Lean Addiction and Abuse (Purple Drank)

Lean addiction, as shown by cough syrup being poured into spoon

What is Lean Addiction?

While it may not be one of the most well-known drugs of choice, lean addiction is a growing problem in the United States.

Lean is an illicit substance that combines codeine cough syrup with soda and hard candy.

Lean contains codeine, which can be highly addictive, and it is especially abused by young people.

A bottle of cough syrup being poured into a cup, illustrates the dangers of lean addiction

Understanding Lean

When lean was first invented, it was mixed with beer.

Later, lean was instead made with soda with a hard candy for added sweetness.

The drink gained popularity after being mentioned in many popular rap songs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Many rappers have since died after developing a lean addiction. Lean is also called “purple drank,” “dirty sprite,” and “sizzurp.”

Lean’s main ingredient codeine is an opioid. This drug is made from the opium poppy plant.

When you take an opioid, it affects areas in your brain that control your “reward system.” This means that it makes you feel relaxed, happy, and euphoric.

Opioids are also highly addictive. Once you begin abusing lean, your brain very quickly becomes dependent on it and makes you crave it.

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What are the Effects of Lean Addiction?

When taken for short periods of time, codeine cough syrups help you by blocking the urge to cough.

They also make you feel relaxed. However, they can have negative effects even when taken correctly.

These can include drowsiness, confusion, constipation, depression, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing.

If you have a lean addiction, these symptoms can become worse over time.

Frequent lean abuse can have even more serious side effects.

One of these side effects called hypoxia is especially dangerous.

Hypoxia is a condition where not enough oxygen reaches the brain and can happen when codeine makes your breathing slow too much.

Hypoxia can cause both short-term and long-term health problems, including brain damage, coma, and even death.

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How Can You Abuse Lean?

Lean is a drug that has no medical purposes. Taking it just once counts as drug abuse.

If you take it frequently or for long periods of time, it is very easy to develop a lean addiction.

If you are not sure whether you are addicted to lean, here are some questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Are you taking larger amounts of lean or using it more frequently than you used to?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop taking lean but find that you cannot?
  • Do you spend a lot of time getting codeine cough syrup to make lean, or dealing with the side effects?
  • Do you crave lean when you are not taking it?
  • Are you having issues at work, school, or home?
  • Have you stopped doing things you used to enjoy so that you can take lean?
  • Do you need to take lean in order to feel happy or relaxed?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking lean?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, there is a good chance that you have a lean addiction.

Now may be the time to consider getting in touch with Pathfinders Recovery Center to learn about our lean addiction rehab options.

Mental Illness and Lean Addiction

Because lean contains codeine, it can have the same negative effects on your mental health that any other opioid causes.

People who have a lean addiction are twice as likely to suffer from at least one mental health condition.

The most common issues are aggression, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and mood swings.

If you had a mental health issue before your lean addiction, you will most likely find that taking lean makes them worse.

People who already have depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of abusing drugs like lean.

This often happens because a person tries to treat their mental health symptoms with lean.

In the short term, this can trick your brain into thinking that you feel better.

In the long run, it just makes your mental health symptoms worse.

No matter when your mental health problems first appeared, it is important that you discuss them with the team at Pathfinders Recovery Center.

Having both your lean addiction and mental health symptoms treated is going to be key to helping you overcome your addiction.

Rows of cough syrup and empty cups show the reality of lean addiction

Withdrawal from Lean Addiction

Having a purple drank addiction means that your brain is dependent on the codeine in this drug.

If you try to take less or stop taking it entirely, you can experience withdrawal symptoms. Much like any other opioid addiction, these symptoms usually come in two parts.

The first part will usually start within a day of stopping purple drank, though for serious purple drank addictions it may start within just a few hours.

The first symptoms can include anxiety, agitation, insomnia, muscle aches, watery eyes, runny nose, or sweating.

The second part of withdrawal then begins in another day or two, and is usually more severe.

They can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dilated pupils, and goose bumps.

Purple drank addiction withdrawal symptoms usually peak about three days after stopping, and then slowly go away.

The entire withdrawal process usually takes about a week. For people with a very serious purple drank addiction, it can take a little longer.

These symptoms are very rarely life-threatening, but they can still make you feel extremely uncomfortable.

That is why Pathfinders offers a medical detox program. This allows us to help our clients be more comfortable during detox by providing medications to make the symptoms less noticeable and easier to deal with.

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Treatment Options for Lean Addiction

When it comes to getting treatment for your lean addiction, we have a number of different program options for you.

For people who are abusing opioid drugs like lean, our medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) is one of the most effective options.

MAT uses both medications and behavioral therapy to help you get through detox and treat the underlying reasons behind your lean addiction.

The medications we use help to both make withdrawal more comfortable and reduce your cravings for lean.

Therapy, both in individual and group sessions, helps you better understand why you ended up with this addiction.

It also helps give you tools to avoid drug use triggers, and ways to better manage your stress.

Both of these things help you to avoid using lean, and reduce your chances of experiencing a relapse.

Behavioral therapy will also help address any mental health symptoms you have been experiencing.

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Getting the Help You Need at a Quality Rehab Center

We know that no one starts using purple drank with the idea of becoming addicted to it.

Just because you have developed a problem does not mean that you have to live with it.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back from the difficulty of addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help to ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call, and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

A lean addiction is nothing to be ashamed of and seeking help does not have to be a difficult process.

Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery.

Contact us today and see the difference stopping your drug abuse can make in your life.

Painkiller Addiction Among Suburban Housewives

Illustration of woman trapped in pill bottle, to show painkiller addiction

Painkiller Addiction Among Suburban Housewives May Be On the Rise

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2 million Americans began abusing prescription painkillers in 2017, which means painkiller addiction among suburban housewives may be on the rise.

Prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet are safe for treating short-term pain, but people may abuse them because they are highly addictive and can make a person feel very relaxed.

Women may be especially vulnerable to the effects of prescription pills used to treat pain because research shows that women are more sensitive to pain than men are, and they are at a greater risk of prescription painkiller abuse.

This means that a woman who is prescribed opiates following surgery or to treat a chronic pain condition can find herself becoming addicted.

People may think that the abuse of prescription pills only occurs in poor, urban areas, but the reality is that painkiller addiction among suburban housewives is a real concern.

Painkiller abuse is widespread and can affect anyone.

Close-up of a woman's mouth opening to accept a spoonful of pills, to illustrate painkiller addiction

How Painkiller Addictions Develops

Suburban housewives may begin taking prescription pills for legitimate reasons, such as to treat pain following a surgery or injury, but painkiller addictions develop because of the properties of prescription painkillers.

Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription painkillers have a relaxing effect and can make a person feel high, which can lead some people to abuse them.

Painkiller addiction may develop when a person takes larger doses than a doctor prescribes, or when they use prescription pills to get high.

It is also important to understand that prescription painkillers increase the levels of a brain chemical called dopamine, which has a rewarding effect.

Over time, people may also develop a tolerance for prescription pills, meaning they will need larger doses of pills to experience the same effects.

This can cause women to seek out more prescription pills, ultimately leading to painkiller addiction.

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The Dangers of Painkiller Addiction and Abuse

Some people may think that painkiller addiction is not a serious concern since painkillers are prescription pills with legitimate medical uses, but this could not be further from the truth. The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns of the negative effects of painkiller abuse, which can include drowsiness, constipation, confusion, and nausea.
In large doses, prescription painkillers can cause slowed breathing and even cut off the supply of oxygen to the brain. This can cause serious complications, such as brain damage, coma, and even death.
Another consequence of abusing prescription pills is the development of a painkiller addiction, which often requires drug rehab.

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Signs of Painkiller Addiction

When a woman develops a painkiller addiction, an addiction treatment professional will diagnose a substance use disorder, which is the clinical term for an addiction. Symptoms of a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include strong drug cravings, being unable to reduce drug use, and using larger amounts of drugs than intended.
Other symptoms can include using drugs even when it causes health problems, continuing to use prescription pills despite trouble fulfilling duties at work, home, or school, and giving up other activities in favor of drug use.
Suburban housewives who find that they are forgoing parenting and household duties or giving up leisure time activities because of drug use, or who are finding that they cannot stop using prescription pills, may have developed a painkiller addiction, even if a doctor is prescribing the medication.

Painkiller Addiction and Withdrawal

Withdrawal is one of the reasons that drug rehab is often necessary for women who struggle with painkiller addiction. Painkiller withdrawal occurs because over time, the body becomes physically dependent upon prescription pills. Once a person stops using these drugs, the body has to adapt and therefore experiences withdrawal symptoms.
Prescription painkiller withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, making it difficult for a person to stop using these drugs. For example, a woman who is a suffering from painkiller addiction may experience sleep disturbances, goose bumps, cold sweats, involuntary leg movements, diarrhea, vomiting, and pain in the muscles and bones when withdrawing from prescription painkillers.
A drug rehab can offer a detox program, where medical staff provide care, support, and supervision to women as their bodies rid themselves of drugs. This can keep them as safe and as comfortable as possible as they go through withdrawal from prescription pills.

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Treatment for Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Since prescription painkillers are so addictive and can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, it is often difficult for women to stop using these pills without going to drug rehab.
If you have been struggling with addiction to prescription pills, a drug rehab program will often begin your treatment plan with a stay in detox to help you through the withdrawal process. According to experts, a doctor working in a drug rehab program may prescribe medications like methadone or buprenorphine to help with drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms as you detox from prescription painkillers.
After completing detox, it is important to continue your drug rehab journey with an ongoing program that includes behavioral treatments like counseling. A type of counseling like cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to cope with triggers and stress that might lead to drug use and teach you healthier ways of thinking about drugs.
A combination of medication and counseling is usually the best approach for treating addiction, so you may continue to take a medication like buprenorphine or methadone while engaged in ongoing drug rehab.

Woman holds up a opioid pill she's taking with a worried look, to demonstrate painkiller addiction

Drug Rehab for Painkiller Addiction in Colorado and Arizona

If you are struggling with painkiller addiction, and you are ready to seek drug rehab, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in Colorado and Arizona. We are also happy to accept patients from surrounding areas.
Pathfinders offers various levels of treatment, including residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. We also offer a detox program. If you are living with a painkiller addiction, your treatment journey with us will likely begin with detox, so you can be safe and comfortable while your body goes through withdrawal from prescription pills.
After you complete detox, our team will help you to determine the best type of treatment for your specific situation. We are a premier drug rehab center, and our leadership team has over 25 years of experience in the addiction field, so you can be confident that you are getting the best care possible for your painkiller addiction.
We are also considered a dual diagnosis treatment center, meaning we can treat both addiction and mental illness.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

Once you have decided it is time to go to drug rehab for prescription pills, you have to determine how you will pay for treatment.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer an online insurance verification program so you can find out how much it will cost you to attend treatment.

Simply fill out a form on our website, and a member of our team will contact you to tell you what your insurance covers and how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket.

We can also create a cash payment plan if you do not plan to pay for treatment with insurance.

Contact us today to begin your journey toward sobriety.

How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System

A gloved hand dips a test strip into urine, to show 'Close-up of drug testing form, to indicate answers to 'How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System'

If you are undergoing a drug test, you are likely wondering, “How long do drugs stay in your system?”

The answer to this question varies depending upon the type of drug.

For example, as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has explained, drugs stay in your system for different amounts of time based upon their chemical properties, such as the drug’s half-life.

Some drugs may be eliminated from the body more quickly than others.

In addition to variations depending on the type of drug, there are also other factors, such as your personal health and the type of testing used.


Lean (Purple Drank) Addiction and Abuse Pathfinders - A young woman speaks with an addiction specialist during an individual therapy session to discuss her addiction to sipping lean or drinking purple drank to try and determine the best treatment plan for her specific circumstances and needs.

How Long Do Drugs Stay In Your Urine?

Since urine testing is a common form of drug screening, people often want to know “How long do drugs stay in your urine?”

Again, this can vary depending on the type of substance, but the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that most drugs stay in urine for two to four days.

That being said, how long drugs stay in your urine is also dependent upon how long you have been using and how high of a dose you typically use.

Higher doses and more frequent drug use can be detected in urine for longer periods of time, because ongoing drug use causes drugs to build up in the body.

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How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your Urine?: Variations Based on Drug Type

As previously stated with urine testing, how long drugs stay in your system depends upon the type of drug you have been using.
Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, cocaine is eliminated from the system pretty quickly, so if you use the drug one time, a urine test will only detect within one day. On the other hand, if you have been using cocaine on a daily basis, it will probably stay in your system for two to three days.
Marijuana tends to stay in your system a little longer, especially if you are a chronic user. With occasional use, marijuana will likely be cleared from your system within three days, but if you are a daily user, it can take five to 10 days for it to leave your body. Furthermore, if you are a chronic marijuana user, it can be detected in your urine for up to a month.
How long do drugs stay in your urine is also applicable to benzodiazepines, a type of prescription drug that people abuse for their sedative effects. With a prescribed dose, these drugs are eliminated from the body in three to seven days, but with chronic use, it can take a month for benzodiazepines to leave your system.
According to a how long do drugs stay in your system chart from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, methamphetamine stays in urine for two to four days; opiates are eliminated in one to three days, and ecstasy is detectable in urine for one to five days

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How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System Using Other Methods?

Urine testing is not the only method for determining how long do drugs stay in your system. Some people also wonder “How long do drugs stay in your saliva?” As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has explained, saliva testing can only detect very recent drug use. Most drugs can only be detected in saliva for 12 to 24 hours after you use them, but marijuana may only be detected in saliva for four to 10 hours after the last use.
Another method for testing for drugs is hair testing. This method is less popular but can detect drugs that have been used in the past four months; however, it can take up to a week after drug use for hair follicles to absorb drugs.

Recap: How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

The answer to the question, “How long do drugs stay in your system?” varies depending upon the type of drug you use, how long you have been using, and what method is used to detect drug use.
For instance, marijuana and benzodiazepines may remain in the system via a urine screen for longer than cocaine, especially with long-term use. In general, drugs will stay in the urine for two to four days and in the saliva for up to one day. Hair testing can detect drug use over several months.
While these are general estimates of how long drugs stay in your system, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that other factors, such as your general health, metabolism, exercise habits, fluid intake, diet, gender, and exercise habits can affect how long drugs stay in your urine.

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Seeking Treatment For Drug Addiction

If you are asking, “How long do drugs stay in your system?,” chances are that you have been struggling with drug use and might be worried that a positive drug test will get you in trouble or cause you to lose your job. If this is the case, you may have developed an addiction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the clinical term for a drug addiction is a substance use disorder. Symptoms of a substance use disorder include strong drug cravings, being unable to cut back on drug use, and continuing to use drugs despite serious consequences, such as health problems or difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home.
If you have developed a substance use disorder, you will likely need drug rehab to help you stop using. As experts explain, drug rehab can involve behavioral treatments like therapy in addition to medications that treat addiction.

Crack Addiction in Arizona Pathfinders - A group of individuals attending an inpatient rehab for crack addiction in Arizona are engaging in a group therapy session led by an addiction specialist to discuss healthy coping mechanisms, build sober support systems, and share experiences in an open and safe environment.

Drug Rehab in Colorado and Arizona

Once you realize that you need help for drug addiction, it is time to reach out to a drug rehab center. If you are looking for rehab in Colorado or Arizona, Pathfinders Recovery Center has facilities in both states, and we are happy to provide treatment to patients from surrounding areas.
We are a premier dual diagnosis treatment center, meaning we are qualified to treat both addiction and mental illness. Our leadership team has over 25 years of experience, and we offer various levels of treatment, including detox, residential, partial hospitalization, and outpatient.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

You may be worried about covering the costs of drug rehab, even if you know seeking treatment is the best choice.

Pathfinders can take some of the stress out of the equation for you by offering a free insurance verification program.

By filling out a quick form on our website, you can learn how much of your treatment your insurance plan will cover, as well as what you can expect to pay out of pocket.

Even if you do not have insurance, Pathfinders can work with you to develop a cash payment plan.

Reach out to us today to determine how we can help you to recover from drug addiction and abuse.

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Why Does Drug Abuse Affect Our Skin?

We talk a lot about how drug and alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health. The major health concerns, including things like depression and anxiety, different cancers, and heart and lung problems are well-known. What about the effects of addiction on the skin?

We don’t often acknowledge the effects of drug addiction on our skin. The skin is our body’s largest organ. It is not immune to the effects of drugs any more than our livers or kidneys are. The impairments caused by drug abuse affect the body, mind, and spirit. 

Why Do Drugs Cause Skin Problems?

Drug abuse causes skin problems through many different methods. It can cause dry or flaky skin through dehydration, encourage infections and scarring through skin picking, or promote acne breakouts and inflammation. 

Depending on the drug, the level and length of abuse, and your medical history, among other individual factors, your skin problems can vary. They may be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Common Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Common Skin Problems Caused by Drugs

If you’re looking for signs that drug abuse is affecting your skin, that is a sign in itself. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse on the skin include rashes and: 

  • Hyperpigmentation or color changes. 
  • Oral concerns, including swollen, inflamed, dry, or cracked lips and gums. In more severe cases and long-term use, this extends to include tooth decay and possible loss. 
  • Inflammation, redness, itching, dryness, irritation, and rashes. 
  • Worsened acne breakouts or new ones. 
  • Open sores and scarring. 
  • Skin and soft tissue infections. 

Drug-Related Skin Problems Ranked

On the milder side of drug-related skin problems, you may experience temporary inflammation, redness, or dryness. Mild rashes would be included on this list, as well. Mild skin problems may go away in between drug binges or get better when you moisturize. 

Acne breakouts, often caused by the urge to touch your face while on drugs, would land somewhere in the middle. Alterations to your skin tone would land in the moderate territory, too. On the more severe side, scarring, sores, and infections related to drug abuse could prove problematic. 

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Lips and Gums

Oral problems, including dry and cracked lips and gums, and tooth decay, are common skin concerns among meth users. Many people refer to these side effects as meth mouth. 

An examination of 571 meth users revealed that 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. This happens for several reasons. Primarily, these oral health impairments are related to psychological and physiological changes that cause dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. 

Methamphetamine is acidic, which can damage the teeth. It also makes you crave sugar, clench or grind your teeth, and experience bouts of semi-consciousness or unconsciousness. Each of these side effects can worsen your oral hygiene and routine. 

Drug Addiction and Acne

If you are already prone to acne, abusing drugs or alcohol may make it worse. But it may also prompt extreme acne breakouts in those who have never had acne in the past. The primary reason for this is that drug abuse often makes you more likely to repeatedly touch your face. 

Throughout the day, dirt, oils, bacteria, and other unwanted particles gather on our hands. We can avoid acne breakouts by washing our hands clean before touching our faces. But when you are under the influence of drugs, you are far less likely to follow through on that extra step. 

Scarring and Sores from Drug Use

Certain drugs and extreme amounts of alcohol can lead to hallucinations. The feeling that something is crawling under your skin is a common sensation among drug abusers. This can lead you to claw or pick at your skin to alleviate the creepy, crawling, itchy feeling. 

But when you claw or pick at the skin on your body or face and your hands are unclean, open sores and scarring become more likely. And when you continue to pick at your skin and neglect to clean the cuts and sores, they can scar or become infected. 

Skin Infections from Drug Use

Drug abuse weakens the immune system, making it harder for you and your body to fight off infections. Infections related to drug use often get worse over time and can take a while to heal because your body is not at its peak health. 

Infections at the site of injection are common, but infections can also come from picking, scratching, or clawing at your skin. And while skin picking is more commonly associated with meth use, it also applies to cocaine, heroin, and prescription stimulant users. 

Outside of skin picking, skin infections can also be sparked by allergic reactions to certain drugs. Prescription stimulants, including Adderall and Ritalin, can cause fluid-filled bumps that worsen over time. These bumps can swell, burst and scab, blister, or peel. 

Rapid Aging from Drug Addiction

Powerful illicit drugs, including heroin, can decrease the amount of oxygen that travels to the skin. This is one of the most common reasons for drug-related dry, itchy, flaky, and otherwise irritated skin. 

Along with oral health impairments, rashes, blemishes, sores, and bloodshot eyes, these skin symptoms can rapidly change your physical appearance. Wrinkles are also common among drug users and can make you look much older than you are. 

The first step in minimizing or ending these side effects is to stop abusing drugs. The longer the drug abuse continues, the more damage it will do to your skin, as well as your physical and mental health. And the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to reverse the damage, too. 

Moisturizing, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face can help reduce the risk. But real change involves treating the root of the problem. And that starts with a personalized and holistic addiction treatment program. Thankfully, this is exactly what we offer. 

Reversing Addiction’s Effect on Your Skin

Drugs can affect your skin in many different ways. Some of these side effects will naturally fade after you stop abusing drugs. From there, a healthy and consistent skincare routine can help further improve the appearance of your skin. 

Moisturizers, proper hydration, healthy meals, and a regular exercise routine can also help improve your skin’s appearance and reverse certain signs of aging. When you are good to your body, your body will be good to you. 

And for those particularly pesky skin concerns, a dermatologist may be able to recommend either over the counter or prescription medications for more significant cosmetic changes. The sooner you begin to improve your overall health, the sooner your skin will improve, too. 

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

No one likes to look in the mirror and see that they are aging faster than they should be. No matter the skin concerns you are facing, drug abuse isn’t helping. It’s time to improve your health, build your confidence, and restore your physical appearance. And we can help. 

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we put together personalized programs that match your unique addiction, recovery goals, time constraints, budget, and other needs. In full-time and part-time settings, we offer the care, guidance, and support you need to recover. 

Our addiction counselors are available 24/7 to ensure that you get the help you need when you need it. Call 866-576-4892 today to get started.

What is Meth Mouth

What is Meth Mouth

Meth Mouth

Many people are surprised to find that bad breath is a common consequence of drug abuse. We talk extensively about the physical and mental health impairments related to drug abuse. But these are not the only impairments that we have to worry about. 

Oral problems, including bad breath, are particularly common among meth users. Users call this meth mouth. Meth mouth is characterized by damage in and around the mouth, to the teeth and gums, and the lips. 

What Causes Meth Mouth?

What Causes Meth Mouth

Meth mouth occurs for several different reasons. Neglected oral hygiene is one of the most common. Drugs as powerful as meth can make you forgetful, sleepy, and distracted. It is unlikely that someone on meth will remember to properly take care of themselves. 

In addition to a poor diet and a lack of exercise and proper hydration, the oral hygiene habits of drug users often suffer. It is easy to forget to regularly floss and brush your teeth when you are under the influence of an overwhelming substance. 

Meth also causes dry mouth, a significant contributor to developing cavities and eroding gums. It is acidic, which damages the teeth more directly. And it can make you crave sugar and grind or clench your teeth.

These are the primary drivers of meth mouth: poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, acidic erosion, sugar cravings, grinding and clenching your teeth. The symptoms of meth mouth can be a source of insecurity, discomfort, or even pain. 

Meth and Bad Breath

Bad breath in meth users is caused by dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. But bad breath is only the start of meth mouth. What’s more concerning are the side effects that come next. These side effects can be mild to severe, depending on the level of use and other individual factors. 

They can also occur both inside and outside of the mouth. Damage to the lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums is common. It is not just your breath or your teeth that suffer when you use meth. There is no safe way to use meth. Using meth will always put your oral, mental, and physical health at risk. 

Other Symptoms of Meth Mouth

Dry or cracked lips, damaged gums, tooth decay, cavities, and missing teeth are all common among meth users. In one study, medical professionals examined the mouths of 571 meth users. They found that nearly everyone in the study had poor oral health. 

Among them, the three most common oral health impairments were cavities (present in 96% of participants), untreated tooth decay (58%), and at least six missing teeth (31%). Meth mouth is often one of the most apparent physical changes that occur when a person uses meth. 

Dentists often characterize meth mouth by the presence of severe tooth decay and gum disease. This combination often causes teeth to break, blacken, rot, crumble, or fall out. Lesions are also typical among meth users. 

These side effects are often apparent from the outside. Meth users often experience alterations to their facial features, as well as skin damage. The sunken look that accompanies meth use is one of the most obvious signs of trouble. 

How Common is Meth Use?

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug. This means that it is too dangerous for medical use and has a high potential for abuse and severe dependence. But this classification has done little to curb meth use over the years. 

In 2017, roughly 1.6 million people reported using meth in the past year. Most users tried meth after becoming addicted to prescription opioids. One study confirmed that this connection was present in 80% of participants. 

Other Side Effects of Meth Use

Learning about the effects of meth is an important step in keeping ourselves and each other safe. Meth mouth is a common and concerning condition among users. But there are other side effects that you should also be aware of. 

Aside from meth mouth, some of the most common side effects of meth use include: 

  • Weight loss 
  • Body tremors
  • Increased or irregular heartbeats 
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anger
  • Anxiety 

These side effects can vary depending on many individual factors. The method of use, frequency, mental health, and medical history of the user are some of the most impactful. Some side effects are specific to certain methods of drug abuse. 

For example, injecting meth comes with the additional risks of collapsed veins, infections at the injection site, and HIV from shared needles. Snorting meth can damage the nasal cavity and sinuses, causing issues like loss of smell and painful nosebleeds. 

Over time, more troubling side effects become more likely. These include potentially fatal health problems, like central nervous system damage, seizures, strokes, heart attacks, and overdoses. But you do not have to live in constant fear of the impacts of your meth use. Help is available. 

How to Prevent Meth Mouth

Preventing meth mouth comes down to altering your habits. There is no foolproof way to prevent meth mouth while you continue to use meth. These oral health impairments will always be linked to meth use, and they will only get worse the longer the abuse goes on. 

If you have already stopped using meth and want to prevent further damage, there are a few changes you can make. Building a healthier oral hygiene routine, staying properly hydrated, eating nutritious meals, avoiding excessive amounts of sugar, and checking in with your dentist are all good ideas. 

Treatment for Meth Mouth

Treatment for meth mouth can help reverse or improve the damage done. But meth addiction treatments should come first. After all, there is no point in improving your oral health without improving your habits. 

Once you have stopped using meth and developed a healthier routine, your dentist can help you determine which treatments will make the biggest difference. Depending on the level of damage, it may be as simple as brushing with a certain toothpaste, using a prescription mouthwash, avoiding sugar, drinking more water, and eating healthier meals. 

But for long-term users or users ingesting high volumes of meth, there may be more damage than can be undone with such simple changes. Our medical staff can help you analyze your options and find the right dental care provider. They will guide you from there. 

Getting Help for Meth Addiction

Getting Help for Meth Addiction

Recognizing that you need help is the first step in addiction recovery. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant. No one expects you to overcome it on your own. At Pathfinders, we understand how difficult it is to break the chains of addiction, and we are here to show you the way. 

At each step in your recovery journey, you will have access to the expert-level care, support, and guidance that you need. We will help you break down the barriers between this life and a healthy, happy, sober one. We will help you find a way to live that doesn’t involve meth or its many potential consequences. 

If you or someone you love needs help overcoming meth addiction, you have come to the right place. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we believe in high-level, holistic, and personalized treatment programs. Call our addiction counselors at 866-576-4892 to get started building yours. 

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom?

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom

What is Rock Bottom?

We hear the phrase rock bottom a lot when the topic of drug abuse or addiction arises. But what is it? What is the actual  Meaning of Rock Bottom? And why do so many people use it to carry such a negative connotation? Although it is often riddled with warning signs, the journey to rock bottom can happen quietly and subtly. 

It is not always easy to recognize in yourself or a loved one that you are losing control. Drug addiction occurs when you cross the line between casual drinking or drug use and alcohol or drug dependence. Rock bottom can sneak up on you before you realize it. 

But that does not mean that hope is lost or help is unavailable. Rock bottom is not the end. It is not a finish line or a reason to stop trying. It is simply a turning point and an opportunity to take a different approach. 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

The media portrays rock bottom as something disastrous. In movies or TV series, we see recovering addicts drowning in guilt over irreparably damaged relationships, accidents, and other life-altering experiences. 

While this is certainly a possibility for someone who is abusing or addicted to alcohol or drugs, rock bottom is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It is not always defined by an accident, death, or divorce. Sometimes, rock bottom is less obvious than that. 

The Real Meaning of Rock Bottom

For many people who abuse alcohol or drugs, rock bottom may be marked by an eye-opening event. But how do you identify the reality of rock bottom when everyone’s rock bottom is different? Just like addiction, rock bottom is unique to the person facing it. 

Rock bottom in addiction is the point where you feel like you are at your lowest. It can mean mild life changes, or it can mean life-altering consequences. For some, rock bottom can be a dramatic drop in your daily quality of life. For others, it can be milder negative consequences. 

We have mentioned a few of the more concerning events that might be considered rock bottom, like a divorce, a fatal or non-fatal accident, or a job loss. But what about some of the less permanent life changes associated with rock bottom? 

Signs That You’ve Hit Rock Bottom from Addiction

Rock bottom looks different for everyone. But there are certain life events that people frequently cite when they talk about the day that they realized that they had a drug or alcohol problem. Some of these more common and less permanent rock bottom events include: 

  • A job loss or work suspension. 
  • Mild to severe financial strain. 
  • Losing your home. 
  • Getting arrested for driving under the influence, stealing, or participating in another illegal activity. 
  • Suffering from a non-fatal overdose, injury, or accident under the influence. 
  • Leaving or being asked to leave school. 
  • A breakup directly due to your alcohol or drug abuse. 
  • An uncharacteristically angry or violent outburst. 
  • An impairment to your ability to function in day-to-day life

The Levels of Rock Bottom

Some “rock bottom” life events are less severe, like a suspension at work or falling a bit short in your finances. Others are more severe, like becoming homeless, getting arrested, getting hurt, or hurting someone else. The most severe, as we mentioned earlier, would be fatal accidents, health conditions, or overdoses. 

As some of the milder life changes suggest, rock bottom does not always mean that your life has spiraled out of control. Your rock bottom may simply be when you notice that your alcohol or drug use has begun to negatively affect your life. 

No matter what rock bottom looks like to you, one thing is common across the board. People who feel that they have hit rock bottom from addiction know that they want it to stop. They know that unchecked addiction only gets worse over time. Thankfully, help is available. 

How to Help Someone Who Has Hit Rock Bottom

If someone you know or love has hit rock bottom from addiction, they need your support more than ever before. Blaming, shaming, or getting angry at someone who is experiencing rock bottom will only make matters worse. 

Addiction is a chronic illness, similar to others like type 2 diabetes, that can be managed but not yet cured. Overcoming it requires a delicate approach. Whether you approach them alone, with other family members or friends, or with the guidance of a professional during an established intervention, addicts are vulnerable. 

A calm, compassionate, and understanding conversation will always be more effective than one that features shouting, bickering, or finger-pointing. It can be hard to stay calm in such emotional situations.

But doing so can ensure that your loved one feels supported rather than attacked. And when they are at their worst, that is precisely what they need. Additionally, someone who feels supported is more likely to listen, while someone who feels attacked is more likely to shut down or tune out of the conversation. 

Getting Out of Rock Bottom

Getting out of rock bottom starts with accepting the help that is available to you. While it may feel like you are at your lowest point now, rock bottom is not an entirely negative event. Some good does come out of it. 

Often, reaching rock bottom is the point when the denial stops. Until now, you may have convinced yourself that your drinking or drug use was under control. But when you hit rock bottom, the truth of your substance abuse becomes clearer. 

In this sense, rock bottom may be a turning point for you. Many people avoid getting help until they feel like there is nothing else left. When you recognize that getting help is the best option in front of you, you are on your way to a happier, healthier life. 

You can live a life that is free from the grip of alcohol and drugs. You are capable and worthy of a better way to live. And our expert teams are here to help you build it. 

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Sometimes, you may see rock bottom coming before it finds you. If you recognize the signs, do not wait for it to get any worse. Over time, untreated drug or alcohol abuse does not get better. And eventually, you may find yourself in a hole that feels too deep to pull yourself out of. 

Before or after you reach those depths, we can help. With a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and supplemental treatment programs, we offer options for all different types and levels of addiction. And we customize each of these treatment programs based on your unique needs. 

Get Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Today is a good day to leave rock bottom behind you. Let us help you move from rock bottom to a new beginning. There are no one-size-fits-all treatment methods that work. When you choose Pathfinders Recovery Center, you choose customized and holistic addiction treatments

From behavioral therapies to family sessions, support groups to individual meetings, and creative therapies to exercise classes, our well-rounded approach helps improve your body, mind, and soul. That is what makes Pathfinders different.  

To learn more about our unique approach to addiction, various programs, treatment options, or payment methods, including insurance verification, call our addiction counselors at 866-263-1808. They are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to ensure that our clients get the help that they need when they need it.

Why Is a Medically-Supervised Heroin Detox Center Necessary

Medically-Supervised Heroin Detox Center

The Importance of Supervised Detox

For anyone using the street opioid heroin, a supervised heroin detox center is an absolutely vital resource. That is true for a couple of reasons. First, to avoid severe possible outcomes such as addiction, overdose and death, you must stop using heroin. Detox centers make this possible. Just as importantly, supervised centers are staffed by experts who specialize in helping people halt their drug use. 

But why is a supervised heroin detox center near you a necessity? Without help from trained personnel, you make it much less likely that you will succeed in quitting heroin. And that is not all. If you try to quit on your own, you increase your chances of experiencing an overdose. No one wants to face such a frightening and potentially fatal event. The assistance provided in supervised detox helps keep you safe as you take the first steps toward lasting sobriety. 

What Causes the Need for Detox

Why is detox even an issue for people who use heroin? The answer to that question lies in the addictive nature of the drug. Like all opioids, heroin is capable of making short- and long-term changes in the way your brain works. 

In the short-term, the most important change is the creation of a profound state of pleasure. This state, called euphoria, is much stronger than other kinds of everyday pleasure. In fact, it is so strong, that you may feel the urge to experience it again and again. Problems begin when you fulfill this urge. 

If you take heroin often enough, you will start to become tolerant to its effects. When this happens, you will need to use the drug in larger amounts to feel the rush of euphoria. In turn, this action sets off a repeating cycle of more tolerance and increasing heroin use. Eventually, you will become dependent on the drug. 

When you are dependent, you cannot stop taking heroin without experiencing negative consequences. Those consequences come in the form of heroin withdrawal symptoms. Examples of the symptoms that may affect you include:

  • Spikes in your normal blood pressure
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy sweating
  • Spasms in your muscles
  • Unusually rapid breathing
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sleeplessness
  • Pupil enlargement
  • Muscle and bone aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • A runny nose
  • Continued cravings for more heroin

There is no way for an addicted person to stop using heroin without experiencing at least some of these issues. That is why detox, known formally as detoxification, is an essential part of recovery.

How long does heroin withdrawal last? You can expect symptoms to appear pretty quickly once you stop using the drug. These symptoms tend to reach their worst in a day or two, then begin to ease a few days later. This may seem like a short time to endure heroin withdrawal. However, in reality, your symptoms may put you in a state of extreme personal distress. For this reason, you may find it difficult or impossible to cope with withdrawal on your own. 

A Heroin Detox Center Vs. “Cold Turkey”

Heroin Detox center

There are two basic choices for anyone who wants to quit using heroin. The first option is enrolling at a heroin detox center near you. The other option is quitting on your own. You may try to gradually reduce your consumption or stop all at once. This second method is known as going “cold turkey.” 

A Heroin Detox Center

Supervised detoxification is a coordinated approach to helping you halt your drug use. It is designed to take you from a current intoxicated state all the way through to initial sobriety. All aspects of your health are taken into consideration while you are enrolled. That includes addressing the effects of your withdrawal symptoms. It also includes:

  • Helping you stay safe and secure
  • Supporting your general health
  • Getting you prepared to take further steps toward recovery

“Cold Turkey”

“Cold turkey” is an unsupervised way of quitting heroin. If you choose this option, you run several unnecessary risks. That includes lack of basic support for your well-being. It also includes lack of help for any emergencies that might arise. In addition, you lower the odds of coping with withdrawal and reaching a sober state.

Addressing Withdrawal in a Heroin Detox Center

Doctors in a heroin detox center near you take certain steps to ease your withdrawal symptoms. To help make the process more comfortable, they do not remove all of the opioids from your system at once. Instead, they prescribe controlled doses of a safer opioid option. The two such options now in use are:

  • Buprenorphine 
  • Methadone

Both of these substances are weaker than heroin. When you receive them in limited amounts, they will not get you “high.” On the contrary, they will support your body while you go through heroin withdrawal. In this way, they help keep your symptoms within a tolerable range of severity. As you make progress in withdrawal, your need for buprenorphine or methadone will drop. When you reach the end of withdrawal, you can stop taking the option prescribed to you. 

Some detox programs may use a non-opioid alternative called clonidine. However, clonidine does not relieve as many withdrawal symptoms as methadone or buprenorphine. Specifically, it will not help you cope with:

  • Opioid cravings
  • Achy muscles
  • Sleeplessness

Going Through Withdrawal “Cold Turkey”

You cannot legally gain access to buprenorphine or methadone without doctor’s supervision. This means that, if you try to detox on your own, you will not be able to rely on these medications for help. That is a serious issue. Why? 

When you stop taking heroin, it may only be a matter of hours before withdrawal sets in. And without any medical help, withdrawal symptoms often take a severe form. Severe opioid withdrawal can be a brutal experience. It usually does not threaten your life, but it can make you feel worse than you have ever felt before. 

This explains why many people who go “cold turkey” never successfully quit using heroin. They simply find their withdrawal symptoms too difficult to bear. When that happens, they start using the drug again.

How a Heroin Detox Center Helps You Avoid a Relapse

Relapses are a possibility for anyone recovering from heroin addiction. However, there are things you can do to lower your relapse risks. One of the most important steps to take is enrolling at a heroin detox center near you. 

How does a heroin detox center help you avoid a drug relapse? By reducing the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. When those symptoms are less intense, you will find it easier to stick with your program. In turn, by sticking with your program, you steer clear of any relapses.

The same benefits do not exist for people who try to quit on their own. For this reason, you are much more likely to relapse and fall back into heroin use.

How a Heroin Detox Center Helps You Avoid Overdosing

Heroin overdoses happen when the amount of the drug in your body begins shutting down your system. That amount differs from person to person. This means that you may overdose in circumstances where others do not. 

Many parts of your body are affected during an overdose. The most crucial and dangerous effects occur in your:

  • Brain and spinal cord
  • Circulatory system
  • Respiratory system

Your brain controls your heart and your lungs. If you take too much heroin, this process of control is interrupted. The result is an abnormal slowdown of your breathing and heart rate. Some people survive these and other consequences of an overdose. However, every year, thousands of Americans die. 

How does a heroin detox center help you avoid an overdose? By reducing your chances of relapsing while going through withdrawal. When you do not have excessive amounts of opioids in your system, you cannot overdose. 

Again, the situation is starkly different if you try to detox on your own. There is no one there with the professional experience needed to help you avoid a heroin relapse. In turn, there is no one there to help you avoid overdosing on the drug.

Overdose risks are a particular concern for people trying to quit using heroin. Why? As the drug leaves your system, you become less tolerant to its effects. This is a big deal if you relapse and start using the same amount of heroin you did before. That is true because your system may no longer be able to tolerate that much of the drug. The result can be an unexpected overdose that hits you when your defenses are down. 

Learn More About the Necessity of a Heroin Detox Center

A heroin detox center provides some undeniable benefits. By enrolling in one, you provide a major boost to your ability to get sober. At the same time, you decrease your risks of relapsing before you complete the withdrawal process. Just as crucially, you avoid the overdose risks associated with going “cold turkey.” With so many positives to consider, it is no wonder that supervised detox is the accepted standard of care. 

No one should have to go through heroin withdrawal on their own. And there is simply no need to do so when you have access to skilled detox professionals. To find out how you can protect yourself while getting sober, just contact the experts at Pathfinders. We are standing by to help you find a high-quality heroin rehab near you. We also provide safe, effective detox services as part of our larger package of addiction treatments. 

What Is a Luxury Detox Center

What Is a Luxury Detox Center

Evidence-Based Care in Luxury Settings

If you are starting your journey to sobriety, you may want to consider enrolling in a luxury detox center. This is the name for a drug or alcohol detoxification program that provides added amenities. Extra comfort during the recovery process may seem unnecessary. However, when facing the challenging task of halting substance use, even small benefits can go a long way. 

No matter how many amenities are available in detox, you must also have expert medical care. Today, there are evidence-based methods for detoxing from all major substances. Use of these methods keeps you safe during your treatment. It also increases the odds that you will successfully complete detox and continue your recovery. For this reason, the best luxury treatment centers near you will feature evidence-based care.  

Why Is Detox Necessary

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, your brain has undergone some significant changes. First, you have become physically dependent on the substance that is causing you problems. This means that your brain has come to rely on its presence. You have also become psychologically dependent. This means that you have lost control over some of your behaviors. As a result, you compulsively seek out sources for more drugs or alcohol.  

At this stage, you cannot halt your substance use without facing certain physical and emotional effects. Together, these effects are known as substance withdrawal. Each major substance category produces its own typical withdrawal symptoms. For example, someone withdrawing from alcohol may experience things such as:

  • An anxious, depressed or agitated mental state
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tremors

In a worst-case scenario, you may also experience:

  • Major or grand mal seizures
  • The dangerous state known as delirium tremens, or the DTs

In contrast, someone withdrawing from opioid drugs or medications may experience symptoms that include:

  • Cramping or achy muscles
  • Stomach cramps
  • Repetitive yawning
  • High output of mucus, sweat and tears

In all forms of withdrawal, you may also feel the psychological effects of intense substance cravings.

The symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal may be mild, moderate or severe. Even at their mildest, the feelings you experience may tax your ability to cope. And if you go through moderate or severe withdrawal, the challenge of coping will only grow. Many people find it impossible to deal with their symptoms on their own. In the absence of professional help, they abandon their quest for sobriety and return to substance use. 

In some cases, the effects of withdrawal may do much more than make you fell uncomfortable or emotionally distressed. In fact, certain forms of severe withdrawal can endanger your life. That is especially true for people heavily addicted to alcohol or tranquilizers. 

For all of these reasons, there is a pressing need for supervised substance detox. In a supervised program, you do not have to go through withdrawal on your own. Instead, you benefit from:

  • The oversight and care of trained medical professionals
  • A safe and supportive treatment environment
  • Expert help in dealing with the effects of withdrawal
  • Immediate assistance for treatment complications and emergencies

These benefits make it much easier for you to quit using drugs or alcohol. They also help ensure your health and well-being throughout the withdrawal process. And in an emergency, supervised detox could very well save your life. 

Standard Supervised Detox Vs. a Luxury Detox Center

Standard Supervised Detox vs Luxury

Standard Programs

Today, there are well-established guidelines for effective drug and alcohol detox. These guidelines state that detox has three main goals:

  • Evaluating your situation and choosing an appropriate detox option
  • Stabilizing you while you go through drug or alcohol withdrawal
  • Getting you ready to enter a rehab program after you complete detox

All high-quality programs follow these basic principles. This is true for both standard detox facilities and a luxury detox suite. In addition, all effective rehabs customize their treatments to meet your unique needs. This customization takes two main things into account:

  • The specific substance you are addicted to
  • Any personal details that may have an effect on your treatment

Such details include the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. They also include your medical history.

All customized detox programs include something called supportive care. This is the name for the basic steps taken to protect and nurture your health during withdrawal. Common supportive actions include:

  • Taking steps to keep your vital functions stay in a healthy range
  • Providing you with healthy food and any necessary supplements
  • Maximizing your general comfort throughout withdrawal

There are also additional treatments available for withdrawal from certain substances. For example, people detoxing from alcohol may receive a tranquilizing medication. People detoxing from opioids commonly receive a temporary dose of a safer opioid substitute. This approach is used to protect you from experiencing severe opioid withdrawal while proceeding toward sobriety. 

Luxury Detox Centers

The steps taken to support and help you in standard detox are extensive. Still, some people choose to enroll in a luxury rehab instead. Why? Luxury treatment centers near you go beyond the basics of standard care. They do so by adding perks or amenities to their range of services. The specific perks and amenities available to you may vary from center to center. However, the list of options often includes such things as:

  • A spa-like environment
  • Spacious, private rooms or suites
  • Made-to-order food
  • Private dining
  • Expansive, landscaped grounds
  • Scenic locations
  • A secluded treatment setting
  • Extensive recreational programs

Complementary treatments are also common at a luxury detox center. Examples of such treatments include:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure
  • Yoga therapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Art therapy
  • Herbs
  • Music therapy

Why Go to a Luxury Detox Center

There are multiple reasons why you might choose a luxury detox center over a standard program. Sheer comfort sits high on the list of motivations for many people. That may seem unnecessary or even indulgent, but in fact, it can be quite practical. 

Comfort and stability are known to be beneficial for people withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. That is true because the more comfortable you are, the easier you may find it to stick with substance detox. In turn, by making it easier to stick with detox, you make it more likely that you will complete the process. 

Completion of detox is vital. Why? That is the only way to fully prepare yourself for enrollment in primary substance treatment. By maximizing your level of comfort, a luxury detox center may ultimately increase your odds of achieving lasting sobriety. 

But comfort is not the number one motivation for everyone in luxury treatment centers near you. Some people choose luxury detox because of the privacy it provides. In some cases, increased privacy is just a personal preference. However, in other cases, it may be essential to protecting your job, relationships or personal reputation. 

You may also be motivated by dietary considerations. Some people do not focus too much on food and will not mind eating a standard diet. In contrast, others are food-centric. If that is true for you, eating tasty meals that suit your preferences may be a major perk.

Complementary treatments are important to many people entering detox. These treatments are not designed to replace your main detox plan. Instead, they work alongside that plan. The general goal of complementary care is to add an extra boost to your health and well-being. By doing so, this care may put you in a better position to cope with the rigors of substance detox. And even small increases in your coping ability can benefit your overall detox results. 

Where Can You Find a Luxury Detox Center

There is a pretty good chance that you will find luxury treatment centers near you. This is especially true if you live in a mid- to large-sized metropolitan area. A quick Internet search will give you a good idea of your basic options. But before you begin your search, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

First and foremost, luxury alone is not enough to help you make it through substance withdrawal. You also need effective, evidence-based treatment provided by skilled experts. It is the combination of these two things that makes a luxury detox center truly valuable. For this reason, focus on find a luxury detox center that follows current, recommended detox guidelines.

It is also important to know that not all luxury treatment centers near you will provide detox services. Instead, some centers only offer primary substance treatment. This means that you will have to go through detox at another facility. You may find it more convenient to find a luxury center that provides both detox and treatment services. 

Learn More About Luxury Detox Centers

Luxury detox treatment may play a vital role in helping you halt your substance use. This is crucial to know, since most people with drug or alcohol problems never seek expert care. The availability of a luxury option may be just want you need to begin breaking the painful cycle of addiction. 

Want to learn more about what to expect from luxury treatment centers near you? Contact Pathfinders today. We are more than happy to help guide you toward options that suit your particular needs. Pathfinders also offers well-appointed detox services for all kinds of substance problems. At all times, we combine evidence-based medical care with close attention to your comfort and well-being. In this way, we help you overcome the many challenges of quitting drugs or alcohol. Pathfinders is also your source for customized, evidence-based primary treatment. 

How Can a Substance Abuse Program Help Me

Substance Abuse Program

The Benefits of a Drug or Alcohol Program

If you or your loved one have drug or alcohol problems, you may be actively considering a substance abuse program. That is even more likely if you have suffered serious harm from drinking or taking drugs. Such harm is not uncommon. In fact, every year, millions of Americans face a major crisis brought about by substance use. 

But before you take any next steps toward getting help, you may want answers to certain questions. And chief among these questions is why a substance abuse program is important. In other words, how can this kind of program make things better for you or someone you love?

As it turns out, a modern drug or alcohol program provides essential help in a number of ways. That includes making it possible for you to stop your substance abuse. It also includes providing treatment that allows you to fully establish your sobriety. And crucially, the right kind of program will help you stay sober through the ups and downs of daily life. 

Detox: The First Step in a Substance Abuse Program

For anyone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, detoxing in an abuse program is a vital beginning step. Detox is the common term for detoxification. It gets its name because it:

  • Acknowledges the fact that alcohol and drugs are toxic to your body
  • Helps you halt your substance abuse
  • Allows your body time to eliminate any substance remaining in your system

Why must addicted people hoping to recover their sobriety go through supervised detox? Addiction changes how your body responds to the presence of drugs and alcohol. What was once a foreign substance is now an expected part of your everyday brain chemistry. When you halt your substance use, you throw this chemistry off-balance. The result is the onset of physical and psychological substance withdrawal.

Each major category of addictive substance has its typical withdrawal symptoms. This means, for example, that people withdrawing from any stimulant will experience similar symptoms. It also means that stimulant withdrawal is significantly different from withdrawal from:

  • Alcohol
  • Tranquilizers and sedatives
  • Opioids
  • Cannabis products

All forms of substance withdrawal can produce symptoms that make you feel profoundly unwell. What is more, some substances are capable of triggering severe withdrawal complications. In a worst-case scenario, such complications may endanger your life.

Together, these facts help explain the need for a program that provides detox services. That is true even if you never experience any significant withdrawal complications. Why? The mental and emotional distress of withdrawal can be daunting. In fact, it can be so hard to cope with that you feel a powerful urge to make it stop. Unfortunately, the quickest way to do this is to start using drugs or alcohol again. Despite your best intentions, you may find yourself ending up exactly where you started.

Supervised detox helps you escape this circular trap. While enrolled, you receive all of the help you need to cope with substance withdrawal. The level of required assistance varies from person to person. Depending on your situation, it may include such things as:

  • Providing basic support to make you feel more comfortable 
  • Helping your body recover from the some of the effects of substance abuse
  • Prescribing medication designed to ease your withdrawal symptoms

You may also receive substance abuse counseling while enrolled in detox. This counseling helps you deal with the psychological effects of addiction. It also helps you strengthen your commitment to the recovery process. Just as importantly, substance abuse counseling prepares you to move on to active substance rehab.

Supervised detox is also the safest, surest way to get help for withdrawal complications. The medical staff in a quality program is thoroughly prepared to treat such complications. They will take the steps necessary to protect your health and well-being. That is especially important during life-threatening emergencies.

Active Treatment in a Substance Abuse Program

active treatment

By the end of detox, you achieve an essential goal: making a break from the cycle of substance abuse. However, on its own, this is not enough. Why not? Addiction is a relapsing, chronic brain disease. This means that you cannot get rid of it by just detoxing from drugs or alcohol. Instead, you must continue on to active treatment in a substance abuse program. 

Active treatment is where you begin building the foundation for your lasting sobriety. In its modern form, it is based on a group of interlocking principles. These principles state that:

  • While addiction is chronic, it is also treatable
  • To be effective, treatments must be tailored to each person
  • As many people as possible should have access to a substance abuse program
  • Participants are people, not just “addicts”
  • Treatment takes time to work
  • The main tool for treating addiction is behavioral psychotherapy
  • Medication is also used when effective
  • Recovery plans should be adjusted as needed
  • Many people with substance problems have additional mental health problems
  • Detox is a start, but has little long-term effect without further treatment
  • Effective treatment does not have to be voluntary to work
  • Doctors should remain alert to the risks for substance relapses

Any high-quality substance abuse program will follow these guidelines. 

Behavioral Psychotherapy

What sorts of therapy are used to help people with drug or alcohol problems? There are many different options available. Examples include:

  • CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • A form of substance abuse counseling called Family Behavior Therapy
  • MDFT, or Multidimensional Family Therapy
  • Substance abuse counseling for people in intimate relationships
  • MET, or Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • MST, or Multisystemic Therapy
  • CRA, or Community Reinforcement Approach
  • Contingency Management and Motivational Incentives
  • Twelve-Step Facilitation Therapy

No one therapy is used to treat all forms of addiction. In addition, each therapy is designed to achieve certain goals. These goals include such things as:

  • Helping you successfully complete your substance abuse program
  • Educating you about the underlying causes of addiction
  • Uncovering factors in your personal life that drive you toward substance abuse
  • Showing you how certain thoughts and emotions support addiction
  • Teaching you how to change unhelpful thoughts and emotions
  • Giving you ways to avoid substance abuse after you leave rehab
  • Explaining the important of membership in a support group

It is common to receive more than one form of psychotherapy or substance abuse counseling. That is true because different therapies support your recovery in different ways. 


Medication for substance abuse

Medication is mostly used to assist people recovering from alcohol or opioid addiction. Options used in alcohol recovery will help you avoid a relapse by doing such things as:

  • Undoing some of the harmful brain effects of alcoholism
  • Lowering the amount of pleasure you get when you drink
  • Triggering nausea and other unpleasant effects if you decide to use alcohol

Some of the medication used for people with opioid problems is designed to dial down opioid cravings. There is also medication available to stop these addictive drugs from reaching your brain. 

The Combination of Therapy and Medication

Behavioral therapy and medication are often used together. These two methods complement each other. Together, they increase your chances of meeting your recovery goals.

Continuing Care In a Substance Abuse Program

Since addiction is chronic, recovery is not done when you leave your primary treatment program. To safeguard your long-term sobriety, you must continue to seek periodic help. Addiction specialists call this long-term assistance continuing care or aftercare. 

The goal of continuing care is to make sure that you do not lose touch with vital treatment resources. It gives your doctor or addiction specialist the ability to check on the progress of your recovery. It also makes it possible for you to receive any addition help as needed. There are multiple forms of continuing care available, including:

  • Enrollment in a less intensive type of substance abuse program
  • Seeing your doctor or addiction specialist in-person for scheduled follow-ups
  • Talking to your doctor or addiction specialist remotely through a computer app
  • Using smartphone apps designed to provide effective remote treatment

Enrollment in a self-help group will also support your long-term recovery. However, this is not a substitute for formal continuing care in a substance abuse program. Instead, self-help groups and continuing care work together to help you remain sober.

Learn More About How A Substance Abuse Program Can Help You

In any given year, millions of Americans find themselves suffering from drug or alcohol problems. But sadly, most of these people never enter a treatment program. Instead, they try to recover on their own, or just continue their damaging substance use. 

Recovering on your own is an admirable idea. However, public health experts universally recommend that you do not try this. Why not? Simply put, chances are high that you will not succeed. By seeking professional help, you turn those odds around. You will still have a difficult road ahead of you. But the care you receive will help you recover from even the worst drug or alcohol problems.

Want to learn more about how a treatment program can help you? Just contact Pathfinders today. Our staff of specialists is prepared to answer any question you might have. We also offer services that support your recovery from detox all the way through to continuing care. 

What Are Some Substance Abuse Resources

What Are Some Substance Abuse Resources

Ways to Get Help for Substance Abuse

Substance abuse resources are an absolute necessity for many people across America. You may need these resources if you are suffering from a drug or alcohol problem. You may also need them to find help for a loved one with a serious substance issue. In either case, access to reliable help may be a literal matter of life or death.

Fortunately, there are trustworthy resources available for all major topics related to substance abuse and addiction. That includes information on the basic nature of these problems. It also includes the steps taken to diagnose drug- and alcohol-related illnesses. In addition, you will find many resources that focus on what is needed for effective treatment. No matter where you start out, the right substance abuse resources will help you escape the grip of substance problems.  

Substance Abuse Resources: Basic Information

Knowledge is an important tool for anyone affected by substance abuse or addiction. That is true because accurate information helps you understand such key things as:

  • How drugs and alcohol affect your brain and body
  • The unique effects of specific substances
  • What distinguishes substance abuse from substance addiction
  • The changes in your brain that make addiction a possibility
  • How doctors detect and classify drug and alcohol problems
  • The methods used to treat substance abuse and addiction

By building up your knowledge in these areas, you increase your ability to help yourself or someone else. You also make the process of seeking help less frightening and easier to navigate.

Perhaps the most comprehensive substance abuse resources available in America are offered by the federal government. There are several government agencies that focus specifically on substance-related issues, including:

  • NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
  • SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

All three of these agencies provide a wealth of informational resources. For example, NIDA maintains a complete database of drug-related topics. Subjects covered in this database range from the science of addiction to modern methods for effective treatment. 

The NIAA focuses on the effects of alcohol and the ways in which drinking can cause you harm. Their main information page covers topics such as:

  • How to measure your alcohol intake
  • The patterns of drinking that put you at-risk for serious problems
  • How doctors define alcohol-related problems

The page also includes information for specific population groups, including women and underage drinkers. Finally, NIAA provides a detailed breakdown of how to find help for drinking problems.

SAMHSA’s focus is the interaction between substance problems and mental health. The agency has produced hundreds of informational pamphlets that you can access for free. These pamphlets include extensive substance abuse resources. They also cover the full range of mental health topics.

Substance Abuse: Seeking Help

Substance Abuse Resources

If you think that you or a loved one have a substance problem, how can you seek help? A variety of substance abuse resources are available to you. One of the most thorough resources on what to do comes from NIDA. This agency offers a series of step-by-step guides. There are guides on how to seek help for yourself or another adult. If you are a young adult or teenager, you will find a separate guide specifically for you. There is also a guide for the parents and caretakers of young adults and teens. 

Topics covered by the NIDA guides include:

  • Recognizing potential signs of substance abuse and addiction
  • Getting diagnosed 
  • Finding treatment
  • Enrolling in a support group

If you are concerned about drinking problems, you can access NIAAA’s Alcohol Treatment Navigator. This tool is designed for adults who want help for themselves or others. It includes a thorough rundown of everything you need to know about treatment for alcohol problems. It also includes information on how to find providers of effective treatment. NIAA does not currently offer comprehensive substance abuse resources for teens. However, the agency does provide help in accessing such resources. 

Finding a Substance Abuse Hotline

One of the most important tools for finding help is a substance abuse hotline. This option gives you access to needed resources through a simple phone call. No matter where you live in the U.S., you have multiple ways of finding a hotline. Potential resources include:

  • Programs run by your state government
  • A substance abuse hotline provided by your region, county or city
  • Hotlines offered by non-profit organizations
  • A federally sponsored substance abuse hotline

The single best federal resource is SAMHSA. The agency maintains its own a. This resource is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. SAMHSA also sponsors or supports hotlines for issues related to substance problems. Examples of these issues include suicide prevention, help for veterans and help for disaster survivors. 

Substance Abuse Resource: Getting Diagnosed

A crucial step in seeking help is getting a diagnosis for your substance problems. That is because only a doctor can tell for sure if you or your loved one are affected. In the past, only specialists knew how to conduct screenings for drug and alcohol problems. But today, many primary care physicians have been trained to provide this essential service.

If your doctor does not provide substance screenings, do not worry. You still have options. One thing you can do is to ask your doctor to refer you to another primary doctor who does conduct screenings. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a specialist in your area. In addition, NIDA maintains resources for anyone looking for an addiction specialist. 

How Do Doctors Make a Diagnosis

How Do Doctors Make a Diagnosis

If you are affected by substance abuse or addiction, you have something called a substance use disorder, or SUD. All types of SUD are officially defined by the American Psychiatric Association. Under this definition, you can be affected by as many as 11 different symptoms. Some of these symptoms are related to non-addicted substance abuse. Others are related to addiction. 

During an SUD screening, your doctor or specialist will look for each of the possible 11 problems. All it takes is two symptoms within the space of a year to receive a diagnosis. It does not matter if those problems are related to addiction or non-addicted abuse. Depending on your total number of symptoms, your disorder may be mild, moderate or severe. Each individual symptom may also be mild, moderate or severe. 

Substance Abuse: Treatment

Where can you go for treatment of your substance use disorder? If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, a vital starting point is a supervised detox program. This is a place where you can safely halt the cycle of drinking or drug use. It provides the help you need to deal with substance withdrawal. Supervised detox also:

  • Helps protect you from any withdrawal complications
  • Supports your physical and nutritional health
  • Serves as a stepping stone for a drug or alcohol rehab program

Drug and alcohol rehabs specialize in primary substance treatment. High-quality facilities are staffed by trained, experienced personnel who know how to provide effective help. Some rehab programs are inpatient and require you to live at the facility while receiving treatment. Others are outpatient and give you the ability to stay at home. Many rehabs offer both inpatient and outpatient options.

Effective treatments for substance problems are customized in two ways. First, they are designed to deal with specific sources of abuse and addiction. This means, for example, that someone with alcohol problems receives different treatment than someone with stimulant problems. 

Quality treatments are also customized for the individual. This means that not everyone with the same kind of SUD will be helped in the same way. Such targeted treatment is needed to maximize your chances of recovering your health and well-being. 

NIDA provides a complete guide to modern, recommended treatment options for both drug and alcohol problems. Those options include two main categories of care: medications and psychotherapy. Medications are used to treat some forms of SUD, but not all. However, all SUDs are treated with at least one type of psychotherapy. 

Looking for substance abuse resources for treatment in your area? In many cases, your doctor can provide you with a referral. Local addiction specialists are another excellent resource for treatment referrals. You can also turn to local or state agencies, as well as NIDA, NIAAA or SAMHSA for help. 

 Learn More About Important Substance Use Resources

Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse and/or substance addiction. But the sad fact is that most of these people never seek professional help for their problems. Do what you can to avoid being part of this worrying statistic. Today, there are numerous ways to access substance abuse resources. Regardless of where you live, at least some of these resources are available to you. If at all possible, take advantage of them. By doing so, you may save your own life or the life of a loved one or friend.

Want to learn more about how to take advantage of abuse- and addiction-related resources? Contact the professionals at Pathfinders. From basic information to diagnosis, detox and treatment, we offer a full slate of essential services. Even if you are severely affected by substance problems, we will help you recover your sobriety.