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Predicting behavior Study finds alcohol changes the brain from the very first drink

Triggers that can be easily avoided

of student drug abuse

POSITIVE TRENDS NIDA ‘Future’ survey finds declining teen substance use

Safe ways to reduce binge drinking

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THE LOTUS FLOWER’S CHARACTERISTICS ARE A PERFECT ANALOGY FOR RECOVERY: GROWING FROM DIRTY AND MURKY WATER, IT EVENTUALLY REACHES THE SURFACE AND WITH THE SUN, BECOMES A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER. WE ALL COME FROM SOMEWHERE AND WITHOUT OUR PAST – WE WOULDN’T BE WHO WE ARE TODAY. RECOVERY CAN BE YOUR SUN – AND WILL HELP YOU ASPIRE AND GROW TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL!

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AT NEW HOPE RECOVERY CENTER , WE PROVIDE CLIENT-CENTERED, CULTURALLY COMPETENT, HOLISTIC TREATMENT UTILIZING EVIDENCED BASED PRACTICES IN ORDER TO ADDRESS AN INDIVIDUAL’S ADDICTION. WE RECOGNIZE THAT ADDICTION IS A DISEASE – CHRONIC AND PROGRESSIVE – WHICH DEEPLY IMPACTS NOT ONLY THE ADDICT BUT THE ENTIRE FAMILY SYSTEM AS WELL. WE STRIVE TO GUIDE EACH INDIVIDUAL, INCLUDING THEIR FAMILY, THROUGHOUT THE RECOVERY PROCESS WITH THE GOAL OF LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULL POTENTIAL – FREE FROM ADDICTION.

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Recommended Interventions to Reduce Binge Drinking

Binge drinking among emerging adults remains a major concern for parents, mental health professionals and college administrators since it is more common among those ages 18-34. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is considered 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more drinks for women, in about 2 hours. Those who are concerned about binge drinking have well-founded reasons given the serious consequences such as alcohol poisoning, injuries or death, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, violence, health problems, academic underachievement, mental health problems and more. The good news is that we can use evidence-based approaches to combat this problem. Research has shown that there are interventions that help emerging adults to reduce or to modify problematic drinking. The three interventions below are highly recommended.

The good news is that we can use evidence-based approaches to combat this problem.

1. Promote Online and In-Person Alcohol Screenings Emerging adults who are non-dependent, high-risk drinkers account for the majority of alcohol-related problems. Fortunately, screenings can help to identify problematic drinkers and get them connected with help. Emerging adults typically do not identify themselves as problematic drinkers. Therefore, easy-to-use alcohol screenings, especially for those with alcohol-related violations, are crucial for early detection and intervention. Here are two great resources: • ULifeline Online Self-Evaluator: The anonymous Self Evaluator allows students to learn if a treatable mental health problem could be affecting them or a friend. • National Alcohol Screening Day: This brief screening about alcohol use will help students get help if needed and referrals are tailored for their campus counseling center or health center. This event is held in April of every year.

This approach is helpful to those who have experienced, or are at risk for, alcohol-related problems such as poor class or job attendance, missed assignments, accidents, sexual assault, and violence.

2. Encourage Brief Intervention Counseling Lasting One to Four Sessions Emerging adults who drink in ways that are harmful or risky may respond better to brief interventions consisting of one to four sessions with a trained professional.This approach is helpful to those who have experienced, or are at risk for, alcohol-related problems such as poor class or job attendance, missed assignments, accidents, sexual assault, and violence. It is designed to help emerging adults to make better decisions around their use of alcohol by providing feedback on drinking behavior with an opportunity to discuss a plan for change. A popular evidence-based model that is used for college students is the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS). Parents may inquire about this screening at their child’s college counseling center. 3. Educate Emerging Adults to Dispel Myths about Alcohol Emerging adults often have skewed perceptions about alcohol. The lack of knowledge about how much others use, risks involved with using, ability to function under the influence, effects of alcohol and other misinformation places them at greater risk. A trained professional can use data to refute misconceptions and to guide emerging adults in alcohol-use decision-making based upon real facts. When emerging adults respond to situations from an informed place, they are empowered to more effectively handle decisions and situations involving alcohol. These recommendations offer an opportunity to identify problematic drinkers and to offer help. Through screenings, brief interventions and education, emerging adults can receive the support needed to reduce or to modify problematic drinking. In the event a higher level of care is needed to address alcohol usage or chemical dependency, please contact New Hope Recovery Center at 773.883.3916 for an assessment. We offer Intensive Outpatient treatment (IOP) services as well as Residential Day Treatment (RDT) for emerging adults in Chicago dealing with complications from drug and alcohol usage.

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NIDA ‘Future’ survey finds declining teen substance use

FORWARD MOVEMENT A recent survey of American middle and high-school students found that students’ use of most substances in 2015 continued its flat or downward trends of recent years—many dropping to the lowest levels in the history of the survey. These mostly positive results, gathered by University of Michigan for its annual Monitoring the Future survey, provide some cause for optimism about long-term trends, according to researchers. For example, fewer 12th graders than ever (17.2 percent) reported binge drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion in the past two weeks, and fewer than ever (37.7 percent) reported being drunk in the past year.The MTF has been conducted annually since 1975. Positive trends Teenage smoking has seen a downward trend year-over-year, according to the study. Among high school seniors, 5.5 percent reported daily cigarette smoking, down from 6.7 percent a year ago and 24.6 percent at its peak in 1997.This decline in cigarette use means that, for the first time, fewer seniors are daily cigarette smokers than are daily marijuana users. Use of inhalants, traditionally a concern in the youngest age groups, was at its lowest levels ever, and the drop in lifetime use of these substances since last year’s survey was significant among 8th and 10th graders (9.4 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, down from 10.8 percent and 8.7 percent last year). Similarly, teens’ use of synthetic marijuana has

decreased in all grades surveyed since 2012, when the survey first started tracking use of these drugs. Non-medical use of prescription pain relievers was down significantly from five years ago and heroin use was at its lowest levels in the history of the survey —a positive note in the current opioid crisis that continues to strongly affect other age groups. However, non-medical use of the prescription stimulant Adderall remains high: 7.5 percent of 12th graders and 5.2 percent of 10th graders reported non-medical use of the medication. Marijuana use still remains high among teens, who may be vulnerable to the drug’s long-term, adverse effects on brain development.

A cautionary note Along with the encouraging results, the researchers also sounded a cautionary note in regard to teens’ use of marijuana and e-cigarettes.The study noted that marijuana use by teens use has remained relatively stable over the last decade, despite concern that wider availability and softening attitudes towards the drug would lead to increased use. However, marijuana use still remains high among teens, who may be vulnerable to the drug’s long-term, adverse effects on brain development. Six percent of high school seniors use marijuana daily or almost daily, which could have detrimental impacts on their current functioning and their future prospects. Also, surveys indicate increasing numbers of teens think marijuana use is not a health risk, indicating a lack of awareness of the harm it can do to the developing brain. The researchers also expressed concern that use of e-cigarettes remains high, with 9.5 percent of 8th graders, 14 percent of 10th graders, and 16.2 percent of 12th graders using these devices. While more information is needed on the health implications of e-cigarettes, the nicotine in many e-cigarette fluids can be addictive, and their vapor may contain other chemicals that might be harmful to the lungs.There is also concern that vaping may “re-normalize” smoking behavior and lead to traditional cigarette use among youth who start using e-cigarettes. Teen substance use is still a problem

In spite of the optimistic tone of the report, the researchers stress that the problems and consequences of adolescent substance use in America have not diminished. Far too many 8th, 10th and 12th graders continue to use drugs regularly or try them, possibly paving the way for substance use disorders, since adolescence is the period of greatest vulnerability for the brain changes underlying addiction. The researchers call for continued support of evidence-based prevention programs, training health care providers to identify and treat youth with substance use disorders, and empowering young people with the knowledge and resources to live healthy lives. 

Non-medical use of prescription pain relievers was down significantly from five years ago and heroin use was at its lowest levels in the history of the survey—a positive note in the current opioid crisis that continues to strongly affect other age groups.

Student Drug Abuse 19 Warning Signs & What to Do

Young adults face many temptations and opportunities to use and abuse alcohol and drugs. As a parent, it is important to allow for appropriate independence and growth for your student or young adult, but also to keep a watchful eye looking for warning signs or symptoms of alcohol or drug use/addiction. Part of growing up involves making mistakes and hopefully learning from them. These teachable moments allow young adults to learn how to respond better in the future. Emerging adults may not always be able to quickly identify and correct mistakes or difficulties they face.They also are more susceptible to peer pressure or having their viewpoints shaped by outside influences. For this reason, parents need to be closely aware of what is happening in their young adult’s life. Knowing these 19 warning signs or symptoms of alcohol or drug abuse is critical for every parent: • Decline in academic performance • Withdrawing from classes • Missing classes/school or work frequently • Disciplinary problems at school or work • Abusive verbally or physically • Changes in behavior • Becoming more withdrawn from family and friends • Sudden changes or increased involvement with new friends • Asking for money regularly • If the young adult lives with you, missing valuables • Conflicts with parents • Sexual promiscuity • DUI charges, drunk and disorderly tickets, or other legal problems • Becoming overly evasive about friends or their activities • Lying about activities

• Smelling of alcohol or drugs • Drastic changes in appearance • Lack of interest in areas formerly interested in • Loss of memory or reduced attention

If you notice any of these behaviors, speak with your young adult and share your observations and concerns. Ask an open-ended question like, “I noticed that you are struggling with school, what do you think is causing this?” If your emerging adult is non-communicative or resis- tant, reach out for help. It is important that you intervene EARLY if you spot any of the signs or symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. Untreated addiction in young adults leads to lifelong problems. You can request a professional drug and alcohol assessment from New Hope Recovery Center by calling 773.883.3916 or email us. We offer flexible treatment programs for emerging adults based on the seriousness of their addiction.

It is important that you intervene EARLY if you spot any of the signs or symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse. Untreated addiction in young adults leads to lifelong problems.

Learning to Drink

Study finds alcohol changes the brain from the very first drink

“ Drugs of abuse basically hijack the normal learning and memory processes. ” - Dr. Dorit Ron University of California - San Francisco

Preventing escalation

The NIAAA-funded study did not establish a relationship between initial use and addiction, or even problematic drinking. But the hope is that further understanding of how alcohol affects the brain initially could lead to better treatment and prevention efforts down the road. “If we can control that step, we may be able to prevent further escalation,” Dr. Ron says. More research is needed to determine which other components of the brain are affected by initial alcohol exposure. Dr. Ron says she believes the changes that occur during first exposure could be reversed with prolonged abstinence from alcohol. But she said the more a person drinks, the harder it is to reverse those changes as the brain forms stronger connections to drinking.

One drink is all it takes. That’s what one research team found when studying how even the first exposure to alcohol can affect a person’s brain. A team from the University of California - San Francisco exposed mice to alcohol and then studied the synapses (connections) in their brains.The team found that even the first drink produced significant changes in the brain’s biological structure, calling the changes a “learning event.” “This is basically the first step,” says Dr. Dorit Ron, one of the chief researchers. “You are basically placing a memory trace.” Dr. Ron says the entire study was based on the idea that “addiction, and not just alcohol addiction, is thought to be a maladaptive form of learning and memory.” In essence, the study showed that first exposure to alcohol primes the brain for further use and lays the foundation for future “learning.” “Drugs of abuse basically hijack the normal learning and memory processes,” Dr. Ron says. “The behavior becomes habit.”

Predicting behavior

A new study also suggests that the earlier a person starts drinking, the stronger those connections may become. Researchers recently set out to identify which substance people use first in their lives and found the majority of people try alcohol before any other substance.The team also looked at how a person’s age when they start drinking affects substance use later in life. Researchers say the earlier someone starts drinking, the more likely they are to use more than one illicit substance, and they’re also more likely to develop an addiction. “It’s a very nice predictor for polysubstance use,” says Dr. Adam Barry, the study’s chief author. “The later you delay, the closer you are to 21, the less likely you are to be alcohol dependent or dependent on other substances.”

“ Alcohol consumption among youth doesn’t occur in a vacuum. ” - Dr. Adam Barry, Texas A&M University

 strategies that prevent drug use and then applying those in an alcohol setting.” Curbing use Researchers acknowledge there’s a difference between a first sip and a first binge drinking event. But they say age at first use of any kind is still a good predictor of behavior later in life. To combat problematic drinking, Dr. Barry says educators need to address all factors of a child’s life, not just the substance itself. In keeping with new guidelines from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Barry and his team recommend beginning substance education as early as third grade. “Alcohol consumption among youth doesn’t occur in a vacuum,” Dr. Barry says. “It’s really just trying to find evidence-based

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Addicted Loved One? 5 CommonTriggers You Can Help Avoid Being close to a recovering alcoholic or drug addict can sometimes be like walking on egg shells. In truth, many recovering alcoholic/addicts state that their loved one’s actions can be a cause of many triggers which can then lead to relapse. It’s important to know what your loved one’s triggers are, and to recognize if you may be exhibiting them. Here are 5 common triggers often associated with loved ones and what you can do instead for the health of yourself and your loved one in recovery: 1. Overbearing vs. Supportive Many alcoholics/addicts state that their loved ones being “too concerned” or too overprotective of them in early sobriety is a very big trigger. It’s important to remember that being over bearing can cause anyone to feel anxious. Find a healthy balance with healthy boundaries to avoid mak- ing your loved one feel “smothered.” Being too involved can also lead to resentment, which is listed as one of the top reasons for relapse. 2. How does your drinking or drug use affect your loved one? Whether or not you drink/use excessively, your loved one watching you drink/use can be a trigger, especially if you used to drink or use together. A good rule of thumb is be honest and communicate. Find out how they feel about your use. Choosing wisely when and how you drink/use can be the difference between a healthy recovery and a strained relationship. Many alcoholics/addicts state that their loved ones being “too concerned” or too overprotective of them in early sobriety is a very big trigger.

3. Not understanding the disease of addiction. Many people in recovery state that their loved ones “don’t understand what I’m going through.” You can educate yourself so you can KNOW what your loved one is going through. A lack of education from loved ones can be a major trigger for anyone in early recovery due to fre- quent misunderstandings. If your recov- ering loved one is in treatment, attend all family meetings and groups. Also, go to Al-anon meetings to find out more about addiction and the recovery process. Al- anon is a great outlet so that you can be around people that are going through a similar situation. As an added bonus, you will very likely find support and com- fort through talking to other people and forming your own recovery. 4. Notice and recognize that your loved one is changing (and so are you). Rebuilding trust with your recovering loved one is a key component to helping you both recover. But rebuilding trust can take time and may not seem easy. See these articles for suggestions on how to successfully rebuild trust: Restoring Trust Damaged by Addiction Part 1; Restor- ing Trust Damaged by Addiction Part 2; Restoring Trust Damaged by Addiction Part 3. Most of the actions to rebuild trust is on the recovering loved one, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to make small changes that show your loved one you see and appreciate their effort and accomplishments. Understand that celebrating their sobriety milestones is the best form of encouragement you can provide. Recognize the small and large steps they take. Having a supportive environment will encourage sobriety and promote the necessary steps it takes to be in recovery.

Rebuilding trust with your recovering loved one is a key component to helping you both recover.

5. Resisting change vs. Embracing change. Recovery is full of changes. Your loved one will change and so will you during this process and so will your relationship. Change can be scary and can make us anxious. So talk with your loved one about the changes you are experiences and how it makes you feel, and ask them to do the same. Resisting changes can create unnecessary obstacles for anyone in recovery. Instead, take time to talk and listen to one another. Only the fears we don’t talk about have power. Em- brace the new changes you are both making. Talk about the speed of the changes. Rarely will you both be changing at the same rate, so be open about how changes are affect- ing each of you. Avoiding these 5 common triggers can help you and your loved one during recovery. New Hope Recovery Center offers alcohol and drug addiction treat- ment in Chicago, IL. We have a family and loved one program that educates and involves family mem- bers and loved ones in the treat- ment process. If you have a loved on with a drug or alcohol addiction, contact us at 773-883-3916 or email us at info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Treating addiction with vaccines is a relatively new idea with many unanswered questions

ARE VACCINES THE ANSWER

that arise out of a lack of research. But a new study suggests vaccinating against illicit drugs is not only possible, it could be extremely effective. At the Scripps Research Institute in California, researchers were looking for a way to guard against the lethal and addictive effects of synthetic opioid “designer drugs.” A potentially deadly opioid, fentanyl, is often used as a heroin substitute or mix-in by drug dealers, so researchers developed a vaccine to try to mitigate its effects. Researchers injected mice with three rounds of the vaccine and then exposed them to doses of fentanyl. They found the vaccinated mice did not display any “high” behaviors even months after the last series of vaccine injections. Researchers say the immune systems of the mice developed antibodies that successfully blocked the drug from reaching the brain. “The results were the best we’ve ever seen for any drug vaccine,” says Paul Bremer, a graduate student at Scripps Research Institute who worked on the study.

A new

HAS BEEN SHOWN TO PREVENT OVERDOSES AND STOP OPIOID “DESIGNER DRUGS” FROM AFFECTING THE BRAIN vaccine

The results were the best we’ve ever seen for any drug vaccine. - Paul Bremer, Scripps Research Institute

“ WE WERE ABLE TO BLOCK EXTREMELY LARGE - Paul Bremer DOSES OF FENTANYL TO PROTECT AGAINST OVERDOSES

SAFE AND POWERFUL Not only was the vaccine able to stop intoxication (something researchers suggest could aid in opioid addiction treatment), the vaccine also proved extremely effective in blocking the potentially lethal effects of fentanyl as well. While the chemical is not necessarily toxic in itself, it does produce psychoactive effects that can shut down breathing and stop a person’s heart. Researchers say mice injected with the vaccine could withstand doses of fentanyl up to 30 times the normal rate. “It was just a rst generation vaccine, but it did prove to be very potent,” Bremer says. “We were able to block extremely large doses of fentanyl to protect against overdoses.” A SINGLE PURPOSE Researchers say the vaccine would not protect against heroin or oxycodone, and a mixture of vaccines would be needed to protect against all opioids. But that was somewhat by design. To make sure the vaccine would not interfere with any medications a person may take responsibly later in life, researchers targeted specic molecules so the vaccine would only block fentanyl and its derivatives.

“For unrelated drugs that you would be taking, there would be no effect from the vaccine,” Bremer says. LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE Although still in the early stages of development, researchers say the vaccine represents an exciting step forward in drug vaccine research. The lab is beginning more advanced trials on a similar heroin vaccine which should give them a better idea of how successful the fentanyl vaccine could become. But until more testing can be completed, researchers say they were pleased with the progress and excited for the future of vaccines in the treatment of addiction. “This concept of using a vaccine for addiction isn’t just an academic pursuit, it could really be used in practice,” Bremer says. “I think it’s really promising.”

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RECOVERYAND OFFER A VARIETYOF LEVELS OF CARE TO BETTER EQUIP AN INDIVIDUAL TO CREATE THE LIFE THEY DESIRE

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