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Friday, June 30, 2017

How to Get the Most Out of Family Therapy

Addiction is a disease that impacts the entire family – and the pain and confusion doesn’t just dissipate once a loved one enters rehab. Family therapy can help heal and strengthen the entire family bond and diminish the negative impact of substance abuse for all members. In fact, patients who include family therapy as part of their overall addiction treatment have been show to have better engagement and higher rates of sobriety. Some other benefits: 
  • Learning healthy boundaries and enabling behaviors 
  • Understanding of family patterns and dynamic
  • Improving mental and physical state of family unit 
  • Increasing communication and awareness of one another’s needs
  • Developing problem solving skills
  • Gaining greater empathy toward one another
  • Improving anger management 
  • Preventing substance abuse from spread throughout the family
Giving Family Therapy Your All
For family therapy to work best, it requires more than just showing up. You must do the work both during and after your scheduled sessions. For example, you may be given assignments as part of therapy, such as communicating with each other in a different manner. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your family therapy: 
  • Be an active listener. This means that you’ll need to make an effort to listen carefully, ask appropriate questions and be open and honest with your therapist. 
  • Reflect on your sessions. After each session, take a few minutes to write down your thoughts and feelings. This can help you better process what you learned and better prepare for the next session. 
  • Practice self-care. Family therapy takes time and energy and it's best to approach each session with a healthy mindset. To this end, it’s important to fuel your body with the right food and manage stress so you have a clear head.
Help for Families at Red Oak
We know that addiction affects the entire family. As part of our family program, we take into account the role of parenting and family relationships in addiction recovery and create the opportunity for families to find their way back to each other. To learn more, call: 866-831-9107.





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How to Stop Procrastinating

We all procrastinate from time to time — whether you put off cleaning your room or wait until the last minute to pay your cell bill. But fighting the temptation to procrastinate can help you start living a more productive lifestyle. And it’s not about being perfect, but feeling empowered and in control of your new sober lifestyle.

Try one of these practical strategies to stop procrastinating and to get things done today.
  • Put it to paper. Take that mental list of all of things that need to get done and plot it out on paper. This will not only help to clear your mind and ease anxiety but it will help keep you on schedule. 
  • Take advantage of mornings. Do you typically put off daunting tasks until later in the day? While this can be tempting, you may consider another approach. Try arranging your to-do list according to difficulty level – and then tackle any tough tasks in the a.m. when you most likely have the most mental and physical energy. 
  • Think baby steps. It’s natural to procrastinate when you’re feeling overwhelmed. The solution: Think of one small step you can take today to get started. This will help give you the momentum to reach your goal.  
  • Loop in your loved ones. Telling friends and family about your short-and long-term goals can help you stay on task. This is because you’ll have someone there to hold you accountable – and you’ll be more likely to follow through (and on time).
Life Skills at Red Oak
From day one, our treatment model prepares young adults with the skills needed to succeed in sobriety and in life after rehab, including the ability to set and meet goals. To learn more about how you can start on your journey toward sobriety, call us today: 866-831-9107. 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Role of Yoga in Healing Trauma

Reluctant to step on that yoga mat? You may want to read on. A recent Georgetown Law report showed that yoga programs designed specifically for victims of trauma – as many as 80 percent of women seeking treatment for drug abuse report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault – can have far-ranging benefits. 

Regulated breathing, for example, calms the parasympathetic nervous system. Practicing staying in the moment counteracts some of the dissociative effects of trauma. And the physical activity of yoga, of course, can directly improve health,” reported NPR. 

Yoga for victims of trauma includes modifications – for example, instructors always ask permission before adjusting a pose – which are particularly helpful for suffers of sexual abuse. "Being asked to be touched, it gave us a little power back in a place where all our power is taken," study participant Missy Hart told NPR

Yoga also helped by offering her choices: "You can sit and reflect and think about what you want to think about. It helped us feel normal," she said.

According to the report, other benefits of yoga for people with trauma included:
  • Better self-regulation
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduction in gastric symptoms
Yoga for Addiction Recovery
Whether or not you have a history of trauma, this ancient practice can be a smart tool in your addiction recovery. It will help you align the mind, body, and spirit so you can find inner piece and comfort. Some more recovery perks:

You'll...
  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Redirect harmful and negative thoughts
  • Identify cravings
  • Clear mental fog 
  • Experience a sense of community
Trauma Informed Treatment Modalities 
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery is a clinically dynamic, trauma informed treatment center. In helping women to recover from the impact of trauma in their lives, we utilize an integrated approach based on theory, research, and clinical experience. To learn more, call: 866-831-9107.



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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Instagram Ranked Worst for Mental Health

If you or someone you love is hooked on Instagram, you might want to listen up. The Facebook-owned photo social network, used by more than 700 million people, was just ranked as “the most detrimental” to the mental health of young adults. YouTube was ranked the best followed by Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.  

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM) surveyed nearly 1,500 young adults, ages 14 to 24, about the impact of major social media platforms on their mental health. In particular, participants were asked about the following areas: 
  • Awareness and understanding of other people's health experiences
  • Access to expert health information you know you can trust
  • Emotional support 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Loneliness 
  • Sleep 
  • Self-expression 
  • Self-identity 
  • Body image 
  • Real world relationships 
  • Community building 
  • Bullying 
  • FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Many participants blamed Instagram's signature photo-filtering feature for making them feel bad about their own lives and bodies and, as a result, negatively influencing their body image and sleep. A pervasive sense of FOMO was also noted.

The study also found that social media was often described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol and that cycling through Instagram for more than two hours per day led to more mental health issues, including increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep. 

“Platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fueling a mental health crisis,” noted the report.

As a result, the RSPH is recommending pop-up “heavy usage” warnings. "As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a 'wild West' when it comes to young people's mental health and well-being," RSPH CEO Shirley Cramer told BBC.

Researchers also noted the positive sides of social media, especially when it comes to receiving support during tough times. "Everyday people from all over the world use Instagram to share their own mental health journey and get support from the community. For those struggling with mental health issues, we want them to be able to access support on Instagram when and where they need it,” said Instagram's head of policy Michelle Napchan in an interview with BBC. 

Help for a Dual Diagnosis
Geared toward young adults, our addiction facility utilizes the latest clinical practices and state-of-the-art techniques to treat alcohol and substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. At Red Oak Recovery, we believe in addressing issues in a simultaneous, holistic and integrated fashion. To learn more, call 866-831-9107.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Habits That Make You More Stressed Out

Everyone deals with stress and, if left uncontrolled, it can be very damaging to your physical and mental health – and, of course, to your long-term sobriety. In fact, it’s the leading cause of relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

While we’re all likely familiar with common stressors – for example, relationships, family, finances, health, school, career – some simple everyday habits can incite anxiety, too, according to a recent article on Forbes.com. 

This is especially true if you’re a millennial. Twelve percent of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder — almost twice the percentage of Boomers, according to the American Psychological Association.

Here are a few behaviors outlined in the article:  
  • Poor sleep. Lack of sleep has been found to “ramp up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying,” according to a study by the University of California at Berkeley.  
  • Erratic eating. Skipping meals can cause unsteady blood sugar levels, which can lead to dehydration, which is an anxiety trigger, as well as shakiness, dizziness, confusion and difficulty speaking.
  • Too much caffeine. Drinking too much coffee (or other caffeinated beverages like energy drinks) can make you jittery, irritable and nervous, especially if you’re already predisposed to anxiety. It can also cause dehydration.
  • Smartphone overuse. Too much time on your smartphone can increases central nervous system arousal, which can amplify anxiety. What’s more, social media has been linked with low moods and depressions.
  • Hanging out with anxious people. Venting to a friend who also tends to stress a lot may seem therapeutic but it can actually make anxiety worse, according to research. 
Learn to Manage Stress at Red Oak
Our addiction programs focus on the unique needs of young adults in early recovery, including managing anxiety, depression and anger. Our clients learn about what triggers and motivates them to use in the first place, and work to develop new healthy coping strategies and positive skills for lasting recovery. To learn more, call today: 866-831-9107.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Beginner's Guide to Running

Running is great for recovery – it will help you get fit, fend off stress, improve sleep and form friendships with other runners. 

Starting a new running habit doesn’t have to be daunting – all that’s required is some well-fitted sneakers and a willingness to get moving. These strategies will help keep you safe and self-confident along the way.

  • Talk to you doctor. Prior to beginning a running routine it’s important to get medical clearance. This is especially crucial if you’re overweight, have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure or if you’ve been sedentary for over a year. 
  • Take it slow. The motto “slow and steady wins the race” is a good one to follow when beginning to run. Along the same lines, it’s essential to listen to your body. Pushing yourself too hard or too quickly can lead to burnout and injuries. 
  • Try the run-walk method. The point of this technique is not to walk when you’re tired but to take brief walk breaks when you’re not. Try a few walking/running ratios to see what works for you. For example: run 10 to 30 seconds, then walk one to two minutes and repeat for the duration of your run.
  • Recruit a running buddy. Whether you pair up with a friend or join a local running club, exercising with another person will help keep you motivated and accountable. 
  • Track your progress. Keep an exercise journal and jot down duration or miles or however you’d like to measure your hard work. And don’t forget to celebrate any reached fitness goals. 
Exercise to Support Your Sobriety 
When young adults physically feel good, they are less likely to fall back on substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Our young adult program encourages exercise and healthy eating to reinforce sobriety. To learn more, call today: 866-831-9107.






Thursday, May 11, 2017

5 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Feeling bloated? Breaking out? Can’t seem to focus? A diet loaded with processed, sugary foods can cause inflammation in the body, erratic energy levels and can even lead to a sugar addiction.

Though you likely know that controlling your sugar is a smart recovery move, it may not be that easy. Manufacturers sneak the white stuff into a bunch of so-called  “healthy” foods, including flavored yogurt, nut butters and protein bars. It’s even found in foods that don’t taste sweet, like deli meat. What's more, studies have shown that there are nearly 60 different names for sugar.
  
So beyond reading food labels, what’s the best way to monitor your intake of sugar – which, according to the World Health Organization, is about six teaspoons of the sweet stuff per day? Listen to your body: Here are some common warning signs: 
  • Your skin: A high-sugar diet can cause inflammation throughout the body. The result: acne. 
  • Your energy: They don't call it a sugar crash for nothing. Loading up on high levels of sugar can create a sudden rise and fall in blood sugar levels. 
  • Your teeth: Cavities are a surefire sign of sugar overload. The sweet stuff causes the bacteria in your mouth to produce the acid that eventually damages your teeth and leads to tooth decay.
  • Your tastebuds: Eating too much sugar basically builds up tolerance so foods won’t taste as sweet and you’ll need more and more sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth. 
  • Your mental health: Too much sweet stuff can wreak havoc on your mood, leading to anxiety and depression. Plus, dips in blood sugar can cause mental fog.
Our Food Philosophy at Red Oak Recovery
Our nutritional therapy program, as part of our drug and alcohol treatment, approaches food and eating holistically. The food we prepare is designed to heal the body from the malnutrition and dehydration that substance abuse can cause. To learn more, call: 866-831-9107.