Life Beyond Addiction

It’s common to hear stories about celebrities and public figures falling into substance abuse and addictions. But the stories that really impact us – the stories we should care more about – are the stories of recovery. And while the dangers of addiction and substance abuse is very necessary to stay aware of, it’s important to remember that recovery is always possible! If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction right now, it’s important to see the big picture by recognizing people who have recovered even when it seemed impossible.

Success stories:

Jamie Lee Curtis told CNN that she is proud to be almost 20 years sober from her addiction to painkillers. She says her recovery hasn’t been easy but that she thinks it’s important to talk about how possible recovery is. “There really is hope,” she told CNN, explaining that she has worked hard to break a cycle that she has seen destroy families.

We often hear headlines about celebrities spiraling out of control because of drug and alcohol problems, but the comeback stories are the ones that stick with us.

Another inspiring celebrity success story is Robert Downey Jr.’s recovery from a decades-long battle with drug and alcohol abuse. Downey credits his wife Susan with helping him kick his destructive habits by giving him an ultimatum. Downey told the Daily Mail that he stays sober through a combination of yoga, meditation, therapy, and 12-step programs.

While the dangers of addiction and substance abuse is very necessary to stay aware of, it’s important to remember that recovery is always possible! If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction right now, it’s important to see the big picture by recognizing people who have recovered even when it seemed impossible.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe says that personal insecurities and the pressure of the spotlight led him to spend his 20s struggling with alcohol abuse. Radcliffe says that his alcohol problem took him farther and farther away from the person he wanted to be. He now maintains his sobriety by focusing on exercise, quality time with friends, and reading – one of his favorite hobbies.

American actor Rob Lowe spent much of his life in the habit of wild partying and alcohol abuse. He says that even as a teenager, he had a major drinking problem. But knowing his life was on a dangerous trajectory led him to pursue sobriety, live an inspiring success story, and even receive the Spirit of Sobriety award in 2015. To commemorate being a quarter of a century sober and to inspire those struggling as he had, Lowe tweeted “To those struggling with addiction, there is true, real, hope. Twenty-five years ago today, I found recovery and a life of promise. #Grateful.”

Success can be your story too:

As these recovery success stories remind us, hope is always within reach and it’s never too late to turn your life around. Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center is committed to providing substance abuse treatment for men and women who are struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, and co-occurring disorders. Don’t hesitate to find out what hope looks like for you by calling our confidential line at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact form.

Pop Culture’s Responsibility for Displaying Addiction and Substance Abuse

From music to fashion modeling trends, much of pop culture glamorizes substance abuse and addiction, often by drawing a seemingly necessary correlation between substance abuse and fame and success.

This kind of portrayal not only leaves a misguided impression on people who might enter an addiction, but it’s also harmful to the addicts and loved ones of addicts who are navigating the very real and long-term horror of addiction.

Thankfully, some films are taking steps toward a more enlightened view. While A Star is Born might still be glamorizing addiction and substance abuse to some extent, but at least it’s showing some of the nuances of being in a relationship where addiction is involved.

One of the most important things to remember is the harmful effects that substance abuse and addiction have on relationships. At the same time, relationships are often some of the best healing paths for people struggling with addiction, because relationships make it harder for addicts to isolate themselves and makes compassionate intervention more natural. Whether it’s through relationships like in A Star is Born or not, the most important thing pop culture can do is remind us that addiction treatment and recovery are always options.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society. You need to call Ridgeview Ranch and speak with one of our Addiction Specialists today.

Pop culture’s responsibility is to navigate the fine line between showing the hope of recovery but also not watering down the dangers and negative effects of addiction and substance abuse. And while some movies like Requiem for a Dream do portray the authentic dark side of addiction, it also shows the addicts as beyond hope of recovery. Saying that recovery is out of reach is also harmful. Thankfully, culture’s perception is slowly changing, especially with the laws around narcotic possession. Many non-violent offenders are now given the option of going to addiction treatment instead of going to jail.

Whether we are making laws or making movies, it’s important to remember that there is always hope for addiction treatment and recovery.

The emphasis on hope is important in part because again, much of pop culture tends to display addiction or substance abuse as a choice, even as a “party lifestyle.” But once an addiction takes over, it isn’t a decision anymore, it’s a serious medical disease.

Just as the long-term effects of substance abuse are often downsized in pop culture, so are the recoveries, if they are shown at all.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society.

We need to do our best to empower our community towards understanding addiction better by removing both the glamor of substance abuse and the stigma of addiction treatment. If you or a loved one needs compassionate support and effective addiction treatment, we’re here for you with 30, 60, or 90-day Residential Treatment Programs. We believe there is always hope! Learn more by calling (800) 296-1868 or use our convenient Contact form.

Caffeine Overdose is No Joke

We like to joke, post, and wear t-shirts about being a “coffee addict,” or having “caffeine withdrawals,” but according to expert medical sources, it’s a real and very dangerous thing.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

Caffeine overdose is rare, but the actual problem most often related to energy drinks or supplements that contain very high levels of caffeine. Overdoses most often occur in children and adolescents who are more susceptible to the effects of the stimulant. Since the conception of online databases, 92 lethal caffeine overdoses have been recorded.

What is considered an overdose?

Caffeine tends to start affecting the body once that the blood system contains more than 15 milligrams of caffeine per liter of blood. A concentration of 80-100 milligrams per liter can be fatal. Keep in mind that consuming too much caffeine happens easier when using caffeine supplements, especially if combined with coffee, tea, sodas, or energy drinks. Medical experts agree that caffeine powder is the most dangerous – just a teaspoon of powdered caffeine can be equivalent to 28 cups of coffee!

How to recognize an overdose

Typical symptoms of caffeine overdose can include very fast or irregular heartbeat, shakiness, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, rapid breathing, confusion, panic attacks, and more. Seek medical advice immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms. The most common cause of death from caffeine overdose is from ventricular fibrillation- when the lower chambers of the heart vibrate rather than contracting regularly. This leads to cardiac arrest.

 How to avoid consuming too much caffeine

Be aware of your caffeine intake by understanding where your caffeine is coming from. Coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks are the obvious caffeine culprits. But caffeine is also found in many workout supplements, cold and flu medications, chocolate, and other candies. Avoid mixing alcohol and caffeine, or consuming excessive caffeine when pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s advised that children and adolescents shouldn’t drink caffeine, as the full effects of caffeine on developing bodies aren’t fully known yet.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

So what is safe?

Medical experts suggest that adults can usually safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day as part of their diet (up to five 8-ounce cups of coffee). In addition to talking with your doctor, the key to staying healthy while enjoying caffeine is to understand exactly what you are consuming and paying attention to how it’s affecting you. Don’t forget to spread the word about the dangerous effects of too much caffeine and the surprising products where it’s found.

If you need an effective resource to help with caffeine addiction or overdose, speak with our addiction recovery and rehab specialists: 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact form.

How Employers Can Change the Problems of Addiction in the Workplace

Alcohol and drug use addictions in the workplace are wreaking havoc on American companies. Studies show that 20 million workers across the U.S. have reported alcohol-related impairment at work at least once in the past year. Drug abuse and addiction cost American companies $81 billion every year, with 1 in 25 Americans testing positive for illegal drugs in workplace test screens. In addition to the financial impact, these problems are affecting the morale and overall productivity in companies, and even accounting for 10% of workplace fatalities. But perhaps the most disturbing factor is that 75% of alcohol or illegal drug addiction cases remain undetected in the workplace, giving employers no indication to help their employees.

So, as an employer, what steps can you take to start changing these statistics? The first step is understanding how to recognize a problem that needs attention. Some common telltale signs of addiction in the workplace are when an employee:

  • Talks openly about money problems at work
  • Displays a decline in personal appearance or hygiene
  • Complains of failing relationships at home
  • Takes time off for vague illnesses or family problems
  • Disappears from the work premises for extended periods of time
  • Avoids coworkers and friends
  • Irrationally blames others for personal mistakes
  • Shows symptoms of withdrawal that seem to affect job performance
  • Demonstrates an inability to focus or concentrate
  • Takes needless risks that impact the company
  • Conducts sales of illegal drugs to coworkers or engages in other illicit activities

When you recognize the signs of addiction, it’s important that you approach the matter gently and carefully. Threatening to fire an employee will not help them recover from their addiction. Research your resources and consult your lawyer, as dealing with addiction can be legally tricky. Then, approach the employee as a friend and have a conversation. It’s important to offer them an effective treatment as an alternative to their current lifestyle, and it’s helpful to offer a treatment program that you already have in place.

Set up your business for success by proactively planning for abuse detection and treatment with structures such as:

  • Increased awareness and clarified expectations (EAPs)
  • Team awareness and peer-based prevention programs, including web-based programs
  • Regular Drug and Alcohol Screening tests
  • Addiction Treatment programs facilitated by or in the workplace

Help a returning or new employee re-enter the workplace in a way that encourages continual recovery, rehabilitation, and health. Remind them that they’re not alone and be part of helping them change their life. Set the example for office morale, open communication, and less stigma around abuse.As an employer, you can also help employees on the other side of an addiction. Returning to work after addiction treatment – whether it’s to a job held previously or a new workplace – is a challenge for the employee, due to stress around the stigma of abuse. Help a returning or new employee re-enter the workplace in a way that encourages continual recovery, rehabilitation, and health. Remind them that they’re not alone and be part of helping them change their life. Set the example for office morale, open communication, and less stigma around abuse.

If you need an effective resource to help an employee, speak with our addiction recovery and rehab specialists: 877-526-7706

Addiction Intervention – Tips for Success

Recent studies show that 1 in 10 Americans struggles with substance abuse. Many of us know someone who is caught in the trap of addiction. And most of us feel powerless to help. But not only are there effective ways to help, helping is crucial. The courage and compassion to intervene could mean everything and can possibly save the life of your loved one.Recent studies show that 1 in 10 Americans struggles with substance abuse. Many of us know someone who is caught in the trap of addiction. And most of us feel powerless to help. But not only are there effective ways to help, helping is crucial. The courage and compassion to intervene could mean everything and can possibly save the life of your loved one.

What is an intervention?

We often think of interventions as relating to alcoholism or use of street drugs, but interventions are also useful and potentially critical for loved ones dealing with prescription drug abuse, compulsive eating, or compulsive gambling.  Mayo Clinic defines an intervention as presenting your loved one with “a structured opportunity to make changes before things get even worse, and it can motivate him or her to seek or accept help.” It might sound dramatic, but it’s simply a way for loved to express their feelings constructively about the harmful effects of addiction. The goal is to show love, to show that you care enough to say something, and to show that you care about helping your loved one make a critical life change.

When to intervene?

So even if you know that an intervention is necessary, the conversation can be extremely difficult and intimidating. You should always seek professional help when navigating an intervention. Often, an addiction is not openly acknowledged or known. You might feel that you’re overstepping or wrongly accusing. But remember, your decision to show tough love is exactly what your loved one needs. Some indications that an intervention is warranted might include: secretive behavior, borrowing money, aggressive behavior, deterioration of physical appearance, lack of motivation or energy, problems at work or school, or unexplainable health issues. If your loved one is displaying one or more of these factors, you should consider an intervention and professional help.

How to intervene?

No matter how much certainty you feel about your loved one’s addiction, its hard to know where to start with an intervention. Thankfully, there are intervention specialists available to give professional support and guidance. For your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved one, we don’t recommend attempting an intervention alone. A specialist can help you understand the best intervention strategy and help you and your friends and family prepare for both the conversation and the potential pushback. An intervention specialist will also help educate you on addiction recovery so that you are better prepared to successfully support your loved one moving forward.

But don’t be discouraged if the intervention doesn’t go as planned, or if there aren’t immediate results. Recognizing the need for an intervention and asking a professional intervention specialist for help are the first steps. Your brave and loving decision to intervene could save your loved one’s relationships, career, future, and much more. Your intervention could save their life. You’re not alone. Remember to ask for professional help for you and your loved one. Call us 24/7 for confidential and complimentary addition intervention guidance: (877) 526-7706.

Opioid Overdose Crisis

Dependent on prescription pain relievers, heroin & synthetic opioids such as fentanyl? The addiction specialists at Ridgeview Ranch will aid you on your path to recovery by addressing the core issues of addiction in a friendly, supportive environment, clients will find themselves able to achieve sobriety with Ridgeview.
The issue of opioid addiction is a topic that has been gaining more attention in the media recently and with good reason. With the steady rise in cases of opioid abuse and dependency, the gravity of this situation has become one that is impossible to ignore. While heroin has been the cause of its own level of struggle, the boom in prescription opioids has created a public health crisis that is gaining attention from major health services. This blog will aim to shed some light on the history of the opioid crisis, some of the methods being used to prevent it, and how help can be achieved.

The opioid issue originates back in the late 90’s when prescription policies began to shift due to influence from major pharmaceutical companies. Prior to this time, many healthcare providers were hesitant to prescribe patients opioid-based pain relievers because of the impression that there was an inherent danger in them. However, after the pharmaceutical industry began to downplay their risk and assured the medical industry that patients would not be addicted, opioids were prescribed at an increased rate for those suffering from chronic pain, muscle issues, and other disorders.

This eventually lead to a spike in opioid overdose rates as several patients grew dependent on their medication. Studies have shown that roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients who were prescribed opioids misuse them and between 8 to 12 percent developed an opioid addiction. As prescription misuse increased at an alarming rate, some even transitioned from prescription opioids to heroin.

While it may seem that the opioid crisis is one that is spiraling out of control, there are actions being put in place to help those impacted. The US Department of Health and Human Services has begun to develop programs to help provide solutions to this growing crisis. By strengthening public understanding of the epidemic, promoting the use of overdose-reversing drugs, and improving access to treatment and recovery services, the HHS aims to help solve the opioid issue by discovering ways to prevent misuse and create alternatives to pain management issues.

Those who find themselves struggling with opioid-related issues in the Los Angeles or Pasadena, CA area are not without resource. If you have a dependence on prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, the addiction specialists at Ridgeview Ranch can aid you on your path to recovery. By addressing core issues of addiction in a friendly, supportive environment, clients will find themselves able to achieve sobriety at our treatment center.

Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, established in 2007, is a CARF accredited addiction treatment facility and California’s Premier Alcohol and Drug Treatment center. Call Ridgeview Ranch today to discuss your options and find out what we can do for you. Call us 24/7 for a Confidential Complimentary Assessment by one of our Recovery Specialists at 877-526-7706. We’re always here for you!

Five Harmful Myths About Addiction

When it comes to drug use and addiction, there are no easy answers. As with many complex issues, several factors play a role in what leads a person to turn to substance abuse. Yet one of the more troubling aspects of this topic are the misconceptions surrounding the people suffering from this condition. The following are just a few examples of some of the commonly held beliefs when it comes to drug abuse:

  1. “Addicts can stop whenever they want.” The main flaw in this belief is that it operates under the assumption that the addict is always making a conscious choice. It’s common to hear “If he loves me, he’d stop” from the loved one of an addict. But unfortunately, the situation is simply not that cut and dry. Addiction stems from a mental dependency that can trigger a compulsive need for the addict to seek out comfort by way of the substance. While it is possible to break the cycle in time, it’s not something that can easily be ended on a whim.

 

  1. “Addiction is a sign of weak morals.” While it’s hard to define morality across the board, the issue of right and wrong become tricky when discussing substance addiction. Genetics, environment, and psychological factors can all play a role in driving someone to seek comfort in drugs and alcohol, not just what they’ve been taught as being good or bad.

 

  1. “Only ‘hard’ or ‘street’ drugs are dangerous.” This is a concept that is starting to be more openly discredited as addiction to prescription drugs has become more widely discussed. However, it’s still important to consider that an addiction can also involve other legal substances such as alcohol, sleep aids, or stimulants such as ADHD medication.

 

  1. “There is nothing friends or family can do.” It’s easy to see yourself as powerless when dealing with a loved one’s addiction, but there is always something that friends and family can offer to help. Being a consistent presence of positivity and support during hard times and offering guidance to those in need does a great deal to aid the recovery process.

 

  1. “Relapse is a sign of failure.” This view is probably one of the most dangerous as it can often breed feelings of shame, guilt, and hopelessness in the minds of those who had previously been attempting to seek help. Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process and when handled properly can be used as a tool to help steer those recovering back on the right path.

 

Lack of information on the true issues of addiction is often what causes these myths to thrive and over time can cause more harm than good when dealing with those who are recovering. If you need assistance with your substance abuse issues, remember that it’s never too late to seek help.  And if you are dealing with a friend or loved one who is on the path to recovery, remember to stay positive and open-minded during their challenging time.

 

If you have questions about rehab, please give us a call. We’re open 24/7. Our treatment specialists can assist you. We’re here to help!

The Literal Road to Recovery: Travel for Rehab

Wanderlust mends the soul – and evidently, the heart. Sometimes the best thing for your relationship involves taking some space, especially if the familiar surroundings have started instigating counterproductive emotional and physical symptoms. Also, if the dynamic has turned more toxic, then flushing out interactions with your partner (whether for a brief or more extended period) could prove cathartic to both of you. Rehab centers vary greatly across cities and even states, so traveling to find the right fit may be worth the investment. The path to healing includes quite a bit of introspection, and what better way to look inside yourself when miles away from outside influence? The idea of remote or long-distance treatment intimidates many, but the benefits far outweigh the cons. Is it so hard to believe that a mental journey to self-fulfillment can also manifest physically?

 

Keep in mind that you can always leave should the facility not meet your needs or fit your expectations. When immersed in a setting far away from home, patients can better ward off temptation or distraction. All things considered, patients in these circumstances are more likely to see the program through to completion.

should I travel for rehab

Additionally, if you’re worried about stigma or facing judgment from people in your area, then moving for treatment can best uphold your privacy. Manage this time apart from all that on your own terms. The distance also makes treatment more enticing – travel incentivizes you, adding an adventurous quality to seeking treatment. You should embrace this opportunity and take the time to indulge in a new environment as much as possible.

Relocating freshens the mind, doing wonders for your energy levels and motivation. We often feel less inhibited when separating ourselves from stress triggers. Engaging in different activities outside of your normal routine lends itself to a surprising amount of comfort. Interestingly enough, we tend to open up more to people who are removed from the circumstances that prompted treatment in the first place. Maybe it’s because we don’t feel as persecuted, or that distance allows us to better dissociate and objectively determine a personal plan of action. In either case, traveling, when compounded with the rehab itself, can optimize results – and, you’ll feel freer while doing it. The path to recovery is just on the horizon.

If you or a loved one is thinking about traveling out of state for rehab, please give us a call. We’re open 24/7. Our treatment specialists can assist you. We’re here to help!

 

No Turning Back

After rehabilitation, the mistakes you’ve made in your past can become all too real. The consequences, the hurt, and the gravity of all that’s happened becomes a reality, leaving you sober to hash it all out. Turning back, regressing towards your formerly dependent state, is all too easy, but it’s wrong. Further destruction of yourself and your relationships with loved ones will never be worth the fleeting comfort of the vices you’ve left behind. Don’t give into the temptation. Instead, focus on these 3 tips to build self-esteem after rehabilitating.

rehab center Los Angeles

  1. Understand that this is a long, oftentimes painful journey.
    1. Rehabilitation is never easy, but it is always worth it. Every morning, wake up knowing that it is a daily, but winnable struggle. Being aware of the long-term commitment will make it easier to say “no” during the times when the addiction is gnawing at you, begging for you to give in.
  2. Find a hobby that leaves you feeling fulfilled.
    1. Just because you no longer stay in a rehabilitation center does not mean that the battle is over. Minds tend to wander back to our past, thinking about how difficult it is to not just drop the habit but to not pick it back up. A hobby is a great way to keep your mind focused on a healthy habit, while also leaving you fulfilled.
  3. Surround yourself with people that have a similar, health-focused mindset.
    1. Having peers that are also committed to bettering themselves daily can act as a support group. Through spending time with them, they will reinforce your good habits, while also allowing you to drop the bad ones. Being around like-minded people and positivity can make the battle less difficult on a daily basis. You are who you surround yourself with, so make yourself better by associating with the kind of people you want to be.

 

The holidays can be a challenging time. If you or a loved one is tempted and need someone to talk with, give us a call. We’re open 24/7. Our treatment specialists can assist you. We’re here to help!

Behind the Screens of Internet Addiction

Where are the AA meetings for Internet addiction? Social media and television addiction are too often obscured by their more obvious counterparts, like alcoholism and substance abuse. While equally serious issues, internet dependency poses a set of unique challenges because it fits so comfortably within our lifestyles. The epidemic has even been filtered into our vocabulary. People can freely admit to “binge-watching” and “going viral,” indicating a malignant component to high internet usage. These kinds of social cues enable its persistence by dismissing actual indications of addiction. Furthermore, our daily routines frequently depend on a considerable amount of internet usage – even John Bernasconi of Rehab Pathway confessed that he, like many others, spends at least eight hours a day at work on the computer. Recovery starts with advocating for addiction treatment and legitimizing recovery options.

Behind the Screens of Internet Addiction

Rehab Pathway has made significant strides here – transposing the criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 onto a survey measuring patterns of binge-watching, pornography, Internet, and social media use from a sample of 1,000 Americans.

A whopping 66 percent continued using the Internet at a high rate despite the negative consequences it incurred, such as sleep deprivation and late arrival to work. Additionally, half reported maintaining high use despite advice from a loved one to stop or uncomfortable physical side effects, like headaches. It comes as no surprise then, that addiction treatment centers in the Los Angeles area have started taking the matter seriously.

From a social standpoint, you can create an open discussion about Internet addiction by spreading awareness and acknowledging the condition. Ask yourself if you need to seek addiction treatment yourself, or if someone you know could benefit from visiting a center in Los Angeles. Don’t write it off, pay it forward. You owe it to yourself.

If you have questions or need assistance with locating the appropriate treatment center, give us a call. We’re here to help!