National Recovery Month National Recovery Month 2017

In an effort to raise awareness surrounding addiction and recovery, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has made September National Recovery Month. Every September, SAMSHA assigns a theme to the campaign and promotes their mission in communities across the country in an attempt to bring more understanding and erase the stigma surrounding addiction.

National Recovery Month 2017

This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities”. The basis around this theme is uniting families and communities together to fight addiction and support recovery. SAMSHA has chosen to focus on uniting families and communities in the wake of the opioid epidemic that has been sweeping across the nation in previous years. National Recovery Month 2017 Strengthen Families And Communities

With the opioid epidemic beginning largely with prescription opioids, SAMSHA is urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of medications, including prescription opioids, and educate families on keeping their prescription medications locked up and out of reach to children. For more information on this year’s National Recovery Month theme, visit

What’s New This Year?

While drug addiction is not a new ailment to our country, we have seen some recent changes in trends across the United States. With a growing number of individuals affected by the opioid epidemic, experts have noticed increasing trends in addiction among rural and non-city residents. This is a newer trend that makes it more difficult to detect and track the distribution and sale of the drug. Many rural areas have far fewer people per square mile than cities do, leaving miles of un-patrolled roads and communities open for trafficking.

Previously, anti-drug campaigns were centered around inner-city schools, community centers, churches, and other city-wide organizations. However with the increase in addiction rates in rural communities, National Recovery Month is urging communities to work together in fighting the opioid epidemic, among other addictions, as it potentially creeps into their communities and schools.

Education is one of the best methods for fighting opioid addiction. Beginning drug education with kids, even at a young age, can be key to helping them make the right decisions down the road. However, kids are not the only ones who can benefit from drug education. Many grown adults are unaware of the dangers that some unsuspecting drugs, such as prescription medications, can carry with them. When communities are educated on drug addiction, they are better equipped to handle situations like the opioid epidemic.

Be Socially Inclusive

SAMSHA is fighting hard to remove the stigma associated with drug addiction and abuse. For this year’s National Recovery Month, SAMSHA challenges communities to be socially inclusive in their efforts to educate residents on the dangers of drug use, as well as celebrate those who have made it to recovery.

SAMSHA takes the time to highlight individuals who may suffer from mental illness, urging communities to involve them in their fight against drug addiction. Providing support and education to individuals suffering from mental illness could help prevent them from reaching for drugs in the future, or encourage them to reach out if they already struggle with a drug addiction. Did you know: One study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that over 50% of individuals suffering from a mental illness also struggle with a substance abuse problem? National Recovery Month 2017 50% Of Individuals Suffering

Being socially inclusive also includes supporting individuals who are currently struggling with a substance abuse issue, and celebrating with those who are in recovery. Instead of shielding children from the facts and faces of drug abuse, it is important to include everyone in educational efforts throughout the community. Even allowing an individual who has previously struggled with drug addiction to be a part of the education process can be immensely beneficial, both for that individual and for the community they are educating.

Getting Everyone Involved

It is important to put a face to addiction, especially in communities that think “that never happens here”. Often times residents are shocked to learn that it does happen here, and it happens to people just like you and I. Removing the stigma associated with drug addiction can help bring people forward to tell their stories share in their recovery success.

Community organizations can help too. Schools are a great place for drug education to begin, but it doesn’t have to stay there. Fire departments, police departments, local churches, food banks, homeless shelters, and even book clubs and country clubs can join in on the mission. Addiction affects everyone, not just the shadowy figures depicted in movies. Supporting drug education in your area means you are supporting the entire community, not just a select group of people. Everyone has a chance to get involved and make a difference!

Get Help Today

Have you suffered from an addiction in your past? Do you have a loved one that is suffering from addiction? We are here to support you, your loved ones, and your community, and want to answer any questions you may have about addiction or treatment. Our goal is to get clients set up with the professional help and support they need to treat their addiction.

Our addiction treatment specialists are specifically trained to help you find treatment that fits your needs or the needs of your loved one and their addiction. Our addiction treatment specialists are available around the clock, and your call is always confidential. Give us a call today and let us help you.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us now!

For More Information On “National Recovery Month” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



American Psychiatric Association – Implementing Dual Diagnosis Services for Clients With Severe Mental Illness

What Is A Relapse Prevention Plan? What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_

Entering treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can be one of the best choices you make in your life. Once you enter the program, you have an intense road of therapy, counseling, medication, and other possible treatment methods to help you get better. But what happens once you complete treatment, and get back to your life?

Will you relapse, or fall victim to addiction again? It’s definitely a possibility. Some may see relapse as a failure, but that is simply not the case. If you look at recovery as a spectrum, then you understand that in your newfound sobriety there may be a few falls from grace, but these do not define your progress.

It’s how you handle these lapses in your recovery goals that will determine the course of your recovery journey. When you face the triggers of addiction that pull you, will you have the stamina to push them away, to step aside? You will if you have a solid relapse prevention plan.

Relapse prevention begins in treatment. In fact, relapse prevention is treatment—all of your progress in a drug rehab center works toward preventing future relapse.

Why Do People Relapse? What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ Handle These Lapses In YourAs the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “the chronic nature of the disease [addiction] means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely.” However, contrary to what you may have heard or read, relapse is not a sign of treatment or recovery failure.

It’s not surprising to us when someone with other major illnesses relapse. You wouldn’t question someone having to re-enter treatment for diabetes. Addiction is a chronic illness as well. Though it is possible to effectively treat and cure addiction, relapse is simply part of the course.

“For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried,” the NIDA explains.

Does Relapse Mean You Have To Go Back To Rehab?

Experiencing a relapse from sobriety is not a guarantee that you have to go back to rehab. Again, it’s all about how you handle that relapse. Life is full of substance abuse triggers. In treatment, you learn how to handle them.

When you begin going through your relapse, it’s important to call on principles, skills, and thought management processes learned during treatment. For instance, in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you may have learned to assess a situation, identify troubling thoughts and behaviors, and confront those thoughts and behaviors through logical means.

This sort of rationale can help immensely during a relapse, but sometimes the old pull of addiction is simply too strong, or your grasp on treatment principles isn’t strong enough yet. Admitting that you need some more time in treatment to gain a stronger hold on treatment principles doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t even mean you aren’t well.

It simply means you are still working on your recovery goals. At the end of the day, the important thing is that you’re making strides to getting well. At, we recognize that relapse is not just an unfortunate possibility, but part of your recovery and help you to work through it.

How To Design A Relapse Prevention Plan

Each person will deal with relapse in his or her own way. Prevention plans for relapse are as unique as the individuals who will use them. Unfortunately, relapse is a side effect that tends to catch you off guard. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan in place for managing relapse when it occurs, and preferably before leaving treatment.

This can be as comprehensive as a written step-by-step guide to managing triggers and emotions or thoughts that lead to relapse, or as simple as giving voice to this plan during counseling or therapy. What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ At The End Of The Day

The best way to design a prevention plan is to take a look at some key components that lead to relapse, and measures that will help prevent it, such as:

  • Signs of relapse: there are many things that trigger abuse, but each is specific to the individual. For some, it may be past trauma and feelings associated with it. Whatever your triggers are, you have to recognize them and know how to manage them.
  • Past relapses: if you’ve been through a relapse before, you may have the advantage of knowing how and when they may happen, which can help you in handling them.
  • Who gives you support: whether this is family, friends, or a new support group you enter, such as a 12-step support group, having people who are behind you in your efforts can make a vast difference in handling relapse.
  • Designing a life that is free from addiction: this may seem obvious, but it’s important to fill your schedule with healthy, fulfilling activities that help relieve and manage stress which often leads to relapse.

Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be more likely to relapse. It just makes you more prepared in case it happens, helping you to stay the path of sobriety.

The Importance Of Addiction Recovery

How important is recovery? If you are falling into relapse, or have fallen before, you may be wondering just how important addiction treatment is to a healthy life. The NIDA reports that people who get into treatment and successfully complete treatment programs see less criminal activity, tend to stop substance abuse, and see better social and personal functioning overall.

Addiction can lead to a myriad of consequences in your life, especially for your health. Depending on the substance of abuse, long-term substance abuse can result in troubles with a number of organs such as the heart, liver, brain, lungs, and more. Prolonged abuse can also contribute to the development of several types of cancer. What is a Relapse Prevention Plan_ People Who Get Into Treatment

If the damage to your health wasn’t enough, addiction changes you as a person. Once you become addicted, life becomes all about seeking the substance of choice. This can lead to some risky behavior and decisions.

No one casually uses a drug thinking addiction will be the result, or crime, or even contracting infectious or sexually transmitted diseases. But these are all possible consequences of abusing substances. Even with relapse, treatment and subsequent sobriety are far better options.

Getting Help With Your Relapse Prevention Plan

Relapse is not a step back in the path to sobriety, but simply another step along the way. You don’t have to be ashamed or discouraged if you’re experiencing relapse. Achieving sobriety long enough to relapse is a victory all its own.

But if you are finding it difficult to overcome a relapse, or you want to get back into treatment to steer yourself back in the right direction, we can help. Contact us today at to learn more about relapse, treatment options, and the best drug rehab centers available.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Is A Relapse Prevention Plan?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



American Psychological Association—Preventing Relapse
National Institute On Drug Abuse—What Is Relapse?
Psychology Today—Why Relapse Isn’t A Sign Of Failure

What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal? What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawals are painful and can feel like a bad case of the flu. Such withdrawals can be worse based on the amount of a drug that a person is using and how long they have been using the drug for. Drug withdrawals are a period of time when your body is not only craving a drug, but also trying to push the last of it out; this is also known as the detoxification period. Detoxing from heroin is serious and without help can lead to relapse and/or overdose.

If you abuse drugs, then you might have experienced withdrawals—the fact is, drug abuse and withdrawals pretty much go hand in hand. Some of the drugs well known for their withdrawal symptoms are alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Withdrawals can be anything from a headache to nausea or diarrhea. Heroin can be dangerous; because people suffering from an addiction will sometimes do things, or commit crimes that seem out of character—just to get the drug. What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Opium Plant

It isn’t only dangerous in the way of addiction, but also because of the withdrawals that come with quitting, stopping, or running out of the “fix.” During a withdrawal period, a person might seem irritable, short tempered, and dangerously hostile—this is pretty normal behavior for a person experiencing withdrawal from a drug.

What Is Heroin And How Can It Be Used?

Heroin is an extremely potent and addictive drug made from Morphine which is gathered from the Asian opium plant. In its purest form, heroin is a white or brown chalky substance which can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Heroin also comes in the form of a black substance which is usually injected—after it has been diluted with water or another fluid. A couple of other lesser known ways to use heroin is by suppository, or transdermal patch.

Heroin abuse often leads to addiction, and sometimes overdose and death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 13,000 people died from heroin in 2015—which was a 20.6 percent increase from the previous year. Before they even have a chance to reconsider or regret a decision, heroin has people hooked both mentally and physically.

How Does Heroin Affect The Brain?

Most drugs will affect the user more than just physically, but also mentally—mental disorders and other serious conditions can arise from prolonged use of drugs like heroin. How does heroin affect the brain? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Heroin enters the brain rapidly and changes back into morphine. It binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioid receptors are also located in the brainstem, which controls important processes, such as blood pressure, arousal, and breathing.” What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Heroin and Brain

Once a person’s brain has become used to having the substance around, they are more likely to get addicted to the drug, and then without it, they don’t feel like they can function normally. A heroin high can last for up to 4 to 6 hours, and a person might use heroin anywhere from 2 to 4 times per day in order to keep from experiencing withdrawals.

High From Heroin—Then Withdrawal

Once heroin has hijacked the opioid receptors in the brain, a person experiences the high from the drug—which is likely to be a numbing euphoria, and is often characterized at first by a tingling feeling. This feeling is followed by a clouded mental state, dry mouth, and feeling of heavy extremities. After the initial high, a person will normally slip or “nod” in and out of consciousness and partial consciousness. What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Heroin High

As a person becomes more comfortable using heroin, the more of the drug they will need to use to achieve the same buzz as before. Then as heroin is removed or taken away, a person is likely to experience the withdrawals—which can be one of the largest factors as to why a person doesn’t seek help. They might fight it, or put off quitting drug use altogether. Heroin withdrawal “symptoms usually start within 12 hours of last usage and within 30 hours of last methadone exposure” (U.S. Library of Medicine).

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms from most drugs start out mild to moderate and even though they typically don’t start for an average of 8 hours, with heroin, they can feel sick even sooner. “With physical dependence, the body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. Withdrawal may occur within a few hours after the last time the drug is taken” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

There are different stages of opiate withdrawal, each can depend on how long a person used and how much they used as well as other factors. Heroin and other opioid withdrawals can feel like a bad case of the flu, and the short-term and long-term symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:


  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning


How Long Do Heroin Withdrawals Last?

The heroin withdrawal timeline will be longer or shorter based on the amount or length that a person repeatedly used the drug. Heroin is considered a short-acting opioid and the first withdrawal symptoms will show up 8 to 24 hours after last use and can last for 4 to10 days (this is frequently considered to be the worst of the withdrawal period). When a person tries to quit cold turkey, the symptoms can last up to like two weeks. Long-acting opioids like methadone begins 12 to 48 hours after use and can last for 10 to 20 days (National Center for Biotechnology Information – NCBI).

Though they last significantly longer, heroin withdrawals will peak (or be most intense) around 2 days since last use. This period of withdrawals is also known as detoxification.

Detoxification From Heroin

After a person decides to stop using heroin, the next step will be enduring the detoxification period. Detoxification is essentially the act of cleaning a drug out of the system. The withdrawal process is the body’s natural reaction to a system’s detox. It’s advised to take on a clean food regimen, along with lots of fluids and vitamins C and B.

As far as the professionals are concerned, “patients should drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day during withdrawal to replace fluids lost through perspiration and diarrhea.” (NCBI). Quitting heroin and facing withdrawals can be pretty terrifying and it’s not going to be easy. Let’s face it, withdrawals can be painful and unbearable, but the end result of recovery and sobriety will be worth it.

Managing Opiate And Heroin Withdrawal

Possibly one of the most important things to remember about detoxing is that professional treatment, therapy, or guidance is essential to a successful early stage of recovery. Trying to self medicate or manage your own opiate withdrawals can lead to neural damage, or even more intense withdrawals—which can lead to a relapse or substitution of another drug. Heroin withdrawals are serious and must be treated as such…

For instance, along with lots of fluids and a healthy diet, in some cases there was a need for medicine to help deal with the withdrawals from heroin; this is also known as a medication-assisted therapy. Some of the medications used for opiate treatment can include clonidine or opioid medications such as buprenorphine, methadone or codeine phosphate. There are also other over the counter medicines like ibuprofen, aspirin, pepto bismol (for nausea), and others that can be purchased at a reasonable price.

Sometimes, a person must go through a strict detoxification before starting a medication, or behavioral therapy, and these are by no means the end all for addiction—they are simply the beginning. Recovery can sometimes need daily maintenance to be successful.

Addictive Opioids Besides Heroin

Heroin is not the only opioid drug that can cause serious withdrawals. Even prescription opioid drugs can lead to an addiction and eventually painful withdrawals. “In 2014 in the US, about 435,000 people used heroin. In the same year, about 4.3 million people were nonmedical users of narcotic pain relievers. This means they were taking narcotics that were not prescribed to them. Narcotic pain relievers include:

How To Get Help For A Heroin And Other Opioid Addiction

Opiate addictions can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, and some are worse than others, but the fact of the matter is that all of them can cause serious withdrawals and can even lead to an untimely death. If you’re worried about a person you love and their drug use, or maybe your own drug use has gotten out of control; you might need help. We have a solution and can help you find the treatment you need—so don’t give up. Contact Us today to get the tools for a successful recovery. Heroin addiction kills thousands of people per year—you don’t have to be one of them.

For more information on freebase cocaine, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Highway Safety Administration – Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheets
National Institute on Drug Abuse – What are the long-term effects of heroin use?
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Heroin
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
U.S. National Library of Medicine – Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal

How Much Does a Drug and/or Alcohol Intervention Cost? How Much Does an Intervention Cost_

If you choose to use a professional interventionist drug and/or alcohol interventions start around $1,800 and cost upwards of $10,000. However, in certain situations sliding fee or financing options may exist. While it might be tempting to consider a lower-priced option, this service could save your loved one’s life.

If you have a loved one suffering from a substance use disorder, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of an intervention. Despite this, you may not know exactly what this entails. You likely have many questions, not least of which is—how much does it cost?

What Is A Drug Or Alcohol Intervention?

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) tells us that “The goal of intervention is to present the alcohol or drug user with a structured opportunity to accept help and to make changes before things get even worse.” During an intervention, a group of people gather together to outline the negative consequences of addiction. These individuals most often are friends, family, and even co-workers or the individual’s religious leader. How Much Does an Intervention Cost_Goal

Who Leads A Drug Or Alcohol Intervention?

Contrary to what some individuals may think, it is not always best for an intervention to be independently planned or led by the substance abuser’s loved ones. In fact, most groups who specialize in addiction medicine, including NCADD, recommend this responsibility be left to a professional. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence tells us that the following professionals may lead an intervention

  • An alcohol and addictions counselor
  • Interventionist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker

In addition, certain doctors or clergy may take on these responsibilities. While these individuals may offer intervention services, an individual who is trained as a professional interventionist has greater training and knowledge to do so.

What Does An Interventionist Do?

In order to understand the price of these services, it is important to fully grasp what these individuals do. For an addicted individual, it can be difficult to reason or make sound judgements due to the way the substance abuse affects a person’s brain. A professional keenly understands this and is specifically trained in the best ways to communicate important information to your loved one. You’re not just paying for their credentials, you’re paying for their expertise, and the way in which they execute the intervention. How Much Does an Intervention Cost_Interventionists

The benefit of an interventionist goes two ways. Should tensions arise, the interventionist works to smooth out these feelings while effectively communicating the goals of the intervention. Their arsenal of interpersonal skills will help you too. The interventionist becomes a bridge between you and your loved one. This aids you in more effectively communicating your worries and the hope for a better future which you hold for your loved one. As the end goal of an intervention is treatment, an interventionist should also possess a keen understanding of effective treatment options to help you develop a plan.

What Determines The Price Of An Intervention?

The price of an intervention is variable and based on several factors, including:

  • The intensity of drug abuse (i.e. is it intermittent abuse or full-fledged addiction)
  • Who performs it (their profession, credentials, etc.)
  • How long this individual spends planning and preparing for it
  • The type of intervention
  • How long the actual intervention takes
  • Any other associated costs
  • If you want them to take your loved on to the treatment facility

Prior to beginning services, an interventionist should thoroughly assess your situation so that they can give you an estimate of the cost ahead of time.

How Much Does A Brief Intervention Cost?

Just as treatment is based on a person’s particular needs, so is an intervention. Perhaps your loved one isn’t yet addicted to drugs or alcohol; however, they are starting to exhibit some behaviors which worry you. Preventative measures are one of the most powerful tools for protecting your loved one from addiction. In these cases, a brief intervention may be sufficient for your needs.

This evidence-based tactic “is not intended to treat people with serious substance dependence, but rather to treat problematic or risky substance use, according to SAMHSA who continues to say that “In primary care settings, brief interventions last from 5 minutes of brief advice to 15-30 minutes of brief counseling.” In these cases, if charged only for office hours, a brief intervention is on the lower end of the cost spectrum.

How Much Does An Intervention Cost?

If you think your loved one’s needs go beyond the needs of a brief intervention, such as in the case of addiction, we strongly suggest a professional interventionist. While it is true that this is the most expensive option, it is the option which most typically offers you the highest chance at optimal results.

Not every city offers professional intervention services. In certain cases, the interventionist may have to travel to you and stay the night. While some services include these associated costs, others charge extra for transportation and lodging, so make sure you inquire beforehand. This is especially true if the individual has to fly and purchase airfare.

In order for an intervention to be successful, it needs to be thorough both in the preparation and execution. To do this, many interventions occur over two days—the first being a family consultation and the second the actual intervention. In some cases, the interventionist may need to stay several days, so additional lodging fees may be required.

Before the process begins, a non-refundable deposit is usually required. This typically takes the form of a certified check, credit card, or money order. While some basic interventions cost $1,800-$2,000 (before airfare and lodging), many intervention services charge between $3,500 and $10,000. Don’t forget—these costs do not include treatment and insurance does not usually cover these fees. But some services do offer sliding fee or financing options, so make sure to look into these before you make your final decision. Additionally, if you can’t afford it, perhaps a close loved one can help you. Other options include personal loans. How Much Does an Intervention Cost_Cost

Lastly, should you wish, many interventionists will actually accompany your loved one to treatment. Again, transportation costs may apply (including, if applicable, a plane ticket for your loved one), as well as an additional fee for this service. We found this fee to be around $400. Each service is different, so you should always double check prices against the services offered before you commit to anything.

Are There Cheaper Interventions?

Again, other professionals may offer intervention services; however, you must consider your loved one’s situation and the desired outcome. In limited instances, such as those involving clergy-led interventions, the intervention may be free. However, in this case free is relative—if the intervention doesn’t work and the individual returns to substance abuse, the cost could in fact be great. In these cases, these individuals may have little to no training in the critical components of an effective intervention.

Some of the other aforementioned individuals may be cheaper, charging only their regular office hour fees with or without additional charges. However, the quality of care may not be as extensive as your situation demands. Not all of these individuals are adept at offering in-depth services. Because of this, the intervention may not be as effective. Getting a person into treatment as soon as possible is essential.

Putting The Cost In Perspective

A substance use disorder becomes costly with prolonged use. This financial burden extends past the amount of the substance itself, and for many, over time, this lifestyle carries a hefty price tag. As time passes, if left untreated, a substance use disorder can amass not just financial hardships, but physical, mental, and emotional ones. If your loved one has an addiction you’ve likely witnessed this within not only their life, but yours. While an intervention may seem costly now, over time, the combined costs of continued substance abuse may be many times greater.

While these costs may seem overwhelming, consider the fact it is an investment in your loved one’s future, sobriety, and better health.

We Can Support You In Getting Your Loved One The Help They Need

It can be very intimidating to consider all your options when you’re looking to get a loved one help, especially when you’re considering your finances. understands this and wants to work with you to develop a plan that best fits your financial needs, while ensuring your loved one gets exceptional care. We can help you find an inpatient drug rehab program which will provide the best measure of individualized treatment for your loved one. Contact us now.

For more information on intervention and what it entails, call now!

For More Information Related to “How Much Does a Drug and/or Alcohol Intervention Cost?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From




National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence — Intervention – Tips And Guidelines
SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions — SBIRT: Brief Intervention

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab?

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab_

Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from drug and alcohol overdose–and a tiny percent of people suffering from an addiction ever get the treatment they need and deserve. Those suffering from an addiction might not admit that there is a problem in the first place, because their brain tells them that they are okay as long as they aren’t having withdrawals. Convincing your loved one that they have a problem is the first step, and then you can locate a rehab center. With approximately 15,000 rehab centers in the United States, there is one that’s right for you and your family…

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-03

Addiction can be terrifying to watch a loved one deal with, and you might not know how to help them get out of it. You certainly don’t want to offend anyone by telling them that they have a drug problem, but you also don’t want to make them believe that there isn’t a problem either. It can be a real catch twenty-two trying to get a person you care about into rehab. The truth is, when someone is in the grips of an addiction, they can feel like the whole world is against them–so it’s important to remember that they are powerless over a substance, but they are still a person. Also remember that they might not be able to singlehandedly stop using drugs.

Once they are free from that bondage of addiction, they will thank you for never leaving their side and for guiding them towards the road to recovery.

Remember That Addiction Is A Disease

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that addiction is a disease, and that when our loved ones are suffering from it, they are not in control. This happens because “repeated drug use changes the brain, including parts of the brain that give a person self-control,” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Try to keep this in mind if you are considering approaching someone about rehab–they will invariably lie about the problem at first, but if you are persistent, caring, and approach them as a friend and not a judge, they might just listen to you.

The first step of recovery is admitting that there is a problem, so if you can softly convince your loved one that they might have a problem–your chances of getting them into a rehab program will be better.

How Do I Know If My Loved One Has A Substance Abuse Problem?

You would think that if someone has a problem–they will automatically seek help for it. This is usually not the case with a person dealing with substance dependence, because in their mind they’re weak which can cause shame or guilt.. If they still do not admit that they have a problem–sometimes you just have to wait, but don’t ever give up on them; be persistent.

First things first, you must find out if your friend has a substance abuse problem (or addiction). Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your loved one, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than intended?
  • Do they want to cut down or stop using the drug but can’t?
  • Do they spend a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the drug?
  • Do they have cravings and urges to use the drug?
  • Are they unable to manage responsibilities at work, home, or school because of drug use?
  • Do they continue to use a drug, even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Do they give up important social, recreational, or work-related activities because of drug use?
  • Do they use drugs again and again, even when it puts them in danger?
  • Do they continue to use, even while knowing that a physical or mental problem could have been caused or made worse by the drug?
  • Do they take more of the drug to get the wanted effect?
  • Have they developed withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the drug? (Some withdrawal symptoms can be obvious, but others can be more subtle—like irritability or nervousness.)

So What If My Loved One Doesn’t Want To Admit A Problem?

It’s hard for anyone to admit a weakness, and we’re all sensitive to criticism. So what happens if our loved one simply does not budge, and stands firm that there is no drug problem? It is best to approach a person suffering an addiction with understanding and not do it forcibly. One step might be to have a drug intervention with your loved one to show them that you “love them, but hate their addiction.”

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-05

How To Successfully Complete An Intervention

Interventions can show a person suffering from an addiction that a lot of people are worried about them, and boost their self worth. Drug interventions can also give family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, and even the family doctor an opportunity to remind a person (who’s sick with addiction) what they used to be like. Keep in mind that they are suffering from a mental disorder. You may even want to have a group meeting before intervening–to go over some ground rules.

Be sure to leave all of your judgement at the door, because our friend is probably insecure and sensitive–you don’t want to spark any triggers and cause them to use drugs to cope.

How Do I Get My Loved One Into Rehab-04

A person suffering from addiction can feel pretty hopeless, and to them, nobody understands what they are going through. Sometimes having another former drug user there can be helpful, and can let your loved one know that there is hope for them. The person you choose should ultimately be someone who has successfully completed rehab (and is currently in recovery); maybe they’re a family member, or someone else that your loved one looks up to. Now that you have instilled a support system, the next step is to provide them with information about recovery, and to make them feel safe and fully supported.

You Have Planted The Seed, And Your Loved One Is Ready For Rehab… Now What?

If you have successfully helped your loved one to better see their problem with drugs, it is important to come up with a game plan. A good plan involves research and weighing out the options. Here’s a list of things (from the National Institute on Drug Abuse) to remember when you are considering drug treatment:

Drug addiction can be treated, but it’s not simple. Addiction treatment must help the person do the following:

  • Stop using drugs
  • Stay drug-free
  • Be productive in the family, at work, and in society

Successful treatment has several steps:

Medications can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.

Behavioral therapies can help patients:

  • Modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
  • Increase healthy life skills
  • Persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication

People within the criminal justice system may need additional treatment services to treat drug use disorders effectively. However, many offenders don’t have access to the types of services they need.

Isn’t Rehab Expensive?

Paying for Drug Rehab can seem overwhelming, and most people don’t have a pile of extra money laying around. The plus side? A lot of health insurance plans offer behavioral health treatment (for drug and alcohol addiction). Another option is to apply for a government grant to fund your treatment. “SAMHSA makes grant funds available through the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Center for Mental Health Services,” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

Because of the cost of professional treatment, a lot of people end up trying to self medicate–which can be dangerous and often lead to relapse and continued drug use.

We’re Ready For Drug Treatment And Rehab!

Alright so you (and your loved one) have decided that rehab is the right choice. This was not an easy choice to make, but it just might save a life–both physically and mentally. Finding the right treatment facility can be just as difficult–but don’t sweat it. With approximately 15,000 drug treatment facilities nationwide, there’s a good chance that you have an appropriate and affordable option nearby.

You probably have more questions about locating a rehab center, and you may even still have difficulty convincing a loved one that they need treatment. With questions about locating a rehab center, or how to get your loved one into rehab–contact us at Rehab is always a safer bet than living with an addiction… or worse, dying with an addiction.

If you or a loved one is battling heroin or an opioid addiction, contact us now!


For More Information Related to ” How Do I Get My Loved One Into Drug Rehab?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse – What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Grants

Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose_

Valium is the most popular brand-name version of diazepam, which is a benzodiazepine belonging to the central nervous system (CNS) group of depressants. CNS depressants slow the central nervous system. Diazepam, whether in a generic benzodiazepine form, or as any number of other brand-name alternatives, is available in the United States only via prescription. This drug is used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, vertigo, multiple sclerosis, alcohol withdrawal, muscle spasms, sleep problems, compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, panic attacks, and seizures.

Valium is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant within the benzodiazepine class of drugs and is most commonly used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. It is often used in combination with other drugs, and is rarely used as a sole treatment modality for mental illness diagnoses, according to Once touted as a wonder drug, Valium can be highly addictive and cause overdose. It is one of the most abused prescription drugs in many countries, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

What Is The Prevalence Of This Drug?

The NEJM article describes the “enormous popularity of Miltown (meprobamate) in the 1950s, of Librium (chlordiazepoxide) and Valium (diazepam) in the 1960s and early 1970s, and of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac (fluoxetine) today.” During Valium’s peak prescription period of the 1960s and 1970s, “more than 100 million prescriptions for (psychotropic drugs) were filled annually, and about 15 percent of the population reported having used one of them during the preceding year.”

A 2015 JAMA Psychiatry article reported that more than 5 percent of Americans aged 18 to 80 had used Valium or other benzodiazepines. Valium use was twice as likely to occur in females, with persistent and long-term use of Valium also more common among older adults; abuse and addiction was more acute among younger users.

What Are The Signs Of Abuse

Misuse of Valium was brought into the mainstream during the 1960s, popularized by the Rolling Stones’ 1966 song “Mother’s Little Helper,” in which Valium was referred to by the same name. Signs of misuse and abuse of Valium include the persistent presence of symptoms common among Valium users, including:

  • Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose_Rolling StonesPersistent drowsiness
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and headaches
  • Anxiety and fatigue
  • Depression and irritability
  • Insomnia, nightmares, and other sleeping problems
  • Impaired judgment and memory problems
  • Stomach problems
  • Confusion and forgetfulness
  • Blood in stool or urine
  • Seizures and hallucinations
  • Dry mouth or excessive saliva
  • Muscle control problems
  • Constipation
  • Speech and vision problems

Other serious problems that can develop with persistent Valium use, and especially with misuse, are thoughts of suicide, liver problems (including jaundice), bladder problems (incontinence or increased frequency), and changes in sex drive.

Addictive behaviors may also develop and could be seen in a person becoming obsessed with obtaining Valium; stealing prescription drugs from friends and family members; losing interest in friends, family and hobbies; and visiting more than one doctor and receiving multiple prescriptions (or even forging prescriptions).

Are There Additional Symptoms In Teens?

Aside from physical manifestations, teenagers may exhibit additional symptoms, usually social in nature, like a change in friends, trouble at school, increased use of other substances (including alcohol and tobacco), and self-harming behaviors like cutting.

Most teens admit that the primary source of their drug supply is the home—typically in the form of prescription drugs such as Valium. In 2013, for instance, more than 21 percent of high school seniors admitted to non-medical use of a prescription drug in their lifetimes, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. Many teens dangerously believe prescription drugs are safer than street drugs.

Purchasing diazepam and Valium—as well as other drugs such as Xanax—online is also notoriously easy. A simple search yields hundreds of sites worldwide where drugs that typically require a prescription are available to buyers of all ages.

What Are The Symptoms of Overdose?

Signs of Valium or diazepam overdose (OD) may mimic misuse/abuse signs, and generally involve the persistent or constant presence of typical Valium-use symptoms according to MedlinePlus, or the increased severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Lips and nails turning blue or swelling
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Stupor, decreased alertness, and drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat
  • Slow, labored, or cessation of breathing
  • Increased or severe confusion, depression, and dizziness
  • Extreme excitability and agitation
  • Constant hiccups and trouble swallowing
  • Rapid eye movement, especially side to side
  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue or excessive and persistent tiredness
  • Muscle control problems, spasms, tremors, or uncoordinated movements
  • Rashes

If you witness a Valium overdose (or any type of drug overdose), you should call 911 and be ready to provide the dispatcher with patient information, such as the person’s age, weight, and medical condition; the approximate time the OD occurred; the amount and type of all drugs consumed, including alcohol; and whether any drugs involved were prescribed to the person who overdosed.

Does Valium Interact With Other Drugs?

Taking Valium with other drugs or with alcohol greatly heightens the risk of an overdose. Mixing Valium and alcohol can increase side effects (such as confusion, stupor, motor skills, and disorientation) and severely impacts chances for addiction and overdose, including loss of consciousness, brain damage, coma, and even death. Similar dangers exist when mixing Valium with heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, tranquilizers, and opioids like Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, OxyContin, and Dilaudid. Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose_ER Visits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a 2014 report, stated that Valium and other benzodiazepines were responsible for more than 400,000 emergency room visits in 2010. Patients who overdosed on Valium were found to have mixed alcohol with the drug, exaggerating the medication’s sedative effects. In fact, the “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” asserts that more than 27 percent of emergency room visits involving benzodiazepines also involved alcohol and that more than 26 percent of individuals who died as a result of benzodiazepine use had also consumed alcohol. Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose_Alcohol

As with Valium, opioids depress the central nervous system, but have a much more powerful effect on heart and respiration rates. Taken alone, it is less common for Valium to cause serious respiratory problems and/or an exceedingly low heart rate. When taken in conjunction with opioids, however, the CNS depression due to Valium are increased. The heart rate slows to the point that the brain is denied blood and oxygen and respiration becomes so shallow that the lungs don’t provide oxygen to the body, making death a real risk. Also, the CDC reports that Valium and other benzodiazepines, often in conjunction with other drugs, accounted for 31 percent of suicides involving prescription drugs and alcohol.

Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration cautions that people with substance abuse problems, like alcohol addiction or opiate abuse, are more likely to misuse Valium; a large proportion of people enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs were found to abuse benzodiazepines in combination with alcohol and other drugs.

Withdrawal And Treatment

Valium withdrawal symptoms may be physical, mental, or both. Signs may include tremors, stomach cramps, muscles aches and cramps, excessive sweating, and convulsions. Addiction and misuse symptoms also may persist, like agitation, depression, fatigue, and confusion.

In both cases of medical and illicit use, increased doses may be required to achieve the effect or even the same “high.” This response is known as tolerance, and it can eventually lead to dependency. Within properly prescribed medical use, tolerance, one of the hallmarks of Valium abuse and addiction, typically occurs within six months of the commencement of Valium use, according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland. Tolerance may occur faster within situations of abuse. Once the central nervous system adjusts to Valium dosage levels, dependency and/or addiction can ensue.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Life

If you think you recognize signs of Valium abuse or addiction in yourself, a friend, or loved one, get ahead of the curve. Don’t wait for tragedy to strike. Get help now. Contact us at

If you or a loved one is battling a Valium or other prescription drug addiction, contact us now!


For More Information Related to “Signs Of A Valium (Diazepam) Overdose” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


Sources — Valium
MedlinePlus — Diazepam overdose
National Institutes of Health — Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs
Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group — History of Benzodiazepines: What the Textbooks May Not Tell You
Center for Substance Abuse Research — Benzodiazepines

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI

While many people understand the dangers associated with operating an automobile after consuming alcohol or drugs, far too many individuals still engage in this risky behavior. For many, receiving a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) due to this choice is the beginning of a lengthy process.

These charges may result in a variety of court sentencing restrictions and requirements, including mandated 12-step group attendance, alcohol or drug education classes, and/or substance abuse treatment. While the alcohol or drug abuse that resulted in these charges may have been recreational or a one-time event, for many, it can serve as an opportunity to get them the effective treatment they don’t yet know they need, offering them a chance at sobriety and a better life. The court may require you attend certain facilities, in other instances you may have to choose on your own; in this case it is very important to consider your specific life circumstances and concerns to ensure the best type and level of care.

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-03Despite its legal standing, prevalence, and acceptance within numerous social spheres, alcohol is not a benign drug. One of the most common and destructive ways in which this occurs is within circumstances regarding an individual driving after they have been drinking. In decades past, this behavior was more commonplace and even somewhat socially acceptable. Fortunately now, with the advent of more strident rules and social perspectives, this behavior has declined, as evidenced, in part, by statistics presented by the National Institutes of Health who reports that since “Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.”

Despite this apparent decline, many individuals throughout our nation make the ill-fated decision to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming some measure of alcohol or drugs; for many, this results in an arrest and charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In either instance, you may encounter legal troubles, resulting in mandatory obligations regarding drug and alcohol education or treatment. After this occurs, it is important that person fully understand their options and the ways by which they can obtain help.

What Are A DUI/DWI And What Happens When You Get One?

Laws regarding these charges vary state to state. Those under 21 may face a zero tolerance law. Some states have a zero tolerance for individuals over this age, meaning that any amount of substances over the legal limit (0.08 BAC) constitutes a singular offense, whereas some offer a distinction, with a lesser charge of driving under the influence (DUI), and a more severe charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Either of these charges may potentially stem from drug or alcohol use or a combination of both. Regardless of the distinction, to get there, a person had to have been using, and possibly abusing, either drugs and/or alcohol.

Prior to the official judgement, or included within the sentencing, a DUI/DWI offender may be required to have a substance abuse assessment and go to a treatment facility. This may occur in varying forms and length, depending on the results of the assessment and the sentence, which may be based on your blood alcohol content, any prior offenses, if anyone was injured or killed in the event, and past participation in a program. This may be part of a suspended sentencing arrangement or a condition of probation. Additionally, in some instances, a person may be required to attend 12-step meetings, group counseling sessions, or alcohol or drug education classes.

How Do I Begin To Get Help?

After receiving a DUI/DWI a person may be very affected emotionally and mentally, as the situation in its entirety can be very overwhelming and strenuous. Faced with court and legal costs, the stigma attached to the arrest and sentencing, and the impact on your family or career, you may be overcome and not know where to turn. In the case of certain legal directives, such as counseling or a alcohol or drug education class, the court will likely require that you enroll within a certain facility for these sessions, taking the guesswork out of it. If you’re required to attend 12-step meetings, they will likely supply you with a list of current and local groups. If you’re required to attend treatment, things may not be as cut and dry. Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-04

With less severe offenses, you may only be required to attend outpatient treatment, a form of treatment which allows you to remain at home, while traveling to the facility for a limited number of sessions within a set period of time. In more severe cases, such as in those with multiple offenses, a person may be required to attend inpatient drug rehab, most typically for 30 days. An inpatient program is residential based, meaning that you live on site for the duration of the treatment. The theory behind this is that multiple offenses speak to an ongoing problem or chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol, as could be characteristic of an addiction, a circumstance which often requires intensive care. Typically, in situations regarding rehab, a person is responsible for finding and paying for their own treatment.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting Help?

Firstly, in some cases, seeking and obtaining help or treatment on your own may signal to the judge your readiness to change and your recognition of the detriment of your ways. Secondly, in instances where treatment, counseling, and/or education classes are mandated as part of sentencing, the penalties for your DUI or DWI, such as court fees, a suspended license, or any jail time, may be reduced or eliminated should you attend. Should your license be revoked, successful completion of either of these things may allow for your driving privileges to be restored. On the other hand, should you negate these rulings, or fail to fulfill all the requirements, your license may not be reinstated and/or you may be required to appear in court again and suffer further legal repercussions.

Alcohol or drug education classes will not only educate you on the risks and dangers of substance abuse, but help you to learn better decision making skills, while putting the use and abuse of these substances within the context of your life. Perhaps you made a series of bad decisions within a single night, culminating in your getting behind the wheel. In this instance, any education or counseling you receive, should be viewed as a protective or preventative measure, staving off further, and more serious, instances of risky behaviors (such as operating a vehicle while using), abuse, or addiction.

On the other hand, many individuals who face charges do suffer from instances of abuse or addiction. This may force you to get help you might not yet realize you need. The good news is that a person doesn’t have to readily choose treatment for it to be effective. The National Institute on Drug Abuse comments on this, asserting that “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from…the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.” Though you may not have choose this path, enrolling in a treatment program may help to protect your life; your health, both physical and mental; and benefit you in countless other ways.

Are There Programs Specifically For DUI/DWI Offenders? Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-05Yes. While you will likely be able to choose most any program, there are certain programs that are especially designed for DUI/DWI offenders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “The N-SSATS Report,” outpatient DUI/DWI treatment programs may be shorter than their traditional counterparts. Despite this shorter length, the report notes that these programs may be successful and that “Research has demonstrated that DUI/DWI programs that combine educational programs with evidence-based therapeutic approaches—such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention—are effective in facilitating and maintaining behavioral change.”

The report outlines the availability of these programs, based on 2012 findings on the then available 10,144 outpatient-only facilities. It found that:

  • One percent treated only these clients
  • 36 percent offered care to these and other clients
  • The remaining 63 percent did not offer specialty services for these concerns.

While this is a starting point, there are yet other factors to consider when seeking treatment.

What Other Elements Should I Consider?

It is especially pertinent that those individuals with true concerns of substance abuse and addiction fully consider their options against their unique needs, so that they not only fulfill their sentencing requirements, but take advantage of the opportunity by receiving individualized and effective care. Other factors to consider are:

  • Finances
  • Employment status/obligations
  • Family situation and obligations
  • Current and past health and medical conditions
  • Severity of abuse/addiction
  • Presence of any co-occurring disorders
  • What your support system is like

Oftentimes, in cases of drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, a person may have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The SAMHSA report speaks of this, “Studies of this population show that DUI/DWI offenders are at high risk for having comorbid psychiatric disorders, multiple substance abuse problems, and among repeat DUI/DWI offenders, neurocognitive impairments.” Taken into consideration, this makes clear the imperative for effective dual diagnosis care that can treat a person’s co-occurring disorders. Fortunately, the aforementioned treatment modalities have all been proven to be effectual in this capacity. Whatever the specifics of your life, strive to view this circumstance as an opportunity for positive change.

Find The Road To Treatment

If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

Whether you’re looking for a program only to satisfy court requirements, or if you’re doing this alongside of a genuine need for addiction treatment, our staff at can help direct you towards the resources and options you need to make the best decision. Contact us today.

For More Information On Alcohol Abuse And Addiction, Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — The NSSATS Report: Types of Services Provided by Programs for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired Clients

Should I Go Back To Rehab After A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse? Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_

Whether or not relapse is a “normal,” or even necessary, part of drug-addiction recovery is debatable. What’s not debatable, and where consensus is virtually unanimous, is that relapse occurs at a relatively high rate—40 percent to 60 percent, according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In order to determine if you should return to rehab, it is first important to fully understand relapse and the dangers it presents.

What Is Relapse? Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ Relapse Occours At A Relatively

Defining “relapse” also can be tricky, and depends on various factors, including the drug involved, specific patient criteria, and the treatment method employed. To understand relapse, one must first recognize successful treatment factors. The Office of National Drug Control Policy defines effective drug abuse treatment as:

  • Reducing the use of the primary drug, drugs, or alcohol.
  • Improving the employment status or prospects of the patient.
  • Improving the patient’s educational situation, where appropriate.
  • Improving relationships with family, friends, employers, and other associates.
  • Improving the patient’s medical condition and overall health.
  • Improving the person’s legal situation regarding prison, jail, probation, parole, driver’s license status, and arrests.
  • Improving the patient’s mental health condition.
  • Reducing the person’s noncriminal safety incidents, such as car accidents, injuries, and emergency room visits.

Simply defined, relapse is the return to a previous situation regarding drug or alcohol use. Regardless of how long someone’s been sober, a return to substance abuse is a relapse. According to the American Bar Association’s GPSolo magazine, “Relapse is the return to alcohol or drug use after an individual acknowledges the presence of addictive disease, recognizes the need for total abstinence, and makes a decision to maintain sobriety with the assistance of a recovery program. According to a survey of members of AA, 75 percent experience a relapse during their first year of recovery. For those who are sober five years, the rate drops to seven percent.” Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ 75 Percent Experience A Relapse

Lapse Vs. Relapse

You may wonder if there is a difference between a slip, or a “lapse,” and a true relapse. A lapse is a temporary, often one-time, return to prior drug-use behavior, whereas a relapse is a “full-blown” return to drug or alcohol abuse after an attempt to quit. To better understand this concept, we’ll compare drug addiction lapse and relapse to a person trying to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Eating a single piece of pizza, for instance, would be considered a lapse. Gaining 35 pounds during the course of dieting from a continued poor diet, would be considered a relapse.

Why Do People Relapse?

Many factors may contribute to a person relapsing. Primary causes of relapse include: medical problems, mental health issues, failure to follow through with aftercare conditions, over confidence in treatment progress or recovery, forgetting or ignoring painful lessons from the “good old days” of substance abuse, stress, a lack of support, issues with family members and friends, and job issues or lack of employment. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ A Lack Of Commitment To Sobriety

Lack of commitment to sobriety can also be a major factor in relapse. Here, we provide a thumbnail view of four stages of recovery used in many treatment programs, including, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. Often, during the pre-contemplation stage, and even into the contemplation phase, a person may not even consider his or her behavior a problem, however, he or she eventually realizes that the negative consequences are mounting. This can lead to the contemplation stage, although people may fluctuate between either or both of these phases for years before actually moving on to the preparation and action stages. Sometimes, a person may relapse back to one of these stages, as they struggle to maintain their recovery.

Outside pressures—from family members, friends, co-workers, or even via legal issues or court-ordered rehab mandates—can also put people at risk for post-rehab relapse. A person may enter rehab while still in the pre-contemplation stage and simply not be committed to the process, potentially increasing the risk of relapse.

This lack of commitment, among other factors, is often cited for the “revolving door syndrome,” or a cycle of treatment, relapse, and a return to treatment. A person might be ambivalent about recovery, seeking treatment not for themselves but for external reasons. Other people may fear the unknown, as they don’t know how to live outside addiction. Unrealistic expectations are another factor, including the belief that sobriety will cure all of life’s problems. Many people also fall into the trap of making changes only regarding drug or alcohol use, while ignoring other necessary lifestyle changes.

Relapse Myths

There are many myths surrounding relapse, some deeply ingrained and widely held. If not addressed thoroughly in rehab, these beliefs can lead to relapse after rehabilitation is complete. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ Popukar Myths About Relapse
Here are five such myths that can lead to relapse:

  • All people who suffer from drug or alcohol abuse will relapse. This fallacy can lead to a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and relapse.
  • People who relapse aren’t committed. Lack of motivation may, indeed, be a factor, however, many highly motivated people also relapse.
  • Relapse only occurs by returning to your drug of choice. Choosing to abuse another drug may return you to an addictive and dysfunctional state.
  • Relapse means that a person is back to square one. Again, a person doesn’t have to relapse, but it is important to remember that knowledge can be gained from this experience that may be useful within the next attempt at treatment and in avoiding future relapse.
  • If a person relapses, it means that rehab treatment failed. A drug treatment regimen may need adjustments to be successful or another program may be beneficial.

Relapse Comparisons

While many critics point to low success rates of drug rehab programs as evidence of failure, the fact is that alcohol and drug treatment relapse rates compare to the relapse rates of treatment modalities for physical conditions—over which people have ostensibly less control. For example, where the relapse rate for drug addiction is 40 percent to 60 percent (according to NIDA), the relapse rate for Type I Diabetes is 30 percent to 50 percent, and 50 percent to 70 percent for both hypertension and asthma.

Dangers Of Relapse

Aside from problems typically associated with addiction, relapse can be especially dangerous for many people for several reasons. First, a person’s tolerance is reduced through abstinence, so a drug overdose is a distinct possibly—especially with opioids like heroin. This is due to physiological changes in an addicted individual’s body, according to Dr. James C. Garbutt, Professor of Psychiatry and addiction specialist at the University of North Carolina, as reported in a Huffington Post article. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ The Longer You're Sober

In regards to this, Dr. Garbutt is quoted as saying “When you’re actively using opiates, that center can adapt to the exposure, allowing addicts to use more or in greater concentration without the respiratory system failing. But when people get sober, the receptors in their brain and the chemical mechanisms which process the drug become more sensitive, and the reaction to the opiate becomes more pronounced. The longer you’re sober, the more the brain will attempt to adapt back to its normal state.”

Huffington Post also quotes Dr. David Sack on this subject, who asserts “It’s (also) important to realize that many of the overdoses are in the first few doses, because by the time an addict re-establishes their addictions, they have tolerance again. This is someone who is deciding whether they are going to be sober or not. So craving is a big factor—being preoccupied with procuring drugs increases and escalates in the first days after treatment.”

In a NIDA article titled “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse,” the high risk of overdose during relapse regarding opioids was further explained. “This tolerance contributes to the high risk of overdose during a relapse to opioid use after a period in recovery; users who do not realize they may have lost their tolerance during a period of abstinence may initially take the high dosage that they previously had used before quitting, a dosage that produces an overdose in the person who no longer has tolerance.”

Should I Go Back to Rehab?

Although each person must determine for himself or herself whether or not a relapse calls for further treatment, we highly recommend it. Here are a few guideposts to consider to help with this decision. The first probably is defining the “relapse” in question—is it a stumble, or “lapse,” or is it a fully realized backslide or true relapse? Ask questions. Did you have a single beer at a cookout before coming to your senses, or did you go on a week-long bender, black out, and begin compulsively using again?

If you determine that you have experienced a true relapse, reentering rehab may be your best option. However, practical matters must also be considered. Can you afford another stay in rehab? Does your insurance cover the cost? How long will you be in treatment? How does such a decision impact your job and finances? Are you truly committed or are you responding to external pressures from family or friends? Do you want to reenter a facility where you previously were treated or would it be better to research other options? Have you identified the reasons for your relapse?

If you’ve determined that you actually need to enter rehab, consult a professional, especially if issues like cost or insurance coverage are the main stumbling blocks. Assistance often is available.

Get Help If you Have Questions Or Concerns

Contact us today for more information on relapse

If you’re considering reentering a rehabilitation facility for concerns related to relapse or entering for the first time, and you have any questions or concerns, contact us at, or call 1-833-473-4227.



National Institute on Drug Abuse — Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction
Office of National Drug Control Policy — Treatment Protocol Effectiveness Study
American Bar Association: GPSolo — Relapse After Long-Term Sobriety
Huffington Post — What Drug Relapse Has To Do With Accidental Overdose Risk

How Do I Get My Adult Child Into Rehab? How Do I Get My Adult Child Into Rehab_

As many parents can tell you, you never stop loving—and looking after—your child, regardless of their age. Though the spectrum of these things may change over time and as your child ages, most parents would agree that they’re still actively concerned about their son or daughter’s well being. Watching your child, whom you’ve nurtured since birth, within a compromising or dangerous position can be heart-rending, especially if this situation is one that revolves around substance abuse or addiction.

Understanding How An Addiction Changes A Person

When confronted with an adult child who abuses substances, it may be helpful to understand how drugs or alcohol can affect a person who engages in these harmful behaviors. Drugs and alcohol both contain various toxins and chemicals that can greatly impact a person’s brain, effectively rendering portions of their judgement and decision-making below average. In addition, many substances may make a person overly emotionally, volatile, and even aggressive.

Oftentimes, a person may struggle to even see or admit that they have an issue with substance abuse, let alone an addiction; for this reason, many suffers of substance abuse disorders may also be heavily crippled by denial. Further compounding this, is that fact that adult children are more apt and capable of reasoning and deflecting within a conversation, in comparison to a younger child, thus making it even more difficult to effectively have a conversation about a perceived circumstance of abuse or addiction.

As a parent, it may be difficult to engage your grown child in a way that elicits the need for treatment. Though you may tell yourself that because they are an adult, that it is not within your role to voice your concerns, nothing could be farther from the truth—regardless of their age, there are times when a child needs their parent, especially when they are in dire need of treatment.

Effective Strategies For Aiding Your Adult Child Towards Treatment

Though recovery is a process, sometimes it may feel like the longest process is actually the time spent working towards getting help for a person. Though this period may be difficult, and at times very emotionally draining, take heart—it is worth it.

In order to get your child there, it can be helpful to understand certain factors prior to even approaching them about your concerns. To begin, choose a time and place that is neutral, one without pressures or distractions. Though you might think it advantageous to have the conversation while they’re under the influence, so that it can be an example, this can actually be widely detrimental due to many of the reasons we listed above. Drugs or alcohol may make your child mentally or emotionally unstable, tensions may rise, and they may not be able to fully reason out or process what you’re saying.

Once you’ve established this setting, it is a good idea to form a plan. This gives you greater confidence and keeps you on track and centered, so that the conversation has maximum impact. It can be difficult to talk to a person with an addiction, so we’ve outlined some pertinent factors to consider and implement within your plan. Though some of these may not seem like active measures towards physically moving a person towards treatment, consider that a good dialogue often sets the stage for more direct action to occur. Within the complexity of addiction, moving mentally and emotionally towards help is equally important.

Avoid the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality — Addiction is caused by a variety of factors, one of which is genetics. Addiction often runs in families, and if you, yourself suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction, chances are that your child is both aware of and affected by it. For this reason, don’t pretend that it isn’t an issue. Be honest, but don’t go into too much depth—take the time to share with them your own struggles—fostering a sense of honesty can create a good groundwork for further conversations. Adult Child Into Rehab_Do As A Say, Not As I Do

Don’t tell them how to live their life — As tempting as this may be, as it is something you have done in some capacity, as a parent, throughout your child’s life, be wary of telling them what to do. Human nature, especial within a child/parent dynamic can be to ignore such assertions or even to do the opposite. Instead, consider outlining to your child the impact that their addiction has had on you and other loved ones, this may actually resonate more heavily and incite greater change. Adult Child Into Rehab_MindfulBe mindful of your emotions — Addiction impacts the people around the user, so chances are, you’ve likely suffered at the hand of your child’s addiction as well. Because of this, and also due to the unique history between each parent and child, you may harbor strong emotions either towards the addiction, or even your child. Be careful of choosing your words wisely, monitoring your emotions, and being mindful of your child’s state of mind. Pointing fingers may drive your child away, creating more negative emotions that they could seek to staunch with drugs or alcohol. Remind yourself—addiction is a disease, it is not a failing of character or moral standing, thus you should not make your child feel this way.

Confront and change any enabling behaviors — Too often, when a family member suffers from addiction, their loved ones—including parents—may actually be enabling these destructive patterns or behaviors. You may mistakenly think that your actions are loving or supportive, when they are instead allowing, or enabling, your child to continue their substance abuse. An example includes giving your child money for rent or some other need, when the reality is that they will likely spend it on drugs or alcohol. It can be hard to do, but ending these behaviors will force your child to confront the repercussions of their actions, in a way that may help them to admit they have a problem.

Take care of your own needs — It can be easy to focus solely on your child’s situation, allowing your own needs to deteriorate. Seeking help for yourself, whether it be therapy, counseling, or a support group will not only help you to heal, cope, and learn to support your family member in a more beneficial way, but it will also provide an example of proactivity and illustrate the reality of the addiction within your lives. Substance abuse and addiction take a toll on family members; sometimes a person may not be able to admit to the impact these substances have on their life, however, they may be more apt to see the damage in those they love. A variety of groups exist to help family members cope with a loved one’s addiction, such as Al Anon.

Consider an assessment — Perhaps your child is at the initial stages of change and acceptance. Maybe they are beginning to admit that their drug or alcohol use is of concern, however, they have internalized to what extent. Being able to see the impact in black and white, as a result of a substance abuse assessment, may, in some circumstances be a helpful tool. Self-screening assessments exist, as do ones that may be administered by a family member or professional. Adult Child Into Rehab_Do Your ResearchDo your research — The field of addiction medicine and treatment is wide; take your time to research your child’s specific drug(s) of abuse, including symptoms and side effects of abuse and addiction, so that you know when to spot a problem. Also consider the various treatment options, the cost of treatment, and other important logistical concerns. Information often reigns supreme in these conversations and may at times come through with greater clarity than only emotional missives. This step is also essential too, should you succeed, or even begin to pique their interest in treatment—if they are receptive, you possess a better chance at success, if you are ready to offer them information and options.

Have a plan — Working in conjunction with the former, this concept is dually important. Should you child accept your sentiments and the reality of the situation, in the capacity that they desire treatment, it is important to have a plan of action at the ready. Left to think too long about their decision, they may again become infatuated with thoughts of using, pushing away the desire for treatment. Having made prior arrangements for transportation, child care, and even the facility, will also serve to expedite the process, ensuring your child begins treatment as soon as possible.

Ask questions — Don’t do all the talking. As much as it may be easy to slip into this role as a parent, strive to make time for your child to talk, or ask questions that prompt more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Maybe you know, or suspect, that your child suffers from a mental illness, either prior to, or because of, their addiction. Ask how they’re feeling—how are they struggling? You could also include any physical health concerns. Again, be careful not to lecture. Leading your child to consider their physical and mental health may make evident to them the risk and negative impact of their substance abuse. Adult Child Into Rehab_Uncomfortable

Be prepared to talk about uncomfortable things — You may, within the course of your conversation, talk about subjects that are unexpected and even painful. Certain factors influence the risk for substance abuse and may also be responsible for it continuing. Your child may speak about sexual abuse, eating disorders, or even things they’ve done while under the influence that they are ashamed or frightened about. If you become angry or blameful, or exhibit another strong reaction, you may push your child away. It may be helpful to have a therapist or counselor at the ready, should a situation veer this direction, as these subjects may require a more professional dialogue.

Be patient and prepared for a less than ideal outcome — as much as you desire change, remember it takes time. Sometimes this first conversation may serve to plant an idea that grows over time. Your child may become dismissive, blameful, or even angry. These feelings can be hard to deal with. Remember, despite this, you are seeking to help them—try to maintain your own emotions and to not fire back with negative emotions, instead relaying a message of love, support, and patience. Adult Child Into Rehab_InterventionConsider an intervention — In many cases, you may have repeatedly tried to talk to your son or daughter about their addiction, only to be shut down or met with denial or anger. At a certain point, it may be a good idea to stage an intervention. Contrary to what some may think, an intervention is not necessarily, nor is it recommended to be, planned by friends or family members. Though these individuals have a crucial role within this, they may lend overt emotions or judgements to the process that could stave off your child accepting help and treatment. Instead, consider the aid of a professional—this individual may be a pastor, therapist, counselor, or even a person called an interventionist, a professional trained in preparing for and implementing interventions.

Let them go — This may be the hardest part. At a certain point, your child needs to learn how to stand on their own, while developing their own coping skills. Sometimes it may be beneficial for your child to go away to an inpatient drug rehab, or to cut off family ties for a period within treatment. We understand this may be hard, but stand firm and be supportive and encouraging.

Let Us Help You Find Help For Your Child

Contact us today for more about getting your adult child into rehab

This is a lot of information to take in, and chances are, you may still feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what to do next. That’s why we’re here. can provide you with more resources, treatment options, and information on financial concerns or an intervention. Contact us today.

How To Talk To A Drug Addict

How To Talk To A Drug Addict

In America, the number of people who abuse substances is well into the millions. That means a person struggling with addiction could be your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, your parent, or your daughter or son. There is no question that substance abuse has been an issue in our society for some time. What may be difficult, though, is figuring out how to approach those persons affected by addiction and talk to them about their disorders.

While you may have the best of intentions, the effects of these substances and high tensions may cause a person to refuse to hear you. That is why, when talking to a person afflicted with addiction, it is important to choose the right time, the right place, and the right words.

Substance Abuse—Identifying The Disorder

If you are considering seeking help for or approaching a person about a drug or alcohol addiction, first it is necessary to be sure you recognize signs of abuse. Some signs or behaviors an individual may display that are indicative of addiction include the following, according to Mayo Clinic:

  • A need to use substances on a regular basis (whether daily or several times a day)
  • Experiencing strong urges or cravings to seek or use the substance
  • Developing a tolerance; needing to take more of a substance to experience the same “high”
  • Seeking the substance at all costs, both personal and financial
  • An interference with school, work, or personal responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • A failure to stop abusing the substance
  • Undergoing withdrawal after stopping use of a substance

If you witness any of these signs in someone you love, please don’t hesitate—your loved one may be struggling with an addiction, in a capacity that could jeopardize their health or their life.

How To Approach Someone About Substance Abuse

There are several approaches one can take to address concerns about a substance use disorder. But before doing this, it is necessary to mentally prepare. For instance, it may be helpful to remember certain key things—just because a person has a substance use disorder, does not mean they are a bad or weak person. It may also be wise to take into account the personality of the person you’re approaching—is the person withdrawn or open? In any case, effects of certain substances can make a person combative or hostile. Grasping concepts may be difficult under the influence of substances, so it may be best not to talk to a person while he or she is “high.”

How To Talk To A Drug Addict Substance Free EnvrionmentAfter considering these things, choose a time carefully. Again, broaching a sensitive, pertinent topic such as this may not be wise while a person is high. But talking to a person while he or she is hungover or experiencing the aftereffects may work since the substance abuse is fresh, and it is likely they are feeling ill, or even encountering regret. This might help them to see the error and damage of their ways. In other cases, this may not work. Instead, a sober time free from pressures of work, school, or family may be the right option.

Location is also important. Talking to an individual in an environment that is substance free helps him or her to grasp the weight of concern in a loved one’s voice. Further, it will allow the person to think clearly without the ready availability of drugs or alcohol.

Voicing Concerns For Substance Abuse

To begin, you could reference your relationship with them and express how deeply you care about him or her. Remind the person of trips together, memories shared, work or school events, and tell the person how much it means to you, to have him or her in your life. These positive memories may also serve to illustrate to them how good a sober life can be. When you have helped to establish a visual image of your strong bond, gently break the issue of your concern.

How To Talk To A Drug Addict America

Tell him or her how their actions worry you, or how you have watched over time as abuse became addiction. You can even tell them how their addiction is negatively impacting you or your family, however, be mindful of refraining from exhibiting judgement or blame, as this could shut them down. Sometimes a person may not be ready to face the extent of the drug use on their life, however, being witness to the toll it is taking on their loved ones may be a catalyst towards change. Finally, tell the person the last thing you want is to lose them, or see them hurt.

If necessary, or if you feel your loved one would receive it well, you could reach out to professionals in your area, such as an AA leader or substance abuse counselor. If you feel this would be too much to handle in person, you could obtain contact information to present to your loved one, or even contact the professional and see if he or she would agree to be on call if needed. Lastly, it can be helpful to assemble resources on treatment programs. If things go well, and they see the danger of their ways, it can be extremely beneficial to have options available, including outpatient or inpatient drug rehab programs.

Staging An Intervention

Perhaps you’ve utilized the tips we’ve noted above within a general conversation. Sometimes, in more severe cases of addiction, it may be a good idea to stage an intervention. Though these may be organized and implemented by friends or family members, we strongly recommend that you enlist the aid of a professional. This individual is called an interventionist.

The interventionist is responsible for planning, strategizing, and staging the intervention. Their professional insight and guidance can be priceless in this situation. They also take on a valuable role as a moderator, an important benefit you don’t have if you are going it alone. Within this structured and safe space, you are allowed an opportunity to express your thoughts and concerns to your love one in a constructive manner. Also, the interventionist will help to prepare you to face the possibility that your loved one might not want treatment, by equipping you with coping skills and options.

What If My Loved One Does Not Want Help?

Substance abuse is a grueling disorder that changes a person’s brain to align it with compulsive drug seeking. For this reason, many people are not ready to admit they need help, or that they are even battling a disorder. If this happens when you approach your loved one, do not lose hope.

First, try not to give up on that person. Further, try not to allow substance abuse to keep you from your loved one. Instead, offer ways to help that person that takes him or her far from substance-heavy environments, and keep any substances hidden if the person visits.

How To Talk To A Drug Addict Substance Abuse Disorder

It may be helpful to seek counseling or a support group yourself. Not only will this help you to stay centered and strong, but it will exhibit to them that their actions are impacting your life. It may also stand as a proactive and positive example towards change that might inspire them to contemplate doing the same within their life.

Lastly, make sure the person knows you are there if he or she ever wants help. Perhaps you can give the person some time and try again. Should the person ever seek treatment, he or she will need a strong support system, and in this way you could be of great help.

Finding Help For Your Loved One

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.If you are reading this because you are seeking answers for how to help your loved one, you are not alone in your quest. Millions of people every year need help for some form of substance abuse, and only a small percentage actually receive the help they need. Do not let your friend, family member, co-worker, or your neighbor fall into the statistic of those who desperately need help. Contact us today at to find more information, speak to professionals about how you can help, and get connected with resources.

Mayo Clinic—Drug Addiction Symptoms
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Treatment Statistics

Talking To Your Teen About Drugs

Talking With Your Teen About Drugs

Talking to your children about drugs is likely one of the hardest conversations you will ever have. While you want to protect them, you also want to have an honest and engaging conversation that provides them with reliable information and support, so that they may make positive choices in the future.

The good news is, in comparison to a younger child, teens have a larger vocabulary, are able to understand more concepts, and see the world in more nuanced ways. This presents an opportunity to talk more openly and connect with them in a manner that goes beyond simply saying “drugs are bad.” While this may be uncomfortable or daunting, remember, it is both an opportunity to become closer to your teen and invest in their future.

Draw On Your Unique Understanding Of Your Teen

The first thing to remind yourself, is that you likely know your child best, and if you feel like they have drifted away, this is an opportunity to reconnect with them and understand the scope of their life. Although they may be going through many changes, and at times may seem very different from the child you remember, chances are, you still know them better than anyone else. Use that knowledge now.

Lastly, look at their life—are there any specific demands, challenges, or pressures they may be facing that might push them towards drug use that you should talk about? Examples include significant life transitions like a divorce, or a breakup. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens are increasingly using stimulants, such as Adderall, to address their concerns about weight loss, or as a study aid.

Recognize Their Capability

Teens are a lot more aware, both of the world, and of their own thoughts, feelings, and bodies than preadolescents are. This added cognitive, emotional, and rational capacity can increase the content and the dynamic of the conversation, especially if your teen gets the sense that you recognize and respect this capacity for understanding.

At this age they will comprehend more, be able to see others points of view, and imagine different situations in which they may find themselves. It is quite likely they will be evaluating the information you are giving them, comparing it to what they have learned, and possibly even experienced. Taking this into account, and being open to integrating it into a conversation, may help further the exchange and foster a greater receptiveness between you both.

Understanding How Their Outlook Is Shaped

Teens are generally more sensitive to peer pressure, and may be prone to feeling like they are the subject of everyone’s attention, when most likely they are not. In psychology, some refer to this concept as the “invisible audience,” that is, a teenager may feel as if their peers are always watching and judging them.

It is true however, that peer pressure can also present unique challenges and opportunities for your child in terms of drug exposure. At this age, they may find themselves amidst conversations of drug use, witness it, or even be cajoled by their peers to experiment.

Taking the time to note and encourage their individual attributes, strengths, and positive characteristics may help to bolster their confidence, self-respect, and commitment to self-care, as well as fostering a more comfortable dialogue between the two of you.

The Role Of Cognitive Development

An important thing to consider, both in terms of how drugs affect a teen, and how they will perceive and comprehend drug use, and the subsequent conversations about it, is the development of the teen’s mind.

Despite a greater awareness in comparison to preadolescents, at this age, your child’s brain is still developing. Critical changes are still occurring, and certain areas of the brain that affect learning, memory, motivation, and other things, are not yet poised to function in the capacity that an adult brain does.

Talking With Your Teen About Drugs Listen More Talk LessIn example, the prefrontal cortex, an area that is responsible for controlling a person’s ability to thoroughly reason and control impulses, doesn’t completely develop until around age 25. What this means, is that they may not be able to completely rationalize the impact of their actions or choices, or fully put together everything you are sharing with them.

It may be hard for them to see past the present and truly grasp or imagine the consequences to their actions, even the life changing ones. This does not mean you shouldn’t talk about the consequences, but only that you need to be patient, and explain things in a way that they can understand.

How To Begin The Conversation

In general, listening more and talking less is a good strategy in starting any conversation. Once you establish a rapport, and your teen begins to open up, you can begin to interject in greater detail about your worries and with information you’d like to share.

A good way to start this conversation is by asking your teen about what they know, specifically how they might have encountered or witnessed drug use or conversations. Asking them if they have questions about drugs may be a good opening tactic as well.

The idea is to start a conversation that invites them to talk openly, by being part of the dialog, rather than just being talked at. If you come at them with what they perceive to be an intent to lecture, you might lose their attention and openness.

Be Prepared

Ask questions, but be ready for the answers, as hard as that may be. Asking questions and seeking clarification opens the door for your teen to talk more and makes it less likely that they will get defensive or shut down while you are talking. This is vital. Your teen may tell you things you wish you did not hear, despite this, it is important information that allows you to better protect, guide, and support your child.

Talking With Your Teen About Drugs QuestionsListen carefully, remember what you are hearing, and strive to not react too strongly or become judgmental. Becoming overly emotional, angry, or blameful can cause your teen to end the conversation before it’s even really started, taking away what could be a critical opportunity for prevention, or even intervention.

Be Informed

Be ready to back up what you say with evidence. In many ways, information is the currency of youth, and if your teen gets the sense that you are being dishonest, or are trying to gloss over something by simply saying that it’s bad, the conversation may become argumentative, or your teen may begin to stop listening.


Some of the references provided here give a good summary of substance abuse statistics within the youth and high school population. In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has developed a great resource for teens and their families that hosts a wide variety of information on teen drug use and education. Take the time to become comfortable with this or other information, or be ready to look up the information together with your teen.

Talking With Your Teens About Drugs Evidence

What Not to Do

Don’t panic. This is probably just as tough for them as it is for you, albeit probably for different reasons. Remind yourself that you need to do this, and that you are doing it for your child’s health and future. According to NIDA, you are still the best defense against drug abuse—having an active and engaged parent puts the child at significantly less risk to develop a substance use disorder.

Do not lie to your child. It may be very tempting to get out of hard conversations or skip over difficult subjects by being dishonest, such as lying about your own drug use history. If your child ever finds this out, you could lose a lot of credibility, which could inhibit your chances of having a productive conversation in the future.

Keep in mind, you can choose to not answer questions, as you do not have to be completely open about everything, in fact, doing so may be detrimental, as too much information may overwhelm your child or encourage them. However, speaking honestly about your experiences with drugs may give you an advantage within this conversation. This article gives you some tips on how to handle this conversation, as well as illustrating how you could choose to integrate your own experiences into your talk.

Let Us Help You Support Your Child

Take the time to talk to your teen about drugs, and be sincere and upfront with them. If you don’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable enough to do this, we can help. If you, yourself, struggle from substance abuse or addiction, we can help you to find ways to have a productive talk with your teen about drugs, and direct you Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.towards treatment options.

If you’re worried that your teen may be abusing drugs or alcohol, contact us today. We can help to equip you, so that you can get your teen the help they need to get their life back on track.

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids — Behavior & the Teen Brain
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids — How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs If You Did Drugs — Talking to Your Child About Drugs
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Drug Facts: High School and Youth Trends
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly

Drug and alcohol misuse, abuse, and addiction is of great concern no matter what the age of the user, however, these problems are unfortunately, and quite dangerously, all too prevalent within the elderly population. The Administration on Aging’s (AoA) guide, Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults, illustrates the scope and possible root of this problem, “Misuse of prescription medications, also referred to as non-medical use of prescription drugs, is estimated to increase from 1.2 percent (911,000) in 2001 to 2.4 percent (2.7 million) in 2020—a 100 percent increase—among older adults.”

This is especially frightening, when you consider the fact that substance abuse can create or compound physical and mental health concerns that may already be present, or that they may have an likelihood of developing at some point in the future.

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly IncreaseDue to life circumstances that may be unique to their age or health concerns, elderly people often confront a variety of emotions or mindsets that may be somewhat debilitating and hard to bear. These include a sense of isolation, loneliness, boredom, and grief, as well as others.

As people of this population may have a smaller network of support, or be more apt to decline reaching out for help, these things may overwhelm them to the point of self-medication, which can lead to substance abuse and addiction by means of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco products. In order to understand this issue, we need to understand the unique concerns that this population faces that may alter this use, and even treatment.

Side Effects And Concerns For The Elderly

Substance use and addiction, and the accompanying side effects, should be a concern no matter the user’s age, however, the presence of each dose poses risks that are made even more serious by an elderly person’s age.

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly Risks

Fixed Income – A large amount of people within this age bracket live on a fixed income, and may have difficulties paying or getting coverage for all the prescriptions or healthcare that they need. Due to this, they may be inclined to use medications that belong to another person.

Cognitive difficulties – As a person ages, they may manifest more signs of cognitive impairment. Some individuals may also experience some measure of dementia. Either of these things can make it difficult for a person to fully understand their drug use and behaviors, and in turn, the consequences. These factors may also impair a person’s memory in a manner that leads to unintentional misuse—increased frequency or amount of dosage, or taking things together that should not be used concurrently.

Ageism – SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Among Older Adults explains this vastly detrimental mindset that can blockade a person from receiving the help they need. “The term ageism was coined in the mid-1960s to describe the tendency of society to assign negative stereotypes to older adults and to explain away their problems as a function of being old rather than looking for specific medical, social, or psychological causes.”

Changes in the metabolism of drugs and alcohol – As people age, their bodies’ functions begin to change. According to SAMHSA, a person’s body begins to take longer to clear or break down the components of these substances from its system. The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) further elaborates on this, “Due to a reduction in blood flow to the liver and kidneys in the elderly, there can be a 50% decrease in the rate of metabolism of some medications, especially benzodiazepines.” Your liver is also crucial in detoxification of alcohol, which is one reason why alcohol can impact an elderly person differently.

Increased risk of dementia – both alcohol and drug abuse can cause dementia, albeit in some cases temporary, or in the case of the latter delirium. In addition to the risks these bring alone, they can further fuel or perpetuate drug misuse and abuse that we noted above, creating what can be a vicious and dangerous cycle.

Physical health issues put them more at risk – At this advanced age, this population consistently deals with more physical afflictions that require the aid of a medication (both prescription and over-the-counter), including increased joint paint, an increased risk of falls, and trouble sleeping. The medications that are commonly prescribed for these things are some of the most addictive (prescription pain medications and benzodiazepines).

Any time a person uses any drug in an amount, manner, or combination other than intended, the risk of harmful side effects and addiction climb, as does the risk of overdose-related conditions and death.

Heightened Risk, Greater Amount Of Prescriptions

The National Institute on Drug Abuse chronicles the at times startling reality of substance abuse and addiction within this population. They cite an impactful statistic, “Persons aged 65 years and older comprise only 13 percent of the population, yet account for more than one-third of total outpatient spending on prescription medications in the United States.”

Though 65 is not considered elderly by most, it is an age that is included in many of the studies and statistics noted here. This is relevant because the habits and behaviors that may plague an elderly person may often began at an earlier age.

Drug use begins with misuse, and as we’ve noted above, misuse in this population is on the rise. One of the categories of drug use that holds the greatest potential for misuse and abuse, which can then lead to addiction, is psychoactive medications. Reports indicate that 25 percent of this population use some form of these types of medications.

Using Psychoactive Medications In A Harmful Manner

The AoA defines psychoactive medications as substances that “act primarily on the central nervous system, where they affect brain function resulting in changes in mood, cognition, behavior, and consciousness as well as block the perception of pain.” In addition, these medications may also result in a state of euphoria, which is often implicated in the reasons why a person may knowingly choose to abuse a medication in a manner that may lead to addiction.

Due to the prevalence in which these types of medications are prescribed, the risk of abuse and addiction from these are higher within this population, as is the potential for adverse or harmful side effects from these situations.

As found in the AoA guide, here are the possible negative effects of psychoactive medication to a person’s health:

  • Extended use has been shown to increase the risk of depression and cognitive impairment, that may be marked by confusion, this is especially true of benzodiazepines.
  • Benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics increase the risk of falls, with the former increasing the risk of a broken hip
  • Opioid analgesics can be overly sedative, they may slow a person’s breathing down, and create problems with a person’s vision, attention, and coordination
  • Emergence of struggles surrounding tasks within their everyday life, including difficulties keeping up with their personal hygiene and grooming
  • Tension or problems within their family or marriage
  • Loss of interest or involvement in activities that a person used to enjoy, including those that involve their family or friends

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly Women At RiskAs you can see, some of the side effects may occur independently due to the natural progression of age. The AoA guide explained that this prevalence of misuse and abuse within this population is based on, as supported by research, a prior history of problems with drugs, the presence of co-occurring disorders, especially depression, and a period or sense of isolation.

The guide also noted that women are at a greater risk of suffering from misuse and the subsequent abuse of psychoactive medications, specifically benzodiazepines. This is due, in part to their gender, and instances of “divorce, widowhood, lower income, poorer health status, depression, and/or anxiety.”

Over-The-Counter Drugs Pose Concerns As Well

When people think of drug abuse, they may be quick to think of illicit drug use, including the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Though the threat may not be as overt, over-the-counter drugs can pose a threat as well. In addition to causing discomforting or even dangerous side-effects, especially when they interact with other OTC or prescription medications, some of these may garner behaviors that become compulsive and follow distinct patterns of abuse.

Alcohol use presents a host of problems to this demographic of people, so using OTC medications in conjunction with alcohol or prescription drugs can further complicate the side effects and dangers, as these substances may already cause these side effects on their own.

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly Most Common OTC Medications

Laxatives: Elderly people often encounter gastrointestinal difficulties due to their age or medications. Some may choose to use laxatives as a remedy, however they can cause dehydration and imbalance a person’s electrolytes due to the diarrhea that may result. This can be exacerbated by alcohol use which also causes upset to these body systems.

Cold Medications: These can cause cardiovascular troubles, including hypertension, and in the worst case, stroke.

Antihistamines: Though a variety exist as prescriptions, there is an assortment available as OTC drugs. A person may take these for allergies, or self-medicate in off-label ways to reduce anxiety or fall asleep. These drugs can create a tolerance, to the extent that SAMHSA recommends that they should not be used when a person resides alone.

SAMHSA’s speaks of the risks with these types of medications “Older persons appear to be more susceptible to adverse anticholinergic effects from antihistamines and are at increased risk for orthostatic hypotension and central nervous system depression or confusion. In addition, antihistamines and alcohol potentiate one another, further exacerbating the above conditions as well as any problems with balance.” Individuals of this age need to be wary of any medication that may upset their balance as their bones are far more apt to break or fracture, which can be very serious at this age.

Difficulties In Diagnosing Substance Abuse And Addiction

As a person ages, their support system often becomes smaller, whether it be from illness or death, or simply because their level of activity decreases. Due to this, they may not interact with people in a frequent enough manner for patterns and behaviors of drug misuse, abuse, and addiction to become apparent. Due to fear they may foster regarding health concerns (that they may be trying to self-medicate) or living arrangements (being afraid of being forced to leave their home), elderly may try to mask their condition.

One thing that can make it difficult for a family member and even health providers, is that certain medications, even if used appropriately, certain health concerns or illnesses (such as cognitive decline), and even the natural progression of aging, may exhibit themselves in manner that mimics certain characteristics of abuse and addiction.

Here, we present some common symptoms, as derived from information found through OASAS and the publication, The Elderly and Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse, that you should be on the lookout for if you think yourself or a loved one is struggling with substance misuse, abuse, or addiction.

  • Noticeable difficulties with memory after a person consumes alcohol or medicine
  • Difficulties with motor-skills or coordination, which may manifest itself as unstableness, shaky hands, stumbling, or even falls.
  • Problems or changes with sleep patterns
  • Mood changes, including mood swings, a short-temper, or sorrow
  • Appearance or aggravation of anxiety or depression
  • Bruising
  • Chronic pain that is not attributed to other reasons
  • A sudden state of isolation—witnessing a person withdrawing from people in their life
  • Habitual boredom
  • Personal grooming habits suffer
  • Impaired cognitive abilities, reduced concentration, or disorientation
  • Losing interest in activities or hobbies that previously brought them pleasure.

You may also witness changes in a person’s finances (money is used to fuel their habit or self-medication), you may find alcohol or medications hidden, the person may become agitated when you inquire about their use, you may witness them using amounts greater than prescribed, because they claim that the medication isn’t working to make them feel the way that it once did, or they claim that they want to stop using, and they appear unable to do so.

How Can This Be Prevented?

Prevention and education are key. Caregivers, family members, and healthcare workers who are part of the individual’s care team, all have an integral role in preventing this sort of abuse, and aiding in the recognition and treatment of an existing problem.

Caregivers and the individuals themselves need to be mindful of certain behaviors and factors that revolve around their drug use. These include:

Be honest. Express any worries or questions about your health or drug use, whether it be use that is as prescribed, or that which is considered misuse.

Get regular medical care. Sometimes, it can be hard to notice patterns or risks in a person, if you’re not trained to. Having a set of eyes from someone that is medically trained on a consistent basis can help to insure that these conditions are spotted before they go too far.

If any of your health concerns change or become aggravated, tell your physician. It may be the natural progression of the illness, or it may be an interaction with a medication. If a new health problem arises, you need to tell your doctor immediately, as this needs to be addressed, and it could influence the medications that you are taking, and how they affect you.

Do not self-medicate. This includes taking any medications that belong to another person (even if you have taken them in the past), or even medications that you may have taken in the past. A person’s body changes as they age, this paired with new or aggravated health concerns, illnesses, or diseases, or the introduction of new medications, or changes to existing prescriptions, can all alter how you react to a certain medication.

Inform your healthcare team of any co-existing disorders, especially any mental health concerns, not only can these exacerbate or bring about drug use, but they can cloud a person’s mental function in a manner that makes it harder for them to function and make important choices about their life and health.

How Can This Be Treated?

Treatment protocol essentially follows the same guidelines as for any other person that is need of help. Due however, to the person’s age and specific health concerns, some aspects may not be appropriate, or may need to be tweaked in order to be maximally effective.

Before treatment can occur, the person in question needs to be screened and assessed for substance abuse, the CAGE or AUDIT screening instruments are certain tools that may be used to help illuminate the presence of substance abuse or addiction.

Another AoA guide details Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), which SAMHSA supports as an evidence-based method for determining the extent of substance abuse or addiction, intervening, and developing appropriate treatments to aid in recovery.

Cognitive impairment is a huge concern of drug use, one that needs to be fully considered during the course of ascertaining and implementing treatment. In regards to this, SAMHSA urges “Patients who have been medically detoxified should not be screened for cognitive dysfunction until several weeks after detoxification is completed, because a patient not fully recovered from detoxification may exhibit some reversible cognitive impairment.”

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly Quote

Here are some tips or techniques that may be helpful as an elderly person strives towards sobriety and recovery:

A brief intervention may be the best first step. Due to the complicated nature of this situation, an intervention may be one of the best ways to incite change and get a person the help they need. SAMHSA recommends this as a first step, and details the intervention steps that are specific to an elderly population here.

Family support can be crucial in supporting a person in their pursuit of sobriety and throughout their recovery. Family interaction can help to chase the sense of loneliness, isolation, boredom, and fear that may plague a person’s thoughts. Having regular contact with a person also allows you to notice any emergent patterns or questionable changes in behavior.

Therapy can be an excellent resource when trying to get an elderly person help. Take a moment to consider the fact that they have a long lifetime of experiences and memories that they carry with them, paired with the more recent difficulties that their age brings, such as illness and death. This can be a lot to bear. Behavioral therapies can help a person to find sobriety and maintain their recovery.

Motivational counseling has been shown to be exceptionally effective in helping these people to embrace their circumstances and find a willingness and reason for change. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also be helpful, as it aids in helping a person to change negative thought patterns that may manifest as thoughts or behaviors that fuel drug use.

Certain medications may be used to help overcome abuse and addiction, but being that there is a good chance they are taking other medications already, paired with their body’s changing physiology, these should not be used without the guidance of an addiction specialist that is trained in treatment for this population.

In example, OASAS, speaks of antabuse, one medication that is used within treatment for alcohol addiction, they state “ Antabuse should probably be avoided because the elderly cardiovascular system may not be able to handle possible cardiac events that could occur with an alcohol – antabuse reaction.”

Support groups can aid recovery and battle isolation, and provide elderly people with companionship and support, as they will meet other people that are struggling with circumstances that may be similar in ways to theirs. Examples include 12-step programs.

Get Help Today

Though they’ve already lived a long and full life, an elderly person deserves the chance to have a continued state of wellness and good health through the
remainder of their life. Though some medications may be necessary to promote these states, some misuse may actually create an environment of abuse and Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.addiction. If you or someone you love is experiencing misuse, abuse, or addiction, please let us help you get on the path towards a more balanced life. Contact us today, at, our staff is compassionate and understands the unique needs that you or your loved one faces.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse – Prescription Drug Abuse: Older Adults
The Administration on Aging – Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Specific Populations and Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
The Administration on Aging – OLDER AMERICANS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH Issue Brief 3: Screening and Preventive Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Psychoactive Medication Misuse/Abuse
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Prescription Drug Abuse

5 Signs You Are Enabling A Family Member’s Drug Addiction

5 Signs You Are Enabling

Being a family member to a loved one who struggles with an addiction can place large amounts of stress on you. It is important to keep perspective and balance your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in a manner that is healthy for both yourself and your loved one. Sometimes, it is easy to become overwhelmed by your emotions or the situation to a point that you begin making choices that can be detrimental to both yourself and your family member. In some cases, these behaviors and actions may actually contribute to your family member’s struggles and the addiction itself. This is called enabling.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites that “Enabling behavior occurs when another person, often a codependent, helps or encourages the addict to continue using drugs, either directly or indirectly.” When you enable a person with an addiction, you are aiding them in continuing within their addiction, and are in most cases disabling them from witnessing both the immediate and long-term effects of their drug or alcohol use by protecting them from the damage it is causing.

Here we explain five of the most common and detrimental forms of enabling that a family member might engage in.

5 Signs You Are Enabling Financial Enabling

Financial enabling:

In the majority of instances, a drug or alcohol addiction takes money. As a person’s use and tolerance increases, they find that they require more of the drug or alcohol to feel the desired effect. Again, in most cases, this requires more money. A person might try to obtain this money by various means, including stealing or lying. In both instances, you’re often in a position to either acknowledge the situation or look the other way and let the behavior continue.

Examples include when a person steals things from around the house, from you, or from others to pawn for money or to trade for the substance. More commonly perhaps is when the addicted person approaches you and asks for money for seemingly benign or essential things—food, rent or mortgage payments, medical expenses, or college tuition—and you give them the money.

In many cases, a person may never have intended on using the money they obtained from you for these purposes—from the get-go they may have planned on using the funds to obtain more of their drug of choice. On the other hand, the person may have really wanted and used the money for its rightful purpose. Even then, by giving them money you are enabling their addiction. Imagine that you’re adding to a fund that will in some way pay toward drugs, whether by using your money directly or by saving their own for drugs when you’ve given them money to relieve them of their financial responsibilities. Either way, you’re contributing to easy-access drug use.

In addition to the amount of money needed to fuel the addiction, the addiction itself leads a person to let other elemental aspects of their life fall to the wayside. They might begin to let their vocational, educational, and personal responsibilities deteriorate. By giving them money to cover these things, you are freeing up their other finances to be used towards their addiction. You are also insulating them from experiencing the full impact and weight of their bad judgement. By giving them money they do not fully encountered the devastation that is occurring at the expense of their drug or alcohol habit.

5 Signs You Are Enabling Relieving Consequences

Enabling by relieving consequences:

Drug and alcohol addiction carries a host of consequences. Sadly, many times a person’s family members may unwittingly enable the person as they strive to alleviate the strain that the drugs or alcohol exerts on their lives. This can be very difficult for a person to recognize, as they are often motivated by love, concern, or support.

Regardless of your reasons, shielding a person from the repercussions of their addiction only helps to further perpetuate the cycle. The greater distance a person has from the effects of their drug or alcohol abuse, the less of a chance that they will realize the dire nature of their situation.

Examples include taking on additional responsibilities or tasks to compensate for the decreased or even nonexistent role that the addicted person has, such as assuming an increased role in parenting, household chores, and financial planning or obligations.

Family members might find that they themselves begin to lie to cover up their loved one’s behaviors. They might explain an absence or “sickness” as something other than it is—a direct result of a person’s drug or alcohol abuse.

5 Signs You Are Enabling Using Substance Around Person

Using the substance around addicted person:

It can be very hard to have a partner who struggles with an addiction. This is for many reasons, but many times a partner may struggle with having to moderate or stop their own use of the problem drug or alcohol. Perhaps it is something that the two of you did together within a social setting. Now you might feel as if you’re not able to have the fun or freedom that you once had, to the point that your judgement might become clouded.

One example is alcohol use. Oftentimes, the partner of someone who struggles with an alcohol addiction will continue to drink and may even keep drinking alcohol around the person addicted or keep alcohol in the house. Not only does this provide the person struggling with greater access, temptation, and potential triggers, but it can make them feel as if you’re not entirely behind them, or that you don’t take their needs seriously.

Sometimes, a person may even drink or use drugs with their partner or spouse, convincing themselves either that they’re going to do it anyways or that with your support, the person will really be able to reduce the quantity or frequency of their use. This sends mixed signals and puts your loved one directly in the face of danger, the danger of perpetuating the drug use.

5 Signs You Are Enabling Ignoring Denying & Making Excuses

Ignoring, denying, making excuses:

Confronting a person with an addiction is no easy task. Often, family members have made attempts in the past that have not had favorable outcomes. This becomes emotionally and mentally exhausting to the point that some people become resigned and begin to believe that the behavior is beyond their control. Ultimately, an addicted person must commit themselves to their recovery, however, this is not to say that as a family member you do not exert an influence toward their behaviors.

Many people are afraid of the confrontation that will result if they acknowledge this situation. They might worry that the stress of the encounter could drive their family member to further abuse drugs or alcohol, shut them out, or that they might simply be overwhelmed and unable to find the words to have the conversation.

Sometimes people look the other way because they are too worn down to confront the intense emotions that might accompany these conversations. Some people may even begin to convince themselves that the addiction isn’t as bad as it seems and tell themselves that they are blowing things out of proportion.

Going hand-in-hand with this is the act of making excuses. If a person has a stressful job or life circumstance, you might find yourself saying that they are really overwhelmed right now, and that when things settle down their substance abuse and addiction will decrease or stop altogether. If a person is shy, you might tell yourself that they only use a substance to help themselves become more outgoing or engaging. If they are hungover or sick after using drugs or alcohol, you might convince yourself that it really is just a headache or other physical ailment due to a different cause.

5 Signs You Are Enabling Believing One Can Resolve It Alone

Believing addicted loved one can resolve addiction alone:

This is in effect a more extended form of denial and avoidance. Often, a person with an addiction really does want to succeed and become sober. That is to say when they tell you that they don’t want to use anymore or that it’s the last time, a large part of them really believes it, but the reality is that the substance has such a dominating effect on them mentally, physically, and emotionally, that it is often very difficult to follow through on these statements without a form of assistance.

A family member may believe these statements out of fear or hope, even out of exhaustion. Sometimes a person is so worn down from dealing with the day-to-day implications and complications of the drug use that they don’t have the energy to try anymore; these statements provide them with an easy way out.

Other times, a person might simply be so overwhelmed from shouldering the burdens and worry incurred by their family member’s addiction that their reasoning and decision making abilities are compromised. Whatever the reason, know this—an addiction is very hard to combat on one’s own, in many cases treatment or rehabilitation might be the difference between continued drug or alcohol use and finally finding sobriety.

Learning How To Stop Enabling Behaviors

The difficult thing about enabling behaviors is that some of them don’t outright appear to be detrimental to your family member. In fact, many of them may outwardly seem to be an action or statement that is helpful or supportive. Sometimes, when you have been steeped in this situation and cycle for a prolonged period of time, it is difficult for you to recognize that you are enabling a person and to differentiate between what are helpful behaviors versus those that are unhealthful.

Being the family member of a person who struggles with a drug and/or alcohol addiction can be a very physically, mentally, and emotionally trying ordeal, one that can deplete your energy, morale, focus, and perception to the point that it clouds your judgement and distorts the situation.

In these circumstances, you yourself might benefit from seeking the support and guidance of therapy. In addition to this, programs exist solely for the purpose of aiding family members in traversing these tumultuous waters. Some examples include Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. These programs will provide you with a venue by which you can share your experiences and hear those of others—granting perspectives that foster hope and perseverance, while also teaching you skills to help you cope and stand your ground.

Within these programs you will have an opportunity to speak to other people who have encountered situations or struggles similar to yours. This will help you to see that you are not alone, while aiding you in finding the strength and perspective that is necessary to to be resilient and supportive family member during your family member’s time of need and beyond.

Enabling During The Threat Of Relapse

As a person walks through their recovery, they and their family must consider the possibility of relapse. Whether it be drugs or alcohol, the chance of relapse is present for anyone who has struggled with an addiction. As a family member, this is a crucial time, one during which your interaction and support can greatly influence how a person reacts to the situations that might incite their cravings. Here, too, your actions can enable a person in moving towards relapse, or on the other hand, your mindfulness and resolve can aid them in staying strong and steadfast within their recovery journey.

During recovery, it can be easy for both the individual recovering and the family members to get comfortable, less attentive, or undisciplined. This can open up a potentially dangerous territory. As you both become less attentive and lackadaisical about the situation, you might become less apt to notice problematic or tempting thoughts, emotions, actions, or situations that might outright be a trigger or evolve into one.

Lastly, you might convince yourself that they’ve been sober long enough to allow for a small measure of drug or alcohol use. This can be because you desire the company or camaraderie or because you’re afraid of causing a confrontation when things have finally been better between you. For many people, all it takes is a small foray back into substance use to set the stage for relapse and a renewed addiction.

Find The Strength To Offer Your Loved One Support Today

Contending with a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction can be a very daunting and exhausting process. It is something that can affect most every aspect of your life and deplete your mental, emotional, and even physical wellbeing. As much you love your family member and ultimately desire to see him well, you Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.might not be supporting him in a manner that is conducive to success. At, we can help you to find the clarity and answers that both you and your family member deserves. Contact us today and start getting the help you need.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab

Having a family member who suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction can be a very trying situation, one that can oftentimes be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Watching someone you love fall prey to an addiction, especially when it is your child, can take a severe toll on you and your family. In many ways, this can be one of the hardest things you may ever contend with in your life. As the parent, you face a unique set of challenges and responsibilities as you determine how to best help your child find the care and support that they need.

Addiction Can Be An Emotional Roller Coaster

When a person is consumed with an addiction, their perspective and sense of reality is often clouded and a variety of very heady emotions—fear, loneliness, shame, self-hatred, or blame—can often be prevalent, which can further distort how they see and process the world around them.

These emotions are wrought deeply within the addiction itself; in fact, they can often be some of the very things that push a person towards drug and alcohol use in the first past. Not only this, but the drug and alcohol use and addiction may then further compound these emotions and increase their intensity, which continues to fuel this harmful cycle.

Not only does an addiction affect your son or daughter’s emotional state, but it also can be very draining on yours. Seeing someone you love essentially self-destruct can be very devastating and leave you feeling helpless, especially when they don’t see that they need help. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help your son or daughter obtain the care they need to move forward and live a healthier, sober life.

Steps To Take When You’re Preparing To Get Your Child Help

As we’ve discussed above, emotions can have a tendency to run high within these circumstances. As much as you want to get your child help, you have to realize that jumping the gun and moving too quickly can actually be detrimental to their chance of recovery. Here are things that you should do to prepare yourself and improve your chances of obtaining a successful outcome for your child.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Communicate




Communicate: It can be very hard to have an open and honest conversation with someone who is suffering from an addiction. A person who lives this way may have a tendency to lie or cover up their behaviors. It can be hard to trust them. Regardless, you need to take the time to listen to them and be patient. Hear what they have to say—what they’re afraid of, what they want, how they got here, and if and how they want help.

Don’t expect them to say what you want to hear. Things might not go smoothly, they might not open up as much as you would like, emotions might run high, or they might not say anything at all. Try to be patient and remain calm. Sitting down and talking opens the door to further communication and begins to forge an understanding between the two of you that can become a foundation for the other steps to come. Even if they don’t talk, you’ve made it evident that you care and that you are there for them—that is already making a difference, even if they don’t let you see it.

This is important to remember, because all of these aspects of support come together to form a situation that is unique to each person. Just as no two people are alike, no two addictions are alike. This stands regardless of your child’s age.

In order to address the problem head on and effectively, it is important that you keep this in mind. The more you learn about your child, the greater chances you’ll have of getting them care that is specific to their needs. This also gives you a chance to find out information that can be helpful to the individuals that will be providing care to your child once you are able to enroll them in treatment.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Remain Informed




Remain Informed: Rehabilitation is not an easy process. Getting a person to the point of receiving this treatment is also not an easy thing. Taking the time to understand the process can help things to go more smoothly and increase your chances of succeeding in helping your loved one to get the care they need.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Finances




Look Into Finances: This can be the point in which many people refrain from moving forward. People often get intimidated by the prospect of paying for treatment. If your child isn’t covered by your insurance, look into getting them insurance. If they do have insurance through you, find out what it covers. Some facilities have different resources to help you with your financial planning. Contact them and let them direct you in how best to go about making treatment a reality.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Get Support




Get Support: Talk to other people who have encountered situations that are similar to what your family is going through. Going to support groups, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon can help to grant you a better perspective and courage, while offering you encouragement and support.

Again, being the caregiver or family member of a person who suffers from an addiction can be daunting on many levels. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and off-balance, reaching out to someone can be a good idea for you too—talking to a therapist or counselor may help you to find greater balance and strength, so that you’ll be better prepared to face the road ahead of you. The stronger that you are, the stronger you can be for your loved one.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Reach Out




Reach out: Seek out other family members or friends who can help support you and your child both. An addiction can tear apart a person’s life, but it can also impact the lives of those around them. Having a network of people with the common goal of supporting a person in working towards their sobriety can put you steps ahead. This network can also come in handy if you need to stage an intervention.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab Questions




Ask Questions: Reach out to facilities and therapists. Find out how they treat addictions and what the different therapies and approaches are that they utilize. Remember that is always there for those in need.

Like we said, every person is different—finding a facility that is the right fit for your loved one’s interests, temperament, situation, and addiction can make a vast difference in the measure of success that you’ll see.

Be Mindful Of How You Approach Your Child And The Situation

At a young age, a child is taught to value their parents and listen to their opinion and guidance. No matter what our age, many of us still cling to this in some respect. For many people, it does matter what our parents think about us. Keep this in mind when you speak to your child, adolescent or adult.

The manner in which you carry yourself and portray your thoughts and worries can greatly influence the outcome of the conversation. Remember, sometimes when a person, especially a parent, tells a child to do one thing, their reaction is to do the opposite. It is very important that you help them to maintain perspective, but be mindful of how your frame your observations and comments about their life.

At any age, try not to trivialize your child’s life. As a parent, with your experience and understanding of them, it can be easy to look from the outside in and see the error or simplicity of a situation. Even though it might seem that way to you, these same things can be very real and heavy to your child—they can be very important, overwhelming, or confusing. Try to be understanding of the things that influence their life and perspective.

Don’t give in. Your emotions are drained, and this situation has likely zapped you physically as well. Sometimes it can seem easier to cave and take the easy way out. Don’t compromise. Your child, at any age, needs you to stay strong and steadfast for them. Don’t bargain with or bribe them. This can be tempting, but is in fact very counterproductive and these are short-term solutions at best.

Consider An Intervention

Though many people may be familiar with the term, a lower percentage may actually be aware of what the process entails or how to go about it. When a person is so steeped in denial and refuses to either acknowledge that they have a problem or acknowledge that they need help, despite pleading or numerous overtures, an intervention might be an option you should consider.

Keep in mind, when a person is addicted, they are not always thinking the most clearly or rationally. In the majority of situations, a person who struggles with an addiction has let their health and responsibilities fall to the wayside. During an intervention, a person’s family and friends come together in an organized, patient, and compassionate setting to present them with the severity of the situation and options for changing their behavior and seeking help.

Planning: This is a situation where planning is essential. As we mentioned before, moving too quickly or being overly emotional can actually put both you and your child at a disadvantage. Even though you might be tempted to reach out in an impromptu manner, this can actually backfire on you and push the person farther away from both you and the help they desperately need.

Take the time to prepare yourself and anyone else involved in the intervention. Have a plan. Have a means of transportation ready. Consider that your child may become volatile or react in manner that is hard to deal with. If you’re fearful that your child may react in a way that you are not comfortable with or adept at handling, consider enlisting the support and guidance of a mental healthcare worker that specializes in intervention (an interventionist).

Keep Your Emotions In Check: An intervention can be a very tumultuous time. People’s opinions and emotions may get out of control—be mindful of keeping them in check. Strive to not be judgmental. There is a good likelihood that during the course of the addiction, your loved one may have done something to hurt you or mess their life up. It can be easy to point this out in a manner that is steeped in blame.

How To Get My Son Or Daughter Into Drug Rehab LoveBe conscientious about how you phrase your communications and present ideas. Always try to speak and act out of love. When a person struggles with an addiction, they might feel alienated or even lonely. Being aware of your emotions, reactions, and responses helps to safeguard you, so that you don’t push them away and make them feel these things even more.

Is It A Good Idea To Force Someone To Go To Rehab?

Though it is always preferable that a person choose rehab on their own, it is not always a viable option. An addiction is devastating to your health, and in certain cases, it can actually put a person’s life in jeopardy. Here is when you need to consider what the repercussions will be if the person’s drug or alcohol use continues. When a person’s use is so severe, interceding on their behalf can not only prevent this damage, but it can save their life.

This is again a point where you need to remained informed on the subject and ask questions, especially in the case of an adult child. Laws vary from state to state, so take the time to find out what your options are. One option is a court-ordered treatment. Be prepared, as this route may potentially result in your child experiencing an extreme sense of betrayal, as you are essentially turning them into the authorities for their drug use.

This avenue oftentimes heavily impacts a person with the full reality of the situation—when they’re faced with this, they’re also faced with the reality that if they don’t change their behavior, they could incur legal repercussions. This might be tough love, but at least it forces your child to contemplate the toll their addiction is taking and pushes them towards thinking about change.

If you’re not comfortable doing this, or living with the results, there is yet another option: getting someone involuntarily committed for their addiction. An article published in Medscape referenced findings by the the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and quoted the lead author Debra A. Pinals, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester as stating “We found that most states, about 38 jurisdictions, permit some form of involuntary substance abuse treatment separate from any kind of criminal issues under their civil statutes.”

At the end of the day, getting your child the help they need is the biggest priority. Research shows that even people who do not choose treatment on their own still have favorable and successful outcomes. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) refers to this, stating that “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.”

In these cases, it might be natural to worry about the repercussions this will have on your relationship. You might question whether they will become angry at you for doing this, or if they will forgive you. In this circumstance, you need to be the stronger person and put them first. Eventually, in the best case scenario, when they get the help they need and obtain sobriety, having a new perspective and being able to look back with gratitude to realize what you did to help them.

Be Supportive After You’ve Succeeded In Getting Them Help

This can be the hardest part for some, because sometimes being supportive means letting go, albeit in most cases, temporarily. Once you get your child into a facility, you need to be respectful of both their needs and the facility’s policies. Some may have certain restrictions on family visits and interactions for a certain period of time. As much as this might be hard on you, you need to respect these boundaries with the understanding that it is in the best interest of your child.

Sometimes, your child may not want to see you. As a parent, your initial instinct and desire may be to rush in and protect them, or reach out to them with love and concern. Try to understand that your child is seeking to heal and gain strength and perspective to overcome their addiction. This can be very hard for you to understand, good facilities should involve the family in the treatment and establish an informed and open dialogue, even during the times you’re not able to interact with your family member.

Ask them questions, share your fears or hesitations—let them explain to you why the situation is the way it is, and most of all trust them—they’re the experts and they have your child’s best interests at heart.

Let Us Help You Look After Your Son Or Daughter

Watching your son or daughter struggle with an addiction can be devastating. Trying to get them the help they need can be a daunting process, and once you find a facility, letting go and letting someone else look after your child can be equally intimidating. This is why it is important to choose the right facility, so you have help and support every step of the way.

Contact us if you or a loved are considering medication therapy treatment.You don’t have to do this alone, that’s why we’re here. We can help you wade through the confusing emotions and countless options that surround a situation like this. Our staff at is not only highly trained, but they’re compassionate too—they understand the trying times that you’re going through and will be sensitive to your needs and those of your family. Contact us today, we are here to help you!

Setting Boundaries For A Loved One Addicted To Drugs And Alcohol

Setting Boundaries for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol

When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the addiction affects much more than their behavior and physical characteristics; drug addiction has been defined as a brain disease by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Addiction happens when the urge to take drugs or abuse alcohol is too strong for the person to control and use becomes more of a priority than basic human needs, like eating or sleeping. Addiction may cause someone to act in ways they would otherwise consider horrific, which include stealing from, lying to, and hurting the people they care about the most.

Setting Boundaries for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Drug And Alcohol Addiction

What Is Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction changes the way the brain communicates with and responds to signals, called neurotransmitters. The chemicals found in drugs, including legal and illegal drugs, can mimic the neurotransmitters in the brain or change the way the brain responds to them. Addiction can cause mood swings, memory loss, trouble thinking and making decisions, as well as sudden weight loss, lack of personal hygiene, and a deterioration of the physical appearance. Addiction manipulates the brain into thinking that it needs the drugs to survive.

Why Is It So Difficult To Quit Drugs?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overcoming addiction is no small feat, and it is not merely a matter of willpower. When someone suffers from addiction, the thought of quitting and going through withdrawal is enough to scare them into not quitting. Withdrawal can make someone very ill and can disrupt their entire life, so it often seems too insurmountable to overcome addiction. But it can be done, especially when there are support groups, counseling, and treatment programs involved.

Setting Boundaries for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Boundary Setting

What is Boundary Setting?

Boundary setting for your addicted loved one involves setting limits of what you will and will not allow in your home or relationship. Setting rules may seem harsh, but if you don’t set strict boundaries, you will allow your addicted loved one to continue their drug use and harm your family or relationship further. Boundary setting forces your loved one suffering from addiction to take responsibility for his or her actions.

Why Can It Be Hard For Addicted Loved Ones To Stick To Boundaries?

When someone is addicted to a substance, the ability to stop using drugs isn’t based on personal choice; rather, drug use is controlled by the now-diseased brain.

Boundary setting does not work if you set rules and expect them to never be broken. Demanding that the addicted loved one stops doing drugs is setting them up for failure and you up for constant disappointment and frustration. Setting boundaries is about making your loved one aware of your limitations and what exactly will happen if they breach them. It doesn’t work if you don’t follow through on the rules and boundaries you set and continue to enable your loved one’s drug use.

Why Do Boundaries Often Get Changed With Addicted Loved Ones?

There are many reasons why we continually adjust our boundaries with loved ones even though we may swear never to give in again. They include:

  • Holding onto the memory of the love and relationship before drug abuse began
  • The belief that the addicted loved one can stop doing drugs if they really want to or if they “truly love you”
  • The lack of understanding of normal drug use versus abuse and addiction
  • The common misbelief that addiction is a lack of willpower, not a disease

Setting Boundaries for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Being An Enabler

The Dangers Of Being An Enabler

When you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, nothing good can come from allowing inappropriate behavior. Setting concrete boundaries may seem harsh at first, but not setting boundaries with your loved one will enable their addiction to continue. When you allow yourself to live in a household where anger, frustration, stress, and disrespect are a constant state, you are robbing yourself of the quality of life you deserve.

The Importance Of Setting Boundaries With A Loved One Addicted To Drugs

As soon as you realize that you cannot control your loved one’s drug use, but you can control how you will react and behave, you regain stability in the relationship. Once your addicted loved one sees that you’re serious about the boundaries you set, they will be much more likely to seek addiction treatment in the future.

Good Examples Of Boundaries

Inappropriate boundaries are demanding the addicted loved one stops doing drugs, or claiming that they must not love you enough if they don’t stop drugs. These boundaries don’t work because the blame is being put on the person, not the addiction.

Examples of appropriate boundaries include:

  • If you end up in jail, I won’t bail you out or pay for a lawyer
  • I won’t give you any more money for anything
  • I won’t allow any drug-using friends in the house
  • I won’t allow any drug paraphernalia in the house

Setting Boundaries for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Examples Of Boundaries

How To Prepare And Stick To Boundaries

First and foremost, it is important to understand that it is perfectly okay and acceptable to want peace in your home, respect, and appropriate behavior from everyone, including your addicted loved one. Begin setting boundaries by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the most loving thing I can do for my addicted loved one?
  • How can I show respect for myself that I deserve?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll realize that it is best for both of you to set strict boundaries that you are able to follow through with. Decide on your boundaries when you are in a calm frame of mind, and be prepared to commit to the boundaries you set. For example, threatening to kick your teen or adult child out of the house when you’re upset may not be something you’re actually prepared to enforce the next time he or she makes a mistake.

Follow these additional tips to help you stick with the boundaries you set:

  • Be informed on the brain disease of addiction and the extent of its power
  • Learn more about why those suffering from addiction lie, steal, cheat, and hurt those they love (and why it isn’t personal)
  • Understand that change takes time
  • Know why it is never helpful to be an enabler

Reach out for help overcoming addiction.Get Help With Boundary Setting For An Addicted Loved One

You deserve to know that it is possible to regain some peace and respect in your home and to overcome the ups and downs of living with fear, anger, confusion, and pain. The friendly staff at is here to help you successfully set boundaries with your addicted loved one and regain the lifestyle you deserve. Contact us today and get started on the path towards healing your loved one and your family from the disease of addiction.