Angels Pitcher’s Death From Lethal Combination of Opioids, Alcohol, and Fentanyl

Angels Pitcher’s Death From Lethal Combination of Opioids, Alcohol, and Fentanyl

There is always a chance that your addiction can kill you if you do not get help for it. Combining two or more drugs together can increase those chances. Angels pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, died recently from opioid, alcohol, and fentanyl overdose which can teach us just how grave and lethal the combination can be if you do not get help. 

Tyler Skaggs

Tyler Skaggs was a popular player of the Angels and one of their most reliable pitchers of the season. He suffered a lot of injuries last season such as his elbow. He worked with mobility coach Sarah Howard in Los Angeles and renowned strength coach Eric Cressey. This year, Skaggs experienced soreness in the forearm after experimenting with a new pitch during Spring training and missed a start. He also injured his ankle in an April game against the Chicago Cubs. 

Finding Tyler Skaggs

Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died in his hotel room on July 1st with opioids, fentanyl, and alcohol in his system. The Angels were staying at a hotel in Southlake ahead of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. Skaggs’ body was found the day after the team arrived at 2:18 pm when a teammate was concerned about Skaggs not returning his calls or texts about meeting him for lunch. 

Drugs Found in Tyler Skaggs

Fentanyl was one of the drugs found in Skaggs’ system. It is a powerful synthetic opioid that works like morphine but 50-100 times more powerful. If you take this drug in uncontrolled concentrations or if your opioid tolerance is not tolerant of long-term use, you are more likely to have breathing suppression, as well as death, occur to you. There were 3.8 nanograms per millimeter of fentanyl in Skaggs’ system which is a huge amount. There were levels of over 100 in his system.

There were also 38 nanograms per millimeter of the prescription-strength painkiller oxycodone which is prohibited by Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program since it is considered a “drug of abuse” on the federal Drug Enforcement Administration list. There was a blood alcohol level of 0.122%. Having 0.08% is considered legally impaired. 

Mysteries Surrounding Tyler Skaggs’ Death

It was said that the cause of Skaggs’ death was a mixture of alcohol, fentanyl, and oxycodone intoxication “with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.” This means that Skaggs choked on his own vomit while under the influence. His death was ruled as an accident and was found in his bed fully clothed with no signs of trauma. His family believes that an employee of the Angels team had something to do with his death. They released a statement of how heartbroken they were to learn that Skaggs died of a combination of these drugs and how out of character it was of him for someone trying to make it as a major league baseball player. The family believes that an employee of the Angels supplied these drugs to Skaggs.

Attorney Rusty Hardin

Rusty Hardin is a renowned criminal defense attorney who has represented athletes like Roger Clemens who was accused of lying before Congress over alleged steroid use. Hardin is determined to provide answers to Skaggs’ wife and family about what happened and how it happened. He wants to know how he acquired those drugs and if others are responsible for what happened. It is unfortunately too early to speculate if there are grounds for legal action.

After Tyler Skaggs’ Death

Players paid tribute to Skaggs by etching his initials and jersey number onto their hats and into the dirt on the mounds. Teammate Andrew Heaney threw Skaggs’ signature curveball when opening his first start. Angels player Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella wore Skaggs’ number underneath their last names and others wore No. 45 patches. In the first home game after Skaggs’ death, the Angels wore No. 45 jerseys with the name Skaggs on the back during the July 12th game against Seattle. Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, threw a strike for the ceremonial first pitch after a 45-second moment of silence. When the game was over, the players arranged their jerseys on the ground and said a prayer for Skaggs and the jerseys were left there.

Hundreds paid tribute to Skaggs at a memorial service at the St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. He was thought of as a passionate and caring man. Skaggs’ wife spoke of their love and family members and friends shared their goofiest and heartwarming memories with him. 

What We Can Learn From Tyler Skaggs’ Death

Tyler Skaggs’ was a major league baseball player that had a hidden addiction. Family members and teammates had no idea that he was struggling with addiction and were shocked at the discovery. Unfortunately, Skaggs did not seek out help which led to his untimely demise. The circumstances around Skaggs’ death does not change the man he was when he was alive or how talented he was. Because there is a big stigma surrounding addiction, especially in the sports community, not enough players get the help they need. If you are struggling with addiction or know someone who is, no matter what profession they are in, it is important to make sure they receive the tools they need to continue to live. Tyler Skaggs’ death should teach everyone how common addiction and overdoses are as well as how lethal the combination is of alcohol, oxycodone, and fentanyl.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

The Bergen Work Addiction Scale

It is good to be dedicated to your work—you did not go through years of college and/or training to let all of that hard work go to waste. However, there is a whole life that exists outside of work that you need to consider, as well. By learning how the Bergen Work Addiction Scale works, you will know whether or not you have a work addiction and if you need to seek treatment for it.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point One and Two

This scale is rated based on seven criteria with answers being either “never,” “rarely,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “always.” The first point is thinking you can free up more time to work. Maybe family members have asked to get together with you, but you would rather focus on your projects or keeping your time free in case you get emails from other co-workers or your boss. All of the fun events or family gatherings you would normally go to just are not important to you compared to your career. The second point is when you spend too much time working than you originally intended. You probably meant to finish your work on time so you could be with your loved ones, but you know that you have a project that still needs to be done and you cannot focus on anything else until it’s complete.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Point Three and Four

The third point is working in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and depression. Work seems like a good distraction to help you get away from those feelings. While it may work to distract you, it will not make those feelings go away. It will just push you to keep working harder to avoid these feelings. The fourth point is being told to cut down on work, but you do not listen. You are constantly stressing how important your work is and that it cannot be pushed aside for anything. You have probably accused others of not being understanding.

Rating Your Work Addiction - Points Five Through Seven

The fifth point is that if you have been told by someone to stop working, it will just stress you out even more. Your mind is constantly on work and you feel like it is calling you to focus solely on that. It is no different than being addicted to drugs and someone makes you quit cold turkey. You will feel withdrawal symptoms, including a rise in your anxiety levels. A sixth point is that your priorities, exercise, and leisure activities are de-prioritized because work is at the top. You may have used to enjoy your hobbies or having fun, but you feel those activities must be put on hold to continue on with your work. Even something important like exercising is set aside, which can be bad for your health, especially if you have a job that requires long periods of sitting. The seventh and final point is that all of the work you are doing is affecting your health, but you cannot find it in yourself to stop. This is what separates addiction from a fondness of something—an addiction is when something is destroying your health, but you cannot stop despite the negative consequences.

The Problem

We may joke about someone of being a workaholic, but being a true workaholic is a painful tragedy. If you have answered “often” or “always” to at least four of the seven criteria, you have a work addiction. The main difference between being a workaholic and a hard worker is the negative consequences. A workaholic suffers from poor health, feelings of guilt when they are not working, and increased stress levels. Being a workaholic is much more severe than being a hard worker. Hard-working people typically do not deal with the consequences that workaholics have, as they can live a life outside of work. If your work addiction is not addressed, this can harm your personal and financial life. You may appear strong to others in being dedicated to your work, but you are suffering inside.


The first thing you can do is to establish boundaries. If you are a manager, try to make sure everyone works a 40-hour week, including yourself. Worry more about the results than about the duration of your shift. You should also take a digital detox where you are offline from smartphones, tablets, and computers for a certain period of time. You can download apps like Flipd, Space, or Offline to help you lock your device during certain hours of the day.


It will be hard for you to do your work if you are so absorbed in it that you forget to take care of yourself. Remember to bathe yourself, eat at every mealtime, and sleep seven to eight hours a day. You can also try mindfulness when you have a few minutes to yourself by doing breathing exercises or yoga. You can also create or participate in wellness challenges or walking meets to help you exercise.


The U.S. Travel Association says that more than half of Americans leave their vacation time unused. Take some time for yourself and unplug. That way, you can return feeling happier and energized. By being in control of your work addiction, you can still keep your career but still have a life outside of the office.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us today at 833-801-LIVE. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sunday Depression

Sunday Depression

The weekend is normally a time when people can relax and enjoy themselves as they are off from work and school. People tend to feel depressed, on the other hand, when Sunday comes around because they know that it is the start of another week. Instead of dreading Sundays when it inevitably comes around, find ways to look forward to it to avoid feeling depressed on this day.

Have a Fun Sunday Evening

While most people use their Saturdays to prepare themselves for the week like getting their laundry done, cleaning around the house, and other things to prepare for the week, you can also use this evening to find something fun to do. Save your chores and responsibilities during the morning and afternoon of Sunday. Do something fun in the evening like see an early movie or go out to dinner to places where they have Sunday specials. If you have another friend that gets depressed on Sundays, have them join you in your plans and leave the house. If you two have a gym membership, go workout together as well as socialize to make exercising easier. You two will also be able to release feel-good endorphins much easier as you exercise together.

Think of Exciting Things to Look Forward to This Week

Instead of thinking about all of the days you have of working or any classes or tests you have to take, think of things to look forward to for the coming week. It could be very possible that friends have made plans with you during the week or that there is an episode of your favorite show airing sometime this week. Try to make a list of all of your plans for each day of the upcoming week to help you look forward to the week. You always want to have a drive that will make you look forward to waking up in the morning. Let this list be proof that you do not have to dread this upcoming week, but feel excited about it instead.

Write Down Your Wants

It is possible that you could be having a lot of worries on Sundays, but you do not know what. Journaling can be a great way to write down what is going on your head. Studies have shown that journaling can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Give yourself ten minutes and jot down everything on your mind without worrying about if what you are writing down makes sense. Once you are down, read what you have wrote and write to the side what you will do to ease those worries. It can be that you hate that it is Sunday because you have four long shifts to get through this week. You can write down that every shift you work, you are bringing home a steady income to support yourself and it will only make your days off and weekends seem more precious. Writing things down will make you realize things about your wants and needs that you did not know you had before. Reading your thoughts will bring you more awareness.

Projects on Sunday

It may be possible that another reason that you dread Sundays is because you tend to use Fridays and Saturdays as your days of having fun and save all of the hard stuff that you have to do for Sundays. You should instead try to do the opposite where you try to get everything done on Friday mornings so that you can have the whole weekend to yourself. For example, if you have a project that will be time-consuming and can take all day, save that time for Friday morning. If you feel like this project will only take an hour or two but you are busy all weekend, wake yourself up early on Sunday to get it done and over with. If you are too busy during the beginning of the week to get your work done, save your work for Sunday morning and stick with it so that you can have the rest of the day free. 

Unplug For the Day

It may not seem like a realistic option to unplug for a few hours as you may have work emailing you or messaging you on updates to know for the upcoming week. If you feel like you need to be on your phone at night, turn down your screen light as the brighter the screen light, the more harder it will be to go to sleep at night. Being too absorbed in your phone will cause you to miss out on all the fun day occurring in the real world. If you give yourself off more time off on Sunday, you will feel more productive on Monday. 

Moments of Relaxation

You should not be ending your Sunday dreading for the start of another week. Before it is time to go to bed, give yourself a couple of hours to yourself. This can mean taking a bath, listening to a podcast, reading a book, or anything else that will mellow you out. Whatever you do, think about the present moment instead of picturing what the week will look like for you. Depression will only get to you on this particular day of the week if you let it get to you. Think of Sundays as a positive day to enjoy yourself and end your weekend on a positive note.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How to Stop Internet Addiction

How to Stop Internet Addiction

Living in the 21st century means that we are glued to the internet on our computers or phones. We are checking our social media accounts, the news, playing games, surfing the web, etc. By learning how to overcome our internet addiction, you will be able to expose yourself more to the world outside of the screens and have real experiences.

Emotional Health Linking to Addiction

In order to treat your internet addiction, it is important to understand why you feel so glued to the screen. It could be that you are feeling lonely and have trouble making friends in the real world that it is much easier for you to connect with others online. If you do not acknowledge that you are having a problem such as anxiety or depression, it will be hard for you to get past your computer or phone screen. That way when you go for treatment for your internet addiction, you will be able to treat yourself for your mental health as well.

Turn Off Notifications

If you get notifications on your computer or phone about any new updates or new comments you receive from social media, it is best to turn them off. You should tell yourself that the time to check any news with your social media accounts should be during a certain hour in the day. Otherwise, every time you receive a notification, you will never be able to take your eyes off the screen. You will reply to a comment and then it will be another notification when you receive a reply back. Check the app settings on your phone or computer to stop receiving immediate notifications.

Account Management

You may have subscribed to a bunch of websites where you can get news and updates that would interest you. The problem is that you may feel like you have to stay glued to your phone or computer to make sure you receive important emails. The problem is that the emails you may receive could be ones that you glance at for a second and then delete because you really do not care about receiving news from them anymore. Look at each email you receive and unsubscribe to the ones you hardly go onto anymore or go on websites like to instantly unsubscribe from many websites at once. You should also look at how long you have been on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and see if you should delete your accounts or deactivate them for some time until you no longer have a dependency.

Make a Plan

Quitting the internet cold turkey can have serious health consequences just like when you quit drugs or alcohol cold turkey. You should instead make a plan of how many hours to be on the internet a day so that you are not overwhelmed when you no longer use it. For example, you can tell yourself that you will set your timer for using the internet for three hours today so that you can eventually reduce that down to one hour. Keep reducing your amount to half an hour until you reach your goal.

Healthy Distractions

If you do not know what to do with yourself now away from the internet, you should spend that time with healthy distractions to use your mental power on. If you are in school, continue with your studies. If you work at the office or at home, focus on that. This will be a better way to improve your results and increase your healthy productivity. If your work involves being on the internet, make sure to shut down all of your windows and tabs and only use those that are related to your work.

New Hobbies

You should be telling yourself that the computer and your phone is for your work and to communicate with your friends and family when you cannot see them in person. This can mean exercising at the gym or going for walks. You can also join a club whether it is for books, knitting, cooking, sports, chess, etc. The point is to get out of the house and find other ways to enjoy yourself instead of feeling like the internet is the only way that you can feel good.

See a Therapist

When going on the internet is interfering with your life, you should speak to a therapist so that you can figure out where the stem of your addiction is coming from and what you can do about it. Even though internet addiction is not in the DSM-5 yet, it does not mean that this is not a serious addiction or that it is not treatable as it would be considered to be a behavioral addiction. A therapist can teach you how to wean yourself away from your dependence on the internet and how you do not need to rely on it for happiness.

Support Group

You are not the only one spending too much time on the internet and drifting away from the real world. You can find support groups in your area such as Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous. You can also find support groups for anxiety or depression as your internet addiction may be a symptom of those mental health conditions. By treating your mental health and finding healthy ways to spend your time, you will learn to use your time on the internet more wisely.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


How Anxiety Can Work To Your Advantage

How Anxiety Can Work To Your Advantage

Anxiety can be an exhausting mental disorder to have as your worries tend to take over your everyday life. The truth is that once you understand your anxiety more, you will realize that this mental disorder can work to your advantage. Anxiety has a way to make you more cautious and more protective of danger compared to typical people which can come in handy in daily situations.

Being Smarter

Having anxiety can make you very analytical. This skill can be useful if you apply for careers that involve researching, critical thinking, or analyzing. You also become smarter the more you learn and understand about anxiety. You can educate others on what triggers anxiety symptoms as well as the best way to handle them. You will be able to learn about different problem solving strategies and techniques that will help you calm your nerves. Impart your wisdom on others who are struggling with their anxiety who need a guiding hand.

Protecting Yourself

Anxiety has a way of making you constantly on edge. You may tend to think the worst about everything such as thinking the people in your life who tell you they like you are lying or that nothing will work out for you. While your worst fears may not be as bad as what happens to you in real life, it still sets in your self-preservation. Your body goes into a fight or flight response where you tense up when you feel like danger is coming because your body is preparing to defend itself. While it may seem very inconvenient to be scared all the time, that fear is existing under good intentions to protect yourself. By being aware of how quick your fear sets in, you can better control your anxiety by asking yourself whether your thoughts are accurate in the moment depending on what you see and hear. You will have a better sense of the danger surrounding and what to do.

More Attentive

It can be hard to ignore certain thoughts or situations you experience when you have anxiety. When something in particular is triggering your anxiety symptoms such as when your teacher hands you your test or when you are at party, your thoughts are telling you that something needs to be addressed. This can help you discover what kind of future endeavors you want to pursue and want to take action on since you cannot help but pay attention to what you are seeing. Another way anxiety can help you be attentive is paying attention to details that catch your eye more than anyone else’s that you cannot ignore. By going to therapy, a therapist can teach you that not every situation has to be one that triggers anxiety. You can use being attentive to draw attention to something that others should notice whether it is a good cause or if you see someone doing something wrong.

Knowing Right and Wrong

You might be feeling anxiety when you see someone getting hurt or you see that someone might be lying to you. While it is not good to always think the worst of something without knowing for sure if your thoughts are accurate, the good that can come of it is knowing what is right and wrong for you. You have an idea of what is hard for you to handle and what you expect from others. This part of this anxiety shows that you are aware of your surroundings as well as the people in your social circle.

Being an Overachiever

Having anxiety will make you feel like you have to be a perfectionist. This could have negative consequences in that you feel like you are never good enough and need to constantly push yourself. Being an anxious overachiever can mean that you have trouble turning down tasks in fear of disappointing anyone, trouble prioritizing, and have trouble working with others. If this is what you can do when faced with negative anxiety, you can use these skills towards positivity. Once you are focused and calm, you can use your motivation to get the job done without putting so much pressure on yourself. By seeing a therapist, you can learn to let go of the negativity that is pulling you back from getting the job done and learning about the strengths that you have.

Taking Action

People with anxiety let their worries stop them from taking action. It can make you feel like you cannot move when you feel in danger. This stress can actually be used to your advantage by taking action instead of remaining stuck. By not doing anything, you are letting all of that energy you have be bottled up inside of you, leaving you to continue in your panic. Use your stress response as an energy to complete small courses of action. For example, if there is someone that you are nervous to talk to, do not continue standing there frozen in fear, but use that energy instead to talk to that person.

Achieving Balance

Think of where your anxiety plays in your career, social time, rest time, etc. Think of how these elements of your life are off balanced. Instead of letting your anxiety control you, you can take the symptoms of anxiety and turn them into life skills. By finding the good in your anxiety, you are accepting of your anxiety and will be confident going forward.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Difference Between a Service Dog, a Therapy Dog, and an Emotional Support Dog

The Difference Between a Service Dog, a Therapy Dog, and an Emotional Support Dog

Dogs have the power to be a great source of comfort for those struggling with mental disorders. They feel soft and warm when you put their fur and always have a big smile on their face. To know whether or not an emotional support dog, a service dog, or a therapy dog is the right choice for your mental health, it is important to know the differences between the three.

Defining an Emotional Support Dog

Emotional support dogs provide mental health benefits for individuals. They can be useful for those with post traumatic stress disorder, people with anxiety, inmates with emotional problems, etc. Any breed of dog can be an emotional support dog. People with a mental health disorder can benefit well from an emotional support dog in that it can be hard to speak to a doctor or any human about your problems in fear of judgment or hearing something you are not ready to hear. Sometimes, all you are looking for is a companion who is willing to listen to you and will provide unconditional love to them. Emotional support dogs can qualify for no-pet housing as well as can fly on an airplane with someone with an emotional or psychological disability, but do not have access to all public areas.

Characteristics of Emotional Support Dogs

An emotional support dog is supposed to always be there for you and responds to your emotions and your commands. While ideally an emotional support dog should be calm and laid back, a hyperactive dog can also be an emotional support dog but will need more training to be obedient to their owner. Find a dog that is about one year old so that this dog can grow up with you and better build a relationship. It is best to find breeds that are good with people such as golden retrievers, poodles, golden doodles, labrador retrievers, etc.

The Legalities of Emotional Support Dogs

Emotional support dogs are not considered service dogs by the Americans with Disabilities Act since they have not been trained to do a specific job. Emotional support dogs do not require registration or certifications. To get an emotional support dog, speak to your therapist about the qualities you should be looking for in a dog and to get an emotional support animal letter from a therapist which will come in handy for a landlord or an airline. If you do not have time to obtain a letter from a mental health professional, you can get a letter online from Certapet or Emotional Pet Support. Be prepared for online sources will ask you to fill out a mental health pre-screening questionnaire to see if you qualify for an emotional support dog.

Defining a Service Dog

A service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for those with a disability. The tasks need to be related to that person’s disability whether it is physical, psychological, sensory, intellectual, etc. People with mental health issues have service dogs to remind them when to take their medicine, let them know when a panic attack comes, or stop them from self-harming. Training can take at least a year involving basic commands and public access commands like ignoring people, other pets, and food. The focus for them should be their owner in case something medically wrong occurs. Service dogs can do things like pull a wheelchair, prevent a seizure, or calm a person done if they have post traumatic stress disorder.

The Legalities of Service Dogs

Service dogs need to be allowed in businesses. It is illegal for someone to ask you about your disability, but can ask if your pet is with you because of a disability or what tasks your dog does for you. You are not allowed to pretend to be disabled to gain access to an area. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require registration for service dogs. Another thing that you should not do is pet a service dog when they are working. If you feel like a service dog is the right choice for you, speak to your doctor or therapist to see whether or not a service dog will benefit you.

Defining a Therapy Dog

A therapy dog is used in a facility to give comfort and affection to someone with a mental disability. Unlike a service dog, therapy dogs do not need to be trained to perform specific tasks. It is important for a therapy dog to be calm, affectionate, and friendly to strangers. They need to be obedient, well-groomed, and have check-ups.

Training a Therapy Dog

You can train your therapy dog by socializing him or her to new people, places and things. Your dog also completes obedience training being able to follow important commands such as not to jump on others, to look, or leave something alone. Then, you enroll your dog in a therapy dog class and register your dog with a national therapy dog organization. In order to earn a title through the American Kennel Club, you need to have a certain number of visits depending on the title you are acquiring. For example, for the AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished title, you need 400 visits from a therapy dog organization recognized by the AKC. These dogs can help you make a positive impact towards your mental health and will always stand by your side as long as they are there.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Atlantic City High School Breaks the Stigma of Mental Health

Atlantic City High School Breaks the Stigma of Mental Health

High school can be a very stressful time when you have classes to pass as well as fitting enough activities for your college applications. Having a mental illness while in high school can be just as much a struggle, but it does not have to be. By having a center located in your high school to help you better cope with your mental illness, you will be able to get through high school without having to worry about anything.

Mental Illness Issues in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is considered a big place when it comes to those with mental illnesses according to the New Jersey Hospital Association. Because 40% of its residents are in poverty, it is critical to find a solution to those struggling with mental illness. A Rutgers Camden study says that childhood experiences for those in poor families can lead to developing mental health disorders in children. When these issues are addressed early enough, civic engagement and having a healthy family can lessen the effects of mental illness.

When Relia Williams was a freshman at Atlantic City High School, she was told by her aunt to see a counselor because she was having anger issues. At the time, she did not feel like she needed counseling because she did not feel like there was anything wrong with her. It was not until she joined a teen center at her high school that she started to smile a lot. Now a senior, she has become a much happier person as she felt like being around positive people was giving her a positive energy.

AtlantiCare Teen Center

Funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Family Services located at Atlantic City High School, the AtlantiCare Teen Center is an effort to help teens during an important moment in their life when they are developing into adults while struggling with a mental illness. This center offers individualized counseling as well as group therapy sessions free of charge. There are other teen centers in Atlantic County such as at Buena Regional High School, Oakcrest High School, and Buena Regional Middle School. In their own schools, students are met with a nurse, an advanced practice nurse, and a case manager who takes care of them when they come in for sick visits, STD, physicals, pregnancy tests, etc.

The director of the high school’s program, Craig Cochran, notices how students are being more open now with their vulnerability and facing their issues of anxiety and depression. Because so many students at the high school sees their friends struggling with the mental illnesses, they feel more comfortable being open with what they have and accepting that they need help.

AtlantiCare Teen Center’s Programs and Groups

AtlantiCare offers an eight week violence prevention program when referred to. There is also a ten week group called Lotus which helps you focus your energy on the present and how to reduce stress, anger, anxiety, and not feeling in control of your feelings. Teens will be able to build their self-confidence and teach you stress-reducing techniques to help you cope more with everyday situations. Another group is Make-A-Move which teaches you how to cook healthy and be more active to stay healthy. There are also groups like Woman2Woman and Men2Men that empowers young women and men to make healthy and responsible choices in their relationships, communication and decision making. RAP (Redirecting Anger Positively) is another group that teaches teens how to identify with their triggers, learn coping techniques and other skills to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Students are able to immediately see a doctor without having to worry about long wait times. According to the Hospital Association, Atlantic County has the third highest rate in the state for emergency room crises for those with mental illnesses. It is hard for adults who are out of work or do not make a lot of money to have access to care for their mental illness considering how expensive treatment can be. It is best for those to get into care while they are young and while there are cost free opportunities available in their schools that they have access to.

How Relia Williams is Doing Now

Relia Williams is now the president of the Youth Counsel with Atlantic City’s NAACP chapter. She feels like the staff at the teen center is like her second family. Williams would like to eventually work as a nurse or in mental health services. She applied to colleges such as Rowan University, Stockton University, Atlantic Cape Community College, and Morgan State University. Even though she does not need regular counseling anymore, she is still involved with the teen center and wants to bring what she has learned from the center to new students who join.

Williams said that she felt more open being able to speak to others about herself since joining the teen center. That it is not healthy to hold your emotions in if you have a mental health disorder since everyone will break sooner or later. By communicating with others about what you are feeling and learning how to better cope, teens will be able to manage high school and the rest of their lives going forward. If there are more teen centers in more high schools worldwide, teens would be in more control of their mental illness and would help break the stigma of being open about their ongoing struggles.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wasted Potential and Addiction

Wasted Potential and Addiction

One of the greatest contributors to our addiction and depression is how much we waste our potential in life. We have such amazing capacity for self-expression, learning and growth, but when we waste our potential, we aren’t using our energy for good. Our addictions and mental health issues often result from letting our unprocessed emotions overtake us, making us direct our energy in detrimental ways. When we aren’t working with ourselves and our emotions in healthy ways, we’re stifling our incredible potential for healing and transformation.

Wasting our potential can happen in various different ways. Some of us give up on our creative pursuits because we don’t believe in ourselves. Many of us stop making time for our interests and talents because we think we’re not good enough. We quit our passion projects. We give up on our education. We don’t push ourselves to reach for the career we truly want. We settle for the easier option, the less rigorous path. Our lack of self-belief becomes a heavy weight that we carry with us for years of our lives, that holds us down and keeps us from reaching for bigger and better things for ourselves. We give up on our dreams. We stop trying. We stop fighting for ourselves. We give up hope of being happy or feeling fulfilled.

Our potential is limitless when we apply our energy to our desires and work to manifest them. When we stop applying our energy in positive ways, we can contribute to our own decline. Wasting our potential makes us feel depressed, unfulfilled and unsatisfied. We feel disappointed in ourselves for giving up on the things that made us truly happy. We turn to external things to try to feel better about ourselves and our circumstances. We crave the high from addictive substances and behaviors because it distracts us from the pain of our defeat. Wasted potential can be the driving force behind our deep unhappiness and lack of fulfillment, which can contribute to our mental health issues and addictions.

Taking advantage of our tremendous potential means instilling belief in ourselves and our dreams. We have to convince ourselves to have faith in our journey. Without this faith, we’re contributing to our downfall, often without realizing it. We have to see our potential and not take it for granted. We can start by examining what areas of our lives are full of our talent, full of possibility, potential and hope, areas that we’ve likely been neglecting. Our potential lies in our creativity, our quest for knowledge, our natural talents and gifts, all the things that bring us joy and peace.

The community at Enlightened Solutions has years of personal experience with addiction, so we understand firsthand the emotional struggles you’re experiencing. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.

Stigmas Around Sex Addiction

Stigmas Around Sex Addiction

The stigmas surrounding addiction have become a dominant part of our mainstream cultural dialogue but were generated from a place of fear and lack of understanding from people who aren’t addicts themselves. Without having experienced it firsthand, addiction can be a complicated and difficult thing to comprehend. Just as all addictions carry specific stigmas and stereotypes associated with them, sex addiction has come to be viewed a certain way that is unique to it. Since sex itself is still taboo in so many ways, and since sex is such a powerful force in our lives, there is a great deal of fear, trepidation, misunderstanding and misinformation when it comes to sex addiction.

A common misconception about sex addiction is that it is an excuse for promiscuity and reckless, dangerous sexuality. Addiction as a whole carries the weight of shame with it for many people, and with sex addiction, this can be even more true. Sex addicts can be drowning in shame for the compulsive acts they’re engaging in. We can feel as though we’re totally out of control, like our actions and our bodies are not within our control but being driven by a compulsive force. Many of us don’t want to be promiscuous. We want loving, healthy, monogamous relationships but feel as though we can’t stop ourselves from having casual sex, cheating or otherwise acting out. We feel ashamed of our sexual history, of the partners we’ve been with, of our choices and behaviors. We feel sadness, regret and remorse after our sexual encounters. Just as alcoholics are not using their addiction as an excuse for destructive behavior, sex addicts are not using their addiction as an excuse for promiscuity.

Another stigma surrounding sex addiction is that sex addicts are immoral, deviant people. This belief is based on the larger belief that sex is wrong, that having sex for pleasure is an immoral thing to do, and that our sexuality is a source of shame. Addiction can impact and taint every area of our lives, but it doesn’t rob of us of our inherent goodness. We can be suffering from addiction and still have compassion and kindness. Addicts are not necessarily bad people, and sex can be a beautiful thing when treated with the respect it deserves. Sex addiction is not a badge of immorality just as alcoholism isn’t. Understanding sex addiction and how it affects people’s lives involves looking at some of the stigmas that addicts have to live with on a constant basis.

If you’re living with sex addiction and struggling to feel understood, you’re not alone. Sex addiction is one of the most common co-occurring conditions we address in our treatment programs at Enlightened Solutions. Call (833) 801-LIVE today.

Understanding Sex Addiction

Understanding Sex Addiction

One of the many conditions that can both accompany other addictions and function as an addiction on its own is sex addiction. Whereas we usually associate addiction with substances such as drugs and alcohol, there are many behaviors that can become similarly addictive and destructive in a person’s life. Gambling, gaming, spending, shoplifting and overeating are all examples. Sex addiction, often referred to as love and sex addiction, is when a person’s relationship with sex and romance has become unhealthy, obsessive, impulsive and compulsive. When we struggle with sex addiction, our natural impulses for love and sex are overtaken by a neediness, a desperation, a compulsive need to return to a feeling of being high. Our thoughts are dominated by our sexual relationships, and we find it hard to focus on anything else. Our lives can become totally consumed by our reckless and dangerous behaviors. Our health can be derailed by our sexual patterns.

Very often our addictions stem from the trauma we haven’t resolved within ourselves. Sex addiction is no different. Sometimes our traumatic experiences were sexual in nature, causing us to have a dysfunctional relationship with sex based on fear, mistrust, shame and sadness. Sometimes our trauma can be totally unrelated, but our unresolved pain manifests in a sexual way. For example, the abandonment we felt at the loss of a loved one can cause us to compulsively try to relieve that pain through having sex.

With sex addiction, we often confuse sex for love and vice versa. In a healthy relationship, sex can be a mutual expression of our love and a reflection of it. In unhealthy relationships based on addiction, we have a hard time processing or clarifying our thoughts and feelings, including our definitions of love, respect and trust. We don’t know how to define, let alone embody, a healthy partnership. Often what results is a lot of confusion and turmoil. We’re filled with neediness and longing. Our relationships are based on codependence. We form attachments rather than unions. We feel as though there is a void within us that we try to fill through being loved, needed and wanted by another person. We can become just as addicted to the euphoric feelings of love as we are to the physical act of sex, and both can become the driving forces behind our behavior.

Sex addiction is one of the many co-occurring conditions we treat at Enlightened Solutions. You’re not alone. There is help available to you. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.