Posts by jjmarsh

Coronavirus Outbreak: Advice For Staying Sober During Quarantine

May 2nd, 2020 Posted by Alcohol, Disease of Addiction, Opioid Epidemic, Relapse Prevention 0 comments on “Coronavirus Outbreak: Advice For Staying Sober During Quarantine”

With less access to the outside world during the Coronavirus Outbreak, it can be easy to fall back on old habits. You’re stuck at home all day. Maybe you’re in close quarters with someone who’s a bad influence. Maybe you’re just in close quarters with yourself. Sobriety is a difficult process on a good day, when all the stores are open and you can distract yourself with work, classes, or just the outside world. Under quarantine, we’re more restricted.

Whatever your specific situation, what’s important to keep in mind right now is that there are practical steps you can take for staying sober during the coronavirus outbreak.

Self-Care

The worldwide Coronavirus epidemic is unprecedented, at least in recent years. Under all of these new stresses, it’s more important than it’s ever been to take care of yourself.

Take a few moments throughout the day to relax, groom and rest. Enjoy a long bath or even a shower or two. Catch up on your reading, or unwind with a good movie (or three). Don’t be too hard on yourself – take some time to enjoy things the way a kid might enjoy them. After all, you’ve got all the time in the world, right now. Why not enjoy it?

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Set (and Reach) New Goals, Every Day

One of the biggest changes with all of this inactivity is how easy it can be to become lazy when you sit at home all day. This might go on for weeks and months, depending on where you live, so it’s important to get a handle on it, early.

A good way to get things done is to look for things to do. Set goals for yourself, every day, even if they’re silly or unimportant. Organize your sock drawer. Get out in the yard to pull up some weeds. Frame that old painting or fix your squeaking bed frame. Whatever the task, decide to do it at the beginning of the day.

Be Helpful

It’s recommended for everyone to stay at home throughout the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak. But you can still lend a hand to elderly or at-risk members of your family or community. Offer to go grocery shopping for them. Skype call in and ask them about their days.

One of the best ways there is to stay focused on your own health is to offer services to others. Find ways to be helpful to your friends, family and neighbors, and you’ll not only fill up your day, but give yourself purpose so that you’re not distracted by your own cravings.

Staying Sober During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Staying sober during the Coronavirus outbreak, much like staying sober in general, isn’t easy. It takes hard work, self-awareness, and a lot of self-discipline. The good news is, however, that it’s not a question of if but how you’re going to get the work done. With the right mindset, a healthy home environment, and some solid communication, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity and continue to do right by yourself.

Is Coronavirus challenging your recovery process? Ready to make a commitment and take back your sobriety? Visit Serenity Springs Recovery Center, today, to find out more about our services. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

addictive drugs

The Most Addictive Drugs

April 23rd, 2020 Posted by Disease of Addiction, Opioid Epidemic, Relapse Prevention 0 comments on “The Most Addictive Drugs”

It’s estimated that more than 21 million Americans are currently in the process of fighting a substance use disorder of some sort. Not only that, but with new drugs hitting the market every year, and experimentation with different combinations of substances, a clear recovery method isn’t always clear. After all, drugs are often made imprecisely to begin with. Then you’re admitted to recovery, addicted to a very specific combination of cocaine, heroine, fentanyl or something else, and there are dozens of different factors at play.

But let’s keep it simple. What are the most addictive drugs out there? Join us, today, as we take a closer look.

Heroin

With a dependence rating or 2.89, Heroin is widely known as one of the most addictive drugs in the world. It has the ability to quickly reach the brain, producing surges euphoria in a flash. It’s because of this reason that it’s still as widely used as it is, despite its publicized health risks.

Heroin prompts the brain to halt production of reward feelings, instead rewarding the user itself with an intense dopamine rush. After a time, however, the user will feel like they can’t experience good feelings without the drug. This is where the addiction factor comes in. Throw in some pretty severe physical withdrawal symptoms, and there’s a reason for Heroin’s bad reputation.

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Crack Cocaine

Following closely behind heroin, crack cocaine has a dependence rating of around 2.8. This is largely due to it being the purest and most potent form of cocaine available. It functions in a similar way to heroin, activating your reward systems, and flooding the body with dopamine. Crack is usually smoked, allowing it to reach the brain faster than being snorted like cocaine.

It also only lasts for about 15 minutes, leading many people to chase one hit with several more, in order to sustain their high. This leads to a rapid onset of addiction, often immediately following first-time use.

Nicotine

Any time anybody’s ever told you cigarettes are more addictive than hard drugs, this is the number they were talking about. With a dependence rating of 2.82, tobacco is extremely addictive. It actually tops out many other hard drugs in creating a dependency among those who use it. With over 30 million smokers trying to quit, every year, a staggering 85% of them will relapse.

Of course, nicotine withdrawal isn’t something many people go to rehabilitation for. It’s a habit with multiple far-reaching implications for your health, though. Combined with its extremely addictive design, it’s well worth considering before ever trying, and working hard to quit if you are already addicted.

Methadone

Our last entry into today’s list is methdadone, with its own dependency rate or 2.68. Methadone is interesting, when compared to other drugs, because it actually has a place in the treatment of various other drug addictions. A popular treatment for heroin or morphine addiction, it’s the user’s tolerance to this drug that makes it beneficial. The risk for addiction, here, is much lower, but it must be used as prescribed and under strict medical supervision. Otherwise, it’s fully realistic to assume that anybody using this medication recreationally could become addicted.

As a final note, Methadone withdrawal should be looked at before ever trying to use it recreationally. Painful and difficult, this process may well last for longer than a month at a time, which is extremely difficult for someone trying to clean up.

There Are Rehabilitation Options, Even With Addictive Drugs

Struggling with addiction and ready to make a change? Intensive programs like those on offer from Serenity Springs Recovery Center have a measurable impact on alcohol recovery, and are available to help you. Visit us today to find out more!

parent with addiction

Looking For Help As A Parent With Addiction

April 11th, 2020 Posted by Alcohol, Blog, Recover, Treatment 0 comments on “Looking For Help As A Parent With Addiction”

Alcoholism is a much more complicated problem than many people realize. The phrase “kicking the habit” makes it sound like stopping biting your nails or giving up dairy. But the truth is, this is an addiction that affects more people than just the alcoholic themselves. And those complications are compounded when you add parenthood into the mix. So, how do you reach out for help as a parent with addiction issues of their own?

Join us today, as we bring you three of our top tips for this awkward but necessary process.

Reach Out To Someone

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with alcoholism in the family is dealing with feelings of isolation. Start by reaching out and talking to someone. Therapists and authorized counselors are required, by law, to never disclose information they acquire during patient sessions unless absolutely necessary. So you should feel safe knowing you can speak to them about your struggles as a parent with addiction.

Serenity Springs

The impact of therapy on your ability to live your life shouldn’t be understated, either. You’ll gain insights that make your own life easier, but which also give you the tools you need to be a better supporting player in your loved one’s battle with alcohol addiction, as well.

Protect The Children

In the social services industry, any mental health professional, pastor, or teacher, or really any professional with access to children is what’s known as a “mandated reporter.” These people are required, by law, to disclose any and all information that would keep a child safe. This same regulation applies to the elderly, adult dependents and anybody else potentially at risk, as well.

Make no mistake: alcoholism affects the children in a family often and without rhyme or reason. Even when alcoholic parents are not outright aggressive or abusive, they can easily put their children at risk. Driving under the influence. Negligent behavior with regards to their safety around the house. These aren’t always necessarily true, but is statistically more likely in a home where someone is consistently heavily under the influence.

If you know your child may be in danger due to alcoholism, talk to your care providers. You may be worried your child will be removed from their home, but it’s actually rare for children to be permanently removed when the parent is the one bringing the issue to the authorities. Work with your caregivers and you can keep your child safe until your alcoholism is no longer a safety issue.

Be Aware Of Your Situation

Denial is one of the biggest killers among people struggling with alcoholism. And, while it’s to be expected with someone struggling with a disease like this, it’s important to be self-aware enough to know that at least your habit is affecting your children.

In situations like this, it’s important to act on your instincts. You might rationalize your addiction in many different ways but, when there’s the risk of danger to your child, “better safe than sorry” is always the best advice.

Reach out to friends, family, and anybody you have a good working relationship with. If you’ve lost contact and feel isolated, then make the leap and contact someone you haven’t spoken to in years. We live in a digital age and communication is easier than ever.

Parent With Addiction

What’s important, here, is to frame your situation through the potential for harm to your children. And remember, you can always reach out to a professional organization with experience in rehabilitation, like Serenity Springs. Visit us, today, to find out more about our service portfolio and how we can help you take back the reins of your sobriety as a parent with addiction.

Alcoholics-Anonymous

Despite criticism, Alcoholics Anonymous does save lives

March 24th, 2020 Posted by Alcohol 0 comments on “Despite criticism, Alcoholics Anonymous does save lives”

Research has shown and specialists often promote alcoholics anonymous as a fundamental treatment method in overcoming alcoholism. And, while not always perfect and exhibiting its own pros and cons, AA consistently works well when compared with many other approaches.

But, the reality is that alcoholism and addiction are complicated issues, and everybody is different and has different pasts and issues. Keeping techniques like 12-step recovery and organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous alive is crucial, as anything that leads individuals to effective recovery is a positive.

AA is the foundation for many similar programs

Alcoholics Anonymous, which is a 12-step program, has caused a number of similar programs to sprout up, such as Celebrate and Smart. These kinds of programs are respected in the world of recovery due to their accessibility and the fact that they provide individuals with a solid foothold. These programs tend to target the psychology, considering personality traits and traumas which make them more personal and holistic.

Alcoholics-Anonymous-small

Like with any group of new people, it’s important to set boundaries

While some criticize AA for sometimes being unsafe due to predatory individuals, most report that their peers are respectful and that the atmosphere is supportive. In any situation where you are entering a group of new people, it’s important to set boundaries. This doesn’t mean keeping your guard up or shutting out the group. It’s more so just proceeding with a healthy degree of caution when it comes to meeting new people.

It’s not about being a powerless victim

Some have also argues that Alcoholics Anonymous acknowledges the alcoholic’s powerlessness and that it can have a negative effect by shining a light on that. However, it’s often the case that individuals with addictions have a false sense of control, thinking they can stop at any time. Once they recognize and accept that the alcohol does have a power over them, they’re more able to move along toward recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t promote viewing oneself as a powerless victim, as much as it encourages individuals to seek a higher power. And, even in this case, many people in the program say they don’t feel pressure to be spiritual. The program more so promotes seeking solace and comfort in something to lead to recovery.

AA isn’t a quick fix – and recovering from addiction shouldn’t be

Like many things in our society, people want a quick fix that doesn’t require much effort or work to put in. People also want a way to become sober or recovery alone and on their own terms, and avoid divulging a lot. And, while that may seem like the ideal situation, the reality is that recovery isn’t possible without hard work and support from others.

Individuals with addictions must face difficult truths and shed a sense of selfishness in order to heal and start their recovery process. Being patient through your recovery process, no matter where you go, can help with this.

AA helps get to the root cause

Another common theme among alcoholics or those with addictions is a lack of self-esteem, which is also coupled with a lack of humility. Many people who are suffering from addiction either flat out deny their problem, blame it on someone or something else or, oftentimes, both. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous approach the psychology of a person and work to help them get to the root of the issue.

The connection with similar individuals make AA successful

While there are many treatments for addiction out there, including biological and medicinal, there’s no denying that emotions also require attention. Being in a peer support program, listening to and sharing with people with similar stories truly helps people face their emotional traumas. And, very often, the way to get to that point is through a 12-step program. Programs like these help not only recover, but change those with addictions for the better.

If you’re struggling with addiction, seek treatment

When it comes to 12-step programs, it’s important to go with a provider you trust. Intensive programs like the one at Serenity Springs Recovery Center have been shown to have a measurable impact on alcohol recovery. Our team specializes in 12-step addiction treatments and a dual-diagnosis substance abuse treatment. Visit us, today, to find out more!

Alcohol-Related-Deaths_Primary

Alcohol-Related Deaths

March 7th, 2020 Posted by Alcohol 0 comments on “Alcohol-Related Deaths”

Studies have shown that the number of Americans dying from alcohol-related complications every year more than doubled from 1999 to 2017. Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism gauged an increase from 16.9 per 100,000 to 25.5. A year later, in 2018, more than 26 percent of people over the age of 18 reported binge drinking within a month of being interviewed.

Is this overall increase in alcohol-related deaths a sign of something bigger? After more than two decades, is there any chance of us turning it around? Join us, today, for a closer look.

Over A Decade In Decline

By 2017, deaths involving alcohol in the US accounted for roughly 3% of 3 million. Of those deaths, nearly half as a direct result of either liver disease or alcohol overdose, either alone or in combination with various other drugs. This number doubled from 35,914 to 72,558 between 1999 and 2016.

Putting it in plane terms, from 1999 to 2017, U.S. mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows nearly almost 1 million alcohol-related deaths.

And researchers suspect these numbers may be undershooting, as well, because death certificates often fail to fully account for alcohol in a death. By way of an example, it’s been shown that only one-in-six drunk driving deaths is reported as alcohol-related due to various unrelated factors.

Alcohol-Related-Deaths

Alcoholism In Men

Statistically, men are twice as likely to binge drink as women, which can lead to a variety of potential problems. Men in 2018 were nearly twice as likely as women to have been intoxicated behind the wheel. They were also more likely to commit suicide while under the influence. And nearly 10% of these same men met the technical criteria for alcohol dependence.

Alcohol also increases your overall risk of mouth, throat, liver and colon cancer. Where abuse doesn’t lead to accidents or overdose, the impact of long term diseases is often devastating.

The Bigger Problem

The overall problem is that American citizens are drinking more, with an increase of roughly 8% per capita since the turn of century. Roughly 70% of adults reported drinking an average of just over two drinks a day in 2017. And the results speak for themselves. People admitted to the emergency room for alcohol-related deaths and injuries skyrocketed by 47.3% from 2006 to 2014.

The Good News

Alcohol related deaths are a preventable complication. Rehabilitation, abstinence, therapy and other treatments are difficult personal journeys. They are also completely viable and have been shown to help prevent these deaths.

Drinking is a choice many people make casually and can be done in moderation. But, for somebody prone to abusing alcohol, it’s a risk factor that just isn’t worth it to men or women.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Serenity Springs is a top-rated Florida recovery center and addiction rehabilitation center. Visit us, today, or check out some of our other insightful blog posts for everything you need to know about making it through your addiction.

How Practicing Meditation Helps Restore Gray Matter in the Brain

February 24th, 2020 Posted by Recover 0 comments on “How Practicing Meditation Helps Restore Gray Matter in the Brain”

Time and time again, research has touted the benefits of practicing meditation. In fact, a prestigious study emerged from Harvard University in recent years, with results that shocked scientists. Meditation can actually restore the brain’s gray matter in a matter of eight weeks.

Read on for more information on the Harvard study and what it found regarding meditation and gray matter. You may be surprised by just how much meditation and mindfulness alter brain structures in a positive way.

Overview of gray matter in the brain

At its basic definition, gray matter is a key part of the body’s central nervous system. Gray matter refers to neuronal cell bodies and exists in the brain, brain stem, spinal cord and more.

This is important to the overall function and reliability of the brain, and reductions in gray matter can cause negative effects, particularly in cases of addictions.

Practicing Meditation

The study went on for eight weeks

In 2014, test subjects participated in an eight-week study that included consistent mindful meditation. A Harvard-associated team of researchers set up at Massachusetts General Hospital to examine the physical effects of meditation. MRI scans were implemented to track, for the first time, the way meditation caused physical modifications inside the brain’s gray matter.

Meditation resulted in changes to brain structure

Sara Lazar, a senior study author, reported that the peacefulness associated with meditation led to the idea that it may have physical benefits. Lazar, who works with the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and is a Harvard Medical School psychology instructor, said the study demonstrated change in brain structure.

Participants spent less than 30 minutes a day meditating

Over the course of the study, subjects spent 27 minutes per day, on average, practicing meditation exercises. The simple activity of mindfulness caused a stimulation and significant increase in gray matter density. The density increased specifically in the hippocampus, which is associated with compassion, self-awareness, and reflection.

Meditation and mindfulness resulted in much less stress

Sue McGreevey, also with Massachusetts General Hospital, reported that subjects experienced less stress. It was also noted that, in comparison to those with no history of meditation, participants had differing brain structure. The study also found a thickening of the cerebral cortex areas associated with attention and emotional areas, resulting from meditation.

The study concluded that meditation improves the brain and a person’s well-being

Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University, emphasized the importance of the study findings. “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” she said. If you’re interested in learning more on the study, visit Harvard.edu.

Research is ongoing to this day

Despite these groundbreaking findings, neuroscientists continue to monitor and study the effects of meditation on the brain. The human brain is extraordinarily complex, and mindfulness is a practice that many turn to to restore a sense of calmness. But, more and more, science is acknowledging how mindful meditation actually does change the brain and not only the mind.

Meditation is also important in addiction recovery

Meditation can also be a key component of addiction healing and recovery. If you’re considering a recovery program to help with your addiction, you’re already on the right path. Acknowledging and accepting that you may be suffering from addiction is the first step in recovering. Once you’re ready to take the next step, contact us at Serenity Springs Recovery Center.

Why Celebrating Sobriety Is Worth It

February 20th, 2020 Posted by Recover 0 comments on “Why Celebrating Sobriety Is Worth It”

Being sober is a major accomplishment for someone who has struggled with addiction and recovery. Individuals in recovery face constant struggles, physical and mental blocks, and a long road of hard work. Every part of the recovery process requires effort and serious change, which is why you should celebrate the moment you made that first step.

If you’ve got a milestone coming up, read on for why celebrating sobriety is important on special days and every day.

The First Step Is One Of The Most Important

Whether it’s the day you got sober or the first day of your recovery program, it’s important to recognize these moments. The first step is one of the most important, because it shows that you’ve acknowledged a problem and want to work to recover.

While you work toward a future of healing, it’s important to highlight and celebrate that first step you made in the past.

sobriety short

Sobriety is a huge milestone

Whether you’re months or two decades sober, that day you made the decision to be clean is a milestone. Just like a birthday or anniversary, your sobriety is a key moment that is worthy of celebration. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate taking that first step toward your new life.

It’s a new birthday and a new life

As mentioned, the first day of your recovery is a milestone to ring in. Sound a bit like a birthday? That’s because it is. This is the moment you decided to work toward a brand new life, and that’s the sort of rebirth a person really should recognize, isn’t it?

Sobriety means having strength and humility

Another big reason to celebrate being sober is that it’s such a humbling experience. In these reflections, you’ll remember how much strength it takes to recover, and the humility that goes along with that.

When you recognize your recovery, you remember the people who helped get you there and how much you’ve risen since. This gives you perspective on your own journey and how worthwhile your change has truly been.

Take time to reflect on your sobriety

Celebrating your sobriety and recovery is also a great opportunity to reflect on all the strides you’ve made. In continuing your healing, recollecting on your progress and hardships you’ve overcome is crucial.

There’s power in taking a quiet moment to look back on your journey and see how far you’ve come. It gives you the context you need in order to justify the coming progress you’ll have to make.

Celebrating sobriety gives you an opportunity to be grateful

In addition to reflecting on your personal growth and healing, acknowledging this milestone gives you the chance to be grateful. In celebrating, you can thank your peers, mentors, sponsors, friends, and family.

Acknowledging your sobriety can inspire others

You may not realize it, but by recognizing your sobriety and celebrating your milestone, you can inspire others. There may be other individuals who struggle with addiction who are watching your journey and feel hope. They can see the progress you’ve made and it can encourage them and let them know that recovery is possible.

Ways you can celebrate your sobriety

In order to celebrate your sobriety, go out to a nice dinner or indulge in your favorite dessert. Invite your loved ones and support system to do a fun activity, or treat yourself to a shopping trip. Whatever you do to celebrate, make sure it’s rooted in something you enjoy and makes you feel happy.

How to celebrate others recognizing their sobriety

If you have a friend or family member in recovery, it’s a meaningful gesture to offer them your congratulations. If you want to offer a gift, you can send flowers, bake them a cake, or even write them an encouraging note.

Whatever it is, your loved one will appreciate the acknowledgement. Let them know you’re proud of them and that they’re doing amazing work.

If you’re struggling with addiction, seek treatment

If you’re struggling with addiction and considering a 12-step program, you’ve already made significant strides. Acknowledging and accepting that you may be suffering from addiction is the first step in recovering.

Once you’re ready to take the next step, contact us at Serenity Springs Recovery Center, to find out more about our drug rehab and alcohol programs.

Ready to make a change?

Celebrate life with sobriety treatment that works!

dui cost of drunk driving accident - bloody hand grabbing empty bottles on street from car door

Hidden Cost of DUI: Physical, Psychological, & Emotional

November 30th, 2019 Posted by Alcohol, Awareness, Blog 0 comments on “Hidden Cost of DUI: Physical, Psychological, & Emotional”

The DUI Cost is Often Steep

When one is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, they will most likely need a DUI lawyer. They can usually expect to face harsh consequences which may include jail time. Most likely  hefty fines at a minimum if convicted in court.

The DUI cost, however, becomes exponential when a drunk driver gets involved in an accident. Aside from the financial cost, a drunk driving crash can bring physical, psychological, and emotional effects. These effects may become a burdern on everyone involved in that person’s life.

Impact of Drunk Driving Accidents

Anyone surviving a drunk driving crash with minor or no injuries can be considered fortunate. Many car crash survivors, however, can hardly be regarded as lucky with the type of physical injuries they sustain.

Some of the most heartbreaking injuries suffered during drunk driving crashes involve damages to the brain. Survivors with traumatic brain injuries may not ever fully recover. Some are unable to see, speak, talk, walk, or even eat on their own. These damages happen so fast, but they may last for the remainder of that person’s life.

DUIs Increase in Central Florida

Aside from the head & neck, the chest, spine, legs, and knees are also vulnerable in car accidents. It’s will take time for victims to recover from injuries to those areas, if they recover. They are likely to experience chronic pain long-term as well.

Psychological Cost of DUI & Drunk Driving Crashes

A drunk driving crash is a traumatizing event, especially when it results in death or serious injury. Survivors tend to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which affects millions of Americans every year.

Those with PTSD can show symptoms of:

    • irritability and restlessness
    • insomnia and night terrors
    • anxiety and irritibility
    • lack of focus and concentration
    • emotional/mental numbness and boredom

Certain activities like riding or driving a car can also trigger flashbacks. This might make that person feel they are reliving that traumatic experience again. Anything that may remind them of the incident that brought on this condition (i.e. similar news reports, seeing another survivor).

Emotional Effects of Drunk Driving Accidents

When drunk drivers involved in a deadly car crash survive an accident, they might feel guilt. This is usually due to deaths and injuries they have caused. This shame or guilt will be hanging over their heads for some time after. Some even feel overwhelmed to the point of suicidal thoughts. If you know anyone experiencing these thoughts please call the suicide prevention line at 1-800-273-8255.

Other survivors of a drunk driving accident may experience guilt as well. This might happen even when they were not at fault. They are likely to experience mental and emotional stress due to surviving the crash, knowing others were not as fortunate. It’s also common for survivors of a drunk driving accident to feel angry. Especially against the drunk driver who caused the crash.

Drunk driving accidents can take a toll on those involved. Survivors will need all the support and help they can get to overcome the physical, psychological, and emotional damages. It will take some time to recover. However, with the help of a professional treatment center and intensive therapy, survivors of drunk driving crashes can still lead a normal, happy life! Serenity Springs provides those services at our Men’s Drug Rehab in Edgewater, FL and our Outpatient & IOP in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

Are you looking to stop drinking?

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The Opioid Epidemic – A Nation In Pain

June 13th, 2019 Posted by Blog, Disease of Addiction, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “The Opioid Epidemic – A Nation In Pain”

The Opioid Epidemic

For more than a decade, the US has been experiencing an opioid epidemic. Each year the number of deaths by drug overdose continue to increase in the United States. Every day in America, on average, there are 130 deaths due to opioid overdose. In the United States, more than 700,200 people suffered death by drug overdose between the years 1999 and 2017.

These numbers are shocking, and unless we confront this tragedy, which is The Opioid Epidemic, it won’t be long before it begins to face all of us. Not just the addict, but the entire United States, every year is becoming more affected by the opioid epidemic. In this article, we are going to cover the brief history of why we are now witnessing this eternal destruction caused by the recent rise in both legal and illegal opioids. This article also provides anyone seeking drug and alcohol treatment the proper information in order to transition into a Florida Recovery Center like Serenity Springs. If you been affected by opioids like so many other Americans, we suggest reading this article on The Opioid Epidemic. If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, call a Serenity Springs addiction professional today. [1]

What is an Opioid?

what is an opioid - info-graphic

Opioids are substances that act on the brain’s receptors producing morphine-like effects. Medically, opioids are primarily prescribed to patients who require pain relief. Opioids are also used as a form of anesthesia.

Opioids fall under the class of drugs, which include heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers. (morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone) [2]

What is an Epidemic?

The Meriam Webster definition of an epidemic is:

  1. An outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time : an outbreak of epidemic disease.
  2. Affecting or tending to affect a disproportionate large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.

The Opioid Crisis

The roots of the opioid crisis are more deep-seated than popular narrative suggests. Examining the onset of America’s opioid epidemic brings precisely how and why we got here to light. Was this an honest push by honest medical professionals to aid patients pain with ethical narcotics? These are same narcotics they stood in fear of prescribing even terminal cancer patients up until opioid crisis info-graphicthe 1990s. Is the cause of this ever-growing American tragedy an accident? Or, was it a calculated marketing effort by big pharma and the rest of the usual medical suspects? Time to examine the facts.

Opioid Epidemic in the 1970s

Before the Big Pharma opioid push of the late 1990s, physicians were reluctant to prescribe opioid medication for fearing that patients would become addicted. Into the 1970s physicians and nurses were trained to give minimal opioids for pain, often less than prescribed, unless death seemed imminent. However, this common practice of neglecting opioids to treat pain, specifically for cancer patients, was about to be reversed for the first time.

What was to follow has been nothing short of a nightmare for many American citizens, both young and old, rich or poor. This US nightmare began as an ethical attempt to treat everyday Americans who where experiencing physical discomfort and pain. One can argue the irony that has taken place as a result of what began with opioid prescription medication. Medication that was designed to take away the pain for suffering individuals. The adverse result is a country in more pain due to the inundation and addiction of less restricted, much deadlier, illegal street opioids like heroin and fentanyl. [4]

Opioid Epidemic in the 1980s

In the 1980s, the medical community began to treat acute pain frequently with opioids. Propoxyphene, a powerful prescription opiate, became the second-most dispensed drug in the United States. Top cancer specialist Kathleen Foley published two articles, in 1981/86, illustrating low rates of addiction in small groups of cancer and non-cancer patients. These articles started a massive debate between pain management specialists and professionals, arguing that long-term opioid therapy was safe. Several pain management specialists pointed out the high risks of opioid dependence, opioid overdose, and side effects caused by opioid addiction. Foley’s articles, along with other efforts, started a 20-year campaign to prescribe opioids for long-term pain management. This campaign included long-term, opioid pain management for both cancer and non-cancer patients.[4]

What followed was nothing short of a nightmare for many American citizens. This nightmare began as an ethical attempt to treat regular people that were experiencing physical discomfort and/or pain. No one could have predicted what this sudden reversal of medical opinion on opioid medication would do to the citizens of the United States. This change of opinion had a colossal impact on the American People. As of June 13th, 2019, there is no end in sight. It is fascinating to explore how quickly the United States became flooded with opioid prescriptions, the world’s purest heroin, and the most deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

From 1990 to 1995, prescriptions for opioids increased by 2-3 million each year.

Opioid Epidemic in the 1990s

The medical community received a reassurance from Big Pharma, stating that patients needing pain relief would not become addicted to opioid-based pain medication. Consequently, this led to widespread misuse of these medications before the truth came out… these medications were and are highly addictive. As a result, opioid overdose rates began to increase and have not slowed down since.

number of deaths by opioid overdose-1999/2017The Institute of Medicine issued a report attributing the rise in chronic pain prevalence during the 1990s to the following:

    • Higher patient expectations for pain relief.
    • Musculoskeletal disorders of an aging population.
    • Increase in Obesity in the US.
    • Increased survivorship after injury & cancer
    • Increasing frequency & complexity of surgery.

Opioids in 2017

    • Death by opioid overdose killed more than 47,000 Americans, which included prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl.
    • An estimated 1.7 million Americans suffered from substance abuse addiction related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
    • More than 652,000 suffered from heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).

Three Waves of the Opioid Epidemic

The first wave ignited during the mid to late 1990s when overdose deaths from opioids began to increase. During this time, most overdose deaths involved prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone).

The second wave began in 2010 with the beginning of a massive increase in overdose deaths involving heroin; here is why. With the rising dependency and tolerance of prescription opioids, many people transitioned to a more potent and cheaper alternative, including heroin/fentanyl. During this time frame, uncrushable Oxycontin was introduced, making it more challenging to use intravenously and through the nasal. As a result, those individuals addicted to prescription pain killers turned to the more potent, less expensive heroin/fentanyl.

The third wave started in 2013 and continues to this present day. The United States began to see more efficient global supply chains like China inundating illegal heroin/opioid markets with the more potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl. What is fentanyl? Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent and shockingly deadlier. Between the years of 2013 through 2016, death by fentanyl-related overdose climbed over 540% nationally. This very rapid, very deadly acceleration of the opioid epidemic has led to the United States government declaring this crisis as a national public health emergency.

every 25 minutes a baby is born in opioid withdrawal-info-graphicConsequences of the Opioid Epidemic

    • Americans in 2019 consume 80% of the entire world’s supply of opioid pain medications. 
    • The overall life expectancy in the United States has dropped for the first time since 1993, particularly for those under age 65 years.
    • The highest increase as the cause of death (with a 6.7% increase between 2014 and 2015) was from unintentional injuries, including drug overdoses.
    • Drug overdose has surpassed firearms and motor vehicle trauma as the most common cause of accidental death among adults.
    • County-level estimates highlight that nearly every geographic area in the country has seen marked increases of opioid-related deaths
    • In 2017, 81,000 people in the United Stated used heroin for the first time.

Opioid Prevention

The harsh consequences that opioid abuse and addiction has created across the United States has resulted in opioid prevention becoming a vital part of our society. More than any time in history, government officials, treatment centers, medical professionals, law enforcement, and entire communities are coming together and taking part in opioid prevention. The following are some ways to help prevent opioid abuse or help someone recover if they are currently addicted.

  1. 12-Step programs – Programs like AA, NA, and HA are a tremendous help and support for someone to recover from opiate addiction. These programs help prevent opioid addiction and abuse by helping someone who is addicted heal internally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  2. Monitor your doses of prescription pain meds – If it is necessary to take opioids/opiates to recover from surgery, or for chronic pain, it can be helpful to have a family member or loved one administer the medication. Having accountability will help prevent opioid abuse and addiction.
  3. Individual counseling – Although opiates are created to curb physical pain, many times someone who is abusing opiates uses the drug to feel less emotional pain. Mental health issues and traumas like PTSD are many times at the root of an opioid/opiate addiction.
  4. Vivitrol and Naltrexone – Both are non-narcotic drugs used in opioid prevention. Vivitrol and naltrexone both contain properties that block opiate receptors. Therefore, someone who is on either medication will not experience the high if they try to take on opiate.
  5. Amino Acid Therapy – Amino acid IV therapy is another great tool in preventing future opioid abuse. A specific combination of amino acids are given to an individual to help repair damage done to receptor sites by the opiates. The process can help spark a speedy recovery from opiates and help curb future opioid cravings and withdrawals.
  6. Residential and Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) – Many times it is necessary for someone addicted to opiates to have a more structured setting in order to fully recover. Outcomes for people recovering from addiction are usually greater in those who received a well-structured treatment program.

Serenity Springs Recovery Center Residential CampusTo learn more about opioid prevention and how to deal with opiate or opioid addiction, call an addiction specialist at Serenity Springs Addiction Hotline

Content Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , National Institute of Drug Abuse, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Poison Control

 

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3 Ways to Support a Loved One in Recovery

May 2nd, 2019 Posted by Blog, Disease of Addiction, Recover 0 comments on “3 Ways to Support a Loved One in Recovery”

Addiction is a complex disease. The disease of addiction affects both the addicted, and those that are close to the addicted. The stigma of addiction can make it very difficult to ask for help. One who is battling addiction can feel ashamed, guilty, alone, and worthless. Supporting and encouraging your loved one’s sobriety will help in his or her recovery.

3 Ways to Help Loved Ones in Recovery

Below are three quick tips for helping a loved one’s recovery as much as possible without enabling him towards a relapse. It is always good to practice what is referred to as “tough love.” Chances are if you are helping someone, you love that person. Just be advised that feelings and emotions can get in the way of distinguishing the fine line between helping and enabling an addict. Read our three ways and try to determine where that line is for you and your loved one.

1. Learn more about addiction.

     Listen to people in group meetings share their personal experiences with addiction.

2. Attend a support group with your loved one.

     This will show your loved one that you care and you can talk with others in similar situations and learn how to cope.

3. Connect with others in the group.

     New, sober friendships can develop through group meetings. Build a network of people who understand addiction.

Always remember to praise your loved one’s sobriety, while encouraging them to stay sober. Recovery is a life-long process and your loved one will be faced with challenges. Supporting a loved one in recovery requires a lot of love, reinforcement, and motivation. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, do not wait. Addiction is a deadly and baffling disease. If you feel that a loved one is using, it is time that you seek professional help. Addiction is very much treatable and recovery is definitely possible!

supporting someone in recovery infographic by Serenity Springs Recovery Center
How to Support Someone in Addiction Recovery

Understanding the Complexity of Addiction

According to an article by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW for the Hamilton Spectator, “Indicators of success include the person: attending an aftercare program, offering sincere apologies for the impact of the addiction, creating better boundaries regarding friends who may similarly indulge, and being involved in alternate and appropriate activity such as work or recreational pursuits.”

It can be hard for family and friends to understand the complexity of addiction and the intense challenges their loved one faces every day. Addiction hijacks the brain and alters brain chemistry. It interferes with the brain’s neurotransmitters and makes the brain release an increased level of dopamine, which causes euphoric feelings. The brain becomes dependent on the drugs or alcohol to function. A person can experience unpleasant and painful withdrawal symptoms until the drug or alcohol is used again. That is why quitting drugs or alcohol is so difficult.

The Importance of a Good Support System

A positive support system in recovery is crucial and can be very helpful in many ways. Treatment is not “one-size-fits-all” or packaged the same for everyone. It is tailored to the individual’s unique needs. As addicts and alcoholics in recovery, you are surrounded by other addicts and alcoholics on a regular basis. Most of them are those that you network with at meetings or through a treatment program. These are likely to be new relationships because those that you formerly associated with are likely still doing the same things that you are getting away from. This being said, meetings and other social activities can be somewhat or even very uncomfortable or awkward at first.

So it is important to make an addict or alcoholic that is new to the recovery world feel like they have friends and/or loved ones outside of the programs and rooms of recovery. A good family and support system can make all the difference in the world in aiding towards a full recovery from addiction or alcoholism. Sometimes it is nice for an addict to feel a part of something, when they are feeling lost or down. This gives an addict a sense of normalcy and comfort. However, this comfortable feeling will not last long if the addict or alcoholic is not working a program. So, for those of you dealing with addiction, it good to show “tough love” every once in a while. However, it is ultimately on you to figure out the best way to help your loved one.

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Avoiding Relapse and Temptation in Recovery

March 31st, 2019 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Disease of Addiction, Relapse Prevention 0 comments on “Avoiding Relapse and Temptation in Recovery”

Recovery from addiction is a lifelong process and treatment for addiction varies for each individual based on individual needs. Treatment programs teach clients how to focus on healthy, sober activities as a way to cope with anxiety, stress, depression, or PTSD. The coping mechanisms that you learn in treatment must be used throughout recovery to maintain a new, healthy, sober lifestyle. Avoiding relapse can be very challenging, or very easy depending on how bad the individual wants to live a clean and enjoyable life. (more…)

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My Addicted Son – Deafening Silence Hits Home

March 23rd, 2019 Posted by Awareness, Blog, Disease of Addiction, Opioid Epidemic, Treatment 0 comments on “My Addicted Son – Deafening Silence Hits Home”

Deafening Silence… I heard this two word expression so many times, but I did not put much thought into it. That is until the day my life changed in just a quick moment. Our son’s behavior started to change in subtle ways. He seemed to be secretive and sneaking around at times. We caught him in several lies, even telling different versions of the same story. Like when he needed to borrow money to make car payments, telling us many different lies, such as, “his commission did not come through yet.” We began to notice that his good friends were no longer coming around our home. He also started leaving the house at odd times and returning shortly after leaving. All the signs were there, but we did not pay attention, but our trust was wearing thin.

Delusions, Hallucinations, and Racing Thoughts

We suddenly noticed that Brad was having trouble processing his thoughts. He seemed to be repeating stories that he expressed deep concern over. Things on the TV seemed to disturb him. It was 2012, and Whitney Houston had just been found dead in her bathtub due to an alcohol and Xanax overdose. Each time the story came on the news, he reacted to it as if it were the first time he heard it.

“Did you see this? Dead! She’s gone. Drugs got her!” Brad seemed unable to string his sentences together at this point, piecing together broken sentences.

The weather forecast came on the TV, showing weather across the country. He kept blurting out these delusional statements that we now know are due to the extreme, short and long-term term, multiple drug addictions and from the withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepines he was prescribed (i.e. Xanax and klonopin). My husband and I looked at each other, scared and confused. We did not have a clue as to what was happening with our son. We had never seen him like this before. He was a bright, charismatic man who seemed totally out of it. He was very delusional and hallucinatory. He even seemed to be skittish at times. We were very frightened about trying to understand what was happening with our son.

Discovering My Addicted Son’s Opioid Habit

My husband decided go for a ride to get flowers for me on Valentine’s Day and took Brad along. We only had a moment to speak to one another in regards to what course of action we were going to take. He took Brad for a ride, while I went into his room to get some things together in a small bag in case he needed to check into a hospital.

He had been living with us after losing his job, unable to pay rent in the apartment he shared with his girlfriend. His room was a total mess, in a complete state of disarray. There were piles of clothing everywhere and his hamper was overflowing. I started taking things out of the hamper to wash, thinking he might need them. After going through a few things, I discovered an empty pill bottle. It was a prescription for oxycodone!

Deafening Silence Strikes Home

I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. The TV was blaring from one room as well as from another TV on the first floor of the house. For some reason, all I could hear was… s-i-l-e-n-c-e. All of a sudden, I not only knew the meaning of DEAFENING SILENCE, but I was smack in the middle of experiencing it. My eyes and ears were functioning, but I could not see or hear anything. It was extremely loud!

After a small amount of time had elapsed, I continued on my mission. Tears were streaming uncontrollably down the sides of my face. As I picked up items from the hamper, I found more and more empty pill bottles, mostly for oxycodone (generic for Roxicodone or oxycodone hydrochloride), some read alzaprozalam (generic for Xanax) or Methadone. All officially prescribed to him, with his name printed on the bottle. One of those bottles had 240 round pills and 30 milligrams printed on the label. I discovered that these pills were supposed to be for extreme pain–the kind of pain that comes from cancer or lupus.

Prescription Pills and Empty Containers

Several years later, we found out from Brad that bottle was a one-week prescription, and he went there every Monday for a quantity of pain medication that most pharmacies refused to fill. The doctor had to write two, separate prescriptions for this amount to avoid visits from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

EDITOR’S NOTE: This occurred before the official opioid epidemic, when doctor shopping (having multiple doctors prescribe the same medication) was still going on. The quantity above comes to around 35 pills a day, which at $30 per pill comes out to $1050 a day (street value). These numbers are not inflated for the purpose of building a good story. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) brought the prescription narcotic epidemic to a halt.

This program was put in place in hopes of ending prescription drug abuse. They had some success in doing so, however it spawned an influx of heroin users, which everyone now knows as the opioid epidemic. This could no longer go unnoticed in America. There was, and is, more heroin in our streets than ever before. Unfortunately, there are overdoses and heroin or opioid related deaths, which have now become the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 50, according to cdc.com.

My heart was pounding and my head was spinning… What do we do now? What is wrong with Brad? I found many other pill containers, all in his name. A bunch of these pills were for Xanax. Later on, I learned that the opioid and benzodiazepine combination that was nicknamed, cock-tailing, and has resulted in a large number of heart-stopping overdoses in America. But in this moment, I was in a state of shock. I called my husband in a frenzy, and told him that our son is a drug addict. I managed to blurt out fragments of sentences that read something like this,

“Oxycodone… many empty bottles, some in his pillow case, hidden in sneakers, etc.”

My poor husband was driving and trying to process this while trying to get our son back home. Brad came home and went to straight to bed. This really had us terrified and worried, there might have been more pills up there. We still had no idea where to go, who to turn to, what to do!! I went on the internet and entered, “son oxy and xanax addiction” into Google, and went with the first thing I saw. I was so desperate and did not want to ask anyone for help. I did not want to potentially expose what we wanted to keep a family secret.

The Search for an Addiction Treatment Center

I made a call to the number of a California rehab that looked very good. At the time, I was standing in my garage, which was freezing cold in the middle of winter. I spilled out my story through sobs and whimpers. A kind and caring man was on the other end and reassured me that help was available. He kept mentioning that we were not to blame for our son’s drug addiction.

We decided to make plans to send Brad to this program. They also sent an interventionist to walk Brad through the airport, who was in the midst of intense withdrawal symptoms from multiple medications. We had no time to think this through; we felt pressure as we fought for our son’s life.

I called for my husband and explained these things to him in our living room. We stood up and began crying in each other’s arms. The next day, the interventionist showed up for Brad. After the intervention process, Brad was very quick to say yes to a desperate attempt at saving his life. He threw some things into a duffel bag and we said our goodbyes, hugging and clinging to eachother. I watched the car drive away to the unknown. Again, that deafening silence took over my mind.

Moving Forward from Addiction in Recovery

I hate that I now understand the emotion and true meaning of this oxymoron, which is defined as,

“an expression for describes something related to shock, usually from an uncomfortable experience.”

I wish I could say that these two times were the only I had, but there have been quite a few more in dealing with Brad’s addiction. Unfortunately, those “deafening silences” can be a part of life. Just remember that right after the hearing returns, we must move forward and deal with whatever comes our way next!

The Addicted Brain

March 20th, 2019 Posted by Blog, Disease of Addiction 0 comments on “The Addicted Brain”

Addiction is a complex brain disease and changes the brain chemically and physiologically. The addicted brain is a vital organ in the human body. It controls how we move, walk, talk, and speak. The brain adapts to environmental changes and allows us to cope with negative emotions, form memories, and learn.

Drugs and alcohol affect the brain’s neurotransmitters, which release an excess level of dopamine causing temporary pleasurable feelings and euphoria. The brain registers all pleasures in a similar way, whether they begin with a psychoactive drug, reward, sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal.

“Repeated exposure to an addictive substance or behavior causes nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain involved in planning and executing tasks) to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it.” (Harvard Medical School, 2011). This prompts us to seek the source of pleasure.

Over time, the addicted brain adapts in a way that actually makes the sought-after substance or activity less pleasurable. Eventually, it becomes increasingly difficult to get the release of more dopamine to feel the same pleasure. This makes a person want more drugs and alcohol with a higher potency, or more risky and addictive activities.  

According to Dr. George Koob, director of NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2015), “The brain actually changes with addiction, and it takes a good deal of work to get it back to its normal state. The more drugs or alcohol you’ve taken, the more disruptive it is to the brain.”

Even if people understand the cycle of addiction and how it changes the addicted brain, they cannot stop on their own. When in treatment, a person’s brain needs to be re-trained to function normally, without toxic substances. It will take time for the brain to re-adjust to a sober, healthy lifestyle.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Get help today so you can enjoy a fulfilling and healthy life in sobriety. There is hope in recovery.

Serenity Springs Recovery Center focuses on rejuvenating men’s holistic spirit for success in addiction recovery. Our unique dual-diagnosis treatment program with a 12-step completion model helps men change their lives inside and out. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life in sobriety. For information, call (386) 423-4540

alcoholism madness and recovery blog for featured alum damien a

Damien’s Story of Alcoholism, Madness and Recovery

March 12th, 2019 Posted by Blog, Featured Alums, Treatment 0 comments on “Damien’s Story of Alcoholism, Madness and Recovery”

The day that Damien arrived at Serenity Springs, he was near rock bottom and looking for any kind of answer to get his life back on track. Today, after a long road back, Damien is approaching a year and a half of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. He is an alumnus of Serenity Springs, where he was able to find healing in the mind, body and spirit.

Drinking & Struggling Became Alcoholism & Madness

Damien’s journey through addiction was a slow progression. It started in high school at the age of seventeen, when he was a member of the party-goer crowd. At that time, his family didn’t recognize himself as having an addiction.

“They didn’t notice until I was about 20 because I was just drinking like everyone else.”

Then Damien started to realize he was going harder and longer than most of his friends. He recalls being the last one to stop drinking, to the point where he passed out. This alcoholic behavior became daily alcohol abuse or alcoholism. It was in 2010 that Damien went to recovery for the first time, but it was seven more years of struggling before he found a real, long term answer in Serenity Springs. There was no fear of detox or treatment itself.

“I did it not because I wanted to but because I thought I would get in trouble otherwise.”

He described his alcoholism as having evolved to a level of madness. His only friends at the time were those who were involved in it as well. He saw that he had gone down a dangerous path, but like many struggling with addiction, it took a true breaking point to bring him to truly open his eyes. For Damien, that moment came one night watching his mother.

“I had moved back into my Mom’s house at age 40. I saw her praying on her knees at 2 A.M. and I had the feeling she was praying for me”

Serenity Springs Solution

When asked what he liked most about Serenity Springs, Damien referred to his introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous as one of the most valuable benefits he gained from his time here.

“Serenity Springs offered me a real solution to my problem, which I came to find out was actually me.”

This was something he had not been able to find in past recovery attempts a step-by-step roadmap to real recovery and a long term solution. However, it was not all easy breezy during his time at Serenity Springs. The road to recovery can often have roadblocks and setbacks to overcome. The initial challenge for Damien was realizing the truth of his situation.

“Admitting I was an alcoholic was the hardest part about Serenity and the recovery process… because I had to finally start accepting it.”

After leaving Serenity Springs in November of 2017, Damien was somewhat reluctant to participate in Serenity’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Today, he realizes that it helped him out during his transition from rehab to the real world. Our IOP program has a unique approach. We provide services such as acupuncture and yoga while continuing to focus on the idea of healing mind, body, and spirit (three-part disease of addiction). It was in this program that Damien continued to work through things that he found most difficult during recovery.

“It was hard training myself to stop doing what I was taught before recovery. I felt weird when I was doing things in recovery like I was wrong.”

Reach Out to Damien

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Freedom from the Chains of Addiction

Today, Damien is living in Daytona Beach and enjoying his new life of sobriety and freedom from the chains of addiction. As an alumnus, he is always trying to give back what Serenity Springs gave to his life. When asked what the most rewarding part of his recovery, Damien explained that he now has an understanding of what peace of mind really means. Sobriety has allowed him to find and keep relationships that are not centered around alcohol or other negative influences. Like many of our alumni, Damien has a desire to help others that feel the hopelessness that he once knew too well. Serenity gave him a way out, a viable and lasting solution. If Damien could quickly describe what he has been doing after his time here at Serenity Springssimple-living.

WELCOME TO DAYTONA BEACH sign with palm tree on International Speedway Blvd - Serenity Springs Recovery

Damien says he has continued to employ the habits and techniques he learned while he was there that have allowed him to remain sober and happy.

“I focus on prayer and meditation, as well as regularly attending meetings to keep myself on track.”

Serenity taught him viable alternatives to alcohol when feeling the urge, including a reliance on God and being open with others about his struggle. Unlike many recovery centers, Serenity goes beyond just helping one heal physically and get away from the addiction. Our recovery plan also focuses on the mind and spirit, because believe recovery must be all-encompassing to truly break free from it.

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2 Drugged Drivers → 3 Deaths and School Bus Crash in NJ

February 21st, 2019 Posted by Disease of Addiction, News, Opioid Epidemic 0 comments on “2 Drugged Drivers → 3 Deaths and School Bus Crash in NJ”

A substitute bus driver, Lisa Byrd drove a school bus and twelve children into a tree after overdosing on heroin. She lost consciousness and the bus from 14th Avenue School in Newark, NJ slowly rolled off the road. According to CNN, she was arrested by the Newark police on Wednesday after being revived by Narcan.

1. School Bus Driver Overdoses, Crashes in NJ<br /> 2. Fiery Crash Leaves Three Dead in Wayne, NJ

On Tuesday, Jason Vanderee, a 29-year-old male from Glenwood, NJ crashed his vehicle into a gas station in Wayne, NJ, killing three in a vicious head-on collision. According to northjersey.com, He was high and driving reckless while under the influence of heroin. Again, he was revived with Narcan by local police. Police found 9 bags of heroin in his vehicle, arrested Mr. Vanderee and charged him with 3 counts of death by auto, 3 counts of aggravated manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated.

Drug Overdoses are Dangerous for Everyone

The two stories out of New Jersey occurred over the past few days. This is very frightening to think that these types of drivers are out there and we might have to dodge an oncoming, overdosed driver at some point. However, no one can live there lives like this. Drunk drivers have been on the loose for quite some time now. Please stay alert on the road!!

man opening green beer bottle with bottle opener while driving his car - Serenity Springs Recovery

We are again asking the same question here. Where are we right now in this country in terms of stopping this opioid epidemic? It seems to be doing a bit of a roller coaster routine again and not showing any signs of slowing down. Just when we thought it was cooling off, New Jersey strikes again.

Will the opioid epidemic slow down?

Stories like the aforementioned will put knots in your stomach or fear in your hearts. We are in a scary place as Americans for a number of reasons, but we are not going to get into politics. In terms of addiction and the epidemic, there is no clear cut answer. Obviously, as citizens or human beings, we wish these stories and epidemic would disappear for good.

The truth is drugs are here to stay and we have to hope that scientists continue to improve methods for combating the disease of addiction like our amino acid therapy or the bridge device. All we can do is continue to live our lives, focusing on our goals one day at a time. Writing this actually brought on some déjà vu from this blog post below where we asked very similar questions, and the results have not changed much!

An excerpt from, “Fentanyl Epidemic: Week in Review,” posted 10/16/2017:

What can we do to stop this?

As of today, there is really no answer for why, when or how this epidemic is going to end. It seems that drugs will always be a problem in this country and throughout the world regardless of the efforts made by police, armed forces, government, citizens, etc. of any country. At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, we do not worry about the numbers or politics involved, even though these are hot topics in America. We are here to offer a solution for addiction and change the lives of suffering addicts and alcoholics. These changes come from the knowledge and spiritual principles that we instill into their daily lives. This can and will happen for all that thoroughly work our program of recovery.

stop sign with trees in background

Recovery from Addiction is Possible

Not good when we are coming to the same conclusion from 16 months ago. However, we will keep fighting this thing from our corner, here in Volusia County, FL. We have seen many recover and will continue to recover opioid addicts, alcoholics, meth addicts, benzo addicts, we have even seen a few internet/pornography addicts recover at Serenity Springs. It is on the individual, if they want it, the solution is waiting for them and will always be available to those that seek freedom from addiction!

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