Browsing Tag

addiction help

How to be Happy Alone and Overcome Loneliness

10 Ways to Be Happy Alone

by Jennifer McDougall

For many, being alone is a challenging and uncomfortable feeling. We crave connection and in order to stay sober, happy, and healthy its helpful to surround ourselves with positive influences. That doesn’t necessarily mean these people need to be physically around you 24/7. There is often times a confusion between loneliness and being alone. You may not know this, but spending time alone every now and then is actually good for your mental and emotional wellbeing. To discover true self-acceptance and inner peace, spending time alone is a vital requirement you must begin practicing if you want to overcome feelings of loneliness.

Most people who find discomfort in being alone are lacking connection in core relationships such as their friends, family members, and co-workers. They lose sight of purpose and direction in their lives. A desperate need to feel loved and accepted is a common feeling many people who are incredibly lonely feel on an everyday basis. Often times, they also turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the pain and loneliness. Depression is also a common side effect of the lack of connection. When we feel connected to others, we are less likely to feel that void, that missing link, that absence of acceptance from others.

The focus of spending time alone is not to isolate yourself. The focus is to invest time and energy into healing yourself and improving the quality of your mental, physical, and emotional health. That is what we help you with here at Passages.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we do not believe that drug and alcohol dependency is a disease. Instead, we believe addiction is cause by 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

Making the most of your time when you’re alone is very important. Here is a list of helpful tips and rules to follow if you want to begin living a life without the feeling of loneliness and begin feeling confident and comfortable in your time alone.

  1. Make plans to have lunch or dinner with a friend or co-worker once a week so you get outside and enjoy some time socializing with others who share common interests.
  2. Dedicate 1 hour every day to a solid workout.
  3. Create something new everything single day. Whether that is a blog, a painting, a poem, a new inspiring social media post, or cook a healthy meal.
  4. De-clutter your living areas including storage closets and cabinets.
  5. Take yourself to dinner and a movie- alone and put your phone away while you enjoy time to yourself.
  6. Practice mindful meditation to clear your mind and work through any obstacles that you are currently experiencing
  7. Do not ever compare your life, your social media accounts, your wardrobe, or relationships to someone else’s for it will only leave you with negative emotions.
  8. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Rather than drinking, practice healthier alternative and for suggestions for sober activities read this list 
  9. Remind yourself to value your own opinion and be aware of any negative self-talk. Listen to others but don’t let anyone rule out the value of what you believe and how you feel.
  10. Practice morning affirmations that bring you confidence, self-assurance, and acceptance. Here is a wonderful video to watch:

I am In Control. I am Powerful. I am happiness. I am Wellness. I am Grateful. I choose Peace.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and 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™

Disclosing Your Addiction at Work

Disclosing Your Addiction at Work

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

 “Complete honesty is not the same thing as full disclosure.” 
― 
Ron Brackin

When an individual seeks help for an addiction or substance use disorder, it is not surprising that other areas of that person’s life begin to shift as well. The workplace environment is no exception. Questions that may arise when considering whether to disclose an addiction in the workplace may include: “Whom should I tell?” “How much information do I share?” “Will I be fired?” “Is this confidential?” “Are there company procedures in place to help me?” “Will this affect my relationship with my employer?” and so on… Many companies and organizations do have procedures within their Human Resources Department that deal directly with drug and alcohol use. However, there is no set rule to follow when it comes to personal disclosure of one’s struggle with addiction. That is why consulting with a trusted individual, professional, or specialized department within the company prior to telling coworkers etc. is ideal.

Firstly, it is important to consider the reason for disclosure. Oftentimes when an individual gets sober, they want to share that information with others. Unfortunately, not every member of society is as enthusiastic about the process of getting clean or sober. It may not serve the person to vocalize past discretions, especially if they are newly sober. An individual should seriously consider the desired outcome when choosing with whom, and how much detail to share regarding their recovery process in the work environment. Unless one’s addiction is directly affecting their work performance, an individual may choose to share the process of getting and staying sober with personal acquaintances and mental health professionals outside the workplace. Realistically speaking, there are cases where the risk is high for disclosing one’s struggle with substances. Some common risks may include loss of job, reputation, financial, criminal, ethical, and legal action taken, etc. These potential risks are generally a direct result of abusing substances on the job. In situations such as these, the individual will want to consult with the appropriate person(s) first, setting a plan for how and when to tell their employer.

Regardless of whether the stigma towards individuals with substance use disorders and mental health challenges has lessened, many individuals still find that although no obvious prejudice may be directed towards them, an apparent change in the existing dynamic after disclosure (for better or worse) between employer and employee is not uncommon. Some companies offer employee health insurance that includes drug and alcohol treatment. An employee can take full advantage of these resources without the employer ever knowing.

There are times it is absolutely necessary to tell supervisors/bosses. These may include situations such as an inability to perform the duty of one’s job, putting the company at risk, damaging the reputation of the company, etc. In these types of situations, consulting the company’s Human Resources Department is an excellent first step for employees to discuss their substance use issues. The individual is well within their right to ask company policy, procedure, and guidance on how to seek and receive the appropriate resources. Some companies may even pay for and fully support, the employee to attend a treatment program for their addiction. An employee can research these areas of involvement and more by asking for company policy on such issues (sometimes this can be found directly on the company’s Human Resources webpage). It is not uncommon to have fears; however, a number of those fears can be addressed simply by asking the right questions. Many people find that reviewing the process of self-disclosure to an employer with a trusted therapist or counselor first helps to put worries in their proper perspective.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to get the person treatment. The decision of whether or not to disclose on the job should always favor disclosure if an individual is at risk for hurting themselves or others. It is more important to get life-saving treatment than none at all due to common fears such as losing one’s job. Obviously, the first scenario puts the individual in control of his or her own recovery by choosing to ask and receive help. The flip side, however, is that hiding one’s addiction comes with the added risk of incurring more severe issues down the line. Though it is necessary to be cautious when sharing personal information, a majority of companies have made great strides in investing in employee health and wellbeing. Therefore, if the opportunity to receive additional care covered by one’s employer is offered, an individual will want to take full advantage of that. One thing remains true: the strongest and most courageous thing a person can do is asking for help.

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant for therapists. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

 

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and 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™

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10 Extraordinary Ways to Unlock Your Full Potential

By Jennifer McDougall

If you’ve struggled in the past to find motivation and continue to run into the same walls, that leave you feeling blocked in terms of being able to be your ultimate self– the greatest version of yourself, then you have come to the right place. This article is going to help you reflect on what needs to change or improve so you can unlock your full potential and be the best person you can be.

You may discover new talents and abilities you didn’t know you had before. We are going to help you train your mind and body to work in accordance with what your true purpose in this life really is. There are going to be many surprises along the way. Are you ready to embark on this exciting new adventure?

1. Prepare for the morning the night before.

Lay out your outfit you plan on wearing the next day. Mentally prepare yourself for the day. Have yourself a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea as you get ready for bed. Keep your phone out of reach so you are not tempted to stare at it far into the evening where you rob yourself of quality sleep time. Also, avoid drugs, alcohol, and caffeine to stay clear and calm to get the most out of your night sleep.

2. Get out of bed in the morning with a positive attitude and keep your spirits up throughout the day.

It’s easy to wake up moaning and groaning about how you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning and begin dreading the day ahead for numerous reasons, but the one major difference in a bad day and a good day is your attitude in how you approach it. So get up, turn the coffee maker on, turn up the music, jump in the shower, and keep your attitude upbeat no matter the circumstances your day might bring. Even though you might not realize it, your thoughts alone play a big role in how your life unfolds and if you’re mopping around with a negative attitude, you’re more likely to attract negative situations as you are vibrating on a low frequency. To increase your vibrations and attract positive outcomes and more generous blessings in life, read: 10 Ways to Raise Your Vibration and Attract Positive Energy

3. Pay attention to your bad habits and what aspects of your routine are slowing you down or holding you back. LET GO!

Being aware of the things that hold you back, bring you down, or block true authenticity and passion is a great step in moving forward into becoming your ultimate self. Reflect on the previous day, last week, this past year, what could you improve on? Notice the things that made you feel lousy. What could you have done differently? There’s always something we can change or improve on in our lives and on ourselves to become better people and stronger individuals. If you want to find out your superpower and blossom into someone who lets not afraid to become the best version of yourself, its time to let go of everything and anything holding you back. This is going to be different for everyone so apply what it is in your life and begin to work on detaching yourself from all the toxic energy, bad habits, and unfulfilling substances getting in the way of being your ultimate self.

 4. Create a vision board to lay out all of your dreams and aspirations as a visual reminder of what you want to achieve in life.

A vision board is a great way to bring clarity to what you want to achieve in life. You can use an oversized poster board that can be purchased from a local arts and crafts store or your local supermarket. This is a fun exercise to do either alone or with a group of people who you can collaborate in helping one another think of and bring out all of your dreams and hopes for this beautiful life you are living and growing in.

5. Learn new skills to increase your level of knowledge and capabilities.

Maybe there is a language you’ve always wanted to learn or a skill you would like to gain or improve on. Now is your time to sign up for that class, pick up that book, watch the tutorials and how-to videos. This is your chance to get up and start growing on a deeper and more intellectual level so that you can be the best possible version of yourself and live a life that is truly engaging and fulfilling. It’s going to take hard work and practice, but you will get there and when you do, you and everyone around you is going to be so proud of everything you’re doing and becoming.

6. Forgive yourself and events of the past. Let go of resentment.

Are you holding on to some kind of resentment from your past? Did someone do you wrong or hurt you? Have you carried this pain with you most of your life? Is this the very same thing that you bury deep inside telling yourself every day that it doesn’t affect you when really it’s controlled many of your decisions and ignited unwanted fear? This is your moment to let go of that pain. Let go of the resentment you have for other people and your past. Forgive them and forgive yourself. The past cannot be undone, but how we allow it to affect our lives can change. That resentment is likely to cause you anger and a long list of behavioral patterns that may go unrecognized until you are ready to face them and do something truly remarkable about it. Simply let go and forgive. Only then can you move forward.

7. Meditate, every day.

Meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself to ease anxiety, relax, and gain clarity. Empty your mind and redirect your destiny with this incredible exercise. Chris Prentiss, Co-Founder of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers created a wonderful meditation called Meditation on the Perfect You and it is a very helpful guided meditation lead by Chris Prentiss himself. I think you’d really enjoy it. Click the link over the title to purchase your very one copy.

8. Change your beliefs. Have an optimistic outlook.

If you believe you cannot do something you will continue to find every reason not to go after what it is you actually really want to have or achieve. If you have a negative or toxic outlook on life or yourself, you are blocking your true potential. Try changing the way you think, how you look at things, and how you react when challenges present themselves. If you truly want to achieve anything, you will do anything it takes to bring that vision to life. Quit holding yourself back from having everything you want by believing you aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or rich enough. You are capable of incredible things, you just need to stay focused and believe in yourself.

9. Incorporate a healthy workout routine into your lifestyle.

Get your blood flowing and increase your levels of confidence with a solid workout routine. Choose an exercise that you enjoy most, whether it be boxing, swimming, basketball, CrossFit, running, dancing, weightlifting, or yoga, get moving! Working out is a great way to not only get healthy and in shape, it helps improve your quality of sleep, strength, mental clarity, and sticking to specific goals (self-discipline). A 30-45 workout is ideal for getting the best results. Create an uplifting playlist to help keep you motivated.

10. Breathe. Give yourself a break.

Stop stressing yourself over the day-to-day expectations. Stop overwhelming yourself with fear of the future. Everything is going to work out perfectly as it should be, but you are in control of how this all unravels. You can put in a little or as much work as you choose to do. The outcome with speak volumes and no matter what happens, remember that this is all for your benefit. What is meant to be will always be. You owe it to yourself to relax, breathe, and not be so hard on yourself. You have to rest from time to time and not feel bad for it.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and 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™

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10 Ways to Forgive Yourself and Heal From the Past

By Jennifer McDougall

“How do you change what you believe when your experience has convinced you otherwise? By creating a new experience. The best way for you to get that new experience is to change your response to what happens. By the natural law of cause and effect, that new response will create new results, which you will then experience as a new reality. To reach the goal of happiness, act as though the following statement is already true: Everything that happens to me is the best thing that can happen to me.”
― Chris Prentiss, Be Who You Want, Have What You Want

 

In order to move forward from anything, one must look at the problem square in the face and come to terms with what it is that is truly bothering you. Forgiveness is not always easy. It takes time, but when you’re ready to become free from the burden of events from the past, you will become stronger and wiser.

What is it from the event that you feel pain or regret about? When you finally let go of what it is you are holding on to from the past, no matter how recent or distant, you will begin to feel free and empowered to embrace the present moments as they come without the anxiety and discomfort you’ve been dragging around for far too long.

Forgiveness of any kind is process that requires grace to accept what is and let go of what was. One thing you must realize is you can’t necessarily go back in time, but you can pick yourself up and move forward with strength and dignity. Let those know close to you how you are feeling so you can lean on someone for support and encouragement. Here are 10 other ideas to forgive yourself completely and make peace with the past.

  1. Acknowledge the wrong you did and who it might have hurt
  2. Feel what you feel – write about it, speak about it, talk about it
  3. Take as much time for YOUrself to heal in every emotional, physical, mental and spiritual way
  4. Identify your top triggers so you can be more aware in the future to how you can better deal with them as they come up
  5. Meditate on letting go of your past, regrets, calming your anxieties, and healing your pain
  6. Get to work on making positive changes in your personal and professional life
  7. Practice deep breathing techniques to help relax and remain present
  8. Talk positively about others, your outlook, and how you thankful you are for what you have
  9. Get active – work out for an hour a day
  10. Stay sober and avoid consuming any drugs or alcohol to cope with your current condition

How to Contact Passages Malibu

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™

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Non-12-Step Resources for Treating Alcohol and Drug Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

When searching for resources for drug and alcohol addiction, look no further. You have arrived at the right place. Passages is here to help you get through the next phase of re-discovering your passion for life. After drug and alcohol abuse, it’s easy to see how your life can become unmanageable. We are happy to provide you will the following resources to help you get your life back on track.

If you call Passages today you will have access to the following:

  1. Alcohol rehab questions
  2. Drug rehab questions
  3. Frequently asked questions about what causes addiction
  4. Which questions to ask when you are searching for an addiction treatment center?
  5. Different addiction types and methods for treatment
  6. Background and theories behind non-12-step and non-disease model philosophy
  7. Healing addiction holistically
  8. Drug and/or alcohol abuse warning signs and prevention
  9. Information on intervention resources
  10. A free quote from a professional admissions counselor

Don’t live the rest of your life one day at a time – live fully, peacefully, and free from addiction.

How to Contact Passages Malibu

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™

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Where Can I Go to Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction?

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Are you searching the web looking for answers? Are you feeling lost or overwhelmed with the options for treatment? Look no further than Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. At Passages, we focus on helping you discover and heal the underlying conditions causing you to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

Most rehab facilities out there focus on the out dated and traditional form of treating addiction, which is to go to meetings; proclaim you are an addict or alcoholic then go through the 12-Step process, commonly known as Alcoholics Anonymous.

What Makes Passages Different?

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

Since 2001, Passages has changed the way addiction is looked at and treated. With our many non-12-Step holistic methods you will soon find that a 30 to 90-day program is exactly what you need to get sober. We give you the tools to help you regain your mental, physical, and spiritual strength so you can get back into the world with a clarity, purpose, and a true sense of self-worth. Our professional team of therapists and staff members will help guide you on discovering your most authentic self. We want you to succeed in life, but before doing so you must get to the core root of what is causing you to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

We understand this is a difficult battle you are facing, but that is why we are here.

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™

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Letting Go of Anxious Thoughts

By Jennifer McDougall

It’s one thing to have a thought or two about this or that, but it’s a whole other ballgame when you find yourself anxiously thinking and dwelling on all the possibilities or worries you have running through your head. Trust me, it’s not uncommon to feel this way. It’s not uncommon to overthink things or worry about this or that, but that doesn’t make it healthy. At Passages, we are here to help you train your mind to let go of anxious thoughts so you can experience a more peaceful mindset.

You may find yourself sitting there at a traffic light going over everything you did or said. You may be there lying in bed at night going over every anxious little wonder you have in your busy mind. We have all been there at some point where we can’t seem to just chill and let go of all the anxiety clouding up our mind. It could be stress over a job, relationship, risky decision, or a worry you have about the coming day. It’s understandable. Life can be stressful at times and things may feel a bit overwhelming, but there is a way to release that tense energy and settle your thoughts so you can think more clearly and get a better night’s sleep.

Here are 10 simple ways to start practicing letting go of all those anxious thoughts.

  1. Remind yourself that no matter what, every little things gonna be alright.
  2. Take 3 deep breathes. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Feel yourself letting go of all your stresses and all your worries; no matter how big or small they are.
  3. Get on a healthy workout routine to release endorphins and burn off built up tension.
  4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you remain hydrated. This is crucial to your overall wellbeing. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
  5. Write it down. Journal your thoughts and experiences in a notebook. Keep it by your bed, in your purse, backpack—wherever is most accessible to you throughout the day so whenever an anxious thought comes to mind you can write it down and get it off your chest.
  6. Talk to a professional therapist. Friends are great to lean on and vent to, but sometimes we need a professional’s unbiased take on specific situations we are experiencing.
  7. Once a week do something you’ve never done before. Go hike a trail you’ve never been on. Explore a place you’ve never been. Try something challenging such as surfing, golfing, or public speaking to get you out of your comfort zone. Afterwards you will feel rewarded and have a sense of accomplishment.
  8. Pick up that book sitting on your bookshelf that’s been staring you in the face for longer than you’d like to admit. Pick it up and start reading. We also encourage you to visit our wellness store for a collection of self-help books that will change your life.
  9. Meditation is great way to relieve anxiety. We recommend you invest 30 minutes per day to meditate away your worries.
  10. Make a gratitude list of even the most simplest things in life you are grateful for.

 

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™

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Passages Ventura Celebrates 8 Years of Holistic Addiction Treatment

By Jennifer McDougall

For 8 years, Passages Ventura has been helping those suffering with drug and alcohol related addictions discover and heal their underlying conditions causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Passages Ventura is located in Ventura, California. It is a non-12-step addiction treatment center lead by father and son duo, Chris and Pax Prentiss. Passages has set the standard for addiction treatment that has surpassed expectations beyond measure. The success rate for those who leave Passages is higher than any other treatment center in the world, next to Passages Malibu, which was founded in 2001.

Co-Founder and CEO of Passages, Pax Prentiss, knows first-hand how difficult is to break free from the chains of addiction. For 10 years, Pax was addicted to heroin, cocaine, alcohol and cigarettes and with the help of his father, Chris Prentiss, he was able to overcome his battle with addiction. Together, they designed a programed that successfully helped Pax get sober. After many failed attempts to get sober, Pax finally discovered the why to what was causing him to use. The holistic program which is utilized at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers is what has now saved the lives of thousands of those who have come to Passages for treatment.

“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 Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

At Passages, we don’t believe that addiction is a disease. Our research shows that people become dependent on drugs and alcohol because of one of these four causes:

  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

Since opening Passages Ventura, Chris and Pax have opened a luxury sober living home in Santa Monica, California and an outpatient rehab center in Venice (Abbot Kinney), California. Both of these facilities instill the values and philosophy that Passages has thrived on since 2001. Soon, Passages will open another outpatient rehab and sober living home in Beverlywood, California.

To stay up to date on all things Passages, please connect with us on social media.

Passages Ventura | www.PassagesVentura.com

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins

About Passages Malibu & Passages Ventura:

Father and son team Chris and Pax Prentiss founded Passages Malibu in 2001. Its second location, Passages Ventura, first opened its doors in 2009. The two drug & alcohol abuse treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12-Step AA model of addiction treatment by utilizing an innovated and holistic program that focuses on healing the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than attributing addiction to an incurable disease.  Both Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura accept insurance.

Passages Malibu was named the #1 treatment center in the world by Healthcare Global, one of the “Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out” by Forbes magazine, and the Huffington Post recently acknowledged Passages as a center that “caters to a high-end crowd, with many CEOs, entrepreneurs, and high-powered professionals among its clients.”

The co-founders are also authors of an acclaimed series of addiction treatment books, including their groundbreaking, flagship title, The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.

For general inquiries about treatment, contact: (888) 397-0112.

For media inquiries, contact press@passagesmalibu.com.

Passages Ventura | www.PassagesVentura.com

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™

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Turning Your Life Around with Non 12-Step Addiction Treatment

By Jennifer McDougall

You might be asking yourself, “Where in the world do I even begin?” That’s where Passages comes in. We are a non-12-step addiction treatment center here to help you discover and heal the underlying conditions causing you to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. According to our research and years of hands on experience, at Passages, we believe addiction is brought on by one or all of these 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

Once you’ve identified what is causing you to use and abuse drugs and alcohol, we will provide you with the proper tools to completely heal those underlying conditions.

Every one of us has a unique story; a timeline of events, traumas, fears, and anxieties that have brought us to where we are right now. At Passages, we do not judge you for your past or label you an addict. Realizing you have the power within yourself to overcome this extremely difficult battle with addiction is just the start of turning your life around. Yes, there is hope. Yes, you can do it. Yes, we are professionally trained to help you get to the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

“You are not an alcoholic or an addict. You are not incurably diseased. You have merely become dependent on substances or addictive behavior to cope with underlying conditions that you are now going to heal, at which time your dependency will cease completely and forever.” ― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

With the help of non-12-step treatment, you will begin you see a brighter side of life. You will soon discover your life’s purpose, recover and heal from your past trauma, false beliefs, and chemical imbalance. You will learn to cope with life’s current conditions in a healthier, more stable way that will bring about a better quality of life.

Here are several examples of what you can expect your life to look like after treatment at Passages.

  • An overall sense of clarity in the way you think and make logical decision

  • Drastically improved physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health

  • Healthier relationships and communication skills

  • Better job performance and an easier flow of ideas put into motion

  • All around gratefulness and a greater sense of joy for life

  • A meaningful life purpose that will bring you excitement to get out of bed in the morning

  • Motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as the well-being of those around you

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™

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10 Ways to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

By Jennifer McDougall

Accepting the loss of someone you loved and cared for, no matter the time or relationship, can be challenging. Leaning on loved ones and avoiding the urge to isolate into your shell is essential. When someone you love passes on, there is a numbing pain usually felt within our core. We want to run from pain too often when it arrives. When challenges or circumstances present themselves, it is best not to run or try and hide from the emotion or event that is or has recently taken place. By running, I am also talking about resorting to substances for temporary relief. You must know that drugs and alcohol won’t bring your loved one back, and attempting to drown your pain with addictive substances can not only be fatal but can also make matters much worse.

Recently, a friend of mine passed away from an on-going battle with addiction. Heroin was his coping mechanism. Heroin is also what took him from this world. He was looking for an escape. For years, he was in discomfort with himself; in pain for many of the pieces in his life never added up to a fulfilling measure (his own belief). The truth is, he was a bright young man with a great sense of humor. Many people loved him, but sometimes (for reasons we don’t always understand) that was not enough.

There are underlying reasons for why a person does what they do. Behind every person’s addiction, behind every reason to escape the consciousness we know and feel complete when sober, is an underlying reason driving every thought and action.

When someone feels pain, they typically want to run away from it. The trouble is that pain is meant to be felt. It is a natural sensation that can benefit us in many ways. Suppose you avoid the feelings of sadness and loss. In that case, you prologue the grieving process in which delays the natural cycle of healing. It is crucial that you feel everything during this process. If you don’t, it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger, insomnia, job loss, relationship trouble, financial difficulties, unresolved guilt, and many other things you are much better off without.

Symptoms of Grief:

  • Shock and Disbelief– There’s a feeling of numbness that usually hits when the news has broken to loved ones of a sudden passing. The disbelief and denial of the truth are common. Only by accepting the truth and handling the information most consciously and collectively will we be better off.
  • Sadness – Despair, loneliness, a sense of emptiness, and absence are common symptoms to feel during the grieving process. Crying is not a sin, so if you feel sad to let it out. Feel what you feel.
  • Guilt – You may feel guilty for things you said or did to this person who has passed away. Even if the death was out of your control, you still might blame yourself for reasons you should only stop and learn to forgive now that the person has passed on.
  • Anger – You may be mad at yourself, God, the situation itself, the drug that caused the death, the driver behind the wheel, or the medical team who couldn’t save them. You could be mad due to feeling abandoned. That’s okay, but don’t stay angry for too long. Forgiveness goes a long way.
  • Fear – Loss can trigger feelings of worry, a loss of hope, and create insecurities.
  • Physical Symptoms (Nausea, fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, body aches)

How to Cope with Loss:

  1. Seek support in others rather than grieving alone (join a support group, talk to a therapist, turn to family and friends). Talk to someone who will listen openly to what you’re going through.
  2. Be real with how YOU feel. Express your emotions, workout, shower daily, stay hydrated, and eat nutritious meals.
  3. Look for what you can learn from the person’s life.
  4. Write it out or create a painting to help you release any emotions you are experiencing. It’s important not to suppress any emotion because that can impact your physical and mental health down the road. 
  5. Avoid drugs and alcohol – treat yourself to a sweet dessert or a sweaty workout instead (total opposites, I know).
  6. Daily meditation for healing benefits and mental stability
  7. Make plans for the near future to give you and others suffering something to look forward to.
  8. Get out of the house at least once a day and be around other people.
  9. Accept that the feelings of guilt, regret, pain, and suffering will soon pass.
  10. Be patient through the grieving and healing process – take your time and allow yourself to go through every motion as you best feel fitting for yourself.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

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™

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5 Reasons People Addicted to Substances Don’t Want to go to Rehab

By Jennifer McDougall

The number of overdoses killing millions of Americans leave us to question, why don’t those who desperately need addiction treatment ever receive it? Some may ask, “What will it take for them to finally agree to get the help they need?” Even after multiple DUIs, years of abuse and embarrassing themselves in front of friends and family, some people still refuse to get the help they need. The reasons why are tragic. With all of the resources available to people, they still refuse to grab a hold of the help being offered.

You most likely know someone who drowns themselves in substance abuse to cope with pain, past traumas, a chemical imbalance, or untrue beliefs. We turn on the evening news and see people all over the world hurting themselves and others from substance abuse. Maybe they have attempted rehab before and it didn’t work so they are unwilling to try it again; unwilling to even try something with a better approach. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why people refuse rehab for professional help. Here are five of them.

  1. They see addiction as a weakness and feel ashamed to admit they need professional help.

When we go through hard times or face difficulties in life, sometimes it can be hard to admit the suffering because we don’t want to look weak. Many of those in the most depth of helplessness refuse help the most.  They would rather try and pick up the pieces alone without bringing anyone into the solution. This is also known as pride. For many people, it’s more comfortable to suffer alone than to reach out to a friend, family member, or professional for help. Coming to terms with this issue can take a lot of time and hard work, but it is possible and it is not something anyone should feel bad about. Asking for help is not a weakness. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to admit you need help—that you can no longer do it on your own.

  1. They are afraid to lose their job or career.

When a person’s job or income is on the line, they will put aside just about anything to save it. The only problem with this is their job is probably suffering from the abuse that they are hiding behind closed doors. If they got professional help and healed the underlying conditions causing them to use and abuse drugs or alcohol, their career would more than likely sky rocket or improve drastically.

  1. They don’t have insurance coverage for treatment or enough money to fund it.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we accept a handful of insurance policies that cover treatment at our facilities. We offer 30-90-day treatment programs that most insurance policies will cover. For more information, please call (888) 397-0112 and ask to speak with our admissions department about pricing and program options. There are other resources out there such as SAMHSA which help those who have no money and limited insurance coverage. They can be reached by calling 1-800-662-4357.

  1. They are not ready to quit using.

Many of those who are in denial of having an addiction to drugs and alcohol are also not ready to quit using. The process to finally come around could take up to years for them to finally admit they need help and they can no longer live a life burying their hopes and dreams with substance abuse. Even when they see what the damage is doing to them physically, mentally, emotionally, and ruining their relationships, opportunities, and abilities—they still would rather continue using and abusing drugs and alcohol just to cope with the pain and suffering they can’t deal with without numbing it down with substances. It’s sad to watch someone you love and care about so much ruining their lives and belittling their potential just to stay high. We understand how truly difficult it is for those trying to get their loved one to come around and get the help they need. We ease into the approach. We yell and scream with tears dripping down our face unable to get through to the one we are trying so hard to help. If the person who’s using and abusing drugs and alcohol refuses to get help and are not ready to give it up, the likelihood of them to go to rehab can feel almost impossible.

  1. They are suicidal and would rather die than fight to overcome the battle of addiction.

Those who have literally given up on everything in their lives and find the only times they are slightly alive is when they high are experiencing some incredibly deep and dark battles. They should not be left alone. Be available as often to reach out to them, check in, give support at any given moment. Do not let them feel ignored or invisible. If you or someone you know is suicidal, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

 

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™

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5 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety

5 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety

By Jennifer McDougall

 

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in a social setting where your nerves are racing around from beneath your skin, you feel overwhelming and intense anxiety, and want to hide out in the corner of a room? This is what it feels like to have social anxiety. Its more common than you may think. For some, they can go out and be in a public setting where they interact with others and feel completely comfortable and confident. For others, they participate in these interactions only to then go home and sink deep into an obsession of overthinking every move they made and every word they said.

“Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others.” – Defined by WebMD

Behavioral symptoms

  • Fear of being judged
  • Avoiding social interactions altogether
  • Fear of talking to others
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Excessive drinking or drug use
  • Avoiding direct eye contact because of self-doubt
  • Trembling, shaky voice, blushing, and/or sweating
  • Avoiding situations that you may be the center of attention
  • Worrying about the worst possible outcome of the situation
  • Analyzing the event after its taken place

Physical symptoms

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach ache
  • Muscle tension
  • Confusion or “out of body” feeling

There are many ways you can overcome this fearful situation. We have 5 helpful ways for you to breakthrough from this turbulent feeling. We want to help you feel more at ease when you’re around other people and have to interact when it feels most uncomfortable. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Try visualization
  2. Deep breathing exercises
  3. Work with a therapist
  4. Go to more social functions
  5. Identify your behaviors so you can eliminate them

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.

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Passages Malibu: Revolutionizing Addiction Treatment for 15 Years.

When Chris and Pax Prentiss opened Passages on August 11th, 2001 they had one goal in mind, to open the world’s finest treatment center, and help as many people as they could. Now, fourteen years later and it’s clear they have accomplished their goal, not only has their groundbreaking, holistic approach made them the No. 1 rehab in the world, but they’ve also revolutionized the industry.

“When we opened 15 years ago, we were ridiculed by other treatment centers for not incorporating the 12-Steps into our program, but why we should, we knew the 12-Step philosophy was contradictory to what we believed to be true about treating addiction. Ultimately, we refused to use it and instead relied on professional one-on-one treatment to be the mainstay of our program. Over the years, as Passages grew in popularity other treatment centers were more inclined to adopt our ways or be faced with becoming stagnant.” Said co-founder and CEO Pax Prentiss.

At the core of the Passages’ game changing philosophy is their focus on healing the underlying conditions that cause addiction. They do this through a holistic program that offers an abundance of one-on-one therapy. “One-on-one treatment is far more effective then groups when it comes to treating someone’s underlying conditions.” Says Prentiss. Pax should know, he was addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol for ten years, and failed many times at traditional rehab centers that incorporate the 12-steps and offered only group meetings.

Passages is Joint Commission Accredited, has been ranked the No. 1 rehab in the world, and was named by Forbes magazine as one of the “Most Luxurious Places to Dry Out.” In 2009 Passages opened its sister facility in Ventura California.

On August 10th, 2015, Passages opened their very first outpatient treatment center located in Venice, California for those who are in need of holistic outpatient treatment that is similar to what is provided at Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura.  Passages also has a sober living facility located in vibrant Santa Monica, California.

 

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers – Addiction Ends Here

About Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Founded by Chris Prentiss and Pax Prentiss, Passages Malibu opened in 2001 with its second location, Passages Ventura, opening in 2009 and an outpatient center in Venice, California which opened in 2015. The three drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers offer an alternative to the 12-step/AA model of addiction treatment by taking a holistic approach with a program that focuses on the underlying issues of substance dependency, rather than suggesting that addiction is an incurable disease. Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura have earned the coveted JCAHO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) accreditation, which has only been given to 6% of the nation’s behavioral health treatment programs. The co-founders are also authors of the acclaimed series of treatment books that include their groundbreaking flagship book, “The Alcoholism & Addiction Cure.” At Passages, we believe: Addiction Ends Here.

 

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™

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How to Overcome Addiction: Interviews with Pax Prentiss of Passages Malibu

Addiction Expert and Co-Founder of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers knows first hand how difficult the battle with addiction can be. Pax was addicted to heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes for 10 years. Him and his father, Chris Prentiss created a program that saved Pax’s life. Its that same program that has now saved the lives of thousands of people who have come to Passages for treatment in healing the underlying conditions causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

 

Pax had this to say on his own personal battle overcoming addiction:

“Throughout that horrific time in my life, my dad and I continuously tried to get me sober. I detoxed myself at home, went to AA meetings, attended 12 Step treatment centers, and pretty much tried everything else that was available at the time. None of it worked. I continued to relapse time and time again, and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t overcome my addiction.

Now I know exactly why I failed. It’s because I was being treated with an antiquated treatment philosophy based on the disease concept and 12 Step methods, which focused on group therapy instead of individual care and labeled you an addict for life. My dad and I realized it’s not just about stopping the drug and alcohol abuse, but it’s about learning why you use and then healing it. The resources I had available to me provided zero to little therapy to help me discover the “WHY” behind my using.

When this realization hit us, we knew that we had to figure out the underlying reasons behind addiction. We imagined the kind of program that focused on me as an individual, offered lots of one-on-one therapy, did not believe in the disease concept, and did not look at me as an addict but rather as a person who needed to heal his core issues. We searched and searched and eventually discovered that such a program didn’t exist, so we created it ourselves.” – Pax Prentiss, Co-Founder of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

 

Pax has been interviewed to discuss his personal experience of substance abuse with media outlets worldwide including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, ABC News, The Insider, AskMen.com, and Forbes. 

Pax Prentiss Full Interviews

 

 

 

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™

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What to do when you're friend is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction

Helping a friend struggling with addiction

It can be very difficult to watch a friend or loved one struggling with an addiction.  However, there are many things you can do and many ways you can help.  Initially, it can be hard to recognize if your friend has a drug or alcohol addiction problem, because most likely they have been trying to hide their behaviors.

There are several warning signs to look for, such as moodiness, a drastic change in demeanor, erratic behavior, sudden loss or gain of weight, flaking on plans or not following through with commitments, problems at work or with friends and family, and an overall shift in personality or attitude.

Once you’ve recognized these behaviors and can confirm that your friend is abusing drugs or alcohol, the first and most important thing you can do is to stop enabling their behavior. If you go out drinking with them or are around them when they’re using, you are only aggravating the problem.

When your friend is sober and willing to listen, approach them gently and let them know your concerns rather than expressing criticism. Let them know that you are willing to help and that you are there for them.  Give them specific examples of why you are worried, and let them know you think their substance abuse is impacting their lives in negative ways.

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.

 

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 completely healing addiction is possible, and in order to do this, 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 www.PassagesMalibu.com

Social Drinking vs Alcohol Addiction

Is it Social Drinking or an Addiction to Alcohol?

Alcohol consumption is a very prevalent part of our society and has been for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the drinking of alcohol is usually associated with celebration, often heavily consumed at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and many other types of parties. Social drinking is a phrase that refers to the consumption of alcohol without the overt signs of a problem (alcohol addiction or abuse).

A common way people describe social drinking is the act of consuming alcohol in a social setting without the intention to get drunk.

Although many individuals engage in social drinking without it developing into a problem, there is a fine line between someone who regularly drinks socially and someone who is developing an alcohol problem. In the United States, there are approximately 219,000,000 adults.

Approximately 134,000,000 of those adults (61%) consumed some amount of alcohol in the last year. And in the United States, there are about 14,000,000 adults who are addicted to alcohol or abuse alcohol.

If an individual who regularly engages in social drinking exhibits any of these tendencies, he or she may be displaying an indication of alcohol abuse.

Individuals who:

Use alcohol to get through painful or difficult situations or feelings, hide their drinking from others, find it difficult to stop drinking once they start, blackout or don’t remember much after drinking, drink with the intention of getting drunk, drink to the point of vomiting/sickness, or feel intense shame or guilt after drinking may be going beyond the territory of social drinking and into the realm of alcohol abuse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, Passages Malibu can help.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

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™

Innovative and Different Forms of Therapy in Addiction Rehab

Numerous non-traditional, cutting-edge forms of treatments are becoming popular in rehab centers to heal dependency on drugs and alcohol. By incorporating types of one-on-one psychotherapy sessions, treatment centers ensure a more complete, well-rounded and total recovery.

Some of these “non-traditional” forms of treatment include acupuncture, physical training, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), art therapy, etc. Many therapists and addiction professionals believe that innovative and experimental treatments offer a variety of benefits and can help clients strengthen and develop non-verbal and verbal communication, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, responsibility, confidence and relationship skills.

Passages Malibu offers a variety of these cutting-edge types of treatments. For example, clients regularly work out with a personal trainer and receive acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture sessions not only encourage and enhance relaxation but they actually physically relieve the body of impurities left over and lingering from years of drug and alcohol dependency. Another one of these types of therapies that have shown to be extremely effective is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Working with such a large animal often allows individuals to overcome fear and develop confidence, strengthening the skills needed for dealing with other intimidating and stressful day-to-day life situations.

Not only are innovative and different forms of treatment therapeutically beneficial, but they are also enjoyable and often provide individuals with a relaxing or creative outlet.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and 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™

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Breaking Through Denial at Drug Rehab Centers

Whenever our minds are forced to encounter knowledge that seems threatening, denial kicks in as a defense mechanism. In the context of drug addiction, the body has become chemically dependent on drug use, causing acknowledgement of a drug addiction—and its resolution—to feel like an untenable threat. As a result, denial takes a hold of us mentally during the course of drug addiction, attempting to preserve drug use—and prevent knowledge of a drug problem—at all costs. For this reason, breaking through denial is one of the first forms of psychological treatment that you will receive during your stay at a private inpatient drug rehab center.

The Nature of Denial and Drug Addiction

Breaking through denial about drug addiction can be incredibly difficult—largely, because we don’t even realize denial is present. As a defense mechanism, the subconscious becomes avoidant, experiencing great anxiety at the mere thought of removing drugs from our lives—since we have become dependent on them psychologically and physically for daily living. Altered thinking patterns begin to take place as a result. We tell ourselves we do not have a problem—and thus we never need to get sober and remove the drug from our lives and bodies. We fear that we may not be able to get sober, so we tell ourselves that we do not need to in the first place. What follows is a pattern of justification, minimization, blame-shifting and avoidance that all allow us to continue using drugs without fear of their removal.

However, even though denial is the subconscious, sincere attempt at self-protection, it often just leaves us at greater risk instead of providing safety. While we engage in the cycle of denial about our drug abuse, addictions tend to worsen. Personal consequences and relationship problems increase, and we find ourselves with financial, health, and psychological repercussions to drug addiction. Additionally, the same denial that encompasses our drug addiction often invades other parts of our psyches and lives. We may find ourselves using the same measure of denial to avoid our own emotional pain, past traumas, or even current abuse we’re suffering from. Until these areas of denial are broken, we will never be truly healed or truly free.

Breaking Through Denial at Private Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers

When you enter an inpatient drug rehab center, denial can be dealt with in a safe, confidential and nonthreatening atmosphere. In the nurturing environment of one-on-one therapy sessions, you can partner with a compassionate therapist who can help you confront both your addiction—and any unresolved emotional pain—without feeling frightened or overwhelmed. As you begin to heal yourself view in individualized drug addiction therapy sessions, the defenses of denial will become less necessary—as you recognize that you have the personal power to overcome your drug addiction.

Symptoms and Effects of Heroin: What You Need to Know

By Jennifer McDougall

Heroin is a morphine version of morphine and highly addictive. Like other opiates, heroin blocks the brain’s ability to sense pain, therefore it gives a person a relaxing sensation that is so extreme the use of this drug often times leads to death. Many times, those abusing drugs and alcohol will do their best to conceal the use from loved ones or co-workers.

What is Heroin?

Known as “smack,” “china white,” or simply “dope,” heroin is a powerful narcotic and a member of the opioid class of drugs. The opium—from which heroin is ultimately derived—comes from poppies grown in Asia and in particular regions of Afghanistan (a country that produces almost 80 percent of the world’s supply). To collect the alkoloids necessary for heroin production, workers make small cuts on the seed pods of poppies, collecting the milky juice that they produce. Alkalaids in poppy juice can then be refined into three main chemicals—the sedatives morphine and codeine, and the stimulant thebaine. Those who manufacture heroin synthesize the drug from morphine, creating an extremely addictive painkiller that will produce an intensely euphoric high.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

In its purest form, heroin is a fine white powder—though different manufacturing methods can results in lower quality heroin that will take on a brown, granulated appearance. On the street, heroin can have a wider variety of appearances, depending on creation methods and purity levels. Distributes and heroin dealers often mix less expensive drugs or chemicals with pure heroin, in order to increase profits and lower production costs. Powdered heroin is often encased in vials or enveloped in folded pieces of paper when a single dose is purchased.

Signs of Use or Abuse:

  • Sudden changes of behavior
  • Small pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Disorientation
  • Needle track marks on arms
  • Hyperactive alertness followed by suddenly nodding off (fading in and out of consciousness)
  • Burnt silver spoons laying around
  • Foil or wrappers with burn marks
  • Needles or syringes with no known medical purpose
  • Pipes
  • Users tend to avoid eye contact
  • Lack in interest of hobbies or motivation
  • Poor work performance or sudden loss of employment
  • Makes frequent comments about poor body image or a lack of self-esteem
  • Stealing or borrowing money from loved ones then disappears for an extended time
  • Wears long pants and long sleeves in hot weather to cover up track marks

Is Heroin Legal?

No. Heroin is considered a Schedule I Drug in the United States, it is illegal to make, sell, trade, or possess. According to the Controlled Substances Act in the United States, Schedule I drugs like heroin must induce a euphoric “high,” carry a high likelihood of abuse, and be unsafe to use, with commonly accepted medical use.

Side Effects of Heroin (Short Term & Long Term):

  • Reduce feeling of pain
  • Sedation
  • Slow heart rate
  • Lower than usual body temperature
  • Itchy skin
  • Weight  loss
  • Liver disease
  • Bacterial infections
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths
  • Shortness of breath
  • Clouded mind
  • Collapsed veins
  • Risk of overdose, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and death

 

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.

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