If They Have Drug and Alcohol Problems, Why Don’t They Just Quit?

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A: When drugs and/or alcohol have become the solution, the way to have fun, to feel good, to relieve stress and to relieve discomfort, there are many ways that people find to avoid facing the problems created by use.

Q: What ways do people find to avoid addressing drug and alcohol problems?

A: Some of the statements people misusing drugs and alcohol make to themselves are:

  • My problem comes from someone else or is a bad circumstance;
  • It’s not that bad;
  • When I get through this, I’ll think about it;
  • Just another couple of years and then I’ll deal with it;
  • I’m stressed and work hard, I deserve a little fun;
  • They just don’t understand;
  • I’m different.

Q: Do people have to “hit bottom” before they are willing to get help with their alcohol and drug use?

A: Everyone has their own “bottom” and most continue to dig for a while. When faced with losing important things in their lives, people can often place their alcohol and drug use as their priority. When a problem drinker or drug user sees that there is hope on the other side of their trouble, facing their battle and “stop digging” becomes possible.

Q: How do I help someone face their problem and see that recovery is possible?

A: Finding someone for the problem alcohol or drug user to speak with who has been there, who relates to the feelings and ideas surrounding their issues, and who has made it to the other side of the hole, often helps. Professionals who work with addiction can also empathize and provide direction. Treatment programs are available to introduce the reticent alcohol or drug abuser to possible remedies are available if they are willing to talk.

Q: Once someone starts the road of recovery, why do they sometimes go back to their old ways?

A: Even though they eventually can create disaster, drugs and alcohol are potent relievers of pain, anxiety and boredom. If someone new to recovery loses sight of the eventual benefits of recovery, they can go back to their old ways. Old drinking or using buddies, triggers and infrequent use of recovery supports, like meetings can lead back to drinking and using. It’s a well-practiced habit.

Q: Can you “bring up” someone’s bottom and help them stop before they lose everything?

A: Treatment is designed to provide a “bridge” over the depths people can fall, during the addiction process. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to bring people to the awareness of their need for or the benefits of recovery. It is also very difficult to gauge helpfulness against enabling or neglect. Being helpful while not participating in the problem is the best balance to reach.

Q: Does treatment or recovery require a lot of time away from personal responsibilities and/or cost a lot of money:

A: No. Many routes can lead to recovery, many of which can be taken which require no time away from important obligations and cost no money at all.

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

How to Get Help: Drug and Alcohol Problems

female helping hand from darkness, selective focus

Q: Is there a right way and a wrong way to seek help for an alcohol or drug problem?

 

A: It is best to avoid mistakes and problems down the road when deciding upon a course of action to find substance abuse treatment. Treatment should be there to resolve problems causing and caused by alcohol and drug misuse, not to care for the treatment provider’s needs.

 

Q: What should I avoid when seeking help for substance abuse?

 

A: Unfortunately, there exist many unnecessarily expensive and burdensome programs and services which are designed to create a profit for the provider. Some services confuse luxury accommodations, prestigious locations and charismatic personalities with quality, effective treatment. There are also unproven and ineffective services being sold as solutions for drug and alcohol problems. Finally, some solutions cause further problems once the initial substance use of choice has been arrested.

 

Q: Who can I trust to give me advise on finding a program which provides effective, affordable and trustworthy treatment for alcohol and drug abuse?

 

A: Healthcare professionals and counselors you have learned to trust are some of the best resource people who can recommend treatment providers. People you may know who themselves or who have a loved one find their way through drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are some of the best resources. Since they have been there, they can help guide your search and support you through the process during and after treatment.

 

Q: How do I know if the treatment program provides services which are effective:

 

A: Ask the treatment provider if they are “accredited”? Accreditation agencies such as The Joint Commission conduct audits and reviews to determine that treatment services meet the standards of quality care. Ask the provider what evidence indicates that they are providing effective services. Go online to https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ to find a government licensed or certified program near you.

 

Q: Can I find a good treatment provider doing an internet search.

 

A: Since the internet does not provide and objective review of quality and effectiveness, be careful using the internet. Providers who make large profits from their charges can afford advertisement and publicize their treatment services, even when their services may be very distant, inaccessible, demanding or expensive. If you do use the internet, always ask where the treatment program is located, whether it is accredited and contracted with your insurance company, and how much time away from home it requires.

 

Q: How do people pay for treatment and how do I know if the charges are fair and legitimate?

 

A: Most people use their health insurance coverage to pay for much of their treatment. Your insurance policy can act as you guide to selecting an ethical and economical treatment provider since insurance plans are highly regulated and oversee the financial affairs of treatment.

 

Q: How can I find out is my insurance plan will pay a substance abuse treatment provider and at what rate?

 

A: Many treatment providers who are not contracted with your insurance will state that they “take” your insurance plan. What they may leave out is that they are not contracted and will therefore receive a much lower percentage of the charges, leaving much of the charge to your self-payment. Ask your insurance plan or the provider if the treatment program is “in-network” or “contracted” with your insurance company.

 

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

What to Do: Drug and Alcohol Problems

what-to-do-blog-featuredModerate to severe drug and alcohol abuse is a treatable, chronic condition much like type 2 diabetes. Even though we decide to take our first drink or drug, something inside us eventually prevents us from moderating our intake. Much like sugar and carbohydrates for the diabetic, alcohol and drugs eventually develop into a chronic medical disease.

We take a drink or drug. The drink or drug takes a drink or drug. The drink or drug takes us. We lose control despite our greatest intensions or efforts.

When pleasure and the relief from stress and pain have been solved for years by using alcohol or drugs, not only do our habits change, so do our brains. A decision to quit may be a beginning but what really maintains sobriety is practicing new or lost skills, such as drug free recreation and relaxation, sharing social support with others, walking through a tough situation with new hope and a new friend, and taking positive steps to change what you have become.

We can’t think our way into right action. We can act our way into right thinking.

Treatment is an introduction and engagement in a life-long process. Recovery is the outcome goal. A limited time in a drug-free residential program or weekly therapy doesn’t maintain the support needed for daily recovery practice at home over time. Mutual support groups and daily outpatient programs provide an accessible way to get that support to practice necessary recovery skills so that long-term sobriety is possible.

Recovery only occurs when the gains from treatment are consistently practiced at home. Outpatient treatment programs such as Twin Town aim to teach, coach and monitor recovery skill practices at home, over time so that long-term sobriety can occur.

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

Poor or No Insurance – Access to Affordable Alcohol and Drug Problem Treatment/Rehab

poor-no-insurance-blogMost people can’t afford the well published treatment and rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol problems without the help of health insurance. Soon that problem may face more of us. Following are some solutions to a reemerging problem:

To get help for drug and alcohol problems, is insurance necessary?

No. Some people get sober by attending community based support groups such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. Counties also offer publicly funded programs, though there are often wait lists to access help for people with low or no incomes. Non-profit and charity programs may also be available in your area for those who qualify due to the lack of financial resources. Call or find on the internet contacts for the Los Angeles County Substance Abuse and Control Department or the Orange County Department of Behavioral Health.

Are there affordable treatment options for people who need to pay for alcohol and/or drug treatment/ rehab out of their own pocket?

Yes. Usually treatment programs which contract with insurance companies, particularly HMO’s have reduced rates for people needing to pay for treatment out of pocket. Rehab programs do NOT have to be expensive to be effective. (A view of the ocean or a horseback ride are not essential features of recovery.)

Programs located close to North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Torrance, Los Alamitos, Orange and Mission Viejo provide no-interest payment planning for self-pay rates as low as $4200.00 for five (5) months of treatment. www.twintowntreatmentcenters.com

Do HMO’s and MediCal cover alcohol and drug rehab?

Yes. Currently under “parity” and the “Affordable Care Act” HMO’s and MediCal are required to provide treatment for alcohol and drug problems. Treatment programs which are contracted with HMO’s and MediCal can verify your level of coverage and let you know if and how much you have a co-payment obligation.

Most HMO’s have a behavioral health department which performs authorization and do not require a referral from your primary care physician.

How do I find an effective and accessible drug and/or alcohol treatment program/ rehab which I can afford?

Avoid internet searches without verifying the integrity of the program. Many “free treatment” postings lead to less than honorable practices. The best way to find a provider is to call the County, your insurance company or a trusted professional for a reliable and trustworthy treatment program/ rehab.

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

What Works in Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Rehab- Continued from 1-16-17

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Effectiveness in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is determined by measuring the positive changes in a person’s life after participating in rehab. Expected changes include continuous sobriety, participation in recovery supportive relationships and fellowships, reduced incidents of legal and medical consequences, improved relationships with family and friends, and improved performance at school and work.

The following factors have been determined through research to enhance treatment outcomes. Effective drug and alcohol treatment provides these essentials features:

  • Intensive structure and a duration which extends over three months (setting is less important: inpatient, residential and intensive outpatient appear to produce similar results);
  • Supervision and monitoring over the course of early sobriety/ recovery (urinalysis, case-management, tracking participation, behavioral observation and guidance, etc.);
  • Replacing the dependence on chemicals with other supports (fellowship, counseling, activities, service, connection to others, inspirational experience, etc.);
  • Twelve step and/or other structured mutual support participation;
  • Frequent therapeutic interaction with peer group and counselor;
  • Relapse prevention counseling and training;

Assessment and instruction with a primary medical physician about the impact of drug and alcohol use has been determined to enhance the probability of effective treatment outcomes. When people become dependent upon opioids, medication assisted treatment enhances their ability to participate in long-term treatment while guarding against lethal relapse.

Ironically, some recovery myths have been disproved:

  1. There is nothing reliable about twenty-eight (28) days in a residential treatment program;
  2. It is not recommended that people new to recovery move to a new location, avoid family, work and school responsibilities, or live away from supportive others;
  3. Each person recovers at their own rate but the longer they are engaged in treatment and professional support, the better are their chances at long-term recovery;
  4. People don’t have to get sober for “themselves” or be “ready”- mandated treatment is often more successful than voluntary treatment.

“What Can Long-term Follow-up Teach us About Relapse and Prevention of Relapse in Addiction?” British Journal of Addiction, Volume 83, Issue 10, pages 1147–1157, October 1988

“Encouraging Post treatment Self-Help Group Involvement to Reduce Demand for Continuing Care Services: Two-Year Clinical and Utilization Outcomes”; Keith Humphreys11Veterans Affairs and Stanford University Medical Centers, Palo Alto, California. and Rudolf H. Moos11Veterans Affairs and Stanford University Medical Centers, Palo Alto, California.

“Drug treatment and twelve-step program participation: The additive effects of integrated recovery activities”. American J. Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 1997/9; J. Substance Abuse Treatment 1996, 2003

“Efficacy of Outpatient Intensive Treatment for Drug Abuse”, Campbell, Gabrielli, Laster, Liskow, Haworth Press, 1997

“Mechanisms of behavior change in alcoholics anonymous: does Alcoholics Anonymous lead to better alcohol use outcomes by reducing depression symptoms?” John F. Kelly 1 , Robert L. Stout 2 , Molly Magill 3 , J. Scott Tonigan 4 & Maria E. Pagano 5    1 Center for Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA,   2 Decision Sciences Institute/PIRE, Pawtucket, RI, USA,   3 Brown University, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Providence, RI, USA,   4 Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addiction (CASAA), Albuquerque, NM, USA and   5 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child Psychiatry, W.O. Walker Center, Cleveland

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

What Works in Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehab

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Therapeutic alliance between the substance abuse treatment/ rehab provider and the person seeking recovery is the basis of effective treatment. Without mutual respect, collaboration and trust, therapeutic outcomes are highly improbable. Research the operative variables of effective substance abuse treatment reveals that it is the therapeutic alliance between the treatment provider and client-patient that is THE essential ingredient. Styles and theories behind therapy, content of counseling and teaching, and models of substance abuse treatment and rehab have little effect beyond the establishing a relationship between the person seeking recovery and the treatment/ rehab provider.

When substance abuse treatment/ rehab providers/ programs are not trustworthy, they are not effective.

“Treatment on an outpatient basis allows a more valid assessment of environmental, cognitive and emotional antecedents of drinking episodes and drinking urges on the part of the patient, and allows the patient to test new coping strategies while still within a supportive counseling relationship. These conditions would be expected to foster greater generalization of learning in treatment to the patient’s natural environment” (Annis, 1986, p. 183).

People receiving outpatient treatment integrate their therapeutic gains immediately into their lives and don’t lose them once an artificial inpatient environment reverts to normative living. Home recovery supports are found, expanded and utilized during outpatient treatment. The transition from active treatment into aftercare is a smooth, unbroken continuum. Recovery is much more likely to be maintained.

Twin Town’s outpatient treatment provides the “take-home” advantage. People seeking recovery at Twin Town practice effective recovery, communication and relationship skills directly at home, at work, at school and at play. They receive therapeutic support and validation from each other, a new “extended family” and counseling staff while they work through early recovery challenges and practices.

Twin Town Outcome Studies

Twin Town called ALL patients (regardless of the form of their discharge) 9 to 12 months after leaving treatment. The outcome for all answered calls resulted in the following results which is clear evidence of effective treatment (N=136 last year, 331 last three years):

  • 71% are abstinent since being discharged (nine months)
  • 95% recommend Twin Town to others
  • 66% continue in mutual support recovery groups (12-Step Recovery, etc.)
  • 45% encounter improvement at work/ with their career

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N=136 yr2016, 331 yrs 2014-17

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

Preventing Alcohol and Drug Tragedies

Blurred car head and tail lights seen through a windshield.

The tragic legacy of drug and alcohol abuse is graphically told by a mounting death toll and roster of casualties. Left behind are the loved ones who feel vacant, guilty and confounded. “Why do we lose our beloved to drugs and alcohol?”. Many answers may fill a void but the path of destruction continues unabated. Illogical is the course of an alcoholic and drug addict’s life.

 

Even less logical are the consequences of addictively seeking pleasure or relief through chemical ingestion.

 

  • Nearly 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • Nearly 46,500 people die from drug-related causes annually.
  • 18,900 die from prescription opioid overdose and 10,500 die annually from heroin overdose.
  • 8,000 die from benzodiazepine-related overdose.

 

The short-cut to pleasure and relief often cut short the lives who repetitively use them.

 

What can we do to help people colliding with the wake of addictive behavior? People who need that chemical boost to simply feel normal are like self-guided missiles who seem immune to outside influences, including the love and guidance of those who love them. Do they hear?

 

  • Don’t aggravate the problem by drinking or using with them and avoid being around them when they are inebriated or are planning to drink or use. Let them know the truth if they ask about your absence.
  • Don’t “cover” or lie to others to conceal or justify their alcohol or drug absenteeism, problems or mistakes.
  • Provide safety when possible. Take their keys if they intend to drive. Let them know that you will call the police if they attempt to drive. Let them know that you’ll call family services if their family is neglected or threatened. Follow-through with your calls to provide safety.
  • When they aren’t under the influence of a chemical, let them know your observations. Let them know that you will help them to find help if they are willing.
  • Find others who have similar observations and interest in helping and ask them to share with the alcoholic or addict.
  • Call a trusted or reputable therapist, doctor or treatment program to get their advice and help. Seek referrals from others in recovery or from professionals you know. Avoid internet searches for help.

 

We can’t make someone sober or make them want recovery. We can avoid being part of the problem and avail ourselves as part of a solution.

 

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

Connection to Others vs. Attachment to Chemicals

connection-with-othersIt is the season where our connection to our loved ones may be contrasted with our need for chemical pleasure or relief. Through alcoholism and addiction, we lose the capacity to relate with our loved ones. Replacing meaningful human interaction with chemical pleasure and relief, we often seek out others who share our predicament. Beneath a defensive shield, we feel empty and alone.

We lose touch with our families and friends by prioritizing access and use of drugs and alcohol. Our values shift from generosity and compassion to gaining pleasure or relieving discomfort. Connection with others is contrasted with our attachment to alcohol or drugs.

The winter solstice is a metaphor for moving from the longest night to returning light. Many cultural traditions and beliefs contain the message of moving out of cold winter solitude to the hope of a warmer, more joyful life. So is it with addiction and alcoholism. When drugs and alcoholism are needed to maintain routine and bring less pleasure and relief, recovery lies as a promise at the other side of that longest night.

In recovery, we hope for the best for everyone. We encourage you to practice the following skills which can be achieved through recovery from drug abuse, addiction and alcoholism:

  • Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  • Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
  • Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.

And we at Twin Town Treatment Centers wish you the best holiday moving from the darkest day into returning light!

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

Sober Holiday Events in Recovery (Los Angeles South Bay, Torrance, Redondo Beach)

Christmas lights Defocused

NA WESTSIDE ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE MARATHON

Meetings: 10:00pm – 2:00am

Westside Hope Center

11313 Washington Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90066

 

Hermosa Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony & Rock for Tots Toy Drive

December 3, 2015 – 6:00 p.m.

Hermosa Beach Pier

 

Sleepy Hollow Christmas Lights Extravaganza

Thursday, December 1 – 31, 2016 – 6:00 – 10:00 pm; Roberts Rd. off Pacific Coast Highway.

Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks Show 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016 – 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm Manhattan Beach Pier!

LA Kings sponsored outdoor ice rinks Redondo Beach and the Port of San Pedro

Riviera Village Holiday Stroll

December 3, 2015: 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Riviera Village, Redondo Beach

Holiday Concert

Torrance Civic Chorale & Orchestra, December 11th & 12th, 2015 at 8:00PM, James R. Armstrong Theatre located at 3330 Civic Center Drive

24th Annual King Harbor Boat Parade

December 12th, 2015, 4:30 pm

27th Annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks

December 13th, 2015, 7 pm, Manhattan Beach Pier

The Nutcracker – Presented by Los Angeles Ballet

December 26th and 27th, 2015, 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844

Sober Holiday Events in Recovery (San Fernando Valley, North Hollywood)

Defocused Lights Background

Remaining clean and sober through the holidays in North Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley can be fun and supported by community events. Try some of the following:

 

NA SAN FERNANDO VALLEY ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE MARATHON MEETINGS

Meetings: 9:00pm – 4:00am, Reseda United Methodist Church, 18120 Saticoy Methodist Church, Reseda, CA 91335

 

Travel Town Railroad’s Santa Express begins 5-8 p.m. Nov. 26-27 and other dates in December. Tickets $7 per person; $5 photo with Santa. 5200 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. 323-662-9678. www.griffithparktrainrides.com.

 

A Snow White Christmas: Lythgoe Family Productions presents a traditional British panto, previews 2 and 6 p.m. Nov. 27; opens 7 p.m. Nov. 30. Check website for other dates through Dec. 18. Tickets $49 previews; $54 and $34 children for other performances. El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. 818-508-4200. www.elportaltheatre.com.

 

San Fernando Valley Chorale’s The Joyful Sounds of Christmas: Dec. 17 at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 15950 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. Admission $10; $5 children. 818-884-8897.

 

Bob Cratchit and Mr. Tightwad: A new musical based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” preview 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Opens, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and 3 p.m. Dec. 11. Show runs other dates through Dec. 31. Tickets $20; $15 seniors 62 and older; $12 children 13 and younger. Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood. 800-838-3600. www.cratchitmusical.com.

 

California Dance Academy’s The Nutcracker Ballet: 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10; 2 p.m. Dec. 11; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17; 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Tickets $18-$24; $14-$20 seniors, students and children. Madrid Theatre, 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park. 818-347-9938. www.culturela.org/madridtheatre

 

Las Posadas at Andres Pico Adobe: The San Fernando Valley Historical Society presents the traditional Mexican Christmas pageant, 5 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. 10940 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills. 818-365-7810. www.sfvhs.com.

 

Pierce College Choir and Encore Singers and the L.A. Pierce Symphony Winds perform a Holiday Gala: 3 p.m. Dec. 11. Tickets $12.50; $10 seniors and students. Valley Performing Arts Center at CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. 818-677-3000.

 

LA Kings sponsored outdoor ice rink Woodland Hills

 

Twin Town Treatment Centers is immediately accessible to all Los Angeles and Orange County residents, is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is certified by the California DHCS. All network HMO/PPO/EPO insurance plans and Medi-Cal contract with Twin Town Treatment Centers to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Our phone is answered by real people. We can see people on the same day you call. (866) 594-8844