The Magic of Peer Bonding

Parkdale Center conducts exit interviews with all its discharging Partial Hospitalization Patients. From these interviews, we have a consistent, reliable picture of what works at Parkdale, and one answer rises time and again. It might surprise you: the indelible bonds treatment creates among peers.

Healing from Addiction

The process of recovering from addiction can be complex and multifaceted, and it may vary depending on the specific substance or behavior involved. You will find that recovery is not a straight or easy road. Parkdale Center’s Christian Gabrano has several years in recovery himself, and he says, “It takes time.” But the benefits of addiction recovery to mind and body are profound. So what can you expect during your recovery?

How Trauma Can Lead to Substance Use Disorder

According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one trauma in their lives. During these moments of intensity, the body releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals can be beneficial when experiencing an emergency, as they activate the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response evolved from a need to protect ourselves from encounters with life-threatening predators or enemies. However, when there isn't a resolution to these moments of trauma or repeated trauma, it can dysregulate the stress response system resulting in hyperarousal, anxiety, and dissociation. For those with trauma histories, drugs of abuse can offer a reprieve from the prolonged activation of the stress response system, albeit an ultimately harmful one.

The Value of Self-Empathy While in Substance Use Treatment and Recovery

Everyone needs to practice self-compassion—but unfortunately, many people struggle to do it in their daily lives. University of Sheffield researchers discovered that self-compassion is quite challenging for people to practice in times of difficulty due to their negative views regarding self-compression and even themselves. This gets harder for people with perfectionist concerns because they are less likely to extend compassion to themselves whenever they experience lapses in their lives.

The Value of 12 Step Programs

12 step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), have been helping people recover from addiction for over 80 years. These programs are based on the idea that addiction is a disease that requires a spiritual solution. While 12 step programs may not be for everyone, they have helped countless individuals find lasting recovery from addiction. Keep reading to learn more about their key values.

Symptoms of Addiction: Am I Addicted?

Perhaps the biggest myth about drug and alcohol addiction , also called substance use disorder, is that those who are suffering simply lack willpower or moral principles. However, substance use disorder is a complex disease that can profoundly affect an individual’s life. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance use disorder is a “chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use,” despite the harmful consequences to the individual who is addicted and to those around them. If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may be struggling with addiction, there are several signs and symptoms that you can look out for.

Volunteering is a Powerful Element of Substance Use Treatment

On Sunday mornings, Parkdale’s patients wake up early, strap on their boots, and head to the Reins of Life horse farm to volunteer. Why? What do they do there? What are the benefits of volunteer work in early recovery?

How to Support a Loved One in Recovery (and Take Care of Yourself)

"The opposite of addiction is connection." - Johann Hari

When in recovery, those who suffer from substance use disorder are more likely to succeed with long-term recovery when they are surrounded by a strong community of positive, supportive individuals. These personal relationships might include trained clinicians, peers, family members and relatives. Unfortunately, family members and close friends are also deeply affected by their loved one’s addiction. They may struggle with guilt, shame, anger, blame, and co-dependence.

Substance Abuse in the LGBTQIA+ Community

June is Pride Month, during which we celebrate the culture and history of the LGBTQIA+ community with open affirmation, parades, and festivals to foster awareness of its invaluable contributions to our society.

The Shame Game: Substance Use Disorder in Women

When you hear the word “addict,” what image pops into your mind? It’s probably not a nurse or a lawyer, or a business owner. And it’s probably not a woman.

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