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Maintenance, Not Heroin

by James Heller 1. May 2013 09:25
Statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health have confirmed our concerns about prescription drug use.  With prescription painkillers (opiates and opioids like Vicodin and Oxycontin) becoming more difficult to obtain, individuals addicted to them are switching to heroin.  If you are considering a change like this, we would like to offer an alternative solution that could lead to a better life for you and your family; Methadone Maintenance.
 
 
The amount of first-time heroin users had almost doubled from 2007 to 2011.  A large part of the increase is due to crossover addicts who previously used prescription drugs.  These drugs are quite effective when they are used as prescribed, and if use ceases in the short term.  But they are also highly addictive, so it is not uncommon for patients to “doctor shop” or to obtain them illegally when their physician stops prescribing them.

The demand for illegally sold pain killers exploded about a decade ago when they became popular with teens and young adults.  Doctors were also prescribing drugs like Vicodin (Hydrocodone) for simple headaches, when it is meant for the relief of more serious pains.  When the US Drug Enforcement Administration discovered the flood of illegal opiates on the streets, they started imposing regulations to stem the tide.

As the supply shrank, addicts still needed their opiate fixes.  So many of them have turned to heroin because it is easier to find and it’s cheaper.  The bad news for them, though, is that they get more shackled into their addiction instead of taking the cue to get help.  Many of them have tried to detox several times, but opiate cravings are so strong that they fail every time.  So they hopelessly feel that they have no choice but to live a drug-addicted life.

There is hope.  Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Methadone Maintenance treatment for qualified individuals who have not been successful in achieving long-term abstinence from opiates.  Our services are tailored specifically to those who want to recover from prescription painkiller and heroin addiction.  While Methadone treatments reduce your cravings for opiates, our addiction counselors guide you to a comfort level that will enable you to approach abstinence with confidence.  When you are ready, you can begin our Medical Detoxification program.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical careonline mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Covered CA News – Establishing Call Center

by James Heller 30. April 2013 13:20
As details are released this year about how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will bring healthcare reform, eligible citizens may not understand what they will need to do.  Covered CA, the California Exchange in the ACA, is expecting questions like, “How can I get medical insurance for my family?” and “Where do I go to get health insurance?”
 
 
A Call Center is being formed to address these questions, and is planned to be operating this fall.  Around 500 staff members will assist Californians in multiple languages. They will guide callers through the process of obtaining health insurance through Covered CA, and help them to find out if they are eligible for financial assistance.

Tarzana Treatment Centers will continue to bring you the latest news about health coverage in California.


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Hepatitis Risk Assessment and Testing

by James Heller 26. April 2013 09:32
Are you at risk for hepatitis?

It doesn’t take very much exposure to become one of the millions of Americans who have contracted the disease.  It’s blood-borne, meaning that individuals who inject drugs or engage in unprotected sex are at high risk.  It only takes one injection or unprotected sexual encounter, in fact, to become infected.  

At Tarzana Treatment Centers, our mission includes health education as well as treatment.  Here is everything you need to find out if you are at risk, how you can be tested, and where you can get treatment if you test positive for hepatitis.

Obviously, if you fit into one of the groups mentioned above, you are at risk.  Blood-borne diseases can be tricky, though, and can pass from person to person in many ways.  For example, if you were born between 1945 and 1965, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that you get tested for hepatitis C because the infection rates in that group are 5 times higher than all others.  So we are providing a link, here, where you can see if you are at risk in other ways.  Click the link below for the assessment:

 
 
If you need a test, Tarzana Treatment Centers has you covered.  We are providing free hepatitis testing, funded by the CDC, at our Central location in Tarzana, at our needle exchange sites, and at our medical clinics.  You can find the addresses to these sites on our Locations page <link> or by calling 818-996-1051.

For those who test positive for hepatitis, we provide medical care at our Reseda Medical Clinic.  We have many years of experience treating medical issues that result from drug use and sexual transmission, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands.  And, since we are an integrated healthcare facility, we can provide you with care for related health issues.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Valley Tele-Treatment Program (VTP)

by James Heller 26. February 2013 15:10
 
by Charles Yeh, MSW, ASW, CADC II, Project Coordinator
 
The Valley Tele-Treatment Program (VTP) of Tarzana Treatment Centers utilizes tele-communications (phone, e-mail, and video-conferencing) to assess for substance abuse issues, and provide immediate individual counseling if appropriate.  By making access easier and more comfortable, and by combining the role of brief intervention with treatment, VTP can better help individuals at crucial moments concerning the risks and harm related to substance use.  Participation may be as brief as one telephone conversation, or extend up to six months, depending on each individuals need.  
 
A first goal of VTP is to reach more individuals, and to reach them sooner, to provide individualized prevention and early intervention for alcohol and substance use before consequences become severe, or individuals become dependent on alcohol or other drugs.  Because it is not necessary for individuals to travel to our facility in person, the initial apprehension individuals may feel about speaking with a certified alcohol & drug counselor is greatly reduced.  A second goal of VTP is to make treatment more accessible for individuals at all levels of substance use severity.  Not only does VTP allow individuals experiencing physical or transportation barriers to more easily access treatment, the flexibility of the program offers broad effectiveness for treatment:

  1. Low risk for harm—VTP offers a safe and confidential way to explore present issues and help to access the options available for help
  2. Moderate risk for harm—VTP offers counseling to help build coping skills, and to facilitate participation in an ongoing supportive community for recovery
  3. Severe risk for harm—VTP offers interim counseling to help maintain motivation and commitment to recovery when individuals are still waiting to receive residential or onsite outpatient treatment
  4. Already in recovery—VTP offers continuing support to individuals going through a difficult transition
 
VTP services are available in English and Spanish, and are no cost for qualifying individuals.  If you would like to access services, refer someone, or learn more about VTP, please call (818) 654-3821, or email vtp@tarzanatc.org.
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Vivitrol Reduces Opiate Drug Cravings

by James Heller 14. February 2013 10:36
Cravings are among the most powerful triggers faced by anyone completing opiate detox.  The combined force of a psychological need for the drug and chemical reactions in the addict brain makes them at least a distraction and, at worst, a cause for relapse.  Whether drug cravings are mild or strong, reduction of them is a good aid to relapse prevention in early recovery.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol injections for eligible alcohol and drug treatment patients.  We have been doing this for several years, and are very pleased with the results so far.  Since the beginning, we have interviewed our Vivitrol treatment patients who had been in and out of rehab facilities.  Almost all of them reported that the reduced cravings improved their treatment experience and it has lengthened recovery times.
 
 
To the unfamiliar, cravings may not seem so threatening.  After all, if your mouth waters for a bag of french fries, you can probably enjoy the feeling and forget about it after a few seconds.  Addiction doesn’t allow the forgetting, though, and opiate cravings don’t go away easily.  Imagine waking up with a craving for french fries and having it with you all day long, knowing that if you eat one fry you won’t be able to stop eating more of them.

Opiate addicts often complete medical detoxification and will go straight to their dealers or doctors to satisfy cravings.  Even if they have a safe place to go for treatment, and know very well that they are making a mistake, they get drawn back into the dark world of addiction.  The obsession to “feel better” is just too great.

Monthly Vivitrol injections during the first months of recovery free the mind to receive drug treatment and work on core issues.  More clean time means more life issues get resolved.  So, even if a relapse occurs, the road back to recovery becomes much shorter and recovery times extend.  As clean time accumulates, the sense of accomplishment also helps to encourage remaining in recovery.  All of this means that Vivitrol is a solution for a great threat to a drug addict’s recovery.

Vivitrol is covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal.  Funding is also available through AB 109 and LA County Drug Court. So please call even if you are concerned about funding.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Methadone Treatment Center

by James Heller 22. January 2013 15:29
Methadone is an opioid most-commonly associated with heroin addiction treatment.  It can be used for medical detoxification and as a harm reduction tool with Methadone Maintenance.  In either case, it is important that Methadone be administered by a medical professional at a treatment center or clinic.
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers has been providing Methadone in opiate detox treatment for decades, and we later added Maintenance as a service.  Patients in our medical detoxification units are closely monitored by medical staff to ensure their safety.  And our Methadone Maintenance program includes addiction counseling.  Our goal is to lead you to a life free from all opiates.

Heroin and prescription drug addiction are difficult to overcome.  The sad fact is that most opiate addicts that complete treatment will relapse several times, and they may never achieve long-term abstinence.  While they are high, there is always a chance that harm will come to them or their loved ones.  So the important task is to help them to live without the high.

Methadone can do this by reducing the cravings associated with opiate addiction.  It provides addicts with a “narcotic replacement” that does not include the high.  Methadone can remain in the body for up to 60 hours, so clients receive doses at the treatment center daily or every two days.  It’s because of the long half-life that doses need to be monitored.  Methadone overdoses occur when clients take a second dose, thinking the first has cleared because they don’t feel a high, and can be fatal.  

When abstinence is the goal, the first course of action should be medical detoxification followed by residential or outpatient treatment.  Some addicts will remain clean after one treatment episode.  Others may need two or three.  The discovery has not yet been made where one can tell who will relapse before treatment begins.  A few attempts are made with opiate detox before looking at Maintenance as an option.

We ensure the safety of our detox and Maintenance patients by monitoring their health and by providing a roadmap to long-term abstinence.  We work to move clients from Maintenance to detox when they are ready.  Methadone treatment is covered by most insurance plans, and you may qualify for Medi-Cal, Medicare, or one of our other publicly funded programs.  We want to see everybody recover.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

New to Medicare?

by James Heller 17. January 2013 11:38
One thing never seems to change with Medicare.  Every year, a lot of people become eligible for this insurance coverage, and many of them become very confused.  What is Medicare? What is covered? Where do I go for medical care?
The information is all online and on brochures from the government, but it’s the rare individual who reads it all.  So Tarzana Treatment Centers will help to get you started with ease.
 
 
In case you didn’t know, we provide integrated health care services, which means that you can get medical, mental health, and substance use services at our locations.  Many of the services we provide are covered by Medicare plans, and Medi-Cal in case you are eligible for both programs.  The great benefit of coming to our clinics for medical care is that you won’t need to be referred out if you have mental health or substance use disorders.

Maybe the best recent news is that we provide the new Medicare Preventive services.  These services are designed to help you maintain good health, and to enable early treatment of problems that may arise.  These services include flu shots, smoking cessation, and screenings for cardiovascular problems, diabetes, or HIV, among many others.  And, as we mentioned above, we can quickly treat you for any medical or mental health needs that are discovered.

Tarzana Treatment Centers invites you to contact us for information about your covered Medicare plan services and an appointment.  We can get you started with preventive services, and help you to plan for your future health care needs.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Get Help for Relapse Fast

by James Heller 16. January 2013 10:29
Setbacks occur for everyone.  You can plan ahead for everything you do, and you still can’t guarantee that it will all go your way.  For people in recovery, of all ages, it is a daily exercise to deal with this fact, and to avoid relapse.  If there is a relapse, the suggested action is to get help right away, especially for seniors.
 
 
Individuals in early recovery learn to accept what happens externally so they can better cope with events internally.  This is a foreign concept to the alcoholic and addict brain, and it takes years for most of them to put it into regular practice.   Even after years of “getting it”, something can happen that breaks down all strength, destroying all coping mechanisms, and leading individuals to drink alcohol or use drugs.

Tarzana Treatment Centers makes relapse recovery accessible and affordable for anyone who needs it.  Alcoholism and drug addiction treatment is not as simple as detox and groups anymore.  We offer Vivitrol treatment to reduce alcohol and opiate cravings, and telehealth video conferencing for our clients who can’t get to our treatment centers or live far away.  If finances are a problem, many of our services are covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal, AB 109 funding and other Los Angeles County health care funding programs like Drug Court.

We put great effort into helping you achieve long-term recovery.  We also recognize the commonality of relapse and won’t shame you.  There are no 100% solutions to substance use disorders.  It is rare for anyone to remain clean and sober for life after one treatment episode of any kind.  Our goal is to get you back on your feet so you can put your own effort into long-term recovery.  We can provide you with the best tools available in substance use treatment to improve your chance at success.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Underage Drinking Prevention Campain

by James Heller 10. January 2013 10:48
It’s worth repeating that Tarzana Treatment Centers is a proud sponsor of the Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign led by the Saving Lives Coalition. Teen alcohol abuse is a problem that requires solutions from many angles.  Enforcement of alcohol selling laws is just as important as education when our goal is to reduce the amount of adolescents abusing alcohol.
 
 
The coalition is asking alcohol retailers to post warning signs.  The signs are meant to discourage underage individuals from attempting to purchase alcohol at these establishments.  The same warning appears in nine languages that are commonly spoken in Los Angeles County.  

The campaign is underway in the San Fernando Valley, and will soon expand to include all of Los Angeles County.  These signs will hopefully prevent retailers and their underage customers from engaging in alcohol transactions.

An example of the sign can be found at this link:

The press event to launch this campaign was covered on local English and Spanish language news.  Our own Dr. Jose Salazar spoke at the event and said, “…we are not only concerned about your underage drinking, but we do not condone it.”  

You can watch coverage of the press event, and get more information from this video:

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides treatment for adolescent alcohol abuse as part of our Youth Services program.  Our services include treatment for mental health, residential and outpatient treatment, family counseling, and education among other services.

We provide a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Resolve to Have Good Health Any Day

by James Heller 27. December 2012 14:49
Are you making a resolution for the New Year? Why wait for and limit yourself to January 1st?
 
 
Health issues do not place themselves on hold until a certain date, and neither should you.  If you don’t take care of yourself, your health will deteriorate in time.  Even when you are in good physical and mental condition, it won’t last forever if you smoke, drink to excess, or don’t eat enough healthy foods.  And if you have a need for medical care, or mental or behavioral treatment, your condition will get worse with every day that you wait.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Integrated Care services for most of your health needs. Many of our patients come to us for help when problems have resulted from their conditions, especially when the problem is mental health or addiction related.  These problems can be avoided with proper preventive care, like the ones we provide for these conditions as well as for medical care.  Most of these services are also covered by public funding programs like Medicare, Medi-Cal, and Healthy Way LA.

It’s a fun game we play every December.  We promise that, at the start of the New Year, we’ll stop smoking, quit drinking, exercise regularly, eat healthier, or something else that will benefit our individual health.  Most of us also break that promise by January 3rd.  There are many studies and tips that can be found by Googling “New year’s resolution study”, but our best suggestion is to just make that resolution and get started right now.

The date doesn’t matter, and January 1st is probably the most pressure-filled of the year.  So make a December 27th resolution or even an April 12th resolution if you want.  The calendar doesn’t care about your good health.  The time to improve your current health and future well-being is now.  You can form a habit in just seven days.  So get started, and Tarzana Treatment Centers will be happy to help you along the way.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.