Tag Archives: substance use

Tag Archives: substance use


Teen boys e-cigarettesWith the rise of e-cigarettes over the past 15 years, teens have become more accustomed to smoking e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Local advertisements are a key driver of teen use, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that 7 out of 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette ads. Since e-cigarette companies don’t have to report their ingredients, our teens may be receiving more nicotine than they think. In fact, recent studies show that 66% of teens believe there’s just flavoring in their e-cigarettes; the unfortunate reality, however, is that there’s more than that – and it may be prepping our teens to start smoking traditional cigarettes, too.

A 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that e-cigarette usage is an over 30% of high school teens, compared to the single digit numbers that were displayed a few years ago. The authors of the study noted that teens are at an increased risk of vulnerability for traditional cigarette use if the following occur:

  • Risk-taking
  • Impulsiveness
  • Negative affect
  • Low parental support
  • Surrounding oneself with peers who tend to get into trouble
  • E-cigarette use

Furthermore, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a national sample of 694 adolescent participants ages 16 to 26 years old to explore just what makes one person more susceptible to traditional cigarette use over another. After a year of follow up with these participants, they found that 11 of 16 e-cigarette users had eventually moved to traditional cigarettes; so far, evidence is showing that e-cigarettes aren’t as harmless as they’re made out to be.

If your teen is struggling with substance abuse, speak with someone from the Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights center today. Recovery is right around the corner – be sure they seek help as soon as possible.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

College students with substance use disordersCollege students – young adults – face so many challenges when it comes to addiction because of the accessibility and normalcy associated with college drinking culture. Considered a new-found form of “freedom”, many young adults find themselves testing the boundaries of what they can get by with – and substance abuse is a common ground of exploration for students. Bars are conveniently located near college campuses and weekend parties make it that much easier to use. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt – but unfortunately for many college students, substance use disorders (SUDs) are left untreated.

12-Step programs provide young adults with a support network whom they can rely on in times of need. Many young people aren’t fully aware of the effects of their substance abuse; they often don’t realize the dangerous effects until they’ve developed a full-blown addiction. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases discovered that many young adults do find hope and support in 12-Step programs; in fact, previous research has shown that social support is an incredibly powerful influencer to those in recovery.

Researchers from around the United States sought to explore the general characteristics of college students who have attended 12-Step programs. In a nationwide survey that was conducted, 486 participants responded – leaving us with some key insight to what our young adults are experiencing around this age:

  • Most students had used multiple substances and had higher levels of SUD severity
  • Twice the national average of college students also smoked
  • Many college students reported series of homelessness and involvement in criminal activity

Co-occurring disorders seem to be a major concern for young adults, and the severity only continues to worsen the longer they avoid seeking help. The best way to combat these issues is to speak up when help is needed – to encourage our loved ones to attend treatment, to support them in recovery and to continue educating our communities on the serious effects of addiction.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Original Article by: Brittany Weiner, WSMV NEWS CHANNEL 4
Originally Posted on: January 29, 2019

As our country fights an opioid crisis, prescriptions for another class of drugs are seeing a steep increase, and they too can be dangerous and addictive. A new study just published this month shows between 2003 and 2015 Benzodiazepine prescriptions have doubled, and about half of them are coming from primary care physicians. Women are twice as likely to be prescribed than men.

Benzodiazepines are used for anxiety and insomnia but they can also be prescribed for chronic pain, and those prescriptions are skyrocketing. “Benzodiazepines are a class of medication that have a significant addiction forming liability,” Chief Medical Officer for Cumberland Heights Foundation, Dr. Chapman Sledge said. “If opioid prescribing goes down there’s some concern that Benzodiazepine prescriptions will continue to go up.” Dr. Sledge says many times these drugs are actually prescribed with opioids. “What we usually see if Benzodiazepine dependence in conjunction with opioid dependence or alcohol dependence,” Dr. Sledge said. A combination that can be dangerous and deadly especially if used long-term.

“Benzodiazepines are not benign drugs,” Dr. Sledge said. “There’s good data that suggests the combination of Benzodiazepines and opioids prescribed together increases the risk of death by fourfold.” According to the study long-term use has also increased with continued prescriptions increasing by 50 percent.

College students: a culture of drinking and drug useCollege students have long been the center of drinking advertisements and commercials, which doesn’t happen by chance. For many years now, colleges have upheld a “drinking culture” that has made it nearly expected for young adults to binge drink as an act on their “freedom” and independence. While it all seems like fun and games, this culture of drinking has sparked a lot of issues in terms of substance abuse and the development of alcoholism later (and even earlier) on. In an interview on WBUR Radio where students talk about college drinking culture, Madeleine D’Angelo, a 21-year-old senior at Boston College in Maryland, stated,

“… [Blacking out is] part of our language. It’s very common to have someone say, ‘Oh, I can’t even remember what happened last night, I blacked out.’”

Sure, drinking is the norm for college students – but what are the statistics on this?

The Dangers of College Drinking Culture: Facts and Statistics

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries, including vehicle accidents. About 696,000 students are assaulted each year by another student who has been drinking and 97,000 students report alcohol-related sexual assault. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence sought to assess just how prevalent the connection between college drinking culture and issues such as sexual assault was related – of 704 survey responses from males and females in college, researchers discovered that victimization was associated with heavier drinking, along with other factors.

About 20% of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), yet a very small percentage of these actually seek help for it. If it’s seen as “normal” to drink heavily while in college, it makes sense that many college students aren’t seeing anything wrong with it; what they don’t realize, however, is that peer pressure and experimentation can lead to some dangerous consequences.

Social Work Today previously highlighted the tragic story of a young woman in college who was involved in a tragic accident related to drinking and driving. Emergency room visits are only a lucky outcome for many, compared to the large number of college students who die each year from alcohol-related incidents. Some other direct consequences of alcohol abuse for college students include:

  • Poor academic performance through skipping class and difficulty concentrating
  • Dropouts
  • Injuries
  • Criminal activities
  • Health issues such as liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the pancreas and more

With all of these harmful effects that clearly aren’t taken as seriously as they should be in college settings, what can be done to help our young adults seek help?

Interventions for College Students

NIH Medline Plus suggests that parents talk to their college children early on in the semester that they attend school, so they can successfully adapt to campus life. Parents can also inquire about campus policies regarding alcohol, in addition to following up with their children frequently to ensure their safety.

Ultimately, it’s about changing the drinking culture in colleges by informing students of the real-life consequences that can result from binge drinking. The more support we can provide, the more likely they are to monitor their use or at least consider seeking help if it’s needed.

Many young adults in college fail to achieve major milestones once addiction has entered their lives, which makes recovery that much more important. 12-Step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have been evidenced to help many people build their sense of spirituality – a major component that many college students are beginning to face – along with tools and strategies for combating negative thought patterns, triggers, cravings and more. Along with peer-led support groups, such as 12-Step programs, young adults can find the following to be very beneficial for their recovery:

  • Gender specific treatment to meet their needs
  • Experienced healthcare teams who are familiar with addiction and recovery
  • Engagement in a caring yet challenging community as to better equip them with developing a strong recovery identity
  • Close communication with their educational institution, so they can continue reaching towards their academic goals while in recovery
  • Comprehensive education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the mind, body and spirit
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family therapy, to help rebalance the family system and promote peace at home

Don’t Wait – Seek Help Now

If you’re a college student who may be noticing signs of alcoholism or a related disorder, speak with someone from Cumberland Heights today. The sooner you seek help, the greater the possibility of reversing or minimizing some of the damages that alcohol may have caused to your body. You have an entire life ahead of you, with so many roads and possibilities to take. Make the choice to place your happiness and health as a top priority today – you won’t regret it.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

parental addictionAddiction is difficult to witness at any age, but there’s a tender spot in our hearts that becomes riddled with worry when a beloved parent struggles with addiction. Adult children may not see or speak with their parents as often as they’d like, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. Discovering that a mother or father has lost their health, finances, relationships and more to addiction is heartbreaking. Many of us want the best for our parents but find that when their substance use gets out of control, there’s no easy path to take. Adult children have to work to make sense of their parent’s substance abuse, and this can take a lot of time and emotional energy.

For many adult children, the lingering effects of addiction, even while they were children, still remain well into adulthood. For example, a few adult children spoke of their experience with parental addiction via BBC News. One person stated, “I tend to only remember a lot of the bad things and also the feelings. That is what stayed with me through my life and is still tangible today; the way that my dad’s drinking and everything that comes with that made me feel.”

A study published in the Journal of Family Issues sought to explore how adult children make sense of their parent’s addiction. The results of the study led to 3 main descriptions that served as the essence of their parent’s struggles:

  • Alcoholism as a disease
  • Alcoholism as a volitional behavior (as a choice)
  • Alcoholism as a socially constructed phenomenon

Many adult children do not know where to turn to and they may use online health forums to better connect with others who are going through similar circumstances. Al-Anon is a supportive, 12-Step program that also provides friends and family members of those with addiction some additional education and support. If you have a parent struggling with alcoholism or drug dependency, seek out help today. Addiction is very difficult to face alone, and it can be devastating to watch a parent experience it. You’re not alone.


Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.

What Does Recovery Mean to You?

If you do a quick search on what recovery means, you’ll likely find a lot of varying definitions. Recovery is a pretty broad term, and while we could narrow it down a bit by adding the context (recovery from a sports injury, recovery from cancer, recovery from alcoholism, etc.), that still doesn’t exactly tell us what it means. The term “recovery” gets used a lot, but did you know that it’s actually quite subjective? We all have different approaches to recovery and what that means for us – so it’s important that while you’re navigating your own road to recovery, you explore the different components that make up that road for you.

When we talk about alcoholism recovery, there are a few recovery components that typically come to mind: sobriety, group therapy (maybe 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous), and relapse prevention. There’s a lot more that can come from this, however, because alcoholism and other addictions can affect nearly every aspect of our lives – our relationships, our finances, our health, our career success and more. A few years ago, researchers wanted to take a peek at how others overcoming substance abuse defined recovery; they found four different domains with 35 recovery elements total. Here is a brief (but not complete) breakdown of what the participants talked about during the study:

  • Abstinence – (withholding from using substances, living a life of sobriety, etc.)
  • Essential Recovery – (being honest with oneself, being able to enjoy life without drinking, etc.)
  • Enriched Recovery – (reacting to the ups and downs of life in a much more balanced and healthy way than before, accepting responsibility for the things one can change, etc.)
  • Spirituality of Recovery – (giving back, helping others, incorporating spirituality or religion, etc.)

The way you describe your story of recovery could inspire others to take a stand for theirs. Specific challenges shape you, and the accomplishments are what make it all worth it. As you continue to build up your strength in building a life that makes you happier and healthier, write down some keywords that stand out to you. Explore what have been some of the most transformational lessons for you so far. Recovery is often described as a lifelong journey, but it’s worth it in the end. As TV host, comedian, and author Craig Ferguson once stated, “I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: ‘Wait a minute – if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities?’ And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk.”

Cumberland Heights in Chattanooga is a 12-step based outpatient alcohol and drug addiction program. Our Intensive Outpatient Program is designed for individuals 18 and above who may be in the early stages of addiction and alcoholism, or who are experiencing issues with drugs or alcohol. We offer both personalized assessments and flexible treatment hours to suit your needs. If you’re ready to take that first step towards your recovery journey, call us today for more information at 423-308-0689.

Research Reveals Just How Important Support and Service is to Teens in Addiction Recovery

Many would say that our teenage years are some of our most selfish years. As our brains are developing, we’re learning more about what we want and less about what others want. We make decisions, whether or not they’re supported by parents or guardians, and then we experience the consequences of those decisions. It’s a natural part of adolescence to go through these phases, but addiction recovery really places emphasis on the ego – which only further separates a teen from developing close relationships and building a fulfilling, well-balanced life. Despite the fact that many teens aren’t thrilled to volunteer, research is showing that both support and service is incredibly beneficial to teens – especially if they’re in the process of recovering from an addiction.

Last year, researchers from around the U.S. highlighted the fact that there isn’t a lot of national data tracking adolescents with addiction in the correctional system. They wanted to uncover some of the components that help teens maintain sobriety, reduce arrests, and reduce the likelihood of reverting to these behaviors overall. After reviewing a number of other studies, they came up with some key recommendations that have seemed to work time and time again:

  • Support services such as mentoring, therapy and life skills courses have greatly helped adolescents become more confident in their recovery capabilities
  • Faith-based programs (such as AA) do seem to foster a sense of spirituality, and have been shown to lead to greater personal change in teens
  • Volunteer work provides youth with an opportunity to explore how they fit into society and how helping others can affect them in positive ways

There are two main themes that run throughout these examples: focus on the self and focus on others. Personal growth is found when a person is able to really build up a healthy sense of esteem and faith in their own personal capabilities. Teens are at a vulnerable time where peer pressure, traumatic events and more can weigh heavily on their hearts – by strengthening their own coping mechanisms and gaining a better understanding of who they are, they can further help others. Studies have shown that volunteering can bring about a sense of personal fulfillment and can decrease stress.

The more one-on-one attention we can provide for our teens, along with the opportunity to help them help others, the greater their chance of recognizing just how valuable they are – and they’ll have higher chances of staying in recovery.

Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.

 

Adolescents and Addiction Recovery: Why Love and Service Are ImportantIt is often during adolescence that substance use is first introduced; young teens discover it via friends, parties, and even through family members and accessibility is the first step to use. Whether it’s from peer pressure, impulsivity, socialization or all of the above, teens are at high risk for abusing – and becoming addicted to – substances. Genetic vulnerability, lack of supervision, and even the stage of development an adolescent is in can greatly influence their risk of addiction. Once in recovery, support is crucial to help a teen find their grounding again. If you’re a friend, parent, guardian or loved one, knowing some of the factors that can really stand out for your teen in terms of recovery can be a great benefit.

Adolescents learn, think, and behave differently than someone who is more developed, which is why this stage of life is such a vulnerable time. In 2016, researchers from Ohio sought to find out how love and service impacted adolescents who were in recovery from addiction. A total of 195 teens were who were referred to a residential treatment center by court were assessed throughout their stay. The researchers found some information that is truly remarkable:

As adolescents are building their sense of identity, they may engage in more trouble-making behavior if they’re missing the support they need either emotionally or materially. Social trends can cause some teens to feel as though they don’t “fit in”, and so they turn to substances to try and bridge that gap. Adolescence is also a time where a lot of physiological changes are taking place, and this can cause low self-esteem. During recovery, love and service exercises – such as helping other through volunteer work – can increase a teen’s sense of leadership and humility. The researchers found that teens who engaged in service showed reduced rates of returning to their old behaviors.

Our teens often need to feel heard, and by giving them a chance to help others during their time in treatment, we give them a purpose. A voice. Recovery is a lifelong process, but the skills that teens can gain from their recovery program are ones that can last a lifetime. The structure and support provided can offer teens the time and space needed to work through their problems and overcome their addiction. If you have a teen who needs help, stay supportive of their recovery, and guide them every step of the way. Their entire life could change.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-campus, we are made up of 2 twelve-step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.


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