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Dr. Lauren Costine Meets with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy to Discuss the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

America is experiencing an epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin addiction. Dr. Lauren Costine, renowned addiction therapist and author of Lesbian Love Addiction met with Dalen A. Harris, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to discuss the heroin epidemic in the United States. As Chief Clinical Officer of BLVD Treatment Centers, Dr. Costine is developing a specific opioid and heroin treatment plan for the organization’s 7 facilities in Southern California, as well as the planned expansion facilities in Oregon, Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey.

Dr. Lauren Costine and BLVD’s CEO, Stampp Corbin met with Dalen A. Harris in Washington D.C. to discuss the issues surrounding the heroin and opioid crisis in the United States, as well as potential solutions to the epidemic. BLVD Treatment Centers plans to be a part of the solution by offering a ground breaking opioid and heroin treatment program which will focus specifically on cutting edge therapeutic approaches for patients with opioid addiction, including medically assisted treatment and genetic testing to ensure the best medication is used with each patient. Medication assisted treatment is used to help patients deal with the dangerous cravings of opioid misuse and reduces patient recidivism.

America has been fighting but losing the War on Drugs and the Obama Administration is launching a series of initiatives aimed at curbing America’s opioid addiction epidemic. “The current opioid epidemic is killing people at a rate never seen before in our country and for the first time it crosses socioeconomic, racial and sexual orientation lines. Thankfully Americans are waking up to the problem and many are involved in creating solutions ranging from behavioral health experts to President Obama. The time is now – we must figure out how to educate the public, change the amount of opioids prescribed by physicians, use behavioral approaches with proven results and create programs that will save lives,” said Dr. Costine

“It is clear that there is over-prescribing of opioids in America. Last year, prescriptions for opioids could have supplied every American adult with a thirty-day supply. There is not that much pain in America,” said Stampp Corbin, BLVD CEO.

When it comes to the treatment of addiction, the treatment team is an integral part of a patient’s recovery. BLVD has a carefully curated team of treatment professionals to match the intense dedication of each patient to their overall well-being and recovery. “Our clinical team is comprised of professionals who are both established, extensively credentialed and highly esteemed in the substance use community.


BLVD Treatment Centers is a Los Angeles Based Addiction Treatment Center whose mission is to help patients attain an unshakable joy through sobriety. The organization believes a life of active addiction is a shrinking life of ever-diminishing returns but a life of recovery is an expanding one filled with love, truth, mindfulness, and joy. For a truly sustainable recovery, a powerful shift of one’s core perceptions and belief systems must take place. BLVD believes in a comprehensive approach that combines traditional, time-tested practices combined with innovative, evidence-based methods.

Dr. Lauren Costine is a clinical psychologist, author, educator, advocate, activist, and one of BLVD’s founding members. Her work focuses on addiction and codependency issues, co-occurring disorders, depth psychology, psychodynamic and family systems modalities, and LGBTQ-affirmative psychotherapy. Previous to her work at BLVD, Dr. Costine acted as the Family Counselor at a local substance abuse recovery center for over five years. Dr. Costine is the author of the newly released book– Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong which sheds light upon the reasons why so many lesbian relationships fail, and gives hope to women who are having difficulty in a same-sex partnership or marriage.

  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction and Why You Should Do Something About It.

A wonderful part of the human experience is finding that close, intimate connection with another human being. Many parts of our society are built around stimulating that romantic connection and you can see this in film, in dining, in clubs, on TV, in books, magazines — basically everything. Love is essential to our happiness in life – not to mention a beautiful part of it. But what happens when a person develops an unhealthy relationship with love? It can lead to Love Addiction and the results can have quite the opposite effect on a person’s life and eventually lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and a never-ending parade of dysfunctional relationships.

This is the irony of Love Addiction, it isn’t that Love addicts are chasing the healthy aspects of Love, what they are really looking for, is for another person to complete them, and that inability to find fulfillment in the self, can lead to a whole host of problems that permeate all areas of a love addict’s life. What love addicts are really chasing are those intense feelings of falling in love. The early stage of romance called limerance, which creates an “urge to merge. ” The pain arises when a Lesbian mistakes this pull to merge as the true destination of their relationships.

If you are a woman who loves women and you find yourself struggling in your love relationships or you hop from one relationship to the next without ever feeling really fulfilled, you may be struggling with love addiction.

Here are the 10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction:

  1. When you fall in love, you assign magical qualities to the woman you are falling in love with. You idealize her and become preoccupied with that idealization. It actually hurts to be away from her.

  2. You feel a physical high when you fall in love as the brain releases love chemicals, called dopamine and oxytocin. These are all normal parts of falling in love but if you find yourself addicted to the initial feelings of falling in love, and seek out this feeling over and over, you may be a love addict.

  3. You give away the store right from the get go. You fall in love quickly and let go of all your healthy boundaries. You become too trusting and get emotionally involved before getting to know her, neglecting to find out if you two are even compatible or not.

  4. You look to your partner for constant validation and have unrealistic expectations of having your partner fulfill you on every level. Why is this a red flag? To be a truly healthy individual you need to be able to find self-acceptance and fulfillment within your self. You need to be able to self-regulate without counting on another to do that for you. Every person has childhood trauma and this trauma can manifest in seeking out validation from others.

  5. You want to please your partner at all costs even if it starts to hurt your relationships with your friends, your family, your children and your job. The love addict can quite literally abandon and neglect her own life in order to please her partner.

  6. You dive into your feelings for other women as a way to stave off deep feelings of unworthiness, emptiness, loneliness, sadness, grief, anger, guilt, shame and feeling unlovable. By avoiding these feelings you perpetuate them and put a great burden on your partner to fulfill these needs for you.

  7. You can’t tolerate being alone. Some women jump from relationship to relationship without taking the time to figure out why the last one didn’t work. They pursue a new love interest after their last breakup and at all costs.

  8. You have unrealistic expectations of your partner, pushing them to put you first in their life above all else. This absolute demonstration of love is the only way for your partner to prove to you that they truly love you. It is a grave mistake to expect your partner to abandon their own life. This will eventually lead to anger and resentment from your partner. Having an independent and healthy life of your own is the true path to develop deep and meaningful relationships with another person.

  9. When your partner eventually disappoints you, (and they will) you take off in search of the next, real, true love, without doing the work of healing the reasons behind these endless and relentless high expectations of your partner.

  10. And finally, the last way to tell you may be a love addict is you find yourself absorbed by romance and hold it as the ultimate goal of your love relationship. Being addicted to romance novels, romantic stories in film and television can literally put you in your own little bubble and end up keeping the one that you love…out.

There is Help for Love Addiction

If you feel you may be struggling with love addiction, there is help for you. There are helpful 12-step programs that address sex and love addiction specifically. They can help you connect with others dealing with the same issues. Being a part of a community is a great place to find much needed support. Read through my blog for other articles on healthy dating and other topics and resources on love and relationships. There are also many books you can read to give you more insight on this issue. Pick up a copy of my newly released book Lesbian Love Addiction; Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong, you can get deeper insight into love addiction specifically for lesbians here. Finally, you can look for a therapist who specializes in the treatment of Love Addiction and get some one-on-one help.

I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle, there are many people out there who are dealing with these same issues and there are more and more helpful resources on the web. When you are ready to find a healthy love relationship, there is hope!

For a sneak peak of my new book, click here.

— Dr. Lauren Costine

  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

Lesbian Dating in Today’s Digital World

Dating can be hard no matter how you sexually identify. It may not be difficult for socially outgoing types to meet people, but for lesbians who are not as extroverted or even a little bit shy, it can hard. On top of that, everyone’s working at their jobs and careers trying to get ahead – that can take up a lot of time in and of itself so between taking care of your apartment, shopping for groceries, doing errands, paying bills, working out, and taking care of all your other basic needs, it can be challenging to even find the time or energy to go out and meet people, even if you don’t want to be single!

We also have to factor in the amount of time you want to spend on personal pursuits such as reading or other hobbies, hanging with family and friends and there’s the small matter of where you live. Big cities often have more going on and more places that you can meet people in your dating pool– not to mention a wider selection and actual amount of people! For lesbians, the amount of places to meet people often starts shrinking once the population does as well (unless you live in a famous lesbian area like P-Town, Oakland or Ithaca, NY).

If you’ve been having little luck in the real world, maybe it’s time to turn to the digital world to meet a potential partner. Lesbian dating is hard enough to do when you actually have a date– it’s even tougher to pull off without enough options. However, more and more people are turning to the Internet to seek out people they could potentially see themselves spending time with. Before you shrug this idea off know that the world-wide-web has come a long way in a short time when it comes to the dating sites and what they offer. They have stepped up their game and are easier to use, diversity friendly, sophisticated, private, discerning with more option than ever before.

Said another way, dating online actually has a lot of advantages; perhaps that is why the trend of couples meeting online is not limited to straight gals and guys anymore. More lesbians are taking to their laptops and their smart phones to meet women as sites are catering to multiple types of niches everywhere. While these options weren’t available ten or fifteen years ago, they are now.

With so many sites to choose from the chance to meet a variety of women is greater than ever. Below are some lesbian dating and relationships sites that are worth checking out and just might be more your style than the local coffee shop or club. You don’t have to worry about awkward approach and making conversation or even offending someone who’s in a relationship. Everyone who’s on a lesbian dating site is looking to date, meet people, and find companionship and maybe even a relationship. It puts all the right people in the right place so they can find each other and make connections.

Lesbian Dating Sites to Check Out

Meet women in your area who are looking to date or just find friends who live nearby! Pink Sofa offers quality lesbian connections and a free trial period as well.

Besides a cool name, Lesbotronic offers free personals for anyone who joins. All you have to do is sign up. Meet people who want to meet someone like you. Run 100% by lesbians, for lesbians.

This premium dating service caters specifically to lesbians and is free to sign up for. Thousands of lesbians have met their match on Pink Cupid’s women only dating service since it began in 2006.

Our Time is a site for queer women who are fifty or older. Explore relationships with women who are more sophisticated and mature lesbian dating relationships.

Finding a great mate, companion, girlfriend, or even eventual wife can be tough. Check out these sites and see how you like them. You may just find yourself amazed at the amount of women who are out there waiting for you!

By Dr. Lauren Costine

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