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Friday, March 31, 2017

Depression Leading Cause of Poor Health

Recent findings from the World Health Organization (WHO) say depression is now the leading cause of illness and disability across the globe. And it’s linked to other disorders and diseases, including substance use disorder, according to WHO.

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of people living with depression rose 18 percent, jumping to 300 million people worldwide, according to researchers. Yet, despite these alarming figures, few seek treatment. That’s why on April 7, in celebration of Word Health Day, WHO is urging you to talk about mental health. In fact, this year’s theme is “Depression: let’s talk.” The goal is to stop the stigma and increase access to mental health treatment so folks can get the help they need and deserve. 

“The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign 'Depression: let’s talk,'” Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said in a statement. “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”

Spotting the Signs of Depression
Depression is much bigger than regular old sadness. It has mental and physical effects that can impact your daily life, job, relationships, and sobriety. Here are some common depression symptoms to look for.
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite or weight 
  • Physical pain
  • Memory problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Unexplained sadness 
  • Loss of interest in hobbies/activities
Do You Need Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?
Co-occurring conditions like depression may exist prior to substance abuse, or develop as a side effect of drug and alcohol dependency. Using traditional and holistic therapies, Red Oak has a proven history of successfully addressing the secondary health challenges that complicate substance abuse. For more info, call 866-831-9107.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How FOMO Can Harm Your Recovery

Do you ever experience “FOMO,” or the “Fear of Missing Out”? This phenomenon, defined as ‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’ – impacts nearly three quarters of young adults. 

Not only can FOMO lead to an unhealthy obsession with social media but it can also be dangerous to your long-term sobriety. This is because it can cause feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety and envy – for example, thinking about missing out on a party or concert due to your sobriety – and increase your risk of relapse.  

Perhaps the best way to quell any FOMO feelings is to focus on the here and now – and to learn to enjoy the new sober life you’re working so hard to build for yourself. 
  • Track your achievements. Start a journal and jot down your accomplishments, goals, and things for which you’re grateful. 
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. This is especially easy to do on social media – where everyone’s life seems picture perfect. Remind yourself that, despite happy pics and posts on Facebook and Instagram, everyone has their fair share of ups and downs in life. 
  • Give yourself a break. Especially in early recovery, it’s okay if you’re not ready to attend that party, go on that date or run that 5K. Give yourself time and set small, achievable goals to build your confidence.
  • Be more mindful. Mindfulness meditation can help you stay in the moment and stop chasing the next “thrill” or event. 
  • Start moving. A vigorous walk or hike can help keep you calm and focused on your recovery and eliminate feelings of FOMO. 
Guiding Young Men & Women 
Red Oak Recovery® is a unique North Carolina treatment center for young people ages 18 to 30. Combining recreational therapy, clinical treatment and healthy nutrition into gender specific programs, our licensed staff will tailor a treatment program to your individual needs. Ready to begin your recovery? Call today: 866-831-9107.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Addiction and Your Oral Health

People with substance use disorders have more tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population, but are less likely to receive dental care, according to a study published in the scientific journal Addiction. The review combined the results of 28 studies from around the world, which collectively provided data on 4,086 dental patients with substance use disorders.

Researchers noted that beyond lack of regular dental care, there are many ways that drug use and the lifestyle that usually accompanies it can have an adverse impact on your oral health. This includes: 
  • Dry mouth
  • An increased urge for snacking
  • Clenching and grinding of teeth
  • Chemical erosion, from applying cocaine to teeth and gums 
  • High-sugar diets
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor oral hygiene
What’s more, dental care can be further compromised due to tolerance to painkillers and anesthetics.

Oral hygiene is not only important for self-esteem and overall good health, but it can also help prevent the following conditions caused by the chronic inflammation and bacteria in the blood that accompany bad teeth:
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
Luckily, dentists can take a few simple steps to help improve the problem, including screening patients for any advanced dental or periodontal disease inconsistent with patient age. Doctors and clinicians should also consider using sugar-free preparations when prescribing methadone and educate people suffering from addiction on the oral health risks associated with dry mouth and cravings for sweet foods, say researchers. 

In addition, dental experts note that making good hygiene a habit can help prevent most dental problems:
  • Brush twice a day – in the morning and last thing at night 
  • Clean between the teeth at least once a day with ‘interdental' brushes or floss 
  • Cut back on sugary foods and drinks
  • Go for regular dental check-ups 
Stopping the Side Effects of Addiction
The best way to combat the physical and emotional health consequences of substance use disorders is early intervention. Don’t wait. If you or someone you love has a drug problem, Red Oak can make sure you get the help you need today. Call: 866-831-9107.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Scary Effects of Sugar

Sugar is sneaky and it can be addictive in the same way as drugs like nicotine, cocaine and heroin. This is because when you eat sugar, the brain lights up and causes dopamine (the so-called reward chemical) to spike and increase your desire to have more. Like drug addiction, sugar addiction can lead to tolerance (needing more to attain the same “sugar high) and withdrawal.

An addiction to sugar can happen fairly easy, especially if you tend to reach for sweets to quell any cravings for your former drug of abuse. And giving up the sweet stuff isn’t always easy – added sugars are everywhere in processed and prepared foods for flavor and preservation. In fact, experts recommended that Americans limit their intake of added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories.

CNN recently ran an article, “What Happens to Your Brain When You Give up Sugar,” and the results are pretty astounding. While the piece is directed at those who decide to give up the white stuff for Lent, the takeaway message sure can help you if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet as part of your new sober lifestyle. 

Perhaps the most surprising part of the article was that, according to several studies of sugar-treated rats, giving up sugar resulted in a slew of physical and mental withdrawal signs, including: 
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Teeth chattering
  • Paw tremors
  • Head shaking
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Feelings of helplessness
The good news: Experts also say that swearing off the sweet stuff can result in boundless energy and newfound happiness, according to the article. How long it will take to reap the positive effects, however, is different for everyone. 

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.