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Friday, June 14, 2019

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month

Much like addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can happen to anyone. Those who develop the condition experience debilitating symptoms that can lead to several harmful behaviors. The use of drugs and alcohol to cope with one’s feelings or inability to function and acts of self-harm are exceedingly common among trauma survivors.

June is PTSD Awareness Month; this is an opportunity to raise awareness and encourage men and women to get and give support. Even though post-traumatic stress disorder is treatable, and recovery is attainable, most affected individuals do not receive help. During this vital observance, we would like to do our part to change that reality.

More than 50 percent of men and women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. The National Center for PTSD reports that about 6 of every ten men and 5 of every ten women experience a trauma. About 7 or 8 out of every 100 Americans will have PTSD at some point in their lives; and, some 8 million adults have the condition during a given year.

While combat is most closely associated with trauma and PTSD, this mental health disorder can arise from numerous types of events. Women who are the victims of child abuse or sexual assault have a high risk of dealing with post-traumatic stress. Whereas, the kinds of traumatic events that men are most commonly exposed to include accidents, physical attack, combat, disaster, or to witness death or injury.

Understanding PTSD

There are several symptoms that can affect men and women who contend with post-traumatic stress. Experts break up the condition’s markers into four (4) categories. In order to receive a diagnosis, the National Institute of Mental Health states that an adult must have all of the following for at least one month:
  • Re-experiencing type symptoms: (at least one) recurring, involuntary and intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
  • Avoidance: (at least one) steering clear of certain places or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event.
  • Arousal and Reactivity: (at least two) being easily startled, feeling tense, or outbursts of anger.
  • Cognition and mood symptoms: (at least two) having trouble recalling the event, negative thoughts about one’s self; and, feeling numb, guilty, worried or depressed.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can make functioning at work, at home, and socially a significant challenge. Mental health conditions require treatment, such as psychotherapy, self-management strategies, and medications. Without it, men and women lack the tools for coping with anxiety and flashbacks in a healthy manner.

More than 1 in 4 veterans with PTSD also have substance use disorders, according to the Veterans Health Administration. Moreover, civilians with PTSD were 2 to 4 times more likely to meet criteria for a substance use disorder, according to Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. More than half of the individuals living with the disease have co-occurring addiction.

Substance Use and Co-Occurring PTSD Treatment

At Hope By The Sea, our highly trained staff can assist you or loved one in breaking the cycle of addiction and addressing post-traumatic stress disorder. Please contact us today to learn more about our California Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for men and women. The miracle of recovery can be yours too...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Executives Struggle With Addiction Too

The disease of addiction impacts men and women from all walks of life; this is true regardless of an individual's background. While one’s environment and genetics play a role in who will experience substance abuse issues, both highly successful and the less-than-so are at risk.

Working in the field of addiction medicine, we treat people with diverse backgrounds. From college-age young adults to CEOs from some of the biggest companies, chemical dependency does not discriminate. Some men and women’s conditions progress quickly, while others accelerate slowly.

High-functioning drug addiction and alcoholism are terms usually ascribed to persons who have had professional success. Such individuals are able to hide their condition from their employer by managing to get their work done. Such a skill (for lack of a better word) allows an individual’s problem to progress for years and decades even, before their life begins spiraling out of control.

Managing a company comes with a significant amount of stress. Those who lack the tools to cope with mental turmoil will use drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms. The behavior creates a cycle that can be challenging to break.

More high-achieving professionals are living with an alcohol or substance use disorder than you might think. Moreover, such executives are not immune to the havoc that drugs and alcohol can wreak on the mind and body.

Addiction Among Executives by the Numbers

executives addiction
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is sponsored yearly by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Data from which provides experts with insights about current drug and alcohol use related trends across a spectrum of industries.

Recent data indicates that hundreds of thousands of Americans in management positions have a problem with heavy alcohol and drug use. What’s more, only a small percentage of such executives have had a use disorder diagnosis, and fewer still receive treatment.

Analyzing NSDUH data, Donna M. Bush, Ph.D., F-ABFT, and Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., found that of those in management positions:
  • 1 percent have used illicit drugs at some point within the last month.
  • 9 percent have problems with heavy alcohol use.
  • 11.4 percent living with substance abuse problems have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder.


Executive Addiction Treatment Program

Work is one of the many reasons that more high-achieving professionals avoid seeking recovery services. The thought of abandoning one’s responsibilities for a month or more while seeking help is hardly appealing. Many have concerns that reaching out for support will derail their career.

At Hope By The Sea, we understand how challenging or seemingly impossible it is for some to take time off for addiction and mental health services. However, addiction is a progressive disease; those who do not seek treatment put themselves at significant risk of severe health complications.

With all that in mind, we have created an Executive Addiction Treatment program that is specifically tailored to the needs of high-achieving men and women. Through consultations with executives in recovery and medical and addiction experts, we have designed this specialty treatment track.

Executives who seek our assistance benefit from being able to conduct business on a day-to-day basis remotely. We help men and women break the cycle of addiction, learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways, and set a course for long-term recovery. Please contact us today to learn more.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Stop Opioid Silence Campaign

“SOS” is the Morse code distress signal, a universal call for help, used by anyone in need of assistance. The first recorded use of SOS was in August 1909, according to Mental Floss. When a broken propeller disabled the SS Arapahoe off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the wireless operator sent the signal. The ship’s call was heard by the United Wireless station “HA” at Hatteras.

It’s a last-ditch effort, using SOS; when all seems lost, maybe there is someone who will receive the call for help and send aid. In America, millions of people require support and don’t know where or how to begin the journey of recovery. The truth is that most of the untold number of people struggling with addiction do not know how to ask for help.

Those who struggle with addiction don’t have a means of sending out a distress signal. Sure, men and women can call their family or look up a local treatment center; but, most people are hesitant to do so. At least at first.

Reaching out for help with a disorder that much of society still looks down upon is a harrowing feat for anyone. Stigma is a persistent threat to all individuals living with mental illness. The majority of people living with a mental health disorder feel unable to ask for help for fear of what might follow.

Most addicts and alcoholics live in shame; many feel they are at fault for their condition. Some think that acknowledging that there’s a problem will lead to further indignity. As a result, thousands of men and women die each year from their addiction.

Stop Opioid Silence

opioid use disorder
While many people attach meaning to S (...) O (---) S (...), making acronyms like Save Our Souls, the letters don’t mean anything. Three dots, three dashes, and three dots is just a quick and easy way to inform others about needing aid. However, for specific purposes, there is no harm in attaching significance to the three letters for effect.

As we wrote last week and on many previous occasions, opioid use disorder is a public health crisis of epidemic proportions. Research indicates that the national prevalence of opioid use disorder could be upward of four million to six million people. Roughly 130 Americans perish each day from an overdose involving prescription painkillers, heroin, or synthetic opioids.

There is a solution to addiction in the form of recovery. Those who seek help and are willing to take certain steps can heal from a substance use disorder. Which is why encouraging people to reach out for professional assistance is vital. Men and women need to be made to understand that compassion is out there, and that they are not to blame for their disease.

A new initiative from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids + Center on Addiction, in partnership with Facebook, aims to break the silence of opioid addiction. SOS (“Stop Opioid Silence”) is a public awareness campaign to urge people with opioid use disorders to send a distress signal. Men and women in recovery, as well as their families, are asked to share their stories.

“More than half of all Americans know someone affected by the opioid crisis, and only about one quarter of those with opioid addiction get the treatment they need... It’s time to break the silence around this epidemic and help end the stigma that too often prevents people from speaking up and getting help. Together, we can fight this public health crisis that is killing one of us every 11 minutes.”

“Breaking the silence is the beginning of hope.” – Angel


Addiction Treatment in Southern California

At Hope By The Sea, it is our sincere wish for more people to break the silence of addiction and mental illness. Help is available for all who ask for it; we are available 24/7 to assist individuals trapped in the disease cycle. Please contact us today to learn more about our program and how the miracle of recovery can be yours too.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Opioid Epidemic: Harvard Educational Program

Addiction prevention, treatment, and extended recovery services remain a foremost priority across the country. The battle to end the scourge of opioid misuse, abuse, and use disorder continues as lawmakers persevere to grasp for solutions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

opioid addiction
The American opioid crisis began in hospitals and primary care practices, so it is only fitting that the medical community finds solutions. Putting the onus on physicians does not mean that they alone are to blame for the issues we face today. However, given the unique position providers have in communities, turning to them to effect change is logical.

In recent years, we have made some headway in curbing overprescribing, increasing naloxone availability, and expanding access to addiction treatment. Still, many doctors lack addiction science training; some are unable to identify at-risk patients and divert them to recovery resources.

While changes in prescribing practices have led to more caution and reductions, too many doctors are still doling out narcotics at alarming rates. Substance use disorder is a form of mental illness, a disease that is fatal if left untreated. As such, the nation needs more doctors who can treat opioid addiction.

Those impacted by addiction deserve compassion; they are entitled to the same empathy that someone living with diabetes receives. Educating primary care physicians (PCP) on practical approaches to handling behavioral health disorders, especially doctors in rural-America, is imperative.

Targeting the Opioid Addiction

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is an institution that appreciates the gravity of the situation and is committed to helping communities devastated by the epidemic. Thanks to a generous donation, HMS was able to launch an educational program to confront the opioid scourge in northwest Ohio.

The donation was made by Eugenio Madero, CEO of Rassini International, according to a press release. His company manufactures auto parts in Michigan and Ohio: two states severely impacted by opioid addiction and overdose.

“Given our company’s ties to communities in the Midwest, and particularly Ohio and Michigan, we wanted to contribute to this very important effort,” Madero said. Adding that, “Harvard Medical School is key to helping support impacted communities and shape public policy around this pervasive and destructive health problem.” 

Last month, health care providers and policymakers attended a two-day program hosted by Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio. More than 70 local physicians took part in a continuing education course on treating opioid addiction, the press release reports.

Catherine Finn, the deputy editor for Harvard Health Publishing, led the seminar which presented the latest clinical and research-based information on opioid misuse prevention and treating addiction. The course covered other important topics also, including:
  • Co-occurring behavioral health disorder treatment.
  • Pain management and non-medication approaches.
  • Mindfulness-based practices.
“HMS appreciates the vision, leadership and support of Eugenio Madero and his family. We are so pleased with the success of these initiatives and are committed to bringing opioid awareness, treatment and prevention education to other communities,” said David Roberts, HMS dean for external education.


Southern California Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

At Hope By The Sea, our team of addiction professionals is dedicated to providing evidence-based approaches to treating opioid use disorder. If you or a loved one is in the grips of opioid addiction, then we encourage you to reach out to us for support. Opioid use disorder is a treatable condition, and long-term recovery is possible for anyone.

With our help, we are confident that the miracle of recovery can be yours too. Hope Starts Here!

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