Opioid Addiction

6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

Opioids are a type of medicine that are commonly used to help relieve pain. To do this, opioids alter the signals being sent between the body and the brain, thus relieving the intensity of the pain and discomfort felt. Opioids also have the ability to alter the way the brain responds to pain, and are commonly prescribed for individuals suffering from surgery, injuries, dental procedures and cancers.

There are a wide range of substances that are included in the opioid category. These substances include: Methadone, heroin, opium, fentanyl, morphine and oxycodone.

When used properly, opioids can be extremely helpful to relieving pain and getting people back on their feet. However, opioids can also become very addictive, and those who misuse their prescriptions can become dependent on them overtime.

Not everyone will recognize their dependency on an opioid, or they may refuse to come to terms with their addiction. Individuals who are unsure whether an opioid addiction is present might consider these 6 warning signs of opioid addiction to get a better idea of the seriousness of their situation:

Related article: 8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

  1. Avoiding Responsibilities

When an individual begins to develop a dependency to an opioid, they often start dedicating a lot of their personal time to getting high or locating more of the substance. When this starts to happen, other responsibilities that they used to value start to become less important, and less time is dedicated to activities they used to love.

This can be true of activities like favorite hobbies and sports, but may also be true of more important things like family responsibilities, work duties, pets and other important parts of life. These kinds of changes are some of the more obvious signs for close friends and family.

  1. Neglecting Friends/Family

An addiction can be a very private matter, and individuals who are suffering from one might try to keep the problem hidden from those closest to them. In order to do this successfully, a person might neglect their friends and family for days and weeks at a time, and begin lying to them about their whereabouts.

  1. Lack of Personal Hygiene

When an individual is focused on getting their next fix, things like personal hygiene are of little importance. Friends and family may notice that a person begins to wear the same clothing, or dirty garments, and that they aren’t showering and tending to their outward appearance as much as they used to.

Onlookers may even notice that the individual has unusually bad breath, smelly clothing and bad body odor.

  1. Psychological Changes

Many of the drugs categorized under opioids tend to give users feelings of euphoria and energy, and as the drug wears off they begin to “crash”. Onlookers might notice these psychological changes when a person begins in a positive and elated mood, and then immediately begins to demonstrate lethargy, abrupt mood swings and paranoia.

Of the 6 signs of opioid addiction, these outward changes in mood are some of the most obvious that chemical imbalances are at play.

  1. Change in Circle of Friends

A user who has dedicated a lot of their time to using will often experience a loss of friends and partners, who do not understand their new habit. Simultaneously, they may begin to hang around a new group of friends who demonstrate similar addiction behaviors and physical attributes.

  1. Depending on Opioids to Function

If an individual can no longer function properly without the use of an opioid, then dependency has taken over. This is a sure sign of an addiction, as the body now believes that it cannot perform regular tasks without having the sensation of being ‘high’.

Those who feel a loved one may be addicted to opioids may want to keep an eye out for these 6 warning signs of opioid addiction. While the effects differ between users, physical and behavioral changes will become more obvious as the addiction worsens. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.


Related article: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal


Drug Rehab

Why Drug Rehab Treatment Should Always Address Mental Health

At least one in every five Canadians experiences a mental illness or a substance abuse every single year. Look around and think that it could be a friend, a co-worker, the person bagging groceries at the local shop or the one who just walked pass on the street. For most of the times it’s virtually impossible to realize or better yet, understand the complexity of the struggles many are battling inside.

People who are already struggling with mental health problems are twice more likely to develop a drug addiction and over 20% are already there. What’s even more devastating is that a significant number are of young age and the associated stigma makes it even more difficult for them to voice their concerns and seek appropriate help.

Imagine that in Canada, about 90 % of the private rehab centres are 12-step based, about 4% are religious based and 2% bootcamp or behavioural modification based, which leaves little room for drug treatment clinics that offer full mental health support for their clients. On the other hand, many of the programs that are available have the capacity to only address relatively mild forms of mental illnesses, particularly those related to mood or anxiety, and not the more severe ones. It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous this is and the long-term effects it inflicts to people dealing with a co-occurring substance abuse making them more susceptible to relapse. However, integrated treatment that looks at individuals as a whole and works to address the full spectrum of symptoms and disorders has been shown to lower these risks. According to one study, in clients living with moderate-to-severe dual diagnosis disorders when the drug abuse treatment was paired with targeted mental health care, the outcomes have seen major improvements.

Related article: The Connection Between Substance Abuse And Mental Health

On the other hand, people who have a genetic predisposition to mental health problems and who abuse certain drugs are increasing their risk of developing such a disorder. For instance, a person with a family history of schizophrenia who also heavily abuses marijuana will significantly increase the risk of triggering psychotic symptoms. In the context of Canada’s recent green light to legalizing the drug, many curious children and adolescents are exposed to a risk they might not even be aware of.

The solution is a treatment approach known as dual diagnosis which, as the name suggests, looks at both mental health illnesses and the substance abuse. Dual diagnosis is built to taken into consideration the various different symptoms and the treatment resistance that may occur more severely than in people who deal with either one or the other. The rehabilitation plan is carefully put together by a highly specialized professional who is able to carry out thorough physical examination and psychological assessments. The treatment is then individualized to include a safe detox step, counselling and therapy as well as self-help and post-treatment management.

Only half of Canadians would be willing to discuss a mental illness problem with their friends or acquaintances, compared to 72% willing to talk about a cancer diagnosis. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Drug Abuse and Addictions: Warning Signs To Look Out For

Marijuana Addiction

Clearing the Smoke on Marijuana: Is It Harmless After All?

Marijuana use has split people into two camps: those firmly against it and all of its uses, including medical ones and those who are backing up its potential and harmlessness for both therapeutic reasons as well as recreational ones. This situation is particularly more alive than ever in North America. The use of cannabis as a medical treatment has been legal since 2001, while the sale, possession, and use of recreational cannabis will be legalized as of October 17, 2018.

Even before that, Canada ranked at the very top of countries with highest rates of cannabis use in the world. While a spliff won’t automatically push someone into addiction, people can become addicted easily with continued, frequent and heavy use. There is a huge knowledge gap here, especially among Canadian teenagers who view marijuana as a harmless herb and as they put it, helps them to be more relax, focus and drive better, be less violent and think more creatively. What they are not aware of is that using marijuana at such an early age when the brain is still developing can lead to cognitive impairment and paired up with mental issues predisposition is nothing short than a recipe for disaster.

It is true that regardless of age however, some people are more likely to becoming addicted than their peers. Numbers estimate thatone in three individuals who use cannabis will develop a substance problem. If a person uses the drug on a daily basis, the risk skyrockets to up to 50%. In reality, using cannabis can cause quite the opposite effects than what many believe: it compromises concentration and motor skills as well as the ability to think and make decisions rationally. It has also been shown to induce anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia.

Related article: Addiction Treatment for Marijuana: Why You Need to Stop Smoking

As with all drugs, no one can guarantee the effects considering they very much depend on personal circumstances. With cannabis it will depend on the amount used, the time and frequency of use, the method of taking the drug (smoked, vaped, eaten), the person’s mood, expectations and environment, pre-existing conditions and genetic factors and if it is being taken alongside alcohol or other drugs. All of these factors will also have an impact on how long the effects will last and their intensity.

The good news is that the risk of addiction is lower than the ones for alcohol or opioids for example and an overdose cannot be fatal. Nevertheless, this does not eliminate the risks it poses to a person’s health and well-being. Cognitive behavioural therapy is the most popular treatment program for marijuana rehab. The therapy works by educating the recovering user of healthy and effective ways to perceive their lives and their addiction while also offering the necessary coping mechanisms and alternatives to avoid continued use. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: The Amazing Benefits of Quitting Marijuana

Addiction Treatment Tips

Traveling for Addiction Treatment Improves Long-Term Recovery

When an individual has made the decision to visit a rehabilitation centre for their addiction, a few questions might come to mind first including, “Where should I go?”, “Should I stay near home?” and “Would I benefit from going away?”

Oftentimes users will assume that it makes the most sense to get help in their own town. The travel time is shorter; they can still see their friends/family and they won’t have to miss school or work. However, convenience or fear isn’t always the best solution for someone fighting a drug dependency.

In fact, traveling away from home might be exactly what a user needs. If you or someone you know is deciding on a treatment center for their drug abuse, the following are some of the benefits of traveling for addiction treatment.

Related article: How To Help A Loved One In Recovery

Specialized Treatment

Not every treatment center is capable of offering all of the same tools and programs, which means some centers aren’t able to provide the specific solutions a user needs. In these cases, users will only be getting part of the treatment that would be best for them.

A drug addict who considers all of their options- including those that are far away- will be much more likely to find a center that provides exactly what they need to quit.

Away from Temptation

 It is a lot easier to fall back into old habits when you’re in a familiar place. Users who stay close to home will often be exposed to the same triggers that made them start using in the first place, including specific places, situations and groups of people.

Traveling somewhere new can expose users to the feeling of a fresh start, in a place where they’ve never been and with people they’ve never met. The experience can inspire them to stay on the right track, since this new location is a constant reminder of the decision they’ve made and how far they’ve come.


Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of people knowing about their addiction troubles. One of the benefits of traveling for addiction treatment, is that users can travel out of their town where everyone knows everything about everyone.

Instead of a user worrying about what everyone is thinking and adding to their stress, traveling away from home can help them to focus on the task at hand in a comfortable environment.

New Relationships

The opportunities for meeting new people in a new place are endless, and users will have no trouble finding people who share the same kinds of interests, personalities and future goals.

These kinds of relationships are critical for users once they’ve left treatment. Users can stay in contact with new friends online, or agree to meet a couple times a year to update each other on their progress. Users who are now drug-free might also be able to help one another to get past potential relapses, and to remind each other of everything they’ve overcome.

The benefits of traveling for addiction treatment are plenty, but there are also benefits to staying close to home. The individual admitting themselves will ultimately make the decision that suits them best, but it can be helpful to list out the pros and cons of each before choosing.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 8 Exercises That Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Smoking Weed

How to Stop Smoking Weed

Marijuana is the most popularly used illegal drug in Canada, and Canadian youth possess some of the highest user numbers (28%) compared to other developed countries. It has been reported that the chronic use of marijuana can have dangerous effects within the body, affecting both the physical and mental aspects of the body and impeding brain function.

Users who want to know how to stop smoking weed are in luck, since there are many approaches to reducing dependency. A combination of efforts may be necessary to quit the habit for good, so if one approach doesn’t help, be sure to try a few other methods or blending a few of them.

How to Stop Smoking Weed


As it is commonly said, admitting you have a problem is the first step in fixing the problem. Many people cannot seem to quit marijuana because they don’t believe they’ve lost control. However, if you begin to feel lost without your latest fix, or you become anxious when your sources dwindle, there is a good chance that weed has started taking hold of your daily life.

You can stop smoking weed by first admitting that you cannot function with the drug, and that you want to begin taking your life back. Be wary that quitting any kind of addiction is never easy, but if you’re prepared to do what it takes then you’ll be on the fast-track to newfound independence.

Related article: How to Quit Weed: These Unbelievable Addiction Treatment Tips Will Help

Give Yourself a Date

It is ideal to set some goals if you want to stop smoking weed; otherwise, it becomes incredibly easy to put off the day you should be smoke-free. Try to pick a date that is realistic for you—if you can quit by the end of the month, then write that goal down and make sure you see it every day.

If a month is too fast, don’t push yourself. By not giving yourself enough time, you increase your chances of relapsing.

Focus on your date, and slowly begin to wean yourself off of the usual amount of weed that you smoke. As the days go on, you should be using less and less until your last day requires no weed at all. This will take some organization; try to put up a visual calendar that reminds you of what you’re working towards.

Find New Hobbies

When you’re figuring out how to stop smoking weed, you’re probably going to be thinking about it a lot. As your weaning off of weed, try finding other hobbies that can take up your time such as painting, bowling with friends or rock climbing.

You might become pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy these new pastimes, and you may even begin to see friends and family more often.

Quitting Cold Turkey

If you’re going to stop smoking weed the day you decide to quit, your road may be a little tougher. The first thing you’ll need to do is throw everything out, including the weed you have left and every accessory you use with it. This includes the contact information for your dealer.

Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, irritability and mood swings. Keep your support system in the know about what you’re doing, so they can support your progress and keep you away from temptations. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Addiction Treatment for Marijuana: Why You Need to Stop Smoking


Prescription Drugs Addiction

Prescription Painkiller

Canada is currently ranked 2nd for the world’s biggest consumers of pharmaceutical opioids. Despite the fact that the country is experiencing some of its worst numbers for opioid abuse and overdoses, the number of painkiller prescriptions continue to increase.

Ironically, another number that continues to increase is the number of therapies meant to treat dependency.

Prescription painkiller addiction in Canada is on the rise, and it’s not really a surprise—there were approximately 19 million prescriptions dispensed to Canadians in the year 2016. This number has increased from the year prior, when nearly 18.9 prescriptions were handed out.

Even as the country continues to struggle with addiction, painkiller prescriptions have climbed 6% in the last 5 years.

What is the problem?

Prescription painkiller use in Canada can be blamed by over prescribing, with far too many doctors abusing their powers. Patients continue to be sent away with more orders for painkillers, opening up brand new opportunities for painkiller abuse and addiction with each new client.

An increased number of deaths have occurred in the last few years, a result of both accessibility to these painkillers, as well as the introduction of the opioid known as fentanyl.

Although the provinces are more than aware of the growing issue, all provinces have failed to make changes to their prescription requirements. Not only are doctors sending away clients with unnecessary prescriptions, but they’re also helping the drug market to thrive.

Drugs such as Oxycodone and fentanyl are booming markets, both legally and illegally. Attempts to try and educate doctors on the dangers of overprescribing are falling on deaf ears; the easy solution is far too attractive than the alternatives.

Related article: Tips to Help You Prevent a Prescription Drug Addiction

Opioid Epidemic

Patients who were being treated with drugs for opioid addiction have grown exponentially in the last few years. In 2013, more than 40,000 Ontario citizens were prescribed drugs for their addiction. By 2016, the number had reached almost 60,000.

As doctors continue to carelessly prescribe these addictive drugs, more and more clients are becoming dependent on them. Instead of going to their doctor for more inventory, clients turn to the illegal drug trade to get fixes that are cheaper. As time goes on, clients require larger doses to maintain their high, which only helps to improve the success of the illegal drug trade further.

In an effort to reduce prescription painkiller use in Canada, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidelines in 2016. The goal of the updated version was to educate doctors about the epidemic, and to urge them to consider drug-free methods for their clients before they turned to painkillers.

For some doctors who are newer to the profession, their struggle is with clients who have already been using prescription painkillers by means of their retired physicians. To counteract these clients, doctors are encouraged to avoid this tactic with new clients.

More than 2,800 Canadians died from prescription painkillers and fentanyl overdoses in 2016; that’s an average of eight deaths per day. British Columbia suffered the highest number of opioid-related deaths in 2016, while Ontario suffered the highest number of opioid-related hospitalizations.

Prescription painkiller use in Canada is a very serious problem; for those clients who have the option to obtain prescription painkillers, it is suggested that they request other options for treatment whenever possible. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Why do People Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Alcohol Addiction

Be in the Know: Canada’s Latest Alcohol Addiction and Recovery Facts

Most people enjoy the occasional glass of wine with our meal, and the nonchalance of folks having a couple of drinks at the end of the day seems far from becoming a problem. Perhaps it is why countless people don’t think they have a problem. There are also cultural and social aspects associated with drinking, especially among Canadians. Having a long history of alcohol consumption that has shaped drinking preferences over time, alcohol is widely available and promoted, while just as much as almost everywhere around the world increased exposure from the media and surrounding environment as well as easy access to alcohol are linked to increased drinking and addiction.

Back in 2015, about 80% of the Canadian population reported consuming alcohol. More recently, Statistic Canada revealed that 19% of Canadians aged as little as 12 and older reported habits that classified them as heavy drinkers. The latest numbers also show that despite the fact that 18 is the legal age to purchase alcohol, almost 30% (27.9%) of teenagers between 12 and 17 report consuming alcohol and over 40% say they do it at least once a month. Another large survey of over 43,000 students from across 41 Canadian campuses signalled the struggles institutions face with the prevalence of binge drinking. Over third of respondents admitted to having five or more drinks the last time they partied or socialized, while 18% said they physically injuring themselves as a result of over drinking or had unprotected sex (24%), lost their memory (29%) or did a regrettable thing (38%).

When these numbers are put in a global context, the World Health Organization reports that Canadians drink more than the global average and when being compared to the U.S, Latin American and Caribbean countries it’s actually the first one.

However alarming these numbers may be, having a couple of drinks is now so normalized, very few people are actually aware of the risks. Millions of drinking Canadians risk injuries, chronic conditions such as liver disease and cancer and children end up growing up with alcohol in their environment making them numb to dangers. At least 3,000 babies are estimated to having been born with feta alcohol spectrum disorder each year.

At the individual level, alcohol impacts the biological system, much like a drug causing addiction leading to health problems, decreased well-being over both the short and long term. It also affects behaviours as many of us are aware: from impulsivity and violence to poor memory, impaired decision-making and overall functioning.

Related article: How Alcohol Abuse Affects Family Relationships And Friendships

After tobacco, alcohol is considered to be the substance that causes most harm across Canada. It has also been shown to be one of the top three leading risks for cancer worldwide being responsible for about 4% of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, larynx and breast. And its consumption has implications at many levels. The economic cost alone of alcohol-related harm is estimated at about $14.6 billion per year. ​While Canadians are known to having spent over $22 billion on alcohol just last year.

There is a wide range of factors influencing the ways in which alcohol affects a person’s life and health which include how much and how often a person drinks. Probably just as much as the specific health risk factors they are facing and even what they do under the influence. And it’s way too easy to fall into the trap. Ads are on TV, friends are posting boozy pictures on social media, there are even studies that prove the benefit of drinking which is quite dangerous as many fail to acknowledge the ‘moderately’ and end up in emergency rooms or hooked on it.

But how can one know when too much is actually too much? Preferably before getting into accidents and causing injuries to themselves and others. According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, having more than 15 standard drinks a week for men and 10 a week for women with more than 3 drinks a day for men or 2 for women increases health risk, makes people more prone to addiction and is a definite sign that there is a problem that needs addressing.

If it gets to addiction, recovery can be a lifelong battle for many. And there isn’t a specific profile the average alcohol addict has, it can be anyone from any gender, race, age or status. A 2017 survey wanted to uncover the realities of alcohol recovery in Canada, what it means for people going through it and what got them there. Among other questions, participants were asked if they consider themselves in recovery and what were the main challenges they encountered so far. 78% of people who considered themselves in recovery were actively employed, while almost half (49%) were married and over 60% had kids. However, on a more optimistic note, the survey also showed that recovery facilitated significant improvements in both productivity and quality of life. For example, more than 60% used to miss work regularly. This number showed incredible progression after recovery, dropping to only 4%.

Learning about the challenges they faced shows how big the gap is when it comes to seeking help. Results showed many people hide their problem and still consider it something to be embarrassed about. Before receiving help, the first barrier that needed overcoming was the stigma, the second one was access to services with many believing finding the right support was difficult when they finally decided they needed it.

These key findings are essential, especially for recovery facilities that strive to continuously improve their offering and care. Probably the best way to learn more about how to seek the most appropriate services and what to expect once admitted is to hear from people who have gone through the exact same thing or even worse. Testimonials can help many overcome their fears and understand that recovering does not have to be a gruesome, horrible process. Quite the opposite, it can be a life-changing experiences with long-term benefits.

September is Recovery Month across Canada. Ahead of this, it’s important for communities and businesses to join forces altogether to work towards improving the lives of people facing alcohol addiction.

Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.