Holistic Treatment for Addiction

Drug addiction is an extremely complex problem that does not adhere to a one size fits all approach, and many treatment centers are realizing this fact and altering their programs.  For many years, the 12-step treatment center was considered the only option when it came to drug rehab.  In more recent years, the holistic model of treatment has emerged and has changed what people look for in an effective drug treatment center.

Essentially, holistic treatment centers use a variety of different modalities such as one-on-one therapy, marriage and family therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, physical training, and a healthy diet plan.There are many benefits of a non 12-step model versus a 12-step drug rehab center, both in terms of what the center provides and what clients should expect.  12-step centers still use the outdated model that addiction is an incurable disease, and that the addiction itself is your primary problem that you will always have and just need to manage. As a result, these centers offer mostly group therapy and no therapy geared towards individual problems.

At holistic treatment centers, caring professionals realize that every person is dealing with different underlying issues and life circumstances, and that private attention and individually tailored therapy is really the key to getting sober.  Passages Malibu is a holistic, non 12-step treatment centers with years of experience in treating addiction.

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Volunteer Work in Drug Treatment

There are several things beyond just group meetings and psychotherapy that are effective at helping with addictions within drug or alcohol treatment programs.  Many treatment centers are incorporating various forms of volunteer work and community services programs into their treatment plans.  These activities allow individuals in treatment to interact with one another and get them involved in the community.

According to a new study, volunteer work and community service may also help support relapse prevention efforts.  Volunteer work and community service helps substance abusers focus on something outside of them and put their energy towards a greater good.  In a recent study, researchers found that 40 percent of alcoholics who provided emotional support to individuals with a similar addiction stayed sober for a longer period of time than those who did not.  Many experts in the addiction field now believe that helping others should be a regular component of relapse prevention programs, and that this strategy may help more recovering alcoholics and drug users learn to remain substance-free.  At Passages Malibu, we allow our clients to do volunteer work as a part of their individualized treatment program.

Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine is a controversial substance in both the medical and professional addiction communities.  Although there are numerous medical studies that show health benefits as a result of caffeine use, caffeine is also considered to be the most commonly used stimulant and psychoactive drug in the world.

According to research, approximately 90% of American adults consume caffeine on a daily basis.   Just like other addictive drugs, caffeine has been shown to affect mood, stamina, the cerebral vascular system, and gastric and colonic activity.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association classify moderate ingestion of caffeine as safe, however they agree that people can become dependent on the substance to the point of addiction and symptoms of psychological and physical withdrawal.

Caffeine withdrawal can include fatigue, headaches, decreased energy, decreased alertness, drowsiness or sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, and confusion. There is no disputing the fact that caffeine addiction is not as intense or dangerous as drug or alcohol addictions, however, experts wonder what effects we will see in the future as a result of our nation’s extreme dependence on caffeine.  Studies have also shown that individuals who are addicted to stimulants, particularly cocaine, amphetamines, and cigarettes, consume a much higher amount of caffeine than the average population.

LSD Abuse

LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that has been around for decades.  Although the precise mechanism by which LSD alters perceptions is still unclear, we do know that LSD abuse can have detrimental affects on the brain.

Several lab studies suggests that LSD acts on certain groups of Serotonin receptors and that its effects are most prominent in two regions of the brain.  It first affects the cerebral cortex, which is an area involved in mood, cognition, and perception, and then it affects the locus ceruleus, which receives sensory signals from all areas of the body and can been described as the brain’s detector for important external stimuli. LSD effects or an LSD “trip” typically begins within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion and may last as long as 12 hours.  When LSD is ingested, it can result in hallucinogenic experiences with both pleasant and unpleasant aspects.

LSD is extremely unpredictable; the results may vary with the amount ingested and the user’s personality, mood, expectations, and surroundings.  A bad LSD experience may include terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety and despair that include fears of insanity, death, or losing control. A dangerous thing about LSD is that users quickly develop a high tolerance for the drug, and have to keep taking more and more to get the same desired effects.  Long term LSD abuse can cause permanent and irreversible brain damage or psychosis.

Oxycontin Users Turning to Heroin

Oxycontin and heroin are two drugs that have many similar qualities, although it may not seem like it at first.  Drugs and opiates, both are extremely addictive, and both can cause death. Many people still do not attach the same stigma to Oxycontin addiction as they do to heroin addiction heroin; many people see Oxy as less dangerous because although it is a very powerful painkiller a doctor can prescribe.  However, many people do not realize that Oxycontin abuse can lead directly to heroin addiction, and that there has been a startling spike in heroin use across the country.

Often times, individuals who had been using and addicted to Oxycontin switch to heroin several reasons.  Heroin is more accessible and does not require a prescription, and heroin is much less expensive. Although heroin use in on the rise all over the country, most law enforcement statistics state that most heroin is still purchased in big city environments, but that it is definitely spilling into the suburbs. When the addict cannot access heroin or Oxycontin, they will experience numerous withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, hyperventilation, chills, body aches and extreme restlessness.  If you or someone you know has a problem with either of these drugs, Passages can help.

Passages Malibu and Pot

Cannabis (or more commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot) is a very popular and prevalent drug in the United States.  It is even legal for medicinal purposes in some states; however, marijuana is highly abused.  When an individual smokes or ingests marijuana, the individual will experience distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory.

Several research studies have shown that chronic marijuana users have difficulty learning and decreased memory function, which can last for days or weeks after the actual physical “high” or effects of the drug wear off.  Therefore, chronic marijuana abuser are functioning at a suboptimal intellectual and physical level of capability all of the time.  Many studies also show a direct correlation between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and various mental illnesses.

There are numerous misconceptions about cannabis addiction and treatment and about the actual addictive qualities of marijuana.  Many pro-marijuana users ridicule the idea that marijuana is addictive.  At Passages, we see people addicted to marijuana every day.  Marijuana is a gateway drug, meaning that individuals who abuse it typically drink alcohol more and abuse other drugs, drastically increasing their chances for becoming addicted to numerous substances.  Cannabis has definite withdrawal symptoms when an abuser stops using, which include vivid dreams (caused by the chemical THC), anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, paranoia, tension and insomnia.

At Passages Malibu, we treat marijuana addiction and provide a medically supervised detox.

Depression Treatment and Addiction

Addiction and depression are conditions that frequently go hand in hand. A study conducted by the National Institute on Health reported nearly one-third of individuals with depression had a co-existing substance use disorder at some point in their lives, and also found that men with alcohol dependence had rates of depression three times higher than the general population; alcohol dependent women had four times the rates of depression.

Individuals with addiction and depression also very frequently have other duel diagnoses issues, including bipolar, OCD, anxiety, personality or other behavioral and cognitive disorders.  Depression and addiction, particularly addiction to alcohol and other depressants, are a dangerous combination due to the fact that they actually aggravate and worsen the symptoms of the other.

Many people begin abusing alcohol and illegal drugs as a way to numb themselves, escape their pain and to deal with the symptoms of depression, this substance abuse in fact worsens their pain over time. Although alcohol or drugs may seem to provide a brief, instantaneous relief from feelings of sadness, guilt or worthlessness, in actuality when the substances wear off the individual will be worse off and more depressed than before.  Seeking treatment to address both issues of addiction and depression is the most effective way to make recovery possible.  If you need professional treatment for addiction and depression, contact Passages Malibu.