Clinician Harry Levant Addresses Increase in Gambling Disorders

Clinician Harry Levant Addresses Increase in Gambling Disorders

As gambling has become increasingly legal and accessible over the past several years, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people struggling with gambling disorder issues. Online platforms and mobile apps have made sports betting more prevalent than ever, allowing people to place wagers from the comfort of their homes and even during live sporting events.

However, this convenience comes at a significant cost. In the five years that New Jersey legalized online sports gambling, calls to the NJ Problem Gambling Hotline tripled. The largest demographic affected was 25 to 34-year-old men.

Harry Levant, MA, ICGC-I, an ETHOS clinician had the opportunity to speak on 60 Minutes about online sports betting. He said, “This is a public health emergency. I have patients who gamble in the shower, I have patients who gamble when they get out of bed in the morning. I have patients who gamble when they are driving.’’

When asked where these individuals are getting the money to gamble, he said, “I have young patients who have gambled away federal student loan money and inheritances.”

To address this growing issue, Levant leads a new Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) to assist those with gambling disorders. The in-person program is held during the day at our Broomall location, and in the evening in Jenkintown. Both sessions are available via Telehealth to allow individuals to attend from a distance.

“One of every two people struggling with gambling disorder will experience suicidal thoughts. Gambling disorder typically presents with other co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder problems and can cause devastating harm to people and families. The good news is that help is available and, with appropriate treatment, recovery is possible.

Help is available at ETHOS, if you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction. To learn more about ETHOS Treatment, visit https://www.ethostreatment.com/ or call 267-669-0300 today!

Hear more from Harry who has been interviewed by high-profile outlets including:

60 MINUTES | CNN | FOX NEWS | CNN

Breaking the Stigma During Mental Health Awareness Month

Breaking the Stigma During Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each year in May to raise awareness, promote understanding, and break the stigma around mental illness. It serves as a platform to educate the public about various mental health conditions, symptoms, and available resources for support and treatment.

Why Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month?

Reducing Stigma: The stigma around mental health remains a significant barrier to seeking help and accessing treatment. By dedicating a month to raising awareness, we can challenge stereotypes and misconceptions, encouraging open dialogue and acceptance.

Promoting Understanding: Mental Health Awareness Month provides an opportunity to educate the public about various mental health conditions, their symptoms, and available resources. Increased understanding fosters empathy and support for individuals living with mental illness.

Encouraging Help-Seeking Behavior: Many individuals hesitate to seek help for mental health concerns due to fear of judgment or misunderstanding. By normalizing conversations about mental health, we can encourage people to seek support when needed, ultimately improving outcomes and well-being.

Supporting Those Affected: For individuals living with mental illness and their loved ones, Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a reminder that they are not alone. It offers a platform for sharing stories, accessing support networks, and advocating for better mental health services and policies.

Prevention and Early Intervention: Increasing awareness of mental health issues can help identify warning signs early and promote preventive measures, encouraging early intervention and proactive approaches to mental health.

“At ETHOS, we tailor every treatment plan to meet the individual’s unique circumstances, fostering a more supportive and understanding environment, which is essential to breaking the stigma around mental health,” said Will Wraith, a marketing representative with ETHOS. Jackie Perez, also a marketing representative with ETHOS added, “By offering personalized treatment plans and a supportive environment, ETHOS hopes to break the stigma and encourage individuals to seek the help they need, when they need it.”

How ETHOS Addresses Mental Health

At ETHOS we believe you are a person, not a diagnosis. Everyone is a unique individual with evolving needs. Our clinical team develops a treatment plan that meets you where you are, revisiting and adjusting the plan as your needs change. This helps reduce the stigma and foster a more supportive and understanding environment for those dealing with mental health challenges.

Start Your Journey to Recovery with ETHOS

If you’re ready to embark on your journey to improve mental health, ETHOS Treatment LLC is here to support you every step of the way. With seven convenient locations and telehealth services, ETHOS offers intensive outpatient programs designed to empower individuals to reclaim their lives and achieve lasting well-being.

Our holistic care and personalized treatment plans combine individual counseling, small group therapy, and family therapy to maximize the potential for long-term, sustainable recovery. With 33 programs tailored to diverse needs, there is something for everyone at ETHOS.

The Four Agreements: A Guide for Parents Dealing with Substance Use Disorder and Engaging in Recovery

The Four Agreements: A Guide for Parents Dealing with Substance Use Disorder and Engaging in Recovery

Parenting is a challenging journey, and when you discover that your child is struggling with substance use disorder, the difficulty of the path can feel overwhelming. In these complex times, it can be incredibly beneficial to turn to the wisdom found in “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. These four simple yet profound principles can serve as a guide for parents dealing with kids facing substance use disorders. In this blog, we’ll explore how applying these principles can help you navigate this complex and emotionally charged situation.

Agreement 1: Be Impeccable with Your Word

The first agreement emphasizes the importance of speaking with integrity, being honest, and avoiding harmful or hurtful language. In the context of parenting a child with substance use disorder, being impeccable with your word means maintaining open and honest communication. Here’s how to apply this principle:

  1. Non-judgmental Communication: Engage in conversations with your child and loved one without judgment. Avoid criticism, blame, or shaming. Instead, express your concerns and love while listening to their perspective. Inviting language.
  2. Clearly communicate the boundaries you expect your child to follow. This helps establish a sense of structure and accountability. Ensure that your rules are reasonable and realistic. Speak out about
  3. The Power of vulnerability – for yourself and others. To not be afraid to tell your story to your people and your tribe.
  4. Speaking our truth can be the end of isolation, isolation is at the core of addiction and mental health issues
  5. Finding a safe place to share your truth making sure you have the safe, right audience to share, non-judgmental group
  6. Being able to speak with integrity with meaning and less reaction.
  7. How we speak to ourselves and our own self narrative – Don’t be so hard on yourself
  8. Intentional with your word- think about what you are saying as people are listening
  9. Mindful of the impact of your word 

Agreement 2: Don’t Take Anything Personally

When dealing with a child struggling with substance use disorder, it’s essential not to take their actions personally. Their behavior is often a manifestation of their own struggles and not a reflection of your parenting skills. Here’s how to implement this agreement:

  1. Self-Reflection: Understand that you are not responsible for your child’s choices and actions. Self-blame can be counterproductive. Instead, focus on supporting them through their journey.
  2. Empathy and Compassion: Practice empathy and compassion towards your child. Recognize that they are facing a challenging battle, and your support can make a significant difference in their recovery.
  3. Be curious, ask questions and explore what is someone’s motive, perspective and insights.
  4. Seek Support: Connect with support groups or therapy for yourself. Dealing with a loved one’s substance use disorder can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Reaching out for help, professionally as well with peer parent support can provide you with the strength to continue supporting your child.

Agreement 3: Don’t Make Assumptions

Assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. To effectively support your child through their substance use disorder, practice the third agreement:

  1. Ask Questions: Check things out, Rather than assuming you know what your child or loved one is going through, ask them about their experiences and feelings. This can help you gain insight into their world.
  2. Gather Information: Educate yourself about substance use disorder, its causes, and treatment options. By doing so, you can have informed discussions and make better decisions for your child’s well-being.
  3. Collaborate with Professionals: Avoid making assumptions about the best course of action. Instead, consult with addiction specialists, counselors, and medical professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
  4. Not knowing, being humble allows for someone to reach out and review their truths.

Agreement 4: Always Do Your Best

Parenting a child with substance use disorder is undoubtedly challenging, but always doing your best is crucial for both your child and yourself:

  1. Continuous Learning: Stay informed about the latest research and treatments related to substance use disorder. This demonstrates your commitment to helping your child.
  2. Self-Care: Remember that you can’t support your child effectively if you neglect your own well-being. Prioritize self-care, including adequate rest, nutrition, and stress management. Self-inventory, HALTS, Your best will change any given day
  3. Celebrate Progress: Recognize and celebrate even the smallest steps of progress in your child’s recovery journey. Encouragement can be a powerful motivator.
  4. An acceptance of where you are on the journey
  5. Allowing yourself to be where you are, maybe you are at 50% capacity.

Conclusion

Looking at the system, not just the symptoms. Applying the principles of “The Four Agreements” in your parenting, you can provide the support and guidance you need. Be impeccable with your word, avoid taking things personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Remember that your unwavering love and commitment can make a significant difference in your child’s path to recovery. Seek support when needed and be patient, find pause as healing takes time and effort for both you and your child. Collaboration, connection and community are invaluable tools in decreasing addiction symptoms, as well breaks isolation at it’s core. The four agreements can be a path to hope and healing if you can have an open mind. A. Michael B.

Intensive Outpatient Program: A Flexible Path to Lasting Recovery

Intensive Outpatient Program: A Flexible Path to Lasting Recovery

In the journey toward recovery from mental health issues or substance use disorders, finding the right support system is crucial. ETHOS Treatment LLC offers a highly effective Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) option that provides comprehensive support without the need for a residential stay, making it a perfect choice for people seeking a balance between their recovery process and daily life responsibilities.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program?

An Intensive Outpatient Program is a structured treatment option that provides individuals with the freedom to live at home while receiving comprehensive therapy and support for mental health conditions or substance use disorders. ETHOS clients commit to three or four sessions per week, each lasting several hours.

“The goal is to interrupt a self-destructive routine with a healthy routine, thereby breaking the cycle of a mental health or substance use issue,” says Eric Tankel, M.S.ED, LPC, CAADC, whose clinical practice focuses on support young adults and adolescents facing challenges related to addiction and mental health. “This level of intensity supports significant progress without the need for overnight hospitalization.”

The Effectiveness of IOPs for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

The effectiveness of Intensive Outpatient Programs lies in their multifaceted approach to treatment. Here are several reasons why IOPs are particularly beneficial:

  • Accessibility and Flexibility – IOPs help clients who need more support than traditional outpatient therapy can offer. This setup allows participants to integrate their treatment into their daily lives, maintaining employment and family commitments while prioritizing their health.
  • Comprehensive Support – With a focus on group therapy, IOPs create a supportive community where individuals can share experiences, challenges, and successes. This sense of community is invaluable for recovery, providing empathy, understanding, and mutual encouragement. Additionally, individual therapy and medication management address personal issues and psychiatric needs, respectively, ensuring a personalized treatment plan.
  • Skill Building and Education – ETHOS’s IOP excels in offering practical skills and knowledge to manage mental health symptoms or abstain from substance use. Through cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and stress management techniques, participants learn to navigate challenges, prevent relapse, and build a foundation for long-term recovery.

“ETHOS’ proven IOP includes a holistic blend of individual counseling, small group therapy, and family therapy that fosters recovery, resilience, and independence,” added

Sean Smith, MA, M.Ed., LPC, CAADC, an ETHOS clinician who has extensive experience facilitating IOP programs and with conducting family support groups. “IOP has several advantages over other treatment options, making them an optimal choice for many.”

Why IOPs Are the Best of Both Worlds

  • Balance Between Intensive Care and Independence – IOP strikes the perfect balance, offering intensive care that rivals inpatient programs while allowing participants to apply learned skills in real-world settings immediately. This integration facilitates a smoother transition to everyday life post-treatment.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – Without the need for overnight stays, IOPs are generally more affordable than inpatient programs. This accessibility ensures that more individuals can receive high-quality care without the burden of excessive costs.
  • Continuity of Care – IOPs often maintain a continuity of care that is seamless with the individual’s existing support system, including family and community resources. This continuity is crucial for sustaining recovery and preventing relapse.

Start your journey to recovery now by calling ETHOS at 267.669.0300.

ETHOS Treatment Celebrates 4th Anniversary of IOP Telehealth Options

ETHOS Treatment Celebrates 4th Anniversary of IOP Telehealth Options

As COVID-19 brought the world unprecedented challenges, the pandemic forced businesses, schools, and healthcare providers to think outside of the box for solutions.

Four years ago — when the shutdown began — ETHOS Treatment LLC began to offer its proven Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for people recovering from mental health issues or substance use disorders via telehealth.

“As a company, we decided to take a leap and continue to provide clinical services for those who struggle with mental health and substance use disorder despite not knowing whether or not we’d receive insurance payments at first,” explains ETHOS Co-Founder A. Michael Blanche, MSS LCSW. “Before COVID, telehealth was honored for individual outpatient sessions — but insurance didn’t cover group sessions nor IOP. We were committed to doing what was right for the patient during a challenging and complex time.”

Four years later, ETHOS’s telehealth Intensive Outpatient Program and telehealth outpatient group therapy have become invaluable as they allow individuals facing numerous barriers to treatment — including transportation issues, childcare, and challenging work schedules — to build strong relationships and get the help that they need in order to recover and thrive.

“These clients now have instant access not only to licensed clinicians with extensive clinical experience, but also to specialized small groups and our signature Intensive Outpatient Programs for mental health and substance use disorders,” explains Blanche. “We take pride in the continued success of our Telehealth format and our ability to reach a wide range of individuals.”

The core Telehealth clinical team at ETHOS consists of licensed professionals with decades of clinical experience. They are:

  • Sheila Bellwoar, LPC, with over 30 years of direct clinical experience
  • Troy Jackson, LSW, with over 15 years of direct clinical experience
  • Justin Levin, MA, CAADC, LMFT, with close to 20 years of direct clinical experience
  • Chris Richards, LPC, with close to 15 years of direct clinical experience

In addition, some ETHOS clinicians offer a hybrid model for clients who struggle with a full day of treatment, serving as a bridge back to in-person programs. Most clinicians at ETHOS will offer telehealth as an option for individual outpatient therapy, as well.

“Regardless of whether delivered in-person or via telehealth, we remain committed to providing high-quality care and innovation in our approach to meeting the needs of our clients,” says Blanche.

With outpatient treatment centers in Philadelphia, West Chester, Plymouth Meeting, Collegeville, Broomall, Jenkintown, and Wyomissing, ETHOS helps adults and teens with mental health issues and substance use disorders through individual counseling, small group, and family therapy. 

Several locations also host programs for people with gambling disorders, as well as groups specifically for first responders and men who have experienced trauma.

Start your recovery journey with ETHOS now. Our virtual IOP programs currently have no waitlist. Call 267.669.0300.

Reducing the Stigma of Eating Disorders Starts with Education

Reducing the Stigma of Eating Disorders Starts with Education

Despite high mortality rate, only one in five seek professional treatment 

Eating disorder does not have “a look” and it does not affect only a certain population. Anyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, age, and body type can experience an eating disorder. In fact, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, 28.8 million Americans will experience an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime. Only one in five people with an eating disorder will seek treatment from a provider who specializes in treating eating disorders.

With eating disorders having the second highest mortality rate of any mental illness, we must take action to prevent eating disorders and support those who may struggle. The first step is to reduce the stigma and educate people about what an eating disorder is. 

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a condition where people avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They also may weigh themselves repeatedly. Even when dangerously underweight, they may see themselves as overweight.

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a condition where people have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight. 

Binge-eating disorder

Binge-eating disorder is a condition where people lose control over their eating and have reoccurring episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), previously known as selective eating disorder, is a condition where people limit the amount or type of food eaten. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with ARFID do not have a distorted body image or extreme fear of gaining weight. ARFID is most common in middle childhood and usually has an earlier onset than other eating disorders. Many children go through phases of picky eating, but a child with ARFID does not eat enough calories to grow and develop properly, and an adult with ARFID does not eat enough calories to maintain basic body function.

A lack of knowledge about eating disorders or that someone may be experiencing an eating disorder is just one of the many barriers to treatment. Additional barriers to care include: a lack of eating disorder specialists, lack of access to health insurance coverage. the cost of treatment, and the stigma and feeling shameful about eating habits.

ETHOS is here to help break down those barriers and provide quality care to those struggling with eating disorders. Our staff include therapists, registered dietitians, and psychiatric nurse practitioners who have years of experience treating individuals who are suffering from an eating disorder. We offer financing to alleviate the cost associated with treatment. We are committed to reducing the stigma and supporting the community. We welcome anyone who may want an assessment to reach out and discuss your needs. We are here to help.