Friday, July 22, 2016

Underage Drinking and Graduation Season

Graduation is a time to celebrate accomplishments and look forward to new and exciting adventures. When the celebrations venture into underage drinking, which commonly happens when young people are in celebratory moods, dangerous situations can develop.

Underage Drinking Statistics

Despite the strict drinking laws for young people in the United States, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth under 21 years old, in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4,300 underage people die every year due to excessive drinking. Young people between the ages of 11 and 20 years old consume 11 percent of all the alcohol in the United States. Binge drinking, a common drinking behavior among young people, accounts for more than 90 percent of underage alcohol consumption. In 2010, about 189,000 visits to emergency rooms by people under 21 years old were attributed to have alcohol as the cause. In a 2013 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, high school students admitted that in the last 30 days:
  • 35% consumed alcohol
  • 21% reported binge drinking
  • 10% drove a vehicle after drinking alcohol
  • 22% rode in a vehicle with a driver who had consumed alcohol
Graduation season typically sees increases in alcohol use and abuse among underage people. There are proms, graduation parties, homecoming events and more, all happening when the weather is warming. Young people are looking forward to the end of school and the start of vacation. The party atmosphere is infectious, and frequently, people under 21 experiment with alcohol. Parents who are alert and diligentcan help minimize underage drinking episodes and the consequences. When your child knows you’re savvy and looking out for the signs of drinking and ready to apply consequences if rules are disobeyed, you’re gaining an edge that can help your child avoid temptations and stay safe. Look for these signs of underage drinking:
  • Problems with grades or behavior issues in school
  • Socializing with a different group of friends
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Less attention to appearance
  • Smelling alcohol on breath
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness, confusion
  • Lack of focus, memory problems

The Risks of Underage Drinking

Besides the obvious, where youths can injure themselves and others by drinking and driving, other risks are involved as well. Drinking impairs a person’s judgment, and underage drinking can lead to further risky behaviors, like unprotected sex or angry outbursts leading to injuries and arrests. Once an underage person is under the influence, they are more vulnerable to dangerous situations and people. The risk of being mugged, sexually assaulted or beaten, resulting in serious harm, increases greatly. Underage drinking leading to an alcohol problem later in life is also a risk. Research shows that people who drink before 15 years old are four times more likely to have alcohol dependence later in life.

Be Aware and Vigilant

It’s important to be tuned in, especially during graduation season, to young people who may be drinking. Being vigilant, while letting young people know you’re watching, can go a long way in preventing underage drinking or heading off alcohol issues before any serious consequences arise.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Senate Passes The CARA Bill

On Wednesday the Senate passed the CARA bill by an overwhelming vote. The approved bill is intended to change the way America handles drug addiction and opioid painkiller addiction. The bill which had previously pass the House of Representatives will now be on Presidents Obama’s desk awaiting approval early next week. Some are calling this the “Bill to Battle Heroin Addiction “and recovery advocates and addiction professionals across the nation have been pushing for such a bill for a while.  After months of wrangling, the bill has made its way to President Obama and he is expected to sign. This news comes as a relief to those who suffer from opioid painkiller addiction and heroin addiction, and those family members who have been directly affected by drug addiction. The bill aims to help communities develop drug treatment and drug overdose programs for the estimated 2.2 million Americans addicted to opioid painkillers and heroin. U.S. deaths from drug overdoses hit a record high in 2014, propelled by abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin addiction, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 28,000 people died from opioid overdose in 2014. Heroin-related deaths have also increased sharply, more than tripling since 2010. In 2014, more than 10,500 people died from heroin, the agency said. The bill authorizes $181 million a year for new programs it creates. Many believe that the bill falls far short for funding the heroin addiction in America, but any action towards fighting the epidemic is a step in the right direction. Supporters of the bill, which passed the Senate 92-to-2 believe it will dramatically change the trajectory of the addiction crisis that has claimed the lives of thousands of Americans.
“This is a historic moment, the first time in decades that Congress has passed comprehensive addiction legislation, and the first time Congress has ever supported long-term addiction recovery,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a chief author of the legislation. “This is also the first time that we’ve treated addiction like the disease that it is, which will help put an end to the stigma that has surrounded addiction for too long.”
The bill, called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act if enacted into law, also would provide new training for emergency personnel in administering drugs to reverse opioid overdoses and help communities purchase those drugs. It would also promote alternatives to incarceration for those with substance-abuse problems and expand access to naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
At Nova Recovery Center we offer heroin addiction treatment and opioid addiction treatment along with drug treatment. Our 90-Day program model allows enough time for the drug addict to reclaim their life from drugs. Clients are given the necessary tools to overcome their addictions and find a life in recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact Nova Recovery Center today for help. Our staff works 24/7 to ensure the best quality of care for our clients.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CARA Passes The House In A Nearly Unanimous Decision.

The House passed the CARA Bill in a 407-5 Vote on Friday, July 8th. This is big news in the battle to end the opioid addiction in America. In a nearly unanimous decision, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act bill was passed by the House of Representatives. The Bill is expected to move quickly through Congress and onto the desk of President Obama by early next week. This is great news for those who have been effected by the opioid addiction and heroin addiction in America. Family members and friends who have seen loved ones struggle or die due to drug addiction could have more resources on their side to get heroin addiction treatment or opioid addiction treatment they need. The CARA bill was originally stalled in its passing due to numerous Democrats believing that there was not enough money allocated to treatment services in the proposed Bill. While debates about funding remain a top concern, any investment in heroin addiction treatment or opioid addiction treatment is a step in the right direction. President Obama proposed $1.1 billion in funding to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic earlier this year.
The lack of services and funding to fight the heroin epidemic and opioid addiction epidemic in America has resulting in 130 people dying every day. Many addiction professionals and recovery advocates have urged Congress to take action on this crisis. CARA is designed to ensure that federal resources are focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that have been tested and proven effective. The CARA Bill includes the following.
  • Expanding alcohol and drug prevention and education
  • Increasing collaboration with law enforcement and criminal justice systems
  • Creating more disposal and turn-in sites for unwanted prescription medications
  • Increasing availability of treatment including evidence-based and medication-assisted programs
  • Creating prescription drug monitoring programs to help at-risk individuals access critical services
The Bill also plans to expand the availability of Naloxone. Sold under the brand name Narcan, Naloxone is a medication used to block the effects of opioids. The anti-overdose medication may be given intravenously to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The medication also comes in the form of a nasal spray. The effects of naloxone last about half an hour to an hour. Multiple doses of the drug may be required, as the duration of action of most opioids is greater than that of naloxone.
Nova Recovery Center offers Heroin Addiction Treatment and Opioid Addiction Treatment. Our 90-Day Drug Addiction Treatment Program can help those addicted find a life in recovery. Contact us today for more information.

On (And Off) the Field, Matt Bush is Working Hard to Redeem His Name

His teammates try their best to buffer him from the insults hurled in his direction. Less than a year out of the halfway house where he used to reside, it’s not uncommon for Texas Rangers relief pitcher Matt Bush to hear fans—strangers—shouting at him, bringing up the ugly incidents in his troubled past. 
Already a key player in one of the American League’s most influential teams, Matt Bush has sworn to remain steady, focused, strong, and above all, sober—even in the face of boisterous fans, many of whom are inebriated themselves.

A Troubled Past

Thirty years old and a recovering alcoholic, Matt Bush is on his second and last chance in professional baseball. He’s also a convicted felon. Sentenced to 52 months in prison in December of 2012, Matt Bush was convicted of three felony charges as the result of an accident that occurred when he slipped away from spring training, drove drunk and crashed into a 72-year-old motorcyclist—knocking the latter off his bike and running over his head as he fled the scene of the accident. 
The victim survived, but suffered significant injuries as a result, including a collapsed lung, brain hemorrhaging and eight broken vertebrae. The accident was actually Matt Bush’s second hit and run of the night, and the final straw in a series of ever-escalating alcoholic and depressive behaviors that led to his eventual conviction and prison time.

Starting Over in Sobriety

Today, Matt Bush has been sober for over four years, including the time he spent in prison and the time he spent working at a local Golden Coral restaurant for minimum wage while living in a halfway house following his sentence. But after sitting out of professional ball for four years, Matt Bush has blossomed into the most noteworthy comeback story in all of recent baseball memory.
Now pitching over 100 MPH, Bush has proved to be quite the saving grace for the Rangers’ bullpen since his return. In the nearly 17 innings since his arrival, he’s struck out 18 batters and walked only three. 

Commitment to Improvement

Impressive numbers, and all accompanied by obvious dedication which has really caught the eye of his new teammates. Many of his teammates are now a central part of Matt’s support system as he continues to strive toward redemption and excellence, even in the face of those who seek only to remind him of his past transgressions. 
Matt Bush, who reported having his first drink in junior high and becoming fully dependent on alcohol by the age of 21, now has a large network of both support and monitoring at home and on the road. 
In the clubhouse, his teammates surround him. His father stays with him while the Rangers play at home. For away games, a special assistant has been assigned to stay in his room. He meets with the team manager once a week. He trains more than anyone else on the team. 
He isn’t allowed to drive. Or to party. And if he has a single drink… it’s all over.
And yet despite everything that’s happened—the lessons he’s learned in the hardest of ways and the drastic changes he’s made—Matt Bush claims that he’s the happiest he can remember being in a long time. Having faced down his demons and been given a second chance at the sport he loves, he sees these opportunities as getting a chance to make amends for some of the pain he’s caused. And he doesn’t plan on wasting a moment of it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Heroin Addiction Treatment: Medicaid Now Eligible In NH

According to the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration only 2.5million people received aid for drug and alcohol treatment out of the 23.1 million who needed it in 2012.  Heroin addicts play a smaller role in those addicted, but their numbers have doubled from 2007 to 2012. There are an estimated 700,000 drug addicts addicted to heroin in America. The insurance industry has not come to grips with the dangers of heroin withdrawal, although it has not been known to kill, withdrawal symptoms can often lead to relapses. Heroin withdrawal feels like your bones are about to break, you’re sweating and having the chills at the same time, mixed with vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms often feel like too much for the drug users who often return to heroin for ease and comfort. Even if the addict survives the heroin withdrawal, they often relapse if they fail to make it into treatment in a timely manner.
New Hampshire residents who use Medicaid are now eligible for drug addiction treatment. Around 140,000 Medicaid recipients are now qualified to use their insurance for addiction recovery services. State health officials announced the new revisions to the states Medicaid practices. The expansion went into effect this past Friday. As of July 1st which marked the beginning of the state’s budget year, Medicaid will pay for substance use disorder treatment. The benefit was already available to the 49,000 people who enrolled as part of the state’s Medicaid expansion program launched two years ago. All standard Medicaid recipients can now access substance abuse disorder benefits, including residential treatment, opioid treatment programs, and recovery support services. New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyer called the expanded treatment an “important milestone in the state’s response to the opioid addiction crisis.”
As the number of heroin users continues to rise increasing number of those addicted are looking for help but are having trouble doing so. The expansion doesn’t mean that addiction treatment will be easily available for those who need it. Medicaid funded beds are limited, and there is currently waiting lists at many addiction treatment centers for these beds. Although the Medicaid plan does allow access to substance use disorder services including assessment, residential treatment, outpatient services, opioid treatment programs, and recovery support services, the states limited beds is halting the process. With packed facilities, treatment is expensive for those who use private pay or out of network benefits, getting into an inpatient rehab facility can be a slow process.  
Nova Recovery Center offers Heroin Addiction Treatment and Drug Treatment. Located in Austin, Texas our 90-day inpatient program is staffed by licensed counselor’s and recovery specialists. Our program is designed to treat the underlying problems of drug addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with a heroin addiction or drug addiction, contact Nova Recovery Center today for help.

Police Help With Heroin Addiction Treatment

For years the words “addict” and “criminal” have been mistaken as synonymous. Now slowly but surely we are understanding that addiction is a disease that centers in our brain. Those who are suffering from the disease of addiction are using the “open door policy” at this local police station to find the help they need. Instead of being locked in handcuffs, the Dover Police Department are working to help addicts out. Heroin users who wish to seek help for with heroin addiction treatment can now find treatment without fear of retaliation from law enforcement. Working as part of the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative, the Dover Police Department started the ANGEL program. Under the new program, addicts must voluntarily come into the police station and turn in any drugs and drug paraphernalia they have. From there they will be assigned a volunteer officer who will assist them in getting into one of the several recovery treatment clinics in the state. Understanding that addiction is a disease, and that it can be treated is a huge step forward in battling the heroin epidemic plaguing the nation. Many police departments throughout the nation have started programs like ANGEL. They noticed that locking the addicts up and treating them like criminals isn’t solving the problem. Many police officers now carry NARCAN, which is also known as Naloxone which reverses an opioid overdose. However, prevention is too late for those who already suffer from addiction, so better medical access is the next logical step.  When an addict seeks help, those first few moments are critical in sustained treatment. The ANGEL program couldn’t have launched at a better time. Delaware law enforcement officers have reported increases of fentanyl being mixed with heroin, which can be 40 times as potent as pure heroin. Theses mixed batches of heroin are the cause behind many of the states recent overdoses this year. In 2015, 228 people died in Delaware from drug overdoses. The war on drugs has criminalized and stigmatized those who suffer from the disease of addiction and hasn’t always made sure people get the support they need to get clean. Drug abusers who do get some help often fall back into addiction because they don’t have the guidance they need to stay clean.
Here at Nova Recovery Center we offer a full circle of continuum of care. Starting with Drug Detox, Residential Drug Treatment, IOP, Sober Living and Monitoring Program. If you or a loved one is in need of drug and alcohol treatment, contact Nova Recovery Center today for help. Or Call Us Today

Heroin Addiction Treatment: HIV Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the analysis in June of the 3,100 counties across the United States at risk of a potentially deadly immunodeficiency disease (HIV) outbreak.  HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus severely damages the immune system and causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, a condition that defeats the body’s ability to protect itself against disease. An HIV outbreak linked to heroin addiction and other injected drugs could be a double edged sword for us. The top five counties listed in their findings were Cambell, Gallatin, and Grant County in Northern Kentucky, Brown County in Ohio, and Dearborn County in Indiana. “This study identified areas of the country especially vulnerable to rapid spread of HIV infection and new or continuing high rates of hepatitis C infection among persons who inject drugs,” said Michelle Van Handel, a CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the report. The CDC studied Scott County, its outbreak and known factors that influence HIV to find out what other counties are susceptible to outbreaks. It was unusual that Scott County is rural, since most HIV outbreaks have been in urban areas. That county experienced a quick and vicious HIV outbreak in 2014 and 2015. More than 180 IV drug users were infected. About 90 percent of them also tested positive for hepatitis C.  Drug abuse and heroin addiction have been linked with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic. Most people know that intravenous drug use and needle-sharing can transmit HIV, less commonly known is the role that drug abuse in plays. A person under the influence of certain drugs is more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as having unsafe sex with an infected partner. No vaccine yet exists to protect a person from getting HIV, and there is no cure. However, HIV can be prevented and its transmission curtailed.
The analysis is one of the CDC’s efforts to help states prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C among IV drug users. The CDC believes some of our nation’s greatest success in HIV prevention is among people who inject drugs. Many health leaders are advocating for syringe exchanges. Where those who use needles can exchange dirty needles or pick up clean needles at these syringe exchanges.  While the CDC did not examine the harm-reduction strategy of needle exchange, they believe that exchanges and their other services can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases including HIV.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a heroin addiction or drug addiction, contact NOVA RECOVERY CENTER today for help. Our team of licensed counselors and recovery specialists work hands on with our clients, giving them the tools for a successful life in recovery.