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The Role of Addiction Psychology and Recovery

What to expect in this episode:

  1.  Traditional psychology has taken a central role in recovery and treating addiction, but it may not be ideal. 
  2.  Psychotherapists often recommend AA or treatment because no progress can be made while in active addiction.
  3.  Immersing in the recovery culture to help the psychology of recovery.

 

Psychology and Recovery

Its a newer phenomenon that psychotherapy and psychology has taken a central role in the world of recovery. Part of me is rubbed a little wrong by that. It’s not that I am anti-therapy, both my parents are psychologists I actually love psychology. I’m fascinated by it.

 

But traditionally, we have an understanding that individual Psychotherapy is not a very effective way to treat addiction.

 

Addiction Needs to Be Addressed for Better Mental Health

What you’ll find most commonly is somebody’s afraid to enter into the world of recovery for a variety of reasons, so they go see a therapist – maybe an addiction specialist or maybe just a therapist – and I think the most common story is somebody will see a therapist for months or even years while still continuing to engage in their addiction maybe with some improvement maybe with no improvement.

 

Eventually, that therapist will say – maybe in months maybe in years, “hey, I can’t continue in this therapeutic process until you do something about your addiction problem and I can’t help you with your addiction problem. You need to go to treatment or Alcoholics Anonymous.”

 

It’s kind of a shame to me that somebody might be in therapy for five, six, seven, eight years I would hope that therapists out there recommend that early, and I also understand that if the clients not willing to go into treatment or to seek out some recovery that the therapist is stuck.

 

Immersing in the Recovery Culture

In general, my belief (and this is complex in nuanced) is that people have to immerse themselves in a culture of recovery and integrate recovery as part of their identity as the primary task of recovery. And that’s up front.

 

Upfront I have to challenge myself to admit that I have an addiction problem that I’ve been unable to solve. Then I have to take on the task of saying, “Okay, I’m a person who suffers from addiction and in order to treat this condition, I need to be a person in recovery.”

 

I need to be a person who identifies myself as someone in recovery from this condition just like I would if I diabetes. If I had a horrible case of diabetes then my recovery from that, or even a cancer survivor, I would identify as a cancer survivor. It almost killed me!

 

I have to know that deeply about myself and it is the first and primary core task of recovery

 

Psychology in Later Recovery

Then therapy comes along in order to help me to better understand myself and treat the underlying emotional conditions that existed, maybe prior to my addiction. In all different dramas in different ways of being different blocks I had that caused me to suffer that I then use drugs and alcohol to treat. I think of therapy as by and large the later stages of recovery.

 

At first, I have to be a person in recovery then I can work on this other stuff because if I’m not a person to recover, continue to use I’m not going to get any therapeutic work done.

 

There are exceptions. The exceptions to that are if I have trauma and it’s so severe it’s getting in the way of me being able to identify as somebody in recovery. So if the psychological problem or even psychiatric problem is so severe that I can’t engage.

 

An easy example is if I have a really hard time regulating my emotions. Incredibly impulsive. It will be impossible for me to engage in recovery because I can’t sit still, I can’t stop talking, I can’t take it in, take information and reality in, so a specialist, a therapeutic specialist would have to come in and treat my Emotion Regulation Impulse Disorder in order for me to engage in recovery.

 

But in general, I think that’s the exception

 

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Addiction Hijacks: When I’m High, I Really Want to Be Sober

Understanding How Addiction Hijacks Rationality 

Addiction Hijacks our “semi-rational” thoughts to justify ego desires. 

 

The simplest way to put this is to tell a story.

 

Dealing with Cravings 

 

I remember working with a client. He was about a week sober, had gotten out of detox from opioids. He was a week sober and still somewhat obsessed about using heroin.

 

He very earnestly approached me as a counselor at the time.  He said, “Can I talk to you for a little bit?” I said, “Sure.”

 

We went back in my office, and he said, “I’m craving. I really want to use heroin, you know, will you help me?” 

 

I said, “Well, tell me what your plan is. How are you– let’s lay it out. How are you going to go use heroin?” 

 

Semi-Rational Plan to Use

He said, “Well, I go to Inglewood. I’m going to get some heroin.”

I said, “Slow down. Do you have any money on you right now?”

He said, “Yeah, I got 10 bucks.”

“Well, first of all, give me that 10 bucks.” I took that 10 bucks. Then I said, “So, how are you going to get ahold of your dealer?”

And he said, “I’m going to call him.” I said, “Do you have a cell phone?” He said, “No. You like picked up on my game, right?” And I said, “Okay, well now, if you don’t have a cell phone, how are you going to call the dealer?” 

He said, “We go to the gas station, and I’m going to call him.” I said, “But you don’t have any money.” He said, “Well, I’ll panhandle and then I’ll call my drug dealer.” 

I said, “Okay. So, we’re going to walk to the gas station on the corner over there. You’re going to call your drug dealer. He’s going to come drop it off.”

He said, “No. My dealer doesn’t deliver. I got to go to Inglewood. I got to get there. So, I’m going to take the bus.” 

I said, “Okay. So, you’re going to take the bus to Inglewood and you’re going to meet your dealer. Where?” “There’s Burger King in Inglewood.”

I said, “Okay. And then what?”

“So, I’m going to use.”

“So, where are young going to use?” 

He said, “I’m going to use in the Burger King bathroom.”

I said, “With what?”

He said, “With foil and a straw.” 

I said, “Okay. So, using in a Burger King bathroom. And then what are you going to do?”

He said, “I’m going to be high.”

I said, “Okay. And then what?”

And then he said, “I’m going to come home.” 

I said, “Yeah. You’re going to go back to your mom and dad’s?”

And he said, “No. They kicked me out. I’m going to come back here.”

“Okay, so you’re going to go use at the Burger King. You’re going to get high in the bathroom. You are going to catch the bus back after you’re high. You’re going to come back to this treatment program. And then what are you going to do?”

He said, “Then I’m going to get sober.”

 

Addiction Hijacks the Mind’s Rational Thought

 

And I, of course, you know, I said, “But you’re sober now. You’re already there. You don’t have to do the loop de loop.” 

 

And he looked at me, and he said, “Yeah, but when I’m high, I really want to be sober.” 

 

And I said, “Okay, so what I hear you saying is that in order for you to get and stay sober, you have to get high again.”

 

He said, “Yeah.”

Semi Rational Reasoning

 

The ego self had basically taken the rational ability and created a little narrative and story that makes semi-sense.

 

But obviously, if you use that rationale in your life, you’d never get sober, right? Because every time I try to get sober, I have to get high and be motivated to get sober again. You just do that rinse and repeat, over and over. It’s actually what a lot of people do.

The Ego and Justifications

The ego self can hijack the rationale to create justifications.

 

It’s a reality. And with this particular person, he actually did it. He didn’t do it that night. But a couple of days later, he left, and incredibly he was right. He got high at Burger King.

 

We ended up referring him to a program out of town. And he’s, I think, sober eight, nine years now. So, he happened to be right. But it’s not a good equation as to how to get clean. As an example of how the ego self can hijack the rationale in order to create justifications to continue to enable addiction.

 

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Common Outpatient Addiction Treatment Questions

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

 

Individuals who receive addiction treatment generally attend multiple levels of care during recovery. 

 

Outpatient addiction treatment provides opportunities to develop skills necessary for a successful recovery. Outpatient treatment is less restrictive than detox and residential care. The individual has more personal freedom and can return home each evening.

What is Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

 

Outpatient addiction treatment addresses addiction with various evidence-based approaches. Some of the better outpatient rehabs in Santa Monica combine science with holistic health to address addiction and underlying issues in a comprehensive–but focused–manner. 

 

For example, an outpatient program may use Brainwave Optimization neurofeedback techniques and cognitive testing to address changes that occurred in the brain due to drugs or alcohol usage. The objective findings of these scientific approaches combine well with individual, group, and family therapy which is often subjective.  

Are There Different Levels of Outpatient Care?

 

Yes. Outpatient addiction treatment usually has two levels–outpatient and intensive outpatient treatment.

 

Here’s a quick look at each:

 

Outpatient Addiction Treatment (OP)

 

Outpatient addiction treatment (OP) is a lower level of care that works best for individuals without a severe drug or alcohol history. Individuals in OP care usually have more opportunities for structure in their lives (work, family, etc.) and a good support network.

 

Also, OP treatment may be used as a way of moving forward with addiction once an individual completes an intensive outpatient addiction program.

 

An individual usually spends less than 9 hours a week in OP treatment.

 

Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

 

Intensive outpatient (IOP) is a higher level of care for individuals who may require additional structure and support. IOP addiction programs require an individual to spend more time in groups, therapy sessions, skill-building classes, and sober activities.

 

Some individuals may spend the whole day in IOP programming before being able to return home or to a sober living home.

 

IOP programs are appropriate for individuals who completed a residential drug rehab program. Also, those struggling in an OP program can get moved to an IOP program for extra support.

 

An IOP program can last up to 6 hours a day.

How Will I Know Which Outpatient Addiction Treatment is Right for Me?

 

You don’t need to have all the answers. An intake professional helps determine which placement is most appropriate.

 

Placement depends on several factors. The intake coordinator listens to your or a loved one’s story, reviews any records, and provides guidance for the best addiction treatment options.

 

The intake coordinator will also explain what happens during outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment, available services, and how the admission process works.

If I Don’t Live in Los Angeles, Can I Still Attend Outpatient Addiction Treatment Here?

 

Coastal Los Angeles boasts beautiful scenery, comfortable weather, and is just a short trip to Los Angeles. Furthermore, our location, Santa Monica, is famous for its beaches, dining, and tourist attractions, hosting over 8 million visitors annually. 

 

And yes, some of these visitors are individuals seeking substance abuse treatment. The fresh ocean air, change of environment, and opportunities to explore sober activities can be a source of inspiration for those ready to start or continue their recovery journey.

Can I Afford Long-Term Outpatient Addiction Treatment?

 

Some outpatient services get covered by insurance. Other outpatient addiction treatments are private pay. You will want to check with a facility that resonates with you and find out how they charge.

 

Some individuals may think addiction treatment is expensive–especially if they have to pay out of pocket. When considering the price, you also have to see this as an investment. 

 

If you or a loved one continue to use and the addiction worsens, the consequences can be very expensive. Losing a job, getting arrested, or developing mental and physical health problems can cost much more than outpatient addiction treatment.

 

And yes, some luxury addiction treatment and sober living facilities in the Santa Monica area have a high ticket price. But the costs also include several luxury amenities for comfort and enjoyment. Those accustomed to a particular way of living appreciate the transition to luxury outpatient addiction treatment.

Starting Your Outpatient Journey

Recover Integrity provides values-based exclusive extended care treatment for men. Our boutique Brentwood IOP community offers high-quality group work, multiple individual sessions, and a theory-based approach to recovery. We maintain a private, supportive atmosphere so the men in our program can focus on clinical care, wisdom work, and recovering their lives.

 

You can call (310) 294-9030 if you have any questions about our Brentwood IOP program.

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Learning to Feel Your Thoughts and Emotions

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

In general, one of the things that happen in modern times–as people become a lot more conscious of their physicality, nutrition, exercise, and of the importance in taking care of it–is being conscious of your body in the healing process.  In other words, being able to check in and be present.

 

So with that, therapeutically, one of the things that have become very popular is somatic work. It is the work in the body. 

 

Here is a somatic work example: You and I are doing a therapy session or counseling session. I can tell based on your breathing, how you are holding your shoulders and jaw, and your speech patterns that you are upset or frustrated. 

 

But maybe I go, “Hey, you know, you are a little upset or frustrated.” 

 

I am trying to process with you emotionally what is going on.

 

And you say, “You know, I am a little frustrated.”

Processing Emotions

Does that mean you just sort of allow somebody to say that they are frustrated sometimes? 

 

Sometimes somebody just identifying that they are frustrated helps them go:

 

“Oh, that is what is going on. Do I want to be frustrated? Okay, let me kind of calm myself down.” Or: “Why am I frustrated? Oh, you know, I let this thing slide.”

What is Somatic Experiencing?

There is a way to process that frustration cognitively by identification. But there is also a way to process that frustration somatically. How frustration shows up sensationally in the body. 

 

Meaning… 

 

“Uh-oh, seems like you are frustrated.” 

 

“Yeah.” 

 

I would ask you a question like, “Where?”

 

If you have never done somatic therapy, you will go, “What do you mean?” 

 

“Well, where in your body do you feel that tension, frustration, or whatever it is that you are feeling?” 

 

“Oh, you know, actually in the back of my shoulders right here. I feel really tight.”

 

“Okay. I want you to close your eyes, and lean into that tightness. I want you to describe a little bit of it and tell me what is happening with it.”

 

And really, what you are trying to do is connect your thinking mind to your emotions and your body. 

 

If you think about mind, body, and spirit, you think about the connection of all three of those. 

 

And so, “Oh, I see that sensation. And then what I want to do is…I want to metabolize that emotion.”

Allow Yourself to Feel

But what happens is, you stop yourself from allowing to be frustrated. You know, the whole point of feelings is to feel them. 

 

What fucks us all up is that we have a feeling and we want to think them away…or we want to figure them out. 

 

But the whole thing about feelings is to experience them. And how do we experience them?

 

One way to experience them is somatically…to actually allow yourself to focus your consciousness on the points of your body that are responding to that emotional need. And then allow it to kind of work its way through you. See what comes up from there. 

 

That is somatic work. It is really popular right now because I think everybody is a little suspicious of our minds these days. And so we are sort of looking for something to trust. And maybe it is our body.

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Sober Living Programs for Successful Recovery

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

 

Some individuals choose to live in sober homes to increase the chances of a successful recovery. 

 

But what are sober homes? And how do sober living programs benefit those in early recovery?

What is a Sober Living Program?

Sober living programs, including sober housing, are the bridge between inpatient rehab and returning to the “real world.” These programs provide a safe environment for an individual to practice and build on the skills learned while in inpatient care.

Who Benefits from Sober Living Homes?

While in treatment, individuals learn that they must avoid the people, places, and things that trigger their addictive thoughts and behaviors. This isn’t always easy. Returning home after inpatient drug rehab may set some individuals up for failure.

 

Certain home circumstances cause triggers that derail a successful recovery. This includes:

 

  • An unstable home environment with unresolved issues
  • Sharing a home with those using drugs or alcohol
  • No accountability for actions 
  • Lack of structure
  • Difficulty accessing a support network
  • Living with people that don’t understand the needs of someone in early recovery

What Happens in a Sober Living Program?

Individuals that choose these sober living arrangements enjoy a safe, structured environment that supports recovery.

 

Qualified addiction professionals manage sober living homes around the clock. When an individual in early recovery is struggling or triggered, they have access to someone that can help them work through these difficulties. Recovery gets reinforced. Disasters averted.

 

Those in sober living homes practice the skills they learned in higher levels of treatment. They build on those skills as they develop healthy routines. As they progress through treatment, they get more responsibilities and freedom to choose how they spend their free time. 

 

Sober living programs encourage individuals to find work, develop their support network, and continue to build the essential life skills that support recovery.Daily check-ins, group therapy, and skills training reinforce healthy leaving, clear boundaries, and establishing recovery.   

Why Sober Living for Long Term Recovery?

Recovery is a journey that lasts a lifetime. As with any journey, there will be transitions. Sober living homes are a transition point. 

 

Individuals choose these living arrangements after completing inpatient drug rehab. The decision isn’t always easy. They often wonder, is sober living for me

 

We’ve already talked about who benefits from sober living homes. But what are the benefits for those entering a sober living program?

 

Sober living helps by:

 

  • Offering continuous support: Getting sober isn’t easy. Many people self-medicate to avoid relationship difficulties, past traumas, and distressing feelings. Without drugs or alcohol, the things they avoided may become overwhelming. Staff at sober living homes are trained to help individuals cope and work through difficult times–even relapse.
  • Developing crucial life skills: The structured environment allows individuals to work on areas of their lives neglected while using. This can include communication, emotional regulation, financial, vocational, and healthy living skills.
  • Encouraging meaningful, sober relationships: An individual in recovery often loses contact with using peers. The ability to create meaningful relationships while sober allows an individual to develop relationships with like-minded peers.
  • Embracing independence: As an individual progresses through treatment, the ability to be successful at handling more responsibilities builds confidence and motivation.
  • Solidifying recovery: The longer an individual goes without using, the more they realize they can navigate life with the crutch of drugs or alcohol. The structure and accountability in sober living homes allow someone in recovery to take small steps towards a bigger, brighter future. 

 

The benefits of sober living make the transition to a fully independent, sober life more attainable

Los Angeles Sober Living

Is there sober living in LA? Yes! There are several options to help your recovery in Los Angeles. Sometimes the options can make it hard to decide which sober living is right for me.

 

Here are some things to consider while deciding:

  • Does the sober living program resonate with my needs?
  • Is it a broad program for “everyone” or designed specifically for people like me?
  • Can I get vital outpatient treatment while living in the sober environment?
  • What evidence-based addiction treatments are available?
  • Do other people recommend the program?
  • Am I willing to honestly invest the time in sober living housing?
  • Can I afford the program?
  • Does the sober living home provide the amenities I desire?

 

Not all sober living programs are the same. Many individuals in early recovery benefit from sober homes that also provide outpatient addiction treatment. The added support and structure reinforce the foundation built during inpatient drug rehab. 

 

Ultimately, you want to choose a sober living home that feels like home. One where you can feel comfortable and motivated to continue your recovery.

Luxury Men’s Los Angeles Sober Living Program

Men accustomed to a certain way of living may find difficulties adjusting to some sober homes. Luckily, men in sober living that desire luxury amenities can find options in the Los Angeles area. 

 

That being said, the luxury should also include holistic addiction treatment that helps develop the skills and lifestyle habits for a successful recovery. 

 

Recover Integrity is a values-based intensive outpatient drug rehab that offers luxury sober living as part of our step-down program. What sets Recover Integrity apart from other sober homes is its focus on innovative, evidence-based treatment. Our exclusive V.E.G.A program, cognitive testing, and luxury amenities provide a safe place where individuals recover their lives.

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How Long Do I Need Addiction Treatment?

WHAT TO EXPECT:

 

 

One of the questions that people have when seeking treatment is: How long do I need to do it?

 

I’m always trying to empower people by thinking deeply about their questions.

 

If you put that question in perspective it’s more like: How long is it going to take for me to change? There isn’t an exact number of days that you can say.

Is 30 Days Enough for Addiction Treatment?

There’s a model out there for 30-day treatment. 

 

But what is that based on?

 

Is that based on some science that people break addictions in 30 days? Absolutely not. It’s based on the way that insurance billing works. The 30-day treatment model may not provide the kind of change that people need. 

 

The standard answer these days is recovery takes around 90 days. I think that has more to do with the amount of time that people can afford to spend away from the system of their lives. Most people can’t just drop out of their lives for six months or nine months unless they’re young and maybe have good insurance. Or have strong support from the family. Or possibly getting resources from the county or the city. 

 

Our treatment program is 90 days. Still, the 90-day program is sort of a compromise. It’s trying to get people as much treatment as they can get realistically.

 

In my mind, 30 days means maybe you’re starting to sleep good. Maybe you’re feeling safe. You’re beginning to approach recovery, but you’re nowhere near where you need to be to move on. By 90 days, you should have built a decent foundation…not a solid foundation, but a decent foundation. 

Effective Treatment: Engaging in Recovery

A lot of TV programs, they portray good treatment. But the goal of treatment is not to do treatment well. The goal of treatment is to engage people in recovery so they can do their lives well. That’s the real trick. 

 

The immersive experience is upfront: experience with the recovery culture, knowledge and tools, understanding therapy, psychiatry, all the things you need. And then you really want to kind of move that person into life to build those peer and family support structures outside that they have forever. So that they can keep recovery sustainable. 

 

Ninety days in relatively contained care, as I see it: first 30 days real contained, second 30 days less contained, and much more freedom in the third 30 days. Then you’re back in your life but with a lot of support and resources to help you along the way…

 

That’s really good treatment and it works phenomenally well when the circumstances lineup to be able to do that.

 

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Understanding Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment allows an individual in recovery to attend therapy sessions and then return to their daily lives. This level of care requires a certain level of commitment and, ideally, a supportive home environment.

 

To better understand outpatient addiction therapy, it’s important to be aware of all levels of care.

Continuum of Care for Addiction Treatment

Recovering from addiction is a process. An individual struggling with addiction gets placed in the least restrictive environment based on the type and history of substance abuse. 

 

The levels of care include:

  • Detox/Intensive Inpatient: Medically managed care for those with chemical dependency and intense withdrawal symptoms. Individuals in this setting receive 24-hour medical care, medications, and extensive counseling.
  • Residential Treatment: After detox, individuals live on-site with 24-hour supervision in a residential facility. Their withdrawal symptoms are monitored, and they have a highly structured environment with scheduled therapy, activities, and medical care. 
  • Intensive Outpatient (IOP): Addiction treatment that takes place in non-residential settings like hospitals, day treatment programs, or behavioral health treatment centers during the day. Depending on an individual’s circumstances, an IOP program can be a step up or step down in their recovery process. Then, an individual goes home–or to sober living–when it’s complete. 
  • Outpatient (OP): Outpatient addiction rehab is also held in hospitals and behavioral health treatment centers. OP care is similar to IOP but not as extensive. This level of care may be for someone finishing IOP. OP is also for someone with less severe substance use disorder symptoms.
  • Sober Living: Individuals in sober living environments often do not have a stable support network at home. They choose to enter a sober living home to gradually develop the skills to support their recovery in a safe, nurturing environment.  
  • Aftercare & Alumni: Those successfully progressing through the addiction treatment continuum of care find aftercare programs an opportunity to reinforce what they’ve experienced on their recovery journey. 
  • Early Intervention: Services that focus on education and resources for those at risk for substance use disorder. 

What Happens During Outpatient Treatment?

An intake coordinator determines if outpatient treatment is the best option for an individual struggling with addiction. Then the treatment team creates a customized care plan and outpatient schedule. 

 

Outpatient treatment offers services including:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Family therapy
  • Life skills training
  • Vocational training
  • Psychiatric care
  • Case management
  • Restorative justice
  • Drug testing and monitoring
  • Anger management and other social skills classes.
  • Reviewing and revising the treatment plan based on progress

 

As you can see, this is a very carefully-planned process that involves the coordination of many skilled addiction treatment professionals. To succeed in the program, an individual must follow the prescribed schedule outlined.

 

Outpatient programs also offer new opportunities to enjoy recovery by exposing an individual to sober leisure activities, holistic health experiences like yoga and meditation, and team-building challenges.

Outpatient (OP) vs. Intensive Outpatient (IOP)

The main difference between outpatient and intensive outpatient addiction treatment is the amount of time spent in the program. Outpatient treatment is less than 9 hours per week for adults. An individual in the intensive outpatient level may attend treatment programming for up to 6 hours daily.

 

Intensive outpatient rehab requires an individual to spend more time in structured therapy, groups, and activities. Successful intensive outpatient programs require near full-time treatment using a variety of evidence-based approaches. 

 

IOP signifies a critical transition period. Those successfully completing residential care graduate to an IOP program. Conversely, those struggling in regular outpatient care may find a more structured IOP environment helpful for their recovery.

Some individuals in intensive outpatient programs also choose to spend their free time in sober living homes for extra recovery support.  

Benefits of Outpatient Addiction Treatment

When deemed an appropriate care level, outpatient addiction drug rehab can be a valuable experience for those struggling with substance abuse. The benefits of outpatient addiction treatment can include:

 

Flexibility to Tend to Personal & Family Obligations

In IOP or OP programs, you can go home once the day’s treatment is complete. This flexibility allows you to be with your family, work, and take care of errands and other obligations. 

 

More Privacy

Entering residential treatment could mean people like coworkers, colleagues, and acquaintances discovering you are in drug rehab. It may not be something you want to share with those you casually encounter.   

 

Since outpatient programs have more flexibility in scheduling and don’t require you to stay at a facility for 24 hours, you can continue more of your everyday activities while receiving treatment.

 

Learn Skills & Practice Them In Real Life Settings

Outpatient treatment allows you to practice the skills you learn during groups, therapy, and education sessions in real life. After your treatment is over for the day, you get to practice communication, anger management, social, and sober living skills with friends and family.

 

Build on Skills Developed in Higher Levels of Care

If you’ve completed residential treatment, outpatient programs are an extension of what you already learned. You get the opportunity to continue your personal development and focus on being in recovery.

 

Get Extra Support From Loved Ones

Being away from a loving, supportive family could be very difficult. Individuals in residential treatment struggle with this often. Outpatient care allows you to be with and supported by your family while still attending treatment.

Finding Outpatient Addiction Treatment in Santa Monica

In all honesty, the Santa Monica area has a lot of outpatient programs available. Finding the one to suit you or a loved one’s needs may seem overwhelming. 

 

Finding an outpatient treatment that will make a difference requires you to feel comfortable, supported, and motivated during therapy. You have to resonate with the program and believe it will help you make the desired changes. 

 

Addiction treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a good idea to find outpatient treatment with various opportunities and services. The more services you have available, the more likely you’ll find what resonates and encourages you to stay with treatment. 

 

Recover Integrity is a men’s only luxury intensive outpatient program in Santa Monica. In addition to the services mentioned previously in this article, we also provide cognitive testing for more effective assessments and treatment planning. Also, our exclusive person-centered V.E.G.A. program is designed to help individuals stay motivated through unique assessment, action, and achievement phases. 

 

Recover Integrity is a boutique, luxury men’s intensive outpatient program in West Los Angeles. You could get in touch with us by calling 310.294.9030.

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Developing A Recovery Identity

What to expect:

 

 

One of the places where people really get stuck in their recovery process is in their identity.

My Struggles with a Mixed-Raced Identity

Super easy example: I’m mixed black and Jewish. I used to keep my hair really short–like a little tight fade–because I wanted to fit in with the black crowd that I was hanging with. 

 

When I first got sober. I was like, oh, I’m gonna grow my hair out. But my hair…I have these Jewish curly locks. I would start to grow my hair out, and I would feel less black, less tough. And then I would immediately cut it.

 

I was really stuck between who I thought I should be and how I thought about myself. My hair was like a metaphor for that. So, for years of my early recovery, I would try to grow my hair out. Then I would feel softer, feel different, or wouldn’t feel like me, and I would cut it again. 

 

Then I remember really setting myself free at around four or five years sober. I was like, I have to break out of this identity. I’m trapped in this hip-hop cool, tough way of being. If I really want to be free, I have to let go of that.

 

I started growing my hair longer and longer until it is just like how it is now. For me, it was really a symbol of letting go of one identity and embracing whatever I was becoming.

Letting Go of Old Identities During Recovery

Letting go and changing identities is a huge struggle in recovery. One of the ways that it’s challenged right up front is at a 12-Step meeting. 

 

You’re sitting there and people are identifying. Somebody will nudge you with their elbow as they’re identifying and say, “Are there any alcoholics in the room?” 

 

You’re supposed to kind of raise your hand–you don’t have to, but it’s culturally normative–and say, “Hi, my name is Shai. I’m an alcoholic.”

 

If you haven’t seen yourself in that way, it really kind of puts you off. You’re like, God, I don’t want to, is this me? I’m not sure, etc. 

 

There are all kinds of problems with labeling yourself. But one of the things it does do is cause you to question the identity that you’re trapped in. Part of the reason why people feel stuck in addiction–and even in early sobriety–is because they’re trapped in the idea of who they think they should be as opposed to allowing themselves to become who they are.

The Recovery Identity and Transformation

Becoming who you are has to do with letting go of ideas. It doesn’t mean you have to take on the label of alcoholic. That’s a personal choice that depends on how you relate to that idea, but it does mean that your identity has to change. 

 

Think about it. If my identity doesn’t change, how am I going to make the deep kind of transformation that I need to sustain recovery and live a fulfilling life? How can I go from being a pessimist to an optimist? How can I go from being depressed to being happy? How can I go from being anxious to being calm without letting go of how I see myself? 

 

That’s a sacred process that needs to be held. It’s not something that happens in 30 days. It’s not even something that happens in a couple months. It’s something that we work at; it’s a developmental shift that happens over the course of years.

 

I call it developing a recovery identity. It doesn’t have to be somebody else’s definition of what it means to be a person in recovery, but you do have to have some definition of what it means for you to be in recovery. You have to identify that with who you are. 

 

So when I think about myself, I think about myself as a husband, hip-hop MC, leader in an organization, father, and as a person in recovery.

 

What that all means…I could talk about that forever. But I identify as a person in recovery, because that’s part of who I am…It’s part of my story. 

 

It’s part of why I’m here right now.

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Celebrating Women’s History Month

 

March is Women’s History Month

 

It’s a time to honor the women that helped change history and shape the future. Their dedication, passion, and commitment lead to contributions leaving an indelible mark on American–and world–history.

 

President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the week of March 8th, 1980 National Women’s History Week, “Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.”

 

Seven years later, Congress expanded Women’s History Week to Women’s History Month.[/vc_column_text]

Changing the Landscape of Addiction Treatment

 

One woman’s brave openness with her own struggles paved the way to help countless others struggling with addiction.

 

Betty Ford became the first lady of the United States when her husband, Gerald, assumed the office following President Nixon’s resignation. She was well known for her openness about important–and sometimes controversial–subjects.

 

Betty understood the impact her position could make on influencing policy and creating change. She bravely spoke her mind about topics like equal rights for women, abortion, and divorce. Her efforts resulted in Time magazine awarding her Woman of the Year in 1975.

 

Betty also shared her struggles with addiction after being released from treatment in 1978. The experience had a profound effect on her. She also realized, at the time, there wasn’t an established recovery facility to meet the unique needs of women’s addiction.

 

In 1982, she helped establish the Betty Ford Center dedicated to helping all people–especially women–recover from chemical dependency. Throughout the years, the Betty Ford Center has become a beacon of hope for many struggling with addiction.

Recover Integrity Honors Today’s Women Impacting the Future

 

Recover Integrity is an intensive outpatient program that also offers sober living accommodations for men struggling with addiction. We are grateful for the huge impact these women on our team have made to our client’s and our community. Their commitment, care, and expertise play an invaluable role in supporting the recovery journeys of our clients and their families.

 

This month we want to celebrate the women of Recover Integrity! It’s not easy work. Their compassion and willingness to see others through to better days is an integral part of the success of our program.

 

 

With great pride, we want to give a shout out to:

 

 

Over the course of this month, we will honor each woman individually on social media. Keep an eye out! 
And we thank all the women who create the spaces to help heal and transform the world.
We encourage you to show gratitude for the women around you who often create unseen ripples that turn into waves of positive change.   

“If you truly pour your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.”

–Emma Watson

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Seeking Help for Addiction: Where to Begin?

Are you questioning your relationship to drugs or alcohol? Do you think you might have addiction or alcoholism? Has the problem passed some kind of threshold where you believe something needs to change? 

 

How do you know if that’s happened? Well, first of all, I would say…you know it’s happened when you’re asking yourself these questions.

 

Does that mean it’s happened permanently? Does that mean it is exactly the same as your uncle? Maybe not. But you know, when you’re asking that question, the vast majority of the time…you know. 

 

And so it’s not really the right question to ask.

 

Take Action By Asking Yourself…

What do I do about this? 

 

The hardest part is to be vulnerable enough to pick up the phone and reach out to a friend or relative who’s been through something and say, “Here’s what’s going on. I need help.” 

 

That is by far the hardest part…And there’s a reason why that’s so hard.

 

Fearing the Next Step…and It’s Okay

It’s not just the vulnerability of being seen in a weak moment. It’s also that some part of you knows that this problem is going to take a lot of work. Fearing taking the first step on a journey that is going to be pretty long and really tough..but it may be the best life decision you ever made. 

 

Of course, you’re not necessarily thrilled about it. You may not even feel like you chose it yourself if family and friends intervened.  

 

…But asking for help is the first step. 

 

Finding Addiction Treatment: What You Should Know

The second piece of that is, how do I find good help? 

 

Nowadays, that’s very difficult. You go on the internet and type keywords in Google…

 

….Suddenly you have everybody and their mother marketing towards you. They can solve your problems. They’ve got all the solutions. 

 

So I never recommend using the internet–not reviews, not any of this–for choosing the beginning of your recovery.

The Better Way to Find Addiction Treatment

It may take a little more work, but the results can save you a lot of time, money, and disappointment. 

 

You need to look around and see who’s in your community. Start talking to people. Find somebody you trust and then maybe that person knows somebody that they trust. Eventually you can get a firm word on an addiction treatment program that is actually making a difference in people’s lives.

 

Sure, all this asking around may be uncomfortable…even embarrassing. 

 

Consider attending some AA or NA meetings. The individuals at these meetings know what you are going through–they’re not judging you–they can give you some valuable insights.  

 

Persistence pays off. You’ll connect with someone who’s been to a good treatment program. Or maybe somebody who knows a great addiction therapist, counselor, mentor, case manager, or interventionist…whatever it is you’re looking for. 

 

Now more than ever, I think it is important to seek treatment with a personal recommendation from somebody in your community. 

 

And, of course, always reach out to me and Recover Integrity.

 

Schedule a 30-min consultation with Yeshaia 

 

Schedule Free ConsultationSchedule Free Consultation

 

We are Rooted in the Foundation of the  12-Steps and Believe in Long-Term Care

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