Encouraging and Maintaining Recovery: Simply Turning through a Dark Hallway

The door to the light will be found simply by turning through this dark hallway. Perhaps we’ll wait a while but we will find the door with the help of friends and powers greater than those we possess alone.

Support for Recovery

We are not only together in this, technology allows for international fellowship and unity. With this crisis, people in recovery have found a much larger community if we seek available resources. Following are some:

  1. http://laaaonlinemeetings.org
  2. https://www.thetokenshop.com/Online_AA_Meetings?fbclid
  3. https://www.aa-intergroup.org/directory.php
  4. https://smartrecovery.org/community/
  5. https://www.buddhistrecovery.org/meetingslisting/meetings/Telephone+-+Online.htm
  6. https://www.intherooms.com/home/
  7. https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/

If you have additional resources that you would like to publish on Twin Town’s webpage or blogs, please send them to dlisonbee@twintowntreatmentcenters.com.

Help for Addiction

Twin Town Treatment Centers and like programs provide essential and medically necessary addition treatment (SUD) services. We not only help people become more stable and responsible, we help keep people from requiring higher levels of care such as ER’s and hospitals.

Telemedicine addiction treatment services is currently recommended as the treatment platform of choice at this time.

Alcoholics and addicts most desperately need support and connection through this dark and uncertain moment.

These are matters of compassion and community safety.

Twin Town has implemented COVID 19 mitigation telehealth options services to provide lower risk access to help for anyone who qualifies in needing it.

Twin Town maintains HIPAA and 42CFR Part 2 protections despite current waivers. The confidentiality of personal histories is most significant for people with drug and alcohol problems.

 

LA County Department of Public Health COVID 19 mitigation procedures are closely monitored to protect staff and clientele.

Twin Town (866) 594-8844

Added Perseverance: Help for Addiction and Support for Recovery

Ours is a moment in time of self-quarantine, social distancing and isolation. Connection and community are necessary to recover and sustain recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Alternative routes to getting help for an addiction and support for recovery are needed. 

The people of the Los Angeles and Orange County areas are facing a pandemic. People with active addiction or alcoholism are facing two threats to their lives. People recovering from alcoholism or addiction need mutual support to sustain their recovery.

Support for Recovery

Adding to or substituting for traditional mutual recovery support groups, electronic forums have broadened to meet the needs of recovering addicts and alcoholics in the Los Angeles Area:

http://laaaonlinemeetings.org

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1-s3EVFEuF6Z65Jsl4ICW6v0aliGCAcmWmkzAqXooWaI/htmlview

https://www.aa-intergroup.org/directory.php

https://smartrecovery.org/community/

https://www.buddhistrecovery.org/meetingslisting/meetings/Telephone+-+Online.htm

https://www.intherooms.com/home/

https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/

 

If you have additional resources that you would like to publish on Twin Town’s webpage or blogs, please send them to dlisonbee@twintowntreatmentcenters.com

 

Help for Addiction

Twin Town Treatment Centers and many other addiction treatment centers remain open during this healthcare crisis. Community based programs like Twin Town provide essential and medically necessary addition treatment (SUD) services. Even during times of “shelter in place”, programs like Twin Town do not and should not close. People with addiction and alcoholism problems particularly need help during these most difficult times. This too is a matter of public safety. 

Twin Town has implemented COVID 19 mitigation precautions and protocols as recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Telehealth options exist for people in the position of receiving them. 

So as to assist all people in need, Twin Town doesn’t to limit access to services- our full services are live, onsite and in-person. Many people in need lack of access or the capacity to use telemedicine platforms used by others who may be more technically oriented or capable.

Respecting the need to protect the confidentiality of personal addiction and alcoholism histories, Twin Town maintains HIPAA and 42CFR Part 2 protections despite current waivers. We work live on location rather than remotely. CDC and LA County Department of Public Health COVID 19 mitigation procedures are closely monitored to protect staff and clientele.

Twin Town (866) 594-8844

https://twintowntreatmentcenters.com

The Known, The Unknown, Addiction and Alcoholism, Los Angeles, and Hand Sanitizer

Los Angeles, Orange County, and California residents face frightening unknowns brought by a new epidemic. The current number of COVID 19 cases remains relatively small though revelations brought by testing and an escalating transmission rate will likely dwarf today’s figures. We are distracted and wholly consumed by a new pandemic. 

Mitigating the spread of the virus is the only thing we can do. If we could only get that hand sanitizer, we’d know that we’re at least doing our part. 

By contrast to this new disease, we know alcoholism as the second leading cause of premature death and disability in Los Angeles County.

Some people are fortunate to awaken when their paths of destruction- addiction and/or alcoholism- descend faster than their personal standards. We act in ways that disgrace and shame even the deteriorating self. Coming to know and own our escalating losses, failures and corruption, we resolve to take new action and seek healing resources. Sources of help abound for achieving remission and recovery.

Without this reckoning and recovery, we find solace in knowing yet denying the severity of our risks as well-practiced addicts/ alcoholics. 

We choose the devil we know over the one we don’t. We’ll even choose the devil we know over the guardian angel we’ve long ignored and forgotten. 

Over five percent or 100,000 US deaths each year are attributed to alcohol misuse. Alcohol is involved in 38% (more than 16,000 fatalities) of fatal crashes.

The seventeenth leading cause of death and the fourth leading cause of accidental death among LA County residents have been drug overdoses.

Alcohol related illness accounted for 1,370 deaths and 27,424 hospitalizations in one year in LA County. Alcohol also causes bodily harm: DUI accidents, falls, suicide, poisonings, and occupational injuries. These harms cause 700 deaths and 27,530 injuries annually in Los Angeles.

The annual economic cost of alcohol use in Los Angeles County is $10.8 billion which includes:

 

  • Illness ($5.4 billion)
  • Traffic/ DUI Accidents ($2.0 billion)
  • Other Injury ($1.0 billion)
  • Crime ($2.4 billion)

 

16.2 percent of adults in Los Angeles County report binge drinking (5 or more drinks for men, 4 or more for women) on at least one occasion in the past 30 days. 3.3 percent of adults report heavy drinking (>60 drinks for men and >30 drinks for women in the previous month).

We obsessively focus on the COVID 19 disease we don’t know while we forget about the disease we know too well. Alcoholism and addiction are likely to cause more morbidity in the larger population than will COVID 19.

Recovery is available. 

Hand sanitizer is not.

http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/reports/habriefs/v3i8_alcohol/alcohol.pdf

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/FactSheet/AlcoholFactSheet.pdf

Sober Holiday Events in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills

The holiday season can be a challenge to people early in their recovery. Participating in sober activities with supportive friends and relatives is an essential part of lasting recovery. Learning to have fun with others in recovery replaces some of the harmful practices learned during addiction. 

The following are some sober holiday events and resources in Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills. Participating in some of the following with your support network will strengthen your recovery:

S. Orange County AA CENTRAL OFFICE VOLUNTEER

30011 Ivy Glenn Drive Ste 117, Laguna Niguel 92677, 949-582-2697 (24 Hours) email: socsoaa@sbcglobal.net SatelliteManager@oc-aa.org, Office Hours: Weekdays: 10am – 5pm

SoCal Etsy Guild Pop Up Mission Viejo Holiday, The Shops at Mission Viejo, November 29, 9am

29th Annual Lighting of the Bay, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, Newport Beach, November 30

Joy to the World, Lisa Kelechava, Roger’s Gardens, Newport Beach, December 7, 11:00am

Santa Cares, Irvine Spectrum Center, December 8, 8:00pm

3rd Annual Community Networking Holiday Party Food Drive, Mariners Church, December 15, 3:00pm

Merry Monarch Celebration, Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, December 15, 3:00pm

Winter Fest OC, OC Fair & Event Center Costa Mesa December 19- Jan 5

Sawdust Winter Arts Festival, Laguna Beach, November 23 – December 22

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 Orange and Anaheim

Having fun with others in recovery strengthens your sobriety and provides you new tools and resources.  The more destructive practices from addiction can be replaced by participating in clean and sober events with supportive others. Building a sober support network of friends helps sustain your recovery over time.

The following are some sober holiday events and resources in Orange and Anaheim. Participate and strengthen your sobriety having a wonderful holiday in recovery:

 

29th Annual Lighting of the Bay, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, Newport Beach, November 30

SoCal Friends WW Holiday Party (Poluck + Clothing Swap) Orange, December 1, 10:30am

Candlelight Evenings at the Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, December 2, 6:00pm

Free Holiday Celebration in Anaheim, Anaheim Town Square, December 8, 12:00pm

A Southern California Christmas, Musco Center of the Arts, Orange, December 15 4:00pm

Christmas Holiday Boutique, 6958 Ellis Ave., Huntington Beach, December 14, 11:00am

Holidays in Who-Ville- Free, Bella Terra, Huntington Beach, December 16, 10:30am

Holiday Gingerbread Workshop, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Anaheim December 21, 11:00am

Winter Fest OC, OC Fair & Event Center Costa Mesa December 19- Jan 5

Charity Gifts, December 22, 2:00pm; Marathon Meetings 12pm December 31 thru 1:30pm January 1, Anaheim Alano Club, 202 W. Broadway

Orange County AA CENTRAL OFFICE, 1526 Brookhollow Dr., Ste 75, Santa Ana, CA 92705-5466, 714-556-4555 (24 Hours), email: Manager@oc-aa.org, Office Hours: Weekdays: 9am – 7pm, Saturdays & Holidays: 9am – 1pm 

 

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 Alamitos and Long Beach

Maintaining sobriety/ recovery through the holidays is strengthened by participating in sober activities in Los Alamitos and Long Beach with your sober support group. Practicing new recreational and social skills pays off with sustained sobriety. Take a sober friend to these events, have holiday fun and build a more-sound recovery:

29th Annual Lighting of the Bay, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, Newport Beach, November 30th

Holiday Show, Los Alamitos High School Show Choir, December 5

Uptown Village Market, Expo Arts Center, Long Beach, December 6

Winter Wonderland, St. Isador Historical Plaza, Los Alamitos, December 7

Christmas Holiday Boutique, 6958 Ellis Ave., Huntington Beach, December 14, 11:00am

Bass/ Percussion Holiday Concert- Free, Bay Shore Church, Long Beach, December 15, 7:00pm

Holidays in Who-Ville- Free, Bella Terra, Huntington Beach, December 16, 10:30am

Winter Fest OC 2019-20, OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, December 20 – January 5, 2:00pm

Holiday Gingerbread Workshop, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Anaheim December 21, 11:00am

Christmas Eve and Day, New Years Eve and Day Holiday Marathon Imperial Alano Club House 9604 S Figueroa Paramount

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 – LA, West Hollywood, Hollywood

Taking supportive friends to sober holiday events will enhance your holiday, practice new sober skills, and replace some of those old lingering behaviors. Try some of the following West Hollywood, Hollywood, and Los Angeles events. Exploring new activities with sober friends will open new avenues for fun. Try some of the following:

Santa Breakfast at Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, December 7, 9:00pm

Marina Lights Saturdays- Outdoor Holiday Movies and Giant Snow Globe, Burton Chase Park, Marina del Rey, December 7, 4:00 pm

Miracle on Main Street, Holiday Event, The Victorian, Santa Monica, December 7, 4:00pm

Winter Sounds, Nick Mancini Quartet, West Hollywood City Council Chambers, December 14, 5:00pm

Holiday Sing-Along, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, December 21, 11:30am

2019 Beach Winter Wonderland, Free, Dockweiler Youth Center, LA, December 21, 11:00am

West Hollywood Recovery Center Marathon Holiday/New Year’s Meetings, 

December 24th-4pm-2AM, December 25th-9am-2AM, December 31st-4pm-2am, January 1st 2019   9am-2pm, 626 Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069.whrc.org

AA AT CENTER MARATHON MEETINGS, December 25 and January 1: 11:00pm – 11:00pm, AT Center, 1773 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

NA WESTSIDE ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE MARATHON, Meetings: 10:00pm – 2:00am, Westside Hope Center, 11313 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Marina Del Rey New Year’s Eve Firework & Glow Party, Burton Chas Park, Marina Del Rey, 7:00pm

#BOOM! Alcohol and Drug-Free New Year’s Event, December 31, 2016 8:00 PM – January 01, 2017, West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard

 

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 Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Encino

Participating in sober holiday events in Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and Encino can build recovery skills and a sober support network. Old habits and relationships from addiction need to be replace with healthy activities and relationships. They sustain recovery over time. Your recovery be enhanced, you’ll build new friendships and you’ll have fun all at the same time! Try some of the following:

Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash, Thousand Oaks, November 28

2019 YMCA Turkey Trot, Burbank, November 28

Lake Balboa Turkey Trot & Kids 1K Gobble Gobble 2019, Van Nuys, November 28

Hope of the Valley Thanksgiving Drumstick Dash 2019, North Hollywood, November 28

French Holiday Bazaar 2019, International School of LA, Burbank, December 6, 3:00pm

Holiday Celebration by Sober Link, December 21, 11am – 4pm, Plaza Del Valle, 8610 Van Nuys Blvd., Panorama City

A Patchwork of Cultures, Free Concert, Sherman Oaks, December 2

Community Volunteer Wrapping Event, Sherman Oaks, December 7

Angel City Chorale Holiday Concert & Sing-Along, Sherman Oaks, December 7

The Beach Boys Holiday Show, Thousand Oaks, December 7

Sherman Oaks Galleria Tree Lighting, December 7, 7:00pm

Chanuka Holiday Boutique, Sherman Oaks, December 8

Radford Halls Marathon Meetings, December 24, 25 and December 31, January 1, 13627 ½ Victory Blvd.

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

 

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 South Bay, Torrance, Redondo Beach

Taking sober friends to holiday events in South Bay, Torrance, Redondo Beach will build your recovery and sober support network. Those practices and relationships from addiction need replacement with recovery building skills and supports. Your recovery will be enhanced and new ways to have fun will be learned! 

Drive-In Movie Night: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Roadium Open Air Market, November 29

Holiday Music Festival at Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, December 1

Marriott Torrance/ Redondo Beach Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, December 2

Hana Holiday Boutique 2019, Ken Miller Recreations Center, Torrance, December 7, 10:00am

Sunrise with Santa at Del Amo Fashion Center, Lazy Dog Restaurant, December 7

Swedish Women’s Educational Association annual Christmas Fair, Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation, December 8

A Joyful Sound by the Torrance Civic Chorale, James R. Armstrong Theatre, December 12

Holiday Music Festival at Del Amo Fashion Center, December 13

Pet Photo’s with Santa at Del Amo Fashion Center, December 15, 6pm

Home for the Holidays, LC Master Chorale, James R. Armstrong Theatre, December 15

Torrance Antique Street Faire, Torrance Antique Store, December 22

SoCal Etsy Guild Market at Del Amo Fashion Center, December 22

Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day Holiday Marathon, The Snake Pit Alano Club House 9604 S Figueroa Paramount 90003 

NA WESTSIDE ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE MARATHON, Meetings: 10:00pm – 2:00am, Westside Hope Center, 11313 Washington Blvd, West Los Angeles, CA 90066

 

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

Addiction- Stuck on “Get More”

Our time celebrates affluence, personality, noise, and hyperbole. “Living out loud”, we seek not only to feel more pleasure and relief, but we are also stuck in the pursuit of it. We are chasing more than we are being. Silence, stillness, subtlety are attributes which we disdain and avoid. Humility is dead to us.

Simple truth and facts fall behind good storytelling, great acting and becoming (or following) an influencer. Adjectives describe only the extreme and sentences need an exclamation mark! Communication is lost in overstatement.

To catch attention, escalating quantities of emphasis are required. Attention is lost in the competitive bidding for it.

Addiction, with its manic swings to the edge, lands as “normal” amidst plummeting societal standards. “I became aware that I had a problem when I disintegrated faster than I could lower my standards.”

Dopamine, the pleasure/ relief chemical in our brain, heightens in the pursuit of the object of desire, as much as with its acquisition. To maintain the high, we must seek more. The magic is in the chase.

Whether our object of choice is vodka, meth, oxy, bud or crack, it is the fantasy and seeking of the substance that allures and spikes our pleasure centers. The sensation achieved by use is rewarding and secondary.

We addicts not only get stuck on “not enough” and “more”, but we also can’t shift out of “get more” and “use more”. Our brains receive rewards for imagining and pursuing the drug. Perhaps substance use disorders (alcohol and drug addiction) are as much process (behavioral) addictions as sexing and gambling. Our obsessions and our behavior are as much of the problem as the drug of choice (or du jour).

“Getting meth makes me feel alive, invincible!” “I can’t wait for that five-o’clock shot of vodka- everything becomes comfortable and I then fit in.” “It will be like crack to me!” “When I take oxy, I feel the most warmth- it’s sublime.” “It’s like I can finally breathe and settle in when I can get my bud!”

And then, for many alcoholics and addicts, ultimate desperation, degradation, deterioration arrest the fantastic. It all collapses like a dismantled Broadway set. The Titanic meets iceberg and no rearrangement of deck chairs can recreate comfort.

Sobriety slams us in the face as does the floor during a drunken collapse.

“I’m sorry Dear but we don’t see recreational users in the ICU.”

 so what to do? Sober up?

“I love my sobriety and my new friends (but I’m bored…).” After the excitement of arrests, accidents, arguments, illnesses, injuries, near-death adventures, threats of violence and violence, life without alcohol or drugs seems oh-so mundane.

If your amplifier has been stuck on deafening, pianissimo (quiet music) may be inaudible for a short while.

Stick it out and find friends who share your ups and downs. Dopamine gets a boost from social contact and connection. The boost is incremental at first and then grows. Eventually, the addiction is replaced by connection. The hole in your middle gets filled with the care of and for other people.

“Newcomers are such drama queens”. Having recently eliminated drugs and the pursuit thereof from life, exaggerated feelings and gestures can only be expected. Arriving without chemical influence where chaos was standard, our dance may seem a bit frenetic for a while. A new one will be slowly learned in tamer circumstances.

“I feel crazy- I’ve never gone this long without a drink/ hit/ blunt!!” What once was the best idea is now reconsidered. Listening to others (finally) you learn to become teachable. You learn that different directions produce better results. Change becomes possible.

And do we find salvation and live happily ever after? Thankfully no for, after all, we bore easily.

Life moves steadily forward. Better skills can now be trained and emotional upheavals can be better regulated. There is no end to this side of the game. At first, we run to stand still, and then we walk to maintain. Stopping does not result in homeostasis. Stopping results in falling and sinking.

We continue to seek. Recovery and spirituality need continuous practice and exploration. The thrill is in the search.

Stagnation results in back-sliding; relapse can equal death. Or worse, we can back-slide with a lack of motivation or complacency. We can revisit the floor slamming us in the face in a falling-down drunk. And then the cycle begins again. We roll recklessly and randomly. With luck, we are blessed with another interruption sponsored by humiliation, desperation, and pain.

The thrill is in the hunt. It is our choice for what we continue to look.