Can the news from the Centers for Disease Control about 2017 drug overdoses BE any bleaker? The years 2016-2017 saw a record number of people dying from overdoses, which was more deaths than from guns, car crashes, or H.I.V.
Someone has done an analysis. Drugs are deadlier now (often due to mixing them with other substances besides the main drug), and more people are using. The good news is that where the deadlier drugs arrived earliest, such as in New England, some states are seeing the number of overdoses drop. Could that be from diligent public health campaigns and offering more addiction treatment, which they were hitting the problem with?
However, the writer reminds readers that you can’t totally trust the numbers. With an epidemic like the Zika virus, an infectious disease, people sought help, and public health officials moved, quickly. But with addiction, there’s that pesky STIGMA (detailed in an earlier post on this site this month), so that drug users may not have been truthful about their drug use when polled. Also, some drug users don’t have telephones or are hard to reach, and some deaths take longer to be researched and reported than others.
Deaths from Drug Addiction
As mentioned earlier, another reason for the astronomical number of deaths is that the drug supply is changing, as noted by an associate professor at the Brown University of Public Health. Fentanyl is being added to heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, and even anti-anxiety medicines known as benzos, or benzodiazepines. (Stay tuned for a post on older people mixing benzos with opioids.) That’s especially bad news for “older, urban black Americans; those who used heroin before the recent changes to the drug supply might be unprepared for the strength of the new mixtures,” according to the article.
The East seems to be in a better position than the Midwest relative to this one part of the epidemic, because heroin that makes it way to the West is usually “processed into a form known as black tar that is difficult to mix with synthetic drugs.” The East, however, usually has a white powder that combines well with fentanyl.
Let’s hope that Dayton, Ohio, which has been in the news as a “hot spot” for opioid use, is the way of the future for other states. The county has a new emergency response strategy, is utilizing federal and state grants to combat drug use, and has reduced opioid prescribing and provided addiction treatment to prisoners in jails.
Drug Addiction Treatment Centers
There are other hopeful signs: Congress may step in with bills that mandate reductions in prescribing opioids, among other things, and along the same lines, experts are reminding people that we need more funding of public health programs.
There’s yet another action that might help which requires no funding and little effort. A behavioral economist at the University of California and the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for Los Angeles County wrote an opinion column to suggest that medical examiners and coroners tell doctors when their patients die of overdoses. They wrote that they believe that more careful prescribing would result if doctors were told, and they even set up a trial in San Diego County in 2015 to test their thesis.
They had a letter sent to half the doctors in the study who had prescribed opioids about that doctor’s patient’s death after each one happened. The letter wasn’t threatening “and gave the clinician a path toward safer prescribing.” The results of the study indicated doctors did reduce their prescribing and started fewer patients on opioids.
Every little bit helps, or at least people are trying.
For more information on our drug addiction treatment centers contact our rehab in California, Summit Estate, by calling (866) 569-9391
Driving and Smoking
When it first appeared that recreational marijuana would be approved across the country, one of the concerns brought up was about users driving under the influence. When someone drives and drinks, you can ask him or her to walk a straight line, take a breathalyzer test, and so on, but determining if someone is high on pot is a problem. LiveScience reports that there’s no way to measure marijuana with a breathalyzer, so researchers use blood tests, but blood concentrations of marijuana’s active ingredient THC “can stay persistently high in chronic users” so that’s not a good test. In traffic-fatality studies, any amount of THC in the blood, no matter how tiny, counts as a positive drug test. So at least some of the smokers whose deaths are counted in studies may not have been high at the time of the accident. However, a study in JAMA reported in April contains data on car crashes after parties held on April 20, the day that smokers often get together and celebrate, and it’s not good. Based on 25 years of data, it seems that in fatal accidents between 4:20 p.m. and midnight each year, “there was a 12 percent increased risk of a fatal car crash compared with the control dates.”
Getting sick from Marijuana
How do you pass the word that marijuana can make you very very sick? Through the general media, and blogs like this. An article in April might surprise you because it was so unexpected. A heavy marijuana smoker began vomiting and experienced pain to such an extent that he was laid low every few weeks, for years. He tried on antidepressants, anti-nausea and anti-anxiety drugs, and…nothing. There were trips to the ER. He had his appendix and his gallbladder out and two endoscopies, and saw a psychiatrist. The only relief he could get was from taking a hot shower. About 10 years later, a doctor finally convinced him he had a disorder linked to his smoking. The man had C.H.S., cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes cyclic vomiting in heavy marijuana users. The only thing that stops it is to stop smoking weed. Marijuana smokers suffering from C.H.S are showing up more frequently in ERs, and it’s become a common problem in the last five years, according to medical professionals interviewed for the article. (People likely are more prone to admit to the amount of their smoking since marijuana has become legalized in more states.
Medication from Medical Marijuana
Unbelievably, a couple million are affected. Doctors aren’t even sure why vomiting occurs, especially when pot is used to cure nausea. But the effects can be devastating. Some smokers have lost jobs because they miss so much work going to doctors, and one person cited had broken bones from vomiting. Another went so far as to have exploratory surgery to check for a bowel obstruction. Drug for epilepsy coming from marijuana ingredient Who would have thought it? Cannabidiol, found in marijuana, can help epilepsy and is found in a drug called Epidiolex that is about to become the first “cannabis-derived medication” in the U.S. An F.D.A. advisory panel has recommended that it be approved, and it’s assumed that wen this happens, the drug is. The active ingredient does not make people high, which distinguishes this medication from medical marijuana. Designated an “orphan drug,” Epidiolex is thought to be especially helpful for two rare forms of epilepsy whose seizures have not responded to current medication. For more information please contact our luxury drug rehab in California at (866) 569-9391.
Recovery is extremely difficult but it can offer you the opportunity to change your life. Addicted individuals will use a drug of choice to help deal with their problems. This means that they often lack the skills needed to handle difficult situations in a recovery situation. In this case, California rehab centers come in handy to make a real change in life.
It takes time, commitment and hard work to learn how to deal with what life brings your way while you are trying to stay sober. Addiction does not necessarily have to lock you into an endless cycle of destructive behavior. Many individuals have proved that it is possible to recover and change.
Addiction involves lying to yourself and others. You use alcohol or drugs to escape from your emotions. It’s not easy to face up to these emotions but it has to be done if you want to recover. You have the opportunity to find out who you are without the crutch you have been using to cope with them. This will bring you to a better understanding of yourself and what lead to your addiction in the first place. And it’s an important step forward at the moment you decide to have a private drug treatment.
We all know about taking one day at a time. This is actually talking about being in the present moment instead of living in the past or the future. You cannot afford to carry your guilt with you and worry about your past or be anxious about how the future will work out for you. This just causes despair. Struggles need to be handled as they arise. If you face each issue as it arises, you will be less overwhelmed and will be able to take one step at a time.
Recovery requires commitment. Successful recovery depends on being committed to the idea of building a new, positive life for yourself and making this your reward for staying sober instead of the temporary reward that comes from using drugs or alcohol.
Come to the realization that if you have been able to overcome addiction, you can overcome any other struggles that come your way. Using alcohol or drugs only temporarily numbs your pain but creates more struggles in the long run. Facing up to life’s difficulties can be a learning experience. Everyone has struggles in their lives and overcoming them can help you to become a stronger person.
If you fill your free time with healthy activities, you give yourself the best chance of staying sober. When you’re in treatment, your time is dedicated to what supports your recovery. Once out of treatment it may be hard to keep that momentum and it helps to establish a healthy routine that includes some stress-relieving exercise.
If you are not really committed to changing and others have coerced you into it, you are more likely to fail. You will succeed when you realize that your addiction interferes with building a happy life and when you develop the confidence that you can change. When you want to change badly enough, you are able to face the challenges and remain strong.
Summit Estate can provide you with the help you’re looking for. Please call (866) 569-9391 for more information about our programs and locations.
There’s an old adage that family is where life begins and love never ends. The bond established between a newborn infant and a doting parent may be the most powerful connection on Earth. The love that parents feel for their children can move mountains. The profound connection between siblings lasts a lifetime. There’s simply no denying that family emotions run deep.
Helping A Family Member Who Is An Alcoholic
Yet, what happens when alcohol causes a family member to go from being your best friend to someone you don’t recognize. What if your mother, father, sister or brother crosses over from being a social drinker into a problem drinker? It doesn’t happen overnight, and families often socialize and drink together. In fact, it seems that the unconditional love and support that families provide can also serve as obstacles that prevent alcoholics from getting effective treatment.
Break Through Denial
One of the trickiest parts of dealing with an alcoholic is being able to communicate about the problem. Denial is a core element of alcoholism which means most alcoholics are reluctant to openly admit that anything is wrong. In fact, they will often go to great lengths to hide their problem – especially from family members and other loved ones. Keeping open communication and avoiding judgmental dialog can be particularly beneficial during the early efforts in getting a family member into treatment.
The desire to help a family member is natural. However, certain types of help can be detrimental to an alcoholic. Enabling in the form of providing monetary support, shelter, or legal assistance often worsens the problem. Help should be squarely focused on getting the alcoholic the treatment they need.
Focus On The Family
Often, the alcoholic demands an excessive amount of attention which can leave family members feeling neglected and resentful. While there needs to be a goal of getting the individual the treatment required, the focus must remain on the health of the family. Balancing life and managing a relationship with an alcoholic is never easy. For many, a support group can help alleviate some of the negative emotions associated with dealing with an alcoholic family member.
Do You Have An Alcoholic Family Member Who Needs Help?
While alcoholism is a family disease, this doesn’t mean that it should be solely contained within the family. Professional treatment can provide the foundation for a lifetime of recovery. To learn more about treatment for alcoholism, call now to speak with an addiction specialist at Summit Estate.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is treatment modality offered within most professional addiction treatment programs. As a research-based treatment, CBT is both problem-focused and goal-oriented to help recovering addicts change harmful thought patterns.
How is CBT effective? One of the most common traits in alcoholics and drug addicts is destructive thinking or thought patterns. Without gaining an understanding of these, it’s very difficult to overcome the grip of addiction. Understanding or “cognition” of thought patterns is necessary for healing and overcoming negative thoughts and behaviors. With CBT, individuals work towards understanding patterns of behavior that lead to self-destructive actions and beliefs, as well as developing alternatives thinking processes that can be incorporated into everyday life.
How Is CBT Different Than Traditional Psychotherapy?
Unlike psychodynamic psychotherapy which is focused on working with a therapist to help recovery from a specific mental illness, CBT is problem-focused and goal-oriented to address the symptoms of mental illness. By exploring the thinking behind the self-destructive actions and beliefs, individuals with mental illness can alter thinking patterns to improve behaviors and coping skills. Negative thinking is a key component of depression and anxiety, as well as addiction. With all three types of mental illness, destructive thoughts are at play causing a sense of powerlessness and a lack of control. CBT works to recognize dysfunctional thinking and alter behaviors as part of a treatment plan.
How CBT Fits In With Addiction Treatment
Cognitive behavioral therapy sessions can be relatively short, especially when compared with psychodynamic psychotherapy. Thus, it can be integrated into an addiction treatment program regardless if its 30 days, 90 days or longer. For many individuals entering treatment, there are underlying co-occurring mental health issues that can be helped by CBT. From the first days of treatment, individuals can start to work on recognizing negative thoughts, cognitive distortions and perceptions. From there, emphasis can be placed on psycho-education, skills training and cognitive restructuring.
The Benefits Of A Professional Treatment Program
One of the primary reasons why a professional addiction treatment program offers substantial benefits over going “cold turkey” is being able to access research-based treatment such as CBT that help support long-term recovery by changing negative thought patterns. Want to learn more about how a professional treatment program can help you or a loved one overcome addiction? Call Summit Estate now to speak with an addiction specialist
When Does Private Drug Rehab Matter?
Making the decision to seek treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction is very personal. You may have been supported by your friends and family, or you may have come to the decision on your own. Either way, you are probably not ready to let the cat out of the bag to everyone. A private rehab can also be important if you’re in a position where the knowledge of your addiction treatment would not be ideal, such as an executive in a well-known company, seeking a political career, a leader in the community, etc. Right now you want to focus on your recovery and work through your problems without any distraction.
You Decide Who Knows Or Who Doesn’t
When you commit to a private drug and alcohol rehab in San Jose such as Summit Estate, no one will be informed of your participation aside from your insurance company and the individuals you choose to tell. However, most clients have specific individuals that they include in their care. We will coordinate with these individuals and keep them updated on your progress. When first coming to treatment, you will fill out a “release of information” form. This document outlines what type of information can be shared with each party. Clients appreciate this because they are able to keep loved ones in the loop without revealing too much. We want you to feel comfortable in opening up during your counseling sessions without worrying about what your loved ones will find out.
Optimal Staff-to-Client Ratio
At Summit Estate, we are also happy to report that our private drug rehab program has a very intimate setting. We are a six-bed facility located in northern California. We have 30 staff members and a maximum of six clients at a time. Because of this ideal staff-to-client ratio, each client gets highly personalized treatment.
Confidentiality Amongst Peers
Each one of our clients is educated on our privacy requirements and expected to follow them. We take confidentiality very seriously and expect our clients to as well.
Private And Serene Rehab In The San Jose AreaOur private and serene setting coupled with our luxury atmosphere includes a spa, yoga studio, private gym, professionally decorated bedrooms and more. We’re also perfectly situated on 23 acres of gardens, orchards and hiking trails as well as our own fishing lake. These amenities are what sets our treatment center apart from the rest. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse and want to seek personalized treatment in a private and serene setting in the San Jose area, contact Summit Estate Recovery Center today. We will treat you with the respect and care that you deserve. Call now. Learn More About Our Private Rehab In The San Jose Area
The holidays are a time for friends, family and celebrations. Unfortunately, they are also the time when accidents involving drunk or drugged drivers increase. Because of this, the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration had deemed December National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention/Awareness Month to help educate the public of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The best way to stay safe during this month of celebration and beyond is to understand the very real risks of drugs and alcohol, to commit to always driving sober and to stick to the following tips.
Tips For A Safe Holiday Season
The following tips for a safe holiday can help you have fun and enjoy the season without risking the chance of getting a DUI or causing an accident due to drug or alcohol use.
With a full calendar of office parties and holiday get-togethers, it’s easy to find yourself under the influence and away from home. It’s much easier to designate a driver to get you home safely before you’re under the influence. Planning ahead before you head out to celebrate can keep you safe and prevent an accident.
Take The Keys
What if you see someone you know stagger out of a party and into their car? Like the slogan goes, “friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” If we all applied this rule of thumb, there would be far fewer injuries and deaths due to drunk or drugged driving. Yes, it can be difficult to stop someone who is drunk or high from getting behind the wheel, but it’s far easier than having to feel partially responsible for a needless accident. Offer a ride, pay the cab fare or let someone sleep over. Just don’t let anyone drive when they are unable to safely do so.
Be A Responsible Host
As the host of a party, you have a responsibility to ensure your guests get home safely. This can be accomplished by offering transportation to and from the event, serving non-alcoholic beverages and cutting off the alcohol at least an hour or more before the party ends.
Do You Need Help Getting Or Staying Sober?
The holidays can be a difficult time for those who are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. However, help is available. If you or a loved one needs help, call the caring, professional staff at Summit Estate. With a single phone call, you can begin the journey of recovery. Read More Tips For Surviving The Holidays Sober