Veterans and Substance Abuse

memorial day message with soldier and daughter holding americanAs we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month and celebrate Memorial Day, we thought it appropriate to devote our final May blog post to a subject that is as prevalent as it is sad – veterans and substance abuse. Studies show Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is tied strongly to substance use problems, particularly when the PTSD is tied to military service. Regardless of the root cause of PTSD, affected persons often try to mask their symptoms by self-medicating. Ironically, people with problems relative to drugs and/or alcohol are more likely than the general population to develop PTSD. Continue reading

Substance Abuse & Suicide

Suicide Overdose Pills Alcohol

In the United States each year, more than 40,000 people die by their own hand. In fact, the 10th most common cause of death in our country is suicide. It is also the third leading cause of death of Americans aged 10-14 and the second leading cause for Americans aged 15-34.Although complicated and tragic, the good news is that suicide is often preventable as long as people pay attention and take action when they notice someone at risk. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to focus this week’s blog post on suicide, because it is so often intertwined with depression and addiction, both of which we see quite often at MFI.  

Teenager Suicide Edge of Building

Substance Abuse & Suicide

Suicide, addiction, and depression form a symbiotic relationship. Experts agree that more than 90% of people who commit suicide do so because they suffer from depression, struggle with a substance abuse disorder, or both. Depressed people often turn to drugs and/or alcohol in a vain attempt to find relief. Unfortunately, their addictions fuel the depression, sending them back to their Drug of Choice (DOC). Feeling hopelessly caught in an endless cycle, addicts often attempt suicide.

Break Substance Abuse Cycle

Who is most at risk?

People Who:

  • Struggle with depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorders are generally more at risk of committing suicide than the general population.
  • Has a serious medical condition 
  • Suffers from chronic pain
  • Previously attempted suicide 
  • Family shares a history of a mental disorder or substance abuse, suicide, physical violence and/or sexual abuse
  • Keeping guns (and ammunition) in the home
  • Were recently released from jail or prison  
  • Exposed to others’ suicidal ideation, such as those of family members, peers, or celebrities

How to Spot the Signs

Does someone you love?

  • Say they want to die or want to kill themselves?
  • Talk about feeling empty, hopeless, or without reason to live?
  • Make plans for a way to kill themselves? This can include searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a weapon.
  • Mention they have a great guilt or shame?
  • Talk about feeling trapped or in despair?
  • Feel unbearable emotional or physical pain?
  • Say they are a burden to others?
  • Use alcohol or drugs more often than previously?
  • Act anxious or agitated?
  • Withdraw from family and friends?
  • Change eating and/or sleeping habits.
  • Show rage or mention their desire to seek revenge?
  • Engage in risky behaviors such as fast driving or drinking while driving?
  • Seem obsessed with death?
  • Display extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy?
  • Give away meaningful possessions?
  • Say goodbye to family and friends?
  • Develop an urgency to draft their last will and testament?
Erase Last Will Suicide

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring someone who expresses suicidal thoughts or actions. These often signal extreme distress, not a meaningless ploy for attention. 

Resources:

Substance Abuse Recovery MFI

About MFI Recovery Center

Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detoxmedication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596. 

Mental Health Awareness

Mental illness has hit epidemic proportions across the world. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in four people will suffer from mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. In the United States, mental health professionals report similar numbers. In fact, nearly forty-four million Americans struggle with mental illness each year. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) released a report last week, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, noting the following relevant statistics: 

Anxiety Mental Health Awareness
  • One in five adults will experience a mental illness. 
  • Ten million adults (1 out of 25) live with a serious mental illness.  
  • One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14.
  • Three-quarters of chronic mental illness onset is by the age of 24. 
  • Some 2.4 million American adults live with schizophrenia.
  • Six million adults live with bipolar disorder. 
  • Sixteen million live with major depression. 
  • Forty-two million live with anxiety disorders. 
  • Approximately 10.2 million adults experience co-occuring mental health and addiction disorders. 
  • Twenty-six percent of homeless people living in shelters live with serious mental illness.
  • Twenty-four percent of state prisoners have a “recent history” of a mental health condition. 
  • Worldwide, depression is the leading cause of disability, worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. 
  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings every year. 
  • Ninety-percent of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10thleading cause of death in the United States. 
  • Nearly 60 percent of adults with a mental illness did not receive mental health services in the previous year. 
  • Nearly 50 percent of youth aged 8-15 did not receive mental health services in the previous year. 
Addiction and Mental Health

Mental Health & MFI


MFI Recovery Center offers a comprehensive array of alcohol and drug addiction counseling, family addiction counseling, and mental health services for struggling individuals and families.Such care is overseen by a physician, a team of therapists and certified substance abuse counselors, who guide each individual’s treatment. These caring professionals help clients with depression, anxiety, raising children and parenting teenagers.

Counseling

Anxiety Disorders and Addiction

Since substance abuse often causes complications to close, intimate relationships, effective alcohol and drug addiction counseling programs must include elements designed to help reunite families. MFI professionals leverage the latest models of treatment to help clients overcome difficulties in the following areas:

Depression and Addiction
  • Anxiety and Depression 
    Some children and their parents feel stress after unwanted events occur. MFI professionals helps family members process the experiences as well as associated reactions.   

  • Children of Divorce and Blended Families 
    Most people struggle while transitioning to a new family structure. MFI professionals use the latest research and techniques to help families live their best possible lives.

  • Marriage Counseling 
    Strong marriages include conflict resolution. Counseling can help couples process difficult issues and heal hurt.

  • Parenting and Family Addiction Counseling 
    MFI offers an array of science-based programs to help parents and strengthen families.
Marriage Problems and Addiction

MFI In the Community

Rita Pacheco is the new Program Outreach Manager for MFI. She plans MFI-sponsored events and connects with community organizers to determine which Riverside-area outreaches to attend, so she can talk with community members and explain the many resources that MFI offers. Setting up and manning event booths alongside other MFI staffers, (sometimes including new CEO Melinda Drake), Rita is busier than ever in May. Numerous festivals and events across Riverside County celebrate National Mental Health Month. 

Rita Pacheco, MFI Recovery CEO Melinda Drake and the MFI Team in action.
Rita Pacheco, represents MFI Recovery Center in the community.

“MFI is known in the community for excellent substance abuse and detox programs. But we offer so much more,” she explains. “People often feel embarrassed that they struggle with mental health. But they shouldn’t because they are not alone. And we can help!”

MFI Recovery in the Community

Since assuming the mantle, Rita has coordinated five mental-health-related events in Riverside, Hemet, Perris, Temecula, and Lake Elsinore. Her goal is to be a resource to the community and help minimize hindrances to treatment. 

“The easier we make it for someone to get help, the more likely they are to seek counseling or check into detox. The bottom line is we don’t want anyone to have to wait for treatment. If you need help, we want to provide it.”

Daisy Walk MFI Recovery

At a recent event, Rita spoke with a young man who first approached the MFI booth to get a piece of candy. He started asking questions and eventually shared that his brother uses drugs. I was glad that he asked for a business card because it could be a new start for his family. 

“I related to him because both of my parents were addicts. Addiction separated me from my five siblings. And I struggled with addiction too. I’ve been clean for 12-1/2 years. I am passionate about helping people get the help they need.”

If you would like Rita to man a booth at your event, please contact her at MFI Recovery Center (951) 683-6596.

Let us know if MFI can join you at your event!

MFI Will Participate in the following upcoming May Mental Health Awareness Events 
May 8: RCC Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
May 9: MSJC Wellness Fair 5 p.m.
May 10: San Bernardino Valley College Dinner
May 11:  Jurupa Valley Community 5K Fun Run 7 a.m.
May 15: May is Mental Health Event in Lake Elsinore
May 17: Moreno Valley school event from 4-7 p.m.
May 17: Banning Marketplace from 4-9 p.m.
May 21: May is Mental Health Event in Temecula
May 22: May is Mental Health Month in Hemet
May 23: May is Mental Health Month in Riverside
May 30: May is Mental Health Month in Perris

About MFI Recovery Center

MFI At The Daisy Walk 2019

Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model, creating a personalized treatment program for each client. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596. 

7 Best Movies about Addiction

Movies about Addiction & Recovery #MFI


Part 1 in a 2-Part Series

From light-hearted escape to heart-pumping popcorn adventure or thrilling romance, everyone loves a great movie. And, over the years, Hollywood has produced thousands which center around addiction. These types of movie make great melancholy narratives because (as anyone who has survived substance abuse knows), drama surrounds addicts. But which substance abuse-themed movies accurately portray addiction? While this list is far from exhaustive, it includes seven of our favorites. That said, we do not endorse the treatments used or behaviors depicted. These are movies, not substance abuse treatment centers, after all. Continue reading