» Crossroads Centre
12/06/19 03:16 from The Fix

Introduction and Basic ServicesFounded in 1998 by iconic musician and recovering addict Eric Clapton, Crossroads Centre Antigua is located on the island of St. John's Antigua in the West Indies, just north of the equator in the Caribbean. A beautiful location to begin recovery, Antigua enjoys year round sunny weather and is known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water.Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities known as CARF, Crossroads Centre Antigua is a nonprofit organization that offers medically managed detox, residential 12-step treatment program and family therapy. Treatment is available for men and women who are actively struggling with alcohol, cocaine, opioid or cannabis abuse. The programming here also offers dual diagnosis support for individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders in addiction to addiction. Crossroads Centre Antigua also operates a halfway house, retreats and workshops.Facility and MealsLocated close to the beach with ocean views, Crossroads Centre Antigua is a resort style facility that includes separate casita style living quarters. Both private rooms with queen sized bed and shared gender-specific rooms with two twin beds are available. Much like an upscale hotel, each room includes its own full private bath, desk and chair, closet and patio.The grounds include a pool, on-site gym, outdoor dining and lounge space and a common living room with a TV.In terms of food, all clients meet with a nutritionist to assess dietary needs. They eat three meals a day served buffet style in a dining room.Treatment Protocol and TeamCrossroads Centre Antigua offers specific treatment for clients with alcohol, cocaine, opioids, cannabis addiction and dual diagnosis disorders. Treatment begins with medically managed detox that can last seven to 10 days, per the client’s individual needs. Detox is managed by an international ASAM certified medical director and full nursing and medical team. During detox, a medical team assesses and evaluates the person, then creates an individualized treatment plan that addresses both substance addiction and mental health needs.There is no set length of time for the residential program at Crossroads. The length of treatment ranges from 30 to 90 days, depending on the needs of the client.All substance addiction treatment follows evidence-based models including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Clients also receive individual and group therapy, trauma-informed care and 12-step support. Crossroads Centre Antigua offers holistic pain management and off-site experiential therapy that includes volunteer opportunities and social excursions.The staff at Crossroads includes a medical physician, clinical director and advisor, RNs, licensed therapists (including a primary therapist with a Master’s degree in counseling psychology) and a dietitian.In terms of schedule, a typical day at Crossroads begins at 7 am with breakfast and exercise. Breakfast is followed by AA, NA or Al Anon, meditation, readings and announcements, acupuncture and Didactic therapy. After they eat lunch, clients can expect individual or group therapy, yoga, physical fitness or beach therapy. Once dinner is finished, there are client led AA and NA reflections. Additionally, the schedule incorporates free, flexible time built in each day for clients to enjoy the grounds and additional wellness services. Weekends include on-site movie screenings and family visitation on Sundays. In keeping with the 12-step principle of being of service to others, through treatment at Crossroads there are opportunities for clients to go off-site for supervised volunteering. Activities for socializing also happen off campus.In addition to its residential treatment program, Crossroads Centre Antigua operates Bevon House, a halfway house for clients who need additional supervised support after treatment.Before leaving treatment, clients receive an individualized recovery plan for the “real world.” Aftercare includes a robust alumni program with local chapters throughout the US, Canada, UK and Caribbean. These established chapters help former Crossroads clients connect with established alumni and 12-step groups in their respective communities. Recovery support includes access to local resources, monthly support newsletters and invitations to events, dinners and to Alumni Renewal Retreats.In addition to its alumni retreat, Crossroads Centre Antigua offers a five day on-site family therapy program. It integrates individual, group and family therapy, didactic lectures and educational materials to strengthen boundaries and communication.Bonus AmenitiesFitness specialists are available to craft individualized wellness and fitness plans for clients. Crossroads residents can also enjoy spa style private rooms for therapeutic massage and acupuncture. Ground transportation is available to clients for off-site activities.Crossroads Centre Antigua offers massage therapy during detox to assist with pain management. Wellness programs offered to all clients during treatment includes yoga, auricular acupuncture and spiritual counseling to deepen spiritual aspect of 12 steps.Art therapy and aquatics are also included in treatment plans. Every week clients enjoy an afternoon at the beach for recreation and seaside therapy that helps creative positive experiences while in treatment.As previously mentioned, Crossroads Centre offers five day retreats to alumni to renew their commitment to sobriety. Retreats offer coping skill training, 12-step support, group and seaside therapy. Holistic therapy including yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage are also included in these retreats.Crossroads Centre Antigua also sponsors Rokelle Lerner Workshops. These are two day seminars for those in recovery who are still healing from trauma and relationship issues. The workshops offer an action plan for clients that want to strengthen their resiliency.SummaryAccredited by CARF, Crossroads Centre Antigua is a nonprofit organization with a goal to provide clients with tools to commit to abstaining from alcohol and drugs and a change in lifestyle that supports abstinence. Crossroads Centre offers medically managed detox and also treats co-occuring mental health disorders in addition to substance use disorders. A very well-rounded program, treatment relies on evidence-based models and 12-step as well as holistic practices like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, art and seaside therapy. In addition, clients get to experience off-site supervised volunteering and socializing opportunities. It’s worth noting, US Passports are required for US clients to attend Crossroads Centre.Crossroads Centre Antigua LocationPO Box 3592St. John’s AntiguaWest Indies(888) 452-0091 (USA and Canada)0-8-783-9631(UK)(268) 562-0035 (all other countries)Crossroads Centre Antigua Cost$27,000 (29 days); $34,875 (6-week program)Private pay, insurance, financial assistanceFind Crossroads Centre Antigua on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

» Do Teens With Mental Health Issues Vape To Self-Medicate?
11/06/19 23:30 from The Fix

A study recently published in Pediatrics found that teens with mental health issues are more likely to use e-cigarettes.Researchers surveyed 7,702 adolescents ages 12 to 17 and found that those with “externalizing problems” such as “rebelliousness and sensation-seeking” were more likely to smoke both standard combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes, while those with internalizing problems such as anxiety and depression were only more likely to use e-cigarettes.“Our results are in line with existing literature that suggests a stronger connection between externalizing problems, like rebelliousness and sensation-seeking, and combustible cigarette use, than between internalizing problems and combustible cigarette use,” said study leader Kira Riehm, MSc, to MedPage Today.Studies have demonstrated an association between mental health issues and combustible cigarette use. As e-cigarette use increases among underage teens to the point of being called an “epidemic” by some health experts, researchers are beginning to look into how mental health plays into the growing trend of vaping.The findings that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to have internalizing mental health problems but not externalizing could suggest that vaping is more of a way to self-medicate for anxiety, depression and related issues rather than simply trying something that has become trendy.This could be related to the current availability of information on the risks of smoking combustible cigarettes paired with a lack of information about the risks of e-cigarettes and prevalent myths.Studies on teens' knowledge of vaping risks and even what’s in their e-cigarettes came up with alarming results, including the fact that a significant number of teens were unaware that there was any nicotine in their vaping products. This problem has repeatedly landed the nation’s biggest e-cigarette company, Juul, in hot water. Juul has been accused of marketing to teens with colorful packaging and fruity flavor packs that make smoking more attractive to young people. The popularity of these products, which Juul claims are meant only for adults who are trying to transition away from combustible cigarettes, is largely responsible for an increase in nicotine use among teens after years of decline.For kids with mental health problems, e-cigarettes represent a two-way street, says Boston Children's Hospital’s Dr. Nicholas Chadi."We have to be careful when we think of e-cigarettes as substances because it falls in the bigger picture of substance use in general," said Chadi. "This is a two-way highway, where people with mental health problems are more likely to start using these substances, but the reverse is also true—people who start using these substances also have increased chances of developing mental health symptoms."

» Do Opioids Help With Sleep?
11/06/19 21:30 from The Fix

People with chronic pain often rely on opioids to manage their discomfort through the night and get a better night’s sleep, but a new scientific review indicates that opioids don’t usually improve the quality of sleep, and may actually make sleep worse. Authors of the review, published in the journal Sleep Study Reviews, found that although people often self-reported that they got better sleep while on opioids, “the effect is inconsistent, small, and may be accompanied by excessive daytime sleepiness.”Lead study author Dr. Nicole Tang told Science Daily that studies need to use objective measurements of sleep quality, since self-reporting by patients can often be unreliable. "The way people experience sleep could be quite different from what you get from physiological measurements. It is not uncommon for patients to report an improvement in their sleep quality when the severity of sleep disordered breathing has increased and without significant changes in important parameters reflecting deeper and more restorative sleep,” she said. “This phenomenon is perplexing, and may reflect the inherent challenge in reconciling a wide range of ambiguous bodily information to make a categorical judgement whether sleep has improved or not after opioid therapy."One of the reasons that opioids may not improve sleep is because opioids affect the breathing system. This can make people more likely to deal with sleep apnea events, which affect the quality of sleep.According to Science Daily, insomnia is 42% more common among pain patients taking opioids than it is among pain patients who are not on opioids. Tang said that there needs to be more studies on the use of opioids to assist with sleep. Future studies should include examinations of how different opioid doses affect sleep differently, she said. Study co-author Dr. Harbinder Sandhu is currently doing more research into opioids and sleep. "The benefits of opioids on managing chronic pain in the short term is well-evidenced,” she said. “But we have not seen long-term benefits in managing pain and the effect on sleep is unknown. Results of the study will help to inform future interventions in opioid pain management.”Dr. Chantal Berna, another study co-author, said that people need to talk with their doctors about the benefits and drawbacks of using opioids to enhance sleep. "Decisions regarding introducing or maintain[ing] long term opioid therapy are based on balancing risks and benefits with the patient suffering from chronic pain,” Berna said. “Given that side effects and risks are sometimes not clear to patients, assessing vigilance as well as sleep both subjectively and with overnight objective measures before and after introducing opioids can be useful."

» Oakland Decriminalizes Shrooms & Other Natural Psychedelics
11/06/19 19:30 from The Fix

The use of psilocybin, mescaline or other natural psychedelic “drugs” can no longer be policed in the city of Oakland, California.Last Tuesday (June 4), the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and other entheogenic plants including ayahuasca, cacti (mescaline) and iboga—i.e., “the full spectrum of plants, fungi, and natural materials… that can inspire personal and spiritual well-being, can benefit psychological and physical wellness, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”Police can no longer “impose criminal penalties… or use any city funds to investigate or enforce the criminal penalties,” CNN explained. And according to the resolution, even people who are currently being prosecuted for the natural psychedelics in question will no longer be punished.Denver was the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin in early May. Oakland’s resolution, meanwhile, covers a greater spectrum of natural psychedelics. However, synthetics such as LSD or MDMA are not included in the resolution.Councilman Noel Gallo, who introduced the measure after being approached by Decriminalize Nature Oakland, said that growing up in a Native American family, he was familiar with the use of natural medicine. “We didn’t go to Walgreens for medication,” he told CNN. “My grandma had plants in her backyard that would heal us.”During the night of the resolution’s passing, over 100 people testified about how they have been helped by natural psychedelics.Researcher Matthew Johnson of Johns Hopkins University says there is reason to be optimistic about the ability of psilocybin, in particular, to positively impact mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, addiction and more.“The data are really impressive,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We should be cautiously but enthusiastically pursuing these threads.”Native communities have a long history of consuming peyote for ritual and medicinal use. Councilman Gallo referred to this fact in his agenda report.Another benefit to decriminalization, Gallo said, is freeing police from having to enforce the prohibition of natural psychedelics so they may focus on larger crimes.

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