Why Addiction Treatment in Southern California is a Good Option
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, you should look at addiction treatment in Southern California for many reasons. For starters, many of the best treatment professionals and facilities call Southern California their home. Of further consideration is the number of opportunities for those who succesfully complete their treatment and choose get a job or continue schooling here. Still another benefit the support offered to those suffering from addiction is virtually unsurpassed anywhere else in the USA. Worthy of mention is California’s great weather and sunshine is known to influence a positive outlook.
Follow a Treatment Plan
Of course, substance abuse treatment starts with rehab/detox. Getting one’s body free from substances is just the first, arduous step. After 60-90 days or Rehab, you should contact us to move into a transitional program such as IOP or PHP. These programs can last up to 9 months, depending on how long the person was wrapped up in addiction and what other co-occurring disorders they might have. Remember first: a person who has been consumed by addiction for many years cannot be expected to to succeed in recovery after just a few short weeks. Rehab is not a cure for addiction – it is only the beginning. Programs like IOP and PHP often include sober living housing as part of the treatment. During a patient’s stay, treatment plans are monitored an executed faithfully. Strict rules and inflexible monitorg ensures compliance. But perhaps the best part of this phase of recovery is that a bond starts to form among our TDRC residents. Together, we engage in physical activities including baseball, indoor rock climbing, paintball, bicylciing, and charity work.
Triggers for Substance Use and Relapse
If you know anything about the 12-step program, you know that triggers for relapse are dangerous. The phrase “people, places, and things” refers to triggers. Triggers are the problematic cues that lead to a craving, which is a strong—often overwhelming—desire to obtain and use your substance of abuse. People, and even animals, learn to respond to triggers through a process called conditioning. In the famous experiment, a scientist named Pavlov rang a bell each time he fed a dog. The dog learned to associate food with the bell, so whenever the bell rang, the dog came to expect food, as indicated by an increase in salivation whenever it heard the sound.2 People, place, and thing triggers develop in the same way. The “high” of drugs and alcohol (like the dog’s food) produce a strong rewarding sensation, and since the brain is programmed to seek out and repeat rewarding activities, it remembers every detail (such as the bell) about the experience. These details include:
- Who you are with.
- What you are doing.
- Where you are.
- What time it is.
- How you were feeling before and are feeling during use.
With the association established, the people, places, and things are strongly connected to drug use, and your brain begins to expect the drug when a trigger is present.
Your people triggers can include a surprisingly wide range of people from your past and present like:
- Your parents.
- Other family members, both living and deceased.
- Current or former romantic partners.
- People with whom you used.
- People from whom you bought drugs.
People triggers don’t include only those who were present when you used; they are also the important people in your life who are capable of creating strong emotional responses.
Many of the places that trigger you will make perfect sense. If you drank heavily at a certain bar for many years, you will likely be triggered by that bar. However, others may surprise you, and there is no way to accurately predict all triggers. Depending on your habits and type of substance(s) used, place triggers can include:
- Alleys or abandoned buildings.
- Fields and wooded areas.
- Bars or clubs.
- Your childhood home.
- Doctor’s offices.
- Parking lots.
- A friend’s house.
- Concert venues or sports stadiums.
As the largest category, thing triggers include everything else that creates cravings. Things can be drug paraphernalia, a movie, an album, a certain day of the week, or a food, for example. Thing triggers also include all:
- Patterns like:
- Going to a party.
- Studying for a test.
- Getting paid.
- Feelings like:
- High stress.
- Happiness and excitement.
Another experience that has the potential to produce severe cravings is withdrawal. Rather than a psychological trigger, the experience of withdrawal is a physiological trigger. When you have been regularly using a substance, your system comes to depend on it.1 If the drug is no longer available, you will often experience a set of symptoms that may be (at best) uncomfortable or (at worst) life-threatening and will strongly crave the substance (without the need for an external cue) as a means of putting an immediate stop to these symptoms. Withdrawal triggers can be intense, but they are time-limited and more predictable than some other triggers. Withdrawal triggers can last just a few hours following last use while others can persist much longer. Professional detox programs are set up to allay the suffering of this experience, help you to avoid relapse, and prepare you to further work on your recovery (ideally through continued treatment).
In Short, Change Your Surroundings
Our patients share a powerful bond because they’re able to get out and challenge themseleves and witness what it’s like to have a supportive group surrounding them. Having 320 days of sunshine a year helps make this possible. No matter what your choose, addiction treatment in Southern California is just an option. The most important thing is to get treatment at a place far, far away from the people, places and things that helped fuel the addiction.