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!

Smoking Marijuana Creates Stronger Potential for Harder Drug Use Later in Life

Smoking Marijuana Creates Stronger Potential for Harder Drug Use Later in Life

As marijuana heads for the mainstream, children are at risk

There’s no denying that marijuana is growing in popularity and acceptance within the United States, especially when taking into account that it is legal or at least decriminalized in twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia. While it’s true that there are positive uses for marijuana, such as treating chronic pain as well as illnesses like Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, the rapid proliferation of the drug has made it difficult to track and control, which makes it much more easily accessible to minors, bringing with it a whole host issues, the most troubling of which is an early normalization of casual drug use that could lead to harder drugs in the future.

The dangers of early drug use

Because the brain does not fully mature until someone is in roughly their mid-twenties, children in high school and junior high who start recreationally smoking marijuana are extremely susceptible to dangers of cognitive impairment. Additionally, while marijuana is generally not considered “addictive” in the sense that it does not instill a physical craving in the user like other, harder drugs, it still can be a triggering factor for addiction, especially there is a genetic predisposition for it. Early use of marijuana makes children not only associate it with fun, therefore working to rewire their immature brains with the strong potential to make it habit-forming. Most pressing though, as we previously mentioned, creating an atmosphere that normalizes drug use could make marijuana serve as a gateway to harsher drugs that carry with them more intense physical, mental, and legal consequences. A recent study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 16 to 25-year-olds had the highest rates of illicit drug use at around twenty percent, as opposed to people 26 and older, whose average rate was less than ten percent. In 2011, more than 2.5 million Americans aged twelve and older were diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder, and these numbers show no sign of going down.

Final word

While many people want to celebrate the growing mainstream acceptance of marijuana, it’s important to keep in mind the potential dangers of making it more accessible, and the effect this can have on children and teens, who’s not yet fully-developed brains stand to be the most harmed by marijuana use. While it might not seem like it at first, smoking marijuana while in junior high and high school greatly increases the potential of these children struggling with addiction to stronger drugs later in life. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!

What to Consider when Choosing a Rehab or Treatment Center

Things to think about before checking in

Being able to admit that you are in need of a rehab or treatment center can be scary, but recognizing and understanding this is already a major first step on the road to recovery. So now it’s time for the next step: choosing a treatment center or rehabilitation facility. This can also feel like an overwhelming task. How do you know which one is best for you and can properly meet your needs? How do you know which one will be more effective than another? How can you discern a legitimate rehab from a scam? At Ridgeview Ranch, we’ve come up with a list of important factors to consider when it comes to choosing a rehab or treatment center that’s right for you.

Ridgeview Choosing a Rehab Treatment Center

What you need to know

The most imperative thing to be aware of: is this treatment center licensed, certified, and accredited? Always make sure to inquire about a rehab’s qualifications before making a decision and ensuring you’ll be getting the highest quality care. They should also definitely have been in business for longer than a few months and can provide alumni for you to talk to about their experiences at the treatment center. If they cannot do this, it can be a red flag. Other warning signs for places to avoid include rehab centers that offer an “instant cure” or other unrealistic promises. Another major factor to consider is the different types of therapies offered at the rehab or treatment center, since an addiction treatment plan should include multiple therapies, including individual, group, cognitive-behavioral, etc. Also, is the treatment customized? Addiction is never “one-size-fits-all” and it’s important to make sure the treatment center you’re checking in to knows this as well and will help build a plan geared to your specific needs. Lastly, do they offer after-care? Addiction does not end once your time in rehab is over, which is why it’s critical that there is a plan in place for after you leave and are reintegrated back into your regular life.

Final word

This is by no means a comprehensive list of tips, but it does cover some of the most important ones that should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing a rehab or treatment center. And always remember, if you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!

 

What Happens When You Give Up Alcohol

Here’s some things you can expect when you decide to stop drinking

Whether you feel like you’re just overdoing it on the drinking and want to stop before it becomes an issue or it has already become a problem that is affecting your work and personal relationships, giving up alcohol can be a difficult process, as it is still an extremely addictive substance. Nonetheless, there are so many benefits to giving up drinking that it is worth pushing through the pains of withdrawal. You’ll very quickly start to see how putting a stop to drinking can improve so many aspects of your life. However, there are some negative things to expect as well as your body adjusts to the lack of alcohol. That’s why we’ve compiled a helpful overview of some of the things – good and bad – that you can expect when you give up alcohol.

alcohol free zone

What you need to know

First, the bad news: There’s a strong chance you’ll be getting sugar cravings. The reason for this is that when you stop drinking, you’re denying your body a source of the “happy-making” chemical dopamine that it’s become used to getting from alcohol on a regular basis. With this sudden lack of a dopamine source, your body will more likely be making you reach for something sweet instead as a substitute. Another thing to expect is difficulty being around others who are drinking. If you’re just starting to kick the addiction, we recommend avoiding being around people who are drinking entirely. You’ll have to deal with the feeling of missing out, but being around people who are drinking, especially if you were frequently a social drinker before you quit, can drive you crazy with envy and desire for a drink and can make quitting that much harder.

But let’s move on to the good stuff: When you quit drinking, you’ll find yourself sleeping more soundly. While studies have found that alcohol may make you fall asleep more quickly, it disrupts the quality of sleep so you wake up feeling groggy and even more tired than when you went to bed. But when you stop drinking, quality of sleep improves, which not only is good news for your mood and concentration, but your overall health in general. You’ll also find yourself losing weight without consuming all those extra carbs that hide in alcohol, especially sugary ones like margaritas and piña coladas. And a definite major bonus? You’ll have more money! Drinking, especially if you’re fond of expensive wine, scotch or whiskey, can leave you with an empty wallet. Take time to do the math and you’ll quickly realize that, while you may be missing out on those nights out, you’re saving yourself a bundle.

Final word

Quitting an addictive substance is never easy, but in the end, the benefits always outweigh any negative you might encounter. You’ll find yourself with an overall better quality of life and ensure that you’re there for the people you care about and who care about you. If you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!

alcohol

 

 

Prescription Pain Pills: The Dangers of Addiction

It’s important to know the signs and perils of prescription painkiller addiction

Painkiller abuse has been referred to as a growing epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdose has been responsible for more than one hundred and sixty-five thousand deaths between 1999 and 2014. More than half of these overdose deaths involved prescription opioids and in 2014 alone, more than 14,000 people died of prescription opioid overdose. Efforts to combat it have included prescription drug monitoring programs, which is meant to combat things like “doctor shopping,” someone using multiple doctors in order to get as many prescriptions as they can. With all the clear dangers for prescription painkiller abuse as well as statistics about overdoses, some might wonder how someone can even let themselves get addicted in the first place. But addiction is, of course, not at all that simple. There’s a myriad of ways and reasons that people can become addicted to prescription painkillers, but luckily, there’s also help in the form of addiction treatment centers like Ridgeview Ranch.

 

prescription opioids, rehab

Early warning signs

The first thing to understand is the difference between dependence on a drug and addiction to it. When you are dependent on a drug, that means that your body has built up a tolerance to the drug and you need to take more and more of it to feel its effects, and can suffer a withdrawal without it. While this is a facet of addiction, it does not constitute it. Addiction is dependency in the context of compulsive drug use, even in the face of dangerous and harmful consequences. It’s a dependency that becomes not just physical but mental, an inability to stop using and a failure to meet life responsibilities and obligations. Warning signs of the beginnings of an addiction can sometimes be difficult to spot until it’s too late, even if you’re the one who is sliding into addiction. It’s important to know the warning signs to watch out for:

  • You’re taking a different number of pills than prescribed by your doctor. Whether it’s taking more at once or more often than your doctor has told you to, this is an early sign of a budding addiction. Deciding your own dosage instead of following your doctor’s orders may be indicative of a problem.

 

  • You’ve been using painkillers for a long time. A doctor prescribes you painkillers after a surgery or otherwise because you hurt. But they are not meant to be a permanent solution. If you’re still taking prescription pain medication after the pain should have gone away, this is a big warning sign that something is wrong. It might be that you just enjoy the way they make you feel, or you’ve started to physically need them. Both of these are signs of addiction and reasons to get help before it’s too late.

 

  • You’re getting painkillers from other sources than a doctor. While there is a crackdown on “doctor shopping,” there are other places to get pills from, such as ordering them online, stealing from people’s medicine cabinets, buying other people’s prescription medication or even purposefully hurting yourself so you can get access to more. All of these are very serious signs that you have an addiction, both that you are getting drugs from illegal sources and that you feel the need to “stockpile.”

Final Word

It can be frighteningly easy to misuse painkillers, even when you try not to do it. The most important thing to remember is honesty. Be honest with your doctor, your friends and family, and of course, yourself. If there’s a problem and you see yourself or someone you care about exhibiting these signs, know that there are addiction specialists and treatment centers that are there to help and can get your life back on track and back to normal. Here at Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, we understand the roots of addiction and are committed to providing hope and healing.

If you or a loved one need advice or help with painkillers, please call our Hotline, 24/7, (800) 296-1868, to speak with one of our treatment specialists for assistance. We are here for you…

addiction treatment Los Angeles

 

Addiction: A Family Disease

Family-careLife is a constant series of choices. Sometimes they are simple choices; wakeup or hit the snooze button, turn right at the light or go straight through the intersection. Sometimes the choices are much harder; speak up when you’ve made a mistake or let someone else take the blame. Making hard choices are never easy and sometimes doing what is right or even what is in our best interest is a painful road.

Getting help for an addiction is one of the hardest choices anyone can ever make. Do you walk a tough, scary and some times lonely road toward a better life or do you continue to do that thing that feels good now but causes unimaginable hurt to you and to the people you love.

Addiction is a progressive disease, and without treatment, it only gets worse. Addiction is also a family disease; everyone in the family is affected. “Addiction affects the stability of the home, the unity of the family, mental and physical health, and the overall family dynamic” (Research & News, 2010). Recovery is a lifelong process and the family requires treatment just as the addict requires treatment.

At Ridgeview Ranch, we support not only our clients, but their families as well. In addition to the client’s recovery work, we offer family therapy to help ensure the best possible outcome. “With treatment, both the addict and family members can go on to live full, happy, and productive lives. For the addict, this will be the new normal. For family members who have learned how best to support their loved one in recovery and how to take care of themselves, it may well become the better normal” (Research & News, 2010).

Blog written by Leanne Reece, Substance Abuse Counselor, Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center

Residential Treatment for Addictions

RREast-300x207In Residential Treatment, recovery is the sole focus of our client’s lives –this is what leads to long-term sobriety.

Addiction is chemical, psychological and behavioral.

Intensive and individualized Residential Treatment takes time [30 to 90 days or longer if necessary] after clients detox, to begin the psychological and emotional discovery of why they use. We help them discover, and recover, in a positive way.

The body must first heal the damage, build back up and become physically strong. Our clients practice and participate in yoga, stress reduction, meditation, equine, art therapy, hypnotherapy as well as other therapeutic and holistic treatment to heal and calm the body and mind.

In conjunction, we help our clients rebuild their psychological and emotional health – to find the root of their addictions – so they become emotionally strong. We utilize Group Sessions, Coping Skills work, Relationship, Individual and Family Counseling and 12-Step/Concept meetings, and Education and Process Groups to build a firm psychological foundation for long-term sobriety.

Then, we help Transition [30 days or more – whatever time deemed necessary] clients back to their lives withSober Living. Ridgeview Ranch provides individual, client and family After Care programs and Relapse Prevention Planning for one year after the client is discharged from residential treatment to help insure their long-term success.

Our Client’s Success is Our Success!