Benzos and Alcohol

Benzos and alcohol are a deadly combination.

Benzos and Alcohol

The combining of benzos and alcohol is more common than you might imagine. Each of these substances can be dangerous on its own. However, they are even more hazardous when taking them together. People who have an alcohol and benzo addiction are at greater risk of dying from respiratory arrest than someone who uses only one or the other. The main reason for this is because both these substances depress the central nervous system and in combination they amplify each others effects. This makes accidental overdose far more likely because the results can be unpredictable.

Whether you are the person mixing these substances or it is someone you care about. Dependence on both alcohol and benzos is a behavior that must not be ignored.


Defining Benzodiazepines

Doctors often prescribe benzodiazepines to treat mental health conditions such as PTSD or anxiety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe them for physical conditions such as cerebral palsy or seizures, as well.

There are several different benzodiazepines that people abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Xanax

If someone takes these medications exactly as their doctor prescribes them, they should be safe as long as they are never combined with alcohol. However, if someone abuses benzos, a dangerous addiction could develop quickly.

Adding alcohol to the mix can make things even worse. The damage to the body and mind can be severe, so it is crucial to get into a treatment program if you are abusing these substances.


Side Effects of Benzos and Alcohol

The combination of two powerful depressants like benzos and alcohol amplifies the effect. The impact can be unpredictable and sadly overdoses where the user simply stops breathing are more common than you think.

Most of the time, even if someone is only abusing one of these, they can still have severe consequences. Some side effects of mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines include:

  • Slower breathing
  • Depression of the immune system
  • Impaired cognition
  • Organ failure
  • Losing consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

These are some of the more severe side effects. By the time these happen it may be too late. Get treatment before things get worse.


Other Dangers of Alcohol and Benzo Addiction

Some people have fatal consequences due to an alcohol and benzo addiction. The truth is that no one can control the side effects they get from medications. The effects from each of these substances on their own can be harmful enough. Mixing them amplifies the impact and can lead to the following:

  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Bodily harm
  • Hurting others
  • Losing coordination
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Stroke
  • Permanent brain damage

Alcohol and benzos damage the immune system, central nervous system and many organs in the body. Depending on how much of these substances you use and how often you use them, organ failure can happen in a few years. If you take too many benzos with alcohol, you could have a fatal overdose. Even if you don’t consider the risk of death, the harm done to the body is very serious. Stopping benzos and alcohol abruptly without a medical detox can also lead to deadly seizures. You should never attempt to quit alcohol or benzos “cold turkey”. It can be incredibly dangerous.

In addition to these consequences, if you mix alcohol and benzodiazepines, your inhibitions will be lower. Lower inhibitions mean you will be more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. If you take part in risky behaviors, that could damage your relationships with friends and family members. It could also put you in a dangerous situation, such as driving while under the influence.

Getting Treatment for Alcohol and Benzo Abuse

It is dangerous to mix alcohol and benzos. The dangers don’t just extend to you. You could be putting others at risk due to your actions while under the influence. You are more likely to act without inhibition. This can lead to serious injuries or reckless sexual behavior that results in an STD, rape or unwanted pregnancy.

If you or someone that you know is abusing these substances, now is the time to stop. It takes courage and dedication to quit any addiction. However, we are here for you.

We want to note again, that it could be hazardous to detox on your own at home. Some of the withdrawal symptoms can be not just highly uncomfortable but fatal. In addition, many people who try to detox at home often relapse. They crave drugs or alcohol so badly that when they use again, they take a lot. The increased amount is one reason why so many people have a fatal overdose.

Willpower is vital for recovery from benzos and alcohol, but it isn’t enough by itself for most people. However, it is helpful to have people by your side helping you through the detox and recovery process. Rehab center professionals know all about substance use disorders and the treatment for them. They will look at your case and create an individualized treatment plan for you.

With the treatment program at Recovery by the Sea, you will get the compassionate, understanding and helpful recovery services you need to move through to the path of healing.


Contact Recovery by the Sea today to start the detox process from benzos and alcohol.


Orthopedic Injury Can Lead to Opioid Addiction

Injuries that occurs to the musculoskeletal system, such as dislocations, fractures, breaks, and sprains are orthopedic injuries. They can range from uncomfortable to excruciating depending on the type. In the past, prescription of opioids were commonly used to treat the pain of these injuries. However, the risk of opioid addiction from orthopedic injury has led to a change in pain management practices in recent years. 


Addiction Risk 

Opioids are very good for pain management because they stop your pain receptors from telling your brain that you’re hurting. If the pain is simply a part of your healing, and not an indicator of further injury, it made sense to use opioids to manage a patient’s discomfort during this process. 

However, opioids carry a high risk of abuse and addiction. There are two fundamental reasons for this. Firstly, opioids target the reward center of your brain. In addition to shutting down the transfer of pain-related data from the injury site to the brain, they make you feel extremely good.

Secondly, it’s very easy to build up a tolerance to opioids. The initial dosage may have shut down pain data and gave you a euphoric lift. But over time, this dosage will produce a lower and lower euphoric response and may not even control your pain. This means that you need a higher and higher dose to produce the same result. To continue to feel good, you must chase the high. This chasing of the next “buzz” or euphoric response is the basis of addiction.

When suffering from an injury, your brain is continually receiving and sending a pain response. Your muscles may seize up around the injury, making stretching out in physical therapy or on your own extremely difficult. Often the healing process in physical therapy leads to more pain and suffering in order to heal effectively. 


Endorphin Release Effects

When we exercise, endorphins are released. This is the rush after a workout that makes you feel great. Endorphins are also released when we take opioids, which is one of the reasons they are so appealing. The problem is that over time that release is lessened. If you are injured and can’t exercise to boost your endorphin output, opioid intake must increase to get the same good feeling.

To this end, opioids are doubly destructive. They cause an endorphin release, but over time the body reduces that release, so you need more opiates to get the same rush. Because your natural endorphin release system is suppressed by the opiate dosage, your natural endorphin level doesn’t just dip, it plummets. 


When the Opioids Stop

Withdrawal from any mood-altering substance is brutal, but opioid detox is particularly challenging. Even more so with a chronic orthopedic injury, as the pain from the injury returns along with a myriad of other problems related to opioid withdrawals and addiction. Aside from physical symptoms, there are the mental effects that injury can bring. Your injury may never recover to the same standard that you had before. 

Thus, in the case of injury, withdrawal is about more than physical pain. Your life is different. If you were part of a team, you find yourself losing a major source of social connection. You still have to work through physical therapy to try to build up range of motion and strength, so your schedule has changed and your work life may be altered. 

Finally, those feel-good endorphins have been suppressed by the opiate painkillers, so you’re likely feeling emotionally low, even as your physical pain has decreased.

After the acute phase of an injury is over, the doctor typically stops prescribing opioid painkillers. For someone who has built a tolerance or become addicted to opioids, this becomes a problem. Often to deal with their pain or feed their addiction, people will go to the streets in search of their fix. Unfortunately, street prices of prescription opioids can be staggering, leading people to use a cheaper and even more dangerous alternative, heroin. This pattern has played out many times and is a major contributor to the United States’ ongoing opioid crisis.


Getting Help

Opioid addiction is highly dangerous. If you are struggling opioid addiction after an orthopedic injury, it is critical that you seek professional help. Contact us anytime, our caring staff can talk you through your concerns, discuss options with you, and ultimately help you get back on track.

What is Lean? The Highly Addictive Codeine Drink

Codeine Cough Syrup used in Lean

What is Lean? 

Lean or Purple Drank is a drink made from a mixture of Codeine cough syrup, soda, and sometimes hard candy and/or alcohol. The Codeine cough syrup used is a prescription opioid medication which is typically prescribed for illnesses such as Strep Throat and severe colds or flus. The codeine acts as both a cough suppressant as well as pain relief for symptoms. Unfortunately abuse has become widespread and street prices for Codeine cough syrup can be as much as $200 per bottle. 

Codeine is an opioid, similar to Morphine. It is weaker but like all opioids, regular abuse leads to tolerance and addiction. Further concern lies in the fact that with Lean, the amount used in the drink can be up to  25x the recommended dose and thus can lead to overdose. Codeine cough syrup that also uses Promethazine, a strong antihistamine, can cause further issues. Promethazine is another central nervous system depressant. In combination with codeine, promethazine can slow breathing to the point of complete respiratory arrest. This is particularly troubling due to the high amounts of the syrups used in Lean drinks. 

Additional concerns come into play when alcohol is mixed into a Lean cocktail. Adding alcohol increases the change of respiratory depression. This can lead to organ damage, coma, or death due to the reduced oxygen flow to the brain. 


Other Names for Lean

  • Purple Drank
  • Sizzurp
  • Syrup
  • Dirty Sprite 
  • Purple Lean
  • Purple Tonic
  • Texas Tea
  • Memphis Mud
  • Drank

Lean in Pop Culture

Codeine cough syrup has been abused by people for years but in the past few decades Lean was popularized in pop culture through songs and interviews with musicians. It became particularly prominent in the hip hop community and is reported to be the reason for Lil Wayne’s ongoing hospitalizations for seizures. Bow Wow recently shared about nearly dying from Lean addiction and the late Mac Miller also spoke of his struggles with addiction to Lean in 2013. Even Justin Beiber has sung about the drug, leading to a dangerous growth in popularity and curiosity. 


Side Effects of Lean 

The name “Lean” comes from the tendency to lean or be off balance when the drink is consumed. Lean can produce the feeling of euphoria associated with opioids but it can also have very negative consequences, especially in the amounts used in Lean. These include: 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme sedation
  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory depression or trouble breathing
  • Loss of coordination
  • High body temperature
  • Severe constipation
  • Itchy skin
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Night Terrors

Long-term Health Issues Associated with Lean 

  • Seizures
  • Irregular Heart Beat
  • Liver damage
  • Trouble breathing
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Weight gain
  • Tooth decay

Codeine Overdose Symptoms

Early treatment can save a life. If you or someone else experiences these signs or symptoms after consuming Codeine or any other opiate, call 911 immediately: 

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Blue fingernails and/or lips
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Weak pulse
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Withdrawal from Codeine

Like all opiates, addiction to codeine can lead to significant withdrawal symptoms when the user tries to quit. Codeine is considered a fast-acting opiate, so withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as 12 hours after last use. The symptoms can be severe enough to require medical intervention in the form of a professional detox center. Symptoms of Withdrawal include; 

  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Watery Eyes
  • Runny nose 
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Cramps 
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

Withdrawal symptoms also carry the risk of complications. For example, lung infections caused by vomiting or severe dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea. Severe dehydration can lead to problems of its own such as seizures. 

Detoxing from codeine addiction is best done in a clinical environment where the patient can safely come off the drug with medical supervision. In a clinical setting, like Harmony Recovery Group’s centers, doctors can prescribe medication to support the patient through the detox and withdrawal process, reducing symptoms and cravings. Furthermore, trained professionals can put a plan in place that includes therapy, group support and tools to promote long-term recovery. 


Seeking Help

We hope this article has helped you better understand what Lean is and the risks associated with Codeine abuse. If you or a loved one are struggling with Lean, codeine or any substance addiction, please reach out. 

Call us today and find out how we can help. 



Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Ketamine (Special K) is a potent anesthetic and dissociative, meaning it induces feelings of detachment from one’s body. It’s commonly used in veterinary medicine and to help with sedation during surgery. However, it is also common on the party and club scene among those seeking the high it provides. While ketamine isn’t believed to be as addictive as many other drugs of abuse, it does occasionally occur and can be detrimental to one’s life.

Ketamine comes in several forms, including powder, liquid, and as pills. When ingested, ketamine can cause users to experience visual and auditory hallucinations and euphoria. Because it’s an anesthetic, it also reduces physical sensations. Combining this drug with other depressants, such as alcohol, increases the risk of profound respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening.

Ketamine is also now available by prescription, as it is believed to be effective at treating symptoms of depression and alcohol addiction and withdrawal.

Signs and Symptoms of Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine is a relatively short-acting drug. One of the primary effects that people enjoy is that it blocks pain sensations. Unfortunately, not reacting to painful stimuli can be dangerous. For this and many other reasons, ketamine should not be taken outside of a clinical environment or as prescribed by a doctor.

Furthermore, ketamine use can impair coordination, especially when used with other depressants. This effect could be risky and lead to injury, and it could also cause a person’s judgment capabilities to be diminished. Because it is an anesthetic, it is easy to hurt oneself whilst on ketamine. Pain is essential for survival. It warns us when we are hurt in order to prevent further damage. Someone on ketamine can suffer from a severe injury and go one with life as if nothing happened.

In addition to sedating the user and impairing movement, it can produce out-of-body experiences in which the user feels detached from oneself and the surrounding environment. It distorts perceptions of sight and sound. At high doses, the user may encounter intense and frightening effects that feel like a near-death experience. This event is also often called a “K-hole.”

The symptoms of ketamine abuse and addiction are similar to those associated with alcohol abuse and may include the following:

  • Disorientation
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Hallucinations
  • Slowed or labored breathing
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Impaired cognitive abilities
  • Impaired memory
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Effects of Ketamine Abuse

Ketamine Addiction | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Ketamine can be an unpleasant drug to abuse in the long-term. Repeated use can cause a wide array of adverse effects on the brain and body.

For example, it can cause severe abdominal pain, as well as damage to the bladder and urinary tract, also referred to as ketamine bladder syndrome. This condition leads to decreased control of the bladder and incontinence. It may also cause blood in the urine and ulcers in the bladder.

Because ketamine is often available as a powder, users frequently snort it. Unfortunately, many of these powders are laced with other drugs. It may be something relatively benign, such as talcum powder or sugar, but it could also be combined with something more hazardous, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or drain cleaner.

A dose can be difficult to gauge, and in some cases, it could be the wrong substance altogether (e.g., fentanyl), and result in a life-threatening overdose.

Ketamine Withdrawal

Withdrawal from ketamine typically lasts for 4-6 days after the last dose, and it might feel like suffering from severe flu symptoms. A person may encounter the following symptoms:

  • Chills and sweating
  • Cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stiff muscles
  • Involuntary eye movement

These symptoms are not at all pleasant, but they can be effectively managed with medical care. In a clinical environment with medical supervision, a patient can be as safe and comfortable as possible as he or she withdraws.

Treatment for Ketamine Abuse or Addiction

If you are abusing ketamine or have developed an addiction, you can get help at a rehab center. At Recovery By The Sea, you can receive treatment for ketamine addiction in a safe and comfortable environment and remain protected from the temptations of further ketamine use.

It’s not uncommon for people who abuse ketamine to also use other drugs or alcohol, and if these other problems exist, they can be addressed simultaneously. Therapeutic services and activities we offer that are intended to treat all aspects of a person’s well-being include the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Health and wellness education
  • Substance abuse education
  • Art, music, and adventure therapy
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Aftercare planning

We also provide treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, childhood trauma, and more.

If you are ready to take the first step toward sobriety, contact us today! Drug abuse and addiction are conditions that may need lifelong maintenance, but you don’t have to do this alone! We are here to help!

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in Your System? | Recovery By The Sea

Gabapentin (brand name Neurontin) is a commonly prescribed medication that remains in the body for about 36 hours. Gabapentin has a half-life of 5-7 hours, meaning that it takes this amount of time for the body to eliminate one-half of a dose of the drug.

What Is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of seizures and neuropathic pain related to shingles. Gabapentin may also be used off-label for other purposes, including the following:

  • Pain unrelated to nerve issues
  • Anxiety that can occur in certain types of psychiatric disorders
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other substances

How Gabapentin Works

The DEA does not classify gabapentin as a controlled substance, but it does require a prescription from a doctor to obtain it legally. It is believed to simulate the action of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which inhibits activity in the central nervous system (CNS).

Gabapentin does not appear to affect GABA receptors directly, and instead, reduces the activity of other neurons through a different but unexplained mechanism. This would explain why gabapentin can address issues like pain, anxiety, and seizures, which are the result of overactivity in the brain.

Gabapentin is not considered to have the same addiction potential as many other prescription pain medications, as on its own, it does not cause euphoria, and it is not as potent as opioids. However, doctors will often prescribe gabapentin with other drugs, and these combinations can result in the more effective treatment of a specific condition. Unfortunately, this approach may, in some cases, lead to some level of drug dependence.

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in the Body?

How Long Does Gabapentin Stay in Your System? | Recovery By The Sea

Gabapentin is most often consumed orally in tablet form, and as noted, will remain in the body for about 36 hours. Gabapentin is one of the few drugs not broken down by the liver, and instead, is primarily metabolized by the kidneys. Because of this uncommon process, gabapentin does not stay in the body for a very long period.

Gabapentin comes in both immediate- and extended-release forms. The latter continues to release the drug into the system gradually, over time, and therefore the detection window for the drug will be extended, as well.

Drug panel screens do not typically test for the presence of gabapentin because it is not a controlled substance and has a low potential for abuse. However, it can be detected if instructions are put forth to look for the drug specifically.
Gabapentin’s detectability ranges from 5-7 hours for most blood tests. It is not detectable in saliva, and it would be improbable that a hair follicle test would be used to check for gabapentin.

Urinalysis can, however, detect gabapentin for an average of 72 hours, and the broader range of detection would span from 1-3 days in most cases. A urinalysis, although rare in and of itself, is probably the most common method used to test for gabapentin.

Factors That Influence Elimination Time

Due to the way gabapentin is broken down in the body, the dosage may not affect the duration in which the drug stays in the system—at least to the extent of many other substances. Still, taking very high amounts of gabapentin could result in a longer elimination time for the medication.

Other factors can affect the elimination of gabapentin from the body, however, including the following:

  • Age, as older people experience longer elimination times Differences in kidney function
  • Weight and body mass index, as heavier people will eliminate it more rapidly
  • Hydration, because the drug is primarily broken down in the kidneys and eliminated through the urine

Getting Help for Drug Abuse

Although gabapentin is believed to have a relatively low potential for abuse, it does happen. Gabapentin is also commonly misused in conjunction with other drugs such as opioids, which can enhance their effects but also lead to additional complications, including drug dependence and addiction.

Moreover, those who are abusing gabapentin or other substances are urged to seek treatment as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is received, the less arduous the transition back to sobriety will be.

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive programs tailored to each individual’s unique needs and goals. We feature a variety of therapeutic services that are clinically proven to be extremely beneficial for the recovery process, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and more.

Are you ready to take that first step to long-term sobriety and wellness? If so, contact us today and find out how we can help you get started, one day at a time!

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Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Xanax (alprazolam) and weed (marijuana, cannabis) are two substances that are frequently used and sometimes abuse, and there may be interactions and dangers of using both drugs concurrently. Although the possible interactions and risks of mixing Xanax and weed aren’t well-established, many health professionals believe that combining the two could result in amplified side effects, such as profound drowsiness and poor judgment.

Such effects can be hazardous because a person who is high on weed and using Xanax may put themselves in dangerous situations such as driving. Their combined impact may be unpredictable, and different people will experience different effects, some of which may be unwanted.

Also, marijuana in and of itself can cause distress and anxiety in some people, so for these individuals, marijuana should be avoided, especially when using Xanax. It could undermine the medication’s ability to work effectively.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is commonly prescribed to treat anxiety, panic disorders, seizures, and, occasionally, insomnia. Xanax is a powerful depressant and works by reducing activity in the central nervous system, which result in a person feeling more relaxed. However, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion may also occur, and Xanax is considered to have the potential for dependence and addiction.

For this reason, Xanax is only intended to be used for short-term treatment, and it’s important that people only use it with a legitimate prescription and precisely as directed.

What Is Weed?

Weed is a slang name for marijuana, which is an herb derived from the Cannabis plant. In the last few years, many states and municipalities have decriminalized its use or made it legal to use for either medical or recreational purposes.

In light of this, the stigma of marijuana use has further been reduced, particularly as researchers have found that it may have some therapeutic value in many cases. However, marijuana remains illegal in many states, and despite public outcry, the Drug Enforcement Agency has thus far refused to re-classify it, and it remains a Schedule I controlled substance.

When a person ingests marijuana, the active chemical THC binds to certain brain receptors and can induce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and, in some people, anxiety, and paranoia. Side effects may also include drowsiness, dizziness, or cognition or memory impairments.

Interactions and Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Weed

Although mixing Xanax and weed isn’t as hazardous as mixing Xanax with some other substances, such as opioids or alcohol, potential users are urged to exercise caution. Doing this can amplify the effects of both substances, and result in severe drowsiness, confusion, and profoundly impaired judgment.

Impaired judgment is especially concerning because a person may not be able to make sound decisions that will prevent them from injuring themselves or others. Coordination may also be impaired, making walking and performing regular daily takes challenging or impossible and result in falls or injury.

There is unlikely to be a direct, life-threatening interaction from using Xanax and weed, but complications can occur, such as those aforementioned as well as suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Is It Safe to Mix Xanax and Weed?

Getting Treatment for Drug Dependency

By offering a variety of evidence-based treatment options, Recovery By The Sea effectively approaches addiction from multiple angles, which can increase the effectiveness of each element of treatment.

Some of our therapeutic options are as follows:

Group Therapy – Group therapy addresses interpersonal, family, and social struggles and fosters communication and the learning of relationship skills. It also nurtures a shared identity by promoting an allegiance of understanding and loving peers, as well as encourages appropriate attitudes and behaviors.

Individual Therapy – During individual therapy, people will benefit from one-on-one engagement with a licensed, trained therapist in a private, non-judgmental environment. Behavioral therapies are employed, which seek to identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and find ways to replace them with ones that are healthy and positive. During therapy, patients are encouraged to explore the connection between their thoughts and behaviors in an effort to gain insight into the root causes of their addiction and understand themselves better. They will be encouraged to work through challenging and negative memories and experiences thoroughly.

Experiential Activities – Experiential activities can provide patients with an alternative way to express their feelings, as well as develop leisure and relaxation skills. These activities promote goal-directed thinking and problem-solving skills. Popular options include art, music, and adventure therapy.

A Comprehensive Approach Is Important for a Long-Term Recovery

Together, the above-mentioned therapies and services can enhance the effects of each other and make the overall treatment plan exponentially more effective than the sum of its parts.

By using a customized, multi-dimensional approach, clients learn better-coping skills to deal with cravings and triggers, prevent relapse, and manage co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety.

If you are suffering from anxiety, other mental health problems, and drug dependence, we urge you to contact us today! Discover how we help people escape the prison of addiction and remain happy and healthy for life!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: Snorting Xanax

Is It Safe to Mix Adderall and Weed?

Is It Safe to Mix Adderall and Weed?

Using Adderall and weed together may, on the surface, seem like a clever way to counteract the adverse effects of each substance. Because Adderall is a stimulant and marijuana is a depressant, one could easily imagine that some of their effects would offset each other, making the experience of using these substances more pleasant overall.

Indeed, some users report that marijuana use relieves some of the distress and irritability that be associated with Adderall. They also say that Adderall’s ability to induce alertness and help counteract the lethargy and decreased cognitive function that can be caused by marijuana use.

There may be significant, long-term risks associated with the recreational use of Adderall and weed. Chronic Adderall abuse itself can cause devastating, life-threatening effects, such as seizures, anxiety, and depression. Marijuana impairment could lower inhibition and reduce a person’s ability to realize how much Adderall and using and underestimate the potential for adverse effects or overdose.

When used in combination, both drugs can result in an accelerated heart rate and palpitations. And, unfortunately, there is not much research that has been conducted on the interaction between Adderall and weed. Instead, only anecdotal reports from users exist who have experimented with the combined use of both substances.

Is There a Safe Way to Combine Adderall and Weed?

Regarding the safety of using both Adderall and weed in conjunction, there is no way to know for sure what consequences a person will experience. The effects of both substances vary widely, depending on several factors. These include the amount of Adderall used, whether it is being used as directed for a medical purpose, and the potency and amount of marijuana they are using. And, of course, individual differences such as biology also come into play.

That said, information obtained from users who have experimented with the use of Adderall and weed suggests that using this combination may lead to the following:

Heightened Euphoria – Both Adderall and week can offer users a boost of euphoria because they increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that allows people to experience pleasure and reward from engaging in certain activities, such as eating and having sex. 

Increased Stimulation – Both Adderall and weed use can increase heart rate, and this effect may be amplified when the two substances are used together. For some, this experience may feel exciting and fun. For others, such as those with a heart condition or anxiety, this effect can be very distressing.

Reduced Anxiety – Both Adderall and weed can induce anxiety, but when used in combination, certain adverse side effects of each substance might be canceled out by the others. These include anxiety, paranoia, irritability, insomnia, and loss of appetite.

Increased Risk of Overdose

Although it is not believed that the use of marijuana can ever be life-threatening, Adderall, when used in excess, can lead to overdose and death. And because using weed with Adderall can mitigate some of the side effects of the latter, this combination leads to more Adderall use, increasing long-term risks and the potential for overdose.

A lethal dose of Adderall has been reported to be between 20-25 mg per kg of weight. Using this guide, a lethal dose for someone who weighs 70 kg (154 pounds) would be about 1,400 mg. This is more than 25 times higher than the highest prescribed dose. This amount would be, indeed, an incredibly high amount to accomplish. Still, a person using marijuana might not experience the effects needed to remind him or her that she has taken too much—this could be disastrous.

Adderall and Weed | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that includes amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is FDA-approved to treat the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and narcolepsy. At prescribed doses, Adderall works to reduce the hyperactivity and lack of focus associated with ADHD, allowing people to feel more alert and focused.

Many people, particularly those in high school or college, report abusing Adderall as a study drug to utilize its stimulant effects. Students take it to stay awake for long periods to cram for tests or to complete challenging assignments. Like other stimulants, Adderall can place a significant amount of cardiovascular and psychological distress on a person’s body and well-being.

Effects of Adderall

Common side effects associated with Adderall use include the following:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite and weight

More severe side effects may include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Mania
  • Swelling of the face
  • Itching, rashes, and hives
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Paranoia or feelings of suspicion
  • Agitation and confusion
  • Fever and sweating or chills
  • Severe muscle stiffness or twitching
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Changes in vision
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Motor or verbal tics
  • Teeth grinding

About Marijuana

Marijuana is considered to be a relatively safe substance compared to many others, such as alcohol or opioids. However, the potency of marijuana has increased in recent years, and THC levels can be found as high as 13%. By comparison, In the 1970s, THC levels were only about 2%.

Chronic or excessive use of marijuana can lead to mental and cardiovascular problems, including anxiety and panic attacks, paranoia, hallucinations, accelerated heart rate, and dramatic increases in blood pressure. When taken in conjunction with Adderall, these effects can be amplified, in which the user will experience the adverse effects of both.

Adderall and Weed | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Potential Long-term Effects on the Brain

There aren’t many studies that have examined the effects of combining cannabis and Adderall regarding a person’s mental health. Nonetheless, there are some things we know about the brain in general and how substances such as these can alter its functioning long-term.

For example, using drugs such as Adderall and marijuana chronically can impair the brain’s ability to release dopamine and serotonin naturally. This effect can lead, at least short term, to intense feelings of depression and anhedonia, in which a person cannot experience pleasure when a chemical component isn’t there to induce it. Moreover, these drugs combined may cause severe issues, such as clinical depression, after long-term use.

How Treatment Can Help

Abusing Adderall and weed qualifies as a polysubstance disorder in which or more substances are taken in conjunction. Such substance abuse requires an intensive, comprehensive approach that can effectively address both problems, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety.

A reputable professional recovery program, such as those offered by Recovery By The Sea, can help individuals sustain sobriety and long-term relief from the dangerous effects of Adderall, weed, and other substances.

During this type of full-spectrum treatment, clients can benefit from evidence-based and alternative therapies, such as the following:

  • Individual and family therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Peer group support
  • Art and music therapy
  • Stress management
  • Educational programs
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Relapse prevention planning
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Aftercare planning

Substance abuse of any kind has the potential to cause adverse, life-altering effects and severe health problems over both the short- and long-term, including death. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can begin to reverse some of the damage done and prevent more problems from occurring in the future.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we urge you to call us today and seek treatment that can help you recover before it’s too late!

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? – Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is a commonly prescribed benzodiazepine that has a relatively long-lasting effect. The effects of most benzodiazepines (benzos), such as Xanax or Valium, last between 3-4 hours, while the effects of Klonopin can last much longer, anywhere from 6-12 hours.

Clonazepam is usually prescribed to address anxiety, panic, or seizures. Benzos are a class of central nervous system (CNS) depressants that also include medications such as Ativan, Xanax, and Valium.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies clonazepam as a Schedule IV controlled substance. This classification indicates that although it does have a legitimate medical purpose, there is still some potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction, albeit relatively low.

Clonazepam also has a long half-life, which refers to the length of time needed for half of one dose of the drug to be cleared from the body. For clonazepam, this time period ranges between 30-40 hours, meaning that it takes roughly 2-3 days for 50% of clonazepam to be eliminated from a person’s body. Due to its half-life, a small amount of the medication is likely to remain in the system for up to 9 days after the last dose.

Individual factors may also influence how long the effects of clonazepam persist and the amount of time it takes for it to be cleared from a person’s system include the following:

  • Age
  • Height and weight
  • Body fat and mass
  • Genetics
  • Food consumption
  • Liver function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Urinary pH
  • Average dosage amount
  • Frequency of use
  • Duration of use
  • Use of other drugs or alcohol

How Does Clonazepam Work?

Klonopin reduces overactivity in the CNS that is associated with anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, insomnia, and a variety of other disorders. As an intermediate-acting benzo, it can decrease the risk of seizure activity for several hours after the drug has been used. Klonopin may also be prescribed to people who experience persistent restlessness, fidgeting, or other involuntary movements.

Sometimes health providers will prescribe Klonopin for the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. However, it isn’t prescribed as commonly for the short-term treatment of anxiety or insomnia as other medications, such as Ativan and Xanax. These other benzos are often more effective at addressing such conditions because their effects onset rapidly within minutes but are not as long-lasting as Klonopin.

Clonazepam Misuse and Addiction

Like other benzos, clonazepam can induce feelings of relaxation and well-being, which give it the potential for abuse and addiction. Even those who use clonazepam as prescribed by a doctor may find themselves progressing into problematic use. It is these coveted feelings that often drive a person to use clonazepam more often or in higher doses than directed. 

Clonazepam use can lead to tolerance and dependence if use persists for a prolonged period. Tolerance is a condition that develops when the body adapts to the presence of a drug and gradually diminishes its effects. When this occurs, the individual may be compelled to use more of the drug to feel the desired effects.

Dependence also develops after extended exposure to a substance, as the body becomes accustomed to its presence and is no longer able to function normally without it. Once dependence occurs, a person will begin to experience unpleasant or painful withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the substance. Tolerance and dependence are hallmark signs of addiction, a condition that is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

Clonazepam Overdose

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System? | Midwood Addiction

Anyone who takes a dose of clonazepam in excessive amounts or too often is at risk for overdose. Although it is not easy to fatally overdose on clonazepam when used by itself, if it is used with other nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or opioids, the depressant effects of all ingested substances are compounded and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of a clonazepam overdose include the following:

  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Amnesia
  • Impaired vision
  • Stupor or unresponsiveness
  • Labored, slowed, or stopped breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired coordination
  • Low blood pressure

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms after using clonazepam, especially with other drugs or alcohol, please call 911 immediately.

Getting Treatment for Klonopin Addiction

Once an individual has developed a dependence on clonazepam, it can be very challenging to stop use. Those who take clonazepam regularly for a prolonged period will likely experience unpleasant withdrawal effects when they attempt to discontinue use. The discomfort of these symptoms is frequently the prime reason why a person will continue to use clonazepam even if he or she is highly motivated to stop.

Fortunately, recovery from clonazepam addiction is certainly attainable, and the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and begin seeking help. 

Recovery By The Sea uses a comprehensive, research-based approach to addiction recovery that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, treatment for co-existing mental health conditions, peer group support, aftercare planning, and much more.

If you or someone you love is dependent on clonazepam or other substances, help is available. Please know that you don’t have to suffer alone—contact us today and find out how we can help!

Is Gabapentin a Controlled Substance?

Is Gabapentin a Controlled Substance? | Recovery By The Sea

At the time of this writing, gabapentin (Neurontin) is not considered to be a controlled substance on the federal level. However, some states, such as Michigan, and other municipalities, have scheduled it as a class 5 drug, meaning it is believed to have a relatively low potential for abuse. It is commonly prescribed to treat neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and restless leg syndrome.

Gabapentin is a fairly new medication that was first introduced in 1993. As such, its use, mechanism of action, and adverse effects are still being researched. However, gabapentin appears to have an effect on the GABA neurotransmitter but does not seem to manipulate receptors related to other common drugs of abuse, such as opioids. 

For this reason, it’s not commonly thought of as a drug of abuse, and yet, it still has depressant properties that are similar to many other abused intoxicant substances. Also, it has been known to induce withdrawal symptoms in those who become dependent.

This medication can function as a tranquilizer and produce feelings of well-being that, although mild, are similar to the high produced by marijuana. It can also produce feelings of calm and increased sociability. It is recreationally used by polydrug users who combine it with other substances to amplify the effects of both the gabapentin or the other substance. It may also be misused by those seeking to relieve some symptoms of withdrawal from other drugs or alcohol.

The likelihood of gabapentin abuse occurring is considered low due to its relatively low potential for addiction. It does, however, induce withdrawal symptoms, which is a tell-tale sign of physical dependence. Effects induced by the drug could also promote psychological dependence. Treatment for gabapentin addiction may be more complex than other addictions because the individual will likely be dependent on other substances concurrently.

Gabapentin Use and Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is characterized by any use above and beyond that which is prescribed by a doctor. This includes using the medication without a prescription or making up symptoms to obtain a prescription. Taking a higher dose or more frequently than instructed is also considered abuse, and this is likely to result in withdrawal symptoms when use is discontinued. 

Commonly, people enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs report abusing gabapentin without a prescription. One study revealed that 22% of surveyed patients used this medication for intoxicating purposes, especially for enhancing the effects of methadone.

Gabapentin is also increasingly being used as an adulterant in heroin. The fact that this medication is uncontrolled means that it’s not difficult to obtain legal prescriptions, which can then be sold on the black market. If gabapentin follows the trend of many other psychoactive prescription drugs, recreational use will likely increase until the DEA and other government agencies recognize the danger and begin putting restrictions in place.

Signs of Gabapentin Addiction

Is Gabapentin a Controlled Substance? | Recovery By The Sea

Although the potential for dependence on gabapentin is low, it can still occur, and such an addiction can be a serious issue due to the possibility of overdose and death. If you suspect that someone you know is using gabapentin without a prescription, other drugs, or alcohol, you can watch for the following symptoms of abuse:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Tremors
  • Jerky movements
  • Erratic eye movements
  • Double vision
  • Fever
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

If a person is taking gabapentin as directed with a prescription, these side effects are not necessarily an indication of abuse or addiction, although side effects tend to be more intense relative to how much a person uses. A number of symptoms characterize addiction, and a few are specific to prescription drugs. Common signs of prescription drug addiction include the following:

  • Making up or exaggerating symptoms to physicians
  • Doctor-shopping (visiting multiple doctors to get extra doses)
  • Switching doctors after a physician has refused to continue prescribing the drug
  • Changes in social habits and friends
  • Adverse changes in personal hygiene and grooming
  • Constant obsession with obtaining and using the drug
  • Feeling nervous about not being able to obtain the drug
  • Refusal or inability to quit using despite social, financial, or legal problems

Dependence and Withdrawal

Lastly, the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms after stopping the use of a drug is a hallmark indication of dependence and likely full-blown addiction. These occur because the body has adapted to the drug’s presence and has become unable to function without it. In addition to dependence, tolerance also usually develops, which is characterized by the need to use an increasing amount of the drug to achieve the same effect. 

In general, the higher the dose a person’s system adjusts to, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will be. Common gabapentin withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Itching
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Suicidal thoughts

While most of these symptoms are not outright dangerous, seizures can cause harm or even death, and suicidal ideations are always cause for alarm. For these reasons, it is recommended that a person who is thinking about going off gabapentin consult a doctor or addiction specialist. This should be done regardless of whether or not they are using it with a legitimate prescription. It may also be necessary for the individual to undergo a medical detox during the initial days of the withdrawal period.

Is Gabapentin a Controlled Substance? | Recovery By The Sea

Gabapentin Overdose

Prescription drug overdose fatalities have been steadily increasing for many years. Gabapentin overdose is similar to that of some opioids, such as heroin or Vicodin. However, unlike with opioids, there is no antidote to gabapentin overdose that can instantly reverse symptoms and prevent the substance from further affecting the brain and body. As such, irreversible damage is possible, even if a medical intervention is performed early.

Overdose is most likely to occur when combining gabapentin with other drugs or alcohol. For this reason, the fact that gabapentin is frequently being added to heroin by drug dealers is especially alarming. Moreover, heroin users often have no way of knowing what is in the drug they purchase on the black market, which is one of the reasons why opioid overdose deaths are so common.

Common signs of gabapentin overdose include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Slurred speech
  • Ataxia
  • Double vision
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Slowed heart rate and respiration
  • Central nervous system depression

The biggest threat to a gabapentin overdose victim is a lack of oxygen to the brain—especially when it is consumed alongside other CNS depressants. Depression of the CNS results in slowed breathing, and it can even cause breathing to stop altogether. An overdose on any CNS depressant is considered an extreme medical emergency, and 911 should be called immediately.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Recovery By The Sea offers comprehensive, individualized programs designed to treat all aspects of drug abuse and addiction, as well as co-occurring mental health conditions. Our programs feature therapies and services clinically-proven to be vital for the process of recovery, including behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much, much more.

If you or someone you love is battling a dependence on gabapentin or other substances, contact us today! Discover how we can help you break free from the grip of addiction once and for all and foster the happy, healthy life you deserve!

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Signs of Opioid Use

Signs of Opioid Use | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Opioid drugs are commonly abused for their euphoric and sedative effects. For this reason, users often face a very high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. Opioids come in several forms, including prescription painkillers and street drugs such as heroin. Other commonly found opiates and opioids include the following:

  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl and carfentanil
  • U-47700
  • Methadone
  • Tramadol

Prescription medications are usually found as a pill or tablet as a product of drug diversion, but also occasionally as a liquid or other form. Heroin and its highly-potent cousin fentanyl are usually found on the black market as a white powder. Heroin can also present as a dark tacky substance known as black tar and can be taken orally in a pill, smoked, snorted, or injected.

Opioid abuse is associated with the development of tolerance and dependence. Tolerance is caused by the brain’s propensity to diminish the response to a psychoactive substance after repeated use. This condition is hallmarked by a person’s need for increasing amounts of a drug to achieve the desired effect. Dependence occurs as the brain gradually adapts to the continued presence of opioids and becomes unable to function without it.

Withdrawal symptoms that onset after discontinuing opioid use are definite indications of physical dependence. Moreover, when a person stops using opioids or significantly reduces the dose, he or she will encounter highly uncomfortable and perhaps painful symptoms as a result. These unpleasant withdrawal effects are among the main catalysts for relapse.

Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Use

There are many physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of opioid use, including side effects, withdrawal, and symptoms of overdose. Some signs depend on the most common method of administration in addition to the type of drug used and the extent of abuse.

Side Effects of Opioid Use

Signs of Opioid Use | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

The following symptoms are among the most common effects that can manifest as a result of opioid use:

  • An initial rush of euphoria
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe itching
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Prolonged drowsiness
  • Heavy feelings in limbs
  • Impaired thinking

People who are addicted to opioids also frequently have mental health issues, which either contributed to the opioid use or are directly caused by it. Most commonly, these are related to clinical depression or anxiety, but can include many types of mood disorders and behaviors, including the following:

  • Agitation and irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obessessive-compulsive disorder

Behavioral Signs of Opioid Use

When opioid use develops into a priority, a person’s entire life may begin to transform, and drug use becomes the primary focus. Due to this fact, there are likely to be marked changes in a person’s appearance and behavior. Most often, a person who is in the throes of addiction will continually prioritize drug use over obligations and relationships despite the myriad of problems it can cause. 

The following are common behavioral signs associated with opioid use that can serve as warnings for concerned loved ones that there is an immediate need to seek professional treatment:

  • Adverse changes in behavior
  • Concerning changes in social group
  • Use of street slang related to heroin or other opioids
  • Friends or family missing money and/or valuables
  • Neglect of important responsibilities, such as family, school, or work
  • Disheveled appearance and poor hygiene
  • Legal and/or financial problems
  • Deceptiveness and secretiveness
  • Firm denial that there is a problem despite clear evidence to the contrary
  • Doctor-shopping (visiting several doctors or pharmacies in an attempt to obtain prescription medication)

It’s important to note that many signs of opioid abuse are related to the method of administration. For example, a person who is using heroin or other substances intravenously may exhibit marks or sores on extremities at injection sites. They may also have bruises, abscesses, and scars, wear long sleeves or pants, even in warm weather, to hide this evidence of use.

A person who smokes opioids might experience frequent bouts of coughing and develop other lung problems, such as emphysema or COPD later in life. A person who snorts opioids may have nose bleeds and incur damage to nasal tissues.

Drug paraphernalia is also a sure-fire indicator of opioid use. People who inject will likely have needles and tourniquets lying around, and people who smoke it might have pipes and spoons. People who consume pills may have several bottles, perhaps empty in the trash. 

Symptoms of Overdose

An opioid overdose requires immediate medical care. The following are common signs of an opioid overdose:

  • Bluish lips or nails (cyanosis)
  • Clammy or cold skin
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak or absent pulse
  • Profound drowsiness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing an opioid overdose, please call 911 immediately or visit the nearest emergency room. If you have naloxone (Narcan) available, administer this medication as it can reverse an overdose and save a person’s life.

Signs of Opioid Use | Recovery By The Sea Addiction Treatment

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms manifest as a result of physical dependence in frequent opioid users or after a “binge”—a prolonged period of excessive use. Short-acting opioids, such as heroin, can result in withdrawal symptoms in as soon as 6-12 hours, whereas longer-acting opioids, such as methadone, are associated with an extended time before the onset of withdrawal symptoms—up to and beyond 24 hours in some cases. In all cases, symptoms tend to subside over 5-7 days.

In some instances, the loved ones of those abusing opioids may not know they have been using or the scope of their use. However, in learning to recognize the symptoms of withdrawal, they may increase their awareness of the extent of the problem.

Common withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse include the following:

  • Dysphoria
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Cravings
  • Body aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration

Without treatment, a person undergoing withdrawal is very likely to relapse. Because of the heinous nature of addiction, they will often do anything to get their fix. This includes pilfering prescription medications from loved ones, stealing money and other items, dealing drugs themselves, or even prostitution.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Opioid abuse is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening disorder that causes a tremendous amount of suffering for both the person who uses and their loved ones. Fortunately, heroin addiction is very treatable through the use of a comprehensive, research-based approach. A comprehensive program consists of therapeutic services essential for recovery, such as psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, group support, and aftercare planning.

Treatment usually begins with detox—a medically-monitored process in which a person is supervised for several days while his or her body is cleared of opioids and other toxic substances. After detox, patients are encouraged to participate in an intensive treatment program followed by outpatient therapy.

Recovery By The Sea employs addiction specialists who provide patients with the tools and support they so desperately need to achieve a full recovery, prevent relapse, and enjoy long-lasting wellness and sobriety. 

Contact us today to discover how we can help you or a loved one navigate the recovery process toward a fulfilling and healthy life!

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