Tag Archives: drug use

Addiction Recovery: Protecting Your Progress

addiction

The annual Monitoring the Future survey indicates that teen alcohol, tobacco, and illicit hard drug use is on the decline. However, the decade’s old survey found U.S. teens are vaping more marijuana and nicotine than a year ago. The latter is concerning, and these individuals may be putting themselves at risk of developing addiction down the road.

Some 14 percent of 12th graders reported vaping marijuana in the last month, which is almost double what was reported in the previous year. As we have pointed out in previous posts, marijuana use in one’s teenage years can lead to cannabis use disorder in the future. The condition can severely impact the course of young people’s lives.

While tobacco may be considered more benign regarding harming the mind, it can do severe damage to the body. Tobacco and nicotine use is associated with several forms of cancer and life-threatening disease. There is not enough research yet to determine the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes. Experts have diametrically opposing opinions on the dangers of electronic nicotine devices.

The recent findings have prompted lawmakers to raise the age of buying nicotine products from 18 to 21 years old. The move has bipartisan support among congressional lawmakers, and the White House seems to be behind raising the legal age limit too, The Washington Post reports. Public health advocates support the move, but they are not sure that it goes far enough.

While raising the age to 21 is a positive step, in this case, the tobacco industry supports it to avoid other policies — like removing flavors from e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes that would have a much greater effect,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Nicotine Addiction and Your Recovery

Preventing teenage vaping and nicotine initiation is vital to keeping young people off the path toward addiction. Experts stress that nicotine and THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, can wreak havoc on developing minds. Moreover, both substances are addictive, and teenage use exponentially increases one’s chances of developing use disorders in the future.

We wrote last week about making resolutions for 2020; the subject was how to be a more positive person in recovery. We hope you had a chance to read the post as we believe that following some of our recommendations could enhance your recovery. Protecting your sobriety is of vital importance. Did you know that nicotine can increase the likelihood of relapse?

Research published last year found that people in recovery who use nicotine products are more likely to return to drug and alcohol use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that cigarette smoking might increase the likelihood of SUD relapse because:

  • Cigarette smoking often accompanies illicit drug use, and cigarettes may serve as a drug cue and relapse trigger.
  • Some studies have linked nicotine exposure to cravings for stimulants and opiates.

So, if you are working a program of addiction recovery and are still using nicotine products, then perhaps a realistic 2020 resolution can be smoking cessation. Working a program takes tremendous effort, and you can benefit from removing from your life anything that can jeopardize your hard-fought progress.

At PACE Recovery Center, we understand that giving up nicotine is challenging. However, there are many resources available to help you achieve the goal. Talk to your physician or call your state’s tobacco hotline for help quitting. 2020 could be the year that you free yourself from nicotine addiction and strengthen your recovery.

Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment

Please contact PACE Recovery Center if you are an adult male in the grips of alcohol or substance use disorder. We offer many programs that can help you get on the path to long-term recovery, and to lead a healthy and positive life. We provide several programs designed to meet the specific needs of each client.

At PACE, we also offer services for men who are battling mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We invite you to phone us today to learn more about our evidence-based practices and begin the journey of lasting recovery. You will also be pleased to know that PACE works with and accepts most insurance carriers. 800-526-1851

Recovery-Friendly Employment In America

recovery

Being a young man in addiction recovery means starting drug and alcohol use as a teen. Maintaining an unhealthy relationship with substances leaves little time for life skills proficiency. Meaning, the above demographic is often ill-equipped for the workforce at the onset of recovery.

A significant aspect of evidence-based addiction treatment is preparing clients for what comes next. Leading a life of abstinence is critical to recovery, but so is being a productive member of society. Achieving long-term sobriety is contingent upon prioritizing usefulness to society. With employment opportunity comes a sense of responsibility, to work and peers. Those who emphasize the importance of accountability are also far more likely to stay on track in their program. When it feels like you are of value to your coworkers, it increases your feeling of self-worth.

Many young men who enter treatment have never held down a job. Even those who manage to eke out a college degree can find themselves unprepared for the mortal coil of employment. Addiction treatment gives such people the opportunity to learn how to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol. At PACE, we impress upon men that long-term recovery is more than not using alcohol or drugs, it’s about living life.

Working In Recovery

In early sobriety, landing and holding down employment is paramount to successful outcomes. One of the most significant obstacles to progress is idle time. Individuals without purpose are far more likely to regress into selfishness and self-centeredness. Seeking a job (when healthy enough) gets people out of their head when life in recovery is still fresh. Rejoining the community is a rewarding experience and is a source of pride.

Finding methods of staying productive is critical. Those who are struggling to secure employment can still find healthy outlets through volunteering. After all, finding a stable job can prove challenging to some men with addictive pasts. One unfortunate byproduct of substance use is often a criminal record; a hindrance, yes, a job stopper, no!

Today, several American employers take a different stance when it comes to hiring people. They no longer see the value of flatly denying opportunities to people with a history of addiction. People in recovery are finding that lying on applications is no longer necessary to land jobs. The above reality is especially true in states with small hiring pools and heightened rates of use disorder.

Addiction Recovery-Friendly Employers

Hypertherm is a company making industrial cutting tools in New Hampshire. What makes Hypertherm unique, it is one of 70 “recovery-friendly” employers in the state, The Washington Post reports. What does recovery-friendly mean? It indicates a corporation is eroding the stigma of addiction and empowering people in sobriety. Such organizations achieve those ends by turning a blind eye to employment gaps and criminal records stemming from drug use.

Companies like Hypertherm, handle drug use and relapse the way other employers make exceptions for medical issues in the workplace, according to the article. Instead of terminating an employee whose substance use becomes active again, Hypertherm is supportive.

We’re here. We understand,” said Jenny Levy, Hypertherm’s vice president of people, community and environment. “If you’re seeking recovery, we’re here for you.”

Employers have an appreciation for the statistics of addiction and recovery in the U.S. Federal data makes clear that about 22 million Americans are in recovery. Refusing to hire people with substance use in their past can make it hard to fill positions. Hopefully, more companies will adopt Hypertherm’s approach to recruiting and encourage personal progress. When hires don’t have to disguise their mental illness they prosper, as does the company. We all benefit when Americans living with addiction are given a chance to be productive.

As a nation, we have a long way to go with encouraging more companies to look past substance use disorder. A 2017 study by the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital indicates 9.2 percent of people in recovery are unemployed, involuntarily.

Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

At PACE Recovery Center, our priority is to equip men with the tools and skills to live healthy, happy, and balanced lives. Our licensed professional counselors and therapists help young men set goals and learn to manage their time and budget finances. The structured program at PACE provides young adults with the support necessary for acquiring employment.

We welcome adult males seeking long-term recovery to contact us to learn more about PACE. 800-526-1851

Wellness Environment: Living Drug and Alcohol Free

wellness environmentBinge drinking and drug use have long accompanied the college experience for many students. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that 1,825 college students lose their life every year from alcohol-related injuries. While it may seem like an inevitability that college students will use mind altering substances from time to time, there is nothing safe about the behavior and it can lead to serious harm for some.

Scientist have also been able to prove that the brain of a teenager or young adult in their early twenties is not fully developed, and drugs can have a lasting effect on the brain. Preventing substance misuse and abuse is, naturally, a top priority among all institutions of higher learning. However, some universities are taking novel approaches to substance use prevention.

Wellness Environment

The University of Vermont offers what is known as the Wellness Environment which involves 120 freshman living in a substance-free dorm and taking the course “Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies,” NBC News reports. The program is rooted in four areas of health, which include:

  • Exercise
  • Mentorship
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition

“It’s about behavior change,” said program founder, Dr. James Hudziak, chief of child psychiatry at the College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center.”When armed with science, young people can make better decisions,” he told NBC News.

Health Promoting Tools

The students who were accepted into the Wellness Environment are given tools that help them live healthier lives, according to the article. The perks include: a free Fitbit, gym pass, yoga classes and nutrition coaches. Dr, Hudziak’s class starts with meditation and then he teaches his students about the benefits, based on current research, of living a life free from drugs and alcohol. Hudziak points out that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid to late twenties, exposing underdeveloped brains to mind altering substances can have disastrous outcomes.

“The brain of a 27-year-old is like a beautifully painted new house,” said Hudziak. “But at 17 to 23 or older, it will be months before the electricity and plumbing is up. It’s a house under construction.”

Recovery Is Possible

If you are a young adult whose alcohol or drug use has become problematic, please reach out to PACE Recovery Center. Our experienced staff specializes in young adult male addiction recovery. We can help you develop the tools necessary for living a sober, healthy life.

Ending The War On Drugs

war on drugsIn 1971, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy number one,” and thus began the United States’ “war on drugs.” While there is little doubt about the insidious nature of both drug abuse and the drug trade, it has become clear that not only was the war on drugs an unwinnable campaign – it has resulted in the jailing and imprisonment of millions of Americans whose only crime was to suffer from the disease of addiction. We know that incarceration has little effect on addiction rates, mental illness requires treatment not handcuffs.

The United States has been faced with an opioid epidemic for well over a decade, a public health crisis that has affected people and families from every demographic. As the nation’s lawmakers address the issue, politicians from both sides of the aisle agree that addiction treatment and education is the most effective weapon. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse the damage that the war on drugs has inflicted on countless Americans, but we can take more humanitarian approach for the future – doing away with many of the nation’s draconian drug laws.

This week, Der Spiegel published an essay written by Nobel Peace Prize winner and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. With the use of powerful words, Annan declared that the global war on drugs has done more harm than good, and has given more weight to punishment than health and human rights. It has created the perfect environment for illegal drug manufacturers and distributors to foster. He writes:

“In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions. Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed.”

In April the United Nations General Assembly will hold a special session on drugs, a chance Annan believes for changes to be made regarding global drug policies. He wrote four critical steps that he believes should be accepted and implemented.

1) Decriminalize personal drug use.
2)Accept that a drug-free world is an illusion.
3)Look at regulation and public education rather than the total suppression of drugs.
4)Recognize that drugs must be regulated precisely because they are risky.

Some final thoughts…

At PACE Recovery Center our men’s only extended care drug and alcohol treatment program is built on the idea that by helping the client work on their underlying issues, they will be able to achieve long-term sobriety. PACE’s addiction treatment team incorporates the most effective treatment modalities, which have been proven through empirical research. We will follow with interest the special session on drugs that will be conducted at the United Nations General Assembly.

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