This holiday season, what if you’re dealing with addiction?  What if you have a tendency to use substance as a way of coping with stress?

Scott H. Silverman joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego to discuss ways to manage stress and addiction this holiday season. Some of his tips include:

Watch the entire segment here: https://www.kusi.com/how-to-manage-stress-and-addictions-during-the-holidays/.

 

This holiday season, what if you’re dealing with addiction?  What if you have a tendency to use substance as a way of coping with stress?

Scott H. Silverman joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego to discuss ways to manage stress and addiction this holiday season. Some of his tips include:

Watch the entire segment here: https://www.kusi.com/how-to-manage-stress-and-addictions-during-the-holidays/.

 

There is an epidemic of cocaine and meth overdoses among veterans that has grown alongside the opioid crisis. Combination overdoses involving both methamphetamine and cocaine often turn deadly. Deaths involving the two stimulants have nearly tripled among the veteran population, becoming another epidemic in the shadow of a widening opioid crisis.

Research shows that cocaine and meth overdoses weren’t always singular. Fifty percent of the time, individuals would have more than one drug in their system at the time of the overdose death. In addition, the most common drug seen in overdose deaths such as these were varying forms of opioids.

Is Substance Use Overlooked and Under-Treated in Veterans?

Nearly seventy percent of the veterans who were overdose victims had never sought help for their substance use—many people who died with opioids in their blood had sought help in the past.  Yet many of the fallen had multiple substances in their system, which indicates that they had been mis-using substances regularly.

Veterans often struggle with mental health disorders and other disparities that go untreated. For example, chronic homelessness is often an issue for veterans with untreated mental health or physical health issues.

There is still a perception of stigma surrounding substance use. However, times are changing, and most medical science accepts that addiction is a treatable disorder that causes changes in a person’s brain. Opioids, however, are not the only highly addictive drug that people are dying from.

“We have been so focused on opioids that we are missing the tremendous increase in people who are using multiple substances, as well as those using stimulants only when we know that many people don’t stick to just one substance,”  Lara Coughlin, Ph.D., a psychologist an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Psychiatry, says of the data in the study. “The fact that so many of those who died of an overdose had not received substance use disorder treatment is especially concerning.”

Help is Available For All Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders can cause significant obstacles in life no matter who you are, where you are from, or what substances you use. If you or somebody you love has a problem with addiction, there’s help available. Many people who use opioids benefit from Medication-Assisted Treatment alongside therapy and support networks.

If you or somebody you love is addicted to one or multiple substances, help is available. You deserve a chance to reclaim your life! Let us help you take the first step – reach out!

Nurses have been facing a silent epidemic of colleagues addicted to drugs they should be dispensing. Substance use disorders occur in all walks of life, but people in the healthcare profession tend to have access to addictive drugs. Around 14 to 20% of nurses may use substances during their careers. Between 2 and 10% of nurses develop a substance use disorder.

Substance use disorder is a danger to both patient welfare and the substance user. Many nursing unions require employers to have a policy addressing substance use disorder. Nurses are usually allowed to get voluntary treatment if their addiction hasn't caused harm at work.

Why Do Nurses Use Substances?

Nurses use substances for the same reason many people use them; to relax, to lose their inhibitions. The job of nursing has many rigors, and nurses must deal with both physical and psychological demands. For example, a person may take drugs to help with aches and pains, get better sleep, or simply "feel numb" just "feel better."

Some people misuse drugs. Usually, this includes taking them without a prescription or taking more than prescribed to get a particular effect.

Nurses' Increased Stress During COVID

When we think of nurses, we often think of the people who care for others in the emergency room or doctors' offices. The role they play in hospitals is that of a caregiver. Since the pandemic began, our healthcare workers have worked hard to keep people comfortable and alive.  Many have returned home after work, just to care for people at home, too.

Some have faced enormous stresses, such as adult children moving back in or working with an onslaught of very sick COVID patients. At the same time, they may have felt compelled to work longer hours and get less rest. There is no doubt that healthcare workers have been facing many challenges, and many decisions they make are life or death.

For a nurse or anyone in healthcare, addiction can be one of the most significant challenges. It adds a whole new list of problems for somebody who is already having struggles in life.

Many nurses who misuse substances are struggling with work-related anxiety or even PTSD. Getting treatment for their mental health and substance use can help them reclaim their lives.

Signs of Addiction in Healthcare

If a person in healthcare has an addiction, it will eventually spill over to affect their professional life. There may be telltale signs that something is going on with them. Nurses may have other warning signs as well.

Here are some signs to look out for:

Reaching out to them has to be the first step whenever you suspect somebody has a drug or alcohol problem. What may look like a mental health crisis or stress on the job could signify a serious substance use disorder. Addiction can happen to anyone from any walk of life. Just like many mental health issues, it is a disorder of the brain.

The good news is that it's treatable! Asking for help and getting clean and sober is the first step.

Getting Help for A Substance Use Disorder

If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, you're not alone. In the healthcare profession, it's essential to take responsibility and seek treatment as soon as possible to minimize harm.

Learn more about how we can help you get your life on track to recovery. We offer discreet and compassionate addiction treatment services. Give us a call at 615-452-1200 to learn more about your options.

 

Family members often support their loved ones’ recovery journey, but sometimes there are complicated emotions that arise from it. Sometimes, it’s sometimes difficult to get them on board (or to stay on board) when their loved one gets sober and begins their journey. Usually, this is due to “compassion burnout” – a feeling of exhaustion after years of caring for others more than themselves.

Sometimes this comes from hidden resentments or other complicated emotions. But when a person first gets sober – and beyond – they need and deserve compassion. Loved ones are the ones with the power to surround them and help them feel loved when they need it most. People new to recovery also sometimes experience dramatic “up and down” phases when they first get sober. This may be hard for loved ones to deal with or understand.

Supporting Addicted Persons With Compassion

It can be difficult caring for people who have the disease of addiction. After all, one of the primary characteristics of this disorder is self-sabotage. An addicted person with months in recovery may seem to be doing fine, great, even! And then end up using their drug of choice, seemingly without provocation. The disease of addiction is often called “cunning and powerful.”

Yes, we are all powerless over the actions of others. However, what we do and say can and does influence others. People are inspired by the words and actions of others every day. They also can similarly let the negative comments and actions of others affect the decisions they make and how they feel about themselves. Supporting your loved one can just be a kind word or gesture. You don’t have to lend them money or bake them a cake.

Compassion Burnout and Getting Sober

It’s easy to experience compassion burnout when you’re trying to help somebody get sober. From the outside, it’s easy to judge others. However, substance use disorders are complicated and encompass more than just psychology or self-help books. There are scientific reasons a person changes when they’re becoming addicted to a substance.

Addiction is a disorder of the brain and can change how a person reacts, thinks, and feels. First, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disorder. It has clear symptoms, including a compulsion to use drugs or alcohol.

If you have watched a loved one try to get sober again and again, you may be frustrated. But they keep trying. Hopefully, you can keep trying, too. Give yourself time to nurture yourself.

Finding Compassion for Yourself, Too

Compassion burnout can happen when you’ve enabled an addicted person and put their needs first for a while. Are you an enabler? If you work with or care for somebody with a substance use disorder, you may find yourself doing things to help them continue to function.

You may have bailed them out of jail, paid their phone bill, or otherwise helped them in a way that put their needs first. Doing things like this may have been “ok” or stressful to you, but you did them either way.  Now, you’re wondering why they can’t simply get sober, if not for themselves, for you! It hurt every time they failed. You may feel confused and sad if they get sober on their own, for themselves, and succeed.

Sadly, a person might want to get sober but fail each time they try. But it’s heartening to know they keep trying. Having compassion for them is crucial because they often become broken and bruised from their own low self-esteem.

Taking Care of Yourself

You’re not responsible for another person’s addiction. You’ve done the best you can. People who work in the addiction field also sometimes harbor feelings of guilt or responsibility when somebody they’ve worked with relapses. But no one is responsible for the actions of another. You’re only responsible for how you react to another person’s suffering or addiction. If you're feeling burned out on compassion, it's time to step away and begin to take care of yourself.

Learning self-care can help you reclaim time for yourself. Take time for a daily walk or meditation. Block out time for the things you love and enjoy. Don’t give more than you have. Make your needs the priority, every day.

If you find you resent a loved one or need help coping with your compassion burnout, help is available. You’re not alone. Try a family therapist or a support group like Al-Anon. Loving a person through their addiction and into recovery is a big feat. Being in an addicted person’s support network can be a gift, but sometimes you need help for yourself, too.

Getting Help for Addiction

Whether you have a substance use disorder or somebody you love needs help, you don't have to go it alone. We offer discreet, compassionate support for people who want to reclaim their lives. Please call us at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.

 

Among the many public-facing jobs, police officers often get the most scrutiny for how they do their jobs. Law enforcement officers are usually the first people on the scene of a crisis and see firsthand the effects of addiction. So it may be surprising to some people that addiction has run rampant in law enforcement too. Yet, people who work in this occupation are human like everyone else; addiction is a disease that does not discriminate.

Trauma And PTSD In Law Enforcement

Men and women who work in law enforcement often deal with situations the average member of the public can’t imagine. For some, this leads to PTSD or depression. These are genuine diseases that need treatment, but there isn’t a lot of awareness of it yet in these professions.

Law enforcement is also a career that can attract people who have been in the military, who may also be more vulnerable to PTSD due to their past experiences while serving.

Many people don’t know what is happening when they have symptoms of PTSD and self-medicate as best they can. Sometimes this means taking more opioids than they need after surgery or binge drinking on the weekends to quell anxiety.

There is no shame in having a mental health or substance use disorder. But once you realize you’re afflicted, it’s up to you to get proper treatment, diagnosis and help.

Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder

There are many signs and symptoms that you may look for if you suspect somebody you care about has a substance use disorder, but some may be specific to law enforcement careers.

They might include:

There are many indicators of substance use among law enforcement and first responder. First, it’s important to know that addiction is a disease. People from all walks of life struggle with substance use disorder. Once you recognize that you’ve got a problem, it’s time to seek help.

Getting Help for Addiction

We can help you reclaim your life in a safe, compassionate environment using the right treatment tools for you. Give us a call to learn more about your options at 619-452-1200.

 

San Diego is home to a large amount of the country’s veteran population.

Scott H. Silverman recently joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez on Good Morning San Diego to discuss how his organization helps veterans and what can be done to get more San Diego veterans the help they could use.

Scott stressed that for veterans, asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness.  Addressing stigma is one of Scott's greatest endeavors, as it is crucial that those who need it feel like it is okay to ask for help. "Hope and help are available, but if you don’t ask for help, you won’t access it," Silverman says.

Watch the entire segment here.

Scott H. Silverman recently appeared on America Trends to discuss the shocking death toll wrought by the Opioid Epidemic, and share thoughts about how we can make progress against this "pandemic within a pandemic."

His segment on August 11th, 2021 discussed his background and recovery and talked about how he approaches his work in helping those with a SUD by “meeting them where they are at” to reduce the stigma of addiction, which is a huge hurdle that we need to overcome as a society in order to make progress in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

Watch the entire segment here: https://youtu.be/TV2_3uTDNQ4

 

"San Diego county has seen a significant increase in overdoses. According to the County Office of Communications, there were 457 fentanyl-related overdose deaths alone in 2020 across San Diego county, a 202% increase from 151 recorded deaths in 2019."

These are the kinds of insights that caused The East County Californian to write an article about Scott's efforts to educate and save lives.

“The prescription meds kids are taking, mixed with other toxins— the body doesn’t have the capacity for those combinations. There’s no science around that yet, there’s no longitudinal study for Lexapro with methamphetamine."

The article also talks about Scott's new book The Opioid Epidemic, which he says is “a roadmap for families to have conversations, build awareness." He wants people to be aware that

"young people can take something that looks like Xanax, a prescription-strength sedative thinking they are going to feel mellowed out for a few hours. Instead, he said, a pill that looks like Xanax might be laced with Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be deadly when consumed with alcohol and is a major contributor to the opioid overdose rate."

Read the entire article on The East County Californian here.

 

© 2021 Confidential Recovery, Outpatient Rehab in San Diego

About Confidential and Scott H. Silverman: Scott has been fighting  against addiction for over 20 years, one person, speech, and book at a time.  Contact us by calling (619)452-1200 or visit Your Crisis Coach to learn more about Scott's work and public appearances.  You can buy a copy of his latest book "The Opioid Epidemic" here.

Scott covered a wide range of topics, including:

Of course, Scott also answered questions about his new book, "The Opioid Epidemic," which is now shipping and you can purchase here.

Watch the entire segment here: Scott H. Silverman on Fox News 32 Chicago.

© 2021 Confidential Recovery, Outpatient Rehab in San Diego

About Confidential and Scott H. Silverman: Scott has been fighting  against addiction for over 20 years, one person, speech, and book at a time.  Contact us by calling (619)452-1200 or visit Your Crisis Coach to learn more about Scott's work and public appearances.  You can buy a copy of his latest book "The Opioid Epidemic" here.

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