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Monday, September 10, 2018

High Rates of Stress Events, Suicidality Among College Students

suicide and college students
With college comes an increased risk of stressful events and mental health challenges, including the risk of suicide. In fact, one in five college students reported thoughts of suicide in the past year, according to a study of more than 67,000 college students across more than 100 colleges. The results were published in the journal Depression & Anxiety. 

"Some stressful events cannot be prevented and, in some cases, are completely normal. But for others, a plan should be in place for family, friends, and colleges to provide support," said lead author Cindy Liu, PhD, of the Departments of Pediatric Newborn Medicine and Psychiatry at BWH, in a statement. “Our study highlights an urgent need to help students reduce their experience of overwhelming levels of stress during college."

Luckily, adds Liu, there’s greater awareness and less stigma on college campuses today about mental health. And this study comes during National Recovery Month, sponsored each September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. 

Liu and her colleagues analyzed results from a survey by the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA), which asked students a variety of questions related to depression and anxiety, including: 
  • Have you been diagnosed or treated for a mental health issue?
  • Have you engaged in self harm, considered suicide or attempted suicide?
  • How many stressful events, ranging from academics to family problems to sleep difficulties, have you experienced in the last year?
According to the study, one in four students reported being diagnosed with or treated for a mental health disorder in the prior year. And one-fifth of all students surveyed had thought about suicide, with 9 percent reporting having attempted suicide and nearly 20 percent reporting self-injury. Sexual minorities showed elevated rates of mental health disorders and suicidality/self-injury and the authors suspect that mental health issues may be underreported for racial/ethnic minorities. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
Suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students, with someone between the ages of 15 and 24 dying every two hours and 12 minutes. At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is causing or complicating substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673. 






Monday, August 27, 2018

Binge Drinking Puts Your Heart at Risk and More

Binge drinking can cause much more than a bad hangover. It can take a major toll on your ticker. 

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that young adults who binge drink have an increased risk of such heart risk factors as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and higher blood sugar levels. 

Researchers defined binge drinking as five drinks or more in a row for men and four or more drinks for women – and frequent binge drinkers repeated this behavior more than 12 times a year.

These findings are especially important considering the “pervasiveness, intensity and regularity of binge drinking” among today’s youth, lead researcher Mariann Piano, told HealthDay.

The study showed that young men who frequently binge drank had higher systolic blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels, setting themselves up for future heart trouble, Dr. Richard Becker, director of the University of Cincinnati's Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, told HD.

"Hypertension and high cholesterol are powerful risk factors for cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and death," Becker said. "They represent global health problems of unparalleled proportion that not only continues to increase, but are being detected at younger ages."

What’s more, researchers found a link between binge drinking and excessive consumption of junk food. Young women were found to have higher levels of blood glucose, increasing their diabetes risk, Piano said.

The takeaway: Binge drinking can result in serious safety, academic and health risks. "It's really important that young adults understand that what they do in their youth can affect their health later in life," Piano said.

Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse 
Binge drinking in adolescence can also increase your risk of developing an alcohol use disorder later in life. If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, Hope Academy can help you get the help you need today. To learn more about our young adult alcohol rehab, call toll-free today: 866-930-4673.


Monday, August 20, 2018

College Students Suffer Secondary Exposure to Opioid Addiction

Do you know someone addicted to opioids? If you answered, yes, you’re not alone A new study by researchers from Penn State University Lehigh Valley found that roughly one in five college students know someone who was addicted to opioids. And, of that number, roughly one-third knew someone who had overdosed on painkillers.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the findings: 
  • 20.5 percent said they currently know someone who is addicted to pain meds.
  • 32.5 percent said they knew somebody who overdosed on either painkillers or heroin.
  • 15 percent reported worrying that someone they knew may be misusing pain medication.
  • Women were twice as likely to report having intimate ties to those who misuse or overdose on opioids.
These findings confirm what many addiction experts already know: family members and friends of loved ones of those addicted to painkillers are also feeling the effects of the opioid epidemic. 

"Since the beginning of the opioid epidemic, public debate and prevention strategies have focused on the primary victims, misusers themselves, while surprisingly little attention has been paid to the burdens felt and experienced by those who are intimately or socially tied to them," said lead researcher Jennifer Parker, who is an associate professor of sociology at PSU Lehigh Valley.

The researchers hope that these findings will encourage others to delve deeper into how secondary exposure to the opioid epidemic will impact the students’ mental and physical health as well as academic performance. "It makes me sad to think that so many [students] are carrying around this worry because being a student in today's world is already hard enough," Erica Hughes, an undergraduate student in Health Policy Administration, said in a statement.

Sobriety College at Hope Academy
If your friend or family member is a college student struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. At Hope Academy, we provide the safety and support students need to succeed in school and at sobriety. To learn more about our sobriety college, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, August 13, 2018

4 Ways to Boost Your Recovery

In addition to following your treatment plan, there are several steps you can take to enhance your recovery and heal your mind, body and spirit. And, in fact, these activities can help you long after rehab as you work to succeed in school, life and sobriety. 
  • Add exercise to your every day: Making exercise part of your recovery plan is a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and other negative emotions common in recovery. Youll also boost your self-confidence and have a go-to activity to stay busy during those times when you need a healthy distraction. 
  • Make positive thinking a habit. Keeping negative thoughts – like anger, resentment or guilt – at bay is a challenge for many people in recovery. But a big part of staying sober is adopting a healthy mindset – and this means making an effort to think more positively (or to not indulge in negative thought patterns) about yourself and the world around you. 
  • Feed your body. Proper nutrition will give your body the key nutrients and vitamins needed to heal from the damage of substance abuse. By eating healthy, real foods, youll also have more energy and focus to complete recovery tasks. Remember to drink lots of water (to flush out those toxins) and aim for a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean protein. 
  • Write out your feelings. Journaling is a cathartic way to begin or end your day. And theres no rules: Use the blank page to get out your feelings, write about your recovery experiences or track your progress. 
Giving Young Adults the Skills for Lifelong Recovery
Overcoming addiction is challenging, but it’s possible. At Hope Academy, our young adult addiction program will help you or someone you love manage life and school without the crutch of drugs and/or alcohol. To learn more about our addiction recovery services or verify your insurance, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Common Issues for Freshman Year - And How to Deal

Freshman year of college can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Here we take a look at some of the issues you might experience – along with tips on how to survive and thrive during your first year of school. 
  • Feelings of sadness and loneliness. These emotions are pretty normal and making time to get involved in sober campus activities and study groups and staying connected via social media with friends and family can help. If these feelings become more intense, however, and interfere with daily life, it’s best to seek help. Many experts say that college presents a so-called “perfect storm” for mental health issues, In fact, nearly 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin by age 24.
  • Lack of sleep. It’s not a secret that the majority of college students are sleep deprived – but sleep is vital to your academic and recovery success. Cut back on the caffeinated beverages, practice nighttime relaxation strategies and try to stick to a consistent sleep/wake schedule when possible. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye each night. 
  • Weight gain. While you won’t necessarily pack on the “freshman 15,” weight management is a real issue for many freshman. Do your best to avoid processed, sugary foods, drink plenty of water, manage stress eating and schedule exercise into your daily routine.   
  • Time management. Balancing schoolwork and recovery can be overwhelming for even the most organized student. Do your best to manage your time and set realistic goals; consider investing in a daily planner and using the calendar app and “notebook” feature on your smartphone to set reminders for important deadlines or meetings. And, if you’re stressed out, take a break, stretch, go for a quick walk or call a friend. 
Finding Support at Hope Academy
Stressors inevitably arise as you begin working toward your academic and career goals. The professionals at Hope Academy sobriety college can teach you to manage these pressures without resorting to substance abuse. In addition to providing a therapeutic environment for recovery, college attendance, and career planning, Hope Academy offers one-on-one coaching opportunities for residents. Call 866-930-4673 now to learn more.




Monday, July 23, 2018

6 Ways to Support Your Loved One in Recovery

support loved one in recovery
The road to recovery is difficult for both the individual suffering from a substance use disorder and his or her loved ones. In fact, addiction is often called a family disease; family support is crucial for lasting sobriety. 

That said, it’s not always easy knowing what steps to take to show your support and help your loved one have a shot at a successful recovery. 

Here’s help: 
  • Educate yourself. Learning as much as you can about addiction will help prevent you from blaming your loved one and will help you better understand what your loved one will go through during treatment. 
  • Consider therapy. Both individual and family therapy can help you address your own emotions, including the challenges of loving someone struggling with addiction. Plus, participating in family therapy shows your loved one that you want to be involved in their recovery.
  • Seek support. Attending support groups for loved ones of addicts in recovery is an excellent way to combat any feeling of isolation you may be experiencing. Talking openly about your experiences and challenges with others who “get it” is the perfect remedy to prevent loneliness.
  • Practice self-care. The better you feel, the better you’ll be able to care for your loved one. Do your best to prioritize your own health and wellbeing. This means getting plenty of sleep, eating well, exercising and doing things you enjoy.
  • Prepare a relapse prevention plan. Family members also need a plan in case their loved one relapses. Family therapy is often a safe space to figure out what to do and how to respond if relapse occurs. 
  • Be patient. Recovery is a lifelong journey that requires patience (from you and your loved one) as you both navigate the ups and downs and highs and lows of sober life. 

Family Support at Hope Academy 
We know the importance of family involvement and healing in addiction recovery. That’s why we help the parents of our young adults heal themselves as they learn to better support their child. If your son or daughter has a substance abuse problem, act now. Call today: 866-930-4673.





Monday, July 16, 2018

Getting Organized for a Better College Recovery

getting organizedIt’s never too early to start getting organized for the upcoming school year – and to take steps to make organization part of your overall recovery and good-health plan. 

Staying organized can help eliminate stress and allow you to better stick to your schedule – both important for the academic year and lasting sobriety. Start with these tips: 
  • Make mornings count. Set your alarm a few minutes early so you can take time to write your to-dos, in order of importance. Make it a daily habit as you sip your morning coffee or tea. 
  • Slow down on Sundays. Before the chaos of the week, take time on Sunday to plan for the week ahead. You can pick out your clothes, plan snacks or meals, schedule in workouts, hobbies and study times – whatever you need to stay healthy and focused on your academics and your recovery. 
  • Invest in a planner/calendar. This handy and inexpensive tool will likely become your third arm. Take it everywhere and write down important assignments or goals or dates. 
  • Pack up your backpack. Make sure your backpack is stocked with the essentials. This includes your planner, notebooks, folder, textbooks, phone and laptop chargers, a healthful snack and bottle of water. 
  • Color code. To save time searching for things in the morning, use different colors to keep you more organized. For example, use a different color folder or notebook for each of your classes. 
  • Use your smartphone the smart way. Take advantage of the "notebook" feature for quick notes/reminders and the Calendar apps to remind you of important deadlines or meetings.  
  • Make post-it notes your friend. These small sticky notes have super powers when it comes to staying organized and reducing stress. Write down your to-do and stick it on your laptop or desk or bathroom mirror – and once the task is done, toss the note and forget about it. 
Healthy Possibilities at Hope Academy
When you choose Hope Academy's rehab, you open the possibility for a whole new life. And, perhaps the best part, you don’t have to leave college behind or put career preparation on hold. We offer vocational training, college prep, and sobriety college options that allow you to pursue your dreams while you get clean. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673. 



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