Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

Slipping into Alcoholism: The Importance of Monitoring Your Intake During COVID-19

We’ve been talking a lot about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic: the frustration of not being able to go out, the difficulty in trying to get certain items, and the simple boredom of being trapped inside day after day. But what we haven’t talked about is the fear and anxiety of everyday life and how we’re all coping with the stress and enormous change in our daily routines. Many people are turning to alcohol to help cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Whether or not you’re in recovery, this is a dangerous road to go down, and drinking to excess does nothing to address the underlying issues at play.

Continue reading
  1051 Hits
1051 Hits

How Westborough Firefighters Are Mitigating the Addiction Crisis Through Education

They see them every day in homes and in neighborhoods – overdoses. Day after day, they respond to calls and provide critical emergency services to people suffering overdoses or associated illness, transporting patients to hospitals and even providing help for people who ask for it. The Westborough Fire Department is tackling the problem head on by addressing opioid addiction and overdoses before they occur.

Continue reading
  1195 Hits
1195 Hits

The Challenges of Living with a Parent with a Substance Use Disorder

How it Affects Children and What Can Be Done to Help.

Anyone who has a family member suffering from addiction knows how painful it is to watch someone you love struggle with an all-consuming life-threatening disease. Challenges that come with living with someone that has a drug or alcohol addiction include mood swings and unreliability. For children whose parents suffer from addiction, these are more than just challenges. Often times, it comes down to a child being able to stay in their home or needing to live elsewhere.

Continue reading
  1349 Hits
1349 Hits

Underneath the Opioid Crisis in America: From Each State’s Perspective

The opioid crisis in America is in the news every day and its deadly and pervasive effect on our society is well known. Interestingly, not all geographic areas are experiencing this crisis to the same degree. Region by region, the numbers vary drastically. For example, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioid overdoses increased by 30% in 45 states, between 2016 and 2017. In big cities specifically, particularly in the Midwest, overdoses were up by as much as 54 to 70 percent.

Continue reading
  1334 Hits
1334 Hits

Refining Addiction: Notable Changes and Future Implications

Language nuances change over time as society gains greater awareness and sensitivity regarding the struggles experienced by various groups of people. In the addiction treatment community, we’re well aware of the stigma often associated with the disease and its related vocabulary. The concepts of alcohol and drug dependency weren’t considered an illness until 1956. In fact, addiction wasn’t officially classified as a disease until 1987. The definition of addiction was revised in 2011 and the American Society of Addiction Medicine recently produced an updated definition yet again.

Continue reading
  1647 Hits
1647 Hits

How Has Addiction and Treatment Changed in the Last 50 Years?

Spectrum Health Systems was founded 50 years ago, and in that time, we’ve seen extensive strides taken in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same – some treatments still in use today were introduced as early as the 1960s. Before we jump into changes in treatment over time, let’s start by discussing the issue itself – addiction.

Continue reading
  1467 Hits
1467 Hits

How to Deal with Triggers in the Workplace

Many believe that addiction only affects the unemployed and homeless when, in reality, most are employed. In fact, of the estimated 96 million adults reported to have a substance use disorder, 72 percent are employed.

Continue reading
  1472 Hits
1472 Hits

PTSD Awareness Day – June 27th

Back in 2010, Senator Kent Conrad spearheaded a campaign to create an official form of recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a “day of awareness.” Senator Conrad was passionate about the creation of an awareness day as a tribute to North Dakota National Guard serviceman, Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, who took his own life in 2007 following two tours in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Biel’s birthday was June 27th, thus its selection as National PTSD Awareness Day. In 2014, the entire month of June was designated as National PTSD Awareness month.

Continue reading
  2152 Hits
2152 Hits

Pride Month: How Addiction Impacts the LGBTQ+ Community

Pride Month is here! The month-long celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community is a time for fun, raising awareness and reflection. The LGBTQ community faces many hardships, from accepting their own identities to coming out to facing social and political adversity.

Continue reading
  1427 Hits
1427 Hits

Mental Health Month: The Connection Between Addiction and Mental Health Grows

While mental health has become a widely talked about topic in recent years, May is the official observance for mental health awareness.

Continue reading
  1555 Hits
1555 Hits

50 Addiction Facts in 50 Days to Celebrate 50 Years of Spectrum Health Systems

50 days from today, the team at Spectrum Health Systems will be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary. Since our inception, we’ve seen a lot of positive changes in the addiction treatment field and recovery community. While many improvements have been made, there’s still much work to be done.

Continue reading
  1291 Hits
1291 Hits

Addiction and Depression: A Vicious Cycle

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.9 million Americans have been diagnosed with both depression and addiction. Each disease can be difficult to deal with on its own, so dealing with both at the same time is obviously more challenging. With depression being one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the United States, it’s no surprise that many depressed individuals also suffer from a substance use disorder.

Continue reading
  1939 Hits
1939 Hits

The Importance of Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

While the nation continues to confront the public health crisis that is addiction, events like Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week help remind us of often forgotten victims. Alcoholism remains a prominent issue in the US, and as a result, one in four children live in a family impacted by parental addiction.

Continue reading
  1965 Hits
1965 Hits

Why Are Women Overdosing More Than Men?

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contained some troubling statistics. Overdose deaths among women aged 30-64 have rapidly increased. From 1999 to 2017, the number climbed a staggering 260 percent. And the drugs causing them have evolved as well, with more overdoses being attributed to antidepressants, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids than ever before.

Continue reading
  3089 Hits
3089 Hits

Jeffrey Born’s Story of Opioid Addiction, Torn Relationships, and the Overdose That Changed His Life

There’s a stigma against people who struggle with addiction that often exists because people believe it could never happen to them – but it can. Addiction is a disease that knows no boundaries, has no preconceived notions and leaves no clues as to who it will touch next.

Continue reading
  2620 Hits
2620 Hits

A Startling New Trend: Viral Overdose Videos

Social media has changed our world, for better or for worse. When it comes to addiction, it’s a double-edged sword. While it opens up a whole new avenue for support – online communities and educational resources – it also makes someone’s personal struggles quite public.

Continue reading
  2163 Hits
2163 Hits

Is Your Middle Schooler at Risk? What Every Parent Needs to Know About Addiction

Remember middle school? Braces, binders, first dances and budding friendships were always top of mind. But it’s around this age that less innocent topics begin to show up as well. Children between 13 and 17 are the most easily influenced age demographic, which can make them more susceptible to experimenting with different drugs and alcohol with their friends.

Continue reading
  2301 Hits
2301 Hits

How One Veteran Tackled Physical Pain, PTSD and Addiction

Every year, in the second week of November, this country honors its heroes. Veteran’s Day is a stark reminder that courageous men and women have fought hard for America’s freedoms. In the addiction community, it inspires us to pause and reflect on the effects of war on our soldiers, long after they leave the battlefield.

Continue reading
  4057 Hits
4057 Hits

The Patriots Welcome Josh Gordon and Help Raise Awareness of Addiction

If you’re a sports fan, you’ve heard of Josh Gordon. His entrance to the NFL was highly anticipated. Drafted as a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns in 2012, he logged 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie year. But by the time his career in Ohio was over, he had missed 43 of the team’s last 48 games due to struggles with addiction. A series of failed drug tests, DWI arrests and rules violations made it increasingly difficult for coaches and staff to continue championing the talented player.

Continue reading
  2283 Hits
2283 Hits

How Addiction Affects Our Most Precious Population

Our older citizens have made our communities what they are today with years of love and hard work. That’s why its particularly sad to see the sharp rise in addiction among people over 65. 

Not only has the issue become far more prevalent, it is also under-diagnosed – allowing the problem to persist for longer than necessary in some individuals. Senior citizens often find that their symptoms are dismissed by medical professionals or mistaken for other issues experienced by older adults, such as loneliness, degenerative changes, dementia and more.

Continue reading
  7423 Hits
7423 Hits