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malibu rehab

Concerns Grow for Alcohol Abuse During Coronavirus Lockdown

Concerns Grow for Alcohol Abuse During Coronavirus Lockdown

By Jennifer McDougall

While many people are stuck at home, finding themselves bored, with more time on their hands than they know what to do with, the number of people abusing drugs and alcohol is on the rise. According to Nielsen data, alcohol sales have risen 55 percent in the week ending March 21.

“U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales.” – AP News

Evidently liquor stores are considered essential businesses in the United States, making buying alcohol convenient and available during this time of crisis. The trouble is that as more people flock to the liquor stores and back home to indulge in toxic self-soothing remedies to cope with the current pandemic, not only are these people exposing themselves to public places during a time where the majority of us should be staying home, the probability of them becoming dependant on substances increases dramatically. Fortunately, there are many resources for people who are struggling with drug and alcohol dependencies, such as here at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers.

Mental health is also a big concern for people in quarantine and struggling to stay calm with productive activities to help pass the time. More people than probably ever before are having a difficult time lowering feelings of stress and anxiety, causing them to crave substances to numb the pain and discomfort.

A lack of meaningful connections such as support from those who share common interests as you who are there for you to lean on and care about you causes a sense of disconnect during this time of quarantine. What we need to embrace most of all right now is staying connected with one another through text messaging, video chatting, and social media so that we can maintain and a healthy level of connectivity to each other. When people feel lonely or withdrawn from society, they tend to move towards drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the pain of their feeling of not being part of the community or a strong support system.

At Passages Malibu, we offer a true alternative to 12-step addiction rehab. We have been providing holistic therapy for people seeking a non-disease model, non-AA, cutting-edge treatment since 2001.

Our alternative treatment program is designed to completely heal all aspects of your life damaged by addiction, including your physical health, your professional & personal relationships, your self-esteem, and more. No two programs are alike, and each alternative treatment plan is customized for you, by you, with your specific situation in mind.

At Passages Malibu, you can expect the very best from our alternative approach to addiction treatment:

  • We will truly represent the definition of holistic treatment, which means we heal the entire person, from the inside out, through a variety of different methods that address mental, physical, and spiritual health.
  • We will treat each client with respect and dignity, and we will never employ punitive treatment methods.
  • We believe that every person is dealing with unique circumstances, and therefore we make every treatment plan unique and do not adhere to the one-size-fits-all group approach.
  • We will focus on healing the underlying issues that are causing you to use drugs or alcohol, and we acknowledge that drug or alcohol abuse is a symptom of a larger underlying problem.
  • We will never make you declare yourself powerless with a disease.
  • We are accredited by the Joint Commission (JCAHO) and licensed by the State of California to offer drug and alcohol treatment, and we utilize diverse therapeutic disciplines from across the world in our program.

What sets Passages apart is that we thoroughly address and treat every aspect of dependency. Our alternative approach to drug and alcohol rehabilitation is ultimately very straightforward: We do not believe that you are powerless against addiction, and we emphasize healing instead of labeling.

Don’t live the rest of your life one day at a time – live fully, peacefully, and free from addiction with the help of our alternative addiction treatment program.

Concerns Grow Over Alcohol Abuse During Coronavirus Lockdown

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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Passages Malibu: The World’s Most Luxurious Treatment Center

At Passages Malibu, we want you to feel comfortable and safe in our luxurious non-12-step environment. We offer the best inpatient addiction treatment there is. Our philosophy comes from many years of hands-on experience and research by top professionals in the field of medicine and addiction treatment. To learn more about Passages Addiction Treatment Centers, please visit our website at


Call Passages 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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Learning to be With Your Pain Instead of Escaping It

By Jennifer McDougall

Pain is the most common reason behind addiction. It comes in many forms; physical, mental, and emotional pain. It stems from the brain and flows into your central nervous system. An extreme amount of pain and discomfort can potentially send you right over the edge, but if you listen closely, it can also be the most helpful thing that can happen for you. The majority of people who seek medical attention or temporarily relief through the use of drugs and alcohol do so, because they are experiencing some sort of pain. It is in fact, a survival mechanism to help protect your body. Those who are born without the ability to feel things due to issues within the central nervous system typically do not live long healthy lives. We must understand the importance of being able to feel everything our bodies are trying to communicate to us. When people use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain, their perceptions towards situations are altered, along with their consciousness and they increase the risk of making really lousy decisions.

Whether it’s from abuse (of any kind), trauma, fear, anxiety, or physical ailments; we have all felt pain one way or another. Throughout this journey in life, we must all learn to adjust to the changes that come and go. One thing that is guaranteed is change itself. Change is inevitable. What is causing your pain and sorrow one day could be gone the next.  By trying to escape pain there is an immense potential of making matters extremely worse for ourselves and those we love. It’s important to be fully conscious and aware of our surroundings so that we can make good decisions and know when something is not right. Because of perhaps the horrible things that have happened in your life your body reminds you when something feels off or dangerous. When our heart breaks for the first time we learn to be more cautious in future relationships. When we cut our finger slicing veggies, or burn our hand on a hot pan, we learn to be more careful in the kitchen. When we have our first car accident we learn to be more aware of others on the road and pay close attention to what’s going on around us at all times. Pain teaches us lessons in life and that’s something we shouldn’t ignore.

There are times in your life when you may be stressed, overwhelmed, broken, hurt beyond belief, and sad over a loss. Pain is a natural feeling that is meant to be felt. To be with your pain means to accept what is happening in your life and throughout your body. We have a natural right to feel everything that this sometimes cruel and unfair world throws at us. The best part about all of it is that you have a choice. You can either choose to accept what is, let go of what is not (anymore), and cope with an attitude of optimism that circumstances will improve.

Your mind and body must heal from the pain you have experienced over time. This can be done by using therapy methods such as the ones used at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. For anyone who is or has suffered with emotional, mental, or physical pain, knows the discomfort that can be debilitating. When you experience pain there is an instant shock-wave like feeling that erupts and at times, it feels so uncontrollable. When this happens, you must first practice deep breathing and try to remain calm.

Reaching for the bottle or a substance to get high isn’t the solution. When you find yourself in a situation where you are sinking deep with a weight of pain; call a friend, go for a quiet walk, have a cup of tea, write in a private journal, or turn up your favorite song and sing it out loud. Life is better when you can learn to manage your pain instead of escaping it. Other means of pain relieve can also be helpful such as acupuncture, massage, meditation, and stretching exercises. A healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and 7-8 hours of nightly rest will also help.



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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Photo by: Jennifer McDougall

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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10 Ways to Overcome Symptoms of Depression

By Jennifer McDougall

Depression affects millions of people across the world; of all ages. In many cases, those who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety disorders, as well as, drug and alcohol addictions. It is not uncommon for those suffering from depression symptoms to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to temporarily numb the pain and regain a pinch of satisfaction. The problem with this type of outlet is that it tends to lead to an array of health problems, emotional stress, loss of clarity and mental focus, as well as financial and relationship trouble.

When someone is feeling depressed they may not reach out immediately for help or want to talk about what is causing them to feel alone and hopeless. There are many situations and circumstances that can cause a person to feel this way. It could be due to loosing a job, breakup, financial struggle, loss of a loved one, poor diet, lack of exercise and outdoor activity, or major change at home or work. They may not feel like they add up to the expectations drawn out for them. Without supportive friends and family members, many of the difficulties we face in life tend to be much more challenging.

Many of us go through certain phases in life; we experience changes in our relationships, finances, and careers. Through those changes it is important to remain focused on our goals so that we don’t get overwhelmed with the “what if’s”, “why not’s”, “how come’s” and “what now.”

It is not uncommon for someone to experience symptoms of depression a few times throughout their lives. What matters most is what to look out for and know how to treat these symptoms before things take a downward spiral towards physical harm, addiction, or suicide.

Here are a several signs that you or someone you care about is suffering with depression.

  • An overwhelming sense of sadness
  • Loss of concentration and interest
  • On-going negative thoughts and comments
  • Excessive drinking or use of drugs
  • Aggression or reckless behavior
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Little to no motivation or enthusiasm
  • Extreme changes in appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts or remarks

Depression is not something to ever feel ashamed of. It affects millions of people who have managed to overcome the symptoms and go on to live a happy and healthy life. Here are 10 ways to overcome the dark dreary symptoms of depression.

  1. Connect with friends and family who help motivate and support you in a positive way.
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep.
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Meditate
  5. Eat healthy.
  6. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  7. Add lighting and spruce up your living space.
  8. Journal your thoughts, ideas, and day-to-day experiences.
  9. Watch feel-good or funny movies.
  10. Change up your worn out routine.

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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Common Questions About Passages Malibu Addiction Rehab

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Passages Malibu

By Jennifer McDougall

1. When you say you’re a non-12 Step addiction treatment center, what does that mean?

Passages Malibu offers a holistic approach to treating addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our one-on-one treatment program focuses on healing the underlying conditions that are causing you to use drugs or alcohol. Our holistic program empowers, educates, and puts people in touch with their true selves. Unlike other treatment centers or addiction recovery organizations, we do not label you an addict nor do we believe that you have a disease. We believe addiction is caused by one or more of four unhealthy mental conditions that can be identified and restored to a healthy state with help from caring, knowledgeable therapists. We believe that every individual can maintain sobriety, as a natural state of mind, without the need for continual support from a sponsor.

AA demands that you declare you are powerless over drugs and alcohol. At Passages, we believe that you have the power to triumph over even the most powerful addiction to drugs and alcohol. To speak at an AA meeting, it is required that you label yourself as an addict, an alcoholic, or both. At Passages, Believes that it is detrimental in the extreme to continually identify yourself as an addict or alcoholic.

In 1935, Bill W. and Bob S started, “Alcoholics Anonymous.” In 1939, Bill W. wrote the text of their book: “Alcoholics Anonymous.” In 2001, Chris and Pax Prentiss pioneered Passages, their non-12 Step program. In 2007, they authored “The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure.” Our innovative approach to treating addiction was long overdue. The AA/12 Step model is an outdated and imprisoning approach. Passages has helped saved the lives of thousands of people from all over the world who have come to treatment at Passages Addiction Treatment Centers.

2. Isn’t Passages Malibu only for the rich and famous? I could never afford to come there for rehab.

Many people do not know this, but Passages accepts most types of insurance expect for Medicare and Medicaid. People from all walks of life, all over the world come to Passages for addiction treatment. It is very easy to receive your free quote for treatment at Passages. All you need to do is either call our admissions office at (888) 397-0112 or visit and submit your insurance information.

3. Southern California has dozens of treatment centers with ocean views, how is Passages Malibu any different?

The therapy at Passages is first class. No other treatment center in the world compares to the quality of care we provide. We offer the equivalent of years’ worth of individual therapy sessions in a 30-day program at Passages. This allows for intensive work that gets to the core of the issues driving addiction rather than focusing solely on the substance use itself. The advantage of this approach is that clients receive a more significant amount of insight and tools to change their lives in a meaningful way then.

When you participate fully in our holistic treatment program at Passages, the benefits are tremendous. We offer a completely balanced program that includes intense one-on-one therapy sessions and relaxing methods such as yoga, hiking, spiritual counseling, art therapy, sound therapy, massage, acupuncture, metaphysics group, meditation, hypnotherapy, and tai-chi.

4. Will I have access to my phone and computer during my time at Passages?

We allow you to have access to your cell phone and laptop during your stay with us at Passages. We also have several computers available for client use. We believe it is important to stay connected with friends and family during rehab.

5. I don’t feel comfortable sitting in group meetings discussing the most intimate details of my addiction. Does Passages offer a space for private therapy sessions so I can speak openly about my underlying issues?

Our unique and non-12 Step approach to healing the underlying conditions of substance abuse related issues includes customized program options for each one of our clients. At Passages Malibu, we offer a variety of individual treatment sessions such as acupuncture & massage, acupuncture, chemical dependency counseling, continuing care, health & fitness evaluation, hypnotherapy, marriage and family therapy, music therapy, personal training, psychotherapy, and spiritual counseling.

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Passages Malibu

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Passages 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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How to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

By Jennifer McDougall


Many of us ask ourselves this simple question, “What was I put on this earth to do?” The answer is different for every person. What we do- which direction we decide to take is purely up to us. No one can decide where our future lies besides our own individual selves.

When we take a step back and look at our lives, we see an array of choices that have lead us to this exact point. In every moment we breathe, think, and live in a reality we create for ourselves. If you find yourself unhappy and losing focus on the things that bring you joy, you may need to re-center your energy into what it is that you were put on this earth to do.

Through our skills and talents there lies something very special within every one of us that we were created to share with the world.

Many of us have often felt lost and confused. We have been in the middle of a cold fog without a clue of where to go next. With technology being the leader in our day to day lives, it’s no wonder why many of us feel overwhelmed with the amount of opportunities and choices available to us. Now more than ever we have the power to choose where we live, who we marry, if we marry, how far we travel, what we drive, wear, eat, and do.

People all across the world have the luxury of having so many options and choices they can make. The downside of that is no one can seem to decide what it is they want to do with their lives.  That is why it is important to set your sights on the things that bring you the most happiness and fulfillment at the end of each and every day.

For some, it is creating works of art that opens the eyes of others to see a perspective on something that is so abstract and brilliant that it changes the way people see the world. For others, it’s running a successful empire that conducts business in such a way that has never been done before.  There are those who hope to advocate for a nonprofit organization and help save the lives of people in less fortunate circumstances.

Finding your life purpose is a process that you should not hesitate to aim for. Read these 5 simple tips that will help you narrow down what it is that you were created to do here on earth.

  1. Write down the top 10 things you enjoy doing the most outside of work.

Think of what makes you smile the most. Ask yourself what causes you care most about? If you could teach something, what would it be? Dig deep and find what matters most to you.

  1. Use exercise and meditation to gain mental clarity.

Being active is a good way to clear your mind. It is also a great way to see where your mind wanders when you’re not busy working on other things. More importantly, it will help you preserve balance in times of excitement and distress.

  1. Listen to what other people say about your strengths and weaknesses.

They have the insight to see what best suits your abilities, personality, and skills.

  1. Embrace moments of solitude.

Put your cell phone away for at least an hour every night, and disconnect from the world and chaotic things happening outside the four walls that surround you.

  1. Find what brings you true inspiration.

It could be music, a specific person, an activity, or a book. Whatever it is that reveals inspirational qualities specifically for you is what your subconscious mind feeds from. That is the heart of your soul’s wish. That is what you should pay close attention to.


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

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

Follow Passages Malibu on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Also read: Life Purpose Counseling at Passages Malibu.


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10 Ways to Build Courage

By Jennifer McDougall

Wouldn’t it be great if fear would just get out of the way so that we could make the moves we spend hours daydreaming about? Well, I have 10 suggestions that will help you overcome the fear and anxiety that is holding you back from living a courageous life.

Courage- Mark Twain

1. Identify what is you are afraid of.

2. Practice doing things you haven’t done before. This will help you become more bold in your actions and will open you up to new ideas and perspectives.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”- Neale Donald Walsch

3. Visit somewhere you have never been before. Take a different route home from work.

4. Speak from the heart.

5. Stand up for someone. It could be a total stranger or your best friend.

6. Express yourself with your style. Dress how you feel. Wear what you want. Use your personal style as a form of art to express yourself.

7. Trust yourself.

8. Know that no matter the outcome, what happens is exactly what is meant to happen. The universe makes no mistakes.

9. Try out new restaurants you don’t usually go to.

10. Admit when you are wrong.


Call us today at: (888) 397-0112.


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Marijuana Addiction and Treatment

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

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




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Behavioral Addictions vs Substance Addictions

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

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

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


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

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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

Beyond the Genetics Model for Addiction

Over the years, the addiction industry has insisted on the genetic model of addiction as the only acceptable paradigm. However, while genetics can certainly be a contributing factor to the development of drug addiction or alcoholism, it often only offers a partial picture. In fact, twin studies and other scientific research show that genetics only plays a percentage part in the development of addiction, with at least half of the equation attributable to emotional and psychological factors. Beyond the genetics model for addiction, we can consider a holistic view of alcoholism and drug dependency that acknowledges the minor genetic component, but seeks to find resolvable root causes that have led to alcoholism and addiction in the first place.

Reaching Beyond the Genetics Model for Addiction

While genetic predisposition can play a role in the development of drug or alcohol addiction, it likely isn’t the core cause of either condition. In fact, there are four other major reasons that alcoholism and drug addiction develop in dependent individuals.

  • Chemical Imbalance
    Chemical imbalances occur in the body due to two main reasons. Sometimes, preexistence medical conditions cause dependent individuals to self-medicate by using alcohol or drugs. In other instances, chemical imbalances become created by alcohol or drug intake itself, as dosage amount and frequency increase. As alcohol or drug use develops and escalates, the “need” to use heightens, as chemical changes become triggered in the brain and withdrawal begins to kick in during the time in between uses. In fact, research has shown that as little as a single drink daily can lead the body to initiate a chemical imbalance, predictably leading to alcohol dependency as time passes.
  • Unresolved Emotional Pain
    Buried emotional trauma or heartache often lies at the core of alcohol or drug addiction. In these cases, the mind has repressed and refused to deal with lingering memories due to the inner turmoil, anger, fear or intense sorrow they have caused. As a result, alcohol or drug use becomes a means of escaping these memories, and as a way to compensate for the emotional and psychological damage they have wrought.
  • Inability to Cope With Life Challenges
    We learn our coping strategies quite young, and some of us didn’t have the best role models for dealing with life’s inherent challenges. We also might encounter personal tragedies, peer pressure, toxic or abusive situations, heartbreak or job loss, leading us to feel unable to manage our situations and ourselves. As a result, drug addiction or alcoholism become a shortcut to lasting coping strategies.
  • Negative Self Views
    Many alcohol or drug dependent individuals suffer from incredibly low self-esteem. Often received by others’ negative voices, or due to a lack of correct perspective on life events, negative self views prevent us from treating ourselves with dignity and respect. As a result, many alcohol or drug dependent individuals “throw in the towel,” believing themselves to be incapable or unworthy of accomplishment, enjoyment, love or healing.


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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