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Friday, June 30, 2017

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You or Your Loved One Is Prescribed an Opioid

With around a hundred people overdosing every day due to opioids — and doctors still relying heavily on these addictive painkillers to treat chronic pain — it’s more important than ever to be an active member of your healthcare team. Simply put: Patient education must be part of your pain med RX.

Here are some key questions to ask your doctor if you or someone you love is prescribed pain pills:
  • Are there any non-opioid alternatives or complementary therapies that could help with pain management?
  • When should I schedule a follow-up appointment to check how well the meds are working?
  • How do I stop using or taper off opioids safely?
  • What can I do to reduce the risk of potential side effects from opioids?
  • What if I have a history or family history of addiction?
  • Are there any serious signs that prompt a call to the doctor or visit to the hospital? For example: excessive sleepiness or craving more of the medication.
  • What should I do if I’m still feeling pain?
  • Are there any possible interactions with other medications I’m taking? For example: prescriptions for anxiety or sleep problems or any over-the-counter meds that contain acetaminophen.
  • How can I tell if I’m developing a tolerance to the medication?
  • What are some of the early signs of abuse? For example: watching the clock for your next dose; getting in more arguments with your friends or family members; trouble sleeping; calling for early refills.
  • What are the signs of an opioid overdose?
  • Do I need a prescription for a naloxone kit? (This medication temporarily restores breathing during an opioid overdose.)
  • What’s the best way to safely store my opioid medication?
  • How do I dispose of unused opioids?
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
Young adults (age 18 to 25) are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And early intervention is the most successful treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, don’t wait to get help. Call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Why You Should Be Aware of ADHD

Do you get to the end of a page in a book and forget what you just read? Do you tend to forget to set your alarm and miss class? Do you overspend or shop impulsively? These are just a few of the many behaviors related to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that you may recognize in yourself or in someone you love. 

Untreated ADHD is risky business. Not only does it negatively impact your productivity and personal relationships, but it also makes you more vulnerable to addiction. In fact, people with untreated ADHD are four times more likely to abuse substances. One reason is because many people with ADHD mistakenly self-medicate with alcohol or drugs instead of seeking proper treatment.

Recognizing the Symptoms of ADHD
Often, ADHD symptoms go undetected until college. Researchers chalk this up to the structure of high school as well as the structure provided at home by parents. In general, students with ADHD have more academic concerns, lower GPAs, more depression and emotional stability and higher rates of smoking cigarettes and substance abuse. Other signs, according to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), include:
  • Does not work to potential
  • High IQ but low grades
  • Consistently late to appointments
  • Impulsive spending
  • Difficulties with organization
  • Papers fall out of the backpack
  • May have difficulty getting along with roommates or other peers
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
Did you know that 70 percent of people with a substance use disorder are also battling an additional mental illness? If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction and ADHD don’t wait to seek treatment. As addiction worsens, so does the co-occurring condition — and vice versa. At Hope Academy, we specialize in treating both diseases simultaneously. To learn more, call us toll-free today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Why Sleep Matters for College Students

If you’re a college student, chances are you’re sleep deprived or not getting enough quality sleep. But sleep really matters. And this is especially true if you play sports in school, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Results from a preliminary report found that poor sleep can lead to an increased risk of substance abuse among college athletes. 

Students with sleep difficulties were found to be: 
  • 151 percent more likely to use cigarettes
  • 36 percent more likely to drink alcohol
  • 66 percent more likely to smoke marijuana
  • 317 percent more likely to use methamphetamine
  • 349 percent more likely to use cocaine
  • 175 percent more likely to use steroids

"Across the board, students with sleep difficulties were more likely to smoke, drink, and use illegal substances,” said senior author Michael Grander, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. 

In yet another recent sleep study, called the "SNAPSHOT study," researchers found that keeping a regular sleep pattern contributes to the happiness and well-being of college students.

"We found that week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration," said lead author Akane Sano, PhD, research scientist in the Media Lab Affective Computing Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

More Reasons to Prioritize Sleep
Indeed, lack of sleep has been linked with a bunch of physical and emotional health risks, including
  • Lowered immune system
  • Feeling more stressed out
  • Increased weight gain and obesity
  • Lower GPA and decreased academic performance
  • Increased mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
  • Increased automobile accidents due to fatigue caused by “drowsy driving”
  • Decreased performance in athletics and other activities that require coordination
Healthy Possibilities
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. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Tips to Make Friendships Last

Simply put: Good friends are good for you and for your overall recovery. Not only can the right friend help you get through life’s ups and downs, but friendship has been linked to a slew of health benefits, including a reduced risk of anxiety and depression. 

Like anything else in life, however, friendship requires work and devotion to ensure it keeps going. So how can you make your relationships last? Start nurturing your connections today with these tips.
  • Focus on the present. Don’t get caught up in what you used to do together. Instead, embrace the present and future and accept your new lives and roles within the friendship.
  • Put your smartphone down! Spending quality time with a friend means making eye contact and paying attention to the present conversation or task at hand. Similarly, texts and Facebook posts should be supplements (not replacements) of person-to-person interaction. 
  • Be honest and open. It’s okay to talk about why you value you each other as a friend as well as what you could both be doing better. Consider writing down these answers and ask your friend to do the same to spark a healthy dialogue.  
  • Really listen. Don't just wait for your turn to talk when you’ve having a conversation. You’ve likely heard that communication is a two-way street – and this means that you need to concentrate on what your friend is saying and think carefully about what your friend needs to hear from you in response.
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.

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