Many people who are working to overcome addiction benefit from trauma-informed treatment. After all, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), nearly 75 percent of people who seek out substance abuse treatment have experienced trauma.

What Is Trauma?

Many people think of trauma as one life-altering event, such as a school shooting, a violent crime, or being involved in a bad car accident. But trauma can result from a series of painful or terrifying events as well. For example, people who survived childhood abuse experience trauma over many years. People who have been abused often experience high levels of substance use, anxiety, and depression.

It’s likely that a person who suffered abuse for an extended period of time would also be diagnosed with PTSD disorder. In war, circumstances are often volatile and changing. Being deployed overseas and experiencing life-threatening events repeatedly is also traumatic. People who have experienced combat also experience anxiety, depression, and PTSD at much higher levels than the general population.

Trauma-Informed Care Is Crucial

Trauma-informed care is a compassionate and therapeutic approach that considers a client’s trauma when developing a treatment plan. Therapists who use this approach are trained to understand and recognize the symptoms of trauma. By assessing the signs and symptoms of trauma, they can better help clients and support their mental health needs.

Many people who live with substance use disorder are self-medicating their trauma symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Learning to recognize these symptoms and seek healthier coping skills is another part of recovery. You don’t have to get high or drunk to cope with your feelings.

Many people react in anger or fear as a defense mechanism when harboring some form of inner trauma. Addressing those feelings and helping a client feel safe and move toward healing is the goal of trauma-informed therapy.

Getting and Accepting Help

If you or somebody you love has a substance use disorder, help is available. We’ve helped people from all walks of life get sober in a stress-free, discreet environment. We’re only here to help you get comfortable and get ready to start living a higher quality of life.

Substance use can put a wall between you and your loved ones. It can chase away your dreams and goals. But recovery IS possible. Give yourself a chance! Reach out at 619-452-1200 to learn more about how we can help.

Last week, we talked about some of the challenges facing those with substance use disorder during the holiday season. We talked about the importance of communication, listening, and asking for help. With Christmas less than one week away (and New Year’s Eve close behind), we’d like to address that topic one more time.

We geared last week's post towards the loved ones of addicts. This time, we have some tips for those who are worried about staying on the road to recovery during the next two weeks—and those who would like to start the New Year off by making a big change.

Will you make the resolution to get on the road to recovery for 2022?

It may seem like a big ask right now. You may think, “Oh, I’ll get to it later,” or “I don’t want to be ‘that’ guy/girl at the holiday party.” Scott believes honesty is the best policy. There’s nothing wrong with sharing that you’re in recovery. In fact, open and honest communication may help reduce the stigma.

However, if you aren't comfortable sharing that you're in recovery for alcohol or drug addiction, Scott recently shared some tips for getting through holiday parties:

  1. Bring your own drink to events.

It’s hard to be the odd one out when everyone around you is pouring drinks and making toasts. Bring your own beverage so you can simply say, “I’m good.”

  1. Say you’re on a diet.

Claiming that you’re trying to lose weight is always an easy excuse not to drink. Alcohol has a lot of sugar and empty calories, so most diet plans advise against it.

  1. Go early, leave early.

Especially for family gatherings (which are known to cause extra stress), you may want to arrive early to avoid the crowd and the drinking. Spend time with your family, and then leave before the drinking (and the pressure to drink) can get out of hand.

  1. Use the buddy system.

Go with a friend who is also sober or with someone who understands your situation. It can help to have that support right there next to you.

  1. Don’t go.

Isolation makes some people more likely to drink. If that’s true for you, staying home may not be the best option. Consider an alternative plan that surrounds you with fewer options for breaking your sobriety.

Mary Burt-Godwin of America Trends recently sat down with Scott and shared that just saying no to holiday parties really helped her get through her first year.

Alcohol gets a lot of attention around Christmas and New Year’s, but we must not forget about the opioid epidemic. Overdoses have become the leading cause of death for U.S. adults between 18 and 45.

No one wants to take a loved one to the emergency room at Christmas. No one wants to see a loved one self-destruct at Christmas. No one wants to plan a funeral at Christmas.

Choose to make 2022 your year for sobriety—starting now.

(c) 2021 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.

The holidays are often full of fun for many, but might not be for those feeling holiday stress and for those dealing with addictions.

Scott Silverman, CEO of Confidential Recovery, joined KUSI’s Logan Byrnes on Good Evening San Diego on Thanksgiving evening to discuss how folks can manage holiday stress.

One example Scott mentioned is that " If you’re trying not to drink but other people are asking questions, just simply tell them that you’re driving." Simple, right?  It helps to have a non-alcoholic drink with you, such as an iced Coke with a lime wedge, Silverman added.

Watch the entire segment here.

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.

 

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.

Listen to Jon Dwoskin's five-part interview series with Scott H. Silverman,  author of The Opioid Epidemic: What You Don’t Know Will Destroy Your Family and Your Life.

Scott goes in depth on the opioid epidemic, how it is affecting us, and most importantly, what we can do about it

The segments include:

Listen to the entire series here. Jon Dwoskin's popular "Coffee with Jon" podcast highlights information and insights from this highly influential business coach, mentor, executive coach, author, and speaker.

 

© 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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