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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Addiction Recovery for the Whole Family

Fathers, mothers, siblings, and children are not exempt from experiencing the devastating impact of addiction. Even if, they are not the individuals struggling with mental illness. Addiction is one of the myriad forms of mental health disorder that can derail the lives of family members. Such people often and correctly feel powerless over their loved one’s afflictions.

Since addiction is often left untreated for years – decades even – the illness will send waves of dysfunction across the familial spectrum. It is not uncommon for the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics to develop their own set of issues. The fallout of one person’s disease can cause others to struggle physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Those who love individuals affected by addiction would like nothing more than to see them seek treatment and embrace a program of recovery. However, many of those same people do not realize that a successful outcome in therapy for their loved one is helped along by familial participation.

When persons enter a program of rehabilitation, they learn that almost everything in their life must change in service to progress. The same is also true for family members. The disease of addiction is regularly aided and abetted by those closest to the afflicted. The practice of enabling addictive behaviors cannot continue after discharge. Moreover, families must be instructed how to transcend the denial, shame, guilt, and fear that they feel regarding the issues facing their relative.

Recovery for the Whole Family

Family RecoveryAt Hope By The Sea, we believe that long-term recovery is not reserved for addicts and alcoholics, families also require rehabilitation. To that end, we offer a program for our clients’ loved ones; our mission is to teach family members that, while they cannot change their loved one, they can make personal changes. Such alterations emphasize self-care in order to become the best form of support for their loved one’s recovery and their own.

Right now is a particularly pertinent time to be discussing the far-reaching impact of just one person’s illness. Between February 10 - 16, 2019, the National Association for Children of Addiction or NACoA is asking everyone to observe COA Awareness Week. While addiction impacts the entire family, children are the most vulnerable. Without support, youths are at-risk of experiencing significant problems now and later in life.

"COA Awareness Week breaks the silence that engulfs and traps kids and teens living with parental addiction and offers the chance for children at risk to become children of promise."

NACoA shares some startling facts to help raise awareness about children of addiction, including:
  • One in four children lives in a family impacted by parental addiction.
  • Children living in homes with addiction are the most vulnerable population to develop addiction themselves at some point during their lives.
  • Science validates the emotional and personal damage to developing children in these families, and without support can be passed on to the next generation.
Please follow this link to learn more about how you can get involved with COA Awareness Week. Just taking a moment to share about the event on your social media account can go a long way towards helping young people living with parental addiction. NACoA provides several examples, here is one:  

Whether #alcohol, #opioids, or other substances, the pain and anguish for children living with addiction is the same. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! Learn more during #COAWeek2019 about how everyone has the ability to make the difference in the life of a #COA. https://nacoa.org/coa-awareness-week/


Hope By The Sea's Family Program

At Hope By The Sea, we specialize in helping families struggling with addiction. Please follow the link to learn more about our Family Program and discover how the miracle of recovery is possible for the entire family.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Prince William Tackles Mental Health Stigma

There is a significant need to have open, honest discussions about mental illness. In every sense of the word, mental health illness is a pandemic. In past Hope By The Sea posts, we have brought the fact that depression alone affects more than 300 million people worldwide to our reader's attention. The World Health Organization (WHO) call depression the number one cause of poor health on the planet.

Despite the pervasive and insidious nature of mental illness, few people are willing to speak about their struggles. Let alone reach out for assistance. Without any doubt, stigma is the culprit behind the ever-present silence around mental health conditions. The stigma needs to stop, when men and women struggle in darkness, the outcome is usually dire.

Here in the United States, there exist myriad campaigns to help end the stigma of all mental health problems, including addiction. While public health agencies are usually the spearheads of such movements, several household names have chosen to use their position in the spotlight for good. For instance, the Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps has been working tirelessly to help others get the assistance they require. Overseas, British royals have become vanguards of mental health awareness.

Prince William Calls for Mental Health Action

mental health stigma
Each year, hundreds of global society leaders meet in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Prince William, second in line to the throne of Great Britain, chose the annual forum to implore some of the most influential individuals to join the effort in ending the stigma of mental illness, The New York Times reports. At the event, he brought to light how silence is handed down by preceding generations. He said that silence about mental health is common among his parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

“You know, we all learn from our parents; we all learn from how they deal with things,” William said. Adding that instead “We should talk about it, and we should get over it.”

Prince William believes that staying quiet about mental illness is no longer the path. Along with his wife Catherine and brother Harry, the future king of England launched the Heads Together campaign, according to the article. They hope that world leaders and celebrities will support the effort to break the pattern of silence linked to mental health conditions.

While William and Harry do not have any known history with alcohol or substance use disorder, they have had struggles with their emotions. Their issues stemmed from their trauma of losing their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales; and, that due to the culture of silence, they both struggled with talking openly about their problems. Prince William said his trauma resurfaced when he served as an air ambulance pilot.

“I was dealing with a lot of trauma on a day-in, day-out basis,” said Prince William. “We are all embarrassed by emotions. British people particularly — we are very embarrassed about revealing our emotions.” 

Hopefully, world leaders will answer Prince William's call to break the pattern of stigma, once and for all.


Addiction and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder Treatment

At Hope By The Sea, fighting mental health stigma and encouraging all who require assistance to seek help is a priority. Recovery is possible; please contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health disorder.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Doctor's Depression and Suicidal Ideation

Doctors are life savers. If a person is struggling with a health sickness, then they are likely to consult a physician. We all expect people working in the field of medicine to diagnose and offer us evidence-based treatment to alleviate symptoms. Naturally, the excellent work by doctors goes far beyond the body, those with specialized training can help individuals struggling with diseases of the mind. With treatment, recovery is possible.

In the addiction medicine field, recovery centers specializing in helping people struggling with mental health conditions rely heavily on physicians. Medical doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists are invaluable to the effort of giving people with mental illness – from depression to chemical dependency – a fighting chance.

At Hope By The Sea, people in the earliest stages of recovery benefit from both medication and a host of therapies. Medication mitigates the severity of withdrawal symptoms; pharmacological aids also help patients who meet the criteria for co-occurring mental disorders. More than half of individuals living with addiction contend with conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Without regular sessions with psychiatrists or psychologists, the potential for achieving lasting recovery for such people would be significantly diminished.

It should not take much effort to realize how vital medical professionals are to capital “R” recovery. While people in recovery laud the role of physicians regularly, it can be simple to forget that doctors contend with many of the same problems they aim to treat. This is especially true regarding depression and just like much of the general public, many physicians are reticent to seek help. And again, like the average person, the outcomes of avoiding treatment routinely results in self-medication and in many cases—suicidal ideation. A new survey from Medscape sheds some light on the prevalence of depression and suicide.

Why Are Doctors Depressed and Thinking About Suicide?

doctors with depression
Physicians have a lot on their plate; in many cases, working long hours in places that are understaffed. From the time a person decides to pursue a career in medicine, more study and schooling is required than just about any profession. By the time an individual tacks on the M.D. to their name, it is fair to say they are tired. A more apt description is “burned out.” As a result, some are at risk of experiencing psychological strain.

The new survey from Medscape shows that nearly 44 percent of doctors in America are burned out, Reuters reports. The findings come from 15,000 physicians, in 29 different specialties. More concerning, the responses show that 15 percent are depressed and having suicidal ideations. Medscape points out that one doctor per day ends their life. The suicide rate among doctors is, in fact, higher than in any other field.

It is tempting to think of physicians as having the world at their fingertips, respect and a healthy savings account for instance. For many, the perks of working in a highly respected field do not outweigh the stress of working too much and not being able to provide the care patients deserve due to myriad constraints. The survey shows that depression and burn-out are leading more doctors to early retirement. Other key findings include:
  • 23 percent of men and 21 percent of women turn to alcohol to cope.
  • 20 percent are “feeling like just a cog in a wheel.”
  • 64 percent don’t plan to seek help for depression or burnout, and they haven’t in the past.

“There is a passionate argument surrounding the data and discourse about who’s to blame for this situation,” Dr. Carter Lebares, Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, tells Reuters Health. “Quotes from respondents in the Medscape survey capture this very poignantly: anger over a broken system, loss of time with patients, being asked to sacrifice dwindling personal time to ‘fix ourselves,’ and demoralization that the only way out is to quit or severely curtail our work.”


Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

At Hope By The Sea, we have extensive experience treating people who work in high-stress professions and struggle with mental illness. Please contact us today to learn more about our evidence-based addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment center, and to take the first steps toward finding the miracle of recovery.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Organizations Fighting Addiction In America

Drug addiction in the United States continues to be at the forefront of national discourse. Time and time again, we at Hope By The Sea have covered breaking developments regarding addiction science, prevention, and treatment. We have shared with countless readers the hard realities that face Americans living with untreated use disorders and mental illness. One of our top priorities is to inform as many people as possible that addiction recovery is possible, and that seeking help improves one’s ability to heal significantly.

Addiction science and recovery modalities have changed in many ways over the years. Not long ago, there were few options for people battling mental illness. Today, there are several different programs one can turn to for help, thousands of evidence-based treatment centers, and 12 Step subgroups galore. The centers with distinguished reputations in providing families with relief from mental illness typically rely on a combination of specialized therapies to promote long-term recovery.

While treatment centers like Hope By The Sea are on the front-lines of the American addiction crisis, it is essential to highlight the efforts of several organizations that contribute to ending the stigma of addiction and promoting recovery. Such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine, National Alliance On Mental Illness, and divisions of the National Institutes of Health like NIDA and NIAAA. We would also like to draw your attention to two other organizations who have made serious contributions to the field.

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Center on Addiction Merger

Center on AddictionSince 1992, the Center on Addiction, a science-based, multidisciplinary organization has been dedicated to changing Americans understanding of and response to the disease of addiction. For more than a quarter century, the organization has been a vanguard of addiction research in their quest to develop methods for combating and treating the disease.

The organization has a fascinating history which is worth becoming familiar with, especially since the Center is merging with another vital organization dedicated to fighting the misconceptions surrounding use disorders. As of January 1st, 2019, the Center on Addiction and the Partnership for Drug-free Kids is now one. With the nation facing unprecedented addiction and overdose rates, the need for a coordinated effort is more significant than ever. Many of our readers, and particularly parents, are probably familiar with the Partnership's mission. As their website states, “We are the only national nonprofit committed to supporting the whole family as they address every aspect of substance use and addiction, from prevention to recovery.”

Over the years, The Partnership for Drug-free Kids has created helpful PSAs to educate Americans about both the dangers of substance use and some of the solutions. After careful considerations about how to be most effective in the ever-changing landscape of drug use in the United States, the two organizations felt they could be most effective through collaboration. Creighton Drury, CEO of Center on Addiction, writes:  

This merger is the result of a lot of deep reflection on both organizations’ parts, as well as a desperate need from our country for more leadership in the movement to end addiction. Last year, we witnessed a record number of deaths due to drug overdoses. That is unacceptable. To make a significant impact and save lives, we need more compassion and more innovation. By combining our two organizations, we now have the comprehensive tools we need to truly fulfill our mission: Center on Addiction is dedicated to transform how our nation addresses addiction.


The Miracle of Addiction Recovery Can Be Yours Too

At Hope By The Sea, we invite you to experience the miracle of recovery. We can assist you in taking back your life and teach you how to lead a life free from drugs and alcohol. Our center offers the clients a choice between several different recovery tracks—each one designed to meet the unique needs of each person. Please contact us today to learn more about our innovative addiction recovery and co-occurring disorder programs.

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