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How to Work with Relapse

by James Heller 11. February 2014 15:16
Relapse is not the end of recovery.  It’s not recommended, either, and those of us who treat for substance use disorders can’t condone the behavior.  Still, it’s more effective to take a positive approach to recovery after a relapse than it is to be angry and condemn the addict.
 
 
Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is an ongoing process, and abstinence is not a lifetime guarantee.  Most alcoholics and addicts relapse at least once before achieving long-term abstinence, if they make it.  Even short-term abstinence is a miracle for those who are heavily dependent on alcohol or heroin, for example.
When an individual with more than a few months of recovery relapses, those around them usually find it difficult to accept as being a normal occurrence.  It’s easy to forget how hard it was to get a loved one into treatment when life with them begins to feel “normal”.  The natural reaction for family members is to think they didn’t do enough, so anger and sadness result.

Going back to substance use does not mean an addict has given up, though.  It just means that progress has taken a step backward, meaning that something wasn’t addressed during treatment or coping skills need to be improved.  Both of these can be corrected with further counseling.  From this perspective, a relapse can be seen as a lesson rather than a failure.

Understanding this can reduce the anger among family members, and could hasten the trip back to rehab.  It’s better to lovingly encourage treatment rather than to react and increase pressure on the addict.  Of course the family of an addict needs to make it known that getting back on the road to recovery is the only acceptable outcome.  With a positive attitude, this can be done in a more loving tone that is more-likely to lead the addict in the right direction.
 
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.

Opiate Abuse is on the Rise in Vermont

by James Heller 14. January 2014 11:14
Opiate abuse in the state of Vermont has increased steadily over the past decade.  It’s become so overwhelming that the topic earned center stage honors during Governor Shumlin’s State of the State Address for 2014.  They are taking action, and we thought this presented a good opportunity to remind the public about opiate and heroin treatment options.
 
 
Vermont has seen a 770% increase in treatment for all opiates.  Heroin treatment has gone up 250%.  While it’s a positive sign that addicts are entering treatment in higher numbers, it also means that facilities are at capacity and waiting lists can reach 500 names.  Of all drugs, opiate addicts are at the highest risk for overdosing, so this is a big problem.

Governor Shumlin has proposed programs to help facilities with the backlog, and to educate youth before they try prescription opiates or heroin.  The full text of the speech is at this link:

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides services for opiate addicts that include medical detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) that includes Vivitrol and Methadone or Buprenorphine Maintenance.  Prescription opiate and heroin addiction has a broad range of severity, so several treatment options need to be available to ensure the best outcomes.
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 Maintenance Available Every Day

by James Heller 26. December 2013 08:36
Addiction to heroin and prescription opiates can become so serious that harm reduction is needed on the road to abstinence.  Methadone Maintenance (MM) helps reduce the cravings that an addict experiences, removing the distraction that often leads to using heroin or prescription drugs.  So it is important that, once MM treatment begins, a providing clinic is accessible every day.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers Methadone Maintenance program is open every day of the year, including holidays.  The great majority of other MM clinics, on the other hand, are closed on weekends and holidays.  It makes sense to us that a program to reduce harm is available when harm is most likely to be done.  Whether boredom or anything else ramps up cravings on these days, addicts enrolled in an MM program shouldn’t need to wait until the next open day to get relief or counseling.

Another problem with off days at the MM clinic is that doses might be sent home so that clients won’t need to wait for them.  This is sometimes okay, but, with all due respect to those clients, it is a practice that can be dangerous if not deadly.  Methadone has a long half-life and stays in the body for up to 48 hours.  If an addict takes a dose too early, it could result in an overdose.  So it is important that doses are closely monitored by an available medical professional.

At Tarzana Treatment Centers, we take Methadone Maintenance very seriously.  Our goal for every drug addict is abstinence.  Every MM client receives counseling to help them on road to recovery.  We want you to feel the hope that comes from a drug-free lifestyle as we have seen it happen for so many addicts.  It may take a little more time using a Maintenance program, but it’s much better than being stuck in a cycle of multiple relapses.

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.

Drug Overdose Awareness

by James Heller 30. August 2013 09:30
Do you know what to do in the event of a drug overdose?

How can you prevent drug overdoses?

What can you do if you or a loved one is an overdose survivor?
 
 
More Americans die from drug overdoses, each year, than from automobile accidents or firearms.  It’s a growing problem that seems to be occurring under the radar of most individuals.  Awareness of the problem is the first step to reversing this trend, so please continue reading and share this with your friends and family.
Sadly, most people think of street-bound heroin addicts when they hear “overdose”.  But the highest percentage of these deaths involves prescription painkillers.  Much of the time, the drugs are obtained legally from a physician, but the patient either becomes addicted or accidentally takes too high of a dose.  It often comes as a shock to loved ones who didn’t think it could happen with legal drugs, or they just ignored the problem all together.

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 is International Overdose Awareness Day.  Tarzana Treatment Centers encourages you to become educated about prescription drug abuse and addiction, how overdoses can occur, and what you can do to prevent them.  It is also important to know what to do in the event of an overdose, and how to be or live with an overdose survivor.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has developed some material which can get you up to speed.  The tool kit is free and you can find it at this link:
Tarzana Treatment Centers provides a wide array of treatment services for opiate addictions.  Medical Detoxification systematically cleanses the body of opiates in preparation for further addiction treatment.  We also provide two forms of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with Methadone Maintenance and Vivitrol.  Vivitrol is a post-detox medication that reduces opiate cravings, and Methadone Maintenance is meant for addicts who have had multiple relapses and need a little more help on the road to total abstinence.
 
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.

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.

Rise in pain pill overdoses among women

by James Heller 10. July 2013 08:51
Women are being lost to drug overdoses in greater numbers than ever.  In the first decade of the 21st Century, the annual rate of fatal prescription drug overdoses among U.S. Women has increased over 400%.  Opiate cravings drive pain killer addiction, so a very good solution is to reduce them and start treatment.
 
 
Almost 48,000 lives were lost during the ten years mentioned above.  It’s a statistic that continues to rise every year, and the victims are from all walks of life.  These are your friends and family, co-workers, and others with whom you come into contact every day.  Vicodin and Oxycontin prescriptions, and other opioid pain killers, have increased at almost the same rate as the overdoses.
These drugs do wonders for pain sufferers, in the short term that is.  The problem is that a small percentage of individuals who are helped by these medications become addicted to them.  Some doctors will continue to prescribe them to a patient for months and even years.  And some patients will “doctor shop” and get the prescriptions from several doctors to support the habit.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol and Methadone Maintenance treatment to reduce opiate cravings.  Vivitrol is a monthly injection of Naltrexone that reduces cravings.  After medical detoxification, patients abstain from drug use during Vivitrol treatment and meet with counselors.  Methadone Maintenance reduces cravings and allows individuals with serious addictions to focus on recovery without the strong urge to abuse medications.  These are successful forms of Medication Assisted Treatment that we have provided for several years.
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.

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.

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.

How to Reduce Substance Abuse in the Workplace

by James Heller 16. November 2012 15:15
Employee alcohol and drug abuse is a problem in almost every business category.  Management is often faced with weighing the value of substance abusing staff members with the potential problems that their behavior may cause.  The decision is not always easy, and the problem is sometimes swept under the rug. There is a solution, though, for employees who are willing to stop drinking and using drugs.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers suggests the use of Vivitrol treatment.  If you want to keep an employee on staff, and they are willing to get help, this can potentially solve problems for both of you.  Vivitrol is a monthly injection of Naltrexone that reduces alcohol cravings and opiate cravings.  It is convenient and it works.  We have seen many patients achieve long-term sobriety after Vivitrol treatment, when they previously had multiple relapse issues.

Society associates some jobs with alcohol and drug abuse, and we won’t get into examples.  You probably can think of a couple of them.  The fact is that the problem exists in practically every type of job, including those you would never imagine.  Co-workers usually spot the problem before management and business owners discover it, and then those in charge need to decide how to handle the situation.  

Stress can often lead high-value employees to abuse alcohol or prescription painkillers.  To them, they are relieving stress.  To you, they are slowing down and are distracted by issues outside of work.  It is up to management to open the lines of communication with these individuals, and let them know they are worth keeping if they will get help.  Vivitrol treatment can be an investment in the increased productivity they can give to your company, and their own health.

While “zero tolerance” is a fair enough model, some states and contracts regulate businesses’ ability to terminate employment upon discovery of a substance abuse problem.  Since alcohol and drug abuse problems don’t get better without help, keeping these individuals on staff can be a potential hazard to the company.  Here is another area where Vivitrol treatment can save costs in the long run when individuals are willing to get help.

If you have an alcohol or drug abuse problem in the workplace, Vivitrol is an option worth investigation.  It can potentially improve your company’s bottom line, and it might save a life.  Please contact us for more information today.

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.

Heroin and other Opiate Cravings

by James Heller 8. November 2012 15:03
Heroin is in a special class of drugs that are highly addictive and very difficult to quit using.  Opiates and opioids can spark an addiction with just one use, due to cravings that make the user want more.  So an effort to reduce opiate cravings in early recovery makes sense to boost chances of long-term abstinence.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol for heroin and other opiate craving reduction.   Upon successful completion of our medical detoxification program, patients can begin Vivitrol treatment.  Vivitrol is Naltrexone in the form of a monthly injection.  You don’t need to think about how to reduce opiate cravings anymore, and the treatment is convenient.

The disease of addiction includes psycho-social symptoms that are commonly at the core of an individual’s substance use.  Proper treatment of these issues can take some time, so counseling is always recommended after medical detoxification.  It is very important for patients to remain as focused as possible on treatment so they can begin to see the benefits of recovery. 

Heroin creates a stronger craving than most prescription pain killers, which have varying effects depending on the drug and person.  Even so, any opiate craving is a distraction to treatment and can easily send a newly recovering person to relapse.  With Vivitrol, patients can explore the issues that make them abuse heroin and painkillers in a more effective mindset.  They are less likely to leave treatment early, and more likely to remain drug free for a longer period of time.

Please contact us today even if you question your ability to afford treatment.  Tarzana Treatment Centers accepts Medicare, Medi-Cal, and other health care assistance programs like AB 109 and LA County Drug Court.

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.