Physical, Mental Illness Coexists in A Third of U.S. Teens

Substance abuse is seen as a major issue among teens in the United States. However, there is another issue that is just as alarming. A new study shows that 33 percent of teens between 13 and 18 years old suffer from both physical and mental illness. The study was conducted at the University of Basel. Some of these disorders were linked with specific medical conditions. For example, eating disorders were most likely associated with seizure and anxiety disorders, heart disease, and arthritis. Depression for example, occurs more often with digestive disorders. These are other factors to consider before you or someone you know thinks about attending substance abuse rehab.

The correct term for having both illnesses is called co-occurrence, which simply means having two conditions at the same time. The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that half of people with severe mental disorders also have substance abuse issues. In regards to the total number of people diagnosed with a mental condition, almost 30% are using drugs or alcohol. These are issues to consider before heading to substance abuse rehab. The data suggests that mental disorders and physical diseases often co-occur in childhood.

These disorders are a tough challenge for global health care systems and as such, are gaining focus worldwide by government health authorities. Doctors recommend that the treatment of the physical and mental conditions should take into account the other. This would help treat the children better during their stay in substance abuse rehab. This would greatly impact the health care system as well.

How Addiction Treatment Has Ushered in a Third Wave

Harm Reduction Therapy uses many of the same concepts as other substance abuse treatment plans. HRT is part of a program known as the Third Wave. This substance abuse treatment program and the methods it uses work to effectively curtail substance abuse.

Harm Reduction
The Harm Reduction program focuses on healing outside of the criminal justice system. It works by using whatever health-based methods necessary to reduce the harm caused by the drug addiction.

Anyone who seeks treatment under this program can receive it, no matter what stage of addiction they may be involved in. Treatment can range according to the exact needs of the patient.

Psychotherapeutic and psychological approaches are used to reduce the amount of harm an individual can cause to themselves and others.

Third Wave Concepts
Following the Moral and Disease Models, the Third Wave offers a new approach to the treatment of drug abuse. Both models prior to the Third Wave had shortcomings that eventually undermined their success.

The new model picks up where others have left off, and focuses more on the health of the individual rather than treating a disease that is already present. Instead, the ‘Third Wave’ works to prevent the disease-mentality from taking over.

Successful Lifestyle Changes
Being proactive and making positive lifestyle changes that promote good health aim to help the person overcome feelings and physical problems associated with addiction.

The Third Wave concepts provide useful tools to regaining both physical and mental health, as well as helping the person stay on the path to good health.

The Sober Truth: 5 Reasons Why to Rethink Rehab

A lot of people in the United States suffer from a drug problem at one point in their life, and most need help to get the problem under control. After all, it’s just not something that most people can do on their own.

That’s where drug rehabilitation facilities come into play for most people. However, if you’re running a drug rehabilitation facility, chances are you know you may need to improve it from to time. New research can give you some new options, so use this guide to improve the state of your drug rehabilitation facility so you can do the best for your patients.

Treat Addiction Properly
Addiction to a substance is a chronic illness – not a one-time problem. New research shows that people who learn to think of addiction like a problem that doesn’t go away, even when they’re sober, will do better staying clean over time. Teach your patients to treat addiction that way and you’ll see fewer return visitors over time.

Avoid Stigma
Patients who feel shamed or stigmatized tend to make less progress in rehab. Avoid shaming anyone in your facility, even in a passing way.

Stay Positive
Positive benefits of sobriety and how life will be better are more impactful focusing on the negatives. Stay positive to help patients realize they’ll be better off without alcohol.

Provide Education
Getting people clean is one thing – teaching them about their illness is another. Teach them about addiction and they’ll better understand why and how they can and need to stay sober once they leave your facility.

Stay Up to Date
Research is important, and it’s your job to stay up on it. Read the journals and talk to others in your business. You’ll do right by your patients.

Show Gratitude to Your Counselors This Thanksgiving

On the eve of Thanksgiving, many people focus on preparing festivities for family and friends and thanking God for the blessing in their lives. Amidst this busy time of year, few individuals take the time to show gratitude toward the people who helped them through their dark days of addiction.

Drug counselors help patients through some of their lowest points, transitioning them into sober lifestyles. They must establish good rapport with their patients in order to provide proper support, education, and neutral confrontation. A patient must feel as though he or she has an ally who understands the struggle and the need for support. This year make a special effort in one or both of the following ways to show your counselor the respect that he or she deserves.

Write a note
Sometimes the simplest gifts are the most effective, and handwritten notes are no exception. In the middle of struggling with drug addiction, it can be tough to appreciate how hard someone is working to help you get through it. If you’ve never made the time to say thank you in full to your counselor, take the initiative this holiday season to sit down and write a note. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed to get the message across.

Give a gift catered to a special interest
Drug counselors and patients spend hours talking together. While counselors often spend more time listening than talking, it is inevitable that patients will learn a fair amount about their counselors during their sessions. Did you pick up on a particular interest, hobby, or passion during these meetings? Your gift can be something as small as a keychain with a sports team logo to as large as tickets to a rock concert.

Seeking Treatment: A Complete Checklist You Will Need

Substance abuse is a serious problem in the United States and all over the world. In fact, it is one of the leading problems in many parts of the country, where drug offenses top the list of reasons why people: are in jail, awaiting trial or homeless.

What most people won’t tell you about drug addiction is that wanting to get clean is normal, even when you’re using it’s just hard to get there. There are treatment options available to you though, and it is something you can work through when you’re ready.

However, substance abuse treatment can be difficult for a lot of people and you have to go in knowing certain things and expecting others. Whether you’re an addict seeking substance abuse treatment for yourself or you’re a friend or family member of an addict, use this checklist to prepare yourself or your loved one for the experience that is substance abuse treatment.

It can also help you decide whether or not you need to enter an inpatient program or whether you can get help on your own through other types of programs. Answering yes means you or your loved one is ready for a rehabilitation program.

    • Do you feel ready to stop drinking or using drugs, even if that means dramatically altering your lifestyle? Inpatient programs require a lot of commitment, but they can make sure that you get clean as quickly as possible so you can get back to enjoying your life.

    • Do you only think you need to cut down your drinking or drug use? If so, rehabilitation may not be right for you since most substance abuse treatment programs require sobriety. If you’re not ready for that, you may not be ready to get help.

    • Are you willing to take medication during the drying-out process? Many rehabilitation facilities use medication to ease withdrawal symptoms, especially if you’ve been taking drugs like heroin or drinking for a long time. These medicines are designed to be helpful, and people who are serious about quitting should consider them.

    • Are you interested in joining AA or NA to help you get over your drug addiction? Most substance abuse treatment programs require you to enroll in AA or NA and talk about your experiences with others to help you from going back to drug abuse once you leave their facility.

    • Are you prepared for therapy to help you with your problem? Therapy greatly benefits most addicts who want to recover and live a clean life.

    • Do you want to learn how to prevent a relapse? Relapse prevention is something that many drug rehabilitation facilities want to teach.

    • Are you ready to find out what your triggers for substance abuse are? Without learning your triggers you likely won’t be able to keep yourself clean and sober for more than a few years, at best. Learning your triggers is essential, even if it’s a painful process for many people.

  • Do you want faith-based rehabilitation options? If so, there are options out there for you, and you can get help in a nurturing environment that uses faith to help you stay clean and sober for a lifetime.

  • Do you need help with other physical problems? You may need to take care of a variety of health problems if you’ve been abusing drugs or alcohol for years.

  • Do you need help with dental problems? Many treatment facilities can help you with this.

  • Are you ready to deal with depression that may occur when you get sober? This often requires more therapy and talking to get clean and enjoy your life at the same time.

  • Do you need help with legal problems? Legal issues affect many drug and alcohol abusers and a good rehabilitation program can steer you toward clearing those up so you can lead a happier, law-abiding life.

  • Were you ordered to attend a program as part of a settlement or sentence? You’ll need to do this as soon as possible in order to make sure you don’t end up in jail or having to pay hefty fines for missing deadlines.

  • Are you unable to see a child because of drug or alcohol abuse? Attending a drug treatment program can persuade the courts that you’re ready to be a good parent.

  • Do you need help improving self-esteem and inner happiness? Treatment can help you with that and it is the ultimate goal of getting clean!

Coping With Addictions During the Holiday Season

The holidays put pressure even on those with no addiction. The grim determination to enjoy the festive season not to mention the claustrophobia inducing sensation of being trapped with your family no matter how much you love them is enough to make anyone reach boiling point. So if you’re battling drinking or drug dependency, your lot is even harder. How can you cope?

  • Take yourself out of the firing line. If you know that you’re going to find it impossible to stick to your recovery plan, book yourself a sobriety retreat. Somewhere where the temptation of drugs and alcohol cannot reach you and you can spend the holiday period in quiet mindfulness instead.

  • Talk to your family. Instead of one big gathering where arguments are as likely as gifts and rich food, your family could support you by arranging for smaller groups at any one time. If there are family members who are unsupportive of your struggle or who do not understand your addiction issues, it may just be necessary to avoid their company until you are sure of your success.

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself. You may have resolved not to try to enjoy yourself and just to go with the flow but it’s still tempting to make January 1st a focal point for all kinds of new resolutions and promises both to yourself and to others. Make January 1st a date just like any other and avoid the pitfalls of making promises to yourself and to others that will simply cause you more pressure.

Remember that the holidays are hard for everyone whether through the loss of a loved one or life which is simply not going to plan; they throw everything into sharp relief. Remember that this too will pass and you can succeed.

How to Get More Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

As with any other therapy program for addiction, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – or CBT – is best tailored to the individual, dealing with their own specific wants, needs, fears, and behavior patterns. Although short courses are usually sufficient – therapy is usually complete in between 12 and 16 one hour sessions – sometimes other aspects of the patient’s psychological makeup can benefit from further sessions, or even variants on their original therapy, to address separate issues which may influence their addictive behaviors.

For the person willing to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy as part of their recovery program, the willingness to address addictive and harmful thought processes is the key to their recovery. Together with their therapist, breaking the cycle of thoughts, impulses and harmful actions, plus putting new thought patterns and ideas in place to give the patient tools to avoid relapses are essential.

However, if the person undergoing therapy has emotional or mental health issues which may have led to them seeking normality in drugs or alcohol in the first place, the cognitive behavioral sessions to deal with their addiction can be compared to wiping the nose of someone with a common cold and considering them cured.

In these cases, it is worth being completely open and honest with your therapist; a behavior pattern which can be quite difficult for a disorder which is so often based in secrecy to protect friends and family. For example, if a willingness to “fit in” was instrumental in triggering addiction in the first place, further sessions might be necessary to put plans in place address these thoughts.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is there to help; if at the end of the initial set of sessions there is a feeling of other triggers not having been addressed, there is no shame in saying “I am not cured, yet.”

How to Prepare for Drug and Alcohol Treatment

When an addict becomes aware that they have a problem, the next hurdle is to come to terms with drug and alcohol treatment. To get the most out of your drug rehab treatment and join the many people who have overcome their addiction, there are some tips to put into action.

Pack comfortable clothing. You will generally be required to bring a suitable selection of clothing that can be worn for the number of weeks you reside at the rehab facility. Being comfortable plays a big role in your mood and this could affect the outcomes of treatment.

Take personal items. While toiletries and most essentials will be provided at the drug rehab treatment center you visit, most addicts find it easier to complete the treatment course when they take personal items, whether family photographs, books or fragrances.

Deal with unfinished business. If you get drug and alcohol treatment without tying up loose ends beforehand, you could struggle under the pressure when inside the facility. To beat addiction, it is vital to have a clear mind and therefore avoiding distractions prior to entering treatment urgently will expand your chances of success.

Inform friends and family. Your loved ones may have influenced you to get drug rehab treatment in the first place, but if not, being honest with them is essential. The people around you will be majorly affected by addiction and so you need to open up to them and welcome their support throughout the duration of treatment.

Voice any concerns you have. Drug and alcohol treatment might be overwhelming at first and this is a big factor for failed cases. Learning about the facility and the type of treatment you will be receiving can reduce stress levels, proving the importance of asking questions ahead of treatment.