Today is the First Day of
the Rest of Your Life

Get Started

Friday, September 29, 2017

Studies Show Dangers of Underage Binge Drinking

Two studies came out this month that focused on binge drinking and college – and both results provided even more reasons for students to skip the binge sessions. Though binge drinking isn’t recommended for anyone, at any age.

What is binge drinking? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as “ingesting four or more alcoholic drinks within two hours by a woman and five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours by a man.”

The first study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that heavy drinking six times a month reduces the probability that a new college graduate will land a job by 10 percent. Researchers from the Smithers Institute found that each individual episode of student binge drinking during a month-long period lowers the odds of attaining full-time employment upon graduation by 1.4 percent.

The second study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, found that binge drinking altered the resting brain activity of some college students and may have led to cognitive difficulties. 

Students who reported binge drinking within the last 30 days displayed higher measurements of activity known as beta and theta oscillations in the right temporal lobe and bilateral occipital cortex brain regions, said researchers. And these changes might indicate a decreased ability to respond to external stimuli and potential difficulties in information processing capacity in young binge drinkers. These are the first signs of alcohol-induced brain damage.  

These brain changes among college binge drinkers is likely due to the plasticity of their young and still-developing brains, say researchers. Many experts believe the brain continues to develop well into young adulthood and doesn’t stop changing until an individual reaches 25 years of age. 

Stopping the Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse 
The best way to combat the physical and emotional health consequences of a substance use disorder is early intervention. Don’t wait. If you or someone you love has a drinking problem, Hope Academy can help you get the help you need today. To learn more about our young adult alcohol rehab, call toll-free today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Study: Vaping Ups Smoking Risk for Teens

We already know that adolescent e-cig users are more likely to start smoking cigarettes – but a new study found that trying e-cigarettes can double their risk for smoking tobacco. Students in grades seven to 12 who had tried an e-cigarette are 2.16 times more likely to be susceptible to cigarette smoking, according to researchers from the University of Waterloo and Wake Forest School of Medicine.

"Since e-cigarettes came on the market there has been a debate about whether their use may lead to cigarette smoking," said Bruce Baskerville, co-author on the study and a researcher at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo, in a statement. "The answer among adolescents is yes."

More Facts About E-Cigarettes and Adolescents
About 3 million middle- and high-school students use e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute on Drug Abuse put together an infographic containing some more essential facts on e-cigs and adolescents, including:
  • Teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than cigarettes. Past-month use of e-cigarettes was 9.5 percent among 8th graders, 14.0 percent among 10th graders, and 16.2 percent among 12 graders.
  • Two times as many boys use e-cigs as girls.
  • Teens don’t know what’s in their e-cig. Manufacturers don’t have to report e-cig ingredients, so users don’t know what’s actually in them. In fact, 66 percent of teens believe that their e-cig just contains flavoring.
  • Seven in 10 teens are exposed to e-cig ads. Among high school students, 56.3 percent are exposed to retail ads, 42.9 percent to internet ads, 38.4 percent to TV and movie ads, and 34.6 percent to newspaper and magazine ads.

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. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Striking a Healthy Balance: Giving College Kids Independence and Connection 

In 2016, first-year college students reported all-time highs when it came to anxiety and depression. Similarly, college mental health services reported an increase in students seeking assistance and support for depression, anxiety, addictions and peer pressure to engage in dangerous drinking and sexual behaviors.

One explanation, say experts, is that the human brain doesn’t completely mature until about age 25 – and the last area to develop is the part of the brain responsible for good judgment. What’s more, 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin by age 24, making the college years a critical time for mental health support.

A recent article on titled “Helicopter parenting is bad for college kids—but a little hovering is just right” offered some good insight on how to find that delicate balance between letting college kids gain independence while providing some much-needed parental guidance and mental health support. 

Here’s a summary of some of their best tips: 
  • Guide, don’t pressure, your loved ones. This includes respecting their point of view, listening more than talking and asking follow-up questions to actively express your interest in what they tell you. 
  • Share own life and ups and downs. Transitioning to a more adult, mutual relationship means shifting the conversation to include your own experiences as well. 
  • Set up clear expectations. Be direct about your thoughts about communication, finances, sexual relations, roommate arrangements, and drug and alcohol use. But listen to your child’s point of view, too. 
  • Allow for mistakes. And make it clear that you are available if/when they need help rectifying a slip-up. 
  • Emphasize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. And you can go a step further and help them find and make use of mental health services on and off campus. 
  • Don’t overlook college resources – for your child and for yourself. Many colleges offer workshops for parents during parents’ weekend, for example, as well as year-round online resources. 

Our Dual-Diagnosis Treatment 
At Hope Academy, we offer a highly individualized approach for young adults struggling with substance abuse and mental health conditions. Our proven treatment includes group and individual therapy, recreational therapy, nutrition and exercise, support groups, medication management, family therapy and aftercare planning. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.

"Take a Minute, Change a Life" is this year’s theme and, to this end, the organization will be releasing findings from a national stigma survey with the aim of better understanding attitudes and behaviors that need to change in order to prevent suicide.

College Suicide: Recognizing the Warning Signs
Suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students. Studies show that every two hours and 12 minutes, someone between the ages of 15 and 24 dies of suicide. Since suicide is most commonly caused by untreated depression, it’s important to learn the typical signs of depression that indicate a cry for help. This may include: 
  • Trouble handling schoolwork
  • A lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in eating habits or sleeping patterns
  • Low levels of energy or a feeling of being drained
  • Feeling hopeless, trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Emotional outbursts (i.e. crying or being easily irritated) or mood swings 
  • Changes in relationships, including sexual promiscuity
  • Self-destructive behavior (i.e. substance abuse, cutting)
Any mere thought or mention at all of suicide warrants immediate attention. If you believe someone is at risk of suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if they are thinking about killing themselves. This won't put the idea into their heads or make it more likely that they’ll attempt suicide, notes the U.S. Surgeon General. Speaking with a mental health professional or counselor is also a great first step.

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. 

CignaAetnaBlueCross BlueShieldUnited HealthcareMore Options/Verify Benefits

Call us at to Learn About Open Enrollment

Request A Call Back