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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holiday Parties In Recovery

Christmas Eve is on the horizon, which means some of you in recovery have invites to holiday parties. It’s quite common for one’s workplace to celebrate the holidays by hosting office Christmas parties. For most people, such gatherings are a welcomed opportunity to imbibe with their coworkers; yet, those in recovery are unlikely to share their teammates' enthusiasm.

The month of December is notoriously difficult for people in recovery, especially for those whose program is not the strongest. Incessant partying and overindulgence all around you can tip the scales of an already shaky program. So, if you fall into that camp and have received an invite to a holiday party, you may want to think long and hard about whether or not you should attend.

Protecting one’s recovery must be one’s priority, at all times. Even if you’ve been slipping on getting to meetings, or “step work,” doesn’t mean you can't exercise caution about events that could jeopardize your program. You put a lot of effort into getting where you are today, please don’t attend a party just because you feel obligated. If you don’t go, you’ll still have a job; if you go and experience a relapse, you stand to lose everything you’ve worked for in the blink of an eye.


Holiday Parties In Recovery

Those in recovery learn the importance of handling Christmas parties with prudence, quickly. If you are new to the program, there are some things you can do to ensure you get through parties without incident. Showing up a little bit late will keep you out of the spotlight; leaving the party before others will prevent you from being around drunkenness. People will likely ask you why you are not imbibing (not that it’s anybody's business), it’s best you have a prescription response formulated for such an eventuality. Being a person with a history of addiction, you shouldn’t have a problem coming up with a believable excuse; i.e., saying you're not drinking right now, you have to drive, or that you're on antibiotics.

Some people like to get smart with responding to their coworkers; others will use humor to avoid unwanted pressure to drink. Any number of excuses will suffice, just find one that you’re confident will do the job. Again, it’s nobody’s business why you choose to abstain, but being prepared will make it easier to keep peers at bay.

Make sure you talk to your sponsor before deciding to attend a party. He or she will have suggestions to share with you, or they may tell you that this is not the right time to take chances with your program. Everyone is at a different place in their recovery, at the moment going to a party might be too big of a risk. Remember, our best intentions can often lead to trouble, which is why we show deference to our peers in the program who have more time and experience dealing with these kinds of circumstances. If your sponsor feels that your head is in the right place and your program is solid enough, there isn’t any reason why you can’t manage a holiday party.


Treatment Over The Holiday

The holiday season often affords some people time off from work. Now, might be a good time to take an extended holiday to address an alcohol or substance use disorder. If drug or alcohol are negatively impacting your life, Hope By The Sea can help. Addiction recovery can be your New Year’s resolution, one that brings about lasting changes in your life. Please contact us today to begin the life-saving process of recovery.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Addiction On Stage and Screen

Christmas time usually affords Americans some downtime; for many people that means traveling, for others, the couch is a dream come true. If you fall into either camp, it likely you will be on the lookout for entertainment. It’s important to relax and seek out happiness to counter the stress the accompanies the holidays; however, it’s always a bonus if one can learn something from theatre, movies, and television. The topic of addiction is arguably more relevant than ever, a reality not lost on Broadway and Hollywood.


Addiction On Stage


addictionGoing to the theatre is not everyone’s cup of tea, you either love it or you don’t. Some people prefer musicals, while others fancy drama; if you prefer the latter then you might be interested in some of the performances listed below, all of which deal with addiction. Naturally, New York City is home to Broadway, so the list below is only pertinent to those traveling on the east coast soon.

“Addiction is in the national psyche, especially now,” points out Scott Elliott to MarketWatch, he’s the director of “Downtown Race Riot, currently on stage at the Pershing Square Signature Center. “People are talking about it so much and realizing that a lot of sophisticated people have opioid addictions. That has woken people up and permeated through the culture.”
  • Downtown Race Riot” features a mother addicted to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol during the 1976 riot in New York’s Washington Square Park.
  • “People, Places and Things,” is about a drug- and alcohol-addicted actress' journey to recovery, just completed a sell-out run at Brooklyn theater St Ann’s Warehouse.
  • “Harry Clarke,” a one-man play starring Billy Crudup at the Vineyard Theatre, features substance abuse.


Addiction in Film & TV

Hollywood has a long history of turning the spotlight on addiction and other mental health conditions. Given the prevalence of substance use disorder in America today, 2017 has been no exception. If you find yourself with some downtime this holiday season, you might be interested in watching some of the features listed below.

“Filmmakers like to reflect on, and be inspired by, what’s going on around them and with the opioid crisis affecting so many people, it’s no wonder they’re attracted to this subject in increasing number,” said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore Senior Analyst. “Addiction is rife with cinematic and humanistic sensibilities.”
  • The Glass Castle” starring Brie Larson, chronicles a daughter's struggle with her alcoholic father.
  • “Stronger” featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, deals with addiction.
  • “Small Town Crime” features John Hawkes, as an alcoholic ex-cop.
  • “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” starring Jennifer Garner and Alicia Silverstone, focuses on drugs.
  • “Meth Storm” on HBO and “Heroin(e)” on Netflix are documentaries that deal with methamphetamine and heroin use, respectively.
The list of movies and TV shows that handle the topic of addiction this year is much longer, but we thought it pertinent to give readers a starting point. It’s vital that filmmakers continue to divert national attention towards this most important subject matter. Forcing the general public to grasp the struggle that millions of Americans go through each year helps to break down the stigma of mental health disorders.


Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Hope By the Sea can assist you in beginning the process of lasting recovery. Please contact us today for a free consultation.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

FDA Approves Injectable Suboxone

If you are living with opioid use disorder, or have sought treatment for the condition, then you’ve probably heard of or used various drugs to treat the addiction. Buprenorphine is one such drug, regularly used in detox and treatment settings, typically in the form of Suboxone or Subutex. Regarding the former medication, the formula contains buprenorphine and naloxone (yes, the same drug used to reverse the deadly symptoms of an opioid overdose).

Drugs like Suboxone help people in the early weeks of recovery navigate both acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms. The medication comes in the form of dissolvable film strips that patients take sublingually (under the tongue). Suboxone is not the only medication on the market that has shown promise in the treatment of opioid use disorder, in recent years addiction experts have turned to Vivitrol (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension), a drug that may help people with the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms occurring after stopping prescription opioid or heroin use.

Both buprenorphine and naltrexone have helped many an addict overcome the grip of addiction; however, there have long been concerns about the former for the fact that it causes euphoria and is often diverted for no medical use. Indivior, the maker of Suboxone, may have found a solution the above problem.

Sublocade: Injectable Suboxone?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an injectable version of Suboxone, known as Sublocade, STAT reports. The injection, containing long-acting buprenorphine, received 18 to 1 support from an FDA advisory panel. The drug is administered to patients abdominally by doctors or health professionals.

“It’s potentially a game changer,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University. “This could become first-line [medication] for opioid addiction. It could open up opportunities for getting more patients on buprenorphine.” 

Unlike Vivitrol, full detoxification isn't a prerequisite before patients can start Sublocade injections; however, they will need to take sublingual buprenorphine for at least seven days before their first infusion, according to the article. The FDA is expected to approve a second form of injectable buprenorphine that was submitted for approval and produced by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals.

One of the chief complaints about Suboxone and arguments against relying on buprenorphine is that it can be habit-forming. Some people argue that opioid addicts are just switching from one addictive substance to the next.

“There’s still a tremendous amount of stigma among patients and in communities about taking any opioid agonist in treatment,” said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, associate chief of general internal medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. “I hope that a reduction in potential diversion [from long-acting buprenorphine] may get more providers to offer buprenorphine [of all kinds]. The more options the better, so we can match treatment to patients’ needs.”


Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, there is hope. While addiction has no known cure, it is a treatable condition; long-term recovery is possible provided one has the opportunity. At Hope By The Sea, we can help you break the cycle of opioid use disorder starting with detox, then followed by residential treatment, and aftercare. Please contact us today to begin your journey of lasting recovery.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Winehouse Legacy Helps Young Women In The UK

Beyond all the glittering lights of show business, there is a far more tragic side worth consideration; many of the people that society looks up to and kids dream of becoming one day, actually have severe mental health problems, not the least of which addiction. We don’t need to create a long list of all the celebrities who lost their battle with addiction after all the list grows longer with each year that passes. Prince died of a fentanyl overdose last year, the American rapper and singer Lil Peep fell victim to a suspected Xanax overdose this year—so the story goes, people who are unable to adopt a program of recovery are at high risk.

addictionIt doesn’t seem like it has been that long since English singer and songwriter, Amy Winehouse, passed away from fatal alcohol poisoning. Up until the time of her death in 2011, Amy had struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder, a condition she wasn’t particularly shy about sharing with the public. Who could forget her hit song “Rehab,” with the opening line, “They tried to make me go to rehab but I said, 'No, no, no.'" However, in the time leading up to her premature death Winehouse did in fact seek help via doctors and treatment; she did manage to abstain from using drugs and alcohol for brief stints of time. In the end, she was unable to escape the powerful grip of alcohol.

Winehouse’s story is, like so many others, one of tragedy; an amazing talent whose mental illness proved too difficult for her to overcome. While her death at the age of 27 was a tremendous loss for Amy’s family and saddened millions of people around the globe, her legacy is helping young women have a future free from drugs and alcohol.


Amy’s Place

Addiction treatment saves lives by giving people tools and coping skills for living life on life’s terms. The majority of individuals who make the courageous decision to take steps in breaking the cycle of addiction are introduced to a spiritual program of recovery, typically the 12 Steps. Those who go through treatment are in a position to continue their efforts outside of rehab, although many people struggle to avoid triggers and keep cravings at bay in their first year after discharge. Due to that reality, counselors encourage clients to utilize intensive outpatient programs (IOP), sober living homes, or some other form of transitive care.

The longer people stay involved with centers of recovery, the more equipped they are to handle the hurdles of life that can precipitate relapse. In an effort to prevent young women from following in Amy’s tragic footsteps, the Amy Winehouse Foundation created Amy’s Place, iNews reports. The center opened in 2016 for young women under 30 who have experienced addiction; Amy’s Place is the only recovery center in the UK committed solely to young women recovering from addiction. The eponymous recovery house helps young women transition from treatment to everyday life. Clients can come and go as they please but have to do specific activities, groups, and volunteer. Some of the young women in the program have been there for around a year, and they can stay as long as two years.


Addiction Treatment

If you are a young woman in the grips of alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact Hope By the Sea. We can assist you in learning how to live a life in recovery, one day at a time. We will give you the tools for coping with the obstacles of life, without drugs and alcohol.

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