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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,…

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Super Bowl Gambling

The American Gaming Association estimates 22.7 million Americans plan to wager in this year’s Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams vs. the New England Patriots. The biggest foreseen problem is that many of those people will place bets illegally through bookies or online offshore sports book. 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…

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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:

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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. Narcan 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…

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