Thursday February 14, 2013
Message from ROD
This month we share important current county concerns regarding DUIs and the increase of DUIs among underage drivers. If you follow the link, you will see an article about the latest DUI arrests and what law enforcement is doing. As you may know, Janus offers DUI classes in both Spanish and English for the community which help people with DUIs get their driving privileges back but more importantly, help with a journey of self reflection and assessment of an individual’s use of alcohol or drugs.
You will also read about the increase of prescription drug use and how addiction to medications are a growing danger in all aspects of our community. This article will offer important links to resources and research that can help you learn more about the issue and what someone can do to address this concern.
I invite you to read the articles, follow the links and learn more about resources for these important areas.
Finally we have some thanks going to our Janus volunteer, J.Love who has taken on our newsletter with care and dedication, and to Chris Rene and SURETHING Productions for choosing Janus as a recipient of a share of the proceeds of ticket sales for an upcoming concert. We hope you can support the event.
In addition, we thank the Simpkins Family for supporting our new collaboration between our residential programs and Simpkins Family Swim Center. Their generous donation will make an impact in the health and well-being of our clients.
Happy Valentine’s Month!
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In the news..DUIs in Santa Cruz County
Last week there was important information on the increase of DUIs and underaged drinking in the county. The Santa Cruz Patch reported about accidents and dangerous situations that were caused by young people driving under the influence. Prevention education, open conversations with youth, and knowing community resources can help address the issue. Follow the link to read the article and make a comment!
Janus of Santa Cruz offers treatment to people who are 18 and over and also offer DUI classes in both Spanish and English. Call for more information: 831.462.1060.
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Prescription Med Addiction
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription drug abuse is the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited.
According to national surveys, prescription medications, such as those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders, and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among drug users.
National surveys have shown that nearly 1/3 or people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009, began by using a prescription drug non-medically. Use of prescription drugs have increased in all populations including adults, youth and the military.
In Santa Cruz County, reports show that pain medication addiction is on the rise with 17,000 county residents struggling with some kind substance abuse. Addiction is defined as continuing the use of a substance even when there are negative consequences afflicting someone's life.
National reports recommend various steps to help with this increasing problem:
1. Education: Raising awareness through education of parents, youth, healthcare providers, and communities in general. 70% of people who use prescription pain relievers non medically got them from friends or relatives.
2. Tracking and Monitoring: Establish programs that will detect and prevent the abuse of prescription drugs at the retail level and that will allow for the collection and analysis of data more efficiently.
3. Proper Medication Disposal: proper disposal of unused, unneeded, or expired medications is needed so that prescriptions do not get introduced into the environment.
If you have questions or concerns,
- Call your doctor and/or healthcare provider and share your concerns
- Talk to a Janus professional 831.462.1060
Follow the link for more detailed info:
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Building New Bridges
by J. Love
Recovery is a very personal journey, a process more than a destination. For the individual in recovery, the process can be beset with challenge and thus it necessitates developing new strengths, new methods of coping, a new sense of self, and in most cases new supportive relationships. While support groups are often a part of recovery, building healthy personal relationships in addition to these groups can be a lifeline to long-term sobriety.
Friendships are built much like bridges spanning a gap. Commonalities are like the trestles that comprise the framework of a bridge each adding strength as they are linked together. When living the life of an addict it is easy to find “friends” when the common bond is the addiction and the substance that feeds it. In recovery many find that such common links are harder to identify and find. Recovery is a process of growth. As an individual reaches to become a new self, one built with solidity, some relationships from the past may evolve to accommodate this change while others may fade away opening the way for new relationships to emerge.
Saying goodbye to old relationships can be very difficult. The comfort of years imparts a certain familiarity that can prevent one from seeing the toxicity that may exist in the relationship. Thus everyone in recovery needs to evaluate their circle of friends. Having a long history that may include many happy memories is not assurance in itself that the relationship is a healthy one. As difficult as it may be, one needs to ask, “When do I spend time with this person? Is this person someone I have used with or have they allowed me to use around them playing the part of an enabler? Is this person someone who supports my sobriety and affirms my conviction to
Developing new friendships may be easy for some yet others may find it to be a daunting task especially in the later years of life. Do not despair, with a little help even the most socially challenged can build a new network of supportive relationships for a lifetime of sobriety. Here are a few suggestions for building healthy long-term relationships:
- Remembering their birthdays, anniversaries, or their kid’s birthdays
- Asking them how their day was and actually listening as opposed to going on and on about yourself
- Keeping things they say or share with you in confidence, or between the two of you – this builds trust, which is crucial for any healthy relationship
- When a friend invites you over for dinner ask them if they need or want you to bring anything – it’s common courtesy as well
- Never speak negatively about them when they are not around – if someone is gossiping about your friend show loyalty to that friend and defend them when necessary
- Help out with something (moving, etc.) rather than offering to help – taking the initiative to show up and help a friend move, or buying them a house warming gift is much more thoughtful than simply saying, “I’m available to help you move.”
- Remember their favorite soft drink, how they take their coffee, or their favorite food
- Show them that you are proud of their achievements and accomplishments
- Send them letters or gifts in the mail for no particular reason
- When a friend is going through something give advice, but never judge them – avoid using the words “you should,” and never be offended if they don’t take your advice
- Don’t be clingy or overbearing – give your friend space when they need it, and allow them to have other friendships
- Make time for your friends – relationships take a little work, so set aside some time in your daily routine to communicate or get together and hang out with your good friends – text messages and e-mails are great, but real friends need face to face time together
- Always be honest with them and follow through with what you say you will do
- Be yourself and don’t try to fit in with a certain group of people just for an opportunity – choose friends with have the same interests as you, those who you have fun around, and those that have what you want emotionally and spiritually
Building healthy friendships takes work but the rewards exceed the effort. Sobriety is an opportunity to fill life with happiness and joy and friendships can help make that a reality. Remember, recovery means change and the choices made in friendships either embraces that or inhibits it. Choose wisely and for the good of you, the new you that you aspire to become.
More articles on the subject:
How to Make Friends in Recovery: http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/how-to-make-friends-in-recovery/
Getting Sober: How to Make New Friends: http://www.myrecoveryhome.com/friends.htm
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I LOVE ME
by J Love
The month of February is most often associated with Love, it being the host month for Valentine's day. Valentine's day is typically a day for both giving and receiving affirmations of romantic love. Certainly having such love in one's life is something most people desire, but it often can be very elusive. So then is the month of love lost on those without a current active romantic heart pounding relationship? Most certainly not! Love is a very broad emotion that can be experienced in many different ways from the love of self to the love of a favorite food. Not to diminish the emotion, but it is only one of some three-hundred positive emotions (click here for a
complete list: http://positiveemotionslist.com/) that humans experience all of which can have a very healthy effect on a persons life. So in terms of expressing love in the month of February we should consider starting with ourselves by infusing our days with as many positive emotions as we can.
Positive emotions do more than simply make you feel good. In her research into positive psychology, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. found that positive emotions can have both an immediate and long-term benefit(1). Professor Fredrickson discovered that a person's thinking ability broadens when experiencing positive emotions which can lead to actions that can produce future benefits such as that one great idea or discovery(1). Other studies show that positive emotions can reduce the potentially unhealthy reaction that negative emotions can have on a persons cardiovascular system(2). While trying to completely eliminate negative emotions from a persons life may be an
unrealistic undertaking, increasing the amount of positive emotions experienced on a daily basis is not.
Emotions or feelings to a great degree are affected by thoughts. Thus thinking positive can produce positive feelings. As an example try a little self-affirmation. Contemplate one of your achievements in life, small or large, and notice the positive feelings it produces. Now imagine doing that everyday as part of an “I love me” exercise program. Another tactic is imagining the best-possible-you(3). In this exercise you project ahead in time to a point when all of your hard work has paid off and all of your goals have been achieved as in a best-case-scenario. Visualizing the future in this way not only produces positive emotions now, but if practiced daily
it has the potential to help a person make the right choices that could lead to becoming that best-possible-you(3). Another exercise involves gratitude, thinking about all that you have to be grateful for regardless of how small it may be. Everyday there is something that we can be thankful for and acknowledging it can have the added benefit of arousing positive emotions(3). These are just a few of the more proven exercises for bringing positive emotions into our daily life and as part of an over-all mental health and wellness program the benefits could be long lasting.
Also think about creating positive emotions in others. Remember the last time someone did something nice for you, even if it was simply letting you have the right-of-way at in intersection. The positive emotion that simple act created in you no doubt lead to you doing something similar for someone else, and so on. The “domino effect” this has has been well documented. So, since love is more than just a romantic emotion, why not spend February spreading the love by doing those things that make yourself and the people around you feel good. Congratulate yourself and hold the door open for someone and see if you aren't better able to overcome life’s
obstacles and achieve your goals.
Happy Valentine's Day!
For more detailed discussions on this subject please follow these links:
The Value of Positive Emotions:
The Undoing Effect of Positive Emotions:
How To Increase and Sustain Positive Emotions: The Effects of Expressing Gratitude and Visualizing Best Possible Selves
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Free LIFETIME Aftercare in South County
Janus of Santa Cruz, South County - Aftercare Group:
Every Thursday 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
PLEASE NOTE NEW DAY
Location: At 220 E. Lake Ave, Watsonville
Welcome Paul to our Aftercare team!
For more info on Aftercare please contact Paul Rodriguez at (831) 325-4980.
In Santa Cruz, lifetime aftercare is offered Mondays and Wednesday evenings 6-7:30pm
Call 831.462.1060 for more info!
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For The Love of Heart
by J Love
The heart is one of the most amazing organs of some seventy-eight found within the wonder we call the human body. As it beats over 100,000 times a day, we go about our business engrossed in anything but the miracle that is occurring within us. But should it stop briefly or even just skip a beat, it quite suddenly becomes the focus of our attention to the exclusion of all else. Now, we have all heard about the need to maintain a healthy heart and while most of us would never with intention do anything to disrupt it as it goes about its business, life is a far cry from perfect and so our hearts do take a beating, no pun intended. So is it possible to recover the health of your heart as you recover from the missteps taken in the ever challenging journey called life? Good news, the experts say YES!
If you were to take a journey through the maze of information regarding the health of your heart, you would find as many as eighty-four different things to list as heart healthy activities. Such a list is a bit mind numbing to say the least. So, if you sift through it all and refine it down to the most practical and optimal, you come up with four basic tips for gaining and maintaining a healthy heart:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Keep a positive attitude and manage stress
- Get enough sleep
As one might suspect, there are a plethora of ideas in each of these four areas as to what is best. But know this; any positive effort you make in these areas will be beneficial to the health of your heart and your health in general. Keeping it simple then, let's consider some basic guidelines in each area from which you can develop your own heart healthy plan.
The experts agree that the heart needs to be exercised as well as your muscles. To achieve this requires your getting your heart rate up to your particular target cardio-workout rate which is, for beginners, about 50% of your maximum heart rate to no more than 75%. A simple formula for determining your maximum heart rate is by subtracting your age from 220 for men and 226 for women. 20 minutes of this three times a week and you are good to go. Taking a brisk walk for 20 minutes is a great place to start.
Eat a Healthy Diet
While this is an area of much debate, there is one very simple guide that I have successfully used for years. Take a look at your typical grocery store. The produce department is usually the largest one in the store, followed by the meat department, and then the grains...breads, cereals, etc. suggesting the balance of the food groups needed for a healthy diet. Avoid the salty, sugary, saturated fatty processed foods and go for fresh and lean targeting no more than 2550 calories per day for men and 1940 for women, less if you need to trim up a bit.
Keep a Positive Attitude and Manage Stress
Perhaps the most challenging of the four but how you feel can have a major impact on the health of your heart and the other seventy-seven organs working to keep you working. Stress is perhaps the single most negative factor having a direct impact on your health, managing it properly is probably the single most difficult thing to do. Here are a few basic tools to help:
1. Identify the source of your stress.
2. Be mindful of the moment. Avoid letting your mind wonder around in the past and future, stay with the present taking notice of everything that you are experiencing including all of the physical sensations your senses are registering.
3. Take the time needed to adequately address those areas in your life that need some attention. Don't procrastinate on working on the fixes.
4. When you find yourself stressing take some “me time”. A little exercise can do wonders.
5. Do the opposite. Stress is often created by our response to our emotions. Fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, and anger can all produce stress. So rather than avoiding the fearful, hit it head on getting past it. Feel like withdrawing and being consumed with your emotions? Try going out and getting busy in a positive pursuit. If you are feeling angry at someone try some empathy.
6. One last trick is tensing and relaxing your muscles. Start at the bottom and work up – feet, then legs, buttocks, stomach, and so on keeping your breathing nice and steady.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep seems to be the one thing that most of us are quick to compromise. Six to eight hours a night is the rule – no more, no less. While sleeping is indeed a most luxurious experience it is a physical necessity so treat it as such. Put those six to eight hours on your schedule if needed and plan your sleep. Can you snooze your way to healthy heart? Quite possibly but remember, all things in moderation.
If you follow these basic steps, a more healthy heart and body awaits you. So take the time to love your heart and treat it with the respect it deserves. For many years it has endured taking all that we have dished out, yet despite what may sometimes be described as utter contempt, it has not failed to take us to the next moment. So check in with your heart and your doctor and make the commitment to better health.
Follow these links for more information on this subject:
American Heart Association
Your Guide To A Healthy Heart
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Chris Rene In Concert - All Ages!--TIX STILL AVAILABLE!
On Sunday, February 17, Chris will be performing hits from his latest EP, "I’m RIght Here" and more. The Santa Cruz-based rapper/singer/songwriter/musician continues to enamor audiences with his breadth of talent. Also on stage: Royalty, Infamous and Gina Rene!
This is an ALL ages event.
A portion of the funds will go to supporting recovery programs at Janus Santa Cruz. Janus Santa Cruz’s Mission: Janus provides the professional, compassionate and focused care necessary to create in every dependent pers...on a belief that recovery is both possible and achievable.
Tickets available at www.catalystclub.com;
$19 General Admission in advance, $23 at the door.
Ticket purchases subject to service charges.
To learn more about Chris: http://www.chrisreneofficial.com/
or Janus of Santa Cruz: http://www.janussc.org/
Co-Sponsored by 102.5 KDON
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