Addiction Treatment

Therapy As An Essential Tool In Addiction Treatment

As our understanding of addiction grows, so do the available treatment options. Few rehab facilities these days follow a one-size-fits-all approach to drug and alcohol addiction treatment: even publicly funded centres on a budget make some allowance for differing needs and circumstances.

There is also an almost universal agreement that addiction treatment is needed in the first place. We have moved on from the days when people with addictions went through detox and were sent home with instructions to never use the substance again.

Similarly, we are no longer stuck on the idea of talk therapy being the only mode of addiction treatment. Rehab centres typically use a multifaceted approach that combines therapy, life coaching, yoga, creative pursuits, exercise and more. The more customizable an addiction treatment program is, the better the long-term outcomes are.

But are there any commonalities? In this world of individually tailored addiction treatment plans, are there any elements that should be applied to everyone?

A Universal Treatment Goal

No matter who you are or what circumstances led to your addiction, there is one singular goal of participating in a drug and alcohol rehab program: to address the root causes of the addiction and develop the skills and tools to cope with the challenges of life without turning to substance use.

This goal looks different for everyone. People start using drugs and alcohol for all kinds of reasons, such as spousal abuse, trauma from serving in the military, schoolyard bullying, or unrelenting pressure to succeed in a corporate environment.

Delving into these issues is key to long-term recovery, and in most cases, this involves therapy.

Defining Therapy

For most people, the word “therapy” conjures up a mental picture of a patient sitting in an office talking to a therapist. But therapy can take many forms. In fact, Britannica (famed for the encyclopedia) defines psychotherapy as “any form of treatment for psychological, emotional, or behaviour disorders in which a trained person establishes a relationship with one or several patients for the purpose of modifying or removing existing symptoms and promoting personality growth”.

By this definition, many things can qualify as “therapy”, so individuals who are not willing or able to relive their traumas by verbalizing them can heal in ways that are more suited to them.

Individual Therapy

Talk therapy is an old favourite, and it is highly effective for many people. There are several subclasses of talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). Many people find that they can only work through their traumas if they talk about them, and individual talk therapy provides a safe, confidential environment for doing that.

Group Therapy

group therapy

Humans instinctively gravitate to other humans who have common experiences, interests, or challenges. We feel validated when we are among people who “get it”, who have lived through some of the same things we have. Group therapy allows people with addictions to share their experiences, talk about what they have learned, and support one another through the process of recovery.

Family Therapy

Some addictions arise from situations of conflict with loved ones. All people involved – the person with the addiction and their close friends and family members – may benefit from family therapy. The goal is to improve communication and conflict resolution skills.

Creative Therapies

Therapy using art, music, and dance can be an effective supplement to talk therapy, or it can be used as the primary form of therapy for those who are not candidates for talk therapy. Creativity is a great way for individuals to express themselves and communicate difficult emotions. These forms of therapy are relatively recent additions to addiction treatment.

Traditional Healing Practices

No discussion about addiction treatment is complete without a look at the traditional healing methods used in some cultures. It is important that addiction treatment acknowledge and respect the individual’s cultural and spiritual needs. Traditions like sweat lodge ceremonies, storytelling, land-based activities, and traditional teachings should be available to people from Indigenous communities.

Therapy Comes In Many Forms

We need to overturn the idea that “therapy” consists of lying on a couch talking to a relative stranger. The therapies described above are just a small part of an ever-growing, ever-evolving list. The key is to determine what kind of therapy works for you. Sometimes it will be just done, but more commonly, a combination of therapeutic modalities will be most effective.

It is important to remember that while we usually associate therapy with mental health, it can also apply to physical health. If you suffer from an addiction to painkillers, you may need an alternative means of managing the pain for which the painkillers were prescribed, such as a different medication, physiotherapy, or both. If your addiction is paired with an eating disorder, you may benefit from therapy that incorporates exercise and nutrition coaching.

therapy comes in many forms

The Importance Of Flexibility

As you move through your addiction recovery, you will change and grow. As this happens, the combination of therapies that worked for you in the beginning may need to be adjusted. A good addiction treatment plan allows for this. There should be assessments at regular intervals, during which your progress is monitored and your treatment altered as needed.

Therapy After Rehab

Addiction recovery is an ongoing process that continues long after you have left your rehab facility. As part of your discharge from rehab, you should be referred to therapists and treatment providers in your area who can help you continue the work you have started. With technological advances, many of these therapies can be conducted online.

Getting Started With Addiction Treatment

Talking about the different kinds of therapy is all well and good, but how do you get started in a facility that provides access to all of this? Fortunately, you do not have to look far. Thousand Islands Rehab Centre is located in a beautiful setting just two hours out of Toronto. We will put together a customized addiction treatment program that considers your unique needs and circumstances, and that incorporate the therapeutic methods that are right for you. Your recovery journey can start right now with a single phone call.

Addiction Treatment

How Much Does Rehab Cost in Toronto?

Substance abuse disorder is a complex condition that results in uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. People with this condition have an intense focus on using a particular substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired. Individuals keep using the substance, even when they know it is causing problems.

People with substance abuse and behavioural addictions may be aware of their problem yet unable to stop even if they want to. The addiction can cause physical and psychological issues and interpersonal problems with family members, friends, and coworkers. Alcohol and drug use is one of the leading causes of preventable illnesses and premature deaths nationwide.

If someone has an addiction, they need help. Many people with substance abuse disorder don’t realize that they have a problem, or they are too afraid to reach out. It is often up to close friends and family members to seek out treatment options for their loved one. Drug and alcohol rehab centres are an excellent place to start, but the cost of treatment is frequently seen as a barrier. There are many treatment facilities in the Toronto area, and the price varies depending on who runs the facility and what services are offered.

Addiction Treatment

Substance use has increased relative to pre-pandemic times, but a smaller percentage of people are getting the help they need. Addiction can be fatal, so those impacted by it need to seek treatment. The earlier addiction treatment is initiated, the better the outcomes are.

The first step is to contact a medical professional for assistance. They will help develop a treatment plan that will include a variety of services. The treatments recommended will depend on several factors, such as the severity of the addiction. Interventions range from at-home detox with check-in visits to your doctor, to inpatient rehab lasting for several weeks.

Rehab centres provide many services, such as education, group and individual counseling, and life coaching. Inpatient rehab is generally accepted as the most effective form of addiction treatment, although well-structured outpatient programs can work for some individuals.

In Canada, there are options for both government-funded and private rehab. Publicly funded services vary by province, and your out-of-pocket cost of private rehab depends on the facility and the coverage offered by your insurance company.

Publicly Funded Rehab

The key advantage of this type of addiction treatment is that it is free in Ontario for Canadian citizens and residents. Government-funded facilities such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) offer many services to people with addictions. These include medical detox, therapy, group counselling, and follow-up after completion of the rehab program. The addiction treatment program typically lasts for about 30 days.

There are some disadvantages of government-run drug and alcohol rehab. The waiting period can be up to six months, and the average staff to patient ratio is 10:1 – significantly higher than most private facilities. Aftercare is much shorter as well – usually about three months, compared with private aftercare, which can last longer than one year. There is also no re-entry after a relapse in most cases, and family support is limited.

Privately Funded Rehab

Getting addiction treatment at a private centre will require the patient to cover the cost either alone or through their insurance company. Many facilities and treatment providers offer financing or income-based pricing in a quest to make treatment financially accessible to more people. Although the price of private rehab seems high, weighing it against the cost of addiction may make it viable.

Wait times for private treatment are significantly shorter than those for public centres. Private addiction treatment facilities can typically facilitate admission immediately or within days.

There are also more options when it comes to treatment. You can sign up for a longer program, with a much better staff to patient ratio at an average of 3:1. Other advantages are the longer and more comprehensive aftercare programs, extensive support for loved ones, and the fact that the patient can return to rehab in the event of a relapse.

Private drug and alcohol rehab centres also have more resources at their disposal. Clients can expect more individual sessions and group treatment with fewer participants. There is a wider variety of therapeutic modalities, more amenities, and more choice when it comes to recreational options. The services and amenities vary from one centre to the next.

Breakdown of Fees

There are several drug and alcohol rehab centres in the Toronto area, and they vary significantly in terms of what services they offer. Some offer a wide range of therapy options and recreational activities, and some are more basic. The cost for a private room in a facility with a spa and golf course will be higher than that of a semi-private room in a centre that offers nature walks.

The price tag of your stay in rehab covers the cost of all services, amenities, and recreational options offered at the facility. If you are shopping around, be sure to ask for a detailed list of services from the rehab centres you approach.

Medical detox

medical detox

Medical detox allows the patient to stop using the substance they are addicted to with medical support. If an individual suddenly stops taking a drug, they may suffer withdrawal symptoms that range from uncomfortable to dangerous. During medical detox, the patient is supervised closely throughout this process, and withdrawal symptoms are managed as they arise, sometimes with the help of medications. Medical detox can be an expensive part of rehab, but anyone attempting withdrawal at home should be aware that emergency medical services are available whenever they are needed through the provincial health care plan.

Inpatient Rehab

All elements of this type of drug and alcohol rehab take place at the rehab facility. Patients temporarily live at the centre, where they have 24/7 access to support. This is the safest and most effective way to quit using the substance and overcome the addiction. A patient’s stay in rehab usually ranges from 30 days to several months. If the facility offers medical detox, this will be included in the fee.

Outpatient Rehab

For mild to moderate addictions, patients can enter an outpatient rehab program, where they continue to live at home and attend appointments with doctors and other addiction professionals. Some patients transition to outpatient programs when they are discharged from their inpatient rehab facilities. The fees for outpatient rehab depend on how severe the addiction is and what is included in the treatment plan.


Medications may be used to manage withdrawal and some mental health conditions, like anxiety. The medications used may be a significant factor in the cost. Although prescription medications are not covered by the provincial health plan for most people, the majority of insurance plans include a prescription drug allowance.

Getting Help

If you are living with an addiction, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Thousand Islands Rehab Centre is a full-service drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility just a two-hour drive from Toronto. You do not have to try to overcome your addiction by yourself. We are here to help you safely withdraw from the substance you have been using, and help you gain the skills and tools to lead a happy, productive life free from addiction.

Whether it is for a family member or yourself, call us today. Substance abuse disorder can be fatal, but it is very treatable, especially if you seek help early.

Alcohol Addiction

How Much Does Alcohol Rehab Cost In Toronto?

Alcohol addiction is one of the most challenging addictions to treat, partly because it is so difficult to recognize. Many events and celebrations around the world are observed with alcohol – holiday season parties, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries. Meals with friends include wine, we kick off our shoes and relax with a beer at the end of a long day, and drunkenness is practically expected at college parties.

What this means is that alcohol consumption is so ingrained into our lives that we can easily fail to see when someone has crossed the line from regular drinking to problem drinking and alcohol addiction. By the time the problem is acknowledged, the individual may already be deep in the woods of their alcohol use disorder, and getting into an alcohol rehab program becomes a matter of urgency.

Sadly, many people decide not to seek help because they feel that cost is a barrier. In this article, we will go over what kinds of alcohol addiction treatment exist in Toronto and what they cost.

Support Groups – Free

Support groups are available in person and online, and they are everybody’s favourite price: free. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a great place to start for people who are waiting for a rehab spot, or who are unwilling or unable to enter a rehab program.

Groups like AA consist of people who understand first-hand the challenges of alcohol addiction. You can learn from their stories, and through their sponsor program, you can have access to someone you can call when things get difficult. As you progress in your recovery, you will have the opportunity to give back by helping someone who is newer to their recovery.

AA has online options, which are great for people who cannot get to regular meetings. Those who experience social anxiety may prefer the online format to an in-person setting. There are also a lot of online alternatives to AA.

AA may not be enough on its own. If your alcohol addiction has been progressing for a long time, if you have co-existing physical or mental health concerns, or if you do not have the support of friends and family members, you may need additional treatment. AA and similar support groups are often part of addiction treatment programs.

Government-Funded Alcohol Addiction Treatment – Free/Low Cost

The Ontario government provides funding for some alcohol addiction treatment services. Several hospitals in the province have detox programs, and for those attempting detox at home, medical services are always available in the event of an emergency.

Facilities like the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and Bellwood Health Services offer inpatient rehab programs to Ontario residents. Most of these programs are fully funded by the government, but you may need to pay out of pocket for “extras” like semi-private or private accommodation, and prescribed medications.

Government-funded alcohol addiction treatment programs can be a lifesaver for people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. If you go this route, you may have to wait for a spot to open up. Also bear in mind that in general, government-funded programs are not highly individualized, and they do not include addiction aftercare services.

Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Treatment – Cost Varies

An outpatient addiction treatment program is one where you continue to live at home and participate in your regular life, while attending appointments with a variety of professionals. These can include therapists, doctors, nutrition counsellors, and life coaches. You may also receive home visits from nurses.

Outpatient programs can be highly tailored to meet your unique needs, at a cost that is far lower than inpatient rehab. This form of treatment is ideal for people who cannot afford to go to rehab, or who do not have the ability to step out of their lives for a few weeks.

If you have physical or mental health conditions alongside your addiction, if you have a prior history of addiction and relapse, or if you lack a solid support system, you should consider inpatient treatment instead.

outpatient alcohol addiction treatment

Private Inpatient Alcohol Rehab – Cost Is Usually High

Private residential or inpatient alcohol addiction treatment is by far the most expensive option, running to several thousand dollars per month. However, this form of treatment is also the most effective, for several reasons:

  • Your treatment program is customized to your needs and circumstances
  • You do not have access to the stresses of the outside world – you can put exclusive focus onto your recovery
  • You do not have access to alcohol
  • You are in a place where you have 24/7 support
  • You are living among people who truly understand what you are going through

While the high cost of private rehab may seem like a barrier, it is important to remember that it includes everything: all forms of therapy that you will undergo, food, accommodation, recreational options, gym/exercise options, and whatever else the facility includes.

If you want to attend inpatient alcohol rehab, there are several avenues to consider when it comes to funding:

  • Talk to your medical insurance company about whether they will cover a stay in a rehab facility
  • Some employer assistance programs can assist with funding
  • You may be able to take advantage of a financing plan

Getting Help For Your Alcohol Addiction

Located an easy two-hour drive from Toronto, Thousand Islands Rehab Centre is a full-service alcohol addiction facility that can support you through detox, rehab, and aftercare. All of our programs are fully tailored to each individual, so you will know that you are getting the addiction treatment that is right for you. We follow a holistic approach that takes into account your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs.

Addiction does not only affect the individual it is happening to: it can have a far-reaching impact on the lives of the people around you. Our rehab programs include family therapy aimed at helping you and your loved ones manage conflicts and communicate in a constructive manner. This is a step toward ensuring that you will have the support you need when it is time for you to leave rehab.

For more information about our services, call us today.

Medical Detox

Withdrawal Management And Medical Detox

A common and dangerous misconception about addiction is that people who suffer from it can get better if they simply stop using drugs or alcohol. In an ideal world that would be true, but the reality is not that simple. Addiction arises because the body gets so used to functioning with a particular substance running through it that it “forgets” how to work without that substance.

What this means is that the body can go into a form of shock when it is suddenly deprived of the substance it has become so accustomed to. What results is a series of withdrawal events that can be uncomfortable at best, and dangerous – even fatal – at worst.

Many people try several times to quit using drugs or alcohol on their own. They may have the strongest resolve in the world to stick to their goal, but after hours or days, the withdrawal symptoms become too overwhelming for them to cope with, and they seek out their substance of choice just to get away from the discomfort or pain they are experiencing.

With proper support and a solid withdrawal management plan, you can safely stop using drugs or alcohol and reduce your risk of relapse.

In order to talk about withdrawal management and the role of medical detox, we should first address how addiction arises in the first place.

How Does Addiction Develop?

All of us are motivated by reward, and a lot of times the reward is nothing more than a feeling of happiness or well being. These feelings arise as a result of the brain releasing “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine. Because we like experiencing happiness, confidence, serenity, and other positive emotions, we are driven to repeat the behaviours that produce them. In other words, we act in ways that trigger a boost of dopamine.

When the dopamine is boosted in healthy ways such as exercise, accomplishing a goal, or spending time with loved ones, it gradually returns to its baseline level.

The reason people use drugs and alcohol is that these substances activate the brain’s reward system by artificially prompting a release of dopamine. With many substances, when the dopamine level comes back down, it is not gradual. It drops suddenly, often to a level below the original baseline.

The addicted person wants to feel good again, so they use the substance again. But this time, they have to use more in order to achieve the same effects. And so over time, the dosage increases, and the time between uses decreases.

While all of this is going on, the body is adjusting to the presence of the substance. This impacts your breathing, your heart rate, how the liver functions, what happens in the digestive system, and a host of other things.

What Happens During Withdrawal?

Now that your body’s functions and systems have been compensating for the presence of drugs or alcohol, what happens when that presence is abruptly taken away?  Bear in mind that it took a while for your body to make these adjustments as your substance use increased; when the substance is withdrawn, it won’t suddenly start to act “normally”. Your organs, brain, and central nervous system will continue to behave as if drugs or alcohol are flowing through your body, and this can have dangerous effects.

For example, alcohol is a depressant that slows down your heart rate. Habitual use will make your heart work harder – in other words, beat faster – to compensate. When you suddenly take away the alcohol, your heart continues to beat faster – but now there is nothing to artificially slow it down. It can be the human body’s equivalent of a car accelerating for a period of time and then suddenly losing its braking capacity.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms that you may experience depend on a number of factors, including your age and state of health, the substances you were using, how long you have been addicted for, and what your average dosages were.

Some common withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Agitation and irritability that may translate into aggressive or violent behaviour
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Disrupted eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Hot and cold flushes and/or excessive sweating
  • Impaired memory, concentration, and cognitive function
  • Elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration
  • Shaking or tremors, especially in the hands
  • Restlessness
  • Watery discharge from the nose and eyes

Some substances, such as alcohol and opioids, can produce severe advanced withdrawal symptoms, including delirium tremens, seizures, extreme variations in body temperature and blood pressure, and hallucinations.

What Is Medical Detox?

what is medical detox

In order to get through withdrawal, it is important to have a withdrawal management plan. This plan will vary depending on your own circumstances and what substance you are withdrawing from. Before you stop using a substance, you should consult with your doctor, who will advise you on how to do so safely.

If you are at high risk of developing severe withdrawal complications, this plan may include a period of medical detox. This can take two forms:

  • Inpatient detox: you spend a few days in a detox facility, where medical professionals will monitor you throughout your withdrawal and treat symptoms as they arise
  • Outpatient detox: you continue to live at home, but you go to outpatient appointments at a hospital or clinic, and receive visits from a nurse

Any medical detox plan should be customized for the individual. Even when two people are withdrawing from the same substance, their withdrawal management plan may be different. The levels of intervention will vary from one person to next, ranging from simple wellness checks to the use of medication to manage symptoms or cravings.

Is Unsupervised Detox Ever Safe?

No one should attempt detox from any substance without at least talking to their doctor beforehand. In some cases, your doctor may advise that it is safe for you to go through your detox at home, or in another safe environment. This is more likely if the substance is known to not have dangerous withdrawal symptoms, if you have a strong support network of family and friends, and if you do not have a prior history of substance abuse and withdrawal.

If you go through detox at home, you should avoid being alone. Have someone with you who can get medical attention to you should the need arise.

Getting Help For Drug And Alcohol Detox And Rehab

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we provide medical detox in a safe, compassionate environment. Our team of medical professionals will ensure that you are safe and comfortable throughout your withdrawal process. Once detox is complete, you will be able to enter a rehab program on a fully customized plan, to begin your road to recovery. Contact us today for more information.

Drug Rehab

Drug Detox Process

Millions of people globally suffer from addiction. It ravages its victims and ruins lives. Most individuals know someone with a substance abuse problem.

Addiction is a chronic dependence on a substance or activity that has serious psychological or physical effects. It always begins with one drink or one visit to the Bingo parlour. Slowly individuals become more and more dependent on a substance or behaviour as they build up a tolerance.

Research tells us that individuals with an addiction need treatment that is specifically designed to their own needs, and that professional help vastly increases the chances of success. A rehab centre or hospital will develop a personalized treatment plan, and the first step will be drug detox.

What is Drug Detox?

Detoxing from drugs involves clearing the body of substances and managing any withdrawal symptoms that occur. The entire process may take anywhere from a few days to several months. For example, alcohol leaves the body after a few days but the withdrawal symptoms can last much longer.

There are two ways to stop using drugs or alcohol – gradually or all at once. Stopping suddenly, or “cold turkey”, can be extremely dangerous and should never be done without medical intervention. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are great, but when you are ready to quit, you need more specialized help.

Medical detox is withdrawal that is done under the supervision of medical professionals, either in a treatment centre or hospital, or at home. This ensures that the possible side effects from detox, such as cardiac arrest or seizures, can be managed. Doctors may also use drugs to manage the withdrawal symptoms so that quitting is less dangerous.

Designing the plan

designing the plan

The first step in the drug detox process is assessment by a doctor or medical professional, who will then create a plan tailored specifically to the individual. This will involve weaning the person with the addiction from the substance in order to safely remove it from the body.

The plan will depend largely on what substance the individual is addicted to.  Most experts agree, for example, that it is dangerous to quit prescription drugs like opioids or valium “cold turkey”, so they substitute other medications to wean the body off slowly.

In some instances, doctors will provide the patient with prescription drugs that mimic the substance in order to ease withdrawal symptoms. The health care providers will then taper the individual off these substances.

How quickly a patient is weaned depends on several factors, including the substance and how long the addiction has been going on. If someone is a heavy user of cocaine or heroin, for instance, they may need a complex detox plan that includes prescription drugs and several weeks of treatment. Those who have been addicted for a shorter time, or who are at lower risk of withdrawal effects, may only need a few days of observation and monitoring.

Types of Drug Detox

Substance abuse disorder is a mental health problem that has physical and psychological effects.  Detoxing without medical intervention, alone and with no guidance, is not advisable. This is because a person who is heavily addicted to drugs or alcohol may develop severe withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit abruptly. These symptoms can be dangerous – they often include rapid heart rate, hallucinations and seizures.

There are two types of detox treatment: inpatient or outpatient. With outpatient treatment, detox takes place under the guidance of staff in a doctor’s office, rehab centre or hospital, but the individual does not stay there. In the case of inpatient treatment, the person temporarily stays at the facility.

In many cases, detox involves a combination of settings. For example, the patient may stay in a hospital for the first few days, and then attend medical appointments on an outpatient basis for several weeks.

The determination of inpatient, outpatient, or combined treatment depends on a variety of factors, including the substance that was abused, the severity of the addiction, whether there is a prior history of substance abuse, and whether there are any other health problems.

Outpatient Detox

People who go through outpatient detox live at home and continue participating in their regular activities, while attending appointments with one or more medical professionals.

The detox program will look different for each individual based on their needs and circumstances. People who don’t need a lot of supervision might just check in with the health care provider at scheduled times. Those who need more supervision will have regularly scheduled visits, and they may also receive home visits from nurses. Some people attend a daytime program at a hospital or substance abuse treatment facility but go home at night.

Outpatient treatment tends to be less expensive than inpatient treatment. In all other respects, the treatment goals are the same: to ensure that the patient is safe and comfortable throughout their withdrawal process.

Inpatient Detox

The primary benefit of inpatient drug detox is the round the clock care that a patient receives. This is crucial if the addiction is very advanced or the withdrawal symptoms are severe. It can be dangerous to quit any drug without medical support, but some substances, like opioids and alcohol, post a higher risk.

Inpatient detox offers everything that outpatient treatment offers. This includes group counselling, withdrawal medications and medical intervention.

Intensive inpatient medical rehabs offer the highest level of care and monitoring. These programs can keep you safe and medically stable while you taper off dangerous drugs.

A typical day involves a visit with a doctor, carefully planned meals, withdrawal symptom management, group counselling and exercise.

Many facilities offer both detox and rehab, meaning that when the patient has completed their detox, they can go straight into a drug rehab program.

inpatient detox

At Home Detox

At home drug detox may seem like a desirable option, but it is generally not recommended. Withdrawal symptoms are often dangerous, and being at home by yourself means you do not have access to medications and treatments designed to make the process safe and comfortable.

Detox at home may be safe for some substances, such as marijuana, but this should only be done after consultation with a doctor who has determined that you are at low risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. In no circumstance should you be alone during your detox period.

Where to Go for Support

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we offer medical detox and addiction rehab. Our team of dedicated medical experts will supervise you and keep you safe through even the toughest of withdrawals. You will be in an environment where you can get the drugs or alcohol out of your system while you start to regain your physical strength. All detox and rehab programs are customized to the needs of each individual. Call us today to find out more. Don’t try to go through detox on your own. We are here to help you get started on your recovery.

Opioid Addiction

At-Home vs. Medical Detox: Which Is Better?

Quitting use of drugs or alcohol is not as simple as – well, quitting. It takes time for any substance to fully work its way out of your system and for your body to start working normally again. During this process, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that range from being mildly uncomfortable to downright dangerous. In some cases, unsupervised withdrawal can be fatal.

There are several factors to think about when deciding how and where to detox, one of the biggest being the substance that you are withdrawing from. In this article, we will discuss withdrawal and why it happens, the key differences between at-home and medical detox, and how to figure out which one is best for you.

What Is Withdrawal?

The primary reason people abuse drugs and alcohol is because it makes them feel good. These substances do this by artificially triggering the brain to release “feel good” chemicals, such as dopamine. This results in feelings of euphoria, tranquility, confidence, and any number of other positive emotions. The more drugs you use, the more you need: as you develop a tolerance for the substance, you need to ingest more in order to achieve the same effects.

While this is happening, your body is getting used to receiving regular doses of the substance. Eventually, you may reach a point where your body is operating more with the drugs than without them, and a dependence develops. This means that the body is so accustomed to the substance that it goes into varying degrees of shock when the substance is withheld. The result is withdrawal symptoms that range from being mildly uncomfortable to potentially fatal.

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

The nature and severity of withdrawal symptoms varies widely depending on a number of factors, the biggest of which is the substance you are withdrawing from. Some substances, such as marijuana, typically produce withdrawal symptoms that are mild and pose no danger. Others, like alcohol, are associated with dire withdrawal effects like delirium tremens, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Other factors that may impact your withdrawal experience include:

  • Your age, weight, and sex assignment at birth
  • Whether you have any coexisting physical or mental illnesses
  • Whether you are using any other substance, including prescription medications
  • How long you have been using drugs or alcohol for, your frequency of use, and your dosage per use

Different substances produce different withdrawal symptoms, but there are some symptoms that are common across most substances.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

opioid withdrawal symptoms

Early opioid withdrawal symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, fever, sweating in the absence of physical exertion or external heat, and dilated pupils.

These symptoms may give way to nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, bone and muscle pain and weakness, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, and agitation/restlessness.

Sedative Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from sedatives such as benzodiazepines takes place in three stages:

  • Early withdrawal: gastrointestinal pain or discomfort, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, restlessness, and panic/anxiety
  • Mid-stage withdrawal: fever, sweating in the absence of heat or activity, insomnia, shaking, loss of appetite, diarrhea
  • Late withdrawal: hallucinations, agitation, erratic blood pressure and heart rate, seizures

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal can result in headaches, insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, gastrointestinal pain or discomfort, and loss of appetite. Some individuals experience a severe form of withdrawal called delirium tremens, which is characterized by elevated blood pressure and heart rate, hallucinations, disorientation, fever, and sweating in the absence of activity or heat.

Stimulant Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can lead to exhaustion, depression, restlessness, irritability, and an increased need to eat and sleep.

Why Does Detox Location Matter?

Like other parts of your recovery process, your detox plan should be customized to your unique needs and circumstances. Some people anticipate mild withdrawal, and may be able to detox safely at home. Others are more likely to experience more intense withdrawal symptoms and would be safer in a detox facility.

Medical Detox

For some people, medical detox is the only safe way to stop using a substance. If you choose this route, you will be admitted to an inpatient detox facility, where you will be supervised by a team of medical professionals throughout your detox process. You will be kept as comfortable as possible, and withdrawal symptoms will be treated as they arise. In some cases, you may be gradually withdrawn from the substance. Medication is often used to treat cravings and/or withdrawal symptoms.

Many addiction rehab facilities have on-site detox clinics, in which case you are generally able to go from detox straight into a rehab program. However, there are some facilities that are dedicated to detox only. If you are not able to get into a rehab facility immediately upon completing detox, or if you choose to not go to rehab, you will need to have a relapse prevention plan in place.

At-Home Detox

at-home detox

Not everyone needs medical detox. If you are planning to go through withdrawal at home, there are some things you should consider:

  • Avoid being alone. If you do not live with anyone, arrange to have a trusted loved one with you, who can help you pass the time when you have cravings, ensure that you are eating and hydrating, and get you medical attention if needed.
  • Stock up on nutritious meals before you start your withdrawal. Prepare meals in advance.
  • Hydration during withdrawal is important. Ensure that you have access to plenty of drinking water.
  • Have a post-withdrawal plan set up. When your withdrawal is complete, your recovery is just beginning. Your plan might simply consist of going to rehab, but it could also include an outpatient program or a schedule of activities to follow at home.
  • If you do relapse, talk to a doctor as soon as you can. Any relapse has the potential to make further detox/withdrawal attempts more complex.

Which One Is Best?

Some factors to consider when choosing between withdrawing at home or going to a medical detox facility include the following:

  • The substance you are withdrawing from: some produce inherently more dangerous withdrawal symptoms than others
  • Prior substance abuse history
  • Whether you have coexisting conditions that need to be managed during withdrawal
  • Whether you have a strong support system in the form of close friends and family members
  • Whether you are pregnant or using any prescription medications

In all cases, it is wise to talk to your doctor before starting your withdrawal. Your doctor will help you determine, based on your individual risk factors, what your best detox/withdrawal option is.

Detox And Rehab In One Location

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we will support you right from the start of your recovery journey, including detox. A team of dedicated, compassionate medical professionals will keep you safe through the rigours of withdrawal. Following that, we will put together an addiction treatment plan that is customized just for you. For more information, call us today.


15 Ways To Overcome An Addiction

While most addictions begin with a voluntary action, no one uses a substance with the intention of becoming addicted. Most people can have a beer or accept a prescription for painkillers without incident. Tragically, others fall down a rabbit hole of addiction that can be difficult to get out of. This can have far-reaching effects on your physical and mental health, as well as your relationships and financial security.

The good news is that many people have overcome their addictions and gone on to lead full, productive lives free from drugs or alcohol. In this article, we will go over some things you can do to overcome your addiction and reduce your risk of relapse.

#1 Build Up Your Physical Strength

While addiction is largely a problem that affects the mind, it can be extremely hard on the body. Most substances come with elevated risks to your physical health, such as heart disease, liver or kidney malfunction, respiratory disorders, and long-term changes to the chemistry of the brain.

In addition, if you are overusing drugs or alcohol, you may unknowingly be neglecting other aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Your food intake may be lacking in both quality and quantity, you may have stopped going to the gym, and your sleep may be irregular and filled with nightmares.

One of the first things you should do once you have gone through the withdrawal phase of your recovery is take action to regain your physical health. Establish healthier eating patterns and engage in physical activity. Keep well hydrated and make sure you get enough sleep.

#2 Address Underlying Causes Of Your Addiction

Addiction rarely exists in a vacuum. For a lot of people, it is a symptom of an underlying problem, such as stress or trauma. If you stop using drugs or alcohol but don’t try to resolve the reasons you were using them in the first place, chances that you will suffer a relapse are high.

Addiction rehab programs exist for this very reason: to help you work through those challenges that led you to your addiction. This is done in a variety of ways, such as individual or group therapy, or therapies using creative media like music or art.

For some people, addressing the underlying causes may mean finding an alternative treatment for a condition that a medication was prescribed for. If you have become addicted to that medication, the original condition still needs to be treated. A doctor or addiction psychiatrist will be able to help you with that.

#3 Work On Mending Damaged Relationships

mending damaged relationships

It has been said that no man is an island, and it is true that people who isolate themselves have poorer mental health outcomes. It is increasingly recognized that addiction is not only about chemical dependencies – it is also about the environment. If you have strong connections with the people around you, your chances of long-term recovery are much higher.

Unfortunately, relationships can be damaged during a period of addiction, and your recovery may need to include family therapy that will help you rebuild bridges with the people you love.

#4 Make A Relapse Prevention Plan

In many of life’s situations, having a backup plan is a good idea. We save money in case an unexpected expense arises. We take out travel insurance in case we get sick while visiting another country. When we go out during the fall, we take a sweater in case we get cold.

Addiction recovery is no different. While you should always be planning for success, you need to know and understand the warning signs of an impending relapse, and as soon as those signs start appearing, you should have a plan that you can set in motion. This could include having a trusted friend stay with you, getting in touch with your therapist, or returning to rehab.

#5 Be Willing To Let Go Of Harmful Relationships

While positive relationships are an essential part of addiction recovery, harmful relationships can set you back. Many addictions are rooted in relationships that are toxic or abusive. Some addictions are perpetuated by situations in which the addicted person is pressured by others to use drugs or alcohol.

Relationships that can be a positive element in your life should be mended. But if a relationship has potential to cause harm and hinder your recovery, you may need to evaluate whether it’s time to let that relationship go.

#6 Participate In Rehab Aftercare Activities

If you participated in inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment and your facility offers an aftercare program, you can derive significant benefit from taking part in it. Many rehab centres report lower relapse rates in clients who make use of the aftercare services, which usually include things like a support line, educational sessions, and follow-up sessions to monitor post-rehab progress.

#7 Join A Support Group

join a support group

Human beings are social creatures who crave a sense of belonging. We instinctively seek out people who have been through similar challenges, so that we can feel less alone and more understood. Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are a fantastic resource for people with addictions to get together and share their stories. Not only can you benefit from learning about the experiences of others, you can help those who are at earlier stages in their recovery than you.

If Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are not your cup of tea, you may be able to join a group therapy program in your area. Online support groups are also becoming more mainstream than ever before, popular because of how accessible they are.

#8 Avoid Big Gaps In Your Time

Author Shelley Shepard Gray said that “idle hands make fretful minds”. If you are new to recovery, large swathes of time can be overwhelming to you. Unoccupied time can give you too much time to think. You may start rehashing traumatic events from the past or questioning your self-worth. Depression and anxiety can creep in, starting as a trickle and gradually becoming a flood. Ultimately, you may start to feel nostalgic for your days of using drugs or alcohol, and this can set you on a downward slope to physical relapse.

If you are not working, use the time to work towards a goal. Pursue a hobby that may have become neglected during your period of active drug use. Embark on a project that has been at the back of your mind, like writing a book or redecorating your house. Take a class in something you have always wanted to learn. Even if you lack the financial resources to pay for a class, there are many free online offerings.

#9 Be Aware Of Codependency In Yourself And Others

Codependent relationships are extremely common in people with addictions. In a relationship like this, one person makes extreme sacrifices to make the other person happy. The other person, for their part, is only too glad to be the recipient of all of the attention. Codependency can exist in any kind of relationship, be it between siblings, a parent and a child, friends, or intimate partners.

In many cases, it is the loved one who is codependent and going out of their way to please the person with the addiction. This provides a perfect environment for the addiction to continue.

Codependent relationships are not necessarily doomed, but it takes work on the part of both people to stop the codependent behaviour.

#10 Learn How To Love Yourself

It is a tragic reality that many people with addictions suffer from low self-esteem. Addiction is often a precursor to suicidal thoughts and behaviour. Relapse can intensify this feeling, leaving you feeling as if you have failed in your attempts at recovery.

No matter where you are in your addiction journey, you need to know that you matter, that your life is valuable. Instead of focusing on trying to get other people to love you, learn how to love yourself. Remind yourself daily – hourly if necessary – of the unique qualities that make you special.

#11 Keep A Journal

Journaling can bring you all kinds of benefits. Writing engages both sides of the brain – the logical and the emotional. This makes it a cathartic activity that can help you in your healing, and it can help you find solutions to challenges. It reduces stress and boosts creativity, and if you build up a collection of journal entries, you will be able to look back at them after a period of time and see how much progress you have made.

#12 Celebrate Your Sobriety Milestones

celebrate your sobriety milestones

Addiction recovery is hard work. It is a long process that may involve a lot of difficult self-reflection and tough decisions. And as is the case with many tough challenges, success should be rewarded. Whether you have maintained sobriety for a month, a year, or a decade, take a moment to congratulate yourself and reflect on how far you have come. Make yourself a sobriety birthday cake, enjoy a celebratory picnic with your closest loved ones, or buy yourself that book or pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.

#13 Look For Natural Dopamine Boosts

Many substances result in elevated levels of dopamine, which make you feel good. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that feeds our sense of reward and motivation. That is the hook that results in a lot of people becoming addicted, and it is what makes it so difficult to quit. If you are early on in your recovery journey, you may struggle when it comes to finding a sober way to feel good. Fortunately, nature has provided us with ways to boost dopamine naturally. These include:

  • Boosting your protein intake
  • Doing exercise you enjoy, from yoga to going for a run
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time in the sun (with proper sun protection)

#14 Don’t Give Up If You Suffer A Relapse

Relapse can happen to people who are doing everything right. You never know when some crisis will come along and knock you off your feet. Some people relapse after a stressful life event like job loss or the death of a loved one. Others simply become victims of their own self-sabotaging thoughts.

It is important to understand that relapse does not mean your treatment has failed. Addiction is an illness, and like many illnesses, there can be setbacks during your recovery. If you suffer a relapse, identify what triggered it, learn from it, and continue with your recovery plan. Some people benefit from returning to rehab for a while, to reinforce what they have learned. Others are able to adjust elements of their lifestyle or alter their thinking with the help of a therapist. The most important thing is to not give up.

#15 Visualize Success

People tend to be most successful when they can visualize success. Create a picture in your mind of what your life will look like without cravings, and without all of the negative impacts of addiction. Imagine how you will handle stressful events without needing to use drugs or alcohol, and allow yourself to feel the sense of accomplishment that will come from that. Focus on what your outcome will be and how much better your life will be without the substance that you became addicted to.

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we will help you build that resilience and develop the skills and tools to live a happy, productive life free from drugs or alcohol. With a customized addiction treatment program, you can create endless opportunities for yourself. Call us today for more information, or to reserve your spot.

Marijuana Addiction

Detoxing From Marijuana At Home

Whether you have become addicted to marijuana or another substance, the first step toward recovery is withdrawal. Once the drug is out of your system and all of the withdrawal symptoms are behind you, you can turn your focus to regaining your physical strength and delving into the root causes of your addiction.

The key thing is to get through withdrawal safely. For many substances, coming off a drug involves a lot more than simply ceasing your usage of it. It can entail withdrawal symptoms that are at best uncomfortable, and at worst fatal. This is why it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are considering quitting marijuana or any other substance. In some cases, you will be referred to a medical detox facility, where doctors can monitor your withdrawal and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

The good news is that withdrawal from marijuana is generally not harmful or complicated as long as it is the only substance you have been using. The bad news is that use of other substances can create more intense withdrawal symptoms.

In this article, we will describe some common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal, and when it is safe to go through detox at home without professional help.

Is Marijuana Withdrawal Real?

An unintended effect of the normalization of marijuana for medical purposes is the misconception that “marijuana is good for you”. This notion is problematic for several reasons, one of which is that out of hundreds of strains of cannabis, only a few have applications as medical treatments. It also gives rise to the idea that since marijuana is not a harmful drug in the same way that heroin or cocaine are harmful drugs, withdrawal doesn’t happen.

Cannabis withdrawal is very real, though. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) cites that up to 47% of people who use marijuana regularly experience some form of withdrawal. Moreover, since the withdrawal symptoms include mood imbalances, some people may be thinking the cannabis is medicating their anxiety or depression when in actuality, it is alleviating withdrawal symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Marijuana Withdrawal?

As with most substances, the withdrawal symptoms vary from one person to the next. Factors affecting the nature and intensity of withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Your age, weight, sex assigned at birth, and general state of health
  • How much marijuana you were using and with what frequency
  • Whether you are using other substances, including prescription medications

The more common symptoms of marijuana withdrawal include the following:

  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and/or depression
  • Cravings for marijuana
  • Decreased appetite that may be accompanied by nausea
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Restlessness

What Causes Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms?

what causes marijuana withdrawal symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms of some kind happen when you stop regular use of almost any substance, including everyday substances like caffeine or sugar. Using a substance like marijuana on a daily basis causes an artificial boost in certain chemicals released by the brain. These chemicals control things like how good we feel and how creative we are in any given moment.

If you stop using marijuana after prolonged regular use, your body is in a position of having to rely on natural production of these chemicals. The problem is that it takes time for the natural receptors to return to normal. You experience withdrawal symptoms as your body and mind struggle to adjust to the deprivation.

Is It Safe To Go Through Marijuana Detox At Home?

Withdrawal from some substances, such as alcohol and methamphetamine, can be extremely dangerous when there is no medical supervision. Fortunately, marijuana does not fall into this category. If you are not using any other substances, you will probably be able to go through detox at home.

The most successful at-home detox efforts are well planned. Here are some things you should take into consideration:

  • Stock up on a good source of hydration, such as sports drinks. You may not feel like eating during your withdrawal, but you have to stay hydrated. Sipping on a sports drink that contains electrolytes can help with your fluid intake if you are experiencing nausea or abdominal pain.
  • Don’t go through this alone. Even though cannabis withdrawal symptoms are relatively benign, you may experience mood swings or anxiety that seem overwhelming. Having a trusted friend or family member with you can help get you through those moments.
  • Plan some activities. Withdrawal often comes with feelings of restlessness, and this can be hard to bear, especially when combined with cravings. You may be able to alleviate this by going for walks or keeping your hands busy.
  • Make a plan to manage your cravings. If you are making a concerted effort to quit marijuana, the last thing you need is for your friendly neighbourhood dealer to pop around for a cup of coffee. This is another reason it’s beneficial to have a trusted loved one with you: they can screen any visitors or calls for you, and they can help ensure that you do not get your hands on any marijuana.
  • Be prepared to seek medical attention if needed. Marijuana does not produce medically harmful withdrawal symptoms, but if you are taking other substances, your withdrawal may be complicated. Even a legitimate prescription medication can make your body or mind behave differently if you are in a state of withdrawal.

Marijuana Detox And Rehab In A Beautiful Location

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we provide everything you will need for a safe detox and a comprehensive addiction recovery. People start using marijuana for all kinds of reasons. In younger people in particular, marijuana use can be a sign of a troubled home or school life, and getting away from that environment can be hugely beneficial to healing. We will put together a marijuana addiction treatment plan that is customized to your needs and circumstances. With perseverance and determination on your part and compassion on ours, you can recover from a marijuana addiction and go on to lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Addiction Treatment

Available Treatments For Marijuana Use Disorders

There is a common misconception that marijuana is not addictive, and that therefore, marijuana addiction treatment is not necessary. The reality, however, is that regular use of marijuana can lead to addiction, especially in people who start using it during or before early adolescence.

Several factors play into the addictive nature of marijuana. One of these is the fact that it is easier than ever before to chemically enhance cannabis. This results in marijuana that in some cases is up to 200 times stronger than the weed from days gone by. An increasing body of research is showing that the effects of marijuana are amplified in young people whose brains are still growing and changing.

Another factor to consider is that marijuana is frequently used in conjunction with other substances, such as alcohol, heroin, or Ecstasy. This can create a dependency not on one substance, but on a combination.

The good news is that marijuana use disorders are highly treatable. In this article, we will talk about different ways in which you can recover, and the pros and cons of each.


The first step in any addiction treatment program is getting the substance out of your system in a way that is safe. Marijuana withdrawal is generally safe and does not require medically supervised detox. However, if you have been using marijuana with another substance, such as alcohol, you need to be more careful. Some substances can produce withdrawal symptoms that are potentially harmful, and your safest option is to check into a detox facility where medical professionals can deal with withdrawal symptoms as they arise.

Inpatient Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Inpatient rehab is generally the most effective way to treat most substance use disorders, including marijuana addiction. During your treatment, you will be on-site at the treatment facility 24/7 for several weeks. You will follow a schedule that is laid out in your treatment plan, and you will have everything you need to get you through your early recovery. Meals and accommodation are provided, all of your therapy and medical appointments are right there, and a variety of recreational options will be provided for your down-time.


The biggest advantage of inpatient marijuana addiction treatment is that you can put yourself at a distance from all of the challenges of the real world, which allows you to focus on your recovery without distraction. You don’t have to worry about your troubled relationships, your toxic work environment, or making sure you pay the bills on time. Your only job is to focus on your rehab.

Other advantages include the following:

  • You don’t have access to marijuana, or to the real-world triggers for using it
  • You are living among people who have their own journeys, but understand the challenges of addiction
  • You have access to physical and mental health support whenever you need it
  • You will have a set schedule to follow, and this can benefit those in need of structure
  • All of your addiction treatment sessions are right there, which sets you up for early success


One of the biggest barriers to inpatient rehab for many people is the expense. Marijuana addiction treatment in a private inpatient facility will set you back several thousand dollars a month. While this may seem a lot, it is important to remember that it includes everything: accommodation, meals, all therapy sessions, and some recreational options. In addition, you may be able to claim some or all of the cost from your medical insurance company or take advantage of financing plans.

Money is not the only potential problem, though. Not everyone is in a position of being able to step out of their lives for weeks at a time. Some people have to show up at work, bring in an income, and manage the home. You may not have a trusted person who can take care of children or pets for a few weeks, and mortgages and bills don’t just go away.

The transition back to the real world can also be a challenge. While it’s highly beneficial to leave your problems behind while you go to rehab, those same problems may still be there when you get out. Without proper planning, returning to your life can be difficult.

Outpatient Marijuana Addiction Treatment

outpatient marijuana addiction treatment

The challenges of inpatient rehab shouldn’t stop you from getting help, though, and there are some excellent outpatient programs available for people with marijuana use disorders. With this kind of treatment, you continue with your daily life while attending treatment sessions at the appropriate intervals. If you have high motivation to recover and a solid support system of friends and family members, you can achieve great success with an outpatient program.


From a practical standpoint, outpatient rehab is more manageable for many people than inpatient rehab. Here are some of the advantages:

  • It costs less than inpatient rehab
  • You continue to live at home and participate in your usual daily activities
  • You can practice the tools and skills you learn in the real world immediately
  • You may be able to taper off your sessions gradually, unlike inpatient rehab which has a definite end date
  • As challenges arise in your life, you can bring them to your treatment sessions and get guidance on dealing with them


Outpatient rehab is logistically easier than inpatient rehab, but it does not have the same effectiveness. Some disadvantages of this kind of marijuana addiction treatment are as follows:

  • If you are not highly motivated to recover, you may find it easy to bail on your sessions
  • The stresses and challenges of your everyday life may be a distraction to your recovery
  • If you start to experience cravings, you can access marijuana easily
  • If your personal relationships are troubled, this can indicate a weak support system, and this makes outpatient recovery more difficult

A Compassionate Approach To Treating Marijuana Use Disorders

All human beings are unique, and no two addiction stories are alike. No matter what led you to addiction and what your circumstances are, Thousand Islands Rehab Centre can provide you with a personalized marijuana addiction treatment program that addresses your specific needs. We follow a holistic approach that recognizes you not as a “drug addict”, but as a person with a debilitating condition and, above all, the potential to heal and lead a full and happy life. For more information, contact us today.

Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Addiction Recovery: What Is The Process?

Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive. The increasing use of cannabis to manage medical conditions perpetuates this misconception. After all, if something is being used as medicine, how bad can it be?

A key point to remember is that there are hundreds of strains of marijuana, with new ones being created all the time. Each strain has its own unique properties and effects, and only a few of them can be used for medical purposes.

In addition, any substance, legal or otherwise, has potential to be overused. Marijuana is the second most commonly used substance in Canada, second only to alcohol. Regular use over a prolonged period of time can result in addiction, especially if such usage begins in early adolescence. Not only does youth increase the risk of addiction, it can result in more severe and long-lasting effects.

It is generally agreed among professionals that many people who use marijuana for non-medical purposes also use other substances, such as alcohol. Any time two substances are combined, there is a risk of chemical interactions that can range from uncomfortable to harmful.

Marijuana use disorders can develop over time without you or your loved ones noticing. This is especially true in a post-legalization world in which marijuana has a higher degree of social acceptance. It is important to monitor yourself for signs of addiction, so you can get help as early as possible.

It is critical to note that in Canada, it is still illegal to use marijuana if you are below the age specified by the province or territory you live in. This restriction exists for a reason: cannabis use by adolescents can be extremely harmful.

Signs Of Marijuana Use Disorder

There are some simple questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you have become addicted to marijuana. If you can answer “yes” to five or six of these, it may be time to seek help.

  • Do you habitually use marijuana for no reason?
  • Do you use marijuana immediately upon waking up in the mornings?
  • Does your life revolve around using marijuana?
  • Do you worry about finding a supply of marijuana?
  • Do you frequently use marijuana by yourself?
  • Do you use weed as an escape from problems?
  • Have you tried unsuccessfully to quit cannabis use?
  • Has using marijuana ever resulted in problems with memory, concentration, or motivation?
  • Have your loved ones expressed concern about your marijuana use?
  • If you don’t have marijuana, do you substitute another substance, such as alcohol?

Taking a marijuana addiction quiz may help you identify whether you have a problem. It is important to know that these quizzes are not diagnostic tools, they are guidelines.

Phases Of Marijuana Addiction Recovery

Your addiction recovery process depends on several factors, the biggest one being the kind of treatment program you choose. Some people simply stop using marijuana and rely on the support of family, friends and support groups. Others choose inpatient or outpatient rehab, and each facility has its own way of doing things.

In general, for those who do decide to seek marijuana addiction treatment, recovery happens in phases.


The good news is that marijuana is one of the easiest substances to withdraw from. Most withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable at worst, and none of them are known to be dangerous. The bad news is that withdrawing from marijuana may mean simultaneously withdrawing from another substance, such as alcohol or heroin. These substances can come with harmful withdrawal effects, which can be amplified or complicated by the withdrawal from marijuana.

If you are considering stopping use of any substance, even one with an image of being “harmless”, it is a good idea to do so under the supervision of a doctor. This ensures that you are safe and comfortable, and that withdrawal complications are managed as they arise.


Once you have safely withdrawn from marijuana and any other substances, you can turn your focus to rehab. Most marijuana addiction treatment facilities will put together a customized treatment program that takes your unique needs and circumstances into account. The rehab phase may include the following elements:

  • Rebuilding your physical strength through nutrition and exercise programs
  • Exploring the underlying causes of the addiction, such as trauma or stress
  • Repairing relationships that were damaged during the period of addiction, and learning better communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Training in life skills like time management and goal setting, that will help you function effectively in your “real life”.
  • Calming practices such as yoga, mindfulness, and meditation



When you are approaching the end of your rehab program, you will need to start planning how to manage your transition back to your regular life. This is something you will do with your addiction treatment team, and it will cover things like:

  • Referrals to therapists in your area so you can continue the work you started in rehab
  • Sourcing in-person and online support groups
  • Putting together a relapse prevention plan
  • Establishing boundaries between you and anyone you will be living with or having regular close contact with
  • Putting together a daily schedule, so you don’t find yourself grappling with overwhelming swathes of empty time


Your addiction treatment does not stop the day you pack your bags and leave the facility. Recovery is an ongoing process that can be punctuated with setbacks, challenges and triumphs. It is increasingly obvious that people who receive some form of aftercare have better chances of achieving long-term recovery, free from relapse. Your aftercare program may include a 24/7 support line, follow-up appointments to monitor progress, and education and training sessions to help you and your loved ones better understand addiction and why it happens.

Where To Go For Marijuana Addiction Treatment

At Thousand Islands Rehab Centre, we believe that addiction recovery is always possible. No matter where you are in your addiction journey, we are ready to welcome you to our safe, non-judgmental environment that is conducive to true healing. We will work with you to put together a treatment program customized to your needs and circumstances, and we will be there through the whole process, from your initial detox right through to aftercare. To find out more, or to book your spot, contact us today.