cold turkey withdrawal

Heroin Addictions – 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Quit Heroin Cold Turkey

Are you or a loved one struggling to overcome addiction and trying to quit heroin cold turkey? Heroin can create such a strong dependence that it can seem impossible to break free. Withdrawal symptoms, like vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, tremors, body aches, and chills can make the process even more difficult.

With all these barriers standing in the way to regaining your pre-addiction life, you may start to feel unmotivated or depressed. However, there are ways that you can quit addiction and get back to living a healthy, drug-free life.

You might want to quit heroin cold turkey, but there are so many risks associated with this method. Instead, seeking professional help is the best way to ensure you safely detox and recover from your heroin addiction.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to discover the 8 reasons why you should never quit heroin cold turkey.

1. Lack of Methadone

The process of detoxing your body from heroin can be long and awful. Withdrawal can last over a week and include a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. Among the most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.

These symptoms can make it harder for you to finish the detox process. But, by seeking professional help, you will have easier access to methadone. This can help dull these symptoms and make it easier for you to complete your detox.

2. Increased Risk of Relapse

Without proper professional help and access to methadone, many people trying to detox end up relapsing. Since taking heroin will stop all the withdrawal symptoms, 40-60% of people will relapse at some point during this process.

However, as soon as you discontinue heroin, your tolerance for it decreases. Many people are unaware of this and jump back into doing heroin at the doses they did before attempting to detox. This can lead to an increased risk of overdosing since your body doesn’t have the same tolerance it did just a few days ago.

3. Increased Risk of Dehydration or Malnutrition

Two of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting heroin are vomiting and diarrhea. What do these both have in common? They are purging your body.

In the process of trying to detox your body from heroin, you are also losing a lot of liquid. This, coupled with nausea, makes it harder for you to stay hydrated and keep food down. Because of these symptoms, you have an increased risk of suffering from dehydration during detox or malnutrition which could require hospitalization.

Quitting drugs cold turkey could put you at an increased risk for this by not having the proper professional help to ensure that you are eating and drinking enough to stay healthy during your detox process.

4. Increased Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm

While the physical symptoms may seem more frightening, there are also some terrifying psychological symptoms to quitting heroin.

You may feel more emotionally unstable while detoxing. This could lead to suicidal thoughts or self-harm. In fact, substance abuse can make you 75% more likely to commit suicide.

If you try to quit heroin cold turkey, you are putting yourself in danger. With no professionals on-call to help you combat these suicidal and self-harm feelings, you will be more likely to act on them.

However, by checking in to a rehab center, you will have access to counselors who are trained to help you handle these psychological symptoms.

5. More Likely to Partake in Risky Behaviors

But an increased risk of suicide and self-harm aren’t the only psychological side effects if you try to quit heroin cold turkey.

Many people going through detox begin to feel emotionally distraught, and their decision-making skills become clouded. Those who are not in the safe environment of a rehabilitation center, may venture out of their house and partake in risky behaviors.

Sharing needles, taking too much heroin, committing criminal acts, and getting into car accidents are all examples of risky behaviors that you may be more likely to partake in. Not only are they risky, but many could result in disease or even death.

6. Dangers of Staying the Same Environment

One risk of quitting heroin cold turkey that you may not have thought of is the danger of staying in your own home.

Staying at home while detoxing can make it harder to stay clean as you probably associate it with where you’ve done heroin before. The best way to successfully detox is to take yourself out of the environment and away from the people you associate heroin with.

7. Less Support and Professional Help

One consequence of heroin addiction is strained relationships with family and friends. However, when trying to detox and recover from addiction, it’s vital that you have the proper support.

All the of negative side effects we’ve listed above can make quitting heroin cold turkey impossible to do on your own. You will need someone to help you avoid drugs, stay hydrated, and make sure you stay safe during this process.

While you may have family and friends who are willing to help, it’s always best to seek professional help. Your family and friends will be a great support system to help you while you’re in rehab, but they have likely never dealt with withdrawal symptoms.

The professional help that’s available at rehab centers can help ensure that you successfully detox and stay safe while doing it.

8. Less Likely to Seek Long-Term Help

Detoxing may seem like the biggest hurdle to overcome on your quest to get clean and stay clean.

However, it’s just as important to partake in a long-term aftercare program. In fact, people who detox from heroin but don’t try to address their underlying substance abuse issues have almost a 100% chance of relapsing.

People who quit heroin cold turkey are less likely to seek these vital aftercare programs.

Instead, detoxing in a rehab center will give you the motivation to continue your journey to sobriety with either an inpatient or outpatient program to address your problem and learn how to deal with it in your daily life.

Should You Quit Heroin Cold Turkey?

Quitting heroin is a long and difficult process that simply can’t be done alone. When you quit heroin cold turkey, you have an increased risk of relapsing, overdosing, becoming dehydrated or malnourished, committing suicide, partaking in risky behaviors, and failing to seek long-term help.

Instead, you should seek professional help where you can have access to methadone, trained counselors, and a safe environment to ensure you successfully detox. To find addiction help near you contact us at (855) 976-2092.

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our detox blog page for more informative blogs such as this one.



[1] Dehydration – Symptoms and causes. (2018, February 15). Retrieved from

[2] Drug Addiction as Risk for Suicide Attempts. (2015).  Retrieved from

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 :

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

methadone pills

What to Expect from Addiction Treatment With Methadone Pills

Opioids claim the lives of 115 Americans every single day. In fact, hundreds of thousands of families in the U.S. mourned the lives of 630,000 people who died from drug overdose between 1999 and 2016.

So, yes, the threat of opioid is real, and it’s as life-threatening as it can get.

Granted, achieving sobriety may seem impossible, especially to those who fear opiate withdrawal symptoms. But the possibility of a losing your life due to overdose is much scarier.

The good news is, you don’t have to become part of the statistics. Treatment through methadone pills can combat narc addiction and let you live a meaningful life once again.

What exactly are these pills though? What can you expect from methadone treatment?

We’ll address all these questions and more in this post, so, read on.

What is Methadone?

Methadone falls under the opiate or narcotic class of analgesic medications. Its roots trace back to the Second World War. Its introduction to the United States led to its wide use as a treatment for people suffering from extreme pain.

In terms of pain treatment, this drug works by altering the processes behind the brain’s and nervous’ system response to pain. To put things in perspective, 31 million Americans are suffering from back pain alone. As if that’s not enough, as much as a third of U.S. adults experience more pain than people from other countries.

No wonder methadone has become a go-to for millions of Americans with chronic pain. But that’s not all that the drug can do.

It now also sees use in the world of addiction treatment. It may sound counter intuitive, but studies confirm its benefits in people recovering from opiate addiction.

How Does Methadone Work?

So… How does methadone treatment help you become sober? First, let’s take a look at how someone feels when on this medication.

As mentioned above, methadone affects the brain’s and nervous system’s pain response processes. These changes then result in relief from pain. Note that the drug needs more time to take effect than more potent painkillers, such as morphine.

Contrary to popular belief, methadone doesn’t deliver “euphoric” effects. In fact, it has the opposite effect; it blocks these highs that codeine, morphine, and oxycodone are notorious for.

It does, however, give similar sensations. But what’s more important is its ability to prevent symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal.

In essence, methadone replaces the more dangerous opioids in a patient’s system with milder or reduced effects. In the world of addiction treatment, this is (or part of) “medication-assisted” or “opioid replacement therapy“.

How Opiate Treatment Works with Methadone Pills

Methadone is available in several forms, with the pill and liquid being the most common. You’ll also find this drug in wafer form.

In most cases, doctors instruct their patients to take the drug once a day. How long before the effects wear off depends on how high the dose is. In general, though, the pain-relieving effects last between four and eight hours.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends higher doses of methadone for patients with heroin addiction. According to the organization, higher doses can help them stick to their treatment programs.

Methadone maintenance treatment is more effective when administered as part of a more comprehensive treatment program. That said, it’s best that you also receive counseling and participate in other drug addiction support programs.

You can only receive methadone under physician supervision. This means you can only take the medicine in the presence of a doctor. But once your body has acclimatized to it, such as when you’ve shown consistent progress, you may receive permission for at-home methadone treatment.

Keep in mind that the law only authorizes SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment programs to dispense this drug.

How Long Does Methadone Treatment Last?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to methadone treatment. You may need the treatment longer (or shorter) compared to other patients.

However, most doctors opt for a 12-month length of methadone treatment programs. There are even some who need to undergo the treatment for longer than one year.

What’s important is to avoid going cold turkey or suddenly going off the drug. Methadone is still a drug, so a sudden cease of its use can cause withdrawal symptoms. That would only defeat its main purpose.

As such, even if you feel fine and ready to stop treatment, talk to your doctor first. Methadone can pave the way for your opiate recovery, but only if you take it as instructed.

Potential Side Effects

Like with any other medication, methadone side effects can still arise. You should take these seriously, as some of they may warrant professional medical help.

Contact your doctor if you or someone you know on methadone exhibits the following:

  • Shallow breathing or breathing difficulties
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rashes or hives
  • Swelling affecting the throat, tongue, lips, or even the entire face
  • Chest pains
  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Confusion or hallucination

Although methadone is safe (doctors have prescribed it for many years now), some people may have adverse reactions to it. So, keep a lookout for these side effects of methadone and react promptly if you notice them.

A Promising Outlook

Without treatment, those who have an addiction to opioid has a 90 percent chance of relapse. Medication, such as methadone pills, cut this rate by half. However, methadone patients need to continue their medication as directed, or they also run the risk of relapsing.

As such, you need to prepare yourself for long-term treatment with methadone. It may take a year or more, but the benefits that you’ll enjoy are more than worth it.

If you’re ready to talk about your opiate addiction or know someone who needs intervention, don’t wait until it’s too late to get help. You should also check out our methadone blogs to find out more about methadone treatment.

You can also give us a call at  (855) 976- 2092.


[1] Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from
[2] Back Pain Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
[3] Khazan, O. (2017, December 20). Why Americans Have More Pain Than People in Other Countries. Retrieved from
[4] Bart G. (2012). Maintenance medication for opiate addiction: the foundation of recovery. Journal of addictive diseases31(3), 207-25. Retrieved From
[5] Methadone | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015, 28). Retrieved from
common signs of addiction

The Tell-Tale Signs of Opiate Addiction

America’s facing a serious issue. The opioid crisis is now stronger and more dangerous than it’s ever been. In fact, if something doesn’t change, opioid mortality rates are expected to kill approximately 500,000 people over the next decade.

Opioids are prescription painkillers that have gained popularity as a recreational drug. Unfortunately, due to their powerful addictive qualities, recreational use quickly turns into a serious drug problem.

A person with a dependency may be able to conceal the issue in the early stages. Eventually, they’ll start to show more apparent signs of opioid addiction.

If you suspect a loved one has a problem, it helps to educate yourself so you can spot the problem and get them the assistance they need.

To help you out, we’re going over some details about opioids and the tell-tale signs of addiction.

Becoming Addicted to Opioids

Doctors prescribe opioids for pain related to an injury, illness, or after a surgery. The drug produces artificial endorphins in the brain that block pain and create a feeling of euphoria.

If a person uses opioids for too long, their brain gets used to the endorphins and begins to rely on them. Once this happens, the brain stops producing its own natural endorphins. Therefore, the user becomes dependent on those endorphins created by opioids.

Dependence is a normal part of taking any drug for an extended period of time. However, addiction occurs when a person’s body and mind cannot function properly without the use of a drug.

At this point, the addict requires treatment to get over an addiction. In the case of opioids, this is overcoming addiction by use of methadone maintenance treatment.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

If you suspect a loved one has an addiction, it helps to know if they’ve ever needed a prescription for an opioid drug. They may have needed a painkiller for a medical condition and became addicted while taking it.

Some of the more common opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • OxyContin
  • Meperidine

Any of these opioids have the potential for serious addiction. Even if a person no longer has a prescription, they can find them illegally.

Once dependency reaches the addiction stage, the user will start to show both physical and behavioral signs of opioid abuse and addiction.

Physical Signs of Addiction

There are many physical symptoms of opiate abuse you’ll need to look out for. These symptoms mean that a dependency has turned to addiction and the person’s body needs the drug in order to feel normal and function day to day.


If you notice that a loved one is sometimes euphoric for no apparent reason, this could mean they’ve recently taken an opioid.

Do they seem tired and withdrawn one minute and happy and outgoing thirty minutes later? This is a result of the drug creating a “feel-good” effect by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.

Sedation or Fatigue

A general slowing of reaction time is one of the very common signs of opioid addiction. An addict’s breathing may slow down and their movements may become lethargic. They may even pass out.

They may also frequently seem tired and unmotivated. This is a result of either a strong opiate high or withdrawal-related depression.

Stomach Issues

Opiate addiction sometimes causes the user to experience nausea or vomiting. This is often associated with too much of the drug in their system.

They may also have frequent constipation. This is a side-effect of all opioids as well as heroin.

Changes in Appearance

There are a number of temporary and permanent changes to a person’s appearance that could be signs of opioid addiction. Some could indicate that they’re currently on an opiate or that they’ve been using them for an extended period of time.

Their skin may get flushed from time to time. You may also notice splotches of red where they’ve scratched – opiates tend to make some people itchy.

If you notice constricted pupils, they may currently be on drugs.

Finally, opioid addiction could cause a person to either gain or lose weight. Opiate addicts tend to crave sugary foods, which may cause them to gain weight quickly. They may also lose their appetite altogether.

Behavioral Signs of Addiction

Sometimes the physical signs of opioid addiction are a little easier to spot than changes to a person’s personality. In most cases, an addict will take measures to hide their addiction, knowing the people closest to them will notice a change.

However, if a person is heavily addicted, they’ll eventually start to show behavioral symptoms. If you’ve known them for a long time, these signs should be easy to spot.

Social Withdrawal

If a friend or family member starts to gradually withdraw from social circles, this is a red flag. Opiate use causes a person to alter their routine to fit their addiction. This means more time alone and forming new connections with other users or dealers.

They may also start to withdraw from activities they were previously passionate about. You may notice that when they actually do participate in things, it seems forced.

Nervousness or Irritability

They may start showing signs of anxious behavior. They could also seem self-conscious or secretive around family or friends. This could be a result of the knowledge that their addiction is out of control.

Anger or irritability are also common signs. These outbursts may come out of nowhere.

Criminal Behavior

It’s common for addicts to look for other means of obtaining drugs or money. If a loved one starts engaging in criminal acts such as theft, their addiction has gotten out of control.

As an addiction progresses, the user must take more and more of a drug in order to get high. This means a much bigger need for money. It also means they may take desperate measures to support their habit.

Seek Treatment Sooner Than Later

If you have a family member or friend who you think has an opioid problem, look for the sings discussed above. They most likely won’t show all of them, but any one of these symptoms are indications of addiction.

Opiate addiction is potentially fatal. An addict must seek treatment as soon as possible so the road to recovery can begin now.

For more information on treating opioid addiction, check out our methadone blogs or give us a call at (855) 976- 2092.


[1] STAT forecast: Opioids could kill nearly 500,000 in U.S. in next decade. (2018, April 12). Retrieved from

[2] How opioid drugs activate receptors. (2018). Retrieved from

[3] Painkiller Addictions are the Easiest to Hide? (2017, June 2). Retrieved from

Co-Occurring Opioid Use

How Opioid Use Affects Mental Health

The opioid crisis is long reaching, affecting people of all demographics. The federal government and social outreach programs continue their best to curb opioid use despite what seems to be a losing battle.

Opioid use, its abuse, and accidental death from overdose increased by four times by 2008 vs 1999. Long-term effects of opioid abuse will likely see individuals, families, and communities shattered.

The detriment to mental health is particularly hardest hit by opioid use.

This article will share the true reality of opioids and what they do to individuals and our society. And, what the government and programs are doing to curb and help those so dearly affected by the crisis.

The Mind-Shattering Fallout of Opioid Use: Prescriptions and Mental Illness in the U.S.

Our concern for mental illness became a central topic in the U.S. for several reasons — drug addiction one of them. Mental illness is a difficult phenomenon to pinpoint. Though, our understanding improves with time.

In fact, 1 out of 5 Americans will experience some form of mental illness each year. 1 in 25 will endure a severe mental illness in the same timeframe.

Causation of mental illness is often attributed to genetics, infections, defects, and as per topic… opioid use. Opioids are known to create and/or trigger mental health episodes with their users. It gives an opportunity to study the effects of drug abuse and mental illness.

How are opioids rewiring our brain, causing and exacerbating mental illness?

Chemical Imbalance

Professionals understand depression and bipolar personalities are the results of chemical imbalances. Prescription drug abuse floods chemicals to neurotransmitters creating an imbalance.

Those with lurking mental health issues seemingly “unlock” their disorders through opioid use. Permanent damage to the neurotransmitters results in long-term imbalances. This deepens the mental health problems.

Opioids mimic neurotransmission producing a euphoric effect with dopamine and serotonin hit hardest. Repeated drug use leads to neurological damage creating a dampening effect on receptors. The extreme “lows” during recovery are the body’s inability to sustain neurotransmission.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Unnerving experiences from abusive relationships, combat experience, assault, and disasters often form PTSD. PTSD causes several mental health problems from depression to chronic pain and anxiety.

Drug abuse has increased among those with PTSD. The combination creates a volatile mental instability. Drug abuse becomes the go-to method to numb feelings and pain. This leads to addiction and potential life-threatening outburst.

In fact, PTSD as a criminal defense is considered according to the study on the National Institute of Health. as a legal defense. But, pairing with possession often sends individuals through the system. This places them in an environment devoid of therapy. Once freed, they return to society with tougher problems and return to opioid use as an escape.

Performance Dysfunction

Opioid use becomes a mainline activity placing strains on relationship and careers. This creates a domino effect starting with connections and leading to workplace performance.

The crumbling relationships and performance slowly remove support. Users often turn to illegal activities to support habits. Soon, the addiction is the driving force leaving them alone or paired with other addicts.

Untreated mental illnesses progress until users become “lost” to the epidemic and disorders.

Access & Availability

Many receiving opioids have preexisting mental health issues. Our awareness and understanding of mental health have improved. This creates better reporting which naturally increases statistics.

More than 50 percent of opioid prescriptions are going to those with mental illness.

Opioids provide short-term relief from mental conditions like depression. But, fail to help long-term. Those with issues fail to act on alternative therapies because of the false positive.

A Glimmer of Hope: How the Government and Outreach Programs Intend to Curb the Epidemic

Overprescription is a definitive cause of opioid use and abuse in the United States. Doctors prescribe opioids as an empathetic outreach for those with depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, many are susceptible to the euphoric effects and find themselves hooked.

Government Intervention

The Department of Justice declared heavy fines for opioid manufacturers using deceptive advertising. In the past, many companies paid and lobbied individuals to promote opioid advocacy. This has come to an end.

Seizures of darknet distribution channels like Alpha Bay have taken place. Efforts through funding to task forces aimed at eliminating drugs such as fentanyl. Programs increasing the availability of naloxone in communities have gained attention, too.

Medical Outreach

Educational programs are underway to educate primary care doctors alternatives to opioid prescriptions. The programs intend to provide a better system to identify potential addicts. This is an attempt to avoid overprescription from medical practitioners.

The healthcare system is also doing its part to reduce prescription fraud. Major health providers are attempting to band together to combat opioid use. Their strategy is to intervene and offer alternatives if data points to problems.

Community Support

Community outreach programs are underway for adults and youth. Opioid prevention programs. These programs produce lasting effects when combating the epidemic. Rapid response for overdoses is also part of the community support. This provides training to identify and provide aid to those affected.

Similar programs to lift society’s conscious about opioid abuse include:

  • Heroin & opioid awareness week
  • Therapy and holistic healing techniques
  • Peer support systems and gatherings

Narcotics Anonymous has seen membership skyrocket in the past decade. Resources and detox programs through inpatient recovery is a common path to recovery. Whereas the use of methadone programs has become a talking point to influence addicts to undergo detox.

The Next Decade of Death: How to Help Yourself and Those in Need

STAT, an investigative journal, has a grim tale yet to unfold. A potential half a million Americans may die from opioids in the next decade.

The flood of heroin from the Middle East and overprescription are to blame. Yet, they are part of a bigger problem the U.S. continues to battle. Society, too, may have its play in the epidemic.

Regardless, you or a loved one affected by opioid use must seek help before becoming a statistic. There are several avenues for dealing with opioid addiction and recovery.

Use our platform to find methadone treatment in your area before its too late. 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] American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2016). Opioid Addiction – 2016 Facts & Figures. Retrieved from

[2] Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Suffers From Mental Illness Each Year. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[3] Berger O , et al. (n.d.). PTSD as a criminal defense: a review of case law. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

[4] Connor, V. (2017, June 27). Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions. Retrieved from

[5] Health Care Fraud Prevention Partnership. (2017, January). Healthcare Payer Strategies to Reduce the Harm of Opioids. Retrieved from

[6] Felter, C. (2017, January 17). The U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Retrieved from