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5 Barriers That Stop Men from Seeking Rehab and How to Overcome Them

barriers for men in addiction treatmentBoth men and women struggle with addiction and alcoholism, but statistics show that men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and struggle with a substance use disorder than women. However, women are more likely to seek treatment earlier than men.[1]

There are many barriers that stop men from seeking addiction treatment and getting the help that they need. Here are 5 barriers for men struggling with addiction and how to overcome them.

1. He is the Breadwinner and Bears Financial Responsibility for His Family

In houses where the man is the primary financial provider, a man who is struggling with addiction may avoid getting professional help because he feels as though he won’t be able to provide for his family while in treatment.

Data reported by CNBC in March 2022 estimate that 64% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Families who depend on a man as the sole breadwinner may be unable to miss a paycheck without forgoing things like food, electricity, or gas. This places a lot of pressure on many men struggling with addiction, and it may stop them from seeking rehab.

The solution? Many men can benefit from an outpatient rehab program or a nighttime IOP. These flexible addiction treatment programs can be scheduled during hours outside of work, allowing men to keep their job while going to rehab.

2. His Friends Drink and Party, So He Thinks He Can, Too

Drinking alcohol is a huge part of American culture. It is often found at social events like BBQs, weddings, festivals, parties, and other gatherings. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 59,1% of men ages 18 and older drank in the last month.[2]

If a man has a problem with alcohol, but his friends and family like to drink and party, he may not recognize that he has a problem. Or, he may be hesitant to seek help because he thinks that if he gets sober, he will no longer fit in with the people around him.

It’s important to reassure loved ones that you would rather them be sober and healthy than struggling with an addiction just to fit in. Let them know you will still love them even if they get sober.

3. He is Embarrassed About His Addiction and Doesn’t Want to Seem “Weak”

Society places a lot of pressure on men to be “masculine” or “strong.” This has caused men to feel as though personal difficulties such as difficulty coping with mental illness or controlling substance abuse are signs of weakness. Unfortunately, this notion only furthers the stigma that men face when it comes to addiction. Because a man may not want to be perceived as weak, he may feel shame and embarrassment about his addiction, stopping him from seeking treatment.

4. He is in Denial About Having a Drug or Alcohol Problem in the First Place

The fears of appearing weak or unmasculine or being unable to care for one’s family can push a man into denial. He may begin denying that he has a problem with drugs or alcohol altogether, or downplaying the nature of his problem. He may use excuses like, “it’s not that bad,” or, “I have everything under control and can stop whenever I want,” but when push comes to shove, he ends up choosing drugs or alcohol over the things in life that are more important.

If a man is in denial and refuses to get help, it may be time to stage an addiction intervention. Interventions are extremely effective processes that help people recognize the gravity of their situation and the importance of seeking treatment.

5. He is Fearful of Being Vulnerable Around Others

Toxic masculinity is real and often prevents men from seeking the mental and behavioral support they need. A man may recognize that he has an addiction and even agree to go to rehab, but once he gets there, he may shut down and be reluctant to express his feelings, thoughts, and past behaviors with a counselor and his peers. This refusal to become vulnerable and honest can prevent true healing because therapy and recovery require honesty and transparency.

Overcoming this barrier is up to the man himself, but two things that can help are finding a therapist that he trusts or participating in a gender-specific program that is uniquely designed for men.

Overcoming the Barriers that Men Face in Addiction Treatment

Many of the barriers that stop men from seeking rehab can be overcome with a phone call or visit with an addiction specialist. For example, the qualified team at Woburn Wellness understands how difficult it can be to ask for help as well as the concerns people have when it comes to treatment. They aim to educate prospective patients about the disease of addiction, what rehab is like, and what it takes to stay in recovery.

Addiction isn’t something to be ashamed about, and seeking treatment doesn’t have to be something that derails your life. Addiction is a disease–not a weakness or moral failing. With the right treatment and personalized care, anyone can recover.

Find Help Now

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s time to explore the options that are available to know. Call Woburn Wellness today to speak with an admissions counselor about starting treatment.



How Can I Help a Loved One Who Left Rehab Against Medical Advice (AMA)

helping someone who left rehab against medical adviceMaking the decision to enter addiction treatment is never easy. However, it is the best decision someone can make for themselves. While addiction treatment can save lives, sometimes the things that go along with it become overwhelming for a person who isn’t ready. This is why some people leave rehab early and against medical advice (AMA).

Almost every treatment center has patients that leave AMA at some point. Unfortunately, when a patient leaves rehab early, they are at extreme risk of relapsing.

This can be especially dangerous for individuals who attempt to use the same amount of substances that they did during their addiction, as their body has no tolerance built up. As a result, this puts people at an increased risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

If your loved one has left rehab against medical advice, you may be wondering how you can help them. While you cannot force them to go back to addiction treatment, there are some things you can do to push them in the right direction.

Why Do People Leave Rehab Against Medical Advice (AMA)?

There are a variety of reasons that your loved one may choose to leave rehab against medical advice. First, let’s explain exactly what it means to leave AMA. Leaving against medical advice means that your loved one signed themselves out of rehab before finishing their program, going against the advice of their doctors.

The most common reason your loved one may choose to leave rehab early is that they didn’t want to go to treatment in the first place. Many people give in to the desires of their loved ones, rather than going to an addiction treatment facility out of their own desires to get sober. Once treatment begins to get difficult, this causes them to give up.

Another reason they may leave rehab early is that they cannot handle their withdrawal symptoms. This is especially common for people who experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which are symptoms that last long after the normal timeline of withdrawal. They begin to believe that leaving rehab will provide them with relief, as they will be able to continue using substances to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Other reasons your loved one may choose to leave rehab AMA include:

  • Denial
  • Being homesick
  • Worrying about losing their job
  • Overconfidence in sobriety
  • Being afraid to face their past traumas
  • Fear of dealing with emotions without the help of substances

How Can I Help Someone Who Left Rehab AMA?

Helping your loved one after they leave treatment early can be difficult, especially if they are in denial about their need for help. However, there are some ways that you can motivate them to give sobriety another shot.

Here are a few ways you can help someone who left rehab against medical advice.

Remind Them Why They Went to Rehab

The first thing you should do is attempt to remind them of the reasons they attended rehab in the first place. However, it is important for you to stay calm and supportive, rather than being accusatory and causing them to become defensive or shut down.

Ways to remind your loved one why they went to rehab in the first place:

  • Telling them about all of the consequences their addiction has caused them
  • Setting boundaries regarding their substance abuse and sticking to them
  • Emotionally appealing to them by telling them how their addiction has affected you
  • Reminding them that you are there for them no matter what and you just want to see them happy and safe

Contact Their Treatment Center

It is important for you to contact their treatment center to let them know how your loved one is doing. While the treatment center cannot force your loved one to return to treatment, they can reach out to them.

Additionally, they can give you advice on tactics that have worked for your loved one during treatment. This can help you find creative ways to convince your loved one to return to their recovery program.

Practice Self-Care

It is extremely important for you to continue practicing your own self-care techniques during this time. Watching a loved one leave rehab AMA is never easy and it is probably causing you a high level of stress and worry. If you are not feeling healthy, it will be difficult for you to help your loved one.

Additionally, continuing to practice self-care during tough times sets a great example for your loved one. This is especially true if your loved one left treatment because it got difficult for them. Showing them that it is okay to need a little extra help could motivate them to return to their recovery program.

Consider an Intervention

Lastly, if you cannot convince your loved one to attend treatment on your own, it may be time to consider an intervention. Interventions are family meetings facilitated by an addiction expert with the goal of convincing your loved one to go to rehab.

When your loved one leaves rehab AMA, they are at an increased risk of relapsing and overdosing. Hosting an intervention could prevent them from relapsing and motivate them to give recovery another shot.

Finding Help for Addiction and Alcoholism

Addiction and alcoholism are chronic and progressive diseases, meaning relapses are common. If your loved one has relapsed, it is important that they return to treatment as soon as possible. While convincing them to attend treatment can be difficult, it is worth it.

Contact Woburn Addiction Treatment Center today for more information on our addiction and alcoholism treatment programs.

5 Benefits of Addiction Treatment With Vivitrol

doctor discussing the benefits of VivitrolVivitrol is a monthly injection of naltrexone that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat addictions to opioids and alcohol. It can only be used after detox and once you are no longer physically dependent on alcohol or opioids. Vivitrol is most effective when combined with behavioral therapy and counseling–a comprehensive treatment approach known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

Vivitrol may not be right for anyone, but it is an extremely useful medication that can promote sobriety in those struggling with addiction. Here are 5 of the most important benefits of using Vivitrol in addiction treatment.

1. Vivitrol Reduces Cravings for Opioids and Alcohol

Vivitrol contains naltrexone, an opioid antagonist medication that binds to and blocks opioid receptors. The binding process tricks the brain into thinking it has opioids in the system, thereby reducing opioid cravings. The blocking mechanism prevents other opioids from being able to attach to opioid receptors.[1] In other words, if you take an opioid while on naltrexone, you won’t feel the euphoric effects of the opioid. This can reduce the desire to use opioids.

When it comes to treating alcohol, naltrexone helps regulate brain function and restore healthy chemical balances which can reduce alcohol cravings.[2]

Cravings are a major obstacle that you must overcome in recovery, but some people need a little extra help dealing with cravings while they take the time to recover. This is where Vivitrol comes into play. Vivitrol minimizes cravings while you participate in therapy and other holistic healing activities that encourage sobriety.

2. There are Very Few Side Effects and Risks

Treatment medications like Suboxone, methadone, and Antabuse all come with a long list of side effects. Although Vivitrol can cause side effects too, the ones it does cause are usually mild and they subside within a couple of days or weeks after receiving the injection.

The most common side effects are injection site reactions including redness, itching, swelling, and irritation. These side effects are normal with any kind of injection–even vaccines. Other common side effects include:[3]

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite

Many people have no noticeable side effects whatsoever.

3. There is No Risk of Abuse or Addiction When Using Vivitrol

Vivitrol is the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder that is not habit-forming. Other medications like buprenorphine and methadone, while effective in treating opioid addiction, can lead to a physical dependency. Even people who take buprenorphine or methadone as prescribed may experience some withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication.

This is not the case with Vivitrol.

Naltrexone does not have addictive properties. It does not provide feelings of euphoria and it is not physically addictive. You can stop taking Vivitrol without experiencing any symptoms of withdrawal. It is also only administered in a medical office, eliminating any possibility of diversion.

Because you can’t abuse or get addicted to Vivitrol, it is a very popular treatment option for those seeking recovery.

4. A Monthly Injection is Easier to Keep Up With Than a Daily Pill

People who struggle with substance use disorders or mental health conditions typically have poorer rates of medication adherence than the general population.[4,5] Remembering to take a pill every day may sound easy, but it is just as easy to forget. Forgetting to take a daily medication can make the medication ineffective or cause sudden withdrawal symptoms.

However, with Vivitrol, you don’t have to worry about adhering to a daily medication schedule. Vivitrol is administered once every 28-30 days in a medical office, so all you have to worry about is making it to your monthly appointment. This makes Vivitrol a preferable option for people who struggle with taking daily medications.

5. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) With Vivitrol Can Improve Treatment Outcomes

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), medication-assisted treatment can improve treatment retention and completion rates. It can also reduce the risk for relapse since medications alleviate cravings and MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually-tailored approach.[6]

Overall, using Vivitrol as part of your treatment program may improve treatment outcomes. While the injection helps you cope with cravings, you can focus 100% of your energy on your therapy sessions. This will help you get better faster.



Experience the Benefits of Vivitrol at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

The medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program at Woburn Wellness is committed to helping patients achieve a sober, independent lifestyle. If you or a loved one are interested in the Vivitrol shot or starting addiction treatment, contact a team member today. We’re available 24 hours a day to take your call, verify your insurance, and help you begin your recovery journey.



Is A Rehab Center Near Me Better Than One That is Far Away?

should you go to a rehab near you or one that is far awayMaking the decision to attend addiction treatment is one of the most important choices you will ever make. However, choosing which rehab program to attend can be a challenge. This is especially true when you consider the options of attending a rehab close to home or traveling to one out-of-state.

While staying close to home sounds nice, you may be worried about privacy or being near the people, places, and things that remind you of your drug abuse. On the other hand, traveling for rehab means paying extra for travel expenses, losing access to family support, and being in an unfamiliar place.

While choosing where to attend treatment can be difficult, there are a few tips that will help make the decision easier.

Reasons to Choose a Rehab Near You

When you are trying to decide if you want to attend a rehab program in your area, there are a few things you should consider.

Do you have a network of support? Are you on probation that requires you to stay in town? If so, choosing a rehab near you may be your best bet.

Let’s take a look at the top reasons you should choose a rehab center that is close to home.

Family Support

Being able to be near your family members is a huge perk of choosing a rehab near you. If you have a supportive family, they can offer you the love and support you need to succeed in your recovery.

Additionally, many rehab programs offer family therapy sessions. These can be extremely beneficial to the addiction treatment process, as your family has been impacted by your addiction as well. This can offer you and your family members the healing you all need to recover successfully.

According to a study, “Families are significantly impacted by addictions and family involvement in treatment can reduce the harms and can also improve treatment entry, treatment completion and treatment outcomes for the individual coping with an addiction.”[1]

Travel Expenses

Another thing to consider is travel expenses. If you chose a rehab far away, you would have to pay for more than just the program. The cost of a flight could make a huge difference in the overall price of your addiction treatment journey.

If you are paying for addiction treatment out of pocket, the cost could become extremely hefty. Adding travel expenses to the overall cost could hurt your wallet.

Legal Restrictions

Are you legally restricted from traveling? Maybe you are on probation and are required to attend a treatment center that is close to home. While it is possible to receive an exception for travel in the case of obtaining addiction treatment, staying in your area might be the best route to take.

Additionally, part of your probation might require the facility to coordinate with your probation officer. This is much easier for all parties if the treatment center is local to the probation office.


Rehab can be extremely expensive, with some programs exceeding $10,000. Of course, insurance covers most addiction treatment programs. However, some insurance plans only cover local options, so this is something you should consider.

Before deciding whether you are going to stay close to home or travel for rehab, contact your insurance company. They can tell you if they cover out-of-state programs or not. If your insurance company doesn’t cover programs that aren’t local, you should stay close to home.

Who Should Choose a Rehab Far Away?

While there are many benefits to staying close to home while attending substance abuse treatment, this isn’t the best option for everyone. Some people would benefit more from traveling out of state for addiction treatment.

If you do not have a supportive family at home or are concerned about being so close to the people, places, and things that remind you of your addiction, you should consider traveling for rehab. This can provide you with the distance you need to fully focus on recovering from substance abuse.

Additionally, you might be worried about privacy issues when it comes to attending a rehab near you. If you are concerned that you could run into someone you know while you are in treatment for your substance abuse, choosing a rehab far away could offer you a higher level of privacy.

Lastly, there may not be any good rehab programs in your area. If you don’t live in one of the states with a lot of treatment options, traveling might be a good choice. Overall, it is important to choose the best program possible – even if that means traveling out of state.

Find a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center Near You

Whether you are traveling for rehab or attending a program close to home, choosing to go to addiction treatment is one of the best choices you can make for yourself.

Woburn Addiction Treatment Center is one of the top-rated programs in Massachusetts. For more information on our cutting-edge addiction treatment techniques and high level of care, contact us today.



What Treatment Programs Can Help Me Stay Sober After Detox?

stay sober after detoxMaking the decision to get sober isn’t easy, but it is the best decision you can make for yourself, your family, and other loved ones. However, you don’t get sober overnight. Many people are under the impression that they can go to a detox center, get through withdrawals, then go back to their daily lives, but this doesn’t work for most people. Detox alone cannot cure or treat addiction–it simply prepares you for treatment and beginning life in recovery.

So, how exactly do you stay sober after detox? Thankfully, there are several treatment options and aftercare solutions that can support you along the way.

Staying Sober After Detox With a Continuum of Care

Detox only helps you get through symptoms of withdrawal and stabilize your body. While this is an important part of recovery, it doesn’t pave the way for long-term sobriety. Instead, you can learn how to stay sober by participating in a full continuum of care in addiction treatment after detox. A continuum of addiction care often consists of:

Day Treatment

Day treatment, also known as partial hospitalization or PHP, is an addiction treatment option that offers 24/7 support and sober housing. It is similar to inpatient rehab, but patients have more flexibility in the evenings and on the weekends. Day treatment typically involves 25 hours of counseling per week spread across 5 days a week. This is the most intensive treatment option offered at Woburn Wellness and is ideal for those who have just completed detox.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP is the next type of addiction treatment program that can help you stay sober after detox. IOP is a step down from day treatment but it is more intensive and time-demanding than a standard outpatient program. Treatment consists of 3.5-hour appointments that are divided up into two sessions up to five days a week. IOP can help you adjust to living independently after day treatment while encouraging structure, support, and accountability.

Outpatient Program (OP)

Outpatient rehab is a less intensive option that allows you to continue treatment while getting back to work, school, or family. This level of care is meant to support you and help you adjust to living in sobriety without constant supervision. A major focus of outpatient rehab is relapse prevention as it aims to help you practice healthy coping skills and utilize your local resources to stay sober.

Staying Sober After Detox and Rehab With Aftercare

Detox heals your body and rehab helps heal your mind, but your recovery also depends on the actions you take after rehab to maintain your sobriety. Of course, learning how to navigate early recovery isn’t always easy, but there are aftercare programs available to help. Popular aftercare programs that can help you stay sober after detox and rehab are:

Continued Counseling

You can expect to spend a lot of time in therapy during rehab, but there is nothing wrong with continuing therapy afterward. Many addiction treatment centers have counselors who offer continued therapy sessions to patients who want them. You can also seek your own therapist and start fresh with someone new who may have an alternative perspective.

Whichever option you choose, continued substance abuse counseling can help you stay on track, level minded, and accountable in your recovery. If you begin veering down the wrong path, your counselor can help you get back on track.

Recovery Coaching

Another popular form of aftercare is recovery coaching, sometimes called “sober coaching.” A recovery coach is someone who has experience working with people struggling with addiction or someone who is in recovery themselves. A recovery coach is not a counselor or therapist. They are similar to a life coach but specialize in all things recovery.

You may meet with your recovery coach on a weekly or biweekly basis to discuss your week, your progress, and any concerns you may have. A recovery coach can:

  • Give you tips and advice
  • Help you find local meetings and other resources
  • Help you develop a resume and search for a job
  • Make suggestions as to how you can overcome obstacles
  • Inspire you with their own stories, experiences, and insight
  • Help you create a schedule that is productive and healthy

12-Step Meetings and Fellowship

One of the most widely used recovery programs is the 12-Steps. 12-Step meetings are hosted by members of 12-Step fellowships like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and others. During meetings, members discuss their experiences with addiction and alcoholism as well as how the 12-Steps have helped them stay sober. This is a great way to develop a sober support system and maintain motivation to stay sober.

Sober Living

Sober living homes are drug-and-alcohol-free homes where residents live in early recovery. These homes have strict rules, randomized drug testing, and a structured environment. Staying in a sober living home after detox and rehab can help you adjust to life in sobriety while living in supportive housing among other sober individuals.

Staying Sober With Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we offer a full continuum of care that can support you in your recovery journey and help you stay sober after detox. To get started, call and speak with an admissions coordinator. A team member will verify your insurance, learn about your situation, and help you find a local detox program. Then, we will help you make a seamless transition to one of our day treatment or outpatient rehab programs.

Don’t wait another minute. Call now to get the help you deserve.

How Effective is Addiction Rehab and Is It Worth the Cost?

is rehab worth the costLiving with addiction can cost you more than just money. Abusing drugs and alcohol can rob you of memories, opportunities, relationships, and health. If you live with addiction, you may face life-altering legal or financial trouble or severe consequences to your mental and physical well-being.

High-quality, comprehensive addiction treatment can give you the skills and support to recover from addiction and embrace a fulfilling lifestyle. Many people face barriers to getting treatment. Some may worry about taking time away from work or family. Some may have concerns about their friends and family. But two of the biggest concerns about seeking addiction treatment are how to pay for it and if rehab really works.

Before starting treatment, you may wonder if rehab is worth the cost. Understanding the cost of addiction treatment and the likelihood of success can help you make better choices about your care.

What is the Cost of Rehab?

There are many different types of addiction treatment programs in several levels of care. Before beginning a program, an addiction specialist or doctor will assess you to determine which level of care you require. The cost of your treatment will depend on the types of treatments and services you have.

Generally, outpatient rehab can cost in the range of $5,000 to $15,000. Inpatient programs lasting 30 days range from $15,000-$30,000.

Several other factors may affect the cost of addiction treatment. These include:

  • Level of care: Outpatient treatment generally costs less than inpatient or residential programs.
  • Location: The number of centers, the availability of services, and the cost of providing care contribute to the difference in price by location.
  • Services: The type of services offered can affect the cost of addiction treatment. Facilities that offer mental health or medical services or other complementary therapies may be more expensive than basic programs that do not.
  • Length of stay: Shorter treatment programs typically cost less than longer stays.
  • Special needs: Medical care, mental illness, pregnancy, and other factors can impact the cost of treatment.
  • Amenities: Luxury rehab facilities may charge more for their programs than basic rehab centers. Amenities like gourmet food, yoga classes, and acupuncture can be nice to have during treatment but may substantially increase the cost of treatment.

In many cases, mental health and addiction treatment is covered by insurance. Your insurance will likely cover additional treatment-related expenses, such as medical and mental health exams, medications, and individual therapy sessions. It is essential to check the details of your plan to determine what services will be covered and the amount you may be responsible for after completing treatment. An admissions coordinator at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment can verify your insurance and help you understand your coverage and out-of-pocket costs.

Does Rehab Work?

It is nearly impossible to determine the actual success rates of people who have completed addiction treatment. It’s estimated that of the millions of people who need addiction treatment, only about 10% get the help they need.[1] We do not have wide-ranging data about people’s lives after treatment.

The data we do have is based on:

  • How many people complete a treatment program
  • The rates of sobriety immediately after treatment
  • Clients’ self-report
  • Internal studies

Generally, research suggests that about 1 in 3 people who complete rehab stay sober for the long term, but nearly 50% of people who complete rehab experience at least one relapse during recovery.[2] According to NPR, 3 in every 4 people who struggle with addiction eventually recover.[3]

Without addiction treatment, your chance of recovery is low. If you live with substance abuse or addiction, you must take steps to get the treatment you need for the best chance at lifelong recovery.

Is Rehab Worth the Cost?

While rehab may seem expensive, it is important to examine the true costs of addiction. Addiction to drugs can easily cost a person upwards of $1,000 a month. In one year, you can spend as much money on drugs as you would to go to rehab and get sober.

The price of staying addicted can’t be measured in dollars alone. You must also consider lost jobs, strained relationships, forgotten memories, and the damage communities suffer when people live with addiction.

Deciding to start addiction treatment is a life-changing one. It may also be life-saving. The longer you live with untreated addiction, the more the addiction can take from you. Make the decision to get the compassionate treatment you need today.

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment’s Rehab Success Rates

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we strive to provide the highest quality comprehensive addiction treatment services available. The programs we offer are immersive, incorporating aspects of 12-step programs and focusing on our clients’ overall health and well-being. When people choose Woburn Addiction Treatment, they receive thoughtful, holistic treatment for their mental and physical health as they work to recover from addiction.

Highly-trained, compassionate specialists offer services in smaller groups than in other treatment centers. This allows our clients to have the care and attention they need and deserve during treatment. Our dedication to our clients’ success shows in the numbers: our program completion rate is near twice the national average.

Get Help Now

Contact the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today for information about starting a treatment program.



Can Rehab Centers Treat Addiction to Multiple Drugs?

addiction to multiple drugsWhen a person develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can negatively impact every aspect of their life. Their mental and physical health and relationships can suffer. Some people may face severe legal or financial trouble.

But what about people who are addicted to multiple drugs? Living with an addiction to more than one drug can cause severe harm and make it more difficult for people to get comprehensive treatment.

While treating multiple drug addictions may be more complicated, finding the right treatment for people living with this condition is crucial. Learning more about polysubstance abuse and your treatment options may help you make better choices about your future.

Can Someone Become Addicted to Multiple Drugs?

Polysubstance Abuse

A person can develop an addiction to more than one substance. Addiction to multiple drugs–also called polysubstance abuse– is different than accidentally mixing drugs. For instance, drinking alcohol while taking a prescription antidepressant without understanding the risk of combining the two is not an example of polysubstance abuse.

Polydrug abuse often involves abusing one substance and then taking other substances to enhance its effects. When you use multiple drugs, the adverse side effects of both drugs are amplified. People with an addiction to multiple drugs often experience unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Poor coordination
  • Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties

While many of these side effects are merely unpleasant, the dangers of polysubstance abuse can be severe.

Some of the most common combinations of drugs involved in polysubstance abuse are:

  • Cocaine and alcohol: When combined, the amount of cocaine in a person’s system can increase by up to 30%. Cocaine may decrease the effects of alcohol, prompting people to drink more than they intended to.
  • Opioids and cocaine: A person who uses cocaine may take opioid drugs to reduce its effects when they want to calm down or sleep. Since these drugs have opposing effects, users may take greater amounts of the drugs. This puts users at increased risk of an overdose.
  • Opioids and benzodiazepines: Both drugs depress the central nervous system (CNS) and can lead to slow, shallow breathing. Users are at risk of brain damage due to decreased oxygen levels.
  • Prescription and illicit drugs: Mixing prescription medications and illicit substances can have devastating consequences on your health. Many prescription medications work similarly to illicit drugs, making it dangerous to combine them.

Simply mixing over-the-counter medications and illicit or prescription medications can have dangerous effects. You must talk to your healthcare provider about all medications or drugs you are taking.

Complications of Addiction to Multiple Drugs

Abusing multiple drugs can result in short and long-term effects on your health and mental wellbeing. When multiple drugs interact in your system, you may experience heightened side effects of each substance. While these may be uncomfortable, polysubstance abuse can also lead to serious health complications.

One of the most significant short-term issues is changes to your metabolism. When two drugs interact, it can change your metabolism and increase the concentration of the drugs in your bloodstream. In some cases, this increase in concentration can be immediately life-threatening.

Some of the long-term effects of polysubstance abuse are:

  • Hepatitis C: This serious condition is more common among people who abuse alcohol and injectable drugs.
  • Myocardial infarction: Heart attacks are more common in people who smoke and abuse cocaine.
  • Mental illness: Polysubstance abuse can worsen symptoms of a mental illness, and mental illness can worsen a person’s substance abuse.

Addiction to multiple drugs can have a profound, negative effect on your ability to function in your daily life. It can cause significant–sometimes life-threatening–complications in your health and emotional wellbeing.

The Risk of Polysubstance Overdose

People with an addiction to multiple drugs are at increased risk of dying from an overdose. In some cases, if a person abuses more than one drug, they may unintentionally take too much of a substance and suffer a life-threatening overdose. This is because some substances mask the effects of other drugs. If a person takes more than one substance, they may not feel the effects of the drugs. In response, they may take more of the substances to try to feel the desired effect. This can lead to an accidental overdose.

While naloxone can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, it is not effective at treating an overdose of other drugs.

Treatment for Polysubstance Abuse

If you live with polysubstance abuse, you must receive comprehensive addiction treatment to overcome it. In most cases of addiction to multiple drugs, the first step of treatment must be a medically-supervised detox program.

Detox programs are offered in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Because withdrawal from multiple drugs can be unpredictable, most addiction treatment specialists recommend that people with polysubstance abuse participate in an inpatient detox.

Because addiction is a complex issue with physical, emotional, and environmental roots, attending a comprehensive addiction treatment program after detox is important. A rehab program will address more than just the physical aspects of addiction.

It is crucial for people with polysubstance addiction to receive tailored rehab services, including mental health care, support, education, and medications that can meet their needs. The staff must adjust a person’s plan to adapt to their changing requirements during the course of treatment.

After completing rehab, people must continue to stay engaged and committed to sobriety for the rest of their life.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one are addicted to multiple drugs, it’s important to find a detox and rehab program that you can be honest with. Doctors need to know if you are detoxing from multiple drugs so they can treat your symptoms accordingly.

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we can connect you to a local detox center where you can detox safely before transitioning to one of our Massachusetts substance abuse treatment programs. For information about the polysubstance abuse treatment plans, reach out to the specialists at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment today.

The Different Types of Therapy Used in Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment

types of therapy used in addiction treatmentCo-occurring disorders are mental health conditions accompanied by a substance use disorder. For example, an individual may have co-occurring bipolar disorder and opioid addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 9.2 million American adults suffer from co-occurring disorders.[1]

People who struggle with co-occurring disorders must receive dual diagnosis addiction treatment to experience recovery. This form of treatment is referred to as “integrative care” as it combines addiction and mental health treatment. Unfortunately, 52.5% of people with both a substance use disorder and mental health condition never receive the help they need.[2]

Dual diagnosis addiction treatment centers use a variety of evidence-based therapies to facilitate individualized care for those struggling with co-occurring disorders. Some of the most widely used therapies in dual diagnosis treatment include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of therapy used in dual diagnosis recovery facilities. This type of therapy focuses on changing harmful patterns of thinking under the belief that this will lead to a more positive behavioral pattern.

The core principles of CBT include:

  • Mental health problems and addictions are partially built on flawed patterns of thought.
  • Damaging patterns of behavior are also to blame for mental health and addiction issues.
  • Patients struggling with co-occurring disorders can be taught effective coping strategies, leading to a lessening of symptoms and a healthier life.

CBT works to change patterns of thought through mindfulness techniques and radical acceptance. Mindfulness is characterized by being in the present, preventing patients from focusing on the past or future. Additionally, radical acceptance teaches patients to accept their current situation no matter how much they dislike it, allowing them to begin focusing on managing their thoughts and emotions.

This type of therapy treats the following mental health conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was modeled after CBT, however, it expands on this method of therapy by including specific skill sets and techniques to replace negative coping mechanisms with positive ones.[3]

While DBT was mainly created to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), it has been shown to improve the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Bulimia
  • Substance use disorders
  • Psychotic disorders

Dialectical behavior therapy in dual diagnosis addiction treatment works by promoting:

  • Core mindfulness skills that teach patients how to live in the present rather than the past or future
  • Interpersonal effectiveness skills that teach patients how to maintain relationships, maintain self-esteem, and communicate their needs effectively.
  • Emotional regulation skills that decrease the intensity of negative emotions
  • Distress tolerance skills that teach patients to get through stressful situations without worsening the issue through negative coping mechanisms

Assertive Community Therapy (ACT)

Assertive community therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based therapy for co-occurring disorders. It helps patients by providing highly specialized and individualized care through 24/7 access to social workers, nurses, psychologists, drug abuse counselors, and case managers.

The main goal of ACT is to minimize or completely remove severe symptoms of mental health conditions and substance use disorders while improving the overall quality of life. This form of treatment is intended to create a community of support where patients can thrive.

Assertive community therapy is used in the treatment of all co-occurring disorders, but it is most commonly used in patients with severe mental health conditions.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of treatment that helps patients learn to confront their fears. When someone avoids their fears over a long period, it worsens and solidifies that fear. For example, if an individual is afraid of being in public spaces and avoids this, their isolation will make going into public spaces much more fear-inducing.

Exposure therapy involves a therapist creating a safe environment where the patient can interact with the things they fear and avoid. This is done with complete attention to the mental safety and comfortability of the patient to avoid furthering their fears. Over time, this exposure will lessen their fear and anxiety, leading to recovery from their phobias.

This type of therapy is traditionally intended to treat the following conditions:

In a dual diagnosis setting, treating anxiety disorders with exposure therapy could cause a significant improvement in their substance use disorder as well. Once their symptoms of fear and anxiety are lessened, so are the symptoms of their addiction.

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care considers the effect that trauma has on the individual as a whole, including their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This type of therapy assumes that every patient has experienced some form of trauma in their lives. In a dual diagnosis setting, the trauma would have contributed to their substance abuse.

Trauma-informed care operates under 5 core principles, which include:

  • Safety – ensuring physical and emotional safety
  • Choice – the patient has a choice and control over their treatment
  • Collaboration – the patient and therapist works together to create a therapy plan
  • Trustworthiness – respectful professional boundaries are maintained in the patient to therapist relationship
  • Empowerment – emphasizes emotional validation, affirmations, and empowerment through skill-building

This type of therapy helps patients recover from past traumas and the effects it has had on their lives. This allows them to focus on their recovery from addiction and mental health issues without the heavy burden of past trauma weighing them down.

Evidence-Based Therapy and Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment at Woburn Wellness

If you or a loved one suffer from comorbid mental health and addiction issues, dual diagnosis treatment may be right for you. At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we place an emphasis on the importance of evidence-based therapies and positive behavioral changes.

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you regain control of your life.



What is Rehab Like for Veterans Struggling with Addiction?

rehab for veteransAddiction negatively impacts the lives of millions of people in this country. While anyone can develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol, certain risk factors make it more likely for a person to live with the condition. Things like trauma, chronic stress, and physical pain can increase the likelihood that someone will abuse substances.

Veterans often experience emotional and physical pain related to their time in service. These factors make it more likely for veterans to develop an addiction. Many veterans also face additional challenges that make getting help more difficult. They may struggle with unemployment, have physical challenges, or have a mental illness.

Estimates show that nearly 1 in 15 veterans struggles with substance use disorder (SUD).[1] Similarly, more than 2 out of 10 veterans who have PTSD also have SUD and nearly 1 in every 3 veterans who seek treatment for SUD have PTSD.[2]

Our nation’s veterans deserve comprehensive, specialized treatment for addiction. One of the first steps in providing this help to our country’s brave men and women is to understand the issue of veterans and addiction and what rehab is like for veterans.

If you or a loved one require addiction treatment or support during any stage of recovery, reach out to the staff at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment for information about our substance abuse treatment.

Understanding Why People Begin to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol

Because of the stigma around addiction in this country, many people wrongly believe that substance abuse and addiction are a choice or a character flaw. However, addiction is a complex condition and often has deep roots. It is critical to understand why people begin to abuse drugs and alcohol so they can receive effective addiction treatment.

There are many reasons a person may begin to use drugs or alcohol. In some cases, they may experiment with recreational or social substance use. In others, they may receive a prescription for an addictive medication and succumb to its addictive effects.

Another common reason people may begin to abuse substances is to cover up the symptoms of a mental health condition. When people use drugs or alcohol to numb emotional pain, it is called “self-medicating”. Self-medicating is common among people with untreated mental illnesses or who do not have the coping skills to handle challenging emotions.

Many substances, including alcohol, provide temporary relief from pain, stress, or anxiety. But the consequences of prolonged substance abuse can be devastating–and sometimes life-threatening. Many people who self-medicate with drugs and alcohol go on to develop an addiction that will harm their physical and emotional wellbeing, strain their relationships, and put them at risk of legal or financial trouble.

The Connection Between Veterans and Addiction

Life in the military can come with high levels of stress, whether or not a person is in combat. Veterans are more likely to experience trauma than members of the general population. Many return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by witnessing a life-threatening or otherwise terrifying event.[3] The symptoms of PTSD can significantly disrupt a person’s life. Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Intrusive, upsetting thoughts
  • Flashbacks (re-living the event in your mind)
  • Nightmares
  • Strong emotional reactions to triggers
  • Hypervigilance
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Aggression or irritability
  • Severe guilt and shame

Living with untreated PTSD may have a profound effect on a person’s ability to function in their daily life. People with PTSD often have low self-esteem, have difficulty forming healthy relationships, feel detached, numb, or depressed, and can experience poor sleep, memory, and concentration.

Symptoms of PTSD can vary in presentation and intensity over time. In many cases, people may try to avoid anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. Some veterans turn to drugs and alcohol to escape from the emotional pain of trauma and to function in their daily lives.

Over time, using substances to numb emotions can lead to physical dependence or addiction. Many people who have served require specialized addiction treatment for veterans to recover.

What is Addiction Treatment Like for Veterans?

Addiction treatment is offered in many settings and several levels of care. A doctor or addiction specialist will perform an evaluation, including questions about a person’s mental health, physical health, and treatment history, to determine which type of program a person needs.

Rehab for veterans addresses the complex aspects of addiction by treating not just the physical aspects of addiction, but the emotional, behavioral, and environmental aspects, too.

Many people require a medically-supervised detox program before beginning treatment. During detox, medical and mental health professionals monitor and treat people for uncomfortable–or dangerous–withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, a person will begin a treatment program that utilizes a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies. These include:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Trauma-informed care and PTSD therapies
  • Education
  • Holistic therapies like exercise, nutrition counseling, mindfulness practice, and other treatments can support healing

Rehab for veterans must also treat the symptoms of chronic stress and trauma. Special treatments for PTSD can be used alongside other addiction treatment activities to help veterans recover from both conditions.

Many people with PTSD experience symptoms for an extended period, so aftercare planning is essential for veterans. Aftercare plans can include individual therapy, support groups, ongoing mental health treatment, and other activities that keep veterans engaged in their recovery for life.

Find a Rehab for Veterans in Massachusetts Today

The dual diagnosis programming at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is uniquely qualified to address co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder in veterans. We offer an array of substance use disorder treatment options including IOP, trauma-informed care, and counseling for co-occurring conditions. Comprehensive, integrated care can help service members overcome their addiction and get back on their feet.

If you or someone you love requires addiction treatment, reach out to the caring specialists at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment today.



Can a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program Help Me Stop Relapsing?

medication-assisted treatment for relapse preventionThe primary goal of addiction treatment is to overcome addiction and learn the skills you need to achieve long-term sobriety. Unfortunately, addiction is a disease that is of chronic nature. That means some people relapse, or make a return to drug or alcohol use after an attempt to stop. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60% of people who seek substance abuse treatment relapse at some point in their recovery journey.[1]

Effective treatment looks for ways to minimize relapse risk among patients. The best way to do this is by providing a highly individualized approach that helps you identify and treat the root causes of your addiction. However, focusing on personal recovery and inner healing isn’t easy when you’re distracted by symptoms of withdrawal or incessant drug cravings.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based approach to addiction treatment that can help you prevent relapse and stay engaged in your recovery program.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment, commonly referred to as “MAT,” is an integrated approach to addiction treatment that combines behavioral therapy, counseling, and FDA-approved medications. This comprehensive approach to recovery is thought to provide “whole-patient” healing to patients struggling with opioid or alcohol dependency.[2]

A medication-assisted treatment program typically consists of:

  • Medically-supervised detox
  • Inpatient and/or outpatient rehab
  • Group and individual therapies
  • Medication management
  • Long-term aftercare

Medications used to treat opioid use disorder include:[3]

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone

These medications are used during detox to alleviate symptoms of opioid withdrawal. They are also used during treatment and aftercare to help individuals cope with opioid drug cravings. By reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, medication-assisted treatment can help you prevent relapse.

Medications used to treat alcohol use disorder include:[3]

  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Campral
  • Disulfiram

These medications are used after detox is complete to help restore normal brain chemistry and reduce the severity of alcohol cravings. In doing so, these medications can help minimize relapse risk.

Understanding the Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

By treating symptoms of withdrawal as well as cravings, MAT offers many benefits to eligible patients. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the benefits of MAT include:[2]

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
  • Reduce the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse

How Can Medication-Assisted Treatment Help Prevent Relapse?

The primary reason why MAT is so popular is that it improves treatment outcomes and prevents relapse. In fact, MAT can help you avoid relapse during all three stages of your recovery.

During Detox

The top cause of relapse during detox is the intolerable withdrawal symptoms that occur when you first stop using drugs and alcohol. A combination of flu-like physical symptoms and agonizing psychological symptoms can make you crave drugs or alcohol so badly that you give in to your cravings and get high. But, when you are taking MAT medications that reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and alleviate cravings, you have a major advantage.

Medications like buprenorphine or methadone can help you avoid the worst of your withdrawal symptoms so that you are more likely to stay in detox and stick to your recovery program.

In Treatment

Even after the physical symptoms of withdrawal wear off, you may still struggle with psychological symptoms of restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and cravings. These symptoms can make it difficult to stay motivated and focused in your recovery. However, the medications used in MAT are clinically proven to increase treatment retention. This is because medications can reduce the intensity and frequency of drug cravings while also helping to stabilize your brain chemistry so you feel better faster.

After Rehab

By the time you finish rehab, you will be equipped with a variety of coping skills and local resources that can help you prevent relapse, but that doesn’t mean cravings won’t occur every now and again. Continuing to take MAT medications in a medication management program can help keep your cravings at bay so you can focus on what’s most important–staying sober. Not only that, but regular visits with your doctor to discuss your treatment will help hold you accountable.

Prevent Relapse With Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Massachusetts

Although relapse is sometimes considered a normal part of recovery, it can be very dangerous and even deadly in some circumstances. By reducing the risk for relapse and improving treatment outcomes, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can offer you a way out of addiction that works the first time.

If you or someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of addiction of any type or severity. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is available to help. Our comprehensive program of clinical care is unlike any other in the area – we consistently provide the highest quality of care available in a highly personalized and integrated treatment setting.

Don’t wait any longer to get the life-changing help you deserve. Call now to speak with a team member about getting started.