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Redpoint Center Vaping Crisis

The Facts About the Vaping Crisis

By | Addiction, Community

Vaping is in the news a lot lately. Many are calling it a vaping crisis. Children are being hospitalized. Parents worry. Following years of questions and speculation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is taking action. On Friday, September 6, 2019, the CDC issued a formal investigation notice regarding the effects of vaping and e-cigarettes. According to the government organization, vaping is connected to over 450 cases of lung illness and hospitalization. Five deaths directly related to vaping are confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon.

What Vaping Does to the Body

What is the vaping crisis about? Vaping nicotine is dangerous to one’s health—potentially no less harmful than cigarettes. And due to the lack of regulation, users can’t be sure what they’re ingesting when they use e-cigarettes. We know nicotine is a toxic, deadly substance. It is responsible for approximately 1300 deaths per day.

“Tobacco kills more than 480,000 people annually – more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined. Tobacco costs the U.S. approximately $170 billion in health care expenditures and more than $150 billion in lost productivity each year.”   —says Tobacco Free Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting youth from the harmful products

In addition, nicotine raises blood pressure and adrenaline, which can increase heart rate. It is directly connected to the risk of a heart attack. Vaping brings forth many questions. Without proper labeling or monitoring, we can’t know what one is ingesting. There is a lot we don’t know about vaping. Furthermore, we don’t know how it affects physical health over time. This past week, the FDA sent a warning to a vaping brand, Juul, letting them know they illegally market their products as safer than cigarettes. The tobacco industry overall has a long, detailed history of predatory marketing practices. The famous organization truth.org publicly campaigned for years to bring these facts to light. Marketing to younger people creates lifelong addictive behaviors. Therefore, lifelong consumers.

Health Alerts

Habitual nicotine use can lead to addiction. And that’s just one concern. Over the past few months, there have been many hospitalizations due to vaping and approximately five deaths. Doctors don’t know what’s causing the epidemic. The symptoms might start with coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and lung congestion, to start but other potential symptoms include headaches, weight loss, and diarrhea.

“Many victims have ended up with acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and prevents the oxygen people’s bodies need to function from circulating in the bloodstream.” —reports the Washington Post

Nicotine, Vaping, and Addiction

Studies show that for those who struggle with substance use and alcohol use disorders, cessation of smoking and nicotine products play a role in long-term recovery. Statistics on the issue range, but quitting smoking can raise long term abstinence from substance and alcohol use disorders anywhere from 15% to 40%. For many early in recovery, nicotine is hard to quit, but it greatly benefits long-term, sustainable sobriety.

Vaping in Colorado

Just 2 weeks ago, Boulder, Colorado, officials moved forward with plans to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarette products. In addition to banning flavored e-cigarette products, Boulder City Council is asking voters to move the minimum purchase age to 21 for all tobacco products.

Colorado, specifically, has seen a rise in vaping and other e-cigarette consumption. The market grows and e-cigarettes are money-makers. With new warnings from the CDC, it re-enforces the idea that vaping, and e-cigarettes are equally, if not more problematic than traditional smoking.

The Redpoint Center, in Longmont Colorado, can help those that wish to find freedom from substance use disorders. This includes recovery from vaping or smoking. In teen addiction treatment the problems of vaping and smoking are especially prevalent.

We believe in a holistic model of care that helps to provide support, medication, therapy, and community immersion for those that are struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling with any type of addiction, contact us. We’re here to help.

The Importance of Self-Care in Recovery

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment

Self-care in recovery is key. After struggling, a person can believe that they are not good enough. And they may feel they don’t measure up. This is what I thought about myself.

In active addiction, I didn’t take care of myself. I wouldn’t wear my seat belt all the time. In addition, I had a bad diet. Furthermore, at times I would even skip showering.

Substance use disorder negatively affects self-perception, mood, motivation. Also, it can hinder personal well-being. It can make you feel overwhelmed and bad about yourself. Hence, at times it seems there is no way out.

When I finally got sober I wasn’t sure what self-care meant anymore. There were mentors to show me the way, including our founder at Redpoint. I also internalized self-care as being selfish. During my active addiction, I had been selfish for so long that the last thing I wanted to do was pay attention to the things that I needed.

Self-Care in Recovery — The Opposite of Selfish

I realize now that there is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself. What I learned was that you need to implement self-care when you get sober so that you can replace selfish, addictive behavior with healthy alternatives.

Once you are addicted to alcohol or other drugs, it is common to use these addictive behaviors to cope with negative feelings. Some even use these addictive behaviors as a type of reward system for themselves.

During my active addiction, it got to the point where I would tell myself, “I worked all day today, so I deserve to get high.” Or “my boyfriend made me mad, so I can get high to make myself feel better.”

Now, I take care of myself. Self-care in recovery means I work out, do art, get my nails done, and take time out of my day to just sit and think. By doing this, I can change my own thoughts about myself and my life.

Now, the more I take care of myself and the better I feel, the more I want to keep that feeling going. I also know that in order to keep this positive feeling going, I need to keep working on myself, help others and maintain my sobriety.  This self-growth is an important part of self-care.

When I was using, I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone help someone else. Now that I take time out for myself, I have more positive energy to help other people.

I’m a huge fan of self-care now. If you haven’t tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Don’t miss out. You deserve to be truly happy.

-Samantha

Is Addiction a Family Disease? 

By | Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment

Is addiction a family disease? What does this mean? Those suffering from addictive behaviors are suffering. And their loved ones suffer immensely, too. It goes without saying that living with substance use disorder is incredibly difficult. 

When someone using drugs begins to hurt their family, they may experience various behavioral symptoms. They may show disrespect to their siblings and parents. In addition, they might lash out, challenge boundaries, or project their emotional struggles. Furthermore, other family members may modify their behaviors to manage the stress of it all. Some may try and help the individual using drugs or alcohol to protect them from getting into trouble. Thus, becoming the enabler. Others may take on the role of caretaker and attempt to compensate, providing care that may be lacking. These are only a few examples of the dysfunctional roles that family members might play.

Addiction: A Family Disease

In a recent study at Texas Tech University, the saying, “addiction is a family disease” took on new meaning. Not only is the addicted brain affected by the substances. In addition, the family members’ brains actually change as well. The study found that family members suffer as a result of the addict’s behavior. The prefrontal cortex of one using substances shuts down when faced with temptation or triggered to use drugs. Research shows the family members’ prefrontal cortex malfunctions as well. Hence, studies validate that addiction is a family disease. Parents and siblings can actually crave patterns. They seek to rescue and care-take their addicted family member. Therefore, this is similar to the substance abuser who craves their substance of choice. 

The conclusion of the Texas Tech study, states the following: 

“The present study provides preliminary evidence that family members’ symptomatic behaviors associated with a loved one with a substance use disorder (such as fear-based behaviors), as hypothesized, may be related to altered brain functioning. Given these findings, problematic symptoms and behaviors may likely not decrease simply because the loved one struggling with a substance use disorder finds abstinence or engages in a process of recovery. Should altered pathways be present in the brains of affected family members as has been found in individuals struggling with substance use disorders, it becomes of great importance to help family members recognize their own personal need for support, therapeutic treatment, and/or recovery. Part of the recovery process should include family-based therapeutic support, and it is therefore important to make sure that the appropriate systemic and relationship training is available to helping professionals.” 

Family Therapy Changes Outcomes

This study proves the concept of addiction as a family disease. The entire family needs to participate in treatment. Family members who turn to support groups such as Al-Anon or partake in family therapy find great success. Consequently, they are able to change their behavior. Also, families learn “the three C’s”: You didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. If the alcohol or substance user is the only one getting treatment, it’s a vacuum. And then they go back into an environment where the rest of the family is still unwell. Hence, the individual’s likelihood of success goes down. The disease of addiction is viciously contagious. Therefore, it is important for everyone to seek help. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, mental health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. You are not alone. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more, call us 888-509-3153.

Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Addiction

By | Addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy utilizes therapy dogs in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Animals enhance the benefits of therapeutic modalities. As an animal-friendly program, we see the impact animals have each day. Furthermore, there are many ways that dogs impact us through the human-animal bond.

Research shows Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy benefits:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Addiction
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Treatment Resistance

Dogs provide unconditional love and acceptance. This can promote health and healing when used in substance abuse and mental health therapy. Also, this positivity provides clients with healthy bonds. The connection creates an opportunity for clients to feel self-love and self-acceptance. Furthermore, animals can help decreases stress and anxiety. Hence, this is positive for the therapeutic process.

Dogs, Emotions, and Self-Regulation

Dogs provide immediate feedback. And they connect on nuanced levels. They can reflect emotions. Also, they help people to identify emotions and practice emotional regulation. Therefore, this allows clients to practice healthy coping skills. This is enhanced with the support of a clinical therapist.

The therapeutic experience can be challenging and stressful at times. A therapy dog can help to decrease anxiety. In addition, time with animals can increase feelings of well-being. This value is significant. As a result, physical activity and dog training can help to improve physical health, communication, and patience.

Benefits of Canine-Assisted Therapy include:

  • Strengthen the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Improve psychosocial functioning
  • Decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Decrease Stress
  • Improve communication skills
  • Better Mood
  • Improve anger management
  • Better physical health

It is important to ensure that both the client and the therapy dog are comfortable. Also, it is key to ensure that both will benefit from the therapeutic encounter. Consequently, this happens prior to engaging in canine-assisted interventions.

At Redpoint, we are lucky to have our own therapy dog named Parker. Parker is generally in the office on most days of the week. He is happy to sit in on a client’s therapy session if he isn’t busy chewing his toys.

Studies reveal the efficacy of animal-assisted modalities. In conclusion, animals have a positive impact. Our furry friends bring love and more!

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or mental health concerns, we are here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol abuse. Learn more about our program.  Call us any time 888-509-3153.

More information on Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy:

  • Incorporating animal-assisted therapy in mental health treatments for adolescents: A systematic review of Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Melanie G. Jones, Simon M. Rice, Susan M. Cotton

  • Research on Benefits of Canine-Assisted Therapy for Adults in Nonmilitary Settings

Janet S. Knisely, Sandra B. Barker, and Randolph T. Barker

  • Patient benefit of dog-assisted interventions in health care: a systematic review Martina Lundqvis, Per Carlsson, Rune Sjödahl, Elvar Theodorssonand   Lars-Åke Levin

The Redpoint Center Staff’s Favorite Songs About Addiction, Drug Use and Recovery

By | Addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

Stories of addiction and drug abuse have worked themselves into our culture in the form of books, music, theater and songs for centuries.   Often times, a song we love is actually about addiction and drug abuse and we aren’t even aware of it until we take the time to really look at and listen to the lyrics.  This isn’t surprising, considering the fact that addiction and drug use is common among singers, songwriters and musicians that we listen to on a daily basis.  We also know of a multitude of extremely talented singers and members of popular bands who have died from addiction and drug overdoses., so it is not uncommon to find stories about drug and addiction in their music.

 

Just last month, the staff at The Redpoint Center, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program in Longmont, Colorado, shared their favorite movies about addiction and recovery.  We therefore found the next logical step was for us to recount our favorite songs about addiction, drug use and recovery.  The following is a summary of our musings, in no particular order, along with a link to the song and the staff member who chose it.

 

  • Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind- This song is the title track from the rock band’s self-titled debut album that was released in 1997.  Despite the easy going and peppy pop sound of this song, it is actually about using crystal meth and the shiny looking outside of people who are sick and hurting on the inside.ur medical director, Dr. Honor Ashbaugh.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beINamVRGy4

 

  • Under the Bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Under the Bridge” appears on the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s fifth album, titled Blood, Sweat, Sex and Magik. Anthony Keidis, the rock band’s lead singer, wrote the lyrics of this song to depict feelings of loneliness and despondency, and to relay the impact that a heroin addiction had on his life.  This song was picked as a favorite by our clinical director, Nikki Summers, and therapist Quddus Maus.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLvohMXgcBo

 

  • Hurt by Nine Inch Nails- Hurt is a song that appears on Nine Inch Nail’s second studio album, The Downward Spiral, released in 1994. The song includes references to self-harm and heroin addiction.  Others contend that the song acts as s suicide note written by the song’s protagonist.  Nonetheless, the entire album is about a period in the singer’s life when he abused drugs and fell into a deep depression.  This song, and the cover by Johnny Cash, was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPz21cDK7dg

 

  • Hurt cover by Johnny Cash- In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song “Hurt”.  Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails lead singer, said he was flattered when Johnny Cash wanted to cover this song, but was worried that it was a “bit gimmicky”.  After seeing the video, however, which was best music video of the year by Grammy’s and CMA Awards, Reznor liked what he saw.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1Pwfnh5pc

 

  • Soul to Squeeze by The Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Soul to Squeeze” was released as a B-side on the The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Give it Away” and “Under the Bridge.” It was then released as a single in 1993.  “Soul to Squeeze” Is thought by some as depicting the entire mental process between addiction and recovery. It focuses heavily on what recovery has to offer rather than glorifying or self-deprecating the addictive thought process.  This was picked  a asfavorite by The Redpoint Center’s Drew Dyer..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XcN12uVHeQ

 

  • Lost in the Cold by Twiddle- “Lost in the Cold” was also picked as a favorite by Drew Dyer. In his own words, the song reminds him of “grabbing onto the fear of recovery and facing it rather than hiding from it.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0NyOcf7h8c

 

  • Heroin by The Velvet Underground- The song “Heroin” was released by The Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut album called The Velvet Underground & Nico. The song was written by Lou Reed and beautifully depicts heroin use and abuse.  The song “Heroin” neither endorses nor condemns the use of heroin, which has made it a troubling song in the eyes of some listeners.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s wellness coordinator, Shane Niemeyer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFLw26BjDZs

 

  • Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth, by The Dandy Warhols- This song was released in 1997 on the second studio album released by The Dandy Warhols, called The Dandy Warhols Come Down.  The song, according to front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor, was written about his girlfriend (at the time) who got addicted to heroin while he was on tour. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center therapist, Desmond Cohen.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APrpB-i4d_E

 

  • Down on the Bottom by The New Basement Tapes- Down on the Bottom was the first song recorded by The New Basement Tapes on their album titled “Lost on the River.” The lyrics were written by Bob Dylan in 1967, and are interpreted to be about drinking and hitting rock bottom with nowhere to go but up.  This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Katie Fischer.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXXEG6kY96E

 

  • You’ll Never Walk Alone by The Dropkick Murphy’s- This song first appeared in a 1945 musical called Carousel. It has been covered by many different bands and musicians, and appeared on The Dropkick Murphys album “11 Short Stories of Pain and Glory” when it was released in 2017.  This song, explains bassist and vocalist Ken Casey, came on when he was leaving a wake for a friend who had overdosed on opiates.  It summed up to him how he was feeling at the time- sad but knowing that there is hope. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s therapist Stephanie Winkler.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8SK8JHKn1k

 

  • Lover I Don’t Have to Love by Bright Eyes- “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” was released by the American, Indie Rock band as a single in 2002. The Redpoint Center’s family advocate, Taylor Cole, picked this song as a favorite about addiction and shared her words.  “I listened to this song throughout the throws of my addiction when I was touring with a band the year before I got sober. I knew I was an addict and I was not ready to get sober. I wanted to put myself into so much pain it would force me to get sober or I would just not make it. Every time I listen to it, I remember that feeling and am grateful that I don’t have to live like that anymore.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuXkhE0VMcw

 

  • Staying Alive by Cursive- The song “Staying Alive”, by Cursive, was also picked by Taylor Cole as her favorite song about recover. She quotes, “Bad ass song that makes my insides feel warm and fuzzy. Choosing life and looking forward.”

 

 

  • Suicidal Thoughts by Biggie Smalls- “Suicidal Thoughts” was the last song on the debut album, “Ready to Die”, released by Notorious B.I.G. in 1994. Although not strictly about addiction, the song was listed as very meaningful to The Redpoint Center’s founder, Cody Gardner, who states that he “used to write the verses of this song on all his notebooks” while in rehab.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4M8GjgfG9k

 

  • Alive by Sia- “Alive” is the lead single from the Australian singer songwriter’s 7th studio album, titled “This is Acting.” The Redpoint Center’s admissions director, Rachael Messaros, notes that this song is one of her favorites about recovery. In her words, “On my 6th sobriety birthday I put all of my songs on shuffle, and this song came on. I cried because I was like, holy shit, I survived.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2NgsJrrAyM

 

  • Billy Walker, by Israel Darling- Billy Walker was released in on the album by Israel Darling titled “Dinosaur Bones & Mechanical Hands.” This song was picked as a favorite by one of The Redpoint Center’s therapists, Jay Fullam. In his own words, “I heard this song when I got sober at an open mic.  It really stuck with me and I listened to it regularly during my first year of sobriety.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2rS0chMWFw

 

  • Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young–“Needle and The Damage Done” first appeared on the Harvest album which was released in 1972. This song was written by Neil Young to describe the destruction caused by the heroin addiction of musicians he knew, including his friend and Crazy Horse bandmate, Danny Whitten. It previews the theme of a later album, “Tonight’s the Night”, that expresses Young’s grief over the subsequent overdose deaths of both Whitten and Bruce Berry, who was a roadie for Young and Crazy Horse. This song was picked as a favorite by The Redpoint Center’s Executive Director, Donnie Hagenbart.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd3oqvnDKQk

 

 

  • Rehab by Amy Winehouse- Rehab appeared on Winehouse’s second and final album, Back to Black, in 2006. The lyrics are in fact autobiographical, and describe Winehouse’s refusal to enter into a rehabilitation clinic for substance abuse and addiction. The song won three Grammy awards at the 50th Winehouse, as most know, subsequently died of alcohol poisoning on July 23rd, 2011.  This song was picked as a favorite by one of the Redpoint Center’s adolescent therapists, Bridget Camacho.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc

 

  • Mansion by NF- The song Mansion, by NF (which stands for Nathan Feurstein) is a song on this American rapper’s debut album, titled the same, which was released on March 31, 2015. This song was picked by The Redpoint Center’s Samantha Jackson. In her own words, “I like this song because for so long I was in my head about a lot of things and I thought keeping that to myself was a lot safer than talking about it or getting help. Also, I thought using was a good way to take care of my problems, but it just acted as a temporary fix. This song is a good reminder to myself that I don’t want to be in such a dark place again. It also puts me in the mindset of when I was still using and how much I didn’t like what I was doing.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF5QE3-ox4o

 

 

We hope you enjoy this compilation of The Redpoint Center staff’s favorite songs about addiction, drug abuse and recover.  If you think you or your loved one might have an addiction or problem with drug or alcohol use, The Redpoint Center can help.  Please call us with any questions, as we’re here to help.

 

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

EMDR in the Treatment of Addiction

By | Addiction, Community, Mental Health, Therapy, Treatment

EMDR to Address Trauma During Addiction Treatment

EMDR is a powerful tool for healing trauma. Studies show that trauma is a risk factor for addiction and substance use disorder. In addition, treatment of trauma is key for individuals to recover from addiction. At the Redpoint Center, we use several different types of treatments for trauma. These modalities differ from talk therapy. One reason talk therapy doesn’t always effectively address trauma is that the memories are stored in the hippocampus, part of the midbrain. Talk therapy doesn’t effectively access these memories stored in the midbrain—it tends to involve the utilization of our frontal lobes. Furthermore, trauma is often stored in the body, requiring somatic attention. Hence, EMDR is a powerful intervention.

Using EMDR to Cope With Trauma and Stress

EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is a positive tool. It helps us access and process memories stored in the midbrain. Our use of EMDR is expanding and helping more people with issues that cause distress. People with substance abuse issues commonly have a history of trauma. In addition, they struggle to cope with stress and often benefit from EMDR.

Research shows that EMDR causes changes in brain chemistry that reverse the damage caused by trauma or acute stress. Bessel van der Kolk, an expert, and researcher, in brain chemistry and trauma, shares several brain studies to support this approach. His PET scan photographs of the brain before and after EMDR sessions show the benefit.

EMDR and the Brain

The PET scans of one who is remembering trauma light the amygdala in the brain. This is part of the limbic system that is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. The amygdala is activated when one experiences trauma and acute stress. It is the “smoke detector” that scans the environment and lets us know of a threat or event that is relevant to survival.

When people experience a threat the amygdala becomes activated. The frontal lobe, where cognition and understanding take place, is quite dim because the amygdala is more heightened. Hence, when people are experiencing “normal” day-to-day happenings, the frontal lobe is bright and outshines the amygdala.

Studies Show the Benefits of EMDR

In one study, van der Kolk had several individuals go through EMDR sessions. Before the sessions, the PET scans showed a brain in a trauma state. After the EMDR sessions, the brain appeared normal when the client was bringing to mind the same stressful event. The memory was no longer held as a traumatic memory but as a normal, processed memory.

We found another study where van der Kolk showed that subjects with a complicated traumatic history, after six EMDR sessions, had greatly reduced PTSD symptoms that continued to decrease even more for up to six months after the study.

We do not know exactly how psychotherapy affects the brain’s neurobiology. However, we do know that when people are upset, their brains cannot process information normally. EMDR is similar to what occurs naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

During REM sleep, the information from the day is being processed. When people experience trauma, the amygdala becomes hyperactive and stores traumatic information and memory. This makes it difficult to process this information. EMDR creates the same stimulation that occurs during REM sleep. This assists the brain in processing the trauma or issues related to stress.  The end result is that people see disturbing information in a new and less distressing way. Consequently, they are better able to process information.

Getting Started with EMDR in Treatment

We know addiction is connected to acute stress and often trauma. Once a client has dealt with trauma and acute stress through EMDR, he or she is better able to cope. Therefore, they experience healthy relationships, cope with stress, and live a happier life.  In addition, people can recover from addiction since they are no longer, or less affected, by their distress.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. Learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, by calling 888-509-3153.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

By | Addiction, Community, Media, Mental Health, Misc, Therapy, Treatment

It is a common occurrence amongst therapists to joke that if they bring their clients to tears then they know they’ve done something right. We believe that laughter can be one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. 

Other reasons why laughing is therapeutic:

Connection: Laughter increases one’s ability to be close with others, and is an expression most often used in a social context. We are 30 times more likely to laugh if we are with another person. Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott said we laugh “to show people that you understand them, that you agree with them, and you are part of the same group with them. You’re laughing to show them you like them, you might even love them. Laughter is doing all that emotional work for you.”

See what else Sophie has to say in her Ted Talk Why We Laugh

Nervous System Regulation: laughter reduces sympathetic nervous system activity (fight or flight response) and increases parasympathetic system activity, which can relax the whole body, thus reducing the impact of stress on the body and mind.

Read more about laughter and the nervous system here.

Perspective: it offers a new way to look at a situation and

“Humor and laughter can shift perspective and change the way the our mind views or experiences an event.”

Emotional Health

Emotional health, but physical health have been linked to laughter as well.  Norman Cousins, who wrote Anatomy of an Illness (1979), describes his experience using laughter to help him live a longer, and more pain free life while suffering from an illness affecting the immune system. According to Cousins:

  • Laughter:
    • Releases endorphins in the brain that fight physical pain.
    • Protects our immune systems.
    • Increases antibodies that fight infection.
    • Increases natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells attack cancerous cells in the body.
    • Improves cardiovascular health
    • Activates neuro-chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, acting as a natural antidepressant.

And one final thought; did you know there is something called “Laughter Yoga”? Make sure to check out this Ted Talk by Dr. Madan Kataria, the pioneer of Laughter Yoga, which is now a worldwide practice for improving overall health and wellbeing.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

Three Steps To Get Through the Tough Times in Recovery

By | Community, Treatment

Throughout my time in recovery, to say that I have had ups and downs would be a great understatement. Life happens, and when it does, look out! Not unlike a roller-coaster, it will throw you for loops, spins, climbs and descents, as well as equal parts of excitement and fear.

Life is not always easy. In fact, it seldom is. This is one very important lesson that I have learned from being in recovery for 9 years.

Throughout my recovery, I have been divorced, engaged, not engaged, employed, un-employed, loved and had my heart broken. I have buried some friends and also seen others get married and become parents. I have seen my 3 nieces become Bat-Mitzvah. I have had great successes professionally as well as great disappointments.

What really matters is what we do when things aren’t easy, so that we can get through and come out the other side to enjoy the good things that life has to offer. My journey has included several steps that I know I need to take when presented with difficult times.

First, I need to recognize what’s happening, and to shine a light on my problems instead of running and hiding from them. By confronting them, I can break them down to manageable issues.

Second, I need to come up with a plan of action. This can include therapy, walks with friends, healthy coping skills, being around those who love me, meditation and prayer, and even workshops that encourage honest and real growth.

Third, and this is only what I know works for me, I dive back into my AA community. I attend more meetings, I work the steps again, I get a service position, and I call my sponsor and ask for help.

These things have helped me get where I am today. It’s when things are the toughest that we most need to recommit to what got us here in the first place. Anyone in long-term recovery will tell you that it takes effort and work to maintain what you have achieved.

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it is going to be worth it”

-Arthur Williams Jr.

Written by Ben Marbach, Sober Living Program Manager/Case Manager

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

What is the Answer to Addiction?

By | Community

During my time at The Redpoint Center, an addiction treatment program in Longmont Colorado, there are a few things that I have grown accustomed to hearing around the office. Our founder, Cody, has certain “isms” that he reiterates to the team; newly onboarded employees and veterans alike. It is clear that the man desires to do something different here, and it is evident he is committed to seeing it come to pass.

Cody has a way about him, a way of getting you, or whoever is in his sights thinking and excited about whatever the topic of discussion may be; more specifically how to think about that topic differently.

This quality is probably what excited me most about working with Cody, for as I continue to gain experience in this field grow increasingly more aware that there is still so much for us to learn, to try and to implement. One of the first questions Cody asks new clients and new hires is, “what is the answer to addiction”? This question is usually rebutted with a “what?” or a follow up question like “do you mean…. like in general?”

It is easy as Cody’s long-time friend, to see that he gets some sense of satisfaction in watching people scramble to respond to such a question, but not in the sense that you are probably thinking of. I believe Cody enjoys these questions because he enjoys thinking critically and prompting others to do the same. Which is why he’s the right guy for his job.

But, I submit to you, this isn’t an article about Cody Gardner, or the running of a drug rehab, or an IOP, but rather about this question he often asks. So, I ask you, dear reader, what is your answer? Is there an answer at all? Or is this disease really going to continue killing us off at roughly 170 souls a day. For me, and the folks I associate with professionally, this is an unacceptable option.

Now back to this question, “what is the answer to addiction”? For me, I have come to understand that the antidote to this disease for me, and many of my associates, is connection Johann Hari’s TED Talk as been viewed tens of millions of times and has sparked a national conversation about the nature of Addiction in America. I cannot summon an answer that makes more sense in my mind, considering a life that’s been hijacked by an addictive disorder illustrates a picture of crippling disconnection. Disconnection from everything, exclusionary of course, to the drug itself and the mental obsession that accompanies it.

Understanding that my answer is quite aloof and probably dissatisfactory to read, I will do my best to unpack it. A disclaimer first, the following is just my opinion; based in solely out of my observations and experience, both in my professional and personal life.

So, what then, are the ingredients to connection and how does one cultivate such a thing when it is seemingly out of reach? This is a question I ask myself frequently as it relates to every area of my life. The answer I’m afraid, often eludes me as one thing has made itself clear; that the path from disconnection to connection indeed is variant as any human experience.

But in this process of inquiry, I’ve noticed three distinct forms that connection often emerges as; and have noticed that they routinely take shape in sequence from one-another. It is my belief that the first, and most paramount being a restored connection with one’s-self, which opens the door to connection with others, and a consequent connection with our reality. What I mean by “our reality” is defined in a thousand ways by a thousand people. Whether that be called God, the Universe, Consciousness, Nature, Flow, or Higher Power makes little difference to me personally, as I see each identifying entity yielding the mirroring results to Its recipients.

Let’s go back to square one; connection to one’s-self. Often times, this takes some time when someone is just beginning their recovery journey. It is evident to me when I am working with new people that I am really working with their disease, ego and trauma; often presenting itself as fear, indignance, grandiosity, and entitlement. And for some time, these emotional experiences can be all an individual knows of themselves. Difficult symptoms, to be sure, but I think the greatest service I can extend to someone in this position is to do my best to create space, detach myself from the presenting symptoms but rather, internalize the pain behind them, and to gently point my new friend towards what’s true.

Once someone has effectively begun a process of self-inquiry and forging a connection to what’s true within them, I have witnessed the natural impulse to consult with the people about their respective experiences. When this reaching-out takes place, there is an opportunity that naturally presents itself; the opportunity to be vulnerable, to show your cards, to be seen by another. It is difficult to discuss our internal observations and struggles without some degree of openness, and it is my belief that vulnerability is the archway to connection with our fellow man.

Now imagine with me, a person has recently began unveiling their truth and forging relationships with people that they were otherwise completely detached from. What kind of life does this look like in practice? What are the gifts associated with clarity and community; what are the byproducts? When I picture this in my mind, I imagine and remember my first expressions of hope, experiences with serendipity and a sometimes-overwhelming feeling that I am an active participant in a life that almost slipped through my fingers. Amazing. Gifts.

It is my belief that this picture naturally points to a greater design; that as we continue to listen to ourselves and engage with what the present moment is presenting us, it is easier to see our place in the universe. Mind-bendingly small and yet uniquely Divine. As I write this, I am well aware of its lofty tone, particularly if you are currently struggling to get through your days. I can remember this message falling on my deaf ears a thousand times. So, if that’s you, thank you for making it this far in the article, and I encourage you to keep an open mind and imagine this picture for yourself.

In conclusion, I’d like to circle back to one of my initial questions; “what are the ingredients to connection” and how does this look on a day-to-day basis, and how do we foster this type of growth in ourselves and others? I believe the short answer is to create space and approach each individual with respect and compassion. To understand we are put together in an expressively unique way and that we ought to have patience with those in our life as they embark upon the uncharted waters of a connected life.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, or mental health issues, The Redpoint Center, in Longmont Colorado is happy to help. Our mission is to help each participant create a compelling vision for their future. We utilize a DBT focused IOP/PHP drug and alcohol treatment model that also includes a multitude of services designed to help each person find lasting recovery. Anyone interested can call admissions at (888) 509-3153.

Personally,

-Taylor

About the Author

Taylor Gibler brings a diverse skill set to Redpoint Center’s team, hailing from a background in the non-profit sector, marketing/brand development, and in behavioral health intervention. Taylor’s professional pursuits were born out of a sincere desire to help marginalized groups and at-risk populations. In his early 20s, Taylor joined a Honolulu based non-profit, that used surfing as a way bring a positive force into difficult situations. Taylor has been apprenticing under one of the most highly sought-after interventionists in the country and has been formally trained and certified in multiple modalities of intervention; maintaining and growing in his ability to help guide people to a path to recovery.

Shining the Light on Addiction in Longmont

By | Community, Media, Treatment

We are thrilled to have been welcomed with open arms to the local Longmont Community! We recently participated at an event called “Shining the Light on Addiction” hosted by the Longmont Department of Public Safety. We shared lots of useful information, and discussed the resources that are on hand at The Redpoint Center — local therapists, counselors, case managers, doctors and a family advocate. Click here to read the full article.

The Redpoint Center is a local outpatient substance abuse treatment facility that seeks to empower its clients to live meaningful lives of Community, Purpose, Recovery. Our team of licensed professionals understands the complex challenges associated with starting anew, and collectively provide a diverse set of tools to safely navigate those challenges.

Our goal is to foster healing through the cultivation of practical recovery skills, the addressing and healing of past-trauma, and by building a strong community around each of our clients.

At The Redpoint Center we believe that recovery is a process, not an event. Because of this, we structure our levels of care based on clinical necessity and the client’s readiness to move forward in life. Whether you or your loved one is coming to us as part of an aftercare plan from a residential facility, or you are looking for a healthy addition to your already busy schedule, the team at Redpoint is confident that we can develop a treatment plan to support you.

If you have questions about The Redpoint Center’s program or would like to speak with an Admissions Coordinator, please don’t hesitate to call (888) 509-3153.

 

LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER

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The Redpoint Center
1375 Kenn Pratt Blvd
Suite 300
Longmont, CO, 80501


Phone

(888) 509-3153


 

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