man holding ghb pills

The Dangerous Rise of GHB

Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid, most commonly known as GHB, is a controlled substance in the state of California, but that doesn’t stop people from abusing it. Sometimes it’s called “liquid ecstasy” when it’s sold in small dosages on the street. GHB is well-known as a “date rape” drug due to coverage in the media in the past few years. It has been used to commit sex crimes because it’s hard to detect when it’s dissolved. When the dosage is a large one, the drug can make a person pass out for many hours and lose their memory. Doctors can prescribe GHB, in its basic form, for specific rare medical purposes. The GHB that people tend to abuse, however, does not typically come from any doctor.

Why Do People Use GHB?

While some people have a valid prescription for GHB, it’s a medication that doctors rarely prescribe. When it is legitimate, a doctor prescribes it to people with narcolepsy, a disorder where a person falls asleep minute to minute. In small doses, GHB acts as a stimulant. Some bodybuilders also use GHB for performance-enhancement. They usually buy it illicitly and often from an internet supplier. They believe that it’s a relatively safe and easy way to bulk up by increasing their growth hormone, therefore increasing their muscle mass and decreasing their fat mass. Many people don’t realize is that GHB is also used recreationally. Sometimes it’s called “liquid ecstasy.” Like all narcotics, the drug is addictive and dangerous. Most of the people who abuse the drug get it through illicit means. Usually, GHB is snorted, smoked, or dissolved in a drink. Higher doses of the drug that have a reputation as a date rape drug – it can knock a person out cold. Most of the people who abuse the drug are taking it in small doses for the euphoric and “hypnotic” feeling they say it gives them. GHB is commonly abused by people who are in drug treatment, on probation or parole and need to pass a urine test. That’s because it doesn’t stay in the body as long as other addictive drugs. GHB sticks in a user’s body for only four to twelve hours after they ingest it.

Dangers of GHB

GHB is classified as a narcotic for a reason – it’s dangerous, and side effects could be deadly. Many people like to take methamphetamine/crystal meth with GHB, believing it counteracts some of the depressive effects GHB. This combination is a terrible idea – it can cause a severe reaction such as heart attack, seizures, or stroke. Some people have a bad reaction to the drug on its own and have similar health emergencies. Overdoses are common with the drug. People tend to underestimate its effects and like to mix it with other substances as they continue to party. Symptoms of GHB Use Include:
  • Drowsiness or nodding off.
  • Blackouts where the user doesn’t remember what happened.
  • Balance and speech difficulties, similar to being drunk.
  • Agitation or anxiety.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Lack of response.
  • Slowed breathing or trouble with breathing.
  • Blackout or short-term memory issues.
  • Trouble speaking or focusing.
If a person has overdosed on GHB or another drug, medical help is necessary. There are many dangers from the damage caused by overdose, including a heart attack or coma. People who use other drugs alongside GHB, especially other stimulants like methamphetamine/crystal meth, are highly likely to experience an overdose that leads to seizures, coma, or death.

Is GHB Addictive?

Many people start out using GHB for its euphoric effects but soon find that they’re addicted to it. It’s a drug that quickly changes your brain to depend on it. An addicted person will quickly build a tolerance to the drug and need more of it to get the feeling they crave. The feeling of euphoria is a powerful thing, and many users chase this high. People who are addicted may start to depend on the drug to have fun. When they stop using, they also experience physical and mental withdrawal effects. These include feelings of anxiety or irritation, shaking, sweating, and changes in a person’s sleeping patterns. Other withdrawal symptoms a person can have from GHB include high blood pressure, diarrhea or stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting. Withdrawal from GHB can be dangerous, but it’s not impossible. Within five days of initially detoxing from GHB, a person can end up having severe mental health symptoms or psychosis. They may have complicated delusions, hallucinations, and seem confused. Some people become violent in this state, but when a person detoxes in a clinical environment where symptoms can be treated and monitored by a nurse and doctor. All of these symptoms should resolve within a few weeks, although some people have these symptoms for months or even permanent brain damage from long-term use. GHB is a dangerous and addictive drug, and if you or somebody you know is secretly using this drug, they’re doing damage to themselves. You don’t have to go it alone; there is plenty of help available. No matter what path you’ve been on, recovery is available to you. Give yourself a chance! Learn more about the options available to you to reclaim your life.

Join Our Community at Riviera Recovery

Are you looking for a community that is safe and sober? We want to help you achieve lasting, meaningful long-term sobriety in the comfort of a “home” away from home. Are you ready to commit to yourself and your recovery? Learn more about what we offer by calling us at 1-855-207-9708.
support group comforting friend

Fentanyl Use and Addiction Has Become More Common

The addiction epidemic is still being fought across America. More awareness seems to have helped states get a few more resources to battle the epidemic, but thousands of people are overdosing more everyday. An influx in fentanyl, a drug that’s nearly 50 to 100 times the strength of morphine, has caused overdoses in every state that has a drug problem. Many of these overdoses are by people who aren’t even aware that they’re taking fentanyl.

Why is Fentanyl Causing So Many OD’s and Deaths?

Fentanyl is becoming a common factor in drug overdoses and deaths. According to data from the Department of Health in California, fentanyl deaths skyrocketed by 614% to 743 in 2018. Many of the deaths are attributed to the rise of counterfeit pills. Drug users who buy the pills believe that they’re getting a different drug. Most of the people who overdose on fentanyl are addicted to other opioids, such as heroin or Oxycontin. The pills are cut to look like Oxycontin or other less potent drugs. Sometimes the fentanyl is mixed with a the drug. The drug buyers usually don’t know what they’re getting. This means that they may be used to taking two or more of the Oxy pills at a time due to a tolerance. But taking two pills of fentanyl can be deadly to most users of less strong drugs.

Tainting the Drug Market

Drug dealers have also been substituting fentanyl for heroin or adding fentanyl to the heroin they’re selling. Because fentanyl is so much stronger than heroin, it’s likely the dealers believe that adding fentanyl will addict more users. Sometimes the supply is tainted before it gets to America and the drug dealers don’t know about it. Usually, the drug dealer is just being callous and trying to addict a user more efficiently. In California, there are a lot of tainted pills. Fentanyl has been found in crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, MDMA. Some people become addicted to drugs because of the fentanyl content, while other simply overdose. When a person addicted to a less potent drug ingests a large amount of fentanyl, they’re not used to it. It is usually hundreds of times stronger than the drug they normally use. This causes overdoses that are often fatal. Even first responders have trouble reviving people who overdose on fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a Becoming a Big Problem in California

Unlike Oxycontin, many people use fentanyl buy it from a drug dealer on the street. But where does this drug, which is only supposed to be used for things like cancer and surgery, come from? How does it get into the hands of addicted people? While taking heat for trying to flood the world with Oxycontin, drug companies are not likely to  supply the drug en masse. Instead, the government has had to find and shut down dirty doctors who have operated what are described as “pill mills”. California has been cracking down on opioid distribution for years. Unfortunately, when it comes to the war on opioids, it’s often like playing whack-a-mole to keep up with dealers and distributors.

Southern California’s Fentanyl Problem

In 2018, state prosecutors busted a doctor in Southern California operating a “pill mill” that prescribed thousands of Oxycontin pills to dead and incarcerated people. Pill mills are doctor offices breaking the law and overprescribing purposefully. The offices become a place where addicted people and drug dealers alike go to get hundreds of pills. These pills then, in turn, flood the streets. Today, there are fewer suspected pill mills in California and drugs are often trafficked from other states. Doctors breaking the law or overprescribing are often flagged under computer monitoring programs. It takes law enforcement a long time to build a case. Much of the fentanyl that is distributed in the United States comes from outside the United States, especially China or Mexico, which of course makes California a likely market. In October, 2019, another bust in Southern California netted enough of the drug to make kill four million people. “It has become increasingly common for us to see drug dealers peddling counterfeit pharmaceuticals made with fentanyl,” United States Attorney Nick Hanna told the media as he answered questions about fentanyl deaths in California earlier this year. “As a consequence, fentanyl is now the number one cause of overdose deaths in the United States.”

Get Addiction Recovery Help

No matter who you are or what you’ve used, there is help available for you to overcome it. You don’t have to face it alone. Recovery is possible! Let us help you reclaim your life. For more information on how Riviera Recovery’s Admissions Team can help you or a loved one embrace a new life through lasting sobriety, or for a tour of our center, please call (855) 207-9708 or click here to send a confidential message.

Does Drinking Affect My Child?

When parents drink, children learn

It’s well-known that parenting is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs. It is a 24-7, around-the-clock, life-changing responsibility that requires adjustments on all fronts. For those who have a complicated relationship with alcohol, the stakes are even greater. When that “complicated relationship” becomes a pattern of drinking and avoidance, the necessities of parenting can begin to take a backseat to that next drink, and missed opportunities for connection become engrained ways of relating with one another. Remember what it’s like to be a small child, to look up to the adults of the world, especially your parents, to learn from them, and to expect them to have all of the answers. Your child’s identity and sense of security is deeply entwined with yours: with the way that you live your life day-by-day, and how you carry yourself. However, getting drunk around them, spending the next day hungover, or glorifying that lifestyle passes along several important messages to your children throughout their formative years, like the lessons outlined below:

Lesson 1. They’re Second

It is a basic aspect of healthy development for children to learn that they can rely on their caregivers for all of their basic needs: food, water, shelter, touch. However the list does not stop there, children require constant engagement in their world, including the provision of experiences that create the foundation for healthy relationships and formulate a sound perspective.  If you’re not spending adequate time with your child, they will learn that they are not worthy of your care and attention and that they will always be second to the drink in your hand. Developing a healthy sense of confidence and self-worth won’t come quite as easily, as the most important person in their life did not treat them as a priority.

Lesson 2. Their Feelings Are A Burden

Childhood is a time fraught with many new experiences and difficult challenges, each an opportunity in learning how to self- regulate. From the time they begin sleep training, to when they need to learn that tantrums are not the way to get what they want, it is the role of the parent to teach them how to identify their feelings and work through them. They rely on you to learn emotional regulation, to be able to cope with the difficulties that life throws their way. If you’re drinking to excess, there is a good chance that you never learned these lessons yourself, and not to mention, your patience with them is likely to be thin.  Learning these skills is an important part of recovery from addiction, if not only for yourself but also for your children. 

Lesson 3. Alcohol is the Answer

As your children look up to you and learn from the world around them, it would be difficult to imagine them forgoing incorporating your favorite coping mechanism into their repertoire. They likely see your reaction to a stressful day, the “I need a drink”, and believe it quite literally is the answer to life’s difficulties.   Remember that your children are soaking up life lessons by watching you: when you are upset, happy, angry, or drunk, they learn that this is how adults move through the world. Make sure not to normalize the need of an external substance to regulate internal states, or this is exactly what the children will learn, and lend way to a lifetime of their own complicated relationship with alcohol. 

Lesson 4. They Can’t Count on Anyone

With little evidence to the contrary, children may generalize their experiences of turning to their parents for support, help or counsel and finding rejection to all others in their lives. They learn easily enough that people aren’t reliable, can’t be trusted, and will just let them down. 

Show them a different way.

The truth is quite simple, facing life’s difficulties with healthy coping strategies isn’t an option for children who aren’t being taught them. As adolescents, these lessons become paramount to how your child constructs their reality, cementing patterns that they may carry for the rest of their lives. Remember, if your child thinks that avoiding responsibility is easier than avoiding it, they will likely take that option.  Make the hard choice now, so your children can learn that they too can do the hard thing. Give us a call today to learn where to begin your recovery journey, and how we can help you to do what you need to do to be the best parent possible.

Smart and Sober Living

One’s discharge date from residential or inpatient treatment is likely a day that has been highly anticipated and fought for with blood, sweat, and tears. It represents the end of one key phase of treatment. However, for many individuals, that much sought-after date also represents one of fear and uncertainty related to what they may face once they return home, and how they will be able to put their learning into practice. Individuals may be concerned about their ability to stay sober once they’re back in their old environment, or once they face those old triggers. While facing them is inevitable, there are some smart ways to go about this transition and some key benefits to enlisting supportive housing to facilitate the process. 

Adjustment to Daily Life

Many individuals choose to seek supportive housing as the step in-between residential treatment and coming home, due to an awareness of the stark contrast between the level of support available to them at home and anticipation that they may require more than is currently available. This solution offers them the opportunity to slowly adjust to life outside of a residential center, to the unplanned and unstructured. In this adjustment, individuals can live in the middle ground, still actively working their recovery, while also experiencing aspects of the real world that they may have been sheltered from while in active treatment. 

Accountability in Daily Practices

Living in a sober house offers an opportunity to live in a community of individuals who are pursuing similar goals. Finding others at a similar stage in recovery once back home is absolutely still possible, however, takes commitment and follow-through in order to do so. For those transitioning home right away after treatment, this may not rank as high on the list once all of those real-world concerns come flooding back, despite its importance in sustaining recovery. Seeing others you respect successfully manage the transition to sober living in the real world can offer inspiration to work with equal vigor, to create a sense of structure for yourself, with daily routines and practices, and the accountability of others who believe in your ability to follow through. Once you learn that you can be successful in a less structured environment, you will likely be more inclined to believe in your abilities to do so once you return home. 

Opportunity for Daily Compliance

With those daily routines and practices, you have the opportunity to develop confidence and establish a greater sense of self-esteem regarding your own ability to handle your affairs and sustain recovery. Each day that you follow through with a self-directed routine or accomplish a goal (no matter how small) and you allow yourself to feel proud of your behavior, you are one step closer to being ready to face the triggers that will present themselves once you return home. Again, once you are able to feel confident in your ability to thrive in the less-structured but supportive environment of a sober living house, your likelihood of putting those very same skills into practice once you return home is much greater. 

Transitional Periods

Sober living is a perfect fit for transitional periods of all kinds, but especially when leaving inpatient or residential treatment. Namely, by offering an adjustment period back to reality, and a place for an individual to focus on creating community and establishing daily practices of their own, sober living is truly the smart way to ensure a lasting recovery. Tour our sober living home online now, and see for yourself why Riviera Recovery is right for you!

Choosing Sobriety Over Alcohol

It is so easy to tell yourself “I’ll be good”, or “I’ll only have one drink” just to later find yourself in a turn of events, where the room is spinning, and you can’t even muster up the strength to feel the regret you know will inevitably hit you first thing in the morning. Many of us have experimented with alcohol, some more than others.  We may have the hope that there is the possibility of managing to drink in moderation or limited amounts, but if you know that you are the type of person that doesn’t have an off switch, this lifestyle can become unrewarding and dissatisfying very quickly, to say the least. When it comes to individuals who use other primary drugs of choice, similar to those with a drinking problem, once the high is gone they reach out for the next thing to carry them on to the next high. This is how addiction is born, and why in most cases, especially for those who have engaged in addictive patterns in the past, the choice of abstinence and sobriety is the more practical route. In this case, you won’t have to worry about the temptations of falling into the trap of “accidentally” having more than the one drink you promised yourself and save yourself from the misery of the gut-wrenching hangover and all the consequences and missed opportunities that go along with it.

Self Esteem

When you choose sobriety, you choose a world of clarity and functionality. For starters, you begin by creating a goal: to refrain from partaking in alcohol or any other substances that alter your mind state. In doing this, you will feel better about yourself not only because of the physical changes you will notice, but you will also feel mentally better because you have proven to yourself that you have the willpower that it takes to stay abstinent. This is how self-esteem is born, when you prove to yourself that you can make changes that impact your life.

Healthy Body, Healthy Brain

Drugs and alcohol take such a physical and mental toll on us, especially once you have become addicted. Substance abuse can not only make a person look 10-20 years older than they actually are, but there are copious amounts of damage done to the inside of your body that cannot be seen. A lot of people use drugs and alcohol as a way to increase their dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters in your brain that comprise important aspects of your brain’s reward system, that make you happy. Over time, your body becomes dependent on these drugs for those “happy chemicals”, making it so that when you are not high or drunk, you inherently become depressed, yet rewarded when you seek out your substance of choice. However, when you choose sobriety, your brain’s chemicals remain healthy and balanced. It takes a while for a recovering addict’s natural levels of dopamine and serotonin, and their happiness will eventually return without the need for outside substances.

A Better Tomorrow

Choosing to be sober is also a great way to save money and allow yourself more time to do things that will enrich your life. If you could take the amount of money spent on alcohol alone over a lifetime, you would probably find yourself with a pretty decent savings account, a way to take that vacation you always dream of, or a way to cross something off of your bucket list. You can wake up each day feeling good about yourself, ready to start the day with a clear and grateful mind rather than feeling like you want to stay in bed until the next day comes. When we decide to abandon the things that hold us back from living the life we dream of, we become so much greater. Choosing sobriety is not an easy task, and you may need a team of people on your side to help you get on the right path and continue walking it. Request a callback today to learn about how we can become a part of your recovery journey.

The Dangers of Replacement Addictions

When recovering from an addiction, it is an all-too-common phenomenon for one to replace their primary reported problematic behaviors (usually compulsatory dependence on illicit substances) with other destructive, perhaps thought to be less severe, problem behaviors. Whether only temporary or permanent, a shift towards these replacement addictions are a sign that the person is still caught up in their addictive tendencies. An addicted person may believe that while in recovery, switching to legal substances, such as alcohol or nicotine, or taking up new behavioral patterns, termed “process addictions”, is a step in the right direction. These behaviors may include vigorous exercise, new eating habits, or even spending newly acquired free time online shopping, etc. however all of these options pose potential problems to the recovering addict. While many who struggle with addiction will make justifications for these new behaviors, the key is in understanding the function and role that they may play in the addicted person’s life, as this is the primary way to know when a seemingly innocuous or even healthy new habit may be the cause for concern. Dangerous Habits A good understanding of the definition of addiction is imperative in considering the effects of this phenomenon and remains useful to shed some light as to why an individual might employ the use of a substitute addiction. The three common characteristics of addiction can be understood as:
  1. The disruption of the reward center of the brain that finds pleasure in everyday activities.
  2. Minimal distress tolerance that leads to a compulsion to use or engage in problem behavior (cravings)
  3. Impairment in brain structures meant to facilitate decision making, impulse control, and self-regulation, placing the individual at greater risk for relapse
When engaging in a substitute or replacement addiction, it is clear to see how one or all of these characteristics are present, indicating that true or complete recovery has yet to take place. Common Replacement Behaviors Substitute addictions refer to a variety of behaviors that, when repeated compulsively and in excess, activate the same reward circuits of the brain once triggered by the former drug of choice. Whether legal drugs, or others thought to be “less severe” (i.e. cannabis) or process addictions, one’s relationship with food, exercise, gambling, shopping, love, sex, and even religion can become problematic.  Although the resulting problems vary, is clear that drug substitution is no less dangerous than addiction to a single main substance. Alcohol: Although the study is still required on the subject, a review of the relevant research supports the hypothesis that the use of alcohol post-treatment leaves the individual vulnerable for a relapse of their primary drug. This understanding is founded on two principles: first, that alcohol is used by these individuals as an attempt to manage cravings, and second, that alcohol has a negative effect on the decision-making capabilities and impulse control of individuals. Nicotine: Often times, in the same way that one’s primary drug is triggered by experiencing uncomfortable or negative emotions through repeated use of the drug to cope with the feelings, legal addictions such as cigarette smoking (or alcohol use) become equally paired with the experience and typically increase cravings or can be thought of as a “slippery slope”. Whether smoking cigarettes does eventually lead back to the primary addiction or not, it is still a problem when it functions as a means for the individual to deal with their stress. Excessive Behaviors: With the category of behaviors labelled as “excessive”, problems occur when, as mentioned previously, the behaviors do not increase an individual’s distress tolerance, or ability to deal with uncomfortable negative emotions, and operate only as a means of distraction. These behaviors include: Work or Exercise Shopping Overeating or Controlled Eating Gambling Sex or Love Addiction Some of these behaviors present their own unique health concerns (i.e. increased risks of contracting sexually transmitted diseases as with sex addiction), and the ability to evaluate these behaviors openly and honestly is the beginning to understanding how they might be working against you in recovery. Lasting Recovery Recovery is absolutely possible for you or your loved one, as is maintaining long-term sobriety long after treatment has finished. At Riviera Recovery, we believe the key is to begin your journey with some accountability, and with trusted professionals who have the knowledge to help, and to set you up for success. Contact us today to find out more.  

Is Addiction a Disease?

A Brief History Although it is now widely accepted by the American Medical Association and the American Society of Medicine that addiction is in fact a disease, this understanding has not always been the case. At one time (and still today to some extent) a stigma around addiction exists, and there are those who believe that addiction signifies nothing but poor choices and a lack of character. However advances in technology have rapidly shaped our present view of addiction, and point towards an educated understanding of addiction as a disease of the brain, just as there are diseases of the heart and kidney. This framework of viewing addictive behaviors considers both genetic and environmental factors in the role that they play in their contribution and perpetuation of addictive cycles in families and in society as a whole. Defining Addiction Due to its vast reaches and complexities, it can be difficult to settle upon a common definition for addiction that spans all levels of impairment and contexts. However in 2016, Volkow, Koob, and McLellan suggested three primary characteristics of addiction:
  1. Desensitization of the reward circuits of the brain that allow us to feel pleasure and motivation which eventually leads to needing the drug/ behavior to feel “well”
  2. Increased conditioned responses to turn to the vice when experiencing stress in our environment or a range of other emotions, which leads to increased experiences of cravings
  3. Declining functions of brain regions that facilitate decision making, impulse control, and self regulation that leads to repeated relapse
When taken into consideration, it is not difficult to see the cards stacking up against an addict who does truly want to get better, and the ways that their brain is actively working against them. Changes in the Brain Scientists have long studied the effects of Dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for flooding the system with a pleasurable response when someone is in the midst of their “high” from engaging with their desired drug. However, this is the same neurotransmitter to blame for the consequence defined in the first characteristic listed above. Slowly, an erosion of the individual’s ability to feel pleasure while completing any other task occurs, as the body comes to rely on the drug to provide the dopamine“fix”. Specific dopamine receptors have additionally been linked with the task of creating motivation to deny instant gratification from a stimulus, and to work towards a rigorous, but more rewarding end. These too, are subject to the laws of supply and demand, and once the outside supply stops, the body has already adapted to no longer produce its own dopamine, and these crucial functions remain lacking. But Isn’t it their Choice? It may seem easy to point the finger all the way back to someone’s first experience with their addictive habit and argue that their initial choice to solve their problems in that particular way was the first in a string of dominoes that led them to today. However, many biological, genetic, and environmental factors are at play in determining one’s unique susceptibility towards addictive patterns. Factors making someone more at-risk for falling prey to addiction initially, continuing in their use, and their resulting brain chemistry consists of things largely out of their control, including family history, early exposure to drug use, exposure to high-risk environments, and co-occurring mental disorders. Under this logic, where you grew up (high socially stressful environments, or where there is easy access to drugs) and how you grew up (unsupportive parenting practices, permissive attitudes towards substance use) have much greater influence on one’s vulnerability. Culminating in the decision to turn to addictive substances or behaviors is much less a one-time judgement, and more like a series of generational choices leading to the moment of decision. Overcoming Addiction At Riviera Recovery, we understand that addiction is a disease like any other, and requires specialized and informed approaches to treating it. We have the knowledge and expertise to help if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction. Call us at today 1-866-478-8799 to get connected to the support you need.

Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture

Alternative Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture

To rid themselves of a drug addiction some people will be willing to bring on the pins and needles.  Yes, that’s right, acupuncture is now becoming a common alternative treatment element in many addiction programs.  Right along with yoga, mindfulness, and deep breathing exercises, acupuncture offers a new approach to ending one’s addiction. Addiction treatment with acupuncture is not new.  Though acupuncture has been in practice for thousands of years, it was first introduced for aiding detox and withdrawal symptoms in 1974.  It was initially used to help people ease off of methadone using the ear/lung point, and the results were encouraging.  Reduction in opiate withdrawal symptoms and improved program retention resulted, which led to continued developments in using acupuncture for addiction.  Currently, a five-point acupuncture protocol is the norm, which includes ear point combinations with other major organs.

Opiate Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture

Acupuncture originates from ancient Chinese culture where it has been used for millennia to re-balance the flow of energy in a sick person.  It is based on the belief that the body has a life force that passes through pathways called meridians.  Acupuncturists place the tiny needles in specific spots on the body that are believed to help unblock or re-balance the energy flow. To date, as a complimentary treatment, acupuncture appears to help most with heroin or opioid addicts detoxing from the substance.  Those who have used acupuncture have reported increased relaxation, anxiety relief, improved sense of well-being, and a decrease in the desire to use opiates.  There is some evidence that acupuncture can interrupt the dopamine response when the drug is used, diminishing the reward mechanism and therefore the desire to use again.

How Acupuncture Aids in Detox and Withdrawal

Drug detox is a grueling process that many people cannot successfully complete without relapsing back to drug use.  Acupuncture, as one of several holistic treatments, can reduce the withdrawal symptoms as well as the cravings through restoring the balance between the nervous system and the endocrine system.  Acupuncture is said to release endorphins, which can aid withdrawal by producing a sense of calm and well-being. Withdrawal usually features a sense of agitation, anxiety, and irritability.  Acupuncture can reduce those emotions, aiding in relaxation during the detox phase of recovery.  Acupuncture has no adverse side effects and is well tolerated by most individuals.

Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture and other Holistic Methods

 The concept of alternative, holistic treatments has caught on in the US, with more people embracing such methods as a complimentary form of treatment or as a stand alone treatment.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2008 more than a third of the adults in the country utilized complementary and alternative medicine. The trend is also present in the field of addiction treatment.  Acupuncture is just one of several holistic and experiential therapies that are being accessed during detox and addiction treatment in recent years.  Because of the strong correlation between relaxation and well-being, acupuncture can be a helpful tool in treatment, as can yoga, mindfulness training, meditation, massage therapy, art therapy, and equine therapy. All of these holistic activities enhance relaxation and reduce stress, as well as allow for exploration of self.  Coming to terms with the underlying factors—emotional pain, past traumas, dysfunction in family or marriage—can be a powerful tool in addiction treatment and attaining a sustainable recovery.  Treatment that provides nourishment to all dimensions of the person, the body, mind, and soul, will eventually be what leads to a lasting recovery and a newfound joy in life.

Riviera Recovery Offers Access to Addiction Treatment with Acupuncture

Riviera Recovery is a sober living community based in the beautiful Malibu coastal hillside.  The lush natural surroundings make Riviera Recovery a perfect spot for healing the body, mind, and spirit in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.  Riviera Recovery encourages residents to partake of acupuncture or any of a wide-ranging menu of adjunct holistic therapies by coordinating these services to enhance recovery.  For more information about our recovery community, please contact us today at (866) 478-8799.

Alcohol Rehab with Animals

The Benefits of Alcohol Rehab with Animals On Board

By the time you reach the point of seeking treatment for an alcohol problem, you are probably pretty beaten down in spirit.  Alcohol abuse and addiction can take a heavy toll on both the individual with the substance use disorder and anyone in his or her trajectory.  A wake of broken promises, disappointment, and decimated trust bonds may have caused a great deal of disruption in personal relationships during the illness.  In fact, sometimes it may seem as if the only friend you have left on the planet is your trusted pet. A beloved dog or cat does not judge you for being an alcoholic.  Animals may actually represent the ultimate judgment-free zone.  Now that many addiction treatment centers are pet friendly, those in early recovery can benefit from alcohol rehab with animals on board.  Pets provide unconditional love and support, and an overall boost in general well-being.  For this reason, many rehabs are now accommodating these furry friends right along with their humans in recovery.

How Alcohol Rehab with Animals Can Benefit Recovery

The process of healing and recovering from an alcohol use disorder can be enhanced with the presence of your loyal pet.  There are numerous health benefits associated with pet ownership, supporting both physical and mental well-being.  In fact, according to research out of Miami University and St. Louis University reported by the American Psychological Association, pet ownership can go a long way toward improving overall feelings of belonging, staving off feelings of rejection, and providing a happier, healthier existence than those without a pet in their life.  “The present work presents considerable evidence that pets benefit the lives of their owners, both psychologically and physically, by serving as an important source of social support,” the authors of the study wrote. For individuals in treatment for alcohol use disorders, having one’s dog or cat on board can provide a conduit for increased social interactions with others in rehab, as well as many other advantages.  The benefits of alcohol rehab with animals include the following:

Emotional Benefits of Alcohol Rehab with Animals

Overcoming a dependency on alcohol is incredibly difficult emotionally as well as physically.  Having one’s loving pet along can help provide a distraction from the internal struggle of early sobriety.  Owning a pet entails certain responsibilities.  The pet being with you at rehab relies on you to take care of it, forcing you to get outside of your own head for the benefit of another being.  Pets in rehab can offer several emotional benefits, including:
  • Decreased depression
  • Providing companionship
  • Reducing stress
  • Relieves boredom
  • Improving overall mood
  • Battling loneliness
  • Receiving and expressing love

Physical Benefits of Alcohol Rehab with Animals

Having a dog along in rehab can also promote physical health benefits.  Dogs need to be walked regularly, so by taking your dog to rehab you will be getting regular exercise.  Cardio has abundant benefits for physical well-being, including:
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lowers heart rates
  • Promotes better sleep quality
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Releases endorphins, improving mood
The many benefits of rehabs that are pet friendly on board make seeking out a pet friendly treatment program and sober housing environment quite advantageous to recovery.  Not only does having one’s beloved pet with them in treatment benefit the individual on many levels, but it also adds to the enjoyment of others with you in rehab.

Riviera Recovery Provides Alcohol Rehab with Animals

Riviera Recovery offers luxury pet-friendly sober living and recovery support in the beautiful hillsides of Malibu, California.  The team at Riviera Recovery understands the value of pet companionship in recovery and makes accommodations for your furry friends to accompany you.  Riviera approaches recovery with an emphasis on discovering the joys found in living a sober and healthy lifestyle, offering a wide array of activities and day trips.  For more information, contact Riviera Recovery today at (866) 478-8799.

Alcohol Treatment Los Angeles

Alcoholism isn’t a disease that discriminates. It can affect anyone –and more than ever, alcoholism is affecting young adults. Peer pressure, stress, a culture that glorifies substance abuse and alcohol consumption – these are all reasons that more young adults than ever are struggling with serious alcohol addictions. Alcohol affects young adults from all walks of life – no one is immune. Just as there is no one “face” of alcoholism – there is no one treatment option that will work for every alcoholic. The best way to find freedom from alcoholism is to first admit that you need help, then search for sober living treatment options that will provide you with the best chance of success and long-term sobriety.

Alcoholic Treatment Options: High-End Sober Living Facility

Before you enter treatment, it’s good to become familiar with rehab and sober living treatment options. There are many different types of treatments available: outpatient treatment, inpatient drug rehabilitation, dual diagnosis treatment, detoxification and high-end sober living facility options. There are residential treatment centers that have a more “high end” sober living facility feel and focus on helping addicts find a lasting path to sobriety. These high-end sober living facility options provide a “family-style” living situation, where residents feel safe, secure and comfortable. There are even pet- friendly sober living options available. When looking at alcohol or drug treatment facilities, you should ask the facility staff which types of treatments they use and what style programming and living situations they offer. If you enter into a rehab center that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsettled, you won’t be able to effectively focus on your recovery – and you’ll put your sobriety in jeopardy.

Alcohol Treatment and Therapy Los Angeles

Ready to find the best alcohol treatment and therapy? Los Angeles has a lot of options – and it can seem overwhelming when trying to decide on the best “fit” for you. After you’ve looked at alcohol rehabilitation centers and decided on one you feel will be a good fit, you will likely be anxious. Whether it is you or someone you love who will be entering rehab, the thought of the unknown can cause a lot of uncertainty. If you have an understanding of what to expect at drug and alcohol rehab, you’ll enter treatment with greater confidence and less fear. Most alcoholic treatment centers will begin with a medically-guided detoxification process, in which the body is gently cleansed of all toxins so treatment can begin on a “clean slate”. After detoxification, you will likely undergo gentle, yet effective, therapeutic sessions in which a team of addiction specialists help you get to the root cause of your addiction and work with you to find ways to break the cycle of addiction. It is common for many alcohol rehab centers to have group therapy sessions, as well as daily meetings and affirmations to help every patient keep their sobriety goals in mind.

Sober Living and Treatment

The final step is a focus on long-term sober living, in which you will develop the skills needed to find success and happiness in life – completely substance free. Riviera Recovery’s alcohol and drug recovery center in Malibu, California gives addicts the skills, tools and healthy mental outlook they need to confidently approach their new sober life. To learn more about beating your addiction to alcohol and experiencing beachside sober living in Malibu. Call to speak with our Admissions Specialist at 866-478-8799