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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Important Facts About Eating Disorders

Back-to-school is less than a week away and Mental Health America (MHA) is prepping students and parents alike with their new toolkit, which includes online info graphics and articles designed to promote positive mental health in adolescents. 

From building self-esteem to recognizing the signs of body dysmorphic disorder, MHA pinpoints mental issues facing young students today.  

One such article is “7 Important Facts About Eating Disorders,” which brings to light some crucial facts and figures about this serious mental illness. For example, did you know that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder? And that the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is twelve times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females 15 to 24 years old? Pretty shocking. 

Here are some other profound points made in the article:

Eating disorders are life consuming. Thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors regarding weight and food issues are constant for those with eating disorders, notes MHA, making it impossible to live a normal life.

You can’t just “get over” an eating disorder. Eating disorders impact perceptions of body image as well as behaviors – both which take time to change. 

Eating disorders aren’t just “women’s disorders.”  Men and women both feel pressure to look a certain way, according to MHA, which can influence the development of an eating disorder.

Recovery is possible. Most often, care is provided by a multidisciplinary team, including a therapist (psychologist, counselor, or social worker), dietician, psychiatrist, and/or primary care physician.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
When young adults are dealing with a coexisting mental health issue, the rehabilitation process requires specialized dual-diagnosis expertise. At Hope by the Sea’s Hope Academy program, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 26, 2016

What You Wish You'd Known About Addiction

This week, The Boston Globe, ran an article written from the perspective of a parent whose daughter is recovering from heroin. 

“I’ve learned how addiction can take hold of someone and not let go. I’ve learned that the way back is a gargantuan struggle … most of all, as my daughter works to recover, I’ve learned that knowledge is our best defense against the scourge of addiction,” writes Beverly Conyers.

If your loved one is currently fighting his or her way back from addiction, “10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before my Daughter Became Addicted to Heroin,” is sure to resonate. 

Here’s a summary of some of the many insights the author brings to light:

Addiction can happen in any family.
Even “good” kids who are smart with solid upbringings are susceptible to addiction. This is because genes account for about 50 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction.

Substance abuse requires swift action.  If you suspect your child is abusing, seek professional help with the same sense of urgency with which you would seek help for any other life-threatening condition.

Addiction has a mental health component. People with mood or anxiety disorders or antisocial syndrome are about twice as likely as the general population to suffer from a drug use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Many addictsincluding my daughterdescribe an “inner emptiness” that existed long before they began using mind-altering substances,” she admits.

Shame is the enemy of prevention and recovery. Addiction is not related to a person’s character nor is it a sign of weakness, immorality, or bad parenting. “Even the most attentive, conscientious parents can raise kids who end up addicted,” notes Conyers.

Getting Help for a Loved One
One of the most important decisions you can make is to support your son or daughter in seeking treatment for addiction. For information about Hope Academy's young adult substance abuse treatment program, or to begin the admissions process for a loved one, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Peak Times When College Kids Are Using

Did you know that there are peak seasons when it comes to drug and alcohol use among college students? According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), college students are more likely to try illegal substances, including pot, prescription painkillers and stimulants, and alcohol at certain times of the year.

While the report didn’t say why some months result in more use than others, theories abound. For example, those first six weeks are often seen as the likeliest time for trying alcohol and many experts attribute this to the stress staring college can bring. Similarly, students are most likely to try or buy someone else’s ADHD meds or painkillers to get high during the winter months, which often coincide with midterms or final exams.

Other key study findings include:

  • September, December: Peak months for first-time underage alcohol consumption among college students (ages 18 to 20).
  • September, October: Peak months for college kids to take up smoking cigarettes.
  • October: Peak month for college students to begin using smokeless tobacco.
  • December: Peak month for full-time college students to start misusing prescription pain relievers. During this month, rates rise from 800 to 850 new users a day, according to the report.
  • April, November, and December: Peak time for students to start using prescription stimulants (like Adderall and Ritalin) that were not prescribed for them. During these months, the average daily initiation rate jumps above 500, peaking at 585 in November.
  • June: On average, roughly 1,000 college students start using marijuana every day. But in June the number rises to about 1,500.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment for Young Adults
If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, Hope Academy can help. We offer a variety of drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs for young adults, including our unique sobriety college program. Our CA rehab programs for adults age 18 to 26 include residential treatment and outpatient programs, and our team is available to help with insurance authorizations, and interventions. For more information, call: 866-930-4673.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What You Need to Know About E-cigarettes

By now you’ve likely heard about the new federal regulations that kicked in Monday for electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, along with some other tobacco-related products. 

To recap: The sale of e-cigs, tobacco-like cigars, hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco are now illegal for minors; manufacturers and makers must place warning labels on packaging and in their ads; and they must also disclose to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all the ingredients used in making the products. 

While many health organizations are onboard with these new regulations, The American Lung Association (ALA) has perhaps been most vocal when it comes to embracing these new rules and wanting the government to go even further.

“Youth are using e-cigarettes at an increasing and alarming rate,” Harold P. Wimmer, national president and CEO of the ALA, said in a statement. “E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product by youth.” About 3 million middle- and high-school students use e-cigarettes, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three Reasons to Say No to E-Cigs
The ALA has numerous articles on its website dispelling myths about e-cigs and bringing to light the harmful effects of these products. Here are three things you should know about e-cigarettes, according to the organization:
  1. E-cigarettes may contain toxic ingredients. Diacetyl, a buttery flavored chemical often added to food products such as popcorn, caramel, and dairy products, has been found in some e-cigarettes with flavors. Diacetyl can cause a serious and irreversible lung disease commonly known as "popcorn lung."
  2. E-cigarettes may lead to second-hand exposure. Even though e-cigarettes do not produce smoke like traditional cigarettes, they can expose others to secondhand emissions. Two studies have found formaldehyde, benzene, and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (all carcinogens) coming from those secondhand emissions. Other studies have shown that chemicals in the vapor contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and other potential toxins. 
  3. Almost all e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine has a negative impact on adolescent brain development. In fact, nicotine use during adolescence and young adulthood has been associated with lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments, including effects on working memory and attention. 
Young Adults and Substance Abuse
Those who use nicotine at a young age are at an exponentially greater risk of using harder drugs. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse disorder, call today: 866-930-4673. At Hope Academy's rehab for younger adults, we walk beside you through the most overwhelming parts of addiction withdrawal, recovery, and restoration. 

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