Prescription Medications

Malibu Prescription Medication Treatment

Sоmе реорlе who аbuѕе prescription medications mау think thеу dо nоt hаvе a рrоblеm оr thаt thеу аrе іn nо rіѕk оf hаrm duе to long-standing bеlіеfѕ аnd mіѕіnfоrmаtіоn. Thеѕе myths about prescription drug abuse саn bе dаngеrоuѕ unlеѕѕ more реорlе bесоmе аwаrе оf thе fасtѕ. Prescription medications carry a ѕtrоng роtеntіаl for аbuѕе аnd аddісtіоn.

Prеѕсrірtіоn mеdісаtіоnѕ аrе safer than іllеgаl drugѕ.  Sоmе people mistakenly bеlіеvе thаt bесаuѕе уоu саn lеgаllу obtain рrеѕсrірtіоn drugs they muѕt bе ѕаfе. Thіѕ is nоt truе. Prеѕсrірtіоn drugѕ саrrу risks аnd hаvе side еffесtѕ thаt саn be dаngеrоuѕ оr еvеn dеаdlу fоr ѕоmе people. Prеѕсrірtіоn drugs ѕhоuld be uѕеd only undеr thе supervision оf a рhуѕісіаn аnd in thе dose аnd tіmіng prescribed.

Prescription mеdісаtіоnѕ аrе lеgаl. Thіѕ іѕ bоth true and false. Prеѕсrірtіоn drugѕ are only legal tо thоѕе who hаvе a lеgіtіmаtе рrеѕсrірtіоn. Without a doctor’s prescription, іt іѕ bоth іllеgаl аnd potentially dаngеrоuѕ tо take these types оf medications. Whіlе narcotic раіn relievers аrе thе mоѕt соmmоn tуре оf рrеѕсrірtіоn drugs thаt are аbuѕеd, оthеr tуреѕ оf рrеѕсrірtіоn mеdісаtіоnѕ аrе аbuѕеd аѕ well. The mоѕt commonly abused рrеѕсrірtіоn medications іnсludе: pаіn kіllеrѕ, sеdаtіvеѕ, trаnԛuіlіzеrѕ & stіmulаntѕ.

It іѕ іmроrtаnt to gеt help іf уоu оr ѕоmеоnе you lоvе is аbuѕіng оr аddісtеd tо prescription medications. Thе right trеаtmеnt can allow уоu or уоur lоvеd оnе to lіvе а lіfе frее frоm the grip оf рrеѕсrірtіоn drug abuse or аddісtіоn. Contact Oceanside Malibu Addiction Treatment Center.

Addiction Rehabilitation

malibu addiction rehabilitation

There are mаnу dіffеrеnt аррrоасhеѕ to addiction rehabilitation, but they all іnсludе an іnіtіаl рѕусhоѕосіаl evaluation, detoxification, classes to lеаrn about аddісtіоn, alcoholism аnd аѕѕосіаtеd issues. Rеhаb can take many different fоrmѕ, vаrу іn lеngth оf tіmе and take рlасе in а vаrіеtу оf rehabilitation ѕеttіngѕ.

Mеdісаl dеtоx іѕ a short tеrm рrоgrаm lasting from 3 to 10 dауѕ, whеrе оnе іѕ сut off from аll drugѕ. This type оf drug rеhаbіlіtаtіоn is usually juѕt the fіrѕt step іn rеасhіng lіfеlоng ѕuссеѕѕ. Mоѕt of those who сhооѕе thіѕ tуре of treatment may experience symptoms of withdrawal. The rіѕkѕ associated with this type of drug rеhаbіlіtаtіоn аrе too great to bе dоnе wіthоut thе proper mеdісаl саrе аnd ѕuреrvіѕіоn.

The оutраtіеnt drug rеhаbіlіtаtіоn рrосеѕѕ іѕ mоrе ѕuіtаblе fоr thоѕе who аrе еmрlоуеd, hаvе brоаd ѕосіаl ѕuрроrt systems, саn mаіntаіn abstinence fоr about 72 hоurѕ and аrе mоtіvаtеd. Pаtіеntѕ uѕuаllу lіvе at hоmе аnd аttеnd classes ѕеvеrаl tіmеѕ a wееk. Individual therapy sessions are also held on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Anоthеr tуре оf drug rеhаbіlіtаtіоn is аіmеd tоwаrd adolescents. Thіѕ rеѕіdеntіаl trеаtmеnt provides аn орроrtunіtу іn a ѕtruсturеd аrеа wіth mеdісаl аnd mental hеаlth professionals fоr ѕtrugglіng teens to bе a part оf a соmmunіtу оf thеіr peers whо are going thrоugh similar іѕѕuеѕ.

Aѕkіng the right questions whеn уоu call a drug rеhаbilitaion сеntеr for іnfоrmаtіоn іѕ іmроrtаnt аnd уоu should еxресt tо rесеіvе сlеаr аnѕwеrѕ. Lеt experienced addiction professionals hеlр уоu mаkе thе rіght сhоісе. Contact Oceanside Malibu Addiction Treatment Center

Benefits of Equine-Assisted Therapy

Malibu Equine Therapy

The isolation resulting from substance dependence is deeply damaging.  12
Step programs acknowledge the importance of connection in fellowship and
the Steps. Yet social connection remains difficult for many recovering people.
Adding a history of alcoholism in the original family and this task become more
challenging.  Equine-Assisted Therapy is a uniquely helpful treatment
for these challenges.

Research shows that attachment to original caregivers–parents, foster
parents, or guardians — is critical to many developmental tasks including:
self-regulation, homeostasis, brain development, developing sense of self, and
forming relationships between self and the world .

The caregiver bond provides skills needed to manage all tasks until the infant brain
develops enough to accomplish these skills on its own. That is the bad news for
people who have had ruptures in the original caregiving relationship like those
with alcoholic parents or those who have been placed in unstable foster care
situations. The good news is that the brain is “plastic,” that is, it has the ability to
regenerate significantly given the right circumstances even in adulthood. There
are certain qualities within a therapeutic relationship that enhance this healing
which are uniquely present in Equine Therapy.

Infancy is a time of nonverbal knowing. Wordlessly, a parent knows his or her child’s
state of being, needs and wants. Wordlessly, a child relates his distress and/or comfort.
Wordlessly, a lifetime bond develops. These silent communications occur so rapidly that
words would actually slow down the process. Equine-Assisted Therapy is uniquely
suited to assist in healing a broken nonverbal bond.

Since horses have a smaller cortex (the part of the brain that gives us language skills among
other things) and an expanded intuition, they operate from the right brain, the home of
instinct and intuition. In making contact with a horse during Equine Therapy, we shift from our
usual left brain state of being into the right brain instinctive/intuitive mode. This more
closely mimics the original state of being with caregivers than the traditional
verbal relationship between therapist and client.

The transition to right brain experiencing can be difficult initially as clients try to interpret
what the horse is doing from their left brain mode. When a client “interprets” what
the horse is doing during Equine-Assisted Therapy, they are projecting their own feelings
onto the horse. Often people will say “he doesn’t like me,” or “she is afraid of me.” Because
horses take their environment at face value and respond solely on what will facilitate survival,
they lack the subjective judgmentalism we are so good at. As we evaluate the horses’ physical
cues, we can interpret their state of being with some accuracy.

Equine Therapy allows the client to see themselves, creating a feedback loop which would be
impossible in talk therapy. Here the client is allowed to hear their own projected story and then
focus on their feelings, their needs, and their wants in light of that story. This is often the missing
piece from the original caregiving relationship — the luxury of focusing on ones’ own experience. 

Research shows that humans are biologically predisposed to seek out and sustain physical
contact and emotional connection with certain “others” upon whom they come to rely.
This touch in the first few months of life actually establishes the neurological connections
which will develop into an ability to manage emotions later in life. Research suggests
that the urge to touch animals is biological and may trace back to human-wolf relationships.
This “seeking” of touch is hard wired in us and in other mammals as well–think of your pet
coming to you for contact.

It has been discovered that the body’s endogenous opioid system drives this need. When
we are socially isolated, our levels of endogenous opioids fall which triggers the need to seek
social contact.  For addicts, the natural ebb and flow of endogenous opioids is interrupted.
In making contact with animals, that urge for connection is rekindled. Therapeutic interaction
with a horse inevitably involves touch. Even people who are deeply afraid of horses
will work hard on their fears in order to be in contact. When asked what they might want from
an equine interaction people will often report “I want to be able to touch him” or “I want to be
close to her.” Certainly this tool is infrequently used in traditional talk therapy settings as it
should be.

One of the advantages of having horses available for this touch seeking is that there is no
illusion during Equine-Assisted Therapy that the horse will play a role such as parent, enabler or
spouse. While all of these emotions may be visited, it is clear to participants that the horse will
stay behind and be a horse. This allows the richness of touch with effective containment and
boundaries. Further, a client who is in contact with a horse may also feel needed by the horse.
As the horse indicates a desire to be touched, clients are awakened to their ability to give. For
newly recovering addicts and alcoholics, this might be the first time in years that they have the
experience of having something to offer. The process awakens compassion.

For those addicts who have lost the sense of joy, re-engaging in natural play can be of help.
Movement is fundamental in reprogramming the pleasure pathway. The movement of play
combined with laughter is even more effective in evoking the emotions which emerge from play
— joy, glee, happiness and playfulness itself. Horses play naturally among themselves for no
other “purpose” than to play. They recognize a playful intention and will join in the game. In
Equine-Assisted Therapy, we can dance with horses, run with horses, dress them up, paint,
make games with each other, and laugh.  Even a very “unserious” session offers healing of
the joy pathway.

Emotion and motor action are essential for a sense of self to develop. We only recognize
changes in our own states of being based in bodily sensation and movement. There is a map of
the bodily state in the right brain which facilitates this process. Moving in the world helps us
know who we are because we can have our own felt sense of what is occurring within us. This
gives us an inner felt sense of what is going on with others. Without this sense of self and
understanding of other, social bonding would be impossible. Horses’ entire understanding of
their world comes from an intuitive and instinctual perception which is gained through their
body and senses during Equine Therapy.

When engaged in Equine-Assisted Therapy we move toward that way of metabolizing the world.
We watch the horses and begin to have a sense of what they are feeling, what they are
demonstrating, what their intention is. The equine work wakes up this bodily sensing which
drugs and alcohol have so effectively numbed. Additionally, because we are outdoors and
engaged in movement, the information we are receiving through our senses is quite different
than in alcoholic isolation or drug related activities which are often too stimulating or violent or
totally numbing. We have an opportunity to see nature and the beautiful horses, feel the breeze
or the softness of a horse muzzle, hear the trees rustling, the horse nickering, the birds singing,
our heart pounding, feel energy in our arms and legs and smell the horsey smells of leather,
manure and hay. Each of these experiences offers a possibility for reprogramming the addicted
brain and awakening the sensitive heart and soul — the Self — of the alcoholic/addict.

The gifts that the horses give go beyond brain healing. In our interactions we discover an honest
and nonjudgmental possibility of relationship. We interact and are effected but also effect the
other. This profound place of tenderness is a healing matrix that is similar to meditation or tai
chi. The difference, however, is that the healing occurs in relationship and within the container
of the human therapist and group. These connections, while fleeting, offer a real felt experience
of self and other, of compassion, of affection and bonding, and of trust which are carried into life.

Learn More About Oceanside Malibu’s Equine-Assisted Therapy Program

Unhealthy Eating Habits & Addiction

Malibu Food Addiction Treatment


Any of us can be affected by unhealthy eating habits.  Making things worse, we must eat to live. While food addiction makes us feel that we live to eat, there are ways to break free from food addiction. The first step is to acknowledge that a problem exists. We also need to understand that food addiction is just like any other addiction: cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, etc. While moderation is the key here, it is also the problem faced in most addictions.  For those who suffer from food addiction, an all or nothing approach tips the balance into deeper addictive patterns. All or nothing thinking is a hallmark of addictive behavior regardless of the addiction.

Trigger foods can be those foods which are highly processed or refined: potato chips, candy, cookies, ice cream, chips, and the like. If you find it hard to stop eating these foods and feel a loss of control on a regular basis, you may be beginning to struggle with food addiction. These types of processed foods are so addictive because they are loaded with refined starches, sugars, fats and chemicals that our bodies cannot process well. These products deliver chemicals that affect the brain in much the same way as cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. The resulting toxification that comes from over ingesting these types of chemicals can leave a food addict feeling sick, yet coming back for more.

Food addicts often have low self-esteem and use food to stuff emotions. Therefore, an important part of dealing with food addiction is to also work with self-esteem and connect with the underlying emotions. In addition, many food addicts have a general feeling of unworthiness. It is very important to recognize, acknowledge and address the emotions behind these feelings. This awareness can be a powerful tool that can help aid recovery from food addiction. Connecting with and identifying the feelings present just prior to or during a moment when one may reach for trigger foods may help prevent self-sabotage.

It can seem perfectly natural to take comfort in food.  Many cultures celebrate around food and often times our eating habits can be strongly influenced by the families we grow up in. Food can also become the one thing someone can control, particularly if raised in a traumatic, chaotic or dysfunctional environment. Taking refuge in or rewarding oneself with an overindulgence of ice cream, fast food, chips and the like, becomes a way to both disassociate and self-soothe when faced with even nuanced feelings of unworthiness. While the resulting effect may be immediate to blunt emotional disturbances, the end result often leaves the food addict feeling sick, shameful and empty. This may be a cycle, but it’s not a prison, you can free yourself.

Like all addictions, healing from food addiction is an ongoing process, recovery is a work in progress, and perfection is rarely the aim. There are free support groups such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Food Addicts Anonymous (FA), treatment centers, individual therapy with specialists in eating disorders, nutritionists, group therapy, many books and literature on the internet which can help guide a person who is struggling alone with food addiction on their path from isolation to recovery.

Contact Oceanside Malibu Treatment Center

Alcoholic, Dysfunctional & Abusive Families

Malibu Adult Children

People raised in alcoholic, dysfunctional or abusive families usually feel that they are different from other people. Terminal uniqueness is the disease were one feels that “certainly no one is going to understand my behavior or problems. Adults from dysfunctional families are also super responsible or super irresponsible and sometimes both. They become hyper vigilant in response to their chaotic environment, again believing that their actions determine the behaviors of others.

Children, who naturally have an inordinate sense of self,  feel that they are responsible for what goes on around them.  Sometimes they give up an responsibility because nothing they do will ever be good enough. They often develop patterns in early childhood of trying to gain self-esteem from the outside world, seeking applause in place of love (overachievement), sometimes giving up and isolating, getting ill, beginning their own substance abuse patterns or “dropping out” (underachievement). These adults are also extremely loyal even in the face of evidence that loyalty is undeserved.

Those raised in dysfunctional families tend to be impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-hatred, and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess. Because of the turmoil and unpredictability in their early lives and subsequent survival roles developed, they frequently find themselves more comfortable with chaos than with quiet times. Keeping the chaos going or involving themselves in professions where turmoil exists, frequently staves off unresolved grief of the past.

These adults develop patterns of placation, seek approval, or isolate when faced with conflict because of fears of destructive anger or threat of violence experienced in childhood and also because of fear of their own unexpressed rage. Adults from dysfunctional families often grew up in family systems that were unpredictable and unresponsive to the needs of children. Children grew up trusting themselves more than others in terms of self-care. Sometimes addictive behavior results from this “self-trust” and “self-care.”

People from abusive homes often grow up with a sense of total helplessness or a total sense of togetherness. Frequently these children gain control in their lives by believing that they cause the responses and behaviors of others. They may feel the victims feelings and try to rescue one parent from the other. This creates both a sense of helplessness as well as an inordinate sense of control over their environment.

Adult children of alcoholics develop the attitude early in life that I have no needs; I can do it myself, thank you. When needs are repeatedly not met or parents “aren’t there” emotionally or physically, children learn to stop needing and in fact fear times of normal dependency. Adults from dysfunctional families need to be in control. Fearing normal feelings leads to compulsive needs to control and live life in a constant rehearsal for living.

These individuals also have difficulty hearing the positives. Because of poor self images developed in childhood, either discount positive feedback from others, feel a sense of distrust for those complimenting them, or feel a deep feeling of pain or loss upon hearing positive things about themselves.

Adults from alcoholic families living in a black and white world. It is as if the addiction kills all the grey cells in the brain, leaving on the black and white. Rigidity and black and white thinking is learned from their parents.

People raised in homes with alcoholism or abuse usually have a poor self image and struggle with self worth.  They may have compulsive behaviors and addiction. Often in attempts to continue delayed grief and pain from the past, they compulsively work, spend money, eat, exercise, sex, gamble, become addicted to relationships, or behave in other compulsive ways. Sadly, many adult children begin their own patterns of compulsive drinking or drug use.

Adults from dysfunctional families have a compulsive need to be right. Life is thought in terms of “right” and “wrong.” Often the need to be always correct, appropriate, and “right” replaces an original desire to be loved. Adults from dysfunctional families suffer from denial. It used to be thought that only the alcoholic was in denial. What is realized today is that all members of the alcoholic family suffer from denial. Denial is about unawareness. While being “unaware” protects them from the pain, it also keep the dysfunction going.

Often these grown children have a fear of feeling.  Expressing feelings or allowing feelings often was not safe or comfortable in an alcoholic’s family. Children often were only allowed particular feelings like, “happy,” “fine,” etc.  If other feelings are expressed, they risked abandonment or angry outbursts from parents. Because they learned to numb out feelings in early childhood, they have lost the ability to feel or express emotion. Frequently good feelings, such as excitement, joy and happiness are sacrificed as well as feelings of anger or sadness. Some can cry but never allow feelings of anger, others can allow anger but never risk tears.

Adults from dysfunctional families have frequent periods of depression.  Anger that is repressed can make us depressed and frequently all feelings of anger are turned against the child inside. Some show signs of depression in early childhood, difficulty sleeping, over or under-eating, nightmares, shoplifting, sleepwalking, difficulty in school, etc. and have chemical depression as well as delayed grief.

Adults from dysfunctional families have a fear of being their real self.  Children from dysfunctional families early on learn to please and relate to the world with acceptable images rather than true selves. There tends to be a felt discrepancy between what is felt inside and what is shown outside, thus leading to a belief that “if others really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.”

These individuals are often hypersensitive to the needs of others.  Survival in a dysfunctional family frequently meant being constantly aware of the most minor shifts in moods of adults leading the child to be far more aware of what others were doing and feeling than what was being felt inside.

They can also have repetitive relationship patterns in their adult lives. Internal beliefs and filters lead them to pick spouses and friends that replicate the childhood interactions with parents. They frequently they find themselves recreating the painful experiences of their childhood.  Why?  They are drawn to what is familiar and to what is known.  There is a sense of need to overcoming, ‘trying to get my father to not drink or to love me.’  So, they pick an alcoholic to marry.  Children from healthy families work out childhood traumas in the playroom while children from dysfunctional families find themselves working out painful traumas of the past in real life.

Adults from these types of families may have an inability to relax, let go and have fun. While other children were busy learning to relate, compete, play and develop social skills, children of dysfunctional families were learning the tough lessons of survival.  Living becomes more difficult than continued survival and playing or having fun becomes terrifyingly stressful. The child inside is terrified still of making a mistake or doing it wrong.  Sadly, for many of these adults, letting go means being out of control.

Contact Oceanside Malibu Treatment Center

Navigating Relationships In Recovery

Addicts look outside of themselves to soothe themselves internally. When the substances are removed, the recovering person may look to other things outside of themselves to regulate their feelings and increase self-esteem. Relationships can be used in this way in early recovery. For this reason, relationships in early recovery can become consuming, can pose as a distraction to working one’s program thoroughly, and therefore can result in relapse.

One’s choice in partners is often a reflection of one’s self-esteem and in early recovery, it’s often deficient. The recovering individual will often choose an unhealthy partner that they may not have chosen at a later stage in their recovery. In addiction, because relationships can be utilized to mask issues of low self-esteem, the recovering person may become unaware of their feelings of inadequacy until a problem occurs in the relationship. When that happens, not only do they lack the skills necessary for coping with feelings of inadequacy, but they must also manage the pain associated with the relationship issues. With limited coping strategies, the combination may be enough to result in a relapse. Unless a recovering individual has insight into their low self-esteem and negative core beliefs, they can’t be addressed therapeutically.

Until which point a recovering person has therapeutically addressed and resolved their history of trauma, they are at risk for reenacting their history of trauma by choosing an unhealthy partner. When one’s trauma is reenacted, it reinforces one’s negative core beliefs, which can result in a relapse. Many recovering people struggle with their identity in early recovery. If one is unsure as to who they are, what they want in life, and what their preferences are, how can a person make a wise decision regarding a romantic partner?

If your partner is also in early recovery, it is possible that you and your partner will be growing in different ways during your recovery journey. Even if you and your partner are working strong, parallel programs, each partner may progress at a different pace and each may grow in different ways. Many people in early recovery have abandonment issues. Relationship issues, particularly a break-up can trigger issues of abandonment and can result in a relapse.

The boundaries of the recovering person are often poor in early recovery, which may make a person prone to being taken advantage of or being mistreated by their significant other. If this happens, one’s self-esteem may worsen further predisposing a person to a relapse. Other individuals may present as controlling and intrusive of others’ boundaries, which may harm their partner and therefore, their relationship. Your significant other may be invested in keeping you sick if you’re getting healthy threatens them. They may actively attempt to sabotage your recovery and keep you sick.

For the most part, people in early recovery have not yet resolved their own issues of low self-esteem, trauma, and/or abandonment, they are likely to choose unhealthy partners that are co-dependent and enabling. People in early recovery are often uncomfortable being vulnerable and often avoid intimacy, which is necessary for a relationship to be healthy and to flourish. For each recovering individual, the goals and time frame associated with this will vary and should be developed collaboratively with their therapist.

If you are adamant that they want to pursue a relationship despite being recommended otherwise, it may be suggested that you disclose this honestly to your therapist and sponsor. You might not like the initial reaction, but if you refrain from disclosing this information, your support system in navigating the relationship may be limited and inadequate. Of course, your friends may be able to offer some support and advice when things get rough, but your therapist and sponsor are important members of your treatment team and are the best equipped to help guide you.

In the early portion of the relationship, you may feel that things are unfolding perfectly and you may not be able to imagine that the two of you could possibly encounter any difficulties. This would be great if it persisted indefinitely but it is not realistic. Eventually, there will be a conflict, differences in communication, and even a potential break-up.

If your therapist and sponsor are already aware of the relationship, you will most likely be apt to contact them for support. However, if they don’t know about the relationship, it’s more likely that you will not go to them for support and will be left without necessary help. Hopefully this information sheds some light on relationships in early recovery and serves to caution people to at least share the status of their relationships with their therapist and sponsor.

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