Category: Addiction

fentanyl addiction stories

3 Warning Signs and Stories of Fentanyl Addiction

Known as America’s deadliest drug, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is primarily used for pain relief.

It has a rapid onset but will last only a short while, and has therefore become regularly used as a recreational drug.

Fentanyl works by binding and activating particular opioid receptors in the body. This also increases dopamine activity in the brain, giving a rewarding sense of calm.

It has caused more deaths than heroin, with an increase of around 40% between 2010 and 2017. Many of these deaths have been a terrible result of many documented fentanyl addiction stories. 

Fentanyl Addiction

Whether you have been medically prescribed fentanyl or you are taking it recreationally, you are prone to becoming dependant on it.

Physical dependence may not be classed as an addiction. Being physically dependent can lead to addiction, however.

Fentanyl Addiction: 3 Major Signs

Three major signs of fentanyl addiction are:

  • Taking fentanyl in larger amounts than prescribed
  • Taking fentanyl beyond the intended time frame
  • Dependance: using fentanyl to achieve goals in everyday life. Or turning to it to achieve major life obligations

Fentanyl Addiction Stories

The following are the brief stories of three high-profile people who have experienced a catastrophic relationship with fentanyl.

Demi Lovato

In the summer of 2018, singer Demi Lovato nearly died from an overdose of heroin ‘laced with fentanyl’. She suffered strokes and a heart attack as a result.

Of the experience, she said in her 2021 documentary that she didn’t merely overdose but that she was ‘taken advantage of’.

She explained that she was found undressed and blue in color, as if she were dead, adding that she had brain damage from the experience that she still feels the effects of now.

This means Demi can’t drive and is often unable to read. She says these repercussions remind her that things could have ended up worse.

Robert Downey Jr.

The Iron Man actor was first introduced to drugs by his father when he was only six.

As he grew up, mixing alcohol with heroin and amphetamines became a regular occurrence and after trying to get clean he checked into rehab in 2001.

He said of the experience, in a Vanity Fair interview in 2014, that he needed to get out of the ‘cave’ he was in.

Not only that, he had to make changes going forward and come out the other side of it stronger than ever.

Matthew Perry

The Friends star became addicted to pain killers during his tenure on the show, which aired between 1994-2004.

He checked into rehab on two occasions, also treated for addictions to alcohol, amphetamines, and methadone.

Speaking to People in 2013, he recalled that he couldn’t stop taking pills and drinking alcohol and that soon enough it was painfully obvious to everyone around him.

His good friend – and sitcom co-star – Matt Le Blanc recalled how he attempted to speak to him about it but without any luck.

Branding it as Perry’s own personal struggle, Le Blanc asserted that those suffering from addiction need to hit rock bottom, alone, before they can truly start to recover.

Looking for Help?

The staff at Pathways Florida have heard plenty of fentanyl addiction stories over the years.

Located in sunny Sarasota, our residential treatment center boasts many a success story, with a team of experts on hand to help guide patients through their journey.

Please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

self medicating to deal with stress

Self-Medication: The Addiction Cause No One Wants to Talk About

How do you deal with life when it gets to be too much? Are you good at self care or do you turn to substances to help numb the feelings?

Self medicating to deal with stress is a prevalent issue that no one wants to address. While it’s very common, it’s not talked about, so it’s hard to know if it’s something you’re dealing with. 

If you feel that stress and self mediation is the origin of your addiction, or you may need help, you can read more below. We’ve detailed the signs and symptoms to help you determine if you or a loved one is dealing with self medication addiction.

Self Medication Hypothesis

Previously, many assumed that addiction came about because users were looking for pleasure, or the high they get when they’re using. That euphoric feeling is something to chase, and it’s the primary reason for using.

The self medicating hypothesis is that sometimes people are using drugs to relieve an uncomfortable state of mind or for self medication. Whether that’s a general feeling of dysphoria or clinical depression, addictive behavior sometimes also happens for this reason, rather than euphoria.

Self Medicating to Deal with Stress: A Common Problem

Stress affects over half of the population, according to the American Psychological Association. Whether people are stressed about the future of our country, work, or money, there are plenty of reasons that someone might be stressed and seek self medication. Often mental health issues occur at the same time that addiction occurs.

It can be hard to face your fears and emotions and want to escape, rather than dealing with those feelings. It’s also tough to diagnose this type of substance abuse sometimes, as it starts with less harmful substances.

Sometimes we self medicate with ice cream or other unhealthy food. While this leads to obesity, which is also prevalent in the U.S., it’s not always a habit that requires rehabilitation or medical intervention (although sometimes it does). It’s when the substance abuse becomes alcohol or drugs that family and friends start to notice and wonder if we need help from outside.

Alcoholism and Self Medication

Drinking alcohol for self medication may start out as a weekend habit, but when it becomes unhealthy, it’s time to get help. Here are some of the signs that you’re using alcohol or drugs to self medicate:

  • Increase of mental health issues
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Trouble at work
  • Mood changes
  • Your family or friends are worried about you
  • Substances make you feel worse
  • You always turn to drugs or alcohol when you feel bad
  • You can’t stop or it feels compulsory
  • You’re always thinking about where your next hit will come from

It can be hard to stop if you have become addicted because of self medication. If you feel like you may need help to stop, you may need to enter a treatment program. 

Dealing with Stress

Self medicating to deal with stress isn’t the best way to overcome mental health issues. Instead, dealing with stress or depression the healthy way is better for your body and for your family and relationships. You can apply for one of our treatment programs to help you or your loved one deal with self medication.

fentanyl addiction

How to Encourage Someone to Get Help for Their Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl addiction is a serious issue across the United States, being around 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Research shows that it is involved in more than 50% of opioid-related overdose deaths in 10 states nationwide.

If a loved one, either a family member or close friend, is addicted to fentanyl, professional treatment can help. At Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center, our expert team is experienced in helping fentanyl addicts regain control of their lives.

However, it can be difficult to know how best to encourage a loved one to seek help. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the best ways that you support and encourage a fentanyl addict to seek professional treatment.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a kind of synthetic opioid that is generally prescribed for chronic pain. It is known to create feelings of relaxation and euphoria. As well as being prescribed to patients, it is also illegally manufactured and sold as a recreational drug.

Fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, making it an especially dangerous drug that can result in overdosing. 

How to Encourage Someone to Get Help?

Watching someone struggle with fentanyl addiction can be extremely difficult. Encouraging them to seek professional treatment for their addiction is important, though it can also be difficult. Here, we will highlight ways that you can support your loved one to seek the help that they need.

1. Educate Yourself

Learning about addiction, and fentanyl addiction, in particular, can help you to understand what the person is going through. It can make it easier for you to open a conversation on their addiction and offer practical advice. Addiction is complex; understand the layers to it can help to be more supportive during the recovery journey.

2. Identify Treatment Options

If an individual is unwilling to actively seek help, you can make the process easier for them. Research treatment options and present them to your loved one as viable means of recovery. Click here to learn more about our range of treatment programs.

3. Establish Trust

Establishing two-way trust between you and your loved one is important if they are to follow your advice about seeking treatment. Try to be there as a supportive presence in their life, without becoming an enabler.

Avoid simply being overly critical of their actions; rather try to understand their difficulties. Once they trust you, they will be more likely to heed your advice on seeking professional treatment.

Fentanyl Addiction Treatment for Your Loved Ones

If you notice fentanyl addiction signs in a loved one, it is important to encourage them to seek help. Though this can be difficult, following the above advice is a great start.

For quality treatment options for fentanyl addiction, choose Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center. Contact our team today and learn more about how we can help your loved one get the treatment they need.

seeking help

Road to Recovery: Seeking Help for a Drug Addiction

Around 10% of Americans over the age of 12 years are addicted to some form of drug. Today, more than 23 million people living in the United States have an addiction. However, only 11% of people will receive professional treatment.

Various studies have highlighted the effectiveness of treatment for drug addiction. However, there are many hurdles that people face when attempting to overcome an addiction. Many people find it hard to make the first step, which is to admit to their addiction and reach out for support.

In this blog post, we will look at four ways an addict can seek help and begin the process of overcoming their addiction. Seeking help and leaning on the support of friends, family, medical professionals, good influences, and expert staff at treatment centers are invaluable resources as you work to overcome your addiction.

1. Find Emotional Support

As with anything in life, going it alone against your drug addiction is far more difficult than being able to rely on the support of friends and family. In most cases, drug addicts will have close friends or relatives who are concerned for their well-being and want to help.

Reaching out to a loved one for emotional support can be an effective first step in overcoming your addiction. Such actions can serve as admitting your addiction, which is often difficult for many people to do.

2. Speak to a Medical Professional

Doctors are able to diagnose the severity of your addiction and advise you on the best steps to take in terms of professional treatment. Medical professionals have experience in treating addiction patients. They are best-placed to lay out the steps you should take in order to kick your addiction.

3. Enroll In a Treatment Program

Treatment programs, such as the range of specialized programs at Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center, are the best place to overcome your drug addiction.

Treatment centers offer a range of programs, depending on the type and severity of your addiction. Here, you will receive the clinical and emotional support that you need to overcome your addiction and put in place positive structures that will allow you to move on with your life.

4. Surround Yourself With Good Influences

When you are battling an addiction, it is beneficial to surround yourself with people who know your struggle and who have overcome their own addiction.

Many treatment centers, such as Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center, operate alumni associations to allow past patients to lean on the support of each other. Good influences can help you to realize that recovery is possible and worthwhile.

Seeking Help Is Key to Overcoming a Drug Addiction

Seeking help, whether from close friends or family, medical professionals, or people who have experience of addiction recovery, can be difficult. Be taking this step can open new opportunities to you and help you to overcome your addiction.

For more information on the range of programs offered at Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center, contact our expert team today. We offer a wide range of drug addiction treatments.

addictive personality traits

Do You Express Any of These Addictive Personality Traits?

You’re here for a reason. You might be scared, and you’re looking for answers. Maybe it’s for you, or maybe it’s for someone you care about.

Doing preliminary research about addiction, drug addict personality traits, or inpatient addiction rehab is an excellent place to start. This article could be an awakening for those who are lost or looking for direction. Learn about addictive personality traits here before it’s too late.

What Are The Most Common Addictive Personality Traits?

Analyzing your behavior can tell you a lot about your likelihood of becoming an addict. Having certain characteristics does not automatically put you on the road to addiction, but being armed with this knowledge can help you gameplan to avoid future dependencies


There are multiple layers of lying when it comes to addiction. Not only will users lie to others, but they will also lie to themselves. They will convince themselves that they are not an addict, and have full control of the substance, and “can quit anytime they want to.” 

The deeper the addiction, the more they will defend their actions with lies. They lie to others and double-down on the lies in order to maintain the current lifestyle that they are dependent upon. 


An addict can manipulate and take advantage of the people they love or care about in order to get money or barter items to fulfill their needs. They exploit the unconditional love from parents or siblings and consistently break promises, hurting those closest to them. 

Breaking the Law

Some addiction is so powerful that the user will go to great lengths for a fix. These behaviors can include theft, physical harm, prostitution, or more extreme criminal behaviors. When this point is reached, preserving the addiction has taken priority over consequences. If the addict is in this stage, addiction treatment programs are critical.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can allow a person to be influenced by others into negative behaviors that conflict with their own core values. Addiction can begin with people of low self-esteem, seeking companionship and taking drugs to fit in with a certain crowd. Being stuck in the cycle of the highs of addiction and lows of poor self-esteem can be a difficult struggle to overcome. 

Acting on Impulse

People who consistently act without thinking or considering their actions have a high probability of having personality traits associated with addiction. Addiction is an impulsive behavior, where the effects of the immediate high take precedence over the long-term damage of the drug. This also extends to impulsive behaviors like stealing, driving while intoxicated, or violence.

The Beginning of Your Journey

These are only a few of many addictive personality traits that could lead to dependence. Take a moment to reflect upon these characteristics and think about the path you’re currently on. What changes can you make to start a more positive journey?

Battling addiction is a constant process, and you can take it one day at a time. For help, please contact the Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center at 855-224-7257. 

physical signs of alcoholism

4 Physical Signs of Alcoholism that You Shouldn’t Ignore

A recent study found that nearly 26 percent of people over the age of 18 said they binge drank in the last month.

This means 1 in every 4 adults engages in heavy alcohol consumption regularly. And because excessive drinking is fairly common, it can be hard to know the physical signs of alcoholism. Even harder to know when the signs warrant action.

Here are 4 physical signs of alcohol abuse that you shouldn’t ignore.

1. Unsteadiness/Dizziness

Alcohol can temporarily affect your coordination or balance. When a person drinks excessively, the parts of their brain that control stability can stop working.

There are two reasons that unsteadiness and dizziness are common physical signs of alcoholism to treat seriously.

First, it takes a lot of alcohol to reach the stage where this happens. It’s a signal that your loved one is binge drinking.

The second is the ramifications if this behavior continues. It can lead to falls and serious injuries, including brain injuries that result in irreversible harm. 

2. Significant Weight Loss/Gain

Alcohol consumption can definitely change a person’s body weight in either direction. 

Alcoholic beverages contain lots of calories and no real nutrition. They are void of things like vitamins and minerals, which can lead to malnutrition.

Drinking also changes appetite. For some people, it kills their desire to eat. Others binge eat at the end of the night or alongside their drinking.

Either way, severe dietary or weight changes are two of the warning signs of alcoholism. Weight gain and loss do not happen overnight, which means the person is probably drinking regularly.

3. Skin Problems

You may have heard before that the skin is the body’s largest organ. It is, and it’s also the number one thing that keeps us healthy. Your skin the body’s first line of defense from pathogens that make you sick. 

Unfortunately, alcohol abuse really damages our skin health. It dries out the skin and compromises the immune system.

Deteriorating skin health is one of the early signs of an alcohol problem. Left unchecked, it could lead to more serious issues caused by a compromised immune system later.

4. Ignoring the Physical Signs

Chronic alcohol abuse can seriously ruin a body. The skin, stomach, liver, all take a beating. Plus things like personal hygiene and self-care tend to go out the window.

It’s a sign that someone you know is abusing alcohol if these signs are being ignored, downplayed, or perhaps even laughed at. This tells you the person is either not honestly assessing the situation or avoiding the possibility that they may need addiction treatment. And that means they probably need help.

Physical Signs of Alcoholism

The physical signs of alcoholism can be hard to see in a loved one. But taking proactive measures when you notice the signs is the best way to get them healthy again.

Signs to look out for include dizziness, skin issues, weight loss, or gain. Also, take note of the person’s attitude towards these physical signs. If they aren’t taking it seriously, you may need to step in and do it for them.

Looking for a Florida Rehab Center? See if our treatment programs are a fit for the person in your life struggling with alcohol issues.

signs you might be an addict

5 Signs You Might Be an Addict

Around 10% of U.S. adults have had drug-related addiction in their lives. 

Drug addiction is not something to overlook. Everyone needs to realize how harmful it can be in middle school children all the way to adulthood. 

Drug abuse can ruin someone’s life as well as the lives around them. To avoid this from happening, you need to figure out if you have signs you might be an addict. You need to find help with addiction rehab in Florida or any drug rehab center or alcohol rehab center.

You might not realize that you have a drug problem until it’s too late. You might not realize you have signs of alcohol addiction or signs of gambling addiction. It’s important that you discover inpatient addiction rehab or addiction treatment immediately. 

Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about the signs of addiction and if you might be an addict. 

1. Family History

One of the signs you might be an addict is if your family has a history of addiction. 

In fact, studies have shown that there is an addiction gene that is linked to drug and alcohol dependence. If you have family members who also struggle with drug addiction, it could be that they hold the addiction gene.

2. A Need to Have It

Another sign that you have an addiction is if you consistently feel a compulsory need to have it. In other words, you can’t live without alcohol, drugs, or gambling, or whatever your dependence is on. 

When you can’t live without drugs, alcohol, or something else, it could be a sign that you have an addiction problem. 

3. Can’t Stop After One Time

You also might be an addict if you can’t stop after having a drink or trying the slot machine once. 

It’s nearly impossible for you to stop because you have a desire and need to have it. 

4. Binging

Since you can’t stop after one time, it can lead to binge drinking. It can lead to you overdoing it every time you drink alcohol, do drugs, or gamble. 

If you find yourself binging all the time on drugs, alcohol, or other substance-abuse problem, it could mean that you need to seek medical attention. 

5. You Have Terrible Withdrawal Symptoms

Another sign that you are an addict is if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to get off alcohol or drugs.

You may feel nausea, headaches, and sick in your stomach. Feeling this way means your body is adjusting to not having it in its system. This can cause a relapse. 

This is why it’s important to find support groups if you are a recovering addict. 

Now You Know the Signs You Might Be an Addict

When you know the signs you might be an addict, it could be time that you need help. If any of these signs appear in your life, you need to seek medical treatment. 

It’s important to seek treatment before your condition worsens. You don’t want your addiction affecting your friend and family relationships. 

If you think you are experiencing alcohol or any other substance-related addiction, you can see what we treat and how we can help you in the Florida Rehab Center. 

signs of addiction

Are You an Addict? 4 Signs of Addiction That Indicate You Need Help

At what point does casual drinking or drug use become an addiction? If you were addicted to a drug, would you know? Being aware of your own addiction and wanting to receive addiction treatment is the best way to overcome it and find sobriety. 

How can you tell if you have a drug addiction? There are several signs of addiction. In the guide below, you’ll discover a few of those signs. 

Continue reading to learn about signs of drug addiction and how to find help at a Florida rehab center. 

1. You Continue Using Prescriptions When No Longer Needed

You were once prescribed a pill by your doctor for pain relief. You took the pills as directed, but now you feel the desire or need to continue taking this medication even though you’re no longer in pain. When you must take pain medication for a long period of time, your body might become dependent on it.

You request more refills from your doctor. When your refills run out, you then begin to search for other ways to get hold of the medication. These are signs of pill addiction.  

2. The Drugs Are Your Priority 

Before you began drinking or taking drugs, what was your first priority? Was it taking care of your elderly parents or your children? Were you once focused on climbing the career ladder at your job?

Think about what your priorities are now. If you place drugs before everything else, then this is another sign that you have a drug addiction. 

3. You’ve Distanced Yourself From Loved Ones

When people become addicted to drugs, they have a tendency to distance themselves from loved ones. As the desire to use drugs becomes more intense, you might find yourself spending more time away from the people you love. Addicts can become lost in the drug-abuse world, which isn’t the lifestyle of their close friends or family. 

Whether it’s the fear of being judged or something else, it’s important not to distance yourself. You need to have a strong support system to lift you up and get you through these difficult times.

4. You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms

Have you recently tried to wean yourself off of the drug you’re addicted to? Did you experience withdrawal symptoms? The symptoms you experience can vary depending on the type of drug and your own body. 

You might experience irritability, nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremors, shaking, and more. If this sounds familiar, then it might be time to seek professional help at an addiction rehab in Florida. 

Know the Signs of Addiction and Seek Help

When you know the signs of addiction, you can then make the best decision for yourself. Once you realize you have an addiction problem, be sure to seek the help you need and deserve. 

At Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center, we’ll help you find your path to recovery. 

Be sure to browse through a list of the different treatment programs we offer and contact us to see how to get started. 

addiction treatment services

Addiction Treatment Services: What Works And How To Get Clean

Did you know that only 10% of people who experience addiction receive any treatment for it?

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment services are designed to stop people from abusing substances.

They are also there to help the suffering addict to return to normal family life and to take up roles within the workplace and the community.

But what is involved in the drug addiction treatment process, and what can someone entering a program of recovery expect?

In this article, we’ll look at addiction treatment: what works and how it can help you get clean.


The first stage that someone entering addiction treatment will go through is a process called detoxification. This deals with the physical dependency associated with the addiction.

Medical detox will allow your body time to relieve itself from all of the harmful toxins associated with drugs and alcohol. It will then allow your body to adapt to life without the substance.

Entering a Program of Recovery

Getting your body clean of drugs is only the first step in the process of recovery. You’ll then need to work on the underlying causes of your addiction and look at making the changes in your life that will help you to remain clean.

Treatment for drug addiction can be carried out as an inpatient or as an outpatient. There are a variety of different treatment options available.

Many people will enter a residential program and spend 28 days working on the problems that brought them to alcohol or drug addiction in the first place.

Following the initial four weeks, it is possible to continue the good work that you will have carried out by coming back as an outpatient.

Tips for Recovery

One of the greatest lessons that you’ll learn when you’re in recovery is what your triggers are. Identifying your triggers will help you to make the changes to avoid or minimize your exposure to these triggers.

You may work on your triggers in one-to-one therapy, or through group work as part of your recovery. Once you’ve completed the program, you’ll need to be particularly aware of your triggers and develop the ability to spot them before they become a problem.

When you are in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction, it is important to pay attention to the people that you choose to be around. If you’re spending too much time around people who are active in their addiction, it could tempt you back to your old lifestyle.

You should choose to spend your time around positive and supportive friends and family who understand the challenges that you’re facing.

Other recovering addicts may also be a good source of support, and you may be able to share coping strategies with one another.

Making Use of Addiction Treatment Services

Entering into addiction treatment services can be daunting; however, this important first step could be one of the most positive things you can do in the fight against your addiction.

Addiction takes hard work to break; however, with the support of Pathways, you could get clean and stay clean.

Get in touch today to find out more about our recovery and rehab programs.

myths about addiction

Common Myths About Addiction That Could Sabotage Your Recovery Process

About one in five Americans aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in 2017. More than 67,000 died from a drug overdose in 2018. But why is it so difficult to quit drugs in the first place?

Almost everything people think they know about addiction is wrong.

For example, willpower alone isn’t enough to quit drugs or alcohol. Many addicts who believe they can stop anytime end up being caught in a vicious cycle.

The myths about addiction abound on the Internet and in magazines. These misconceptions can hurt your chances of recovery and even make things worse.

If you or a loved one is planning to enter rehab, it’s important to know fact from fiction. Below you’ll find some common misconceptions about addiction and how they can affect your life.

Let’s dive in!

Addiction Only Affects Weak People

Anyone, regardless of age, social status, or mental health, can become addicted to drugs and alcohol. This condition does not discriminate.

Young people, for example, may take drugs to fit in, feel better, or cope with strong emotions, such as stress and anger. In fact, stressful early life experiences are a major contributing factor to addiction.

A business professional, on the other hand, may reach for drugs or alcohol to cope with heavy workloads. Stressful life events can be a trigger too.

You Can Quit Anytime

It’s not uncommon for those who do drugs to quit for months at a time. The same goes for heavy drinkers.

Unfortunately, anyone can relapse after months or even years of abstinence.

You can manage addiction with counseling and medication, but you cannot cure it. That means there is always a chance of relapse.

The risk is even higher for those who don’t seek treatment.

Prescription Drugs Are Safe

Opioid painkillers and other prescription meds are just as addictive as illicit drugs. Although these medications are highly controlled, they carry serious side effects and have potential for abuse. 

About one-third of those who take opioid drugs for pain relief will end up misusing them. Some transition to heroin later on.

You Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Seek Treatment

Many addicts are not unaware of the problem they’re facing and seek treatment when it’s already too late.

High-functioning alcoholics, for example, may continue to perform well in their careers and have normal lives.

Although they have a higher alcohol tolerance than most people, they can still develop health problems related to their addiction.

These individuals experience the same effects of alcoholism as anyone else. They just don’t show it.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wait until your life is a mess to get help. The sooner you seek treatment, the greater your chances of recovery.

Dispelling the Myths about Addiction

Addiction is a sneaky disease that affects everyone differently. Some drugs affect the brain in subtle ways, and it can take years to realize the harm they caused.

The best thing you can do is to reach for help as soon as possible.

At Pathways Florida, we offer both residential and outpatient care. Our approach is tailored to each patient and may involve the use of medications, counseling, or medical detox.

Remember — it’s never too late to overcome your addiction. Get in touch with us to discuss your needs and see how we can help!