If you are a parent, partner, or other loved one of a person with a substance use disorder, you’re probably put in some painful situations when your loved one asks for something. You may have helped them in the past with money, paying bills, or even giving them rides to places. Yet you never quite know if they’re telling the truth and often wonder if your “help” has done more harm than good.

Loving somebody with substance use disorder can be challenging. Learning to set boundaries and say "No" can help you transform the relationship and make room to take care of your own needs.

What Happens When You Say No?

What is the worst thing that you think will happen if you tell your loved one that no? For example, what will they do if you say you cannot help them with money this week? Many parents, for example, think their child will stop calling or interacting with them if they cut off the financial support.

More often than not, your loved will keep calling and will continue to ask you for things. This is why it’s so important to have a plan on what your boundaries are, and stick with them.

You may not be willing to cut your child off completely, but setting boundaries is still essential. Let them know you love them, and you want them to get help for their substance use disorder. They can come over for dinner, but only when they are sober. You will take them shopping for groceries, but only when they are sober. You may not want to give your adult child money, but you may be okay with paying their phone bill this month, but not next month. Or you may not want to give them any help at all until they are sober.

When you say no, it’s also an opportunity to give your loved one an alternative or tell them you’ll help them with finding a 12-step meeting or detox. Let your loved one know how you can support them when they’re willing to get the help they need for substance use.

Saying No Can Be Challenging

You may have to say “No” more than once. This is because your loved one may be used to getting their way, so when you say no, they may not believe it at first.

“No” is a complete sentence; you don’t owe somebody who is asking you for something an explanation.

Sometimes, when you learn to say “No,” you may feel the anger behind the word. Getting angry, going into loud, irate explanations, or hanging up on your loved one will leave you feeling guilty. (Then you may be tempted to call them back and say, “I changed my mind.”)

Say “No,” and be polite and kind, and take a deep breath. Your loved one will have to accept that you’ve said no, and they may get upset. If you start to get angry, tell them you will call them back later. Wait until you’re calm and collected to do so.

Nobody is going to change overnight. Your loved one didn’t become addicted overnight, and they aren’t going to get sober overnight. When they first get sober, it will take a while for them to change their lifestyle and behavior. Likewise, changes in your relationship dynamic aren’t going to happen overnight, either. But by setting boundaries, you’ve already started to take care of yourself.

Practicing Self-Care

Once you’ve said "No" to your loved one, it’s time to put yourself first. Be gentle when you begin setting boundaries. Reward yourself with self-care time. This means spending at least 15 minutes a day doing something healthy that helps you unwind. This could be meditation, taking a walk, yoga, or another activity that helps relax you.

Joining a group like Al-Anon may help you learn more coping tools for living with a person with an addiction. Some people even benefit from interventions but getting help for yourself is important.

Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, we’re here to help! You deserve a chance to reclaim your life. Learn more about your options by giving us a call.


To feel is to be human, and when you first get clean and sober, you’ll go through recovery. Everyone has fears in recovery, especially when they’re brand new to it. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but it can be uncomfortable.

 Doubt Or Fears About Recovery

You may also have doubts that help feed your fears in recovery. What are doubts, exactly?  Doubts are those little voices that haunt you when you’re feeling insecure or afraid. For people with a substance use disorder, doubt is familiar. It’s often because a person is used to being disappointed. They may have tried many things to get sober, only to relapse again and again.

The disease of addiction, also called substance use disorder, is insidious. It causes a person’s brain to think differently than a healthy brain. It can talk people into relapsing if they’re not using the tools

It’s okay to have doubts, and fear is natural too, but give yourself a chance. Take suggestions if you can, and listen closely to others in therapy and 12-step meetings.

Writing Down Your Doubt And Fears

Doubts and fears are close relatives of each other. For example, you may doubt that something like the 12 steps can work for you. Maybe you think the program didn’t work the first time you tried it, so it can’t work now. Perhaps you think you are endlessly broken and beyond repair.

Write down your doubts and fears. If you’re afraid of failing, write it down. What are you afraid of failing at? If you doubt that you can stay sober, write about that feeling.

As you write, you may discover that you have more fears than you realized. These are some good things to share with somebody you trust, whether it’s your sponsor or your sister. Write down all of your fears and share a few of them. (Share as many as you can, but if you’re not comfortable, then read the paper silently in your head. Or hand it to your trusted partner so they can read it.)

Once you have done this, set yourself free. Let those fears go. Take them to a safe space outdoors and set them on fire.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, we’re here to help! No matter what your fears are, you deserve a chance to get sober. We’ll help you get started in a safe and compassionate environment. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

For many people in recovery, addiction was an all-consuming lifestyle. When you were using drugs, you probably didn’t worry as much about consequences. Drugs and alcohol can cause people to lose their inhibitions. When it comes to addiction, the compulsion to get high or drunk may be more powerful than the wish to stay out of trouble.

Today, in recovery, you’re supposed to do the next right thing. Instead of reverting to your old behavior, you can challenge yourself to use your new coping skills and make better decisions. But everyone is human and makes mistakes every once in a while, including risky behaviors. Some behaviors you may revert to are considered to be a stepping stone to relapse.

Risky Behavior Is Relapse Behavior

Not everyone changes their behaviors overnight, so you may still be acting out in old behavior patterns when you first get sober. But risky behavior can be a slippery slope. Risky behavior is often impulsive and thoughtless behavior. Unfortunately, it’s also a clear sign that you’re vulnerable to relapse. So if you find yourself creeping into old habits, it’s time to take your inventory and change what you’re doing.

What kind of behavior is considered risky? Typically, it’s anything immoral or illegal that you’ve done that gives you a “rush.” Unfortunately, these rushes, like a physical high, are short-lived and typically cause damage to your life.

Here are some examples of risky behavior:

A lot of these patterns may have been second nature when you were living with your active addiction. But as a person in recovery, you are trying to live a good life. So you can focus on putting negative behaviors in the past and concentrate on being a good person today.

If you find yourself reverting to risky behaviors, and you’re unsure how to stop, speak with your sponsor or a therapist. Change is hard, but you can do it! Staying sober one day at a time is just the beginning. You’re now on a lifelong journey to being the most authentic self you can be. The journey is always one day at a time.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. We can answer any questions you may have. Give yourself a chance.

The benefits of residing in a sober living environment (SLE) are self-evident if you have recovered from a substance use disorder.  Living with other recovering people is helpful to avoid relapse.

It’s well known that long-term recovery is aided by extended treatment. For the purposes of this discussion, sober living is not technically treatment. However, it’s a crucial part of a recovering person’s life – the eight hours they spent sleeping and is also where they started and ended their day, in the sphere of influence of their roommates or family.

Testing and Accountability

A reputable sober living home will require regular testing, which should be facilitated by a house manager and given randomly.

The majority of sober living homes also require participation in support groups (usually 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous), and possibly tasks. These layers of accountability really add up, giving people a reason to stay sober and constant reinforcement for their continuing sobriety.

Supportive Peer Relationships

One great benefit of SLEs is that the residents bonds with each other. These bonds provide peer support and helps the individual throughout the period in early recovery when they are still experiencing Post Acute Withdrawals Syndrome (PAWS).

Longer Treatment Equals Better Outcomes

There's a strong correlation between longer-term treatment and better sobriety outcomes.  The sober living home is a crucial component to the recovering persons support system, and while not technically “treatment”, a crucial component to the life of any recovery individual.

Independent Recovery

The ideal goal for any recovering person is to be able to remain sober without any external help. However most people who start down the path of recovery take a liking to their support groups in many of the new processes and habits they developed.

A benefit of sober living is that it starts you down the path of building interpersonal connections, and strengthens your daily regimen of activities to support your long-term recovery when you are no longer in a recovery residence. When people eventually move back home (or to their own independent living space), they can still benefit from all the support groups and the connectors they made without any fees that are associated with treatment in the sober living.

Only One Piece of the Puzzle

Sober living by itself should not be considered as a guarantee against relapse. However, it is clearly a beneficial and supportive element that is too often overlooked by those who have completed a short period of residential treatment or managed to obtain a period of sobriety on their own.

The benefits of participating in a sober living house include:

Our San Diego Sober Living Helps Men Stay Sober

Are you or somebody you love interested in a sober living in San Diego? Learn more about the options we offer by calling 760-216-2077.



As the world re-opens, many people are experiencing a range of emotions, from grief to excitement or fear. It’s an emotional time for everyone! After all, many people have felt isolated and lonely. There have been a lot of things we’ve all gone through as a result of the pandemic, and no two people’s pandemic experience was precisely the same. Now, many people are vaccinated and able to mingle in person again.

Staying sober as the world re-opens may be a challenge for people new to sobriety. It’s exciting, frightening, and a time to celebrate! But, unfortunately, all of the emotions also can be triggers to drink or use substances. So how can you make sure your re-opening experience is safe and sane?

Getting Plugged Back Into In-Person Recovery

Many parts of the US, including California, are having in-person 12-step meetings. Some meetings are even taking place outside when the weather is nice. So, as you resume your in-person way of life, getting into the groove of going to 12-step meetings in person is essential.

Recovery is the most crucial part of your life – the rest of it won’t stay together if you lose it. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your social life. Hang out with people who are sober and support your recovery. On the other hand, don’t give in to the temptation of re-connecting with old friends who may still be using drugs.

Avoid Triggering Situations

As the world re-opens, there will be more temptations than ever. This summer, it seems everyone is experiencing nostalgia. Many people had their favorite restaurants close or favorite businesses shutter. Things aren’t the same as they were in 2019, but they are certainly better than they were in 2021.

You may feel nostalgia is a good excuse to revisit old haunts, but that’s your disease talking. It’s not safe to seek out old people, places, or things related to your life when you were using drugs.

Make a plan to avoid triggering situations. If you’re feeling tempted to drink or use drugs, contact somebody in your support system or go straight to a 12-step meeting. Having a support system with other people in recovery can help you stay sober, even when you’re feeling bad.

Getting Help for Addiction

Do you or somebody you love need help with a substance use disorder? Recovery is possible! Reach out to get the help you need by contacting us at 619-363-4767.

When people want to get sober, one of the most pressing details is simply, “How?” Usually, individuals will require a detox period and other therapy while they’re getting their footing in recovery. Inpatient and outpatient treatment cost money, and most people who need treatment can have health insurance pay. So how does health insurance work for somebody who is trying to get sober? What expenses can you expect?

Does Health Insurance Cover Treatment?

Yes, every health insurance plan that is sold in America must provide mental health services. Substance use disorders fall into this category of medicine. Insurers must provide help for your addiction just as they would for any physical health ailment. It is illegal for them to deny care for a substance use disorder or another mental health diagnosis.


It’s important to note that your insurance company won’t cover treatment at places that charge outside of what is considered the “allowed amount.” If a place charges luxury spa prices, your insurance may tell you they won’t cover it. Charges need to be considered fair or average in the field and the geographic area. This is why it’s essential to make sure insurers cover your treatment center.

Some insurance companies have better benefits than others, especially when people have private insurance.

What’s Private Health Insurance?

Private insurance is also called group insurance, and an employer usually subsidizes it. Many people have healthcare benefits through their workplace or union and can add their family members.

Workplaces also sometimes have other benefits you can use to fund your treatment stay, such as medical savings accounts. The ACA rates different plans based on their copays and services.

Young people under the age of 26 can be added to their parent’s insurance, giving access to more healthcare choices in many cases.  

Health Insurance Market

Many people who have insurance purchase it through the Health Insurance Marketplace, established by the Affordable Care Act. The marketplace in California is called Covered California, and it offers many options for individuals and families. (You can sign up on the website to learn about open enrollment dates.) Licensed insurance agents in California can also help you select a plan.

If you don’t make enough money to pay for health insurance, there are subsidized plans, including Medicaid. You can get access to those benefits through Covered California as well.

How Much Will You Pay for Treatment?

The costs of treatment depend on various factors, including the benefits that your current healthcare plan will cover. Usually, you will pay copayments, which are charged per visit or day. You may also pay a certain amount out-of-pocket before your insurance begins to cover you.

The money you will pay will be broken down in different ways:

Many people spend more money on their healthcare plans so they can have a small deductible. Your insurance won’t cover things entirely until you have reached the deductible.

The cost of treatment may seem expensive until you see how much insurance pays. If you are under the age of 26, remember you have the option to be added to your parent’s healthcare plans. There are also many options for people who have subsidized healthcare.

Addiction is a chronic, life-threatening illness. Don't delay asking for help because you're worried about the costs. There are always options.

Getting Help With Treatment and Insurance Issues

Not every treatment center accepts insurance. Insurers will say that they only cover in-network providers or cover a portion of out-of-network expenses.

Calling around to find out if your insurance plan is accepted is a great first step to getting help.

We can answer your insurance questions and help you learn more about our programs. Please gives us a call to learn more!

What is essential to your success as a new person in recovery? Many people wonder what to expect during – and after – a treatment program. Asking for help is an essential first step to starting your recovery journey. What happens next?

Getting Sober in Detox

Getting sober is the first step toward recovery. Most people will need help getting sober due to the nature of their physical addiction. This is especially true for people addicted to opioids. A detox program can monitor physical withdrawal symptoms and provide support during the emotional roller coaster some people experience while getting sober.

Detox can help you be as comfortable as possible while you begin to plan your next steps in recovery. Support and guidance offered by a therapeutic environment can help you focus on your goal of getting and staying sober.

You will also learn more about addiction and the steps you need to take to recover from it.

Treatment and Therapy

After detox, most people will benefit from an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. In treatment, you will learn about your addiction. You’ll also learn more about your triggers and work through other issues that are part of your addiction.

Being open-minded to new ideas and willing to take suggestions is important. Staying sober can be hard, but the work is well worth it. As time goes on you'll learn new ways of dealing with situations and a new perspective.

You’ll experience one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and peer support groups like 12-step programs. Through these experiences, you’ll learn critical coping skills. You’ll also learn more about how to stay sober a day at a time.

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. You'll have ups and downs, and you'll learn to reclaim your life.

Staying Sober Beyond Treatment

What happens when you finish treatment for a substance use disorder? Many people worry about life after treatment because so much has changed. Once you’ve moved on from daily therapy, staying sober is a priority. Without it, there is a lot you can lose in the blink of an eye. Addiction is a disease and you'll need to recover from it long-term.

Most treatment programs offer help when you’re closing in on your graduation date. Completing an inpatient or outpatient program doesn’t mean you’re done with recovery. Instead, you’ll be able to use graduation as a springboard towards other goals. 12-step programs can be essential medicine for their substance use disorder. Working the 12 steps and finding a support network can help you prevent relapse and continue healing your life.

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. No individual journey is the same, but many people benefit from the same tools and share everyday experiences. Early recovery is an exciting time. You’ll begin to feel your thoughts clear and begin to make new goals and milestones. Maintaining your motivation and keeping your disease in check is essential for you to stay on course. Enjoy the journey! Make use of the tools you've acquired in treatment and 12-step rooms.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love is struggling with addiction, help is available! We’re here to answer any questions you may have about our programs. All calls are confidential! Call us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

If you or somebody you love are new to recovery from addiction, you probably have some questions. The most basic questions usually are about recovery itself. How does recovery work? What does recovery mean in terms of the individual and their future?

Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. Usually, it means that a person is beginning to heal their life and leave their addiction behind. Usually, a person gets clean and sober before they begin a treatment program. Sometimes this means they go to a detox program then inpatient treatment. However, there are also outpatient options available for many people.

Most people are in recovery from addiction because they want to stay clean and sober. Addiction can take a great toll on a person’s health, mental health, and relationships. Improving your life, repairing relationships, and picking up the pieces, are also a part of the recovery process.

Addiction, like diabetes, or depression, is a disease or disorder. To recover from a substance use disorder, continuous abstinence is a goal.

New Life Skills in Treatment Recovery

Most people find that time in treatment helps them build a solid recovery foundation. For many people new to recovery, it’s hard to imagine coping with life’s challenges without using drugs. Yet, millions of people in recovery learn new tools that help them stay sober. Treatment is where you’ll learn the basics of healing and learn to overcome some of your obstacles to success.

Gaining new life skills means that you first need to understand your addiction. What triggers you to get high? What situations do you need help coping with? You will also learn about how to cope with triggers that typically can cause relapse.

In treatment, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You’ll also learn to live life on its terms without the use of substances. Through therapy, support groups, and other guidance, you’ll learn new life skills that help you stay sober in the long term.

The journey to recovery usually starts in treatment or detox, but it is a lifelong journey.

12-Step Programs and Recovery

Many people in recovery find that 12-step programs offer them the support and structure they need to begin healing the damage of addiction. The 12 steps of recovery help people learn to rebuild their lives and repair relationships.

Staying sober requires support and open-mindedness. Sometimes the most challenging part of sobriety is the first step when a person asks for help. Admitting you have a problem and need help can be scary, yet it’s the first step to getting better and starting a new journey. Once you’ve finished treatment, 12-step members can provide an essential lifeline to sanity and sobriety in the long term.

Recovery is Here When You’re Ready

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until you hit rock bottom to get clean and sober. If you or somebody you love wants to stop using substances and needs help, we're here to help. Give us a call to learn more about our programs and how we can help.

You deserve to reclaim your life, give yourself a chance by calling us to learn more about your options. Reach out at 619-363-4767 to learn more about your options.

Many people understand that alcohol is addictive. While some people can binge drink every once in a while, others have a compulsion to continue drinking no matter what. Alcohol use disorder, once called alcoholism, has been a confusing disease to study.

How Alcohol Affects the Brain

Why do some people who abuse alcohol can quit easily, while other people are driven to continue drinking no matter what? Science and psychiatry have been searching for a definitive answer for years. The disease model has been proven in many small ways.

We know for sure that people with addictions have changes in the brain. For one thing, when people drink, the brain releases dopamine, a "feel-good" neurotransmitter. Dopamine, in essence, is the pleasure center of your brain. When you drink, your brain also releases serotonin, another neurotransmitter. Seratonin can cause a numbing, feel-good effect as well.

The Discovery of THIQ

Research by a medical scientist named Virginia Davis introduced more evidence for the disease model of alcoholism when she discovered THIQ in alcohol-addicted brains. The chemic THIQ, also known as tetrahydroisoquinoline or THIQ, typically was a byproduct of heroin use. As heroin breaks down in the system, it creates THIQ.

Ms. Davis was researching the human brain and cancer. For her studies, she often researched using the brains of homeless people who were usually alcoholics. (This was the 1970's, and she would get access to corpses of these men and women soon after death. Laws about such things were different back then!)

One day, when researching the brain's chemicals, she discovered that the alcoholics had a chemical in their brain that had previously only been seen in heroin addicts. When she mentioned this to her colleagues, they laughed at the idea. Most of these corpses were "skid row" drinkers, and there was no way they could afford a heroin habit as well. Yet there they were, with a chemical that previously had only been manufactured by the brain when a person was on heroin.

THIQ and Alcohol Addiction

Today, we now know that people with opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder have chemical reactions in the brain that make them addicted. It's also true that not everyone has these chemical reactions in their brains. Science hasn't yet discovered why one person may become addicted, and another can use alcohol or even binge drink and then walk away.

While science is still looking for a genetic cause, the fact of the matter is that recovery is possible no matter the mechanism of becoming addicted.

While your brain may be chemically addicted to alcohol, it's possible to detox, get, and stay sober. Recovery is possible no matter who you are or how much you drank.

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or somebody you care about has an alcohol problem, help is available. Recovery is a journey that starts with reaching out and admitting you need help. Together, we can plan your treatment and help you get started. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 to learn more about how we can help!


Marijuana is taking the country by a frenzy. While we're far from the days of scare-tactic movies warning that marijuana will turn people into maniacs, weed is a serious issue for law enforcement and the addiction community. While the marijuana of the 1970s had a small THC concentration, the drug that gets people high, today's drugs are much more potent.

People on the drug are more likely to be impaired or have a substance use disorder.

Weed Seems to Be Everywhere

We're a new nation of marijuana. The drug has seemed to become a novelty over the past few years. Some 60% or more Americans favor decriminalizing it. Some people want it as available as beer or vodka. However, the truth of the matter is most marijuana consumption is illegal across the US. California and the West Coast states are where its sale and use are most prolific outside of Colorado. However, more states are jumping on board with recreational use due to the influx of tax dollars it can bring.

When we once saw billboards advertising beers and wines, there are now ads everywhere the liquor stores once used; states with legalized recreational marijuana now sell their own drugs and wares. Not only is marijuana use more prolific in America, but it's also now a drug that can be eaten, smoked, turned into tincture, turned into hash…and more. There are extracts on the market meant for smoking in a small pipe with up to 70% THC, enough to make a user seriously impaired. This could lead to blackouts or hallucinations, especially if a less-experienced user were to use it.

Because of these high THC concentrations, experts agree that today's marijuana products are likely more addictive than the street drug everyone thinks of when they talk of weed. However, with little regulation or research, it seems society's focus is legalization rather than examining the consequences.

Are You Addicted to Marijuana?

Yes, you can be addicted to marijuana.  If you have trouble quitting on your own even though you've had adverse consequences from your use, you may have a substance use disorder. Many people addicted to weed lose jobs, have relationship trouble, legal, or financial trouble due to their substance use.

Withdrawal effects are also a consequence of addiction to a drug. Many long-term users describe how they feel when they can't get high for a while. Headaches, lethargy, and sleep disturbances are the most common withdrawal effects, and they can last a few weeks. Some people who are heavy smokers of the drug may cough a lot when they quit smoking.

Getting Help for Substance Use Disorder

If you or somebody you love has a problem with alcohol or drugs, there's help available. We offer a compassionate, professional environment to help you heal from your substance use and start the road to recovery. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767 for more information on how we can help.

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