Avoiding the Social Pressure to Drink

Upcoming holidays like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, that are often associated with alcohol, can pose a challenge to people in recovery, as well as to those who are avoiding alcohol for a variety of reasons (i.e., diabetes, depression, pregnancy, taking medication.)  With alcohol and tobacco use being the two most common substance use and addictive disorders, it is important to recognize that events celebrated with alcohol can potentially affect health and well-being.   For some people in recovery, environmental triggers - such as being around people who they would typically drink with, or being in a place where they used to drink or other people are drinking - can be quite a challenge. Both direct pressure (someone offering you a drink) and indirect pressure (just being around other people who are drinking) can contribute to the tension of celebrating these famous holidays. Thoughts of ‘having just one’ or, ‘a drink will ease my anxiety’ are not uncommon thoughts, and if not managed, impulsive behavior can lead to excessive drinking, and a lapse in sobriety or avoidance of alcohol. Here are some ways to manage events such as Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day often associated with alcohol: Avoid it. In some situations, particularly these upcoming holidays where events are often centered around drinking, your best strategy may be [...]

2021-01-04T21:09:28-05:00March 4th, 2019|Addiction & Recovery, Holidays|

Super Bowl Gambling

There are three common types of gamblers - the professional gambler (who relies on skill rather than luck to make money), the social gambler (who gambles for recreation and considers the cost of gambling to be payment for entertainment), and the problem gambler. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, an estimated four percent of adults (8 million) in the United States either meet the criteria for disordered gambling, or would be considered problem gamblers. Warning Signs of a Gambling Problem Feeling the need to be secretive about gambling Having trouble controlling gambling habits Gambling when you cannot afford to Friends and family expressing concern about your gambling https://www.psychguides.com/guides/compulsive-gambling-symptoms-causes-and-effects/ Lying about your gambling or keeping it a secret Losing track of time and playing for longer than you meant to Feeling depressed or angry after gambling Spending more money than you planned, or more than you can afford Ignoring work and family responsibilities because of gambling Borrowing money or use household money to gamble “Chasing your loses” to try to win back your money Believing that gambling will pay off in the end Seeing gambling as the most important thing in your life Using gambling to cope with your problem or to avoid things Having conflicts with family and friends over gambling Ignoring your physical and emotional health because [...]

2021-01-02T19:48:01-05:00February 2nd, 2019|Addiction & Recovery|

Opioid Recovery & the Holidays

David T. Jones, commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, spoke with KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg about what it takes to get through the holidays when you have loved ones in recovery for opioid addiction. Listen to the interview below:

2018-12-10T18:40:30-05:00December 10th, 2018|Addiction & Recovery, Holidays|

Incarceration to Healing, Addiction to Recovery

I am a person in recovery from mental health and substance use disorders. For many years, I carried a good deal of anger and resentment so, instead of addressing my issues, I turned to using drugs. Unlike many others, my addiction began in prison. It happened at one of the lowest times in my life, when I lost my father. Here I was, incarcerated and drugs were available, so I turned to the one thing that I always tried to avoid. In trying to mask my pain there were times I didn’t want to live. Depression was evident, but I camouflaged it with drugs. I was overdosing and only through the grace of God was revived every time by someone in my community. Naloxone was constantly used to save my life. I was arrested so many times that I started to begin to believe that incarceration was going to be my life. It was my reality, a cycle of incarceration and release, only to sell drugs again to support my addiction. My light came on when I was sitting in a jail cell and decided that I no longer wanted to use drugs. I started to realize that I needed help to address my mental state. During my therapy sessions, I was told that I was holding on to a [...]

2018-09-14T02:50:29-04:00September 14th, 2018|Addiction & Recovery|
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