Sober SoCal Weekend: Jan 13-16

Happy holiday weekend, Valley Recovery Center friends! How fortunate are we to have Monday off in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? He was certainly an inspirational figure and, don’t worry, we have plenty of Sober SoCal activities lined up that can honor his memory. We also have a slew of other ideas to keep you dry from the rain and away from tempting substances. Enjoy this latest list of “clean” outings and make sure to send your own ideas to us at!


Pasadena Cheeseburger Week

Tasty food is a great way to get your mind off drugs and alcohol and this Friday, the city of Pasadena is holding a grand finale party for Cheeseburger Week! More than 40 local restaurants are participating (rain or shine), highlighting everything from gourmet patties, to good ol’ fashioned Double Doubles. Plus this event is completely family friendly, which means you can bring your whole support system along with you!  To find out details on the menus and the eateries participating, click here.


Los Angeles Art Show

Another great weekend event is the LA Art Show, which officially kicks off on Thursday night. A longtime tradition in the Downtown district, this Show features everything from contemporary works, to modern sculptures, to avante-garde paintings. And, best of all, most of the pieces are available for purchase (and reasonably priced). Appreciating fine art is a great outlet for someone who is recovering and can often inspire them to pick up a palette and brush themselves. We highly recommend this Sober outing. For more official details on the Show, click here.


Kingdom Day Parade

We mentioned before how important Martin Luther King Day is. And if you want to honor his message of peace and civil rights, the annual Monday Kingdom Day Parade is a great place to do it. This event has been going on in South Los Angeles for more than three decades and features marching bands, street performers and local civic leaders uniting to celebrate Dr. King’s work. The televised parade is completely free and does not promote drugs or alcohol. It’s also a great way to feel good and productive on the extra day off. Participants can line up early Monday morning on Martin Luther King Blvd and Western Avenue. Click here for more details.


Free Monday At LACMA

Another event honoring Dr. King this Monday is happening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). From open until closing, this amazing gallery will be offering a free entrance for guests of all ages. There will also be multiculturally themed activities, bilingual tours, sketching classes and live music to honor Dr. King’s memory. And just like everything else on this list, No alcohol and No substances are allowed. So why not drop in? For more details, click here.




Getting An Addicted Parent Into Treatment

Growing up in a household filled with addiction can be incredibly traumatic. And as a child, there is not much you can do to help a mom or dad who is struggling. But as we become adults ourselves, we can clearly the signs of a parent battling substance abuse. Perhaps they hid it well during your childhood. Perhaps they unleashed horrible drunken ranges. We’ve experienced the entire gamut and know that drugs and alcohol can destroy a loving person. At this stage of the game, however, getting help for a parent is very possible and can contribute to them living longer, fuller and healthier lives.


Step #1: Confrontation

Strangely, even though you may be a full-grown adult, confronting a parent about their addiction can bring you right back to childhood habits. They were, of course, the authority figure in your life growing up and now having to give orders to them can be extremely difficult. Difficult, but not impossible. We recommend presenting them with cold, hard statistics about the damage that their addiction is causing.


When you were a child, we’re sure they explained life lessons in a thorough manner. Now it’s your turn to do the same. Show them the tremendous damage years of alcohol abuse can cause. Explain how “harmless” prescription painkillers can lead to overdoses and death. We know the truth about addiction isn’t pretty and your parent needs to understand that too.


Step #2: Illustrate The Evidence

Much like an intervention, the more ammunition you can bring to this conversation the better. If you have siblings who were impacted by your parent’s addiction, ask them to join in. If you have home movies of them under the influence, examples of missed work, car crash evidence…the list goes on. Bring whatever “evidence” you can to prove your point.


Step #3: Investigate The Best Treatment Program For Your Parent

Treating a senior requires some very different techniques than someone in their 20’s. For one thing, there may actually be necessary medications that they need. There is also a fragility factor and an entirely different type of detoxing treatment. Thankfully, at Valley Recovery Center we have programs for residents of all ages and a fantastic referral system for addicted loved ones who may require an assisted living arrangement.


Once all of the proper steps are taken, you will be amazed at the positive outcome sobriety can bring to your parent. Addiction truly knows no bounds and can just as easily strike someone in their 70’s as someone in their early teens. Just know that there are recovery options for people of all ages.


To find out more about how our recovery options for seniors, call our toll-free number, day or night. (866) 986-2486


4 Keys To Staging An Intervention

We often hear about celebrity interventions or see a group come together on a dramatized TV show, but the truth is: Staging an event like this requires planning and hard work. At Valley Recovery Center, we specialize in addiction interventions and have seen tremendous success from this first crucial stage. The important thing is, to prepare properly because a missed step could lead to an even bigger downfall. For this blog, we thought we’d share some essential tips for putting together this type of recovery effort, broken down into 4 KEYS.


Before we get into the details, it is important to define what an “intervention” is. Spelled out, it is a carefully planned process that can be done by the family or friends of someone who is struggling. It is advised that a doctor or medical professional be consulted as well. And, in certain instances, an intervention can involve co-workers, clergy members or others in the community.


The group gathers to confront the addicted person and show them the consequences of their habit. The goal is to get them to accept treatment and, truth be told, it is not always easy.


KEY #1: Make A Plan

You’d be surprised to learn how much planning goes into an intervention. In this stage, it is important to get in touch with a medical professional (or treatment clinic like Valley Recovery Center) to assess the severity of the addiction. Here is also when you gather the contact information of the people participating. You should always meet with the group beforehand to make sure that everyone is on the same page and it is not uncommon to stage a rehearsal before the actual event.


KEY #2: Decide On The Consequences

An intervention cannot be successful unless clear consequences are outlined and carried out. If your group cannot commit to the harsh threats, then you might as well not do it. Examples of what to lay out include: forcing the person to move out of the home, terminating a friendship, or even the removal of children.


KEY #3: Set It And Keep It

Once the preliminary stuff is in place, it’s time to figure out logistics. This includes everything from setting a date and time, to laying out a specific location (often times it is recommended to select a neutral place, especially if there is risk of escalation or violence). Then carry out the plan, catching the loved one off-guard and in a vulnerable state.


KEY #4: Follow Up

Once the intervention is complete, your role is far from over. If you really want to be a support system for your loved one, show them allegiance throughout the recovery process; visiting them, writing letters and sending encouragement throughout the process. And be prepared to be available again, if a relapse were to occur.


We know how challenging a situation like this can be. If you feel ready to help a loved one through the recovery process, give us a call at (866) 986-2486. We can guide you every step of the way and make sure your intervention is a successful one.



Addiction Article Recap: Week Of Jan 9

2017 is in full effect and so are the addiction-heavy headlines. Yes our world never seems to take a breath, with ongoing news stories about alcoholism, drug abuse and prescription painkillers. The good news, however, is that there were quite a few positive articles this week, particularly regarding cities taking a stand against substance abuse. This time out, we’ve got progressive updates from areas like Albuquerque and our Anaheim neighbors, as well as some alarming Chicago Tribune facts about opioid abuse and the elderly. So make sure to soak up these headlines and share them with your community!


And remember, if you have your own Addiction Article Recap stories to contribute, shoot us an email at


Headline #1: Anaheim Addiction Initiatives

We have to admit, we are incredibly proud of our Anaheim neighbors. Proving themselves to be a very progressive California city, the home of good old Disneyland has kicked off a new program called Drug Free Anaheim. The way this initiative works is by giving anyone battling an addiction (legal or illegal) the option to directly contact their police department for assistance. As long as the person does not have an outstanding arrest warrant, they will be put in contact with reps from Social Model Recovery Systems, which is a non-profit org that connects people to treatment services.  City leaders spoke highly of the program, believing that curbing addiction will also curb crime in the city (something we heartily agree with). “I’m confident this innovative program will fill the much-needed gap in our ongoing efforts to identify ways to reduce and prevent crime,” Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said. “Drug addiction plays far too large a role in criminal activity, and we must collectively do everything that we can to reduce the number of people in our families, neighborhoods, and community suffering from this physical and emotional dependency.”


Headline #2: Addiction And The Elderly

The Chicago Tribune recently published a very insightful article concerning opioid abuse and the elderly. In it, they presented several alarming stats and profiled real seniors battling severe addictions. The Tribune’s research showed that 15 percent of seniors were prescribed an opioid after being discharged from a hospital. The scary thing is, 42 percent still found themselves dependent on the drug months after leaving the facility. It also revealed that, in the past 20 years, the rate of hospitalization among seniors addicted to opioids has quintupled. One interviewee, 70-year-old John Evard, explained how a casual prescription turned into a living nightmare. “My initial operation was successful,” he explained. “And what they prescribed me decreased the pain, particularly at first. As time went on, however,  they had less and less effect, and I had to take more and more.” Click here to read more from this very insightful piece.


Headline #3: New Mexico’s Anti-Opioid Campaign

As if Anaheim weren’t enough, now we’re sending our congratulations to New Mexico for kicking off an aggressive anti-opioid campaign in their state. Project O.P.E.N., as they call it, stands for Opioid Prevention & Education Network and aims to curb this tragic epidemic. What it intends to do is educate the public at large, with seminars and training programs about the drug . “We can no longer allow opioid abuse and addiction to destroy New Mexico families and the future of our youth,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said. “I created Project OPEN in order to combat the opioid crisis in our state, and our first action will be training New Mexicans who are on the frontlines of this fight at our free Opioid Abuse Training. I encourage advocates, law enforcement officials, healthcare professionals and policy makers from all corners of New Mexico to attend this training so we can work together to make our families safer and healthier.” Let’s hope it helps bring the state’s overdose number down significantly in the new year.



Tim Kaine Sets Recovery Mission For 2017

Tim Kaine’s name appeared in quite a few headlines last year. The senior U.S. Senator for Virginia happened to also become the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, running on the same ticket at Hillary Clinton. And though we all know the results of that election, the good news is that Kaine’s work is far from over. As he returns to the Senate this month, the 58-year-old political leader plans to bring a major recovery agenda along with him; speaking out as an advocate for the addicted.


The Daily Press outlet recently reported about his lengthy meetings with moms and moms-to-be who are dependent on drugs and alcohol. The participants in the Peninsula Program (as its titled) described in detail their struggles with opioids and the challenges they face receiving proper recovery treatments to get clean. This can includes access to therapies and coverage for anti-overdose meds, such as naloxone.


“This is a physiological disease,” Kaine emphasized to the outlet. “Why should medication for it be different than medication for high blood pressure or statins for high cholesterol?”


He went on to call addiction a “lifelong struggle” and one that requires consistent “coordination of care.” Kaine’s 2017 role in the Senate actually closely aligns with several recovery funding agendas. He was recently assigned to their Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which addresses addiction and recovery from a federal level.


As The Daily Press reported, Kaine is eager to see more doctors prescribe naloxone when prescribing opioids. He also wants to make sure that long-term medication for addiction is treated the same way as drugs for other chronic conditions (such as diabetes).


One other point Kaine emphasized was the potential change in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. With a new administration already eager to make repeals, there is a chance that coverage for addiction medication could become even less accessible. All of that remains to be seen, but we applaud Senator Kaine for staying on top of the issue and speaking out on behalf of those battling substance abuse.


There is no doubt that 2017 is going to be a transitional year for the way Washington views addiction. As we mentioned before, we’re a little unclear about the policies of President-elect Donald Trump. But it is nice to know that the Senate does have strong recovery advocates speaking out.


As new developments occur, we’ll make sure to pass along headlines. Let’s hope we can make even more strides for the recovery industry in the months to come.


For more details on what you may be covered for, we invite you to reach out to Valley Recovery Center. We accept a variety of insurance plans and always want to make sure those who need treatment can receive it. Call us anytime at (866) 986-2486.


Sober SoCal Weekend: Jan 6-8

It’s hard to believe, but the first weekend of January has arrived! And, as always, we’re making sure the VRC community has a host of “clean” activities to choose from via our Sober SoCal Weekend series. Though Friday, Saturday and Sunday offer a lot of temptations, LA has a host of fun events that do not promote drugs or alcohol. This time out, we’re highlighting everything from improv workshops, to pastry festivals to sober Golden Globes viewing parties. So, grab your organizer and make sure to add a few of these ideas to your itinerary!


And don’t forget, if you have your own Sober SoCal activities that you’d like to add to our list reach out via email to


LA Chocolate And Pastry Show

We all know about new year’s resolutions and diets. And, of course, we fully support a healthy eating regimen (particularly because of our accomplished nutrition staff). But, every now and then there’s nothing wrong with enjoying delectable sweets made by the greatest pastry chefs in Los Angeles. That’s why we’re recommending the LA Chocolate Show, which highlights all sorts of five star confections. Everything from cupcakes, to macaroons, to homemade bon bons, will be on display at the famous Downtown Omni Hotel. Best of all, this alcohol free, family-friendly event supports a charity. Proceeds from all tickets will be donated to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which helps to fight childhood cancer. A great cause and a tasty event! To find out more details, click here.


Free Second City Improv Workshops

If you want to celebrate sobriety and save a few bucks, why not trek to Hollywood Blvd for the annual Second City Open House? This event is a great way to channel addictive energy into positive outlets, specifically razor-fast comedy! From 12pm to 6pm on Saturday, the the famed standup theater will be hosting free workshops that teach students how to master the art of improv. Classes include musical comedy, standup timing, writing for TV and much more! And to top it off, at 1pm and 4pm the trained pros will be putting on their own free comedy show to entertain the students. We’re big fans of this event and highly encourage anyone with a free afternoon to register online. Space fills up quick, so click here to be a part of this silly (and sober) experience!


Golden Globe Awards

Movie and TV fans also have a lot to be excited about this weekend. On Sunday night, NBC will be broadcasting the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Now we understand that there could be some negative temptations arising that night, with wine viewing parties and bar celebrations. Our advice is steer clear of all of that and organize a sober viewing party for the gala. This can include all of the great elements of an awards viewing party (popcorn, desserts, appetizers), but without any beer or substances. Or, worst case scenario, enjoy a quiet night alone watching the show. We’re certain this ceremony will be a lot of fun (especially with Jimmy Fallon as host), so add it to the agenda…minus the alcohol.


Addiction Article Recap: Week Of Jan 2

Happy belated New Year’s, Valley Recovery Center friends! We hope everyone rang in 2017 in a healthy and happy way (abstaining from all of the NYE temptations). As we mentioned in previous blogs, January promises to be an exciting month on the VRC front and we are excited to share more important stories that impact our mission and our industry. This week’s Addiction Article Recap includes a tribute to recovery advocate Carrie Fisher, addiction incarceration reform in Argentina and a new potential bill that will crack down on marijuana DUI’s.


Enjoy the info and remember, if you have any addiction-related stories that you’d like us to share, send us an email at


Headline #1 – Carrie Fisher’s Recovery Advocacy

Tragically, 2016 ended with a slew of notable celebrity deaths. And one that was especially heartbreaking was actress and writer, Carrie Fisher. Just 60 years old, Carrie suffered a heart attack while flying internationally. And while she had conquered her addiction demons (which included alcoholism and drug abuse) long ago, the Star Wars actress never stopped supporting those in recovery. As Time Magazine wrote, Fisher was one of the first mega-stars to speak openly about her addiction and rehabilitation process. She even wrote two successful books (Postcards From The Edge and Wishful Drinking) that chronicled her journey from drug user to sobriety champion. CNBC contributor Anna David may have summed up Fisher’s contributions best when she wrote, “In the 70s and 80s, people weren’t out there broadcasting their problems. In doing that, Carrie gave legions of addicts, who might have otherwise been too ashamed to admit their problems, permission to come clean.” Rest In Peace Ms. Fisher.


Headline #2 – Argentina’s Radical Addiction Incarceration Proposal

We love sharing stories about the progressive approach to recovery that certain international countries take. And this week, lawmakers in  Argentina set a fine example by proposing a new initiative that would establish treatment programs instead of incarceration for drug offenders. This would specifically target people arrested for minor crimes who have been proven to have an addiction issue. If they meet the requirements, the offenders would be sent to rehabilitation facilities instead of prison. Many supporters have praised the policy, which will not only lower costs for taxpayers (because of jail overcrowding), but aim to reduce the devastating affects drug and alcohol abuse has had on Argentine citizens.


Headline #3 – New Potential Law Targeting Marijuana DUI’s

Yes, we all know that Californians voted in favor of de-criminalizing marijuana. And while we respect the voice of the people, we still strongly believe that there are many dangers associated with the drug. One such issue concerns being high behind the wheel. There is no denying that marijuana use can impair someone’s ability to operate a car. But right now, there are no harsh laws prohibiting people from being stoned drivers. Currently, several California lawmakers are hoping to change that by proposing legislation that will end up equating stoned driving with drunk driving. As CA Senator Jerry Hill put it, “a law like this will make the roads safer and hopefully save lives.”