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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. 



Monday, July 9, 2018

Can Peer-Led Groups Stop Mental Health Stigma?

peer mental health group
Studies show that nearly a third of college students struggle with some kind of psychological stress and yet few are seeking help. So what’s the solution? Student-led mental health groups might be the answer, according to a new survey conducted by the RAND Corporation of more than 1,100 students at 12 California colleges with Active Minds, a nonprofit peer mental health organization.

A little background: The Active Minds model for mental health education and suicide prevention originated 15 years ago and uses a peer-to-peer approach to give students tools to undo stigma, change perceptions about mental health and create a more supportive campus environment. 

Here’s a summary of some of the survey findings: 
  • Students involved with Active Minds were more likely to reach out to a classmate or friend struggling with a mental health issue like depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
  • As a result of an Active Minds presence, knowledge and positive attitudes about mental health increases, creating a more supportive campus climate and increasing the potential of students seeking mental health services.
  • Peer-led mental groups help to have a positive influence on students’ knowledge and attitudes toward mental health issues as well as their behaviors.
"Active Minds and other student-run organizations aimed at teaching peers about mental health issues may be instrumental in shaping a more supportive climate toward mental health issues on college campuses -- even over the course of a single academic year," Dr. Bradley D. Stein, a senior physician scientist at RAND and author of the study, said in a release. 

Sobriety College at Hope Academy
If you are or someone you love is a college student struggling with a co-occurring mental health disorder and substance use disorder, Hope Academy may be the ideal rehab program for you. Our peer-based program provides the safety and support you need to succeed in school and at sobriety. To learn more about our sobriety college, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Tips for a Sober 4th of July

sober 4th of JulyThe Fourth of July can be a challenging and frustrating holiday during early recovery. But with the right steps it can also be the perfect holiday to celebrate your independence from the grips of addiction. Here are some ideas to enjoy your newfound sober freedom this July 4th
  • Make a grateful list. Jot down all the reasons why you’re grateful to be sober and free from drugs and/or alcohol. This simple exercise is a great way to start your July 4th celebration.
  • Go to a meeting. Surrounding yourself with supportive people who are also trying to stay sober on this day can help you stay strong and beat back any cravings. Not in the mood for a face-to-face meeting? Check out an online support group. 
  • Start your own tradition. A big part of recovery is redefining fun so it doesn’t include alcohol and/or drugs. Gather some friends for a round of bowling or afternoon movie – or whatever sober activity makes you feel good.
  • Throw a sober July 4th party. You can invite all your sober friends who are also looking for something fun to do sober. Put on some music, play board games, tie-dye t-shirts or bake cookies together. 
  • Recruit a support friend. Whether you're headed to a beach party or just hanging home with close friends, it’s super helpful to have one special person who you know is ready to help if the pressure of the holiday becomes overwhelming. Along these same lines, if you do attend an event with drugs or alcohol, make sure you have an emergency escape plan ready. 
Finding a New Sober Freedom
As you move from the bondage of addiction toward the freedom of healing, the Hope Academy team helps you manage life, school, and sobriety setbacks. To learn more about our young adult addiction services or to begin the rehab admission process, call today: 866-930-4673.




Monday, June 25, 2018

Gaming Disorder Recognized As Mental Health Condition

gaming addictionThe World Health Organization (WHO) is recognizing “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable condition. The organization included the new term in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which was recently released. 

An estimated 160 million Americans play video games, according to the American Psychological Association, and studies show that the percentage of people that could qualify for the disorder is extremely small. However, people should be alert to the amount of time they spend on gaming activities, particularly if it impacts daily activities or leads to any changes in their physical, psychological health and/or social functioning, notes the WHO.

“The real issue is how is gaming affecting a person’s life,” Bruce Y. Lee, MD, associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told EverydayHealth.com. “This can apply to nearly any habit or activity. If an activity is helping you and not really hurting anyone, then there’s not a real reason to consider it a disorder."

So what are the signs that you or someone you care about has a problem? The WHO defines  “gaming disorder” as a person who shows: 
  • A pattern of “impaired control over gaming” for at least 12 months. 
  • An “increasing priority given to gaming” to the extent that gaming “takes precedence over other interests and daily activities.”
  • A “continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences,” or behavior that results in “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”  
Many experts are skeptical about the inclusion of gaming disorder in the ICD, however, and say that it’s a little premature. This is partly because people who play too many video games are often using gaming as a coping mechanism for depression or anxiety, Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, told CNN.com. "When anxiety and depression is dealt with, the gaming goes down significantly," he said.

If you’re concerned that your loved one is going overboard with gaming, the first step is to “become informed as possible,” Bean told CNN.com. In other words, find out what games are being played (“Minecraft vs. “World of Warcraft”) and why the games are interesting to your loved one. This knowledge can be used to help them through depression and anxiety, he said.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. Once we gain a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s individual health challenges, our addiction treatment team develops a customized program. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.



Monday, June 18, 2018

4 Myths About Detox


detox mythsMaking the decision for yourself or a loved to enter a detox program is never easy, especially considering that denial is such a powerful side effect of addiction. What's more, many people suffering from a substance use disorder avoid recovery because they’re afraid of detox. This is partly because there are many myths out there surrounding detox, making it even harder to make the leap. Don’t let these misconceptions hold you back from taking this key step in recovery. Here, we debunk come common myths and offer you the facts about detox. 

Myth #1: I don’t need professional treatment — I can detox on my own. Detoxification is unsafe to attempt at home. It’s a demanding process with physical and emotional side effects that need to be managed by medical professionals. Using medical interventions, holistic therapies, meditation, nutrition, exercise and other techniques, trained medical professionals can help you manage withdrawal, cope with cravings and begin your rehab program with a positive outlook.

In the hands of the proper professionals, your custom detox program may include:
  • Medical intervention
  • Vitamin therapy and nutritional support 
  • Holistic practices 
  • Emotional support and guidance 
  • Peer support 
Myth #2: Everyone will know if you enroll in a detox program. Both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations have been put in place to protect your privacy. 

Myth #3: Only wealthy people can afford good detox programs. Many rehabs are covered or partially covered by medical insurance and many detox facilities offer sliding scale payment plans for patients with limited financial resources.

Myth #4: After detox, you just need willpower to stay clean. Substance use disorder is a chronic, relapsing disease and it can’t be controlled by sheer willpower. Detox is just the first step in a long journey toward recovery. You also need group and individual therapy, recreational therapy, nutrition and exercise, support groups, family therapy and aftercare planning.

Detox at Hope Academy
At Hope Academy, we encourage clients to think of detox as the beginning of restoration and a second chance at life. Proper detox methods help to kick off your rehabilitation program successfully, and can help you succeed in long-term recovery. To learn more about our detox program, call us today: 866-930-4673.




Monday, June 11, 2018

Moving Past Feelings of Hopelessness

hopelessnessAre you feeling hopeless? Is your head spinning with thoughts like “I’ll never be happy,” or “There’s no use in trying,” or “The world is against me?” Feelings of hopelessness should never be ignored. 

For one, these thoughts can cause you to isolate yourself and stop practicing basic self-care – which will just further add to your hopelessness and depression. And this can be a slippery slope into relapse. 

While there’s no magic switch to turn off these feelings, there are a few steps you can take to help restore your faith and boost your mood. If you try the below strategies and can’t seem to dig yourself out of a hopeless rut, or if you’re also experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors, get professional help immediately. 
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Surrounding yourself with even one good friend can help remind you that all is not lost. Talking about your feeling openly can also help you understand and even move past a few negative feelings.
  • Challenge those negative thoughts. The next time you find yourself thinking: “I can’t” or “there’s no use” stop and replace them with “I’ll try” and “I’m worth it.” This simple exercise can do wonders for your state of mind.  
  • Allow yourself to cry. Sometimes you just need a good cry – and that’s okay. Letting out these emotions can help release toxins and elevate your mood. 
  • Turn to your go-to comfort activity.  Whether reading a book or watching a movie or playing music – indulge in an activity that can keep you relaxed and distracted in a healthy way.
  • Get up and move. Exercise will help you release those feel-good endorphins that can help give you the added strength to move past any feelings of hopelessness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. Once we gain a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s individual health challenges, our addiction treatment team develops a customized program. To learn more, call 866-930-4673. 




Monday, June 4, 2018

PTSD and College Challenges

PTSD Awareness Month
June is National PTSD Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to talk about how PTSD can happen to anyone – not just veterans. PTSD symptoms can develop from experiences involving natural disasters, serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, physical abuse, and sexual assault during childhood or adulthood.

A study by the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System found that up to 17 percent of college students suffer from PTSD – which is higher than the incidence of PTSD found in the general population. It’s also not unusual for the symptoms of PTSD to fluctuate during the first year of college, as students adjust to new routines and new triggers.

In some cases, students with PTSD who have trouble adjusting to college life can turn to drugs and alcohol as an escape from anxiety, academic stress and relationship challenges. This is a slippery slope into addiction, with nearly 50 percent of individuals with lifetime PTSD also meeting the criteria for substance use disorder. 

College can bring extra challenges for someone with PTSD, including:
  • Crowded classrooms that can lead to feelings of being trapped.
  • Loud noises, like laughter, door slamming or screeching, which can set off triggers.
  • Lack of sleep, which can make it more difficult to handle triggers or upsetting moments.
  • Changes in routine that can leave a person with PTSD feeling discombobulated.
  • Feelings of isolation and depression caused by feeling “different” than others who don’t suffer PTSD.
This is why it’s crucial for students with PTSD to have a strong support system in place, including family, friends, pastors or therapists who can help when college life becomes too much to handle.

California Sober College for Veteran Drug & Alcohol Treatment
If you are a veteran or college student caught in the throes of substance abuse, Hope Academy could be the ideal rehab program for you. Blending evidence-based addiction recovery programs with the opportunity to attend college or vocational training, we help military veterans and civilians prepare for a life of sobriety and success. To learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment, call today: 866-930-4673.

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