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Methadone Withdrawal Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

methadone withdrawal timeline, symptoms, and treatmentBeating opioid addiction is especially challenging because of the intense drug cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop taking opioids. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications to treat opioid use disorder, some of these medications are opioids themselves and can be physically addictive. For example, methadone (Dolophine), an opioid drug used to treat opioid dependence and addiction, can be physically addictive if used for a long period of time and habit-forming if abused.[1]

If you or someone you love has become addicted to methadone, the first step toward recovery involves detoxification. Methadone withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opioids, but it can last longer because methadone is a long-acting opioid. Understanding what happens during the methadone withdrawal timeline and how a medical detox center can help will prepare you for starting your recovery journey.

Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

Although methadone is used to treat symptoms of opioid withdrawal, long-term methadone use can lead to physical dependence which results in withdrawal symptoms upon sudden cessation. People can also abuse and get addicted to methadone, causing them to experience withdrawal if they suddenly stop taking the drug.

Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance because it has a significant potential for abuse and physical dependence. In high doses, it can also lead to overdose. In 2017, 3,194 drug overdose deaths were attributed to methadone abuse.[2]

Methadone withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Body aches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Shivering

Methadone withdrawal is generally not life-threatening, however, relapse, dehydration, and other complications are possible. As a result, it’s always best to detox from methadone and any other opioid while under medical supervision.

How Long Does Methadone Withdrawal Last?

Methadone is a long-acting opioid that has a long half-life, so symptoms of withdrawal may take 1-2 days to develop. Symptoms are usually at their most severe between days 3 and 8 and begin to lessen in severity after 9 days. After 10-14 days, most acute symptoms will subside, but some people may experience lingering symptoms of withdrawal such as irritability, sleep disturbances, and cravings.

Factors that Impact the Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

While most people experience a similar set of symptoms, the duration of withdrawal may vary from one person to the next. How long methadone withdrawal lasts varies based on unique factors such as:

  • How long you’ve been taking methadone
  • How often you take methadone
  • What dose you regularly take
  • Your age, weight, and sex
  • Overall health and metabolism
  • Whether or not you used methadone with other drugs

Taking methadone more often, in higher doses, or for extended periods of time can lead to longer-lasting and more severe withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline: What to Expect

While personal experiences may vary, a general timeline for methadone withdrawal is as follows:

Days 1-2

Symptoms begin 30+ hours after taking the last dose and may include chills, muscle aches, and anxiety.

Days 3-8

Symptoms peak between days 3-8 and may be very intense. Cravings will be strong as well as body aches, anxiety, flu-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal upset.

Days 8-10

Symptoms usually subside during this type but may still produce irritability, discomfort, poor appetite, depression, and more. Symptoms may also come and go.

Days 10-14

Most acute withdrawal symptoms will subside but some symptoms, such as low energy levels, difficulty sleeping, cravings, and mood changes may linger for several weeks or months.

Detox & Tips for Coping With Methadone Withdrawal

Detoxing under medical supervision is the safest and most effective way to start your recovery. Drug detox centers can slowly reduce your methadone dose to taper you off of the drug and avoid intense withdrawal symptoms. Tapering occurs over a period of days or weeks and some mild withdrawal symptoms may appear on the days that the dose is lowered. This approach is usually preferred over the “cold-turkey” method. Doctors can also prescribe symptom-specific medication to alleviate symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, or body aches.

During detox, there are several self-care practices you can take advantage of that may help soothe your symptoms. For example:

  • Drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • Eating a balanced, nutritious diet, staying away from too much sugar and processed foods
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga
  • Talking about your difficulties and your emotions with your support group
  • Getting plenty of quality sleep
  • Staying busy and keeping your mind occupied by doing things like reading, watching a movie, or journaling
  • Engaging in light exercises such as walking, swimming, stretching, or yoga

Rehab & Treatment Options for Methadone Addiction

After detoxing, it’s important to attend an addiction treatment program that can help you embrace a sober lifestyle. Drug and alcohol rehab centers combine behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support to help individuals overcome their addictions. Treatment options for methadone may include:

  • Inpatient rehab
  • Day treatment
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient program (OP)

Find Help Today

If you or a loved one are struggling with methadone dependence or addiction, know that there is help available. At Woburn Wellness, we work with some of the most highly-rated drug and alcohol detox centers in Massachusetts. Our qualified admissions counselors can verify your insurance coverage, get you admitted to a detox center, and make a plan for you to transition to one of our outpatient substance abuse treatment programs when you’re done detoxing.

All calls are risk-free and confidential. A team member is available now to help you get started. Call today to begin your journey toward a life beyond addiction.



What to Expect From a Vicodin Rehab Program in Massachusetts

Vicodin rehab center in MassachusettsVicodin is the brand name for a prescription painkiller that contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter medication that can be used for pain relief and fever. It is the active ingredient in Tylenol. Hydrocodone, on the other hand, is a widely abused and addictive opioid drug.

Since 2009, hydrocodone has been the second most frequently prescribed opioid and is often encountered in evidence submitted to federal and state forensics labs.[1] Taking hydrocodone in higher doses than prescribed or more frequently than directed can lead to adverse side effects, addiction, and overdose. In 2014, the DEA changed Vicodin from a Schedule III controlled substance to a Schedule II controlled substance to tighten restrictions on the drug due to the potential for abuse and addiction.[2]

Understanding Vicodin Abuse and Addiction

Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) produces the same side effects as other opioids like oxycodone, such as drowsiness, dizziness, relaxation, calmness, lightheadedness, and constipation. The pain-reducing and relaxing effects of Vicodin are what makes it so addictive.

After regular Vicodin abuse, the mind and body become accustomed to having the drug in the system (known as dependence). Suddenly stopping taking Vicodin may result in symptoms of withdrawal because the body is trying to adjust to the absence of the drug. Physical dependence can lead to addiction which is characterized by a lack of control over drug use and continued drug use despite negative consequences.

Other signs of Vicodin addiction include:

  • Cravings or desires to use more Vicodin
  • Lying to friends and family
  • Doctor shopping
  • Buying Vicodin and other opioids illegally
  • Trying to quit using but being unable to do so
  • Excess time and money spent on Vicodin abuse
  • Giving up activities that were once enjoyed
  • Having symptoms of withdrawal when not using Vicodin
  • Needing to increase the dose taken over time to produce the desired effects (tolerance)
  • Continuing to use Vicodin despite negative consequences

If you or someone you love are struggling with Vicodin addiction, please call and speak with one of our admissions counselors today to learn about your treatment options.

Medical Detox is the First Step

The first obstacle you may face in recovery if you are addicted to Vicodin is withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is rarely life-threatening, but it is painful and mentally distressing. Symptoms of withdrawal include sweating, anxiety, depression, cravings, body aches, muscle pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

A drug and alcohol detox center can prescribe you medications, provide healthy meals, and facilitate therapy sessions to help you get through withdrawal successfully. Medications such as buprenorphine or methadone may be prescribed to reduce the severity of your symptoms.[3] Throughout detox, nurses may monitor your vitals and evaluate your symptoms to ensure your safety.

Vicodin withdrawal begins 8-12 hours after your last dose, peaks after 24-36 hours, and resolves after 3-7 days. Most people spend about 3-5 days in a Vicodin detox facility before transitioning to a substance abuse treatment program.

What is Vicodin Rehab Like in Massachusetts?

Recovery from Vicodin addiction is possible with the help of a customized treatment plan based on your needs. The goal of drug and alcohol rehab is to enable you to achieve and maintain sobriety, so you must address the root cause of your addiction and adopt healthy coping skills that support recovery.

Substance Abuse Assessment

Treatment begins with a comprehensive substance abuse assessment. The clinical team will learn about the extent of your Vicodin use, assess your mental health, identify treatment goals, and create a treatment plan tailored to your situation.

Group and Individual Therapy

The bulk of Vicodin rehab is dedicated to behavioral therapy and counseling. Therapy sessions may be held in small group formats and one-on-one formats. Therapy can address a wide range of topics, including mental health, substance abuse education, family and relationships, relapse prevention, and coping skills.

Types of therapies used to treat Vicodin addiction include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • Holistic therapies – art, music, yoga, nutrition, exercise, meditation, and more

Aftercare Planning

Staying sober requires you to continue treating your addiction, even after rehab. Developing an aftercare plan will help set you up for success outside the walls of the rehab center. Before you leave rehab, you will work with your counselor and case manager to develop the best possible aftercare plan for you.

Aftercare may involve:

  • Continued counseling
  • Medication management
  • Alumni program
  • 12-Step meetings
  • Sober living
  • Recovery coaching

Vicodin Rehab Levels of Care

Rehab is offered across multiple levels of care designed to meet your changing needs as you move through the program. Levels of care available at Woburn Wellness in Massachusetts include:

  • Day treatment
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient program (OP)
  • Evening IOP

To learn which level of opioid rehab is right for you, speak with one of our dedicated admissions counselors today.

Find Treatment for Vicodin Abuse and Addiction in Massachusetts Today

The team at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is firmly grounded in the philosophy that life choices and the skills to influence those choices can break the cycle of addiction and return people to a life of purpose. At our addiction treatment center in Woburn, MA, our entire staff has the professional training necessary to guide each client to their highest potential through Vicodin addiction recovery.​

Getting help starts with a phone call. Our admissions team is available 24 hours a day to take your call, assess your needs, and help you begin your recovery journey. Call today to get started.



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

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

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

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


6 Long-Term Effects of Xanax Abuse

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

1. Physical Dependence

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

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

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

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

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

2. Addiction

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

3. Cognitive Issues

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

4. Mental Health Problems

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

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

5. Liver Damage

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

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

6. Cardiovascular Problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction Today

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



4 Signs of Xanax Addiction: Is it Time to Go to Rehab?

signs of Xanax addictionXanax is the brand name for a popular benzodiazepine drug called alprazolam. It is the most widely prescribed and abused benzodiazepine drug in the United States.[1] Xanax is used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia, but it is also a popular drug of abuse.

When used for an extended period of time or in higher doses than prescribed, an addiction to Xanax can form. People who abuse Xanax may appear very tired, fatigued, and calm. They may also lack the energy or motivation to complete tasks or engage with loved ones.

Left untreated, Xanax addiction can have devastating, long-term consequences. As a result, it is crucial for friends and family to be able to recognize the signs of symptoms of Xanax addiction.

Four Signs of Xanax Addiction

It can be difficult to identify an addiction to Xanax, especially if the person is prescribed the medication by a doctor. However, the earlier their addiction is identified and treated, the easier it will be to recover.

Four common signs associated with Xanax addiction include:

1. Being Under the Influence of Xanax, Even at Inappropriate Times

Xanax can be a highly effective medication when it is taken as prescribed, but people who are addicted to it abuse the drug by taking it in higher doses than directed or more often. They may also buy Xanax on the street after running out of their prescription too early. But how do you know if someone is under the influence of Xanax?

Common side effects of Xanax abuse include:[2]

  • Forgetfulness
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Changes in speech patterns/rhythms
  • Clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • Poor coordination
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment

In high doses, Xanax may produce a state of intoxication that appears outwardly as if someone is drunk or under the influence of alcohol. When combined with alcohol, these effects will be even more pronounced.

2. Issues With Memory and Learning

One of the easiest ways for friends and family to spot Xanax abuse and addiction in a loved one is to consider the person’s cognition. Xanax abuse is infamous for causing issues with short-term memory. People who are under the influence of Xanax may seem especially forgetful and they may have difficulty remembering something that just happened. They may also forget when they took their drugs last, causing them to take many doses over a short period of time.

After long-term Xanax abuse, users may have difficulty forming new memories and learning new tasks. They may also struggle with concentration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The effects long-term alprazolam use can have on cognition are one of the reasons why this medication is only intended for short-term use.[3]

3. Suffering Xanax Withdrawal When the Drugs Run Out

Xanax (alprazolam) works by increasing the amount and reuptake of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, thereby producing a calming, tranquilizing effect. Over time, the body gets used to having the drug in the system and requires its presence to maintain balance. If someone who is addicted to Xanax stops taking it suddenly, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal.

Symptoms of Xanax withdrawal include:[1]

  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sweating
  • Discomfort
  • Light sensitivity
  • Seizures
  • Severe confusion
  • Psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, and delirium)

If you’ve noticed your loved one feeling particularly irritable, extremely sick, or anxious after their prescription or stash runs out, they may be struggling with addiction.

4. Buying Xanax Illegally

People who take Xanax as directed by their physician do not have to worry about whether or not they are addicted. However, people who are addicted may run out of their prescription early and turn to other means to get more Xanax.

Two ways people may purchase Xanax illegally are by doctor shopping or the black market. Doctor shopping is a term used to describe visiting multiple physicians, in secret, in an attempt to get more than one prescription. Depending on the state of residence, there may be severe consequences for this. Alternatively, buying Xanax on the streets can be incredibly dangerous. For example, many counterfeit fentanyl pills contain fentanyl, a powerful and deadly opioid that is responsible for a recent wave of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S.

Is it Time to Get Help for Xanax Addiction?

Knowing when it is time to get help for addiction isn’t always easy. If you or a loved one relates to the four symptoms listed above, you likely need help from a trusted Xanax rehab center.

Other signs of Xanax addiction include:

  • Tolerance–needing to increase the dose you take, over time, to feel the desired effects
  • Having regular cravings for Xanax
  • Spending excess time buying, using, and thinking about Xanax
  • Lying to friends and family about your drug use
  • Mixing Xanax with other substances to enhance the psychoactive effects
  • Wanting to stop using Xanax but failing to be able to do so
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Pushing responsibilities to the side due to your drug use
  • Continuing to use Xanax despite the problems it is having in your life
  • Using Xanax to cope with undiagnosed feelings of depression, anxiety, or trauma
  • Using Xanax to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay
  • Strained relationships with family and friends
  • Financial problems due to drug-related spending

If you or a loved one relate to two or more symptoms listed, it’s time to contact an addiction specialist for a substance abuse evaluation.

Find Help for Xanax Abuse and Addiction Today

At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, are firmly grounded in the philosophy that life choices and the skills to influence those choices can break the cycle of addiction and return people to a life of purpose. Our entire staff has the professional training necessary to guide each client to their highest potential through substance use disorder recovery.​

To learn more about our Massachusetts benzodiazepine rehab program or to speak with an admissions coordinator about starting treatment, please contact us today.



Where Can I Get a Professional Substance Abuse Evaluation?

what to expect during a substance abuse evaluationDrug and alcohol addiction can keep you from living the life you want to live. Caring, comprehensive substance abuse treatment can give you the support you need to put addiction behind you and move forward into a healthy future. Since no two people have the same experience with addiction and recovery, it’s essential to get treatment tailored to help you reach your unique goals.

Before beginning an addiction treatment program, you must get a substance abuse evaluation. This essential step toward recovery means your treatment team can provide better, more personalized treatment. The better your treatment, the better the outcome–and the more likely you’ll be to have a lifelong recovery from addiction.

If you or someone you love require a substance abuse assessment, reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today to get started.

What is the Goal of a Substance Abuse Evaluation?

The ultimate goal of a substance abuse evaluation is to assess your treatment needs and guide the course of your treatment plan. The substance abuse assessment includes several parts that can help your treatment team understand your addiction and recommend therapies to address its physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects.

Generally, a substance abuse assessment involves:

  • Determining the severity of your substance abuse and dependence
  • Identifying aspects of psychological and physical dependence
  • Identifying co-occurring disorders and potential complications
  • Recommending a level of care or type of treatment
  • Verifying insurance plan details

Having a substance abuse assessment before starting treatment is critically important. Without taking this vital step, it will be very difficult to address your specific needs, avoid common setbacks, and find the right type of treatment. The information gathered in your evaluation is used throughout your treatment plan to make sure your treatments are tailored to your needs.

What Happens During a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Before starting treatment, a doctor or addiction specialist will perform a substance abuse evaluation to guide your recovery journey.

There are many providers and practitioners who can perform this type of assessment, but it is crucial to choose one who specializes in providing substance abuse care. An addiction specialist can connect you with the programs and professionals who will support your recovery. Many people decide to seek a substance abuse assessment in an addiction treatment facility so they can transition seamlessly into a tailored substance abuse treatment program.

A substance abuse evaluation consists of the following:

  • Questions about your substance use–what substances you used, the frequency and amount you used, and withdrawal symptoms
  • Your medical and mental health history, including prior treatment programs, medications, therapies, and medical procedures
  • An assessment of your readiness to change
  • An evaluation of your relapse risk
  • Questions about your environment–how it may impact your recovery
  • Verification of your insurance coverage and benefits–this can help you understand your out-of-pocket costs for treatment or help you make informed decisions about your care

The first step of a substance abuse evaluation is often to assess a person’s acute withdrawal risk to determine if medically-supported detox is necessary. This is a critical aspect of the assessment because it allows people to get the support and treatment they need during withdrawal. Without participating in a drug and alcohol detox program, many people relapse before experiencing a complete detox.

It is essential to be honest during your substance abuse evaluation so that your treatment team can recommend the level of care and type of treatment to meet your needs. If appropriate, your doctor may recommend specialized care, such as gender-specific or dual-diagnosis treatment. Your team may also begin mapping out an aftercare plan to help support long-term sobriety after rehab.

Do I Need a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Living with substance abuse and addiction can make life very difficult. It can lead to life-altering legal and financial trouble, severe health issues, relationship strain, and can threaten your immediate health and safety. Getting a substance abuse evaluation is the right first step if you believe you need treatment for addiction.

But recognizing you need help can be difficult. It’s important to understand some of the common signs of substance abuse and addiction. These include:

  • Developing tolerance–needing more of the substance to get the same effect
  • Spending a lot of time and energy getting, using, and recovering from the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you don’t use the substance
  • Isolating, neglecting relationships and hobbies, or losing interest in things you enjoyed
  • Falling behind in your responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but feeling like you can’t
  • Engaging in risky behaviors when using drugs or alcohol
  • Facing legal or financial trouble because of your substance use
  • Becoming sick or injured as a result of your substance use
  • Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences

If you or a loved one needs help, getting an evaluation is crucial to set you on the path to recovery.

Get a Substance Abuse Evaluation Now

Do you need a substance abuse evaluation? Reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today to learn more about starting a treatment program. Don’t live another day with your addiction. Get the help you need now.

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

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

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

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

Understanding the Stigma of Addiction

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

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

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

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

Overcoming the Addiction Stigma

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

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

The best ways to overcome addiction stigma include:

Educating Yourself and Others

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

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

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

Finding a Community

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

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

Speaking Out Against the Stigma

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

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

Take the First Step Toward Recovery Today

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

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

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

Why do Some People Get Addicted and Others Don’t? Understanding Risk Factors for Addiction

risk factors for addictionPlenty of people experiment with substances, from alcohol to marijuana and even cocaine. While some people can use drugs and alcohol without becoming addicted, others fall into a cycle of substance abuse, dependence, and full-blown addiction. But why do some people get addicted and others don’t?

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 50% of people aged 12 or older have used illicit drugs at least once. Out of those individuals, 25.4% suffer from a substance use disorder.[1]

Addiction develops due to an array of underlying circumstances. Certain people face specific risk factors that make them more prone to addiction than others. While anyone can get addicted to a substance after repetitive use, some individuals find themselves suffering from the condition after only taking drugs once or twice.

Understanding the risk factors for addiction can help you or your loved ones take preventative measures to ensure that you do not develop a substance use disorder.

Risk Factors for Addiction

One of the reasons why some people get addicted to drugs while others don’t is that they have underlying risk factors that their peers do not face. For example, having a family history of addiction, suffering from mental health conditions, or experiencing a traumatic event puts you at an increased risk of developing an addiction.

Individuals who do not have these underlying risk factors may be less likely to abuse and become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The common risk factors for addiction include:


According to the American Psychological Association, “At least half of a person’s susceptibility to drug addiction can be linked to genetic factors.”[2]

Genes are functional units of DNA that provide the information responsible for directing your body’s basic cellular functions. Genes determine what color your hair will be, how tall you are, and even how susceptible you are to developing certain diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, or addiction.

However, it is important to note that genetics are never solely responsible for the development of addiction. If you have a genetic predisposition to addiction, you must also suffer from other risk factors to develop a substance use disorder. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “research shows that a person’s health is the result of dynamic interactions between genes and the environment.”[3]

Mental Health

When you suffer from a mental health condition, you are more likely to develop substance abuse issues. This is especially true if your mental illness is left untreated because mental disorders can be extremely difficult to cope with, often causing individuals to seek out forms of self-medication.

While any mental health issue can put you at an increased risk of developing an addiction, certain illnesses are highly linked to substance abuse. For example, bipolar disorder often causes people who are experiencing mania to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors like abusing drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Institute on Mental Health, “brain changes in people with mental disorders may enhance the rewarding effects of substances, making it more likely they will continue to use the substance.”[4]

Traumatic Experiences

When someone experiences something traumatic, they often deal with difficult emotions and painful memories. Without professional treatment, the symptoms of past trauma can become so difficult to cope with that you begin participating in unhealthy coping mechanisms. More often than not, this leads to self-medication with drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, trauma exposure led to substance abuse in up to 76% of individuals.[5]

A history of trauma is one of the most common risk factors for addiction. Because of this, people who have suffered from a traumatic event should always seek counseling to process their trauma before it impacts their lives further.

Early Use

The large majority of people who suffer from addiction report abusing substances in their adolescent years. When you abuse drugs or alcohol before your brain is fully developed, you may experience changes in your brain that put you at an increased risk of addiction.

Substance abuse can affect adolescent brain development by:

  • Creating memory issues
  • Ingraining expectations of unhealthy habits into brain circuitry
  • Inhibiting your development of perceptual abilities
  • Reducing your ability to experience pleasure naturally
  • Interfering with neurotransmitters and damaging important connections within the brain

Keeping this in mind, abusing substances as a child or a teen increases your risk of developing an addiction for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that your impulse control is not fully developed until your mid to late twenties. When you are abusing substances as an adolescent, your ability to control how much and often you use drugs is extremely low.

Find Help for Yourself or a Loved One

Just because you have the risk factors for addiction does not mean you will develop it. However, if you do abuse drugs and alcohol, your chances of becoming addicted are extremely high. Regardless of your history, anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, so it is important to care for your mental health, address any past traumas, and avoid substance abuse–especially when addiction issues run in your family.

Unfortunately, preventing addiction can be difficult when you do not have the resources or support you need. If you or a loved one find yourself suffering from a substance use disorder, professional treatment can help you gain the tools you need to recover. Contact Woburn Wellness today for more information on our drug and alcohol rehab program.



5 Most Addictive Drugs and When to Get Help

most addictive drugsAddiction is a complex disease characterized by compulsive, uncontrolled drug or alcohol abuse. Anyone can be affected by addiction, and you can get addicted to any mood-or-mind-altering substance. However, some drugs are considered more addictive than others. In this article, we’ll examine the most addictive substances and how to know when it is time to get help.

5 Most Addictive Drugs

Researchers have looked at factors like potential harm, treatment admissions, the potential for physical and psychological, dependence, and prevalence of use to determine what the most addictive drugs are. Five of the most addictive drugs are:

5 Most Addictive Drugs

1. Heroin

Heroin is the fastest-acting and most abused illicit opioid. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an estimated 691,000 people ages 12 or older were addicted to heroin in 2020.[1] Some people use heroin one time and become hooked because they are chasing the next high or “chasing the dragon.” Heroin is so addictive that it has contributed heavily to the ongoing opioid overdose crisis in the U.S., tragically taking the lives of more than 13,150 people in 2020 alone.


2. Meth

Meth, also known as crystal meth or “ice,” is another highly addictive drug. Meth is a stimulant that increases energy levels and activity in the central nervous system. Many people who abuse meth will binge on it, staying high for days at a time, and becoming addicted very quickly. Long-term meth abuse can lead to brain damage, psychosis, organ failure, and mental health issues. The NIDA reports that among people ages 12 and older in 2020, an estimated 1.5 million people were addicted to meth.[2]


3. Cocaine

Cocaine is another highly addictive stimulant drug. It produces effects that are similar to meth, but shorter lasting. Cocaine is often glamorized in media and party culture, so people often underestimate the addictive qualities of this drug. The truth is that cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs out there, and about 1.3 million people ages 12 or older were addicted to it in 2020.[3]



4. Alcohol

Alcohol is legal to purchase and consume in the U.S. if you are over 21 years old, but it is also considered one of the most addictive and dangerous substances. Because alcohol is so accepted in American culture, many people don’t realize they are drinking too much until they are already facing a drinking problem.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.5 million people ages 12 and older had an alcohol use disorder. Moreover, an estimated 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol one of the leading causes of health issues and death in the United States.[4]

5. Nicotine

When people think of drug addiction, they often think of drugs like meth and heroin. However, one of the most addictive drugs is nicotine–a chemical found in cigarettes and e-cigarettes. In 2020, an estimated 23.6 million people were addicted to nicotine.[5] Nicotine is not only highly addictive, but it is very harmful to your health and can increase the risk of several types of cancer. Nicotine is also considered one of the hardest drugs to quit.

Signs its Time to Get Addiction Help

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when it’s time to get treatment for addiction. Living with addiction can alter your judgment, and it often sends people into a state of denial, causing them to think their addiction really isn’t “that bad.” Others, such as those who are addicted to prescription drugs, may not think they need treatment because their medications were prescribed to them by a doctor.

So how do you know when it’s time to get help? If you relate with two or more of the following, it’s probably time to get professional help. Common signs of addiction include:

  • Doctor shopping which means going from one doctor to the next to try and get extra refills
  • Developing a tolerance that causes you to increase your dose to feel the same effects
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you don’t take drugs
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Lying to loved ones
  • Having trouble at work, school, or home
  • Making excuses to get out of events or responsibilities so you can use drugs
  • Spending excess time and money on purchasing, using, and recovering from the effects of drugs
  • Wanting to get sober but feeling unable to function without drugs
  • Making multiple failed attempts to stay sober
  • Having regular drug cravings or urges
  • Feeling out of control of your drug use
  • Placing drugs or alcohol at a higher priority level than work, school, or family

Not sure if you need addiction treatment? Speak with one of our qualified admissions counselors today for a confidential, risk-free assessment.

Addiction Treatment at Woburn Wellness

Whether it’s our Day Treatment Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, or Outpatient Services program, help with addiction is available at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment. Our multifaceted addiction treatment services are designed to help identify and diminish the compulsive obsession to use drugs and alcohol.

Each of our patients is provided with a personally-tailored treatment plan based on their needs. Learn more about our numerous levels of care and call us today so that we can figure out the best plan for you.



Why is Fentanyl So Dangerous? Understanding Why it’s Important to Get Help for Fentanyl Addiction

dangers of fentanyl abuseOver the last 20 years, the devastating opioid epidemic has evolved into what it is today: one of the leading causes of preventable death and one of the reasons for America’s reduced life expectancy.[1]

Between 2020 and 2021, the U.S. saw the most drug overdose deaths recorded in the nation’s history. Approximately 66% of these overdose deaths are attributed to fentanyl, an extremely powerful and addictive opioid drug.[2]

But what makes fentanyl so dangerous in the first place? Well, fentanyl isn’t your average opioid drug. It is more deadly and more widespread than other opioids in existence.

If you or someone you love is addicted to fentanyl, the time to seek help is now. Each day you delay getting help is one step closer to becoming another painful statistic.


Understanding Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. There are two types of fentanyl:

  1. Pharmaceutical fentanyl – Fentanyl is used to manage severe pain after surgery and in people with chronic pain who are tolerant to other opioids. Pharmaceutical fentanyl comes in many different forms, including an extended-release transdermal patch, lozenges, nasal spray, and more. This type of fentanyl can be safe if used as directed.
  2. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) – IMF is manufactured in clandestine or illegal laboratories. Much of the IMF in the United States is manufactured overseas and smuggled into the states. This type of fentanyl is commonly found on the streets and is responsible for many opioid-related drug overdose deaths today.

The CDC reports that more than 150 people die each day as a result of an overdose involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl.[3]

Why is Fentanyl so Dangerous?

Fentanyl is inexpensive and produces very noticeable effects, making it a popular choice of adulterant for drug manufacturers and dealers. They may add fentanyl to their drugs to increase their supply and profits.

Fentanyl is so common in today’s drug supply that many dealers themselves don’t know what their drugs contain, and fentanyl contamination happens so easily because it looks much like other drugs, and it only takes a little bit to produce life-threatening side effects.

Potent and Lethal

Fentanyl is far more potent than other opioids, including heroin. People who do not have a tolerance to opioids can overdose by ingesting granule-sized amounts. Fentanyl can also be lethal in people who do have an opioid tolerance because it is difficult to tell exactly how much fentanyl a substance contains. Fentanyl test strips can detect fentanyl in substances, but they can’t tell you exactly how much.

Being so potent and lethal, it is extremely easy to overdose on fentanyl. Fentanyl is the leading cause of opioid overdoses today.

Difficult to Detect

Illicitly manufactured fentanyl usually comes in the form of a fine white powder. It can easily resemble cocaine, MDMA, and other illegal drugs. Fentanyl is also odorless and tasteless, making it hard to detect. And, unless you are using fentanyl test strips before taking drugs, it can be difficult to detect fentanyl in your substances.

Found in Other Illicit Drugs, Unknown by Users

Although some people who overdose on fentanyl intentionally seek out fentanyl because they have a tolerance to heroin or other opioids, many people who experience fentanyl overdoses do so accidentally. Because fentanyl is hard to detect and it is so prevalent in the drug supply, drug users may think they are taking cocaine or a prescription pill only to take fentanyl unknowingly and experience an overdose.

Fentanyl is often found in heroin, cocaine, meth, and pressed or fake prescription pills like Xanax. According to the DEA, 60% of fentanyl-laced prescription pills contain a lethal amount of the drug.[4]

Signs of Fentanyl Addiction

Common signs of fentanyl abuse and addiction include:

  • Pinpoint pupils and flushed skin
  • “Nodding out” or going back and forth between states of unconsciousness and semi-consciousness
  • Experiencing an opioid overdose
  • Lying to friends and family about drug use
  • Developing a tolerance that requires you to use larger amounts of drugs or more potent drugs to feel the desired effects
  • Having flu-like withdrawal symptoms if you stop using fentanyl
  • Putting your drug use ahead of more important responsibilities like work, school, or family
  • Having obsessive thoughts about drug use or cravings
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Loss of control over the frequency of your drug use
  • Continuing to use fentanyl or other drugs despite the problems your substance abuse is causing

Knowing how to spot the signs of addiction can help you or a loved one recognize when it’s time to get help. However, because of how deadly fentanyl is, abusing fentanyl in any way is a sign that you need professional treatment. Getting treatment could save your life.

Find Treatment for Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction

When it comes to fentanyl, the decision between active addiction and professional treatment is truly life or death. Although asking for help with addiction can be scary, it’s the best thing you can do for your health and well-being.

At Woburn Wellness, our entire staff has the professional training necessary to guide each client to their highest potential through substance use disorder recovery.​ Whether it’s our Day Treatment Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, or Outpatient Services program, help with addiction is available at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment. Our multifaceted addiction treatment services are designed to help identify and diminish the compulsive obsession to use drugs and alcohol.

Don’t wait any longer. Call now to start your recovery at our treatment program for fentanyl addiction near Boston.



How to Convince an Addicted Spouse to Go to Rehab

convincing an addicted spouse to go to rehabNo one chooses to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. But once someone is living with this life-altering condition, its impacts are felt by everyone in their life. This is especially true for people with an addicted spouse.

When your spouse lives with substance abuse and addiction, you live with it too. Addiction’s financial, legal, social, and physical aspects can wreak havoc on your relationship and personal well-being.

But how can you convince your addicted spouse to go to rehab without pushing them away? The balance is tricky. We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate this topic and get your addicted spouse the help they need to recover from addiction.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

Recognizing the symptoms of addiction is key to convincing an addicted spouse to go to rehab. In some cases, their substance abuse may be clear. However, substance abuse can fly under the radar for a very long time.

It’s important to recognize the physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of addiction so that you can get your addicted spouse the help they need quickly.

Some of the signs of addiction include:

  • Being dishonest or secretive about their substance abuse
  • Neglecting work or responsibilities at home
  • Changes in their appetite, mood, sleep, or appearance
  • Preoccupation with drinking or using drugs
  • Isolating from loved ones or hobbies
  • Financial or legal difficulties related to substance use
  • Injuries associated with drinking or using drugs
  • Developing tolerance–needing more of the substance to get the same effects
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they cut back or stop using substances

These signs could indicate that your spouse needs the support of a drug rehab program to overcome substance abuse or addiction.

How to Help an Addicted Spouse Break Through Denial

Addiction can cause so much harm to a person’s physical, emotional, and social health that it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t recognize that they need help. But many people living with substance abuse and addiction are in denial of how serious the condition has become–and just how close they are to losing everything.

But what is denial? Denial is a coping mechanism that shields people from the severity of their current situation. In some cases, denial can help people function in overwhelming circumstances. But when someone lives with addiction, denial can prevent them from recognizing that they need treatment.

Some common signs of denial include:

  • Becoming irritated when others express concern about their substance use
  • Secretive behavior
  • Shifting blame to others or their circumstances
  • Believing their substance use doesn’t affect anyone else
  • Downplaying the severity of their substance use
  • Thinking binges aren’t as bad as everyday use
  • Failing to keep promises
  • Rationalizing their substance abuse–saying, “I need it to sleep/perform/get through a stressful time”

It’s crucial to help an addicted spouse get treatment as soon as you realize they are living with substance abuse or addiction. If you are able to convince an addicted spouse to go to rehab, they will undergo therapy and treatments that help them break through their denial and learn skills to prevent relapse in the future.

Sometimes, it takes a serious event–a medical condition, accident, injury, or loss of a relationship–to help people escape denial. But there are also steps you can take to convince an addicted spouse to go to rehab that may be helpful.

 How Do I Convince an Addicted Spouse to Go to Rehab?

It can be challenging to convince an addicted spouse to go to rehab. Taking these steps can make the process easier.

1. Learn about addiction

The better you understand addiction as a disease, the better you can help an addicted spouse. Find accurate information about addiction and recovery by reading books, joining a support group, or attending Al-Anon meetings.

2. Stage an intervention

An intervention is a carefully planned event where family members and other loved ones gather to convince their addicted loved one to go to rehab. It is essential to carefully choose who will be there, when you will hold it, and what treatment you can offer.

Hiring a professional interventionist increases your chances of having an effective intervention.

3. Act quickly

Without treatment, addiction can turn deadly. It’s important to act quickly. However, you must be able to help your addicted spouse by finding a high-quality treatment center that can meet their needs.

4. Practice self-care

Living with and supporting someone with an addiction can be physically and emotionally draining. Finding the support you need to help an addicted spouse is essential. Engage in individual therapy, stay active with hobbies you enjoy, eat healthily, and make time for rest as much as you can.

The more information and resources you have available for you and your spouse, the more likely you will convince your loved one to go to rehab.

Get Help Now

You do not have to live under the weight of your spouse’s addiction alone. Addiction affects you and your spouse alike, but a drug rehab center can help heal your marriage and get both of your lives back on track. Reach out to the Woburn Addiction Treatment specialists today to learn about finding the treatment and support your spouse needs to overcome addiction.