California Drug Treatment: Why Travel For Recovery

California Drug Treatment: Why Travel For Recovery

In some cases, it may be most beneficial for a person to leave home and start fresh with a clean slate at a facility somewhere else. Sometimes the people and things around us can be contributing factors to struggles such as substance abuse, and getting away from those things leaves more room for recovery. 

Choosing a facility that is located away from home may also leave you with more options in terms of recreational treatment. 

At our Los Angeles substance abuse luxury rehab facility, recreational activities are built into our treatment programs, and include hiking, beach days, and fresh air mindfulness and yoga sessions thanks to the beautiful California setting. 

Benefits of Traveling For Recovery

There are countless ways that traveling for recovery from addiction can benefit you, but some of these are:

  • Reduced exposure to triggers
  • Separation from negative influences – People in your social network can potentially influence you or expose you to drugs and alcohol. 
  • Distance between yourself and places you associate with substance abuse – A person likely associates drug and alcohol use with certain places such as bars, clubs, etc. 
  • Privacy and ability to be discreet – Traveling for recovery means it is easier to prevent coworkers, neighbors, or others from finding out about your private and personal struggles with substance use and addiction.
  • Escape from stressors in daily life which may lead to or result in substance use as a means of coping – Being around stressors, such as responsibilities pertaining to work or family, can also interfere with recovery.
  • Access to addiction treatments or recovery programs that may not be available in your home location – Examples include horse therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and luxury rehab centers like Starbridge Recovery.
  • More time to reflect on your life as well as issues in your life that may hinder recovery or that have contributed to your substance use – Taking a step away from your normal routine and home base allows you space to look back with a clearer mind.

Additionally, traveling out of state for treatment might allow you to receive a more proactive and comprehensive treatment approach. This kind of approach addresses underlying factors that contribute to a person’s substance use, and treats these issues. This approach also treats the individual as a whole by looking at social and psychological factors that tie into their addiction, and this form of treatment is associated with high success.

Being away from home also eliminates many distractions, such as family, work obligations, or other personal distractions that may take your attention away from recovery, making your journey more difficult. Leaving home for treatment lessens this issue, allowing each individual to devote their undivided attention to the path to sobriety. 

With recovery as your main focus, coping strategies and methods used in your treatment program will be more successful, and you will likely appreciate them more because you will not be worried about keeping up any form of reputation in your personal or professional life. 

Traveling for rehab also means you have more options available to you in terms of programs and facilities. Evidence-based programs are associated with the highest rates of success in terms of recovery and sobriety, especially for an individual’s long-term recovery from substance use. 

Starbridge Recovery offers evidence-based treatment in a luxury setting so that you can commit to recovery in as much comfort as possible. 

What is Evidence-Based Treatment?

Evidence-based approaches for drug addiction treatment are approaches which have evidence supporting their use. Some of these approaches are meant to go hand in hand with other forms of treatment, whereas others are comprehensive on their own. 

Evidence-based approaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacotherapies
  • Behavioral Therapies

More often than not, pharmacotherapy evidence-based approaches are recommended to be used in combination with behavioral therapy approaches. By doing this, all factors contributing to substance abuse will be addressed so that treatment is more successful in the long run. 

Behavioral therapy approaches include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine
  • Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives – Alcohol, stimulants, opioids, marijuana, nicotine
  • Community Reinforcement – Alcohol, cocaine, opioids
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy – Alcohol, marijuana, nicotine
  • The Matrix Mode l- Stimulants
  • 12-Step Facilitation Therapy – Alcohol, stimulants, opiates
  • Family Behavior Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapies Primarily for Adolescents

All of the substances listed above are addictions which we treat at our Los Angeles facility. 

At our facility, there are multiple program options available to you. The most common forms of addiction treatment include:

  • Detoxification –  Ridding your body of harmful toxins and substances
  • Residential Inpatient – Living on site in a 24/7 residential, homelike setting
  • Partial Hospitalization – Also known as partial day treatment, this is a combination of inpatient and outpatient where clients may live at home while attending treatment programs during the day.
  • Intensive Outpatient – Clients slowly return to everyday life while partaking in treatment such as group or individual therapy.
  • Outpatient – Outpatient treatment is available to clients who complete intensive outpatient treatment, and it is a less invasive option.
  • Sober Living Home– A safe and structured environment that clients can choose to take part in after completing their rehabilitation program.

These are just some of the options available as methods of treatment, and traveling may make these more accessible to you depending on your location. If the treatment options available in your area are not up to par, it may be worth it to travel elsewhere and receive better treatment. 

Choosing To Take Part In An Out-of-State Program

Deciding whether or not to choose an in-state or out-of-state rehabilitation program can be difficult, but there are certain factors that should be considered in order to make the choice that is best for you and your specific needs. 

Consider whether or not you have personal or professional connections who influence you in negative ways, or who make negative choices. For example, if you are surrounded by peers and professionals who also use drugs and/or alcohol, it is unlikely that your recovery will be successful long-term. This behavior can have a poor impact on your progress during recovery, and this may be reason enough to seek treatment elsewhere.

Consider the options that are nearby. Do they treat the individual as a whole? Do they work to identify and improve underlying issues which contribute to substance use? Is their treatment approach one that aligns with your needs? The best options are always those which provide 24/7 access to medical professionals so that pre-existing health concerns can be appropriately monitored and put to rest throughout the recovery process. Addiction can take a toll on your overall health in many ways, so it is vital that you choose a facility that will take the utmost care to make you feel comfortable and safe. 

Another very important part of recovery is establishing healthy connections and building a positive support system. This means surrounding yourself with people who support you and your path to sobriety, and this may prove difficult if your social network at home is full of negative influences, or if you feel that you have a certain reputation to uphold at home which may not be in line with the person you become throughout your journey to sobriety. In this case, seeking treatment out-of-state may, again, be more conducive to your recovery.

If you find that your life is full of distractions at home, this is another sign that you might be better served by a treatment program in another state. Distractions can come in many forms, ranging from family and work duties to social events. During recovery, it is vital that you are able to put all of your focus and attention into your treatment. If there are too many distractions around you, they could be  hindering your recovery.


Traveling away from home for rehabilitation may sound like a daunting task to take on, but it is worth it. Traveling for recovery can be extremely rewarding and beneficial in many ways, because being away from home means there are less distractions, less negative influences, and less exposure to triggers that may interfere with your recovery progress throughout treatment. 

Being away from home allows you much more privacy regarding your personal struggles with substance abuse and addiction, meaning neighbors or coworkers will not have to know. This distance means you will also no longer be dealing with stressors such as work obligations or family obligations, and you will also be able to separate yourself from places and things that you associate with substance use. 

Most importantly, being willing to travel for drug addiction treatment opens up your options to many different facilities and approaches to treatment. This means that you can find exactly what you need and what will be most beneficial for you in order to yield successful results long-term. 

Certain approaches or programs that may not be available near your home base are most definitely available elsewhere. Evidence-based treatment specifically has long been held as one of the most successful approaches, and if this is not available at a facility near you, it is likely worth it to travel in order to participate in a program that uses this approach. 

Explore Starbridge Recovery’s luxurious substance abuse rehabilitation facility by taking a virtual tour here


How To Decide on a Drug Rehabilitation Center Near Me

How To Decide on a Drug Rehabilitation Center Near Me

When you have decided that it is time to seek treatment for your substance abuse, the options can be overwhelming. 

Choosing to take part in a program at a facility near you can narrow down the choices available, but it is important to make an educated decision so that the center you choose can take care of you and your specific needs. 

With a little help and research, you can narrow your choices down from the thousands that are available and choose one that is best suited to your individual needs.

Types of Rehab Programs

The first step in choosing a drug rehabilitation center is to determine what your needs and goals are for treatment and then deciding which treatment method is right for you based on those needs and goals. 

The most common types of rehab programs are:

  • Outpatient treatment – You will live at home and regularly visit a facility or clinic for addiction treatment sessions run by medical professionals.
  • Inpatient treatment – You will stay in a hospital or clinic in order to receive intensive, around-the-clock care. This form of treatment for struggles with addiction and other medical problems is highly structured.
  • Residential treatment – You will stay in a non-hospital setting, meaning the environment will be more homelike. This form of treatment is offered at Starbridge Recovery, and the care you receive will be intensive and highly structured in a similar way to inpatient treatment but without the sterile setting. 
  • Recovery housing – You will live in supervised, temporary housing, likely with other people who are struggling in a similar way to you. Recovery housing includes treatment programs, and it is considered to be the halfway point along the road to recovery and sobriety in the real world. 

How To Narrow Down the Search

Even after seeing and understanding these four forms of treatment, you may have trouble deciding which rehab program is the right one for you. 

Asking the following questions may help you narrow down these programs and the centers that offer them:

  • What types of treatment therapy is offered within each program or center?
  • Can/does the program or center offer medication?
  • Are the staff members within a given program or facility trained to handle both physical and mental health issues and conditions? Are they trained to handle both mental health issues and addiction?
  • Is treatment within a program or facility tailored to each individual patient? 
  • What can and should my family do while I am in treatment? Will my program or rehab facility offer family guidance?
  • Can the center provide patient rights and responsibilities in writing for a more thorough understanding of what is in store?

After developing answers to these questions pertaining to your specific situation, it can be helpful. It is highly recommended to consult with an addiction treatment professional to get professional insight into what options may be best for you and may yield the highest success rates. 

Consulting with a treatment professional is also the best way to understand what all of your options are and find a clinic or facility that most closely matches your rehabilitation goals. Because of the sheer number of facilities available, it can be difficult to eliminate those that are poor fits for you on your own. A professional will be able to aid in this process.

You can go about consulting a professional in many ways, but we’ve tried to make it easy. 

If you are ready for treatment and want to learn more about our facility, you can submit your contact information, and one of our caring and devoted representatives will contact you shortly to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You may also call us directly and speak with a representative over the phone if your needs are more immediate, or you can go straight to verifying your benefits to see what your insurance covers. 

Investigating the Options

You can either come up with a list of possible choices of facilities on your own, or a professional can help you craft a list of facilities after your consultation with them. Either way, the next step should be to start narrowing down that list of options. 

The best way to go about doing this is to start exploring and investigating each facility to make sure it fits your needs and goals. Most facilities will offer a great deal of information on their website, so that will be a great place to start. Click through each website, explore their tabs, and look into amenities and specificities of treatment programs. 

A facility that has nothing to hide will be forthcoming with information, and if there is anything you would like to know which cannot be answered just from the website, contact them directly and get your questions answered. 

A few things to consider when exploring options include:

  • Available treatment programs – Inpatient vs. Outpatient
  • Areas of treatment that a facility specializes in
  • Treatments and therapies available
  • Amenities
  • Location
  • Program length
  • Cost

Once you explore each of these topics, you can start making comparisons between different clinics or facilities and the standards of treatment that they have to offer. 

Making these comparisons between rehabilitation centers can help you more easily identify each facility’s strengths and limitations, allowing you to make a clearer choice. 

Credibility of Programs

Another important area to consider when evaluating and selecting a drug rehabilitation center is how credible the programs offered are. 

Evidence-based treatment programs are the only treatment programs which have been proven to be successful, so this is something to look for and keep in mind. 

Evidence-based treatment means that the treatment and its intended purpose have been tested, and it was proven to be effective. 

Not every facility uses evidence-based treatment. Some facilities still utilize therapy and treatment methods that don’t work for everyone. This hit-or-miss approach to treatment can be more harmful than helpful. With that said, it is important to be on the lookout for facilities that offer evidence-based treatment so that you can get the best care possible. At our luxurious Los Angeles facility, we use evidence-based treatment in order to ensure that our clients’ roads to recovery are successful long-term. 

Moreover, it is important that you choose a facility which offers a variety of evidence-based treatment programs rather than just one. Each individual is different and has very unique needs and health concerns, so it is important that the drug rehabilitation center you choose takes this seriously and creates a unique plan for each person. 

The more options that are available to you, the more likely you are to experience a successful recovery. 

Within evidence-based treatment programs are both pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy. 

It is important to choose a facility that offers both, especially if the addiction you are struggling with is more severe. Substance abuse pertaining to alcohol and opioids may be especially severe, in which case medication therapy is especially recommended in order to aid with the process of detoxification and the symptoms which may accompany it. 

The use of medication during treatment for drug addiction has been shown to yield much more positive, long-lasting treatment outcomes than treatment without the use of medication. 

This is largely because of the fact that medication eases much of the discomfort experienced during withdrawal, and withdrawal is generally the most unpleasant part of the journey to sobriety. 

Cost and Insurance Coverage

It is also very important to consider your budget when choosing a center and to make sure that the center you decide on accepts your insurance. Most facilities will provide some information pertaining to cost and coverage on their website, but if this information is not readily available, you should call and ensure that you can afford your treatment at the center in question. 

Starbridge Recovery offers a feature on our website which lets you check to see if your health insurance is accepted at our facility. We work with most major insurance carriers so that we can ensure our patients receive the care they need, but if you are uncertain that your insurance is accepted, you are welcome and encouraged to fill out our free insurance verification form


The options can be very overwhelming when you begin your search for a drug rehabilitation center that is right for you and your needs. It can be helpful to start your search by exploring the different types of treatment most commonly offered, and investigating the ways that each method does or does not align with your needs and goals. 

Consulting a professional can make this process easier because a treatment professional will have a lot of familiarity with centers in the area and an understanding of your concerns. A professional can also help you make a list of centers that fit your criteria, and drawing comparisons between those centers will allow you to narrow it down and ultimately pick the facility that best fits your specific situation. 

Each individual has a very unique experience and history with substance abuse and addiction, and every situation should be treated as such. A center that uses evidence-based treatment and treats the individual as a whole will allow you to be as successful as possible, and this is exactly what we strive to do at Starbridge Recovery.


What Should a Person Consider When Choosing a Drug Treatment Program?

What Should a Person Consider When Choosing a Drug Treatment Program?

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you realize that you need a drug treatment program, this is no small feat. Many addicts never take that first step of their own accord. You’re taking control of your future from this moment forward, and you deserve access to the best possible care. 

Rehab is a huge leap, and it’s one that should be taken with care. You want to know that you’re going to a credible facility with capable staff who will provide you with the highest possible quality of treatment. You’ll need to know that the program is sustainable for you and that all your needs will be met throughout your treatment duration. 

If you’re comfortable with the facility you’ve chosen, it will be easier to commit to your recovery. Inpatient treatment is much less scary when you know where you’re going and what to expect when you get there. 

The first step in empowering yourself is choosing the surroundings in which you will recover, and it’s worth doing your research to make sure your first step is the right step.

The Location of the Program

There are advantages of choosing a program that’s close to home, and there are advantages of choosing a program that’s far away

If you’re committed to the idea of a new start and you want to remove yourself completely from your connections to your old habits, it might be worth choosing a rehabilitation facility that’s away from home.

If you’re looking for the best possible care, no matter where that care may be located, you may also want to leave yourself open to the idea of staying at an inpatient facility that’s far from home. Finding a facility that makes you feel truly comfortable may be worth more to your recovery than simply finding a facility that’s close to home.

Choosing a facility within a reasonable commute of where you intend to live when treatment is over also comes with benefits. If you want to continue outpatient aftercare with that facility after your care has ended, you’ll likely have to make that drive at least once a week. You’ll need that drive to be reasonable enough that it won’t prevent you from fulfilling that commitment.

The Quality of the Staff

Everyone who works in a drug rehabilitation facility is required to have certain credentials. As long as you’re choosing an accredited and regulated rehabilitation facility, the staff onboard will legally be able to provide you with the health you need.

That said, qualifications are not necessarily indicative of bedside manner. Understaffed and underfunded rehabilitation facilities are less likely to have well-qualified staff. They’re working with limited resources and helping more people than they can reasonably handle. It’s only to be expected that they’ll deal with burnout and compassion fatigue. Smaller centers are usually able to provide a better bedside manner because the staff can better handle their workloads.

The Outcomes of Their Patients

It’s worth asking every potential rehab center on your list about their clinical outcomes. Clinical outcomes from drug addicts, in general, aren’t very good. It’s only the people who commit to their aftercare and independently make the lifestyle changes necessary to live a drug-free life who are ultimately successful with their recovery. 

The decisions people make after they leave the program are in their own hands, and a lack of personal accountability shouldn’t necessarily reflect on the quality of the facility. People choose to act against the advice of their care providers all the time, and even the best possible care cannot overcome free will. 

You’ll want to know how many people they see a year, how many people who start the program see it through to completion, and how those people evaluated their experience with the program. These are the factors that will help most in your decision-making process.

How the Program Approaches Health and Wellness

Rehab isn’t just about kicking drugs. It’s about completely reclaiming your health. After you’ve completed detox, you need to get back to work on your body. You need healthy food and exercise to help re-regulate your systems. Your body has been through an ordeal, and it’s calling out for your health.

You want a rehab facility that will provide you with equipment or classes you need for low-intensity exercise to stimulate blood flow and keep your muscles active. You need nutrient-rich foods and lots of lean protein to help you recover from the process of withdrawal. 

Drug treatment shouldn’t be a gym or a masterclass in weight loss and nutrition, but it should provide you with at least the bare minimum of what you need to keep yourself healthy and thriving while you’re in treatment.

The Comfort of the Facility

Inpatient treatment can last as little as 30 days or as long as 120 days. It all depends on what you and your treatment provider agree would be best for you. 

Rehab will be your house for as little as a month or as long as a whole season, and you need to be comfortable there. If you’re constantly unhappy with your surroundings, you might feel trapped or too unhappy to finish your stay, and thus, your program. 

Ask for a tour of the facility before you commit to treatment. You’ll be able to see the places where you’ll sit for group or individual therapy. You’ll know what your room looks like and what the bed feels like. You’ll see where your meals are prepared and what the leisure spaces look like. 

At the very least, you want your treatment center to feel like an upscale hotel you’d enjoy an extended stay in. At the most, you want your treatment center to feel like a place you’d like to live. If the words “tolerate” or “endure” come to mind, it’s time to look elsewhere. 

The Amount of Patients in Attendance

Choosing a great drug treatment program is a lot like choosing a great school. You want the patient-to-staff ratio to be ideal, much like a student-to-teacher ratio. If there are too many people in attendance, the staff will be stretched too thin to provide adequate personalized attention and individual help to the people who need it. 

Larger centers are often understaffed. People get short visits with an individual therapist, and group therapy may be too large for everyone to have a meaningful opportunity to speak. 

The fewer patients a facility takes on at one time, the better they will generally be at assisting their patients. 

This is why so many people choose boutique facilities. They’re able to make the most of their time because their access to resources comes with much less restriction. If they run over their allotted time with their individual therapist, they aren’t rushed out the door because that therapist has 15 other people to see that day. 

You likely want a facility where all of your care professionals can really take their time with you. 

You’re taking a big step to get better, and you’re entrusting these professionals to keep you safe and provide you with the tools that you need to be successful. You don’t want to risk being reduced to the concept of a faceless patient on a long list of other faceless patients. You want carefully managed care provided by competent professionals who will take a vested interest in your wellbeing.

Activities Offered By the Program

You’re going to be spending time there, and you don’t want to find yourself bored out of your wits. Mindlessly watching TV will give your mind time to wander. Sometimes that’s good for your recovery, and sometimes that’s bad. It helps to have positive things to focus on when you’re attempting to make positive changes in your life.

Rehab isn’t a punishment. It may be difficult, but it’s a wonderful gift you’re giving yourself. If you talk to some people, take some vitamins, and are left to sit in front of a screen or to lay in your room all day, it’s not going to feel like a gift. It’s going to feel the same way it felt to be grounded when you were a teenager.

A quality treatment facility will provide you with opportunities to participate in healthy activities. Hiking, sports, yoga, meditation, swimming, cookouts, and trips to the beach will keep a rehabilitation facility from feeling like a prison. You obviously can’t go out to bars and clubs, but that doesn’t mean you should be without any activity during your stay.


A lot goes into choosing the right drug treatment program. You need to make sure you’re comfortable with your choice if you want to set yourself up for success. 

If you’re not sure, sit down with your loved ones and have them help you decide. They know you, and they’ll have a good idea of what will work for you.


What is the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?

What is the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction?

Drug use, drug abuse, and drug addiction are not interchangeable terms. They refer to three things that often happen across a single timeline in someone’s life. There is a very thin line between drug abuse and drug addiction, so thin that no one is really aware of the exact moment they crossed it. 

One is not better than the other — in fact, one almost always leads to the other if left unchecked for too long. 

If you’re looking to eliminate drugs from your life and form healthier habits, you need to understand where you are on this linear path. Depending on what stage you’ve reached in your relationship with drugs, specific courses of treatment may be available to you. 

Planning your recovery begins with the fundamental knowledge of the severity of your drug use.

What is Casual Drug Use?

Casual drug use is any type of drug use that occurs without pattern or consistency. A casual drug user may be someone who takes ecstasy at a party once and doesn’t do it again until a concert two years later. It might be someone who socially hits a joint once or twice a month. It could be someone who tries psychedelic mushrooms once and never does it again.

Most people who use drugs will only ever be casual drug users. They experiment, but they move on. It isn’t a habit that sticks with them. It’s not something they desire to do with any type of frequency, but a special occasion indulgence that they don’t go out of their way to look for.

This doesn’t mean their drug use is safe. Drugs are never safe or healthy in any amount. All it means is that they don’t have a habit or pattern of behavior that a treatment program could fix or address. They could just as easily decide on a whim to never do drugs again and have no problem committing to that decision independently. 

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is when the set of circumstances regarding someone’s drug use is beginning to have a negative impact on their life. They may misappropriately spend their money on drugs when they have bills to pay. They may have been caught with drugs and faced legal ramifications for possessing them.

An individual who abuses drugs may be harming themselves or others around them with little regard. They may choose opportunities to do drugs instead of choosing activities necessary for their lives, like going to work or school. 

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is when drug abuse progresses to the point where someone becomes physically ill as a result of not having drugs. 

If you feel like there is a minimum amount of drugs you need to do just to keep yourself going, you have a drug addiction. If finding or using drugs has become such a focal point of your life that you don’t have time for anything else, you’re an addict. 

Addicts find they need more and more drugs to achieve the same effect that they experienced when they first started using. It may get to the point where drug addicts can’t even afford to get high anymore — they can only afford to stave off withdrawal day by day. They often have to borrow or steal money just to keep themselves involved with drugs, and they crave drugs so desperately that they don’t hesitate with the moral implications of doing so. 

If you’ve found yourself in this position, you need immediate help.

Where Does Alcohol Fit In?

Alcohol fits into every bracket. Simply replace the word “drugs” with alcohol and the warning signs are the same. 

There are casual drinkers, problematic drinkers, and alcoholics. The progression is similar, and in the end, the needs are the same. Problematic drinkers and drug addicts need help equally.

When Does Abuse Become Addiction?

No one quite catches when abuse becomes addiction.

Intervention is best when casual drug use first starts to become drug abuse. At this stage, it’s less traumatic to someone’s mind and body to change course. Addiction hasn’t fully developed and created havoc in the lives of everyone around that person. Most people, however, don’t seek treatment at the moment when casual use becomes drug abuse.

Some people seek treatment right before drug abuse becomes addiction, but most people don’t catch that transition in time. It’s so subtle that you’d miss it if you blinked. This leads to addicts that often don’t realize that they’re addicts, and they continue to get worse before they eventually wind up in treatment. Sometimes, they only wind up in treatment because they were mandated by the court.

Treating Drug Abuse

Drug abuse can be treated with inpatient or outpatient treatments. 

When recognized and acted upon early, outpatient treatments can be highly beneficial. Working with a therapist, attending group meetings, and changing your lifestyle and habits may be enough to keep you from turning back to drugs and progressing into full blown addiction.

If you have even the slightest doubt in your ability to change your course and manage your life through outpatient therapies alone, it’s better to go to an inpatient facility for comprehensive care. It may be better to take a through approach from the beginning to prevent the possibility of winding up back where you started. 

The First Step To Treating Drug Addiction

Drug addicts will experience profound withdrawal symptoms when they stop using drugs. These symptoms motivate them to find more drugs and deter them from attempting to detox at home. They feel sick, and some of them describe it as the feeling of being near death. The exact opposite is true.

Drugs, especially opioids, significantly alter the brain. That’s their entire purpose. They’re supposed to alter the way the brain receives pain, dulling the sensation. 

The problem is that opioids cannot be so precisely targeted to only impact certain neurotransmitters. They negatively impact all neurotransmitters. Opioids slow your breathing and even impact your digestion, causing constipation. They begin to run the show, and your body suffers for it.

When you stop using drugs, your brain is intensely happy. It frantically begins the process of repairing itself. It pumps you full of adrenaline to check all of your vital processes, causing your heart to race, your breathing to become rapid, and your blood pressure to raise in conjunction with a feeling of anxiousness or restlessness. It makes you sick and feverish and sweaty, in an attempt to flush out any remainers of the drug. You may vomit or experience diarrhea. Your body may ache. 

This process will continue until your brain can re-establish proper levels of the chemicals you need for your body to work correctly. It’s bringing you back to life, and that’s what withdrawal is. 

Even though this is a process that needs to happen and is, despite how it may feel, a very positive thing, it can still be dangerous. It’s especially dangerous for people who have been addicted to drugs for a long time, because they’ve suppressed their neurotransmitters for so long that they’ve likely done damage.

Detoxification should always take place in a controlled inpatient environment where medical professionals trained in helping addicts safely detox are always present. In the event that something goes awry, such as dehydration due to a wealth of fluid leaving the body, the medical professional will know what to do to prevent the situation from becoming dangerous. 

The Second Step To Treating Drug Addiction

Detox takes the drug out of the addict, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent the addict from putting it back in. 

If you’re a drug addict, inpatient treatment can help you determine why you use. The idea of putting your life on hold to check into an inpatient treatment center may not seem appealing, but it’s a power move that will help you reclaim your life.

You’ll work with a therapist to discuss how aspects of your life or your past make you feel, and discover how they impact your behavior. If you also live with a mental health condition like anxiety or depression, you’re what’s considered a dual-diagnosis patient. Your therapist will work to simultaneously treat your addiction and your mental health condition, assuring that one can no longer impact the other.

You’ll learn new skills for personal accountability, how to build healthy relationships, how to be a more responsible person, how to set goals for yourself, and how to recognize your personal strengths and weaknesses. 

Inpatient rehab has the potential to be one of the most empowering experiences in your life. 


The best time to get help for your struggles with drugs is before you become an addict. The second best time to get help is right now. You don’t want to wait until the eleventh hour to go to rehab. Your mental and physical health will deteriorate more and more each day you procrastinate your wellbeing. 

Going to rehab is taking care of yourself. It’s loving yourself, and giving yourself the things you deserve to have the life you’ve always wanted. There’s no shame in wanting to be happy and successful, and it all starts with treatment.

If you or a loved one are ready to get started, click here to explore what Starbridge Recovery can offer


Opioid Use Disorder: The Steps to Treatment

Opioid Use Disorder: The Steps to Treatment

You may have heard opioid use referred to as an epidemic. This is because a staggering amount of Americans are prescribed opioid-based medication each year. Some of these patients are given opioids for short-term pain management following surgical procedures,  others are prescribed opioids for longer-term use, as a way of managing chronic pain conditions. 

Some people have no real reason for taking opioids at all, stumbling into them as a street drug and quickly developing a dangerous dependency that negatively impacts their mental and physical health.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder early is crucial for a timely intervention. Addressing the issue quickly improves chances of recovery without significant damage to your health, finances, and your personal and professional lives. 

If you believe that you or someone close to you may be experiencing opioid use disorder, the best time to act is now. 

How Common is Opioid Use Disorder?

The latest survey data from 2018 shows that more than 10 million people aged 12 or older had misused opioids within the year the data was collected. That’s about 1 in every 33 people. 

When you’re out grocery shopping or at work, you’re likely around at least two people who have dealt with opioid misuse to at least some capacity. 

Up to 29% of individuals who are legitimately prescribed opioid medications for the treatment of chronic pain will misuse their medication. They’ll sometimes take too much, double up on their doses and oversleep, or run out early. When they’re out of their prescription before their refills are due, they often take to the streets in search of more. That’s where the situation becomes problematic.

Up to 12% of these people who misuse their opioid medications will develop opioid use disorder, leading them to obtain more medication by illegitimate means. The habit is expensive, sometimes causing so much negative financial impact that people with the disorder will borrow or steal money from those around them to support their habit.

As many as 6% of people with opioid use disorder will transition to heroin, the strongest opioid available. About 80% of people living with heroin addiction first started with opioid medications, over time finding that the lower strengths of opioids in the prescription medication were no longer enough to sustain their habit. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder

Many people with opioid use disorder are often in denial of the extent of their condition. This isn’t because they’re delusional or bad people — many of them are embarrassed of their behavior or in constant fear of withdrawal symptoms. Just like anyone else, they have aversions to pain, shame, and negative emotions and would prefer to avoid uncomfortable situations. 

Opioid use comes with side effects, even when taken properly. Opioids are strong drugs that tend to cause disharmony within your body. Some things, like constipation, nausea, sleepiness, reduced libido, increased sensitivity to pain, depression, withdrawal symptoms, and increased tolerance requiring higher dosage of the medication aren’t necessarily indicative of opioid use disorder.

Some people who have a hard time dealing with the side effects that come as a direct result of taking opioids as prescribed may prefer to medically detox from opioids and switch to alternative forms of pain management. 

These opioid side effects are typically only considered a part of opioid use disorder when they come in conjunction with other issues that arise with problematic opioid use, such as:

  • Financial problems, including trouble paying bills or theft of money from work, family, or friends to fund the street purchase of opioid medications.
  • Taking opioids at an uncontrollable frequency, typically in much larger amounts or more frequent doses than a doctor has prescribed or would prescribe. 
  • Difficulty with proper self care, including unexplained weight loss or the decline of personal hygiene. 
  • Taking opioids in a way they were not prescribed, such as intravenously instead of orally. 
  • Frequent drowsiness or significant changes in sleep habits.

If you recognize these signs in yourself or in someone else, it’s time to approach the problem head on.

Taking Your First Step Towards Recovery

The first step towards recovery is locating an appropriate venue for recovery. Discontinuing opioid use without medical supervision can be exceedingly dangerous. Many people who attempt to discontinue use at home ultimately wind up going back to the opioids, as the withdrawal symptoms are taxing and sometimes painful. 

Finding an accredited and properly staffed facility to meet the needs of you or your loved one during this challenging time is a crucial first step towards a full recovery.

Medically Supervised Opioid Withdrawal

Some of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal are similar to the symptoms of other conditions. Frequent yawning, goosebumps, anxiety, and trouble sleeping fall on the spectrum of mild withdrawal symptoms. 

More serious symptoms often set in after prolonged withdrawal, and these symptoms may require medical supervision:

  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Accelerated heart beat, raised blood pressure, and rapid breathing
  • Fever, chills, and uncontrollable shaking
  • Body aches and heightened perception to pain or discomfort
  • In rare cases, seizures

A medical professional will be able to treat or eliminate some of the serious symptoms of opioid withdrawal with medications like methadone or buprenorphine. Both of these medications treat opioid withdrawal symptoms because they are opioids — they simply do not have the psychoactive effects that commonly abused opioids have.

These drugs can be administered safely in a medical setting to prevent or reduce the severity of severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. By slowly scaling back a patient’s dose, withdrawal becomes less of a shock to their system. Eventually, through carefully managed care, patients are able to stop using these medications altogether and can remove all opioids from their lives.

Rehabilitation to Build New Habits

While completely removing opioids from your system is the cornerstone of recovery, it only addresses one aspect of addictive behavior. The physical dependence on opioids may be gone, but it’s easy to return to opioid use if the cause of the matter is not addressed.

Many people turn to opioids to dull emotional pain or avoid distressing situations in their lives, feeling that opioids provide an escape. If the cause of that desire isn’t addressed and remedied, chances are high that patients may return to opioids and undo the progress they’ve made. 

A worthwhile treatment plan will always include strategies like individual and group therapy. Group therapy sessions help to make opioid use disorder sufferers feel less alone. Opioid use disorders are shockingly common and often lead to social isolation. Patients in recovery are introduced to others who understand what they’re going through, creating a sense of empathy that may have otherwise been missing. 

In group therapy, patients are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with opioid use disorder without the fear of judgement. Everyone in the room shares the same unique struggle and deserves the opportunity to feel less alone.

Unique or more personal situations can be discussed in individual therapy. If there are things you aren’t comfortable discussing with the group, they can always be addressed in a one-on-one session. Some people feel better discussing issues in an individual session helps them better communicate with the group, while others might feel like sharing small details with the group makes it easier to discuss their feelings in depth during an individual session. 

Changing Your Life for the Better

No one finds the end of their journey on the day they leave their treatment facility. This isn’t where your treatment ends, it’s where you become responsible for managing your own progress in the outside world. Some patients reach this level of recovery sooner than others. It’s always best to work at your own pace, rather than to try to beat the clock and leave treatment before you’re ready. You want lasting results, not a temporary fix. 

The next step is going back out into the world free and clear of opioids with healthier perspectives. Patients should continue therapy for as long as they need and avoid situations that may tempt them to revert to opioid use. 

This can mean pursuing a healthy hobby, like painting, yoga, or martial arts, to make new friends. It might mean moving into a new apartment, away from old roommates or bad areas of town that serve as constant reminders of opioid drugs. 

You get to choose who you are, because opioids will no longer define you. 


Recovering from opioid use disorder involves permanent and sustainable life changes that require patients to take control of their physical and emotional health. 

If you’re struggling, you need to understand that you are worth the work. You deserve to take care of your mind and your body. You deserve to be heard, happy, and healthy. 

You just need to take that first step in the right direction. It will be an uphill battle, but in the end, you’ll win yourself back. 

If you’re ready to get started on the journey to recovering the old you, click here to explore Starbridge Recovery’s various available treatment programs. 


Residential Drug Treatment Program vs. Inpatient: How They Differ

Residential Drug Treatment Program vs. Inpatient: How They Differ

When choosing a Residential Drug Treatment Program versus an Inpatient Program, it is essential to understand the differences between the two in order to make an educated decision as to which program will better suit your recovery path. 

There are many similarities between inpatient and residential programs, and because of this, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Both programs involve living with other people who are also recovering from substance abuse, and both programs have time-limited stay lengths.

That being said, though, there are some key differences

Generally speaking, inpatient rehab programs are typically shorter than residential rehab programs. Additionally, the purposes of each type of program are different. Inpatient treatment programs are more hands-on and focused on achieving medical stability for patients while also addressing their addiction, whereas residential programs are based on the patient already being medically stable. 

There are certain factors which help a person to determine which form of treatment may be necessary, and which form of treatment will be most beneficial for their specific needs. 

Some of these factors include:

  • The need for (medically assisted or otherwise) detoxification
  • The need for ongoing medical treatment- For example, if medical complications have arisen as a result of a drug overdose
  • The need for skills training- Skills training may be beneficial in aiding a person with reintegration into a family, social, or work environment that is conducive to recovery from an addiction
  • The need for additional therapy- In instances of dual diagnoses or concurrent diagnoses (such as major depressive disorder, anxiety, or bipolar disorder), additional therapy may be needed. 
  • The need for aftercare- A thorough aftercare plan can reinforce the progress a person makes during early treatment.

Residential treatment focuses on a population of people struggling with substance abuse in similar ways, such that a tight-knit and supportive environment is produced- something which is not experienced in outpatient settings for treatment. 

Signs That Inpatient Treatment Is Necessary

Physical symptoms of addiction can vary from situation to situation, so in order to assess whether a person needs inpatient treatment, it is important to also consider behavioral and psychological symptoms. 

At Starbridge Recovery, we offer free consultations in order to look for signs that treatment is needed. 

Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Substance tolerance – A person requires higher amounts of the substance in order to achieve the same desired effect
  • Withdrawal symptoms – Nausea, vomiting, headaches, etc.
  • Lack of control – Being unable to stop usage
  • Neglecting activities that the person used to enjoy
  • Stealing in order to continue supporting the habit
  • Social, financial, or legal problems

What Is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient is generally a shorter and much more intensive drug treatment program. 

Inpatient programs may last anywhere from 1 to 3 months, and may be followed up with an outpatient program and/or participation in a self-help support group. Remaining engaged in outpatient programs or some form of rehabilitation aftercare following an inpatient treatment program is essential to ensuring that relapse does not occur once a person leaves the inpatient setting. 

Inpatient treatment strives to provide medical stabilization 24/7, and involves monitoring by doctors and nurses, thus giving it more of a hospital-like feeling. Inpatient treatment is typically the first step after detoxification, and it is very structured with a schedule that may involve support groups, group therapy or individual therapy, and case management. 

What is Residential Drug Treatment?

Whereas inpatient programs are highly structured and scheduled, residential drug treatment is generally less restrictive but lasts for a longer duration of time. Because it is designed for a longer stay, residential drug treatment is more comfortable and less hospital-like. 

It can last from 6-12 months, and its main goal is centered around the reintegration or resocialization of the person into society without substance abuse. The program uses other residents, staff, and the social context all as active parts of recovery and reintegration. In this setting, the addiction is viewed in a social and psychological lens, so the treatment program moreso focuses on encouraging patients to take accountability in order to return to socially productive lifestyles. 

Starbridge Recovery takes a “peeling the onion” approach to residential treatment by focusing on the underlying reasons why a drug addiction takes place. Cognitive, emotional, and practical strengths and weaknesses are identified in each person in order to gain a thorough understanding of the entire individual, which in turn helps reveal what limitations may exist.

What Might Residential Drug Treatment Entail?

Residential drug treatment programs focus on goal-setting, and core building blocks for positive living and coping. 

These building blocks include:

  • Expanding positive emotions
  • Social engagement
  • Identifying and developing healthy relationships
  • Developing personal accomplishment goals
  • Connecting with meaningful aspects of each client’s life

Throughout treatment, each person will improve coping skills and strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and any other triggers that might lead to substance abuse. 

The residential inpatient program offered at our exclusive facility features:

  • Nourishing meals
  • Gratitude practices each day
  • Individual and group therapy
  • 12 step meetings
  • Low-intensity exercise with supervision
  • Mindfulness and yoga sessions with fresh air
  • Recreational outings- Including but not limited to bowling, beach, hiking, and movies
  • Game night
  • Pizza and movie night
  • BBQs taking place on-site

Drug Aftercare Planning

After completing an inpatient or residential drug treatment program, it is vital to continue to be vigilant regarding substance use and behavior patterns. 

Treatment programs are a great way to start the path to recovery, but in order to stay sober it is important to identify barriers and limitations which may interfere with a person’s path. This process of identifying limitations is something that works best when a client is removed from the inpatient setting so that personal inventories can be taken. 

Simultaneously, however, this removal of the client from an inpatient setting is also the exact time when it is most vital that the client has the proper set of skills and tools from treatment available to them so that they can continue to thrive in the real world. 

Aftercare planning allows clients to be set up for success by encouraging them to work on recovery every day, rather than relapse. A specific plan for how to manage any challenges that may come along with sobriety can help prevent a relapse, because recovery does require continuous work. 

What Does Aftercare Look Like?

Most often, 12-step recovery program meetings and support groups are recommended as aftercare, though sometimes patients may choose to live in a sober living house or “halfway house” in order to more smoothly transition between an inpatient setting and real-world environment. 

Adjusting back to daily life after treatment may present a struggle, and in this instance a sober living house may be beneficial. In a sober living house, residents are free to come and go, which allows each individual to ease back into a normal life routine while still maintaining the skills and lessons learned in rehab. 

Sober living houses are much less restrictive, but residents do still need to abide by certain rules which may include attending group meetings or following curfews. Residing in a sober living house also enables individuals to establish positive relationships that reinforce sober living and abstinence from substances. 

Another aftercare program option is family therapy, much like the Family Therapy Program offered at our Los Angeles facility. Though this is part of an aftercare plan, family sessions can actually begin once a client has gone through detoxification and is fully immersed in a program. The goal of family therapy is to bring together the family unit and heal relationships. 

The Family Therapy Program also:

  • Teaches and improves self-care techniques
  • Improves communication skills in the family to enforce more open dialogue
  • Institutes healthy boundaries
  • Reshapes unhealthy familial roles
  • Helps family members learn how, and better understand how, to help and support loved ones


Residential drug treatment and inpatient treatment are two of the options for recovering from a drug addiction. 

Inpatient treatment programs are shorter in length and more intensive, whereas residential drug treatment programs last longer but involve less restrictions and a more homelike setting, rather than the hospital feelings of an inpatient setting. 

Residential treatment offers individuals the opportunity to bond as part of a close-knit community of other people who are struggling in the same, or similar, ways. It focuses on building positive and healthy relationships as well as identifying underlying factors contributing to substance use.

Regardless of which method of treatment is chosen for an individual’s specific needs, aftercare is an important part of ensuring that a person stays sober and remains on the path to recovery. 

Aftercare helps prevent relapse by continuing to enforce the coping strategies and life skills a person recovering from an addiction learned during their rehabilitation program. Part of aftercare may involve family bonding and therapy, 12 step program meetings, or living in a sober living house depending on each person’s specific needs and path. The goal of aftercare is continued progress and development of personal strengths and goals so that reintegration is successful and the road to recovery can continue uninterrupted. 

If you’re ready to get started with recovery today, come explore our different treatment options and help yourself or your loved one take the first step in the right direction. 


7 Signs That You Need Drug Treatment

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

7 Signs That You Need Drug Treatment

Making the decision that you’re ready to seek treatment for your drug addiction can be difficult. It’s a big commitment that’s going to change your life, and it might feel a little scary. It’s hard to discuss it with the people around you. You might feel like they’re angry at you or they don’t understand what they’re going through. 

As much as they love you, the decision isn’t about them. It shouldn’t ever be about them. The decision should be a commitment to yourself that you decide to make for your own betterment. 

If you feel like everyone is shouting at you, it’s hard to think clearly about what your next move should be. The best route is to find a quiet moment to really think about the decision and what’s best for you.

Start by individually evaluating yourself honestly. You know what’s true and what’s not, and you’re not going to judge yourself. If you’re recognizing many signs that you need drug treatment, it may be the ultimate act of self-love and self-care to get the help you deserve. 

You’re worth the effort of getting better.

Here are some signs to look for as you think about the possibility that it may be time to seek help. 

1. Drugs are an everyday priority.

There are casual drug users, and there are problematic drug users. Someone who smokes a joint with their friends once or twice a month is a casual drug user. It may not be a healthy decision, but it’s not a decision that involves any kind of intense rehabilitation. 

To call someone who uses drugs once or twice a month an addict is an extreme overstatement. Sure, they might need healthier habits, but an inpatient facility is not at all necessary to achieve those habits.

If you find yourself using drugs every day, or at least most days, this is a problem. 

Even if you’re only using enough to stave off withdrawal symptoms and you aren’t getting “high,” you’re still dependent on drugs. Just because you’re walking around and living your life doesn’t mean you don’t need drug treatment. The substance is still harming your body and mind, even if you’re mostly coherent when you use. 

2. You cannot work or pay your bills.

If so much of your life is devoted to finding drugs, doing drugs, or buying drugs that you cannot work or pay your own bills, you’re not a functioning member of society. Drugs should never overtake your ability to be a responsible adult. If you constantly fear getting a new job because you don’t want to fail urinalysis, that’s a big sign that something is wrong. 

It means you’re unwilling or unable to stop taking drugs for even a few weeks to allow the substance to leave your system. If you weren’t a drug addict, you could take or leave your substance of choice for however long you pleased.

Your inability to work means you won’t have money coming in. Is someone else paying your bills for you? Are you staying with friends a lot because you cannot afford an apartment of your own? Are you financially dependent on others? Where does your money go? If it’s all going to drugs, your priorities aren’t where they should be. 

Addiction has a tendency to skew our priorities towards what feels good in the immediate moment, rather than what feels good for a sustainable life. Being high for an hour might be fun, but having electricity for the month is better.

3. You’re getting in trouble, with the law or otherwise.

If you’ve been arrested for buying or possessing drugs and still continue to use, this is a sign that the message isn’t quite sinking in. Legal ramifications exist to deter people from committing crimes. The threat of jail or having freedoms taken away is supposed to be enough to keep people from making decisions they know to be unwise. If it didn’t serve as a wake up call for you, that might indicate that you enjoy drugs more than you enjoy your freedom. 

You may have been caught for things for which people have declined to press charges. If you’ve stolen money from a family member or friend, this is still a crime. Whether or not the person met your crime with compassion is irrelevant. 

Whether you used that money to buy drugs or to pay bills you couldn’t afford to pay because you’d already spent your money on drugs doesn’t necessarily make a difference. If the drugs weren’t in the equation, that situation never would have occurred.

4. You get sick when you don’t have drugs.

If you go through withdrawal when you don’t have your drug of choice, you’ve become physically dependent on that drug. Even if you don’t feel like your behavior mirrors the behaviors of an addict, your physical response is telling you otherwise.

Some people are addicted to medications prescribed to them by their doctor and paid for by their insurance. They aren’t committing crimes to get the drugs, and obtaining them doesn’t cause them significant ruin or complications. You might have become an opioid addict merely by taking what your doctor has given you.

Drugs like opioids were never designed for long-term use. They were intended to ease patients through temporary pain like during surgical recovery or from a minor injury. Doctors overprescribe them because patients report a constant need, but doctors don’t always stop to understand the source of that constant need because it’s hard to objectively judge if someone is in pain. 

5. People you love have suggested you go to rehab.

If everyone around you is constantly telling you that you need drug rehab, it might begin to feel obnoxious. It’s true that they don’t understand what you’re going through. It’s true that they don’t know what it’s like to live a day in your shoes. And unless they’ve ever used drugs for the long-term, they cannot possibly fathom what it’s like to try to stop. Your feelings and opinions in those regards are valid.

But, you need to consider where they’re coming from. 

Even if they feel confrontational or if you feel as though they’re talking down to you or belittling you, there’s a reason why they’re telling you these things. If you focus less on the exact words they’re saying and more on what their motivations may be for what feels like lectures about rehab, the picture may become a little clearer. 

6. You’ve forgotten about or abandoned personal goals.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you want to travel the world? Did you want to get a doctorate degree? Did you want to raise a huge family? To play Olympic hockey, or paint a giant mural, or build a dream house? How close to achieving that are you? Do you even try anymore?

When trying to find drugs preoccupies your brainpower half the time and the other half of the time you’re too under the influence to make any actionable progress towards anything you want to do, you need to reevaluate. If you weren’t dependent on drugs, you would have the time and energy to make your goals a reality.

Even scarier is a scenario where you realize you don’t have any goals. You never got around to setting them or made any effort to figure out what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, as small as it may be. The fear of the unknown may be driving you further toward drugs, because you don’t know who you are or what to do without the high.

That’s a problem that inpatient treatment can work to solve. Therapists work with patients to establish strengths and weaknesses, recognize personal achievements, set goals, and find a positive trajectory. This is a benefit to rehab that not many people realize exists, and provides the answers that millions of addicts are looking for.

7. You’re reading this article.

If you’re wondering if you need drug treatment, you probably do. The idea merely entering your mind is a sign that you know something is wrong. You wouldn’t be contemplating treatment if you didn’t understand the potential for a better life if drugs were removed from the equation

Independently toying with the idea is a sign that you might be ready for treatment. It’s not coming from external or societal pressures. It isn’t the people around you telling you how to live your life. It’s an idea that originated in your own mind. 

When you make up your mind to do something to better yourself, you’re more likely to succeed.


Coming to accept the fact that you need drug rehab may be hard. Many addicts live and die (usually of their addiction or from conditions exacerbated by their addiction) without ever taking the first step. 

You have the potential for a future. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be successful. You deserve the opportunity to work for all the things you want and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. 

If you’re ready to get started, get in touch with us

If you need a little more motivation, check out the programs we have to offer and click around our site. 

We hope to hear from you soon — whenever you’re ready. 


How Long is Drug Rehab?

How Long is Drug Rehab?

Drug rehab often feels like being pulled into a vacation you don’t want to go on. For some people, it feels like voluntarily signing up to go to jail. Before you go anywhere, you want to know how long you’re going to be gone and the way it will impact your routine. 

If you’re leaving responsibilities behind, it’s important that you understand the duration of your treatment. How long will your sister have to foster your dog? How many times does your best friend have to deliver your rent to the landlord? Are there any bills you need to pay before you go?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Rehab doesn’t ever truly end — it’s a lifelong process of betterment and maintaining your progress to prevent relapse. 

When it comes to your stay at a facility, it can be as little as a month or as long as 120 days. You can’t and won’t know until you start. You might have to adjust your plans midway through rehab. It all depends on your unique case. 

Rehab Begins with Detoxing

The first part of drug rehabilitation is detoxing from the substance you’ve been dependent on for so long. How long this process takes depends on a variety of different factors. What kinds of substances were you using? How much of them, and how often? Were you using them daily for months, or years, or decades? How do you want to approach the detox process?

People recovering from opioid addiction might choose longer methods of detoxing. Methadone is an effective detox tool when administered by a professional according to a schedule of controlled doses. Methadone is an opioid, so using methadone will suppress symptoms of opioid withdrawal.  Over time, doses of methadone are lowered until they are completely stopped. When a minimal dose is finally ceased, withdrawal is simple. It’s not a pleasant process, but it’s not much worse than a common cold. 

While methadone is one of the gentlest tools to help opioid addicts detox in that it staves off withdrawal symptoms, but it also takes the longest, especially relative to abruptly stopping a drug. Some addicts spend weeks or months gradually decreasing their dosage until they stop completely. 

Some substances don’t work with tools like methadone. Any non-opioid drug is detoxed and processed differently. Drugs like marijuana do not require any physical detox at all – their addictive properties are exclusively emotional. 

There’s no real way to know how long detox is going to take unless you discuss the substances, durations, and amounts with your care provider and choose a method of detox that will work for you.

Conquering Addiction with a  Dual Diagnosis

Detoxing doesn’t stop addiction. All of the behavior aspects and frameworks that contribute to addiction are still in place, even after the substance has been fully removed from the body. The absence of the drug creates a vacuum in the life of an addict. When it’s gone, they often don’t know who they are anymore. 

Everyone uses for a reason. If you were having a fantastic time every day and loved being in your default state of consciousness, you wouldn’t be trying to escape it with drugs. Discovering and remedying the underlying cause is crucial for a long term successful outcome. 

If this discovery process were simple, straightforward, and easy, addicts would have done it instead of resorting to drugs as a quick cover up of a larger problem. Addicts need a framework for coping mechanisms and healthy emotional outlets to utilize instead of drugs. They need to learn to recognize their feelings – particularly the feelings that lead them to use. Most importantly, they need to learn to deal with those feelings in a more productive way.

This is even more important for addicts with a dual diagnosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition in conjunction with addiction, you’ll be at higher risk for relapse unless both conditions are simultaneously treated. Mental illness has a tendency to create a loop of lows. You feel bad, you use drugs, you feel worse, you use more. The cycle perpetuates the longer you continue to self medicate. 

When Are You Actually Ready to Leave?

There’s a lot of emotional and psychological work to be done before it’s wise to cut an addict loose. No one wants to see all of the progress of rehab undone. No one wants to put the same addict through detox twice. The goal is always to make rehab stick the first time, and if you haven’t made significant progress at the end of 30 days in inpatient treatment, you might want to extend that stay until you feel comfortable to start the next phase of your recovery.

People with a dual diagnosis need and deserve special focus. Their need for help is a little more intensive than that of an addict who only deals with addiction. Dual diagnosed  individuals might need to spend a little longer in an inpatient program for evaluation and assistance. The last thing a rehabilitation professional would want to do is release a patient with a dual diagnosis before they’re ready.

Rehab Isn’t Over When Inpatient Ends

Leaving rehab doesn’t mean you’re all better. It means you have the tools, knowledge, and resources to commit to keeping yourself healthy. The real test begins when you go back home. You’re empowered to make your own decisions. You choose who you talk to, where you go, and what you do there. That’s a lot of power to put into the hands of someone fresh out of recovery, but it needs to happen at some point. 

You might have learned enough in rehab to keep you from making the same mistakes, but this often isn’t the case. You can just as easily revert to the same choices you were making before, out of sheer force of habit. You’ll land right back where you started, and no one wants to see that happen. You’re provided with aftercare resources upon leaving rehab, and the next phase of your recovery is to choose to use them. 

Outpatient Treatments

Some people choose to attend meetings or group therapy sessions after they’ve completed inpatient programs. They find that the approach of accountability in numbers works for them. Everyone else attending those meetings is trying not to avoid making the same mistakes you’re trying to avoid. Best of all, they get it. 

You can talk to the people you love about temptations and feelings that trigger addiction all day long. They can love you, and support you, and listen. Unless they know what addiction is like, they won’t truly be able to empathize. They can’t exchange ideas and healthy coping skills with you the same way someone who shares your experience would be able to. 

Continued Mental Health Treatment

You can’t stop the world from moving while you’re in recovery. As great as it would be to hit a big pause button and watch everything slow down for a little while, the earth will continue to turn. Every day will bring new challenges and new emotions. You’ll face changes, some good and some bad. You need to be prepared to weather those changes without compromising your recovery.
Talk therapy can be a crucial component of successful long term recovery – especially if you don’t always understand your own feelings. Are you often anxious, but you’re not quite sure why? Do you avoid certain places or situations, but you don’t have the insight to understand what they have in common? Talk it out with your therapist. That’s how you’ll find out. 

Therapy is most important for addicts with a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosed addicts or addicts with stressful lives often find that continued mental health treatment helps to keep them centered. Even if they aren’t currently using, they still have a mental health disorder they need to appropriately manage. Failing to manage the mental health disorder will send recovery tumbling down like a house of cards. Having a professional to speak with on a regular basis prevents feelings from piling up, ultimately culminating in a relapse. 


Drug rehab is the rest of your life. You’re responsible for your continued success every day. It’s up to you to maintain your recovery and to prevent relapse. It will be harder sometimes, especially when devastating life events happen. 

The death of a loved one, the loss of a friend,  getting laid off, losing your home in a wildfire – there are so many variables life can throw at you. And life will never stop throwing them at you. These are devastating things that people face every day. You cannot change the nature of the world, but you can change your reaction to it.

Learning to remain devoted to your recovery even in the hardest of times is something that takes patience, willpower, and a lot of determination. Using recovery resources every day for the rest of your life will keep you focused. Don’t think enough is enough just because you haven’t used in a week, or a month, or even a year. Continue to focus on your wellbeing, because you deserve to remain sober and healthy. 

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How to Find the Best Drug Rehab in California

Addiction is a powerful disease that lasts an entire lifetime. Most people know that rehab is the way to go to get the treatment you need to get clean and sober. Still, you may not know that there are many types of rehab. Depending on the severity of their addiction or other problems, a person may need residential rehab in California. Compared to other options, California residential treatment offers a higher rate of success, meaning even people with the most severe and difficult addictions have the ability to get clean and return to a normal life free of drugs and alcohol. 

At Starbridge Recovery, we tailor treatment plans to the individual client because we know that cookie-cutter solutions don’t work for addiction. Whether for Los Angeles detox or inpatient rehab services, Starbridge Recovery is committed to When someone has a severe addiction, they need California residential rehab to have the best chances of getting and staying clean. In this post, we are going to discuss what a residential treatment center in California does, the benefits of going to residential treatment, and how to find the best drug rehab in California. 

What is Residential Rehab Treatment? 

There are two primary rehab types, inpatient rehab, and outpatient rehab. Each type works a bit differently, and there are specific forms of treatment within each. 

Outpatient treatment focuses on a program where the client comes to a treatment facility for counseling and other services and then goes home. Outpatient treatment varies in intensity, and the amount of treatment sessions and supervision is necessary. 

Inpatient treatment is different in that the client stays at a treatment facility for the duration of their treatment program. 

A typical inpatient rehab program is intensive and set in a hospital setting where a person can be monitored during the entire time. These programs typically last around 30 days, depending on the needs of the individual. While they are the perfect choice for those that need additional support, they are not the only inpatient option available to those struggling with addiction. 

Residential inpatient care is a type of inpatient care set in a home-like setting instead of a hospital one. While maintaining the same levels of intensive care provided during inpatient treatment, a residential rehab program also focuses on providing a comfortable environment and luxury amenities.

What Are the Benefits of Residential Rehab? 

Residential rehab has a number of benefits over other treatment types. Here are a few of them: 

Continuous Medical Support 

Residential care offers full medical support when you need it. A comprehensive residential rehab center in California will allow you to focus on the treatment process in a relaxing setting.

More Treatment Options 

There’s more to residential rehab than just your standard therapy options. Residential facilities offer more care options as well as options to improve your life, like job training, support groups, educational services, and more. 

A Holistic Approach 

Perhaps the most important benefit of residential rehab is that it can provide alternative approaches to addiction treatment

Rather than focusing on treating the symptoms of addiction, residential rehab focuses on treating the root causes of addiction, such as lifestyle choices, mental illness, stress, relationships, trauma, and other factors. 

Once the root cause of the addiction is identified, it is much easier to teach a person the skills they need to cope with the addiction and prevent relapse, as well as promote a return to normal life and long-term sobriety. 

How to Find a Residential Treatment Center in California 

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction and you think residential treatment is the right choice, then Starbridge Recovery is the place to be. 

Starbridge Recovery is an inpatient drug rehab in Los Angeles, offering a calming and relaxing environment with first-class home-like amenities that will take your stress away and let you focus on recovery. Treatment begins with medically supervised detox before moving on to the full rehab plan. 

Each client is given an individualized plan that works to treat the underlying causes of their addiction and not just the drug itself. Once treatment has ended, we continue providing support with aftercare services. 
Don’t hesitate to get the care you need, contact Starbridge Recovery today and learn more about our luxury drug rehab in Studio City, California.

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Alcohol?

Alcohol is the most widely available recreational drug. It’s cheap, you can find it anywhere, and it’s legal to use for most people in most situations. It’s also one of the most dangerous drugs you can ever abuse. This is something that most people who eventually wind up becoming alcoholics never realize. 

Since there’s less of a stigma surrounding alcohol and it seems like almost everyone drinks at least once in a while, most people don’t see any perceived danger with alcohol outside of situations like drunk driving. There are drinkers who would never even contemplate touching another substance, including decriminalized substances like marijuana, because they fear these substances are unsafe. They have no idea what alcohol is actually doing to their bodies. 

If you’re coming to realize that alcohol is not the harmless party enhancer or dinnertime treat it’s often made out to be, you probably have a lot of important questions you need answers to right away.

The Difference Between a Casual Drinker, a Problematic Drinker, and an Alcoholic

No one has the first drink and immediately becomes an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a slow burn that develops over time. It’s like the boiling frog analogy. If you put a frog in a pot of water and very slowly, very gradually increase the temperature of the water, the frog doesn’t notice how hot it’s gotten before he boils to death. The same thing happens with people and alcohol. They drink a little more and a little more and a little more until they don’t have a concept of just how much they’re actually drinking.

A casual drinker is someone who can and sometimes does go an entire month without drinking, or even thinking about drinking. These people are usually conscious about their drinking habits and would prefer not to overindulge. They may not like the taste of alcohol very much, or the feeling of being impaired. They save their drinks for weekends, holidays, or special occasions, and they can count on one hand the amount they have throughout the duration of their events. 

Problematic drinkers will drink a little more. Any woman who has more than three drinks in an average day or 7 total drinks in a week, and any man that has more than four drinks in an average day or more than 14 drinks in a week is at an increased risk for alcoholism. Problematic drinkers often skirt that line, or may occasionally surpass it.

If you’re a problematic drinker, you may not be drinking every day. That doesn’t mean you aren’t drinking to excess often enough to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol. A heavy drinker, or an alcoholic, is defined as someone who often exceeds those limits.

Am I Drinking Too Much?

If you have to ask yourself if you’re drinking too much, you probably are. If the thought has entered your mind that your reliance on or tendency to gravitate towards alcohol may be becoming a problem, listen to yourself. It’s easier and safer to prevent a problem than it is to treat one. 

Stopping Alcohol as a Casual Drinker

Casual drinkers will have the easiest time stopping alcohol. At first, limit your social outings or occasions that will involve alcohol. This will give you time to re-evaluate the way you interact with alcohol. When you are in a situation where others are drinking and you’re not, you may feel like you miss alcohol. Try to look at the situation through a new lens. 

When you’re sober and the people around you aren’t, you might find them a little annoying. This doesn’t mean you should drink until they’re easy to be around, but rather that you should find a new social group that doesn’t drink as much or as often.

Stopping Alcohol as a Problematic Drinker

If you believe that you’re a problematic drinker, you should make it a rule to avoid all social situations where alcohol plays a significant role. This doesn’t mean you should stop going out to dinner because one of the people you’re with might order a glass of wine. It does mean that bar karaoke is no longer an ideal environment for you. 

You may not want to keep alcohol in the house, even if it isn’t for you. Drinking one of your roommate’s beers can become a slippery slope faster than you may realize. It’s the same mentality people trying to diet fall into. “I already ate the piece of pizza, I might as well have the burger!” Removing alcohol from your environment makes it easier to prevent these kinds of slip ups. 

You may also want to talk to a mental health professional about your problematic relationship with alcohol. He or she will be able to help you assess the underlying reasons why you may drink too frequently. Understanding the foundation for the problem can help you formulate healthy solutions and better habits. 

Stopping Alcohol as an Alcoholic

Stopping alcohol as an alcohol is difficult and dangerous. If you drink so frequently that you experience physical symptoms after going a few hours without alcohol, stopping will involve detoxing and some form of rehabilitation.

The Process of Detoxing from Alcohol and Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Detoxing from alcohol causes something called alcohol withdrawal syndrome, or AWS. For some people, the symptoms of AWS may be mild and only last a day or two. Insomnia, nausea, vomiting, clammy skin, headaches, anxiety, irritability, depression, and brain fog are common responses to detoxing from alcohol. 

Long term heavy drinkers may experience those side effects plus tremors, rapid heartbeat, and uncontrollable shaking. In rare cases, they may also experience another escalated bracket of symptoms called delirium tremens. Delirium tremens causes fever, intense confusion, hallucinations, and seizures. 

The effects of withdrawal build up over a few days, with seizures typically occurring around the 48 hour mark. Delirium tremens may kick in at about 72 hours into the withdrawal process and could last as long as a week.

Since these symptoms can escalate to dangerous levels very quickly, medical supervision is necessary during the detoxification process. By the time confusion, hallucination, and seizures have set in, people are no longer able to help themselves. They can only be assisted by a medical professional who has followed the process and understands the escalation of the symptoms.

Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome

Some people in recovery may experience something called protracted withdrawal syndrome, or PWS. In essence, PWS is when the mild symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, like depression, anxiety, and brain fog, can last as long as a year. Some people with PWS still experience tremors or have shaky hands. You may have heard of people with PWS referred to as “dry drunks”, as they never quite seem fully sober.

PWS is something that has to run out its course. Medications and therapy may help people with PWS alleviate some of the symptoms and adapt to living a healthy, sober life.

Outpatient Solutions

If you have a drinking problem, you’ve probably seen or heard of dozens of outpatient solutions. These outpatient solutions are a better option for people who have been independently maintaining their sobriety for an extended period of time. They’re not a great place to start, and they won’t provide you with the medical assistance you need to safely detox from alcohol. They won’t help you modify your behavior or remove your temptation to drink.

Outpatient solutions are helpful for people who want accountability and a therapeutic conversation with people who understand the unique challenges that come with giving up alcohol. For safety and the potential of long term success, treatment should begin at an inpatient facility.

Inpatient Solutions

Inpatient treatment facilities have staff that work round the clock to tend to the medical needs of patients. Someone with alcohol withdrawal syndrome requires this kind of medical monitoring for their safety. Seizures and hallucinations can set in at any moment. Medical staff will know how to keep you safe throughout the process

Inpatient facilities also put a big pause on the temptations of the outside world. Even if you feel tempted to drink, you won’t have access to alcohol. You will, however, have access to a therapist who is there to discuss your underlying desire to drink and the events in your life that may have lead to your dependency on alcohol. This therapy will become a vital tool in helping you shape new coping mechanisms for an alcohol free life


There is no clear cut answer regarding how long it takes to detox from alcohol. Some people are over the worst of their symptoms in about three days, while others may begin to experience heightened and more dangerous consequences at the same point in time. Others carry remnants of their withdrawal symptoms with them for up to a year. 

Alcohol withdrawal can be unpredictable, which is why it’s so important to detox in an inpatient setting with constant medical supervision. 

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