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Monday, September 26, 2016

5 Tips for Personal Goal Setting

Man sitting under a tree
Did you know that your journey to addiction recovery is more than simply overcoming substance use and abuse? Ending an unhealthy dependence on drugs or alcohol is actually much bigger than that. Achieving and maintaining your sobriety is also about improving each and every aspect of your life – forging stronger personal and professional relationships, adopting healthier eating habits and exercise routines and learning healthy coping skills to deal with stress and anxiety. By making positive lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of falling back into the toxic behaviors that led to a life of addiction.  

If you are working on creating a new, more vibrant and addiction-free life, it’s wise to take a few moments to develop an action plan that outlines what you want to achieve and how you are going to reach your goals. Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be perfect or the length of a novel. Just consider a few of these tips for making personal goals for a better and more fulfilling life for yourself – one free from addiction.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive About Your Future
  1. Write down the key areas of your life that you want to improve. This can include your career, your finances, your health – anything that you may have been neglecting while you were under the influence of addiction.
  2. Create mini-goals for yourself. It’s easy to get overwhelmed thinking about where you are now and where you want to be 5, 10 or 20 years down the line. Jot down a few realistic goals for yourself that you can accomplish in the near term. For example, say you want to lose 10 pounds in the next twelve months. Think through a realistic weight loss strategy and outline your specific goals for each month. 
  3. Prioritize your goals. If you are creating a new, sober lifestyle, evaluate which goals will make the most impact and help fuel your addiction recovery.
  4. Develop an action plan. Write down the lifestyle choices you can make to support each of your goals and be specific. If you want to reduce your credit card debt, think about how you can cut back on unnecessary spending and pay down more of your balance each month.
  5. Celebrate your success! Set aside a specific time each week to review your progress towards your goals and fine-tune your personal development plan. Reminding yourself of your recent accomplishments will help you stay motivated, boost your self-confidence and help you stay on track!

Find a Healthier You at Coast to Coast Recovery

At Coast to Coast Recovery, you can find a range of addiction treatment services from holistic healing and complementary therapies to 12-step programs and Christian-based teaching. Let us help you end a life of addiction and start your journey to lasting sobriety. To learn more, call (800) 210-8229.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Surprising Tool to Support Your Sobriety

Woman overcoming addiction issues by reading a book
If you are on a path to addiction recovery and creating a new life that doesn’t include drugs or alcohol, you are probably already reaping the many physical, social and emotional health benefits. Individuals who are newly sober often find that they have more energy throughout the day, less brain fog and also report another interesting byproduct of their sobriety – more free time.

Closing the chapter of your life that was driven by your addiction is certainly an accomplishment, though it is important to find new, healthy ways to spend your time to avoid falling back into negative patterns of substance use and abuse.

Quick Tip: Reading a Book is Good for Your Recovery!

If you are searching for a healthy way to support your recovery, picking up a book can help you prevent relapse and also offer a wide range of benefits that boost your overall health and happiness.

4 Reasons Why You Should Head to Your Local Bookstore:

1.    Reading is like exercise for your brain. You probably go to the gym to stay in shape and get fit, but did you know that reading can do the same for your mental health? According to research published in Neurology, activities that give your brain a workout are shown to delay cognitive decline later in life.
2.    Opening a book can help you seriously fight stress. It’s important to develop an arsenal of tools to combat stress and anxiety to avoid turning to drugs and alcohol - and reading can help you do just that. In fact, in a study conducted by Sussex University researchers, reading was found to reduce stress levels by nearly 68 percent!

3.    Reading can help you get better sleep. Insomnia is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms reported by addicts working to overcome a dependency on drugs and alcohol and reading a book, even for just a few minutes, can offer much-needed relief and help you get back to sleep.

4.    Discovering an inspiring plot or character can help motivate you. Sticking to your goals of sobriety may not be easy, but you may be surprised to learn that reading can help you on your journey to addiction recovery. Ohio State University researchers found that individuals who read books that featured characters overcoming adversity were more likely to achieve their own personal goals in real life.

Holistic Drug Rehab at Coast to Coast

At Coast to Coast Recovery, our beautiful facilities provide the perfect setting to help restore your mind, body, and spirit as you embark on a journey to addiction recovery. To learn more about our holistic rehab programs, call (800) 210-8229.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Does Your Loved One Have an Eating Disorder? Know the Warning Signs!

Women with eating disorders who are hugging
One of the most common myths about eating disorders is that it only affects women in their teens and twenties.

The truth is that each year thousands of individuals of all ages, genders and races are diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and unhealthy food addictions.

Left untreated, eating disorders can lead to severe health complications including brain damage, heart attack and stroke, organ failure, infertility, and even death.

That’s why it is important to understand the signs and symptoms associated with eating disorders. By learning how to spot the unhealthy behaviors associated with food obsessions or abnormal eating patterns, you can help a friend or family member get the clinical support they need to overcome potentially life-threating food addictions.

While eating disorders present differently in each person, the following includes some of the most common behaviors and symptoms associated with eating disorders.

1. Severely restricted eating habits. Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders. Individuals who have this condition often go to extreme measures to restrict the amount and type of food that they will eat. Anorexics will often skip meals, obsessively count calories and create extremely strict diets – such as only eating a very limited range of foods or at certain times of the day.

2. Frequent binge-eating and red or scraped knuckles. Bulimia is a condition where individuals consume large amounts of food in a very short period of time, often followed by vomiting or abusing laxatives to rid the food from their body. Some of the tell-tale symptoms of bulimia include eating alone to keep the disorder a secret and teeth marks on the knuckles of their hands – it’s a sign of purging.

3. Dramatic fluctuations in weight. One of the most telltale signs of an eating disorder or food addiction is dramatic weight loss or weight gain. If you notice that a family member of friend rapidly starts to lose or gain weight, they may suffer from a disordered eating condition.

Do you suspect that someone close to you may have an eating disorder? To ensure that you don't try to handle the situation on your own, you should contact someone who is an expert in treating these types of food addictions. They can prescribe the right treatment plan and may even recommend an eating disorder intervention.

Schedule an Eating Disorder Consultation Today 

Coast to Coast’s interventionists have an exceptional success rate for addiction interventions and eating disorder interventions. If you have tried to talk with a loved one on your own, you have probably hit a dead end. Eating disorders are a mental health problem, and individuals with eating disorders use manipulation, deceit, and other tactics to avoid being outed. That’s why you need a professional. Call (800) 210-8229 today, our trained staff is here to help.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Putting Pen to Paper: Journaling for Recovery

Man journaling on his porch in the morning
Did you know that the simple act of opening a journal and recording your thoughts and feelings can open yet another door to healing?

If you’re on a path to recovery from addiction, you’re probably familiar with commonly prescribed treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy, medical detox, life skills training and more. But, did you know that the process of journaling can help, too? By taking the time to identify and document unresolved, toxic emotions from your past, you can learn to address those feelings proactively using healthy coping skills instead of automatically resorting to drugs and alcohol.

And, the benefits of journaling are proven. In a paper published by the Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, research participants were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings for a period of four days. At the end of the study, most reported the following health benefits:

  • Fewer days in the hospital 
  • Improved mood and psychological well-being
  • Fewer depressive symptoms 

Interested in Journaling? 3 Tips to Jumpstart Your Recovery! 

  1. Set aside 20 minutes each day to incorporate journaling into your daily routine. Like exercise, you reap exponentially more health benefits the longer you participate. That’s why it’s important to make journaling a priority. Consider setting your alarm in the morning a little bit earlier than usual to set aside a few minutes every day to acknowledge and record your thoughts and feelings with a clear mind. 
  2. Don’t overthink. One of the most liberating aspects of journaling is that there is no right way or wrong way to describe your thoughts and feelings. The simple act of journaling is the only goal. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or your writing style. What you choose to put in your journal is almost like a private therapy session. It’s just between you and the words you choose to put down on paper. 
  3. Start with words of gratitude. If you’re stuck, wondering what to include in your journal, consider starting the first few sentences each day with words of gratitude - perhaps about happy moments you celebrated the day, week or month before. And, it doesn’t have to include huge life milestones. You can simply take the time to celebrate a kind smile you received from a stranger, joy from reading a good book or the comforting hug from a trusted friend. 

Help for You and Your Family

Coast to Coast Recovery’s addiction treatment program works with you and your specific needs to develop a treatment approach that balances the mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment plans include traditional treatment approaches—such as medical care, medical detox, and individual or family therapy—alongside natural healing practices. For more information about how Coast to Coast Recovery can help their families with our specialized services, please contact us today at (800) 210-8229. We’re here for you.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Want help during recovery? There’s an app for that.

Woman running on the beach using an exercise tracker.
Courageous. Strong. And, determined.

These are just a few of the words used to describe those on a path to addiction recovery. But, where can you find a holistic source of energy during your journey to maintain that healthy mind, body and spirit?

The path to a healthier future is different for everyone, though many have found that adding more exercise into their daily routine is a great tool in their recovery arsenal. It can help build your self-esteem, normalize your brain chemistry, minimize withdrawal symptoms and it offers a healthy option for socializing with others.

While seeking the help of experienced addiction recovery counselors is the first step, you can also find support using additional resources. You might be surprised to know that there are thousands of free apps you can download to your smart phone to help support your physical and mental health too. From tracking the number of steps you take each day, to your caloric intake, you can track your progress each day and work towards your individual health goals.

If you’re looking for new ways to measure your progress towards better health, here are three free apps you can use to stay motivated along the way.

1. Charity Miles (Available on: Android, iOS) Everyone knows that working out is great for you. But, this app builds on that concept. Every time you run, walk or bicycle using the app, you can actually help others too. Corporate sponsors will donate money to your favorite charity every time you hit the road. If you need a little extra motivation to lace up your running shoes, this app might help you do just that!

2. Cyclemeter (Available on: iOS) If biking is your favorite way to exercise, there are numerous apps designed specially to help riders track their time on the road. Cyclemeter collects a wealth of information for fitness enthusiasts to track data about your biking outings. This app calculates and stores your heart rate, bike speed, bike cadence and you can even view the terrain of the routes you’ve completed.

3. Yonder (Available on: Android, iOS) Do you prefer the great outdoors to the gym? With Yonder, you can simply enter your current location and find dozens of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking and skiing. And, it includes reviews and tips from fellow adventurers who are also passionate about the outdoors.

Holistic Drug Rehab at Coast to Coast 
Our beautiful facilities provide the perfect setting for exercise and other holistic therapies that help restore your mind, body, and spirit as you rid your whole self from addiction. To learn more about our holistic rehab programs, call 800-210-8229.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery

Woman in addiction recovery receiving acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a holistic treatment for joint pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia and many other medical and behavioral health issues.

In recent years, the use of acupuncture has spread to also treat those on a journey to addiction recovery. In contrast to prescription-based options, acupuncture offers a natural method to curb cravings, help individuals naturally detox from substance abuse and ease withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disturbances and stress.

How Does Acupuncture Work? 
On the surface, acupuncture is a relatively simple procedure, yet it offers a multitude of health benefits. With acupuncture, very thin needles are inserted at specific points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which energy runs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows along specific pathways in the body. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, the disruption can lead to pain and illness. Based on these principles, acupuncture therapy is designed to release blocked qi in the body to promote the body’s natural healing response.

Acupuncture for Addiction Recovery
Most acupuncture addiction recovery treatments use Auricular Ear Acupuncture, a specialized form of acupuncture where acupuncture points on the ear are stimulated.

In a study researching the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture, patients who participated in biweekly acupuncture sessions were more likely to complete their entire addiction treatment program and reported fewer withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia and aggression.

Acupuncture has helped thousands of individuals dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues and is now commonly used as part of a comprehensive and holistic treatment plan. With regular treatments, acupuncture can serve as a powerful tool to help reduce stress and support the physical, emotional and spiritual healing process during a journey to recovery.

Holistic Drug Rehab at Coast to Coast 
Our beautiful facilities provide the perfect setting for therapies that help restore your mind, body, and spirit as you rid your whole self from addiction. To learn more about our holistic rehab programs, call (800) 210-8229.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

3 Common Myths about Interventions

Interventions, Drug Interventions, Addiction Recovery, Substance Abuse, Staging an Intervention, Myths
Are you thinking about having an intervention with a friend or family member? If so, you are not alone. Since the 1970s, thousands have turned to this holistic treatment to help loved ones in need.

Dr. Vernon Johnson first pioneered this technique several decades ago as a way to confront individuals with substance abuse issues in a non-threatening way. In general, interventions are designed to surround addicted individuals with a close, connected community to help jumpstart the recovery experience.

While interventions have become more commonplace in recent years, many misconceptions still persist about this powerful tool for recovery.

Want to learn more about the truth behind interventions? Below includes more information about the three most common intervention myths. This powerful tool is designed to combat substance abuse issues and can help your loved ones start their sobriety journey.

1. A successful intervention must be dramatic and confrontational.
In general, interventions are all about offering help and hope. At a basic level, an intervention represents a way to help someone understand how their behavior affects themselves, their family and their friends.

According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, an intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into peoples' thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

2. Interventions are only for those who have hit rock bottom.
If you care about someone with substance abuse issues, why should you wait until they are hurt the most in order to offer help?

3. Interventions are one-size-fits-all.
Every individual is unique - and as a result, each person brings those influences with them on their journey to recovery. That’s why each intervention is different. To address the challenges specific to your situation, it’s best to work with a qualified addiction specialist during the planning process. He or she can tailor the intervention experience based on your loved one’s particular circumstances.

In recent years, there have been numerable advances in therapies designed to treat individuals with substance and alcohol abuse. From breakthroughs in prescription medications to genetic research, the addiction recovery experience continues to gain strides. Though, it should be noted that interventions can solidly anchor those experiences.

During Coast to Coast’s structured interventions, family members and skilled clinicians confront the drug addict in a safe, neutral environment. Speaking the truth with compassion, we bring clarity to the situation. It is our ultimate goal to bring awakening to addicts and compel them to begin immediate treatment. Coast to Coast specializes in family therapy and recovery options for spouses, relatives, and loved ones influenced by the trauma of addiction. To learn more, call today: 800-210-8229.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

6 Signs You Are Enabling Your Spouse

It’s not possible for you to cause your loved one’s addiction – but you may be enabling his or her behavior and thereby delaying treatment.

Here are some red flags to watch for:

Do you make excuses for bad behavior? “His job has made him very stressed lately” or “Sorry we had to leave early, but he hasn't been feeling well all week.” Sound familiar? Making excuses prevents your loved one from owning up to his or her misguided actions.

Are you afraid of conflict? In other words, do you avoid bringing up your spouse’s prescription pill abuse or heavy drinking for fear of an argument? Not talking about it won’t help you or your loved one.

Have you taken over his chores and obligations? Whether it’s cooking, carpooling, or completing a work assignment, fulfilling his obligations is enabling your loved one to shirk responsibilities and continue using.

Do you use or drink with your spouse? This will send the message that his substance abuse is acceptable (and even encouraged) by you.

Are you always cleaning up your spouse’s messes? Whether you’ve bailed him out after a DWI or lied to his boss about missed work, cleaning up after your addicted loved one prevents him or her from taking responsibility for bad choices and behaviors.

Do you lend him money? Providing financial help – whether by paying off a gambling debt or lending him money for gas – is another way to support his addiction.

You Need Help, Too
Loving an addict is devastating. Addiction support groups, trusted family members, and regular therapy sessions can play a role in your healing process. Coast to Coast specializes in family therapy and recovery options for spouses, relatives, and loved ones influenced by the trauma of addiction. To learn more, call today: 800-210-8229.

Friday, July 22, 2016

3 Benefits of Tai Chi for Addiction

Tai chi, originally used in China as a martial art, has become an increasingly popular mind-body practice in the addiction community. When combined with traditional addiction treatment, tai chi can provide powerful support for those in recovery. 

This is partly because the so-called “moving meditation” can be practiced by anyone, anywhere and at anytime – making it a valuable tool that those in recovery can use to stay sober for the rest of their lives. The low-impact, slow-motion exercise puts minimal stress on muscles and joints and can be easily adapted for all ages and fitness levels. It can be practiced alone or in a group setting.

Studies have shown tai chi’s mental health benefits to be numerous, ranging from stress and anxiety reduction to improved mood to better quality sleep and more. Let’s take a look at some of the ways tai chi can help you or someone you love: 

  1. More focus and concentration: Tai chi trains you to be present in the here and now -- both during your practice and when you go about the rest of your day. This can help you better focus on your recovery as well as improve your ability to transform a negative outlook or thought into a positive optimistic one. 
  2. Better mental health. Relaxation is one of the main principles emphasized in tai chi. Anxiety and stress creates tension in our muscles, which tai chi is known to release. In fact, the meditative aspects of tai chi have been touted to relieve stress, lessen anxiety, decrease depression, and improve self-confidence. 
  3. Improved well-being. Research has linked tai chi to an improved digestion, enhanced immune system, and better sleep. Regular tai chi practitioners report an overall feeling of improved wellness. 

Holistic Drug Rehab at Coast to Coast
Our beautiful facilities provide the perfect setting for tai chi and other therapies that help restore your mind, body, and spirit as you rid your whole self from addiction. To learn more about our holistic rehab programs, call 800-210-8229.

Friday, July 15, 2016

6 Scary Facts About Teens and Prescription Drugs

Did you know that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans ages 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol? This is just one of the many alarming facts when it comes to teens and prescription drug abuse. 

Here we take a look at some others: 

1. Prescription drugs that affect the brain, including opioid painkillers, stimulants, and depressants, may cause physical dependence that can turn into addiction.

2. Many teens believe that prescription drugs are safer and less harmful than other drugs – but this isn’t the case. And, in fact, the impact is particularly harmful to a developing adolescent brain and body. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA), short- and long-term health consequences include: 
  • Stimulants: Similar to cocaine, these drugs cause paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and an irregular heartbeat. This is especially true if they are taken in large doses or in ways other than swallowing a pill.
  • Opioids. These meds act on the same parts of the brain as heroin and, depending on the amount taken, can cause drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and slowed breathing.
  • Depressants. Chronic use can cause slurred speech, shallow breathing, fatigue, disorientation, lack of coordination, and seizures upon withdrawal.
3. One in four teenagers mistakenly believe that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid, notes SAMHA.

4. Two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers in the past year got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinets, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. The solution: safe storage and disposal of medications.

5. Seven out of 10 teen non-medical users combine opioids with other substances, including marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, tranquilizers, and amphetamines.

6. More than half of the drug overdose deaths in the United States each year are caused by prescription drug abuse.

Don't Wait to Get Help!
Coast to Coast teen programs have saved thousands of lives, and clients can choose from long-term rehabs, short-term rehabs, 30-day rehabs, mental health disorder management, gender-specific therapy environments, wilderness and art therapy, and more. Call today: 800-210-8229.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Trauma Affects the Whole Family

trauma affects whole familyEncountering traumatic events is common among addicts. Although you didn’t choose these events, they can (and do) affect your life in a great number of ways. This is something you and your family know all too well. Traumatic events, after all, don’t just impact you but the ones you love as well.

A study in the Current Opinion in Psychology shows that if you suffer from posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSS), certain behaviors—avoidance, arousal, negative thinking and mood—can negatively impact not only our own life but your relationships as well.

According to research, PTSS can:

• Increase relationship disharmony
• Decrease warmth between couples
• Increase conflict in relationships
• Increase anger and anxiety in couples
• Increase systolic blood pressure during conflicts for both members of a couple

So if you’re experiencing any of these outcomes after a traumatic event, know that you’re not alone. Stress from trauma has a way of undermining romantic relationships. But it doesn’t have to. It’s also possible, the research shows, for the opposite to happen. “Many people show growth post trauma,” the researchers write.

How Traumatic Events Can Help You Grow 
Traumatic events can:

• Instill a greater appreciation for life
• Increase responsiveness toward a partner
• Increase understanding of your partner
• Help you appreciate a partner’s opinions and values
• Help partners better care for one another

Help for You and Your Family
Coast to Coast Recovery’s addiction treatment program works with you and your specific needs to develop a treatment approach that balances the mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment plans include traditional treatment approaches—such as medical care, medical detox, and individual or family therapy—alongside natural healing practices. For more information about how Coast to Coast Recovery can help their families with our specialized services, please contact us today at 1-800-210-8229. We’re here for you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Do Safe Heroin Injection Facilities Reduce or Perpetuate Harm?

safe heroin injection facilities Alarm over the growing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. has prompted some urban officials to advocate for safe facilities where addicts can inject drugs without harassment. Such sites already exist in Europe and Canada, and officials in New York and Washington are laying the groundwork for similar sites in their states.

Harm Reduction Is the Goal
Conventional law enforcement and prevention programs have not put a stop to urban drug use. Some city officials see the establishment of supervised facilities as a way to reduce drug-related problems that have plagued urban neighborhoods for decades. In these supervised injection sites, users would inject heroin in a safe, clean, comfortable setting under the watchful eye of trained medical personnel. Proponents believe such sites would:

• Prevent overdose deaths
• Reduce the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C & other infections
• Allow an underserved street population to have access to medical, mental heath & social services
• Provide a venue for education & referral to addiction treatment
• Clean up blighted urban areas & urban crime

The Other Side of the Argument
Many law enforcement and public health experts not only oppose supervised injection sites; they also reject the harm reduction philosophy behind them. John P. Walters, former director of drug control policy under President George W. Bush, recently wrote this in an opinion piece in USA Today: “For addicts, the humane public health response is to help them get and stay sober, or at the very least, opioid replacement therapy in sustained treatment. Any approach without these goals is cruel and dehumanizing—not healing, but perpetuating harm.”

Treatment for Lasting Recovery
At Coast to Coast, we believe that your loved ones can be freed from the tyranny of opioid addiction and the risk of overdose. Recovery is possible… It happens everyday! Let our dedicated team at Coast to Coast Recovery find the right treatment plan to set your son or daughter on the road to a lasting recovery.

We’ll be there to guide you through the entire process, from intervention to aftercare and sober living, if that is what your family member needs. Call 800.210.8229 and let us begin the treatment matching process today.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rehab Works—With a Little Help From You

make recovery work for youHow did you find yourself in rehab? Did a friend help you realize your drug or alcohol problem? Did your family use an intervention? Or did you simply become fed up with a life of chemical dependency?

How you got to rehab may not be important, but what you make of the opportunity to get sober is. You have a chance to improve your physical and emotional health, revive your spirit, understand what makes you tick, and emerge as someone equipped to handle the challenges of life.

7 Ways to Make Recovery Work for You
To make the most of your recovery experience, follow these simple (yet challenging) suggestions:

1. Stick to the program schedule. In substance abuse, drugs or alcohol rule your world. In recovery, you learn to exert control over your life and discipline over yourself. Trust that every moment of your rehab experience has a purpose—and stick with it even when you want to quit.

2. Be honest with yourself, your therapist, and your support group. Unraveling the causes of your addiction may be difficult, but that’s the only way to get the right treatment for co-occurring conditions. Group therapy puts men and women on equal footing and helps them feel at ease while admitting their shortcomings. It is when honesty begins that true healing also begins.

3. Think of the recovery staff as your personal allies. Many staff members know the difficulties of sobriety firsthand. Recognize that they are there to help you and accept their guidance with gratitude.

4. Eat well and exercise. Addiction takes a toll on you physically and mentally. Nutritious meals and physical exercise are essential to rehabilitating your body and your mind. As you purge toxins and replace nutrients that your body craves, you will also feel less tired and more motivated.

5. Take care of your appearance. In chemical dependency, the one thing you think about is your drug of choice. In drug or alcohol recovery, you learn to reclaim yourself. Grooming is self-care. Enjoy it!

6. Practice the relaxation and stress relief techniques you’ve been taught. Stress and emotions can be powerful relapse triggers. Mastering these techniques will help you stay in lasting recovery.

7. Interact with your support group. You’ll gain insight into the roots of your addiction—and you may help someone else in their addiction struggle.

Finding the Right 30 Day Rehab for You
Rehab doesn’t always have a revolving door. With the help of Coast to Coast Recovery’s treatment matching protocol, you can find the right rehab treatment the first time. And our help doesn’t end there.

We offer lifetime recovery support, and there’s no cost to you for our services. Take the first step to a sober life and dial 800.210.8229 now. Our team is standing by 24/7 to assist you with insurance verification and CA rehab enrollment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Resuming the Role of Parent After Rehab

resuming role parent after rehabParents struggling with substance abuse often find themselves ostracized from the family. Instead of being the dependable provider, protector, or nurturer, these men and women have shown their vulnerabilities. There is much to recover from—both personally and relationally. As they seek help for drug or alcohol misuse, many parents in treatment programs falsely believe they have become irrelevant to their children or that their children would be better off without them.

Fortunately, recovery and sobriety can bring a new perspective. Acknowledging deep hurts and making amends is a key component of the 12 Steps and other recovery programs. Parents in recovery still have an important role to play in their children’s lives, but they may encounter resistance to reentering the family circle.

Here are some suggestions to consider as you begin to resume your parenting role:

• Apologize & listen. When you were struggling with substance abuse, you were undependable and unpredictable. Now is the time to listen to your children as they express their anger, disappointment, and hurt over your chemical dependency and resulting behaviors.

• Commit to family counseling & support. Encourage your children to also join a support group or to get counseling for issues they are unable to resolve. Addiction is a family disease and must be treated as one.

• Redefine your role as a mother or father. Don’t expect to be needed as a traditional Mom or Dad—or for family dynamics to be the same as before you began using or drinking. Look for ways you can show your love and support without disrupting the family’s healing and equilibrium.

• Consider a contract. If you have young children, your spouse may be reluctant to entrust you with their care. Ease his or her fears by signing a contract that details your responsibilities and consequences for future infractions.

• Give the process time. Remember, you didn’t lose your family’s trust all at once, and you won’t regain it immediately. Recovery is a process in which you are learning about and redefining yourself without drugs or alcohol. Your family must get to know and trust this new you, too.

Coast to Coast Treatment for Addiction & Dual Diagnosis
Recovery at Coast to Coast facilities helps clients escape the isolation of drug and alcohol use and the fear of returning home to their families. Call 800.210.8229 now to begin your journey toward becoming the sober, reliable parent you wish to be.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Using Mindfulness Meditation to Promote Addiction Recovery

mindfulness meditation addiction recoveryAlthough it's true that genetic factors can make a person more susceptible to addiction, people often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or past trauma. For people suffering from addictive or co-occurring disorders, mental health treatment is a key component of successful rehab. Without addressing the issues that led to a desire to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, men and women are more likely to relapse.

What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness meditation is becoming popular in holistic rehabs because it gives people a way to take control of their recovery. It's an easy-to-learn coping mechanism that helps substance abusers deal with the unpleasant emotions often linked to cravings or the tendency to relapse.

Mindfulness is simply focusing your attention on the present moment rather than letting your mind wander. When you practice mindfulness meditation, you focus on your breath and the sensations in your body. As you think about what's happening in that exact moment, mindfulness urges you to set aside contemplating your massive to-do list or worrying about an argument you’ve recently had with a friend.

The term mindfulness is a translation of the Pali word sati, which plays a strong role in some Buddhist traditions. However, mindfulness meditation used as part of the recovery process does not require any specific religious belief. You can experience the benefits regardless of your faith or belief in a higher power.

How Does Mindfulness Work?
Psychology Today reports that mindfulness meditation, combined with a regular yoga practice or moderate exercise, can be helpful as a mood-regulating tool for people struggling with substance abuse. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. It also boosts the immune system by increasing your interleukin levels, and improves your ability to cleanse the body of chemical toxins that can affect neurotransmitter receptors.

A Holistic Rehab Experience

If you're struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Coast to Coast can help. We offer a holistic rehab experience that uses meditation, acupuncture, and art therapy to help you work through the emotional issues that may be contributing to your substance abuse problem. To learn more, call (800) 210-8229 or complete our confidential online form. Our team is available 24/7 when you need us the most.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Training Your Brain to Fight Addiction

training your brain to fight addictionYou may be skeptical that you can "train" your brain out of substance abuse, but Professor Paul Dolan is successfully using cognitive bias modification (CBM) to help people cut back on their alcohol consumption. As the author of the bestselling book Happiness by Design, Dolan believes his work can help people reduce their unconscious preference for alcoholic drinks over non-alcoholic ones.

Dolan's technique works by showing participants pictures of different types of drinks, including beer, wine, soda, juice, water, and milk. Software tracks how fast the user pushes away the images of alcoholic beverages.  If the user is found to have a preference towards alcoholic drinks, he or she is asked to devote 15 minutes to mentally "pushing away" these drinks and "pulling toward" the non-alcoholic alternatives.

This type of CBM is simple but effective. Those who have studied Dolan's work found that alcoholics who underwent four 15-minute sessions in a four-day time span saw a reduced preference for alcohol and had a 13% lower than expected relapse rate one year after receiving the training.

CBM techniques are still being refined, but other studies appear to support Dolan's theory that the brain can be trained to fight addiction. In 2011, Psychology Today reported that people with less working memory had poor executive control. Since executive control is linked to our ability to control unwanted behaviors like drinking to excess, exercises designed to improve working memory make it easier for substance abusers to resist the temptation to relapse. Brain training has also been found to be effective in fighting mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Coast to Coast Can Help You Fight Your Addiction
Although CBM isn't a magic cure for addiction, it's a better tool than relying on willpower alone. Addiction is a chronic brain disease that requires a targeted treatment approach. Coast to Coast Recovery Centers helps you overcome your addiction with proven treatment approaches, including non-12 step programs that use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), yoga, meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, and other holistic methods. We even offer extensive post-treatment support designed to help prevent a relapse.

Ready to get help for you or a loved one? Call us at 800.210.8229 or submit a confidential online request for information.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Acupuncture for Addiction Treatment

acupuncture for addiction treatment

What Is the Role of Willpower in Rehab?

the role of willpower in rehabFor people who have never struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, it's easy to classify the cause of substance abuse as a simple lack of willpower. It is often assumed that someone involved in addiction continues to use because he or she doesn't want to quit. In some cases, people become frustrated and angry with a loved one who can't stop drinking or using drugs: seeing them as weak and powerless.

Addiction as a Disease
In reality, addiction is a chronic brain disease. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains the scientific differences between the brain of an addicted individual and the brain of someone who has never suffered from addiction. Research shows that the density of dopamine transporters in a part of the brain called the striatum are noticeably different in an addict even after he or she has been sober for several months.

Scientists still don't fully understand the mechanisms of addiction, but genetics play a major role. The University of Utah reports that several biological differences make certain people more vulnerable to addiction than others. There are also some genes that appear to offer a protective benefit. For example, alcoholism is relatively rare in adults who have two copies of the ALDH*2 gene variation.

Saying addiction is caused by a lack of willpower is like saying someone who has cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure is sick because they don't really want to be healthy. Addiction isn’t a character flaw. It's an illness that requires treatment.

Finding the Strength to Recover
Although addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower, chemically dependent people do need to find the will to recover. If you are struggling with substance abuse, the first step toward a better future is realizing that you need help. When you admit that you don't have all the answers and see that there's no shame in letting others help, you are demonstrating that will to recover.

Coast to Coast Recovery Centers offer a wide range of services for people struggling with substance abuse, including 30-day rehabs and dual diagnosis programs. Call us at 800.210.8229 to learn more about the treatment options that best fit your needs.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Managing Anger During Rehab

managing anger during rehabPeople often turn to drugs and alcohol to help them deal with their anger about the uncontrollable circumstances in their lives, such as abuse, violence, or the death of a loved one. Substance abuse provides a temporary escape, but doesn’t deal with the underlying issues causing the problem. When a man or women enters addiction recovery, he or she needs to develop new coping mechanisms to process these emotions.

Many people are taught to fear anger. While it's not a good idea to walk around expressing your anger to anyone you encounter, finding constructive ways to channel your emotions is key. For example:

  • Walk away from heated arguments for a cooling-off period. When you return, you'll be able to handle the situation in a calm and rational manner. 
  • Use deep breathing and meditation techniques to calm down so you can objectively evaluate the situation and consider the other person's point of view. 
  • When you need to discuss what's bothering you, stick to the specific incident at hand. Bringing up someone's past mistakes is a surefire way to escalate a tense situation. 
  • Find alternative ways to express anger, such as writing in a journal, drawing, playing a musical instrument, or channeling your emotions through exercise. 
  • Reevaluate your personal relationships. When we grow as people, sometimes we drift from former friends. If someone doesn't support your journey to sobriety and your efforts to enhance mental well-being, ask yourself if they still deserve a place in your life. 
The Journal of Addictive Disorders (JAD) points out that many people who struggle with substance abuse issues also suffer from untreated depression. Even though the public perception of depressed individuals is that they're sad, withdrawn, and prone to tearful outbursts, depression often manifests itself as a struggle to control anger. Antidepressant medication and counseling to address the factors contributing to depression can result in a more balanced outlook.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis
When a patient suffers from addiction and depression, he or she is said to have a dual diagnosis. To promote a lasting recovery, recovery needs to focus on addressing both issues. Coast to Coast Recovery specializes in treating depression and other mental health conditions that can accompany addiction, offering personalized care as well as a range of post-treatment options. Call 1-800-210-8229 to learn more.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

5 Money Management Tips for Recovering Substance Abusers

Recovery means more than just getting sober. Often, a recovering substance abuser needs to work on developing stronger money management skills after addiction has led to job loss, credit card debt, or savings depletion. As you begin repairing your finances and restoring your financial future, remember these important tips:

1. Hold yourself accountable. In the early days of rehab, it's smart to maintain close contact with your recovery sponsor. Ask him or her to check in on you after each payday to make sure you're staying on track financially. If you have a trusted friend or family member who is willing to help, ask them to monitor your finances as well.

2. Don't use shopping as a reward. During the early stages of sobriety, individuals may find themselves seeking thrills in the form of reckless spending on designer clothes, expensive restaurant meals, or other non-essentials. Put yourself on a strict budget for all of your discretionary spending, and leave credit cards at home so you aren’t tempted to use them.

3. Remove unnecessary temptation. If you're worried that having unlimited access to money will make it difficult to resist the urge to use again, set up automatic payments for your monthly bills. Find out if your employer allows you to auto-draft a portion of your check directly into a separate savings account. Keep the savings account at a bank across town with no debit card or ATM access.

4. If you're in debt, seek help. Being in debt creates stress and anxiety that may trigger an urge to relapse. If you're struggling financially, don't be afraid to seek help from a professional who can work with you to get back on track. Depending on your circumstances, bankruptcy or repayment plans may be recommended to give you a fresh start.

5. Focus on your future. When you're recovering from addiction, you are just thinking about making it through the day. A lasting recovery requires you to focus on building a brighter future. Come up with financial goals for yourself, such as saving for a well-deserved vacation, a new car, or home improvements. Saving for a specific purpose helps hone your newfound ability to take control of your life. 

Coast to Coast Recovery knows that getting sober is a daily battle. We offer a wide range of post-treatment support options, including extended care facilities and outpatient support groups. Call 800.210.8229 to learn more.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Benefits of Exercise for Methamphetamine Addiction Recovery

benefits of exercise for methamphetamine addiction recoveryIn a recently published online study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles found that adding exercise to methamphetamine abuse counseling led to an increase in dopamine receptors in the brain’s striatum region, which reduced meth cravings and made recovery easier.

The use of drugs like methamphetamine causes a rise in dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical that provides pleasure sensations and leads users to experience a high that can last about six hours. Over time, however, dopamine receptors are lost as users build a tolerance to the drug.

Dopamine receptors can recover if given the chance, but people who have used methamphetamine for extended periods may suffer from issues of self-control and poor judgment—which leads them to continue using.

“We know that deficits in the striatal dopamine system are hallmark features of substance-abuse disorders and are caused by molecular adaptations to repeated drug exposure and likely, also reflect a genetic predisposition,” said UCLA professor of psychiatry and molecular and medical pharmacology, Dr. Edythe London.

Dopamine & Methamphetamine Study Findings 
Dr. London and fellow researchers studied 19 people in their methamphetamine project. Ten of the 19 were asked to exercise three times a week by jogging or walking on a treadmill for one hour and participating in a weight-training program. The other nine participants were asked not to exercise but did receive training in health education.

Before beginning their regimen and again after eight weeks, study participants underwent PET scans to evaluate changes in the number of dopamine receptors in the brain’s striatum. Receptor numbers were similar in all participants before the study began, but exercisers had 15 percent more receptors after research was complete. The non-exercisers’ dopamine receptors increased by only four percent.

“Although this is a small study, it’s a very encouraging finding,” London said in a UCLA press release. “The results demonstrate that methamphetamine-associated damages to the dopamine system of the brain are reversible in human subjects, and that recovery of the dopamine system after chronic drug use can be facilitated with exercise training.”

Additional research is required to find out how addiction specialists can best utilize this research with clients recovering from substance abuse, but the study indicates that fitness may have a positive effect on neuropsychiatric healing.

Begin Your Holistic Healing Journey
Clients recovering from a dual diagnosis or substance misuse problem can find nonjudgmental guidance at Coast to Coast Recovery. Call 800.210.8229 to learn more about holistic and 12-step options for methamphetamine treatment, alcohol recovery, and treatment for co-occurring disorders. Many of our programs help clients implement exercise and nutrition plans that combat cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and fill newly sober hours with a healthy activity. Learn more; submit a confidential inquiry now.

*Source: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/adding-exercise-to-health-education-helps-treat-addiction-say-ucla-researchers

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Are You Becoming a Below-the-Radar Addict?

trading sugar and substance abuse addictionWhen you're struggling to kick a drug or alcohol addiction, sugary sweets and comfort foods can seem like a harmless substitute. Sadly, using treats to help you get through a rough patch can lead to an entirely different problem that psychologists like to refer to as addiction transfer.

For most of us, addiction develops when we find that a substance produces feelings of euphoria. As we work toward kicking the habit, we begin to search for replacements that create the same rush. The New York Times describes how a 21-year-old heroin and cocaine addict gained 115 pounds after developing a sugar addiction in rehab. Similar stories caution that using food as an emotional balm can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other weight-related health problems.

Not surprisingly, addiction transfer also occurs the other way around.

The Mechanisms Behind Addiction Transfer
The Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management outlines the results of a study on post-bariatric surgery substance disorders, stating there is a marked increase in drug use and problem drinking by the second post-surgery year. Two-thirds of these formerly obese patients have no history of drug or alcohol addiction, suggesting a strong human impulse to seek out a way to cope with everyday stressors or unresolved psychological problems.

Regardless of the particular circumstances, addiction transfer creates a “below-the-radar addict.” When you're focused on overcoming one addiction, it's easy to overlook the development of a new compulsion. Unfortunately, addiction is the ultimate shape-shifter.

Someone with a brain that's hard-wired toward addictive behavior must remain vigilant about breaking the cycle. Often, the best way to do this is with medical detox followed by therapy to address the depression, anxiety, or other underlying mental health issues that are contributing to your addictive impulses.

Get Help for Addiction at Coast to Coast 
Coast to Coast Recovery Centers offers both 30-day and long-term rehabs, as well as specialty facilities for teens, young adults, seniors, older adults, and those in search of a faith-based Christian experience. At Coast to Coast, we work with you every step of the way to build a foundation for recovery. For details, submit a confidential online request or dial 800.210.8229 now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Practice of Stillness in Sobriety

stillness in sobrietyIt’s intuitive that once you pursue sobriety you must to say “no” to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and other substances. But the practice of saying “no” should extend to many areas of your life, including your schedule, your commitments, and your relationships.

Leave Time for Self-Care
Once you have made it through detox and the early stages of recovery, you may find yourself trying to fill every gap in your schedule with an activity, volunteer opportunity, or social engagement. “After all,” you argue, “If I don’t leave time to drink or use, I am better off.”

While it’s true that you need to discover new interests, pursue new hobbies, and make new friends, it is also critical to leave time in your schedule to be still. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10), but stillness is just as important when you are pursuing a secular recovery.

Stillness looks different for everyone, and may include time to:

• Sit (alone) at a coffee shop & people watch.
• Process what you are learning in recovery.
• Journal or blog about your feelings.
• Pray or meditate.
• Get a massage or take a yoga class.
• Stay home and watch a movie.
• Enjoy a much-needed midday nap.

Evaluate Your Relationships
A second part of saying “no” during recovery is determining which relationships are healthy and which relationships contribute to negative feelings or potential relapse. Work with your counselor to dissect past relationships—and keep only the ones that support your sobriety. Sometimes you need a break from healthy relationships, too—to give yourself time to heal and reprioritize your life. A good friend or valued family member will understand when you step back from social engagements to pour yourself into addiction treatment.

“No” Is Not a Bad Word 
One of the best things you can do for yourself during addiction rehab is manage your stress levels and feed your spirit. Cramming dozens of activities into your week is likely to leave you feeling more fatigued than energized, so be intentional about your commitments and do not feel guilty turning down an invitation. Lasting recovery begins by getting to know the real you and learning what brings you joy and what drains your reserves.

Get Off the Commitment Treadmill
Your overscheduled life could be driving an addiction that is tearing you apart. When it’s time to get off the treadmill, make a call to Coast to Coast Recovery: 800.210.8229. Walking with you every step of the way, we help you achieve balance in your life—without resorting to drugs and alcohol to get through your day, week, or month.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Executive Suite Crowd May Be Wired for Addiction

executives wired for addictionWhile it’s widely recognized that those in the “C-suite” are ambitious and strong-minded, it’s also no surprise when they suffer from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Mental illness and chemical dependency are often thought to be triggered by intense, work-related stress. But David Linden, Ph.D. and neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine, argues that the traits responsible for making a CEO good at his or her job (dedication, risk-taking, obsession, appetite for success) are the same traits shared by those with compulsive substance use tendencies.

“When you wonder what would make someone an addict, you might think, ‘if a person gets above-average pleasure from smoking or gambling, then they’d do it more.’ This is completely reasonable,” says Linden in a Forbes Magazine article. “But it’s completely, explicitly, 180 degrees wrong. The genetic variations that predispose a person to be an addict seem to be mutations that dampen the dopamine system.”

This means that while a “normal person” can go to a bar and enjoy a couple of drinks to relax, those with a higher addiction risk may need five times as many drinks to achieve the same effect. The high-risk individual might actually get less pleasure from drinking, but he or she is too driven to stop. “My strong, strong suspicion,” Linden says, “is that what makes some people more likely to rise to the top is the same thing that makes them more likely to be addicts.”

Beyond Genetics to Personal History
Genetics do play a major role in addiction risk, but other factors are also significant. Addiction researcher Constance Scharff, Ph.D. and her colleagues have found what they term a twin pathway in high achievers. “What makes someone achieve at that level – the top executives – is often a stress or trauma that happened early on,” says Scarf.

According to Linden, this trauma may occur in early childhood or before birth. “If you’re abused and neglected as a child, you’re more likely to become an addict… Even if your mother has the flu while in utero, you’re more likely to become an addict.” Linden says this is due to a proliferation of stress hormones and their impact on the brain’s pathways and reward system.

If genetics and early life stress increase the potential for substance misuse among ambitious executives, it makes sense that C-suite members need specialized care to bring about personal, family, and career healing.

Help for C-Suite Addiction Clients at Coast to Coast
Coast to Coast Recovery Center's programs for executives and licensed professionals help clients and families navigate the rigors of rehab while retaining their professional licensing and meeting occupational responsibilities. Our 5-star facilities offer drug intervention, comfortable drug and alcohol detox, and dual-diagnosis treatment programs that are customized to the high-pressure career path. Discerning clients: Begin the admissions process by dialing 800.210.8229 now or by inquiring online with our confidential form.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Knowing Your Family History Helps in Recovery Treatment

family history addictionAs scientists unravel the makeup of our DNA, more and more diseases are found to have a genetic component. This finding could eventually help practitioners determine why one person succumbs to a disease and another does not. The same thing is happening with psychological and behavioral conditions: Research is turning up genetic factors that may be used to determine who is at risk for these conditions.

As yet, science has not provided definitive proof that DNA predetermines a condition like addiction. However, research is showing that family history may reveal genetic and environmental risk factors for addiction, and this knowledge could be invaluable for recovery treatment.

Conditions that Show Family Linkage 
Alcoholism and addictive behaviors are often said to run in families, although there is little scientific evidence of this. It may be a combination of genetic predisposition and family patterns of social behavior and poorly developed coping skills that account for substance abuse in relatives. Addiction treatment professionals recognize the need for dual-diagnosis treatment when conditions like the following are present in someone who has entered a rehab program:

• Physical illnesses like diabetes and other autoimmune disorders. These conditions have long been recognized as running in families. Often, individuals who are caught up in substance abuse neglect their health and are unaware of the early warning signs of such diseases.

• Mental health conditions like bi-polar disorder, clinical depression, and psychotic illnesses. These conditions may have led to addiction or stemmed from it. For recovery to be effective and lasting, these conditions must be recognized and treated, too. Often, a family history can indicate the possible presence of such conditions.

• Other behavioral conditions like eating disorders, compulsive behaviors, gambling addiction, and anxiety. These disorders may occur in related individuals and often accompany substance abuse.

Treatment Matching at Coast to Coast Recovery
The addiction treatment specialists at Coast to Coast know how important it is to find the right treatment program the first time. To aid them in identifying the best fit for you, they use a special treatment matching protocol. The first step is a detailed assessment of your substance abuse profile, mental health status, personality, and other factors such as a family history of disease and disorders that could affect your health and behavior.

With this information, Coast to Coast is able to recommend a customized rehab plan designed around your needs. Call 800-210-8229 to speak directly with our staff, or submit an online inquiry and we will contact you to begin the enrollment process.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Decluttering for Addiction Treatment

spring decluttering for addiction treatmentWhile most people vacuum and clear out the cobwebs during spring cleaning, men and women recovering from substance abuse can view this annual ritual through the lens of mind, body, and spirit. Routinely taking stock of your lifestyle, emotions, and physical health brings about renewal. 

What Is Cluttering Your Life?
When you get rid of the “junk” in your life, you make room for growth, self-discipline, and sobriety progress. Take a period of self-examination this spring and resolve to take action against these clutter items:

• Financial pressure. Chances are addiction caused some degree of financial ruin in your life. Whether it’s outstanding credit card balances, job loss, or a depleted savings account, it’s time to make a plan. Work with a life skills coach or schedule an appointment with a financial planner so you can get your money back on track. Even the simple step of creating a basic budget will give you a sense of control.

• Overscheduling. Part of your addiction recovery may require finding new employment, pursuing new hobbies, and connecting with new, sober friends. In your quest to fill the gaps that used to be reserved for drinking or using, it is easy to overschedule yourself. Many men and women justify this process by telling themselves that they need to stay busy to keep their mind off of addiction. Remember, though—increased stress can lead to relapse. Strive for life balance and say no to over scheduling.

• Overstimulation. We have gotten used to non-stop input, but studies show that peaceful people are intentional about quiet time. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes per day to be still. Retreat to a stimulation-free environment, enjoy a cup of tea, or soak in a hot bath. Your quiet time may include prayer and spiritual growth, or it may just be a good time to concentrate on your breath, journal your feelings, or begin a yoga and meditation practice.

Create Space for Growth this Spring
This year, begin your spring by decluttering your physical space, as well. Pick one space to clean each day, and purge unneeded items— especially those that remind you of your addiction. You may not even realize it, but extra “stuff” can make you feel edgy, anxious, and overwhelmed. If you struggle in this area, ask a friend to help or hire a professional organizer to direct your efforts. Clutter-free environments bring a sense of calm and allow you to focus 100% of your energy on your recovery.

The addiction specialists at Coast to Coast Recovery provide support as you declutter your life from drugs, alcohol, or decades of emotional baggage. Call 800.210.8229 to begin the treatment matching process or inquire about our residential drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Surge in Benzodiazepine Overdose Deaths

surge in benzodiazapine overdose deaths Although opioid overdose deaths have been grabbing headlines and garnering attention in the 2016 presidential campaign, a recent online article in the American Journal of Public Health points out that the number of overdose deaths from benzodiazepines has also surged. These drugs are used to treat mood disorders, anxiety, and insomnia—and are better known as the widely prescribed sedatives, Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin.

Researchers Analyze Trends
Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health system, and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to study prescription and usage trends for these drugs. To do so, they analyzed data from two sources:

1. The federally sponsored Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
2. Multiple cause-of-death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Findings: Increased Prescription Use
Between 1996 and 2013, the number of adults purchasing a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67%, and the average prescription quantity filled in a year more than doubled. During the same time frame, overdose deaths involving these drugs increased from .58 per 100,000 adults (1996) to 3.14 per 100,000 adults (2013)—a four-fold increase. Moreover, benzodiazepines were involved in 31% of the prescription drug overdose deaths in 2013.

Speculation on the Disproportionate Overdose Deaths 
Overdoses from benzodiazepines have increased at a much faster rate than prescriptions for the drugs, indicating that people have been taking them in a riskier way over time," said lead author Marcus Bachhuber, M.D., MS., assistant professor of medicine at Einstein and attending physician of internal medicine at Montefiore. Senior author Joanna Starrels, M.D., M.S., associate professor of medicine at Einstein and attending physician of internal medicine at Montefiore offered these study findings as possible reasons for the increase in overdose deaths:

• Greater quantities of benzodiazepines prescribed to patients, indicating a higher daily dose or more days of treatment.
• Individuals at high risk for overdose using drugs obtained illegitimately.
• Use of alcohol & drugs like opioids with benzodiazepines.

Dr. Starrels points out that opioids were found in 75% of the overdose deaths attributable to benzodiazepines.

Don’t Risk an Overdose by Your Loved One
If you suspect a loved one is taking a deadly combination of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs with alcohol, act now. Waiting could mean an accidental overdose that takes the life of someone dear to you. The addiction specialists at Coast to Coast Recovery have the resources you need to save your addicted loved one: professional drug intervention, comfortable drug and alcohol detox, co-occurring mental illness treatment, and sober companions and transport services. Dial 800.210.8229 to start the treatment matching process today.

Source: Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Overdose deaths from common sedatives have surged, new study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2016.

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