The Meadows Blog

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 00:00

Summer Workshops at The Meadows

Renew your mind, body and spirit this summer with an intensive workshop at the Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows. We combine our expert-led therapeutic workshops with Yoga, Tai Chi, expressive arts, acupuncture, equine therapy, evening social events, and a beautiful, serene desert landscape to facilitate holistic healing.

Register Today!

Book your stay at a nearby resort, or at our brand new Bunkhouse. Register between now and June 30 and receive a 25 percent discount on registration fees.

Rio Retreat at The Meadows Summer Workshop Calendar

For more information, or to register, call 800-244-4949.

MAY 2016

Every Week: Survivors I
Scheduled Upon Request: Family Workshop
May 9 - 13: Mind & Heart: A Mindful Path to Wholehearted Living
May 9 - 13: Strengthening Coupleship: Working Together
May 15 - 19: Discovery to Recovery: For Couples Healing From Sex Addiction, Intensive 2
May 16 - 20: Love Addiction/Love Avoidance
May 23 - 27: Men's Sexual Recovery
May 30 - June 3: Survivors II
May 30 - June 3: Healing Intimate Treason: For Partners of Sex Addiction

JUNE 2016

Every Week: Survivors I
Scheduled Upon Request: Family Workshop
June 6 - 10: Strengthening Coupleship: Working Together
June 13 - 17: Love Addiction/Love Avoidance
June 13 - 17: Men's Sexual Recovery
June 20 - 24: Discovery to Recovery: For Couples Healing From Sex Addiction, Intensive 3
June 20 - 24: Living in Abundance: Balancing Work, Money and Relationships
June 27 - July 1: Living in Abundance: Balancing Work, Money and Relationships
June 27 - July 1: Survivors II

JULY 2016

Every Week: Survivors I
Scheduled Upon Request: Family Workshop
July 4 - 8: A Man's Way Retreat
July 11 - 15: Men's Sexual Recovery
July 11 - 15: Journey of a Woman's Heart: Finding True Intimacy
July 11 - 15: Strengthening Coupleship: Working Together
July 18 - 22: Healing Intimate Treason: For Partners of Sex Addiction
July 18 - 22: Love Addiction/Love Avoidance
July 25 - 29: Discovery to Recovery: For Couples Healing From Sex Addiction, Intensive 1


Every Week: Survivors I
Scheduled Upon Request: Family Workshop
August 1 - 5: Healing Heartache: A Grief and Loss Workshop
August 1 - 5: Men's Sexual Recovery
August 8 - 12: Strengthening Coupleship: Working Together
August 8 - 12: The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
August 15 - 19: Mind & Heart: A Mindful Path to Wholehearted Living
August 15 - 19: Survivors II
August 22 - 26: Love Addiction/Love Avoidance
August 22 - 26: Men's Sexual Recovery
August 29 - September 2: Healing Intimate Treason: For Partners of Sex Addiction

About The Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows

Since the 1980s, The Meadows has been the forerunner in providing intensive workshops that transform lives. Our new Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows offers a variety of unique workshops available to all interested individuals. All workshops are led by world class Meadows clinicians, as well as industry leaders from around the country who specialize in specific areas of professional growth.

Published in Workshops

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs are benzodiazepines (a.k.a. benzos).

As the number of these prescriptions has grown, so has the abuse. Some types of benzos are more commonly misused recreationally, often in combination with alcohol. Others are more likely to be abused as a result of an unnecessary prescription.

Unfortunately, many people who abuse these drugs assume that since their use is so common, they must also be “safe.” This is far from the truth.

Why Are Benzodiazepines Prescribed?

Benzodiazepines can be useful for those with panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, and even, in some cases, alcohol withdrawal. They are best prescribed by doctors when they believe that the patient’s need for them outweighs the possible risk of addiction, overdose, or abuse. Xanax is one of most popular and well-known of these types of benzos, but other varieties include Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, Restoril, Librium, ProSom, Halcion and Versed.

Doctors typically recommend that benzos either be used only occasionally, as in the case of patients who take Xanax when facing a panic attack, or for short-term courses, as when easing symptoms from alcohol withdrawal. The longer benzos are used, the greater the risk. Even prescribed doses, when taken for a year or longer can cause serious withdrawal problems.

Unfortunately, many people do end up using these drugs to the point of becoming addicted, either as a result of bad advice from their doctors or by choosing to continue to take the drug longer than necessary.

Why Are Benzodiazepines Abused?

Doctors often prescribe medications in the benzodiazepine family to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. So, patients who truly struggle with anxiety and panic disorders may not find the drugs to be especially “fun” or interesting. They serve to bring them to a baseline level of emotion and daily functioning.

But, when people who do not have anxiety or panic disorders take benzos, they often find that the drug can bring them a sense of deep relaxation and feelings of euphoria. Instead of taking them to correct an imbalance, they take them to boost the euphoria.

According to Addiction, people who are addicted to benzos often take 30 to 120 times more than experts recommend. Over time, they often develop a tolerance to the drug and have to find new ways to take the drugs—like snorting or injecting— in order to the get the same high. Taking extremely high doses of benzodiazepines can result in coma or death.

Deadly Combinations: Mixing Benzos with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Some studies have shown that the number of annual benzodiazepine-related unintentional deaths have begun to outnumber those related to cocaine and heroin. Several celebrities have died in the past 10 years who had benzos in their systems that may have contributed to their deaths. Heath Ledger died in 2008 from a mix of opioid and benzo prescriptions. Amy Winehouse had Librium in her system when she died in 2011. And, Whitney Houston, when she died in 2012, had a combination of Xanax and alcohol in her system.

Benzodiazepine abuse rarely occurs alone. The majority of people who abuse benzos also use another substance (most commonly heroin, cocaine, methadone, prescription painkillers and alcohol) at the same time. Mixing benzos with any other drug that affects your nervous system—even antihistamines—can be dangerous.

For example, when a person combines Xanax and alcohol, they find themselves feeling unexpectedly sleepy and get into the shower to try to wake themselves up. Since they are so sedated, they can end up losing their ability to stay balanced and stay conscious which can lead to them falling and drowning from inhaling water into their lungs.

Dual Diagnosis: Benzo Abuse and Other Disorders

It is very common for those who abuse benzos to also struggle with other disorders like depression, anxiety, panic disorders, bipolar disorders, and PTSD. Sometimes they have been prescribed these drugs as a way to manage the symptoms of these disorders. They may eventually end up abusing them, as they build up a tolerance and find themselves needing larger doses to get the same effects as before.

This is why, at The Meadows, we believe it’s important to find and treat the underlying causes of behavioral disorders, and not just the symptoms. Benzos and other substances, when used to mask the symptoms of another addiction or disorder, can contribute to a sense of powerlessness people often have about their disease. By addressing underlying trauma, patients can take back the control of their day-to-day lives from the unhealthy coping mechanisms they’ve developed in the place of real healing.

Signs and Treatment

Once someone has developed a dependency on benzos, avoiding withdrawal symptoms may start to be their biggest daily motivation. Some of the signs that someone you know may be addicted to benzos are…

  • You find multiple pill bottles from multiple doctors.
  • You find bags with pills or someone else’s prescription bottles.
  • The person seems strangely detached. Loses interested in things that were once important to them.
  • The person withdraws from family events and social interactions.
  • The person shows increased hostility, and may even act out violently.
  • The person may show withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, hallucinations, insomnia, and irritability.

It is critical that those addicted to benzodiazepines get proper medical and psychological treatment from qualified addiction professionals. A cold-turkey approach to quitting benzos can be deadly due to the likelihood of developing a withdrawal syndrome. Patients need a supervised, structured withdrawal program, where they are safe and can also learn techniques, like mindfulness and meditation, for relieving the increased feeling of anxiety that can come with withdrawal.

Since benzo addiction so often occurs with other mental health issues, they also need a program where they can address their addiction, their disorder, and any underlying emotional issues that are likely fueling both. At The Meadows’ programs, we specialize in providing intensive, highly-individualize treatment for complex and cascading disorders. Although the thought of spending 45 days or more in an inpatient facility, away from the life you’re familiar with, may be scary, it is sometimes the best way to finally free yourself of the dangerous trappings of addiction. If you or someone you know needs help, give us a call today at 800-244-4949 or contact us online.

Published in Addiction

The Meadows is pleased to announce that we now offer on-site, overnight lodging exclusively for workshop participants at the Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows! And, to celebrate this great news, we’re extending our 25 percent discount on all workshop registration fees through the month of April.

The Rio Retreat Bunkhouse

The Rio Retreat Bunkhouse is designed to be conducive to the process of healing and recovery, and is purposely free of the distractions that often accompany hotel lodging.

The Bunkhouse offers workshop participants:

  • Simply appointed, double-occupancy rooms with private bath.
  • Round-trip transportation to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
  • Sunday evening snack and all meals through noon on Friday.
  • Use of the swimming pool.
  • Complimentary activities including expressive arts, Auricular Acupuncture, yoga, Tai Chi, 12-step meetings, and live entertainment.

Five nights at The Bunkhouse costs $560 including taxes. Single-occupancy rooms are available at an additional cost.

Rooms are available on a first come, first served basis; early registration is recommended.

April Discount on Workshop Registration

Register for any of our intensive workshops, now through April 30 and receive a 25 percent discount. This is a great value on our first-rate workshop programs and facilities. Check out our full workshop schedule, and contact us at 800.244.4949 to register today.


  • Workshop registration must be completed and payment made by April 30, 2016.
  • Workshop attendance can occur any time before December 31, 2016.
  • Offer applies to all workshops offered at the Rio Retreat Center.
  • This email must be mentioned to receive the discount.
  • Workshop registration is subject to availability.
  • Participant must be clinically appropriate for the workshop.
  • Lodging and travel expenses are the responsibility of the participant.
Published in Workshops

We’re nearly halfway through NCAA® March Madness® tournament. The excitement is ramping up as the team in the Sweet Sixteen prepare for the next round. Those whose brackets aren’t already busted are anxiously waiting to see if their picks will help them reign supreme over their friends and co-workers, and maybe even allow them to take home a cash prize.

But some people—an estimated 6 million in fact— might instead be anxiously waiting for the tournament to be over. They are the people who struggle with pathological gambling addictions. For them, this time of year presents an overabundance of challenges and triggers. While many of us are cheering our teams on the road to the Final Four, they are fighting to stay on the road to recovery.

While participating in your friends’ or co-workers’ NCAA bracket pool doesn’t necessarily put you on the path to addiction, many problem gamblers did experience their first gambling-related rush from participating in a March Madness tournament bracket pool or purchasing a Super Bowl square. They are likely to have been introduced to these forms of gambling as teenagers by family members and middle school or high school classmates.

This may partially explain why the rate of gambling addiction is actually higher among young adults and adolescents. According to U.S. News and World Report, the rate of young adults addicted to gambling is up to four times as high as the adult rate, and 4 to 7 percent of college students meet the criteria for pathological gambling. However, it’s important to remember that gambling addiction can affect almost anyone, of any age, at any time—even if they are not entirely new to gambling.


Gambling Addiction and Its Consequences

Those who are addicted to gambling feel an uncontrollable urge to place bets, visit casinos, use Internet gambling sites, and/or buy lottery tickets in spite of the negative ways their behavior is affecting their lives and the lives of their loved ones. An untreated gambling disorder can lead to devastating personal debt and bankruptcies, and even prison time if the addicted person turns to stealing or fraud to support their gambling habits.

For those who are prone to addiction, gambling starts out as just another recreational activity but soon triggers strong, uncontrollable biological and psychological responses. Similarly to other forms of addiction, people who develop compulsive gambling behaviors tend to be those who feel disconnected in personal relationships, disconnected from a higher purpose, depressed, isolated and/or anxious. As a matter of fact, most pathological gamblers—68 percent, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology—also have more than one addiction, often to alcohol and drugs. Another study found that people who struggle with both problem gambling and substance abuse were also more likely to have issues with sexual compulsivity and to have attempted suicide.

This suggests that gambling addiction can be a sign of a very complex set of intermingling behavioral health issues. If you or someone you know seems to be struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek out a high-quality, comprehensive treatment program right away.


Signs of Gambling Addiction and Treatment

The DSM-5 lists nine criteria for determining whether someone has a gambling disorder:

  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement.
  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed).
  • After losing money gambling often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling.
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling


Get Help For Gambling Addiction

Since gambling addiction so often coincides with one or more additional addictions—drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.—it’s important to seek a treatment program that can address multiple conditions at the same time. Our staff spends time with each patient to develop a highly-individualized treatment program based on a thorough assessment of his or her primary and secondary conditions, and on releasing the hidden trauma at the heart of them all. Call our intake coordinators today at 800-244-4949 or contact us online to find out if one of our Meadows Behavioral Healthcare programs is right for you.

Published in Addiction
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

Welcome, Dr. Terry Eagan!

We’re excited to share the news that we’ll be expanding our team to include Dr. Terry Eagan, He will be joining us as a Senior Fellow for all of our Meadows Behavioral Healthcare programs.

Dr. Eagan is a prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist, and founder and CEO of Eagan Medical Group, LLC., a thriving mental health practice treating over 2000 patients annually. He also has years of experience as the Medical Director of several addiction and eating disorder treatment centers throughout the Los Angeles area. Most recently, he founded The Eagan Institute, an innovative new organization focusing on the advanced diagnostics and treatment of brain injuries and brain disorders.

He is an expert in the complexities of mental health and addiction treatment, and he specializes in effective treatment regimens for all types of emotional distress that often can arise from being in positions of responsibility and public attention. In addition to his specialties in primary psychiatric conditions, substance abuse disorders, trauma, abuse, impulse control disorders, human sexuality, and spiritual therapy, he also has 20 years of experience in treating patients with eating disorders.

He is also a leader in Professional Ethics and Compassion Fatigue and has guided training programs for individual practitioners, multinational corporations, public school systems, community health centers, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and universities.

And, like us, he believes in multi-faceted treatment approaches that incorporate pharmacologic interventions with evidence-based therapies, adjunctive modalities, and traditional spiritual practices.

As part of his Senior Fellowship, Dr. Eagan will provide training on pertinent topics to staff, give occasional presentations to patients, and help to further develop and guide our treatment programs. We’re so glad to add Dr. Eagan’s expertise to an already top-notch team of compassionate and dedicated professionals at The Meadows programs.

Published in Blog

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