Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

Mental Health Month: The Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health Grows

While mental health has become a widely talked about topic in recent years, May is the official observance for mental health awareness.

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50 Addiction Facts in 50 Days to Celebrate 50 Years of Spectrum Health Systems

50 days from today, the team at Spectrum Health Systems will be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary. Since our inception, we’ve seen a lot of positive changes in the addiction treatment field and recovery community. While many improvements have been made, there’s still much work to be done.

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Addiction and Depression: A Vicious Cycle

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million Americans have been diagnosed with both depression and addiction. Each disease can be difficult to deal with on its own, so dealing with both at the same time is obviously more challenging. With depression being one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the United States, it’s no surprise that many depressed individuals also suffer from a substance use disorder.

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350 Hits

The Importance of Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

While the nation continues to confront the public health crisis that is addiction, events like Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week help remind us of often forgotten victims. Alcoholism remains a prominent issue in the US, and as a result, one in four children live in a family impacted by parental addiction.

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Why Are Women Overdosing More Than Men?

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contained some troubling statistics. Overdose deaths among women aged 30-64 have rapidly increased. From 1999 to 2017, the number climbed a staggering 260 percent. And the drugs causing them have evolved as well, with more overdoses being attributed to antidepressants, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids than ever before.

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Jeffrey Born’s Story of Opioid Addiction, Torn Relationships, and the Overdose That Changed His Life

There’s a stigma against people who struggle with addiction that often exists because people believe it could never happen to them – but it can. Addiction is a disease that knows no boundaries, has no preconceived notions and leaves no clues as to who it will touch next.

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A Startling New Trend: Viral Overdose Videos

Social media has changed our world, for better or for worse. When it comes to addiction, it’s a double-edged sword. While it opens up a whole new avenue for support – online communities and educational resources – it also makes someone’s personal struggles quite public.

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Is Your Middle Schooler at Risk? What Every Parent Needs to Know About Addiction

Remember middle school? Braces, binders, first dances and budding friendships were always top of mind. But it’s around this age that less innocent topics begin to show up as well. Children between 13 and 17 are the most easily influenced age demographic, which can make them more susceptible to experimenting with different drugs and alcohol with their friends.

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799 Hits

How One Veteran Tackled Physical Pain, PTSD and Addiction

Every year, in the second week of November, this country honors its heroes. Veteran’s Day is a stark reminder that courageous men and women have fought hard for America’s freedoms. In the addiction community, it inspires us to pause and reflect on the effects of war on our soldiers, long after they leave the battlefield.

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1053 Hits

The Patriots Welcome Josh Gordon and Help Raise Awareness of Addiction

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve heard of Josh Gordon. His entrance to the NFL was highly anticipated. Drafted as a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, he logged 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie year. But by the time his career in Ohio was over, he had missed 43 of the team’s last 48 games due to struggles with addiction. A series of failed drug tests, DWI arrests and rules violations made it increasingly difficult for coaches and staff to continue championing the talented player.

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How Addiction Affects Our Most Precious Population

Our older citizens have made our communities what they are today with years of love and hard work. That’s why its particularly sad to see the sharp rise in addiction among people over 65. 

Not only has the issue become far more prevalent, it is also under-diagnosed – allowing the problem to persist for longer than necessary in some individuals. Senior citizens often find that their symptoms are dismissed by medical professionals or mistaken for other issues experienced by older adults, such as loneliness, degenerative changes, dementia and more.

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4365 Hits

What We Can All Learn From Demi Lovato’s Relapse

Pop singer Demi Lovato’s story is common. She was six years sober before she overdosed in her home on July 24. She was revived with naloxone and transported to the hospital. Relapse is often part of the lifelong recovery journey and should not be viewed as a failure. In fact, between 40 to 60 percent of people relapse.

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Remembering Alcohol Use Disorder Amidst the Opioid Epidemic

As we come to a close on Alcohol Awareness Month 2018, we want to stress that raising awareness of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) should continue to be a priority. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 88,000 people die every year from AUD and other alcohol-related causes (62,000 men and 26,000 women).

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1673 Hits

The Opioid Epidemic Isn’t Easing Up – It’s Getting Worse

For a while now, public perception has been that the opioid epidemic is loosening its grip on the U.S., primarily due to a downward trend in opioid-related deaths. While fewer casualties is certainly promising news, addiction professionals have been cautioning the public that these statistics are because of the availability of the life-saving overdose-reversing drug Naloxone, rather than a reduction in harmful drug use.

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1858 Hits

Staying Strong (and Sober) on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the official beginning of the holiday season. It’s a challenging time of year for so many people – especially those living in recovery. Large family events are complicated, and serve as very common triggers and stressors for people struggling with substance use disorders.

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1672 Hits

Celebrating Progress and Looking Back at National Recovery Month 2017

Every September, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month to raise awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders, and celebrate people who are living in recovery. As we head into October, we wanted to reflect on Recovery Month and the importance of educating the public about drug addiction, treatment and recovery.

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Heroin(e): A Harrowing but Optimistic Look at the Opioid Epidemic

A new documentary has been added to Netflix’s lineup and it's worth a watch. Heroin(e), directed by Elain McMillion Sheldon, follows three brave and compassionate women as they battle addiction in the City of Huntington, West Virginia – the overdose capital of the country. In 2015, the city’s overdose rate was ten times the national average.

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Opioid Epidemic Declared a National Emergency

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 35,000 people across America died from heroin or opioid overdoses in 2015, and a study released by the University of Virginia on Aug. 7th concluded the mortality rates were 24 percent higher for opioids and 22 percent higher for heroin than previously reported.

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Is Binge Drinking Considered Alcoholism If You’re A College Student?

Fall is around the corner and for many young people, it’s almost time to ship off to (or return to) college. They pack up their rooms, kiss mom and dad goodbye, and venture to a campus where they are testing out the freedom of (almost) adulthood. For most colleges and universities across the U.S., drinking alcohol is intertwined within the student culture, even though the legal age to consume alcohol in the U.S. is 21. Although beer pong and keg stands are ritual behavior for some college students, where do we draw the line between casual drinking and alcoholism? How do you know when to approach a fellow student about their over-the-top drinking?

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Help, Not Handcuffs: Finding an Ally in Blue

They’re some of the first to arrive at the scene when there is a critical overdose, a person in need, or a troublesome situation. While some find comfort with the men and women on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, it can be a contentious relationship for others.

For someone struggling with an addiction, asking for help in general can be daunting, but asking for help from the police sounds like a one-way ticket to jail. On the contrary, many people suffering from addiction and searching for help are finding some of their best allies in their local police force, and that relationship is spreading around the country.

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3083 Hits