Browsing Tag

getting sober

How to Know if You Need Addiction Rehab

By Jennifer McDougall

Many people who become dependent on drugs and alcohol to get through the day or night, don’t plan to end up in that condition. They may have started as a teenager or young adult, surrounded by peers and influences who lead them down the path that brought them to where they are now. It’s unlikely for a person to become addicted to drugs and alcohol intentionally. It usually happens over time. First, it seems like fun, and then the fun turns into trouble, adds complication to life, physical issues begin to arise, and the addiction entirely takes hold and works against you in every way possible. That is the situation many people experience, and what we want to tell you is that there is hope for positive changes to be made when the addicted person decides to get the help they need.

Signs You Need Rehab Now

  1. Your drug of choice has become a priority above and before anything else in your life
  2. Your physical and mental health is suffering due to your substance use
  3. You come up with every excuse to get high
  4. You have tried to quit on your own but have not been able to stay sober
  5. Your relationships have become strained
  6. You have been struggling at work or calling in sick because you’re hungover
  7. You continue to do reckless things under the influence only to wake up and regret everything in the morning
  8. You lie about how often you use
  9. You’ve experienced legal troubles due to drugs and alcohol
  10. You’re missing out on important obligations (meetings, anniversaries, birthdays, paying the bills on time, or not completing assignments on time)

At Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura, we understand that addiction is caused by four main 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

It is common for a person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol to be in denial of having a problem or needing any help. In many cases, they refuse to go to treatment until they genuinely step back and see the situation for everything that it is. Usually, that requires an outside person such as an interventionalist to come in and talk to the individual calmly and soundly.

When relationships are falling apart, deadlines are no longer being met, responsibilities are not being handled, legally matters occur, and physical health is on the decline it should cause for a serious analysis of what is going on with that person and what needs to be done to help improve the overall quality of life for the individual struggling to stay afloat.

“We recognize that you’ve used substances to try to regain your lost balance, to try to feel the way you did before the need arose to use addictive drugs or alcohol. We know that you use substances to alter your mood, to cover up your sadness, to ease your heartbreak, to lighten your stress load, to blur your painful memories, to escape your hurtful reality, or to make your unbearable days or nights bearable.”
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

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™

How to Identify and Heal the Root Cause of Addiction

How to Identify and Heal the Root Cause of Addiction

By Jennifer McDougall

“At the bottom of every person’s dependency, there is always pain, Discovering the pain and healing it is an essential step in ending dependency.”
― Chris Prentiss, The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure

If you are someone who has been struggling with addiction and want to end the cycle and start living a life you’re proud of, you’ve come to the right place. At Passages, we understand how difficult it is to break free from substance abuse-related issues. Our founders, Chris and Pax Prentiss experienced it first hand when Pax as struggling with an addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. His father, Chris, fought long and hard to do whatever it took to save his son’s life. It was not until Pax discovered WHY he was using and then began applying holistic therapy methods such as the ones utilized at Passages, to finally end the cycle of his addiction and substance-abuse related problems.

At the core of any addiction is a root cause. Pinpointing that cause is a significant part of the healing process. Many people have unresolved trauma from their childhood. We work with clients from all walks of life that come to us from all over the world and the most common reason people use drugs and alcohol is that they are experiencing some sort of pain or discomfort in their life.

At Passages Malibu, we focus on healing the underlying conditions that are causing you to use drugs and alcohol. We do this by utilizing a highly individualized treatment program with therapists who are experienced in healing the underlying causes of addiction. We do not use the 12-Step program because we believe that it teaches a philosophy that is detrimental to healing and can lead to relapse. Our holistic one-on-one approach is far superior to the 12-Step program and offers state-of-the-art services that will keep you engaged and enthusiastic about healing. During treatment, you will feel empowered, instead of powerless. We do not label you an addict or alcoholic nor do we believe that you have a disease. We have found that damaging labels, such as addict and alcoholic, rob you of your true identity.

It’s the treatment philosophy at Passages that sets us apart from all other rehab centers in the world. We choose to empower you and heal your underlying conditions, rather than label you an addict and tell you that you have a disease.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we believe that addiction is caused by four specific underlying conditions. If you’re abusing drugs and alcohol, you have at least one of these underlying conditions present which needs to be healed in order to achieve permanent sobriety. Please look at the four possible underlying conditions and see if you are aware of which one you have (or if you have more than one).

1. A Chemical

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

Making yourself aware of how you feel when you begin to crave drugs or alcohol is a good indicator or what is motivating your choices and behavior. Next time you have an urge, pay attention to your surroundings, what was said, what just happened that triggered you and then you can begin to take better control of the problem at hand and begin healing every aspect of the substance abuse related issues in your life that have been holding you back from living your best, most true and authentic life that you deserve.

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™

7 Common Challenges in Early Days of Sobriety

7 Common Challenges in Early Days of Sobriety

By Jennifer McDougall

Getting sober is one of the bravest and at times a very challenging journey. In the early days of sobriety, many people may feel uncomfortable when being invited out, at social events, coping with triggering events, telling people they no longer drink, in intimate settings, or while being present in a scenario where there may be drugs or alcohol being offered. Taking an honest look at potential situations that could test your sobriety is an important task while ensuring you have a plan and feel prepared to take on any challenge that comes your way.

Getting sober is one thing; staying sober is another. Your new drug and alcohol-free lifestyle will require you to put your foot down more often, feeling confident when saying, “No” and having no guilt in declining offers to participate in risky behavior that could lead to relapse. It is understandable the struggle that many people face in newfound sobriety during an epidemic of alcohol addiction and drug abuse– the temptation when life throws you a curveball or when you’ve had a tough day. These are still no excuses to go back to your old ways.

Practicing new and healthy coping mechanisms is an essential component in maintaining stability and strength building techniques for lasting sobriety. Here are 7 common challenges people experience in early sobriety.

  1. BOREDOM. Finding things can do may seem challenging in the early stages of sobriety. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of 30 fun things you can do alone or with friends and family to enjoy sober.
  2. SAYING NO TO PEER PRESSURE. Often times when a person gets sober it can feel difficult dealing with pressure from others to join them in drinking or using drugs. One thing to remember is that this is an opportunity to be reminded that you need to focus on your sober journey. If you are surrounded by people who do not support your sobriety, it’s time to find yourself a new group of friends. Anyone who continues to pressure you into using isn’t someone you need in your life.
  3. DATING. Whether it is a new relationship or someone you have been seeing for a while, it’s important to be clear to them that you are sober. If it is the first date and you don’t feel comfortable discussing why you got sober, etc it’s okay to just have a non-alcoholic beverage, tell him/her that you don’t drink, and move on to asking questions about the other person. This way it takes the pressure off you while you continue to be true to your sobriety and get to know the person you’re out with. Another aspect is keeping a watch on co-dependency behavior. Read: The Connection Between Codependent Relationships and Addiction
  4. Coping with emotions. Long-term drug and alcohol abuse cause damage to the brain and other bodily organs. You may experience emotions that you haven’t felt in many years and could feel overwhelming at times. These emotions commonly include anger, sadness, and irritation. As you begin rebalancing your mind, body, and spirit through holistic healing and healthy coping techniques such as yoga, meditation, massage therapy, psychotherapy, and physical fitness training, you will gain strength to get through difficulties that arise more easily.
  5. Increased energy and insomnia. Trouble sleeping is common in many people who are in early recovery from substance abuse related issues. Without medicating yourself, there are many healthy remedies to get a good night sleep such as exercise, journaling, essential oils, and creating a calm atmosphere. Read: 5 Things to do Before Bed to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life
  6. Managing stress. One of the best ways to manage stress is to maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and breathing techniques. Many people find comfort and peace when connecting to creative outlets such as photography, writing, painting, sculpturing, or gardening. Read: The Best 5 Ways to Reduce Stress From Your Life Today
  7. Financial setbacks. Budging your finances is important no matter if the money is flowing in or if you’ve recently experienced a setback. Impulse buying or retail therapy is a common and unhealthy coping mechanism for people in early recovery. Be mindful of your sudden urges to buy a new outfit or big purchase that you either don’t need or is out of your current budget.

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™

What is Alcohol Rehab like at Passages Malibu

What is Alcohol Rehab Like at Passages Malibu

By Jennifer McDougall

Many people who are addicted to alcohol experience a great deal of mental, physical, and emotional turmoil as their health fades due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Getting help for alcohol addiction at Passages Malibu is the best choice you can make if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms.

Signs You Need Rehab for Alcohol Addiction:

  • Strong urges to consume alcohol to cope with current conditions
  • Unable to stop drinking
  • Legal problems pertaining to alcohol-related incidents such as violence, DUI, and robbery
  • Regularly drinking more than originally intended
  • A spiral downfall in work due to drinking habits such as calling out sick often, missing deadlines, and other poor work patterns
  • Increased financial issues due to alcohol-infused decision making
  • Neglect of personal and professional responsibilities
  • Troubles in your marriage or other interpersonal relationships
  • A decline in physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing
  • Noticeable changes in appearance such as weight gain
  • Forgetting what has been done when drinking (blacking out)
  • Continuing to drink despite a health problem

At Passages Malibu, we provide our clients with a holistic and customized treatment program to help discover and heal the underlying conditions causing an individual to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Our board-certified therapists are focused on creating a safe space for all clients to thrive in their healing process. It is our mission to see that every person who walks through our door is treated with decency and respect. We do not label you an addict or an alcoholic. Instead, we choose to empower our clients and give them the tools they need to break free from addiction with the help of our various treatment methods. Our treatment center is JCAHO accredited and has been rated “The Number 1 Rehab Center in The World” by Healthcare Global.

We pride ourselves in state-of-the-art quality care. At Passages Malibu, we offer more one-on-one private therapy sessions than most other rehab centers in the world. If you are ready to get healthy, discover your true life purpose, and live in such a way you can feel proud of, you have arrived to the right place.

Luxury Amenities at Passages Malibu:

  1. 24/7 Nursing staff
  2. Passages accepts most insurance policies, making it even more affordable to get the treatment you need and deserve.
  3. Receive individual therapy at Passages rather than non-stop group sessions such as what you would experience at most other rehab centers.
  4. 16 innovative therapy methods to help you discover and heal the underlying conditions to substance abuse related issues
  5. Permission to use your cell phone and laptop during tour stay with us, whereas most treatment centers take away these privileges. We believe it’s important to stay connected to friends and family while in treatment. We expect you to utilize good judgment for who you allow yourself to associate with.
  6. We have a tennis court, ½ basketball court, two swimming pools, two Jacuzzis, spectacular ocean views, a fully equipt gym with personal trainers, professional culinary team to provide you with exquisite meals and sweet treats throughout the day, a mini-golf course that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, access to musical instruments to play during your stay with us, adorable koi fish you can feed, housekeeping, and 24/7 nursing staff, and 10 acreas of Malibu paradise you will feel absolutely tranquil in as you heal from addiction-related issues.

Unlike other treatment centers, we do not believe addiction is a disease but rather a 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

At Passages Malibu, we offer the following 16 therapy methods:

  1. Acupressure and Massage
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Adventure Therapy
  4. Art Therapy
  5. Blood Chemistry Analysis
  6. Chemical Dependency Counseling
  7. Continuing Care
  8. Hypnotherapy
  9. Marriage and Family Therapy
  10. Meditation Therapy
  11. Physical Fitness
  12. Psychotherapy
  13. Sound Therapy
  14. Spiritual Counseling
  15. Tai Chi
  16. Yoga

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.

For additional resources, please read: Passages Malibu Alcohol Rehab

Surprising Benefits of Sobriety

By Jennifer McDougall

Imagine for a second the perfect life. Imagine yourself living as your most healthy, stable, and spiritual self. This reality is possible when being healing from the underlying causes of your drug and alcohol addiction related issues. At Passages, we provide holistic therapy for substance abuse related issues that have helped save and change the lives of thousands of people from all over the world.

Getting sober is one of the best and healthiest choices you may ever make in your life. Many people don’t how much sobriety can help improve the quality of your life and your overall health. For those who are living in denial of a drug or alcohol addiction, it will take a lot of convincing but we have seen people of all walks of life finally come to their senses and decide to get the help they need. The transformations are incredible. You too can experience great transformation.

At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit. When someone is addicted to substances, their destructive patterns deeply affect relationships, career, finances, physical appearance and so much more. If you have ever had to witness someone you love suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction you know how painful it is- to see someone you care about destroy their body and their life. If you are that person who is self-destructing through the use of drugs and alcohol, we want to encourage you to call Passages today at (888) 397-0112.

Rather than labeling you an addict or an alcoholic, at Passages we choose to encourage and empower you. Our team of professional addiction specialists are trained and certified in utilizing the most effective methods of therapy to help treat and heal the underlying conditions causing a person to use and abuse addictive substances.

Here are 10 of the biggest changes you may notice when you decide to get clean and sober:

  1. Ability to save more money and spend smarter without the disruption of intoxicated decision making and financial hangovers.
  2. Improved interpersonal relationships and the ability to make stronger connections to others on a deeper and more meaningful level than before.
  3. Stable career thanks to the lack of a physical, mental, and emotional hangover brought on previously from drugs and alcohol.
  4. Increased energy and motivation to take better care of yourself.
  5. Skin complexion drastically improves without the consumption of harmful chemicals found in drug and alcohol products.
  6. Cleaner and more respectable living spaces thanks to the lack of a mess that is typically created when a person is drunk or high. Also, when you are sober and living a healthy lifestyle, you may take up new decor or decide to rearrange your furniture.
  7. Enjoyment in things you are actually passionate about rather than going out and drinking and not making good use of your time and abilities. You may notice yourself having even more fun than you did before when you were drinking and using drugs.
  8. Discovery of mental clarity and inner peace.
  9. Get a better night sleep, every night.
  10. Long term health improvements that will have you living a healthy life without the use of drugs and alcohol.

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™

6 Benefits of Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

6 Benefits of Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab

by Jennifer McDougall

When you are looking for a treatment center that best suits your needs, it’s important to look at both options: inpatient and outpatient rehab. At Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, we offer several drug and alcohol rehabilitation options, including inpatient and outpatient rehab. Whether you have or have not been to treatment before, Passages offers the perfect setting to accommodate your needs for a successful recovery to get you back on your feet, sober and thriving with a new sense of purpose in your life.

Since 2001, Passages has treated people from all over the world heal their mind, body, and spirit with holistic therapy that has shown much success in breaking free from addiction. Our team of certified therapists are here to work with you to discover, treat, and heal the underlying conditions to what is driving your substance abuse related issues.

  1. Stay close to your family and friends
  2. Maintain your work or school attendance
  3. Spend less money than you would on inpatient treatment
  4. Network with others in your area who are also in recovery
  5. Schedule therapy sessions around your day-to-day responsibilities
  6. Ability to apply what you’re learning in therapy to your daily life as you come and go freely from treatment

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™

How wellness led me to rehab and transformation

How Wellness Led Me to Rehab and Transformation

by Karin Burns

I took a less traditional path to rehab than most people and avoided the DUIs, legal issues and job losses we typically associate with alcohol addiction by embracing change early in the progression of the issue and healing myself proactively with wellness. Since 2015 I have been attending wellness festivals, practicing yoga and helping my younger brother recover from alcohol abuse.

Along the way, I learned a lot about addiction and the power to heal ourselves but thought the lessons of sobriety were only applicable to my brother because I didn’t have a drinking “problem.” As my brother recovered he rediscovered his artistic talent, we opened a small pet portrait business and soon found ourselves on The Today Show, being honored for our story!

Unfortunately, I felt unhealthy and unhappy with the appearance, and that fall committed to finally lose the weight I had gained since college. My brother who had lost 50 pounds easily when he got sober encouraged me to stop drinking to lose weight, but I refused, unwilling to give up my favorite vice.

It was easy for me to deny any issues, most people didn’t even know about my secret binge drinking. It was something I did alone and was manageable until it wasn’t. It was not manageable for a long time, but like many people, I was in denial of the issue. I was able to easily hide it with my flexible, work from home position and frequent travel and compared to my homeless and unemployed brother my drinking issues were nothing.

After a missed presentation at a conference after a night of drinking in fall 2016, I received a final written warning, and I knew something had to change. It was the second alcohol-related write-up and forced me to evaluate my drinking on a much deeper level.

I struggled with the decision to get help for months and eventually decided to walk the labyrinth at the Serra Retreat in Malibu for guidance and help. The night before was Thanksgiving, and I got into a huge fight with my family and felt lost, alone and scared. As I packed my suitcase, I found a small piece of paper with an image and the words “May the red thread of Ariadne guide you to your true path. May you be filled with purpose” and as I realized the image was labyrinth chills went down my spine. I wondered where it came from and what it meant. This written note made me take the meditative walk more seriously, and I pondered deeply what was wrong with me and if I would end up homeless like my brother. If I had another incident, I would be fired, and I didn’t want to risk everything, so I committed to a sober 2017 and planned to quit drinking on January 1 for one full year to determine if my drinking was a problem.

After relapsing twice in the first ten days, both times drinking alone till I blacked out and threw up, I checked myself into Passages determined to change once and for all. I had tried to do it alone many times, the last time with support from a therapist, lots of books, a solid plan and still I had failed twice. I had never failed at something I put all my effort into and felt lost and hopeless.

Always a high achiever I never expected to be in rehab and felt embarrassed, ashamed and confused but fearful of what would happen if I didn’t get help. I had seen how much alcohol had taken from my younger brother and was terrified the same would happen to me. I also saw my brother’s remarkable transformation, so I was intrigued by the potential of sobriety, inspired by my sibling and the celebrities who had used rehab to transform and propel them to their best lives, like Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Elton John.

I researched the Passages website in detail and much to my surprise my fear slowly became excitement, and when I arrived in February 2017, I had reframed the experience in my mind as a “wellness retreat with a focus on addiction” rather than something to be ashamed or scared of. I wasn’t sure what to expect and spent most of the first days in detox alone, writing in my journal and keeping to myself. Eventually, I allowed myself to open up and relax and the next ninety days were the most important of my entire life.

I learned so much about how to find peace with the past, manage my anxiety about the future and uncover the issues that were driving my drinking in the first place. It truly was a wellness retreat with a focus on addiction. Every day I got to participate in various wellness activities like sound therapy or guided meditation and work on my issues in a peaceful and safe environment with people who shared the same struggle and talented and compassionate therapists.

Like myself, everyone in treatment had painful pasts that needed to be brought to light to heal. Ten years earlier I had gotten married right down the road at Our Lady of Malibu, but my marriage ended abruptly while I was pregnant after an incident of domestic violence.

Sadly I lost my baby ten days later and had to manage the loss of my home, marriage, husband, and baby all at the same time. I never had the time and place to heal from the losses and escaped over the years with alcohol, slowly needing more and more until it became unmanageable. Additionally, I had been a victim of a verbal, sexual and physical assault at earlier points in my life and had never had proper therapy to work through my pain. I had been escaping with alcohol since I was a teenager, but my work at Passages allowed me to let it go and taught me healthier coping skills to use in the future.

The most ironic thing about rehab is that it is full of life-changing ancient wisdom and healing rituals that would benefit everyone yet people refuse to go and would rather die than admit they need help. Instead, we spend our time and money at yoga, meditation, and retreats searching for wellness but then head to happy hour and numb ourselves with wine. Much to my surprise, I learned alcohol inhibits connection and destroys the mind, body and spirit connection we all are searching for.

For years I struggled to understand the place of alcohol in wellness and my yoga practice and Passages helped me understand the truth, that alcohol is toxic to the spirit and has no place in true wellness. This made so much more sense to me than the idea that I had some incurable invisible disease that can’t be tested for or cured. That story was just too hopeless for me.

We desperately need to change the way we treat addiction and substance abuse in our country so more people like myself get help early in the progression of the issue and no one has to suffer in silence while they continue a downward spiral deeper into addiction.

Life is inherently painful, and our world is getting more stressful every day, we are all trying to escape with something whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex or food. We all could benefit from learning healthier coping skills to manage stress and anxiety. We would all benefit from having a trusted therapist to help us come to peace with the past. At nineteen months sober I have no desire to drink and haven’t since the day I arrived in Malibu. There is no need to wait for a rock bottom or be ashamed to get help for addiction of any kind. There is hope.

How I Transformed My Body, Mind, and Spirit

After working on myself for three months, I returned home and set large goals for myself, as is my personality. I sell complex enterprise level software solutions and focus on transformational change so I am well versed in the steps of change and my years of technology implementation taught me how to implement change effectively for long-term success. I found the current process of addiction after-care to be inefficient so I set out to create a better system for myself.  What resulted is The Dry Diet – a daily wellness tool that can be used by anyone that wants to lose weight, save money and find true wellness with a more focused and effective approach than traditional diets. There is no need to declare yourself an alcoholic or feel that you will forever be an addict, we can all choose sobriety for wellness. I used it to lose 65 pounds, pay off 95K in debt, get promoted and become a yoga teacher in my first year of sobriety!

I love simplicity and minimalism as well as shapes and symbols. As you can see above the logo of The Dry Diet represents the plan. The 5 Core Pillars are all free, anyone can do them at any age, and they ensure that I am sober, well rested, hydrated and not abusing sugar as is common in recovery. The Three Extra Credits are individual and keep me balanced and connected as well as ensures that I only do things I enjoy for my sobriety. The inner triangle can be modified and used to achieve any goal – when I wanted to pay off debt an extra credit was not purchasing an expensive latte or selling an item to pay down debt.  

Using this system helped me incorporate wellness into my daily life and make it as important as my job and not just something that I can do “when I have the time.” Without this system that ensures that I am taking care of my mind, body, and spirit on a daily basis I will find myself back in the addictive cycle, as we will always be drawn to what is familiar or the temptation of an easy escape. Change happens one day at a time so every day I keep myself focused on the future rather than stuck in the past.

I celebrated my first year of sobriety by having professional photographs taken so I could look back on them in years to come when I feel tempted to drink to remember how happy and healthy sobriety is for me. I also splurged on a week at the beach in a fancy hotel, spa treatments and a shopping spree for new clothes to mark the occasion as special and important; Having this celebration trip to look forward to kept me very motivated. My goal is to get back on The Today Show with my transformation body!

My brother and I on the Today Show! He looked healthy and sober and I looked heavy and unhealthy.
Before and after getting sober 
The photo to the left was taken the last night I binged drank at home, the after pic in Venice during my one-year sober celebration!













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™

Am I An Addict? | Passages Addiction Treatment Centers

Am I An Addict?

By Dr. Kerri Heath

“You will see it when you believe it.” –Wayne Dyer

This is a very tough question to answer.  An addict is someone whose life is controlled by alcohol or drugs.  Anyone who has struggled with substance abuse has told themselves many times that they “have it under control.” But what is the breaking point? When does a person who uses substances cross over to becoming an addict? What is the point of no return?  Only you can answer this question for yourself.  Don’t let anyone else define you or tell you that you are an addict.

Addiction is a behavior and should not become a label.  If it is a behavior then it can be changed but if it is a description or label, it is harder to overcome.  Your mental model is extremely important when trying to decide if you are an addict or not.  Dr. Wayne Dyer stated that “you’ll see it when you believe it” which describes the importance of making a distinction between being an addict and having addictive behaviors.  If you believe that you are an addict that is what will become your reality.

I have visited Alcohol Anonymous classes on a variety of occasions in order to answer this question for myself.  This group of loving and inclusive people create a safe space to open up about personal struggles. They find ways to help each other maintain abstinence from the substances or behaviors that lead to addiction. The meetings are consistently warm and welcoming, no matter what part of the world you are in. These 12-step programs give people a roadmap for which they can surrender their addictions, process difficult experiences and begin to form new habits and patterns.

The first thing I encountered at AA meetings is a group of accepting individuals that introduce themselves by stating that they are alcoholics. They make it seem so easy to say, however, I never felt comfortable introducing myself by saying, “Hi, I am an alcoholic.”  It never sat right with me. I did feel the pressure from others to label myself an addict because of the negative consequences that substances have initiated in my life.  I thought that people were judging me as being in denial or not ready to take the first step which is to “admit we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable.”  However, that statement seems helpless.  I have used substances in unhealthy ways to numb pain and deal with difficult situations, but I never felt like labeling myself a victim over a substance would be productive, so I refuse to label myself an addict.

Passages Addiction Treatment Centers believes that you can create a future where substances do not have a grip on your life.  They give you a chance at life without having to label yourself or play a victim role.  There is freedom in this.  If you also feel uncomfortable with the first step of surrendering your power over to alcohol, then this may be the rehabilitation center for you.  A team of professionals will walk alongside you to create a new reality, one where you are in full control of your future.


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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Power to Overcome Addiction

Power to Overcome Addiction: Three Steps to Freedom

By Dr. Kerri Heath

Admitting that you are facing a life-threatening problem like alcoholism and drug addiction can seem overwhelming.  Thoughts and excuses may run through your mind like “there is no way I can stop” or “I am not strong enough to quit.”  The pain and problems that you face might feel too big to face without the substances that numb the pain.  And no one should try to face this alone.

First, surround yourself with people who have beaten the deadly and debilitating struggles with addictions.  Passages is one of the few rehabilitation centers that can report stories of people who truly overcame addiction for good.  A home like Passages can become a source of strength, as you overcome addiction with a team of physicians, mental health professionals and spiritual teachers that help you find your new path in life.  The owner, Pax Prentiss, shares his story openly with every client about his journey towards freedom from addiction.  His story comforts and inspires others who also want to be liberated from addiction.  It is important to find people who have paved the way for you in your journey towards freedom.

Second, you must have faith in yourself.  There are so many stories about people who find healing once they believe it is possible.  If you do not believe you can change, then you most likely never will.  The 12-step programs initiate a belief that humans are powerless to substances and need to rely on an external higher power to assist them in the process towards freedom. Although it is important to develop a spiritual practice in the path towards recovery, it is also essential to come from a source of power and belief that you are in control. We can learn a lot from various religions around the world that try to empower people to believe in themselves in order to be freed from suffering.  In the Bible, we read many accounts where Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:30-34).  Buddha taught that the truth of suffering is also the path to end suffering. He believed that dealing with the pain was the only way to end it and be free.  Once you believe that healing is possible, and face the source of your pain, you will be amazed at how quickly your suffering can end.

Third, try to envision the greatest version of yourself.  Patti Davis, who was the daughter of President Ronald Reagan, wrote an essay in Newsweek’s “My Turn” about her addiction to cocaine and how grateful she would have been for a rehabilitation center like Passages.  After celebrating five years of freedom, she shared what helped her decide to stop using.  She no longer wanted to neglect the higher part of herself that shares a connection with the Divine (God).  This place of perfect joy, power, and bliss comes when we align with the Spirit of God that Patti described. The greatest version of you becomes a reality when you align with a higher purpose in life and a call to serve others.

When you are ready to face the pain, develop a spiritual practice, end the suffering and be free to create a new life of freedom, there is a family waiting to help you make the passage towards a new life at Passages in Malibu.


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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20 Fun Sober Date Ideas

20 Fun Sober Date Ideas

By Jennifer McDougall

Are you and your sweetheart looking for something fun to do, and would prefer not to be in an alcohol or drug infused environment? Well, that’s simple. Here are 20 ideas for the two of you love birds to enjoy some precious time together.

1. Take a hike

Get outside and enjoy the great outdoors together. Hiking is a wonderful form of exercise that the two of you can enjoy together and take photos along the way. Just don’t forget to bring a bottle of water with you!

2. Grab a cup of coffee together 

Find a unique little coffee shop nearby to sit down at, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee together. This is a good way to talk about what is on your mind and share a few good laughs.

3.  Lunch or Dinner Date

Who doesn’t love to eat? Go grab a bite somewhere neither of you have ever been before. This will be a fun experience for both of you and when you think about the place again you will think of each other, and remember the great time you shared, hopefully. Visit Eater to see all the best places to check out near you.

 4. Be tourists for a day 

Who cares if you’ve lived in the same city for the past 5 years; you probably have not explored everything the city has to offer! This is the time to go roam around and check out some of the places on your list you’ve been wanting to visit, but “haven’t had the time.” Visit Things To Do to see what there is to see and do in your city.

5. Go bowling 

You may be surprised to see how much better your game is without blurred vision and feeling off-balanced. There’s a much less chance you’ll slip and fall on the alley too. #ThanksSobriety

6. Dance Lessons

Whether you are a beginner or a skilled dancer, check out your local dance studios for you and your honey to swing in some fun on the dance floor. Don’t be shy! Get out there.

7. Ice Skating

Many cities have an indoor ice skating rink where you and your sweetheart can go ice skating all year round.

8. Go out for brunch

Switch things up and take your loved one out to a nice brunch. Get dressed up and take photos of one another while you dive into your favorite breakfast or lunch item.

9. Take a fitness class together

Break a sweat and shed some calories by getting involved in a fun fitness class. Look at available classes at the gym or local fitness studios. Groupon is a great place to find some local fitness deals.

10. Photography adventure

Plan a day for you and your sweetheart to get out visit a variety of fun and beautiful places in your city. Bring your camera and begin capturing priceless moments together.

11. Go for a boat ride

If you don’t have a boat of your own, visit a local marina and inquire information on renting a small boat for a couple hours. Get out on the open water and enjoy the tranquil scenery.

12. Improv show

Laugh the night away at a local improv show. These shows are usually inexpensive and a lot of fun.

13. Wander a bookstore

Go into a local bookstore and wander around. Browse through the store and pick out the books that spark your interest. Take about the different book titles, covers, and content with your loved one.

14. Visit a local fair or amusement park

Connect with your inner-child and ride some of  your favorite childhood rides.

15. Take a cooking class together

Those who cook together, stay together. Right? Well, maybe, but its certainly worth trying.

16. Take a mini vacation or road trip

Nothing like the feeling of freedom out on the open road. Enjoy some time away from your day to day routine and explore new places and new horizons with the one you love. Don’t forget the music and of course your camera too.

17. Have a nature picnic

Plan a nice little picnic lunch out in the fresh air. Go to a local park, beach, or even your backyard.

18. Get out the old board games

Who doesn’t love a game of Monopoly, or Life? How about Guess Who? There are so many fun board games we might have forgotten about over the years. Maybe its time to break them out and have a game night.

19. Spa day

Spa days are not just for women. Men deserve a spa day from time to time too. Call up a local day spa and reserve a spot for 2, where you and your boo can relax, de-stress, and recharge.

20. Stargaze

Grab a blanket and head outside when the sky is perfectly dark and the stars twinkle bright. Watch for shooting stars and  point out the Big Dipper. Men: don’t forget to bring an extra jacket for your lady in case its chilly outside!


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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Heal Anxiety Without Prescription Drugs

By Jennifer McDougall

You can feel it explode from your very core and spread through your entire body. Your heart is racing at an excessive rate and that tightness in the center of your belly sends several waves of discomfort making it hard for you to concentrate. Some people experience anxiety because of their own worries and fears. This can include a wide range of reasons, but no matter what that reasons are the truth is that anxiety is stealing your happiness and life is too short to be anything but happy!

What can you do to stop this dreadful feeling? The first thing you need to know is you don’t need prescription medicines to ease any of this tension; anxiety can be healed through natural remedies such as essential oils, breathing exercises, natural herbs, as well as many other techniques. Here are 10 ways you can naturally heal anxiety and live life more comfortable and breathe freely.

1. Meditation

2. Avoid drugs and alcohol

3. Take a break every now and then and cut yourself some slack from the overwhelming emotions of stress

4. Be sure you’re getting enough sleep

5. Limit your coffee/caffeine intake

6. Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day

7. Welcome good humor and laugh your day through the day

8. Eat well-balanced meals to maintain proper nutrition

9. Close your eyes for 10 seconds and take three deep breaths

10. Talk to a professional who can help you manage your stress and anxiety to avoid it becoming a life threatening problem


Also see:  Anxiety Disorders and Substance Abuse

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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Breaking Physical Dependency at Drug Rehab Centers

Drug addiction happens for complex reasons—some of them physical, while others are psychological, emotional and highly personal. Because of the intricate nature of drug addiction itself, breaking physical dependency to drugs can be best handled at a private inpatient drug rehab center, due to the varied and deep work that needs to be accomplished. Breaking physical dependency is the first priority, before the psychological or emotional reasons for your drug addiction can be treated. While it can be dangerous—and at best, foolhardy—to attempt to detox alone, private, inpatient drug rehab centers offer expertise, services and facilities to help you break the physical addiction to drugs, once and for all.

Breaking Physical Dependency at Private Inpatient Drug Rehab Centers

While each drug recovery program is unique, breaking physical dependency at private inpatient drug rehab centers should include the following aspects.

  • Supervised Drug Detoxification
    Drug dependency alters the production levels of neurotransmitters. After drug use ends, there is a lag before the body restores its normal level of these neurotransmitters, which causes of withdrawal. By treating the symptoms of withdrawal, supervised drug detox creates a period of abstinence so that the body to can resume its normal level of balanced neurotransmitter production.
  • Minimization of Withdrawal Symptoms
    Private inpatient drug rehab centers will never expect you to stick out withdrawal symptoms without assistance. In fact, many drug withdrawal symptoms can be alleviated with traditional medical care, nutritional aids, alternative medicine, and individualized counseling. During the withdrawal phase of recovery, professional detox facilities should be made available to you with round-the-clock medical supervision and a caring, compassionate staff to help ease you through the withdrawal process.
  • Treatment of Chemical Imbalances
    Once detox is completed, it is possible to diagnose and treat any chemical imbalances. Through the use of diagnostic tests, addiction professionals can assess metabolic rates and chemical or hormone levels that can indicate an underlying problem. By curing these physiological issues, the bonds of physical dependency are lessened.
  • Alternative Therapies for Long-Term Detoxification
    Drug addiction strips the body of nutrients, which can take a long to be replenished in the body. Targeted alternative therapies such as nutritional counseling, modified diet, supplements, and specialized exercise programs can restore vital nutrients to the body. Additionally, alternative medicine practitioners can aid detoxification and healing wroth massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and other holistic and eastern medicine treatments.

What Does Outpatient Addiction Rehab Offer?

Outpatient addiction rehab programs can make sense for individuals who do not need to attend inpatient treatment. By nature, outpatient rehab offers lower time commitment and financial investment for those undergoing alcohol and drug addiction treatment. While outpatient rehab is not for everyone, it can provide a viable option for those with financial, career or parenting obligations that would otherwise prevent an inpatient addiction treatment stay.

What Is Outpatient Addiction Rehab?

An outpatient addiction rehab center provides addiction recovery services to chemically dependent individuals—just on a more limited and short-term basis than inpatient addiction rehab tends to. While many outpatient program offerings are limited, they can still be a good fit for those who have less severe addictions that have only endured for relatively short time periods. Outpatient addiction rehab tends to be completed in a shorter time frame, with a weekly time investment, so it tends to be best for those who need less support and who take more initiative in their healing process.

What Does Outpatient Addiction Rehab Offer?

Here are the most common treatment types offered by outpatient addiction rehab programs—and for those who take full advantage of these resources, these offerings may be the key to regaining a safe, peaceful and productive sober life.


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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