Category: Drug Addiction

how to get off fentanyl

How to Get Off Fentanyl: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Into Recovery

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that is known to have a high risk of addiction and kills over 30,000 people per year. Statistics have been on a steady incline since the drug was developed in 1959.

Are you or someone you know addicted to this deadly opioid? Act now, as there is no time to waste with such a serious addiction. If you want to know how to get off fentanyl, read on and reach out! 

How to Get Off Fentanyl

The pharmaceutical drug fentanyl is a highly addictive painkiller that is stronger than morphine. One may get addicted to fentanyl after being prescribed it or trying it illegally. The addiction is serious and often requires professional help at a Florida rehab center.

Street names include friend and dance fever. When prescribed by a doctor, fentanyl comes as a lozenge, patch, or given as a shot for extreme pain typically after surgery. When fentanyl is bought on the street it can come in a wider variety of forms such as pills. powders, and mixed with other drugs such as heroin, MDMA, or cocaine.

Signs of Addiction

There are many ways that drug addiction can show itself such as taking pharmaceuticals more often than recommended by a doctor and when you do not need them. Needing a larger dose than recommended to “feel” it. Pushing away friends and family who may not approve of a habit, and isolating oneself to avoid them noticing the addiction.

Addiction is not always obvious from the outside and can be a painful reality for the abuser and those close to them to face. Fentanyl abuse shows itself in more obvious ways than other addictions because of the inability to control cravings. Physical signs of a fentanyl addiction may include sweating, small pupils, anxiety, constipation, rapid weight gain, and shallow breathing.

Cutting Ties and Changing Habits

Drug addictions link everyday activities with the thoughts and/or actions of getting high. Certain experiences, smells, sounds, and even times of day can be triggers for wanting to take more.

A large part of going through recovery is learning how to change habits and deal with triggers. Talking about the addiction and having a support system will help to form new healthy habits and stick to them.

Steps of Recovery

There are 12 basic steps to recovery, here are a few of those steps:

  • Acknowledgment that there is a problem
  • Acceptance of yourself
  • Educating yourself
  • Detoxing the body
  • Starting recovery treatment
  • Continuous aftercare

Withdrawl from fentanyl can be very uncomfortable, just as with any other opioid addiction treatment. After 1-2 weeks, withdrawal symptoms begin to fade, and the body/mind can begin to recover.

Types of Treatment

Immediate treatment is available by going to the emergency room at any hospital. Recovery treatment facilities are also there to help at any time of day. The type of treatment that an opioid addict receives at a treatment facility may depend on the individual and the severity of the addiction. 

Treatments can range from medical detox to residential therapies, inpatient addiction treatment, and extended programs. The length of treatment programs ranges anywhere from a few weeks to a month, with extended care up to several months.  

Get Help

Living with serious drug addiction is tough, but there are people that can help. Learning how to get off fentanyl is just 12 steps away.

Pathways Florida Treatment and Recovery Center can help you or your loved one get on a better path. Call today.

drug addiction rates

The Surprising Drug Addiction Rates Within The LGBTQIA+ Community

It’s no secret that the LGBTQIA+ community faces many challenges that other communities do not. The social difficulties that sexual minorities face can seem insurmountable.

So it’s no surprise that drug addiction rates would be affected by these circumstances. In fact, sexual minorities are twice as vulnerable to drug abuse when compared to heterosexual individuals.

Why is this the case? Read on to learn more about the drug addiction crisis facing the LGBTQIA+ community, and why it’s there in the first place.

Why Do People Abuse Drugs?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists four major reasons that people take drugs: to feel good, to feel better, to do better, and to fit in.

Even if someone’s first drug use is voluntary, substance abuse can quickly spiral out of control until the individual no longer has the self-control to abstain from drug usage. This tipping point will differ for every individual, as it is often tied to risk factors like upbringing, social skills, availability of substances, and poverty.

The LGBTQ+ Community and Drug Addiction Rates

When you apply these concepts to the LGBTQ+ community, the higher addiction rates start to make a lot of sense.

Many LGBT folks suffer from serious discrimination, harassment, violence, and alienation from their communities. It’s no surprise, then, that individuals might use substances as a way to feel good about themselves or better about their situation. In other circumstances, drugs may be used to numb the pain that social stigma can cause.

Other LGBT people may use drugs to cope with feelings of social confinement. When someone isn’t able to be themselves, they may turn to substance abuse to help them cope.

LGBTQ+ Comorbidity

It’s common for individuals with substance abuse problems to also be suffering from other mental health disorders. These can range from anger issues to anxiety disorders to OCD to clinical depression.

Comorbidity rates are even higher in LGBTQ+ communities, likely due to the intense prejudice and social stigma that members of the LGBTQ+ community face.

What Can Be Done?

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, there are programs to help you recover.

Many programs are even specifically geared towards members of high-risk drug addiction demographics like the LGBTQ+ community. These programs are equipped to deal with many of the underlying problems that cause drug abuse in LGBTQ+ individuals.

To be more specific, these centers are focused on family problems, dealing with homophobia/transphobia, self-acceptance, violence against LGBTQ+ individuals, and feelings of alienation or isolation from society.

Before choosing a rehabilitation facility, make sure to ask the right questions to find a center that’s right for you.

How You Can Help

It’s easy to come across misinformation when it comes to drug addiction rates. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself and find reliable resources to learn from.

While support from friends and family certainly helps, sometimes affected individuals need to seek help from licensed professionals. As a friend or family member, you can help most by giving them the support and encouragement they need to speak to a professional.

If someone you know is slipping into drug abuse, don’t wait. To learn more about drug abuse and how you can help others (or get help for yourself), check out our other blog posts.

Staging an Intervention

Staging an Intervention: 5 Ways To Do It Right

Addiction is a real problem, that transcends geographical location, financial status, and other characteristics. In fact, studies show that a billion people smoke tobacco regularly, 240 million find themselves addicted to alcohol, and close to 20 million use harder drugs. 

Staging an intervention is the best thing you can do if someone in your life struggles with addiction. However, you need to know the right steps for putting together an intervention that accomplishes the goal. 

Use the tips below so that you’re able to plan and execute an intervention that works. 

1. Know the Object, Boundaries, and Ultimatums 

When someone in your life is dealing with substance abuse, it’s important that you get as specific as possible in helping them recover. 

Instead of simply wanting them to stop using or “get better” you need to know exactly what type of help they need, and what those steps involve.

For the intervention, you will need to let them know how they’re hurting themselves and others, provide an option for them to get the help that they need, and have boundaries and ultimatums in place if they decline. 

When your loved one knows that you’re offering a sound ultimatum, it removes you as an enabler and puts the ball in their court to choose. 

2. Get the Help of the Right People

The most important thing you can do is get help from the friends and family members that care the most about them. 

When you have a solid intervention team, you’ll find more success. Be sure that everyone’s heart and minds are in the right place, and that no one involved has any vendettas or ulterior motives. 

3. Find the Right Time to Hold the Intervention

Unfortunately, people don’t get better until they’re ready to. 

This sometimes means that an intervention won’t be effective until your partner’s problem is serious enough to want to change. A well-timed intervention is incredibly important, so make sure that you remain mindful of the warning signs. 

4. Plan For Any and All Obstacles

The planning that you put into staging an intervention will go a long way. 

You not only need to know what you’re going to say but should also plan for obstacles. You need to be prepared for your loved one to refuse, get emotional and even lash out. 

When you have an idea about what you are in for, it’s easier to plan around these problems. 

5. Have Professional Help Ready to Go

Finally, make sure that you also have the assistance of some professionals that can offer your loved one help. 

What’s more, be prepared to put your loved one in the hands of this help immediately. Having an intervention and then letting your loved one sit and think about it for months is a guaranteed way for the plans to fall through. 

Be sure that you’re prepared to move forward with the next steps as soon as your loved one accepts. 

Put Your Best Foot Forward When Staging an Intervention

When staging an intervention, you need to follow these tips. 

Take the time to plan it out accordingly to give your loved one the help they need. From there, give them access to the medical detox that will help. 

common drug

You’re Not Alone: The Most Common Drug Addictions People Seek Treatment For

The scariest thing about addiction is that it can affect anyone you know — and you may not even know it. Each year, millions of people, both adolescent, and adult succumb to addiction.

Whether you’re hoping to help a loved one get on the road to recovery or you’re looking for a better life for yourself, learning the facts is the first step toward healthier, addiction-free living.

Here are the most common drug addictions people seek treatment for.


Many people don’t think that alcohol qualifies as a drug. Yet according to traditional definitions, it indeed fits in the category.

Miriam-Webster defines a drug as, “a substance other than food intended to affect the structure or function of the body.”

Though alcohol is the most common drug in terms of social acceptance, its abuse isn’t any less dangerous.

An estimated 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related fatalities, including alcohol poisoning. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, that makes it the third greatest leading cause of death in the entire country.

Don’t let societal permissibility fool you, frequent alcohol use can kill.


It’s impossible to turn on the news without hearing a story about another fatal opioid overdose. In fact, few drugs have seen a rise as sharp as that of opioids.

While many health experts are left scratching their heads, things are so bad that opioid addiction has become a full-blown epidemic.

An estimated 46 people die each day due to opioid abuse each day, and trends show no signs of a change.

Perhaps the worst aspect of the crisis is that most opioid addictions don’t start by choice. Many common painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, feature the highly-addictive chemicals.


Before we go any further, we feel it’s important to note that marijuana use in and of itself isn’t altogether bad.

In fact, speaking from a medical standpoint, marijuana isn’t without its benefits. Proper usage can aid with inflammation, anxiety, and even some cancers.

Yet most marijuana use isn’t for medicinal purposes and can lead to overconsumption, thus causing a disruption in the user’s life. In fact, marijuana use is so common that it qualifies as the most common drug.


With a basis in the South American coca plant, cocaine is one of the most addictive stimulants on earth.

Cocaine use can make users feel extreme sensations of euphoria and rushes of energy, only to cause them to crash moments later. Cocaine is so addictive that a few experiences with the drug are enough to cause addiction.

And once a drug user becomes addicted to cocaine, things only get worse.

Soon, the addict will find that they need more cocaine to feel even a fraction of the high they felt before. They’re also likely to experience severe bouts of depression, paranoia, and respiratory issues.

A Common Drug Is Dangerous All The Same

These substances cause the most common drug addiction issues, ruining the lives of thousands each year.

If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction, consider your treatment options.

And if you’re the loved one of an addict, don’t forget that we offer support groups to help you learn how to help and love your addict through this tough time.

Drug Abuse in American Workers is on the Rise

The Wall Street Journal published an article stating that after more than 24 years of decreasing rates, drug abuse is on the rise. The article states that Quest Labs, who provides employment drug testing nationally, has seen an increase from 3.7% to 3.9% in positive employment drug tests. While the number is small, the main concern is that there is an increase.

Related Blog: PJ in the News and the Dangers of Heroin

The most commonly detected drug is marijuana, followed by amphetamines, OxyContin, benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone.

While a positive drug test does not indicate that someone has a drug addiction, it could be the first warning sign that an individual is struggling with drugs.

Pathways Florida provides residential treatment programs for adults who have substance use disorders. For more information, call 855-349-5988.

What is the 28-day Program and What Does it Cost?

Traditionally, in the substance abuse treatment world, insurance providers have paid for 28 days of treatment in a residential setting. With this in mind, most of the treatment centers have patterned their programs to best fit the needs of the clients within this time frame.

Related Blog: How Can I Ask My Family to Help Pay for My Addiction Treatment?

Pathways Florida is a 28-day residential treatment program. The full rate is $9,600 and Pathways is contracted with many insurance providers (For a full list, click here). Clients are responsible for co-pays.

During the course of this 28-day program, clients receive individual and group counseling, learn about addiction, deal with any underlying factors that may have led to substance abuse, learn about their triggers and develop a relapse prevention strategy and become established in local 12-Step support group meetings.

For more information, please call 855-349-5988.

Why Investing in Addiction Treatment is Worth it- Part 2

Substance abuse leads to many problems within a community. Issues can range from crime, accidents and injuries as well as death. Many communities across the country have made commitments to fund substance abuse treatment centers in hopes of reducing issues that stem from drug addiction.

Related Blog: Why Investing in Addiction Treatment is Worth it- Part 1

Here are some facts and stats:

  1. Substance abuse is often the primary reason why children are removed from the custody of their parents. Think about it, how many news reports have you heard about children being taken from a home where drugs were found inside, where children were found home alone because the parents were out buying/using drugs, not to mention the deplorable conditions where these children are often found? The act of taking a child from their parents involves multiple community/state agencies ranging from DCF, to foster care to the legal system where custody issues are heard. Who pays for this? Taxpayers.
  2. In 2008, 65% of Florida prison inmates were identified as needing treatment for substance abuse, which cost the state $2.4 billion that year in crime. This figure includes the cost for law enforcement, jails, the judicial system and incarceration or court-mandated treatment, probation and/or parole. Other things factored in include losses to the victim (theft, etc.) and medical expenses if the individual caused others to suffer injuries during the commission of the crime. Who pays for this? You do through your tax dollars and insurance premiums.
  3. Each hour in Florida, one person loses their life due to alcohol and/or drug use. Annually, $7.2 billion is spent due to traffic accidents. The annual cost of hospital stays due to drug abuse related situations and illnesses cost $103 million. Who pays for this? You do through tax dollars and insurance premiums.

In total, a study published in 2009 showed that each year in Florida, all of the negative consequences of alcohol and drug abuse cost $43.7 billion.

Treatment is less expensive and more effective than incarceration. Treatment keeps families together or allows for the opportunity of reunification. Treatment reduces the amount of time, money and energy spent on drug-related medical expenses. Treatment saves lives. If you are wondering if your investment to pay for treatment for a family member is worthwhile, the answer is yes, yes, yes. Without treatment, your family member could be one of these statistics.

Pathways Florida provides a comprehensive 28-day residential substance abuse treatment program.  Compassionate, caring counselors at Pathways are trained in the latest evidence-based techniques and will work with you to develop a treatment and aftercare plan that works. For more information, please call 855-349-5988.

What Should I Do If I Have a Sponsor and I’m Still Using?

There are many answers to this question and other questions need to be asked before giving a blanket answer.

1 – How is your relationship with your sponsor? – Do you feel that you receive the support you need? Are you able to speak comfortably with your sponsor? If you have answered no to these questions, the solution may be to look for a different sponsor.

Related Blog: Why Recovery Meetings Alone May Not be Working

2 – Are you attending 12-Step meetings and if so, do you engage and participate with these meetings? The best sponsors in the world can lead by example, but can’t force you to live a life of recovery. If you truly want a life of recovery, you need to engage in the recovery process.

3 – Is your drug/alcohol use a relapse post treatment, or did you by-pass the treatment route and go straight to attending meetings and securing a sponsor? While this works for some, for others, treatment provides a better understanding of how addiction works and a better understanding of why you may have begun using to start. Often, a certain life event or series of events will trigger the initial use. For example, many people self-medicate by using illegal substances because they have other underlying issues. Some drink/drug to forget traumas or other negativity in their lives.

Pathways Florida provides a comprehensive 28-day residential substance abuse treatment program. Compassionate, caring counselors at Pathways are trained in the latest evidence-based techniques and will work with you to develop a treatment and aftercare plan that works. For more information, please call 855-349-5988.

Addiction and Family

Most people think of addiction as the problem of an individual. In reality, it is a problem that affects an entire family. The disease of addiction causes individuals to do things that they’d have never dreamed of doing before their addiction began, including stealing from friends or family members, lying and other manipulative behaviors.

Related Blog: The Effect of Addiction in My Family

A parent of an addict spoke of sleeping with his wallet under his pillow so his son would not steal money from him in the middle of the night.

A spouse of an addict opened a new bank account, restricting his wife’s access to the account so she could not spend money earmarked to pay the family bills on drugs or alcohol.

A parent loans adult child money to pay rent because the child has fallen on hard times and can’t find a new job. The parent does not realize that the hard times were caused by showing up at work under the influence, or maybe not showing up at all.

Valuables are placed in a safe inside the home or possibly safe deposit boxes are rented at a local bank with the hope of keeping these items out of the hands of a family member who would sell these items for drugs.

Children are pulled from their parent’s custody and placed with a family member or in the foster system because of signs of neglect, which traces back to the parent’s substance abuse problem.

When someone is an addict, their only goal in life is to obtain the next high and they will lie, cheat and steal if necessary to find the means to get drugs or alcohol.

Don’t let substance abuse ruin your family. If you have a member who is abusing drugs or alcohol, help is available at Pathways. For more information about our residential treatment programs, call 855-349-5988.

Why Will Pathways be Able to Help Me When Others Have Failed?

A question we commonly hear from the individuals seeking treatment, families seeking treatment for a loved one and even the general public is why do you think you can help when this individual has failed in recovery in the past?

There are several factors that come into play when answering this question. Understanding the disease of addiction and that relapse is commonly part of the disease helps. Still, that doesn’t provide confidence when you are seeking help.

Related Blog: Choosing Recovery Often Means Choosing A Healthy Lifestyle

1 – Addiction is a chronic, manageable disease. Much like diabetes and hypertension, the person with the disease is tasked with managing the disease, working through the checklists of things you can and cannot do on a daily basis to make sure there are not issues. Part of the Pathways program is working out relapse prevention plans so that if someone is at risk of a relapse, they have steps to take in hopes of diffusing the situation.

A program graduate once said, “I had a bad day, so I had a drink, but I never solved my problem. The next day was bad, so I drank more. Soon, I had so many problems that were never resolved and spent all my time drinking to avoid them.” What this man learned during his time in the program was that
avoiding your problems and drinking to forget them will not make them go away. This was his relapse trigger. Upon completing the program, he knew he had to face his problems as they came rather than turning the bottle. He knew who to contact and the support groups available should he be tempted to drink rather than face his issues.

In addition to teaching relapse prevention techniques during treatment, Pathways also offers a weekly aftercare meeting for those who have completed the program. Staying in touch and engaged with the program helps many stay focused on their recovery.

2 – Another key to reaching a point of a long lasting recovery is dealing with any underlying issues that may have led to substance abuse. While these issues can be as unique as the clients we treat, in many cases, bringing these into the conversation and learning coping mechanisms to find a resolution for the challenges is liberating for our clients. People outside the addiction generally do not understand the burden many of our clients carry as they begin their substance abuse. Our clients have been the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse, witnesses to catastrophic events, or have suffered losses in their lives. One client relayed the story that she had been drinking for more than 20 years. In her early 20’s, she was pregnant and had a miscarriage. Though she tried several more times, she was never able to conceive a child. Her life’s dream was to be a mother. She found comfort in drinking. Her family never understood the deep damage and pain the miscarriage caused for this client. It wasn’t until she sought treatment that she began to understand why she was drinking and addressing the pain that this miscarriage caused so many years ago.

3 – The compassionate Pathways staff members do not care if this is your first time in treatment or your 21st time in treatment. You will be shown the same respect and dignity as every other client. It does not matter if you have tried and failed; the Pathways staff will design a treatment plan that will help you get back on the right track.

If you or a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, contact Pathways to learn more about our residential treatment programs. Call 855-349-5988 for more information.