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Harbor Hall Alumni Weekend Success!

Harbor Hall Alumni Weekend Success!

Article by Ken Van Every, BA, Resident Life & Continuing Care Coordinator

The first Harbor Hall Alumni Reunion was held on September 1, 2018 and what a way to begin National Recovery Month but at Camp Daggett located on the shores of beautiful Walloon Lake and some amazing Harbor Hall Alumnus.

22-300x200 Harbor Hall Alumni Weekend Success!Many alumni with their families came out to re-connect and share their stories of recovery, their strengths, hopes and dreams. As Mike F. from Boyne City said “It was great to see everyone at Camp Daggett!! It was even better to see all the smiles and joy on all the faces!! Hopefully see more people next year. Thank you, Harbor Hall, for showing me that the grass can be greener!! Love you all!!” And Matt K. from Harrison “Such a blessed day. Sorely needed, words can’t explain how great it was seeing everyone!! Thank you, Heavenly Father!! #Grateful”, and Edward S. from Jackson “I just want to take a minute and say thank you to each and every one that made it out this weekend!!! Let’s keep this going guys it was amazing and enjoyed every second!!” And Joshua C. from Traverse City “It was so amazing to see everyone. It was a joy and brought tears to my eyes to spend time with everyone and all of Harbor Hall staff. Thank you, Harbor Hall, for giving me the gift of life and love again. Love every single one of you. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. See you all next year.”

Clensing-267x300 Harbor Hall Alumni Weekend Success!The day started with an open ceremony which first included members of The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians performing a cleansing with smoke ceremony and ceremonial drumming and singing. Dan Thompson Spiritual Director at the Hall delivering an invocation prayer, followed by Pat McGinn with opening remarks.

After the open remarks each alumnus came up to the stage to receive a Harbor Hall Alumni medallion, introduce themselves, where they were from and what they were grateful for. So, the opening ceremony was incredible and went as planned and I love it when a plan comes together.

The rest of the day was spent socializing, swimming, pontoon boat rides, games and dining on great food provided by Burnt Offerings from Petoskey.

In the evening a live Rockin Recovery concert was perform by Toby Jones from Harbor Springs. And finally, the evening ended with an open talk meeting around the campfire. A great time was had by all. Plans for next year’s reunion are already in the works.

38-232x300 Harbor Hall Alumni Weekend Success!A special thank you goes out to the Harbor Hall Foundation for providing support and Camp Daggett for providing the venue. Other contributors from the surrounding area were: Holiday Inn Express, Apple Tree Inn of Petoskey, Snippets of Time Photography, Reusch Jewelers, Sky’s the Limit Florist, Northern Michigan Artist Market, Grain Train, Charlevoix City Golf Course, Whippoorwill, Family Video, City Park Grill/Palette Bistro, Cutler’s, Great Lakes Gourmet, Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts, Morning Star Jewelry, Meyer ACE Hardware, Mighty Fine Pizza, Craig Ryan, David’s Place, County Emmet Celtic Shop, Roast and Toast, and McLean & Eakin Boksellers.

 

Harbor Hall’s Healthy Kitchen!

Article By: Jan Barlow, RN

Harbor Hall provides healthy food options for residential clients in recovery.

Many of us have watched episodes of HELL’S KITCHEN where Gordon Ramsey oversees a group of chefs battling it out in the kitchen in a high pressure competition. They have nothing on our Harbor Hall Chef Todd Bradley and his Sous Chef Chris Hahn as they take on the challenge of cooking healthy and creative meals every day for our residential clients in recovery in Harbor Halls’  HEALTHY KITCHEN!

healthy-Communities Harbor Hall's Healthy Kitchen!Last winter I heard that there was a “Building Healthy Communities” Grant Program focusing on local facilities using commercial kitchens to prepare meals “en masse” daily. I inquired about the grant and Harbor Hall was selected to participate in the program. Together Todd, Chris and I worked with Judi Marlin from the BHC program and we devised a plan. Our focus was on reviewing the existing menu and seeing where we could make changes to reduce sodium and sugar, increase fresh selections of fruits and veggies, promote healthy snacks and offer a variety of protein choices. Along with making some dietary changes, we found that we could use the grant money to purchase durable and quality commercial grade equipment to help us achieve our goals.

After developing our plan, we submitted our proposal and it was well received and approved. At the end of August we received a check for $2,500.00! Todd was able to order many items which will help us reach our goals. We have been so excited to receive and admire our newly acquired purchases.

Some of our purchases include:

  • A commercial juicer for processing fresh or frozen fruits for healthy smoothies.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Slicers and Wedgers.
  • 5 gallon water dispensers with infusers enabling us to add lemons, limes, cucumbers to our water encouraging our clients to increase their water intake.
  • Extreme 31/2 HP 64oz. Commercial Blender.
  • Carnival King Popcorn Cart. A healthy snacking option with seasoning and flavoring recipes that offer an alternative to butter and salt.
  • Misc. Assorted Food Storage Containers.

The importance of healthy eating and substance abuse recovery.

healthy_KEN2357-300x200 Harbor Hall's Healthy Kitchen!Each day our clients are learning about living in their recovery. As bodies and minds heal and come back into balance, we stress the importance of choosing wisely in all areas of our lives, including healthier food choices. This is an important piece to restoring health and vitality to their lives.

It is fun to watch guys taste hummus for the first time, or try a smoothie that may contain spinach, but disguised alongside a banana or frozen strawberries.

I think I will go fill my water bottle with some lemon infused water, or join the guys with some popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or dark chocolate and sea salt as we sit and talk about how good life can be when we live in recovery.

Here is to Healthy Kitchens!

Alumni Reunion Kicks off National Recovery Month

The first annual Harbor Hall Alumni Reunion will be held on September 1, 2018 at Camp Daggett on the beautiful shores of Walloon Lake.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. Friday evening. With a variety of events planned over the course of the weekend, alumni, friends and family will celebrate recovery while sharing their support and stories of healing and hope. Camp Daggett has graciously offered their facilities to help make this event a success.

“We have been a long-time partner with Camp Daggett and we are very grateful for their generosity for the use of the camp for this wonderful event.” Said Pat McGinn, Harbor Hall CEO. “I also want to thank the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (LTBB). Harbor Hall has always worked closely with the LTBB and we are grateful for their support of our organization.” Continued McGinn. The LTBB will perform a drum ceremony during a smoke cleansing of the grounds at Camp Daggett.

Camp-Daggett-Ropes-300x116 Alumni Reunion Kicks off National Recovery Month

CAMP DAGGETT ADVENTURE CENTER Recreation is a key component to the treatment program at Harbor Hall. We are fortunate to have such great community partners who help facilitate these opportunities in Northern Michigan. Additionally, the residents of Harbor Hall donate their time to many of these organizations, including Camp Daggett, as their community service.

Food truck vendor, Burnt Offerings, will be providing food for all with live music being performed by Toby Jones. Traditional camp activities will be available through the day, such as swimming or kayaking. The evening will be spent around the campfire, listening to several Harbor Hall alumni share their Experience, Strength and Hope through recovery.

“Harbor Hall has received so much from the surrounding communities and as always, we are eager in giving back.  Camp Daggett has given the alumni of Harbor Hall an opportunity for our first ever reunion, first of many we will have to celebrate recovery, sharing our experiences, strengths and hopes.  I just want to thank everyone who has contributed and volunteered to make this an event that will leave lasting memories, it will be incredible.” Ken Van Every, Continuing Care Coordinator.

An Event to Celebrate Recovery

The alumni reunion event coincides with the beginning of Recovery Month on September 1, a national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The month-long observance raises awareness of mental and substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. The theme for Recovery Month 2018 is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.

This year, the Recovery Month theme explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders.

“We are thrilled that we are able to kick off Recovery Month with this very special event.  We want the community to know that treatment works and recovery from substance use disorders is real.  The voices of recovery need to be heard. Stay tuned for other events that promote recovery month in September.” notes McGinn.

For more information on this event, call Ken VanEvery at (231)347-5511.

Thank you to all who have helped make this reunion possible.

Harbor Hall wishes to acknowledge the following support from area businesses and organizations who have donated money, goods and services to support this reunion: Harbor Hall Foundation, Camp Daggett, Toby Jones Music, Snippets of Time Photography, Reusch Jewelers, Flowers From Sky’s the Limit, Northern Michigan Artist Market, Grain Train, Charlevoix City Golf Course, Whippoorwill, Family Video , City Park Grill/Palette Bistro, Cutler’s, Great Lakes Gourmet, Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts, Morning Star Jewelry, Meyer ACE Hardware, Mighty Fine Pizza, Craig Ryan, David’s Place, County Emmet Celtic Shop , Roast and Toast, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Hamilton Hair Salon.

Motivation to Change

Addressing each individual’s needs to develop a life that is free from substance misuse.

Article by: Chief Executive Officer – Patrick McGinn – MS, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M

NeedsPyramid-300x212 Motivation to ChangeWhenever I am talking about motivation to change, my first thought goes back to PSYC 101 and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Dr. Abraham Maslow first described this model in 1954. It is still, to this day, considered to be a masterpiece in any discussion about motivation and change. Because of the simplicity of the model in explaining motivation it is a useful tool to begin to understand why we do some of the things we do, and how they play a role in substance misuse.

Maslow proposed a five level hierarchy of needs as the basis of his theory on motivation. The hierarchy of needs begins with physiological need, then progresses in sequence through safety need, belonging need, esteem need and self-actualization need. According to this hierarchical structure, the lower-level need has to be largely satisfied and its impact on behavior diminished before the person transitions to the next level.

Physiological Needs.

This is described as the most basic of needs, satisfying for the relief of thirst, hunger, and physical drives.

Safety Needs.

The need to be free from harm or danger, to have a secure and predictable daily life.

Love or Belonging Needs.

Beyond the needs of survival are the desires for nurturing, acceptance, respect, and caring relationships.

Esteem Needs.

Mental/emotional well-being, built on the perception of oneself as worthy and recognized by others, to be appreciated.

Last but not least….

Self-Actualization Needs.

Defined as the individual ability to recognize and develop capabilities to realize one’s fullest potentials.

Creating an environment to foster the motivation to change.

At Harbor Hall we believe that by addressing the individual needs as described above, the individual is more motivated to develop a life that is free from substance misuse. Our professional staff go all-out to make the facility comfortable, clean, and safe.

Our clients are well-nourished, there is opportunity for exercise and all physical needs are examined and addressed. Once the physical and safety needs taken care of, the residents and staff can concentrate and focus on the harder issues of therapy. Residents are assigned to a primary group. The treatment milieu is highly structured 24/7 and the residents are in primary and big groups participating in all activities together. A very strong emphasis is placed on connection with one another and a sense of comradery and kinship is developed.

Together residents work on anger, communication, conflict resolution, and other topics that support the attainment of belonging and being a part of. As a natural result to this process, esteem builds, spiritual concepts develop and residents being to gain confidence in their own abilities to address life situations. By the time a resident is discharged from treatment and they have responded well to the treatment process, they will be well on their way to recognizing their own unique potential and at the beginning of making plans to be successful in their life.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
– C.S. Lewis

Another Day, Another Overdose, but There is Hope.

Overdose deaths in Michigan: What is causing them and what is being done about it.

Article by: Chief Executive Officer – Patrick McGinn – MS, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M

Dark Times

I woke up this morning, turned on the news and discovered that yet again another person has been taken due to an overdose.  I can only assume that this is an opiate type overdose, as that seems to be happening more and more each day.  This past week alone there has been four overdose deaths that I am aware of in Northern Michigan alone.  This is very alarming and leaves me with the question of what is next?

Last week a past resident of Harbor Hall made a post on our alumni Facebook page.  The post was very inspirational and uplifting.  This person stated that he was utilizing all of the tools, was going to meetings and had made excellent connections in the recovery community.  Two days later he was found passed out in the bathroom of his place of employment.  Narcan was administered but he was not revived.  He was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

As I was writing my comments about the recent overdoses, I received a letter from a mother of a past Harbor Hall resident.  In this letter she stated that her son had gained so much and understood what he needed to do to maintain a sober/clean life.  When he left Harbor Hall he was happy, confident and strong.  He had made tremendous growth.  When he returned home he did not continue to actively work on his recovery.  In January he overdosed and passed away.  This mother stated that she has now lost two loved ones to the addiction and her daughter is in recovery today.  I can only imagine the pain that this family is suffering as the result of addiction.

A Deadly Drug

I need to say something about the drug fentanyl as I believe that the recent deaths are related to it.  According to the DEA Resource Guide on Drugs of Abuse (2017 ed).   Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug that is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. This drug has been around since about 1959.  Over the past several years there has been a reemergence of trafficking, distribution and abuse of illicitly produced fentanyl.  This has been associated with the dramatic increase of over dose fatalities.  Fentanyl can be injected, snorted, smoked, taken orally, put on blotter paper.  Illicitly produced fentanyl is sold alone or in combination with other substances like heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine and has also been identified in counterfeit pills, mimicking pharmaceutical drugs such as oxycodone. Overdose may result in stupor, changes in pupillary size, cold and clammy skin, cyanosis, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The presence of triad of symptoms such as coma, pinpoint pupils, and respiratory depression are strongly suggestive of opioid poisoning.

overdose-300x218 Another Day, Another Overdose, but There is Hope.

Battling Addiction

The disease of addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful.  I have been in the addictions field for over 30 years now and I struggle to understand what the key is to a successful recovery.  There are a wide variety of solutions.  Some say that the 12 step program is the way, others may say it is church and others suggest that cognitive solutions are best.  In his book “Slaying the Dragon” (2014),  William White describes five models of treatment:

  1. The medical model that emphasizes genetics and neurobiological roots to addiction.
  2. Psychiatric model which views addictive behavior as self-medication of emotional distress or psychiatric illness.
  3. Psychological model viewing substance-related problems as consequences of maladaptive learning.
  4. Sociocultural model viewing substance related problems as consequences of a dysfunctional family, or peer socialization.
  5. Spiritual model that views these problems as the result of failed searching for meaning and purpose in one’s life.

I believe, as William White, that they are all true to one extent or another.  Treatment interventions need to be designed to address all aspects of self.

Treatment Success is Different for Every Individual

At Harbor Hall we use our PIES model: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual.  However, when it comes to treatment, we could have the best approach in the world but the individual still needs to make a heart-felt, personal decision to do something different.  Without that personal decision there is no amount of knowledge that will keep a person sober.  Also with the decision is commitment, “are you willing to do what ever it takes to remain clean and sober?”  This is an internal process, there is new learning involved but the process cannot be taught forced by external entities.

Recovery is Like Learning to Ride a Bike… Backwards

The video below is The Backwards Brain Bicycle.  It is about 7 minutes long and it is worth watching.  In recovery treatment, we ask the individual to change every aspect of themselves and to remain that way – essentially re-wiring their brains so that new, pathways are created that support healthy habits.  This video demonstrates how longs it takes for an adult to learn something new, and how easy it is to relapse.

In recovery, we say practice, practice, practice and you will get it.  Then one day something clicks in the individuals brain and we begin to see a change from the old behaviors to new.  When an individual stops, or is inconsistent in his or her recovery process, the return to old behavior or old learning happens very fast.  As in the video, what took eight months to unlearn how to ride a normal bicycle (learning a new habit), took less than an hour to revert to riding the bike the “normal” way (old habits). This scenario rings true about addiction treatment and an individuals ability to change through a process called neuroplasticity. I touched on this a little in a blog post about stigma.

So what does this have to do with keeping people from dying? Quite a bit actually but this is a very complicated problem.

It’s about Saving Lives

cd63c614-9b08-435a-89fe-534cbcda0a10-large16x9_ImportedfromLakana-300x169 Another Day, Another Overdose, but There is Hope.I would be remiss if I did not say something about Naloxone or NARCAN.  Naloxone is a prescription medicine that is used to reverse an opioid overdose and can be administered by injection or nasal spray. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/opioid-overdose-reversal-naloxone-narcan-evzio

Naloxone is safe and effective and has been used by medical professionals for decades.  Opioids can slow or stop a person’s breathing and Naloxone helps the person wake up and continue breathing.  Naloxone is a tool that can save lives.  Pharmacist are being asked to educate people on how to administer and there is an effort to make NARCAN available without a prescription. (Photo: http://upnorthlive.com/news/local/ludington-man-saved-by-overdose-reversal-drug)

Michigan’s Good Samaritan Law

This relatively new, perhaps little known law states that during a drug overdose, a quick response can save a life. However, people illegally using drugs sometimes fail to seek medical attention during an overdose for fear of alerting the police to their illegal drug use.  In order to prioritize saving lives, Michigan passed a Good Samaritan law in 2016.  Michigan’s Good Samaritan law prevents drug possession charges being filed against those that seek medical assistance for an overdose in certain circumstances. This law makes saving lives the priority during a drug overdose, not criminal prosecutions of illegal drug users.

I implore all of us to be vigilant.  This problem effects all of us.  Some more directly than others but it certainly impacts our community as a whole. I do not want to see any more people dying.  I believe that the solutions needs to involve all of us.

Peace

Butler Center for Research Articles

Below are two excellent fact sheets to understand some of the research and trends in this ongoing opioid crisis.

Prescription Rates of Opioid Analgesics in Medical Treatment Settings

Prescription Opioids and Dependance

Reflections in recovery during the holiday season.

By: Chief Executive Officer – Patrick McGinn – MS, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M

Harbor-hall-Holiday-_new-e1514126177564-300x262 Reflections in recovery during the holiday season.The holidays are a very stressful time of year for most people, especially for those who are in recovery. The hustle and bustle of the season can create great expectations and feelings of hope, however, the holiday season may also bring feelings of loneliness, frustration, regret, and fear.  For many, the ghosts of Christmas past intertwine with the present.

Yesterday I made a few comments to the residents of Harbor Hall as we go into a long weekend of Christmas. In my comments I noted that we all watch for the person who is isolating, struggling, or just being very quiet.  One client shared that he had not seen his daughter in many years and this brings up strong emotions in him. Another stated that a loved one passed away, another stated that Christmas meant depression.  We want to make sure that those of us that are suffering this session are not alone.

Love is the answer.

Surround each other with love.  We want to make sure that we don’t exclude anyone among our family.  At the same time, it is important for the person in recovery to make new traditions that do not include alcohol or drugs. Practice prayer and meditations, volunteering our time to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, shoveling the driveway or walkway for someone or just being a servant to others with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

All of us at Harbor Hall wish everyone a safe, sober, love filled holiday season.

Talking and Listening

20171122_103634-300x225 Talking and Listening

Recently, the CEO of Harbor Hall, Pat McGinn had an opportunity to record a podcast with the News-Review Podcast. So much more can be conveyed about our organization through the spoken word to an active listener. We are grateful for the chance to tell our story and share our mission. A big thanks to Matt Mikus who facilitated this for us, and for asking some really great questions about our organization.

Photo: Harbor Hall CEO, Pat McGinn (right) during a recent recording of a podcast with Matt Mikus (left) from the News-Review.

Harbor Hall Joins Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network

PCN-Member-LOGO-300x86 Harbor Hall Joins Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care NetworkPetoskey, Mich. (Nov. 16, 2017) – The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation welcomes Harbor Hall Inc. as the newest member of its innovative Patient Care Network.

“Our Patient Care Network allows us to team up with other leading-edge health care providers like Harbor Hall to help more people and better meet the needs of today’s changing health care world,” said Bob Poznanovich, executive director of business development and community outreach for the national nonprofit addiction treatment provider Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. “It takes the best of what we do and who we are and shares it with like-minded organizations that have the same philosophy and commitment to treating patients and improving outcomes.”

Pat McGinn, CEO of Harbor Hall notes, “The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is the gold standard for addiction recovery. We are grateful for this important opportunity to join the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network, which will allow us to build upon what we already do and give us more tools to confront addiction in the state of Michigan.”

“Although our organizations differ in size and scope, our mission and clinical practices have philosophically aligned for years,” continued McGinn. “We view this new alliance as validation of our high-quality care for our patients. Being a part of the Patient Care Network, we have an opportunity to connect more people to addiction recovery services and support systems in the state of Michigan.”

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has mobilized its entire organization to confront the opioid crisis across the country. Part of that effort is building collaborative partnerships like this with providers and health care systems to expand the reach of its “COR-12” – Comprehensive Opioid Response with the Twelve Steps – opioid addiction treatment programming.

Last week, McGinn and key leaders of Harbor Hall, including Medical Director Dr. Guy Golembiewski, joined a COR-12 leadership training at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s headquarters in Center City, Minn.

“The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has a long history and culture of knowledge-sharing with individuals and organizations,” said Poznanovich. “Leading healthcare organizations like Harbor Hall that share our philosophy and pursuit of excellence are perfect partners for us as we work together to implement the strategies and systems needed to address this most pervasive of health conditions.”

“This exciting new affiliation with Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a direct result of the dedication and compassion of our Harbor Hall staff. The Patient Care Network provides the support and clinical tools needed for proactive care for our community,” said Harbor Hall Board President Larry Rochon. “It is an honor that Harbor Hall was selected by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. We look forward to sharing experiences, strengths and hope among colleagues and residents throughout Michigan.”

Harbor Hall Foundation Board President Tim Kepford added, “The Harbor Hall Foundation embraces the relationship with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Harbor Hall has proven itself as a first-class treatment facility and the association with Hazelden is evidence that Northern Michigan has the finest substance use treatment venue available. Harbor Hall is a real treasure and one that makes our community a better place.”

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation launched its Patient Care Network – the first of its kind in the addiction treatment industry – this fall. Members gain access to tools, resources and collaborative consultation for their organization’s leadership, staff, patients, families and communities. The initiative has been especially timely given the added pressures that the nation’s opioid crisis is placing on individuals, families and communities. To learn more, visit www.hazeldenbettyford.org/professionals/patient-care-network.

About Harbor Hall
For over 43 years, Harbor Hall has served individuals who are struggling with addiction. Treatment programs offered include withdrawal management, residential and transitional living for men, as well as an array of outpatient services for men, women and adolescents. Accredited by CARF International, Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, Recovery Centers of Michigan and a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, Harbor Hall operates with a passion for helping individuals and their families start on the path to recovery from substance use disorders.  The Harbor Hall Foundation was established in 1978 for the exclusive purpose of raising funds so that Harbor Hall treatment centers have sufficient financial resources. If you would like more information about Harbor Hall Inc., please visit www.harborhall.com. For information about the Harbor Hall Foundation, please visit www.harborhallfoundation.org.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is the nation’s leading nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 17 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care to help youth and adults reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children’s program, and is the nation’s leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery. Learn more at HazeldenBettyFord.org and on Twitter at @hazldnbettyford.

 

Media Contacts:
Jeremiah Gardner, 651.213.4231, jjgardner@hazeldenbettyford.org

Catherine Sommerfeldt, 231-347-5511, hhmarketing@harborhall.com

Why is prescription drug abuse so dangerous?

stylefinest.co-1-200x300 Why is prescription drug abuse so dangerous?Prescription painkillers are powerful drugs.  They interfere with the transmission of nerve signals that perceive pain.  They also produce a euphoric effect that is associated with a “high” feeling.  The most powerful of these prescription drugs are called opioids.  Some common names of prescription opioids are Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Oxycontin,  Lorcet, Lortab, Percocet, Vicodin.  They are all narcotics and highly addictive.

Use of prescription painkillers can lead to physical dependence (addiction).  The body adapts to the presence of the chemical and if a person stops taking the drug abruptly, withdrawal symptoms occur.  Additionally, the body can build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning that it takes more of the chemical to achieve the desired effects.  Many heroin users didn’t start with heroin, their addiction journey started with prescription narcotics.  More often than not, a person addicted to prescription opiates switch to heroin because heroin is cheaper and easier to get.  Last year at Harbor Hall 37.34% of admissions identified Prescription Opiates as the primary drug of choice with 12.65% Heroin as the primary drug of choice.  Alcohol fell to number 2 for the first time ever at 37% of all admissions.

Some common misconceptions about prescription opiates:

Myth: “These drugs are “safe and OK to use, because a doctor prescribes them.”

Fact:  There are regulations that controls who can prescribe these drugs and when.  The reason is to protect the public because they are not always safe to use.

Myth: “They helped my friend’s pain. There is nothing wrong with me borrowing a few to help my pain.”

Fact:  By sharing a medication prescribed for someone else, you may actually be worsening a health condition.  Also, it is illegal to take medications prescribed for someone else.

Myth: “It’s no big deal.”

Fact: It is important to know that even a single use can be dangerous.  Use can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

Myth:  “If a little bit helps make me feel good than more will make me feel even better.”

Fact:  The physician prescribes the right amount to help you.  Taking more can increase the potential for side effects and can be dangerous even deadly.

The bottom line is that prescription opiate addiction is rising at an alarming rate.

If you have prescription narcotics in your home, there are some common sense things that you can do to keep them safe:

  1.  Always keep your prescription narcotics under lock and key.
  2.  Do not keep them where children and teens can get at them.
  3. Talk to your teens about prescription drug abuse.

Why Giving Back to the Community is Important

 From the Desk of the CEO, Patrick McGinn, MS, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M

“We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.” Sir Winston Churchill

We-also-acknowledge-the-sacrifices-made-for-some-teams-to-300x251 Why Giving Back to the Community is ImportantRecovery is about new opportunities, to discover one’s true potential.  Residents at Harbor Hall often have questions concerning how to connect, fit-in and contribute to self and others.  Part of the recovery program at harbor Hall is to provide opportunities to become involved in some manner. Being involved may include doing tasks such as house chores, volunteering in the community or seeking paid work.  Through our treatment program, the residents gain a sense of pride, self-worth and accountability that may have been lost in active addiction.  Our clients learn that they DO have something to contribute and that their contributions matter. Learning this and engaging in the community is all part of effectively managing one’s life in recovery.

Local Impact of Service Work

The residents of Harbor Hall have been actively involved in the local community for as long as I have been at Harbor Hall, over 18 years.  They are taught that service and servant-hood are key ingredients in living a life in recovery and obtaining sobriety.

Here is a list of how the Harbor Hall residents are taught to give back.  This list is in no particular order of importance.  Below is a list of community partners and service work where the residents of Harbor Hall regularly give of themselves:

  • Women’s Resource Center: Gold Mine Resale Store
    • Two times a week, helping with the heavy lifting and moving of donated items.
  • Salvation Army
    • Two times a week working in the resale shop and bell ringing over the holidays.
  • Manna Food Project
    • Weekly volunteer opportunities.
  • Project Connect
    • Set up and tear down for the event.
  • Camp Daggett
    • Spring and fall clean-up and maple syrup cooking.
  • Speaking events at schools in Petoskey and Charlevoix.
  • Petoskey Chamber of Commerce
    • Volunteers for a variety of events like decorating downtown Petoskey for the Fall Harvest Festival.
  • Set up for several local AA/NA meetings in Petoskey.
  • Provide a great car wash every week during the warm months.
  • Maintain the Harbor Hall campus in pristine condition.

Why Giving Back is Important in Addiction Recovery

Most people in active addiction are takers.  They are self-centered and ego driven.  The actions above are all selfless, and help the recovery process by building a sense of community, self-worth, humility and recovery capitol.  It is critical that people in early recovery learn it is very important to serve their community.  The person in recovery greatly benefits from serving the community and individuals, as service brings about a new humbleness.  The action of giving brings about positive thinking and feeling for everyone, but most importantly for the person in recovery. Thoughts and feelings that were once driven by egos and self-centered behavior, are replaced with a positive sense of self, the ability to care for others, and the desire to serve.  I believe that the benefit to the community is apparent to each of the above actions.  Thank you to all who have participated in these events and for your support of our mission.

“For it is in giving that we receive” – St. Francis of Assisi

 

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