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Congress is now singing the song that addiction is a disease, rather than a moral failing. Why the change in tune? Research on addiction has improved, and the new focus on the root cause of opioid addiction - often legal pain pills, inappropriately prescribed - have shifted the conversation. Still, the biggest health problem facing our nation is the stigma against addiction, according to Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Here’s why shame and stigma kill, and how we can all change that picture.

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In a very sad sign of the times, opioid overdose and hospitalization among children has nearly doubled. For kids ages six or less, 20% of those poisonings were from methadone. The oldest children — those between the ages of 12 and 17 — accounted for over 60% of the patients admitted to hospitals for opioid overdose. Were those from accidental or intentional drug consumption? Learn what this important study reveals.

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Certainly, not every woman who consumes alcohol drinks to excess. There’s a wide range: some women don’t drink at all, some young women binge drink to “fit in,” and some women drink occasionally to celebrate or to tackle occasional stress. And some women drink too much, too often. The National Institute on Health offers basic guidance on how a woman’s relationship with alcohol changes over the course of her lifetime, and how much is too much at any age.

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At Clean & Sober Recovery Services, we see one of the most powerful indicators of recovery when we witness a person actively participating in support groups and regularly spending time with others in recovery. Those sober brothers or “support sisters” might include friends or family who support recovery, members of the CSRS professional team, 12-step buddies, or sponsors. Community is powerful, and it can help build and bolster a strong recovery.

Here’s why immersion and active participation in the recovery community is so important: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a powerful and wily disease that has been described as the 800-pound gorilla doing push-ups in the parking lot, just waiting for your moment of weakness. Anyone who is GOING IT ALONE against the gorilla for any reason is on the wrong track.

Read more: Full immerson in recovery: the "How" and the "Why"

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Thoughts from John Perry, Co-Founder, Clean & Sober Recovery Services

Recovery requires a team effort, and that’s why CSRS selected our tag line “Let’s get better together. So that raises a question: What does “getting better” look like? How do we know when treatment is working and our loved ones are improving?

When people begin their treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, their appearance and emotions can run the gamut. Often, they are depressed and perhaps even suicidal. They are probably undernourished, and their Substance Use Disorder may be accompanied by other disorders as well. They may look sick, with dark circles and puffy skin. They may be exhausted, frightened, listless, agitated, angry, checked out, ridden with guilt and shame, or full of blame for whoever “forced them” into treatment.

Read more: What does "Getting Better" look like? Here's a sneak peek

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We are conveniently located 30 minutes from the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport, and we are two hours from San Francisco.

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