Mental Symptoms Of Addiction & Drug Abuse

Mental Symptoms of Drug Abuse

The fight against drugs can manifest itself on your body in different ways. From weight fluctuation to flushed skin, open sores to tooth decay, there are a variety of unpleasant and sometimes very dangerous symptoms that suggest drug abuse and addiction.

Yet alongside the physical, addiction also attacks you mentally. It can tear at your personality, alter your behavior, undo your motivations, and change you fundamentally. You’re still you – but you’re suppressed under the effects of an addiction.

Identifying addiction within yourself or a loved one is never easy, and it’s safer to contact a professional and get a proper diagnosis. But there are several symptoms that may be cause for alarm, especially if they manifest simultaneously. If suspect you or your loved one are struggling with addiction, then don’t wait to get help. Talk to them or self-reflect and find the courage to seek a professional. Addiction treatment today has come a long way – you can get better.

It’s important to understand how drugs and drug abuse affect the mind not only for the sake of diagnosis and awareness, but to provide a better understanding of what addiction is, how it manifests, and why it’s a disease caused by circumstance, and not a consequence or judgment of character.

Drug Use and Cognition

Before your drug abuse begins to adversely affect your heart health and liver condition, it will affect the way you think and behave. From the very first hit, drugs change your brain’s chemistry – but that isn’t enough to cause addiction. Instead, you may be susceptible to more drug abuse, and with time, drug abuse begins to take a toll on your ability to think, reason, and discern. A rough overview of the cognitive and general mental symptoms caused by addiction include:

Drugs alter the way you think, fundamentally affecting your brain’s cells and structure. These changes aren’t permanent, but they do affect your thinking for weeks after total sobriety begins. This is why early recovery is often such a difficult part in an addict’s life, often wrought with emotional roller coasters and higher perceived stress.

Drugs and Mental Health

Because of the emotional volatility introduced by drug use, as well as its potency as a short-term coping mechanism, there is a common link between addiction and mental illness. Not only can addiction aggravate an existing mental illness or worsen symptoms into becoming a diagnosable condition, but people with mental illness are often drawn to drugs to cope with their condition, creating an unhealthy symbiotic relationship between the two. Drug abuse only feeds the illness and makes it even worse.

When a person struggles with a dual diagnosis, the answer is to treat them as an individual – addressing both diseases in the context of that patient’s experiences, rather than applying separate treatments for the mental illness and the addiction. Like physical and mental health, the two go hand-in-hand, and one affects the other.

The Long-Term Effects of Drug Abuse

In the long-term, drug abuse drastically affects your ability to think, reason, and remember. It screws with your motivations and your behavior, wiring you to prioritize drug use over other matters. It lessens your inhibitions and even increases your tendency towards taking high risks for relatively little reward.  

Additionally, long-term drug abuse messes with your sleeping, and your ability to remember the time of day, and have a proper schedule. Enough sleep and day-to-day routines are important for the human psyche and for our bodies and having a messed up sleeping cycle can affect everything from your appetite to your mood.

Mood swings also become more common as addiction goes along, as does irritability in between highs.

Thankfully, most of the cognitive damage and behavioral changes revert after about a year of full abstinence, and after 5-7 years, the brain is as back to normal as possible.

That doesn’t mean you’re “back to normal,” however. Developing an addiction, overcoming it, and living a sober life is quite the journey, and there’s a lot of personal growth to go through there. The person coming out at the other side will be wiser and mentally tougher – and if you make it through treatment and recovery, you’ll have a greater understanding of your mind and how to manage it.

Staying Sane After Recovery

Addiction has been described as a chronic disease, due to the fact that relapses can be quite common, and cravings can grow stronger in the face of stress. Because of this, it’s important to remember that no matter how long you manage to stay sober, the fight against addiction is a lifestyle choice rather than a single, prolonged battle. People out of recovery will have to be more mindful of stress than others – memories of the pleasant feeling of being high and carefree can resurface when you’re under a lot of stress.

That does not mean that people in recovery can’t stick themselves into stressful situations and come out the other end sane and sober. Instead, it means you simply have to pay more mind to these periods in your life, and counter them with applicable and personalized stress management techniques.

A big part of addiction treatment is not just helping someone stay sober for a month or two, it’s teaching them how to deal with the stressors of the outside world without resorting to drug abuse and use. You can cope with stress through exercise, art, music, dancing, writing, and more. Whatever it is that best speaks to you and takes your mind off things after a long day, get stuck into it and invest your free time into getting better, and making progress. Not only will this help you stay sane for years to come but getting better at something takes your mind off the addiction, the stress of a career, and the task of sobriety, and lets you focus on a completely unrelated and emotionally fulfilling goal.

Cravings and feelings may still surge even after years, from time to time. Knowing how to deal with them in an emergency, before a relapse happens, is crucial. Be sure to have a plan on who to contact and what to do when you’re close to the brink, and need something to help keep you from jumping back in. Even if everything goes wrong and you do relapse, it’s important to know that this isn’t the end of the world. Get back on the horse as soon as you’re able to. Go back into treatment, get onto a schedule, and work your way back to where you were, with a new lesson in mind.

 

What Is The Most Critical Time Of Recovery?

Recovery From Addiction | transcend Recovery Community

Depending on your definition of recovery, it is a process that can last years, or a journey that lasts decades. One way or another, recovery is a very long period – but it can generally be cut into distinct phases, described largely by similar symptoms and issues that many people phase when in that “stage” of their recovery.

Given that sort of distinction, it makes sense that there are harder days and easier days – times when recovery is incredibly difficult, and times when it’s easy. Making the distinction, however, isn’t quite as easy as pinpointing to a specific stage and staying “this is the absolute most critical time for everybody”.

Recovery has its ups and downs, but just like everyone struggles with various parts of addiction, with different realities and circumstances and problems, so does everyone struggle differently throughout their journey. Some have an easy time getting into sobriety – but a tough time living with it for years. Others struggle immensely in the beginning, then find their peace, and never look back.

We’ll make a case for each stage, and then help you figure out how to deal with difficulties when they arise, regardless of what stage is most critical and difficult to you.

 

Making A Case For The Beginning

For some, there might be nothing harder and more important than starting recovery. Getting over the pain and emotional turmoil of withdrawal, only to fight those extreme cravings and urges, adapt to a whole new life, and tackle some very problematic and troubling emotions all without your most powerful coping mechanism.

All in all, the beginning of recovery can be an extreme rollercoaster, and it sets many people back into addiction through a continuous cycle of withdrawal and relapse. Some consider the beginning to be that hurdle in the ride, a big hill you must cumbersomely hike up before finally gaining momentum, running down the slope.

It’s true that early recovery comes with its own set of unique challenges. For one, it can be very hard to deal with emotions right at the beginning. The brain is also typically not used to sobriety, which can cause painful side effects in the form of nausea, headaches, and more. Sometimes, this withdrawal period can be dangerous enough that it requires emergency medical attention – it’s best to undergo withdrawal in a professional and medical setting, to avoid any complications and possible long-term damage caused.

Beyond that, early recovery will be the first time in a while that you might be confronted by painful emotions without a clear out, or a quick way to light up and fight against the stress, forcing you to learn all-new ways to deal with these emotions.

 

Making A Case For Post-Rehab

To some, the early phase of recovery is mostly stemmed by the fact that they spent that time in a dedicated residential treatment program, away from the temptations of addiction, and surrounded by features that are helpful to promoting recovery.

So, when all that ends, and you’re out of rehab, perhaps the biggest shock will be figuring out even more about what it means to live in sobriety, and deal with many of life’s biggest challenges – from unexpected loss and grief, to much more minor nuisances and issues.

For that, post-rehab might be the most critical stage for many, as it is the stage when you’re thrown into the chilly waters and expected to swim quickly and with much enthusiasm. You need to learn how to live, work, and study without the addiction, keeping it at bay while working with strange and difficult stressors. If you don’t have nerves of absolute steel or an alternative, post-rehab treatment plan such as living in a recovery community, there is much reason for it to be the hardest time of the three.

 

Making A Case For The Future

Recovery is clear-cut in the beginning – but as the years drag on, all it might take is one genuine issue to send you back to the beginning of your journey. The fear of this happening is quite real for many patients who struggle with addiction.

Things do get easier, but this anxiety can jeopardize your ability to deal with life’s challenges, as you might be afraid that one will push you over the edge.

In the end, what is most important is figuring out which time is most critical to you – and why.

 

You’re Not Alone In Recovery

Perhaps the most critical time is not necessarily the beginning, middle or far future – it’s the time you’re the loneliest. Loneliness feeds the feelings that drive addiction far more than anything else, and when you have no one, that’s when it’s hardest to look forward and feel hopeful for your future. It’s also when it’s the hardest to work your way out of where you are, and into a better life.

As selfish as we might feel sometimes, we can’t do much without others – we even rely on others to motivate us, and give us purpose in life.

Many people define themselves through others – artists live to create their art, but they also live to see what kind of an impact their expression has on their contemporaries, and they dream to see into the future and wonder how they would be received then.

Parents look to their children as a reason to keep pushing through every single day, no matter how tough, just to create a better future.

Young couples look to each other for strength and love, and ambitious leaders dream of how their achievements would shape their legacy and be remembered.

Without our peers, it’s difficult to be motivated, driven, or filled with purpose. But when we’re surrounded by friends and reminded that we’re worth something as human beings, it drives us to live up to the expectations of others and seek something better for ourselves – working through the most difficult of days, just to enjoy those precious beautiful memories we all have with our loved ones.

If you’re feeling lonely, please remember that you’re not alone. There are thousands of Americans out there who struggle just like you do, and many of them are online looking for help. Reach out, find new people, and you would be surprised at who you might meet, and what friendships might be waiting for you.

 

How Sober Living Communities Can Help With Recovery

sober living communities | Transcend Recovery Community

Sober living communities are but one of many possible ways to treat addiction – but they are potentially one of the best ways to go about helping someone reintroduce themselves to living life after months or even years of severe addiction.

To be a part of a sober living community, you generally must:

  • Accept regular drug testing
  • Live as part of a community with a strict ruleset
  • Meet regularly for group therapy
  • Take part in a few events and activities
  • Work on finishing school or getting/keeping a job.

Sober living communities will keep you very busy. This is important early on. In early recovery, emotional tensions can run high and things can get heated. You might wallow in regret over past decisions, or get irrationally angry over past behavior. You might lose hope for yourself, or think back on the painlessness of a high.

These are the moments that are darkest for most people – when a relapse draws near, and they feel the urge overwhelm them. But in sober living communities, strict rules and a regular schedule fight these urges. You’re surrounded by others fighting their own personal battles, some of whom are veterans and have a lot of advice to give. And best of all – you’re never alone, even when it feels like it. And that’s more important than many realize.

 

Addiction And Loneliness

Many addictions have a lot to owe to loneliness. At our core, we need others – especially when we are troubled. It’s by reflecting our thoughts, fears, anxieties and worries on others that we can find peace, by hearing a voice other than that of our own. But only if we can trust someone else, and be truly close to them.

If you’re capable of trusting someone, then putting that trust in them and confiding your feelings can help bring you a sense of relief, and the opportunity to find a solution to your problem. But if you’re left to tackle your issues alone, or worse, cut yourself and your issues off from others in a show of strength, you will let them fester and grow unchecked.

In a perfect storm, this speeds up the path to addiction. After a while, you don’t want to hear the doubt anymore, and no other distraction proves as potent as addiction.

It doesn’t even have to be as complicated as that. Others don’t just struggle with something, but struggle simply with being alone. That loneliness eats at you, and it isn’t natural to most people. We work best in a group, and we form relationships to survive – partnerships, friendships, alliances, bonds, marriages. People need people, and you need people; which is where sober living communities come into play.

 

Providing A Sense Of Togetherness

More than many other programs, sober living communities provide you with the opportunity to make new friends with a significant thing in common – as well as meet people who might become your pals for the rest of your life. It’s a wonderful place to focus on togetherness as well, as a sober living community must hold together to keep peace and provide a place for recovery to prosper.

Not only is it about group meetings, but it’s about living together, sharing stories, going on activities, working with one another, learning to trust and confide and function as part of a group rather than keeping yourself and your thoughts in total solitude.

 

Sober Living Communities As A Post-Rehab Option

While residential treatment and sober living communities have a lot in common, sober living is not a rehab facility – it’s a place for people who have problems with staying sober in a real life setting, and need the rigidity of a strict schedule to form new habits and learn from others.

Sober living communities are also a place that typically does not force people out of its program, letting them stay longer if they need to, while many rehab programs have a more limited timetable for patients. This makes sober living communities an opportunity to wean off the comforts of rehab, getting back into living life without drugs.

 

Sober Living, And The Long-Term Recovery Journey

Signing up to a sober living community is less like summer camp or boot camp, and more like signing up to a whole new part of life. Not only are you going to get the opportunity to learn to live without addiction, and experience sobriety in a way that makes you appreciate life and fight the cravings rather than struggle to stay sober every day, but sober living will help you build new habits, create new character traits, and mold the parts of yourself that will carry on this recovery for the rest of your life.

To truly excel in staying sober, you have rethink life. And such a massive shift in perspective is hard. It’s important to realize that nothing will be the same, and you will not be the person you once were. You must embrace new rules, new ethics, new friends, and a new life.

It sounds almost religious, but this is a very individual journey that has as much to do with your own spirituality as it does with psychology and neuroscience – addiction is not simply a disease of the brain or a problem with the mind, but it’s a combination of several unique factors that largely differ from person to person: a condition created through certain circumstances and coincidences. No one chooses an addiction – and even if bad choices may have led you to where you are now, the only thing that matters is the set of choices you make to get back to living a real life.

With sober living communities, you will be a part of a diverse group of people who have come from different walks of life to tackle a similar issue in their very own way, with their very on perspective. You’ll hear stories, read books, watch people, but come to realize that the answers you need must come from yourself, and in the multitude of it all, you might find your very own path to recovery.

From there, it’s a slow and long climb out of a deep hole for most people – but with the help of others, the trust and friendship of people who have struggled with similar depths and similar pain, you can come to a point in your life where addiction will feel like the past, and the future will seem very bright. You can find sober living communities all over the place in cities like Los Angeles, New, York, Houston, and more. Take charge of your rehabilitation today!

 

Homelessness, Addiction, and Sober Living in LA

Homelessness, Addiction, and Sober Living in LA | Transcend Recovery Community

Los Angeles is second to New York City in the number of homeless there are in the city. Perhaps it goes without saying that there is a strong relationship between homelessness and addiction. Of course, homelessness can present many health risks, including being vulnerable to pregnancy, disease, and suicide.

Another consequence to being homeless is the presence of drugs, and because of frequent emotional challenges, particularly if a mental illness is present, drugs become an attractive choice as a way to self-medicate and ease the painful stress of life’s instability. The National Coalition for the Homeless indicates that those who are homeless suffer from extreme forms of anxiety and depression, along with low self-esteem. In fact, they found that the rates of major depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder to be three times higher among the homeless. Sadly, very few homeless individuals have access to mental health services. And as a result, some may turn to drugs and drinking as a way to escape the challenges of their lives. Research has shown that the use of drugs and alcohol increases among those whose living situations become more and more stressful and unstable. Homeless men and women are more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

It might go without saying, but being homeless can be a very difficult life. And for this reason, the highs that come with drinking and drug use become more and more attractive. Homeless men and women are prone to suicide attempts and self-harming behavior, such as cutting their wrists, burning the skin, and self-tattooing. Out of desperation to survive, those who are homeless will commit crimes such as theft, assault, and trespassing. Many have needed to break into abandoned buildings in order to find a place to sleep and/or live temporarily. Along these lines, some men and women will also resort to prostitution in order to survive. Within the homeless community, this is known as survival sex, where intercourse is exchanged for money, shelter, and/or food.

Yet, if a homeless man or woman in Los Angeles can find access to public services, such as a shelter, and he or she is willing to go begin a detox process, then it may be possible to find sober living . Typically, however, public services will first tend to the immediate needs of a homeless person, such as shelter, food, and medical attention. And there are programs such as the Los Angeles Homeless Resource, which provides a long list of information on medical, psychological, addiction, and housing resources. If a man or woman in LA wanted to get off the streets and find a way to detox, it’s possible.

Once a recovering addict were done with drug treatment, he or she could either utilize the treatment center in which they received medical detox, or transition to a sober living home. In fact, a recent study done by the NIH revealed that those who transition from an in-patient treatment center directly back to their lives are much more likely to experience relapse. This might be especially true for those who were homeless before getting sober. Once done with treatment, a person might be vulnerable to returning to homelessness.

However, if he or she could stay in a sober living environment, it might prove to be particularly healing.

The NIH study found that a sober living home serves as a bridge from total immersion in treatment to one’s life, which is often an unsupported lifestyle with many reminders of an old life. Furthermore, in 2010, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published the results of an exhaustive study on former residents of sober living environments. Here, the research also found that those recovering individuals who entered into sober living after rehabilitative treatment were significantly less likely to experience relapse, arrest, and homelessness. The most crucial element to their sobriety was the community of support found at sober living homes.

If funding were available and a recovering addict were able to find their way to a sober living home, residing there for the length of their initial sobriety might not only keep them off the streets, but also sober. With the right amount of support, the right environment, and the right amount of willingness to face and overcome obstacles, achieving a sober life is possible.

 

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Los Angeles Sober Living: The LGBQT Community & Recovery

Los Angeles Sober Living: The LGBQT Community & Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

America still has a long way to go when it comes to fully accepting the LGBQT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning and transgender) community. A recent article in Rolling Stone magazine discussed how gay teens attending Christian schools have to hide their homosexuality for fear of being expelled.

It shows that as a country we have a long way to go. The discrimination and violence towards the entire LGBQT community is still alive in the minds of many Americans. Yet, for gay recovering men and women around the country, this could mean less access to recovery resources, greater risk of alcohol and drug relapse, and greater health disparities than heterosexual recovering addicts. And even within the sober living Los Angeles community, LGBQT recovering addicts experiences additional obstacles to sobriety than others.

In many ways, organizations and the American culture have added to the discrimination and rejection of those who are gay. For instance, for a long time, homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Then,  in 1973, when the American Psychological Association (APA) recognized changing social norms, the weight of empirical data, and a developing active gay community in the United States, the APA changed the diagnosis of homosexuality to ego-dystonic homosexuality. However, that continued to receive criticism from mental health professionals. Finally, in 1986, the diagnosis was removed altogether.

But that change was made only 18 years ago, and there are obviously many men and women who still believe that homosexuality is wrong and worthy of punishment. Yet, there are segments of the Los Angeles sober living community that tend to the needs of LGBQT men and women only. For instance, The Alcoholics Together (AT ) Center is a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that aims to support recovering gay addicts.

In 1969, The AT Center began after 6 gay men met for an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting and decided to call themselves “Alcoholics Together”. Membership quickly grew through the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, throughout Southern California and even in cities far away such as Boston and New York, the acronym “AT” became synonymous with gay AA. Today, the gay Los Angeles sober living community now knows The AT Center as a significant place for refuge.

What was significant about the AT/AA meetings was the way that they started. The facilitator of each meeting began with a “double anonymity clause” by saying:

Hello everyone, this is the Wednesday Night AT meeting. My name is __ and I am an alcoholic and a homosexual.

This was clearly the meeting that the gay Los Angeles sober living community could come to and feel safe. There was safety not only in their sexuality but safety also in their vulnerable sobriety. This was a meeting for alcoholics and for the LGBQT circle of men and women.

And today, this continues to be true. AT/AA meetings happen every day of the week at various times of the day. Although there are obstacles to sobriety for the gay Los Angeles sober living community, there doesn’t have to be. There are in fact resources for gay men and women who need recovery support. In fact, community is an essential component to recovery for many. It’s the primary reason behind the recommendation to attend 90 AA meetings in 90 days for new recovering addicts. Men and women find support in the personal stories that reflect obstacles and challenges faced by many in the group.

With the right levels of support from the gay Los Angeles sober living community, an LGBQT addict can find sobriety. Although being gay has traditionally presented additional obstacles to getting sober, reaching sober living is entirely possible.

 

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The 2014 REEL Recovery Film Festival in Los Angeles

The 2014 REEL Recovery Film Festival in Los Angeles | Transcend Recovery Community

As the path of recovery continues on day by day, it’s always helpful to have a community of individuals with whom you immediately have a close bond. Though you may not know the men and women that make up certain sober living communities, by default you know generally what they’ve been through and what they’re seeking: long-term sober living.

For this reason, you may want to know about upcoming film festival in Los Angeles. The event is put on by Writers in Treatment, a nonprofit organization rooted in both recovery and the arts. They provide educational programs in prevention and awareness with their primary purpose being to save lives: through promoting and providing “TREATMENT” as the best first step solution for Addiction, Alcoholism and other Self-Destructive behaviors.

Each year they hold events in a number of cities around the country in order to encourage healthy conversation, prevention, education, and healing. The REEL Recovery Film in Los Angeles takes place this year beginning October 24 through October 30.

REEL Recovery Film Festival, Los Angeles Edition
October 24-30, 2014
Laemmie’s NoHo Cinema
North Hollywood, CA

It’s a seven-day celebration of the arts, film, and creativity. The purpose of the event is to share the journey of addiction, sober living, and recovery from life shattering addictions. This annual festival is unlike other recovery events in that it brings together the entire story of addiction from the dark points to the high points and everything in between. It’s focus is on drug addiction, alcoholism and recovery through the authentic portrayal of addiction-related issues through film.

It is an incredibly valuable experience, especially for someone who is early on their road to recovery, because it invokes inspirational and honest conversations. And because the event takes place in Los Angeles, there’s no question you’ll run into celebrities along with recovery experts, high quality mental health professionals, friends, family, and even strangers. Yet, no matter who you meet, everyone has one thing in common: an appreciation for the power of film to highlight life’s most challenging journey.

Yet, another powerful result of this event is prevention. As one recovery addict once pointed out: there are only three things an addict can look forward to and that is jail, an institution, or death. By highlighting the challenges of drinking and drugging, there’s potential for someone currently struggling with addiction to open the door to sober living. He or she will be in a community of those who have been able to make one of the biggest life changes – a step out of the addiction cycle and into the world of sober help and sobriety.

In fact, a current addict attending the film festival might be able to step away from the ritzy Los Angeles drinking circles as a result of attending the event. Although it might be hard to do, he or she will immediately have supportive individuals around along with the strong message through film that making such a change is more than possible. Whereas prior to attending the event, an addict might have felt as though such a change was impossible.

Research has shown that one of the most essential components to recovery is relationships and communities. In fact, it may be the most primary component before others parts of recovery are addressed such as a stable home life, meaningful work, and participating in a community.

This year’s Los Angeles Reel Recovery Film Festival is sure to highlight the benefits of sober living and possibly even save a life.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
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Sober Living West Los Angeles: Where to Find AA Meetings

Sober Living West Los Angeles: Where to Find AA Meetings | Transcend Recovery Community

There’s a saying in the Alcohol Anonymous (AA) that “meeting makers make it!”

If you live or work in West Los Angeles and you’re reaching for long-term sober living, you need to know where and when meetings are! There are meetings that take place on every day of the week, and there over ten meetings to choose from each day. If you were serious about getting the kind of sober help that would jumpstart your recovery, you could attend a meeting every day more than once a day!

For those who are either living at a halfway house, participating in a residential treatment program, or who simply need to attend meeting periodically to create the best sober living experience, the following is a list of AA meetings around West LA.

And if you’re looking for more detailed information or if you have questions about sober living West Los Angeles facilities and AA meetings, you can contact the Los Angeles Central Office:

 

Los Angeles Central Office
Helpline: (800)923-8722
Main: (323)936-4343
Site: www.LACOAA.org

 

SUNDAY
Sunday, 9 AM  West Los Angeles
Miracle On Ohio Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Sunday, 12 Noon  West Los Angeles
Sunday Noon Ohio Speakers Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Open Speaker
Sunday, 12:30 PM, Map  West Los AngelesWest L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Domingo, 2-4 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas
Sunday, 5 PM, Map  West Los AngelesWest L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Big Book Study
Sunday, 7 PM, Map  West Los AngelesPalms Westminster Presbyterian Church
2908 Robertson Pl.//
Cattaraugus Ave.
Closed, Step Study
Sunday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Sunday Night Ohio Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©
Sunday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Federal Street Group
Westwood Hills Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.//
La Grange Ave.
Domingo, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas
Sunday, 9 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Reflections Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion

 

MONDAY
Monday, 11:30 AM  West Los Angeles
Nooner Group
V. A. Hospital Building 217
– Rooms 26 & 27 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Monday, 12 Noon  West Los Angeles
Walk The Talk Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Monday, 6 PM  West Los Angeles
Get Honest Hour Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Monday, 6:30 PM  West Los Angeles
Landmark Group
Palms Park Recreation Center
2950 Overland Ave.//
National Blvd. ©
Closed
Monday, 7:15 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Enterprise Group
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center
– Room 3 –
2551 Motor Ave.//
W. Pico Blvd. ©
Monday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Gateway To Sobriety Group
St. Joan of Arc Parish Hall
11533 Gateway Blvd.//
W. Pico Blvd. ©
Monday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Persian Women’s Group
Felicia Mahood Senior Center
11338 Santa Monica Blvd.//
Corinth Ave.  Help!
Closed, Farsi, Women Only
Monday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Monday Night Step Study Group
Adat Shalom
– Basement –
3030 Westwood Blvd.//
National Blvd. Note
12 Step Study
Monday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
The Chosen Ones Group
V. A. Hospital
– Bldg. 217, Room 26 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Monday, 8 PM, Map  West Los AngelesV. A. Hospital
– Bldg. 217, Room 33 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.  Help!
Speaker w. Discussion
Monday, 8 P, Map  West Los Angeles
Women’s Small & Cozy
V. A. Hospital
Bldg. 217 – Room 33
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.  Help!
Women Only
Monday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Monday Night Ohio Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©
Monday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Monday Night Kelton Group
West L. A. Methodist Church
1913 Purdue Ave.//
Missouri Ave.
Lunes, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas

 

TUESDAY
Tuesday, 11:30 AM, Map  West Los Angeles
Nooner Group
V. A. Hospital Building 217
– Rooms 26 & 27 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Tuesday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
Serenity At Last Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Tuesday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
Long-Term Follow-Up Noon Lunch Group
Mall
10800 W. Pico Blvd.//
Glendon Ave.  Help!
Closed, Men Only
Tuesday, 6 PM, Map  West Los AngelesWest L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
12 x 12 Book Study
Tuesday, 6:45 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Women’s Meditation & Sharing
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
3590 Grandview Blvd.//
Charnock Rd. ©
Closed, Women Only
Tuesday, 7 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Foxy Ladies
First Methodist Church
1637 Butler Ave.//
Santa Monica Blvd. ©
Closed, Women Only
Tuesday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
How It Works Group
Palms Park Recreation Center
2950 Overland Ave.//
National Blvd. ©
Tuesday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Positive Action
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©
Tuesday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
2 + 2 Group
Westwood Hills Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.//
La Grange Ave.
Tuesday, 8-9:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
When All Else Fails Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Big Book Speaker w. Discussion
Martes, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas

 


WEDNESDAY
Wednesday, 11:30 AM, Map  West Los Angeles
Nooner Group
V. A. Hospital Building 217
– Rooms 26 & 27 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Wednesday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
Pizza Recovery Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Wednesday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
High Power Recovery Group
Mall
10800 W. Pico Blvd.//
Glendon Ave.
Men Only
Wednesday, 6-7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Women Fully Into The Solution Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Closed, Women Only
Wednesday, 7 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Living In The Solution Women’s Meeting
First Methodist Church
1637 Butler Ave.//
Santa Monica Blvd.
Closed, Women Only
Wednesday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Chosen Ones
V. A. Hospital
Bldg. 217 – Rooms 26 & 27
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd. ©
Miércoles, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas

 

THURSDAY
Thursday, 11:30 AM, Map  West Los Angeles
Nooner Group
V. A. Hospital
Bldg. 217 – Rooms 26 & 27
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Thursday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
In The Moment Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Thursday, 6 PM, Map  West Los AngelesWest L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Big Book Study
Thursday, 7 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
To Life Group
Beit T’Shuvah Recovery Center
8831 Venice Blvd.//
Vera Ave. ©
Open Speakers
Thursday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Women Living In The Solution Group
First Methodist Church
1637 Butler Ave.//
Santa Monica Blvd. (Upstairs)
Closed, Women Only
Thursday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Real Deal Book Study
First Methodist Church
1637 Butler Ave.//
Santa Monica Blvd. (Basement) ©
Closed
Thursday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Ohio Young People’s Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©
Jueves, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas

 

FRIDAY
Friday, 11:30 AM, Map  West Los Angeles
Nooner Group
V. A. Hospital Building 217
– Rooms 26 & 27 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Friday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
Saddle Up For Sobriety Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Friday, 12 Noon, Map  West Los Angeles
Into The Solution Group
Gateway Christian Church
11760 Gateway Blvd.//
Stoner Ave.
Friday, 6 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Unwind and Gear Up Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Friday, 6:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
A M A Winner
V. A. Hospital Building 217
– Rooms 26 & 27 –
11301 Wilshire Blvd.//
San Vicente Blvd.
Friday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Pacific Men’s Group
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©
Closed, Men Only
Friday, 8 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Back To Basics, Too Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Viernes, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas

 

SATURDAY
Saturday, 10 AM, Map  West Los Angeles
Diva’s Women’s Group
Westwood Hills Congregational Church
1989 Westwood Blvd.//
La Grange Ave.
Closed, Women Only
Saturday, 12:30 PM, Map  West Los AngelesWest L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Speaker w. Discussion
Saturday, 5 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
In The Book Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Big Book Study
Saturday, 7 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Step ‘n’ Share Group
Palms Westminster Presbyterian Church
2908 Robertson Pl.//
Cattaraugus Ave.
Closed, Gay/Lesbian
Saturday, 7:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Prime Time Solutions Group
West L. A. Alano Club
11530 W. Pico Blvd.//
Gateway Blvd.
Sábado, 8-10 PM, Mapa  West Los Angeles
Grupo Distinto Amanecer
12206 W. Pico Blvd.//
Amherst Ave.
En español, Sesiones abiertas
Saturday, 8:30 PM, Map  West Los Angeles
Beachcombers
11166 Ohio Ave.//
S. Sepulveda Blvd. ©

 

Finding AA meetings and sober living West Los Angeles facilities is a possible!

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Seeking Sober Help: What You Resist, Persists.

Seeking Sober Help: What You Resist, Persists. | Transcend Recovery Community

There’s a saying in the mental health field: what you resist, persists. What you don’t actually face yourself with will continue to happen again and again. Perhaps that’s why most describe addiction as a cycle. It’s a repeating pattern of resisting something which only repeats and strengthens.

Typically, Drinking numbs you of feelings, but sadly, it only keeps in you in a dysfunctional cycle. There’s a strong, often unconscious need to be free of those feeling, but alcohol use only pushes them away and adds to their power over you. In fact, addiction is a cycle of self-harm, where those feelings are kept at bay, and doing so perpetuates the festering of those feelings, which in turn strengthens the need for drinking.

However, finding sober help means breaking through that cycle, stopping the cycle in its tracks by healing the underlying issues. Finding sober help means allowing yourself to get in touch with feelings, as challenging as they might be, and begin to unravel the events that may have caused those feelings in the first place. The only thing that will lead to sobriety and healing is the expression of those feelings in a safe environment with someone you trust.

In fact, addiction is not only about resistance; it’s also about trying to get something from the outside that you actually can only get within. It’s trying to get something out of the drinking or drug use that you can only find on the inside. Truly, as cliché as it sounds, what most people are looking for in a high state is love.

Yet, by dismissing feelings, by burying them underneath the drinking and the demands of life, they fester and grow and find their way out in a less than healthy form. Instead, love means embracing those feelings. Self-love means letting the lid off those feelings so that there’s more room to breath inside. Love means finding sober help and working through those feelings with someone you can feel safe with.

This is the point of working with a mental health professional. You can do this while simultaneously working with a treatment team who can address recovery from addiction. In fact, ideally, your recovery would include a holistic plan that includes the following:

  • Regular sessions with a medical doctor who can address the physiological needs of the body during recovery.
  • Regular sessions with a therapist to address unresolved events of the past and their associated feelings.
  • Regular sessions of family therapy to address the underlying issues present in the family system that could be contributing to the addiction.
  • Regular sessions with a substance abuse counselor to learn the dynamics of addiction and healthier ways to cope with challenging emotions.
  • Regular sessions in group therapy with others who are on the road to recovery, providing an environment of support.

Other methods of sober help and treatment might also include yoga/meditation for cultivating peace and inner connection, acupuncture to help balance the body, and meetings with a nutritionist to encourage a healthy relationship with the body and an overall sense of well-being.

Recovery is not easy, but with a team of professionals on your side, you can make the necessary changes to create a fulfilling and successful life.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog

Sober Living in Los Angeles: LA Ranks as a Top “Recovery City”

Sober Living in Los Angeles: LA Ranks as a Top "Recovery City" | Transcend Recovery Community

A recent article in the Huffington Post listed those cities across America that made getting sober easier than other cities. The services, halfway homes, and rehabilitative treatment centers found in these cities made it attractive destinations for finding sobriety.

Although the article wasn’t necessarily encouraging their readers to make a geographic move across the country, it might be fitting it you’re aiming to leave your old life behind – family, friends, compulsive lifestyle – in search for a healthier existence.

Of the top ten cities listed, facilities for sober living in Los Angeles were ranked number four! Among the various reasons to live in LA – to be an artist or actress, for example – now there is another reason – the city’s thriving sobriety community. There is a large fellowship of like-minded recovery addicts who have their eyes on long-term sobriety. The community includes over 3,100 Alcoholic Anonymous meetings per week where attendees tend to arrive early to mingle, meet, and support each other’s recovery process.

The community alone might draw you to Los Angeles, but perhaps you are curious about who you’ll meet at these meetings. It is LA, after all. So you’re bound to rub elbows with someone famous – an actor, performer, comedian – also seeking sobriety. Some of the celebrities speak at various meetings as way to spread inspiration, motivation, and determination to stay clean. They share their own stories as a way to lift those in earlier stages of their recovery. For instance, not long ago the former Disney star Demi Lovato started recovery and sober living in Los Angeles — she didn’t make a long-distance move to do so, however. Her home is also in LA. Or you might run into Patrick Range McDonald, a staff writer at the LA Weekly who continues to attend meetings in West Hollywood.

The point of this article, however, isn’t to suggest that where you get sober is more important than the process itself. Indeed, it’s going to be a challenging journey. However, some locations might be able to offer the healing tools you’re looking for. If you’re the kind of person who yearns for a large community, Los Angeles is it.

If you’d rather retreat into a quieter type of sober living, where your community is found among fewer amounts of people, you’re likely to find that in Los Angeles too; but perhaps another city might call you. Some of the other cities in the list of top ten were Boston (ranked #1), Delray Beach of South Florida, Houston, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Portland, OR.

If you’re struggling with the highs and lows of an addiction, perhaps finding a large community of those who are struggling with the same challenges can be supportive. And if that’s what you’re yearning, even if you’re living on the East Coast, maybe you do want to make a cross country move after all. Or, if you’re lucky, you already live in LA and will only need to make the choice to check yourself into a facility of sober living in Los Angeles.

 

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You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
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Marijuana Statistics & Los Angeles Sober Living

Marijuana Statistics & Los Angeles Sober Living | Transcend Recovery Community

Marijuana is a popularly known as the gateway drug, meaning that once a person begins using it, it’s likely going to lead to the use of other drugs. It’s also seen as a harmless drug, despite being considered as a Schedule I drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It’s true that some men and women who have used the drug for many years never experience any serious consequences. Yet, marijuana has been associated with crime, drinking, and addictions to other substances.

A 2010 article in the Los Angeles Times pointed out that 9% of people who use the drug develop an addiction to it. This is compared to 15% of people who become addicted to cocaine and alcohol. And research indicates that the earlier a person begins to use the drug, the more likely he or she will become dependent on it. Also, dependency will develop within two years for 17% of those who began smoking marijuana at ages 14 or 15.

According to the June 2013 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report of drug use in Los Angeles County, marijuana use ranked higher than alcohol as the reason for treatment admission. Marijuana ranked number one as the reason for admission to a Los Angeles sober living treatment center at 27% of admissions. Plus, marijuana admissions showed an increase over the 2011 report at 25%. Plus, of drug seizures across Los Angeles County, 35% of those were marijuana, among various illicit drugs.

Use of marijuana among teens also shows a rise over alcohol use. In fact, for teens, marijuana may not always be a gateway drug, but it appears to be a gateway to addiction. The 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey that interviewed about 45,000 students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades provides a picture of the use of drugs and their attitudes towards them. The survey indicates that although teen marijuana abuse is on the rise, the use of other illicit drugs has leveled off. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the leader of the survey, reported that the use of alcohol has decreased among teens and continues to go down. The rate of alcohol use in the last 30 days has decreased to 40% of teens, the lowest rate in the history of the Monitoring the Future Survey.

Lastly, edible forms of marijuana make 40% of marijuana sales in the state of California. Edible marijuana is typically the form for first-time users of the drug use. Smoking marijuana numbs you from those feelings, but sadly, it only keeps a person in a dysfunctional cycle. It can cause many effects on the body and brain functioning as well as have negative effects on one’s professional life and social interactions.

Finding a Los Angeles sober living community to break free of a marijuana dependency is possible. There are sober living homes that not only focus on alcohol dependency but also facilitate the freedom from an addiction to marijuana. Despite its reputation for being a safe and harmless drug, marijuana does in fact lead to addiction and can create the same destructive lifestyle that comes with any dependency.

In fact, considering marijuana to be harmless, in a sense, makes it more dangerous. Someone using the drug may not be able to make the connection between some of its ill effects on life and the body. He or she might be looking for a quick high, a release of stress from work, and relaxation, but the effects of the drug have proven to lead to addiction.

If this is the case, finding a Los Angeles sober living community is necessary in order to break the cycle. Marijuana might be harmless to start but over time, an addiction can sink its roots into life, creating dysfunction and loss. Sober help is often the only way to cut those roots once the cycle of addiction begins.

 

If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via
my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert
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