Find a Los Angeles Drug Rehab with Luxury Amenities

Find a Los Angeles Drug Rehab with Luxury Amenities

Having a specific set of criteria in mind when you start exploring options in terms of drug rehab centers can definitely help narrow down your search, but it can sometimes be difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. Deciding to look for a drug rehab center with luxury amenities may be the best fit for you, and if so, there are ways to make the search even easier. 

Luxury rehab centers tend to have a focus on privacy, fine dining and nourishment, comfort and pleasure, and recreational activities, all of which take place in a beautiful or exotic setting. Most luxury rehab centers also offer holistic approaches to treatment that may not be available at centers that are not as upscale. Holistic approaches include meditation and mindfulness, equine therapy, or other methods in combination with individual and group therapy. 

Key Features

There are some key features that you should look for in a luxury drug rehab center in order to ensure that you will be at a facility that is best suited to you and your needs.

 Some of these features include:

  • Detoxification programs and services that include medication and medical supervision
  • Programs with highly trained, highly credentialed, and experienced medical professionals and staff such as doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists
  • Make sure that the staff at the center you are choosing have great experience treating and managing clients with dual diagnoses or co-occurring conditions and disorders. Some disorders that may accompany substance abuse include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. 
  • See if the program you are considering offers treatment plans and therapy options that are aligned with your individual needs, concerns, and specific situation. 
  • Make sure that you will be able to cover the cost of a luxury rehab center, whether through insurance or by other financial means

What Sets a Luxury Facility Apart?

There are many luxury drug rehab facilities that a person can choose from, so it is important for you to be able to recognize what sets a specific luxury facility apart from the rest:

  • Geographic location: Generally speaking, exclusive luxury drug rehab centers are more likely to be located near beautiful beaches or secluded country settings, and you should choose one depending on your ideal location. Starbridge Recovery is located in a beautiful setting in California, with beaches nearby that allow us to offer holistic therapies and fresh air recreational activities. 
  • Amenities: Exclusive, luxury rehab centers will likely offer you a private room, private workspace, fine dining, room service, and other services that may be of interest to you depending on your situation and desires. Luxury treatment facilities tend to feel upscale, with levels of services that are reminiscent of high-class hotels. 
  • Activities: Aside from addiction-related services and activities, upscale rehabilitation centers may offer other recreational activities to make your time in treatment more comfortable and pleasant. Some opportunities that may be available to you include horseback riding, spa treatments, swimming, and more. 

It can be extremely helpful to form a checklist of features or criteria in order to eliminate rehab centers that are not up to par for you. A checklist should consist of several features or aspects of treatment that are most important to you and that are going to play the biggest role in your recovery long-term. If a center fails to meet these important criteria, that center is likely not a good fit for you and will not yield the most successful results on your path to sobriety. 

Some items that may be ideal for you to incorporate into this type of checklist include:

Our luxurious rehab facility in Los Angeles has a beautiful atmosphere and an expertly trained team of professionals including physicians, psychologists, licensed counselors, and nurses who are more than ready to help you recover from your addiction both mentally and physically. Luxury treatment centers like Starbridge Recovery generally offer a great variety of treatment options and therapies depending on each client’s individual needs.

Reviews Matter

Aside from looking into location and key features of luxury drug rehab centers, it is just as important to seek out reviews of the center from clients who had an experience there. The information on a rehab center’s website is designed to encourage you to seek treatment there, but reading reviews of their treatment programs will ensure that you have a fuller, more complete understanding of the bigger picture. 

Reviews can end up being a major part of the reason why you do or do not wish to seek treatment at a specific rehab facility, and it can be immensely helpful to hear the perspectives of people who experienced struggles similar to yours and sought out treatment. Use reviews as a means of identifying areas of concern, or topics that raise more questions for you. Reviews can steer you away from some rehab centers, or steer you towards others. 

Similarly, it is just as important to get feedback from representatives of the rehab centers on your list. Pay a visit to the centers in question, or contact them directly if a visit is not possible. Try to gain a better understanding of what certain treatment programs will be like in terms of the full experience, and work to get feedback from staff regarding the programs offered. 

Conference calls or video conferences may come in handy in instances where an in-person visit to the center is not convenient.

Financial Considerations

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a luxury drug rehab center is the cost and your payment plan for treatment. Cost is one of the biggest differences between an upscale treatment center and a standard treatment center, and luxury programs generally cost quite a lot more than standard programs do. 

The increase in cost that comes with upscale drug rehabilitation facilities may cover things such as extra amenities, activities, or the location of the center. Because of this, extra costs may not be covered by insurance, potentially leaving you with an out-of-pocket expense that must be covered. That being said, doing thorough research ahead of time can ensure that you will not be caught off guard by any extra costs in this way. 

Starbridge Recovery strives to work with each individual client in order to ensure that there is a payment plan that will be conducive to a successful time in treatment. We accept most major insurance carriers, and offer a free insurance validation form in case you are insured, but are uncertain of whether or not your insurance will be accepted. 

Generally speaking, if there are any concerns pertaining to financial considerations that cannot be resolved by looking through a rehab facility’s website, you should contact them directly and have your concerns put to rest. 

It is never a good idea to go into a situation blindly, and allowing yourself to enter a financially troubling situation is one way of increasing your likelihood of relapsing after treatment ends because this acts as a stressor or trigger. Plan ahead so that you do not end up complicating your financial situation.


In summary, looking for a luxury drug rehab can be a tricky search if you do not know what you are looking for. 

Luxury is not a guarantee for a successful recovery, so there are certain criteria and key features that you should keep in mind in order to ensure that the rehab center you choose is going to offer you the care, treatment, and devotion you deserve. 

Some key features to consider are detoxification services, holistic therapy approaches, individualized treatment plans, experienced staff, and availability of trained medical professionals. 

Doing a thorough search through the reviews of any rehab centers on your list can also aid you in developing a more complete understanding of the ways that a treatment center functions. Reading reviews can also steer you away from centers that may not be the best fit for you and your needs. Getting feedback directly from rehab center staff is another helpful way to get an idea of whether or not a center is a good fit for you. 

Another aspect of treatment that you must keep in mind when choosing a facility is the cost of treatment and how you are going to form your payment plan. Most treatment centers accept major insurance carriers, but sometimes luxury treatment centers come with extra costs that are not always covered by insurance. 

Extra costs may cover things like special amenities or luxurious locations, and if you are not careful, you might end up being caught off guard by a large out-of-pocket expense. Being careful and thorough now can help you avoid trouble later on. 

If you have any questions about our amenities, getting started, or how everything works, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. 


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

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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Who Regulates Drug Rehab Centers in California?

Who Regulates Drug Rehab Centers in California?

You need to trust your drug rehab center just as much as you’d trust your doctor, your hospital, or your psychologist. You’re heavily relying on a care provider to keep you safe and provide you with the tools you need during a difficult time in your life. 

Drug rehab centers exist to serve a very specialized need and work differently than your regular doctor’s office or clinic. It’s easy to understand how these other institutions came to be and what the standards are for the people who work there. You know the way they’re supposed to treat you and the things they’re supposed to provide for you. This may not be as clear with drug rehab centers.

Drug rehab centers are regulated just like any other medical or therapeutic facility. The process is slightly different than it might be for a facility where surgery might be performed, but oversight still plays a crucial role in establishing and regulating these centers.

What is the DHCS?

California’s drug rehabilitation centers are regulated by the Department of Health Care Services, or DHCS. DHCS is an institution deeply embedded in health care for all Californians. They regulate every kind of medical practitioner from dentists to substance abuse specialists. 

They’re responsible for instituting all health programs that Californians are eligible to receive, like Family Planning services and the Newborn Hearing Screening Program. 

They’ve created a giant umbrella over all health care and health care resources to assure that every Californian has equal access to the highest possible quality of care from every provider they see. They also help match underserved or financially disadvantaged people with services and resources they can use to manage their health care needs.

Since DHCS handles so much, it’s broken down into smaller sub-managed divisions. Each division of the DHCS focuses on a different branch of health care or health resources. Although drug rehab centers are regulated under the umbrella of DHCS, they’re under the specific purview of a branch designated specifically to that purpose. 

What is the SUDC?

The Substance Use Disorder Compliance division, or SUDC, is the division of the DHCS that handles all matters pertaining to substance abuse recovery. They oversee inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol addiction or misuse. The Licensing and Certification Branch (LCB) of the SUDC is ultimately responsible for determining which facilities are and are not eligible for licensure. 

Obtaining a license is not a one and done deal. Facilities are granted licensing for shorter terms, and must reapply for licensing before their current license expires. 

This helps the DHCS make sure that the standards and quality of care at a facility have not declined since they last received their license. DHCS will be sure that treatment centers use the best possible treatment methods available at all times. 

What Criteria Do Centers Need to Meet for Licensing?

The DHCS has a lengthy list of guidelines for rehabilitation centers that outlines the quality of the care they must provide, the services necessary for successful recovery treatment, the safety and sanitation of a facility and the required credentials of the staff who may work there.

Every rehabilitation center is held to the same high standards. The department regularly checks in with addiction care providers to assure that standards are being upheld. They also routinely investigate complaints made by patients of these facilities, and they may discover compliance issues during these investigations. 

When this happens, the license for a facility can be suspended or revoked. 

Does Everyone at a Regulated Center Fully Recover?

Recovery is not a task of the rehab center, but a task of the patient. 

The center’s job is to keep you safe and provide you with drug rehabilitation treatment tools that are proven to be effective. The work of maintaining sobriety falls on your lap. The center will be there to support you, and in some cases, provide aftercare to maximize your chances for success even after the inpatient program is over.

Even the best rehabilitation center in the world cannot overtake the free will of a patient. If the patient leaves and decides to turn back to drugs or ignore their recovery plan, there’s nothing the center can do.

If you’re looking to recover from drug addiction, you need to make the right decisions every day of your life after treatment is over. Your treatment specialist can only fill your toolbox and teach you how to use those tools. It’s up to you how and when you take that toolbox out. 

Are Unregulated Centers Unsafe?

Unregulated centers are often unregulated because they cannot prove that any of the treatment methods they’re using are safe or effective. This is often the case with faith-based drug rehabilitation centers that prefer to approach rehabilitation through prayer or religious ritual rather than proven medical strategies to preserve the health and safety of a patient. 

When you pay money for inpatient drug rehabilitation, you want to know that exchange of money was for a legitimate service. Unregulated centers often take people’s money without doing anything other than offering them room and board for 30 days. 

With no qualified professionals on staff or care standards to abide by, they cannot actually demonstrate any foundation of results for their methods and cannot call themselves treatment programs.

How Often Are Licenses Checked?

The SDUC’s LCB team frequently checks rehab centers to assure their compliance. They suspend or revoke licenses from facilities that do not provide adequate care, and serve unlicensed facilities with notices that tell them to either become licensed or close their doors. 

The state of California takes addiction recovery centers very seriously. More centers close than open each year. Centers that cut corners, fail to meet licensing requirements, or attempt to circumvent the law’s requirement for licensure are promptly handled. 

How Do I Know If a Center is Regulated?

The SUDC keeps a list of all centers it regulates with vital data regarding that center. It lists the name of the care provider, the address of the facility, the status and expiration date of the license, the type of services the facility is allowed to offer, and the maximum number of residents the treatment center can serve.

It also provides designations for what it calls “Target Populations.” This indicates whether a facility is co-ed, exclusive to one sex, exclusive to adolescents, designated for dual diagnosis patients, or if the facility targets a mixture of patients. 

How Do I Find a Regulated Drug Rehab Center in California?

The first thing you need to consider is what you intend to gain from treatment. 

If you are still an active drug user, you’ll need to safely detox in a supervised environment. Not all treatment centers are also certified as detox centers. It’s easier and safer to have your care managed by the same team from beginning to end. Choosing one facility that provides both the detox and the treatment often fares better for the patient’s overall rehab experience. 

Then, you’ll have to decide how far you’re willing to travel to receive treatment. Some people prefer to leave their past far behind them while they’re in recovery, and others like the idea of staying close to home. Some people don’t care about the location of their rehabilitation facility as much as they care about what the facility can provide for them. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and reconcile them with your commute. 

When you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can conduct a Google search for top rated rehabilitation facilities within that general area. View the websites for those most appealing to you, and create a list of pros and cons. 

You might love the comfort and amenities a facility provides, but be less than enthusiastic about the idea of sharing them with the 50 other people in that facility. You might find a boutique facility that treats less than ten people at a time, but discover that they don’t offer the detox services you need. 

Take some time to make notes and narrow down your list until you’ve found a facility or two that seem to meet all of your most pressing needs.

Then, use the DHCS’s search tool to verify the information you’ve found. You can check licensing status, program qualifications, and maximum residency. If the information you obtained from the website accurately reflects the information DHCS has on file, you’ve found a reliable drug rehabilitation center. 


The process of rehabilitating from drug addiction is serious and important. Not all care providers are equal. Don’t fall prey to the promises of alternative centers or unlicensed centers. They can’t provide you with the quality of treatment you need to get your life back on track. 

Aside from licensing requirements, accreditation and certification from The Joint Commission is also worth looking for. The Joint Commission was founded over 50 years ago and helps set a standard for what quality healthcare looks like. You can learn more about them and their requirements here. 

The DHCS understands what you’re going through and strives to be sure that every licensed care provider you can possibly choose from will be able to serve you with safe, proven, effective, and reliable care. 


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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Life After Inpatient Drug Rehab: Maintaining Your Recovery

Life After Inpatient Drug Rehab: Maintaining Your Recovery

Many people enter rehab under the assumption that it’s the solution to all of their problems. You took that hard first step. You went through the detox process. You put your whole life on hold. You did it. 

You got through rehab, even though it felt utterly impossible just a few weeks before you went. So what now?

The reality of the matter is that your true recovery is only just beginning. It was easy to make the right choices in rehab. All the temptations were gone, everyone there helped to hold you accountable, and the entire environment was centered around sobriety. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t like that. 

Leaving rehab is the first step to true and meaningful recovery, and now your job is to apply all the things you’ve learned so you can keep your success going. 

Go Over What You Learned in Therapy

You discussed a lot of things with your therapist at inpatient treatment. You identified the way a lot of things make you feel. You’ve been over your strengths and weaknesses, your achievements and failures. 

You learned a lot about personal accountability, maintaining healthy relationships, and setting goals. 

Your therapist cannot apply what you’ve learned on your behalf. He or she only helped you to create a map for achieving the things you want. You’re now left to your own devices to follow those steps and take that journey to your destination. 

To make the things you’ve discussed a reality, you need to begin making changes in your life. Your old life is exactly where you left it, and that’s not you anymore. That life involved doing drugs, hurting the people that you loved, and damaging your body. It was the biggest obstacle between you and everything you’ve ever wanted or deserved. 

Dismantling that life as you build a new one will set you up for success. The old has to truly be out before the new can come in.

Changing Your Life Accordingly

You gained a lot of things you needed in rehab. Now you have to lose the things you don’t need outside of rehab. 

Friendships that were built around drugs, places where you would go to use, and a daily routine built around keeping yourself in a steady supply of your substance of choice are no longer an option. The other people in those situations did not take the steps you took or put in the effort to change their lives for the better. If you turn back to them, you’ll only be letting yourself down.

It might be time to move to a different apartment in a different part of town. Solidifying your new start with a complete change of scenery will help to reinforce the idea that your life is new now. You don’t need constant reminders of the bad choices you made or the harm you caused yourself through drug use. You deserve to leave that behind you. It’s no longer a part of your identity. 

You might also want to look into a new career, or schooling or vocational training that will help you settle in a career you’ve always wanted. Many drug addicts don’t work. You can’t accomplish anything under the influence, employers often drug test, and your preoccupation with the drug likely kept you from pursuing a new job once your old one was out the window. 

One of the most important steps to independence is establishing your own income. Personal responsibility is getting up every morning, putting on the suit or the uniform, and showing up to do what you signed up to do. At the end of the day, you make your budget and pay your bills. 

This change in priorities and sense of responsibility can help to keep you focused. You made commitments that you’re in complete control of. You have to answer for yourself. You’re getting the things you want, and you’re holding onto them by doing all the things you said you would do. 

Keeping Yourself Accountable

Many people continue to go to outpatient treatment or see a therapist after they’ve left rehab. This isn’t a crutch — it’s a vital accountability tool. 

While you were in rehab, the group you spoke with and the therapist you saw helped to realign your perspective and change your priorities. They didn’t follow you outside of treatment. The moment you went back out into the world, things became radically different. You didn’t know how you would react or what it would feel like until you were left to your own devices again. 

Therapists and outpatient groups can help you with your transition to independence. Most recovering addicts and alcohol users in outpatient groups have had the same experience you have. 

They went through their inpatient program, came back out into the world, and realized they still needed empathy and companionship from others who understood the struggle. Some recovered addicts continue to attend outpatient groups for decades to help them maintain their sobriety. 

Continuing to work with a therapist is the most effective way to deal with thoughts and feelings as they come up. There are so many things you can’t address at inpatient because you don’t know they’re going to happen. You have no idea how you’re going to feel, and you can’t preemptively work through these mystery feelings. 

Regularly scheduled therapy appointments will help you navigate your feelings day by day without ever feeling overwhelmed. If you see a therapist once a week, things won’t have time to pile up until they feel insurmountable. 

Let it all out as it comes so you can effectively move past it or develop new coping skills to help you deal with intense feelings you experience out in the world. 

Striving for Goals and Using Healthy Outlets

When you felt down, you used drugs. Your only real goal was to find more drugs to use, even if you had an entire incredible life planned for yourself before you succumbed to your addiction. 

Things have changed, and you need to direct the same amount of attention and effort you directed to your addiction to healthy outlets and productive goals

As long as there is nothing inherently harmful about your goals or outlets, everything is on the table. 

You don’t need to have lofty or overly ambitious goals. Very few people save the world or cure a disease. If the goal you’ve set for yourself is to knit a scarf that’s 25 miles long, many people aren’t going to take you seriously. That doesn’t matter — they can mind their own business. 

If it means a lot to you and it’s not harming you or the people around you, it’s a good goal. You can easily measure your progress and strategize for its completion, and you’re keeping yourself busy. 

You’ll also want to begin utilizing healthy outlets. Many people go blow off steam on the weekends. They go to bars or clubs, or other places where alcohol and drugs are easy to find. Some of those people are addicts, and some of them aren’t. You know you belong to column A, and these environments are no longer suited to your needs.

A healthy outlet is any activity that grants you satisfaction and relaxation without causing any undue harm. Martial arts is a healthy outlet. It’s a great workout that teaches discipline and self defense, and there’s a class somewhere almost every night. Yoga is very similar in that regard, and it’s a little less intense or intimidating than a martial art. 

Yoga is healthy for your body and your mind. One of the biggest benefits of yoga as a healthy outlet is that it teaches mindfulness, a practice you can easily apply when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Practicing mindfulness might help you avoid giving into the temptation to relapse.

Having the Right Support System

Think about all those people you knew before rehab. You had nicknames for them. You had inside jokes, and you saw them every day. Those people aren’t your friends. 

You were bound together by addiction, and that is something you don’t want to have in common with anyone anymore. You need a support system full of people who make better choices and care about your sobriety just as much as you do. 

Hobbies and healthy outlets are a great place to meet quality people and form friendships, but these friendships won’t happen overnight. You might need to lean on your family or sober friends from your past a little bit in the beginning — just until you’re done establishing your new life. 

Your sister might have been angry with you for calling her at 3 AM and asking for money for drugs. She’ll probably be a lot less angry with you if you call her at 3 AM and tell her you’re having a difficult time and you don’t want to end up using. 

From the beginning, establish who you can and cannot call for support. People are allowed to set their own boundaries and manage their own responsibilities however they see fit. If you work with your family and sober friends to establish a support system according to the terms that work for them, you’ll be saving yourself some dark hours that may have otherwise ended badly. 

It may also be helpful to join support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups are both dedicated to one main mission: help people get out of and stay out of addiction. You can be as minimally involved as attending an occasional meeting or as deeply involved as helping someone else out of their addiction. Being able to be with others who have gone through or are going through a similar journey can help you stay on track, and you may find that something that helps you stay sober is helping others get there, too. 


You cannot allow yourself to entertain the notion that relapsing is an option, even if you have to radically alter every single aspect of your life to prevent a relapse from happening. 

You need to be proactive and responsible in your recovery. You need to follow through. Accepting a sense of personal responsibility and doing the things you said you would will keep you from reverting to bad habits, and you will be so happy and thankful for it in the long-run.

Maintaining your recovery is the final stage of recovery, and Starbridge Recovery can help keep it that way. Contact us today about our recovery aftercare planning programs


What Are The Three Stages of Alcoholism?

What Are The Three Stages of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism can have three stages, but the goal should always be to prevent them. Ideally, it stops at the first stage before intervention keeps someone from becoming fully dependent on alcohol. If left unchecked, alcoholism can progress into something highly dangerous. In a perfect world, alcoholism that reaches all three stages should progress towards a fourth, fifth, and sixth stage of maintained recovery.

What Constitutes Alcoholism?

The guidelines for heavy drinking are different for men and women. For women, it’s recognized as more than three drinks in a day or 7 drinks in a week. For men, it’s more than four drinks in a day or 14 drinks in a week. 

This isn’t necessarily the same guidelines addiction specialists would use to identify alcoholism, but they’re the perfect starting point for identifying problematic drinking behavior. It’s also worth noting that even if someone doesn’t precisely follow the three stages of alcoholism, they still may be an alcoholic.

Guidelines give us a framework for establishing and identifying problems, but every person is different. Every alcoholic is not the same person, and each alcoholic will have a different relationship with alcohol. Why they use, when they use, how often they use, and what they use will often differ. Just like their alcoholism will have unique components, so will their recovery. There is not such thing as an effective blanket approach. 

The First Stage: Denial

Denial is not the stage of denying that you’re an alcoholic. It’s more or less being oblivious to the fact that you’re becoming an alcoholic. The people around you may not even notice the warning signs of alcoholism at this stage. Although the stage is called “Denial”, a better term might be “uninformed” or “unaware.”

The problem with alcohol use is that it’s easy and normal. If you were sitting outside of a restaurant mainlining heroin, everyone would stop and look. Someone would call the police. People would yell at you. If you were sitting outside of a restaurant drinking a beer, people might stop to join you. That’s why the first stage of alcoholism is so tricky. Nobody, including the impending alcoholic, has an adequate opportunity to realize that problems are afoot. 

In the beginning, alcoholics don’t realize that they’re using alcohol irresponsibly. They figure that having a few drinks is their way of blowing off steam or having fun with their friends. They’ve not yet conceptualized that alcohol has become an unhealthy crutch and that their dependency will only grow with time.

When recognized at the first stage, outpatient treatment and therapy can provide promising outcomes for people. When the stages progress, significant intervention becomes significantly more necessary.

The Second Stage: Loss of Control

Loss of control is a longer stage. At this stage, you might notice that you have an increased tolerance for alcohol. It takes more to give you the euphoric, liberated feeling of being drunk. This amount of alcohol may be more than your body can actually handle, leading to blackouts or expanses of lost time where your brain was too inebriated to record long term memory.

At the loss of control phase, people usually wake up in strange places, forget where their car is, or find themselves surrounded by people they don’t remember. This is often utilized as a trope in films or on TV. Many people don’t take it seriously, simply equating it to a “wild night” or “going hard” and some people might recognize it as some kind of achievement. 

The lack of negative social reinforcement that comes from infrequent or one-off blackout drinking might hinder you from thinking it’s a problem. It almost seems like everybody does that from time to time. It might be something that your friends laugh about. In reality, it’s a horrifying sign that your relationship with alcohol has become something you aren’t capable of managing. 

If this behavior becomes a norm rather than an occasional occurrence, your friends and family might realize that your drinking is becoming a problem. Some people who are non-confrontational or otherwise fear upsetting you may not say anything. Your bolder and more confident friends and family members will likely come forward and ask you to evaluate your relationship with alcohol.

During the loss of control phase, you’ll realize that you feel different when you’re sober. You might feel anxious, or sweat. You might get mood swings or become very irritable. Your drive to drink will become stronger. You want to feel better and you want the urge to go away. You may begin drinking at inappropriate times, like during work hours, just to pacify yourself. 

It’s also common for alcoholics in the second stage to begin hiding their drinking habits. This is partially because they don’t want to endure criticism from those around them, partially because they give into urges to drink at inappropriate times, and partially because they’re beginning to recognize that their relationship with alcohol may be abnormal.

The Third Stage: Deterioration

The third stage is where alcoholism reaches maximum severity, and you will continue to decline indefinitely. Alcohol is no longer a part of your life: it is your life. It’s what you spend most of your time and money doing. It’s alienating you from the people around you. You can’t bear the thought of going without a drink because just a few hours without one makes you sick. 

Health problems will begin to develop. Illnesses of the liver, gout, jaundice, and muscle injuries from chronic dehydration make every day a little more painful. 

Without intervention, this is the stage where most alcoholics will eventually die. 

The First Stage of Recovery: Detoxing from Alcohol

At stages two or three, intervention with detox is necessary. Detoxing from alcohol is dangerous at either stage, but most dangerous at the third stage. Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs available. Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome can be more painful and more complicated than withdrawal from any other drug due to the way alcohol impacts the brain.

When you use alcohol, you severely damage and impair your neurotransmitters. Alcohol causes motor skill and speech impairment because of what it does to your brain as you drink. When you never give your brain a break, this damage becomes chronic. When you withdraw from alcohol, your body begins to try to repair your neurotransmitters and replenish the chemicals that were throttled for such a long period of time.

Alcohol withdrawal can cause fevers, irritability, rapid heartbeat, nausea, diarrhea, and tremors. These things all come as a result of the body attempting to repair itself. In some cases, seizures are also normal. The brain replenishes chemicals, but it doesn’t replenish them in their ideal amounts at the right times. These temporary imbalances are the cause of alcohol related seizures.

Alcoholics who stayed in stage three for an extended period of time are also vulnerable to a condition called delirium tremens. Delirium tremens occurs when chemicals surge too quickly through the brain, causing disorientation, hallucinations, and delusions in conjunction with seizures.
Even in its mildest state, alcohol withdrawal requires the supervision of medical professionals to keep a patient stable. Withdrawing alone is extremely dangerous. 

The Second Stage of Recovery: Participating in Treatment

Withdrawing from alcohol might free the body of its constraints, but it doesn’t resolve the pattern of behavior that led to alcoholism. Unless and until the cause of the addiction is identified and new coping mechanisms can be put in place, you’re likely to run back to the bottle the next time the patterns of your life re-emerge.

Inpatient treatment is the best solution for alcoholics seeking immediate help. You can undergo supervised detox and attend treatment in the same place, treating all aspects of your addiction in a straight line. 

The Third Stage of Recovery: Maintaining Sobriety

Since the stage of maintaining sobriety is self managed, it’s important to keep yourself accountable. Making the most of your inpatient treatment and applying everything you learned there will give you the groundwork to independently establish a system for your sobriety that you can adhere to.

Maintaining sobriety is where tools like outpatient programs come in handy. You’ve detoxed, you’ve worked with your inpatient addiction therapist to discover the cause of your desire to drink and the origin of your abuse of alcohol, and created a roadmap to set yourself up for continued success.

Checking in on a weekly basis with an accountability group or an individual therapist can help you deal with new feelings as they arise. As your life changes, your outpatient treatment will continue to keep you on track.


There are stages of alcoholism, and three stages of recovery. You didn’t become an alcoholic overnight, and you won’t become a sober success overnight. Recovery takes patience and dedication. You need to be willing to give yourself the time and care you deserve to become the person you want to be. Like with any long and complicated journey, the sooner you embark, the sooner you’ll arrive. 

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The Benefits of Long Term Addiction Recovery Care

The Benefits of Long Term Addiction Recovery Care

There are many addicts who know they need help. They want that help, but they’re afraid of everything it entails. Minimizing the process doesn’t make it easier for anyone. 

Addicts should enter into recovery knowing that it is a comprehensive process that requires constant maintenance. Many addicts spend the rest of their life focused on maintaining their recovery, where they might have instead spent the remainder of their lives focused on surviving their addiction.

For maintained success, recovery needs to remain a lifelong mindset. Long term addiction recovery care helps addicts keep their addictions in the past. 

If you’re ready to begin the process of rehabilitation, you need to know how to make every move count. Plan to make recovery a cornerstone of your wellbeing and healthy lifestyle from every day here on out. The benefits are endless.

The Process Starts With Admitting You Need to Recover

Recovery creates a drastically positive new future for addicts. It reshapes the entire trajectory of their lives. It changes everything they know and encourages them to become an entirely new person. 

Even though all the change is positive and necessary for a happy, healthy, productive life, change is still a scary thing. When you don’t know what the future looks like, it’s hard to take that plunge.

If you’re waiting for a glimpse into the way your life will play out after recovery, you’ll be waiting forever. You need to accept that there are a lot of unknowns at the end of the tunnel, but that you’ll undoubtedly be better for them. 

If you’ve been an addict long enough, you know that any other life would be a lot easier and a lot more peaceful than what you’ve had to endure. Be eager to accept the potential for something wonderful. 

The Most Physically Demanding Step is Detoxification

The first thing you’ll do in a rehabilitation program is detoxify from the substance or substances you’ve become dependent on

This process can be scary and uncomfortable. A lot of addicts have reservations about pursuing recovery simply because it’s against human nature to run towards known discomfort. Like you don’t look forward to having a rotting tooth pulled out even if it’ll benefit you in the long run, you may not be eager to go through the process of detoxing. 

If you’ve ever had a hard time obtaining your drug of choice, you already have a glimpse of what detoxing might feel like. You know the way your mind and body react when they’ve been without the substance for too long, and you know that completely stopping will only amplify that feeling. 

Detoxing isn’t a result of your body being deprived of something it needs — not in the traditional sense. Your body isn’t going haywire and making you sick because it desperately wants the drug. It’s going off the rails to make you better. In a lot of ways, detoxing is the closest thing to human reanimation you’ll ever experience. 

Drugs or alcohol can affect your brain’s ability to regulate its own chemicals and properly supply your body with the hormones it generates to make your body work perfectly. When the substance is gone, everything begins to kick back on. Your body floods with adrenaline and frantically works to re-establish the proper chemical balance in your brain. The symptoms of withdrawal are the side effects of coming back to life.

Even though withdrawal is scary, it’s a very good thing. It’s the first step in reclaiming your mind and your body. 

Medical professionals at your inpatient care facility will be with you to monitor you through every step of the process, assuring that you’re coming back around safely and that your body is properly nourished and hydrated throughout the process.

The best case scenario is that you’ll only ever have to put yourself through this process one time. It’s a lot to overcome, and it’s never any easier if you relapse or develop an addiction to a new substance. You don’t ever want to tax your system that way again, and long term addiction recovery care can prevent you from going through the same ordeal twice.

Inpatient Recovery Gives You The Groundwork You Need

Detoxification might be a crucially important step, but it’s only just the beginning. If you detox and go back home, you haven’t actually solved anything. There’s nothing to stop you from going back to the drug or drink in place of a proper coping mechanism. 

People with immaculate willpower and nothing to escape generally don’t become addicts or alcoholics. Many people use drugs as a coping mechanism. If you love every single moment of your life and everything is wonderful, you wouldn’t feel the need to alter your mind just to catch a break. 

There are things you deserve to deal with, and you are worth the work. Things that stress you out. Things that make you sad. Stories you’ve never told anyone. Heartbreak, grief, disappointment, depression, and feelings of failure. 

You’re carrying those around with you all the time, and you shouldn’t have to. When you don’t know how to resolve negative feelings on your own, you’re more likely to drown them out with your substance of choice. 

Learning to open up is hard. Not in the same physically demanding way that detoxing is hard, but difficult on a completely new level. It requires emotional vulnerability, something that inspires fear in a lot of people. Unless and until you can break down that wall, you may never resolve the source of your addiction. 

Inpatient facilities arrange group therapy for participants, and this is one of the most helpful tools for developing the groundwork you need. 

When you’re in group therapy, you’re surrounded by perfect strangers that you have immeasurable things in common with. They all feel the same way you do. Maybe their life experiences and circumstances were different, but they still found themselves in the same place. 

They’re not here to judge you, and you’re not here to judge them. 

Individual therapy sessions will give you a safe and comfortable space to discuss things you’d rather keep private. Your individual therapist will work with you to identify your negative coping mechanisms, discover the root of your feelings, and help you create a new roadmap for your life. 

Getting this roadmap and navigating this roadmap are two completely different things, and what’s why long term aftercare is important.

What Happens When You Return to the Outside World?

Inpatient rehabilitation is a sheltered and insulated space. It needs to be. Recovering addicts need to be kept safe. They need temptations out of their line of sight. They need access to doctors and mental health professionals to help them through one of the most difficult times in their life. 

When the patient and the provider both decide it’s time to return to the outside world, the real journey is only just beginning.

You’ll spend some time talking with your mental health professional about what your plans are for exiting rehab. You likely realize that the places you used to go and people you used to be around will only provide a source of negative inspiration. They can undo all the progress you’ve made. 

That’s why so many people relapse when they leave rehab. They have all these great ideas and great intentions. They have a desire to live a healthy, happy, and productive life. But they don’t know how to begin. All they know is the life they left. That’s why long term addiction recovery care is necessary — to prevent slips that can set back the course of the new life you’ve worked so hard to start.

What Long Term Addiction Recovery Care Does

The moment you’re out in the world, a lot of familiar feelings, people, and places are going to come back. These will likely create strong associations in your mind with using. Your mental health professional told you this would happen, but you won’t really understand the extent of how it feels until you find yourself faced with those feelings or situations.

Your former inclination would have been to use. Your new inclination needs to be to talk to someone. 

When you find yourself struggling to stay on track or make the right choices, the best thing you can do is talk to an addiction specialist or a mental health professional. You’ll have fresh instances in your mind that you can describe to that professional, and he or she will be able to help you work through them. 

Turning to therapy will keep you from turning to drugs, as long as you’re diligent about your visits and applying the professional advice you’ve been given. As long as you’re willing to acknowledge problematic feelings or urges and act on them responsibly, you’re far less likely to revert to your old unhealthy coping mechanisms.


Long term recovery is something that is self managed. After you leave your rehabilitation facility, you’re in charge of the decisions you make. 

Nobody can follow you around and give you real time guidance. That’s why you need a long term recovery plan. You need to know what to do when things get tough. You need to have a professional you can turn to for further guidance. 

Having a system of resources at your disposal is important. When you know how to do the right thing, it’s so much easier not to do the wrong thing. 

It’s a long journey ahead, and everything we discussed is at the very end. If you’re ready to start at the very beginning, explore your treatment options with Starbridge Recovery today.