Increased Chance of Employment for Women Who Attend All-Women Rehab

Posted on January 8, 2015 By
Increased Chance of Employment for Women Who Attend All-Women Rehab

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Getting treatment for substance abuse can be a difficult task, and afterwards many people are forced to re-establish some kind of home and professional life. For some an all-women’s rehab facility is the best bet for the most growth and effective assistance. According to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), women who receive treatment in gender-specific programs are more likely to be employed consistently for 12 months after treatment admission than women in more traditional treatment programs.

Not all treatment programs acknowledge how important an all-women’s facility can be for some peoples recovery, and for the most part those drug rehabilitation facilities that do recognize the gender-specific characteristics of drug use of women tend to only focus on:

  • Pregnant women who are actively using
  • Women who are mothers of small children
  • Female sex workers

However, research has determined that women of all ages and ethnicities regardless of their parental status exhibit decidedly different drug use catalysts, treatment needs and relapse patterns. These gender-specific issues are commonly overlooked in drug treatment centers that are not set up to provide unique support.

Gender Specific Issues

There are a number of issues that women who use drugs commonly face in addition to their addiction issues. These issues can also effect their ability to transition back into a professional and home life, being social, cultural and personal concerns that have the potential to be catalysts for their use or a cause of relapse if not properly dealt with. These issues include:

  • A partner who also has issues with substance use
  • Children who are dependent upon them
  • Problems at the beginning of treatment
  • Past sexual abuse
  • Past physical abuse
  • Psychiatric and mental disorders

Additionally, the NIDA report determined that women who complete a treatment program have much greater odds of being employed than women who do not complete their treatment program.

The NIDA study analyzed data that was collected from 5,109 women admitted to 13 mixed-gender intensive inpatient programs in Washington State. The research and information put together is particularly important since women with substance abuse disorders have frequently reported barriers to their future employment, which is commonly associated as a factor of most relapses.

All-women’s Rehab

Gender specific rehab for women is a unique and specialized rehabilitation program specifically designed for the needs and wants of women. Men and women, while they may suffer from the same disease of addiction and/or alcoholism, many times have different needs when it comes to a drug rehab approach.

Women often experience very important social, psychological and traumatic factors that can come into play while in drug rehab that can be specific to the gender, and that is why there is gender specific rehab for women. A more effective style of all-women’s rehab program is designed to address all these unique factors, while still not limiting the demographic.

Attending an all-women’s treatment facility creates for women an atmosphere where they can feel safe to be honest, to talk more about the more personal truths, and allows for recovery from traumatic events in a nurturing environment. In a space that is only women, drug rehab allows women who may have experienced traumas such as sexual assault, domestic violence, or childhood traumas to really work through their issues. Perhaps a key connection here is any work-place related trauma or stress then a woman may associate with active addiction.

Some women would be incapable of working through these traumatic events in order to develop more responsible habits in the company of men. That is why it is imperative for women to have a special and comfortable place they can go to in order to recover. Comfort for these kinds of break-through experiences is a top priority for those who intend to re-enter the workplace or find a new career after completing a treatment program.

The right foundation can be essential in order to establish a life and a career. Employment opportunities may change during treatment, but women who attend all-women facilities and complete programs on average have more opportunities that work best toward changing their lives. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588


Fast Food Affects More Than Just Your Waistline

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Fast Food Affects More Than Just Your Waistline

Fast Food Affects More Than Just Your Waistline

You might have seen a post shared on Facebook that McDonald’s is getting rid of their famous Big Mac, as well as other popular menu items like their apple pie and even the ability to ‘super-size’ your meal. While it’s true that this billion-dollar fast food staple has recently seen a downturn in profits, these rumors are simply untrue.

What is coming to light, however, is that eating fast food on the regular can be doing way more damage than what was initially thought – and observed in obvious fashion. Increased fast food intake is known to cause obesity and a whole slew of other physical health problems.

Fast Food Affects More Than Just Your Waistline

New research reveals that daily consumption of fast food not only causes obesity but hurts children’s academic performance, a new study suggests. A study, which was featured in SAGE Journal, found that students who ate fast food at least once a day had slower growth in math, reading, and science skills than their counterparts who didn’t eat fast food.

Researchers at Ohio State University used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a national survey of nearly 12,000 students, and asked students between fifth and eighth grade about their eating habits as part of an effort to compare the frequency of fast food eaten and academic gains made, if any, within a three-year span.

“High levels of fast food consumption were predictive of lower growth in all three academic subjects,” Kelly M. Purtell, the lead researcher, told The Huffington Post. “Fast food is really pervasive right now, and there are a lot of reasons why kids eat it and why families use it. Because of this, we have to think broadly about lots of different ways to make families not be reliant on fast food.”

And this is supported by past research, that started a couple of years ago in 2013; a report by Action for Healthy Kids, a public-private partnership of more than 50 organizations committed to promoting children’s health, showed that children who started their day with a nutritious breakfast and later engaged in an hour of physical activity increased their cognitive ability and improved their disposition toward school.

Fast Food Also Causes Deficits in Adults

The average American eats 79 pounds of added sweeteners every year along with 63 pounds of fat – to put that into perspective that comes out to almost a full stick of butter every day. With those habits, it doesn’t take long for damage to occur. “Negative changes in brain chemistry can occur after just a few weeks of unhealthy eating,” says Suzanne Craft, Ph.D., a professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Craft found that people who ate meals with high levels of sugar and saturated fat for as little as one month performed more poorly on memory tests. Not to mention that they were also 40% more likely to experience depression.

Researchers suspect that one of the most toxic effects of chronically consuming fast foods may be the suppression of a brain peptide called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is involved in memory formation and learning.

A toxic diet of mostly fast foods also causes a chemical reaction that promotes inflammation in the brain, which can damage cells and disrupt connections between neurons. This causes a loss of synaptic plasticity, meaning “you’re less able to make new neural connections, you’re less able to activate your memories, and you’re less able to focus,” says Ewan McNay, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University at Albany.

The Take-Away (if you will)

While sporadic eating of fast food doesn’t result in nutrient deficiency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that regularly consuming the high-salt, high-sugar meals often found in popular fast food franchises and corner stores causes memory loss and slow brain development in children. Those foods lack the nutrients essential for cognitive development – including calcium, iron, Vitamin C, and zinc – at a time when children and adolescents are developing the fastest.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to speak with an Addiction Specialist, day or night, who can answer your questions. We are here to help. Remember: you are not alone.

New Research Links the Ability to Forgive With Better Physical Ability

Posted on January 6, 2015 By

New Research Links the Ability to Forgive With Better Physical Ability

You may have heard various famous sayings about forgiveness. One, in particular, come to mind:

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I always figured that weak and strong in this quote were figurative; turns out that Gandhi might have been onto something more tangible when he said this.

Recently-published research suggests that we can actually bolster our physical strength by practicing forgiveness. This sort of ability comes in extra-handy as we age and start feeling the effects of time on our bodies:  hills appear to be steeper and distances seem longer than they once did.

A simple way to lessen this energy-sapping perception that everything feels that much more difficult, and one which allows us to access reserves of strength we didn’t know we had, is to think about someone who has wronged us and then forgive them.

Another quote about forgiveness of which I am quite fond and one that now has new meaning is this little gem:

“Forgiveness is not something we do for other people: we do it for ourselves – to get well and move on.” – Unknown

New Research Links the Ability to Forgive With Better Physical Ability

“The benefits of forgiveness may go beyond the constructive consequences that have been established in the psychological and health domains,” writes a research team led by Xue Zheng of Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management. “Our research shows that forgivers perceive a less daunting world, and perform better on challenging physical tasks.”

“A state of unforgiveness is like carrying a heavy burden—a burden that victims bring with them when they navigate the physical world,” they add. “Forgiveness can lighten this burden.”

The Studies

There were two different studies conducted. In the first one, half of the participants were asked to write about “a time when they were seriously offended by another person, and ultimately forgave them.” The other half wrote about a similar incident from their past, but one where they continued to hold a grudge toward the other person.

Afterwards, each person “walked individually to a predetermined point at the base of a nearby hill,” and estimated its steepness. Those who had forgiven the offender perceived the hill to be less steep than those who hadn’t forgiven the person from their past.

In the second study, one-third wrote about a time when they suffered harm but forgave the other person; one-third wrote about a similarly painful situation, but one where they had not forgiven the person who harmed them; and the last third wrote about a “recent interpersonal interaction” that did not involve forgiveness – a benign situation.

Afterwards, participants were asked to jump five times without bending their knees. The height of their jumps was recorded in centimeters.

The findings were as follows: there was no significant difference in jump height between those who forgave others and those who wrote about a benign situation. But, these two thirds jumped higher than the last third – the one in which the participants said they hadn’t forgiven the other person.

To the researchers, this suggests those who had failed to forgive felt weighed down, leading them “to jump less high than they otherwise would.”

Other Significances to Consider

Researchers said that, “Victims who are unable to reconcile with their offenders often feel a sense of powerlessness.” Therefore, forgiveness may lead to increased feelings of personal power, which then manifest themselves in greater physical strength.

Another thing to consider: lack of forgiveness “can increase rumination, which may decrease the availability of cognitive resources such as glucose that can otherwise be used to cope with physical challenges such a jumping or climbing a hill.”

Struggling with resentments and staying in victim mode will keep you from healing and growing. Substance abuse issues can often go hand-in-hand with these issues, making it that much harder to heal. If you or someone you love is struggling with drugs, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.

Wine Made from Tiger Bones Endangering the Species

Posted on January 5, 2015 By

Wine Made from Tiger Bones Endangering the Species

Have you ever wondered about the cost of some alcoholic drinks, and the prices being paid beyond the price-tag for some of these beverages to be made and marketed. In China, one recipe has been used for making an exotic and expensive wine for a long time, and one of the main ingredients is putting the tiger species in danger.

Last year, the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) took a closer look at the tiger trade in China, during which they had found that some companies are issued licenses to actually breed endangered animals, including the South China Tiger.

Tiger Bone Wine

Xiongshen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village in Guilin is one of the country’s largest tiger farms is a small town in southern China. Here there are reports of hundreds of tigers living in trifling enclosures and cages made of concrete and rusted metal.

Twice daily some of the animals are trained to perform a show, but the main attraction isn’t the shows. Instead it is a strong wine, tiger bone wine to be specific. Tiger bone wine is made when you take rice wine and soak tiger bones in the liquid, becoming more valuable the longer it has soaked. Some people think they should feel less guilty drinking wine… think again!

Sometimes this alcohol can be purchased in tiger-shaped bottles, and they are often referred to as healing tonics that promise to help cure numerous ailments, such as:

  • Rheumatism
  • Impotence

Tiger bone wine can actually be extremely expensive depending on the age. At Xiongshen Tiger and Bear Mountain Village prices are often as stated:

  • 3 year-old bottle typically sells for what would translate into $80 of American currency
  • 6 year-old bottle can be around $155
  • Vintage variety about $290

Most of these bottles list the key ingredient as:

“the bones of precious animals,”

That label means that these specific bottle contain a piece of tiger skeleton. The special bottles are often reserved for senior government officials, or even used as bribes for political favors.

Businesses that breed these animals were issued a notification by the Chinese government in 2005 that was designed to enable the pilot use of captive-bred tiger bone for medicine. In fact, traditional Chinese medicine outlines the uses for each component of a tiger. There are old traditional remedies can utilize every piece of a tigers body, even the whiskers.

That notification from Chinese government back in 2005 revitalized the tiger bone wine industry, and the drink was invigorated as an indulgence for the elite.

Don’t Drink Endangered Animals

Those who have invested in tiger bone wine production justify what they do by citing a loophole: They’re not actually selling tiger bones, so they are in the clear of the law. Now recorded as recently as 2011, large public auctions that feature exclusive sales of tiger bone wine still took place.

However over some time conservation groups publicly condemned the auctions, and the trade moved out of the auction room, but ironically to a much bigger platform- online.

The demand for tiger bone wine, combined with the trade in tiger pelts, has hugely diminished the population of an already endangered species. While there are some tiger farms like the one in Guilin that are meant to raise their own, it is cheaper to kill wild tigers than to raise captive-bred ones.

Because of the heavy price of this outrageously costly alcohol, poaching has become extremely lucrative across Asia, and plenty of damage has definitely been done. Today there are only 4,000 known wild tigers in existence! Another estimated 5,000 to 6,000 live on farms. That may sound like a lot, but considering that means there are probably just barely 10,000 in the entire world it seems very dismal a number before a species goes extinct.

Tiger bone wine is a pretty extremely example of some of the prices we pay for alcohol, but yet it is still a reality. While this may be completely irrelevant to some people struggling on an everyday basis because you can’t have tigers in your halfway house, it may present some kind of window into how humanity as a whole, and especially alcoholics, can be so selfish in order to drink the way we want to drink.

Now a beautiful species is in danger of being wiped off the face of the earth for the sake of some ‘mircale cure’ merlot.

Maybe no tigers died in the making of your drink or drug, but the point is that the choices we make involving our drinking and drugging can make bigger waves than we know sometimes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588

Is Successful Dieting Really Just Masking an Eating Disorder?

Posted on January 2, 2015 By
Is Successful Dieting Really Just Masking an Eating Disorder?

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Successful dieting means making healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and adding exercise to your daily routine, in order to achieve healthy personal goals.

But, sometimes, successful dieting isn’t the same thing as healthy dieting. And, in fact, it can do a good job at hiding a very serious health risk – that of an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa.

Take “Sophia,” for example. A 15-year-old who stood 5-foot, 4 inches and weighed 105 pounds; having a slender, athletic but not emaciated build, which wasn’t surprising given her enthusiasm for sports.

Sophia didn’t fit the description of what many would consider an anorexic. Yet, at Sophia’s annual physical, her pediatrician noticed the dramatic drop in weight; one that was inconsistent with what had been a steady incline on her age-progression growth and weight chart – something common to healthy, growing adolescents. Sophia, a high school sophomore, had lost 45 pounds with only about an inch increase in height over the span of one year, meaning that there wasn’t any extreme growth, such as a growth spurt, to justify such a major decrease in weight.

What Sophia’s doctor deduced from talking with her patient’s parents was alarming: Sophia had begun to restrict her diet to include only fruit and crackers. What’s more, the teen started off each day with a regimen of 200 sit-ups.

These two behaviors: restricting one’s food and over-exercising, just so happen to describe to a “T” the eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa.

Is Successful Dieting Really Just Masking an Eating Disorder?

It’s important to understand the pressures that teens face and that they are very much aware of issues such as the prevalence of childhood obesity. Therefore, eating disorders abound and can be camouflaged as “successful dieting.”

It’s important to understand that someone struggling with an eating disorder doesn’t necessarily look like they have an eating disorder.

Anorexia, a disease of self-starvation, is no longer diagnosed solely by being so underweight that it is a risk to health; it’s increasingly seen in adolescents of typical weight-for-their-height who used to be overweight. And, just like with the more typified anorexia, their condition can be fatal if they don’t re-establish healthier eating patterns.

It’s important to note that other eating disorders, such as bulimia, may be masked by successful dieting. While bulimia may result in less extreme weight loss, it has additional health risks due to binging and purging.

Bulimia occurs in about 4% of females. Binge eating disorder, as well as several other less common eating conditions, affects 4 to 6 percent of adolescents. Studies show that the fatality rate, which hovers around 5 percent, is about the same across the eating disorder spectrum.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, treatment is necessary to interrupt the unhealthy eating and exercise patterns. Eating disorders are a sign of a psychological disorder but help is available and therapy works. Please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588 to contact us at the Orchid Recovery Center, where women heal.