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. 

What is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Can Be Essential

Many people with substance problems need a dual diagnosis treatment program to complete their recovery.

That’s true because they also suffer from other serious mental health issues.

If you are affected by these additional issues, you may wonder if it’s even possible to get better.

But with the effective treatments available today, this is indeed a realistic, achievable goal.

Recovery from dual diagnosis is not easy.

In fact, you may find yourself facing more difficult problems than people only affected by addiction or mental illness.

However, with time, effort and expert care, you can turn things around.

There is always hope, even for people severely affected by dual diagnosis symptoms.

What Are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs? - Pathfinders Recovery - A group of individuals in dual diagnosis programs is engaging in a group therapy session.

Basics of Dual Diagnosis

Until recently, dual diagnosis was widely known by another name: co-occurring disorders.

All people diagnosed with this issue are simultaneously affected by two significant problems:

  • A substance use disorder, or SUD
  • A separate mental illness

Some people with a SUD are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

However, some are not. Instead, they have serious, substance abuse-related problems even though they are not addicted.

You can also suffer from symptoms of addiction and non-addicted abuse at the same time.

There are many types of mental illness.

The list of these conditions includes such things as:

  • Major depressive disorder and other depressive disorders
  • Bipolar I disorder and other bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other schizophrenia-related disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders

There is a strong, two-way connection between mental illness and SUDs.

If you have a mental illness, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance that you will also have a SUD.

There is also a 50/50 chance that people with SUDs will have a separate mental illness.

That figure includes people affected by all kinds of mental illness.

A smaller number of people with dual diagnoses, roughly 3.6 million, suffer from serious or severe mental illness symptoms.

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Substance-Induced Disorders

Sometimes, substance use itself directly leads to significant mental health problems. When that occurs, you do not actually have a separate mental illness. Instead, you have a substance-induced mental disorder.

All major addictive substances can trigger this type of disorder. Specific problems you may experience include:

  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Serious anxiety
  • Extreme disorientation, also known as delirium

When diagnosing you, your doctor will look for these kinds of issues. If they are directly caused by your substance use, you do not have dual diagnosis. However, it is possible to be affected by dual diagnosis and substance-induced problems at the same time.

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Typical Rehab Vs. a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

If you have dual diagnosis, you cannot recover your health just by treating your substance problems. Instead, you must get help for your mental illness, as well. Why? Untreated mental illness creates a major roadblock for your ability to quit drugs or alcohol. The connection also works the other way. An untreated SUD creates a serious drain on your odds of recovering from mental illness.

Since the two issues affect each other, they must be treated together. This is the big difference between a typical rehab and a dual diagnosis treatment program. Standard substance rehab just helps you recover from an SUD. In contrast, treatment for dual diagnosis also helps you cope with additional mental health problems.

Not all addiction specialists offer dual diagnosis treatment. This means that you must take the time to find a program that meets your specific needs. You may find help in a facility that also offers standard substance rehab. However, some dual diagnosis treatment centers operate independently.

What Are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs? - Pathfinders Recovery - A woman is sitting across from her addiction therapist to discuss dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Features of a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Assessment of Your Condition and Situation

What happens in a dual diagnosis treatment program? When you first enter this kind of program, you should receive a thorough assessment of your condition. This assessment helps your treatment team uncover a range of crucial details. That includes such things as:

  • The exact nature of your substance problems
  • The type or types of mental illness affecting you
  • Whether or not you actually have a dual diagnosis
  • How badly you’re affected by your SUD and mental illness symptoms
  • What kind of care you’ll need to make your recovery
  • How much care you’ll need
  • The strength of your personal support network
  • Any important details of your personal background
  • Potential problems that could make your recovery process harder

Substance Detox

If you’re being treated for a dual diagnosis, you must stop your drug use and/or drinking. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on detox or detoxification. That’s the name for a supervised process where you halt your substance use and go through withdrawal.

People who only have a SUD can sometimes go through detox on an outpatient basis. However, as a rule, you need inpatient detox if you have a dual diagnosis. That’s the only way to protect you from any unforeseen problems while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

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Active Substance and Mental Illness Treatment

Inpatient care is also often necessary for dual diagnosis patients once they finish detox. Why? You may need this kind of 24/7, live-in program to protect your health and well-being during treatment. However, some people may be eligible for outpatient treatment, instead.

Integrated intervention is recognized as the most effective option for dual diagnosis care. What does this term mean? From the very beginning, your dual diagnosis treatment program will address both your SUD and your mental illness. That way, you will never have to worry about continuing to suffer from untreated symptoms.

To treat your SUD, your program may rely on medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. The specific approach depends largely on the substance that triggered your problems. One type of psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy or DBT, is becoming increasingly common in dual diagnosis treatment. Evidence shows that this therapy makes it easier for people with mental illness to stop their substance use.

You may also receive medication specifically targeted at your mental illness symptoms. There are many different options available. Your dual diagnosis treatment program will ensure that the medication you receive meets your unique needs.

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Find Out More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

On its own, a SUD is enough to throw your everyday life far off track.

The situation is even direr if you also suffer from additional mental illness.

That’s why dual diagnosis receives special attention from addiction specialists.

It is also you need this kind of expert care if you are affected.

Without it, you have little chance of recovering from your combined substance and mental health problems.

The good news is that effective help is now available.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center, you receive focused care that addresses all aspects of your health.

This care can make all the difference between a successful recovery and months or years of fruitless struggle.

Need more information on dual diagnosis treatment programs?

Contact the specialists at Pathfinders today.

Our knowledgeable staff will answer any question you may have about these modern facilities.

We also feature first-class dual diagnosis care that meets the highest standards.

No matter how badly you are affected, we have the expertise needed to help restore your total well-being.

What Does an Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail?


Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse can be referred to as a condition where an individual is addicted to alcohol and cannot do without consuming an excessive amount within an unreasonable period.

This condition then results in other mental or physical illnesses.

Some of the mental illnesses associated with alcoholism include schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, suicidal intentions — amongst others.

Physical disease conditions involved with alcoholism include cancer of the lung, disassociation from reality, or losing touch with reality, amongst others.

Although alcoholism could be said to result in the above listed mental illnesses, the report also shows that those above listed mental illnesses such as panic disorders, anxiety disorders, suicide intentions, depression, amongst others could also form the basis for this condition called alcoholism.

The medical diagnosis for individuals with alcoholism can be referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

An unreasonable intake of alcohol has been said to affect vital organs in the body such as the heart, the liver, the brain, and the pancreas.

It could also be responsible for shutting down the immune system of an individual in its entirety.

The environment we live in plays a huge role in those who are addicted to alcohol.

What this means is the increase in the stress level of an individual coupled with the fact that alcohol is a relatively cheap thrill contributes in a large way to the outrageous amount of individuals who are dependent on alcohol.

Genetics also plays a very important role in determining alcoholism in individuals.

This is because research has shown that individuals who have chronic alcoholics as members of their immediate families are three to four times more likely to become alcohol addicts or abuse alcohol as opposed to the average individual.

What Does An Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail? - Pathfinders - An individual sits with their addiction therapist to determine what alcoholism treatment program entails and what they can expect.

Causes of Alcoholism

There is no definite medical cause for alcoholism or alcohol use disorder.

The best that can be explained is when it is grouped into two types namely the environmental factor as well as the genetic factor.

It is said that the use of alcohol leads to alcohol addiction or alcohol disorder when the individual drinks to the extent that chemical changes begin to materialize in that person’s brain.

Alcoholism can also be said to develop as a result of trying to give in to the discomfort that comes with a withdrawal syndrome. This simply means that the individual gets to a stage where they cannot do with alcohol because their body system would not be alright until they have taken such substance.

Consequently, the individual gives in to the whims and caprices of the alcohol or any other substance and becomes very uncomfortable and experiences withdrawal syndrome when not given alcohol.

Withdrawal symptom is also a very terrible thing to experience as it could lead to a life-threatening situation.

This is why during medical detox, the process should not be rushed and should be taken slow and steadily so everybody affected by it gets to slowly ease into the therapy process and find solutions.

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Symptoms of Alcoholism

Identifying an alcohol addict is as easy as learning the alphabet. This because they exhibit certain physical behaviors which are very obvious to see.

Although these symptoms are not water-tight, they provide insight or guidance as to the behaviors put up by alcoholics.

Some of these behaviors include the following:

  • Having little or no regard for personal hygiene
  • Drinking in solitude
  • Having a high tolerance level to excessive alcohol intake
  • Drinking at every single chance one gets
  • Resorting to drinking when faced with any sort of challenge
  • Craving alcohol unprovoked
  • Involuntary tremors and blacking out right after drinking
  • Eating less, drinking more
  • Throwing violent fits immediately after alcohol intake
  • Secluding one’s self from social events to be able to drink alcohol

These are but a few of the plethora of symptoms alcoholics put up.

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Alcoholism Treatment Centers

The United States of America contains a huge amount of alcohol-dependent individuals. This is because alcohol is easily accessible and legal at a certain age. It is also relatively inexpensive to purchase and could be gotten at convenience. Given how these factors contribute to the increase in alcohol use disorders, it is only natural that institutions be put in place to ensure that individuals get treatment for this disorder.

Most addiction treatment centers provide rehab for both alcohol and drug addiction patients alongside detox services. However, exclusive alcohol rehab centers also exist. These centers offer various treatment programs to suit the unique situation of each patient. Some of these alcohol addiction treatment programs include in-patient treatment services, detoxification, out-patient treatment services, partial hospitalization treatment services as well as care services in some cases.

What Does An Alcoholism Treatment Program Entail? - Pathfinders - A group of individuals in an alcoholism treatment program is engaging in a group therapy session as part of their treatment plans.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Residential rehab programs are the most highly recommended for individuals with chronic or severe alcohol addiction. This treatment program entails the individual being a resident at the alcohol addiction treatment center for as long as the treatment would last. This treatment program is however expensive as opposed to the other treatment programs available.

It is also advised that before proceeding to the next phase of the healing process, the individuals become full residents of the alcohol addiction centers while carrying out detoxification. This would ensure that the individual stays away from temptations to go back to drinking alcohol. The same goes for residents for the second phase of the alcohol addiction treatment. It is important and highly beneficial to be a resident as you get to experience communal living while also staying clean all through the rehabilitation process. As regards cost, people with health insurance policies would be subsidized to a considerable rate and if you can still not afford to be a resident at a private addiction treatment institution, there is still the option of state-owned rehab centers. Although, you would have to be subjected to the waiting lists available in these institutions.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs are ideal for individuals who still want to experience communal living while recovering from alcohol addiction but can either not afford it, does not have the time for it, or has just a mild case of alcohol addiction. Regardless, this treatment program is just as effective as the in-treatment program. It also has its upsides as it is less expensive and the patient gets to visit the treatment center at least three times during the weekday and does not have to come on weekends at all.


Some treatment centers do not offer treatment for alcohol detoxification alongside the other programs available, however, some centers do. The process of detoxification essentially entails flushing out the alcohol from the system of the addict to prepare them for the therapy process as well as detachment from alcohol. Several individuals withdrawal symptoms when this occurs and it could range from mild to severe.

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Conclusively, Pathfinders Recovery Center provides the services discussed in this article and as such, you do not need to bother about the best place to get treatment for alcohol addiction.

Our members of staff are highly committed and dedicated to the cause and are ever interested in the recovery procedure of every individual in their care.

Alcohol addiction is not a pleasant situation to be in. However, with help from the right people, it could be overcome.

Ah – St. Patrick’s Day — How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery?

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Celebrate Differently

When I entered recovery at Pathfinders, my idea of celebration, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, changed drastically.

Each holiday that comes up on the calendar seemed like an occasion to relapse, especially for well-known drinking holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day.

When I was newly sober I looked at each holiday as a battle.

I had to prepare myself accordingly and put in extra effort to keep myself in check.

The alcohol treatment program at Pathfinders gave me a lot of tools, yet I still felt anxiety.

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially tough for me during my first year. Even with my family going out of their way to not trigger me, I was still terrified of relapsing.

When I got through those particular holidays unscathed, I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Then I remembered St. Patrick’s Day.

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I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is probably the one holiday all of us in recovery have to be careful of. Preventing a relapse on St. Patrick’s Day is almost like winning the lottery. When you see many people wandering through the streets intoxicated, it can be a massive trigger. I remember when the months switched from February to March, I became increasingly nervous.

All I could think about was my behavior the year before. I made a complete jerk out of myself, and it was one of the driving factors toward me getting sober a few months later. I did what everyone else does that day. I went from bar to bar consuming green beer in between shots of whiskey.

Learn More About How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Sober




One thing I should mention is that I tended to be a mean drunk. I was one of those guys that you had to walk on eggshells around. I could be a lot of fun to drink with, but it didn’t take much for me to turn. I remember waking up the next day to text messages from two separate friends who were offended by my behavior.

I had made inappropriate comments about their significant others and had no memory of it. I thought they were being unreasonable. It wasn’t until months later that I started to take what people were telling me seriously. They all came up with the same conclusion. “Dude, you’re a horrible drunk.”


Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals in recovery meets with an addiction therapist and their support group to offer advice to one another on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day without risking their sobriety.

Talk it Out

So that next St. Patrick’s Day was scary for me. I stressed so much about what I was capable of doing. All I could think about was what could end up happening. Should I just lock myself in my house that day and not even go out? Should I check myself in somewhere? It was freaking me out. It got so bad that I considered relapsing weeks before St. Patrick’s Day just so I could get it out of the way and start all over.

I forgot all about the wonderful people around me who were there to help. One of the big things about recovery is talking things out. You have to talk about your feelings and let your temptations be known. Getting sober is in a lot of ways very much a group effort. Sometimes you are the one picking others up out of their despair, and sometimes you are the one that needs to be picked up.

The program at Pathfinders taught me that meetings are invaluable. The folks at Pathfinders have always been there to give me a hand. Sometimes I fail to recognize this. Even when you have a great team around you, you can still be pulled back into your previous thinking.

This year, I’ve tried hard to remind myself of what I have around me. I think about the people I would be letting down if I slip back into my old ways. I think about being a beacon for others. I don’t want to be a reason someone else has a relapse. I want to be the person you call. I try very hard to be positive for others, but I also understand I am fighting my own battle. You can be there for others, but you must always be there for yourself first.

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Finding the Right People

Pathfinders have done a wonderful job of setting me up with the right outlets. There are a lot of St. Patrick’s Day events that are specifically targeted at people in recovery, and they are not hard to find. First of all, the hotlines are your friend. A lot of sober hotlines now are 24/7, so you can reach out to someone whenever you feel the need. Not only do these hotlines provide a way for you to talk out your feelings, but they also provide you with resources and sober events local to you. These events are a great way to get out and socialize with like-minded people.

The more people I meet in recovery, the less alone I feel in the process. It almost always helps me to meet a new person going through this process. It reinforces to me that I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I plan on attending a couple of different sober parties on St. Patrick’s Day, and I have the same amount of enthusiasm for them as I used to have for the bars. I understand now that the sober version of me is so much more likable and approachable than the drunk version of me. It makes me feel a tremendous amount of confidence to be the best version of myself when I meet people. I also know that when I go to these sober events, I am meeting the new and improved versions of a lot of my peers.

It’s never a bad idea to be of service to other people. If you are comfortable being a designated driver for your friends who do drink, it can be a great help. Not only are you doing them a solid favor, but you are also preventing someone from getting behind the wheel drunk. You could be drastically altering the course of a lot of people’s evenings. I usually offer to be the DD whenever I know my friends may need it.

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Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it, but I always feel better about myself after the fact.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday, keep in mind that being a help to others is an invaluable practice.

Being considerate goes a long way on the road to recovery.

What Are Some of the Common Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse?

Drugs and Substance Abuse

Drug abuse can be defined as using drugs or chemical substances in ways that are illegal or were not prescribed by the doctor.

The abuse of drugs is very popular in not only the United States but also countries around the world.

Despite the danger and harm associated with these hard drugs or substances, individuals still abuse them without regard to the effect they would have on their lives and that of those around them who care for them.

These substances could be found in household items for instance nail polish.

Using them makes the addicts derive pleasure and euphoria.

Drugs which are abused by different individuals are often addictive and could leave a long-lasting effect of always craving the usage of this substance on the addict.

Without the intake of these substances, the addict becomes dysfunctional and is unable to function effectively.

Research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States of America shows that 12% of high school students use inhalants, 21% of these students abuse marijuana and 3% take cocaine.

This goes to show that the issue of substance abuse is not only rampant amongst the adult population but also the teenage population as well.

Most of these teenagers abuse these drugs due to peer pressure and in a bid to be adventurous.

Like adults, under-aged substance abusers also take these various substances as a form of escape from their reality or to relieve themselves from the stress school brings along.

Drug addiction can begin or stem from so many ways.

Intake of these substances may have started for a recreational activity or a mere social experiment.

However, it is not particularly hard to get addicted to these substances.

Addiction to substances also varies depending on the particular substance.

The report shows that it is easier to get addicted to opioids than any other form of substance that could be abused.

Some of the Common Symptoms of Substance Abuse - Pathfinders - An image of a man holding a variety of pills in his hand with a bottle of hard liquor in front of home, where he is showing symptoms of substance abuse.

Symptoms of Substance Abuse

There are symptoms to identify in individuals who abuse substances. However, it varies from person to person and also with consideration to the fact that the severity of each case varies.

Below are some of the peculiar symptoms of substance abuse:

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    • Excessive or Intense Cravings for this Substance: A poster boy feature or characteristic of someone with drug use disorders is they experience intense cravings for this drug or substance. Regardless of any difficulty attached to getting access to this substance, a drug abuser is willing to go the extra mile to acquire the substance to feel alright. This often leads to so many unpleasant occurrences such as spending huge amounts of money to get their hands on this substance, experiencing intense discomfort when the addict is unable to get his or her hands on this substance as well as dropping everything down to ensure that they get their hands on this substance, regardless of if they have to involve themselves in shady deals for this.
    • Deterioration in Relationships with Loved Ones: It is often rumored that drug addicts only move with themselves. As sad as this may sound, this statement is affirmative. As a result of not wanting to be judged for their habit and lifestyle, people who abuse drugs often tend to withdraw from certain relationships. They also hang out more with people who they feel would be able to connect more with them and would understand the current lifestyle they are adopting. Besides, they most likely would not feel comfortable abusing drugs in the presence of their clean friends in fear of being reported to the police. This is why a symptom of drug or substance abuse involves the slow deterioration in strong relationships.
    • Loss of Financial Stability: It is not news that individuals who abuse drugs are often in one financial trouble or the other. They have lots of debts all around and always seem to run away from loan sharks. This is because obtaining illegal substances are expensive and they come at exorbitant prices. As a result, this lifestyle eventually becomes too expensive for them to manage and they lose they are financial and subsequently start running into debts. Also, most drug abusers or addicts stop taking their jobs seriously and get retrenched. This means that their source of livelihood is being taken away from them. Despite this fact, they still find a way to purchase these substances.

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  • Only wanting to be involved in drug-related activities: Most individuals who abuse drugs tend to detach themselves from the things that matter in life. They stop going to work, attending family gatherings, some even drop out of school and do not see the essence of being a part of anything that isn’t drug-related. This feature of the symptom of drug abuse is highly common amongst young adults but could also be seen in a few older adults.
  • Issues with the law: It is not uncommon to see a drug abuser facing issues with the law. This is because the United States of America criminalizes the wrongful possession of some of these substances. Drug or other substance abusers often end up running away from the law to protect their interest as they are aware that they would not have the leverage to utilize the drugs or substances they are addicted to in prison.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: This is one of the most prominent and common features or symptoms of substance abuse. This occurs when an individual who is already addicted to a certain substance tries to stay away from it for too long (this is relative depending on the severity of each case). The addict begins to experience the effects of trying to be away from this substance in the most painful of ways. This is why it is important to go to a drug addiction treatment or rehab center to be able to remedy this situation.

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Solutions to Substance Abuse

America recognizes the increasing amount of substance abusers in the State and as such, has provisions for drug or any other substance abuse in the forms of treatment centers.

These treatment centers may be privately owned or state-owned. They provide different treatment programs which include inpatient treatment programs, intensive outpatient treatment programs, detoxification, partial hospitalization treatment program as well as after-care for patients who require that or are specifically asked for them.

Some of the Common Symptoms of Substance Abuse - Pathfinders - An image of a man holding a variety of pills in his hand with a bottle of hard liquor in front of home, where he is showing symptoms of substance abuse.

  • Inpatient Treatment Program: This treatment program provides full residency for the patients all through their stay in the treatment program. Although a bit expensive, it is very effective and ensures that the patient resides in a healthy environment free from temptations and consisting of like-minded individuals who also want to be rid of the addiction.
  • Detoxification: Medical detox is the first stage of the healing process which drug addiction treatment entails. It consists of flushing out or getting rid of the toxins contained in the patient’s body to prepare them for the second phase of the treatment.
  • Outpatient Treatment Program: This treatment program involves the patient attending therapy sessions not more than three times a week except weekends. It is ideal for individuals with mild addiction and also those who do not have enough to afford the in-patient program in a private facility.

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In conclusion, substance abuse is a situation that can be remedied.

However, this would require the right attitude to the treatment from the patient and commitment by the treatment facility.

How Can You Get Sober From Drugs?

How to Sober Up From Drugs

If you are addicted to illegal or prescription substances, you must know how to sober up from drugs.

That is the only way to get your life back on track and avoid severe or even fatal problems.

Even if you are not addicted, you may need help getter sober.

Why? Non-addicted drug abuse can also have a serious, negative effect on your life.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to sober up from drugs.

Professionals ranging from your personal doctor to addiction specialists have the knowledge needed to help.

With their guidance, you can regain your sobriety no matter how badly addiction affects you.

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Drug Use and Drug Problems

Tens of millions of Americans use potentially addictive prescription medications. Most of these people follow their prescriptions and avoid problems. However, more than 16 million Americans misuse their medications. You can misuse a medication by taking it too often or in excessive amounts. You also take part in prescription drug misuse if you do things such as:

  • Use someone else’s medication
  • Crush you medication or do other things to speed up its effects

You are at risk for serious problems if you take any amount of an addictive street drug. Marijuana is the most common of these substances, even though this drug is now often legal to use. Other widely used street drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.

If you are addicted to a prescription drug or street drug, you have a substance use disorder, or SUD. There are subtypes of SUD for each major drug category. For example, people addicted to amphetamines, methamphetamine or cocaine have a stimulant use disorder.

You can also be diagnosed with an SUD if you are not addicted. How is this possible? Even non-addicted drug abuse can seriously interfere with your ability to function. For this reason, such life-altering abuse is included in the substance use disorder definition

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Can You Tell If You Need Help

Is it possible to tell when you need to start thinking about how to sober up from drugs? Very often, the answer to this question is yes. You should certainly think about your drug use if you misuse an addictive prescription medication. You should also be concerned if you are involved in the use of addictive street drugs.

When doctors diagnose an SUD, they look for signs of addiction such as:

  • Loss of control over how often you use drugs, or how much you take
  • Reduced sensitivity to the effects of any given amount of drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms that start if you cut back on drugs or stop taking them
  • A lifestyle built around drug use or related activities
  • Not being able to quit taking drugs after multiple attempts to break free

Signs of serious drug abuse include:

  • Going through social or relationship problems as a result of your drug use
  • Using drugs multiple times while doing something dangerous like driving
  • Taking enough drugs to be unable to keep up with your major obligations

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How to Sober Up From Drugs: First Steps

If you are wondering how to sober up from drugs, a common first step is talking to your personal physician. Today, many of these primary doctors have been trained to give drug screenings. Screenings serve several main purposes, including:

  • Assessing your level and pattern of drug use
  • Helping to determine whether you have an SUD
  • Determining how bad your symptoms are if an SUD is present
  • Helping your doctor guide you to the right resources for treatment

If you do not already have an SUD, you doctor may give you a brief intervention. That is the term for a short educational session about the dangers of your drug misuse. This session is designed to help you change and avoid developing diagnosable problems.

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How to Sober Up From Drugs: Drug Detox

If you have an SUD, you may need to enroll in drug detox, or detoxification, in order to get sober. Why? Detox provides a secure environment for people affected by addiction to stop using drugs. It also provides the medical expertise needed to safely make it through drug withdrawal.

What happens during detox? That depends on the drug or medication you are addicted to. There are specific detoxification options for substances such as:

  • A stimulant such as methamphetamine or cocaine
  • An opioid medication or street drug
  • An addictive tranquilizer or sedative

Everyone enrolled in a detox program receives care designed to keep them as healthy as possible. Some people also receive medication while going through the detox process.

How Can You Get Sober From Drugs in a Safe Way? - Pathfinders - An addiction therapist is comforting a patient who is looking for how you can get sober from drugs in a medical detox.

How to Sober Up From Drugs: Active Treatment

Completion of detox will leave you drug-free. However, this initial sobriety is not enough. To have a realistic chance at lasting sobriety, you must continue on to active drug rehab. Rehab helps you stay sober while you are still enrolled in treatment. It also teaches you techniques to remain sober once treatment comes to an end. Medication may be used as part of your rehab plan. Even if you do not receive medication, you will get crucial help from therapy or counseling.

What kinds of therapy will help you learn how to get sober from drugs and stay sober? Many options are available, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Behavior Therapy
  • Community Reinforcement
  • Contingency Management
  • 12-Step Facilitation

Your treatment team will match your therapy to your particular form of SUD.


Joining a Mutual Self-Help Group

It is common to join a mutual self-help group while still enrolled in rehab. In fact, the purpose of 12-step facilitation is to prepare you to join this kind of group. Self-help groups are beneficial because they allow you to establish peer relationships with others in recovery. These relationships provide extensive support for your long-term commitment to sobriety.


How To Sober Up From Drugs: Continuing Care or Aftercare

In detox and active treatment, you learn how to sober up from drugs. But this is not the end of your battle. You must also take appropriate steps to remain sober. A mutual self-help group will be a big plus. However, experts also recommend some form of continuing care or aftercare. This is the name for a follow-up program that gives you continued access to professional treatment. Continuing care will help you cope with the ups and downs of everyday life without returning to drug use.

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Learn More About How To Sober Up From Drugs

Learning how to get sober from drugs can be a major turning point in your life. In contrast, if you do not learn how to do this, you may find yourself trapped in addiction’s powerful grip. If you suspect that your drug use has gotten out of hand, today is the day to get help. Together, your primary doctor and addiction specialists will help you recover from even severe drug-related problems.

Have questions about how to sober up from drugs? Just turn to the professionals at Pathfinders. Our experienced staff will help you sort out exactly what you need to do to get started. And if you need to enroll in a drug treatment program, Pathfinders is standing by. No matter what kind of substance you are addicted to, you will find what you need in our full range of treatment services.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States – Results From the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health; Pages 15 and 20


U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus: Prescription Drug Misuse


American Psychiatric Association: What Is a Substance Use Disorder?


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians – Chapter 2: Screening for Substance Use Disorders


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians – Chapter 3: Brief Intervention


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment – Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances


National Institute on Drug Abuse: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment – A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition); Pages 39 -65



Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: Continuing Care – What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going


Finding Safe Heroin Detox Centers

Heroin Detox Centers for Initial Treatment

Heroin is one of the most popularly abused drugs all around the world, and usually requires heroin detox centers to rid the body of the drugs.

It is an opioid made from morphine.

Heroin could take the form of brown, white, or a black sticky substance which could be referred to as black tar heroin.

Heroin is taken in either through sniffing, injection, snorting, and smoking.

To increase the effect heroin has on individuals, people often mix it with crack cocaine.

This mixture can be known as speed-balling to achieve maximum effect.

Using the opioid called heroin has the effect of increasing heart rate, sleeping rate and associates itself with the cell responsible for ensuring pain and pleasure.

Some prescription drugs have been said to take the same effects as heroin, and require safe heroin detox centers.

These drugs include Oxycontin and Vicodin.

Research also shows that heroin is one of the first opioids individuals use before upgrading to other forms of opioids.

Individuals using heroin often experience certain signs such as a sudden surge or outburst of energy or euphoria.

They also experience other physical signs such as hazy mental cognition, constant itching, a dry mouth, flushed skin, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as constant swinging from consciousness and reality to semi-consciousness.

The aforementioned issues are known as the short-term effects of the abuse of heroin intake.

Some long-term effects include lack of sleep, liver disease, kidney disease, heart lining, and valves infection, collapsed veins, sexual dysfunction in men as well as irregularities in menstrual cycles.

How to Find Safe Heroin Detox Centers - Pathfinders Recovery Center - An image of someone holding a bunch of heroin needles who is looking for a safe heroin detox center.

Heroin Overdose

Most people ask questions regarding whether people can overdose on the opioid, heroin. The answer to this question is yes because the consumption of a certain amount of heroin can put the life of the individual in danger.

Signs of heroin addiction include slowing down in breathing which could put the individual in a coma or lead to brain damage and in some instances, death. This condition can be referred to as Hypoxia.

Due to the rampant occurrence of a drug overdose, different drugs have been discovered to help with an overdose of any form of opioids,

.One of these drugs that helps with heroin overdose is Naloxone.

This drug is to be administered immediately after it has been discovered that the individual overdosed on heroin.

What this drug does is that blocks the effect of the overdose from kicking in.

However, only a medical practitioner would be able to decipher the particular amount which would suffice.

Immediate Placement in Heroin Rehab – Get Help Now




Heroin Addiction

It is not unusual to see people who use heroin getting addicted to it.

This tolerance or addiction to the substance then graduates into a disorder called substance use disorder. It could exist due to different factors.

Research has also shown that most addiction problems stem from mental health issues such as depression, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, suicidal intentions, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), amongst others. Addiction to heroin could also arise due to household issues with husband and wife, stress from work, academic stress as well as peer pressure.

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Heroin Addiction Treatment Centers

Since heroin addiction is rampant around the world, it is only necessary that addiction treatment centers be erected to tackle this menace called substance abuse or addiction.

Addiction treatment can be carried out by various drug addiction rehab centers. These centers could be privately owned or government-owned.

However, it is important to note that private addiction treatment institutions provide value for money more often than not. Patients also get to avoid the notorious waiting lists associated with government-owned rehabilitation.

Besides, privately owned establishments generally provide a certain level of privacy. It does not necessarily translate to the amount of privacy one could get at home. However, compared to the government-owned treatment centers, it is still quite decent. The staff also pay more attention to patients and ensure that patients get value for their money.

As desirable as attending a private addiction treatment center is, it could also have its downsides. This downside comes in the form of funding. Private treatment centers are naturally more expensive than government-owned treatment centers. This is due to the fact they are privatized and as much as they render these services out of a passion for the job, revenue still has to be generated from such business.

However, health insurance companies who make provisions for drug or any other substance addiction treatment would be able to reduce the cost of attending a private rehab to a considerable extent. Government-owned treatment centers on the other hand are also quite effective in combating drug addiction. Individuals who are financially stable enough for private addiction treatment centers are advised to turn to government-owned drug rehab centers which would provide adequate care and ensure that the addiction is done away with at the end of the day.

Whether government-owned or private-owned addiction treatment centers, they all provide varieties of addiction treatment programs. Some of these addiction treatment programs include in-patient treatment programs, outpatient treatment programs, partial hospitalization as well as aftercare.

How to Find Safe Heroin Detox Centers - Pathfinders Recovery Center - A wife and her husband sit in family counseling at an inpatient rehab after her husband finished detox at a safe heroin detox center to discuss his progress and downfalls in treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient treatment is one of the most commonly enrolled treatment programs. This is because it is the most suitable in terms of both phases of addiction treatment. An in-patient treatment program entails the patient staying in the treatment addiction center all through the healing process. This is the most suitable for individuals doing detox as he or she is not tempted to go back to those drugs after months of committing to being clean. It is however expensive especially when carried out in a private drug addiction rehab center as opposed to other government-owned drug addiction treatment centers.

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Outpatient Treatment Programs

This program involves the patient coming into the rehab facility on time for classes and leaving as they leave. Outpatient services are highly required by individuals who are only mildly addicted to Heroin or cannot bear to be away from their families. Equally, the outpatient treatment program also allows the patient to be part of a community of several clean past drug abusers. Asides from this, it is also not cut-throat expensive and more cost-effective than the inpatient addiction treatment program. It is also similar to support groups in the sense that after therapy sessions, individuals are given the leverage to return to their various homes.


The process that heroin detox centers simply involves flushing out those toxins as well as drug substances to prevent the patient from remaining Heroin dependent. The time frame for detoxification usually depends on the severity of the addiction in question. It is also not unusual to experience withdrawal symptoms when the process of detoxification starts. Some obvious signs of withdrawal symptoms include shortness of breath, craving the substance (in this case, heroin), restlessness, insomnia as well as nausea, and vomiting.

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Different treatments are available for heroin addiction, such as medicinal treatment services or behavioral treatment methods, and heroin detox centers.

However, treatment centers can also employ the “reward” method as a way of encouraging their patients to remain clean while in the facility.

Some of these reward forms include various vouchers containing prizes as well as cash rewards themselves to motivate the patients to keep trying and accepting treatment for the sake of getting better.

Pathfinders do a great job in this regard by customizing each patient’s treatment program to suit them.