Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why Women May Be More Prone to Drug Abuse

Women are among the fastest-growing segments of drug users in the United States — and they may even be more prone to addiction than men, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. 

Here’s a summary of some of the reasons listed in the article: 
  • Women are more vulnerable to mental illness. And mental disorders, including depression, eating disorders, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, have been linked to an increased risk of substance use disorders. 
  • Women have more chronic pain. The result: greater susceptibility to opiate and prescription drug abuse. In fact, women are given higher doses and for longer periods of time than men -- and they become dependent more quickly, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
  • Women have higher incidents of trauma, discrimination and stress. These are all intertwined with addiction. As many as 80 percent of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault, according to studies. Women are also more likely to experience gender discrimination – and this is linked to higher stress, which is also a risk factor of substance abuse. 
  •  Women tend to develop addictions faster. And they often enter into treatment programs with more severe dependence than men.
Gender Differences in Substance Abuse
Luckily, more and more research is focusing on the differences between women and men when it comes to addiction. These findings can only help women get the treatment they need and deserve. 

Here are a few more telling facts about women and drug abuse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  • Women use smaller amounts of certain drugs for less time before they become addicted.
  • Women may have more drug cravings and be more likely to relapse after treatment. 
  • Sex hormones can make women more sensitive to the effects of some drugs.
  • Women may experience more physical effects on their heart and blood vessels.
  • Women may be more likely to have panic attacks, anxiety or depression.
Women and Addiction Recovery
At Rising Roads Recovery, we know that every woman who comes to us is incredibly unique and needs to be treated that way. One size does not fit all – and one future does not work for everyone. To learn more, call 866-746-1558. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A New Season for the Rising Roads Family

GRATITUDE: Sharing Our Appreciation 

As Rising Roads approaches its second year of helping women find their way, we have exciting news. But first—thank you. We are exceedingly grateful for the compassionate support you provide our team and our clients. With your encouragement, we’ve stayed true to our mission to serve as a 90-day minimum stay center while adopting an intensive focus on trauma healing and women-specific issues.

Without you, Rising Roads Recovery would not be what it is today. 

GROWTH: Expanding Our Services 

Adding to our continuum of care, Rising Roads is delighted to announce the grand opening of our new Partial (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Outpatient (OP). These options will further improve our outcomes and help us reach a larger community while staying true to our program tenets. If you have an outside client requiring gender specific PHO/IOP/OP treatment, contact me at 866.746.8986 to discuss features and benefits of this exciting women-only curriculum.

Welcoming New Friends 

As you may know, my parents were instrumental in the launch of Rising Roads Recovery. Over the last two years, they have been tireless advocates and program supporters, but they are preparing to take a step back and settle into a life of leisure and travel. To facilitate this process, Lenny and Erika Segal have decided to take their place and invest in us. Mike Robertson, who has worked with Lenny for years and has been with Rising Roads since the beginning, believes my alliance with Lenny and Erika to be an ideal blend of complementary skillsets, passions and ambitions.

I have known Lenny personally and professionally for many years and have grown quite close to Erika during this time. As we build upon Rising Roads’ success, be assured that we will work daily to build upon our mission and uphold the high-reaching standards you have come to expect for your clients.

GUIDANCE: Extending Our Community Reach  

One final, exciting announcement. Since opening our doors, I’ve received many inquiries about expanding our unique approach to women’s recovery. For those of you who have referred clients over the last few months, I appreciate your trust and apologize deeply for our occasional lack of space. Fortunately, those days are nearing an end.

The timing is serendipitous—and we will be opening a new house and advancing our ability to guide and love the women in our recovery community. You will receive news of another fully licensed Rising Roads Recovery facility shortly! This is a dream-come-true for me.

Once again, thank you deeply for supporting our staff and caring for the amazing women we serve. As we continue this upward trajectory, we invite you to celebrate with us. Stay tuned for news about our upcoming open house, and please call if we can help your clients or answer questions about our team and the amenities at our beautiful new locale.

With Fondness & Gratitude,

Becky Gatdula Founder/CEO, Rising Roads Recovery

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Sugar Harms Your Health (and Your Recovery)

Some people say that sugar is toxic and should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol. Too much sugar has been found to wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. This includes damage to your: 
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Skin 
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Mood
For those in recovery, a high-sugar diet may even get in the way of a full recovery. This is because sugar triggers the release of the feel-good brain chemical dopamine, causing rewards and cravings similar to those induced by drugs like cocaine and heroin. This can easily cause a cross or transfer sugar addiction.

While it’s nearly impossible to avoid sugar 100 percent of the time, it’s important to be mindful of your intake and the negative effects of this addictive substance. The American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 25 grams, or six teaspoons, of sugar per day.

Sugar and Your Mental Health
The roller coaster of high blood sugar followed by a crash may accentuate the symptoms of mood disorders.
  • A high-sugar diet can mess with your blood sugar, causing mood swings, anxiety and depression. 
  • Too much sugar can cause blurry vision, difficulty thinking and fatigue, which mimic signs of a panic attack.  
  • Too much sugar forms free radicals in the brain and compromises nerve cells’ ability to communicate. The result: trouble remembering instructions, processing ideas and managing moods.
  • Heavy sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of depression and worsening of schizophrenia symptoms. 

Cooking Classes and Nutritional Guidance 
At Rising Roads Recovery, we aim to fix old patterns and replace them with a healthy relationship with food. As part of our holistic approach to addiction rehab, we offer weekly nutrition courses, in addition to shopping preparation and cooking classes. To learn more, call: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Making Spirituality Part of Your Day

Do you have a sense of spiritual emptiness? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, this is common for many women in addiction recovery. But spirituality – even if you’re not religious – can play a positive role in your recovery. 
What Is Spirituality?
There’s no one definition of spirituality. It can be about believing in something bigger than ourselves and connecting to the world around us. It can be about finding creativity and wisdom in your life. It can be about self-actualization and striving to become a better person. It can be about finding a higher guiding path. 

However you define it, it has many benefits, including:
  • Less anxiety
  • Fewer cravings
  • More optimistic and hopefulness 
  • Better relationships
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Greater ability to cope with stress
3 Ways to Be More Spiritual
A few simple steps can help you make spirituality part of your every day. 

Turn off the chatter. Find a few minutes each day to be alone with your thoughts – without your smartphone. This quiet time (whether you sit still or meditate) will help you reflect on your internal values, or who you are and who you’d like to become. You can even take this a step further and journal your thoughts during this time.

Connect to nature. Spend some time outdoors and really pay attention to your surroundings – the colors, smells, sounds, and sensations. 

Choose a mantra. And be sure to pick a word or phrase that you truly believe and that will empower and inspire you each time you repeat it. 

Healing Your Spirit at Rising Roads
Recovery is more than just being physically sober; it’s about learning to nurture your mind, body, and spirit. To discover more about our drug and alcohol rehab for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Take a Cue from This Mental Health Day Email

Madalyn Parker, a web developer at Olark Live Chat, e-mailed work to tell her coworkers, “I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health. Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”

CEO Ben Congleton responded: “I just wanted to personally thank you for sending e-mails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health – I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations. You are an example to us all, and help cut through the stigma so we can bring our whole selves to work.”

Parker’s tweet, which showed this refreshing e-mail exchange, has since been liked by more than 40,000 people and retweeted close to 15,000 times, according to 

Perhaps, we should all take a cue from Madalyn and mind our mental health – and this is especially important if you’re in recovery from a co-occurring addiction and mental illness. In fact, those with a substance use disorder are twice as likely as the general population to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, notes the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And many of these co-occurring disorders predate the start of drug or alcohol use.

3 Smart Habits for Mental Health

Start your morning right. What you do first thing in the a.m. can help set your mood for the rest of the day. So try to meditate, read a motivational quote, write down your daily goals, go for a long walk, listen to music, or whatever helps you become more mindful of your mental health. 

Go outside and exercise. Spending time in nature – especially when that time is spent exercising – can ease anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. What’s more, the color green (found on trees, grass, plants) has been study-proven to make exercise easier

Count your blessings. Gratitude is an important part of addiction recovery – I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “have an attitude of gratitude” – and it’s also essential for staying optimistic. And the best part, it literally takes one second. Try it: Take a moment each day to feel thankful – for the warm sun, for the fresh fruit at the farmer’s market, for the friendship of other women in recovery with you. 

Ask About Our Psychiatric Consultations
At Rising Roads, our staff is here to help you take your physical and mental health back. To learn more, call us today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Stop Your Inner Critic

Your inner dialogue can be pretty powerful – and it can either work for you or against you as you strive to meet your goals for recovery and beyond. This is because self-talk can greatly influence your behaviors. 

Telling yourself that you’ll never be sober or that you aren’t as good as other people, for instance, can reduce your feelings of self-worth and deter you from overcoming your addiction. Instead, an important recovery skill is to learn how to develop a more positive and productive dialog with yourself. Here are a few ways to tame that inner critic:
  • Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend. Would you remind your friend of his or her every mistake, inadequacy and missed opportunity? Would you judge or berate her? Of course you wouldn’t – so why is it OK to do it to yourself? Strive to treat yourself with kindness and gentleness – just as you would a friend or loved one.
  • Avoid labels. Calling yourself “fat” or “selfish” or “worthless” is self-defeating and can cause you to spiral into a destructive pattern of negative thinking. What’s more, putting a label on yourself doesn’t articulate who you are as a person. A better solution: Make a mental list of your positive traits and behaviors.
  • Carve out a daily time slot for self-appreciation. Schedule five minutes each day to think (and even write down) three things you’ve done that make you feel proud. And remember that even small things count – from cooking a healthful meal to remembering to breathe before reacting to a stressful situation.
  • Pick a simple affirmation. Try to make it short – like “I can do this,” or “I deserve a sober life” – so you can quickly say it to yourself to replace any negative thoughts.
Ongoing Support in Orange County
Gaining self-confidence and creating a life worth living is a process – and we’re here to support you. At Rising Roads, we have developed a specialized addiction program solely dedicated to the development of women in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

Friday, July 7, 2017

How Making Peace With Yourself Helps Your Recovery

Simply put: The more at peace you are with yourself, the easier it will be to navigate recovery. Inner peace will help you stay emotionally balanced and give you greater confidence in your ability to get (and stay) sober. It will also help you create harmony with yourself and the world around you. 

This isn’t to say that learning to be at peace with yourself is easy – nor will it happen overnight. Forgiving yourself for past choices and embracing who you are and how far you’ve come takes time and effort. These steps will help you get started. 

Find moments of silence. This means no smart phones, no laptops, no television – just you and your thoughts. Whether you choose to sit still in your bedroom or go for a nature walk, the goal is to use this quiet time to reflect on who you are and what you’d liked to achieve for true happiness. 

Make room for meditation. Meditation can help you generate inner peace by teaching you to notice your thoughts and accept them without passing judgment. It can also help you to release emotional tension so you can center yourself and find peace. 

Release regret. Holding on to your past mistakes is not healthy for your inner peace or long-term sobriety. Do your best to encourage and forgive yourself. For example, tell yourself things like, “I’m taking steps to change,” or “I made mistakes but I can also make amends.” 

Keep a journal. A great way to get back to who you really are is to write down and reflect on your feelings. Journaling is a safe and sacred way to engage in dialogue with just you and your spirit. For many, the act of writing itself is meditative and can help you feel calm and at peace.

A Sanctuary to Find Inner Peace
At Rising Roads, we have crafted an environment that will make each woman feel great about her surroundings, which will help her feel great about herself. To learn more about our programs and facility, call today: 866-746-1558.