Nutrition and Recovery

The path to good health starts with a balanced diet. This is something we’ve all become familiar with since learning about the food pyramid in our school days. Yet when people think of the steps towards recovery, the prospect of maintaining a balanced diet is the furthest thing from their minds. The reality is that a proper diet can help those on the road to recovery stay focused on achieving their goals.

The path to good health starts with a balanced diet. This is something we’ve all become familiar with since learning about the food pyramid in our school days. Yet when people think of the steps towards recovery, the prospect of maintaining a balanced diet is the furthest thing from their minds. The reality is that a proper diet can help those on the road to recovery stay focused on achieving their goals.

It may come as no surprise that those struggling with addiction tend to have very poor diets. During their battle with substance abuse, an addicted person will often neglect their nutrition, a stable eating schedule, and healthy food becoming less important than fueling their addiction. Addicts will often fall into the habit of failing to eat, eating cheap foods lacking nutrients, or binge eating after coming down from a high. Weight gain or extreme weight loss is often the side effects of such poorly managed diets along with:

  • Depression
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Heart rate inconsistencies
  • Weakened immune system
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Electrolyte imbalances

While these side effects can seem overwhelming to manage, they stress the importance of regulating the body’s nutrition.

As we’ve outlined, it’s important for a person combating addiction to strengthen their malnourished body by reintroducing a healthy diet. But the question becomes, where to start? Those who have been abusing alcohol may find that their bodies have become deprived of important vitamins, particularly thiamine which helps with brain, heart, liver, and kidney function. Adding vitamin-rich foods such as dairy products, fruits, peanuts, and plenty of vegetables can help your body function normally.

Opioids can slow down the body’s functions and make people feel sluggish due to a lack of energy. This drug also slows digestion and metabolism, which has the side effect of chronic constipation. A healthy amount of carbohydrates from foods such as whole grains, potatoes, nuts, and beans can help to regulate the blood sugar levels and ease foggy, sluggish feelings. In addition to getting energy from carbs, taking a healthy amount of fiber can help improve digestion. Fiber not only regulates blood sugar and lowers cholesterol, it can also help food move through the digestive system. Oats, nuts, beans, and brown rice are a few examples of foods rich in fiber that can help regulate your digestion.

Those who have been struggling with stimulants such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and crystal meth, are prone to dramatic weight loss. Not only is it likely that they will go for days without eating or sleeping, but those taking stimulants are likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia. Adding protein and healthy fat to an unbalanced diet can help increase hormones and boost mood. Chicken, eggs, beans, and nuts are great sources of protein while healthy fat can be found in fish, dairy, seeds, and nuts.

Staying hydrated is also key to good health as water protects internal body parts, lubricates joints, and aids the body in putting all those vitamins to use. Dehydration can cause irritability, dizziness, and even fever, so if you’re not a person eager to drink glass after glass of water, you can get hydrated through watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, or low-sugar sports drinks.

The type of food you eat plays an important role in how your body functions as well as your mental state. When breaking from the grips of addiction, keeping your body nourished while withdrawing can go a long way toward maintaining your overall health. Remember to stay hydrated, take vitamins, and maintain a balanced eating schedule with nutrient-rich foods.

Ready for a New Beginning? Contact one of our Addiction Specialists Today at 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact Form. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Veteran Recovery

Ridgeview Ranch knows it’s important to take the time to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women in our armed forces. Our courageous men and women in uniform, while symbols of strength and dedication, are also some of our most vulnerable citizens due to the many obstacles they must endure.

As we head into the summer months, you may find yourself planning outdoor activities and get-togethers with friends, but it’s important to take the time to acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women in our armed forces as well. Our courageous men and women in uniform, while symbols of strength and dedication, are also some of our most vulnerable citizens due to the many obstacles they must endure.

Between struggling with the stress of multiple deployments and the difficulty of reintegration into everyday life, it’s not uncommon for Veterans to return home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. While PTSD is not an issue exclusive to Veterans (anyone who has witnessed or experienced tragic or startling events can be classified as having this affliction) but enduring warfare and combat makes military personnel more likely to be subjected to it. The stress of dealing with this condition causes many Veterans to turn to substances such as alcohol, illicit drugs, or opioids to cope, creating a vicious and often deadly cycle of dependence.

Studies have shown that approximately 2 in every 10 Veterans with PTSD struggle with addiction and 1 in 4 military deaths can be attributed to substance abuse. While PTSD sufferers use drugs or alcohol to manage their condition, the opposite is far more likely to happen. For example:

  • PTSD sufferers are prone to having trouble falling or staying asleep and often turn to drugs or alcohol to relax, but they can have a negative impact on the quality of sleep and leave sufferers feeling less refreshed.
  • PTSD often creates a feeling of depression and a decrease in self-worth. As many are aware, alcohol is a depressant and can, therefore, increase these negative feelings.
  • Using drugs and alcohol to avoid bad thoughts, memories, dreams, or situations may seem like a way to control PTSD, but avoiding problems means a lack of progress in managing the condition.

While this pattern is alarming, there is hope in the form of treatment. VA facilities have made it easier for servicemen to get help for their addictions as well as their co-occurring PTSD. With individual or group treatments, behavioral therapy, and closely monitored medication, it is possible to manage these afflictions.

At Ridgeview Ranch, we respect and admire the service of our uniformed men and women. The Ridgeview Ranch facility is proud to have recently been approved to become a provider of VA services and will begin implementing drug and alcohol treatment to Veterans. Our staff is honored to be given the opportunity to help military personnel find a healthier path and look forward to working with them in the very near future. If you’re interested in learning more about the type of drug and alcohol treatment services that we offer Veterans in the Los Angeles area and how to obtain these services, please visit:  https://ridgeviewranchca.org/Veterans/. Or if you prefer, call Ridgeview Ranch for a new beginning at 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!

What are Warning signs that your loved one needs rehab

Living with a loved one who has an issue with substance abuse can be draining, but sometimes that

Living with a loved one who has an issue with substance abuse can be draining, but sometimes that “inconvenient habit” can turn dangerous. When your loved one’s addiction starts to get out of hand it can be worrying, but it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation carefully prior to acting. There are several warning signs to look for when a friend or relative may need treatment for their addiction.

It’s important to remember that addiction, however, is not a one size fits all issue. While some addicts may exhibit all of the warning signs, others can display few or none if they are able to keep things hidden. Overall, the most common signs to look for are:

  • Shifting Mood – Many addictive substances can have mood altering properties and can result in an addict’s state changing rapidly and seemingly unexpectedly. In addition to behavior, if you have been noticing a change in energy levels (energetic and active one moment after a previous bout of lethargy) then this could be a warning sign of addiction to a stimulant such as cocaine or a depressant like benzodiazepines.
  • Change in Appearance – Addiction can create a shift in behavior and priorities in an addict, including how they spend their money and the way they dress. Occasionally this will result in an altered wardrobe meant to help them fit into a new crowd. More noticeable is a fluctuation in size, as some substances may impact the addict’s metabolism making them burn calories more rapidly. Or, on the other end, they might find themselves with an increased appetite that causes a sudden weight gain.
  • Frequent and Unexplained Absences – Addicts may miss out on appointments, work, or school due to feeling sick, losing track of time, or becoming genuinely disinterested in things that had once been important. Additionally, these disappearances can be the result of an addict spending their time elsewhere to indulge in their negative behavior patterns.
  • Secretiveness and Lying – Most of the time those with substance abuse issues are very secretive about their behavior, going to lengths to hide it from others. This can result in the unexplained disappearances listed above and outright lying to cover their tracks.

After taking time to assess the situation and deciding that your loved one does indeed need help, it’s important to seek out guidance on how to approach the subject. Outright confrontation can backfire if not done properly. Seeking help from an addiction counselor can be beneficial as they will typically have advice on how to present your concerns to your loved one without making them feel attacked.

Remember that understanding, patience, and support are important tools to have to guide your loved one on the path to recovery. Call Ridgeview Today at (626) 254-7900 or visit www.ridgeviewranchca.org for help or to answer your questions. We’re 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!

Tips for Staying Sober

addiction treatment in Los Angeles

Once you’ve made the courageous decision to get sober, and you have found your treatment center, you may be wondering what life will be like when you transition back into your life. When you’re seeking out addiction treatment in Los Angeles, be prepared for your post-treatment center process.

A treatment center is a highly-controlled, safe environment for your first steps in the life of sobriety. However, soon you will be back in your life, surrounded by the spaces you lived in when you were using. It is important to immediately break the habits you participated in within those spaces and create new habits. Below you’ll find new habits and methods as you begin your addiction treatment in Los Angeles.

Embrace Change

Explore new, healthy habits that you can begin upon your return. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, and get outside for exercise and fresh air. Change your mindset towards your life—think about how that healthy breakfast is giving you the energy to work or talk with friends and family. Notice how exercise changes your thought patterns, maybe even clears your mind.

Write about Your Changes

Keep a journal to log your changes in energy, feelings, emotions. This is a way to create accountability, while also building concentration. When you really begin to reflect on how you feel after your addiction treatment in Los Angeles, you can recognize the changes in thought patterns and behaviors.

Focus on Action Rather Than Inaction

Keep your mind focused on what you are actively doing. When you find yourself concentrating on the drugs, alcohol, or other substances you are not doing, your mind tends to fixate and spiral…stop that spiral by turning your thoughts to what you are doing now that is different. For example, you are seeking addiction treatment in Los Angeles. You are exercising every day to build your strength. You are eating healthy to build your energy.

Final Word

Remember all these steps when you are building sobriety and staying sober. If you are still seeking a positive, effective addiction treatment in Los Angeles, consider Ridgeview Ranch. To learn more about Ridgeview, visit the site at ridgeviewranchca.org.

5 Facts about Drug Rehab that You Should Know

facts about drub rehab

If you or someone you know is in need of a drug rehab facility, there are some important facts about drug rehab that you need to know. Most importantly, you or loved one is not alone.

A recent study found 23 million U.S. residents required treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism. However, this is still a major life decision, and it is vital that you do your research before you begin the process.

  1. Treatment Lasts Beyond In-Patient Rehab

One of the most important facts about drug rehab you should know is that many rehab facilities offer out-patient rehab, so that you can receive support after completion of the in-patient program. This can include group therapy or one-on-one emotional wellness counseling. This is a powerful way to maintain sobriety and help the patient adjusting to their life once again.

  1. Drug Rehab Centers Keep Drugs Out

A strictly controlled environment means drugs are not a possibility for patients—which highly decreases the chances of a relapse. Sometimes this means limited visitation from family and friends, to ensure that there are no drugs arriving on the premises. In time, and with the right exhibited behaviors, visitors are allowed.

  1. Initially, Communication May Be Banned

In an effort to create new lifestyle practices, habits, and behaviors, visitors are often banned from visiting patients temporarily. This decreases the likelihood that enabling loved ones will  interfere with the sobriety process. Controlled communication will be allowed as behaviors and habits are developed.

  1. Both Individual and Group Counseling Occur

Each method of counseling provides the patient with specific benefits, which provides different environments for sharing and levels of confidentiality. One of the most important facts about drug rehab to remember is that everyone is different—some people feel more comfortable in an individual setting, others in a group; by combining the two, everyone will feel ready to share their experiences and work towards sobriety.

  1. Holistic Treatments Are Becoming the New Norm

Drug addiction and the move towards sobriety necessitates a complete lifestyle change—which is why treatment centers are now including nutritional therapy, meditation, yoga, and physical exercise, which allows the patient to replace their current habits with new, healthy ways of living.

For more facts about drug rehab and a possible solution for you, visit our site at ridgeviewranchca.org.