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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.

Drug Overdose after Rehab

by James Heller 30. July 2013 09:36
Celebrity deaths grab the public’s attention like almost no other news story.  The loss can be mourned by millions, and a certain voyeuristic opportunity emerges that tempts many to learn more about the private lives of famous people.  These elements are especially true when drug and alcohol abuse are involved.  Sadly, though, the important lessons from these are skimmed at best.
 
 
Corey Monteith, of Glee fame, died from a drug overdose after a recent stay in rehab.  He had problems with substance use since he was a teen, and was quite public about it.  So his latest treatment episode would come as no surprise to drug treatment professionals, which goes the same for the overdose.  Heroin addiction is driven by cravings that can arise at any time for years into recovery, and very few individuals can stay clean for life.  
Mr. Monteith’s relapse-rehab-death journey is similar to many overdoses.  It doesn’t always follow the same pattern or involve the same drug, but the accident occurs based on the same science.  It’s called an accident because the recovering alcoholic or drug addict has no intention of overdosing; they are only trying to satisfy a craving.  They will drink as much alcohol or use the same dosage of drugs they did “safely” before rehab, but the body is no longer tolerant of the substance.  

Tolerance to alcohol and drugs builds slowly over time with increased use and is lost very quickly after medical detoxification.  The body returns to somewhat normal operations because it doesn’t need to counteract the effects of substances.  It can’t just snap back to the former state of tolerance.  So, when an addict in recovery suddenly hits the body with the same amount of alcohol or drugs that they last used, the body can’t adjust quickly enough and will shut down in one way or another.  
Heroin is a major culprit in overdoses, mainly because opiate cravings can be overwhelming for addicts in recovery.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT) are available to reduce cravings and minimize overdoses in early recovery.  Methadone Maintenance helps addicts with multiple relapses to focus more on recovery, with a goal of abstinence.  Vivitrol treatment reduces cravings after medical detoxification so abstinence can be maintained.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Medication Assisted Treatment services that include Methadone Maintenance and Vivitrol treatment.  Clients are assigned addiction counselors who will guide them toward a life of long-term 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.

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.

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.

Alcoholism Relapse Prevention Plan

by James Heller 9. November 2012 11:25
Regardless of the type of treatment you choose, alcoholism and relapse almost always go hand in hand.  The challenge for a treatment facility is to minimize the risk that each patient has for relapse.  One way is to provide Vivitrol as part of a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol for eligible patients.  This monthly injection of Naltrexone reduces alcohol cravings so individuals can focus on treatment.
 
 
It is rare for an alcoholic to stop drinking and remain sober for life on the first attempt.  This is largely due to the feeling of strong cravings for alcohol when they are “dry”.  Even with the highest motivation for recovery and to abstain from drinking, cravings trigger an urge to drink that is difficult to ignore.  A single urge can last for days, relentlessly keeping the thought in an alcoholics mind that a drink is needed.  The great majority give in in a couple of months, or weeks, or even after only a few hours.

Alcoholism treatment plans always include relapse prevention as one of the goals.  Tried and true methods include positive peer influence, education groups, and gender-specific groups, among many others.  These help alcoholics to bond with others who share their disease, and to uncover what leads them to continue drinking.  Cravings can be a distraction to these, though, and minimize their effectiveness.

With Vivitrol, the distraction of cravings is minimized or eliminated so other relapse prevention efforts can have an impact.  Recovery can be built on a more solid foundation, and set the stage for long-term sobriety.  As strength in recovery grows and positive habits become the norm in an alcoholic’s life, cravings have much less power.  It is not difficult to see how Vivitrol improves the lives of those early in recovery.

Vivitrol treatment is covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal at Tarzana Treatment Centers, and funding is also available through AB 109 and LA County Drug Court.  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.

Vivitrol Aids Recovery from Addiction to All Drugs

by James Heller 26. October 2012 09:20
It’s very rare for addicts to be monogamous with their drug of choice.  They usually abuse alcohol as well.  Even if they don’t, alcohol use in early recovery could pave a path back to addiction with the same or another drug.  Especially when individuals have had multiple relapse issues, prevention of another could come in the form of alcohol craving reduction.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol for alcohol and opiate craving reduction.  This monthly injection of Naltrexone has helped many who suffer from alcoholism and opiate addiction.  They have achieved long-term sobriety when they previously struggled with relapses.  Vivitrol works with brain chemistry to minimize the distraction and temptation of this major relapse trigger.

Alcohol is a drug, just like any other.  Most addicts abused alcohol before they tried the drug they eventually became addicted to, and either combined the two (or more) or cut back on alcohol.  In any of these cases, alcohol holds a psychological connection with dependence on the drug of choice.  

In recovery, the suggestion is to remain abstinent from all drugs, including those that were not a part of the problem.  This is to avoid the problem of cross addiction.  The disease of Addiction causes sufferers to seek an escape mechanism because they can’t cope with normal life occurrences.  So, cocaine addicts in recovery might think it is okay to have a glass of wine because alcohol was not a problem before drug rehab.  

The addicted mind works in such strange ways that alcohol might not be the biggest threat.  Methamphetaminemarijuana, and cocaine addicts may have a history of being prescribed opiate painkillers from a past injury.  This is a great temptation for someone who is desperately trying to remain abstinent.  The “pain” mysteriously reappears, quite often, and the addict requests another prescription.  Unfortunately, there are far too many doctors who are willing to accommodate.

Whether the hope is to avoid alcohol or opiate abuse, Vivitrol is the solution.  After the first 30 days without alcohol or other drugs, recovering addicts of any drug will see the benefits of total abstinence.  By eliminating the possibility of cross addiction with alcohol or opiates, and blocking that psychological path to their drug of choice, addicts to any drug have a better chance for long-term recovery.

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.

Vivitrol for Women in Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 29. August 2012 14:05
The various aspects of alcoholism and opiate addiction happen faster for women.  Because of this, extra factors need to be considered when providing treatment for women, especially when children are involved.  Many of these factors can be minimized by including Vivitrol in alcohol and drug treatment for women.
 
 
The female human body processes alcohol and opiates differently than the male counterpart.  It takes lower quantities and less time for intoxication to occur, withdrawals appear faster and stronger, and dependence and “hitting bottom” appear sooner to the first use.  Social factors, coupled with alcohol or opiate cravings, can also make resisting relapse much more difficult.

Alcohol and opiate cravings are major relapse triggers for both men and women suffering addiction.  But women commonly face social situations that involve peer pressure, predators, and even violence that invite relapse.  While these situations and other forms of stress may be difficult to avoid, craving reduction can reduce the chance that a relapse will occur.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol for alcohol and opiate craving reduction.  Alcoholics, heroin, and prescription painkiller addicts relapse in large part due to cravings.  By removing this trigger, women can better focus on core issues that keep them drinking or using drugs.  It also takes away the added pressure to drink or use in social situations.

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.

Prescription drug relapse

by James Heller 28. August 2012 08:07
Prescription painkiller addiction can often be difficult to treat because the addict believes a drug is medically necessary.  Addiction counselors must help addicts get passed this notion or relapses will surely occur.  One obstacle to counseling is that opiate cravings also plague addicts, and they reinforce the feeling of need.  Those cravings can be reduced with Vivitrol, allowing for more effective counseling.
 
 

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol treatment.  Our services are covered by Medicare and Medi-Cal, along with other health care contracts.  This monthly injection of Naltrexone can improve your chances at long-term recovery.

When prescription opiate addiction begins as a result of pain management, having been legally prescribed for treatment, some individuals will become addicted.  It can start with mild or strong pain killers, prescribed for varying durations of time, and the addiction can take hold.  As long as they can convince a medical professional to prescribe the medication, they will justify the need for it to themselves and others.

This creates a challenge in drug treatment because the great majority of prescription drug addicts will not suffer real physical pain if they stop using.   Medical detoxification is recommended, and they may feel minor pangs from nerves coming back to life.  But the biggest fear they have is that they will begin to feel emotions again.  Counselors need to help addicts to understand this, and then they can dig down to core issues.

Opiate cravings are at their peak in early recovery.  They are a major trigger for relapse, and very distracting.  Vivitrol treatment reduces the cravings, providing a less stressful environment for treatment.  It clears the road for recovering prescription drug addicts to understand that they don’t have physical pain, and to learn how to deal with their emotions.

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.

Vivitrol Services Featured on the KPCC Madeleine Brand Show

by James Heller 27. June 2012 14:27
Tarzana Treatment Centers and Vivitrol were featured on the Madeleine Brand Show on KPCC Public Radio.  You can read about the topic and listen to the segment at this link:


At some point, every alcoholic and opiate (heroinpain killers) addict has a desire to quit drinking or using drugs.  Most of them don’t know how to get help or that they can get addiction treatment at low or no cost, leading to a feeling of hopelessness.  If that desire to quit passes without getting help, they can wind up in a downward spiral and eventually lose everything.  The addiction can take a strong hold on them.  If they find their way to a traditional detox-to-aftercare treatment program, it may require Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).

When individuals have a difficult time with relapse after alcohol or opiate detox, recovery can seem out of reach.  Some will repeatedly enter detox treatment, with a serious desire to recover from alcohol dependence or drug addiction.  Alcohol and opiate cravings are a major trigger for relapse, and can strike both during and after detox.  For the individuals we’re describing in this article, cravings are also a major distraction during treatment.  So they rarely achieve long-term recovery.

We are committed to the promotion of Vivitrol treatment because we have witnessed the positive results for so many of these patients.  Several individuals who had been to detox more than five times have now been sober during Vivitrol treatment for more than 6 months at a time.  That is a big achievement for this group.  Every sober moment they get in treatment will provide them with tools to stay sober.  Relapse may not be a thing of the past in these cases, but recovery is finally in reach.

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.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, 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 FDA Approved for Opiate Relapse Prevention

by James Heller 20. October 2010 13:05
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles is thrilled at the news that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vivitrol for use in opioid addiction treatment.  The evidence was clear to us that Vivitrol reduced opiate cravings, but the FDA went one step further in approving it for the “prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.”  This means that we can finally say what we’ve also known for a long time; Vivitrol prevents relapse.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers Vivitrol for alcohol treatment and opiate treatment as part of our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.  It is a Naltrexone injection taken monthly that reduces alcohol cravings and opiate cravings.  This allows individuals in recovery to focus on addiction treatment, and offers a better chance at long-term recovery.  For more information about the FDA approval and Vivitrol, click the link below for the press release by Vivitrol manufacturer, Alkermes.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alkermes-announces-fda-approval-of-vivitrolr-for-prevention-of-relapse-to-opioid-dependence-2010-10-12?reflink=MW_news_stmp

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.  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.