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

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine(1)

Alcohol decreases a person’s fundamental ability to make sound decisions. As judgment, reasoning, and inhibition drop, a person is far more apt to make poor choices like using crack for the first time, or using large amounts within shorter periods of time.

Crack cocaine is intensely addictive, so much so, that according to CESAR a “A person can become addicted after his or her first time trying crack cocaine.” With this toxic drug cocktail your risk of overdose will always be higher, as is the chance that your body will experience other harm.

What Does Alcohol Do To Your Body?

Even though alcohol may make people initially feel more energetic, it’s actually a sedative or “downer.”  When you consume alcohol it goes to work on your central nervous system (CNS) and begins to depress it or slow it down, hence why it’s also referred to as a CNS depressant.

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine_crack cocaine addiction

As this occurs, your heart, breathing, and blood pressure rates all start to decline. The more alcohol you use in a shorter period of time, the more pronounced these effects. Alcohol greatly taxes a person’s liver and also affects their heart and brain.

How Does Crack Effect You?

Crack is a powerful stimulant. When a person uses crack their CNS speeds up (the opposite effect of alcohol) and their brain’s chemistry is immediately altered. Here, two things happen. First, as the CNS quickens, a person’s heart rate and other cardiac functions increase. Secondly, as their brain’s chemistry changes, and because crack is so powerful, they quickly begin to crave the drug.

Crack is far more potent than powdered cocaine, and thereby carries an even greater risk when abused. Despite this intense effect, the high or “rush” from crack is relatively short-lived (only about five to ten minutes).

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine_crack potency

To counter this brief effect, crack, like powdered cocaine, is often used in binges. This means a person keeps using the drug in rapid succession after the first dose, a practice which increases the risk of addiction, heart damage, and overdose.

Why Do People Use Alcohol And Crack Together?

The reasons are similar to most which fuel polydrug abuse. Some users ingest both because alcohol intensifies the high associated with crack. On the other hand, alcohol is often used to moderate the come-down associated with a crack high, or certain unpleasant side effects of the high itself, like twitching, tremors, or anxiety. Regardless of why a person chooses to use these drugs together, they are placing their life and health in a precarious position.

What Happens When You Use An “Upper” And A “Downer” Together?

Due to the opposing nature of each drug’s basic characteristics (one being a stimulant and the other a depressant) the drugs seem, at certain points, to cancel out the effects of the other.

This may lead a person to drink more because they don’t feel the intoxicating effects of the alcohol as acutely. Or a person may use more crack because the alcohol seems to balance out the heightened states associated with it.

Many users take these to be positive effects, when in reality they are anything but. This does not at all mean that your body is immune from the effects of the additional alcohol or crack. While certain effects may wane, the impact on other parts of your body and brain remain.

When you use both your CNS is caught in the middle of a dangerous tug of war which overburdens this critical system, as well as your heart. As your body is pulled quite literally from one extreme to the next in this way, your life is in jeopardy.

Alcohol And Crack Increase Your Risk Of Death

Both alcohol and crack, can, alone, cause overdose. Using these two drugs together increases the risk. As a person uses crack more frequently to fulfill their cravings, their CNS system becomes even more taxed, increasing the risk of overdose. This hazard is high when a person is binging on the drug, behaviors which increases when alcohol is present.

The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine_cocaine concentrationFor individuals who aren’t accustomed to consuming alcohol with crack, the potential for a fatal overdose skyrockets. Alcohol can actually make it easier for your body to absorb cocaine, which increases the concentration of cocaine within your blood by 20 to 30 percent. From this effect, a person could overdose if they take an amount they are typically used to when using the drug alone.

In the instances where crack seems to “cancel” out alcohol’s effects, a person may continue to consume alcohol in pursuit of a buzz. The problem is that even though they don’t feel the alcohol, their body is still taking large amounts of it in.

Once the crack begins to wear off a person may become very intoxicated quickly, to the extent they get severe alcohol poisoning.

Also, research shows that cocaine as a whole has been linked to an increased risk of suicide when used with alcohol.

What Is Cocaethylene And Why Is It So Toxic?

When alcohol and crack cocaine enter your system within the same period of time their chemical components begin to react together, forming a new chemical called cocaethylene.

Cocaethylene itself has psychoactive properties that many users seek out even if they don’t realize it. This chemical has a longer half-life by three to five times compared to cocaine, which means it remains in your system longer, lengthening the euphoric state of the crack.

Cocaethylene has been associated with an increased risk of:

  • Cardiac complications: Various cardiac processes can malfunction from this chemical. The risk of heart attack climbs (especially in those under aged 40).
  • Liver damage: Since your liver metabolizes the two drugs to create cocaethylene, this organ can suffer substantial damage.
  • Seizures: Seizures can lead to bodily injury and head trauma, which could cause death.
  • Sudden death: Cocaethylene “carries an 18- to 25-fold increase over cocaine alone in risk for immediate death,” according to the Journal of Addictive Diseases.
  • Immune system: A compromised immune system makes it harder for your body to fight disease and infection and maintain an altogether healthful state.

Even though a user may feel the pleasurable effects for a more substantial period of time, the longer cocaethylene is in your system, the greater the opportunity it has to damage your body.

It is possible to treat two addictions at once. In these instances, inpatient drug rehab is typically the best choice for treatment.

Get Help For Alcohol and Crack Cocaine Abuse Today

If you or a loved one is addicted to both alcohol and crack, or experimenting with one while addicted to the other, don’t delay. Contact now to begin exploring your treatment options today.

If you or a loved one is battling methamphetamine abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “The Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol With Crack Cocaine” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



US National Library of Medicine — Effects Of Concurrent Use Of Alcohol And Cocaine
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics — Cocaine and Alcohol Interactions in Humans: Neuroendocrine Effects and Cocaethylene Metabolism

What Are The Most Potent Opioids In The United States? What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_

The most potent opioids in the United States include carfentanil, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and a new deadly opioid combination drug called Gray Death. While most opioids are prescribed for pain relief, and contain addictive properties, some opioids are more potent than others.

It can be helpful to know which of these are the most dangerous, on the market and on the street, especially if you suspect someone close to you may be abusing these medications. Some opioids are harmful even to the touch, and taking repeated or large doses of them can result in dangerously slowed breathing, which can lead to overdose or coma. What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ Contain Addictive Properties

Others may have fatal results after just one dose, particularly combination opioids. That’s why it’s so important to recognize these medications, their severity, and seek help as needed.

With street drugs, there is never a guarantee for what kind of drug you’re getting or the dosage. It’s best to get out of the vicious, harmful cycle of addiction before you experience damaging effects to your health or worse.

Potent Opioids By Name:

The following are the most potent opioids in the United States, followed by a description of each. When a drug is “potent” it is medicinally effective or has a great ability to bring about a certain result, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.


Carfentanil is an opioid analogue of fentanyl, and is “one of the most potent opioids known” according to the U.S. National Library Of Medicine. Its potency level is 10,000 times that of morphine, and 100 times that of fentanyl. Carfentanil is typically used for tranquilizing large animals, including elephants.

Combination Opioid: Gray Death

Opioid combinations tend to be more potent than singular opioids. Gray Death is a current popular and deadly combination in use right now. As Forbes explains, Gray Death “looks like concrete and is so potent that it can be risky to touch and can kill you with one dose.” It contains fentanyl, heroin, carfentanil, and U-47700, a synthetic opioid commonly called Pink—all highly potent opioids.


Fentanyl is the most potent opioid used in hospitals or by doctors, according to CNN. However, much of fentanyl sold on the street is diverted from other countries, and that’s how it can become dangerous. People buying the drug may have no idea that they’re buying fentanyl and take too much without being under care of a doctor. Even a small amount of fentanyl can be lethal, as the drug can be accidentally inhaled or absorbed through the skin on contact.


Heroin affects the brain in a way similar to prescription opioids, causing euphoria, a sense of well-being, and slowing of certain functions. Why is it potent, then? Repeated heroin abuse can cause an excess of the substance in your body, which contributes to overdose. Also, heroin may be laced with additives such as sugar or starch, or with other substances. These can clog the blood vessels that lead to other organs and create permanent damage. Heroin should always be considered potent for the simple fact that there is no guarantee of what’s in it.


Hydrocodone is potent enough that it’s prescribed for patients who will need relief from pain round-the-clock for a long time. Drug label warnings for this medication strongly advise against breaking or crushing the pill, or taking it any other way than prescribed—as this can cause overdose and death. Just taking hydrocodone as prescribed can slow or stop breathing, so abuse of it is dangerous.

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

Hydromorphone is more potent than morphine, but not as potent as fentanyl. It’s another opioid that is potent even to the touch. As for the effects of it, the drug can cause withdrawal even with monitored use, and can cause fatal overdose when in the wrong hands.

Morphine (Kadian, Morphabond)

With so many potent opioids out there, morphine may be considered mild in the minds of some. But it’s not to be underestimated, as it can still cause addiction, dependency, and even overdose when taken in high doses. Morphine presents even higher risk of overdose when combined with other substances, like alcohol. What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ Oxycodone

Oxycodone (Oxycontin)

Oxycodone is two times as powerful as morphine, and like most opioids can cause respiratory distress. In the last couple decades, abuse of Oxycodone became quite popular as prescription rates increased. Yet abuse of this medication can be dangerous; it’s typically used for postoperative pain relief.

Oxymorphone (Opana)

Oxymorphone is often used to treat those with terminal cancer or chronic, severe pain issues. Because of this, the level of potency of the drug is high, about twice that of Oxycodone. People taking the drug as directed are advised to not stop taking it without help from a doctor. Abuse of Oxymorphone is far more risky as dosage is not regulated.

Why Are Opioids Addictive?

Opioids are addictive partly because the drugs contain chemical properties that change your perception of pain and your response to pleasure. They’re also addictive because when you take them, you experience an immediate rush of pleasurable feelings: euphoria, well-being, and calm.

This rush happens within the first few minutes, and is followed by a short-term “high,” or extended period of pleasurable feelings with minor side effects like drowsiness or slowed breathing. It’s the rush and subsequent high that gets you, makes you want to keep coming back to opioids even if you aren’t aware of it at first.

With time, you lose control; you can no longer recognize the difference between use and abuse, and will do nearly anything to seek the drug. Once you become addicted, you may form a physical dependence on the drugs, which means you’ll have withdrawal symptoms when not taking them. Withdrawal, while not always life-threatening, can be uncomfortable to the point that you want to avoid it, and so keep abusing the drugs.

Who Is Abusing Opioids In The United States?

If you’re caught in this cycle of opioid addiction, you aren’t the only one. The American Society Of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) states that, in 2015, “2 million [people] had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.”

Yet few people addicted to opioids ever receive help in treatment, and that is why overdose happens more and more. Plus, if you’ve been addicted to one opioid, it’s quite likely you’ll become addicted to another if you don’t find help. The ASAM estimates that four out of five people who first abused prescription drugs later became addicted to heroin. What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ 591,00 Had A Substance

The number of people addicted to opioids includes youth as young as 12 years of age, though adults in the age group of 18 to 25 abuse these drugs most. Women are particularly affected by prescription opioid abuse, as they are more likely to have chronic pain, seek medication for it, receive opioid medications, and fall into abuse of them.

What Can Be Done For Opioid Addiction?

So, what can we do to reverse the harm of opioid addiction? More all the time, new treatment modalities are developed and backed by evidence to support effective outcomes. Some of the evidence-based methods we employ at our facilities include:

  • Counseling: family, group, and individual
  • Psychosocial therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing
  • Adventure therapy
  • Wilderness therapy
  • Treatment specific to men
  • Treatment specific to women
  • Medication-assisted therapy
  • Medically-supervised detoxification
  • Nutritional guidance and exercise support
  • Mindfulness and stress management techniques
  • Aftercare support

In addition to great treatment methods, people struggling with opioid addiction will benefit from the excellent care, peaceful surroundings, and serene landscapes often found at private rehabs. At, we have access to all the resources you’ll need to find a rehab that is right for you, and that works to build a treatment program that best fits your individual needs.

Find Hope In Treatment Today

Are you battling abuse of one of the most potent opioids in the United States? If you are, you don’t have to fight alone. We’d like to help you overcome addiction, and rebuild your life.

When you call today, your information will be kept confidential. Learn more about opioid treatment and the best rehab centers today. Contact us at

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Are The Most Potent Opioids In The United States?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



American Society Of Addiction Medicine—Opioid Addiction: 2016 Facts And Figures
CNN—What You Need To Know About Fentanyl
Forbes—Gray Death: The Most Powerful New Opioid Combo That’s Risky Even To Touch
Merriam-Webster—Definition Of Potent
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Heroin
National Institutes Of Health—Opioids And Chronic Pain
New York Times—Inside A Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look At America’s Opioid Crisis
U.S. National Library Of Medicine—Carfentanil, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone

Signs Of IV Drug Use Signs Of IV Drug Use

Intravenous, or IV drug use is the most common form of injection drug use. Users liquify and inject various drugs of abuse directly into their veins. The IV method requires certain tools called paraphernalia. These items can make this dangerous habit easier to spot. Over time, the drug user will begin to exhibit physical symptoms of IV drug use, such as scarred or collapsed veins. This method is highly dangerous, and can lead to addiction, disease (HIV/AIDS), coma, overdose, and death.

At a certain point in time, drug use can be surprisingly easy to hide. As use persists, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to cover up the signs of abuse. This is especially true with IV drug use, due to the method’s highly invasive nature.

What Types Of Drugs Do People Inject Intravenously?

While heroin is the most notorious drug used this way, you may be surprised to learn that drug abusers administer a wide variety of other drugs by this method. Cocaine (including crack), methamphetamine, and morphine are also frequently abused this way. Combining cocaine and heroin, or “speedballing,” is a common practice with recreational drug users. Signs Of IV Drug Use Opioid Drug

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) writes that the following drugs of abuse are also injected:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Bath salts (synthetic cathinones)
  • DMT
  • Flakka
  • Ketamine
  • PCP

Additionally, and quite dangerously, a variety of prescription drugs are also used this way. Most of these medications come in a pill or tablet form which requires users to crush and liquify the drug.

Every form of opioid drug used in painkillers was listed by NIDA as being abused by injection. Examples include:

  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)

Certain sedatives are also injected, such as:

Prescription stimulants, such as those used to treat ADHD, are frequently abused this way, including:

  • Amphetamine (Adderall)
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

With the rise of prescription drug abuse, commonly abused medications are increasingly being manufactured with safeguards in place. These are designed to deter abuse by injection by making it more difficult.

What Are The Behavioral Cues Of IV Drug Use?

The general behavioral cues of IV drug abuse and addiction will be similar and may include a person:

  • Becoming evasive or upset if you ask about drug use
  • Being unable to stop or limit drug use
  • Going out of their way to find and use the drug
  • Experiencing intense urges or cravings to use the drug
  • Ignoring important responsibilities at work or school
  • Losing interest in their favorite things
  • Needing more of the drug than before to feel good (tolerance)
  • Pushing people away and/or suddenly having new “friends” (fellow drug users)
  • Spending money they can’t afford on the drug
  • Thinking or talking excessively about the substance
  • Hoarding, hiding, or stealing the drug
  • Doctor shopping to procure more of the drug (in the case of prescription medications)
  • Wearing long sleeves to cover up track marks even in warm weather

Despite being administered the same way, each drug of abuse has a different method of action. Because of this, physical and mental signs of abuse will vary. Drugs within the same class, such as opioids, will closely mimic each other. But on the other hand, stimulants such as cocaine would create a quite different impact in comparison to the depressant effects of an opioid.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia? Signs Of IV Drug Use Different MethodWhen a drug abuser injects a drug, they need certain equipment. These items are collectively termed paraphernalia. Finding these objects can be a telltale sign that a person is engaging in IV drug use. The most obvious one would be a syringe (insulin syringes are frequently used). You might also find pill bottles, baggies, or balloons which contained the drugs.

It can be hard for a person to inject into the vein on their own. For this reason, some people choose to modify the syringe. If this occurs, they may replace the plunger with a bulb, such as those from an eyedropper or baby pacifier.

Paraphernalia may include:

  • Alcohol swabs to sterilize the injection site.
  • Material to filter the liquidized drug through (cigarette filters, cotton balls, or sterile filters which are made for this purpose).
  • Hard surface with powdery residue on it (from crushing and cutting pills). Mirrors are often used and may be in a strange place like on a bed or on the floor.
  • Razor blades (used to do the above).
  • An acidic agent (lemon juice, citric acid, or Vitamin C). These are used to help dissolve certain drugs.
  • A spoon or pop can for “cooking” or liquefying the drug. It may appear burnt.
  • A lighter used for heating the drug.
  • A tourniquet, such as a piece of rubbing tubing or a belt. These are used to enlarge the vein and make it more pronounced for injection.
  • Though more rare, some people may keep a “sharps bin” (a container for used needles) on hand.

Typically a person keeps these items all together in a kit. This may be a small box or bag. It is usually hidden out of sight, such as under the bed, in the closet, etc.

Be very careful when you’re touching these objects. In fact, we recommend that you not touch the items inside of the kit for any reason unless you absolutely have to. Injection needles can carry serious diseases. Also, certain drugs, especially those mixed with heroin, are so toxic and potent that they can absorb through the skin. This can lead to overdose and even death.

What Are The Physical Signs Of IV Drug Use?

Again, injecting a drug directly into your vein is very invasive. People most commonly inject into their forearm, however, users may also choose locations on their legs, neck, hands, feet, and groin. Soon after use, unhealed needle marks, scabs, or bruising may be evident.

Over time, a person’s skin and veins can become scarred, inflamed, and infected. They may even develop abscesses or ulcers. Receptively injecting a drug into the same site can cause vascular scarring. This is referred to as a “track mark.” Signs Of IV Drug Use Toxic And Potent

Infections can become severe and lead to cellulitis or necrotizing fasciitis, which is sometimes referred to as a “flesh-eating disease.” In both, the skin will become red, swollen, and warm. Cellulitis may make skin appear taut and glossy. In the latter, patches of skin may become dark as tissues begin to die. Both conditions are serious and require prompt medical treatment.

According to Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research, users sometimes heat their needles just prior to injection. This leaves a dark, sooty residue at the injection site, referred to as a “sooting tattoo.” The article asserts that some people will actually get an inked tattoo to cover this up. This practice is used to hide the damage from injection sites in general.

If You See Signs Of IV Drug Abuse, Get Help

If you witness a combination of any of these signs within your loved one, be on guard: they could be abusing drugs. Don’t ignore these signs. The earlier you’re able to support them in making steps towards treatment, the better. We can help you with this. can give you more information on specific drugs of abuse and the best treatment centers for them. Reach out to one of our treatment specialists and let us help you today.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “Signs Of IV Drug Use” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From

How Do People Use Heroin? How Do People Use Heroin_

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug processed from morphine. In its pure form, it’s a white, bitter powder. The pure form is mainly smoked and snorted, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Powdered heroin is commonly cut, or adulterated, with other substances. When this occurs, the color of the drug changes, taking on a brownish tint.

Heroin is also found in another form called black tar heroin. The appearance is as the name suggests, thick, dark colored and either sticky or hard. The color and form occur from the impurities which result from the manufacturing process. Due to the impurities and lesser quality, many injection drug users choose to inject black tar.

How Does Heroin Work?

Opioid drugs work on your body and brain by attaching to opioid receptors. When this occurs, you experience a pain-relieving effect. Recreational drug users seek to induce another feeling from this chemical brain stimulation. How Do People Use Heroin_ Powdered Heroin

Heroin, like other opioids, creates an intensely pleasurable state of euphoria. It can also create what is termed a rush. Heroin depresses your central nervous system (CNS). This is one reason why it’s such a dangerous drug.

What Are The Signs Of Heroin Use?

Learning the signs of heroin use can help you to identify a person in need of help.

When a person uses, they may experience:

  • A “rush” and sense of euphoria.
  • Decreased pain.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Flushed and warm skin.
  • Heavy limbs.
  • Intense drowsiness and wakefulness (being “on the nod”).
  • Intense itching.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Slowed breathing and heart functions.

If any of these seem familiar, don’t hesitate to speak up. It can be hard to have this conversation, but by doing so, you could be saving your loved one from harm and even death.

The Risks And Dangers Of Heroin Abuse

If you’re a heroin user or know someone who is, it’s pertinent you understand the risks and dangers of abuse. This information could help to save your life.

Here are some general dangers linked to heroin abuse:

  • Addiction
  • Compromised immune system
  • Complications of the lungs, including pneumonia
  • Decreased memory and decision-making skills
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart’s lining and valves)
  • Impaired verbal and cognitive functioning
  • Poor impulse control
  • Miscarriage
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Withdrawal

Heroin can cause overdose, even on the first dose. Overdose occurs because your CNS becomes severely depressed. This leads to drastically reduced heart functions, blood pressure, and breathing rates. The intensity of these factors can cause coma, permanent brain damage, and may lead to death. The CDC reports that heroin-related overdoses are on the rise. Between 2002 and 2013, they rose 286 percent. How Do People Use Heroin_ 286 Percent

What Ways Do People Administer Heroin And What Are The Risks?

As previously mentioned, people choose to use this drug numerous ways. In addition to the above, each route of administration has specific signs of abuse and unique risks.

Injecting Heroin Intravenously (IV) How Do People Use Heroin_ Injecting

To prepare for injection, the user liquefies and dissolves the heroin by diluting and heating, or “cooking” it. It is then loaded into the syringe. Shared needles increase the risk of transmissible diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. Injection can also cause abscesses, track marks, and other infections within certain soft tissues.

When many people think of injecting heroin, they are quick to think of intravenous (IV) drug users. This means that the drug is injected directly into the vein. Before a person can do this, they tie off their arm with a piece of rubber tubing or a belt to make their vein bulge. These individuals also inject the drug at various other locations throughout their body, including the leg, neck, feet, and even groin.

Intravenous injection allows any contaminants or cutting agents within the heroin to travel throughout the bloodstream. This can lead to:

  • Clogged vessels
  • Cellular infection or death in certain organs
  • An immune response which can cause arthritis and similar illnesses

According to NIDA, IV heroin abuse can cause:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Scarring
  • Necrotizing fasciitis (sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria) causes tissue death

Heroin can also be injected into into the muscle (intramuscularly) or directly beneath the skin (subcutaneously or “skin popping”).

Smoking Heroin How Do People Use Heroin_ Smoking Heroin

Users place the heroin (typically black tar) on aluminum foil or the top of a pop can and heat it with a lighter. They then inhale the vapors with a straw or hollowed out pen. This is referred to as “chasing the dragon.”

The University of Arizona outlines the following dangers of smoking heroin:

  • Pulmonary (lung) function becomes compromised
  • An uncomfortable shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Severe and repeated asthma attacks (status asthmaticus)

Smoking heroin can also cause leukoencephalopathy, a serious disorder of the CNS’s white matter. A debilitating disease, it causes parts of your brain and spinal cord to deteriorate. This can lead to slurred speech, vision loss, paralysis, and even fatalities.

Sniffing/Snorting Heroin (Insufflation)

These methods are sometimes referred to as insufflation. To prepare, users draw the drug into lines with a razor or credit card on a hard surface like a mirror. They then use a straw, hollow pen, or rolled dollar bill to inhale it into their nasal cavity. This method is very invasive. It can cause great damage to the nose and surrounding areas, including:

  • Bone loss
  • Creating a hole in the septum (area between your nostrils)
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Collapsed nasal passages
  • Constant runny nose
  • Perforation (hole) in the roof or back of your mouth
  • Saddleback nose (a broad, flattened nose)

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), sniffing the liquified version of heroin through a nasal spray bottle is called “shabanging.”

Mixing Heroin With Other Drugs

Heroin is commonly abused with cocaine (including crack). Alternately snorting lines of these drugs is called “crisscrossing.” If a user injects them both at once it is called “speedballing.” Both of these methods are highly dangerous, as heroin is a depressant and cocaine is a stimulant. Because of this, your body and brain are being simultaneously pulled in two different directions. This increases your risk of overdose and death.

As the opioid epidemic increases, heroin is increasingly used in combination with other, more potent, opioid drugs. Responsible for countless overdoses, these deadly concoctions include fentanyl and carfentanil, and as of late, the lethal mystery combination termed “grey death.”

Some individuals purposely seek out these combinations, believing that they will increase their high. Others stumble into using them, as they unknowingly purchase heroin that is cut with these drugs. By either path, these powerful opioids have left a wave of destruction and overdose deaths across our nation.

Start Living A Drug-Free Life

No matter how you abuse heroin, you’re putting yourself at risk for addiction. Is heroin taking over and ruining your loved one’s life? Or maybe you’re the one struggling. Either way, we can help. It is possible to beat a heroin addiction and find sobriety. knows how to find the best heroin rehab centers for your needs. Contact us now.

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For More Information Related to “How Do People Use Heroin?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab? Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab_

If you’re trying to get sober and build a better life, every little bit matters. You’re not just looking out for yourself today and during treatment, but also in the time after. If you or a loved one is losing ground to a severe or long-term addiction, you should strongly consider inpatient drug rehab. This residential treatment grants you a better opportunity for the personal growth and healing that is so necessary for building and protecting your sobriety.

Understanding Your Financial Needs During Rehab

Inpatient treatment can become quite pricey. Financial planning is important prior to rehab as you’re stepping away from your life and job while you work on your recovery. This could be for a 28- to 30-day program, or it could be for 90 days or more. During this time it’s important that you maintain your responsibilities, including bills and looking after your family. Applying for short-term disability could help you to take care of these responsibilities or help to fund treatment.

Will Short-Term Disability Apply While I’m In Drug Treatment?

Exact coverage can vary job to job. The stipulations of your benefits are subject to the terms of the plan. Certain exclusions or limitations may apply which could affect your eligibility for disability during rehab. Some plans have a pre-existing condition limitation, which could include substance abuse. Some plans will allow you to apply your benefits during this time, while others won’t. Some may only do so under very specific circumstances.

We suggest contacting your HR representative or plan administrator to obtain a copy of the plan if you do not already have one. Also, this individual can help you go over the plan’s specific details so that you fully understand the scope of benefits you’re entitled to. Make sure to note the plan’s effective date of coverage in reference to when your condition began. Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab_ Form of Insurance

Be attentive to reading your plan’s language regarding limitations and exclusions. There should be a list of circumstances which are excluded from coverage. Be careful and don’t rush this. Look for any language or terminology that specifically references mental illness, substance abuse, or addiction recovery. We can work with you and the treatment center of your choice to help determine, if, and how, your coverage could help you to enroll in treatment.

How Is Coverage Determined?

Proper documentation of your condition will be expected. This typically requires, at minimum, a physician’s statement which supports your claim. In order for you to receive payment, you’ll likely need to be currently receiving care from a physician. In addition to these guidelines, the insurer may require that they meet with you during the claim process and/or have an independent expert evaluate your circumstances.

When you’re faced with the uncertainty and pain of addiction, it can already be difficult to manage your life and stay on track with your goals. Adding this process to the mix may seem like too much and more that you can bear. Don’t let this discourage you. Though the disability claims process takes a little work and commitment, your perseverance could pay off. If you receive short-term disability, it’s a leg up and a better opportunity to make your recovery needs a reality.

How Long Does Short-Term Disability Coverage Last?

Coverage doesn’t necessarily kick in the first day you’re not able to work. The time before this occurs is called the elimination period. According to The Balance, “coverage usually starts anywhere from one to 14 days after an employee suffers a condition that leaves them unable to work.” Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab_ Nine To 52 Weeks

The Balance also reports that before compensation coverage begins, you may be required to use any accrued sick days for your missed time off work. Once it starts, they write that short-term disability may last nine to 52 weeks from the date of eligibility. If your short-term disability benefits apply while you’re at rehab, this added flexibility can make it easier to enroll in an inpatient program.

What’s The Best Way To Use My Short-Term Disability?

Benefits you receive from short-term disability could go towards the cost of paying for rehab. You could also consider using it to help pay for bills and expenses which are due while you’re in rehab. Your short-term disability could help you to stay on top of these obligations so that you can relax more and focus on your recovery. A secure financial foundation and plan can help to make your treatment goals more attainable.

The extra stress and worry associated with paying your bills can become a trigger for relapse, both during and after treatment. Addressing these concerns helps to remove this risk. If you don’t have to come home to mountains of debt it will be easier to maintain a balanced, drug-free life. We can help you to figure out how to prepare every area of your life for rehab, so that you have the best shot at sobriety.

Are There Other Ways I Can Pay For Treatment?

Due to the price tag of rehab, you may have to get creative when it comes to financing your inpatient stay. To start with, your closest loved ones may want to help you with financial gifts or loans. Beyond this, you may qualify for a scholarship or grant, a sliding feeding, payment arrangements, financing options, or even a personal loan through a bank or credit union. Your insurance may also provide treatment coverage. Taking the time to explore these options can create more resources to invest into your recovery.

Will Going To Rehab Affect My Job?

Are you worried that leaving your job to go to rehab will affect your career? Though this is understandable, it’s definitely something that shouldn’t prevent you from seeking help. Trying to balance the tasks and responsibilities of any job, especially high-pressure careers, is exceedingly difficult under the influence of addiction. Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab_ Price Tag Of Rehab

The truth is, a drug-free life should make it easier to function and be successful within the workplace. Your focus, concentration, and performance will likely increase, while your margin of error and absenteeism from drug-related causes should decrease. If your job offers you benefits that make it easier to seek treatment, it’s an opportunity to better your life and health all around.

Get The Most Out Of Treatment

Finances and employee benefits can be overwhelming and confusing at the very least. When you’re trying to wade through the upheaval created by an addiction, these things can become even more intimidating. can help you to find a rehab which fits your unique needs. Not only this, but we’ll work with you and the facility to find out how to best utilize your benefits and finances to cover treatment costs. Contact us now to begin getting help.

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For More Information Related to “Does Short-Term Disability Cover Drug Rehab?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


Verywell — Short-Term Disability Insurance

Dual Diagnosis: Sex Addiction And Mental Illness Sex Addiction_Facebook

Have you ever had a partner who seemed a bit preoccupied with sex? We may have all gone through phases during which we were highly sexually active, but when is this behavior called addiction?

Sex addiction (also called hypersexuality) is not classified as a medically recognized mental disorder—yet. But it is becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate mental disorder that needs proper assessment and treatment.

Sex addiction can be and often is accompanied by other mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression. It can also occur along with substance abuse. When two disorders occur at the same time, it’s called a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, and the disorders tend to affect each other.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is defined as having a preoccupation with sexual fantasy, due mainly to intimacy dysfunction. It has been called an intimacy disorder. This preoccupation is characterized by compulsive thoughts and behaviors, usually involving:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Pornography
  • Romantic intensity
  • Objectifying a partner
  • Obsession with the pursuit of sex, especially casual or non-intimate

To be classified as addiction, this behavior has to have lasted for six months or more. As with any addiction, people with this problem may be aware of their behavior, but may be powerless to stop. Sex Addiction_What is Sex Addiction

For example, someone with this problem tries to fix the behavior, but fails. People who struggle with sex addiction may hide some of these compulsive activities from a partner due to shame, guilt, or remorse. Further, they may have made countless promises to change, but were simply unable to. That’s why many people with this problem have trouble with relationships, as reported by Medical News Today.

What Causes Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a process addiction. In simple terms, that means it is similar to gambling addiction or compulsive spending; “sexual addicts typically spend a much greater amount of time engaged in the pursuit of sex and romance (the process) than in the sexual act itself,” Psych Central states.

The direct cause isn’t known, partly due to lack of research. But of the studies that exist, some show that the brains of those addicted to sex respond to sex in the same way as someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. That is, someone addicted to sex gets a euphoric feeling when they experience it.

Psych Sex Addiction_Child Abuse explains, “People addicted to sex get a sense of euphoria from it that seems to go beyond that reported by most people. The sexual experience is not about intimacy….any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change.”

Sex addiction causes the person affected to use sex to deal with life stressors, cope with pressure at work or school, and in general for thrill-seeking and to feel better. People seek drugs or alcohol for similar reasons.

Other causes may be more indirect. For example, one study found that more than 80 percent of people addicted to sex suffered sexual abuse as children. Research in general, though limited, reveals that many people with sex addiction experienced some kind of abuse during childhood.

In addition to sex addiction, many people also have co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse and mental illnesses. Addiction symptoms can worsen the symptoms of mental illness.

How Is Sex Addiction Affected By Mental Illness?

Sex addiction is a complex disorder because it works like an addiction in the brain, but is characterized by emotional and mental symptoms much like mental illness. Therefore, sex addiction can be greatly affected by other mental illnesses. Why?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states, “people with mental health disorders are more likely than people without mental health disorders to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder.” In other words, having a mental condition greatly increases your chances of substance abuse.

Diagnosing co-occurring disorders can be difficult though, especially because symptoms of each disorder can vary in levels of severity. Left untreated, co-occurring disorders can lead to a number of consequences, including:

  • Developing further disorders
  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Suicide
  • In some cases, death

How Many People Experience Dual Diagnosis?

You may not be surprised that millions of people suffer each year from mental illnesses and substance abuse alike, but did you know that millions also struggle with a dual diagnosis? In 2014, 7.9 million people in the United States reported a dual diagnosis, SAMHSA states. That number only includes adults.

Men are more affected by co-occurring disorders than are women. People who are at elevated risk tend to be: lower socioeconomic status, military veterans, or people with other medical illnesses.

What Are The Signs Of A Dual Diagnosis?

If you are struggling with sex addiction and other mental illness, it may be helpful to recognize the signs so you can seek the help you need. Signs of sex addiction are mentioned above, but mental illness signs depend on the mental illness itself, as symptoms greatly vary among disorders.

In general, here are some possible signs of a dual diagnosis:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Drawing back from friends or family
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Loss of control: over behavior, substance abuse, emotions, etc.
  • Using or seeking substances in dangerous situations
  • Feeling like you need the drug (in this case, sex) to be able to function or feel normal
  • Tolerance: this occurs usually when people no longer feel the effects of a drug; with sex addiction, it can occur when sex no longer makes a person feel euphoric.
  • Withdrawal: extreme urges or cravings—typically for drugs or alcohol, in this case for sex— and even physical symptoms that keep you seeking sex again and again

How To Treat Sex Addiction And Mental Illness

Treatment for a dual diagnosis is most effective when using an integrated approach. This allows people to receive assessment and care for both disorders, working on healing from each at the same time. Sex Addiction_Psych Central

Many of the treatment methods found most effective for sex addiction can be found at an inpatient rehab center. The same is true for mental illness. Healing at a rehab center presents a number of advantages.

Professional, quality medical care makes a difference in your chance of treatment success. For example, some mental illnesses or addiction disorders require medication that has to be given by a licensed medical professional. Rehab centers provide knowledgeable, trained staff to help you through a difficult time.

More than that, rehab centers have experience in treating your illness. Staff and experts have helped others before you overcome their disorders. In rehab centers, you will also be lifted up by other people who are there for similar reasons—to heal and to have a chance to start over.

Some of the most effective treatment methods are:

Get Help With Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Sex addiction is a disorder many people may not even know they have. Like many addictions, it can lead to dire consequences in your life, relationships, and finances. Paired with mental illness, sex addiction symptoms can escalate.

If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to seek the help you deserve. Contact us today at to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and hear about our renowned rehab centers.

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For More Information Related to “Dual Diagnosis: Sex Addiction And Mental Illness” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Medical News Today—Sex Addiction Is A Legitimate Mental Disorder
National Alliance On Mental Illness—Dual Diagnosis
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Comorbidity:Addiction And Other Mental Disorders
Sex Addicts Anonymous—Are You A Sex Addict?

The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs

Fear and addiction pretty much go hand in hand and people live with the fear that there is no hope for them to beat an addiction. With a faith-based recovery program, there is hope. These recovery programs give people who suffer from addictions a higher power to look up to—and be reassured that they haven’t failed morally, because what they have is a disease. Faith-based recovery programs can help someone overcome a pornography addiction, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or other behavioral addictions. With a faith-based program there can be hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Have you ever suggested that a person seek help for a drug or alcohol problem; only to have them tell you that they didn’t need help? Perhaps you suggested they try a program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous—almost invariably they told you that they weren’t “like those people.” Could that answer have been a result of fear and lack of faith? Maybe your friend was afraid that they’d find out that they were like those people, or that they did have a drinking and drugging problem.

Addiction—Faith In Nothing

A lot of people with addictions have little faith in the idea of recovery—or little faith that there’s a such thing as a higher power. Actually lot of people who are active in an addiction to alcohol or drugs don’t have faith in much; it’s possible that they feel neglected by God, by their family, and may support a variety of other secular beliefs as well. Maybe they’re going around with a chip on their shoulder because they’re stuck with a drug or alcohol dependence, but everyone else doesn’t.

What Is Faith-Based Recovery?

By definition, faith is putting complete trust or confidence in someone or something—in a faith-based recovery, a person with an addiction looks to the teachings of a certain faith to find serenity and recovery. For instance, in a Christian-based recovery, a person would likely look to the teachings of Christ in the New-Testament of the Bible, whereas a person who practices Judaism (Jewish-based) would more likely use the Torah. The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs Putting Complete Trust

Thanks to community outreach organizations like Faith-based and Community Initiatives, treatment centers can provide people with shelter if they’re homeless or might become homeless; they can also inform teens and young adults about drug and alcohol addiction, or even provide crisis counseling for people who have experienced trauma.

What Kind Of Treatment Is Faith-Based Recovery?

Essentially, faith-based recovery and support is “an opportunity for places of worship and fellowship to support and strengthen families in their communities by offering recovery programs to help individuals beat their addictions” (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services). Faith-based recovery can work in several areas of treatment: Mental health services; substance use prevention; and addiction treatment just to name a few (SAMHSA). Not only can it work for addictions, faith-based recovery can help a person suffering from mental health disorders as well.

These types of recovery programs can look differently based on what type they are—faith-based treatment can be inpatient or outpatient, group or individual, long-term or short-term, but the main point of each is to help people in need. Sometimes a faith-based treatment will be used in criminal justice to revolutionize the way a convict thinks; and faith-based treatment methods can often be found in prisons, jails, or other community corrections facilities.

What Kind Of Addictions Can A Faith-Based Rehab Treat?

As previously mentioned, faith is something that a lot of people with addictions don’t have—so how do they get it? Sometimes it’s hard to put any kind of faith in something you can’t see, especially when you’ve been dealt such a bad hand. Perhaps you come from a long line of alcoholics, or addicts. There is hope, and a faith-based option can treat more than one kind of addiction—they can treat:

What Can A Faith-Based Recovery Program Do For People?

Faith-based recovery programs help people realize that they aren’t alone in addiction—and if they place their trust in someone else or in God, they can beat addiction. It all starts with a willingness to admit that there’s a problem. In faith-based treatment rehab centers, some of the requirements of the spiritual leaders are:

  • Viewing addiction as a treatable disease, not just a moral issue
  • Embracing and supporting people in recovery and walking with them on their journey
  • Having a visible outreach in the community
  • Having spiritual/pastoral support
  • Disseminating Information
  • Having or hosting recovery support groups
    (Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services) The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs in Faith-Based Treatment

You aren’t going to be shunned or disgraced because you have an addiction. You’ll be supported, cared about, and encouraged to do the best you can. Placing all of your trust in one person or idea can be pretty difficult if you’ve never seen it work for you, but if you can see the miracle in someone else, you’re more likely to believe that it can work for you. Not only can you feel like you’re worth fighting for, but through a faith-based recovery, you can feel like you have a purpose—and your quality of life can become so much better.

How Many Faith-Based Recovery Programs Are There?

There isn’t an exact number of faith-based recovery programs available, because faith-based recovery can be hosted by churches, sober living homes, rehab centers, and 12 step-programs. But one thing that’s certain: In the United States, with more than 60,698 groups and over 1,200,000 members in Alcoholics Anonymous, and about 50 other programs modeled after the original 12-step model (with just about every addiction you could imagine); there’s a faith-based recovery program available for just about everyone.

What Is A 12-Step Program?

A 12-step program is a way for a person to use fellowship, unity, and recovery to understand why they’re addicted, learn how other people fight addictions, and how to stay sober. It’s about realizing that there is a God, and you’re not it.

According to an article in the United States National Library of Medicine, “Twelve-step fellowships (e.g., Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous) are the most widely available addiction recovery resource in the United States. Affiliation with 12-step fellowships, both during and after treatment, is a cost-effective and useful approach to promoting recovery from alcohol–and other drug-related problems.”

Is Faith-Based Treatment Religious Or Spiritual?

Faith-based treatment can be both spiritual and and religious. Spirituality, by definition, is something concerned with a person’s spirit or soul rather than material things, and religious means related to believing in a religion. AA claims to be a spiritual program, however, based on the 12 steps, members are also encouraged to practice praying to a “God of their understanding.” Not to twist things up too much; spirituality and religion can, but don’t always, have some of the same ideas. The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs Religious Or Spiritual

What Is Addiction?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.” Along with health, financial stability, and social life, addictions can control a person’s behavior, learning, judgment, memory, and decision-making.

How To Get Help With An Addiction

There are a lot of things to be afraid of if you’re suffering from an addiction, or struggling with an emotional or mental disorder—fear of rejection, fear of overdose and death, and fear that you’ll never get the treatment you need. If you’re living in fear and suffering from an addiction; it’s time to step out of the shadows and contact us. We can show you to the light, and help find the recovery program that’s right for you. It’s time to “let your faith be bigger than your fear.”

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For More Information Related to “The Benefits of Faith-Based Recovery Programs” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Alcoholics Anonymous – Estimates of A.A. Groups and Members as of January 1, 2016
Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services – Join Our Faith-Based Recovery Network
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Understanding Drug Use and Addiction
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration- SAMHSA – About Faith-based and Community Initiatives
United States National Library of Medicine – The Role of Social Supports, Spirituality, Religiousness, Life Meaning and Affiliation with 12-Step Fellowships in Quality of Life Satisfaction Among Individuals in Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Problems

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System? How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System

Alcohol moves through the body as does any substance: through a process called metabolism. Though this process works the same for everyone, many factors influence the rate (how fast it works) and effectiveness. When people abuse alcohol, they may build up a tolerance, or no longer feel the effects of it.

This is why it’s important to know how long alcohol stays in your system. People who expose their bodies to prolonged abuse may not feel the effects of alcohol, but the amount consumed remains the same. The body can only break down alcohol at a certain pace; increasing drinking amounts also increases chances of adverse health effects. How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System_Processing Alcohol

Our bodies can process one ounce of alcohol per hour. After consuming one ounce of alcohol, our bodies generally experience an increase in blood alcohol content (amount of alcohol in the blood) to 0.015. This means that with every passing hour, that amount of alcohol leaves the body.

To put it in perspective, if you drink four ounces of alcohol, it will take four hours to leave the body. This timeline may be different for those consuming large amounts of alcohol, though. Many factors influence how quickly alcohol is processed, including how much you drink at one time. When someone starts drinking heavily, the liver can’t keep up, and breaking down alcohol becomes a difficult process.

In fact, after a certain point, your blood and tissues begin to absorb the extra alcohol. This is when you start to experience adverse effects, like confusion, depression, disorientation, memory gaps or loss, nausea, and vomiting.

Alcohol stays in the urine for 12 to 36 hours, though some tests can detect the presence of alcohol for up to 48 hours. Breath tests may detect it up to 24 hours after consuming the last drink.

How Is Alcohol Metabolized?

Our bodies metabolize alcohol in several ways, the largest of which involve enzymes. Enzymes are substances already in our bodies that help break things down. The two most common enzymes are called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Steps in the metabolic process:

  • ADH breaks down alcohol to a toxic byproduct/carcinogen called acetaldehyde.
  • Acetaldehyde breaks down to a further byproduct that is less active: acetate.
  • Acetate breaks down to water and carbon dioxide so the body can get rid of it.

Other enzymes may also play a role in metabolizing alcohol, but ADH and ALDH do the most work. The majority of the breakdown of alcohol occurs in the liver, though tissues, the pancreas, and the brain also aid in this process.

If the body has a specific process for breaking down any substance, including alcohol, you may wonder why alcohol can still be damaging to health. The answer lies in the toxic byproduct, acetaldehyde, as well as heavy drinking. How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System_Acetaldehyde

The NIAAA explains, “although acetaldehyde is short lived, usually existing in the body for only a brief time before it is further broken down to acetate, it has the potential to cause significant damage.” Damage from this byproduct is found in the liver, and is also apparent in the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system).

Factors That Influence Metabolic Rate

Alcohol abuse may affect your health because even though your body can break it down, it can only metabolize so much per hour, no matter how much you drink. Drinking heavily or frequently can cause problems for your system, especially your liver.

One major factor that influences metabolic rate is genetics. Different people may have different variations of the ADH and ALDH enzymes. These variations account for difference in ability to break down alcohol: some enzymes work slowly, others quickly.

The way a person’s enzymes work greatly affects metabolism. The NIAAA explains, “a fast ADH or a slow ALDH enzyme can cause toxic acetaldehyde to build up in the body, creating dangerous and unpleasant effects that may also affect an individual’s risk for various alcohol-related problems—such as developing alcoholism.”

Recognizing how your body responds to processing alcohol may help you understand your amount of risk of alcohol abuse or addiction.

Other factors include:

  • Food:
    • How much do you eat before, during, or after drinking
    • What do you eat?
  • Weight:
    • People who weigh more have more blood and water in their bodies, which helps them absorb alcohol
  • Medications:
    • Certain medications can react with alcohol in adverse ways
  • Gender:
    • Women tend to have less water and more fat in their body, so do not metabolize alcohol as fast as men
    • Hormone differences between women and men can affect metabolic rate; high hormone levels may affect the liver’s ability to process alcohol

Health Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Short-term effects of alcohol abuse can leave people sick with nausea and disorientation, or confused from blackouts (memory gaps). Prolonged abuse, and addiction, can be detrimental to your health.

Alcohol abuse and addiction increases your risk of developing many health complications, including:

  • Cancer: breast, colon or rectum, upper respiratory tract, liver
  • Liver disease: the NIAAA states that more than 90 percent of people who drink heavily develop fatty liver disease; others will develop the more severe alcoholic liver disease or liver cirrhosis
  • Pancreatitis: heavy drinking alone may not cause this, but can greatly contribute

Signs Of Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism)

Alcohol abuse, or heavy drinking, may lead to addiction. What’s the difference between abuse and addiction? Abuse of alcohol is characterized by developing habits associated with drinking, such as slipping in attendance at work or performance in school.

Abuse can cause a person to begin doing things he or she may not have done before. This can range from lying about drinking to driving while under the influence, though the person knows it is dangerous.

Addiction can result when the person’s brain becomes addicted to the feelings experienced when drinking. Some signs of alcohol addiction, also called alcohol use disorder or alcoholism, are:

  • Inability to stop drinking, even if you want to and know the risks
  • Feeling a “need” to keep drinking
  • Tolerance: needing to drink more to get the same effect
  • Withdrawal: experiencing physical symptoms when quitting drinking, like nausea, headache, and anxiety
  • Shirking obligations and activities to drink
  • Continuing to drink, even if it causes problems in relationships, at work, school, or other social groups

Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse has been around for centuries, and treatment has improved immensely in recent decades. One challenging part of treatment is detoxification. To heal, your body must first rid itself of chemicals built up from prolonged abuse. How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System_Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

After that, healing can begin. Different forms of therapy can help addicted individuals learn to cope with the struggles of addiction. Counseling can help you work through the difficult emotions and thoughts. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can help people recognize their own capabilities, how to use them, and structure the environment around them to foster a life of sobriety.

Many rehab centers offer advanced, evidence-based approaches to treatment. New, effective ways to treat people struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction include gender-specific therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, alternative therapy such as wilderness and adventure therapy, and holistic therapy.

Whatever treatment you choose, the method should be comprehensive, targeting not just addiction symptoms but helping you achieve long-term success in sobriety.

Reach Out And Find Treatment Today

Alcohol remains one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States. If you abuse it for too long, you risk developing addiction. Years of abuse or addiction can lead to many damaging health effects.

Don’t let addiction rule your life. Contact us today at and find out how you can find a treatment plan that is right for you at one of our renowned rehab centers.

For more information, call now!


For More Information Related to “How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Brown University—How Does Alcohol Move Through The Body?
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism—Alcohol Metabolism
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism—Alcohol Use Disorder
University Of Minnesota—Blood Alcohol Concentration

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

Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs

Illegal drugs sold on the street are often marketed or discussed under different names. These code names were devised to dissuade authorities (such as parents, police officers, or others) from evidence of drug abuse. Knowing the common street names for illegal drugs can be useful to those who suspect someone they know is abusing drugs. Treatment for illegal drug abuse or addiction requires comprehensive healing plans and professional support.

Have you ever heard a drug called by a name that’s unrelated to the drug itself? Or, maybe you suspect someone you know is abusing drugs, but aren’t sure and would like to find out.

Knowing the common street names for illegal drugs can help you learn how drugs are regarded on the street—sometimes the street name hints at the drug’s intended effects. An overview of street names for drugs can also help you identify them in conversation if someone close to you is at risk of abusing them. Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_knowing Street Names

The best recourse for abuse of drugs, and addiction to them, is treatment. can connect you with the resources necessary to find treatment that works for you or your loved one.

Why Street Names?

In simple terms, street names were developed for common use in conversation about illegal drugs. What do you do if you don’t want authorities, parents, teachers or others to know about drug abuse? You speak in a sort of code. Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_Street Names Developed

Some street names may have entered mainstream vernacular (everyday language). Others are used mostly by those abusing or trafficking drugs. Either way, if you suspect someone you know is abusing illegal drugs, it can be useful to know the everyday names for them.

Common Street Names


  • Aunt Nora
  • Bernice
  • Binge
  • Blow
  • Bump
  • C
  • Candy
  • Charlie
  • Coke
  • Dust
  • Flake
  • Mojo
  • Nose Candy
  • Paradise
  • Rock
  • Sneeze
  • Sniff
  • Snow
  • Toot
  • White

Crack cocaine:

  • 24-7
  • Apple jacks
  • Badrock
  • Ball
  • Base
  • Beat
  • Candy
  • Chemical
  • Cloud
  • Cookies
  • Crack
  • Crumbs
  • Crunch and munch
  • Devil drug
  • Dice
  • Electric kool-aid
  • Fat bags
  • French fries
  • Glo
  • Gravel
  • Grit
  • Hail
  • Hard ball
  • Hard rock
  • Hotcakes
  • Ice cube
  • Jelly beans
  • Kryptonite
  • Nuggets
  • Paste
  • Piece
  • Prime time
  • Product
  • Raw
  • Rock(s)
  • Rockstar
  • Roxanne
  • Scrabble
  • Sleet
  • Snow coke
  • Sugar block
  • Topo (Spanish word)
  • Tornado
  • Troop

Depressants (prescription sedatives)


  • Barbs
  • Phennies
  • Red birds
  • Reds
  • Tooies
  • Yellow jackets
  • Yellows


  • Rohypnol (AKA Flunitrazepam):
    • Circles
    • Date rape drug
    • Forget pill
    • Forget-me pill
    • La Rocha
    • Lunch money
    • Mexican Valium
    • Mind eraser
    • Pingus
    • R2
    • Reynolds
    • Rib
    • Roach
    • Roach 2
    • Roaches
    • Roachies
    • Roapies
    • Rochas Dos
    • Roofies
    • Rope
    • Rophies
    • Row-shay
    • Ruffies
    • Trip-and-fall
    • Wolfies

Sleep medications:

  • Forget-me pills
  • Mexican valium
  • R2
  • Roche
  • Roofies
  • Roofinol
  • Rope
  • Rophies



  • Cat Valium
  • Green
  • K
  • Jet
  • Special K
  • Super acid
  • Super C
  • Vitamin K


  • Acid
  • Battery acid
  • Blotter
  • Bloomers
  • Blue heaven
  • California Sunshine
  • Cid
  • Cubes
  • Doses
  • Dots
  • Golden dragon
  • Heavenly blue
  • Hippie
  • Loony toons
  • Lucy in the sky with diamonds
  • Microdot
  • Pane
  • Purple Heart
  • Superman
  • Tab
  • Window pane
  • Yellow sunshine
  • Zen

Mescaline (AKA Peyote):

  • Buttons
  • Cactus
  • Mesc


  • Angel dust
  • Boat
  • Hog
  • Love boat
  • Peace pill


  • Little smoke
  • Magic mushrooms
  • Purple passion
  • Shrooms

Ecstasy (aka MDMA):

  • Adam
  • Beans
  • Cadillac
  • California sunrise
  • Clarity
  • E
  • Essence
  • Elephants
  • Eve
  • Hug
  • Hug drug
  • Love drug
  • Love pill
  • Lover’s speed
  • Molly
  • Peace
  • Roll
  • Scooby snacks
  • Snowball
  • Uppers
  • X
  • XE
  • XTC



  • Air blast
  • Ames
  • Amys
  • Aroma of men
  • Bolt
  • Boppers
  • Bullet
  • Bullet bolt
  • Buzz bomb
  • Discorama
  • Hardware
  • Heart-on
  • Hiagra-in-a-bottle
  • Highball
  • Hippie crack
  • Huff
  • Laughing gas
  • Locker room
  • Medusa
  • Moon gas
  • Oz
  • Pearls
  • Poor man’s pot
  • Poppers
  • Quicksilver
  • Rush snappers
  • Satan’s secret
  • Shoot the breeze
  • Snappers
  • Snotballs
  • Spray
  • Texas shoe shine
  • Thrust
  • Toilet water
  • Toncho
  • Whippets
  • Whiteouts


  • Abyssinian tea
  • African salad
  • Catha
  • Chat
  • Kat
  • Oat


  • Biak-biak
  • Herbal speedball
  • Ketum
  • Kahuam
  • Ithang
  • Thom


  • Astro Yurf
  • Bhang
  • Blunt
  • Bud(s)
  • Blaze
  • Dagga
  • Dope
  • Dry high
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Green
  • Hemp
  • Herb
  • Home grown
  • J
  • Joint
  • Mary Jane
  • Pot
  • Puff
  • Reefer
  • Roach
  • Sinsemilla
  • Skunk
  • Smoke
  • Texas tea
  • Trees
  • Weed
  • White widow


  • Boom, Chocolate, Gangster, Hash, Hemp


  • Beanies
  • Brown
  • Crank
  • Chalk
  • Chicken feed
  • Cinnamon
  • Crink
  • Crypto
  • Crystal
  • Fire
  • Get go
  • Glass
  • Go fast
  • Ice
  • Meth
  • Methlies quick
  • Mexican crack
  • Redneck cocaine
  • Speed
  • Tick tick
  • Tweak
  • Wash
  • Yellow powder

Crystal meth:

  • Batu, blade, cristy, crystal, crystal glass, glass, hot ice, ice, quartz, shabu, shards, stove top, Tina, ventana

Over-the-counter drugs

  • CCC
  • DXM
  • Poor man’s PCP
  • Robo
  • Robotripping
  • Skittles
  • Triple C

Prescription opioids (AKA Painkillers)


  • Captain Cody
  • Cody
  • Doors and fours
  • Lean
  • Loads
  • Pancakes and syrup
  • Purple drank
  • Schoolboy
  • Sizzurp


  • Apache
  • China girl
  • China white
  • Dance fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango and Cash
  • TNT
  • Hydrocodone or Dihydrocodeinone:
  • Vike
  • Watson 387


  • D
  • Dillies
  • Footballs
  • Juice
  • Smack


  • Demmies
  • Pain Killer


  • Amidone
  • Fizzies
  • (Mixed with MDMA) Chocolate chip cookies


  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White stuff


  • O.C.
  • Oxy 80
  • Oxycat
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycotton
  • Oxy
  • Hillbilly heroin
  • Percs
  • Perks


  • Biscuits
  • Blue heaven
  • Blues
  • Heavenly blues
  • Mrs. O
  • O bombs
  • Octagons
  • Stop signs

Prescription Stimulants

Amphetamine (Adderall, Benzedrine):

  • Bennies
  • Black beauties
  • Crosses
  • Hearts
  • LA Turnaround
  • Speed
  • Truck drivers
  • Uppers

Methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin):

Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic Marijuana:

Synthetic stimulants (AKA Bath Salts):

  • Arctic blasts
  • Aura
  • Avalance or Avalanche
  • Bliss
  • Blizzard
  • Bloom
  • Blue silk
  • Bolivian bath
  • Cloud nine
  • Cotton cloud
  • Drone
  • Dynamite or Dynamite plus
  • Euphoria
  • Glow stick
  • Hurricane Charlie
  • Ivory snow
  • Ivory wave or Ivory wave ultra
  • Lunar wave
  • Mexxy
  • Mind change or Mino Charge
  • Monkey dust
  • Mystic
  • Natural energy powder
  • Ocean snow
  • Purple wave
  • Quicksilver
  • Recharge
  • Red dawn
  • Red dove
  • Rock on
  • Rocky Mountain High
  • Route 69
  • Sandman Party Powder
  • Scarface
  • Sextasy
  • Shock wave
  • Snow day
  • Snow leopard
  • Speed freak miracle
  • Stardust
  • Super coke
  • Tranquility
  • UP energizing or UP Supercharged
  • Vanilla Sky
  • White burn
  • White China
  • White dove
  • White lightning
  • White rush
  • White Sands
  • Wicked X or XX
  • Zoom

Treatment For Addiction To Drugs

Reading this list, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the possibility of addiction in our nation and elsewhere. The important thing to remember is that treatment for illegal drug abuse and addiction is ever-growing.

In fact, treatment for addiction in recent decades has improved. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, “most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.” Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs_Treatment For Addiction

Treatment works, and getting to treatment could make a vast difference in your life. Methods of treatment are changing, focusing on healing a person as a whole—mind, body, and spirit—rather than just targeting symptoms of addiction.

How To Get Help With Addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to illegal drugs, you may be uncertain about the next step. You can find help and the treatment you need with our help. Contact us today at, and we will help you find a rehab center that fits your needs with a treatment plan that suits your specific goals.

If you or a loved one is battling drug abuse or addiction, please contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Common Street Names For Illegal Drugs” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Drug Free World—The Drug Facts
National Institute On Drug Abuse—Commonly Abused Drug Charts
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Heroin

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms

Methamphetamine, or meth, is known for its quick rush and long-lasting highs. People who seek use of the drug may binge on it for several days, streaming a continuous high. But what happens when they develop tolerance and can’t feel the effects? What happens if they no longer have access to methamphetamine?

Withdrawal happens. Withdrawal, or the comedown, from any substance can be intense, but with meth can cause some adverse symptoms. Methamphetamine withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Appetite increase
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Strong cravings/urges for the drug

What Is Withdrawal Like?

If abusing meth is a definite high, coming off it (withdrawal) is an extreme low. In fact, the high is often what gets people addicted to meth; the low may be what keeps them from quitting. What makes withdrawal so intense?

The American Academy of Family Physicians explains, “Methamphetamine withdrawal is associated with more severe and prolonged depression than is cocaine withdrawal.” The depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions, so withdrawal should be monitored closely.

If that weren’t enough, withdrawal can also cause cravings for meth so intense that a person begins to become irritable to the point of violence. This may be uncharacteristic behavior for those abusing meth.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms_Methamphetamine Addiction

When people become addicted to meth, they may be able to go without sleep or food for an extended period of time. This can lead to paranoia and psychosis—contributing to the violent or erratic behavior.

Though it’s true that meth withdrawal may not be as dangerous as that of other illegal drugs, it is still damaging to health. Symptoms of withdrawal can make people do things they may not otherwise do. If someone you know is undergoing meth withdrawal, be cautious in approaching them and seek help.

Why Do People Abuse Meth?

If withdrawal is intense, even detrimental to health, why do people still abuse meth? The answer lies with addiction.

Addiction is a tricky disease. From the first use of meth, when people experience the intense surge of euphoria, followed by a long-lasting high characterized by excitement and energy, people are hooked. This is more than just people enjoying the feeling in their body when they abuse meth—the brain enjoys it as well.

The brain enjoys it so much, in fact, that it changes the way it responds to pleasure. Once a person’s brain experiences the effects of meth, it convinces people they want to experience this feeling again and again. Chronic abuse may unfortunately lead to tolerance, further agitating the symptoms of withdrawal.

What Is Tolerance?

Tolerance is what people experience when they no longer feel the effects of a drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “as is the case with many drugs, tolerance to methamphetamine’s pleasurable effects develops when it is taken repeatedly.” Because meth is so addictive, and can quickly lead to binges, tolerance may develop quickly.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms_Methamphetamine Withdrawal

As addicted individuals realize they have developed tolerance, the need to achieve the meth high may become urgent. To that end, people abusing meth may take more frequent or higher doses. They may also try a different route of administration. Smoking or injecting meth results in a quicker high than taking it orally.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Methamphetamine Abuse?

After a time, even with increased use, those abusing meth may not feel the effects of it at all. That is when withdrawal can become overwhelming, and lead to psychosis. The body is so overcome with the need for meth that it becomes convinced it has other issues.

Examples of this common to meth abuse is the feeling of bugs crawling under the skin, or seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations and delusions). Even after a person has quit meth abuse, and has overcome the worst of withdrawal symptoms, psychotic symptoms can persist. That’s why it’s best to seek treatment for meth abuse right away.

Other long-term effects can be damaging to a person’s health, and may include:

  • Addiction
  • Aggression
  • Being easily distracted
  • Brain changes: function, structure
  • Impairment to motor skills
  • Loss of memory
  • Meth mouth” (severe tooth decay and other mouth issues)
  • Mood changes
  • Thinking gaps
  • Violent behavior
  • Weight loss

Do You Know Someone Addicted To Meth?

When people begin using meth regularly, they may be able to function normally: eating regularly, sleeping, even showing up for work on time. Meth is a stimulant, which means it stimulates certain chemicals in the brain. Some may even find that the increased energy and hyperactivity can work for them—for a time.

Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms_Brain Experience

It is when use stops or addiction starts that meth abuse can become dangerous. Once a person becomes addicted, he or she will change in pursuit of the drug. Withdrawal can reduce a person to the, at times, crippling symptoms of depression, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.

Here are some signs to look for if you suspect someone you know is addicted to meth:

  • Tolerance:
    • Does the person have to take more or higher doses to achieve the same high?
  • Withdrawal:
    • Does the person experience intense withdrawal symptoms, like depression or irritability, when not taking meth?
  • Avoidance:
    • Does the person continue using meth to avoid the withdrawal process?
  • Inability to stop:
    • Can the person not stop use, or stop seeking meth, even if he or she wants to?
  • Life changes:
    • Once addicted, a person often rearranges life to align with drug use, such as shirking responsibilities, missing school or work, seeking the drug at any cost, etc.
  • Behavior changes:
    • You know this person wouldn’t normally commit a crime to obtain meth (or in general), or engage in violent behavior, but lately the person’s behavior is out of control

If someone close to you is exhibiting these symptoms, he or she may be addicted to meth. With the severity of withdrawal and the adverse long-term effects, treatment is the best solution to meth addiction.

Who Is Affected By Meth Abuse?

Meth abuse is a problem, yes, but perhaps you’re wondering just how far this problem reaches. The NIDA reports that in 2012 1.2 million people reported use of meth in the past year, with 440,000 having reported use in the past month.

Though these numbers are down from the 2006 survey, they are not low enough. The average age of those abusing meth was 19.7 years. The report included meth use among eighth, tenth and twelfth grade students as well. Typically, meth has been a substance of issue in rural areas, but is gaining popularity in urban areas.

How To Find Treatment Today

A supervised medical detoxification may be required if methamphetamine is abused along with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opiates. The licensed medical staff at our inpatient rehab centers provides necessary support and care to help with this process.

Inpatient treatment allows addicted individuals to heal while receiving quality care, mental and emotional support of peers, and evidenced-based approaches to treatment. Many of our rehab centers also offer gender-based treatment, dual diagnosis to target any and all disorders, and an individualized treatment plan.

If someone you know is struggling with meth abuse, we can help. Contact us today at to learn more about methamphetamine withdrawal, our rehab centers, and treatment options.

If you or a loved one is battling methamphetamine abuse or addiction, please contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Methamphetamine Withdrawal Symptoms” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



American Academy Of Family Physicians—Methamphetamine Abuse
Center For Abuse Substance Research—Methamphetamine
National Institute On Drug Abuse—What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Methamphetamine Abuse?

What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning? What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning happens all around the United States, and affects high school and college students, and grown adults. When experiencing alcohol poisoning, a person may be incoherent, hypothermic, vomiting, or experiencing seizures. The most likely population to experience alcohol poisoning is men between 35 to 64 years old. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are the largest contributors to alcohol poisoning, and 6 people die each day in the United States by overdosing on alcohol. There is most likely treatment near you.

Not every person gets completely loaded as soon as they’re old enough to (legally) drink alcohol—and not every person who drinks alcohol does it to get drunk; on the contrary, some people only drink to get drunk. Even though 11 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States is by minors, you might be surprised to learn that three in four deaths from alcohol poisoning are people 35-64 years old. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are the biggest contributors of alcohol poisoning—not necessarily inexperience.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Alcohol abuse is better understood as drinking too much, drinking to get drunk, or drinking to cope with certain problems or situations in a person’s life. Binge drinking, on the other hand, has a more definitive meaning, and is the biggest cause of alcohol poisoning. In order to define binge drinking, we must first define a standard drink. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a standard drink is:

  • 12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5-ounces of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol content) – (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

For men, binge drinking is 5 or more standard drinks in 2 hours, whereas for women, binge drinking is 4 or more drinks in 2 hours. So binge drinking doesn’t only exist on college campuses, after your best friend’s wedding, or after your high school prom, it can happen with either veteran drinkers or underage drinkers.

Alcohol Poisoning Definition

Also known as acute alcohol intoxication and alcohol overdose, alcohol poisoning usually comes without warning. Sometimes it happens after a person decides to sleep off a hard drunk, which can be a pretty common scenario for teens and college students, but it can happen to just about anybody who drinks to excess. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose is caused by drinking too much alcohol too fast.” What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Alcohol Poisoning

By the medical definition, alcohol poisoning is “a condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. The affected individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive, or unconscious, with shallow breathing. Because alcohol poisoning can be deadly, emergency treatment is necessary” (Medicine Net).

What Are The Critical Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol Poisoning?

Sometimes alcohol poisoning isn’t obvious—and a person starts off with a slight buzz; then as the night progresses, they become more outgoing; this is often followed by even more boisterous and rowdy behavior if they continue drinking. After that, if they haven’t stopped yet, they may experience a blackout—which doesn’t necessarily mean that they will experience an overdose, but the chances will be much greater.

Here are some of the things to look for to determine alcohol poisoning:

  • Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness
    (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

What To Do In Case Of Alcohol Poisoning What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Standard Drink VolumeIf you think that someone might be too drunk, it’s important to keep an eye on them—a lot of people die in their sleep from alcohol poisoning. If your friend is unresponsive call 911, and try to turn them onto their side. Keep them sitting upright if they’re still awake, and get them to drink some water.

You could very well save your friend from death by alcohol poisoning—if you or your friend is a minor, they might get into a little trouble, but getting charged with a minor in possession is way better than being dead. They may wake up with a hangover, and a hazy recollection of the night before, but this is to be expected after binge drinking.

What To Do If I Suspect Someone Has Alcohol Poisoning?

  • Know the danger signals—
  • Do not wait for someone to have all the symptoms
  • Be aware that a person who has passed out may die
  • If you suspect an alcohol overdose, call 911 for help

What Can Happen If Alcohol Poisoning Goes Untreated?

  • Choking on his or her own vomit
  • Breathing that slows, becomes irregular, or stops
  • Heart that beats irregularly or stops
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Hypoglycemia (too little blood sugar), which leads to seizures
  • Untreated severe dehydration from vomiting, which can cause seizures, permanent brain damage, and death
    (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)

Can You Die From Alcohol Poisoning?

Yes… “There are more than 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths in the U.S. each year—an average of 6 alcohol poisoning deaths every day” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). When someone drinks until they’re wasted, they don’t have the same problem solving skills that they might have when they’re sober. So the most practical answer is just to pass out and sleep it off, right? No. Actually this can be pretty dangerous; sometimes a person can go into an alcohol induced coma—in their sleep.

More About Alcohol Poisoning Deaths In The United States

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “the majority of deaths are among non-Hispanic whites…American Indians and Alaska Natives have the most alcohol poisoning deaths per million people.” What Are the Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning_Alcohol Men

Furthermore, 76 percent of those who die from alcohol poisoning are men. States, police, schools, and communities have taken action in spreading awareness to the youth with programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

How Is Alcohol Poisoning Treated

If a person is brought into the hospital via ambulance, they will more than likely be brought to the emergency room, where they will take all necessary precautions. The staff will monitor a person’s vital signs after an alcohol overdose, but sometimes this isn’t enough for complete treatment and further measures must be taken.

Typically, medical professionals will insert a tube into a patient’s throat and down the windpipe to open their airway. In order to keep them from urinating freely, they will also need to insert a catheter into the bladder. To keep a person hydrated, and ensure that their vitamin levels are at a healthy level, a person will also need to be hooked up to an intravenous drip (or IV).

How Long Does Alcohol Poisoning Last?

A person’s body can metabolize about 1 standard drink per hour, but alcohol poisoning is a result of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The duration of alcohol poisoning usually varies, and it depends on the severity of and the amount of alcohol in a person’s system and also a person’s metabolism. Sometimes, a person will be hooked up to what is known as a gastric lavage (or stomach pump) which can remove a substantial amount of alcohol much faster than it’s normally digested. Depending on all factors such as further injuries and complications, usually a person will be released from a hospital the next day after being brought in for alcohol poisoning.

Finding Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder And Alcoholism

It’s important to remember that alcohol abuse and binge drinking can lead to more problems than just alcohol poisoning. It can lead to alcohol dependence, alcoholism, injuries, kidney problems, liver problems, brain problems, automobile deaths, loss of job, being kicked out of school, failed relationships, dual diagnosis, or wet brain. Recovery doesn’t stop when you leave the hospital for alcohol poisoning treatment—sometimes that’s only the beginning, and detoxification and inpatient treatment need to be the best next step. It all starts with admitting that you have a problem.

If you’re concerned about alcohol poisoning and ready to quit alcohol, for the sake of someone you love or for yourself, and you would like to learn more. Contact Us today at 1-833-473-4227 to speak to one of our understanding professionals. We can help you get the treatment you need!

If you or a loved one is battling alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “What Are The Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Fact Sheets – Underage Drinking
Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Alcohol Poisoning Deaths
Medicine Net – Medical Definition of Alcohol Poisoning
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Alcohol Poisoning: A Medical Emergency
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Alcohol Overdose: The Dangers of Drinking Too Much

What Does Alcohol Do To The Brain? What Does Alcohol Do to the Brain_

Alcohol abuse and addiction affect the brain and body, but may have lasting effects on the brain. The impact of alcohol on the brain can range from moderate to severe. One of the most dire effects is memory loss and changes. can direct you to treatment resources who can help you overcome alcohol abuse or addiction.

Over seven percent of adults (ages 18 and above) in the United States had an alcohol use disorder in 2012, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In addition, more than 850,000 youth ages 12-17 also suffered with the disorder. Abuse of alcohol is far-reaching, and it can have damaging effects to the brain and body. What Does Alcohol Do to the Brain_ Seven Percent

From short-term effects like slurred speech and blurred vision to long-term effects, such as memory loss and brain damage, it is clear alcohol has a negative impact on the brain.

About Alcohol Abuse And Addiction

People seek use of alcohol for many different reasons. Some may be looking for ways to cope with stress, others may need relief from symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Still others may feel that alcohol provides a sense of calm and relaxation unmatched by other substances or in life.

While plenty of people can have a drink or two without developing addiction, many don’t have this luxury. That’s because when abuse turns to addiction, a person is no longer the only one in control of their thoughts and actions; they are ruled by their addiction to alcohol. Addiction is a force to be reckoned with, and it doesn’t give up easily.

How Does Alcohol Work In The Brain?

The NIAAA explains that, “exactly how alcohol affects the brain and the likelihood of reversing the impact of heavy drinking on the brain remain hot topics in alcohol research today.” Here’s what is certain about how alcohol works in the brain:

  • Heavy drinking can have drastic effects, both short- and long-term, on the brain
  • The effects can range from small gaps in memory to damaging conditions which can permanently debilitate a person
  • Even moderate drinking results in impaired thoughts and actions

What Factors Influence The Effects of Alcohol?

How and to what extent alcohol affects the brain depends on a number of factors, including: What Does Alcohol Do to the Brain_ Factors Influence


  • How many drinks per day, or at one time?
  • How much alcohol is consumed over an extended period of time?


  • How often does a person drink?


  • When did the person first start drinking?
  • The person’s current age


  • How long has the person been drinking heavily?
  • How long has the person had an addiction to alcohol?

Social factors:

  • Level of education

Family history:

Personal factors:

  • Gender
  • Overall health

What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol?

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication system, changing the way it works. This change affects mood and behavior, as thinking becomes difficult and movement becomes slowed. Some short-term effects may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Memory gaps (blackouts)
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble walking

Blackouts, or lapses in memory, are one of the ways alcohol affects the brain which cannot be explained. Blackouts can occur after only a few drinks, though memory gaps may continue to happen the more a person drinks. In fact, the NIAAA states that, “blackouts are much more common among social drinkers than previously assumed… regardless of age or whether the drinker is clinically dependent on alcohol.”

With such a drastic effect after moderate abuse, treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction can provide a welcome relief. can connect you with treatment resources.

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol?

Prolonged abuse of alcohol can result in serious and permanent damage to the brain. The damage can be caused by the alcohol itself or from the breakdown in the body after years of abuse.

For example, many people abusing alcohol also have poor health in general or extensive damage to the liver. Inadequate sleep, improper nutrition, lack of exercise, and perhaps co-occurring disorders (a second substance addiction or mental disorder) can all affect the degree of damage to the brain caused by alcohol.

One important way the extent of brain damage is affected by these things is lack of nutrients. When a person does not get the proper intake of nutrients, resulting in a deficiency, that person’s brain cannot function as it is meant to do. What Does Alcohol Do to the Brain_ Serious And Permanent

Certain brain disorders may occur as a result of long-term alcohol abuse. One such disorder is called Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This syndrome occurs due to a lack of the nutrient thiamine in the body. As many as 80 percent of those with an alcohol addiction lack this nutrient, the NIAAA explains.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can go one of two ways: it can be “short-lived and severe” or it can be debilitating. The short-lived, severe version involves confusion, troubles with muscle coordination, and paralysis of the nerves that move the eyes. With this version of the syndrome, a person may not be able to walk or direct his or her way around without help.

When this syndrome persists, and the deficiency is not remedied, addicted individuals can develop psychosis. This ultimately results in learning and memory issues. People with this version of the syndrome can have troubles both remembering whole parts of their lives as well as recalling conversations which happened only hours before.

Use of alcohol can quickly become abuse, and abuse turns quickly to addiction. Before addiction overtakes your health, seek the help you need and deserve. Inpatient treatment centers offer quality, professional support and care.

Who Is Affected By Alcohol Abuse And Addiction?

As with so many substances of abuse, no one is immune to the risks of alcohol abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that half the people in the United States ages 12 and older are “current drinkers of alcohol.” Women may be more affected by the effects of alcohol abuse, including damage to the brain, however men are more likely to report alcohol abuse overall. Though non-Hispanic white people account for the largest percent of people abusing alcohol, no demographic is unaffected by alcohol abuse. What Does Alcohol Do to the Brain_ Current Drinkers

Available Treatments And Where To Find Them

Abuse of alcohol has been around for centuries, and effective treatment has not always been available. In the past few decades, though, treatments have improved, largely thanks to inpatient rehab centers.

Some of the most effective methods are:

Many of these treatments and more are offered at our inpatient rehab centers. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, don’t wait until you experience lasting effects to your brain. Contact us today at to learn how to get into treatment.

If you or a loved one is battling alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “What Does Alcohol Do To The Brain?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Centers For Disease Control—Alcohol And Public Health
Drug Free World—Short- And Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism—Alcohol’s Damaging Effects On The Brain
National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism—Alcohol’s Effects On The Body
Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration—Alcohol

Treating Addiction With Contingency Management Treating Addiction With Contingency Management

Contingency Management is a system used to treat addiction based on rewards and punishments for certain behaviors. The theory of Behavior Therapy states that every behavior is learned, and therefore can be forgotten. Addiction can be treated with Contingency Management in various settings such as Probation, Prison, or 12-Step Programs. Treating Addiction With Contingency Management Go Through LifeIt can be a refreshing feeling when you’re rewarded for doing something right–especially if you aren’t used to that sort of benefit. Some of us go through life without ever receiving merit for a job well done or a good deed. Though, perhaps more often, (or at least seemingly more often), our bad behavior is always acknowledged, and it can have some pretty negative repercussions on our lives. Bad behavior can get us into pretty hot water–nobody wants to get suspended from school, get arrested, or lose a job over a stunt they pulled.

People suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, can get in a lot of trouble for drinking and drugging–something that their brain has been trained to tell them is right. Contingency Management is one approach to reversing the idea that bad behavior, like abusing drugs, is a good thing.

What Is Contingency Management?

There’s a way to correct behaviors through Contingency Management, which is a “strategy used… to encourage positive behavior change in patients by providing reinforcing consequences when patients meet treatment goals and by withholding those consequences or providing punitive measures when patients engage in the undesired behavior.”(National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism-NIAAA) A person on probation might receive merit for abstaining from alcohol and drugs–this can include early graduation, or a good report from the probation officer. On the other end, if a person uses drugs or alcohol while on probation, they might receive further punishment like jail time. Over time, the brain can be retrained to believe that abusing drugs is a bad thing.

Where Can Contingency Management Be Applied?

Contingency Management is applied in a person’s everyday life from the time they are little, by parents, teachers, siblings, coaches, and friends. As a person grows up, some learned behaviors can stick around and as they enter into the workforce, they may continue to be rewarded for hard work. Whereas they may be punished for other behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use. “Contingency Management interventions are based on the view that alcohol or drug use is a behavior that is influenced by neurobiological and environmental factors and that such behavior can be changed by applying consistent environmental consequences to reinforce the targeted behavior change.” NIAAA The theory is that if a person’s environment is forcibly changed, so will their actions–i.e. if an action is rewarded, it is more likely to be committed again, and vice versa. Treating Addiction With Contingency Management NIAA

It is the reward and punishment for behavior, and some of the areas where Contingency Management can be applied to treat addiction are:

  • State Sanctions–Probation, Jail, and Recovery Court
  • Federal Sanctions–Prison
  • Behavior Therapy and Psychology
  • 12-Step Programs
  • Parental Guidance
  • Everyday Life–Home, Work, and Social Relationships

Contingency Management And Probation

A person suffering from an addiction might get caught with an illegal substance, or get a sanction for driving under the influence of alcohol. More often than not, they will be put on probation as a punishment, though the (sometimes not so obvious) reward is that probation will give a person the opportunity to move on with life and not go to jail–if they complete all included sanctions. The judge may assign other punishments such as community service, 12 -Step group attendance, behavior therapy attendance, urine or hair drug screening, and daily breathalyzers. The probation officer then keeps tabs on an individual, and further punishment (like jail or extended probation) may result if their behavior or substance abuse does not cease.

Contingency Management And Prison

Almost the majority of people in United States prisons are incarcerated for a drug related crime. (Federal Bureau of Prisons) Once a person gets out of prison, they are kept on a pretty tight leash–known as parole. Parole is a lot like probation, except that while on parole, a person might be subject to frequent home visits from their parole officer, and will be required to check in as frequently as every day with urine, blood, or hair tests. Contingency Management will be implemented to the maximum when it comes to federal prison, and a reward for good behavior by the parole board can be as extreme as an early release. The punishment for bad behavior like failure to appear for a parole hearing, leaving the state, or failing a drug test can result in being sent back to prison.

Contingency Management And Behavior Therapy

Behavior Therapy is used for treating mental health disorders–such as Behavioral Disorders including substance use disorders, addiction, and alcoholism. The theory is that every behavior is learned, and can therefore be unlearned or changed. The pattern of behavior linked to addiction can be unhealthy and as a person’s tolerance to a drug grows, consequently, so does their risk of overdose and death. Contingency Management, though highly effective in treating drug addiction, is a resource that isn’t nearly as implemented as it could be. Treating Addiction With Contingency Management Behavioral TherapyAccording to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Contingency Management “interventions have been widely tested and evaluated in the context of substance misuse treatment, and they most often involve provision of monetary-based reinforcers for submission of drug-negative urine specimens.” Furthermore, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these rewards are categorized as Voucher-Based Reinforcement VBR, and Prize Incentives.

Voucher-Based Reinforcement, which has generally been used for opioid and cocaine addiction, is when a patient is given a voucher, for abstaining from drugs, that can be traded for other prizes–usually the prizes start small, and get bigger the longer a patient is sober. Prize Incentives are a lot like Voucher-Based Reinforcement, except that instead of vouchers, a patient will receive cash–like VBR the worth of a prize grows larger the longer sobriety is maintained.

Contingency Management And 12-Step Programs

In self supporting 12-Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, members are rewarded for length of sobriety with tokens or keychains. In these programs, it is suggested that a person suffering from an addiction find a sponsor to guide them through the 12-Steps towards recovery. In AA there is no way of knowing if a person is staying sober, because it is an honesty based program–To Thine Own Self Be True is stamped on each coin. Similarly, Clean And Serene For Thirty Days (or however much time has passed since last drug use) is printed on the keychain awarded in Narcotics Anonymous. Treating Addiction With Contingency Management RewardsIn these groups, there is no drug test, or hair sample, just a person’s word; however, if a member of AA and NA relapses or “slips” their sponsor might suggest that they come clean at the table–or tell the rest of the group. This embarrassment can be considered a punishment, though it reminds all members that relapse is not required of everyone suffering from addiction, but it is a possibility.

Finding The Right Contingency Management For Addiction

For more on Contingency Management , contact us now!

As we grow up and move out of the house, we are no longer protected from mom and dad–there will surely be choices to make, and sometimes we make the wrong choices and other times we make the right choices. These choices can lead one to a promotion at work, or they can lead to a drug addiction; sometimes the choices we make are based on the simple fact that something feels good. It can be easy to get sucked into an addiction, but getting out can be a lot harder. If you’re worried that you or a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and would like to learn about treatments like Contingent Management, contact us today. There is no reward like living a healthy life, free from addiction.


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – Contingency Management Incentives for Sobriety
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Contingency management: What it is and why psychiatrists should want to use it.
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives
Federal Bureau of Prisons – Statistics Inmate Offenses