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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Strawberries Top Dirty Dozen List

Strawberries Top Dirty Dozen List

Succulent strawberries may seem like the perfect summertime treat –  these berries are loaded with vitamin C (which is known to be helpful in the detoxification process of withdrawal) and they’ll surely satisfy any sweet craving!

Unfortunately, however, they’ve also just reached the number-one spot on the “Dirty Dozen,” or rankings released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of foods with the highest pesticide residue — even after they’ve been picked, rinsed in the field, and washed before eating.     

Strawberries tested by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2009 and 2014 bore an average of 5.75 different pesticides per sample. What’s more, strawberry growers use jaw-dropping volumes of poisonous gases to sterilize their fields before planting, according to the EWG.
While there’s scant research when it comes to the link between these pesticides and gases and addiction — it can’t hurt to do all you can to keep your body free and clean of any toxins. After all, it’s already fragile and working overtime to repair the damage from years of addiction.

The “Dirty Dozen”
You don’t want to stop eating colorful, vitamin-rich foods, but you do want to choose wisely. The EWG suggests going organic when it comes to the following produce:
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
The “Clean 15”
These foods are practically pesticide-free, according to the EWR.
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas frozen
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
Nutritional Therapy at Red Oak Recovery
The Red Oak Recovery® nutritional therapy program, as part of our drug and alcohol rehab, approaches food and eating holistically. Clients are taught horticulture skills and cooking techniques, and they get to enjoy the fruits of their labors with every meal. To learn more, call 866-831-9107.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Do You Know the Signs of an Opioid Overdose?

Signs of Opioid Overdose
It’s no news that the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. The abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers — opioids like oxycodone, vicodin, percocet, methadone, and hydrocodone — continue to be the leading cause of unintentional death for Americans. In 2014, 28,647 of drug overdose deaths involved some type of opioid, including heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, studies show that every 19 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose.

The surge in prescriptions being written is partly blame: In 2012, healthcare providers dolled out 259 million painkiller prescriptions – enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills, notes the CDC. Luckily, these prescriptions have declined in the last three years.

Spotting the Signs: The Opioid Overdose Triad
An individual who is experiencing an opioid overdose needs immediate medical attention. Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia have “Good Samaritan” statutes, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This law prevents arrest, charge, or prosecution for possession of a controlled substance or paraphernalia if emergency assistance is sought for someone who is experiencing an opioid-induced overdose.

In general, an opioid overdose can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms — referred to as the “opioid overdose triad” — which include:
• Pinpoint pupils
• Unconsciousness
• Respiratory depression

If you think a friend or loved one is getting too high, don’t leave them alone. Your best bet is to monitor their behavior and breathing and make sure to keep them awake, says the Harm Reduction Coalition.

Call 911 immediately if a person exhibits the following symptoms of an overdose:
• Awake and unable to speak
• Limp body
• Pale or clammy face
• Blue or purplish black fingernails and lips (for darker skinned people, grayish or ashen)
• Slow, raspy breathing or stopped breathing
• Slow or stopped pulse (heartbeat)
• Death rattle, which refers to chocking sounds or a snore-like gurgling noise
• Vomiting
• Loss of consciousness
• Unresponsive to outside stimulus (shouting the person’s name, for example)

Finding Help for a Loved One
One of the most important decisions you can make is to support your loved one in seeking treatment for opioid addiction. At Red Oak Recovery®, we believe the engagement of the entire family is crucial in supporting your loved one in recovery. To learn more, call 866-831-9107 today.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mental Illness and Addiction: Exploring the Connection

Mental Illness and Addiction 
May is Mental Health Month, led by Mental Health America (MHA), so what better time to discuss the link between addiction and mental illness?

More and more experts are seeing a lot of overlap between the conditions. In fact, about 37 percent of alcoholics and 53 percent of those with a drug addiction have at least one serious mental illness, according to the Journal of American Medical Association.

And it works the other way, too: Nearly 50 percent of people with severe mental illness – mainly depression and bipolar disorder – also have some form of substance abuse disorder or dependence.
Unfortunately, despite the growing prevalence of these co-occurring disorders (also known as dual diagnosis or co-morbid disorder), few people seek treatment for both the addiction and the mental illness. A slippery slope, indeed, as a healthy mental state is imperative for battling addiction.

Warning Signs of Co-Occurring Disorders
Spotting the signs of a dual diagnosis can be tricky – since they’ll vary depending on your addiction and your mental illness. For example, the signs of depression and alcoholism will differ from, say, cocaine addiction and anxiety disorder.

In general, however, co-occurring disorders make it difficult to function on a daily basis and can lead to the following, according to MHA:
• An inability to maintain employment
• An inability to maintain functional relationships
• Legal problems
• Financial issues
• Extreme mood swings or an inability to control their emotions

Getting the Help You Need
If you or someone you love is showing signs of co-occurring disorders, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and that help is out there. At Red Oak, our clinical team is comprised of Master Level therapists, dually licensed in Mental Health and Addiction disciplines. Call today: 866-831-9107.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Benefits of Pet Therapy During Recovery

benefits of pet therapy during recovery

Teens and young adults face many challenges as they work to find their unique place in the world, especially while they struggle with substance misuse or a dual diagnosis like depression or anxiety. The Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine says pet therapy programs can be especially useful for the treatment of adolescent mental health disorders, since animals provide a source of comfort and security that facilitates communication during therapy.

When an adolescent is reluctant to share his or her feelings, the relaxed behavior of a therapy animal can be calming. Researchers hypothesize this is because humans have developed a subconscious capacity to use animal behavior as an indicator of environmental safety. Since therapy animals respond affectionately to attention, they also serve as a nonjudgmental source of emotional support during the recovery process.

Man's Best Friend Proves His Worth
Although pet therapy can involve many different types of animals, dogs are especially popular in pet therapy programs due to their status as “man's best friend.” The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids studied teens that spent time playing with dogs during substance abuse treatment. Participants reported increased joy, improved attentiveness, and feelings of serenity. The teens that were also struggling with depression, ADHD, and/or PTSD reported a significant decrease in symptoms after their pet therapy session.

Building a Foundation for Recovery
Red Oak Recovery® offers young adults struggling with substance abuse an innovative rehab program utilizing canine therapy, as well as experiential therapies in the form of yoga, acupuncture, mixed martial arts, gardening, music therapy, and expressive arts. Following National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA) principles for effective treatment, we strive to give young people the tools they need to move forward with their lives. Complete our contact form to connect with an admissions counselor today, or dial 866.831.9107 to get help now.