Tag Archive: addiction treatment program

  1. Going Beyond the Surface

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    mother asking questions to explore deeper

    The great challenge for any treatment professional is to find out why their client acts and feels the way they do. If an individual struggles with substance abuse, they may feel like their family members, friends, and even previous treatment providers wrote them off as ‘just’ an addict. Too often, the assumption is that the problem has been identified, and treating it alone will lead to recovery and no recurrence of addiction.

    It’s imperative to go beyond the surface and dig deep into what the real issues are. The parents of an adolescent struggling with addiction are better prepared to help their loved one when they reframe the situation and understand that a child typically abuses alcohol or drugs as an attempt to deal with their problems, rather than the addiction being the actual problem. When the people treating the adolescent help the client explore the depths of their issues, there is a much-improved chance for long-term success.

    Mental Illness Often Accompanies Addiction

    More than 60% of adolescents in community-based substance use disorder treatment programs also meet diagnostic criteria for another mental illness. Drug use often begins during adolescence, which is also a typical time for mental illnesses to start showing signs. Studies show that youth who abuse drugs are at a greater risk for the development of mental illness. As well, minors with mental health conditions may go on to develop an addiction. 

    Therapy that involves making a connection between addiction and mental illness can help a young person realize that their problem isn’t so black-and-white. They did not choose to experiment with substances and become addicted to them out of immaturity or thoughtlessness. Removing the guilt factor this way allows the person to begin to make progress towards treating their underlying issues to reduce the need for drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.

    Multiple Options Allow Clients to Go Deep

    When assessing an adolescent for treatment, it’s important to draw from several options when putting together a success plan. In the past, the stereotype of a patient lying on a couch and engaging solely in talk therapy was often seen as the best, and only, option. Today there are several approaches to take when treating an adolescent dealing with mental health and addiction diagnoses. Individual therapy remains essential for each person, but ideally, other avenues are incorporated, too. The more appropriate options explored, the more likely it is to go beyond the surface in treatment.

    EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) provides a patient with a newfound ability to process traumatic events and lower their anxiety levels. Addressing physical health is an approach with many options. Exercise, including gentler forms of it such as yoga, can help when they are incorporated regularly. Picking a particular sport or pastime, such as mixed martial arts, gives new focus and the potential for experiencing pride as the young person begins to master this new activity. 

    Power in Numbers

    Group therapy can provide an eye-opening experience for young people. They may have spent a great deal of time believing they were alone in their problems and are relieved to see others their age have had similar emotions and experiences. Peer support often offers an effective way to help a young person open up and feel less isolated. Twelve-Step based groups are a much-used source for adults and youth alike to address their struggles with addiction. Like group therapy, they assist in removing the feeling of isolation or not knowing anyone who understands the person’s struggles. Research suggests that adolescent’s strategies based on a 12-Step program may contribute to the individual attending outpatient treatment. 

    Including the Family in Treatment

    When a young person dealing with co-occurring disorders sees that their family is involved in educating themselves and learning to help them succeed, it can provide a much-needed boost in confidence. When one family member is wrapped up in their issues, the entire family is fractured, making it essential for them to move individually and as a unit to help become whole again. It allows each family member to consider what they might have contributed to the problem, and how they can help change the family dynamic to something healthier. The family can participate in therapy while the child is in a residential program and continue on an outpatient basis.


    Many mental health conditions respond favorably to prescription medications. A full assessment of the client by a physician or psychiatrist is vital to decide which route to take. Many people are nervous about taking a new medication, making it important to reassure them that they will be monitored for any side effects or a need to discontinue the medication. There is commonly a fear of being on a drug for the rest of their lives. While this may be true for some, many people who begin taking prescription meds will only use them temporarily, which should be pointed out to the individual.

    When your child is suffering from addiction and mental illness, you want to help them immediately. The problems did not develop overnight, which means the treatment will take time. Sustain Recovery understands that going beyond the surface is important when it comes to designing a treatment plan for your child. Our long-term programs for adolescents dive deep into how we can help them understand the issues and commit to treatment, both while attending our programs and after they return home. We offer comprehensive treatment, including individual therapy, 12-Step programs, holistic modalities, and residential schooling. Our California facilities are the perfect place to let your child start over. We are eager to talk to you about how we can help your child turn their life around and how your family can become whole again.

    Call us now! (949) 407-9052.


  2. 10 Tips for Beating Addiction

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    10 Tips for Beating AddictionWhether you have committed to beating drug addiction or alcoholism, or if you are only toying with the idea, chances are you will receive an untold volume of unsolicited advice on how to accomplish that task. Much of that advice will be good, some will be questionable, and a few tips might be dangerous. In all likelihood, you will benefit from third-party assistance, but even without that assistance, you can do a few things that will make your journey easier.


    A sampling of ten of those things is listed here;

    1. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to alleviate the stresses of jobs or everyday life. Look for ways to handle those stresses that do not involve abusive substances. Try getting some exercise or fresh air, count to ten or take a few deep breaths. The key here is to recognize when stress is affecting you and to do something other than take drugs or alcohol to numb the effects of that stress.

    2. Drug and alcohol use follow patterns that involve triggers in your life. When you encounter a trigger, distract yourself. This could be as simple as changing your immediate surroundings or doing a crossword puzzle. Try taking up a new hobby and working on that hobby when the urge to use drugs or alcohol arises. Anything that gets your mind off of addictive substances can work.

    3. Make recovery and sobriety your number one goal. If you focus on your success, you will more likely achieve what you set out to accomplish.

    4. Keep a daily diary or journal, and refer back to it regularly. You will see patterns that you did not expect and find things that you never anticipated would work for you. Use those successes whenever temptation strikes.

    5. Talk to someone you trust about your journey. Ideally, this will be a professional addiction counselor, but if you are unable to connect with a counselor, try a trusted friend who is on board with your goal and who can give you the support and encouragement you need to achieve that goal. If you cannot or do not want to involve a friend in your struggle, join a recovery support group.

    6. Watch your diet. You can improve your physical health with a good diet. When you feel better, you will be more likely to stick to your recovery plan.

    7. Set daily goals for yourself. A basic tenet of addiction recovery is making it to midnight. If you aim to make it through a single day without using drugs or alcohol and you meet that aim, you will increase your self-esteem and find encouragement in your ability to meet even this small goal. As each day of sobriety adds up, each successive day of sobriety will be easier and easier to achieve.

    8. Volunteer your time. Addiction recovery involves more than just staying away from drugs and alcohol. Former addicts who are most at peace with their recoveries are those who have focused their energies away from themselves to help others. Addiction is ultimately a disease of self-centeredness. When you start helping others, you focus less on your own problems and have less of a need to self-medicate to handle those problems.

    9. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. This is more than just a cliche. Examine your life and write down at least three things every day that you are thankful for. You will develop a list that will eventually remind you of all the good in your life, and that list will help you to stay away from artificial substances that you once felt you needed to find some good.

    10. Do not give up. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics experience a relapse or two. If you do fall off the wagon at any time, pick yourself up and start over. Do not beat yourself up over a relapse.


    Beating addiction or alcoholism can be an arduous task, but many people are ready and willing to help you complete that task.

    If you are looking to connect with some of those people, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. Our counselors can provide many more tips and suggestions to help you beat your addiction problem.


Sustain Recovery changed my life in a way I never considered remotely possible. I arrived in a place where I knew nobody. Sustain Recovery gave me tools so that I never had to be alone again. I learned how to live like an adult and have genuine relationships with other human beings. I gained a sense of self respect, love, and pride from the challenges I was given by staff. I was able to work through the recent loss of my father and I achieved my goal of not taking any psychiatric medication.
I learned that life is an endless balancing act. I have to continually work on myself and my relationships with the people in my life. The staff at Sustain Recovery are all incredibly experienced and spiritual. They were available to me whether I wanted their help or not. Through their efforts and experience, I experienced the inner workings of having an intimate, loving relationship with a loving creator.
Sustain Recovery is “home” for me. I discovered a loving, caring family that helped launch me to a place I would have never dreamed and, if I would have dreamed it, I would never have believed I would be able to accomplish it.

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