Why Seek Treatment

Sober Living by the Sea has been treating men and women for alcoholism, drug addiction, and eating disorders for over 23 years in Southern California. During that time, thousands of individuals have come here to confront the chemical dependency or eating disorder that is ruining their lives.

Treatment Is an Investment in Yourself

The decision to come to treatment is a critical one that sets in motion a chain of events that can heal the lives of the person in need of treatment and their entire support system of loved ones and family members. Sadly, attitudes of denial and fear can cause men and women to lose momentum and decide not to receive the help being offered by our staff of clinicians.

“I Don’t Have Time to Get Help With My Substance Abuse Problem.”

Through the years, we have often heard the excuse given by the person in need of treatment that they “don’t have the time” to dedicate to changing their lives. In 90 days of residential treatment (the most commonly recommended minimum stay for an effective treatment program), a person can learn the tools to begin a new life free from the chains of addiction. Sober Living does have treatment programs that allow men and women to receive:

  • residential treatment while working
  • residential treatment while attending college
  • outpatient treatment while living at home

The health benefits alone of stopping abusing drugs or drinking alcoholically are too numerous to list and should be sufficient to motivate someone to enter treatment. But if you contemplate the time currently spent procuring drugs and alcohol, and how much time the user loses being under the influence, it will not be long until the 90 days of treatment seems to be a very wise decision.

Also, keep in mind that addiction is a progressive disease. When you project into the future, you must consider that the time and quality of life lost actively engaging in addictive drug or alcohol use will increase and the quality of the individual’s life will diminish even more. If the individual is engaging in illegal activities (such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), the time that could be lost to the correctional system can dwarf the recommended 90 days of treatment.

“I Don’t Have the Money to Spend on Receiving Treatment for My Addiction.”

People who are in the grips of addiction will often deny that they have a problem. When pressed, they will find any number of excuses why they can’t or don’t need to receive professional help from clinicians who are trained and experienced in helping men and women change their lives through recovery. A typical argument men and women use is that since treatment costs money and may require taking time off work, it is “too expensive.” To this we ask the question:

“What is the cost of not going to treatment?”

How much is being spent on the substance that is being used each day? Multiply that times 365 days a year and you have the cost the substance alone. This does not factor in the lost time at work due to the effects of abusing drugs, nor the degraded quality of life of the addicted person, nor the effect on the health of the individual that can lead to costly medical bills, or worse.

Legal Issues

Men and women who come to our addiction treatment facilities are often doing so as a result of a catastrophic moment in their lives, sometimes that led to arrest and the possibility of incarceration. Sober Living by the Sea is certified as an Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Facility by the State of California as well as Orange County and Los Angeles County. This allows our staff of legal experts to assist in navigating the complex legal system and provide the courts with required documentation of time productively spent in a rehabilitation facility. This is a service that we can provide to our clients who are lucky enough to not have to serve time in jail for their drug or alcohol related offense.

Fast facts:

  • The average prison sentence for a drug-related crime increased from 71.3 months to 83.6 months in 2004 (most recent data available).
  • 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs.source: U.S. Department of Justice
  • According to the FBI, 5.3% of homicides in which circumstances were known were drug-related.source: FBI Uniform Crime Report
  • The average cost of getting a DUI in California in 2009 is:1st DUI: $12,500 – $17,500 (Legal Fees: $5,000 – $7,500, Additional Costs*: $7,500 – $10,000)2nd DUI: $19,500 – $27,500 (Legal Fees: $9,500 – $12,500, Additional Costs*: $10,000-$15,000)
    3rd DUI: $27,000 – $42,500 (Legal Fees: $15,000 – $25,000, Additional Costs*: $12,000 – $17,500)*Additional costs include items such as insurance increases, school fees, and restitution and do not include fees or penalties that are incurred if there is an accident caused under the influence.

More About Causing an Injury While Under the Influence (DUI with Injury)

Getting a DUI after causing an accident that results in someone getting injured carries more serious consequences than a regular DUI. If the prosecutor charges it as a misdemeanor, the defendant faces up to one year in jail (plus the other standard DUI penalties). If the prosecutor charges it as a felony DUI, the defendant faces up to three years state prison (plus an additional year for each additional person who is injured).

Worse still, if any of the injured parties is seriously hurt, the DUI defendant may be charged with a “great bodily injury” enhancement. This adds up to three additional years of state prison. Moreover, the “great bodily injury” enhancement makes the DUI offense a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.

Health Issues

Any of the above categories alone should be ample motivation for someone to seek treatment from our professional drug rehab facilities, but the most obvious reason is that drug and alcohol abuse can cause an incredible array of health problems including death. It is important to remember that many drugs can be fatal even the first time they are used (in addition to the long-term health effects they contribute to such as liver damage, cancer, stroke, and brain damage). Occurrences of accidental drug overdose death from prescription drugs like vicodin, percocet , and oxycontin are at an all-time high. The possibility of overdosing on street drugs like heroin and cocaine is always present, especially because these drugs consist of an unknown concoction of substances with various potencies. Ecstasy in particular has the potential for causing permanent brain damage (if not death) during any given use (although for some reason this drug has a less sinister reputation than other street drugs).

The Potential Immediate Effects of Using Large Quantities of Drugs or Alcohol Include:

  • Death (by overdose)
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Brain Damage
  • Respiratory Failure

The Potential Long-Term Effects of Using Large Quantities of Drugs or Alcohol Include:

  • Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and other Mood and Behavioral Disorders
  • Liver Disease/Cancer
  • Kidney Disease/Cancer
  • Heart Disease/Heart Attack
  • Severe Craving/Withdrawal Pain
  • Cancer in Other Areas of the Body, Including the Esophagus, Pharynx, Larynx, Breast, Mouth, Rectum, or Pancreas
  • Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The Family Suffers

If someone can’t get motivated to enter treatment for any of the above reasons, perhaps they will consider the harm they are doing to their family and loved ones.

The pain of addiction is felt acutely by the mothers, fathers, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, friends, co-workers, and almost anyone who comes in contact with the man or woman who is abusing drugs or alcohol. Because we know that the loved ones of an addict suffer greatly, we have created a special web page just for these affected family members and loved ones titled advice to the families of drug addicts and alcoholics.

There is often a need to confront the loved one who suffers from drug addiction or alcoholism and needs treatment. This can be one of the most difficult, yet most important conversations that a family can have with a loved one. Often, the person in need of rehab treatment is in denial. For this reason, we have created a special page about what to say to a loved one who is an alcoholic or addicted to drugs. We also have information and resources available to help the family learn about and find interventionists in their area.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a disease that affects the attitudes and behavior of everyone who knows the addict. Sober Living by the Sea creates a personalized treatment program for every individual who arrives here for treatment. That treatment program usually includes the family program, a three-day intensive educational counseling process during which our world renowned doctors educate, counsel, and mediate discussions between family members.

One More Potential Cost – The Cost of a Funeral

There is one final cost that can’t be ignored in this discussion of the cost of not going to treatment: the cost of a funeral. Of course, the financial cost of the funeral is $10,000 to $15,000 but that is a trivial consideration when you contemplate the pain and sadness of losing someone you care about. Lives are ruined every day because of drug and alcohol abuse. The mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, and significant others of the ones who pass away from this life-threatening disease have no recourse to address the feelings that they have for the loved one who is gone forever. There is no way to calculate the financial and emotional costs of drug addiction, alcoholism, and eating disorders without acknowledging that people die from these afflictions every day.

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