Dating While Not Sober

Let’s talk about dating while not sober first.

I have plenty of experience.

I only had two relationships when I was sober.

One was my first boyfriend in high school.

The second is my current relationship.

The span in between was relationship after relationship founded on alcohol or other drugs.

As you probably know, you do not make the same decisions under the influence that you do while sober.

For me, that meant dating many people that I had nothing in common with except for alcohol.

I dated people that irritated me when I was sober.

Part of that irritation was due to a hangover.

But not all of it. I was often sober during the week.

I was the kind of drunk you would label as a “weekend warrior.”

A large part of it was that I did not like the person I had a relationship with.

Most importantly, you need to like yourself, and I did not for a long time.

It is important to realize the mistakes you have made.

People teach us lessons about ourselves.

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.

The Cheater

I still need to forgive myself for some of the harmful, hurtful people I let into my life.

One of the worst was a guy who ended up living with me for about six months.

I met him through mutual drinking friends.

He knew I had feelings for him, and he completely took advantage of that.

He was sleeping with me the entire time while sleeping with at least two other women.

I was suspicious, but I was not one to snoop.

I believed that if you trust someone, you should not snoop.

When I did become suspicious, I felt bad kicking him out because he had a kid.

For him to have custody, he needed a place for his kid to come to safely.

He was broke, so he could not afford an apartment.

I was getting more and more to the point where I wanted him out.

I needed proof other than my gut feeling that something was off.

He often used one of my old laptops.

I got it out and logged onto Facebook.

I did not have a Facebook account at that time, so it popped up right away.

I decided to check his messages.

The first thing I saw was all these messages to his new girlfriend, Katya.

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Starting to Wake Up

I was going to kick him to the curb. But first, I was going to tell his new girlfriend who I was and what was going on. I reactivated my Facebook account, logged in, and emailed her immediately. She responded by chat. She said, “I can’t believe he would do this after saying he is in love with me and blah blah blah.” He said these same things to me at one point. Then the conversation took a surprising turn. Katya informed me that another woman had reached out to her a week earlier, accusing him of cheating as well.
Katya also enlightened me that he said he hated my dog. If you knew my dog, you would think he was the biggest jerk to have ever walked this Earth. Trust me on this. Who could not love a pudgy, chill, and blue and white chihuahua? He is a rock star. So, to think this three-timing, no good, son of a… was taking advantage of me. As I was chatting with her via messaging, I moved all of his stuff into the back hallway. I texted him to let him know his stuff was outback. His text back was something weird like, “Let’s have this out in person.” I had zero need to see him in person. There is nothing to discuss in this case. Trust me. I did see him one last time getting the stuff out of the back hallway. I had changed the locks after he left. But I still needed to get Katya’s keys from him to give her.
I opened the back door and what I saw was the saddest, tall man with tears streaming down his eyes. He was like a kid caught with his hand in the candy jar. I almost felt sorry for him. But I could not. I told him he was pathetic and got Katya’s keys and slammed the door shut. Some people say that closure does not exist. I would say the moment where I shut the door in his face was the best closure I have ever experienced.

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Dating While Sober

I started to become aware of something after an experience with a cheater. I was grasping again at love. Grasping meant going through the same harmful patterns again and again. I was beginning to feel exhausted. I would never find someone real until I started to find myself.
Things did not change for me overnight. It took time and practice. The last two people I dated before I met my current partner were steppingstones. One was a realization that I did not want to date people who did drugs anymore. This person did, and I broke up with him. It felt good. It was the first time I thought about myself rather than the other person. Then, I met another person.
We drank the first few times we hung out and started dating. We also lived in different countries. We did a long-distance relationship, and then I moved to his country for a while. I was always irritated with him, even right before I left to go live with him.
I had barely seen him and almost broken up with him. The romantic version of myself that wanted to live in another country won over. It was a disaster. I was only there five months and left, for good.

 

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Sober Dating

After returning to the United States, I decided that I needed more change to avoid making bad decisions. I decided to get sober. I was not drinking much, only once a week. But clearly, that was too much for me to get my life in order. Around that time, I also lost my job. The rain came pouring down.
But my mentor Father Michael Pfleger says, “Storms run out of rain.” I walked through the storm of life on my own for a while. I was applying to jobs, deciding where to live, and taking care of myself. Every day I would go on a walk. Life was simple. For the first time, I enjoyed the lack of excitement. Constant moving and feeling like I had to prove something to someone were exhausting. I did not feel like moving at a fast pace anymore. I wanted to take the time to think things through.
I decided to work for a relative’s company while I was applying for jobs. The job was in New England. A small rural town. It sounded exactly like what I needed. The city had always triggered me to continue these negative patterns I was trying to quit. I did break loose. I started to live a sober life. While sober, I had the control to say no to people I did not desire. Dating while sober meant taking care of myself and not going with an idea that did not serve my higher self. It did not mean that rejection did not hurt. I was able to handle it better and know that the feeling would pass.

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Love Yourself First

I started to put time into hobbies.

I put time into taking care of my body by exercising.

I read all the time.

I learned guitar.

I went on hikes and felt nature healing me.

I decided to stay.

It was only six months until I met my current partner.

We met through an event.

We began a sober relationship.

We hung out and got to know one another.

We had a lot in common.

I learned after months of dating that I enjoyed being around this person.

It did not happen overnight.

But because I was sober, I enjoyed the process at my own pace and moved forward as I felt.

We are still together; it will be two years in March 2021.

Dating sober is more about finding yourself than anything.

No matter who comes into your life, you will attract the person you deserve if you are sober.

A person who will honor you rather than who you pretend to be while chugging your Miller High Life.

It is not that you will not have bad dates.

You will understand that they are a part of life, a passing moment like every other moment.

It will all be worth it to know yourself, to love yourself.

There is no love more important than the love you have for yourself.

No partner can fulfill that.

 

Learn more about our Arizona Rehab Center and Colorado Rehab Center at Pathfinders Recovery Center.

Xanax Abuse is On the Rise

Xanax Abuse is a Growing Problem

Xanax abuse is something to be concerned about, even though Xanax is a prescription medication.

The truth is that Xanax is one of the most commonly-prescribed drugs in its class, according to the authors of a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

While Xanax does belong to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which have legitimate medical uses for the treatment of anxiety and panic, Xanax abuse is an unfortunate reality.

Experts warn that Xanax is incredibly addictive and should not be used for long periods of time.

Over time, Xanax abuse can lead to addiction and the need for drug rehab.

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Rates of Xanax Abuse

Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA shows just how common Xanax abuse has become.

According to a 2018 report from this organization, 30.5 million American adults use benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax.

Among benzodiazepine users, 17.1% of people misuse these drugs, which means that we can expect the rates of Xanax abuse to be considerably high.

Among those who abuse Xanax and other benzodiazepines, a little under 2% will develop a benzodiazepine use disorder.

This is the clinical term for an addiction to drugs like Xanax.

If Xanax abuse leads to a clinical addiction, drug rehab will likely be necessary.

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Reasons for Xanax Abuse

Some people take Xanax as prescribed by a doctor for an anxiety or panic disorder, but others engage in Xanax abuse. This can involve taking Xanax for reasons other than its intended uses or taking larger doses of Xanax than a doctor prescribes.

When prescribed Xanax, people should use caution and take the medication exactly as the doctor prescribes. Xanax abuse occurs when people do not follow a doctor’s directions.

There are various reasons for Xanax abuse. According to a research report from NIDA, almost half of people who abuse benzodiazepines such as Xanax misuse the drug to relax or relieve tension. Nearly 25% of people who abuse Xanax are trying to treat sleep problems.

Furthermore, slightly over 10% of people report Xanax abuse is a method to get high, and an additional 10% abuse Xanax helps them cope with their emotions. Finally, some people report that their Xanax abuse is a method of experimentation.

Regardless of the reasons for Xanax abuse, misusing this drug can lead to an addiction or substance use disorder.
Xanax Abuse is On the Rise Pathfinders - As one of the most widely prescribed drugs Xanax abuse is on the rise. It is easy to fall into addiction and need drug rehab for help.

Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

If Xanax abuse leads to addiction, it will be classified as a substance use disorder. NIDA has reported that symptoms include using larger amounts of Xanax than intended, being unable to cut back on Xanax use, or using Xanax when dangerous, such as while driving a vehicle.

Other signs that Xanax abuse has led to addiction include the following: spending a great deal of time using Xanax, giving up other activities in favor of Xanax abuse, or continuing to use the drug despite serious consequences, such as worsening physical or mental health, difficulty in relationships, or being unable to fulfill duties at work or home.

Once someone has developed a substance use disorder, Xanax rehab is needed to recover.

Xanax Abuse and Withdrawal

Another consequence of ongoing Xanax abuse is experiencing withdrawal. Xanax withdrawal occurs because, with regular use of the drug, the body will become physically dependent upon it. This means that when a person reduces Xanax abuse or tries to stop using the drug, the body will go through withdrawal symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of the drug.

Because Xanax abuse can lead to withdrawal, it is often necessary to seek the help of a professional detox program to stop using Xanax. In fact, Xanax withdrawal can be extremely risky, as it can lead to serious complications like seizures, according to experts.

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Treatment for Xanax Abuse

If you have been struggling with Xanax abuse, it is important that you seek help from a professional if you want to stop using the drug. As previously stated, Xanax withdrawal can be serious, so it is important to have the help of a professional while you are detoxing from this drug.

Staff in a Xanax rehab can provide you with a detox program, where you will receive medical care, support, and supervision to keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible as your body rids itself of Xanax. After you complete detox, it is important that you receive ongoing behavioral care to help you address the underlying issues that led to Xanax abuse.

Xanax Abuse is On the Rise Pathfinders - A group of people who are in Xanax rehab discuss their triggers that led to Xanax abuse.Takeaways on Telling Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Telling your family, you need help for drugs and need to go to drug rehab can be challenging. Given the stigma and shame surrounding having a drug addict in the family, your loved ones may have a negative opinion of addiction treatment.

Some of the stigma surrounding drug abuse can be corrected by developing an understanding of addiction, such as learning that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that causes lasting changes in the brain.

Explaining that addiction is a lasting brain condition, informing your family of the benefits of treatment, and asking for their support as you go to drug rehab can make a difference. Letting them know the reasons you need help for drugs and telling them what to expect will increase the chances that your family will support you.

Xanax Abuse and Mental Illness

As the research indicates, Xanax treats anxiety and panic disorder, so many people who use this medication have a mental health condition. Furthermore, a significant portion of people engages in Xanax abuse to help them cope with tension or uncomfortable emotions.

It is not unusual for someone to have both a Xanax addiction and a co-occurring mental illness, such as anxiety, panic disorder, or depression. If you are struggling with Xanax abuse and mental illness, it is important that you seek treatment at a dual diagnosis rehab center.

A Xanax rehab specializing in dual diagnosis can provide treatment for both addiction and mental illness so that all of your needs are met. If you treat only the Xanax abuse but not the underlying mental health condition, you may return to Xanax abuse in order to self-medicate issues like stress or anxiety.

Xanax Rehab in Colorado and Arizona

Suppose you are living with Xanax addiction and are seeking a rehab center. In that case, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Colorado and Arizona, and we are happy to provide services to those in surrounding states as well.

We can offer both Colorado and Arizona Xanax rehab, and we are qualified to treat a dual diagnosis, to address Xanax abuse and mental illness together. We promise to provide research-backed treatment in our upscale facilities, and we employ a leadership team with upwards of 25 years of experience.

We are also accredited by the Joint Commission, and we offer a range of rehab services, including inpatient, outpatient, detox, and partial hospitalization.

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Paying for Colorado and Arizona Xanax Rehab

You may be worried about covering the costs of rehab.

If this is the case, the Pathfinders Recovery Center can ease some of your concerns with our free insurance verification program.

Visit our website and fill out a quick form, and one of our team members will be in touch with you as soon as possible to inform you of how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for Xanax rehab.

Even if you are without insurance, our team will work with you to develop a cash payment plan to make rehab affordable for you.

Regardless of your financial situation, we are here to help.

Reach out to us today to begin your journey toward a life that is free from the grips of Xanax abuse.

How to Tell Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Admitting You Need Help for Drugs Can Be Challenging

If you have been struggling with drug abuse, admitting you need help can be difficult, especially when approaching people you love, including your family.

The shame and stigma surrounding drug abuse and addiction can make you fearful of reaching out or admitting to your family that you have become a “drug addict.”

While it is normal to be anxious about telling others you need help for drugs, it is important to have open conversations with family, so they can be a source of support as you seek rehab.

Hopefully, through an honest, heartfelt conversation, your family will understand that treatment can help you recover from drug abuse and lead a happier, healthier life.

How to ask for help with drugs Pathfinders - Photo of a mans hands as he holds a lighter under a spoon with white powder in it as he sucks the smoke through a straw.Doing Your Research Allows You to Explain Why You Need Help for Drugs

The first step in explaining to your family that you need help with drugs is researching what addiction means.

This can help you have an educated discussion with your family, so they know you are serious about seeking treatment.

For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a mental illness and a chronic brain disease.

Over time, drug use causes lasting changes in the brain, leading people to seek drugs compulsively .

Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to stop using on your own.

When you approach your family to tell them you need help with drugs, it is helps to explain that addiction is a disease.

Just like any other medical condition, treatment is required to recover or get better.

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Explain the Science of Why You Need Help for Drugs

If you have been living with addiction, there is a chance that your family is upset with you. Perhaps you have lashed out at them in anger during the worst phases of your addiction, or perhaps you have stolen money from them to support your habit. Whatever the case, your family may see you as a “hopeless drug addict.”

There is a chance that your family is fed up with your drug abuse and are convinced that drug rehab will not work. If you suspect your family might feel this way, explain to them that your behavior results from a chronic brain condition. For example, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, while the initial choice to use drugs is voluntary, over time, drug abuse damages areas of the brain responsible for judgment and decision-making.

This means that addiction can make it difficult for you to control your behavior or make reasonable decisions. During the conversation with your family, it is beneficial to explain this fact.  Apologize for the decisions you made while addicted, and make it clear that you need help with drugs to make better choices in the future.

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Other Talking Points When You Need Help for Drugs

Beyond explaining to your family that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that requires treatment because of its negative effects on the brain, it is helpful to educate your family about the prevalence of addiction and the effectiveness of addiction rehab.

A 2017 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that about 20.2 million adults have an addiction in any given year. Pointing this fact out can help your family understand that addiction is a common condition and that seeking drug rehab is a relatively acceptable thing. It may also be helpful to explain that treatment works and can help you to change your life.

Explain the Dangers of Not Seeking Treatment When You Need Help for Drugs

If your family is still hesitant about drug rehab, they may become more open to the idea when you explain the dangers of not seeking treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the drug overdose death rate has tripled since 1999.

Avoiding going to treatment when you need help for drugs can increase your risk of death from an overdose. Not seeking treatment also puts you at risk of a multitude of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and mental health problems.

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Explaining What Treatment Will Involve

Beyond understanding the science and consequences of drug abuse, it will be important for your family to know what to expect from drug rehab. They can understand whether you are going to inpatient rehab or attending drug rehab on an outpatient basis.
Additionally, your family should understand that they are an important part of your recovery journey. They may be upset about your addiction or unsure that you need help for drugs, but asking them to support you in your recovery is an important step.

How to ask for help with drugs Pathfinders - A young man stands up with his family around him and tells them about his drug addiction and asks for help getting into drug rehab.Takeaways on Telling Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Telling your family, you need help for drugs and need to go to drug rehab can be challenging. Given the stigma and shame surrounding having a drug addict in the family, your loved ones may have a negative opinion of addiction treatment.
Some of the stigma surrounding drug abuse can be corrected by developing an understanding of addiction, such as learning that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that causes lasting changes in the brain.

Explaining that addiction is a lasting brain condition, informing your family of the benefits of treatment, and asking for their support as you go to drug rehab can make a difference. Letting them know the reasons you need help for drugs and telling them what to expect will increase the chances that your family will support you.

Drug Abuse Treatment in Colorado and Arizona

If you are ready to seek treatment for drug abuse, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Colorado and Arizona. We are a luxury treatment center, and we offer a range of services, including residential treatment, outpatient rehab, detox, and partial hospitalization.

Pathfinders Recovery Center employs a leadership team with over 25 years of experience in the field, and we use evidence-based approaches for drug rehab. We are also considered a dual diagnosis center, meaning we are qualified to treat both addiction and mental illness.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

After telling your family you need help with drugs, your next concern may be determining how to pay for drug rehab.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we make the process easier by offering a free insurance verification program.

Simply fill out a form on our website, and a member of our team will be in touch with you to inform you what you can expect to pay out-of-pocket for rehab.

If you do not have insurance, our team will also work with you to create a cash payment plan.

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you recover from drug abuse.

Drug Use and Addiction Among High-Earning Professionals

Drug Rehab

In recent years, we have seen many high-earning professionals enroll in a drug rehab program.

Drug abuse affects individuals across different ages, genders, locations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Individuals on the high-earning and low-earning sides have unique risk factors.

High-earning professionals often appear to have large social circles, but many feel that these circles are shallow.

They rarely offer the same benefits as smaller circles of quality friendships do.

Feelings of isolation are common drivers of drug abuse.

At Pathfinders, we will help you overcome these feelings and build healthy, effective support systems.

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Drug Abuse Risk Factors

In this particular demographic, isolation is one of the most significant risk factors for drug abuse.

It can be challenging to juggle building quality friendships and familial relationships and to build a rewarding career.

However, isolation is not the only link to consider.

Other risk factors for high earning professionals include high-stress work environments, increased career pressures, and an overwhelming need or demand to focus on work.

But for many people, the risk for drug abuse begins much sooner than their career.

This is particularly true for alcohol and marijuana abuse.

The use of these two substances in young adulthood was associated with higher childhood family socioeconomic statuses.

Early exposure, genetic predisposition, and underlying mental health disorders are some of the most pressing risk factors in any demographic.

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Drug Abuse Costs vs. Drug Rehab Costs

It can be difficult to anticipate individual drug rehab costs.

This is particularly true in addiction treatment programs like ours because they are customized to fit the individual’s needs.

The high level of customization we offer makes it difficult to provide cookie-cutter pricing sheets.

Your drug rehab costs will vary depending on your needs, and your health insurance provider may cover the full program.

You can call our addiction counselor at any time for complimentary insurance verification.

If you do not have insurance, we can help you build a payment plan conveniently and affordably breaks down your addiction treatments.

But while individual costs are difficult to identify, we do know what substance abuse costs the nation annually.

Yearly, substance abuse costs more than $740 billion in criminal matters, lost work productivity, and healthcare.

Each of these costs can negatively affect your life, family, community, and country as a whole.

However, addiction treatment care costs are preferable to the financial, emotional, and physical costs of long-term drug abuse.

Addiction is powerful, complex, and costly in many different ways.

Our drug rehab programs can help you regain control.

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Drug Rehab for High-Earning Professionals

Drug abuse alters your brain chemistry, changing your thoughts and behaviors.

It also worsens existing mental health disorders and leads to new ones.

Each of these factors makes it difficult to quit on your own.

Additionally, stress and anxiety are some of the major drivers of drug abuse.

This is one of several reasons why high-earning professionals are at risk.

Some of these professions include:

  • Emergency room doctors
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Other medical professionals
  • Attorneys

Professionals in these categories and categories like these face additional pressures and high-stress situations that professionals in other careers are not exposed to.

These stresses and pressures may lead to recreational drug use, drug abuse as a coping mechanism, or drug abuse as a way to silence the symptoms of an underlying mental health disorder.

But because drugs impair the parts of your brain that control your motivation, memory, mood, and other important functions, they can lead to severe mental and physical health problems.

Let our drug rehab help you avoid these problems by addressing your addictions and mental health disorders early and ongoing during your recovery process.

Drug Rehab for Withdrawals

Drug withdrawal symptoms and cravings can make it difficult to end your drug addiction.

For this reason, many people relapse when they try to quit at home.

Often, drug withdrawal symptoms will lead to relapse before the drug is even out of the body.

If you recognize this challenging process, we are here to help.

Our medically-assisted drug detox, performed in our comfortable, safe facility, eliminates distractions and opportunities for relapse.

They offer 24-hour access to medical care, support, and guidance so that you can focus on your recovery.

Certain approved medications may be used to ease your withdrawal symptoms and cancel out drug cravings.

This enforcement of early sobriety increases your chances of success as you progress through your program.

Give yourself a strong start and a healthy, sober ending.

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Alcoholism Among High-Earning Professionals

Like the trends we see with certain drugs, many high-earning professionals abuse alcohol as well. This may be done to keep up in social circles, cope with mental health disorder symptoms, or ease stress.

Whatever the reason your drinking began, you are not alone.

About 18 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder.

Alcoholism has several drivers, some of which are more obvious than others.

Among them, some of the most common are genetics, stress, and depression.

This is a common and treatable addiction.

And it is one that often co-exists with drug addiction.

If you are battling multiple addictions or a dual diagnosis – addiction and a mental health disorder – we have highly specialized drug rehab programs available.

You do not have to face this alone.

Trust the dedicated experts at Pathfinders to help you through. Give yourself a strong start and a healthy, sober ending.

Drug Rehab Options

At Pathfinders, we understand that your drug rehab needs may not reflect the needs of the patients who came before you.

This is one reason why we offer a variety of customizable treatment programs and settings to choose from.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here.

Our comprehensive care settings include:

If you have a moderate to severe addiction or multiple addictions, we will likely recommend an inpatient or residential rehab stay.

Partial hospitalization programs are ideal for those with addictions and mental health disorders that are difficult to control.

And, intensive outpatient programs offer care for those with milder addictions. This program has the most flexible time requirements.

However, you do not have to worry about choosing a program on your own.

We will work with you to build the treatment plan that will benefit you the most.

Drug Use and Addiction Among High Earning Professionals Pathfinders - A man in a high-earning professional career is entering a drug rehab for his drug addiction and abuse issues, and he is speaking with a rehab facilitator to determine the appropriate, customized treatment plan for his specific needs.

 

Comprehensive Care Treatment Methods

Among the different time requirements and benefits, one thing remains the same across these settings: high-level, specialized, and customized care is key.

Our luxurious facilities offer safe spaces. Our teams provide individualized and dedicated services. Our knowledge, support, and guidance will stay with you for as long as you need them to.

We will give you everything you need for a well-balanced and focused recovery from various therapies and support groups to creative and holistic remedies.

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Pathfinders’ Drug Rehab

The friendly and knowledgeable team at each Pathfinders facility has helped countless individuals change their lives.

With incredible and comfortable facilities and compassionate and dedicated professionals, we are the preferred addiction treatment provider.

We will give you what you need through each stage of your recovery.

We will monitor and evaluate your progress to ensure that you are always moving forward.

You do not have to face this alone. And, you do not have to suffer in silence.

Call us today at 855-728-4363 to see how we can help.

Melissa Etheridge’s Son Dies from Opioids

Melissa Etheridge’s Tragic Loss

In May 2020, Melissa Etheridge and her former spouse, Julie Cypher, lost their son to opioid addiction.

Melissa Etheridge announced their loss on Twitter: “Today I joined hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction.

My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today.

He will be missed by those who loved him, his family, and friends.”

Unfortunately, Beckett Cypher was lost to an epidemic that has plagued our country for years. From 2010 to 2017, opioid-related overdose deaths rose from 21,088 to 47,600. In 2018 alone, there were 46,802.

Melissa Etheridge's Son Dies from Opioids Pathfinders - A young man is sitting with a rehab counselor discussing his opioid addiction that has, unfortunately, become an epidemic within the U.S. over recent years.

Opioid Addiction and Dependence

Each year, thousands of lives are lost to opioid addictions including those to prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetics.

Fentanyl is a common example of a dangerous synthetic opioid.

Natural opioids grow inside opium poppy plants.

The flowers are harvested to make prescription opioid pills.

Synthetics are created in a lab to mimic their effects.

They can be made with entirely artificial ingredients or a combination of natural and synthetic.

Through prescriptions, opioids are meant to relieve moderate to severe pain unresponsive to other pain relief methods.

For chronic or severe pains, over-the-counter medications may fall short.

Both prescription and illicit opioids relieve pain and promote relaxation.

For individuals with persistent pains and anxieties, these effects are appealing.

It’s important to remember that opioids are highly addictive and linked to many overdoses.

Our Pathfinders opioid addiction treatment programs can help you turn the tables on your addiction.

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Prescription Opioid Addiction

Prescription painkiller misuse is the second most common form of illicit drug use.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to avoid, and it rarely stops when the prescription does.

Most people who abuse prescription opioids will graduate to a stronger substance.

Most heroin users begin with prescription opioids that they took for a genuine medical need.

With strong and potent substances like opioids, physical tolerance can build quickly.

Once physical tolerance builds, the opioid becomes less effective.

If you have chronic pain or injuries, this tolerance can be difficult to overcome.

The pain relief and relaxation that comes with prescription opioid use initially become much more difficult to achieve again.

This is where opioid addiction begins.

We can help you end this abusive cycle before you take the next step.

Heroin addiction can be harder to overcome. But, the good news is that we can help you with this addiction too to get you to a happier, healthier life.

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Illicit Opioid Addiction

Researches have spent years studying the links between heroin and opioid abuse.

One study revealed that 86% of those surveyed had used opioid painkillers prior to using heroin. The effects that heroin creates are similar, but they are stronger, faster, and more potent. Sometimes, heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain than a prescription.

This transition is a troubling and dangerous one.

This drug alters your brain chemistry in important ways. It makes it difficult for you to quit even when you are ready and willing to.

But, we know what it takes to end opioid and heroin addictions.

We have spent many years developing the best treatment methods available.

Our methods are research-based, proven, customizable, and comprehensive.

Reasons for Prescription Opioid Use

Opioids block your body’s pain receptors. This signals to your brain that you are no longer in pain.

That is why prescription opioids are given to patients with severe and persistent pains unresponsive to normal medications.

Typically, a doctor will want to exhaust alternatives before prescribing opioids.

However, this is not always the case.

A dehydration headache or a bumped shin may be treated with a heating pad or a dose of aspirin.

However, when you need to have a tooth pulled, break one of your bones, or give birth to a child, your doctor may prescribe an opioid for the pain.

Even when they are prescribed, they are addictive and habit-forming.

With this information in mind, doctors tend to stick to short-term prescriptions. Unfortunately, this is difficult to monitor.

Common Opioids

Some of the most common opioids include:

  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone)
  • Percocet / OxyContin (Oxycodone)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine

Morphine is available through prescription and is often used in monitored medical settings like hospitals.

However, the illicit use of morphine is more common.

Heroin is another popular opioid, but it is one that has no approved medical uses. No amount of heroin use is safe.

Prescription opioid use should be limited to as little as a few weeks at a time.

Sometimes, though, chronic pains can lead to extended prescriptions, illicit purchases, drug swaps, and transitions to stronger drugs.

Overcoming opioid addiction requires dedicated treatment.

Over time, it becomes easier to manage.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Most patients who are addicted to something as strong as prescription opioids will start their treatment program with medical detox.

Opioid withdrawal symptoms scare many people off before they even begin.

However, withdrawal symptoms and overwhelming drug cravings can be eased in our opioid addiction treatment centers.

Quitting at home may lead to relapse, but here, we will eliminate temptations, distractions, and discomforts.

We will set you up for success.

There is a wide range of withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids.

Your symptoms may vary depending on specific individual factors, like the type of opioids you use, the amount, and how often.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with opioids include:

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Increased sweating and runny nose
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting

Starting with a detox will help you through some of the worst parts of the recovery process.

Enforcing early sobriety and restoring your strength and confidence will give you what you need moving forward.

Trust our dedicated medical team to place you firmly on the path to recovery.

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Opioid Addiction Treatment Settings

At Pathfinders, we offer treatment settings to meet a variety of unique addictions and needs.

We will work with you to choose the program that will benefit you the most.

Our primary treatment settings include:

Residential rehab offers the highest levels of care, support, and guidance, with 24-hour access to our dedicated team.

Our other programs offer unique benefits, high-level care, and convenient flexibility.

Each program offers proven care methods, various therapies, support groups, and so much more.

Melissa Etheridge's Son Dies from Opioids Pathfinders - A group session in a drug rehab is taking place where those suffering from opioid addiction can share their stories, give advice, share coping strategies, and create a support system for the recovery process.

Call our addiction counselor for more information. They are available 24/7, and they will work you through your options and next steps. They will also verify your insurance for you or outline alternative options.

 

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Pathfinders’ Opioid Addiction Treatment Centers

Choosing the right opioid addiction treatment center does not have to be complicated.

Help is waiting for you right here at Pathfinders.

We customize each treatment program to suit the needs of the person entering it.

We will treat you like an individual, not a number.

Trust us to walk this path with you and help you build a new life based on health and sobriety.

Leave your addiction in the past.

Call Pathfinders today, and we will walk you into your future.

What Causes Addiction?

What Is Addiction?

Across the U.S., millions of people struggle with some form of substance addiction.

If you or your loved one are affected by drug or alcohol problems, having accurate information is vitally important. This includes information on the underlying causes of serious substance problems.

Experts define addiction as a type of brain disease.

Unlike some kinds of illnesses, this disease is chronic. That means that addicted people do not have short-term problems that disappear after a brief period of time.

Instead, they have long-term problems that must be dealt with over extended periods.

Here is a closer look at the underlying reasons for addiction’s chronic nature.

What Causes Addiction Pathfinders Recovery Center - A man pours himself another glass of liquor as he continues to struggle with his addiction issues.

Reasons for Drinking or Taking Drugs

Understanding how addiction happens helps to understand why the average person starts drinking or taking drugs.

The truth is, there is no one answer to this question.

On the contrary, adults and younger individuals may have multiple reasons for becoming substance users.

Things that may motivate you or someone you know to start abusing drugs or alcohol include:

  • Pressure from a friend, someone else you know, or society in general
  • An urge to feel better
  • A desire to avoid feeling bad
  • An interest in what it feels like to be drunk or high
  • A belief that substance use will improve your performance at work
  • A belief that your substance use will help you do better in class
  • The wish to enhance athletic performance

Some people start abusing drugs or alcohol because someone else makes them. However, this is usually not the case.

Instead, most people act of their own free will. Why would they do such a thing? It is most likely because they underestimate the possibility of getting addicted or experiencing other kinds of substance abuse problems.

Peer pressure is an especially significant influence on teenagers. This makes sense for several reasons.

First, adolescence is a time of newfound freedom for most teens. That includes the freedom to start making their own decisions.

At the same time, teenagers have not fully developed their ability to think in logical terms. They also have not developed full control over their impulses.

Together, these factors help make peer influence a potent source of social pressure for teens.

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How Does Addiction Develop?

When you drink or take drugs, you change the amounts of chemicals produced inside your brain.

One of the most important changes involves a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine plays a significant role in your health. One of its biggest jobs is making it possible for you to feel pleasure. The greater the amount of this chemical in your brain, the more pleasure you feel.

Your brain can cope with changes in its dopamine levels up to a certain point.

For example, that is what happens when you eat your favorite foods. Your brain produces a bit more dopamine, then returns to normal when levels of the chemical drop back down.

However, compared to everyday activities, drugs and alcohol trigger massive increases in your dopamine levels.

If you do not use a substance repeatedly, your brain has time to process these increases.

The situation changes if you keep drinking or taking drugs. If you do this, your brain will start to treat high dopamine levels as a normal situation.

This shift in your brain’s expectations is the gateway between voluntary and involuntary substance use.

When this shift happens, you can no longer drink or get high just because you want to. Instead, you will feel a pressing need to do so.

Part of this need is physical. However, if you are affected by alcohol or drug addiction, you also have a psychological need for substance use.

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Do Specific Ingredients Make Drugs and Alcohol Addictive?

How do drugs and alcohol boost your dopamine levels and trigger addiction?

Do specific ingredients or chemicals in these substances cause the problem?

No, there is no single chemical responsible for addiction-related issues.

On a chemical level, alcohol and drugs are very different and do not share all of their ingredients.

The most important thing is what drugs and alcohol do, not how they do it.

No matter how these substances reach your brain, they all have the same basic effect on dopamine output.

Every year, researchers learn more and more about the details of how addictive substances work.

The main point is that involvement in drug or alcohol abuse can lead to major, lasting problems.

Are You At-Risk for Substance Use Problems?

Research shows that not everyone has the same chance of becoming addicted.

A range of known factors can increase your risks. These factors include:

  • The presence of depression or other mental illnesses
  • An unstable environment at home
  • Starting to use drugs or alcohol when you are a child or adolescent
  • Having a family history of serious substance problems
  • Difficulties at work or in the classroom
  • Growing up in places heavily affected by poverty
  • Living in places where drug or alcohol use is widely accepted
  • A lack of parental oversight while growing up
  • Poor socialization skills
  • Being friends with people who accept substance use as the norm
  • The method you use to take a drug (i.e., injecting a drug rather than snorting it)

The single most significant factor is your family background. In fact, more than half of your risk can come from genetic influences.

It is important to note that having risks for substance problems does not mean you will get addicted. However, it does mean that your odds of experiencing problems are generally higher.

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Substance Use Problems and Mental Illness

Addiction and mental illness are closely linked to health issues.

Research clearly shows that large numbers of people with substance problems have a mental illness.

It also shows that the same connection works in reverse. In other words, if you have a mental illness, you have higher chances of developing a substance use disorder.

When they affect you at the same time, addiction and mental illness are known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.

Dual diagnosis is a serious concern for a couple of reasons. The condition can intensify your drug or alcohol problems. Its presence can also heighten your mental health problems.

What Causes Addiction Pathfinders Recovery Center - A woman is engaging in an individual therapy session to determine any underlying mental health disorders that have contributed in one way or another to her addiction problems.

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Treating the Causes of Addiction

As we have seen, substance problems are a major issue in America.

Fortunately, you can get treatment for these problems.

Modern substance rehab is not based on guessing or wishful thinking. Instead, all quality addiction treatment relies on proven techniques backed by solid evidence.

For one reason or another, a large percentage of people with serious substance problems never seek professional help. This means they never take full advantage of the resources available to them.

Just by actively searching for a treatment program, you put yourself on the road to abstinence and a substance-free lifestyle.

Today, there are treatments for every form of addiction.

Whether you are struggling with alcohol or drugs, you have options that will help you recover.

You also have workable options for recovering from dual diagnosis.

Common treatments for these problems include a variety of medications. They also have numerous types of behavioral psychotherapy.

When you seek out treatment, your doctor will devise a plan suited to your specific needs.

Depending on your situation, your plan may include medication, psychotherapy, or both of these options.

Your circumstances will also determine whether you enroll in an outpatient or inpatient program. Both types of programs produce positive results for many people who enter them.

Need more information on the causes and treatment of alcohol and drug addiction? Just contact the professionals at Pathfinders.

Our in-house specialists will answer any questions you may have.

We will also direct you to substance treatment programs that fit your short- and long-term recovery requirements.

Addiction Aftercare

What is Addiction Aftercare?

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

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

Long-term sobriety requires a long-term commitment.

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

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

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

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

Addiction Treatment and Addiction Aftercare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Why is Addiction Aftercare is Often Necessary?

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

Addiction is chronic the same way diabetes is.

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

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

There is no quick fix or cure.

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

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

This is the reason why addiction aftercare was created.

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

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

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

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

 

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Addiction Aftercare vs. Other Addiction Treatment Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Addiction Aftercare Settings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Recovery Groups

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Problems After Addiction Treatment

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

Addictions often come with ongoing, systemic issues.

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

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

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

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

Addiction aftercare can help.

 

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Treatment Methods Used in Addiction Aftercare

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

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

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

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

We are here to fill in the gaps.

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

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

Paying for Addiction Aftercare

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

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

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

They are always available to help.

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

 

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Pathfinders’ Addiction Aftercare

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

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

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

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

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

How to Stage an Intervention

Seeking Help for a Loved One

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

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

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

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The Toll of Addiction

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

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

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

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

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What is Intervention

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

Let us Define Intervention

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

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

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

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

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

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

how to stage an intervention Pathfinders -

Early Intervention:

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

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

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

Crisis Intervention:

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

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

How to Stage an Intervention

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

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

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

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

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Behavior Intervention Plans

How to do an Intervention for a Drug Addict

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

1 – Identify the Need for an Intervention

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

2 – Retain a Certified Interventionist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 – Have a Plan in Place

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

5 – Script the Intervention

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

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

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How to do an Intervention for an Alcoholic

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

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Final Thoughts on How to Stage an Intervention

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

How Addictive is Kratom? This is What You Should Understand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do People Use Kratom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Addictive Is Kratom?

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

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

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

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

Some symptoms of kratom withdrawal include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Makes Kratom Addictive?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can You Overdose on Kratom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How Many People Use Kratom?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Signs of Kratom Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

One should also look out for irregular sleep patterns.

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

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

How Is Kratom Addiction Treated?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Addiction Happens

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’d be happy to help.

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

Learn the Most Addictive Drugs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Heroin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2. Cocaine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Nicotine

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

A significant number of teenagers and adults smoke these products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4. Alcohol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Methamphetamine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6. Barbiturates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Methadone

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

This drug has been highly effective in treating extreme pain.

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

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

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

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

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

8. Cannabis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Most Addictive Drugs Have Several Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug users trying to reform often face extreme withdrawal symptoms.

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

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

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

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

Do you need an addiction counselor?

Contact us today.

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