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What Makes Fentanyl So Dangerous?

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine, has become a significant contributor to the opioid crisis in the United States. Understanding what makes fentanyl so dangerous is critical in addressing this growing public health concern. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that even the most severe cases of fentanyl addiction can be overcome with the right treatment plan in place. We offer effective, compassionate addiction treatment options to those in need.

Contact us today to learn more about our fentanyl addiction treatment program in New Jersey. 

What is Fentanyl?

The primary use of fentanyl is to treat patients with severe pain, especially after surgery or those suffering from advanced-stage cancer. Fentanyl is administered in various forms, such as patches, lozenges, and injections. 

It is essential to note the stark contrast between pharmaceutical fentanyl used under medical supervision and illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF), which is responsible for the surge in overdose cases. Illegal fentanyl often finds its way into the drug market, disguised in other substances, exponentially magnifying their effects and risks.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

As a synthetic opioid, fentanyl interacts with the brain’s opioid receptors at an accelerated pace. This rapid interaction can overwhelm the body’s systems, leading to sedation, unconsciousness, and, in the worst-case scenario, cessation of breathing. The crux of what makes fentanyl so dangerous is its ability to induce overwhelming pleasure circuits alongside critical life-support functions in the brain, increasing the risk of a fatal overdose with even minuscule amounts.

Fentanyl Use in the U.S.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that in 2020, over 56,000 deaths in the United States were linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The American Medical Association (AMA) highlights that the presence of fentanyl in counterfeit pills is a growing concern, as many users are unaware of its inclusion. A decrease in painkiller prescriptions has not led to a reduction in opioid-related overdose deaths. Lastly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified fentanyl as a significant contributor to the global opioid crisis, underscoring its danger and widespread impact. These statistics paint a grim picture of fentanyl’s role in the ongoing opioid epidemic, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and preventive measures.

The Dangers of Fentanyl

The primary reason fentanyl is so dangerous lies in its extreme potency. Just a tiny dose, equivalent to a few grains of salt, can be lethal. Its high potency increases the risk of overdose, especially when individuals unknowingly consume fentanyl that has been mixed with other drugs.

Potency of Fentanyl

Fentanyl’s potency is unmatched when compared to traditional opioids. Up to 100 times more potent than morphine, this synthetic opioid was initially developed as a pain reliever for medical purposes. It’s now clear that fentanyl’s potency plays a significant role in its danger:

  • Smaller than a grain of sand, a minute amount can be lethal.
  • It’s often used to “cut” other drugs, which amplifies their effects unpredictably, causing many users to overdose unintentionally.
  • Higher potency means that individuals can quickly develop a tolerance, necessitating higher quantities to achieve the same effect, boosting the likelihood of overdose and death.

Overdose Risks

Overdose risks associated with fentanyl are exponentially higher than most other opioids. Given its high potency and the fact users are often unaware of their exposure, overdose can occur rapidly and with little warning.

  • Fentanyl works by binding to opioid receptors, which are present in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. Due to its strength, fentanyl’s effects occur swiftly and can suppress breathing, leading to potential hypoxia—a condition that arises when too little oxygen reaches the brain.
  • The risk of overdose is compounded when fentanyl is mixed with other substances like heroin, cocaine, or prescription painkillers. Since these combinations can alter the effects unpredictably, they pose an even more significant threat.
  • Individuals with a substance use disorder may seek out fentanyl-laced products for a more intense high, often without fully understanding the likelihood of an overdose.

Role in Opioid Crisis

The accessibility and increased illicit manufacture of fentanyl have exacerbated the crisis:

  • Overseas production of fentanyl has led to an influx of the drug onto the streets, often disguised as other less potent opioids, which has taken many users by surprise.
  • Drug dealers use fentanyl to increase the potency of other drugs, unbeknownst to consumers, intensifying the potential for widespread harm.
  • The federal government’s warning to police about the handling of fentanyl signifies the level of threat this substance poses to both users and public servants.

Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis

Combating the fentanyl problem requires a multi-faceted approach. Public education about the dangers of fentanyl, increased access to treatment for substance use disorders, and the distribution of naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal drug, are all critical. Law enforcement also plays a role in curbing the supply of illicit fentanyl. In order for existing cases of fentanyl addiction to be treated, accessible treatment options like those provided at Enlightened Solutions must be made available. 

Fentanyl Abuse Treatment Options

There are multiple treatment options that have proven effective for those grappling with fentanyl abuse. Because no two experiences with active addiction are the same, treatment should always be individualized. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) 

MAT combines medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. For fentanyl addiction, this includes medications like methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, which help mitigate withdrawal symptoms and block the euphoric effects of opioids.

  • Methadone reduces cravings and withdrawal by acting on the same opioid receptors as fentanyl but without the high.
  • Buprenorphine also binds to opioid receptors with less risk of dependence.
  • Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors and is used after detox to prevent relapse.

Behavioral Therapies 

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a range of behavioral therapies. These therapies address the psychological component of addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps modify a patient’s drug-use expectations and behaviors and effectively manage triggers and stress.

Contingency Management 

Another approach is contingency management, which provides incentives for staying drug-free. This motivational strategy has shown promising results in maintaining sobriety.

Support Groups 

Joining support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provides a community of individuals who understand the journey to recovery. Peer support is an invaluable resource during treatment.

Inpatient and Outpatient Programs 

Depending on the severity of the addiction, inpatient (residential) treatment or outpatient programs can be tailored to individual needs. Inpatient programs offer a structured environment, whereas outpatient programs allow individuals to maintain specific responsibilities while receiving treatment.

Finding the best treatment option is a significant step toward recovery. While no single treatment is a fit for everyone, a combination of therapy, medication, and community support can pave the road to overcoming fentanyl addiction.

Learn More About Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Near You

Fentanyl’s extreme potency and its widespread illicit production and distribution are central to why it is so dangerous. The opioid crisis, exacerbated by fentanyl, remains a significant public health challenge in the United States. Addressing it requires awareness, education, and accessible treatment options. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we have developed an effective and affordable fentanyl addiction treatment program in New Jersey. Contact us today, and one of our experienced staff members will walk you through our simple admissions process. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you begin your personal recovery journey as soon as possible.

The Dangers of Vaping

While it’s true that all the medical dangers of vaping aren’t yet fully understood, there’s enough evidence to suggest many reasons not to vape. Despite a lack of comprehensive studies, a significant number of people mistakenly believe that vaping nicotine derived from tobacco is a healthy way to quit smoking. A misconception often fueled by the tobacco industry.

Reasons People Vape

People vape for various reasons, influenced by personal, social, and health-related factors:

  • As an Alternative to Smoking: Many people turn to vaping as a way to quit or reduce smoking traditional cigarettes. 
  • Social Influence: Peer pressure or social circles where vaping is common influences individuals to start vaping. Especially, among teens and young adults.
  • Curiosity and Experimentation: Curiosity often drives people, particularly younger individuals, to try vaping. The variety of flavors and the novelty of the devices can be appealing.
  • Stress and Anxiety Relief: Some people use vaping as a means to cope with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, or depression, similar to how some use cigarettes or other substances like alcohol and drugs.
  • Recreational Use: The recreational aspect, including the enjoyment of different flavors and the physical act of vaping, appeals to some users.
  • Control Over Nicotine Intake: Vaping devices allow users to control their nicotine intake, including options with lower nicotine or no nicotine at all.
  • Avoidance of Smoking Bans: In places where smoking cigarettes is banned, some people might choose to vape instead.
  • Perceived as Safer: There’s a common perception, though not entirely accurate, that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes. This perception motivates people to choose vaping over smoking.
  • Weight Management: Some people use vaping as a tool for weight management, as nicotine can suppress appetite.
  • Image and Lifestyle: Vaping is sometimes associated with a certain lifestyle or image that people want to be part of, influenced by marketing and social media.

It’s important to note that while vaping might be less harmful than traditional smoking, it is not without health risks. Especially, for non-smokers and young people. The long-term effects of vaping are still being studied. However, there are clear reasons not to vape.

The Misconception of Vaping as a Healthy Alternative

The perception of vaping as “harmless” seems to be known more by today’s teens and tweens than their parents. Initially promoted as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, the popularity of vaping soared. The absence of carcinogens and tars that are usually found in conventional tobacco products painted vaping in a harmless light. The promise of no secondhand smoke was an additional selling point.

At face value, it appeared quite benign. However, these assumptions were far from accurate. Vaping isn’t just about inhaling harmless water vapor. It’s an aerosol filled with toxic particles, posing a multitude of potential risks. These risks stem from device-specific issues, the composition of the vaporized liquid products, and the potential toxicity of both nicotine and marijuana when inhaled in concentrated forms.

It’s conceivable to consider vaping as a “lesser of evils” compared to traditional cigarette smoking. But, there is a stark reality—there is still so much we do not understand about vaping. Much of our learning curve will come from reports of potential health complications linked to vaping made to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Understanding the Composition of Vape Aerosols

To truly understand the dangers of vaping, it’s essential to be aware of what users are breathing in. Vaping aerosols, sometimes inappropriately referred to as ‘water vapor’, contain various potentially harmful substances. Despite containing components that are considered safe for cosmetic or food use like glycerol (vegetable glycerin) and propylene glycol (PG), their safety when inhaled long-term remains unknown.

Vaping operates by heating a liquid into an aerosol that is then inhaled into the lungs. This isn’t the harmless water vapor many think it is, but a cocktail of particles including nicotine, flavoring, and other unknown substances. These particles, suspended in air, travel from the mouthpiece of the e-cigarette into the user’s mouth, down the throat, and then into the lungs.

Scientifically published research conducted by Papaefstathiou et al. (2020) assessed the particle size distributions and volatile organic compounds exhaled by e-cigarette users. Their findings further illuminate the reality of vape aerosols and add another point to the dangers of vaping.

A common component of e-cigarettes—the element used to transform the liquid into an aerosol—is often misconceived as being as harmless as ‘water vapor’. Contrarily, it’s a combination of multiple substances, each bringing a risk factor. E-cigarettes or vape pens are powered by batteries. As it powers on, it heats the liquid to create the aerosol.

These vaping products deliver not only nicotine, proven to have not only detrimental health effects and addictive properties but also potentially other addictive substances like THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, and illicitly, even methamphetamines. Each hit from the device draws these substances into unsuspecting lungs, unveiling the hidden dangers of vaping.

Device-Specific Issues and Potential Dangers

Vaping devices can cause mechanical injuries, burns, or even explosions, due to malfunctioning. Safety standards are set to minimize these risks, but even certified devices are not completely safe, especially when near oxygen sources where they can cause fires. Furthermore, the aerosols that come from vaping contain harmful substances like nicotine, flavoring agents, and unidentified substances, and have been associated with delivering methamphetamines and THC.

Research links vaping to diminished fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and increased respiratory impedance, highlighting its potential health dangers. In addition, evidence linking vaping to lipoid pneumonia, a serious health condition, is mounting too. These and many other revelations have begun to erode the perception of vaping as safe. The reasons not to vape are becoming increasingly clear and compelling. 

Lung and Organ Damage From Vaping

Vaping, despite commonly being perceived as a safer alternative to smoking, carries a multitude of health risks including organ damage. The chemicals not only damage the lungs but also critical organs such as the heart and brain. Further risks include a severe lung condition known as EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury), increased severity in existing respiratory conditions, and a permanent lung scarring condition called “popcorn lung” caused by a chemical named diacetyl.

In addition, the electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) present in these devices creates potentially harmful vapors from nicotine, flavorings, and other additives. Many are seemingly unaware of these dangers, drawing parallels to the delayed understanding of the harm cigarettes cause. The addition of these foreign substances, even as vapor, disrupts lung function and can provoke severe health complications.

The Potential for Addiction to Vaping

Vaping, while perceived as less damaging than traditional smoking, still presents significant addiction risks. Many vaping products contain nicotine, an addictive substance that can cause harm to the brain, particularly in teens and young adults. Even though certain products claim to be nicotine-free, they have been found to contain it. Even slight usage of e-cigarettes can lead to addiction.

The Most Compelling Reasons Not to Vape

To summarize, there are numerous reasons not to vape. Especially, for non-smokers, young people, and pregnant women:

  • Health Risks: Vaping exposes the user to various chemicals, including nicotine, which is addictive and harms adolescent brain development. Other substances in vape juice also pose health risks.
  • Addiction: Nicotine is highly addictive. Like other substances of addiction, vaping can lead to nicotine addiction. Thereby, making it hard to quit and potentially leading to the use of traditional cigarettes.
  • Impact on Lung Health: Vaping has been associated with lung problems. The inhalation of certain substances in vape juice, like vitamin E acetate, has been linked to serious lung conditions.
  • Gateway to Smoking: For non-smokers, especially teenagers and young adults, vaping acts as a gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes. Consequently, reversing decades of progress in tobacco control.
  • Unknown Long-Term Effects: The long-term effects of vaping are still not fully understood. Vaping is relatively new, and more research is needed to understand long-term health consequences.
  • Expenses: The cost of purchasing vaping devices and refill cartridges adds up.
  • Social Influence and Peer Pressure: Young people, in particular, may face peer pressure to vape. Thus, leading to unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices.
  • Secondhand Exposure: While less harmful than traditional cigarette smoke, the aerosol from e-cigarettes still contains chemicals that may be harmful to bystanders.
  • Pregnancy Risks: Vaping during pregnancy can be harmful to the fetus. Nicotine exposure during pregnancy affects fetal brain and lung development.
  • Environmental Impact: The waste from disposable e-cigarettes and cartridges contributes to environmental pollution. Many vaping products are not biodegradable or recyclable.

For these reasons, individuals, especially those who do not currently smoke, are generally advised to avoid starting vaping. Those who do vape should be aware of these risks and consider seeking help to quit.

Begin a Healthier, Happier Lifestyle at Enlightened Solutions

Enlightened Solutions Recovery helps individuals seeking a life liberated from the grasp of harmful substances. Our holistic approach goes beyond abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It’s about nurturing a healthy lifestyle that heals the mind, body, and spirit. We believe that true recovery encompasses physical well-being, mental clarity, and spiritual balance. 

Contact us today to learn more about the reasons not to vape and how to get started on the path to freedom and wellness.

The Connection Between Trauma and Addiction

Addiction often serves as a response to past trauma, whether the individual is aware of it or not. The inability to identify and acknowledge this connection between past hurt and substance abuse can complicate the treatment of the underlying addiction. Ideally, understanding these specific connections between trauma and addiction sheds light on how past stress or abuse influences substance abuse patterns.

Understanding Trauma and Its Impact

Unveiling the hidden association between trauma and addiction offers a fresh perspective on the behaviors and consequences of addiction disorders. It also accentuates the profound impact of adverse childhood experiences and chronic stress on substance abuse. Childhood trauma and stress can follow an individual into adolescence and adulthood, shaping their thoughts, behavior, and reactions.

The consensus among experts is that there’s a strong connection between trauma and addiction, with some suggesting that addiction is almost always a result of underlying trauma or a history of abuse.

What is Trauma?

Trauma refers to any event that’s distressing, disturbing, or significantly upsetting. Defined by the DSM-5-TR, trauma can become an individual’s reality following exposure to actual or threatened death, significant injury, or sexual violence. This exposure can occur directly, as a bystander, or through repeated exposure to traumatic event details.

Types of Traumatic Events

Traumatic events can stem from a multitude of unfavorable experiences. Some common examples include sexual assault, domestic violence, combat, and natural disasters. Impressively, about 90% of individuals seeking help in a behavioral healthcare setting say they were victims of a traumatic event. This means the majority of individuals grappling with mental and emotional health challenges have had their lives drastically altered by trauma.

Trauma can occur as a single event like a car accident or the traumatic loss of a loved one or as a long-term stressor like living in an abusive household. As such, it’s crucial to understand that these experiences can happen to anyone, at any point in life.

How Trauma Affects the Brain

The connection between trauma and addiction stems from how negatively these instances affect individuals’ mental, emotional, and physiological well-being. Trauma triggers feelings of hyperarousal, reactivity, intensely overwhelming emotions, panic, and other mental health conditions that can be challenging to manage without proper support. In a bid to suppress these challenging feelings, individuals often turn to substances, thus creating a vicious cycle.

It’s important also to note that trauma is more than a negative experience. It’s an event or series of circumstances that have lasting effects on individuals’ mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. Specifically, childhood trauma strongly correlates with addiction.

Data shows that lifetime trauma incidence is the best predictor of addiction. This is why treating trauma is highly beneficial for addiction recovery. With this understanding, key interventions can be made to break the deadly cycle of dependence and abuse resulting from unaddressed trauma. This illuminates the need for professionals who specialize in trauma-informed and trauma-focused treatments, capable of addressing the roots of addiction while providing supportive mechanisms for handling trauma-related issues.

In essence, understanding the connection between trauma and addiction is vital. The task then becomes aiding individuals to recognize their emotions, identifying triggers, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. This understanding marks a significant step towards lasting change, and ultimately, recovery. 

The Cycle of Trauma and Addiction

Understanding the cycle of trauma and addiction is vital especially when seeking solutions to break this destructive cycle. With an aligned mental health approach—including psychotherapy, professional guidance, and treatment, individuals stand a better chance to regain control of their lives.

Signs of Trauma

There are widespread symptoms associated with trauma, however, these can vary significantly in intensity and nature among individuals. Emotional dysregulation, panic attacks, and struggles with executive functions, are key signs often noted. Furthermore, those who’ve undergone childhood trauma in particular, may experience far-reaching psychological and behavioral aftereffects. Moreover, trauma can impact anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. Hence, paying attention to these signs is crucial.

Escaping Emotional Pain

Studies suggest that attempts to escape or numb emotional distress often prompt the onset of substance use. To escape the overwhelming feelings associated with trauma, individuals may turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of temporary relief from their mental anguish. Vulnerable groups to these effects include women, adolescents, and individuals from marginalized populations. However, the reality remains that any person can experience childhood trauma and consequently struggle with subsequent addiction.

The Role of Self-Medication

Once faced with the grim reality of trauma and its resulting distress, the act of self-medication is often the default reaction for many. Substance misuse often becomes a coping mechanism. Thereby, temporarily alleviating the emotional pain caused by trauma. The link between trauma and substance use becomes apparent when the substance is used to ward off traumatic triggers or memories. Understanding that self-medication is a common, albeit unhealthy, response to trauma initiates the process of breaking the addiction cycle.

Addiction as a Source of Further Trauma

Dependence brought on by self-medication and addiction can itself prove traumatic, further perpetuating the cycle. Addiction negatively influences relationships and can cause economic strain, leading to additional trauma stimuli. Furthermore, according to Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior, “It is estimated that addiction-related costs to society exceed $740 billion annually due to crime, loss of productivity and healthcare.” The repercussions of addiction extend beyond the individual, impacting society broadly.

Are You Experiencing Trauma and Self-Medicating?

Identifying trauma and understanding its connection to substance use is the first stride toward dismantling the traumatic addiction cycle. Recognizing increased substance use following distressing events, or using such substances to cope with trauma-related triggers, could signify a trauma-addiction connection. Seeking professional assistance that specializes in trauma-informed and trauma-focused treatments, coupled with social support and early intervention, can greatly reduce the magnitude of trauma symptoms and ultimately curb substance use issues.

Unraveling the complex link between trauma and addiction requires careful understanding, expert insight, and caring intervention, certainly proving challenging yet not insurmountable.

Stress: The Middleman Between Trauma and Addiction

Scientific evidence strongly links trauma, especially childhood trauma, to addiction. Trauma incidence is the most reliable predictor of addiction, and the correlation between the two is deeply intertwined. Trauma can lead to stress that escalates to addiction and has negative effects on emotional skills, cognitive development, and even the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. The lack of natural chemicals like oxytocin and serotonin can make individuals vulnerable to substance abuse.

Treating trauma with trauma-informed methods is crucial to breaking the cycle. Integrating addiction treatments with stress management strategies could revolutionize perspectives on addiction. Society needs to strive for understanding, compassion, and actionable solutions in dealing with trauma. Recognizing and addressing the connection between trauma and addiction is essential for a future free from addiction’s hold.

How Childhood Trauma Leads to Addiction

Understanding the intricacies of trauma and addiction originates from delving into a key contributing factor: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Specifically, the impact these ACEs have on developing addictive behaviors later in life cannot be overstated.

What are ACEs?

ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, refer to traumatic events that occur during a person’s early years. These experiences, such as abuse or neglect, can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and physical health. Many people have experienced at least one ACE, and the more ACEs a person has experienced, the more likely they are to face addiction and other health issues.

It is important to address these experiences early and provide mental health support to break the cycle.

Recognizing and Treating Trauma and Addiction

Trauma and addiction are closely related, and it is important to recognize this connection to provide effective treatment for underlying addictions. Trauma often leads to substance abuse as a coping mechanism, with conditions like PTSD and substance abuse commonly occurring together. Integrated treatment approaches that address both disorders concurrently are more effective than separate treatments.

Healing from both disorders requires acknowledging the relationship between the two and seeking professional assistance for trauma-focused treatments. With the right help, lasting recovery is within reach.

Moving Toward Recovery and Resilience

Understanding the profound connection between trauma and addiction sets the stage for lasting recovery. Individuals on this path need an arsenal of tools and resources to help them navigate their journeys. Resilience and empowerment tend to be key elements in overcoming the challenges associated with trauma and substance use.

A Holistic Perspective of Mental and Physical Health: Unresolved Trauma and Addiction

Unresolved trauma often plays a role in addiction, and adopting a trauma-informed perspective can lead to more successful recovery journeys. This perspective recognizes an individual’s strengths and resilience, taking into account the impact of past trauma on substance abuse. Building resilience and fostering positive connections are emphasized, with a focus on repairing relational dynamics.

Family and community support, as well as holistic counseling services, are important components of treatment. Integrating strategies that address both trauma and substance abuse is crucial to breaking the cycle of addiction and intergenerational trauma.

Comprehensive Treatment for Trauma and Addiction at Enlightened Solutions

Trauma can have lasting effects on cognitive development, emotions, stress responses, and mood regulation, leading individuals to turn to substance use as a means of escape. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) greatly influence addictive behaviors later in life, making early intervention and quality mental health care essential for addressing ACEs and breaking the cycle. 

A strength-based, trauma-informed approach that focuses on resilience, empowerment, positive connections, and healthy relationships is necessary for overcoming trauma and substance use. 

Contact us at Enlightened Solutions to learn about our comprehensive approach to treating co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

How to Help a Loved One With Addiction

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction is a challenging and heartbreaking experience. However, there is hope, and you can play a crucial role in helping them on their journey to recovery. Enlightened Solutions is a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that provides a comprehensive range of clinical care options, including detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. Enlightened Solutions also addresses dual-diagnosis disorders to offer holistic healing for your loved one. 

How to Help a Loved One With Addiction

Addiction is a complex and chronic disease that has far-reaching consequences for families and communities. By offering support and encouragement, families and friends can empower their loved ones to seek treatment and embark on a path to recovery. Moreover, substance use disorders often lead to physical and mental health issues, legal problems, and strained relationships. 

By helping loved ones access the appropriate treatment and resources, we can help them regain control of their lives, rebuild relationships, and find hope and healing on the road to recovery. Ultimately, intervention can be a lifeline, providing the opportunity for a brighter and healthier future for the person we care about.

Educate Yourself

The first step in helping a loved one with addiction is to focus on education. It is always a good idea to learn about addiction as a disease and thoroughly understand its signs, symptoms, and underlying causes. This knowledge will enable a person to approach the situation empathetically and clearly understand what their loved one is going through.

Open Communication

Maintaining open and non-judgmental communication is vital. It is beneficial for a person to let their loved one know they are there to support them, not blame or shame them. Express concern and offer a listening ear when they are ready to talk. Avoid confrontations and arguments, as these can be counterproductive.

Be Supportive

Support a loved one throughout their recovery journey. Attend therapy sessions or support groups with them if they are comfortable with it. Offer encouragement, celebrate their milestones, and be patient as they navigate the recovery challenges.

Set Boundaries

While being supportive, it is crucial to set boundaries to protect oneself and maintain a healthy relationship. Be clear about what behavior will and will not be tolerated, and stick to these boundaries consistently.

Practice Self-Care

Taking care of oneself is just as important as supporting a loved one. A person should ensure they have a support network, seek counseling if necessary, and prioritize their well-being. Some ways to practice self-care while helping a loved one through the recovery process are seeking individual therapy and joining a peer support group like Al-Anon. 

Encourage Professional Help

Enlightened Solutions is a reputable addiction treatment center that offers a range of clinical care options tailored to each client’s unique needs. The levels of care we provide include:

Detoxification (Detox)

Detoxification is the first step in addiction treatment. It involves supervised medical detox to remove substances from the body safely. Enlightened Solutions offers a safe and comfortable environment for individuals to undergo detox while minimizing withdrawal symptoms and medical risks.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment, also referred to as inpatient treatment, provides a structured and supportive environment for recovery. It includes therapy, counseling, and group activities to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of addiction. Enlightened Solutions’ residential program offers a holistic approach to healing.

Partial Hospitalization (PHP)

Partial hospitalization is an intermediate level of care that provides intensive treatment during the day while allowing patients to return home in the evenings. It is suitable for individuals who require ongoing support but can manage daily responsibilities.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)

Intensive outpatient treatment is a flexible option that allows individuals to receive treatment while continuing to live at home. Enlightened Solutions’ intensive outpatient program offers therapy, counseling, and support to help clients maintain sobriety.

Outpatient Treatment (OP)

Outpatient treatment offers ongoing support and therapy on a less intensive basis. It is ideal for individuals who have completed higher levels of care but still need ongoing counseling and support to prevent relapse.

Staging a Professional Intervention

Staging a professional intervention for a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder is a compassionate and carefully orchestrated process aimed at helping them find the path to recovery. It involves a team of trained professionals, family members, and friends coming together to express their concerns and support for the individual in a non-confrontational manner. 

The objective is to create a safe and empathetic environment where the person can see the impact of their addiction on themselves and their loved ones. A professional interventionist plays a pivotal role in guiding the conversation and ensuring it remains constructive and focused on encouraging the individual to seek treatment. While emotionally challenging, staging an intervention can be a crucial turning point in the journey toward recovery, offering hope and a lifeline to a brighter, healthier future.

Contact Us Today to Help a Loved One Begin Healing

Helping a loved one with addiction can be challenging, but recovery is possible with the right approach and access to professional help. Enlightened Solutions, a trusted addiction treatment center, offers various clinical care options to meet your loved one’s needs. 

Enlightened Solutions is dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care. Additionally, their expertise in addressing dual-diagnosis disorders ensures that your loved one receives holistic healing. By taking these steps and seeking professional guidance, you can be a supportive force in your loved one’s journey toward recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how to help a loved one with addiction! 

What is Marijuana Maintenance?

The debate surrounding the role of marijuana maintenance in addiction recovery has gained considerable attention in recent years. While proponents argue that it could provide harm reduction and alternative treatment options, there are several compelling reasons to question its effectiveness and safety within the context of addiction recovery. 

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 18.7 percent of Americans aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) used marijuana in the past year. There are potential pitfalls of relying on marijuana as a maintenance substance during the recovery process. We must consider factors such as the potential for cross-addiction, psychological dependence, and the complexities of individual recovery journeys.

What is Marijuana Maintenance in Addiction Recovery?

Marijuana maintenance in addiction recovery refers to the controversial practice of using marijuana as a substitute for another addictive substance. Usually, substituting for addictive drugs or alcohol to manage cravings, withdrawal symptoms, or other challenges associated with quitting the primary substance. This concept is particularly relevant in the context of individuals who are trying to overcome substance use disorders or addiction.

Proponents of marijuana maintenance argue that using marijuana helps reduce the harm associated with more dangerous substances. And therefore, potentially provides a less harmful alternative. They believe that marijuana might be less physically harmful and less addictive than substances like opioids or alcohol, and thus could serve as a harm reduction strategy. 

Advocates also suggest that marijuana could ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier for individuals to transition away from more damaging substances. However, there are significant concerns and criticisms surrounding the idea of marijuana maintenance.

Reasons Marijuana Maintenance is Not the Best Approach 

Ultimately, the concept of marijuana maintenance remains controversial and lacks widespread support from the medical and addiction treatment communities. Individuals considering this approach should consult with healthcare professionals to make informed decisions that align with their unique circumstances and recovery goals. Read further to learn about some of the reasons marijuana maintenance is not a good treatment approach during addiction recovery.

Substitution of One Addiction for Another

Critics argue that relying on marijuana as a substitute might simply replace one addiction with another. And also, long-term marijuana use could have its own negative health and psychological effects including the need for treatment for marijuana addiction.

Lack of Scientific Evidence

The effectiveness of marijuana as a harm reduction strategy in addiction recovery is not well-established. Scientific research on its long-term impact, especially in the context of addiction recovery, is limited.

Legal and Social Implications

The legal status of marijuana varies widely across jurisdictions. Using marijuana, even as a substitute, could lead to legal issues in some places. Additionally, social stigma around marijuana use might impact individuals’ overall well-being and recovery journey.

Underlying Issues

Treating addiction is not just about addressing the substance itself. It also involves addressing the underlying psychological, emotional, and behavioral factors that contribute to addictive behavior. Simply replacing one substance with another may not address co-occurring mental health disorders.

Treatment Goals

Many addiction recovery programs aim for complete abstinence from all substances, including marijuana. Incorporating marijuana maintenance could be inconsistent with the goals of such programs. Most programs offer treatment for marijuana addiction.

Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has various effects on both the brain and the body due to its active compounds. Primarily, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These effects vary based on factors such as the individual’s dosage, frequency of use, method of consumption, and individual differences. 

Here are some of the key effects of marijuana on the brain and body:

Effects on the Brain

  • Euphoria and Altered Perception
  • Memory and Cognitive Impairment
  • Impaired Motor Skills
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Addiction and dependence
  • Brain development

Effects on the Body

  • Heart rate and blood pressure
  • Respiratory effects
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Coordination and motor skills
  • Suppress the immune system
  • Negative effects on the reproductive system

To summarize, the effects of marijuana vary widely from person to person. And not everyone will experience the same effects. Additionally, the increasing availability of different strains with different THC and CBD concentrations influences the specific effects an individual might experience. If someone is considering using marijuana, especially during recovery, it’s advised to consult with addiction professionals to make informed decisions about its potential risks and benefits.

Find Safe and Effective Addiction Treatment

So, while the concept of marijuana maintenance as a harm reduction strategy in addiction recovery may seem appealing, it carries significant risks and challenges that make it an unsuitable approach. The lack of substantial scientific evidence regarding its safety and effectiveness, the potential for substituting one addiction with another, legal and social implications, and the failure to address underlying psychological factors all contribute to the argument against adopting marijuana maintenance in addiction recovery. For recovery, Enlightened Solutions has treatment for marijuana addiction to help you achieve sobriety safely.

The complexities of addiction and the individualized nature of recovery demand comprehensive and evidence-based approaches that prioritize long-term well-being, abstinence, and holistic healing. Rather than relying on a potentially problematic substitute. A sober lifestyle does not involve the use of any potentially addictive substances. Recovery incorporates healthy and positive lifestyle changes with a personalized treatment plan to better understand unresolved issues involved in the past addiction.

Contact us today to learn more about our safe and effective approach to addiction treatment at Enlightened Solutions.

Opioid Addiction Symptoms, Signs, and Treatment

Opioid addiction is a global health crisis with severe impacts on physical and mental well-being, relationships, work or school performance, and financial stability. Breaking free from its grip often requires professional help. Therefore, understanding the signs of opioid addiction is crucial. Treatment options, including medications and therapies, help individuals recover and lead meaningful lives. A comprehensive aftercare plan with lifestyle modifications is key to maintaining long-term recovery.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are very potent and extremely addictive drugs that come from opium, which is derived from the poppy plant. Opioids include a variety of drugs. Some are natural, synthetic, legal, illegal, recreational, or medicinal. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies prescription opioids as Schedule II controlled substances because they have a medical use but also a high risk of misuse. 

Natural opioids have been used to treat nervous disorders, cancers, and other conditions. Most painkillers are opioids and are prescribed to relieve chronic or severe pain. People with opioid use disorder will usually take more than the required dose and obtain more illegally. Synthetic or manmade opioids have similar effects but can be used as an option for opioid addiction treatment

Any long-term use of opioids increases the risk of addiction, even prescription drugs. Opioid tolerance triggers the vicious cycle of addiction. People take more and more of the substance to reach that pleasurable feeling from the first time using. The continuous increase in use puts a person at a very high risk of overdose.

What drugs are opioids?

Schedule II prescription opioid drugs include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Methadone
  • Tramadol
  • Buprenorphine

Heroin, an illegal synthetic street drug derived from morphine, is also an opioid but a Schedule I controlled substance with no currently accepted medical use in the United States. It is one of the most powerful and dangerous drugs and a person can become addicted after just one use.

Physical Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction can manifest in physical symptoms, indicating the presence of opioid use disorder. Physical symptoms may vary depending on the specific opioids being used, the dosage, and the individual’s overall health. If someone is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s critical to encourage them to seek professional addiction treatment and support right away. 

Some common physical symptoms of opioid addiction include:

  • Constricted pupils: Opioids cause the pupils to become noticeably smaller than usual.
  • Drowsiness or nodding off: Individuals addicted to opioids may frequently appear sleepy or drift in and out of consciousness.
  • Slurred speech: Opioid use can lead to difficulty in articulating words clearly and coherently.
  • Poor coordination: Opioid addiction affects motor skills and coordination. Thus, leading to unsteady movements.
  • Weight changes: Some people may experience fluctuations in weight, either gaining or losing, due to opioid addiction.
  • Itchy or flushed skin: Opioids can cause the skin to become itchy and red.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Opioid use often causes gastrointestinal problems, leading to nausea and vomiting.
  • Constipation: Opioids commonly cause constipation, as they slow down body systems.
  • Respiratory issues: Opioid use depresses the respiratory system, leading to shallow breathing or difficulty breathing.
  • Needle marks or track marks: Intravenous drug use leaves visible puncture marks on the skin, especially in the arms or other injection sites.

Behavioral Signs of Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is recognizable through various behavioral signs and changes in a person’s actions and habits. It’s essential to approach someone showing behavioral signs of opioid addiction with empathy and understanding. Encourage them to seek professional opioid addiction treatment and support for their recovery. 

Some common behavioral signs of opioid addiction include:

  • Obsession with obtaining opioids: An individual thinks about or obsesses over obtaining and using opioids. Which can lead to a preoccupation with drug-seeking behaviors.
  • Doctor shopping: They may visit multiple doctors or healthcare providers to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drugs.
  • Neglecting responsibilities: Individuals may neglect important responsibilities at work, school, or home, as obtaining and using drugs becomes a priority.
  • Social withdrawal: Individuals may withdraw from social interactions and activities they once enjoyed in favor of drug use.
  • Continued use despite negative consequences: Even when facing adverse effects on health, relationships, finances, or legal problems they continue using the drugs.
  • Secretive behavior: People addicted to opioids may become secretive about their activities and whereabouts, trying to hide their drug use from others.
  • Changes in friendships and social circles: The person associates with new groups of people who are also involved in drug use.
  • Risky behaviors: Opioid addiction can lead to engaging in risky behaviors to obtain drugs, such as stealing or participating in illegal activities.
  • Increased tolerance: Over time, an individual may require higher doses of opioids to achieve the same effects, leading to increased tolerance.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: When opioids wear off, individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, anxiety, nausea, and muscle pain, driving them to use opioids to relieve these symptoms.
  • Failed attempts to quit: Someone with opioid addiction may try to quit or cut back on drug use but find it challenging to do so due to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid addiction treatment typically involves a combination of medical interventions, behavioral therapies, and support systems to help individuals recover from opioid use disorder. The main goals of opioid addiction treatment are to reduce cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and address the underlying issues contributing to addiction. 

Here are some common approaches to opioid addiction treatment:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT combines the use of FDA-approved medications with behavioral therapies. These medications help safely reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Thereby, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery without experiencing intense physical discomfort.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Various behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), are effective in treating opioid addiction. These therapies help individuals recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. While also learning coping skills, and promoting healthier decision-making.
  • Counseling and Support Groups: Individual and group counseling sessions provide a safe space for individuals to discuss their challenges related to addiction. Additionally, support groups offer a supportive community of peers who understand the struggles of addiction.
  • Detoxification: Medically supervised detoxification helps manage acute withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using opioids. Medical detox is often the first step in the treatment process.
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Many individuals also have co-occurring mental health disorders. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both addiction and mental health disorders simultaneously for more effective outcomes.
  • Holistic Therapies: Some treatment programs incorporate holistic approaches, such as mindfulness, yoga, art therapy, and meditation, to promote overall well-being during the recovery process.
  • Aftercare and Continuing Support: After completing a treatment program, individuals benefit from ongoing support to prevent relapse. Aftercare involves outpatient counseling, 12-step meetings, or other support to the individual’s needs.
  • Family Involvement: Involving family members in the treatment process improves communication and support networks. Therefore,  fostering a healthier home environment for the person in recovery.

Find Safe and Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment at Enlightened Solutions

Recovery begins with you. You make the decision to call and ask for help and start a transformational, life-changing journey. The power to heal is yours. Let Enlightened Solutions show you the path of holistic treatment, bringing together the best practices of evidence-based clinical care, proven alternative healing practices, and a trusted 12-step philosophy. 

Contact us today to learn more about our safe and effective approach to opioid addiction treatment.

How to Disclose Your Addiction to a Loved One

Delivering news that you know will be unpleasant is always hard. This could include something like informing someone of a mistake, loss, or lie. When it comes to disclosing the fact that you are struggling with substance addiction, you could get various responses.

Let’s first discuss who you may want or need to share this information with. It can be common for those struggling with addiction to hide their problems from others. This often leads to dishonesty, mistrust, and even strained relationships. When things become tense, and you feel the need to lie to your loved ones, this may indicate that it is time to be honest and disclose your addiction.

Telling a Spouse or Partner

Informing your spouse or partner of your addiction can be challenging. You may fear rejection or a negative response. The risk of losing the person can sometimes be enough to keep you from telling the truth.

Sooner or later, those close to you will become aware that something isn’t right. When it comes to your spouse or partner, chances are, they have already become a little suspicious. When you are struggling with addiction, your behavior tends to change, priorities shift, and you may display some signs of dishonesty or secrecy.

If your spouse or partner has noticed any of these signs, they may already have an idea of the issue. Having an open and honest conversation could help them feel more justified in their feelings and observations.

Telling a Parent or Sibling

Sharing with a parent or sibling that you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be equally challenging. Often, we want our family members to be proud of us. Making good choices is something that many families aim to instill in their children. Knowing your parents or family will be disappointed can be a barrier to breaking the news. Addiction does tend to impact the whole family.

One of the things to keep in mind is that, in most cases, your family members love you unconditionally. This means that even if you share some information that they may not like, they will still love and support you.

Being open and honest about your struggles can often improve your relationships with family members. Again, they have likely noticed a shift in your behavior and actions and may feel a little relieved to know that you are aware of the issue and willing to talk about it.

Telling a Friend or Roommate

Informing a friend or roommate of your addiction can be a bit uncomfortable. Your friends or roommates may also drink alcohol or use drugs. They might be struggling with addiction as well, or maybe they consider themselves to be more recreational users.

In this case, talking to them about your addiction may or may not alter their behavior or decisions. However, being clear about your concerns and your decision to seek support is important. You may need to evaluate the friendship or reconsider your living situation if they do not support you or do not share similar goals.

On the contrary, you may still have some friends who don’t use substances, or perhaps you live with roommates who do not share your lifestyle. Ideally, these people will encourage you to seek help and will support you in your efforts to get clean.

How to Break the News

When it comes time to have the difficult conversation, be sure you are prepared. You want to be sure you schedule enough time to have the conversation, as there may be follow-up questions or a discussion. Most likely, the person you are delivering the information to is going to want to talk through options for getting help.

Be sure to have the conversation in an appropriate environment. This is not a conversation you want to have in a public place. Struggling with substance abuse can come with some shame and guilt and certainly carries a fair share of stigma. Having the conversation in a private place can make all parties more comfortable.

Lastly, be honest. Most likely, there have been some instances that have resulted in a lack of trust up to this point. As a result, it is very important to be upfront about your struggles and make an effort to be fully transparent about how addiction is affecting you.

Having this conversation can often come as a result of the decision to seek treatment. At Enlightened Solutions, we help facilitate communication and provide guidance when it comes to mending broken relationships. Our family program helps to inform your loved ones about your situation and provides tools for navigating the healing and recovery process. Disclosing your addiction to those you care about is never easy, but it is an essential step toward recovery.

Discussing your struggle with substance abuse with loved ones can be challenging. You may receive negative feedback, judgment, rejection, or worse. It is important, however, to share your struggle with those who may be in a position to support you or encourage you to seek help. They may also serve as a great support system as you exit treatment and enter recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a family program that helps to facilitate communication and growth among family members and loved ones in treatment. We help create understanding and encourage methods for healing everyone involved. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Can I Rebuild Trust After Addiction?

Trust is a fundamental component of relationships of all types – whether they are friends, co-workers, loved ones, peers, or other relationships. Without trust, what do you have? Bonds are built on trust, and it can be very difficult to rebuild trust once it is broken.

Substance abuse tends to leave a trail of destruction regarding trust and relationships. Drugs and alcohol can lead you to behave in ways that may be out of character, leading to a lot of wreckage, including broken trust. The great news is that with time and a lot of work, trust can be rebuilt if both or all parties are open to it.

Re-establishing trust within a relationship can take weeks, months, or even years. It is essential to be patient, communicative, and understanding as you and those you care about move through the healing process. Following a few steps for rebuilding trust can help guide things in the right direction and make navigating things a little easier.

#1. Take Responsibility

Owning up to your mistakes is never easy. Addiction can lead us to do and say things that we may regret. These things can include lying and deceiving those we care about most. Losing the trust of someone you love can be very detrimental, and if left unresolved, it can ruin the relationship.

Facing your wrongs and admitting your fault in things is the first step toward mending a relationship with broken trust. If you have been struggling with addiction, it is likely that your loved ones have watched you spiral and lose control as a result of drugs or alcohol. While this doesn’t lessen the blow when it comes to the things that damaged their trust, it does provide an explanation.

By taking responsibility for your actions, you are allowing space for understanding and empathy. Communicating about the things you remember doing wrong and even listening and acknowledging things you may not recall can help your loved ones begin to heal.

#2. Allow Time and Space

When you first come clean about your struggle with addiction and the consequences it has brought to your life, your loved ones may need some time to process the information. You can expect to receive some feedback that may be difficult to receive. They might share how your behavior or actions made them feel. You may learn of the sacrifices they have made to try to help you or hear about the many excuses they have made for you in your absence.

It is important for you to give your loved ones time and space to understand, grieve, and process the situation. If they knew of your struggle with addiction, they might find some peace in your decision to try to make amends. Maybe they were unsure of why things unfolded the way they did and are now learning that substance abuse led to the breaking of their trust.

Be prepared to be patient and try your best to show empathy for your loved one’s feelings. Understand that if they are close to you, they, too, have been significantly impacted by your addiction and need time to heal before rebuilding trust.

#3. Commit to Making a Change

This is where things can really begin to take a turn. Admitting your faults and accepting whatever the response may be is essentially preliminary work. After having these initial tough conversations, it is time to make a change.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones that you are working to make a change and rebuild trust is by seeking help for your addiction. Making the call to enter treatment displays that you are self-aware and recognize the weight of your problem.

Committing not only to mending the relationship but also to living a life of sobriety speaks volumes. This decision gives your loved ones confidence in you and hopes for mending the relationship.

Enlightened Solutions offers many opportunities for family members and loved ones to get involved in the treatment and healing process. We understand how addiction can affect the whole family and seek to establish understanding and help facilitate healthy relationships moving forward. Through our family program, loved ones can learn more about substance abuse, develop tools for coping and support, and find comfort among others who are navigating similar situations.

Trust is a hard thing to build and can be even more challenging to rebuild once it is broken. Unfortunately, substance abuse tends to lead to broken trust and strained relationships. By following the tips listed above and making the commitment to change, you can rebuild trust after addiction. Getting family members involved in the treatment process can promote healing for everyone and provide you and your loved ones with the support needed to move forward.

Trust is essential when it comes to forming and maintaining personal and professional relationships. If you are struggling with substance abuse, you may have experienced or caused trust to be broken. Trust can be a difficult thing to get back once it is lost. Sometimes, by following a few steps and putting in some work, over time, you can successfully rebuild trust in recovery. Enlightened Solutions can help guide you every step of the way. If you or someone you know could benefit from our holistic approach to treatment for substance abuse, we would love to hear from you. To start mending relationships through recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Why You Should Stay Active After Addiction

Living an active lifestyle has many benefits. Being active can involve sports, exercise, or even hobbies. Keeping yourself busy by doing things that add value to your life and improve your overall wellness can be very advantageous.

If you have struggled with substance abuse, you may know the importance of developing new hobbies and routines. Staying busy can help you avoid triggering situations and can help you fight cravings. It can also help improve your mental and physical health, which substances can take a considerable toll on.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Let’s talk a bit more about the benefits of physical activity. Many things need work as your body begins to detox from drugs and alcohol. For instance, your sleep patterns may be disrupted, and getting quality sleep may become a challenge. Your appetite may be affected, along with your digestive and metabolic function. Additionally, you are bound to experience some highs and lows when it comes to mood and motivation.

Exercise and staying active can improve your health in each of the areas mentioned above. Regular exercise can significantly increase the amount of quality sleep you get each night. The more active you are during the day, the more energy you expend and the more tension you release. This allows your mind and body to relax when it is time for bed.

Living an active lifestyle also helps improve your appetite and metabolism. Physical activity, along with eating healthy and nutritious foods, helps improve insulin and blood sugar levels. This is important because these levels can affect your mood, focus, and overall functioning.

Physical Activity During Treatment

The lifestyle changes that occur following active addiction really begin during treatment. You will be introduced to a variety of new activities that promote wellness and healing throughout the program. One of the activities Enlightened Solutions introduces to clients is yoga. Through activities like yoga and meditation, we encourage a mind, body, and spiritual connection, which promotes better self-understanding and self-expression. Learn more about our yoga classes here.

At Enlightened Solutions, we also incorporate various outdoor activities through our experiential therapy program. These activities include surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and more. We find that clients often discover new hobbies and strengths by participating in our programs. The hope is for clients to continue to participate in similar activities throughout recovery.

Our staff at Enlightened Solutions helps clients create new, healthy routines and habits during treatment. This might include daily walks or time spent meditating each morning. It could involve time spent working in the garden or making music. All of our programs and activities are geared toward healing and growth. We understand the importance of staying busy and active following treatment and make efforts to instill this value in our clients.

Tips for Staying Active in Recovery

Following treatment, you are likely to regain a sense of freedom and flexibility regarding your schedule and routine. You are also likely to resume some of your daily activities and responsibilities, such as work or school. It can be easy to push things aside and allow your priorities to shift a bit after treatment. It is important, however, to remember the value of staying active and involved in activities that enhance your mental and physical health throughout recovery. Below are a few tips for staying active and on track.

Join a Class

Creating some accountability when it comes to staying focused on your goals is always a good idea. In order to remain active and involved during recovery, you could choose to join a group or class. This could be a yoga class, running club, cycle class, or even a social group. Connecting with others who share a common goal can help you continue to prioritize your health and happiness.

Try New Things

You are likely to explore new activities and hobbies during treatment. Don’t let it end when you complete your program. Continue to try new, healthy activities that promote wellness. By adding some variety to your methods of physical activity, you are less likely to feel burdened or obligated to participate.

Set Goals

Goal setting is so valuable when it comes to treatment and recovery. Goals not only provide guidance but also create opportunities for giving yourself credit for your success. Setting realistic goals when it comes to your lifestyle and activity level can help keep you motivated. You are more likely to follow through when you have set a goal to do so.

Staying active and occupied during recovery is essential to long-term success. Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures or are more of an indoor kind of person, make sure to squeeze in some time for your preferred physical activities. This will improve your mental and physical health and help you maintain sobriety.

Staying active is extremely valuable for everyone. It enhances one’s quality of life by improving mental and physical health, reducing illness, boosting mood, and more. For those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD), physical activity can be helpful in many different ways. At Enlightened Solutions, we engage clients with many different activities to promote health and wellness. We understand the benefits activities such as yoga, paddle boarding, or hiking can have when it comes to healing from SUD. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to hear from you. To get help and begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

Is My Social Life Fueling My Addiction?

Have you ever heard people say, “You are the company you keep”? There is some truth to this. The people you surround yourself with can have a significant influence on the way you think and behave. They can also contribute to determining what you spend your time doing.

You are likely to hang around people who share your interests and hobbies. For instance, if you enjoy surfing or yoga, you might have friends who also like to participate in these activities. If you enjoy art or music, you may have friends who share these passions.

Sometimes, you may end up spending time around certain groups of people as a result of other factors. One example could include your job. Depending on your occupation, your role may require you to work closely with others. Often, friendships and relationships can form as a result of the time spent with coworkers.

When you meet new people and begin to spend more time with them, you may find yourself conforming to some of their habits and lifestyle choices. If you spend a lot of time with people who drink alcohol or use substances, you are more likely to do so yourself.

Assessing Your Social Circles

If you are battling addiction, it can be common to hang around others who are living with similar struggles. This often makes obtaining alcohol, benzos, opioids, or other substances more convenient. It also reduces the fear of judgment or rejection.

With addiction often comes some distance or strain on relationships with family members and loved ones. If you know they would not support your substance abuse, you will likely spend less time with them. This being the case, you are probably spending most of your time with people who also use drugs or drink alcohol and less time with those who do not. You may even be avoiding those who care for you the most.

The Role of Your Environment

When you consider your social life and the places you frequent, what do those places look like? If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be spending a lot of your time going to bars, parties, or attending other social events that have substances present. Or, you may be spending time alone in isolated areas that allow for more open substance use.

The unfortunate truth is that being in these environments will likely encourage your substance abuse to continue. Despite your efforts to try to stop drinking or using drugs, being around alcohol or substances can make it very difficult to stick to your goals.

Further, continuing to attend the same parties, venues, or locations once in recovery can lead to relapse. Amid your efforts to refrain from substance use, it is best to avoid places that could be tempting or triggering.

Making a Change and Seeking Help

Friends are important, and most people want to have some sort of social life. When it comes to socializing, people tend to be creatures of habit. We often spend our time with a handful of the same people, going to the same places and doing many of the same things. This applies to substance use and spending time with people and in places that cater to this habit. Breaking this cycle can be difficult.

Fear of change can often serve as a deterrent for some when it comes to seeking treatment. Leaving behind friends and activities and avoiding places you have grown accustomed to can be a little unsettling.

The fact is that when you decide to enter treatment, you are making a choice to walk away from the things that nurtured and encouraged your addiction. Often, this includes people and places you may have grown fond of.

Finding a New Community of Peers

In order to really start fresh and begin to heal, you need new friends, hobbies, and environments. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a variety of group activities to encourage relationship-building. This promotes peer-to-peer support and can lead to strong bonds with others that can carry into recovery.

We understand the value of a good support system and connectedness within the community. We encourage you to get involved and build your network through our programs at our Enlightened Farm and other community outreach opportunities.

Leaving your old life behind to enter recovery can be hard and even a little sad for some. Eliminating certain people or activities and substances can leave a void. The key is to fill the void with people and things that serve your new lifestyle. You can turn your life around by seeking treatment for your addiction. Through our programs at Enlightened Solutions, you can have a fulfilling social life in recovery.

Having a social life is important for most people. When it comes to addiction and recovering from substance abuse, it is essential to consider the ways in which your social life and those around you contribute to your drinking or drug use. Making the decision to seek treatment often means cutting some people and places out of your life. While this can be difficult, it is often best. At Enlightened Solutions, we help clients form new habits, friendships, and routines that support their sobriety and goals in recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we would love to help. To begin your journey to recovery, call Enlightened Solutions today at (833) 801-LIVE.

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