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.