The Truth About Prescription Pill Addictions

prescription pill addiction

Prescription pill addiction involves more than just opioids and other pain medications. There are four broad classes of prescription pills that are commonly abused. These include opioids, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and stimulants. Although many who are prescribed prescription medications take them properly, there is still a substantial portion of the population who misuse them, resulting in addiction and the need for intensive addiction treatment. In 2017 it was estimated that more than 18 million people had misused prescription medications in the last year. While current data is not available, it is assumed based on historical statistics that this number has only continued to grow with misuse rates among adults ages 18-25 being some of the highest at nearly 15%. In these surveys, more people report using controlled prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined putting prescription drugs just behind marijuana when it comes to illicit drug use.

Commonly Prescribed Prescription Pills

The rate of prescription drug abuse and addiction is currently considered a pandemic in the United States and only worsening with time. Unfortunately, many who end up addicted to prescription pills do so after being prescribed the drug for legitimate reasons. Also, many teens believe prescription medications to be “safer” than other drugs because a medical provider prescribes them; thus, they are more likely to misuse them. As previously noted, prescription pill addiction generally applies to four categories of drugs. 

Opioids

Opioids or prescription painkillers are used to treat severe or chronic pain conditions. They are also among the most over prescribed medication classes. Common opioids include OxyContin, Lortab, Morphine, and Percocet.

Stimulants

Adderall, a commonly prescribed stimulant, is typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Other medications similar to Adderall include Concerta and Ritalin.

Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Sedatives and tranquilizers are quite similar and generally produce the same intoxication effects. This category includes sleeping pills, which are classified as sedative-hypnotics. Other drugs that fall into this category are benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines or “benzos” are a form of prescription sedative. They are commonly prescribed to treat symptoms related to anxiety or to help with insomnia. The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepines are Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin.

How Do You Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Opioids, stimulants, and sedatives can be beneficial for some individuals who have been diagnosed with certain medical disorders or who struggle with chronic pain. However, many of these medications have extremely high addictive potential and, consequently, are often abused or sold illegally. But why is it that some people who take these medications develop a prescription pill addiction and others do not? For some, it may be related to genetic predisposition for addiction in general. Also, those who have a first-degree relative who suffered from a substance abuse disorder are significantly more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than those without such a family history. Environmental factors such as peer influence and family dynamics can also play a role in prescription pill addiction.

While all of the above and other factors play a role in prescription pill addiction, one of the most common ways people get addicted to prescription drugs is through the use of the medication itself. It is not uncommon for someone who is prescribed prescription pain medication for chronic pain to take these medications for extended periods. Eventually, the initially prescribed dose is not sufficient to mitigate the pain, and higher doses are consumed to achieve the same feeling as before. This is called developing a tolerance, and it is one of the most common ways addiction develops.

Signs of a Prescription Pill Addiction

The signs and symptoms of prescription pill addiction will vary based on the specific pill being used. Some of the common behavioral signs that may indicate addiction may include doctor shopping, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, requesting refills more often than necessary, “losing” prescriptions and seeking replacements, sudden mood changes, demanding more privacy, and a host of others. Aside from the signs mentioned above and symptoms, long-term prescription pill addiction without addiction treatment can result in a host of adverse complications including overdose, incarceration, broken relationships, legal problems, failing physical health, developing a co-occurring mental health disorder, financial strain, and job loss.

Our treatment team at Soba Recovery Centers across the United States is skilled in providing individualized treatment for all types of addiction. We believe addiction treatment programs must be designed to suit each person’s needs, and therefore we focus our treatments on your needs as opposed to a standard design. If you are ready to seek treatment for a prescription pill addiction, reach out to Soba Recovery Centers today.  

Heroin Addiction: Stats & Facts

heroin addiction

Heroin is an opioid drug derived from morphine. Heroin is sometimes called by other names, including smack, hell dust, and big H. Heroin can be either a white or brown powder or a black and sticky tar-like substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin is used in a variety of ways, including injection, smoking, and snorting. In some cases, people mix heroin with crack cocaine to form an even more potent substance. This practice is called speedballing.

Since 2007, the rate of heroin use in the United States has continued to climb. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health published in 2016, the most prevalent demographic for this increase is among adults ages 18-25. In direct contrast, the rate of use among teens ages 12-17 has been declining and is currently at the lowest levels since 1991. Over the last decade, nearly one-third of all opioid-related deaths involved heroin leading to the deaths of almost 15,000 Americans in 2018-that’s approximately 130 people per day!

Death from opioid use is preventable with proper heroin addiction treatment ; however, many who need heroin addiction rehab either do not seek it or cannot get it. 

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Heroin use has many short and long-term effects on the body and brain. Initially, heroin enters the brain and attaches to the cells responsible for feelings of pain and pleasure. It also impacts the brain’s areas responsible for essential life-sustaining functions, including heart rate, breathing, and sleeping.

In the short-term, heroin use can result in “rush” (feelings of pleasure and happiness). Despite pleasurable effects in the short-term, heroin can also result in nausea, vomiting, itching, dry mouth, and hot flashes. Long term effects of heroin include a wide range of medical difficulties, including liver and kidney disease, lung complications, mental disorders, and sexual dysfunction, among others.

How to Recognize Heroin Addiction

Heroin is highly addictive, and those who regularly use it generally develop a tolerance that requires higher and more frequent doses to get the desired effects. Those who are addicted to heroin often exhibit changes in mood and behavior. Also, there are physical signs to look for, which may indicate a heroin addiction.

Behavior Changes

Heroin addiction can result in significant changes in behavior. Individuals may distance themselves from friends, family, and other members of their social circle. Also, they may exhibit a decline in academic or professional performance. 

Physical Changes

Heroin use, whether short or long-term, can cause difficulty breathing, weight loss, and various other physical changes in the body. Heroin can also cause extended periods of drowsiness, a sudden reduction in energy, and a lack of muscle coordination.

Drug Paraphernalia and Needle Marks 

Heroin can be consumed in a variety of ways, including injection and snorting. Someone who is struggling with a heroin addiction may have visible puncture marks on their arms or other places in their bodies. As the arms have become the most common place people look, some long-term users have resorted to injecting in different places on the body, including between the toes, the thighs, or the ankles. 

Injection is the most common way of taking heroin, so someone who has syringes without a valid medical reason could potentially be using heroin or another injectable drug. For powdered heroin to be made injectable, it must be made into a liquid, so the presence of filters, a lighter or candle, and burned or charred spoons may also be indicative of a problem if they are found in conjunction with other indicators of heroin addiction. 

Heroin Addiction Treatment and Rehab

A wide range of heroin addiction treatments, including medications and behavioral therapies, have been proven effective in helping people overcome heroin addiction. For treatment to be the most successful, treatment plans must be individualized to meet each patient’s needs.  

The initial withdrawal stages from opioid addiction, including heroin addiction, can bring about intense and sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Thus, it is essential to undergo detox (sometimes also called medically assisted detox) at a heroin addiction (rehab) treatment center where trained medical professionals can closely monitor the initial stages of detox and ongoing treatment.  

Once the body has cleansed itself of heroin, it is possible to begin an intensive treatment program. Addiction treatment programs must be individually designed to achieve the best results. Through a combination of behavioral therapy, counseling, and a focus on developing new and healthy lifestyle skills, sobriety is possible. 

Beat a Heroin Addiction With Soba Recovery Center

Our renowned treatment team at Soba Recovery Center is highly trained to provide individual, one-on-one therapy designed to treat all aspects of addiction. We believe the key to addiction treatment’s success is to provide individualized care from the beginning of your journey through to sober living options we provide for our alumni. If you are ready to seek heroin addiction treatment, reach out to Soba Recovery Center today. 

Sober Vacation Ideas

sober vacation ideas

For sober travelers, it might seem difficult to “get out” without “going out.” Vacations are about exploring a new place and having a good time and for some, that may feel difficult to travel sober and still have fun. But while sobriety might change your travel experience, sober vacations are still fun and relaxing. Sobriety isn’t the end to being able to enjoy fun things in life like vacations and traveling. On the contrary, sobriety more often than not enhances the enjoyment of vacation and traveling—no days wasted nursing a hangover means more time and energy to explore new places! Soba Recovery encourages you to keep on reading for sober vacation ideas!

Where to Go on a Vacation Sober 

If you’re sober you can go anywhere, but depending on your comfort levels, some destinations may be sober-friendlier than others. At some vacation destinations, alcohol, drugs, or a party scene are less emphasized than others. Skip locations like Napa, Las Vegas, or Ibiza where alcohol and partying are highly emphasized in the tourist culture and check out these destinations instead!

Sober Vacation Destinations in the United States

  • San Antonio, Texas—In this vibrant city you can explore the historic Alamo, check out the Natural Bridge Caverns, stroll the San Antonio River Walk or walk through the King William Historic District. San Antonio also has an abundance of great museums, as well as the San Antonio zoo, SeaWorld San Antonio and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
  • Nashville, Tennessee—The Music City of the United States is also known as the soberest city in the United States. This is a great spot for country music fans, from opportunities to see live music, to checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Radnor Lake State Park is also on the outskirts of town for outdoor recreation. The Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, are also top attractions. Additionally, Nashville has a plethora of city tours and plenty of art and science museums.
  • Denver, Colorado—While you might think of Denver as a city where breweries are abundant and weed is legal, Denver also has a huge range of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding to hiking, whitewater rafting, and ziplining. Denver also has many sober attractions like the zoo, the aquarium, an abundance of art museums, and Red Rocks park and amphitheater. Denver also has great food—you can check out The Source, an artisanal market, or Denver Central Market, a gourmet food hall. Denver also has several sober bars and often has sober pop-up entertainment like sober sunrise dance parties by Daybreaker.

Sober Vacation Destinations Abroad

  • Sri Lanka—The culture in this island nation south of India de-emphasizes drugs and alcohol meaning as a tourist you’ll have reduced exposure to these substances. Sri Lanka has a beautiful and diverse landscape that offers visitors the opportunity to relax on serendipitous beaches, explore the rainforests, or climb a mountain. Sri Lanka is also home to breathtaking historical sites like Sigiriya, a rock-top fortress that has served as a royal palace as well as a Buddhist monastery.
  • Japan—Alcohol is available but much less emphasized than it is in the United States. In Japan you can visit vibrant cities to experience the sights and delicious food. Cities like Kyoto and Tokyo have no shortage of things to explore, from bamboo forests to restaurants to festivals. 
  • Morocco—In the culture of Morocco, alcohol is available, but not a part of the culture and easy to avoid altogether. Morocco has accident cities with beautiful architecture and buzzing street markets. Morocco also has breathtaking sites like the Atlas Mountains, the blue village of Chefchaouen, the red arches of Legzira and the UNESCO World Heritage site Aït Benhaddou.

Additionally, different kinds of vacations lend themselves to being sober vacations like hiking or trekking trips, and meditation, wellness or yoga retreats. There are also sober resorts in Mexico and sober cruises to different locations all over the world. Sober tourism is an increasingly booming business, and sober traveling companies are becoming more abundant. Companies like Sober Vacations International and Travel Sober create all-inclusive (save for airfare) trips with pre-planned sober-centric activities that bring like-minded individuals together over experiences that aren’t centered around drugs or alcohol. 

Activities to Do on a Sober Vacation 

A big component of sober vacations is the activities you plan to do. Even vacation destinations that are less sober-friendly can still be an enjoyable sober vacation destination so long as the activities are sober-centric. Of course, the activities you plan on a sober vacation depend to a degree on the destination you choose, but here are some ideas of activities you might do:

  • A walking or biking tour of the city you’re visiting 
  • Visit historic sites
  • Visit museums
  • Try a beach activity like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or sailing
  • Try a snow sport like skiing, snow-boarding, ice skating, snowmobiling
  • Go to a spa 
  • Check out the hiking trails or try rock climbing
  • Attend local events like art markets or music 
  • Try local foods

If you’re planning a sober vacation it is a good idea to plan ahead so you don’t feel bored or aimless or have too much free time. When you pinpoint the perfect location for your sober vacation, do some research on the local attractions to schedule some activities! On the other hand, make sure you don’t plan so many activities that you feel stressed or rushed. 

Tips for Staying Sober on Vacation 

Vacations might have more temptations than you’re used to in your day to day life, so it is important to check in where you’re at in your recovery before going on a sober vacation. If you decide you’re ready, here are some additional tips to keep in mind for how to stay sober on vacation:

  • Go with a supportive or sober friend who will not prioritize alcohol or other substances on the trip and can hold you accountable.
  • Make plans ahead of time for activities to keep busy, but also leave room for spontaneity and don’t overpack your schedule if you feel rushed or stressed.
  • Choose accommodations that don’t include happy hour drinks, have hotel bars, have minibars in the rooms or are right next to bars or nightclubs. One way to do this is to stay in vacation rentals where you can avoid partying vacationers. 
  • Prepare for triggers and take reminders of your sobriety with you.
  • If you find yourself struggling, reach out to your support network back home, attend an online support group meeting or find a local fellowship meeting. Support groups like AA have meetings all over the world.

The most important component of sober vacations is the commitment to sobriety that comes before, during, and after the vacation. The best time to plan a sober vacation is after you’ve been able to maintain a stable period in recovery, so you are able to truly relax and have fun on your vacation. If you feel like you aren’t quiet at that point in your recovery, keep working! You can get there. At Soba Recovery, we believe in individualized treatment for long-term recovery. If you’ve decided it is time to get sober, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to see how we can help!

Am I Addicted to Alcohol?

am i addicted to alcohol

The stereotype of someone addicted to alcohol is a person who always drinks in excess and as a result, their life is crumbling. However, the reality is some people are functioning or high-functioning alcoholics, which means even though they depend on and abuse alcohol, they have the appearance of being fine. Though you may know problem drinking as alcoholism or alcohol abuse, addiction to alcohol is officially referred to as alcohol use disorder, an addiction that is estimated to affect 15 million people in the United States. At Soba Recovery, we feel receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder is critical to success in overcoming it, but the first step toward treatment is identifying the problem.

 

Identifying an Alcohol Addiction

The signs of alcohol use disorder vary from person to person, but some common red flags in assessing whether you or a loved one has an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Needing alcohol to relax or feel confident
  • Drinking when you are alone or in secrecy
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Drinking more or longer than you intended
  • Losing friends or having relationship problems due to drinking
  • Drinking or being sick from drinking interferes with taking care of your family, working or attending school
  • Experiencing short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts
  • Feeling irritable or having extreme mood swings
  • Having legal problems related to drinking
  • Denying drinking or getting angry when confronted about drinking

If you or a loved one is exhibiting these symptoms their drinking may be cause for concern. Alcohol use disorder can range from mild to severe and the urgency for treatment depends on the amount and severity of the symptoms displayed, though recovery is possible regardless of the severity.

 

How Is Alcohol Addictive?

Though alcohol is legal, it can still be a dangerous substance with serious side effects. One of these is the addictive qualities of alcohol which keeps people coming back for more and consuming it in unhealthy amounts. Alcohol is a chemical that causes our brains to release endorphins, making us feel more content and less sensitive to pain, associating these pleasurable sensations with drinking can encourage us to keep drinking even when we know it can harm us. In addition to the chemical reaction alcohol causes, we often tend to socially and in our own lives associate alcohol with positive stimuli, like having a glass of wine after a long day or getting beers with friends. When we make alcohol a reward or a treat that we use to socialize and celebrate, we create positive associations with it. Alcohol dependency doesn’t happen all at once, but rather over time as our brains are trained to crave the endorphin release of alcohol. An individual’s personality and genetics might make them predisposed to alcohol use disorder as well. Thrill seekers have a greater risk of addiction to alcohol because they seek the endorphin rush alcohol offers. Shy individuals are also prime candidates for developing alcohol use disorder because alcohol can help alleviate social anxiety and an individual can get addicted to or reliant on that effect. 

 

What Happens When You Quit Drinking Alcohol

Quitting drinking can be daunting because physical alcohol withdrawal is particularly tough on the body. However, there are many benefits of stopping drinking:

  • Improved heart and liver health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Elevated self-esteem
  • Better sleep quality
  • Increased ability to concentrate
  • Improved focus on relationships and work
  • Lower cancer risks
  • Strengthened immune system

 

How to Get Help

If you think you are struggling with alcohol use disorder or are not sure if you have a problem or not please contact Soba Recovery today. We have professionals who can assess your situation and help determine what kind of treatment is suitable for your individual needs. Our two locations in Texas and Arizona are both amazing options for anyone struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse. 

TV Shows About Drug Addiction

tv shows about addiction

Hollywood has been very interested in addiction for a long time, using it as a minor or major plot point in many television shows and movies. However, there are an increasing number of television shows that offer a more diverse portrayal of substance abuse, dependency, and addiction. From reality TV to drama to comedy, producers have created a range of shows depicting active addiction and recovery. While some shows portray addiction more sensationally, others seek to show the nuance of addiction as a long and complicated disease, through the acknowledgement that addiction is gradual and seldom starts or ends with a singular dramatic event. Keep reading for Soba Recovery’s list of TV shows about drug addiction!

 

TV Shows About Drug Addiction

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie is a medical comedy-drama on Showtime that follows a nurse in a New York City hospital who is addicted to prescription opioids. The co-creators of the show Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem all struggled with alcohol addiction at some point in their lives and created the show to portray a high functioning addict who is competent at her job but jaded by the self-centeredness of active addiction. Nurse Jackie avoids stereotypes of addicts to portray a realistic version of high-functioning addiction as a tight-rope walk, in which falling off results in pain and destruction. 

 

Intervention

Intervention is a docu series on A&E profiling individuals struggling with addiction, following the consequences of those addictions and the effectiveness of interventions. The daily life of an individual who is substance dependent or suffering from addiction leads up to an intervention staged by their family and friends offering them an ultimatum: go to rehab or be cut off from the support of their family and friends. The involvement of the addict’s loved ones in Intervention offers a look into how addiction affects an addict’s loved ones. Intervention doesn’t glamorize drug and alcohol dependency for plot points in the way that other drama shows do, offering a raw look into the destructive power of addiction for everyone involved.

 

Mom

Mom is a comedy on CBS about a sober single mom and her estranged mother who is also struggling with addiction. Allison Janney and Anna Faris play the mother-daughter duo navigating how to repair their relationship while trying to pull their own lives together. Mom is one of few shows that emphasizes addiction recovery rather than active addiction and demonstrates the obstacles individuals face in navigating sobriety without getting weighed down by the despair or denial of addiction. Mom approaches recovery as it is, a difficult life-long healing process, with characters who endure setbacks but approach sobriety with hope and determination.

 

Euphoria

HBO’s teen drama Euphoria premiered in 2019 and almost instantly became wildly popular thanks to its raw portrayal of teenage mental illness and substance abuse. The show follows 17-year-old Rue Bennet who is a recovering drug addict as she returns home from rehab and attempts to navigate high school. Euphoria’s visuals and acting are alluring, and the show has received praise for its empathetic but brutally honest depiction of the challenges of addiction.

 

Recovery Road

Freeform’s Recovery Road is another teen drama series about addiction that follows Maddie, a high functioning 17-year-old addict, as she navigates teenage life after deciding to live at a sober living facility. Based on a popular novel by the same name, Recovery Road one ran for one season in 2016, but offers portrayals of various topics related to substance abuse and recovery including teen partying, the benefits of 12-step meetings, and the consequences of substance abuse. 

 

Love

Love is a Netflix comedy show about navigating modern relationships that quietly depicts two individuals, Mickey and Gus, struggling with addiction. Addiction is not the main focus of the show, but it is prevalent. Mickey abuses alcohol and prescription medications and then tries to stay sober, but smokes before AA meetings, lies to her sponsor and struggles with the urge to resist drinking or using drugs. However, Mickey never truly reaches an explosive rock bottom as so many other shows depict, sensationalizing addiction. Instead addiction prevents Mickey from connecting with others and living a fulfilling life. The dark, quirky humor of Love might be too much for some, but others enjoy the honest portrayal of non-sensationalized addiction.

 

Shameless

Showtime’s comedy-drama show Shameless depicts a family that is poor and dysfunctional as a result of their single father’s alcoholism. The show balances portraying the compulsive and damaging behaviors of addicts with comedy while shedding light on the impact of addiction on families through Frank Gallagher’s actions and their consequences for his six children. Shameless can at times be over-the-top and far-fetched, but it’s often realistic portrayal of a less-than-functioning addict and his family’s struggle to take care of him and make ends meet. The show offers an honest and eye-opening depiction of the impact of addiction on everyone, not just the addict.

 

Get Sober With Soba Recovery

While Hollywood has at times exploited addiction for ratings, more and more shows are trying to take an increasingly nuanced approach to addiction whether it be by portraying non-stereotypical characters, depicting the effects of addiction as a family disease, or focusing on lesser told stories of recovery. The diversification of television shows depicting addiction help break down taboo about addiction itself and open up conversations about it. Few of these shows shy away from the gory details of drug and alcohol use, abuse, and dependency, so be mindful watching if you are personally recovering and struggling with these sorts of triggers. Otherwise, enjoy watching these shows whether you find yourself critiquing them or reflecting because of them! 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, please reach out to us today at Soba Recovery. We can treat a wide range of addictions at either of our two locations in Arizona or Texas. We look forward to helping you with your addiction!

What Is a Sober Living Home?

what is a sober living home

One of the most important elements of recovery often overlooked is the transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment. The continuation of sobriety after inpatient care can be difficult if a recovering addict is faced with returning to their old home and habits. Sober living homes are one element of treatment for addiction that supports those recovering as they ease back into daily life. For some people in recovery, these supportive environments can make the difference between relapse or maintaining sobriety. Soba Recovery encourages you to continue reading to learn more about sober living homes! 

What Is a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes are group homes in a controlled environment free from drugs and alcohol, created specifically for individuals recovering from addiction. Sober living homes help with the transition from inpatient and outpatient care, assisting individuals in their sobriety maintenance. These homes are often owned and operated privately but can also be owned and operated by businesses or charity organizations. Residents living in sober living homes do things like pay rent and go to work, just as they would in a regular home, but they also offer additional structure with things like house meetings and chores to contribute to the maintenance of the house. All residents must remain sober and follow house rules to stay in the homes. Residents are also encouraged to continue seeking outpatient treatment and participate in a 12-step program.

Benefits of Sober Living Homes

Sobriety is a lifelong journey. However, the transition from inpatient to outpatient treatment is critical and sober living homes can help prompt a lasting recovery. Sober living homes are substance-free, offering a controlled and supportive environment that decreases the chances of relapse. Studies have shown sobriety can be difficult to maintain in dysfunctional homes and sober living homes improve sobriety outcomes. Sober living homes have a multitude of benefits, some of which include: 

Support: Though individuals from all walks of life may be in sober living homes, all residents living in sober living homes are working towards the goals of recovery and sobriety. Sober living homes thus offer a space to build sober fellowships, mutual support systems, and positive friendships for those in recovery.

Accountability:Sober living homes can assist with building accountability of sobriety. Sober living homes have rules residents must adhere to, helping to rebuild personal responsibility. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own recovery, therefore the teaching accountability and responsibly are invaluable to maintaining sobriety.

Stability: Sober living homes are fundamentally safe, comfortable, and secure places, providing individuals recovering from addiction with a stable home environment. Structure in sober living homes is often created through chores, house meetings, attendance to 12 step programs, and other meaningful activities that not only help re-establish stability, but also help maintain purpose. By avoiding boredom, depression, or uncertainty, sober living homes offer stability critical to relapse prevention.

Skills: Sober living homes provide an environment that encourages recovering addicts to build healthy coping skills and habits to manage triggers and prepare for their return home. Sober living homes also have resources for finding employment and mending broken relationships.

How to Get Into a Sober Living Home

Though not all sober living homes restrict who can live there, often the majority of residents have completed a rehabilitation program for addiction before moving in. Sober living homes offer a space to maintain sobriety, so it makes sense that most residents have already started the process through means such as detoxification or other inpatient treatment. If you are interested in living in a sober living home, you can start by researching programs to find one that is the best fit for you. 

How Soba Recovery Can Help

Soba Recovery’s sober living in Texas and Arizona understands that sobriety is a lifelong journey and to support the longevity of that goal, we believe in spending quality time and effort in treatment by investing in an individual’s care for an extended period all at once. With this goal in mind, sober living homes are integral to long-term recovery at Soba Recovery. We offer individualized treatment at our two locations: our Substance Abuse Treatment in Mesa, AZ and San Antonio Recovery Center, both of which offer detox and inpatient treatments, as well as outpatient and sober living homes for aftercare. If you’re interested in sober living, please contact us. We are here to help you take that next step on your road to recovery.

Why Drug Rehab Aftercare Programs Are Essential to Success

drug rehab aftercare

Addiction treatment or “rehab” programs are fundamental to recovery from substance abuse. Through yours, you’ll go through detox and withdrawal, then learn important coping skills and self reflection through counseling and therapy. Chances are, you’ll leave your program feeling refreshed, healthy, and ready to start your new life in recovery.

But this is only the beginning. Addiction is viewed as an ongoing condition that can be managed, not necessarily cured. Addiction alters brain chemistry, and it often goes hand-in-hand with mental health disorders that also require lifelong care. Relapse is more common than many people realize — a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that up to between 40 and 60 percent of people who have been through treatment fall back into substance abuse within a year.   

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that failure is inevitable. Far from it. You have the power to stay in recovery and even bounce back if you do relapse. In order to maintain sobriety long-term, you will need to stay strong and keep yourself in the right place mentally. At Soba Recovery, we’re here to tell you participating in aftercare programs will play a crucial role in this. 

What Is Drug Rehab Aftercare?

Residential inpatient treatment (the most common type of rehab program) is there to help you overcome your every day urges to abuse substances and prepare you for leading a life of sobriety. However, real life is not so simple. When you leave your treatment program, you will suddenly be back in everyday life, complete with its triggers. This is why it is important to incorporate drug rehab aftercare programs into your addiction recovery. Put simply, rehab  aftercare is a personalized plan that keeps you on track long after your initial addiction treatment is over.

Think of your primary addiction treatment as a training program to help prepare you for the real world. But since the real world is filled with unpredictable challenges, ongoing support is necessary to make sure that things don’t get out of control. Addiction aftercare takes many forms, but above all it offers an outlet for the stresses of everyday life. Whether you’re participating in group or individual counseling, or even staying active in a hobby you picked up while in rehab, addiction aftercare services are crucial to keeping you on track. 

Aftercare for substance abuse also provides you with focused support that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Even the most understanding and supportive friends and family members may still not be able to understand what you are dealing with if they haven’t been there themselves. 

Aftercare for Substance Abuse Guides You to Long-Term Sobriety

With the right addiction aftercare plan in place, you will not feel like you are suddenly left all alone back in the real world. But it’s not just about coping with your life in early sobriety. While again, individual aftercare plans can (and do) vary greatly, they are there to ensure you keep on top of both your long-term and short-term goals. Many people choose to tailor their aftercare plan so it can be adjusted throughout their real-life progress. At Soba Recovery, we feel this leads to successful lifelong management of addiction and substance abuse. 

While relapse rates remain high, studies have shown aftercare for substance abuse programs to be highly effective in curbing them. One study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine journal revealed that the likelihood of long-term abstinence rises by about 20 percent for every consecutive month individuals participate in an aftercare plan during the initial six months after they complete addiction treatment.

Forming Your Own Addiction Aftercare Plan

There are many different forms of ongoing treatment that can go into a drug rehab aftercare plan. Your own will depend on your own situation and preferences. For most people, however, aftercare plans contain a combination of the following:

  • Relapse prevention counseling
  • Mental health care (usually ongoing from initial addiction treatment)
  • Physical health care (may also include a fitness regimen plan)
  • Healthy activities / guidance on living a healthy, fulfilling life
  • Assistance finding safe housing removed from substance abuse triggers
  • Vocational counseling (help with conducting yourself professionally and finding employment)
  • Community-based support groups (like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc.)

It’s worth noting that while a good addiction treatment center will help you form an aftercare plan and even provide some of the involved services, many plans include support from outside groups. This is all part of your long-term addiction recovery, allowing you to grow strong bonds with your local community and build a successful healthy life for yourself. 

We Can Help With Drug Rehab Aftercare!

At Soba Recovery, our team is here for you both through initial treatment and addiction recovery. Our full-service program will help you through detox and into sobriety, as well as offer an aftercare plan that is unique to you and your specific needs. In fact, we consider aftercare to be a vital component of the recovery process as a whole. Whether you’re still in need of initial addiction treatment or have questions about forming an aftercare plan, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can achieve long-term sobriety and the life you deserve. 

What Is the First Step in the Recovery Process?

first step to recovery

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”- Anthony Robbins. Soba Recovery would like to offer you a heartfelt congratulations for taking the first step towards sobriety. It does not matter what type of journey you have taken to get you here, but rest assured that you are where you’re supposed to be. It takes courage, clarity, and determination to make the decision to take back ownership of your life, so you should be proud of yourself. In honor of your determination, we will use this moment to explain the process of medical detox, which is commonly known as “detox”, and what you should be expecting. This next step might be one of the most challenging times of your journey that you have ever experienced, however, do not be afraid because you are not alone. There are tools, resources, and a support system to assist you during this path to beat substance addiction. Consequently, we would like you to keep in mind that deep down you have what it takes to complete this journey, and recognizing the need to change then aspiring to manifest that change is one of the most challenging parts of the process, and you did it! 

 

What Is the First Step in the Recovery Process?

Detoxification, also more commonly known as “detox,” is the process of eliminating a certain substance from the body. There are different routes for introducing a substance into the body: ingestion, inhalation, absorption through the skin, or injection. Once that substance is in the bloodstream, your kidneys and liver are the two major organs that perform the tasks of breaking it down and eliminating the substance from your body. You might have heard from your co-worker or a neighbor that they are on a “detox diet.” The main goal is to eliminate the toxins from things we eat or drink from our body. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, a drug or alcohol detox is essentially the same concept. The end goal is to remove the harmful toxins from the body. For a certain type of opiate addiction, a “substitute” drug such as methadone or suboxone might be prescribed at the beginning of the medical detox process; the idea is for clients to lose their dependence of the substance through the use of the less potent substitute medication, and eventually remove the substitute medication altogether. However, certain clients might be required to remain on a low maintenance dose of these medications for the rest of their lives. 

 

Why Choose Soba Recovery for Detox

There are thousands of facilities in the US that treat substance abuse. So, you might ask yourself, why Soba? The main reason that treatments offered at Soba Recovery are one of the best is that clients are treated holistically. Substance abuse, unfortunately, still carries a bad stigma among the community. On top of that, withdrawal symptoms, sometimes, can make the detox process seem impossible. Nevertheless, our staff understands how hard your journey has been and what we can do to make this experience as positive as possible for you physically and mentally. At Soba, we know addiction treatment is not easy, but we don’t see why it should not be fun. Even better news is that you don’t have to do it alone. At Soba Recovery, you are catered to 24/7 by a professional medical staff. Being monitored by medical staff also ensures compliance to the program. After all, who wouldn’t want an accountability buddy? The goal is for you to experience an enjoyable, safe, and comfortable detox process. 

 

What’s the Plan for Drug Detoxification? 

Like mentioned above, drug detoxification is the first step in the recovery process. During this time you’ll be monitored closely, while administered medicine to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Detox can look a little different for everyone, so it’s hard to pinpoint what your exact experience will be. Needless to say, we’ll make you as comfortable as possible during this time. 

After you complete detox, we recommend two different treatment strategies with the goal of tailoring to your lifestyle and needs; residential inpatient and partial hospitalization. Residential inpatient offers a 90-day stay in order to achieve the most optimal outcome of addiction treatment. On the other hand, partial hospitalization is an alternative for those who are not able to attend the 90-day inpatient treatment due to job/family responsibilities. The goal here is to tailor the plan that fits YOU the best.

 

Reach Out to Soba Recovery Today

Soba Recovery currently has two locations, one in Mesa, Arizona, and one in Texas. Both locations offer truly individualized addiction treatment. We know getting help with addiction can be scary, and detoxification can be a hard first step to take. Please reach out to use today if you’re struggling with addiction, and we’ll let you know all of the ways we can help you overcome your substance abuse!

 

What Is Medication Assisted Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Medication Assisted Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Soba Recovery offers Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) in adjunction to our other holistic modalities such as behavioral therapies, yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture. The goal is to treat substance abuse disorder by providing a “holistic” approach. Medication Assisted Therapy or MAT, is highly individualized based on the clients physiology and medical history, along with the type and duration of the abused substance. The main goal is for you to experience the safest, most comfortable detox process with the least amount of side effects. Your long-term recovery is our number one priority! 

 

What Is MAT?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the long-term follow-up of recovery addicts who were on MAT, indicated that 61% of people reported being abstinent from drugs and alcohol after three and a half years, and fewer than 10% meet diagnostic criteria for dependence on the drugs. MAT has been proven to be effective in overcoming addiction and substance abuse, and improve addicts survival and retention in treatment, increase their ability to maintain employment, and improve birth outcomes for pregnant women. These results and the science behind them are one of the reasons why Soba incorporates MAT into our treatment program at all of our facilities.

Medically assisted therapy is used primarily to treat the addictions of opioids, such as heroin and other opiate-containing prescription pain relievers, like Percocet, Norco, and Oxycodone. So, you may wonder how does it work? MAT works by restoring the chemistry in the brain that has been “thrown off,”. It also helps relieve the intense physical craving that you will experience during the detox process. In addition to that, MAT helps alleviate some of the physiological effects, which helps make the detox process more tolerable. 

 

Medication Assisted Therapy Approved Drugs

At Soba, the medications we utilize for the MAT approach are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The three medications that are indicated to treat opioid addictions are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. 

Methadone: This is a synthetic opioid that is a designated schedule II drug. Methadone is indicated to treat severe pain. However, at a lower controlled dose, methadone can be used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and relieve intense craving in opioid addiction, especially heroin. This synthetic drug works by binding to the same target as heroin, morphine, and other opiate prescription pain medications. Once these “targets” are occupied with opiates, they become activated. When the activation of these targets take place by the abused substance, the end effect is euphoria – the hallmark of drug addiction. With Methadone, even though the target is the same, methadone works at a slow, controlled rate. Therefore, at the treatment dose, methadone alleviates withdrawal symptoms without producing the euphoric effects. 

Buprenorphine: Like Methadone, Buprenorphine works by binding to the same receptors or “targets” as the abused substance. The difference is that Buprenorphine is a partial agonist, while methadone is a full agonist, meaning Buprenorphine would activate these “targets” less strongly than the full agonist – the abused substance. By doing so, Buprenorphine improves withdrawal symptoms and craving sensations. 

Naltrexone: Opposite of Methadone and Buprenorphine, Naltrexone works by blocking the activation of the opioid receptors or “targets.” Naltrexone is working by preventing the abuse substance from binding to these “targets;” therefore, it blocks the rewarding effect such as euphoria. 

 

What to Expect With Medication Assisted Therapy

All of the medications mentioned above are available at Soba. You might wonder how do you know which one is the best fit for you? No worries! Our clinicians and staff are highly trained when it comes to opioid addiction treatment; therefore, the therapy will be highly individualized in addition to counseling psychological support to best suit your needs. As far as duration, there is no maximum or minimum recommended length of therapy. The need of staying on MAT should be reassessed by your provider and discussed with you periodically. 

All of the above medications come in different dosage forms for easy use and convenience. They come in tablets and skin patches. Buprenorphine even comes in a once-a-month injection. 

The most common side effects of these medications are similar to those of opioids, such as constipation, alterations in sexual functioning, weight gain, and sweating etc. These side effects will be discussed in great details with you once you are enrolled in the MAT program. Ultimately, our goal is to come to a joint decision with you since you are a part of the team. 

 

Your Success Is Our Success

The ultimate goal is your lifelong recovery. Sometimes, addiction and seeking treatment might seem so daunting, but please be assured that we are here for you. Reach out to us today if you or a loved one is seeking addiction treatment. Our staff will happily review all of our different treatment options for you. Call us now! 

A Look at Acupuncture in Addiction Treatment

acupunture in addiction treatment

As a client at Soba, you are a part of the team. Decisions regarding your treatment plans will be made collaboratively between you and our staff. During the detoxification process, medications such as methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are utilized to de-intensify the physical effects of withdrawal. These FDA-approved agents have also been proven to increase the success rate of long-term sobriety. Medication therapy is important, but it is only a segment of our treatment strategy. At Soba, holistic medicine is one of our major focuses, which is why our treatment is one of the best. We don’t just treat the disease. Your mental, psychological and emotional health are also our priorities. 

What is Holistic Medicine?

Holistic medicine is the type of medicine that not only treats the patient’s disease or condition but also tends to the patient’s psychological, mental and emotional well-being. Holistic medicine is not a specific type of treatment, rather, it includes different treatment modalities. 

The emphasis of holistic medicine relies on the underlying problems instead of treating the symptoms, which are superficial. Another important aspect of holistic medicine is optimization of one’s health, which addresses properly balanced nutrition, in addition to a person’s emotional and psychological state. 

As mentioned above, holistic medicine is an umbrella term for a variety of treatment modalities. They include (but are not limited to) acupuncture, yoga, meditation, reiki and counseling. Even though holistic medicine is not a new scope of practice, majority of people are unaware of the treatment strategies that holistic medicine offers along with its healing benefits. In this article, we will focus on one of the most well-known holistic methods, which is acupuncture. 

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture first originated from China more than 2500 years ago. Over time, acupuncture has become a well sought-after method of treatment and preventative medicine. It was not until the early sixteenth century that acupuncture reached European countries and America through merchant trading. The principle foundation of acupuncture is to balance the “flow of life”- known as “chi.” It results in a harmonious body, mind and spirit. Most of the time, acupuncture is utilized in conjunction with either an exercise therapy or massage along with an herbal or other supplemental diet regimen. 

The technique:

 According to Chinese medicine, there are “trigger” points, or strategic points, throughout the body. The technique involves the insertion of a very thin needle that is the width of a hair through the skin at these strategic points. 

How Does Acupuncture in Addiction Treatment Work?

As mentioned above, Oriental medicine believes that stimulating these trigger points in the body results in the balance of “chi.” Western medicine has done basic research to further study the mechanism of action of acupuncture. It has shown that acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system. It has been understood to affect the regulation of insulin, growth stimulating hormone, thyroid hormone and more. 

Oriental medicine focuses acupuncture on the treatment of pain and neuropathy. Nowadays, acupuncture is indicated to treat a wide range of conditions from chemotherapy-induced nausea/vomiting, dry mouth, fatigue, anxiety, depression and smoking cessation 

The myth is that acupuncture is painful, but the truth is that everyone has different thresholds for sensing pain. It is reported by patients that they get very relaxed during acupuncture session and they end up falling asleep or fall into a deep state of relaxation.  

Case reports of side effects do exist, however, they are very rare. Allergic reaction to stainless-steel are rarely seen. If you have any type of metal allergy, please inform your practitioner. Bleeding complication is one of the side effects as well, though it is very minimal and does not commonly happen. 

Acupuncture in Addiction Treatment

At this point, you might be thinking that acupuncture is a great treatment therapy but how does it help you with your recovery journey. Great question! As you are already aware, Soba’s philosophy is to focus on treating our patients as a whole. We are not just labeling you as a disease or disorder. We get to the root of the problem. As you are being detoxed, medication therapy will be used under stringent monitoring by our expert staff. We also tend your emotional, mental and psychological health on top of that. Acupuncture has been proven by research to be beneficial in treating pain, anxiety and depression, which are some of the more common side effects that are expected to be experienced during detox. This is why Soba has the possibility of incorporating acupuncture into the treatment strategy. We also offer group/individual counseling therapy, stress management and relationship coaching. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We are here for you!