Searing hot sweats followed by periods of extreme cold, headaches, nausea and irritability – these are just a few of the unpleasant symptoms that a person may experience while undergoing drug withdrawal and these symptoms are just the start on a long journey toward getting clean and staying clean.
Rocky Hill of Hill Alcohol and Drug Treatment knows a lot about addiction. He’s seen numerous teens and adults grappling with dependencies to alcohol, prescription painkillers and dangerous illegal drugs like Heroin. He’s worked hand in hand with those people, trying to keep them on a journey of recovery and stability.
Hill’s outpatient facility offers a variety of treatment options for individuals who have already gone through inpatient drug rehabilitation and who are trying to keep themselves from using again.
One of his programs is an intensive outpatient program which requires patients to attend three-hour groups three times a week for 24 sessions. This system offers a basis of support and allows patients to work through their addictive behaviors while also functioning as a part of the “real world,” according to Hill, who added that programs where people are separated from the factors that might cause them to use don’t really teach those individuals avoidance skills.
Hill’s facility also offers one on one counseling as part of a 12 step program. These sessions offer patients the opportunity to identify the factors which might cause them to use and offer appropriate ways to deal with those factors.
Rocky, who has been a certified drug rehabilitation counselor close to two decades, knows all too well what it’s like to struggle through addiction. For years he abused drugs and alcohol himself.
“Alcohol just made things easier,” he said. “It made me feel like I could fit in my skin.” After his initial experimentation with alcohol in college, Hill would begin using marijuana and LSD recreationally before moving onto harder drugs.
It wasn’t until he lost his job in 1980 while working at a group home in Palm Springs that he decided it was time to get clean. From then on he went through a rigorous process of trying to get clean. He went to the hospital and also went to treatment centers in an effort to try to keep himself from using again. He got clean, pursued a career in drug counseling and ran various successful programs before coming to Temecula to start helping people in 1987.
Since then Hill has seen trends change. He’s seen the popular drug of choice go from marijuana to cocaine, from cocaine to ecstacy, from ecstacy to painkillers. Now he sees many people addicted to oxycontin and heroin. And those individuals aren’t always “bad kids,” he said. Sometimes they’re good kids with hopes and aspirations who end up with the wrong crowds.
“When we had people coming in who were addicted to methamphetamine they tended to be not as high functioning,” Hill said. “That’s not the case with most of the people we see who are addicted to opiates.”
He said many high-performing area students have come into his office after becoming dependent on heroin or a similar drug but that’s only after their parents have considered every other possible alternative.
He said parents in Temecula and surrounding communities are reluctant to see the warning signs of drug abuse and even more reluctant to believe their child has a problem.
“I think there’s an element of the community that is invested in the perception that this Valley doesn’t have those kinds of problems,” he said. “And obviously we do.”
Hill said parents need to be vigilant and willing to see when their child has a problem because that’s the first way to get that child help. But, as long as addiction continues to be a problem, he said he’ll be here to help those who need it.
Hill Alcohol and Drug Treatment is located at 41877 Enterprise Circle North in Temecula. For more information on them, visit their website at www.hillrecovery.com.