What to Do After Drug Treatment Is Complete

What to do after drug treatment is complete

You’ve just finished rehab and the whole world is laid out before you.

What do you do?

Are you truly ready?

Are you overwhelmed? Scared? Excited?

All of the above?

Completing your program is a monumental moment. Truly a grand achievement. What you do after drug treatment though is what makes the difference in the long run.

Truth is, to some degree you will feel prepared to take on the world because part of your treatment program is dedicated to life after rehab. You may be nervous, which is normal, but you won’t be going into the unknown without thorough preparation.

Moreover, there are plenty of positive and affirmative steps you can take to ensure you stay the course.

Steps to Take to Maintain Addiction Recovery After Drug Treatment Is Complete

Recovery, as you well know by now, is a lifelong endeavor. Just because your inpatient treatment or outpatient care is finished, it doesn’t mean you can stop paying attention or ease up on actively working to maintain your sobriety.

Here are a handful of steps that make the journey easier:

Join a Support Group

Whether it’s a 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or something without the religious angle like SMART Recovery, a support group can be a gamechanger and a lifesaver.

Being surrounded by people who genuinely understand you and have been in your shoes makes a big difference. You all are working through the same things together and there’s power and inspiration to be found in that.

Not to mention the built-in accountability that comes with connecting with those in your support group.

Create a Group of Sober Friends

Speaking of connection, it’s important to develop a sober group of friends.

It can be folks you meet in your support group or through new activities you’ve taken up, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the people you choose to spend time with don’t default to drugs or alcohol in their free time.

Identify Your Triggers and Manage Stressors

In treatment, you’re in something of a stress-free bubble and you’re active in pushing back against triggers. Back in your real life, you need to stay vigilant – actually, be even more vigilant – and identify people, places, and things that could trigger you to use them.

Once you’ve identified them you can work on managing those stressors and developing a plan of action to cope.

Recognize Warnings of a Relapse

This is more or less a continuation of the previous step, once you know what can trigger you or stress you out, you can use it to recognize the signs of a potential relapse. The more aware you are of these things, the more you can quickly react to the warnings of relapse and remove yourself from the situation.

Develop New Habits and Find Activities That You Find Meaningful 

To maintain sobriety, you ultimately need to find meaningful ways to spend your time. The more meaning you can derive from whatever you fill your day with – the people, the events, the places, the hobbies, everything – the better.

Keep a Schedule

They say idle hands are the devil’s playthings, which is to say that if you have nothing to do, you’re more likely to get yourself into trouble, especially if you’re recovering from addiction.

Keeping a schedule and making it a full one is an easy thing you can do to keep your mind and body occupied and away from thoughts of substance use.

Celebrate Your Sobriety Achievements 

Regularly acknowledge how far you’ve come!

Celebrating wins is so psychologically gratifying and it gives you a chance to reflect on how far you’ve come. Better yet, celebrate in your support group and be an example for others to follow because helping others truly does help you too.

If you’re unsure about how to handle life after rehab or would like to learn even more steps you can take, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity.

Knowing When It’s Time to Find a Drug Rehab for Young Adults

Knowing When It’s Time to Find a Drug Rehab for young adults

Our teenage years are formative in so many ways; they help shape us, serving to define our interests more finely and determine our likes & dislikes. The young adult years are when we lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

It’s an invigorating and exploratory time in any person’s life.

It’s also a time of experimentation and increasing independence which is no doubt a cause for concern for all parents around the world.

This is a period in life when your son or daughter will encounter and perhaps even try drugs and/or alcohol for the first time and the statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) bear that out:

  • By 12th grade, nearly half of teens, 46.6%, will have tried illicit drugs
  • 43.7% will have tried marijuana by 12th grade
  • Almost 2/3rds, 61.5%, reported trying alcohol by their senior year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1/10th of all alcohol consumed in the United States is by people aged 12 to 20 years old. That’s 10%.

Whether it’s curiosity, peer pressure, coping with stress or another reason, experimentation doesn’t necessarily mean addiction or dependency. There are so many tough parts of parenting and knowing when to make that call about substances is among the hardest.

Fortunately, there are signs you can look for to know when things have gotten out of hand.

Signs Your Teen Is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Addiction isn’t something that happens overnight, it may seem that way but in actuality, it builds over time presenting many symptoms along the way which can be broken down into physical and behavioral components.

Physical Signs of Addiction 

  • Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
  • Itching
  • Sniffling
  • Injection marks
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Changes in skin color, pallor
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Atypical or unusual body odors
  • Issues with sleeping, getting either too much or too little
  • Poor hygiene
  • Looking generally unkempt and increasingly disregarding physical appearance


Behavioral Signs of Addiction 

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Depression
  • Lethargy and lack of motivation
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Paranoia
  • Lying
  • Borrowing money
  • Change in habits and more secretive about what they’re doing
  • Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
  • Engaging in more dangerous, risky and possibly even criminal activity
  • Missing curfew
  • Neglecting responsibilities at school or work

If you’re noticing more and more of these signs and symptoms, it very well could be time for you to consider drug rehab for young adults. There’s no harm in learning more about how rehab can help and seeking information from experts on the next steps to take.

How a Drug Rehab for Young Adults Can Help Your Teen Find Recovery

Once you’ve identified a potential issue with drugs or alcohol, it’s time to seek solutions and among the best options available to you and your teen is rehab.


Because that’s the sole purpose of it; it’s dedicated and specialized treatment for addiction under the care and guidance of trained and licensed professionals.

Your inclination as a parent might be to scold your kid, get angry and confrontational about their drug or alcohol use. That’s just not helpful though because addiction is a disorder of the mind and that type of reaction could have the opposite effect and further cement their behavior.

It’s worth defining addiction here to understand another reason how rehab, in particular, can be incredibly helpful. According to NIDA, addiction is “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control”.

There’s more to undoing that than just a stern talking-to.

Rehab allows your teen to work through the issues that led them to substances in the first place and equips them with new tools and coping mechanisms to be able to overcome those same situations in the future, but in a healthy way.

If you’re worried about your child, give us a call at Footprints of Serenity and we can help you find the treatment option that’s right for them. 

What Are the Alternatives to 12 Step Programs in Addiction Recovery?

What are the alternatives to 12 step programs in addiction recovery?

12 step programs and addiction recovery seem like they go hand in hand, to the point that you almost might think it’s required to be a part of one in order to successfully stay sober.

Developed and started by Alcoholics Anonymous well over half a century ago, the twelve steps have truly been revelatory for many and have indeed helped countless men and women, millions over the years, stick with their recovery.

That said, it’s not ideal for everyone and that’s fair enough. Not everyone likes the same flavor of ice cream, after all. Certain aspects might not click for each person in recovery, the religious and spiritual parts of it, for example, may turn people off. Another big factor that may strike people as negative, or that they object to, is that 12 step programs require an admittance that you’re powerless over addiction (it’s the first of the steps).

Again, that’s not to say AA isn’t a fine program for some. 

Fortunately, there are alternatives to 12 step programs for those that are seeking them.

SMART Recovery

Whereas the 12 steps have a higher power at the core, SMART Recovery is rooted in science. An acronym, SMART stands for “Self-Management And Recovery Training” and, like AA or NA, is a global community of support groups.

Rather than 12 steps, SMART operates on a 4-point program:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
  4. Living a Balanced Life

They add, “our science-based approach emphasizes self-empowerment and self-reliance. There’s no lifetime commitment; you decide when the time is right to move on. You choose how to personalize your own plan for successful change”.

Refuge Recovery

While Refuge Recovery is inspired and informed by Buddhist ideas, it’s a non-theistic program. Moreover, you don’t have to be well versed in Buddhism, or know it at all, to get the benefits of what they offer.

Refuge Recovery is rooted in the idea that “Buddhists commit to the path of awakening by taking refuge in three things: awakening (Buddha), truth (Dharma), and community (Sangha)”.

Additionally, it incorporates the Buddhist concepts of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Four Noble Truths

  1. Addiction creates suffering
  2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving
  3. Recovery is possible
  4. The path to recovery is available

Eightfold Path

  1. Understanding
  2. Intentions
  3. Speech/community
  4. Actions
  5. Livelihood/service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Concentration

The recovery program includes meetings, meditation, mentorship, and retreats.

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Some rehabs are fully committed to the 12 step cause, and that’s OK. If the ideology and principles of the 12 step program don’t gel with thought, you don’t have to go to a rehab where that’s the cornerstone, quite frankly.

The point of rehab is to do what works best for you.

If you’re uncomfortable with any part of it, it stands to reason that you’ll be reluctant to commit wholeheartedly because of that inherent skepticism. Without total commitment, whatever program you choose won’t be nearly as effective. It can’t be.

Non 12 step rehabs, like their 12 step counterparts, start with detox and from there move into evidence-based approaches to treatment that are personalized to your particular needs.

These mainly focus on various types of psychotherapy or talk therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with the aim being to get to the root cause of why you started using substances in the first place. The emphasis is on empowering you to change your way of thinking and behavior rather than the notion that overcoming addiction is beyond your reach or control.

If you’re on the fence about 12 steps or non 12 step options, give us a call at Footprints of Serenity and we can talk you through them both in more depth.

Find a Drug Addiction Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Today

How to find a Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles near me

Addiction is stubborn.

That’s sort of an obvious statement but it’s true nonetheless and a core reason why many who need treatment, don’t seek it.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out;

  • In 2015, an estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. This number represents 10.8 percent of the 21.7 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year.
  • Among the estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older who were classified as needing but not receiving substance use treatment at a specialty facility, about 18.4 million or 95.4 percent did not think that they needed treatment in the past year for their substance use.

In other words, only around 11% of people sought rehab. As you see, addiction is stubborn.

What can be done then to help get your loved one the treatment they so clearly need?

An intervention.

What Is a Drug Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

It involves several respected and loved people close to the addict gathering to confront a person, in a non-threatening and non-aggressive way, to lay bare the depths of suffering that their addiction is causing themselves and their friends and family.

The idea is to hold a mirror to drug use and show them the effects. Similar to the  TV show “Intervention”, you won’t want to let your loved one know about the intervention beforehand. If they do know about it, they most likely won’t want to attend or will go into it with their guard up.

The goal is to get them to commit to receiving help in the form of rehab and to that end, another critical element is the consequences and ultimatums that must be followed through on should your loved one refuse treatment.

How an Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Will Help Your Loved One Get Sober

An intervention isn’t just having a quick chat, suggesting rehab, having your loved ones accept, and dropping them off.

As you most likely know very well by this point, it’s hard to convince someone who doesn’t think they have a problem to fix it. There can be rampant denialism that’s wrapped up in addiction and often discussions about drug use become contentious, accusatory, and ultimately counterproductive. Serving only to further cement the use of drugs or alcohol.

Therefore, attempting an intervention without professional guidance is generally asking for trouble.

A trained interventionist understands this and works with you and the rest of those who will be participating in the intervention to develop a plan of action. In fact, they’ll help you form the most effective and convincing “team” with which to confront your loved one.

Once in preparation, you may find you don’t know exactly what to say, an experienced interventionist can assist you in developing the messaging that will truly connect and hit home, as well as help you create meaningful consequences if they refuse care.

Additionally, there’s the important task of making arrangements with a treatment center. An interventionist can ensure you cover all the bases in finding one that truly is a good fit for your family member or friend. 

Most importantly, they’ll be there on the day of the intervention to guide and lead it. It can be a tense, overwhelming and fraught meeting and for those who are unprepared for the torrent of emotions or haven’t been through it before – which is almost everyone – it can be hard to get through. 

Let Footprints of Serenity Guide You Through the Intervention Process

Working with someone who’s been there many times before, an intervention specialist in Los Angeles, means you can rely on their steady guidance to get everyone through it and with maximum impact.

If you think your loved one may be at the breaking point and that an intervention could be effective, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity to learn more.


Heroin Interventions: Tactics and Approaches

Heroin Interventions: Tactics and Approaches

Watching a loved one suffer from heroin addiction, or addiction to any substance, is a wrenching and crushing thing to bear witness to. There’s a certain helplessness that comes with it because it feels totally out of your control.

Heroin is an opioid so make no mistake, it’s no easy task for someone who’s using to just up and quit on their own.

We all know the horrors of the ongoing opioid epidemic and the staggering death toll from 1999 to 2018 brings it into stark relief. Around 450,000 Americans died in that stretch and with respect to heroin specifically, more than 115,000 died from overdoses related to it in that nearly 20-year time span. 

In 2017 alone, 652,000 people suffered from a heroin use disorder in the United States.

The potency and highly addictive nature of the drug means heroin is something that very quickly takes over and lays waste to a person’s life. 

And while the ultimate choice of committing to rehab boils down to the user reaching a tipping point, or to put it more bluntly, hitting rock bottom, there are things that you can do. Things that remain in your control.

A particularly powerful option, that’s far more proactive rather than reactive, is staging an intervention.

It’s an intimidating thought, no doubt, but it’s not something you need to handle on your own. More on that in a moment though.

What Is an Intervention?

There may be many ways to organize an intervention but the overarching theme is that an intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The overall objective of an intervention is to confront a person in a non-threatening way, allowing them to see their self-destructive behavior, and how they affect themselves, family and friends.

The sheer gravity and weight of turning a mirror on someone’s behavior, especially when the people holding the mirror are their closest family and friends, can’t be understated. For that reason alone, an intervention can be an extremely persuasive and potent motivator to finally nudge someone enough to get the help they well and truly need.

How to Stage A Heroin Intervention

Staging any intervention, let alone a heroin intervention, takes careful thought and planning. Something like this can’t be thrown together haphazardly or at the last minute. Doing so is a surefire way to diminish the effectiveness of the process.

So, everything starts with a plan and contacting a professional interventionist makes things easier by leaps and bounds. You’re already consumed with the state of your loved one and juggling the ins and outs of an intervention is another heavy burden to add to your shoulders. A specialist can help immeasurably.

From here you’d get the intervention team together, i.e., who is going to participate in the intervention itself. You’ll discuss the specifics of time and place as well as making sure you have the structure of the day itself cemented.

One of the more difficult aspects of the planning phase, if not the most difficult part, is coming up with consequences. These ultimatums can be genuinely heart wrenching to even ponder because they’re quite literally the last thing you’d want to do. Unfortunately, for an intervention to achieve its desired result, which is getting your loved one into treatment, there needs to be real, set in stone and tangible consequences to declining treatment.

Get Help With an Intervention Today

Staging an intervention is something no one dreams of doing, it’s a stressful and tough process but the circumstances dictate our action and sometimes an intervention is the best course to take if you’ve exhausted all other options. In the end, the goal is always to get your brother, mother, sister, father or friend on the path to recovery and free them from the shackles of addiction.

At Footprints of Serenity, we can help you and your family through the entire process, from planning to the intervention itself and through to family aftercare. Give us a call and let us know how we can assist you.

What Is a Substance Abuse Disorder?

what is substance abuse

What is a substance use disorder? And how can I get help if I think I’m struggling with one? Here at the Footprints of Serenity, we feel it’s important to educate the public on what a substance use disorder is and how to treat one. Substance use disorders are often thought of as a lack of self control, which isn’t true. Addiction and substance use disorders go beyond the scope of “being lazy” or not wanting to stop just because. 


Substance Use Disorder Definition

According to the National Institute of Health, a substance can be defined as any type of psychoactive compound. This substance can cause health and social problems that include addiction (NIH). The substance can be legal such as alcohol, nicotine, tobacco, or illegal such as  cocaine, cannabinoids, heroin, etc. The substance can also be controlled which basically means prescribed for medical purposes (such as vicodin, oxycontin, benzodiazepines, etc.). 

Any of these substances, including many more, can be used in high doses and inappropriately, which can lead to different health and social problems. This misuse of these substances can be repeated in higher doses, and can cause all kinds of problems and diagnosable illnesses. This is called substance use disorder. Substance abuse disorder is when an individual misuses a substance to the point where it becomes an addiction with health consequences.  


Different Types of Substance Use Disorders

There are many different types of substance use disorders that stem from many different substances. Substance abuse can contribute to co-occurring disorders, substance-induced disorders, and much more. According to the National Institute of Health, there are toxic effects that stem from substances which can mimic mental illness, so it is difficult to distinguish substance abuse from mental illness at some points. Below we have provided some of the substances and how they contribute to substance abuse disorder.


  • Alcohol – Individuals who suffer from alcohol abuse experience things such as euphoria, decreased impulse control, and even increase social confidence. Some of these symptoms may seem to be “hypomanic” (NIH). But these hypomanic symptoms are often followed with things such as fatigue, nausea, and a hangover (otherwise known as dysphoria) (NIH). As time goes on the addiction will get worse and will lead to agitation, anxiety, hyperreflexia, violence, and so much more.
  • Caffeine – Although caffeine isn’t the worst thing to be addicted to, when consumed in large quantities it can cause mild to moderate anxiety. Caffeine can also cause a number of panic attacks in individuals who are predisposed to them (NIH).
  • Cocaine and Amphetamines – At first these drugs may help an individual to experience things such as euphoria, a sense of well-being, and even increased thought or strength. But as time moves on and doses increase, the chance of dangerous impulsive behaviors increase as well (NIH). These dangerous behaviors include things such as violence, promiscuous sexual activity, and temporary paranoid delusional states.
  • Hallucinogens – These drugs help individuals to produce visual distortions and hallucinations. Hallucinogens are also associated with drug-induced panic, delusional states, and paranoia. Individuals who partake in hallucinogens may also experience chronic disorders and reactions such as, depression, exacerbation of pre-existing mental disorders, and flashbacks (NIH).
  • Opioids – At first opioids can cause an intense euphoria and sense of well-being. As a drug gets more and more abused individuals will experience things such as severe body aches, agitation, gastrointestinal systems, cravings, and dysphoria (NIH).
  • Nicotine – individuals who seem to be dependent on nicotine are more likely to experience depression than those who are not addicted to it (NIH). Although correlation doesn’t equal causation.


The above mentioned are a few of the substances that can be misused and abused. However this does not mean that an individual can not overcome these substances. Substance use disorder is most certainly treatable. It is important to be positive and remember that these substances are not who you are. Anyone can overcome something as long as they put in the effort and are willing to get better and to succeed in the process. Remember that recovery is not an end point but it is a lifelong journey that leads to so much more satisfaction.


How to Get Help With a Substance Use Disorder

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for a substance use disorder treatment. There has been evidence that shows that some people have a genetic predisposition to substance abuse disorders, co-occurring disorders, and mental health disorders. Some individuals’ environment gives them a higher risk for substance disorders as well. 


It’s important that those suffering from substance use disorders receive treatment as soon as possible. It is also important that these individuals have a secure and healthy support system. There are support groups not only for individuals but also for the whole family, this may improve the treatment effectiveness because every family member is supporting this person while being on the same level as this person. It is important for friends and family members to connect with the individual who is suffering from a substance use disorder, and help them to get treatment and to stay sober. Finding treatment is crucial within the recovery process. There are many different treatments that an individual can go through including inpatient and outpatient treatment.


Let Footprints of Serenity Help You

Reach out to use today at  Footprints of Serenity for more information regarding substance use disorder. Were dedicated to helping any and all suffering from addiction. Our staff is a team of experts who understand the ins and outs of addiction. Our services include drug interventions, recovery companion, recovery coach, relapse prevention, detox placement, and more. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we’re here to help.

Is Addiction Accurately Portrayed on TV?

addiction depicted on TV

There have been many depictions of addictions throughout the media and on screen, but do these depictions of addiction portray addiction accurately? Or is it depiction watered down/over exaggerated? Here at Footprints of Serenity, we look into addiction and see how the media portrays addiction versus how addiction actually is within individuals. 


How Is Addiction Portrayed on TV?

In researching different TV shows, there seems to be a common theme when it comes to the descriptions of addiction and addicts. Within these shows there seems to be so much despair and deterioration between not only the individual’s livelihood, but also the relationships that they have with other people. The addiction then becomes very stereotypical and to the audience, seems very noticeable, so much so that the other characters within the show should clearly notice. 

The addict’s characteristics are very stereotypical as well, including being portrayed as liars, stealers, and even bad parents. In the way that the media portrays substance abuse and addiction, some recovering addicts may be ashamed to tell their story or to admit they need help. This is because a lot of the tv shows and media are making addicts seem less than, and nothing but crazy people, that will do anything to get the thing that they desire. This of course, isn’t always the case and more frequently than not, addicts are people that are pretty normal but are experiencing a problem. 


TV Shows Addressing Addiction

  • HBO’s Euphoria – Euphoria has been praised for its raw depictions of mental health, substance abuse, and addiction. This show is about a young high school girl who struggles with the pressures of high school and managing her co-occurring disorders. 
  • NBC’s This Is Us – This Is Us has been praised for its honest and emotional depictions of many sensitive topics. Two of the issues that they continually bring to light are mental health disorders and addiction. One of the actors within this show portrays an opioid addiction, which stemmed from his growing problem with depression. An interview done by ABC with Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson on This is Us, discusses his portrayal of addiction, “I wanted to make sure that we told a story that was honest and true, especially because this is something that people deal with a lot… It’s very dangerous. You can lose your wealth, you can lose your friends, you can lose your trust, you can lose your dignity, you can lose everything. We didn’t want to just tell a drug story real quick and then just wrap it up in a bow.” This portrayal is a real experience that some addicts tend to have. 
  • Showtime’s Shameless – Shameless has been known to sort of be a mixture of comedy and drama. This show follows a family called the Gallagher’s who, throughout the history of the show, all struggle with some sort of addiction. This show seems to have very stereotypical addicts, especially in regards to the mother and the father who are both considered “bad parents.”
  • A&E’s Addiction Unplugged – A&E’s Addiction Unplugged is a documentary series that aims to fight the stigma that is associated with addiction, substance abuse disorders, and recovery. This documentary series tries to shed light on the reality of substance abuse and the process of recovery. Its aim is to show how hope and second chances can change lives. 


How Can Footprints of Serenity Help With Addiction?

Here at Footprints of Serenity, we use many different resources to help with individualized unique treatment paths for each of our clients. We want to make recovery and sobriety as easy as possible for our clients and help each of our clients feel comfortable while doing so. We provide interventions, recovery coaches, and we also help with outside support. Reach out to us today to receive the help that you deserve in an individualized manner that will meet your specific needs.

The Financial Side Of Addiction

What is Addiction?

Addiction is all-consuming, “I love you more than my home, parents, wife, children, and job” need.  People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.

Although there are many forms of addiction, the two most common are drugs and alcohol. Addiction starts out somewhat subtle and progressively gets worse. Generally speaking, someone doesn’t wake up one day randomly and is addicted to heroin. They may start taking pain killers, then start to build a tolerance and buy them illegally. Soon enough they can no longer afford to buy prescription pills and turn to a more affordable opioid, such as heroin. 

How Addiction Affects Finances

Addiction directly affects the finances of the drug user and the people around them. Drugs and alcohol cost money. The more of a substance someone abuses, the more they have to spend to sustain the habit. Addicts will spend all of their money and then often resort to borrowing or stealing money from someone else. 

Spending Own Money

If someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is able to maintain employment, they’ll have money to buy substances. Since this person is making their own money they feel they can spend it however they please. What they don’t realize is in their altered state of mind, not only are they wasting money, they probably are spending all of their money on drugs or alcohol. It’s common for addicts to get into debt because while all of their money is being spent on drugs, they still need to feed themselves and buy things like gas for their car. 

When Their Money’s Gone

When someone is deeply addicted to drugs, it’s nearly impossible to work. Eventually, drug users will quit or get fired from their job. They’ll run out of money of their own and not know what to do next. Since the cravings to use drugs are so powerful nothing else feels like it matters, it’s common for drug users to steal from loved ones.

Stealing money from loved ones becomes just another way to sustain the addiction. They can reach a point where they feel like they have nothing left and nothing to lose. As a friend, family member, or loved one, it’s easy to get upset but important to remember that this person isn’t stealing to be malicious, they’re just so desperate to get high that they’ll do anything it takes.

Repairing What’s Broken

Personal finances are overwhelming regardless if you’re a drug addict or not. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol and in a bad place financially, the best thing to do is treat your addiction. It’s nearly impossible to repair your financial situation if you’re still using drugs or alcohol. At Footprints of Serenity, we can help you get your life back and become financially independent. Contact us today!


When Your Family Member Is Struggling With Addiction… What To Do:

Drug addiction is a terrible disease that can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle, and often leads people into a downward spiral that is hard to get out of. This leaves them feeling hopeless which can lead to further decline.

The statistics and effects of drug and alcohol addiction are astounding.

Terrifying Statistics:

The statistics on drug and alcohol addiction should be a major concern to all of us. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 19.7 million people in the U.S. have been struggling with abuse issues as of the report which was released in 2017. The report further states that:

  • Of those suffering from substance abuse, 74 percent are suffering from alcohol abuse; 38 percent are struggling from illegal drugs.
  • Nearly 1 out of 8 adults are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse at the same time.
  • Many people, up to 8.5 million in the U.S. suffered from mental illness at the same time as their alcohol and drug addiction.
  • The use of opioids has also continued to increase. Each day, at least 130 people in the U.S die as a result of opioid addiction and death.

The Cost of Addiction:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that drug addiction is very costly, the use of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal drugs cost over $740 billion in our Nation each year due to lost productivity, healthcare costs and other costs incurred due to crime. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has chronicled the “economic burden” the U.S. is experiencing due to opioid addiction issues. The combined cost of healthcare costs, lost productivity, treatment programs and crimes associated with opioid abuse exceeds $78 billion each year. This number is expected to go up along with an increased incidence of opioid addiction.

It’s Never too Late For Treatment:

When it comes to substance abuse, it affects more than just the addict. It affects friends, families, co-workers, and others involved in the addicts’ life. Often, the addicted individual doesn’t recognize the severity of their addiction or the effect it has on loved ones. In this case, friends and family members often need to take things into their own hands and look for addiction treatment options.

Often the first course of action is having an intervention. This is a gathering of people that the addict loves and respects who present their feelings in a non-threatening manner, hoping the addict recognizes they need help.

Family members and friends play a critical role in helping the addict recognize their problem, finding the right recovery resources and be a support system during their recovery.

Steps to Recovery:

As stated, often the first step in recovery is conducting an intervention.


· The goal of an intervention is to encourage the addict to get into treatment. This should be done in a loving way and not placing blame on the addict or others. 

· Encourage the addict to accept responsibility for their actions so they are ready to take the next step in the recovery process.

· Family members should do their best to not distance themselves from the addict, enable them or blame themselves. They need to be supportive and show love and support.

· Do not unwittingly support the addict by providing a place to stay, paying their bills or giving them money.

· Conduct the intervention before the addict hits rock bottom, address the issue as soon as a problem presents itself and before it is too late.

· Work with professionals that understand what your loved one needs to begin traveling down the road to recovery

Other Addiction Treatment Services:

Depending on the health of the addict, their drug of choice and the severity of their addiction, the addiction specialist may also use other treatments such as:

· Individual health assessments

· Recovery coaching and assigning a recovery companion

· Develop a treatment plan and addiction counseling

· Detox treatment at home or at a facility, as needed

· Transportation to/from a facility

· Relapse prevention plan

Footprints of Serenity:

A great option for those focusing on recovery is Footprints of Serenity. Located in North Hollywood, Footprints of Serenity will provide the support the addict and family needs during this difficult time.  They will assess the addict, assign a caseworker and develop a plan to successfully achieve recovery.

Footprints of Serenity have a confidential client list so all treatment modalities will be private. They provide support to not only the addict but to family and friends as well, so they can provide support during the recovery phase and thereafter.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, contact us today at 213- 807-6327.

5 Signs & Symptoms of Drug Abuse

signs and symptoms of drug abuse

Drug abuse and addiction are some of the biggest challenges facing the modern healthcare system today. Despite the tremendous amount of research that has been done in these fields, drug abuse and addiction continue to tear countless families apart. For this reason, it is important for everyone to know the signs of addiction. The earlier that someone can spot the signs that someone is having trouble, the sooner addiction treatment can begin. This can make a tremendous difference in someone’s recovery process. With this goal in mind, there are a few common signs that everyone should remain on the lookout for.

1. Taking a Medication When it is No Longer Needed

The first sign that people need to watch for is someone who continues to take a drug or medication after it is no longer needed. Even though recreational drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, get a lot of attention, some of the most commonly abused medications are actually prescription drugs. These drugs are often prescribed for a short period of time following a surgical procedure or injury for pain control purposes. After someone has healed, he or she may continue to take these medications. This is a sign that addiction is forming. He or she is taking a medication that is not needed because he or she might be addicted to it. Anyone who is engaging in this behavior might be suffering from drug abuse.

2. Physical Sign of Drug Abuse: Development of Tolerance While Taking a Medication

Another common sign of drug abuse is something called tolerance. If someone has developed a tolerance, he or she needs to take more of a substance to experience the same effects. One of the reasons why these medications are so addictive is the effects that they produce. Some medications can cause someone to feel high, which is a feeling of euphoria. This feeling can be addictive. As a result, people will chase it, even if it means taking more of a drug a van was previously needed. Tolerance is one of the marquee sign that someone has developed a problem and drug abuse. Anyone who is taking more and more of a substance to achieve the same effects may have a problem with addiction.

3. Disruption of One’s Personal and Professional Life

Next, those who have developed a problem or drug abuse often disrupt their personal and professional lives in tremendous ways in an effort to obtain more of a substance. This substance becomes their primary focus. People will steal from family members and friends in an effort to get enough money to purchase more of the drug. In addition, people will often skip out on work obligations to acquire more of the addictive substance. This can lead to serious employment problems which only further strain relationships with family members and friends. If drugs rise to the top of someone’s priority list, this is a marquee sign of drug addiction. 

4. Losing Interest in Activities

Those who have developed a drug addiction will also lose interest in the activities that once brought a lot of enjoyment. So of the most common hobbies that people have include music, sports, and hanging out with friends. Those who have developed a problem with addiction more often put all of these to the side and effort to feed their addiction. This can lead to serious mental health problems, including depression, as a result. Anyone who is pushing multiple pleasurable activities to the side may be focusing on drugs and alcohol instead.

5. Feelings of Guilt

Finally, those who have developed a problem with drugs will also have feelings of guilt. While they might not openly admit it, they know that it’s wrong. This is demonstrated in the numerous lies that they tell to cover up their habit. They will hide their drug use and come up with stories about what they’re doing and where they’re going when they go to buy drugs. The tremendous lengths that people go to in order to hide their drug habit demonstrate feelings of guilt. Anyone engaging in this behavior needs help.

Seek Professional Help for Problems with Drug Addiction

Anyone who is showing any of the signs above might be having an issue with drug abuse and addiction. It is possible for someone to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol; however, they need the support of family members, friends, and trained professionals. Footprints of Serenity is a team of drug and alcohol interventionists in Los Angeles. This is a unique, luxury program that combines innovative, modern therapies with tried and true traditional treatment methods. This approach has already helped countless clients overcome substance abuse for good and get their lives back on track. To learn more about Footprints of Serenity, contact us.