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

Sober Holiday Events in Recovery (Los Angeles, West Hollywood)

Christmas Holidays Background with copy space

Remaining clean and sober through the holidays in West Hollywood and Los Angeles can be fun and supported by community events. Try some of the following:

 

Sober Holiday (Ware) House Party

DECEMBER 16, 20:00 – 02:00, Restless Studios, 414 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90015, http://losangeles.carpediem.cd/events/1842696-sober-holiday-ware-house-party-at-restless-studios/

 

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

 

Winter Sounds: Holiday Lunchtime Concert with Alison Lewis

December 14, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, West Hollywood City Hall Community Plaza, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd

Winter Sounds: California String Quartet

December 17, 2016 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM, West Hollywood Park Public Meeting Room/City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

Puppet Theater on Wheels: The New Years Adventures of Goldilocks & the Three Bears (in English)

December 18, 2016 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM, West Hollywood Community Center at Plummer Park, Rooms 5/6, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard

Youth Performance of the Nutcracker

December 23, 2016 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Plummer Park, Fiesta Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard

#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 Holidays Events in Recovery (Long Beach, Los Alamitos)

The fir-tree branches sparkling on the sun in ice droplets.

 

Remaining clean and sober through the holidays in Long Beach and Los Alamitos can be fun and supported by community events. Try some of the following:

 

North Orange County Central Office AA CENTRAL OFFICE VOLUNTEER

1661 E. Chapman Ave., Ste 1H, Fullerton, CA. 92831, (714) 773-4357 (24 Hours),  http://www.aanoc.com, Office Hours: Monday Thru Saturday: 9AM to 7PM Sunday: 9am – 1pm

 

Holiday Ice At Battleship Iowa

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 2016 TO SUNDAY, JANUARY 8 2017, $15 (skate rentals included) Hours: 3 Sessions from 3:00 pm to 10:30 pm

LA Kings sponsored outdoor ice rink Long Beach

 

Whale and Sea life Cruises

(562) 983-6880, Harbor Breeze Cruises – Dock #2, 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach, California 90802

 

Holiday Hoedown & Ranch Style Breakfast With Santa

(562) 431-3541, Rancho Los Alamitos, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 2016, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 6400 E. Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, California 90815

 

34th Annual Parade Of 1,000 Lights

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 2016, (562) 435-4093, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM, Shoreline Village, Rainbow Harbor and from the Queen Mary

 

Naples Island Annual Holiday Boat Parade

Saturday, December 17, 2016, Around Naples Island, Admission: Free Start at 6:00 PM and will assemble along Lido Lane and off the sea wall in front of Naples Plaza

 

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 Holidays Events in Recovery (Orange County, Mission Viejo)

Shiny gold background with blurry circles and sparkles

Remaining clean and sober through the holidays in Orange County can be fun and supported by community events. Try some of the following:

 

ACYPAA 2016: A NEW WORLD, A NEW YEAR

Meeting: 8:30PM – 9:30PM, Dance: 10:00PM – 1:00AM, Cost $15, Christ Cathedral Cultural Center, 13280 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92840

 

Orange County AA CENTRAL OFFICE VOLUNTEER

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

Sundays: Closed

 

  1. 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

 

North Orange County Central Office AA CENTRAL OFFICE VOLUNTEER

1661 E. Chapman Ave., Ste 1H, Fullerton, CA. 92831, (714) 773-4357 (24 Hours),  http://www.aanoc.com, Office Hours: Monday Thru Saturday: 9AM to 7PM Sunday: 9am – 1pm

 

Phoenix Multisport

903 W 16th St0, Newport Beach, California, @PhoenixMultisportOrangeCounty

 

Maverick Theater

110 E Walnut Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832, (714) 526-7070, www.mavericktheater.com

 

The Rinks

5555 McFadden, Huntington Beach, CA 92707, (949) 673-1434, www.hbinline.com

 

Movies on the Beach

1131 Back Bay Dr, Newport Beach,CA 92660, (949) 729-3863, www.newportdunes.com

 

Dana Wharf

34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629, (949) 496-5794, www.danawharf.com

 

K1 Speed

1000 N Edwards Court, Anaheim, CA 92806, (714) 632-6999, www.k1speed.com

 

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

Recovery and Gratitude in Los Angeles and Orange County!

life-is-good-blog-imageQ. What does gratitude have to do with recovery?

A. Addicts and alcoholics who are able to achieve recovery not only experience relief from the traumatic consequences of their substance abuse, they often use gratitude as a means toward maintaining their recovery. Remembering what it was like, what happened and being grateful toward what’s it is like now strengthens commitment and motivation toward recovery.

Q. Why do so many alcoholics and addicts in Los Angeles and Orange County engage in recovery?

A. Recovery has become a “badge of honor” in Los Angeles and Orange County communities. People who need help getting “clean and sober” are easily able to access many varieties and types of treatment and/or support. In Los Angeles and Orange County, there are more twelve step meetings and other mutual support groups for drug and alcohol recovery than perhaps anywhere else on the planet.

Q. What does it feel like to achieve recovery from alcoholism or addiction?

A. Relief that you don’t need to worry about consequences and mounting problems is often the first discovery people in early recovery encounter. Awakening to a fresh new world of color and warmth is different from the days when waking up meant facing the problems and hangovers you created the night before. The need to repetitively seek out chemicals for pleasure or relief is replaced by a larger life and broadened interests and activities.
Q. What are changes caused by recovery from addiction or alcoholism?

A. Relationships with others such as family members and loved ones improve once drugs and/or alcohol are no longer a priority. Work, school and recreational activities become enjoyable and challenging again. Personal effectiveness, self-esteem and performance improve. Emotions and moods slowly become more stable and moderate. Physical and psychological health and wellbeing return.

Q. The term “grateful alcoholic/ addict” is often used in Los Angeles and Orange County recovering communities. How could anyone possibly be grateful for being a recovering alcoholic or addict?

A. Once you have fought a war and survived, you are grateful for your life as never before. When you have finished an intense and frightening learning experience, you find that you have skills built skills and insights that you wouldn’t have otherwise obtained. There exists a great advantage to encounter problems, learn from them, learn the skills to overcome them, and then share them with others who are needing the same type of help you needed. You have something finally to “pass forward”.

Q. How does the gratitude from recovery change your self-esteem and personal effectiveness?

A. In recovery we learn about building personal self-esteem and that of others. What is learned is “to build self-esteem, practice estimable acts”.

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 Does Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation (Rehab) Provide Solutions?

94107729Many people have a difficult time finding pleasure or coping with distress and pain. In the beginning, alcohol and drugs often provide some of them a solution- a short-cut to relieving discomfort/ pain and access to pleasurable sensations.

When people cease to develop or practice new paths to accessing pleasure or managing pain/ distress due to their reliance on chemicals, they lose the interest and ability to use relaxation, recreational and social skills. This addiction/ alcoholic “short-cut” to pleasure or pain reduction becomes a habit- the “short cut” continues to be used in the face of problems and consequences it creates.

The consequences of drug addiction and alcoholism result in experiences of profound loss and shame. Learning and practicing new skills and coping strategies rather than falling back to the “short cut” of addictive drug and alcohol use is the progressive and therapeutic solution. Tolerating discomfort, emotional upset and craving requires support and training.

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs (rehabs) should instill insights into the progression of each individual’s drug and alcohol misuse. Skills which will be used to avoid chemical use in the future requires coaching. Achieving pleasure or reducing discomfort and pain without chemicals requires education and direction.

The term “rehab” implies picking up skills which were lost and now relearned. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation should teach and support the practice of forgotten and new solutions toward achieving pleasure and managing distress and pain without substance abuse.

Following are examples of solutions that drug and alcohol rehabs should provide. These are a few of the “recovery skills” which are needed to sustain sobriety and to replace destructive drug and alcohol “short cuts”.

  • Explore and practice the most effective/ least risky means of reducing or managing craving, pain and distress.
  • Learn how to have fun, achieve pleasure, and to socialize without chemicals. Set aside time for daily recreation, hobbies, exercise and play.
  • Actively participate in daily mutual recovery support activities and meetings. Maintain an awareness of the benefits of recovery and the risks of sliding back.
  • Identify situations and triggers which lead to personal discomfort, cravings and potential relapse. Establish and practice a plan for managing your feelings and behavior.
  • Practice following your step-by-step plans through to completion.
  • Asking more senior people in recovery to help sponsor or mentor you in recovery activities. Practice asking others for help.
  • Practice expressing your feelings and reactions to others in recovery.
  • Inform family and friends of your recovery needs and establish boundaries to protect against conflicts, triggers and relapse. Establish and practice setting boundaries with friends and associates at work, school and recreation to protect your recovery.
  • Reach out to fellows in recovery and build a practice of fellowship and sober social activities.
  • Clean up your living environment to eliminate drug and alcohol triggers, and to create a relaxing and safe space for recovery.
  • Establish a routine for caring for self- physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  • See your doctor for a thorough health screening and treatment of medical problems. Inform your doctor and therapist of your recovery needs and risks.
  • Revise your social media habits to eliminate triggering sites and activities, replacing them with recovery enhancing activities.
  • Take actions which are consistently responsible and caring for others.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings. Avoid blame.

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 Do I Know If I Have a Drug or Alcohol Problem?

thow-do-i-know-if-i-have-a-drug-or-alcohol-problemQ. What are common signs of drug and alcohol problems?

A. People who encounter problems which coincide with their alcohol and/or drug use but continue to drink or use drugs are most likely to have a problem. Usually people stop doing things which create problems. People with drug or alcohol abuse problems have many ways to deny or avoid seeing that alcohol and drugs are connected to their troubles.

Q. If I enjoy drinking or using drugs, why should I worry about abusing or overusing them?

A. People who develop addiction to substances at some point lose their ability to control their use. Relationships, career, self-esteem, health and safety are placed in increasing jeopardy.

Q. How do I know if I’ve lost control?

A. If you use drugs and/or alcohol as your primary way to relax, have fun, socialize or relieve discomfort/ pain, you are getting close to losing control. Replacing activities and skills with chemicals is the basis for addiction.

Q. What are common problems which alcohol and drugs create?

A. Relationships with others such as family members and loved ones suffer when drugs and/or alcohol become priority. Work, school and recreational activities become secondary to alcohol and drugs. Personal effectiveness and performance fall off. Emotions and moods become unstable or extreme; non-prescribed chemical use disrupts physical and psychological wellbeing and development.

Physical symptoms can be detected by your doctor through blood or urine tests, inquiry into your personal history, or from a review of brain, stomach, heart or liver function. Ask your doctor about your alcohol and/or drug use patterns.

Q. Does your personality change from alcohol or drug use problems?

A. When your hobbies, recreational and entertainment interests are replaced by activities which include alcohol and drug use, your interests and priorities change. If personal problems go unresolved for long periods of time, people often avoid facing the problems with increased alcohol and drug use. People with a drug and alcohol problem often lose their sense of purpose and worth and start doing things of which they become ashamed.

Q. What can I do to determine if I have a drug or alcohol problem?

A. If you have friends or family with whom you don’t drink or use drugs, ask them for their observations. Make an appointment with a trustworthy therapist, doctor or program who is aware of or specializes in substance abuse disorder assessment.
If you find that you drink or use more than what you initially intended, or are encountering consequences related to your chemical use, get help. Your life can be freed of the entanglements commonly known as addiction and alcoholism.

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

Drug and Alcohol; Solution or Problem?

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Q. If drug abuse, addiction and alcoholism are diseases, why do people start using drugs or alcohol in the first place?

A. Many people have a difficult time finding pleasure or coping with distress and pain. In the beginning, alcohol and drugs often provide them relief- a short-cut to pain/ stress relief and pleasure.

Q. What are some of the reasons why people continue to use drugs and alcohol to the point of their addiction or alcoholism?

A. When people cease to develop or practice new paths to pleasure or pain/ distress management due to their reliance on chemicals, they lose the interest and ability to use recreational and social skills. This addiction/ alcoholic “short-cut” becomes a habit, being practiced repetitively even in the face of problems and consequences.

Q. What are some of the physical effects of drug and alcohol use, which replace recreational and social activities?

A. Addictive drugs and alcohol increase the neurotransmitter, dopamine at the receptor site, which produces an experience of reward/ pleasure, dulling unpleasant sensations. Social connections and communication, exercise, relaxation, meditation, intimate relations, etc. produce a similar but less intense effect in the brain.

Q. How does the treatment of addiction and alcoholism help people replace drugs and alcohol when they become a problem?

A. The consequences of addiction and alcoholism usually result in an experience of profound loss and shame. Learning and practicing new skills and coping strategies rather than falling back to the “short cut” of addictive drug and alcohol use is the progressive but therapeutic solution.

Q. Can’t other chemicals be used to replace those that created the problems in the first place?

A. In the absence of learning new, healthier ways of achieving pain and alleviating stress and pain, different chemicals usually become another short-cut which eventually result in similar problems and consequences.

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