Addiction Treatment: Treating the Individual

The Flawed Individual: The Addiction Stigma

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), alcoholism and drug addiction are a form of chronic and progressive brain disease. Prior to the 1970’s, individuals who suffered from substance abuse disorders were viewed as flawed individuals and degenerates. Think of how many decent people this kept from getting the help they needed.

When the AMA changed their view of addiction it opened up the floodgates and helped to destigmatize our cultural understanding of addiction and the way it is treated. Sadly, large portions of the population still view addicts and alcoholics flawed citizens who are solely responsible for the circumstances leading to their substance abuse disorder.

Culturally, we tend to admonish addicts. We fail to understand the invisible circumstances that lead to drug-seeking behavior. Co-occurring disorders often accompany substance abuse disorders – this is referred to as dual diagnosis. Effective addiction treatment necessarily must include a compassionate understanding of the circumstances that contribute to the disease of addiction.  

In order to most effectively treat drug and alcohol addiction, mental health professionals and addiction treatment centers need to provide unique recovery plans that provide follow-up (and job placement programs) to ensure success. This will ultimately reduce the potential for relapse.


Addiction Treatment: Healing the Individual

The best way to treat addiction depends on a biological, psychological, and social variables. Everyone is different. The job of mental health and addiction treatment professionals is to uncover the unique way to get through to the client.

Biologically speaking, it is important for the treatment team to understand the genetic factors that influence the addicted individual’s predispositions. Some important things to consider are family history and intergenerational drug and alcohol abuse.

The addiction treatment team then needs to examine the psychological factors at work by properly detecting and diagnosing any co-occurring disorders that may be present. This allows addiction treatment professionals to provide the most appropriate care. Co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated to long term substance abuse. Clinicians need to understand the unique psychological complexities of each client so they can customize treatment, therapy, and medication accordingly.

Lastly, the client’s social history (and current social environment) need to be explored to identify factors that contribute to addiction. Do dynamics with friends and family enable the substance abuse? It is the job of mental health and addiction treatment professionals to prepare the addict for being discharged back into their everyday life. It’s much easier to be healthy in a controlled environment than it is when back in an environment that nurtured (or tolerated) addiction and negative behavior patterns.

How does Launch Centers help clients understand triggers and provide support as they assimilate into everyday life?


Aftercare: The Beginning of Sober Living

One of the primary benefits of Launch Centers is that we treat the individual. We do this by customizing treatment to fit the needs of the individual, and through providing aftercare support when addiction treatment ends. In an intensive outpatient treatment setting, you adhere to a routine schedule in a healthy environment that promotes healing. Removing clients from the triggers that spark the urge to self-medicate is a necessary step. But it is equally important to have a plan when all of that ends. This is where many addiction treatment centers fall short.

After rehab, the sober journey is just beginning. The compassionate and experienced addiction treatment team at Launch Centers works with each client to establish a plan for after treatment. We set up follow-up appointments, offer ongoing support, and give clients the tools required for a successful recovery. We even offer job placement and internship programs to ensure that those who pass through our doors leave with confidence and excitement about their new journey. The goal here is long-term sobriety and fulfillment.

We believe in treating addiction at the earliest stage possible. Launch Centers specializes in treating young people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol by treating the underlying mental health issues that often lead to addition. We do this through therapy, education, and job placement programs.

Our job doesn’t end the moment you walk out the door. Contact Launch Centers today if you or a loved one needs to help of trained addiction professionals. We provide Intensive Outpatient care as well as a network of sober homes to provide the solution the best fits your lifestyle.

, ,

Young Adult Outpatient and Drug Rehab Los Angeles Promotes Life Skills and Goal-Setting

Specialization in Young Adult Rehab 18-28 and Empowerment for a Solid Future

During the critical teen and early adult years of emotional development, young adults learn to plan for their academic and/or vocational future.  This period is often earmarked as a training ground for acquiring the important life skills needed to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that await them.  Young people are trained during high school and college to set goals and form a blueprint that can be accessed as a guide along the way to achieving these goals.

When a young adult veers off into substance abuse, it can cause a disruption in this learning and maturation process, stunting personal growth.  Once addictive behaviors have been treated and the young person’s path redirected, there is a need for proactive and structured guidance to help them regain their footing.  This type of assistance can help the young adult reclaim their former interests and passions and set fresh life goals while moving forward in recovery.

How Outpatient Rehab for Young Adults Encourages Accountability

Drug and alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on a young person’s dreams and ambitions.  Addiction robs them of direction, motivation, and effort, displacing any previously set aspirations and life goals.  While under the influence of the substance, the individual loses the ability to follow through and take responsibility for their lives, culminating in a sense of being rudderless, flailing about without direction in the abyss.

An outpatient rehab for young adults that emphasizes personal responsibility and accountability can restore lost plans and set the young person back on course through identifiable goals and achievements that are methodically accomplished.  Strong guidance provides the framework for daily, weekly, and monthly accomplishments that eventually lead to the desired academic, personal, or vocational goals.

Personal accountability includes not only meeting expectations towards declared goals, but a whole host of areas in life.  Young adults in recovery often need to be taught how to adhere to a schedule and how to manage their time.  They may need to learn basic personal finance skills so they will be able to meet their financial obligations as adults.  The importance of fitness and nutrition needs to be reemphasized, as addiction can take a toll on overall health.  Accountability to others, nurturing relationships and learning communication skills is also a vital part of overall recovery.

Goal Setting in Outpatient Rehab for Young Adults

Self-esteem is often a casualty of addiction.  Young adults in recovery may feel worthless, like they are a burden to their family and have nothing to offer society.  This is why a sound outpatient rehab program for young adults must focus on restoring self-worth by helping clients discover their purpose in life.  Through ongoing counseling and mentoring, young adults in recovery can identify their strengths, skills, and talents.  They rediscover interests and passions that had been dormant while involved in substance abuse.

Once these important personal revelations are identified, new life goals can be defined.  While some young adults may seek higher education that will lead to a certain profession that interests them, others may want to try working in a field that stokes their passions.  What matters most is that the young adult set goals and follow through by taking the steps needed to achieve the goals.  Accomplishing even small tasks can lead to renewed self-confidence, which can lead to an undertaking of more challenging, and rewarding, tasks.

Launch Centers Drug Rehab Los Angeles Outpatient Program Empowers Young Adults

Located in Los Angeles, California, Launch Centers is an outpatient program for adults in recovery aged 18-28 who desire a fresh start in life.  The compassionate counseling team will guide clients toward identifying passions and achieving life goals.  These highly skilled professionals utilize a structured, systematic program with measurable outcomes that lead clients to tangible results.  Clients gain important life skills and renewed confidence as they progress in the program.  For more information, please contact Launch Centers today at (310) 779-4476.


Breaking the Cycle of Addiction for Young Adults

6 Useful Tips for Shoring up Recovery After Addiction Treatment

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction for Young Adults

One might mistakenly believe that once a young person has experienced the ugly realities of drug or alcohol addiction and has overcome it in treatment, he or she is now good to go.  What a shock to the system it is when almost immediately upon discharge from the program an overwhelming urge to go out and use again threatens to undo all that effort and work.  Breaking the cycle of addiction is not for the feint of heart.  It requires resolve, tools, and aftercare support to achieve lifelong sobriety.

Parents and loved ones of the addict are confounded by what seems like a revolving door of addiction.  Without understanding the essence of how addiction manifests in the brain, family members may naively tell the young person to just will him or herself to never use the substance again.  This simplistic advice does not take into account that the addiction can wipe out the will entirely, rendering the addict powerless in an instant.  So, with this reality in mind finding effective relapse prevention tools and adopting new, healthy habits and behaviors is a more productive response in recovery.

  1. Continue on with outpatient care.  After spending 30, 60, or 90 days in a rehab program the thought of sitting in another group therapy session might be the last thing you want to do.  But realize that being new in recovery means there is vulnerability to relapse.  By seeing a therapist or joining a group session weekly you receive ongoing support in addition to being accountable for your recovery.  Because many addicts also present with co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression, it is important to receive mental health care after addiction treatment.
  2. Have a detailed relapse prevention plan.  While in rehab the you were counseled on ways to avoid the cycle of addiction, and a relapse plan was created.  If the plan is not very well thought out—where all potential triggers are considered and planned for—there will not be a solid blueprint for avoiding relapse.  No stone must be left unturned.  Even considering the arrangement of the furniture in your apartment or bedroom or the people that might cue a temptation to use just by looking at them—all must be planned for.
  3. Understand the internal triggers, too.  Just as potent as external triggers are the internal ones an addict carries around.  Drugs and alcohol are often used to self-medicate deep hurts or trauma that have damaged self-worth.  If addiction has caused (or was caused by) a job loss, being kicked out of school, loss of a romantic partner, or loss of people’s trust, any setback post treatment can trigger these feelings of low self-worth that then may lead to relapse.  Being equipped to recognize that a setback does not define your value as a human being is key in warding off potential relapse.
  4. Participate in a 12-step or non 12-step program.  Having the support of people who are also in recovery is key in breaking the cycle of addiction.  No matter which type of group you decide is a match for you, they all offer incremental steps and goals that provide a road map to lifelong sobriety.  Partnering with a mentor or a sponsor enhances the program and creates accountability to another person.  New friendships with sober men and women offer an alternative to the people in your life that you associate with using.
  5. Define your purpose.  With sobriety comes the pain of facing the future without drugs or alcohol to take the edge off the fear you are feeling.  Often someone new in recovery feels flat and aimless, with no purpose in life.  Be on the offensive and jot down a few goals you hope to accomplish, including the steps to take to accomplish them, and a new sense of purpose will emerge—and with it, joy.  The sense of accomplishment you will feel as you take the steps of re-creating your life with newfound purpose will propel you to stay clean and sober and break the cycle of addiction.
  6. Get healthy, both physically and mentally.  Health and wellness go hand-in-hand.  Junk food, caffeinated beverages, and sugar only exacerbate the mood swings and poor health that accompanied addiction.  Commit yourself to a clean, healthy diet rich in whole fibers, lean proteins, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds to restore your body and feel your brain as it heals.  Add at least 3 or 4 workouts per week to build a stronger body and improve overall body functioning.

Launch Centers Can Help You Break the Cycle of Addiction
Conveniently located in West Los Angeles, Launch Centers offers the support a young adult needs after addiction treatment.  With a focus on goal-setting, job placement, life skills, and higher education, Launch Centers provides the mentorship so needed in the vulnerable period following treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction.  For more information about the programs, call us today at (877) 895-3231.

Tips for Young Adults Launching Back into Life After Rehab

Ways to Smooth & Enhance the Transition From Rehab to Real Life

Tips for Young Adults Launching Back into Life After Rehab

Most young people who enter drug and alcohol treatment programs did not go in willingly. In most cases, a concerned parent, friend, or spouse used heavy persuasion to convince the young adult that they needed help with their substance abuse. However reticent they were going in, most are grateful that a caring loved one got them the help they needed.

Now that the treatment program is completed, with discharge papers in hand the young adult reenters the real world. Life after rehab is not as simple as it might seem. A residential drug treatment program is a very controlled, stable, and predictable environment. Each hour of the day is planned out and structured for various treatment elements, such as group therapy, individual therapy, 12-step meetings, visiting speakers, and recreation. Suddenly, all that organized living is lifted and the young person will be left to his or her own devices to continue on their path of recovery.

Understanding that for young adults the first 90 days post-treatment represent the most vulnerable period for potential relapse, it is wise to take a proactive stance while launching back into life after rehab. Here are some tips to prepare young adults for the challenges that may pop up once back in the real world.


  • Start with a commitment to restoring physical and mental health. Revamping your daily diet away from junk foods and high fat fare and learning how to eat a balanced diet is the first step. Lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, seeds and nuts, eggs, and yogurt are just some of the foods that will enhance your recovery, and improve your mood. Regular exercise should also become part of your new life in recovery, so take up a sport, join a gym, start running or hiking and let those endorphins elevate your mood. By taking care of yourself and getting stronger you increase your ability to choose fitness over drugs or alcohol.


  • Surround yourself with others committed to sobriety. A proven and powerful tool in recovery is the support you can receive in a 12-step or non 12-step program. This focused fellowship provides the young adult with people of all ages who can act as mentors or good examples of how to manage life after rehab. The groups typically offer social events and conferences that are great sources for making new sober friends and acquaintances who can help you fortify your own commitment to sobriety. These groups also set up a source of accountability, especially if you have a sponsor. Accountability helps deter relapse.


  • Make a life plan and set new goals. In active addiction it is common that all sense of the future is swept under a rug. Eventually you forget the hopes and dreams you once had for your life. Now that your are clean and sober, why not reclaim those dreams and put down on paper a few goals you hope to achieve in the near future. The goals should be small and attainable at first so you don’t overwhelm yourself at the outset. As your recovery strengthens and your mind clears, start thinking bigger. Maybe you want to return to college. Maybe you want apply to a college or learn a new trade. Maybe you decide to become active in a cause or you want to throw your hat in the ring on a job posting at work. Setting goals can be very therapeutic and uplifting.


  • Continue to see a therapist. Some people in early recovery mistakenly feel once they finish the treatment program they are good to go. Nothing could be further from the truth. Continuing on with outpatient care is crucial because bumps in the recovery road are inevitable and having a therapist with whom to discuss the struggles, temptations, and challenges to your sobriety keeps you in an offensive mode. Your therapist can help you identify ongoing triggers and together you can formulate a strong relapse prevention plan. If you live at home and the family dynamic is endangering your recovery, family therapy would be beneficial. Seeing your therapist regularly will also make you accountable to someone for your ongoing recovery.


  • Be of service. It is well known in the recovery community that helping others is a win-win for all. By focusing on serving others instead of obsessing over yourself you find joy and purpose. Look to your local community for opportunities to serve. Consider your own passions, the things you care about that can guide you towards a service activity that will help others while enhancing your recovery. A soup kitchen, a food pantry, an animal shelter, a beach conservation group, or just helping an elderly neighbor with their needs—anything that you can do to bring a smile to someone’s face will make your life after rehab more meaningful.

Launch Centers Helps Young Adults Transition from Rehab to Life

Located in the heart of West Los Angeles, Launch Centers offers an important support component to young people who have done the work to get clean and sober. With close proximity to several top colleges and multiple industries, the vocational counselors at Launch Centers help young adults discover their passions and interests and make a life plan around them. The program integrates vocational, therapeutic, and educational elements so clients can identify personal strengths. Each client will have an individualized plan with goals and measurable outcomes to help them reach their dreams in life after rehab. For more information on this outpatient program, call us today at (877) 895-3231.

5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery

5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery

By Jose Hernandez

If you’re in recovery from substance abuse, you probably feel like you have enough work to do on yourself. Whether you just finished treatment, or you’re still working on building a foundation for your own recovery, you may not feel like you have anything yet to give.

Giving back to your community is a healthy way to take a break from the monotony of daily life and everybody wins. Our “5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery” builds on how donating your time builds self-confidence and can provide a sense of purpose in your life.

Volunteering establishes a sense of community and the rewards can be vital to your health.

Giving back to help others in need reduces stress, combats depression and inspires others to be compassionate. Spending time with people who are going through a hardship helps you see how much you have to be thankful for. It’s easy to get caught up in the progress you’re making with your own life and helping someone through a hardship can be a gentle reminder of just how far you’ve come. Gratitude and growth are vital parts of emotional healing during recovery.

Although volunteering is a selfless act there are numerous ways you’ll benefit. Donating your time may seem like a chore, but what you get back is so much more.

Here are 5 reasons volunteering benefits recovery:

  1. Learn Responsibility – Whether it’s in the recovery community, feeding the homeless or collecting back to school supplies, having commitments fosters responsibility. Volunteering for specific events can teach you how to set and keep a schedule. Being on time and showing up for appointments is imperative to recovery; it sets the stage for a strong work ethic and other personal commitments.
  2. Relationship Skills – Chances are your relationships suffered during your alcoholism or addiction. Spending time with people in need cultivates compassion for others and teaches you how to handle different personality types. It can also be a great place to build friendships with people who have similar values as you.
  3. Career Preparation – Getting back on track toward your career path is part of sobriety. Your job may not have been high on your priority list during your active addiction. Showing up on time and ready to work are both important aspects of a strong work ethic. If you’re ready to get back on track with your career, or are looking to start one, volunteering is a great place to network for future employment opportunities. Many career minded professionals donate their time and they usually have their eyes out for hard working employees with a strong sense of integrity. Not to mention, the non-profit organization you’re volunteering for most likely has paying jobs. Being dependable and reliable could quickly lead to a paying job and a long-term career.
  4. Emotional Health – Getting out of yourself and helping others is conducive to your emotional wellbeing. Extending your hand to people in need just feels good. Knowing you can make a difference in someone else’s life is empowering and breeds self-esteem. Volunteering your time has been known to combat depression and fuel success.
  5. Building Community – Working alongside other people to do something good for your community fosters fellowship. You’ll learn how to work with others and communicate your needs, all while doing something good for your environment. We’re all in this together and giving back is a great way to pay it forward for the people who have helped you along your personal journey to sobriety.

You’ll get so much out of your experience as explained above in the “5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery”, but it’s not all about what volunteering can do for you.

We all live busy lives and it’s not always easy to find time to give back. The great news is you don’t need a lot of time to get started. There are opportunities to volunteer everywhere at different commitment levels. Adding one more thing to your schedule may sound daunting, but when you give back to your community you get so much more in return.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities in your area click here. If you’d like more in-depth information on recovery programs and volunteering programs contact Launch Centers today.

, ,

Creating a Treatment Plan for after Rehab

Creating a Treatment Plan for After Rehab

You’ve completed inpatient treatment and you’re preparing to discharge. Leaving the structured environment of a treatment facility can be intimidating; ensuring you have a plan in place is imperative to success.

What is an Aftercare Treatment Plan?

Most treatment facilities provide assistance to prepare you for those crucial first months back in the real world. Your case manager can assist you in creating a post-rehab treatment plan. This plan might include, but is not limited to:
• IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) – Similar to the classes you may have attended at inpatient treatment, IOP offers weekly classes that provide support and accountability while you transition from rehab.
• Counseling – Your case manager may suggest one-on-one counseling as additional therapy to your IOP classes. If you’re dealing with shame and guilt resulting from your substance abuse, or past trauma, personal counseling can be added to your treatment plan as an additional tool.
• Sober living – Sober living homes provide a safe, stable environment where alcoholics and addicts in early recovery can live and support each other. These houses offer all the amenities of home and provide added accountability to your sobriety program.
• Doctor appointments – Getting regular checkups and preventative care are essential to staying healthy. Poor health and mental disorders are not uncommon after long-term drug and alcohol use. Getting your health back on track, along with regular checkups, is an important part your mental and physical health.
• Exercise regime – Being active increases physical health and emotional stability. Physical activities offer a safe and sober way to fill your time.
• Relapse prevention plan – This will probably consist of tools to utilize when you start to crave drugs or alcohol, as well as steps to take to avoid picking up that first drink or drug.
• Volunteering – Being of service is gratifying and gets you out of self. The more you give back in your community, or sobriety fellowship, the more confidence you’ll gain in yourself and your recovery.
• 12 step meetings – Many treatment programs are based on a 12-step program. Regular Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous, meetings will provide support, structure and fellowship, which are all necessities for maintaining a sober lifestyle.

Why is a Treatment Plan Important?
Transitioning back into everyday life isn’t easy. Consider creating a treatment plan for after rehab much the like preventative care you would receive from your physician. You are putting steps in place to ensure lasting health. The first few months after treatment you are at the highest risk for a relapse. Continued support and ongoing treatment has been proven to assist in obtaining long-term sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Building a solid foundation in recovery is the first step toward a happy healthy life.

How Long Will Your Treatment Plan Last?
While your IOP and counseling sessions will probably last anywhere from three to six months, the rest of your plan will most likely be ongoing. As an addict or alcoholic in recovery, daily maintenance is required to ensure you don’t relapse. This may sound overwhelming, but rest assured, your new life will be full of fun activities because of your aftercare plan. 12-step meetings offer a fellowship of people that extends far beyond AA or NA meetings. You will build lasting relationships in these meetings and find people with similar interests. Within a year, the ongoing portion of your aftercare plan should become habitual and part of your normal daily life.
Life-long sobriety is possible. It just takes the willingness to follow direction and putting in effort on your part. Before you know it you’ll be living a life you only used to dream of.

Launch Centers Can Help Solidify Recovery
Launch Centers, located in Brentwood (Los Angeles), California is an outpatient life skills program for young adults (aged 18-28) aspiring to identify and achieve scholastic and vocational goals. Clients meet with an assigned counselor who will give them guidance, structure, and emotional support as they progress through the program. Launch Centers works in tandem with local sober living and structured living housing environments, assisting young adults new in recovery from drugs or alcohol to succeed in achieving their personal goals in life. Launch Centers will help these young clients develop their educational and vocational plans, place them in volunteer or paid internships, and assist them with job placement. Contact Launch Centers today and we can help you create a treatment plan for after rehab today, call the Launch Team at 310-779-4476.


, ,

Long Term Treatment Supports Long Term Recovery

Recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction is a process; it doesn’t happen overnight. Yet time and again people seem to view treatment programs as a quick fix or even an immediate cure. However recovery from addiction is a process which involves time, therapeutic treatment, a community of support, and personal growth. It’s almost illogical to assume that someone can do drugs for years, spend 1 month in treatment, and suddenly be a whole new person. Long term treatment and recovery is an on-going process.

While most treatment facilities recommend at least several months of inpatient, followed by a period of sober living, outpatient care and continued 12-step programs, many people leave treatment early, irrevocably damaging their chances at lifelong recovery. Some studies have shown that one of the correlating factors to long term recovery is a community of support, which can’t be readily obtained in such a short time in treatment. While their are many possible reasons for this disturbing trend, the most likely one is that people are simply uncomfortable in treatment. But maybe that’s exactly what they need. After all, taking a hard, introspective look at yourself is rarely fun and never easy. Learning to live sober in a world where negative emotions had previously been dulled by narcotics or alcohol can be uncomfortable.

But the thing that most people don’t realize when they pack up and leave a facility after just a few short weeks is that those feelings of discomfort don’t disappear once you go. They are usually rooted in an addict’s own fears or resentments and the only way to alleviate that pain without relapse is to do the work of recovery. Additionally, addicts have to realize that they will never truly be “cured.” Treatment isn’t a magic pill that can cure you of your need for drugs or alcohol. What it can offer you are tools for living which will show you how to not just find peace, but happiness. Long Term treatment is the path to long to recovery. Start your journey today!