substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

Does Marijuana Help Mental Health?

Marijuana is legalizing and medicalizing around the country. 2016 alone has seen the legislative approval of recreational marijuana use in 4 states. Many others have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana as well as medicalized it. As the normalization of marijuana grows, research continues to grow as well. CBD oil, which removes the high-inducing THC molecule from marijuana, is being used to treat cancer, autism, ADHD, depression, and more.

A recent review of research has found that marijuana can benefit mental health disorders. Social anxiety, PTSD, and depression can all be benefited from the use of marijuana, according to the review. Specifically, these mental health disorders benefit from the use of marijuana. Other mental health disorders like bipolar might not benefit from the use of marijuana as they result in more negative effects.

According to Time.com, one of the main encouragements for expanding research into the positive benefit of marijuana in treating mental health is to aid in the war on opioids. Quoting Zach Walsh of the University of British Columbia, Time cites, “If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits.” Walsh continues to explain what millions of Americans know to be true: “The level of opioid overdoses is so high right now.”

Isn’t Marijuana Addictive?

Marijuana is not considered to be an addictive or habit forming drug by most. However, marijuana use disorder has become a realistic problem. Marijuana today is stronger than it has been in previous decades, causing more a chemical alteration and creating a dependency. Regular marijuana users do experience symptoms of withdrawal without using marijuana. For this reason, recovery professionals are concerned about the use of a mind altering substance to treat the addiction to another mind altering substance.

As controversy still reigns regarding medication assisted treatment and the use of natural substances like Kratom, it is unlikely marijuana as an addiction treatment will gain traction. Additionally, marijuana, though legalized at state level for some states, is still a federally illegal drug. Until the DEA lifts the Schedule 1 label on marijuana, conducting further studies will be difficult.

 

Enlightened Solutions provides a continuum of care to men and women seeking a creative approach to treatment. Our programs combine evidence based treatment with twelve step philosophy and include holistic modalities for care. For more information, call 833-801-5483.


High Functioning Depression Is More Than Meets The Eye

Everything May Look Great, But…

Just like high functioning addiction or alcoholism, high functioning depression looks one way but feels completely different to the person suffering. Depression, though it can be managed and coped with, has persistent symptoms that can be unruly. Showing up to a job, to a marriage, to a family and to a life is possible with depression. Facing the challenges of having depression while doing so is incredibly challenging. Depression, along with many other mental illnesses, is quickly dismissed when everything on the outside appears to be fine. Outside the sun may be shining. Inside is a dark storm, forever brewing.

Sometimes, showing up and doing well is part of the way one copes with depression. It might be surprising to learn someone has depression when they do their job so well or function so seemingly normally in life. Just because you can’t see the way someone’s depression affects them doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Telling an alcoholic you don’t think they’re an alcoholic because you don’t see them as one is making a statement according to social guidelines. Projecting social expectations onto someone suffering from mental illness only heightens their sense that they are different. More troublingly, it tells them that their authentic and individual experience in life is unimportant.

Supporting a loved one with high functioning depression should include many activities or gestures to help them remember just how important they are. Their life and place in this world has a great impact on everyone involved. Losing them would be a significant loss to the world around them. Remove the stigma and blanket generalizations of depression by creating an individualized world for your loved one. What activities do they enjoy the most? What small actions can you commit to each day to help remind them that they are loved? Of course, none of this is meant out of codependency, but instead compassion.

Compassion is the ability to recognize someone’s suffering. Sometimes, suffering is hard to notice when it is so adequately masked by high functioning behavior. As the family and friends of a loved one suffering from mental health disorders we learn to question what we see. A spiritual practice to engage in this contemplation can include a conversation with yourself, with friends, etc, to ask, “At what cost does this person’s life come?”. What we see on the outside is only sometimes an indication of what’s inside. We can never know what someone is going through until we stop to ask.

Enlightened Solutions wants to know if you are suffering from mental health issues like anxiety. A certified and licensed dual diagnosis center, Enlightened offers the best in integrative treatment. For more information call 833-801-5483


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Mental Health is a Problem for Children in School

Addiction is both a disease of it’s own and a symptom of others. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous aptly states that “our liquor was but a symptom.” Increasingly, addiction, alcoholism, or general substance use disorder is being dually diagnosed. Dual-diagnosis refers to the two prong diagnosis of substance abuse and other mental health disorder. Depression, anxiety, and ADHD are three of the most common dual-diagnosis issues found in conjunction with substance use. Without the early intervention and treatment of mental health disorders, substance abuse can develop as a coping mechanism.

Mental Health is a Problem for Children in School

NPR reports that in the United States, one out of every five school children shows signs of mental illness (in a given school year). Problematically, upwards of 80% of children who demonstrate symptoms of mental illness and may have it will not be treated for it. Untreated mental illness in early stages of development tends to worsen through the hormonal changes of puberty. Entering teenagehood when adolescents are naturally beginning to experiment with drugs and alcohol, a young adult with preexisting mental illness will be prone to addiction.

Addiction is not the only problem that can be created by untreated mental illness in school age children. Unless there is an active parent supporting their specific needs in learning, a child will suffer academically. As a result, they will likely receive criticism, ridicule, and punishment from their learning institutions. Wishing to avoid the humiliation and frustration, they might start skipping classes, underperforming academically, and turning to drugs for escape.

A similar occurrence happens in much of the treatment industry. Though dual-diagnosis is becoming more common, many treatment centers are not equipped to work with such clients. Enlightened Solutions is a certified and licensed dual-diagnosis treatment facility. In uncertified facilities, they might view the symptomology of mental illness as a lack of willingness, lack of motivation, or problematic behavior. Just like acting up in school, patients in treatment will begin to rebel. Sadly, their frustrations will lead to discharge and potential relapse.

Recognizing and treating co-occurring mental illness disorders in addiction patients is critical at any age or stage of development.

If you are concerned you or a loved one may be suffering from a mental disorder that is causing complications such as substance abuse, call Enlightened Solutions today 833-801-5483.


Myths About Suicide You Need To Understand

Suicide is a prevailing cause of death in the United States and a symptom of untreated mental illness. Detecting the threat and severity of suicide is not as easy as seeing someone crawling out of a window. Signs of suicide are being displayed by our family members, spouses, loved ones, coworkers, and people on the street everyday. The stigmatization of mental illness combined with myths about suicide cause people to be lacking in knowledge. That knowledge could help save a life. Here are some myths about suicide to consider and get informed about:

Suicide can happen at any age

Existential breakdowns are not reserved to any age group. Contemplating the end of one’s own life can happen very early. It can also happen later in life. Children as young as five years old commit intentional suicide. Elderly populations also see a striking percentage of suicides per year. What is the cause? Aside from mental illness, it is the stress of living. A child with additional outside issues to mental illness, such as trauma from abuse, might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of an entire life lying ahead of them. In contrast, an elderly person who has seen life go by might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of living life any longer.

Suicide is impulsive

Suicide is not an overreaction or a moment of awakening as can often be portrayed in film. Most of the time, suicide is carefully planned out. People who are considering suicide will tend to leave obvious hints, as well as less obvious ones. Of the obvious signs includes talking about death or openly asking others about their thoughts on suicide. When you are suspicious of suicidal ideation or intention, it is critical to ask: do you have a plan? Having a detailed plan is a sign that suicide has been thought about for many weeks.

Suicide cannot be prevented or intervened with

Suicide is not inevitable. It is, however, preventable. By learning the signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation, you have the ability to confront a loved one and ask how they are doing. Asking someone about suicide will not cause someone to impulsively kill themselves. Instead, it might help them realize they need to seek professional help because their life's worth living.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK.

For more information on the programs of treatment for addiction and mental illness at Enlightened Solutions, call 833-801-5483 today.