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Monday, November 30, 2015

Smoking Rates Hit an All-Time U.S. Low

cigarette smoking rates all time low in USAWhile other types of substance abuse continue to climb, U.S. smoking rates have dropped almost 20 percent since 2005 (with only 16.8 percent of adults lighting up during 2014). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is the lowest rate on record. The biggest smoking decrease has occurred among young adults, ages 18 to 24. The CDC says there are many potential reasons for these encouraging statistics, including new anti-smoking laws, ongoing anti-smoking media campaigns, and the rise of nicotine substitutes. E-cigarette popularity may also be a contributor.

Other Facts from the CDC’s 2014 National Health Interview Study

• Smoking cessation is more difficult for certain demographics, especially people in poverty. In 2014, 29.1 percent of people on Medicaid smoked, and 27.9 percent of those without health insurance were still lighting up. On the other hand, only 12.9 percent of adults with private health insurance continued to smoke.

• Education also plays a role, since only five percent of adults with a graduate degree were smoking compared to 43 percent of adults who had earned their GED.

• Smoking rates were found to be higher among multiracial adults (28 percent), adults ages 25 to 44 (20 percent), and adults affiliated with the LGBT community (23.9 percent).

According to Kenneth Warner, professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, it is important to focus anti-smoking efforts on these smoking-vulnerable communities. “Those who still smoke are the poor, the disenfranchised, the mentally ill. That’s who we need to focus on,” he said. 

Each year, cigarettes are responsible for nearly a half a million American deaths and over $300 billion in healthcare costs. According to the CDC, future anti-smoking solutions may include higher tobacco taxes, well-funded tobacco prevention programs, and barrier-free health insurance for smoking cessation programs.

To learn more about the tools you need to quit smoking for good, visit http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/ or discuss a smoking cessation program with your physician or addiction specialist. If you are being impacted by second-hand smoke, it’s also important to speak with your doctor about protecting your health and the health of your children. Visit the Surgeon General website for more information.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How Do You Define Recovery?

how define addiction recovery typesWhether you are in rehab now, or just considering it, you have realized that when you are using drugs and alcohol, you are not in control of your life; your addiction is. With this realization, you have opened the door to recovery. There is a long and challenging road ahead of you, but at least now you have your eye on the prize.

So, What Exactly Is Recovery? 
Even treatment professionals have a hard time defining recovery. The most recent definition from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that, “Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life.” 

The AA Model 
Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are based on the premise that recovery requires complete abstinence and constant vigilance. The 12 steps are an ongoing process whereby you maintain sobriety, acknowledge a higher power, take responsibility for your life, repair past hurts, and reach out to help others.

The Moderated View
In recent years, a less rigid view of recovery has emerged. This moderated view acknowledges that abuse problems vary in severity, and the recovery solution may not be the same for everyone.

• Those with less severe drinking problems can learn strategies to moderate their drinking. Successful recovery for these individuals would not require abstinence, but controlled drinking, instead.

• Some people simply cannot maintain abstinence, and for them, modern drug therapy may be necessary to control cravings. In this case, recovery might be the responsible adherence to their treatment and therapeutic regimens.

• In the SMART Recovery® program, participants are encouraged to define recovery for themselves. The focus of these alternative support groups is to stop unhealthy behaviors by following science-based strategies.

Common Ground 
Though the concept of recovery varies among experts and patients alike, there are two aspects common to everyone’s definition: 1) An individual must want to be in recovery, and 2) he must voluntarily take the necessary steps to maintain a sober life. If recovery is your goal, you must be honest with yourself about your willingness to get help and your commitment to follow a recovery program. Only then, will you successfully create and maintain your own recovery!

The Right Help for Your Recovery Journey
Have you imagined a life where day-to-day decisions no longer center around your need for drugs and alcohol? At Coast to Coast Recovery, we are invested in helping you achieve such a life. Our unique treatment matching protocol helps us identify programs that match your lifestyle and personal values so that you have the best possible chance for success. Call 800-210-8229 to begin your recovery selection process today.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Feel-Good Foods Aid in Recovery

nutrition in addiction recoveryAs you’ve no doubt discovered, drug or alcohol recovery is a tough time for your mind and body alike. If you’re in recovery for substance addiction, you need to address nutritional needs to boost your physical health while you’re on your journey. Food can also lift your spirits and improve symptoms of depression and stress. Some snacks can pull double-duty: meeting your body’s physical requirements while boosting mood, attitude, and overall outlook.

Go Nuts

When tensions mount, your body reacts with a spike in your blood pressure. Nothing to worry about when your readings occasionally rise, but chronic high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Stock your pantry with nuts to temper short fuses and other sources of stress. Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that people who snack on nuts live longer and are generally healthier due to the combo of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. These nutrients actually lower your blood pressure and may help you feel calmer. Walnuts may be especially good for those who suffer from depression as well as addiction; they contain omega-3, a fatty acid that’s great for combating the blues.

Have a Spot of Tea

If you’re feeling wound up, herbal tea may help you relax. Herbal teas have been used for centuries to heal. Chamomile is thought to reduce anxiety, while green tea can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. The key for a stress-free cup of tea is to forgo the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and may leave you feeling agitated.

Choose Cheese 

You may crave your substance of choice while you’re in treatment. It’s common and normal, but you need to be strong to avoid giving in. When the cravings hit, eat a piece of cheese. Sounds crazy, but according to University of Michigan researchers, proteins in dairy products (especially cheese), act on the reward center of the brain. This is the same spot that tells you “I feel great” when you drink or use. If you can get that same feeling from food, isn’t it worth a try?

Indulge in a Treat

Addiction recovery is fraught with physical and psychological challenges. Don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time, especially when you’re feeling discouraged. Chocolate may just the right indulgence at your most trying times. Research suggests that dark chocolate lowers your levels of stress hormones, and may improve your mood.

Coast to Coast Recovery Individualized Drug Rehab

At Coast to Coast Recovery, we focus on creating an individual treatment program that meets your unique needs. Our wide range of services helps you and your loved ones get through addiction together—and do things right, the first time. To learn more about our treatment planning and consulting services, or speak with a member of our admissions team, call 800.210.8229 today.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Addiction Has No Age Limits

older adult drug rehab CaliforniaWhile it’s common to think of drug and alcohol addiction as a problem for high school students, college students, and stressed out up-and-coming professionals, recent research indicates that “successful agers” – those over 50 who are physically healthy, financially comfortable, and well educated – are at particular risk for excessive drinking. The study, led by chief economist at Age UK (a British charity), found this “middle-class phenomenon” to be true among more than 9,000 British respondents surveyed in 2008-2009 and 2010-2011.

“Our findings suggest that harmful drinking later in life is more prevalent among people who exhibit a lifestyle associated with affluence and with a ‘successful’ aging process,” researchers reported. Why? According to Dr. Eric Collins, physician-in-chief at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, reasons may include:

Finances. The ‘successful’ group has more money to spend on alcohol without worrying about their budget.
Time. ‘Successful’ older adults have more time to spend drinking than those working long hours or committed to multiple jobs.
Good health. Older adults who have maintained good health may believe they are insulated from the harmful effects of substance abuse.

Bruce Goldman, director of Substance Abuse Services at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY, believes that it is critical to be on the lookout for these at-risk older adults. “All health care providers should adopt brief universal alcohol screening procedures. In this way we can begin to talk openly with patients about their use of alcohol and the risks involved as they age,” he said.

Additional Study Findings

• Employment was not significant to the findings, but retired women were found to be associated with a higher drinking risk.
• There was an elevated drinking risk among male and female smokers.
• There was an increased risk among men who live alone (single, separated, or divorced).
• Loneliness and depression did not appear to increase the risk for problem drinking.
• Alcohol problems were seen more often in white participants than among minorities.

Coast to Coast Recovery for Older Adults

At Coast to Coast Recovery, we are focused on getting your rehab journey right the first time. Serving older adults and clients of all ages, we will help you achieve lasting change when you make the decision to get help with your alcohol addiction or drug abuse problem. To learn more about our reputable intervention services or speak with a member of our admissions team, call 800.210.8229 today.

*Sources: Eric Collins, M.D., physician-in-chief, Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, Conn.; Bruce Goldman, director, Substance Abuse Services, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; BMJ Open, news release, July 23, 2015
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Our goal is to help you get it right the first time, so you or your loved one can achieve lasting sobriety. This is largely dependent on selecting the best match for you and your circumstances.

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While we specialize matching you with the right program, it is critical that you own your decision to get help. To ensure that this happens, we (1) present our recommendations, (2) give you the opportunity to ask questions and address concerns, and (3) give you time to weigh the options. Why? Because choosing a program that suits your lifestyle and personal values increases the chances that you’ll achieve sustained sobriety.

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As your program comes to an end, Coast to Coast addiction professionals help you take the next step into aftercare and beyond. Stressful lifestyles, co-occurring conditions, and dysfunctional family situations act as relapse triggers, so it’s critical that you develop a detailed plan for life after rehab.

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