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Friday, March 31, 2017

Strategies to Beat Back Depression

If you have been diagnosed with depression, know that you're far from alone. In fact, in 2015, the WHO estimated 322 million people were living with the mental health disorder, making it the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.

The good news is that depression is highly treatable with the help of experienced behavioral health experts. They can work with you or someone you love to develop a personalized care plan that addresses your specific mental health needs and personal goals. In addition, you can empower yourself to fight depression with some fairly simple strategies! Start with these three to feel your best. 
  • Don’t skimp on sleep. Depression can make it harder to fall (and stay) asleep – and lack of sleep can make depression symptoms seem worse. Luckily, practicing proper sleep hygiene can help. Some tips: Adhere to a consistent sleep-wake schedule (even on weekends), shut off all electronics and turn down the thermostat to between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. 
  • Set a personal goal. Each morning, whether when you first get up or as you sit down to breakfast, jot down one attainable goal for the day. This simple act will help build your motivation and confidence – and minimize your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new! Sticking to a predictable and manageable schedule is especially helpful during early recovery, but that doesn’t mean you need to get stuck in a rut. Shake things up now and again by doing something new or interesting. For example, take a yoga or drawing class or visit a local museum for some creative inspiration. 

Our Dual-Diagnosis Treatment 
At Hope Academy, we offer evidence-based therapies for clients facing both substance abuse and co-occurring behavioral health issues like depression. Existing mental health issues often surface during addiction recovery. That’s why we offer treatment protocols that are designed for clients with a dual-diagnosis. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Healing Power of Spring Cleaning!

Happy #firstdayofspring! What better time to talk about spring cleaning and how a little de-cluttering can help with lasting sobriety? For many young adults recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, spring cleaning can be seen as a fresh start – to clean and organize and to make room for your new, sober life. 

In other words, de-cluttering can give you the chance to create space for mental and emotional growth. This is because stacks of paperwork and piles of laundry, while seemingly harmless, can rob your environment of peace. What’s more, it can drain your time, energy and confidence. 

Luckily, a few simple steps can help you tackle spring cleaning, minus the stress:
  1. Start small. You’ll be amazed by how much cleaning you can get done during the week if you prioritize one small area per day. De-clutter one half of your closet; a corner of your kitchen counter; or one area of your desk.
  2. Stop paper before it starts. Unopened mail can easily turn into an overwhelming mountain of paperwork. To avoid this, be sure to open your mail immediately and decide whether to toss it, act on it, or file it. 
  3. Rid yourself of items that remind you of using. Whether it’s a concert T-shirt or business card from your favorite bar, there’s no place for items that may trigger a relapse. 
  4. Unsubscribe from email lists. Take five minutes each day and unsubscribe from those emails cluttering your inbox. This is especially important if any of the blogs or emails remind you of your old life or tempt you into spending money you don’t have. 
Get Aftercare at Hope Academy
Upon returning home from rehab, it’s all-too-easy to gravitate to former patterns, dangerous environmental triggers, and toxic relationships, so we created a supportive transition between treatment completion and the return home to give you the best chance at sustained sobriety. To learn more, call: 855-221-1717.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pot Plus Alcohol Equals Poor Grades

Drinking and smoking pot can cause poor grades for college students, according to a study published in PLOS One, which confirms a notion long-held by addiction experts and educators. 

Researchers at Yale University and the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn., found that college students who consume medium-to-high levels of alcohol and marijuana have a consistently lower GPA -- not only by the end of the first semester but throughout the two years of the study. 

The authors used data from the Brain and Alcohol Research in College Students study, which tracked 1,142 students for two years after they began college, and self-reported data to cluster them into groups of low users or medium-to-high users of alcohol or both substances.

Those who used marijuana and alcohol heavily in the first semester had a GPA of 2.66 compared to 3.1 for those who used little to no alcohol or pot. Those who drank heavily but didn’t smoke marijuana had an average first semester GPA of 3.03. Students who decreased their substance use over time did show an increase in GPA compared to their peers who continued the same pattern of drug and alcohol use, noted authors.

Hopefully, these results will encourage college health and counseling services to put out more information on the impact that drugs and alcohol have on grades, said Godfrey Pearlson, senior author of the study. “There’s a lot of peer pressure during that first year to drink and use marijuana,” he adds.

Here are some more facts about drinking and smoking marijuana in college, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  • People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.
  • About 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. 
  • About one in four college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
  • Marijuana is linked to school failure, causing negative effects on attention, memory, and learning.
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
No matter how severe your addiction, Hope Academy's substance abuse rehab in California can help. Interested young adults attend college courses while they are in rehab, and all participants receive life skills training and customized aftercare to optimize chances of sobriety success. For information, call 866-930-4673.

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Facts About Eating Disorders and Addiction

It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) and so what better time to talk about eating disorders and their link to addiction. This is especially relevant since this year’s theme is “It’s Time to Talk About It,” and the organization is encouraging everyone struggling with food or exercise behaviors to start by taking its free, confidential online screening

Many people don’t realize that there's a significant overlap between eating disorders and drug addiction. In fact, food and body image struggles often surface after the substance abuse has ceased. 

Some more facts about eating disorders and addiction:
  • Nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder (ED) are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol -- a rate fives times greater than the general population. 
  • These co-occurring disorders affects both men and women, with up to 57% of males with binge eating disorder (BED) experiencing lifelong substance abuse problems. 
  • Multiple shared neurotransmitters are thought to be involved in both eating and substance use disorders.
  • Individuals with eating disorders also abuse prescription (steroids, insulin, thyroid medications and psychostimulants) and over-the-counter drugs (diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, weight loss supplements).
  • Research suggests a strong genetic component to both. Other common risk factors: personality traits such as impulsivity; social pressures; family dynamics; environmental triggers; and emotional trauma. 
  • Eating disorders and addiction frequently develop during stressful times in an effort to cope with emotions or to self-medicate underlying mental health issues.
  • Both are chronic diseases with resistance to treatment and high relapse rates, requiring intensive, long-term therapy.
  • A large body of research shows that for complete recovery, both disorders must be screened for and treated simultaneously.
Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder and substance use disorder, we can help. As one of few CA addiction treatment centers equipped to treat dual-diagnosis patients, Hope Academy works with outside physicians and practitioners to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

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