Tag Archives: Recovery

Treatment Works: One Couple Beats Crystal Meth Addiction

Facing a loved one’s addiction is always difficult, but when that person is part of an addicted couple, new problems emerge. It’s a lesson that Jason and Donna learned the hard way.

For 10 years they shared everything. They had a home, cars, jobs and children. They also shared a meth addiction.

Though it wasn’t immediately intrusive, they soon began to cook their own supply. After they began to cook the drug in their own home, they were arrested and then charged with possession with intent to manufacture, causing them to lost everything: their home, their cars, their jobs, and custody of their children.

Families often have to cope with the addict’s losses during the addiction phase. Knowing that the couple no longer has a job or a home to come back to can make the process of recovery more stressful. Families have to support and care for their addicted loved one during the recovery process, perhaps offering them a transitional home or caring for children as needed. These are all tough issues to face as a loved one seeks recovery, but they are surmountable and ignoring them won’t make them go away.

Key Steps to Overcome Addiction

Woman confronted by husbandEventually, they regained custody of their two children. Unfortunately, they also relapsed and began using again. They were arrested a second time before they agreed that meth was ruining their lives. It took a second round of treatment to help them get the issue under control.

Crystal meth especially is a tricky drug when it comes to recovery. Many find that they can stop using for weeks or months at a time, only to succumb to overwhelming cravings when they least expect it.

Going it alone is rarely a long-term fix, and those who are dependent upon the drug are encouraged to understand the long cycle of cravings that characterizes the addiction and prepare themselves to seek treatment services as needed to avoid the devastation of a return to active addiction.


Starting Over

Today, Jason and Donna are drug-free. Donna holds a fulltime job, and Jason is disabled due to an injury. Together they are the president and vice-president of the alumni drug court group that helped them make their way into recovery, and they are active in church projects. Staying drug-free and staying together as a family with their children brightened both of their futures.

We can help your loved one get the help he or she needs to fight drug dependency and rejoin the family. Call 760-548-4032 now to find out more about the options available to you in drug rehab today.

Rehab for Women

What, if any, are the differences between male and female substance abusers? The answer requires a review of research to determine which treatment services have been shown to be most effective for women. Although each woman in recovery is unique, women have unique shared experiences and needs, which can directly influence the type of services they require to succeed in the drug recovery process.

In general, a woman is less likely to form an addiction to any given drug of abuse compared to a man. However, as the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) discusses, females abuse drugs for different reasons compared to males. A three-year study of females aged eight to 22 years of age found that depression, low self-esteem and peer pressure make females more vulnerable to drug abuse than males.

Although fewer females than males may initiate into drug abuse, those who do use drugs become dependent on drugs at a faster rate than males.

The rate of female substance abusers is on the rise, which in turn means that women increasingly require substance abuse treatment. Gender-based substance treatment strategies are continually in development to ensure that recovering women are given every opportunity to succeed in recovery.

According to the ONDCP, rehab programs for women must address the specific risks and consequences that women face when abusing drugs. Traditional drug treatment methodologies have largely developed around the needs of men, as males predominantly accessed treatment services in the past.

Same-Sex vs. Mixed-Sex Treatment

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), limited research on the benefits of same-sex versus mixed-sex treatment centers for women reveals that one is not more effective than the other. A factor more determinative of recovery success for women is the type of services that are offered to address women’s unique needs. However, this point aside, some women will only engage in drug rehab in a same-sex environment. In this way, same-sex rehab may improve access to drug treatment, and that is a significant contribution.

In rehab, women present with different life experiences than men and may therefore benefit from gender-targeted services. In other words, it does not appear that being separated from men is as helpful as women finding the support they need. According to NIAAA, women often have more acute problems than men upon entry to rehab.

Women are more likely to:

  • Be of a younger age
  • Feel greater hostility toward treatment
  • Have a lower income level
  • Report more mental health and physical problems
  • Have less educational attainment
  • Report stress and mental suffering as reasons for alcohol abuse
    • Have experienced sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse
    • Express shame, guilt and embarrassment about the need for drug rehab
    • Have more acute depressive symptoms when depressed
    • Have childcare/family-related concerns

Research findings about the needs women can easily be translated into advice for women who are seeking rehab. The key will be to identify rehab programs that offer a suite of services the woman needs. Today, many mixed-sex rehab programs have gender-sensitive services, such as matching clients and counselors based on sex, same-sex group meetings, mixed-sex group meetings led by both a female and male counselor, and gender-specific treatment content. When selecting a rehab, whether a same-sex or mixed-sex rehab, a female client or loved one may inquire about the types of gender-sensitive programs available.

Family-Based Treatment

One of the most obvious ways in which the needs of women may differ from men in rehab relates to childcare issues. Many traditional drug treatment programs, whether outpatient or inpatient, are not designed for drug-dependent women with child care needs.

Women who need treatment may decline to enter rehab because they do not have an alternate caregiver, or they are afraid that if they involve child protective care services they will lose custody of their children and/or involve the criminal justice system.

According to ONDCP, a shift must occur both in rehab service offerings and welfare system protocols. In order to increase a mother’s access to drug rehab services, ONDCP recommends that child protective services and the criminal justice system make assurances to women that seeking treatment will not necessarily result in a loss of custody or criminal repercussions. To avoid women feeling torn between seeking rehab services and losing custody or facing legal problems, more family-based treatment programs are required.

As discussed in an Addiction Science and Clinical Practice article, there are residential treatment programs that can accommodate recovering women with children. The availability of such programs may be limited, but they are built on a commitment not to separate mothers from their children. To provide insight into how family-based programs can work, the article focuses on the treatment model used at one of the earliest inpatient centers for recovering women and their children.

The family-based model program offers the following services:

  • Integrated services to address parent, child and other family member needs
  • Therapy for each family member
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Family therapy as a group
  • Job training and permanent housing assistance
  • Parenting education
  • Visitation for the parent not in rehab
  • Childcare
  • Primary medical care for each member
  • Educational support for children


The family-based program is built on the premise that substance abuse offers women a negative way to cope with unhealthy family relationships which in turn increases the family’s dysfunction. To reverse this dynamic, multifaceted treatment services aim to help the mother to become drug-free, assist each family member to build self-esteem, and encourage positive relationships between each family member. Unlike traditional drug treatment programs, this model dedicates considerable resources to supporting the children’s psychological recovery and helping them to build healthy life skills.

If a family-based residential program would help you or a loved one to access treatment, the next step is to locate a program. The centers that offer such services can help you to coordinate admission for you and your family.

Paying for services should not be a bar to rehab admission. When a family-based program is located, you can speak with an admissions coordinator about the forms of insurance that are accepted. If you do not have insurance and have a low-income level, you may be eligible for your state’s Medicaid program. As some family-based residential treatment programs are federally funded, there may not be any costs associated with treatment.

To date, research has continuously revealed that there is a greater number of people in need of drug rehab than the number who seek rehab treatment.

Rehab for Pregnant Women

Pregnant substance abusers are no exception, and the need for treatment in this demographic is acute.According to recent research sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in the 15 to 44 year old age group of pregnant women, 11.6 percent used alcohol, six percent used prescription medications (e.g., sedatives, stimulants and pain relievers), and 4.3 percent used illicit street drugs. Despite these abuse numbers, the number of pregnant women who receive drug rehab treatment is alarmingly low.

Per the 2013 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), from 2000 to 2010, only 4.4 to 4.8 percent of pregnant women in the 15 to 44 year old age group were admitted to drug rehab.

Baby in the NICUDrug abuse presents numerous risks to the baby, including premature delivery, a lower than average birth weight, neurological complications, congenital problems, an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), developmental delays, a greater likelihood of suffering parental abuse or neglect, and a stronger propensity to abuse drugs in their lifetime.

But research shows that receiving drug treatment while pregnant can significantly improve birth outcomes and the child’s growth and development overall. For the health of the mother and the child, rehab is always advisable.

At present, there does not appear to be an adequate number of rehab programs available to treat pregnant women. This may owe to the fact that only a small percentage of pregnant women have sought treatment, and there may be insufficient public efforts to get these women into treatment. For example, North Carolina only has 21 rehab programs that accommodate pregnant substance abusers. The availability of treatment for pregnant women depends largely on the community. Women often learn about drug treatment centers through word of mouth. But even when a suitable rehab is located, there may be a wait.

Research-Based Service Options

However, in any state, there will be some form of rehab service available to pregnant woman. For instance, treatment may begin in the detoxification unit of a local hospital. After detox, pregnant women may enter either an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, depending on the severity of the addiction. Even if a pregnancy-specific program is not available locally, or the waiting list is prohibitively long, a pregnant substance abuser may engage in non-specialized rehab services.

As long as the proper prenatal care is provided by a physician working in conjunction with the rehab center, the attending team of rehab professionals should be able to make any necessary adjustments to treatment protocols in order to help the mother-to-be. Paying for treatment is not likely to be a barrier to access because there is governmental funding in this area, and Medicaid and other public insurance may be available for low-income individuals.

Research suggests that pregnant substance abusers tend to have acute problems, such as mental health disorders, a history of trauma, poverty, a lack of adequate or stable housing, a history of domestic violence/relationship abuse, and legal problems.

A rehab program dedicated to the treatment of pregnant women will likely have experience addressing these issues. However, if such a service is not available then in addition to traditional rehab treatment, the pregnant substance abuser is best advised to work with a social worker or counselor to coordinate support services in areas of need, such as housing. If ancillary services are not provided, the stress the recovering woman faces may trigger a relapse either before or after the birth of the child.

Find Real Help Today

We can help to connect you or a loved to a number of women-only rehab centers or mixed-sex rehabs that offer gender-sensitive services. Our goal is not only to help you find a rehab but to also ensure you feel comfortable and informed about the process when you enter one. Call 760-548-4032 now.

Prop 36 and Outpatient Rehab

Proposition 36, commonly known as “Prop 36,” was passed by California voters in 2000 and signed into law. Prop 36 provides alternative sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders and amends a previous “Three Strikes” rule set in place that would mandate a life sentence to drug offenders convicted of three serious crimes. Prop 36 is formally known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000.1

This legislation created an influx of clients into drug treatment facilities and, since its inception, has saved the state of California millions of dollars and offered the hope of a new life for nonviolent drug offenders.

How Prop 36 Works

Proposition 36 offers a person entering the criminal justice system the option to enroll in drug treatment counseling as a substitution to jail time. The three-level system increases in intensity and length of time based on the client’s assessed addiction and continued progress.

A court approved rehab program must include at least of one the following components:
  • Drug education
  • Outpatient services
  • Residential treatment
  • Detox services or narcotic replacement therapy
  • Aftercare services.

Of the treatment options, outpatient treatment, narcotics replacement therapy (NRT), habitation daycare and residential treatment are the most widely used. Initial treatment is followed by a mandatory six-month aftercare program as part of an ongoing treatment plan.

Drug treatment programs for Prop 36 are similar to regular outpatient treatment programs and include some of the following:
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Mental illness and addiction education
  • Drug testing to monitor and adjust each person’s treatment plan

Supplemental services like vocational training and literacy courses are sometimes offered as well to aid a person in job placement and life skills. Prop 36 programs do not include those offered in prison facilities.2

Effectiveness of Prop 36

Aside from the obvious drop in prison admissions, the long-lasting effects of drug treatment appear evident mainly among the offenders’ progress and maintained sobriety. The California Society of Addiction Medicine offers the following statistics as evidence of the success of Prop 36:
  • Nearly three out of four clients entering Prop. 36 treatment make substantial progress and reach positive outcomes.
  • More than 34 percent of those entering Prop 35 treatment complete their program.
  • Another 8 percent are discharged with a rating of ‘satisfactory progress.’
  • Nearly 30 percent receive what UCLA researchers call a ‘standard dose’ of treatment, meaning they spend the same amount of time in treatment as people who complete treatment. This number is virtually the same for rate for all other criminal-justice referrals.3

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs the United States over $600 billion each year. Addiction treatment can substantially reduce this amount since treatment is significantly cheaper than incarceration. For example, the cost for a full year of methadone maintenance programs is approximately $4,700 per person compared to the $24,000 it costs for one year of imprisonment.4

What If I Need Drug Treatment?

If you or a loved one has drug addiction and a criminal history, it’s not too late to seek help to avoid jail time. Research has shown that receiving the proper care through a drug treatment program can reduce the risk of relapse and future criminal activities. Michael’s House has a team of educated professionals specialized in helping you seek alternative treatment.

Call us today at 760-548-4032 to learn more about your options and how Prop 36 can help you stay out of jail and live a life free from the control of drugs.

By Patti Richards

1“Proposition 36.” Legislative Analyst’s Office- The California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor, Nov. 2018.
2“California Proposition 36: How It Works.” SHouse California Law Group. Accessed Nov. 29, 2018.
3“Proposition 36 Revisited.” Study Finds Prometa Treatment Ineffective | National Institutes of Health.  Accessed Nov. 29, 2018.
4“Is Drug Addiction Treatment Worth Its Cost?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, Jan. 2018.

7 Things That Could Derail Your Sobriety

You have gotten past a lot of hurdles to get sober. It’s been a tough road, but it’s been worth it. The following seven things could derail your sobriety and set you back at square one. Find out what they are and learn how to keep your sobriety in check.

  • 1. Being Around Friends Who Are Using

    You may think you can keep your old drug friends around because they promise not to use in front of you. But think about it. Can you really trust that they always do what’s in your best interest? People with drug addictions often say things they cannot back up with actions. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be helpful to you. They have lost control, and so will you if you stay around them.

  • 2. Losing Touch With Your Addiction Support Network

    Your support network could include your friends and acquaintances from AA, people you got to know in drug rehab, or maybe even your sponsor. It’s great to be in touch with close friends and family who really care. But you can’t lose track of people who know the real dangers of addiction. They can help catch red flags of relapse that others might miss.

  • 3. Deciding You Can Achieve Recovery Without Support

    Isolation is a close friend of addiction. It keeps you away from fresh ideas and perspectives. Human beings can easily over-interpret bad things or fail to appreciate the small blessings in life. Having other caring people around you keeps you reaching out instead of just looking inward.

  • 4. Quitting Drug Rehab Early

    There are certainly some people out there who have skipped out on part of their drug treatment, maybe more than once. If they found their way back to sobriety, it’s probably because they stuck with a treatment program and opened themselves up to the process. Give drug rehab a full chance and give yourself a full chance at sobriety.

  • 5. Avoiding Necessary Life Changes

    Let’s imagine that when you came out of drug treatment, you really avoided dealing with your money issues. If this was a big stressor during your active addiction days, it could still trigger relapse in the future.

    Whether it’s finances, legal problems, unemployment, or something else, your sobriety will go more smoothly if you face these issues head-on. Find someone to help you with these problems, make some changes, and the stress won’t be such a threat to your sobriety anymore.

  • 6. Letting Healthy Habits Slip

    In drug rehab, you learned or relearned many healthy habits. Eating right, getting good sleep, starting an exercise plan, and relaxation – these are all necessary parts of a healthy sober lifestyle. But it’s easy to let these habits slip away if you aren’t paying close attention. Join other people who exercise regularly, cook with friends, or set reminders so you can keep these important habits going.

  • 7. Losing Focus on Staying Sober

    Mental drift happens to everyone. You get complacent, you justify loosening your standards, and you hardly notice what’s happening. Pretty soon your sobriety is just one of those things rolling around in your mind. Keep in touch with your sober network and you’ll keep sobriety at the top of your list.

Keep This List as a Reminder

This article can be a great reminder list as you establish a healthy lifestyle. When you stay aware of things that threaten your sobriety, you can keep relapse at a distance.

If you feel that your recovery may be in danger, we can help. Our experienced recovery professionals are available, day and night, to take your calls. Recovery is within reach. Call us today at 760-548-4032.

Start the Journey Today!


Addiction Relapse: Getting Back On Track

Your drug rehab counselor says relapse can happen to anyone going through recovery. Your recovery friends tell you that relapse is part of the process, it’s not the end of the world, and you can get through it.

That’s what they say, anyway. It sure feels like the bottom of a dark pit to you.

Your efforts with sobriety are not lost just because you’ve had a relapse. The positive changes you find in recovery are never lost.You just need to find your recovery again– it’s still yours and it’s still inside you. You may feel down and out now, but you are just one step away from getting your sobriety back on track.

Take One Step Back to Sobriety

Woman in hoodie on beachThat’s right, it just takes one step to get back on the path of sobriety. What is that step? It’s the decision that you are going to be sober for the next moment, no matter what it takes. Don’t think about next week, last month, yesterday, or tomorrow.

The next moment is all you need to focus on. Before long, the next moment turns into the moment after that, and the next five minutes, and the next hour. Whatever you need to do to stay sober for the very near future will get you through the worst of it.

Get in touch with a good sober friend and start talking. Go somewhere with a lot people where you can just walk around for a while. Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, maybe even some sunshine. Find some good music and soak it up. Do something that distracts you from the cravings, changes your mood, gets you out of isolation, or gets you away from your triggers.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Black-and-white thinking is a big part of addiction. Even when you are sober, this kind of negative, all-or-nothing outlook can make sobriety challenging. You may tend to look too far out into the future with many “what if” questions.

It will help you more to stay with your current moment of reality. When you get caught up in lots of worry about staying sober in the future, you lose sight of what you can do to be sober right here and now. The future will take care of itself. Stay where you have the power; you have power in the moment you are in at this very moment.

Rebuild Your Sobriety After Relapse

Take that one small step towards sobriety and slowly build your future again. Don’t let the emotional leftovers of your relapse take away the importance of this first step. It’s the beginning of your sobriety and it’s important. If you have trouble taking this first step, talk to a drug or alcohol rehab counselor for more help. You can call us anytime to learn more about getting and staying sober.

Blind Spots With Drug Addiction Keep You Trapped

You’re on the freeway heading toward your destination. You go to switch lanes, and you suddenly hear the blast of a car horn. Another vehicle was there in your blind spot. It feels like the other vehicle came out of nowhere.You just narrowly avoided having an accident. Drug addiction recovery has a lot in common with this example. You may think you are safe and everything is fine, but you may be putting your sobriety at risk. Please read on and see if you are ignoring any blind spots in your recovery.

You Hang Out With Old Friends Sometimes

Young men having lunchYou may think it doesn’t matter if you still see your old drinking buddy from high school on the weekends.The truth is, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. Old friends with addictions or substance abuse problems do not have your best interest at heart.

Your emotional ties will make you think you can make the relationship work. Unfortunately, you are likely to be proven wrong. Someone may say, “just one drink,” or you may start having cravings when you go to an old hangout. Before you know it, you may find yourself relapse right in the face.

You Don’t Go To Meetings Or Counseling Anymore

You may think that going to support meetings is pointless or that counseling doesn’t work anymore. Perhaps you need to take a slightly different perspective on this. You may be slipping into some typical addiction all-or-nothing thinking. This form of thinking is when seeing things as all good or all bad and allowing for no middle ground.[1]

If you aren’t in a meeting that feels like a good fit, you are less likely to stick with it. And if you felt like counseling wasn’t doing anything for you, take a look at why you stopped going. Was it really time for you to stop? Maybe your counselor was not a good fit and that lead to feelings of boredom.

Keep in mind that counseling and support groups aren’t really there to do things for you. They are opportunities for you to do things differently and learn about yourself. Getting isolated socially and mentally can take you right down the path of relapse. Contact someone you trust about this.Look into getting reconnected with the services and support you need.

You Have Quit Doing All Those Healthy Things From Rehab

In drug rehab, you learned different ways to help you stay sober. Some of these may have been foreign to you from the onset. Lifestyle changes include things like yoga, eating new foods, and getting active outdoors.

Now if you find yourself being pretty sedentary, eating plenty of junk food, and not getting good sleep, you are likely setting yourself up for trouble. Your drug addiction was at least partly based on your body’s physical sensations from taking drugs. When your body doesn’t feel that great, you may be tempted to get a zing from something you know will work – drugs and alcohol. Your physical health is closely tied to your mental health. Poor physical health brings an increased risk of depression and other mental health issues.[2] When you are depressed, you are more likely to turn to substance abuse as a way to cope.

Staying On Top Of Addiction Recovery Blind Spots

Nobody likes to admit they have blind spots. When problems trip you up, it can be tough to acknowledge that you should have known better. Pay attention to any potential blind spots so they won’t take your sobriety off track. If you are struggling, please feel free to reach out to one of our admission’s coordinators at Michael’s House. We are here to help you live a life of sobriety.

[1] http://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc6000-mc6099/mc6064-12.pdf The Disease of Addiction: Changing Addictive Thought Patterns

[2] https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-relationship-between-mental-and-physical-health/ The Relationship Between Mental and Physical Health. Collingwood, Jane.

Surviving Heroin Addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs. People who use heroin often develop a tolerance, which means that they need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects.[1] 

Heroin can take over someone’s life in short order. Each time you use heroin, overdose is a possibility. It’s like playing Russian Roulette –when the gun points at you, will it be loaded this time? Or will it be a friend that dies this time? It can be hard to see a way out of this kind of hellish maze. People can and do survive heroin addiction, but it takes courage to get help.

How Heroin Works And How It Kills

Heating heroin in spoonA heroin user likely snorts or injects the drug into the blood stream. Heroin users are commonly thought of as urban homeless criminals, but heroin use cuts across all ages and lifestyles. In 2012, approximately 669,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year. This figure is up from an estimated 373,000 in 2007.[2]

Heroin acts as a depressant to the natural body systems in charge of breathing. Because of this, a heroin habit can lead to respiratory failure that leads to overdose which may cause death. The purity of heroin is often unpredictable. This fact makes the risk of an overdose ever present. The same amount of heroin used from one day to the next can be disappointing or fatal. It is also common for heroin deaths to occur from the drug being taken with other physical depressants like alcohol.

Heroin And A Risky Lifestyle

Heroin users are likely to do just about anything to be sure they have a steady supply. Not only do they have a strong urge to use the drug over and over, but they also try to avoid deeply unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. If getting heroin means they need to take risks, then they will take whatever risks are necessary.

People may offer sexual favors for drugs or cash. Others may take money from friends and family, commit crimes, or even sell drugs to get what they need. They spend time with shady characters that will not hesitate to kill if they don’t like the drug deal. A drug addict risks being put behind bars and getting caught up in a life of crime.

Getting Sober From Heroin

Getting sober is not easy, but it is definitely worth it. Heroin addicts in recovery can have withdrawal symptoms for several days at a time. Cravings can come and go long after their last use. Sobriety is ultimately better than active addiction, but daily life can be full of tests and temptations.

It takes a good support network and commitment to a high-quality drug program to make sobriety work. But even with all this, the addict has to want and work for sobriety each and every day. They have to be the one who makes sobriety their ultimate priority. Over time, sobriety can become more familiar than addiction. Surviving heroin addiction is possible – contact us today to learn more or get started today.

[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin What Is Heroin?

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states What Is the Scope of Heroin Use in the United States?