• I Can’t Help It, I Was Triggered: How the Language of Powerlessness Can Inhibit Recovery from Addiction

    Posted on May 22, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. We know that self-efficacy is vital to successful recovery from addictive problems.  We know that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are cornerstones of depression.  We know that underlying issues like depression tend to fuel addictive problems.  Yet, mainstream addiction treatment continues to promote language that encourages and reinforces feelings of helplessness and an external locus of control, two things that are consistently associated with poor outcomes in the treatment of most mental health concerns.  Here, we will set our targets upon one of the most widely used and rarely questioned terms in addiction that reinforces feelings of helplessness, ‘triggers.’     Encouraging an individual working to overcome addictive problems to ide...
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  • Four Tips for Getting Sober During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Posted on April 24, 2020
    Coronavirus Update: We are still seeing and accepting new clients via online rehab. Sessions and groups occur by video or phone. Call 858-546-1100 for details and to schedule. We are presently authorized to work in some other states (in addition to California). Call to find out about your state.  Need intensive treatment, but fearful about going into a facility? Understood! Call us about an intensive treatment option that won’t place you in high-risk situations.  Four Tips for Getting Sober During Coronavirus Pandemic The recent Coronavirus pandemic has all of us working, schooling, and pulling our hair out at home. Just because the world has seemingly come to a standstill, doesn’t mean that addictions have as well. If you were interested in addiction treatment prior to the quarant...
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  • Is “Vitamin No” the Best Self-Care Supplement?

    Posted on March 13, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Self-care is frequently pushed as a key to wellbeing.  In the realm of addictive problems, family members are encouraged to put ‘self-care’ first as a way of curbing over-involvement in the lives of someone with addictive problems.  People with addictive problems are encouraged to find healthier ways to practice self-care.  Therapists are trained to implement self-care to manage the stresses and pressures of clinical practice.  Few argue against the merits of taking care of oneself, but simple and effective techniques for how to practice self-care often leave much to be desired.  This article will explore what is perhaps the most effective and simple tactic of practicing self-care – a healthy dose of 'Vitamin-N,' aka, saying no. The simplicity of sayin...
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  • Ketamine Reduces Harmful Drinking, New Study Shows

    Posted on February 7, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Addiction treatment outcomes in the United States leave much to be desired.  Most US addiction treatment is not evidence based. The time for easy access to varied, effective options in addiction treatment is long overdue.  A recent study in Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, shows that ketamine can effectively reduce harmful drinking, especially when ketamine is given immediately following the induction of a craving.  After a single session of what could be described as ketamine-assisted cue-exposure treatment, participants’ drinking frequency and intensity reduced rapidly and remained at about ½ of original consumption levels at a nine-month follow-up.  The study in Nature calls for further research into ketamine therapy a...
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  • 5 Factors to Consider Before Staging an Addiction Intervention

    Posted on January 24, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D.   If a loved one is struggling with addictive problems and not interested in treatment, the overwhelming message from society is that staging an addiction intervention is the best way to help.  Interventions, like the ones depicted on television, generally involve a paid interventionist who coaches family members and friends on how to confront so-called ‘addicts’ and get them to agree to go to rehab.  For some, it may be surprising to learn that addiction interventions are only successful in encouraging a loved one to enter treatment around 30% of the time.  Furthermore, when interventions are not successful they can backfire in truly horrific ways.  Thus, it might be helpful to consider these five factors before staging an intervention. 1.  Other ...
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  • Addiction & The New Decade

    Posted on January 10, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Milestones are opportunities to reflect and refine.  Each New Year many resolve to make important changes, and such resolutions can carry even more weight when years stack up and we move into new decades and new centuries.  The 21st century has already seen significant change when it comes to understanding and treating addiction, much of which has been related to broadening access to multiple pathways of treatment as the tyranny of abstinence-only slowly and steadily decays.  As we move into the 2020’s, it's worth considering what positive changes the decade will bring as we continue to improve the treatment available to people who aim to change addictive behaviors. One significant change to understanding and treating addiction that will continue to gain...
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  • Stand By Family No Matter What

    Posted on October 18, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Family is forever, or at least, that’s what the chintzy wall stencils say.  During times of hardship, sickness, death, misfortune, mistakes, and malaise it is helpful to rest assured that our families will stand by us and help us.  My esteemed mentor, Dr. Horvath, often says that 90% of social support is who shows up.  Who shows up in the hospital during chemo?  Who shows up to console after a break-up or job loss?  Often times, family shows up when no one else will.  But who shows up when a so-called ‘addict’ hits the proverbial ‘rock bottom?’  Often times family members desert loved ones when addictive problems are at their most severe.  Why is an exception to the golden rule of family standing by one another made when it comes to addiction?  The hypocriti...
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  • SMART Recovery Celebrates 25th Anniversary

    Posted on September 20, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Often, a call to reflection upon past achievements might be interpreted as a prelude to a swan song.  When our favorite musicians release greatest hits albums we move from excitement to nostalgia. When filmmakers reboot and update original creations, we hear the silent reverberations of writer's block echoing through the gaping idea void left in the wake of a once bright creative spark.  However, there are exceptions. Sometimes the creative spark becomes a long-burning fire. After decades of hard work on the part of many dedicated pioneers and volunteers, SMART Recovery celebrates its 25th Anniversary with the feeling of excitement for the future far outweighing nostalgia for the past. SMART Recovery: A Note of Gratitude Thanks to SMART Recovery, people w...
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  • MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Reduces Alcohol Relapse, New Study Shows

    Posted on August 23, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. When it comes to addiction treatment, it is well-known that the United States is embarrassingly and shamefully behind the rest of the industrialized world.  It is no surprise then that evidence for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy reducing alcohol relapse is coming out of the UK. We know MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was designated breakthrough status as a treatment for PTSD, and we know that trauma is at the etiological heart of most addictive behaviors (see Atkins, 2014, p.195). So it would naturally follow that if MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy helps treat the etiology of addiction, it will probably help treat addiction. Yet, the misinformed notion that all addicts are the same and can never touch mind-altering substances again (except of course for boat-loads...
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  • Drug Rehab for Young Adults: High Time for a New Paradigm

    Posted on July 19, 2019
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Addictive problems are most common amongst young adults, especially men.  Committing to lifelong abstinence is a hard sell for people with most of their lives still ahead.  Even AA co-founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob suggested their methods were unlikely to work for people under 40 years old.  Yet, when young adults engage in addictive behaviors problematically we continue send them away for 30 days to rehabs that deliver Bill W. & Dr. Bob’s message that addiction is an intractable disease that requires lifelong abstinence in order to avoid jails, institutions, and death.  It’s high time for a new paradigm. Re-Thinking Drug Rehab for Young Adults Many of the standards of mental health care warrant reconsideration when it comes to treating addictive pr...
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