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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.

If Doctors Would Diagnose Addiction

by James Heller 5. September 2012 14:10
If you consider that there are an estimated 22 million Americans with a drug or alcohol problem, you might assume that doctors regularly diagnose and treat them.  Reality is, though, that most doctors have never been trained to in addiction treatment, and usually treat only the symptoms of the disease.  Fortunately, some new treatments involving medications may change this sad situation.
 
 
One big problem with alcoholism and drug addiction is that so many medical problems result from them.  Substance abuse negatively affects different parts of the body, depending on the drug being used.  Alcohol abuse, without exaggeration, harms every cell in the body.  To the untrained in addiction medicine, the symptoms of these abuses might appear as primary problems, only requiring common treatments.  For example, a doctor may prescribe specialized medication for a bleeding ulcer and schedule a follow-up visit.

Another problem with addiction is that alcoholics and drug addicts are not quick to admit their problems.  Even if a doctor asks about drinking and drug use habits, these patients will minimize or deny it.  Short of the patient arriving at 9:00am and smelling of alcohol, or having injection track marks up and down their arms, untrained doctors will not see a reason to investigate.  The answer is often accepted as true and the doctor looks to heal the symptom.  

The result is that alcoholics and drug addicts get temporary relief from negative symptoms of their disease, but don’t receive, at the very least, guidance from their doctors on how to prevent them in the future.  The worst result is that people die every day from the negative effects of alcoholism and drug addiction.  Most of them could have been saved had they been given early treatment for the primary disease of addiction.

According to this article, there is possible good news on the horizon.  There is an effort to attract doctors to the addiction treatment field, and to promote addiction medicine as a recognized subspecialty.  Medical treatment and new prescription drugs are proving to be effective means of helping addicts to recover.  Counseling for the psycho-social aspects of the disease is still important, but detox and craving reduction medications, like Vivitrol, have become very beneficial in the early days of recovery.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol treatment for alcohol and opiate craving reduction, for example.  This follows medical detoxification, which is important to avoid the severe effects of withdrawals.  We have seen some great success stories from patients who previously struggled with relapse after their first Vivitrol injection.  

Imagine if doctors could diagnose addiction from the symptoms they normally treat.  They could make a referral to a detox facility, followed with Vivitrol for eligible patients, and maybe residential or outpatient treatment.  Patients tend to listen to doctors more than they would even to their most beloved family members.  Hopefully, the effort mentioned above can spread so more of those who suffer can get the treatment they need.

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.

Senior Alcohol Abuse - Damaging Effects

by James Heller 12. May 2010 15:07
Senior alcohol abuse is often more difficult to correct than with any other group in America.  By age 60, most individuals are set in their ways and don’t feel the need to change anything.  In fact, many seniors are aware of the risks they face with heavy drinking and continue seemingly without care.  Loved ones may feel helpless, but solutions exist.

About 40% of those over 60 say they drink alcohol, with almost one-third of them admitting to binge drinking and heavy drinking, or alcohol dependence.  These statistics come from a 2007 report at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies website.  This means that about 1 in 10 seniors at least binge drink on occasion, which can be very dangerous to their health and that of others.  

Many external changes happen with individuals when they reach age 60.  Retirement is imminent if it has not already occurred, friends begin to move away or pass away, and family members may even suggest a change of residence.  Worst of all, the mind and body begin to show signs of aging, meaning that doctor visits become common and more medications need to be taken.  All of these can be terribly stressful on anyone when they are grouped into a few short years.

Boredom, loneliness, and a sense of powerlessness can each lead anyone to drink alcohol.  Whether it is a time-filler or an escape from negative feelings doesn’t matter.  The end result is that it works and leads to earlier drinking times and less time outside the home.  Senior alcohol abuse may even be a purposeful celebration of the golden years.  The daily party begins with joy, but can quickly turn to injury or a fatality.

This can all be very harmful for seniors due to interactions with medications, a higher risk of falling, and aging major organs.  If alcohol dependence sets in, the effects on the body and brain are more detrimental to seniors than anyone else.  The celebrators, in freedom, usually drive under the influence.  Yet most seniors who abuse alcohol either hide it or justify it, and accept the risks.

Family members who see the alcohol abuse will often accept the behavior as a rite of passage.  Considering the years they have lived, why would a loved one deny what seems well deserved? And if nobody gets hurt, all is okay.  That is, until somebody gets hurt or health problems develop.  Some seniors will stop the behavior at this point, but most will continue to drink heavily and probably more.

There are 2 things that loved ones can do at this point.  The first is to strongly suggest alcohol detox and alcohol treatment.  But most people in their 60’s today will see that as a sign of weakness and refuse, and family members generally won’t force the issue.  Doing so may get the elderly alcoholic into treatment, but he or she will only benefit if self-motivated.  So keep suggesting, with love, and let them make the decision.

Second, you can set boundaries and stick to them.  If they refuse to quit drinking or cut down, suggest accompanying them to the doctor so you can discuss medication interactions.  Let them know you understand that they are not concerned with their own health, but you are concerned with the health of others including yourself and younger members of the family.  It may be hard, but you must be firm, with love, and continue to suggest alcohol treatment.

To the younger generations, seniors who refuse to change these behaviors seem stubborn.  However, like any other individual who engages in alcohol abuse, the bottom line is that they are escaping from emotions.  Instead of arguing and treating them like children, it is best to discuss feelings as much as possible.  Avoid forcing the issue of senior alcohol treatment, and use gentle, loving nudges.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides alcohol and drug treatment for seniors in a culturally sensitive manner.  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.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

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.

Alcohol and Drug Intervention - The Treatment Ultimatum

by James Heller 18. May 2009 14:58
Even if an alcohol or drug intervention comes when problems are still manageable, an ultimatum to enter some form of treatment needs to be made.  The reason is simple.  Life problems will continue to mount for people who use alcohol or drugs as an answer to their problems.  A change needs to be made in their actions and thinking through intensive therapy.  

This is a task that requires time, patience, and knowledge.  Loved ones who may be compelled to help could find themselves frustrated, disappointed and angry.  Treatment professionals and people in support groups have the knowledge and experience that can make change happen.  Knowing what type of treatment to require of the individual is important.

Alcohol dependence and drug addiction will result in withdrawals upon cessation of use.  Entering residential alcohol and drug treatment, starting with medical detoxification, should be required of these individuals in an intervention.  Simply stopping the use of alcohol or drugs makes a relapse almost certain, and can cause physical harm or even be fatal.

When an intervention is attempted with a loved one at the first signs of trouble, or there about, the temptation is to just say “stop” and demand abstinence.  Nobody wants to over-react by suggesting the individual gets help, but everybody wants the problem to stop and not return.  It makes good sense to risk over-reaction, though, rather than risk worsening or recurring problems

In these cases, during the intervention, a 12 Step program or other support group should be required.  It might even be a good idea to require admission to outpatient alcohol and drug treatment to avoid future problems.  This is because at the core of every alcohol and drug problem is a lack of ability to cope with life issues.  At the very least, the individual will learn valuable tools in treatment that will make life better.

The information below is part of a guide from The Partnership for a Drug Free America which helps readers to plan an intervention.  Tarzana Treatment Centers can help with pre-screening adults and adolescents for admission before the intervention takes place.  So when the decision is made to enter alcohol and drug treatment, this will ensure that it happens immediately.

-- Begin external content --

What About Requiring Abstinence?
Some families tell the person to stop all drinking and drug use. However, complying can be difficult -uncontrollable alcohol or other drug craving, seeking, and use is the hallmark of addiction. If you decide to give an ultimatum, require treatment, not abstinence. People who engage in treatment will be better able to achieve abstinence, because they will be given the medical attention and emotional support they need to maintain abstinence over the long term.

-- Source: http://www.drugfree.org/Files/Intervention_Quick_Guide --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.