3 Reasons Texas is Perfect for Residential Addiction Treatment
Choosing the right facility for residential addiction treatment can feel like a daunting task. Convenience makes it tempting to find the closest treatment center to home and settle for what’s available, but there may be better options out of state that can increase recovery success.
The advantages of traveling out of state for addiction treatment are hard to ignore. Specifically, we’ll look at why Austin, Texas may be where your recovery journey should begin.
Reason #1: Out-of-State Rehabs Have Higher Retention Rates
It seems logical and safe to stay close to home, family and responsibilities. However, it’s important to consider what you need to provide a better future for yourself and your loved ones. Attending an out-of-state rehab may seem scary, but the benefits could save your life.
Limiting yourself to programs that are in your state eliminates countless facilities that may be better equipped to address your specific needs. Finding the perfect treatment program is essential to staying sober, and widening the scope of your search greatly increases your chances of success.
There Are Fewer Distractions
It’s an unfortunate truth while you’re in treatment, life carries on. It’d be easier if life stopped for a while until you could find your balance, but the carousel spins on, and it’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s happening around you: relationships, jobs, drama. When you remove yourself from those pressures, you’re left with one goal: improve yourself. It’s all about you. Having that ability to remove all of life’s distractions will allow you to better take advantage of everything treatment has to offer.
Recent studies have confirmed that substance abuse alters the way individuals respond to stress, leading to a greatly increased risk of relapse when immersed in stressful situations.
You’re Separated from Negative Influences
Staying close to home makes it easy for old friends with active addictions to jeopardize your recovery. Residential addiction treatment facilities that are located out of the state remove you from these negative influences and allow you to focus on building your new life.
You’re Removed from Possible Triggers
The goal of rehab is to not only help you reach sobriety but to educate you on possible relapse triggers that will undoubtedly crop up throughout recovery. Until you’re well-equipped to cope with those triggers, it can be beneficial to remove yourself from them by attending treatment out-of-state.
Some common triggers include:
Spending time with active users
Returning to old stomping grounds
Overconfidence in sobriety
Did you know that many insurance plans cover out-of-state treatment? Call our experts to verify your benefits: 1 (855) 969-3668.
You’re More Likely to See It Through
You’re going to encounter challenges in treatment, there’s no way around it. But those challenges are where real change begins to take place. In a program close to home, it is all too easy to give up and walk away. If the center is out of state, though, it is much more difficult to leave, which encourages you to overcome the hardships and succeed.
You Can Retain Your Privacy
Addiction is a very personal struggle. Though it’s nothing to be ashamed of, many people prefer privacy in the beginning of recovery. Out-of-state treatment will allow you to retain a level of privacy by removing you from your local community and placing you in a safe, confidential place of healing.
Reason #2: Texas is an Ideal Place to Live
Attending residential addiction treatment in Austin, Texas brings with it many benefits, especially if you choose to take your family with you or stay after treatment ends. The life skills program at Nova Recovery Center will prepare you for living a productive life by helping you build your resume, find a place to live and apply for a stable career.
It’s common for those who attend an out-of-state rehab to want to stay in the area after treatment ends. A new location brings with it a fresh start, which can improve success rates during early recovery. When deciding on a treatment center, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the surrounding location.
Austin is the state capital and the fourth largest city in Texas. There are 205 city-owned parks and playgrounds across 322 square miles of land. Austin is home to more than 900,000 residents, and the median age is 29. On average, each household makes an annual income of $53,946, which is a full percentage point higher than the national median.
Thriving Job Market
As one of the United States’ leading tech hubs, Austin ranks twenty-first on Forbes’ list of the Best Places for Business and Careers. The region’s rapid growth continues to provide plenty of jobs for its residents. Technology companies with headquarters in Austin include 3M, Apple, AMD, Cisco Systems, eBay and Electronic Arts.
There are also several recovery communities in Austin that offer volunteer and job opportunities that allow you to give back to your community and help others achieve sobriety. Recovery communities also provide you with peer support groups and recovery coaches to help you lead a life you can be proud of.
Nova Recovery Center will gladly introduce you to a partnering community before you leave our facility to ensure that there are no gaps in your support network.
Some recovery communities in Austin include:
Communities for Recovery
The Council on Recovery
Texas Austin Recovery Group, TARG
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services
Low Cost of Living
You don’t have to spend a lot to lead a high quality of life in Texas. Real estate is both abundant and affordable. The overall cost of living in Austin is six percent lower than the national average:
Groceries: 14% lower
Housing: 13% lower
Utilities: 2% lower
Transportation: 4% lower
To get you started, Nova Recovery Center offers affordable sober living housing in our aftercare program. Through the structured living facility, we will teach you the necessary life skills to transition into a productive life. The environment is comprised of a community of recovering individuals who are able to share experiences, strengths and hope while growing together.
Texas is known for having no personal income tax or corporate income tax. Sales tax runs anywhere from six to eight percent, but overall the tax burden is lighter than many other states.
Austin was voted America’s number one college town by the Travel Channel and the sixteenth most literate city by Central Connecticut State University. Austin is home to 29 public school districts, 17 charter schools and 69 private schools. Of those, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin, Texas has consistently been within the top 30 high schools in the nation. Additionally, the University of Texas at Austin operates the seventh-largest academic library in the nation.
Austin Community College provides over 60,000 students with affordable, flexible education each year. At only $67 per credit hour and with over 100 programs to choose from, ACC offers a unique opportunity to learn new jobs skills and advance your career.
If you have a specific occupation in mind, Austin also offers numerous vocational and trade schools to kickstart your career. Available programs include technology, welding, culinary arts, medical billing and more.
During the turn of the century, it was believed that a warm climate, healthy food and rest could cure even the most chronic of illnesses, such as tuberculosis, upper respiratory diseases and arthritis. Now we know that alone isn’t the cure, but there’s something to be said for the power of a warm climate. There are numerous psychological and physiological benefits of warm weather during addiction treatment.
Weather in Austin, Texas
One of the benefits of living in Austin is that you get to experience several different seasons, not just hot, sunny weather every day.
Temperature ranges for the seasons include:
Spring: 51 to 87 degrees
Summer: 75 to 95 degrees
Fall: 51 to 82 degrees
Winter: 41 to 62 degrees
Health Benefits of Warm Weather
Spending time in the warmth of daylight has a seemingly endless list of benefits, most of which can help improve the comfort and success of addiction treatment. One study performed on the effects of daylight on the body proved the hypothesis that increased time in the sun improves your mood, memory, openness to new information and creativity.
Another study showed that daylight helps to:
Improve sleep quality and duration
Lower the risk of heart attack
Reduce the symptoms of ADHD
“Being outside in pleasant weather really offers a way to re-set your mind.” – Matthew Keller, post-doctoral researcher at University of Michigan.
Effects of Weather on Depression
The lack of sunlight that occurs in fall and winter months can be overbearing. It is common for dreary, cloud-covered skies to bring with them feelings of irritability, exhaustion or hopelessness. These negative emotions often result in mental health issues, such as depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If left untreated, severe cases of weather-related depression can even lead to suicide.
Poor weather conditions can also negatively impact:
About 20 percent of Americans with a mood disorder, such as depression, also suffer from a substance abuse disorder.
Effects of Depression on Addiction
Trying to juggle both depression and addiction often leads to compounding symptoms that result in a cycle of pain and substance abuse. Removing yourself from the gloomy weather and transferring to a warmer location will improve your mood and can reduce (or eliminate) your symptoms of depression. This boost can dramatically help in the fight to overcome addiction and achieve lifelong recovery.
Depression and addiction are interwoven in several ways:
Depression can trigger substance use as a form of self-medication
Substances can precipitate depression by altering brain chemistry
Substance abuse can incur negative consequences that could lead to depression
Life in Residential Addiction Treatment
Residential treatment provides you with the highest chances of a successful and sustainable recovery. Outpatient programs may be more flexible, but there is no replacement for the power that comes with immersing yourself in a community of peers and professionals whose only goal is to help you succeed.
Highly structured programs eliminate gaps of downtime that allow cravings to creep in and provide stability through the hardest moments of recovery. If you’re looking for a beautiful facility that offers cutting-edge residential treatment, sober living facilities and aftercare programs all in one, Nova Recovery Center may be a great option for you.
The Admissions Process
At Nova Recovery Center, we offer a simple admissions process to make your first steps on the road to recovery as easy as possible. We accept admissions 365 days a year, and it all starts with a confidential phone call. During that initial call, a member of the Nova team will gather information to ensure that you can get what you need from our program and answer any questions you may have.
“Nova changed my life. I am finally happy and feel prepared to begin my journey to recovery in the real world. The facility is like a resort and the recovery and clinical staff show how much they love their jobs and care.” – Anthony C.
The thought of making transportation plans is daunting in the best of times. We want to ensure that your arrival here at Nova is as smooth as possible, so we will work with you to arrange transportation from your home to the facility. No matter how you get here, we will make sure that you arrive safely and hassle-free.
Length of Time in Treatment
The longer you’re in treatment, the higher your chances of lifelong sobriety, which is why we highly recommend participating in our 90-day program. Being away from home for 90 days may seem like a long time now, but in those three months, you will gain the ability to build healthier, happier relationships.
We also offer effective 30- and 60-day programs. Our shorter programs are good options for those who are only able to be away from home for a limited amount of time or who are looking for a lower-cost solution.
If you choose to participate in our aftercare and sober living programs, you’ll be able to extend your stay. The length of time spent in the sober living facility varies from client to client and can range anywhere from a few weeks to several months. You’re welcome to stay as long as it takes to feel ready to transition back into daily life.
Day-to-Day Life in Residential Treatment
Residential treatment is a unique place to be—it offers unprecedented support through a tight-knit community of peers and staff. You’ll be surrounded by people who genuinely care about you and want to see you succeed.
Our residential program is well-structured and is built around evidence-based, clinical therapies. We believe in providing clients with highly personalized, effective treatment plans that address their specific needs.
Each day, residents wake up, get ready, eat breakfast then start their treatment schedule for the day. To break up the daily routine, though, we often go on weekend excursions off-site. Our clients enjoy activities like bowling, hiking, swimming and relaxing at the park. Recovery is a journey, but it should be a little fun too.
“I have been trying to get sober for 3 years and have been to other rehabs several times. Years of AA weren’t able to teach me as much as Nova has. I feel a spiritual connection and a peace today that I never felt before when I left treatment.” – Juliana N.
Communicating with Loved Ones
One of the hardest parts of out-of-state treatment is probably leaving your loved ones behind, even if for just a short while. Fortunately, with today’s technology, being apart is not nearly as difficult as it used to be. You’ll be able to have regular, scheduled calls home each week, and we’re happy to set up video calls for you. Seeing a familiar face can be reassuring and help give you the strength you need to continue.
Once treatment is complete, we encourage you to stay with us a bit longer and participate in our aftercare program. You’ll have the benefit of residing in our sober living apartments, where you’ll receive valuable life skills training, chronic relapse resources and life coaches. These tools will help make the transition from treatment to independent life as smooth as possible.
If you decide to continue living in the area afterwards, we’ll help you find a place to live and get your feet off the ground. Staying nearby will allow you to remain in touch and continue to receive the added support that is so crucial to early recovery.
“I am so happy to have gotten the chance to come to Nova. I have learned way more than I ever thought possible.” – Alexa G
You just completed the first step of your recovery journey. You’ve learned all about attending treatment out-of-state, the perks of living in Austin, the health benefits of warm climates and the change that Nova Recovery Center can bring to your life.
When you’re ready to take the next step, give us a call: 1 (855) 969-3668.
The United Nations General Assembly met for the first time in almost 20 years this week in New York. The special session was on the “World Drug Epidemic “and how to tackle the drug abuse happening worldwide. The U.N heard major differences on the approach to the drug use and how to address the global drug policy. America has had one common point of view on drugs in the past 20 years, since the Nixon administration the war on the drugs has been a priority. In order to fight the epidemic, The United States launched an all-out offensive attack. They arrested dealers and suppliers, cut off drug traffickers and locked up any and all drug users and treated them like criminals. With all their efforts, America is still dealing with a large epidemic on their hands. Has the war on drugs failed? This was one of the many questions on the minds of the people who watched the General Assembly. President Obama has started to shift toward a more human, public health approach to the drug policy and our justice system. For the first time since the 1980s, the federal government plans to spend more money on treatment and research than on law enforcement. The President has made clear that addressing this drug epidemic is a priority for his Administration. These actions show with Presidents Obamas new $1.1Billion plan to help fund every American with an opioid addiction or use disorder who wants treatment to get the help they need.
Presidents Obamas Plan for Expanding Treatment
Increasing the number of doctors who can prescribe buprenorphine to 200, currently the limit is 100.
Providing an additional $11 Million to increase access to Naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug.
Establishing a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Party Task Force
Ensuring that mental health and substance use benefits are offered as medical and surgical benefits for those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
A $7 Million initiative by the Department of Justice toward policing and investigating heroin distribution.
Guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services for federally funded needle exchange programs.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued New Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. These Guidelines state that opioids should not be the first consideration for chronic pain, and the prescriber should first consider non-opioid pain relievers or non-drug alternatives such as exercise, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Other countries have different opinions on treating the drug epidemic.
Jamaica – Defended its decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana. The government amended the Dangerous Drugs Act last year to give tickets for possession of less than two ounce of cannabis instead of making it a felony offense, and to legalize the sacramental use of marijuana by Rastafarians. Jamaica is currently finalizing a five-year national drug plan including programs to reduce demand for drugs, provide early intervention and treatment for drug users, and promote rehabilitation and social reintegration.
Canada – Health Minister Jane Philpott announced that the government will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana next spring. Canada will ensure that marijuana is kept out of children’s hands, and will address the devastating consequences of drugs and the crimes that follow.
Indonesia – Ambassador Rachmat Budiman said a Zero Tolerance Approach is needed to suppress and eliminate the scourge of drugs. He mentioned that drug traffickers are using new “psychoactive substances “and the Internet to expand in all levels of society, including the younger generation.
Iran – Imposes the death penalty on all drug traffickers
The UNODC says more than 246 Million People use illicit drugs in the world. That’s roughly the population of the United States.
If you’re looking for a fresh start in recovery, Sober Living in Houston offers an active city for recovering drug addicts. Houston Texas Is known for many things: The Houston Astros who lost the 2015 American League Division Series to the Kansas City Royals, but are on the rise in baseball. James Harden and the Houston Rockets who dominate the court in basketball. The Texans who steal the spotlight on Sunday. The sports filled city was ranked 19th in Chrons “World’s most future-ready cities” article recently released. The future ready economy of Houston is growing, the infrastructure is ready to support progress and the economy can sustain innovation and growth. Between 12 step meetings and recovery, sports games, and job growth, addicts in recovery are flocking to Houston.
The Dell Future-Ready Economy Model
The new release from Dell stated that: “The study measured whether people had the right skills to drive social and economic change, whether the infrastructure was ready to support progress and whether the economy could help sustain innovation and growth.
“This ranking scores large, high-growth global metropolitan areas based on attributes that enable people and organizations to access new tools and new ideas that deliver better connectivity, better economic performance – and a greater ability to attract talent,” the release said.
Houston’s Job Growth
Houston’s job growth story has made headlines around the nation since recovery began from the worst economic downturn in recent history. Since the recession, the Houston area has led the nation in job recovery, beating out all other major metros in the U.S. In fact, Houston has added two jobs to every one job lost during the recession
Sober Living in Houston.
Sober Living homes are reserved for alcoholics and drugs addicts with nowhere else to turn. These houses cater to people who have become addicted to opiates. In recently years with the heroin epidemic and opioid abuse problem on the rise, sober living in Houston is growing. The facilities range from single houses in residential neighbor hoods to large apartment complexes. Residents living in these sober living homes follow guidelines and rules which include: curfew, random drug tests, chores, and attendance at 12 step meetings. The homes are often run by recovered drug addicts themselves, who act as a house manger watching over and helping the people in the house.
For millions of people, Saturdays and Sundays in the fall are devoted to football. Fans come together to celebrate the game and its players week after week, but there’s a dark undercurrent in college and professional sports that is often ignored.
On college campuses across the country, Friday night is the beginning of the party weekend. Some of the young men who play on Saturday afternoon may be binge drinking through the night before. In the NFL, alcohol abuse can mingle with prescription pain pills, creating a dangerous chemical cocktail.
What Causes Substance Abuse in Athletes?
Many young people start abusing alcohol and drugs in high school. This behavior may be a reaction to physical or emotional abuse or stress, or it may be a way to fit into a peer group. Whatever the cause, substance abuse in high school often carries into college.
For decades, colleges have been known for the wild behavior of their students. Binge drinking and drug experimentation have long been considered normal parts of the college years, but recently, colleges are starting to pay attention to the damage being caused by heavy drinking.
Collegiate athletes often feel an increased pressure to perform that may lead to binge drinking. The availability of alcohol and the desire to party may be other factors that open the door to substance abuse at universities.
For those college athletes who make it into the NFL, binge drinking can continue unabated. With the influx of income, there’s no shortage of places to go and parties to have, and because of the toll that professional football takes on the body, prescription pain pills frequently enter the mix.
Many professional football players become addicted to the prescription pain pills they’re receiving from their team. This abuse can lead to devastating health problems, loss of athletic ability, harder drug use, legal trouble and death.
The Sad Case Of Johnny Manziel
One athlete who exemplifies the tragic impact of substance abuse is former Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, often called Johnny Football. A Heisman Trophy winner and first round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns, the young quarterback seemed to have everything going for him.
Less than two years after being drafted, Manziel was cut from the Cleveland Browns. His agent has canceled their contract, wanting nothing to do with the troubled athlete. Manziel also faces assault accusations from an ex-girlfriend.
His college career was one of extremes. Before playing his first game, he was charged with disorderly conduct and possessing a fake ID during a bar brawl. On the field, his plays were electric, catapulting him to stardom and leading to a Heisman trophy.
With entrance into the NFL came money and further notoriety. He began partying more and was often late for meetings and practices. Against the wishes of his coaches, he took advantage of a bye week to fly to Austin and party. On another occasion, he vanished for several days and was found hiding out in disguise in Las Vegas. The assault accusations are simply the next in a long line of problems for the young athlete.
Without help, Johnny Manziel will continue to spiral down into addiction and destructive behavior. Stories like his are all too common in college and professional football. Substance abuse can consume lives and destroy futures; players like Johnny Manziel need intervention in their lives.
What Can Be Done?
Due to football’s popularity, the substance abuse issues that plague the sport are often ignored. Fans don’t want to see people who struggle with substance abuse. Instead, they want to watch men in peak physical condition compete for the accolades of millions.
More awareness is a good first step toward fixing substance abuse in football. Fans and teams should not be so quick to ignore the destructive habits of players. Teams could also benefit from increased education and accountability. By providing more information and assistance, college and professional football organizations may be able to help people like Johnny Manziel and recommend him to getting treatment.
“I was a drug addict, “Jones says as lunch arrives midway through the course of a day spent with USA TODAY Sports in late March, a month out from his UFC 197 bout with Ovince Saint Preux in Las Vegas. A recent article posted by USA TODAY gained access to Jones and his substance abuse problem with marijuana. Jones is one of the toughest and most credentialed fighters in the UFC, but his habit was harder to kick than the pads and heavy bags he uses to hone his craft.
“One thing you don’t realize is that you can be a drug addict even if you are a stoner. If you are waking up every day and smoking, smoking before you eat, smoking before you train, smoking before you sleep, smoking before you watch a movie, smoking before your study session, you are an addict” says Jones. It doesn’t have to be a hard drug to be an addict.
“Smoking pot had been a part of Jones’ life since he was in high school, and through his college career wrestling. His habit carried over into his MMA career also. “IT was literally what I would do in-between fights, I was just sitting, enjoying life and thinking that I was a hippie. I didn’t feel like I was hurting anyone else, didn’t feel I was being a bad person”
In May 2012, Jones was caught for driving under the influence after running his car into a pole. In early 2015, Jones failed a drug test for cocaine. In April 2015, he was involved in a hit-and-run in New Mexico. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scène of an accident and was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation. The UFC stripped him of his Light Heavyweight Belt due to their policy.
Jones doesn’t hide his troubled past, he wants to help and inspire others to emerge from their mistakes.
People who smoke pot often think they can’t get “addicted” particularly if they don’t smoke every day. They’re right, a pot addict is able to go for a few days without smoking another bowl. There are hundreds of metabolites in pot that stay in your system for a while, extending the half-life of the drug. Its only when the half-life is over that the symptoms kick in. The first sign is craving, it’s a powerful urge to smoke again.
Some research suggests that marijuana use is likely to precede use of other licit and illicit substances and the development of addiction to other substances. In a study, early exposure to cannabinoids in adolescent rodents decreases the reactivity of brain dopamine reward centers later in adulthood. To the extent that these findings generalize to humans, this could help explain the increased vulnerability for addiction to other substances of abuse later in life that most epidemiological studies have reported for people who begin marijuana use early in life
A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse said a person who smokes marijuana is 104 times more likely to use other substances than a person who never tires pot. So is here is old question, is pot a gate way drug? It seems plausible at first when you hear other addicts share that they started smoking with pot first. The answer is simple., A person who interested in altering their state of mind and body is more likely to try other ways of doing it.
The Washington Circle Group (WCG) provides a definition of what drug detox is. They say detoxification is a medical intervention process that safely helps a substance abuser through the experience of acute withdrawal. They mention that detox doesn’t solve the whole problem, once drug detoxification is complete that the drug abuser can best aid his recovery process by entering into a drug treatment center. Drug Detox is considered to be the first step in the process for drug treatment. Drug detox can last different lengths of time. The detox length depends on the type of drug and the level of abuse. Drug detox can last from several days to two weeks and the client can experience withdrawal symptoms as early as a couple of hours after last using drugs or alcohol. The fear of losing the drug, the undesirable physical, mental, and emotional effects due to the withdrawal can be a burden on the drug user. Withdrawal symptoms can occur when the body becomes physically dependent on the drug of choice after being consumed over a long period of time. Medical Detox professionals should be consulted prior to beginning any course of the drug detox process. Supervised by medical professionals can ensure the best detox possible.
Medications and Detox
Medical professionals trained in the drug detoxification treatment process can help treat the undesirable effects of withdrawal with medications. This process includes medications used to help manage the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, making the process safer and more tolerable for the drug user. Based on the choice of drug and using history, Subutex and Subonxone can be used to treat opioid withdrawal. Benzodiazepines can be used to treat withdrawal from stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Medications provided by a professional can ensure the best detox possible, managing the withdrawal symptoms.
The concept behind natural detoxification is the allowing the body to move through withdrawal symptoms without assistance from medications.Attempting natural detox can be a challenge. Many addicts are unprepared for the discomfort experienced during the withdrawal and end up relapsing as a result. It is important to remember to see medical advice from a professional before attempting an at home detox. Due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms experienced, it is highly likely that drug addicts and alcohols will return to using when the withdrawal symptoms worsen. There are various medical complications that can occur during a natural at home detox.
The risk of quitting “Cold Turkey “which is a popular method of self-detox can lead to fatalities in some cases. Especially when dealing with alcohol or benzodiazepine abusers. Users of these drugs should seek medical detox programs. The effect due to quitting cold turkey is that the body loses its tolerance for the previously high doses of the abused drugs, and if those substances are reintroduced back into the body prior to completion, there is a high overdose risk involved.
For the first time since 1998, The United Nations General Assembly will gather in New York for a special session to tackle the “World Drug Epidemic”. A brief history lesson brings us to 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs. He proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive war. Since then, governments have taken a punitive approach to fight the war on drugs. Our approach to the epidemic is that, the drugs themselves are the problem. We have punished manufacturers, locked up traffickers and suppliers and treated the drug user as a criminal. During this process our police departments have expanded and prison systems ballooned. With all our efforts, the problem is still here today.
Overdose deaths from opioids drugs like heroin oxycodone and hydrocodone continue to be the leading cause of unintentional death for Americans, rising 14% from 2013 to 2014. Every 19 minutes someone dies from an opioid overdose.
But President Obama has started to shift toward a more humane, public health approach to drug policy and our justice system.
For the first time since the 1980s, the federal government would spend more money on treatment and research plans than on law enforcement under President Obamas new proposed budget that was released earlier this year. The President has made clear that addressing this epidemic is a priority for his Administration. These actions build on the President’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.
Currently, prescribers are limited by the law to prescribing buprenorphine to only 100 patients per doctor. President Obama is now increasing that number to 200 per doctor. Last year, states and private sector groups proposed to double the number of buprenorphine prescribing physicians over the next three years from 30,000 to almost 100,000. This will expand access to treatment in rural areas where treatment is limited.
On top of expanding access to MAT, the White House announced other initiatives:
Providing an additional $11 million to increase access to naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug.
Establishing a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force.
Ensuring that mental health and substance use benefits are offered as medical and surgical benefits are for those enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
A $7 million initiative by the Department of Justice toward policing and investigating heroin distribution.
Guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services for federally funded needle exchange programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued New Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. These guidelines state that opioids should not be the first consideration for chronic pain, and that the prescriber should first consider non-opioid pain relievers or non-drug alternatives such as exercise, meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
If you were anything like me, you probably thought that sober people were dull. After giving up the drugs and alcohol, it seemed like there was nothing else to do besides drink coffee and attend 12 step meetings. In active addiction we often lose interest in the things we once loved. In early sobriety, having fun without drugs and alcohol seems impossible.
This is one the difficulties many recovering addicts face, is learning how to have fun in sobriety. I’ve realized that there was more to life than drugs and alcohol. Today we are free to live life, and enjoy it. I don’t spend my all time looking for drugs today. The Big Book states “we aren’t a glum lot “, that if “the newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence they wouldn’t want it” and they surely would go back to what they were doing before. Recovery teaches us to be open-minded to new experiences. Involving yourself with the fellowship can spark new life in yourself to go out and have fun. My life in sobriety is full of fun moments shared with like-minded people in sobriety. .
Every April festivalgoers turn their attention towards the California desert. The annual Coachella Music Festival takes place over two consecutive weekends stating April 15th this year. Some of the biggest names in the industry perform at the Coachella Music festival including Guns N’ Roses, LCD Soundsystem, and Calvin Harris. Along with the lights and sounds of the stage performers, the festival is also known to be a hot spot for drug users.
In 2015, police made a total of 226 arrests during both weekends for mainly drug and alcohol related instances. While over 90,000 people are expected to attend this event, only 0.1 percent of festivalgoers were arrested for drugs. Seems small, but are you willing to risk the chances in your sobriety? Daily Bulletin reports that, Of the 56 arrests made related to illegal narcotics, 49 of those were for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, while seven were felony arrests for possession of a controlled substance for sales.In 2014, 24-year-old Kimchi Truong of Oakland also died during the first weekend of the festival, but due to an apparent overdose on drugs and alcohol, according to the Riverside County Sherriff-Coroner’s Office.
Here are some tips for attending music festivals such as Coachella while in sobriety.
Awareness of the Event.
First and foremost, be aware of the environment you’re going to. I didn’t get into recovery to be locked in the rooms of AA all day, i wanted to have fun with life. Today, i am aware of the environment and the situations that might come from them Playing it safe is a good tool to use in early sobriety.You hear it in the rooms of AA ” if you have around the barber shop long enough, you will get a haircut”. You wont find me hanging out at bars today, because i know that environment has nothing to offer me but pain and misery. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the event you’re going to, especially if you’re unsure. For further suggestions about attending an environment you’re unsure about, contact your sponsor for guidance.
Bringing a sober buddy who knows your situation and is supportive is always a good idea. This will put you at ease since you are not the only one remaining sober, and they’re someone to talk to if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Today, my sober buddies are my best friends. They are there for me when i need them the most, and are willing to let me hear the truth about any situation. They care about my sobriety and well-being.
If you have followed the two suggestions above, you might not need an exit plan. Although having an exit plan can save your sobriety. If you’re attending an event and it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, have a planned exit strategy can help. Inform your sober buddy of the plan prior to arriving at the event. If it gets late, or you simply start to feel uncomfortable, you should pack up and leave. Call your sponsor.