Exercise and Addiction: The Good and the Bad

Exercise addiction

Exercise addiction


When you’re struggling with a mental health disorder or in addiction recovery, exercise therapy can be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal to achieve a good quality of life, good physical health, and overall well-being. With that being said, there is a genuine risk of exercise addiction that you need to consider.

Below, we go into what you should know about the role of exercise in mental health and recovery from addiction, but also to spot potential warning signs that you could be moving toward an exercise addiction or compulsive behavior. 


General Benefits of Being Physically Active

The importance of being physically active is so critical for all of us. Regardless of your situation, being active will help you feel more energized, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, and make it easier for you to function in your daily life.

We know that there are gradual, long-term benefits that come from exercise and nearly immediate benefits. For example, right after you engage in activity that’s at least moderate, you may notice improvements in thinking and cognition and reduced feelings of anxiety. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have a massive impact on your life. When you’re active, it can help keep your memory and learning skills sharp. Physical activity reduces your risk of depression and increases your sleep quality.


Exercise and Mental Health

Research tells us that exercising can be an effective treatment for adverse effects of conditions, including anxiety and depression.

Key things to know about the effects of exercise therapy on mental health include:

  • Exercise helps reduce the symptoms of depression like tension, fatigue, and anger
  • If you have a panic disorder or PTSD, exercise can help reduce fear, worry, and tension.
  • When you exercise, if you suffer from panic attacks, it can reduce the frequency and intensity.
  • Aerobic exercise decreases your body’s sensitivity in how it reacts to anxiety.
  • Having a high enough activity level or participating in a regular program can help with co-occurring symptoms associated with mental health disorders, such as IBS and gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • When you exercise, it helps promote neuron growth in your brain. Researchers believe this can help reduce psychiatric symptoms.

Exercise can also improve your general well-being, outside of improving specific mental disorders. For example:

  • Getting adequate amounts of even moderate exercise can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Exercising increases endorphins, which boost your mood and improve mental health symptoms. 
  • Being physically active reduces your focus on negative emotions and thoughts, basically redirecting your mental energy to more positive things.
  • You may notice that you feel more confident when you exercise.
  • There’s a sense of social support from group exercise situations or recreational exercise, like playing on an organized team.
  • You can improve your immune system when you exercise, which means you spend less time feeling sick or being impacted by minor illnesses, enhancing your quality of life.


The Role of Exercise In Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Exercise therapy is often part of addiction treatment and recovery programs because of all the above benefits. Some of the proven benefits of exercise in recovery from substance addiction specifically can include:

  • Reduced stress: Stress is a significant contributing factor to an increased risk of relapse. When you find healthy ways to cope with stress, it’s going to increase your chances of long-term recovery.
  • Better sleep: One of the things that almost everyone in the early stages of treatment and recovery struggles with is rest. You may sleep too much or not enough. Exercising helps stabilize your sleep patterns, and you can get more high-quality sleep.
  • Improved mood: It’s difficult when you’re going through treatment and beginning recovery, which can make you feel down, discouraged, or have a low mood overall. Exercise naturally boosts brain chemicals that make you feel good and happy, like endorphins.
  • Reduced relapse risk: Beyond the specific benefits of exercise that can help lower the risk of relapse, studies have generally found that the abstinence rate associated with regular exercise is around 95%.



What About Exercise Addiction?

While exercise is one of the most fundamental things you can do to take care of yourself during your addiction treatment and throughout your recovery, too much of a good thing can occur. Addiction or developing an unhealthy obsession is a risk, albeit a low one.

One of the ways to distinguish healthy exercise from compulsive exercise or excessive exercise is whether or not your exercise routine is causing negative consequences in your life. For example, if you’re over-exercising, it can lead to injuries, negatively affect your health, and it can mean that you aren’t focusing as much as you should be on other areas of your life. If you exercise too much, you aren’t giving your body the chance to recover. You need rest just as much as you need physical activity.

Someone with an exercise addiction might engage in physical activity for hours every day, and if they aren’t able to do that, they could become emotionally uncomfortable, frustrated, or anxious. As is true with other behavioral addictions like gambling, being addicted to exercise sessions is somewhat controversial. For example, some experts believe that addiction has to involve a psychoactive substance. Others argue that substance addictions share many similarities to behavioral addictions and should be characterized as such.

When you exercise, your brain’s reward system is part of the equation. That’s the case with substance addictions too. For example, too much exercise can affect the parts of your brain that involve dopamine.


Symptoms of Exercise Addiction

Potential signs of an obsession with exercise include:

  • Obsessing over exercise
  • Engaging in continued exercise even though it’s causing you physical harm like stress fractures
  • You keep doing the harmful behavior even if you want to stop
  • Trying to keep the exercise a secret
  • Feeling a high after you exercise
  • Going through withdrawal symptoms if you have to go extended periods without doing it
  • Reducing your other activities to exercise
  • Doing increasingly intense exercise to fulfill your growing exercise dependence

Some people who are most at risk of developing this type of addictive behavior include those who have another addiction, whether it’s behavioral or to a substance. For example, researchers at the University of Southern California found that 15% of exercise addicts are addicted to illicit drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Around 25% may have other behavioral addictions, such as sex addiction.

If you previously struggled with drugs or alcohol, you could be at risk of exercise obsession. Also, people with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or a body image disorder are more at risk of engaging in excessive exercise patterns.


Such Thing as TOO Healthy

You shouldn’t let a fear of addiction to exercise get in your way of adding a healthy habit to your life. Having routines that are good for your physical and mental health is great if you’re struggling with addiction or you’re in recovery.

At the same time, it’s just good to be mindful of any potentially harmful patterns you notice when exercising to alleviate a problem before it grows into something more. Behavioral therapy is an excellent way to tackle symptoms of compulsive exercise you might see in yourself. 

If you’re noticing any compulsions in yourself or someone you care about, Anchored Tides Recovery can help. Call 866-600-7709 today to learn more about our program. 

Breaking Down the 12 Step Program

12 step program

12 step program


You may frequently hear about the 12 Step program from Alcoholics Anonymous, as it relates to drug and alcohol addiction. The 12 Step program is a plan to overcome drug addiction and other defects of character through a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. The idea of the model is that people can support one another to help each other work through substance abuse, but surrendering to a higher power is also critical.  

The program began in the 1930s with Bill Wilson’s decision to turn his experience with alcoholism into a message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in addition to prayer and meditation to improve lives. His message was an attempt to give other addicts the ability to remove all these defects and give the power to carry this message to others who are ready to have God. He talked in his writings about how positive it could be when people dealing with an addiction to alcohol shared their stories. Wilson went on to write his program in what eventually became known as the Big Book. The original form of the steps focused on spirituality and came from a Christian philosophy of ultimate authority. Since it was written, the Big Book has become a key tenant of many treatment programs and self-help groups.


Breaking Down The 12 Steps of AA

The original Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group has also led to Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Heroin Anonymous (HA), among others. A few principles of the 12 Step program include:

  • People can help each other maintain abstinence from behaviors or substances they’re addicted to.
  • Requiring complete abstinence from substances.
  • You can use the model to develop new patterns as you move forward in your life.
  • You’re letting go of the ego through a spiritual process as you surrender to a higher power.
  • Meetings are considered a mutual support group that is the fellowship component of the program.
  • While there is a spiritual foundation of the twelve-step program, many participants find that they can interpret the concept of God in their own way and according to their own beliefs.

With that in mind, below, we begin breaking down the 12 step program of AA and what each entails.


Step One: Honesty

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

In this step, you admit that you are powerless over alcohol or your addiction. During this time, you also admit to yourself and others that your life is no longer manageable. Addiction is often defined by denial, and one of the most important steps in your personal recovery process, at least when you’re breaking down the 12 step program of AA, is that you’re no longer in denial. This may be a time that you not only admit you have an addiction, but perhaps your friends and family stop being in denial about it as well.


Step Two: Faith

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

Step two is when you work to believe that there is a Higher Power that is greater than you who can bring you back to a thriving life. The idea here is that before a higher power can help you heal, you have to have a belief that’s possible.


Step Three: Surrender

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

In step three of the program, you decide that you’re going to give your will and your life to the care of God as you understand him. You recognize your ability to change your self-destructive decisions, but also that you can’t do it on your own. You have to rely on help from your Higher Power to make this change.


Step Four: Soul-Searching

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

In this step of the 12 step program, when breaking down the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, you’re starting to take a moral inventory of yourself. This requires an honest assessment and identification of your problems. This is also a time where you begin to take inventory of how your behaviors have affected not just you but the people around you.


Step Five: Flaws 

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Once you’ve done step four, and you’ve taken a moral inventory of yourself, you can admit not only to God but to yourself and to others the specific nature of your wrongs. During Step 5, you can begin to grow as a person.


Step Six: Acceptance

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

During this phase, you accept your character flaws and yourself as you are, and then you let it go and ask God to remove them.



Step Seven: Humility

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

During this part of the process, you should submit to the fact that there are things you can’t do on your own, and you need to ask a Higher Power to help you. You’re asking your Higher Power to remove your failings or shortcomings.


Step Eight: Willingness

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

This is where you begin to work toward healing broken relationships. During this step, you should create a list of everyone you caused harm to before your recovery. The willingness part of this step means that you are willing to make amends to the people you identified as having harmed in any way.


Step Nine: Amends

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

After you’ve inventoried those you may have hurt, the next step requires directly making amends to them. This can be challenging, but it’s an important part of healing broken relationships. That tends to be a big struggle for people in recovery, and the fact that it’s included as part of the steps is often helpful.


Step Ten: Maintenance

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

Step ten focuses on continuing to take a personal inventory, and then if you find that you’ve been wrong in something, you admit it as hard as it can be. By continuing to take inventory of yourself and your actions, the idea is that you can grow spiritually and make progress in your recovery.


Step Eleven: Making Contact

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

During Step 11, you want to discover more about the plan your Higher Power has for your life.


Step Twelve: Service

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Finally, the last step focuses on service to others. When you’re in recovery, it’s beneficial for your journey if you help others to learn more about the program. You should also aim to keep the program as part of your everyday life.


Why Does the 12 Step Approach Work?

There’s a reason that so many people rely on the 12 Steps for their recovery from addiction. It does tend to work because the idea is that you’re looking deep within yourself in a critical way that we often don’t. You’re then deconstructing your ego so that you can rebuild it, piece by piece or step-by-step. You’re learning how to make positive changes in your life through honesty and humility, as well as forgiveness and self-discipline.


Alternatives to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Of course, the 12 Steps don’t work for everyone, and that’s okay too. There are alternatives, such as SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery helps you change your behavior, but it doesn’t have the spiritual element of a 12-Step program. SMART Recovery stands for self-management and recovery training. This program emphasizes building self-confidence and developing the tools you need to overcome addiction. There are facets of cognitive-behavioral therapy that are central to SMART Recovery.

That’s just one example of a 12-Step alternative, but there are others, many of which are secular. Most of the other options focus on self-reliance, empowerment, and control rather than submitting to a Higher Power.


Taking the First Step

The first step is usually the hardest because this requires a person to admit they have a problem and accept help. If you, or someone you love, are ready to take that first step, we invite you to come to take it with us at Anchored Tides Recovery. 

Our gender-specific female facility is a place where women can heal together. Many of our clients are successful in their recovery using the 12 step program, and we’re happy to help you be one of our following successful clients. Call us today and speak with one of our care coordinators about taking back control and starting your program. 

Addiction and Employment: Get Help, Don’t Get Fired

addiction and employment

It’s common to feel that addiction and employment do not mix very well and is a severe problem. The American Addiction Centers estimates that there are 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, including thousands of working professionals. It’s good to know that when it comes to addiction and employment, there are resources that can help you overcome your struggles without having to sacrifice your career. Read on to find out more about some of these programs. 

Getting into a rehab program during employment is possibly the world’s most pervasive and damaging vice. The treatment programs address the substance abuse problem and manage any co-occurring disorders among the addicts.


How does Addiction Affect your Employment? 

The answer lies in the effect that addiction has on one’s job security. One significant impact is that those struggling with addiction are more likely to be fired from their jobs, often because they struggle with attendance and job performance. Addiction harms not only the individual employee but also the family and employers of the individual as well.

There are two types of workplace problems common to people struggling with an addiction: substance abuse and absenteeism. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) classifies substance abuse into functioning categories, including no or low impairment, moderate impairment, and high impairment. A person with a dependent or abusive problem is considered to have a high level of impairment if he or she has lost or been dismissed from a job where s/he used to be productive.

girl with her hands on her face


How to Handle an Alcoholic Employee?

An alcoholic employee is someone who abuses alcohol to the point it affects their work. This can take place at any time of day and not just during work hours. Despite the prevalence of drug use in the U.S., both before and during the current recession, many employers are uninformed about how to handle a worker who struggles with an addiction problem.

It’s essential to know the signs that an employee may be drinking as an alcoholic to handle the situation appropriately.


Analyze the effect of employee’s addiction problem at the workplace

Each case is unique, so have a clear sense of the threat your employee’s drug or alcohol use poses to your company. Is your employee creating a direct physical danger in the workplace? 

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one-fifth of workers and managers report that a coworker’s alcohol problems have jeopardized their safety and productivity. The action of someone who is intoxicated in the workplace can place other employees and property at risk. If an employee’s substance abuse has caused injury to you, your coworkers, or your employer’s property, that’s grounds for termination.


Consult the company’s Human Resources policy

If an employee shows up drunk and disorderly at the office, what is the proper reaction? Having an HR (Human Resource) policy with clear guidelines in place will help you act swiftly and appropriately. While the specifics of each policy may vary across businesses and industries, all procedures should have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs or alcohol in the workplace. 

Distribute a company manual to everyone hired at a new location. The manual should outline company policies, procedures, and practices, including any drug or alcohol policy that may legally prohibit the possession or consumption of an illegal substance by employees. 


Evaluate how substance abuse is affecting the employee’s job performance

If you suspect that one or more of your employees are using drugs, it’s essential to investigate, and possibly perform a drug test. Before you take disciplinary action against an employee, it is good to evaluate the reason for their job performance. Ask yourself if their job performance is due to substance abuse; what can you do about it? 

If drug abuse affects the individual’s job performance, it is in your best interest to terminate employment. Reducing turnover and absenteeism and increasing productivity can add up to considerable long-term savings for you.


Assess employee’s level of substance abuse problem ownership and motivation to change

If your employee uses drugs or alcohol on the job, you can help them without violating their rights or exposing yourself to legal risk. The Employee Motivation to Address Substance Abuse Questionnaire (EMASAQ), in conjunction with the Personal Inventory Questionnaire (PIQ), offers an effective way for you to measure your employee’s ownership of their alcohol abuse problem. By assessing their level of ownership and motivation to change, you can craft an action plan that will have the greatest chance of success.


Job Protections Under Federal Law for employees during drug addiction treatment

If you are dealing with the disease of addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you have a family member or friend who is, you should know that job protections under federal law are available if you’re considering different treatment options. 

girl drinking beer

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Family Medical Leave Act protect an employee’s rights to maintain their job while overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. These laws outline what protections you are guaranteed, how to speak with your employer regarding your situation, and how the law may act in your favor if you are being discriminated against due to your drug use.

Additionally, in 2003, the Board of Nursing created RAMP (Recovery and Monitoring Program) as an alternative to the Discipline program. RAMP offers confidential, voluntary support to health care nurses recovering from alcohol or drug dependency. Nurses work with employers and close colleagues while at treatment facilities; here they can receive the appropriate treatment for their recovery and rapid reinstatement.

Addiction affects every aspect of your major life activities negatively, but it doesn’t have to end your employment dream. Contact us at Anchored Tides Recovery Center. A gender-specific rehab center and a place for women to heal will help you fulfill the emptiness and free yourself from the addiction that has hurt you and those around you. Understanding the illness and having a strategy are keys to staying employed while battling addiction. 

Getting into a drug addiction treatment center program during employment can be challenging, and we want to make sure that you get the help you need. Get informed on addiction and employment issues today, and call us to learn more about our therapy sessions and support groups to achieve sobriety.


Weight Loss Pills and the Risk of Addiction

weight loss pills

Most weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like medications and are on the controlled substances schedule. Abuse of these medicines can lead to dependence and addiction. Weight loss pills are weight to treat overweight or obese people when diet and exercise do not cause significant weight loss. Prescription weight-loss drugs are chemically similar to amphetamines, which have a well-established history of abuse. Understandably, some people wonder if these drugs carry a risk of abuse and dependence. 


U.S. FDA-Approved Weight Loss Pills

The United States FDA has approved the following drugs to help to lose weight in overweight and obese people. 


For long-term use

  • Orlistat (Xenical). It works by blocking the enzymes that your body uses to break down ingested fat. It is available both with and without a doctor’s prescription (OTC). OTC orlistat (Alli) contains a lower dose of the medication. 


  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). This combination product works by increasing energy expenditure and decreasing appetite. You need a doctor’s prescription to buy this product. 


  • Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave). The medicines in Contrave work in the part of the brain that regulates your appetite and energy expenditure. It is available only with a doctor’s prescription. 


  • Liraglutide (Saxenda). Available by injection only, it works in your gut and brain. Liraglutide slows down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. 


For short-term use 

All the weight loss pills used for short-term weight management are similar to amphetamines. 

  • Phentermine (Lomaira)
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)


Can Weight Loss Pills Lead to Addiction?

Abuse of weight loss pills is widespread. Most notably, abuse is more common among young women and those with a history of mental illness or drug abuse. Likewise, eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, also increase abuse risk. 

weight loss pill and measuring tape

Some people may develop tolerance to weight loss medication, which means they need a higher amount of the drug to feel the effects. Long-term use/abuse may also lead to dependence. When this occurs, users may experience uncomfortable symptoms – such as high blood sugar levels, stomach pain, or other common withdrawal symptoms – upon stopping the drug. 


Does this Mean Weight Loss Pills are Addictive?

Abuse, dependence, and addiction are different things. One may have drug dependence but not an addiction. Addiction is a chronic mental disease that occurs when a person continues drug use despite the known health and other hazards. You should also understand that physical dependence, unlike psychological dependence, is a stronger predictor of addiction. 

Interestingly, this does not mean that addiction is unlikely. There have been several reports of addiction associated with the use of weight loss pills. Medicines in these pills are usually Central Nervous System stimulants; they increase energy levels, lift mood, help drop bodyweight, and cause euphoria, creating a perfect recipe for dependence. 

People also tend to mix weight loss pills with other drugs, or while drinking alcohol. The side effects of the medication sometimes will mitigate the less desired symptoms of drug abuse, like fatigue. 

The addiction risk of weight loss pills is lower than that of amphetamines. Nonetheless, this should not be an excuse for you to abuse them. Abuse may lead to overdose, which can be fatal. 


Does the DEA control weight Loss Pills?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized weight loss pills into either Schedule III or Schedule IV. 


Schedule III weight loss pills

Moderate to low risk for physical and psychological dependence.

  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)


Schedule IV weight loss pills

Low risk of abuse and dependence. 

  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 


Effects of Weight Loss Pill Abuse

In low doses, you may experience:

  • Euphoria
  • Intense Feelings of Wellbeing
  • Rapid Heart Rate 
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Increased Alertness
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased Appetite


Higher doses may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death


Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal 

The following withdrawal symptoms can persist for one to three weeks. Relapse usually occurs within 4 to 12 weeks of discontinuing amphetamine or similar drugs. 

  • Irritability
  • Aches and Pains
  • Depression
  • Impaired Social Functioning


Treatment of Weight Loss Pill Dependence

A combination of medicine and counseling is the cornerstone of stimulant dependence treatment. Medicines can include drugs to improve mood and control anxiety and seizures. Counseling is an integral part of addiction/dependence treatment. The most commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and contingency management (CM). 

girl with two types of pills on front of her



Are herbal weight loss pills safe?

The U.S. FDA does not regulate these products. Hence, their safety is unknown. It is best to avoid these miracle drugs that promise dramatic weight loss in no time.


Does metformin help with weight loss?

With a healthy diet and exercise, metformin works to help you lose a few pounds. However, side effects are common. Some metformin side effects include diarrhea, bloating, muscle pain, and low blood sugar. If you have questions about starting or how to stop taking metformin, talk to your doctor


Key Takeaways

  • Most prescription weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like substances. 
  • Many users have reported dependence and withdrawal. 
  • These medicines are in either Schedule III or Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 
  • Though these pills are less likely than amphetamine to cause addiction, addiction may lead to potentially fatal overdoses. 


Addiction to these pills is common, along with eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling, the staff at Anchored Tides Recovery are very experienced in both areas and have helped hundreds of women find a safe place to heal in Orange County, CA. 

How The Covid 19 Lockdown Changed Addiction and Treatment

covid 19 lockdown

covid 19 lockdown


The long-term side effects of COVID-19 have become more apparent as the pandemic has continued for over a year. That doesn’t just mean the long-term health effects of the virus itself, but also the societal consequences. Children have missed the social interaction of school and activities. There’s been isolation and loneliness, and routines interrupted. People had to cancel milestones in their life, and while some could work from home, others lost their jobs altogether.

This “perfect storm” of factors has been wreaking havoc on mental health and addiction. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to affect the addiction crisis for a long time in America. The world refers to the situation as both “the COVID-19 epidemic” and “the addiction epidemic”; the impacts on mental health and addiction and addiction treatment could be long-term side effects of COVID-19 that we feel for years or even decades.


Covid-19 and Substance Abuse

Many addiction specialists were warning that there could be severe repercussions for those with substance use disorders from the early days of the pandemic. Nearly every element of the COVID-19 pandemic is a relapse and addiction risk factor.

  • With the covid 19 lockdown and social distancing came isolation. Many people no longer had in-person access to those social support networks that were a lifeline for them in their addiction recovery.
  • When you can’t see your loved ones and friends in person, it takes a tremendous toll on you mentally, even if you don’t have a substance use disorder.

pills in divider

  • There wasn’t just social damage—there’s also been staggering economic damage. Businesses had to close their doors entirely, meaning that people were left unemployed. The government offers unemployment benefit enhancements, but not everyone qualifies, and this doesn’t do much to alleviate the uncertainty of losing your job.
  • For business owners, there has been stress as well. They feel the pressure of not serving customers and the personal financial impacts that it has, and its results on their employees who depend on them.
  •  Along with the stay-at-home order and economic instability, many people have experienced tremendous worries about their health and the health of their loved ones. The news has created a constant barrage of negative imagery reflecting the severity of the COVID 19 lockdown in the U.S. and worldwide. This imagery is likely to continue to haunt many people and create more long-term side effects of COVID-19 that affect their mental health.
  • More than half a million people have died in the U.S. alone. The grim nature of the situation we are in makes everything feel like more of a struggle.


Vulnerable Populations

The pandemic impacts on addiction in the United States have been even more profound on vulnerable populations, such as the homeless. They haven’t had access to many of the resources they depended on before the pandemic. Communities have struggled with providing these needed resources for vulnerable populations but have faced challenges in doing so.

Other vulnerable populations that the effects of COVID-19 have most impacted include those who live in multi-family homes, individuals with limited health care access, and disenfranchised communities.


Overdose Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period that ended in May 2020.

That was the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in one year ever.

The number of overdose deaths was already increasing in 2019, but those accelerated when COVID-`19 struck. The former CDC director, Robert Redfield, spoke out and said that as we were fighting the pandemic, it was important not to overlook the unintended consequences of the pandemic and how those were affecting people with substance use disorders.


Effects on Young People

One demographic most affected by the long-term side effects of COVID 19 lockdown are likely to be younger people. Research shows us that social interaction and involving yourself in community activities are protective factors for substance use among youth.

Unfortunately, for more than a year, many young people haven’t been able to attend in-person school, see their friends, or do their everyday activities. Parents have to be mindful that these effects might not just be short-term. Mental health facilities and experts are linking trauma in childhood to future substance abuse issues.close up of woman in a mask


Mental Illness During COVID-19

It isn’t just people with substance use disorders who will likely impact the long-term side effects of COVID-19.

Research conducted has found a significantly higher level of anxiety, stress, irritability, and depression among the general population during the pandemic. Studies have shown that people are increasingly relying on negative coping strategies during this time, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, junk food, and excessive sleep. People have been getting less physical activity and consuming more news and social media content. Much like a natural disaster, it’s possible that the pandemic, a public health crisis, will have a lasting effect on people. In general, mental health care treatment facilities link traumatic experiences to higher levels of depression, PTSD, and substance use. Now, more than ever, mental health services are high in demand.


Lack of Access to Care

When people needed it most, the pandemic halted the lifelines of people with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Mental health treatment was difficult to find, and the state governments weren’t doing much to help. You may be able to find a physically distanced peer-led support group while wearing masks occasionally, but that came with the anxiety of testing positive after.

There wasn’t really a good substitute for the mental health services that care facilities offer. For example, many treatment centers couldn’t provide traditional services because of social distancing guidelines. Health care centers were pushing off other types of treatment to ensure they had the space and resources for COVID-19 patients. The facilities didn’t provide non-essential care at all. Many addiction resources, such as 12-step meetings, couldn’t happen in person either.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs often require that someone visit a clinic daily to receive their treatment. Again, facilities may have limited access to those programs if they were available at all. All of this compounds the effects on mental health during COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effect of COVID-19.


The Positive Effects of COVID on Addiction Treatment

While the sad reality is that many of the effects on mental health during the COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effects of COVID-19 are devastating, some positive things may come from this situation. Beyond that, addiction treatment centers and providers have taken great strides in reaching their patients and how they help people. The pandemic forced the world of telemedicine and virtual care to grow at a rapid rate during the pandemic. People became comfortable communicating in new ways. For example, Zoom meetings became a daily occurrence in the work world and for 12-step meetings. Therapists and health care providers are now offering more remote services, and addiction treatment specialists can check in with their patients in new ways.

That doesn’t mean that the in-person interactions that are so valuable in addiction treatment and recovery will end, but what it instead means is that more options and opportunities might be available. These changes could reduce some treatment barriers and accessibility issues that have been a long-standing issue in addiction treatment. There is no doubt that the world will feel the long-term side effects of COVID-19 well into the future, and some of those adverse effects could take years even to become apparent. With that in mind, it’s so crucial for people to recognize red flags in themselves and their loved ones and reach out for support when they need it.


Help is out there

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is here for you as we navigate our way through the pandemic and find our way back to life as we knew it. Work with us and we will help you be a better person by the time this is over. Call us today to talk more about your situation.

Creating Your Success Story: Opting for Alcohol or Drug Treatment

drug treatment

drug treatment


Opting for Drug Treatment

What is a success story, and how is it even created? Do you make one for yourself, or is your story written for you? A good story always involves a protagonist overcoming a struggle and persevering over the antagonist. Does the antagonist have to be a person, though? Some of the best stories involve the struggle being drug treatment and the antagonist is addiction. 

This blog will help you take control of your narrative and create your own success story.


Baby Steps

So, how do you even make your success story?

The answer is always baby steps. Losing hope and giving up is easy. Taking baby steps and setting short yet attainable goals will help prevent you from losing hope, and keep up your motivation to keep moving forward. Dreaming big and setting long-term goals is good, but long-term goals take time, and a lot can happen in that time. We live in a time where everyone is used to instant gratification, and if you don’t have short-term goals to bridge the gap between now and your long-term goals, it could easily lead to disappointment. Patience is a virtue. 

Trial and Error

Recovery is a process, and as with any process, failure is a possibility. In your process, you will try many different options, some that work for you and some that don’t. Do not be discouraged by failure, because failure provides an opportunity to grow. Having the strength to not give up is something to be proud of. A success story is only a success story because of the resilience and patience it took to create that story.


Accept Help: Seeking Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a disease, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) both describe not being in control of how much or how often you use these drugs. Everybody’s brain is wired differently, and as such the level of control we have over our own actions is not the same. Some people require much more willpower to be in control, and for those people, there is no shame in seeking outside help. 

drug treatment



There are many drug addiction treatment centers that take insurance coverage and offer specific treatment options that are scientifically proven to help with overcoming addiction. Sometimes the options you have can feel overwhelming, but stick with your baby steps and you will keep with the progression of your story. Sometimes making progress is as easy as googling “rehab near me.” 


Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and if you suddenly stop drinking and try to quit cold turkey you could be making a fatal mistake. Alcohol is a drug that creates a physical dependence, and when your body is physically dependent on a substance the consequences are life-threatening if you don’t approach quitting properly. 

The first step to getting treatment for alcohol addiction is to do a medically assisted detoxification. Medical detox is a form of health care that uses calculated doses of antidotes to mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. A rehab program that specializes in treating alcohol addiction will often offer residential inpatient services as well, this is where you live at the facility for an extended period, to minimize the opportunity for relapse while attending counseling sessions regularly. 

People getting treatment for AUD may also find it helpful to utilize aftercare support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). 


Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment programs at an addiction center are designed to provide addicts with the mental tools needed to continue in sobriety. Treatment is a long-term procedure for many and requires dropping down through many different levels of care. Many people consider addiction to be a lifetime sentence and believe they will never overcome it, even if they haven’t used drugs in years. 

Drug treatment may include behavioral therapy or a combination of medications. Depending on the patient’s specific needs and the types of drugs they are addicted to, the actual treatment methods can differ.

Many recovery services use both individual and group therapy.  Support groups can help develop communication skills, friendships, and an empowered mindset. Behavioral therapies can help with maintaining sobriety, provide methods to cope with drug cravings, and prevent relapse.

Behavioral therapies offer psychological strengthening and help to enforce behavioral contingencies that facilitate abstinence and a lifestyle that is not drug-using. Some of the more advanced therapies, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are now being modified for community environments to work on different aspects of addiction. 

drug treatment

Even though a first-time rehab experience can be intimidating, it is ultimately the best choice towards putting your life back on track while easing the tension and the unknowing fear of what’s going to happen. It always helps to read and research the rehab facility you are interested in and its offers.

Are you Someone who is looking to help your daughter, mother, sister, or friend? 

Are you looking for excellent inpatient rehab, especially for women? 

Join Anchored Tides Recovery. Please contact us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get on the road to recovery.

COVID-19 Risks and Relapse on Opioids

relapse on opioids

relapse on opioids


Covid-19 presented many challenges for people across the world. Anxiety, grief, joblessness, depression, financial worries, and other mental health issues all skyrocketed, which may have contributed to the worsening of the national opioid crisis. In 2020 over 40 states in the US reported increases in opioid-related deaths and an increasing concern for relapse on opioids. Covid-19 took away so much from so many people, but out of all the things the pandemic took away, access to drugs is not one of them. 

One other contributing factor to the ongoing opioid crisis is the rising popularity of the highly dangerous drug Fentanyl. Fentanyl is not a new drug, it’s been prescribed for paid since the 1960s, however, people are becoming aware of it more and more in the past few years (seemingly gaining traction upon the musician Prince’s fentanyl overdose.) Fentanyl is 50x stronger than heroin and 100x stronger than morphine. This synthetic drug has undoubtedly been a factor in drug relapse on opioids and overdoses since the pandemic began. 


Increased Risk

It is essential to know that during these uncertain times of a global pandemic, people who are in recovery are particularly vulnerable and may be easily triggered to relapse on drugs or alcohol due to the unusual amount of stress from social isolation and other COVID-19 related life changes. 

For people with addiction that have co-occurring diseases like depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, the constant flow of stressful news has led many people to increased feelings of worry, doubt, anxiety, and stress. 

Indulging in alcohol and abusing drugs to cope may temporarily help an addicted person feel better. Still, with each extra dose of the drug taken and with alcohol in your system, you step farther away from sobriety and healthy living, and your conditions only worsen with time. 

Do your part and educate yourself on the warning signs and triggers of addiction relapse


Healthy Coping

Relapse prevention involves seeking out healthy activities and professional help. While the world does not look or feel how it used to, there are still activities that are good for your mental and physical health. Taking an extended break from depressing news and social media will alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Here are some healthy activities to cope with the stress of the pandemic:

By refocusing your energy and thinking to a more positive mindset you will be reducing the risk of relapse, which only complicates the pandemic even further. Additionally, throughout these difficult times, mental health and addiction services are considered essential and still accessible. 


Covid-19 and Drug Addiction

It is reported and observed that alcohol and drug abuse can put drug addicts at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing more severe consequences than people who do not abuse drugs.

Opioid use disorder and withdrawal puts an enormous strain on someone’s body. 


Withdrawal symptoms from legal and illegal opioids might include:

  • Excess sweating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea

These symptoms may compromise your immune system and reduce a person’s ability to combat infections (like Covid-19) Unfortunately, knowing the risks involved is not convincing enough for most addicts to avoid these risky situations.

relapse on opioids

During the pandemic, the situations people put themselves in for accessing drugs became even more dangerous. For example, when picking up drugs from a dealer they are putting themselves at risk to become infected by interacting with people who have been interacting with others. 

Smoking is used by a significant number of drug users as a primary means of getting high. An individual who smokes is at even higher risk for the virus’s most deadly side effect, respiratory illness. 

COVID-19 targets its attack at the lungs of the infected person in many of its fatal cases. The infamous dry cough is one of its most classic symptoms. While there are other symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, muscle aches, and body aches, pneumonia is the most dangerous part.


Steps to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19:

  1. Wash your hands often
  2. Do not share any type of pipe, joint, or other intravenous devices with other people.
  3. Continue addiction and mental health treatments virtually
  4. Avoid in-person contact.
  5. Wear a Mask
  6. Get vaccinated

Is the pressure of the pandemic challenging your sobriety? Help is available. Our treatment facility offers women access to support groups, health care guidance, counseling, and tools to guide them to long-term sobriety. Join the only women at Anchored Tides Recovery. Call us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get your loved one on the road to recovery.

A Guide to Success: Planning an Intervention

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “over 23 million adults in the United States struggle with drug addiction at some point in their lives” That’s more than 10% of American adults! Of the people who struggle with addiction, 75% report never receiving any drug addiction treatment. It’s hard to admit when you need help. While you’re using drugs, you may not even realize the pain and damage you’re causing to your family and friends. For a person struggling with drug addiction, life in recovery often beings with planning an Intervention.    Anchored Tides Recovery has 20+ years of combined experience helping women take steps towards a life in recovery. In our experience, we know that many times the road begins with a formal intervention. This blog will go over some tips and common mistakes made when it comes to interventions for substance abuse. An intervention is a helpful and sometimes necessary step in the healing process, but there can be negative consequences if you do not approach the situation properly.   If you’re wondering how to stage an intervention, an excellent place to start is by understanding the process of a successful intervention, and clearly defining the primary goal.  

What is an Intervention?

A typical intervention for an addict is an orchestrated attempt by a support group – usually close friends or family members – to convince someone to seek professional help for drug or alcohol dependence. Loved ones have a chance to share their emotions and address personal experiences regarding how the addicted person’s drug use has affected them. Once their side of the story is shared, they have the opportunity to show encouragement and support for their loved one to seek help. common-mistakes-that-families-make The adverse consequences of substance abuse are well-known, yet a person trapped in the vicious cycle of addiction does not realize it until it’s too late. Drug dependence affects the quality of your life, induces mental health issues, causes withdrawal symptoms, and even suicidal behavior. Under the influence of drugs, a person loses the will to reconstruct their lives. At this stage, you may need to step in for crisis intervention and save your loved ones from a handicapped life of substance abuse.   There has been an increase of interventions occurring in recent years due to shows like Dr. Phil or Intervention on A&E. The reason these segments are so popular on television is that an intervention is usually a dramatic and emotional experience. Despite Hollywood’s attention, walking in on an intervention for substance use disorder might be a drug user’s worst nightmare. Interventions are often met with resistance and hostility, bringing us to #1 on our list to approach interventions properly and have a clear plan of action.  

Get Help From a Professional Interventionist

Trying to hold an intervention without first seeking professional help is a common mistake. There are many rehabilitation programs offered at various treatment centers that employ intervention specialists to aid you in the process. They act as a host to the event and make sure that everything is done correctly. When appropriately handled, an intervention should remain constructive towards the ultimate goal of supporting the addict’s health and recovery from substance abuse. There is a cost involved in hiring professional treatment providers. Still, this cost is worth it because this step is often the difference between your loved one storming out or your loved one accepting help.  Substance abuse behavior brings various health issues, and sometimes people involved in the intervention have held on to a lot of frustration and anger. A moderator with no emotional attachment can make sure that these emotions get appropriately expressed. If they aren’t, then you may trigger an altercation, resistance, or even violence. A professional moderator has enough experience to control the situation before it escalates into something destructive. The sensitive nature of the emotions involved in the treatment process leads us to our next tip for success on the road to recovery.  

Choose The Intervention Team Carefully

An intervention is a group effort. If you are organizing an intervention for an addict, you will have to determine the form of treatment and the right people to invite to join. You want to avoid involving too many people because you run the risk of intimidating or overwhelming the person. A small intervention team of 4 to 8 people who are closest to the person and have been affected the most is best.  The ideal attendee is someone whose opinions matter the most to the addict, someone they love and respect, who has also personally been affected by their addictive behaviors.  You may know an attendee who seems ideal in some cases, but they are harboring resentment in a negative or unhealthy way. If you think this person will have too difficult a time expressing their emotions constructively and calmly, it may be best not to include them. Tell them there will be an intervention but let them know you think it would be best for them not to be involved in the process just yet. Once you have the right group of people for participation in treatment for substance abuse, you’re ready for the next step.  


There may only be one opportunity to do the intervention the right way. Since it is fragile and volatile by nature, your best chance for success comes from being fully prepared. People under the effects of drugs are often reluctant to the idea of a treatment program because they don’t want to appear vulnerable and weak.  common-mistakes-that-families-make Here are a few aspects of going over in your rehearsal:
  • Understand their patterns of behavior
  • The structure and type of intervention
  • Decide who will speak and when
  • Take turns practicing what you will say.
  • Discuss a plan of how you will get your addicted loved one to the intervention
  • Pick a day and time for the actual intervention. 
  • What is the goal after the intervention?
  Once you’ve rehearsed how the intervention should ideally go, there is one last important piece of the puzzle before you move forward.  

Have a Plan of Action

Change is necessary to keep the intervention on track. You can’t simply go back to life as usual in the end. Experience shows that the more time that passes after an intervention, the less effective the intervention will be—so having a plan and being ready to take steps toward life in recovery immediately after the intervention is the last critical step. Planning out what comes immediately after the intervention is another aspect in which hiring intervention specialists may show added value. A professional interventionist may utilize connections in the industry to help move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible to treat substance abuse and underlying mental health disorders. Having a bag packed with the essential items and a bed at a residential inpatient facility, or medically assisted detox program are extremely helpful ways to follow up with the intervention.    Enough is Enough Getting through to a loved one who is battling drug and alcohol addiction can be frustrating. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, but nothing is working, an intervention may guide your loved one to accept help. Intervention for substance abuse is a very emotional and delicate process. It may be difficult initially, but it could be the best thing for them in the long term. Drug and alcohol abuse have devoured the lives of so many brilliant people. Anchored Tides Recovery believes that the right environment for substance abuse treatment is one crucial factor of the recovery process. We believe in the concept of “Treatment for women, by women.” so we’ve created a gender-specific environment for women to be able to thrive. If your loved one decides after their intervention that they think they’d be comfortable taking the path to recovery in a female-only environment. We provide formal treatment and encourage positive action in a community setting to feel alienated.    Contact Us, and one of our medical professionals will talk to you about various treatment plans and intervention options. Our rehabilitation center provides a range of treatment options that treat substance abuse and ensure your abstinence from alcohol and drugs. Healing starts here.

The Impact of Heroin Addiction on Mothers and Children

Many people don’t realize how their personal choices impact the people around them. In treatment settings, we have seen families destroyed by addiction; the victims are not always the people who are dealing with the illness. The victims become the loved ones who are most vulnerable. Addiction stems from many sources. Growing up in a toxic environment, sexual trauma, emotional abuse, genetics, peer pressure, etc. For many people, addiction is just in their blood. But there needs to be a catalyst event to turn addictive personalities into people with substance use disorder.  How come so many people get hooked on heroin? The risks and dangers are well known; it’s common knowledge that heroin ruins lives.  What leads people to take that first step to heroin addiction, then?   

The Opioid Epidemic 

Believe it or not, Medical Doctors (MD) are often the cause for most heroin addictions. A car accident, fall, or medical procedure leaves a person in a lot of pain; a doctor then will prescribe an opiate medication to make them comfortable.  The medicine may do its job and take the pain away, but what happens next?  Opiates are highly effective and highly addictive; for this reason, they only get prescribed in limited amounts. It doesn’t take long for your body to become addicted to an opiate. You can quickly develop a dependence, and opiates are known to have some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms of any drug.  You may finish the pills you were prescribed but still be in pain. Now you’re also dealing with extreme discomfort from opiate withdrawal. The combination of pain and extreme discomfort will often cause a person to try to get more pills, legally or illegally.  Pain pills are difficult to come by, and without a prescription, they can be costly. These obstacles result in people turning to heroin. Heroin is still an opiate, so it has many of the same effects, but it’s a lot cheaper and easier to get. Who knew “back pain” would lead to so many people snorting and injecting heroin?   

Heroin Use in Pregnancy

In 2019, about %7 of pregnant women reported using prescription opioid pain relievers. Of those, 1 out of 5 reported abuse (meaning they got them from a source other than a medical supplier or used them for reasons other than pain relief.) Women face unique issues when it comes to addiction and substance abuse. Studies  show that women who use drugs can have problems related to: 
  • Hormones
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Fertility
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding 
  • Menopause
  Issues become more complicated when the user is pregnant. Heroin use in pregnancy can increase the risk of: 
  • Miscarriage 
  • Migraines
  • Seizures 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Maternal death
  Those are only the effects of the mother. Opiate abuse while pregnant, for unborn babies, has been linked to:   Basically, babies born to heroin-addicted mothers are babies born addicted to heroin.   

Babies born addicted to Heroin?

Just like adults, babies can have drug dependencies. While pregnant, the fetus shares the mother’s internal resources. If a mother is putting heroin into her bloodstream, the baby is getting heroin into their bloodstream too. After the baby is born, it may experience withdrawal symptoms.  Your baby will need to stay in the hospital for five to seven days after being born so the medical staff can monitor it for withdrawal symptoms (NAS). The severity of a newborn child’s withdrawal symptoms depends on the length and frequency of the mother’s drug use and if the child was delivered prematurely.   

Withdrawal Symptoms on Babies Born to Heroin-Addicted Mothers

Symptoms of drug withdrawal in a newborn can develop immediately or up to two weeks after birth and can include:
  • Blotchy skin coloring
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability / excessive or high-pitched crying
  • Abnormal sucking reflex
  • Fever 
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Stuffy nose and sneezing
  • Slow weight gain
  • Sweating 
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting
  Defects of babies born to heroin-addicted mothers could be long-term or even fatal:
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Small head circumference
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  When you are pregnant, treatment aims to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, as they can be harmful to your baby. Methadone or Buprenorphine can help ease symptoms, but your baby may still be born experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Children born to mothers who use heroin beyond the first trimester have a 12x greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than those unexposed or only exposed in the first trimester of pregnancy. You have to be extremely careful about your health and well-being during pregnancy,  not just to protect your life but the other life inside of you.   

Growing up with a heroin-addicted mother

When you are a Mother with a heroin addiction, the roles end up being switched. Your child may be the one who has to take care of you. Children are often manipulated by their mothers when addiction is a factor. They can be asked to get drugs, steal, lie, and cover-up. The sad part is, they think they are helping. They may bear witness to some very traumatic events. They call 911 when you are lying on the ground unresponsive. They cry because they thought that was going to be the last time they saw you. They miss you when you are in rehab. They feel like they are to blame when you relapse. They lose trust and faith in you.  


What does this pattern of behavior do to this child? 
  • Disappointment
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional trauma 
  • Physical trauma
  • Curiosity 
Amongst all the negative hurt feelings, there is also a sense of exploration and experimentation. Frequently, behavior that is seen is repeated. That is why there is no surprise that children of heroin-addicted mothers are likely to develop addictions or other mental health issues of their own.  

Breaking the Cycle

Loving someone and who is addicted to heroin is challenging. People need to accept help, and you can’t do it for them. You can still love someone without enabling them. Create boundaries, provide resources, say “no” to any requests that support drug use, and use available resources for yourself. Prioritizing your own mental health is critical. If you don’t, the whole family suffers, and ultimately more damage can be done. If you do not have your health or sanity, how can you show strength for the one who needs support? Do you know someone who suffers from heroin addiction?  Are you that Mother or child?  Being open and talking can help. Many times we bottle up our feelings when we need to express them and embrace them. Anchored Tides believes that sharing your experiences in the right environment encourages growth, so we created a gender-specific place where women can heal. We’re not your typical women’s treatment program. Formed in 2016, we offer women struggling with substance abuse and mental illness a haven at our Huntington Beach drug rehab in Southern California. Take a tour of our boutique women’s addiction treatment center in Orange County. Don’t wait any longer. Call us to talk to a healthcare professional. 

Finding an IOP in Orange County, CA


Are you currently struggling with an addiction? Are you thinking about pursuing addiction treatment but are unsure if you can commit to inpatient treatment. Or perhaps you’ve completed inpatient treatment and are looking to continue treatment. 

Do you live in Orange County, CA or would like the opportunity to live there for a bit? If you answered yes to the questions above, you would likely benefit from an IOP in Orange County, CA

Congratulations! Deciding to seek treatment for addiction is a big step to take in life. The next big step to take after you’ve decided you’d like to get (or continue) help is finding an addiction treatment program that works for you.This depends on a lot of factors, including affordability, location, and availability. 

One of the biggest barriers addicts face when getting treatment is being available, and it is more apparent when it comes to women. A study showed that more women are less likely to complete a treatment program because of familial responsibilities. 

This hindrance prevents women from wanting to complete residential inpatient treatment. However, with IOP’s, more women can strike a balance between their daily responsibilities and treating their addiction. 

What Does IOP Stand for in Addiction Treatment?

IOP stands for intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program is an addiction treatment program that allows clients to carry out their daily activities and still receive intensive addiction treatment.

An IOP is different from an outpatient program, although both don’t require the client to stay onsite at the facility 24/7. Regular outpatient treatment is usually considered one of the last steps of addiction treatment. 

In most situations, an IOP (intensive outpatient program) is used as a step down from inpatient treatment. It can also be used to treat milder addictions for people who cannot commit to an extended stay inpatient rehab. For those who are the sole caretaker of a child or have professional commitments that can’t be put on pause, an IOP is a great treatment option.

There are certain requirements a client must meet before they are allowed to be in an intensive outpatient program. 

These requirements include: 

  • A safe home life without the presence of drugs
  • A strong support network of friends and family 

If the client does not have a supportive and safe environment at home, residing in a sober living home is a great option. If a client is exposed to substances when they return home from treatment or a volatile home, they have the potential to relapse and not stay sober.

When someone attends an IOP, they receive similar treatment as they would in an inpatient rehab. Some examples of programs and therapies offered an an IOP are: 

  • Group therapy sessions 
  • Individual therapy sessions 
  • 12-step programs 
  • Support groups 
  • Alternative therapy sessions involving yoga, music, art, or equine therapy

Why You Should Go to an IOP Orange County, Ca

Why choose an IOP in Orange County, CA?  Orange County is a great place to relax and more importantly, heal. Home to several picturesque beaches and treatment centers, Orange County is a top spot for intensive outpatient programs. You can enjoy the delights that Orange County offers while also getting intensive addiction treatment. 

Anchored Tides Recovery: The Best Intensive Outpatient Treatment Center for Women

Anchored Tides Recovery is one of the top outpatient addiction treatment centers for women in Orange County, CA. We offer many treatment programs, including women’s partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and an aftercare planning.

Our treatment approach incorporates evidence-based addiction treatment and dual diagnosis modalities while incorporating a program geared toward the issues women face. In addition to our numerous treatment programs, we provide a highly serene and conducive environment for healing. 

Reach out to us today for help with your addiction!