The Silicon Valley Drug Culture Exposed

The Silicon Valley Drug Culture Exposed

When people think of Silicon Valley, they think of technology, the internet, and money. Silicon Valley is the birthplace of tech giants, including Facebook, Apple, and Google. While Silicon Valley is often equated to apps, social media networks, and pioneers of the tech world, it is not as frequently linked to drugs. But, if one pulls back the curtain of tech success, they will find a culture of drugs and excess that all too often leads to addiction and overdose. 

What Is Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is not technically a town or city. Instead, it is a region in Northern California that encompasses many cities, including Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Although several miles to the North and not part of the Silicon Valley region, San Francisco is often bundled into conversations about Silicon Valley happenings and the greater Silicon Valley “mindset.” 

Why Does Silicon Valley Have a Drug Culture? 

This is a question without a clear, singular answer. However, given the resources, freedoms, and lifestyles of many of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurs, there could be several reasons for the continued drug culture in the area. 

In 2013, Google executive Forrest Hayes died of a heroin overdose. While there were several underlying circumstances surrounding his death that had little to do with drugs, his overdose pointed to a broader problem within the tech industry and greater Silicon Valley environment. It also led many to ask why? If there is so much money and, in theory, so much education and knowledge, why is there such a lack of understanding or concern around the consequences of drug use, drug abuse, and addiction?

One of the first reasons could be work-related stress and burnout. To get anywhere in what is notably a competitive environment, executives, entrepreneurs, and those who dream of being either of the above are required to “put in their time.” This often leads to long days, short nights, excessive stress, and eventual burnout. Without healthy coping mechanisms, it is easier to have a drink or consume a stimulant like Adderall. That is often enough to keep them “up” long enough to finish a project, impress their boss and even get the promotion they were hoping for. It’s a vicious cycle that often has dangerous and sometimes fatal outcomes. 

Another possible cause is boredom. Many tech execs didn’t start out as part of the party scene. They put in the effort, got the grades and subsequent degrees to make a name for themselves among their competition. Fast-forward a few years, and they have landed the job, the car, the house, and the lifestyle. They have achieved their goals, and boredom sets in. Boredom can be hazardous in these cases as it leads to the desire to “try new things” or “seek new adventures.” When money and time are not an issue, experimentation can lead to problems with drugs and alcohol that are difficult to overcome without help from a rehab like Cal Recovery Center. 

Substance use is not new to the tech industry. Giants of the industry from Sean Parker to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and (depending on the interview you watch), likely Elon Musk, have all discussed or at the very least alluded to the role that drugs once played in their lives. Although Silicon Valley tech giants from Apple to Yahoo indicate they have rigorous substance use policies in place, they decline to provide details, and there seems to be more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in place. This seems even more applicable in instances where many tech start-ups offer everything from keg refrigerators to whisky night. 

Whatever the reason may be, there remains a prevalent culture of drug use throughout Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, what often begins as experimentation devolves into significant difficulties with substance use disorders and relapsing addiction. Seeking help at a Northern California drug and alcohol rehab to work on overcoming drug and alcohol dependency is often the only way to put the difficulties of addiction behind you. 

The Signs of Substance Abuse in the Workplace

The Signs of Substance Abuse in the Workplace

The effects of addiction stretch far beyond the physical and psychological struggles an addict faces each day. Addiction, whether to alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit drugs, impacts the employers and the workplace as a whole. The stigma often associated with addiction is one of unemployment. Therefore, when people think of the impacts of addiction, they often do not realize that more than 75% of illicit drug users are indeed gainfully employed. 

Employees who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to miss work, file workman’s compensation claims, and (in some cases) these employees become a greater liability to the organization. As an employer, it is essential to recognize the signs of substance abuse in the workplace to better help your employees seek help for their addiction at a treatment center like Cal Recovery Center. 

What Are the Signs of Substance Abuse in the Workplace?

As with substance abuse in general, some of the most common signs of substance abuse in the workplace are physical and behavioral changes. 

Physical Changes

Physical symptoms of substance abuse are often easier to notice when compared to physiological signs. The most common signs employers may see include red, watery eyes, runny nose and sniffles, shaking hands, sweaty palms, and a general loss of interest in personal care and hygiene. 

Unexplained Absences and Tardiness

Someone struggling with a substance use disorder may struggle to fulfill their employment-related obligations. In many cases, they are likely to call in sick or show up late for work. In some, they may experience frequent job turnover due to issues related to substance abuse. 

Behavior and Personality Changes

When someone has a substance use disorder, distinct changes in their personality and behavior are common. In many cases, there is no clear or identifiable cause that explains a noticeable shift in their mood. Some common behavioral signs that may indicate substance abuse in the workplace include moodiness, irritability, difficulties focusing, lack of energy, reduced motivation, and reduced work ethic. You may also notice an increased need for “personal time” during the day. They may make abnormally frequent trips to the restroom for various reasons, including using or gastrointestinal disturbances that arise from substance use. 

How to Get My Employee Help With Their Addiction 

Millions of Americans test positive for illicit drugs during workplace drug screens each year. The effects of drug use in the workplace cost employers over $600 billion each year, primarily due to lost productivity. Alcohol and drug use disorders are costly and dangerous for employers of all types if not effectively addressed. There are several things employers can do to encourage employees to seek addiction treatment and begin the recovery process. 

First, programs addressing alcohol and drug use in the workplace have proven effective across many industries. A key example includes Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s). These highly effective programs support and encourage addiction treatment and recovery through confidential assessments, short-term counseling options, and referrals to addiction treatment programs.  Knowing they have access to a confidential resource encourages the desire to seek potentially life-saving addiction help for many employees. Another way to help employees is by providing information about peer-based addiction prevention programs. Using social support formats, these programs can help employees initiate the treatment and recovery process or to maintain long-term recovery after seeking treatment. 

Noticing the signs and symptoms of substance abuse in the workplace is vital to helping employees get help with their addiction before it affects their health and well-being. Everyone experiences addiction differently, and knowing which signs to watch for may be difficult for employers who only see members of their workforce during limited hours each day. If you are concerned about what to watch for or about a particular team member, Contact Cal Recovery Center today. Let our admissions team provide support and guidance so you can help your employee get help with their addiction. 

Rehab for Veterans Explained

Veteran Rehab

The disease of addiction impacts the lives of millions of people and their families every year. It is a disease that does not discriminate and knows no bounds. Although the risk factors for developing a substance use disorder vary from person to person, there are specific circumstances, life events, or career paths that elevate one’s risk for turning to substances to cope with trauma, chronic pain, or mental health symptoms. 

The experiences of our nation’s veterans are not always pleasant or lighthearted. Many will witness the trauma and emotional turmoil that results from a tour of duty in active combat or experience physical, sexual, or emotional trauma during their time in service. After successfully completing the tour of duty, others struggle with the difficulties of adjusting to civilian life post-discharge or adjusting to being at home when they’re used to the rigors and stressors of being on the front lines. Regardless of the root cause, as many as one in fifteen United States military veterans (from all Armed Services branches) abuses a controlled substance. As many as 76% of veterans who struggle with substance use disorder meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

What Is Rehab for Veterans?

The rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction are high for veterans. These veterans may also experience other mental health and physical health issues related to the trauma they experienced during active military service. Unfortunately, serving in the U.S. military can potentially lead to a higher risk for developing substance use and mental health disorders, making it increasingly difficult to manage day-to-day tasks and expectations after leaving military service. 

Rehab for veterans specifically focuses on the unique treatment needs experienced by veterans who choose to seek treatment. Our health care professionals at Cal Recovery understand the requirements for specialized treatments and unique recovery programs for those with a military background. At a rehab for veterans, you will receive evidence-based treatment designed around the needs of you as a person. Your treatment program may include family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, relapse prevention, detox, wellness services, and life skills training. Therapies used in a veteran-specific rehab program are designed to focus on the complex addiction and mental health needs of veterans seeking sobriety. 

Are Veterans Prone to Addiction? 

Several factors lead to increased vulnerability to addiction among veterans. The first (and likely most influential) is exposure to trauma. Military service is demanding and sometimes dangerous. Men and women with a history of multiple deployments, especially to active combat areas, are at a high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues that can lead to unbearable symptoms. Some veterans who develop these conditions will turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and reduce the intensity of symptoms such as nightmares and sleeping difficulties.

Another factor that may increase addiction risk in veterans is the incidence of co-occurring mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It is believed as many as 30% of veterans struggle with PTSD and associated symptoms. Mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression frequently co-occur with substance use disorders among both male and female veterans. When struggling with a co-occurring disorder (both mental health and substance use), veterans may use substances to alleviate the more intrusive symptoms of their mental health. While using drugs or alcohol to dull symptoms may work in the short-term, over time, self-medication often leads to worsening mental health and addiction-related struggles leading to the need for comprehensive, dual-diagnosis care to manage and overcome symptoms. 

Reach Out to Us Today at Cal Recovery Center

At Cal Recovery Center, we understand the unique experiences of our veterans and how those experiences relate to an increased risk for addiction. These challenges are unlike the struggles faced by most American’s every day. Although all addiction treatment programs address addiction, not all are equipped to manage dual diagnosis or the unique needs of veterans facing mental health and addiction struggles. If you would like to learn more about how our veteran program can help you begin your journey to sobriety and recovery, contact us at Cal Recovery Center today. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California for Addiction

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California for Addiction

Many of the twenty-one million Americans diagnosed with a substance use disorder also struggle with one or more mental health conditions. Depending on the individual and their specific symptoms, they may be aware of only one diagnosis (or the other) before realizing they have a dual diagnosis. Statistics show nearly half of the individuals who seek addiction treatment also meet the diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder. 

Dual diagnosis, also referred to as a co-occurring disorder, are closely connected. Although research does not clearly prove one causes the other, struggles with substance abuse or addiction can often lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms and symptoms of new or worsening mental health conditions. Those who struggle with an undiagnosed or even a diagnosed mental health disorder often abuse alcohol or drugs to reduce the intensity of the symptoms they experience. Unfortunately, self-medicating in this way causes side effects, including new or worsening mental health symptoms.

What Is Dual Diagnosis?

When you have a dual diagnosis, it means you have both a substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis simultaneously. Dual diagnosis conditions often share similar root causes and overlapping symptoms, making treating one disease without acknowledging the impacts of the other very difficult and not beneficial to you. If you have a dual diagnosis, the best option is to complete an addiction treatment program at a facility where treatment professionals are trained to address co-occurring disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment allows the individual and the treatment team to focus on all areas of the problem providing the most comprehensive opportunity for recovery. 

The Importance of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers in California

Data provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) over 8.5 million adults (or approximately 4%) over the age of eighteen struggled with a dual diagnosis in 2017. Most dual diagnosis treatment centers in California provide programs that consist of several parts, including detox, assessment, treatment, and aftercare. A quality dual diagnosis treatment program will include elements that address both your addiction and mental health needs. If necessary, depending on the duration and severity of your addiction, the first step in treatment will be detox. The detox process is crucial to help cleanse your body of substances, allowing you to begin your journey to sobriety safely. 

Without detox, it is considerably more difficult to completely immerse yourself in the therapy process as issues such as cravings, triggers, and even relapse are in the way. During your treatment, you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of therapies, including group, individual, and family counseling sessions. In many programs, 12-step programs are also available. As your treatment comes to an end, your providers will work with you to design a robust aftercare plan that includes ongoing therapy and support throughout the earliest (and often most challenging) days of recovery. 

If you struggle with a mental health condition and the symptoms of addiction, dual diagnosis treatment in California at Cal Recovery is vital to ensuring your best opportunity for recovery. Unfortunately, not all addiction treatment programs are equipped to address the unique nature of dual diagnosis treatment. 

Although all programs strive to provide evidence-based, comprehensive treatment to help you overcome your struggle with drugs or alcohol, they may not offer adequate co-occurring disorder therapy to help provide a deeper understanding of the roots of both conditions. Therefore, it is critical to research each program you consider before committing to one that may not meet all your treatment needs. If you would like to learn more about how a dual diagnosis treatment center in California can help you, reach out to the team at Cal Recovery today. 

The Connection Between an Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness

What is the connect between Opioid addiction and mental illness

Opioid drugs typically come in two different forms. On the one hand, they are found as prescription painkillers legally prescribed by members of the medical community to help alleviate issues of chronic pain. On the other hand, they are illegally manufactured illegal substances which provide similar sedative and euphoric effects to legal prescription medications. Whether legal or illegal, opioids are highly addictive and potentially dangerous when misused or abused. Without comprehensive treatment, opioid misuse often leads to addiction and overdose, and death in the most severe cases.  

Opioid Addiction Defined

When you develop a dependence on an opioid, it is known as an opioid use disorder. Addiction treatment professionals use several diagnostic criteria to diagnose opioid addiction properly. Some of the most notable criteria include developing a tolerance to the drug, cravings, drug-seeking behaviors, and withdrawal symptoms if you try to reduce or stop using. Opioids are highly addictive. Even when taken as prescribed, it does not take long to develop a physical addiction to opioids. In some cases, dependence and addiction can develop in as few as four weeks. Physical and psychological dependence on opioids can be extremely difficult to overcome without professional detox and addiction treatment services. 

Are Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness Related?

Opioid use among those struggling with a mental condition is very common. In fact, only about sixteen percent of Americans have mental health disorders yet receive more than half of all opioid prescriptions.  Those with mood and anxiety disorders are twice as likely to use opioid drugs to reduce the severity of symptoms than those without mental health problems. They are also three times as likely to misuse opioids when prescribed for symptom management. 

Opioid use can also contribute to new or worsening mental health symptoms. Some studies have shown that individuals who received prescription opioids for various conditions have gone on to develop mental health conditions within weeks or months after taking the drugs. The longer they continue to take opioids, the greater their risk for developing a mental health condition. Mental health and opioid use are highly connected. In 2018, as many as half of the adults who suffered from a substance use disorder also struggled with a mental health disorder. 

How to Get Help With an Opioid Addiction and Mental Illness

When used as prescribed, opioids are very beneficial in helping to reduce chronic pain. However, due to their powerful effects and the way in which they impact the structure and function of the brain, dependence, and addiction among those who use opioids is common. On its own, opioid addiction is difficult to overcome without professional assistance. If you struggle with opioid addiction and a mental illness (a dual diagnosis), it is essential to seek help at an addiction treatment facility specializing in medically assisted detox and dual diagnosis treatment. In a medically assisted detox environment, highly trained staff will help you navigate the challenges often experienced during detox and withdrawal from powerful opioid drugs. 

Your treatment team will provide support to help you manage, sometimes severe, withdrawal symptoms. They will monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety and, if necessary, provide medications to help reduce the intensity and severity of withdrawal symptoms. Once your body is cleansed of substances, it is possible to transition into a comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment program. During therapy, you will learn more about the root causes of your addiction and how addiction and mental health symptoms are related. 

If you struggle with opioid addiction, today is the day to seek help. Reach out to the addiction treatment staff at Cal Recovery Center to learn more about how our detox and dual-diagnosis treatment programs can help you begin your journey to recovery. 

What Is the Most Common Mood Disorder?

What Is the most common mood disorder?

At any given time, as many as one in five American adults struggle with a mental illness, mood disorders included. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately twenty-one million adults over the age of eighteen meet the diagnostic criteria for a mood disorder. Mood disorders can affect anyone at any point in their life, and many factors can contribute to developing a mood disorder. Because mood disorders do not discriminate based on age, race, gender, ethnicity, or any other demographic, it can be challenging to pinpoint a specific root cause. In many cases (even more so with males), those who experience symptoms related to a mood disorder are more likely to have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder

What Is a Mood Disorder?

It is normal for your mood to change now and then. Everyone experiences changes in mood or “mood swings” depending on experiences or situations. A mood disorder is more than a mere fluctuation in your emotions. Mood disorders are mental health problems that affect a person’s emotional state. When someone has a mood disorder, they experience long periods of extreme happiness, extreme sadness, or both. To be diagnosed with a mood disorder, your symptoms must be present for several weeks or longer. Mood disorders can cause alterations in behavior that affect your ability to manage routine obligations, including work, school, and other day-to-day activities. 

The Most Common Mood Disorder

There are many different categories of mood disorders. Within each category, there are several diagnoses. For example, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder category, and within the category, there are several types of disorders. Major depressive disorder or MDD is the most commonly diagnosed mood disorder in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), more than nineteen million people (almost eight percent of the population) struggle with major depressive disorder each year. Like bipolar disorder, there are several different types of depression, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, and depression related to a medical condition, medication, or substance use disorder

How to Treat Mood Disorders

Treatment for a mood disorder will depend on the specific diagnosis and the symptoms you experience. The most common treatments include a combination of medication and therapy, specifically, psychotherapy (talk therapy). 

Several medications have proven successful in treating mood disorders. Antidepressants work well in the treatment of depression and depressive episodes linked to bipolar disorder. Some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications include Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta, and others. These medications are classified as either selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Again, the specific medication that will be the most successful for you will vary based on your symptoms as well as any underlying medical or co-occurring mental health conditions. Mood stabilizing and antipsychotic drugs may also be prescribed in addition to antidepressants in some cases, if the antidepressant medication is unable to adequately control symptoms. 

If you struggle with depression, various types of psychotherapy are also beneficial to your recovery. The most common types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy. These therapies are also successful in treating co-occurring substance use disorders that commonly arise due to ongoing struggles with depression and other mood disorders. 

Occasional mood swings and difficulties managing emotions are common experiences for everyone. In most cases, this does not indicate the presence of a mood disorder. However, if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks and you find they interfere with your ability to focus and participate in day-to-day activities or you find you are looking to substances as a way to reduce the intensity of symptoms, it may be time to consider seeking treatment at Cal Recovery Center. 

What Is Al-Anon Sacramento?

Is Al-Anon Sacramento?

Most people are familiar with the services and benefits of support groups and organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). For decades, these vital programs have been providing peer support, guidance and a safe environment for those recovering from alcohol use (AA) and drug use (NA) disorders to openly discuss their fears, challenges and triumphs on their individual paths to recovery from addiction. Perhaps less well known are the groups that provide support to family and loved ones of those struggling with addiction. 

What Is Al-Anon?

Addiction is referred to as a family disease. This is because, although the direct physical health impacts of addiction affect the addict, those who love and care for them also struggle. Through the support of programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, those struggling directly with addiction find support, common ground, and solidarity with those who share similar struggles and focus on maintaining health and sobriety. Unfortunately, Alcoholics Anonymous and similar programs do not necessarily provide the same support for those watching their loved one struggle with addiction. Programs such as Al-Anon, provide a safe and open forum for family and loved ones of addicts to share their concerns, experiences, and struggles with watching someone they love experience addiction. 

The Importance of Helping Yourself While Your Loved One Struggles With Addiction

Family is a vital part of the recovery process both during and after treatment. When someone in recovery returns home, they often rely on family for support, guidance and direction as they navigate the day-to-day challenges of their lives now that alcohol is no longer a part of their lives. Unfortunately, addiction is often responsible for putting significant strain on relationships. 

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction or worse, denying their struggle and refusing to seek help or treatment can have a detrimental impact on essential factors of all relationships including patients, compassion and most of all trust. Support groups like Al-Anon can help you help yourself. It is impossible to be available to or supportive of your loved one when tension gets in the way. At Al-Anon meetings it is possible to talk about your experiences with a group of like-minded people who have shared or do share a common struggle allowing you to feel more connected and supported as you provide ongoing support to your loved one struggling with addiction.

How to Help Your Loved One With Their Addiction

If your loved one is struggling with addiction it may feel as though there is nothing you can do to help. You are not alone in feeling lost. Often, family and friends watch their loved one’s battle addiction and do not know where to turn for help. At Cal Recovery, we understand how challenging this can be. It is essential to find ways to seek support and care for yourself as you help your loved one begin their sobriety journey. At Cal Recovery, our admissions team and highly skilled therapy providers can work with your family to provide an individually designed addiction treatment plan for your loved one that addresses their unique treatment needs and goals. We will also work with your family to ensure everyone has access to vital supports such as family therapy and support groups like Al-Anon both during and after your oved one completes their treatment program at Cal Recovery. 

Helping your loved one acknowledge their struggle with addiction is often a difficult first step on their sobriety journey. As a family member, it can be daunting and emotionally draining to watch your loved one struggle and refuse help. The team at Cal Recovery is here to provide support and guidance through these difficult challenges. Don’t let addiction steal another day. Contact the team at Cal Recovery today to learn more about our Sacramento treatment program and family support opportunities. 

What Causes Personality Disorders?

what causes personality disorders?

There are several different types of personality disorders. Some, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Paranoid Personality Disorder, are familiar to many. However, there are several that are not as well known, yet those who live with their symptoms struggle each day to accomplish day-to-day tasks. It is estimated that as many as ten percent of the United States population meet the diagnostic criteria for at least one personality disorder. Considered the most common of all psychiatric diagnoses, personality disorders are diagnosed in as many as sixty percent of patients. Studies also estimate that between sixty-five and ninety percent of people seeking addiction treatment for a substance use disorder have at least one personality disorder. 

What Is a Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by unhealthy, often inflexible thinking, feeling, and behaving patterns. Someone with a personality disorder will usually struggle to have healthy relationships with others or to manage everyday problems in ways that are considered “acceptable” by others. They will generally believe their way of thinking and behaving, while often contrary to what is socially acceptable, is entirely and totally normal. The actions and feelings of someone with a personality disorder often lead to them placing the blame for their difficulties on others. This frequently leads to problems in social, personal, academic, and employment settings. 

What Are the Types of Personality Disorders? 

Personality disorders are grouped into three clusters based on characteristics and symptoms. Some people may experience signs and symptoms of multiple personality disorders from one or multiple clusters. 

Custer A: Suspicious

Cluster A disorders are characterized by symptoms related to the individual’s thoughts or views of others. It includes three personality disorders including paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. 

Cluster B: Emotional and Impulsive

Cluster B disorders are characterized by symptoms related to how the individual acts towards or treats others and their view of how they relate to (compare to) others. It includes four disorders, including antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Cluster C: Anxious

Cluster C disorders are those that decide how people feel in their relationship with others or their environment. Cluster C includes three disorders, including avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

What Causes Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders remain among the least understood and least recognized mental health conditions. The precise cause of personality disorders is not known. However, research suggests factors such as genetics, abuse, and substance use and abuse may contribute to new or worsening symptoms. Although there is limited research into personality disorders, no studies to date have been able to show that someone is “born” with a personality disorder. 

Some personality disorders are thought to develop as a way of coping with stress or difficult events or situations such as abuse or neglect. When left untreated, personality disorder symptoms can evolve into significant psychological and social struggles. Also, someone with an untreated personality disorder is at greater risk for drug or alcohol abuse. 

Reach Out to California Recovery Center for More Information Today

If you or a loved one struggles with a personality disorder, it is vital to seek treatment in a setting where dual diagnosis treatment is available. Comprehensive (and simultaneous) treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions is essential for positive and successful treatment outcomes. Treating one condition while failing to address the symptoms and struggles of the other often leads to worsening symptoms and potential relapse as many people who struggle with a personality disorder turn to substances to self-medicate. With treatment, it is possible to reduce the intensity of personality disorder symptoms while learning safe and healthy ways to cope with triggering events or situations. 

At Cal Recovery Center, our skilled dual-diagnosis treatment staff is waiting to help you begin your recovery journey. Reach out to our admissions team today to learn more about how our programs can help. 

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

How does social medial effect your mental health?

Gone are the days where it took hours or even days for information to travel. In today’s society, news, whether good or bad, travels fast. This means positivity and negativity travel with equal speed and has the potential to levy significant impact. Today, the social media-heavy climate links people globally in ways never before possible. There are indeed positive elements of social media; however, there are negative and challenging aspects as well.  Unfortunately, the harmful components can have a highly toxic effect on people of all ages, in some cases leading to detrimental struggles with mental health and addiction

What Are the Common Forms of Social Media?

Social media is loosely considered a collection of apps on our smartphones, computers, and tablets that are used to communicate and share photos or videos with family and friends. Social media includes networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of others. The broad definition of social media consists of all of the internet-based technology that helps facilitate the sharing and exchange of ideas, thoughts, and information across virtual networks and communities. Regardless of platform, social media sites and apps give their users access to instant electronic communication both with those who are nearby and those on opposite sides of the world. 

According to the Pew Research Center, over three billion people use social media in some form, and more than ninety percent of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine use at least one type of social media daily. Unfortunately, there are many questions surrounding excessive social media use and how consistent exposure to both its positive and negative aspects may ultimately harm the mental health of frequent users. In some cases, the detrimental effects of social media can lead to new or worsening mental health and addiction-related struggles. 

What Are the Effects of Social Media on Mental Health?

Social media platforms are intentionally designed in such a way as to hold the user’s attention for as long as possible. For some, excessive screen time, even if only browsing on Facebook or swiping on Instagram posts, can lead to unhealthy emotions, including envy, inadequacy, fear, anger, hate, and dissatisfaction with ones on course in life.  Some studies also suggest that excessive internet use and screen time associated with social media can lead to mental health symptoms related to depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and insomnia. 

Social Media can also trigger feelings of isolation and loneliness. Many social media apps run on reinforcement mechanisms such as “swipes,” “likes,” and “comments.” The emotions that can be triggered by someone not liking your post or, worse, posting negative or hurtful comments can trigger powerful negative emotions. 

It is also important to note that addiction and social media are often related. Research has shown that excessive social media use can create a stimulation pattern in the brain similar to that of other addictive behaviors. As a result, the brain will begin to react to social media in the same way it reacts to other “reward” systems associated with addictive behaviors such as drinking, using drugs, or gambling. When someone experiences a positive interaction in social media, the brain releases dopamine. This rush of dopamine increases feelings of joy and pleasure. Some studies have noted that social media addictions are often the result of (or worsened by) co-occurring disorders such as chronic stress, depression, trauma, or anxiety. 

Get Help Today With Addiction and Mental Health at California Recovery Center

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s social media use and how it may be affecting mental health, it is ok to seek support and guidance. Reach out to our caring and compassionate team at Cal Recovery today to learn more about how therapy programs may help you learn more about the underlying concerns that may lead to social media addictions and new or worsening mental health symptoms. 

How to Start and Keep Good Habits in Addiction Recovery

How to start and keep good habits in addiction recovery

Deciding to seek treatment is often one of the most challenging decisions someone struggling with an addiction will face; however, it is often not the last. Successful completion of a comprehensive addiction treatment program at Cal Recovery Center is an essential first step towards attaining sobriety and improving your chances of long-term recovery. During treatment, you will learn and explore the issues that lie at the root of your addiction. You will also learn safe and healthy ways to evaluate and change the negative thought and behavior patterns that continue to propagate addictive behaviors. The skills you will learn and practice during treatment will be beneficial during the early days of recovery and beyond. For many who are beginning their sobriety journey, it is common to wonder what happens after treatment. What are the next steps? How do I keep using and practicing the good habits I learned during treatment during addiction recovery?

How to Start and Keep Good Habits in Addiction Recovery

Addiction is a disease. For most, it is a disease characterized by bumps, setbacks, and instances of relapse on the road to recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates as many as 60% of those who complete an addiction treatment program will experience at least one incidence of relapse. Addiction does not have a cure; however, with a comprehensive addiction treatment program and a robust aftercare program, sobriety and long-term recovery are within reach. Many habits that will help you continue towards successful recovery are learned during treatment or as part of an aftercare program. 

Complete an Aftercare Plan

An aftercare plan is a vital component in preventing relapse. To provide the most benefit, one should transition directly to aftercare immediately after completing their addiction treatment program. Aftercare programs (or relapse prevention programs) are designed to create a supportive and comfortable environment where recovering addicts can feel comfortable speaking openly about their struggles, temptations, feelings, and strength throughout the recovery process. Maintaining a connection within the recovery community and the support systems provided through aftercare planning is one of the number one ways to remain sober and prevent relapse. 

Go to Support Groups (AA, NA, etc.)

Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provide recovering addicts an outlet to discuss their struggles in sobriety with a group of peers who share similar concerns and experiences throughout various stages of recovery. Support groups also provide a means for developing new, healthy social circles. 

Focus on Your Overall Wellness with Nutrition and Exercise

Many addiction treatment programs provide support and guidance around nutrition, diet, and physical activity. It is not uncommon for inpatient residential programs and various outpatient programs to provide patients access to on-site gyms or other avenues to participate in physical activity. One of the biggest reasons for relapse is turning to substances during times of stress or other triggering experiences. An excellent way to ward off stress and triggers is through exercise and focusing on self-care. Although you will likely learn about the various ways concentrating on your overall wellness can help you throughout your recovery journey during your treatment program, it is crucial to maintain ongoing participation and focus on your wellness as you leave treatment and focus on continuing sobriety and recovery. 

Many of the good habits you will learn and practice during addiction treatment are beneficial not only during the early stages of recovery but throughout your future without drugs and alcohol. Given the high incidence of relapse for many who complete an addiction treatment program, it is crucial to ensure that your aftercare plan consists of ways to safely and in a healthier way reduce the impacts of triggers and other factors that can lead to relapse. If you are ready to begin your sobriety journey today, reach out to the admissions team at Cal Recovery.