicians are following all CDC protocols to protect our clients' well-being.

We invite you to take the first step toward a life in recovery by calling our admissions team for a confidential assessment today at 866-273-0868. HVRC is a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH), which means that we can provide programs and specialty services all in one facility. Please contact us to learn more about the HVRC difference.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020

suicide prevention
Summer is coming to an end, and life is still far different than it used to be in many parts of the country. While we've made gains concerning COVID-19, the number of new cases and deaths continues to rise. What's more, many Americans are struggling with trauma, mental illness symptoms, and substance use is on the rise at an alarming rate.

Natural disasters like a public health crisis are bound to impact people's psyche severely. Unlike a hurricane, only a handful of men and women are alive today who have lived through a global pandemic. As such, there wasn't any way to prepare for COVID-19, nor any guidance on how to handle 6.13 million friends and neighbors contracting a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus.

These last several months have been extremely challenging for men and women from all walks of life. Those who work a recovery program have had to deal with unprecedented adversity, while having to learn to cope in isolation hasn't been a simple endeavor. Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that the crisis isn't over yet. Hot spots continue to flare up, the latest being in the Midwest.

While many researchers are tasked with finding a cure or vaccine for the virus, others have their attention on the pandemic's hidden impact. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released some troubling data about mental and behavioral health disorders. CDC researchers found that living through a pandemic has – perhaps not unsurprisingly – had a deleterious effect on an untold number of Americans.

Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma

Many Americans are living in a heightened state of fear and anxiety. Without healthy mechanisms for coping, some are using drugs and alcohol to manage the discomfort. Moreover, symptoms of mental illness among our people have exponentially increased compared to the same time last year, according to the CDC study. So much so that many individuals (11 percent) are dealing with suicidal ideations.

Combating COVID-19 is a top-tier priority among public health experts, but there is little energy or financial resources left to address mental health. The psychological toll of the pandemic may exceed the cost of reigning in the virus.

A survey of 5,412 Americans showed that 41 percent had at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition. Of the responding pool of participants, 31 percent reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder. Compared to the same time last year, anxiety symptoms tripled in incidence, and the prevalence of depression symptoms quadrupled. The findings explain why 13.3 percent of respondents reported having started or increased alcohol and substance use.

Many men and women lack the tools to cope with the stress and emotions related to COVID-19. Those working in hospitals and as first-responders could be at even higher risk of trauma. After all, medical professionals are not immune to COVID-19 either; such people are an exponentially higher risk of contracting the deadly pathogen.

CDC researchers found that 26.3 percent reported symptoms of trauma- and stressor-related disorder (TSRD) related to the pandemic. TSRDs include acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The difference between the two is that PTSD lasts for more than one month, being either a continuation of acute stress disorder or a separate condition that starts up to 6 months after the initial trauma.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

suicide prevention

The CDC study is not unusually large, but it could be a prognostication of what's to come in the coming months and years. It's vital that state and local governments direct resources toward helping people struggling with mental illness, whether they are related to COVID-19 or not.

Given the percentage of respondents reporting that they had seriously considered suicide in the 30 days before completing the survey (June 24–30, 2020) was over ten percent, public health experts should be concerned. Moreover, the CDC found that serious suicidal ideations were significantly higher among respondents aged 18–24 years (25.5%).

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10; National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) encourages everyone to "share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic." Those who are struggling right now need to be reminded that they are not alone. You can #BeThe1To remind them on social media and beyond.

The California Mental Health Services Authority's "Each Mind Matters" campaign is another resource you can utilize for spreading the message. There are many ways you can get involved, even if you are pressed for time. The initiative writes:  

This year, in support of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, World Suicide Prevention Day and National Recovery Month, all held in September, we are encouraging a special focus on the intersection between suicide prevention, alcohol, and drug use and efforts that foster resilience and recovery. 

Those looking for mental health resources during COVID-19 can visit the Each Mind Matters Resource Center here.

California Recovery Program for Addiction and PTSD

If you are struggling with addiction and co-occurring PTSD, then you have come to the right place. Our Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospital is fully equipped to address all your mental and behavioral health needs. We also offer a program specifically for those who place their lives at risk in their country's service.

Hemet Valley Recovery Center remains open and accepting patients; we will continue to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Please call us at 866-273-0868 to receive a complimentary assessment and discuss treatment options.