two women hugging each other at a addiction recovery support group

Why Human Connection Is Essential in Addiction Recovery

If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that human interaction is an essential component of our existence. Being able to communicate and interact with friends and family is almost as important as breathing air and eating food. 

Genuine human connection has the power to provide the soul with the nourishment it needs to feel complete, enabling us to engage and build our spiritual strength through connectivity. After all, humans are wired to be together in shared spaces, learning from each other and sharing existential moments of enlightenment and illumination. 

That’s why, when in addiction recovery or currently struggling with a substance use disorder, every day can feel so much more oppressive when you isolate yourself or are forced to avoid interacting with your support network for any reason. 

Addiction, like any other disease, is best treated when you have a strong level of support and encouragement from those you respect and love the most.

Making sure you engage with your friends and family as often as possible throughout your addiction recovery journey is essential in  overcoming your addiction and achieving sustained health and happiness.

What Substance Abuse Does to Your Emotional and Mental Health

It’s no secret that substance addiction and mental health issues are closely connected. For many people struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s common to incorporate drugs and alcohol as a means of dealing with the symptoms of mental health issues. 

Vice versa, someone who has found themselves dealing with negative emotions — like excessive depression or anxiety — can often turn to substance use as a method of self-medicating to avoid symptoms they’re experiencing. 

That’s because substance addiction is a neurological issue, affecting your mental state and overall functionality in the reward and pleasure centers of your brain. Everyday activities can trigger these same reward pathways, like exercising or interacting with the ones you love. 

But when you’re living with a diagnosed substance use disorder, you’re distorting this brain function, causing your neurological synapses to fire erratically and making your overall mental health extremely unstable.

The Importance of Human Connection in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

It’s common to define yourself by the company you keep, which is why building a strong sober network to support the different elements of your life is essential throughout the recovery process. To achieve sustained sobriety, ongoing support from your friends and family is paramount. 

You see, individuals are more likely to try drugs as an escape if they live in a negative environment and consistently engage with negative social influences. However, removing yourself from that negative situation and surrounding yourself with healthy, sober supporters make it more likely to achieve sustained sobriety along your recovery journey.

  • Positive social interactions are instrumental in helping you maintain abstinence from alcohol and drug use. 
  • In isolation you’re always more susceptible to relapse, and you may even end up quitting your treatment program before completing all established goals. 
  • It’s important to remember that your personal relationships play a large role in your overall wellness and quality of life.

While substance addiction decreases your health and happiness, research has shown that positive human connectivity can help improve your overall existence.

In Addiction Recovery, Lean on a Strong Sober Support Network

What is a sober support network?

Your sober support network consists of the social connections you make during your recovery journey. They’re the friends and loved ones you spend time with and turn to in order to maintain healthy human connectivity. The key is to choose individuals who are supremely supportive of your efforts to achieve sobriety and maintain your substance abstinence.

How can you form a healthy sober support network that delivers encouraging human connection and boosts your emotional and mental health?

It’s important to choose people who encourage your growth and development throughout the recovery journey. They can be family members who’ve stood by you before your recovery began or peer supports you met during your time in treatment. They can be friends who’ve taken steps to show you love and support throughout your path to sobriety or loved ones who hold you accountable in an appropriate way.

How can you walk away from friends or family members who are hurting your recovery efforts?

Sometimes, it really is as simple as making the decision to distance yourself from unhealthy influences. If you know there are family or friends who bring a toxic element into your life, let them know you’re committed to achieving a better version of yourself through recovery. If they’re not going to fully support those efforts, let them know they can no longer be a part of your recovery journey.

How to build a sober support network from scratch:

Start with the connections you make during your time in treatment. Clinical counselors can provide insight into community-based support networks. These can turn into healthy human connections and sober peers that can become the foundation of your new social group and support network.

Find Real Human Connection During Holistic Addiction Treatment

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we fully understand that trusting someone doesn’t come easy to a person struggling with addiction. That’s why we strive to let our clients know they’re worthy of excellent care because each is a unique and deserving human being. 

Our holistic recovery programs, including dual diagnosis disorder treatment, are designed to treat each and every aspect of an addiction.

In addition, we tailor  our programs to each and every individual. This helps us earn your trust and establish a relationship that helps you achieve sobriety and begin your path toward long-term health and happiness.

Learn more about what we offer and what we treat.

Contact us today to get your questions answered.

An image of Ranch Creek Recovery in Murrieta, CA.

Why Go to Addiction Treatment in Murrieta, CA?

Beginning treatment for a substance use disorder is a difficult choice to make. Being able to confront addiction and admit that clinical assistance is needed is, at times, the toughest part of the recovery journey. After all, it requires that your loved one admit they have lost control of that portion of their life. This honesty can make them feel embarrassed or ashamed.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we see this portion of your loved one’s recovery journey differently. The courage and strength required to face the disease of addiction and not back down is not something to feel ashamed about; rather, it is the first step towards healing and something to celebrate.

This is why choosing a peaceful and tranquil environment for treatment is so important. A place like Murrieta, CA offers your loved one the opportunity to heal their mind, body and spirit from addiction.

Why Addiction Treatment in Murrieta, CA?

If your loved one could begin their recovery journey in an area that offered incredible national parks, beautiful beaches and sweeping wildflower fields, why would they choose to go anywhere else?

In Murrieta, CA, the pristine landscapes and incredible weather offers a unique treatment experience unlike anywhere else in the country. While the benefits of attending residential treatment in Murrieta can seem endless, here are a few examples of what they can expect to experience in Southern California.

  • The Weather is Absolutely Gorgeous
    Temperatures typically hit their peak at around 85 degrees come August, and the winters are known to be fairly mild. The great thing is there’s an abundance of sun all year round, with only the occasional rainy day. Sure, there are some days where the wind kicks up or a storm blows through, but that’s a small price to pay to live in paradise.
  • You Can Truly Get Away from the Chaos of the City
    Being able to get away from all the racket and seek out a quiet place to let the mind calm is key during recovery. Murrieta provides that opportunity with a tranquil social setting and plenty of space to get away from the city. Also, with the various national parks and hiking trails nearby, your loved one will always be able to find a place to turn off the noise and center their chi.
  • Take in the Stars
    Making the decision to go outside of the city and into an area like Murrieta means your loved one is getting away from distracting ambient lights. This allows your loved one to bask in the beauty of bright nighttime stars that can help remind them of how small their problems really are when they’re staring at the vast universe in which we all live.
  • Entering into Residential Treatment Deserves Privacy and Complete Discretion
    Being away from the daily hustle and bustle is a tremendous benefit of starting recovery in Murrieta. Being able to take comfort in the fact that your loved one is away from prying eyes and unnecessary social interactions is amazing, as well. The privacy and seclusion of Ranch Creek Recovery ensures your loved one avoids needless distractions while in treatment.
  • Experience the Wonders of the Ocean
    Being this close to the Pacific Ocean offers unique opportunities while in treatment. From whale watching to horseback riding on the beach, the unique experiences your loved one can have close to Murrieta are second to none.

Murrieta, CA Offers Your Loved One Healing

Murrieta is nestled in a scenic valley between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Southern California coast, offering everything your loved one needs to fully benefit from their time in treatment. From hiking to camping to fishing and boating, Murrieta and the surrounding valley offers a wide variety of activities to promote healing and self-discovery.

Some of the options that would be available to your loved one include:

  • Relaxing in Copper Canyon Park – Copper Canyon Park is one of the best outdoor areas in all of Murrieta. The park is covered in open grassy knolls that are perfect for sunbathing or relaxing, and there are also picnic tables where you can stop for a bite to eat and take in the views. There are trails that run all over the park for walking and biking, allowing your loved one to choose which terrain suits their mood.
  • Hiking San Jancinto – Located about 60 miles northeast of Murrieta, San Jacinto State Park offers a bit of everything for an outdoor enthusiast. Mount San Jacinto stands at 10,834 feet above sea level, making it the second highest peak in the state. Beautiful granite peaks and spectacular mountain meadows await anyone who ventures into this amazing high-country wilderness.
  • Visiting Tenaja Falls – As one of the most dramatic natural phenomena in the area, Tenaja Falls is a five-tiered waterfall that has a drop of over 150 feet, leading to a spectacular experience for those who make the trip here. If your loved one is here in the winter months, the falls are more full than other times of the year, and people have described the sound of the water hitting the rocks as a special kind of naturally occurring music.

Life-Changing, Holistic Addiction Treatment Can be Found at Ranch Creek Recovery

Spectacular views and breathtaking scenery aside, the benefits of your loved one beginning their recovery journey at Ranch Creek Recovery cannot be overstated. From the individualized clinical care to the six-patient-limit we maintain, our personalized approach to residential treatment is life-changing.

In addition, we offer your loved one medical attention around the clock, as well as one-on-one counseling to provide for their individual needs throughout rehab. You can help make their time in residential care as meaningful as possible by researching the benefits of addiction treatment in Murrieta and Ranch Creek Recovery with them.

After all, they deserve the best treatment available, and at Ranch Creek Recovery, that’s exactly what they will receive. Learn more about our detox and addiction treatment programs, or have your loved one contact us today so they can start their journey toward detox and recovery.

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

A woman sits and meditates by the ocean.

Can Meditation Boost Your Immune System?

Do you live with nagging voices in your head? What do you do to quiet them?

These voices may talk about your failures and the ways in which you have struggled to achieve personal goals. They may tell you to give in to temptation and to quit trying to better yourself because you’ll always find a way to screw things up.

These voices are loud and persistent, but most of all, they are lies that have developed within your subconscious. They have taken root and have tricked you into believing their deceptions. They have tricked you into succumbing to their negative self-fulfilling prophecies.

What they fail to tell you is that you are capable of great things when properly motivated. You are more than your addiction and the false sense of security it provides.

Finding a way to quiet the negative voices in your head is not only essential to achieving sustained sobriety, but it can also improve your overall well being. One of the best ways you can do this is through mindfulness and meditation practice. Meditation is a key technique for improving your chances of long-term recovery and repairing the physical damage that your addiction has wreaked upon your body.

Meditation for the Immune System: Is It Real?

A recent review studied the effects of meditation and mindfulness on the immune system and found some amazing results. The results highlighted that meditation:

  • Increased the number of CD-4 cells, which are the immune system’s helper cells that are involved in sending signals to other cells – telling them to destroy infections.
  • Reduced markers of inflammation, high levels of which are often correlated with decreased immune functioning and disease.
  • Increased telomerase activity; telomerase helps promote the stability of chromosomes and prevent their deterioration (telomerase deterioration leads to cancer and premature aging). (1)

In another eight-week study, researchers at UCLA had 50 HIV-positive men meditate daily for 30-45 minutes. Doctors found that, compared with a control group, the more training sessions the men attended, the higher their CD-4 cell count at the conclusion of the study (remember, CD-4 cells are the immune system’s helper cells). (2)

Both these studies have shown that regular meditation practice can improve immune system functioning and keep you healthier.

What are the Benefits of Meditation on Immune Health?

New research suggests that mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function.

Essentially, when you’re practicing mindfulness meditation – paying attention to the present moment without judgment – your body naturally responds by calming down. That enables your immune system to do what it needs to do to take care of you.

A study, published in the latest issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, draws on existing scientific literature to attempt to explain the positive effects of meditation. The goal of this work is to unveil the conceptual complexity of mindfulness, providing the big picture by arranging many findings – like the pieces of a mosaic.

Four key components of mindfulness were identified and may account for the positive effects people experience when they commit time and effort to the practice of quieting the mind.

These include:

  • Attention regulation
  • Body awareness
  • Emotion regulation
  • Sense of self

Together, these help people deal with the effects of stress and allow the mind and body to interact in a manner that begins both spiritual healing and physical rejuvenation. The direct benefits of which can include:

  • Improved heart functionality
  • Decreased cognitive decline
  • A boost in natural antibodies
  • Reduced pro-inflammatory gene expression
  • Reduced cell aging (3)

While these specific areas of immunity-boosting have been displayed in recent research, the fact of the matter is meditation and mindfulness has been practiced for centuries for a reason. There is viable evidence that practicing meditation helps boost your defense against all manners of disease, including addiction, and fosters wellness within the spirit and the body.

Meditation for Enhancing the Immune System During Addiction Recovery

Besides positively impacting a person’s well being, meditation can actually provide healing properties to an individual’s physical and mental health when practiced consistently. Taking this knowledge and incorporating it into a comprehensive recovery plan enables someone struggling with addiction to begin a total healing process of the mind, body and soul.

The way in which a substance use disorder ravages your physical health can be catastrophic if left unchecked. That is why using modern methods of treatment and centuries-old techniques to achieve complete restoration of your health and happiness is the most effective way to achieve sustained sobriety and personal well being.

Meditation and Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we offer customized treatment plans that fit your unique recovery needs and offer an alternative to the traditional 12-step program. Our holistic treatment services can help you stop abusing drugs or alcohol and forge a fulfilling, clean future.

Through every treatment program, meditation, mindfulness and addiction recovery walk hand-in-hand, helping you to center your mind, body and spirit as you begin to forge your new, sober life. And since our treatment programs have a six-client max, we’re able to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support.

Learn more about our addiction treatment programs or contact us today to get your questions answered.

 

Resources:

1) National Center for Biotechnology information. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799456.

2) National Center for Biotechnology information. Mindfulness meditation training effects on CD4+ T lymphocytes in HIV-1 infected adults: A small randomized controlled trial. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2725018/.

3) National Center for Biotechnology information. Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Accessed April 20, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12883106.

A man undergoing acupuncture for addiction during rehab.

Can Acupuncture Really Aid Addiction Recovery?

Managing the physical and emotional toll associated with substance addiction is no small task. From individual counseling to amino acid therapy, the methods and techniques available to help those recovering from addiction may seem endless, but which ones really work?

Studies have shown the positive impact that proven methods of treatment, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness training, can have throughout your recovery journey. This is due to the manner in which they address both the symptoms you are experiencing and where they originated.

But what about lesser known therapeutic interventions that help the body heal from the inside out?

In particular, can acupuncture positively impact you along your recovery journey? Can it help to ease your withdrawal symptoms and heal the damage inflicted from years of substance abuse?

Keep reading to better understand this centuries-old practice and how it has been used for eons to address all forms of physical disease and illness. Every tool available to you during your transition into treatment is essential, so thinking outside the box to try alternative medicines is an important step to take to achieve sustained sobriety and long-term personal success.

What is Acupuncture, Exactly?

The practice of acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique used to treat a variety of conditions by triggering specific points on the skin with needles. It aims to prevent and cure specific diseases by sticking fine needless into points on the body to restore the natural balance of energy, or qi.

Although it is not a “cure all,” it has proven effective at treating chronic pain, improving immune system functioning and addressing physical symptoms associated with substance withdrawal during detox.

While the Chinese have used this practice for centuries to treat physical ailments, it has been assimilated into Western medicine more frequently over the past 40 years.

Acupuncture and Addiction Recovery: What Are the Benefits?

The primary concept behind acupuncture is fundamentally sound: helping the body to achieve balance by eliminating unnecessary stress and facilitating relaxation.

While the health benefits of acupuncture are well documented, this safe and cost-effective method of treatment has shown multiple benefits for those recovering from addiction, as well.

They include:

  • Helping to better regulate emotions
  • Reducing cravings
  • Easing withdrawal symptoms and physical pain
  • Diminishing feelings of anxiety and stress
  • Helping to regulate sleep cycles (1)

These benefits can not only make the transition into therapy more bearable, but they can also ease your physical discomforts and better enable you to process the physical and emotional stressors associated with recovery.

Making the decision to begin rehab is difficult on a number of levels, but taking advantage of all available treatment interventions to help ease your tension and physical pain is a necessity.

Acupuncture for Addiction: Facts and Stats

Making the decision to incorporate acupuncture into your individual recovery plan just makes sense. It provides an additional method of pain management, while allowing you to continue approaching your recovery from a holistic perspective.

Some of the more prominent facts regarding the benefits of acupuncture can reinforce your decision and strengthen your confidence in knowing you are making the best decision for you.

  • Acupuncture has been proven to lower stress hormones and moderate mood to reduce anxiety and improve overall feelings of happiness.
  • Acupuncture can help fight off pathogens by boosting the body’s immune system.
  • Acupuncture patients report enhanced mental clarity and often experience a surge of increased energy. Improved sleep is an additional benefit, which is why acupuncture is used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia.
  • Acupuncture can be effective in the road to quitting substance use. In addition to helping ease jitters, curb cravings and lessen irritability, it also promotes relaxation and detoxification in the body.
  • Acupuncture is effective in treating repetitive stress injuries and can eliminate the need for surgery or drugs. (2)

These physical benefits help to reinforce the effectivity of acupuncture and the potential it holds to help you throughout your recovery journey.

Remember, making the decision to face your addiction and begin your path toward sustained sobriety is daunting. Having the courage and faith to ask for help and incorporate all beneficial treatment techniques is essential to not only achieving a sober state, but also maintaining that level of sobriety for years to come.

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

We are an addiction treatment center that specializes in natural ways to relieve pain and heal
the mind and body. If you or a loved one have struggled with alcohol or drugs – including pain medication – or need to get back on track after a relapse, now is the time to find real, life-changing support that will help you achieve sobriety and learn how to holistically manage pain.

Additionally, if you’re in the midst of an alcohol or drug addiction now, there’s never been a better time to regain control and forge the life you were always meant to lead. We are here to help you get there.

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 can help you feel confident and ready to enter your new, sober life.

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

 

Resources:

1) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Acupuncture therapy for drug addiction. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822281/

2) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Acupuncture for the Treatment of Opiate Addiction. Accessed December 9, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296192/

A woman practicing meditation in addiction recovery during sunset.

How Meditation Can Help You Manage Cravings

Take a moment to breathe deeply; to breathe with purpose and focus. Concentrate on the breath by inhaling through the nose for four seconds, holding the breath for seven seconds and exhaling for eight seconds.

Now repeat this practice five times and see how you feel. Studies have shown that performing a breathing technique like this can decrease stress and increase positive feelings within the brain.

Truth be told, a simple meditative technique like this can work wonders for someone struggling with various stressors or tension; and, for someone struggling with addiction, a simple breathing technique like this can mean the difference between chasing another high and/or an unexpected relapse and making the decision to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Most people researching meditation and mindfulness training ask themselves, “Can this really help me manage my cravings?” And while the techniques vary from person to person, it is safe to say that meditation can help if you open your mind to the possibilities it provides.

How Meditation Helps with Drug Cravings

While the practice of meditation may seem like a new wave approach to addiction therapy, the centuries-old practice has been implemented for generations to combat all forms of dependency.

The mental discipline associated with meditative practice can help you overcome addiction by increasing your self-control and awareness associated with your addictive triggers.

Research has shown that meditation can help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviors. (1)

Additional studies have shown that practicing meditation while in rehab establishes an improved ability to control addictive cravings and the stressors associated with addictive-related behaviors.(2)

Benefits of Meditation in Addiction Recovery

The physical and mental health benefits associated with meditation are well documented. The practice can increase a person’s cognitive ability, while also addressing an array of physical ailments, including high blood pressure and insomnia.

Understanding how the practice can benefit you along your recovery journey is essential to harnessing its potential.

Some of the more impressive benefits of meditation in addiction recovery include:

  • Meditation provides a natural “high” by stimulating and training your brain to experience happiness and moments of euphoria without the need of alcohol or drugs.
  • Meditation enables you to manage your urges by training you to stop fighting them and start identifying them as mere thoughts (and not uncontrollable compulsions).
  • Meditation transforms your central nervous system, shifting your body chemistry out of “fight or flight” mode so that the stress that had you reaching for your once favorite self-medication yesterday no longer affects you today.
  • Meditation empowers you to face the situations and scenarios that instigated your addiction in order to realign your life and take control of the thoughts that had once controlled you.

This rewiring of the brain enables you to not only overcome your addictive urges, but it also repairs the issues within yourself that have exacerbated your addictive impulses for too long.

Once meditation has rooted out the true source of your unhappiness, your life can transform, allowing you to achieve sustained sobriety and true happiness.

Where to Start: Meditation in Addiction Recovery

Making the decision to begin a practice of meditation should not be complicated. Simply follow the steps below to begin an easy meditative practice anywhere you find yourself.

Remember, the key to benefiting from meditation is to not overthink the practice. Find a space, clear your mind and let your breath guide your thoughts.

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques:

  1. Sit or lie comfortably, making sure you are free of distractions.
  2. Close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts, except your breathing.
  3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, gently return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods of time as you grow more accustomed to meditation practice.

Meditation in Addiction Recovery through an All-Encompassing, Holistic Approach to Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

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 can help you stop
abusing drugs or alcohol and build a fulfilling, clean future.

Through every treatment program, meditation, 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.

Our treatment programs have a six-client max. This allows us to provide you with complete, individualized care and 24/7 support.

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

 

Resources:

1) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Mindfulness Meditation for Alcohol Relapse Prevention: A Feasibility Pilot Study. Accessed December 7, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106278/

2) National Center for Biotechnology Information. Mindfulness meditation practice and executive functioning: Breaking down the benefit. Accessed December 7, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26784917

Loved ones holding hands and discussing dialectical behavior therapy for anxiety.

DBT for Anxiety: Does it Work?

The process of treatment can be directed through a number of avenues and therapy methods. From cognitive restructuring to rapid eye movement therapy, clinical approaches available today are various in nature and able to address a growing list of mental health issues.

What makes one intervention better than another? And even more important, which one would best address the issues you are experiencing in a safe and effective manner?

While these questions can be difficult to answer, the nature of your addiction and your co-occurring mental health issue(s) can aid in identifying the most effective approach to treating anxiety, depression, and more.

Symptomatology associated with excessive anxiety and depression has been shown to respond extremely well to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, due to its ability to address an individual’s excessive emotionality by establishing specific therapeutic skill sets within participants.

Understanding this approach, and the benefits it has on co-occurring disorders, can provide tremendous insight into its effectiveness regarding your addiction.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a specific type of talk therapy that utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach during treatment sessions. It works by providing participants with a new set of skills aimed at improving their ability to manage painful emotions while also addressing their maladaptive impulses.

While it was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, it has proven to be extremely successful at treating substance use disorders and the co-occurring mental health issues typically associated with the disease of addiction, such as anxiety and depression.

What makes DBT unique is its emphasis on:

  • Mindfulness within those participating in treatment sessions
  • Treating the identified co-occurring symptoms
  • Stressing the importance of embracing personal experience throughout the recovery process

DBT for Anxiety and Depression: Techniques & Modalities

While emotions serve important roles in all of our lives, excessive emotionality can become debilitating if left unchecked. For those dealing with both a substance addiction and diagnosed mental health issue, this combination can result in a state of perpetual self-destruction. That is why DBT can be such an effective clinical approach for co-occurring disorders.

It encourages participants to work through the process of acquiring emotional and cognitive skills to address their excessive anxiety and depressive symptomatology while training them to subsequently apply those skills to their lives.

DBT actively confronts emotions like anxiety and depression by teaching you how to manage the experiences and control your immediate reactions.

DBT Techniques for Anxiety and Depression

So, why is DBT such an effective treatment approach for comorbidity involving addiction? It is primarily due to the therapeutic approach implemented by DBT and its ability to incorporate some of the most clinically proven coping skills into one cohesive treatment. This is achieved by three specific components:

1. It is cognitive based, helping participants to identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder, while also teaching them alternative ways of approaching and solving those maladaptive cognitive patterns.

2. It is support oriented, aiding the participants in identifying their personal strengths and building on them to improve individual self-perspective.

3. It is collaborative, requiring both the participants and clinicians to facilitate constant communication which enables the patient to learn effective methods of problem solving and skill building.

DBT also implements four particular modules, focusing on specific areas of cognitive restructuring and behavioral training in order to maximize the participants time in therapy. These areas of focus enable the clinician to highlight the participants impulsive decision patterns and excessive emotionality through improved introspection and increased personal restraint.

They include:

1. Mindfulness. This module is the foundation upon which the others are built by working to increase the participants self-awareness. By understanding your environment better, you can develop an improved ability to understand what is going on around you at any given moment, helping to filter out past traumas and focus solely on the here-and-now.

2. Emotion Regulation. By learning to properly identify and label emotions, the goal of this module is to aid in decreasing excessive emotional responses while simultaneously increasing logical thought processes and reactions. By minimizing excessive emotional responses, you can work to identify more effective methods of stress management while also making efforts to avoid anxiety-provoking scenarios.

3. Distress Tolerance. What happens if you encounter a situation in which you cannot change but must simply endure? This module focuses on teaching methods of coping that are easily accessible and repeatable. By working to not only function through distressful scenarios but to also flourish, this module enables the participant to grow in an effective emotional manner while experiencing personal distress.

4. Interpersonal Effectiveness. This module focuses on how you deal with people in everyday scenarios. Do you find it hard to tell someone no? Does this result in being taken advantage of or feeling overwhelmed with excessive social obligations? This scenario trains you to avoid these situations by improving your ability to identify healthy personal responses to daily situations and then implement them on a consistent basis.

Anxiety Treatment in Temecula, CA and Murrieta at Ranch Creek Recovery

As a non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center that utilizes DBT for depression and anxiety, a large component of our treatment program is rooted in dialectical behavioral therapy for certain addicts.

Designed specifically for individuals with self-harm behaviors, such as self-cutting, suicidal thoughts, urges to suicide and suicide attempts, DBT has helped countless individuals live “Lives worth Living.”

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our team of treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a
custom treatment plan that will include customized, life-changing DBT sessions.

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

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how DBT can help with treating mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Holistic Addiction Treatment

Why Holistic Addiction Treatment Is More Effective Than Ever

Addiction is something that affects a person’s mind, body and spirit and the very definition of the word ‘holistic’ implies that these are intimately interconnected and explicable only by referencing the whole. This has become a popular belief in alcohol rehab centers and drug detox programs in recent years and now holistic medicine – also known as alternative or complementary therapy – is increasingly offered in alcoholism treatment programs with considerable success.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, detox centers that incorporate holistic therapies with conventional approaches are proven to be more effective, particularly over the long term in recovery. It is now widely believed by medical professionals that holistic approaches are very helpful when used as adjuncts to evidence-based alcoholism treatment programs.

What Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?

Holistic therapies focus on treating the mind, body, and spirit, whereas conventional medicine concentrates entirely on physical illness. Holistic therapies are considered to be so effective because they provide a ‘bridge’ between the treatment of a patient’s physical condition and their emotional and psychological healing.

There are several holistic therapies that are particularly useful in alcohol addiction treatment centers when paired with traditional approaches including:


A woman does a yoga pose while facing a body of waterYoga

Yoga is a mindfulness practice that also increases physical fitness and flexibility, making it highly effective as a coping mechanism in recovery from addiction. Many people become addicted when they are searching for ways to cope with anxiety, stress or mental illness and so yoga is the perfect way for people in alcohol rehab facilities to learn more positive coping skills that also provide invaluable support in recovery.

The Benefits of Yoga

It Heals The Mind: Scientific research undertaken by Stanford University into the biological impact of yoga on drug abuse has shown that yoga serves to inhibit the dopamine surge that addicts usually get from using and also restrict cravings. At the same time, the study showed that the deep breathing element of yoga releases pleasure-giving endorphins, which means that it is possible to use the practice to replace or suppress addictive behaviors in recovery.

It Heals The Body: Yoga is much more physically demanding than it looks. It’s an invaluable tool for promoting physical health, making it a key contributor in improving the fitness levels of someone whose body has suffered the ravages of addiction. In addition to increased flexibility and muscle strength, Yoga can also enhance circulation, respiration, organ performance, and many other crucial elements of our body’s internal system.

It Heals The Spirit: One of the aspects of yoga that makes it such a popular practice in detox centers is that it provides a spiritual environment that is very tranquil and serene. No matter what a person’s religious beliefs, we all need to achieve a state of quiet in which we can learn how to be more mindful and accepting in our daily lives. Yoga also arms patients with the tools they need to connect with their own inner strengths.

It Reduces Stress: For many people in drug detox centers, addictive behavior and cravings can be triggered by stressful situations known as stressors. In fact, many people leaving a treatment center after completing a program find it difficult to adjust to living in sobriety. Because yoga is a mindfulness practice that teaches how to control breathing to reduce stress levels, it allows recovering addicts to regain control of their bodies and overcome temptation.

It Helps Develop New Habits and Relationships: When patients are taught yoga, they are introduced to a new community that’s dedicated to staying healthy, which is an enormous benefit in recovery. Having others around you who are also trying to find balance and develop new, healthy habits can go a long way in your recovery process. That sense of companionship and accountability will help you and others achieve your goals of recovery and a healthy lifestyle.


A woman sits and meditates on a beachMeditation

Meditation is a mindfulness practice – but what exactly does that mean? Derived from Buddhism, which has embraced mindfulness for more than 2000 years, it is defined as being consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensory experience. According to science, the structural and functional changes in the brain – known as neuroplasticity – are caused by experience and are directly affected by meditation practice.

Basically, what that means is that by taking time out to meditate regularly, we become capable of creating the right kind of experience (or feeling) to support more positive behaviors. Meditation at a drug rehab center works on the principle that every time we connect with the moment we are in and completely empty the mind of dialogue, our capacity to enjoy more positive thoughts and feelings grows.

The Benefits of Meditation

It Instills Discipline: There is a considerable amount of willpower required to meditate, which is extremely beneficial in an addiction rehab program. Meditation requires the ability to concentrate one’s attention on the present moment, although as an observer rather than a participant. This requires discipline and means that there can be no internal dialogue. It can take some time and practice to achieve a state where one’s mind is completely silent.

It Teaches Mindfulness: The main objective of meditation is to learn how to be mindful of thoughts and emotions in order to promote self-acceptance. We are influenced by our thoughts much more than we realize although most are formed in response to things that happen in our daily lives or something we’re reading or watching. Meditation provides the space to clear the mind of all conversation and helps people understand that we are much more than our thoughts.

It Harnesses The Mental State: Meditation provides both therapists and patients with a tool to harness the patient’s mental state, allowing the patient to keep centered and utilize the methods and treatments taught to them. This can help lead to a number of additional mental benefits, including:

  • Improved attention, concentration, and focus
  • The ability to discover character strengths
  • Cultivates resilience to stressors and cravings
  • Increases someone’s basal happiness levels for a more fulfilling life
  • Reduces stress and eases symptoms of mental illness

Garden TherapyGarden Therapy

Since the beginning of time, humans have possessed a kinship with nature. Gardening is, by its very nature, a slow and relaxed process that takes place outside, in the sun, and among nature. Enjoying the great outdoors fills us with feelings of peace and tranquility, which is why garden therapy has become popular in addiction treatment. Several scientific studies have shown that gardening heightens our feelings of appreciation and serenity and ultimately improves overall health and well being.

Also known as Horticultural Therapy, Garden Therapy uses gardening activities, plants and the natural world as vehicles for specialist rehab programs. Patients in opiate detox centers benefit from not only the physical exertion of gardening but also the relaxation, enjoyment, skill development, creative expression, and emotional well being.

The Benefits of Garden Therapy

It Acts As a Coping Mechanism: Using gardening in therapy is designed to replace self-destructive urges with healthier ones, providing a calm and relaxing outlet for patients who need to get their addiction out of mind.

It Helps Develop a Sense of Responsibility: Gardening nurtures new life from seed to maturity. Patients can learn how to take care of and be responsible for a living thing by taking care of its daily needs. This can help increase the awareness of one’s obligations in life, as well as their overall sense of self.

It Provides a Sense of Community: In addition to teaching you new skills and improving your well being, Garden Therapy also introduces patients to a new community of people who share similar interests. Gardeners are invariably enthusiasts who have a passion for their hobby and recovering addicts can benefit significantly from the opportunities for social interaction an interest in gardening offers.


A group of women ride horses on a trailEquine-Assisted Therapy

A strong element of addicts’ issues is connected to interpersonal problems. Relationship issues with anyone, not just romantic, are often an inciting point for relapses and binges, and the most significant consequences of addiction can be the damage done to an addict’s relationship with those around them.

Equine-Assisted Therapy provides those struggling with addiction with a companion that won’t judge and won’t be hurt by their actions. The goal is to teach patients how to build healthy relationships while working through any emotional or psychological issues in a safe and comfortable environment.

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

It Strengthens Emotional Awareness: Spending time outside with beautiful, non-judgmental creatures like horses can help patients become more aware of their emotional state. This allows for deeper insight into their feelings, behaviors, boundaries, and stumbling blocks to recovery.

It Builds Self-Esteem: Equine therapy provides metaphoric experiences that stimulates emotional and personal growth, as well as builds confidence over time.

It Improves Relationships: By strengthening emotional awareness and improving one’s self-esteem, addicts will be better-equipped to work on their relationships with others. Equine therapy not only gives you the tools to improve a relationship, but helps define what a healthy relationship should look like.


acupuncture needlesAcupuncture

It is not completely understood how acupuncture works although it has been established that the practice affects dopamine production in the brain, which is the reason it is considered beneficial by drug rehab centers. The brain’s dopaminergic system is behind the creation of feelings of euphoria and pleasure, which are also the induced when someone uses drugs. Acupuncture works by increasing both negative and positive reinforcement of drug use which ultimately leads to the elimination of cravings.

Acupuncture reinforces the properties of drugs in the following ways:

  • Dopamine production is restricted when drugs are used and effectively diminishes their effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms are reduced in severity  by inhibiting gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA neurons and increasing the release of dopamine

There are five pressure points in the ear that are used in acupuncture at drug and alcohol rehab centers and each targets a specific area as follows:

Shen Men point: Also known as ‘heaven’s gate’, Shen Men is the point on the ear that produces feelings of euphoria when stimulated. It is located towards the top of the ear or in medical terms, the apex of the triangular fossa. This point in acupuncture is acknowledged for healing physical pain or conditions of the central nervous system.

Sympathetic Autonomic point: This point of the ear affects certain aspects of brain activity, feelings of determination (willpower) and also hormone levels. When stimulated this point allows patients more clarity in their thought processes and also restores feelings of optimism which is highly beneficial for people in drug detox centers.

Kidney point: Many acupuncture practitioners believe that the kidney point is the center of yin and yang in the human body. By stimulating this point of the ear, it is possible to restore balance to the body’s main systems including the digestive, immune and respiratory so that they are more effective in contributing to the healing process.

Liver point: The consequence of prolonged addiction can be significant damage to the liver although it is the only one of the body’s organs to be capable of regeneration. That said, the right conditions have to be present for the liver to be able to regenerate which is where acupuncture is very useful. When this part of the ear is stimulated, the liver’s healing process is assisted as it deals with eliminating toxins and repairing cells.

Lung point: This point of the ear deals with circulation and stimulating the area improves this while oxygenating the body to life feelings of depression, anxiety or grief. Many people in drug and alcohol detox centers also suffer from a mental health condition and acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of these dual-diagnosis cases.


What Are The Unique Benefits of Holistic Recovery?

Patients attending treatment programs that incorporate holistic therapies with conventional medicine receive some unique benefits. One of the most important is that a combined holistic and traditional approach to addiction treatment is more likely to result in long-term sobriety and less likelihood of relapse.

It is now widely recognized that drug and alcohol detox centers offering holistic treatment have the following benefits:

1. Complements and Improves Traditional Medicine

The main benefit of holistic therapy in addiction treatment is that it provides a bridge between physical healing and the rehabilitation of mind and spirit for an overall approach. For some people who may be overly anxious about the prospect of detox, a holistic recovery program at an opiate detox center can provide them with a route to sobriety that they might not otherwise have pursued. These people may be more comfortable in a rehab environment where there are holistic and experiential treatments being offered alongside more traditional approaches.

2. Opportunities for Participants to Develop New Skills

Holistic therapies generally equip patients with the tools to enable them to cope with recovery. Encouraging patients to occupy themselves in a new hobby and acquire new skills is a positive contribution to long-term sobriety.

3. Prepares Patients for a Change in Lifestyle

A significant advantage of holistic recovery is that patients develop the skills they need to protect themselves against relapse. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga can be used for many years after someone has left rehab.

4. Studies Support Holistic Recovery Programs

There are now numerous scientific studies and research reports that have established holistic remedies as being effective in helping people overcome addiction, particularly as an adjunct to traditional approaches.

Examples of some of the very diverse studies include the following:

  • 2002 – The American Public Health Association reported that holistic therapies are particularly effective for individuals with a history of multiple relapses.
  • 2013 – The Complementary Therapies in Medicine publication concluded that holistic practices such as yoga and meditation reduced the risk of relapse in later life.
  • 2014 – The Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment pointed at considerable evidence that holistic medicine significantly enhances addiction counseling and therapy.
  • 2015 – In a report by the Australian Journal of Primary Health, mental and physical health were found to be intimately interconnected and the general principles of holistic medicine were supported.

How Can Holistic Medicine Help Recovery and Does It Work?

In summary, holistic therapies can help in addiction treatment in the following ways:

  • Helps patients manage cravings and even eliminate them completely
  • Reduces the severity of withdrawal for a more manageable detox experience
  • Lowers stress levels and reduces tension
  • Eases insomnia, anxiety, and depression
  • Improves eating habits and leads to healthier behavior
  • Places the focus on well being, making it a priority in recovery
  • Builds a solid foundation for better spiritual health

Everyone has their own unique set of requirements and preferences when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Holistic therapies can be useful in providing effective alternatives that are more appealing to patients than a program based purely on conventional approaches.

Ranch Creek Recovery in Murrieta, CA offers a number of holistic treatment programs that are customized to fit the unique needs of our patients. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today by filling out a form or by calling (877) 997-8931 to speak to a representative.