Please click here for our latest coronavirus (COVID-19) response and preparedness.

A Day in Rehab: What is it Like to Attend Drug Rehab in the Boston Area?

what to expect during a day in rehabAddiction is a serious condition that will only worsen over time without professional treatment. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from drug use disorders never receive the help they need. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 10% of Americans have suffered from drug addiction at some point in their lives and 75% of them never received addiction treatment services.

Oftentimes, people avoid going to rehab because they are afraid of the unknown. They could be afraid of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, opening up in therapy, or simply being unaware of how the treatment process works. Because of this, people need to be aware of what a typical day in drug rehab is like.

If you are suffering from drug addiction and are afraid to enter addiction rehab, knowing what it’s like to attend drug rehab in the Boston area can motivate you to get the help you need.

What to Expect During a Typical Day in a Boston Drug Rehab Center

When you have too much free time during the early stages of your sobriety, you are more prone to experiencing drug cravings, putting you at risk of relapsing. As a result, drug rehab programs have tight schedules to keep you busy and focused on recovery. Typically, your day will include three healthy and balanced meals, several therapy and counseling sessions, as well as some personal time to allow you to decompress.

A normal day in rehab typically involves:


Most drug and alcohol rehab centers have a set time for their clients to wake up and start their day. Staff members may come to your room to ensure that you are waking up and getting ready for your day. This could include showering, getting dressed, and making your bed.

Depending on the specific program, you might have a little free time in the morning to engage in self-care or a healthy activity. For example, you might start your mornings with a yoga class, a workout, or a meditation group. These activities are types of holistic therapy that can help you set a positive tone for the rest of your day.

After breakfast, you will attend a therapy session or a counseling group. You may meet one-on-one with a therapist 1-2 times a week, while you attend group counseling sessions multiple times a day.


After your morning therapy session, you may receive some personal time before going to lunch. Many people use this time to engage in their personal interests. This could mean going for a walk with a friend, reading a book, exercising, or just relaxing.

After you eat a healthy lunch, you will go to your next therapy session of the day. If you are due for a one-on-one counseling session, you will meet with your primary therapist on your own. However, many people attend group counseling sessions in the afternoon.

If you are having a one-on-one session, you and your therapist will work on addressing the root cause of your addiction, unpacking negative thought patterns, and developing mechanisms to improve your mental health. Group counseling sessions are typically focused on a specific topic, like relapse prevention, life skills development, trauma recovery, or a co-occurring mental health condition you suffer from.


After you complete your afternoon therapy session, you will receive some more free time. You can use this time to engage in any healthy activity you would like. The best way to use your free time in rehab is by participating in activities with your peers that help you make connections with others and learn healthy communication skills.

After your free time, you will eat a healthy dinner. Once dinner is over, many rehab programs have designated time for outings or group activities. Usually, this only happens once a week and can include activities like going to the beach, seeing a movie, or watching a local sports game.

Once you return from the outing, you can attend a support group at your facility. These support groups tend to be 12-step meetings that come into your facility to provide you with their experience, strength, and hope. During these meetings, you have a chance to speak with others in recovery, receive and provide support to one another, and learn new relapse-prevention skills.

After the meeting is over, you will return to your room to get ready for bed. During this time, you should engage in self-care to help you decompress from the busy day, such as taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or working on your therapy homework.

Start Your Recovery Today

If you or a loved one suffer from drug addiction, recovery is possible. Drug rehab centers in the Boston area can provide you with the support and tools you need to maintain long-term sobriety. At Woburn Wellness, we pride ourselves on providing each patient with treatment services specific to their unique needs, compassionately supporting them, and ensuring that each client is prepared to maintain sobriety outside of the facility.

For more information on our substance abuse treatment programs near Boston, contact Woburn Wellness today.

6 Long-Term Effects of Xanax Abuse and How a Drug Rehab Center Can Help

long term effects of Xanax abuseXanax is a brand-name medication containing the benzodiazepine drug, alprazolam. Alprazolam is the most widely prescribed and used benzodiazepine medication in the United States, with more than 48 million prescriptions dispensed each year.[1]

While Xanax is safe and effective when taken as prescribed, it carries a potential for misuse and addiction. Xanax abuse and addiction can impact the mind and body in devastating, sometimes irreversible ways. Without treatment, the long-term effects of Xanax abuse can greatly reduce your quality of life.

If you or someone you love are struggling with Xanax addiction, please speak with one of our trusted admissions counselors at Woburn Wellness about starting treatment.

6 Long-Term Effects of Xanax Abuse

Xanax is typically prescribed for short-term use because regular, extended use can be harmful to your health. Six of the most common long-term effects of Xanax misuse are:

1. Physical Dependence

If you take Xanax regularly for an extended period of time (usually longer than two weeks) your body will adapt to the presence of the drug in the system. Xanax is a benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant, so it slows down bodily functions like breathing and respiration.

When you take Xanax, your body and its receptors must work overtime to compensate for these effects. However, when you stop taking Xanax after long-term use, your receptors will continue to fire as if the drug is in your body, leading to an excited, over-stimulated state, and resulting in symptoms of withdrawal. This phenomenon is called physical dependence and withdrawal.

If you are physically dependent, you will experience symptoms of withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking Xanax. Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:[2]

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Drug cravings
  • Agitation
  • Shakiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation

Rapid Xanax discontinuation can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like psychosis, catatonia, or seizures, so it is always best to detox under close medical supervision.

2. Addiction

Physical dependence is one of the first signs of addiction. Addiction develops after long-term, repetitive, and often compulsive abuse of a substance. People who are addicted may find it impossible to control or moderate their drug use. They may place their drug use as a higher priority than more important things like school, work, or family.

3. Cognitive Issues

In the short term, a common side effect of Xanax abuse is memory loss or blackouts. However, after regular use, this side effect can become more permanent. People may start having trouble forming new memories, learning new skills, or performing academic tasks. Studies show that Xanax abuse can also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, which are conditions indicated by poor memory and thinking skills.[3]

4. Mental Health Problems

Xanax (alprazolam) produces higher levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Over time, the brain will require more and more dopamine to feel the same effects, and the receptors will become less sensitive to dopamine.

In the long term, this can lead to feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide. Long-term Xanax abuse can also increase the risk of anxiety disorders, rebound anxiety during withdrawal, and other mood disorders like bipolar disorder.

5. Liver Damage

Xanax is metabolized in the liver, but the liver can only metabolize drugs so quickly. Taking too much Xanax can overwhelm the liver and impact its ability to function to the fullest, increasing the risk of liver injury. Long-term exposure to too much Xanax causes trauma to the liver and increases the risk of liver disease and liver failure.

Fortunately, research shows that the liver can begin repairing itself after drug use is ceased.[3]

6. Cardiovascular Problems

Being a central nervous system depressant, Xanax slows down the heart rate and respiration. In extremely high doses, it can also stop breathing and cause respiratory depression, depriving the brain of oxygen and harming the brain and cardiovascular system.

After long-term use, some Xanax users report experiencing tachycardia (rapid heart rate), heart palpitations (feeling of fluttering in the heart), and other cardiovascular issues. Some studies suggest that benzodiazepine use can be a risk factor in severe cardiovascular events.[4]

Avoiding the Long-Term Effects of Xanax Abuse With Drug Rehab

The best way to avoid damage to your health from Xanax abuse is to stop using the drug. If you are addicted to Xanax, this may mean seeking professional treatment at a medical detox and recovery center.

Addiction doctors are specifically trained to supervise and treat drug withdrawal, so they can help you slowly taper off Xanax by prescribing another long-acting benzodiazepine and gradually reducing your dose. Tapering can keep you safe and comfortable during detoxification so you can avoid the dangers of withdrawal.

After detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment centers can facilitate group and individual therapy sessions that help you address your substance abuse and adopt healthy coping skills to use instead. Treatment typically involves:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Mental health counseling
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Aftercare support

The longer you stay sober, the more time your body has to heal and recover from the effects of Xanax misuse. However, staying sober is key, so it’s important to surround yourself with other sober individuals, attend support group meetings, and stay on top of your sobriety.

Find Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction Today

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we treat the whole person and their individual needs, helping individuals achieve lasting freedom from addiction. To learn about your benzodiazepine treatment options or to take the first step toward a happier, healthier life, please reach out to us today. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and help you get started.



Can I Get Help for Drug Addiction Without My Family Knowing?

can i go to rehab without my family knowingDrug and alcohol addiction can keep you from living the healthy life you choose. Living with an untreated addiction can lead to worsening consequences for your mental and physical health, safety, relationships, and future.

Getting treatment for addiction can free you from its grasp and set you on a new path toward a brighter, healthier future. In addiction treatment, you will identify and treat the underlying causes of your addiction and learn new skills to manage its symptoms and avoid relapse.

While rehab can help you recover from addiction and move forward in life, many people feel afraid to tell their families they need help. So, can you go to rehab without telling your family?

If you or someone you love needs help for a drug addiction, don’t put off treatment for another day. You don’t have to live with the burden of your addiction alone. Compassionate, effective treatment is available.

Why Do People Not Want to Tell Their Family About Going to Rehab?

There are many reasons people may not want to tell their families about going to rehab. Here are some of the most common ones.


First, there is a stigma around addiction. Many people believe that people with drug or alcohol addiction are “weak” or have somehow chosen to end up dependent on substances.

Telling your family that you have been struggling with drug addiction may make you feel vulnerable. You may worry about your family members’ reactions. Will they get angry? Feel sad? Blame you for the addiction? Fearing their reactions may keep you from opening up about your struggle with substance abuse or addiction–and it often keeps people from getting the help they need for a long time.


Shame can also keep people from reaching out when they need help with drug addiction. Substance use and addiction can cause people to feel a great deal of embarrassment. They may feel guilty about starting to use drugs in the first place or believe they should have made different decisions to avoid ending up in this place.

Guilt about past behaviors

Guilt and regret can lead to shame, which may keep you from asking for help. Substance use and addiction can lead people to do things they normally wouldn’t do. Admitting to living with addiction means being honest about your past behaviors. This can feel scary.

Fear of being a burden

Shame and guilt about addiction may make people doubt their self-worth. Many people living with addiction may know they need help but are afraid to share the burden of the condition with their families. They may live with the addiction alone because they don’t want to make their families angry, sad, or anxious.

Worry about the cost of rehab

Many people worry about the financial costs associated with addiction treatment. They may believe the financial burden is too much for their family to afford or may be afraid of asking for help paying for rehab.

People have many reasons for not wanting to tell their families about their addiction. But an untreated addiction usually gets worse. It’s vital to get the help you need–and family support can help you have better outcomes in recovery.

Can You Go to Rehab Without Your Family Knowing?

Your health information is protected under a federal law called the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act–commonly known as HIPAA. This law guarantees the confidentiality of your medical and mental health information and prevents others from accessing your medical information without your permission.

Rehab and medical facilities are guided by HIPAA in all they do, meaning every aspect of your health information–even your enrollment in their programs–will be kept strictly confidential during and after your time in treatment. This means that, yes, it may be possible for you to go to rehab without your family knowing.

Consent and Disclosure Forms

Before beginning a rehab program, you will sign consent and disclosure forms that prevent or allow your treatment team from communicating with others about your care. Some consent forms enable your team to collaborate with other providers, such as doctors or mental health professionals, while you are in rehab.

You may also choose to sign consent forms that allow your family members to contact you or talk to staff about your treatment. If you do not want your family members to be able to reach you during treatment, you may choose not to sign these forms or permit them to do so

Reasons You Should Tell Your Family About Going to Rehab

Family support can help people have better outcomes in recovery and increase their chances of staying committed to sobriety for life. Families can help people with addiction in many ways, including:

  • Holding them accountable
  • Helping with practical things like childcare, pet care, providing rides to and from appointments, and helping with daily chores
  • Offering financial support or help to manage payment plans and insurance
  • Giving emotional support
  • Connecting people to community resources to support sobriety during and after treatment ends

Having the support of your family may help you finish rehab and stay connected to people who love you. It can feel scary to ask for help, but your family may be essential to put addiction behind you.

Find Help Now

If you need help talking to your family about going to rehab, contact the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment specialists for support. We know that addiction affects everyone in a family, so we support the whole family during recovery.

Don’t wait another day for the help you need. Contact the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment admission specialists today.

The Cost of Addiction vs. The Cost of Going to Rehab

the true cost of addictionOne of the main barriers that stop people from seeking addiction treatment is the cost of rehab. It’s true that rehab can be expensive, and that many people entering treatment are not in the best financial situation. However, rehab is covered by insurance, and paying for rehab sooner rather than later can save you tremendous amounts of money in the long run.

Addiction doesn’t just cost you money, either. It can also cost you your education, career, family, romantic relationships, physical health, mental health, and more. Understanding the cost of rehab vs the cost of addiction can help you or a loved one realize why it’s so important to get the treatment you deserve.

How Much Does Rehab Cost?

The cost of drug and alcohol rehab depends on how much your insurance covers and what level of care you attend. Higher levels of care, like inpatient or residential treatment, can range anywhere from $12,000-$50,000 a month whereas outpatient programs can cost as little as $2,500-$5,000 per month.

Some or all of your treatment may be covered by your insurance provider, helping make rehab accessible no matter your financial situation. Even if you think rehab is more expensive, your addiction will be more expensive in the long run.

What is the Financial Cost of Addiction?

Although addiction is often associated with financial issues and poverty, maintaining an addiction to drugs or alcohol is actually extremely expensive. Anyone can be affected by addiction–rich or poor–but both types of people will spend a significant amount of money on their drugs or alcohol.

An alcoholic who drinks a 12-pack of beer or seltzer every day will spend more than $4,400 a year on alcohol. Someone who is addicted to heroin or cocaine can easily spend more than $100 a day on their drug use. These steep costs can cause financial troubles such as credit card debt or difficulty paying rent. Overdue credit cards can impact your credit score, and failure to pay rent can result in additional fees or eviction, making it even harder to secure housing in the future.

The cost of addiction is steep, and it costs far more to maintain your addiction than it does to get professional help.

The True Cost of Drug Addiction

Addiction is expensive, both financially and otherwise. After all, money isn’t the only valuable thing in life. The true cost of addiction comes in the form of the things you are passionate about–such as your career, relationships, and health. You can make more money, but you can’t always get the other things back.

Your Career

When addiction takes hold, buying and using drugs/alcohol becomes your top priority. People who struggle with addiction often call out of work a lot, show up late, experience a decline in productivity, or put themselves at risk of injury in the workplace.

These factors combined with the fact that substance abuse is unacceptable in the workplace often lead to job instability and job loss. If you are getting an education to go into a certain career, your addiction can prevent you from performing well academically.

Your Family and Relationships

Addiction is notorious for devastating families and harming relationships. It can lead to mistrust, resentment, and anger. It can also lead to things like divorce, custody battles, or broken relationships. When your addiction is a top priority, it is difficult to put the time and energy into fostering the relationships that mean the most to you.

Your Health

Drug and alcohol abuse can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. Substance abuse can lead to appetite changes, poor self-care, malnutrition, organ failure, certain types of cancers, increased risk of infection, and more. It can also increase your risk of developing mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. You cannot be healthy if you are consuming drugs and alcohol on a daily basis.

Your Life

More people are dying from overdose deaths and substance-related causes than ever before. In fact, the U.S. has surpassed 100,000 drug overdose deaths annually for the first time ever, and up to 95,000 people die as a result of alcohol-related causes each year.

Even if addiction doesn’t kill you, it can alter your life in devastating ways. It can lead to homelessness, legal problems, jail time, and other implications that hinder your ability to achieve happiness in life.

Regardless of the type of substance you are addicted to, addiction is deadly, and it can take your life, too, if you don’t get the help you deserve.

Rehab is Worth the Cost

In the long run, you will spend less money on addiction treatment than you would if you continued using drugs or alcohol. Money aside, addiction isn’t worth your family, your health, or your life’s accomplishments. Going to rehab means getting the opportunity to restore your career, repair your family unit, and take responsibility for your physical and mental health. If you stay sober, you will see that going to rehab is the best decision you could have made.

Start Your Recovery Today

Continuing your addiction is far more costly than getting help, and there is no better time to start your recovery than right now. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, please contact us today. One of our qualified admissions counselors can verify your insurance, assess your situation, and help you find the right treatment program for you. Call now to get started.

Why is there Stigma About Going to Rehab and How Can You Overcome Addiction Stigma?

experiencing addiction stigmaMost people are aware of the stigma that is attached to addiction. You have probably heard someone use the terms “junkie” or “crackhead” when referring to an individual who suffers from a substance use disorder. These are just small examples of how the stigma of addiction affects the way society thinks about and refers to people who struggle with addiction.

Addiction stigma stems from a misconception that addiction or alcoholism is a moral failing. Society as a whole tends to stigmatize any behavior that is considered to be out of the norm or less than desirable, which includes substance abuse, addiction, and mental health. While substance abuse should never be praised, looking at addiction as a “moral failing” makes it extremely difficult for people to feel comfortable in asking for help or even believing that they can get sober in the first place.

If you are afraid to seek help for your addiction out of fear of being stigmatized, understanding how to debunk and overcome the stigma of addiction can allow you to seek the help you need.

Understanding the Stigma of Addiction

People who suffer from addiction often deal with strong feelings of guilt and shame. This is because of the stigma that has been attached to addiction. More often than not, people who perpetuate the stigma of addiction are uneducated on substance use disorders in general.

The most common misconceptions about addiction are that individuals who abuse substances have made poor personal choices, have bad morals, and have a defect of character. While substance abuse is an unhealthy coping mechanism, it does not make you a bad person. Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that affects the way your brain works, causing you to prioritize substances over other responsibilities in your life.

Most people who suffer from addiction have a history of trauma, untreated mental illness, or genetic predispositions that made them more susceptible to addictive behaviors. In other words, addiction usually stems from experiencing adversity and not having the proper tools to overcome it.

Once addiction begins developing, changes occur in the body and the brain that make it nearly impossible to stop using drugs without professional help–even when people truly want to get sober. As a result, people with addiction should be treated like someone who is struggling with a treatable disease, rather than an individual with poor morals.

Overcoming the Addiction Stigma

Suffering from a substance use disorder is never easy. Addiction can cause behavioral changes, social isolation, poverty, increased mental health issues, and the development of physical health conditions. Professional treatment is necessary to restore your health, learn proper coping mechanisms, and improve your overall quality of life.

Unfortunately, the stigma that is attached to addiction often prevents people from seeking the help they need. If you are afraid to attend drug and alcohol rehab because you are worried about facing judgment, learning about how to overcome stigma can make it easier to ask for help.

The best ways to overcome addiction stigma include:

Educating Yourself and Others

The first thing you should do is become educated on the disease of addiction and educate your friends and family as well.

Addiction changes the way your brain works by rewiring the structure. When you abuse drugs or alcohol, the substances hack into your brain’s communication system and interfere with how cells send, receive, and interpret information. Substances cause your brain to release a surge of dopamine, which causes it to associate drugs with reward and pleasure.

Because your brain believes that reward and pleasure stem from substance abuse, it will begin craving substances, causing you to prioritize drugs and alcohol over everything else in your life. If people understood how addiction affects the brain, they wouldn’t be able to perpetuate the misconception that substance abuse is a moral failing.

Finding a Community

Another way to overcome the stigma of addiction is to find a community of like-minded people. There are plenty of addiction support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that can provide you with a safe space to discuss your addiction and recovery with others who have been in the same position as you. Seeing these people experience success and happiness in sobriety can help you understand that addiction is a disease, rather than a defect of character.

You can also find a community within a drug and alcohol rehab program. When you attend addiction treatment, you will live with other patients who are recovering from substance abuse as well. Being around individuals who are in the same position as you will help you feel less alone or alienated.

Speaking Out Against the Stigma

Once you are recovered from addiction, you can begin to help fight the stigma. By telling your story to others, people can begin to understand that the individuals suffering from addiction are not immoral or wrong. Showing them that people can recover from addiction and live successful, happy lives will begin to normalize addiction as a disease, rather than a moral failing.

If any of your friends or loved ones believe the stigmas about addiction, you can provide them with information and knowledge on the disease. Oftentimes, people are just uneducated about how substance use disorders work, causing them to believe the misconceptions they hear.

Take the First Step Toward Recovery Today

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, help is available. Living with a substance use disorder can be extremely difficult, causing a variety of adverse social, financial, and health effects, but drug and alcohol rehab centers can provide you with the support and tools you need to overcome addiction and live the life you imagined.

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment offers services corresponding to Levels of Treatment as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). ASAM Criteria are used to assist in placing individuals in the proper level of care at intake and to shift treatment per individual progress. The addiction treatment programs we provide at our treatment center near Boston, Massachusetts include Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP), and Outpatient (OP) program options.

Don’t let stigma stop you from getting the help you deserve. Call today to find the right drug and alcohol rehab program for you.

8 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Addiction Treatment Center

questions to ask an addiction treatment centerUsing drugs and alcohol can change how your brain and body work and make it challenging to stop on your own. Most people who live with substance abuse or addiction require professional treatment and ongoing support to put these conditions in the past and live the sober lifestyle they choose.

Because addiction is a complex condition, people require compassionate, comprehensive treatment that will address its physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects. But with so many addiction treatment centers out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice?

It’s hard to know what questions to ask a rehab center. This list can help you focus on what meaningful recovery will look like and ask the questions that will help you make the best choice.

8 Questions to Ask an Addiction Treatment Center

Before beginning a treatment program, you must make sure that the rehab facility can give you the treatment and support you need to meet your goals. Here are some questions to ask a rehab center staff before choosing an addiction treatment center.

1. How can this rehab center help me achieve my goals?

It’s important to consider what meaningful recovery will look like to you. No two people have the same experiences in life, addiction, or recovery. Your journey is unique–and so are your goals. Your goals may include:

  • Improving your physical health
  • Being a more present parent, partner, or friend
  • Advancing your career
  • Managing your mental health
  • Being able to make choices instead of feeling “stuck”

Thinking about short and long-term goals can help you identify your reasons for seeking treatment–and keeping these in mind can help you stay motivated when recovery feels challenging. Most importantly, learn what the program involves and how it can help you achieve those goals.

2. Does this program use evidence-based therapies?

Evidence-based therapies are treatments that are proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of addiction. These include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Education

Many programs use holistic therapies to complement evidence-based treatments. But treatment plans should consist mainly of evidence-based treatments to safely help you meet your treatment goals.

3. Do you offer the level of care I require?

Before you can begin treatment, a doctor or addiction specialist will assess your needs and recommend a level of care. There are several levels of care in addiction treatment, including:

One of the most important questions to ask a rehab center is whether they offer the type of program you need. It may be beneficial to choose a treatment facility that offers multiple levels of care so you can move into a different level of treatment as your needs change.

You may also ask about any specific treatment program preferences you have. Do you want gender-specific treatment, religious or spiritual involvement, LGBTQ+ inclusive treatment, or something else? Consider these preferences when thinking of questions to ask an addiction treatment center.

4. Do you use holistic therapies to support recovery?

While you should spend most of your treatment time engaging in evidence-based therapies, holistic therapies offer numerous benefits to people in recovery. You may participate in holistic therapies that soothe the body and mind, improve self-esteem, and boost your mood. These include:

  • Yoga
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Nature therapy
  • Art and music therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Massage

Using these holistic therapies during and after treatment can help support your overall well-being and help you find new, healthy ways to cope with stress and discomfort.

5. Do you offer dual-diagnosis treatment?

People living with mental illness and addiction require specialized treatment for both conditions. This is called dual-diagnosis treatment. Not all facilities offer this type of treatment, so it’s one of the most important questions to ask a rehab center if you need it.

6. Do you include family members in treatment plans?

Addiction impacts every aspect of a person’s life, including their families and other loved ones. Family involvement in addiction therapy has been shown to improve outcomes and can support long-term recovery.

Treatment plans that offer education, involvement, and support for the entire family unit create a better outcome for people in recovery. Communication between family members improves, people learn about the realities of addiction and recovery,  and loved ones can identify and stop enabling behaviors. These aspects can lead to an increased likelihood of lifelong recovery.

You may also want to ask how you can communicate with your family and friends during treatment. Can you make phone calls? Can your family visit you during rehab? Can you go out on day passes with them? The better you understand how you’ll stay connected with loved ones, the more confident you may feel about starting treatment.

7. Can this program help me develop healthy habits that support long-term recovery?

Some treatment centers only offer detox programs. But it is important to address not just the physical aspects of addiction but the behavioral and emotional aspects as well. Comprehensive treatment programs provide care and support for the whole person and help you develop new habits and routines that can improve your chances of staying sober for life.

It’s essential to ensure that all staff, including medical professionals, counselors, and holistic practitioners, are properly trained and licensed to provide addiction services and support.

8. Is there a focus on aftercare?

Addiction is a lifelong condition that can’t be cured. Instead, you’ll need to learn how to manage its symptoms and use healthy coping skills to avoid relapse for the rest of your life. The addiction treatment staff should help you develop an aftercare plan that will help you stay committed to recovery. Your plan may include:

  • Continuing individual therapy
  • Joining a sober living community
  • Attending 12-step meetings
  • Finding group therapy or support
  • Joining an alumni group
  • Attending sober events

The staff should refer you to the professionals, programs, and community resources you’ll need to be successful in recovery after finishing your addiction treatment program.

Get Help Now

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment offers services corresponding to Levels of Treatment as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). ASAM Criteria are used to assist placing individuals in the proper level of care at intake and to shift treatment per individual progress. The addiction treatment programs we provide at our treatment center near Boston, Massachusetts include Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Outpatient (OP) program options.

If you have questions to ask a rehab center, reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment staff today. We are happy to answer all of your questions and will support you every step of the way.

4 Ways Discharge Planning Helps Prepare You for Life After Rehab

discharge planning in addiction treatmentAddiction is a chronic and progressive disease that requires professional treatment. When you attend a substance abuse treatment program, you will participate in a variety of therapies that help you recover from the causes and effects of your addiction. While these treatments are effective in treating addiction, recovery does not end when you leave the facility.

Substance use disorders are lifelong conditions. In other words, treatment will not “cure” your addiction. This means you must continue to practice your recovery maintenance techniques for the rest of your life.

Knowing how to maintain long-term recovery outside of a facility can be difficult, as you will be dealing with new triggers and stressors. However, addiction treatment programs like Woburn Wellness provide you with discharge and aftercare planning to ensure that you are ready to tackle independent living as a sober person.

Four ways discharge planning helps you prepare for life after rehab include:

1. Learn Skills for Keeping or Obtaining Employment

One of the main struggles people face after completing addiction treatment is learning how to obtain or keep a job. Careers can be stressful, especially if you are working a job that involves long hours, customer service, or strict deadlines. When you are newly sober, the stress from working can be even more intense because you are not able to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Because obtaining and maintaining employment is a known obstacle for individuals in early recovery, discharge planning involves job skills training. At Woburn Wellness, this may include resume building, interview practicing, learning time management skills, and more. The goal of job skills training is to provide you with all of the tools and support you need to be successful in your current career or your job search.

Research shows that job skills training that leads to employment helps reduce the occurrence and severity of addiction relapse.

2. Access to Sober Living Housing Opportunities

The transition from living in a rehab facility to independent living can be extremely difficult, as addiction treatment programs offer safety, accountability, and shelter from environmental and social triggers. Sometimes, the difficulties associated with this transition can cause people to relapse. Sober living homes exist to provide safe, supportive housing for people in recovery.

Sober living is a huge aspect of the discharge planning process. Sober living programs are housing opportunities that can help ease your transition from institutional living to independent living. Sober living houses are run by staff members who have recovered from addiction and know what it takes to maintain long-term sobriety, allowing them to provide you with the support and tools you need to be successful.

Staying in a sober home can help you learn how to live a sober life outside of a treatment facility, ease your transition into independent living, and lower your risk of experiencing a relapse.

3. Find a Recovery Community You Can Rely On

Discharge planning includes encouraging the development of a recovery community. In addiction recovery, having a community that you can rely on for support and belonging is imperative for maintaining long-term sobriety. Recovery communities teach you how to enjoy sobriety, help you avoid isolation, allow you to rediscover yourself, and connect you with others who understand what you’re going through. Two popular types of recovery communities include alumni programs and 12-step fellowships.

An alumni program can provide you with the sense of community that you need. Alumni programs typically involve weekly meetings where you can hear or share your personal story of recovery. You will attend these meetings with other individuals who have completed the addiction treatment program, allowing you to continue connecting and building friendships with the people you completed treatment with.

Oftentimes, alumni programs also include monthly outings that allow you to connect with your peers by engaging in fun community activities. This could include volunteer work, attending local sports events, or getting involved in outdoor activities like hiking. Participating in these events can teach you how to have fun in sobriety and help you build healthy relationships with people in your community.

12-Step fellowships, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) bring together people in recovery so they can share their experiences, strength, and hope to help others recover. 12-Step members are encouraged to work through the 12-Steps with a sponsor.

4. Learn Vital Relapse Prevention Skills

Lastly, discharge planning always involves relapse prevention skills training. Relapse prevention skills help you learn how to navigate triggers that you may face outside of the treatment facility. This is extremely important, as it provides you with healthy coping mechanisms that are essential to avoiding addiction relapse.

Common triggers for relapse include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Anger
  • Peer pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Insomnia
  • Relationship issues
  • Witnessing substance abuse
  • Certain sights, smells, or physical settings that remind you of your addiction

Relapse prevention training will teach you how to navigate these triggers healthily, preventing you from resorting back to drug or alcohol abuse. Examples of relapse prevention skills include continued attendance of therapy or addiction support groups, healthy coping mechanisms like mindfulness meditation, and knowing when to call your sponsor for support.

Get Started at Woburn Wellness Today

If you or a loved one suffer from addiction and are interested in recovery, Woburn Wellness is here to help. Rather than only treating the symptoms of addiction, we emphasize the importance of learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and long-term sobriety. Our program can provide you with the support and tools you need to overcome addiction, address the circumstances that led to your substance abuse, and become successful in your social and work life.

Contact Woburn Wellness today to learn more about our Boston-area addiction treatment programs.

6 Consequences You May Face if Your Addiction Goes Untreated

consequences of addictionAccording to the National Institutes of Health, 10% of U.S. adults suffer from drug addiction at some point in their lives and up to 75% of these individuals never receive the treatment they need.[1]

Unfortunately, substance abuse issues are widespread, and many people struggle to accept professional help. Whatever someone’s reasoning is for avoiding addiction treatment, doing so could lead to an array of serious consequences.

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease, which means it will only continue to worsen over time. As you struggle with addiction, the substances you are abusing will begin to change your behavior, priorities, physical health, emotional stability, and overall ability to function in your daily life. In other words, leaving your addiction untreated could cause every aspect of your life to become negatively impacted by the consequences of long-term substance abuse.

Six potential consequences of leaving your addiction untreated include:

1. Social Isolation and Strained Relationships

One of the first behavioral signs of addiction is social withdrawal. While there are many reasons your addiction could cause you to socially isolate, it is usually out of fear of judgment. Staying away from your friends and family means that they won’t be able to make comments about your drug or alcohol use.

While this will allow you to abuse substances without the watchful eyes of concerned loved ones, eventually it will negatively impact you on an emotional level. Social interaction is vital for humans, as it provides connection and attachment that is necessary to your mental health. If you are actively abusing substances and not receiving any form of social interaction, your addiction will likely progress rapidly.

Even if you are not socially withdrawn during your addiction, eventually your relationships with your loved ones will become strained. While the behavioral changes that occur due to addiction are unintentional, they begin to affect the people around you. Over time, your family and friends will have to create boundaries to protect their own emotional health, which usually means they will stop interacting with you when you are not sober.

2. Legal Issues and Incarceration

When you are actively abusing substances, you tend to get mixed up in some dangerous situations. For example, if you abuse illicit drugs you have to interact with drug dealers and other drug users, putting you in situations where illegal activity is common. Additionally, being addicted to illicit substances means your likelihood of being arrested for drug possession is extremely high.

Aside from drug-related crimes, suffering from addiction puts you at risk of engaging in other illegal activities. Many addicts will do whatever it takes to obtain their drug of choice. Whether this means stealing from your loved ones or engaging in illegal money-making schemes, addiction puts you at an increased risk of legal issues and incarceration.

Prison and legal problems are real consequences of addiction for many people. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, up to 65% of the prison population in the United States suffer from addiction.[2]

3. Worsened Mental Health Issues

Oftentimes, people develop addictions to self-medicate their mental health conditions. While drugs and alcohol can temporarily numb your emotions and feelings, over time substance abuse tends to worsen symptoms of psychiatric disorders.

For example, abusing substances can cause the brain to release a rush of dopamine, making you feel happy and euphoric. However, when you do this repeatedly your brain begins to rely on the drug to cause a release of the pleasure-inducing chemical. This means that if you struggle with a condition that causes deficits in dopamine levels, continuous substance abuse could perpetuate this issue, leading to worsened symptoms.

In addition to worsened mental health issues, some substances can cause new psychiatric symptoms to occur. Stimulant drugs like methamphetamine are notorious for causing episodes of psychosis.[3] Psychosis is a serious mental health phenomenon that involves symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.

4. Severe Physical Health Complications

Long-term substance abuse of any kind can lead to direct and indirect physical health complications, many of which are severe and life-threatening.

Some of these health complications include:[4]

  • Vehicular accidents due to driving while under the influence
  • Increased risk of sexually-transmitted diseases and blood-borne diseases like HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis due to unsafe sex and needle sharing
  • Diminished immune system functioning and infections
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Respiratory issues
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Neurological issues
  • Harm to your baby if you are pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)

5. Increased Risk of Unemployment and Financial Distress

When you struggle with addiction, it can be difficult to function in your daily life. Your priorities may shift, causing obtaining and using drugs or alcohol to become your number one priority. When this happens, your performance and attendance at work tend to decline, and you may experience work-related consequences from your addiction.

According to an article on CNN, “About 1 in 6 unemployed workers are addicted to alcohol or drugs — almost twice the rate for full-time workers.”[5]

Substance abuse and addiction increase your risk of becoming unemployed. When you are not able to obtain or maintain a job, it is almost guaranteed that you will experience financial distress. And, not having enough money to afford your drug of choice often leads to illegal activity.

In other words, untreated addiction can lead to unemployment, financial distress, and eventually incarceration due to your likelihood of engaging in illegal activity to obtain the substances you are addicted to.

6. Life-Threatening Overdoses

One of the main risks of addiction is overdose. If you manage to avoid an overdose in the early stages of your substance abuse, the longer your addiction goes untreated, the more likely you are to experience one.

As your addiction progresses you will build a tolerance, causing you to take larger amounts of the substance to experience the desired effect. Eventually, this may cause you to take such a large amount of the substance that you experience a life-threatening overdose.

It is also important to note that fentanyl is currently being found in many different drugs on the street, ranging from heroin to counterfeit prescription pills. Even taking a small amount of a drug that contains fentanyl could result in a fatal overdose.[6]

Treating your addiction is extremely important because allowing it to progress could result in adverse consequences including overdoses and death.

Contact Woburn Wellness Today to Get Connected With Life-Saving Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one suffer from a substance use disorder, attending professional treatment could save your life. Leaving addiction untreated can lead to an array of social, physical, mental, emotional, financial, and legal consequences. Untreated addiction can negatively impact every aspect of your life, often ending in jail, institutions, or death.

Addiction treatment programs like Woburn Wellness will provide you with the support and tools you need to gain and maintain long-term recovery. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment offers a person-centered program that fully recognizes and adheres to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) newly established definition that recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

Contact us today for more information on how to get started.



How Will a Drug Rehab Center Help Me Create a Relapse Prevention Plan?

how to create a relapse prevention planMillions of people in the United States live with substance abuse or addiction to drugs and alcohol. Many people require treatment to overcome these conditions and to live healthy, sober lives. But even after completing treatment, 40-60% of people in addiction recovery will have at least one relapse–a return to substance abuse after a period of abstinence.[1]

A relapse can make people doubt their ability to live a sober lifestyle. Some may believe that treatment isn’t effective or that they simply aren’t ready to leave their substance use behind. They may feel that their addiction is too deeply-rooted or severe to work through.

Addiction is never “cured,” even with the best treatment. Instead, people in recovery must develop and follow an aftercare plan that includes the ongoing support and treatment needed to live without drugs and alcohol.

For most, the journey of addiction recovery is full of progress and setbacks. Learning from each setback and moving forward is the most important thing. Creating a relapse prevention plan during treatment can help you hit the ground running in recovery. Knowing how you will handle challenges and having support in place can help you avoid the pitfalls that can prevent you from staying committed to your new sober lifestyle.

What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

Prolonged substance use and addiction can change the way your brain and body function, making it almost impossible to stop using drugs without treatment. Many people experience cravings for months–or sometimes longer–after completing a treatment program. And while life in recovery is very different from life with addiction, the people, places, and situations associated with substance use still exist.

Managing life in recovery comes with its share of challenges. Having the tools and support you need to address these challenges is critical. And since addiction isn’t cured, staying engaged and committed to sobriety for the rest of your life is essential.

This is where a relapse prevention plan is helpful. A relapse prevention plan can include specific forms of support and activities that will help you stay committed to recovery. Key aspects of a relapse prevention plan include:

  • Learning the stages of relapse
  • Identifying the signs of relapse
  • Identifying relapse triggers
  • Learning ways to cope with triggers
  • Creating a plan to set into action if you think a relapse is coming

Why is a Relapse Prevention Plan Essential in Recovery?

If you’ve lived with addiction and felt its effects, you probably understand the mixed emotions that can occur during recovery. Some days, you might wake up ready to take on the world and live your best, sober life. On others, you might feel nostalgic for the days you were using drugs or wonder if you could handle it differently if you started using again.

Life in recovery can be challenging. In many ways, your life in recovery will be different than when you were actively using drugs and alcohol. But your challenges, triggers, and stressors will still be there. Without a relapse prevention plan, you are more vulnerable to relapse.

Developing a relapse prevention plan is essential when you’re thinking clearly and are most committed to your recovery. Starting your relapse prevention planning during treatment prepares you for life after rehab and gives you the best start in your new life.

How Will My Rehab Center Help Me With Relapse Prevention Planning?

Relapse prevention planning is likely to be included in your treatment plan during rehab. Your treatment team will help connect you with local support and resources and can guide you as you create your plan.

Your therapist and clinical team will help guide you through the steps of creating an effective relapse prevention plan. These include:

  1. Set goals: Decide what is important to you in your new life and what you’d like to work toward. These may be goals related to your health, relationships, work, education, or other personal needs.
  2. Identify your triggers: Work with your therapist and treatment team to identify which people, places, dates, and situations lead to cravings or threaten your progress in recovery.
  3. Think about self-care: Plan to take care of your health and overall well-being so that you can feel your best and have the energy you need to stay active in recovery. Build a healthy routine that includes time for exercise, regular nutritious meals, socialization, work, hobbies, and rest.
  4. Recognize the warning signs: Learn what happens to your body and emotions before a relapse.
  5. Develop new strategies: Learn and practice new coping skills. Improve your communication with others, learn how to dial down stress, and practice positive self-talk. Know which relapse prevention strategies work for you and when to use them.
  6. Have a list of actions you’ll take: Create an action plan of clearly-defined steps you’ll take when you’re triggered. You might call a friend or sponsor, attend a 12-step meeting, distract yourself with a hobby or exercise, or leave a triggering situation.

A rehab center’s staff can help you define your goals and outline actions to take when you feel overwhelmed. They can connect you to resources that offer the ongoing support you’ll need to manage recovery after completing your treatment program.

Find Help Now

You don’t have to manage addiction or recovery alone. At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we know that the transition from treatment to your daily routine is not an easy one and that is why relapse prevention and aftercare planning are so crucial. Your treatment team will be there to guide you throughout treatment and you will work together to come up with an aftercare and discharge plan that is best for you.

Reach out to the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment specialists today for help with relapse prevention planning or to learn about starting a treatment program.

What are Relapse Triggers and How Can Drug Rehab Help Me Deal With Them?

addiction treatment for relapse triggersWhen you are suffering from addiction, it can feel like an impossible cycle to break. Every time you feel like you might be on the right path, something happens that makes you feel like using again. The circumstances, situations, and feelings that lead you to abuse substances after a period of abstinence are known as “relapse triggers.”

While the notion of having to worry about unforeseen triggers causing you to lose progress in sobriety may be disheartening, there are plenty of ways to overcome them. When you attend a drug rehab center, you will learn tons of tips, tricks, and tools that you can use to prevent yourself from experiencing a relapse.

Understanding Relapse Triggers

There are a myriad of different situations, emotions, and experiences that can trigger your impulses to abuse substances. The first step to preventing relapse is being aware of the triggers that could affect you.

The most common relapse triggers include:

Social and Environmental Triggers

The most common triggers for relapse involve social and environmental cues that remind you of drugs or alcohol. This could include seeing a person who you used to use drugs with, walking by a street corner where you used to buy them, or just simply smelling something that reminds you of your drug of choice. These instances can cause intense cravings that put you at a high risk of relapsing when you aren’t armed with the proper coping mechanisms.

Stress and Mental Health

High levels of stress can also be a huge trigger for relapse. Even some people who do not suffer from addiction reach for a glass of wine after a stressful day of work. The difference is, your one glass of wine could quickly lead to a downward spiral of binge drinking and substance abuse.

In addition to stress, other negative emotions or untreated mental health issues can be relapse triggers. For example, suffering from anger, anxiety, depression, and even boredom may cause you to begin fantasizing about your old habits. As a result, it’s important to learn how to self-regulate your emotions and turn to sober friends in times of need.

Interpersonal Issues

Interpersonal issues such as having conflicts with your family members or friends will lead to feelings of stress, anger, or sadness. When you aren’t able to communicate with others in a healthy and productive manner, the negative emotions that arise during these conflicts could intensify, triggering a relapse.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “intrapersonal negative emotional states and interpersonal conflict situations served as triggers for more than one-half of all relapse episodes.”

Medical Issues

If you experience medical issues that cause physical pain, you may be prescribed narcotic pain medication to help manage your side effects. While taking prescribed medications for necessary medical reasons can be safe, it can also be a major trigger for relapse. When you suffer from a substance use disorder, it’s often difficult to control how much of the medication you are using, sometimes leading to relapse.

Positive Moods

While it may seem strange, positive moods can be a relapse trigger. When you are happy about something, you want to celebrate it. Before you got sober, you most likely used alcohol and drugs to enhance your happy mood while at celebratory events, like graduations, weddings, and birthdays.

How Can a Drug Rehab Center Help You Cope With Triggers?

When you attend a drug rehab center, you will learn various forms of healthy coping mechanisms. In fact, learning how to cope with triggers is one of the main things you will work on during your stay at an addiction treatment facility. This is because, more often than not, addiction develops when you are unable to cope with stressors in your life.

But how does a rehab program teach you these skills?

You will participate in several forms of therapy, from counseling groups to individual therapy and educational workshops. During therapy, your counselors will use evidence-based treatment tactics that teach you how to properly cope with emotions, avoid detrimental situations, and coach you on how to work through distressing events when you cannot avoid them.

Substance abuse treatment centers also use relapse prevention planning. Relapse prevention planning involves identifying your triggers and practicing a variety of coping tools, techniques, and self-soothing strategies that can help you overcome triggers once you leave the facility and begin living your everyday life as a sober individual.

Common aspects of a relapse prevention plan include:

  • A list of triggers that are specific to you
  • Coping mechanisms that work for you, like meditation, breathing techniques, or mindfulness
  • Continued attendance at therapy and counseling
  • Continued medication management if needed
  • A list of people you can call for support in times of need
  • Referrals to sober living housing programs
  • Alumni support groups provided by your facility
  • Recommendations on addiction support groups to attend like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery

Learn Effective Relapse Prevention Strategies At Woburn Wellness

Staying sober can be really difficult, especially when you leave a facility and begin navigating everyday life and experiencing stressors. While adjusting to sobriety can be hard, the relapse prevention skills you learn in professional drug rehab can give you a strong foundation of recovery to lean on.

If you or a loved one suffer from drug addiction and would like to begin a new way of life, Woburn Wellness is here to help. We pride ourselves on providing our patients with all of the tools and resources they need to maintain long-term recovery. Contact us today to get started.