30 Day Rehab Centers: The beginning of a lifelong journey For one whose life has begun to spiral out of control as a result of drug and alcohol abuse, 30 day rehab centers offer a safe and sheltered space to undertake the first segment of the voyage into a better life. Understanding Alcoholism and Addiction The disease of drug and alcohol addiction is often stigmatized – incorrectly identified as the result of poor decision-making and lack of moral fiber. In reality, addiction is a chronic disease which affects its victims both mentally and physically. Addiction can be described as a disease of the mind coupled with an allergy of the body. Addictive thinking causes addicts to continue to drink and use when the consequences are obviously detrimental to their lives. The physical allergy is the reason that addicts and alcoholics react differently than normal people when they ingest a drink or drug. When even the smallest amount of an intoxicating substance enters the body of an addict, a trigger goes off in the brain. Once that trigger is pulled, all scope is lost – the only thing that matters is getting high. The result of these mental and physical phenomena is the loss of things that the addict truly values. Addicts lose careers, homes, families and friends, not because they choose drugs over these things, but because their disease makes the choice for them. The same thinking that keeps addicts high and drunk even as their lives crumble beneath them causes them to make similarly unwise decisions with regards to other behaviors that allow them to escape themselves temporarily. Sex, love, eating, not eating, exercise, self-harm, and any other means of getting outside of one’s self are potential problems for an addict, especially in early sobriety when the preferred method of escapism has been eliminated. Seeking Help Once an addict comes to the conclusion that the using and drinking must stop at all costs, the time is ripe for treatment. 30 day rehab centers separate addicts from places and situations they associate with using drugs, taking much of the struggle out of the initial phase of sobriety. While abstaining from drinking and using drugs is the primary purpose of 30 day rehab centers, these programs also emphasize the importance of reforming all unhealthy behavioral patterns. For instance, it may seem innocent enough for a former heroin addict to engage in obsessive exercise, but indulging in any addictive behavior keeps addictive thinking patterns fresh and active, preventing the addict from attaining any kind of mental tranquility, and increasing the odds of relapse. Many people are familiar with 30 day rehab centers as the protocol for coping with drug addiction, but most do not understand that the first 30 days of sobriety is barely enough time to clear drugs from the system, let alone enough to relearn healthy life skills. In order to truly recover from drug and alcohol addiction, treatment must present a new design for living, a set of tools which addicts can carry with them in recovery long after leaving their 30 day rehab centers. Safe Harbor: A New Home For women facing the disease of addiction, it is wise to select a single-sex treatment center. So many of the core issues that motivate women to use in the beginning relate to sexuality, abuse and body image, all topics which cannot be openly discussed in a coed setting. In order to heal as people, female addicts and alcoholics need to address the repressed pain that has resulted from these issues, and they need to feel secure and comfortable while doing so. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for women, located in Costa Mesa, California, aims to create a nurturing community that separates it from standard 30 day rehab centers. Safe Harbor’s treatment program is comprised of structured therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step meetings and uplifting social activities. The multilateral approach to recovery that Safe Harbor employs is designed to subtract drugs and alcohol from women’s lives while simultaneously adding new healthy activities, ideas, and relationships. Where most 30 day rehab centers see themselves essentially as detoxification facilities, Safe Harbor Treatment Center aims for nothing less than the genuine rebirth of every woman who walks through its doors. The disease of addiction eats away at the soul as well as the mind and body, and only by nourishing all three can a woman cultivate a full and healthy recovery. Because Safe Harbor understands that treatment can be the most pivotal experience in a woman’s life, the treatment program spans over 90 days instead of the standard 30, allowing time for true change and development to take place. 30 day rehab centers have a mere four weeks to impact a person’s life, which is a miniscule window of opportunity considering the transformative job that must be done. 30 day rehab centers operate under the assumption that a brief vacation from life is all an addict really needs to get straightened out. This theory is statistically unsupported and essentially naive. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women has designed a longer and more intensive program in accordance with studies that show that duration of time spent in treatment is a key factor in avoiding relapse. After completing the 90 day treatment program, the majority of women choose to live at one of Safe Harbor’s sober living homes until they have accomplished a year of sobriety. Even a year is not much time to rectify the damage done in a lifetime of negligent drug abuse. Even when women commit to dedicating a year of their lives to treatment and gradual reintegration into society, there is no guarantee against relapse. Considering this fact, 30 day treatment centers appear even more foolish for attempting to right a lifetime of wrong living by means of a four-week vacation. Aside from its longer duration of treatment, Safe Harbor is distinguished from other treatment centers by its incredibly strong and supportive community. Because women who come to Safe Harbor to recover come to consider it their new home, many of them choose to put down roots in the area on a more permanent basis, often becoming staff members after they have completed treatment and sober living. All women who work at Safe Harbor are addicts and alcoholics in recovery, making them ideally suited mentors for women struggling to escape the grip of addiction. Women new to sobriety also receive support from the sober living residents, who regularly spend time at the treatment center getting to know the newest generation of Safe Harbor women. Women need a nurturing recovery community in order to have the best chances at success. Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women is proud to offer a loving home to any woman who wants to recover from addiction.