Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Alcohol Killing More Young Women

Postpartum depression triggered Ashley Hartshorn’s alcohol use disorder – and, after just five years of alcohol abuse, she died leaving her three children behind. 

"She wanted so badly to quit drinking, but the shame and the fear kept her from being able to allow herself to reach out for help," Ashley’s mother told USA Today. "Like many, we were ignorant to the effects that alcohol has on the body. I thought she had time, time to hit rock bottom and time to seek help.” 

Amy Durham, who grew up with a father who abused alcohol, began drinking in her 30s and said she came close to dying from alcohol at age 40. She wound up in triple organ failure and in a coma for 10 days. 

"I didn't even know what was happening to me," she told USA Today. Amy said unresolved childhood trauma, a stressful job, a “toxic” romantic relationship and infertility all contributed to her drinking. “I just needed to be numb,” she said. 

Nurse practitioner and mother of two Eileen O'Grady, who quit drinking 12 years ago, said she would drink continually from dinner until bedtime and then start again the next evening. Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, writer of "Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay," believes this sort of alcohol abuse stems from stubborn gender roles and norms surrounding stress. 

Unfortunately, these stories are becoming more and more common as deaths related to alcohol are increasing – with women being hit the hardest. According to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, from 2007 to 2017, alcohol-related deaths rose 85 percent among women. During the same period, death rates rose among men by 29 percent and teen deaths from drinking were down about 16 percent.

Experts are calling alcohol a growing epidemic, outpacing the death toll of our current opioid crisis. To date, roughly 72,000 people die of opioid overdose each year versus roughly 88,000 from alcohol – through cancer, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, pregnancy related complications and suicide.

Women are more susceptible to these alcohol-related risks than men - and, what's worse, less than 6 percent of female drinkers get help for an alcohol disorder.

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, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving and Recovery: How to Make it Easier

Thanksgiving and recoveryThanksgiving kicks off the holidays season and while it can bring a lot of joy, it can also bring on stress, anxiety and sadness. Take heart: If you’re experiencing any of these emotions, there are coping tips to help.
  • Keep up with recovery tasks. Whether it’s going to a 12-step meeting, doing art or music therapy or participating in post-relapse care, it’s essential to make time for recovery activities this holiday season. Again, this time of year can be riddled with difficult emotions and these tasks can help safeguard your mental health and your recovery. 
  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness can be a valuable recovery tool and you can even do it while you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving meal. With each bite, try to hone in on the flavors and textures of the food. And tap into your hunger cues, or how your body is communicating that it’s had enough! Think about why you're grateful for the food in front of you. 
  • Soak up the sun. Start your day with an outdoor jog or walk and get some mood-boosting vitamin D. Even a quick 15-minute stroll in nature can help relieve stress and improve your mental energy so you can better handle the holiday.   
  • Set realistic expectations. For many, it’s common to experience negative feelings over not being “where you should be” in life or sadness over missed activities and events you may have once enjoyed. Get yourself out of this negative mindset by focusing on how far you’ve come in your recovery and take time to jot down all of the things you have to look forward to now that you’re sober. 
  • Do your best to enjoy this time. This truly is the season to surround yourself with friends and loved ones who try to understand what you're going through and who support you and your recovery. While the holidays can be tough, they can also be a joyful and powerful time in your new sober life. 
Let Us Help You This Holiday
Managing your recovery is always challenging, but it can be particularly difficult during the holiday season. While the struggle can feel isolating, remember that you'addiction treatment programs, call today: 866-746-1558.
re far from alone. At Rising Roads, we focus on the unique needs of women in recovery. To learn more about our

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mindfulness and Trauma

mindfulness and traumaFor those who have experienced trauma, practicing mindfulness can help increase self-compassion, allow you to get back in touch with the present moment and reduce the extent with which you feel controlled by unpleasant thoughts or memories. It’s also been study-proven to reduce symptoms of PTSD.

Yet, for some, it can also bring up painful and overwhelming emotions and even intensify symptoms of traumatic stress. This is why it’s crucial to speak with your therapist or addiction counselor before trying any mindfulness activities on your own.

Beyond meditation, there are some everyday ways to bring mindfulness to your life. For example, you can practice mindfulness while you’re taking a walk, showering, cooking, eating, knitting, doing chores or even writing in a journal. Doing so will help you to stay focused on the task at hand and distract your mind from any negative thoughts, triggers or anxiety. 

In addition, many experts use somatic mindfulness with those who have experienced trauma. Good defines somatic mindfulness as the “ability to step back from what your nervous system is telling you. You step back, observe it, feel every bit of it. Then you consciously decide what you want to do instead of automatically falling into long-standing patterns and the behavior they dictate.”

Here is an example of a somatic mindfulness exercise called “grab and let go,” adopted from
  • Stand still and let your eyes defocus.
  • Slowly step one leg forward, planting first your heel and then your whole foot on the ground. Shift your weight forward onto the front foot, without your back foot leaving the ground.
  • As you step forward, reach your arm forward, fingers outstretched.
  • As your foot lands, close your hand into a fist like you’re grabbing something.
  • As you’re doing this motion, breathe in.
  • Step back and bring your foot back next to the other one. Release and open your hand and bring your arm back to your side.
  • As you release, breathe out.
  • Stand still for a minute. Pay attention to your body sensations. Where do you feel a sense of flow, aliveness or tingling?
Trauma Treatment for Women
At Rising Roads, we understand that trauma resolution means more than just talking about your traumatic experience. We utilize proven techniques, including Somatic Therapy, to help you stop running from the emotions and feelings of trauma and begin to heal. To learn more about our trauma treatment for women, call today: 866-746-1558.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Female Veterans and Mental Health

female veteran
With Veterans Day coming up this weekend, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the mental health challenges facing female veterans. In fact, the peer-reviewed journal Women's Health Issues (WHI) recently released a new "Special Collection" on women veterans' health, with a focus on mental health.

Here are some of their findings along with some additional facts about female veterans and substance abuse from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Women are now the fastest growing subgroup of U.S. veterans, with numbers expected to rise dramatically in the next 10 years.
  • Compared to male veterans, female veterans had similar rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), higher rates of anxiety disorders and depression, and significant mental health and medical co-morbidities.
  • For both genders, multiple deployments and post-deployment relationship disruption were associated with increased risk for PTSD.
  • Approximately one out of five women veterans reports military sexual trauma.
  • Barriers to women's utilization of the VA healthcare system included economic, organizational, and patient factors such as poor health.
  • Though more men than women veterans are treated for substance abuse, the number of women veterans admitted to treatment programs has been on the rise.
  • More than half of women veterans are treated for alcohol abuse and more than one-fifth for cocaine use, followed by opiates, marijuana and other drugs.
Trauma Resolution at Rising Roads
If you’re a female veteran looking for a safe, non-judgmental place to address your addiction in relation to your trauma, look no further. Our Orange County recovery facility treats PTSD and substance misuse concurrently since one drives the other. As women break the trauma-addiction cycle, they experience personal, spiritual and relational growth. To learn more about our Trauma Treatment for women, call today: 866-746-1558.