by Beth Wright
Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
Last week, we began a special two-part series about what drugs do to your brain. Click here to catch up by reading part one, How Addiction Changes the Brain. Continue reading
by Beth Wright
Part 2 of a 2-Part Series
Last week, we began a special two-part series about what drugs do to your brain. Click here to catch up by reading part one, How Addiction Changes the Brain. Continue reading
Part 1 of a 2-Part Series
by Beth Wright
A memorable 1980’s television commercial by The Partnership for a Drug Free America opens up on a shot of a butter sizzling in a hot frying pain. An announcer said, “This is drugs.” Then, as someone holds an egg, the announcer says, “This is your brain,” before cracking the egg into the pan. The voiceover continues: “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” Although the foundation that sponsored the ad has since changed its name to The Partnership for Drug Free Kids, their message remains the same: drugs significantly impact the brain. Don’t do drugs. Continue reading
Even in the absence of addiction, relationships can be difficult. Once you add substance abuse to the mix, all bets are off. Addiction alters brain chemistry. It also changes people in profound ways: how they look at the world; the way they interact with people around them; the value they assign to coworkers, supervisors and careers, and the attention they devote to personal hygiene and financial management.
Most formal discussions about addiction focus on the physical and psychological effects of substance use. But the cumulative effects of drug addiction and alcoholism reach far beyond these issues alone. In fact, addicts find it nearly impossible to juggle social and professional relationships. Social health and a healthy support system strongly relate to personal success, self-esteem, and happiness. So, even if an addict simulates healthy romantic and platonic relationships, the facade will eventually fade.
How to Spot Healthy Relationships
Successful relationships use honest, assertive communication built on mutual respect. They are usually fun and rewarding. And they incorporate compromise, trust and understanding. Healthy relationships are free from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, violence, and aggression. And because they are built on a solid foundation, can thrive even when the going gets tough.
How to Spot Unhealthy Relationships
Ultimately, substance abuse undermines healthy relationships. Alcoholics and drug addicts may manage to maintain what appears to be a normal relationship. However, over time, the substance use takes a toll. As a result, most relationships impacted by drugs or alcohol dissolve into the polar opposite of joy and reward. Impacted by the chemical and psychological effects of their substance of choice, addicts often display stubbornness; distrust; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; violence; and aggression.
Is Your Loved One an Addict?
If someone is constantly falling-down-drunk, you would probably believe they have an alcohol problem. Similarly, if you see someone who is high, you might think they are addicted to drugs. But what if their addiction subtly changes them over time? Would you be able to recognize the signs so you could point them to help? Does your loved one fit this pattern?
Drug and alcohol addiction are complex diseases. Changing addictive behavior patterns takes much more than good intentions. Through modern scientific advances, MFI staff understand how drugs and alcohol work in the brain. And we know how to successfully treat addiction. Our outpatient programs focus specifically on teens, women and men. We offer detox and inpatient treatment for men and women, as well as women with children.
Our treatment center provides services to people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. Located in the shadow of Mt. Rubidoux in the City of Riverside, we provide structured and supportive addiction treatment in semi-private, comfortable apartment-style setting. Monitored by professional addiction specialists 24 hours a day, our modern apartments offer a haven for healing during the rehab process. Living and recovering in our Mt. Rubidoux residential treatment facility means becoming healthy again. Our clients receive intensive treatment and learn new, healthy strategies to sustain recovery. To find out more, call today 866-218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at 951-683-6596.
In addition to the Matrix Model, we rely on proven modalities to provide whole family care. Our programs are gender and age specific to ensure we meet individual needs. We furnish a comfortable and warm, home-like environment with structured, evidence-based methods of behavior modification and cognitive behavioral therapies. Our family systems approach treats the whole family to re-establish trust and mutual respect where it may have been damaged by substance use. For someone who is struggling with substance abuse, recovering alone is almost impossible. Our program helps individuals rebuild the close connections that are essential to successful recovery. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.
Thousands of rehab and recovery centers across the country offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which often consists of little more than writing and fulfilling prescriptions. In stark contrast, the MAT Therapy that MFI offers is part of whole-person care. Like a warm blanket enveloping alcohol and drug addicts at their time of need, our personalized plans include many scientific-based tools in combination, to help clients persevere during and after treatment. Continue reading
Mt Rubidoux MFI LVN Leilin Briscoe is 4-foot 11-inches of smiles, energy and enthusiasm. Over the past year working at MFI, the powerhouse has earned the nickname, Tiny Wonder. The sole nurse at Mt Rubidoux, she helps clients through detox and recovery, which is often one of the toughest times of their lives. Clients trust her because, even though she has never struggled specifically with addiction, she has survived significant trauma—and lives to tell the tale.
According to Forbes, although 40 percent of Americans set resolutions on January 1, only eight percent actually follow through. When it comes to sobriety, the problem with resolving to overcome addiction at the start of a new year is that failure to follow through can wreak havoc on your confidence – further undermining your ability to get clean. So, instead of setting yourself up for failed resolutions, make 2019 the year you stop making resolutions and start actively seeking help.
Statistics and our staff experiences show that people in rehab are more successful when they rely on others for help.
Program Coordinator Jerry Paredes, at the Murrieta MFI points out the importance of community, “After program completion, the relapse rate is high for people who return to their old way of life. To prevent that, we work together as a team during and after the program to offer clients the tools they need to maintain their sobriety. In Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) like Murrieta, we help them begin the next chapter of their lives, so they don’t just go back to the same triggers they faced during their addiction.”
This type of helps is invaluable. After all; if you could pull yourself up by your bootstraps, wouldn’t you have already done it? Recognizing the need for assistance is an important step on the road to recovery. But it isn’t the end of the journey. It’s the start. At MFI, we use science-based programs, such as the Matrix Model, to provide people in recovery with a structure of support.
Drawing on several research-based methods, this model blends the best modalities into an extremely strong system of recovery. Our clinicians are specially trained in optimizing The Matrix Model for each individual client, creating a highly personalized treatment program for every participant. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12 step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Helping clients and families understand addictions, while taking steps to create a lifestyle of recovery, are the key principles which make The Matrix Model successful.
If so, you could have a problem with substance abuse. If this is the case, we have good news. We offer hope to help interrupt the cycle of abuse. MFI Recovery Center has 10 locations in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, staffed by 200 caring and highly-trained people whose job it is to help you reclaim your life.
Former client, Edward S. recommends MFI for anyone who wants to regain control of their life: “MFI is a great facility if you want to turn your life around. I don’t want to see anyone else go through what I did. If you hang around people who are like you after you recover, you’ll end up doing the same thing you did before. MFI helped me to change not just my habits but my surroundings and my friends. MFI helped me move on with my life. I’m happier now. I’m at peace.”
In addition to the Matrix Model, we rely on proven modalities to provide whole family care. Our programs are gender and age specific to ensure we meet individual needs. We furnish a comfortable and warm, home-like environment with structured, evidence-based methods of behavior modification and cognitive behavioral therapies. Our family systems approach treats the whole family to re-establish trust and mutual respect where it may have been damaged by substance use. For someone who is struggling with substance abuse, recovering alone is almost impossible. Our program helps individuals rebuild the close connections that are essential to successful recovery.
To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.
MFI Recovery is pleased to announce a new Chief Executive Officer, Melinda Drake, as of December 2018. She assumes the role of head of MFI after the retirement of long-time Director Craig Lambdin, as of December 2018.
This talented treatment professional has spent much of her career in behavioral health at state agencies and nonprofits, on both the business and service side. In those capacities, she has overseen programs and advocated and innovated on behalf of children and families. Dr. Drake has more than 20 years of experience as a social worker clinician, program director, clinical director, executive director and CEO. Not one to sit back and watch, Drake takes advantage of opportunities to improve treatment programs and processes, whether through grant-writing or expanding programs that often serve as models for other organizations. Throughout her career, she has consistently served others with compassion and care.
About Dr. Drake
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Drake to MFI Recovery Center,” said Director of Marketing, Renee Mullings. “We look forward to seeing the ways she will help us move forward.”
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Method for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.
When Craig Lambdin accepted the position to lead MFI in 1972, he wasn’t thinking about legacy. He just wanted to help people through the non-profit organization, which was struggling financially and suffered a less-than-stellar reputation in the community. Recruited at a time when facility closure was a very real option, he was eager to get his hands dirty – modeling early a form of servant leadership that has framed his entire career.
“Almost immediately, we started introducing ourselves to the neighbors. We went on ride-alongs with police so we could understand the area. And we organized nightly citizen patrols, which significantly impacted crime,” he recalls. In a manner that masks the level of his personal investment, he uses the term “we” to describe his role. His arrival at Woodcrest, which was the first MFI location, came on the heels of the work he did creating programs for the Youth Service Center of Riverside in the Adolescent Counseling Program now called the Carolyn E. Wylie Center. “The board hoped we would be able to create programs for MFI.”
And create programs he did…but not to check boxes. The programs were born out of the belief that hurting people deserved the best possible care to get back on their feet.
“Early on, we were living month-to-month, trying to stretch a very thin budget to make things happen. I wanted people to have access to the latest advances. To do that, we needed to develop curriculum and train people to be human change-agents. I think, to some degree, over the years, we’ve been able to do just that.”
Craig’s “change-agents” find it hard to say goodbye.
Renee Mullings, Program Coordinator at Mt Rubidoux, for example, says her long-time Director’s legacy is one of humility and compassion. “He’s an extremely down-to-earth guy. And he’s been an amazing supervisor.”
She is grateful he created a culture of trust, always placing client care above everything else and giving his employees room to grow.
Striving to mirror those habits in her own role at MFI, Renee says, “The most important thing he has done is modeled the way to be an effective leader.”
Juli Kukulka, Program Coordinator at La Vista concurs.
“I’ll never forget how it felt to see a ‘for sale’ sign on the house that had saved my life. I had been a La Vista client in 1996. Later, as Program Manager, I was aware that we were one month away from not even being able to make payroll. Craig and the board walked the perimeter and decided to bail us out. And he has done immeasurably more ever since. I’ve seen him take off his suit and tie and use a chainsaw to pull out hedges. He has literally been covered in cuts and bruises and blood for the work he’s done for us. He is one of my favorite people in the world,” she says, adding,“It isn’t often I can say that.”
Theresa Bader, Program Coordinator for A Woman’s Place, notes that Craig has never been afraid of hard work, “He won’t ask us to do something he wouldn’t do himself. He climbs on roofs, trims trees and paints buildings. He’ll chip in wherever there is a need.”
Nicholas Bond, Program Coordinator for the Banning and San Bernardino Outpatient Treatment Centers, refers to Craig as “the voice in my head.” And he considers that a plus. His direct clinical supervisor while Nick was in training, Craig often reminded his protégé to have a ‘North Star.’
“Craig became that for me. Even now, when I am faced with an administrative decision, I wonder what he would do,” Nick says, “I am better at my job because of his influence.”
Craig’s habit of making sly, off-the-cuff comments without cracking a smile has earned him the reputation for having a “wicked sense of humor.” MFI staffers agree the personality trait is necessary in a field that can take an emotional toll. When she was new to administration, Renee says she didn’t know what to make of the way her supervisor ran interviews.
The final question he would pose was, ‘Do you believe in aliens? You know, Extra Terrestrial Beings?’ Unaware of whether he was joking, Renee recalls, “their eyes darted around, searching in vain for the hint of a smile.”
Craig says he will miss working and joking around with his 200+ member staff. But after 33 years on the job, having helped hundreds of thousands of people, he is ready to hang it up to spend time with his wife and their new grandson.
“There is nothing better than having someone enter treatment as one person and then, 30 days later, emerge as someone vastly different – physically, emotionally, and mentally. Being part of that has meant the world to me,” he says.“But I am ready to turn the canvas over with my life.”
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix-Method for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.
Most professionals treat industry-related jargon like a second language. That is definitely the case in the field of counseling, where the names of methodologies, training and certifications come packaged in complex acronyms and four-syllable words. A term most insiders use at MFI (which is an acronym for My Family Incorporated, by the way) is “modality.”
The dictionary defines modality as: “The way or mode in which something exists or is done. You might often see it used with reference to diagnostic modality, which is the way in which a disease or illness is diagnosed by a doctor.”
MFI staff, across all 10 facilities, rely on several proven modalities to help clients who struggle with substance abuse and/or mental health issues. At the Hemet Outpatient Facility, for example, Program Coordinator Yarely Torres encourages staff to pursue certification in several modalities such as Seeking Safety (SS), Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), Matrix Model (MM), Positive Parenting Program (PPP, aka as Triple P), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Living in Balance (LIB)…to name a few.
“We rely on these modalities because research proves that they work. At intake, we evaluate whether clients need outpatient assistance with substance abuse or mental health issues such as depression, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), or personality disorders (and virtually anything else).” Holding up a thick notebook used to for diagnosis, Yarely says, “We use this to help create a customized treatment plan and then we get to work.”
At the Hemet facility, clients see counselors and therapists once or twice a week and attend group sessions. They may also be referred to a psychiatrist, if medication is necessary. Although each client’s case and associated care are unique, modalities are standardized.
Shortly after leaving the Murrieta Outpatient Treatment Center one year ago, Torres spearheaded the effort to relocate the MFI Hemet Facility from its previous location, known as Valley Wide, to its current digs. She and her team are proud to offer services in Spanish as well as English. They also provide adolescent outpatient care, which was not previously available at the Hemet site. To use one final acronym, Torres and the rest of the MFI family treat every client like a VIP.
Throughout 10 facilities in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, we employ the Matrix Model for each individual client, creating a personalized treatment program. Various modalities can include behavior modification, 12-Step recovery program introduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family systems techniques, including the family in group therapy. Treatment options include outpatient and inpatient detox, medication management (if appropriate), group therapy, individual therapy, relapse prevention education, and ongoing support after treatment. To find out more, call today (866) 218-4697, or for non-admission related information, contact us at (951) 683-6596.
Hope for the Hurting
Yarely Torres has always had a soft spot for adolescents. Prior to starting her career at MFI five years ago, she worked with teens at various locations, including in their homes. She noticed, firsthand, that many substance abuse and mental health issues were rooted in the family dynamic and affected every member. She wondered how she could help them all. The question led her to grad school, where she began an internship at MFI and studied to be a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA, the working definition of recovery is: “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery is built on access to evidence-based clinical treatment and recovery support services for all populations.” Continue reading
What image crosses your mind when you hear the term “drug addict?” In the not-too-distant past, most people associated the phrase with sketched-out, homeless, toothless, unemployed criminals who lived on the street, desperate to do whatever it took to get their next hit. While that sad image remains true for some, with nearly eight million people meeting the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse disorder in the United States, the more likely description is your son or daughter, boss, employee, parent, brother, sister, next door neighbor or friend. Often highly educated, working in white collar careers and driving luxury cars, these addicts represent the new face of addiction, circa 2018, Opioids. Continue reading
John F. Kennedy’s father, Joseph Kennedy, coined a saying that applies to most of the MFI family: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” The phrase certainly works to describe alumnus Edward S., who completed his inpatient treatment at Mt Rubidoux in September 2018.
“I had to go to court for my third DUI,” he recalls, “and the judge told me that outpatient treatment wouldn’t cut it. He said, unless I started an inpatient recovery program, I would have to serve at least 45 days in jail. I knew jail wasn’t the way to go. If I had gone to jail, I would have come out and immediately returned to my addiction.”
Substance abuse makes life unpredictable and perilous, much like a live bomb. Counselor Jerry Paredes understands the correlation more intimately than most, as he served in the United States Army as an explosive ordinance disposal technician before starting his career in 2014 at MFI. Currently the Program Coordinator at the center’s sober living facility in Murrieta, Jerry’s job still involves diffusing volatile situations. He says both career paths require patience and trust in the process. Continue reading
Amber Harley hit rock bottom when she was forced to do time while she was in the throes of addiction. Up until then, she thought she had things under control. She says incarceration woke her up.
“Everything spiraled out of control,” she recalls.“The repercussions of my addiction not only landed me in jail but also impacted my ability to get a job after I was released. I was fed up with the havoc I had made out of my life. And I was ready to change because that wasn’t what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I was desperate to get help.”
Whether she is counseling a client at one of MFI’s 10 recovery centers or networking in the community, Sheila Young’s goal is to encourage people. A mother of three and grandmother of four, her job as Community Consumer Support Worker (CCSW) enables her to do just that.
“I love representing MFI because I’ve seen, firsthand, how drastically someone’s life can change for the better once they’ve decided they are ready to get serious about sobriety,” Sheila says.
If you stay in the same place doing exactly the same thing, you will eventually get bored. This is as true in detox and recovery programs as it is in everyday life. And it’s the rationale behind MFI field trips. Continue reading
“Coining Out” is a common practice in addiction recovery circles. Sobriety coins are tokens recovering addicts earn to celebrate milestones — 24 hours, 30 days, 60 days, etc. In group, members pray, speak or even sing over a coin that is passed around the circle, eventually landing with someone who needs encouragement. When she was nine months pregnant, Clarysa Saldana checked herself into treatment to overcome a meth habit. Shortly after arriving at A Woman’s Place (AWP), she sat through four consecutive “coin out” ceremonies while in active labor, heading directly from group to the hospital, where she gave birth. She later resumed inpatient treatment, which she credits with saving her marriage — maybe even her life. Continue reading
When Terri Crawford decided 10 years ago that she was fed up with her addiction and wanted to get clean, she grabbed her cellphone and frantically started calling Inland Empire rehab facilities. Relieved at her daughter’s decision and happy to help, Terri’s mom headed to the adjoining room with her own phone in hand. The two called dozens of detox and addiction treatment centers in search of the perfect place for Terri’s recovery. When Terri talked to an admissions counselor at MFI, she was sold. Continue reading
Moviemakers love showing people go through detox. Dramatic scenes from films like Trainspotting, Walk the Line, and 28 Days depict 180-degree narrative arcs that transform characters from hopeless, helpless, out-of-control addicts to conquering overcomers. Art imitating life, these stories mirror some of the experiences clients typically encounter when they seek sobriety. Those who check into the treatment center at Mt Rubidoux in Riverside spend 4-10 days in detox before transitioning to the men’s program at Mt Rubidoux or the women’s, at Raincross. Continue reading
Addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a step-by-step process. So is recovery. With this in mind, the staff at MFI help clients every step of the way, from detox, through residential and/or outpatient treatment and even after program completion. And one of the tools they rely on to do this is 12-step philosophies. Continue reading
Like a pinball, addiction violently strikes the addict as well as everyone around him. The disease touches friends, neighbors, coworkers, and, especially, families – impacting them emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually. At MFI, we understand and appreciate the myriad ways addiction affects an addict’s family. So, we treat the entire unit rather than the client, alone. Continue reading
One of the reasons addicts hesitate to begin treatment is because they feel that everything has spiraled out of control. The thought of clearing it all up is absolutely overwhelming. At MFI Recovery Center, we understand how daunting rebuilding and repairing can be. So, we help clients not just with detox and recovery but in virtually every area of their lives – including addressing adverse effects their disease has had on their bodies. Continue reading
Wouldn’t it be lovely if life fit neatly into organized compartments? In such a scenario, you would never have to face more than one problem at a time. In the real world, however, this is seldom the case. Trouble usually arrives in droves — especially when addiction is at play. After all, drug and alcohol dependency often lead to health issues, altered family dynamics, financial woes and more. Continue reading
People struggle with addiction for myriad reasons – genetic predisposition, boredom, depression, stress, life-altering injury or loss. But experts agree one of the most common catalysts for substance abuse is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) relative to military service. Whether veterans initially use to escape memories of active combat or simply to ease their return to civilian life, addiction is a major concern among the veteran community. Continue reading
Nine of our ten in-patient and out-patient treatment centers, as well as the MFI Recovery Center administrative offices are in the city of Riverside, California. In the heart of the Inland Empire, Riverside was named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. With a population of approximately 317,000 residents, the city is 60 miles east of Los Angeles, near sea level, at an elevation of 827. Riverside was founded in the early 1870’s and is currently the 59th most populated city in the United States and the 12th most populous in California. Continue reading