Long Term Drug Rehab

Long term drug rehab is different from the normal 30 to 90 day drug and alcohol treatment.  As the name suggests, it is, first of all, a longer term treatment program. Like shorter term programs, long term drug rehab involves taking the client out of their environment first and foremost, but it then focuses on the addicted woman spending a substantial amount of time centering on, not only the addiction, but also the psychological reasons for becoming addicted. When a woman enters a long term program at a drug and alcohol rehab center in California – or any other state – she has, more often than not, fully committed herself to the treatment of her addiction.

When long term drug rehab is first mentioned to an addicted individual, it is often met with substantial resistance. This is understandable, as the mere thought of having to be away from one’s family and friends for any extended period, much less one that is substantially longer than the typical 30 days, is sometimes too much for a woman to accept. Part of the resistance that is often expressed can also stem from a feeling that a long term facility equates to admitting to themselves that they in fact do have a life-threatening disease. But the reality is that most women who attend a long term drug rehab center have a higher success rate than those who don’t, and only a handful of addicts actually regret going.  After all, if recovery is the goal, a program that offers a better chance of that recovery is always preferable.

Benefits of Long Term Drug Rehab

Many people seeking treatment are primarily familiar with the 30 day drug rehab programs they see advertised on television. While many of these programs are high-quality and nurturing, they often are only able to scratch the surface of the root cause of the client’s addiction. A primary difference and substantial benefit of a long term treatment program is that it offers many of the same programs as a short term rehab offers and so much more. In a long term drug rehab program, there is more time to really dig deeply into the cause of the client’s addiction, thereby reducing the chances of a relapse. A very important distinction between simply taking a detox approach to treatment and a more comprehensive approach is that the short term treatment may only clean an addict up for the time being but will never uncover the reason for the addiction. By attending a long term treatment program, individuals will not only learn to understand what triggers the addiction but also learn new coping mechanisms for dealing with stressors, both internally and externally.  This distinction is vital for long term recovery from addiction.

Also, because some drugs can take months to fully leave the system, detoxification is only the first step in a complete treatment program.  This is especially true if the user has built up a level of physical tolerance that masks her addiction. In fact, even when supporting an acute addiction to heroin, cocaine, or other powerful drugs, some addicts can appear to function normally. While qualified supervision can help minimize withdrawal symptoms from drugs, through use of anti-addictive drugs or other treatments, weekend programs and even 30-day in-patient programs simply won’t do it. Only a long term drug rehab program will help an addict through the complete cycle of detoxification.

Additionally, several reputable studies have shown that dextox alone has little effect on long term drug addiction. Obviously, vigilance must be maintained to prevent drug use during treatment. Furthermore, drug rehab programs need to treat all the needs of an addict, in addition to the drug abuse. For example, clients often have other medical or mental health challenges in need of treatment. Counseling and behavioral therapies included in long term care have proven important to effective rehabilitation. Most importantly, treatment always needs to be customized to each client and adaptable as her individual needs change. Clearly, all of this cannot be successfully accomplished, even in quality short term programs.

While many people’s first thoughts about treatment often only include the clinical, patient-counselor interaction, long term drug rehab and long term alcohol rehab actually opens up a more complete resource channel for an addicted woman to draw from. Of course these resources do include the trained counselors, medical staff, and administration of the rehab facility, but they also include the other women who have battled through their own addictions.  This aspect of treatment is critical, as many times when an addicted woman sees other recovering women succeeding in beating their addiction, it shows a true-life, “in the flesh” account of an addiction that has been beaten through long term treatment.

One of the other primary benefits of a long term treatment plan – one that many do not consider – is that many of these programs are outside the state of the patient’s primary residence. This offers a great opportunity to take the addict out of her often detrimental home environment. For instance, if a patient is in the Midwest and enters a long term drug and alcohol rehab center in California, the change of environment may be exactly what she needs to kick-start the treatment into high gear. After all, when home is hundreds of miles away, it allows for less of an opportunity for a relapse. To help the client cope with being away from home for an extended period of time, many treatment programs for women have a structured beginning and end approach to treatment that is carefully laid out for the addict, to help prevent homesickness and a feeling of, “I just want to go home.”

Safe Harbor is a treatment facility that is geared specifically for the drug addicted woman. It offers not only a 90-day treatment program but is also one of the most well regarded long term drug and alcohol rehab centers in California. If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol please visit http://safeharborhous.wpengine.com or call 877-660-7623.

PTSD and Drug Addiction

Simultaneous PTSD and drug addiction is a substantial problem among women. PTSD and drug addiction, according to an emerging body of research, have been documented to have a very strong association with one another. In many cases, substance use begins after the exposure to trauma and the development of PTSD, thus making PTSD a glaring risk factor for drug abuse.

It is critical to intervene in order to help women who have suffered trauma, as it has been shown that women who witness or are exposed to a traumatic event and are clinically diagnosed with PTSD have a greater likelihood for developing drug and alcohol use disorders. Of individuals with PTSD and drug addiction, many meet the criteria for comorbid PTSD, meaning the PTSD has been diagnosed alongside another psychiatric disorder. Patients with substance abuse disorders tend to suffer from more severe PTSD symptoms than do PTSD patients without substance use disorders.

There are gender-specific risk factors, including but not limited to experiences of interpersonal trauma and violence, which underscore the need for tailored interventions for women in addiction treatment programs. An extremely high number of women that have sought treatment for PTSD and drug addiction have reported lifetime histories of sexual or physical assault, or both.
Helping Those Who Suffer from PTSD and Drug Addiction

Just as many factors were likely involved when a person begins to use drugs or alcohol, there are also mitigating circumstances that surround the recovery phase. A good addiction treatment center will know this and will appropriately incorporate those factors and their effects on both initial addiction and addiction recovery into its programs.

Two major factors that affect the addiction and recovery phases when it comes to treating PTSD and drug addiction are relapse and co-dependency. These factors more then likely played a role in the addiction process, and therefore they must be addressed in order to set up successful recovery from PTSD and drug addiction.

  • Relapse: When a relapse occurs, the person who is addicted to drugs could be reluctant to get back into an addiction recovery program. Some might even feel, mistakenly, that the treatment center that was used the first time may not be accepting of them again. This is not true of Safe Harbor Treatment Center for women. At Safe Harbor, we understand that relapse can and does happen and has always welcomed those who have relapsed to start the recovery process all over again at the same center they formerly used.
  • Co-dependency: Co-dependency can be and often is a huge factor in the addiction cycle. Because co-dependency often comes from the fact that the co-dependent person desires to feel needed, this can act as a barrier in the process of recovering from PTSD and drug addiction. A good addiction treatment center must address the matter of co-dependency with both individual and group therapy – which are both integrated into Safe Harbor’s Capella Treatment Center for women. Capella is designed to provide intensive recovery from the woman who is suffering from the grips of PTSD and drug addiction.

In order to be helpful to those who suffer from PTSD and drug addiction, those who are working with the person must be understanding of the fact that PTSD frequently co-occurs with depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol or other substance abuse issues. People who experience the symptoms of PTSD must have support from physicians and health care providers. The likelihood of treatment success increases when these concurrent disorders are appropriately identified and treated in a safe and nurturing environment.

Studies show that successful detoxification of individuals trying to cope with PTSD and drug addiction will likely require inpatient admission to permit vigorous control of withdrawal and PTSD-related arousal symptoms. Studies also show that those who suffer from PTSD can improve with EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, or exposure therapy, in which the individual gradually and repeatedly relives the frightening experience under controlled conditions to help him or her work through the trauma.

Exposure therapy is thought to be one of the most effective ways to manage PTSD when conducted by a trained therapist. For example, recent studies have suggested that individuals with PTSD and comorbid cocaine addiction can be successfully treated with exposure therapy.

All of these methods and more are integrated into the program at Safe Harbor’s Capella Treatment Center for women whose lives have been affected by PTSD and drug addiction. What you will find at Safe Harbor is a place to heal and recover, and deal with the issues that have prevented both of those things from happening before.

Drug Abuse and PTSD

Drug abuse and PTSD, both life-altering afflictions, compound the seriousness of each other’s symptoms when they affect a person simultaneously.


Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD, is a condition characterized by the residual effects of emotionally and mentally scarring experiences.  After surviving a traumatic event, some individuals will suffer from perpetual re-experiences of the event, such that their lives are significantly disrupted.  These individuals suffer from PTSD.


A traumatic event can be anything that is emotionally or mentally scarring to an individual,  Often, these events center around physical violence, and are constituted by sexual or physical assault.  Trauma can also result from persistent verbal or emotional abuse (including neglect).  Essentially, a traumatic event is one in which an individual feels fundamentally violated.  This violation may be physical, or it may be a violation of a person’s sense of security or understanding of the world.

When PTSD was initially discovered and analyzed as a legitimate condition, it was in the context of war veterans.  For these men, trauma was a combination of physical violence and the emotional and mental shock of witnessing (and causing) so many deaths.  Quite often, modern-day instances of PTSD follow the same model.  There is a physical aspect of the traumatic experience, but the psychological impact of the event compounds the violation, rendering the victim emotionally crippled.


The most notable symptom of PTSD is the re-experiencing of traumatic events, commonly referred to as “flashbacks.”  Any circumstance that bears resemblance in any way to the circumstance of the original trauma has the potential to trigger such a flashback.  This means that sounds, smells, physical sensations, emotions and situations that recall memories of past trauma are all threats to a person who suffers from PTSD.  Because these threats come in so many forms and are constantly present, those with PTSD live in constant vigilance.  They do not find safety even in sleep, when these flashbacks persist in the form of nightmares.

The other common symptom of PTSD is dissociation, which takes place as the mind’s means of self-preservation.  When trauma is so great that it compromises a person’s ability to function, the mind protects itself by “numbing out.”  Distancing oneself from reality makes life as a trauma victim easier in the moment, but is counterproductive in the long run.  The more an individual has practiced dissociating, the harder it will be to work through core issues once the recovery process begins.  As time passes, these deep traumatic memories become buried deeper and deeper within the subconscious, so much so that psychotherapy may be the only way to access them.


In the same vein as dissociation, substance abuse is a common coping mechanism for trauma victims.  Drug abuse and PTSD often go hand in hand because intoxication does act in the short term as a means of protecting oneself from traumatic emotions and memories that reside within the mind. Unfortunately, as with dissociation, drug use only compounds a trauma victim’s long-term problems.

In addition to worsening the already sizable psychological burdens of PTSD, drug abuse creates its own set of problems.  Psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations and schizophrenia can develop as a result of drug abuse, and PTSD patients are ill-equipped to deal with these additional afflictions.  Drug abuse and PTSD, when combined, make emotionally and psychologically wounded individuals even weaker.  For individuals who suffer from both of these conditions, treatment is of the utmost importance.


For individuals who struggle with drug abuse and PTSD, recovery from either of these conditions is contingent upon effectively treating the other.  If a person attempts to recover from PTSD but refuses to discontinue using drugs and alcohol, these substances will act as a barrier that prevents the trauma victim from accessing and processing emotions and memories that must be addressed in order for healing to take place.  If a person attempts to quit using drugs and alcohol but refuses to address issues surrounding past trauma which drove her to drink and use in the beginning, she will be stuck in the perpetual fear and misery of unresolved trauma, which will prevent her from maintaining long-term sobriety.


For women looking for help with drug abuse and PTSD, a gender-specific treatment facility is the ideal setting for recovery.  Because the feeling of violation is the defining feature of traumatic events, the locale of treatment must exude the opposite feeling – safety.  A large percentage of the traumatic experiences that cause PTSD in women center around physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a male.  Especially considering this fact, it is imperative that PTSD treatment take place in a single-sex setting.  Women must feel comfortable and secure before they can undertake the intense emotional and mental task of working through past trauma.

At Safe Harbor Treatment Center, women have the opportunity to recover from drug abuse and PTSD alongside an intimate group of females who have come to do the same.  Safe Harbor’s multilateral treatment program is comprised of structural therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step work, life skills development and uplifting social activities.  Groups like experiential therapy, art therapy and hypnotherapy help PTSD patients unearth aspects of their trauma they may have difficulty accessing, while individual therapy helps them work through their emotions and experiences on a personal level.  Additional therapies like equine-assisted therapy and EMDR, both respected treatments for trauma victims, are options that are available to supplement each client’s individualized treatment program.

What makes Safe Harbor truly unique is its emphasis on community. The camaraderie that develops amongst the women at Safe Harbor as they work together to change their lives for the better makes treatment an experience of self-discovery as well as an experience of learning to help others by sharing personal experience.  The sisterhood that forms is a beautiful and unparalleled phenomenon.  All women looking for a chance to leave drug abuse and PTSD behind them have a place awaiting them at Safe Harbor.

Long Term Drug Treatment Centers in California

Long-Term drug treatment centers in California have become more prevalent in the last five years. Over and over, clinical studies have proven the greater efficacy of long-term treatment for drug and alcohol dependency versus shorter-term (i.e. 30 day) treatment.  Across the state of California, literally hundreds of treatment centers decorate the coastline, each offering a unique twist on a month’s worth of holistic treatment for substance abuse. Forthcoming are specialized outpatient clinics, geared towards the busy professional who simply cannot take time off from work to treat the bohemouth, life-threatening illness known as drug addiction.

Long-term drug treatment centers are rapidly becoming the norm, especially in California.  These days, most long-term treatment centers in California are comprised of thirty days in an acute, primary care facility, followed by a ninety day period of extended care, and tailed by a transition to the program’s sober living home, interspersed with weekly check-in and/or process group therapy, as needed.  Clinicians throughout the field agree that continuum of care for the recovering addict or alcoholic is not a luxury, nor the prescription for the direst cases, rather, it’s a necessity, a mandatory ingredient for maintaining continuous, long-term sobriety.

Perhaps the reason that long-term treatment centers in California are gaining popularity is because of the staggering impact of chemical dependency on our government’s offers.  According to a recent study performed by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, CASA, researchers were able to quantify an amount spent by all levels of government, federal, state and local, on addiction and substance abuse; this is the first time any type of economic analysis has ever attempted to ascertain the dollar amount addiction costs American society.

Findings indicate that “of every federal and state dollar spent, 96 cents goes to shovel up wreckage of illness, crime, social ills; only 2 cents goes to prevention and treatment.”  Thus, of the near half a trillion tax dollars spent in 2005 alone on substance abuse and addiction, only a paltry two percent of the funding was allocated towards drug rehabilitation, a statistic that’s literally howling for policy reform. To date, the vast majority of policy for a chemically dependent America has been focused on prevention and interdiction, with far fewer efforts aimed towards actually treating the already addicted patient.  Research is beginning to show that drug addiction and alcoholism are giving way to a mounting public health crisis, and that long-term treatment centers in California might be the only way to quiet the epidemic.

There is a startling contrast between twentieth century First Ladies’ opinions on how to tackle the addiction issue:  in one corner we have former first lady, Hilary Clinton claiming, “our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” while in another, we watched Betty Ford struggle with, and eventually conquer, her battle with alcoholism, proceeding to found and fund what would become one of the nation’s leading treatment centers.   Then again, who could forget Nancy Regan’s earnest attempt to convince children to “Just Say No” and the exorbitant amount of federal dollars we spent on its proclamation, to little or nearly no avail.  In a post- Just Say No- slogan era, drug use has peaked at an all time high, partially due to the rising popularity of prescription drugs and their availability on the Internet.  The advent of Vicodin and Valium for sale on the world-wide web ushered in a new era of drug abuse, wherein addicts could circumvent dealing with unsavory dope slingers and merely surrender their credit card information online to a fast-track pharmacy that provided overnight delivery service, an in-home dealer suddenly a mouse click away.  Clearly the solutions current policy is offering are not working for the over fifteen million Americans who find themselves feeding a habit and in need of drug and alcohol treatment centers in California.

Historically, short term, month-long rehab stays have not provided a substantial ‘cure’ for the disease of addiction and alcoholism; research indicates long-term drug and alcohol treatment centers are proving themselves significantly more effective.  Studies have shown, repeatedly, that the longer a recovering person is exposed to rehabilitation and treatment, the better chances that person has of maintaining abstinence.

The number of drug and alcohol treatment centers in California far exceeds that of any other state in the country, with Orange County being one of the most concentrated areas for long-term treatment. Many long-term care treatment programs are run on the phase system, commencing with 30-45 days of intense, cognitive behavioral therapy, both in a group and individual setting, wherein the last month of treatment is spent focused on obtaining employment and life skills, with a gradual return of privileges as each goal are achieved.  One such model is found at Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, in Costa Mesa, California, which offers what you are looking for in a Long- Term Drug Treatment center in California.

At Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, founder Velvet Mangan offers unique insight about the clinical, emotional, spiritual and physical benefits of long-term drug treatment in California when she says, “Thirty days rarely offers enough time for the client to redevelop her self-esteem; at least ninety days are needed in order for the young woman to reposition her mind to make different choices and learn healthy habits. The subconscious mind requires time to change, and if that process is short-circuited, her recovery could be sabotaged.”  Long-term treatment centers in California runs the gamut from private pay (like the aforementioned, affordable Safe Harbor) to complimentary (albeit, often compulsory) county-funded programs, with managed care options filling in the gaps.

Overcrowding in California state prisons and budgetary constraints were largely responsible for the introduction of Prop 36, wherein legislators ostensibly admitted, and “We no longer have room for you drug offenders behind bars, so guess what- you’re cordially invited to go to treatment.”  The treatment approach has dramatically changed the landscape of our judicial system and has resulted in fewer drug-related crimes, a statistic that Republicans and Democrats alike are lauding.  Long-term treatment centers in California are on the rise, what with the demand, due to Prop 36, and with a more results-focused approach to conquering addiction and alcoholism.  Doctors and addiction specialists agree that some form of continuum of care is necessary for recovering citizens to remain abstinent, and though the preferred settings may vary, ranging from monitoring to outpatient to the more robust, inpatient residential programs, both seasoned practitioners and rehab veterans have experienced greater degrees of success when long-term treatment is followed through to completion.

Orange County Drug Rehab


Addiction is a painful and deadly disease.  Whether it kills quickly or slowly, the toll it can take on a life is not to be underestimated.

Though drastic physical consequences of drug abuse may not be apparent initially, the internal effects are severe.  With long-term drug abuse, the body acclimates itself to the presence of drugs, readjusting its definition of normalcy to include them.  This is essentially the way the body becomes physically addicted.  As a tolerance to the drugs builds, more and more of these substances are required to maintain the status quo.  When drugs are removed from the system, the body panics.  It has forgotten how to function without the added chemicals.

Emotional despair and physical consequences of drug and alcohol abuse are signals that these behaviors have gotten out of control and need to be reigned in.  For alcoholics and addicts, this is no easy task.  Attempts to limit consumption will undoubtedly fail, and attempts to quit without support will be similarly futile.  The misery caused by continuous substance abuse can be devastating, but its intensity renders it a successful motivator.  When an addict comes to terms with the fact that drugs have taken over her life, and has failed repeatedly in attempts to reform her behavior, she becomes ready to accept whatever help she can get.


This is where treatment enters the picture.  The aim of a drug treatment program is to help individuals free themselves from the grip of addiction and restructure their lives so that they can begin to live healthfully.

Addicts and their families often decide that a treatment center located far from familiar territory is the best choice.  Though relocation alone does not ensure sobriety, geographical distance can provide insulation from situations and environments that are likely to trigger cravings in a newly sober addict.  For this reason choosing a treatment center far from home can be a wise idea.

When it is decided that a change of scenery would be prudent, addicts and their families often select an Orange County drug rehab.  California is a popular choice because it offers a wide variety of reputable treatment programs, and its sunny weather is naturally uplifting.  An Orange County drug rehab also offers proximity to the ocean,  long viewed as therapeutic and healing by cultures across the globe.  For those looking to relocate on a more permanent basis, an Orange County drug rehab has the added bonus of an incredibly strong local 12-step network, with more AA and NA meetings in the Newport-Mesa area than any other city worldwide.  Because the 12-step community is so vibrant, Costa Mesa residents in recovery come to know a multitude of other sober individuals.  This gives the city a small-town feel, where one is bound to run into a sober friend or acquaintance on every errand and outing


In choosing a treatment facility, it is very important to consider the difference between a coed program and a single-sex program.  Though the disease of addiction is equally grave for both genders, it affects each one in subtly different ways.  Unfortunately, women tend to come out on the worse end of these comparisons.  Physically, women face greater risks when they abuse alcohol or drugs.  On a basic level, the female body is smaller, causing the same amount of substances to have a greater impact than it would on the male body.  The female body also contains a higher percentage of fat cells, which store alcohol and drugs, keeping them in the system for a longer duration of time.  These are two factors that contribute to the increased physical debilitation of female addicts and alcoholics.  Women who drink and use to an excessive degree also risk menstrual disfunction, infertility, miscarriage, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, early menopause, and a more rapid onset of Blackout Syndrome than men tend to face.

Other consequences of drug and alcohol abuse that are more prevalent in women are circumstantial problems like physical and sexual abuse, and emotional problems like depression and low self-esteem.  Choosing a treatment center designed specifically to accommodate these issues makes a huge difference in recovery.  An all-women’s rehab  is a safe space where women can open up to one another about anything without feeling limited or intimidated by the presence of men.


Well regarded as a top-of-the-line women’s Orange County drug rehab, Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women provides a nurturing home for drug-addicted women looking to start over.  Through a combination of structured groups, individual therapy, and opportunities to improve life skills, Safe Harbor’s treatment program helps women not only to stop using, but to begin living a full and healthy life.

As the premiere Orange County drug rehab designed especially for female addicts and alcoholics, Safe Harbor offers an impressive variety of educational and therapeutic group activities that constitute a large portion of the weekly schedule.  Groups like hypnotherapy and experiential therapy offer women the opportunity to access and work through core issues that preempted drug and alcohol abuse.

Safe Harbor’s treatment program also features several groups that focus on reforming unhealthy behaviors that have developed alongside substance abuse.  Addicts discover in treatment, often to their dismay, that the ingestion of drugs and alcohol are not the only behaviors that need modification.  Treatment helps address unhealthy patterns in family relationships, sex and love, and diet and exercise.  In order to live a full and healthy life, all areas of behavior need to be examined and often modified.

In individual therapy and counseling sessions, women at Safe Harbor’s Orange County drug rehab begin to work through the deeply rooted issues that made many of them decide to start using drugs to begin with.  They are also able to use these sessions to process the complex emotions they inevitable experience in the first stage of sobriety.  The one-on-one conversations Safe Harbor’s women have with case managers and therapists on a regular basis give way to increased self-awareness, a valuable skill in recovery.

Safe Harbor distinguishes itself from other Orange County drug rehab programs by its incredibly tight-knit community.  While it’s reputable and multifaceted treatment approach may exist at another Orange County drug rehab, it’s sisterhood of recovering addicts and alcoholics surely does not.  After completing the 90-day treatment program, most women choose to move into one of Safe Harbor’s five local sober living houses until they have accomplished a year of sobriety.  While a part of the sober living program, these women return to the treatment center on a regular basis and become mentors to Safe Harbor’s newest generation.  A large number of these women continue on to become staff members.  The strength of the bond between all women in the Safe Harbor community is unparalleled, making it one-of-a-kind amidst a slew of noteworthy Orange County drug rehab programs.

Southern California Drug Rehab


Are you or is someone you know suffering from the grips of drug addiction? In the past few decades, there have been many changes in the field of drug rehab programs and addiction and alcoholism treatment. Innovations in neurosciences and cognitive and behavioral therapies have greatly advanced the care provided those in need of treatment and therapy for alcoholism and drug addiction. The leading Southern California drug rehab facility – Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women – is a nationally renowned alcohol and drug treatment center, developed to treat and provide a platform for long-term sobriety. All of this is provided within an addiction treatment community in Southern California’s Orange County.


In order to understand the best way to treat addiction and alcoholism, you should first have an understanding of what addiction is. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in the individual pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control, craving, inability to consistently abstain, and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships. Like other chronic diseases, addiction involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

For some, accepting addiction as a chronic disease is a difficult concept to grasp, because addiction would be the only disease that is self-inflicted. Recent science has shown the damage of alcohol and drug addiction on the brain. This science shows aspects of how addiction develops a psychological “illness” in the brain most similar to a disease. What exactly causes addiction is something that is widely researched today.

For some addiction is simply hereditary – a make up in the genes. For others addiction can stem from life experiences. For example, those who grew up in an alcoholic home will often turn to alcohol because they are conditioned in this environment. Those exposed to abuse or traumatic experiences are also more likely to develop addictive behaviors. Addiction is brought on by chemical imbalances in the brain as well. An individual with preexisting imbalances that derives a mood or emotional condition, such as depression, are more susceptible to addictive behavior.

When drugs and alcohol come into the picture in dealing with addiction, the problem takes on an entirely new form. The uncontrolled impulse of using these substances becomes a self-deteriorating practice. The brain becomes accustomed to having the substance in the system and develops a dependency to them. A dependency to alcohol and drugs are both physically and mentally damaging.

When dependency is developed the individual with the addiction has a complete behavioral change. Their behavior becomes unpredictable and something as simple as communication is compromised. A brain that is dependent on addictive materials cannot function without them. Individuals will perpetually need the influence of the drug just to maintain a sense of normalcy. At this stage the only way out is with appropriate treatment in some form. It is usually up to a loved one to seek out addiction treatment, for an addict will not usually seek it on their own.


Treatment for addiction varies on the alcohol or drug rehab facility. At Southern California drug rehab facility Safe Harbor Treatment Center for women, therapy in a gender-specific environment is provided to begin the addiction recovery process. In severe cases of addiction, a medical detox is usually a necessary first step to rid the body of the addictive toxins. At Safe Harbor, treatment is a range of the most effective therapy types in the field. In our Southern California drug rehab facility we feel it is a thorough balance of all aspects of treatment that leads to effective recovery.

Safe Harbor believes in the 12-step approach in battling drug and alcohol addiction. The 12-step program founded by Alcoholics Anonymous has for years effectively helped addicts overcome their problems. While new advancements in treatment have shown more effective ways to treat addiction, which are also practiced at Safe Harbor, the 12-step method remains a leader in models of therapy. The coping skills learned from the step work of the program provide a lasting effect on recovery and a change of focus in the individual.

At Safe Harbor, therapy programs have been designed to fit the individual and to directly face the process that controls the impulse functions of the brain. Available therapy programs available that deal with this mental process include cognitive behavioral therapy and independent counseling are chief among this type of therapy work. In working with the mental process, it is possible to help change the thought patterns and behavioral patterns of the addicted individual. When that person is faced with an addictive “trigger” situation, they will know what to do to avoid falling back into addictive practices.


Coming to terms with being an addict or an alcoholic is a major realization. When you choose to go somewhere for intensive inpatient treatment, there is a lot to be said for Southern California. Drug rehab is a safe and healing environment at Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women.

As the premiere Southern California drug rehab center, Safe Harbor’s 90-day treatment program employs a combination of structured groups, individual counseling, uplifting social activities and opportunities to practice life skills.  Educational groups focus on a wide variety of topics, including relapse prevention, healthy relationships, body image and eating disorders. In these groups women have the opportunity to share their experiences, and counselors help them learn how to approach these areas of their lives with healthier thinking.

If you or someone you know is battling with alcohol and drug addiction, please make the call today. The people at Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women – the premiere Southern California drug rehab – are standing by to help.

Drug Rehab For Women


Drug addiction is a chronic disease that, if untreated, destroys the lives of those it affects. The disease of addiction pays no mind to gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or any other outside identifier – it affects people from every walk of life.

Despite the fact that these identifying factors do not decide who becomes an addict, they can subtly influence the way that addiction affects a person. In the case of gender, the differences are pronounced.  Drug and alcohol addiction has a detrimental effect on both men and women, but the specifics are distinct, making drug rehab for women a separate endeavor than drug rehab for men.


Women who have a long history of drug abuse generally have not led easy lives. Studies indicate that 70 percent of such women have suffered physical or sexual abuse, some of which may have led indirectly to the initial use of drugs, and other of which may have resulted from the unhealthy lifestyle that tends to come with drug addiction.  Low self-esteem and depression, which are also prominent in women who abuse drugs, are similar in that they manifest as both causal agents and consequences of drug abuse. Women also report more often than men that one or both parents suffered from drug addiction or alcoholism. The psychological impact of living as a female drug addict is extreme, and is something that female addicts have the opportunity to work through in drug rehab for women.

Physically, the female body is at a disadvantage when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Research shows that women become addicted to certain drugs, such as crack cocaine, much more quickly than men. On a basic level, women tend to be smaller than men, meaning that the same amount of drugs or alcohol will cause more destruction in the female body than it will in the male body. Furthermore, the female body is comprised of a significantly larger percentage of fat cells, which store substances for long periods of time, increasing the damage sustained by the body. Physical consequences of long-term drug use in women commonly include poor nutrition and low weight, and often span to serious medical conditions like high blood pressure and heart rate, and infectious diseases like hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.


Too often, drug-addicted women do not receive the help they desperately need, in part because the prospect of entering drug rehab for women can be intimidating. Women often feel that they have responsibilities they would be neglecting by going into treatment – they feel bound to the home by their role as a wife or mother. They may also fear rejection by spouses or boyfriends who continue to use drugs, oftentimes the very people who introduced them to their lifestyle of drug abuse. As with all addicts, coming out into the open as a person who needs help feels vulnerable, and poses the risk of judgment by friends, family, coworkers and community members.

Though the disease of addiction is grave, and it is difficult to admit to needing help, women who have lost control over their lives due to drugs and alcohol have the chance to start over by entering drug rehab for women. Safe Harbor Treatment Center, located in Costa Mesa, California, utilizes a multilateral approach to help drug-addicted women get their lives back. Through a combination of structured therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step meetings, and opportunities to cultivate healthy life skills, Safe Harbor’s treatment program allows women to heal and reinvent themselves.


Until recently, it was presumed that drug rehab for women was essentially the same process as drug rehab for men. The body of individuals seeking drug treatment tends to be 60 percent male and 40 percent female, which makes it tempting to generalize programming to suit both sexes, defaulting to the male perspective. Refusing to acknowledge aspects of addiction that are exclusive to women makes women feel that certain emotions and ideas that are not openly discussed are cause for shame. By neglecting the opportunity to talk about the female experience of drug addiction and alcoholism, treatment programs give women the impression that issues like abuse, eating disorders, and sex and love addiction are separate problems. This is not the case. All unhealthy behavioral patterns are linked to the disease of addiction, a disease which causes unhealthy modes of thinking and action.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center aims to fully embrace its role as a drug rehab for women and women only.  Safe Harbor’s treatment program addresses not only substance abuse, however the multitude of ways that addictive thinking can sabotage a woman’s life.  In most cases, addictive thinking shows itself early in life, long before a woman ingests her first drink or drug. Group and individual therapy sessions help women to identify early patterns of unhealthy thinking and behavior, helping them to understand that the disease of addiction needs to be treated from the roots up. It is only by acknowledging and working through core issues that thought patterns can be reformed, and it is only by reforming thought patterns that a woman can hope to eliminate drugs from her life forever.

Successful drug rehab for women does not stop abruptly after the completion of a 30 or 90 day program. A continuing relationship with mentors and peers that a woman grows close to in treatment will help her stay sober as she begins to transition back into the real world. The majority of women who complete Safe Harbor’s 90-day program of drug rehab for women choose to move into one of Safe Harbor’s sober living homes until they accomplish a year of sobriety. The sober living program allows women to move back toward a normal lifestyle, taking on employment, schooling, and other responsibilities, while maintaining a familiar support network.  As life changes drastically it is more important than ever to have these constant elements of strength in recovery.


When a woman decides she has had enough of the degradation drugs and alcohol have caused, she can find help, hope and companionship in a women’s drug rehabilitation program.  At Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, a sisterhood of women who strive to overcome the disease of addiction together. Any female addict who wishes to better her life will find that she has a place in the family.

Residential Drug Treatment Program

Residential Drug Treatment: Los Angeles and Orange County Rehabilitation Programs

Southern California, viewed by many as the nation’s mecca of drinking and drug abuse, is also home to a plethora of world-class options in residential drug treatment.  Los Angeles and Orange Counties, rich with rehabilitation programs, are coming into new identities as they become increasingly popular as recovery locales.  These areas, once the home of perpetual parties, are entering a new era of health and balance.  Addiction treatment is at the forefront of this change.

Recognizing addiction:

If someone close to you has a drug problem, physical signs as well as changed behavioral patterns will inform you about this person’s situation.  The physical signs of addiction are varied, but can be quite dramatic.  Rapid weight change (usually weight loss), persistent cough or nasal congestion, and a generally sickly appearance are all signals that a person may be addicted to drugs.

Behavioral signs of drug addiction are also pronounced and very noticeable to family and close friends.  Irregular sleep patterns, mood swings, disinterest in food, decline in personal hygiene and secretive tendencies are some of the most obvious behavioral indicators.

Though these physical and behavioral signs are usually pronounced, there are some situations where the most noticeable changes in an addict are changes in personality and priorities.  A person who once had a sunny disposition can sink into depression.  A person who was once easy-going can become constantly anxious, even paranoid.  A mother who once loved nothing more than spending time with her children may become distant and spend less and less time at home.

If you observe any of these signs in a loved one, they may be a candidate for residential drug treatment.  Los Angeles and Orange County treatment programs are some of the best in the country, and are therefore a good place to start looking when you decide that rehabilitation is needed.

Understanding addiction:

For a person who has never experienced drug addiction firsthand, it is hard to understand why addicts continue to use drugs in spite of this multitude of negative consequences.  Unfortunately, logic does not apply in this situation.  The definition of addiction is the persistent use of a substance when it is logical to quit (i.e. when it is destroying a person’s life).  Drug users who reach this point and still cannot stop have little hope without residential drug treatment.  Los Angeles and OC treatment facilities offer top-of-the line treatment programs that can help even the most hopeless addict get clean and sober.

The disease of addiction affects a person twofold – both physically and mentally.  The physical aspect of addiction is fairly straightforward and therefore understood relatively well by the general public.  When a person uses a drug consistently for a significant period of time, the body grows accustomed to the presence of this drug, readjusting its definition of normality to include this foreign substance.  Because of this phenomenon, addicts require constantly increasing amounts of a drug to achieve the “high” they desire.  Stemming from the same phenomenon are the physical withdrawal symptoms that an addict will experience upon cessation of drug use.  Withdrawal symptoms can range from unpleasant to excruciatingly painful depending on the substance in question.  Withdrawal can be dangerous and should be medically supervised within a residential drug treatment, Los Angeles or elsewhere.

The mental aspect of drug addiction is less straightforward, and tends to be misunderstood or ignored completely by most people.  Addiction is often written off as the result of poor judgement or lack of moral fiber, when it is in fact a chronic disease whose mental component causes those it affects to make poor decisions.  The mind of an addict tricks itself into believing that quitting is impossible.  An addict fears nothing more than life without the substance to which he or she is addicted.  The prospect of life without drugs seems bleak and miserable.  This fear is what causes addicts to maintain their lifestyles even as the things they love most fall by the wayside.  As they recover, addicts learn that they are not only capable of living sober, but that a sober life can bring them the peace and happiness they always sought though drugs.  Addicts grow as people when they commit to residential drug treatment.  Los Angeles and OC treatment programs help addicts discover their true selves and learn to live healthy lives.

Choosing the right residential drug treatment program:

When choosing a locale for residential drug treatment, Los Angeles and Orange Counties are a wise place to begin.  These Southern California locales, home to some of the most reputable drug treatment programs in the world, have the added bonus of sunny weather and proximity to the ocean.

For women looking to recover from drug addiction, a gender-specific treatment center is advisable.  In an all-female setting, women feel more comfortable speaking candidly about their experiences, and are able to explore the core issues that drove them to use drugs.  When it comes to single-sex residential drug treatment, Los Angeles and Orange Counties have a multitude of options.

For women’s residential drug treatment, Los Angeles and Orange County have no better to offer than Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women.  Safe Harbor’s 90-day multilateral treatment program is comprised of structured therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step meetings, life skills development opportunities and social activities.  Through these various avenues women are given the opportunity to cleanse their bodies and minds, work through key personal issues, and learn to live as happy sober individuals.

Though Safe Harbor’s recovery curriculum is among the strongest offered by any residential drug treatment, Los Angeles and Orange County are home to no treatment center whose community is more nurturing, welcoming or vibrant.  Once women complete Safe Harbor’s 90-day treatment program, most of them choose to move into one of the associated sober living homes, where they can resume work or school but continue to live in a structured environment where they are held accountable for their sobriety.  These women are always available to act as mentors to Safe Harbor’s newest generation, forming a sisterhood of women supporting one another in recovery that is unparalleled.  Any woman who is looking to leave drugs behind and begin a better life will find what she is looking for at Safe Harbor.

Drug Abuse

Drug abuse can be defined as the regular use of either illegal or prescription drugs with the goal of achieving an altered state of consciousness.

The change of consciousness the drug abuser undergoes varies depending on the substance ingested. Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine (commonly known as “uppers”) cause a person to experience an intense onrush of energy, while their “downer” counterparts (e.g. benzodiazepines and opiates) induce extreme mental and physical relaxation.

Despite drastic differences in the effects of different drugs, they function similarly in the human brain – by over stimulating its pleasure center. Over time, the presence of the drug alters the user’s brain chemistry in such a way that the brain depends on this drug to maintain normalcy. The overwhelming drive to use the drug begins to eclipse all other priorities in life – a signature trait of drug abuse. Health, relationships and career go downhill as the user appears to choose drug abuse over all else.


People who fall into drug abuse and addiction tend to be people who suffer from untreated mental and emotional pain. In the absence of healthy strategies for coping with anxiety, depression and loneliness, these individuals embrace any opportunity to escape themselves. From this perspective, we can see that drug abuse often begins as a desperate attempt at self-preservation. As a means of escape from internal pain, drug abuse is never successful for long, and brings with it pain that only deepens preexisting wounds.

Genetic predisposition is also a factor in alcohol and drug abuse. A family history of addiction greatly increases an individual’s risk of alcoholism and drug abuse. Also at high risk are chronic pain sufferers who utilize prescription medications to manage their pain. Though the use of these medications starts out as a legitimate desire to ease physical pain, the result can be descent into severe drug abuse. These substances are every bit as addictive as illegal drugs, and can be just as detrimental to a person’s life.


Some of the most obvious indicators of drug abuse are its physical symptoms. An individual who is abusing stimulants will often go through periods of insomnia and restlessness, followed by extended periods of sleep. An individual whose drug abuse involves opiates, benzodiazepines or other depressants will exhibit slowed speech and movements while under the influence. Abrupt gain or loss of weight signals unhealthy behavior, and might very well indicate drug abuse. Persistent cold-like symptoms can also be signs. Drugs that are smoked can cause bronchitis, resulting in violent coughing. Drugs that are snorted can cause ongoing nasal problems – runny or stuffy nose and nosebleeds. Long-term use of methamphetamine will cause progressive dental problems.

Emotional and mental signs of drug abuse are often just as pronounced as physical signs. An individual who abuses stimulants will go through manic periods, talking excessively and appearing elated at unusual times. An individual who abuses depressants will act unusually calm and disengaged. Long-term drug abuse can make a person apathetic, depressed, paranoid, irritable and violent. Though it sounds extreme, it is not uncommon for a person to hallucinate or experience temporary psychosis as a result of prolonged drug abuse.


Persistent alcohol and drug abuse in spite of negative consequences is the definition of addiction. Usually, if an individual’s drug use is out of hand, it is a sign that he or she is addicted, and will therefore find it impossible to “just stop” without the help of a treatment center and/or a 12-step program. While it may be obvious from the perspective of friends and family that a loved one’s drug abuse is spiraling out of control, the individual may not be able to see it. Denial is a powerful element of drug addiction.

The mind of an individual addicted to drugs is well versed in rationalization. The addicted brain will find any excuse to protect the addict’s ability to use drugs.  Addicts tend to grossly underestimate the severity of their drug abuse. They misjudge the amount of drugs they consume, the frequency with which they consume them, the negative effects their using is having on other areas of their lives, and the strength of their dependency.

Aside from the mental tricks drug abuse can play on an addict, there is the physical aspect of addiction, which is incredibly powerful. With long-term drug abuse, a tolerance to the chosen substance builds up, making it necessary to constantly increase the dose to obtain a similar effect. As the body develops a tolerance to the substance, it is also adapting itself to expect the presence of the drug. Once the body has adjusted its definition of normalcy to include the substance, decreasing or eliminating this substance is unpleasant and painful. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug, and may appear as body aches, insomnia, chills, shakes, and inability to hold down food. With the looming threat of withdrawal, the addict is even more inclined to continue his or her drug abuse.


Most importantly, don’t feel ashamed that you or your loved one is coping with addiction. Drug abuse is a global phenomenon, affecting all different types of people from all different economic and cultural backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to address the problem.

While our natural desire is to protect the ones we love, recovery from drug abuse must be self-motivated. What we can do is provide resources and support when they are requested. When the addict we love comes to the decision to quit, we must look out for his or her safety. Withdrawal is not to be taken lightly, as detoxification from drugs or alcohol can be physically agonizing, and even deadly. It is wise to seek medical advice, and often necessary to place our loved one in the care of medical professionals while his or her body adapts to sobriety.

Even with the help of treatment and 12-step programs, people who have dealt with drug abuse and addiction will not be “cured.” Recovery is an ongoing process, and will require the addict or alcoholic to learn new coping skills and face demons that may have been hiding behind the chemicals. It is not an easy process, but with the proper support, any addict can leave drug abuse behind and begin a new life.

Women Drug Abuse


Today there is a subtle epidemic striking young American women: drug abuse. Drug use may begin as a seemingly recreational behavior, but the powerfully addictive substances that young people presently experiment with, have the potential to render a person addicted in an extremely short period of time.

This epidemic is distinct from other illnesses, but is a disease every bit as deadly as cancer. A physical illness degrades a person’s body, but the mind is the primary source of illness for addicted women. Drug abuse, the excessive and damaging ingestion of substances, is a symptom of the disease of addiction.  The mind is a key player in the way this disease destroys an individual, for it is the mind that tells an addicted person to continue using a drug even when it is wreaking physical havoc on the body.


Women use drugs initially for a variety of reasons, but those who make it a recurring behavior tend to be women who find mental escape in drugs. For troubled women, drug abuse is a way out.  Whether the cause of mental unrest is depression, anxiety, past trauma, or any other condition, the high provided by drugs functions as a numbing agent which allows these women to distance themselves from painful thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, drugs never solve the problem – they only distance these women from it.

Life may be more livable when they do not have to cope with constant internal struggle, but these issues to not evaporate. With time, they burrow deeper inside the psyche, making them more difficult to access and work through.

Gradually, addicts develop a physical and mental tolerance to drugs. Physically, this means that the body becomes accustomed to the presence of a drug, redefining its normal state to include the drug. Therefore, the drug ceases to provide a “high,” and functions merely as a stabilizer. In order to get the same effect, the addict must use constantly increasing amounts of the drug. Mentally, a tolerance develops in the same manner, so that the addict does not achieve the same mental effect from the same dose. With most drugs, even increasing the dose will not provide an addict with the same effect they got from using it initially.

The same principle that causes mental and physical tolerances to drugs to develop is also responsible for the phenomenon of withdrawal, another signature characteristic of drug addiction. Withdrawal is essentially mental and physical panic upon ceasing to ingest a drug that the mind and body have become accustomed to.  Psychologically, withdrawal symptoms can be traumatic, and physically they can be dangerous and extremely painful. When an addict decides to get sober, withdrawal is the first barrier she must cross. Treatment facilities ensure that addicts have appropriate medical supervision during this period.


Once substances no longer provide relief for addicted women, drug abuse leaves them to deal with their original mental issues as well as the added burden of addiction. Upon getting sober, the psychological problems that have been stuffed up for so long tend to come rushing out, which can be an incredibly overwhelming experience for a newly sober addict. In the case of traumatized women, drug abuse leaves much to be dealt with upon sobering up. Dual-diagnosis treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction is necessary to ensure that memories of traumatic experiences that emerge are dealt with in a healthy manner.

The sad fact is that drugs, often the self-prescribed medication of emotionally broken women, only make their suffering greater in the long run. However, addicts in recovery must understand that their drug use the only method of self-preservation they knew at the time. In recovery they must look forward and have no regrets, as their experiences led them to this point in their lives, the point at which they start anew.


The aim of successful treatment is to help people cultivate the emotional and mental stability and comfort that they attempted to create with drugs, thus enabling them to live happily and healthfully. This means reexamining many areas of life for women addicted to drugs. Drug abuse is often the most blatant problem, but it is seldom the only behavior that needs to be reformed.  Chances are, there are other indulgent behaviors that provide a similar sense of escape for any addict.  These are commonly things like risky sexual behavior, eating disorders, self-mutilation, compulsive gambling or shopping, and severe codependency.  A successful drug addiction treatment program addresses these co-occurring addictions as well as the addiction to drugs.  In order to become healthy, women must rid themselves of addictive thinking.  It is not possible to do this while engaging in any addictive behavior.

For women, drug abuse is often tied to issues of self esteem, body distortion, and physical and sexual abuse.  Because these are vulnerable topics that relate to being or feeling intimidated or dominated by men, they are issues that can only be worked through in an all-female environment.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women, located in Costa Mesa, California, is a 90- day drug rehabilitation program that helps women overcome not only their addictions to substances, but also co-occurring addictions and psychological conditions.  Through a multidimensional treatment program comprised of structured therapeutic groups, individual counseling, 12-step work, life skills development, and uplifting social activities, Safe Harbor provides women with the opportunity to heal and grow.

Safe Harbor Treatment Center sets itself apart from other programs of its kind by its incredibly tight-knit community.  Safe Harbor’s residents, staff and alumni constitute a sisterhood of women in recovery from addiction, striving together for better lives.  For all of these women, drug abuse is a memory that draws them together as they build happy and fulfilling lives.  Any woman looking to leave drug addiction behind her and step into the future has a home waiting for her at Safe Harbor.