Finding A Job After Rehab

One of the things about rehab and post-rehab life is getting back to the normal swing of life. This includes doing things like paying bills, getting a job, going grocery shopping and more. However, just because you’ve been to rehab does not mean finding a job again and getting back into a normal routine will exactly be that easy. But, establishing a routine and making meaningful moves to succeed are a part of your continued success.

After rehab, finding a job should be one of your top priorities – and everything else will be able to flow easier after that. A few barriers that you might run into include:

  • You’ve been out of the workforce for some time most likely and therefore, will have a gap of employment (due to rehab).
  • You might feel uncertain about revealing past substance abuse to a new employer.
  • You might worry about employers discriminating against you.
  • You might worry about the stress that having a new job will bring.

However, a survey done in 2012 says that more than 23 million adults in the United States consider themselves to be in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. And plenty of individuals just like them and just like you have gone on to live successful lives and have successful careers even after rehab.

Once you are nearing the completion of your rehab program, here are a few tips for re-entering the workforce:

  • Search for a resource that will help you with your resume. Most communities have some type of resource and something you could even likely get for free, that help with preparing and editing a resume. You can also take a look at some examples online.
  • Search online and in your local newspaper for opportunities that might be available. While it never hurts to introduce yourself to a business that you would like to work at who might not be looking to hire immediately, it is good to mainly go after those who have shown a desire to hire soon.
  • Find jobs that you are confident about. This is not the best time to try out a job that will push you to your limit – that could lead to a relapse. Try to find a job that you are excited about but confident in, and maybe something you even have experience with.

The best thing you can do is be confident and utilize the sources around you.

Can You Reverse Memory Loss From Cannabis?

There are various debates taking place recently about how marijuana does and does not affect us – from impairment while driving, leading us to try other drugs, and several other potential aspects of marijuana use.

One commonly known side effect of smoking marijuana is memory loss, often just short-term, but many people do experience some memory loss after extended periods of cannabis use. However, a recent study found that the negative impacts of cannabis use on your memory can be quickly reversed simply with time.

According to the study, young adults and adolescents who have been using cannabis regularly but stop for 30 days, notice a better memory and improved ability to learn compared to those around them who continue to smoke, ingest, or vape pot.

This study was done by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and focused on two broad areas of cognitive function – memory and attention. The group observed ranged in age from 16 to 25 years old and were regular cannabis users – meaning they indulged at least once a week.

Of the test subjects – 88 subjects – roughly two-thirds were assigned to abstain from marijuana for 30 days. The remaining test subjects were assigned to continue their routine use. Researchers gave frequent urine tests to verify that each participant was actively participating according to their assignment. Almost 90 percent of the two-thirds that were assigned to abstain met the criteria for a continuous 30-day abstinence period.

“Our findings provide two pieces of convincing evidence,” said lead author Randi Schuster, director of neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine at the Boston hospital.

“The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis,” she said. “The second — which is the good news part of the story — is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops.”

However, there was no evidence that there was a difference in attention, which is classified as the ability to stay focused on a visual task as one example. Both groups exhibited like abilities for this area.

Schuster did say that it is possible a longer period of abstinence is needed to see a reversal of attention deficits that occur with cannabis use.

While it might seem like just a temporary high, cannabis does affect your body in other ways – and ways you might not realize for a little bit of time.

Tips for Staying Sober During Holidays

Depending on your religion and your location, the holidays come at various times of the year for you. However, nearly every culture has holidays of some sort throughout the year. And with holidays, typically comes alcohol, too. For most people, this is an exciting time, a tradition, and just the icing on the cake for the rest of the goodies.

But for recovering alcoholics, the holidays can be a time full of temptation and worry. This can also be a time where maintaining sobriety seems nearly impossible. For this reason, many recovering alcoholics can find themselves loathing a time of year that most people love and even skipping out on family or friend’s parties as a way to avoid the temptation and sadness.

Not only does the presence of alcohol cause recovering alcoholics to relapse, but the stress and anxiety that comes with being surrounded by numerous people, and sometimes people you don’t see often or don’t even like, can drive someone to even want to drink. So, with the holiday season running rapid, how does one maintain their sobriety amidst the stress and temptation?

  1. Be prepared for what is to come.
    The worst thing you can do is blindly go to a party, or be in denial and think that a place where there is typically temptation won’t have temptation this year. Mentally prepare yourself for the environment you are about to be in and start to comprise a plan for various situations.
  2. Remind yourself why sobriety is more important than that drink.
    When you are in the heat of the moment, it might not seem like a bad idea to give in. But start thinking ahead of time so it is easy to remind yourself in the moment just why it is that sobriety is the most important thing to you. What all will be ruined by just that one drink?
  3. Choose your parties wisely. 
    If you know the main attraction of the party is your temptation, don’t go. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you know you will absolutely fail. Simple as that.
  4. Plan your escape route in advance.
    If someone offers you a drink, know what you will say. If you are feeling extremely stressed, know where you will go.
  5. Stay away from the slippery slopes.
    The holidays are not a viable reason to go back to your old stomping grounds. The temptation of the alcohol itself is bad, but going back to your same old place with the same old people is just too much to overcome, in most situations.

The best thing you can do for yourself this year is to be prepared.

How to Talk to an Alcoholic

Whether it is a close friend, a family member, or even a significant other – talking to someone about their obvious struggle with alcohol is difficult. You might not know how to approach it, what to say, or how to respond based on their reaction. But if you are suspicious that someone you know and love is struggling with alcoholism, there is a desire there to approach that individual and encourage their entry into rehab. But with this desire to approach them also comes the fear of making them angry, their rejection and even damaging or severing the relationship the two of you have.

However, at the end of the day, it is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. While they might refuse to go get help, you did your part and they denied to do theirs.

If you know someone who is struggling with an alcohol addiction, here are some tips to help you get started with talking to them:

How to Recognize Alcoholism

Before you approach someone about their alcoholism, you need to first identify if they might actually be suffering from alcoholism. The symptoms of alcoholism go far beyond seeing them drink excessively on a few occasions. Alcoholism also causes physical and mental symptoms, including but not limited to the following:

  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Reddening of the face or nose
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Decreased inhibition
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Talking to Your Loved One

The first step to approaching someone about alcoholism should be devising a plan. Of course, the interaction might not go exactly as you planned, but approaching it without a plan can lead to disarray.

The intervention process involves multiple elements:

  • Getting support – educate yourself, find resources, ask a professional for guidance
  • Engaging in self-care – mentally prepare everyone involved, including yourself, for every possible outcome
  • Having the treatment option ready – comprise a list of viable treatment locations
  • Staging the intervention – choose a location and assemble a team
  • Participating in treatment

In order to successfully gain their trust and attention, you need to have cold, hard facts in mind. You also need to consider their personality to understand what methods, settings, etc. might be more destructive rather than productive. Next, you also need to have treatment options ready so that when/if they decide they are ready to go, there is no lag time between their decision and finding the place to go.

 

How to Identify a Drug Overdose

A drug overdose is an unfortunate, but a growingly popular occurrence. In fact, in 2017, a record number of Canadians died from opioid overdoses, according to CBC. Compared to 2016, fatal overdoses were up more than 45 percent in 2017.

What is an overdose?

By definition, an overdose is an excessive and dangerous dose of a drug, which can have various adverse side effects, even including death. While not all overdoses result in death, there are many that do. Furthermore, one of the key factors in recovering from an overdose is having someone around you notice that you have overdosed so they can get you help.

When you have overdosed, you are unable to get yourself help because you are likely unconscious and/or incredibly ill. Therefore, this makes it immensely important that people know how to identify a drug overdose. It could be life or death for someone.

While no one certain thing guarantees that you will overdose, here are a few things that put you at a greater risk:

  1. Mixing opioids with sedatives, such as benzos or alcohol.
  2. Using drugs in very high doses – more so than usual.
  3. Returning to the drugs after having been in a detox period.

Physical Signs of an Overdose

But, you may not be aware if someone has done some or any of these things, so here is how to identify a drug overdose despite knowing someone’s most recent actions:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Dilated pupils
  • Agitation
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness

These are just a few of the symptoms of an overdose; this is not an all-inclusive list. Someone who has overdosed on drugs may exhibit some, or even most of these symptoms. But even just a few of these symptoms can indicate that someone is experiencing an overdose.

When someone overdoses, several things take place within their body – including the slowing of their breathing, then the slowing of their heart rate, and then everything else just starts to shut down from there.

If you believe someone has overdosed, start by checking their breathing and their heart rate. Immediately call the authorities and get instructions on how you should proceed while help is on the way.

Drugs are a serious thing and they can have serious consequences, including an overdose. If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, get help before it is too late and save yourself or your loved one from experiencing an overdose.

drug overdose signs to look for

The Cost of Alcohol Addiction

Have you ever taken a second to stop and think about how expensive an addiction really is?

If you have a food addiction and you go eat out every single night, or go splurge on a large triple chocolate milkshake every night, you would be surprised to find out just how much you are spending. In fact, you could probably buy yourself enough groceries for a full day or more of food, if you would just use the money you normally use to feed your addiction. Or if drugs are your addiction of choice, most designer drugs cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. What else could you do with that money? Pay a mortgage payment, pay off a credit card, put back for your child’s college fund. Addiction can really take a toll on you physically, but it can also take as big of a toll on you financially.

Let’s take a minute to look into the cost of alcohol addiction.

With opioid addiction and overdoses on the rise, this has remained at the forefront of many people’s minds in British Columbia. However, one of the biggest addictions that remains on the rise in the province is alcohol – and it is a legal substance. In fact, British Columbia has the highest rate of hospitalizations caused by alcohol in Canada, and those numbers are rising faster than anywhere else in the country.

The Stats

Considering British Columbians who drink, they consume an average of 9.4 litres of pure alcohol every single year. To break it down into something more tangible, this is roughly two and a half bottles of wine or 14 bottles of beer each week.

This number has continued to rise since 2012, and it doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

Taking a look at emergency room visits to St. Paul’s and Vancouver General Hospital for substance abuse, last year at least 36 percent were alcohol-related. And a researcher at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use, Dr. Keith Ahamad told CBC that this is a conservative number. The 36 percent only relates to cases where excessive drinking was the cause.

In comparison, looking at the same hospitals and same time period, 24 percent of emergency room visits related to substance abuse were caused by opioids. And we think opioids are a major problem in our society? It is, but let’s not forget about one even worse than it.

People every year, and likely every day, are suffering severe and negative consequences because of alcohol addiction. It is time we got this under control. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out today.

Opioid Addiction: A First Hand Look

Oftentimes it is hard for someone who is not an addict to understand the full severity of an addiction. It is hard for them to comprehend the way it makes someone feel, the grip it has on their life and the science behind why they continue to live the lifestyle they do. While you can’t experience it for yourself unless you decide to go that route, you can sometimes find someone who has overcome their addiction and is willing to give you a first-hand glimpse into what exactly the life of an addict is like.

British Columbia Addiction Treatment BC

Recently on CBC News, an article was shared about a former athlete who was once an opioid user. He describes how he became addicted in the first place, how it made him feel and more. In this blog post, we are going to recap that article so you can see for yourself just how bad an opioid addiction really is.

The Accident

Twelve years ago, there was a then 17 high-level competitive swimmer in Calgary by the name of Taylor Maxey. He trained at the pool nine times a week in hopes of becoming an Olympic swimmer. However, this vision of his future was drastically changed when Maxey was injured while goofing around in the backyard with his siblings. Maxey’s little brother kicked a soccer ball that hit Maxey in the neck, and it hit him so hard it chipped his C2 vertebra. This one accident is what would eventually send Maxey down a path of opioid dependency.

The Prescriptions

Following his injury, Maxey spent several months in a cervical collar and was prescribed numerous medications to combat neck pain and chronic headaches. These prescription medications included Oxycodone, sleeping and anxiety pills, hydromorphone, and fentanyl patches. Hopeful that he would one day return to swimming, Maxey followed his doctors’ orders.

“I just wasn’t functioning,” Maxey told CBC. “And their answer was just, more and more and more and more. Little did I know anything about withdrawal symptoms, what it can do to you long-term.”

As a curious high schooler though, Maxey discovered his drugs could also be used recreationally, and he began to do so. Getting a buzz or getting high was now fun for him.

His Life Was Saved

Thanks to an addictions doctor, Maxey was finally able to get clean and take control of his life again.

“You have no idea, how devilish it makes you feel, it literally makes you feel like you have a split personality,” he said in an interview with The Calgary Eyeopener, according to CBC. “You have this monster inside of you that’s just caged, and half the time the door is open, it’s running the show. It’s the worst thing. Your mind wants one thing, your body wants another.”

 

Source for this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-opioid-crisis-recovery-taylor-maxey-1.4859973

 

National Cannabis Survey in Canada: 2018 Third Quarter

Studies and surveys are constantly being done on drug and alcohol use. The third quarter national cannabis survey was just released, so let’s take a look at the results.

What is this survey?

The National Cannabis Survey mainly seeks to better understand the frequency of cannabis use in Canada. It also serves to monitor the changes in behaviour as Canada plans to legalize cannabis usage for non-medical use.

Overall Statistics

In Canada, about 4.6 million people ages 15 and older (or 15% of Canadians) reported having used cannabis in the past three months. This percentage closely aligns with what has been reported throughout 2018. Cannabis use in Canada remains more popular among males ages 15-24 in the time period immediately following the legalization of cannabis.

The Cannabis Act (C-45) is set to become law on October 17, 2018, according to Statistics Canada.

Nova Scotia and British Columbia

These two provinces of Canada displayed higher rates of cannabis consumption. In Nova Scotia, 23% of residents reported using cannabis in the past three months, and in British Columbia 20% of residents reported this same usage. This puts both Nova Scotia and British Columbia above the estimates for the rest of Canada. In comparison, Quebec, with only 10% of residents reported usage within the past three months, was the only province lower than the rest of Canada.

In this quarter, it was noted that cannabis use continued to be higher among males than females – with 18% of males reporting usage and only 12% of females reporting usage. Cannabis use also decreased with age, of ages 15-24, 27% reported consumption, more than double the rate of those 25 and older – which was a mere 13%.

Vehicles and Cannabis

This survey also analyses how many people report riding in a vehicle operated by someone who had consumed cannabis within the past two hours. Of those surveyed, 5% of Canadians ages 15 and older reported doing so. These statistics did not differ by gender, however, they did differ by age. The survey determined that 16% of youth and young adults, ages 15-24 reported being passengers with someone who had been consuming marijuana. Comparatively, this means they did so more than four times as often as people ages 25 or older.

Additionally, the act of getting into a vehicle with a driver who had consumed cannabis was more common among passengers who were also current users of cannabis.

As many parts of the world push to legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes, it is important to understand how this affects the usage numbers of our youth, young adults, and peers.

Driving Under The Influence

When you hear the statement “driving under the influence,” the first thing you likely think of is driving drunk – which is actually driving while intoxicated, however, it is still typically what comes to mind. To “drive under the influence” is to drive while under the influence of drugs, and did you know that this includes marijuana?

Despite the fact that marijuana is being legalized in many parts of the world, that still does not mean that you can drive while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana has an impact on your reactions and driving skills just like other drugs and/or alcohol would. However, despite knowing this many people still drive under the influence.

Here are a few ways marijuana can impact your driving:

  • It significantly impairs your judgment.
  • It impairs your motor coordination.
  • It impairs your reaction time.

In addition to the impacts noted above, studies have also found that there is a direct relationship between the levels of blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability. And in fact, marijuana is the most common illicit drug found in the blood of drivers involved in a crash.

In fact, an alarming number of Ontarians have admitted to driving while under the influence of cannabis. The CAA recently released new research that shows that 1.9 million Ontario drivers have driven while under the influence of marijuana. And of those 1.9 million, 735,000 have done so in the last three months. The CAA also commissioned a poll – done in July – which revealed that 69 percent of men between ages 25 and 34 are more likely to drive under the influence of marijuana. Additionally, 39 percent of novice drivers also admitted to driving while high.

“The fact that those who drive under the influence of cannabis are most likely to be young, novice drivers, with less experience on the road, is something that we should all be concerned about,” CAA spokesperson Elliott Silverstein said in a release.

As the time nears that cannabis will become legal in Canada, it is important to understand that risks still come with it. It is also important to understand the legality of marijuana and what can still get you in trouble.

Just because something is legal does not make it safe – take alcohol for example. Driving while under the influence of any drugs and/or alcohol is never a good idea. You are not only putting yourself at danger but you are also putting others in danger.