Addiction Treatment

Best Winter Home Exercises To Maintain Your Addiction Treatment

Are you finding it difficult to continue your exercise routine because of winter? Or you’re wondering how to maintain sobriety in winter? Learning about winter home exercises for addiction treatment can help you during this period.

It’s no news that daily exercise and physical activity is beneficial to your wellbeing. However, it offers more than just a way to help you stay active. For a person in the middle of addiction recovery, it can boost the recovery process.

The positive effects of exercise are fundamental in impacting both your mental and physical wellbeing. What if a regular workout can get you a natural high similar to the one you get from drugs and alcohol? The positive effect of a consistent workout routine is powerful.

Millions of people around the world and even Canadians are beating addictions with it. Exercise gives positive feelings, boosts your mood, and strengthens you for the challenge of addiction recovery.

Aside from the positive feelings you can expect to get from daily workouts, exercise can soothe numerous withdrawal and relapse symptoms. This includes relieving possible depression and anxiety, and providing an excellent escape from cravings.

While trying to beat addiction, your body and mind often crave the exact substance you’ve been taking. This is because the substance is responsible for producing endorphins, which your system uses to feel high. Aside from this, daily life stress and other life issues can cause you to crave a usual escape in the form of the substance.

The good thing about exercise during the winter period is that it can help you create these endorphins. With a steady stream of endorphins, it becomes easier to prevent relapse during the winter season.

This is where we come in. As one of the leading providers of holistic addiction treatment in Canada, we have a better understanding of how exercises can be useful for addiction treatment, especially during the winter season. With that in mind, we have put together a list of the best winter home exercises for addiction treatment. Keep reading to develop the tools you need to scale through winter without a relapse!

What Are the Benefits of Exercise on Addiction Treatment?

Exercise on addiction treatment

Where addiction treatment is concerned, there are a few things to ask? What is the connection between addiction, recovery, and exercise? What does lifting weights, going on a brisk walk, or playing a game of 90-minutes soccer have to do with staying sober? Well, exercise does more than you might think.

As your body recalibrates and adjusts itself to a life without drugs and alcohol, it will undergo several changes. These changes may seem unbearable and challenging at the initial, but in the long term, they are effective.

Typically, poor sleep, anxiety, depression, intensify stress, and low energy may follow you into recovery. This is where exercise comes in as a useful tool to deal with all these symptoms.

Here are a few benefits of winter exercises for your addiction treatment:

Exercise Relieves Stress

When you cross the line into drug or alcohol use, it all starts as a nice stress-escape. Perhaps it’s a glass of beer or wine after work. But, it all adds up. Over time, more drugs or alcohol will be consumed in a race to relieve stress. However, relief from stress (with these drugs) will become more slippery and ultimately disappear completely. When this happens, drug or alcohol use will become the main source of stress in the long-run.

So what happens when you decide to go to alcohol or drug rehab? Does the stress mentioned above disappear too? We all wish it were that simple. Fortunately, reducing stress is achievable through almost every physical activity that raises the heart rate.

With exercise, you can release endorphins that will boost your mood and keep you in a state of zero stress. This is why winter home exercises are effective at helping you maintain addiction treatment.

Exercise Improves Sleep

Issues relating to problematic sleep are typical, most especially during the days of early recovery. Firstly, the withdrawal process can significantly affect your sleep pattern.

You may find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or want to sleep in the middle of the day. Most times, this may result in making you feel tired or sluggish.

Winter home exercises can help you improve sleep both via the number of hours and quality of sleep. It can as well help to counter the impulse to nap in the middle of the day. Consequently, as sleep improves, so does wakefulness. With better sleep routines, you’ll feel more alert and able to tackle the demands of life.

One way winter exercises serve to improve sleep is by altering the body’s temperature. Body temperature is highest during and after long periods of exercise. It is also lowest during times of sleep. Hours after exercise, your body will begin to cool at a faster rate. Consequently, this accelerated cooling process allows you to sleep easily.

Researchers warn that noticeable improvements in sleep may take weeks or occasionally months for effects to become pronounced in relation to exercise. Therefore, do not become discouraged. Remember, your body is adjusting to life without alcohol or drugs in every way imaginable, and your sleep patterns are not immune.

Boosts Your Energy

There is a saying in many addiction recovery circles that says, “You have to give it away to keep it.” Winter home exercises that can help you maintain addiction treatment work in pretty much the same way. To get energy, you must give it.

During your home exercises, blood will be pushed more aggressively through the heart, and oxygen levels within the body will increase. With regular exercise, the boost in oxygen levels serves to improve your overall energy. Furthermore, as your body becomes more cardiovascular and physically fit, daily living activities will become more comfortable to perform.

Furthermore, it will be easier to complete tasks more efficiently. This is precisely the reason many individuals choose to exercise early in the morning — the energy expended early in the morning returns as fuel for the remainder of the day.

For those in early recovery, it is easy to forget how demanding life can be without the use of alcohol or drugs. Therefore, incorporating an exercise routine during winter can go a long way to helping newly clean and sober individuals as they begin to manage daily life demands.

Enhances Your Mood

Generally, mood changes can occur rationally during the detoxification process from drugs or alcohol. Even after detoxification, you may experience mood swings, especially in early recovery. One minute, you’re feeling on top of the world, and the next minute, you’re feeling down, sad or lonely.

Again, it means your body is adjusting to life without alcohol or drugs, and these feelings are normal. How then can exercise serve to improve the mood of someone in recovery? Endorphins are one of the chemicals released by the body during exercise. Research shows that endorphins produce positive feelings, such as happiness and euphoria. Remember, this craving for happiness and euphoria is why drug or alcohol dependence gets worse.

Generally, engaging your body in 30 minutes of exercise per day is enough to help you see changes. With a steady stream of endorphins in your system, you can reduce the frequency of drastic mood changes.

Related article: 8 Exercises That Can Help With Addiction Recovery

Best Winter Home Exercises for Addiction Treatment

The best part about winter home exercises for addiction treatment is you don’t need any special equipment. All you need is your body, strength, determination, and perhaps, a workout mat. Once you have that, you are good to go.

To put things in a clearer perspective, we will divide your home exercises into three main parts:

  • Physical Strength Exercises
  • Cardio Remedies
  • Mind-Body Exercise

The Physical Strength Exercises

These winter home exercises for addiction treatment mainly take advantage of your body weight. Basically, they involve engaging your muscles by working against your body weight. Here are physical strength exercises that help with addiction recovery.



Push-ups are one of the most prevalent physical strength exercises you can practice anywhere. Asides from the several benefits this home exercise offer for addiction treatment; it will also help you stay fit and active all through the winter season. Its primary focus is on your arms and chest muscles.

Here is the correct procedure for doing push-ups:

  • Lie flat on the ground, then lift a bit while putting all weight on your chest and arms.
  • Straighten your legs and arms. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart and your feet nearly together.
  • Next, lower your body gradually until your chest almost touches the ground.
  • Suspend your body a bit, then push right back up.
  • Repeat this motion and maintain correct suspension as many times as possible.


This is another one of the top winter home exercises for addiction treatment. Squatting can help get your heart pumping and your body all sweaty.

Also, the exercise is capable of imprinting an effect that keeps your mind busy and away from drugs. Let’s walk you through the process of achieving a proper squat:

  • Get a foot stance that is comfortable for you.
  • Stand tall, look straight, and tense your abs.
  • Then, bend towards your hip and knee while sticking out your butt like you’re sitting on a chair.
  • Keep your chest high and your back straight while squatting as low as you can.
  • Next, pop back up to a standing position. That’s one squat. You can do as many as possible to strengthen yourself.


If you need an excellent workout without stepping outside your home, lunges are among the top winter home exercises for addiction treatment. This exercise focuses on building your legs and hips to stay physically fit.

Here is the procedure:

  • Stand tall while your feet stay apart about the width of your hip and ensure you engage your core.
  • Then, take a wide step forward with your right leg. Tilt forward a bit while shifting your weight, so your heel touches the ground first.
  • Next, lower your body part until your right thigh stays parallel to the floor and your shin nearly vertical to the position.
  • Push yourself back to the starting point and press into your right heel, then repeat with the other leg.

Cardio Workout

Cardio Workout

Cardio is one of the best winter home exercises for addiction treatment. It’s an excellent way to enhance emotions while working out. Typically, cardio exercises will leave you feeling positive and in a better mood.

To maintain addiction treatment, you need a positive mindset. Cardio exercises can provide you with that.

More importantly, you can do them alone, and you don’t need a lot of space. Here are a few ways to carry out simple cardio workouts:


This is a common type of cardio, as it doesn’t really feel like an exercise. Dancing is a no-brainer. Turn up your stereo and move left-right-front-back — Tada! You’re already dancing.

There are several styles you can choose from. If you prefer to have a dance challenge or learn to dance better, you can get dance tutorials online and groove to them.

Climbing Stairs Repeatedly

Climbing the staircase up and down continuously is another form of cardio exercise that offers effective results. So, if you want to maintain sobriety and keep your mind in check during the drab winter season, hit those stairs immediately. One thing, please take caution while doing so.

Running Several Laps Around your House

Running around your house during winter in a bid to keep your mind distracted is always advisable. You can do this as many times as possible.

Additionally, you can change pace at intervals to slow down or speed up. This makes the exercise more exciting and enjoyable. If you have a dog at home, that’s a perfect exercise partner to compete and have fun with.

Mind-Body Exercise

Mind-Body Exercise

When you think about activities or best exercises for addiction treatment, strength, and cardio routines are probably the first ones you will consider. However, staying sober requires more than cardio and strength. You also need your feelings, thoughts, and emotions to be in check.

The connection between your physical strength, cardio activities, and addiction is the mind-body connection. This exercise strengthens the relationship between your physical strength, body, and soul.

Luckily, mind-body exercise is one of the less strenuous alternatives for exercise during winter. Here are the two top mind-body practices that help with addiction recovery:

The Breathing Practice

One of our top winter home exercises for addiction treatment is the “Breath Work.” Breathing exercise is a crucial tool in keeping fit and staying healthy. It goes down to boosting your physical fitness, anxiety control, and mental health. In a way, mastering breath-work can help you stay in control of your actions and reactions.

Belly breathing aids the stimulation of the vagus nerve, thus shifting your body into a more relaxing state. It triggers a relaxation response that can dampen feelings of anxiety.

Also, breath-work influences digestion and slow breathing as an excellent step towards maintaining control. Anything that can trigger relapse can quickly be sorted out with excellent breath-work.

Here is the process of practicing breath-work:

  • Start with 1 to 1 breathing. This involves breathing in and out through the nose at the same pace.
  • You can build up your strength by starting with three seconds in, three seconds out. Once the breathing gets more comfortable, increase the count up to 3:3, 4:4, 5:5, etc.
  • When you hit a difficult to count stage, you can drop two counts back and maintain the pace for about five to ten minutes.

By the end of this session, you’ll probably feel an improvement in your relaxation and sense of calm.


Yoga can be a powerful tool to aid addiction recovery. It’s a training ground for your mind and body. Remember, a healthy mind is a necessity for anyone that wants to win the battle against addiction. This is why yoga is an effective home exercise to help you maintain addiction recovery.

Yoga is considered by many as a natural form of medical treatment. It is essentially using body postures to connect the mind and body and using the breath to gain self-awareness and inward-focused attention. Yoga supports addiction treatment and can also help manage drug cravings and relapse triggers.

Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a delicate time for the mind. Strengthening your mind with Yoga will help you better control your psyche and increase your chances of winning the struggle with addiction.

Furthermore, it also gives a massive boost to your positive mental energy, which will help you stay focused on your addiction recovery. Yoga works for both outdoor and indoor exercise lovers. You don’t have to worry about having to go outside to exercise when you can practise Yoga inside. All these and more are why Yoga is one of the best winter home exercises for addiction treatment and recovery.


If used correctly, exercise can be an essential part of addiction recovery and earning long-term sobriety. However, working out alone can be challenging, particularly if you don’t know what to do or how to do it. This is why we have put together some of the best winter home exercises for addiction treatment. Still, knowing all these exercises is never enough unless you add consistency to it.

Regular exercise possesses excellent unexplored potential as an additional treatment for addictions. Its beneficial effects on withdrawal symptoms and mood make it a good fit for people recovering from addiction. Addiction can help you avoid relapse, stay healthy, and help repair any neurological damages caused by substance use.

Attaining sobriety and physical fitness isn’t a comfortable ride. In fact, it is one that requires consistency. Keep your body and mind focused on the end goal and engage only in activities that enhance your chances of achieving a full recovery.

Remember, exercise is just one very small part of addiction treatment and rehab. Exercise won’t help you recognize triggers, provide answers to maintaining sobriety in winter, or why you became addicted. Though it may help improve your mental and emotional state, exercise should not take the place of a professional therapist. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Opioid Addiction

The Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Are you wondering how long opioid addiction treatment will take? Or you want to consider the timeline for opioid addiction treatment before enrolling for in-patient rehab? For starters, there is no standard answer as to how long withdrawing from opioid addiction will take. As a result, it is harder to determine how long the process for opioid addiction will take.

Generally, the opioid withdrawal timeline is dependent on several factors. Sometimes, a person’s withdrawal symptoms may last just a few days. Whereas for others, it may last up to a month or more in severe cases.

The opioid addiction withdrawal process is different for everyone. It doesn’t just depend on some factors; it requires consistency and determination, as well. Typically, the symptoms may appear the same, and everyone’s stories may sound similar. However, everyone’s recovery from opioid addiction is different. It’s a personal experience, and how long it takes to recover isn’t set in stone.

Well, it’s no news that opioid withdrawal is not friendly, but it’s also not life-threatening in most cases. Several people describe the condition as having severe flu with nausea, muscle pain, aches, fever, etc.

Taking that huge step to stay clean from opioids is the most crucial step you can take. Chances are, you’ve tried to quit or control how you use it but unable to do so. This is totally normal. One of the significant symptoms of any addiction is the inability to quit or control use.

While this can be very disturbing and probably make you go through adverse effects, it’s crucial you understand that you’re no failure. You’re just chemically dependent on a substance that’s hugely addictive. Understanding the opioid addiction symptoms and withdrawal process is the first step to recovery.

Here, we have put together everything you need to know about the timeline for opioid addiction treatment. With this information, you start the addiction treatment process with a better understanding of what’s to come.

What is Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction, otherwise known as Opioid Use Disorder, is defined by the illegal misuse of opioid medications. In most cases, people who do this have the intention of avoiding withdrawal symptoms or getting high.

With opioids, there’s a psychological and also physical addiction. Psychological dependence is known as addiction. As an addict, you tend to go through several uncontrollable cravings for opiates. Notwithstanding the risk or harm it brings to you, your system will ask for it now and again.

Going through these experiences can only mean your intake level is more than the doctor’s recommendation. If left unchecked, it may even cause an overdose. Also, addiction to opioids means that you go through illegal steps to obtain more drugs.

If you indulge in using opioids over the long-term, you may develop a tolerance to this medication. Essentially, tolerance means you will always need to increase your doses to attain the necessary pain relief you want.

In some cases, this addiction can include cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs. However, opioid addiction can as well involve different prescription medications often used in treating pain. Some of these drugs include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone.

Additionally, as you continually use this drug, your body will become dependent on it. This means you will experience different opioid withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop using the drugs.

In general, you can be physically dependent on opioids even when you use your medications according to prescription. If you feel you’re becoming dependent, it’ll be good to consult your specialist or physician. This way, they can help you reduce the possibilities of developing an Opioid Use Disorder — OUD.

Here are a few symptoms of opioid misuse or abuse include:

  • Edging the medicine over other activities at home, school, or work,
  • Taking more drugs than the given prescription
  • Using opioid medication for different reasons
  • Using other opioid medications whenever you’re out of your prescribed drug
  • Feeling that the opioid medication limits your daily functioning, etc.

What Are the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction Withdrawal?

Essentially, opioid withdrawal symptoms come between six to thirty hours after your last dose. However, this may vary depending on the opiates you’ve been taking. Furthermore, you may experience prolonged symptoms even after 72 hours of your last dose. These symptoms can extend up to a week, depending on your level of addiction.

Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms you’ll go through often depend on the withdrawal level you’re experiencing. Several factors may dictate the duration over which you’ll go through the withdrawal symptoms. This is why everyone experiences withdrawal differently. Notwithstanding, there’s usually a timeline for withdrawal progression and symptoms.

The Early Stage Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Early signs usually start between the first 24 hours after quitting the usage. The symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Yawning Often
  • Runny nose

Later Stage Symptoms of Opioid Addiction Withdrawal

Other symptoms, which can be more intense, start after the first day or beyond. They include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Goosebumps appearance on the skin
  • Possibly blurry vision
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

Even though it’s painful and very unpleasant, opioid’s symptoms usually improve within 72 hours. However, you’ll notice a significant decrease in acute pain and symptoms.

The length of time you will experience withdrawal symptoms depends on the severity of the addiction and frequency of use. This also includes your wellbeing or overall health.

For instance, heroin is usually removed from your body faster, and symptoms will kick-in after 12 hours of the last usage. If you’re using methadone, it may take a day and a half for symptoms to start.

Some experts point out that addiction recovery takes at least six months of total abstinence. During which you may experience several withdrawal symptoms. This is known as protracted abstinence. So, if you’ve any ongoing symptoms, it’s crucial to discuss the symptoms with your addiction treatment provider.

For the best result, starting your recovery journey at an early stage will help prevent future problems. All you need to kickstart your recovery is to register at a professional rehab center. For instance, here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we provide opioid addiction treatment in Canada and beyond. Our team consists of experts with vast knowledge and experience of opioid withdrawal and timeline.

Factors that Affect Opioid Withdrawal

Factors that Affect Opioid Withdrawal

The symptoms of opiate withdrawal can range from mild to severe, depending on how addicted to the drug the user is. This level of dependency can be linked directly to several factors:

  • Your dosage level
  • How long you’ve been taking the drug
  • Your method of consumption
  • Battling old traumas or living among unsupportive friends and family
  • Living a stressful lifestyle
  • Biological and environmental factors such as family addiction background, etc
  • Having any underlying mental health problems or other medical conditions
  • The type of opiate consumed, etc.

Recovering from opiate addiction is one of the most challenging phases of addiction treatment. However, it’s crucial to remember these two tips correctly:

  • You are not alone, and
  • There are several individuals and organizations ready to help you every step of the way.

What to Expect During Opioid Addiction Treatment

When you stop depending on substances like opioids for anything, your body will experience a detox period. This is where your body tries to get rid of the substance from the system. Notably, the detox stage in addiction recovery is essential for you to reach sobriety. So, what is the procedure for opioid detox treatment?

Detoxing involves withdrawal symptoms that often vary in intensity and length. For several people who struggle with addiction, the withdrawal process is a severe and daunting, difficult battle. However, detoxing from substances like opioids is better in a professional environment. Rehab facilities will give you the resources and tools you need to defeat this hurdle and reach sobriety.

Here is a procedure for opioid addiction treatment and what to expect during opioid addiction treatment:

Detoxification Procedure

The first step of opiate addiction treatment is to undergo detoxification. During the detox process, you will be monitored and treated safely for withdrawal symptoms. This includes extreme fatigue, bone and muscle pain, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression, and severe drug cravings.

These symptoms can kickstart within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often recede after about a week, but some individuals may experience persistent symptoms for months.

Furthermore, if you’re very dependent on opioids with a poor health history, you may face a deadly risk following sudden withdrawal. This is why experts are better at overseeing the detox process. They will monitor your withdrawal and ensure you’re safe and as comfortable as ever.

It is essential to understand that detox alone is not an effective form of opiate addiction treatment. Detox addresses the physical dependency your body has on opiates. Still, counseling and behavioural therapy are needed to address the psychological addiction and the reasons behind your drug use.

As the detox progresses, the process becomes more uncomfortable. Here are a few symptoms you may experience:

  • Dilated Pupils
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Fever
  • Elevated Blood Pressure, etc.

Medication and Maintenance

During opiate detox, you may have to use certain medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent drugs used during opiate detox are suboxone, buprenorphine, and methadone. These drugs are also useful for eliminating severe cravings after detox.

Continuous Treatment

Continuous Treatment

If you’re trying to overcome an addiction to opiates, it is often best to receive care at a residential treatment center. There are several benefits of getting residential addiction treatment in Canada. However, the most crucial advantage is that it provides a structured environment free of temptations and distractions.

Residential treatment for opiate addiction offers 24/7 care and support to help you focus on your recovery. There, you’ll learn new skills needed to live a drug-free life. It also provides a temporary escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities of home, work, family, and other relationships. This way, you can solely focus on recovery.

During residential treatment, you’ll receive medical support and therapy to address not only the physical effects of your opiate addiction but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioural therapy, individual counselling, 12-Step support, drug testing, dual diagnosis, and positive reinforcement is the most effective way to treat opioid addiction.

Related article: Addiction Treatment: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Imagine the countdown for the opioid addiction treatment starts from your last use of the drug. From that moment, the withdrawal symptoms may kick in. Similarly, most people may not even notice the changes between the first few hours. However, that moment when you stop marks the beginning of the new era, i.e. the detox process.

Generally, the type of opioids you take will determine the moment the withdrawal symptoms will begin. For instance, people who use heroin may experience withdrawal symptoms after six hours of last use. In contrast, those with long-acting pain-killers addiction may not notice any withdrawal symptoms for up to 24 hours.

Below is an overview of the timeline for the opioid addiction treatment process:

The First Stage

The beginning of the first stage of opioid addiction treatment often varies at your first trial to quit. This mainly depends on the type of opiate consumed and their severity level — mild to severe. Severe opiates, like heroin, cause withdrawal symptoms as quickly as 12 hours after your last use. Less severe opiates, like methadone, cause withdrawal symptoms after about 30 hours.

In most cases, you may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms at the initial stage. You may experience flu-like severe symptoms, which include an intense fever and even hallucinations. Also, other symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and nausea are likely to occur.

Somehow, first stage symptoms are often more severe because your body; after getting used to a new source of endorphin, has stopped creating natural endorphins. This is because of the natural ability of opiate to create a euphoric effect similar to the one your body produces.

Upon cleansing your body from opiate thoroughly, you may struggle with a chemical imbalance within your system. This happens because your body will have to do extra work to fill the natural production gap.

Fortunately, the initial stage will only last for about five to six days at max. However, using a professional detox service will help you go through this tasking process with ease. For most people recovering from opioid addiction, getting support from the first stage may be just what you need.

General symptoms you may experience during the beginner’s stages of opioid addiction treatment:

  • Tiredness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Body aches
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Sweating

Trouble sleeping

The Second Stage

After pushing your way entirely through the first stage, your body will feel alive and gain more natural balance. This is when your body will start creating natural endorphins to stabilize your mood. It’ll also help kill most of the physical pain you experienced naturally, thus making you feel better after the detoxification period.

However, don’t get it twisted. Your body isn’t yet back to its stable state. It will sometimes crave opiates and even react in negative ways to their absence. Most common second-stage opioid addiction treatment symptoms include:

  • Less severe fever
  • Paranoia or fear
  • Clammy hands
  • Cramps mainly aimed at your legs
  • Sudden chills
  • Continuous depression
  • Less severe fever
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils

Even though the severity level of these above symptoms isn’t as problematic for everyone, still, they may cause a relapse. In light of this, most addiction treatment providers often provide inpatient and outpatient rehab services to help you manage this stage of the addiction.

If you find it hard to cops with the second stage, you can check yourself into an opioid addiction treatment center in Canada.

The Third Stage

The last stage of the timeline for opioid addiction treatment is even more relaxing. At this stage, your body is getting much better, and recovery is going on well. Typically, your physical and mental symptoms will reduce drastically after the second stage. All forms of physical pain will be gone as well or perhaps become more comfortable to handle.

However, you are not yet out of the dark. It’s essential that you go through the third stage to complete the timeline for opioid addiction treatment. Luckily, this stage is the least severe of all.

Still, it’s capable of causing psychological and mental problems, such as insomnia and anxiety. As such, the symptoms that come with this stage of addiction treatment can last up to two (2) months or more. In fact, this third stage can extend to a lengthy period that usually makes this phase more difficult for some people.

Once you scale through this stage, you’re likely going to feel more balanced and incredible again. At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab, we focus more on aftercare procedures during this stage. Aftercare services include learning how to avoid relapse, staying drug-free, getting familiar with returning to your everyday activities, etc.

What are the Factors that Determine the Timeline for Opioid Addiction Treatment?

The exact timeline for opioid addiction treatment can vary from one person to another. However, this depends on the particular drug used abs the method of use, i.e. smoking, snorting, or injection.

Additional determinant factors, such as co-occurring mental conditions, biological and environmental factors, history of trauma, and when you receive medical care during detox, may all influence the severity and length of symptoms you may experience.

Ultimately, the amount of time it’ll take you to complete the detox depends on the following factors:

  • Your overall wellbeing
  • Your usage timeline
  • Your addiction severity
  • Your choice of opioids
  • The quantity of opioids used

Medical Factors that can Determine the Timeline for Opioid Addiction

Are there severe medical conditions that can influence the timeline for opioid addiction treatment? Yes! There are, and they are risky factors that every rehab often puts into consideration.

Here are a few factors to consider when determining how long the procedure for opioid addiction treatment will take:

  • History of seizures
  • Use of other drugs
  • An existing problem with breathing and heartbeat
  • Older age at the time of withdrawal
  • Existing dehydration problems

If you are experiencing any of the above factors, you must undergo therapy at a professional rehab center. This way, you’ll be able to get the essential support necessary to help you through your recovery journey.

Wrapping it Up

Generally, the timeline for opioid addiction treatment varies from person to person and its dynamic. Person A can undergo two months of opioid addiction treatment, while person B may go through more than two months of recovery.

From the above section, we have been able to analyze the different factors that determine the timeline. This means you may have to consider the factors and your current condition to see where you fit and how long opioid addiction treatment will take.

So, what are the things to expect during opioid addiction treatment? Well, there is a lot to expect during opioid treatment. However, as we’ve described above, the procedure for opioid treatment is dependent on your condition.

Still, quitting is the first step to recovery. To be completely free from any addiction, you have to make up your mind to stop no matter what. Secondly, you need to understand the withdrawal process and how it works for different people.

Opiate withdrawal is not always life-threatening. However, it’s capable of causing complications if you refuse to take proper treatments. Generally, there are several addiction treatment services available for treating opioid addiction. Still, the withdrawal symptoms often determine the treatment approach.

The severity of opiate withdrawal can be intense, so it’s better to have an expert supervise your progress. Just like other addictions, opioid addiction treatment requires consistency and hard work. So, going through this recovery process with experts will help you attain sobriety without risks. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction


Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season

A decent chunk of people hate the winter season. For them, it’s mostly cold, terribly boring and lonely. Plus, all of the season’s cheer may just be a reminder of some of the things you’re missing. 

Does the winter season have to be melancholic? No! A few winter sober activities are everything you need to go through the winter blues. If you take these steps to avoid the winter chills, the whole season will be jolly, and you’ll enjoy all of it.

Generally, you may find it difficult to pass through winter, especially when you’re recovering from addiction. We know that you’re working very hard towards recovery, and you’re trying to avoid relapse. There are many activities that can help you with this process. 

Sometimes, if you can push yourself towards exercising more and getting more sunlight, that’s good. That may be the only thing you need to survive the winter blues. Other times, you may need more than that. Luckily, there are several sober activities for the holiday season that you may find helpful. It may be all you need to beat the winter chills.

You see, it’s one thing to recover from addiction, but it’s an entirely different thing to maintain sobriety during the winter season. Winter includes several holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving, etc. This means there are going to be lots of gatherings with free booze and possibly drugs. 

As a result, the winter season is synonymous with temptation and possible relapse triggers. In light of this, you’ll need extra support to manage your addiction recovery. This support may be in the form of professional addiction treatment services. In the same vein, you can boost your recovery by carrying out certain activities designed to help you beat stress and improve control.

To help you, we have put together top practical winter sober activities to beat loneliness and prevent relapse during the holiday season. But first, why does the winter season come with such a profound effect on addiction treatment?

Understanding Winter and its Effect on Sobriety

Seasons play a significant part in our mental health. Our rhythms, which dictate our sleep-wake cycles and our mood, are scattered in winter. There are short daylight hours, and it can also get dark earlier in the day. For most people, winter may lead to chills, but for some, it may lead to relapse, triggers, and even SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Generally, you may fight off some of these winter effects by spending quality time with family and friends. However, what happens to those with fewer people to hang out with? Well, with the proper knowledge of winter and how it affects sobriety, you can pull through.

Knowing how the season can impact your mental health and mood is the first place to start. This will help you develop a working strategy to take preventative measures. Just as you will want to winter-proof your home, you may need to set aside a plan for your winter. 

You may have to consider seasonal changes to your relapse prevention plan. This way, you’ll be able to stay away from triggers that may lead to relapse while maintaining your sobriety.

Winter and the Stages of Relapse

Well, there is always something about the gray, cold days of winter. Typically, they can bring about the blues in just anyone. If you’re going through recovery, you may find this time of the year a bit more challenging than a regular person.

Sometimes, you may experience a strong urge to self-medicate to get through the isolation. Other times, the boredom of winter may kick in forcefully. However, knowing what you’re facing and learning some simple winter sober activities will help you cope.

The less exposure to sunlight and colder temperatures during the winter months indeed doesn’t go away. It usually has a direct impact on serotonin and melatonin effects. This imbalance can develop into depression, inability to focus, lethargic feelings, etc.

All of these are symptoms that can lead to relapse during the winter season. The first step to preventing relapse is to understand that relapse is a gradual process. It doesn’t just happen. Usually, it goes on for weeks and months before you go back to your old ways — drinking alcohol or using drugs.

The goal is to help you recognize the early warning symptoms of relapse and to create coping skills to beat it. This has been proven to somewhat lessen the risk of relapse. 

Here are the three main stages of relapse;

Emotional Relapse

emotional relapse

During emotional relapse, most people are not thinking about using. They remember their last relapse, and they don’t want to repeat it. But their emotions and behaviours are setting them up for relapse down the road. 

Because you are not consciously thinking about using during this stage, denial is a big part of emotional relapse. These are some other signs of emotional relapse; they include: 

  • Isolating
  • Poor sleeping and eating habits
  • Focusing on other people’s problem or how it affects them
  • Going to meetings without sharing
  • Bottling up emotions
  • Not going to meetings

The common determinant of emotional relapse is poor self-care. Self-care broadly defines or comprises physical, mental, and emotional care.

One of the most significant escapes you may have is to teach yourself more about self-care and how it works. Typically, self-care is crucial to everyone’s wellbeing, but the need for self-care varies from one person to another. 

For some people, self-care is as simple as physical self-care, like a healthy diet, hygiene, and good sleep. For others, self-care is about overall emotional self-care. It’d be better if you made time for yourself, be nice to yourself, and gave yourself time and permission to have fun. 

The transition between mental and emotional relapse is not arbitrary, but the actual consequence of prolonged, poor self-care. When you exhibit poor self-care and live in emotional relapse for too long, you eventually start to feel uncomfortable in your skin. You may even begin to feel restless, irritable, and discontent. As the tension builds, you start to think about using drugs or alcohol as an escape.

A typical sign of poor self-care is: 

  • Tiredness
  • Staying hungry
  • Anger
  • Loneliness

Mental Relapse

Mental Relapse

When it’s about mental relapse, there is a war going on inside your mind. A part of you wants to use it, but another part of you is against the idea. As individuals go deeper into mental relapse, their cognitive resistance to relapse diminishes, and their need for escape increases.

These are some of the signs of mental relapse:

  • Craving for drugs or alcohol
  • Thinking about people, places, and things associated with past use
  • Minimizing the consequences of one-time-use or glamorizing past use
  • Bargaining
  • Lying
  • Thinking of schemes to better control using
  • Looking for relapse opportunities
  • Planning a relapse.

At this stage, most people start to think of scenarios in which it would be acceptable to use. A typical example is when people permit themselves to use while on holidays or on a trip. It is a common experience that airports and all-inclusive resorts are high-risk environments for those in early recovery. 

Another form of bargaining is when people start to think that they can relapse periodically, perhaps in a controlled way, for example, once or twice a year. Bargaining also can take the form of switching one addictive substance for another.

Occasional, brief thoughts of using are expected in early recovery and are different from mental relapse. When people enter a substance abuse program, they often say, “I want to never have to think about using again.” 

It cannot be very comforting when they discover that they still have occasional cravings. They feel they are doing something wrong and that they have let themselves and their families down. They are sometimes reluctant even to mention thoughts of using because they are so embarrassed by them.

Clinical experience has shown that occasional thoughts of using are normal in therapy. They do not mean you will relapse or that you are doing a poor job of recovery. 

Once you experience addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory. However, with good coping skills, you can learn to let go of thoughts of using quickly.

Physical Relapse

Physical relapse is when you actually start using again. Once you have had one drink or one drug use, it may quickly lead to a relapse of uncontrolled use. 

Most physical relapses are relapses of opportunity. They occur when you have a window in which you feel you’ll not get caught. Part of relapse prevention involves rehearsing these situations and developing healthy exit strategies.

When you don’t understand relapse prevention, you may think it involves saying no just before using it. However, that’s the final and most challenging stage to stop, which is why most people experience a relapse. At this stage, you already need addiction treatment in Canada

The best point to stop addiction relapse is the mental stage. If you remain at the point of mental relapse for too long without necessary coping skills, you are more likely to turn to your old substance abuse ways to escape the turmoil. In the next section, we’ll discuss safe winter activities that can help you get a grip during the mental relapse stage.

Related article: Top Sober Activities For The Weekend

Top Effective Winter Sober Activities

The winter season can be trying. Here are some sober activities to do in winter — if you want to beat the chills. These activities are drug/alcohol-free, will boost your addiction treatment, and are not cost-intensive.

Enjoy Free Sunlight

One of the biggest triggers of the winter blues is the limited amount of sunlight available during the day. In winter, the days are significantly shorter, and many of us go to work in the dark and return home in the night, limiting our exposure to sunlight. 

Finding time to bask in the sunlight has several health benefits, particularly when it comes to mood and mental health. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and several hormones in the brain that can elevate your mood. On the other hand, darkness causes the brain to produce melatonin, which contributes to increased drowsiness. 

Taking in some sunlight at least a few times each week can help improve your mood. If you’re inside at work during daylight hours, or it’s too cold to spend extended periods outdoors, or there just aren’t many sunny days in your city, an alternative may be using a “lightbox.” 

During light therapy, you will sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. This device gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Light therapy affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and is also known as promising light therapy or phototherapy.

Enjoy a Gift Drive

There are often gift drives at local businesses, religious centers, and community organizations. It can be a fun and heart-warming experience to go out shopping for a child. Plus, you’ll know you’ve made a big difference in someone’s holiday—spreading some real seasonal joy.

Visit Santa

Why not? Just the experience of going to see Santa Claus — whether you sit on his lap or not — can bring back all kinds of fond memories. You can bring your nephews, nieces, kids, or join a family you’re close with. Say hello to Santa and enjoy the whole Santa fun with others.

Listen or Read to Motivational Books or Podcast

Motivational books will spur you towards achieving your goals. We call them motivational books because they encourage you to not give up on your dreams. Do not underestimate how far these books can push you towards achieving your goals.

Your main goal now is to beat the winter chills and make it through the cold without relapsing. With that in mind, find a motivational book that fits your purpose and bury yourself in it. Don’t just read — try to practice the things you learn in the book.

If you’re too busy to read words, listen to audiobooks. Reading motivational books is a sober activity that can help you beat the winter chills. It can also become a hobby that will help you in other areas of your life. Read books, not just as a sober activity for the winter but also as a hobby for life.

Get Yourself an Exceptional Gift

Since you’ve decided to go alcohol-free this holiday season, give yourself a nice reward. Perhaps you’ve worked hard to make some significant changes this year. Show yourself that you’re proud of all the effort you’ve put in. You can even wrap it up nicely and put it under the tree for yourself on Christmas morning!

Exercise Daily 

Exercise Daily

When you’re dealing with a case of the winter blues, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. Due to the increase in melatonin levels, you may have trouble finding the motivation to exercise. While aerobic exercise will undoubtedly yield the most benefit, any physical activity has significant advantages.

Walking at a fast-pace for at least 35minutes every day has been shown to offer a significant boost in symptoms of depression. Also, when you exercise under the sunlight or any bright light, your body generates more chemicals that elevate your mood.

The most challenging part of overcoming the winter blues may be finding the motivation to do any of these things. However, by getting more exposure to sunlight, eating foods that help elevate your mood, and upping your physical activity, you can improve your mood and beat the winter blues.

Spend Quality Time with Your Loved Ones

There’s a reason you call them your loved ones. You love them, and they also love you back. It shouldn’t be that hard to hang out and spend quality time with them. Spending time around these people should make you happy and improve your mood.

Life without loved ones will be lonely, and loneliness is a significant trigger of addiction relapse. Avoid it as much as possible by moving closer to and spending time with your loved ones.

Practice Daily Meditation

When you meditate, you feed, exercise, and strengthen your mind. Your mind is an integral part of your being, and it has the most influence on everything you do. Therefore, a healthy mind creates a strong character. With a strong sense and a strong personality, you will easily beat the winter blues.

Keep a Diary/Journal and Write in it Daily

It works for everyone, and it will work for you if you’re diligent. It’s straightforward, pick a new book and give it any title of your choice. Probably something like “My Soberness Journey” or anything. Then, input a summary of your daily activities, including how you beat the winter chills that day. 

Knowing that you have to write a report of your activities keeps you accountable to yourself. It also gives you a sense of victory at the end of the day as you input your achievements for the day.

Learn to Prepare and Eat Healthy Food

Winter is not the time of the year to consume junk and other unhealthy food choices. There’s no time of the year that’s appropriate for the consumption of unhealthy food. However, all of the parties and festivities mean that junk food is readily available. 

Take extra care and watch your diet in winter. That’s if you want to stand a chance against the chills. Different food items will have other effects on your brain. In fact, the food you eat can have specific effects on your mood, how you feel, and your strength levels. That’s why you need to eat good food.

Cooking is also an enjoyable sober activity for the winter. You can learn how to combine various recipes and prepare new dishes. More importantly, you will also have fun doing it.


You needed to understand how to evade relapse in winter. The first step is knowing that it’s not going to be easy. The second step is filling in the gaps of time with effective activities to help you maintain sobriety during the winter season. With the activities we have described above, you should be able to make it through winter without any problem.

These tips are designed to help you through winter with ease. However, coping through recovery during winter can be challenging to experience. The winter chills are sneaky, and they’ll want to get you when you least expect them. 

However, if you know the best winter sober activities, you can quickly develop a plan to beat the winter blues. Try to incorporate these sober activities into your schedule for this winter. Also, be ready to share your experiences and problems with people around you. It’s crucial that you don’t become shy or hide your plight because of the stigma or anything.

A daily exercise session, being with loved ones, doing what you enjoy or picking up a new hobby, can help you beat the winter blues. However, you can still try out other options from your rehab provider or get expert help. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season

Prescription Drugs Addiction

The Long Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

When you misuse drugs, there is a huge possibility that the habit can become addictive. This means that one of the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse is addiction. Simply put, a drug can become addictive when you use the drug against your doctor’s instructions. 

People usually forget that most over-the-counter and prescription drugs can affect both physical and psychological functionality. For instance, several medications have warning writings or labels about the potential side effects of the drug. 

You may have come across drugs with labels displaying dizziness or drowsiness as side effects. Driving or leaving your comfort zone after taking such drugs may be chaotic.

Typically, people who use these types of drugs and still drive often cause different car crashes every year. Additionally, prescription drugs may cause hallucinations, change depth awareness, lower or raise blood pressure, blur vision, and may cause you to react slowly or quickly. These effects are essentially risky when you are driving.

As a patient taking medication for any infection, disease, or illness, drug prescription is inevitable. However, numerous stories point to the fact that patients can experience addiction to these drugs. For instance, a patient undergoing body pain treatment can experience addiction to painkillers.

An increasingly prevalent issue in Canada, prescription medication abuse affects all age groups, including teenagers. Some of the drugs prone to continuous abuse are stimulants, sedatives, anti-anxiety, and opioid painkillers.

Though addiction comes from the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse, short-term effects can still be dangerous. Early identification and intervention of prescription drug abuse may prevent the dangers of prescription drug addiction.

Over the course of this blog, we will break down the possible long-term effects of prescription drug abuse. If you or a loved one are staring down the dark hallway that is prescription abuse, this information can be useful in helping you make the best decision where treatment and recovery is concerned. 

Long Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

In general, prescription drug abuse refers to the use of prescription medication in an improper way. Typically, it’s using them in a manner different from the prescription provided by your doctor. An example is when you use a pain killer for more than the preset period recommended by your doctor.

The problematic use of prescription drugs covers the spectrum — everything about drug usage and prescription. Right from snorting or injecting ground-up pills to treating back pain with your partner’s or friend’s prescription painkillers, these are all forms of prescription drug abuse. 

Because of how broad it is, it is easy to unknowingly abuse prescription drugs. As a result, prescription drug usage requires ultimate caution, especially for those that are addictive.

Regardless of the adverse side effects, drug abuse can still become ongoing and compulsive. A ravaging problem about prescription drug addiction is that it can affect all ages, including teens. In general, stimulants, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications or opioid painkillers are too often and easily misused in Canada.

Fortunately, early recognition of such abuse symptoms and swift intervention can help prevent prescription drug addiction. Typically, this type of addiction involves people developing a total dependence on prescription drugs. 

Often, individuals tend to misuse drugs once the drug proves useful. Most people misuse it by taking higher doses than recommended to achieve a self-satisfying result than the doctor’s prescription. Increasing dosages or continuously taking the same medications over a long period usually causes tolerance for such effects. Also, it neutralizes the substance’s presence in your body system. 

Additionally, tolerance usually reduces the effects of the drug. It also minimizes the happy feeling from a lower dose, meaning you’ll be needing a larger quantity to attain the same high. In several cases, misusing prescription drugs usually happens due to a spontaneous pursuit of the pleasurable feeling some medications provide. 

Prescription medication abuse comes with several adverse side effects. It’s essential to be able to identify these side effects and seek help. This way, you’ll be able to avoid further or potential health risks.

Types of Prescription Drug Abuse

At our facility, we can treat several types of prescription drug addictions. However, it’s essential to fully understand that these prescriptions usually determine the symptoms you may exhibit. As such, each type will affect the average individual in distinct ways.

Generally, it is possible to misuse any prescription drug. However, the effects and properties of some medications may increase the possibility of misusing them. Furthermore, there is a proportional increase in the potential harm and long-term complications it may bring along.

Here are the three most common types of prescription drug addiction:



Generally, opioids are a specific class of prescription drugs known by several other names. Examples are Codeine, Morphine, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Vicodin, and morphine. In general, these drugs are prescriptions to help boost your psychological management during treatment by removing the brain’s sense of pain.

This is typical because the drugs possess pain relief capabilities. Also, they trigger the instant release of dopamine, making it somewhat easier to develop an addiction to these kinds of painkillers. 

Typically, these medications are safe when used according to their prescription. However, they can become disastrous when you start to consume them in excess or high doses. Consuming one large quantity of these drugs can result in death or respiratory failure. Also, the danger opioids pose become even more significant when combined with alcohol or other substances.


Stimulant drugs are generic medications that influence your energy and alertness levels. These drugs are useful in treating fatigue, ADHD, tiredness, and depression. These types of medications include Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta, and Adderall.

Typically, most prescription drugs within this category can result in euphoric feelings that prompt you to up their usage. Ultimately, stimulants will raise your heart rate and blood pressure upon consumption. As such, consuming excessive amounts of stimulants can lead to heart failure or irregular heartbeat. 

Also, stimulant withdrawal comes with a smattering of side effects. Examples of such adverse effects include depression, irregular sleep patterns, inability to sleep, fatigue, etc.

The Central Nervous System Depressant

CNS depressants usually slow down the brain’s functionality. It can also affect individuals by producing a drowsy or calm feeling within the host system. They are commonly known as tranquilizers or sedatives. 

These depressants are usually applicable in treating panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and other related issues. The major components include benzodiazepines and barbiturates like Xanax, Librium, and Valium. Furthermore, unnecessary or excessive use of this type of prescription drugs can result in addiction or total dependency.

Related article: Why do People Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs

What are the Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse?

Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

The symptoms of prescription drug addiction often vary from one person to another. However, some exceptions and factors determine potential addiction or not. For instance, prescription drug addiction depends on the type of drug you’re misusing, the amount, and the frequency at which you use the drug.

Here at 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab centre, our prescription drug addiction treatment is a function of these factors. The symptoms that come with prescription drug abuse symptoms can be divided into three (3) main categories, i.e. psychological symptoms, behavioural symptoms, and physical symptoms. The psychological signs are symptoms relating to your mental interaction with your environment with or without the drug. 

Behavioural symptoms relate to how you behave with or without the drug and how you interact with people. For example, someone who rarely talks and is less active around people may become more active or even violent around the same people after abusing prescription drugs. 

Below are a few signs that you or someone close to you may have a prescription drug abuse problem:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low emotional reactivity or severe low mood
  • Hostility and mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate or stay focused
  • Euphoric feelings
  • Paranoia and confusion
  • Memory issues
  • Taking prescription drugs just to relieve stress or relax
  • Agitation.

Here are a few social and behavioural symptoms of prescription drug abuse:

  • Visiting different doctors for the same condition just to obtain numerous prescriptions
  • Taking prescription drug faster than scheduled
  • Placing an order for a prescription drug over the internet
  • Misplacing prescriptions and always requesting replacements
  • Forging or stealing prescriptions
  • Putting a priority on taking or obtaining medication compared to enjoying activities you used to do without drugs.
  • Wanting to take prescription drugs but not being able to
  • Being defensive and secretive about your prescription drug abuse
  • Inability to stop drug usage even when the negative effects are evident and severe.

Some physical symptoms that come with prescription drug abuse include:

  • Intense cravings for the prescription drug
  • Headaches
  • High body temperature
  • Poor sleep pattern, or insomnia
  • Low or high level of appetite, leading to changes in your overall weight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Slurred speech
  • Coordination problems
  • Unresponsiveness and being immobile for some moments, i.e. catatonia
  • Insomnia or low sleep patterns
  • Increase in drug tolerance levels
  • Experience withdrawal signs if you stop abruptly, etc.

Short-Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

Most psychoactive medications are mind-altering. They are capable of changing the way you feel, act, and think. Abusing prescription medications can make you feel euphoric, excited, and sometimes invincible.

You may behave in a way you’re unaccustomed to, become violent, paranoid, or even hostile. Psychotic side effects such as delusions and hallucinations are also a possibility of prescription abuse. However, these behaviours can go on to become unpredictable or erratic. As a result of this, there is a possibility that you may end up endangering yourself.

While it may make you feel exceptional, drugs can also reduce your inhibitions. It can even expose you to taking more significant risks that may lead to injuries. Or, in some cases, criminal or legal consequences.

Long-Term Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

Staying on a prescription drug for longer than the mandated usage timeline will only expose you to dangerous risks. Sometimes, the side effects can cause severe damages to your system capable of bringing death.

Commonly Abused Prescription drugs and Their Long-Term Effects

There are several kinds of prescription drugs that are very addictive, with high potential exposure to abuse. In general, taking these prescription drugs according to your doctor’s instruction and supervision will prevent any addiction or adverse effects.

However, incorrectly using prescription drugs can be significantly dangerous to your long-term behavioural, physical, and mental wellbeing. Abusing these drugs over a long period can cause organ damage or worsen your mental health problems. Sometimes, it may even go as severe as causing permanent physical impairment. 

Most of these medications usually come with a risk of overdose, mental illness, or even death when misused. Below are the long-term effects of commonly abused prescription drugs:

Long-Term Effects of CNS Depressants

This is also popularly known as the control nervous system depressants. Generally, this medication is useful for slowing down the brain’s regular activity. They are prescription drugs available for people who are unable to control rapid brain activities. Or sometimes for people who are struggling with seizures, panic attacks, insomnia, or anxiety.

Some of the long-term effects of this kind of prescription drug abuse include:

  • Motor functional damage due to brain damage
  • Seizures
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death
  • Loss of cognitive function, etc.

Long-Term Effects of Opiate Painkillers

These are usually effective for treating acute or chronic pain a patient may experience after a surgery or injury. Sometimes, it is also useful for treating pain from a cough – examples are codeine cough syrup. Opiate painkillers are the most commonly abused types of prescription drugs. 

In fact, teens have access to these drugs because they are easily prescribed. Sometimes, they get over-prescribed to adults as well. 

However, this practice usually leads to leftover pills frequently available in the medicine cabinet at our homes. It’s quite unfortunate that one of the few short-term risks include overdose.

The long-term health risk includes:

  • Addiction
  • Intense withdrawal signs
  • Respiratory failure

Long-Term Effects of Stimulant Abuse

Methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine are both common prescriptions for teens struggling with ADHD. In teens, these drugs provide a calming effect and help to boost focus. However, the reverse is the case in adults. 

These medications possess a stimulant effect that can be highly addictive for adults and are even deadly. Long-term use of the drug can cause health issues that include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Overdose
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme loss of weight
  • Death
  • Extreme insomnia
  • Addiction
  • Dehydration, etc.

Other Side effects of Long-term Prescription Drug Abuse

Below are some of the other adverse side effects of long-term prescription drug abuse:

The Tolerance Level

Your system will require more of the prescription drugs to be able to benefit from its pharmacological effects.

The Dependency Level

It will alter your brain’s structure over time. The result of this change is that you continuously require prescription drugs to stay functional. Stopping or reducing the prescribed medication may completely change your brain’s chemistry over time, resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

The Resistance

Ultimately, these prescriptions will have little or no effect on you, except to keep off withdrawal symptoms. One of the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse is resistance. Once your body develops resistance to the drug, it becomes useless for the intended course. 

When this occurs, some patients often end up being prescribed stronger medication in addition. In the end, this may result in physical dependence.

The Original Issue is Never Resolved

In most cases, when dealing with the long-term effects of prescription drug abuse, you may not be able to solve the original problem. 

Typically, the condition that brings about the prescription is just being symptomatically treated. This is in stark contrast to the real goal of treating the cause of the condition. This is mostly true with prescription drugs used for treating mental health conditions. 

More Sensitivity to Pain

More Sensitivity to Pain

Generally, some evidence suggests that opiates only have pharmacological benefits for three months. Anything beyond that means you only get a little pharmacological effect. As such, your pain may become worse if your body doesn’t get the pain relief it is used to.

Alternative Complementary and Holistic treatments are not Explored

There are a lot of benefits to get from complementary, holistic therapies and treatments. Even in chronic pain-related conditions, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and mindfulness are a prevalent and useful pain management tool. 

Other complementary and holistic therapies such as reflexology, acupuncture, and counselling effectively treat long-term mental health conditions. However, due to prescription drug abuse, one long-term side effect is that you will miss out on is their benefit.

In fact, not incorporating all of these other methods while undergoing pain-related treatment is a reason people become dependent on prescriptions. 

Depression and Anxiety Development

One of the most common long-term effects of prescription drug abuse is the continuous development of depression and anxiety. Prescription drugs can cause damage to the brain’s reward or pleasure system when abused over a long period. 

In most cases, this may result in you becoming anxious and feeling depressed. This damage comes with an imbalance in your brain’s chemistry. Because of this, you may not be able to feel or differentiate pleasure anymore.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab centre, we offer different treatment options that are particular to you and effective to boost your recovery. There are various strategies for attaining sobriety. 

We will start by helping you understand your addiction fully. This includes your life outside the drug, why and when you use prescription medications, and other useful information. 

After that, we will evaluate your mental and physical wellbeing and assess your drug history. This way, we will be able to know if there are other underlying issues that need attention.

Here are a few options for prescription drug addiction treatment:

  • Going through medication to help your detox procedure
  • Going through therapy
  • Going through self-help groups
  • Prescription medication alternatives such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Yoga, etc.


In general, there are several long-term effects of prescription drug abuse. From the long-term physical effects to the behavioural and mental effects, we have taken the time to analyze these side effects. 

If you’re feeling any of these effects, it’s essential to reach out to prescription drug abuse counsellors or professionals for help to prevent the severe effects of prescriptions. 

Treating any addiction requires highly tailored care that considers everything regarding your medical history. This includes when and why you started the prescription medication in the first place. 

Going through medically-supervised detox is often recommendable for patients struggling with addiction. Most especially, addiction treatment is more effective where patients are given replacement drugs to treat the initial health issue. 

Defeating the shame or embarrassment that you feel because of addiction is the first step towards recovery. You’re not alone. There are also people like you undergoing recovery in rehab with professionals helping them achieve wonderful results.

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

Related article: What Are The Signs Of Prescription Drug Addiction?


Beating the Holiday Blues: How to Avoid Depression

The thought of going on holiday, far away from every work-related activity, should be exciting. The fact that it’s a holiday makes it weird when you hear that there is a risk of depression. The common moniker for this is “holiday blues.” Though it remains an unofficial mental health issue, one can’t debunk its existence. This lays importance on mastering how to avoid depression during the holidays.

At that of the year, everywhere is all shades of red and green, but you feel down…blue. In spite of the celebrations around, you are suffering from a painful reflection, sadness, or loneliness. You get more prone to any or all of these because you have excess free time. There are several causes for these feelings.

Technically, holiday blues may be less serious than clinical depression. However, if you are on the addiction treatment and recovery journey, things can get pretty bad easily. Hence, the need for this article that explores the concept of holiday blues, addiction recovery, and everything else in between. 

How Depression and Addiction Influence Each Other

Depression and addiction are two common disorders in society. Both, however, have similarities. For one, they leave victims almost a shadow of their former selves. While both can occur exclusively, there are also times when they influence each other. The most common scenario being depression influencing addiction and the recovery process.

Also, according to research, substance abuse is common in people suffering from depression. This two-way relationship between addiction and depression is worth taking time to study.

For alcohol addicts, things can get really bad. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Hence, an addiction to it can lead to depression. The user begins to show signs of lethargy, sadness, and hopelessness. 

On the other hand, depressed individuals try to get drugs and other substances that can help them with the release of dopamine. This will lift their spirits and douse painful thoughts. Over time, this will only lead to addiction.

The inter-relationship between depression and addiction makes it difficult for someone suffering from both. To effectively master how to avoid depression, you must also fight on the front with addiction. This calls for dual diagnosis. The concept of dual diagnosis is not limited to addiction and depression. In fact, it can be a combination of any mental issue.

Of the various combinations, addiction and depression are most common. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one in three adults struggle with both. 

In the case where the individual hasn’t been suffering from addiction, depression more often than not leads there. As a condition that manifests itself in sadness, low energy, and feeling of hopelessness, depression makes substance abuse easier. Even worse, depression makes relapse easier for someone who is recovering.

There are several common causes of depression. Some of these are:


There are numerous cases of individuals suffering from depression, as it runs in the family. It’s not always a certainty that you’ll have it if family members are known to have it. However, it makes the chances higher.


As people grow older and retire from active work, they may get depressed. Underlying factors for this are living alone and a lack of social support.

Health conditions 

Other health conditions like cancer, stroke, thyroid problems, etc. can lead to depression. This is because these diseases rid the individual of normal functionality. This can be very depressing, as it means you suddenly can’t do what you used to.

Trauma or grief

Trauma or grief

Abuse and loss of intimate individuals can also lead to depression for many people.

Life’s stress 

The various events that occur in life can break people who aren’t strong enough to handle such pressure. 

The Verdict

It is safe to know that there is a difference between clinical depression and experiencing mere symptoms of depression. While clinical addiction doesn’t always get temporarily solved with substance use, mere depression symptoms can. Substance use will lift the spirit. Hence, most people easily fall into the trap, believing that holiday depression can be cured with substance use.

However, with regular use, there is a very high chance that such usage will turn to full-blown addiction. This is especially if it continues for a longer period. The attempt to get into high spirits gradually leads to another problem.

The whole concept of suffering from addiction and depression is tricky. When someone suffering from depression suddenly gives up on the substance, withdrawal symptoms kick in. This makes depression worse. Also, when you have gotten so used to treating your depression with alcohol, the depression rate heightens. Such that, just being sober becomes somewhat like depression.

How to avoid depression, in this case, requires care. You have to treat both disorders at once. There are professional addiction treatment and support services in Canada you can use. You need a professional because during “Dual Diagnosis,” each disorder can make the other worse. Also, by taking more alcohol or drugs, depression also becomes worse. This degree of complexity makes it pertinent that you subject yourself only to the treatment of an expert.

Now, you know the gravity of what a combination of alcohol and depression can result in. You should have enough motivation to want to avoid it at all costs. This brings us back to the concept of holiday blues.

Related article: Traveling for Addiction Treatment Improves Long-Term Recovery

Everything you Need to Know About Holiday Blues

In the real world, everyone has bad days. However, most times, we don’t get to see the true picture of things that are wrong because of much work we bury ourselves in. Things take a different turn during the holidays. 

The end of the year holidays provides you with enough time to reflect on your bad days. Enough time to reflect on things that are wrong. Enough time to mull over the dreams that seem further distant.

Anyone can experience the holiday blues. Even people who normally enjoy their holidays. Holiday blues go beyond being the result of reflections. This season is typically one of high emotion and demand. This can make most people feel so stressed and exhausted. If you feel this way, you need to know how to avoid depression in those times.

Triggers for Holiday Blues

One of the most important tips for managing holiday depression is to know the triggers. When you know them, you can effectively steer clear of them.

Over-Commercialization of the season

The frenzy and expectations that come with the holiday season can make you feel down. The unwritten rule that you have to make it better than the last, which certainly costs more, can be stressful. 

If you can’t control this surreal expectation, you may do yourself more harm than good. This can trigger slight depression symptoms.

Over-committing to the season

When it comes to the holidays, many people find it hard to say “no”. Committing yourself to too many invitations and events can make you breakdown into depression. 

If you were to get around to everything you want to do, you probably won’t have enough resources for that. The best you can do for yourself during the holidays is to make a commitment to be healthy.

Financial Worries

Financial Worries

In the bid to outdo yourself or a friend, financial worries become your priority. When funds aren’t forthcoming, it can lead to holiday blues, summoning the feeling of being left out. Whatever your finance can cover, you should stick to that and shop within your means.

Fatigue and stress

More than we think, the holidays are always filled with a flurry of activities. The only caveat is that these activities aren’t work-related. 

However, they leave you drained and more tired than you get after normal workdays. As much as you can, ensure you take a rest.

Being far from family

One other trigger of depression symptoms during the holidays is being away from family. The holidays have taken on the idea of being spent with family. Once you are unable to do this, the holidays will feel incomplete. This can lead to depression.

Signs of Holiday Blues

The presence of family members and friends can serve as depression and addiction support for the holidays. If holiday blues are left unchecked, things can get worse, at least for the moment. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling irritable or angry
  • Feelings of exhaustion and fatigue
  • Lack of pleasure
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Feeling lonely
  • Not taking pleasure in normal activities
  • Oversleeping or under-sleeping.

When holiday blues hit, you suddenly stop deriving happiness from what others enjoy. In fact, you stop getting any form of happiness from the things that used to make you happy before. These activities are those custom for the holiday season. These include; gifting, social events, family dining.

As soon as you notice these signs, it is best you counter them. You never can tell if you are simply suffering from a holiday blues that will blow over once the holidays are over. Or it’s one that may progress to seasonal affective disorder.

Difference between Holiday Blues and SAD

The holidays are meant to be a time of happiness and celebration. This makes it worrying that there are several mental disorders that can develop during this time. One of such is SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder.

SAD, according to a study, is somewhat similar to holiday blues. However, there is a striking difference that separates the duo. SAD is known to occur when the weather conditions are darker, with shorter days. This makes it common during the fall and to the end of winter. 

The major difference between SAD and holiday blues is while the latter may fade once the holidays are over, the other extends to the end of winter.

How to Avoid Depression During the Holidays

How to Avoid Depression During the Holidays

If you don’t attend to the mild symptoms of depression during the holidays, it can morph into something worse. There is a thin line between normalcy and falling into blues. 

Here are some tips on how to avoid depression during the holidays.

Plan the holiday as early as you can

When you don’t plan effectively, you can get easily overwhelmed. You need to know just what you want to do and how much you want to spend. You also need to plan how you want to take care of yourself. 

In your plan, include a routine that can help with restoration and relaxation. For instance, you can plan your reading schedule. Care for your mental health, intentionally.

Be wary of family conflicts

When the family gathers, as much as it births intimacy, it can also result in conflict. Conversations that start out well can easily lead to another issue. Hence, you need to be prepared for your response. 

You should have a response that ensures you don’t take sides if you are caught in the middle. For instance, you can have a response like “let’s discuss this later.” As much as you can, kill every conflict before it starts.

If you suffer from addiction and are in treatment, you need to steer clear of conflicts. Conflicts lead to stress, which in turn may lead to depression. As we have seen, the effects of depression on addiction treatment can be bad.

Focus on the good aspects

There will probably never be the perfect Christmas. There will always be something missing. Don’t allow the imperfections to get to you. Focus on the good things that are happening around you. 

Don’t dwell on the things you wish were better or in place. In this period, you should only think about the people that don’t stress you out. Everything can’t be perfect, don’t expect them to be.

Learn to grieve

This sounds absurd, but it’s the truth. When you fail to grieve, you open yourself to other negative ways of dealing with the emotion. When you lose a loved one, you should talk about it. Don’t try to bottle everything up, you may end up hurting your mental health. 

You should cry. You should cuss out loud. These feelings are only a testament to the fact that you are human. It is a reflection of your healing process.

Get ample sleep

Activities can be so much during the holidays that you don’t get enough sleep. As much as possible, avoid this. Don’t allow the activities of the holidays to affect your sleep routine. Try to go to bed early and rise early.

Monitor your digital wellbeing

The internet makes access to information easy. In the same vein, it makes it easy to access other people’s lives. Online, you get to see what’s going on in other people’s life. You get to see how they go to places you can only dream of. 

This constant reiteration emphasizes your loneliness. Hence, you need to be really careful about how much social media you consume in these times.

Be willing to ask for help

There’s a lot going on during this period. You can’t possibly do everything yourself. In all areas of your life, as much as you can, you should ask for help. When it comes to planning, you shouldn’t be the only one taking it all on your shoulders. If you notice any of the depression symptoms, you should also seek help. Don’t be afraid to seek help.

Exercise more

Your health is important, and you should know just how much frequent exercise can help you with that. Every day, exercise your body. You can go on a run. You can hit the gym. 

According to research, the more stress you are in, the more you feel like you don’t have time. You should go out and do something. Exercising improves mood. Take a walk, take a run. Do something, anything.

Get into the light

If you are suffering from SAD or holiday blues, you should go out more. Getting into the sun helps your condition. SAD, especially, is caused due to inadequate exposure to sunlight. Take long walks in the sun daily till you get totally better.

Don’t overindulge in food or alcohol

During the holidays, everyone has a default want to overindulge in everything. From food to gifts and even movies. However, holiday blues can result from doing this. As much as you can, you should reduce the amount of junk food you consume.

Don’t overcommit

A lot will go on during the holidays. However, you can’t do everything, you can’t be everywhere. When you get invitations to events, gatherings or outings, as much as possible, you should say “no.” 

You can’t commit yourself to everything. Despite it being holidays, you don’t get more than 24 hours. So, limit what you commit yourself to. 

How to prevent a Relapse during the Holiday Season

Preventing a relapse during the holiday season can be daunting. During the holidays, there are triggers everywhere. There’s enough time to indulge in whatever you want to. 

This can be dangerous. Holiday blues can occur easily in this period of ‘excess time.’ If not carefully tended to, for someone who is recovering from addiction, relapse can easily occur. Hence, you need to know how to avoid depression which leads to relapse.

Stay Healthy

There are numerous causes and triggers for holiday blues. The most common of this is stress. Hence, you should avoid exerting yourself. You should ensure that your choice of activities and lifestyle is healthy. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, every time. You should also eat healthily.

Manage your recovery schedule well

During the holidays, therapy sessions may be few and far between. Also, support groups tend to disperse as everyone looks to be with family. This can be a tricky development, especially if you aren’t strong enough on your own. Do your planning ahead if this will be the case. Create the perfect support system for yourself.

You should inform your family ahead. You need them to monitor you closely. They need to serve as your addiction support for the holidays. There are also addiction treatment services in Canada that offer support all-year-round.

Don’t try it, say “no”

For substances like alcohol, you’ll be faced with loads of it during the holidays. If you are recovering from alcohol addiction, don’t even try one bottle. You’ll probably tell yourself that you can handle just one bottle. This is your mind tricking you. You can’t. 

Instead, say “no” to friends and family offering you the drink. Prepare to stand on your decision, irrespective of how weak and vulnerable it’s making you seem. The holidays will be over. However, your addiction won’t be over if you keep relapsing.

Move with friends that are sober

The company you keep really matters when recovering. Despite it being the holidays, you should be careful of the company you move with. 

Make sure you are walking with friends that are sober. Out of sight is out of mind. When you don’t see the substance you are addicted to, overcoming the urge is easier.

Don’t stay alone

As much as you can, make sure you have family and friends around. Being alone easily leads to holiday blues, which is just one step away from relapse. Have people that know your condition around you. Staying in control becomes easier with this step.

Have fun, be in the moment

Having fun releases dopamine ( a mood booster) to your brain. Ensure that you deliberately go for events and activities that are fun for you. 

This way, you don’t have to worry about using a substance to put you in high spirits. Enjoy yourself. Go out of your way to meet new people. Be interesting. Connect with people you meet and have a good time during the holiday season.  

Final Take

It’s not enough to know how to avoid depression, action is critical. You must put all the tips to practice, deliberately, if they are going to work. Holiday blues is no cause for alarm, it can happen to anyone. Allowing it to progress is what can be dangerous. Hence, you need to give it a level of concern. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season

Opioid Addiction

Addiction Treatment: What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

Opiate withdrawal signs can be very intense. To get through the process, you need knowledge of what to expect during opioid withdrawal. With this knowledge, you can prepare for the possible severity and side effects of opioid withdrawal. 

Generally, most people are aware of how unpleasant the opioid withdrawal process can be. But, it can get worse. The opioid withdrawal process can be life-threatening. During withdrawal, death can, and does, happen. In most cases, it’s usually because opioid withdrawal complications are monitored inadequately and sometimes underestimated.

The opioid withdrawal symptoms include a flu-like illness that is objectively moderate but subjectively intense. Some of the symptoms include lacrimation, nausea, piloerection, insomnia, dysphoria, pupillary dilation, muscle aches, rhinorrhea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.

So, what can you do to prevent death during opioid withdrawal? The answer is right there in the final two clinical symptoms above — vomiting and diarrhea. Typically, continuous vomiting and diarrhea may result in hypernatraemia, dehydration, and eventually heart failure if you refuse to undergo proper treatment.

Where possible, it’s better to work with healthcare professionals to manage withdrawal syndrome. This way, you can come off opiates addiction gradually to lessen the symptoms.

Withdrawal is definitely not a cakewalk. However, it’s possible to go through with consistency and dedication. Fortunately, you’re taking a massive step by reading this article. Learning about what to expect during opioid withdrawal and tips to get through it is key to a successful detox. 

Understanding Opioid Dependence and Addiction

Opioids are significantly effective at relieving pain. Most especially, short-term pain relating to post-surgical pain or injuries. 

If you indulge in using opioids over the long-term, you may develop a tolerance to this medication. Essentially, tolerance means you will always need to increase your doses to attain the necessary pain relief you want. Over time, it is very easy for this situation to lead to addiction especially when the drug usage is poorly monitored.

In some cases, this addiction can include cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs. However, opioid addiction can as well involve different prescription medications often used in treating pain. Some of these drugs include:

opioid addiction

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone.

As you continually use this drug, your body may become dependent on it. This means you will experience different opioid withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop using the drug. 

With opioid usage, there’s psychological and also physical dependence. Psychological dependence is known as addiction. As an addict, you tend to go through several uncontrollable cravings for opiates. Regardless of the risk or harm, it brings to you, your body will always crave opioids intensely. 

Going through these experiences can only mean your intake level is more than the doctor’s recommendation and may cause an overdose. Also, addiction to opioids means that you go through illegal steps to obtain more drugs.

In general, you can be physically dependent on opioids even when you use your medication according to the prescription. If you feel you’re becoming dependent, it’ll be good to consult your specialist or physician. This way, they can help you reduce the possibilities of developing an OUD (Opioid Use Disorder).

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction, otherwise known as Opioid Use Disorder, is defined by the illegal misuse of opioid medications. In most cases, people who do this have the intention of avoiding withdrawal symptoms or getting high.

Random signs of opioid misuse or abuse include:

  • Taking more drugs than the given prescription
  • Using other opioid medications whenever you’re out of your prescribed drug
  • Using opioid medicines for different reasons
  • Feeling that opioid medication limits your daily functioning
  • Picking the drug over activities at home, school, or work
  • Not abstaining from the drug even when it causes mental problems or increasing physical issues. 
  • Using the medication even when it causes issues between you, your friends, or your family.

What is Opioid’s Effect on Your Body?

Opioids usually attach themselves to the opioid receptors in the spinal cord, brain, and gastrointestinal tract. Whenever opioids bind to these receptors, they exert their effects. 

Your brain manufactures natural opioids responsible for a whole host of influences, including decreasing pain, lowering the respiratory rate, and even preventing anxiety and depression.

Nevertheless, your system doesn’t produce opioids in large quantities. This means the production is not enough to treat any severe pain, for example, a broken leg. Also, your body doesn’t produce opioids enough to cause an overdose. Opioid drugs and other illegal medications mimic natural opioids.

These medications may influence your body in several ways:

  • Opioids may affect the brain stem, which controls breathing and heartbeat, reducing coughing or slowing breathing.
  • Opioids may also act on some regions of the brain known as the limbic system. The limbic system controls emotions and creates relaxation or pleasure.
  • It works to lessen pain by altering the spinal cord, which communicates with the rest of the body from the brain.

What are the Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

The withdrawal symptoms you’ll go through often depend on the withdrawal level you’re experiencing. Additionally, multiple factors may dictate the duration in which you’ll go through the withdrawal symptoms. This is why everyone experiences withdrawal differently. Notwithstanding, there’s usually a timeline for work progression and symptoms.

Early signs usually start between the first 24 hours after quitting the usage. The signs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive seating
  • Yawning 
  • Runny nose
  • Eyes tearing up (Lacrimation)

Other symptoms, which can be more intense, start after the first day or beyond. They include:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Goosebumps appearance on the skin
  • Possibly blurry vision
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea

Even though it’s painful and very unpleasant, opioid’s symptoms usually improve within 72 hours. However, you’ll notice a significant decrease in acute pain and symptoms. Also, how long opioid withdrawal will take depends on your addiction severity and frequency of use. 

For instance, heroin is usually removed from your body faster, and symptoms will kick-in after 12 hours of the last usage. If you’re using methadone, it may take a day and a half for symptoms to start.

Some experts point out that addiction recovery takes at least six months of total abstinence. During this period, you may experience several withdrawal symptoms. This is known as protracted abstinence. So, if you’ve any ongoing symptoms, it’s crucial to discuss the symptoms with your opioid addiction treatment provider.

Related article: 8 Myths about Opioid Addiction

Timeline for Opioid Withdrawal: How Long Does it Take?

Generally, withdrawal symptoms will begin to develop immediately after opiates leave your system. The amount of time it’ll take you to complete the detox depends on the following factors:

  • Your overall well being
  • Your usage timeline
  • Your addiction severity
  • Your choice of opioids.

The Early Stages

Through the early stages of opiate withdrawal, the signs begin between 6 to 30 hours after quitting the drug. Still, the timing is dependent on the kind of opioid you’re using.

During the beginner’s stages of withdrawal, you may experience:

  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Body aches
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle pain

The Later Stages

About 60 to 72 hours after you stop taking the drug, symptoms are typically at their worst. During this time, your early signs can become more severe. Also, you may experience new symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • Chills

The Complete timeframe

The first week of withdrawal is usually the worst. However, be ready to experience symptoms that last longer. Typically, symptoms can last up to one month and linger for several months. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms that may last longer than one week include depression, tiredness, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

What to Expect During Opioid Withdrawal

When you quit after becoming dependent on a substance like an opioid, your body will experience a detox period. This is where your body tries to get rid of the substance from the system. Notably, the detox stage in addiction recovery is essential for you to reach sobriety. So, what happens during opioid detox? 

Detoxing involves withdrawal symptoms that often vary in intensity and length. For several people who struggle with addiction, the withdrawal process is a severe and daunting, difficult battle. However, detoxing from substances like opioids is better in a professional environment. Rehab facilities will give you the resources and tools you need to defeat this hurdle and reach sobriety.

Here is a procedure for opioid withdrawal and what to expect during opioid withdrawal: 

The First Stage – Detox

The First Stage - Detox

The first step of opiate rehab and recovery is to undergo detoxification. During the detox process, you will be monitored and treated safely for withdrawal symptoms. This includes extreme fatigue, bone and muscle pain, insomnia, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, depression, and severe drug craving. 

These symptoms can kickstart within a few hours and peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. They will often recede after about a week, but some individuals may experience persistent symptoms for months. 

Furthermore, if you’re very dependent on opioids with a poor health history, you may face a deadly risk following sudden withdrawal. This is why experts are better at overseeing the detox process. They will monitor your withdrawal and ensure you’re safe and as comfortable as ever.

It is essential to understand that detox alone is not an effective form of opiate addiction treatment. Detox addresses the physical dependency your body has on opiates. Still, counselling and behavioural therapy are necessary to address the psychological addiction and the reasons behind your drug use.

As the detox process progresses, the process becomes more uncomfortable. A patient in detox may experience:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Goosebumps
  • Fever
  • Feeling hopeless.

The Second Stage – Maintenance and Medication

During opiate detox, you may consider using some medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent drugs used during opiate detox are suboxone, buprenorphine, and methadone. These drugs are also useful for eliminating severe cravings after detox.

The Final Stage – Continuous Treatment

If you’re trying to overcome an addiction to opiates, it is often best to receive care at a residential treatment center. There are several benefits of residential treatment. However, the most crucial advantage is that it provides a structured environment free of temptations and distractions. 

Residential treatment for opiate addiction provides 24/7 care and support to help you focus on your recovery. There, you’ll learn new skills needed to live a drug-free life. It also provides a temporary escape from the daily stresses and responsibilities of home, work, family and other relationships so you can solely focus on recovery.

During residential treatment, you’ll receive medical support and therapy to address not only the physical effects of your opiate addiction but the psychological effects as well. A comprehensive approach that combines behavioural therapy, individual counselling, 12-Step support, drug testing, dual diagnosis and positive reinforcement is the most effective way to reduce opiate abuse.

Tips on How to Manage Opioid Withdrawal

Once you’re ready to kick your opiate habit, be aware that support is essential in managing opiate withdrawal. The more support you have, the better your chances of overcoming your addiction.

Below are a few tips on how to manage opioid withdrawal:

Professional Care

Rather than going through the withdrawal alone, consider registering at an opioid addiction treatment facility around you. In there, you’ll be monitored closely by a team of healthcare providers who will help keep you safe and help relieve your withdrawal symptoms.

However, if you’re going through your withdrawal at home, always ensure you keep in contact with your doctor. Keep the doctor up-to-date about everything going on with you, new symptoms if any, etc. Also, discuss medications they can prescribe that may be of help to you.

To cap it off, avoid being too confident about what to do and what not to do. This is because any mistake from your end may lead to relapse or recurrence. So, whatever you do, ensure your doctor has prior knowledge of it.


During opioid withdrawal, you may lose bodily fluids through diarrhea and vomit. Drinking plenty of water is essential to maintain hydration within your body. Ultimately, it’s best to drink water that contains electrolytes, for instance, coconut water.


Take Hot Baths Regularly

Taking a hot bath will help alleviate the pain and muscle aches in the body. You can include Epsom salts in your water to provide magnesium for your body and help to soothe your muscles. 

However, ensure to stay clear of hot water baths whenever you’re having a fever. Instead, you can use a heated compress to soothe your aching muscles.

Enjoy Proper Nutrition

If you consume high quantities of opiates, you may be deficient in specific nutrients during withdrawal. Eating a range of nutrient-dense foods, significantly those high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium, may help your body during recovery.

Engage in Daily Exercise

Mid or gentle exercise can help relieve some signs of withdrawal. Generally, exercise releases endorphins. These endorphins lessen anxiety and improve mood. Also, exercise can help you control your agitation.

Get a Healthy, Handful Distraction

Most of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be very challenging. Engaging yourself in activities that take your mind off these signs will provide relief. You can decide to do anything from watching a funny film to reading a book or hanging around supportive friends and family.

Ultimately, joining a support group and hanging around people going through somewhat similar experiences is helpful. It helps you feel relaxed and more comfortable sharing your experience with others.

Treatment Options for Opioid Withdrawal

Several treatment options are available for opioid withdrawal. These include:

In-patient Treatments

In-patient therapy is a type of treatment where you reside at the treatment centre. In-patient treatment is often helpful for people suffering from severe addiction. Also, it’s useful for those who struggle with specific challenges of mental wellbeing. 

Undertaking your recovery in a rehab centre helps you avert the influences and temptations that provoke daily substance abuse. Also, living in a serene environment will aid your recovery faster.

Licensed in-patient rehab facilities often provide 24-hour intensive care and support. They also combine three stages of recovery into their rehab programs, i.e. growth, reflection, and detox. In-patient facilities focus on teaching you how to adopt a substance-free lifestyle and maintain sobriety. 

This treatment plan typically involves a step-down method to help your transition from in-patient care to group or individual counselling.

Group therapy

Group therapy is a specific form of counselling used to treat psychological disorders, including substance abuse and addiction. Typically, it involves regular sessions where therapists work with several individuals receiving treatment for the same health issue. 

People who participate in a therapy group usually take turns to share their feelings, struggles, goals, and experiences. Sometimes, therapy groups may focus solely on a specific recovery topic. An example is recognizing and avoiding triggers, or handling complicated family, peer, work, and other interpersonal relationships.

One of the most significant benefits of group therapy for addiction recovery is that groups give you the ability to bond with others. It also gives you an avenue to build a support system to connect with once you leave treatment.

Individual Psychotherapy

Generally, people suffering from addiction usually benefit from meeting a psychologist. Psychologists are experts with optimum training on how to help you learn coping mechanisms. 

This will assist you in managing your life and mental health issues effectively without any shortcomings. They can also help with several other mental challenges common among people with opioid addictions.

Below is a quick highlight of what to expect during opioid treatment using individual psychotherapy:

Managing Your Pain 

Several people start taking opioids because they are living with pain. Chronic pain is emotionally and physically challenging to manage. However, psychologists can help you learn strategies to maintain pain, attain a better quality of life overall, improve sleep, and function well, notwithstanding the pain.

Treating Other Problems

Most people dealing with drug addiction often have other mental issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. Psychologists can assist you in managing or overcoming those conditions.

Addressing Drug Abuse Disorder

Typically, psychologists can help you understand why you started abusing the drug in the first place. They will take you through your history and help identify common triggers that often drives you to continue using the drug. Also, they can help you develop techniques to avoid common triggers or places.


Typically, opiate withdrawal can cause a range of distressing and uncomfortable symptoms. However, now that you know what to expect during opioid withdrawal, getting through the process is easier.

Knowing what to expect is the tip of the iceberg. As said earlier, opiate withdrawal is not always life-threatening. However, it’s capable of causing complications if you refuse to take proper treatments. Generally, there are several addiction treatment services available for treating opioid addiction. 

Opioid withdrawal symptoms may come between 6 to 30 hours after your last dose. However, this may vary depending on the opiates you’ve been taking. Furthermore, you may experience prolonged symptoms even after 72 hours of your last dose. These symptoms can extend up to a week, depending on your level of addiction.

The severity of opiate withdrawal can be intense, so it’s better to have a doctor supervise your progress. Just like other addictions, opioid addiction treatment requires consistency and hard work. So, going through this recovery process with experts will help you attain sobriety without risks.

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

Related article: 6 Warning Signs of Opioid Addiction

Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine Addiction: These 7 Facts Will Help You Quit Using for Good

There are several Methamphetamine addiction facts that many people do not know despite how viral the drug has become. If most people had this information, finding the motivation to quit may become relatively easier. Therefore, if you have been trying to stop using meth, but you cannot seem to do so, this article is for you.

Methamphetamine is easily one of the most dangerous and addictive controlled substances out there today. Typically used as a party drug, you can get hooked on meth from your very first use. Not just that, the continuous use of the drug results in severe damage on both physical and psychological levels.

Indeed, chronic meth use can cause significant health problems such as rotting teeth, respiratory issues, and even organ failure!

Compared to other drugs, methamphetamine addiction can quickly overshadow every other aspect of a person’s life. Therefore, if you are struggling with meth addiction, or you know someone that is, the best time to get help is now. 

However, if you’re still thinking, ‘is meth that bad?’ we understand your reservations. So, we’ve come up with a way to help you see the truth about methamphetamine addiction.

We’ve created a compilation of some of the top less-known methamphetamine addiction facts and their consequences. We find that reading these facts may help you reach a conclusion to seek help for your addiction.

In the next few paragraphs, we will share insight into what methamphetamine is and why it is addictive. More importantly, we will reveal some surprising facts about methamphetamine addiction that can push you to quit. To top it all off, you will also discover some tips on managing meth addiction and where to get help.

What is Methamphetamine?

meth addiction

Right off the bat, methamphetamine is a human-made and very addictive drug that affects the nervous system upon use. It is a derivative of amphetamine and other chemicals. Of course, the substance is illegal. Sadly, the drug’s stimulating effect and its affordability can quickly cause users to develop a meth addiction.

Interestingly, meth has been around for quite a while, almost a century, to be precise. During the Second World War, soldiers used to take meth to keep them awake and alert.

In the times that followed, meth was legally available for public purchase and use. You see, the drug proved to be effective in treating nasal congestions and bronchial respiratory issues. But, in no time, many people started abusing the drug for its stimulant effects on the body. Unsurprisingly, in 1970 the FDA restricted the use of methamphetamine and classified it as Schedule II controlled substance.

Methamphetamine is primarily a party drug as it induces a quick rush of euphoria after use. You see, the substance causes a flood of dopamine (happy chemicals) in the brain. 

It may also lead to feelings of confidence and never-ending energy. These effects are undoubtedly the reason for widespread meth addiction in Canada and the rest of the world.

The drug exists in two distinct forms – in clear crystal pieces or blue-white chunks. However, there are several nicknames that meth goes by on the streets. Here are some of them:

  • Ice
  • Speed
  • Glass
  • Crank
  • Crystal
  • Chalk

Users may choose to either snort, smoke, or inject meth with a needle. Another option is to dissolve it in a drink or to swallow it whole. Injecting or smoking the drug induces an almost immediate rush that lasts for a few minutes. 

However, snorting and oral use will not cause a rush. But, users report a euphoric high within five minutes after snorting and about twenty minutes for oral administration.

Upon use, the effects of methamphetamine use usually last between six and eight hours. However, in some cases, the drug may last as long as twenty-four hours. This is relatively long if you compare it to the duration of ‘high’ other substances give.

Today, there are only two legal uses of meth products – in the treatment of obesity and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Even at this, doctors rarely prescribe methamphetamine due to its highly addictive effects.

Unsurprisingly, it is usually very challenging to quit methamphetamine addiction. You see, the drug can permanently affect some areas of the brain, particularly the pleasure zone. We frequently see this in long-term users. 

When this happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to feel any form of pleasure and happiness without using it. We’ll dive deeper into this when we explore methamphetamine addiction facts.

Related article: What Is Methamphetamine Addiction?

Is Methamphetamine Addiction Like Every Other Addiction?

At the base level, methamphetamine is indeed like every other addictive substance. However, what most people do not know is that it’s worse. You see, due to the intense nature of meth-induced highs, it has an extreme effect on the brain and body. 

The physical and psychological toll methamphetamine takes on its users easily qualifies it as one of the most dangerous substances today.

Let us briefly share one of our methamphetamine addiction facts with you now. Meth is essentially a potent chemical poison that masquerades as a stimulant. Of course, users will testify to its intense stimulating effects when they use it. But right after, the chemical starts destroying and breaking down the body.

The drug burns through the body’s resources and creates a disturbing dependence that only more of it will satisfy. At this point, you may start experiencing a loss of interest in aspects of your life that were once appealing to you. For instance, your career, relationships, and even family may seem less important than the prospect of your next fix.

In this light, methamphetamine addiction is indeed like every other addiction. But, there is a twist. Meth uniquely interacts with the body.

You see, methamphetamine is arguably the most dangerous stimulant because a significant proportion of the drug stays unchanged in the body. Indeed, in twelve hours, your body will only get rid of 50% of the meth you’ve taken. This means that the remaining percentage of the drug will remain in the brain and lend a ‘high’ for extended durations.

This characteristic of meth is why its effects can last as long as 24 hours, unlike other substances.

Of course, this is also why it is decidedly difficult to quit methamphetamine addiction. After all, the brain has more time to interact with the substance and has gotten used to the feeling. 

But we have good news for you! Like every other substance addiction, there are established procedures on how to treat meth addiction. So, yes, you don’t have to struggle with methamphetamine use forever.

Are you wondering if you have a methamphetamine addiction? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Are you using meth in situations where you constitute a danger to yourself and others? For instance, driving under the influence or using too much.
  • Are you neglecting family, professional, personal or academic commitments?
  • Do you experience social problems due to your meth use?
  • Have you experienced withdrawal symptoms when you tried to stop using meth?
  • Do you find yourself using more and more amounts of methamphetamine? (You may be developing a tolerance)
  • Are you investing significant amounts of time and money into meth abuse?
  • Are you forgoing activities or hobbies in favour of meth use?
  • Do you experience methamphetamine cravings?

If your answer to two or more of the above questions is yes, then you may indeed have an addiction. However, help is not far. Getting the methamphetamine addiction treatment you need in Canada is only one decision away from you.

methamphetamine addiction

Why is Methamphetamine So Addictive?

Do you know that a meth user can get hooked on their very first try? The reason is simple – methamphetamine is highly addictive. Let us quickly explore some methamphetamine addiction facts. Here is why the substance is highly addictive:

  • It is very potent. One of the several reasons meth is so addictive is because of its potency. Indeed, taking only a small hit of meth smoke can cause a very intense high in the user.
  • The body develops tolerance very fast. Due to the potency of meth, the body will build both physical and mental tolerance against it quickly. Therefore, on their second trial, a person will need more meth than they took their first time to experience the same high.
  • The high is intense. Meth offers extreme but relatively short highs. As such, when the high starts to clear, an individual begins to ‘chase the high.’ This is essentially the beginning of their drug-seeking habit.
  • It causes intense and seemingly uncontrollable cravings. When the cravings start, it becomes significantly challenging to resist drug use.
  • Its withdrawal symptoms are decidedly uncomfortable. Most people start using methamphetamine in increasing amounts to avoid the discomfort of experiencing withdrawal.

Can I Quit Methamphetamine?

If you are battling with a meth addiction, you’ve undoubtedly had thoughts about whether or not you can quit it. Well, we can tell you right now – you can indeed stop using. 

However, it will not be easy. Indeed, one of the facts about methamphetamine addiction is how difficult it is to break free. But, with the right help, you can stop using this substance for good.

Quitting methamphetamine takes a significant amount of willpower and dedication. Yes, you will need to invest a lot of time and effort into getting better. 

But, when you commit to the process, eventually, you will see positive results. That will then be all the incentive that you need to keep going on your journey to lifetime addiction recovery.

Sadly, some people lack a reason or motivation to quit methamphetamine addiction. For the most part, this is due to the drugs’ feel-good effect, which dulls accurate thinking. However, the truth is there are a million and one reasons to quit meth use. Knowing these reasons is the first step towards achieving a meth-free life in the long run.

To help you see this truth, we have compiled some methamphetamine addiction facts. We’ll also show the implications of prolonged use of meth on your health. You see, by understanding how dangerous meth addiction, it becomes easier to decide to quit. For most meth users, this is a difficult realization to come by due to the drug’s brain-warping effect.

If you fall into this category, this next section is for you. In the following paragraphs, we will reveal critical information about methamphetamine addiction that may help boost your motivation to get help. However, you must note that having the desire to quit is not the endgame. You must seek professional help on how to manage meth addiction.

That said, keep reading to discover some shocking facts about methamphetamine addiction.

7 Methamphetamine Addiction Facts That May Surprise You

If you are looking for reasons to quit, then these methamphetamine addiction facts may be what you need. Here are some astonishing details about the drug:

Meth can cause permanent damage to your brain

You probably already know that methamphetamine induces dopamine release (the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter) in your brain. 

Indeed, this is what is responsible for the feeling of euphoria that is common with meth users. However, you likely did not know that the drug is potentially dangerous to the nerve points in your brain.

Prolonged methamphetamine use can destroy the synapses of your brain cells where dopamine production occurs. In other words, the drug permanently alters the chemistry of your brain with respect to pleasure response. 

If this happens, you may find it difficult to derive pleasure from any activity if you’re not using it. At this point, such a person has become dependent on the drug to be happy or have fun.

Meth addiction increases the chances of heart problems and stroke

Here is another one of the methamphetamine addiction facts you should know. People who use meth are more likely to develop a heart condition or even suffer a stroke. 

You see, chronic methamphetamine use may cause irreversible changes to various systems in your body. One of these systems is the circulatory system (essentially the heart and the blood vessels).

Some of the common complaints of people with meth use disorders are high blood pressure, chest pain, and irregular heart rhythm. If left unchecked, these conditions may deteriorate and lead to even more severe heart conditions. 

Such people may experience intense aortic dissection, a heart attack, or cardiac death! Moreover, increased blood pressure also raises the chances of stroke and fast atherosclerosis.

Now, here is the scary part – heart and circulatory complications do not affect only longtime users. A first-time meth user may experience a heart attack due to the intense high.

It increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is the medical term for a movement that affects the central nervous system. The symptoms of this condition usually worsen over time. Now, let us examine it in relation to methamphetamine addiction.

Experts have found that prolonged meth use can affect the body nerves that aid movement. When this happens, patients may find that they experience limited movement in some parts of their bodies. 

Other times, it manifests as a loss of control in that area of the body. This is undoubtedly the result of a complication of the neurological effects of methamphetamine.

Sadly, these effects may not seize even when a person quits the drug. But, with proper care, they can get better.

Chronic meth use can cause tooth decay and other dental problems

Next on our methamphetamine addiction facts, we have meth-induced dental problems. You’ve probably heard the term ‘meth mouth’ in association with longtime methamphetamine users. Well, it’s true. 

Many meth abusers usually end up with one tooth problem or the other (usually tooth decay). However, the truth is, it is not the meth itself that’s directly responsible for these problems.

But, here is the fact. Meth use can cause dry mouth due to under function of the salivary glands. Furthermore, many methamphetamine users develop a bad habit of clenching and grind their teeth due to nervous ticks. 

All these, coupled with a lack of proper dental hygiene, can lead to an array of dental issues, especially tooth decay.

Methamphetamine overdose can be lethal

Meth is one of the leading causes of death resulting from substance overdose. You see, one of the effects of methamphetamine is that it drastically raises the body temperature of its user. 

Now, with increasing doses of the substance, the possibility of an overdose increases. If a person overdoses on meth, more often than not, they will pass out.

When this happens, internal organs may shut down due to overheating. In this case, death may occur with proper medical attention. Indeed, this is a significant risk for longtime users. 

This is because their bodies have developed a meth tolerance, so they have to increase their dosage ever so often. Unfortunately, with ever increased dosage, the chances of an overdose are more vivid.

Meth often contains harmful impurities

If the effects of methamphetamine do not worry you, perhaps you should take a look at the drug’s constituents. There is quite a long list of chemicals that go into the production of meth. 

Some of these substances include lithium batteries and even drain cleaner. So, at the end of the day, the produced meth may contain as many as thirty-two different chemicals.

Since meth is illegal, there is no formal body to regulate the production and specifics of its contents. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals may be harmful to the body on their own.

Even worse, some meth manufacturers ‘cut’ their meth with other substances, so they can make more profit. Some of the additives they use include opioids and anxiety meds. These and other unknown chemicals may cause dangerous complications for the end-user.

Methamphetamine addiction is treatable

Finally, on our methamphetamine addiction facts, we have the most crucial point of all. Methamphetamine is treatable, and you can get the help you need today. Like every other substance addiction, it is possible to quit meth for good. However, the road to recovery is a long and challenging one. But with the right help and some effort on your part, you can get better.

Thankfully, we have a methamphetamine addiction treatment centre here in Canada with a team of experts ready to help. So, if you’ve been struggling to quit using meth, you don’t have to do it on your own. 

In fact, with the intense withdrawal symptoms that methamphetamine can induce, it is not advisable to do it alone. We find that seeking professional help is usually the most effective route.

Some Tips on How to Manage Meth Addiction

Quitting methamphetamine addiction is not easy, and we understand that. However, you also will not get better if you do not make some crucial decisions in your life. Here are some tips on how to treat meth addiction:

  • Seek professional medical help.
  • Get yourself a support system.
  • Get rid of any methamphetamine paraphernalia.
  • Try to avoid places and friends that may trigger you to use again.
  • Pick up healthy habits and hobbies to distract yourself from cravings.
  • Engage in regular exercise and make sure to sleep well.
  • Stick to a healthy diet.

Wrapping It All Up

We hope that our methamphetamine addiction facts have helped you put things in the right perspective. Remember, when you prolong your meth using habits, you may be worsening the effects the drug has on your mind and body. Therefore, the best time to seek help for methamphetamine addiction is now.

Understandably, it may be daunting to face the prospect of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. But, it cannot get better until you do so. Not worry, we have experienced professionals ready to guide you on your journey to freedom from methamphetamine addiction. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: How to Stop Methamphetamine Addiction

Addiction Treatment Tips

Addiction Treatment: Does Counselling Really Help?

Getting counselling as part of addiction treatment plays a vital role in overall addiction treatment and recovery. You see, counselling sessions can help you understand the root causes of your addiction. 

Through counselling, you can learn the different techniques to recognize addiction relapse symptoms and avoid them. Typically, common counselling methods include dialectical behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and more.

Generally, most of the causes of addiction are often environmental and genetic. However, life experiences such as stress, trauma, and occasionally, early exposure to substance abuse can also affect an individual’s vulnerability to addiction.

In most cases, addiction causes mental and physical side effects. These mental and physical side effects include anxiety, depression, increase in stress level, withdrawal signs, cravings, etc. Counselling for addiction treatment doesn’t focus on these side effects. Instead, it focuses on the environmental and genetic causes of addiction. 

In this article, we’ve put together a comprehensive discourse on the concept of counselling for addiction treatment. Over the course of this blog, we will describe the basic procedure for addiction counselling. More importantly, we will answer the biggest question of them all — does counselling really help with addiction treatment?

What is Addiction Counselling?

Addiction counselling consists of several forms. Typically, the most prevalent type is individual counselling. However, as a recovering individual, you may have to participate in group or family counselling sessions.

Group counselling sessions will enable you to enjoy the privilege of sharing your challenges with others. Also, it provides you with the opportunity to share recovery tips, symptoms of relapse, and more with experts.

In general, addiction counselling is a form of counselling that is specially designed. This is because of its outlook on addiction as a serious disease rather than another sign of an underlying issue. Furthermore, it doesn’t dismiss the fact that those underlying problems may have influenced your behaviour towards substance abuse.

During drug addiction counselling sessions, the challenges and issues that led to the addiction will be assessed. Once the counsellor or therapist completes a thorough evaluation of your situation, they will design a particular treatment plan for you to follow. This treatment will help you overcome all challenges regarding the addiction. Thus, allowing you to attain sobriety and final recovery goals.

Ultimately, the addiction counselling process is facilitative. This means that it allows you to overcome the issues causing anxiety and stress. This makes it easy to address the situation and deal with them in a healthier way. 

Also, addiction counselling treatment will examine the motives behind the addiction. This will then help you understand and become more aware of your actions. This is one of the most significant roles of counselling in addiction recovery. 

How Counselling for Addiction Treatment Works

Rather than just a physical dependency, addiction is a mental issue. Naturally, detox will help free you from physical dependence. However, the cognitive problems causing addiction will not be resolved with detox. This is where counselling for addiction treatment becomes useful to create long term sobriety.

Counselling treats the problems that initially led to psychological addiction. Generally, the mental part of addiction requires a longer timeframe and can be challenging to treat. At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab centre, we provide counselling for addiction treatment in our rehab facilities, and it often extends into the future even after being discharged.

Counselling for Addiction Treatment

The Role of Counselling in Addiction Recovery

Addiction counsellors provide a crucial support scheme for individuals recovering from different types of addiction. In most cases, the counsellor’s approach is to build a stable relationship with their patients — one that is based on trust. Also, counsellors provide non-judgemental guidance, resources, and a support system that can help boost your addiction recovery.

Typically, there are several aspects to counselling. For instance, it’s essential that you engage a professional counsellor. It’s also crucial that the procedure is about helping you discover ways to deal with your addiction issues. Telling you what to do or giving advice is not addiction counselling.

To help you understand the role of counselling in addiction treatment, we’ll break the process down. Addiction counselling in Canada,

  • Is the process that occurs when a counsellor and a patient set aside a specific time to explore the factors causing addiction. Typically, most of these factors may include your emotional as well as stress-related feelings. 
  • Is the act of aiding or assisting you in seeing things from a clearer perspective or a different outlook. This will enable you to focus on experiences, feelings, and behaviour designed to promote a positive influence.
  • Is a relationship of trust. In counselling, confidentiality is highly significant. Professional counsellors will often explain how their policy works on confidentiality. However, they may be mandated under the law to disclose your data if there is a life at risk.

Related article: Traveling for Addiction Treatment Improves Long-Term Recovery

Types of Addiction Counseling

In general, addiction counselling consists of several types and classes. Currently, no one can scientifically prove that one method of counselling works better than the other. However, it’s an indisputable fact that addiction counselling is effective in addiction recovery. 

Notably, there is no one technique that is ideal for everyone suffering from addiction. In fact, the proper counselling approach for addiction treatment options is dependent on your individual needs.

While none of the different forms of addiction counselling is better than the other, a group therapy session is often preferable over an individual therapy session. Every patient gets to enjoy a free-flow of support during group therapy sessions. Most importantly, there are always motivational challenges from other patients going through the same recovery process. This will help you remain accountable and also reduce the possibility of relapse in the future.

The good news — most rehab centers today often include addiction counselling as a comprehensive part of their treatment. Furthermore, you can consult an addiction treatment service near you to learn more about the different types of counselling for addiction treatment.

Generally, the common factor to all types of addiction counselling is that they all view addiction as a problem with varying phases. The treatment during addiction counselling sessions often aims at the patient in recovery and not the substance.

Below, you’ll discover different types of addiction counselling.

Behavioural Therapy

With behavioural addiction therapy, the aim is to help you attain goals for your present life. This type of counselling for addiction treatment evaluates your unhealthy and undesirable behaviours. It also identifies the factors supporting such behaviours.

Addiction is a recurring behaviour. This happens because the substance produces feelings of euphoria, desire, relief, and supposedly, helps you feel calm. Therefore, even if you’re already going through negative consequences as a result of the substance, you’ll only see the benefits and how high it makes you feel. As such, you’ll keep maintaining the behaviour, and over time the adverse effects will begin to manifest.

In behavioural therapy, a therapist or counsellor will use specific interventions to address these negative behaviours. At our facility, we will use behavioural counselling techniques to engage you in different intervention techniques. The end result is to help you build your mindset and regain total control. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy addiction treatment

Group therapy offers room for communication from other patients. It’s a platform to share similar pieces of advice and experiences with other addiction treatment patients. This can help you develop adequate coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills to easily fight addiction. 

Individual Therapy

Individual treatment is a one-on-one conversation between you and a therapist. Firstly, you will have to build trust with your therapist. When you attain a trust level with your therapist, you’ll be able to communicate and discuss the issues that are causing your addiction.

It often progresses more swiftly than other treatments. This is because the therapist only has to focus on understanding one patient at a time.  Generally, both group therapy and individual therapy can go hand-in-hand for faster recovery. Both are capable of enhancing addiction treatment and improving your interpersonal relationships.

Humanistic Therapy

This form of counselling is also known as Person-Centered Therapy. This kind of counselling assumes every human possesses the capacity to resolve their problems. This belief further extends that everyone will succeed if provided with proper understanding, acceptance, and support.

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing falls under the category of humanistic therapy. However, it’s more structured and particular for treating drug addiction. This type of counselling helps you make healthier decisions rather than being manipulated to do things with shame or guilt.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This kind of counselling targets your behaviours, feelings, and thoughts. Its view is that the negative style of human thinking often leads to adverse behaviours and negative feelings. As such, these develop into negative thinking that may cloud your mind. The interconnections of thoughts, behaviour, and feelings are the origin of cognitive behavioural therapy.

During a CBT session, a therapist will act as your coach as well as your teammate. They will help you understand and assess the factors causing the unusual thoughts, behaviours, and feelings you want to address.

In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the therapist will look for cognitive distortions feeding your thoughts and behaviours. An example of these distortions is ways of thinking that are faulty. In most cases, these behaviours may seem logical to such individuals, whereas they are irrational and illogical in reality. As part of addiction treatment counselling, your therapist will help you unravel these dangerous thought processes.

Contingency Management

This kind of counselling falls under the category of behavioural therapy. Furthermore, it is a therapeutic management pattern based on regular monitoring of a particular trait or behaviour. It also includes the removal (or provision) of concrete, positive rewards when the trait occurs — or does not.

Counselling for Addiction Treatment: Does it Help?

Once the issues that led you into substance addiction are identified, there is a higher chance of a successful recovery. Some factors that may lead to substance abuse can be bad influences, emotional traumas, life stressors, etc.

With the help of a professional addiction therapist, the root events or causes can be dealt with. Also, you will be guided thoroughly on becoming more aware and in control of your decisions. Below are some of the benefits of counselling for addiction treatment: 

Develop Stress Coping Mechanisms

One of the top benefits of counselling is that it helps you develop healthy coping mechanisms. Typically, counselling can help you change the way you respond to life stressors. Through these counselling sessions, you’ll be able to identify unusual and self-destructive responses to these stressors. 

Firstly, you need to learn new and healthier ways of coping with stress. After that, your behaviour toward substance use will change for the better. This will greatly help you manage cravings and triggers.

It Treats Attachment Disorders

Generally, humans tend to form lifelong trust and security within the first four to five years of existence. Whenever we face deficits in such relationships, such as being abused or neglected, we start adopting different coping mechanisms. This happens mostly because we want to regain that level or feeling of security again.

During adulthood, most individuals with attachment disorders often turn to drugs or alcohol. With proper counselling, a therapist will analyze your childhood insecurities and help you understand the behaviour correctly. This will allow you to confront the issue and realize its overall impact on your behaviour and substance use.

It Improves Family Relationships

Addiction counselling isn’t just for the individual recovering from addiction. It’s also useful for their immediate families and loved ones. Family counselling is a powerful technique in ensuring that addiction recovery isn’t just successful but effective. Generally, when the family is defective, it may influence patient recovery negatively.

However, when your loved ones attend family counselling sessions, they will have a better understanding of helping someone going through addiction. This way, they will learn better ways to communicate with you and express their thoughts on crucial issues. With better open communication, the family will heal, and members of the family will enjoy a healthy trust.

Provides a Safe Environment

Addiction counselling, such as group therapy, is crucial in the recovery process. During addiction counselling sessions, patients will get to share their frustrations, fears, and experiences with one another. Typically, the setting is safe, maintained, guided, and controlled by the counsellor.

Participants can also help each other during discussions while learning from one another. For instance, patient A can learn holistic tips on how to avoid using dangerous substances and maintain sobriety. Furthermore, group therapies are suitable for addiction patients because it encourages companionship and connection.

Treating Dual Diagnosis

In most cases, an individual with a drug or alcohol addiction may also experience random mental health issues. This may appear as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, among others. If not adequately addressed, it may prolong the recovery period and also make it more difficult.

Also, counselling can assist patients who have mental health issues and addiction problems. This is because such patients will enjoy effective therapy sessions for different destructive behaviours and meds for mental issues.

FAQs About Counselling for Addiction Treatment

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Does counselling work for addiction treatment?

Yes. Counselling for addiction treatment is one of the best ways to treat substance abuse altogether. It helps drive effective changes in the lives of the addicts to ensure there is little possibility of a relapse in the future.

Why Do I Need Addiction Counseling?

Thinking you don’t need to go through addiction counselling during recovery may be tempting. However, addiction is a life-long journey that requires consistency, effort, time, and hard work to pull through. 

In actuality, only a few individuals enjoy the process of uncovering and discussing long-held trauma and pain. It’s hard work. However, you are likely to suffer a relapse if you refuse to do the necessary work to isolate the underlying issue.

When Is It Appropriate to Seek Addiction Counselling?

The main objective of counselling is to help you explore your difficulties in a safe environment. This helps you resolve the issues underpinning your addiction to substances and helps you attain sobriety. So, it’s best to seek counselling as a part of your addiction recovery plan.

Is there a Need for Counselling During Addiction Treatment?

Yes, there is a need for counselling during addiction treatment. In fact, most rehab centers today are now incorporating addiction counselling into their treatment program to ensure optimum results. Addiction counselling provides a significant support system for people recovering from drug abuse.


So, does counselling really help during addiction treatment? Yes! It’s an incredibly effective and useful treatment technique for drug and alcohol addictions. Counselling for addiction treatment does not only help with attaining sobriety but also eliminates the root cause of addiction.

Finally, counselling for addiction treatment is a beneficial method for recovering from addiction. You can incorporate the therapy into your recovery program during the early stages of your treatment. This will help you on your way to sobriety and avoiding relapse in the long run. 

Notably, there are several advantages of counselling if you follow the procedure adequately. There, you can learn several things about yourself and how to deal with your drug use problems.

Now that you’ve learned about the several types of addiction counselling, you can discuss with an expert on what’s best for you.

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

Related article: Helpful Addiction Treatment Tips for the Pandemic