Monthly Archives: October 2015

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What is Los Angeles HIDTA?

We often hear about the “War on Drugs” and the measures local, state and federal legislative bodies and law enforcement are taking to help minimize the spread of illicit drugs in communities across the United States. The primary focus on these programs is to reduce drug trafficking as well as coordinate all critical resources to help law enforcement agencies to proactively and aggressively deal with the changing nature of drug trafficking. One such program that is operating in the greater Los Angeles area is known at HIDTA, or the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.

The History of HIDTA

Established in Los Angeles in 1990, the HIDTA program was created by Congress with the establishment of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. The HIDTA program provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas which are determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States. There are four key areas that HIDTA programs nationwide address:

  • Facilitating cooperation among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities;
  • Enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
  • Providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies needed to design effective enforcement strategies and operations; and
  • Supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies which maximize use of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas and in the United States as a whole.

The Los Angeles HIDTA program is one of 28 HIDTA programs that are currently in operation throughout the United States and its territories. These programs are located in 48 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

Areas Of Focus for the Los Angeles HIDTA Program

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With each HIDTA program that is implemented, it takes into account the unique economic, geographic and cultural factors of each area. In the Los Angeles area, the following factors dictate where programs are most effective:

  • The Los Angeles area is home to three international and 94 smaller municipal airports in which drug smugglers can bring illicit substances into California to be sold locally or nationwide.
  • The Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach is the third busiest seaport in the world with five million containers that are processed each year.
  • It’s climate and geography supports marijuana cultivation in the nearby mountains, and a substantial concentration of secret labs continue to manufacture substantial quantities of methamphetamine and PCP.
  • California’s medical marijuana laws are being exploited by drug traffickers, and as a result both indoor and outdoor marijuana production has been increasing.

The main goals of the Los Angeles HIDTA program is to dismantle and disrupt the business generated through major drug trafficking. Additionally, this program also looks to disrupt money laundering organizations that operate in and through the region with a primary focus on drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin. When the Los Angeles HIDTA program was created, the area was seen as a major gateway for narcotic drugs–and that distinction still holds true to the present day.

The Structure of the Los Angeles HIDTA Program

The implementation of the strategies used in Los Angeles HIDTA program are the result of the work done by an eighteen member executive committee and its three subcommittees. The executive committee and its three subcommittees  take a very active and positive role in determining the strategy, priorities and overall direction of the HIDTA program. As a result of continual input and constant monitoring and guidance, the mutual cooperation and teamwork between all parties helps the program to move forward in a positive direction.

Among the task forces and enforcement agencies help the HIDTA program function smoothly in the greater Los Angeles area include the Southern California Drug Task Force, the Regional Methamphetamine Task Force, the Los Angeles Joint Drug Intelligence Group as well as national law enforcement agencies like the U.S. Marshal’s Office and the FBI. The ways in which the HIDTA program operates are always being refined through periodic reviews and evaluations. Additionally, the executive committee of the Los Angeles HIDTA program performs an annual threat assessment to identify trouble spots and issues that provide challenges to law enforcement and other monitoring organizations.

Effective Drug Treatment is Another Effective Weapon in the Fight Against Drugs

Programs like HIDTA not only focus on the ways on stopping the distribution of illicit substances, these programs also focus on helping those caught in the grips of addiction find the help they need. If you or a loved one needs help with your drug and/or alcohol addiction, contact the experienced professionals at SoCal Detox. We offer drug and alcohol detox programs that are effective and proven to work, and are delivered in state-of-the-art facilities which have the comforts of home.

Call SoCal Detox today and start to wage a winning battle against your substance abuse.

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Why is Medical Detox Necessary Before Treatment?

When you are looking to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, you must realize that your recovery is a process and is not accomplished in a single moment. Your goal of long-term sobriety must include a recovery plan that is made up of several components. The first and arguably most important step in the recovery process is successfully completing a medical detoxification program at a quality drug rehab or nearly facility. Medical detox allows you to withdraw gradually from the substances you are abusing, and you can do so in a manner which minimizes the dangers of the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that occur when you quit taking substances.

If you or a loved one are in need of a safe detox program that is effective and proven to work, call SoCal Detox today.

Why Can I Quit Drugs and Alcohol On My Own?

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Depending on the substance you have been abusing and the length of time you have been using substances, you can experience considerable discomfort and pain. If you are ready to quit drugs but feel uneasy about undergoing medical detox, you may feel you can withdraw from substances on your own either using over-the-counter self-detoxification products or by quitting drugs “cold turkey” and riding out the withdrawal symptoms.

These methods are highly discouraged and can pose serious health risks. Without proper medical attention that you would receive through medical detox, these withdrawal symptoms can become  extremely dangerous to your health and even become life-threatening–especially if you have underlying medical issues. When you undergo medical detox services, you will be able to withdrawal from substances in an environment which is warm, safe and secure, and you will be monitored and evaluated around the clock to ensure that the withdraw process is as painless and tolerable as possible.

Reasons Why Medical Detox is So Important Before You Enter Treatment

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The obvious goal of medical detox is to help you overcome your physical dependence on substances. Detox will also help your body regain its vitality and your brain can return to normal functioning. When you enter medical detox as a part of a comprehensive drug treatment program, experienced detox staff have three main objectives they want to achieve in order to help you successfully complete the detox process.

The first objective of medical detox is to complete a complete evaluation in which they test for both the amount and concentrations of substances in your bloodstream. Staff can also detect the presence of and diagnose any co-occurring mental disorders that may be accompanying your substance abuse. Drug abuse and addiction is often a symptom of a much deeper and complex issue that needs to be addressed and resolved when you enter inpatient treatment.

The second objective of drug detox is to allow you to achieve stability both medically and psychologically, as well as substance free. Medications can be used to help facilitate this process and is done in a highly controlled and supervised environment. Once that has been achieved, detox staff can prepare you for entry into inpatient drug treatment.

How Long Do I Need To Stay in a Medical Detox Program?

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When you enter a detox program, your first question may be how long you need to stay before you go to drug treatment. There are many factors that can influence the length of time you need to stay in detox, but on average the detox process can last anywhere between 5-14 days, but this time frame can run longer. These factors can include the length of time you have been abusing substances and the amount of the substance you have taken.

Along with the length of time and the amount of the drug you have taken, the frequency of your daily substance abuse can also play a role in how long you need to detox. What can further complicate the detox process is if you have been abusing multiple substances during your addiction. Finally, the length of time medical detox is needed is dependent on any underlying medical conditions that may be present.

Please Keep in Mind One Important Thing Before You Enter a Medical Detox Program…

When you are about to start a medical detox program, there is one important thing to keep in mind, and that is that medical detoxification is not a complete treatment program. Detox is an important component of an overall treatment and recovery plan. Its purpose is to assess the individual and establish a comprehensive treatment plan that best fits the individual’s specific needs. Detox is needed to help overcome your physical addiction to substances, but inpatient treatment will be needed to help address and correct the underlying causes of your addictive behavior.

In the detoxification process, detox staff gives you the message recovery is possible. It is during the medical detox process you fully realize that addiction lies within the brain and is not due to a moral issue or failing but an issue that involves a wide variety of social, environmental and biological factors. Ultimately, the importance of the drug and alcohol detox process is to motivate you to be proactive in regards to drug treatment where family and other support networks are involved in the treatment process.

SoCal Detox Provides You with Detox Programs that are Safe, Effective and Proven to Work

When medical detoxification is mentioned as a necessary part of the recovery process, you may feel unsure and even a bit frightened of what you may feel. When you undergo drug and alcohol detox at SoCal Detox, you can be assured that you will have the best in care. SoCal Detox is among the premier drug and alcohol detox facilities in the state of California and our detox programs are proven to work, effective, and safe. Our experienced treatment staff will be able to create an individualized detox treatment plan that will fit your unique specific needs and give you the best chance at sustaining your sobriety for the long run.

Call us today and start your recovery on the right foot.

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What Does a Quality Drug and Alcohol Detox Program Consist Of?

 The number one goal of anyone who is seeking help for their drug addiction is to achieve long-term recovery. In order to reach that ultimate goal is to think of the recovery process as a series of important steps that must be completed.  During the early stages of the recovery process, undergoing medical detoxification is something that can’t be skipped over or ignored. Many (if not all) substances have substantial withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable, painful and even life-threatening if not treated. By completing drug and alcohol detox, the symptoms associated with withdrawal would be minimized and it will help you get to a substance-free state when you enter formal drug treatment.

Many addicts may fear drug detox because of the potential for discomfort and pain and may feel they can detox on their own. However, these home detox methods are highly discouraged and can expose you to significant health risks that can complicate your recovery. Quality drug detoxification programs provide the strict medical monitoring and support that will make the process as painless and tolerable as possible. If you are looking for a quality drug and alcohol detox program but are unsure of what to look for, the following considerations will make your search much easier.

Components of a Quality Drug and Alcohol Detox Program

Location

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Perhaps one of the most important considerations when looking for a drug detox program is its’ location. Ideally, you would want to find a quality detox facility that is located in the city or town that you live in or in a nearby location. This is an excellent option if you have strong support at home, and by going to a drug detox facility close by, you would feel comfortable and familiar with your surroundings.

However, if you don’t have a strong support system and your home environment provides too much in the way of distractions and temptations, attending a detox program in another city or another state may be a great option. If you decide to receive detox treatment in a “neutral” location, you truly can get the fresh start that you need. Also, keep in mind that you should try to find a detox program that is at or near the treatment center where you will be receiving care.

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Another important and obvious consideration is the facility itself. The drug and alcohol detox center you go to needs to be clean, safe, features around the clock supervision and run by licensed staff. The health and safety of both the addict and the staff should be top priority. Additionally, those who are employed at drug detox centers should have many years of experience in dealing with many different types of addicts and behaviors associated with addiction and be able to handle all situations with professionalism, compassion, and respect.

Dual Diagnosis

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A key component of a quality drug and alcohol detoxification program is its evaluation procedure to diagnose any underlying issues that occur along with the substance abuse and often lie at the root of an addict’s behavior. The use of substances is often seen as a symptom of a deeper problem that must be resolved in order for the addict to properly break free from their addiction. Quality drug detox programs offer comprehensive medical evaluations for all patients, and they especially focus on these co-occurring disorders (often referred as dual diagnosis) that patients may have before they enter treatment.

Many addicts may be suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD or other mental illnesses, and if these are not diagnosed and addressed patients will be prone to future relapses down the road. In the event that a co-occurring disorder is discovered in the evaluation process, detox treatment staff can create an initial recovery program that can is individually tailored to focus in on those issues. This initial treatment plan creates during the medical detox process is often used in the beginning stages of intensive drug treatment.

Individual Treatment Plans

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As alluded to in the previous section, the best detox facilities are able to create individualized treatment plans that can suit the unique and specific needs of each client. Drug treatment is not a “one size fits all” proposition and each addict has different treatment needs. Detox staff should be able to put together an initial treatment plan that targets those individual needs and gives you the best chance at meaningful recovery.

Effective Programming that is Backed Up By Research

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The drug treatment process requires a significant time commitment as well as financial resources, and you want to be sure that you are receiving the care and services that are effective the first time around. Quality drug and alcohol detox facilities feature detox programs that have been created from many years of solid empirical research. Research findings concerning the effectiveness of the programs should be able to make studies available to you.

Detox Services Are Available to All That Seek Them

Finally, the best drug and alcohol detox programs are able to make their services available to all who seek those services—regardless of their ability to pay. In the case that you are underinsured or uninsured, drug detox facilities should be able to offer alternative payment arrangements so that you can receive the help and support you need as you start your own journey towards recovery.

Are You Searching for Quality Drug and Alcohol Detox Services? Call SoCal Detox Today

Drug and alcohol detoxification is an essential piece of the recovery puzzle that cannot look past or forgotten. If you are looking for quality drug detox services that will best prepare you for the rigors of intensive drug treatment and beyond, SoCal Detox features the detox programs and support that you can count on,  Our experienced staff will create a treatment program that will best suit you and will monitor you around the clock for all of your medical and psychological needs.

Call SoCal Detox toll-free today and take the first step in making recovery your priority.

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Heroin Addiction on the Rise in Southern California

The dramatic surge in heroin addiction and overdose deaths has dominated the national headlines. In 28 states, heroin deaths have doubled in the last few years and lawmakers, law enforcement and concerned citizens alike have been working non-stop to come up with ways to slow the epidemic. While there have been considerable measures taken in order to get help to those who need it the most, heroin use has continued to be a significant health concern. The devastating effects of heroin addiction is also being felt in Southern California.

An increasing number of teens and adults in southern California are using heroin, and the need for immediate intervention by quality medical detox and treatment centers is crucial in helping those addicted to the drug find recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, call SoCal Detox today and find out more about our life-saving detox services.

By the Numbers

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According to statistics provided by SAMHSA, the use of heroin by young people aged 12-17 increased by 80 percent. Overall, heroin deaths had jumped a staggering 250 percent over a ten year period. Like in other parts of the country, heroin use has moved from being an urban problem that affected poor minority populations and have spread into the suburbs. The face of heroin addiction today is young and white.

An added element of concern is the fact those who turn to heroin started out abusing prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Percocet. As increased law enforcement and legislation has slowed the growth of prescription drug abuse, many have turned to heroin due to its’ lower cost and availability of more potent supplies of heroin from Latin America.

The Signs of Heroin Addiction

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For those who abuse heroin, the drug produces a “downer” effect that brings intense feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Like other opiates, heroin blocks the brain’s ability to perceive pain. For those who are in the grips of heroin addiction, they may initially be able to conceal signs and symptoms of their heroin use for a period of time before the physical signs of heroin use become more apparent.

You may notice a number of signs and symptoms of heroin use from a friend of loved one which include the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Constricted pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Cycles of extreme alertness following by sleepy periods
  • Droopy appearance, as if extremities are heavy

You may also notice the appearance of paraphernalia such as aluminum foil, small plastic bags, burned spoons, needles or syringes in addition to the above listed signs.

Symptoms of Long-Term Heroin Addiction

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For those who have abused heroin for long periods of time, the signs of addiction are more starting and life-threatening. For those who inject the drug, collapsed veins and infections of the blood vessels and heart are common. Heroin users who inject the drug are at high risk for developing arthritis as well as infectious diseases such as hepatitis C2 and tuberculosis. Additionally, long-term heroin addiction can include symptoms such as constipation, bad teeth, the weakening of the immune system, depression, loss of appetite, loss of memory and partial paralysis.

In worst case scenarios, overdoses, coma and death can result from heroin abuse and addiction.

The Importance of Heroin Detox in The Treatment Process

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Heroin is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the planet. For those who attempt to quit taking the drug, they can experience withdrawal symptoms that are extremely painful and potentially life-threatening. Methods of self-detoxification or quitting the drug “cold turkey” is extremely risky. For those to want to end the vicious cycle of heroin addiction, they must seek the professional help that is found at a reputable drug treatment center. These facilities provide the medical care, therapy, life skills training and aftercare programs that can help people achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.

Medical detox is a necessity in the treatment process for heroin addiction. During detox, heroin users are gradually weaned off the drug through the use of medications such as suboxone or buprenorphine. These medications minimize withdrawal symptoms and helps make the withdrawal process more tolerable. Once the addict is substance-free as well as medically and psychologically stable, they can transition into intensive drug treatment.

Turn to SoCal Detox for Quality Heroin Detox Services

If you are ready to make the major commitment of seeking help for your addiction to heroin, your first stop on your recovery journey is SoCal Detox. Our detox facility is safe, secure and supervised by highly qualified and experienced medical staff. All clients of SoCal Detox are given complete and expert attention through the duration of their stay at our detox facility. With every step in the detox process, you will be carefully monitored by experienced specialists who offer support and guidance as  you manage withdrawals and substance cravings.

Call us toll-free today and start making your recovery a reality.