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Recovery 2021: Stay Positive

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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

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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.

Addiction and Mental Illness: Diseases of Despair

addiction

Unemployment, social isolation, and uncertainty are words all too familiar to millions of Americans in 2020—owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless men and women have struggled to stay afloat during these trying times, especially for those who suffer from the disease of addiction and mental health disorders, which have come to be known as “diseases of despair.”

Recent polling data shows that:

More than half of the people who lost income or employment reported negative mental health impacts from worry or stress over coronavirus; and lower income people report higher rates of major negative mental health impacts compared to higher income people.”

Even those working a program of recovery have found it challenging to keep themselves on track. Relapse rates and overdose rates are up across the country. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), “The AMA is greatly concerned by an increasing number of reports…suggesting increases in opioid- and other drug-related mortality—particularly from illicitly manufactured fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.”

More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder.”

Addiction and Mental Illness: Diseases of Despair

When life becomes more difficult, people are more apt to turn to mind-altering substances to cope with symptoms of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. This summer, 40 percent of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health and substance abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alcohol use and substance use disorders are on the rise this year as many people try to grapple with this new way of life. However, alcohol and drug misuse and suicidal thoughts and behaviors have been steadily rising for the last decade following the great recession.

Between 2009 and 2018, diseases of despair rose 170 percent, HealthDay reports. Alcohol use disorders increased in practically every age group. Substance use disorder diagnoses increased by 94 percent. New research suggests that diseases of despair can be linked to:

  • Economic Decline
  • Stagnant Wages
  • Fewer Community Ties
  • Unemployment

Among those ages 18 to 34, the rate of suicidal ideations and behaviors rose by 210 percent, according to the research appearing in the BMJ Open. What’s more, the researchers report that men had almost 50 percent higher odds of being diagnosed with a disease of despair than women. The new study included 12 million Americans.

Study author Emily Brignone – a senior research assistant – reports that it will take many years before we fully understand the pandemic’s impact on diseases of despair. She adds, however:

There is some evidence of COVID-19-related changes in diseases of despair, including increases in opioid overdoses and high numbers of people reporting suicidal thoughts. Diseases and deaths of despair represent an urgent public health issue, and the COVID-19 pandemic in some respects may exacerbate the conditions that give rise to these problems.”

Talking About Mental Health and Addiction

Evidence-based treatments exist, which can help individuals find recovery and get their life back on track. Addiction and mental health treatment work and people need to feel comfortable reaching out for help. Unfortunately, stigma still stands in the way of getting help for many Americans.

Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer for the Well Being Trust, calls the new study a “call to action,” according to the article. He says helping people get back to work is one preventive measure against diseases of despair. He adds that employment could lessen the pandemic’s impact on addiction and mental illness rates.

More importantly, Miller says people need to be able to have conversations about addiction and mental health. He adds:

We have to look at how to embrace the hard conversations around mental health and addiction. We need to know how to talk to each other, and be empathetic and supportive.”

Talking about behavioral and mental health disorders isn’t easy. Reaching out for help takes much courage, but it saves lives. If you know someone who is struggling, please take the time to lend them an empathetic ear.

Behavioral and Mental Health Treatment for Men

At PACE Recovery Center, we treat men struggling with addiction and mental health disorders. Our team relies upon evidence-based treatment to help men find the gift of recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.

Addiction Recovery Centers Receive Funding

addiction recovery

In early addiction recovery and beyond, individuals are advised to avoid all mind-altering substances—including legal drugs. In recent years, many states have voted in favor of legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes, even though the drug has no accepted medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse.

In total, 15 states have legalized recreational marijuana; four states passed recreational marijuana legalization measures earlier this month. While ending cannabis prohibition may be a step in the right direction criminal justice-wise, people in recovery need to remember that legal does not mean safe.

Many relapses have come about from thinking that marijuana will not lead to a return to drinking or using other drugs. If you are determined to keep your recovery intact, then please continue avoiding any substance that has the potential for abuse.

Legalizing Drug Use

On November 3, 2020, a number of states passed marijuana-related measures. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota voters approved the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, USA Today reports. Both South Dakota and Mississippi passed medical marijuana initiatives; such legislation has now been passed in a total of 36 states.

Oregon took legalizing drug use a couple of steps forward. Having passed recreational marijuana use legislation some years back, now it’s legal to possess small amounts of more harmful drugs.

Oregon voters approved Measure 110, making it the first state to eliminate criminal penalties for cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine possession. Measure 110 expands addiction services using the state’s marijuana tax revenue. Those found in possession of such drugs will be given a $100 fine, which would be waived if the offender seeks an assessment from an addiction recovery center.

I think Oregonians made it clear that they support a more humane, effective approach to drug addiction,” said Anthony Johnson, one of the measure’s chief petitioners. “We took a huge step for funding more treatment and recovery services, and for ending racist drug war policies.”

Naturally, opponents of Measure 110 contend that the initiative goes too far. They fear it will lead to increased drug use, especially among young people. The bill’s opponents argue that it could also lead to more overdoses.

Expanding Addiction Recovery Centers

One of the essential facets of Measure 110 is the reallocating of funds to expand or strengthen addiction recovery centers throughout the state, according to the article. The measure directs the Oregon Health Authority to redistribute marijuana tax revenue to funding for addiction treatment and recovery services.

The Oregon Secretary of State’s office says the funds will also be used to expand evidence-based and trauma-informed treatment services. What’s more, the marijuana tax revenue will go towards providing housing for individuals with substance use disorders and overdose prevention education.

”It’s clear that the current approach of arresting and jailing people for their drug addiction has failed, and that people realized that Measure 110 was ultimately about people, not drugs,” said Johnson. He adds:

It’s about what do you want for your loved ones. Do you want them arrested, jailed and saddled with a criminal record? Or do you want them provided recovery services.”

Addiction Recovery Services for Men

It will be interesting to see how Measure 110 plays out in Oregon. Doing away with criminalizing drug use could result in more individuals seeking assistance rather than keeping their problems a secret. Most Americans agree that non-violent drug offenders do not belong behind bars. In the near future, we could see other states following Oregon’s lead on drug use.

Millions of men and women working programs of recovery are proof that there is another way of life. If you are an adult male struggling with drug or alcohol use, we invite you to contact PACE Recovery Center. We offer evidence-based, gender-specific treatment services to help men turn their lives around.

Our team specializes in the treatment of mental illness as well. If your problem is something other than drugs or alcohol, please do not hesitate to reach out for support.

Adoption Month: Talking About Addiction and Trauma

adoption

One’s upbringing has a lasting impact on one’s life. What we experience growing up can set us up for success or challenges down the road. There is no formula for predicting how a person’s life will pan out in the long run. However, there are life events like adoption that can predispose people to have issues such as addiction later in life.

Many people who have traumatic childhoods are unable to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Those who are subject to abuse, emotional or physical, are often ill-equipped to live life on life’s terms. Many adopted individuals struggle with anxiety and depression; some will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms.

Trauma is a significant predictor for who will turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. For instance, those living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a higher risk of using drugs and alcohol to deal with symptoms. PTSD is not always the result of combat or physical abuse; it can develop from an insecure living environment.

In The Primal Wound, Nancy Verrier writes:

Adoptees trauma occurred right after birth, so there is no ‘before trauma’ self. They suffered a loss that they can’t consciously remember and which no one else is acknowledging, but which has a tremendous impact on their sense of self, emotional response, and worldview. Even in adulthood, adoptees may unconsciously perceive the world as ‘unsafe and unfamiliar,’ remaining in a near-perpetual state of heightened anxiety and constant vigilance.”

Adopted individuals may struggle with lingering attachments, which are often the most significant source of anxiety. Many will have difficulty with never knowing their birth parents. Feeling unwanted can take a toll as well.

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month, an initiative to increase awareness of the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system. This year’s National Adoption Month theme is “Engage Youth: Listen and Learn.” The The Children’s Bureau writes:

It is well known that teenagers are less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and are much more likely to age out of foster care without strong or stable family support. Securing lifelong connections for teens in foster care, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.

While it would be nice to think of adoption as being a seamless transition, it’s often a long, drawn-out process that can significantly affect the course of one’s life. Those who are wards of the state are removed from unsafe homes or experience trauma while in foster care. Some adopted children have biological parents who struggle with drugs and alcohol. At this time, we would like to bring people’s attention to the prevalence of addiction among people who were adopted.

The combination of a genetic predisposition for addiction and lingering attachment issues can cause complications. According to researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School, adopted individuals are at an increased risk of mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD).

If you were adopted and are struggling with mental health or behavioral health disorder(s), you are not alone. Data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions indicates that adoptees are 1.87 times more likely to face substance use disorder problems. The authors write:

Adoptees had higher odds for lifetime SUDs than non-adoptees in this study using NESARC data. Despite the advantages of adoptees’ higher educational levels probably due to being raised by higher educated, higher-income adopting parents, adoptees are still at higher risk to lifetime SUD. Awareness of adopted persons and their adoptive parents to this risk may help in primary prevention (never using substances; having conservative rules about doses and frequency of use) and in secondary prevention (being alert to early signs and symptoms; timely intervention to reduce damage and increase the chance of recovery). The findings can also be useful for clinicians and policymakers to provide education, prevention, and support for adoptees and their families.”

Additional Reading on Adoption, Addiction, and Mental Illness

At PACE Recovery Center, we specialize in the treatment of adoptees that struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders. We have written about the subject on numerous occasions and we invite you to learn more about the subject:

Specialists in Adoption-Related Addiction Treatment

Today, please contact us to learn more about our mental and behavioral health specialized services for those who were adopted. Call the PACE Recovery Center team at 800-526-1851 to learn how we can help you or a loved one heal and lead a healthy life in recovery.

Opioid Addiction Epidemic in America

opioid addiction

The American opioid addiction epidemic has been relegated to the back burner of late because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s not to say opioid addiction and overdose are no longer on the radar; it’s that we’ve been caught up in COVID-19 statistics and our government’s plan to address the situation.

As far as public health crises are concerned, it makes sense that our focus has shifted to the coronavirus—it has stolen more than 220,000 lives in 2020 thus far. Still, the opioid use disorder epidemic should not be forgotten about, even if it’s challenging to focus on more than one public health crisis at a time.

For years, it seemed like opioid addiction and overdoses dominated the headlines; that nearly 100,000 Americans die of an overdose each year seemed like a primary topic of discussion. With each passing week, a new headline involving opioids would be seen having to do with misuse or a new lawsuit against those who profited from overprescribing. However, public attention has pivoted to COVID-19, which has led to more than one million deaths worldwide.

With the nation’s attention on coronavirus, many important stories are being overlooked. You may have missed specific headlines, like the one involving Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

The Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, has been in the limelight in recent years. The primary shareholders of the makers of OxyContin are infamous in America. You may be aware that Purdue touted OxyContin as not carrying a significant risk for addiction. The drug was promoted to prescribers as being safe, despite the steady rise in overdoses since the release of the drug in the mid-’90s.

Purdue’s Role in the Nation’s Opioid Crisis

Last week, Purdue Pharma agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges related to its marketing practices, The New York Times reports. The company is looking at $8.3 billion in penalties, and the Sacklers have agreed to pay $225 million in civil penalties.

In recent years, thousands of thousands of lawsuits have been brought against Purdue Pharma. States, cities, counties, and tribes are all trying to hold the company and the Sackler family responsible for their role in the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic. The vast majority of people using heroin today used prescription opioids like OxyContin first.

Research shows that 21% of high school seniors who misused prescription opioids and later received an opioid prescription, used heroin by age 35.

While this update is promising news, it’s unlikely that Purdue will pay anything close to the $8 billion; the company has already sought bankruptcy court protection, according to the article. However, the settlement could lead to the resolution of many of the thousands of pending lawsuits. The agreement did not end all the litigation against Purdue, nor does it preclude the filing of criminal charges against Purdue Pharma executives or individual Sacklers.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, relatives of opioid use disorder victims said the agreement falls short. What’s more, Massachusetts has scheduled depositions against some Sacklers for next month.

The D.O.J. failed,” said Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general. “Justice in this case requires exposing the truth and holding the perpetrators accountable, not rushing a settlement to beat an election. I am not done with Purdue and the Sacklers, and I will never sell out the families who have been calling for justice for so long.”

Opioid Addiction During the Pandemic

Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers are the tip of the iceberg. Lawsuits have been filed against other drug companies, including prescription drug distributors that filled pharmacy orders despite evidence of impropriety. The opioid addiction epidemic is nuanced; many players were involved in the problem becoming this bad.

The pandemic has made matters worse, according to a new Quest Diagnostics Health Trends study. The research shows that misuse of fentanyl, heroin, and non-prescribed opioids are on the rise.

The findings indicate that the drug positivity rate increased 35% for non-prescribed fentanyl and 44% for heroin during the pandemic compared to the period before the pandemic (January 1, 2019-March 14, 2020 and March 15-May 16, 2020).

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the perfect storm for a rise in substance use disorders and other forms of prescription and illicit drug misuse. Stress, job losses and depression compounded with isolation and a lack of access to health services can trigger prescription medication overuse, illicit drug use, or relapses,” said co-author Harvey W. Kaufman, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Head of Health Trends Research Program, Quest Diagnostics.

It was concerning to learn that the positivity for a combination of drugs was especially pronounced. Positivity for non-prescribed fentanyl and amphetamines increased by 89%, benzodiazepines (48%), cocaine (34%), and opiates (39%). The researchers point out that most overdoses involve concurrent use of benzodiazepines, cocaine, or methamphetamine.

Our Health Trends data demonstrate the consequences of the pandemic, with dramatic increases of misuse of non-prescribed drugs at a time when fentanyl is also on the rise. Our nation is grappling with a drug epidemic inside a pandemic. Patients and providers need increased access to support services, clinical care and drug testing to stop drug misuse from claiming more lives,” Dr. Kaufman said.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for Men

Please contact PACE Recovery Center if you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid use disorder. Our team utilizes evidence-based therapies to help our clients break the cycle of addiction and learn how to lead a positive life in recovery. We are standing by at 800-526-1851 to answer any questions you have about our gender-specific treatment for men.