October is National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month

October is National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month

There are many national observances every month, all year round, that remind us of issues that may not always be on the forefront of our minds. These issues are typically not something everyone will put much thought into each day, but when we pause to acknowledge them for a few days at a time we may realize these are real problems that affect real people every single day. Some of these issues go unseen, like mental health disorders. One of these observances for the month of October is National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month.

If you never realized this was an actual observance, then that is kind of the point. The fact that this is enough of an issue to acknowledge for one month out of a year should speak volumes. The fact a lot of people don’t even realize it is happening says a lot too.

Let us be clear: this article is NOT to discredit or denounce the use of antidepressant medications. It is simply to acknowledge the importance of awareness and education.

So what does this observance mean?

#AntidepressantDeathAwarenessMonth

The purpose of National Antidepressant Death Awareness Month is to remember those who have been injured or killed as a result of antidepressant use. Part of this commemoration is to urge people to always report any adverse reactions while taking any drugs to the FDA, especially in cases that end in death. Depression is a common mental health disorder in the United States. In fact, recent data shows:

  • More than 300 million people suffer from depression globally
  • Approximately 16 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode in 2012
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
  • 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18
  • 10%-20% of new moms will experience postpartum depression
  • 30% of college students report feeling depressed enough it disrupted their performance in school
  • 50% of Americans with major depression don’t seek treatment

Needless to say, depression is a prominent condition that impacts a lot of people across America. So of course, antidepressant medications are a valued resource in mental health treatment. However, excessive use of antidepressant medications or dependence on these drugs can lead to some devastating consequences.

Too often people joke about needing to “pop a Prozac” or “borrow a Zoloft” to relax, but these medications are nothing to play around with.

Antidepressants and Suicide

In 2016 reports came out about a suicide epidemic in America. According to the World Health Organization suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death in 2015, representing a 60% increase worldwide over 45 years! A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found an estimated 9.3 million adults in the United States (3.9% of the adult population) reported having suicidal thoughts in that past year.

With such shocking statistics, researchers decided to examine data on suicides and the antidepressants associated with some cases. Of most of the medications the most disturbing revelations were those for:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

The review revealed that these antidepressants actually seemed to double the rate of suicide and aggressive behavior for adolescents and young people under the age of 18.

So drugs intended to treat depression actually increased risks of harmful side-effects. But even more disheartening is the fact the Big Pharma companies behind these medications were documenting “serious underestimation of the harms.” Meaning they believe drug makers misreported their findings from case studies. In many cases, researchers concluded more serious side-effects were being recorded as something else.

Side-Effects of Antidepressants

Antidepressant drugs can be very useful, but they are still drugs and should always be taken seriously. Not only can antidepressants be detrimental to emotional stability, but they cause various physical side-effects as well.

Some of the more common side-effects of antidepressants include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability

There are other more serious health concerns that certain antidepressant drugs can contribute to as well, including:

Depending on the particular substance, some of these adverse effects of symptoms may differ. One should always speak with their doctor about the possible adverse effects of any medication and be sure to discuss all treatment options.

Be sure to consult your doctor before discontinuing any medications as well. Some of these medications can cause adverse effects when abruptly discontinued. Again, the point of this conversation is not to scare anyone away from antidepressant medications; it is simply to encourage anyone who may be taking these kinds of medications to be aware and make informed decisions with the help of your doctor.

Antidepressant Dependence

The connection between antidepressants and addiction isn’t as clear as other drugs. Doctors still debate the addictive nature of antidepressant medications, with most considering them non-addictive. However, it is possible to develop a dependence on antidepressants.

Antidepressant medications alter the brain’s chemical activity. So a lot of people use antidepressants excessively because they feel like they cannot function normally unless chemical changes in their brain activity take place. So while antidepressants may not be as addictive as other narcotic medications, people can depend on the drug to feel ‘normal’.

Antidepressant dependence commonly forms in people who never needed the drug for medical reasons. Some people receive an incorrect diagnosis of depression and thus end up on antidepressants. According to one study, doctors misdiagnosed almost 2/3 of patients with depression and prescribed unnecessary antidepressants. Still, others will abuse antidepressants for a psychostimulant-like effect.

The use of the drugs also becomes even more dangerous when combined with alcohol. People suffering from addiction to other drugs, including alcohol, also run a higher risk of abusing their antidepressants.

Combining alcohol and antidepressants can cause problems such as:

  • Worsened depression or anxiety
  • Intense sedation
  • Dangerously high blood pressure
  • Impaired coordination
  • Overdose

Abuse of antidepressants can lead to overdose. Symptoms of antidepressant overdose often include:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat

Safety before Stigma

Of course, no one should ever be afraid or embarrassed about taking an antidepressant medication. That kind of assistance can be an essential piece of someone’s balance in life, and there is no judgment.

In the realm of recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it is important for people to understand the difficulties that others may face and accept that medical assistance might be necessary for some people to safely and comfortably grow while letting go of other dangerous substances. As long as people are willing to be mindful of how a medication effects them and take appropriate steps to protect themselves, recovery with the help of antidepressants is absolutely possible.

Approximately one in every eight adults in America take antidepressants, which are among the most commonly used medications. These medications can be life altering and important to overall health, but they must be taken seriously. This month we remember all those who have suffered through depression and been adversely affected by antidepressants. We remember those who lost their lives due to complications related to antidepressant medications, and we strive for better understanding and use of these medications to preserve lives.

Abusing prescription medications like antidepressants is extremely dangerous, and if you are trying to overcome an addiction or mental health disorder this can put you in even more danger. Getting the right kind of treatment can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

After Las Vegas Shooting: PTSD and Mental Health Must be Priority

After Las Vegas Shooting: PTSD and Mental Health Must be Priority

Just this past Sunday the nation saw one of the deadliest shootings in modern American history in Las Vegas. This immense and indescribable tragedy shocked the world as news reports and live footage filled the airwaves after a gunman opened fire with high-powered rifles at an outdoor music festival. At this point there are at least 58 dead and over 520 wounded, making it the deadliest mass shooting in recent history.

The heartbreak and weight of this tragedy truly cannot be put into words. The unimaginable loss is without parallel. Beyond those who lost their lives in such a senseless act of violence, the impacts this event has had on countless friends, families and loved ones are unfathomable.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, mental health must be a priority. How we address and protect the psychological well-being of every American must be a very serious part of the conversation. We have to take a close look at how we are facing mental health, and support those who have been traumatized in the wake of such horrific events.

PTSD of Mass Shootings

The risks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is extremely elevated in situations like this. Research on mass shootings is not extensive but is sufficient enough to allow for some preliminary conclusions. One study examined 15 mass shooting events to review consequences of the incidents upon survivors. From these studies conclusion, researchers stated:

  • Prevalence of post-disaster diagnoses (predominantly PTSD) in these studies ranged from 10% to 36%
  • Much higher percentages reported sub-threshold PTSD
  • Very few participants reported no symptoms

One 1994 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that in the acute post-disaster period:

  • 20% of the men met criteria for PTSD after a mass shooting
  • 36% of the women met criteria for PTSD

The same study looked at those with post-disaster PTSD who also met criteria for another post-disaster psychiatric diagnosis, especially major depression. They found:

  • One-half of the women met the criteria
  • One-fourth of the men met the criteria

Experts say most people will recover fully from post-disaster PTSD within 6 to 16 months, but most still emphasize the importance of support.

Not only can those present at the tragedy be affected directly, but also those not present but connected to the location or individuals present can be affected vicariously. You don’t have to experience something so horrifying first-hand to suffer a severe impact. An attack like this can have deep emotional effects on those who witness the event, or even for those all over the world following the story.

Understanding PTSD

Part of dealing with the residual effects of tragic events and disasters is to understand how conditions like PTSD can impact people. PTSD can result in emotional, physical and even cognitive issues that some people may not know how to recognize or cope with.

Emotional Effects of PTSD Include

  • Shock
  • Terror
  • Irritability
  • Blame
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Grief or sadness
  • Emotional numbing
  • Helplessness
  • Loss of pleasure derived from familiar activities
  • Difficulty feeling happy
  • Difficulty experiencing loving feelings

Physical Effects of PTSD Include

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Startle response
  • Cardiovascular strain
  • Increased physical pain
  • Reduced immune response
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased libido

Cognitive Effects of PTSD Include

  • Decreased concentration
  • Confusion
  • Impaired decision making
  • Disbelief
  • Dissociation
  • Nightmares
  • Impaired Memory
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Reduced self-efficacy
  • Self-blame
  • Intrusive thoughts/memories
  • Anxiety

All of these things can cause other more personal issues. Some will experience difficulty with intimacy or social relationships. Isolation and alienation can develop at work, at school or even at home.

According to PTSD United, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support and resources for those suffering from PTSD:

  • 70% of adults (approximately 223.4 million people) in the US have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.
  • Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD.
  • Approximately 44.7 million people today either have struggled or are struggling with PTSD.

With PTSD, a lot of people actually turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Some will rely on substances as a form of relief when PTSD brings feelings of isolation or depression. However, as people try to numb or distract themselves from these feelings, they tend to create more problems through substance use.

Often times, the substances only fuel feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety.

Make Mental Health a Priority

This week, October 1 through October 7, is Mental Illness Awareness Week. There is no time like the present to discuss the current state of mental health across the country. Now is always the time to advocate for better support, services, and acceptance when discussing mental illness and mental health in America.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

  • 9% of all U.S. adults (43.4 million)qualified as having mental health issues in 2015
  • Approximately 20-21% of incarcerated Americans have a “recent history” of mental health issues
  • 70% of young people caught up in the juvenile justice system have at least one mental health issue
  • 46% of people living in homeless shelters live with severe mental health issues and/or substance use disorders (SUDs)

In the aftermath of such profound tragedy like the recent shooting in Las Vegas, or even natural disasters like recently with Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Maria, there should be a very direct conversation about mental health. We should also work diligently to ensure that while the world grapples with opioid addiction and drug abuse, that more people don’t turn to self-medicating to fight feelings of loss, terror or alienation.

For all survivors of recent tragedies, or those affected indirectly, there are ways to take care of yourself and monitor your own mental state. Make your own mental health a priority. Protect yourself from destructive behaviors, and reach out for help in the wake of such emotionally compromising events as what happened in Las Vegas.

The national crisis hotline also offers confidential and free services 24/7/365 Call (775) 784-8090 or text ANSWER to 839-863

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those touched by this tragedy.

If you or someone you love is struggling with trauma, don’t let substance abuse make it all even worse. Drugs or alcohol are not the answer. There is real help out there. Please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

5 Big Ways America Can Overcome the Opioid Epidemic

5 Big Ways America Can Overcome the Opioid Epidemic

Drug overdoses killed 64,000 Americans last year. That is an increase of more than 20% than the overdose deaths in 2015. Those numbers have nearly quadrupled since 2000. Now nearly two-thirds of overdose deaths are from by opioids. Some are from prescription opioids; others are from illicit heroin or synthetics like fentanyl.

However, some are concerned that the action we have seen thus far is too little too late. The president’s 2018 budget only increases addiction treatment funding by less than 2%. That already includes the $500 million appropriated by Congress in 2016 under the 21st Century Cures Act. So needless to say, many recovery advocates worry that the resources are just not going to be enough.

If we look at the recommendations of the president’s opioid commission, and at other initiatives that have started to gain some traction across the country, we can find patterns. There are some concepts that consistently show up, and perhaps if we focus on these similarities, we can see why so many minds are thinking alike.

So here are 5 big ways America can overcome the opioid epidemic.

  1. Break the Stigma

In order to accomplish most of the things on this list, America first has to consistently fight to break the stigma of drug use and addiction. Misunderstanding what addiction is and how it happens only undermines progress to addressing it. If America hopes to overcome the opioid crisis, we have to be more willing to see it for what it is.

Right now the issue of addiction stigma is still a big deal. While we may have come a long way from how it was decades ago, there are still a lot of people who refuse to consider addiction as an illness. A lot of people still refuse to acknowledge the various factors that contribute to addiction, such as genetic predisposition and instead insist addiction is purely by choice.

If we can see how drug use affects people from all different walks of life, and for countless different reasons, we can then treat those suffering from more compassion. Finding more effective methods of treatment means having a better idea of what really causes addiction, and what feeds it.

  1. Support PAARI, NOT Punishment

Speaking of compassion, supporting PAARI and not punishment is a perfect example of letting go of stigma to work toward saving lives.

It is about time that all of America realizes that the old ways of the failed War on Drugs do not work. Thankfully, it seems a lot more people across the country now understand that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. Harsher punishments and severe sentences have not deterred addiction, they only support stigma.

Now in America, there are nearly 300 law enforcement agencies across 31 states that have Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative programs (PAARI). These PAARI programs offer treatment for drug users who come to authorities looking for a way out. Instead of fearing the threat of arrest, people struggling with substances are encouraged to reach out to law enforcement in order to be put in contact with treatment options or recovery networks.

This revolutionary new mindset was inspired by a department in Gloucester, Massachusetts not too long ago. So far these efforts appear to cost much less and with better results than efforts focused on punishing addicts.

  1. Create Resources for Treatment

Today addiction medicine is an urgently needed specialty, but there is not much glory in it compared to other areas of medical work. One way the federal government could help create more resources for treatment is to provide tuition incentives for medical students to enter addiction-related specialties and work in underserved communities. By encouraging this kind of work, we further shed the stigma of addiction and shift the perspective to helping care for a vulnerable community.

But don’t just end with specialists.

By supporting things like Medicaid expansion, addiction and mental health treatment can be made available to more people who may not have access to healthcare under limited coverage. More state and federal funding can also be allocated by officials to help build or strengthen addiction treatment programs provided by the state.

  1. Enforce Mental Health Parity

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 actually requires insurers provide equal benefits for mental health and addiction treatment that they do with other medical therapies or surgery. Thus, the law means to make discrimination against addicts by insurers illegal.

However, some insurers defy this law by imposing illogical treatment limits or tedious authorization requirements. In other words, insurance companies are finding ways to cheat the system in order to avoid paying for addiction and mental health treatment.

America and our government must to better to enforce mental health parity. If we want people to get the treatment they need, we have to protect their right to treatment and assure that insurance providers won’t be able to skip out on the bill.

According to John Renner, president of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, between 50%- 70% of people with substance abuse problems also suffer from a mental health disorder such as:

  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

With mental health and addiction so closely related, making sure those struggling with opioids and other substances receive care for mental health disorders or other co-occurring conditions it vital to lasting recovery.

  1. Preserve life

First and foremost; preserve life! This should always be a priority when facing any kind of epidemic. Regardless of the circumstances, the preservation of life should always be paramount. This is a discussion that has become crucial in the fight against opioids considering the need for life-saving medications and harm reduction tactics.

At the moment, first responders and emergency rooms do not have adequate access to Naloxone or Narcan, the opioid overdose antidote, to save lives. Both federal and state health agencies can negotiate pricing for naloxone and expand access. They can also encourage pharmacies that offer prescription-free access in some areas.

Another aspect of saving lives involves harm reduction strategies, which tend to be a little more controversial. Not everyone likes to support programs like safe injection sites or needle exchange programs. However, whether you think these programs enable addiction or not, these programs are proven to help preserve life. Between preventing the spread of infectious disease and providing a supported environment in case of overdose, these harm reduction models can prevent a lot of needless loss of life.

One indisputable precedence in the effort to overcome opioids is keeping people suffering alive long enough to get them treatment. The more people we can help survive opioid addiction, the more people have a chance of recovering.

Drug abuse and addiction is a devastating and deadly disease, and providing effective and compassionate treatment makes a lifelong difference. Part of solving the problem is changing the way we look at it and changing how we treat each other. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

What is a Relapse Prevention Plan in Addiction Recovery?

What is a Relapse Prevention Plan in Addiction Recovery?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Safe and effective treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is paramount to creating lasting transformation in the lives of those who are struggling. Providing powerful therapeutic resources with education and innovation makes a significant impact on those who have the opportunity for quality care. An essential part of this process is an active relapse prevention program.

Relapse prevention is a system that influences many aspects of individual recovery from addiction. So what is a relapse? And what makes a relapse prevention program so indispensable?

Relapse Prevention: What is Relapse?

First, let us look at the most basic definition or relapse. If we break it down a little we can better understand what it means and how it happens.

  • In general– a relapse is to suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.
  • With medicine– relapse is also referred to as recidivism or a return to a past condition.
  • In the context of drug use (including alcohol) – relapse is a reinstatement of drug use and drug-seeking behavior. It is the recurrence of pathological drug use after a period of

So the common thread here is that a relapse is when someone:

  1. Experiences a period of improvement from a problem…
  2. Is healing from a previous condition…
  3. Has a period of abstinence, then they experience a recurrence of the initial problem/condition

With addiction, relapse means someone ends a period of improvement and falls back into drug-seeking behavior or even drug use. When you are recovering from a serious addiction, drinking or consuming a drug can sometimes be referred to as a “slip” but it is essentially a relapse. Many recovery advocates and experts are of the opinion that “recovery” means making improvements to behavior, not just abstinence. Therefore, they might say the “real relapse” actually starts when the behavior regresses to the old destructive or compulsive patterns. Some will warn you that you are in the process of a relapse without having used drugs.

Whether you believe the relapse is the behavior or the actual physical manifestation of using narcotic drugs or drinking, you can still see the real value in offering relapse prevention strategies to help avoid either circumstance.

Relapse Prevention: Knowing the Signs

The following are a few signs or behaviors that might indicate that someone may be in the process of a relapse.

  1. Depression

When someone is experiencing low moods and lack of energy they might be in a state of depression. Other mental health disorders may begin to intensify and thoughts of suicide may also occur.

  1. Exaggeration

Everyday difficulties that occur regularly become overwhelming. The most basic problems can’t seem to be solved.

  1. Avoidance

The individual may begin to avoid social or personal activities they once enjoyed, isolating and ignoring their responsibilities.

  1. Defensive

Someone in the stages of relapse may become irritable or even confrontational without reason.

  1. Denial

The person may rationalize or minimize any attempt at acknowledging and addressing their behaviors.

  1. Post-Acute Withdrawal

When Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) sets in someone can be at a higher risk of relapse. They can have trouble with memory, emotional overreactions, and sleeping problems, become accident prone or overwhelmed by stress.

  1. Lack of Control

Food, sex, caffeine, nicotine, work, gambling, or other activities become out of control. Their compulsive behaviors become consistent without thinking about the consequences.

  1. Feeling of Immobilization

Immobilization is that feeling of desperation. People feel trapped and start to think that there is no way to solve their problems other than using or drinking.

  1. Justification

When experiencing cravings someone may convince themselves the only way to feel better is to use or drink, and they try to justify it.

  1. Abandoning Support System

If someone is in the stages of relapse they may begin to ignore their support systems. They might stop attending support groups, therapy or communicating with their sponsor or loved ones.

  1. Chemical Loss of Control

In a relapse, someone recovering from addiction will eventually begin using drugs or alcohol again to solve problems, even if these problems are only being made worse by their use.

Any combination of these symptoms could mean that someone is headed towards a relapse. In some cases, they may have even relapsed already.

Relapse Prevention

Taking action before someone even comes close to a relapse can make all the difference between lasting recovery and dangerous regression. An effective drug and alcohol treatment plan will include a relapse prevention program in order to help people create a solid foundation from which they can build a sustainable recovery.

Education

Understanding the signs of relapse and the serious risks of going back to drug abuse can help someone who may be struggling in their recovery to stay grounded. It is more difficult for someone to know how to take action, and what kind of action to take if they don’t have an understanding of addiction. Palm Healthcare Company places tremendous value on the importance of education in relapse prevention.

PAWS Awareness

In respect to education about relapse, people should also be made aware of the difficulties they may experience with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). When people can anticipate or at least understand the difficulty they may experience with PAWS, they can prepare themselves with healthy and preventative strategies.

Coping Skills

Relapse prevention programs should also teach each individual new coping skills to utilize in challenging times. When someone is struggling with their recovery, they should have resources available to them to keep themselves accountable. It is vital that people be taught new and productive methods for recognizing things that are bothering them and addressing them.

Self-Care

Another huge aspect of protecting yourself from relapse is to establish strong habits that keep you to be as mentally and physically healthy as possible. It can be regular exercise, better eating, social and personal relationships, or pursuing your passion or continuing your career. Find a way to care for yourself so that when your recovery is threatened you care enough about your life to protect it.

Continued Support

Having people that support you can make it easier to overcome adversity when it presents itself. When someone has to deal with their troubles alone they may not always see the whole picture; they may not see all the ways to address the issue. Having a support group or a therapist are just a few ways someone trying to recover from drugs or alcohol can make sure they have a safety net in place.

Palm Healthcare Company believes in helping each individual to create a personal plan for recovery that includes relapse prevention and continued support. Our facilities all emphasize the value of comprehensive education, awareness, coping skills, self-care, and aftercare. The solution to drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t end with eliminating the substance, that is only the beginning.

In the event of a relapse, getting the individual to go into an addiction treatment program can be the best way to help them before things get too bad. Getting them back on the road to recovery is crucial, and be sure to look for a program that has a comprehensive relapse prevention program.

Relapse is NOT necessary for recovery, but relapse prevention is. Even if you or someone you love has relapsed, there is still hope to take action that can help you create lasting recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Palm Healthcare Company Presents The Pain Recovery Program

Palm Healthcare Company Presents The Pain Recovery Program

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Palm Healthcare knows the importance of addressing the multi-faceted needs of the individual who suffers from chronic pain. This is why we created the Pain Recovery Program. A person in pain is not only concerned about reclaiming their own sense of well-being and functioning. They are also concerned about reclaiming their sense of purpose, independence, and direction to life.

Palm Healthcare Pain Recovery Program

The focus of the Pain Recovery Program is assisting that person in pain in reclaiming all aspects of their life. Palm Healthcare utilizes a comprehensive bio-psychosocial perspective while incorporating the latest holistic, traditional, and state of the art, non-invasive technology and interventions.

Individuals participating in The Pain Recovery Program are provided a variety of treatment options that include:

  • Medication management
  • Nutraceutical (vitamin) therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Massage
  • Muscle manipulation therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Biofeedback

Each person in The Pain Recovery Program will receive a personalized treatment plan based on comprehensive evaluations and the specific needs of the individual and their specific needs.

Connecting Pain and Addiction

Part of overcoming pain while overcoming addiction is understanding how the two are so closely related. Patients who are struggling with one or both of these conditions often report adverse symptoms such as:

Chronic pain and substance use disorder (SUD) have similar physical, social, emotional, and economic effects on health and well-being; one can easily be confused for the other, while both can exacerbate each other.

Pain in the Brain

Chronic pain and addiction actually have many of the same exact neurophysiological patterns.

For instance: Chronis pain involves abnormal neural processing. Coincidentally, addiction results when normal neural processes are altered into dysfunctional patterns, including disruptions in:

The truth is, there is still a lot to learn about both of these conditions, including patterns of severity, the course of development and responses to treatment.

Emotional Responses

Gauging and effectively addressing emotional responses is also crucial to effective and lasting pain treatment.

Pain and Emotions

Continued pain can also cause emotional responses, such as:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depressive symptoms

Each of these experiences can even turn into more pain. Even after these psychological causes have been addressed the feedback effect can still cause pain in the body.

In fact, there are many studies that indicate pain treatment has worse outcomes when depression is a factor. Some experts say you can even predict how a pain syndrome will evolve based on the emotional status of the patient.

Emotions and SUD

With substance use disorder, the individual’s emotional state is a core cause of continuous drug use. People who use drugs often experience these same emotional responses like anxiety and depression as a result of isolation, social and professional hardships and other side-effects of their drug use. Not to mention the way certain drugs impact the brain. Emotional and psychological trauma can be just as severe for these individuals as physical trauma.

On the other hand, some people may already have a history of experiencing these emotional difficulties and actually be trying to treat themselves by abusing drugs. This feeds into the cycle of emotional distress and substance use.

Complicated Relationship

Both addiction and chronic pain fluctuate in intensity with time under different circumstances. Depending on what is going on in someone’s life, their pain may get worse or seem to disappear, just like an addiction may seem controllable for a time before hitting another harsh bottom.

Both often require ongoing management. But the difficulty can also be that these two conditions feed into each other in a very complicated, and at times toxic, relationship.

Treatment for one can either support or conflict with the other.

The Painful Cycle of Addiction

One of the many difficulties many people experience when trying to overcome addiction while struggling with chronic pain syndrome is that there is a cycle of pain- drugs- more pain- more drugs that seems inescapable.

For example- Narcotic medication typically prescribed for chronic pain may be an issue for someone with a history of substance use disorder.

But then if someone uses a narcotic prescription pain medication, such as opioid analgesics, it can create a physical dependence. Then when the substance is absent from the body the withdrawal symptoms set in.

Withdrawal and Pain

Withdrawal symptoms frequently lead to an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression, while creating even more physical pain. In turn, the anxiety and depression from withdrawal can contribute to that pain even further.

This pain and distress can provoke a severe obsession with whatever substance the individual was relying on to provide relief. In other words, the individual will crave the drug even more because they are not only experiencing the psychological distress from their brain lacking the drug, they are also experiencing a magnified sense of pain from the experience as well.

Again, the cycle of pain- seeking relief from the pain through substances- recurring pain- continued substance use making the problem worse. The Pain Recovery Program is about interupting this self-destructive cycle with new, sustainable methods of pain management.

The Importance of Treating Pain and Addiction

Substance use disorder in relation to prescription pain medication is widely misunderstood, and while some programs focus on treating the addiction, if there is no way of addressing the chronic pain it does not help the chances of successful recovery. Part of working with chronic pain patients struggling with addiction is education on both conditions while providing effective treatment opportunities simultaneously.

Providing pain management opportunities for the U.S. population struggling with substance use disorder is a unique challenge for many primary care physicians. That is why experienced professionals in the field of drug and alcohol addiction treatment are in a unique position to help.

First, we need to acknowledge a few issues, including:

  1. People recovering from addiction experiencing pain are less likely to receive adequate pain management than anyone else.
  2. Insufficient pain relief is a substantial risk factor for possible relapse into substance use.
  3. It is crucial to distinguishing between patients who are seeking relief for legitimate pain and those who are seeking pain medication for recreational abuse
  4. Psychiatric and medical illnesses can complicate effective pain management

Experts believe that addiction specialists, in particular, can make significant contributions to the management of chronic pain in patients who suffer from substance use disorder. Addiction specialists can:

  • Help create safeguards to assure any pain medication is taken appropriately
  • Reinforce behavioral and self-care components of pain management
  • Help individuals with strategies to reduce stress
  • Assess patients’ recovery support systems
  • Help to understand and identify relapse risks

Chronic pain management can be a complex process. Experts say that the efficiency of treatment is amplified when all medical and behavioral healthcare professionals involved collaborate as a team. Palm Healthcare Company’s Pain Recovery Program is all about a united effort toward treating both conditions with a variety of experienced professionals and trainers.

Considering how urgent the addiction epidemic is, and the fact that many people struggling with addiction do suffer from chronic pain, it is so important to have programs like this available. Education, support and relapse prevention is the key. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder and chronic pain, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

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Palm Healthcare Measures Up to Addiction Treatment Outline for EAP

Palm Healthcare Measures Up to Addiction Treatment Outline for EAP

In 2015 the Journal of Employee Assistance published an article to help Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) looking for addiction treatment programs to recommend for their clients. Guess what, challenge accepted!

When we at Palm Healthcare Company took a close look at the outline provided by the Journal of Employee Assistance on methods of treatment, we were happy to note that our treatment programs fit the description perfectly.

It is important for employers and their assistance groups to have a clear and comprehensive idea of what an effective addiction treatment program looks like, so they can provide their employees with options for quality care. The Journal of Employee Assistance article goes on to identify some of the aspects of the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals should consider as vital for effective recovery. In order to make confident recommendations, Palm Healthcare Company also believes EA professionals should do all they can to understand all levels of care and the methods of treatment.

We understand and appreciate the power of information. Let us provide a detailed look, point-by-point, at how Palm Healthcare Company can best serve your clients by meeting the suggested specifications of the Journal of Employee Assistance.

Personalized Treatment

As stated in the article by the Journal of Employee Assistance, the current focus for treatment of chronic diseases like addiction is based on dynamic treatment, also known as adaptive interventions or multi-stage treatment strategies. The idea is to continuously evaluate the individual’s progress in order to adjust their treatment.

One-size-fits-all tactics fail to address unique life issues that are connected to substance use and addiction. Personalized treatment that is tailored to each individual’s specific needs is a crucial element to effective holistic treatment.

In fact, the National Institutes of Health have stated that the best programs provide a combination of services that take into account all aspects of the individual, including:

Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of treatment. We know that every person has their own unique experiences and circumstances. We all live and learn differently, so addiction treatment should take those differences into consideration.

Traditional Methods

Palm Healthcare Company, like most traditional programs, provides the basics of addiction treatment. Looking at the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals, the most traditional methods to look for include:

  1. Detoxification

All detox facilities are staffed with medical professionals experienced with treating those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Every individual is given a thorough intake assessment to ensure the safest and most comfortable method of medical detox is offered to fit each client.

  1. Behavioral therapies

Because addiction is about far more than substance use, behavioral therapy is extremely important to the recovery process. Not only do these sessions examine destructive behaviors, but they also assess the thoughts and feelings that might cause them.

  1. Life skills

As part of offering behavioral therapy, Palm Healthcare Company facilities also offer unique classes on building social skills and personal development opportunities.

  1. Psychoeducational

Palm Healthcare Company also believes that a crucial aspect of overcoming addiction is to understand it through educational, evidence-based therapeutic intervention. Classes are consistently provided explaining various aspects of addiction and mental health disorders so each individual can better understand and cope with their illness.

  1. Support groups and 12 Steps

Historically, group therapies and a sense of community has always been a big piece of addiction recovery. Opportunities to get involved with 12 Step fellowships and other support groups can help individuals to find a sense of community with others recovering from drugs or alcohol. Palm Healthcare Company programs consistently facilitate these options.

  1. Family weeks or weekends for those over 13 years old

The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a unique and empowering experience for individuals trying to overcome their addictions, as well as for their loved ones. Part of the family program is the Palm Healthcare Family Weekend which includes various events designed to educate family members and bring each other closer through connection and support.

Innovative Methods

However, the Journal of Employee Assistance notes that the more “novel yet effective” programs also include more innovative addiction treatment methods. These facilities go above and beyond the basic outline of services to provide holistic treatment programs. So how does Palm Healthcare Company match up to these recommendations?

  1. A range of therapeutic approaches

Again, Palm Healthcare Company does not believe in the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treating addiction. Because not every form of therapy will be as influential for everyone our facilities offer a variety of therapeutic courses. Some of these include:

Palm Healthcare Company believes in utilizing cutting-edge treatment methods to create a more in-depth and personal recovery experience.

  1. Provide multiple levels of care

There are several reasons why having different levels of care can be a big deal for EA professionals seeking treatment providers. For one, different levels of care allow for different levels of contact with the outside world.

With partial hospitalization, intensive or residential levels of treatment there is a much more secure and controlled environment with daily schedules full of therapy options and courses. If the individual is approved for Outpatient or Intensive Outpatient treatment they can attend work for part of the day while attending classes periodically.

Palm Healthcare Company helps the patient choose the level of care that is best suited for their needs. Monitoring individual progress and adapting the aspects of treatment to fit their progress is an important way to personalize the experience and support the transition from addiction to independent recovery.

  1. Treat co-occurring mental health disorders

When an individual is struggling with a mental health disorder and substance use disorder the best method for them is dual diagnosis treatment. This allows the individual to address the addiction and the co-occurring disorder individually and simultaneously for a complete recovery.

Palm Healthcare Company understands that if someone only addresses one disorder without the other then they are more likely to have difficulty maintaining their recovery. These conditions tend to feed off of one another, and one going untreated can cause a relapse in the other.

  1. Address underlying issues related to addiction

Palm Healthcare Company also cares a great deal about understanding substance use disorder; where it comes from and how it influences the lives of those who suffer. Therefore, we believe in exploring each individuals experience to help them find out what underlying issues are connected to their drug or alcohol use.

Addiction is such a complex disorder. There is no one way that someone ends up addicted. While there is a genetic predisposition, there are numerous other factors that contribute to the development of substance use disorder. Because things like trauma and family dynamics play a big part in the development of addiction, an effective treatment program should also examine and address these issues if the patient is going to experience lasting recovery.

  1. Involve the entire family, including children

The Palm Healthcare Family Program is committed not just to offering brief visits with loved ones. Our Family Program is designed to:

  • Give the family essential educational information
  • Establish deeper connections between loved ones through recovery
  • Teach about emotional well-being and healthy boundaries
  • Offer life-changing breakthrough experiences
  • Create a strong support system

The Palm Healthcare Family Program is a FREE service offered by our facilities because we believe that family involvement is incredibly important for lasting and worthwhile transformation.

  1. Explore performance at work

Clients who are professionals are often very focused on how their substance use affects their career. Along with life skills and behavioral therapy, there is an important element of understanding how addiction impacts your professional life. Everyone from CEOs and executives to labor workers in every industry needs to be aware of how addiction affects the workplace.

Of course, EA professionals are more likely to recommend a treatment program that pays attention to addictions impact on the workplace. So teaching clients how to safely and effectively transition from treatment back to work is an important element of these programs.

  1. Examine legal and financial issues resulting from addiction

Our facilities also take pride in providing teams of skilled individual case-workers who consistently work on behalf of each individual to maintain their personal interests regarding legal issues or other concerns they may have. It is important that an addiction treatment provider has experienced staff members who understand the difficulties that can arise from substance use and know how to best support each individual with these concerns.

Working with the Workforce

All Palm Healthcare Company facilities provide the more holistic and effective approach through this criterion of additional services. We know that addiction is an illness that impacts every walk of life. It also impacts any career position in every industry. We work every day to provide safe, effective and personal recovery plans to every individual we come into contact with.

Another part of providing recovery options to professionals can be to allow EA professionals to get involved in the aftercare process. An EA professional can inquire about policies relating to communication with the source of the referral. If the appropriate consent is given, the EA professional themselves can even become an important part of the recovery team for helping create a discharge and aftercare plan.

Looking at these very important suggestions coming from the Journal of Employee Assistance we are confident in our dedication to providing revolutionary and holistic care above and beyond the addiction treatment outline for EAP professionals. Palm Healthcare Company wants to support you and your clients to create a happier and healthier future. Please call toll-free now for more information.

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Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

At a time like this in America, no one should be naive to the reality of addiction and the devastation it brings. The opioid epidemic impacts people in every city in every state; whether it is through prescription painkiller abuse or heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl on the illicit market. Meanwhile, methamphetamine use has also continued to grow steadily in the background. Other prescription narcotics have become more and more prevalent with misuse, and alcohol remains a legal drug both frequently abused and deadly. Something equally as important as acknowledging addiction is being aware of the options in addiction treatment.

One thing we have to continue to promote is that people seek help, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they think they can afford. Expenses can be an important factor for each individual when trying to find treatment; therefore it is important to remember there are always options available regardless of financial status. At the end of the day, everyone deserves a chance at making it through their adversity.

While the options may be different, they are still out there.

State Funding Rehab Facilities

For those who are extremely limited in their resources the most attainable option may be to pursue a state-funded program. State-funded rehab facilities are cost-free, which is the greatest advantage to seeking help through these programs.

Most states have some form of government-funded addiction treatment. Sadly, some people still see a stigma attached to public assistance programs and they allow it to keep them from getting help. However, for the individual who has little to no income, or with inadequate to no insurance coverage, these organizations provide detox, treatment and support services. State-funded rehabs are often included in other state services such as:

  • Child social services
  • Criminal justice and prison provisions

The funding for treatment may be included as part of these other initiatives.

Some states will offer a variety of therapy options with state-funded programs. Others might not have as many due to limited funding. Some state facilities will not necessarily have access to the same technologies and treatments as private treatment providers.

Private addiction treatment programs often have unique services depending on their approach and treatment model. However, some people still find that state-funded programs are effective in helping them get their start.

Medicaid for Addiction Treatment

One thing that can be a real help to those who are unable to afford a higher level of insurance coverage is access to state-funded health insurance programs.

Medicaid coverage for no insurance rehab is a useful option. Medicaid and Medicare may actually cover both detox and inpatient addiction treatment. Some may even cover outpatient care depending on each programs requirement for eligibility through the state. Through Medicaid or Medicare, an individual who has very limited resources may receive free or low-cost addiction treatment.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what some call “Obamacare” insurance providers are required to cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. Medicaid covers:

  • Screenings

  • Interventions

  • Maintenance and craving medications

  • Family counseling

  • Inpatient care

  • Long-term residential treatment

  • Detox

  • Outpatient visits

  • Other mental health services

In most states, Medicaid recipients don’t even have to worry about a copay for addiction treatment services.

Medicare for Addiction Treatment

Medicare is available for anyone:

  • Over 65 years old
  • With a disability

Medicare does have a monthly premium, but that amount is also based on the individual’s income. So if you make less money you pay less for your coverage.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment can be covered by Medicare. This coverage is provided in a four-part system:

  1. Medicare Part A

Insurance for hospital stays covers up to 60 days without copay with no deductible. But Medicare only covers up to 190 days for a lifetime.

  1. Medicare Part B

This can cover outpatient addiction care at up top 80% of the costs. This includes coverage for therapy, professional interventions, and drugs administered via clinics. This also covers co-occurring disorders like depression.

  1. Medicare Part C

This is Medicare-approved private insurance for those who want to opt for more benefits. It does include more out-of-pocket costs and coverage can vary.

  1. Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D coverage will help cover the cost of addiction medications. Specifically, this form of Medicare helps with medications used to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Combined Coverage

Someone who is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare can actually apply both forms of coverage to their addiction treatment. If you believe that you qualify for these insurance opportunities you can contact a caseworker for assistance with an application.

Once you have obtained coverage for any of these programs, you can research online to find facilities that accept these forms of insurance.

Keep in mind, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicare.

Individual Health Insurance

When examining the options for addiction treatment people who have health insurance, whether privately or through their employment, should research the coverage available through their insurance provider.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 mandates that health insurance companies to balance the alcohol and drug treatment for group plans to the stipulation for standard medical rehab.

Because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as medical conditions, insurance companies have a responsibility for covering the cost of addiction treatment. Substance use disorders are better understood today for their effects both psychiatrically and physically, so major insurance providers make a point these days to offer terms for partial or complete coverage of options for addiction treatment. Many times this coverage will allow for access to quality holistic treatment programs.

Too many people don’t know the extent of which their own insurance covers them. Find out what services are covered by your policy when seeking out care for substance abuse. As far as employers go, your right to addiction treatment is protected by FMLA, while the details of these protections and provisions may differ depending on the state or the individual companies policies.

Private Pay Options in Addiction Treatment

Of course, health insurance is not required to obtain addiction treatment services. Not everyone has insurance, or their insurance might not provide the coverage they need. There are also facilities that cater to a private pay demographic.

All across the country, there are addiction treatment facilities that offer different levels of high-quality and luxury treatment options for those who would prefer to pay cash for services. Many patients who chose to private pay do so for a variety of reasons, and they often find that they require a combination of treatment methods, including:

  • Detoxification

  • Inpatient treatment

  • Outpatient therapy

  • Group counseling

  • Intensive one-on-one counseling

  • Family Program

  • Private recovery coaching

Of course, different programs have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, those who chose to private pay for addiction treatment often do so because they are looking for a very specific approach with a very specific criterion that caters to their own needs.

Executive Treatment Programs

Executive treatment programs are another one of the options in addiction treatment. These facilities cater to clients that wish to pay more for a more private environment with more luxuries. Executive programs are more expensive and are more commonly utilized by CEOs, high-paid professionals, and celebrities.

Many programs that offer executive options for addiction treatment allow for those receiving care to continue working with their businesses or clients while attending individual therapy, support groups, and holistic treatments.

Help is Out There

Addiction is everywhere. Sadly, there are not as many resources as many recovery advocates believe there should be. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find help with addiction and recovery.

But help is out there.

There are accredited holistic treatment programs that maintain their integrity by providing quality care to their clients. These facilities provide high-level services in a safe and comfortable environment while staying at the edge of innovations in treatment. While not all of these companies advertise their contributions, many even provide scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford treatment to have access to their programs.

Meanwhile, we should all look to our politicians and public health officials to create even more options for addiction treatment. Until more support and funding is available for expansion of options for addiction treatment, the resources we have now do everything they can to make a difference.

Palm Healthcare Company has made a commitment to provide effective, innovative and holistic addiction treatment options to those still suffering with substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

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The Deadliest Opioid in America Continues to Claim Lives

The Deadliest Opioid in America

If you think heroin is the deadliest opioid in America, think again. While that might have been the case in the past, things have taken a major shift over the past few years.

Heroin led to nearly 16,000 deaths last year, but another popular opioid surpassed that tragic number.

If you have not guessed already, we are talking about fentanyl.

Fentanyl is an opioid that is over a 100 times stronger than street heroin.  To put that into perspective, transdermal fentanyl is 100-150xs more potent than oral morphine and is often prescribed to treat advanced cancer patients.

Drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl doubled during 2016, accounting for 25% more deaths than heroin, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this week.

In 2016, the data revealed that 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. Out of this number, 20,100 deaths were attributed to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. If we compared those numbers to heroin deaths, that’s an almost 5000 person difference!

The recent data also reveals how unevenly drug deaths are spread throughout the country:

  • In states like Delaware, overdose rates rose 71% between 2016 and 2017 (with 309 deaths during the year).
  • Maryland had an increase of 67% for a total of 2,171 overdose deaths.
  • Of the states that reported data, only Nebraska, Washington and Wyoming saw a decrease in overdose deaths over the past year.

Fentanyl has been getting a great deal of attention as the drug is responsible for the massive increase in overdose fatalities.  For example, last year in Massachusetts, 69% of people who died of an opioid overdose (and had a toxicology screen) had fentanyl in their systems, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Furthermore, in Ohio, fentanyl killed nearly 2,400 people in 2016, which is double the number in comparison to the year prior, according to Cincinatti.com

“It truly is everywhere,” Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), said to USA Today.

Education is Key

Over the summer, the DEA worked to educate first responders about the dangers of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids like carfentanil and acryl fentanyl. These synthetic opioids are strong enough to make even the most casual user overdose and pose a severe threat.

Despite the dangers of addicts receiving a potentially fatal drug, law enforcement officials say the demand for fentanyl continues to rise. This is because fentanyl boost profits for dealers to sell the drug as heroin.

 “You can make it as strong as you want, and in bulk and fast,” said Tim Reagan, a DEA agent in Cincinnati.

Still, law enforcement expects fentanyl seizure to become more of the norm at the end of this year.

“I expect that in fiscal year 2017, the numbers of seizures in the mail and express consignment environment (such as FedEx and UPS) will be much higher than they were last year,” said Robert Perez, an acting commissioner with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency.

Where is it coming from?

Fentanyl is coming from a variety of locations, but one main target is China. China has been singled out as the main source of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Through the dark web, drug dealers are able to purchase fentanyl from websites hosted in China. They then have shipments sent to the US.

According to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seizures of fentanyl arriving by mail have increased significantly:
  • In 2011, 0.09 kilograms of fentanyl were seized by mail
  • In 2016 it rose to 37 kilograms

Unfortunately, officials in the United States are expecting the worse when it comes to the opioid crisis. Experts are looking at current trends, and most believe the opioid crisis will get worse before it gets better.

Did you know the major impact fentanyl was having on the opioid crisis? Sadly, when it comes to using drugs, your next high could be your last. Therefore, make a choice to recover from addiction today. Tomorrow may be too late. Do not wait. We are waiting for your call. Call now.

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Professional Skateboarder Neen Williams Talks about Sobriety and Skating

Professional Skateboarder Neen Williams Talks about Sobriety and Skating

For many years Professional skateboarder Neen Williams lived a life of sleepless nights partying while creating a name for himself in the skater world. Born in Chicago, Illinois and currently shredding street tricks in his hometown of Los Angeles, California Williams has managed to attract sponsorship from several brands including:

  • Deathwish
  • Circa Footwear
  • Thunder Trucks

He also has a line of board designs that are all pretty slick. Neen Williams says he’s been skateboarding since he was about 13 years old, and with the territory he found himself smoking and drinking alcohol on a regular basis. Now, at age 31 he has turned his passion into his point of reference for a more sober approach to life.

Sobriety and Skating

Williams admits that he used to have a very different perspective of the life of a skateboarder himself. In a recent video with VICE he states,

“Skateboarding forever was like ‘drink boozes, smoke, we don’t stretch we don’t work out,’ and later in the interview he explains, “Back in the day I used to wake up late, eat like a burrito and slam a beer; go out and skate, manage to get a trick, and it would just be party time again.”

“It would never stop. It was just like a vicious cycle. There were a couple nights I would wake up at 6 or 7 (PM) and it would be dark outside.”

In that vicious cycle, Williams talks about needing days at a time to recover from drinking and partying, and on the last day when he finally felt good enough to get back to skating he would immediately go back to the partying as well.

He goes on to say that he wishes he had known all of this when he was a teenager, but even at 31 years old he is still learning so much. During part of the video interview Neen Williams says that he knows if you take care of yourself, you can skate forever. That, he says, is why he now makes the effort to eat so well and train his body,

“This is why I do all this healthy stuff for myself… because that is what I want, is to skate forever.”

That seems like a really legit reason to take care of yourself; to do what you love forever!

Originally Williams said he decided not to drink for the 6 to 8 month healing period he was told he would need for a torn ACL. Since then, it appears his lifestyle has changed dramatically to make his dream work.

Health Food and Fitness

Even though some may not immediately associate a balanced and healthy diet, along with regular exercise, it appears to have become a crucial element to Williams’ evolution as a skater.

On VICE Williams prepares a breakfast of acai bowls that honestly look stacked with natural goodness. Williams tops off one of the meals he makes- serious serving of what looks like well-blended fruits and vegetables- with diced pineapples and what I would guess to be barriers, almond butter, and granola, it looks like heaven.

You also get to see Williams break out a yoga mat and start stretching himself out. From there he said since Saturday isn’t a week day, he warms up with a quick 200 in to start the day.

When talking about his workout, he compares it to any other athlete. He says football players train to do what they do and they are covered in pads and protective gear. While he admits football players have 300lbs of muscle falling on them, he says the pro skater is usually out in the bare minimum, if anything, fighting sometimes face-first with concrete.

The Deathwish Team Manager, Jay Thorpe, makes a cameo during a street-side video shoot and says it is “really rad to see” when talking about Williams cleaning up his act and committing to the thing he wants to do for the rest of his life.

Williams says that while he doesn’t judge anyone, and doesn’t regret his party days, he has seen a lot of people fall because of it and he likes what he’s doing now. Probably a big inspiring part of Williams’ story is that he says he is glad he went through it and worked his way out of it to be the person he wants to be.

Athletes are put under a lot of pressure to succeed, even professional skateboarders and other extreme sports athletes. Sometimes the lifestyle of pro-sports stars can influence issues with substance use or addiction. Too many talented individuals are held back by these obstacles, but it never too late to get a fresh start toward a better, healthier expression of yourself. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

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September is National Recovery Month 2017

September is National Recovery Month 2017

September 2017 marks the 27th anniversary of National Recovery Month. The purpose of National Recovery Month is to increase awareness of mental and substance use disorder and celebrate people who DO recover.

The theme for National Recovery Month 2017 is: Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.

This year’s theme highlights the value of family and community support. National Recovery Month invites individuals in recovery and their family members to share their personal stories and successes to inspire and encourage others.

The Purpose of National Recovery Month 2017

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring National Recovery Month.

Back in 1992, Congress established SAMHSA to help make information and services more accessible to those in need of assistance.

SAMHSA Strategic Initiatives have various purposes, including:

  • Providing resources for people with mental and substance use disorders
  • Supporting the families of those struggling with mental and substance use disorders
  • Building resilient and supportive communities
  • Promoting prevention of costly behavioral health problems

National Recovery Month’s overall goal is to educate Americans that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those struggling to live a healthy and rewarding life.

National Recovery Month sends the message that:

  • Treatment is essential and effective
  • Prevention does work
  • People can and do recover

Every September, thousands of prevention, treatment and recovery programs host events and activities intended to educate the public about recovery. There are millions of lives who have been transformed through recovery. National Recovery Month is about raising awareness of the treatment programs out there. It is also about celebrating the successes of those who have recovered.

Broward Recovery Month Celebration

If you live in the South Florida area, you should consider attending a SPECIAL event occurring in Broward County.

Broward’s Recovery Month Celebration:  “honors outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to helping people in our county remain sober.”

Broward Recovery Month invites you to attend a special recovery event on September 9th at the War Memorial Auditorium. The event will occur from 11 – 3 and there will be food, fun, and inspiration for all.  Special guest speakers Heidi and Dug McGuirk will be speaking at this year’s event. Please see our recent article for more information.

The Importance of National Recovery Month

Overall, the mission of National Recovery Month 2017 is to show Americans that addiction and mental illness are not life sentences. There is support out there. There are millions of Americans who have sought treatment and have recovered. Furthermore, through education, we can prevent these conditions from becoming worse. Awareness is the key.

The message that recovery CAN happen changes the face of addiction from one of hopelessness to one of possibilities and success.

There is a way out. Often, the media focuses on those struggling with addiction, however, there are plenty of recovering addicts who have managed to lead successful healthy lives. These successes tend to go unnoticed.

National Recovery Month 2017 helps spread the message of recovery and acknowledge these accomplishments.  If someone you know is struggling with addiction or mental illness, give us a call. There is a way out and we can help. Do not wait. Call toll-free today.

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