River Edge Behavioral Health
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River Edge Behavioral Health Center

Welcome to the website of River Edge Behavioral Health Center. We have provided state-of-the-art prevention, treatment and support services for children, youth, families and adults who experience mental illness, addiction, co-occurring disorders or developmental disabilities across a widening swath of Georgia since 1950.

Our work saves lives and money. Our mantra is: "We make life better." A dynamic, ever-improving and growing organization, we are committed to making life better for the people and communities we serve, for the people who choose to join our team - staff, partners and donors.

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River Edge News



River Edge Opens Two Homes for Disabled Individuals (WGXA Coverage)

Organizers came together on Monday to improve the way of life for some people with developmental disabilities.



River Edge Opens Two New Houses for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

A ribbon cutting for River Edge’s two newest homes for individuals with developmental disabilities is scheduled for Monday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m. at 1224 Ernest Street, Macon, GA.



Macon Groups Hold Forum Aimed at Preventing Underage Drinking (WGXA Coverage)

River Edge Behavioral Health and "Macon Safe Decisions" teamed up Tuesday evening at the Rosa Jackson Recreational Center to hold a forum aimed at preventing underage drinking.



LifeSPRING Helping Moms Kick Drugs (WMAZ Coverage)

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NACA), more than two million children under the age of 18 live with a parent who is dependent on or abuses drugs.

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River Edge Blog



First Foundation Masquerade Gala a Success

The River Edge Foundation hosted its first gala on Friday, October 9 at The Armory Ballroom.  The Masquerade Ball & Silent Auction:  Unmasking Mental Illness generated funds and awareness to support the work of River Edge.  Presented by Navicent Health, the Charles H. Jones Family Foundation, BB&T and Sysco also sponsRiver Edgeored the gala. 



Meet Montavius Pettigrew

Montavius Pettigrew is twenty-four years old and is bipolar.  He's been coming to River Edge eRiver Edgevery day since 2011.  He described how he found River Edge by saying, "After an altercation with my parents, I was put out of the house.  I started living at the Salvation Army and they told me about River Edge."  The altercation with his parents was due to his anger, which is common in untreated cases of bipolar disorder.



12 Myths about Addiction, Part 1 of 4

Most people think they know what an addict looks like, what makes a person an addict and the reasons for an addict’s behavior.  Persons with addiction often feel this way too.
River Edge
These beliefs, based on the current, public perception of addiction, can be difficult to overcome and present real barriers to recovery.

In this four-part series, we debunk common myths about addiction using the most current scientific research.

Myth #1: Addiction is a choice.
FACT:  It is only a person’s choice to start using any mood altering chemical.  (A mood altering chemical is any chemical that can make a person feel ‘tipsy’, ‘high’, ‘drowsy’ or ‘drunk’, including over the counter or prescription medicines, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana or other substances.)  However, continued use of any chemical that has addiction potential changes the human brain.  Some chemicals change the brain in quick, dramatic, toxic ways.  Others produce changes in more subtle ways.  With enough time and exposure to any mood altering chemical, the human brain changes in ways that any person can transition from voluntary use to compulsive, uncontrolled use and addiction.  There are also known factors that shorten the time span from first use to the brain change to addiction.

Myth #2: Drug addiction is a character flaw.
FACT:  Drug addiction is a biologically based brain disorder.  Though every type of mood-altering chemical has its own way of changing how the brain functions, many effects on the brain are similar regardless of the type of chemical.  These brain changes result in mood changes, changes of behaviors like walking or talking, as well as changes of perception and memory processes.  (A good rule of thumb:  an addicted person’s recall of events is based on an impaired recall of an impaired memory of an impaired performance.)  Once addiction is triggered, the brain changes produce ‘cravings’.  Cravings mean that getting and using the chemical to respond to the brain changes becomes central in the person’s existence.  This happens because drug use has changed the individual's brain and its functioning in critical ways.

Myth #3: You have to want drug treatment for it to be effective.
FACT:  Virtually no one voluntarily requests treatment for chemical dependency.  Two of the primary reasons people seek drug treatment are because the court ordered them to do some or because loved ones urged them to get help.  Many scientific studies have shown that those who enter drug treatment services under ‘pressure’ do comparatively better in treatment, regardless of the reason they initially sought treatment.

Look for part 2 of this series in December.

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