Addiction // Category

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12 Sep

College is a time to focus on building your career, and getting the most our of the huge investment that you’re making to get a degree. But too often, that focus gets lost among the pop culture messages that seem to scream that college is for one thing: partying. 

Students who are sober can feel like fish out of water on campus. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Although drinking — specifically binge drinking — is common on campus, more and more college students are opting to stay clean and sober. If you’re headed back to school this fall, here’s what you should know about sobriety on campus. 

1. Being sober isn’t as unusual as you might think.

Often, it seems like everyone on campus is drinking, but that’s simply not true. Data from the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that in 2017 just over 56 percent of people age 18-25 reported using alcohol in the past month. That means that nearly half of all people in this age group are abstaining, at least temporarily. 

Racheal Doll, admissions director at Asana Recovery, which offers detox and treatment in Costa Mesa, California, says that movies and television shows make drinking and partying look a lot more common than they actually are during college. 

“Society and mainstream media has a huge role to play in why we associate college years as the ‘wild’ or ‘experimental’ time in someone’s life, because for most people it may be the first time young adults haven’t lived under their parents’ roof,” she said. “This is what we see in movies and hear in songs but it doesn’t have to be the rule.”

2. There’s strength in numbers. 

Hearing about the rates of drinking on campus can be reassuring, but it does little to improve your confidence if everyone around you is partying. That’s why Doll says it’s important to connect with other students who are in recovery. 

“The important thing is to stick with the pack,” she says. “Find like-minded people, sober fellows, and stick with your routine. Continue to go to meetings and work with a sponsor.”

Recovery groups are common on campuses around the country. In addition, many colleges now offer sober dormitories, where students are committed to living in an environment without drugs or alcohol. Joining one of these communities can give you the confidence and framework to prioritize your recovery while you’re in school.

3. Set boundaries before you need them. 

Especially when you’re new on campus, it can be easy to fall into a risky situation where people are using drugs or alcohol. Before you find yourself in a bind, take time to think about what you’ll do when these situations arise. Be honest with yourself, and set your boundaries ahead of time. 

Saying that you won’t drink or use is easy. But it’s also important to think about what your boundaries are when people are using around you. If you’re socializing and people start drinking, will you leave? What if your roommate wants to drink or use in your room? Considering these questions ahead of time will leave you better able to respond in the moment. 

4. Being sober can improve your college experience. 

If you’re sober on campus you might initially feel like you’re missing out. However, that’s not the case. Living without drugs and alcohol can improve your college experience, academically and socially. 

“Because you aren’t intoxicated or hungover you are aware and present, which allows you to fully absorb the knowledge you went there for in the first place,” Doll says. “It also allows you to really appreciate the experience with your friends. You will be able to remember and look back on all the great memories as opposed to having it all be a blur.”

Since you’re not prioritizing partying, you’ll be more likely to take advantage of sober events offered on campus, like concerts, art displays and other events. 

5. Help is nearby, if you need it. 

Although being sober on campus has perks, it can still be challenging. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or letting your recovery slip, reach out for help before things get out of control.

“There are many helpful resources/tools on campus which many students may not be aware of,” Doll says. “If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol just don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

One of the most important resources on campus is the student health center, which can connect you with professionals who can help support your sobriety. If you’re concerned about your mental or physical health, going to the health clinic is a great way to connect with resources that you may not have realized you had. 

Asana Recovery offers residential and outpatient treatment in Costa Mesa, California. Learn more by calling 949-438-4504.

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11 Sep

IV amino acid therapy works to repair essential amino acids and vitamins that are depleted in the body due to the damage that alcohol addiction causes.

Developing an addiction to alcohol usually comes as a slow burn. At first, drinking is a fun activity that doesn’t affect the body too much. After repeated use over time, the brain begins to identify alcohol as a pleasure enhancing substance, and rewires itself to crave it. This is how an addiction begins. And before you know it, it is out of hand. 

Getting help for an addiction is a service that is readily available in today’s world. But just like snowflakes, no two addictions are alike. And with that, receiving the right kind of treatment for addiction is a very different experience for every person. 

Ardú Recovery Center of Northern Utah is a treatment facility that recognizes the unique and complex needs of every client that walks through their doors. And for that reason they have developed an array of addiction treatment options to accommodate their clients through comprehensive and holistic programming. 

When it comes to the complexities of alcoholism, Ardú (which is an Irish Gaelic word that means “rise up”) offers services to help ease the discomfort of the detox process, followed by a residential track with customized programming options. In conjunction with traditional treatment approaches, Ardú offers an alternative medicine therapy known as IV Amino Acid Therapy.

What Is Amino Acid Therapy? 

IV amino acid therapy works to repair essential amino acids and vitamins that are depleted in the body due to the damage that alcohol addiction causes. Ardú is the first recovery facility in Utah to offer this therapy, which is the first step in their detox process. Clients who opt to receive this treatment have two to four hour infusion sessions for up to 10 days. During this time they are relaxing in the center’s relaxing Recovery Lounge and preparing for their next step in treatment. 

Why Are Amino Acids Necessary?

Drinking alcohol in excess affects the mind and body negatively over time. Studies have shown that long term alcoholism disturbs brain function, disrupts digestion, affects the immune system and is linked to cancer. Without the body’s ability to properly absorb essential nutrients due to poor digestion, the cell structure begins to break down, which is what eventually leads to chronic illnesses, such as liver and pancreatic damage. 

Amino acids are one of the essentials that the body is robbed of if too much alcohol is in the system. There are 20 different amino acids that the body absolutely needs in order to function properly. These amino acids are broken down into categories, which are essential amino acids, nonessential amino acids, and conditionally essential amino acids. All of them are important, though the nine essential amino acids contribute to every important function in the body, including regulating brain chemistry, regenerating muscle, digestion, sexual function, energy production and healing. 

In most cases, the amino acids that a person needs to maintain health are found in foods that they eat on a daily basis. However, alcoholics often times don’t consume the proper amount of food regularly, and when they do eat, they aren’t getting the proper balance of nutrition anyway. 

What Does This Treatment Actually Do?

The IV amino acid treatment that Ardú provides is slowly administered over the course of the 10 days. During this process the amino acids are able to begin restoring the neurotransmitters in the brain, which balances the brain chemistry and restores balance. Through this process the natural endorphins are able to recalibrate in the brain, which reduces cravings, and allows organs to begin healing. 

As the body and mind start to balance out, clients are able to set themselves up to successfully detox from alcohol, and in conjunction with Ardú’s program of therapy, nutrition, stress reduction and other healing approaches, clients begin to regain their energy, feel an improvement in overall mood, and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel of addiction. 

Part of a Well-Rounded Treatment Program

With the holistic and personalized approach to addiction treatment at Ardú, clients work closely with experts in their field, and experience cutting edge treatment methods. The IV amino therapy that is offered at Ardú is one piece of the healing puzzle, and when it is combined with other traditional and alternative approaches, clients start to experience a happier, healthier and more productive existence that alcohol has prohibited for so long. 

Learn more about Ardú Recovery Center and their programming options at www.ardurecoverycenter.com. Reach Ardú Recovery Center by phone at 801.823.6852. Find Ardú Recovery Center on Facebook.

Please read our comment policy. – The Fix


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09 Sep

Rarely does addiction occur in a vacuum. Often times the pull of addictive substances or a genetic predisposition to substance use disorder are complicated by a person’s mental health history. When people are dealing with both substance use disorder and mental illness, they are said to have a dual diagnosis, also referred to as co-occurring disorders. 

Being well-informed about co-occurring disorders can help you (or your loved one) connect with the treatment that you need to heal. Getting into the right recovery program that can help you manage both conditions reduces your risk for relapse and helps you stay sober in the long-term. 

12 Things You Should Know About Co-Occurring Disorders:

1. They’re important to know about. 

Many people with substance use disorder are self-medicating underlying mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. Because of this, it’s very common for individuals to have both substance use disorder and mental illness. Knowing about, diagnosing, and treating both conditions is instrumental for recovery.

2. They’re super common.

Substance use disorder and mental illness often go hand in hand, and both conditions are extremely common. Nearly 8 million Americans are living with co-occurring substance use disorder and a mental health condition at the same time, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

3. People with mental illness often turn to illicit drugs.

Many people with mental illness lack the resources to access care for their condition. In many cases, this leaves them turning to illicit drugs or abusing drugs or alcohol in order to self-medicate their condition. About one-third of all people with a mental health condition and half of people with serious mental illness have co-occurring substance use disorder.

4. Understanding of co-occurring disorders has increased.

Health professionals used to think that substance use disorder was a moral failing, and that mental health conditions like depression or schizophrenia were caused by moral weakness or bad parenting. However, understanding of both conditions has advanced rapidly, with science providing more information on co-occurring disorders.

5. Evidence-based treatment is available.

Today, there are evidence-based treatments for both substance use disorder and mental illness. Using medication and therapy, people with dual diagnoses can make great progress in managing their conditions.

6. Both conditions must be treated.

In the past, doctors thought that substance use disorder had to be rectified before a person could get treatment for their mental illness. However, today most health care providers recognize that the best outcomes occur when both conditions are treated simultaneously. This is called integrated treatment.

8. They require special care.

While it’s entirely possible to live a healthy life with a dual diagnosis, treating mental illness and substance use disorder can be tricky. That’s because some medications used to treat mental illness have the potential to be abused. It’s important that people with dual diagnoses connect with a treatment professional who can help them develop a medication management plan that addresses both conditions.

9. Substance use can contribute to mental health conditions.

Trying to figure out which condition came first can be a chicken and egg situation. However, research shows that some substance use can contribute to mental health complications. For example, there are some cases where early marijuana use has been linked with an increased risk for psychosis in adulthood.

10. Stress makes them worse.

Both mental illness and substance use disorder are made worse when a person is stressed. That’s because stress changes how the brain functions: For example, stress reduces the functioning of the prefrontal cortex which helps people make rational decisions, and increases activity in the striatum which can lead to more impulsive behavior, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

11. Genetics and environment play a role.

Genetic factors can increase a person’s risk for both substance use disorder and mental illness. For example, scientists believe that 40-60 percent of a person’s risk for substance use disorder can be explained by genetics. The rest is determined by epigenetic and environmental factors, like childhood trauma. 

12. Early intervention is important.

Teens who have co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness benefit greatly from early intervention. Connecting teens with treatment that understands dual diagnoses can help them learn to manage both conditions without either getting to the point of crisis.

13. Support is available.

People with dual diagnoses can find help from traditional recovery programs, but they might also benefit from involvement with programs that are specifically designed for people with co-occurring disorders. Double Trouble in Recovery is a 12-step program for people with co-occurring disorders. 

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at http://oceansidemalibu.com/. Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

Please read our comment policy. – The Fix


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02 Sep

Almost a year had passed since my ex-husband, Josh, was found dead.

As the anniversary approached, I felt pressure from friends and family to mark the occasion. My son and I had spent an entire year trying to regain shreds of normalcy and happiness.

The idea of revisiting our loss with a date circled on the calendar seemed agonizing and dumb. It would be like swimming in a lightning storm. Sure, you might not get struck and drown, but why would you risk it?

Plus, there were practicalities. Since Josh was “found” dead after a long battle with alcoholism, we didn’t know the exact date of his death. We couldn’t spend the day visiting his grave because he was cremated and his ashes were in our living room. I suppose we could’ve held a vigil next to the bookcase where the urn sits, but that seemed weird.

What I knew for sure was that I couldn’t ignore the day. I didn’t want my son Dash to look back years later and wonder why we hadn’t done anything for that first anniversary. I never wanted him to think that I had forgotten his dad or didn’t love him, even though we had been divorced for three years before he died.

Sobbing over photos and focusing on Josh’s absence would be an awful way to spend the day. I’m also not a big fan of the otherwise popular “celebration of life” thing, because of the way it erases our sadness. I think people should be allowed to grieve in all its complexity.

I hated hearing, “He would have wanted you to be happy, he wouldn’t want you to cry.” First of all, that negates the pain of our loss, and second, if Josh could have whatever he wanted, I’ll bet that he would have wanted not to be dead.

So I created Dad Day—a day when Dash and I do everything his father would have loved. Josh was British and loved Marmite, so we “eat” it for breakfast. We don’t really eat it, because it is a disgusting yeast paste that neither of us can stand. But we smear it on toast, take a bite, gag, then run to the sink to spit it out. After that, we stick to Josh’s other favorites: pizza, Dr. Pepper, popcorn, and gummy bears.

Josh was a huge hockey fan, so we bust out his New York Rangers jerseys. Dash wears the white one all day, and I wear the blue one for as long as I can stand it. My God, the polyester! We watch cricket, which neither of us understand, and his favorite movies, like The Warriors, then finish the day with as many episodes of The Simpsons as time allows.

Stories about Josh naturally come up. I tell Dash about the time he threw a big party while his parents were out of town. He would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t recorded a lot of it on the answering machine. Or the time he met Margaret Thatcher and accidentally dropped a condom at her feet. Her response was, “Well? Pick it up then!”

Josh’s brother Max calls from Italy and shares more wild tales, like the Christmas they out-ran the police in Zanzibar, or the time Josh sent his six-year old brother Louie home alone in a London taxi, because he wanted to spend some time with a cute girl he had just met. We laugh about what a crazy teenager he was. And yes, we cry a little, because Josh would have loved Dad Day, and he’s missing it.

Joshua Keep was born on April 21,1969 and was found dead on August 19, 2016. But he wasn’t just his delivery and expiration dates. He was his smile. He was the way he laughed and gave and yawned and worked and loved. I want to give Dash the intimate pieces of the man he can never know in this way. I try to breathe life back into Josh through stories and myths of his heroism, his stupidity, and his kindness.

So once a year on our fake holiday, we shine light on the person he was. We pull him back to us. All of the things and the people he loved are still here. We show him how much we remember—and how little we can forget.

“Dad Day: Death Is A Holiday” is featured in the upcoming anthology We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor slated for release on September 10th. 

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21 Aug

Justin Hoffman’s relief from post-traumatic stress disorder began with the hiccups. 

Not the cute and happy kind, but chronic hiccups that had to be treated with morphine and Thorazine in the emergency room. When he mentioned this to a colleague in the treatment industry, that doctor suggested ketamine as a possible treatment. When Hoffman received a dose of ketamine not only did the hiccups stop, but he experienced something unexpected. 

“I felt like the PTSD that I had been walking around with was gone,” said Hoffman. 

The experience led to Hoffman partnering with board-certified anesthesiologist Henry Liang to found Klarity Life, a treatment program that will be opening in Las Vegas this fall. The program consists of two aspects. At The House at Klarity Life, Hoffman, the program director, utilizes holistic therapies to facilitate healing in a luxurious setting where clients have private rooms and meals prepared by a private chef. Dr. Liang, the medical director at The Clinic at Klarity Life, gives patients NAD+ and ketamine infusions, as well as supplements, which allows a virtually painless detox.

Hoffman, nephew of the 1960’s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman, was familiar with the benefits of nontraditional treatments. After spending 20 years hooked on opioids and trying over 30 rehab programs, he got sober with the help of plant-based medicine. That was six years ago, and since then he has worked to help other people achieve lasting sobriety by combining plant-based medicine with strict aftercare that includes nutrition, exercise and spiritual exploration. 

“It made sense to open a safe, beautiful place, to teach other people the things that worked for me: like yoga, cryogenic therapy, nature, Qigong,” Hoffman said. “I started to watch the success rate for treating addiction rise from 30 percent with just plant-based medicine to 70 percent with aftercare.” 

Hoffman had built a business and life around helping other people get sober using plant-based medicine, but when he tried ketamine for the first time he realized that it was an even more powerful tool for helping to treat addiction. 

NAD+, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin), has long been used to treat withdrawal symptoms. Justin and Dr. Liang realized that the combination of NAD+ and ketamine, coupled with Hoffman’s rigorous aftercare program, would give people with substance use disorder the best chance of lasting sobriety. 

“It clicked in my head that this is the best choice for addicts, even better than plant-based medicine,” he said.

The program facilitates healing by pairing The Clinic’s NAD+ and ketamine infusions and supplements with The House’s holistic aftercare regimen of clean eating, therapy, exercise and spiritual restoration. The infusions offer virtually painless detox as well as alleviate depression and PTSD symptoms; the aftercare teaches people how to live a full life without relying on drugs or alcohol. 

“With this place, I cover all the bases: nutrition, spirituality and recovery,” Hoffman said. “After 30 rehabs and their protocols, I realized how archaic they are. They’re giving meds to cover symptoms. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a laceration of throat. We don’t want to put a Band-Aid on anything.”

One of the most appealing parts of Klarity Life is that it offers clients nearly painless detox from almost any drug. Using infusions and supplement management in the first 24-72 hours, people who are dependent can detox without feeling severely ill. By day three to four of infusions, people are typically feeling great, Hoffman said. Infusions continue for eight to ten days, and for the rest of their stay clients focus on learning to live healthy, rewarding lives in recovery. 

“We have you feeling good right away,” Hoffman said. “The rest of the time we’re working on healthy substitutes for what you’ve been doing in the past.”

As part of this, Hoffman exposes clients to an array of treatment modalities, from 12 step programs to SMART recovery. By sampling an array of recovery resources, clients can connect with the resources that work best for them. 

“We want to expose them to all different types of therapy,” Hoffman said. “I want to embrace anything that is saving someone’s life. I’ve lost too many people to say my way is the only way.”

Because of the ketamine treatment, many people feel relief from symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, all of which can be triggers for relapse. Healing this root cause of addiction, and then building the foundation for a life of healthy habits, is what sets Klarity Life apart, Hoffman said. 

“We’ve been seeing miracles,” he said. 

Klarity Life is a boutique rehab program opening this fall in Las Vegas, offering outpatient NAD+ and ketamine infusion therapy and a holistic approach to health and healing.

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21 Aug

Before police raided the Stonewall Inn in 1969, the establishment was a gathering place for the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community, including drag queens and trans women of color. Yet, soon after the raid and subsequent riots, these very people were pushed out of the pride movement, which tended to focus largely on gay white men. 

“The original pride parade started after the stonewall riots which was initiated by transgender folks such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, but pretty soon after that the trans community became invisible and was not included in the gay pride movement,” says Donna Weinberger, founder and CEO of Inspire Recovery, a treatment center in West Palm Beach, Florida that serves LQBTQ+ folks.

The frequent focus on middle- and upper-class gay men as the face of the LGBTQ pride movement has led to the continued marginalization of other members of the community, especially trans people. This happens in society at large, and also at self-proclaimed LGBTQ-friendly treatment centers, which may market themselves to the community but be unable to address the needs of trans people with substance use disorder. 

“A lot of centers don’t understand the trans experience,” says Jaki Neering, a clinician at Inspire Recovery. 

While Inspire Recovery serves all members of the LQBTQ+ community, it is especially adept at serving the needs of trans clients. This starts with radical acceptance: taking people as they are, and allowing them the time and space to drop the persona that they have adopted in order to survive, and explore who their genuine selves are. 

“Somewhere along their journey of life, a persona has been created,” Neering explains. In order for treatment to be effective, the person needs to be comfortable connecting with their genuine self, and doing therapy in that mindset, not bringing any personas into their recovery. 

For many members of the trans community, this can mean taking time to go through developmental processes that were interrupted during adolescence, when they began repressing their true selves to survive. 

“There’s this interruption that’s happening,” Neering says. “The authentic self isn’t getting to develop; the persona is creating a false identity, so the authentic self never gets that opportunity.”

When people go through the coming out process, they sometimes don’t even know the terminology to describe who they are.

“They don’t know their authentic identity, because they never got to know themselves,” Neering says. 

Inspire Recovery allows people the space to reconnect or connect and define who they really are, when they are comfortable dropping the labels and assignments that society has given them.

“They go through the process of getting to know themselves, feel feelings and interact with others,” she says. 

In addition, some people need to work through their own internalized feelings of transphobia in order to come to terms with who they are.

Only after these steps are accomplished can people move toward addressing specific issues that are symptomatic of their developmental interruptions and trauma, like substance abuse. 

“Part of the treatment experience is getting sober, but if that person can’t address the core issues of why they’re using, sobriety will not last,” Neering says. 

Because trans people are working through so many issues in addition to their substance use, their stay at Inspire Recovery is usually much longer than a typical rehab stay. Six months would be on the short end, and some people stay for up to two years, Weinberger says. 

In part, that’s because the more people move toward their authentic selves, the more they can be at risk for self-sabotaging through relapse. 

“If someone has internalized transphobia, the closer they get to living their authentic self and being ok, sometimes the scarier it becomes, because it’s almost a reality,” Weinberger says. 

One way that Inspire Recovery supports this is by making sure that trans clients don’t stick out. They are not ostracized in treatment, but are welcomed as full-fledged members of the community by providers and patients alike. 

“It’s a normalized experience,” Neering says. “At our center, you’re one amongst many. There’s not a difference, separation. You’re among so many people having the same experience, and there’s great benefit in that.”

Inspire Recovery provides treatment for substance use disorder and mental illness for LGBTQIA+ individuals in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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20 Aug

Justin Hoffman’s relief from post-traumatic stress disorder began with the hiccups. 

Not the cute and happy kind, but chronic hiccups that had to be treated with morphine and Thorazine in the emergency room. When he mentioned this to a colleague in the treatment industry, that doctor suggested ketamine as a possible treatment. When Hoffman received a dose of ketamine not only did the hiccups stop, but he experienced something unexpected. 

“I felt like the PTSD that I had been walking around with was gone,” said Hoffman. 

The experience led to Hoffman partnering with board-certified anesthesiologist Henry Liang to found Klarity Life, a treatment program that will be opening in Las Vegas this fall. The program consists of two aspects. At The House at Klarity Life, Hoffman, the program director, utilizes holistic therapies to facilitate healing in a luxurious setting where clients have private rooms and meals prepared by a private chef. Dr. Liang, the medical director at The Clinic at Klarity Life, gives patients NAD+ and ketamine infusions, as well as supplements, which allows a virtually painless detox.

Hoffman, nephew of the 1960’s counterculture icon Abbie Hoffman, was familiar with the benefits of nontraditional treatments. After spending 20 years hooked on opioids and trying over 30 rehab programs, he got sober with the help of plant-based medicine. That was six years ago, and since then he has worked to help other people achieve lasting sobriety by combining plant-based medicine with strict aftercare that includes nutrition, exercise and spiritual exploration. 

“It made sense to open a safe, beautiful place, to teach other people the things that worked for me: like yoga, cryogenic therapy, nature, Qigong,” Hoffman said. “I started to watch the success rate for treating addiction rise from 30 percent with just plant-based medicine to 70 percent with aftercare.” 

Hoffman had built a business and life around helping other people get sober using plant-based medicine, but when he tried ketamine for the first time he realized that it was an even more powerful tool for helping to treat addiction. 

NAD+, a component of vitamin B3 (niacin), has long been used to treat withdrawal symptoms. Justin and Dr. Liang realized that the combination of NAD+ and ketamine, coupled with Hoffman’s rigorous aftercare program, would give people with substance use disorder the best chance of lasting sobriety. 

“It clicked in my head that this is the best choice for addicts, even better than plant-based medicine,” he said.

The program facilitates healing by pairing The Clinic’s NAD+ and ketamine infusions and supplements with The House’s holistic aftercare regimen of clean eating, therapy, exercise and spiritual restoration. The infusions offer virtually painless detox as well as alleviate depression and PTSD symptoms; the aftercare teaches people how to live a full life without relying on drugs or alcohol. 

“With this place, I cover all the bases: nutrition, spirituality and recovery,” Hoffman said. “After 30 rehabs and their protocols, I realized how archaic they are. They’re giving meds to cover symptoms. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a laceration of throat. We don’t want to put a Band-Aid on anything.”

One of the most appealing parts of Klarity Life is that it offers clients nearly painless detox from almost any drug. Using infusions and supplement management in the first 24-72 hours, people who are dependent can detox without feeling severely ill. By day three to four of infusions, people are typically feeling great, Hoffman said. Infusions continue for eight to ten days, and for the rest of their stay clients focus on learning to live healthy, rewarding lives in recovery. 

“We have you feeling good right away,” Hoffman said. “The rest of the time we’re working on healthy substitutes for what you’ve been doing in the past.”

As part of this, Hoffman exposes clients to an array of treatment modalities, from 12 step programs to SMART recovery. By sampling an array of recovery resources, clients can connect with the resources that work best for them. 

“We want to expose them to all different types of therapy,” Hoffman said. “I want to embrace anything that is saving someone’s life. I’ve lost too many people to say my way is the only way.”

Because of the ketamine treatment, many people feel relief from symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety, all of which can be triggers for relapse. Healing this root cause of addiction, and then building the foundation for a life of healthy habits, is what sets Klarity Life apart, Hoffman said. 

“We’ve been seeing miracles,” he said. 

Klarity Life is a boutique rehab program opening this fall in Las Vegas, offering outpatient NAD+ and ketamine infusion therapy and a holistic approach to health and healing.

Please read our comment policy. – The Fix


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19 Aug

Celebrities…. they’re just like us, but with bigger bank accounts. And just like normal people, celebrities cope with substance abuse and mental health disorders. Although many celebrity deaths have been caused by drug and alcohol abuse, some icons manage to get into rehab, get clean, and live a thriving life in recovery. Here are 10 super famous celebrities who decided to make recovery a way of life. 

1. Elton John

The Rocketman himself struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction throughout his early career. When Elton John met AIDS patient Ryan White, who eventually died from the disease, he was inspired to get clean and found a charity that would help fund HIV/AIDS research and treatment. John has said, “I lost my own humanity in an excess of drugs, alcoholism, and eating disorders.” However, today he has been sober for more than 29 years. In June, he posted a picture of a 12-step coin with a simple message: “I am eternally grateful.”

2. Eminem

Iconic rapper Eminem started abusing prescription medication including Valium, Vicodin, and Xanax to help him power through long days in the studio and later on set, filming the autobiographical film 8 Mile. When he found himself taking up to 60 pills a day he turned to medication-assisted treatment with methadone, but soon began abusing that as well. Finally, back-to-back hospital trips made him realize he needed to make a change. A trip to rehab and major support from Elton John helped set Eminem on the right track, and today he has been sober for 11 years. 

3. Demi Lovato

Anyone who has worked to get clean knows that recovery is not a straightforward track. Singer Demi Lovato — who has been open about her struggles with addiction and mental health — is proof. Lovato was sober for years before a 2018 relapse nearly killed her. After going through rehab and sober living she is again on the wagon, posting in January 2019 that she was “So grateful for the lessons I’ve learned this year.”

4. Steven Tyler

One of the greatest rockstars of the 20th century lived the full rock n’ roll lifestyle, complete with plenty of drugs and alcohol. In fact, the Aerosmith frontman said last year that he estimates he has spent $2 million on cocaine. Eventually Tyler’s drug use started interfering with his music. “Suddenly it starts influencing your greatness,” he said. Today, Tyler has been sober and celebrating it for nine years. 

5. Charlie Sheen

Most people who have dealt with addiction don’t have to witness their rock bottom displayed in graphic detail on televisions and newspapers around the world. Sheen’s epic public meltdown became fodder for gossip columnists and daytime television hosts. All the public scrutiny did little to deter Sheen, but a private conversation with his daughter helped him see he needed to make changes. In December 2018 he celebrated one year of sobriety. 

6. Kat Von D

The LA Ink star was also in the limelight when her addiction came to a head. Viewers saw Kat Von D drinking too much, and she’s said that she’s glad for that, because it can show people that change is always possible. “If anybody out there feels that they relate to me in any capacity and happen to be struggling, perhaps I can lead by example by showing that if I can do it, you can do it too,” she said in 2016. Kat Von D has now been sober for 11 years, and still gets excited for each sober anniversary. “Every year I look forward to posting about my sober anniversary, in the hopes that someone out there in need of a way out from addiction might see this, and realize that you’re not alone,” she wrote on Twitter last year. 

7. Boy George

When Boy George appeared on The New Celebrity Apprentice in 2017, he made it clear that his sobriety would be a priority. He argued with fellow contestant Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, who sipped wine in front of George. “I’m a recovering addict. I do not need to be in the room with someone drinking alcohol. It’s just not a good look for me. I’m not happy about it at all,” said Boy George at the time. Taking his sobriety so seriously has paid off — Boy George is now 11 years sober. 

8. Tim McGraw

Sometimes it seems country music is all about the booze, but legendary singer Tim McGraw has now been producing country hits stone cold sober for 11 years. Instead of having a few drinks to prepare for a show, McGraw runs with some of his band members. He says that exercise is a much healthier way of getting himself in the right headspace before a concert. 

9. Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid was ten years into his film career when he realized that his cocaine use was holding him back and negatively impacting his life. He checked into rehab in 1990, and has been sober since, even through his bitter divorce with actress Meg Ryan. “I’m not the guy that’s living an enlightened experience all the time; I blow my top many times,” he said last year. “In life we’re either forced, kicking and screaming, into change—or we learn to cope with it. But I really am at peace now.” 

10. Jamie Lee Curtis

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis has a host of movie titles to her name, but she says that the greatest achievement of her life is something much more personal: her sobriety. Lee Curtis has revealed that she was addicted to prescription opioids, well before the opioid epidemic was in headlines. Now, she has been sober for more than 18 years, and hopes to inspire other people to do the same. “It will be the greatest achievement of my life if I can stay sober until I die,” she said.

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07 Aug

Finding a rehab facility for yourself or someone you love might seem like a seriously intimidating task. There are so many factors to consider, from the accommodations to the treatment style. We consulted with premier Southern California treatment facility, Oceanside Malibu, to identify the important questions to ask when finding the right treatment center. 

1. What kinds of programming options does it offer, and do those options suit your or your loved one’s specific needs?

First of all, this depends on what the substance is and if detox is needed. If so, what kind of a detox program is available? Is there a step-down residential program that follows, or perhaps an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)? Learning how exactly how treatment is structured can help someone decide right away if a facility is a good fit. 

2. What are the accommodations and amenities like?

This mainly pertains to residential facilities, though it may come into play for clients in a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or IOP, since they spend several hours a day at a facility. There are many different types of rehabs all over the world that vary greatly in amenities and extras. But with this, some follow up questions may be about the sleeping arrangements. For example, are the bedrooms private or shared? What’s the bathroom situation like? Is there is a gym on site, or do clients have access to working out? Much of these stipulations boil down to personal taste, affordability and proximity to one’s home. Oceanside Malibu offers a beachside home that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, along with comfortable bedrooms and entertainment options. Knowing what one is walking into can ease the process considerably. 

3. What are the treatment methods offered? 

Is the program centered around the 12 steps, or is it mainly a talk therapy style of treatment? Are part of the programming elements faith based, or is it non-denominational? What about dual diagnosis care? Is medication management available? Knowing what kinds of approaches are used on a daily basis and what to expect from the program is essential to the success of every client. 

4. How long is the program, and is an extended stay an option if needed? 

While the typical length of treatment is 28 to 30 days, in most cases that is not enough time for a patient to really feel secure in their recovery efforts. If the main program is 28 days, is there a transitional or sober living housing program through the facility that clients can move into? 

Going to rehab is just the very beginning of recovery. While getting clean is the first step, staying that way is the real challenge. Having a rehab with long term treatment options or a sober living program can make a huge difference. Oceanside Malibu has a sober living house and outpatient program for those who wish to continue their progress in treatment. 

5. How important is the nutritional aspect to the program? 

Studies have discovered that having a balanced and healthy diet aids in the recovery process. Finding a rehab that emphasizes the importance of nutrition as a standard in their addiction program is essential. Follow up questions may include asking how the meals are prepared, and by whom? Are specific dietary restrictions taken into consideration? Oceanside Malibu for instance has an on-site chef who not only prepares meals, but also teaches clients how to create healthy and tasty food on their own. 

6. Are their programs individualized? 

Most rehabs will claim that, yes, they do offer customized care for all their clients. However, in some cases, that is not necessarily the case. Learning if there are gender-specific groups or specialized elements to a program are important in the decision making process. 

7. What kind of specialized training does the staff have? 

Does staff include an on-site or consulting psychiatrist? Are the therapists specially trained in addiction? How large is the treatment team? Knowing the qualifications of the staff is incredibly important when seeking out a treatment program. This can mean the difference between having a successful experience in treatment or not. 

8. Are there alternative or holistic therapies offered? 

This can include treatments like equine therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture, massage, and/or meditation. While not having these programming options certainly doesn’t reflect poorly on the facility or its treatment, it may be the extra part thing that sells the client. Oceanside provides a bevy of experiential treatment options, like Salt Water therapy, surfing, and yoga. 

9. What is the success rate of the clients? 

What can you expect for yourself or loved one coming out of this program? The success rate can be a sure fire way to know if the protocols are effective. While this can be hard to keep track of, some facilities maintain ties with former clients so there can be at least a rough estimate of who from the program has stayed in recovery.

10. Are there extracurricular or off-site activities offered at the facility? 

Do the clients have group movie nights or cooking classes? Are they able to check out a local event or museum within the community? Do they leave campus from time to time, or does everything happen right where they are? Going to rehab is a serious thing, but having clients get to experience fun without drugs and alcohol is extremely important. Having a facility that provides that fun is always a good thing. 

11. What kind of aftercare support to they provide?

Do the clients have access to alumni groups or events? Are there monthly get together at the facility? Are there ways to reach out and communicate with staff if there is a need? What are the protocols when it comes to relapse? 

12. How much does it cost, and does it accept insurance? 

This is probably the most important question to ask when it comes to choosing a treatment facility. Knowing what you can actually afford versus what you need can certainly make or break the situation. It is also helpful to find out what coverage your insurance offers, which may narrow down your initial search. However, most facilities, including Oceanside Malibu, have staff who are able to communicate with insurance companies and find out exactly what they can cover. From there they are able to break everything down in a clear and concise manner, which can really lessen the confusion and stress associated with paying for treatment. There may also be options for payment plans if applicable. 

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at http://oceansidemalibu.com/. Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

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06 Aug

Not long ago, people who were interested in sober dating spent lots of time trying to figure out how they would come out to potential partners about their sobriety. Today, there’s no need to worry, since sober dating has become downright trendy. 

The summer of 2019 could easily be considered the year of sobriety, and not just for people who are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. More and more people are choosing to be sober as part of an overall approach to health and wellness. Instagram influencers and companies cooking up mocktails to die for are strengthening the trend.

“As the trend towards overall wellness continues and people abstain from alcohol for health and personal reasons, it’s possible that you’ll see more sober dating in the future,” Simone Paget, a relationship expert, told GQ. 

In that piece, writer Graham Isador discussed his bumbling attempts to avoid bars while sober dating by suggesting yet another coffee shop. However, he expressed hope that the tide is starting to turn for sober dating. 

“Dating culture and bar culture can seem intertwined, but recently alcohol-free dating has become more common,” he writes. “It’s a part of a larger trend of people cutting back on booze—or cutting it out entirely. See: the rise of sober bars, temperance cocktails, and the increased use of weed.”

For people who are interested in sober dating, that means more options — both for who to date and where to go for a night on the town. Sober bars are popping up across the nation while traditional bars are even beginning to offer sober nights. University of Kentucky professor William Stoops told USA Today that having options to socialize without pressure to drink benefits people who are looking to have a good time while keeping their focus on health. 

“We evolved as social creatures,” he said. “This is a good trend if you want the experience of companionship and social culture but don’t want the negatives. It can help people make better choices.” 

Chris Reed, who owns the Chicago sober bar The Other Side, said that being in a sober space with other people who are not using drugs or alcohol helps facilitate the fellowship that is instrumental to successful recovery. That environment may even help spark love. 

“It brings us together and it shows us recovery doesn’t suck, that you can still socialize,” Reed told The Fix.

In addition to having more places to meet without being inundated by booze, people who are dating sober are also able to connect directly online using an array of dating sites and apps that serve people in recovery. 

Still, it’s important that people who are interested in sober dating consider where they are in their recovery journey, and how dating might affect their continued sobriety. 

Comedian Krissy Howard urged others to be cautious when starting to date sober for the first time. 

“I definitely tried to replace drugs with people, which just damaged the relationships,” she said. “You can’t pick up a person like you would a bag of dope and just expect them to make you feel good all the time.”

Consider how you’ll feel not just during the good times, but also if someone stands you up or dumps you. Rejection can be hard to handle during early recovery. 

“Remember that getting sober is giving up most of your die-hard coping mechanisms, and when you do so, you’re walking around like a raw nerve in the early days,” Bridget Phetasy writes for Mel Magazine. 

However, as Petasy points out, dating sober can result in a more intimate and authentic connection. 

“For me, sobriety is a constant exercise in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and nowhere is this more evident than on a date,” she writes. “I deal with awkwardness by calling it out or making jokes. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers. If you truly ‘practice these principles in all your affairs’ show up to a date the way you show up to life — with love and in service.”

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