Understanding & Talking To Someone About Getting Help

Oceanside Malibu Getting Help Addiction

No one wants to be addicted, it comes from a root cause, there’s a root problem here. You really have to get to that root problem or it’s just gonna keep coming back. Say I hurt my back at work and go to the doctor, instantly I get four prescriptions, so that’s kind of where the addiction starts. I take lots of them, three times a day and at first it’s great. So eventually after three months, I need them, it wasn’t “Oh,it makes me feel better. ” I’m running from being sick at that point. I keep telling myself it’s okay because the doctor gave them to me, I’m in pain so I need to take these.

When you’re dealing with Opiate pain medications, they are typically prescribed by a primary care physician or some sort of attending physician because of another physical issue. That gives the client ‘permission’ to use these things and unfortunately, when they start using them and become dependent on them, what happens with prescription pain medications is, it’s an Opiate, so it depletes the dopamine in the brain and that becomes their reinforcement.

Then, say my family notices, and they started confronting me about it, but of course I’d be like “No, I’m okay, I’m doing what I need to do, they’re coming from the doctor. ” I would never come out and say “Oh, I’ve taken ten already and it’s only eight o’clockin the morning. ” I would hide it like that, even though they all knew. But in my mind,they didn’t know so I lied to them, I begin to lie about it alot.

Initially when people come into treatment, denial is one of the very first barriers that comes up. It’s something that is a little difficult to overcome because they’re being challenged to manage something that has become a deeply embedded relationship in their life. They become numb to emotions, to regret, to guilt, all those things that you would think somone who’s addicted to something might feel, but they don’t.

When someone is in addiction, they don’t feel some emotions therefore you keep doing using, cause if they did, they wouldn’t let themselves take that next pill. So, they block it out and all of those emotions that a normal person feels don’t matter in that moment, they’re gone.  A lot of times, what is done in treatment is a counselor may have them write letters to their addiction saying goodbye or addressing or confronting it, almost as if it were a relationship that needs to end.  Denial is one of the stages of grief, so it’s almost like they’re mourning that relationship and coming to terms with that and breaking it off completely.

Really talking to someone, very calmly and saying something to the effect of, ‘this is what I see, this is what you see, we need to talk to somebody like a professional. We need to get somebody in here that doesn’t know either one of us and put out the pro’s and con’s, the facts and go from there.’ Definitely don’t be too aggressive with it because it may only go to make that person want to do it that much more. Just be honest and talk calmly and open and go get help with it.

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How Drug Addiction Can Develop Over Time

Drug addiction is difficult to treat because it is a chronic and relapsing condition like diabetes. Like diabetes, addiction begins with predisposition and personal behaviors at first and develops into a disease of the brain and body later in life. It is becoming appreciated that while addiction does not often manifest until adulthood, addiction begins in the teen and the pre-teen years. Adolescence is a critical period of brain and emotional development.

Brain development in adolescent is about as extensive as it is in infancy. These changes allow the adolescent to take on increasing control of his life. This developmental period ultimately prepares them for adulthood.  Critical brain developments occur in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is critical in direct attention and in decision making. This region has been called the motivation center of the brain. It is important to exploration, novelty-seeking, and risk-taking. It motivates us to seek out new experiences and repeat those things we have found enjoyable. It largely operates outside the conscious mind although it has a powerful influence on behavior.

Teens are big risk takers. while they recognize the risks, they give the rewards in a situation more weight than adults do. This love of adventure is actually adaptive, as it leads to potentially useful life experiences. Succeeding in life requires risk taking. A related development in adolescence is the struggle for autonomy. Teens turn to peers for needs that were unfulfilled by parents. Adolescents are social by nature and prefer to be around their peers. One reason for this is the sensitivity of the adolescent brain to a neural hormone known as oxytocin that makes social connections rewarding. This adolescent development is designed for increasing independence and eventual launching as an independent adult.

As drug use becomes regular, the addict develops increasingly negative mood because of the derangement of the nucleus accumbens and related brain structures. Taking more drugs becomes the surest way to feel normal again. A lifestyle focused on getting high develops. The changes in the brain gradually become entrenched and beyond “will power” to change. School, athletics, and hobbies become less important and eventually are given up. Personal growth during adolescence in frustration tolerance, emotional resiliency, the ability to relate to others, and self-control is postponed. Drug-abusing youth alienate themselves from non substance abusing peers leading them to socialize with delinquent peers. Alienation and rebelliousness lend themselves to drug abuse but also result from substance abuse.

Drug abuse leads to many other consequences beside addiction alone. Drug abusing teens experience declining grades, have more absenteeism from school, and are at risk for dropping out of school. Marijuana, for example, interferes with short-term memory, learning, and psychomotor skills. Chronic alcohol is notorious for causing irreversible harm to the brain with chronic use. Some amphetamines and some designer drugs and MDMA or Ecstasy have been linked to irreversible brain changes. Many drugs harm physical health. Alcohol damages the liver, cocaine can cause strokes and heart attacks, tobacco harms both the vascular system and the lungs. Adolescents are also at risk for injuries due to accidents such as car accidents and overdoses.

Many emotional and psychiatric conditions enable the development of drug addiction. Depression and bipolar disorder puts an adolescent at risk of developing a substance use disorder. Childhood trauma and abuse contribute to the development of substance abuse. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder may predispose one to substance abuse. Aggression and antisocial behaviors is strongly linked to substance abuse, especially in boys. In some instances, an adolescent might be medicating feeling of depression or anxiety but often drugs and alcohol worsen the underlying emotional condition. For example, teens that use marijuana weekly double their risk of depression and anxiety. Teens abusing drugs place themselves at the risk of developing suicidal thoughts, and at risk of attempting suicide.

In the absence of drugs and alcohol, adolescent development unfolds in a purposeful order. There is increasing autonomy and exploration because the adolescent brain is primed for openness to new and exciting experiences. In the end, an adult emerges who is both self-sufficient and responsible to those around him. If our adolescents can be kept from chemicals that hijack their developing brains our adolescents will be able to find themselves and reach their potential.

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Staying In Recovery

Recovery gives us the ability and skills to deal with the “normal” issues we face in life: loss of loved ones, loss of relationships, empty nesting, career changes, physical impairment, and grieving. Recovery is a process not an event. Life is a continuum of ever-deepening circles. Put those two ideas together and we begin to understand what growing old sober might look like.

In life, discovery often precedes recovery. You wake up one morning and realize, “Oh, that’s what that’s all about. We live life forward and understand it backwards. Recovery goes through stages, even as life does. In the beginning, we have an early awareness and acknowledgment about what life might be like clean and sober. We go through periods of incubation, consideration, where we have to ponder “what does that mean?” This leads to activity and action where we begin to make changes in our life.

Rehabilitation happens where we see changes in our attitudes, values and life style. Active recovery occurs somewhere down the road, over time. It’s said we spend the first five years of recovery trying to find our marbles and then the rest of our life trying to figure out what to do with them. As we gain sobriety and age as well, we face profound life changes which can become triggers to relapse if not addressed.

Often we climb the ladder of success only to find out the ladder was against the wrong building. We ask ourselves “Is that all there is?” What we sought in our younger years may no longer provide us the same sense of meaning and purpose. The power, possession, prestige, privileges, and perks we sought in our early years can become meaningless now as we age.

As we age, we face profound questions about dealing with aging parents, raising a family, facing retirement, asking ourselves “will there be enough” to sustain us through life. Our fears can overwhelm us. These questions, if left answered, can lead to relapse. Life is a journey of transformation, from success to significance. If you do not transform your pain, you transmit it. You take it out on yourself through abuse. Being in the presence of changed people changes us. And love will always transform us.

In recovery, we say, ‘stick with winners’, transformed people. Recovery is always about letting go. Success has virtually nothing to teach you in life’s second half. We learn more about life from what we’ve had to let go of vs. what we retain. Addicts do not let go of things easily. They want to hold on to them as long as possible, which causes them suffering and pain.

Recovery is about ‘who am I?’ ‘What’s life about?’ ‘What else is there?’ He who has a “why” in life can live with any “how.” You cannot do all of your homework at the end. The journey of transformation begins early in sobriety. Recovery means actively addressing these profound existential issues in life.

The road of life is rarely a straight journey. It is filled with many unexpected twists and turns in the road. The road to recovery is also filled with many changes. Combine life’s changes with the changes that happen in recovery, we face important and interesting challenges. The good news: recovery happens. Sobriety is possible.

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Getting The Best Results From Treatment

An outcome-based, holistic approach to substance abuse recovery treatment begins with the entire person. The focus is a balance of the spirit, mind, and body in order to achieve a healthy state of being. Oceanside Malibu offers various treatment approaches to help guide individuals or couples towards tailoring a unique treatment plan designed for healthier, more balanced outcomes in their lives.

During the course of recovery, an addict or alcoholic may encounter challenges beyond just dependency on a particular substance. An outcome-based approach may guide a person towards better coping skills, accelerated healing, and a healthier outlook. This approach may also help to improve sleeping patterns, elevate mood, boost physical immunity, and reduce stress or anxiety.

The effects of physical exercise in addiction recovery cannot be overstated. Exercise can release endorphins in the body. This can produce a ‘natural high’ which helps promote good feelings and may enhance self-esteem. Exercise helps reduce stress and may also decrease stress related cravings. Physical exercise can also function as a healthy distraction. If you’re jogging, swimming in the ocean, surfing, playing volleyball, or riding a bicycle (in other words, staying active), you may be more likely to focus on the task at hand then on your cravings for a particular substance.

Yoga, reflexology, massage, stretching breath work, aromatherapy, and relaxation exercises may all fit into the category of spiritual exercise. These various techniques have been shown in some instances to improve heart function and even lower cholesterol. As the mind and body are connected, the staff at Oceanside Malibu focus on both to help as an aid towards achieving sustainable recovery.

Meditation has long been known to be highly useful in recovery from addiction because it is helpful in slowing down or clearing an alcoholic or addict’s racing thought process. The practice of meditation can also improve impulse control and low frustration tolerance. This is extremely useful for addicts in fighting cravings and dealing with stressful situations in earlier recovery.

Oceanside Malibu offers an ideal environment for the practice of the preceding techniques. Located directly on the beach in Malibu, our clients are afforded the luxury of sunrise or sunset oceanside meditation, surfing, swimming, walking, volleyball, with the Pacific Ocean, the cliffs and hills of Malibu as your backdrop. Please feel free to contact us today with absolutely any questions you may have.

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Achieving Long-Term Recovery

Addiction Treatment Malibu Long Term Recovery

Once abstinent from drugs and alcohol, a recovering person will still have problems and struggles. We still continue to learn about ourselves with each year.  A changed life brings changed issues.  However, the good news is that we are also able to see the things that happen to us with just a tiny bit more perspective.  By the time we reach double-digit recovery most of us have had at least one or two experiences of something we were sure wasn’t supposed to happen.  Nonetheless, we have the experience of finding that these events often turn out to be spiritual lessons, or stepping-stones, to something really wonderful happening in our lives.

Most people with long-term sobriety discover that the 12 steps and a program of recovery are part of a good life but that even these do not protect us from illness, job troubles, problems with kids or family, all manner of loss, and ‘outside issues’.  Real life happens to us.  In fact life can hit harder, simply because we are older, we do keep aging as our recovery continues.  That’s something many of us had not anticipated.  That is a kind of denial common to most people in and out of the rooms.  We also know that ceasing to numb ourselves with the regular practice of many of our character defects, leaves us a bit more raw so we have to use recovery tools more diligently.

What people in long term recovery do have, however, is a set of skills, a richness of sober experience, to fall back on.  We are able to recognize patterns in our lives; we are able to cut through our defenses sooner; and we learn not to fight the inevitable.  In some ways life gets easier but in other ways it gets harder.  If we have learned in recovery to face reality and accept what life brings sooner, we are then able to surrender when we see the wall coming – instead of waiting, as we did in the past – to slam into it. Long term recovery provides us a good set of tools and we keep on building.

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Selecting The Right Treatment Center


Nоt аll treatment centers аrе created еԛuаl.  When уоu’rе selecting ѕоmеthіng аѕ important as thе rіght trеаtmеnt сеntеr tо battle alcohol оr drug dереndеnсіеѕ, іt’ѕ crucial that you do your hоmеwоrk ѕо thаt уоu choose a fасіlіtу with the bеѕt рrоgrаm for уоur nееdѕ tо hеlр уоu dеtоx and thеn start lіfе in rесоvеrу.  Nоt everyone seeking treatment for drug abuse or аlсоhоl addiction vаluеѕ the ѕаmе thіngѕ.

Anyone аttеndіng a drug оr аlсоhоl аbuѕе trеаtmеnt рrоgrаm muѕt be аblе to fосuѕ оn rесоvеrу so thаt the іndіvіduаl can learn how tо maintain sobriety whеn once in a real world setting.  In order fоr раtіеntѕ tо ѕtау focused, thе сеntеr nееdѕ tо оffеr thе serenity thаt раtіеntѕ dеѕеrvе. Pаtіеntѕ nееd to bе еngаgеd іn еvеrу ѕtер of the rесоvеrу process so as tо ensure thаt thеу ѕuссееd in lоng-tеrm rесоvеrу.  In оrdеr tо kеер іndіvіduаlѕ wіth addiction problems еngаgеd аѕ thеу experience withdrawal, a vаrіеtу оf programs аnd асtіvіtіеѕ will need tо be оffеrеd.

Sоmе may find thаt outpatient оr short-stay options are most suitable for thеm.  Othеrѕ mау nееd more іntеnѕіvе inpatient or rеѕіdеntіаl орtіоnѕ whеrе they’ll receive mоrе mеdісаl саrе.  Studіеѕ ѕhоw that раtіеntѕ are mоѕt ѕuссеѕѕful in rесоvеrу when thеу саn сhооѕе а рrоgrаm that mееtѕ thеіr іndіvіduаl needs.

Rесоvеrу dоеѕn’t еnd when you lеаvе thе treatment сеntеr.  Thе most сhаllеngіng раrt оf recovering is learning how tо lіvе dаіlу lіfе and аvоіd temptations thаt аrе рrеѕеnt аrоund уоu.  Aѕk іf thе сеntеr has a support system ѕо that you one can іntеgrаtе the skills learned at treatment іn daily life.  Sоmе addiction treatment centers аlѕо hаvе follow-up рrоgrаmѕ that enable one tо аttеnd mееtіngѕ and dіѕсuѕѕ their рrоgrеѕѕ.

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