Browsing Tag


Addiction, Addiction Treatment Centers, Dependency

What are the Underlying Causes of Addiction?

By Jennifer McDougall

Addiction (defined as a state characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences) generally begins with the desire to escape—pain, loss, heartache, rejection, discomfort, anxiety, chemical imbalances in the brain, and depression. When drugs and alcohol are consumed they affect how the brain operates and processes information. Three areas of the brain most affected by drugs and alcohol are the brain stem (controls heart rate, breathing, and sleeping patterns), the cerebral cortex (delivers information from our senses allowing us to see, feel, hear, and taste), and the limbic system (controls our ability to feel pleasure). After using drugs and alcohol for even a short period of time a person could experience immediate dependency (defined as an adaptive state associated with a withdrawal syndrome upon cessation of repeated exposure to a stimulus). They may feel the urge to continue using in order to keep them going and avoid the awful withdrawal symptoms that are associated with the use of drugs and alcohol.

In a recent study it was shown that an estimated 23.5 million Americans suffer from an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of those 23.5 million only 1 out of 10 people receive the treatment they desperately need. About 570,000 people die each year because of an addiction to drugs and alcohol. So as you see, treatment is crucial.

At Passages, we do not believe that drug and alcohol dependency is a disease. Instead, we believe it is the result of one or more of the following four causes:

  1. Chemical imbalance
  2. Unresolved events from the past
  3. Beliefs you hold that are inconsistent with what is true
  4. Inability to cope with current conditions

Anyone who is abusing drugs and alcohol is doing so because of one or more of these four causes. Through extensive research and direct experience, we have learned that addiction is not the primary problem but rather the symptom of a deeper underlying issue.

Passages is proud to offer you the finest drug rehab & treatment program available anywhere. Our deluxe rehabilitation and treatment center has been rated #1 by Healthcare Global magazine. Forbes magazine also named Passages Malibu one of the most luxurious rehab centers in the world.

This recognition comes after years of perfecting our treatment program and sticking with our core philosophy for treating addiction. While most rehab centers still offer group meetings for treatment, we provide you with a customized, one-on-one therapy program tailored to your specific needs.

“I began asking myself just what my high was about. What did I do when I was high that I didn’t do when I was sober? What was wrong that heroin fixed?”
― Pax PrentissThe Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

“A friend tells you the truth, that your breath stinks and you need a bath. An enemy tells you that you look great and you shouldn’t change a thing.”
― Nikki SixxThe Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star 

“Alcohol and drugs are not the problems; they are what people are using to help themselves cope with the problems. Those problems always have both physical and psychological components- anything from anemia, hypoglycemia, or a sluggish thyroid to attention deficient disorder, brain-wave pattern imbalances, or deep emotional pain.”
― Chris PrentissThe Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

“I spent the rest of that day and most of the night thinking about all the hundreds of people I had met in rehabs and sober living houses and on the streets. We were all medicating our fears and our pain!”
― Pax PrentissThe Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

To avoid getting wrapped up in the awful cycle of addiction, we recommend practicing these 7 healthy habits everyday.

  1. Surround yourself with positive influences who encourage you, motivate you, respect you, and tell you the truth.
  2. Eat right, stay hydrated, and exercise daily. This is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing.
  3. Practice meditation to care for your spiritual health.
  4. Maintain a positive outlook and perspective on life and current situations.
  5. Embrace a sober lifestyle. There are plenty of things you can do and enjoy without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  6. Keep your mind active and challenged by reading, writing, and pursuing your passions.
  7. Know when to put your foot down and say NO when you disagree or feel pressured into doing something you don’t feel right about.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we focus on helping our clients heal the underlying conditions that are causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Unlike most treatment centers, we do not label you an addict or believe that you are powerless. Instead we utilize a variety of 19 holistic healing methods that empower you to grow in ways you may never had thought possible before. Don’t wait another day to break free from the brutal cycle of addiction. The time has come to make a change and begin living a healthy, happy, and sober life. Call us today!



Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

Addiction, Addiction Treatment Centers, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Dependency, Heroin Addiction, Passages Rehabs, Prescription Drug Addiction, Recovery, Rehab, Relationships

How to Talk to Your Loved One About Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

Sitting back and watching a loved one spiral out of control is heart-wrenching. The person you once knew has become angry, unstable, and quite possibly irresponsible. We know that you want to help them as best as you can. Without forcing them into rehab, it’s better if they see the choice as their own, but that you helped open their eyes to acknowledge a life-threatening problem. Don’t wait for them to lose everything before you step in and lend a helping hand. There are many things to expect, as this is not always a comfortable or easy process. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you initiate the conversation to motivate them into the right direction.

  • The person you love and care deeply about is most likely in denial. They may not believe there is a problem to begin with. It will take time for them to accept the fact that they are on a dangerous path that could be fatal and completely detrimental to everyone involved. They may think they’re behavior is normal and since they are alive and functioning there is nothing to discuss. This is where they are wrong and you shouldn’t give up persistence on the matter.
  • Expect volatile and emotional behaviors as this confrontation will be upsetting for them. Try your best not to fuel the fire with more anger. Make your points clear to them in a way that will stop them from yelling after they’ve screamed at you, told you how wrong you are, and how little you know about anything they are experiencing.

Many of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol spiral out of control whether it is immediately after being hooked on a substance or gradually over time. They desperately want to grab a hold of something that gives them purpose and fills void. Typically, they feel as though their lives are meaningless and no one really cares what they are experiencing.

Reaching for the bottle or a syringe to get high takes them away from the place they feel unwanted and forgotten. It’s painful for everyone involved: the addicted person, the family members, co-workers who witness the destruction, and friends who want to help. The addict may begin hearing that their condition is a disease and they are powerless over their own demons. That is not true. At Passages, we don’t believe that addiction is an incurable disease.  We believe in the empowering nature that as humans, we can overcome any obstacle that is put in our way; that if we look at what is causing the problem and focus on healing the underlying conditions then it is absolutely possible to break free and live an addiction-free life.

We believe that those who become dependent on drugs and alcohol do so for the following reasons:

  1. A chemical imbalance
  2. Events of the past you have not reconciled
  3. Current conditions you can’t cope with
  4. Things you believe that aren’t true

Chances are your loved one is struggling with one or more of these factors. In order for them to overcome their addiction they will need to enter a treatment center, such as Passages Addiction Treatment Centers where the healing process is focused on treating the underlying conditions. Talking to your loved one may seem uncomfortable at first, but it’s important that you don’t hesitate as the problem could grow increasingly worse. Here are 7 key points to focus on.

  1. Put a stop to enabling You may not realize it, but you could be making the problem worse by creating excuses for them, or sugarcoating the condition. Be stern about ground rules and the expectations you have for them. Hold them to their promises and commitments. Let nothing slide.
  2. Educate yourself as well as friends and family on everything there is to know about addiction. Start by purchasing a copy of The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure, written by Pax and Chris Prentiss.
  3. Ask questions. Find out what it is that is driving them to use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Let them open up to you. Listen attentively and make eye contact assuring them that you care and hear what they are saying.
  4. Make them feel loved instead of judged. Avoid using the term “addict” when addressing them. Don’t yell or make harsh threats. Try to avoid using phrases that belittle their worth. Instead, empower them and remind them of their strengths, aspirations, accomplishments, and how much they matter to you.
  5. Consider hiring a professional interventionist to conduct an intervention at home or somewhere private.
  6. Provide them with information on treatment centers. Give them brochures, contact information, photos, and enlightening reading material. Talk to them about the many treatment options available for them to get help and put a stop to this brutal battle.
  7. Suggest alternative options for coping with pain, social anxiety, or trauma. Provide them with a list of things to do and give them a sense of hope that things can get better with change. Life doesn’t have to be unmanageable or painful. It can be fulfilling and full of life if you’re willing to make real lifestyle changes.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Photo courtesy of: Jennifer McDougall

Addiction, Dependency, Drug Rehab, Marijuana Addiction, Marijuana Dependency, Rehab, Teen Addiction

Marijuana Addiction and Treatment

Cannabis (or more commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot) is a very popular and prevalent drug in the United States. It is even legal for medicinal purposes in some states; however, marijuana is highly abused. When an individual smokes or ingests marijuana, the individual will experience distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Several research studies have shown that chronic marijuana users have difficulty learning and decreased memory function, which can last for days or weeks after the actual physical “high” or effects of the drug wear off. Therefore, chronic marijuana abuser are functioning at a suboptimal intellectual and physical level of capability all of the time.

Many studies also show a direct correlation between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and various mental illnesses. There are numerous misconceptions about cannabis addiction and treatment and about the actual addictive qualities of marijuana. Many pro-marijuana users ridicule the idea that marijuana is addictive. At Passages, we see people addicted to marijuana every day. Marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning that individuals who abuse it typically drink alcohol more and abuse other drugs, drastically increasing their chances for becoming addicted to numerous substances. Cannabis has definite withdrawal symptoms when an abuser stops using, which include vivid dreams (caused by the chemical THC), anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, paranoia, tension and insomnia. At Passages Malibu, we treat marijuana addiction and provide a medically supervised detox.




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Addiction Treatment Centers, Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, Inpatient Drug Rehab, Passages Malibu, Residential Treatment Facilities

Professionals in Addiction Rehab

Executives and high-powered career professionals who find they needing drug rehab often have specific needs, requirements and concerns.  Professionals in demanding career positions tend to be high-functioning, and often have been maintaining their image at work in spite of their drug or alcohol abuse. Understandably, many people in these positions wish to keep their attendance of a drug or alcohol rehab program under wraps, fearing backlash at work or damage done to their reputation or career.

Another important concern for many of these people is being able to maintain their schedule while in rehab-it can be nearly impossible for executives or CEO’s to take off 30 days or more of work. Many individuals in executive positions actually become addicted to their work, or are “workaholics,” which is why they have the success that they do.

However, this can be emotionally and mentally unhealthy. Men and women in these high performance careers often turn to alcohol or drugs to ease work anxiety or to attempt to relax after a stressful day or some choose to use stimulants to enhance their performance on the job.

Treatment centers like Passages Malibu are very understanding of this situation and cater to executives and professionals.  We offer a resort-style atmosphere and consider privacy and confidentiality to be top priorities for our clients.

We also allow clients to have full unrestricted access to their cell phones and computers, which is very important for people in the business world. Our therapists are experienced in working with these types of individuals who operate under extreme pressure, and they can help them learn how to handle their careers without turning to alcohol or drugs for relief. Our therapists help clients realize their underlying emotional issues that may be causing them to abuse alcohol or drugs to manage work stress.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Image via We Heart It

Addiction, Drug Rehab, Rehab, Spirituality

Native American Influences in Drug Rehab Centers

Many people seeking drug or alcohol treatment find themselves unwilling to subscribe to the disease concept of addiction, and wanting something more than just the typical, conventional 12-step programs.

Many non-12 step and holistic treatment centers fill this void and offer unconventional treatment practices that incorporate and respect all cultures, religions, and backgrounds.  This kind of treatment facilities often focus on a combination of culture, spirituality, tradition and healing.

Native American culture is very rich and complex, and many Native Americans wish to attend a treatment center that will allow them to focus on their Native American spirituality, beliefs, culture and practice.  There are Native American rehabilitation programs available; these programs are not exclusive to Native Americans, however the majority of clients that attend have a cultural background of Native American tradition.

These treatment facilities often involve a combination of individual therapy, cultural understanding, traditional ceremony, and group therapy. There are also rehab programs that have a focus on Native American elements, but are not solely Native American in nature.

At Passages Malibu, we consider ourselves to be one of these types of treatment centers. We incorporate all forms of spirituality and cultural backgrounds into our program, and design a treatment plan designed for each individual’s particular needs.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by dialing our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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Addiction Treatment Centers, Alcohol Rehab, Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, Inpatient Drug Rehab, Passages Malibu, Recovery, Rehab, Residential Treatment Facilities

Therapeutic Benefits of Luxury Rehab Centers

Although it may seem like just an added perk and not necessary for complete healing, attending a luxury rehab center does have numerous therapeutic advantages.  Although there are thousands of drug rehab centers throughout the country, not many of them place much of an emphasis on the treatment center atmosphere. Commonly, especially in 12-step rehab programs, the centers are set up with more of an institutionalized atmosphere in mind-facilities designed to treat a large number of people in a small space.

Why Choose Passages Malibu

Luxury rehab centers,  such as Passages Malibu, provide clients not only with top-notch treatment but also with beautiful, peaceful, tranquil surroundings. Passages spans across 10 gorgeous acres with easy access to the beach, 5 large luxurious estates for treatment and client residences, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, top of the line amenities, pools, a tennis court, gym, large living quarters, and a full time housekeeping staff.

When individuals enter a rehab facility that is small, cramped, and have the feel of a hospital, that environment can be very stressful and traumatic.  At luxurious treatment centers, clients are able to relax and heal in the comfort and beauty of their surroundings. Treatment centers that are focused on top-notch luxurious settings also tend to have top-notch treatment programs with more staff members, therapists, doctors and nurses per client.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Photo Credit: Jennifer McDougall

Addiction, Amphetamines Withdrawal, Chemical Dependency, Dependency, LSD Addiction, Withdrawal

LSD Effects and Psychological Addiction

LSD is a psychotropic hallucinogenic drug that has been popular and present in the United States for many years.  Although LSD use does not result in extreme physical withdrawal symptoms, repeated use of the drug can lead to a very strong psychological dependence.

When an individual repeatedly abuses LSD, a short-term tolerance is quickly developed, causing users to have to take more and more of the drug each time they use it to obtain the same initial effects.  Repeatedly increasing the amount of LSD taken quickly reinforces a psychological addiction.  LSD abusers also often develop a psychological addiction as a means of escaping emotional stressors, psychological pain, or low self esteem.

As with any addictive substance, users of LSD feel after awhile that they can no longer function without the drug.  LSD is an incredibly powerful chemical compound, and even a very small amount creates significant changes in the brain’s chemical pattern and disrupts neurotransmitter levels. These powerful changes LSD addiction causes in the brain can bring on a slew of serious problems.

For individuals who are already dealing with underlying emotional or mental health issues, the repeated and intense effects of LSD abuse can aggravate and worsen the problems. There are many signs of LSD addiction, including paranoia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, delusions, and erratic behavior.  Passages Malibu treats LSD addiction, and can help if you or someone you know is struggling.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Image via We Heart It 

Addiction, Addiction Treatment Centers, Amphetamines Withdrawal, Chemical Dependency, Dependency, Withdrawal

Behavioral Addictions vs Substance Addictions

It is estimated that at least 90% of Americans have been exposed to at least one form of addiction in their lives, whether it is a behavioral or a substance addiction. Behavioral addiction, or non-substance-related addiction, is a recurring behavior or compulsion where an individual participates in a particular activity, despite negative effects it is having on their relationships, finances, health, or mental state.

Although behavioral addictions may not seem as harmful as substance related addictions, they are considered very detrimental for the person addicted and the people close to them.

Some common behavioral addictions are gambling, food, computers, pornography, sex, the internet, video games, work, exercise, “cutting”, and shopping.  Although some people find it controversial to refer to these behaviors as “addictions” in the same way we view substance abuse disorders, they do tend to have the same ultimate negative effects. Substance addictions, to either drugs or alcohol, are typically much easier disorders for people to understand due to the actual pronounced physical and emotionally altered effects they have on the person abusing.  We treat individuals dealing with behavioral, substance, or co-occurring addictions and disorders.


Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by dialing our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Image via We Heart It 


Addiction, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Rehab, Relationships

Drug and Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace

Drug and alcohol addiction undoubtedly makes an impact on the lives of everyone it involves; not just the dependent individual.  It effects friends, family, and often times co-workers experience the negative behaviors of addiction as well. For employers, having an addicted individual working for them can be a very difficult and awkward situation.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employees who abuse drugs or alcohol are 25 to 30 percent less productive on the job and miss work three times more often than non-abusing employees. Drug and alcohol addiction in the workplace also results in significantly higher safety risks, as 65 percent of all accidents on the job have been shown to be related to drug or alcohol use.  As an employer, there are many early signs of drug and alcohol addiction to look for that can help you combat the negative effects of dependency in the workplace, and hopefully get your employee some help.

Sometimes, especially in a professional atmosphere where people are usually on their “best behavior,” recognizing signs of drug and alcohol dependency isn’t always easy, as some substance abusing individuals have had practice hiding their addictions for months or years.  Some key signs to look for are:  frequent tardiness or unexplained absences from work, extended lunch breaks, a distant attitude or avoidance of supervisors, missed deadlines or incomplete assignments, various excuses, a careless attitude, poor personal appearance, sudden or unusual weight loss or gain, odd mood swings or erratic behavior, sleepiness, or noticeable financial problems.  If you notice these problems in your workplace, Passages Malibu can help.
Call us today at (888) 397-0112, or visit our website at for more information.

Addiction Treatment Centers, Alcohol Rehab, Passages Malibu, Relationships, Residential Treatment Facilities

Treatment Team Approach at Passages Malibu

We are the world’s most innovative and effective residential drug and alcohol treatment program, partly due to our treatment teach approach.  Unlike other treatment centers, Passages is not 12-step based and rather focuses on a more individually tailored, holistic method of treatment.  We believe that addiction is not a disease, but rather that it is a symptom resulting from other problematic issues. The abuse of and eventual dependency on drugs and alcohol is merely a mechanism to cope with physical, mental, or emotional pain.  We believe that being completely cured of your addiction is possible, and in order to find this cure you must find the underlying causes of your behaviors.  Each of our clients receive an individually tailored treatment team of 10 therapists.

Whether you are dealing with depression, anxiety, an undiagnosed physical ailment, childhood trauma, abuse, family problems, a chemical imbalance, or one of the many other underlying causes of addiction. Our treatment program of mainly one-on-one therapy will help you uncover what is driving you to use drugs and alcohol.  At the end of each week, your treatment teams hold a meeting to discuss your progress and pool their insights and resources together.  They do this in order to make sure you are getting the most comprehensive, diverse treatment possible, allowing them to alter your program each week and to progress as you progress. At Passages, we truly believe in healing all of you, from the inside out:  you will receive primarily individual therapy sessions with a dynamic rotation of enriching groups mixed in, with a treatment team that is fully committed to your recovery.

Call us today at (888) 397-0112, or visit us online at

Addiction Treatment Centers, Inpatient Alcohol Rehab, Inpatient Drug Rehab, Passages Malibu, Passages Rehabs, Residential Treatment Facilities

Individualized Psychotherapy

We believe addiction is caused by various underlying and unresolved issues. Dependent individuals typically use drugs and/or alcohol as part of a coping mechanism to deal with past and/or present trauma and pain. At many 12-step rehab programs, substance abuse is treated as the primary problem. At our facilities, we believe that in order to end the cycle of dependency you must first uncover the reasons why you are choosing to numb yourself with drugs and alcohol in the first place.  This is where individualized psychotherapy becomes critical for healing.  Psychotherapy sessions offer safe space to discover the complex nature behind addictive behaviors, and allow each individual to learn how to resolve and heal each unique underlying issue.  Being unable to cope with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, marriage, work, relationships, and the death of a loved one, financial burdens, illness, insecurity, or physical impairment are common reasons for substance abuse that psychotherapists are trained to help clients work through in their sessions.  Many 12-step treatment centers rely primarily on group therapy and usually provide no individual psychotherapy with licenced psychologists. Our individualized approach allows for each specialized licensed therapist to treat each client uniquely based on their circumstance and uncover and explore the causes of each particular addiction.


Call us today at (888) 397-0112.