An intervention is a strategic way of confronting a person who needs help with their addiction and requesting that they receive treatment in order to recover. Intervention can be a very valuable first step for some individuals and families as it can help put everyone on the same page and sort through the emotions and consequences of substance abuse. You may even help save the life of a loved one who is struggling with addiction yet refuses to accept treatment.
If your loved one is in denial about his or her addiction- even though it’s apparent to everyone else that alcohol or drug abuse is causing negative consequences in his and others’ lives- an intervention may be the answer. Denial is a way of coping with traumatic events, feeling vulnerable, or threats to one’s sense of psychological well-being. But when it comes to chronic drug abuse and addiction, denial can lead to serious problems, including a worsening of the addiction.
Imagine going about your routine, whether taking a shower, using a comb or brush, or even running your fingers over your head and making the frightening discovery that your hair is falling out in clumps. There are very few moments as jarring as finding piles in your shower drain or on your hairbrush, only made worse when you tug your hair to test it, and it comes out in batches. But before your mind goes to the worst, it’s essential to take a step back and think about the current circumstances in your life and how you are processing and handling them (or not handling them). Your hair loss may be linked to a period of high stress or anxiety, and the good news is that this is manageable and reversible.
Kenny started his career working as a Clinical Dietitian in the acute care setting for two years. From there, he decided to branch out into the world of substance abuse and eating disorders, and has since worked the residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care as a Registered Dietitian. In addition to experience working in the clinical setting and multiple treatment centers, he has a passion for sports nutrition and extensive knowledge of dietary supplements.
What brought you to Destination Hope?
I worked in the restaurant business for 18 years, but I was always interested in the field of psychology. Throughout life I’ve been around people in recovery, and it always had a special place in my heart. I knew I eventually needed to make a change and follow my passion. I had loved ones in recovery and when I would go to the Family Programs and support them, I realized a lot of people don’t really understand addiction. They would think it was something so simple to change. I realized there needs to be more people in the world in this profession, so I applied as a behavioral health tech almost 5 years ago. I’ve loved it ever since. I love working with the clients on the ground, supporting them, making an impact in someone’s life. It was very fulfilling. I know this is where I’m meant to be. I became a Behavioral Health Tech Supervisor and now I’m the Director of Housing and manage all the techs and supervisors.
Vitamin D is an incredibly important nutrient both for our physical and mental health. Vitamin D is best known for allowing our bodies to absorb calcium, warding off brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life. However, there is growing and overwhelming body of evidence to show that vitamin D deficiency may also be a risk factor for mental health disorders including depression.
This interesting research is coupled with the fact that a vast majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Why? There are a few potential reasons for vitamin D deficiency, but the most significant is simply not getting outside in the sun enough. Our parents and grandparents often labored outside and as such received their daily dose of vitamin D with ease. Today, however, most of us have jobs at home or in an office where we are not exposed to natural light. Further, wintertime, in most parts of the United States, reduces the amount of available vitamin D simply because the sun is not as strong, and the sky is often overcast. Even skin color makes a difference – those with darker skin require more exposure to get the same amount of vitamin D. The use of sunscreen while critical in reducing the incidence of many skin cancers has also minimized our UV exposure and, by extension, the amount of Vitamin D our bodies can absorb through the skin.
We’ve all seen the image of the rolled-up dollar bill and a line of white powder disappearing through it. Whether in film, on TV, or in real life, the image is unmistakable – the cut line and the trail of cocaine. And though cocaine can be abused in its various forms, snorting it is perhaps the most recognizable. But the abuse of drugs by inhalation does not end with coke. Other commonly snorted drugs include Methamphetamine, Heroin, Opioids such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, and stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. However, more today than ever, many people who abuse drugs – especially prescription pain pills – have taken to crushing them into powder and then inhaling them through the nose, also called nasal insufflation.
What brought you to the field of addiction and mental health treatment?
I knew I wanted to do something in the behavioral health field after taking my first psychology class in high school. I was fascinated with the explanations for human behavior, and I took every psychology course offered when pursuing my undergraduate degree. I found the neurobiology behind human behavior and the symptoms experienced by individuals struggling with mental health diagnoses to be extremely interesting. I completed my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started my career as a therapist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
As an admissions counselor at Destination Hope, I am able to connect with individuals in a very vulnerable moment and offer support and encouragement to help them to feel at ease as they enter treatment. It can be a very emotional and anxiety-provoking process from the time they initially reached out to admit, through their journey (whether from near or far), to finally walking through the doors of DH and into our admission suite.
My colleagues and I recognize the importance of connecting with our clients from the initial meeting, validating where they are in their process and letting them know we are proud of the decision they have made and will be here to support them throughout their treatment.
Alcoholism counseling and its importance to the recovery process should not be underestimated. Alcoholism, while medically defined as a treatable disease, is incredibly difficult to overcome without proper help.
With the World Health Organization estimating an astounding 140 million alcoholics worldwide, it’s necessary to examine some common denominators about alcohol dependency as well as the benefits of alcoholism counseling in battling addiction.
Alcoholism counseling plays a key role in the recovery process because prolonged alcohol abuse can have a lasting negative effect on an addict’s body and mind. Common effects that alcoholics experience are the symptoms of withdrawal. Physical withdrawal occurs when a person with a physical dependency on a substance abstains from it for a period of time, whether it be voluntarily or not. Several common symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, tremors, vomiting, intense mood swings and increased anxiety and paranoia. Alcoholics often continue to drink to avoid the onset of these extremely unpleasant feelings.
Dr. Smith, addictionologist at Destination Hope, presents an informational session on the causes of addiction, who may be at risk, and what is needed to prevent relapse. Dr. Smith also shares his story of addiction and the common thoughts and behaviors of those seeking treatment for substance abuse.