signs of opioid abuse

On Watch: How to Spot Opioid & Opiate Addiction Symptoms

The effects of the opioid crisis in America are devastating. In fact, they can quite literally destroy lives.

It’s estimated that 115 people in the US die every day as a result of overdosing on opioids.

If you’re worried that someone you know may be caught in the clutches of opioid addiction, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll tell you what signs to look out for, so that you can take action.

Read on to find out what the most common opiate addiction symptoms are.

Opiate Addiction Symptoms Explained

Here are the main signs of opiate abuse and how to deal with them.

Immediate Side Effects

The first thing to look out for is the immediate side effects of opiates. This way, you’ll be able to identify if someone has taken them recently.

After opiate abuse, the skin appears flushed and becomes irritable. A red, itchy face may not be cause for concern on its own, but combined with some of the following side effects, it could be.

There’s also a sense of euphoria, which can come with hallucinations and impaired judgment. Breathing can become slow and shallow as the heart rate decreases, too.

These side effects also include digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. If someone is taking opiates in the prescribed dosage, these effects should be minimal. However, if they occur frequently and severely, they can signal abuse or addiction.

Changes in Appearance

Opiate abuse doesn’t always create the drastic physical changes that other drugs, like methamphetamines, do. Still, they can cause a person to look very different over time.

The most noticeable way that this happens is through weight loss.

Since these drugs cause nausea, they suppress the appetite. Vomiting and constipation also mean that the body struggles to process food correctly and absorb the nutrients it needs. Over time, this can cause body weight to drop significantly.

The body can also become fatigued as a result of opiate abuse, and this leads to changes in metabolic rate. If a person doesn’t experience any other side effects, this can cause them to go in the other direction and gain weight instead.

Either way, drastic changes in weight are something to look out for.

If a user is injecting the drugs, you may also be able to notice needle marks on their arms or legs.

Physical Symptoms

There are a number of physical changes that addicts can experience, too.

These drugs can cause increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli. This means that they may become easily irritated by sounds, smells, and physical touch.

In fact, they can cause overall alertness to be dramatically increased. Someone who is using opioid regularly may seem to have increased energy levels and become hyper-vigilant about things that didn’t seem to matter to them before.

This alertness can cause the heart rate and blood pressure to rise, too.

These symptoms can also occur during opioid withdrawal. At this stage, they can be much more dangerous. In the worst cases, the danger of withdrawal can even be fatal.

Sometimes, addicts also experience blurred vision. If you notice that someone you know is complaining of these physical symptoms, look out for some of the following changes in their mood and behavior to get an idea of the bigger picture.

Psychological Symptoms

The effects of these drugs aren’t just physical. The psychological effects of opiates can also have a huge impact on the brain and mental health.

To begin with, people can experience irritability and a lack of motivation. They may stop fulfilling their responsibilities and even completely lose interest in the hobbies and activities that they used to enjoy. Eventually, they may withdraw from social interactions more and more.

There is even a link between depression and opioid use. It’s not just that they can cause it. In fact, people who suffer from depression are more susceptible to opioid addiction. This means that the effects go both ways.

They can also cause anxiety. This may appear in subtle, general ways. However, in some cases, it can lead to anxiety attacks or panic attacks.

One of the pain-killing effects of opioids is euphoria, and this is part of what makes the drugs so addictive. In severe cases, some addicts experience drug-induced psychosis, which can appear similar to the symptoms of mental health disorders like schizophrenia.

Behavioral Symptoms

Opioid addiction often starts as a harmless endeavor to seek relief from pain after surgery. As people take it more, their bodies build up a tolerance and they can start to feel as though they need more in order to get the same effects.

This is one of the ways it can change a person’s behavior. If someone is taking the drugs more frequently or in larger doses, it could be a red flag. They may seek out extra drugs by visiting multiple doctors, claiming to need replacement prescriptions, or even stealing them.

This isn’t the only way opioids can alter a person’s behavior. They can also cause changes in sleeping patterns, causing people to sleep far more or less than usual, or at completely different times to their usual routine.

They can also cause people to become more impulsive, making decisions or taking action without thinking. This can lead to risky behaviors, which can put themselves or the people around them in danger.

An opioid addict’s mood can become very volatile, and they may tend to experience rapid mood swings, seemingly going from one extreme to another.

Get Treatment

If you’ve noticed these opiate addiction symptoms in someone you know, the next step is to take action.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do it on your own.

There are plenty of options available for those who are struggling with addiction. Learn what you need to know about the variety of options by contacting (855) 976-2092. Specialist rehabilitation centers can help with interventions, providing both in-patient and out-patient services.

Therapy, workshops and group counseling, can help to tackle the root of the issue, while methadone can be used to treat the addiction itself.

To find out more, read our post on the methadone treatment success rate.



[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from DrugAbuse.Gov:

[2] Kathleen Smith, P. (2018, November 25). Depression and Opioid Abuse. Retrieved from

[3] Purdue University. (2018, October 3). Opioid overdoses, depression linked. Retrieved from

opioid brain

This Is Your Brain on Opioids: Your Complete Guide to Opioid Effects on the Brain

Every year, millions of Americans receive prescription opioid painkillers to treat pain associated with a variety of conditions. And, every day, an average of 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose.

Clearly, the United States has an opioid issue.

What actually are opiates, though? How do they affect the brain? What can one do to overcome opioid addiction?

Read on to learn more about opiates and opioid effects on the brain.

What are Opiates?

You know that opiates are a type of drug. But, what makes them different from other types of painkillers? Why are they so dangerous?

Opiates are a narcotic drug derived from compounds extracted from the opium poppy flower.

Opiates Vs. Opioids

The terms “opiates” and “opioids” are often used interchangeably, but what is the difference between opioids and opiates?

The term “opiates” refers to drugs that are derived directly from the opium poppy flower.

The term “opioids,” on the other hand, refers to synthetic formulations of these drugs.

Both opiates and opioids are most frequently used to relieve pain (some are also used as cough suppressants). Opiates and opioids are both highly addictive and are frequently abused.

Most Frequently Abused Opiates and Opioids

These days, especially in the United States, opioid drugs are more commonly abused than opiates derived directly from the opium poppy plant.

Some of the most commonly abused opiates and opioid drugs include:

  • Codeine
  • Demerol
  • Dilaudid
  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Lortab
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Tramadol
  • Vicodin
  • Zydone

No matter what they’re being used to treat, all of these drugs are highly dangerous and habit-forming.

What are Opioid Effects on the Brain?

What makes opioid drugs so addictive? The main reason opioid drugs seem to be so addictive is the fact that they affect the brain differently than other types of painkillers.

Opioid Receptors in the Brain

Everyone has opiate receptors in their brains, spinal cords, and in other locations throughout the body. These receptors function as active sites for various types of opiates.

Why does the brain have these receptors? Because the body produces its own endogenous neurotransmitters that bind to them to help relieve pain.

In most cases, these endogenous neurotransmitters are sufficient for blocking pain signals. Sometimes, these neurotransmitters are not enough, though.

The body isn’t able to produce enough natural opioids to provide relief for severe or chronic pain. If someone is struggling with either of these issues, their doctor may prescribe them an opioid drug like OxyContin to minimize their pain.

Opioids and Opioid Receptors

Opioid drugs activate the brain’s opioid receptors because their chemical structure mimics the structure of the body’s endogenous neurotransmitters.

Because the structure is so similar, it tricks the opioid receptors and relieves pain.

Opioids do more than just bind to the opioid receptors, though.

Regular opioid use also leads to an increase in the availability of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that leads to increased feelings of pleasure.

Many people who consume opioids find that they enjoy this increase in dopamine availability. As a result, they continue to seek it out and continue taking opioid drugs.

It’s true that opioids are highly effective at treating pain. But, because they increase dopamine availability, they’re also very habit-forming.

Many people find that they develop a tolerance to the drugs over time. This, in turn, creates a need for a larger dosage in order to experience the same effects.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

Once an individual has become dependent on opioid drugs, when they go too long without using them, it’s common for them to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the most frequently experienced withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Fever
  • Muscles aches and pains

The experience of withdrawal symptoms is one of the most common signs that an individual is dealing with addiction to opiates. Some other signs of addiction include:

  • Mood swings
  • Changes in judgment
  • Changes in energy levels
  • Sleep changes

If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to know that opioid addiction can be overcome. It may not be easy, but it’s definitely possible.

Overcoming Opioid Addiction

What does one do to overcome opioid addiction?

There are several different approaches people use to overcome their addiction, including the following:

Long-term Treatment

In a long-term treatment facility, an individual who is struggling with opioid addiction will receive 24-hour care.

Long-term treatment usually lasts for several months and takes place in a non-hospital setting.

During long-term treatment, an addict will work with medical and mental health professionals to safely detox and learn new ways to cope with stress and triggers to prevent relapse.

Short-term Treatment

As the name suggests, short-term treatment takes less time and usually lasts several weeks instead of several months.

It is typically modeled along the lines of the 12-step addiction recovery approach.

Most people who go through short-term treatment for opioid addiction also need to continue their treatment in an outpatient program.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is typically less expensive than other treatments methods. It’s a good option for those who can’t afford long- or short-term care. It also works well for individuals who work full-time or have extensive familial responsibilities.

Some outpatient programs involve just drug education. Others involve more intensive treatment options, including counseling and access to medication.


There are many medications that help minimize withdrawal symptoms and lessen the risk of relapse.

Some of the most well-known medications include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

No matter what type of treatment program an addict goes through, medication can be a helpful component.

Want to Learn More?

For many people, being informed about opioid effects on the brain is very empowering.

It can help them recognize signs of addiction and figure out when they or someone they love needs to seek help.

Do you want to learn more about opioid effects on the brain? Or, do you want to learn more about overcoming addiction in general?

No matter what kind of information about opioids you’re looking for, our site is a great resource.

Start by checking out our opioid addiction blog posts today.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, December 19). Understanding the Epidemic. Retrieved from

Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission. (2019, February). Opiates or Opioids – What’s the difference? Retrieved from Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission:



methadone maintenance for addiction

Addiction Solutions: What Is a Methadone Maintenance Program?

The current epidemic of opiate and opioid addiction is tragic and destructive, controlling the lives of many. Escaping the hold of this addiction is often difficult or impossible to do alone. A methadone maintenance program offers hope for recovery so patients can get their lives back.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opiates or opioids, methadone treatment may help. So how does methadone work? Read on to learn more about this maintenance approach.

What are Opiates and Opioids?

Opiates and opioids both affect the same receptors in the brain. However, they’re different in origin.

Opiates are naturally occurring compounds derived from the opium poppy. Both codeine and morphine are extracted from this plant.

Opioids bind to the same opiate receptors as opiates, but they’re either synthetic or partially synthetic. Fully synthetic opioids are lab-made chemicals. Semi-synthetic opioids result from the chemical modification of naturally occurring opiates. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, buprenorphine, and illegal heroin are all opioids.

Why are They Prescribed?

The legal forms of these are usually drugs prescribed as painkillers. They’re especially helpful with severe or acute pain, such as discomfort after surgeries or major accidents.

Sometimes these drugs are prescribed for chronic pain. While they offer effective pain relief, they also have the potential to quickly lead to addiction and dependency.

Opioid and Opiate Addiction

Opioids and opiates are highly addictive. The science behind their mechanism of action explains why addiction and dependency occur so quickly with these substances.

Both opioids and opiates bind to opiate receptors in the brain. They easily bind to these receptors because of their similarity in structure to naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.


Neurotransmitters are essential to nerve cell communication and when released they stimulate opiate receptors appropriately. This stimulation acts as a signal from one nerve cell to another. This is the way our brains understand and interact with the external environment. Our behaviors and reactions are changed or maintained as a result of this signaling.

Opioid and opiate drugs target the reward system of the brain. This system normally rewards natural beneficial behaviors so that we will be more likely to repeat an action. This is important to survival with activities such as eating, moving, and reproduction. However, overstimulation by drugs gives users an augmented euphoric feeling and encourages the repetition of damaging drug use behavior.

Dopamine, Opiates, and Opioids

Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in the brain, delivering signals from one neuron to the next for proper brain function. It is present in brain regions that are responsible for regulating emotion, thought processes, motivation, pleasure sensation, and movement.

The binding of opiates and opioids to opiate receptors stimulates a flood of dopamine into the synapse, which is the small space between neurons (nerve cells). This dopamine flood creates a feeling of euphoria in users, especially in those abusing the drug.

These drugs can lead users into a spiral of addiction. Conquering this addiction can be even more challenging because of the physical dependence that quickly develops from opiates and opioids.

Physical Dependence and Addiction

Opioid and opiate addiction is usually a two-headed monster. It can take over a user’s behaviors and motivation, while additionally causing the body to have an actual need for the drug.

Physical Dependence

Physical dependence is marked by, requiring more and more of the opiate or opioid drug to achieve previous results.

This dependency is formed as the brain adapts to the drug and develops a tolerance for it. This tolerance requires the user to increase the amounts of the drug that is used in order to feel the same effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.


Withdrawal is an uncomfortable and often painful set of symptoms experienced by a user when these drugs are no longer used. Symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Muscle aching and cramping
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pupils that remain dilated
  • Unpleasant chills and goosebumps

Symptoms of withdrawal can often be avoided or reduced by tapering the dose until complete cessation can be achieved. This allows time for the body to adjust and recover.

In addition to tapering doses, other drugs can be prescribed to take the place of the drug that is being abused. In this pharmaceutical approach, prescriptions are carefully controlled and monitored for the patient’s well-being. One example of such treatment is methadone maintenance.


Addiction is used to describe the point where users no longer take the drug to feel its effects. Rather, the drug is used to feel normal and avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction affects the user’s ability to exercise self-control and make appropriate decisions. This is why those abusing drugs will so often continue to do so in spite of major life consequences.

Addiction is characterized by strong drug cravings, failure to meet obligations due to drug use as a priority, compulsive use of the drug, and a lack of self-control. Getting sober and overcoming substance abuse addiction is often difficult.

What is Methadone?

Methadone is an opioid that is prescribed for pain relief and for the treatment of opioid and opiate addiction. Its effects are similar to those of morphine. When used properly, it is an effective, safe way for those struggling with addiction to recover and regain control of their lives.

How Does Methadone Work?

Methadone stimulates the same opiate receptors as problematic drugs. It reduces the intensity of uncomfortable opiate/opioid withdrawal symptoms. It also inhibits the euphoric effects of certain drugs, making them less able to reinforce undesirable behavior patterns.

What is a Methadone Maintenance Program?

In a methadone maintenance program, patients are given a long-term prescription of methadone. This allows for brain chemistry to change gradually so that withdrawal symptoms and cravings are not overwhelming.

Because the brain is given time to recover and adjust, the success rate of methadone treatment programs has a much higher success rate and greater effectiveness than abrupt detox approaches. Most clinics administering treatment also offer to counsel for extra support.

Instead of spending time, money, and energy on obtaining harmful drugs, methadone maintenance allows patients to receive controlled, legal, dependable doses.

Methadone Maintenance Program Success

Facing addiction is a tremendously difficult feat. This is especially true for opiate and opioid addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment offers hope to those in the grips of addiction so that they can move forward and reclaim their lives. Get more information or help to locate a methadone clinic near you at (855) 976-2092.



Pain medications – narcotics. Retrieved from

The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction. Retrieved from

Opioids: cellular mechanisms of tolerance and physical dependence. Retrieved from

non narcotic pain management

Maintaining Your Sobriety: How to Manage Chronic Pain with Non-Narcotic Pain Meds

A dependency on opioids can be one of the hardest ones to shake, that’s why non-narcotic pain meds are a great alternative. Many of the most addictive narcotics fall into the category of opioids.

It makes sense, then, that a person who has made the decision to get sober would avoid opioid pain medications at all costs. If you’re experiencing pain and need to treat it somehow, there are alternatives to opioids that you can explore.

These non-narcotic pain meds are non-habit forming options that keep you on the right path with your sobriety. After all, staying sober is the most important thing. There are also some methods for managing pain that doesn’t use any substance but does require that you put in some personal effort.

Non-Narcotic Pain Meds

We’ll cover both medications and methods of treating pain that doesn’t involve habit-forming substances. If you find your way here to learn about how to lose an opioid dependency.

1. Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is used for moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to decrease pain in patients recovering from surgery and reduces opioid consumption when paired with opioid medications.

The drug does still have some negative side-effects, though. Nausea, pruritus, and constipation have all been reported in some patients. The method of consumption can be oral, rectal, or intravenous.

2. Anticonvulsants

Typically used for neuropathic pain, anticonvulsants are a great alternative to opioids. This option is more specific to certain illnesses and should be taken at the request of a doctor.

If you’re near the point of being prescribed pain medication, ask your doctor about anticonvulsants to see if they would even be an option for your specific pain.

3. Ibuprofen

IV Ibuprofen is sometimes known as Caldolor. It’s a maximum-strength pain reliever that can be taken to treat pain on par with opioids on the market.

All levels up to severe pain can be treated with Ibuprofen. When you move to IV Ibuprofen, though, it’s recommended that you consult with a doctor about the dosage. This is because the substance has to be diluted before it is ingested, and the dosing requirements are relatively specific.

While it is not an opioid, it is still a powerful drug when taken at high doses. Just because you can buy small amounts over the counter doesn’t mean the substance shouldn’t be taken seriously.

4. Reuptake Inhibitors

SSRIs and SNRIs can be taken to treat a number of things. They are most commonly used to treat mental illnesses, as they regulate the chemicals in the brain to achieve a healthier balance.

That being said, they can be used to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain. The primary known side-effect is nausea.

Pain Management Methods

We’ll now cover a few of the methods of pain management that you can use independently, or in conjunction with one of the medications listed above.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique that involves placing very small needles into your skin to disrupt the nerve pathways that communicate pain throughout the body. This is a great way on how to deal with physical pain relieves pain in addition to a number of other side effects that are also conducive to recovery.

It is known to reduce your stress, pain in your neck, spine, and back, slow headaches, and improve your immune system. It’s certainly an option to consider even if you don’t have severe pain to address.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy seeks to address the specific muscles and areas in your body that are experiencing pain. It is seen as the most direct, healthy approach to reducing pain.

If you’re experiencing pain as a result of muscular issues or surgery, physical therapy should be on your calendar. Working with professionals who understand the style and pace of rehabilitation that your muscles need is invaluable.

3. Massage Therapy

Sometimes the key to reducing pain and tension in our muscles is having them focused on. Massage therapists can access specific muscles and work the tension.

Make sure to get a deep-tissue massage, and keep at it for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement. Our muscles lie in a very interconnected network, so as one improves, more will follow.

4. Relaxation Techniques

There are a whole host of pseudo-scientific relaxation programs out there. There are, on the other hand, a number of methods that have worked on people for centuries.

Some of the pain and tension you’re experiencing could come from the fact that you are generally tense in your day-to-day life. Working on relaxation could prompt you to act in a way that causes less stress on your mind and body.

Consider meditation for starters. Practicing meditation correctly allows your body to enter a completely relaxed state, and your mind follows by being observant. Being able to notice your symptoms and learn how to use meditation for pain tolerance instead of trying to cover it up immediately can be extremely beneficial.

If only for the fact that you will have a stronger awareness of what it is that your body is going through, meditation will prove to be beneficial. You could also try relaxing in a sauna, taking a few days off from work, or going for regular walks.

5. Staying Healthy

Keeping your body in good shape is a great way to prevent a lot of pain in the first place. Whether it’s our muscles, our internal organs, or our mental health, exercise benefits each one.

Try to prevent muscular pains by doing a comprehensive stretch each morning. Focus on each muscle group and make sure to take it slow without rushing. This alone will free up a lot of tension in your entire body.

Further, try to do regular cardio. If pain prevention is your goal, you don’t need to worry about too much heavy lifting. Just do your best to stretch regularly and get regular cardio in.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re struggling with an opioid dependency, or want to know more about how you can stay sober by using non-narcotic pain meds, do your best to learn as much as you can.

We have the information you need to get informed and stay informed, so feel free to check out our information that can help with opioid dependency or pick up the phone and call (855) 976-2092.



Harvard Health Publishing Medical School. (2019, February). Relieving Pain With Acupuncture. Retrieved from Harvard Health Publishing:

Penman, D. P. Ph.D (2015, January 09). Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering? Retrieved from Psychology Today:


why is mindfulness important

You Come First: Self Care Tips When You’re in Recovery from Opioids

It is estimated that over 115 people in the United States daily die due to an opioid overdose. This is a staggering statistic, considering the fact that this cause of death is completely preventable.

Unfortunately, many people can’t see the spiral they are on as they become addicted to opioids. For those who know they have a problem and seek help, there’s no question that going to a treatment facility is a great first step.

However, you can’t become complacent and stop there. Another important part of addiction recovery is self-care. What is self-care and what are some self-care tips you can use while recovering from an opioid addiction?

We are glad you asked! Keep reading to find out.

What is Self-Care?

Before diving into types of self-care that can aid your recovery, it’s helpful to know exactly what it is and what types of self-care there are.

Self-care is a term that refers to the attitudes and actions you have and do that contribute to the maintenance of your personal health and well-being and that help to promote your overall development.

Self-care is not meant to add more to your already long “to-do” list and it isn’t an emergency response plan. It’s about taking care of yourself and helping ensure you achieve your goals – which, in this case, is to remain addiction-free.

Journaling Your Feelings

While this may seem like an overly simple task that isn’t really going to solve anything, there is actually something pretty therapeutic about writing. When you can spill out all the feelings inside, without the fear of being judged, you get the opportunity to acknowledge feelings you may otherwise keep hidden.

You may learn through your writing where your emotions and struggles are rooted. This gives you a boost and can help you take the next step in your recovery process.

When writing, it doesn’t matter how good you are with words. The key here is to write and get everything out. By writing about your feelings and trials, you can keep up with your recovery process, and may even find insight into why you stumble from time to time.

Take Time to be Alone

We live in a competitive, fast-paced world. It is often difficult to take time to be away from everyone – including your family and friends. However, it’s absolutely crucial for your recovery.

Even if you can only get away a few hours a week, it’s something you should put a priority on. This isn’t being selfish, it’s taking time to ensure you can continue on the road to recovery.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Everything, including the recovery process, feels more intense and worse than it really is if you are tired. It’s important that you try and get a good night’s sleep each night and speak to your doctor if you are unable to do this.

Don’t be afraid to take naps when necessary. Your body is learning to live without the chemical you had become reliant on, it’s only natural to be tired from time to time.

Limit Your Use of Technology

Today, social media is so integrated into your life that you often don’t realize just how draining it can be. It’s important to remember that no one is forcing you to take part in this.

Take some time to take a break and unplug. Doing so will put your mind at ease and reduce your stress. You may even find a hobby or something else to occupy your time, which is also beneficial to the recovery process.

Exercise on a Regular Basis

When you exercise on a regular basis, you are releasing natural, stress-relieving hormones in your body. These can help to improve your mood, and even boost your overall sense of well-being.

You don’t have to participate in an intense workout to get these benefits. Join a yoga class, go for a walk or even take a swim – all of these activities can help improve your overall health and are an essential part of self-care.

Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

While this can be challenging, it’s something you need to try to do. Make sure you pay attention to the thoughts you are having. If you begin thinking negative things, shut it down right away.

A tip to help is to imagine that someone is saying those things about a person you love. Doing this may make it easier to essentially “turn off” these negative thoughts.

Connect with Others

While it is important for you to take time alone, it is just as important to connect with others. Sometimes, when you are going through a hard time (like recovery) you may want to isolate yourself.

The fact is, knowing you aren’t alone is extremely beneficial. Try reaching out to someone who has struggled with overcoming an addiction in the past, or even talk to a professional.

There is no shame in speaking with a therapist. In some cases, having someone with an outside perspective help can be just what you need to begin taking better care of yourself.

Self Care Tips: Help Yourself

There’s no question that getting over an opiate addiction can be challenging and tiring. However, something you can’t overlook is the self-care tips found here. These can help you on your road to long-term recovery.

If you are searching for more information about treatment, and what options you have, we can help. Feel free to check out our article on how to use herbs for opiate withdrawal. We are dedicated to providing the information and resources you need, to overcome your struggle, reach out at (855) 976-2092.



Maria Baratta, P. L. (2018, May 27). Self Care 101. Retrieved from Psychology Today:

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from


celebrity eminem in recovery

Celebrities on Heroin: How They Kicked the Habit

Two years ago, in 2016, around 948,000 Americans used heroin.

The drug makes users forget their pain and feel warm and relaxed. However, heroin is highly addictive and many people quickly find themselves addicted.

Although many of us hold a very harsh view of heroin addicts, there are many high-functioning users who go unnoticed by society.

People often start taking the drug as a way to feel better and escape reality. Unfortunately, recovery can feel nearly impossible.

In this article, we’ll look at celebrities on heroin and what these famous addicts did to recover.

1. Eminem Started Running

This American rapper has often spoken about his drug addiction and canceled a tour in 2005 to go to rehab. Eminem later revealed that at one point during his addiction, every single day, he was taking around sixty Valium and thirty Vicodin pills.

In 2007, for Eminem methadone overdose almost took his life, when he passed out in his own home and almost died.

He explains: “The doctors told me I’d done the equivalent of four bags of heroin… They said I was about two hours from dying… Had I got to the hospital about two hours later, I would have died.”

Even after this experience, Eminem relapsed one month later. But, it was this that helped him decide to radically change his life. His love for his three children also ultimately inspired him to get clean and be a good father.

Recovery wasn’t easy and he explains that he still had an “addict’s brain.” His chosen way to overcome addiction was to turn to exercise.

Eminem explains how he would wake up in the early morning and run for eight and a half miles before going into the studio. He would then do the same in the evening.

This year, he celebrates 10 years drug-free.

2. Nicole Richie Made a “Difficult Decision”

Reality TV star and daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie’s cocaine use started at the age of 18. She believes that growing up privileged led her to a life of drug-taking as nothing excited her anymore.

As well as being an addict, Richie also suffered from an eating disorder. Although she went to rehab and received treatment, she soon relapsed.

Not long after this treatment, Richie began using heroin. The situation only got worse when she was arrested for being in possession of the drug in 2003.

However, she explains that she made the difficult decision to come off the drugs herself. She also began seeing a doctor and nutritionist.

It seems that she successfully turned her life around. In 2008, Richie became pregnant with her first child and her second came along in 2009.

However, she now has the problem of how to explain her drug addiction to her children. She said: “We’re starting with, ‘Mummy got grounded a lot.'”

3. Angelina Jolie Became a Humanitarian

Actress Angelina Jolie’s dark past isn’t news to anyone. Most will remember the time she and her then-boyfriend, Billy Bob Thornton, wore vials of each other’s blood in necklaces.

But, she now believes herself to be very lucky to be alive. She told 60 Minutes: “I went through heavy, darker times and I survived them. I didn’t die young, so I’m very lucky. There are other artists and people who didn’t survive certain things.”

Jolie now believes that part of her problem was that she was self-absorbed and naive of the world. This realization helped her kick the drug habit for good.

What changed her life for the better was becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

She now works as a humanitarian and filmmaker. She is also mother to six children, three of whom she adopted.

Jolie now focuses on living a healthy lifestyle and has reportedly taken up kickboxing to help her deal with the split from Brad Pitt.

4. Russell Brand Takes One Day at a Time

British comedian, actor, and activist regularly speaks about his addiction. He has recently written a book called Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions which runs through the 12 steps followed by Alcoholics Anonymous in an entertaining manner.

Brand started using drugs when he was a teenager. He has famously been addicted to heroin, crack, alcohol, chocolate, and sex.

Describing what it’s like to be a heroin addict Russell Brand says: “I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralizing pain. It transforms a tight, white fist into a gentle, brown wave. From my first inhalation 15 years ago, it fumigated my private hell and lay me down in its hazy pastures and a bathroom floor in Hackney embraced me like a womb.”

Now, he has now been sober for 15 years. However, it has by no means been easy to “kick his habits” and Brand often speaks candidly about his own experiences in the hopes of helping others.

He explains that giving up drugs and alcohol requires “incredible support and fastidious structuring” and that recovery can only be taken one day at a time.

Brand explains how support fellowships were his lifeline during recovery and he has found new ways to deal with reality, rather than turning to heroin.

He is now advocating for people to view addicts compassionately and has worked on drug policy reforms in the UK to avoid “unnecessary criminalization”.

Brand now lives a very different life compared to 15 years ago. He is married and reportedly now the father of two.

5. Robert Downey Jr. Received an Ultimatum

Actor Robert Downey Jr. is one of the highest paid in Hollywood thanks to films such as Ironman.

However, for a while, he was completely broke due to his heroin, cocaine and alcohol addiction. His behavior was also widely reported in the media.

Downey Jr. spent years in and out of prison and was fired from multiple jobs due to his addiction.

Robert Downey Jr.’s drug addiction came to a halt after receiving an ultimatum from his producer and actress wife, Susan Downey.

The full support of his wife helped him kick the habit for good as well as 12-step programs, therapy, and yoga.

Many Celebrities on Heroin Successfully Kick the Habit

These stories of celebrities on heroin who have managed to successfully kick the habit and turn their lives around are no doubt inspiring.

Are you, or someone you love, living with heroin addiction? Make sure you are getting the help you require. If you aren’t getting the help you need, reach out so we can help (855) 976-2092.

It may feel impossible, but you can find help, read more on the blog about the ways to overcome addiction for good.



[1] NIDA. (2018, June 8). Heroin. Retrieved from on 2019, February 13

[2] United States Government. (2018, November 30). Retrieved from Mental Health and Substance Abuse:

heroin intervention

Help for Heroin Addicts: How to Stage an Intervention That’ll Get Them Back on Track

If someone you love is addicted to heroin, you know how heartbreaking it can be. The cycle of addiction is painful no matter what side of it you’re on, which is why help for heroin addicts in important. You’re probably dealing with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

But there’s hope. You’ve already got the tools you need to stage an intervention, which is all you can do when someone you love is in the throes of addiction.

If you’re unsure how to get help for heroin addicts, keep reading. We’ll walk you through what you need to know to stage a successful intervention.

The Truth About Interventions

If you’ve spent any time watching A&E, you probably think you have a good idea of what an intervention looks like. But the truth is, there’s much more to them then what you see on TV.

Interventions are all different and they take a lot more to orchestrate than you would think. It takes a lot of big feelings, and oftentimes big personalities, coming together to make a plan that benefits everyone, but most of all the addict.

Pick Your Partners Well

The first thing you want to consider is who you will be including in the intervention process. You want to stick to the people who are closest to the person suffering from addiction, but you also want to pick people who you know will be able to keep their cool.

An intervention isn’t about making an addict feel guilty or bad. It’s about showing them an outpouring of love and support. If you think there’s someone in the group who won’t be able to do that, tell them they need to sit it out.

Time is of the Essence

You want to also make sure that you pick the right time to stage an intervention. If you know your loved one’s using habits, pick a time that they’re sober. You want them to be as sober as possible when everyone starts to talk.

When someone uses drugs, their ability to think clearly is impaired. But it can also limit the number of violent outbursts, making everyone safer in the meantime.

It’s generally a good idea to go first thing in the morning and, if possible, after a huge incident related to drugs, like a DUI.

Private and Formal

If you can avoid it, don’t hold an intervention in someone’s home. You want your loved one to be comfortable, but there’s something about a formal, public place that could make them think twice about acting out.

If you give an addict an out, they’re going to take it. Something like a bedroom where they’re comfortable could be the end of your intervention before you even start. So stick to somewhere formal and public, like a hotel’s banquet space or a therapist office.

Decide Who Goes First

When you’re planning the intervention, you want to give careful thought to who is going to go first. The intervention is over the second your loved one agrees to go to treatment, so you want to make sure that the hardest hitting people go first.

If you know of friends or people who your loved one doesn’t talk to any more thanks to their addiction, consider asking them to speak too. Hearing from the same family over and over again can make an addicted person irritable.


This isn’t the sort of thing that you want to take lightly. It’s not something that should be ad-libbed. You want to make sure that the exact events are laid out for you, no matter what they are. Know who is going to speak, when, what they’re going to say, what you’ll do if your loved one agrees or refuses, and what to do if a problem arises.

Don’t Deviate From the Script

As much as you might want to go off script, don’t do it. Stick to what you rehearsed. If you decide to change things up, it will throw off the whole thing and could result in disaster.

Be Open and Warm

Again, interventions are about showing an addict how loved and supported they are. You want to make sure that you maintain a body language that spells this out clearly. Make sure your arms and legs are uncrossed and make eye contact with your loved one. Try not to bounce your leg, even if you’re nervous or anxious. Lean in, reach out, let them know you care.

Keep Your Emotions Under Control

It’s also important to make sure that you keep your emotions in check. If you cry, it’s okay. This is an emotional subject and it’s going to take a toll on you and everyone else in the room. But the last thing you want to do is react in anger.

No matter what anyone believes, addiction is not a moral flaw. It’s not a character defect. It is a scientifically proven chemical change in the brain. Try to keep your temper under control.

Likewise, try to keep your loved one away from anger too. Don’t let them start a fight with you or change the subject. Don’t blame and don’t argue.

Have a Plan B

Trying to get help for heroin addicts can be difficult. They can be unpredictable. They might try to leave or scream and cry or tell lies. But you need to be able to prepare, no matter what the situation calls for.

It’s also important to remember that flexibility is key here.

Keep Trying

At the end of the day, if you’ve managed to get your loved one into treatment, you’ve won. However, there’s a very real possibility they might refuse. And there’s also a possibility that they might go to treatment and then fall back to their old habits.

That’s okay. Don’t give up. This is all a part of the addiction and recovery process.

Getting Help for Heroin Addicts

Getting help for heroin addicts can be a difficult process. It’s full of emotion and hard feelings and you never know what you can expect. But it’s worth it.

For more information about helping heroin addicts, take a look at our resources on addiction treatment today. You can also reach out and speak to someone at (855) 976-2092. Get help for heroin addiction today.



NIDA. (2017, April 24). Trends & Statistics. Retrieved from on 2019, February 13

Joel Young. (2014, August 27). Drug and Alcohol Interventions: Do They Work? . Retrieved from Psychology Today :

opiate withdrawal death

Is It True? Can You Die from Opiate Withdrawal?

If you type the question,” “Can you die from opiate withdrawal?” into your search bar, you’ll most likely find articles that say no. However, if you dig deeper, you’ll find solid evidence that people have died from opiate withdrawal before. Why is that and which one is correct?

Well, to better understand the answer to this question, one must first understand what the process of opiate withdrawal is like and what steps and measures are usually taken to help the people who are going through them.

Let’s begin.

What Happens to the Human Body During Opiate Withdrawal?

Opiates, in case you don’t know already, are a strong set of drugs that help people gain relief from pain. They come in many different names and shapes but they all do one main thing. They all send molecules into our brains to increase the normal amount of “feel good” chemicals in our bodies.

However, once the body gets used to functioning on a higher level of opiates, it’ll crave it whenever it’s absent and depend on it. This is opiate addiction and roughly 2.1 million people in the United States have it.

Opiate withdrawal, on the other hands, is the process of when someone stops receiving the same amount of opiates they are used to, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

It is known to be an incredibly difficult and painful experience for anyone who goes through it because the body will try to do everything it can to make the person want to take it again.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Anywhere between 12 and 30 hours (depending on the type of opiates the person was on), the body will begin to display a series of withdrawal symptoms. Here is a list of them:

  • Teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pupillary dilation
  • Goosebumps
  • Excessive yawning
  • Muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mania disorders
  • Insomnia


When a person goes through opiate withdrawal, they don’t experience all the symptoms above at once. They experience them in different intervals. And it’s crucial for the person taking care of them to understand them so they can provide the proper help at the appropriate time.

Here’s an overview of when these symptoms usually occur:

Stage One

The person will experience fever and flu-like symptoms. They’ll complain about being cold, have sweat chills, teary eyes, and runny noses. And as the symptoms develop, the person will also throw up, have diarrhea, and sweat profusely. This stage typically lasts between 5-7 days.

Stage Two

During stage two, the brain will experience a drastic drop in dopamine. This will cause the person to feel intensely depressed and anxious. They might feel like everything is hopeless and have suicidal thoughts.

Also, this person may also continue to experience chills, goosebumps and start to yawn or have muscle cramps. This stage typically lasts up to two weeks.

Stage Three

The third stage, which is the longest stage (up to 2 months), will bring more emotional and psychological effects. The person will have drastic mood swings, manic episodes, anxiety, and depression. As a result, they might also experience insomnia, which will make them extremely agitated.

And even when all of this is over, the person will continue to have cravings so it’s crucial that they stay in environments that are free of drugs and have someone to monitor them in order to avoid relapse.

Can you die from opiate withdrawal?

Now, the question that we all want to know the answer to today is whether a person can die from opiate withdrawal or not. The short answer? Yes, but it’s not common. And if so, how would it happen?

The answer to that lies in what kind of treatment and support the person is receiving, or in this case, not receiving. You are more likely to die from continued opiate use than from withdrawal.

Throughout history, there have been several documented cases of people dying from opiate withdrawal. But if you look at them, you’ll see that most of them happened to people who were in jail or in other types of settings that were not suitable for people to go through this process.

Take the case of Judith McGlinchey for example. Shortly after being incarcerated in jail in 1998 in the United Kingdom, she went into opiate withdrawal. But due to the environment that she was in, which was inadequate at treating her persistent vomiting, dehydration, and rapid weightless, she passed away due to a sudden cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately, this was just one of the many cases that have happened over the years to people with opiate addictions in jails all around the world. But had McGlinchey been taken out of jail and put in a proper opiate recovery center, her results would’ve been unlikely.

The Importance of Finding Proper Care for Opiate Withdrawal

If you or someone you love is addicted to opiates and you want to receive help, it’s crucial that you find a safe place for them to receive treatment. Quitting opiates is a serious and difficult journey and it’s not as easy as quitting cigarettes where one can just to stop taking them.

In fact, quitting opiates cold turkey for some people can actually be dangerous.

When the body is used to sustaining on a certain level of opiates, quitting it completely will send it into shock. On top of all the symptoms one experiences, it is foolish and dangerous to think you can quit it without help. And needing help is not a sign of weakness at all. It’s a sign of courage.

Opiate Addiction Can Be Defeated

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can you die from opiate withdrawal?” and understand the symptoms of opiate withdrawal better, you are one step closer to helping the person who needs help on their journey to recovery.

Opiate addiction is not an easy or simple thing to do but it’s also not an impossible thing to do as long as you find the right help. We know because thousands of people have overcome this addiction and built new lives.

If you would like more information on opiate addiction, feel free to head over to our opiate and opioid withdrawal guide to learn more.



Psychemedics Corporation. (n.d.). Opioids. Retrieved from

Mitchell, S. G., Kelly, S. M., Brown, B. S., Reisinger, H. S., Peterson, J. A., Ruhf, A., Agar, M. H., … Schwartz, R. P. (2009). Incarceration and opioid withdrawal: the experiences of methadone patients and out-of-treatment heroin users. Journal of psychoactive drugs41(2), 145-52. Retrieved From:

SAMHSA. (2019). Find Treatment. Retrieved from

Yorkshire Evening Post. (2003, May 19). They Let Her Die in Agony. Retrieved from Yorkshire Evening Post:

is methadone addictive?

Can You Become Addicted to Methadone?

Are you or a loved one thinking of trying methadone to combat a drug addiction?

If so, you may be worried about if you’ll end up getting addicted to methadone and the potential problems that can come with taking the medication.

Methadone, when used to combat drug use like heroin, the methadone success rate is around 60% to 90% for keeping former addicts clean in the long run. However, methadone is still an opioid and a Schedule II substance. Because of this, many people wonder, “Is methadone addictive?

In this article, we’ll go over some of your concerns about possible methadone addiction.

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a synthetic opioid that has been used since the 1960s for controlling the addiction to heroin and other opiates.

It has been found that most addicts fare better in the long run if they take a medication that can help mitigate their desire for drugs. If you’re addicted to drugs, after a while, the craving is not only mental but also physical.

This is why methadone plays an important role in recovery.

Taking methadone can literally save people’s lives. If a heroin user relapses after going off of drugs “cold turkey,” he or she may not remember what it was like before he or she developed a tolerance. As a result, he or she might take a dose of heroin that their body no longer can tolerate.

Methadone curbs this problem, by keeping opiates in the body. Some people accidentally overdose by relapsing. But if you’re on methadone, the large dose of heroin won’t kill you.

People may also be prescribed methadone for physical ailments, most commonly as a painkiller.

How Long Does a Former Addict Take Methadone?

A former addict might turn to long-term methadone use. The drug can be taken for a few months, a few years or the rest of his or her life. If his or her heroin use was severe, it may become a lifetime commitment.

Although there is a severe stigma of methadone treatment and around using drugs to help drug addiction, many people find it very helpful in their recovery.

Who Can Take Methadone?

You must be prescribed methadone by your doctor in order to take it. Although people sell methadone on “the street,” it isn’t legal to do so. Taking it from your doctor is safer, as he or she knows your history and can help you find the correct dosage.

How Do You Take Methadone?

Methadone is typically distributed at a methadone clinic. You’ll take the methadone at the clinic in front of a staff member. This is because some people may abuse methadone and sell it for money.

Once you’ve proven trustworthy, you may take the methadone home and monitor your prescription yourself.

You will still have to check in with your doctor in order to monitor your progress. He or she may make regular visits a condition of fulfilling the medication.

You take methadone orally, as most of the time it comes in pill form.

Is Methadone Addictive?

As methadone is an opiate, unfortunately, it is addictive.

It was originally created as an alternative to heroin, and is meant to be less addictive and have fewer side effects than heroin. While most people report that their side effects are fewer than street drugs, they can still become addicted to the “high” methadone offers.

Those who take methadone for reasons other than managing heroin addiction may find that they become addicted to methadone, as well.

Can You Overdose on Methadone?

Yes, you can overdose on methadone, just as you can any medication.

If you take methadone as prescribed by your doctor, you will not overdose on the medication. This is especially the case if you’re still visiting a methadone clinic to take your daily dose.

However, if you’re taking methadone at home, or using methadone that you have procured illegally, there is a risk of overdose.

Signs of overdose/toxicity may include:

  • low blood pressure
  • difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • small pupils
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • stomach spasms
  • clammy skin
  • blue lips or fingernails
  • weakness
  • muscle spasms
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • confusion
  • disorientation

If you suspect someone you know has overdosed on methadone, call 911 right away. The individual will need immediate medical attention.

Getting Treatment for a Methadone Addiction

Treatment for a methadone addiction is similar to treatment for other opiate addictions. It may involve a period of withdrawal, that may be managed medically. Some people report that coming down and withdrawing from methadone can be almost as bad, if not worse, than withdrawing from heroin.

Many rehab facilities and clinics will work with you to help you get to the root of your problem when it comes to your methadone addiction. They can help you assess your issues, as well as help you on the path to recovery. They will not turn you away “just” because your addiction is to methadone and not a “harder” drug in comparison.

Addiction and Methadone

Methadone itself has a stigma around it due to people feeling that using methadone as a way to manage heroin addiction is somehow “cheating.” This is not the case, and the medication is safe is taken as directed by a doctor.

But, is methadone addictive? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

If you or someone you love is worried they are addicted to methadone, speak to your doctor or therapist. There is help available. Although it isn’t easy to overcome an opioid addiction, it can be done.

For more information on methadone, detox, and its uses in recovery, click here or give us a call at (855) 976- 2092!


[1] California Society of Addiction Medicine. (2019). Retrieved from;

[2] Methadone overdose: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (2019). Retrieved from


exercise to overcome addiction

How to Conquer Opioid Addiction Through Exercise

Overcoming substance abuse and addiction is one of the greatest struggles we can face as individuals.

Opioid addiction affects over 2.1 million people in the US. It has the ability to leave individuals feeling alone and powerless. Substance abusers use a huge variety of techniques to overcome addiction, but some of the most effective are also the most basic.

Keep reading to find out how to conquer addiction through exercise.

Realigning Your Mentality

One of the first ways exercise can help with addiction lies in the way it reframes your thinking.

Substance abusers often have a long history of negative thinking. Their brain has spent a large amount of time under the “control” of something other than their conscious thoughts.

Exercise changes this by providing a flow of thought into action. It becomes clear that the individual can choose to take action and see that action play out through an effort of will.

This is in direct contrast to the pattern of addiction, which reinforces negative and fatalistic thinking.

Setting Reachable Goals

Climbing out of the deepest pits of addiction can seem like a struggle toward an invisible speck of light. It’s hard to see where the end-point lies.

With exercise, almost anything can be a milestone. You can set goals from getting out for a jog every day to gaining X amount of muscle mass and anything in between. That retrains your brain to set and meet reachable goals and break distant ambitions down into everyday realities.

That’s an invaluable skill for the addicted brain to learn. It shows that achieving anything is a matter of achieving many smaller steps. You can’t solve any major problem all at once — inching toward daylight is the only way to climb out of the pit.

This also establishes the power of positive reinforcement. By celebrating your achievements rather than bemoaning your failings, you start to see the world in a different, empowering way.

Displacing Opioid Addiction

While addiction is a product of the body and mind, it also has a strong behavioral component. A common example lies in smoking, where smokers often miss the “ritual” of smoking and discover a sense of pent-up energy without it.

Exercise for addiction helps alleviate this behavioral component by turning the pent-up energy into the dynamic energy of exercise. Your exercise regime can also replace the ritual in a literal sense by occupying the same mental “spot” as a regular, comforting activity.

Reduce Stress in Recovery

Exercise is one of nature’s big reliever of stress in early sobriety, making it an effective weapon against society’s modern stress epidemic and all the behaviors, like addiction, that emerge from it.

Stress reduces our ability to tolerate attacks on our willpower. As we grow more stressed, we’re more likely to give in to cravings or “treat” ourselves to work through it. In the case of someone kicking an addiction, this can mean a relapse.

By reducing stress through exercise, a former addict can shore up their willpower. Recovering from addiction is the repetition of a single question: “Can I overcome?”. The better you equip yourself to answer “yes”, the more times you’ll do it — and the more likely you’ll kick the addiction altogether.

Improving Sleep Efficiency

Science shows us that exercise helps us sleep better every night. That’s not surprising. We evolved for movement and our modern lives often constrain that movement. That leaves us with an excess of physical energy (if not mental energy) by the end of the day.

A lack of sleep can cause a wealth of knock-on effects. It damages our physical and mental wellbeing, reducing our ability to resist temptations. It also negatively impacts our mood.

Sleep forms the bedrock of our day, an aspect of our life on which all else depends. By cleaning up your sleep, you can clean up your life.

Strengthening Your Body

It’s no secret that withdrawal can play havoc on the human body. As with diseases, a stronger body is often better placed to resist the impact of withdrawal symptoms.

If you’ve been struggling with opioids, your body might be paying the price. Opioids can have a dramatic impact on the liver and digestive system, which in turn can affect your overall health. Building your physical health back up forms a key part of returning to a normal life.

Studies tell us there’s an innate link between mental and physical health. By strengthening the body, you’re removing physical stress. This improves mental resistances to addictive impulses.

Feelings of Achievement

Perhaps one of the most overlooked interplays between exercise and addiction lies in the sense of achievement exercise can enable.

Overcoming addiction is a process with little feedback. At any point, addicts feel they might relapse in the span of a weak five minutes.

Meaningful milestones can help addicts overcome their feelings. Through exercise, individuals can hit their own targets and discover a system of positive rewards in stark contrast to the negative feedback loop of drug addiction.

Reasserting Control

The most subtle yet powerful aspect of overcoming addiction through exercise lies in the control exercise helps to reassert.

Addiction is a tyrannical force that steals control away from those caught in its web. The best way to deal with a lack of control in life is to take action. Much like regaining the initiative in a sport, you can stop “playing defensively” and start scoring by switching your thinking from passive to active.

Exercise switches up your thinking by showing you that you can control a surprising amount of your day if you set your mind to it. You alone can make the choice to get up and exercise. When you achieve your targets, it’s you who made it possible.

How to Conquer Addiction Through Exercise

Exercise can’t erase addiction overnight or reduce the effort required from someone looking to get clean. But it can provide new levels of focus and clarity to those wondering how to conquer addiction. In a battle of wills, these traits are invaluable and could mean the difference between kicking the addiction and relapse.

Looking for more advice for those suffering from addiction and drug abuse? Be sure to follow our blog.

We’ve got a wealth of information on detox, methadone, and opioid addiction. Check out our articles or contact us at (855) 976-2092 to find help in your home state.



[1] With 175 Americans dying a day, what are the solutions to the opioid epidemic? (2018, January 29). Retrieved from

[2] Exercise & Insomnia: Natural Remedy – National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[3] Exercise for Mental Health – NIH. (2016). Retrieved from