How to Help an Alcoholic

How to Help an Alcoholic

Helping Someone with a Drinking Problem

Alcohol and drug use not only create a lot of problems for the user but for the family members as well. I did a lot of damage to my family through my alcohol dependence, and it took a lot of healing and bridge-rebuilding in order to make up for it.

I never realized the pain I caused until I got clean. After I attended Pathfinders Recovery for treatment, I learned how to love myself again and work on the issues that caused my addiction. When does alcohol abuse become a problem? Read more to find out how to pick up on the signs you should be looking out for.

Alcohol problems are a persistent issue in our society. Alcohol is a socially acceptable drug, so it is one of the easiest substances to get hooked on. Alcoholism can lead to serious life consequences and fractured relationships. It also takes a huge toll on your mental health. There is no way to understate how alcohol affects emotional and behavioral health.

Keep reading to learn more about how to help an alcoholic, from someone who struggled themselves and is able to speak from personal experience about the programs at Pathfinders.

Don’t Enable Their Behavior

If you have an alcoholic in your family, it is easy to enable their behavior. We don’t want to push people away, so often we will try and overlook certain issues. It’s important to try and offer emotional support, but you have to set healthy boundaries about alcohol for yourself. It’s hard to watch a loved one suffer, but you have a choice in taking on that suffering. You are only in control of your own life, and you can’t fix another person’s pain.

An addicted person will often feel threatened or judged if you push them too hard. It’s a difficult issue to bring up for someone who is suffering from an alcohol problem. You can’t change a loved one’s life unless they are willing to accept that change. It’s very tricky to guide someone through the process of getting clean.

Unfortunately, not everyone who suffers from alcohol abuse will get clean. This is just a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up. Drinking alcohol to excess can greatly affect the brain and decision-making. You have to keep this in mind when you are trying to console an addict. You never know what can set someone off and feel triggered.

Knowing the Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Knowing the Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder

There is certain behavior that people with an alcohol addiction will exude. People’s drinking habits will eventually show that they have a problem. If someone you know often drinks to excess, and their behavior changes for the worse when they are drunk, this is the beginning of a potential issue.

Alcoholics will often lie about their drinking as well. When you’re suffering from alcohol addiction or any form of an alcohol use disorder, for that matter, you will often try to hide it at the beginning. You will eventually get really get at hiding it as well. Alcoholics will go to great lengths to hide their drinking. This dishonesty can weigh heavy on your mind.

I always felt bad about myself when I was abusing alcohol. I was constantly lying and making people think I didn’t have as big of a drinking problem as I did. My family members knew something was wrong, but I never let them get close enough to see just how bad I had gotten. Closing yourself off can create a lot more issues and make it even harder to reach out when you finally do want to get help.

Binge Drinking: The Beginning of More Problems

I began binge drinking in college, and eventually developed an alcohol use disorder that slowly got worse and worse. I would only drink at night at first, but it was every night. Then I slowly began drinking earlier and earlier. By the time I was in my late twenties, I was waking up with a beer in my hand. It felt like it happened quickly, but it didn’t. Before I knew it, I needed alcohol to get through every hour of each day.

My alcohol abuse came on slowly. This is very common with all types of substance abuse. You don’t start off as a full-blown addict. The amount gradually increases and before you know it, you need the drug just to get by. My drinking problem eventually started affecting my personal and professional life as well.

I lost more than one job because of my drinking. I worked in a restaurant at one point and got fired for stealing alcohol. Even though my boss was angry, he tried to help. He told me I had an alcohol use disorder and it would only get worse if I didn’t stop drinking. You never want to believe the obvious when you are in that position. I knew he was right, but I lied to myself and blamed others for my issues. An alcoholic will look at everyone else as the problem before themselves.

The Red Flags that Your Loved One Has a Drinking Problem

I had one family member who had overcome their alcohol abuse through rehab and support groups. They noticed that I was going down the same path, even though I believed I was doing a good job of hiding it. It was hard for me to hide my desire for alcohol. If I didn’t have booze, I was a different person. I was irritable. I didn’t want to deal with any of life’s obstacles,

The signs are always there, and they are easy to pick up on for people who have a history of alcohol dependence. My other family members didn’t see what alcohol was doing to me, but this one person who had experience with alcohol abuse saw it right away. They were careful not to push me away, but they were blunt and honest about how bleak my future would be if I didn’t seek treatment.

There is no manual for how to help an alcoholic, but we do have effective ways of preventing drug abuse and getting help. Even with prior experience being an alcoholic, you never know what the best approach is. Every addiction is unique. Because I had mental health issues, this made my addiction much more tricky. Alcohol misuse already affects your brain in a negative way, so if you have a mental health disorder, it can require a lot more work.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Understanding Alcohol Addiction

Dealing with a loved one’s addiction is an emotional rollercoaster. You want to help them, but you often don’t know how. There are no magic words to get someone to quit drinking. Your loved one’s behaviors can be heartbreaking and extremely difficult to accept. A codependent relationship can make things even harder to work through.

You don’t want to enable your loved one’s addiction, but you can fall into it easily. It’s easy to start making excuses for a loved one’s alcoholism. You can begin to view them as a victim. The most important thing to come to grips with is it isn’t your fault. Alcohol abuse is a personal issue and it’s up to the alcoholic to seek treatment options.

Your loved one may get angry with you if you push them too hard to seek help. The most successful way to help them is to do some research. If you understand alcohol addiction, you will be better equipped to help someone get the help they need. If you have a family member who is addicted, you should learn a little bit about the dynamics of alcohol and drug abuse.

What Not To Say to an Alcoholic Loved One

Pushing someone too hard to seek professional treatment is the wrong approach. You can lightly nudge people, but you can’t be aggressive about it. If a friend or family member has an addiction, you need to respect their journey. People who want help will get help. You can’t force anyone to go into alcohol treatment.

Tough love is important, but it needs to be done cautiously. You have to take into consideration that an alcoholic’s mental health is usually a big factor in their suffering. Substance abuse comes from somewhere, and it is often the result of people trying to cover up past trauma or pain. The key is to engage in careful conversations.

My family always stressed to me that they weren’t trying to change me, but if I was ready to change myself, I could always seek addiction treatment no matter how bad my addiction was. I always appreciated that support and let them know that after I got sober. Encouraging a loved one to get help can be uncomfortable, but it can pay off big too.

Checking Insurance Coverage for an Alcohol Rehab

There are a lot of things to navigate when you decide to seek help. Figuring out your insurance and getting financial support is one of the worries that many people in recovery deal with. You go through many major life changes when you seek treatment, and it doesn’t have to all be so overwhelming.

There are a lot of ways to find financial assistance if you aren’t in a position to afford rehab. It’s much better to try and figure those things out than just deciding to not get help because you can’t figure it out financially. A lot of times legal trouble can get in the way too.

Finding effective treatment is possible as long as you are all in on getting clean. Stay calm and remain calm. You can get through this with a good head on your shoulders. The people at Pathfinders did a great job of helping relieve stress and get me through the process as comfortably as possible.

Supporting Your Loved One’s Recovery

Supporting Your Loved One's Recovery

When a loved one is seeking professional help, it’s important to be in their corner. Alcohol abuse usually requires intensive treatment and medical supervision during a detox. Alcohol detox is one of the most uncomfortable forms of detox. Alcoholism affects the body so greatly that alcohol detox can be deadly.

My alcohol withdrawal was brutal, and the symptoms nearly broke me. Luckily, I have a great family behind me who are extremely supportive and were my cheerleaders along the way. Even after the initial detox, my alcohol cravings were intense. Alcohol use disorder takes a big toll on your mind, so addiction treatment requires a lot of support.

I was greatly encouraged during my treatment, not just by my family, but by the medical professionals who helped me while I was recovering. All of the support I received was crucial in my recovery. With all the help I got, I was able to get back into a good place and use my platform to help others the way that I was helped.

What Happens in an Alcohol Rehab Center?

When you go to treatment, you have to expect the first few days to be uncomfortable. The detox is tough, but with the right people around you, you will be able to make it through to the next step of the process. Once you get through the detox, you’ve done a lot more than other people have.

The next part of the process revolves around getting your mental health back to where it needs to be. You have to start facing all of the problems that got you to where you have gotten. Substance abuse changes your brain and you need to pay a lot of attention to rebuilding a healthy, positive attitude.

A big part of recovery is speaking to others in recovery. Support groups make a world of difference on your journey. Even when you are out of treatment, finding the right support group is very important for your continuing recovery. You don’t get out of treatment completely healed. When you attend therapy and support groups, you up your chances of long-term recovery.

Avoid Bringing Alcohol into the Home

Developing coping mechanisms is crucial to your long-term recovery. During your initial sobriety period, you will need to avoid being around other people who are drinking. You should avoid bringing alcohol into your home and also let your loved ones know not to drink around you. This is the least they can do for you. If someone in your life doesn’t want to abide by this suggestion, then they are not willing to help you get clean.

It can be hard to end friendships or relationships that you had when you were drinking, but it’s just a part of life and the journey toward sobriety. You should only have relationships that benefit you. As hard as it can be to stop associating with friends who drink, it’s a lot harder to relapse and have to rebuild your sobriety.

Treating the Underlying Issue Before You Start Drinking Again

Treating the Underlying Issue Before You Start Drinking Again

One of the underlying issues that lead to relapse can be finding yourself in these social situations. You can be tempted to drink if you are around people who are drinking and having a good time. You have to remind yourself that you’re not the kind of person who can have a good time drinking.

I know that my drinking was causing problems for me. I know that I can’t drink and have fun. If I drink, it will lead me down a dark path. Drinking is not something that I can associate with. Now that I’ve been sober for a while, I can be around a little bit of drinking, but I have to keep myself and check and remove myself from the situation if I feel triggered.

Supporting a Loved One Into Treatment

Family therapy sessions can go a long way in helping loved ones through alcohol use disorders. Addiction recovery is a very personal thing that requires a lot of individual therapy, but family therapy can give you a better idea of how your drinking affects everyone else around you.

Peer support groups and individual therapy keep you on track. When I go to a group meeting, I listen to everything my peers have to say. I also try and be as honest as possible about my own issues. There are days when I don’t feel great, and I may be more likely to relapse. Going to meetings reminds me that I can stay clean if I put in the work.

Alcoholism is selfish. A lot of alcoholics don’t understand this until they get clean. Professional treatment goes a long way in helping you realize what your drinking does to everyone else around you. Recovery is an ongoing process, and a learning process as well. When you are in therapy, talk honestly. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

The Right Destination for Help with Alcohol

If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol use disorder, consider looking at the treatment option. I know for me, Pathfinders Recovery Center in Colorado was where I was finally able to find my footing and get sober.

You or your loved one may want to reach out and get options as well, after all, it only takes a few minutes to get options for putting all the consequences of drinking in your rearview mirror for good. Give them a confidential call to find out more today, I know my life has changed since I did!

Moment of Clarity Meaning

Moment of Clarity Meaning

A Defining Moment in Overcoming Drinking and Drugs

Having a moment of clarity during an addiction is a life defining moment. It’s hard to describe to anybody, even fellow addicts in recovery. My spiritual awakening began when I arrived at Pathfinders Recovery Center, and it felt like a true miracle. If you are ready to have your moment of clarity, keep reading to find out what it takes to reach that point.

Having this moment is intensely personal and hard to forget. I truly believe this moment is possible for every person who has dealt with an addiction. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. When I began to meet people in recovery, many of them pointed to this moment as also being the best thing to ever happen to them.

What does it take to make this moment of clarity happen? To put it bluntly, it takes a lot of soul searching and self reflection. When you realize you want to change, you realize that it’s going to be a fight. If you are prepared for that fight and everything that comes with it, it will all make sense.

Keep reading to find out more about my moment of clarity meaning, and how it helped me find lasting recovery with Pathfinders Recovery Centers!

Your Spiritual Awakening Is Right Around The Corner

My drug addiction began when I was in college and quickly led me to a life of crime, uncertainty, and selfishness. I pushed loved ones away, friends, and anybody who tried to steer me in the right direction. I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted to continue getting high and never answering for my misdeeds.

The only thing that made sense was getting high. Everything else seemed like a hurdle. Basic every day tasks seemed challenging and unrealistic. I gave up on living my life and pushing myself in any way. It’s hard to look back at my life then and make sense of it. I had gotten to a point where nothing mattered but the drugs.

Feeling this way all the time takes a huge toll on your mental health. Drugs change your behavior and turn you against everyone who doesn’t enable you. My relationship to drugs and alcohol felt like it would be life lasting. I had no hope and the idea of living my life to the fullest didn’t matter. Some people truly need to hit rock bottom to get better. That’s what happened to me.

Having An Epiphany During Addiction

Woke up in jail - Epiphany During Addiction

It’s hard to pinpoint how, when, and why the moment of clarity occurs. For me personally, it was when I woke up in jail with no idea how I got there. I had been drinking heavily, and apparently assaulted a police officer. Sitting in that jail cell and looking at the dried blood on my hands made me feel like such a failure.

It was in that moment that the epiphany happened. I realized I was slowly killing myself. I was hurting my body, my mind, and my soul. It finally occurred to me the reality of my situation. I was completely enslaved to my addiction. My brain was not my own. For once in my addiction, I was finally aware of what I had become.

This feeling was overpowering. I sat there and cried for a long time, but something was different. I didn’t feel hopeless. For the first time, I questioned myself. I discovered the truth of my situation. I thought about seeking help, the first time I had ever had that thought. I embraced the idea of getting better. How great leaving my addiction behind would feel. It could be a great story.

Making The Moment Of Clarity Happen

It’s uncomfortable to question yourself and realize your life is unfulfilling. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I decided in that moment, sitting in that cell, my life was worth living. I was ready to try new things I had never tried. I was ready to confront my behavior and talk myself through the struggle.

When I got out of jail, I called a family member and asked if they would take me to recovery. They were stunned. I had never tried recovery. I never wanted to. It was another incredible moment in my step toward getting better. For the first time in a long time, I felt human. I felt all the feelings rush over me. It was time for me to embrace the idea of giving up my drinking and drug use.

When I went into detox, I was proud of myself for taking that first step. It was very uncomfortable, but as they say in recovery, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. At Pathfinders, I gained new insights into myself and my personality. I learned about how my past trauma had led me down this dark path. I began to seek the light.

When The Moment Passes, The Fight Begins

Moment of Clarity during group therapy

A moment of clarity doesn’t last forever. Once you begin your recovery journey, your not going to feel one hundred percent great the whole time. There will be times of doubt. But the insight I gained through this process taught me to embrace these feelings of doubt just as much as the hopeful feelings. I had my epiphany, now it was time for me to do the work and understand that it wasn’t going to be easy.

Every step of recovery is a challenge. Addiction is all consuming. Being under the influence feels safe and comforting when your in the thick of it. You don’t see how terrible it is until you take a step back and look at it with a different mindset. It’s frightening how much you can lull yourself into continuing your habit. You feel like you have no control.

When I began to recover from my addiction, group therapy helped a lot. Meeting other supportive people going through such a complicated process such as recovery pushed me to confront my fears and my anxiety. I knew that I could potentially relapse, but I accepted this possibility and didn’t let the fear control me.

Living Your Best Life In Recovery

Clarity teaches you a lot about yourself. We all have moments where we question ourselves and our path. This is especially true when you become sober. When you are newly sober, you are feeling all sorts of feelings that you were avoiding before. Gaining insight into yourself allows you to not only help yourself, but help others too.

When you accept that you are an addict, it’s easy to welcome in new ideas. You may not have all the answers, but you have a good blueprint to work from. Understanding this part of the process gives you strength. Being in a group setting with other former addicts gives you a sense of familiarity and kinship. When I hear others talk about their struggle, it makes me want to keep moving forward in my own battle.

I lead by example these days, and I tell my story to whoever is open to hearing it. My objective is to help others while also helping myself. I can’t ignore the fact that I need supportive people around me. I spend a lot of my time now talking to others in recovery and learning about their experience. It’s important to talk about your experience, whether it’s with a friend, loved one, or a fellow recovering addict.

Expect The Unexpected

Seek help during recovery

In sobriety, you have to keep in mind that your addiction isn’t too far in the distance. The essence of sobriety is embracing tough moments. We all have them. Being sober doesn’t mean your going to be in a great mood all the time. Recovery can prepare you for this, but when your alone with your thoughts, it can still be hard to hang on. Painful moments may come, but they can be balanced with moments of joy.

When you seek help, it works if you are ready to make it work. There’s no better feeling than putting a priority on your mental and physical health. The answer to getting clean and staying clean is to constantly work on yourself. You don’t get sober and then not have to do anything else. You must accept that it’s an ongoing process.

When you get to a point where you decide to be the best person you can be, you’ll notice that your behavior will start to change. When you put in the work, you will notice it very quickly. When I think of where I came from, it’s hard to imagine that I was ever comfortable living that lifestyle. It doesn’t help that the stigma attached to addiction makes a lot of people not seek help.

Epiphanies Aren’t The Same For Everyone.

The way you experience your moment of clarity is very personal to you. The decision to get clean looks different for everyone. As different as it may be from person to person, there are similarities. Acknowledging your addictive behavior and how it affects the people around you is a universal truth. Taking a look in the mirror is a big part of it.

My loved ones see the progress that I have made, and they make sure to tell me what a great job I’ve done. I don’t let this go to my head either. I know that I’ve enriched my life and the lives of those around me, but I try to remain humble. Moments of weakness still occur, but I don’t let myself be a prisoner of those moments. I feel them and I let them go.

Giving Yourself a Chance at Clarity

When you put your heart and soul into anything, you will often see the benefits come back to you. Making changes in your life is hard, but having a plan in place guides you in the right direction. I enjoy every day and every moment that I am clean, even if I’m not in the greatest mood. The months and years that you stay clean add up. Being sober can not just feel good, it can be the greatest feeling you’ve ever had.

If you’re struggling, or seeking that moment of clarity, why not give yourself a chance a sobriety and the support to sort things out with Pathfinders. Give them a call, I know I’m glad I did!

How Long to Rewire Brain from Addiction?

Reversing Damage from Drug Abuse

Addiction Treatment and Reversing Damage from Drug Abuse

Long-term use of drugs and alcohol is associated with a wide range of adverse brain-related health outcomes, including cognitive decline and mental health disorders. The sooner a person receives treatment for their drug addiction, the sooner their brain will mend and recover from the impacts of drug use.

Drugs have a devastating effect on the human brain chemistry and overall health. The brain adapts to receiving the drug after prolonged use, affecting the brain’s chemical processes. Luckily, a wide range of effective treatment methods can help you recover from the effects of drugs.

The recovery period from drug addiction varies widely from person to person, depending on factors such as how long they were abusing drugs and whether they have any preexisting medical conditions or mental health disorders.

Read on to find out how long it may take for rewire brain from Addiction and to learn more about the connection between drug use and brain health!

The Effects of Drugs on the Brain

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a mental condition involving various neurological and psychological symptoms. Long-term treatment and recovery may be necessary due to the damaging effects of drugs on the brain.

The U.S. Surgeon General explains that the pleasure, stress, learning, decision-making, and self-control circuits in the brain are all negatively affected by drugs. Your brain’s basal ganglia is the brain’s reward system, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and motivation. When you take drugs, this pathway activates, leading to euphoric feelings.

The extended amygdala is the brain regions that control stress responses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that drug abuse causes these neural pathways to become more sensitive. This leads to stress responses like irritability, uneasiness, and anxiety.

Responsible for learning, decision-making, and self-control, the prefrontal cortex is the last section of the brain to mature and develop, usually in one’s twenties. Drugs’ effects on the prefrontal cortex may lead to compulsive behavior in people addicted to substances.

Different drugs have varying effects on the brain. Opioids like heroin, oxycodone, and Suboxone, for example, enhance the risk of overdose by altering fundamental physiological processes like heart rate and respiration. Inhalants can impair cognitive function, and cocaine can cause minor strokes in the brain, damaging brain nerves.

How Long Does It Take to Heal the Brain from Addiction?

Since drug use has varying effects on different individuals, brain recovery could take several weeks, months, or even years.

Factors that Influence the Time it Takes for the Brain Cells to Recover from Addiction

Rewire Brain from Addiction

It is essential to note the time it may take for the brain to recover depends on various factors, such as:

  • Type of substance abused
  • Length of time suffering from the addiction
  • Severity of addiction
  • Presence of co-occurring mental health issues


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a person in recovery from marijuana addiction should expect to feel anxious and irritable for one to two weeks. This timeframe is significantly shorter than the recovery time required for benzodiazepine addiction, which can cause similar symptoms plus agitation, poor memory, and poor focus for up to eight weeks or longer.

Some people take the entire rehab treatment program to achieve complete abstinence, while recovery takes longer for others.

Specific treatments and lifestyle changes may speed up brain healing. These include total abstinence, exercising regularly, and maintaining proper nutrition. Moving from high-stress or hostile environments to a supportive drug rehab center would be best.

Treatment Options for Brain Rewiring After Addiction

Addiction is a complex brain disease that affects an individual’s physical, emotional, relational, and mental states. Substance use disorders (SUDs) can also trigger co-occurring disorders.

There are various management options available after completing rehab. Depending on your specific requirements and preferences, you can complete one or more of these programs individually or in combination with each other. Once you complete detox and withdrawal symptoms have subsided, you can start rewiring the brain’s physical and chemical dependency on substances through rehabilitation.

The brain can self-repair some brain damage, according to NIDA. This happens through neuroplasticity, a process where the brain forms new neural connections in response to positive environmental changes.

Drug rehab centers often use a medical detox and behavioral therapies to help clients recover from the damaging effects of drug addiction. Treatment providers may also use medications to reduce and reverse the effects of addictive substances on brain health.

Below are some of the most common treatment options:

Medical Detox for Alcohol and Drugs

Medical Detox for Alcohol and Drugs

Medical detoxification is the initial phase of treatment for those struggling with substance abuse. Your medical provider will conduct an assessment through diagnostic tests or brain scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the severity of the addiction and brain structure.

Medication is used in detox to keep patients comfortable and limit the risk of health issues during drug or alcohol withdrawal. During detox at a detox center, medical practitioners and addiction specialists constantly monitor clients, ready to step in whenever necessary to make the detox process comfortable.

Some patients may be prescribed drugs and nutritional supplements that heal brain damage and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Patients in recovery from alcoholism, for instance, may take vitamin B1 supplements to prevent memory loss, while those from opioid addiction may take methadone to correct biochemical brain irregularities.

Neurological damage caused by drugs can be treated with medicines like Deprenyl and Acetylcysteine.

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery)

The SMART Recovery program is an alternative to the 12-step and other religiously-based approaches for addiction recovery. It centers on a group of people sharing similar experiences in overcoming addiction.

Drug and alcohol addiction is widespread because these substances’ euphoric feelings encourage users to keep abusing drugs. The primary goal of SMART recovery is to provide an alternative to drugs and alcohol for maintaining motivation.

To maintain their drive for sobriety, clients in this program are urged to discover external sources of happiness, like a fulfilling career, good health, or supportive connections with family and friends. The brain is rewired to seek happiness from within rather than from external sources like drugs. Learning to control cravings and avoid relapse is another critical goal of the program.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Many people struggling with mental health disorders or addiction turn to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The core tenet of CBT is the realization that one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions are interconnected.

Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to equip the patient with healthy coping mechanisms and counter-thoughts to the negative thought and emotion cycles. Despite CBT’s relatively straightforward theory, the process of retraining the brain to overcome addiction is lengthy.

Some people’s negative thought patterns are deeply ingrained habits that need to be chipped away at methodically with CBT techniques.

Issues Addressed in CBT Addiction Treatment

This helps in addressing the following aspects of a continuing addiction:

  • Triggers that reinforce an individual’s urge to continue using drugs and alcohol
  • Destructive or harmful thought patterns that lead to unwanted behaviors

Psychotherapy Based on Mindfulness

Psychotherapy Based on Mindfulness

Mindfulness therapy is an increasingly popular option for those struggling with substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health issues like depression. Mindfulness is a philosophy that shares some similarities with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with an added focus on being present with one’s thoughts.

When aware of their immediate environment, the person is taught to identify habitual, automatic ways of thinking and replace them with present-minded ones. This helps to divert attention away from the problematic thought processes while breaking them down.

Clients participating in a mindfulness-based therapy session are encouraged to:

  • Consider mental processes as temporary occurrences rather than fixed truths
  • Focus on the present to anchor themselves in reality
  • Think “in the present” to help them avoid patterns of rumination

12-Step Programs for Brain Rewiring

Many people assume that 12-Step and religious-based programs are ineffective because they lack a scientific foundation. But research shows that the 12-step activities used to combat addiction can rewire the brain.

Consistently attending 12-Step meetings has been shown to strengthen neural circuits involved in decision-making and desire regulation. The environment modifies how the brain perceives the addiction, making it less likely that a person attending these meetings will relapse.

Individuals are less likely to engage in addictive behaviors if they model their actions after those they frequently meet. People find the environment at 12-step meetings to be inspiring, and it helps them stay committed to their recovery.

Most rehab facilities offer these types of care and can tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs. You can select a single option or a blend of multiple approaches to find the best fit for addiction recovery.

Get Professional Help for Substance Abuse and Addiction

While you can’t treat a substance use disorder by an act of will, you can gradually change your mind or rewire your brain and overcome this chronic condition. You will need personal determination to commit to addiction recovery through the help of medical professionals and evidence-based treatment options.

Call Pathfinders now for advice on the best treatment plan to help you beat your addiction and achieve long-term sobriety!

Rainbow Fentanyl: Arizona Faces a New Risk

Rainbow Fentanyl

What Do You Need To Know About Rainbow Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is incredibly dangerous, leading to an uptick in drug overdoses and death across the United States. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, deaths related to fentanyl use have continued to increase despite efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug.

Unfortunately, Arizona state is a hotspot for fentanyl pills, also referred to as fentapills and recently as rainbow fentanyl. This is despite the DEA and law enforcement relentlessly working to stop the trend and get fentanyl pills and powder off the streets. Fentanyl remains a pervasive problem amongst kids and young adults, as well as other groups, across the US.

Here’s what you need to know about rainbow fentanyl, and how to find help with Pathfinders Recovery if you or someone in your life shows signs of fentanyl addiction.

What Is Rainbow Fentanyl?

Rainbow fentanyl refers to colorful fentanyl pills, powders, and sidewalk chalk-like blocks. The pills come in various shapes and sizes, often resembling candy. Sometimes, these colorful fentanyl pills are even nicknamed after candies.

Those who use fentanyl pills may refer to them as “skittles,” for example, because they come in a variety of bright colors that resemble the product. The appearance of these pills is misleading and may drive use or addiction.

Myths And Facts About Rainbow Fentanyl

Facts About Rainbow Fentanyl

One of the most prevalent myths about rainbow fentanyl pills is that directed strictly toward very young children or that the bright colors are weaponized via drug traffickers to drive addiction in or poison children.

Due to the variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes of rainbow fentanyl pills that do indeed resemble candy at times, for example, many media outlets suggested that parents look out for rainbow fentanyl in their children’s Halloween candy this past year. Though this is certainly a possibility, and it is important to check on any candy that children get from a stranger to ensure that it is safe, young children are not the most likely individuals to get the pills, powders, or blocks in their hands.

Many individuals who are drawn toward this new type of drug do not know the severity of the risks of rainbow fentanyl. The bright colors, shapes, and general appearance of rainbow fentanyl pills and powder that resemble candy can make the drug look less harmful than it is, but this is a deadly falsehood. Additionally, while it is true that rainbow fentanyl is often used by young adults, addiction to fentanyl is not restricted to young people.

Fentanyl is both highly addictive and incredibly lethal, and the fact is that synthetic Opioids can be even more dangerous than other Opioid drugs on the market.

Why Are Fentanyl Pills And Powder So Deadly?

Fentanyl is up to twice as potent as Heroin and 50-100x more potent than Morphine. Accordingly, even small amounts of the drug can kill. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the most common drugs involved in deaths by overdose. That is what makes the production of rainbow fentanyl pills and powder such an alarming emerging trend in actuality.

Furthermore, withdrawal effects of the drug can start within as few as a couple of hours after a person’s last dose of the drug. This is also known to drive addiction and is why so many people in our community find it incredibly challenging to stop taking fentanyl.

Signs Of Fentanyl Addiction

Signs Of Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl produces a short-term, intense high accompanied by feelings of euphoria. When you or someone around you has a fentanyl addiction, you may notice signs such as:

  • Mood swings (e.g., swinging from euphoria to a depressed mood)
  • A fixation on finding more fentanyl pills and power, etc., as a means to continue using the drug
  • Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Decreased ability to fulfill obligations, such as those at work, home, or school
  • Changes in appearance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Constricted pupils
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness


Fentanyl also comes with a high risk of fainting, seizures, and overdose. During an overdose from the use of the drug, you might notice signs such as loss of consciousness, respiratory depression, low blood pressure, inability to respond or wake up even if provoked by external stimuli, bluish skin, and confusion.

Death from fentanyl can be sudden but is avoidable in some cases. Naloxone reverses overdoses from Opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and prescription opioid pills and can save lives.

If you or someone you know is experiencing an overdose or might be, seek immediate medical care or call 911. Good Samartitan Laws protect you even if you are using drugs as well.

Effects Of Addiction To Fentanyl Pills

In addition to the signs and symptoms of fentanyl addiction and use listed above, using fentanyl ruins lives. Effects of fentanyl addiction can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Job loss or problems at work, school, and the home
  • Problems in interpersonal relationships
  • Diminished personal hygiene
  • New or worsening symptoms of mental illness
  • Financial problems
  • Criminal behavior or problems with the law


Fentanyl addiction can have a devastating impact on a person’s life, but it is very possible to overcome an addiction to the drug.

Overcome Fentanyl Addiction at Pathfinders

Overcome Fentanyl Addiction

Various treatment options can help you overcome fentanyl addiction. Treatment options for fentanyl addiction include:


Many people who use fentanyl or other opioid drugs regularly benefit from going to medical detox prior to starting a treatment program so that they can go through withdrawal safely. Some people use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in addition to treatment and therapy.

Residential or inpatient programs, as well as PHP and IOP typically involve a range of therapies and help you create a relapse prevention plan.

Aftercare planning forms a core component of our offerings at Pathfinders, and we make certain our clients have a firm foundation for lasting recovery. If you want to become a part of our acclaimed Alumni program, you have access to as much sober support as you like from our ever-growing network.

Find Help For Fentanyl Addiction In Arizona

If you or someone you know is affected by an addiction to Fentanyl or another drug, we can help. Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Arizona and Colorado. We offer a range of different treatment options, including IOP, PHP, detox, long-term rehab, and residential care.

Our hotline is available 24/7 for you to reach out about finding help for yourself or a loved one. We can even help you verify insurance coverage for treatment, completely confidentially and within minutes.

Call our welcoming Admissions team at Pathfinders Recovery Centers now to learn more!

Coke Jaw: Myths and Realities

Coke Jaw

Most people are familiar with the psychological effects of cocaine, like intense euphoria and an increase in energy. These eventually lead to mood swings, dependence, and addiction, which devastate the life of the user. But there are also the less recognized physiological effects. One of these is coke jaw, an issue that can affect more than 5.2 million people who’ve used cocaine in the US in recent years.

So, what is coke jaw? Are there ways this can be avoided or treated? Pathfinders Recovery Center has shared a guide that dives deeper into coke jaw, its symptoms, and some common misconceptions about the issue. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Coke Jaw?

Coke jaw is a slang term that’s used to describe the uncontrollable jaw movements of a cocaine user. This can include clenching and erratic side-to-side movements. Since the mouth is not designed to endure these constant mechanical movements, coke jaw often causes many other issues.

How does it happen?

Why does drug abuse cause unusual behavior in the first place? Keep in mind that cocaine directly affects the central nervous system or CNS. Coke is a powerful CNS stimulant taken that speeds up activity in the brain as well as exciting physical reactions.

This results in sporadic and uncontrolled movements that are commonly associated with cocaine abuse and coke jaw.

When is it not coke jaw?

Not all erratic or involuntary movements of the jaw are caused by substance abuse. Some of them are the effects of certain neurological disorders like cranial dystonia and Tourette syndrome.

So, if you see a loved one with uncontrolled jaw movements, it’s best not to jump to conclusions yet. If there aren’t any other signs of cocaine addiction or cocaine use, then it might be something else altogether. Be sure to look over our other resources on signs of addiction in a loved one before beginning a conversation with someone you think might be experiencing jaw issues caused by cocaine.

The Effects of Coke Jaw

Constant jaw movement will often result in other problems. Here are other signs and symptoms of coke jaw that can eventually ruin a person’s quality of life:

Temporomandibular Disorders

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is an umbrella term for various issues associated with the jaw and the joint connecting it to the skull. These are usually problems of the bone and not soft tissues, so they are harder to treat and take longer to heal. TMDs are some of the most common issues among cocaine users.

TMDs often result in limited use of the mouth, which makes eating difficult. This further aggravates the weight loss that many experience. In addition, temporomandibular conditions can cause chronic and severe headaches, tender facial muscles, and joint pain.

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Excessive teeth grinding, or bruxism, is another symptom of coke jaw. It’s one of the oral motor parafunctions heightened by cocaine use; those who already have bruxism might feel their symptoms worsen. Over time bruxism can cause severe damage if left untreated.

While most people wouldn’t see an issue here, teeth grinding actually deteriorates the enamel if left unchecked. That can lead to issues like:

  • Cavities: The exposed enamel makes it easier for bacteria and acidic substances to create dental caries, or tooth decay.
  • Brittle or Broken Teeth: Excessive teeth grinding also weakens the enamel and makes it more susceptible to cracks and chips.
  • Dental Attrition: This happens when the teeth wear out because of constant friction. Because of this, teeth have a flat and uniform appearance that looks unnatural.

Jaw Pain

Constant movement on the jaw will put stress on the bone and joints. Clenching is also a concern since a person can do this subconsciously while under the effects of cocaine. This is tied to the anxiety that people experience because of the overwhelming energy they get from the drug.

When we’re anxious, we clench our jaw. It’s one of the most common bodily mechanisms associated with this feeling. Of course, prolonged clenching will only put undue pressure on the jaw. This results in jaw pain, which can last even after cocaine leaves your system.

Constant pressure on the jaw can also lead to the possibility of fractures and dislocation, a painful condition that can require surgery to effectively correct.

Coke Jaw vs Coke Mouth

While often lumped together, coke mouth and coke jaw are two different things. Coke mouth is a more encompassing slang term for all oral issues associated with coke addiction. This also applies to the throat, teeth, and gums. Here are some of the common issues associated with coke mouth:

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

Rubbing cocaine on the gums is one of the most common ways to ingest the substance. Because of this method, many cocaine users experience problems with their periodontal tissue or gums. They can experience rapid gingival recession or receding gums, which eventually result in tooth loss. There’s nothing left to hold the molars in place.

Habitual cocaine use can also have necrotizing effects on the gums. In other words, the tissue starts to decay and causes a host of other problems like infections and bad breath.

Dental Erosion/Tooth Decay

Dental Erosion

We’ve already mentioned how tooth decay can result because of coke jaw. But cocaine itself is a highly acidic substance that erodes the teeth’s enamel. Not to mention that coke is often cut with powerful solvents such as acetone.

The chemicals in cocaine adulterants can magnify the damaging effects of the drug itself , which makes users more susceptible to tooth decay and missing teeth. In severe cases, a person may lose all their teeth.

Other substances that may be added to cocaine can also contain bacteria and unknown agents that further exacerbate the physical effects on the hard tissue in your mouth and jawline.

Palatal Perforation

One of the most concerning long-term effects of taking cocaine orally is oral palate perforation. This is when the upper palate of someone’s mouth starts deteriorating, resulting in ulcerations or holes. These openings can increase the risk of infections and make eating, speaking, and swallowing extremely painful and difficult.

Heavy drug use often results in these oral problems, but it’s not too late to recover from it. There is a ray of hope for families and individuals who suffer from substance abuse.

Is Coke Jaw Caused by Cocaine Abuse Treatable?

Yes! There are plenty of ways to treat coke jaw, but the most effective method is to correct the root cause of the problem: cocaine use. Preventing people from accessing and taking the drug is the surest way to treat coke jaw, gum disease, dental erosion, and other problems that all stem from cocaine use.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is one of the treatments we offer at Pathfinders Recovery Centers. It’s a two-step process that helps clients remove all traces of cocaine in their system and deal with withdrawal comfortably.

Our team is equipped with the knowledge and tools to help stabilize your condition and get ready for primary treatment.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

An inpatient rehabilitation program is a form of cocaine addiction treatment that helps clients completely recover from substance abuse. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, you or your loved one can enroll and receive the treatment, counseling, and support they need.

Support Groups

Cocaine Abuse Treatment - Support Group

Joining support groups is one way to share your struggles and process your experience. Such groups foster a risk-free and safe environment where people can talk about their stories and coping strategies, whether it’s for their oral health or for preventing a relapse.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Coke jaw is only a small part of a bigger problem. So, if you’re starting to feel this symptom as well as other indicators of oral health deterioration, make the right choice and attend a recovery center. Recognizing that you need help is the first step.

If your loved one is showing signs of coke jaw and other indicators of cocaine use, it will be difficult at first to convince them to get the help they need. Bringing up the idea of rehabilitation may be difficult, but you’ll need to have an honest conversation with them and allow them to consider the idea of treatment.

Interventions shouldn’t be antagonistic. Instead, show them that you care and that you want them to feel better. If you need help with speaking to a loved one about their drug use, reach out today to Pathfinders and we can help get the dialogue started and address any concerns they (r you) might have regarding treatment.

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is battling cocaine addiction and would like to get the help they need, talk to us. We’re an established treatment center with facilities in Colorado and Arizona. With our team of expert counselors and compassionate medical professionals, we’ll be able to provide what our clients need the most.

Contact us today for a confidential call and get started on the path to recovery now!

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

Image of white powdered drug with spoon and syringe

Heroin is a drug with intense side effects, and it can be difficult to know how long it will stay in your system if you’ve taken it. The answer to how long heroin stays in your system depends on a few factors, including how often you use the drug and how much you use.

This article will explore heroin, its side effects, how long it stays in your system, and how to get help if you’re struggling with addiction.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug. It is made from morphine, which is derived from the poppy plant.

Heroin can be injected, snorted, or smoked, producing a powerful, short-lived high. The effects of heroin include a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation.

The drug is highly addictive, and users can quickly develop a drug tolerance. Users will need to take larger doses to achieve the same effects with continued use.

Heroin use can lead to health problems such as collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and lung complications. It can also lead to psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, among others.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin enters the brain quickly, producing a powerful rush of pleasure. It binds to the brain’s natural opioid receptors, which are involved in pain relief and feelings of pleasure.

It is one of the longest-acting and most potent opioids available, which is part of what makes it so addictive. The effects of heroin can last for four to six hours.

While the effect of heroin is long, it has a short half-life, which is the time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body. The half-life of heroin is only 30 to 90 minutes. This depends on how quickly the drug is metabolized and how much is taken.

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Heroin Stay in Body

When you are suffering from heroin addiction and desperately need help getting clean, drug tests may be required as part of the admissions process for some treatment programs.

The amount of time that heroin stays in your system depends on how often you use it and how much you use it.

Below are the factors that will affect how long heroin stays in your system:

  • Frequency of use
  • Drug quality (purity)
  • Method of consumption
  • Amount used
  • Metabolism
  • Weight
  • Body fat percentage
  • When you last used heroin


Generally, urine drug tests can detect heroin for around 24 hours after the last use. Blood tests and testing of hair follicles can be used to detect heroin for a more extended period.

Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

There are several types of drug tests, each with various detection windows.

1. Urine Test

Urine tests are the most common type of drug test. They are generally accurate and can detect most drugs for up to 24 hours after the last use.

For heroin, a urine test can detect the drug for up to 48 hours after the last use. Some urine tests can also detect heroin use and heroin metabolites for up to seven days.

2. Saliva Test

Saliva drug tests are one of the newest types of drug tests. Saliva tests are less invasive than urine or blood tests but are the least accurate.

A saliva test can detect heroin only 12 hours after the last use. Again, this depends on how much of the drug was used and how often it was used.

3. Blood Test

Blood Test - Drug Testing Methods for Heroin

When you take a blood test, a small sample of your blood is drawn and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Blood tests are the most accurate type of drug test.

A blood test can detect heroin in your system for up to 24 to 72 hours after the last use.

4. Hair Follicle Test

A sample of hair near your scalp is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Hair follicle tests can detect heroin use for up to 90 days, making it the longest-lasting drug test.

While this is the most accurate way to test for heroin use, it is also the most expensive.

How To Get Heroin Out of Your System

If you are trying to get the heroin out of your system, the best thing you can do is seek professional help.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug, and quitting cold turkey can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, on your own. Many different treatment options are available, and a professional treatment provider will help you choose the one that is best for you.

Sometimes, this may involve detoxification and rehabilitation in a hospital or treatment center. In other cases, it may be possible to find a less intensive outpatient program that can still provide the support you need.

Regardless of your path, getting professional help is the best way to increase your chances of success.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers are a leading provider of drug and alcohol abuse treatment. We offer a wide range of services, including detoxification, rehabilitation, and outpatient care. Our facility also provides various aftercare options to help you stay clean and sober after you leave our program.

Why Rehab is the Best Choice to Remove Heroin from Your System

Trying to get the heroin out of your system is extremely difficult if you have become dependent on the drug. Without professional help, the chances of success are very low.

For example, heroin withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and even dangerous.

Below are some of the most common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fast pulse
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability


These symptoms can make someone trying to quit using heroin feel very ill. Sometimes, they can lead to backsliding and relapse or hospitalization.

Heroin addiction treatment options are available in various settings, such as inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs.

Licensed medical practitioners will help you through the detoxification process and make sure that you are comfortable and safe.

What is the Heroin Addiction Treatment Process?

Heroin Addiction Treatment Process

Substance use disorder treatment usually follows these steps:

1. A Confidential Assessment for Substance Use

When you seek treatment for an addiction, the first step is always a thorough assessment. This allows the treatment team to get to know you and your unique situation. It also helps them develop a personalized treatment plan.

The assessment process usually includes reviewing your medical history, a physical examination, and a psychological evaluation. You will also be asked about your alcohol or drug use and your family history of substance abuse.

This information will help the treatment team determine what level of care you need and what type of treatment will be most effective for you. If you are ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, call us today. We can help you find the treatment that’s right for you.

2. Medically Supervised Detox for Heroin

Detoxification is the process of ridding your body of toxins, typically from alcohol or drugs.

The severity of detox symptoms depends on several factors, including how often you’ve been using, the type of substances you’ve been using, and your general health and well-being.

Detoxing without medical supervision can be dangerous, so it’s vital to be well-informed before embarking on the process. Some common detox symptoms include shaking, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

For heroin, medications may be used to help with detoxes such as methadone or buprenorphine. These medications can help lessen withdrawal symptoms and make detox more tolerable.

If you’re considering detoxing, talk to a doctor or other medical professional first to ensure it’s the right decision.

3. Inpatient Rehab for a Foundation in Recovery

Rehabilitation is overcoming drug addiction and learning how to live a sober life.

During rehab, you will participate in individual and group therapy sessions. You will also have the opportunity to learn about addiction and recovery and how to manage triggers and cravings.

Inpatient rehab programs offer 24-hour supervision and care, which can be especially helpful during early recovery. These programs typically last 30 days, although more extended stays are sometimes necessary.

Outpatient rehab programs allow you to live at home while attending treatment during the day. These programs are less intensive than inpatient programs but can still be very effective.

4. Aftercare Planning and Relapse Prevention

Aftercare is any care you receive after completing a formal treatment program.

Aftercare can include 12-step meetings, therapy, and sober living houses. Aftercare aims to help you transition back into everyday life and maintain your sobriety.

While most clients will eventually graduate to self-sufficient recovery, some will require more ongoing care. This is often the case for clients with a dual diagnosis or those who have been through multiple treatment programs.

5 Things to Look for in a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

A controlled substance like heroin can wreak havoc on your life, causing problems at work, in your home life, and your relationships. If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, there is hope.

Treatment can help you overcome addiction and learn how to live a sober life. But not all treatment programs are created equal. When looking for a treatment program, you should keep a few things in mind.

1. Individualized Care

Individual Care - Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

One size does not fit all when it comes to addiction treatment. A good treatment program will offer individualized care that considers your unique situation.

This may include factors such as age, gender, the severity of your addiction, and any underlying mental health conditions.

In addition, the best treatment programs will also be flexible, offering different levels of care that can be adjusted to meet your changing needs. Tailoring treatment to your specific situation can increase your chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

2. Evidence-Based Treatment

When looking for a treatment program, you should ensure that it offers evidence-based treatment.

Evidence-based treatments are those that have been proven to be effective in scientific studies. These treatments are based on the latest research and are constantly refined to ensure they are as effective as possible.

Some common evidence-based treatments used in addiction treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational enhancement therapy.

3. Fully Licensed and Accredited

You should also ensure that the treatment program you’re considering is fully licensed and accredited.

Licensing ensures that the program meets specific standards and is run by qualified staff. Accreditation shows that the program has been independently reviewed and found to be effective.

When you’re considering treatment programs, be sure to check that they are licensed and accredited. This will give you peace of mind that you’re choosing a program that is likely to be effective.

4. Comprehensive Services and Dual Diagnosis Programs

A good treatment program will offer a comprehensive range of services that address all aspects of addiction.

This may include detox, medication-assisted treatment, therapy, and aftercare. Those with dual diagnoses may also need additional services, such as psychiatric care.

By offering a comprehensive range of services, treatment programs can address all factors contributing to addiction.

5. Experienced and Qualified Staff

The staff at a treatment program can make a big difference in your recovery.

Look for a program that employs an experienced and qualified staff dedicated to helping you recover. The best staff will be compassionate, understanding, and firm in their commitment to helping you achieve sobriety.

With us, you will find a team of highly qualified and experienced staff who are devoted to helping you recover from addiction. Our staff includes doctors, nurses, therapists, and counselors committed to helping you achieve lasting sobriety.

If you’re looking for a heroin addiction treatment program that offers individualized, evidence-based care, look no further than our treatment center.

Further Resources on Heroin

If you’re looking for more information on heroin addiction treatment, here are some of the resources you may also want to check:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The CDC offers information on the risks of heroin use and how to prevent heroin addiction.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a government organization with helpful information on the latest heroin addiction and treatment research.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA is a government organization that offers resources on finding treatment for substance abuse disorders. They also have a helpline that can connect you with treatment providers in your area.


Forums and support groups like Narcotics Anonymous can help find treatment and support.

Our heroin addiction treatment program can help you achieve sobriety and live a healthy, happy life. Contact us today to learn more about our program or to schedule a consultation.

Find Your Path to Sobriety and Recovery Today

Drug tests are a reality of life for many people.

With heroin, how long it stays in your system depends on various factors, but generally speaking, it can be detected for up to 3 days in urine, up to 90 days in hair, and up to 14 days in blood.

If you’re concerned about drug testing, the best thing you can do is seek out treatment for your addiction. Contact Pathfinders Recovery now to help you get started on the road to a healthy life, without the worries of drug testing or being dopesick!

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Books for Parents of Substance Abusers

Getting Help for Children Who Use Drugs or Alcohol

Across the U.S., millions of preteens and teenagers drink or take drugs at least occasionally. Significant numbers of younger children are also involved in some form of substance use. Compared to adults, children are more susceptible to the major risks of using drugs and alcohol. They also have additional risks that are not a factor for adults.

Having a child who drinks or takes drugs is a cause for serious alarm. In this situation, you naturally want to do as much as possible to help your affected loved one. One key step is following the advice of verified addiction and substance treatment specialists. Among other places, you can find this advice in expert-recommended books and other resources for parents of substance abusers.

Why Read About Substance Use Disorders and Addictive Behaviors

Knowledge is power when it comes to helping your substance-using child. The more you know, the better your ability to understand what is happening to your loved one. You also have a better chance of responding to your child’s substance use in effective, supportive ways.

Reading is an excellent way to educate yourself about substance problems and addiction. Potential sources of useful information include:

  • Addiction specialists
  • Public health experts
  • Other parents who have faced similar situations
  • Books and articles from the wider substance recovery community

What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

All children who drink or take drugs are at-risk for addiction. Addicted children no longer use drugs or alcohol voluntarily. Instead, they have a chronic brain disease that leads to involuntary substance use.

What should you read if your child suffers from addiction? As a rule, the most reliable sources are federal public health officials. These officials belong to organizations dedicated to providing accurate information on addiction-related topics. One top federal source is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA. NIDA features a resource page geared toward both parents and teachers. This page includes:

  • Information on the most commonly abused substances
  • Advice on how to talk to your kids about substance use
  • Links to a vast range of relevant articles and guides
  • Dozens of short, informative videos


What to Read If Your Child Suffers From Addiction

NIDA also offers much more detailed information on addiction-related topics. One key publication is the short book Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide. This online book:

  • Explains the general principles of effective treatment
  • Answers common questions about addiction and its treatment
  • Describes the treatments used for specific forms of addiction
  • Identifies treatments that are especially helpful for teenagers


Another excellent source of information is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. SAMHSA offers more than 100 publications designed specifically for parents and other caregivers.

Online Resources Related to Staging an Intervention

An intervention is designed to provide effective help for anyone caught up in substance abuse. When performed properly, it can encourage your child to seek needed recovery support. However, when performed improperly, it can have the opposite effect.

A well-designed intervention requires detailed planning. For this reason, you must choose your online sources of intervention information very carefully. One of the best online guides comes from the Mayo Clinic. This guide provides comprehensive advice on topics such as:

  • Relying on professional help when making your intervention plan
  • Creating a team of people to carry out an intervention
  • Deciding what to say during an intervention
  • Holding the actual intervention
  • Taking follow-up measures after an intervention

Titles That Look at Drugs and Addiction in America

A quick Google search will bring up countless titles of books that look at drugs and addiction in America. Some of these books take a historical perspective. Others look at current aspects of drug use and addiction. Still others offer advice on how to help teens affected by addiction.

How can you wade through this sea of information? After all, in today’s world, anyone can write a book and publish it online or in print. Some of these authors are acknowledged experts in their field. However, others may have little expertise to offer, if any. How can you tell the difference?

One thing you can do is consider the credentials of a given book’s author. Do they have a background in the subject they are covering? Do they have academic positions or work for organizations that specialize in addiction-related topics? What do reputable reviewers have to say about a given book? These kinds of questions can help you separate reliable authors from those whose advice may be less valuable.

Books From the Alcohol and Recovery Support Community

Books written by members of the alcohol and recovery support community can also be useful. The authors of these books typically:

  • Have children or other loved ones who have been affected by addiction
  • Speak from personal experience rather than from formal expertise


Recovery Support Community

Dozens of publications in this category are released every year. There is a good chance that you can find one suitable for your current situation. The right book may:

  • Offer timely advice
  • Help you gain a better perspective on your situation
  • Direct you toward important treatment resources

Fentanyl and Harm Reduction Reading Resources

Harm reduction is an approach designed to prevent overdoses and other severe outcomes of substance use. Today, public health officials sometimes take this approach to help people using the powerful opioid fentanyl. Why? Fentanyl use inevitably comes with a very real chance of experiencing an overdose. Harm reduction can potentially help lower your child’s overdose risks.

A variety of reliable online resources cover the topics of fentanyl and harm reduction. Some of these resources are provided by federal public health experts. Many state governments also provide similar resources.

Reading Materials for Kids With Addicted Parents

Children in communities across America grow up with parents affected by addiction. You may know teens or younger children in this situation. If so, you may want to provide them with helpful, supportive reading materials. You will find informative brochures on this topic at SAMHSA. The nonprofit organization Common Sense Media also provides a listing of recommended books for kids with addicted parents.

Finding Effective Treatment for a Loved One at Pathfinders

Resources for parents and loved ones of addicted individuals come in a variety of forms. Some of the most sought-after resources are books for parents of substance abusers. Books of this type can help you understand addiction’s effects on your child. They can also help you respond to your child’s needs in ways that support their eventual recovery.

Generally speaking, public health officials are the most reliable sources of information. However, you may get crucial help from other knowledgeable professionals. Books written by members of the recovery community may also offer important support and advice.

In addition to reading up on addiction, you must help your child enter an effective treatment program. At Pathfinders, we specialize in the treatment of all forms of substance addiction. No matter how your loved one is affected by addiction, our customized care will help them recover. We can also help your loved one recover from mental illnesses that often occur in people with substance problems. Ready to get the process started? Call us today to learn more about our available inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

Is DMT Addictive?

What Is DMT

When an argument ensues regarding drugs with the potential for addiction, there are staples that surface during any conversation on this topic. Heroin, fentanyl, meth, cocaine – these are all drugs you expect to be associated with the word “addictive.”

However, we’d bet a fair amount that most people wouldn’t include the drug DMT in these conversations. That’s assuming that both parties in the conversation are even aware of DMT’s existence.

In the world of chemical substances and illegal narcotics, DMT is not known for being one of the more widely recognized drugs in the book. Aside from a core base of electronic music and jam band fans chasing the remainder of what was once known as the Grateful Dead, not a lot of people are on a first-name basis with the drug.

Those who have, however, place their experience with DMT on the same level as a face-to-face meeting with God. DMT is rumored to have connections with the third eye and astral plane, having earned the nickname the “spirit molecule” for the psychedelic pilgrimage users take while under the influence of the drug.

What is this unique substance, and why is it so obscure? In this article, you’ll find out about DMT and whether this hallucinogenic is addictive.

What Is DMT?

What is DMT? DMT, or N, N-dimethyltryptamine in medical talk, is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug found naturally in the human body and plants. This psychedelic substance falls under the Schedule 1 category, meaning it’s illegal across the board (possession, selling, manufacturing, etc.). A couple of cities in Oregon and Colorado have decriminalized it, but other than that, the federal government doesn’t look favorably upon any DMT activity.

DMT is the primary ingredient in ayahuasca, created from a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis plants. The second contains MAOI, which stops your body from experiencing the effects of DMT – thus, the need for both when producing the final product.

Chemists can also synthesize DMT in a lab without using plants, creating a product similar to the plant-based variety. In its final state, DMT is a crystalline substance, ranging in various colors.

Traditionally, DMT is smoked, but users may also consume it in tea. Regardless of the means of consumption, DMT produces a highly potent effect, unlike any other substance.

What Effects Does DMT Have?

Effects of DMT

DMT has some insanely strong effects for users who smoke it. It only takes about three seconds to kick in, and while the high only lasts a few short minutes, it can feel like a lifetime to some users. After the user inhales a hit of DMT, they usually hold the smoke in for about five seconds.

Before they can exhale, they’re sent on a trip unlike any other they’ve ever experienced. Users report a wide variety of effects after consuming the drug, including:

  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Auditory and full visual hallucinations
  • Encounters with tiny “elves” (known as DMT elves)
  • The ability to “see” and “feel” other peoples’ energy. Many users report the ability to view people at a cellular or energy level or viewing them only by their body systems (circulatory, etc.)
  • Paranoia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

IS DMT Dangerous?

One of the main concerns with DMT is the fact that each experience is incredibly unpredictable. In addition, it’s hazardous for a user to consume the drug on their own.

It’s not uncommon for users to exhale a DMT hit and collapse or lose control of their bodies. Most of the time, the user drops the glass pipe used to smoke the DMT, coming out of their trip without knowing what happened before they entered it.

DMT is dangerous for several reasons. Number one, the risk of engaging in use alone could lead to severe injury or death. It’s not uncommon for DMT users to fall and crack their heads open after losing control of their motor functions.

Second, it’s an extremely intense mental high. DMT is considered one of the most potent hallucinogenic drugs in existence. Substances like DMT can easily cause psychosis or trigger other underlying mental conditions, leading to permanent behavioral or cognitive damage.

Is DMT Addictive?

Is DMT addictive? Upon first hearing this question, most individuals would say no – even people who personally abuse the substance themselves. However, after considering the facts surrounding its abuse, we’re not so sure if we agree.

To answer the question, it helps to look at the definition of addiction. Addiction is the compulsive, chronic, or psychological need for any particular substance despite the awareness that using it could negatively affect at least one area of your life.

Let’s take a look at the elements in play here:

Is DMT dangerous to use?

Is DMT dangerous to use

Yes, it’s widely considered an unsafe drug. Whether the user agrees with this is irrelevant. The drug still poses dangers whether the user agrees with them or not. They’re at least acutely aware of the fact that other people consider the drug dangerous. At the minimum, they’re aware of its illegality, which poses a threat just as significant as the physical and mental dangers.

Are there veteran users of DMT who perpetually consume the drug despite knowing these things?

Yes. It might not be physically addictive, but it is habit-forming, and users may be required to ingest more to achieve the same effects they experienced earlier in their interactions with the drug.

Signs of DMT Addiction

It could be challenging to spot DMT addiction, especially considering most social circles’ minimal knowledge regarding the drug. However, certain behaviors and activities could tip you off to the potential existence of a problem.

  • Individuals spend a significant amount of time-consuming DMT, especially on their own with no supervision.
  • Users may lie about how often they consume DMT
  • Users appear to be disconnected from reality
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rambling about things other people can’t see or understand

Can You Overdose on DMT?

Technically, no medical state describes someone as “overdosing” on DMT. However, it’s possible to overdo the consumption of DMT grossly.

Ingesting too much at once via smoking or drinking it in a tea can produce hazardous and unwanted effects. Dangerous, extended, and highly intense psychedelic trips are known to send people off into a high they never return from.

Overusing any psychedelic is typically what manifests underlying or new mental health disorders that weren’t noticed before. Usually, these situations pass, but they can stick around for extended periods.

The Risk of Serotonin Syndrome

When users ingest DMT, the brain releases a large burst of serotonin. This is common in most chemical substances and leads to the high’s euphoria or “feel good” portion.

However, releasing too much serotonin in one sitting, over and over again, can lead to a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This is the body reaching the serotonin toxicity level and could technically be considered an overdose of serotonin.

Severe cases lead to seizures, respiratory arrest, and other severe side effects. However, most patients rarely require hospitalization and pass without much incident.

Does DMT Addiction Cause Withdrawals?

DMT addiction doesn’t directly cause withdrawals in terms of what most people consider withdrawal symptoms. However, it can hurt the user who has decided to quit.

Mental issues, vertigo, paranoia, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety are expected during the DMT detox period. Certain medications can help these side effects until the detox period is over.

Can I Get Help for DMT Abuse?

DMT treatment options

Regardless of what anyone says, any substance could warrant the need for rehab at any given time. Who’s to say that one person doesn’t have an issue with a substance that requires professional help?

If you’ve experienced DMT abuse, it’s possible you could require heavy mental health treatment, including dual-diagnosis therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Other effective DMT treatment includes:

  • Art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Ocean therapy
  • Journaling
  • A variety of holistic solutions

Long-Term Recovery from DMT Is Possible

Long-term recovery from DMT is possible with the right treatment team, armed with the proper knowledge and passion for witnessing you succeed. At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve helped thousands of clients just like you overcome challenges with DMT and other hallucinogenic substances.

We understand how delicate the situation can be when dealing with chemicals that alter the fragile balance of the brain. We’re here to provide support and various therapy options to help align your mind, body, and spirit in the healthiest way possible.

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact a member of our admissions team today. We’re standing by to take your calls!

IOP Programs Denver

Intensive outpatient programs

Attending a Denver Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs are a way for mental health treatment centers to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient facilities. An inpatient facility allows patients to stay there for an extended period to deal with their problems. These facilities limit the number of external stimuli that a patient has to deal with, so they can focus on their recovery. Because of this focused recovery approach, inpatient treatment tends to have more success and less chance of a relapse. Inpatient treatment isn’t for everyone, unfortunately. The type of treatment usually requires a person to leave their job or take an extended leave of absence.

The other side of the treatment scale is outpatient treatment. This type of treatment offers more freedom to the patient than inpatient treatment. With outpatient treatment, the patient must show up at a scheduled time to receive counseling and attend group therapy sessions. They don’t stay at the facility, and the onus is on them to make it to their scheduled counseling. Outpatient counseling has the downside that a person still has to deal with their environment and other influences that could lead them to relapse. IOP programs seek to find a middle ground between these two treatment options.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Or IOP?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a treatment program for substance use disorder. It’s a step-down treatment after detox and inpatient treatment. Typically, it lasts for weeks, with visits scheduled for a few days out of the week. IOP can serve as either the primary treatment after detox or a continuing treatment method after a person has completed residential treatment. IOPs are built to be flexible and offer patients the best option for visiting a treatment center within their schedule. Most patients are trying to cope with re-entering the world and holding down a job. An IOP gives them the support they need through therapy while not infringing on their lives.

IOP sessions vary in length, but typically they last between two and four hours long. Most facilities that offer IOPs try to limit them to at least three days a week. More intensive programs might provide additional time, but three days are standard. One of the core focuses of IOP treatment is preventing relapse from external stimuli. Much of the discussion might be around managing the triggers that could lead to relapse and how to cope with those forces. Interpersonal relationships might need to be re-examined to give the person a better chance at staying away from those that might encourage unacceptable behavior.

What Does an IOP Treat?

While IOPs can be used for treating addiction, they can also be applied to an extensive range of mental health conditions. Among the typical cases in that IOP may be used are:

Typical Features of a Quality Intensive Outpatient Program

Not all IOP programs are the same. Some are far better at dealing with disorders than others through their flexibility and how they approach the issue of addiction or mental health disorders. The ideal IOP should feature:

Education Services

Recovering from any disorder requires understanding it fundamentally. A top-class IOP should incorporate education into its regimen. Part of the treatment should discuss how drug and alcohol addiction affects the body and the mind. Relapse prevention starts with recognizing the effects of cravings and how they change a person’s behavior. Intensive outpatient sessions should address practical ways of avoiding relapse.


Psychotherapy - IOP Programs Denver

Psychotherapy is one of the accepted methods of treating substance use disorder and mental health over the long term. A good IOP will incorporate family, group, and individual therapy to help recovering people deal with their conditions. Sharing experiences with others, opening up to family, or addressing the direct effects of a person’s mental health issue positively affects their ability to maintain their recovery.

Support Services

Typically, a person is in pretty rough shape financially, legally, and in employment when they enter rehab. The best IOP programs have advisors who can help people recover their financial and social standing while motivating them to continue their treatment. Finding solutions to these problems can help people focus more on improving themselves.

Who Can Benefit from a Denver IOP Program?

Anyone who has had a mental disorder or is dealing with long-term recovery from substance use disorder can benefit from joining an IOP. The IOP is an alternative to inpatient treatment while offering many benefits to outpatient therapy. IOPs do have an ideal candidate for success. A person who wants to undertake IOP needs to fit these criteria:

  • The patient must have completed inpatient treatment or have a mild enough substance use disorder that they don’t need acute treatment.
  • The patient must have a moderate substance abuse disorder.
  • They must not be dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • They must have a means of support outside of the treatment center since they don’t live there.
  • The patient must be able to get to and from the facility independently.
  • They should be able to commit a significant amount of time to their recovery.

A recovery center would look at a patient’s history and determine whether they fit the ideal patient model before suggesting that they start IOP. Not all patients will match the perfect model of a patient. Since recovery depends on the individual, each person will have their own road to recovery. IOP can help some patients that don’t meet the ideal criteria but are willing to work towards their recovery.

Are IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance?

IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance

Insurance companies are required to cover treatment for mental health disorders. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all public, private, and group plans offer coverage for mental health treatment. IOP is another type of treatment that can help individuals who suffer from mental health disorders.

Therefore, IOP programs in Denver are covered by health insurance to a particular degree. Consulting with the facility will help you better understand whether your insurance will cover your IOP and to what amount. You may be responsible for meeting some part of the financial responsibility for your treatment, even with insurance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and IOP Participation

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT uses medication alongside therapy to gain results in treating substance use disorder and mental health issues. Evidence from many studies suggests that this might be a viable way of helping some individuals cope with their mental health or substance use problems.

Results have shown that individuals who might otherwise be struggling with recovery have a much better outcome when incorporating MAT into their treatment. The use of MAT has historically been part of many inpatient and residential treatment programs. Introducing it to IOP requires adapting the existing methodology to the intensive program.

IOPs that incorporate MAT offer significant benefits over IOPs that use standard therapy as their go-to approach for treatment. Generally, patients who don’t have acute issues with substance usage are the best candidates for MAT. These patients benefit from being treated in their home environments for their disorders, allowing them a better chance of recovery. MAT raises that chance further by providing them with a way to manage their cravings through medication. Combining therapy with group support through IOP gives a recovering person the social support they need to recover from their disorder completely.

What Are the Features Of Top IOP Programs In Denver?

IOPs are quickly becoming popular because they combine the best of good treatment models. However, not all IOPs are helpful to every individual. The top IOPs in Denver share some similarities, however. Among the traits they display are:

  • Mental Health Disorder Assessment: Determine what mental health disorders the patients are dealing with.
  • Therapy Sessions: Group, individual, and family therapy should all form part of the treatment regimen.
  • Behavioral Health Assessment: How does this mental health disorder affect the person’s behavior?
  • Life Education Skills and Training: A recovering person will have to relearn many basic life skills a person needs when living independently.
  • Teaching Focus Development: Yoga and meditation help balance a patient and get them focused on their recovery.

If you are looking at an IOP and aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, you should objectively examine what it offers. You should be able to get to the location relatively quickly, so you don’t miss appointments. The staff should be welcoming and understanding about your goals. It should also offer you an individual solution to your problem, not a generic fix.

Find Lasting Sober Success with Pathfinders Recovery Centers Now

Pathfinders Recovery provides treatment to our patients with a view to long-term recovery. Our two decades of service have prepared us to deal with all types of mental and substance use disorders. Our staff is trained in helping recovering persons come to terms with their disorders and overcome them. Let us help you deal with your condition. Call us today, and we’ll guide you towards leaving your disorder behind and living your life anew!