San Diego Addiction Recovery: Going Beyond the Twelve Steps

The twelve step program, more commonly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous or AA, has become the ultimate authority over the last 100 years when it comes to recovery from alcohol and substance abuse. Its core message is based on the principles of turning your life over to a higher power while admitting that you solely cannot overcome your addiction. As faith-based, abstinence-only fellowships, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can be very encouraging and affordable resources. However, the original idea behind these programs was that they operate on a voluntary basis, and because they appear to be the only option for so many people there’s a massive ignorance as to the other programs that exist.

The ultimate mission of anyone attending AA is to start a path towards sobriety, but more importantly to gain the tools to stay sober year after year. A serious addiction, whether it is to drugs or alcohol, will always attempt to cause the individual to relapse, and with success rates from 3% to 8% across the US, the twelve step program is falling short for many individuals. Based on current studies on addiction, death rates for substance users are far higher for those relapsing after attempted sobriety, rather than for first time users—and this opens up a large question about how we increase success amongst those already struggling with alcohol and drug dependence.

While Ranch Creek Recovery does offer programs that include a twelve step methodology, many individuals need to realize that they are not limited to that single outlet for personal therapy and recovery. Holistic treatment centers and progressive new programs, like those at Ranch Creek, develop lasting habits and strong cognitive perspectives that can’t be gained through a repetitive cycle of AA meetings. If you have struggled to find success with a twelve step program or don’t believe in the spiritual principles that are at the core of the program, it’s time to seek out more uplifting and constructive forms of rehabilitation.

At Ranch Creek we understand that your addiction is complex, and by getting to the root of your dependency we can design a program that will help you evolve your lifestyle towards sober living, without damaging the individual characteristics that make you unique. Let us show you the world of possibilities that awaits you during your recovery, and call us today at (951) 676-9111.

Horse Whisperers: The Benefits of Equine Therapy

There are many alternative therapy options available to those seeking help, as the benefits of holistic treatment become increasingly apparent. Sometimes a traditional route towards recovery just doesn’t work, and in that case, there is a need for a more progressive style of rehabilitation. Of the various therapies we offer at Ranch Creek Recovery, one of the most interesting and well-received programs has been equine therapy.

Equine therapy has been found to be an amazing tool in the process of recovery, and coupled with other forms of rehabilitation individuals have been able to rebuild themselves with a much greater sense of self-worth. Equine therapy utilizes horses to build metaphorical connections between the actions of the animal and the actions of the human participant. Horses are extremely complex animals, and they possess a unique ability to mirror the emotions of humans during an interaction. This type of congruence promotes a connection between the individual and the horse, displaying how a calm and peaceful attitude will positively affect the animal, versus how a disgruntled or frustrated demeanor might upset it. Horses, like humans, do not respond positively to obtrusive commands or gestures, and one of the earliest lessons in any equine therapy involves identifying the proper ways to approach the animal and guide it. In this way, a relationship can be built between the patient and the horse and a feeling of trust can be secured.

Equine Therapy involves instruction in horse care, grooming procedures, saddlery, and basic equitation. Horses are large animals, and ensuring the safety of individuals is our highest priority. In concurrence, proper head protection and other gear is used to confirm everyone’s well-being. While equine therapy itself is fairly new in terms of being a psychoanalytic practice, horses have been used for hundreds of years for therapeutic purposes, and offer a strong sense of awareness that allows them to bond with humans. Students will eventually learn how to properly direct and interact with a horse, learning valuable lessons in areas like self-control, communication, confidence, personal worth, and trust.

It’s important to note that while certain amounts of horse riding occur during equine therapy, there is a very large difference between riding lessons and therapeutic equine sessions. The purpose of each session is to illuminate the power within you through interaction with the horse. This being said, it’s critical that equine therapy is directed by a certified professional to ensure proper training and knowledge. Our staff of equine specialists is experienced and ready to begin a highly enjoyable program designed for your recovery.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we are dedicated to your individual well-being. Our facility is a beautiful space to begin your equine therapy, and we are excited to share the experience with you. So call our treatment facility today at (951) 676-9111.

A Closer Look at Amino Acid Therapy

Amino acids are the primary structures responsible for the body’s production of proteins. These proteins are responsible for the makeup of our cells as well as their function, so without the correct levels of amino acids, we can become sick, and in some cases, die.

Usually, amino acid levels are maintained through a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. However, diseases such as depression or addiction alter the brains chemistry and make it difficult to maintain the correct levels of amino acids. Often, the side effects of addiction, such as depression, insomnia and anxiety are treated through pharmaceutical drugs, and the prescription itself continues to change the user’s brain chemistry. While certain prescription treatments have proven to be very effective, continued medication consumption can halt the body’s ability to successfully produce and utilize neurotransmitters. In order to fix this problem the patient might require a concentrated supplement of amino acid precursors to achieve proper levels of circulation—this is Amino Acid Therapy.

The approach of amino acid therapy attempts to adjust the problem at its source without compounding the effects of chemicals on the brain. By regimenting amino acid supplements and emphasizing the body’s natural ability to utilize them through IV nutrition, adrenal support and exercise, individuals are no longer just suppressing symptoms; they are actively getting rid of them.

The problems that are associated with unbalanced amino acid levels cannot be fixed overnight, and it requires experienced healthcare and science professionals to evaluate each particular patient. Usually, depending on the extent of substance abuse and the time frame, vitamin and mineral imbalances caused by poor absorption of nutrients cause issues with the body’s natural ability to form neurotransmitters. By supplementing certain amino acids in conjunction with vitamins, minerals, and coenzymes, neurotransmitters can be successfully reestablished, hopefully eliminating the side effects of withdrawal.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, our experienced staff is dedicated to your individual well-being. Our testing and evaluating physicians have been setting the standard for proper amino acid therapy, so call our drug treatment facility today at (951) 676-9111.

The Other Side of Addiction: Co-Dependency

When most of us think about addiction, our minds go directly to substance abuse. Dependencies on alcohol, narcotics, or nicotine are three of the most publically recognized addictions in our society, due to the overwhelming number of people dealing with them each day. We are able to see the physical and psychological effects of these addictions in our daily lives, as the people dealing with them present clear signs of abusive behavior. However, there is another kind of addiction that can come from an extended relationship with a substance abusing addict, and that is “relationship addiction” otherwise referred to as Co-Dependency.

Co-dependency can affect anyone: spouses, parents, siblings, and friends –anyone who has experienced a relationship that is rooted in another’s chemical dependency. While originally the term was used to describe individuals who were locked together in similar substance abusing behaviors, now it refers to anyone who places their focus on an addict’s behavior and well-being versus their own. Co-dependents struggle to maintain happy, productive lifestyles due to the constant burden of the relationship status quo, which is one-sided on the side of the dependent. They often feel a loss of identity, as their lives become centered on compulsively serving the addict’s needs.

Co-dependency is a serious condition, which many times goes unrecognized because the individual just assumes his or her behavior to be helpful and assistive, when in reality, the repeated behavior is self-defeating. Prolonged relationships that allow the co-dependent to act as the ”care-taker” of the abuser, isolate the individual into a continuous cycle of dependency, leading to low self-esteem, depression and apathy. Many times, co-dependent individuals will turn to outside stimuli to make themselves feel better, eventually becoming alcohol or drug abusers themselves.

Identifying some of the key behaviors and characteristics of co-dependency can be the first step to getting help. According to the National Health Association, some of the major symptoms are:

  • a compelling need to control others
  • a need for acknowledgment and recognition for self-worth
  • the desire to rescue someone; confusing love with pity
  • an exaggerated sense of responsibility towards others
  • fear of abandonment; controlled by the relationship
  • guilt when acting for themselves
  • difficulty interacting socially with others because of distrust

Co-dependency can affect entire families and can be introduced at any age. If you or someone you know is living with a person with chemical dependency, we can help.

Contact us at Ranch Creek Recovery, by calling our addiction treatment center at (951) 676-9111 for more information.

Depression and Substance Abuse

Mood disorders and substance abuse go hand in hand. Data from treatment seeking populations indicate that substance abuse disorders and other psychiatric disorders co-occur more commonly than would be expected by chance. Substance abuse, chemical dependance and alcoholism in particular are more common in patients with bipolar affective disorder than in the rest of the general population. The National Institute of Mental Health data indicates that when an individual suffers from bipoler affective disorder, that individual is most likely to have a substance abuse or dependence issue as well. There is evidence that bipolar patients with substance abuse have it worse than just having bipolar or substance abuse alone. It is difficult to diagnose a patient with bipolar dissorder when they are substance dependent because substance abuse mimics many psychiactric disorders. According to the U.S. department of Health and Human Services, a person dealing with depression may try to self-medicate using drugs or alcohol. 21% of adults who went through a depressive episode within the past year used some kind of alcohol or drug compared to only 8% dealing with depression alone.

It has also been found that co-occuring diagnosis does not limit itself to adults alone. Depression sometimes leads people to drink, which makes things worse because alcohol is a depressant. The same goes for drugs because the depressed person wants to make their bad feelings dissapear. By using alcohol and other drugs, the depressed person feels a reprieve from their depression. Some connections that researchers found between depression and substance abuse are shared brain regions; depression and substance abuse affect the same area of the brain that handles our response to stress. Genetic factors; if a person is genetically pre disposed to depression or a type of mental disorder and begins to drink, alcoholism can occur. Brain development isssues; can lead a child to depression or substance abuse, also early drug use can spark a mental disorder to appear early on.

It is important that both depression and substance abuse be treated by professionals so that the person may have a good chance at recovery. The chances of relapse are higher if both conditions are not treated. Call us at 951-676-9111 to discuss possible treatment for your substance abuse issues. We are here to help!

Inside America’s Alarming Prescription Drug Addiction

Are you taking more pain medications than prescribed? If so, you could be one of the millions of Americans dealing with a prescription drug addiction. Most people think of street drugs when they think of drug abuse, but addiction to prescription medication has skyrocketed in the U.S. in recent years. Prescription drug abuse is running especially rampant in demographics not usually associated with addiction—educated, working adults aged 35 to 64.

This video discusses some of the causes of the America’s prescription drug addiction epidemic. Doctors prescribe more pain medications than ever before. Another problem is a societal trend to rely on medications for quick fixes to major problems.

Don’t let addiction take over your life or the life of someone you love. Help is available at San Diego’s Ranch Creek Recovery. Call our addiction treatment center at (951) 795-4326 for more information.

Alternative Approaches to Addiction: Top Trends in Holistic Therapy

Holistic medicine has been gaining popularity across the U.S. and worldwide in recent decades. Holistic options are used more frequently by people everyday to promote relaxation, treat medical problems, and counsel people with mental disorders. Increasingly, addition treatment centers are adopting holistic methodologies to treat drug and alcohol abuse. Some of the most popular therapies include equine therapy, acupuncture, and amino acid therapy. Take a look at this infographic from a San Diego addiction treatment facility to learn more about top trends in alternative addiction treatments. Please spread the word about these successful, cutting-edge treatment options by sharing this infographic with friends and loved ones.

Addiction Treatment

Getting Familiar with the Language of Addiction Treatment

Seeking drug addiction treatment means confronting a whole new world of terminology. Learning the language of treatment and recovery will help you better understand the process and put you in control. Here are some of the terms you are likely to encounter during addiction treatment:

The World Health Organization defines addiction as the repeated use of an intoxicating substance and the subsequent dependence on that substance. People with addictions are called addicts. Addicts will go to great lengths to find their substance of choice and are often unable to stop using on their own.

Withdrawal occurs when an addict stops using a substance after a long term of regular use. During addiction treatment, a former user experiences intense cravings for the substance. Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological. Physical withdrawal symptoms typically subside after the body adjusts to not having the drug or alcohol, while psychological withdrawal can linger longer.

If an addict returns to drug or alcohol abuse during or after an addiction treatment program, he is said to have relapsed. With the right treatment and support network, a former addict can avoid relapse and stay drug free.

Triggers refer to any kind of stimulation that sparks an addict’s desire to use drugs or alcohol. Triggers can cause relapses. Every addict has his own unique set of triggers, though some of the most common include stress, visiting places where drugs and alcohol are available, or being around friends who are addicts.

Recovery is the stage that comes after drug addiction treatment. During recovery, treated addicts work to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Recovery lasts for the rest of the former addict’s life.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we will help you understand all aspects of your drug addiction treatment and recovery. At our residential treatment center, located in San Diego, we rely on holistic treatments and amino acid therapies to help you beat your addiction for good. Are you ready to get help for yourself or a loved one? Call our drug addiction treatment center today at (951) 795-4326.


Drug Abuse, Neurotransmitters, and the Loss of Happiness

Why is it so difficult to give up drugs, even when using them is destroying your relationships, career, health, and finances? Many people dealing with addiction blame themselves for lacking willpower, but the answer is much more complex than that. Drugs actually alter the way the brain works, making addiction very powerful. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we help battle this problem with amino acid therapy and other elements of drug addiction treatment. Here are the facts about drug abuse and the neurotransmitter alterations that encourage addiction:

What Are Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain that transmit messages from your neurons to other cells. Many neurotransmitters are involved in the regulation of mood and behavior. Dopamine is associated with pleasure, rewards, and energy; serotonin regulates mood and impulse behavior; and norepinephrine is involved with excitement and pleasure. There are many other such neurotransmitters that are directly responsible for how you feel and your behavior. Changes in your brain’s delicate balance of neurotransmitters can have far-reaching effects, from depression to impulsive behavior and addiction.

How Are Neurotransmitters and Drugs Linked?
The high associated with most drugs is derived from an alteration of neurotransmitters. Different drugs affect different neurotransmitters, often sparking a feeling of euphoria that the user craves again and again. The relationship becomes more complicated with repeated drug use. Take dopamine for example; using drugs can cause an increase in dopamine levels, which boosts the user’s mood. However, with repeated use, your brain will respond by making less dopamine when the drug isn’t being used, which means sober periods are marked by depression. Eventually, the brain stops making dopamine unless the drug enters the system. The user is now physically dependent on the drug.

These kinds of dependencies can be overcome in drug addiction treatment with the help of amino acid therapy. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we rely on a range of holistic treatments to restore balance for the patients at our residential drug treatment center in San Diego. Break free from your addiction and call our drug treatment facility today at (951) 795-4326.