Carne Asada, Chicken Kiev….We’re rebuilding body, mind and spirit with meals that nourish the whole person and tell residents that they are worthy of reclaiming their health. You’ve had a taste of “Recovery a la CSRS” if you’ve seen Fabulous Food Fridays on our Facebook page. Dig it - and dig in!
As an epidemic of opioid addiction sweeps across our nation, I’d like to share my "Top 10 Tips" for preventing chemical dependency on opioids:
1) Reduce the number of prescription pain pills coming into your home. After a surgery or an injury, ask your doctor to suggest a non-narcotic pain reliever instead of an opioid. 2) Understand your personal risk for chemical dependency. Risk factors include a family history of drug or alcohol issues, personal experience of childhood trauma (such as the death of a parent, or sexual abuse), and mental health issues including depression, anxiety disorder or bi-polar disorder. 3) If your doctor gave you a lengthy prescription, consider that you may have been prescribed more pain pills that you will need, and call your doctor to discuss the risks versus benefits of long-term prescription pain medication.
What’s the difference between a “substance abuser” and “substance use disorder?” Well, one of these terms opens the door to unconscious bias, punitive attitudes and reduced quality of care. Learn how to harness the positive power of language in dealing with a stigmatizing disease.
“Not in my back yard” has been a long-standing issue with sober living homes and their residents throughout the country. Sometimes the NIMBYism is overt; sometimes it is more cloistered. I’ve heard, as an example, of a businessman who hesitated to rent one of his business properties to an AA group for their weekly meetings. Tell me - what is the risk in renting to a group of people who continue to bolster their sobriety? Wouldn’t it be riskier to rent to a group of people who were drinking and taking drugs?
By the same token, I’ve experienced prejudice by some in our community who don’t oppose sober living homes – as long as they are in someone else’s back yard. The flip side of this attitude is represented by the award I received from the California State Assembly for my work in the world of recovery since 1989. Sobriety and personal integrity should be commended, and sober living homes should be viewed as essential assets to community health.
In 2015, only 11 percent of people who needed addiction treatment received it. With 2.6 million Americans already addicted to prescription medication and the 329,000 Americans currently using heroin, who is shaping the addiction policy that drives resources for prevention, treatment and recovery? Read Associate Professor of Pharmacy Erin Winstanley’s compelling case for collaborating with addiction scientists – and not just politicians – as we strive to answer key questions and align policy with science.