A doctor buries his head in his hands as he deals with stress and addiction.

Do Healthcare Professionals Have a Higher Risk of Addiction?

For most healthcare professionals, managing the needs of other people is an everyday responsibility. While some focus on the physical ailments impacting the lives of their patients, others turn their attention to the internal workings of the mind. The manner in which healthcare professionals help carry the burdens of the patients they serve is far reaching and constant.

In doing so, the actual needs and problems that impact a healthcare professional personally can sometimes get neglected and overlooked, leaving that provider to ignore their own issues until they become too hard to handle.

In those cases, it is not uncommon for an individual to turn to unhealthy means of stress management, such as self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, to manage their struggles. If you’re a nurse, doctor, EMT or another healthcare professional struggling with addiction right now, understanding what you’re going through can help.

Addiction in Medical Professionals

Being a medical professional doesn’t make you immune from substance abuse. The stress that you experience can not only become overwhelming at times (especially with COVID-19), but it can also force you to cope with your daily emotions through less than healthy methods of stress management.

Recent research has indicated that nearly 40 percent of all medical professionals reported experiencing emotional, physical, and psychological burnout at times from their job, leading to increased instances of substance use and addiction within the profession.

Making the situation worse is the fact that medical professionals typically have easier access to certain prescription medications, including pain killers and antidepressants. This not only increases the potential for prescription drug abuse, but it also can put patients they’re caring for in danger due to the addictive behavioral patterns they are living with.

Addiction in Doctors

Due to the stressors and high stakes associated with the medical profession, 69 percent of doctors reported that they had abused prescription medication to relieve stress and physical or emotional pain at some point in their careers.

While access to prescription medications is readily available to most physicians, a nationwide study indicated that alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among doctors in the U.S.

Considering that the national average of alcohol abuse among the entire United States population is 6.2 percent, it is concerning that 12.9 percent of male physicians and 21.9 percent of female physicians admitted to abusing alcohol to the point of meeting the qualifications of a diagnosable substance use disorder.

Addiction in Nurses

Just like their medical counterparts, nurses have reported significantly higher rates of substance abuse and addiction. People within the profession reported increased levels of prescription pill abuse, as well as, more frequent instances of binge drinking.

These instances of self-medicating have been attributed to:

  • The stress of dealing with patients on a daily basis
  • The lack of support nurses tend to experience from the doctors within their facilities
  • The potential for case management overload

These personal stressors – combined with the physical toll that is associated with common nursing duties, like bending, lifting heavy patients, being on their feet all day, etc. – create a scenario where addiction can not only originate, but it can actually flourish.

Medical Professionals and Addiction: Break the Cycle You’re Caught Up In

Working as a healthcare professional is a commendable occupation. However, having the bravery and fortitude to admit you are struggling with a substance use problem is not only a personal achievement; it is another way you can safely and effectively care for the patients that you have committed your life to protecting.

That’s because it is imperative to take care of yourself before you can actually take care of those around you. For any healthcare professional struggling with a substance addiction, there is no way to provide for the needs of others if your personal health and overall wellbeing is compromised.

Fortunately, there are clinical treatment providers who have committed their lives to helping people overcome their substance addiction through therapeutic techniques and interventions rooted in healing the mind, body and soul.

Because, after all, doing no harm is not only a phrase used to guide the medical practices you provide, it is a mantra that reinforces the importance of maintaining self-care and achieving personal wellbeing.

Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery’s Tranquil Rehab Center

With customized treatment plans that fit your unique recovery needs and offering an alternative to the traditional 12-step program, Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic treatment services will help you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and forge a fulfilling, clean future.

Our treatment programs have a six-client max. This allows us to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support. Through every treatment program, holistic mindfulness and addiction recovery walk hand-in-hand, helping you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about our addiction treatment programs. Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

A depressed woman sits with a glass of wine in front of her.

Why Women Abuse Alcohol

The unique pressures that women within our society experience on a daily basis can sometimes seem endless and overwhelming.

From the constant barrage of beauty expectations to the varying roles woman embody – like mother, wife, partner, career woman and more – finding validation and comfort can sometimes prove rather elusive. That’s why it’s no wonder that some women begin self-medicating to manage the stress and pressure they experience.

The idea of masking negative emotional experiences and personal stress with alcohol is never a realistic long-term plan to manage those issues. However, in the moment, simply drowning sorrows or perceived shortcomings in alcohol may be the only thing that makes sense.

Common Reasons Why Women Drink

From 2001 to 2013, the prevalence of alcohol use among women living within the U.S. rose nearly 16 percent. During that same time period, the percentage of women who consumed four or more drinks on a given day, on a weekly basis, shot up 58 percent.

The reasoning behind this trend was marked by the significant pressures placed upon women, including:

  • Career pressure
  • Financial pressure
  • Needs of their kids
  • Needs of senior parents
  • Aging bodies
  • Adjusting to an empty nest
  • Trauma (especially sexual abuse)1

While these were just a snapshot of the unique stressors experienced by women, they highlight the wide variety of stress that women endure on a consistent basis.

Signs of Alcoholism in Women

Recognizing the warning signs of an alcohol use disorder is so important when addressing the issue and beginning the process of recovery. While the actual signs of alcoholism in women can vary, some of the more common indicators that a genuine issue exists are easy to spot if you know what to look for.

Common signs can include:

  • Drinking takes place in every area of life – If a person is drinking when they are happy or sad, celebrating or unwinding, feeling up or feeling down, then the issue is probably larger than they think. Using alcohol to cope with life is a recipe for disaster, and that much drinking can quickly result in a full-blown alcohol addiction.
  • Consuming alcohol impacts her personality – If your loved one is known to “change” when she’s drinking, it’s a good sign that her alcohol use has taken on a mind of its own. She may go from being a kind, sweet person to being mean and verbally abusive after just a few drinks. Or, she could change from being shy and quiet to being loud and aggressive. She could become overly emotional when drinking, while – when sober – she rarely expresses any emotions. However the transformation takes place, if there is a noticeable shift in her personality and demeanor, consider it an obvious warning sign.
  • Forgetting details and “blacking out” is not uncommon – Alcohol disrupts activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a key role in the formation of new memories, and the more you drink, the more impaired your memory becomes. Blacking out can happen if you drink on an empty stomach or you down several drinks in quick succession. But when it’s a regular occurrence, this is a significant indicator that a deeper issue exists.2

These are far from the only warning signs that indicate an alcohol abuse issue exists, but they are common among women who struggle with alcohol addiction.

The important thing is to make yourself aware of any obvious changes in your loved one’s actions and personality when they are drinking. This enables you to identify concerning patterns of behavior and intercede when necessary.

Women and Alcohol: What You Need to Know

The fact of the matter is alcohol abuse is significantly different for women. It can result in a wide variety of physical health issues and regularly increases their problems. Understanding how alcohol abuse impacts your loved one’s overall well-being is essential to helping them address their addiction and begin their path toward recovery.

Some of the more concerning health issues specific to women dealing with alcohol addiction include:

  • Liver Damage
    Women who regularly misuse alcohol are more likely than men who drink the same amount to develop alcoholic hepatitis, a potentially fatal alcohol-related liver condition. This pattern of drinking can also lead to cirrhosis (permanent liver scarring).
  • Heart Disease
    Long-term alcohol misuse is a leading cause of heart disease. Women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men.
  • Brain Damage
    Research suggests that alcohol misuse produces brain damage more quickly in women than in men. In addition, a growing body of evidence shows that alcohol can disrupt normal brain development during the adolescent years, and there may be differences in the impact of alcohol on the brains of teen girls and boys who drink.3

Luckily, you have the ability to provide the support and guidance needed to help your loved one deal with their alcohol addiction and begin helping them make strides toward a healthier lifestyle.

However you go about discussing your concerns with your loved one, making it a priority to initiate the conversation and address their addictive behaviors is the first step. Take the time to research quality treatment facilities with clinically trained and licensed staff that can best address your loved one’s addictive behaviors.

This enables them to confidently begin their process toward recovery, knowing they’ll have the full support of their family along the way.

Holistic Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Alcohol has no power over your loved one, and from the moment they take their first step toward sobriety, we will be with them throughout the entire journey and into sobriety. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and alcohol recovery treatment that delivers personalized and long-lasting care.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery’s alcohol addiction treatment program and rehab approach or contact us today to get your questions answered.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm.

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Converging Patterns of Alcohol Use and Related Outcomes Among Females and Males in the United States, 2002 to 2012. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26331879.

3 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Sex and gender-related differences in alcohol use and its consequences: Contemporary knowledge and future research considerations. Accessed March 5, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26371405.

A recovering addict and a female therapist talk during a dialectical behavior therapy session.

Outcomes of Practicing Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Overcoming an addiction requires strength and commitment to confront the disease and properly address the addictive behaviors that have plagued your life. While much of the responsibility of achieving a happier and healthier lifestyle is yours to shoulder, finding a qualified clinical facility to guide your path is just as essential.

Taking the time to research the types of treatment available enables you to not only choose the one that best fits your personal needs, but it also empowers you to align with the therapeutic approach before beginning the program.

From cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the numerous options available can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately for you, this article breaks down the basics of DBT to give you a better understanding of the treatment approach to identify if it may be a good fit for your recovery.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT is a form of talk therapy that implements a cognitive behavioral approach during the therapeutic process. It encourages people to address personal deficits in their lives to develop skills and abilities to improve their negative personal behavioral traits.

A key focus of DBT is to help an individual improve their ability to use skilled behavior when necessary through positive emotional regulation and better decision-making. This helps to develop effective coping skills and encourages an individual to not only identify their addictive impulses, but to also implement the necessary skills to avoid instances of relapse.

What are the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

While most forms of cognitive behavioral treatment have been shown to be effective in treating addiction, the specific benefits of DBT revolve around the relationship component of the therapeutic approach.

The therapist and patient work to establish attainable goals, and they engage in weekly treatment sessions to develop a viable game plan and implement accountability throughout the course of treatment. Learning to work through your negative emotions allows you to normalize your experiences and develop better ways to overcome instances of temptation to attain sustained sobriety.

In order to achieve personal success in DBT, four specific skills are generally focused on. These include:

  • Distress tolerance – When someone is experiencing a distressful situation, it is common to want to relieve that feeling immediately. For those struggling with addiction, this typically includes taking drugs or drinking to avoid the negative feeling, but DBT teaches you to accept and tolerate those feelings instead of trying to escape them.
  • Mindfulness – Learning to be completely present in the moment and aware of your surroundings is a skill that requires practice and patience. Dealing with an addiction can force you to avoid people and isolate yourself while you continue to indulge your addiction. Training to live peacefully in the moment allows you to confront your disease and overcome the grip it has had on your life.
  • Emotional regulation – This typically includes learning to properly identify the emotions you are experiencing to find effective ways to change them into positive experiences. By identifying the obstacles impacting your addiction and the emotions driving your addictive impulses, you learn to process those feelings in a healthy manner before they result in a relapse.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – When you are unable to interact with people effectively or maintain healthy relationships, you tend to experience increased stress and conflict. Learning to say “no” when necessary, or to communicate with people to avoid unhealthy relationships and interactions, is vital to achieving a healthier state of mind.

Bad behaviors typically develop when you are trying to cope with bad experiences or negative emotions. For someone struggling with addiction, developing healthier decision patterns and ways of thinking is essential to achieving success in therapy.

By learning to accept yourself and embrace your faults, you begin to heal the emotional scars that have impacted your addictive behaviors for far too long.

Outcomes of DBT: What is the Effectiveness of DBT in Addiction Rehab and Recovery?

Cognitive behavioral treatment and cognitive restructuring are two of the more proven methods of achieving long-term success in addiction treatment and recovery. DBT takes these concepts and introduces effective communication to develop a plan to help you achieve success and provide a clinical guide during your recovery journey.

Recent studies have reinforced the fact that DBT is an effective method of addressing substance addiction by teaching a person to identify and develop the necessary skills to not only achieve sobriety, but to also avoid unnecessary instances of relapse.

The key is to not simply participate in treatment but to engage with your therapist – entrusting them with your emotions to learn better ways of experiencing both the good and bad moments in your life.1

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Recovery and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Ranch Creek Recovery offers dialectical behavior therapy from an individualized approach with world-renowned licensed therapists and addiction recovery experts. We are a luxury, non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center where a large component of our treatment programs is focused on cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a
custom treatment plan that includes therapy sessions and holistic, experiential treatment. This treatment can help you center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers. Accessed February 12, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797106/.

Is Addiction Contributing to Homelessness in California?

Does homelessness or addiction come first? Find out the connection between homelessness and addiction in California.


We live in a world that is quick to judge. Every day, we see people around us and immediately make snap decisions on their place in society and what type of personality attributes they possess. For example, when most people see a homeless person they immediately think, “drug addict” and turn the other way.

In most major cities, you see these individuals standing on the side of the road asking for donations or job opportunities, but the predominant perception is that they are deviants or addicted to some substance.

The truth is that a high percentage of homeless people do struggle with substance abuse, but addictions should be viewed as illnesses that require a great deal of treatment, counseling and support in order to successfully overcome.

Substance abuse is both a cause and a result of homelessness, often arising after people lose their housing or some other stabilizing factor in their lives. Understanding the prevalence of homelessness and how it interacts with substance addiction is essential to helping those living in destitution better their situation and address their addiction.

Homelessness in California by the Numbers

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 151,278 individuals are currently homeless in California. That’s the highest number since at least 2007 and represents a 17 percent uptick since 2018.

It has become so bad that the United Nations recently compared the tent encampments in San Francisco to the slums of New Deli and Mexico City. Los Angeles’ Skid Row is now home to nearly 5,000 homeless people living within a half square mile, highlighting the ever-expanding issue.

While homelessness has been something that most in California have ignored due to its isolated locations, recent trends suggest that won’t be possible much longer. In recent years, homeless people have begun appearing in areas where they hadn’t typically been visible, causing the entire state to begin forming government funded initiatives to address the concern.1

How Does Addiction Impact Homelessness within California

Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness due to the toll that substance addiction can have on a person’s life. In California, certain factors have impacted the surging numbers of homelessness, including:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Cost of Living

Recent studies found that about 67 percent of the state’s homeless population had either a mental illness or a substance use disorder. Individually, substance addiction affects 46 percent of those living on the streets — more than three times the rate previously reported — and mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, affects 51 percent of those living on the streets, according to the analysis.

And there’s more that’s impacting the homeless population. Statistics indicate that substance abuse negatively impacts up to 75 percent of the current unsheltered population.

These facts, and the rising number of people experiencing homelessness in California, directly identifies the overwhelming need to provide qualified substance addiction therapy to those looking to begin their recovery journey.2

Steps California is Taking to Help Those in Need

Los Angeles’ homeless initiatives, along with most initiatives across the state and the nation, emphasize what’s known as a “housing first” strategy. The primary focus is on getting chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into permanent housing, where they can access services to address their substance addiction and mental health issues.

While this is commendable, ignoring the underlying issues of addiction or mental illness is a recipe for failure.3 This is why qualified treatment facilities capable of housing individuals while they receive comprehensive therapy and care is so important.

Substance addiction is both a cause and a result of homelessness, so addressing both issues simultaneously is the only way to achieve sustained success. Results suggest that stable housing during and after treatment greatly decreases the risk of relapse because of the emotional support and stability that a person feels when they are not worried about where they will sleep every night.

You Can Begin Again

Regardless of how you ended up homeless or if your addiction began before you were in a stable living environment or on the street, deciding to begin your recovery journey is the best decision you will ever make.

There is hope and help for individuals wanting something better out of life. Having the courage to seek assistance and admit that you need support to overcome your addiction is the first step toward a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Life-Changing, Holistic Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

There’s no need to feel shame or embarrassment because of the disease you are struggling with. Instead, you should feel proud that you’ve faced your demons and found the strength and bravery to overcome them.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we address addiction recovery and relapse prevention head on through our non-12-step, individualized, holistic addiction treatment programs. Our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment and recovery plan that will help you feel confident and ready to enter a new, sober life.

Learn about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today. We’re here to help in any way we can.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 U.S. Department of Housing. HOMELESSNESS TICKED UP IN 2019, DRIVEN BY MAJOR INCREASES IN CALIFORNIA. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_19_177.

2 California Policy Lab. Predicting and Preventing Homelessness in Los Angeles. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://www.capolicylab.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Predicting_and_Preventing_Homelessness_in_Los_Angeles.pdf.

3 The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. The Action Plan. Accessed January 22, 2020. https://homeless.lacounty.gov/the-action-plan/.

The Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence causes both physical and emotional trauma. For victims of domestic violence, their physical scars may be visible to those around them, but the emotional scars that cut even deeper are oftentimes more difficult to see.

As a society, we empathize with someone who has been physically injured in an accident or who has experienced something physically debilitating. But we routinely minimize the effects of emotional damage and traumatic stress.

While there are continued efforts to better understand the long-term effects of traumatic experiences like domestic violence, the need to continue working toward improved treatment and support is very necessary.

This rings even more true for people who are struggling with addiction that is directly tied to, or the result of, experienced domestic violence. The relationship between trauma of this nature and the development of a diagnosable substance use disorder is very real.

Working to better understand their connection can not only help process the emotions you may be experiencing, but also determine the best course of action toward a happier and healthier life.

Short-Term Effects of Domestic Violence on Victims

For someone experiencing domestic violence for a short time, the effects they typically experience can include:

  • Constantly having their guard up
  • Minor injuries associated with physical confrontations
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Substance use as a means to control emotions

These effects may vary from person to person, but the emotional stress associated with domestic violence tends to negatively impact the victim in some way.1

Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence

While the short-term effects of domestic violence typically resolve rather quickly once a person removes themselves from the abusive situation or relationship, the long-term effects can last for years and even decades if the experienced violence persists. These effects can include:

  • Severe depression and anxiety
  • Sustained substance addiction
  • Damaged relationships with family members and friends
  • Inability to establish trust and problems with intimacy1

What Statistics Tell Us About Substance Use and Domestic Violence

Research shows us that substance use and domestic violence are intricately connected. In multiple studies, people who admit to using or being dependent on a substance consistently reported high rates of experienced domestic violence.

Some of the more telling statistics include:

  • In a study of women in substance abuse treatment, 47 percent reported experiencing victimization by an intimate partner at some point in their lives
  • Approximately 67 percent of women accessing substance abuse treatment services reported experiencing domestic violence at some point in the past six months
  • A study of women who use injectable drugs found that 31 percent reported experiencing physical and sexual domestic violence over the previous year
  • A study of women who attend methadone clinics found that 90 percent had experienced domestic violence at some point in their lifetime

In all of these studies, both the past year and lifetime rates of experienced domestic violence among people who use substances is considerably higher than those found in national surveys.

Building off of these concerning trends, many additional studies have identified that women who have been abused by an intimate partner are more likely to use or become dependent on substances, as opposed to women who have not experienced domestic violence.

Additional facts regarding the connection between substance use and domestic violence include:

  • A community-based study of low-income women found higher rates of substance use among domestic violence survivors (26 percent) as compared to those who had not experienced it (5 percent)
  • A national cohort study of 11,782 women found that, compared to those with no history of domestic violence, women with a recent history had nearly six times of problematic alcohol use
  • Results of a large national study indicate that domestic violence survivors are two times as likely as those who have never been victimized to participate in alcohol treatment

However you view it, experiencing domestic violence dramatically increases the likelihood of developing a serious substance addiction. For anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience of this nature, having the courage and bravery to overcome that scenario and ask for help is the best decision they can make.

If you experience an emotional trauma, it is imperative to have a clinical professional diagnose the trauma and help you identify the best way to heal.2

Domestic Violence and Addiction: There is Real, Life Changing Help

Just like any physical trauma can heal, emotional trauma can improve over time, as well. The key to finding that inner peace and renewed happiness resides in the effort you put into your healing, as well as, the clinical professionals who guide the process.

Imagine for a moment that you were diagnosed with a serious illness, like cancer. Would you decide to forgo treatment and try healing the illness on your own or seek out the best medical interventions available in order to fight the disease and reclaim your life?

Overcoming a substance use disorder is no different. There is real help available that can aid in addressing your addictive impulses while also treating your past trauma. Finding a treatment facility to help with your co-occurring disorders requires a commitment to recovery and a genuine desire to want something better for your life.

When you are ready to start your journey, make sure to contact a treatment facility that not only specializes in co-occurring disorders, but also one that has a positive track record and qualified clinical staff.

There’s no time like the present to begin life anew, so don’t wait another moment to reclaim your happiness and health.

Life-Changing, Holistic Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

The self-perpetuating cycle you’re caught up in doesn’t have to rule your life forever. You can face your domestic violence and addiction hurdles head-on with professional help and individualized support at Ranch Creek Recovery.

Learn more about our dual diagnosis treatment program or contact us today to get your questions
answered and learn more about our all-encompassing approach to co-occurring disorder treatment.


CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. The Relationship Between
Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use. Accessed January 14, 2020. http://www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IPV-SAB-Final202.29.1620NO20LOGO-1.pdf.

2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Complex Connections: Intimate Partner Violence and Women’s Substance Abuse and Recovery. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/women_children_families/relationships-matter-complex-connections-presentation.pdf.

Toxic Masculinity and Addiction

From the day we are born, the concepts of being feminine and masculine take center stage. Whether it be fathers telling their little boys to toughen up or mothers encouraging their little girls to wear dresses and play with dolls, gender roles define and drive how children are raised.

That’s why it’s no wonder these same concepts play such a significant role in our lives as venture out into the world as adults.

Think for a moment about how many gender-specific advertisements you see every day. From your phone to your computer to your television, we are constantly bombarded by the notion of being masculine or feminine.

In the case of toxic masculinity, this idea of gender focus has taken on a mind of its own, amplifying the negative aspects of manhood and perverting it to a point of being toxic.

So, what exactly is toxic masculinity and how can you avoid succumbing to this negative cultural influence? Making yourself aware of its properties and the telltale signs of the terminology is a great place to start.

What is Toxic Masculinity?

The concept of toxic masculinity refers to harmful attitudes and behaviors that are commonly associated with being a man, such as the need to act out in an aggressively dominant way or the need to repress emotions.

Most researchers have traditionally defined the term toxic masculinity, or traditional masculinity ideology, as a set of behaviors and beliefs that include:

  • Maintaining an appearance of hardness
  • Suppressing emotions or masking distress
  • Violence as an indicator of power

Simply put, toxic masculinity is what can come when young boys are taught that they have to be tough all the time or that they can’t express their emotions openly. This jaded idea of what “being a real man” really entails is outdated and emotionally dangerous to men of all ages.

Signs of Toxic Masculinity

While the signs of toxic masculinity may differ between social circles and geographical regions, the predominant warning signs tend to be similar.

Being taught to be a leader is fine, but being taught to be the dominant voice or presence in every situation and scenario can cross the line and becomes more of a toxic expectation. Additionally, one of the ways that toxic masculinity sometimes manifests is through behaviors that ultimately end in violence, and that violence either is enacted on men themselves, or on other people who challenge them socially.

Other warning signs may include:

  • Viewing stereotypically feminine traits, such as being emotionally vulnerable, as weak or unacceptable
  • Thinking the only way to command respect is to act in a dominant manner
  • Using violence as a primary means of addressing conflict
  • Refusing to discuss personally sensitive topics due to an inherent inability to define emotions

The fact of the matter is these negative social roles are a major reason why men and boys are at a disproportionately higher risk of experiencing academic challenges, receiving negative social sanctions and experiencing serious health concerns such as cardiovascular problems and substance addiction.

Men and Addiction: Why Do Men Abuse Drugs?

According to the CDC, men are more likely than women to use all types of illicit drugs. This has been attributed to increased social pressures and peer expectations that men experience from a young age. Because of these maladaptive social roles, men are encouraged to experiment and participate in drug use at a much higher rate than women.1

Men and Addiction: Why Do Men Drink?

In the US, about 20 percent of all men have an alcohol use disorder, as opposed to between 7 and 12 percent for women. This has been attributed to men’s inability to consistently process emotional stressors, as well as, increased pressures from male peer pressure and social expectations.2

Gender Differences in Substance Use Disorders

Regardless of gender, addiction is a nightmare for anyone who is struggling with the disease. But today, we know that there are a number of biological differences between men and women that impact the development of addiction.

For instance, women develop alcohol dependence faster and with a lower amount than men do. This is because women generally have more body fat and lower volume of body water to dilute alcohol.

By contrast, men use alcohol and drugs more frequently and in greater quantities than women. For many young men, male institutions and social rites of passage (sports, fraternities, etc.) encourage the use of alcohol.

Men generally start binge drinking at an earlier age and more frequently than women, which is more likely to result in alcohol-related problems. Due to higher frequency, quantities and binge drinking habits, men are five times more likely to develop a substance use disorder over the course of their lifetime.

While these facts and statistics can be overwhelming, beginning your recovery journey doesn’t have to be. Taking the time to find the right treatment facility to help you address your addiction and overcome your substance use disorder isn’t gender specific. It only requires courage and a desire to live your best life.

Transformative, Individualized Treatment Programs at Ranch Creek Recovery

Trying to overcome an addiction on your own can prove to be an act of futility, especially if you have or are experiencing toxic masculinity in your everyday life.

Our individualized treatment programs address gender-specific issues and tackle addiction recovery through a life-changing, personalized, holistic approach.

Learn about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today. We’re here to help in any way we can.


1 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sex and Gender Differences in Substance Use. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/sex-gender-differences-in-substance-use.

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Sex Differences in Drug Abuse. Accessed January 13, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235192/.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse

Why Addiction is Higher in the LGBTQ Community

The disease of addiction does not discriminate. It can prove to be a debilitating disorder for any person, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. However, for those individuals identifying within the LGBTQ community, dealing with the weight of a substance use disorder can prove to be even more difficult to process.

While their struggles can be attributed to a number of identifiable reasons, taking the time to better understand your loved one – and the individual experiences impacting their substance addiction – can play an intricate role in helping them face their substance use disorder and begin their road to recovery.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse Statistics

Within our society, it is no secret that substance use and substance addiction has grown to epidemic proportions.

A recent study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, reported that 18.7 million people age 18 and over had a substance use disorder within the United States.1

While the sheer number of individuals dealing with a substance use disorder seems staggering, the manner in which substance addiction impacts the LGBTQ community is even more concerning.

Some of the more noticeable statistics include:

  • People who identify as gay or lesbian are more than twice as likely as those who identify as heterosexual to have a severe alcohol use disorder.
  • Those who are unsure how to identify their sexual identity are five times as likely to have a substance use disorder than heterosexual people.
  • People who identify as bisexual are three times as likely to have a substance use disorder.
  • Transgender students were about two and a half times more likely to use drugs, like methamphetamines and cocaine, than their cisgender peers.3

These concerning statistics highlight how substance addiction impacts the LGBTQ community. They reinforce the need your loved one has for your emotional support and encouragement when facing the disease of addiction.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse: Other Important Facts and Insights

Understanding that addiction as a whole impacts the LGBTQ community at a higher rate is important, but breaking down the types of substances used provides greater insight into the struggles that your loved one may be facing.

Some of the more problematic substances among the LGBTQ community include:

  • Amphetamines
    Members of the LGBTQ community are over twelve times more likely to struggle with amphetamine use.
  • Heroin
    Members of the LGBTQ community are nine and a half times more likely to use heroin than heterosexual individual.
  • Alcohol
    20 to 25 percent of the LGBTQ community have a moderate to severe alcohol dependency.2

These facts further work to identify the struggles that your loved one may be facing with addiction and the importance of engaging them in conversation to identify their addiction before it becomes catastrophic.

But why are substance use rates so much higher in the LGBTQ community?

Some of the identified factors impacting this concerning trend include:

  • Limited treatment services for LGBTQ individuals – A national study found that of the 854 treatment programs that reported to have specialized treatment services for LGBTQ people, only 62 confirmed these services actually existed during a telephone follow-up. This means that about 70 percent of the addiction treatment services noted as specialized for LGBTQ people were really no different from those provided to non-LGBTQ people.5
  • Increased stress among those living within the LGBTQ community – While we have made great strides in gay rights over the last 20 years, many LGBTQ individuals still have endured a long, personal history of social prejudice. This can include discriminatory laws and practices in employment, housing, relationship recognition and health care, as well as stigma and challenges with their family and friends. This type of stress can lead to higher levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, depression, anger and mistrust, which can increase the risk of self-medicating with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.4

Factors such as these directly impact the higher rates of substance addiction within the LGBTQ community and reinforce the necessity for greater understanding and support from the loved ones within their lives.

LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment: There Are Life-Changing Treatment Options that Can Help Your Loved One Achieve Sustained Sobriety

Being there for your loved one to support them through their trials and tribulations is no small feat. It requires patience and kindness to empathize with their experienced hardships and work with them to overcome their addiction.

One of the most important things you can do to help a loved one address their substance use disorder is work with them to find a facility that is capable of working with them – personally and professionally – to provide them culturally competent and qualified therapeutic services.

This ensures that they can safely and confidently assimilate into treatment and focus solely on overcoming their addiction.

Holistic LGBTQ Substance Abuse Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

We understand you are your loved one’s biggest advocate, and we know how imperative it is for you to help your loved one get clean and stay sober.

If they are ready to get help, or you are seeking insights from addiction recovery experts, Ranch Creek Recovery can help. We are a renowned drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility that is set in a serene and tranquil area in Murrieta, CA. At Ranch Creek, your loved one will enter into a healing environment that’s free of judgement and distractions and supported by an expert team.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The National Survey on Drug Use and
Health: 2017. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/nsduh-ppt-09-2018.pdf

2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2013. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr077.pdf

3 California Survey System. School Climate, Substance Use, and Well-being Among California Students 2013-2015. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://calschls.org/docs/biennial_state_1315.pdf

4 American Psychological Association. The minority stress perspective. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/exchange/2012/04/minority-stress

5 National Center for Biotechnology Information. Do specialized services exist for LGBT individuals seeking treatment for substance misuse? A study of available treatment programs. Accessed November 16, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17366131

What is Rehab Like at Ranch Creek?

What is Rehab Like at Ranch Creek?

When we think of rehab facilities, our minds are immediately drawn to what we have seen on the television or social media. White walls, stark fluorescent lighting, cold tile floors – the notion of a rehabilitation stay seems more akin to being in an isolated hospital setting than a place to heal your mind and body.

But what if there was an opportunity to abolish these dated notions of rehab facilities and replace them with an environment created to calm your senses and speak to your soul through encompassing peacefulness and luxurious tranquility?

Imagine how much more effective a therapeutic atmosphere could be if it not only provided the highest quality clinical services, but also combined those with picturesque views and abounding luxury. It would truly be the best of both worlds, helping an addict initiate their recovery journey in a setting that sets them at ease and allows their sobriety to begin in a manner that encourages longevity.

Fortunately, this dream-scenario is no dream at all; It is a reality. A rehabilitation facility does exist that can provide all of these amenities while effectively treating all forms of addictions within an effortlessly lavish environment.

Taking the time to better understand this rehabilitative option can ensure that your loved one’s therapeutic stay is both clinically effective and aesthetically satisfying throughout the entire process.

Who We Are: Addiction Recovery Center of Temecula

Ranch Creek Recovery is the premier holistic recovery treatment center within Temecula, CA. Specializing in holistic recovery through well-established clinical interventions, we incorporate modernized clinical practices aimed at addressing your loved one’s recovery needs within a variety of picturesque settings.

From equine-assisted therapy to amino acid treatment, our individualized approach to your loved one’s substance use disorder will leave them feeling second to none throughout their entire stay. This is because we focus on each client as if they were the only one within the facility, providing guided meditation, daily individual counseling, personalized nutrition plans, and a customized treatment approach centered on their specific needs.

Our alternative approach to traditional 12-step programs breaks the mold of other treatment facilities by focusing on your loved one’s entire being and addressing every facet of their mind, body and soul. Treatment tailor-fit to their specifications ensures that their experience at Ranch Creek Recovery is truly unique and clinically specified to enhance their potential for sustained sobriety and long-term happiness.

What is Rehab Like at Ranch Creek?

Imagine a scenario in which your loved one’s transition into rehab could feel more like checking into a lavish health spa and not a dispassionate hospital.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, the aim is to provide that feeling of luxury within a superior clinical setting. That is why our therapeutic approach is centered around each client’s individual areas of behavioral concern and personalized to address all their needs.

To achieve this level of personal attention throughout your loved one’s recovery journey, we limit our number of clientele to only six at a time. This ensures that each person receives the personal devotion and clinical guidance necessary to aid in achieving renewed self-empowerment and self-purpose while in rehab.

In addition to this level of individualized attention, we implement a holistic approach throughout the recovery process, focusing on your loved one’s individual journey and the specific addiction triggers influencing their time in recovery.

This is achieved through a number of client-centered directives that highlight the foundational elements of our approach, identifying what truly sets us apart from alternative treatment options.

  • Highly Trained and Licensed Clinical Staff
    At Ranch Creek, each staff member is thoroughly trained to implement effective clinical practices through an empathetic and client-centered approach. From our intake staff to our clinical director, each member of our team is solely focused on your loved one’s success, working tirelessly to ensure that their entire experience at Ranch Creek is individualized and centered around their unique clinical needs.
  • Holistic Treatment and Experiential Therapy
    The philosophy at Ranch Creek is to provide high-quality, holistic recovery treatment services to every individual entering the facility. This is achieved through a purposeful holistic approach aimed at healing your loved one’s mind, body, and soul through time-tested clinical interventions.

    By taking the time to truly understand who your loved one is, our staff is able to better comprehend their individual experience and guide them through the recovery process.

  • Small Group Luxury Rehab
    The approach at Ranch Creek has been and always will be quality of service. This is best achieved through a small-group rehabilitative approach focused on individual progress and personal achievement.

    We purposefully minimize the number of clientele in order to ensure that your loved one receives the highest quality services and individualized attention. While most treatment facilities are focused on “filling every bed,” we want to taper our treatment approach to ensure that your loved one’s clinical needs and luxurious experiences are both personally satisfying and clinically beneficial.

Get to Know Us Better: Holistic Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Addiction at Ranch Creek Recovery

The idea that addiction rehab has to be dispassionate and cold is archaic. Ranch Creek Recovery has raised the bar on rehabilitative services, focusing on a holistic approach within a uniquely luxurious setting.

Settling for less is no longer necessary with our ability to accept most insurances and willingness to formulate finance options with each client.

Without question, starting the process of rehab is a daunting task, but it signifies the beginning of a new life for both you and your loved one. With it being such an important process, your loved one deserves to begin their recovery journey in a facility offering unprecedented care and unmatched clinical services. After all, it’s their health and happiness on the line.

Take the time to see what Ranch Creek Recovery has to offer. Learn more about us, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today.

A man smiling by the ocean thinking about his healthy New Year's resolution ideas.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Recovery

The first of the year inherently brings new hope and opportunity for everyone. The transgressions of last year are behind you and all of the optimism and potential associated with a new year lie ahead.

For many, this means the creation of resolutions aimed at improving personal habits and health through well-intentioned life changes. For those struggling with addiction, the promise of a new year holds unlimited potential to continue toward a successful recovery and maintaining sustained sobriety.

The key is to establish realistic resolutions that can be achieved through personal effort and genuine commitment. While striving to never make another mistake, or promising to avoid any and all negative decision patterns is commendable, the reality of life is that mistakes will be made and tough times will come.

That is why establishing realistic New Year’s resolutions is beneficial on multiple levels.

  • First, it allows you to work toward achievable goals that can propel you further into your recovery and provide you with a perpetual sense of purpose and accomplishment.
  • Second, establishing realistic goals aids in avoiding unnecessary feelings of failure because the goals you are working toward thoroughly achievable.

New year, new you is a saying many people invoke at this time of year, but for those recovering from addiction, a new you is not necessary when you are establishing and achieving new goals to help you maintain your sobriety.

Why New Year’s Resolutions for Recovering Addicts Are a Good Idea

As previously stated, establishing realistic New Year’s resolutions can prove beneficial on a number of levels for a recovering addict.

The fact of the matter is that addiction can take a toll on your life, deteriorating your physical body and destroying your mental stability. It can force you to act in ways you never imagined and habitually dismantle every facet of your mind and body, all for the sake of getting high.

That is why taking the time to thoughtfully establish New Year’s resolutions that address the negative effects of your addiction can begin repairing the consequences of your substance use disorder.

Additionally, purposeful resolutions work to create healthy patterns of behavior to replace your old maladaptive addictive habits, ensuring that you are working to solidify your foundation of improved personal actions and decisions.

This does not ensure that your recovery journey will be free of distractions or difficulties, but it does increase the likelihood that when those tough times arise, you will be ready and able to avoid your addictive urges.

Healthy New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Recovering Addicts

While there are a number of individual resolutions that can be made when the new year arrives, sometimes it can be difficult identifying where to start or which will work best for you.

The following examples are based on long-term, successful recovery techniques and have been proven effective within a number of clinical environments. They are definitive options, but they do provide an excellent starting point on which to build your own resolution list.

    1. Set Healthier Habits to Propel You Forward
      This resolution is a great place to start because it addresses the toll your addiction has had on your physical body. This resolution can include setting specific exercise goals while also adjusting your eating habits and overall health care. Start by creating a realistic exercise routine that can be implemented weekly, such as a specific time to commit to physical activity and exertion. From there, you can also work on constructing meal ideas for the week.While this may seem a bit complicated, it really is not. It simply starts by identifying times during your week in which you can designate “physical activity time” and thinking through some healthy food options to prepare throughout your week.Everyone is busy, and if you look for excuses to avoid these simple routine adjustments, you are sure to find them. However, the purpose of a resolution is to make the effort necessary in order to enact change.Starting with your personal health is the perfect place to begin.
    2. Implement a Holistic Activity into Your Weekly Routine
      Taking the time to quiet your mind while tapping into a holistic method of stress management is an amazing resolution for the new year. Options such as participating in a weekly yoga class or engaging in artistic therapies, such as stress journaling or expression through painting, have shown to provide a tremendous amount of therapeutic relief for recovering addicts.Taking the time to not only face your stressors and addictive triggers, but to also embrace them and drive them back through active holistic activities can help you achieve long-term happiness and sobriety.The benefit and positive impact that mindfulness techniques and genuine self-care can have throughout your new year will not simply fade away but will instead set a new precedent of self-management and sustained sobriety.
    3. Actively Eliminate Negative Habits and Maladaptive Behaviors
      Positive self-care resolutions work to build the foundation of a new life centered around sustained recovery. However, eliminating your negative habits is essential to avoiding unnecessary roadblocks and potential relapse. Taking the time to reflect upon the habits you still are fostering and formulating a plan to systematically remove them from your life is a great way to continue down your path of recovery.Whether it be smoking cigarettes or stressing about unnecessary scenarios, addressing the personal habits and behaviors that are negatively impacting your body can continue to solidify the new healthy foundation you are building.This is accomplished by removing the unhealthy influences within your life and replacing them with healthier and more positive options. As with the previously mentioned resolutions, remembering to approach the process of implementing a resolution slowly and steadily is the key to success.Changing habits and behaviors is not something that can be achieved overnight. Some of your most negative habits took years to create and solidify, so changing those into healthier options requires time and patience.

Holistic Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Addiction at Ranch Creek Recovery

Your addiction has no power over you. Your new life starts the moment you declare you have complete control over your actions, health and career.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and addiction recovery treatment that offers personalized and long-lasting care.

Should you encounter a bump in the road and relapse, we’re here to help. This is your life. Make this the year you declare life-long sobriety.

Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat.

Have questions? We’re here to help in any way we can. Contact us today

A business man sits with his head in his hand, wondering why heroin is so addictive.

How Addictive is Heroin?

Have you ever experienced the pull of the ocean tide? Its strength and persistence is deceiving,
causing the most skilled swimmers to underestimate its overpowering grip that can result in a
suffocating pull, and sometimes even death.

For those who have felt its power, they are left with the haunting memory of how helpless they felt when caught in its tow, trying with all their might to break free from its grip, but eventually losing strength and simply giving up – allowing the tide to run its course.

Heroin addiction is remarkably similar to the ocean tide, gripping its victims with relentless fervor and forcing them upon a course that they never believed they’d experience.

But, how long does it take to get addicted to heroin? The onset of heroin addiction can occur through a number of means, but the result is always the same: feeling lost, alone and overwhelmed.

Why is Heroin So Addictive?

Heroin is a debilitating drug, impacting various organs within the human body and rewiring the manner in which the brain responds to both pleasure and pain. In particular, heroin binds to specific receptors within the brain, causing a flood of dopamine to be released when the drug is introduced into the human body.

This “feel good” chemical is typically responsible for regulating pain and feelings of general wellbeing. However, when heroin is ingested, it creates an artificial release of dopamine, causing an addict to not only experience this false flood of feel good chemicals, but to also quickly become addicted to that deceptive experience.

Here are some facts regarding the physical toll heroin addiction has on the human body and how the disease has impacted society:

  • Heroin is chemically related and interacts with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.
  • Heroin can depress breathing by changing neurochemical activity in the brain stem, where automatic body functions, such as breathing and heart rate, are controlled.
  • It is estimated that 23% of people who use heroin become addicted.
  • The number of people reporting current heroin use tripled between 2007 and 2014.
  • Heroin overdose deaths quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.

How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Heroin?

There is no exact science to detect the time frame of heroin addiction onset. The fact is that some people can become addicted in a very short time frame and others may be able to avoid serious addiction issues for some time. While full-blown addiction can vary in the amount of time it takes to develop, the effects of heroin use can be seen after the first use and become exacerbated as time wears on.

Short-Term Effects of Heroin
o Dry mouth
o Itching
o Nausea
o Vomiting
o Analgesia
o Slowed breathing
o Irregular heart rate

Long-Term Effects of Heroin
o Collapsed veins
o Infections of the lignin and valves of the heart
o Constipation
o Stomach cramps
o Liver and kidney disease
o Pneumonia
o Death

All of the effects of heroin use have potential long-lasting impacts on an addict’s physical health and mental wellbeing. While some may not experience all of the symptoms associated with addiction, the damage being done within an addict’s body is well documented among all medical professionals.

How to Quit Your Heroin Addiction

Taking back control of your life and conquering your heroin addiction begins when you admit that a problem actually exists. Finding the courage to face your addiction and ask for the appropriate social and medical assistance to safely detox from the drug can require various interventions.

In particular, finding out if medical supervision and clinical detoxification is necessary for you to safely begin rehabilitation. Stopping your heroin addiction is best achieved with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment from a clinically qualified professional.

Additionally, researching treatment facilities to identify which one best suits your needs, and will aid in your recovery journey, is also an essential first step in the process of quitting your heroin addiction.

These initial steps can set the tone for your entire recovery process, so making sure that the addiction treatment center you select is clinically sound and socially verified is critical.

Holistic Heroin Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Overcoming a heroin addiction is no simple task, but with the right treatment facility and clinical staff, all things are possible.

Regardless of where your heroin addiction has landed you, you can stop your addiction and get your entire life back on track.

Don’t let heroin claim your life or hurt those you love the most any longer. There is life-changing
support and a sober future ahead of you.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, your precise recovery needs are our main priority; your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission.

At our non-12 step rehab and holistic recovery center, our heroin abuse treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire.

Learn more about our heroin addiction treatment program.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioids. Accessed November 5, 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Today’s Heroin Epidemic. Accessed November 5, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/index.html.