Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Women and Smartphone Addiction

It’s not too surprising that America is in the midst of a so-called “smartphone epidemic” — Americans check their cellphones or mobile devices over 9 billion times per day. And 50 percent also check their phones in the middle of the night, according to

More and more research is showing that women are particularly prone to smartphone addiction and the personal, social and workplace problems that follow suit.  According to studies, “constantly” checking your phones can lead to higher levels of the following mental health conditions, which may already be a struggle as many of them are also linked to substance use disorder:
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Social anxiety
  • Stress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Sleep problems
The first step in preventing the negative health effects of smartphone addiction is to recognize the warning signs, including:
  • You panic when you can’t find your phone. 
  • Your vision is fading and your head hurts. 
  • You use your phone when driving.
  • You get phantom vibrations. 
  • You’re not sleeping well. 
  • You’re getting a sore neck and poor posture. 
Smart Steps to Set Limits on Your Smartphone 
Getting your smartphone use under control is important for your emotional health and recovery. Here are some everyday ways to scale back: 
  • Pay attention to your habits. In particular, track how much time you spend on your phone. If you think you might need to scale back, consider downloading one of the many apps that let you lock yourself out of your phone if you exceed a pre-set limit. 
  • Put your phone away during social times. Staring at your phone while spending time with loved ones isn’t the best way to form bonds -- but putting it away will help curb your use and allow you to devote your full attention to friends and family. 
  • Make your bedroom a no-phone zone. And this includes charging your phone bedside. The blue-hued light can interfere with your sleep cycle as it prevents your brain from releasing sleep-inducing melatonin. 
Life Skills at Rising Roads
As part of our addiction treatment for women, we include ‘life skills’ related groups so clients are equipped to handle the temptations and stress that go along with re-entering society after rehab. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Keeping Anger at Bay

Getting a handle on your emotions is hard for everyone — and you likely know that it’s even more difficult when you’re also trying to recover from alcohol or drug abuse. For example, if left unrecognized and/or uncontrolled, anger can hold you back from moving ahead in recovery. 

For one, it can lead to relapse. Uncontrolled anger can also jeopardize your relationships as well as your physical and mental health. Headaches, insomnia and digestive issues have all been linked to pent-up anger. This is especially worrisome, when you consider the fact that a substance use disorder can cause these issues as well.

While you never want to avoid or suppress anger, you do want to make sure it’s not controlling you and your actions. These tips can help.
  • Keep a log. This can help you identify your anger triggers and make you more aware of how you think, feel and act in angry situations. For example: What are the signs that you are becoming angry? Do you rattle your words off in rapid-fire or become exceedingly sarcastic? What causes you to become angry? Who were you with? Were you lonely, stressed, exhausted, hungry or scared? 
  • Postpone your anger. The next time you find yourself becoming angry, count to 10 or to 20 or to 30 before you speak or take action. Allowing some time to pass will help you calm down so you can act rationally rather than emotionally. 
  • Try relaxation techniques. This can include deep breathing, listening to soothing music, taking a hot bath, meditation – whatever helps you calm the physical sensations (increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, feeling hot or flushed, etc.) associated with anger.
  • Find a healthy distraction. The idea is to prevent your thoughts from feeding your anger, and this could be as simple as thinking about something that makes you happy or relaxed. 
  • Do something incompatible with anger. By embracing a loved one or petting your dog, you can displace anger with more positive feelings. 
  • Watch for signs of depression. Anger is often a sign that you're hurting inside. In fact, many experts define depression as “anger turned inward.” Many co-occurring mental conditions, including depression and anxiety, can certainly cause unhealthy levels of anger. In these cases, it’s essential to address the root of the anger problem along with the anger itself.
Anger Management for Women 
At Rising Roads, we focus on the unique needs of women in recovery. We help our female clients discover new coping strategies to manage (not run from) their emotions, so they can continue to heal and reclaim healthy, sober lives. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558. 

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.