Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Common Stumbling Blocks of Recovery

stumbling blocksWe don’t have to tell you that recovery is a long journey with ups and downs and lots of stumbling blocks along the way. Knowing what to expect can help you stay the sober path and better handle any challenges that come your way. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) outlined some common stumbling blocks for people in recovery – along with some tips to overcome them. Take a look: 

Your appearance. During recovery, your outward appearance tends to improve quicker than your ability to stay sober. SAMHSA calls this the “looking good” trap and says, if you’re not careful, it can cause you to begin to doubt that you have a substance use disorder. Don't let the mirror fool you, warns SAMHSA.

Your thinking patterns. A big part of staying sober is using healthy thinking to prevent yourself from romanticizing your past life and controlling cravings, which don’t go away quickly. If you find yourself spiraling into unhealthy thought patterns, stop and remind yourself of the pain that addiction caused you and review the positive things in your life that have occurred since you decided to get sober. A few more tips from SAMHSA:
  • Don’t talk about the fun of substance use. Ask your friends to interrupt you when this happens. 
  • Don’t listen when others talk about the fun of use. Change the subject or walk away for a moment.
  • Attend a support group and listen to other’s stories to be reminded how sneaky addiction is.
Your triggers and cravings. It’s not unusual for a craving to suddenly come back after three or six months and then quickly fade to a low level again, notes SAMHSA. Even without cravings, triggers abound so you need to be prepared by knowing the people, places and things that could cause you to relapse. 

Your emotions. Depression, anxiety, anger and loneliness – these emotions can interfere with your recovery if you don’t get help. Take care of your mental health by practicing relaxation techniques and seeking support from friends and loved ones as well as a trained professional. 

Your paycheck. Money can be a trigger, so it’s important to make a plan so you pay your bills and avoid buying drugs and/or alcohol. A few tips: 
  • Arrange for direct deposit of your paycheck, if possible.
  • Take a friend or family member with you when you go shopping.
  • Plan ways to avoid dealers and other users who might come looking for you after payday. 
Ask About Our Post-Relapse Care
Rising Roads Recovery wants to help you educate yourself on your very own patterns. Addiction is a chronic disease and a previous relapse does not mean failure – nor is relapse necessary for long-term recovery. Just like everyone’s recovery plan looks different, so does everyone’s relapse avoidance plan. You have a unique history that needs to be accounted for in your plan. And we’re here to help; we’re here to plan, support, and love. To learn more, call today: 866-746-1558.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Women and PTSD

In honor of National PTSD Awareness Month this June, we’re taking a look at how PTSD can impact women. According to the National Center for PTSD, women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men; women have a 10 percent risk while men have a 4 percent risk. And women with past mental health issues (like depression or anxiety) and lack of social support may be even more at risk for PTSD.

This perhaps isn’t too surprising considering that findings from a large national mental health study show that a little more than half of all women will experience at least one traumatic event in their life. And this includes sexual assault, which is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events, according to the National Center for PTSD. What’s more, women may be more likely to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men. 

The symptoms of PTSD are also often different for women versus men. Women, for example, are more likely to feel jumpy or depressed and anxious while men may feel angry and have trouble controlling their anger.

Untreated PTSD symptoms can have a negative impact on mental health and also lead to physical symptoms like headaches, gastrointestinal problems and sexual dysfunction. Many women with PTSD also turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate. In fact, addiction and PTSD often overlap, with nearly 50 percent of people with PTSD also meeting the criteria for substance use disorder.

Trauma Resolution at Rising Roads
If you’re looking for a safe, non-judgmental place to address your addiction in relation to your trauma, look no further. By using proven techniques like Psychodrama, Art and Somatic Therapy, we help clients stop running from their emotions and feelings and start healing. To learn more about our Trauma Treatment for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Why Are More Women Than Ever Addicted to Alcohol

women and alcohol use disorderIt’s not news that alcohol use disorder is on the rise among women, with the rate of female alcohol abuse and dependence in the United States increasing 83.7 percent between 2002 and 2013, according to a major study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). But what’s causing this increase? Why are women drinking more? And why should we be so worried?

“Some of the data we’re seeing indicates historic increases in consumption and alcohol problems,” Katherine Keyes, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told “The trajectory for female alcohol abuse now outpaces that of men. When we see these steep increases, you wonder if we are going to see a larger burden of disease for women.”

And for good reason: High-risk drinking—more than three drinks on a given day or more than seven per week, according to NIAAA—is linked to some 200 diseases, including cancers and psychiatric disorders. And, in general, women are hit harder than men when it comes to these adverse health effects. 

As far as why women are drinking more, the article on had some interesting findings. Here’s a quick recap: 

  • More alcohol companies are marketing to women. From Skinnygirl to Mommy Juice, more and more brands are targeting their spirits to women buyers.
  • Women feel pressure to fit in and crave camaraderie: Bar hopping or “Martini nights” with the girls have become more and more socially accepted. These nights “built-around a bottle” are also how many women are connecting to one another today.
  • Women are more stressed over work-life balance: More women hit the bottle in an effort to quell anxiety over the increasingly difficult work-life balance, according to And this isn’t too surprising considering that women of working age work longer hours and are unhappier today than their mothers were 40 years ago. 
  • Women are trying to cope with mental illness. Whether depression or anxiety or empty nest syndrome, many women are struggling with emotional issues and using alcohol as a means to self-medicate or escape negative feelings. 

  • Help for Women With Alcohol Use Disorder 
    While there’s a growing pressure to drink, problem drinking is still stigmatized. But greater awareness and efforts to seek treatment can help remedy this. If you’re concerned about your drinking and want help, or want to learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    What Does Anxiety Have to Do With Bones?

    anxiety and bone healthIf you suffer from a substance use disorder and anxiety disorder, you may want to pay extra attention to your bone health. 

    New research found that highly anxious women had higher risks for low bone density, breaks and fractures – and lower levels of vitamin D, which is associated with an increased fracture risk. 

    Based on an analysis of nearly 200 postmenopausal Italian women, the findings build upon previous research that links anxiety to an increased risk for heart disease and gastrointestinal problems.

    "Our findings are quite surprising because an association between anxiety levels and bone health was not reported before," said study author Dr. Antonino Catalano.

    So how does anxiety impact bone health? Researchers noted the negative effects of stress hormones on bone status and the fact that anxious women are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like smoking cigarettes or eating a poor diet, which weaken bones. 

    The researchers also noted that an estimated 33 percent of women will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lives and 7 percent of the world's population suffers from anxiety disorders.

    More About Women and Anxiety Disorders 
    Did you know that from the time a girl reaches puberty until about age 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder than a man, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). To blame: brain chemistry, hormonal fluctuations, and in general how women cope with stress, say researchers. There’s also evidence that early life adversity, including childhood sexual or physical abuse, predisposes women to anxiety disorders later in life. 

    Help for Addiction and Anxiety
    Are you or someone you love self-medicating to alleviate the symptoms of an anxiety disorder? 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.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    Must-Have Health Screenings For Women

    Not to put something else on your long list of recovery to-dos, but part of living a sober life is living a healthy life – and that means taking care to schedule a few exams that are essential to a woman’s health. Take a look at the list below and make it a short-term goal to get these screenings: 
    • Cholesterol: If you're 20 or older, the National Institutes of Health recommends having your cholesterol measured at least once every five years. If you're at risk for heart disease or stroke, you may need to be tested more frequently. Ask your healthcare provider.
    • Pap smears: The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force ( USPSTF) recommends screening for cervical cancer in women age 21 to 65 years with Pap smear every 3 years or, for women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval, screening with a combination of cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years. 
    • Mammograms: There is much discussion about when and how often women should have a mammogram, which screens for breast cancer. The USPSTF recommends that women age 50 to 74 have a mammogram every two years. The American Cancer Society, however, suggests that women get annual screenings at age 45, and a biannual mammogram at age 55. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or other risk factors, talk to your healthcare professional.
    • Bone density screening: Women should start getting screened for osteoporosis with a bone density test at age 65. Those with risk factors for osteoporosis should be screened earlier. Again, talk to your doctor about what’s right for you since certain abused substances, including alcohol and opioids, are study-proven to reduce bone density. 
    • Blood glucose tests: Starting around age 45, women should get a blood glucose test every three years to check for diabetes or prediabetes. Alcohol abuse can lower the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can up your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, however, so talk to your doctor about the best plan for you. 
    • Dental checkup: Addiction can wreak havoc on your oral health so it’s a good habit to make good dental health part of your recovery. All adult women need twice-yearly dental checkups, which include cleaning and examining the teeth, along with X-rays to spot early signs of decay and any other problems.
    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 services, call us today: 866-746-1558.

    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    Unexpected Perks of Post-Rehab for Moms 

    Being a mom is hard and being a mom while trying to stay sober is even harder. Yet even your most challenging day parenting while sober is likely a hundred times better than parenting while abusing alcohol or drugs. For one, being sober means being present in your child’s life – so you can pat yourself on the back for that. What’ s more, what you’ve learned in rehab – lessons like self-care, anger management, time management, stress management, communication – will help you to be a better you and a better mom. 

    Read on for some more unexpected perks of post-rehab for moms:
    • More quality time. Whether in the form of a family dinner or potluck get-together, spending time with loved ones will take on a whole new importance once you’re sober. 
    • New hobbies and interests. Now that you’re in recovery and no longer spend hours using or thinking about using, you’ll have extra time to reignite your passions and participate in activities you loved prior to your addiction. Or, you may choose to use your newly found time to test your hand at new interests and/or hobbies. 
    • Increased energy. Especially if diet and exercise is a part of your overall recovery plan, you’ll likely notice that you have a lot more energy now – energy well spent playing and spending time with your kids.
    • Greater appreciation. Many moms find greater meaning in everyday simple activities post-rehab – whether reading a bedtime story to your child or doing homework together. After all, another valuable rehab lesson is learning to live in the moment and find joy in your day to day.
    • Setting a good example. By working to get sober you’ve already taken a giant step toward being a positive role model. And you can take this further by staying sober and using your own experience to teach your child about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  
    Rehab for Women
    Making the decision to seek help for your own addiction is the best gift you can give to your family. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018

    May is Mental Health Month

    mental health month
    May is Mental Health Month and it’s the perfect time to check in with yourself to make sure you’re taking good care of your own mental and emotional well-being. 

    This year’s theme, Fitness #4Mind4Body, is designed to educate individuals how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising and getting enough sleep can go a long way in preventing the onset or worsening of mental health conditions.

    As part of the month-long celebration, Mental Health America (MHA) is challenging individuals to make small changes to create big gains for their health and wellbeing. Here are a few to consider:
    • Skip or limit processed, fried and sugary foods. A diet that regularly includes these kinds of foods can increase the risk of developing depression by as much as 60 percent, according to MHA. And, in fact, yet another study showed that 1/3 of participants with depression experienced full relief of their symptoms after improving their diet. 
    • Fit in fitness. Just one hour of exercise a week is related to lower levels of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders, according to MHA. Try 10 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity at a time, 15 times a week, to reach the recommended amount. 
    • Add prebiotics to your diet. There’s a strong link between mental health problems and gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, pain, constipation, and/or diarrhea. This is because anxiety and depression can cause changes in the gut microbiome. Prebiotics are great for the gut and include asparagus, bananas (especially if they aren’t quite ripe), garlic, onions, or jicama, tomatoes, apples, berries and mangos.
    • Make shut-eye a priority. Sleep is fundamental to a healthy mind and body – and, in fact, sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of people under the care of a psychiatrist, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population, according to MHA. A must-do sleep tip: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including weekends) to keep your body’s natural rhythms running on schedule.
    • Control stress. Learning to manage stress can be a small change with big results on your physical and mental health. Try meditating. Just 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection may ease chronic stress and/or increase your tolerance to it. Listen to music, relax or just think of pleasant things (or nothing at all).

    Take Back Your Mental Health
    Perhaps the best way you can celebrate Mental Health Month 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, our staff is here to help you take your physical and mental health back. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations, call us today: 866-746-1558.

    Thursday, April 26, 2018

    Binge Drinking During Pregnancy Ups Risk for Alcohol Abuse for Offspring

    Here’s yet another reason to seek help if you’re pregnant, plan to become pregnant and have a drinking problem. Binge drinking can impair the mental health of your offspring, making the offspring more vulnerable to alcohol abuse during adolescence, says a recent published in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

    While it’s well-known that drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects and developmental disabilities in babies — as well as an increased risk of other pregnancy problems such as miscarriage, stillbirth and prematurity — it doesn’t mean that all women avoid alcohol during pregnancy. And this is especially true if you're struggling with the disease of addiction. 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 pregnant women drink and about a third of those women binge drink (defined as drinking 4 or more alcoholic beverages on one occasion).

    The researches found that binge drinking caused increased depression and anxiety in offspring and a greater risk of alcohol abuse. And these effects can happen even when alcohol is consumed twice or three times a week in high concentration. 

    One possible explanation: "Chronic and binge alcohol use can disrupt the homeostasis of brain regions relevant for reward," lead study author Dr. Carla Cannizzaro, said in a press release. "Such use may lead to addiction, craving, loss of control over the use of the substance and severe withdrawal symptoms when the substance is interrupted."

    While the study had limitations — namely, it was a rat study — the takeaway message was a good one: If you’re a young women of reproductive age, it’s probably best to avoid alcohol altogether, says Cannizzaro. 

    Alcohol Abuse Help for Women
    Making the decision to seek help for your own addiction may be the biggest and most important choice of your life. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

    Wednesday, April 18, 2018

    How to Make Meditation Work for You

    meditationIf you’re looking to make meditation a regular part of your recovery, you may need a little help to start and maintain the practice. Meditation is really about practice – it doesn’t have to be done perfectly, but you do need to practice it daily. 

    Here are a few pointers to help make meditation work for you: 

    Define your why. You likely know the many benefits of meditation, but why do you want to meditate? Are you looking to help better manage stress or release emotional tension? Have more positive interactions with others? Find a way to let go of self-criticism or judgment? Improve your energy and motivation to stay sober? Focusing on your reason(s) for wanting to meditate will help you stick with the practice.

    Make it routine. A good tip for building healthy habits is incorporating them into your daily routine at the same time every day (or most days). For instance, schedule your meditation for every morning after you brush your teeth until it becomes routine. You can also pair it with something you already do – like meditating while you wait for your coffee to brew or hot water to boil. 

    Track your progress. Keeping a daily log of your meditation can also help make it a habit. Give yourself a goal to practice it for 30 days straight and be sure to reward yourself – with another 30 days of mediation – once you’ve reached your goal. 

    Skip the negative self-talk. If you miss a session or your brain just isn’t cooperating, don’t beat yourself up. Meditation isn’t easy and life is bound to disrupt your routine now and again. Remind yourself that building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process, so just move on and get back to your practice the next day.

    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.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2018

    National Stress Awareness Month

    national stress awareness month
    April is National Stress Awareness Month and there’s no better time than now to make sure your life’s major stressors are in check. This is especially important for folks in recovery, as unmanaged stress can be a slippery slope into relapse. Plus, stress can cause a host of physical and mental issues – ranging from acne to anxiety to depression and digestive issues. 

    A crucial step in managing stress is recognizing some of the warning signs (even the surprising ones) that your body sends out to tell you it's time to slow down and take control. 

    Here are a few symptoms to watch for:
    • Your menstrual cycle is off: Stress can cause late or missed periods and can even make cramps up to twice as painful, say experts. 
    • Your hair is falling out: According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause white blood cells to attack hair follicles and stop growth. The result: You’ll notice more hair falling out during shampooing or styling. 
    • Your stomach is upset: Stress can mess with your digestive health, triggering everything from an innocent bout of butterflies to a more serious condition like irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. 
    • Your muscles ache: Stress can literally be a pain in the neck (or back), leading to muscle tension and even painful spasms.
    • Your colds never go away: Your immune system certain isn’t immune to stress. In fact, stress can lower your body’s defenses and increase your risk for frequent colds. 
    • Your sweet tooth is out of control: High stress levels have been linked with an increased appetite and sugar cravings.
    Stress Management for Women 
    At Rising Roads, we focus on the unique needs of women in recoveryWe 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. 

    Wednesday, April 4, 2018

    Being a Sober Mom in a Wine Mom World

    “I want my kids to be good at math but not so good that they can count how many glasses of wine I’ve had.’

    “I wish my tolerance for my children would increase as much as my tolerance for wine.”

    “Boxed wine is just a juice box for moms.”

    “The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink.”

    These are just a few of the virtually endless memes out there celebrating the “wine mom” culture we live in – and, yet, for those moms in recovery, these are far from funny.

    Sending moms the message that self-medicating is okay is nothing new. In the 1950s and 60s, tranquilizers referred to as “mother’s little helpers” were widely prescribed to mothers.

    “This sends women the message that their emotions need to be squelched and not addressed,” Dr. Leena Mittal, a perinatal psychiatrist and addiction specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the New York Times.

    For those moms struggling to stay sober, this message is especially dangerous. So what’s the solution?

    The NY Times recently interviewed some real moms to find out some creative and sober ways they manage the stress of parenting children. Take a look and use their ideas and then make a list of your own.
    • Attend a support group.
    • Prioritize downtime.
    • Go for walks.
    • Soak in a hot bath.
    • Take yoga.
    • Play pick-up sports.
    • Read a riveting book.
    • Write in a journal.
    • Get lost in a murder mystery.
    • Meditate.
    • Try acupuncture or acupressure.
    • Get a good night’s sleep.
    • Indulge in an ice cream sundae.
    • Pour yourself a glass of seltzer in a fancy cup.
    Alcohol Abuse Help for Women
    Making the decision to seek help for your own addiction, or helping a loved one to decide to seek help for alcohol abuse, may be the biggest and most important choice of your life. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

    Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    Addiction: How Women Differ From Men

    how women experience addiction differentlyIn honor of National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, ran an article titled “How Women Experience Addiction Differently Than Men.” 

    For any of you already in recovery, you’re probably feverishly nodding your head just from reading the title alone. We know that as women we experience unique challenges when it comes to addiction and recovery — challenges that are best met with a female-centric approach to treatment. 

    Sadly, until the 1990s when U.S. agencies required federally funded studies to enroll more women, most research on substance use focused on men, explains the author. Today, we are continuing to learn more about the gender difference when it comes to addiction. 

    For instance, the article notes how women find it harder to quit and are more vulnerable to relapse. Plus, they experience addiction-related medical or social consequences faster than men. Here are a few more differences, grouped by addictive substance, as outlined within the article: 
    • Opioids: Women are more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed prescription painkillers and at higher doses than men; and become dependent more quickly than men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • Alcohol: Women are more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects and develop alcohol dependence faster than men. Biology also makes women more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects, including alcohol-induced organ injury (liver disease and brain damage) as well as an increased risk of breast cancer.
    • Nicotine: Once again, female smokers find it harder to quit and are more likely to relapse once they do quit. Female smokers also face greater health risks than male smokers, including a higher likelihood of developing lung cancer or having a heart attack.  
    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, March 21, 2018

    6 Fun Things to Do in Spring

    It’s springtime, so take the opportunity to head outside and soak up all the fun activities in season for sunny California. 

    Here are six sober spring ideas to get you started: 
    • Take a trip to the farmer’s market. Load up on fresh spring fruits and vegetables like apricots, artichokes, asparagus, dandelion greens, strawberries, peas and radishes. 
    • Sign up for a 5k. Running a race can be a fun and confidence-boosting experience. Plus, many races benefit charities or worthwhile causes – from disaster relief to fighting cancer or other diseases. In other words, it's the perfect opportunity to give back. 
    • Head to the beach. Tis the season to check out a surfing competition, take a leisurely stroll or just sit in the sand and soak up the scenery. Another idea: Bring a beach chair and relax with an inspiring read. 
    • Take a hike. It's wildflower season, which typically runs from mid-March through mid-May. Note: Many large-scale wildflower displays occur in the high desert, so be sure to pack sunscreen, water, snacks and proper walking or hiking shoes. And don't forget a sweatshirt or light sweater; the spring weather in the high dessert can be cool and very breezy.
    • Celebrate Earth Day. It takes place this year on April 22 and is a day devoted to soaking up your surroundings and making a bigger effort to be kind to your planet. This could include volunteering to clear litter off a road, helping out at a climate change nonprofit or simply spending some time outdoors.
    • Check out a nearby festival. While you’ll want to steer clear of beer or wine festivals, you can still venture out this season and taste some new foods, listen to music or check out some local artwork. From arts and crafts festivals to Latin food fests to Strawberry festivals, there’s some inexpensive (and even free) events abound in Orange County this spring. 
    Springtime at Rising Roads Recovery
    Make spring the season you decide to embark on a path toward lasting sobriety. At Rising Roads, we offer our female clients a variety of addiction treatment programs that support their recovery and nurture their mind, body and soul. To learn more about how we can help you or someone you love – call us toll-free today: 866-746-1558.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Early Periods Tied to More Mental Health Issues as Adults

    early periods mental healthCould early menstruation play a role in mental health issues, including depression, eating disorders, anxiety and substance abuse? That’s one of the questions researchers set out to answer in a 14-year study that followed nearly 8,000 U.S. girls from adolescence until their late 20s. 

    This isn’t the first study to explore the link. While previous research has linked early menstruation to more severe mental health disorders, little was known about how long these problems persisted. 

    Researchers discovered that mental health issues persisted until the girls were in their late 20s and even in their 30s when it came to depression. They found that the younger the girls began menstruation, the higher the risk for depression. Note: Today, the average age of menstruation is 12.5 years old, with one-third of American girls getting their first period by age 8. 

    What’s more, early menstruation was associated with an increased risk for antisocial behavior (acting out, rule breaking, delinquency). And, surprisingly, the behavior got worse as they got older. In most cases, antisocial behavior subsides with age.

    "It can be very easy for people to dismiss the emotional challenges that come along with growing up as a girl, and say, 'Oh, it's just that age; it's what everyone goes through,'" study author Jane Mendle said in a news release from Cornell University.

    But brushing off these issues as "just puberty" could be harmful to the long-term mental health of your child. "If your child is developing earlier than their peers, it's important to pay close attention to how they are feeling—from a mood and behavior standpoint—so that if interventions are needed, such as psychotherapy or medications, we can get those started and hopefully prevent further problems in the future,” said Dr. Ellen Selkie, an adolescent medicine specialist with the University of Michigan, in an editorial accompanying the study.

    The bottom line: Early puberty is just one more risk factor to keep in mind when it comes to mental health issues and even substance abuse — and this is especially important if you have a family history of these conditions.

    Mental Health and Addiction
    Those with a substance use disorder are twice as likely as the general population to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders – and many of these co-occurring disorders predate the start of drug or alcohol use. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations, call us today: 866-746-1558.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018

    Study: Drinking Weakens Muscles in Post-Menopausal Women

    You likely know that chronic drinking can damage your liver – but did you know that it can also silently shrink your muscles? 

    A new study published in the journal Menopause strongly links drinking to the worsening of sarcopenia, or the substantial loss of both muscle mass and strength. It’s estimated that as many as 15 percent of Americans age 60 and older have sarcopenia.

    Why worry about sarcopenia? Possible effects of sarcopenia can include the following: 
    • Decreased muscle strength
    • Problems with mobility
    • Frailty
    • Weak bones (osteoporosis)
    • Falls and fractures
    • Decreased activity levels
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Severe menopausal symptoms
    • Middleage weight gain
    • A loss of physical function and independence
    For the study, South Korean researchers used the medical records of roughly 2,400 postmenopausal women who were then prompted to fill out questionnaires about their frequency and quantity of alcohol use to assess any signs of problem drinking. For example, they were asked whether they drank alcohol in the morning, had any guilt or concern about their drinking habits or experienced any known alcohol-related injuries. 

    Not surprisingly, women who were at risk for alcohol problems also had a higher risk for sarcopenia. In fact, heavy drinkers were more than four times more likely than those in the low-risk group to have sarcopenia.

    The good news: Muscle deterioration can be stopped, slowed and even reversed – and, of course, making a commitment to get (and stay) sober is a great first step. Doing your best to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-rounded diet that includes lean proteins and good-for-you fats will help, too.

    Ask About Our 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.

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    It's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

    It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 26 through March 4, and this year’s theme is “Let’s Get Real.” Myths and misconceptions about eating disorders can lead to fewer diagnoses, treatment options and pathways. To help set the record straight, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) gets real about many common myths:  
    • Myth: Eating disorders are a choice. Patients don’t choose to have an eating disorder. They are bio-psycho-social diseases, which means that genetic, biological, environmental, and social elements all play a role. What’s more, eating disorders commonly co-occur with other mental health conditions like major depression, anxiety, social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Substance abuse and eating disorders frequently co-occur, with up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders who abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, according to the NEDA.
    • Myth: Eating disorders aren’t that serious. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and they also come with a slew of health consequences, including heart attack, kidney failure, osteoporosis, electrolyte imbalance and emotional distress. 
    • Myth: Eating disorders only happen during adolescence. Eating disorders are often associated with straight, young, white females, but in reality, they affect people from all demographics. In fact, there’s been a rise in the rates of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction among middle-aged women, notes the NEDA.

    8 Signs of Eating Disorders
    Could you or someone you love have an eating disorder? The NEDA suggests watching out for the following warning sings: 
    • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, dieting, and/or body image. 
    • Development of abnormal, secretive, extreme, or ritualized food or eating habits. 
    • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities. 
    • Evidence of binge eating, such as the disappearance of a large amount of food. 
    • Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, self-induced vomiting, periods of fasting, or laxative, diet pill, or diuretic abuse. 
    • Compulsive or excessive exercising. 
    • Discoloration or staining of the teeth. 
    • Feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, or irritability.

    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, February 14, 2018

    Learning to Love Your Sober Self

    There’s no better time to start taking steps to love your new sober self than on Valentine’s Day. 

    Whether you’re struggling with feelings of uncertainty or guilt over past deeds, today is the perfect day to begin forgiving yourself and to start moving ahead as you learn to make better, brighter choices in life. 

    Devote a few minutes today to showing yourself a little appreciation – you deserve it! A few small gestures can help you build your confidence and learn to love the new sober you! 

    Do something that feels good. Nurturing your body is one of the best ways to achieve self love –whether you do some yoga, whip up a superfood-charged snack or just soak in a bubble bath. And don’t forget to nurture your mind, too. Carve out a few moments today to meditate, listen to an interesting podcast or do a crossword puzzle.

    Create an enjoy-life calendar. Start today and schedule into each day this week some small thing you would enjoy doing – and make it happen. Some ideas: 
    • Give yourself a pedicure or facial.
    • Call your sister or best friend.
    • Sit down and color or sketch.
    • Try a new recipe.
    • Begin reading a best-seller or self-help book. 
    • Soak up the sun for 15 minutes.
    • Start a new hobby.
    Plan your future. Spend some time today setting some future goals (small and big) for yourself. This will give you something to look forward to in your new sober life. Just remember to make them S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

    Celebrate a small win. Take a minute today to pat yourself on the back for any recovery milestones or victories that you’ve recently achieved. Write them down and keep them in a mason jar or shoe box so you can reference them on those days that you need some extra encouragement.  

    A Sanctuary to Find Self-Love
    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.

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018

    Do You Have a Drinking Problem? Questions to Ask Yourself

    More than five million women in the U.S. drink "in a way that threatens their health, safety and general well-being," according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Heavy drinking can lead to a host of health complications for females, including liver disease, brain disease, cancer and heart disease. And these effects tend to occur more quickly and last longer in women. What’s more, chronic drinking can put your family, job, relationships and finances at risk. 

    If you ever find yourself wondering if you have a drinking problem, you might want to start by answering some of these questions outlined in a recent Women’s Health article. Try your best to be honest, and if you find yourself nodding, question after question, make an appointment with your healthcare professional. 

    Here’s a promise: Getting help for alcohol abuse is one decision you’ll never regret. 
    • Does your social life revolve around alcohol? Losing interests in hobbies or people you once socialized with because you’re preoccupied with drinking or finding the next drink is a common sign of alcoholism.  
    • How much do you drink? The rule for women, according to the NIAAA, is no more than three drinks in a sitting and no more than seven per week. But even if you don’t exceed that amount, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a problem. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, so be on the look out for any upward trends – drinking more or longer than intended, for instance -- notes Women’s Health
    • If you wanted to stop drinking, cold turkey, could you? Ask yourself how many times you’ve really tried to cut back or stop, and failed. 
    • What’s your intention when you drink? “If you need alcohol to survive the day or to function, or if you feel physically compelled to drink, it would be a smart move to start exploring help,” licensed mental health counselor and registered dietitian Anna Ciulla, RD, told Women’s Health. 
    • Has a friend or family member expressed concern? If your mom, sister, friend, spouse or partner expresses concern, listen. Along the same lines, if you notice yourself making excuses for your drinking — “I only drink expensive wine” — it’s time to get help. 
    To further assess whether you could have alcohol use disorder, here are a few more questions to ask yourself, notes the NIAAA: 

    Have you:
    • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
    • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
    • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
    • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
    • More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or having unsafe sex)?
    • Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had a memory blackout?
    • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?
    Alcohol Abuse Help for Women
    Making the decision to seek help for your own addiction, or helping a loved one to decide to seek help for alcohol abuse, may be the biggest and most important choice of your life. Let us lead the way. To learn more about our rehab services for women, call today: 866-746-1558. 

    Thursday, February 1, 2018

    Most Women Don't Know Heart Disease Risk

    February is American Heart Month – do you know if you’re at risk for heart disease? Well, given that heart disease is the third greatest health problem facing U.S. women – behind mental health and cancer – it certainly can’t hurt to know for sure. 

    High cholesterol, diabetes and obesity can all lead to heart disease and stroke. And yet six in 10 women are unaware of their cholesterol numbers, blood sugar levels or body mass index, according to recent poll of more than 1,000 U.S. women.

    Ninety percent of the women surveyed said they consider heart-related conditions a serious issue, and more than 37 percent say they have a heart-related condition, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or a history of stroke.

    And while awareness among women has increased in past decades, “there is still room for significant improvement,” Dr. Sharon C. Reimold, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern in Dallas, said in a statement.  

    “We need to understand more about the attitudes of women toward heart health so they can be proactive in addressing their own personal risks as well as those of their families,” she said.

    In honor of American Heart Month, take the time to get your numbers checked. The MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, will offer no-cost screenings every Wednesday in February at locations nationwide.

    Substance Abuse and Heart Health
    Doing cocaine just once could strain your heart, leading to high blood pressure, stiffer arteries and thicker heart muscles. And, in the first hour of smoking pot, a person’s risk of having a heart attack is nearly five times that of non-smokers. Alcohol takes a toll on your ticker, too. In fact, even without traditional cardiovascular risk factors, people are disproportionately prone to cardiac diseases in the setting of alcohol abuse, says researchers. This is especially true for women, who are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men. 

    Get Help – Your Heart Will Thank You!
    The best way to protect your heart is to commit to sobriety. And we can help! Reach out today to learn about our recovery services for women. Call: 866-746-1558.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    How Drug Addiction Impacts Your Body

    According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, substance abuse can contribute to more than 70 conditions that require medical treatment. And women are often at greater risk, as their bodies retain chemicals for longer periods of time. 

    Here is a look at a few of the major organs impacted by abusing drugs and alcohol. 

    Your brain:
    • Memory loss
    • Low IQ
    • Sleep problems
    • Learning difficulties
    • Cognitive problems 
    • Brain damage
    Your eyes: 
    • Dilation
    • Hallucinations
    • Conjunctival lesions
    • Corneal ulcers
    • Talc retinopathy
    • Permanent vision loss
    Your teeth: 
    • Cavities
    • Tooth decay
    • Gum disease
    • Tooth loss
    • Gingivitis
    • Periodontitis (gum disease)
    • “Meth mouth”
    • Oral cancer
    Your heart: 
    • Rapid or irregular heart beats (arrhythmia) 
    • Sudden increase in blood pressure
    • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining)
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
    • Vascular thrombosis (clots in the coronary arteries
    • Collapsed veins
    • Bacterial infections of the blood vessels and heart valves
    Your liver:
    • Drug-induced liver injury (DILI)
    • Drug-induced hepatitis
    • Liver damage
    • Liver failure
    Your kidneys:
    • Lesions on the kidneys
    • Rhabdomyolysis
    • Kidney cancer
    • Kidney failure
    • Irregular hormone levels
    Your stomach:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Bowel tissue decay
    • Acid reflux
    • Constipation
    • Ulcers
    • Damage to the digestive system
    Your reproduction:
    • Changes in menstrual cycle
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Infertility
    Your emotions: 
    • Mood swings
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Insomnia
    • Psychosis
    Stopping the Side Effects of Addiction
    The best way to combat the physical and emotional health consequences of substance abuse disorder is early intervention. Don’t wait. If you or someone you love has a drug problem, Rising Roads can help you get the help you need today. Call: 866-746-1558. 

    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

    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.