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Friday, June 15, 2018

Helping Your Loved Ones Help You

You’ve likely heard of addiction referred to as a “family disease,” meaning it impacts not just the person in the throes of substance abuse but also his or her loved ones. This means that while recovery is challenging (to say the least) for you, it’s also daunting for family and friends. They may feel guilty or unsure of what to do or say to help support your sobriety. And you can help by learning to communicate your feelings and needs. It’s really a win-win. Helping them is helping ensure that you have the support system in place that you need to endure the ups and downs of recovery.  

But where do you start? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a few suggestions. Take a look and then talk to your counselors or recovery peers for some more ideas. 

What Might Help Me: 
Consider not only what your loved ones can say but also what they can do when, for example, you’re having a down day or struggling with feelings of guilt, hopelessness, anxiety or intense cravings. Ask yourself:
  • Do you want to be held or do you need a little space?
  • Can your loved one exercise with you or cue up a funny movie?
  • Can you sit together and color or listen to music for relaxation?
  • Should your loved ones just listen (without judgment, advice or criticism) or do you want them to reassure you that you’re doing the right thing?
  • Can your loved one cook you a healthy meal or take you for some coffee?

What Might Hurt Me: 
Now more than ever you need a solid support system, so don’t be afraid to speak up if someone is saying or doing something that could possible jeopardize your hard-won sobriety.  
  • Does your loved one lose his or her patience or judge, criticize or scold you? 
  • Does he or she tend to talk “at” you or “down” to you?
  • Is he or she trying to do your recovery work?
  • Is he or she drinking or doing drugs in front of you?

Our Customized Addiction Treatment
At Complete Harmony, we understand that each person’s addiction history, family dynamics and emotional experiences differ. To this end, we customize care to your personal objectives, religious beliefs and health considerations. To learn more about our holistic addiction treatment, call today: 866-930-4673.







Friday, June 8, 2018

Suicides Rates on the Rise in U.S.

suicide rates
Amid the startling news of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain came a disturbing new statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 1999, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 28 percent.

Despite growing efforts toward prevention and awareness, suicide rates increased in almost every state between 1999 and 2016. Since 1999, rates rose more than 30 percent in half the states and, in 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide. 

While nearly half of those who lost their life to suicide had a diagnosed mental illness, other factors also played a role, including relationship problems, financial troubles, health issues and substance abuse. 

This is further proof that using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate or escape life’s stressors is risky business.

Recognizing the Redflags
It’s important to recognize the following warning signs of suicide in yourself or someone you love. 
  • Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
  • Mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
  • Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
  • Feeling trapped or hopeless 
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Risky or self-destructive behavior (driving recklessly, substance abuse, cutting)
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order for no logical explanation 
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again
  • Personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated
Suicide is preventable and any suicidal thought or ideation warrants immediate attention. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Getting Help for Depression and Addiction
For men and women struggling with mental illness and addictive tendencies, rehabilitation may seem like an impossible journey. Complete Harmony offers integrated therapeutic, holistic, and medical support for clients dealing with co-existing addiction and mental illness. Our experience with mental illness is broad and deep. For more info, call 866-930-4673.





Friday, June 1, 2018

Study: Exercise Can Help Treat Addiction

exerciseExercise really is crucial for long-term sobriety. A new study by researchers at the Research Institute on Addictions at the University at Buffalo found that daily aerobic exercise altered the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in the brains of animal models. 

So what exactly does that mean? Doing “cardio” each day can help stop the flood of the feel-good chemical dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with drug and alcohol use disorders. 

"Several studies have shown that...aerobic exercise has been effective in preventing the start, increase and relapse of substance use in a number of categories," Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, PhD, RIA senior research scientist and senior author of the study, said in a statement. This includes alcohol, nicotine, stimulants and opioids (heroin, morphine and fentanyl). 

Dr. Thanos adds: “Current work is looking at whether exercise can normalize dopamine signaling that has been changed by chronic drug use, as this may provide key support of how exercise could serve as a treatment strategy for substance abuse.” 

While more studies are underway to determine new ways to “integrate exercise into treatment regimens,” it certainly can’t hurt to get your heart pumping with a bit of brisk exercise. Current exercise guidelines recommend adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.

The physical and mental benefits are far-reaching, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression, which often co-occur with addiction. Plus, a regular cardio routine can help you sleep better, manage your weight and prevent arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Finding Your Fitness Motivation
The best form of exercise during addiction recovery is the kind that motivates you and supports your new sober lifestyle. At Complete Harmony, our hybrid addiction recovery program offers exercise planning to strengthen your body and mind during addiction recovery. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Steps for a Safe and Sober Memorial Day

Memorial Day
Memorial Day weekend is here and you deserve to have a little fun — you just need to make sure it's sober fun! Here are a few tips and tricks to avoid temptation and relapse.
  • Prioritize self-care. This means doing your best to eat well, stick to a regular sleep schedule and exercise routine. These seemingly simple self-care acts will help you stay strong and make smart decisions this weekend.
  • Be prepared. Readying yourself for a social event involves several pre-party steps. First, you’ll need to identify your personal triggers and make sure you have an exit strategy in place should you need to flea the scene. Also, consider preparing responses for any awkward questions like "Why aren’t you drinking?" Figure out what you are (and aren’t) comfortable sharing. You can just say something simple like: “I don’t feel like drinking." Experts also recommend carrying around a glass of water with lemon or lime so know one even notices. 
  • Create a gratitude list. Whether you jot down a few reasons why you’re so grateful to be in recovery in the notes section of your smartphone or write it on a piece a paper and slip it into your pocket, a simple list can be a powerful reminder of why you’re fighting so hard to stay sober. 
  • Remember to breath. Excuse yourself and focus on your breathing for a few minutes to slow down any negative thoughts or tame any cravings.
  • Enlist a sober friend. You’ll never regret a little extra support, especially if you’re attending a social event where alcohol may be involved. Try to stay close to your trusted friend or, at the very least, have a meeting spot and exit plan in place if things become too overwhelming.
A Chance at Lasting Recovery
At Complete Harmony, we utilize cutting-edge addiction treatment and holistic therapies to offer you the best chance for a lasting recovery. Our goal is to find the underlying causes of your addiction so you can learn the strategies and tools you need to avoid relapse and addiction transfer. Call 866-930-4673 to speak with our dedicated enrollment team about your personalized recovery options. 









Friday, May 18, 2018

Self-Care Rituals for Recovery

self-careCertainly this isn’t the first (or last) time we’ll talk about the importance of self-care. You likely know by now that self-care is crucial for your recovery and lasting sobriety – and that it goes well beyond good hygiene, diet and exercise. 

Practicing self-care means carving out time each day to nurture your whole self – mind, body and spirit.  There are so many self-care rituals out there – from dry brushing to detoxing – but which ones will really work to enhance your recovery? Here are a few proven strategies to try today: 
  • Stop and smell the roses. Whether literally or figuratively, taking time to slow down and smell the roses has multiple mental health benefits. You'll learn to live in the moment and appreciate your surroundings and, if you practice this outdoors, you'll reap the anxiety-busting benefits of nature, too. 
  • Make the most of your mornings. Whether you take a morning walk or sip green tea and jot down your goals for the day, carving out some “you time” in the a.m. can help set the tone for a great day in recovery. 
  • Practice spirituality. Spiritual practices like prayer or meditation can play a big role in recovery. Some perks: less anxiety, more optimism, fewer cravings and relapses. 
  • Start a daily journal. Journaling is a simple and super powerful self-care ritual – and there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Write down what you’re grateful for or the worst part of your day or some inspirational quotes – just get your thoughts flowing and down on paper. 
A Healthier Lifestyle With Deeper Purpose
At Complete Harmony, our holistic relapse prevention plans provide the tools you or someone you love needs for lifelong sobriety. After recovery, our staff encourages you to continue holistic therapies and find groups and community resources that support your commitment to sobriety. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.


Friday, May 11, 2018

Study: Cirrhosis Patients Often Female

More than one-third of cirrhosis cases are related to alcohol, revealed a seven-year national study of more than 100 million privately insured people. The results were published in the journal Hepatology.

Among 294,215 people with cirrhosis, 105,871 (36 percent) had alcohol-related cirrhosis – and that group was sicker and admitted or readmitted to a hospital more often.

“When I look at this data, it tells me that this is a big problem,” Jessica Mellinger, MD, a Michigan Medicine gastroenterologist and health services researcher at the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation, said in a statement.

And it’s especially a big problem for females, who had a 50 percent increase in alcohol-related cirrhosis during the seven-year period, according to the study. Men showed a 30 percent increase.

The reason for this heightened risk? “Women process alcohol differently than men and they are more susceptible to damage in the liver than men,” said Dr. Mellinger. “They can develop cirrhosis with less alcohol and in a shorter time frame.” 

Hormones are likely to blame, yet more research is needed to discover exactly why they are so much more susceptible to the damaging effects of alcohol than men, she added. 

A few more study findings:
  • The rates of patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis nearly surpass those of some common cancers.
  • Health care for these patients can cost as much as the cost for cancer patients.
  • Patients often wait until cirrhosis has progressed to see a doctor. This prevents a chance for early diagnosis and treatment.
The study had its limitations, however. For one, researchers have yet to examine cirrhosis claims related to substance abuse. 

What’s more, said Mellinger, many people with alcohol-related cirrhosis are “too sick to remain employed, so more of these patients are insured through government-sponsored insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid.”

More About Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis
Between 10 and 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, usually after 10 or more years of drinking, according to the American Liver Foundation. If left untreated, cirrhosis caused by alcohol can be a life-threatening disease. Symptoms of cirrhosis can be the same as alcoholic hepatitis and also include:
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites)
  • High blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension)
  • Bleeding from veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices)
  • Behavior changes and confusion
  • Enlarged spleen
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, May 4, 2018

Smart Tips to Take Control of Stress

It’s Mental Health Month and one of the many important messages of this year’s campaign, Fitness #4Mind4Body, is the link between good stress management and good mental and physical health. 

You likely already know that stress is a relapse trigger – and it can lead to serious mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Plus, chronic stress can cause inflammation in your body. The result: a greater risk of common colds and viruses, heart disease, headaches, intestinal problems, sexual dysfunction, diabetes and even cancer, according to Mental Health America (MHA). 

The goal isn’t to stress out if you find yourself unable to manage your stress. Instead, try one of these tips – if it doesn’t work for you, try another one – until you find your sweet spot for dealing with stress. 
  • Exercise your “no” muscle. If you feel overwhelmed by how many things are on your schedule, it’s ok to say “no” to new activities! This is especially important during early recovery when you need to make sure that you and your sobriety are your number-one priorities. 
  • Squash the “superman/superwoman” urge. A constant need for perfectionism can take a toll on your mental health. Ease up on yourself and ask for help if you need it. 
  • Carve out quiet time. According to MHA, just 10 to 20 minutes of quiet reflection (via meditation) can help you learn to tolerate stress as well as provide relief for the symptoms of chronic stress. 
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise. Physical activity benefits both the body and mind and helps the brain release some stress-busting chemicals in the brain. 
  • Make time for a hobby. “Zoning out” on a passion project is a great way to relax and take your mind off of your worries. Indulge in your interests, says MHA, whether that means gardening, painting, doing jigsaw puzzles or playing video games.
Continual Self-Growth at Complete Harmony

Our team of credentialed clinicians can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to better manage stress. For more information about our cutting edge treatments, call today: 866-930-4673.



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