Transitional Living for mental health

What is Transitional Living for Mental Health?

The United States is no stranger to mental health, as nearly one in five Americans struggle with one or more mental health disorders. In fact, 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder, with millions more following behind and struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses that impact their everyday lives.  Mental healthcare, while still highly stigmatized, has become one of the most important talking points today, as more people than ever before are asking for help to cope with their symptoms. Depending on the severity of a person’s mental illness, they can obtain treatment that is designed to meet the most critical of needs or treatment that is better suited for less severe cases. One type of mental healthcare that is gaining more popularity among those with more complex mental illnesses is transitional living for mental health. 

What is Transitional Living for Mental Health? 

Many people who have spent time in residential care for their mental illnesses can easily transition out of their treatment program and back into their everyday lives. However, there are just as many people in this same situation who can benefit from a slower transition out of residential care back to their home lives. This is when transitional living options come in most handy. Transitional living for mental health offers those individuals who have already been receiving mental health care the option of moving to a more independent living situation prior to moving home. Transitional living allows individuals to live with one or more people who are also recovering from a mental illness and who share similar treatment goals as one another. Transitional living for mental health is most comparable to sober living, where individuals who are in recovery from substance use disorders live with one another outside of the treatment facility but who continue to receive more detailed treatment than what can be provided at home. Those enrolled in transitional living will not be left to their own devices, rather they will follow a schedule developed by their treatment program. Depending on the person and the program, this schedule may include group activities, therapy sessions, support group meetings, and assistance with personal responsibilities outside of transitional living. The goal of this living option is to give individuals the opportunity to carefully move from a highly-structured and regularly monitored program back into the comfort of their home lives. 

Candidates for Transitional Living for Mental Health 

Transitional living for mental health is a highly beneficial service for many people. While it is not the appropriate option for everyone, it can be highly effective for those who: 
  • Have a severe mental illness that requires lengthier care
  • Have more than one mental illness they are attempting to recover from at the same time
  • Do not have stable housing outside of the treatment facility that will offer continuous support of their recovery 
  • Are unable to fully care for themselves just yet
  • Still have further professional treatment to obtain but do not need to stay in a residential program in order to access it 
Transitional living for mental health is an excellent option for those who fit any of this criteria, as it allows for continuity of care and ease.

Benefits of Transitional Living for Mental Health 

Stronger foundation in recovery 

Studies show that the longer that a person remains in treatment, the more likely they are to achieve success in their recovery. This applies to those who include transitional living for mental health into their treatment plan, as it allows them the chance to continue thriving in a therapeutic, supportive setting. 

Professional case management

Case management is a critical component of any type of recovery, including recovery from a mental health condition. In transitional living for mental health, patients continue to receive comprehensive services that improve their recovery odds. For example, a case manager may set up local support group meetings for a patient to attend each week or refer them to a specialist who offers a certain type of therapy. 

Crisis management 

Even though a patient has gone through a great deal of treatment by the time they reach transitional living, they may still experience problems from time to time. It is no secret that mental illness, no matter how under control, can be unpredictable. In the event that a patient suffers a mental disturbance or crisis, there are professionals available to address the situation immediately. These professionals can provide treatment on-site and also transport patients to the hospital or other facility should their needs require further care. 

Presence of a “safety net”

Sometimes, simply knowing that there is a proverbial safety net available can help people get from point A to point B without hesitation. Transitional living for mental health offers that sense of a safety net to patients, giving them the confidence to try new things and make mistakes without experiencing consequences that could derail their progress. Not only does this provide patients with confidence, but it also helps to build self-esteem, communication skills, coping skills, and hope for the future.

Medication management 

The vast majority of patients in transitional living for mental health are prescribed one or more medications to help treat the mental illness or illnesses that they are experiencing. These individuals can benefit greatly from having their medication managed so that they do not forget a dose or run out of medication because they forgot to get a refill. There is also a large population of individuals recovering from mental illness that are also recovering from an active substance use disorder. In this case, medication management can be helpful in preventing these patients from misusing their medications. 

Improving social skills 

Even those with the greatest social skills can struggle when transitioning from residential care to their regular lives. Transitional living for mental health allows patients to work on their social skills in several different settings prior to returning home. This is a huge benefit, as those with mental illness can struggle to pick up on social cues, manage their emotions well, and so on, all of which can compromise their recovery. Transitional living for mental health is an excellent option for many people who are striving to establish the best possible foundation for their recovery. With time and effort, individuals once struggling with untreated mental illness can regain control of their lives and live peacefully.
Twelve Step Sayings

12 Step Sayings

In the treatment and recovery world, there is no name that has achieved household recognition to the same degree as the grandfather of all 12 step programs, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Since its birth, countless iterations have been developed to focus on particular substances, behavioral addictions, and for those in various faith traditions. Many of the sayings of AA have been popularized in recent years due to their powerful impact on those in recovery, and certainly have found their use for anyone who is facing any number of obstacles, who might be struggling with anxiety or other mental health concerns. Here are some twelve step sayings that have found widespread appeal:

1. One day at a time

If you are having a bad day and going through a lot of pressure remind yourself to take it one day at a time. You don’t need to finish everything at once. Take a breath and remember that all you have to do is get through the next five minutes, the next hour, just one day at a time.

2. First things first

When you have many things to do and you don’t know where to start, take a moment to prioritize the important things. Once your main priority is done, everything else can come later. Make it a regular habit to establish your priorities upfront and follow it through in a logical way.

3. Progress not perfection

Perfection is nearly impossible to come by, and most always comes at a price. Your drive to be perfect is your greatest defense mechanism in action, and a sign that you are uncomfortable with the human aspects of your nature, be it fear, failure or weakness. Truly, it is more important to focus on the small moments of progress than to expect perfection from yourself and others around you. It is a much kinder way to live.

4. This too shall pass

When you are battling an obstacle or an issue in life that does not seem to have a solution, remind yourself that it will pass because everything does. Rest in the fact that the world will go on turning, and there are forces at play much greater than you.

5. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

We know about the therapeutic power that being grateful can have on your well-being. In low moments and in established daily practice, being grateful will help you remember the good times in your life and reset your focus.

6. Just for today

Sometimes you may be combating a lot of problems all at once. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about what comes next, focus only on what you can do today, remembering that life is lived just one day at a time.

7. Take what you can use and leave the rest

In life, we’re often presented with unsolicited advice that can just as easily incite anger as it can positive steps in the right direction. The choice is yours to make regarding how you will interpret the help or concerns from others.

8. Live and let live

You are not required to solve everyone else’s problems. This bit of wisdom is difficult when you may feel like this is the only part of life that you can control.  Focus on your choices and reactions instead of the lives of others.

9. How important is it?

You should not allow anything trivial to take over your life. Your first priority is to yourself and those who love you most. These 12 step sayings are not only useful to individuals in AA, but also for anyone when they need encouragement and inspiration. Although it can be difficult, allow their wisdom to speak to that part of your life that you’re currently struggling with. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone, and that there is an entire community of others pursuing positive life change. Take a moment of reflection to stop and think about what’s needed from you at this point in your life, where you’re headed, and how you’re contributing to your own difficulties. It may be that you need to recognize some harmful patterns of behavior, perhaps some avoidance or other harmful coping mechanisms. Whether it is about alcohol or other drugs, or a mental health concern that has been lurking in the shadows, there may be a message that you need to hear. Take the time to explore what we have to offer online, or give us a call directly to learn about what the right next step for you might be.
Addiction Statistics in Los Angeles

Addiction Statistics in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, affectionately known as the “City of Angels”, is one of the most popular cities in the world. It is home to more than 3.5 million people and is known for launching the careers of countless musicians, vocalists, actors, actresses, and artists. Los Angeles is certainly a destination for those aspiring to “make it big”, but it is also home to people who were born and raised in the area, as well transplants from other parts of the country and the world.  But even though Los Angeles is often described as being “glamourous” or “glitzy”, this city has its fair share of concerns, too. Similar to most other cities in the country, Los Angeles has a heavy population of individuals who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol or who abuse mind-altering substances. No amount of money or fame can eradicate this problem, and that is evident in Los Angeles.

Commonly Abused Substances and Rates of Abuse

In Los Angeles, some of the most commonly abused substances include marijuana, meth, and cocaine. In fact, official city data reports that rates of abuse of these substances are as follows:
  • Marijuana – 60.1%
  • Cocaine – 20.7%
  • Meth – 13.3%
Part of the reason why these drugs are so widely abused in this part of the country is because of its geographical location and its culture. For example, Los Angeles is less than 150 miles away from the Mexican border, where marijuana and cocaine are frequently trafficked into the United States from. In recent years, meth production in Mexico has been on the rise, adding to the increase in availability to the people of Los Angeles. California is also the first state to legalize marijuana, making this drug one that people can (mostly) use how they wish without much (if any) legal repercussion.  But like most other parts of the country, Los Angeles is no stranger to the opioid crisis. Illicit opioids like heroin and prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet are widely abused in Los Angeles, as it is in many other major U.S. cities.

Opioid abuse in Los Angeles 

In 2017, Los Angeles had the 4th highest number of drug overdose deaths in the entire country, many of which were opioid-related. Within that same year, there were roughly 390 prescription drugs written per every 100,000 people, equaling out to a total of 4.3 million prescriptions in that year alone. In regards to opioids, 497 people died in Los Angeles in 2018 from an opioid overdose. This represents a 41% increase in opioid deaths since 2016. And while Los Angeles is not one of the top cities for opioid abuse, rates of this type of addiction are continuing to rise, denoting a growing problem.

Alcohol abuse in Los Angeles

Alcohol is by far the most widely abused mind-altering substance in Los Angeles, as well as in most parts of the country. Drinking alcohol is tightly woven into the fabric of Los Angeles, as cocktail parties, celebrations, over-the-top birthday parties, and more are happening on a regular basis. In 2015, a survey reported that nearly 50% of Los Angeles residents had drunk in the month prior to the survey, with 22% reporting binge drinking and 7% admitting to having an alcohol use disorder. Within that same year, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office stated that 38.5% of toxicology reports included alcohol, while between 2011 and 2015, 25.2% of motor vehicle deaths were related to alcohol.

Illicit substances 

While opioids and alcohol remain some of the most abused substances in Los Angeles, so do cocaine and meth. It is reported that in order to live comfortably in Los Angeles, a person must have a salary in the ballpark of $150,000. Comparatively, the national average salary is $56,000. This is an important statistic to consider when discussing high rates of cocaine abuse because cocaine is notoriously expensive. In order to maintain a cocaine addiction, a person has to have the funds to be able to do so, which many people living in Los Angeles have. There are several people, however, who do live in Los Angeles and who do not make nearly as much money or are homeless who find themselves abusing crack cocaine, a cheaper, watered-down version of cocaine.  As mentioned before, rates of meth addiction in Los Angeles are sky-high, mostly due in part to trafficking of the drug over the Mexican border. Between 2008 and 2017, the rate of meth-related deaths increased by 707%. In fatal drug overdose deaths, meth went from being included in 6% of deaths in 2008 to 38% in 2017.

Treatment in Los Angeles

The addiction statistics in Los Angeles may not be the most startling in the country, but they are certainly problematic. Thankfully, Los Angeles and other popular areas in California are home to countless addiction treatment centers that can address addictions to substances like alcohol, meth, cocaine, and opioids.  If you are ready to get treatment in the Los Angeles area, it is imperative that you find a place that fits your treatment needs best, as there are several programs available.  Most treatment facilities offer an array of options for care, including inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient programming, and outpatient programming. The type of program or treatment approach you will receive in Los Angeles will be based on factors specific to you, such as:  
  • What type of substance or substances you are abusing
  • How long you have been abusing drugs/alcohol
  • If you have any current mental illnesses occurring alongside your substance use disorder 
  • Past history of any mental illnesses or substance use disorders in yourself or family members
Additional factors, such as your physical health, your possible need for detox, your living situation at home, and your ability to afford treatment or have it covered will also play a role in determining what type of treatment program will be best for you.

Do You Need Professional Addiction Treatment in the Los Angeles Area? Call Riviera Right Now.

At Riviera, we understand how difficult it is to live with active addiction. We know the challenges you face and we recognize the road you have ahead of you. If you are ready to stop using drugs or alcohol, call us at Riviera right now. We can help you end your active addiction and start building a happy, recovered life.
Lost Someone Who Overdosed

When You’ve Lost Someone Who Overdosed

Grief:  \ ˈgrēf \ noun

  • Deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement
  • A cause of such suffering
Along your recovery journey, you may have known, or have gotten to know others, who have died from an overdose. The grief from this loss can bring up complex feelings and may add challenges to your own healing. It may feel daunting to not only process the death of a loved one but also process how this affects your own recovery and ability to avoid falling into the pitfalls of addiction again.

There is No Right Way to Grieve 

The grieving process is different for everyone and can manifest itself in unique ways depending on the individual.  It is normal to experience a range of emotions including:
  • Sadness 
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Resentment
  • Relief
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • And many others
These feelings can arise suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere; they can rapidly fluctuate or even co-exist together. You may feel sadness that your friend is longer with you, anger at the role they played in using substances, guilt that you were not able to “save” them, relief that they are free from pain, and hopelessness about your own road to recovery.  It is a layered and complicated process dealing with the aftermath of a death by overdose, particularly if you yourself are familiar with the difficulties of substance use and working towards sobriety.

Ways to Work Through the Grieving Process

  1. Suspend self-criticism and judgment on how you are experiencing griefthere is no “right way” to grieve. There is no timeline for grief, so try to remove any expectations you may have regarding how long you should grieve. 
  2. Practice self-compassion and acceptance – Know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed and that unexpected emotions may arise throughout the process. Give yourself permission to feel all of these and trust the process. 
  3. Seek support – not only is it important to find resources to help process the loss, but to also have support navigating how this affects your own recovery journey. Find a grief support group, talk to a mental health professional, and spend time with loved ones. Riviera Recovery is here to walk alongside you during this trying time. 
  4. Practice self-care – Continue to incorporate healthy habits into your routine to ensure that you are caring for your basic needs. Eat nourishing meals, spend some time in nature, stay physically active, and maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Caring for yourself in these foundational ways helps you to support yourself throughout the grieving process. 
  5. Acknowledge and express your feelings – Release your emotions in a healthy manner by talking with a trusted individual, journaling, creating art or music, or through body movement. Set aside time to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling and what you can do to process these emotions. 
  6. Honor the person you lost – Mourn your loved one by looking at photos, revisiting memories, sharing fond stories, or attending a service. 
The road to recovery is a challenging one, and losing someone to an overdose may bring up increased feelings of hopelessness and despair. Know that this is normal and that there is support to guide you during the overwhelming process of grieving while maintaining sobriety.
myths about alcoholism

5 Myths About Alcoholism

Today more than ever, we know much more about the disease of addiction than we ever have in the past. However, there are still myths about drinking that leads to misconceptions and unhealthy decisions when it comes to alcohol consumption. It’s important to learn the truth about alcohol abuse to help you make healthy decisions. Let’s get started!

Myth #1: Drinking alcohol only on weekends does not cause any harm to the body.

Fact: The damage caused by alcohol depends on the so-called “consumption pattern,” that is, on the amount (the higher the amount, the greater the injury) and the intensity (the same amount concentrated in less time is more harmful). When you continually choose to make drinking the center of your social life, therein lies the risk of your drinking becoming a habit, to the point where you are unable to have fun without it, and eventually, unable to feel well without it. Excessive alcohol consumption can put you at risk of health problems such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, sleeping problems, and some types of cancer. You may be at risk if: You’re a man, and you consume more than 4 glasses a day or more than 14 drinks a week. You’re a woman, and you consume more than 3 glasses a day or more than 7 drinks in a week. (Here, a glass is defined as 12 ounces (355 ml) of beer, 5 ounces (148 ml) of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces (45 ml) of liquor).

Myth #2: Alcohol is good for your health.

Fact: While true that several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption appears to decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, these beneficial effects do not appear in all people or in all cases. The dangers associated with alcohol are vast, and perhaps outweigh the positives, as drinking in excess is known to damage the liver and heart, increase the chances of developing breast cancer (among other types), contribute to depression, incidences of violence, motor vehicle accidents, and interfere with interpersonal relationships.

Myth #3: Alcohol doesn’t affect older people

Fact: Most people believe that issues associated with alcohol intake start early in life. In fact, some people develop problems with drinking when they are older. Some people become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older, probably due to the intake of medications that make the effects of alcohol stronger, as well as the loss of muscle mass that affects how alcohol is absorbed by the body. Older adults facing difficult life challenges may start drinking more because they are bored or feel lonely or depressed. However, even if you didn’t drink a lot when you were young, you may still have problems with drinking as you get older.

Myth #4: Drinking is a good way to calm chronic pain

Fact: People with chronic pain sometimes use alcohol to help them manage the pain, studies show that as many as 28% of people turn to alcohol to alleviate their suffering. However, there are many reasons why this might not be a good choice. Alcohol and pain relievers do not react well together. Taking alcohol while on painkillers may actually increase the risk of liver problems, stomach bleeding or other problems. In fact, chronic alcohol consumption can actually increase pain. If you have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, you may be more sensitive to pain. Also, excessive alcohol consumption over a long time can cause a certain type of neural pain.

Myth #5: Alcohol consumption helps to get out of depression, overcome fatigue, and be more lively and fit.

Fact: Although it may appear at first like you are gaining control over your life, abusing alcohol causes you in actuality to lose control over emotions and feelings. The initial apparent feeling of calmness and happiness is short-lived. You’ll end up feeling more depressed and sad, or perhaps guilty about what you did or said while under the impulsive influence of alcohol. It’s important to note that alcohol tends to worsen one’s mood and never truly solves any psychological issues. Rather, it is an avoidance technique to keep from dealing with the root issues. Also to further prove the point, there is often greater physical fatigue associated with alcohol use due to lost sleep and sleep quality, which affects nearly every other aspect of life or pursuit of well-being. If you allowed any of these reasons to fuel your alcohol use or addiction, it is time to correct those misbeliefs and douse them with a healthy dose of truth. In pursuing health, well-being, or sobriety, alcohol is not your friend, but the staff at Riviera Recovery is. We offer residents a safe and supportive environment, and the chance to embark on a healthy and vibrant sober lifestyle in the heart of Malibu. Request a call back today to learn more!
photo of a smiling woman reading,co ed sober living near me, coed sober living near me, sober living housing near me

Clear Path to Sober Living & Recovery

Relapse is one of the major challenges people face while recovering from substance use disorder. They need to overcome triggers and cravings almost daily. Medical detox and inpatient treatment are effective, but they are part of the recovery system. You will need outpatient services and programs to help you gain full recovery.  Moving directly from the inpatient routine to your normal routine is a huge challenge, and many individuals will relapse. 

Sober Living

You will need to understand a sober living house and how it works to be able to comprehend sober living itself. A sober living house/home is a facility that acts as a bridge inpatient treatment and normal life. Thus, sober living is a transitioning phase and place that individuals use to adjust to normal life.  Most sober living facilities are not run by licensed medical professionals like doctors or therapists. It makes it a simple but highly useful and effective form of treatment.  Some sober living facilities are operated by medical professionals, which makes it an added advantage. Most individuals in recovery need the help of sober living. closeup photo of smiling woman,co ed sober living near me, coed sober living near me, sober living housing near me

Rehab Vs. Sober Living

Rehab or inpatient treatment is quite different from a sober living house in terms of structure. Some of the major differences between rehabs and sober living homes include:
  • Cost: Rehab centers are more costly.
  • Rules: Rehab facilities have more rules than sober living homes. For example, one cannot leave a rehab facility during treatment, but a sober living house allows such movements.
  • Duration: Rehab centers limit the patients’ stay to 30-day or 90-day periods. 
  • Professionals: You will surely find professionals in mental health, medication, and addiction. 

Sober Living Houses Vs. Halfway Houses

People also often confuse sober living houses and halfway houses. Halfway houses are intended to help rehabilitate people who have committed crimes. The differences between the two include:
  • Operator. Halfway houses are funded by the government. Sober living homes are operated by individuals or organizations. 
  • Physical structure: sober living houses are private residences while halfway houses resemble dorms. 
  • Attendance: People go to sober living houses willingly while the court orders force individuals to go to halfway houses. 
  • Cost: Halfway houses are funded by the government, which makes them cheaper. However, they have fewer amenities than sober living houses. 

What To Expect In A Sober Living Home

You should expect a combination of support, structure, and freedom in sober living homes. In structure, there are some rules you need to adhere to. Some of these rules include curfew rules and compulsory group meetings. The regulations of sober living houses vary with the sober living institution.    Sober living houses also offer freedom. You will use this freedom to ease back into your normal duties. They also offer support, which is very important. Some individuals go into isolation after rehab, and this easily triggers relapse.  You will get to interact with other members of the sober homes, and in 12-step support meetings like Narcotics Anonymous. You will make new friends and also mend your relationships with your family. 

How Long Should I Stay In Sober Living?

Your needs will influence the time you spend in sober living. These needs can be summarized into factors like:
  • Your recovery stability. To be stable, you will need to appropriately manage your cravings, coping skills, and co-occurring disorders. You will need cognitive skills from cognitive therapy to achieve this. 
  • Your level of comfort. How comfortable are you with resuming back to your normal life?
  • Your safety at home. Is your home a fully safe environment? Are you prone to triggers, cravings, and eventually relapse?

How To Recover While In Sober Living

Apart from the support, structure, and freedom in sober living, you can use other approaches to ensure a full recovery. They include:
  • Stay busy. 
  • Get housing after sober living
  • Find a job
  • Make amends with friends and family. 
  • Carry the sober living principles back to your normal life. 

Sober Living and Addiction treatment at Riviera Recovery. 

You can access sober living in Los Angeles at Riviera Recovery Sober Living Homes. Riviera Recovery is a wellness community. We help men and women to overcome substance use disorder, mental health issues, and co-occurring disorders.  Unlike other sober living homes, our residents are under the care of trained and registered nurses. Our team of professionals offers personalized attention to ensure comfort for you and your loved ones. We also have on-call doctors who will provide the necessary help during your recovery process.  man and woman playing by the beach, sober living communities near me, female sober living near me, couples sober living near Our services are based on support empowerment and safety. Some of the services we offer include transport to and from support group meetings, nutritionist support, random drug test & breathalyzers, case management, and more.  We have facilities in two locations. One facility offers coed residence, and the other is men-only residence. The coed residence is called the Pacific Palisades House. It has separate bathrooms for each gender. You can access the beach after a short walk. The facility offers a beautiful view of the beach and the Santa Monica mountains. You can access 12-step meetings in Santa Monica, Malibu, and the Pacific Palisades.  The Barrington House offers men sober living. You can access multiple parks after a short walk. Moreover, you can get to Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and LAX after a short drive. Residents can also access yoga & meditation studios, museums, and gyms.  Contact us now to book sober living for you or your loved ones. 

Final Thoughts

Anyone who moves directly from rehab to normal life has a very high risk of relapse. In rehab, you will have only discussed the triggers and cravings. However, you will get to experience all these in real life, and you need to get support when dealing with them. Furthermore, most individuals need time to readjust to their normal lives.  Sober living offers addicts the chance to readjust. Individuals will reside in sober living homes during these periods. Sober living homes are quite different from rehab. In rehab, there are medical & health professionals, the rules are stricter, the cost is higher, and the duration shorter. People also often confuse halfway houses with sober living houses. Halfway houses are usually funded by the government, and people use them under court orders. Moreover, the amenities in halfway houses are not as good as those in sober living. They are meant for reformed convicts.  The duration you spend in sober living will depend on your needs. It depends on how comfortable you are, how stable your recovery is, and how safe home is for you. To make the best out of sober living, we advise that you find a job as you readjust, make amends with friends and family, and live by the sober living principles.  Get sober living help from a facility with professionals such as Riviera Recovery. 
Riviera recovery is open during COVID-19

COVID-19 UPDATE. We are Open During Coronavirus Pandemic

Riviera Infection Protocol

This is an unprecedented time that calls for unprecedented measures. However, based on recommendations by the government, the state, and the CDC, we feel that it is  our responsibility to closely follow what they are suggesting in order to ensure the safety of our clients. Therefore, effective immediately, the following protocols are in effect. New Admits
  • New admits will be limited and will be heavily screened. Before admit we will gather the following information
    • Have you traveled to Asia or Europe since the winter of 2019?
      • Yes OR  No
    • Have you or any family members been exposed to Coronavirus?
      • Yes OR  No
    • Are you at risk of exposure to Coronavirus?
      • Yes OR  No
    • Are you experiencing any shortness of breath, coughing, fever or any other symptoms of Coronavirus and/or flu?
      • Yes OR  No
    • If yes to the previous question, have you been tested for the Coronavirus or are you willing to be tested?
      • Yes, No  OR N/A
  • We will also require all new admits complete a COVID-19 test to be supplied by Riviera. No client is to be admitted without first receiving a negative test.
Current Clients and Staff 
  • Current clients will not be taken anywhere offsite that is unnecessary or not considered vitally important to their treatment or health (i.e. a clinical appointment, a doctors appointment)
  • Clients will participate in online/virtual AA meetings
  • Clients will be required to maintain IOP attendance via virtual platforms and staff will monitor for attendance.
  • Clients that are required to leave the home and go into a populated area must IMMEDIATELY wash clothes and take a shower upon returning home. Staff will wipe down all handles and surfaces the client comes into contact with.
  • Clients with high risk jobs will be asked to take leave from their jobs.
  • The home is being cleaned and sanitized each day, with priority on frequently touched surfaces.
  • Staff have been asked to limit contact with other people/areas outside of work. They must immediately wash and sanitize hands upon arrival at work.
  • Staff are subject to the same screening questions as clients listed above.
  • If a staff members are aware that they have been exposed to COVID-19, they are required to report the information to Riviera owners and they will be asked to stay home
  • Any staff members showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home immediately.
  • Temperatures are taken at random to ensure no one has a fever, staff and client alike.
Quarantine Protocol  In the event that a client displays symptoms, we will enact the following
  • Client will be taken to appropriate medical care and will follow instructions as directed by medical professionals
  • There will be an immediate disinfection of the home with appropriate wipes and cleaners, as directed by the CDC.
  • The client will be placed in a single room and will not be allowed to other areas of the home for the duration of their symptoms.
  • Other clients will not be allowed to enter that room.
  • Other clients will also be placed under strict watch for symptoms.
  • Clients may be asked to find a quarantine station away from the home.
  • If symptoms become problematic, clients will be immediately escorted to a hospital to receive further treatment.

Why Naloxone Should Be a Part of Your Relapse Prevention Plan

There are two fundamental questions that bear answering in exploring this topic: “What is Naloxone?”, and “What is relapse prevention?” If you have been around those in recovery, been to treatment or have ever experienced a non-lethal overdose, you are likely familiar with these concepts. 

What is Naloxone?

Put plainly, Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan or Evzio, is an FDA-approved medication introduced in the early 2000’s that reverses opioid overdoses. Packaged either as a nasal spray or auto-injectable, advances in technology and litigation have gotten this so-called “miracle drug” into the hands of lay people (friends and family of those who struggle with addiction) who in some studies, claimed to have successfully reversed 25,000 opioid overdoses in the eighteen years between 1996 and 2014.  Naloxone works by restoring breathing to individuals experiencing the depressive effects of high doses of opioids, where breathing slows, and lack of oxygen to the brain causes the body’s organs to begin shutting down. Through a process of binding to the opioid receptors, thus blocking the further effects of any other dosage, naloxone provides individuals with a 30 to 90 minute window of time where they are able to receive further emergency treatment.  Naloxone is now readily available at all major pharmacies, and the associated education of learning to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose takes only about five to ten minutes. Both of these figures contributes to the widespread success of this product, and explain the importance of including naloxone distribution and education to close family members and friends as a vital aspect of your relapse prevention plan. 

What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

This brings us to the second important question of the post: what is the purpose of a relapse prevention plan? In essence, it is the aim of verbalizing or drafting a plan to avoid relapse; to be fully prepared for future cravings, or when facing triggering situations. A good relapse prevention plan will help you to identify your triggers ahead of time, remind you of healthy coping skills to employ, as well as contain a list of supportive people that you can call when in need. Not only should it focus on people or places important to avoid, it should also help to define what you are like when you are “well”, and the self-care maintenance practices to use on a daily or weekly basis that will help to keep you there.  While a large portion of the plan may require individual motivation and effort, the participation and education of close family and friends of the best ways to support you in your recovery journey should not be overlooked. Teaching them communication strategies to help point you in the right direction, giving them permission to help keep you accountable, and arming them with a life-saving tool like naloxone are key aspects of setting yourself up for success in recovery.  This is just a brief overview of the key contents of a relapse prevention plan, and far from conclusive. For further information and assistance in your recovery journey, consult one of our admissions specialists today!

Self-Care: Series Introduction

In the world where we live in, technology has evolved, mindless entertainment is prized, and work is prioritized to the point where many people do not have time to take care of themselves. Even if an individual might technically have “free time”, there is a pervasive notion in today’s society that self-care is a luxury, or an indulgence that cannot be afforded. The professional world is also becoming more demanding and stressful and it seems there is almost no room for kindness and mutual care. In addition, the physical, mental and social health of the rising generation seems to have dramatically downgraded, meanwhile stress, anxiety, and chronic fatigue are becoming normal and expected. Without a huge self-care effort, all these changes take place at the expense of our personal balance, our health and our well-being. The expression “self-care” is now omnipresent in the definitions of health and happiness. However, it often remains very poorly defined and misunderstood. So, what is it really about? What are its foundations? And why does inadequate self-care impair our well-being and our health? The purpose of this series is to answer all these questions and to help you get your life back on track. Definition of Self-Care: Despite its many definitions, well-being is often referred to as a balanced mental state linked to different factors that can be taken into account separately or jointly: health, social or economic success, pleasure, self-realization, and harmony with oneself and with others. All of these factors require continuous care to maintain them, as this maintenance effort is what we talk about when using the expression “self-care”. Many products on the market offer the false promise of providing the ultimate well-being; of bottling happiness and selling it “for just 3 easy payments of $19.95”. However, we all know that the main source of a person’s happiness lies within themselves. This means that there is no magic formula to feel good about yourself. Indeed, self-care is above all, a way of life. It is a set of factors that are intimately linked and interwoven with each other. This self-care effort includes all aspects of life. It is about the food we eat, how much work we do a day and sleep we get a night, but also about how we manage our stress, our thoughts, the relationships we have with our loved ones and the multitude of choices we make every day. However before detailing the main aspects of self-care, it must be remembered that one of the main excuses people have for ignoring self-care is that they just do not have the time. The good news is that there are many different self-care practices, and none of them are particularly difficult or require much planning. The trick is to find out what you really like and what fits your life and your values. Most psychology trends agree on six different areas of wellness which constitute the foundational pillars of this concept: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, relational and professional self-care. Assessment of these six areas is a crucial first step towards creating better self-care practices, as is the vulnerability and bravery to be honest about current habits. In beginning the assessment process, we recommend starting with a resource such as this one to begin thinking about your own self-care and to stay tuned for the next installment in our series: The Importance of Physical Self-Care.

The AP Learns to Talk About Addiction

Last week, The Associated Press took an important step in that direction. The new edition of its widely used AP Stylebook declares that “addict” should no longer be used as a noun. “Instead,” it says, “choose phrasing like he was addicted, people with heroin addiction or he used drugs.” In short, separate the person from the disease. The style guide clarifies another important language to maximize precision and reduce bias in addiction coverage. There are new entries on “alcoholic,” and an array of substances, from bath salts and cocaine to PCP and synthetic cannabis. Unlike many matters of style, these changes aren’t mere semantics or political correctness. Widespread media misunderstanding of the fundamental nature of addiction has led to some deadly misconceptions about how it should be managed. The AP provides news to around 15,000 media organizations and businesses, and its stylebook is highly influential in setting standards for usage. If its more accurate terms are adopted and understood by institutions like The New York Times and CBS News, it could genuinely help improve drug treatment and policy amid an overdose crisis that shows no signs of slowing. “Around the beginning of the year, in January, we noticed that there was a hole in our guidance on addiction,” says Jeff McMillan, an AP enterprise editor who was the lead author of the new section. He adds, “As we began talking to experts, we learned that the language that was traditionally used is changing, and we thought it would be good to give people a vocabulary.” The new language is being widely welcomed. “It’s very good — really well done,” says John Kelly, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard and founder and director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Kelly was the lead author of a study published in 2010 that showed that even doctoral-level professionals take a more punitive stance when patients are described as “substance abusers” rather than “people with substance use disorder.” The stylebook directs its users to “avoid words like abuse or problem in favor of the word use with an appropriate modifier such as risky, unhealthy, excessive, or heavy. Misuse is also acceptable.” Notably, it adds that not all risky use involves addiction — a distinction that has been clear to epidemiologists for decades but has not often been noted by the press. And perhaps most important, the new style specifies that journalists should not use “dependence” as a synonym for addiction. In fact, “substance dependence” was dropped as the official diagnosis for addiction by psychiatry’s diagnostic manual, the DSM, in 2013, in part because it erroneously implied that the two are the same. While the AP doesn’t spell this out, journalists and readers should understand why it matters. In essence, “dependence” means relying on a substance to function normally. People who take certain medications for blood pressure, depression, and addiction will suffer withdrawal if these medications are stopped abruptly, but that does not mean they’re addicted. This is true even for those taking opioids like methadone or buprenorphine to treat addiction. When people are stabilized on an appropriate individualized dose of either addiction treatment medication, they are not impaired at all because of the precise way this specific class of drugs affects the brain and causes tolerance. By contrast, addiction is a medical disorder marked by compulsive drug use despite bad consequences like impairment. So while addiction is always a problem, dependence may not be. Understanding this is critical for good pain care. Patients taking opioids over a long period of time are often physically dependent, but unless they experience negative consequences and compulsive use, they are not addicted. Similarly, babies exposed to opioids in the womb may suffer withdrawal symptoms from dependence after they are born, but they aren’t addicted either. Addiction requires persistent compulsive drug use, and such babies don’t even know that what they need is opioids, let alone have the ability to obtain and use drugs to support an addiction. Yet the media has often failed to recognize these differences. Headlines about “addicted babies” abound and this stigma can itself do great harm. During the crack years, exposed children were subject to abuse and neglect by caregivers and others who misinterpreted normal behavior as malicious. Recently, The Washington Post surveyed chronic pain patients on opioid therapy, asking them whether they were “addicted or dependent” but without defining those terms. Not surprisingly, one-third of the patients answered yes. While that made for a scary headline, it didn’t tell readers how many actually had substance-use disorders. And that is what you really want to know: Stopping effective pain treatment when you mistake it for addiction can be deadly. At The New York Times, there are no plans to update the paper’s style manual along The AP’s lines. “I definitely understand the arguments and the sensitivity,” Philip B. Corbett, the paper’s associate managing editor for standards, wrote in an email, adding that “language evolves, and we will continue to think about these terms and consider changes as they seem warranted.” But about dependence and addiction, he said he thought “very few readers would immediately understand or pick up on the distinction.” Yet an unhappy result of conflating addiction and dependence is to undermine the only treatment we know that cuts mortality from opioid addiction by 50 percent or more: long-term treatment with methadone or buprenorphine. Too often, these treatments are mischaracterized as merely replacing one addiction with another. If the AP’s guidance can help members and their readers stop making this error, it could end up saving many lives. OCOURSE, how the news media talk about addiction is only one aspect of a deep-seated cultural problem. In 12-step groups, which are used in at least 80 percent of American addiction care, people are encouraged to identify themselves as “addicts” or “alcoholics.” They often use what the AP’s McMillan calls this “almost self-punitive language” when speaking to the press, even if they don’t publicly identify themselves as group members. This could be seen as a way of trying to reclaim stigmatized terms by an oppressed group, just as other marginalized people have sometimes done with slurs against them. The AP suggests similar guidelines for using “addict” as a noun. It’s all right when used in a quote or in the name of an organization, but not otherwise. Language is complicated and often slow to change — and for a group that has been criminalized, fighting stigma and misinformation is a constant struggle. But when the media start treating people with addiction with the same respect that they use for other patients, perhaps the rest of America will start to accept that addiction is a medical problem and that moralizing and punishment have failed. Maia Szalavitz is the author of the best-selling “Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction,” which was just released in paperback. This article has been updated to include a comment from Philip B. Corbett, associate managing editor for standards at The New York Times. Source: