Who doesn’t have memories of Big Bird singing to them through the TV screen as they sat pretzel-legged on their living room carpet? Or Oscar the grouch grumbling from the garbage can as they devoured their peanut butter sandwich from their booster chair? For more than 50 years Sesame Street has been bringing joy into the lives of both children and adults alike. The characters also taught us some valuable lessons, and even helped us get through hard times. Currently, they are addressing a topic we are all too familiar with – the opioid crisis. In a series of new segments, six-year-old Muppet Karli reveals she’s been living in foster care because her mother is struggling with addiction. She will tell her backstory in online-only segments as part of the Sesame Street … Continue reading Thank You Sesame Street
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Methamphetamine, often shortened to “meth,” is a widely available illicit substance with a high addictive potential. In some parts of the United States, meth addiction exceeds the rates for addiction to both cocaine and heroin. This condition is debilitating, but recovery is possible. Today, we examine the addictive properties of methamphetamine, along with how to identify if a loved one has begun using amphetamines. About Methamphetamine Like many drugs, meth has its origins in the field of medicine. Originally prescribed as a decongestant, weight loss aid and antidepressant, this substance was once legally available and even provided by doctors. Today, it is produced in illegal laboratories or is imported into the United States. Using ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which can be found in many commonly available medications, meth is “cooked” in remote homes … Continue reading What Makes Meth So Addictive?
*This blog was written by a man who completed 30 days of inpatient treatment over the summer of 2019. He wanted to share how those few weeks dramatically changed his life. I recently spent 30 days at Cumberland Heights in the men’s program. I’d never been to a recovery facility like Cumberland. Cumberland Heights changed my life, opened my eyes and changed my worldview. That sounds like a great advertisement or sound bite for Cumberland, but every single word of that sentence is significant for me. I’m not usually one to make profound statements and even leery of those who do. But I am blessed to be progressing in my recovery and that is the result of my time at Cumberland and the people who show up to do God’s work there. … Continue reading Addiction is an Equal Opportunity Disease
Instant Gratification and Active Addiction Patience is a mindset completely divorced from the state of active addiction. People whose lives are consumed by drugs and alcohol focus entirely on these substances – obtaining them, using them and recovering from their effects. There’s a physiological reason for this obsession with instant gratification: the brain’s reward center has been hijacked and flooded by dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters, and this rush can be achieved nearly instantaneously through habitual drug or alcohol use. The ability to delay gratification and think rationally is something that must be restored through sobriety. Why Patience Matters Addiction recovery from a life of substance use isn’t a simple or short process. It takes a lifetime of dedication and effort, including detoxification, inpatient treatment, continued care and even sober living. One … Continue reading Recovery Techniques: Choosing Patience
Sunday Sermon: The Promise of Freedom, Part 1 October 6, 2019 The AA Big Book promises a life in recovery that is “happy, joyous, and free,” but free from what? This message is the first in a series that explore the depth of freedom gained through the 12-step recovery process and spiritual awakening. This week’s message focused on freedom from substances, freedom from obsession, and freedom from the illusion of control.
Group therapy is just one of many services offered during addiction treatment. While clients experience a wide array of therapeutic approaches, from one-on-one counseling sessions to expressive therapies (like art and music therapy), there are certain benefits that are specific to participating in the structured conversations of “Group.” What Happens in Group Therapy? For many people, it can be reassuring to fully understand what group therapy will entail before attending it themselves. These sessions are comprised of a therapist or facilitator, along with other people who are also in treatment for a substance use disorder. There may be between five and fifteen patients at any given time. The therapeutic approach used will vary depending on the facility – it may have been crafted especially for groups or could be adapted from an individual … Continue reading Group Therapy: What to Expect
Members of the U.S. military are not immune to the substance use problems that affect society at large. With one notable exception, drug and alcohol use patterns mimic or are higher among military personnel than among civilians. For example, the rate of illicit drug use is lower among military personnel than it is among civilians. However, the rates of prescription drug abuse, as well as heavy tobacco and alcohol use, are much higher and on the rise. According to the 2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors, among active-duty personnel, only 2.3% of troops had used an illicit drug in the past month, compared to 12% of civilians. Despite the relatively low rate of illicit drug use, abuse of prescription drugs was found to be higher among service members than … Continue reading Substance Abuse Patterns in the Armed Forces
When you’re in recovery most things are bound to look and feel very different, especially when you’re away from home. Let’s face it, recovery changes everything! If you’re wondering how to approach your next vacation without alcohol or other substances, we have some tips to help you stay sober on your next journey. Start by picking the perfect destination. If you’re traveling during spring break you may want to avoid the more notorious party places. Today there are many vacation packages that cater to those wishing to stay sober while having a fabulous getaway. Likewise, many cities have alcohol free party venues and more and more concerts designate an alcohol free zone in which to enjoy the festivities. In other words, pick a place whose reputation doesn’t necessarily revolve around its bar … Continue reading Ways to Stay Sober on Your Next Vacation
The way you speak to yourself matters. Sometimes, self-talk can take the form of vicious, hurtful remarks we’d never dream of saying to friends or family members. That inner critic isn’t harmless – it causes you to underestimate your abilities and talk yourself out of improving your circumstances. When left unchecked, this combination of negativity and self-harm can result in low mood or mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Today, we’ll provide some key tactics to breaking the cycle of negative self-talk once and for all.
Artist and dog rescuer Shawn South donates art piece to the Cumberland Height’s Women’s Program.
Lifting the human spirit is one of the most glorious gifts that nature has to offer mankind. The renowned American naturalist and writer John Muir said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Now science is proving that what we have known intuitively for eons is true in the purest sense of the word. Imagine a readily available remedy with no known side effects that could improve your mental and physical health. Sound too good to be true? Recent studies have found that nature has the power to enhance your mental health as well as your sense of well-being, at virtually no cost and without adverse side effects! How does Mother Nature work her magic? Here are just a few of the findings that researchers have discovered. … Continue reading Mother Nature is the Ultimate Healer
Relapse happens. Like some other unwanted things in life we’d rather avoid, relapse is a very real possibility for people in recovery. Relapse from addiction to alcohol or drugs occurs for several reasons. Meeting up with friends who misuse substances can trigger the urge to use. A sudden memory has the power to unleash the desire for alcohol or drugs. And sometimes stress that feels overwhelming can trigger the belief that there is no other, or better, way to relieve the pressure, anxiety or tension. Of course, all of these thoughts can be countered and the tools learned in treatment can be used to push back on unwanted thoughts or feelings in order to prevent relapse. Experts Recommend Several Skills to Prevent Relapse Perhaps the best method to use to prevent relapse … Continue reading How to Prevent Relapse
As vital as primary residential rehab is to your recovery, it’s even more important to focus on what you do after treatment. After leaving your center, you face a choice: should you return home, or move into a sober living community?
According to a new research study, it’s optimism, not counting sheep, that is the key to getting a good night’s sleep! Researchers from the University of Illinois found that the level of one’s optimism is linked to how well we sleep at night. In other words, the more silver linings you see, versus dark clouds, could make all the difference in how rested you are during the day. Waking Up on The Right Side of The Bed We’ve all been there at 2 AM, staring at the ceiling, wondering if and when we’ll fall back to sleep. Could sweet dreams really be as easy as looking on the sunny side of life? According to the study findings, the answer is a resounding yes! Lead researcher Rosalba Hernandez found “significant associations between optimism … Continue reading Positive Thoughts Ward Off Insomnia
Sunday Sermon: Seeking out Comfort September 15, 2019 As people struggling with the disease of addiction, we have become incapable of sitting in discomfort and vulnerability. We cover these moments of our lives by seeking out comfort in a whole host of unhealthy habits, including using drugs and alcohol. This week’s message is a reminder that life’s most beautiful and meaningful moments spring from the places in which we are uncomfortable: growth, change, new and unknown paths.