March Is National Sleep Awareness Month! Learn About the Importance of Good Sleep Hygiene.

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems, and these issues affect individuals of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you are currently experiencing sleep problems, no matter how minor or severe, consider the following: The way you sleep at night can impact the way you feel during the day. So why not maximize both experiences? Below, we look at some of the key benefits to getting a good night’s sleep.

  • Enhanced mental clarity and performance. When you get the right amount of sleep at night, you’ll be better able to function during the day. Studies show that individuals who do not get enough sleep will be less productive in their daily activities; they will generally take longer to complete tasks and will likely make more mistakes throughout the day. Their reaction-time will be slower and they’ll be more likely to misunderstand the situation at hand. Optimal mental clarity and daily performance is best achieved after a solid night of rest.
  • Improved emotional well-being and brain activity. It’s no secret that sleep helps your brain work to its fullest capacity. While you are asleep, your brain has time to prepare for the upcoming events of the day. How? By forming new pathways that allow for learning and memory retention. Without the proper amount of sleep, you may find it difficult to solve problems, make decisions, control your emotions, or even cope with change. Sleep is a critical component to both your mental and emotional well-being, and without the right amount of it, you may quickly notice changes in your mood and behaviors.
  • Better physical health. Sleep plays an important role in your body’s ability to heal and repair, especially when it comes to your heart and blood vessels. Sleep-deficient individuals are more at-risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Not coincidentally, these are the same individuals who are at increased risk of obesity. As human beings, we need sleep to regulate the way our body controls and reacts to hormones such as insulin. When there’s a sleep deficiency, blood sugar levels can spike and put an individual at an increased risk of serious health issues.

Sleep Better. Feel Better.

How much sleep you need will depend on a number of factors, but general guidelines according to the National Sleep Foundation are as follows:

  • Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
  • Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • Children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
  • Young Adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
  • Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
  • Seniors, 65+ years: 7-8 hours

March is National Sleep Awareness Month. Make the most of it by monitoring your sleep schedule and looking for ways you can improve your sleep. You mind, body, and soul will thank you for it!

For comprehensive behavioral treatment in Northern California, contact our team of Chico mental health professionals at Therapeutic Solutions. We’re here to help you live life in balance.


Starting Over After a Relapse

One thing that we always stress to everyone trying to overcome addiction—recovery is an ever-evolving and growing process. It does not end when your treatment ends or when you walk out the doors of the facility. Overcoming addiction begins with small steps that accumulate in a larger path towards bettering your life.

Here are some examples of ways people choose to rise above in their recovery:

  • Refusing a drink while you are visiting at a friend’s house
  • Avoiding a location or staying home, instead of going somewhere where you know there will be alcohol or drugs
  • Being unafraid to seek treatment or counsel again when a slip-up occurs

We understand. Relapse is frustrating and often, very frustrating for those who believe that they are on the right track towards recovering. By reinforcing the feelings of “guilt” and punishing yourself for relapsing, it makes it easier to simply give up on recovery. This is why between 40 and 60% of individuals who have completed a substance abuse program have a chance of relapsing.

Our Chico substance abuse counselors at Therapeutic Solutions want to help you reformulate some of those negative thoughts that you are currently struggling with or facing. Half of the battle with addiction and recovery is believing that you can fight it. Success and the will to succeed is a feeling that you will find offers a much stronger reward than any craving or “high.”

What Should I Do if I Have Relapsed?

If you have relapsed, remember—do not guilt yourself, punish yourself, or give up because of a “mistake.” Take those thoughts and channel them towards motivating thoughts. Focus your energy on rising above, not on what went wrong.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Think of relapse as just another step on your road towards recovery
  • Reach out to your network or support system—positive influences that have been there during your ongoing struggle will continue to be there
  • Enter into a treatment or rehabilitation program—there is absolutely no shame or disgrace in returning to treatment, only strength.

Find support any way you can. Whether it is from your friends, your spouse, your loved ones, or even counselors and group mates in a treatment program. Therapeutic Solutions and our Chico behavioral solutions team has helped people fight some of the toughest addictions. We want to ensure that your future looks bright from here on out, no matter what setbacks you might face.

To discuss our substance abuse intensive outpatient program, please give Therapeutic Solutions a call at (530) 899-3150.


Pregnant Women and the Fight Against Addiction

At Therapeutic Solutions, we understand that many pregnant women are currently dealing with addiction in many forms. We know that kicking an addiction is one thing, but it becomes necessary when one is carrying life inside of them.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found the following statistics for women between the ages of 15 and 44:

  • 11.6% drank alcohol while pregnant
  • 17.3% consumed tobacco while pregnant
  • 4.3% used illicit or illegal substances while pregnant

Unfortunately, we are also aware that many women do not always seek the medical care or treatment for their addiction. We hope that our program at Therapeutic Solutions can touch many, and bring about a positive change in others’ lives. Our Chico behavioral health center can offer a helping hand to many women who need treatment for their addictions.

What’s the First Step?

The first step is to detox carefully from the drug or alcohol, which must be done carefully and while under a doctor’s supervision. This is only for the mother and the child’s well-being. If you have any questions about our program, and what types of benefits that you can get from our substance abuse treatment options, you can read about our Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program here.

This program includes the following:

  • Introduction to recovery
  • Medication support for relapse prevention
  • Outpatient detoxification services
  • Individualized treatment planning
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family education and family therapy
  • Aftercare

Some mothers might feel more comfortable in a group setting, as they will be able to talk and interact with others who are going through the same emotions and stresses. We also understand that other mothers prefer to retain their privacy, such as teen mothers. The primary focus of our Chico substance abuse counselors to help you get set on the road towards recovery.

Contact Us Today!

Therapeutic Solutions and our substance abuse program is fully certified by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs. When you come to us, we are happy to work with you to find the treatment option that is right for.

Please do not hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our therapy and treatment program.


Is a Diet Pill Addiction an Eating Disorder?

Diet pill addiction has become a serious issue in recent years, particularly for those who are suffering from an eating disorder. This is because most of us do not realize that diet pills can become a source of addiction for some. It may be due in part to the fact that diet pills also have chemicals that can have some people hooked, become tolerant to the drug’s effects, and require larger or more frequent doses just to feel any effects.

Some of the known side effects of diet pill addiction include:

  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Labored breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Chest pains
  • Seizures

There is some evidence that shows individuals who are dealing with an eating disorder might also suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, in about 50% of cases. This is a high percentage, in comparison with the rest of the population on cases of drug dependency or addiction.

Where Are Diet Pills Found?

Doctors can either prescribe diet pills, as well as over-the-counter options. Many of them have different remedies; some act as appetite suppressants, some are metabolism boosters, and some block the body from absorbing fat. Some of the chemicals used in diet pills are known to work in a similar way as amphetamines; for example, one of the most widely known of these is benzphetamine. If the individual combines the use of diet pills with exercise, the effects are magnified.

In turn, people might need to rely more and more on the pills to notice a difference, as they begin building a tolerance to their effects. For those who are also suffering from an eating disorder, it becomes all the more critical for them to seek help for addiction and any other form of drug abuse.

Overcome Addiction—Contact Us!

If you or a loved one are suffering from abuse or addiction, please contact us today to discuss your case further. Therapeutic Solutions offers a substance abuse intensive outpatient program and together, we can help you fight addiction and seek a better quality of life moving forward.


How Do Drugs Alter the Brain?

Most of us are already aware that drugs have a tremendous effect on the brain. Many people feel a “rush” from drugs, of course depending on the type of drug and the individual. Those same chemicals that make us feel good, however, also send signals to the brain to essentially alter and rewire our chemistry. We all want to feel a boost of confidence or a rush of endorphins, but with drugs, it can come at a significant cost to the makeup of our brains.

How Are Drug Cravings Created?

The medical community has uncovered some interesting research as of late on how drugs can alter the brain. One of the ways it does this is how our brain processes the drugs to create “cravings.” According to these recent studies, that craving is stored in the brain as a function of memory. The more a person takes drugs, the more the brain has to process the chemicals that enter the the body.

The drugs are continuously stimulating the proteins in the brain to become accustomed to it, causing dependence and thus, the “cravings.” Some of the research has further shown that this mechanism is so strong that it can be detected for months after the individual no longer suffers from withdrawal symptoms. It can even be detected in the brains of individuals who have passed away as well. In short, drug addiction can be so powerful so as to affect the brains of even the deceased—imagine just how powerful they can be while we are living.

Get Help Today—Call Us!

That is why it is so important to have guidance when seeking treatment for drug addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be so severe so as to make a person feel physically ill, that it is all too easy to turn back to the drug just to find relief. Proper detoxification will require some care over the long-term, as well as follow-ups and other care from a knowledgeable team who can offer guidance for substance abuse and rehabilitation.

Therapeutic Solutions has a substance abuse treatment program that is one of the few that are certified by the California Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs. To get started please contact us at (530) 899-3150.


The Use of Marijuana & Rehab

Undoubtedly, the 2016 election brought to light many controversial issues that face our nation. One of those matters involved the discussion of whether or not marijuana should be decriminalized. California was one of the more than 25 states that passed laws to legalize the drug for recreational use. Our state had legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes in the last few years as well.

Many questions have arisen as to whether or not marijuana can become habit-forming. At Therapeutic Solutions, we have seen first-hand many patients who have suffered from marijuana addiction.

With our substance abuse intensive outpatient program, we assist many patients who dealing with substance abuse. If you would like more information on our services, please contact us at (530) 899-3150.

Is Marijuana Addictive?

Our Chico behavioral therapy clinic understands just how crippling an addiction can be. To move away from addiction and into a cleaner, substance-free lifestyle may be a difficult adjustment. Many individuals will need to undergo detox to wean themselves from the effects of the drug. This may require medical supervision, as the individual might experience intense symptoms. The doctor might prescribe some medications to help ease some of the patient’s discomfort.

Some of the most common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cravings for marijuana
  • Insomnia or other sleep troubles

This also helps the individual develop healthier habits, as it breaks the cycle of addiction. As an example, some people will use marijuana as a stress reliever, or as a relaxing way to unwind. Over time, however, dependence can form to the point where relaxation and marijuana become inextricably linked. Our Chico behavioral therapy team can offer education and resources to accomplish an improved life moving forward without relying on drugs to relieve stress or accomplish both without relying on the drug.

Contact Therapeutic Solutions

Marijuana can cause many individuals to become physically dependent on the drug. While we understand that not every person’s case will be the same, we are here to help those whose lives have become turned upside down because of marijuana usage. Those are the individuals who have become too reliant on the drug and have a desire to break the habit.

If this sounds like your case, please contact us right away to discuss your options or to make an appointment!

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Understanding Transgenerational Trauma

Some life events are so difficult and overwhelming that they seem unbearable to the sufferer. That burden is often carried in part by family members, friends, and loved ones. But what about the next generation? Some believe that the effects of trauma can be transferred between generations, such as a parent to a child—even if that child didn’t necessarily experience the traumatic event firsthand.

While scientists are still navigating this terrain, it is clear that there is some weight to the idea of transgenerational trauma. This trauma can be passed through unconscious cues or observed changes in behavior. Anxiety may fall from one generation to the next through stories told, events discussed, and even treatment of a child by a parent or grandparent due to trauma.

The Handing Down of Neurotic Traits

Schools of psychology regularly look at the connection between trauma in a parent and the passing down of neurotic traits. In the post-Holocaust era, the first prominent literature emerged on this topic. Described as the Holocaust syndrome, reports were made on the transmission of trauma from the Holocaust to the second generation. While further development needs to be made in this area, this major event shed more light on the issue.

For example, Israeli soldiers who were second-generation Holocaust survivors were studied closely after the Lebanese war. It was found that this second generation had a more protracted course of PTSD, potentially pointing to a strong vulnerability due to transgenerational trauma.

Studies on this matter were recognized by the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). The Special Interest Area Group on Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Resiliency was also founded to further research this potential connection.

Do “Traumatized” Parents Lead to “Traumatized” Children?

Large numbers of clinical practice studies have shown that patients who have suffered PTSD are emotionally limited, preoccupied, or “traumatized,” which can translate to a child’s development. For example, a parent’s symptoms such as traumatic reliving, emotional numbing, and other traumatic responses can limit a child from developing a sense of safety and security, a sense of identity, and even autonomy. The parent’s high levels of anxiety can easily interfere with the child’s own development, causing a sort of generational passing of trauma.

When trauma is transferred from the first generation of “trauma survivors” to the second or third generation, it can be confusing, overwhelming, and difficult for that next generation to navigate. Many individuals may not immediately identify the source of their anxiety or stress disorders, making transgenerational trauma an often frustrating and confusing condition to manage.

Therapeutic Solutions offers behavioral health solutions designed to help patients deal with anxiety, depression, and other transgenerational trauma symptoms. Learn more about our programs through our website or by calling us at (530) 899-3150.

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Codependency & Self Care

Codependency is defined as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.” In a codependent relationship, one or both parties may be dependent on the other for fulfillment, happiness, self-worth, and even their very sense of identity.

Some potential signs of a codependent relationship include:

  • Support for a partner that compromises the other partner’s personal health and well-being
  • Ignoring harmful or dangerous behaviors in the other partner
  • Inability to be happy or fulfilled in other areas of life without the partner
  • Feedback from close friends suggesting extreme dependency on the other partner
  • Profound anxiety within the relationship
  • Attempts either to change the partner or to change him / herself to meet the partner’s preferences and desires

One of the signs of codependency is a lack of self care. Some codependents may even feel guilty when they take care of themselves or take measures to promote their own well-being. As a caretaker, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of codependency and to remember the importance of self care. Many caretakers are particularly susceptible to codependency and may neglect their own well-being as a result.

Are You at Risk of Codependency?

In a sense, codependency is not unlike addiction, except rather than a dangerous drug or other substance, the individual is addicted to the presence, involvement, and approval of a specific person. Some people may be more likely to develop codependent relationships.

Codependents may share some or all of the following personality / character traits:

  • Perfectionism
  • Lack of ability to set reasonable boundaries
  • Lack of self-worth
  • A tendency to be a “people pleaser”
  • Poor communication skills
  • Fear of being alone
  • Focus on what other people think
  • Denial of the reality of a codependent relationship
  • Denial of personal needs and feelings
  • Obsessive personality
  • Guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Caretaking

Recovering from Codependency

Some ways to begin the recovery process:

  • Read about codependency
  • Talk with a professional
  • Relax and reduce stress
  • Attend a 12 Step meeting such as Codependents Anonymous
  • Begin to pursue and develop your own hobbies and interests
  • Focus on accepting yourself
  • Practice being honest about your needs and feelings

Don’t be afraid to ask for help; abandon the idea that you need to be completely independent and self-reliant. Remind yourself that it is important to take care of yourself and to have fun. More than that, you need to remember that you are only responsible for your own choices and behaviors.

Codependency is ultimately unhealthy and dangerous. Not only does it hurt you, but it can also be harmful to your relationship, demonstrating a lack of respect for the autonomy of your loved one. Remember that taking care of yourself not only gives you a better life, but it also enables you to be a better caretaker. You do not have to be solely responsible for your loved one’s happiness. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own.

For more information about our behavioral health services designed to help clients regain life balance and independence, call Therapeutic Solutions in today at (530) 899-3150.


Impacts of Adolescent Substance Abuse

What are the consequences of substance abuse on young people—particularly, those going through adolescence? Adolescence is typically defined as the period between the ages of 13 and 18. During this stage of life, a young person experiences numerous changes on both a physiological and a psychological level. An increasing body of research supports what anecdotal evidence and common sense would suggest: Drug abuse at a young age can be extremely damaging to the development and psyche of a young person.

Individual Consequences of Early Drug Use

In many cases, early experimentation with illegal or restricted substances can lead to serious consequences, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Concentration / attention problems
  • Loss of motor skills
  • Loss of coping skills
  • Detrimentally affected brain development
  • Social worries
  • Academic struggles
  • Health problems
  • Affected relationships
  • Delinquency

Statistics of Teenage Drug Use

CASAColumbia is a nonprofit organization focused on the research and policy surrounding substance abuse. The organization published a study compiling thousands of interviews, multiple focus groups, reviews of publications, national data set analysis, and more.

The report found that:

  • Three in four high school students have used addictive substances, including cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol
  • 90% of Americans who are considered addicted to one or more substances according to established medical criteria began using addictive substances before 18 years of age
  • One in 25 Americans who began using substances at 21 or older were addicted compared to one in four Americans who began using addictive substances before 18 years of age
  • 46% of high school students currently use addictive substance
  • 12% of high school students can be considered addicted according to medical criteria

Types of Substances

Of course, different types of substances have different effects on different people. Restricted and addictive substances include:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • LSD
  • Prescription drugs

Additionally, various factors impact a young person’s susceptibility and vulnerability to substance abuse, including:

  • Family history
  • Genetics
  • Mental health and other factors
  • Media consumption
  • Environmental factors

Nationwide Consequences of Adolescent Drug Use

The economic cost of adolescent drug use is also substantial. According to research published by CASAColumbia:

  • Juvenile justice programs involving drug use cost the United States $14.5 billion annually
  • Juvenile justice programs involving alcohol use cost the United States $68 billion annually

These numbers are even more sobering when you consider the total cost of drug and alcohol use every year. This is a valid number to consider in the context of adolescent substance use, since it is a well-established fact that substance abuse and addiction begins for most individuals before age 18. All factors considered from state, federal, and local levels of government, American taxpayers pay a total of $468 billion every year for substance use-related issues. That is nearly $1,500 for every American citizen.

For more information about our behavioral health services in Northern California, call Therapeutic Solutions today at (530) 899-3150.


Cannabis & Mental Health

As cannabis continues to be legalized across the U.S. and becomes more and more accessible for people and patients alike, it is important to understand how this drug can impact mental health. Research has shown a strong connection between regular cannabis use and mental health problems.

Some of the mental diseases associated with cannabis use:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Those Already at Risk Face Increased Threat

While it may not necessarily be proven that cannabis use directly causes a person to develop a psychosis disease like schizophrenia, evidence does suggest that the drug triggers mental disease in those that are already at risk. That means they may experience psychosis earlier or show stronger symptoms than they would have without ever using cannabis. Especially when cannabis is used heavily, it can double the risk of schizophrenia in those who are already vulnerable according to studies. In fact, heavy use of cannabis at a young age is associated with a six-fold increase in risk for developing schizophrenia.

Does Cannabis Use Lead to Depression or Anxiety?

While there is a much clearer link between cannabis use and aggravated schizophrenia, the connection to common mental health disorders like depression and anxiety isn’t as clear. In some cases, cannabis may be used by some to attempt to relieve the symptoms of these conditions. While it may temporarily help with surface level symptoms, studies indicate that regularly smoking cannabis can actually make depression worse for those struggling with it. People that use cannabis have reportedly had increased levels of depression compared to those who did not use it. Heavy use can lead to depression later in life as well.

Some of the symptoms associated with regular cannabis use are connected to anxiety, such as panic. However, there isn’t necessarily any evidence pointing to cannabis as an aggravating factor or cause of anxiety disorders like panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.

Who Is Most at Risk?

Anyone who may have a family history of mental health disorders should avoid smoking cannabis, as this can certainly play a factor in earlier or aggravated symptoms. Further, those who start regularly and heavily using cannabis as young adolescents are at far greater risk for experiencing mental health problems and disorders. Even when disorders do not develop, memory problems and concentration issues may develop.

Those who already have a psychotic illness and use cannabis may experience:

  • Increased or worsened symptoms
  • More delusions or hallucinations
  • Higher likelihood of hospitalization for psychosis
  • Regular treatment becomes less effective
  • More difficult recovery from psychotic episodes

If you have used cannabis regularly and begin to feel symptoms of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or any other mental health disorder, it is important that you get professional help right away. Therapeutic Solutions offers unique, proven programs that help patients restore balance to their lives.