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Friday, September 30, 2016

Alcohol Abuse Linked to Mental Decline

You likely already know the social as well as the physical consequences of alcohol use disorder – for example, cancers, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease – but according to a new study published in the journal Research Society on Alcoholism, drinking also impacts your cognitive ability.

Researchers found that a lifetime history of alcohol dependence resulted in poorer cognitive functions, memory, learning, verbal and motor function, and speed of processing.

Of course, your best bet for preventing these negative effects is to seek help if you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol use disorder. In addition, a few daily habits can add up to a big brain boost, improving your cognitive function and preventing mental decline.
  • Get physical: Regular exercise can help increase blood flow to the brain.
  • Stay social: Developing a healthy support network is a surefire way to support brain health, according to studies, and it’s also a smart way to safeguard your recovery.
  • Fuel your body. There’s no-one brain food, per se, but eating a healthy and balanced diet (think lots of fruits and veggies) has been shown to stave off mental decline.
  • Play games: Challenging yourself to think in new ways has been study-proven to have both short- and long-term benefits for your brain. And there are a host of puzzles, brain games and apps designed to give you a good mental workout.
  • Don’t skimp sleep: Sleep conditions like insomnia and sleep apnea have been linked to problems with memory and thinking.
  • Be mindful of your mental health. Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression can up your risk of cognitive decline, so be sure to seek help if you’re suffering from any of these mental health concerns.
Get Help for Alcohol Abuse
Don’t let alcohol abuse turn into a lifetime struggle. Hope Academy’s alcohol abuse program provides a safe environment for teens and young adults to start on the road to sobriety. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Is Internet Addiction a Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues?

There may be a link between Internet addiction and certain mental health disorders, according to a recent small study of 254 college students. 

Researchers found that students who had trouble controlling their Internet use had higher rates of depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, and inattention.

“Excessive use of the Internet is an understudied phenomenon that may disguise mild or severe psychopathology,” Dr. Jan Buitelaar of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands told HealthDay. “Excessive use of the Internet may be strongly linked to compulsive behavior and addiction.”

A larger study is needed, however, to confirm whether these mental health issues are a cause or a result of excessive Internet use.

Do You Know the Signs of Internet Addiction?
Dr. Kimberly Young, an internationally known expert on Internet addiction and founder of the Center for Internet Addiction, devised the following list of questions to diagnose Internet addiction, defined as an impulse-control disorder which does not involve an intoxicant. Answering “yes” to five of these questions may indicate that you or someone you love needs help.
  1. Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous on-line activity or anticipate next on-line session)?
  2. Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
  3. Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
  4. Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
  5. Do you stay on-line longer than originally intended?
  6. Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
  7. Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
  8. Do you uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

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.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What Will Motivate You to Get Healthy?

Which would compel you to make your diet more nutritious? Reading an article on the health dangers of high-sugar, high-fat diets or reading an article on the cynical practices of food companies and how they make unhealthy foods more addictive? 

If you answered the latter, you’re not alone. According to a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doing something just because it’s the healthier choice doesn’t cut it for most teens. Instead, adolescents are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors in order to feel socially conscious or to rebel against a corrupt authority figure. 

An article in The New York Times likens these findings to a 2000 anti-smoking campaign, which “framed smoking as an act of corporate submission” to a corrupt tobacco industry. “Adolescents have this craziness that we can criticize — or we can tap into,” Ron Berger, who taught public school for 28 years, told The NY Times. “This is a time in their lives when justice matters, more than any other time.”

So what else might a teenager be compelled to do (or not do) in the name of benevolent defiance, questioned NY Times author Amanda Ripley. “Could adolescents who learn about the profit motives of the beauty industry begin to see photo shopped images as propaganda? Could they start to resent how video-game designers borrow slot-machine manufacturers’ tricks to make their products more addictive?”

Getting Motivated to Get Help
Sobriety empowers you to find your purpose—and Hope Academy can help. To learn more about our young adult addiction program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 9, 2016

September Is National Recovery Month!

Ready to celebrate? It’s the 27th annual National Recovery Month – started by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to promote the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders. 

Recovery Month celebrates the millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. It also spreads the positive message “that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover,” notes SAMHSA.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!,” highlights the value of family support throughout recovery – and it reinforces the fact that you don’t need to walk the tough road of lasting sobriety alone. 

In fact, the right support system can help ensure that your are addressing what SAMHSA refers to as the four key aspects of recovery: health, home, purpose, and community.
  • Health: Managing your condition(s) or symptom(s) and making informed, healthy choices that support your physical and emotional well-being 
  • Home: Having a stable and safe place to live
  • Purpose: Participating in meaningful daily activities (job, school, volunteer opportunities, family caretaking, or creative endeavors), and having the independence, income, and resources to become an active member of society 
  • Community: Developing relationships and social networks to provide support, friendship, love, and hope
How to Get Involved
Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country participate. And if you or someone you love is in recovery, you can join in too. Simply click here to tell your story. You'll not only help to stop the stigma and increase awareness, but you'll provide people with a greater understanding about mental and substance use disorders. 

Start Your Recovery Journey
Many young adults long for a fulfilling life outside of addiction and substance dependency but don’t know where to begin. Hope Academy is a proven, affordable way to seek recovery alongside your long-term goals. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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