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Monday, February 22, 2021

What Does Admission to An Addiction Treatment Program Look like?

When beginning the admissions process at a treatment center, our goal is to relieve any concerns you may have before getting started. Suppose you decide to pursue recovery from substance addiction. In that case, we always recommend calling to speak in person with a member of our team at The Haven for a more intimate conversation about recovery. 


Speak out and be heard by one of our Recovery Advisors today at 805.202.3440.


So what does admission to The Haven at Pismo look like? What can you expect when you arrive? 


Getting To Know You

First, we want to get to know why you are here. You will share your story with our compassionate, experienced intake coordinators, who will evaluate your personal and medical needs to place you in the best possible treatment program. It is essential to be honest and truthful when working with your intake coordinator. 


Addiction and co-occurring disorders are complex, and recovery success requires a tailored approach that considers many factors: your health history, substance abuse history, the severity of the addiction, and lifestyle preferences.


Unfortunately, please note that we cannot accept MediCal, CenCal, Medicaid, or Medicare policies.


Getting To Know Us

We want to make sure you understand the compassionate care we provide by making a few things clear for the beginning of your journey:

  • We begin with each patient from a position of trust and respect and remain non-punitive. At The Haven, we show reverence for each patient as a valuable human being worthy of dignity and respect in all that we say and do. We treat all patients with unconditional kindness and compassion.

  • We have built our community culture on respect. We do not confront, accuse, or demean patients or label them according to their illnesses. Rather than patients being “addicts,” we see them as human beings who live with the disease of addiction.

  • We know it takes a positive climate of safety and trust for patients to be open and honest. We recognize that patients cannot recover in an environment of fear. We do not discharge patients automatically only because they stop taking their medications or continue to use substances.

  • We do not facilitate drug testing in a punitive or shaming way. We do, however, understand that patients benefit from continuous monitoring for drug use, as addiction flare-ups and acute exacerbations of signs and symptoms of addiction are common. We affirm the need for drug testing to help confirm the status of a patient’s recovery. We believe this process facilitates recovery by guiding more effective treatment.

  • We recognize honesty as a critical component of recovery. Other treatment requirements include a genuine desire to improve one’s life and not harming others. To this aim, we expect our patients not to jeopardize others’ healing, responsibly attend and engage in the treatment, advocate for their needs, take responsibility, obey the law, and show concern and respect for others’ rights and well-being.

Admissions Process

If our Central California Coast recovery program appears to be a good fit for your needs, we immediately begin the admissions process. We know that your commitment to this choice is essential, and we want you to start as soon as you can. 


To get you complete this process in a quick and organized way, the steps you will follow include:

  • Intake. During intake, your team member at The Haven gathers information about current health and substance use habits to determine the appropriate placement for you. We also discuss your insurance coverage and begin the benefits verification process to determine what services your insurance provider will cover. While most insurance companies offer some form of coverage for drug or alcohol treatment, benefits vary from state to state and plan to plan. To help you focus on the other aspects of treatment, we handle insurance authorizations and discuss payment plan options if self-payment is necessary. Our team will help you solve your financial concerns as best as possible to help you focus on recovery. 

  • Assessment. Our detailed admission screening may include clinical and psychosocial evaluations to place you in the correct level of care. This assessment helps our team better understand the hurdles you will need to overcome while in recovery to recognize challenges and provide extra support. Our goal is to make this process simple and hassle-free so that you can begin detox or rehab as quickly as possible.

  • Admittance. Once we have determined insurance coverage, discussed and reviewed payment options, we arrange transportation and welcome you to our detox facility, evidence-based residential homes, or outpatient program. We have a packing list that you can use to help prepare for your stay with us. Clients of The Haven at Pismo enjoy the California state-of-the-art treatment in a safe, serene setting.

  • Transportation. While we do not sponsor the cost of transportation, we do help coordinate the necessary transport, whether by plane, train, or automobile, to ensure your expedient and safe arrival at The Haven. Again, we know how important it is to begin, so we want to make sure you can get here to get started.


Begin Your Reawakening Today

Although there is no pressure to enter our program after the admissions process is complete, there is no better time to seek reawakening. Over time, substance abuse takes an irreparable toll on your health, family, career, and relationships. 


Located on California’s Central Coast, our private, premier addiction recovery facility welcomes adults of every age and walk of life to begin again: living life in freedom from drugs or alcohol. Reach out to a Recovery Advisor today at 805.202.3440.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Holistic Remedies for Men’s Health You May Not Know

Trends in holistic health are continuing to spread in this time of increased self-health awareness. As many people look to more natural ways to improve their quality of life, holistic remedies are being explored once again. Throughout history, many cultures have records of natural, plant medicine, and lifestyle based remedies. These “old or authentic” techniques are newly being integrated into modern health practices and daily lifestyles. For holistic men’s health, mental health, and treatment elements - there are some remedies that you may not yet be aware of.

While contemporary society has reinvigorated holistic health methods in droves lately, the industry has been expanding upon what we already know about holistic health and men’s health to bring a new era. Many holistic health remedies date back generations and have held up to the test of time. With respect to your unique situation, always speak with your doctor before implementing a change that could affect your overall health.

Eat Foods Right for You

Since childhood we have all heard “You are what you eat”, but truth be told - food is a key element in overall health and when dealing with specific conditions or situations. Humans have been adapting their diet for optimal functioning since the dawn of time, and the link between consumption and health is undeniable. When
using food as a health remedy, it is important to consider the vitamin and nutrient content of your whole diet for ideal results.

Eating foods high in omega fats and proteins have long been at the top of the list for men’s health. Studies have shown that eating almonds daily can help lower the risk of heart disease and even improve the body’s ability to rid itself of bad cholesterols. Healthy proteins, like turkey breast, are known for assisting in muscle building and for being high in B vitamins and zinc.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Despite marketing ploys, aromatherapy is not just for women! Men have actually heavily influenced holistic aromatherapy since its introduction. The term aromatherapy was actually coined in the early 20th century by a French male chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé. The use of scents to curate an experience is extremely useful for both physical health and mental health. This simple holistic modality is one severely underused by men.

Using scented oils as aromatherapy tools have been around for generations. Science has shown the brain reacts to scents in various ways and the essential oil craze is set on a solid foundation of holistic uses. From adding blends to rollerball applicators to using diffusers - adding some oils to daily life can increase one’s quality of life and overall health. These potent preventative and therapeutic liquids are amazing holistic remedies to take the edge off everything from common irritations (colds, muscle aches, and stress) to mental health issues (PTSD, anxiety, and depression).

Essential Oils and Common Uses

  • Lavender: relaxing, rest, soothes minor burns

  • Mint: awakening, reinvigorating

  • Frankincense: promote cellular health, rejuvenate the skin

  • Tea Tree Oil: eases skin irritations, clears up acne, is antibacterial

  • Eucalyptus: relieves cold symptoms and nasal congestion

Breathwork, Body Movement, and Meditation

Using methods, not unlike that of yoga, pilates, and tai chi; intentional breathing and movement practices are holistic remedies that have shown endless anecdotal evidence. Positive responses, both in physical health and in mental health, have been noted by people who practice some type of breathwork and meditation routine. Using these techniques to deal with bouts of anxiety, depression, or confusion can be extremely helpful. In addition, the physical benefits of proper oxygenation and stretching go far beyond the immediate results.

There are many different types of yoga practices, often called flows, and a personalized routine can easily be created after consulting a certified trainer. A great place to build on your yoga practice is at home via virtual classes or at a local in-person studio. Yoga poses all work with varying breathing techniques developed specifically to attain optimal benefits. Regular yoga classes or even some pre-workout poses can prevent injuries, increase endurance, and even protect against heart disease.

Conscious connected breathwork can open the body, mind, and spirit to profound possibilities of healing, deep insight, and restoration by balancing the nervous system. By learning to use conscious connected breathing correctly, it is possible to rapidly oxygenate the body and create change in the body’s control system (autonomic nervous system). Breathwork is one of the most powerful holistic tools available for releasing stuck or stored emotions in your body.

Healing at The Haven at Pismo

Medical treatment at The Haven is combined with holistic practices to help you establish healing in both physical and mental health that lasts. To learn more about our holistic substance abuse treatment programs for men and women, call our team: 805.202.3440. Your reawakening begins today.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Small Steps Toward Recovery You Can Take Today

For most of us, change doesn’t come all at once, especially for those of us in recovery. It’s a series of small, purposeful actions that add up to a more positive experience of healing as we battle the depression that so often goes hand in hand with substance use disorders. Although it may feel overwhelming, change can start today. 

Read below to learn why small steps toward recovery and tiny habits are more effective at bringing about the change you wish to see. 

In the New Year, especially this one, there is a lot of pressure to be better. While the new year represents an opportunity for change and growth, for many it feels more like moving mountains. How do people create change in their lives in meaningful ways? 

The Snowball That Starts the Avalanche

Sometimes, even making a minor change can lead to a whole new set of routines, rituals, and habits. By taking small steps toward recovery, even without consciously trying to adjust your entire life, you may end up in a much more positive place. 

The trick is to start small. When you feel stuck in depression, like you can't do anything, what's the smallest possible action you can take? If you are trying to become more organized or tidy, start by cleaning a corner of your room. Looking at your entire room might make you anxious. It might seem like a daunting task to clean the whole thing, and therefore you might just walk away. But if you start with one corner, like a bookshelf or a nightstand, you’ll definitely finish and feel the positive energy that comes with completing a task. 

Too often, we become trapped in the depression-generated thought that “we can’t do anything” which extends to every corner of our life. Giving yourself a task that allows you to see your strength to overcome that mindset can be an incredible boost in your steps toward recovery. 

Brushing your teeth can also work wonders for a positive mindset. If you are struggling with hygiene and are looking to develop healthier habits, brushing your teeth might be a start. It might seem useless, especially during the pandemic quarantines where you don’t leave the house. However, a simple two minutes of brushing can change your day. It’s a short and sweet reminder that you are still in control, and that improving your depression only consists of small actions done in conjunction with each other. 

There are many, many other ways to adapt tasks to fit your needs. For instance, if you are looking to read more but are overwhelmed by the length of books, simply read one page. If yoga seems too demanding, lie down and just stretch. By taking small actions and doing them consistently, you’ll inevitably develop better habits that will contribute to your mental health in the long run. 

“Tiny Habits”

BJ Fogg, the Director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, designed a program to help people utilize the power of their environment and take small steps toward making positive changes in their lives. 

After years of research, Dr. Fogg tells us there are only three ways to make meaningful change:

  1. To have an epiphany

  2. To change your environment

  3. To take small steps

Since the first is almost impossible to replicate, Dr. Fogg focuses on the other options. His method, called Tiny Habits, helps you understand the actions you are willing and able to do. From there, making a plan and sticking to it, while also adapting your environment, will lead to meaningful change. 

When New Year's Resolutions Seem Overwhelming

The New Year is a moment to make plans. How well are yours working out?

Unfortunately, we tend to make plans that are not always easy to achieve, like losing large amounts of weight or saving up a large sum of money. The reality is that when you make smaller resolutions, you are much more likely to attempt them on a regular basis and to achieve them. 

Losing weight is a common resolution people make during the New Year. How can you adapt this to make sure you stick to it? There are many ways, and the most successful one will depend on your disposition. For instance, some people gravitate toward exercise, so the way to lose weight for them might involve going for a run at least once a week. For others, it might be more about eating more nutritiously; here, you can start by cutting one single element (a repeat offender) from your diet, like soda or pizza. 

Other tactics involve changing your own self-perception. Instead of making a resolution about losing weight, make one to love and respect your body. If you work toward loving your body, you will invariably try to eat better, exercise more often, and give your body all that it needs to be healthy. For some of us, a change in our mindset is required to make change, but, like everything worth doing, it takes time and patience. 

Taking care of your body in these ways is helpful to create a better mindset as you seek holistic healing from addiction in all areas of life.

If you are struggling to make meaningful change in your life, we at The Haven are dedicated to supporting men and women on their steps toward recovery from substance use disorders and co-occurring depression or other disorders. Contact us today to talk to one of our advocates and learn the skills you’ll need to make the change you’ve been meaning to make. Call now at 1-805-202-3440.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Relationships in Early Recovery


Many of us in early recovery wonder the same big questions: are we going to be able to commit to our sobriety, will it last, and how soon until we can date again? We wonder, how will our relationship survive the rollercoaster that is early recovery, and how does dating fit into our aftercare plan?

Early Recovery is Challenging Enough

The early weeks of recovery can be especially lonely and emotionally volatile. This combination can make for a roller coaster between longing for close comfort and wanting to be left alone. From needing someone to talk to 24/7, to not wanting to say a word - early recovery and aftercare notably come with marked waves of missed connection and denied isolation. Building a new life, creating new routines, and finding a new direction requires a great deal of self-discovery time. Relationships in early recovery can be a significant variable in your successful recovery.

Beginning and maintaining a romantic relationship in early recovery is not ideal, and most experts agree that you should wait at least a year before considering a serious relationship. Dealing with personal issues and rediscovering one’s true self should always take priority during aftercare. Relationships in early recovery are more helpful long term when they stick to a “supporter” dynamic and focus on the ability to build healthy relationships and a lifelong support team, rather than a potentially temporary distraction.

Focus on Finding You Again

Your focus on recovery brings an opportunity to rediscover your genuine passions and deep desires. Connecting to one's core self through self-discovery at such a key time in aftercare can fuel the positive changes needed to take positive actions. Instead of using that urge to connect and get to know a new partner, choose to spend time with yourself. This is an important element of trauma healing.

Taking the time to get to know yourself again and work through recovery with a positive self-image can make the difference between surviving and thriving. Your sobriety should be your main focus during early recovery and that takes significant time and energy. Maintaining a new romantic relationship at this point in aftercare would be distracting and potentially uncomfortable to juggle simultaneously. This is a time to get to know yourself without the influence of drugs and this will take great dedication to self as well as significant attention.

Time For Healing You

Sobriety is a time for healing. While a fresh intimate relationship in early recovery might seem like an ideal way to feel good without drugs, recognize it for what it is — a distraction and potential transfer of addiction. In time, once sobriety begins to feel more like second nature, there will be much more to offer to a potential romantic partner. In addition, at that point, you will have gained skills in creating healthy relationships.

The effort and emotional attention you would put into any romantic relationship ultimately takes away from your recovery. Developing your new sober identity and learning to love yourself for who you are deep inside is a critical and delicate process, especially during early recovery. Taking the necessary time and energy to be highly attentive to this essential personal journey before bringing a partner into your life increases the likelihood of success from all sides.

Healthy Self-discovery Activities

  • Spending time alone in nature

  • Writing in a journal

  • Speaking to a therapist

  • Learning yoga or meditation

Being a Recovering Addict vs Becoming Sober You

Many holistic practitioners will tell you that mindfulness and living in the moment are the way to a stress free, happy life. However when dealing with addiction, being spontaneous and going with the flow are not useful tactics, especially in early recovery. Often making plans without details could end with you in a questionable situation, risking relapse. It takes diligent planning and preparedness to circumvent situations with increased risk. We all know that without planning for it, emotions can override solid thoughts. 

Early recovery is a perfect time to focus on becoming something greater internally before considering a new relationship dynamic. When a new romantic relationship begins, the emotions are high, often intoxicating. Making a decision to not let emotions rule over actions is a huge part of creating healthy behaviors and engaging in a romantic relationship is counterproductive to these newly taught habits.

Risk of Relapse

During treatment, healthy techniques are learned as relapse prevention methods to manage substance abuse triggers and general discomforts. It takes time and a lot of practice to continuously use the healthier behaviors and due to a lack of practice, it is more difficult to utilize these skills during the early stages of recovery. Because of this, the compulsion to use substances to pacify any relationship hardship, including spiked emotions, becomes a very real risk. 

Navigating challenges for relationships where one partner is in recovery already include a unique set of issues. Not only are there generally increased trust difficulties, there tends to also be patterns of codependency present. Attempting to handle those challenges in early recovery increases risk of relapse significantly. 

Lifetime Sobriety at The Haven at Pismo

For support even after you leave a treatment environment like we offer at The Haven at Pismo, we recommend that you continually evolve your aftercare strategy to meet the ongoing needs of your life situation. 

When you need to get back to basics or recover after a relapse, call our team of credentialed addiction specialists: 805.202.3440. Our proven continuum of care includes medical detox, gender-specific treatment, and outpatient treatment to support you in early recovery and beyond.