May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While staying physically healthy is vital to living well, spreading awareness about mental health has never been more important. Ridgeview Ranch is here to help. Call one of our addiction specialists at 877-526-7706.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While staying physically healthy is vital to living well, spreading awareness about mental health has never been more important. In fact, mental and physical health often go hand-in-hand. People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs often develop mental health disorders, making recovery even more difficult as they have to fight on two fronts.

There are many reasons why a person would choose to drink or use drugs, but usage does not automatically indicate addiction. However, increased usage and a feeling of “need” for a drink or substance can be a sign, especially if it is affecting their behavior and ability to function in their daily life.

Some symptoms of substance/alcohol abuse or dependence include:
• Continuous use even while experiencing negative effects
• Increased usage to get the same “good feeling” they desire—in other words, they have built a tolerance and need more to feel the same effects
• Being preoccupied thinking about their next chance to drink or use the substance, or how to obtain more
• Common withdrawal symptoms like trembling, sweating, high blood pressure, or hallucinations when they try to stop using

People who already have mental health problems are particularly susceptible to become addicted to alcohol or drugs. Some start using them as a way to relieve their stress or pain, which can create a vicious circle in which their usage worsens their mental condition while taking its toll on their body. Common mental health disorders linked to substance abuse include but are not limited to:
• Bipolar disorder
• Borderline personality disorder
• Depression
• Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

If you suspect a friend or family member may have a problem with addiction, their mental health, or both, you can help by watching out for symptoms and expressing concern for their welfare. It’s important to express your concerns in a non-judgmental and supportive manner that is less likely to make them get defensive. Sometimes one of the best things you can do is simply listen, which lets them feel respected and understood. Discussing the issue, let alone making the decision to seek help, is an extremely vulnerable moment for them.

Contact Ridgeview Ranch (877-526-7706) if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and/or mental health problems. We offer a wide range of services treating addiction and mental disorders, from educational programs to carefully designed therapies that give patients every chance to recover.

Sobriety in the Public Eye: Celebrities Who Are Open About Addiction

Some celebrities have seen constant media exposure and the rise of social media as an opportunity to become advocates for sobriety and addiction recovery. They talk out about their own addiction and how their choice to seek help changed—or saved—their lives. Here are a few celebrities who have overcome their addiction and spoken out.

Fame and stardom may look glamorous to outside observers, but celebrities lead lives filled with pressures just like millions of other people. Also like many other people, some celebrities turn to alcohol or drugs to escape the pressures of their everyday lives and develop life-threatening addictions.

Some celebrities have seen constant media exposure and the rise of social media as an opportunity to become advocates for sobriety and addiction recovery. They talk out about their own addiction and how their choice to seek help changed—or saved—their lives. Here are a few celebrities who have overcome their addiction and spoken out:

Bradley Cooper recently opened up to GQ magazine about his struggles with alcohol as well as his addiction to painkillers: “If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life.” Now 44, he has been sober since he was 29.

Lena Dunham celebrated 1 year of sobriety just this month. She proudly announced on Instagram: “I’ve done a lot of cool things in this life, but none has brought me the peace, joy and lasting connections than being part of a sober fellowship.”

Daniel Radcliffe revealed that he used alcohol to cope with his fame. The Harry Potter star has been sober since 2013 following a brief relapse.

Ben Affleck checked into rehab in 2001 and 2017 for help with alcoholism. He also went for treatment in 2018, completing a 40-day program.

Demi Lovato sought help from addiction after suffering a massive overdose in July 2018. Currently just a couple months shy of 1 year of sober living, she has become one of the more outspoken celebrities, sharing her struggles with fans and encouraging others to get help.

Celebrities are frequently presented as role models, whether they perceive themselves that way or not. Those listed above are only a few of a larger group of public figures who have used their celebrity to become champions in the cause of sobriety. They serve as examples for any person currently struggling with addiction that getting help is possible, and that they can emerge healthier and happier.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Ridgeview Ranch (877-526-7706) or use our convenient contact form and take the first steps toward addiction recovery. Our trained and compassionate staff is dedicated to helping you achieve sobriety.

Traveling During Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a delicate process that relies on routine behavior. Traveling can be extremely stressful for recovering addicts because it disrupts that routine. But you can maintain sobriety by making preparations to avoid and relieve pressures that could trigger a relapse.

Addiction recovery is a delicate process that relies on routine behavior. Traveling can be extremely stressful for recovering addicts because it disrupts that routine. But you can maintain sobriety by making preparations to avoid and relieve pressures that could trigger a relapse.

Take Support Materials with You
If you’re traveling by airplane, train, or bus, you’ll spend a lot of time sitting and waiting. Use this time constructively by bringing recovery-related literature or audio resources. AA’s The Big Book is a popular choice, as it contains 12-step program information as well as inspirational recovery stories. An audio version is also available on a free app.

Seek Support Where You’re Going
While you’re going away from your usual support network, there should be reliable sources near your destination. Do a search for local support groups and their meeting times before departing and try to work them into your schedule. You can often participate in meetings remotely by phone or online if you can’t physically attend. Also, contact the local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous office and request names and phone numbers of other recovering addicts. Reaching out to them and sharing your experience can help you—both of you—avoid feeling lonely or isolated.

Keep in Touch with Your Home Network
It’s good to find support where you’re visiting, but it’s important to maintain contact with your network back home. A short phone call to check in or a brief text or email exchange can be a great reminder that while the people back home aren’t close by, they’re still available to you. Remember to include your AA or NA sponsor in your communications.

Stick to Your Routine When You Can
Keep as much of your usual daily regimen as possible, such as sleeping hours and mealtimes. If you have a favorite activity you can easily fit into your day—reading, walking, prayer, etc.—set aside time for it. Doing so can provide valuable relaxation.
Because you have an established routine and trusted support network at home, it’s vital to be able to maintain that routine and stay connected while traveling. Technology makes it easier to do that and also to connect to local support sources during your visit. Remember: you have options. Utilize them to minimize your risk of relapse.

If you have any questions or concerns about upcoming travel plans, don’t hesitate to Contact us today at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient contact form for advice on preparing yourself to ensure a stable trip.

The Vital Role of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

The Vital Role of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery. It’s a given that nutrition, in general, is important, but it’s a critical factor in addiction recovery. Call Ridgeview Ranch at 877-526-7706 to learn more.

It’s a given that nutrition in general is important, but it’s a critical factor in addiction recovery. Substance use and addiction affects your body comparable to an unbalanced diet, taking a toll not only your weight but also on how your organs work, including your brain which influences how you think and feel. The recovery process can place high levels of physical and mental stress on an addict, so the benefits that come from proper nutrition make it extremely important to a successful recovery as well as preventing a relapse.

Physical Dietary Effects
Like addiction, the recovery process creates changes in the body that affect organ functions and metabolism. These changes can be directed toward a healthy physical recovery by eating foods that are low in fat, high in protein, and have complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. The focus here is on avoiding “empty” calories. It’s also equally important to observe regular mealtimes so that your body develops a steady internal rhythm and flow not just for the intake and digestion of food, but also for the distribution of nutrients that follows eating as the food is broken down.

Mental Dietary Effects
A diet lacking in proper nutrition creates a deficiency in amino acids, the building blocks of life. One of their functions is the production of dopamine in the brain. A dopamine deficiency can lead to a wide range of problems, from fatigue and aches to mood swings and insomnia. Because nutrition affects the brain’s biochemical influences on our mental state, holistic addiction treatment centers are constantly looking for effective ways to utilize balanced nutrition to treat substance cravings, anxiety, and depression.

Nutrition’s Role in Our Mission
As a holistic addiction recovery facility, Ridgeview Ranch recognizes the vital importance of proper nutrition to every patient’s recovery. Physical, mental, and emotional health are linked and must be promoted simultaneously. This not only helps to realize a successful recovery, but also helps to ensure continued well-being afterward. In a way, we have two primary goals for our patients: guiding them through the journey toward recovery, and preparing them to walk the path of sobriety under their own power. Nutrition has an important role in both cases.

To learn more about Ridgeview Ranch’s holistic methodology to addiction recovery, including our approach to providing balanced nutrition in the recovery process, call us 877-526-7706 or use our convenient contact form with any questions.

Early Signs of Addiction

Early Signs of Addiction - Ridgeview Ranch is here for you. Call to speak with one of our Addiction Specialists today by calling 877-526-7706

It’s hard to admit you have an addiction or to voice your concerns to a friend or family member you suspect has an addiction. But addiction is an extremely serious condition affecting mental, physical, and emotional health and should be addressed immediately. One of the difficulties of identifying addiction early is that it doesn’t always present itself openly. It can occur through a gradual, subtle process until it’s suddenly too late. However, there are physical and behavioral signs you can look for to determine if addiction is present.

Changes in Appearance
Addicts focus most of their attention on satisfying their addiction, which often causes them to neglect their appearance. They might look malnourished, such as having significantly paler skin, skin blemishes, or bloodshot eyes. Another red flag is if they’ve lost a lot of weight very rapidly. They also might have stopped washing regularly—sometimes for days or weeks at a time—or keep wearing the same clothes.

Altered Behavior
Addiction affects the way people think and act. It can be a radical change under the influence of a substance—a gentle person might suddenly become aggressive—or a shift in their overall behavior. They may act secretive or suspicious and try to hide their addiction, especially if they think they’ve been “caught.” Other significant signs of addiction are withdrawal from social circles like family and close friends, and loss of interest in activities or hobbies they normally enjoy.

Risky & Neglectful Behavior
Because addicts are driven to satisfy their addiction, they can become willing to engage in behavior that puts themselves and others at risk in order to fulfill their craving. This change often reflects itself in their financial situation. They might stop buying necessities like groceries or paying their bills so they can buy more of what they’re hooked on, or resort to stealing to get it. Addicts might also neglect common responsibilities, like showing up at work or school or taking care of their children.

When You See the Signs, Take Action
It’s normal for addicts to attempt to hide their addiction, including refusing to admit it to themselves. But when you recognize telltale signs like those mentioned above, the time to act on it is “now.” You owe it to the ones you care about, and you owe it to yourself.

Admitting addiction doesn’t make the actual road to recovery any easier, but it’s a critical first step to take. Ridgeview Ranch’s highly trained and compassionate staff will do all they can to see that you complete the journey and regain a sober and healthy life. Contact us today at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient contact form to take the next steps.

Apps to Help with Addiction

Ridgeview Ranch knows that addicts face numerous challenges throughout the recovery process. This includes a lack of access to resources for patients after completing an intensive program. However, many have easy access to their phones, computers, or tablets. As a result, this connective technology has emerged as a resource for providing recovering addicts with a safety net.

Addicts face numerous challenges throughout the recovery process. This includes a lack of access to resources for patients after completing an intensive program. However, many have easy access to their phones, computers, or tablets. As a result, this connective technology has emerged as a resource for providing recovering addicts with a safety net.

Currently, there are over a dozen available apps designed to help with addiction. Some of them are simple and free, like a day counter for clean and sober living or a 12-step meeting locator. Others are sophisticated programs that include features like a panic button, or automatic alerts when someone goes near “risky” locations like bars.

Each app is created for use by either an addict, treatment provider, or both. The Freedom 365 app includes activities to reveal the causes of addiction and tools to create a recovery plan. It even has an “empowerment” button, to be pressed when there is a temptation to relapse and suggesting actions to take (such as “attend AA meeting”). Another app, WEconnect, installs its software on treatment center providers’ phones to help support and track patients after they have been discharged.

As convenient and helpful as these apps are intended to be in helping addicts recover and stay sober, their purpose is not to replace treatment from human counselors. One of their primary goals is to reduce the relapse rate, which is at least 60% according to many studies.

However, some of these apps do help recovering addicts find and create social networks among themselves. For some, it is difficult to attend meetings, and they can benefit from technology that encourages them to socially engage with other recovering addicts and find an alternative source of support.

When an app cannot address a recovering addict’s needs, seeking help is highly advisable. Treatment and support from a professional is the best option for addiction recovery. Ridgeview Ranch is here to help addicts on the path to recovery, including support for post-treatment individuals with sober living.

For more information on Addiction and how Ridgeview Ranch can help you, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

Un-Following the Trend of Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction is not officially recognized as a disease or disorder. However, many studies focus on parallels between people who display addictive behavior in their usage and drug, alcohol, or gambling addicts.

Describing someone as an addict means they exhibit a compulsive behavior that carries negative effects. Social media addiction is not officially recognized as a disease or disorder. However, many studies focus on parallels between people who display addictive behavior in their usage and drug, alcohol, or gambling addicts.

Behaviors and Effects of Social Media Addiction

One of the benefits of social media is how it makes people feel connected to others, but there are also cases where constant connection through technology causes feelings of isolation in the real world. Some might develop further dependence on social media as a result. Other signs of social media addiction might include, but aren’t restricted to, constantly checking Twitter feeds, intensely following someone’s social media profile—commonly called “stalking”—or spending hours on end posting and responding to comments.

A stronger sign of addiction is engagement with social media when doing so is dangerous, like while driving. At other times, like during a meeting or while at the movies, the behavior might be merely annoying to others, but it may indicate a problem.

“Am I Addicted to Social Media?”

If you’re wondering whether you’re addicted, ask yourself:
• Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media?
• Have you felt increasingly strong and more frequent urges to use social media?
• Do you get restless or bothered when unable to use social media?
• Have you tried, unsuccessfully, to reduce your use of social media?
• Do you use social media so much that it has negatively affected your work or studies?

Answering “yes” to only one or some of these questions doesn’t necessarily mean you’re addicted. But if you did to most or all of them, you should seriously consider whether an addiction exists.

What Can You Do?

If you want to cut down on your social media usage, small changes can go a long way. Turning off alert tones can reduce the urge to react immediately to them. You could also commit to allowing yourself to check or make yourself stay away at specific times, like during meals or while out with friends.

The most successful kind of treatment for stronger addiction seems to be cognitive behavioral therapy. However, as with many officially recognized diseases and disorders, there is no “quick fix” for addiction. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and sometimes help from a professional can give them the edge they need in overcoming addiction.

For more information on Social Media Addiction and how Ridgeview Ranch can help you, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

Building a Healthier You in 2019

Many people overlook the idea that good health is a lifestyle, not a resolution. Ridgeview Ranch offers some tips to help you achieve a healthier life.

Like millions of others, you started 2019 with a resolution to improve your health. Or maybe you already made some progress during 2018 and want to keep it up. Many people overlook the idea that good health is a lifestyle, not a resolution. It’s great to say you’re resolved to achieve good health, but you need to take action to reach your goals. Here are some tips to help you reach a healthier life.

 

Start Small and Build

We live in a culture of instant gratification, but building a healthy lifestyle is best done by making gradual changes. Start with small things like a 10-minute light workout in your living room or a walk around the block right after you get home. When small changes become habitual, you can increase the intensity and time you spend.

 

Keep A Balanced Diet (Not a Strict One)

It’s common for people to go into a new year determined to keep a strict diet. However, they’re often setting themselves up for failure. Eating becomes like a chore instead of one of the pleasures that life offers us.

A balanced diet is key to healthy living and leaves room for enjoyment. Whether you actually love veggies or just want to sink your teeth into some meat once in a while, all the options are still on the table. Concern yourself instead with how you balance your diet. Eat meat less often but make sure it’s good quality. Choose fresh vegetables that contain more nutrients than canned or frozen. It’s also easier to ease back into a balanced diet when you do find yourself slipping.

 

Sleep Tight

When people think of health, they usually think of eating and exercising. Sleep is equally important. The amount of sleep you get affects how you think and act, and how your body responds to exercise. Ongoing sleep deficiency also increases your risk for chronic health problems. Make sure you get roughly the recommended 8 hours every night.

 

The Triangle of Health

Think of a healthy lifestyle as a triangle, which is the strongest shape. When all 3 sides (diet, exercise, and sleep) are equally balanced, your health is in strong shape. Pay attention to each of them while you go through the year, and we hope you’ll see the results you imagined when you made up your mind to live a healthier 2019!

For more information on Building a Healthier You in 2019, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

How Technology Addiction Affects Families

When most people think about addiction, they think about addiction to drugs or alcohol, or maybe prescription medication. But there is another kind of addiction that is perhaps even more common, and with harmful effects that might be harder to notice: social media and technology addiction.

We’ve all experienced it, the sudden realization that everyone gathered for family time in a living room or surrounded by friends at a restaurant table is actually glued to their smartphone. What seems like a few harmless minutes of scrolling adds up, and people who install “average screen time” monitors on their devices are often astounded at the results. Studies show that mindlessly scrolling through social apps actually makes us unhappy, and yet we continue to waste time looking at social media platforms on our devices instead of spending time on the tasks, work, hobbies, passions, and relationships that we truly want to give energy and attention to.

The scary thing about this addiction is that it is seeping into the daily – and nightly – routines of children at an alarming rate. Almost a quarter of children surveyed in a report by the BBC were online more than their parents.

Consider the impact our technology and social media addictions have on children. According to the BBC, 43% of parents surveyed across Europe were concerned that their children’s gadget use habits had negative effects, and yet many admitted that they set a bad example themselves.

Negative effects of social media discussed in the survey included a decline in both social skills and mental health due to excessive technology use.

Many parents in the survey responded that they weren’t sure how to deal with technology or social media addiction in their families. The BBC put together the following tips for how parents can respond to the technology use of their children in a healthy way:

  • Set house rules such as screen time limits, and what children are allowed to view
  • Talk to children about what they do and see online
  • Encourage them to communicate with friends in online social spaces
  • Teach children to think before they click
  • Use tech tools to limit how much inappropriate content they see
  • Discuss the risks of posting private data, images, and videos to social networks
  • Be a good role model

The scary thing about this addiction is that it is seeping into the daily – and nightly – routines of children at an alarming rate. Almost a quarter of children surveyed in a report by the BBC were online more than their parents. Ridgeview Ranch is here to help. Speak with the experts today!

It seems that when children are concerned, the impetus is on parents to set a healthy example. FastCompany suggests a few ways to curb a harmful habit that can easily spiral out of control:

  • Delete social media or other “time waster” apps from your phone
  • Use apps like Flipd to block addictive apps during certain times of the day
  • Ask your friends to hide your phone for periods of time
  • Consider switching to a non-smartphone (23% of Americans are currently paving the way!)

Think about it – when people talk about the harmful effects of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or medications, the common themes include: decrease in productivity, disconnect with loved ones, a negative example to children, and unhealthy mental health effects. Addiction to social media and technology yield the same results! Let’s work together to call it out as a real addiction and transform our habits and our families!

For more information on addiction recovery, call 877-526-7706 or visit ridgeviewranchca.org

How Your Environment Can Help or Hinder Your Road to Recovery

Environment plays a huge factor in developing addictions or substance abuse habits, as Adi Jaffe Ph.D. explains in Psychology Today. Environments also play a big factor in how successfully you can recover.

As Dr. Jaffe explains, there are several important factors in your environment that can make addiction more or less likely: Family, Peers, Work/School, and Community. If people close to you have or foster an addiction problem, you are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

Likewise, if you are on or want to be on a pathway to recovering from addiction, your environment is equally critical. If you remain around people who are still struggling from addictions or are using the substances you’re trying to break free from, you will have a much harder time staying on track in your recovery. And people are not the only factor. Physical aspects such as places or even rooms in your house can trigger challenges in your recovery.

If you are on or want to be on a pathway to recovering from addiction, your environment is equally critical. If you remain around people who are still struggling from addictions or are using the substances you’re trying to break free from, you will have a much harder time staying on track in your recovery. And people are not the only factor. Physical aspects such as places or even rooms in your house can trigger challenges in your recovery.

The importance of a healthy environment is one reason why a recovery program like Ridgeview Ranch is life-changing. By going to a recovery facility, you are giving yourself the freedom to be fully present in an environment completely dedicated to your wellbeing and recovery.

Wherever you are in your recovery journey, your environment and the people around you make a difference! Recently, Ridgeview Ranch’s Program Manager, Denise Maupin, was honored and recognized at the Long Beach Recovery Awards Ceremony. Ms. Maupin received awards and certificates from the City of Long Beach, Office of the City Council, Sixth District, the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, and the State of California Senate for her awesome service and dedication to the Recovery Community.

What makes her so successful in changing people’s lives? Ms. Maupin has gone through years of personal recovery and understands what it takes to sustain and maintain sobriety. For that reason, she is dedicated to helping individuals heal and recover from substance abuse in all aspects of life. She goes the extra mile to help individuals achieve healing mentally, emotionally and physically. We’re proud of Ms. Maupin for so tangibly showing our community what it means to make a difference.

Ms. Maupin and the entire team here at Ridgeview Ranch are dedicated to creating an environment that is judgment-free and conducive to recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, we encourage you to find out more about a community who cares and an environment that can help! Call 877-526-7706, or visit ridgeviewranchca.org