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Friday, April 20, 2018

Smartphone Addiction Tied to Loneliness, Depression

smartphone addiction
Smartphones have become a staple in today’s world, allowing us to stay connected and in-the-know 24/7 and helping us to better manage daily life. However, they’ve also created a constant need for phone time – whether you find yourself always refreshing your Facebook feed or responding immediately to every ding and vibration – and this can lead to a host of problems. 

For one, the endless stream of information and stimuli can wreak havoc on our ability to focus on one task at a time. Recently, researchers linked smartphone overuse to increased feelings of isolation and worsening of depression and anxiety symptoms – similar to the effects of other types of addiction. 

In fact, researchers from San Francisco State University likened smartphone addiction to opioid dependency: “The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief — gradually,” said Erik Peper, co-lead author of the study and professor of health education at the school, in statement.

The good news: Unlike drug addiction, we can train ourselves to be less addicted to our phones and computers, noted the researchers. They suggest the following common-sense tips to get started: 
  • Turn off push notifications.
  • Only respond to email and social media at specific times.
  • Schedule periods with no interruptions to focus on important tasks.
More About America’s Smartphone Addiction
Here are a few surprising findings from a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2017:
  • U.S. smartphone owners check their phones 47 times per day.
  • 80 percent check their phone after an hour of getting up/before going to sleep.
  • 85 percent use it while talking to friends and family.
  • 47 percent have made an effort to limit their phone use in the past. 
Complete Harmony CA Rehab
If compulsive cell phone use is a problem that co-occurs with your drug or alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s team of practitioners and addiction specialists can help. Join our family and begin to live life on healthier terms, without the need for technology overload. Call 866-930-4673 to inquire about our dual-diagnosis programs, or speak with a counselor about developing a customized recovery program for you or someone you love. 



Friday, April 13, 2018

Is Your Drinking Risky?

is your drinking risk?It’s a good question to ask – and it’s especially timely as we celebrate Alcohol Awareness Month, started by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987 to reduce stigma and spread awareness about alcohol, alcoholism and recovery. 

Drinking too much alcohol – at one time, too often, or both – can lead to a host of health troubles, including an increased risk of: 
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding from the stomach
  • Sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex
  • Several types of cancer
  • Alcohol use disorder
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “Rethinking Drinking” site offers several tools to help you identify any risky patterns along with tips on how to reduce your risks. 

Let’s start with the basics: What counts as a drink? According to NIH, a standard drink in the U.S. is any drink that contains 0.6 fluid ounces (14 grams) of “pure alcohol.” So this can include a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine and a 1.5-fluid ounce shot of 80-proof distilled spirits. 

For women, “low risk” drinking is generally defined as having no more than three drinks on any day and no more than seven per week; for men, it’s no more than four drinks on any day and no more than 14 drinks per week. Only about 2 in 100 people in these “low risk” groups have an alcohol use disorder, according to the NIH. Women experience alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels than men, which is why the numbers differ. 

Still “low risk” isn’t the same as “no risk,” notes NIH. This is because of factors like drinking too quickly as well as other health problems. For example, your best bet is to not drink at all if you are: 
  • Taking any medications that could interact with alcohol
  • Managing a chronic medical condition, like addiction or diabetes, that could be aggravated or made worse by drinking
  • Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
  • Under the age of 21
What’s more, if you can’t cut back or control your drinking and/or if your drinking causes distress or harm to your personal, professional, financial or social life, it’s time to take steps to get help. 

Help for Alcohol Addiction
If you or someone you love has an alcohol abuse problem, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. At Complete Harmony, we have helped hundreds of patients detox and restore their whole body using holistic therapies for symptom management and improved wellbeing. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.



Friday, April 6, 2018

How to Spring Clean Your Mental Habits

Spring is the season of growth and renewal and this goes for your emotional health, too. In fact, the next few months are the perfect time to purge yourself of any negative thoughts and emotions that could be interfering with your full recovery. Here are a few steps to clear the “mind weeds” and “plant the seeds” for healthier mental habits this season and beyond.
  • Identify your stressors. Stress is one of the leading causes of relapse, so there’s no better time than now to take action. Your first step is to figure out some sources of stress; try keeping a journal. Next, test out some relaxation techniques to calm anxiety and relieve tension. Some ideas: exercise, meditation, yoga, massage.
  •  Dig up a long-overdue apology. A heartfelt apology can help reduce guilt and internal discomfort and regrow a damaged relationship with a loved one.
  • Release your grip on a grudge. Along the same lines, forgiving yourself or someone else can help free up emotional energy so you can focus on more positive aspects of your life. Sure, it’s normal to experience emotions like anger and hurt, but allowing these feelings to fill up your heart will hurt you and your recovery.
  • Sweep away self-criticism. This will definitely take some practice, but you can do it. In fact, uttering phrases like “I can do this” or “I’m doing my best,” is a great first step. Another important part is making an effort to recognize that you will make mistakes and that it's okay as long as you learn from them and move onward and upward.
Continual Self-Growth at Complete Harmony
Our team of credentialed clinicians can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.





Friday, March 30, 2018

5 Renewal Rituals for a Healthy Recovery


renewal rituals
Spring is the perfect time to begin thinking about how we can re-group, re-prioritize and renew ourselves so we can be our best selves during recovery. Here are some “renewal rituals” to help you get started.
  1. De-clutter your living space. Piles of unsorted bills or unorganized clothes can make you more stressed out. UCLA researchers found high cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in women with homes with a "high density of household objects." In other words, the more clutter, the more inner chaos. 
  2. Clear the mental clutter. In the spirit of renewal, why not rid yourself of negative emotions so there’s more room for positive growth. Make a conscious effort to find the positive side of things, give yourself permission to let go of any past mistakes and make an effort to re-acquaint yourself with the unique qualities that make you, well, you. 
  3. Start a daily spiritual practice. Spring is the perfect time to bring some more mindfulness to your life and to focus on your inner self. Some ideas: yoga, meditation, prayer, deep breathing or even mindful walking.
  4. Try something new. What better time than the season of new beginnings to try something you’ve always wanted to do – from learning a new language to trying a new fitness class to visiting a new city. A comprehensive recovery plan should include sober fun, creativity and any stress-lowering activities that can serve as a healthy escape.
  5. Make time for nature. Whether you decide to plant a vegetable or flower garden or take up hiking as a hobby, make a commitment this spring to make a connection to the earth by spending more time outdoors. 
Renewing Your Whole Self During Recovery
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.






Friday, March 23, 2018

Opioid Overdoses or Suicides?

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, suicide rates have hit a 30-year high – is there a connection?

This was the question posed in a recent NPR article titled “How Many Opioid Overdoses Are Suicidal?” And it’s not the first (or last time) this relationship will be examined. In fact, there are several studies linking drug addiction and suicide. 

One study of nearly 5 million veterans found that diagnoses of opioid use disorders (OUD) led to an increased risk of suicide for both males and females. And women were eight times more likely to be at risk for suicide; men faced a twofold risk. What’s more, researchers found the suicide rate among those with OUD was 86.9/100,000, compared to the already alarming rate of 14/100,000 in the general U.S. population, notes the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Another study of 41,053 participants found that prescription opioid misuse was associated with anywhere between a 40 and 60 percent increased risk for thoughts of suicide, notes the NIDA. And those reporting at least weekly opioid misuse made suicide attempts at a rate 200 percent greater than those unaffected.

While researchers continue to study the link, there are still many unanswered questions. For instance, "no one has answered the chicken and egg [question]," Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, a family physician who runs the Lynn Community Health Center in Mass, told NPR. Is it that patients "have mental health issues that lead to addiction, or did a life of addiction then trigger mental health problems?"

For now, experts like Mahaniah say the best bet is to “provide treatment that covers all those bases." 

Do You Know the Warning Signs of Suicide?
The National Institute of Mental Health recommends seeking help as soon as possible if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities - seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life
Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Complete Harmony
When you're struggling with a mental illness and a substance use disorder, rehabilitation may seem like an impossible journey. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Complete Harmony has a proven history of successfully addressing a dual diagnosis. To learn more, call 866-930-4673




Friday, March 16, 2018

Study: Could Mindfulness Meditation Prevent Major Depression?

Mindfulness meditation prevent depression
By now you’re likely familiar with the fact that depression and addiction often go hand and hand – you or someone you love may even be suffering from both. But what if we told you that mindfulness mediation could help prevent major depression? Well, that’s what researchers set out to prove in a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine. 

For the study, researchers selected 231 adults with subclinical depression, which is defined as the presence of depressive symptoms that are not yet severe or persistent enough to warrant a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), according to researchers. The study participants were split into two groups: The first group took part in a two-hour mindfulness mediation session once a week for 8 weeks; the second group received usual care. The patients were recruited from 16 outpatient clinics in Hong Kong. 

The results: The mindfulness meditation group showed fewer depressive symptoms – MDD was diagnosed in 10.8 percent compared to 26.8 percent in the usual care group. 

What Is Mindfulness Mediation and How Can it Help Your Recovery?
Mindful meditation is a psychological practice that helps us to be “fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us,” according to Mindful.org. Another definition: It helps give us a necessary pause so we approach daily life with warmth and kindness – not judgment – toward ourselves and toward others. 

Being more mindful can certainly help your recovery. For one, it will prevent negative thoughts, feelings and emotions from distracting you or interfering with lasting sobriety. Here are a few more of the study-proven benefits: 
  • Better emotional control
  • Less anxiety 
  • Reduced anger and increased compassion
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Improved focus and impulse control
  • Deeper spiritual connection
Finding Holistic Treatment for You
At Complete Harmony, we encourage the use of many different cutting-edge techniques to help clients heal the mind, body and spirit, including mediation. To learn more about our treatment center and our approach to addiction recovery, call today: 866-930-4673.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Study: Smartphone Addiction — Hyper-social, Not Anti-social?

Are you constantly checking your phone, texting or scrolling through social media? Smartphone addiction has been in the news more and more, with many experts believing this type of behavior to be antisocial. New research, however, is looking at smartphone addiction in a new way – wondering if it’s a sign of being hyper-social?

In the new review, researchers believe the most addictive smartphone functions share a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people.

The desire to watch and monitor others — and also to be seen and monitored by others — runs deep in our evolutionary past, explained professor Samuel Veissière, a cognitive anthropol
ogist, in a statement. Social media is a way for us to find meaning, goals and a sense of identity.

“There is a lot of panic surrounding this topic,” said Veissière. “We’re trying to offer some good news and show that it is our desire for human interaction that is addictive and there are fairly simple solutions to deal with this.”

Still, the researchers agree that the pace and scale of hyper-connectivity can push the brain’s reward system to run on overdrive, leading to unhealthy addictions. 

So what are these "fairly simple solutions"? Experts says turning off push notifications and setting up appropriate times to check your phone can go a long way toward helping prevent smartphone addiction.  

And, above all, we need to “start having a conversation about the appropriate way to use smartphones,” noted Veissière. “Parents and teachers need to be made aware of how important this is.”

Complete Harmony CA Rehab
If compulsive cell phone use is a problem that co-occurs with your drug or alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s team of practitioners and addiction specialists can help. Join our family and begin to live life on healthier terms, without the need for technology overload. Dial 866-930-4673 to inquire about our dual-diagnosis programs, or speak with a counselor about developing a customized recovery program for your needs. 




















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