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Telehealth Technology Provides Security and Simplicity

by James Heller 9. September 2010 13:21
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides telemedicine services to qualified patients in alcohol and drug treatment, mental health treatment, and primary medical care.  After careful research of the technology available, we chose to partner with MDLiveCare in Florida so we could deliver services conveniently and securely at affordable rates.  The technology was a key in making our decision considering what our patients would need in order to use these services.

During our research of available telehealth technologies for video conference sessions, we were happy to discover that most of our services could be delivered through this medium.  Assessments of new patients entering addiction treatment or mental health treatment can be completed before they come to one of our locations.  This allows our staff to better prepare for their arrival, and saves patients critical time in on-site admissions time.  It can also be used for outpatient services for some patients.  We can also see qualified patients in primary medical care from their homes and offices.  

The MDLiveCare technology is browser-based.  This means that patients simply need to open Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or whatever they use on a daily basis, and log in to their account.  Once logged in, a simple interface makes it easy for them to schedule appointments with Providers, send and read secure messages with them, and view records.  Anyone who browses the internet should be able to use the interfaces we provide, known as MDLiveVisit and TherapyLiveVisit.

Much of the technology used for telehealth video conferencing today would be considered complicated by the everyday computer user.  Some require special software that, putting it simply, directly connects one specific computer with another over long distances.  This adds work for the patient in setting up the software, which may not go well and lead to a need for technical support.  Also, if the program crashes there is no backup means to connect to a session, creating a delay in services.  These are issues that patients do not want to deal with when they need health care.

The MDLiveVisit and TherapyLiveVisit interfaces that are used by Tarzana Treatment Centers require no initial setup on patient computers.  They only need a login ID and temporary password to get started.  Literally within minutes, patients can set an appointment to see one of our health care providers.  And, if the browser they are using happens to crash, they can switch to another to start or resume a session.  All of this simplicity is delivered with the same or better security as those described above.

The LiveVisit application was started using the popular Flash Player to deliver video.  This meant that almost anyone already had the software needed to send and receive video before they used LiveVisit.  To improve services, a switch was made to using the VSee video format in LiveVisit.  The new format uses less bandwidth, meaning that even patients with very slow internet access can send and receive smooth video.  Patients still do not need to install bulky software to use this advanced video format.

We chose to partner with MDLiveCare and use the LiveVisit telehealth applications because the simplicity and security satisfied our high standards in delivering services to patients.  The goal was to make getting treatment easier for patients, with almost no chance that problems will occur.  No special equipment is needed, either, other than an inexpensive webcam since high resolution is not necessary in LiveVisit.

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.

Now Providing Online Treatment 24/7

by James Heller 24. June 2010 10:08
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles has taken pride in our efforts to remain current with health technology advancements.  We have now partnered with MDLiveCare to provide telemedicine services.  This will enable us to offer alcohol and drug treatment, mental health treatment, and medical care via video conference technology, which will allow access to more individuals who need these services.

Please click the link below to read the press release:

MDLiveCare® Health Services, Inc. Announces Agreements in California, Florida and Illinois as It Continues Building National Provider Network and Licensing Relationships


Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides 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.

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Help For Veterans Needing Treatment

by James Heller 18. August 2009 08:03
Most US Veterans return to normal lives after combat, and suffer few, if any, physical or emotional scars of war.  But a small and growing percentage return with mental health issues, alcoholism, and drug addictions that lead them into criminal behavior.  So the US Veterans Administration is taking action.

The goal is to get treatment for veterans rather than incarceration, or in exchange for reduced time incarcerated.  It is similar to successful programs like Prop 36 in California, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000.  Alcohol and drug treatment and mental health treatment for veterans who commit crimes seeks a solution to the problem.  Incarceration without rehabilitation only invites repeat offenses.

Programs for treatment instead of incarceration are not only highly effective and save lives, but they also save money.  This is because incarceration cost savings are only the beginning.  Health care costs decrease, as well as personal losses from accidents, crime, and injury.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides alcohol and drug treatment for veterans as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  We also include HIV/AIDS services, women’s services, and mental health treatment for those with co-occurring disorders.  For more information, call us at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

The following is from an article posted on The Washington Post website.

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A July 15 Army report said more study is needed to determine whether there is a link between the soldiers' alleged crimes and their heavy combat duty and lengthy deployments.

The VA is training 145 specialists at its hospitals nationwide to help veterans who are in jails, awaiting trial or serving misdemeanor sentences. Other VA programs target homelessness and help veterans readjust after serving prison terms for serious crimes.

To date, more than 1.9 million U.S. service members have gone to Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest deployment since 3.4 million were sent to Southeast Asia in support of the Vietnam War.
James McGuire, the Los Angeles-based director of the VA's incarcerated veterans outreach programs, said some war veterans "are obviously struggling."

"The VA is very attuned to this and received an education about all this after Vietnam, when the whole issue of PTSD came up," he said, using the abbreviation for post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a typical case, VA specialists would report to a civilian court on an accused veteran's medical history -- and available VA benefits or programs that might help. Prosecutors and judges would decide whether and how to use that information when deciding if a veteran should undergo treatment instead of incarceration.

-- Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080603757.html --

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.

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.

Homeless Veterans Assistance

by James Heller 26. June 2009 12:08
A disproportionate number of homeless people in the United States are military veterans.  The majority of homeless veterans suffer from mental illness, alcohol dependence and drug addiction, or co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.  And while treatment is available for them, the symptoms of their disease can keep them on the streets for life.

Some veterans simply don’t know about the availability of treatment, or think going to several specialists would be a hassle.  They know they have problems and need help.  They only need someone to gently lead them to quality integrated behavioral healthcare, and they can again be at ease.

The brain works against many of these individuals.  Alcohol’s effects on the body, drugs and mental illness can cause paranoia and hallucinations.  Fears that seem baseless to those not afflicted are profound to the homeless veteran.  Some are saved when caring people lead them to quality care where they can get help for all of their disorders.

Tarzana Treatment Centers can provide all of the services that homeless veterans need.  We include alcohol and drug treatment, mental health treatment, primary medical care, housing, and HIV/AIDS treatment services in our integrated behavioral healthcare program.  The ability to receive treatment from one source helps ease the mind and offers hope to homeless veterans.

For more information please call 888-777-8565, or contact us here.

The following is important information for homeless veterans.  More can be found at the US Veterans Administration (VA) Homeless website.  Relatives of homeless veterans may be able to help by printing this and giving it to loved ones.  Some may even want to keep a copy with them and give it to the next homeless veteran they meet.

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VA offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible.  In fact, VA is the only Federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless persons. Although limited to veterans and their dependents, VA's major homeless-specific programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless treatment and assistance services in the country.

VA's specialized homeless veterans treatment programs have grown and developed since they were first authorized in 1987. The programs strive to offer a continuum of services that include:

  • aggressive outreach to those veterans living on streets and in shelters who otherwise would not seek assistance; 
  • clinical assessment and referral to needed medical treatment for physical and psychiatric disorders, including substance abuse; 
  • long-term sheltered transitional assistance, case management, and rehabilitation; 
  • employment assistance and linkage with available income supports; and 
  • supported permanent housing.

-- Source: http://www1.va.gov/Homeless --

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.

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

US Veterans and Tobacco Addiction

by James Heller 16. June 2009 12:25
It should come as no surprise that U.S. military personnel and veterans use tobacco at higher rates than the general public.  The common picture, film, or portrait of soldiers typically includes someone smoking a cigarette, pipe or cigar.  There are several reasons for this long-term trend, and knowing them can help reduce future harm.  But those who are already tobacco addicts need to be educated and treated.

Education is needed to correct misconceptions among smokers.  The great majority of U.S. citizens, including smokers, know that cigarette smoking is harmful to one’s health and those around them.  But smokers also believe that tobacco brings relaxation, or an escape.  This belief leads a nicotine addict to ignore the harms and cherish the imagined benefits.

Tobacco smoking habits typically begin during military service for veterans.  Upon returning to civilian life, addicted to nicotine, the “learned behavior” that smoking cigarettes calms discourages them from quitting for health reasons.  It is so deeply engrained that education is necessary to change the thought process.

Education is a part of the whole nicotine addiction treatment process.  Treatment also needs to include individual and group counseling, as well as replacement therapy with nicotine patches, gums, or lozenges.  These can be included in an alcohol and drug treatment program, offering convenience and better health outcomes.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers smoking cessation programs for interested patients in alcohol and drug treatment.  Our integrated behavioral healthcare program allows U.S. Veterans to receive alcohol and drug treatment, tobacco addiction treatment, and mental health treatment all under one roof, when the need arises.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers some good information for veterans about tobacco use.  A portion of an article is below.  

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Veterans who receive their health care through VA are much more likely to smoke and use tobacco than the rest of the U.S. population. They also are heavier smokers and have higher rates of smoking-related illnesses. Many veterans have told us that they first began smoking in the military. In fact, during World War II and the Korean War, cigarettes were often provided free as part of K- rations. Many in the military thought then that smoking was a good way to help keep soldiers alert and awake in the battlefield and the command, "smoke 'em if you got 'em" is one that many older veterans remember. Recruits may have even been able to earn smoking breaks during military training and boot camp. Unfortunately, this early tobacco use led quickly to a lifetime addiction and a wide list of health-related problems.

-- Source: https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhvPortal/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=healthyLiving&contentPage=healthy_living/smoking_cessation_intro.htm --

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.

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

US Veteran Women with PTSD and Alcohol or Drugs

by James Heller 12. June 2009 11:49
US veteran women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) along with alcohol dependence or drug addiction need specialized treatment to resume their lives back home.  The trauma they suffered may have produced trust issues.  So in order to successfully treat these co-occurring disorders, care must be taken by the alcohol and drug treatment center.

Studies show that among all PTSD sufferers alcohol and drug abuse is a problem with the majority of them.  Alcohol and drug treatment centers that provide mental health treatment through integrated behavioral healthcare have the resources to treat both problems simultaneously.  But women veterans who were subject to Military Sexual Trauma (MST) may need one more critical component to their treatment.

Women-only alcohol, drug, and mental health treatment is critical in these cases.  While there is no shortage of women-only homes for trauma sufferers, few offer all services under one roof.  It can be wearing on an individual in treatment to move between providers for different types of care.  So the ideal is to enter treatment with a provider that can offer women-only integrated behavioral healthcare.

Tarzana Treatment Centers can provide alcohol and drug treatment to US veteran women in a women-only setting when it is needed.  Our mental health professionals provide treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  This allows for seamless communication between mental health and addiction professionals, and can offer a comfortable setting for women to regain the trust and confidence necessary to resume normal lives.

The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies provides a great deal of information for individuals suffering from PTSD and MST.  A few points about these disorders follow as they relate to alcohol and drug abuse and addiction.

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Traumatized people are more likely than others of similar background to abuse alcohol both before and after being diagnosed with PTSD. For example:

  • One-quarter to three-quarters of people who have survived abusive or violent traumatic experiences report problematic alcohol use
  • One-tenth to one-third of people who survive accident-, illness-, or disaster-related trauma report problematic alcohol use, especially if troubled by persistent health problems or pain
  • Up to 80% of Vietnam veterans seeking PTSD treatment have alcohol use disorders
  • Veterans over the age of 65 with PTSD are at increased risk for attempted suicide if they experience problematic alcohol use or depression
  • Women exposed to traumatic life events show an increased risk for an alcohol use disorder
  • Men and women reporting sexual abuse have higher rates of alcohol and drug use disorders than other men and women.
  • Compared to adolescents who have not been sexually assaulted, adolescent sexual assault victims are 4.5 times more likely to experience alcohol abuse or dependence, 4 times more likely to experience marijuana abuse or dependence, and 9 times more likely to experience hard drug abuse or dependence.
  • Adolescents with PTSD are 4 times more likely than adolescents without PTSD to experience alcohol abuse or dependence, 6 times more likely to experience marijuana abuse or dependence, and 9 times more likely to experience hard drug abuse or dependence.

-- Source: http://www.istss.org/resources/Traumatic_Stress_and_Substance_Abuse.cfm --

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.

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

US Veterans Alcohol, Drug, and HIV/AIDS Treatment

by James Heller 11. June 2009 14:45
US veterans with HIV/AIDS need to take special care when it comes to alcohol or drug abuse.  Their health can be seriously affected if they binge drink or use illegal drugs.  Alcohol or drug treatment should be a consideration for these individuals even in mild substance abuse cases.

Due to the high level of care that HIV/AIDS requires, alcohol and drug treatment needs to come from a provider with the resources to do both.  Also, mental health treatment must be available to those who need it since the patient may suffer trauma due to combat and HIV/AIDS.  Very few alcohol and drug treatment centers offer this type of integrated behavioral healthcare.

Tarzana Treatment Centers is well known for providing the highest standard of treatment for HIV/AIDS as part of our goal to offer integrated behavioral healthcare.  Our alcohol and drug treatment programs staff mental health professionals as well as HIV/AIDS Specialists.  Your recovery begins the moment you enter alcohol or drug detox.

Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, or any other deployment, may want to read an article published by The US Department of Veterans Affairs.  A preview has been provided below from the VA website.

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Drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system. A weaker immune system will have a harder time fighting off common infections (such as a cold), as well as AIDS-related infections. A weaker immune system also increases the chance that you will experience more side effects from your HIV medications.

Smoking marijuana (pot) or any other drug irritates the lungs. You may be more likely to get serious lung infections, such as pneumonia.

Other common recreational drugs, such as cocaine or crystal methamphetamine (also known as "meth" or "speed" or "crank" and "Tina"), can leave your body dehydrated and exhausted, as well as lead to skin irritation. All of these things can make it easier for you to get infections.

The organ in your body that alcohol and other drugs affect most is your liver. The liver rounds up waste from chemicals that you put in your body. Those chemicals include recreational drugs as well as prescription drugs, such as your HIV medications. A weaker liver means less efficient "housekeeping" and, probably, a weaker you.

-- Source: http://www.hiv.va.gov/vahiv?page=alc-01-01

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.

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

US Veterans Alcohol and Drug Treatment

by James Heller 10. June 2009 11:37
This generation has a better understanding of alcohol and drug use among combat veterans than in the past.  It is fortunate that alcohol dependence and drug addiction treatment has become more effective for everyone over the past 40 years, while our armed forces had a break in major conflicts.  Now veterans can get the help they need early after returning from combat, enabling them to resume normal family and social lives.

Alcohol and drug treatment has improved since the 1970s, giving more alcoholics and drug addicts hope that their lives can change.  And treatment for co-occurring substance abuse and mental health is now specialized in some treatment centers that offer integrated behavioral healthcare. This is a great benefit to US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who may have issues with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and use alcohol or drugs to minimize emotional pain.

Alcohol and drug detox using medical detoxification procedures has become routine.  However, not many alcohol and drug treatment centers offer comprehensive medical detoxification for alcohol and drugs, if at all.  Starting treatment with a proper alcohol or drug detox that offers addiction counseling can build a solid foundation for long term recovery.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides alcohol and drug treatment through integrated behavioral healthcare specialized for US Veterans.  Our medical detoxification services include addiction counseling.  Mental health professionals are available to treat those who suffer from post-combat issues, so the chance of relapse after treatment can be minimized.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has placed a priority on minimizing alcohol and drug use over the past generation.  New guidelines restricting alcohol use on military bases has helped during service.  More importantly, DoD has made an effort to help veterans discover when a problem exists and, if needed, when to seek help.  A short section of a website dedicated to those aims follows.

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It's common for Service Members to drink alcohol while in the service. Some Service Members have admitted to alcohol use during their deployments, a situation in which there are clear rules governing alcohol use. Some Service Members drink even though they are under age. Service Members drink socially with their buddies, or to relax. Most often the drinking is kept under control and doesn't cause any serious problems. But for some Service Members, the drinking does get out of control. Problems in relationships like fighting, trouble fulfilling duties and responsibilities because of intoxication or a hangover, and financial and legal difficulties, such as a DUI or a "dirty" drug test, can all be consequences of excessive drinking.

While most people are able to drink in moderation without problems, for others drinking can create negative consequences. Problem drinking may take different forms. The most common are drinking heavily and binge drinking. Heavy drinking means continued drinking even though there are problems at work, or in relationships, or with a health-related matter, and even when there have been serious negative consequences such as getting a DUI or getting into fights. Binge drinking is defined as drinking five or more drinks at a time. Frequent binge drinkers are twenty-one times more likely than non-binge drinkers to damage property, be injured in accidents, act violently, have risky sex, drive drunk, or get in trouble with the law. Binge drinking among younger people has also been linked to memory problems.

-- Source: http://www.afterdeployment.org/index2.php?cid=s108_0110&rcid=s108_0100#2a

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.

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

US Veteran Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Treatment

by James Heller 15. May 2009 09:21
Many of our veterans of the US Armed Forces suffer from mental health issues, alcohol and drug abuse, and co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.  It is more important than ever to make sure that quality treatment is available to veterans for these issues.

Alcohol and drug abuse among veterans of the US armed forces is slightly higher by percentage than for non-veterans.  While substance dependence can strike anyone, regardless of military status, substance abuse differs and is usually a means to escape stress.  Military personnel deal with a high level of stress and likely seek that escape.

Another 7 % percent suffer from mental health issues, and 1.5% from co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.  With tighter psychological screenings being given upon enlistment, these numbers indicate that the mental health issues originate during service.  And the percentage of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health issues is rising.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Integrated Behavioral Healthcare services for US veterans that include both alcohol and drug detox and treatment, along with mental health treatment.  Our veterans’ services are specially tailored to suit individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.  

The following is from a new report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  The full report gives detailed findings by gender, age, and income.

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  • Combined data from 2004 to 2006 indicate that an annual average of 7.0 percent of veterans aged 18 or older experienced past year serious psychological distress (SPD), 7.1 percent met the criteria for a past year substance use disorder (SUD), and 1.5 percent had co-occurring SPD and SUD
  • Veterans aged 18 to 25 were more likely than older veterans to have higher rates of past year SPD, SUD, and co-occurring SPD and SUD
  • Veterans with family incomes of less than $20,000 per year were more likely than veterans with higher family incomes to have had SPD, SUD, and co-occurring SPD and SUD in the past year

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/veteransDual/veteransDual.htm --

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.