Thursday, May 29, 2014


("It's Never Too Late to Grow a New Life" Among Saturday's Agenda at the 5th Annual West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders)
Saturday, May 31st, 2014 (LA QUINTA, CA) - Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat is sponsoring "It's Never Too Late to Grow a New Life," a workshop conducted by Gordon Scheible, MDiv, CADC-II, ICADC & Sylvia Dobrow, BS, MPH, ABD. The Introductory/Intermediate workshop will offer a hands on approach for treatment solutions for specifically older adults. The workshop will be interactive throughout and will be followed with an audience question and answer session.

The good news is that Older Adults can learn how to effectively break free from the past, grow more self-confident and claim a new life in recovery. There are ways to help Older Adults discover healing and renewal after addiction treatment that lead to the restoration of hope for a positive future. This workshop will explore some of the issues that led the Older Adult into addiction and present strategies to assist them in making positive life changes.

The workshop will be held as part of the 2014 West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders, in La Quinta, CA, May 31st - June 1st at the La Quinta Resort and Club.

Theworkshop takes place on Saturday, May 31st, 10:30 a.m. at the LaQuinta Resort and Club To register for the event visit the conference web site

Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.

Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website.

Innovations in Recovery Conference
La Quinta Resort and Club, La Quinta, CA | May 31, 2014 – June 1st, 2014

C4 Recovery Solutions (C4) is honored to present the 5th Annual West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders (WCSAD). C4 is a 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting the design, provision, and monitoring of outcomes-based addiction services and providing platforms to integrate varied academic disciplines and professional activities within the fields of addiction and behavioral health. C4 is run by a volunteer board, three staff persons, several invaluable consultants and the graciousness of many volunteers and friends. This two-and-a-half-day event is dedicated to continuing education and networking in the field of addictions, draws hundreds of regional, national, and international participants, lecturers and faculty. WCSAD combines workshops and seminars on timely industry topics with an unmatched showcase of the industry’s products and services. 
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Thursday, May 22, 2014


The recent news of Donald Sterling is appalling and unacceptable. His initial racist comments are detestable and the subsequent, unapologetic Anderson Cooper interview didn't help repair his image. This story, which has been running for consecutive weeks reminds us that although this country has made great strides, we still have a long road to hoe regarding discrimination and racism.

Sterling is a rich and powerful man. He owns the Los Angeles Clippers - an NBA franchise. He was in line to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP. Yes, the NAACP was about to give a racist an award. Sterling criticized Magic Johnson in his interview with Cooper. He said he wasn't a good role model for African-Americans. Sterling told the public he isn't a racist. Sterling said he was 'baited' into his comments. He asked forgiveness. Sterling is a man in denial.

Denial and discrimination work as cohorts. Those who deny a problem, whether a loved one's or their own, usually practice a form of discrimination. Donald Sterling denies he is a racist but he clearly discriminates against African-Americans. Countless addicts are the same way. They deny there is a problem. They also usually see other other addicts in a negative light. They can't own up to facts, because they loathe what they have become. It's unimaginable to be grouped with other addicts. The stigma perpetuates the denial and it is difficult to overcome.

It is also the most necessary thing to do for change. You can't get help until you admit you have a problem. And not just admission. Acceptance of the problem is critical. It's ok and it can be helped.

Donald Sterling should admit that he is guilty of racist remarks and apologize. He is 80 years old. He has lived in a time when racism was accepted and socially normal. This isn't an excuse, it's an explanation. Just like an addict, Sterling can admit that, due to his environment, his age, his upbringing - that he has a problem. Just like the addicts we help, he can be forgiven and recover from his problem. He can change the way he thinks. But first, he must stop living in denial.

Sterling's son died of an apparent overdose on New Year's Day last year. He was 32. The Sterling family thanked everyone for their sympathy and asked for privacy. When asked about their son's history of addiction, they denied it. They would only discuss his battle with type-1 diabetes. They indicated in a public statement: "Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes. His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him.”

Denial and a request for privacy was acceptable for the Sterlings then. Parents who have to bury their children are granted that. But this time, Sterling is in danger of losing his NBA franchise. He has already been banned from all NBA activities for the duration of his years.

If there is any chance for him to recover from this, Donald Sterling must face his problem and admit to being a racist, accept this truth, then change. Only then does he have a right to ask forgiveness.

Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014


There's no easy way to say it - our seniors are too often neglected. It's true. Most would admit to not making enough time to see older family members enough. Our older loved ones sometimes become an afterthought . The elderly are left out and pushed inside. It's not easy getting old.

Along with dealing with this natural process of the human condition, life changing events sometimes occur, which can add to the struggle. In October 2012 the shore points of New Jersey and New York were pounded by Superstorm Sandy, leaving homes and business destroyed and towns desolate. The physical damage was visible - wreckage, closed businesses, decreased tourism. The emotional damage to the residents was not.

Many older adults choose to make these shore towns their homes. These towns are quaint and quiet in the off-season, making for a nice place to retire. These retirees, who have spent a lifetime working and earning enough to settle in these sleepy shore towns, were stripped of everything as a result of Sandy, leaving them with nothing and nowhere to turn for help. It wasn't only physical havoc Sandy reeked - behavioral health issues also were a result.

A recent study released by Healthcare Qualities Strategies, Inc. reports an increase in depression, anxiety, and substance abuse for this population as a result of Sandy. Studies from prior disasters have found that victims, especially older adults and those with chronic health conditions, often have an elevated risk for behavioral health issues after a disaster.

Among the study finding:

• A 1.2 percent overall increase in depression or related disorders after the storm.
• A 5.8 percent increase in anxiety disorders; a 7.7 percent increase in post-traumatic stress disorder; and an 8.1 percent increase in alcohol or substance abuse.
• Hispanics had the highest depression and/or proxy disorder rates followed by whites and blacks, both before and after the storm. Although Asians had the lowest rate both before and after, they experienced the highest increase.

The aim of the study is to identify pockets of need and encourage counties and communities to work together to strengthen behavioral health services for those suffering presently as well as plan for any future disasters. In the 55+ season of their life, the senior faces a variety of medical, psychological and social challenges.

Older adult addiction to alcohol or other drugs can greatly exaggerate these pre-existing conditions. Anxiety, depression, grief, and loneliness can often be present in the lives of older adults, but if chemically dependent, they can plunge quickly into isolation and deeper depression. Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat provides a pace and environment conducive to the individual needs and abilities of this age group. Our older adult addiction treatment program is tailored to meet the varying needs and special circumstances the older adult faces. Patients flourish in an intimate, age specific, non-confrontational group of peers. They find comfort in being seen daily by our medical doctor, and our single-story floor plan offers many benefits for the patient who may be experiencing physical weakness or chronic pain. Being attached to a general acute care hospital gives our patients security in knowing that if an emergent situation arises; they will receive immediate professional medical care.

Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.
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Thursday, May 8, 2014


One-size-fits all works well for many things. It's convenient when measurements aren't required for fitting. However, when it comes to detoxing from substance abuse, medical assessment and treatment planning is paramount. One size does not fit all.

Detoxification, the period when substance is purged from the body, is always the first step in the recovery process. It is also one of the most critical. It is in this timeframe when a patient is most likely to experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is also for this reason that "cold turkey" methods can lead to overdose.  

There are two categories of detoxification methods: Social model detox and medical detox. Is one more effective than the other? It is important to examine each model before arriving to an answer. 

First, social model detox involves careful monitoring of the patient through a residential inpatient setting. The patient is not administered medication, but is assisted through the detox process with counseling and therapy. It can be effective in instances when life-threatening withdrawal symptoms are not an issue. 

Conversely, medical detox is detoxification combined with medical care - it often occurs in a hospital setting. Medical personnel carefully monitor and supervise the patient in this process, administering medication to assist in the withdrawal process. It can be costly, but it is safe and scientific.  

Both methods must involve careful monitoring and therapy to be effective. With medical detox, it is guaranteed - a medical professional monitors the process throughout, in a hospital setting. The pain and risks associated with withdrawal are eased. Each case is treated differently. Each treatment plan is catered to the individual. 

Social model detoxification is not always as regimented. Social model detox as described above can be successful - and compared to medical detox, highly cost-effective. However, the pitfalls lie in the interpretation. Not all facilities have the same idea of what social detox is. Some believe that social detox can be successful in an outpatient setting, in which the patient makes checkup visits, while essentially dealing with withdrawal on his or her own. Depending on the length of time and level of substance abuse, this method can be a recipe for death. It may mean life-threatening withdrawal. Similarly, lack of 24/7 monitoring often means higher risk of relapse, and overdose. 

When deciding what the best method of detox, many factors are at play - level of dependency, cost, type of substance - just to name a few. It is recommended to seek consultation from a medical professional - one who is licensed in addiction medicine, when beginning this process. 

Whether social model or medical detoxification is recommended, it is important to remember that 24/7 monitoring and supervision is important. Detoxification should never be handled outside of an inpatient or hospital setting. When it comes to detoxification, one size does not fit all, but that does not mean the patient should have take his or her own measurements. Each plan should be tailored by a medical professional.  

Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014


Just about everyone who has witnessed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's behavior over the passed year or so would agree that he should seek help for addiction. Everyone, except for Rob Ford.

This week, the capricious, often volatile Ford, checked himself into rehab, admitting that he has "a problem with alcohol." This was in a written statement. A step in the right direction for a tortured man - admitting a problem is critical. And difficult. 

However merely hours after releasing this statement, a video surfaces. It captures Mayor Ford on tape holding a crack pipe in his hand. He is reportedly in sister's basement, a known drug addict. The video was shot by a self proclaimed drug dealer. Soon after an audio clip surfaces. It depicts an obviously drunken Ford at a bar, spouting off about his wife and children - how they don't like him. He even had an encounter with pop-star Justin Bieber the same evening. Bieber apparently asked Ford if he "had brought any crack to smoke" that night. But that's for another blog posting.
Courtesy of The Globe and Mail

The fact that Ford released his statement and sought help only after this evidence came to light points to his continued and unbelievable sense of denial. He still has not admitted a drug problem, but only "a problem with alcohol." Here's a man who has very publicly embarrassed himself several times, has been stripped of most of his power and support. And it's all due to his abuse of substance. Denial is a strong drug itself. 

The question now is, will rehab have a positive effect on Rob Ford? Can he admit to himself that he is powerless and finally seek the help he needs? It is his only shot at true redemption.

If Rob Ford is only using entering rehab as an image-cleanup, he won't reemerge as a new person. He will not be redeemed by his public and he will not get re-elected. True ownership of his substance abuse problem is his last and only chance... With his career... With his family... With his life. It's now or never.  

Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.
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