Thursday, April 27, 2017

This Prescription Medication May Aid in Treating Opioid Addiction

Female Doctor
Given the rapid growth in opioid use and abuse, many researchers are working hard to develop new and innovative therapies that providers can use to treat the condition. In addition to that, scientists are also taking a closer look at using existing medications to aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

In that same vein, a team at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) examined the effects of a prescription medication, Lorcaserin, that was originally designed to help clinically obese patients return to a healthier weight.

Lorcaserin was originally approved in 2012 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30. The medication works by altering how the brain processes serotonin, which is associated with feelings of fullness. Serotonin also plays an important role in the disease of addiction - this neurotransmitter also controls the pathways associated with drug seeking behaviors.

To better understand how Lorcaserin affects the addicted brain, Kathryn Cunningham, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of Center for Addiction Research at UTMB, and her team of researchers evaluated the behavior of rats who were given an unlimited supply of Oxycodone. The scientists then administered Lorcaserin to some of the rats, while others received a placebo. They found that the group of rats who received Lorcaserin self-administered Oxycodone less often and exhibited fewer drug-seeking behaviors.

In a paper published in the American Chemical Society Neuroscience, Cunningham and her collaborators found that the prescription could have a profound impact in the lives of those struggling with an addiction. Lorcaserin can help those with an opioid addiction by reducing the urge to use opiates and ultimately, mitigating the risk of relapse.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2 million Americans are dealing with an addiction to prescription painkillers and drug overdose is now the most common form of accidental deaths in the U.S. Given the severity of this public health crisis, it’s important that the addiction recovery community continues to make progress towards fighting this epidemic.

Post Relapse Care at Rising Roads Recovery

When individuals relapse, it doesn’t mean that their journey to addiction recovery is over. Though, it does require the help of professionals who specialize in helping those regain their footing in sobriety. At Rising Roads Recovery, we offer a recovery program that is tailored to helping women post-relapse. With our Boost Up program, we can help you identify your personal addiction triggers and develop a comprehensive plan to combat those cravings. To learn more, call today: (866) 746-1558.

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Research: Women Have an Increased Risk for Tech Addiction

Woman on her phone
According to new research from Binghamton University, women have an increased risk of developing a smartphone addiction.

In a paper recently published in Information Systems Journal, scientists interviewed 182 college students to better understand how often they use their smartphone throughout the day and also tracked their moods throughout the duration of the study.

Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton University, and his team then classified the research participants into five different usage categories ranging from “Thoughtful” (lower usage) to “Addict” (higher usage).

Across the board, more frequent smartphone usage was correlated with negative outcomes such as having more problems at home and at work due to an excessive need to use it throughout the day. Those individuals also self-reported experiencing negative emotions such as social isolation and depression throughout the day.

In this survey, the correlation between high usage and negative outcomes was consistent for both men and women. But, researchers found that women were more likely to fall into the high-risk categories of “Fanatic” and “Addict”, which suggests that they have an increased risk of developing a smartphone addiction.

"Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering," said Vaghefi. "Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction. This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom."

"While self-identified 'addict' users were in the minority, I predict technology addiction will increase as technology continues to advance and application, game and gadget developers find new ways to ensure users’ long-term engagement with technology," said Vaghefi.

If you are working on your recovery, it’s important to take an inventory of your entire lifestyle, including how you use technology, to avoid developing unhealthy attachments. At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you learn new life skills to set yourself up for success.

Women’s Only Transitional Living Services

Have you made the first step towards recovery but still need more support on your journey towards independent living? At Rising Roads Recovery, our Rise Up Program is specifically designed to help women who have graduated from inpatient residential drug and alcohol rehab strengthen their new skills of sobriety. At our California women’s recovery center, you can renew your confidence and nurture your recovery in a safe environment. Call (866) 746-1558 to learn more.

Monday, April 10, 2017

[Addiction Research] State Drug Monitoring Programs Are Effective

Female doctor review patient files
Patients who are addicted to prescription opioids and desperate for that next high often resort to doctor-shopping to get multiple prescriptions for the same drug. To help combat this practice, 49 states and the District of Columbia have created their own prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). These databases are designed to help providers identify patients who may already have a prescription from another doctor and are high-risk for substance abuse.

But, how effective are PDMPs? One researcher at the UK College of Public Health recently published some initial findings that support the continued use of PDMPs. 

To conduct their analysis, Hefei Wen and her team reviewed data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2011 to 2014. 

The researchers found that residents aren’t prescribed Schedule II opioid painkillers as often in states with more aggressive regulations mandating that providers consult the databases . (One thing to note is that while PDMPs are widely available, they aren’t being used consistently. State laws that govern how providers should use the online databases vary greatly.)

And, those states save a lot of money too. Prescription reimbursements are typically 9 to 10 percent less than states with less restrictive regulatory controls.

Today, providers in Kentucky are bound by some of the strictest rules in the nation in terms of mandatory usage of their database. Doctors are required to register with the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER) and check the system each time before submitting new prescriptions and at least once every year after that.

While the opioid epidemic continues to gain steam, researchers are making progress developing new therapies designed to help individuals who are struggling with addiction issues. In addition to that, it’s also important that we continue to take a more proactive approach as well. Preventing the disease of addiction is a powerful tool. The results of this study suggest that the PDMPs can help prevent the accidental overprescribing of painkillers.

California Recovery Center for Women

Are you researching your options for transitional residential care? If you’ve already graduated from an inpatient program but aren’t ready to dive back into independent living, our Rise Up Program can help you bridge the gap. At Rising Roads Recovery, we specialize in helping women regain their confidence and sense of purpose in life with a compassionate approach to addiction recovery. To take the first step today, take an online tour of our facility and contact us to learn more about what we have to offer.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Invest in Your Success: 3 Tips for Daily Goal Setting

A women practicing daily goal setting
What are your long-term goals? Do you want to own your own business, launch a new career or train for a marathon? If so, kudos to you! Planning for your future is an important and exciting part of starting a new life of sobriety. When you are no longer living in the fog of substance abuse, you’ll likely find that you have more energy to pursue your dreams.

But, it’s important to think about your long-term goals as a series of smaller, short-term milestones. That way, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

To set yourself up for success, take a few minutes every day to create a few daily goals for yourself. It will likely help you stay focused on your priorities and keep your progress top of mind.

Daily goal setting doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult and it can help propel you forward. Here are a few tips to help you get started!

(1) First, identify a few long-term goals that you want to achieve. But, keep the list manageable, perhaps two or three objectives at first. When you sit down in the morning to jot down your short-term goals for the day, you can reference this list to help you stay focused. Starting with a blank slate can be challenging and you can use this information to help you get started.

(2) Use a positive tone! While it may seem like a slight difference, the words you use can make a big impact. Phrase your goals using positive words such as “I will” instead of “I hope to”. This can help give you a boost of confidence and the determination to achieve your goals and not push them to the side. 

(3) Celebrate your successes but don’t dwell on goals not yet completed. When you sit down each day to create a new list of goals, review your goals from the day before. Celebrate the progress that you have accomplished but don’t beat yourself up for the work that you still need to complete. Sometimes you might underestimate the amount of time required to complete a task or something unexpected might pop up. Just learn from your experience and keep moving forward!

California Addiction Treatment for Women

At Rising Roads Recovery, we specialize in helping women who are dealing with difficult situations. Living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our Rise Up Program is designed to help women who need additional support before graduating to independent living. With our transitional living program, you can continue your powerful journey of personal growth during recovery. Reach out to us today to learn more. Call (866) 746-1558.