Sweat Lodges and Healing in Addiction Treatment for Native Americans

seat lodges for addiction

Addiction, in and of itself, is a destructive disease. Watching someone lose their loved ones, their livelihoods, and even their lives to drugs is heartbreaking. Addiction may seem even more maddening when it affects entire communities at a higher rate. Researchers have that a higher percentage of Native Americans struggle with addiction, and still, few programs exist that address the unique needs of Native Americans. At 10 Acre Ranch, we acknowledge the impact of generational trauma and understand that you cannot separate your culture from your recovery. Our program includes sweat lodges and healing practices rooted in Native American wellness practices.

Substance Abuse Statistics Amongst the Native American Community

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Native Americans were more likely to report substance dependence or abuse than any other population group. Not only are Native Americans more likely to report substance abuse, but their substance abuse typically starts at a younger age. Researchers have found that Native American children report regular alcohol and drug use as early as 8th grade at a much higher rate than national averages. While there are many theories about the causes, it is clear that the roots of substance use among Native Americans can be found in history. Unfortunately, modern day history isn’t entirely accurate on how America was founded. Christopher Columbus is often painted as a hero and the colonization of the United States is glamorized. Knowing the history has not yet stemmed this disparity. Substance abuse contributes to earlier mortality, poverty, and other socioeconomic problems within the Native American community. 

How Sweat Lodges Help Heal Addiction

By understanding the history of substance abuse in the Native American community, we can address the generational trauma and make culture an integral part of treatment. Western medicine is not congruent with Native American wellness practices. As a result, traditional treatment programs will likely be ineffective. Native American traditions take a more holistic approach to balancing the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual parts of life. Treatment programs aimed at assisting Native Americans must incorporate this balance while utilizing evidence-based substance abuse treatment modalities. Sweat lodges offer healing by offering a way to return to traditional methods while ridding yourself of drugs and alcohol. Elements in a sweat lodge ceremony are communication with the spiritual realm, moral and/or physical purification, humbling oneself, and more. Each sweat lodge ceremony may differ slightly depending on the goal, tribal basis, and ceremony location. The sweat lodge ceremony and other traditional practices such as a talking circle, smudging, and cultural art therapy serve to bridge the gap between Western medicine and Native American wellness practices. By blending these practices, treatment professionals can provide you with the support that you need to heal and begin your recovery journey in a way that honors all of you. Addiction is a disease of mind, body, and spirit that can only be healed by addressing all three. Recovery without your culture is not recovery.

Benefits of Going to 10 Acre Ranch for Rehab

At 10 Acre Ranch, we’ve been providing Southern California with expert and caring addiction treatment for over 25 years. Our mission is to rebuild lives, restore families, and improve communities. As one of the leading rehab facilities in California, we have the proven methods to help you achieve a lifetime of sobriety. Our Sacred Grounds program was created to help our Native American and Alaskan Native brothers and sisters explore culturally informed strategies to examine substance abuse and start life in recovery. Committed to helping you break free from active addiction, we provide a warm and welcoming environment. Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!

Why Do So Many Recovering Addicts Believe in God?

photo of cathedral surrounded with plants under blue sky

If you stop a recovering addict on the street and ask them how they did it, how they were able to leave their addiction behind and begin the life-long journey of sobriety, it is guaranteed that at least 9 out of 10 will tell you that they couldn’t do it without the help of God. Regardless of how they became sober to begin with, whether it is being jailed or experiencing and overdose, the majority of recovering addicts would never have been able to stay clean and sober without a firm belief in God.

church abandoned

Reasons why so many recovering addicts believe in God

You don't have to do it alone, get help today.

  • Gives you a sense of Purpose- Almost all human beings search for a purpose in life, which is why religion is so important to the majority of the population in the world, regardless of what they believe. A lot of people who develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol will tell you that they lost their sense of purpose in this world and that is one of the reasons why they turned to drugs in the first place. When people in recovery begin to develop their relationship with God, it restores their sense of purpose which gives them a reason to stay sober. 
  • Helps you feel like you are making a contribution- One of the most common teachings of Christianity is to help others, and research has shown that when helping others it actually makes us feel better about ourselves. When a recovering addict is able to help another addict on their journey to sobriety through the teachings of Jesus Christ and the word of God, they are able to feel better about themselves. Low self-esteem is a common factor for reasons why someone may have begun using drugs in the first place. 
  • Helps bring mindfulness to your recovery- Being mindful and practicing meditation is also a fundamental aspect of practicing Christianity and believing in God. These have long been shown to increase success in sobriety. Meditation relieves things like stress, muscle tension, decreases reactions in the nervous system, and reduces heart rate and blood pressure. A lot of these feelings are known to be triggers, or things that make a person in recovery want to use drugs or alcohol again. 
  • Connects you to something bigger than yourself- Having a belief in a higher power, or something that is bigger than yourself is the one of the first major steps on the road to recovery. This allows a recovering addict to feel as though they are not alone, whereas many before felt that they were. Many people will isolate when they are in an active addiction, causing them to withdraw even further. However, through their belief in God they know that He is always with them, no matter what.
  • Increases personal accountability- A lot of times when a person is active in the throws of addiction, they blame everyone and everything for all of the things that go wrong in their lives, even though it is because of their addiction. By establishing a belief in God and building that relationship, recovering addicts have a greater sense of morality and are aware of their higher authority. This helps to keep them honest with themselves and others for their own personal actions and accountability. 

 a man wearing long sleeve raising his hands while praying

These are just a few of the reasons why so many recovering addicts believe in God. If you have ever attended a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) then you know just how important having a belief in a higher power is. Although, there are few in these programs who choose to believe in a higher power that is not God and that is ok too, whatever works for you.

If you believe yourself or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, and are wondering how to get help, then we are here for you!

Please do not hesitate in asking for help, either from a licensed professional or from our specialized treatment team today.

(877) 228-4679

Can Spirituality Help in Addiction Recovery?

person sitting on a chair holding book

If you have ever struggled with an addiction to alcohol or drugs then you know firsthand just how hard it can be to get sober again and to lead a life of recovery. For those who know, addiction is now considered to be a disease that affects the functioning of the brain, and can potentially lead to permanent changes. This is part of the reason why it is so difficult for those who are suffering to simply just stop using drugs or alcohol without the help of an addiction specialist or having reached a rock bottom experience. Of course, there are those, very few of them in fact, who are able to pull themselves out of the wrath of addiction all by themselves, but it can not be done at all without at least the attribution towards something greater.

bible opened in a drug rehab
Finding solace in scripture or a plan helps establish a good foundation for getting free from drugs.

What Does “Something Greater” In the 12 Step Program Mean Anyway?

According to the Oxford dictionary, spirituality can be defined as the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things, but how you define spirituality is entirely up to you. For most, however, spirituality is the belief in a higher power, something in this world that is bigger than you; a supreme being or deity. This could mean mother nature, Buddha, Christ, or whatever it is that you believe in. The common conception in the world is that there is something out there that helps explain why we are here. This is the fundamental basis for most drug and alcohol recovery and sobriety programs.

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:15-16).

In our world today, the most widely practiced religion is Christianity. Christianity encompasses a variety of different branches, such as; Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicansim, and many others. The main thing in common between all the different branches of Christianity is the belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ as our savior, and God, our Lord and Father. Some may know him as Yahweh, Abba, or Cristos. Through the teachings of the Bible, many who have suffered from the grips of addiction have been saved.

You do not have to be religious in order to be spiritual. The most important thing is to feel the connection between yourself and something bigger. When someone is in an active addiction, the only thing that matters is feeding the disease, causing all sense of self worth to vanish. According to the majority of health professionals and addiction specialists, spirituality can restore your self worth and give you a new sense of purpose.

Spirituality can be a hard thing to grasp, especially at first. Even more so for people who have lost their sense of spirituality or have never had any to begin with. Developing a sense of spiritual individuality can take time, and there is no one size fits all. This is why those in recovery are urged to speak with others about their connection with their higher power. If you are new to recovery and are struggling to find your sense of spirituality, do not give up. Take the time to find what works best for you, there is no right or wrong way to develop a connection with something deeper and bigger than ourselves. 

Unfortunately, people begin using drugs or alcohol for many different reasons. Boredom, peer pressure, etc. A common experience among those who suffer from addiction is the inability to cope with the bad or negative emotions they might feel, so in order to avoid having these feelings they use drugs or alcohol to make themselves feel better. One major reason why spirituality is important is that it provides a much healthier and positive mechanism for coping with traumatic experiences or otherwise negative emotions.

empty chairs and stage of a church

Higher Sense of Purpose

Having a developed sense of spirituality, whatever that may mean for you, also gives a higher sense of purpose. Humans naturally search for a meaning in life, and the answer to that may be different for everyone, but what spirituality and religion help to provide is that sense of purpose. Several studies have shown that when a person has spiritual or religious qualities they are much more likely to succeed on their journey to sobriety, that is because they have a better sense of purpose. Just by being able to see the bigger picture, people are able to stay driven and motivated, making an incredible contribution to a successful sobriety. 

Either way, a big part of many recovery programs is based upon the belief in a higher power. The majority of 12-step groups are centered around the belief that there is something greater than ourselves. The most widespread and successful 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). For both of these programs the first 3 steps, if not all 12, are centered around this idea. The first step is “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.” The second step is “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The third, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” 

So, if it weren’t for being religious, or having some degree of spirituality, most people who are now enjoying the benefits of sobriety would not have made it to where they are today. Regardless of what you believe in, there is hope for recovery. No person is ever too far gone to save. We all have a purpose in life, and if you are struggling with an addiction to any drugs or alcohol, we will help you find yours on the road to recovery! It does not matter what you believe, we are all worth saving.

You don't have to do it alone, get help today.

Most Dangerous Synthetic Drugs in America

recovery assignment


Drugs such as methamphetamines, marijuana, or heroin have long been a problem here in the United States as the war on drugs continue, even after decades of hard work, policing the illegal manufacturing, distribution, and selling of these products for illicit purposes. Synthetic drugs, however, are a newer problem that has swept across the county in recent history. Synthetic drugs, sometimes referred to as designer drugs or club drugs, are substances designed to mimic the effects of other drugs like marijuana or heroin, and they are chemically manufactured in a laboratory. They can be commercially manufactured for valid medical purposes and then diverted into illegal channels, or more commonly, they can be created in illegal clandestine labs with no chance to regulate the chemicals being used or the ability to determine the strength of the final product.

Synthetic drugs were first spotted here in America in December of 2008 when a large shipment of “Spice”, or synthetic marijauana, was seized and inspected in Dayton, Ohio. The majority of these synthetic drugs are created in foreign countries and then smuggled in through various avenues. The reason why these drugs are more difficult to detect is that many of the chemicals used in the illegal manufacturing process are made to circumvent standard tests for drug detection by law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Foreign manufacturers are often able to alter the molecular structure of these compounds in order to bypass the laws regulating these substances, therefore masking their intended purpose and avoiding enforcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The reason why these types of drugs are more dangerous is because most of the side effects are unknown, as the difference in the chemical structure can have varying negative effects on the brain and the behavior of the user who is under its influence. Due to the illegal manufacturing of these drugs, the strength is unregulated and can cause an unexpected overdose as the individual taking them is unaware of how much they are ingesting. Low prices, availability and misconception of the harmless effects of synthetic drugs have likely led to its popularity and subsequent substance abuse problem.

Finding the best inpatient drug rehab in SoCal is possible.

There are more than 300 newly discovered synthetic drugs on the market, with that number still rising, making it even more difficult to predict the side effects of each one. However, the most dangerous of these designer drugs that have been detected in America are listed as follows;

  • Fentanyl 

Fentanyl is the highest strength opioid on the market and is often used by dealers to dilute heroin on the streets. It is said to be 80-100 times stronger than morphine, making it a danger to someone who doesn’t know what they are using. It was first created as a skin patch for the pain management of cancer patients but now due to its high strength, it is also being cut down and sold as a super strength heroin. There is a high chance of overdose to unsuspecting users due to its potency and the unpredictable ingredients when manufactured and sold for illegal purposes. 

  • Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana, also referred to as K2 or spice, are chemical compounds created to imitate the effects of marijuana. Synthetic marijuana strains, or cannabinoids, are perhaps the most well known across the country as its negative effects to users received widespread media attention. Made from dried and shredded plant materials that are then sprayed with chemicals, it is often colorfully packaged and sold as “potpourri”, a type of incense. It can be purchased from convenience stores, gas stations or glass pipe shops, making it easy to obtain and very misleading to the user as its readily available. There is a high chance of negative effects after exposure as many of these chemicals go unmonitored for the safety of human consumption. 

  • Synthetic Stimulants

Synthetic Stimulants, otherwise known as cathinones, are designer drugs like bath salts or molly. These substances were created to mimic the effects of other stimulating drugs such as ecstasy, MDMA, or methamphetamine. Bath salts, not to be confused with epsom salts, are chemically related to cathinone, a stimulating substance naturally found in the khat plant. The khat plant was once used to treat depression, diabetes, fatigue and various other ailments, but has since been banned from production in many countries due to its harmful side effects. Synthetic drugs containing cathinone are more lethal than the natural substance because of its increased potency and highly toxic side effects. Bath salts have been known to produce violent and psychotic behavior relating to self harm and cannibalism.

Molly is another synthetic stimulant that is more popular within night clubs or with members of the rave community. When the user is unaware of what chemicals are in the compound it becomes more dangerous when consumed with other substances such as alcohol or marijuana, and unfortunately in these settings it most commonly is. Sometimes this combination can even be lethal to the unsuspecting user. What was first confiscated as “pure MDMA”, cops have later found, more often than not, that the substance would test positive for varying amounts of cathinone. Thus, increasing the danger when using this drug.

  • Synthetic LSD

While LSD itself is chemically derived in a laboratory and induces powerful mood altering changes, there are still designer drugs created to replicate its effects. These chemicals are even more harmful when ingested. Also known as phenethylamine, and called N-bomb or smiles on the street, synthetic LSD has had many negative effects to the user as they are unaware that they are not taking LSD, making it even more dangerous to those who are inexperienced. These drugs can cause hallucinations, anxiety and even death, leading to unwanted overdoses due to the unknown ingestion of these harmful compounds. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a chemical dependency to any of these substances listed above or are experiencing withdrawal symptoms of any kind, please contact a medical professional today to get help in managing the heavy detox and withdrawal symptoms. There is always hope for recovery and you do not have to go through this alone.

Holiday Stress: How it presents special challenges for recovering addicts and helpful tips to avoid a relapse


Family gatherings, holiday office parties, everywhere you turn, drug and alcohol use is on prevalent display.  The stresses of the busy holiday season can be overwhelming to even conventionally well-balanced people. Loneliness, buying and being able to afford gifts, long lines in stores, long lines in traffic and financial uncertainty are all potentially stressful endeavors. For many people, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is in full swing during even the brightest days of the season. The relationships with your family and friends can cause great stress that all comes out during the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year. It certainly is an emotional time for everyone. All of this is especially true for a recovering addict or someone who currently is struggling with substance abuse.

Whether you are just beginning a rehabilitation program, or you are celebrating years of successful sobriety, temptations that challenge your recovery will present themselves this holiday season.

Holiday stress can challenge even the strongest of those in recovery.

Experiencing feelings of “the blues” is a common occurrence for many individuals between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Many are reminded of the fact they are alone. Some holidays are key dates reminding us of the loss of a loved one or family member. Perhaps this is the first holiday since a family member’s passing and experiencing it without them just isn’t the same.

For others with a troubled family upbringing, it could be quite the opposite. Many people did not have a good relationship with their family and the holidays can bring up a barrage of emotions tied to past physical or mental abuse within the family. In some instances, personal guilt may arise from memories of your own struggle with addiction and the effect it had on your family and relationships. Throwing yourself into a situation with people you haven’t seen for long periods of time can greatly amplify any emotions you have attached to them.

Likewise for many recovering addicts, the holidays can remind them of times of severe overindulgence, past parties and long benders of hardcore substance abuse. This can lead some people to romanticize these past experiences. For someone in recovery this could be a great temptation to relapse back into his or her old habits.

With the right plan, it is absolutely 100% possible to attend holiday gatherings and events without indulging in drug or alcohol use.

Even if you are currently overtaken by your addiction, there is a way to get sober and stay sober, not only for your family members and loved ones, but for yourself as well. We suggest being prepared with a plan to maintain your sobriety and avoid or at least limit your exposure to potential relapse triggers. Be aware of an exit strategy if everything simply becomes too much to handle. Don’t be embarrassed about your struggle. As we all know with addiction, the struggle is a lifetime battle and you should have your exit strategy thought out well in advance. You should spend time thinking about your plan because your sobriety is absolutely worth the extra effort.

Having a plan to stay sober for the holidays is an important step in relapse prevention.

Having a concrete plan can help build your personal confidence that you can successfully stay sober. This plan should include: 

  • Having someone to call for help in case you experience relapse triggers.
  • Take a sober friend with you to events, so you don’t feel like you’re the only sober person at the party.
  • Formulate a confident, solid response when someone asks why you aren’t drinking or using drugs. *Hint: your answer is more for yourself than it is for them.
  • If you know you are going to feel uncomfortable, let the hosts know you can only stay for a short time. This will take pressure off of yourself and you won’t feel like you need to stay to please everyone else.
  • Have a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand at all times. Bring your own drinks if you have a preference. Don’t rely upon others to cater to your personal needs.
  • Do your best to surround yourself with supportive, loving, caring people. In many instances, reinforcement from family members can be a great help on your path to recovery.
  • Eat something sweet to temporarily nullify a craving. This has been shown to be effective in distracting your brain, although temporarily.
  • Try to eat healthy and feel healthy. Maintaining a positive, healthy mindset and lifestyle will greatly reduce your urges and cravings. Feeling good is crucial in maintaining sobriety and a sustained recovery.
  • Be honest with yourself. Tell those who you trust about your recovery. Let them know if you feel pressure to use again and use this plan to help you stay away from a relapse.  

Most importantly, be constantly aware of your own mental health and the physical needs associated with your recovery journey. Never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. If you feel challenged by a family member or loved one, take a step back. Think about your life. Think about your choices. Know you are on the right path and walk away if you feel that your personal well-being is in danger. Knowing these risks will help you know yourself. This will strengthen your perspective and hopefully it will help keep you on the right path.

If you encounter a relapse, or run into an old friend or family member who needs help with their substance abuse, know that help is always just one phone call away. Call us anytime. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year to help.

Call Us Today: (877)-228-4679

Why do I Keep Relapsing?

an ocean view in california

If you find yourself asking this question, either for yourself, a family member, loved one, neighbor or coworker just understand that relapse is a very normal part of recovery. If you have been through a successful addiction treatment program, experienced a period of sobriety and fell into a relapse, please know you are not alone. Relapses are not uncommon and it does not mean you are a failure. Hope is always an option and there are many resources that can help you. How you react to your situation after experiencing a relapse is critical in your overall road to recovery. In this crucial time, forgiveness is an important factor to express to yourself or your loved one. Learn to forgive yourself or your family member for the recent relapse into substance use.  This is a better, more productive attitude to have that, in the long run, will help you or your loved one keep striving to maintain their sobriety.

an old man struggling from substance abuse

It is estimated that 40-60 percent of people who maintain sobriety through rehab, treatment and recovery will relapse into heavy use, while 70-90 percent will relapse and use again at least once. In the medical field, a relapse used to be treated as an uncommon thing but that has largely changed due to the advances in behavioral science and addiction therapy. Sadly, many addicts are stigmatized by society as hopeless drug fiends or treated with the perception that they are a bad person for their substance use. Many of us here in the addiction treatment industry are advocating a different perspective. With addiction being a curable disease, you could compare it to the relapse rates of people with other medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. The rate of relapse into these common medical diseases is close to the same as for people with a substance abuse disorder. Treating this as a medical condition will help ease the stigma associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

As we have seen the overdose epidemic explode in the United States, it is important for us to begin treating this as a serious medical condition, not a criminal activity reserved only for the ‘bad people’ in society. As you are reading this now, most of us know someone dearly who has struggled with some form of substance abuse. While we look to help those closest to us, deep down inside we know there is still a good person underneath the surface of their drug or alcohol addiction.