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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

March Alumni e-News

Stress Relievers in Recovery 

Research shows that stress is one of the most common factors leading to relapse, especially in early recovery. Unfortunately, stress is a natural part of our lives and is generally unavoidable. What can make all the difference is if we are prepared and have a plan to deal with the issues and circumstances that create stress and respond accordingly. 

Here are some tips to help cope with stress and ensure a successful and relapse-free recovery!

Keep a stress journal.

Every time you begin to feel stressed-out, make a note of it in your journal. Identify the source, how you feel in that moment including any feelings of anxiety or other physical symptoms that are present, and what you did to feel better. This will help create a routine, conditioned response to such situations, reducing their overall impact. 


Avoid Stressful Situations where possible.
This includes the people, places and things you know might contribute to elevated feelings of stress.  Use your journal to help identify these circumstances and address them proactively. Is there a conflict with someone you know? Spend less time with them if you can, or talk it out with them if you can’t. Skip the event or avoid the situation that is causing the stressful reaction. More often than not, you are in control.



Learn and practice stress management techniques.

Can’t avoid the person, place or thing?  There are a wide variety of methods you can learn and apply in such circumstances. These include meditation, deep breathing exercises, positive affirmations, time management, engaging in hobbies or exploring new ones, yoga, therapeutic massage, and more. Test them out and find what works for you. Then put it into daily practice!



Take care of yourself!

Adequate amounts of exercise, sleep, and good nutrition are powerful stress-reducers. When you take care of yourself physically, you will feel better emotionally and be better equipped to deal with stress. Develop and maintain a fun and challenging fitness regimen; eliminate some of the junk food and replace it with healthier fare; get a good night’s sleep every night! Get some advice from a personal trainer or nutritionist if you need some help. There’s no need to go it alone!
Everyone’s different, so try different things to discover what works best for you. Keep in mind that stress, when properly managed, can be a positive thing. It can keep us motivated, alert and vigilant about our recovery. The trick is to manage it and not permit it to manage you. 


The 10th Anniversary Mae Abraham Legacy Luncheon!

One of Baltimore’s favorite spring recovery events is fast-approaching! The annual Mae Abraham Legacy Luncheon will be held on May 17, 2017 at the beautiful Baltimore Four Seasons Hotel.

This event, now in its 10th year, is special for several reasons: First, it is a wonderful celebration of women living lives in joyful recovery! We’ll get an early start celebrating Ashley co-Founder, Mae Abraham’s 90th birthday coming in July! And even more exciting, the Luncheon will mark the launch of a campaign to raise funds for the new Mae Abraham Women’s Center at Ashley!

Women face different challenges during their treatment experience, and the Mae Abraham Women’s Center will help meet many of those needs. Housed within the female-only, residential Noble Hall, the Center will be an oasis of safety where women can convene, relax and explore an array of activities which support their recovery.

The Center will provide an atmosphere of awakening helping to foster relationships, as relationships are critical to the emotional development of women and play a significant role in their recovery. 

The availability of a dedicated space for women will encourage them to continue treatment and help them feel cared for and connected with others. It will allow them to express compassion, creativity, warmth, support, authenticity, humility and sensitivity. The Mae Abraham Women’s Center will truly be the HEART of women’s treatment at Ashley!

This year, we are thrilled to honor Rebecca J. Flood, CEO of New Directions for Women in Costa Mesa, CA; a world-renowned private drug and alcohol treatment center exclusively for women. Becky has been providing care and specialized treatment for nearly four decades, helping countless women find their own path to healing. 




A Call to ACTION...

Recently, Ashley Board and staff members had the opportunity to participate in the forum that announced The New Frontier. The New Frontier is a bold plan, which includes a guide for all members of Congress, outlining what they can do to address mental health and addiction regardless of party or committee, an overview of how parity implementation is tracked on the state level, and how we can empower consumers and hold health plans accountable for their actions through a new tool,

Existing law states the following: 

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is a federal law that prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits.  

Why, then, do consumers and those who are suffering have such a difficult time accessing their benefits, receiving coverage and/or being reimbursed for these medical expenses?  Simple – a law is only as good as its enforcement. The MHPAEA is generally not enforced so insurers continue to deny benefits or make fighting for payment of a claim so cumbersome that consumers give up.  

We need your help to change that practice. The way to make change is to make our voices heard. So – we ask you to go to and share your story. Our goal is to assist the Kennedy Forum with gathering stories from all 50 states. While visiting the site you may also obtain information about filing an appeal for a claim that has been rejected.

Stand with hundreds and thousands of others and help us to STOP THE DENIALS and enforce the law!   


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