Overcoming addiction

Pasadena rehab centers help address the real reasons behind drug and alcohol addiction

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 1/3/2013

A lot remains to be understood by society when it comes to alcohol and substance addiction. It can be difficult, even for those addicts who desperately want help to seek it out, because there is a good deal of blame directed at them for their choices. 
Fortunately, there are a large number of rehabilitation options right here in Pasadena.
Larry Burton has helped hundreds of people move forward in their lives using holistic techniques to deal with underlying and lingering issues surrounding addiction. While he wholly endorses traditional 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, he believes a combination of approaches is necessary to address those deep-seated issues that don’t go away the second someone stops drinking alcohol or using drugs.
“Part of the challenge of recovery is that you can help someone get off drugs, but how do you help them cope with stress, anger, guilt and shame?” Burton asked. “You can take away their drugs but what have you given them? We work through the body’s subtle energy system, through scientifically established principles of psychology. I think everything at its core is a form of energy. The pain is disrupted energy, and you need to balance that out in order to resolve the underlying issue and remove the source of the pain. Then you no longer need the drug.”
For the past three years, Burton has worked with Jubilee House in Pasadena, a sober living facility serving female addicts in recovery. Many women he has worked with carry shame stemming from sexual abuse or assault. 
David Ripley, associate director of programs at the Pasadena recovery home Casa de las Amigas, agrees with Burton that addicts, especially women, need to combine traditional approaches to recovery with other options, such as counseling and group work. Casa de las Amigas offers residential treatment services for women.
“Casa de las Amigas approaches addiction by treating the whole woman,” said Ripley. “More often than not, individuals struggling with chemical dependency begin using as a result of trauma or attachment issues stemming from childhood. As a result, they develop co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety or depression. Twelve-step recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be very beneficial, but I would also recommend individual and family therapy.
While Burton believes it is possible for people to overcome their physical addictions by themselves outside of any program, he said that what typically happens is they develop a different kind of addiction.
“First of all, it’s much more difficult,” he said. “Also, they may have stopped using, but they still haven’t dealt with the underlying issues that led them to use. They’re just finding other ways to deal with it.”
If you are suffering the pangs of addiction, make it a priority this year to re-evaluate and deeply reflect on why you started using, why you continue to use, and what you stand to gain by overcoming your addiction forever. Figure out what is missing in your life — mentally, emotionally, psychologically, as well as tangibly — and immediately chart a path toward obtaining whatever that is. 
All it takes is a shift in perspective. Empower yourself into believing that you are capable of controlling the decisions you make. If you think it’s hopeless, it will be.
Reach out to those who love you. Strengthen your support network. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Pasadena is literally chock-full of rehabilitation options. 
Burton’s Pondera Process helps people to neutralize and eliminate the emotional and psychological blocks that may limit their personal and professional success. Call (877) 487-3462 or visit coachingwithlarry.com for more information.
Casa De Las Amigas is a 24-hour alcohol and drug residential treatment center for women, located at 160 N. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Amigas emphasizes the abstinence of alcohol and other mind-altering substances and the need for physical, mental and spiritual growth in the recovery process. Women 18 years of age or older (or emancipated minors) are provided a safe, clean and sober environment to help them reach the goal of becoming alcohol and drug free. Call (626) 792-2770 or visit casadelasamigas.org.
Other rehabilitation centers include:
Impact House — Located at 1680 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, Impact House is one of several local facilities with outpatient and residential treatment options in addition to group, individual and follow-up counseling. Call (323) 681-2575 or visit impacthouse.com.
Pasadena Recovery Center — Located at 1811 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, the Pasadena Recovery Center has developed a reputation for being a place for recalcitrant celebs down on their luck. It’s also been featured prominently on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” with Dr. Drew Pinsky. However, this recovery center has helped thousands of people since the late psychiatrist Dr. Lee Bloom founded it in the 1970s. Today, the facility continues Bloom’s tradition of holistic healing with 12-step programs, counseling, residential services and mind-body activities. Call (866) 663-3030 or visit pasadenarecoverycenter.com. 
Eaton Canyon Treatment Center — Located at 3323 Fairpoint St. in Pasadena, this accredited treatment center focuses on creating individualized treatment plans for men and women. Call (888) 798-0150 or visit eatoncanyon.org.
Walter Hoving Home (for women) — Located at 127 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, this nonprofit residential facility for women 18 and over incorporates a spiritual approach to sober living in a 12-month program. Call (626) 405-0950 or visit walterhovinghome.com.
The Gooden Center (for men) — Located at 191 N. El Molino Ave. Pasadena, this accredited drug and alcohol treatment center guides adult men and their families through the painful process of detoxification and long-term sobriety. A 12-step recovery process addresses the psychological, spiritual and emotional underpinnings of addiction. Call (626) 356-0078 or visit goodencenter.org.