Addiction Aftercare

What is Addiction Aftercare?

Addiction aftercare is an important part of ensuring long-term sobriety.

Sobriety does not always begin and end in an addiction treatment program.

Long-term sobriety requires a long-term commitment.

This is where addiction aftercare comes in. When you complete an addiction treatment program, you may be anxious about what happens next.

When you choose Pathfinders’ luxury treatment center, we will help you find guidance and support long after your program is complete.

Choosing Pathfinders means choosing long-term sobriety and incredible peace of mind.

Addiction Aftercare Pathfinders - A group of individuals that has completed treatment is taking part in a group therapy session at a reputable rehab center for addiction aftercare to ensure they stay on the path of sobriety

Addiction Treatment and Addiction Aftercare

There are many options available to you when it comes to addiction treatment programs and addiction aftercare programs, .

Whether you have completed a residential inpatient program, outpatient program, or a supplemental treatment that landed somewhere in between, you may not feel ready yet to face your sobriety alone.

During your addiction treatment, you learned how to build healthy support systems, habits, and coping mechanisms. You learned how to manage your addiction and avoid relapse.

But, what happens when you feel unprepared to face these tasks alone? You choose not to.

Professionals in addiction health care have long sworn that remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.

Research in this area shows us that most people will need at least three months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use significantly.

They take it a step further to ensure that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.

Whether your addiction treatment program lasted 30 days or one year, the support and guidance you receive only stop there if you let them.

Addiction aftercare is ideal for those who need help enforcing their sobriety, building effective support systems, and participating in recovery groups that will help keep you on track.

 

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Why is Addiction Aftercare is Often Necessary?

As you likely know by now, addiction is a chronic illness. This is not something to hide or be ashamed of.

Addiction is chronic the same way diabetes is.

Removing the stigma from your addiction will help you reevaluate your need for continued care.

Addiction, whether it is drugs or alcohol, is lifelong.

There is no quick fix or cure.

The good thing is that addiction can be effectively managed and treated with comprehensive care and long-term support.

There is no shame in admitting that you are not ready to face your sobriety alone.

This is the reason why addiction aftercare was created.

We want you to have access to medical, physical, and emotional support, guidance, and ongoing maintenance for as long as you need it.

We will help you manage your disorder so you can maintain your sobriety and good health.

Maintaining your sobriety and health can also improve all other aspects of your life.

As you progress through addiction aftercare, you may notice that you have naturally developed better communication skills, relationships, and financial habits.

 

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Addiction Aftercare vs. Other Addiction Treatment Programs

During your initial addiction treatment program, you have gone through the detox, withdrawals, and the early learning stage.

You have developed a deeper understanding of your addiction and the underlying factors that contribute to it.

You have used therapeutic and holistic techniques to improve your mental and physical health.

Achieving sobriety in your addiction treatment program is a major accomplishment to be celebrated.

But, it is not one that should later bring you fear.

Once your program ends, you should not feel like you have to move forward alone from here.

Addiction Aftercare Settings

Addiction aftercare is simply the next logical step after you achieve initial sobriety.

It can be done in an inpatient setting, intensive outpatient, or traditional outpatient setting.

12-step programs are some of the most common addiction aftercare services.

In any setting, addiction aftercare can help you find support in a safe and comfortable environment, and make it easier to avoid relapse.

It comes as no surprise that patients who participate in addiction aftercare programs often experience lower relapse rates than patients who do not.

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get the care you need.

We will tailor your addiction aftercare program to best meet your unique needs and circumstances.

Addiction Aftercare Pathfinders - A man who has completed his initial addiction treatment is now participating in addiction aftercare by virtually holding a one-on-one counseling session with an experienced rehab facilitator to help him stay free from addiction

 

Recovery Groups

When you are working toward long-term sobriety and a healthy, fulfilled life, seeking addiction aftercare in recovery groups can help in various ways.

Participating in addiction management in group settings helps you hold yourself accountable. You will also be able to swap stories with others on the same journey and learn from their experiences.

This may feel strange or uncomfortable for addicts starting their original addiction treatment program.

But, you are likely used to group settings by now. In recovery groups, you can benefit from a supportive environment, receive encouragement and advice, and maintain anonymity if you choose.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two of the most common examples of these groups. They provide social and complementary support to other addiction treatments.

In these types of settings, you can continue to develop effective strategies for dealing with stress and managing your condition.

Common Problems After Addiction Treatment

The same way that your original addiction treatment program did not rely on a singular technique; your addiction aftercare program will not, either.

Addictions often come with ongoing, systemic issues.

Maintaining your sobriety will include overcoming barriers and hurdles after your program ends.

You may have trouble finding a job or home. You may face distressing legal troubles, as well.

The stress and worry that stem from complications like these can be significant triggers for substance abuse.

Avoiding relapse will require a dedicated, long-term approach.

Addiction aftercare can help.

 

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Treatment Methods Used in Addiction Aftercare

Depending on your needs, you may have access to many of the following:

  • Career guidance and support
  • Legal guidance and support
  • Support through life transitions like relocations, job changes, and family problems
  • Ongoing case and addiction management
  • Substance monitoring
  • Life coaching and effective goal setting
  • Relationship and support group building
  • Academic support for those furthering their education
  • Support and guidance with budgeting and general financial planning

Addiction aftercare focuses on providing help, encouragement, guidance, and advice on maintaining sobriety and building the life you want.

Many people who have struggled with addiction do not have these same types of support systems at home.

We are here to fill in the gaps.

You have everything you need within you to build the life you choose.

Let us help you work through all of the other details and set you firmly on the path to finding it.

Paying for Addiction Aftercare

Most major insurance providers help in covering the cost of addiction treatments.

At Pathfinders, we accept most major insurance providers to make it easier for our patients to get the care they need and deserve.

If you are unsure of your coverage, call our addiction counselor to get an insurance verification.

They are always available to help.

If you do not have insurance, they will be happy to discuss each of your treatment and payment options to work out what is best for you.

 

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Pathfinders’ Addiction Aftercare

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers luxury addiction treatments that meet a variety of needs.

We have received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

We are proud to have committed ourselves to provide comprehensive care throughout each stage of the recovery process.

Whether you completed your initial program here or elsewhere, our addiction aftercare is open to you.

We are here to help you achieve a sober life so you can reach each of your long-term goals.

What Happens if I Relapse?

What Happens When you Relapse?

If you have found yourself telling a trusted friend or relative: “I relapsed,” you may be asking yourself what happens next.

Saying or hearing the words: “I relapsed” can be challenging for everyone involved.

Addiction does not just impact the individual; it affects their loved ones too.

It can also impair your career and the community you have built around yourself.

A relapse is not a failure.

It is not the end of the road.

Relapsing into a drug or alcohol addiction is the same as relapsing into a chronic medical condition. It only means that it is time to try again.

What Happens if I Relapse? Pathfinders - A man who has previously completed treatment and was on the right path to recovery and sobriety has suddenly found himself saying "I relapsed." He must realize that relapse is not a failure, and there are ways to come back from a relapse

I Relapsed

Living a healthy, sober life is something that you deserve, and the people who love you deserve to see it happen too.

Saying the words: “I relapsed” is hard to do.

It can be disheartening and difficult to admit when it happens.

But, like any goal worth pursuing, a setback should not keep you from coming back stronger and giving the pursuit of long-term health and sobriety all that you have.

Understanding the difference between “I relapsed” and “I failed” is crucial in maintaining the mentality you need to succeed.

 

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After Relapse, It is Time to Quit Again

Whether you have relapsed at home after quitting cold turkey; having been through a program already, we will meet you where you are in your journey and help you get back on track.

When you feel like relapsing means that it is time to stop trying and let the professionals and the support system you build here at Pathfinders remind you why it is worth trying again.

And no matter how many times you have relapsed, it is always worth trying again.

 

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How Common is Relapse After Rehab?

Relapsing does not mean that you will never be successful.

Unfortunately, it is an occurrence that many addicts struggle with.

In fact, most addicts who do not participate in aftercare planning, services, and programs are likely to relapse and return.

If you have relapsed in the past, it may be time to reevaluate and pursue another path to sobriety.

At Pathfinders, we offer a wide variety of program options and services for a personalized, high-level experience.

Relapsing should not keep you from trying again. It may be the next try that changes the rest of your life.

Risk Factors for Relapsing

Addiction is a chronic disease.

To put this into perspective, conditions like asthma and diabetes are also chronic diseases.

And relapse rates for drug abuse are similar to relapse rates for other chronic medical conditions.

Addiction is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. It is not something you should hide or ignore.

Some of the most common risk factors for relapsing are high-stress jobs, challenges in important relationships, and overwhelming cravings.

Another important risk factor to consider is your environment.

If you live or spend time with people with addictions, you are more likely to relapse.

The same is true, with an addiction starting in the first place.

Alcoholism, in particular, is largely linked to genetics.

While there is no cure for addiction, it can be managed with the right approach.

What Happens if I Relapse? Pathfinders - A young man has admitted "I relapsed" and has attended group therapy at a rehab facility center to seek treatment to begin is path to recovery again because relapse is not a failure, but a way to learn from mistakes and find healthy ways to avoid relapse in the future

 

Avoiding Relapse

Seeking well-rounded, versatile, and personalized addiction care is crucial to avoiding relapse.

Remaining in treatment for the appropriate amount of time is also crucial.

Experts suggest that long-term recovery requires multiple episodes of treatment lasting for at least three months.

Addiction treatment allows you to counteract the disruptive effects of addiction on your brain and behavioral patterns.

Counteracting self-destructive or otherwise damaging thoughts and behaviors will help you regain control of your life.

Avoiding future relapses means changing deeply rooted thoughts and behaviors, resuming treatment, modifying treatment, or trying another type of treatment.

If you follow the comprehensive plan, we create with and for you, build healthy habits, coping mechanisms, support systems, and practice relapse prevention techniques, you will give yourself a much higher chance of success.

Pathfinders Rehab Program Options

Whether you are recovering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs or a dual diagnosis, we offer a variety of program options to help get you through.

Depending on your unique needs, addiction, and mental health, we will recommend one of the following program options:

For many people, medical detox is a necessity at the start of addiction recovery.

Whether you have skipped this step in the past or tried and then relapsed, this is a critical part of enforcing early sobriety.

This supervised, professional care setting can make all the difference when you are coping with even the worst alcohol or drug withdrawal symptoms.

It can also help you build your strength and confidence as you continue into additional treatments.

 

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Pathfinders Rehab Program Methods

From various therapies to support groups, our rehab treatment methods are well-rounded and holistic.

They are care methods based on years of research and results.

These care methods will likely include:

  • Individual therapy sessions with a trained professional within our facility
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Group therapy
  • Support groups and recovery group meetings
  • Training in addiction management and relapse prevention
  • Lifestyle and financial guidance
  • Aftercare planning
  • Long-term support

When used together, each of these treatment methods can help you avoid relapsing again in the future.

We provide you with the tools, knowledge, guidance, and support you need. Putting in the work every day is up to you.

Finding long-term health and sobriety and avoiding the complications that come with addiction may be challenging, but it is infinitely worth the effort.

You deserve a life free from the abusive cycle of addiction.

Find it today.

Is Relapsing Dangerous?

Multiple relapses can be dangerous or fatal.

Your body may not be adapted to the same levels of drug exposure as before, making it easier to overdose. This is something that many people never consider.

A relapse is not an excuse to give up. It is a perfect reason to try again.

At Pathfinders, we understand how difficult it can be to become and remain sober.

We will work with you to ensure that you have what you need to find long-term sobriety so that these concerns become a thing of the past.

Do not let your drug or alcohol addiction control your life for another day.

Paying for Addiction Care

If you have never attended a rehab program before, you may be worried about the potential costs.

What may surprise you is that most health insurance providers offer coverage for addiction health care.

If you are unsure of how much of your program will be covered, please call our addiction specialist. They will confirm your insurance coverage for you.

They will also outline alternative payment methods if you do not have insurance.

This is an essential factor to consider, but it is not the only one.

Avoiding relapse and building a healthy, sober life you feel good about is infinitely worth pursuing.

 

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Pathfinders Addiction Care

It is time to put your last “I relapsed” into the past.

Leave it far behind and find addiction care that simply works.

It may be what was missing all along.

From your first phone call through aftercare planning, we will walk the path to sobriety with you, and we will help you overcome each barrier that presents itself along the way.

How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

You May Wonder: How do I Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab

Like many people, you may wonder how to get someone into alcohol rehab. This is extremely important to know since the right choice can improve your loved one’s odds of recovery. To make the best possible choice, it helps to know the basics of alcohol rehab programs. It also helps to know what happens during alcohol treatment. In addition, you should know what types of rehabs may operate in your area.

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Basics of Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol rehab centers help people dealing with significant drinking problems. These problems often include clear symptoms of alcoholism (i.e., alcohol addiction). However, that is not always the case. Even if you don’t suffer from alcoholism, you can abuse alcohol in dangerous ways. In addition, alcoholism symptoms and alcohol abuse symptoms often overlap.

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Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse are no Longer Treated on Their own

For these reasons, alcoholism and alcohol abuse are no longer treated on their own. Instead, experts consider them to be part of the same condition, alcohol use disorder or AUD. You can be diagnosed with AUD if you have:

  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcoholism
  • Two or more symptoms only related to alcohol abuse
  • Two or more combined symptoms of alcoholism and alcohol abuse

Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

The first step in getting someone into rehab is to decide what type of program will work best. A consultation with an addiction specialist will help you determine which rehab option makes the most sense.

There are two basic types of alcohol rehab centers near you: outpatient and inpatient. In outpatient alcohol rehab, clients receive treatment during the day, but still live at home. There are several types of outpatient programs. Depending on your loved one’s needs, you may choose from:

  • Standard outpatient programs or OPs
  • Intensive outpatient programs or IOP
  • Partial hospitalization programs or PHP

 

People with mild symptoms of AUD often enroll in standard outpatient care. In some cases, people with moderate symptoms may do the same. Standard OPs require less than nine hours of weekly treatment.

Intensive outpatient programs are designed for outpatients who need more treatment to recover. All programs of this type provide at least nine hours of care each week. Some provide as many as 19 hours. To qualify for an IOP, your loved one must be in generally stable physical and mental health.

Partial hospitalization programs provide more weekly treatment than other outpatient alcohol rehabs. Your loved one will receive at least 20 hours of care each week while enrolled. People in PHPs suffer from unstable mental health or unstable physical health.

Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Centers

All clients in inpatient alcohol rehabs live onsite around the clock while enrolled. There are several advantages to this level of care, including:

  • More weekly treatment than outpatient programs offer
  • 24/7 monitoring of your loved one’s conditioning
  • access 24/7 to any needed medical care
  • Secure, stable environment during the day and at night
  • Greater opportunity to focus only on the needs of alcohol recovery

What Happens in Outpatient and Inpatient Alcohol Rehab

Once you find the right type of program, your loved one can start the enrollment process. The details of this process may vary from program to program. To make things as easy as possible, ask your chosen facility to walk you through enrollment step by step.

At this stage, all outpatient and inpatient alcohol rehabs will give your loved one a thorough evaluation. This evaluation helps determine the right type of treatment plan. All plans include two main services: alcohol detox and primary alcohol treatment.

Detox in Alcohol Rehab

Before starting primary treatment, people with AUD must go through detox. This step is especially important for people suffering from alcoholism. However, it’s also vital for non-addicted people who abuse alcohol.

The first goal of detox is to help your loved one stop drinking alcohol. For anyone dependent on alcohol, this action will have significant consequences. Why? When dependent people quit drinking, they go through alcohol withdrawal.

Withdrawal is not the same for all recovering drinkers. Some people have relatively mild forms of withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Bad dreams
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feelings of anxiousness or depression

However, others develop more serious forms of these symptoms. In addition, some people going through alcohol withdrawal experience major complications. These severe problems include:

  • Convulsions (i.e., seizures)
  • Delirium tremens or the DTs, which can include seizures, hallucinations, a high fever and extreme mental confusion

Most people make it through detox without such major issues. However, detox conducted by medical professionals can help your loved one deal with any form of alcohol withdrawal.

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Primary Treatment in Alcohol Rehab

Detox gets your loved one ready to participate in primary treatment. The work done in treatment is what makes a long-term return to sobriety possible. Alcohol rehabs use two main types of primary treatment: behavioral therapy and medication. The best programs only use scientifically-backed therapy and medication options.

Behavioral therapy is an active form of psychotherapy. It uses practical techniques to help participants change their relationship with alcohol. That includes learning how:

  • Alcohol problems develop
  • Improve participation in alcohol treatment
  • Tell when the urge to drink is getting stronger
  • To avoid triggers (e.g., situations and people) associated with drinking
  • Remain sober when it’s not possible to avoid drinking triggers
  • Add a self-help group to official alcohol treatment

The therapy your loved one receives in rehab may come in several forms. Options known to help people with drinking problems include:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Community reinforcement
  • 12-step facilitation therapy
  • Motivational enhancement

 

Medication can help your loved one in several ways. For example, naltrexone can help lower the desire to drink. People in recovery who take disulfiram feel sick when they drink. This negative reaction makes alcohol use far less appealing. The medication acamprosate can help your loved one’s brain recover from the effects of habitual heavy drinking.

Behavioral therapy and medication often go together in alcohol rehab. Most people receive more than one type of therapy. In addition, many people take at least one form of medication.

Finding the Right Alcohol Rehab Near You

Outpatient alcohol rehab near you can take place in different kinds of settings. That is also true for inpatient alcohol rehab near you. Some rehabs only offer outpatient or inpatient services. However, others offer both types of programs. In your area, you may find independent alcohol rehabs. You may also find rehabs attached to larger facilities.

Your loved one can recover in all of these types of rehabs. The setting is important. Still, what matters most is the quality of care a program provides. All top programs use proven alcohol treatments.

Learn More About How to Get Someone Into Alcohol Rehab at Pathfinders

You have plenty of options when it comes to finding an alcohol rehab for your loved one. You can choose from several types of outpatient programs. That includes standard and Intensive Outpatient Programs. It also includes partial hospitalization programs. At Pathfinders we create each treatment plan based on individual goals and needs of our clients. Our addiction specialists can help you decide which option works best.

The amount of care your loved one receives depends on the program type. People in our standard Outpatient Program receive no more than eight hours of weekly treatment. People in our Intensive Outpatient Program get at least nine hours of treatment each week. Depending on the need some may receive up to 19 hours a week. People in our Partial Hospitalization Program get no less than 20 hours of weekly rehab care. Inpatient programs provide even more weekly treatment. They also offer other important advantages.

Outpatient and inpatient rehabs rely on the same basic types of treatment. That includes therapy designed for people with alcohol problems. It also includes medication designed for people with alcohol problems. It is common to receive multiple forms of therapy. It is also common for treatment plans to include at least one medication.

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Pathfinders Alcohol Rehab Center

At Pathfinders, we offer all levels of care. This is important as you progress through recovery and find that you are ready to move to a different level of treatment. You will be able to stay in our program and will not need to find a new program and start all over.

Need more information on how to get your loved one into alcohol rehab? Contact our rehab specialists today at 866-414-0220.

How to Stage an Intervention

Seeking Help for a Loved One

Someone you love struggles with an addiction—and their behavior is spinning out of control. Perhaps you avoided confronting your friend because their drug of choice drives them into irrational fits. Now, though, you know without a doubt that they are placing their life at risk. Now, you want to know how to stage an intervention.

You are making a smart move by seeking help for your loved one. If your gut instinct tells you that the time to step in is here, then listen to it! Drug addiction and alcoholism are deadly diseases.

Before beginning, we want to give you a glimpse at how pervasive addiction is in America today.

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The Toll of Addiction

Here are two eye-opening statistics from drugabuse.gov that highlight the importance of crisis intervention, as related to drug and alcohol abuse.

The cost of substance abuse is staggering. In the United States, it costs over $740 billion in combined health care, lost wages, and losses due to crime.

More importantly than the finances of addiction are the human losses due to overdoses. In 2018 alone, 67,367 Americans perished from a drug overdose.

These figures are frightening, but they should also motivate you to step in and advocate for your loved one. Remember, they are unable to help themselves right now. Even if your loved one just started using substances and has not spiraled out of control—yet—the time for early intervention is right now!

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What is Intervention

You probably know the term, but you now you ask yourself some questions. What is intervention? What does intervention mean, exactly?

Let us Define Intervention

So how do we define intervention? We describe the intervention defined as the intentional interference with someone’s behavior to alter their course and prevent them from harming themselves or others.

Here is an example that illustrates the genuine need for an intervention realistically.

Pretend your friend needs an alcohol intervention. You knew she drank socially, but it escalated recently. Now, you witness her passing out or drinking and driving. You fear that she will cause a crash and kill herself or another motorist. Worse yet, your friend seems to be deceiving herself, convinced that she still has control of herself.

Clearly, this person needs behavioral intervention to change the course of her actions.

As a responsible, sober person, you want to prevent that nightmarish outcome from becoming a reality. You find treatment for her at Pathfinders Recovery Center. But first, you need to convince her to attend a program. In short, you need an intervention.

Furthermore, there are two ways you can time interventions: early intervention and crisis intervention. Take a look at these intervention meanings.

how to stage an intervention Pathfinders -

Early Intervention:

In early intervention, people who know and love your friend see them destroying their life by making poor decisions like abusing alcohol or drugs.

Perhaps they still hold down a job, attend school, and care for their kids. However, you see them unraveling one piece at a time. You predict it will be a matter of time before they unhinge entirely from reality.

The early intervention seeks to get this person the recovery program that they need before they slide any further into the rabbit hole of addiction.

Crisis Intervention:

On the other hand, your friend might already be exhibiting behaviors that are out of hand. They might have been fired from a job and went on a binge, been arrested for driving under the influence, or even lost custody of their children. And in the very worst cases, they might not care if they live or die.

They ease the pain of these events by diving even deeper into their addiction. These circumstances are dire and require crisis intervention asap.

How to Stage an Intervention

We know that you want to know how to stage an intervention out of care and concern for someone you love. However, let us be clear—you are targeting the behaviors of the person, you are not attacking them personally.

Thus, keep in mind this term: Behavioral Intervention Plan as you walk through the stages of planning to intervene. Alcoholics and drug addicts are emotionally-charged, unstable, and lack self-esteem. They often know that they are damaging their relationships.

The problem is, they do not know how to stop.

So if they feel that you are insulting them, you will lose them before you even start! This reason is why behavioral interventions are best handled by professional interventionists, not friends or family members.

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Behavior Intervention Plans

How to do an Intervention for a Drug Addict

Here are the main steps in coordinating a behavioral intervention for a drug addict.

1 – Identify the Need for an Intervention

Customarily, a close friend or family member puts the idea of staging an intervention on the table. They reach out to other people in their friend’s life to ask them to agree to attend the meeting and confront their special someone who is struggling.

2 – Retain a Certified Interventionist

A successful behavioral intervention requires a delicate balance of open, frank discussion about the impact of the person’s addiction on your relationship and an expression of your growing concern.

The interventionist is the mediator who can lead that discussion in a fair, impartial, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. This professional knows how to read body language, spotting the signs when someone is about to walk out of the intervention meeting, and conflict resolution.

In other words, this is the person who knows how to stage an intervention—this step is crucial.

3 – Set a Place, Date and Time for the Intervention

Find a host for the intervention. Try to schedule it for a timeframe when your loved one might be sober—when they first wake up in the morning, for example.

Make sure that all participants will arrive early and know what to do. This extra time allows you to decide who speaks first, where each person will sit, and even who greets your loved one at the door and guides them into the meeting.

Your interventionist will provide clearer insight and be able to help you plan for success.

4 – Have a Plan in Place

Before you confront your loved one, have a plan in place. They might never have considered treatment. In fact, they might be unaware that they even need help until you ask them to get help! If you are intervening on your spouse or child, check with the insurance provider and have treatment centers in mind ahead of time.

5 – Script the Intervention

You should carefully write out what you plan to say to your loved one during the behavioral intervention. This preparation prevents you from making any off-the-cuff remarks during the intervention; this is not the time to blow it!

    • You want to affirm, first, that you love them, and you are intervening out of love. Example: I need you to know that I love you, but I am afraid for your safety.
    • While you are confronting them, remember to focus on their poor behaviors. Give specific, relatable examples of how their behavior creates undesirable impacts on you. Example: The cost of your legal fees caused our family to file for bankruptcy.
    • Also, script one or two ways in which you will support them in their recovery.Example: I will seek treatment for my enabling actions by attending Nar-Anon meetings.
    • You should also set reasonable boundaries to let your loved one know you will neither enable their behaviors. Example: I will no longer bail you out of jail or pay for your attorney’s fees.

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How to do an Intervention for an Alcoholic

Next, we look into how to stage an intervention for an alcoholic. The steps involved are the same as those in how to stage an intervention for a drug addict. Of course, the main difference will be shifting focus to the negative behaviors of abusing alcohol instead of focusing on drugs.

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Final Thoughts on How to Stage an Intervention

Now that you know how to stage an intervention, it is up to you to help your friend or loved one get the help that they need so badly. Whether or not they recognize it right away, you are performing an incredible act of kindness.

90 Meetings in 90 Days

The Reasons for Keeping a 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

You are working hard to start a new path in recovery, and now your counselor just issued you a new challenge—keeping a 90 meetings in 90 days calendar.

Attending the 90 meetings in 90 days recovery program sounds intimidating enough already. Now they want you to track it, too? You can rest assured—the entire team at Pathfinders Recovery Center is rooting for you. We know you can crush this program, and the calendar is the easiest way to keep you on track.

Let’s take an up-close look at the 90 meetings in 90 days recovery program. You will learn why you should track your progress during that time.

Cold Turkey - Hello I Am ... Name Tag Words "Going Cold Turkey" in black marker.

Why Keep a 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

What gets measured, gets managed.”

You might have heard the cliché saying uttered by business guru Peter Drucker decades ago. The saying remains relevant today because it is sound reasoning.

When you write down a goal, you breathe life into it. You take ownership of the challenge and satisfaction in checking it off your list.

In the case of a 90 meetings in 90 days calendar, you can schedule a daily “appointment” with yourself. This habit ensures that your recovery remains at the front and center of your to-do list, and you do not overlook it. And, as you check off the meeting at the end of the day, you will feel proud of your accomplishment—another day of clean, sober, and healthier living.

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How About a 90 Meetings in 90 Days App

If you do not like keeping up with a paper calendar, you have another alternative—an app on your phone. Take a quick run through your phone’s application store. You will see with just a cursory glance that you have many apps to choose from.

Like the paper calendar, a 90 meetings in 90 days app will guide you through your ninety days, one day at a time (as you hear so often).

Additionally, apps offer some other fun functions, such as:

  • A calculator that tells you approximately how much money you saved each day by staying sober.
  • Badges and awards to motivate and encourage you to keep on the right course.
  • App community members where you can meet other people who struggle with addictions to drugs and alcohol.
  • Meeting locator to find NA and AA meetings if you travel outside of your area.

Whether you have a smartphone or not, tracking your progress is vital. Paper calendars work best for some people. Others prefer the app. You have the flexibility to choose whichever tracking method works the best for you.

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Why 90 Meetings in 90 Days

You know you need to strive to meet the ninety meeting goal, but do you know the reasoning behind attending 90 meetings in 90 days?

The 90 meetings in 90 days origin stems from the fact that this program assists you in your recovery in the following three ways:

1 – You Develop New (and Healthier) Habits

In an article published in 2009 by the European Journal of Social Psychology, scientists agreed that it took study participants anywhere from 18 to 254 to develop a habit. They further concurred that, on average, most people adopt new, automatic practices in 66 days.

90 days provides sufficient time for the majority of 90 meetings for NA or AA participants to hone these habits in the early recovery phase:

  • Communicating effectively in a group setting
  • Expressing their feelings
  • Arriving at your meeting on time
  • Staying sober
  • Appropriate interactions with others

These habits are essential because many alcoholics or drug addicts abandoned these behaviors during the peak of addiction.

Cold Turkey - A man is exercising in his home. He has stopped drinking cold turkey and uses exercise to get past the withdrawal.
A man is exercising in his home.

2 – You Build a Reliable, Safe Network of Peers

In addition to the healthy habit formation, you will build a safe, reliable network in your peer group. These relationships are crucial on the most challenging days of recovery. You will meet others who can lift you up on the lowest days. You can also serve as a ray of sunshine to your peers on the days that they feel poorly.

Remember that Alcoholics Anonymous 90 meetings in 90 days, or NA meetings, are places where others who struggle with addiction come together for mutual support. You learn to lean on each other so you can succeed.

3 – You Found a Place of Acceptance

Many people who are in recovery feel isolated. Their family members have the best of intentions, but they offer advice that sometimes feels like a scolding.

Or, you might still be re-establishing bonds with family and old friends after years of neglecting those relationships.

The bottom line is this—you feel lonely or isolated, even when you are around people you love.

Your 90 meetings in 90 days alcohol or drug addiction workshop is a place where you feel accepted. You can reveal your innermost thoughts or share “war stories” without feeling embarrassed or as if they will use the information against you.

In the past, you turned towards drugs or alcohol for comfort. But now, you have a peer group who can soothe you, helping to prevent relapse.

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What To Expect as You Work Through the 90 Meetings in 90 Days Calendar

Whether you are going to NA meetings or AA meetings, you find many similarities. You might be surprised to see how alike they are, really.

AA 90 Meetings in 90 Days

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings emphasize recovery from alcohol use disorder or alcoholism.

You will learn how to curb your cravings and other coping techniques. Also of note, other participants can help you develop strategies for avoiding alcoholic beverages in social situations—it is a legal drug, after all.

As you progress through your meetings, you will continuously build the skills you need to remain alcohol-free.

90 Meetings in 90 Days NA

Joining 90 meetings for Narcotics Anonymous works similarly to the AA version.

However, you will soon discover that people there used a wide variety of drugs of choice, from prescription painkillers they got hooked on after a surgery to street drugs like heroin. Regardless of the drug abused, you will learn how to prevent relapse and live a life free of drugs.

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What Happens After 90 Meetings in 90 Days

You might wonder, ultimately, what happens after the first 90 meetings? First of all, your group will recognize your achievement by presenting you with a 90-day coin—an enormous accomplishment, indeed!

However, do not rest on your laurels. You still have a lot of hard work ahead of you. Recovery lasts much longer than your first ninety days.

Some people continue going to daily meetings because they draw so much comfort from the process. Others will scale back and attend several times weekly. There is not a single correct number, as every person will experience recovery at a different pace.

You will also probably keep meeting with a counselor for one-on-one therapy, attend relapse prevention classes, and work on all areas of your self-growth. The journey is just beginning—and you are in charge of mapping out your destiny.

If you are all ready to embark on a journey to recovery, we are glad to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to call Pathfinders Recovery Center at 855-728-4363 for assistance. We are always happy to help you.

Staying Sober While Social Distancing

How to Stay Sober While Social Distancing

Just a few short months ago, staying sober while social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t something any of us anticipated.

Since then, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have abruptly and drastically changed our day to day lives.

Even things that seemed simple before, like going to work and visiting your therapist, may be off limits now.

However, there are quite a few creative ways that we can maintain our important social connections while we follow the CDC’s best practices and precautionary measures.

Staying Sober - A woman meets with her therapist over a video chat. Staying sober is more difficult with social distancing. Those in recovery need new ways to connect for support.
A woman meets with her therapist over a video chat.

Staying Sober with a Video Chat

Facetime will never be a permanent replacement for in person social connections, but it can help us through this difficult time.

Ask your sponsors and therapists to make your meetings virtual for the time being. They’re stuck at home, too, so they’ll be happy to hear from you and to offer support in a new and unique way.

Whether it is weekly or daily, your sessions, meetings, and conversations can take place online so you don’t have to go too long without speaking to them.

Use a Virtual Meeting to Spend Time with Your Support Group

Most of us are well-versed in Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facebook video chats by now, especially those who have been working from home since social distancing closed all non-essential businesses.

You can use these apps (and others) to meet with your support group once per week (or even more). Zoom can be used to merge up to 100 users into one virtual meeting, so no one has to be left out.

These meetings include two-way video, audio, or other collaborative features, and the basic version is free to download if you don’t have it already. If you’re looking for additional support, Facebook has a number of virtual recovery groups available.

Many of them will require a request to join, but they’re typically approved within a day or two, and then you will have access to many other individuals who are going through similar struggles.

Use this platform to swap stories and offer one another support.

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Join AA/NA Meetings Online or Over the Phone

Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are a resource that many people in recovery rely on.

While all large, in-person gatherings are canceled, you can find these meetings in a few other places.

There is a long list of online AA and NA meetings, as well as meetings that are taking place over the phone and speaker tape archives that you can listen to.

Virtual support can fill in the gaps until we can all recover together again.

Staying Sober - A woman does a video conference with her support group during social distancing. She is fighting to stay sober without the in person meetings she usually goes to.
A woman joins an AA meeting over a video conference during social distancing.

Spend Some Time in Nature

Whether we are talking a walk, riding a bike, reading a book, or simply enjoying the warmth of the sun on our skin, spending time outside can be hugely beneficial to our health.

Reconnecting with nature is a free and easy way to find inner peace without breaking social distancing rules.

Use this time to enjoy the fresh air or call a friend to catch up. While we are apart, continue to meet each day with integrity, honesty, and the will to work hard.

If you need help reach out. We are here for you.

Here are links to the resources mentioned in this article:

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How Addictive is Kratom? This is What You Should Understand

How Addictive is Kratom – It can Replace an Opiate Addiction.

Kratom is a hope-inspiring substance for many struggling addicts.

It can help life-long opiate addicts quit their painful addictions and save their lives. It’s safer, more natural, and above-all-else a smarter choice than most opiates.

But kratom is an addictive substance itself. Sometimes it merely replaces one addiction with another.

Like any other drug, it’s not without its drawbacks!

This begs the question: How addictive is kratom? And what do you do if you find yourself addicted? Keep reading to find the answer.

How Addictive is Kratom - Supplement kratom green capsules and powder on brown plate. Learn about the treatment options for Kratom at Pathfinders in Arizona.
Supplement kratom green capsules and powder on brown plate. Herbal product alt-medicine kratom is opioid.

Why Do People Use Kratom?

Kratom is meant to be used as an alternative to opiates. People suffering from opiate addiction sometimes turn to kratom to get off the more deadly opiate.

The drug provides similar effects and gives users relief from withdrawal symptoms in a safer way.

Kratom is more natural than a processed opiate like heroin. Its leaves can be eaten, brewed, or taken in pills. This makes it easy for anyone to take.

Some doctors are wary when it comes to recommending kratom, though.

Some patients get carried away with kratom and end up replacing their opiate addiction with it, rather than using it to ween themselves into sobriety.

While kratom is natural, it still gives a user the same effects as opiates, meaning it’s just as tempting for a seasoned addict to abuse.

How Addictive Is Kratom?

Taking any mind-altering drug, including kratom, changes the brain’s natural chemistry.

Kratom fills opioid receptors in the brain, giving users a rush or high similar to heroin.

Like other opiates, your body can become used to these highs and start to crave them. The brain adjusts to the opiate and comes to expect them.

Without giving the brain what it wants, a user can experience symptoms of withdrawal and adverse effects on their health.

Some symptoms of kratom withdrawal include:

  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • aggression
  • aching muscles
  • jerky movements

Measuring “how” addictive a substance is is difficult, and really depends on the person. Some people have more addictive personalities than others.

Although, no matter what your personality, addiction can happen to anyone.

Kratom addiction is on the rise. Kratom is openly sold in most states. This means curious teens can easily buy it for recreational use rather than for opiate recovery.

It should not be assumed that kratom is any less addictive than any other opiate. It’s simply better for you, and less likely to be tainted or end a user’s life.

With any drug comes the risk of addiction, whether it’s something common like caffeine, or more uncommon like kratom.

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What Makes Kratom Addictive?

Kratom is addictive for the same reason any opiate is. Opiates offer a user euphoria, relaxation, and psychoactive effects. They give the user a high that is hard to find in other drugs.

If a user suffers from depression they may become especially hooked on the feeling that opiates give. Opiates tend to mask pain both physical and mental, which is a desirable state for many.

Kratom is an interesting opiate. In lower doses, it offers stimulating and energizing effects. In higher doses it relaxes the body, making you sleepy, euphoric, and relaxed.

This means users can get addicted to kratom as either a stimulant or a relaxant. Other opiates are much harder to control on this level, giving kratom an interesting up-side for opiate lovers.

Many people start using kratom on a doctor’s recommendation. In this case, the doctor will usually tell the patient what dosage to take. But this isn’t always the case, and not everyone follows orders.

Some people will start using kratom on their own to deal with their addiction, or simply for recreational purposes. This is always more dangerous, as the user is given no solid guidelines.

There is no doctor to monitor how the user is adjusting to the drug or to recommend a safe dosage.

Like any other drug, kratom is addictive because it feels good to take. Plus, it’s cheaper than opiates, natural, widely legal, and more versatile.

Can You Overdose on Kratom?

There have been several reports of kratom overdoses. The majority of these overdoses involved mixing other drugs, such as cocaine, fentanyl, and alcohol.

Because of this, it’s uncertain how much of a factor kratom was.

However, a small number of kratom overdoses only involved the use of kratom. This could have been due to the user dosing too high, or buying a laced product.

Buying kratom for recreational use always runs the risk of ingesting unknown, harmful substances.

So, while you’re not likely to overdose on kratom, the official stance is unknown. More studies must be put into the subject, and more cases must be investigated.

Always be careful where you buy your kratom from, and only purchase from designated dealers with trusted backgrounds.

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How Many People Use Kratom?

Kratom use has risen in recent years. The drug remains legal in many states and countries and is fairly easy to get hold of.

Because of its abuse factor, some places have made it illegal, including Indiana, Wisconsin, and Vermont.

There has been a push to make kratom a schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 is where the most addictive drugs are placed, including heroin and other opiates.

At the moment, kratom remains unscheduled. When it was announced that it might be scheduled there was a large outpouring of people who disagreed with the proposition.

Over 140,000 people signed a petition and got the proposition shot down.

To date, there are an estimated five million people who regularly use kratom. that’s a large portion of the population.

Many of these people use it to stay off worse opiates, and taking it away from them would risk throwing them back into their previous addictions.

The Signs of Kratom Addiction

Like any other addiction, the signs for kratom addiction can be subtle to the user but obvious to outsiders.

Signs and symptoms of addiction can vary greatly from person to person and be difficult to pinpoint. However, some of them show more than others.

How Addictive is Kratom - A man who looks tired and unkept looks into the camera. The 1st sign of kratom addiction is a change in appearance and reduction in hygiene.
A man who looks tired and unkept looks into the camera.

Dependency on kratom is the most obvious sign. If you feel the need to take kratom right once the effects have worn off, you could have a dependency.

If not getting the drug soon after its effects are gone causes irritation, mood swings, or discomfort, you could be addicted.

Spending more money than you can afford to on kratom is a sign, as well as a change in physical appearance. This means drastic weight loss or gain, or a reduction in personal hygiene.

One should also look out for irregular sleep patterns.

If you feel like you’re taking too much kratom, chances are you’re right. If your friends tell you they’re worried about your kratom use, that’s another reason to check yourself.

There’s a big difference between casual use and addiction, and it eventually shows itself.

How Is Kratom Addiction Treated?

There is no proven best way to deal with kratom addiction. But there are steps you can take to move away from addiction.

The first step is usually to decrease your use. If you’re used to taking large doses of kratom, start weaning yourself off.

Take smaller and smaller doses each time and your body will become less dependant on high doses.

The next step is to detox your body. Stop taking kratom and get all traces of the drug out of your body. Some medications can help accomplish this, as well as certain foods.

If the addiction is at an aggressive stage, rehab may be necessary. Rehabilitation centers don’t discriminate based on drugs.

Many will take kratom users just as readily as alcohol and heroin users, and help them find the environment they need to quit.

Behavioral therapy is also a big help in dealing with kratom addiction. Behavioral therapy targets a person’s triggers for addiction and looks to stop them.

It looks to rid a patient of their relapse triggers and let them know they don’t need the drug anymore.

If you suspect a loved one of being addicted to kratom talk to them about it. They may not see the signs or may be unwilling to accept them.

Intervention is an often necessary first step in squashing an addiction, even if it is an uncomfortable one.

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Addiction Happens

The simple answer to the question “How addictive is kratom?” is this: Just as addictive as any other opiate.

Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Kratom has its upsides, but it also has its downsides.

Like any other substance, it’s important to moderate your use and fight against dependance.

If you or someone you love may be addicted to kratom, get the help you need.

Talk to them, seek rehab, and get the drug out of your system. You’ll be happy you did it in the end.

If you’re looking for a trusted rehabilitation center, see what we can do for you. Contact us with any comments, questions, or concerns.

We’d be happy to help.

The Heroin Withdrawal Timeline: A Guide on What You Should Know

Know What Heroin Withdrawal Timeline Looks Like

If you use or are addicted to drugs, chances are you know it’s a good idea to stop.

But quitting is much easier said than done, not least of all because quitting means going through withdrawal.

And withdrawal can be a scary and painful process, especially if you’ve never gone through it before.

Knowing what the heroin withdrawal timeline looks like can help you know what to expect when you decide to quit.

You’ll know what’s coming, how long it will last, and when you’ll start to feel better.

Read on to learn more about this timeline and what to expect when you get ready to quit heroin.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline - Wooden blocks on top of a piece of wood with the letters "DETOX" in black. If you struggler with Heroin abuse you need help. Call today for our Heroin Rehab.
Detox word made with wooden blocks concept

What Is Heroin?

Before we dive into the heroin withdrawal timeline, let’s take a moment to discuss what heroin actually is.

You may have heard of it by the names horse, hell dust, big H, or smack. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine that is derived from the seeds of poppy flowers.

Heroin can come in a few different forms, including a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance called black tar heroin. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked, depending on the form.

Some people mix heroin and crack cocaine in a practice called speedballing.

Effects of Heroin

Because heroin is related to morphine, a drug used to control pain, one of its primary effects is a vanishing of any pain you may have been feeling.

Many users describe a sort of rush or wave of euphoria that comes over them right after they take the drug.

Other short-term effects can include dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, severe itching, clouded mental function, and drifting in and out of consciousness, sometimes known as “going on the nod.”

Long-term heroin effects can be devastating, ranging from insomnia and cramps to collapsed veins and livery and kidney disease. People with penises may experience sexual dysfunction, and people who have periods may start to have irregular cycles.

You may see swollen tissue filled with pus, damage to your nose, pneumonia, and a number of mental illnesses crop up, too.

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Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The First Day

Heroin users may experience the early symptoms of withdrawal many times over the course of their use. These symptoms start between six and twenty-four hours after you take the drug and can last for a day or two.

These early symptoms are usually mild, but they can be unpleasant enough to lead the user to take heroin again to get rid of them.

Within that first day, you’ll start to feel like you have a bad case of the flu. You’ll get muscle aches that will get worse over the next couple of days.

You may also get anxiety or even panic attacks. You might get diarrhea or start shaking, and you may find yourself more irritable than usual.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The Next Few Days

After the first day or two, symptoms of heroin withdrawal will start to peak. These few days are the worst of the heroin withdrawal cycle and are when you’ll need the most support around you.

You can expect these symptoms to start around the third day of no heroin use and will last two or three days.

During the peak of withdrawal, you’ll start to experience extreme stomach cramping and nausea or vomiting. You may start to sweat and get the shivers, and you might run a fever during this time.

You may have more diarrhea, and you might have trouble getting to sleep or settling down.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline -  A man holds his stomach in pain as he cramps up and is sick. According to the heroin withdrawal timeline the symptons will show usually in day 3.
A man holds his stomach in pain as he cramps up and is sick.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline – The End of the Week

About five days after you last use heroin, you’ll start to come into the end of the acute withdrawal phase. Your symptoms will start to improve across the board, and you’ll start to feel better.

There will be some lingering effects of withdrawal, but the worst will be over.

You may still have some trouble getting a full night’s rest during this stage, but you should be able to sleep a little more. Your muscle aches and nausea will start to wear off, and you’ll start to feel like you’re coming off a bad case of the flu.

You’ll feel very tired, and that fatigue can last for months, but your stomach and bowels will start to get back to normal, and your fever should subside.

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Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Even once you’re past the first week of acute withdrawal, you’re far from out of the woods. During that whole withdrawal process, you’ll be craving heroin to experience that high again, and that craving can last for months.

After the first week of acute withdrawal, you’ll enter post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is the time when you’ll start to recover from the neurological damage that the heroin caused.

You may feel tired and irritable for months, and you may find you still have trouble sleeping. Anxiety and depression are common, and you may experience more cravings for heroin.

Factors That Affect Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

There are a number of factors that can affect how your withdrawal goes and how long it lasts. First among these is the amount of time you spent using heroin.

If you’ve only used heroin a couple of times, you’re going to have a much easier time in withdrawal than someone who’s been using heroin for years.

Which kind of heroin you use can also impact what your withdrawal experience is like. Things like speedballing or using black tar heroin can complicate your withdrawal, depending on the purity of the substances.

The amount of heroin you took each time can also affect how intense your symptoms are.

Medical Intervention

When you’re going through withdrawal, it can be a good idea to have a medical team around you monitoring you and keeping you comfortable.

Things like dehydration, fever, and seizures can present very real threats during the detox process. And if you’re quitting cold-turkey after years of using high amounts of heroin, especially mixed with other drugs, having medical help could save your life.

Doctors and nurses can provide you with IVs to help keep you hydrated and comfortable during withdrawal. They can take steps to ensure that something like a fever or a seizure doesn’t become life-threatening.

And they can make sure you get all the way through the withdrawal process without succumbing to the cravings and taking more heroin, starting the process all over again.

Helpful Medications

In addition to basic comforts, doctors may also be able to provide you with some medications that can help you during the heroin withdrawal timeline.

These medicines may be opioid-based, so they can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. But they aren’t as potent or as dangerous as heroin, so you get clean in a safer, easier way.

Methadone is a slow-acting, low-strength opiate that can help you taper off the effects of heroin and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine can reduce heroin cravings and symptoms like vomiting and muscle aches.

And naltrexone blocks receptors in the brain that respond to heroin, helping to reduce cravings in the long-term.

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Long-Term Treatment

Once you’re through the initial withdrawal stage, you still have a long road ahead of you to recovery. For one thing, you’ll need to get through post-acute withdrawal syndrome and past the point of craving heroin, which can take months or even years.

You’ll need to restructure your life to avoid triggers that make you tempted to start using again.

But oftentimes, there’s an underlying issue that led you to start taking heroin in the first place. This could be anything from chronic pain, mental illness, or some sort of emotional trauma.

Before you can get back to living a healthy, happy life free of heroin, you’ll need to deal with that underlying problem.

Heroin Withdrawal Timeline at Home

Although it is not recommended, it is possible to go through heroin withdrawal at home. If you plan to do this, it’s a good idea to have a loved one around to help you through the process.

They can help keep you from giving in to the cravings and make sure you get medical attention if there are complications.

Ask for a week off work before you go through this process, and stock up on supplies. You’ll need lots of fluids, healthy food, and hygiene necessities like toilet paper.

And once you’re through the initial withdrawal process, be sure you join some sort of support group or rehab to keep from relapsing in the next several months.

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Learn More About the Heroin Withdrawal Timeline

Heroin withdrawal is a difficult process that you need help to get through. Knowing the heroin withdrawal timeline can help you know what to expect and how long things will last.

By the time you hit day four or five, knowing that these symptoms won’t last forever can help keep you motivated to push through.

If you’d like help detoxing from heroin, come see us at Pathfinders Recovery Center.

We have programs for heroin addiction, as well as methamphetamine addiction, prescription pill addiction, and alcoholism.

Contact us today to take the first step on your road to a happier, healthier life.

8 of the Most Addictive Drugs to Stay Away From and Ignore

Learn the Most Addictive Drugs

A government report showed that about 64,000 people died due to drug overdoses in 2016.

Drug abuse has led to several adverse implications among young and older adults.

Other than death, addiction to drugs can alter your brain chemistry and cause financial, legal, and health issues.

The side effects of drug abuse are not new to users. In fact, many have tried to ditch drug abuse to no avail.

Most of the abused drugs lead to addiction, making it harder for users to survive without them.

The extent of addiction to drugs varies. Here’s a comprehensive list of seven of the most addictive drugs that you need to know.

Most Addictive Drugs - Photo looking down on a table with an assortment of the most addictive drugs including Pills, Heroin, Cocaine and Alcohol.
alcohol, drugs, pills on a wooden background

1. Heroin

If you didn’t know what the most addictive drug in the world is, there you have it.

Heroin ranks as the most addictive substance, scoring 3 out of the maximum, three. Heroin is derived from opium poppy extracts.

Heroin is an opiate, mostly sold as a brownish or whitish powder. Users commonly smoke, swallow, or inject heroin into the veins.

The drug increases dopamine levels when taken. The activated opioids receptors produce a good-feeling sensation, relaxation, and blocks pain.

Users get into a dreamy state when heroin’s euphoric effects subside.

Heroin has extreme withdrawal symptoms, which make users continue using the drug.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, severe bone and muscle pain, uncontrollable movements, and restlessness.

Despite ranking as the most addictive, heroin is reported to be the second most dangerous drug due to the damage it has on society and the individual.

If you’re recovering from heroin addiction, you need to know how to stay away from common relapse triggers. Once you identify these relapse triggers, remaining sober won’t be such a struggle.

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2. Cocaine

When listing the most addictive drugs, cocaine is almost in the same category as heroin. Up to 14,000 Americans succumbed to cocaine overdose in 2017.

This was a 34% increase from the previous year. Clearly, cocaine’s popularity has been increasing in recent years.

Cocaine is a white crystal powder. Users inject, smoke, or rub the powder on their gums.

Crack cocaine has slight differences from the regular cocaine; it has a high potent nature, making one feel the effect more quickly than the typical variant.

Using cocaine gives users an intense euphoric feeling. The drug triggers the brain to produce dopamine, which makes one feel high.

With constant use, the body becomes tolerant of cocaine, and one has to increase the dose to achieve the desired excitement, happiness, and high energy.

As the drug continues to wear off, users experience anxiety, anger, and depression.

As a resultant, users become dependent on the drug. Continued snorting of cocaine can lead to a constant runny nose, swallowing difficulties, nosebleeds, and loss of smell.

3. Nicotine

The use of tobacco involves chewing, sniffing, and smoking products that have nicotine. Tobacco products that contain nicotine include cigars, cigarettes, bidis, and hookah products.

A significant number of teenagers and adults smoke these products.

Administering nicotine in the body leads to the release of endorphins.

While the surge is incomparable to other drugs, increased use raises dopamine levels in the user’s body. Long-term exposure to nicotine prompts the brain to seek more of this drug.

Nicotine is amongst the addictive drugs that kill. It narrows the arteries and hardens the arterial walls, which can lead to a heart attack.

Besides the cardiovascular effects, nicotine increases the risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory conditions.

When one tries to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, and anxiety can be a hindrance.

The symptoms are severe, and users often relapse. Besides, nicotine products are easily accessible, which makes their addiction common.

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4. Alcohol

Global alcohol consumption per capita is projected to increase by 17% within the next decade.

Despite the rising cases of alcohol-related disorders, more adults are taking alcohol without flinching. Alcohol is in the category of the most addictive drugs, not only in the US but also globally.

The use of alcohol in a social setting makes it seem less harmful as compared to other hard drugs.

Yet, it increases the risk of liver diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disorders. Alcohol alters one’s judgment, which prompts users to engage in risky behaviors such as explicit sex and drunk driving.

Consumption of alcohol increases dopamine levels, which gets users excited. However, continued use ultimately leads to dependence.

The extreme withdrawal systems such as severe headaches make alcoholics to fall back.

If you’ve been experiencing withdrawal symptoms or can’t go a day without alcohol, it’s probably time to go to rehab.

The willpower to check into rehab isn’t always present. But if you have several troubling signs, going to rehab will give you better control of your life.

Most Addictive Drugs - Photo of several alcoholic drinks in glasses of all sizes and types. Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs.
Photo of several alcoholic drinks in glasses of all sizes and types.

5. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is one of the highly addictive psycho-stimulant drugs. Despite being illegal, thousands of people use it for the euphoric effects. Meth raises the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Meth users inject, ingest, snort, or smoke this illegal drug. The intense rush and euphoric high can last up to 24 hours. The effects of meth last more than cocaine.

Methamphetamine can be made using available ingredients, which means it’s cheaper. Some of the street names for this drug include crystal, chalk, ice, speed, and rank.

Meth has high neuro-toxicity, which can have damaging effects on the serotonin and dopamine neurons in a user’s brain.

This toxicity further increases when a person combines the drug with opiates, cocaine, and alcohol. Regular use of methamphetamine might lead to irreversible functional and structural changes in the body.

When you follow the steps to overcome addiction, you can be free from this highly addictive drug. However, it is essential to acknowledge that meth addiction is one of the most difficult drug addictions to treat.

Support from family and friends can go a long way in the process of recovery.

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6. Barbiturates

Barbiturates are in a category of drugs referred to as sedative-hypnotics. While the drug is typically in the form of a pill, users inject it in its liquid form.

These drugs were initially used to decrease anxiety and induce sleep in the 1960s.

However, an incorrect dosage can be dangerous. In extreme cases, overdosing on barbiturates can cause death or coma.

When used minimally, the drug can cause euphoria. Barbiturates are highly addictive.

Fortunately, these drugs are rare, unlike in the past. Doctors have replaced the prescriptions with benzodiazepines, which play the same sedative-hypnotic role. The latter is safer than barbiturates.

Continued use of barbiturates can cause tolerance development. Abuse of this drug might lead to an overdose. A coma, dilated pupils, shallow breathing, and clammy skin are some of the overdose signs you need to observe.

Discontinuing barbiturates exposes a person to a myriad of side effects.

Some of the notable withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, psychosis, and seizures. If untreated, barbiturates lead to circulatory failure, hypothermia, and death.

7. Methadone

Methadone is under the category of opioids. When analyzing some of the most addictive drugs, opiates rank first in this category.

This drug has been highly effective in treating extreme pain.

Besides, some doctors use it to treat heroin addiction. You can take methadone as a liquid, powder, or tablet.

While doctors prescribe this methadone in some cases, people still take it illegally by injection.

Constant use of this drug can cause addiction. Some of the side effects of methadone include hallucinations, light headedness, breathing difficulties, and chest pains.

Your body might adapt to the calming effects of methadone. When you get to the drug tolerance stage, addiction might be imminent.

It is advisable to seek medical help if you find yourself taking more methadone than what’s recommended.

8. Cannabis

Cannabis, also known as weed or marijuana, is another common addictive drug.

This drug is a mixture of dried stems, leaves, and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant. People using cannabis smoke it via a pipe or as a cigarette.

Weed induces the central nervous system, leading to the production of sensations such as mild euphoria, wrong perception of time and space, relaxation, and increased appetite. Cannabis is addictive. Yet, eleven states have legalized its recreational use.

One of the behavioral symptoms of cannabis includes losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed. Withdrawal from friends and secrecy are other signs of cannabis addiction.

Declining performance at work and school can also result from consistent use of weed.

Cannabis addiction leads to physical symptoms such as dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, poor coordination, fatigue, and lack of attention.

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Most Addictive Drugs Have Several Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug users trying to reform often face extreme withdrawal symptoms.

With such relapses, doing away with most addictive drugs isn’t usually easy.

If you have a friend or family member who’s deep in addiction, supporting them can help a great deal.

It would be best to walk with such people through rehab so that they can transform.

Some of the long term implications of these drugs are fatal. Rehabilitation can save a soul.

Do you need an addiction counselor?

Contact us today.

Our team of qualified medical staff will walk with you or your loved one until you recover.

Is My Loved One a Heroin Addict?: Understanding the Top Signs of Heroin Addiction

Understanding the Top Signs of Heroin Addiction

Are you afraid that someone you love may be addicted to heroin? If so, check out this guide to learn the top signs of heroin addiction.

People who do heroin are 6-20 times more likely to die than non-heroin users.

Heroin use usually stems from underlying depression and unhappiness.

Stay on alert and look for signs in loved ones who may suffer from mental health issues and other addictions.

Recognizing the signs of heroin addiction, especially early on, is often difficult. Luckily, it can be done.

You need to be vigilant and constantly check for signs. If you suspect a loved one is a heroin user, there are resources that can help them overcome their addiction.

The details of heroin use in this guide are thorough. However, it’s important to remember that the way heroin use varies from person to person.

This means that a person is not likely to exhibit all the signs listed here at once. It does mean that if a person displays a few signs very consistently, they could be a heroin addict.

Knowing the signs of addiction can save lives and prevent trauma.

To prevent your loved ones from suffering from heroin abuse, familiarize yourself with the signs in this guide. And know what to do if a loved one has a heroin addiction.

A Seemingly Normal Person Suddenly Acting Strange

When people picture heroin users, they usually don’t picture a normal looking person.

Media has taught people that heroin users are often poor. They are often portrayed as intimidating. They live in broken down trailer parks and are wild and reckless.

In real life, though, many heroin users manage to do more than look normal. They can be stylish and wear the latest clothes from top designers.

Their apartments can be tidy and upscale, with no trace of heroin residue on tables or countertops.

Heroin users can even be students in a dorm with average looking rooms. Or just regular people with everyday jobs.

They can cover up the physical symptoms with makeup or tattoos. And, except for constricted pupils, nobody could be any the wiser that they are a heroin addict.

It is usually not until peak heroin usage that their habit begins to break their life down. They might need more heroin but not have enough money to buy as much as they want.

This time period is most often when family and friends notice something is wrong. They might start acting strangely, and heroin withdrawal can take effect.

This is why it’s important to recognize the more subtle effects of heroin. It’s also important to know who is most at risk for developing a heroin addiction.

Most Likely Groups with Signs of Heroin Addiction

During the 1960s and 70s, heroin was mostly a problem of inner-city youth.

This is no longer the case due to the rise in prescription opiates, economic stress, and higher rates of depression.

Now, 90% of heroin users are white working class suburbanites. Most of them started using prescription pain medication as prescribed by their doctor.

But because opiates are addictive and cause euphoria, it was easy for many people to get hooked.

This has resulted in more young people selling their prescriptions to afford heroin. As of 2010, there is an almost equal chance of heroin being used by men and women.

People who have experienced a major injury are also more likely to use heroin. This is especially true if their doctor stopped prescribing them opiate medication.

Self medicating for a mental illness such as depression or PTSD is another reason people turn to heroin. Therapy may not be getting them the results they want.

Heroin makes the pain and trauma of mental illness go away for short periods of time.

A person can also develop a heroin addiction from using other drugs that have been laced.

Many drug dealers want repeat clients, so they may cut cocaine with heroin to start selling it to more people.

heroin-addiction

Odd Changes in Behavior

Heroin is highly addictive. As a person begins to use heroin, they require more of the drug to get high. This is because they are constantly building a tolerance to it.

The more of a drug someone needs, the more they are forced to purchase from a dealer. This increase in cost eventually outweighs the user’s budget, and they change their behavior in their desperation for money.

The first and most common behavioral change is that the user will start asking friends and family to borrow money.

They also tend to lie about what this money is for. More often than not, they will also never pay back these loans. Having unpaid debt often puts stress on these relationships.

Losing connections with once valued friends is often a source of distress. This distress can lead heroin users to seek even more heroin.

If a heroin user does somehow manage to procure more heroin, this puts them at even more risk. For one, their chance of overdosing goes up.

They will also start chasing heroin just to feel normal. This is because their tolerance has grown so much, they can no longer get high.

Also, going for long periods of time without heroin can cause withdrawal. Withdrawal can look like flu symptoms but is caused by chemical dependency on heroin.

Heroin Paraphernalia in Their Spaces

There are many tools and items that heroin users need to do heroin. For example, heroin often comes in small Ziploc bags, small aluminum squares, and rubber balloons.

If someone does black tar heroin, they would typically dissolve it into a liquid so it can be injected into their veins.

As such, items used to do black tar heroin often include:

  • A cord to tie off the arm
  • Lighters to melt the heroin
  • Burned Spoons where heroin is melted
  • Syringes for injection

To snort more pure heroin, users often have:

  • Straws
  • Rolled up papers
  • Hollow writing tools
  • A hard surface to snort the dust off of

To smoke heroin, users will often resort to:

  • Inhaling the vapors from burning aluminum cans
  • Burning the heroin on foil
  • Using a straw to better inhale vapors
  • Pipes to smoke heroin more directly into the lungs

Heroin is most often injected. Most heroin users will have track marks going down their arms, or their necks if they can no longer use their arms.

Many heroin users stop concerning themselves with hygiene. As such, many of them use dirty needles. These needles can cause infections, leading some heroin users to scratch at their arms constantly.

Recognizing Withdrawal in Heroin Users

Heroin withdrawal does not usually occur in first-time users. Withdrawal happens to users who have built up a chemical dependency to heroin. Some withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Runny nose due to snorting heroin and irritating the nasal passages
  • Diarrhea from heroin drawing excess water into the digestive tract
  • Vomiting as a result of the body trying to purge harmful chemicals from itself
  • Fever due to the body working overtime to process new chemicals

Additionally, heroin users can also experience psychological issues like:

  • Anxiety due to the brain’s chemical dependency on heroin causing the sudden lack of the drug to prevent the brain from functioning properly
  • Insomnia from too much brain activity
  • Irritability occurs from the strong desire of the body to have heroin but not receive any
  • Strong cravings for heroin because of its highly addictive nature, and the sudden lack of what the brain now perceives as a necessary chemical

Thankfully, there are ways to overcome withdrawal symptoms.

Having a light workout routine can help build structure and regulate the body’s needs.

Staying in touch with family and friends provides a good emotional support structure. They will be there whenever the user needs to talk about their experience or just keep them from feeling lonely.

Maintaining a positive attitude and remembering that the symptoms are only temporary can also go a long way on the road to recovery.

Talking to Your Loved One About Their Heroin Use

If you do find out that your loved one is abusing heroin, remain calm. Don’t panic, but give yourself time to collect your thoughts.

Be sure to approach them with a positive, caring attitude so that they don’t feel afraid. Make sure they feel safe and comfortable so they’re more likely to open up to you about why they started doing heroin.

If you continue to notice signs of heroin addiction after talking with them, continue to be patient with them.

They may not be ready to give up their habit, and you can’t force them.

Make sure to develop a plan with them, so you know what to do if they overdose. Remember to keep naloxone in the house at all times. And keep knowledge of who their dealers are in case they overdose because of a bad batch.

Knowing who their dealers are will allow you and your community to better pinpoint the exact source of the bad heroin.Finally, look for a reputable rehab clinic near you. Almost all heroin users do genuinely want to quit, so it helps for you to be prepared to guide them.