National Mental Health Month 2019: Dealing with a Dual Diagnosis

For 70 years, each May has been observed as National Mental Health Month. This is the largest mental health awareness campaign in the world. In 2018, 30 million people were given important information about good emotional and behavioral health and the resources available to help them achieve just that.

Emotional and behavioral disorders are typically accompanied by other mental and physical health conditions that can seriously impact the person’s quality of life and ability to function. This is precisely why 2019's theme is so appropriate: “Dueling Diagnoses: Mental Health and Chronic Conditions in Children in Adults”.

What Mental Disorders Co-Occur with Addiction?

Approximately half of all people who meet the criteria for some type of mental illness also struggle with a Substance Use Disorder – illicit drug abuse, alcoholism, or the non-medical misuse of prescription medications.

SUD and mental illness share many environmental and genetic factors, and co-occur surprisingly often:

  • PTSD: Found in 7 out of 10 people with SUD.
  • Depression: 2 out of every 3
  • Bipolar Disorder: 6 in 10
  • Anxiety: 1 out of 3
  • Disordered Eating: 5 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Schizophrenia: Up to 1000% more likely to have SUD than the general population

Why Is This Year’s Theme So Important, Especially in Terms of Substance Abuse?

The theme for 2019 highlights some of the best under-utilized strategies that improve mental health and general wellness, such as:


Laughter has many practical benefits, including:

  • Decreases stress hormone levels
  • Activates the brain’s reward system
  • Triggers the release of endorphins—the body’s natural pain blockers
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced anxiety

Religion and Spirituality

Religious beliefs and spiritual practices such as meditation affect brain activity and body chemistry:

  • Increased levels of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin
  • Decreased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol of noradrenaline
  • Devout believers who read Scripture experience activity in the areas of the brain associated with positive feelings and reward.
  • People who attend religious services have the risk of depression that is 22%
  • Among mental health patients, 80% report that their religion helps them cope with daily life.
  • 65% use religion to cope with symptom severity.
  • 30% say that religion gives them a reason to live.

Support Animals and Pets

Animal companionship has a profound and positive impact on a person’s quality of life:

  • 80% of owners say that their pets make them happy and provide emotional support.
  • 66% believe that having a pet alleviates stress.
  • 55% think that their pets reduce their depression and anxiety.

Recreation and Social Connections

Doing things that bring you joy and finding other people to relate to are both excellent ways to improve your mental health:

  • Having a strong social support system helps you recover from stress.
  • It also improves treatment outcomes.
  • Taking a vacation reduces stress and improves happiness.
  • Teenagers who play sports—which promote social support and boost self-esteem—have a lower risk of depression and suicide.
  • Leisure activities such as board games, dancing, reading, and playing musical instruments reduce the likelihood of a person developing dementia.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance

When work takes over your life, it can seriously jeopardize your physical and mental health.  Unfortunately, almost 40% of Americans work at least 50 hours per week, and nearly 1 in 5 work 60 or more hours.

Even worse, more than half of people responding to a recent survey say that they cope with workplace stress in an unhealthy manner – by drinking or using drugs, for example.  And 3 out of every 4 workers feel that their job or career will be negatively impacted if they take a day off to focus on their mental health.

By healthy work-life balance results in:

  • Better job satisfaction
  • Overall happiness and contentment
  • Decreased stress
  • Fewer symptoms of anxiety or depression

Why These Strategies Are Important

Each of these proven, yet often forgotten, methods can be simply incorporated into anyone’s life. Reducing loneliness and stress is a major part of achieving good mental health. These self-care strategies are also necessary because unfortunately, only 2% of people with comorbid SUD and mental illness receive the proper specialized care for both.

Professional Help for a Dual Diagnosis

“Standard” addiction or mental health treatment isn’t enough.  Most rehabs don’t do enough to address emotional disorders, and the majority of mental health professionals do not have adequate resources to fully address addiction.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, both conditions must be treated simultaneously, and both regarded as the primary disorder in order to realize the best results.  Depending upon the person’s patient history and treatment needs, the most effective strategies should include a combination of:

  • Individual psychological counseling
  • Education
  • Peer group therapy
  • Medication-Assisted Therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Positive coping strategies
  • Communication skills
  • Relapse prevention and response planning
  • Exercise
  • Recreational therapy
  • Support groups
  • Services for the family
  • Long-term aftercare

The best option is when all of the providers of the various services work together as a team.  Comprehensive and integrative dual diagnosis treatment means that all of your recovery needs are addressed by a clinical staff working cooperatively and sharing the same treatment philosophy and goals.

What Does This Mean to YOU?

Mental Health Month is a perfect opportunity to seek the professional help you need for any mental or addictive disorders that keep you from being the best YOU possible.  There is no reason for you to spend one more day struggling with substance abuse, emotional pain, or the dysfunction and chaos that the brain into your life.  Compassionate help is available.

In Southern California, your best, most-trusted resource is Chapman House Treatment Centers. Since 1978, Chapman House has been the top dual diagnosis treatment program in Orange County, providing the services you need to get—and STAY—sober and emotionally healthy.

Chapman House offers treatment plans that are empirically-based, wellness-focused, and tailored to your specific needs as an individual, giving you the tools you need to stay sober, healthy, and balanced.  For more information or to get help NOW, contact Chapman House TODAY.

by Albert Fontenot

2019 Drug-Take Bake Locations in Orange County

Because this Saturday, April 27, is National Drug Take-Back Day, Chapman House is releasing a list of the collection sites that will be set up throughout Orange County from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  Every year, drug abuse kills nearly 700 county residents and sends another 5400 to the hospital.

National Drug Take-Back Day is a chance for every citizen to do their part in helping remove dangerous drugs of abuse from homes and communities around the country.

Since the twice-a-year program’s inception in 2010, take-back sites in California have collected almost one million pounds of unused or expired medications.  The most-recent  Take-Back Day, held in October 2018, took in over 69,000 pounds in California and 900,000 pounds altogether.

Why Is National Drug Take-Back Day Necessary?

Just as it is throughout the rest of the many states, prescription drug abuse presents  a significant threat to public safety and health in Orange County.  Medication misuse and drug addiction result in:

  • Accidental poisonings – 2 out of every 3 accidental overdoses are due to prescription medications or a mixture of prescription and illicit drugs.
  • Fatal overdoses – 56% of opioid-related overdose deaths in Orange County involve prescription painkillers.
  • Suicides – Prescription medications are involved in 88% of intentional overdoses.

What Kind of Prescription Drugs are Being Abused in Orange County?

Although the ongoing and worsening opioid epidemic dominates the headlines, there are several different classes of prescription medications that have the potential to be dangerous or even deadly.  The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Division breaks down drug deaths by substance. Here is a three-year average:

  • Opioid Painkillers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, fentanyl, etc.): 187 deaths per year. This represents 83% of ALL opioid-related deaths in Orange County.
  • Benzodiazepine Tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, etc.): 121
  • Antidepressants: 92
  • Amphetamines (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.): 81
  • Antihistamines: 54
  • Barbiturates: 7

What Does All of This Mean to Orange County Residents?

54 million Americans  over the age of 12 have used a medication for non-medical reasons. Prescription drug abuse does not respect boundaries of gender, age, income, or education.  This means that it is extremely possible that you know someone who abuses or is addicted to a prescription drug – your spouse or partner, your child, a parent, or a friend.

It may even be YOU.

If prescription drug abuse has just your life.  Chapman House – the top drug treatment program in Orange County – is your most-trusted local resource.  Since 1978, to the professionals at Chapman House have helped families and individuals in crisis because of addictive and mental health disorders.

Using a unique evidence-based approach that focuses on your total wellness as an individual, Chapman House can help you safely and successfully regain your sobriety and the rest of your life.

To get the immediate help you need, contact Chapman House TODAY.

April 2019 Drug Take-Back Sites in Orange County

New locations are added every day.  To search for more authorized sites, click here to go to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s official national Drug Take-Back day website.


Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center

Kraemer Medical Office Building 1

3460 East La Palma Avenue


Anaheim Indepencia Community Center

10841 Garza Avenue


Deputy Pete Chavez


Brea Police Department

1 Civic Center Circle

Front Driveway

Buena Park

Buena Park Police Department

6640 Beach Boulevard



Buena Park Senior Center

8150 Knott Avenue


Mark Sauceda

Corona Del Mar

Oasis Senior Center

801 Narcissus Avenue

Overflow Lot at 5th Avenue and Marguerite Avenue

Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa Police Department

99 Fair Drive

Front Parking Lot


Cypress Police Department

5275 Orange Avenue

Front Parking Lot


Fullerton Police Department

237 West Commonwealth Avenue

Drive-Through on Highland Avenue

Garden Grove

Garden Grove Police Department

11301 Acacia Parkway


Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Police Department

2000 Main Street

Front Lobby


Irvine Valley College Police

5500 Irvine Center Drive

Parking Lot 5


Kaiser Permanente

6650 Alton Parkway

Front Parking Lot


Hoag Health Center

16405 Sand Canyon

Parking Lot


Irvine Police Department

1 Civic Center Plaza

Front Parking Lot


U.C. Irvine Police Department

410 East Peltason

Parking Lot

La Habra

La Habra Police Department

150 North Euclid Street

Front Lobby

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Police Department

505 Forest Avenue


Natasha Hernandez

Laguna Hills

Laguna Hills City Hall

24035 El Toro Road


Deputy Cole Walsh

Laguna Niguel

Laguna Niguel City Hall

30111 Crown Valley Parkway


Sergeant Jack Songer

Laguna Woods

Laguna Woods City Hall

24264 El Toro Road


Investigator Rick Olszynski

Lake Forest

Lake Forest City Hall

25550 Commerce Centre Drive


Deputy Mark Froome

Los Alamitos

Mcauliffe Middle School

4112 Cerritos Avenue

562-431-2255, extension 405

Maria O’Connell

Mission Viejo

Mission Viejo City Hall

200 Civic Center


Police Services Desk

Newport Beach

Hoag Hospital Lower Campus

1 Hoag Road

Parking Lot


Erica Bloom


Orange Police Department

1107 North Batavia Street

Parking Lot

Rancho Santa Margarita

Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall

22112 El Paseo


Deputy Paul Chiron


Rossmoor Rush Park

3021 Blume Drive


Casey Briggs

San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano City Hall

32400 Paseo Adelanto


CPS Celina Corley

Santa Ana

Santa Ana Police Department

3750 West McFadden Avenue, Unit 1

Westend Office Lobby

Seal Beach

Leisure World

13533 Seal Beach Boulevard

Main Gate


Tustin Police Department Community Center

300 Centennial Way

Villa Park

Villa Park City Hall

17855 Santiago Boulevard


Deputy Chris Yuriar

Yorba Linda

Yorba Linda Police Services

20994 Yorba Linda Boulevard


Deputy Apryl Soapes


April 27th is National Drug Take-Back Day in Orange County

Mark your calendars and start cleaning out your medicine cabinet. This Saturday, April 27th, is National Drug Take-Back Day in Orange County.  This is the perfect opportunity for residents to gather up any unused or unwanted prescriptions and bring them to designated monitored drop-off sites for proper disposal, no questions asked. Collection times will be from 10 am until 2 pm.

If you have been watching the news, you know that it could not come at a more critical time for local residents. Drug deaths continue to rise across the United States, including here in Southern California. According to the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Division, the number of fatal overdoses in the area has increased by 82% since 2000.

Other sobering statistics:

  • Every year, drug and alcohol poisonings result in more than 5000 hospitalizations and almost 700 deaths in Orange County.
  • The average hospital stay was 3 days and cost over $26,000.
  • Nearly 52% of overdose deaths and 54% of hospitalizations involve prescription medications, such as opioid painkillers (Oxycontin, Vicodin, etc.), benzodiazepine tranquilizers (Xanax, Valium, etc.), or stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.).
  • Women are 6 times more likely to overdose on prescription drugs than men.
  • 46% of all overdoses in the 35-to-44 age demographic were due to prescription medications.
  • But the proportion of prescription involvement goes up with age. For example, among people 65 and older, over 87% of all overdoses involve prescribed medications.
  • 35% of all Orange County overdoses are due to multi-substance toxicity.

The Problem of Prescription Drug Abuse

It is estimated that 54 million U.S. residents age 12 and over for misused a prescription for non-medical reasons.  That means that more people abuse controlled medications then methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine combined.

Many people have this mistaken idea that people who misuse medications buy their drugs from scary-looking dealers in some back alley. But the unfortunate reality is 3 out of every 4 prescription drug abusers either get them from a doctor or from someone they know.

This means that your medicine cabinet might be the most dangerous place in your home.

Does National Drug Take-Back Day Work?

"There's no reason why somebody should die from medications sitting in a medicine cabinet that someone's not using.”

~ Scott Silverman, Safe Home Coalition

Since 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration has held two Take-Back Days each year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.

In October 2018, almost 6000 Take-Back locations were set up around the country and over 900,000 pounds of unused or unwanted  medications were turned in. Since the TBD program began, nearly 11 million pounds have been properly and safely disposed of—more than 5400 tons!

In California alone, 318 drug take-back sites collected 69,077 pounds in October 2018. Since 2010, close to 1 million pounds have been turned in.

Where Orange County Drug Injuries and Deaths are the Worst

In Orange County, cities along the coast have higher rate of substance-related hospitalizations and deaths than other cities. Here are the OC cities with the highest rates of hospitalizations:

  • Dana Point: 6 admissions per 10,000 residents
  • Laguna Beach: 1
  • Laguna Woods:4
  • San Clemente:1
  • Costa Mesa:6
  • San Juan Capistrano:3
  • Laguna Niguel:9
  • Huntington Beach:4
  • Newport Beach:9
  • Seal Beach:6
  • Mission Viejo:1

To put those rates in perspective, Orange County as a whole is only 17.5 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents.

Here are the OC cities with the highest average numbers of substance-related hospitalizations per year:

  • Anaheim: 538
  • Huntington Beach: 510
  • Santa Ana: 402
  • Costa Mesa: 346
  • Orange: 238
  • Mission Viejo: 234
  • La Palma: 226
  • Newport Beach: 217
  • San Clemente: 216
  • Fullerton: 190

Altogether, there are an average of 5,465 substance-related hospital admissions every year.

But overdose deaths in Orange County are also a major problem. These are the OC cities with the highest rates of substance-related poisonings:

  • Laguna Woods: 8 fatal overdoses per 10,000 residents
  • Dana Point: 1
  • Seal Beach: 8
  • Laguna Beach: 4
  • San Juan Capistrano: 2
  • Costa Mesa: 7
  • Huntington Beach: 9
  • Buena Park: 1
  • Laguna Niguel: 28
  • Newport Beach: 1

To put those rates in perspective, Orange County as a whole has a overdose death rate of 21.9 per 10,000 residents.

Here are the OC cities with the most average overdose deaths per year:

  • Anaheim: 78
  • Santa Ana: 70
  • Huntington Beach: 60
  • Garden Grove: 40
  • Orange: 37
  • Costa Mesa: 35
  • Fullerton: 31
  • Newport Beach: 24
  • Buena Park: 23
  • Westminster: 20

In any given year, Orange County will suffer an average of 682 fatal substance-related poisonings.

The Most Dangerous Drugs in Orange County

According to the report from the Orange County Coroner, these substances are involved in the most local deaths:

  • Opioids: An average of 187 deaths per year, or 83% of ALL opioid-related deaths
  • Benzodiazepines: 121
  • Antidepressants: 92
  • Amphetamines: 81
  • Antihistamines: 54
  • Barbiturates: 7

Significantly, 1 out of every 4 overdose deaths in Orange County also involve alcohol. This is important because alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates are all Central Nervous Systems depressants that affect blood pressure, heart rate, and especially breathing. When used in any combination, these effects are magnified to a deadly degree.

But drug combinations can also render the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan ineffective Although Narcan quickly reverses an opioid overdose, it does not help with other kinds of drugs.

Age Matters: Prescription Medications versus Illegal Drugs

In almost every age group, prescription medications kill more people than illicit drugs, and the gap grows wider as users gets older. Look at the comparison within the various demographics:

  • 15-to-24: Rx Drugs alone caused 30% of fatal overdoses versus 29% for illegal drugs
  • 25-to-34: 31% versus 35%
  • 35-to-44: 46% versus 29%
  • 45-to-54: 55% versus 22%
  • 55-to-64: 65% versus 17%
  • 65 and older: 87% versus 2%

What Does This Mean to Orange County Residents?

Drug Take-Back Days remove dangerous, potentially-abused medications from YOUR home and YOUR community, keeping you and the people you care about safer. When you get rid of drugs you no longer need, you prevent abuse, accidents, and suicides.

As the top drug rehab in Orange County, Chapman House strongly supports any efforts to reduce the dangers of drug abuse and overdoses. National Drug Take-Back Day is a chance for all of us to get involved and do our part.

If you or someone you care about is abusing prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs, contact Chapman House TODAY to get immediate help.





narcissism and addiction

Narcissism and Substance Abuse

Narcissists maintain the grandiose view that they are in control of the addiction and can quit and they want to. They feel they are exempt from conventional laws regarding the use of illicit substances, as well as immune to the natural laws of damaging effects on the body.”

~Cynthia Lechan Goodman and Barbara Leff, The Everything Guide to Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Not surprisingly, people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction are usually very self-absorbed. They care only about their own overwhelming need to compulsively feed their addiction and often hurt their loved ones and family members. However, did you know that extreme self-absorption can become an entirely separate mental illness?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is easily identified by the following symptoms:

  • Extreme self-obsession
  • Grandiosity
  • Compulsive admiration-seeking
  • Arrogance
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unfounded overconfidence
  • An inflated sense of entitlement
  • Willingness to insult or exploit others
  • Poor impulse control
  • Low self-esteem
  • Severe depression

This diagnosable medical disorder co-occurs simultaneously with Substance Use Disorder with greater frequency than you might imagine. Almost two-thirds of patients with NPD also struggle with maintaining sobriety.

How Narcissism Manifests during Addiction

  • Self-Obsession – "I need… What about ME?...I want”
  • Arrogance –“I’m can do anything I want.”
  • Grandiosity – “I’m too smart to get addicted.”
  • Overconfidence – “I can quit whenever I want.”
  • Constant Need to be Admired –“Show me you love me.”
  • Lack of empathy –“I don’t care what you say about my drug use.”
  • Sense of entitlement – “I DESERVE to blow off some steam.”
  • Willingness to exploit – “I really need you to lend me some money.
  • Impulsivity – “I just could not help myself.”
  • Low self-esteem – “I hate everything about myself. I’m worthless”
  • Depression – “Nothing matters at all. What’s the point?”

Clinical psychologist Dr. Craig Malkin says “There's plenty of research that shows that people who have, say, narcissistic personality disorder...that they are more likely to turn to substances. If you do not trust that you can depend on people for're going to have to soothe yourself some other way. You can soothe yourself with narcissism, you can soothe yourself with a drug addiction”.

Narcissism and Addiction: Getting Help for a Dual Diagnosis

When Substance Abuse Disorder cooccurs with any mental illness, successful recovery requires specialized professional care and support. It is important that both conditions are treated as the primary problem, or else you run the risk of recovering from neither.

Unfortunately, not every rehab program or therapist is experienced or equipped to deal with such a complicated dual diagnosis.

But if you live in Southern California and are looking for a smart recovery program, your best local resource is Chapman House Treatment Centers. Since 1978, Chapman House has provided a premium, evidence-based substance abuse and mental health treatment program to help you stay clean. The Chapman House staff has the experience necessary to help you safely and successfully return to a sober, balanced, and more productive life. They want to help you bring back your sense of purpose. They offer support, coping skills, meetings on the 12 steps, and tools to aid in actually staying sober.

To start your own healing journey, contact Chapman House RIGHT NOW.

Keeping Your Job While in Alcohol or Drug Rehab

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 75% of people with a Substances Use Disorder have a job. However, over 90% of workers with a SUD aren’t getting the specialized care they need.

One of the most-voiced reasons for putting off getting professional help is “I’ll lose my job if I go to rehab!”.

With every delay, their addiction gets worse. So do the consequences—to their professional and personal life, their health, and their future.

If that’s why you’ve avoiding seeking drug treatment, understand this – your disease will hurt your career more than checking into rehab ever will.

The Best Time to Get Help Is Always NOW

Companies have the right—and the obligation—to protect their interests, employees, and customers, so if you are high or drunk on company property or time, you can be fired.

To prevent that from happening, you must address the problem NOW, instead of when it is too late.

Tip #1 – Your Company May Be Able to Help

Most businesses of any size have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in place for these kinds of situations. You can get confidential – and often free – guidance and help for most personal wellness issues. Talk to your EAP contact to get more information.

Tip #2 –Know Your Legal Rights

If you have insurance through your employer, the Affordable Health Care Act mandates that substance abuse treatment is covered.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers make “reasonable accommodations” for those employees participate in a rehabilitation program and are no longer abusing substances.

Don’t wait until you’ve failed a drug test, shown up at work drunk or high, or been involved in an at-work accident or incident.  ADA protection doesn’t cover those situations

Failing a drug test can be grounds for justifiable termination even if the drug is legal. This includes alcohol, marijuana, and even prescription medications, if they are misused

For qualifying employees, the Family Medical Leave Act permits up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for substance abuse treatment within a 12-month period. During this period, your job and your position are protected.

Tip #3– Be Honest with Your Job

Your employer needs to know how your recovery needs will impact your attendance and performance. If they are going to have to make accommodations, adjustments, or temporarily replace you, give them as much notice as possible.

Don’t be embarrassed. More than likely, your supervisor already knew that SOMETHING was wrong, even if they didn’t know what that “something” was.

By federal law, your employer must treat your participation in a rehab program as strictly confidential.

Tip #4 – Outpatient Drug Rehab Might Be Right for You

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) offer the same education, behavioral counseling, and support services at its residential programs, but allow you to continue to work and live at home.

Typically, IOP attendees go to therapy 3-5 times each week, with each session lasting 3 hours. IOPs are very accommodating, offering both morning and evening sessions.  With this option, your employer only needs to slightly adjust your work schedule.

Tip #5 – Communicate with Your Employer

If your rehab needs – inpatient or IOP – means someone else will temporarily have to assist or replace you, be sure to communicate with your job. If you choose to participate in an IOP, keep your work commitments.

Tip #6 – Return-To-Work Agreement

The U.S. Department of Labor gives employers the right to create a written document detailing the agreement between the employer and an employee who has completed substance abuse treatment. This agreement is legally-binding and may include such requirements as:

  • The returning employee must remain compliant with medical recommendations.
  • Employers have the right to drug test.
  • Release of Information forms are provided to service providers, allowing them to release attendance and progress updates to the employer.

Here’s the bottom line – healthy workers are productive workers. It is in your company’s best interests to help you to get the treatment you need. But it’s up to YOU to take advantage of all available resources.

Since 1978, Chapman House Treatment Centers has been providing drug rehab services in Orange County, and helping struggling addicts and alcoholics return to sober, happy, and productive lives.

Substance Abuse Skyrocketing among Older Americans

The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that Americans who are past the age of 60 may be at increased risk of problematic substance use.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducts the NSDUH, which provides up-to-date information on a number of health-related topics, such as mental health and tobacco, drug, and alcohol use in the United States.

Substance Abuse among Seniors– The Statistics

Per the NSDUH, the 60-to-64-year-old age demographic saw the largest increase in past-month drug use between 2016 and 2016—38%.  Right now in America, there are over 10 million drug abusers who are past the age of 40.

Of special relevance, by examining  older age groups and how their past-month drug significantly changed from 2016 to 2017, we learn:

60-64 years old:

  • Cannabis: +48% --2017: There were over 1.2 million people in this demographic who use marijuana, an increase of 830,000 the year before.
  • Prescription Opioid Painkillers: +17%--2017: There were 169,000 abusers of prescription opioids, up from 145,000 in 2016.
  • All other opioids (Heroin, Illicit Synthetics): 17%--2017: There were 169,000 current opioid abusers, climbing from 146,000 a year before.

65 and older:

  • Marijuana: +6%--2016-017: The number of marijuana users in this demographic rose slightly, from 1,097,000 to 1,168,000.
  • Cocaine: +118%-- At the same time, the number of coke abusers surged, going from 38,000 to 83,000.
  • Opioid Painkillers: +35%--The number of people who abused pain medications jumped from 176,000 to 235,000.

Because senior citizens are more likely to suffer from long-term chronic pain, they are also more frequently prescribed – and overprescribed -opioid pain drugs.  As a result, SAMHSA reports that between 1992 and 2010, the number of people 50 and older who were admitted to a drug rehab program shot up 136%.


  • The number of overdose deaths involving opioids among the 55-to-64-year-old demographic ballooned from 226 to 7486 – a troubling increase of more than 3300%!
  • Likewise, the 65-74 age group saw an even-greater increase of 4150%.
  • Among older males, overdoses involving opioids rose sharply,  by 775%
  • Senior females saw a massive increase of 1682%

Another startling discovery from the latest NSDUH is the prevalence of problem drinking within the older population.

  • 60-64: Risky binge drinking episodes went up 14% between 2016-2017, and heavy drinking increased by 15%.
  • Around 1 out of every 5 people in that demographic regularly abuses alcohol.
  • 65+: Binge and heavy drinking increased 23%.
  • 1 out of 8 senior citizens engages in risky drinking behaviors.
  • This works out to nearly 10 million alcohol abusers age 60 and over.

The Dangers of Senior substance Abuse

This level of substance abuse creates significant hazards .

Because multiple prescription drugs are typically taken at this age, drinking or drug abuse dramatically increases the likelihood  of a dangerous  drug interaction.

Also, because alcohol, opioids, and tranquilizers are all Central Nervous System depressants, accidental overdoses and even death become a very real possibility.

Finally, drug or alcohol intoxication can cause a person to forget if they took their medication or not.  This  can be the difference between safe medicating and taking too much.

What Does All of This Mean?

The #1 takeaway from the  is that ANYONE can struggle with substance abuse, dependence, and addiction. The disease doesn’t respect boundaries of age, education, income, or accomplishment.

If you are concerned about how an older loved one’s drug abuse or drinking might be endangering their health, contact Chapman House TODAY. As one of the top drug rehab programs in Orange County, Chapman House provides the structure, treatment, and support needed for successful return to sobriety.



How to Keep Your Job While You Go to Rehab

Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 3 out of 4 substance abusers have a job, but only about 1 in 10 are in treatment.

I’m Afraid of Losing My Job”

One of the major obstacles for many actively-addicted people is the fear of losing  their job or position if they admit that thy have a problem or if they take time off to go to rehab .

  • Will I get Fired…Replaced…Demoted?
  • Will it affect my promotion?
  • What will my co-workers think?

Due to these concerns, struggling substance abusers hesitate, their addiction progresses, and the consequences get worse. Eventually, their career—and the other areas of their life—are damaged far worse than going to rehab ever could.

Protecting Your Career While You Go to Drug Rehab

If you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder such as alcoholism, illicit drug addiction, or the abuse of prescription medications, you CAN get the professional help you need without having to worry about your position, IF you:

  • Learn Your Legal Rights– The Americans with Disabilities Act grants a protected status to workers who  are diagnosed with a Substance Use Disorder. By law, you have the RIGHT to participate in a drug or alcohol rehab program WITHOUT harming your career.

Per ADA guidelines, employers must make “reasonable accommodations” for employees with SUD–i.e., time off to go to inpatient drug rehab, adjustments to their schedule so they can attend outpatient sessions, etc.

Additionally, your insurance company is required provide coverage for rehab and recovery programs.

  • Tell the Truth–Your employer has the right and the responsibility to provide an environment free of drugs and alcohol for ALL workers, in order to protect other workers and the best interests of the company.

It is YOUR responsibility to seek help proactively, before there is an incident. Don’t wait until it’s “too late” – a failed drug test or a workplace accident.

As for any supposed embarrassment you think you might feel– in all truth, your employer probably already had a suspicion that “something” was going on to affect the quality of your work, even if they weren’t exactly sure what that “something” was.

Your employer is also obligated by law under the requirements of the ADA to treat your personal medical needs – drug treatment – as confidential.

  • Use ALL of Your Available Resources–There may be several beneficial programs offered by your job that can give you all the time you need:
    • Employee Wellness/Assistance Programs
    • Sick Leave Accrual
    • Vacation and Personal Time
    • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants eligible workers 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave for medical or family reasons. Drug rehab qualifies.
  • Honor Your Part of the Bargain—When your employer grants you an accommodation they are doing so for two reasons – because of the law, yes, but ALSO because you are a valued employee. For your part, YOU have to:
    • Complete your recommended treatment plan – do not leave residential rehab early.
    • Continue with ongoing aftercare – outpatient drug rehab, drug tests, etc.
    • Attend 12-Step fellowship meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
    • Comply with any “Return-to-Work” agreement that your employer may have prepared.

What's the Bottom Line?

One more, very important point –addiction is a protected disability, but addictive behaviors are not. If you show up to work drunk or high, commit a crime, miss too many days, etc. – you will lose your job. The key to protecting your job while you deal with your addiction is to ask for help before it is too late.

If you are worried about the impact that your drinking and drug use might be having on your career, and you don’t know what to do, let Chapman House help.

As one of the most-trusted rehab programs in Southern California, Chapman House has been offering premier drug and alcohol treatment services in Orange County since 1978. To get the help and support you need, contact Chapman House TODAY

by Albert Fontenot

New Year Resolutions

Resolutions for Recovery, Part 1

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.”

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

This is Part One of a two-part series

For most people, the New Year is an expectant time of rebirth – a time to make hopeful promises and reinvent ourselves in the image of who we would like to be. This can be especially true if you struggle with a Substance Use Disorder.

If you have a drug or alcohol problem your New Year’s resolutions have even more meaning than most people’s. If the average person reneges on their promises, they laugh it off and say “Maybe next year“, you might need to be successfully in recovery to make it to next year.

If you are reading this, hopefully it is because you are already in recovery or are thinking about getting help for your addiction. If that is the case, here are some suggested resolutions that you can make that – if kept – can help support your recovery efforts.

Resolve to Get Professional Help

You may have the best of intentions, but the fact of the matter is, no one gets clean by themselves. Powerlessness over your drug of choice is what defines addiction. You need help from a trained and experienced professional who specializes in addiction treatment.

If you have been contemplating going it alone, consider all that you gain with the help of a professional:

  • In-depth knowledge and expertise
  • An actual treatment plan, rather than your own guesswork and willpower
  • Structure and accountability
  • Monitoring and evaluation of your progress
  • Freedom from judgment
  • Practical strategies and solutions
  • Connections to other needed services – interventionists, detox facilities, aftercare, etc.
  • Medication for cravings, if needed
  • Referral/treatment for any co-occurring disorders

In other words, professional treatment will do for you all of those things that you cannot or will not do for yourself.

Resolve to Practice Honesty

Addiction is a disease of denial, deflection, and deception. Lying becomes a daily habit that the active addict/alcoholic uses avoid any conflicts that would interrupt their drinking and drugging. Most of all, they lie to themselves, turning a blind eye to the path of pain and destruction that they leave in their wake. Dishonesty becomes their preferred coping method.

For this reason, rigorous honesty is crucial to a successful recovery. When you resolve to be forthright and open – both with others and yourself – then you remove the harmful consequences that came with habitual dishonesty.

There are number of ways that a person in recovery benefits from the practice of honesty:

  • Honesty fosters a renewed sense of self-esteem and trust with yourself to keep your commitments, and with others, which in turn helps rebuild relationships with loved ones.
  • New, positive coping skills are cultivated when you learn to deal with – rather than avoid – any challenges that arise.
  • When you truthfully acknowledge the harm that results from your actions, you are less likely to repeat those behaviors.
  • Consequently, you will also have less shame and guilt – both precursors to relapse.
  • Engaging in one positive behavior – honesty – that supports your sobriety makes it easier for you to practice other positive behaviors.

Most of all, when you stop lying to yourself and rationalizing your behaviors, it is much harder to justify why you are acting a certain way. You will learn how to stop “giving yourself permission”  to use substances and instead learn to think and behave in a way that supports your continued recovery

If you are an Orange County resident and want to break free from the prison of addiction, contact Chapman House TODAY to get more information about how you can make this the year you got your life back.

new year resolutions

Dry January in Orange County

Dry January should be seen as the impetus to change people’s relationship with alcohol forever.”

~ Judi Ryh, Executive with the British Liver Trust

"Dry January" deserves a place among your New Year’s resolutions. Voluntarily giving up drinking for a month is the perfect way to examine your relationship with alcohol. And, if you find it too hard to temporarily give up booze, then perhaps you need professional help.

Dry January: An International Movement

“There were plenty of nights I'd promise myself I wouldn't imbibe but end up indulging, or have four drinks instead of the planned one…These behaviors are red flags for problem drinking, and they're alarmingly common.”

~ Joy Manning, Women’s Health

Originally, Dry January was part of a 2014 public awareness campaign promoted by Public Health England. But when the results were overwhelmingly positive, Dry January quickly became a global observance.

The benefits of Dry January include:

  • 82% of participants report a “sense of achievement”.
  • 79% save money.
  • 62% enjoy better sleep.
  • 62% have more energy.
  • 49% lose weight.
  • At a six-month follow-up, 72% had lower rates of “harmful” drinking.
  • 4% were still alcohol-free.
  • Liver fat, a precursor to liver disease and damage, decreased by 15%.

Dry January: The Bottom Line

“I don’t really see myself as a big drinker, but I was quite shocked to see just how much more I drink in the run up to Christmas. Drinks on nights out with work and friends, as well as a few when I’m at home, all start to add up.”

~ Charlotte Gowing, 38, Dry January participant

You can have a drinking problem and not even know it. What was once an occasional social indulgence  progresses and becomes a regular habit frequently punctuated with heavy or binge drinking. December means Christmas and New Year’s parties, and it is far too easy to cross the line and  over from drinking habit to drinking problem.

Dry January is your chance to test yourself, and if necessary, hit the reset button.

If you live in Southern California, Chapman House your best, most-trusted resource. As the #1 alcohol rehab program in Orange County, Chapman House helps you regain your sobriety so you can live a safe, healthy, and productive life.

For more information and to get immediate assistance, contact Chapman House TODAY.


The Top Six Benefits of Sobriety in 2019

“I wouldn’t have been able to have access to myself or other people, or even been able to take in other people, if I hadn’t changed my life.”

~ Bradley Cooper, actor

The New Year brings a hopeful outlook. No matter what’s going on in our lives, it gives us a chance to symbolically start over again, clean and fresh. For many people, this means finally seeking help for an alcohol or drug problem.

If that includes you, here are six wonderful reasons why a sober 2019 could be your best year EVER!

Sobriety Benefit #6: You Save SO Much Money

Do you have any idea how much your drinking and drug habits REALLY costs you every year?

  • $100,000 (OxyContin)
  • $50,000-$75000 (Heroin, 2g/day)
  • $40,000-$50,000 (Opioid painkillers)
  • $30,000 (Methamphetamine)
  • $5,000-$14,000 (Alcohol)
  • $10,000 (Marijuana, heavy use)

In recovery, your money belongs to you, not your addiction.

Sobriety Benefit #5: No More Hangovers, Withdrawal, or Dope Sickness

Remember all those times when you partied too hard and woke up in terrible pain the next morning? Or what about how you have the shakes before your first daily drink? Or worst of all, the horrible feeling of being dope sick when you were out and no one was holding?

All of these were clear signs of how substance abuse negatively impacts your health.

But once you are free from the harmful influence of alcohol and drugs, your body and mind can return to normal.

Sobriety Benefit #4: You Will Live a Longer and Healthier Life

Did you know that substance abuse shortens your life by an average of seven years?  That’s not too surprising, when you consider that there are over 200 diseases and health conditions that are directly attributable to alcohol and drugs -cancer, heart disease, and brain damage, along with hundreds of other illnesses and problems.

But by practicing the abstinence and healthy lifestyle changes of recovery, much of that damage can be reversed.  For example, a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine determined that quitting cocaine can significantly reverse some of the drug-induced damage to the heart.

Dr. Shengan Lai said, “Studies of this kind give people hope for a healthier life after stopping drug use.”

Sobriety Benefit #3: You Become a Better Employee

Active addiction affects you professionally -you miss work more often, your production goes down, and your reputation suffers.

And if you are like most people, you put off getting help because you are afraid of losing your job.

But did you know that because Substance Use Disorder is a medically-recognized illness, in most cases, your job is protected if you go to drug rehab? It IS possible to recover AND keep your job.

Sobriety Benefit #2: You Build Better Relationships

Addiction eventually isolates you from your loved ones, until the only relationships you have left are dysfunctional or revolve around drinking and drug use.

But in recovery, but and learn to surround yourself with people who actually care about you and support your sobriety.  Best of all, when you are sober and sincere, you can work on rebuilding other relationships with estranged family members and friends.

Sobriety Benefit #1: You Get to be Present for Your Own Life

Think about it—how many birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions did you miss because of your addiction? Just as bad, how many did you attend and half-remember because you were too drunk or too stoned?

In recovery, you get your life back, and that means showing up for all of the once-in-a-lifetime moments that addiction steals. Even better, you get to make memories that you actually remember.

The New Year can mean a New You.

If you are ready to make a change and break free from your addiction, Chapman House can help.  Since 1978,Chapman House has provided premier alcohol and drug rehab in Orange County, helping individuals and families in crisis due to uncontrollable substance abuse.

To get help NOW, contact Chapman House TODAY.

by Albert Fontenot