Choosing a Rehab Center Out of Your Natural Element: Spotlight on Malibu

Posted on October 19th, 2017

Location, location, location! The three most important factors in choosing a property to buy can also factor into choosing a rehab center for alcohol or drug addiction treatment, especially if the location will enhance your overall recovery experience.

Thanks to several films and television shows featuring Malibu, California, this coastal community — a playground of the rich and famous — has become a popular destination for people seeking luxury rehab treatment at a premier Malibu rehab center.

Malibu Rehab: A Beautiful Destination Plus Excellent Results

When choosing an addiction treatment center for yourself or a loved one, does the destination make a difference? Of course! But location is not the most important factor. Whether you are considering a Malibu rehab or other options, the most important factor is a successful outcome — effective treatment and psychosocial training in the tools needed to sustain lasting recovery. A beautiful location just enhances and enriches the process.

You’ll want to make sure the Malibu rehab center you choose uses research-driven, evidence-based treatments, and is staffed with trained and experienced care providers who guide and support you through programs that get great results. You’ll also want to make sure the facility offers thorough clinical assessment, a range of therapies, recovery approaches and relapse-prevention strategies that can be customized to your individual needs to support your recovery. Will an addiction counselor work with you to develop an individualized aftercare plan for you to use post-treatment? Does the rehab center accept your insurance, and/or will they work with you on some different payment options (especially if your preferred location isn’t fully covered by insurance)?

Once you can confidently tick off those boxes, consider the rehab center’s location and the amenities and highlights it has to offer.

Why Malibu? Spending time in a serene hillside retreat overlooking the ocean minimizes the temptation to leave your program early and head home as soon as the going gets rough. Rehab is never easy, but you are more likely to stick it out if you’re soothed by daily views of the sun setting over the Pacific, refreshed by dips in the swimming pool or Jacuzzi and revived by the salt air in the ocean breeze.

Famous for originating the Malibu Model of treatment, which tailors treatment to match each unique individual, clients of residential programs at Promises Malibu rehab enjoy gourmet meals and therapeutic activities in a comfortable upscale home setting. Daily schedules are varied to suit a range of client needs, but typically include individual and group counseling, physical exercise, experiential therapies, and sessions on addiction-related issues like shame resilience and relapse prevention, among others. Staff also organize mountain hikes and beach walks, and plenty of breaks for clients to enjoy a game of tennis on the private court or some quiet reflection in the surrounding gardens, free from the stressors of daily life.

Clients at Promises Malibu rehab build recovery skills by meeting with alumni who have successfully completed the treatment program. These meetings are alternated with off-campus trips to community 12-step meetings for additional recovery networking and support. Weekly scheduling also includes evening social activities like game night, and family visitation weekends to facilitate healing in family relationships.

Rehab Far From Home Keeps You Committed, Provides a Fresh Outlook

Choosing an addiction rehab center in a beautiful, tranquil setting outside your local area is a great opportunity for you to escape the triggers of your home turf and get out of your natural element. Receiving addiction treatment in a scenic location can also be a great way for you to gain new perspective, focus on the recovery process, enjoy some “me time” and prepare yourself to make a fresh start into a sober lifestyle. Many alumni describe their Malibu rehab experience as transformative.

“It was a very wonderful, comfortable and luxurious treatment center,” reports one program alumna. “The food was great and the grounds were beautiful. I loved my group sessions and the recovery support meetings. I also appreciated the freedom we got. I was blown away by my whole experience. Thank You!”

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Tips for Supporting a Loved One With an Eating Disorder During the Holidays

Posted on October 17th, 2017

For those with food-related challenges or an eating disorder, the holidays are full of events that can trigger addictive thoughts and behaviors.

Triggers can be anxiety-provoking and stressful, setting a negative tone for the entire holiday season. Depending on which type of eating disorder your loved one has, giving in to temptations — or even just being exposed to the temptations on display — may trigger feelings of shame and guilt that set off a pattern of uncontrolled binging, purging or starving that continues through Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays like a rolling snowball.

Helping someone with an eating disorder and ensuring the holiday season is less stressful may require using a few tips to eliminate triggers that might disrupt their recovery plan and overwhelm them with an avalanche of obsessive thoughts and difficult emotions around food.

Tips for Supporting Your Loved One Who Has an Eating Disorder

If your loved one has received eating disorder treatment or participates in a 12-step support group for people with food issues, it is very likely their recovery plan includes getting extra support in certain environments.

“Holiday challenges with family and food can be a huge trigger for those struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating,” says Shannon McQuaid, LMFT, LISAC, CDWF, CSAT, executive director at Promises Scottsdale. “Some general coping tips for those in recovery are to attend events with a supportive friend or family member who knows their struggles, discuss a plan before the event or schedule time before or after to attend a support group.”

You can support your loved one in these ways, and here are five additional tips to assist you in helping someone with an eating disorder:

#1 Ask your loved one which triggers they must avoid.

Because recovery plans for eating disorders are highly individualized, it can be tricky to know how to help your loved one avoid their particular set of triggers. If they are open about their eating issues and you are going to be hosting them at your house over the holidays or organizing a party or outing, it is OK to call them in advance to ask them what they need for support or if there is anything they must avoid to stay strong in recovery. Let them know you want to help them stay on their program. Knowing which triggers to steer clear of is key to helping someone with an eating disorder avoid relapsing.

#2 Organize a get-together that doesn’t revolve around food.

You can break with tradition by planning a holiday gathering that does not involve food or eating. You might organize a hike in a nearby park, a trip to the local ice-skating rink, or a group visit to a museum to see the latest exhibit. The focus of a gathering like this is on making connections with loved ones and enjoying your time together during a fun activity, rather than on gathering around a table to feast on indulgent foods. Meals can be extremely anxiety-provoking for people with eating disorders, so removing a meal from the equation by hosting a non-food event is likely to be appreciated by your loved one.

#3 Advance-plan for a holiday event at a restaurant.

If a holiday event must be held at a restaurant and your loved isn’t restricted from visiting restaurants as part of their recovery, there are some measures you can take to make things easier on them. Get the restaurant’s menu in advance and share it with everyone on your guest list, asking them to choose what they will order before you make the reservation to simplify the ordering process during the event. It may help your loved one if they know in advance what they will be eating and that the event won’t undermine their recovery with unexpected triggers.

#4 Circumvent difficult people or situations that may trigger relapse.

For many people with substance use disorders and eating disorders, triggers for relapse can include being around people they find difficult, or situations that have problematic dynamics for them — negative emotions can be triggers. Helping your loved one avoid the triggers for their eating disorder may involve not inviting the person who triggers them to visit your home at the same time — stagger your invites so you are able to see both relatives, but days apart. Likewise, if you know that visiting a relative’s house triggers your loved one’s disorder, visit that relative on your own and be understanding if your loved one chooses to decline the invitation.

#5 Make meals as “normal” as possible.

While some programs for people with disordered eating encourage abstinence from certain foods that serve as triggers, (i.e., sugar and flour), others do not encourage abstinence from any foods or food groups. Instead, they teach moderation, not elimination.

“To support someone you love with disordered eating or an eating disorder, it is important to not change and adjust the menu, eliminate foods or make the person feel guilt or shame, or as if they are being singled out,” says McQuaid. “I would suggest making the celebration as ‘normal’ as possible and empowering your loved one to have a support person available to call, if needed. You can facilitate this by finding out where a local Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) meeting is located, and get them there. The most significant help you can provide your loved one is making sure they don’t isolate after the event and that they have someone there with them to share and support their struggles.”


Types and Symptoms of Eating Disorders. National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Eating Disorders. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. February 2016.

Eating Disorders. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, September 2017.

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3 Holistic Practices That Aid Addiction Recovery

Posted on September 28th, 2017

When you have a goal in mind, understanding what will help you achieve that goal is imperative. For example, cutting down on calories is one way to lose weight. But adding exercise to the game plan can help a person reach a weight loss goal more quickly, and seeing progress is highly motivating. The more tools you have, the greater the likelihood of continued success. In terms of addiction, recovery studies show that adding any or all of the following components to regular counseling and support group meetings will improve a person’s chances of reaching and holding on to a life of sobriety.

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10 Ways to Be Happy When You’re Not

Posted on September 27th, 2017

Enjoying life when things are going smoothly is simple, but when the rough times appear it can be so much harder to be contented. Yet whatever your circumstances and more significantly whoever you are, you can discover how to be happy even when you’re not. 

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Schizophrenia in Men

Posted on September 25th, 2017

Anyone who enters a men’s treatment center seeking help for schizophrenia faces an uphill battle. Schizophrenia turns order into chaos and leaves victims adrift at sea with no anchor in reality. This insidious condition disorders lives in every way imaginable and men who suffer from it have no idea what’s coming from one day to the next.

Fortunately, even uphill battles can be won, and men with schizophrenia can regain what they’ve lost and restore their psychological and emotional balance. It takes time and effort to defeat schizophrenia, but recovery is always possible.

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Panic Disorders in Men

Posted on September 22nd, 2017

Men and women experience substance abuse and mental health conditions differently, which is why many men’s treatment centers are opening around the country. Men’s treatment centers can provide specialized care for experiences that are unique to men and boys. Here’s what you need to know about how panic disorders affect men differently than women.

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Sex Addiction in Men

Posted on September 21st, 2017

In today’s society, participating in sexual gratification is widely available and accepted. But when a man is compelled to continually give in to sexual impulses and to treat sex as a method of escaping from the stress of life, he may have a problem with sex addiction. Like other forms of addiction, sex addiction can be difficult to overcome without help.

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Can You Recover From Liver Failure From Alcohol?

Posted on September 20th, 2017

Liver failure occurs whenever your liver loses at least some of its ability to perform its normal, life-sustaining functions. One of the well-recognized potential causes of this extremely serious condition is prolonged, heavy alcohol consumption. Once liver failure from alcohol intake or any other source sets in, you can’t recover the full health of the organ. However, if you quit drinking and damage hasn’t advanced past a certain point, your doctor may be able to limit progression of the condition and help you avoid the need for a liver transplant.

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Eating Disorders in Men

Posted on September 19th, 2017

Eating disorders are a group of serious, potentially life-threatening mental health conditions normally associated with women. It’s true that women represent a large majority of those affected. However, a significant percentage of men also experience symptoms of eating disorders and require assistance in some type of men’s treatment center.

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Weight Loss Surgery and Alcohol Problems

Posted on September 18th, 2017

Does weight loss surgery lead to alcoholism? Researchers have found that one in five people who undergoes bariatric surgery for weight loss develops problems with alcohol dependency and abuse. In some cases, patients don’t show symptoms of alcoholism until years after their weight-loss surgery, but the research indicates that alcohol use disorders may be triggered or exacerbated by these procedures, particularly in people who are at high risk for alcohol abuse.

In one of the longest-running U.S. studies of adults receiving weight-loss surgeries, including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and gastric banding procedures, scientists found that among the 2,000 patients studied over a seven-year post-surgery period, a significant number developed problems with alcohol. They found that more than 20% of RYGB patients developed an alcohol use disorder within five years of surgery, and roughly 11.3% of gastric banding patients developed these problems in that time period.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Men

Posted on September 15th, 2017

Anyone exposed to a highly traumatic situation with the potential to cause injury or death can develop diagnosable symptoms of the mental health condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. However, for a number of reasons, men have PTSD risks that differ from those found in women. In addition, men who develop the disorder can experience symptoms that differ from those found in their female counterparts. This fact makes a men’s treatment center a possible option for effective PTSD care for men.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Men

Posted on September 13th, 2017

Men’s treatment centers across the United States are beginning to pay special attention to obsessive compulsive disorder. In recent years, researchers and mental health professionals have turned their focus to understanding and finding effective treatment options for people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, also known as OCD.

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