From our blog, articles tagged: Young Adults/Teens/College-Aged

As a parent, you want the absolute best for your children. You spend quite a bit of time teaching them how to make decisions that will benefit them now and down the road as an adult.

When it comes to drinking, you certainly want to educate your children about alcohol and encourage them to steer clear from the substance.

At the very least, you don’t want your children to try drinking at a young age. Maybe you can be on board if they want to have a social drink when they are adults, but as teenagers, you may be inclined to believe that they are not old enough to handle the responsibility.

As such, just how do you set strong boundaries with children about drinking? What if you and/or your spouse drink? Does this make a difference in what you should expect from your children? Will teens be more apt to rebel or sneak off and drink if you set strong boundaries?

These are all great questions. Today, let’s discuss a bit about setting strong boundaries when it comes to alcohol and your children.

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Hanging out with your friends is always a good time. You guys make each other laugh, talk about the things that matter, and are always there for each other when you need them the most.

If you have a truly supportive group of friends, they will understand the struggles you’ve overcome in rehab and will want to support you in any way they can. Even if that means not involving alcohol when you hang out together.

Once you get out of rehab and you’re ready to start seeing your friends again, you may notice that a lot of the things you use to enjoy doing together revolved around alcohol. You may have found it easier to stay away from alcohol in a controlled environment like rehab or group therapy sessions. Now that you’re out in the real world, there’s nothing to worry about. You can still have plenty of fun with your friends without the help of alcohol. Below are twenty ideas you can use the next time you need a sober way to have fun.

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Dating sober isn’t always the easiest thing to do. A large part of modern dating often revolves around socializing during the evenings, which in turn can often involve meeting at a bar, or over food. However, this fact doesn’t mean it’s impossible, or that you should give up on the idea of dating while sober. The biggest hurdle that many sober people will face when dating is telling their date that they’re sober. This can be awkward and difficult to get out, and you don’t always know how the person is going to react. The important thing to remember is that if this person is truly a good match for you, they will accept you as you are and support you no matter what.

 

You’re Not Alone

The good news is that there are plenty of sober people out there to date. If you’re looking for a sober love match, there are so many different online dating sites that cater to the sober population to choose from. When you use sites like these, there is no door for you to hide behind or anything dramatic to unveil, everyone there is on the same page.

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It is estimated that between 75 and 90 percent of Americans have cell phones. The numbers are increasing each year, with plenty of young children being granted cell phones each year as well.

Now, in and of itself, this is not an issue, but it does become an issue when someone becomes addicted to their cell phone.

Just look around whenever you're out in public. You'll see a good number of people staring at their cell phones. Some are texting, some are scrolling social media sites, or doing something with their cell phone. Oftentimes, you'll see a family out for dinner and each family member is fiddling with their cell phone. No one is talking to each other; they're simply lost in the cell phone world.

Cell phone addiction is very common. One study suggested that about 67% of people habitually check their phone even, when they don't hear it ring or vibrate. It can simply become a habit and perhaps a compulsion to check your phone every few minutes.

 

Am I addicted to my cell phone?

Though cell phone addiction is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders yet, it may very well be in the future. Are you addicted to your cell phone? Here are some signs that you may be:

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Sober dating without alcohol doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. There are plenty of booze-free date options out there if you use your imagination and a little creativity.

Whether you’re on an alcohol hiatus, are in recovery, have been sober for years, or are new to the game, dating without alcohol can be even more fun than going out with a drink in hand.

There are many misconceptions about alcohol-free dating. It may seem like most people on the dating scene aren’t sober, but in reality nearly one-third of Americans are completely sober and another third consume less than one alcoholic drink per week. If you have hesitations about sober dating, you’re not alone in the game.

Why You Don’t Need Alcohol to Have Fun on a Sober Date

With 30 percent of the country sober it’s not hard to find someone who would be willing to go on an alcohol free date with you. If you’ve ever attended a sober event, like a party, a meetup, or even a group therapy session, you know that drinking alcohol and having fun are not always linked.

When it comes to dating without alcohol, there are plenty of ways to have a great time with your significant other. Whether it’s a first date or fiftieth, having fun without drinking is easy to do. Plus, without alcohol inhibiting your motor skillsyou’re less likely to make a fool of yourself in front of your date, say something embarrassing, or do something you would regret the next morning.

An alcohol free date can give you the opportunity to genuinely connect and get to know the other person you’re with on a deeper level. Below are 20 sober date ideas that you can easily pull off at a moment’s notice while having fun without a drink in sight.

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A study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse revealed that alcohol and tobacco use is correlated with perceived body image. For example, girls who perceived themselves to be too fat were more likely to use alcohol and tobacco, whereas boys who perceived themselves to be too fat were only more likely to binge drink. Boys who perceived themselves to be too skinny were more likely to use tobacco, however.

To learn more about the results of this study, click here: http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2017/0621-perceptions-about-body-image-linked-to-increased-alcohol-tobacco-use-for-teens/

If you or your child are struggling with a substance use disorder, please call us today at 708-613-4750.

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A study of upper middle class youth suggests that this particular population has a higher than normal frequency of alcohol and drug use when tracked throughout the college years. In addition, researchers found that when parents established repercussions for substance use, the frequency of drunkenness, marijuana, and stimulant use decreased in adulthood.

Adolescent drug and alcohol use should be taken seriously. If you or your child are struggling, please call us today at 708-613-4750.

Read more here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/development-and-psychopathology/article/adolescents-from-upper-middle-class-communities-substance-misuse-and-addiction-across-early-adulthood/FDB120DD01CC8CEE7A9FB3979306A57C

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When a relative is struggling with addiction, everyone in the family can be affected; this is why we say addiction is a family disease.

The person addicted to drugs often develops financial, emotional, or psychological problems and becomes unreliable, causing others to have to fill in for and perform their responsibilities. This increases the stress of all people involved and can cause resentment and distrust.

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Studies suggest that synthetic cannabinoids may be linked to an increase in risky behavior, for example engaging in violent actions or practicing unsafe sex. If you are struggling with cannabinoid use, synthetic or not, please call us today at 504-510-2331.

Read more here: http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/03/13/Cannabinoids031317

 

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Robert L. DuPont, Jr, MD, made the term “gateway drug” famous in his book Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs: a Guide for the Family.

DuPont observed that youths at his clinic often engaged in alcohol and tobacco use before proceeding on to marijuana use. He thought that psychological barriers prevented the use of hard drugs and that once a person started frequently using certain soft drugs, they would move on to using marijuana and eventually progress to other illicit drugs as well.

This book started the conversation about soft (or legal) drugs leading to the use of illegal and controlled substances, and led to what we now call the “gateway drug hypothesis.” While it seems reasonable to accept that illegal drug use is preceded by the use of less dangerous, easily accessible drugs, the reasoning behind why a person decides to use another drug is not well understood. This is potentially the reason why the gateway drug hypothesis has never progressed to the elevated status of a scientific theory.

 

Which Drugs Are Gateway Drugs?

Many people are inclined to call marijuana a gateway drug. The gateway hypothesis has been used to demonize marijuana when technically alcohol and tobacco are the real culprits here, as their use typically precedes that of marijuana.

 

Is the Gateway Drug Hypothesis Valid?

Following DuPont’s original ideas about gateway drugs, the hypothesis morphed into another concept: gateway drugs are those that change neurological responses and make the use of other illegal drugs more pleasurable. This neuroplastic reward response is thought to be the driving force behind obtaining other illicit substances.

Animal research supports this neurological change theory. Mouse models have shown that nicotine triggers a dopamine response, which increases the sense of pleasure felt during drug use; some mouse studies also suggest that these dopaminergic effects are greater in adolescent mice than in adults. There are additional studies indicating that exposure to nicotine enhances responses to cocaine and encourages increased alcohol intake. However, all of this research is considered pre-clinical. Few studies have been conducted in humans evaluating nicotine’s effect on later drug use.

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Substance use is problematic and extensive in its many forms: alcohol use, cocaine use, hallucinogen use, heroin use, inhalant use, marijuana use, methamphetamine use, sedative-hypnotics, anxiolytics use, etc.

Different types of drugs are being synthesized on a regular basis and users are finding more and more creative ways to use and conceal them. How can parents be expected to keep their teens from using drugs and alcohol? What are the best forms of risk management?

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Teen athletes are frequently prescribed narcotics for sports-related injuries, making them prime candidates for opioid addiction and abuse.

One study indicated that this demographic is 50% more likely to abuse prescription painkillers than their non-athletic peers. This shocking statistic can be attributed in part to their desire to get back to the sport as soon as possible after injury in order to please the coach, their family, etc.

Additionally, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning and impulse control is not yet fully developed in teenagers, leaving them more susceptible to engaging in risk-taking behaviors such as opioid abuse.

For injuries in which opioid use is truly necessary, experts recommend filling prescriptions in small amounts and calling the prescribing physician for more as needed; this tactic lessens the likelihood of abuse and encourages direct communication between the healthcare professional and the patient.

Read more here: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/04/06/i-team-teen-athletes-vulnerable-opioid-addiction-abuse/

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The DSM-5, the most current manual detailing diagnostic criteria for mental health disorders, includes a controversial section on Internet Gaming Disorder. It is described as “a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion in the main book as a formal disorder.” Current research indicates that, like substance use disorders, excessive gaming can lead to depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. The idea of video game addiction is still fresh and seen by the general public as a moral issue of self-control as opposed to a disease, but the tone may change as more data emerges.

http://www.kmtv.com/news/local-news/special-report-games-of-addiction

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Dream Journal

Note from Dr. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

September is National Recovery Month, a time to celebrate healing and to speak out against the stigma surrounding addiction. The Two Dreams staff members stayed busy this month, especially on the 26th. Clients and staff alike attended the 6th Annual Walk Against Addiction in North Carolina, which was designed to raise awareness of the epidemic that addiction is becoming in America. Our Clinical Director for Two Dreams Outer Banks, Brett Dunning, was a featured speaker at the event. He spoke out against the stigma that patients experience, and emphasized that everyone is susceptible to addiction. Dunning is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for Project Purple, which educates middle school and high school students about addiction and holds events throughout the year. Additionally, the Two Dreams staff is preparing to gather in Washington DC on October 4th for the Walk on Washington. This walk is a collective effort to support policies that will improve addiction recovery and end the stigma against those with the disease.

This month has also been a celebration for the recovering families, the mending friendships, and the reestablished peer-groups of addicts. When an addict makes the choice to pursue treatment, they start a ripple effect of positivity and healing for a multitude of individuals. The sheer magnitude of the impact a person can have by embarking on the recovery process is astounding, yet often overlooked. In short, let’s take time this month to appreciate just how much of a difference once person can really make. Let’s celebrate the shared experience of recovery.

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Dream Journal

VOLUME XII / DEC 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

This is a WONDERFUL time of the year. It is a time to celebrate all the great things we are blessed to be a part of and reflect back on valuable and important lessons we learned the hard way. It is a time to give thanks for the ability to live in gratitude "one day at a time" while setting goals for our future. In this month’s Dream Journal we are reflecting on Step Twelve and specifically the topic of being of service. It is a special edition for the holidays and I am thrilled to once again feature original art by our Assistant Art Director, Kara Hamilton. She is really talented and I just love her adaptation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. You will also find an inspiring article by our guest writer and friend of Two Dreams Mr. Terry Shapiro.

I would like to thank all of our Two Dreams Supporters, Dream Journal Readers, the staff at each Two Dreams location, and especially our guest and families for a very special year. I am truly thankful for you all and I wish you all Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

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Dream Journal

VOLUME VIII / AUG 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

On August 1, 2013, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing the approved use of "medical" marijuana. This unfortunate news will likely worsen highway safety, increase substance abuse treatment demand, increase workplace costs as productivity decreases, and threaten community safety near the new dispensaries.

It is due to the implications of this bill that I feel so strongly about my project, The Parents Academy. The point of the Parents Academy is to put the power back into the hands of the parents, and provide them with the resources necessary to help them guide their children through young adulthood and learn how to help them grow into successful, healthy adults.

We must actively work to provide a safe environment for our children, and the Parents Academy is a way for us to establish a shielded setting for our children regardless of what laws are passed outside of our household.

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Dream Journal

VOLUME VII / JULY 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

GUEST COLUMNIST

Chris Schroeder

We also admit that, "Our lives having become unmanageable". There are two distinct types of unmanageability we experience: outward and inward. We all experience the outward effects of our behavior. If we drink we can get DUIs and suffer through hangovers; if we over-eat, we gain weight; if we gamble we lose money we need. These effects cause setbacks, and hurt the ones we love the most. We fail to live up to what we believe is our potential. These feelings dominate our spiritual and emotional condition and leave us with little hope of any true happiness. And any happiness we do find is usually related to using something or someone to get an artificial, temporary sense of elation. We refer to this state of unmanageability as "life on life’s terms" or "just the way things are". You come to believe there is no other way. How could you compare a recovered perspective with your current condition if all you have experienced is a path of addiction? You only really come to understand how sick you have become after you have begun to experience recovery. Many who continue to consistently practice spiritual recovery principles can say that every year they engage in recovery disciplines, quality of life dramatically improves. Year 25 in recovery is significantly better than year 24 if there is consistency in the application of the 12 step program.

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Dream Journal

VOLUME V / MAY 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

Our Parents Academy Program has officially kicked off with great success! I am presenting lectures on adolescent psychological development for the parents at various schools in the Chicago area. These lectures serve as a road map for parents to help foster healthy, functional habits in teenaged children. Here is a link to an article featured in the Oak Leaves online publication. If you are interested in setting up a lecture at your school, or know anyone who is, please contact our Chicago Office.

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Dream Journal

VOLUME XIV / APR 2014


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

With the recent arrival of warmer weather, comes a sense of renewal and peace. Find out what peace means to you this month, and discover ways to sustain that feeling within yourself.

I have included below a recent article written about my most recent Parents Academy lecture. Informing parents on how to guide their children through young adulthood is a project of mine that is very near and dear to my heart. I am thankful for the people in Barrington, Illinois who share my passion for this topic, as we fight to find solutions together.

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Dream Journal

VOLUME IV / APR 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

Please take a moment to consider donating to the Ruth Fox Memorial Endowment Fund. The fund was established as a living tribute to the founding president of ASAM, Ruth Fox, MD. Through this program, scholarships are awarded to physicians-in-training that allow them to attend the Annual Med-Sci Conference and the Ruth Fox Course. In addition, it provides excellent educational and networking opportunities for new physicians, and helps to build future generations of addiction medicine specialists.

For More Information and to Donate

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Light regulates circadian rhythms

Why and How We Live Rhythmically at Two Dreams

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken

- Samuel Johnson

Every living organism has a natural rhythm. These rhythms are disrupted by illness, particularly drug and alcohol use. A drug can create false sleep. A drug can stimulate alertness. A drug can suppress appetite. Another can stimulate appetite.

The science behind living rhythmically, strategies that promote and restore natural rhythms, and the role of sleep, nutrition, meditation, and exercise in the 21st century approach to healing oneself in recovery are all important aspects of your journey at Two Dreams.

At Two Dreams the concept of living in the NOW (No Other Way) is central to living a life in recovery. Similarly, mindfulness is a state of active, open, non-judgmental attention on the present. Many treatment programs and practitioners are employing mindfulness in the care and management of patients with mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders- diseases and symptoms which tend to cluster together.

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