Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Are Boys More Likely to Struggle in School?

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, boys of all ages have consistently scored worse than girls in reading for the past three decades. Boys are more frequently held back a grade, diagnosed with learning disabilities and referred to a school counselor.

When it comes to postsecondary education, young men are also less likely to enroll in college and complete a degree program – a trend seen not only in the U.S., but worldwide. What accounts for these gaps, and how can you tell when your son is struggling in school?

Cultural Expectations and Learning Styles Create a Gap

Though scientific evidence has disproven many outdated sexist stereotypes about gender differences, studies have shown some disparities in structural brain maturation in early childhood through adolescence. Parents often reinforce these variations, socializing little girls to be quiet readers and little boys to be energetic adventurers.

When boys begin struggling in school, it might be because prevailing teaching methods aren’t a good fit for their learning style. For example, kinesthetic learners who acquire new information by doing hands-on activities are unlikely to excel in a classroom where the teacher expects students to sit still and take notes from a lecture.

What to Do if Your Son Is Struggling in School

Boys who are struggling in school may begin acting out to express their frustration or impress their peers. They might also skip classes and experiment with other reckless behaviors such as substance use. If you notice a sudden sharp drop in your son’s grades, here are some things you can try.

  • Start a conversation: Adolescence can be a challenging time. Rapidly changing social expectations and a more demanding academic curriculum are hard for many teens to adjust to. You can let your teen know the door is always open when he is ready to talk about these issues. Be sure to listen non-judgmentally without interrupting.
  • Get involved in his school: Schedule meetings with your child’s teachers or join the PTO. Taking an active role in his educational experience is one way you can show your son how much you care and want him to succeed.
  • Offer to get help: Even students who aren’t struggling in school can benefit from meeting with a therapist to help them work through complicated emotions. Or, if your son likes school but is having trouble grasping a specific subject, he might need one-on-one help from a tutor.
  • Pay attention to your feelings: If you are frustrated that your son doesn’t seem to be living up to his full potential, it could strain your relationship. Don’t neglect your emotional needs when you find yourself frequently angry or upset.

Find Structure at PACE Academy

At PACE Academy, we help young men at various stages in their academic pursuits. Clients who have been struggling in school can benefit from the structure, accountability and responsibility our programming instills. Students enrolled in this program will learn valuable life skills and study skills in a single-gender environment that helps them focus on new goals.

As an integral part of our Young Adult Addiction Treatment Program, PACE Academy helps build a solid foundation for future success. For more information on how we can help your family, please contact us.

Takeaways From National Suicide Prevention Day 2022

September 10 was National Suicide Prevention Day, celebrated across the US to spread awareness about the suicide and mental health crisis that can devastate families. According to the CDC, the national suicide rate increased by 30% from 2000 to 2020. This alarming increase shows the growing need to advocate for suicide prevention, and you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to spread awareness. Here are some key takeaways from National Suicide Prevention Day to keep in mind as you advocate for mental health and use your voice to help those who are struggling.

Speak With Compassion

Too often, people think that it’s helpful to reframe suicide as a selfish, cowardly act instead of the result of a history of untreated mental health issues. Although it might be tempting to express this attitude since suicide can greatly harm families and communities, it’s important to show compassion to people who have attempted or died from suicide. You won’t be encouraging the act by showing care and sensitivity to those who’ve grappled with it, and eliminating shame and stigma is an essential part to preventing suicide.

Normalize Treatment Methods

Another way to re-frame how you talk about mental health is normalizing therapy as a healthy and shame-free avenue for seeking help. It’s important to recognize the loneliness that people struggling with depression or suicidal ideation must feel, and showing support for seeking therapeutic interventions can make a huge difference for someone struggling.

Support Those Disproportionately Affected

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2020 the suicide rate for men was nearly four times as high as that of women in the United States. One culprit contributing to the dramatic difference could be certain normalized behaviors that influence depression rates in men. For example, according to this article published in the Global Health Action journal, men are less likely to seek out mental health services, or utilize available resources than women. The research also found that there are statistical correlations between male depression with the body image, sexuality, social dominance and self-confidence issues that men often exhibit.

Signs To Look Out For

Because of these behavioral differences in men that greatly skew the statistics on depression and suicide for men, it’s important to pay attention to signs that suggest a man in your life is suffering from depression. This might look like men struggling with their body image, showing signs of confidence problems, or partaking in risky sexual behavior or heavy substance use. These were all behaviors correlated with depression in men according to the study.

How To Advocate

For this reason, you can help by donating to mental health initiatives, and getting involved to elevate programs that help people who are struggling. The Trevor Project, The Hope Squad, and Save.org are all organizations that work to prevent suicide and are need of donors and volunteers.

Behavioral Health Options

If you or someone in your life is struggling with major depression immediate help is important and available.  Contact us today to speak to our knowledgeable admissions team about getting help now.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached by calling or texting 988 if you or someone you know needs immediate help for suicidal ideation.

Observing Recovery Month 2022

In 1784, Dr. Benjamin Rush first proposed the idea that addiction was a disease and should be treated as any other medical condition. Since then, various societies, organizations and government agencies have undertaken the cause of helping people regain their sobriety. In 2022, President Biden made an official proclamation that September was to be known as National Recovery Month. Along with this proclamation, he pledged 26 million dollars to aid in the prevention, treatment and recovery efforts of those who are fighting addictions.

Recovery Month’s Story

Started in 1989 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Recovery Month was intended not only to raise awareness for substance abuse and underlying conditions, but also to celebrate recovery.

Recovery Month 2022 is now the responsibility of Faces and Voices of Recovery. Instead of a new theme every year, they have decided to adopt a tagline for the entire organization, “Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.’”

They hope that this motto will remind people that no individual, family or location is immune to the effects of addictions and that by coming together we can help all of those who battle substance abuse.

Faces and Voices of Recovery hope that each September they can report on new, effective treatment practices. They also want to encourage and support those who have begun their journey to sobriety and the healthcare professionals that help them.

Observing Recovery Month 2022

There are many ways to observe Recovery Month. It may be as simple as looking yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself how far you have come in your journey to sobriety. If you are not the one in recovery, then hug a loved one who is and tell them you support them. 

If you want a more public way to celebrate, you can visit the Faces and Voices of Recovery website and leave your story. You can also check with your state and local governments. Many of them are offering events to celebrate and encourage those who are in or working towards recovery.

Battling Addiction: A Mental and Physical Journey

While the effects of addictions are often physical, the underlying conditions that led to substance abuse need to be explored and treated as well. It is vital that a recovering addict take the steps to understand any underlying conditions or emotions that contributed to their addiction. At PACE, we use the term recovery for those recovering from substance abuse and behavioral health conditions like anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and bi-polar disorder. The term “recovery” can be applied to anyone recovering from something personal and profound.

Get The Help You Need

Recovery is a journey that very few people can manage on their own. At PACE, young men come together in a safe environment and find group and individual therapy, camaraderie, unique recreational experiences, and proven treatments to help them become and stay sober. We celebrate Recovery Month each year by recognizing the number of young men and family members we’ve helped jumpstart their recovery and to reflect on how our work has led to successful outcomes at PACE and where we can grow more.

Does Adderall Cause Depression?

Adderall and ADHD Treatment

Adderall is a prescription stimulant commonly used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Adderall entered the prescription drug market in 1996 and quickly became commonplace in ADHD treatment discussions. This stimulant is designed to address the symptoms of ADHD, including inattentiveness, hyperactive behavior, restlessness, among others. In order to receive a prescription for Adderall, a formal diagnosis must first be made, which usually requires both testing and recording of behaviors from teachers, parents, and professionals who have interacted with the patient. Only after the necessary diagnosis and documentation is complete will a medical professional prescribe this medication. 

Side Effects of Stimulant Use

As is the case with any prescription medication, there are side effects that potentially come along with the daily use of a stimulant. Some of the listed side effects of stimulants, such as Adderall, include:

  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Dizziness
  • Mental health effects: depression, paranoia, anxiety

While these side effects are not all common, they can greatly impact a person’s daily life and ability to continue taking the medication. If you or someone you know are experiencing these side effects, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. 

Long-Term Adderall Use

For people who are on prescription stimulants, like Adderall, there is a higher likelihood of adverse effects if you are on the medication for a long period of time. Prescription stimulants are also classified as Schedule II drugs due to their addictive qualities. 

Stimulants are highly abused drugs, with over 5.1 million people misusing them in 2018. The use of prescription medications can have severe consequences such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, rapid breathing, decreased blood flow, and adverse mental health effects. 

Does Adderall Cause Depression?

For anyone taking a stimulant, such as Adderall, its addictive qualities mean it is more difficult to come off the medication, especially if it is stopped abruptly. Whether you are prescribed the medication or are misusing the substance, if you stop taking the drug without consulting with a professional, you are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms of stimulant dependence include: 

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Depression
  • Increased sleeping and appetite
  • Muscle aches

Stimulants create a release of dopamine, and as the medication wears off, you can exhibit symptoms of depression. While Adderall does not directly cause depressive symptoms, there may be times when a person has these symptoms due to the medication wearing off throughout the day. 

Addicted to Prescription Stimulants?

ADHD treatment requires a team of specialists who understand the complexities of managing medications and symptoms to ensure you have the care you need. Medical professionals take into consideration the possible side effects when prescribing medication and will monitor you closely throughout your treatment. Because of this, it is incredibly dangerous to take a medication that is not prescribed to you. 

If you or a loved one have been misusing medications or need help managing symptoms of depression, our team at PACE Recovery Center can help. Our programs are designed specifically to help young men on their path to recovery and wellness. Contact us today to learn more.

Recovery 2021: Stay Positive

recovery

Christmas is now behind you, which means you only have one more major holiday in 2020. As we have pointed out in the past, navigating significant days of the year can be challenging in recovery. It’s vital to put your program’s needs before all else to protect your progress.

Many of us are looking forward to starting a new year. 2020 has been the most challenging year in living memory for every American. The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated all of our lives in a myriad of ways; social distancing, isolation, and financial hardship have plagued millions of Americans. Many American’s mental health has suffered as well; the rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and substance abuse have skyrocketed.

No one had a playbook for coping with a global pandemic. If you struggled in 2020, please know—you are not alone. Everyone has suffered in one way or another. Hopefully, you have managed to maintain a positive outlook despite the nearly 20 million cases of coronavirus and more than 300,000 lives lost.

It would be nice if we could say that everything will get better in short order; there is a vaccine, after all. However, experts tell us that it could be many more months before the average American can acquire a vaccine. As such, each of us must continue to practice the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

Please continue to wear face masks when in public, especially if you are traveling or are within six feet of individuals you do not live with currently. Regular hand washing and sanitizing can also help prevent the spread and contraction of the coronavirus. If we all do our part, we could see a drastic improvement in the coming months. Please remember, this too shall pass.

A Positive 2021 in Recovery

As mentioned above, 2020 has been the most challenging year on record; it’s understandable if your spirits are dampened. Most Americans have had to spend the holiday season away from their loved ones because of COVID-19. The most wonderful time of the year spent in isolation was anything but uplifting. It’s essential to do everything in your power to maintain a positive attitude.

Instead of thinking about everything we lost in 2020, think about how this year has made your recovery more robust. Every person working a program had to make drastic changes. Recovery depends on fellowship; this year, everyone had to join forces from afar to keep addiction at bay. Men and women learned that it is possible to stay accountable without seeing others in person. Thankfully, video conferencing provided a platform for attending meetings at home. It’s hard to imagine where we would be without computers and cell phones.

Each of you had to overcome unparalleled adversity in 2020. If you were able to keep your recovery intact, then your program was made stronger. You learned how to cope with hardship and put your recovery first despite a deadly virus spreading across the country. You have much to be grateful for today. It’s easier to stay positive if you practice an attitude of gratitude. Before the year ends, take some time to thank all the people who were instrumental to your recovery in 2020.

We have more challenging months ahead of us, but there is hope on the horizon. Keep putting your recovery first and do your best to stay positive. Don’t let negativity take hold of your life. If you find yourself feeling down, reach out to your support network for guidance. Others in the program will share how they have managed to stay optimistic amid hardship.

PACE: A Positive Attitude Changes Everything

One way to lift your spirits is to think about what you would like to accomplish in 2021. Perhaps you have already started thinking about resolutions; maybe you want to quit smoking or finish your education. Maybe 2021 is the year you would like to clear some of your debt or get right with the IRS. Anything is possible for individuals working a program of recovery.

Achieving your goals is aided by staying positive; let positivity be a driving force in your life. A positive attitude changes everything.

Please contact PACE Recovery Center if you or a male loved one struggles with drugs, alcohol, or mental illness. We offer specialized clinical treatment for men to address all components of addiction and mental health. We are adhering to all public health guidelines to ensure that our clients begin their journey of recovery in a safe environment.

The Gentlemen of PACE Recovery Center wish you a Happy New Year!

Addiction Recovery: Christmas 2020

addiction recovery

Working a program of addiction recovery teaches men and women how to overcome obstacles. Christmas is this Friday; it’s a holiday that can be challenging for those in sobriety. Many individuals in early recovery are celebrating their first significant holidays clean and sober. They must do all that they can to keep their program intact.

It goes without saying that this holiday season has been like no other. Many will have to contend with isolation and feeling cut off from their support network. During standard times, you might attend several meetings in person during Christmas. However, COVID-19 has made it difficult for many meeting houses to host in-person meetings. Fortunately, you can continue to put your recovery first despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic.

Some, certainly not everyone, will decide to travel this week. Hopefully, such people will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect their health. The coronavirus is still out there, disrupting people’s lives. More than 18 million Americans have tested positive, and more than 320,000 lives have been lost. Please do everything in your power to prevent contracting the coronavirus.

If you decide to travel this Christmas, please be sure to have a plan to protect your recovery. Having a schedule in place that includes the meetings you plan to attend will be helpful. Set check-in points throughout your day; checking-in with your sponsor or other members of your support network will help you remain accountable.

Never leave anything to chance in recovery. Those traveling may find themselves in situations that can jeopardize one’s program. Being in strange environments or in a setting where people are drinking could trigger a relapse. If you find yourself in a risky situation, get to a safe space or call for help immediately. Remember, the helping hand of addiction recovery is always just a phone call away.

A Lonely Christmas in Addiction Recovery

For those spending Christmas in relative isolation, it’s beneficial to still stick to your recovery routine as best as possible. Even if you’re not attending holiday gatherings, problems can still arise. You may find yourself feeling lonely or disconnected from your peers in the program. It can be easy to start wallowing in self-pity.

Take steps to avoid boredom this Friday. Again, it’s crucial to have a schedule. You will still want to attend meetings, even if you plan to participate virtually. At this point in the pandemic, you probably have experience protecting your addiction recovery by attending meetings online.

This Christmas Eve and Day, meetings will be happening around the clock. You may want to attend multiple 12 Step meetings on a given day. You can never participate in too many meetings. The nice thing about virtual 12 Step meetings is that you can hop online at a moment’s notice. If a problem arises or you begin to feel shaky in your recovery, open your computer or grab your smartphone and log on.

The more meetings you attend, the less lonely you will feel. Remember, isolation is no friend to recovery. We understand how challenging it has been to maintain a program of recovery this year. However, you know it’s possible through utilizing all the tools at your disposal.

If isolation starts to make you feel down on yourself, take a moment to compose a gratitude list. Think back on all the things in life you are grateful for to gain some perspective. Gratitude lists are highly beneficial tools; they remind you that you have many things to be thankful for even when you feel disconnected. Throughout the day, turn to your list to ground yourself.

Recovery is a gift. Never forget how far you have come, and you will be able to get through another day clean and sober. Take time to let people in your support network know how important they are to you. When you prioritize an attitude of gratitude, good things continue to happen in life.

A Christmas in Recovery

If you are struggling with drugs, alcohol, or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center. The holiday season could be when you decide to break the cycle of addiction and change your life. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who are interested in turning their life around. Please know that we are strictly adhering to CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our clients.

Addiction Recovery: A Year In Review

addiction recovery

As the year inches closer to a conclusion, most Americans are looking forward to 2021. This year has been extraordinarily challenging, and life as we know it has changed drastically. We have all had to make enormous sacrifices in order to safeguard our health and safety. Those of you in addiction recovery have also had to change how you work a program.

2020 has been a year that technology has been indispensable; without video conferencing platforms, it would have been nearly impossible for most people to keep their recovery intact. Addiction recovery programs rely on working closely with others to make progress. If you are unable to connect with others, it isn’t easy to stay accountable. Smartphones and computers have become outlets of accountability.

There is no way of knowing when life will resume some semblance of normality. Thankfully, the fellowship rose to the occasion; countless men and women across the country organized thousands of virtual 12 Step meetings. You can now attend a meeting and share your experience, strength, and hope from your home or on a morning walk.

Take a moment to recognize the gift that is virtual Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Online 12 Step meetings are a novelty worth being grateful for today. In recovery, expressing gratitude is always beneficial.

Addiction Recovery: A Year in Review

The end of the year is an excellent opportunity to look back and acknowledge your progress. Every day clean and sober is an accomplishment, to be sure, but there are other things worth taking stock of as you close out the year. You can ask yourself, ‘have I practiced the principles of recovery in all my affairs?’

Are there areas of your life that could use adjustment? Are you on track to achieve your short and long-term goals? Are you doing everything in your power to maintain a positive attitude, even when times are challenging?

The truth is that there is always room for improvement, but it’s still worth your time to review your successes. Taking stock of your big and small accomplishments is empowering. The activity is a reminder of why you do the work—day in and day out.

Maybe you have celebrated a recovery milestone; perhaps 2020 is when you got a year sober, or perhaps it was five years. This might have been the year when you first achieved 30, 60, or 90 days of sobriety.

Not every milestone is measured in years. 2020 might have been the year that you began paying it forward by sponsoring. Carrying the message and walking others through the Steps for the first time is a significant achievement. Becoming someone’s sponsor is worth recognition; it’s a sign that you are fully enmeshed in a program of addiction recovery.

Staying Positive Matters

With all the challenges we’ve faced this year and continue to push through, it’s easy to become disillusioned. Working a program of addiction recovery can be complicated by outside influences such as losing a job; tens of millions of Americans are currently out of work. Maybe you lost your job this year and have found it challenging to maintain a positive attitude. Perhaps you find it challenging to see some higher plan in the adversity you face.

It’s understandable to look back at the previous 350 days and despair. However, you must continue to put your addiction recovery first despite hardship. It’s critical to do everything in your power to maintain a positive attitude, especially when it’s darkest before the dawn. Simply trusting that the sun also rises will help.

Times are hard for countless Americans right now, but we are in this together. This too shall pass, remember that and you will be alright. We know it’s trying to keep a sunny disposition when facing adversity, but a positive attitude changes everything.

If you keep putting your addiction recovery first and your best foot forward, an opportunity will present itself eventually. Now more than ever, it’s essential to lean on the fellowship for support and guidance. If you need help, ask for it; trust and believe that another member will rise to the occasion.

Some men see things as they are and say why—I dream things that never were and say why not.” —George Bernard Shaw

Gender-Specific Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

One of the unfortunate byproducts of 2020 is a significant rise in drug and alcohol misuse. What’s more, more people than ever are battling anxiety and depression. Hardship begets despair.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

Early Recovery: Perseverance and Patience Matter

early recovery

Perseverance and patience are vital components of recovery; those who stay the course have limitless potential. Those who’ve succeeded in achieving long-term recovery understand the above, and they pass the wisdom along to the newcomer.

If you are new to recovery, it’s vital that you not give up before the miracle happens. There will be obstacles along the way, but they can be overcome. Working a program gives you the tools to push through barriers. What’s more, you do not have to work through each problem independently; lasting recovery is achieved by working together.

Perhaps you are facing complications in your life today? Many people in early recovery have to contend with wreckage from their past. Some face legal challenges, others have broken marriages, or they are estranged from their families. No matter the challenge, recovery is a pathway toward reconciliation and reparation.

Early recovery can feel daunting at times; many throw in the towel before they have a chance to see the fruits of their labor. Please do not let your past dictate how your future will turn out. Be patient, and you will see what working a program can do for you.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. —John Quincy Adams

Setting Goals In Early Recovery

With the end of the year in sight, now might be an excellent time to start thinking about what you would like to accomplish in the coming year. Talk to your sponsor or trusted peers in the program about what you would like to see come to fruition in the 365 days to come. It’s critical to set realistic goals and formulate a plan for achievement.

It’s salient to remember that recovery must come first if you would like to see your goals come to fruition. Keep in mind that your program must be an integral component of any plan. Letting up on your recovery will be detrimental to any goals you set for yourself.

Setting goals in early recovery is beneficial; they give you something to work towards each day. Keep in mind how important it is to set recovery-related goals. You may not be in a position to set long-term goals yet; however, you are always in a position to think about milestones you’d like to achieve in recovery.

When you have 30 days clean and sober, you might start thinking about achieving 60 or 90 days without taking a drink or drug. In many ways, recovery milestones are just as important as going back to school or repairing relationships marred by addiction. That is because neither of those mentioned above will work out without a strong recovery.

When you are too focused on your life goals, there is a chance you will let up on working a program. If that happens, you open the door for addiction to reassert itself in your life. A failure to put your recovery first can result in a relapse, which inhibits you from achieving other goals you have set in your life. Recovery first, always!

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

Prevailing in Recovery

Early recovery is a challenging time for anyone. Sacrifices have to be made in order to persevere. There will be times when you feel the urge to give up—moments when you think the task is too difficult. Again, please do not give up before the miracle happens.

Another critical component of succeeding in recovery is being compassionate toward others and also toward yourself. Mistakes will be made along the way, but mishaps are a part of life. Remember that learning how to live and become the best version of yourself without drugs and alcohol is a learning process.

Prevailing in recovery means not beating yourself up when things do not go as planned. You may not achieve your goal on the first attempt, but that doesn’t mean it’s forever out of reach. Setting and achieving goals for recovery and day-to-day life requires endurance. If things do not work out at first, then learn from your errors rather than giving up. You will likely try harder the next time or do things differently. Don’t give up!

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” — William Faulkner

Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment in California

If you are struggling with addiction and are ready to take steps toward recovery, please contact PACE Recovery Center. Our Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment in California helps men begin the journey of recovery. You are invited to reach out to us at any time to learn more about our programs and services.

Prescription Opioids: American Addiction Epidemic

prescription opioids

The number of overdose deaths involving opioids has skyrocketed over the past two decades. Prescription opioids, heroin, and illicit fentanyl carry significant risks for the user; a slight miscalculation in dosing can have fatal outcomes.

Most experts agree that prescription opioids are responsible for the addiction epidemic in America. While it’s somewhat more challenging to acquire narcotics like oxycodone or OxyContin, many doctors continue to prescribe them for all things pain.

We have written about the American opioid addiction epidemic on numerous occasions. We recently shared about the maker of OxyContin – Purdue Pharma – agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges for its role in the public health crisis involving opioids.

Towards the end of November, a federal bankruptcy judge authorized a settlement between the Justice Department and Purdue valued at $8.3 billion, NPR reports. Purdue will plead guilty to three felony counts of criminal wrongdoing.

In our previous post on the subject, we pointed out that Purdue is one of many companies facing a litany of lawsuits for playing a pivotal role in the opioid epidemic. Thousands of lawsuits are pending against narcotic manufacturers and prescription drug distributors alike.

Both state and local governments want to hold companies that have made billions of dollars from the sale of prescription opioids accountable. Lawsuits suggest that ‘big pharma’ knew their products were both addictive and deadly but continued to market them as safe aggressively. What’s more, prescription drug distributors filled suspiciously large orders of narcotics to pharmacies across the country.

Prescription Opioids En Masse

As mentioned above, Purdue Pharma doesn’t stand alone in creating one of the most severe public health crises of our time. Other companies like Johnson & Johnson and three drug distributors are negotiating settlements to end thousands of lawsuits relating to the opioid epidemic, The New York Times reports. If the settlement is approved, billions of dollars will go towards addiction treatment and prevention in areas hardest hit by opioids and overdose.

McKesson, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson are working on a $26 billion deal that could shield the companies from any further litigation, according to the article. The three distributors were responsible for filling more than three-quarters of the nation’s opioids orders to pharmacies.

Moreover, the companies largely disregarded suspicious orders, such as shipping enormous quantities of opioids to pharmacies that serviced small populations. For instance, the distributors shipped 21 million prescription opioids to two pharmacies in a West Virginia town of 2,900 people over ten years.

The settlement offer is $4 billion more than the offer made by the companies last year, according to the article. The distributors would pay $21 billion over 18 years, whereas Johnson & Johnson would pay $5 billion. Part of the companies’ settlement includes an agreement to strengthen drug monitoring programs.

The deal gets money to all of the communities in the United States that are suffering from insult upon injury, first from the opioid epidemic and now with Covid as well,” said Paul J. Hanly Jr., a lawyer representing several small governments. He adds, “We believe it’s in the best interest of these communities to begin receiving a payment stream. We looked at the finances of these companies and believe the numbers are now appropriate.”

Heroin and Fentanyl

America constitutes about five percent of the global population but consumes approximately 80 percent of the global opioid supply, CNBC reports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 232,000 Americans died from overdoses of prescription opioids from 1999 through 2018. Research shows that roughly 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.

Prescription painkillers have long been the gateway to illicit opioid use. Heroin and fentanyl are responsible for tens of thousands of opioid overdose deaths. The latter has made many headlines in recent years; fentanyl is often mixed into heroin to boost potency. Fentanyl is also sought out and used purposely.

Fentanyl is often the cause of fatal overdoses, and new research suggests that such deaths are on the rise in the western United States. Cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Seattle have been significantly affected, NPR reports. The increase of fentanyl use in the west contributed to the 72,000 overdose deaths in America last year.

Up through 2018, the vast majority of synthetic opioid overdoses occurred east of the Mississippi River,” said study author Chelsea Shover, an epidemiologist at Stanford University. She adds, “You think you’re using heroin or you think you’re using Ecstasy or Xanax or what looks like an OxyContin pill, but it’s actually fentanyl.”

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Men

If you are struggling with prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl, PACE Recovery Center can help. We specialize in the treatment of men who are battling addiction and mental illness. We can help you or a loved one get on the path to recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.

Recovery Safeguards: Safely Celebrating Thanksgiving

recovery

Thanksgiving 2020 is on the near horizon with just a couple of days to go. Typically, this coming Thursday would see all of us gathering together with friends in recovery or family members—giving thanks. This year is like no other year in living memory; all of us must consider health and safety.

The COVID-19 third wave is staggering, with over 150,000 new cases daily. Nearly 258,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus in the United States thus far, a number that is sure to grow with each passing day. It’s essential that you do everything you can to reduce your risk of contraction.

Public health agencies warn that Thanksgiving has the potential to be a “super spreader” event. Millions of Americans have already ignored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) warning about traveling over the holiday. The CDC states:

Travel can increase the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.

Local, state, and federal agencies caution against both traveling and congregating in large groups during Thanksgiving. Even gathering outdoors carries inherent risks, and those living in colder climes will have difficulty hosting outdoor celebrations. What’s more, the CDC cautions:

Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”

Safely Celebrating Thanksgiving

Between November 10th and the 23rd, there were 2,300,507 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S. alone. We can all have a hand in slowing the spread this week by adhering to CDC guidelines. The public health agency recommends:

  • Having a virtual dinner with friends and family. Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household.
  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.
  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday

The day after Thanksgiving or “Black Friday” is when millions of people seek out holiday sales. Some people will wait in line for hours to get a video game console such as a PlayStation or Xbox. Naturally, being around large crowds this Friday could put your health at risk. Utilizing the internet is in everyone’s best interest.

Please consider doing as much as you can virtually this Thanksgiving, including attending 12 Step meetings. Every year, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held around the clock during major holidays. This year, you can benefit from utilizing video conferencing platforms to attend meetings.

Coping With Isolation in Recovery

Many people in recovery live alone, which means that this Thanksgiving could be extremely challenging. Since it may not be safe to get together with one’s support network, such individuals will have to stay connected virtually.

Isolation is unhealthy for recovery any day of the week, but it’s incredibly hard during the year’s emotional days like holidays. Please start planning now for how you will manage the upcoming holiday. Just because you may be unable to congregate with friends and family does not mean that you will be utterly alone.

You can navigate Thanksgiving in isolation by attending meetings online. A member of your support network may be hosting a virtual dinner that you can attend—ask around. Throughout the day, please be sure to call other members of the recovery community, especially newcomers. You can help others and yourself stay clean and sober by reaching out.

The more you stay connected, the better; always remember that the fellowship is only a phone call or video conference away. Utilize your recovery tools for managing your feelings. If you find yourself feeling down, then grab a piece of paper and write out all the things you’re thankful for in recovery.

Seeking Help During the Holiday Season

If you are struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder, there is help available. At PACE Recovery Center, we help men begin the journey of recovery. We can help you break the cycle of addiction and lead a productive and positive life in recovery. Please contact us today to learn about our gender-specific behavioral and mental health programs and services.