7 Signs of Heroin Abuse and Addiction

signs of heroin abuse and addictionHeroin is a highly potent opioid drug that has no approved medicinal uses. It is an illegal drug and one of the most addictive. People who abuse heroin might snort, smoke, or inject the substance directly into their veins.[1]

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Among people aged 12 or older in 2021, 0.4% (or about 1.1 million people) reported using heroin in the past 12 months.”[2]

If you are worried that your loved one is abusing heroin, being aware of the signs of heroin abuse and addiction can help you convince them to get the help that they need. 7 common signs of heroin abuse and addiction are:

1. Social Isolation

One of the earliest signs of heroin abuse is social isolation. Most people who are abusing the drug will begin isolating themselves from their friends and family to conceal their drug use. While social isolation does not always mean your loved one is abusing heroin, it can indicate heroin addiction if it is accompanied by other signs of substance abuse.

2. Financial Issues

A heroin abuse habit can be incredibly expensive, which might cause your loved one to begin experiencing financial issues. Additionally, people who abuse heroin tend to have a hard time maintaining employment, so your loved one might not be making enough money to support their habit and pay their bills at the same time.

If your loved one is experiencing financial issues that they have not experienced in the past, they could be abusing a substance like heroin. Oftentimes, heroin addiction causes the use of heroin to take precedence over everything else in a person’s life, so your loved one will prioritize buying heroin over paying their bills or even buying themselves food.

3. Drug Paraphernalia

One of the telltale signs of heroin abuse and addiction is the presence of specific drug paraphernalia. Because people can smoke, snort, or inject heroin, there are different types of drug paraphernalia that you should look out for.

If your loved one is smoking heroin you might find:

  • Cut up straws
  • Empty baggies with powder residue
  • Tin foil with powder or burnt spots on it

If your loved one is snorting heroin you might find:

  • Cut up straws
  • Rolled-up dollar bills
  • Razor blades
  • Empty baggies with powder residue
  • Powder residue on flat surfaces

If your loved one is injecting heroin you might find:

  • Empty baggies with powder residue
  • Burnt spoons
  • Used needles
  • A belt or other material to tie off
  • Items like cotton or cigarette filters

4. Unexplained Weight Loss

Heroin is known to suppress your appetite.[3] If your loved one frequently abuses heroin, they might not eat as much as they used to and they could begin losing large amounts of weight without any exercise.

Additionally, despite heroin being an appetite suppressant, people who abuse this substance might not have the money to buy food. Instead of eating, many people who are addicted choose to purchase and abuse heroin, so they might experience noticeable weight loss and malnutrition.

5. Physical Symptoms of Heroin Use

Heroin abuse causes symptoms that are incredibly easy to spot. The physical symptoms of heroin abuse and addiction are often the easiest way to tell if your loved one is addicted to the drug.

Physical symptoms of heroin use include:

  • Falling asleep suddenly (nodding off)
  • Slowed breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Changes in eating and weight loss
  • Runny nose
  • Itchiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene and appearance
  • Weird smells on breath, body, and clothes
  • Tremors
  • Slowed speech
  • Coordination issues
  • Appearing lethargic or extremely tired
  • Track marks on the arm from injecting heroin
  • Burns on the lips from smoking heroin
  • Frequent nose bleeds from snorting heroin

6. Wearing Long Sleeves

If your loved one prefers to inject heroin, they will have track marks on their arms from the needles. Sometimes they experience damage to the veins, which can cause bruising or darkening of the veins. As a result, they will wear long sleeves to conceal their heroin abuse even when it is warm outside.

7. Withdrawal

If your loved one experiences the symptoms of heroin withdrawal when they are sober, they are addicted to the substance. Being able to spot the symptoms of heroin withdrawal will help you determine whether your loved one requires professional treatment.

The symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:[4]

  • Intense cravings for heroin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Restless legs
  • A heavy feeling in the body
  • Crying
  • Insomnia
  • Cold sweats
  • Runny nose and flu-like symptoms
  • Severe dehydration

Find Help for Heroin Abuse and Addiction Today

Heroin addiction is a severe substance use disorder that can lead to multiple life-threatening drug overdoses. If your loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, it’s time to seek professional help.

At Woburn Wellness, we can provide your loved one with the tools and support they need to maintain long-term sobriety. Contact us today for more information on our heroin rehab programs in Massachusetts.


  1. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): Heroin DrugFacts, Retrieved May 2023 From https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
  2. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the Scope of Heroin Use in the United States, Retrieved May 2023 From https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/scope-heroin-use-in-united-states
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Using Illicit Drugs to Lose Weight among Recovering Female Drug Users in China, Retrieved May 2023 From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8909896/
  4. National Library of Medicine: Opioid Withdrawal, Retrieved May 2023 From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/

Can You Send Someone to Rehab Against Their Will?

can you send someone to rehab against their willWatching a loved one struggle with addiction is stressful and painful. Unfortunately, addiction often leads to an array of negative consequences, such as physical and mental health problems, strained relationships, financial difficulties, and legal troubles. In some cases, individuals struggling with addiction may refuse to seek treatment, which can ultimately make their substance abuse even more harmful.

When you love someone, you want to do anything you can to help, but what do you do when the person you are trying to help doesn’t want help? Can you send a loved one struggling with addiction to rehab against their will?

Forced rehab is a controversial topic, but like any major decision, there are pros and cons. Although it can be difficult to persuade someone to go to rehab when they don’t want to go, many states have laws in place that allow family members to commit loved ones to an involuntary rehab program.

Different States Have Different Laws About Involuntary Rehab

Committing someone to involuntary rehab refers to the practice of sending someone to rehab without their consent–usually with a court order. Depending on where you live, you may be able to force your loved one to go to rehab. In 2023, 37 states and D.C. have some form of involuntary commitment laws for substance abuse treatment. These include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania

Each state has its own unique practices when it comes to forcing someone to go to rehab. Some states require you to provide more evidence of a substance use disorder than others, and the amount of time they will keep a person in treatment may vary.

In most states, involuntary commitment is only allowed when an individual is deemed a danger to themselves or others. To prove this, families must get a court order or a petition from a mental health professional. The majority of states also require a hearing to determine whether the individual meets the criteria for commitment and which level of care they should attend.

Looking at the Legal and Ethical Considerations of Involuntary Drug and Alcohol Rehab

While sending someone to rehab against their will may seem like a good idea in certain situations, such as when your loved one’s life is in danger or they may harm someone else, it is still a highly controversial topic with many important yet complex legal and ethical considerations. Is it okay to force someone to do something they don’t want to do? What if their life is in danger? Will treatment even work if someone doesn’t want help? These are all questions friends and family of addicts may have.

For some people, involuntary commitment raises questions about personal autonomy and the right to make decisions about their own life. Opponents of the idea argue that forcing someone into a drug and alcohol rehab center is a violation of their rights and can cause more harm than good. They also argue that people who are forced to go to rehab may feel resentful or resistant, which could stop them from making progress in their treatment program. In other words, involuntary rehab may not always be effective if people are not fully committed to their recovery because they are not motivated to stay sober.

On the other hand, proponents of involuntary commitment to substance abuse treatment argue that forced rehab is absolutely necessary, especially if someone’s life is in danger. After all, people who are stuck in the midst of a severe addiction may not be able to make rational and informed decisions about their health or treatment. In cases such as these, sending someone to rehab against their will feels like the only option to prevent the individual from causing harm to themselves or others.

Does Sending Someone to Rehab Against Their Will Actually Work?

Some people are very resistant to treatment, so if they are forced to go to rehab, they may bite their tongue and attend therapy sessions, but not put in any work to make real progress. Others may be reluctant at first, but gradually open up to the recovery process once they start to feel better themselves and see other people in rehab begin to improve their lives.

Oftentimes, simply going to rehab, meeting other sober people, and learning a little bit about addiction and recovery is enough to make a person who previously didn’t want help start to want a sober life. It is always best to try to get your loved one to go to rehab rather than to let them continue struggling.

Is There Any Way to Convince My Loved One to Go to Rehab?

While involuntary rehabilitation may be the only viable option in certain situations, it should always be considered a last resort. There are ways to try and convince your loved one to go to rehab willingly before forcing them to go.

One of the most effective alternatives is to stage an intervention. An addiction intervention is a structured conversation in which loved ones express their concerns about an individual’s addiction and encourage them to seek treatment. An intervention can be a powerful tool in helping someone realize the severity of their addiction, how it impacts other people, and why it’s important to go to rehab.

Another alternative is to get your loved one to schedule a doctor’s appointment to discuss their substance abuse or to ask your loved one to speak with an admissions counselor from a rehab center on the phone. Having a third-party, expert opinion can help individuals realize the need for treatment.

Find Help for an Addicted Loved One

At Woburn Wellness, our talented admissions specialists are available 24 hours a day to assess your loved one’s needs, verify their insurance, and help them start their recovery journey. If someone you love is struggling with addiction or if you have questions about the process of getting them into rehab, please contact us today.

Why is Relapse So Common in Heroin Addicts and How Can You Find Treatment that Works?

relapse on heroinAddiction is a chronic and relapsing disease, so relapse is a normal part of recovery for many people. In fact, approximately 40-60% of people who seek substance abuse treatment will relapse at some point in their recovery.[1]

Relapse can happen with any kind of addiction, but relapse tends to be extremely common in people recovering from heroin addiction. Heroin is one of the most addictive and powerful opioids that can be extremely challenging to stop using, but with the right treatment, anyone can recover from heroin addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin addiction, it is vital that you receive effective treatment that will carve the way for long-term sobriety.

How Common is Heroin Relapse?

Even after finishing rehab and being sober for several weeks or months, many former heroin users struggle with cravings or desires to use heroin. If people don’t have healthy ways to cope with these cravings, they can relapse.

Studies have found alarming rates of relapse among people struggling with opioid addiction, including heroin. In fact, one study found that up to 91% of opiate addicts relapse, and 59% relapse within the first week after completing treatment, suggesting relapse is more common in people who abuse opioids than it is in people who abuse alcohol or other types of drugs.[2] Another study found that between 72-88% of former heroin users relapse within 1-3 years after quitting the drug.[3]

Why Do So Many Heroin Addicts Relapse?

People may relapse for a variety of reasons, and relapse is often unique to the individual. However, there are many common causes of relapse that may explain why heroin relapse rates are so high. These include:

  • Heroin’s extremely addictive nature – Heroin is so addictive that many people get hooked after trying it just once or twice. The drug floods the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces intense feelings of euphoria and pain relief. Users may chase this high in hopes of achieving the euphoric effects.
  • Painful heroin withdrawal – After regular use, heroin is physically habit-forming. People who stop using heroin suddenly will experience painful, flu-like withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can be so uncomfortable that people would rather continue using heroin than proceed with withdrawal because they know that taking more heroin will make them feel better. Unfortunately, some heroin users develop post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) where mood-related symptoms can persist for several weeks or months. Without proper treatment, acute and post-acute withdrawal can result in relapse.
  • The cunning nature of addiction – Addiction is not a choice–it is a disease that rewires the brain, changing the way people think, feel, and behave. After regular heroin use, the brain develops a positive association with heroin, and heroin users feel tempted to turn to the drug in a variety of situations. Even in recovery, triggers can appear that evoke the desire to get high.
  • Unresolved trauma or mental health issues – Most people start abusing heroin and other drugs to cope with trauma or mental health problems like anxiety or depression. If these conditions are left untreated, people are likely to return to heroin use again in the future as a means of coping.
  • Failure to follow through with aftercare – The goal of rehab is to separate people from drug use, treat underlying conditions, and provide the tools and resources necessary to stay sober. However, it is up to each individual to follow through with their aftercare by attending meetings, taking medications, and practicing self-care. Individuals who do not follow through with aftercare may be more likely to relapse on heroin.

Understanding the Danger of Heroin Relapse

Relapsing on heroin is extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening. After a period of abstinence, a person’s tolerance will decrease, but when they relapse they may use the same dose of heroin as they used to. This can result in a potentially fatal heroin overdose.

Not only that, but heroin relapse is more dangerous today than ever before due to the vast amount of fentanyl found in the illicit drug supply. In 2017, more than 52% of the heroin seized by law enforcement personnel contained fentanyl, and this number is likely much higher than that today.[4] Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than heroin, and a small, grain-of-rice-sized amount can be fatal–especially to those who do not have a tolerance to opioids.

Warning Signs of a Possible Heroin Relapse

Usually, there are ways to spot the warning signs that indicate a relapse is in the near future. Common warning signs of heroin relapse include:

  • Preoccupation with thoughts of using heroin – A person who is about to relapse may become fixated on thoughts of using heroin. They may talk about it frequently, make jokes about it, or seek out people or places associated with drug use.
  • Changes in mood or behavior – People who are about to relapse may exhibit changes in mood or behavior. They may become irritable, anxious, or withdrawn.
  • Spending time with old drug-using friends – Returning to old friends or places associated with heroin use is a common warning sign of relapse. If a person is spending time with old drug-using friends, it may indicate that they are at risk of relapse.
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors – People who are about to relapse on heroin may engage in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex.
  • Social isolation – People may withdraw from supportive relationships, such as family members or addiction support groups.
  • Neglecting responsibilities – A person who is about to relapse may neglect responsibilities such as work or school or may stop caring for their personal hygiene.

Seeking treatment before a relapse occurs can prevent life-threatening overdoses and other serious consequences.

How to Prevent Heroin Relapse

Preventing a relapse on heroin is a matter of life and death, so it’s important to be armed with a comprehensive relapse prevention plan. Relapse prevention plans typically involve:

  • Addressing the root cause of heroin use in behavioral therapy and counseling
  • Regularly attending peer support groups
  • Taking any medications that are prescribed as directed by the prescribing physician (such as Suboxone or Vivitrol)
  • Staying in a sober living home after rehab
  • Working with a sponsor or recovery coach
  • Practicing self-care
  • Learning how to identify and cope with triggers in a healthy way

Find Treatment for Heroin Abuse and Addiction Today

At Woburn Wellness, we can help you start your recovery by connecting you with a local heroin detox center and then helping you transition to one of our comprehensive treatment programs. For information about heroin rehab in Massachusetts or to learn more about getting started in other substance abuse treatment programs, contact the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment specialists today.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5688890/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5046044/
  4. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2754249

Does Addiction Get Worse Without Professional Treatment?

does addiction get worse without treatmentAddiction is a complex and chronic disease that can have significant impacts on an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, since addiction is characterized by a lack of control over one’s substance use, the majority of people require professional treatment to achieve long-term recovery. Without treatment, addiction and alcoholism are likely to get worse.

Addiction is a Progressive Disease

It is essential to understand that addiction is a progressive disease. Without intervention, it can continue to worsen over time, leading to severe health consequences, financial instability, legal issues, and damage to personal relationships.

Most people who use drugs do not do so with the intent of becoming addicted. Experimental drug use can arise from curiosity, peer pressure, painful emotions, trauma, or mental health issues. While initial drug use may be a choice, once drug use progresses into addiction the question of choice is non-existent. People struggling with addiction have a disease that affects their impulse control, decision-making, thought processes, feelings, priorities, and more.

These effects are not a question of morality. In fact, addiction actually fundamentally alters the brain’s chemistry, causing individuals to prioritize drug use over other aspects of their lives, including work, family, and personal responsibilities.

In addition to altering one’s brain chemistry, addiction also alters physiology. After long-term, regular drug or alcohol use, the body becomes physically dependent on drugs/alcohol. When someone who is physically dependent suddenly stops using the substance they are addicted to, they experience painful and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms often cause people to continue using drugs or alcohol so they don’t feel sick.

People in the early stages of addiction may be able to manage certain obligations while hiding their substance abuse. But as their addiction continues to progress, the signs of addiction become more evident to the people around them, and consequences start building up. Their tolerance increases so they start using more drugs and alcohol, and their physical dependence grows, too, resulting in worsening withdrawal symptoms over time.

The Importance of Professional Addiction Treatment

Without rehab, individuals with addiction may continue to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences, including job loss, financial ruin, and health problems. This can lead to a vicious cycle of addiction, where the individual’s dependence on drugs or alcohol becomes increasingly severe, making it even more challenging to get sober

Additionally, attempting to recover from addiction without supervised treatment can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms from drugs like opioids or benzodiazepines can be severe, including seizures, delirium, and cardiac arrest. The psychological effects of addiction withdrawal can also be significant, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. People who try to detox on their own often end up relapsing before they have completed the detoxification process.

Addiction treatment centers provide a safe, supportive environment for individuals to detox from drugs or alcohol and begin the recovery process. Treatment programs are designed to address the physical, emotional, and social aspects of addiction, offering a range of therapies and interventions to help individuals overcome addiction and develop healthy coping strategies so clients don’t fall back into the vicious cycle of addiction.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment

There are many key benefits of attending a professional addiction treatment program if you’re struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, such as:

  • Medical supervision during detox – Detoxing from alcohol and certain drugs can be life-threatening, so detoxing alone can be dangerous. But when you go to rehab, a medical team can monitor you during detox to manage your withdrawal symptoms, ensure your safety, and help you feel comfortable.
  • Evidence-based therapies – Addiction treatment programs offer a range of evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.
  • Peer support from other people in recovery – Group therapy and peer support programs offer a sense of community and connection, helping individuals to build healthy relationships and develop positive coping skills.
  • Aftercare support services – Professional addiction treatment programs often provide ongoing support, including aftercare services like counseling, support groups, and relapse prevention planning, to help individuals maintain their recovery long-term.

Potential Consequences of Letting Addiction Get Worse

As with any other health issue, the failure to seek professional treatment never ends well because it allows for the progression of the disease. A few potential consequences that can occur if addiction is left untreated include:

  • Serious health problems (including liver disease, certain types of cancers, respiratory problems, heart disease, infections, and more)
  • Drug overdose
  • Broken friendships, relationships, and marriages
  • Financial difficulty
  • Legal problems
  • Social isolation
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Mental health problems (including depression and anxiety)
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Shortened lifespan

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, these potential consequences may become your reality if you don’t get the help you deserve.

Find Addiction Treatment Now

Here at Woburn Wellness, each of our clients receives an individually-tailored treatment plan based on their needs, providing them with the best path toward recovery. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs or to find help for yourself or a loved one, please contact us today.

How to Find an Outpatient Rehab for Heroin Addiction in Massachusetts

outpatient rehab for heroin addiction in MassachusettsHeroin addiction is a growing problem in Massachusetts and across the United States, with many individuals struggling to find effective treatment options. One popular treatment option is outpatient rehab, which allows individuals to receive treatment while still living at home and maintaining their daily responsibilities.

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, you know that treatment and recovery can mean the difference between life and death. Heroin is a powerful and deadly opioid that is responsible for thousands of drug overdose deaths each year. As a result, finding the right outpatient rehab program for you is of the utmost importance.

Understanding Outpatient Rehab for Heroin Addiction

Outpatient rehab for heroin addiction is a type of substance abuse treatment program that allows individuals to attend group and individual therapy sessions while still living at home. Outpatient heroin rehab is a more flexible option for those who can’t take time off work or set aside other commitments to attend an inpatient heroin rehab program. Outpatient heroin rehab can also be a more affordable option, as it doesn’t require the same level of 24-hour care as inpatient rehab. Rather than paying for housing, food, supervision, and around-the-clock care, you only pay for the services you receive.

There are a variety of outpatient rehab programs available for heroin addiction in Massachusetts, each with its own unique approach and treatment methods. Some programs may offer group therapy sessions, individual counseling, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT), while others may focus on holistic therapies like yoga and meditation. It’s important to consider your needs and choose the one that is right for you.

Can Heroin Addiction Be Treated With Outpatient Rehab?

Higher levels of care like day treatment or intensive outpatient programming (IOP) are generally recommended for people with moderate to severe heroin addictions because they provide more intensive care. However, if you’ve already detoxed, completed another level of care, and aren’t at high risk for relapse, outpatient heroin rehab can be a great choice for you to continue your recovery.

Outpatient heroin addiction treatment can help you maintain your sobriety without requiring you to sacrifice time away from your friends, family, education, or career. You can get sober and healthy while spending time outside of treatment how you desire. As long as you attend your therapy sessions, participate in treatment, and follow your relapse prevention plan, you can successfully recover from heroin addiction with outpatient rehab.

Finding an Outpatient Rehab for Heroin Addiction in Massachusetts

If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction and is seeking an outpatient rehab program in Massachusetts, there are several steps you can take to find the right program for you:

Check with Your Insurance Provider

Check with your insurance provider to see what outpatient heroin rehab programs are covered under your plan. This can help you narrow down your search and ensure that you’re not overpaying for treatment.

Look for Accreditation and Licensure

Make sure that any outpatient rehab program you consider is accredited and licensed by the state of Massachusetts. This can ensure that the program meets certain standards of quality and safety. You can also look for a program that is accredited by the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to ensure you receive high standards of care.

Consider Location and Transportation

Consider the location of the outpatient rehab program for heroin addiction and how easy it is to get there. If you don’t have access to a car or reliable transportation, you may want to choose a program that is close to public transportation or offers transportation services.

Research Program Options and Treatment Approaches

Research different outpatient rehab programs and their heroin addiction treatment methods to find a program that aligns with your individual needs and preferences. Some programs may offer more intensive therapy sessions, while others may focus more on holistic therapies like meditation and yoga.

Read Reviews and Testimonials and Ask for Recommendations

Read reviews and testimonials from current and past patients to get a sense of their experiences with the program. This can help you determine if the program is a good fit for you. You can also ask loved ones who have been to rehab before if they have any outpatient heroin treatment recommendations.

Have an Assessment or Consultation

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential outpatient rehab programs, schedule a consultation, substance abuse assessment, or visit with each heroin outpatient program to learn more about their treatment approach and ask any questions you may have.

Benefits of Outpatient Rehab for Heroin Addiction

Attending an outpatient rehab for heroin addiction in Massachusetts can offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Flexibility – Outpatient rehab allows individuals to receive treatment while still maintaining their daily responsibilities like work, family, or school. This is great for college students, single parents, or those who cannot afford a higher level of care.
  • Affordability – Outpatient rehab is often more affordable than inpatient rehab programs. If you don’t have insurance, outpatient rehab can help you recover from heroin addiction without breaking the bank.
  • Support – Outpatient rehab provides individuals with a supportive community of peers and professionals who can help them on their journey to recovery. During outpatient rehab, you’ll meet other people in recovery and be encouraged to develop meaningful relationships with them.
  • Continued care – Outpatient rehab programs help bridge the gap between partial hospitalization and independent living. It allows clients to participate in a full continuum of care that lessens in intensity based on their changing needs.

Find an Outpatient Heroin Rehab Center in Massachusetts Today

At Woburn Wellness, our outpatient rehab option provides individuals having time restrictions due to school, work, or family commitments to receive the treatment, guidance, and support they need while fully transitioning into a state of optimal health. Our Outpatient Program is beneficial to those living at home, at school, or in a recovery residence to help guide a person to a life of purpose. This level of care is ideal for people who are unable to take time off from work or school but feel a need to engage in treatment to prevent the typical adverse events or escalation of maladaptive substance use.

The sooner you get started with treatment, the faster you can put your heroin addiction behind you. Don’t wait any longer to get the help you deserve. Call now to speak with a dedicated admissions counselor about your treatment options.

Can You Get Addicted to Suboxone?

addicted to SuboxoneAccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 10.1 million Americans reported misusing prescription opioids in the past year and 75% of drug overdoses in 2020 involved an opioid.[1]

Because opioid addiction is common and often becomes life-threatening, addiction treatment is more important than ever. With addiction relapse rates being so high, the recovery community has begun using more proactive methods of treatment for opioid addiction. Opioid addiction treatment often includes medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is the combination of evidence-based therapy, peer support, and FDA-approved medications like Suboxone.

Suboxone is the brand name for a medication that contains two medications: buprenorphine and  naloxone. Suboxone is a partial opioid antagonist that activates opioid receptors but to a lesser degree than full opioid agonists like heroin, oxycodone, or methadone.[2] Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependency by reducing the withdrawal symptoms that occur when someone is getting sober.

How Does Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) Work?

Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Both of these substances have different purposes in treating opioid addiction.

Buprenorphine attaches to your opioid receptors while blocking other opioids from working.[3] It  will lessen symptoms of withdrawal, reduce cravings, and prevent you from being able to get high off of other opioid drugs like heroin, oxycodone, or morphine.

Naloxone’s role in Suboxone is to prevent you from being able to misuse the medication. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of opioids.[4] If you attempt to abuse heroin, oxycodone, or another type of opioid drug while you have naloxone in your system, you will begin to experience immediate withdrawal.

Because of the way Suboxone works, it is used to treat withdrawal symptoms during detox and prevent relapse after you have completed detox.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

While Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependency, you can become addicted to it. However, to become addicted, you must be abusing the medication. People taking the medication as prescribed will not develop an addiction, but if you begin taking it in higher doses or changing the route of administration, you could get addicted.

If you develop an addiction to Suboxone, that means you have been taking more of the medication than you are prescribed. People who abuse Suboxone might experience the following effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion or not thinking clearly
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Itchiness

While taking more Suboxone than you are prescribed can lead to mind-altering symptoms, this medication has a “ceiling effect”.[5] This means that at some point, no matter how much Suboxone you take, the effects will not increase in potency. Instead, the naloxone in the medication will cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone Addiction vs. Dependence

Understanding the difference between Suboxone addiction and dependence is vital in breaking the stigma against medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Some people have an unfavorable view of MAT because they believe it is trading one addiction for the other, but this is completely false.

When someone takes medication for an extended period, their body will become dependent on it. Dependency is characterized by building a tolerance to a substance over time and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking that drug. While addiction includes dependency, these conditions can be separate from one another.

For example, people taking non-addictive antidepressants can become dependent on their medication because their body has adjusted to the presence of the substance and requires it to function normally. If they suddenly quit their antidepressant medication, they might experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, insomnia, dizziness, or flu-like symptoms.[6]

Being dependent on a substance does not mean you are addicted to it. Addiction must also include psychological dependence, which is characterized by uncontrollable cravings and urges to misuse the drug.

Most people who take daily medication will become dependent on that substance, however, they will not become addicted. The same goes for people taking Suboxone.

Signs of Suboxone Addiction

If you are worried that someone you love is addicted to Suboxone, it’s important to be aware of the signs. Typically, people addicted to Suboxone will display the same signs as heroin or oxycodone addiction.

Symptoms of Suboxone addiction include:

  • Doctor shopping (going to more than one doctor to get multiple prescriptions)
  • Running out of suboxone early
  • Taking more suboxone than prescribed
  • Frequently “losing” their suboxone to get more prescriptions
  • Mixing suboxone with other substances
  • Appearing drowsy or fatigued frequently
  • Being physically or emotionally numb
  • Slowed breathing
  • Decreased cognitive abilities
  • Appearing high or intoxicated
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms (i.e. shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms)
  • Spending a lot of time thinking about, obtaining, using, and recovering from the use of suboxone

What Happens When You Stop Taking Suboxone?

If you have been prescribed Suboxone and suddenly stop taking it, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal will occur whether you are addicted to Suboxone or not because dependency can form in individuals who take the medication as prescribed for long periods of time. As a result, doctors typically taper patients off of the medication when they are ready to stop taking it. Gradually reducing your dose of Suboxone over time can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal include:[7]

  • Excessive shaking or tremors
  • Muscular pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery eyes and runny nose
  • Cold sweats
  • General discomfort

Find Help for Suboxone Abuse and Addiction Today

If you or a loved one developed an addiction to Suboxone, you should seek help from a drug rehab facility near you. Suboxone addiction can cause you to relapse on the opioids you previously recovered from, putting you at risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms or life-threatening overdoses.

To learn more about Suboxone or to find out if Suboxone treatment is right for you, please contact our team at Woburn Wellness today.


  1. https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/statistics/index.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537079/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459126/
  4. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/naloxone
  5. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/quick-start-guide.pdf
  6. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/antidepressants/withdrawal-effects-of-antidepressants/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3835595/

What are the Best Treatments for Opioid Use Disorder?

treatment for opioid use disorderOpioid use disorder (commonly referred to as opioid addiction) affects over 2.7 million people in the United States.[1] Opioid overdoses have accelerated significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily due to fentanyl, but any opioids can be deadly when abused. As a result, it is important for those struggling with opioid addiction to access effective and individualized treatment.

Ultimately, the best treatment for opioid use disorder is one that is tailored to meet your needs. What works for you may not work for the next person, so it is crucial that your needs are taken into consideration and that your treatment plan is uniquely designed for your situation and medical necessity.

For most people, treatment for opioid use disorder involves medication, behavioral therapy and counseling, and peer support.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder. All medications are intended to be used in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling–an approach known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) MAT has been proven to decrease opioid use, criminal activity, and infectious disease transmission while increasing social functioning, treatment retention, and treatment completion.

Medications for the treatment of opioid addiction include:


Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that activates opioid receptors and blocks the euphoric effects of opioids. It is used to treat opioid withdrawal syndrome and alleviate drug cravings that persist after detoxification.

As one of the most commonly prescribed medications for opioid addiction, buprenorphine is sold in several different forms under different brand names. These include:

  • Subutex (buprenorphine) – A daily medication taken by mouth to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) – A daily medication taken by mouth to treat opioid dependence and addiction.
  • Sublocade (buprenorphine extended-release suspension) – A monthly medication administered as a subcutaneous injection that delivers a sustained dose of buprenorphine to the bloodstream over the course of 28-30 days to treat opioid use disorder.


Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that is used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence. The drug works by stabilizing brain chemistry and reducing cravings for opioid drugs.

Naltrexone comes in two forms:

  • Vivitrol – A monthly injection of naltrexone that alleviates cravings and prevents relapse.
  • ReVia – A daily medication taken by mouth to alleviate cravings and prevent relapse.


Methadone is a full opioid agonist that is used to replace regular opioids, thereby preventing withdrawal symptoms, alleviating cravings, and helping to treat opioid use disorder. Even though it is an opioid, it is prescribed in a controlled setting with only limited doses released at a time. It is also not as strong as many of the opioids that are abused, such as heroin or fentanyl, so it does not produce a high.

Behavioral Therapy and Counseling for Opioid Use Disorder

Medications are used to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal and reduce the severity of cravings, but you can’t beat opioid addiction with medications alone. Addiction recovery involves treating the root cause of your addiction (such as trauma, PTSD, or mental health conditions), analyzing and understanding your behaviors and emotions, and developing healthy coping skills. This is accomplished using group, individual, and family therapy.

There are a variety of different therapies that may be used during opioid addiction treatment. These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – A type of talk therapy that helps identify and change maladaptive thought patterns that contribute to substance abuse and mental illness.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) – A type of CBT talk therapy that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and other strategies to provide skills for managing emotions in a healthy way.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI) – A counseling method used to resolve ambivalent feelings about recovery and identify sources of motivation for staying sober.
  • Psychodynamic therapy – A type of psychotherapy that aims to help patients identify underlying thoughts and feelings that lead to substance abuse and addiction.

Your treatment plan may also include topic-specific discussion groups specifically designed for issues such as divorce, trauma, relapse prevention, self-harm, family dynamics, gender-specific issues, and more.

Support Groups for Opioid Addiction Recovery

Opioid addiction recovery is a long-term, ongoing process, and one of the best ways to continue treating your addiction is to participate in a support group. There are several support groups designed to help people suffering from opioid use disorder. These include:

  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – A 12-Step fellowship for people struggling with addiction to any drug, including opioids.
  • Heroin Anonymous (HA) – A 12-Step fellowship for people overcoming heroin addiction.
  • Pills Anonymous/Prescription Anonymous – 12-Step fellowships dedicated to people struggling with addiction to pills/prescription medications.
  • Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) – A science-based, self-empowering support group that helps promote behavioral changes in people struggling with addiction.
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) – A mutual self-help model that is not 12-Step or spirituality-based can help people struggling with any kind of substance addiction.

Participating in a support group is one of the best ways to ensure your sobriety after finishing treatment for opioid use disorder.

Find Individualized Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Today

If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of an opioid abuse disorder of any severity, Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is available to help. Our comprehensive and highly individualized program of opioid rehab in Woburn, MA is unlike any other in the area.

Not only does our opioid rehab program have a completion rate 150 percent higher than the national average, but our team of experienced clinical professionals has developed an integrated program that focuses on 12-step immersion, intensive therapeutic intervention, a holistic approach to wellness, and thorough aftercare planning.

Don’t wait any longer to get the treatment you deserve. Call now to learn more about your opioid rehab options in Massachusetts.

Ativan Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Ativan is the brand name for a benzodiazepine medication called lorazepam. Lorazepam is primarily used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.[1] Because Ativan is a central nervous system depressant, it slows down activity in your brain causing feelings of relaxation and sometimes euphoria.

Benzodiazepines like lorazepam are known to be habit-forming and highly addictive when used long-term. Studies have found that up to 17.2% of benzodiazepine users are abusing their medication.[2]

If you or a loved one are addicted to Ativan, your body will begin relying on it to function properly. As a result, you will experience symptoms of withdrawal if you suddenly stop taking Ativan. You should always attend a medical detox program before attempting to quit Ativan or any other benzodiazepine because the withdrawal symptoms can become severe or life-threatening.

Being aware of the Ativan withdrawal symptoms, timeline, and treatment options available to you can help motivate you to seek the help you need.

The Symptoms of Ativan Withdrawal

The symptoms of Ativan withdrawal largely depend on the severity, duration, and frequency at which you abused the substance. Withdrawal symptoms occur when you suddenly stop taking Ativan after being physically dependent on it and can be severe or life-threatening without proper medical attention.

Symptoms of Ativan withdrawal may include:[3]

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Increased tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors in the hands
  • Excessive sweating
  • Issues concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

Ativan withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms such as psychosis and seizures so you should never stop taking it cold turkey. Attempting to detox at home could result in several adverse effects, such as relapse, overwhelming symptoms, and life-threatening health emergencies.

What is the Ativan Withdrawal Timeline?

Lorazepam has a half-life of 12 hours, which means half of the substance will be eliminated from your body in that amount of time. Because of this short half-life, your withdrawal symptoms could begin as early as 24 hours after your last dosage.

An estimated timeline for Ativan withdrawal is:

24 Hours

The early symptoms of withdrawal may begin 24 hours after you last used the drug. You may experience mild symptoms during this stage of withdrawal, including headaches, restlessness, insomnia, and nausea.

1 to 4 Days

Between one to four days after your withdrawal symptoms begin, you will experience the most severe symptoms. This is known as “peak withdrawal” and medical care is the most imperative at this time. You could experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms of withdrawal, as well as psychosis and seizures.

10 to 14 Days

After about 10 to 14 days, your withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside. However, some individuals experience something known as protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).[4] PAWS causes mild and prolonged withdrawal symptoms that may last up to 12 months.

How is Ativan Withdrawal Treated During Medical Detox?

During detox, medical professionals will monitor your symptoms as you remain under 24-hour supervision. The physician may prescribe Ativan at a lower dose, gradually reducing your dose over a series of days or weeks, to taper your body off it. Tapering off Ativan can reduce the intensity of your withdrawal symptoms.[5]

When it comes to managing symptoms, there are several additional medications that may be used for Ativan withdrawal. These include:

  • Antidepressants for symptoms of depression and insomnia
  • Antihistamines for symptoms of anxiety and insomnia
  • Nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics to treat anxiety

It is important to note that detox is only the first step in recovering from Ativan addiction. Once you have finished detoxing, a substance abuse counselor will help you create a plan for continued treatment that includes either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Addiction treatment programs offer evidence-based behavioral therapy and counseling that can help you maintain long-term sobriety.

Find an Ativan Detox Center Today

If you or a loved one suffers from Ativan addiction, it’s time to seek help. Ativan addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome and the symptoms of withdrawal are potentially life-threatening without medical intervention. As a result, it’s always best to detox under medical supervision.

At Woburn Wellness, we work with some of the most trusted drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Before starting one of our treatment programs, our team will connect you with a benzodiazepine detox program that can support your needs, allowing you to start your recovery safely. Call today to get started.


  1. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682053.html
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30554562/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
  4. https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1711840/

What Are the Effects of Long-Term Opioid Abuse and How Can Going to Rehab Help?

Opioid use is an epidemic in the United States. The levels of opioid abuse reached a crisis point in 2017 when governmental agencies and health experts declared the issue a public health emergency. This was a critical step in addressing the issue of opioid use and abuse, but addiction specialists strongly believe that the country is in trouble.

In 2021, about 5.0 million people reported having an addiction to prescription opioids during the previous year.[1] The number of people seeking treatment for opioid abuse climbed nearly 400% between 2002 and 2012, and the problem shows no signs of slowing down. Sadly, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 for the first time in 2021.[2]

Understanding the long-term effects of opioid abuse, recognizing the signs of opioid abuse, and knowing how to get help can help you make informed choices about seeking treatment.  Reach out to the Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment team now to explore your treatment options and learn about our opioid rehab programs.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs derived from opium, a compound derived from the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Doctors prescribe opioid medications to treat moderate to severe pain, often after an injury, surgery, or chronic pain.

When users take an opioid medication, the drugs bind to the brain’s opioid receptors and nerve cells all over the body. The drugs keep pain messages from reaching the brain. This results in users experiencing less perceived pain.



Some common opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Percocet

Opioid medications are believed to be safe if people take them exactly as prescribed. Doctors often prescribe opioid painkillers for short-term use to limit the risk of health complications and addiction.

Some users experience pleasurable feelings of calm or euphoria when taking opioid medications. These feelings can make people want to take opioid medications differently than prescribed–either for longer than intended, in higher doses, or more frequently than they should.  Misusing opioids can lead to tolerance, meaning more of the drug is required to provide the desired effects.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Opioid Abuse?

Misusing opioids can have serious, long-term effects on your physical and mental health. It’s important to get help for opioid abuse to avoid the sometimes life-threatening consequences.

Physical Long-Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

Opioids work by depressing the activity of the central nervous system. These drugs can slow down vital functions, including breathing and heart rate. Some of the other long-term effects of opioid abuse include:[3]

  • Respiratory depression and breathing problems
  • Cardiovascular disease and damage
  • Collapsed veins (from long-term IV opioid use)
  • Dangerously low blood pressure
  • Irreversible damage to internal organs
  • Brain damage or structural changes
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Kidney and liver failure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Digestive problems such as constipation

Psychological Long-Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

Long-term opioid abuse can lead to addiction and other behavioral and mental health complications. Some of the long-term effects of opioid abuse can include the following:[4]

  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Personality disorder
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal ideation

Physical dependence and addiction are other long-term effects of opioid abuse. Opioid addiction can develop in as little as 2-3 weeks. After someone develops physical dependence, they may increase the frequency or amount they use, leading to heightened tolerance.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) is a complication of opioid abuse. Some people experience lingering symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including depression, insomnia, and cravings, for months or years after completing detox and treatment.[5] Longer periods of heavy opioid use can increase the likelihood of developing PAWS, but it can happen to anyone with opioid addiction.

What are the Signs of Opioid Abuse?

Early treatment for opioid addiction can lead to better outcomes and long-lasting recovery. Opioid abuse can significantly change a person’s mood, behavior, and appearance. Recognizing the signs of opioid abuse may help you seek treatment sooner.

Here are some signs that someone may be living with opioid abuse or addiction.

  • Spending a lot of time and energy getting, using, and recovering from using opioids
  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home due to opioid use
  • Isolating from others or only spending time with others who use drugs
  • Neglecting relationships, interests, or hobbies
  • Facing financial or legal trouble because of opioid use
  • Continuing to use opioids despite negative consequences

The sooner you recognize the signs and effects of opioid abuse, the sooner you can get the treatment you need to overcome it.

Treatment for Long-Term Opioid Abuse

Abuse often becomes the center of a person’s life. Going to rehab allows people to take back control over their lives. Opioid addiction treatment happens in stages, usually beginning with a medically-supported detox program.

After a safe, complete detox, people move on to a comprehensive treatment program that can address the roots of a person’s addiction. Treatment plans usually include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Education
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Holistic therapies–yoga, massage, nutrition therapy, mindfulness, acupuncture, and more

These evidence-based and holistic therapies allow people to identify the causes of their addiction and learn new skills to overcome it. They develop new relationships, routines, and coping skills that help them sustain sobriety for the rest of their lives.

Find Help for Opioid Abuse and Addiction Now

Opioid abuse and addiction can cost you everything. The help you need is just a phone call away. Reach out to the team at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment now to learn how our supportive, effective holistic treatment programs can help you regain control over your life and health. Call today.


  1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/cdc-says-drug-overdose-deaths-reached-highest-record-last-year-rcna28129
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466038/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756048/
  5. https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS

What to Expect from a Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants intended to treat anxiety and seizure disorders.[1] Sometimes, these substances are also used in the treatment of insomnia and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. While benzodiazepines are effective in managing the symptoms of the mentioned conditions, they are known to be habit-forming and highly addictive.

Because of the addiction risk posed by benzodiazepines, they are only intended for short-term use. Unfortunately, many people abuse these medications because they provide a euphoric and drowsy high. The most commonly abused benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Valium (diazepam).

If you or a loved one are addicted to a benzodiazepine drug, you must attend medical detox before attempting to quit. The withdrawal symptoms associated with benzodiazepine dependence can be severe and life-threatening in some cases. Benzodiazepine detox centers in Massachusetts can provide the round-the-clock support and medical care required to ensure your safety and comfort during the detoxification process.



What is Benzodiazepine Withdrawal?

If you have been taking benzodiazepines regularly and for a long time, you will experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop using them. This can happen if you were abusing them with or without a prescription.

Unfortunately, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be hazardous without proper medical assistance. The symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal may include:[2]

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Tension and anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Muscle stiffness and pain
  • Perceptual changes
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis

Because benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause severe symptoms like seizures and psychosis, you should always seek medical assistance from a licensed detox program.

What to Expect at a Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepine detox centers in Massachusetts operate to help you safely and comfortably overcome withdrawal symptoms. They use an array of evidence-based treatments, including medications, psychological support, nutritional counseling, and individualized treatment planning.


When you arrive at a benzodiazepine detox facility you will undergo an in-depth assessment to determine your individual needs. These assessments cover information like your substance abuse, mental health, physical health, and family history. All of this information will allow the staff members to create a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.

Common questions asked during an assessment include:

  • Which benzodiazepine are you addicted to?
  • Were you abusing any other substances?
  • How much of the drug and how often were you using it?
  • Do you have any diagnosed mental health conditions?
  • Have you ever attended addiction treatment before?
  • Do you have any medical conditions that require treatment or medication?
  • Does your family have a history of mental illness or addiction?


Without medical treatment, benzodiazepine withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening. The safest way to detox from benzodiazepines is to slowly taper off them. At a detox center, the physician will prescribe a long-acting benzodiazepine medication and gradually reduce your dose over several days or weeks. Slowly reducing your dose will allow your body to adjust to progressively lower doses, thereby reducing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Additional symptom-specific medications can be prescribed to manage any symptoms that cause you discomfort.

During stabilization, the medical team will monitor your vitals to ensure your safety. Tapering using long-acting benzodiazepines will also reduce your risk for seizures and other medical complications.

Treatment Planning

After you are medically stabilized, you will begin collaborating with an addiction specialist to create a plan for continued care. It’s important to note that detox is only the first step in addiction treatment. Additional programs like inpatient or outpatient rehab provide you with psychological and behavioral therapies that are necessary to maintain long-term recovery.

Your counselor might recommend you transition into a sober living housing program after you complete benzodiazepine rehab because doing so can help you prepare for independent living as a sober individual.

Get Connected With a Top Rated Benzodiazepine Detox Center in Massachusetts

Benzodiazepine addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome, especially if you are taking these medications to treat an anxiety or seizure disorder. Attending a reputable benzodiazepine detox center in Massachusetts will ensure that you overcome withdrawal symptoms safely.

At Woburn Wellness, our team works with some of the most highly rated drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Before you transition to one of our outpatient programs, we will help you locate the right detox program for you so you can start your recovery journey safely. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be, so don’t wait any longer. Call now to start your recovery journey.


  1. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Benzodiazepenes-2020_1.pdf
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7841856/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23126253/

Can You Get Addicted to Gabapentin? Understanding Gabapentin Abuse and When It’s Time to Get Help

Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat seizures and other neurological conditions. It is often sold under the brand name Neurontin.[1] Many people believe that all prescription medications are always safe to use. But some prescription drugs, including gabapentin, pose a risk of abuse and addiction. It’s essential to understand the risks associated with misusing gabapentin and know when it’s time to seek treatment for substance abuse.

If you have questions about gabapentin abuse or addiction, contact the team of specialists at Woburn Addiction Treatment for information and support.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription anticonvulsant medication that is available in capsules, oral solutions, or tablets. People take it to treat:[2]

  • Epileptic seizures
  • Postherpetic neuralgia (pain after a shingles infection)
  • Restless leg syndrome

It’s not clear exactly how gabapentin works, but medical experts believe that it decreases excitatory activity and signals in the brain, leading to less perceived pain and a reduction in seizure activity. People who take gabapentin may also experience reduced anxiety and agitation.

The Dangers of Gabapentin Abuse

You should only take gabapentin under careful medical supervision. Even when used as prescribed, some users will experience unpleasant side effects. Some side effects of gabapentin include:[3]

  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Tremors
  • Vision problems
  • Anxiety
  • Unsteadiness
  • Unusual thoughts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite leading to weight gain
  • Swelling in arms and legs
  • Memory problems
  • Uncontrolled eye movements
  • Back and joint pain
  • Ear pain
  • Fever
  • Red or itchy eyes

Some people may experience more severe side effects, including rashes, itching, swelling in the mouth and face, difficulty swallowing, seizures, or difficulty breathing. These side effects require immediate medical intervention.

One of the other unintended side effects of gabapentin is euphoria. People who take gabapentin in high doses may feel “high” or euphoric, and this can make people want to use the drug differently than prescribed. People may take higher doses, take it more frequently, or continue to use the drug for longer than they should.

Overdosing on gabapentin is possible and can cause serious damage to your kidney, heart, liver, and other organs. Signs of an overdose include:[4]

  • Double vision
  • Slurring
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea

If you or someone near you is experiencing a gabapentin overdose, seek immediate medical treatment.

Misusing gabapentin can lead to addiction without intervention. It’s crucial to recognize gabapentin abuse as soon as possible and seek immediate treatment.

Can You Become Addicted to Gabapentin?

It is possible to develop gabapentin addiction if you misuse the drug. Frequent or heavy gabapentin use can lead to physical dependence, meaning the body cannot function normally without the medication.

If you develop a physical dependence on gabapentin and suddenly stop taking it, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms as your body detoxifies. Some of the common gabapentin withdrawal symptoms include:[5]

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Sweating

These symptoms generally develop within the first 12 hours after your last dose. If you take gabapentin to manage seizures, you may have more seizures.

Recognizing the Signs of Gabapentin Abuse

There are many physical and psychological signs of gabapentin abuse. The sooner you recognize a problem, the sooner you can find help to treat it. Some of the symptoms of gabapentin abuse include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Aggression, anger, or violence
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Poor coordination
  • Tremors
  • Uncontrollable eye movements
  • Amnesia
  • Mania
  • Risk-taking or impulsive behaviors

If you or someone you love take gabapentin and have any of these signs of abuse, seek immediate treatment. Gabapentin abuse can lead to addiction and other serious complications. Don’t take chances with your health and well-being. Contact the specialists at an addiction treatment facility near you to get the treatment and support you need.

Treatment for Gabapentin Abuse and Addiction

Gabapentin abuse and addiction can have a significant negative impact on your mental and physical health. But it can be challenging to stop using gabapentin on your own, especially if you have developed a dependence on it.

People who have become dependent on gabapentin are likely to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and may not be able to manage detox independently. A comprehensive treatment program that starts with medically-supervised detox is essential to a safe, complete detox.

In a medically supervised detox program, people receive treatment that ensures a safe detox from gabapentin and other substances. Treatment includes:

  • Emotional support
  • Medications
  • Supervision
  • Holistic therapies to support healing, such as exercise, nutrition support, and massage

After achieving complete detoxification, people must continue treatment in an evidence-based program that includes:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medications
  • Mental health treatment
  • Education
  • Aftercare planning
  • Holistic therapies

It is possible to become addicted to gabapentin, and it is also possible to recover from it. Comprehensive addiction treatment can give you the skills and support you need to move past your addiction and into a healthier, more fulfilling future.

Find Help Now

You don’t have to live with substance abuse and addiction. Find the caring, supportive treatment you deserve by reaching out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment team today. Call us now to explore your addiction treatment options and get started.


  1. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/020235s050,020882s035,021129s033lbl.pdf
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/gabapentin/about-gabapentin/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493228/
  4. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2793648
  5. https://journals.lww.com/clinicalneuropharm/Abstract/2001/07000/Gabapentin_Withdrawal_Syndrome.11.aspx

What Kind of Drug is My Loved One Using if They are Nodding Off?

When someone you love starts abusing drugs, you may notice a handful of concerning signs and symptoms. A common symptom of drug abuse that doesn’t get talked about very often is something known as “nodding off” or “being on the nod.”

At first glance, nodding off can seem harmless, because it may just look like someone is tired and having trouble staying awake. But in reality, nodding on drugs like heroin or other opioids is more than just drowsiness. It can be serious and dangerous.

What Does it Mean if a Person is “Nodding Off”?

Nodding off (also described as “nodding out”) is best explained as drifting in and out of consciousness after using drugs belonging to the class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants. It looks like falling asleep while sitting up or standing. A person may be awake and conscious one moment, then suddenly close their eyes, lean their head forward or to the side, and become momentarily unresponsive. The person may jolt awake quickly when responding to external stimuli, then go back into a state of semi-consciousness or unconsciousness.

The main difference between having trouble staying awake during a meeting or during class vs nodding is that nodding is drug-induced while the other circumstances are induced by boredom. People who are nodding off may also mumble, say strings of words that don’t make sense, or be completely silent.

Nodding occurs when someone takes a dose of depressant drugs that are high enough to make them fall asleep or lose full consciousness without making them pass out or lose consciousness completely. In some cases, it can be a sign of overdose. Nodding off means a person has taken so many CNS-depressant drugs that their body is no longer able to keep up with the effects. It may also mean a person is struggling with addiction.

What Drugs Cause Nodding?

While any drug belonging to the depressant class (including benzodiazepines and tranquilizers) can cause nodding, the primary type of drug that causes this is opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that are derived from opium, a substance found in the seed pod of the Opium poppy plant. Opioids are prescribed to treat pain, but they can also be highly addictive.

Examples of opioids that may cause people to “go on the nod” include:

People start nodding off when their bodies can no longer keep up with the sedating effects of opioids. For example, movies often depict people using heroin by showing them shooting up and then nodding off on heroin shortly afterward.

Is Nodding Off on Drugs Dangerous?

Drifting in and out of consciousness because of drugs or experiencing extreme drowsiness is certainly something to be concerned about. It is a sign that you or someone you love has taken too much. Taking too many opioids means your heart rate may slow down as well as your respiration, resulting in reduced blood oxygen levels. Low blood oxygen, especially on multiple or regular occasions, can deprive the brain and other organs of what they need to function properly. Chronic opioid abuse may lead to a variety of health problems including cardiovascular complications, infections, disordered breathing, and more.

Nodding out, particularly while driving, operating large machinery, or working in high-risk environments can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Nodding while driving can be just as dangerous or more than drunk driving because you essentially close your eyes and fall asleep for a few moments.

Nodding off on heroin and other drugs becomes even more dangerous as your tolerance increases because you have to continue increasing your dose to feel the same effects as before. As a result, you can easily be trying to nod off, but end up experiencing a life-threatening overdose. In fact, many addiction specialists and first responders consider nodding off to be a sign of opioid overdose.

Signs of an Overdose of Heroin or Other Opioids

Similar to nodding, opioid overdose slows down your central nervous system, but to a much greater degree. A person who is nodding off may not be overdosing if they are responsive and still breathing, but nodding is a symptom that can be present during an overdose.

Additional signs of a heroin/opioid overdose include:

  • Pale skin
  • Blue-ish colored lips and fingernails
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Limp body
  • Shallow or labored breathing
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting, gurgling, or gasping noises
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect someone is overdosing on opioids, immediately call 911 and administer naloxone if you have it.

Signs of Opioid Abuse and Addiction

Nodding out is just one sign of opioid addiction. If someone you love is abusing or addicted to opioids, you may recognize other signs, as well. Common signs of opioid abuse and addiction include:

  • Physical signs such as small, pinpoint pupils, flushed skin, and increased itching
  • Hiding drug paraphernalia such as cut straws, lighters, and aluminum foil, spoons with burn marks on the bottom, or syringes
  • Changes in mood, behavior, social circles, and sleeping patterns
  • Spending excess time and money on opioid use
  • Needing to use larger doses of opioids to feel the same effects as before
  • Developing opioid withdrawal symptoms if they miss a dose

Find Help Now

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin or other opioids, it’s time to get help. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment in Massachusetts offers comprehensive addiction treatment that includes multiple levels of care, evidence-based practices, and passionate, certified addiction specialists who provide each client with the individual attention they deserve.

To learn more about opioid addiction or to discuss your treatment options, please contact us today.


    1. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
    2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4952630/
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470415/