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Monday, November 20, 2017

Why College Students Should Practice Gratitude


With Thanksgiving a few days away, it’s the perfect time to talk about why it’s important to have a regular gratitude practice or “attitude of gratitude.” Being grateful has been found to boost your overall happiness and wellbeing — and there’s more. For those of you attending college while in addiction recovery, a gratitude practice can help enhance your academic experience and sober life. 

Here’s how: 
  • You’ll improve your sleep. The pressures of school and rehab can take a big toll on your slumber. By counting your blessings instead of counting sheep, you’ll  relax your mind and body and fall asleep faster. 
  • You’ll lessen anxiety and depression.  Anxiety and depression often co-occur with substance use disorders – and making gratitude a habit can help safeguard your mental health. Being thankful and focusing on the positives in life will strengthen your emotional resilience so you can better deal with any negative emotions that come your way.  
  • You’ll be more productive. The practice of writing down what you’re grateful for can help you relax and focus on your recovery and schoolwork. Plus, gratitude has been linked with greater self-esteem and confidence, which certainly can’t hurt when you’re trying to tackling a tough assignment or deal with an intense craving. 
  • You’ll have deeper friendships. A simple thank-you to someone you care about can go a long way in strengthening your relationship. After all, doesn’t everyone want to feel appreciated? It could also help you make new friends; for instance, a simple thank-you text to a classmate that helped you study. 
Grateful for a Sober Life
When you trust us with your recovery, 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, November 13, 2017

Study: Alcohol Use Puts Adolescents at Risk of Insomnia


It’s not news that excessive drinking as a teenager can cause a host of medical problems – both in the short- and long-term. Most recently, however, researchers have linked alcohol consumption during adolescents to daytime sleepiness and insomnia. The findings are consistent with associations found between insomnia and alcohol among older adolescents and adults, say researchers.

For the study, which was published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers examined the associations between alcohol use and four sleep-related issues:
  • Initial insomnia
  • Sleep irregularity (defined as difference in weekday and weekend bedtimes)
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Disturbed sleep
Study participants were asked to complete surveys that questioned the following:
  • The amount of time it takes them to fall asleep
  • Their bedtimes during the weekday and weekend
  • The frequency of sleep disturbances
  • Whether they sleep in class and potential difficulties staying awake after school 
Researchers also took into account whether symptoms of mental health problems or levels of parental monitoring accounted for these sleep problems. 

“Parents, educators, and therapists should consider insomnia to be a risk marker for alcohol use, and alcohol use a risk marker for insomnia, among early adolescents," said Rutgers-Camden researcher Naomi Marmorstein, in a statement.

Do You Know the Symptoms of Insomnia?
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), people with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep (waking up during the night and having trouble returning to sleep)
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Unrefreshing sleep (or "non-restorative sleep")
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood disturbance, such as irritability
  • Feeling impulsive or aggression
  • Difficulty at work or school
  • Difficulty in personal relationships, including family, friends and caregivers
The duration of insomnia is important, notes the NSF, and doctors consider insomnia chronic if it
occurs at least three nights per week for three months or longer.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Sleep Disorders and Alcohol Abuse
If you suffer from both symptoms of sleep disorders and alcohol abuse, you may need specialized treatment and a personalized plan for recovery. At Hope Academy, we offer evidence-based dual diagnosis treatment for young adults facing both substance abuse and co-occurring issues like sleep disorders. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.



Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Hour Alternatives That Help Your Recovery

For many young professionals, their social lives can easily revolve around drinking. Happy hour can become a go-to activity several nights a week. For those in recovery, however, happy hour can be a major relapse trigger. 

The good news: There are several alternatives that can achieve the same goal – to connect with coworkers, friends or clients or shake off stress, for instance – and they don’t involve heading to your local bar. Here are a few sober activities to help your social life and lasting sobriety: 
  • Meditate together. It’s likely not news by now that people who meditate regularly are calmer, more focused and more ready to take on whatever life brings – traits that certainly won’t hurt your recovery. Research a local meditation class; some studios even offer “happy hour” classes. 
  • Master something new. A big part of staying sober is creating a fulfilling life, without drugs or alcohol. To this end, now is the perfect time to find a new passion or hobby – whether cooking, painting or knitting. Plus, you’ll meet new friends with shared interests.
  • Sign up for a local sports league. Whether you enjoy softball or soccer, social sports come with a host of benefits, including team-building and tension release, that will serve you during rehab and beyond. 
  • Start a monthly book club. Reading is a great recovery activity that’s been linked to better sleep and stress management, to name a few. What’s more, it will help form a meaningful connection with coworkers as you meet each month to share your ideas and chitchat about the book and more.
Career Prep During Rehab
Happy hour, holiday parties and other places or events can trigger the desire to use. At Hope Academy, you’ll learn to identify and avoid these relapse triggers. To learn more about our job preparation services or speak with a member of the Hope Academy team, call today: 866-930-4673.


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