Browsing Tag

non 12 step rehab

Passages Malibu Celebrates 16 Years of Luxury and Non-12-Step Addiction Treatment

By Jennifer McDougall


Since August 11, 2001, Passages Malibu has stood at the forefront of non-12-Step addiction treatment. When Passages Malibu opened its doors 16 years ago, Co-Founders Pax and Chris Prentiss forever changed the way addiction is viewed and treated. Passages Malibu was created after CEO and Co-Founder, Pax Prentiss fought to overcome his own battle with addiction for 10 difficult years. The treatment that is utilized at Passages is also what helped save Pax’s life and break the cycle of his addictions, for good.

Before the revolutionary holistic treatment offered at Passages Malibu was available, addiction was viewed as an incurable disease. This philosophy is accompanied by hopelessness, stigma, and shame. Passages chooses to empower those who are suffering with addiction so they can regain the hope, strength, and courage to get to the root cause of the issue causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. We don’t agree with the disease model of addiction for our research as shown that dependency is 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

The treatment model at Passages Malibu has helped saved the lives of thousands of people around the world. We are grateful for the opportunity to make such a positive impact on those who suffer. Whether it is you or someone you know who is struggling with dependency related issues, Passages can help.

What Makes Passages Malibu Different Than Other Treatment Centers

Unlike other rehab centers, Passages provides you with a comprehensive treatment plan in luxurious comfort and tranquil surroundings. When you enroll in one of our non-12-Step holistic treatment programs, you will be assigned to a team of specialized therapists that will help you get to the root cause of what is causing your dependency on drugs and alcohol. Our unique philosophy and top tier treatment team at Passages offers a genuine solution to what could be a fatal problem. If addiction is not properly treated in a timely manner it could be a matter of life or death. Don’t wait another day. Get the treatment you deserve, at Passages Malibu.

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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How to Make Life More Exciting

By Jennifer McDougall

Sometimes we slip into a rut, where life feels less than exciting and maybe a bit too mundane. What can you do to turn up the wick and liven up your burnt-out routine? At Passages, we encourage you step out of your comfort zone and shake up your routine so that you can thrive in life—without the use of drugs and alcohol. If you are someone who feels their life is not all that exciting, this article is for you.

Getting started, let’s evaluate how you are spending your down time. When you get home from work, or have free time at any given point during the day, what are you doing during that time? Are you taking the opportunity to learn something new or pick up a gratifying hobby? Have you gone anywhere different; away from your standard day-to-today stomping ground?

These are some of the questions you need to first ask yourself if you’re feeling a bit grey, or that you’re in a bit of a rut.

Maybe you are lacking social interaction. Maybe your motivation is at an all-time low. Maybe you have way too much quiet time and not enough courage to put forth the effort in making a change. If so, don’t feel hopeless. There are many things you can do to spice up your life and drive fuel to your inner flame. All it takes are a few changes; maybe even a strong dose of bravery to shake things up. Trust me, this dullness you’re feeling is only temporary—it will pass when you choose to do something about it. Within only 24 hours, with the power you have within yourself, you can begin living a life that is fulfilling and way more exciting.


  1. Shake up your morning routine a couple days a week. Starting the day off differently every so often will help increase your flow of creativity and motivation. Start by planning ahead the night before with 3 major key things you would like to accomplish before lunch time the next day.
  2. Host an event. It could be at your house, at a park, or a venue nearby. Invite friends and family or get involved with com to schedule something to involve the community and like-minded people who would be interested in attending.
  3. Get a make-over or a fresh new look that will have you feeling bold and confident. We don’t recommend taking drastic measures as this could affect your mental and emotional wellbeing. DO make a few minor adjustments to improve your look.
  4. Get out of the house. If you work from home, go work from a coffee shop, library, or park where you are around other people. Sign up for a fitness class or local sporting team to be a part of. Step out of your comfort zone.
  5. Go someplace locally that you’ve never been before, such as an art gallery, museum, book store, animal shelter, or park.
  6. Plan a trip and explore this incredible planet we are so fortunate to live on.
  7. Try a new recipe and invite some friends over for a sober dinner party.
  8. Go to a rock concert.
  9. Move around your furniture to mix up your living space a bit. Maybe add some fun lighting or buy a new piece of art.
  10. Take time to forgive yourself when you’re feeling bored. This is a sign of depression in which you need to look at your current circumstances and adjust your outlook. Remind yourself how fortunate you are to have the life you do. Make changes when necessary, but don’t beat yourself down with negative feelings of regret.


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 Venice Outpatient Rehab

After 14 years of leading in the drug and alcohol addiction treatment industry, we have opened our first outpatient rehab center, located in vibrant Venice, California. Much like the treatment offered at Passages Malibu and Passages Ventura, the outpatient center will offer non-12 step, holistic therapy methods that will help our clients discover and heal the underlying conditions which are causing them to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.

At Passages Venice, we offer a unique set of treatment methods to all of our valued clients. Unlike the cookie-cutter group approach offered by most rehab centers, our program is customized specifically for each client who walks through our doors. We consider each individual situation and scenario before a personal addiction treatment plan is introduced and implemented. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process.

We are proud to provide the following methods for addiction treatment at Passages Venice:

  1. Chemical Dependence Counseling
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Body Work
  4. Hypnotherapy
  5. Marriage and Family Therapy
  6. Various Group Therapy Sessions
  7. Life Purpose
  8. Continuing Care/ After Care
  9. Psychotherapy
  10. Spiritual Counseling

At Passages – 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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Read more about our Passages Venice Outpatient Rehab Facility at

Spring Equinox 2015: A Message From Chris Prentiss

“Hello, Everyone.

This is truly a magical time of the year. The forces of light and dark are equally balanced. All is in perfect order. This is a time when the light force is in the ascendancy, and the dark force is diminishing. That is true not only for the actual light of the sun, but also for the energy of our pretty little planet. Perfect harmony and balance  have been achieved. We are part of that. It is a fertile time of the year, not just for plants, trees and animals, but also for ideas, new resolutions, a time of forgiveness, for renewing friendships and ending conflicts  It is a time when plans can be fulfilled, long-held dreams carried out, and it is a time when the beneficial aspects of our universe becomes manifest in our lives. Make the most of it; be the best you can be. You owe it to yourself and those around you to shine and set a great example. You are special, and this is the time of the year when your specialness can be magnified. Doing so, you will find your actions reflected to you many times over and you’ll be carried to the skies of success as though on the wings of six dragons!”

Chris Prentiss


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 Credit: Jennifer McDougall

I’m Sober, but My Family Isn’t Supportive

By Jennifer McDougall


Getting sober is one of the best decisions you will ever make. But what if your friends and family aren’t very supportive and think that instead of getting sober you should drink or use in moderation? As heart shattering as this may be for you to feel little support from your loved ones, know that they are probably in denial or unaware of the real issue. Maybe they are unwilling to give up drugs and alcohol themselves. The thought of being sober to (most) people who drink in moderation is a tough one to swallow.

Being sober is very rewarding.  You must do it for yourself though, and don’t let anyone try and talk you out of it or downplay your problem. This is your life and you need to be responsible for making the best choices for your health and well-being. If your friends and family don’t agree, find truly supportive people to surround yourself with.

The truth is that your family probably does not know the extent to your drug and alcohol use. Maybe they do not understand the reasoning for your decision.  Now would be the time to sit them down and explain it to them so they fully understand what you’ve been through, why it’s important to not even have ONE drink, and that they need to respect and support your life choices. Many people don’t understand that having just one drink will only throw you back into the cycle of bad choices and back into your addiction.

It is important to stay focused and remember why you made this choice in the first place. Maybe you’re like me and you were tired of waking up on Saturday mornings not wanting to get out of bed, looking at the thread of text messages you sent out last night and feeling so shameful about all the terrible decisions you made. Or maybe it’s 8 a.m. and you still haven’t gone to sleep because you’re still partying from the night before.

There are many reasons most of us decide to get sober but the most common reason is because most of us are tired of living with our minds clouded by poison and our lives shattered by the consequences of our toxic induced decisions.

When discussing your sobriety with friends and family be clear and firm in what you are saying. It is okay if they do not fully understand, but let it be known that you will not be participating in consuming alcohol or using drugs – not even one sip of champagne on New Year’s Eve, one toast of wine on a friend’s birthday, or even a slice of rum cake at the holidays.  Your sober actions and new-found healthy lifestyle will eventually prove that living a 100% sober life 24/7 is the best choice you’ve ever made. Give your family a little time. They’ll eventually come around.


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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Image via We Heart It.

happiness, beating depression

Beating Depression with Meaningful Activity, Helping Others

There may not be one single secret to happiness, but it appears that science has closed in on one of its key contributing factors.

A recently published study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shed new light on the true causes of lasting well-being.

The research examined a group of 39 teenagers over the course of a single year in order to gauge how their brains responded selfless acts and how those acts impacted long term contentment.

An article published yesterday in The Atlantic placed the study into a unique perspective, drawing upon the philosopher Aristotle to frame two basic types of happiness.  Hedonia, basic pleasure seeking (think watching the entire season of a show on Netflix), versus eudaimonia, pleasure that comes from meaningful engagement with life pursuits or helping others.

While short terms bursts of happiness feel imeediately good, new psychological research shows that helping others leads to more sustaining, eudaimonic happiness.

In recent research, scientists measure happiness by looking at the reward center of the brain, called the ventral striata, under an MRI.

The group of 39 teenagers was assembled because the teenage brain is so responsive to both positive and negative emotions.  Both depression and happiness tend to peak in late adolescence, in many individuals.

The teens had their brains scanned using an fMRI while choosing between keeping money to themselves (hedonic) or giving money to their family (eudaimonic).  One additional experiment included a game that allowed them to take risks in order to earn more money for themselves (hedonic).

A self-reporting questionnaire was administered following the initial scan.  Another follow-up questionnaire was then administered one year later.

The results revealed that teens who decided to make the family-donation decision demonstrated the most substantial declines in depressive symptoms.  Overall, their sense of wellbeing increased.  Teens who played and received the greatest boost from the risk-taking game demonstrated the greatest risk in depression.

The authors noted that their findings show that well-being may depend upon contributing to more selfless, higher nature, rather than immediate, base pleasure.

Although being young doesn’t always translate smoothly to acting selflessly, there may be an important take-away in this study which allows for greater insight into what we really need to be happy.

Said better in another study from a year ago: “Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

By going a bit deeper and extending ourselves beyond our own world, into that of others, there appears to be not just a secret to happiness, but an entire world where it freely exists.

The Effect of Parents’ Drinking on Their Children

We all know that setting a good example is very crucial as a parent.  Parents who do not drink or use drugs have a higher chance that their children will follow in their footsteps, even if they just educate their children about the negative effects of liquor and drugs. However, parents that are heavy drinkers increase their children’s chances of following in their footsteps and drinking heavily.  Several research studies have indicated that parents’ examples and teachings are the absolute most influential voice in a child’s life-even more effective than forms of drug education and anti-drug programs in schools. There are numerous things that parents can do to help influence their children away from drugs and alcohol, and there are many things parents can be aware of to see if their child is at risk.

Several risk factors for young adults and teens to abuse substances are undiagnosed learning disabilities, bi-polar disorder, any sort of trauma, anxiety, depression, and feelings of social awkwardness or that they do not fit in with their peer group.  The earlier a teen or child starts using drugs or alcohol, the more likely they will develop a dependency and become addicted.  In a recent study, children of heavy drinkers were more likely to drink more frequently, heavily, and more often alone than the children of parents without alcohol problems.  If you are concerned about your child abusing substances, Passages can help.


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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Internet and Video Game Addiction

It is undeniable that in recent years, technology has become a major and overwhelming force in our society.  It is nearly unheard of for someone to go without a cell phone or access to the internet.  However, the explosion of technology has resulted in some disturbing effects; people of all different age groups and backgrounds have shown a startling increase in addiction to online activities or video and computer games.

Technology addiction can vary in its severity, with anything ranging from video games and social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) all the way to cyber-pornography or cyber-gambling.  Often times, individuals addicted to various types of technology choose to spend time in a virtual world rather than interacting in healthy behaviors with real people and dealing with real-life problems, which therapists describe as an avoidance mechanism.  These people commonly suffer from substance abuse and other co-occurring conditions, as well as various underlying issues.  There are several signs to look for if you suspect yourself or someone you know is addicted to the internet or video games.

If you spend more time online or playing games rather than with people, if you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are online, if being online helps you escape your life and results in a release or soothing thoughts, if you neglect your job, household chores or lose sleep because you can’t leave the computer, if you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are not online, or if you are secretive or try to hide how long you’ve been online or playing games, you may have a problem.


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The Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Alcohol in the Media

Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to avoid seeing alcohol consumption in advertisements, on television, in movies, or in magazines.  Alcohol is one of the primary things advertisers pay for in the United States.  Many people wonder, how does the constant presence of alcohol in pop culture affect children and young people?  According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, young adults who viewed more alcohol advertisements than average also reported drinking more alcohol than average. In essence, young people who view more alcohol advertisements and are exposed to alcohol more in television and movies tend to drink more alcohol.  The alcohol industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and information from various alcohol companies showed that with the amount of advertising dollars spent in each state and total alcohol sold in each state, they could analyze youth drinking in relation to dollars spent.  Alcohol advertising is inarguably a contributing factor to youth drinking quantities over time.  Through early childhood education regarding alcohol and its negative effects, the influence of advertising and alcohol in pop culture may make less of an effect on our nation’s youth.


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Finding a New Career After Rehab

If you are recently out of rehab or newly sober, re-entering the workforce can be refreshing and a steady, grounding return to normalcy.  However, it can present certain stressors or challenges.  Maintaining a steady job can be a very positive thing, and it can influence the long-term success of your recovery by giving your life structure and a higher purpose, and by occupying your time with truly productive and rewarding activities.

If you have been out of the work force for awhile due to addiction or being in recovery, it can be difficult to find a job or transition back into work. If it takes awhile to get hired at a new place, do not take it personally or interpret it as a consequence of your addiction.  Understandably, you may be worried that potential employers may discriminate against you due to your history of substance abuse.  This is very rarely the case.  You are now sober, whole, and should be very proud of that; your past does not have to limit you or make you self-conscious.  If you are feeling stressed about getting back into the workforce after attaining sobriety, talk to your therapist, use your skills to cope with stress, such as yoga or meditation, and most importantly, be positive.  At Passages Malibu, our continuing care coordinators devote their time to helping your transition back into the real world and the work force post-treatment.


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Social Drinking or Alcohol Addiction?

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 do 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, black out 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.


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High Functioning Alcoholics

Many of us have heard of and used the term “high-functioning alcoholic” from time to time.  What is considered a high functioning alcoholic? The term can be loosely defined, but most of the time a high functioning alcoholic is a person that drinks heavily and constantly on a regular basis, yet most people in the life of the drinker are not aware that there is a problem. Highly functioning alcoholics typically do not let their alcoholism interfere with their ability to carry on normal daily activities, are able to perform adequately at their jobs, remain free from legal and financial troubles, and maintain interpersonal relationships. However, because they are able to maintain an air of normalcy while drinking with no visible effects, they often take greater risks than many people, such as drinking on the job, drinking around their children, or driving while under the influence.

Although high functioning alcoholics are able to maintain normalcy to some degree, most often the people in their life closest to them are affected by their drinking, especially their children.  An alcoholic or especially multiple alcoholics in a family can have extremely detrimental effects on the overall family life.  When a child grows up with a high-functioning alcoholic as a parent, alcohol abuse becomes commonplace to them.  Heavy high-functioning alcoholics also often face economic strains due to their drinking; alcohol is expensive, and often time’s heavy drinkers are unaware of how much money they spend on alcohol. High functioning alcoholics are at great risk of potentially fatal health consequences, including cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, heart disease, gout, high blood pressure and other serious conditions.  If you or someone you know is a high-functioning alcoholic, Passages can help.


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