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nutrition as part of addiction treatment, nutrition during rehab

How Substance Abuse Affects Nutrition: Why Rehabs Need to Include Nutrition as Part of Addiction Treatment

How Substance Abuse Affects Nutrition: Why Rehabs Need to Include Nutrition as Part of Addiction Treatment

Addiction is an incredibly complex disease that affects far too many Americans. With opiate addiction on the rise and dangerous synthetic drugs entering the market, there’s no better time to start getting clean and improving your overall health.

However, it’s important that you seek complete, comprehensive treatment that treats the mental AND physical aspects of addiction so that you can get clean and stay that way. One of these aspects that is often forgotten is the role that nutrition plays on your overall health. Like a car needs fuel, your body needs healthy foods to keep it running correctly. Rehabs are recognizing the benefits of including nutrition as part of addiction treatment.

The Link Between Mental Health & Physical Health

If you or someone you know has ever experienced chronic depression or anxiety attacks, you’re well aware of how closely the body and mind are linked.

Depression can make you ignore basic human needs like hunger or thirst, and anxiety can activate your body’s fight or flight response to raise your heart rate, make your body shake, and your mind go all cloudy. Just about any physical symptom can be a result of stress on your body, and chronic symptoms often come along with depression.

Similarly, your brain needs a specific level of different vitamins, minerals, proteins, and more to operate properly. When it doesn’t receive what it needs, is suffers from oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. These free radicals can be harmful, reacting with other molecules in your body to result in high oxidation that can lead to anxiety and depression as well as the symptoms associated with them.

Fortunately, thanks to medication and healthy eating you can maintain your oxidation levels and diminish the effects of anxiety and depression on your body. After all, the majority of your serotonin intake – the hormone that controls your appetite, sleep, ability to process stress, and ability to regulate mood – happens in the digestive system as your body absorbs the food. However, those who suffer from addiction add another complication to the mix: drugs.

When drugs are abused, they act as another factor in the body’s chemical balance (and not in a good way). Common side effects of drugs like cocaine and opiates are nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. They can also cause a numbness or lack of awareness that makes the user ignore basic functions like eating or drinking for extended periods of time, causing malnourishment and dehydration. This can lead to a lack of proper nutrients being provided to the brain and body, limiting the serotonin uptake that controls and regulates mood as well as cravings. Additionally, they don’t receive the dopamine “reward” from eating a filling, healthy meal which can lead the user to seek out their dopamine release from their vice of choice.

The Role of Nutrition as Part of Addiction Treatment

When you think of rehabilitation services, you likely think of support groups, therapy, and other treatments for the mental side of addiction. However, once you’ve gone through detoxification from the drug, there is another stage of physical treatment required: nutritional therapy.

Rehabilitation for drug use is just as much about physical health as it is mental, which is why accredited rehabs put an emphasis on addressing your nutritional needs. Your mental and physical health are closely related, with your diet playing a huge role in your overall health. If your drug use was serious enough to require medical attention, it’s likely that it threw your general health and nutrition off as well. This is where a carefully curated nutrition and diet plan can greatly improve your ongoing recovery efforts.

The healthy, balanced, and satisfying meals provided at Ocean Hills Recovery will help to feed the dopamine cravings your brain and body will have safely without the use of harmful drugs. They’ll also help to get you thinking clearly, processing the stress of kicking your addiction, and your appetite back to normal. This way you can avoid further drug use by following a nutrition plan that ensures you get all the vitamins, nutrients, proteins, and more that you need to be your best – mentally and physically.

Choosing a Rehab for the Mind and Body

When making an important (and possibly life or death) decision like choosing a rehab facility, it’s important to look for the very best option available. This will often be a treatment center that offers effective, comprehensive care for all aspects of addiction treatment for an affordable price.

At Ocean Hills Recovery, you can be certain that you’re going to receive the care you need to kick your addiction and get your life back. In addition to exceptional mental health and therapy services, they also emphasize nutrition as part of addiction treatment to help heal your body from nutritional trauma and make the path to recovery easier on you. No matter what form of addiction you struggle with, it’s not too late to get help. Start your recovery today with Ocean Hills Recovery.

family therapy in addiction recovery

The Benefits of Family Therapy in Addiction Recovery

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The Benefits of Family Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Mental health and recovery professionals often tell their clients that addictions are a form of a family disease. What they mean by this is that the person who is struggling with alcohol or drugs isn't the only one who is affected by their actions. Each time that they choose to get high or drink excessively, it also has a major financial, emotional, and physical impact on their friends and family members, which can end up causing them to develop anxiety, depression, and unhealthy codependent behaviors. Because of this, it is important to treat all of those who are involved together as a whole unit in family therapy in addiction recovery since it offers the following benefits:

Motivation for the Person Struggling With an Addiction

It is much easier to conquer an addiction when you have a support system of people who hold you accountable for your actions. They can cheer you on each day and remind you of why you are working so hard to get better. More often than not, those who suffer from an addiction also have other mental health issues that are exacerbating the situation, such as depression and anxiety. So whenever they start to feel down and alone, they may turn to substance abuse as a method of boosting their mood level. Regular family therapy sessions ensure that they get the positive feedback that they need to help avoid this trap, so they stay motivated to stay sober.

Higher Recovery Rate

Research has proven that those who are suffering from an addiction have a higher rate of recovery whenever they go through family therapy in addiction recovery. This alone is one of the main reasons why recovery professionals encourage the family members and friends of a person who has an addiction to take part in the therapy process. Usually, they are not asked to join in right away though. After detoxing, the person who is struggling with an addiction first goes through some individual counseling sessions to help ensure that they are ready to talk about their struggles with their loved ones.

Education Regarding Addictions

Family therapy is a great place to learn about what factors can potentially cause addictions, how they can be prevented, and what to do when they occur. This is very important information for all of the family members to learn about because it will help them to better understand how their loved one ended up with an addiction problem, so they can become more compassionate and understanding of their situation and struggles, which ends up aiding in their own healing process.

A Chance for Open Communication

Regular family therapy sessions are also helpful for giving everyone close to the person who is suffering from an addiction the chance to talk about how they feel regarding the situation and the way that it is affecting them on an individual basis. This is very important because holding all of the pain, sadness, anger, and other intense emotions inside will only lead to further resentment and isolation.

The Opportunity to Learn Healthy Coping Skills

Addictions cause chaos, instability, and confusion in a household because no one ever knows how a person who is suffering from an alcohol or drug problem is going to act each day. So, in order to cope, it is common for codependency among all of the family members to occur. What codependency refers to is a set of negative behaviors that end up further enabling the person who is struggling with the addiction and hurting the family members emotionally, financially, and sometimes even physically. Some examples of codependent behaviors in adults include bailing the person out of jail or bad financial problems, lying to cover up their drug and alcohol problems to others, and sacrificing their personal dreams, goals, and needs in order to put the person who is suffering from an addiction first all of the time.

Children are affected a little differently in this type of situation. They tend to focus on achieving perfection in their environment, grades, and appearance. It is also common for them to begin acting in an adult manner far beyond their years because they are unfairly being put into a role of responsibility as they fill in to cover for the duties that are being neglected by the person who is suffering from an addiction. Family therapy can help teach adults and children healthier coping skills that are specially tailored to their roles within the family though. 

These are just a few of the benefits that family therapy can offer those who have a loved one who is suffering from an addiction. There are many others that haven't been mentioned. To find out more about what this type of counseling can do to help your individual situation, call Ocean Hills Recovery today. One of our highly trained treatment specialists will be happy to further explain the therapy process and set up an appointment to get your loved one into treatment as soon as possible.

contaminated opioids california

Contaminated Opioids California Should Fear

Contaminated Opioids California Should Fear

Despite the occasional headline announcing a prescription drug recall, one rarely considers the possibility that the medication you are taking is contaminated. Those taking illicit drugs, however, live in the flip side of that equation.

Almost as a rule, street drugs are sliced, diced, cut, mixed, diluted, jacked up or watered down. They come through a supply chain of very questionable interests. Even now, the contaminated opioids California is watching ravage the state has shocked both the medical profession and the public at large. 

In so many words, the era of contaminated synthetics has arrived.

New Drugs That Are Cheap and Lethal

The motivation is clear. Drug users want drugs that are quicker, longer lasting, cheaper and more effective. Throw addiction into the mix and that motivation becomes much, much more unreasonable.

Contaminated street drugs are cut in order to make them at a cheaper price while also increasing profits. As these drugs are cut, there is careless handling and unsanitary conditions that also contaminates them. Just as dangerous, however, recreational drugs are frequently mixed with other drugs to create a new, more sensational high.

All of these methods are highly dangerous. And the results, sadly, often end up on the obituary page.

Drugs Cut For Profits, Not Safety

When drugs are cut to make a profit, it can increase the dangers of drug use enormously. It is often assumed that every buyer along the supply chain cuts street drugs to keep a higher quality personal use, while cutting a cheaper variety for sale to customers. Needless to say, the results can be disastrous. Risks are highly increased with each buyer along the way as other new drug owners mix who knows what into the drug supply.

Unsanitary Conditions

Unsanitary conditions will also contaminate drugs. Illicit drugs are not always handled in the safest and cleanest conditions. It is commonly known, for example, that unsanitary needles are used to inject heroin or other substances which can cause even more harm such as botulism and other infections.

Botulism represents the “perfect storm” scenario for contaminated street drugs. This is because the initial symptoms -- double vision, slurred speech, a thick feeling tongue or dry mouth -- imitate the effects of the illicit drug, so someone who has contracted wound botulism many not even realize they have the illness.

Secondly, “cooking” the contaminated heroin, which is commonly done before injecting it, will not reduce a user’s chances of contracting botulism. While you can treat botulism if caught early, any symptom you experience before treatment will not go away. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, if you don’t react before paralysis or difficulty breathing sets in, then those symptoms will be permanent.

Overdose Deaths Accelerated

The most common contaminated opioids California will see are drugs laced with fentanyl, one of the most dangerous street drugs to ever appear short of heroin or morphine themselves.

Given current trends, fentanyl may even surpass heroin someday as the deadliest street drug ever.

All the markers are there. In a chart published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the 19,000 synthetic painkiller overdose deaths in 2016 already looks like the lower corner of a frightening “J” curve.

That “J” curve starts in 1999 with almost zero deaths in the United States attributed to synthetic opioid overdose deaths. But by 2013, that number had climbed to 5,000 deaths from opioid overdoses, a remarkable escalation. Unfortunately, it only took three more years after that to reach 19,000. The following year in 2017, it was close to 30,000.

Cheap, Effective and Lethal

The problems with synthetics opioids are two-fold. They are incredibly lethal and they are incredibly effective.

Fentanyl alone is said to be 50 – 100 times more effective than the gold standard of painkillers, morphine. Fentanyl has chemical analogues that are off the charts stronger. Sufentanil, for example, is said to be 500-1,000 times stronger than morphine and that doesn’t even touch carfentanil, which is said to be 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

These incredibly effective painkillers are equally effective as killers.

Tiny Amounts Can Kill You                                                                                                

To illustrate its lethality, imagine a small amount of fentanyl covering the four-digit date on a penny – that small amount alone can be fatal. In the hands of an untrained chemist, just think of the risks of fentanyl.

In fact, Fentanyl is so deadly that first responders arriving at the scene of a drug overdose need to put on gloves and face masks before treating an overdose victim. These drugs can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested to take effect.

It is fentanyl, of course, that has health officials, rehabilitation centers, social workers, parents and the general public scared out of their wits. Like the HIV virus when it first came about, when it was a guaranteed death sentence, fentanyl and its derivatives have put an already dangerous addiction epidemic into a terrifying new orbit. The potential for cheap highs, big profits and quick trips to the morgue is frightening combination no matter how you cut it up.

Rehab services from Ocean Hills Recovery can help a person effectively end an addiction to fentanyl and other illicit, unsafe drugs. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact our trusted and caring staff today.

addiction employment california drug rehabs

Addiction in California and the Impact on Employers

Addiction in California and the Impact on Employers

California’s workers are using drugs. California’s state constitution guarantees a right to privacy that can extend to cover drug testing- putting employers in an uncomfortable situation when trying to resolve the problem of suspected drug abuse. California’s drug rehabs, by the numbers, are some of the most effective in the country. So, now’s the time to learn why your business needs to know about addiction in California and how California drug rehabs can help your employees.

Drug Abuse Cannot Be Ignored

Some believe the national opioid crisis has “missed” California, due to its low overdose rates (11.2 per 100,000 citizens) proportional to the national average (19.8). However, overdose rates are a symptom of a larger problem, and for every overdose in a population, there could be hundreds or thousands of drug and alcohol addicts going about their daily lives.

Treating drug abuse like a reality may mean updating your business’s policies on drug use. It may mean engaging employees on a more individual level to assess how they’re functioning. California has made great strides in trying to combat the problem of drug abuse, but it can only be resolved when there are people willing to look for the signs of addiction and refer to treatment.

The introduction of Narcan (or Naloxone) gave friends, family, and first responders a powerful tool for rescuing opioid overdose victims. But administering naloxone during an overdose isn’t a long-term fix. It does not treat addiction, nor does it reverse the health problems associated with short- or long-term drug use. Those who want long-term solutions to drug addiction problems need to know about California’s drug rehabs.

Understanding Addiction

Rehabilitation isn’t a cure for addiction, but it does offer the best chance for a patient to overcome the multiple factors that pressure people to use drugs. Chemicals in the brain that indicate “pleasure” are overloaded, and the brain is slowly reprogrammed to compulsively seek more. The effect of the drug wanes as the brain becomes more tolerant to it- and so the compulsion pushes them to consume more.

Addiction isn’t a strictly chemical problem, either. In many cases, the path to addiction (for both alcohol or drug abuse) starts with social or psychological factors that aren’t properly resolved. That’s why most rehabilitation programs incorporate psychiatric and mental health services to accommodate both the mental and chemical factors of addiction.

Addiction in the Workplace

Recent reports contend that one in ten working-age adults suffers from an alcoholic or drug-based addiction. These people are out in our workforce; building our houses, paving our roads, and doing their part to keep our economy moving forward. The struggle with addiction can be overlooked, as they all need to maintain appearances to keep their jobs, families, and social structure.

The first step to helping them is detecting drug use early. They’re frequently late, miss work, exhibit hazy or dissociated behavior, and struggle staying on task. They may have just recovered from a medical situation that prescribed painkillers and can no longer get refills. These are legitimate causes to have a one-on-one discussion with them, so take it seriously and use empathy to probe for answers. Say things like:

  • “You haven’t been acting yourself lately.”
  • “Your behavior has me worried about you.”
  • “Your co-workers have expressed concerns about you.”

Each of these show an investment in the employee and makes them feel like they’re part of something that cares about them. Avoid saying things like:

  • “What’s wrong with you?”
  • “Why can’t you just be on time like everyone else?”
  • “You better not be on drugs.”

When we face addiction with employees, the primary goal is to support them and encourage them to receive treatment. Many people will claim they’re “handling” it, but without outside help, very few of them achieve long-term recovery. Supporting a suspected addicted person or person in recovery isn’t easy - but it starts by treating them with respect and empathy.

Addiction is a disease, and many have recovered from its effects. If you’re considering hiring a former drug addict, take their addiction history seriously. Addiction does not discriminate by age, gender, race, income level, or any other factor. Employers may find it difficult to fill all of their open positions without including someone who struggled with addiction - but as long as your business is prepared for it, they won’t pose as great a threat as many think.

Many businesses have procedures governing how to handle failed drug tests, observed drug abuse symptoms on the job, or finding evidence of drug use and many of them call for immediate termination. If it isn’t in violation of applicable laws (such as those regulating the health field or working with children), we encourage employers to consider support first before termination, reporting, or prosecution. Contact your local California drug rehab facility to learn more about options you can present to your employees if or when it happens.

“Avoid the Statistics”

There’s a simple, practical philosophy a business can employ to take better care of employees at risk for addiction: “avoid becoming a statistic.” Drug use among working adults isn’t documented well and most often comes to light after it’s too late, when they’ve become a statistic:

  • They’re fired from their job for drug use.
  • They engage in other risk-seeking or criminal behaviors to feed the compulsive addiction.
  • They overdose and/or are administered naloxone.

This attitude helps in two ways. It sets an attainable, tangible goal for the addict (ending drug use through treatment) and focuses on them as an individual, rather than one of many employees or members of a community.

Start Your Recovery Today

Regardless of what industry you’re in, you need to know your employees are operating free from the “reprogramming” disruption of addiction. You need to cultivate a culture in your workplace to recruit and train people you can rely on, and that may mean making some changes.

If you have someone in mind whom you feel may need referred to treatment, start by contacting our counselors today to better understand how treatment is provided, what your employee’s options will be, and how to start the referral process.

If your business has never had any addiction cases or has had addiction cases in the past but none in your current operations, we encourage you to prepare your internal procedures for what may be an inevitable reality. Check in with under-performing, truant, or tardy employees and make sure they know they’re free to discuss addiction troubles with you or a designated administrative colleague.

Avoiding the statistics will take effort on the part of you and all your employees, whether they are drug users or not. Cultivating your internal culture as one of inclusion and acceptance may go a long way for some employees at risk of exploring drug use.


oxycontin addiction drug

OxyContin Addiction Drug – An Evil Profit

OxyContin Addiction Drug – An Evil Profit

While alarming statistics suggest that OxyContin has quickly become one of the most often abused prescription drugs in America, claims that an OxyContin Addiction Drug may be the answer to the country's opioid crisis. Not everyone agrees, though, and many believe the company behind OxyContin may, in fact, be looking to make money from treating addiction to it as well.

The Opioid Crisis Is Real

According to the Prevention, over 200,000 people died in the United States from 1999 to 2016 from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Oxycontin--a newer prescription drug from Purdue Pharma that contains the active ingredient oxycodone and is pharmacologically similar in composition to hydrocodone--has quickly become one of the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S. Since it was created in 1995, reports of over 182,000 emergency room visits claim accidental misuse or abuse of oxycodone products were responsible.

Additionally, a whopping 70% of high school students have reported using OxyContin and the drugs that are related to it, and many claim it is the gateway drug to the abuse of a stronger, more dangerous narcotic. OxyContin is commonly prescribed as a pain management medicine, and was supposed to be used in place of stronger opiates to reduce accidental addictions.

Sadly, the availability of OxyContin makes its abuse as a substance a worldwide issue, as experts believe somewhere between 26 and 36 million people abuse opioids consistently across the globe.

Why Is The Crisis So Widespread?

When taken properly, OxyContin can effectively be used for chronic pain management, but according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, in 2006, doctors wrote nearly 8 million prescriptions for OxyContin and similarly controlled-release products. As the drug's popularity as a prescription painkiller has skyrocketed, so does the potential for more addictions and popularity as a party and street drug.

Many believe the popularity as a prescription drug is largely in part due to the heavy marketing from the parent company responsible for OxyContin, Purdue Pharma. Marketed initially as an alternative to stronger, more potent and potentially addictive drugs, the unique controlled-release formulation of OxyContin means that it contains more oxycodone in it than similar drugs like Percodan and Percocet. Recreational users have also discovered that tablets can be injected or snorted when they're crushed, and the user instantly receives the entire dosage of the pill.

This is what gives it such a 'street' drug effect, giving those who 'use' it euphoric highs that are similar to those of heroin users.

Who Stands To Profit?

The crisis is known, however, and governments around the world are taking note of the epidemic and working to do what they can to save lives ruined or even stolen from addiction.

And, in an interesting turn of events, a new patent for a drug that has been shown to be highly effective as a medicine for treating opioid addiction has come about. It's a new formulation of buprenorphine and is being called the OxyContin Addiction Drug. It is a new version of the already available drug--a wafer--that fights the addiction, even though it is also an opioid. Some call the drug a game-changer in the fight against opioid addiction, while others cry, "Foul," in that Richard Sackler is one of the six inventors listed on the patent for the Oxy-Contin Addiction Drug. Sackler is part of the family that owns Purdue Pharma and many believe Sackler will make mega-dollars off a crisis he, even indirectly, helped bring about in the first place.

OxyContin Addiction Drug: Trading One Drug For Another?

Is using one drug really an effective way to treat addiction to another drug? Often, doctors will prescribe medicines that will help relieve withdrawal symptoms and will work against the effects of OxyContin while they lessen one's cravings for the drug. In 2002, the FDA approved buprenorphine to be used in limited situations to manage addiction. Buprenorphine is a partial opiate agonist which means that it does activate opioid receptors in one's brain, but to a much lesser degree than would OxyContin, and has been found to work well when combined with behavioral counseling.

And, while some experts believe that there is merit in using the OxyContin Addiction Drug to treat OxyContin addiction, others believe that the message they are sending to those addicted users is one that focuses only on the 'physical' aspects of the addiction, and not underlying, often psychological reasons behind addiction of any sort.

Pharmacology and Cognitive Therapy Need To Work Together

In fact, Dr. Amanda Gruber is the associate chief of substance abuse in the biological psychiatry lab of McLean Hospital (which is affiliated with Harvard University) and says that using synthetic or actual versions of opiates is not the typical first line of defense when helping someone recover from an OxyContin addiction. She says that those addicted to OxyContin would fare better with the supervision of a medical professional who will help the users taper off safely until they are no longer using any opioids.

And this makes sense. When treated with the supervision of medical professionals and also receiving therapy and treatment that addresses the emotional and mental factors that definitely come into play with addiction, there is a greater chance for successful recovery from the addiction. Additionally, research shows that many of those addicted particularly in rural areas can't even afford the OxyContin Addiction Drug or other pharmacological treatments to fight addiction, and behavioral therapy is their best option for long-term success.

Addiction Recovery Is Multifaceted

The reality of OxyContin addiction is that it is not merely a physical dependence on the drug. One can be completely weaned through detox and physical dependence can be gone, and still, addicts are at high relapse risk. This is why it's important that we look at the possibility of something like an OxyContin Addiction Drug in combination with therapy for the social and psychological aspects of addiction as well.

Therapy and counseling can make a huge difference in helping a recovering individual deal with triggers like stress, environmental changes or social network involvement, and that gives them the best chances for lifelong recovery.

Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to learn more about ways to safely start your road to recovery.



cycle addiction and relapse

The Cycle of Addiction and Relapse

The Cycle of Addiction and Relapse

Sometimes people believe that there are some individuals have the traits of addiction while others don’t. That mindset might lead people to believe that someone who is suffering from substance abuse or addiction might have taken a single drink or taken an illegal drug once then became addicted immediately from that one use. But, the entire process of substance abuse disorder and addiction is much more complicated.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic disease impacts the brain’s motivation, memory, pleasure, and reward. Just as any other chronic illnesses, addiction develops over time. Someone who once could enjoy a casual drink or avoid drug abuse has an addiction to alcohol or drugs after things fall into place. Addiction and relapse is a troubling cycle that leaves the patient needing help and care.

Addiction and Its Stages

The process of developing an addiction spans six stages. These stages might occur quickly, or it might take a longer period. Some addictions develop over weeks or months while others take years.  An individual who has a social drink on occasion could become an alcoholic after several years. Some drugs might have an addictive potential so strong an almost instant addiction might seem to develop. But, for the most part, those struggling with different addictions go through different stages of substance abuse or substance use that contributed to the addiction. The stages of addiction are:

  • Initial use
  • Abuse
  • Tolerance
  • Dependence
  • Addiction
  • Relapse

Some stages might occur simultaneously. You might use an illicit substance for the euphoric experience or high, but just even one usage of an illicit drug is classified as abuse. Some illegal substances can lead to tolerance just after a single use, so they quickly become addictive. In most cases, the chronic addiction cycle of addiction and relapse involves all these stages.

Initial Use

The reasons an individual tries a substance or starts abusing a substance can vary for many reasons. It could be as simple as being prescribed opioids for pain after an injury or trying your first drink on your 21st birthday.


After the initial use comes abuse and this might happen later down the road. But regardless, the individual starts using the substance in a harmful way. It might be by taking higher doses than prescribed of a prescription pain medication or it could involve binge drinking. Either way, whether the substance is being abused sometimes depends on the specific substance and how it reacts on the human body.


After an individual abuses drugs or takes prescription medications for a while, the substance could lead to brain changes that cause tolerance. That means that the substance doesn’t produce the same results physically or mentally causing the user to want to reach a high by taking higher volumes of the substance.


There will come a certain time when the brain starts becoming dependent on that specific substance or drug to function properly. An individual who has used cocaine for a period might think it is impossible to find pleasure in life without using the drug. There is also physical dependence. This is when a person has to use a substance in order to feel "normal."


A specific and chronic mental condition that has defined behaviors and symptoms that can be used for an accurate diagnosis. Addiction has 11 signs or symptoms, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

  • Using more of the substance than intended or planned
  • Inability to quit using the substance
  • Suffering from relationship problems because of use of the substance
  • Spending a lot of time either looking for the substance, using it, or recovering from it
  • No longer participating in favorite activities because of using the substance
  • Unable to regularly keep up with daily responsibilities because of substance use and abuse
  • Craving the drug or substance
  • Not stopping use of the drug or substance despite knowing and experiencing serious health effects
  • Using the substance in dangerous situations, such as while operating machinery at work or while driving
  • Becoming tolerant to the drug or substance
  • When use is stopped, experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal

If an individual is suffering from two or three symptoms, they have a mild substance abuse disorder. If they have four or five of the symptoms, they have a moderate disorder. If the individual suffers from at least six symptoms, they have an addiction or severe substance use disorder.

Relapse of Substance Abuse

As with any chronic condition, there is a possibility for relapse for an individual who has suffered from addiction or substance abuse disorder. Just as with other chronic conditions, such as asthma or lupus, a relapse is common as the medical professionals and the patient work together to come up with the most effective treatment to manage the chronic condition.

Addiction and relapse require support and care from a supportive, experienced team.  Ocean Hills Recovery in California has helped many patients as they faced addiction and relapse. Call today to learn how we can help you beat addiction.

sober january, sober new year 2019

Sober January, Sober New Year 2019 & Beyond 

Sober January, Sober New Year 2019 & Beyond 

New Year, new you? That’s how it seems to go, isn’t it? The start of a new year is often when people feel they’re most motivated to do whatever it is they’ve been putting off…losing the weight, mending the relationship, saving the money, losing the alcohol…a new year means new opportunity. Just take a look around at all the advertisements offering to help you shed the old and bring in the new. There's a new trend entering the first of the year: Sober January, Sober New Year that goes along with the mantra of creating a new you.

‘Twas The Season But Now What?

And there are lots of reasons that we feel that way. The holiday parties are over and much of the temptation to ‘let go,’ and ‘indulge,’ has turned into regret and inspiration for living healthier and happier. It makes sense, really, and more and more as retailers focus on our temptations, we start taking a look at how we’re living this life we’ve been given.

Continued after video:

Sobriety For A Month A Fad?

This new trend of spending the first year of the month sober seems to be picking up speed. More and more people are finding that ‘taking a break,’ from drinking during the month of January brings them so much more than they thought it could. Ultimately, many decide to live a life of sobriety from that decision to start with a month. The concept of DRY January is well-known in Great Britain and seems to be picking up speed as it crosses the pond to America. Believe it or not, it can even be traced back to the Finnish government in 1942 when they launched a campaign called “Sober January,” as part of their war efforts.

Show Us The Money

The beginning of a new year seems to be just the right time to attempt a Sober January too. According to a survey conducted by, women associate New Year’s Eve as the holiday they drink the most, and while men find St. Patrick’s Day their booziest, they spend their fair share of dollars during the holidays. The average American spends anywhere between $550-$1000 a year on alcohol purchases. Making a decision to try a month dry is one that makes financial sense, particularly when many are coming off the financial expenditures the winter holidays lay heavily upon us.

Less Is More (For Your Health!)

Additionally, taking a break from drinking can make a big difference in your health too. A small, informal study was conducted by the staff of New Scientist in which employees participated in DRY January. Of 14 participants, all who considered themselves to be ‘normal’ drinkers, ten abstained from alcohol for the entire month. They were physically examined before and after the abstinence and what they found was shocking. Liver fat fell up to 20% in the abstainers, and this is significant as that’s a precursor to liver damage. Blood sugar levels dropped dramatically (good news for those predispositioned or otherwise to Diabetes) and total blood cholesterol (which plays a pivotal role in heart disease) dropped as well.

Not only did abstinence for a month result in dramatic and positive changes for physical health, the abstainers found their sleep quality was better, as was their energy level and their work performance. And that was just in one month for ‘normal drinkers.’

What Would A Sober You Look Like?

So what could happen if you felt that you drank more than an ‘average’ drinker? What if you’ve thought a DRY January might be something beneficial for you because you’re concerned you may be drinking more than you should. What if your motivation to consider a dry month was because you’re concerned that your relationships are suffering because of your alcohol intake? Or your budget? Or your health? Are you considering trying out what an alcohol-free month would look like on you? How it would make a difference in your life for a month? What about if you wonder what it would look like for longer? Forever?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people have found that the freedom and health they found in their DRY month gave them better relationships, better mental focus, more manageable weights, better immunity and reduced disease risks. Most importantly, they found that that fear of struggling with alcohol was no longer a fear, but an overcome obstacle that they considered triumph.

The Right Time is Right Now

There’s no shame in admitting you may be someone who struggles with alcohol dependence or addiction, but it is such a shame if you continue to feel alone. The reality is that you’re not, and contacting Ocean Hills Recovery could be the first step to you finding your motivation to stay sober and healthy for a lifetime, not just a month.

Help Is Proven And A Phone Call Away

The staff at Ocean Hills cares about you as an individual. Our mission is to help you so dependence and addiction don’t have to steal any more of your life. Our experienced staff will walk with you through a proven and individualized program that can be 30, 60 or 90-days, and our years of experience employ evidence-based psychotherapy and twelve-step programs that will bring you the freedom, health and happiness that a sober life has waiting for you.

Welcome To Freedom In Sobriety in 2019

Don’t make yourself wait for a new year to be a new you. The staff at Ocean Hills Recovery knows the right time for the new you is right now, and we’re anxiously waiting to compassionately lead you there.

If you’ve never sought treatment before or even if you have and you may be in a relapse, Ocean Hills Recovery can help you get back to the life you should be living. We're ready to help make not just a new year, but a new you. Doesn’t that sound nice? A happy, healthy, sober you for 2019—and beyond!

dual diagnosis treatment centers california, personality disorders and addiction

Personality Disorders and Addiction Treated at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers California

Personality Disorders and Addiction Treated at Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers California

There have been several studies on the link between mental illness and substance abuse. Two USA health surveys found up to 53% of respondents suffered from a drug or alcohol abuse and mental illness. There are many reasons why this might occur. Personality disorders, usually in the form of mental illness, also see a link with substance addictions. For individuals suffering from a personality disorder and addiction, seeking help from dual diagnosis treatment centers California provide the best path toward a successful recovery.

Substance Abuse Can Cause Mental Disorders

For some, substance abuse may have caused their mental illness. There has been an association with cannabis, for example, and an increased risk of psychotic disorders. Longer exposure to cannabis creates a greater risk of psychosis in a dose-dependent manner. The drug acts as a stressor as well as increasing the uptake of dopamine. 

Other psychoactive substances can trigger an underlined predisposition to mental disorders. There are documented reports of drug and alcohol use resulting in a reemergence of mental health symptoms. Even in instances where a person's mental disorder had gone into remission.

Substance Use Helps Relieve Symptoms of Mental Illness

On the other hand, substance abuse may arise out of having a mental illness. A person who takes a substance might begin taking it to relieve symptoms of their mental illness. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder may start drinking alcohol if only to make them more relaxed. In other circumstances, an individual may decide to use a substance to combat the side effects of medicine they are taking. Of course, this relief is only a temporary "solution" and ultimately makes things worse in the long-term. 

Common Links Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

There have been reports linking an increased risk of substance abuse for those with a mental illness. One of these links is childhood trauma. If a child has suffered trauma, or witnessed parents consuming substances to alleviate stress or pain, then they themselves are more likely to seek the drugs and alcohol.

A person may also have a genetic disposition to both mental illness and substance abuse. Substance abuse and mood disorders often activate the same areas of the brain. Individuals suffering from substance abuse have been documented having the same trouble with impulse control as individuals with a mental disorder. Impaired impulse control by itself may lead to addiction. The effects only become compounded for those suffering from mental illness. 

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dual diagnosis treatment centers california, personality disorders and addiction

Addiction and Anxiety 

A study from the Journal of Psychiatric Services studied 326 people with substance abuse problems. Of those surveyed, 48% had anxiety or anxiety mixed with depression. The study examined individuals with PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. The study also showed that those who may have suffered tragic events, such as veterans, had not only higher rates of anxiety, but also increased numbers of those with substance addiction.

Conclusions show anxiety and substance abuse both need to be treated to create a successful treatment plan. In a follow-up study conducted by the Journal of Psychiatric Services, researchers again looked at individuals with addictions who received dual diagnosis treatment. The results found 73% of the patients studied did not have anxiety or depression. Furthermore, and perhaps more encouraging, they were substance-free six months later.

To further the point, almost all individuals that were suffering from anxiety who received only treatment for their anxiety and not their use of drugs or alcohol did not make the six-month milestone. Another study conducted on children emphasizes this point. The study looked at children treated for anxiety seven years later. Those who had responded well to treatment for anxiety were far less likely to use a substance than those who were still anxious.

Addiction and Bipolar Syndrome 

Individuals with bipolar disorder are 50 to 70 percent more likely to also have a substance abuse problem. Those with bipolar disorder have a lack of control with their impulses. This lack of impulse control could help link the disorder to substance abuse.

In a study published by the Journal of Clinical Psychology Review, researchers broke down the percent of bipolar patients who had issues with certain substances. This study concluded 14.3% had a dependence on alcohol; 16.8% were dependent on cocaine; 18.5% were dependent on opioids; and 9.2% abused over the counter medications.

Even without patients abusing drugs or alcohol, bipolar disorder is very hard to treat successfully. Studies have shown individuals with bipolar disorder are more likely to have an unplanned discharge. They are also at a high risk of relapse. A plan that focuses on treating bipolar and substance abuse together through dual diagnosis treatments California is necessary as patients must have a stable supported team for treating both conditions. The plan must also take into account crises management.

Addiction and Schizophrenia

Studies have shown half of individuals who have schizophrenia abuse alcohol or drugs. Although deadly in its own way, 90 percent of those with schizophrenia use cigarettes. Individuals who have psychotic disorders may use any substance that is cheap and readily available, including cigarettes and cannabis.

There has been evidence showing patients who took cannabis and suffer from cannabis-induced psychosis were later diagnosed on the schizophrenia spectrum. There is still debate as to whether this is an early sign of schizophrenia or if the cannabis usage is acting as a catalyst.

A treatment plan for a person with Schizophrenia needs to include treatment for substance abuse and the mental disorder. In addition, treatment should also include social, work, and housing support programming. A long-term plan focusing on the person's personal goals has proved to work better than just targeting the disorders themselves.

Addiction and Depression

Approximately 20% of those who abuse a substance have a mood disorder like depression. It is sometimes hard to determine which came first, the depression or the substance abuse. Many individuals suffering from depression turn to substances to fight the feelings of sadness they experience. Conversely, alcohol and cannabis both slow down the brain’s cognitive functioning that can lead to feelings of depression. Stimulants, such as cocaine, elevate a person's mood for a short while, but the resulting crash can induce depression-like symptoms.

No matter what symptom started first, substance abusers and those with depression both need to be treated simultaneously to have the greatest chance of a successful recovery. A depressed individual told to stop using a substance will likely relapse, while a substance abuser may become depressed will detoxing from drug or alcohol use.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers California

Personality disorders and substance abuse are serious issues. The highest success rates for rehabilitation come from dual diagnosis treatment programs. Through medications, holistic therapies, and counseling, individuals struggling with mental disorders and substance abuse have a path leading to a drug-free life. If you or someone you know is suffering from a substance abuse, a mental disorder, or both, please contact Ocean Hills Recovery today.

insurance cover drug rehab

Does Insurance Cover Drug Rehab?

Does Insurance Cover Drug Rehab?

Entering drug rehab can be stressful enough on its own, as the act of attempting to change an addictive behavior can be challenging in and of itself. But when you begin to throw the cost of a rehabilitation stay into the mix, the prospect of entering treatment can become an overwhelming situation. Successfully overcoming a drug addiction often requires specialized treatment, which can include multiple interventions from various disciplines. In order to reduce one’s stress regarding their path to sobriety, it’s important to answer the question: does insurance cover drug rehab?

Understand Your Coverage

Before you take the critical step of entering a drug rehab program, it’s a good idea to get a firm understanding of what your current insurance policy will cover. Finding out the specifics of your policy will allow you to plan for the out-of-pocket expense that may accompany a drug treatment stay. Insurance policies may include very nuanced requirements, requiring clients to work with specific facilities and covering certain portions of the treatment process but not others.

Many individuals who are caught in the midst of their addiction will be wondering: does insurance cover drug rehab? As a way to ease one’s anxiety regarding the cost of treatment, a useful way to reduce the financial stress associated with rehab is to contact your insurance company to discuss the specifics of your coverage. Prior to doing this, it’s a good idea to write a list of questions to ask your insurance provider to make sure all of your bases are covered.

You will want to find out what parts of your drug rehabilitation will be covered, including detox, inpatient stays, and continuing care in an outpatient setting. You will also want your insurance company to discuss your out-of-pocket costs associated with treatment, including your copay and deductible. The more questions a person asks regarding their treatment, the more information they will be armed with prior to treatment, reducing uncertainty in the process.

In-network Vs. Out-of-Network

In the process of determining how much of a drug rehab stay is covered, a person will want to find out if their policy requires them to work with specific, in-network providers. Often times, insurance policies have strict parameters in terms of which preferred providers they will cover treatment for. In-network providers will usually be covered at a greater rate than out-of-network providers.

Many times, insurance policies will still allow an individual to seek treatment out of network, but will cover only a fraction of the cost as compared with in-network providers. If a person has a treatment facility they have their heart set on, it may be worth considering whether the increased out-of-pocket costs are worth it if the chances of successfully overcoming their addiction are improved. In the overall scheme of life, attaining lasting sobriety is nearly priceless, often making the decision to opt for an out-of-network provider a sensible one.

Most importantly, remember that ultimately you are in control of your recovery, and that may mean that you do not let your insurance company dictate where you feel the most comfortable getting help.

HMO Vs. PPO Policies

Another important distinction to make in regards to whether your drug rehab will be covered by insurance is to understand the difference between an HMO and a PPO. An HMO is defined as a health maintenance organization, which is a company that works with a set network of medical providers to meet their health needs. Within an HMO setting, patients work with a network-approved primary care physician to satisfy their general medical requirements. HMOs tend to have lower premiums, as they save money by requiring patients to use a stricter provider network within a centralized health care system.

A preferred provider organization, or PPO, is a health insurance group which facilitates a network of care with providers in your area, providing coverage discounts to patients who choose to work with preferred providers. However, PPOs tend to provide patients with more flexibility with regards to what providers they are able to utilize. If you have an HMO and need to seek treatment in an area that doesn’t have in-network providers, you will incur a greater amount of out-of-pocket costs as compared with individuals who choose to use a PPO. Quite simply, HMOs control costs for patients but provide less freedom, while a PPO allows more flexibility for patients but with the potential of incurring higher, less predictable costs.

Selecting a Drug Rehab that’s Right for You

When determining what your insurance will cover in regards to treatment, the most important component of the drug rehabilitation process is selecting a program which fits your unique needs and specific requirements. Choose a drug rehab facility that you are most comfortable with and then work directly with them to verify your insurance benefits.

Determining what your insurance will cover is an important part of the budgeting process, but it isn’t the only thing you should consider. Selecting a rehab program which saves on costs but skimps on effectiveness is not worth the immediate financial savings, as you should prioritize a program which will set you up for success and lasting sobriety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, of if you have questions on what your insurance will cover during rehab, contact Ocean Hills Recovery today. Our professional staff is ready to assist you with questions regarding our services and costs. Choosing the right rehabilitation center makes all the difference when you are ready to start your journey to recovery.

addiction treatment in california, ethical california rehab

Cleaning Up Addiction Treatment in California

Cleaning Up Addiction Treatment in California

Addiction is a crippling disease that affects more than 20 million people nationwide, with 3 million of those sufferers living in California alone. Between the growing prescription drug problem and the heroin epidemic, it’s more important than ever that those who are suffering seek addiction treatment in California and take control of their disease before it escalates further.

Addiction treatment centers are one of the very best ways for people struggling with drug abuse to get help. While there is no perfect solution for kicking an addiction, ethical California rehabs are well-equipped to help patients with the mental and physical aspects of addiction. From detoxing to rehabilitation to ongoing treatment services, these treatment centers can help people to kick their addiction safely and stay clean once they graduate from the program.

What’s Wrong with Addiction Treatment in California?

Unfortunately, not every addiction treatment center in California employs ethical practices and puts the patients first. California is notorious for its lack of oversight when it comes to substance abuse treatment, making it harder for those in need to find safe and effective care.

This oversight leads to fewer regulations and lower standards of care, allowing for subpar and unethical practices to pop up. These facilities then take in patients without being properly qualified or equipped to help them, interfering with them getting the help they truly need from a licensed & accredited rehab center.

California Lacks Regulation

A consequence of the lack of oversight from California is that there aren’t sufficient regulations in place when it comes to policing addiction treatment services. California law makes it far too easy for anyone to open a treatment center. There are no degree requirements to obtain a license and criminal history is not considered a factor in the application, often leading to highly unqualified operators running the facilities.

These facilities can also market themselves as addiction treatment centers without being properly equipped to provide medical treatment, putting their patients in danger in the case of an emergency.

Profits Over Care

In an industry where the margins for ethical for-profit care facilities are very low, those who are willing to sacrifice the quality of their care can stand to make a much better profit. Patient-brokering – the act of paying or luring patients into a care center for the sake of profiting from their insurance – is also a major problem in California. As it stands, there is no law against patient-brokering despite it being one of the leading contributors to poor treatment facilities in California.

By offering sub-standard care - whether intentionally or unintentionally – these facilities can lower their expenses and save money. They will then bill the patient’s insurance for additional or unnecessary services, pocketing the difference despite not providing sufficient treatment or care. In some cases, they may even keep them in the program longer than necessary to continue collecting reimbursements or sabotage their treatment entirely.

Why You Need Ethical California Rehab Services

Fortunately, not all facilities care more about their margins than their patients’ well-being. Despite a sea of unethical treatment facilities, there are ethical California rehab services that want to do everything they can to help their patients get clean. You will often find that these rehabs have full licensing and accreditation by organizations like CARF (Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) which prove that the facility adheres to proper care standards and ethical practices.

By choosing an accredited rehabilitation center, you are gaining:

Peace of Mind

Whether for you or those who care for you, the peace of mind that you’ll get from enrolling in an ethical California rehab service cannot be overlooked. Addiction is a difficult disease to live with, and very often a patient’s life is at stake when they enter the facility. When it comes to matters of life and death, you want to be sure that those how care for you or your loved one are fully licensed, experienced, and want the best for you – not for their wallets.

A Better Chance at Success 

Combating addiction is a physical and mental battle, with your mental state and environment playing a huge role in how effective treatment is. If your environment is stressful or conditions are subpar, it becomes harder to focus on rehabilitation. Addiction can also stem from a mental illness (or vice versa), something that less experienced rehabs may not address despite mental health playing a major role in your physical health and coping skills. With an accredited rehab, there’s certain to be better, more comprehensive care for both the mental and physical side of the disease.

Guidance for Ongoing Treatment 

While some unaccredited rehab services believe their job ends once your insurance stops paying or you leave the program, ethical treatment facilities understand the ongoing struggle that accompanies addiction recovery. A qualified care facility cares more about the continued health of their patients, setting you up with coping skills and guidance with ongoing treatments to help prevent relapse. An unethical rehab may forego this in hopes that you return, and they can collect from your insurance again.

Choosing an Ethical California Rehab

Receiving effective and comprehensive treatment for an addiction is crucial to overcoming it. If you want the best chance of kicking the addiction for good, choose ethical California rehab services like those offered at Ocean Hills Recovery. With years of experience helping treat addiction in California, there is nowhere better to seek treatment. Ocean Hills is a licensed rehab and has CARF accreditation. Thanks to the help of their qualified, compassionate staff, you can conquer your addiction and begin the road to a happier, healthier life.