Author Archives: ohr_guest

Dr. Phil's path to recovery

Ocean Hills Recovery, Inc. Partners with Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery to Introduce Virtual Reality Therapy


Ocean Hills Recovery, Inc. Partners with Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery to Introduce Virtual Reality Therapy

Dana Point, California: Ocean Hills Recovery (OHR) is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery as part of their drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. This groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) program was designed to help reduce relapse and improve overall outcomes for inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery was developed by Dr. Phil McGraw and his son, Jay McGraw. It has been featured on Dr. Phil’s daytime talk show.

Dr. Phil’s Path to Recovery VR program will add influence to Ocean Hills Recovery’s patients’ lives in the form of Dr. Phil himself. His distinctive voice is delivered from exclusive locations that our patients would never normally have access to, including on-stage at his show, and sitting with him in his private office.

This VR therapy complements the current inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at OHR and puts them at the forefront of virtual reality technology utilized in healthcare.

Ocean Hills Recovery is proud to add this tool to the therapies offered as part of their addiction treatment and dual diagnosis treatment services offered.

Watch Dr. Phil explain the VR Technology: 

About Ocean Hills Recovery, Inc.:

The dedication and effort that is put into each patient of Ocean Hills Recovery is shown in their 73% success rate. The experienced staff works continually to guide each patient through their early recovery and ultimately helps to equip them with the tools necessary for long-term sobriety. Because addiction is often coupled with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, Ocean Hills Recovery’s dual diagnosis programs combine social, medical, spiritual, and psychological interventions to ensure the best possible outcomes in recovery. Ocean Hills Recovery, Inc. is CARF Certified and has been helping people struggling with addiction since 2008.

About Dr. Phil McGraw:

Dr. Phil McGraw is perhaps one of the most well-known mental health professionals in the world. He is the host of the #1 leading daytime talk show, Dr. Phil, which was launched in 2002. Over the past 16 years, Dr. Phil McGraw has used the show’s platform to make psychology accessible and understandable to the general public by addressing important personal and social issues with compassion and professionalism.

Dr. Phil works alongside other leading scholars and behavioral scientists to educate viewers about state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment options for some of the most challenging problems faced by individuals, couples, and families.

About Jay McGraw:

Jay McGraw is the Emmy ® Award-winning creator and executive producer of the syndicated daytime series The Doctors, as well as president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Stage 29 Productions.

Jay McGraw is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Doctor on Demand, the successful tele-medicine app that allows fast, easy, and cost-effective video visit access to some of the best doctors, psychologists, and other healthcare providers in the country.

For more information, please visit or


Ocean Hills Recovery, Inc.
[email protected]

marijuana side efffects, marijuana legal in california

Marijuana Legal in California: Marijuana Side Effects Cause for Concern?

Marijuana Legal in California: Marijuana Side Effects Cause for Concern?

Some people refer to marijuana as a gateway drug. Others say that it’s perfectly safe, especially when used medicinally. For people with certain conditions, the benefits of using marijuana may outweigh the risks. However, with marijuana legal in California, it’s important to understand that using marijuana can have negative side effects.

Some people are concerned because marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in some states. If you’re using the substance, you might be putting your health in danger. Detrimental marijuana side effects include an increased risk of cancer and heart disease, diminished lung function, impaired judgement while driving, reduced birth weight in babies, weakened memory and attention and mental health problems.

Does Smoking Pot Increase Your Cancer Risk?

Marijuana is often prescribed to treat the pain and nausea associated with cancer and chemotherapy. You might wonder if smoking pot can contribute to cancer because it requires you to inhale smoke through your airways.

Studies have not found conclusive links between marijuana smoke and cancer. A systematic review conducted in 2005 looked at six studies and found no association between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Other studies have looked into whether marijuana can increase the risk of other cancers. In one systematic review researchers found a connection between people with a particular type of testicular cancer and heavy marijuana use. However, the study had many limitations.

Continued after image:

marijuana side effects

Concerns About Secondhand Marijuana Smoke

With marijuana legal in California, people are smoking in public more often, eliciting concern about secondhand smoke. One study found that the harmful effects of marijuana inhalation can last three times longer than cigarette smoke.

Although cannabis smoke doesn’t contain chemicals or additives, burning and breathing in pot can constrict your arteries for up to 90 minutes. This can lead to lung and heart problems. The issue lies not with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, but with the action of inhaling the smoke itself. There has not been much research into the negative effects of edible marijuana products.

Smoking cannabis has not been linked to an intensification of asthma symptoms or other lung problems. However, one study found some evidence that lung function deteriorates in regular marijuana smokers. Other researchers have noted that long-term marijuana smokers may demonstrate symptoms of chronic bronchitis. Secondhand smoke doesn’t necessarily produce these side effects, but it’s healthier to breathe in fresh, clean air than any kind of smoke.

This Is Your Brain On Marijuana

Some of the most notable marijuana side effects occur in your brain. Some experts say that short-term use can produce issues such as:

  • Impaired short-term memory
  • Problems with coordination
  • Compromised judgement
  • Paranoia and psychosis in large doses

The effects on memory can make it hard for you to learn and remember information. When your coordination and judgement are affected, you may experience an increased risk of injury when driving or participating in potentially hazardous activities. Altered judgment can lead you to lose your inhibition and make poor choices pertaining to the use of other drugs or participation in sexual behaviors .

Heavy marijuana use affects brain development, especially in adolescence. Approximately 9 percent of overall cannabis users become addicted. That number jumps to 17 percent for people who started using the drug before they were 18. About 25 to 50 percent of people who use marijuana daily struggle with addiction to the substance.

If you’re predisposed to mental health issues, using marijuana can make the problem worse. Using the drug increases the risk of psychosis disorders. It also leads to reduced satisfaction with life, which could contribute to problems such as depression and anxiety.

The New York Times reports that several studies have established connections between marijuana and schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. People who use cannabis heavily may have more suicidal thoughts than people who don’t.

However, it’s difficult to determine causality. Are people with mental health disorders more likely to use substances or do people who use drugs have a better chance of developing psychological problems? Scientists aren’t sure.

Even though some people say that you can’t become addicted to marijuana, there is clear evidence that dependence and addiction can occur when you use the substance. Chronic cannabis users can experience withdrawal effects, such as:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Those who start using the drug in adolescence are up to four times more likely than those who begin using it in adulthood to experience symptoms of dependence within a couple of years.

If you’re concerned that you may be struggling with a cannabis addiction, call Ocean Hills Recovery today to find out how we can help you develop your ability to find relaxation and fulfillment within yourself and enjoy a drug-free life.

addiction treatment instead of jail, jail for relapse

Going to Jail for Relapse? Isn’t Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail a Better Option?

Going to Jail for Relapse? Isn't Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail a Better Option?

Probation is a great option that many people are given in lieu of being sent behind bars. That way they can take advantage of addiction treatment instead of jail, a place where treatment is generally nonexistent. However, one significant danger exists for those who are on parole: The conditions of the parole often require that the individual be drug-free for however long it lasts and that even one failed drug test could get them sent back to jail for relapse. Is that really the best thing for that person or for society as a whole?

Being Sent to Jail for Relapse

A New York Times article took an interesting look at this topic as it analyzed the case of Julie Eldred, a 30-year-old woman who was taking advantage of an outpatient treatment program as she looked to overcome her addiction to opiates. Unfortunately, she relapsed shortly after starting treatment. As soon as that happened, she asked her doctor for more Suboxone, and that helped her pull herself back up and not make the relapse any worse. However, a few days later, she was given a drug test, a condition of her probation, and failed it. Incarceration followed after her probation officer showed no mercy when told that her recovery was now back no track. No treatment – no drug counseling and no Suboxone – was provided during her 10 days in prison.

Is Going to Jail a Suitable Punishment for Relapse?

Those who are on the other side of the issue say that there is significant value in the deterrent aspect of threatening somebody with jail or prison time should a relapse occur and that people figure out how to deal with and overcome their cravings in that situation. However, several studies have shown this to not be the case in most situations and that time spent in prison either doesn't help the person recover or exacerbates the situation. The latter possibility is hurt by the fact that, according to Eldred, "drugs were often available" during her time in prison anyway. She also added that there was "a lot of violence." A stressful environment like that is not going to help anybody recover from an addiction.

Addiction is a Disease

For that reason, her lawyer, Lisa Newman-Polk, brought her case to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She didn't believe that people should be punished because they had a disease, the disease of addiction. This can be viewed as "cruel and unusual punishment." She added that it's "not practical or reasonable" to expect someone who is not cured or is in remission to be 100 percent free of drugs. Addiction treatment instead of jail time needs to be the focus.

Probably the best solution is to do something like evaluate the situation whenever a relapse occurs and focus on ensuring that treatment is received if at all possible. If the person attempting to overcome an addiction has continued to get evaluations and treatment, then jail time is most likely not the best solution. Having what seems like a default ruling of just sending those in Eldred's case to jail for relapse is likely not helping anyone.

Long-term Addiction Recovery is Possible, but Remains a Lifelong Focus

One thing to keep in mind is that even somebody cured or in remission is generally never 100 percent in the clear. In most cases, this needs to be a lifelong focus. Of course, it will become easier and easier to resist as treatment continues and time passes, but many who have not consumed drugs or alcohol in several years still say that there are times when they need to consciously resist relapsing. And it's especially important to continue addiction treatment shortly after detox has been completed even though drugs or alcohol is no longer being used. The time immediately after detox is essential as that is when a relapse is most likely, and, if it happens, the situation needs to be handled with care. The former but definitely not the latter is what occurred in Eldred's case.

Addiction Treatment Instead of Jail Needs to be the Norm

Fortunately, more and more people are starting to see just how valuable treatment is for those suffering from addiction and that it will help them and society as a whole in the long run much more than spending time in jail or prison would. One place where this is happening is Roane County, Tenn. This community, whose county seat, Kingston, is located just 30 miles west of Knoxville, has launched a "recovery court," which is focused on, whenever possible, getting people the help that they need outside of a generally unhelpful jail or prison setting.

Whether or not you are concerned about jail time, committing to addiction treatment at a reputable treatment facility is your best option for long-term recovery. If you or a loved one is looking to overcome a dependence on drugs or alcohol, give Ocean Hills Recovery a call today.

adhd prescription addiction treatment for women

Increase in ADHD Prescription Addiction: Need for Addiction Treatment for Women

Increase in ADHD Prescription Addiction in Young Women: Increased Need for Addiction Treatment for Women

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an alarming statistic this year. Between 2003 and 2015, the number of women who filled a prescription for ADHD medication increased by 700 percent. The majority of these women are between the ages of 24 and 30, but the increase of ADHD prescription medications also increased in another group of women. These are women ranging in age from 15 to 44 who currently have private health insurance. Experts worry that there will be an increase in ADHD prescription addiction among these young women, and ultimately an increased need for addiction treatment for women.

Women aged 30 to 34 increased their use of these medications by 560 percent. This makes them the second largest group of women who filled ADHD medication prescriptions from 2003 to 2015.

The medical community is concerned about the increase in ADHD prescriptions because the women who were studied are in their childbearing years. Notably, this age group has an unplanned pregnancy rate of 50 percent, and it is possible that they could be taking these drugs while they are pregnant.

The medical community has stressed the need to study these drugs and pregnant women further because the current studies have only been done on lab animals, but they do know that there are risks to humans. Specifically, the CDC states that it needs to determine how ADHD medications affect pregnant women, and it will work to do so in the near future.

The Director of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Dr. Coleen Boyle stated the beginning of the pregnancy is a crucial time for the baby. Therefore, we must find safer ways to treat ADHD before the pregnancy begins and throughout.

The report listed Adderall, lisdexamphetamine and methylphenidate as the ADHD drugs that were prescribed the most for women in 2015. Dr. Boyle suggested that everyone who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future must discuss all of the medications that they are taking with their physicians.

The Effects of ADHD Medications

We do not know enough about ADHD medications and pregnancy, but we do know a little about the subject. For example, women who are addicted to ADHD medications often deliver premature babies or low birth weight babies. While these babies are in utero, the placenta often becomes detached from the uterus. These babies also suffer from heart and brain issues.

Women who are addicted to ADHD medications begin to suffer from adverse effects in the beginning. For example, they have trouble falling asleep, and they become much more physically active. They also tend to lose their appetites and begin to lose weight. They also experience several physical symptoms, such as an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing. There may also be an irregular heart beat.

As they continue to use ADHD drugs, they begin to experience even more severe symptoms. Some of these symptoms include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Dental Issues otherwise known as “meth mouth”
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Violent behavior
  • Mood disturbances
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety

Women suffering from an ADHD prescription addiction need addiction treatment for women for the health of their babies as well as their own. The effects that ADHD medications have on unborn babies were listed above, but there are also deleterious effects that the women suffer when they use these medications. For example, an ADHD medication addiction can mask the effects that women experience from drinking alcohol. This puts them at risk of suffering an overdose.

Addiction treatment for women will be instrumental in helping those who are suffering from withdrawal symptoms. For example, women have complained of anxiety, feeling tired and depression when they stopped taking the ADHD medication. An ADHD prescription addiction requires that a woman who is addicted to substances undergo the detoxification process in rehab so that she can come off of the drugs safely.

Treatment for ADHD Addiction

As was mentioned above, the detoxification process is necessary before anything else can happen, and it will occur in the first two weeks. During this time, the rehabilitation center’s staff will work to make this process as comfortable for the patient as possible. After this phase is over, the patient’s body will no longer be dependent on the ADHD medication, and it will be possible for her to move on to therapy that will help her refrain from ingesting ADHD medications in the future.

It can be dangerous for a woman to try to detox on her own, but she will be under the supervision of trained medical professionals at all times in rehab. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to ADHD drugs, contact Ocean Hills Recovery today.


addicion and suicide dual diagnosis treatment OC

The Link Between Addiction and Suicide & Dual Diagnosis Treatment OC

Dual Diagnosis Treatment OC & The Link Between Addiction and Suicide

Just recently, two highly notable people have ended their own lives. Designer Kate Spade died by hanging on June 5. Anthony Bourdain died in exactly the same way later in the week on June 8. With these high profile deaths, it begs the question as to whether there is a link between addiction and suicide.

Unfortunately, these two deaths mark a trend that has been going on in America for quite some time. Experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC have stated that suicide rates have gone up by 30 percent since 1999, and it is a trend that has taken place in every one of America’s 50 states.

People feel as if their only recourse is to commit suicide for all kinds of reasons, but there is one factor that is accompanying these deaths in large numbers. The CDC has revealed the fact that mental illness plays a large role in the need that people feel to take their own lives.

Columbia University psychiatrist John Mann discovered that stress caused by the financial crisis of 2008 and the opioid epidemic are two main contributors to this problem, but there is more to the story than that. The fact is that people addicted to opioids and other substances are not getting the treatment they need for their addictions or for their mental illnesses. Many people are unable to seek help because they lack the resources, so their conditions tend to deteriorate.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or HHS has stated that opioid addiction and suicide often overlap, and since 2000, 300,000 Americans have died from overdosing on opioids, and no one knows if these are accidental deaths or intentional. According to John Mann, treatment of the mental illness would be the best way in which to prevent suicide.

Rehabilitation and Dual Diagnosis Treatment OC

Fortunately, many rehabilitation centers can address addiction and suicide with dual diagnosis treatment OC. In order to receive a dual diagnosis, the patient must be able to be diagnosed with each condition on its own.

It is important that those who are addicted to drugs and also suffering from a mental illness receive dual diagnosis treatment OC because the addiction often cannot be separated from the mental illness. Most of the time, a healthcare professional cannot tell the patient which of the conditions presented itself first. They can’t even definitively state that one is causing the other. For example, someone suffering from an obsessive compulsive disorder may be suffering from the same effects that a drug addiction would cause, so it is imperative to treat both at the same time.

Origins of the Opioid Crisis

This crisis has been able to grow in large part because of the reduction in mental health spending since 2008. This year, the government decided to cut mental health spending even more. This will mean that the 70 million people who depend on Medicaid will lose funding for treatment of their addictions.

The government has decided to address this problem recently. President Donald Trump created the “Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.” The purpose of this commission is to provide President Trump with solutions to the present opioid crisis.

Psychiatrist John Mann has stated that we currently have the means to prevent suicide but that the leadership doesn’t currently exist in Washington that would implement strategies on the federal or state level. With the creation of the above-mentioned commission, we may begin to see a difference in the way mental health and the opioid crisis are treated.

The Problem with Healthcare

The problem appears to be our healthcare system in general. JAMA Psychiatry reported that psychiatrists were the ones who were the most likely to refuse to accept health insurance. As a matter of fact, only 55 percent of psychiatrists were taking health insurance plans as compared to podiatrists, cardiologists and dermatologists in 2010.

When a patient doesn’t have the option of using insurance, he or she is required to pay hundreds of dollars per session with a psychiatrist. Those who live in the cities are charged even more, but this exacerbates the problem because more people suffer from depression in the cities than in rural areas. In addition, those addicted to cocaine often suffer from depression and use cocaine to medicate themselves.

As difficult as it may be to find treatment for mental health issues in some cities, the problem can be even worse in other areas of the country. A total of nine states adequately reimbursed providers of mental healthcare services. Because providers know that this is the case, they only accept cash payments. This has led to a lack of psychiatrists and therapists in some areas.

The psychiatrist John Mann has observed that nations that have near-universal or universal health care also have fewer suicides in their countries. Some examples are Estonia and the Netherlands.

The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have led to discussions on this issue on social media. Several people have shared stories about their bouts of depression and mental illness in general. They have also stated that they are concerned about those who are unable to afford mental health services.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please contact Ocean Hills Recovery facility today for help.

Addiction Support Groups Safe Addiction Patient Brokering

Are Addiction Support Groups Safe from Addiction Patient Brokering?

Are Addiction Support Groups Safe from Addiction Patient Brokering?

Anyone who has struggled with addiction or watched a loved one suffer knows that it can be incredibly difficult to stay healthy and sober. Often, those dealing with addiction want to reclaim control of their lives and be able to function independently, but this can be hard to do without a stable financial situation.

For many in recovery, detox facilities, sober homes and other forms of addiction support groups offer a light at the end of the tunnel. While these places can be excellent tools for starting over on better footing, they can also be dangerous traps for unsuspecting and vulnerable people.

The country's opioid crisis has given rise to a unscrupulous class of people who engage in what is known as addiction patient brokering. This practice essentially lets these people exploit those recovering from addiction for a payday. Not all facilities and support groups are predatory, however, so it's important to be informed and understand the red flags.

Continued after video:

What is Addiction Patient Brokering?

Patient brokering, sometimes referred to as body brokering, is a practice that preys on people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. At its core, the scheme offers compensation to the "recruiters" or "brokers" who refer patients to certain treatment facilities.

This leads people who are struggling with sobriety into a vicious cycle of relapse, detox and treatment. Brokers will most often show up at addiction support meetings, both in person and online, as well as popular hangout spots and even certain treatment facilities. They will use financial incentives and sometimes even drugs or alcohol to entice people into specific rehab centers so that they can receive a hefty commission from these places.

How Does it Happen?

Frequently, these people find their victims through online and in-person support groups for drug or alcohol addiction. With the rise of social media, platforms like Facebook make it even easier for these people to pose as either fellows in recovery or people who have a "perfect solution" for those hoping to stay clean and regain control of their lives.

This is why it's incredibly important for anyone in recovery to be wary of how much personal information is shared in any support group. Most are safe spaces, but it's better to be overly cautious and skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true. Brokers prey on those who are willing to share a lot of personal details, especially if they have health insurance or come from well-to-do families.

Survivors often mention that they would meet people in counseling meetings that would offer to help them get into a new rehab facility but always with the caveat of asking about what kind of insurance they have.

The dishonest treatment centers that utilize body brokering are able to make hundreds of thousands of dollars by excessively billing patients' insurance companies for outrageous sums of money. This means that they can offer incentives of $500 or more to these brokers without cutting into their profits.

Is it Legal?

Ultimately, no, this practice is not legal. However, it's made possible because of lax restrictions and laws that have easily exploitable loopholes. Centers can use misleading advertising and skilled sales pitches to essentially "buy and sell" patients to turn a profit.

The Affordable Care Act, coupled with the nationwide opioid epidemic, has led the rehabilitation industry into a serious boom. To keep the money rolling in, some less-than-ethical centers will plant paid marketers into online groups under the guise of recovery or someone with a success story.

The good news is that patient brokering has become more widely recognized. This has led to legislators and lobby groups that are working to get regulations tightened and restore the reputation of the recovery industry as a whole.

Are Addiction Support Groups Safe?

While this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by the nation as a whole, it's important to state that addiction and recovery support groups in general are not all bad news. There will always be unethical people who engage in practices like patient brokering and even drug peddling within support groups. These people recognize and prey on vulnerability, both online and in person.

However, for every bad apple, there are several honest, goodhearted people who just want the friendship and connection of people who understand their situation. Often, lasting connections can be made amongst addiction survivors, and having other people to keep you tethered to the world can make a huge impact when things feel dark or hopeless.

The biggest thing for anyone going through detox or struggling with addiction to remember is that they should be cautious about handing over any type of personal information, especially in an online setting. Sharing is part of recovery, but offering personal details, talking about finances or discussing insurance should not happen in the majority of situations.

Choose a Reputable Rehab Center For Help

The best thing to do if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction is to find a trustworthy addiction treatment facility that is focused on truly helping.

Ocean Hills Recovery is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, which is a third-party, nonprofit organization that evaluates patient outcomes and assesses the quality of services provided. We never participate in patient brokering, and we don't use advertising gimmicks to sell services. We're here to provide genuine help and get you started on your recovery journey.

Don't hesitate to call or email us if you're ready to start taking control of your life again.


OC Sober Living HOmes

Why People Don’t Want OC Sober Living Homes

Why People Don't Want OC Sober Living Homes

Orange County, like much of the country, is home to a worsening addiction crisis, but many of those living here seem to not only not want to be part of the solution that addresses the root causes of this but also want to harm an important part of the solution that does exist. One of the more interesting reads on this topic was written by Matt Coker for OC Weekly: "Why OC Must Lose the 'War' on Sober-Living Homes."

The main issue is that many citizens and politicians are not bothering with trying to target the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies who often play pivotal roles in people getting addicted but are instead focusing their efforts on closing down OC sober living homes even though the vast majority of them do not present any sort of issues for neighbors. One especially ironic aspect of this popular viewpoint is that these houses, which are where many are recovering from their addictions or, at the very least, doing everything within their power to do so, are being targeted by so many critics while places that are home to people who are not at all trying to recover and are actively consuming drugs in those homes are less of a priority.

Continued after video:

The Start of the Opioid Crisis

Many believe that what caused this dramatic increase in the number of people taking drugs, especially opiates, dates back a few decades. Around 1980, pharmaceutical companies were generally run by scientists who had the consumers' best interests at heart. Of course, they wanted to make money too, but that didn't appear to be the driving force. However, that changed once the companies were given permission to advertise on television as many of them then brought in CEOs that were very focused on the business aspect of things and making as much money as possible. More importantly and dangerously, they also focused on continuing to make money. There is never enough with shareholders always demanding more. As a result, many of these companies have now fought to keep opiates in high use so that they can make more and more money, both in the short term and the long term.

Standard Length of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

One example of this focus on money is the discrepancy between how much time scientists and rehab operators say is necessary for somebody to recover from addiction and what the medical insurance companies are saying. According to the OC Weekly article, scientists believe that figure is 90 days while rehab operators say that it can be 120 days or even more depending on the specific circumstances and mindset of the person being admitted. Conversely, most insurance companies are dead set on it being 28 days. The only thing that this does is ensure that fewer people receive the full care that they need and soon return to being addicted.

So, instead of focusing the fight on them, what's happening is something that is not really all that productive. For example, Coker described an OC community center that was packed with hundreds of people upset at how, according to them, those in OC sober living homes would "smoke, talk loudly, down Red Bulls all night and litter sidewalks with ciggy butts, condom wrappers and spent needles," all of which are images of an extremely atypical if not fictional sober living home. The citizens were joined at the meeting by three visibly concerned state legislators.

Addiction is a Disease

Fortunately, for the most part, they do not have a legal leg to stand on. For one thing, drug and alcohol addiction has been determined to be a disease of the brain, which means that, as a disease, those suffering from it enjoy many rights. These include not being booted from their homes simply because they suffer from a disease. Another advantage is that many of the various legal changes that are being proposed need to apply to everybody. For example, somebody at that meeting at the community center had asked why they can't bar smoking from sober living homes. The answer was that they'd need to then bar it from every single home.

However, one thing that they had been attempting to pass was an altering of the law that those owning sober living homes with no more than six beds get to enjoy the exact same rights as every other homeowner in that area to one in which a person could only own one such home statewide in order to enjoy those same rights. In other words, if somebody owned a sober living home with six beds in Laguna Niguel and an identical one in Eureka, that would be six beds too many, and a state license or possibly a conditional use permit would be necessary in order to operate those houses if the alteration of that law passed.

OC Sober Living Homes: "Not in My Backyard."

Sadly, all of this is a clear case of Nimby, the not in my backyard phenomenon, in that most of those complaining about sober living homes are not against them in general; they are just against them being located in their communities. However, some of the most noticeable exceptions to this rule are parents of children who have died from excessive drug use. A group formed in the southern portion of the county has worked hard to do things such as decriminalize the act of finding and helping someone who's overdosed.

It should also be noted that many of those opposing these homes say that they're worried about their children. A significant number of people who are taking advantage of the services that are being offered by sober living homes are those children who they care about so much.

If you or a loved one is in need of a sober living home, feel free to contact Ocean Hills Recovery, and we will provide the appropriate treatment and care.

california intravenous iv drugs cause cellulitis

California Drug Users: Cellulitis from Intravenous (IV) Drugs

Intravenous (IV) Drug Injection: How People Acquire Cellulitis in California

There are various ways to take drugs. Among the most common are smoking and ingesting orally. Another example is intravenous drug use or IV injection I there are several ways of taking drugs into the body, then there are also different types of drugs people can use. One of the most dangerous drugs available these days is heroin, an opioid drug that's rapidly spread across the United States in large part due to the prescription drug Oxy-Contin. Additional drugs among the most abused drugs in the U.S. include methamphetamine, cocaine, and opioid painkillers such as Percocet or Vicodin®.

What Cellulitis?

Cellulitis is a painful soft tissue and skin infection caused by staphylococcus aureus bacterium. It is also a common form of staph infection that is usually caused by fungi, oral and streptococcal bacteria. Sometimes, it will spread throughout your body and affect more than the original point of infection. As cellulitis spreads, inflammation and redness pass through the limbs and other body parts. This is not good because it means your infection is thriving.

Risks of Cellulitis in the Body

When you use the IV injection method for taking drugs, you are risking your health. There's a lot more you could contract besides cellulitis. IV drug injection weakens the immune system while making the body more prone to infection. If you have cellulitis and you don’t take action in treating it, the infection may develop into more serious skin complications. Once the staph bacteria gets into the skin, the natural defenses of the body start to work. In an infection, the white blood cells fight against the invading bacteria.

Usually, an infection will develop near or at the injected area. Suddenly, the signs will emerge and may appear in 2-5 days after the bacterial invaders gain foothold on the skin. When cellulitis is visible, the rash and sore will rapidly expand during the first twenty-four hours. The signs may include the following:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • stiff joints
  • fatigue
  • inflammation
  • chills and fever
  • blisters
  • dimpled skin

The infected area is commonly warm and has excessive pain when touched. The skin seems glossy because it becomes tight. It’s really important to take note of these symptoms before it turns into a more severe problem in the future. However, don’t try to cure it without an expert's help. Improper treatment of cellulitis may only lead to more dangerous and deadly infections on the skin.

How IV Injection Causes Cellulitis

With intravenous drug abuse, there can be negative effects that are harmful in the body’s immune system. The problem is that people know that IV drug addiction is not good and yet, they continue to use it. Perhaps, the best way to help them is to let them know how IV drug use causes cellulitis.

Here are some of the common factors that cause cellulitis:

  • Skin. The skin itself is a host for various microorganisms and bacteria. Every day, our skin is exposed to a lot of pollutants including fungi and viruses. There are friendly bacteria that enter through the skin, however, there are also damaging bacteria that can harm the body such as the case with staph infections like cellulitis. When you use intravenous drug injections, the bacteria can also enter through the tissues and invade the entire body.
  • It’s important to carefully clean the skin before injecting anything into it. Medically trained individuals are required to properly disinfect the area to be injected so that pathogens and bacteria are eliminated. Some people will lick the area instead of putting alcohol to kill the bacteria and this can be dangerous. When you fail to clean the area, the IV injection will carry the bacteria into the skin and cause infections such as cellulitis.
  • Type of drugs. Since there are various types of drugs used today, it’s essential to determine which one is the most hazardous. For instance, a combination of cocaine and heroin known as speedballs are truly dangerous when it comes to skin infections.
  • Needles, wash water, filters, spoons, and other drug paraphernalia might be contaminated. When used, they can infect the body while quickly harming the immune system. This could happen when you share needles, clean needles with saliva or fail to properly clean the area to be injected, or through the reuse of needles.

What Is Skin Popping?

Chronic use of drugs can extensively damage your veins making them inaccessible. When this happens, the person may suffer from skin popping. This condition is caused by injecting drugs under the skin rather than into the veins. Such method is associated with increased cellulitis where IV drug users are said to be more prone to staph infection.

Some people inject drugs into the area which has been infected already. If you do so, you only overwhelm that spot, such as the groin, with more bacteria. Since there are certain body parts that are not easy to clean, the infection grows and spreads throughout the entire body.

Other Complications of Having Cellulitis

Cellulitis, when left untreated, could develop into more serious complications such as:

  • meningitis
  • lymphangitis or lymph vessels inflammation
  • endocarditis or heart infection
  • shock
  • tissue death or gangrene
  • osteomyelitis or bone infection
  • abscesses

In addition, improper treatment of staph infection could develop a stronghold of bacteria in the blood called blood poisoning or sepsis. When a person has sepsis infection, the bacteria spread throughout the body and pose major threats such as death. You wouldn’t want to reach this stage, as there is a very low chance of surviving.

Immediate Treatment

It’s important to seek early treatment in order to reverse the symptoms of cellulitis. Usually, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics and perform blood examinations to treat the infection. After the laboratory tests, they may prescribe a more appropriate type of antibiotic to ensure successful treatment. However, those who are suffering from opioid abuse, a more comprehensive treatment will be done by the doctor. Additionally, you have to stop abusing drugs. Getting treatment is essential to not putting your life at risk anymore.


To keep the immune system strong, drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest are needed. Advanced infections require more intensive treatment to avoid complications. Of course, your health should always be a priority so following the advice of your doctor is the best thing to do while avoiding harmful substances that can be pollutants to your body.

packing for california rehab

Essentials to Pack When Preparing for Rehab in California

You're Never Fully Prepared for Addiction Treatment, but Make Sure You've Packed the Essentials

It doesn’t matter how long you will be staying in a rehabilitation center. What matters is your preparedness before leaving your home. One important reminder is packing your bag with all the essentials needed throughout your stay. You can search for the facility’s website to get an overview of the place you're going to and they're likely to post a list of what to bring and more importantly, what not to bring. You can also ask a friend who’s been to rehab before for some tips.

Packing Smart

For a hassle-free rehab stay, do consider bringing the following essentials during your stay:

  1. A Music player. Whether you like music or not, it’s a great way to stay entertained while in the confines of your rehab room. Perhaps, you have an old MP3 player or iPod that you can bring. Just make sure to fill it with songs that you want to listen to, especially ones that can be helpful during challenging times. Remember, you may not be allowed to bring your phone inside the rehab center so a music player is the best gadget to bring.
  2. A pair of shoes and comfortable clothes. This might be more than an essential, but bringing the right kinds of clothes is important. For instance, you just might need tees, sweatpants, jackets, and other usual clothes to keep you comfortable inside the treatment facility. Some rehabs take their clients to a gym so be ready with a sporty outfit.
  3. Toiletries. When it comes to toiletries, be sure that they don’t contain any alcohol because that is strictly prohibited inside the facility. In fact, hairspray and hand sanitizers containing denatured alcohol are some of the items included in the forbidden list. Face wash, spray gel, and perfume are not allowed in the facility as well.
  4. Contact list. You wouldn’t want to leave your home and spend weeks inside a treatment facility without bringing your loved ones’ phone numbers in case of emergency. This is important before checking in.
  5. Puffs. Smoking probably isn't beneficial to your recovery but if you already smoke and you're not looking to quit, it's one of the best things to do for rehab clients during downtime. Most of your time at the treatment facility will be allotted to group therapy, recreational activities, meetings, and individual therapy. But there’s plenty of free time for you to socialize with others in the rehab center.
  6. Flip flops. Slippers or flip flops, basically, you need them even if you're not a fan of them. You might not feel comfortable lacing up your sneakers just to go outside to smoke, use the bathroom or for other quick things. Slippers are a necessity for ultimate comfort inside a rehab center. You can wear a pair all day if you want.
  7. Bathing suit. Once in a while, treatment centers bring their clients outside to have some fun, especially ones located near a beach! This is to help them enjoy their rehab period not only inside the building, but also in other places. This helps simulate an at-home environment. A bathing suit is appropriate when going to resorts, beaches and water parks. Just make sure they are not too revealing so you can comfortably enjoy the activities.
  8. Important documents. Wherever you may go, it’s essential to bring a valid ID such as your driver’s license, insurance card, or other forms of identification. For convenient payments, you can also bring your credit card or checkbook. Don’t forget to slip some cash in your pocket for buying coffee and other items in the vending machines.
  9. Medications. If you have consulted your doctor before going to a rehab, make sure you bring your prescribed medications. However, do not transfer them into a new bottle. They have to be in their original packaging for quick inspections. For liquid medications, they have to be new and properly sealed.
  10. Hobby items. Of course, you need to focus on your rehabilitation and recovery while in the facility. In addition, you need to take part in all the activities required inside the building. But bringing some of your hobby items from home can help you speed up your recovery from addiction. During downtime, you can do things that you like such as sketching, knitting, taking photos, or anything that makes you feel happy. A notebook is also an ideal item to keep in your room.

Things to Avoid

When packing your bag, there are also some things that you don’t need to include such as card decks, sporting equipment, alcohol, drugs, sharp objects, electronic cigarettes, and cosmetics. You can ask the administrative staff if you can bring your own bedding, blanket, or pillow for a more comfortable stay. Other things you still need to consult with them on, before putting them in your suitcase are disposable razors, nail clippers, and other essentials you might want to bring.

Other Important Reminders

Rehabs impose strict policies to ensure the well-being of their clients. So when packing your things before leaving for rehab, make sure to bring only the items that are allowed in the facility. Don’t worry if it’s your first time because some centers will give you their suggested packing checklist to make things easier for you.

Once you’re in the treatment facility, you will have to check in and have your things inspected. You will also be guided throughout the admission process. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you have anything needing clarification. For safety precautions, follow what you’re told so it will be easier for you and the staff. Of course, make sure that your family knows about this and provide them the contact number of your rehab center.


Packing for rehab is easy if you follow the center’s policies. However, do not try to bring your whole closet in your bag. A 7-day packing strategy would help you pack light. That means bringing clothes and other essentials that are good for 7 days. Then you can just wash your clothes after using them so you can comfortably wear them again in the coming week. Now, you’re all prepared for your recovery. All you have to do is focus on what you need to do to get better.

Compare Rehab Facilities in California

How to Compare Rehab Facilities in California

Finding the Right Rehab Center for You

Your recovery depends on you. You're the foundation, you're the captain of the ship. You'll get a lot of help along the way if you choose to accept it, you can take other people on as your guides, your navigators. Other people will help you to get sober and stay that way, but you've got to be your own rock through all of this. That said, while the right rehab in California is not what's going to make or break your recovery, there are rehab facilities in California that will make the process, while still an uphill battle, just a bit less steep.

Check the Reviews

It might feel a bit odd typing "rehab in California, best reviewed" into Google. After all, we're talking about your health, your recovery from addiction, here, not the most overlooked burger joint in the city. But, you can find reviews of rehab centers on Yelp and other websites where people can rank their experiences. Look, there are people who review national forests and natural landmarks, so of course you can find a lot of reviews for rehab centers. That said, there are a few things to bear in mind when reading these reviews:

-Some people are paid to write negative reviews in order to help the competition. This might not be the other group's fault. It may simply be that they hired a marketing firm without knowing that that marketing firm was a bit shady.

-Some people just aren't very good at reviewing things. There are reviews for Yellowstone National Park complaining about how hot it gets in the Summer, as if the park's crew has anything to do with that. Take all opinions with a grain of salt.

-You'll want to read a lot of reviews to get an idea. If one person is saying that the staff are rude, then maybe that person is just a bit hard-headed. If a dozen people are saying it, on the other hand...

Call and See

Sometimes you can't really get an idea of the kind of people you're dealing with until you actually, well, deal with them. You can drive around all day talking to them in person, but your first step should just be to make a few calls. Chat with them on the phone and ask some questions. Here's what you'll want to inquire about:

-What are your services? You're looking for a facility that fits your needs. If you need to detox, for instance, then you need to find a facility that offers that. If you really don't think you can make it without some familiar faces around, ask about family therapy and visitation. Make sure that they have what you need.

-What do your patients do for recreation? You might feel like you're just trying to turn rehab into a vacation asking how often you'll be able to get to the beach, but the truth is that it's a lot easier to keep yourself busy when there's more to do than sitting around in your room all day watching TV.

-Do you have any success stories? Remember that even with the best care possible, relapse can happen. No rehab center is going to have a perfect track record, but if they know their stuff, they're going to have some success stories that they're particularly proud of. Most of those stories are confidential, of course, but they probably have one or two that they have permission to share.

-Finally, just make a note of the person that you spoke with. Were they friendly? Attentive? Compassionate? You're not going to get your tires rotated, here, you're looking for a temporary home where people will treat you with care and empathy on your road to recovery. If they're acting like this is just a dayjob, as if they have things they'd rather be doing, you might want to scratch that center off the list.

Aren't You Guys A Little Biased?

Sure. We're offering rehabilitation and recovery, we do have a horse in this race. But priority number one is getting you the help you need. We offer detox, residential inpatient, intervention, 12 step recovery and sober living, among other services. We hire only the best, the most experienced, and the most compassionate staff. We have a 78% success rate and we're located a short hop and a jump from the beach. We're not going to hesitate to boast about that, and we hope that it's enough to earn your trust, but if it isn't, we'll wish you luck no matter where you go for recovery. Just make sure that you're in the hands of people you do trust, people who you feel have your best interests at heart, and who have the experience and the insight to help you through what is going to be one of the most challenging journeys you've ever taken.

Just Don't Be Indecisive

While learning how to compare rehab facilities in California, you can get into a mindset where you're kind of going through every option with a fine-tooth comb. We're not going to sit here and tell you that one rehab center is as good as another. There's a reason some of them have below-average success rates. But the sooner you get started on the road to recovery, the better. Weigh the pros and cons, hunt down the rehab center that hits every box on your checklist, but don't use the process as an excuse to drag things out. Of course you're going to be hesitant to dive right in, it's a big step. So here's what you can do: Set yourself a deadline. Mark a date on the calendar. It can be two days, three days, but it probably shouldn't be more than a week. In that time you can make all the calls and visits you want, you can read every review you have the time to read, but come the deadline, be ready to make your choice.