Prevention is Better than a Cure

As a child I remember, my aunt used to say regularly, “Prevention is better than a cure.” I recall watching her read up on health articles and apply the tips she learned in her daily routine. She stopped adding sugar to her tea, would exercise regularly, cut down on white carbohydrates, and gave up her beauty products for natural alternatives. She wanted to prevent any illnesses that she could. Prevention is important in many aspects of our society and lives, from brushing our teeth to wearing a seatbelt, we take measures in life to avoid facing challenges.

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Recovery is Real

September is National Recovery Month.  Anyone familiar with addiction can understand the often chaotic and painful circumstances that precede recovery.  However, the process of recovery offers a chance to begin a life focused on finding meaning and purpose in sobriety.  The journey is best explained through the words of those who are beginning this path.  These are just a small part of their stories:

“Recovery is the process of investigation into the past.  Using people, tools and self to find out what’s gone wrong (broken) and going through the process  to fix ourselves—to do whatever it takes”.  ---P.H. (currently in services at Breaking Free)

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Betsy Santana
Taming the Opiate Monster

“Monster movies” have been a common film genre throughout cinema history. Having seen more of these movies than I care to admit, I find that an effective “monster” typically is understood very little by the audience and yet seems to strike near to the places where they live, work, and play.  Though tame by modern standards, examples of these monsters include Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

In many ways, the opioid epidemic has become our culture’s new “monster.” It too is difficult to understand and has struck in every corner of our nation. Additionally, it appears to be invisible, which amplifies the fear factor associated with it. This monstrosity has become such a problem that overdose has become a leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

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Breaking Free Staff
It's finally summer!

After a very long, cold, and snowy winter, we are more than ready for warm weather, long summer nights, and endless days at the pool or beach.  Summer means breaks from school, more children left home unsupervised and children less likely to receive nutritious well balanced meals. Here are a few tips to ensure the entire family has a fun and safe summer.

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The Anger Iceburg

The 1997 movie Titanic told a love story between an upper class woman, named Rose, and a lower class scoundrel, named Jack. This story took place on a cruise ship which would eventually sink due to a collision with an iceberg. One of the most iconic scenes of the movie involves the two jumping ship where Jack allows Rose to take refuge on a floating door while he –spoiler alert - passes away in the cold ocean temperatures. Upon first viewing as a teenager, it was clear to me the director wanted me to feel sad and heartbroken as I watched Rose bid farewell to her lover and the future they may have had together. However, my emotional reaction was quite different when I noticed that the floating door was big enough to support them both!

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Is it bedtime yet?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 35% of adults report not getting enough sleep to live a productive life. With the stimulating world we live in between cell phones, TV, and stress, it’s surprising that the number isn’t higher! It’s almost guaranteed that as you walk through your office, you’ll hear a yawn or see your co-workers sleepily pour another cup of coffee to get through the day.

So how can we get into the swing of a natural and healthy sleep schedule?

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The Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet: a cluttered mess of old prescription bottles that we all tend to forget about until we have to dig through it to find the Tylenol. However, this seemingly harmless storage unit can actually be the root cause of a widespread public safety problem.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that “According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.” Prescription drug misuse is a serious problem that can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and addiction. Appropriate medication disposal avoids medication misuse and helps protect the environment.

So how do you get rid of unwanted or unused medications?

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Still Under Construction

March is finally here and the thought of warmer weather and spring fill us all with hope! The month of March also brings a few days and events to be celebrated. If you are a sports fan there’s March Madness, a college basketball single-elimination tournament, which of course means lots of betting and in many cases binge drinking.  Then who could miss St. Patrick’s Day? Americanized in the USA it is now a day where those who are not Irish claim to be, beer is colored green, and parties can be found everywhere. Finally who isn’t looking forward to Spring Break? For some it is simply a week off of school to enjoy not worrying about standardized tests, homework, or waking up early and hopefully an opportunity to get outside. For others it means new experiences, vacations, parties and drinking galore.

You may be wondering why all the references to drinking in March?

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Matters of the Heart

The month of February is a month that really gets short-changed.  In comparison to its other monthly brethren, it is most often short by 2 days, and even on leap years it is one day shy.  Meteorologically, it is considered the last month of winter, and if we are honest, by that time we are simply waiting for that month to draw to a close.  Popular holidays include Groundhogs day and Valentine’s Day.  Along with that, it is American Heart Month in the United States, and this leads to the real point of this piece.

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