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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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When Eating Disorders and Diabetes Collide

National Eating Disorders Awareness week starts February 25th and the theme this year is “Come As You Are” which highlights the movement toward inclusivity of all individuals and communities who are affected by eating disorders. Eating Disorders Awareness week is an opportunity to start the conversation around eating disorders, to learn, connect with others, share stories, and get support. So what is an eating disorder anyway? First, eating disorders are NOT a lifestyle choice. They are complex mental illnesses with serious medical complications and can be life threatening. It is estimated that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders do not discriminate, as they affect people of all ages, race, ethnicity, body sizes and genders. We don’t know for sure what causes an eating…

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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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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen dating violence is remarkably common, yet it is rarely discussed. According to national statistics, 1 in 3 girls in the U.S. will experience some sort of dating violence, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. What you can do If you are worried about a friend or family member, here are some tips to guide your conversation: Be supportive – Let the person first talk about what they like about their relationship. Ask how they met and what they like to do together before you voice your concerns. It shows that you value and respect the relationship, even if the couple is young or the relationship is new. Remember to ask them what they want to do about their relationship, and not assume they want to stay in it, or leave it. Ask how you can help. If they don’t want to talk at that time, let them know…

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