Does Being In Recovery Have to Be a Life Sentence?

being in recovery
Anchored Tides Recovery - woman looking out the window

There are many debates about what “being in recovery” means on a personal and definitive level. Most addiction treatment programs subscribe to the modality that addiction is a disease you carry with you for your entire life, even if you are not actively using drugs, you may again one day. 

The “forever” mentality is controversial amongst people who don’t want to be labeled “an addict” for their whole lives or believe that they can overcome their shortcomings. Others believe that this type of thinking is a crutch that some people with addiction use to justify when they slip up. 

Even though most treatment centers teach addiction is forever, this article delves deeper into the conversation, looks at the facts, and will try to answer the question “Do you have to spend your entire life in recovery?” 

What Does Being In Recovery Mean?

An is challenging because everyone’s journey is unique. In its simplest terms, being “in recovery” is a stage of the addiction cycle that comes after you’ve completed addiction treatment. Experts have made a distinction between recovery and sobriety, which mostly correlates to your desire to use drugs. Sobriety is when you abstain from the use of drugs or alcohol.

So what does it mean to be in recovery from addiction?

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a list of principles that they believe fulfill the criteria. These include:

SAMHSA goes on to describe signs that characterize being active in recovery. For example, you address problems as they occur, but they don’t lead you to feel overly stressed or to relapse. You have someone in your life that you can be entirely honest. You know what your issues are versus which are other people’s. You have personal boundaries, and you take time to care for your physical and emotional needs.

Rules to Reduce the Risk of Relapse


Get The Help You Need Today!

Anchored Tides Recovery - quote - a woman on a mission

The Stages of Recovery

Just as there are phases of addiction, there are also phases of recovery. Everyone may define these a little differently, but they could look similar to the following steps:

Once you go through the steps above, then you may be able to feel like you’re active in recovery, and instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.

Addiction As a Chronic Disease

There is no cure for chronic diseases. instead, you just work to manage the symptoms, at which point you’re in remission. Addiction is viewed as a chronic illness because of the impacts of substances on the brain. There are also predisposing factors such as environment and genetics that can lead to an increased risk of addiction, which is the case with other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.

Since science views addiction as a chronic disease, relapse will occasionally happen. There are high relapse rates across the board with chronic illnesses. Interestingly, getting treatment for a substance use disorder is often compared to criminal rehabilitation.

Treatment vs. Criminal Rehabilitation

Some states have criminal rehabilitation efforts that seek to treat a person’s mental health disorders and other root causes of their criminal behaviors. Treatment is holistic, and the outcome of criminal rehabilitation can be better overall. Someone who has participated in a criminal rehabilitation program might be more able to contribute to society in a productive, meaningful way.

Final Thoughts

So, does being in recovery have to be a life sentence? 

That is something that you can decide for yourself. What works for one person might not work for another, so rather than thinking being in recovery means you have to fit in a box, just consider your own needs and your journey. Some people make it to a point where they no longer consider using drugs or alcohol, but for others, it helps to feel like it’s something they will never stop working on. Doing what is best for you is always the right decision. 

Being a woman in recovery is easier with aftercare, which can help you avoid a relapse. Aftercare can include group therapy, individual therapy, or participation in a self-help group, or even direct work with a social worker. Anchored Tides Recovery offers all of these aftercare services, plus the comfort of a woman-only environment. Addiction in women requires a different approach, and having a support system of other women who can share in your experience helps a lot. Call us today to learn more about our program and find your recovery.




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Screen Addiction and Substance Abuse

screen addiction

screen addiction


Screen addiction and substance abuse are two things that are growing increasingly prevalent independently of one another. Sometimes, they also develop together, or one might come before the other. Many of the underlying factors that contribute to screen addiction also play a role in substance abuse.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in both screen addiction cases and substance abuse as well, highlighting the importance of discussing both right now.


What is Screen Addiction?

Screen addiction isn’t an addiction to the screen itself. Instead, it’s usually an addiction to social media, certain apps, video games, or mobile device dependence. Younger people, including children, are especially susceptible to screen addiction, which research shows can lead to changes in the structure of their brains. Screen addiction can impact long term neural development, which is one risk factor for a screen dependency disorder.

Some of the signs of screen addiction, especially in kids and teens, can include:

  • There’s no control over screen use. You may notice this in your child, your partner, or even yourself. You or your child or loved one might try to stop using a device and find that they’re not able to stop for an extended period.
  • With a screen addiction, there may be a loss of interest in other activities. For example, someone could stop spending time with friends to use their device instead or play a game.
  • Thoughts are preoccupied with a game, social media, or a smartphone, even when it’s not being used.
  • Screen use contributes to problems in relationships and conflict.


How Does Screen Time Change the Brain?

There was a study done by the National Institutes of Health in 2018 that found that children younger than 11 who spent more than two hours a day on screen activities scored lower on thinking and language tests. Children who had more than seven hours of time in front of a screen day had thinning in the frontal cortex of their brain. This is the part of the brain related to reasoning and critical thinking.

While more research needs to be done, this could show that the effects of screen time can change the brain in pretty profound ways by narrowing the focus.

Children can develop tunnel vision rather than experiencing a varied environment and different experiences, which impedes their development. Children who spend a lot of time on screens may have slow social and language development, and they may develop problems with attention and focus.


Understanding Behavioral Addictions

Screen addiction can fall into the larger category of behavioral addictions. Behavioral addiction is also called process addiction.

  • A process addiction can include video games and screen time, sex, exercise, eating, gambling or shopping.

Screen Shot 2021 07 09 at 19.49.28

  • There is debate as to whether or not “process addiction” should be classified in the same way as substance addiction, although we are increasingly finding similarities.
  • With both process and substance addictions, a person continues to engage in harmful or damaging activities, even with the negative consequences they create.
  • Studies have shown changes in the neural pathway of the reward system in the brain that are similar to behavioral and substance addictions. For example, if someone is addicted to social media and gets likes or comments, they might have a rush of dopamine that is the same as what someone addicted to drugs gets.
  • When the behavior becomes an addiction, the person is entirely focused on getting that dopamine rush again and again by doing the same activities. Once something reaches this point, it’s often destructive to relationships and every area of the person’s life.

Researchers have looked specifically at social media. For example, a study by Harvard University found that self-disclosure on social media platforms can light up the same parts of the brain that are affected by taking an addictive substance.

When you get a dopamine rush because of social media, your brain starts to be rewired due to positive reinforcement. You’re getting attention for very minimal work on your part.

Researchers have also found that our brain reward centers are most active when we talk about ourselves. When you’re on social media, and you’re sharing something about yourself or posting a picture of yourself, then your brain is again stimulated to release dopamine.



Does Screen Addiction Affect Substance Abuse?

There can be direct and indirect relationships between screen addiction and substance abuse.

For example, if the brain is wired to want easy dopamine spikes from screens, then that could make you more susceptible to chase the same high from substances. It could also be that the changes in your brain that occur because of screens make you more likely to develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Someone who’s absorbed with screens may have impaired relationships with other people, leading them to rely on substances because of loneliness.

Another possible link between screen addiction and substance abuse is that if someone is regularly overstimulated, they might want to keep up that high level Screen Shot 2021 07 09 at 19.49.52of stimulation throughout their life. That can then contribute to a substance use disorder. There are a lot of ways screen addiction and substance use can interact with one another.


Getting Substance Abuse Treatment Without Screens

Interestingly, if someone is going for substance abuse treatment in an inpatient facility, they are often not allowed to use their phone and usually any other device. While all centers have their own rules, the idea is that cell phones and devices can distract people from their recovery during substance abuse treatment.

There’s also the fact that having screens and devices while you’re in substance abuse treatment can bring stress into your life so that you cannot fully put all of your attention into your recovery. Treatment centers for so long have been mainly against bringing devices to rehab. It may be that they were onto something, now that we see the negative ramifications of screen addiction. It’s also possible that some people dealing with their screen addiction could become part of their substance abuse treatment. 

Weight Loss Pills and 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 a way 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. 

Women’s Rehab: Addressing the Fears

Women's rehab
Women's rehab

Substance use disorders affect men and women differently. When it comes to addiction, women face a more significant number of negative consequences and require a different approach when it comes to treatment. This is due to the difference in brain chemistry between a man and a woman. For these reasons, a women’s rehab can definitely be a comfortable environment to encourage growth. 

Additionally, research has shown that women want different things in their therapy than what men expect. These differences are precisely what makes an all-women rehab the right choice for many of today’s women who are struggling with sobriety. 

Why should I Attend a Woman’s Rehab?

Most addiction treatment facilities offer the chance for recovery from addiction and substance abuse in a completely sober environment without the pitfalls of alcohol or other drugs. Unlike traditional addiction treatment centers, an all-women rehab center will provide a unique approach to treatment that focuses on creating a supportive, non-judgmental community of women that can better understand and empathize with the challenges we all face during the process of recovering from drug abuse. 

Many women with addictions attempt to go through recovery without the help of others. A gender-specific recovery center offers a chance to create a strong community centered around the idea of support. Studies show that women tend to respond better to other women and heal faster when they are in gender-specific environments. 

All-women’s drug and alcohol rehabs are an excellent way for women to get sober, do the work needed to recover, and live their lives again. These facilities offer a safe haven without peer pressure or judgment; but for many women, the idea of going to an all-women rehabilitation facility can be daunting. These outpatient treatment programs can be scary for both women and their families, but here’s why an all-female rehab is a right path to recovery for many.

Addressing the Fears of Attending an All Women’s Rehab

Here is a list of some common fears about women’s rehab center and how to overcome them:

Putting Life on Pause

One of the major fears about going to a women’s program is having to leave behind their life – their job, their family, their home, their friends, but the actual experience can be different from what you imagined.

multiple personalities

A women’s rehab program will give you the tools to rebuild your relationships with these important people so that you can get back to your old life and live it free from stigma, social discourses, and addiction.

Women’s Rehabs are Less Fun

People often associate drugs and alcohol with having fun, and an alcohol rehab center can be a very depressing place if you seek thrills through drug use. 

Our concept at Anchor Tides Recovery Center is to design and create a women’s rehabilitation facility that incorporates a holistic approach to treatment. Lifestyle wellness is learned through services like therapy, yoga, healthy eating, and general fun. Our goal is to be an all-encompassing retreat where women can have fun while getting the help they need.

Confronting your Past Trauma

It is common for survivors to feel intense fear and even panic when faced with their past traumas during treatment. However, during rehab, confronting your past trauma is key to achieving– and maintaining– long-term sobriety. 

A gender-specific environment will provide a level of comfort that will encourage sharing. This process will help you reach personal growth and work towards a healthier, happier life.

Most people have four or more types of trauma in their childhoods and past, but it’s not just about looking back, because you can’t change the past. We’ll teach you tools to change the adverse effects of that trauma in the present so that you can move forward into the future with joy and purpose. You’ll learn to let go of regret and guilt, find forgiveness, let go of shame, and build self-esteem. 

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure during rehab is common. The client may have a fear of relapsing, and as a result, they put off treatment altogether. This fear comes from an underlying trauma; addressing the issue can help the fear and the feelings that stem from it. Understanding the risk factors when choosing an appropriate rehab center is key to achieving success. 

If you have the resources to get high, you most likely have the resources to complete your drug rehab treatment. If you make up your mind that you do not want to use drugs again, you won’t have a problem completing your drug rehab treatment and therapy sessions.

Inability to Handle Stress

Stress puts your rehab in jeopardy by signaling the body to use its most significant resources to survive a situation. Identifying the fear and substituting a more adaptive behavior is imperative to your successful recovery.

depressed girl sitting with face between her knees

The time spent rehabilitating allows you to reduce symptoms of stress and to start living healthier. Managing stress can help you recover more quickly and worry less about how your body responds to physical therapy, rehab, and recovery. 

Intimidated by Other Women

Believe it or not, many women feel intimidated by other women. These feelings may stem from a bad experience in high school, nasty comments, or feuds they’ve had in the past. You may know, or you might be, somebody that says, “I just get along better with guys.” Women’s rehabs are a place to knock down walls and show you firsthand that your own gender is not something to be intimidated by! Instead, you will experience what we’ve witnessed time and time again… that women do better when we support each other. 

Erase the preconceived notions you may have of women tearing each other down, and feel what it’s like to find support and be lifted up by other women. 

Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Program

Addiction doesn’t change much in a person’s life until it’s too late. By then, the relationship with drugs and alcohol has become an important part of your life. If you notice a loved one struggling with addiction, it’s vital to take action before the situation gets out of control.

Whether you are having a problem with drug addiction, eating disorders, depression, or anxiety, an all-women inpatient drug rehab is suitable for you. Having support groups of other women dealing with various problems can help aid recovery and make treatment more effective.

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is specifically designed for women. Our effective addiction treatment programs are designed specifically for a woman’s unique emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Our team of professionals will help you develop a personalized treatment plan for your long-term recovery goals. Call us today at 1-866-753-5865.Wom

Dialectical Behavior Therapy and You

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of evidence-based behavioral therapy that aims to identify and change unhealthy or destructive behaviors.

The core idea of behavioral therapy is that behaviors are learned, and therefore when they aren’t healthy, they can be changed. These types of therapy also tend to focus primarily on current problems someone is experiencing, so they can make changes.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

While dialectical behavioral therapy has many things in common with other types of behavioral therapy and especially CBT, it also has unique elements that set this approach apart. It can be described as a sub-type of cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The goal of dialectical behavioral therapy is to help people learn how to regulate emotions, have healthier relationships, cope with stress in practical ways, and live in the present.

Someone who has self-destructive behaviors, such as a person with a substance use disorder, can benefit from DBT, as can a person who has a hard time regulating their emotions; it’s also used with PTSD.

Objectives of dialectical behavioral therapy can include:

  • Move from being out of control to in control. You might be able to reduce harmful behaviors by becoming more in control in all areas of your life. 
  • Learn to be able to experience healthy relationships rather than avoiding them or being emotionally unavailable.   
  • Develop problem-solving skills that can be applied in daily life. 
  • Accepting negative emotions exists but being able to still feel like a fulfilled person.  

What can you expect with DBT?

If you’re participating in a DBT treatment program, there might be individual therapy sessions and group sessions focused on developing more specific skills.

For example, you might start your journey working with a DBT therapist one-on-one, this will help you begin to learn how to apply DBT skills. Then, you can put those skills into action during group sessions.

When you’re doing a DBT group session, you can support one another and share experiences. These groups are led by a therapist, even though they aren’t one-on-one.

DBT may involve homework assignments too. For example, you may be asked to practice exercises to help with mindfulness.

Group sessions usually occur once a week, or maybe a couple of times a week for around six months.

There are also variations in how DBT is delivered. For example, the sessions might be done by phone or video conferencing. DBT can also include just one-on-one therapy without the group sessions, or you could do the alternative and only participate in groups.

Why is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Effective?

As was mentioned, DBT was initially created to help treat borderline personality disorder, which is characterized by strong negative emotions that are hard to manage.

These emotions often come when someone diagnosed with borderline personality disorder interacts with other people in their lives, such as their family members or romantic partners. These intense emotions lead to conflict.

woman thinking

The goal of DBT is to help create a sense of balance, particularly in your emotions. You move away from seeing things as all-or-nothing or entirely black-and-white, promoting acceptance.

Strategies Used in DBT

The following are some of the specific techniques commonly used in DBT skills training by DBT therapists.


When you participate in DBT, you learn mindfulness skills, so you’re grounded in the present. This means you’re always thinking about what’s happening both inside your mind and body at any given time, but you’re also using your senses for what’s around you.

Mindfulness can be an important component of addiction treatment and making progress in mental health disorders because it helps you slow down and work on using the coping skills you learn, rather than jumping straight into impulsive behavior or negative patterns.

Tolerance for Distress

When you develop skills for distress tolerance, you can start to handle crises in a better way. Some of the ways you might be taught to do this in DBT include distraction, self-soothing, and working to improve the moment. If you have strong emotions, you can use these distress tolerance techniques to cope better.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

As was mentioned, a lot of what’s worked on in DBT focuses on interpersonal relationships. With interpersonal effectiveness, you can start to learn how to communicate in a healthy way, respect your personal boundaries when it comes to relationships, and create more positive bonds with others.

Emotional Regulation

When you have strong negative emotions, it’s difficult to navigate the situation. Through DBT, you can learn how to identify those emotions and cope with them for more positive outcomes. You might engage in the opposite action as part of this. For example, if you’re feeling depressed and you’d like friends and family, you might learn to do the opposite and instead reach out for social connection during these times. You can bring opposite feelings or forces together with the ultimate goal of creating balance.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Recovery

DBT can be helpful for the treatment of substance use disorders because it’s a means to help equip people with the tools they need to have healthier emotions and mindsets.

One premise behind DBT is that someone who engages in self-destructive behaviors, which can include substance use, doesn’t have the necessary skills to create a fulfilling life, but they can learn those skills.

Participating in DBT does require a time commitment because you do therapy sessions and homework. However, learning these skills can be an excellent option if you’re in addiction recovery, and they can help you thrive in your daily life.

Many people in addiction recovery find that they struggle to cope with negative emotions and stress, which can increase the likelihood of relapse. DBT can help you implement strategies to reduce the risk of relapse.

In addiction recovery, a lot of people also have to work to rebuild damaged relationships, and DBT helps you learn strategies to do that also. 

Types of Behavioral Therapy

There are a few types of behavioral therapy; their effectiveness is evidence-based and well-supported by research. These types of therapy include:

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy: DBT helps participants learn new skills to deal with painful emotions. DBT can also be used as a way to reduce relationship conflict. It was originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorder. Research has shown it’s effective in treating many other conditions, including substance abuse, bipolar disorder, and depression. 
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is similar in many ways to DBT. This treatment focuses on quality of life and how your thoughts influence your behavior and mood.  It’s a problem-solving approach. 

man thinking

  • Aversion therapy: Sometimes aversion therapy is used in the treatment of substance abuse. It helps people learn to associate a stimulus with something very unpleasant that causes discomfort. For example, you might learn to associate drinking alcohol with an unpleasant feeling or memory. 
  • Desensitization: This type of behavioral therapy can help treat phobias. The first step in this process is usually learning relaxation techniques, as well as therapeutic breathing strategies. Then, the therapist can slowly introduce something the client is afraid of in increasing doses while they use the learned relaxation techniques.

Who Benefits from Behavioral Therapy?

Behavioral therapy is considered to be very effective and beneficial for many conditions. These include:

  • Substance misuse
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bulimia
  • Anger control
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm

Anchored Tides Recovery is proud of the strides and progress we have made with the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for our treatment of borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder. The skills you will learn in DBT training will help you all of your life and in many different areas of your life. If you’re interested in learning more about DBT, call one of our care coordinators today. 

Addiction During Pregnancy and Inpatient Rehab for Women

inpatient rehab for women

inpatient rehab for women


Until the late 1990s, all clinical studies on addiction were only done on men; no consideration was given to the differences between gender or how drugs may affect men and women differently. Advanced research in recent years shows that the consequences of addiction are far worse in women, especially women who are pregnant and the developing child. As a result of this advanced research, we were able to develop more effective treatment options, such as inpatient rehab for women only, to develop the field of addiction further. 


Drug Use During Pregnancy

While pregnant, the fetus inside of you shares your resources. Everything you put into your bloodstream gets absorbed by the child, including toxic chemicals. Smoking, drinking, or using drugs during pregnancy may all have a significant impact on the development of the fetus. 

Research indicates that pregnant women’s usage of cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs may have serious health effects for infants. Certain drugs quickly move through the placenta (an organ that joins the mother and fetus) because the fetus is often reached by any drug that a pregnant woman takes. The latest research indicates that smoking cigarettes or marijuana, taking prescription pain relievers, or using illicit substances during pregnancy are associated with double or even triple the risk of stillbirth. 

More than 50% of pregnant women, for example, take prescription or non-prescription drugs or use social drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy at some stage, and drug use during pregnancy is growing gradually as well.

Unless instructed, women should generally not use medications during pregnancy because many can affect the unborn baby. About 2 to 3 percent of all congenital disabilities are induced by medications used to relieve a disorder or symptom. Here are reasons why you should definitely opt for inpatient rehab for women if you can’t stop taking drugs.


Risks of Stillbirth from Substance Use in Pregnancy


Tobacco Use: 

The risk of stillbirth is 1.8 to 2.8 times higher, with the highest risk occurring in the heaviest smokers


Marijuana Use:

2.3 times higher risk for stillbirth


Evidence of Any Stimulant, Marijuana, or Prescription Pain Reliever Use:
The chance of stillbirth is 2.2 times greater


Passive Exposure to Tobacco:

The chance of stillbirth is 2.1 times greater


Addiction During Pregnancy

Addiction is nothing to be ashamed of; it is a chronic condition affecting millions of Americans, including pregnant women. Research reveals that over 17 million people are dealing with alcohol abuse, and over 25 million adults are abusing prescription and illicit medications.

If you have a physical dependence on a drug, your child will be born addicted to that drug. Except once they separate from your umbilical cord, they will no longer have that substance in their bloodstream and will experience potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. 

Drug withdrawal symptoms in newborns can develop immediately or up to 14 days after birth and may include:

  • Blotchy skin coloring
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive or high-pitched crying
  • Abnormal sucking reflex
  • Fever
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Irritability
  • Poor feeding
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Sleep problems
  • Slow weight gain
  • Stuffy nose and sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting

inpatient rehab for women

Effects of using some drugs could be long-term and possibly fatal to the baby

  • Birth defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Small head circumference
  • Sudden infant death syndrome


Nobody plans to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, you can opt to seek help, and you’re not going to be alone: substance treatment intake statistics indicate that about 5 percent of women are pregnant when they reach rehab. If you have become pregnant when addicted to drugs or alcohol, several supportive recovery facilities and inpatient rehab for women are trained and ready to support you through this challenging situation. Do not let your fear of being judged put your baby’s life at risk.

Women-only rehab provides a supportive place for pregnant women to get the medical care they need for drug and alcohol addiction; It gives you and your baby the best possible opportunity for a safe pregnancy and childbirth.


Choosing a Women Only Rehab

Addiction can be a daunting matter to manage during pregnancy. Emotions are elevated, and the added tension or feelings that come with pregnancy may feel like too much to handle. The longer you wait to get treatment, the greater the risk of complications during your pregnancy. 

Seeking immediate treatment eliminates the risk of birth defects and gives your child a chance at a better life for themselves and a mother’s gift of recovery.

Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced Huntington Beach rehab program designed specifically for women by women. We can help you find the resources you need to manage addiction and pregnancy and provide the aftercare you need to beat your addiction. Call us today.  

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 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 and Drug 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.

Preparing Your Children for When You Go to Drug Addiction Rehab


Drug Addiction

Substance use disorder is a chronic disease that drives people to continuously use drugs despite being aware of the harm it is doing to their bodies and their lives. Millions of Americans battle drug addiction, and helping someone get rid of addiction has been an issue that drug addiction treatment centers and mental health professionals have been trying to solve for decades.   

Understanding Addiction

There is a misconception that people struggling with drug addiction do so because it’s a choice. No one plans to become an addict. External factors that drive drug abuse and lead to addictive behaviors include stress from work, family issues, financial pressure, feeling disengaged from life, and sometimes just curiosity about a particular substance. Anyone who uses drugs can develop addictive behaviors, no matter their age, culture, or economic status. When a person consumes drugs or alcohol, their brain produces large amounts of dopamine (a feel-good hormone), which triggers the brain’s reward system. After continuous drug use, the brain can no longer produce the usual dopamine amount on its own. This causes people to have difficulties enjoying pleasurable activities like spending time with friends or family when they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol – stuck with their drug addiction.  

Is Addiction A Family Disease?

While some experts report that there can be a genetic predisposition to substance abuse, many factors contribute to someone’s addiction. Whether or not the cause lies in genetics, addiction is a family disease because it affects everyone in the family. This is especially true when there are children involved. Preparing-Your-Children-When-You-Go-to-Rehab Family members of people struggling with addiction endure a lot of emotional and sometimes financial hardship while dealing with a relative who is trapped in the cycle of addiction. Loved ones often report feeling guilty, responsible for the substance use, confused, angry, and sad. This can increase conflict and feelings of isolation for everyone involved.  Drug addiction is a severe problem, but there is a solution. In this case, treatment programs at a rehab center sets the foundation for a life of sobriety.  

What is Rehab?

Rehab is the process during which someone is treated for their addiction. This most often happens at an inpatient facility to minimize outside distractions and temptations. Rehab can last from 30 to 90 days, but the length of time is dependent on the individual and their needs. Since addiction is a health-related issue, most rehab programs accept insurance coverage. For people who have children and are considering treatment at an inpatient facility, making the decision is even more challenging. Additional arrangements need to be made to ensure the child is taken care of before the parent can start their treatment.  

Living Arrangements for Drug Addiction

First, you will need to determine where your child will stay while you are in treatment. If there is another parent or family member who can care for your child in their current living arrangement, make a detailed plan of how childcare will be provided and whether or not additional assistance is needed from friends or family members.  If your child is staying with a friend or family member, take time to look over their home and ensure that there is nothing there that will be unhealthy or additionally disruptive for your child. Ensuring that your child is well cared for without worry before entering treatment will allow you to better focus on your recovery. If you don’t have a community environment or support groups to help with childcare while you’re in rehab, look for rehab facilities that offer childcare or daycare. This, of course, will not work for children of all ages but may provide enough support for help.  

School Schedule

Limiting disruptions in your child’s education and school schedule will help them adjust during the period you are in treatment. This includes arranging plans for drop-off, pick-up, and routine homework. You may also want to schedule a meeting with the principal, teacher, and guidance counselor to discuss your situation’s specifics. Screen Shot 2021 04 02 at 20.35.58  

Talking With Your Child

Healthcare professionals recommend explaining the situation to children in age-appropriate terms. Often, parents have the inclination to lie or hide the truth about where they’re going and why. This can lead to confusion for your child and later mistrust if they learn the truth from someone else. Talking with your child about why you are going, where you are going, and how long you will be gone is very important. It is difficult to explain a temporary absence, but it is important to take the right approach. Be honest and be prepared to answer questions your child might have. Being open with your children and letting them know they are not to blame or responsible can substantially influence how they adjust during this time. If your child is very young, then you will have to explain it simply by telling them that you are sick and need to go away to get better. If your child is older but still relatively young, you’ll want to keep the language simple and tell them only as much as they need to know. If they are an adolescent or teen, you may be able to have a more open and detailed discussion. Make sure that your child knows that drug addiction is not their fault.   Even after you come home, your recovery process is not finished. You have to show your child that you are doing everything you can to remain sober for yourself and your family. Getting help is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and going to rehab will give you the tools to recover so that you can be your best. Are you a mother who is looking to help your daughter? Are you looking for an excellent outpatient treatment program designed specifically for women? Join our women-only addiction center Anchored Tides Recovery. Call us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get your loved one on the road to recovery.  

Treatment for Co-Occuring Disorders


Co-Occurring Disorders

Individuals who struggle with addiction or substance use disorders and mental health disorders are diagnosed with co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses. A dual diagnosis is an approach that allows healthcare providers to treat the whole person and not solely their addiction. This has shown to be incredibly beneficial as substance use and mental illness are often closely related. Lets talk about some treatment for co-occuring disorders.  

Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is diagnosed when a person’s use of alcohol or illegal drugs leads to severe mental and physical health issues. This can result in problems at work, school, or home and ruin close relationships with family and friends.  Substance use disorder often occurs with mental health issues such as depression, attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other behavioral illnesses. It is difficult to determine if the substance use caused the mental illness or the other way around in many cases. In either case, substance use cannot be treated without considering cognitive and behavioral health disruptions.  

What does substance use disorder include?

A substance use disorder includes:
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Alcohol or drug dependence
Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of illicit drug abuse or addiction and mental illness may mask one another, making it difficult to identify what a person is actually struggling with. Often, individuals with mental health problems do not discuss their drug use with mental health professionals because they do not think it is related to their illness. This can increase the amount of time it takes to get to a correct diagnosis. It is not uncommon for people struggling with their mental health to turn to drug use. Anxious people may take drugs to feel calm, and depressed people may take drugs to numb the pain. In addition to addressing the mental health problem, alcohol or other medications often prevent a person from developing successful coping skills like maintaining satisfying relationships and feeling happy with themselves. It is also important to know how drugs and alcohol impact medicines prescribed for mental illness. Dru and alcohol use, in short, makes mental health conditions worse when not properly disclosed to your healthcare provider. People with co-occurring disorders can stop using alcohol or other substances, but as symptoms of their mental health disorders continue, they may face difficulties. To remedy both conditions, patients need a care team with an awareness of the entire patient history and experience in treatment for co-occuring disorders.    co-occuring-disorder-treatment-for-substance-use-disorders  

Substance Abuse & Addiction

Though it is a fine line, some people may use drugs without becoming addicted. Addiction begins with compulsive behaviors to seek out and use drugs with little regard for the consequences. The increased drug use leads to drug abuse where a person continues to use more of a substance to chase the same high. The increased volume of drug consumption results in long-lasting changes in the brain. Some of these changes are irreversible and permanent.  Exposure to drugs in social settings is often where drug use begins. It may also start with misusing a valid prescription ordered by a doctor. As the person becomes accustomed to the feeling of using drugs, they increase the amount and the frequency in which they operate. This leads to experimenting with and abusing different drugs. The risk of addiction varies according to the substance (controlled or illegal) and how easily you become addicted. Some medicines have a greater risk and induce dependence more quickly than others, such as opioid painkillers. Attempts to stop drug use abruptly may cause intense cravings, make you feel physically ill (withdrawal symptoms), and be dangerous if not properly supervised.  

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

Previously, in the United States, opioid and alcohol abuse treatment was distinct from mental health treatments because there was not a broad understanding of co-occurring conditions. Care was administered using drastically different clinical methods at various facilities. Consequently, many individuals with depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, treatment for co-occuring disorders and other severe conditions never received a treatment plan for their substance abuse problems.  Treating only one condition will not cause the other to change immediately, and a siloed treatment approach will not give you lasting results. Both conditions must be treated simultaneously, in the same place, by the same care team to be successful. This is a form of integrated cognitive behavioral therapy, and it is highly effective. About 7 million people who have received treatment for mental health still suffer from opioid or alcohol abuse. The secret to shielding this population from poverty, disease, loneliness, incarceration, and homelessness is integrated care for co-occurring disorders. Are you someone who is looking to help your daughter, mother, sister, or friend? Are you looking for substance abuse treatment options and support groups specifically for women? Join us at the women-only treatment center, Anchored Tides Recovery. Call us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get your loved one on the road to recovery.

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.