harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment

What is the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment?

Substance abuse is a complex condition that can affect many areas of an individual’s life. There were over 20.7 million Americans in need of substance abuse treatment in 2017. Thus, it is a no-brainer that there is a dire need for specialized substance abuse treatment. The good thing is that substance abuse treatment programs help address the needs of people struggling with substance abuse.

What is the Harm Reduction Approach?

It is a well-known fact that substance abuse encourages many harmful behaviors. They include risky sexual behavior, driving under the influence, and sharing needles. The harm reduction approach aims to limit such destructive behaviors among drug addicts and improve their quality of life.

Generally, harm reduction is a public health strategy that utilizes practical ideas to limit the negative effects related to drug use. It is a social justice movement designed for drug addicts who do not respond to traditional rehabilitation methods or abstinence. The harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment contains proactive strategies that addicts can put in place on their own or with the help of their family and friends.

Examples of the Harm Reduction Model

Contrary to the punitive approach, the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment acknowledges the humanity and dignity of addicts. It aims to bring them into a community of support and care. In turn, this minimizes the harms of both ineffective and racialized drug policies and problematic drug use.

As a result, the approach promotes social inclusion and optimal health among addicts. There is no universal formula or definition for implementing the harm reduction model. But, below are the central principles involved in harm reduction practice.

1. Safe Needle Exchange Programs

Needle exchange programs provide free and sterile injection equipment. In turn, addicts who are not yet in a treatment program receive contaminant-free needles. This reduces their chances of contracting hepatitis A or HIV.

According to research, such centers serve as a bridge between addicts and other essential services. Such services include drug dependency treatments and HIV testing. These centers also provide safe disposal sites to throw away hypodermic needles and syringes.

2. Supervised Consumption Sites

Also known as Overdose Prevention Sites, these are areas that provide a safe and controlled environment for addicts to use currently illegal substances. In turn, this occurs under the supervision of trained personnel and without fear of arrest.

Such safe consumption spaces also offer mental health and medical help to users. They also provide a crisis helpline in case of emergency. Onsite workers also train the users on how to use medication-assisted treatment.

3. Medication-Assisted Treatment

Over-reliance on prescription painkillers is just as problematic as heroin addiction. Excessive use of OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl leads to opioid dependence. With the help of injectable Naloxone, methadone, and buprenorphine administered by a medical professional, addicts can reverse opioid overdose effects.

These medications also aid in limiting heroin cravings. They also improve the tolerance to HIV medications and other treatments. As a result, they enhance community and personal consistency. Treatment centers that provide this harm reduction service pair it with group therapy and counseling. Thus, patients can focus solely on mending their emotional and mental health without getting worked up about physical withdrawals.

4. Counseling and Peer Support Groups

Traditional peer support programs and counseling groups work hand in hand with the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment. They equip addicts with the relevant psychological tools to allow them to live a normal and fulfilled life.

Group and individual counseling help addicts understand the underlying reasons for their drug use. Talk and behavioral therapy assist them in taking note of the environmental and mental factors that contributed to their addiction.

5. Alcohol Treatment

Treating alcoholism involves several harm reduction strategies. For instance, the doctor and patient work together to create and maintain abstinence or limited drinking goals. Other harm reduction ideas involved in alcohol treatment include:

  • Arranging a ride before going out drinking
  • Giving your car keys to a sober companion
  • Logging off and keeping away from various social media platforms
  • Counseling and support groups to help you understand why, how, and when you drink.

6. Housing First

Also referred to as non-abstinence housing, these are permanent housing solutions for under-housed or homeless people. It also provides a safe and controlled environment for people who use drugs. They do not have to commit to abstaining from the use of illegal substances.

7. Community Mobilization and Empowerment of Rights Protection

Human rights protection is essential to health just as much as sterilized injection equipment. Mobilizing the community to realize this is vital in enforcing the harm reduction model. In turn, it is critical to legally empower communities to enhance the access of those who use illegal drugs. It also reduces cases of police harassment.

Community mobilization is also helpful when it comes to advocacy for drug policy reforms. It can help to decrease interference from law enforcement during lifesaving services. It also aids in holding and preventing various people accountable for abusing the rights of those who use drugs and reducing incarceration.

Pros and Cons of the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment

Compared to detention and the punitive approach, research shows that harm reduction strategies are more cost-effective. They also produce better and more effective results as it allows people who misuse alcohol and drugs to improve their quality of life.

Furthermore, people who use harm reduction strategies are more likely to get referrals to social services and medical organizations. They can even receive employment through special programs. By reducing the harmful effects of substance abuse, such individuals can actively work on getting their lives in order before going through physical withdrawals.

On the other hand, many people believe that implementing these strategies encourages illegal substances in the community. Likewise, some safe needle exchange sites are poorly managed. Thus, it is vital to do your research before choosing a facility.


Suppose you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse and is not willing to commit to traditional rehabilitation programs. In that case, the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment may be an ideal option. At Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey, our trained specialists use various harm reduction strategies to ensure addicts improve their lives.

Person passed out for substance abuse

Overdose and Substance Abuse Deaths are on the rise again

Substance abuse and overdose deaths are common worldwide and have become a significant problem.

Individuals suffering from substance abuse are not receiving appropriate care and counseling during their time of need. This is why it’s essential to understand the effect of substance abuse before you can treat the problem.

This is where Enlightened Solutions comes into action with an all-encompassing approach to rehabilitation. This includes a strong 12-step approach involving music therapy, art therapy, medical detox, and more.

Substance abuse impacts millions of people worldwide and it can have life-altering effects on a person’s life. Research shows alcohol is the most common substance abused in America. Others on the list include cocaine, painkillers, and heroin.

This is why it’s important to understand the nuances of substance abuse and how it can impact a person’s life over the long haul.

Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance abuse refers to a consistent pattern of drug use leading to physical, psychological, and social difficulties. This can include deteriorating health, not going to work, and a whole host of other concerns that all stem from substance abuse.

Due to this, more and more people continue to be affected by substance abuse. If left untreated, it can have substantial repercussions on a person’s life. This can even include fatal consequences if a person continues to abuse drugs.

As a result, it has become more important than ever before to appreciate the value of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is the best way to focus on the root cause of the issue and make sure the problem goes away for good with the help of specialists at Enlightened Solutions.

Increase in deaths

It’s also important to note, research indicates there is a 98% increase in opioid-related deaths in recent years. This is due to additional exposure to opioids across the world and them being readily accessible. If this goes unchecked, it can impact every aspect of a person’s life as the dependency continues to ramp up with time.

Additional research also states there has been a 25+% rise in cocaine-related deaths in America. While there’s been a 34.8% rise in methamphetamine-related deaths.

These figures demonstrate the effects of substance abuse and drug overdose. It’s important to understand this data and make changes for the future. This includes reaching out to a trustworthy rehabilitation facility and making it as accessible as possible.

Enlightened Solutions is committed to assisting those dealing with substance abuse and continues to be the go-to option for those in need. With world-class care, top-tier facilities, and a commitment to helping, this is the ultimate choice for those wanting to join a successful rehab program.

If you are looking to make a positive change and recover, a rehabilitation facility makes all the difference in the world.

Why is a rehab facility important?

It starts from the fact 3/5 deaths associated with substance abuse can be prevented. This demonstrates the importance of focusing on rehabilitation and using it as a starting point for leading a healthier life. Accessible care starts here and it’s essential for those needing a personalized treatment program with their needs in mind.

Each individual is different and that is why individualized treatment programs are a must.

These programs assess each aspect of a person’s lifestyle including the type of substance being abused, medical history, age, weight, and more. A specialist will guide a person through these details and come up with a tailored treatment program to combat the issue.

How To Overcome Substance Abuse

Research shows substance abuse has risen over the past few years due to the pandemic.

The connection between the pandemic and substance abuse is now clear. More and more people are leaning towards drugs during this time in their lives and it has led to an increase in substance abuse cases across the board. This is unfortunate as it shows the effect a person’s environment can have on their choices.

By being able to reach out to Enlightened Solutions, you are going to have the chance to improve your life too.

Whether the substance abuse stems from the pandemic or not, it’s best to overcome your problems with the help of Enlightened Solutions.

Treating Substance Abuse

One of the most important requirements for those dealing with any type of addiction is to know they are not alone. You are going to have consistent support around you every step of the way. Remember, there is nothing wrong with seeking help.

When you get the right type of treatment, it is going to change your life for the better and help you overcome this disorder the right way.

The reason Enlightened Solutions is a great fit has to do with its treatment of substance abuse. This includes detailed consultations, inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient programs, and residential treatment options too.

You are going to get the complete package here and that does make a real difference in how you feel about the entire process from day one.

Getting help for Substance Abuse

This is the best way to set a strong base for how you are going to treat substance abuse before it gets worse. There is nothing more important than being able to consult with a professional that understands how to tackle these problems the right way.

Having years of experience and a passion for assisting people, Enlightened Solutions has become a go-to option in the city for those wanting to overcome their substance abuse. Do not settle for less and make sure you are receiving guidance during this crucial time in your life as it is the best way to overcome these hurdles.

To learn more about rehabilitation for substance abuse, it's important to start with an accredited team such as the one at Enlightened Solutions. This is a one-stop option for those who want to tackle this issue head-on and change their life for the better.

Take the time to sit down and speak to Enlightened Solutions for more information on what can be done to help you.

This is an opportunity to improve your lifestyle and start making healthier choices.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help addiction

How can cognitive behavioral therapy be used to help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction?

People suffering from addiction may also suffer from a co-occurring mental illness, such as depression or anxiety. Research has found that when the co-occurring illness isn't treated alongside the addiction, the individual is more likely to relapse after leaving a treatment facility. This is because the individual turns to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate for the underlying mental illness. To address this problem, most addiction treatment facilities also provide mental health services to recovering addicts. In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is used to effectively treat addicts as they begin their recovery process.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

In the early 1960s, Dr. Aaron T. Beck created cognitive behavioral therapy as a means of helping patients discover how their behavior patterns affected their lives. While many people assume their poor choices in life and external events affect their emotional health, CBT helps patients realize that this cycle actually flows in the opposite direction.

In truth, your thoughts and feelings affect how you make certain choices or react to certain events. Once a patient understands how this pattern of thought and behavior works, they can modify their thoughts to produce more positive results in their daily lives.

Traditionally, CBT has been used to successfully treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In recent years, CBT has been adapted to help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. This type of therapy is particularly effective in treating addiction because it helps the individual recognize how their mood or emotional state affects their choice to use the drug or alcohol. Consciously thinking about this relationship can give the recovering addict more control in choosing not to relapse.

How Does CBT Help Addicts in Recovery?

There may be many reasons or triggers that push an addict to use drugs or alcohol. While some of these triggers are external, such as visiting a favorite bar, there are also internal triggers that prompt substance abuse.

An example of an internal trigger is the habit of entertaining negative thoughts that automatically pop up in your mind. If you're already struggling with addiction, one of those negative thoughts may be enough to push you to use again.

Spending too much time focusing on these negative thoughts can affect your mental health over a long period of time, leading to a pattern of negative thinking and substance abuse.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches addicts to recognize those thoughts and the consequences they produce. This type of therapy can help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction by teaching them how to recognize their negative thought patterns.

Often, people have negative thoughts for extended periods without recognizing that's what's happening. In this way, those random thoughts can influence how people behave or make decisions. They can even affect how people interact with one another.

Through CBT, a recovering addict will learn how to recognize those thoughts quickly and dismiss them. They will be less likely to let negative thoughts force them into making poor decisions. They will also be less likely to engage in high-risk behavior.

What Types of CBT Are Used in Treating Addiction?

Thought Records

This involves making a record of negative thoughts the addict experiences throughout their week. When they meet with their therapist, they will create a list of statements that support or disprove the negative thoughts. This gives the addict a more balanced perspective, and they may find that most of their negative thoughts are entirely baseless.

Behavioral Experiments

This is a process of experimenting with different thoughts to see which ones produce the best results. The therapist will help the individual come up with a positive thought for each negative thought so they can explore the results of each one. This will help the individual discover the best thought patterns for dealing with events in their lives.

Imagery Based Exposure

For some people, negative thoughts are the result of a traumatic life experience that they never resolved. Therapy sessions will revolve around exploring those memories in vivid detail. By picking apart those memories over and over, the trauma will lose its power over the individual. As a result, they will no longer be plagued by those negative thoughts.

Pleasant Activity Therapy

The recovering addict will work with their therapist to come up with a list of pleasant activities that they can easily do. These should be inexpensive activities that can be done anytime. Once the list has been created, the therapist will help the individual schedule these activities for various times throughout the week.

This gives the recovering addict something enjoyable to look forward to instead of focusing their thoughts on using drugs or alcohol. Creating frequent, positive experiences will help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction by taking their focus away from their recovery for brief periods.

Is CBT Effective in Treating Addiction?

CBT has been used to successfully help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction for many years now. In addition to the therapies specifically outlined here, it also helps by teaching individuals new ways to cope with their addiction. They learn new skills and discover healthy ways to motivate themselves to stay clean and sober.

Many people find CBT to be effective because it gives recovering addicts more control over the treatment process. While other types of therapy largely involve talking about the individual's feelings, CBT takes a more hands-on approach. The therapist and addict work closely together to identify how their thought patterns and high-risk behaviors are related.

Since these types of therapy involve creating rapid solutions for coping with cravings and other withdrawal side effects, they're especially effective in 30 to 90-day treatment programs. By the time the addict leaves a rehab facility, they are skilled in the broad range of coping mechanisms they learned in their CBT sessions. Even though they may still need to continue some form of therapy after completing a treatment program, CBT better prepares recovering addicts for their return to normal society.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact us immediately. Our counselors can help you start the treatment program that offers you the best possibility for sustained recovery.

People in treatment for addiction

5 Stages of Change During Treatment For Addiction

What are the 5 Stages of Change During the Treatment For Addiction?


Addiction is an issue that affects millions of people each year. It can be difficult to recover from addiction on your own, which is why professional treatment for addiction is so important.

There are 5 stages of change during professional treatment for addiction: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. We will go over what these stages mean below!

Who Does Addiction Affect?

Addiction can affect anyone: the unborn, young children, adolescents, parents, friends, spouses, and partners of addicts as well as society at large. Addiction can be to substances such as alcohol or drugs (e.g., heroin) but it also includes behavioral addictions such as gambling or sex addiction.

Addiction is a dangerous situation that needs professional treatment. Addiction is a progressive disorder, meaning it becomes worse over time if left untreated.

Is Addiction Treatment Important?

Alcohol and drug treatment is very important for anyone who is suffering from addiction. Without treatment, the effects of addiction can be detrimental to an individual's physical and emotional health and could even be potentially fatal. Some people may not understand why treatment is so important in their lives until it is too late, but treatment does help many individuals recover from addictions to drugs or alcohol.


When an individual enters treatment because he/she needs treatment or because someone else has helped them go into treatment, then it is called "intake" which means that the person will be evaluated before he/she receives treatment at a treatment center.

Intake may involve a lot of different things including a mental health assessment, medical assessment, and a substance abuse assessment. If the treatment center is licensed and has medical staff members on-site they will administer those assessments and treatment will begin as soon as possible depending on what kinds of treatment you need.


Inpatient treatment means that you will have to check into treatment for a certain amount of time. Treatment may be from 30 days to 90 days or longer, but it depends on your treatment program. In some cases, an individual might just need outpatient treatment sessions. Some individuals may go to one session during the day around their work schedule or school schedule. Once treatment is done they can return home and continue going about their regular daily routine instead of being required to stay in treatment all of the time.

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment

The benefit of addiction treatment is that you get to be in a safe environment where everyone understands what you are going through and can share their stories with others who know exactly how they feel. Having this kind of environment will make an individual more likely to open up about what they are feeling or experiencing, thus creating more effective treatment goals.

Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey offers treatment for addiction in a group setting, among other programs. This could be beneficial to some who are shy or may not want treatment alone. The main benefit of addiction treatment is the fact that treatment works and our facility is always available.

Here are the 5 stages of change during addiction treatment:

The Precontemplation Stage of Change

This stage of change is when the addict does not believe that they have a problem with addiction. They might feel like their problems are caused by outside factors and will remain in this stage until those factors go away. During professional addiction treatment, counselors can help addicts understand how much their actions affect others as well as themselves.

The Contemplation Stage of Change

In the second stage of change, addicts begin to feel ambivalent about their drug or alcohol problems during professional addiction treatment. They have a desire to change but at this point, they may not be ready because it means giving up things that are important in their lives - such as friends and family members they spend time with.

The Preparation Stage of Change

In the third stage of change, addicts begin to feel a little more committed towards professional treatment for addiction and they are ready to make some changes in order to get better from their addictions.

The Action Stage of Change

In the fourth stage of change during professional addiction treatment, clients gain full commitment toward professional treatment for addiction and recognize that professional treatment for addiction is necessary to change their lives and get better from their addictions.

The Maintenance Stage of Change

In the final stage of professional addiction treatment, addicts feel confident that professional treatment for addiction has enabled them to gain control over their lives and they will be able to maintain an alcohol-free or drug-free lifestyle upon leaving professional addiction treatment.

The Dangers of Addiction

There are countless dangers associated with drug addiction. Some examples include kidney damage, loss of motor coordination, difficulty breathing, and memory impairment.

Those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol can also face legal issues involving theft or unlawful behavior in order to continue their drug addiction. Additionally, when individuals attempt to stop using the drug after becoming addicted, they may experience intense withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, goosebumps, and intense cravings for the substance.

Addiction Impact on Society

Drug addiction also has an impact on society as a whole with increased crime rates being linked to those who have been arrested for buying illegal substances. In 2004 alone there were 3 million arrests for drug-related offenses. If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense the charges may affect your social status, employment prospects, and the custody of any children.

Addiction Effect of the Economy

Drug addiction is a complex issue that affects the life of the individual as well as those around them. Additionally, drug addiction has been shown to have an impact on the economy as the demand for health services as well as law enforcement resources increases through the increased prevalence of drug abuse.

In 2004 there were three million arrests for drug-related crimes in the United States alone. This shows how prevalent drugs are in society today. It costs billions of dollars every year to try and fight these drugs and their abusers but this doesn't seem to be doing much good. The cost will continue to increase if we don't find ways of solving the problem.

The goal of addiction treatment is to create a new, sober lifestyle. The treatment method that works best for one individual may not work for another. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that professional addiction treatment is the way to go.

We offer a wide range of services for each individual client which helps them find their path towards sobriety. We provide them with all the tools they need to continue it after they leave our care. Contact us today if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction.

Person passed out from alcohol addiction

How Does Alcohol Addiction Change Our Bodies?

The intention of alcohol manufacturers is for drinkers to take in moderation, but unfortunately, a significant number exceeds the limit by drinking heavily. Heavy drinking is consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion, even if it's for a day within the last 30. Heavy drinking often develops into an addiction. Heavy drinkers should know that alcohol addiction changes our bodies by causing harmful effects. The damage to internal organs might not be visible, so it is essential to act upon noticing the first signs of alcoholism.

Alcohol causes harmful effects because it becomes a waste product and the body, through various organs, tries to excrete it. Even a small amount of alcohol affects the body systems. It is worse when the alcohol exceeds the level that your body can process. Intoxication happens as alcohol builds up in your bloodstream and distributes throughout the body to cause some of these changes.

An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.

Alcohol addiction changes the body in bits by affecting these different organs.


Heavy drinking increases the risk of harmful and potentially life-threatening liver issues. The liver is the body part that breaks alcohol down and removes it from blood. Too much alcohol within a short period may overwhelm the metabolism process leading to fatty liver. The challenges to break down alcohol can lead to type 2 diabetes or liver failure. Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can cause these other severe liver complications:

  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic hepatitis

The conditions need an accurate diagnosis, kidney medication, and an intensive alcohol addiction treatment plan.


The heart is vulnerable to excessive alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking can, with time, weaken the heart. A weak heart slows the delivery of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to other vital body organs. Heavy drinking increases triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglyceride is s type of fat that, at high levels, increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Some early alcohol-triggered cardiovascular effects like an irregular heartbeat or blood pressure may trigger other problems later in life. Addiction causes long-term consequences including:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac conditions


The brain is one of the areas that suffer the effects of excessive alcohol and addiction. Heavy drinking causes temporary complications like loss of memory and coordination. It can, with time, cause long-term, sometimes irreversible side effects. Excessive and prolonged alcohol use may interfere with the brain's structure and functions. It may also impact the body communication pathways due to damage on different brain regions, especially the:

  • Limbic system
  • Cerebellum
  • Cerebral cortex

Normal functioning reduces, for instance, when alcohol affects the cerebellum, the area of the brain that coordinates motor skills. A loss of balance, emotional response, and memory issues also are signs of how alcohol addiction changes our bodies.


The pancreas helps regulate blood sugar levels and is a part of the digestive process. Drinking alcohol for many years can negatively affect the pancreas leading to lasting health complications. Unfortunately, many pancreatic conditions are not diagnosed in the early stages. They become severe. Lengthy alcohol abuse can gradually cause swelling of blood vessels around the pancreas and the occurrence of pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis increases the risk of developing a rapid spreading and dangerous pancreatic cancer. Alcoholics with symptoms below are likely to have a pancreatic attack.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate

Medication and other treatment methods help to manage pancreatitis effects but reversing the condition is very difficult.

In addition to body organs, alcohol addiction changes our bodies by affecting body systems and prevents them from functioning optimally. A body system is a group of tissues and organs that perform crucial functions like growth, survival, and reproduction.

Too much alcohol and addiction affect the following body systems.

Central Nervous system

Alcohol changes our behavior by inhibiting coordination and speaking, causing slurred speech. A weakened central nervous system also affects:

  • Impulse control
  • Ability to make memories these causing blackouts
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Temporary paralysis

Heavy drinking progresses to dependency, and those why try to stop drinking experience severe withdrawal effects. Long-term use may cause the shrinking of the frontal lobes in the brain.

Immune system

The body relies on the immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other illness triggers. Alcohol slows down the immune system and reduces the efficiency of the white blood cells in fighting bacteria. Heavy drinkers compromise their immune systems more, increasing the risk of contracting various forms of cancer and succumbing to illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis, even with alcohol addiction treatment.

Excretory system

This system removes waste products, including alcohol, from the body. Consuming excess alcohol can affect normal insulin production by the pancreas and create toxic substances that start destroying it. Too much drinking may harm the liver to slow its job of breaking down the harmful substances in the body. A liver malfunction can cause cirrhosis, a buildup of scar tissue that destroys the liver.

Digestive system

Severe damage occurs quickly in the digestive system. Alcohol steadily causes malnutrition by making it difficult for the intestines to manage bacteria and absorb nutrients.

Skeletal System

Alcohol abuse inhibits the production of new bones. The slow production increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. The muscles are also more likely to cramp, weaken, or degenerate.

Circulatory system

Alcohol addiction changes our bodies much by impacting heart function. A heart problem is more likely to occur in heavy drinkers than someone who does not drink. Drinking heavily, even for one occasion make can cause heart trouble. The risk for women is more than for men. Heart problems that alcoholism can cause include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Poisoning of cells in the heart muscle
  • High blood pressure

Reproductive system

Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect in men who drink excessively. Alcohol inhibits hormone production causing infertility. Alcohol can stop menstruation and cause infertility in women. Additionally, it heightens the risk of breast cancer.

Alcohol addiction also causes short short-time side effects.

  • Slurred speech
  • Mood shifts
  • Memory lapses
  • Slowed breathing
  • Poor or lack of coordination

Some people experience fewer side effects from alcohol addiction, while others suffer from multiple side effects. All of them translate to addiction problems, so it is crucial to seek alcohol addiction treatment under the care of professional alcohol recovery experts. Specialized alcohol treatments programs help overcome the urge to drink and withdrawal symptoms that make people give up.

It is also essential to consult a medical professional when recovering from addiction who can run a series of tests that will reveal the existence of any addiction-related illnesses and recommend treatment.

Enlighted Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment facility- we focus on healing the whole person, not just treating the addiction. Our individualized recovery plans combine a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic work, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation.

If you need relief from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.

The Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

10 Tips for Choosing the Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

You always want the best provider when it comes to selecting an inpatient drug rehab facility for yourself or a loved one. Here are 10 Tips to help you choose the Best Inpatient Drug Rehab Facility

If you or your loved ones are addicted to drugs and are struggling with addiction, you need to undergo inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment can provide highly effective therapy and help addict individuals transform their lives. It can also save them from the lifestyle of substance abuse that often leads to serious consequences such as overdose or death. This article will help you understand how to choose the best inpatient drug rehab facility.


1. Ensure that the Facility Is Licensed

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that there are more than 40,000 medical and non-medical facilities for substance abuse treatment in the United States. It is important to choose a licensed facility because unlicensed facilities do not have proper licensing to protect their clients' well-being. They can also be fined or even lose their license for violating the laws. It is recommended that you visit the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Providers Association of New Jersey (ADAPANJ) website to find out if a facility is licensed and has any complaints against it. You can also check with your state department for licensing to verify that the facility you choose is licensed by your state.

2. Choose a Facility that Has a Good Reputation

A good reputation is built on years of delivering quality services, treating clients with respect, and offering them therapies and treatment that meets their needs. A reputable facility will also have licensed specialists like physicians, nurses, mental health counselors, addiction counselors, and other professionals to help you recover. Licensed professionals are held responsible for their actions because their licenses act as a credential that they are qualified.

3. Choose a Facility Near to Your Home

A New Jersey inpatient drug rehab facility close to your home is the best. Studies show that substance abuse often occurs in the same geographical region. So, if you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction, you need to choose a facility that you can easily reach from your home. This will also make it easier for you to visit your loved ones often. You can check to see if a particular facility offers medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment following detoxification and subsequent rehabilitation. This will make it easier for you to access the services that can help you with your recovery.

4. Choose a Facility that is Close to Amenities

You need to choose a New Jersey inpatient drug rehab facility that is close to amenities, restaurants, and shopping centers. You will need to go for therapy sessions in the morning and afternoon. This means that you will have to leave the facility in between the sessions as well. While you are away, it would be best to visit places to get food and buy items that you might need. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a facility that is close to amenities such as restaurants, shopping malls, or even a gym.

5. Choose a Facility that Offers Individualized Approach to Treatment

A facility that offers individualized approaches will be able to offer therapies and treatments suitable for your recovery. This also means that the staff and the counselors are well versed with addiction and substance abuse. They have years of experience in treating individuals with addiction. An individualized approach also allows you to get help in many areas, including medical care, detoxification, mental health, and addiction counseling.

6. Choose a Facility that Offers Less Intrusive Treatment

A less intrusive approach will help you learn how to manage your addiction, and it will also help you move forward in your recovery. You can also decrease the chances of relapse if you are treated with fewer efforts and in fewer sessions. This is because the therapy sessions can be shorter than in other facilities.

7. Choose a Facility that Helps You Find an Aftercare Program

An aftercare program will help you deal with your addiction by creating a support network for you. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most popular support groups that offer peer-to-peer counseling and support. Aftercare programs are also important because they give you a chance to practice what you have learned during treatment. This is because you will need to apply what you have learned from the sessions in your daily life. This will help you build a better relationship with your loved ones and ensure that you stay drug-free.

8. Choose a Facility That Offers Professional Counseling

Professional counseling will also help you address your problems before you came to the facility. For instance, if you have a family problem, professional counseling can help you deal with it. It will also help you to understand your problems better and make appropriate decisions in life.

9. Choose a Facility that Can Offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You need to consider an inpatient drug rehab facility that offers cognitive behavioral therapy because it is one of the most effective treatments for addiction and substance abuse. CBT is based on the belief that the thinking patterns of an individual play a role in determining their behavior. It focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors through behavioral changes. This therapy is beneficial for treating people with substance abuse because it can help them understand how their behavior has affected their lives. It can also help them to change their behavior and make more appropriate decisions.

10. Choose a Facility that Can Offer You Long Term Treatment

It's important that you choose an inpatient drug rehab facility that can offer you long-term treatment because it is the most effective way to treat addiction and substance abuse. Long-term treatment helps you in moving forward in your recovery. It gives you enough time to make progress and be ready to come out of the facility for your aftercare program. Long-term treatment can also help reduce the chances of relapsing because you will have time to integrate the lessons learned during treatment into your daily life.


If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, consider visiting Enlightened Solutions today. Talk to our professional doctors and schedule the first available appointment for detoxification followed by rehabilitation. Remember that substance abuse does not only affect your life; it also affects those around you. Their lives are also going to be disrupted if they do not stop using drugs or alcohol. So, contact us today for more information.

Signs of Drug Addiction

10 Signs of drug addiction to look out for

Signs Of Drug Addiction You Should Be Aware Of

Drug addiction is a problem that knows no race, class, or gender. And it’s something that’s not always easy to overcome. But the first step in that process is always the same. It’s learning the common signs of drug addiction so you’ll know when to get help for yourself or a loved one who’s struggling.

Some of the tell-tale signs of drug addiction are easy to spot. There are often physical and behavioral effects that are obvious to all. But some of the other signs are so subtle that they’d go unnoticed by an addict’s friends, family, and social circle if they’re not on the lookout for them.

To help, here’s a list of ten signs of drug addiction to look out for that paint an unmistakable picture of someone in need of drug addiction treatment. We’ll begin with the most obvious signs and work our way down to some of the harder-to-spot symptoms. Let’s begin.

Physical Changes

Drug addicts often display one or more physical symptoms of the effect a drug is having on their bodies. And although they’re not definitive signs of an addiction, they should be enough to get your attention. Some of the most common physical signs of drug abuse are:

  • Pupils that are enlarged, too small, or unresponsive to changes in lighting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Poor coordination or motor control
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Chemical odor on breath or clothing
  • Unusual marks on the skin
  • Lethargy and/or insomnia

Although some conditions other than drug addiction may cause some of the symptoms listed above, none of them are routine. And if the person in question is suffering from an overdose or another serious adverse reaction to a drug, they may also:

  • Have difficulty breathing
  • Suffer hallucinations
  • Become aggressive or outwardly agitated
  • Lapse in and out of consciousness

If any of these are present, get help immediately.

Changes to Grooming Habits

Someone addicted to a drug will frequently begin to alter their daily routines, prioritizing procuring and consuming the drug above almost all else. For that reason, it’s common for an addicted person to begin letting some of their normal grooming habits fall by the wayside. They might shower less frequently, neglect to wash their clothing, and stop shaving or styling their hair. As their condition deteriorates, the effects of these changes become more and more obvious.

Poor Decision-Making

Drug addiction often interferes with the addict’s ability to use sound reasoning and make good decisions. This might lead them to engage in behavior that they would never have considered before becoming addicted. They might:

  • Frequent dangerous areas in search of drugs
  • Begin stealing from friends and family to support their habit
  • Drive while high or otherwise impaired
  • Engage in risky sexual behaviors

Lying About Drug Consumption

In many cases, drug addicts will go to great lengths to deny or downplay their drug use. This almost always includes them lying to family and friends about their drug consumption. They do it as a defense mechanism – rationalizing their problem away as either being nobody’s business or not bad enough to warrant attention from others. They will also frequently become defensive when challenged about their drug habits, lashing out at those trying to get them the help they need.

Secretive Behavior

Because it’s so difficult to conceal the signs of drug addiction from others, addicts often begin to exhibit secretive behavior as their condition worsens. They might start to isolate themselves at home or drop out of sight with increasing frequency as they seek to feed their addiction. This is a symptom that goes hand-in-hand with lying about their drug consumption – and is frequently the next escalation of that behavior.

Changes in Friends and Social Groups

Drug addiction often drives a person to drift away from their established friend group or social circle. This may be due to their need to conceal their addiction or a result of them seeking out others in similar circumstances to their own. You may also notice a parade of new acquaintances appearing and disappearing out of their lives. It’s all an indication of the instability that drug addiction creates in the addict’s life.

An Increase In Crisis Situations

Another common sign of drug addiction is an increase in the number of crises that appear in the addict’s life. They may neglect their work or home obligations, leading to frequent blow-ups and emergencies as they try to cope. They might seek out others’ help to get them out of trouble when it happens, and as these incidents pile up, it will become clearer that there’s an underlying cause at work.

Sudden or Frequent Financial Difficulties

As a drug addiction worsens, the addict will likely consume more and more of the substance at the root of their problem. And that leads to financial difficulties as the drug eats up more and more of their budget. They may begin asking friends and family to borrow money, often in odd amounts, reflecting the cost of the drug they’re trying to procure. They may also be hesitant to disclose why they need the money or offer unusual or implausible excuses for their behavior.

Drastic Relationship Changes

Because of the toll drug addiction takes on a person, both physically and mentally, it’s often difficult for an addict to maintain stable relationships with others. They may begin to neglect those they care about or begin to behave in a way that drives those close to them away. The result is often a string of broken relationships that forms an unmistakable sign of a person in need of drug addiction treatment.

An Increase in Drug-Related Illnesses

Although it’s difficult to draw a straight line between drug use and specific illnesses, there are some types of illnesses that addicts frequently fall victim to. Those addicted to intravenous drugs like Heroin might end up with bacterial infections, hepatitis, or even HIV (if they’re sharing needles with an infected person). And those addicted to Cocaine might suffer respiratory complications such as breathing difficulty or pulmonary edema. If someone begins getting diagnoses like these with no other obvious causes, drug addiction might be to blame.

The Bottom Line about signs of drug addiction

Drug addiction creates a painful and difficult situation, both for the addict and for the people who care about them. But the sooner you can identify a drug addiction, the easier it may be for the person to get the help they need to recover. Learning the signs of drug abuse detailed above is the first step in spotting someone who might be suffering from drug addiction. And although they may hesitate to admit their problem, they’ll at least know where to reach out to seek treatment when they’re ready.

And at Enlightened Solutions, we stand ready to provide that treatment. We’re a licensed treatment center that offers recovery services rooted in the 12-step philosophy. We build an individualized recovery program for each client that is designed to heal them as a person – not to just address their addiction.

We combine a variety of treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), art and music therapy, meditation, and yoga to help our clients overcome their addiction and emerge from treatment with the tools they need to live better healthier lives.

If someone you love is exhibiting any of the signs of addiction discussed here, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information. We’re ready to help.

How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Really Work?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship of people in recovery from addiction that has helped millions of people in the United States and across the globe. A recent scientific review of numerous studies found that AA helps people maintain abstinence in the long term more than other addiction treatment methods. 

Alcoholics Anonymous provides a setting where you can learn from shared experiences, develop strong support networks and interpersonal skills, and experience the healing power of helping one another. AA meetings are free, accessible to everyone, and can offer support throughout your entire recovery journey.

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an informal society that encourages people in recovery to meet together in support groups and share their experiences of addiction. It has a community of over two million members worldwide and aims to facilitate the sharing of strength, hope, and mutual support between members as they move forward in a sober lifestyle.

AA membership is free - the only requirement is the initial will to stop drinking. AA is non-political and is not aligned with any other institution. Meetings are self-organized, and there is no central authority directing the operation of each group. Members are free to design their meetings in the way that best suits their members.

What Is the 12-Step Method and How Does It Help Addiction Recovery?

When Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Holbrook founded Alcoholics Anonymous almost one hundred years ago, they collectively wrote ‘The Big Book’, which lays out the 12-step method for addiction recovery. 

While not all AA programs now follow the 12-steps, most members find them to be a powerful tool for overcoming addiction and maintaining abstinence. Many other self-help groups, including Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous, have also adopted the 12-step philosopy. 

The steps can be split into three main stages:


The first steps involve accepting that you are powerless over your addiction and giving yourself over to a higher power. Accepting your addiction helps you overcome feelings of shame and re-instills a sense of self-worth. You learn to love yourself so you can love the world around you and commit to a life of sobriety.

Personal Growth

The next steps focus on spiritual development and personal growth. They involve recognizing harmful thought patterns and behaviors and replacing them with healthier habits and decisions. They also require making amends to others for the harm you have caused them. This helps you avoid destructive feelings of guilt and lets you find self-worth in the humility and compassion you have shown.

Helping Others

The final step is to share the 12-steps with other people in alcohol recovery. Teaching the 12-steps to others helps you reinforce the steps in yourself and strengthens your commitment to your recovery goals.

What Are the Benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous Over Other Treatment Options?

  • AA’s most powerful asset is its ubiquity and accessibility. Addiction is a chronic illness, and recovery is a lifelong process. You can attend AA meetings free for the rest of your life, providing you with a constant source of invaluable support and guidance.
  • AA meetings also give you the chance to support others in recovery. Helping another recovering alcoholic helps you to heal and remain committed to your own recovery journey.
  • When you join a local AA program, you become part of a local community. You’ll meet other people who share your goals and form strong friendships. You may also spend time with these friends outside of AA sessions, which can help you stay away from alcohol and triggers.

At Enlightened Solutions, our entire treatment program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy. We integrate the 12-steps into our treatment approaches and connect you to local AA groups to support you once you have left the center.

Enlighted Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment facility- we focus on healing the whole person, not just treating the addiction. Our individualized recovery plans combine a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic work, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation.

If you seek relief from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.

The Inner Workings of Rehab

Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction isn’t easy. Overcoming addictive behaviors and staying sober requires motivation, support, and expertise. Rehab centers offer just this. They offer evidence-based treatment approaches under the guidance of professional staff and provide compassionate care to help you develop the skills to overcome your addiction and remain committed to sober living.

What Is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

There are two types of rehab centers - inpatient and outpatient. Outpatient centers offer part-time programs that fit in around your daily life. Programs may offer 10-20 hours of treatment each week so you can continue to work and fulfill other obligations.

Inpatient programs are intensive, residential rehab programs where you stay in the treatment facility. Programs vary in length but most last at least thirty days. Inpatient programs offer a safe and controlled environment with twenty-four-hour medical support. They tend to be more effective than outpatient programs for more severe cases of addiction. 

What Treatment Options Do Rehab Centers Offer?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effective treatment programs offer a combination of different treatment options tailored to match each individual’s needs. Everyone’s experience of addiction is different, and no single treatment approach suits everyone. Rehabilitation programs tend to offer a variety of different therapies and holistic healing approaches to provide a treatment experience that works for you.

These treatment options may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • 12-step program
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy and support groups
  • Experiential therapies such as music therapy, art therapy, and equine therapy
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Family therapy
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Medically assisted detox

Addiction treatment programs help you identify the causes of your addiction and develop the skills to overcome them. This may involve learning what your triggers are and how to avoid them or developing coping skills to deal with triggers in healthy ways. 

Rehabilitation also aims to improve your mental and spiritual well-being. It is a chance to find joy and inspiration in sober life and commit to your recovery journey.

What Is Dual Diagnosis and How Does It Help Treat Addiction?

Almost 50% of people with a substance use disorder also suffer from another mental health condition. Co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression can be the driving force behind addiction. If ignored, they can cause addictive behaviors to resurface, even after years of sobriety.

Dual diagnosis programs treat co-occurring disorders alongside addiction. They offer a holistic healing approach that aims to treat the entire person. Dual diagnosis helps you overcome the underlying causes of your addiction so you can maintain sobriety in the long term.

What Are The Different Stages of a Rehab Experience?

A recovery program usually begins with an in-depth assessment of the nature of your addiction and your circumstances. This allows therapists, medics, psychologists, and other staff to design a treatment plan to suit you.

For most people, the next stage in the recovery process is detox, to remove all traces of the substance and its toxins from your body. Rehab centers typically offer medically assisted detox to ensure that withdrawal is as safe and comfortable as possible. 

After detox, the main part of the treatment program begins. You participate in therapy sessions, support groups, and other treatment modalities over several weeks or months. During this time, you learn and develop the skills you need to overcome addiction.

The final stage of rehabilitation is aftercare. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires continued support and commitment. Rehab programs may connect you with support groups in your local area, provide you with a sober companion, or offer guidance to family members. 

Aftercare programs help you to stay supported and motivated once you have left a rehab center and guide you to lifelong recovery.

If you are struggling with addiction or substance abuse, recovery can seem scary or even impossible. However, with the proper support, anyone can recover from addiction. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients a variety of evidence-based tools to assist them with moving forward in their sober journey. We focus on healing the whole person and not just treating their addiction. Our world-class treatment program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan.

We offer a range of advanced treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey offers unparalleled healing and relaxation.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.



How Quitting Alcohol Can Revitalize Your Life

When you stop drinking, you see immediate improvements in your life - you have more time, energy, and money. Quitting alcohol improves your physical health, your mental well-being, and your appearance. It can help you heal relationships with loved ones, excel at work, and turn your life around.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Improve Your Health?

Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to your health. However, drinking more than the recommended guidelines significantly increases the risk of developing long-term health problems, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and a weakened immune system. Alcohol-related health problems are serious and widespread - more than 95,000 people die each year in the United States due to excessive drinking.

Luckily, your body is an incredible creation that can repair itself. Research shows that some of the damage alcohol causes to your liver, gut, heart, and brain begins to heal as soon as you stop drinking. This is true regardless of your age or how long you have been drinking - it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of being sober.

Quitting alcohol can also help you lose weight. Alcohol contains the second-highest amount of calories of any kind of food, and excessive drinking is often a key contributor to weight gain. Alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ that have almost no nutritional value - it doesn’t benefit our bodies in any way. 

Stopping drinking is a chance to start eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care - the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Make You Happier?

Drinking too much is not only damaging to your physical health - alcohol abuse and alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) is also linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Around 50% of people with alcohol use disorder also have another co-occurring condition. Quitting alcohol makes you less likely to develop anxiety or depression and is a crucial step in recovering from existing conditions so you can live a joyful and productive life.

Recovery from alcohol also helps you to improve your overall well-being and feel better in yourself. Heavy drinking often comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can be exacerbated by difficult relationships with loved ones or problems at work and home. As you recover from alcohol, you may grow in self-confidence, appreciate your self-worth, and enjoy healthy and happy relationships with those around you.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Your Thinking and Memory?

Excessive alcohol consumption also affects your memory and other cognitive functions. It can make you think less clearly, decrease your attention span, and impact your problem-solving skills. Quitting alcohol can help you reverse these changes so you can increase your mental performance at work and in your daily life.

What Can You Do Instead Of Drinking Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol takes away your time. Getting drunk can take a whole evening, night, or day and the hangover the next morning may leave you confined to your bed. Stopping drinking gives you the chance to rediscover old passions, find exciting new hobbies, and leaves more time to care for yourself and your loved ones.

Alcohol is also expensive. Even moderate drinking can become costly - if you drink only one $5 glass of wine a day, you end up spending $1825.00 over the whole year. When you give up alcohol, you can use this money for other more valuable things like family holidays, home improvements, or just living a more comfortable everyday life. 

Quitting alcohol may not be easy, but you can overcome your addiction and revitalize your life with the right support. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients powerful tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle. 

We focus on healing the entire person and not just treating their addiction. Our recovery program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan. Our licensed treatment center near the southern shore of New Jersey is the perfect place for healing and relaxation. 

If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.