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Friday, February 16, 2018

Few Depression Patients Seek Treatment

Here’s some depressing news: Only one-third of those newly diagnosed with depression follow through on doctor’s orders, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine

Using electronic health records, insurance claims and demographic data, the researchers studied nearly 250,000 patients who received a new diagnosis of depression in primary care settings in five large health care systems between 2010 and 2013. Only 35.7 percent initiated antidepressant medication or psychotherapy within 90 days of their diagnosis. The numbers were slightly more promising among those diagnosed with more severe forms of depression, with roughly about half starting treatment. 

Depression is a highly treatable condition, and it’s estimated that 16 million Americans experience at least one depressive episode per year.

What’s behind this non-compliance? The reasons ranged from stigma to challenges accessing behavioral health services, said Beth Waitzfelder, PhD, lead author and investigator of the study, in a statement.

And this is despite a growing effort nationwide to detect and begin treating depression during primary care visits. “Over the last decade, there has been a growing effort to raise awareness about mental health and to integrate mental health care into primary care,” said Dr. Waitzfelder. “This is a positive development, since most people receive care from primary care providers. However, our study shows there is a lot more work to do to understand why many depressed patients do not begin treatment.”

Depression and Addiction: Getting Help
A depression diagnosis may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. 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, February 9, 2018

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders More Common Than Believed


More children than previously thought may have some type of disability caused by maternal drinking during pregnancy, according to a new study published in JAMA. Researchers suggest that 1.5 to 5 percent of U.S. children — up to five times previous estimates — have a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. To put things in perspective, that's as common as autism, which impacts roughly 1.5 percent.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (also called FASDs) can range from moderate to severe and include cognitive, behavioral and physical difficulties, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention: 
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip 
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, evaluated nearly 3,000 students as well as some of their mothers. More than a third of the children’s moms declined to answer questions about drinking during pregnancy.

“When you identify a kid with FASD, you’ve just identified a mom who drank during pregnancy and harmed her child,” Susan Astley, director of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the study, told The New York Times.

Health authorities in the United States have pretty clear warnings when it comes to drinking during pregnancy: don’t do it. A 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics report said “no amount of alcohol intake should be considered safe” during any trimester. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, advised sexually active women who are not using birth control to “not drink alcohol at all.”

Even a small amount of alcohol can seriously affect a baby, said Dr. Astley. “There’s probably no two women on the planet who drank the same amount on the same day of pregnancy. And alcohol doesn’t impact every fetus in the same way.”

The researchers hope that these findings will serve as a wake-up call for moms-to-be: “Alcohol can damage every system of the body,” Dr. Svetlana Popova, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research in Toronto and a co-author of an editorial about the new study, told NYT. “We have to scream about this problem to the world.”

Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse
If you have a drinking problem and are pregnant or considering pregnancy, we can work together to create a plan to help you live a happy and alcohol-free lifestyle. To learn more about our holistic addiction program, call today: 866-930-4673.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Building a Healthy Heart After Substance Abuse

It’s Heart Health Month, held each year to remind Americans to learn about the impact the heart has on one’s overall health, as well as the lifestyle factors that can promote a healthy heart. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, so it’s never too soon to start caring for this vital organ. Certainly getting help for drug or alcohol abuse is a great step. Both drugs and alcohol can pose very serious risks to your cardiovascular health, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. 

Here’s a look at how to best care for your ticker after years of abuse from addiction. Perhaps the best part, these tips from the American Heart Association (AHA) can work double-duty and benefit your overall recovery, too: 

Get active. If you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (like brisk walking), five times per week, you can almost guarantee yourself a healthier and more satisfying life while lowering your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to AHA.

Watch your cholesterol. Too much bad cholesterol (LDL) can form plaque in your veins and arteries – and these blockages can lead to heart disease and stroke. Firstly, if you don’t know your numbers, schedule a visit with your doctor to get checked. If your numbers are high, engaging in moderate exercise, avoiding tobacco smoke and eating a heart-healthy diet can help.

Manage high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Again, get your numbers checked and make an effort to follow these steps from the AHA:
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet, including reducing sodium
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
Pay attention to your diet. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to create the energy we need to thrive and fight diseases, notes AHA. So do your best to load up on veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats including fish.

Nutrition Planning at Complete Harmony
Helping clients plan healthful meals to enrich their body and mind is just one of the many features of our hybrid addiction treatment. By integrating conventional and holistic recovery approaches, we help restore balance to the whole person. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.


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