Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Study: Alcohol-Related ER Visits Soar, Especially Among Women

Between 2006 and 2014, the rate of visits to the ER for alcohol-related issues increased by nearly 50 percent – especially among females and middle-aged drinkers, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

“In just nine years, the number of people transported to the ED [emergency departments] annually for medical emergencies caused or exacerbated by alcohol increased from about 3 million to 5 million,” said NIAAA Director George F. Koob, PhD, in a statement. 

“These findings are indicative of the detrimental effects that acute and chronic alcohol misuse have on public health, and the significant burden they place on our healthcare system.”

What’s behind the dramatic increase in alcohol-related ER visits? The study authors say it remains a mystery, in part because the same nine-year period showed a mere 2 percent increase in per capita alcohol consumption and only an 8 percent increase in overall ER visits.

"The lowest hanging fruit in terms of hypotheses is that there must be an increase in risky drinking in some people," study author and neuroscientist Aaron White told NPR.org

Perhaps the most concerning part of the study was that the increase of chronic alcohol misuse-related visits, such as alcohol withdrawal and alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver, was primarily driven by females (6.9 percent versus 4.5 percent in men, annually). 

“Recent studies suggest that the drinking habits of females and males are becoming more similar in the United States,” said White. “The larger increase in the rate of ED visits among females compared to males provides further evidence of narrowing gender gaps in alcohol use and related harms. This trend is concerning given that females appear to be more susceptible to some of the detrimental health effects of alcohol.” This includes liver damage, heart disease and breast cancer.

According to the NIAAA, women face higher risks than men because:
  • Women typically start to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men
  • Women typically weigh less than men
  • Pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men do, and alcohol resides predominantly in body water
Alcohol Abuse Treatment for Women 
Rising Roads Recovery is dedicated to helping women who are struggling with alcohol use disorder and/or a co-occurring mental disorder. Our treatment center was created to inspire women to thrive in recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Street Drugs and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Did you know that roughly one in 20 women – or 5 percent – take street drugs during pregnancy? And, according to a recent California-based study, marijuana use among moms-to-be climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016. 

Whether pot, cocaine, heroin or ecstasy, street drugs and pregnancy just don’t mix — and can cause devastating (even fatal) effects before, during, and after pregnancy for you and your baby-to-be. This is because many substances pass easily through the placenta, so the drugs you take during pregnancy, to some degree, reach the baby. In fact, when a baby is exposed to drugs in the womb before birth, he or she can experience severe drug withdrawal immediately or up to 14 days after birth.

Complications caused by street drugs don’t just end after childbirth. Drug addiction can also lead to mental health issues and severely impair your ability to parent. In turn, as the child grows older, his or her physical, mental and emotional development will suffer. 

Risks of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy
Many women who use street drugs may use more than one drug and also have other unhealthy behaviors, like smoking and drinking alcohol, according to the March of Dimes. This makes it a bit tricky to pinpoint exactly how each drug affects pregnancy. Still, there are plenty of adverse health effects linked to these risky behaviors, including: 
  • Infertility
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Preterm labor
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth 
  • Low birth weight
  • Smaller-than-normal head size (called reduced head circumference)
  • Heart defects
  • Birth defects
  • Infections, including hepatitis C, HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and Zika
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) 
Addiction Treatment for Moms-to-Be
Pregnancy is the perfect opportunity to take charge of your health and change any patterns of alcohol and/or substance use. At Rising Roads, we understand the unique challenges of women and our female staff can help you start on a healing path toward lasting sobriety. To learn more, call us today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Special Report on Women's Wellness

What does wellness mean to women and what wellness challenges do women face the most? The consumer health website Everyday Health set out to answer these questions and more with a first-of-its-kind survey entitled “Special Report on Women’s Wellness 2017.” The report, which analyzed results from 3,000 women, ages 25 to 65, across a geographic, economic and cultural spectrum, is divided into 11 sections including:  
  • The Stress of Anxiety
  • Harassment Reckoning 
  • Sexual Health and STDs 
  • Sleep
  • Millennial
  • Finances 
  • Work-Life Balance 
  • Body Image and BMI
  • Wellness Predictors
Some of the survey findings include:
  • 50 percent of women reported that stress and anxiety tops their list of wellness challenges.
  • 67 percent of women said they were more likely to stress out or get anxious, compared with 33 percent who said they were more likely to meditate or calm themselves.
  • 81% of women are not getting a good night's sleep on a weekly basis.
  • One third of the respondents, across all age groups, are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis.
  • 50 percent feel "loved, cherished, supported or special to someone else."
  • 50 percent laugh out loud weekly, if not daily.
  • 1 out of every 2 respondents worry about the health and wellness of someone else on a daily basis.
  • Nearly 75% of women surveyed claim body and self-image negatively affect their wellness.
  • 69% of women identify financial security as one of the top values that matter most to their overall wellness, with 1 in 2 worrying about their finances weekly.
  • 7 out of 10 women would prefer to be known for their brains over their bodies.
  • 75 percent of survey respondents say they put caring for themselves last
The hope is that these results shed light on how to make women feel empowered and inspired to live their best lives and achieve their highest level of wellness. To this end, along with the results, Everyday Health gathered reactions and tips from more than a dozen health experts. 

One area of particular concern, according to the experts, was selflessness. "It's second nature for women to put everyone else ahead of [us], but when we do that, our own health suffers, Laura Berman, PhD, a world-renowned sex and relationship educator and therapist, popular TV, radio, and internet host, a New York Times bestselling author, and an assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, told Everyday Health.

We can't be our best selves if we are tired, cranky, and miserable. Self-care is our responsibility and our right as human beings.

Take Back Your Health
At Rising Roads our staff is here to help women put their physical and mental health first. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations and addiction treatment programs and offerings, call us today: 866-746-1558.
`

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Real New Year's Resolutions from Real Women

For many women, the New Year often starts with an unrealistic self-improvement pledge. Yet resolutions like “I resolve to drop 20 pounds” or “give up sugar” are often hard to stick with over the long haul and they won’t necessarily strengthen your inner self and recovery journey. 

What’s more, according to the American Psychological Association, some overly ambitious resolutions made during the New Year only result in excess stress. Your best bet: Stick with simple and realistic resolutions. We scoured the web for some ideas from real women that might work for you

Resolve to stop apologizing. Do you tend to apologize for everything, even when you have nothing to be sorry for? "Everyone who knows me knows that 'I'm sorry' basically falls out of my mouth,” Devin, 23, of Manalapan, NJ, told MariaClaire.com.  “I'm constantly apologizing for everything that happens around me. 'I'm sorry you walked into me on the subway! I'm sorry I need to ask my manager for guidance and might be disturbing her!' So this year, I'm going to own my shit and stop apologizing for things I don't have to apologize for."

Resolve to stop negative self-talk. “That negative inner voice that plants seeds of self-doubt is what I'd like to leave in the past,” Lauren, 27, of Atlanta, GA, told MariaClaire.com. “It demotivates me, keeps me from enjoying the subsequent event, and wrecks my confidence at critical moments. I plan to put a more positive spin on my inner negativity… to encourage myself rather than tear myself down."

Resolve to say “no” without guilt. "It's very easy to find yourself in a position where saying 'no' to an event or to a request, or even putting yourself first, can ignite a sense of guilt,” Sheri, 29, Arlington, VA, told MariaClaire.com. This year, however, I will commit to the things that I have the capacity for and the desire to do, and confidently say no, otherwise."

Resolve to begin the day with "me" time. "Last year was full of anxiety… I knew I needed a change in order to be a better person and be more present in my life," Trinity S. Perkins, of Woodbridge, VA, told Prevention.com. "I resolved to enjoy some 'me time' first thing every morning — even if only for 10 minutes. I'll do things like lie in bed and take note of things I'm grateful for, put my phone on 'do not disturb' until I've finished my morning workout, and read for pleasure while enjoying my morning coffee.” 

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 about our addiction treatment programs, call 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Being Grateful This Holiday Season

While gratitude is an important part of your day to day recovery, it can also play a pretty powerful role in helping you manage the holiday season. And we don’t just mean being grateful for the gifts that you receive. 

The holidays can be tough for those of us in recovery – whether you’re missing friends and family or struggling with some intense (and even unexpected) emotions this time of year – and a gratitude-filled approach for handling it all can help. 

After all, having an attitude of gratitude has been linked with less anxiety, fewer toxic emotions, increased happiness and better sleep. Plus, recognizing all that you have to be thankful for –especially during stressful times – can help foster resilience.

Here are a few ways to practice gratitude this holiday season:
  • Start a gratitude routine. Each evening, write down three good things about your day  –and you’ll soon see that there are plenty of large and small blessings to count.
  • Focus on the sunny side. The next time you feel overwhelmed by stress, gently guide your focus back to one thing for which you feel grateful. If it helps, jot it down on paper and display it prominently as a visual reminder of how you want to feel this holiday season. The more you practice, the easier it will become overtime to be a thankful person.
  • Go public. Pick one thing you’re grateful for this week and post it on your social media or in a forum on an online support group. This will help reinforce your attitude of gratitude.
  • Be thankful for things that haven’t yet happened. Sure, it’s nice to count your blessing for today – but what about being grateful for all of those wonderful things ahead in your new sober life? Give this idea from LifeandBeautyWeekly.com a try: “Close your eyes and imagine that you’re standing on a carpet of gratitude. Imagine that you’re walking down the carpet past all the wonderful experiences that await you: a dream job, your wedding day, the birth of your child, a trip to Paris. By thanking the universe for blessings in advance, you’ll develop a sense of gratitude even when things don’t seem to be going your way.”
Wishing you a holiday season filled with joy and gratitude!

Grateful for Female Support
Our "sisters in recovery" are ready and willing to support you through the upcoming holidays. At Rising Roads, women can be fearful, supported, and courageous at the same time. To learn more about our gender-specific rehab, call us today: 866-746-1558. 



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tips to Avoid Holiday Depression

Feelings of sadness and negative mood affect many people at the holidays, and those battling a dual diagnosis of depression and addiction are at heightened risk. What’s more, the season also exacerbates loneliness, which is a known relapse trigger and can certainly add to depression.

Despite these not-so-merry facts, the holidays can be (and should be) a time of joy and happiness – and a great opportunity to reflect on the many things you have to be grateful for this season. 

The Mayo Clinic offers these tips to help you avoid depression and embrace the holiday spirit this season.
  • Acknowledge your feelings.  Just because it's the holiday season, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be happy. You are still entitled to your range of emotions, so take time to cry or express your feelings and then try to move forward.
  • Stay connected. Now isn’t the time to isolate yourself. Lean on your friends, family members and recovery sisters this time of year. Volunteering to help others is also a great way to lift your spirits and be part of something special.
  • Set realistic expectations. The new, sober you might not be up for old traditions and rituals and that’s okay. Be open to creating new ways to celebrate the holidays. Along the same lines, don’t get bogged down by perfectionism. Just focus on doing the best you can with what you have.
  • Learn to say no. Your recovery should be number-one on your to-do list, so keep this in mind when you decide which holiday commitments you can and cannot keep this year. Saying “no” isn’t selfish; it’s a matter of self-preservation. 
  • Don't abandon healthy habits. In fact, sleep, exercise, diet and stress management are perhaps your biggest allies against holiday depression.
  • Take a breather. Make time for yourself – even if it’s just 15 minutes to slow down and restore your inner calm. Some ideas: Meditate, take a walk, listen to soothing music, get a massage, read a book. 
  • Seek professional help. If you feel persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face everyday chores, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
The Gift of Recovery
Perhaps the best gift you can give to yourself this season is to seek help if you or someone you love is struggling with a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you find sobriety and learn new life skills to create a vibrant, fulfilling life – one that includes profoundly meaningful relationships with friends and family. We are here to plan, support, and love. To find out more about Rising Road Recovery’s treatment program for women, call today: 866-746-1558.



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Is Self-Care on Your Holiday To-do List?

For most of us, the holidays can stir up a mix of emotions – from gratefulness and glee to anxiety and stress. And in order to get through the season and safeguard your sobriety, you’ll need to be sure to charge your emotional and energetic reserves – and this starts with self-care.  

No, it’s not selfish to pay attention to your personal wellness this time of year. In fact, it’s crucial to your recovery. Plus, it will enable you to better enjoy the holidays and love of those around you. 

Get started with these self-care tips:
  • Make healthy habits routine. Try your best to stick to a sleep schedule, exercise regularly, eat a healthful diet and practice relaxation techniques – these self-care strategies are key to managing holiday stress. 
  • Mind your emotions. Self-care is more than just how much you eat or exercise, it also means paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, expectations and interactions. 
  • Remember your priorities: Take the pressure off of yourself by focusing only on the most important tasks – even if that means you can’t satisfy all of the holiday demands.
  • Create new traditions: If attending booze-laden family affairs, for instance, creates more stress than joy, take a step back and figure out a new family tradition. 
  • Lean on female friends. We’ve mentioned before about the many health perks of female friends, including increased optimism and decreased stress. Make time to get together with your sisters in recovery this season.
  • Just breathe: We all tend to hold our breath in times of stress, so stop and exhale. Taking, deep, mindful breaths throughout the day will help to keep your mind and body relaxed and focused.  
Begin Recovery at Rising Roads 
There’s no “right or wrong” season to begin on the journey toward sobriety. If you feel as if it’s time for a new beginning, don’t let the holidays stand in your way. To learn more about our gender-specific rehab, call us today: 866-746-1558.