Category Archives: In The News

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Coming: What You Should Know

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day - Pathways Recovery CaliforniaNovember 30, 2016 is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. Pathways Recovery is dedicated to eradicating all addiction, whether involving drugs or alcohol. We think it’s important, however, to know all you can about the various drugs out there. The more you know, the better you are able to avoid addiction.

Methamphetamine is highly dangerous and negatively affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. Yet, the recognition of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is somewhat recent. It was first recognized in 2006, making November 30 one of the "younger" drug awareness days in America. As we learn more about methamphetamine and raise awareness of it, we can work to prevent more people from using this drug.

Why National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Important

Since 2012, there has been a rise in methamphetamine usage. In 2012, an estimated 1.2 million people reported using the drug in the past year. In a 2013 survey, an estimated 595,000 people in the United States used methamphetamine in the last month, as compared to 353,000 total users in 2010. In 2012, 19.4 percent of drug offenses involved methamphetamine. Many offenders were convicted for meth trafficking. Offenders were found in possession of 3.3 to 11 pounds of methamphetamine.

Surprisingly, sentencing for methamphetamine possession, trafficking and personal use has become less harsh since 2012. Although 98.9 percent of methamphetamine offenders were sent to prison, only 34.1 percent of offenders received the recommended minimum sentence or longer.

In the years between 2008 and 2012, 40 percent of methamphetamine offenders received a sentence outside applicable guideline ranges. In many cases, this was because the state or federal government encouraged a below-range sentence. While the average minimum sentence guidelines for methamphetamine use remains the same, average sentences have decreased.

Is There An 'Average Methamphetamine Offender'?

Most methamphetamine traffickers convicted in 2012 were male (about 80 percent). Just over half of these individuals had no prior criminal history, and 68 percent were United States citizens. In 2012, most methamphetamine traffickers were white or Hispanic (47.6 and 45.4 percent, respectively). Only 2.5 percent of traffickers were black, and 4.5 percent were of other races.

Methamphetamine users are often young. In 2012, the average age of someone sentenced for methamphetamine use or trafficking was 35 years old. About 23.5 percent of reported users were minors or participated minimally in the offense, which decreased their sentences. These statistics indicate the average methamphetamine user or trafficker is a young white male. However, anyone can use methamphetamine and become addicted, and they could face serious negative consequences.

Types Of Methamphetamine

When most people think of methamphetamine, they think of crystal meth. While this is a popular and dangerous drug, there are several other forms of methamphetamine.

Most users take methamphetamine in one of three ways: The first is crystalline, which comes in an ice or crystal form. The second is powder (also known as “speed”). Third, some people take the methamphetamine base.

Methamphetamine derivatives are also popular. One derivative is ecstasy, which is commonly sold as a tablet. Methamphetamine derivatives are sometimes used as ingredients in herbal or vitamin supplements because they increase the user’s energy.

The Effects Of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine users swallow, snort, smoke or inject the drug. Many users choose methamphetamine because it provides short-term bursts of high energy and alertness. As with many other drugs, methamphetamine cause a sense of euphoria, which often leaves users addicted to the emotional high.

The high energy associated with meth can cause:

  • Increased talkativeness
  • Shaking hands
  • Teeth grinding
  • Profuse sweating
  • Jaw clenching
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Frequent meth usage often causes nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, libido changes and aggression or hostility.

    The Dangers Of Methamphetamine

    Long-term methamphetamine users experience a range of severe physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Extreme weight loss as well as deterioration of the mouth, teeth and skin are all common. In some cases, meth users experience brain damage and memory loss, which can permanently affect cognition.

    Many meth users sustain organ problems, such as:

    • Weakened heart
    • Kidney damage
    • Liver damage

    If the methamphetamine was snorted or smoked, the user may suffer from respiratory diseases and damage to his or her nose, sinuses and lungs.

    The psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine use are often debilitating, too. Meth users may experience mood swings or depression. Some engage in violent behavior. In some cases, long-term methamphetamine usage leads to psychosis, strokes and brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

    Awareness Brings Solutions

    If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of addiction, not just methamphetamine (crystal meth), please call us today and speak to one of our specialists, no matter what the drug or alcohol addiction you face. We have the solution!

    Here at Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we provide for those seeking to heal from any drug and alcohol addiction. Weather yourself or a loved one, we provide the best treatment for any drug and alcohol addiction one might be experiencing. Our services include, but not limited to, methadone detox, drug and alcohol rehab, and holistic services depending on each special individual’s needs. Our medical staff are well versed in the world of methadone addiction and have years of experience with helping many people heal. Here at Pathways Recovery, we are equipped to help with the difficulties of addiction and want to be part of your journey to a better you.

    Call us, to speak with one of our well-informed associates to see how we can help you today on the journey of recovery.

    It’s National Recovery Month: Here’s What You Need To Know

    It’s National Recovery Month - Here’s What You Need To KnowSeptember is National Recovery Month. For addicts and their loved ones, it’s a time to increase awareness and celebrate sobriety. Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors the month in an effort to promote the understanding of substance abuse and mental disorders.

    What Is National Recovery Month?

    National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance to educate Americans about how mental health and recovery services help addicts live enriching, healthy lives. It’s also a celebration of those who recover, just as we celebrate those who overcome heart disease and cancer.

    The Importance Of Behavioral Health

    National Recovery Month reinforces the message that our behavioral health is just as important as our physical health. Just as breast cancer awareness focuses on the importance of mammograms, substance abuse awareness emphasizes that treatment programs can and do work. The evidence is all around us, and September marks a time for public to see it.

    Transforming Lives

    Each year, thousands of prevention, recovery, and treatment programs participate in sharing success stories. Often unnoticed by the population at large, recovery services have transformed the lives of millions of addicts and their loved ones. Through a series of coordinated events, mental health workers help spread awareness about this process while destigmatizing addiction and substance abuse disorders.

    History And Conception

    National Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month. Originally, it was a celebration of all those in the field who made sobriety possible. A decade later, the celebration became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month to include those who successfully overcame a substance abuse disorder. In 2011, it was renamed again and now is called National Recovery Month to celebrate everyone involved in the process while emphasizing the importance of behavioral health. This is the celebration’s 27th year.

    Organizations That Make It Possible

    Recovery Month is a coordinated effort of more than 200 federal, state, and local government organizations, as well as nonprofit groups and associations that are committed to the prevention and treatment of substance and mental abuse disorders. Supporting groups help develop and disseminate teaching materials, awareness initiatives, and event promotion. The planning partners also come up with a theme for each year’s celebration.

    Join The Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!

    This year, Recovery Month focuses on the holistic effort that drives patient recovery. Substance abuse disorders affect more than just the patient; effects spread to families and loved ones. A success story is often a coordinated effort of a patient, the patient’s families, and their support professionals. This year is a celebration of that systemic effort.

    This National Recovery Month, take a few moments to learn about the recovery process through the stories of patients and their families. Celebrate every victory, and realize each new milestone is a step in the lifelong journey of recovery. Click the button below for help on your recovery path.

    Recovery Resources

    At Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we offer to those who are ready to take the next step to heal. Our services include, but not limited to, drug and alcohol treatment, outpatient rehab treatment, and family education. At Pathways Recovery, we also offer a holistic treatment plan for those who might need a little more assistance in our comfortable and safe drug and alcohol detox center located in a quite and friendly residential area.Contact us today for any questions or to speak with a highly trained member of our staff. The first step starts with a call today for a better tomorrow.

    Is Placer County, California, The Next Target Of The Teen & Young Adult Heroin Epidemic?

    Placer County, California, the Next Target of the Teen and Young Adult Heroin EpidemicOpioid abuse and heroin addiction have risen dramatically since the early 2000s. They affect every socioeconomic class, age, and gender in our nation, and pose a great threat to public health. California has not been spared. Statistics show that Placer County opioid abuse and heroin addiction are higher than the national average. What can we do as parents, educators, and community leaders to protect our teens and young adults?

    Recognizing The Scope Of The Problem

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the National Institutes of Health, classifies opioid abuse and heroin addiction as an epidemic. NIDA estimates that in the United States, 2.1 million people abuse opioids and approximately 500,000 people are addicted to heroin. The number of prescription opioid-related deaths has quadrupled since 1999.

    Cali Hospitals Treated Patients for Overdoses

    In 2013, California hospitals treated 11,500 patients for opioid and heroin overdoses. Every 45 minutes, a person in California overdoses. This staggering statistic represents a 50 percent increase from 2006. Hospitals in rural northern California see more overdoses than other parts of the state. Placer County, Sacramento County, and Shasta County all rank higher than the national average for opioid abuse and heroin addiction.

    Opioid Prescriptions On The Rise

    In 2001, The Joint Commission deemed pain the fifth vital sign in pain management. Physicians are required to manage pain effectively, based on a patient’s perceived pain scale. Hospitals evaluations consider how well the physicians do it.

    As a result, opioid prescriptions have skyrocketed in the last two decades. In 1991, there were 76 million opioid prescriptions in the United States. In 2012, opioid prescriptions more than doubled to 207 million. Along with the surge in prescriptions, the number of emergency room visits related to abuse steadily rose, from 144,000 in 2004 to 305,000 in 2008. The United States is the largest consumer of opioids, accounting for 100 percent of the global supply of hydrocodone and 81 percent of oxycodone.

    Increased opioid prescriptions mean greater access for teens and young adults in family homes. A doctor may dispense a 30-day prescription of Vicodin following surgery, but a patient may need pain relief for only a few days. Instead of disposing of the prescription, the leftover pills sit in a medicine cabinet at home.

    How Opioids Become Drugs Of Abuse

    Physicians commonly prescribe opioids for moderate-to-severe pain. They work by attaching to opioid receptors in the body, which both reduce the perception of pain and trigger a rush of endorphins, producing a sense of well-being. Endorphins are the body’s naturally occurring opioids.

    As people continue to use synthetic opioids, the body begins to inhibit its own opioid-producing system. Users have to increase their dosages to experience the same effects, which leads to a dangerous cycle of building tolerance and increasing risk of overdose. This is how addiction develops.

    Addictive Behaviors In Teens And Young Adults

    When teens and young adults begin to abuse opioids, they may take the drugs in ways other than prescribed. For example, they may crush and snort the drugs to increase their effects and produce a rush of euphoria. Most oral opioids are extended-release pills, providing long-lasting pain relief and minimizing the risk of addiction. When someone crushes and snorts or smokes these pills, however, they put the body into overdrive, triggering a massive release of endorphins that leads teens and young adults to experience a high.

    Opioids are alluring and dangerous for teens because they affect the reward center of the brain. This makes the drugs highly addicting. Because many of us keep opioids from old injuries or oral surgeries in our medicine cabinets, they’re easy for teens and young adults to obtain. The more potent the opioid, the easier the path to addiction is.

    Opioids And Their Relationship To Heroin

    As the opioid epidemic increases, so does access to heroin. Government officials have taken steps to curb opioid abuse by establishing new prescribing guidelines for physicians. Since it’s harder for many prescription pill abusers to get access to opioids, they turn to the next best thing: heroin, which is also an opioid.

    Heroin use has skyrocketed in the past few years, with the number of past-year users doubling between 2005 and 2012. NIDA directly links increased heroin use to the opioid epidemic, because it is the next logical step in the addiction path. Heroin is cheaper and more readily available than prescription opioids. It provides a viable alternative to achieving the euphoric effect associated with mis-using pills.

    Heroin is particularly dangerous because, unlike prescription drugs, there is no control over its purity. Heroin cut with fentanyl, a potent opioid, has found its way into local communities. When combined with other substances, heroin carries a higher risk of overdose and death. Anecdotal evidence suggests that heroin combined with fentanyl can bring about overdose within seconds of injection into a vein.

    Heroin Affecting Teens

    Heroin And Opioid Use In Placer County Teens And Young Adults

    Statewide emergency room data shows that heroin use among young adults has risen sharply in recent years. It is a growing problem in northern California, though some areas have more problems than others do. Lincoln Police Chief Rex Marks notes that, although heroin isn’t as prevalent in his area as some other parts of the country, it was easy for teens to obtain.

    Heroin once was a drug for the affluent. Now it is more affordable than meth, selling for $40 to $50 for a few grams. According to the County Sheriff’s Office, heroin use is up, based on possession arrests and deaths from overdose. The majority of victims are in their 20s.

    Prescription Pill Abuse

    According to data from the Drug Enforcement Agency, prescription pill abuse is rising among teens. Oxycodone is the most widely used and abused drug among 12- to 24-year-olds.

    In Placer County, 11th-graders abuse prescription pills at a rate two times the national average. This sobering statistic should compel concerned parents, educators, and community leaders to act.

    What Adults Can Do To Combat Opioid Abuse In Teens And Young Adults

    Parents and educators can take simple steps to prevent prescription drug and heroin abuse in teens and young adults. One simple step is for parents to clear out their medicine cabinets. The Roseville Police Department recently coordinated an effort to take back prescription drugs from residents, and safely and effectively dispose of them. Their last event yielded over 9,000 pounds of prescription drugs.

    Parental Efforts

    According to the Coalition for Placer Youth, those who learn about drug risks from their parents are 50 percent less likely to use. Parents should not be afraid to talk with their teens about the dangers of opioid abuse and its path to riskier behaviors such as heroin addiction. Teens identify their parents as the #1 influence in their lives. Parents should provide guidance about possible negative consequences of opioid use and abuse.

    The sheer availability of prescription drugs makes it possible for Placer County teens to experiment. Make sure to lock up all your current medications in a cabinet. Even if you trust your teen, their friends and acquaintances might not be so trustworthy.

    Know The Consequences

    The adverse outcomes associated with prescription drug abuse are severe. Respiratory distress, addiction, coma, brain damage, and death are all possibilities. Prescription drug experimentation may quickly devolve into heroin abuse, given its increased affordability and availability. Heroin and other intravenous drug use have their own consequences, including transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, among other blood-borne diseases from shared needles.

    Act Quickly And Know The Signs

    Parents, educators, and community leaders should be involved in a multifaceted effort to curb the threat of opioid and heroin abuse at the local and county levels. Parents should talk frankly to their children about the consequences. Educators should implement districtwide initiatives to inform the student body about the dangers of abusing prescription pills. Community leaders should encourage pill take-back programs and offer resources for parents to guide the conversation.

    Prescription pill abuse and heroin addiction are preventable. We, as a community, should be aware of the threat heroin poses to our children and how readily accessible prescription pills are. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 168,000 teens were addicted to pain medicine in 2014, and an additional 500,000 were using a pain reliever for nonmedical purposes. In 2014, nearly 30,000 teens aged 12 to 17 used heroin, and 18,000 became addicted.

    Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers get them at no cost from a friend or relative. Don’t let your teen be one of them. Talk to them about the dangers of drug abuse and the connection between prescription pills and heroin. Together, the residents of Placer County can address the issue head on, paving the way for healthier teens and brighter futures.

    Need more information to help your teen or young adult with a drug or potential drug problem? Read here for additional options available to you.

    Family Education Program

    At Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we offer to those who are ready to take the next step to heal. Our services include, but not limited to, drug and alcohol treatment, heroin detox treatment, and opiate detox treatment. At Pathways Recovery, we also offer a holistic treatment plan for those who might need a little more assistance in our comfortable and safe drug and alcohol detox center located in a quite and friendly residential area.Contact us today for any questions or to speak with a highly trained member of our staff. The first step starts with a call today for a better tomorrow.

    A Drug 50x Deadlier Than Heroin?

    Fentanyl 50x More Deadly Then HeroinThe dangers of opioid addiction have certainly gained more exposure recently with the deaths of celebrities like Prince, who was reported to be struggling with an addiction to opioid painkillers prior to his untimely death in April. It’s an unfortunate reality that opioid addiction has become an epidemic in the United States, and much of it is being fueled by prescription painkillers.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 80 percent of prescription painkillers are prescribed by 20 percent of prescribers, and sales for prescription painkillers have increased more than 400 percent since 1999. Not surprisingly, the number of overdose from these medications has also increased – by more than 300 percent. In fact, more individuals are dying from prescription pain medications than from heroin and cocaine combined.

    An Illicit Version Of A Prescription Painkiller

    While all opioid painkillers are addictive and can lead to overdose, addiction specialists are particularly worried about one medication that is flooding into cities and towns across the U.S. It’s fentanyl, which is the most potent painkiller on the market. Prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment, the drug was developed to ease the extreme pain of cancer patients. Now, an illicit version of this drug is being sold on the street in the form of pills and powder, causing a growing number of individuals to become addicted and even overdose. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the CDC both believe that illegal fentanyl is currently a national health crisis.

    Clusters of fentanyl-related overdoses are showing up in increasing numbers which has led to the CDC issuing a health advisory to inform health providers and first responders about overdoses. Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire have all seen tremendous jumps in related deaths. In these states and a growing number of others, fentanyl deaths are far surpassing overdoses caused by heroin.

    Just How Dangerous Is Fentanyl?

    Many are surprised by the strength of this drug. When law enforcement confiscates it, they have to wear hazmat suits for protection. It can be absorbed by the skin and the eyes, and only a few small grains of the drug can kill an individual. First appearing on the streets in 2007, the Drug Enforcement Agency traced the drug to a lab in Mexico. Seven years, later the number of  overdoses spiked, and many believe that it is now being produced in China and trafficked through Mexican cartels into the U.S.

    Effects Of Fentanyl Abuse

    Along with the risk of overdose, this drug also has many long-term damaging effects including:

    • Immune suppression
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Paranoia
    • Social withdrawal
    • Delusions or hallucinations
    • Personality changes

    Help For Fentanyl Withdrawal

    Withdrawal from this drug requires professional treatment because of the intense symptoms that happen during the detoxification process. If you or a loved one is abusing fentanyl or any other drugs, do not wait another day to get help. It could be a matter of life or death. Call Pathways Recovery immediately for help.

    Pathways Recovery is a prestigious detox treatment center that services the greater area of Sacramento. Here at Pathways Recovery, we know how hard it is to start the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction while having compassion and patience for those recovering. We have many services to cater to each individual in regards to their lifestyle. Our detox treatment center is made to make everyone feel safe and at home with many of our services like opiate detox treatment, drug and alcohol treatment, and many more . Contact us today for further information over our services and see which one fits for you or a loved one. Don't think you are alone; we are here to help you on your road to recovery.

    Why The Risk Of Opana Addiction Continues To Increase

    Continued and updated from our original blog: Opana Taking Over For Oxycontin

    It has been nearly a decade since the powerful prescription painkiller Opana hit the market. Twice as strong as OxyContin, it continues to destroy the lives of abusers and their families.

    The Dangers Of OpanaPathwaysRecovery-SignsOfOxycontin-5-4-16

    Also known as oxymorphone hydrochloride, Opana is two to eight times more potent than morphine and can be crushed, chewed, snorted or injected. Because of its strength, abusers of other opioids are at risk of overdosing on Opana. Unlike OxyContin that can produce a stimulating effect, Opana causes users to fall asleep. One of the biggest risks of the drug is respiratory depression. There is also a big risk for addiction, depending on the dose and frequency of use.

    Classified as a schedule II narcotic by the DEA, Opana also produces side effects of:

    • severe drowsiness
    • light-headedness
    • itchy and/or clammy skin
    • headache
    • constipation
    • trouble breathing
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • decreased heart rate
    • seizures
    • confusion
    • weakness

    When mixed with other drugs or alcohol, the results can be dangerous and even fatal.

    Widespread Availability Leads To More Addicts

    A key reason why Opana has become such a popular drug is because of its street price which is nearly half that of Oxycontin. Many addicts who once used OxyContin or other opioid painkillers have made the switch to Opana. In fact, it has become the drug of choice for many. In Kentucky, the drug was present in the blood of 23 percent of all overdose victims in 2011. Since then, the numbers have only increased.

    The Trend Of Opana Abuse And Addiction

    A decade ago, the drugs of choice were Vicodin or Lortab. This shifted to oxycodone, and today it’s all about Opana which is leading to greater number of addicts and more fatal overdoses. Sadly, the trend is spreading fastest in rural, low-income areas where individuals are purchasing the drug from elderly people with prescriptions who are selling it to supplement social security income. Others are buying the drug from overseas manufacturers. Some are even stealing the drugs from pharmacies or stealing other things to obtain the money to buy the drug. For abusers of Opana who cannot afford the drug, the next step is heroin.

    Are You Battling Opana Addiction?

    Do not underestimate the power of this dangerous drug. Attempting to overcome addiction to Opana is not something to try alone. Withdrawal symptoms can be very serious, and your best chance of recovery is under the watchful eye of professional addition treatment professionals. In many cases, there is insurance that covers detox and rehab for Opana addiction. Call now to get the the help you need, we will be with you every step of the way.

    Learn More About Insurance That Covers Detox And Rehab

    Pathways Recovery is a prestigious detox treatment center that services the greater area of Sacramento. Here at Pathways Recovery, we know how hard it is to start the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction while having compassion and patience for those recovering. We have many services that cater to drug and alcohol addiction for each individual. Our detox treatment center is made to make everyone feel safe and at home with many of our services, including but not limited to; opiate detox treatment, drug and alcohol treatment, and outpatient rehab. Contact us today for further information over our services and see which one fits for you or a loved one. Don't think you are alone; we are here to help you on your road to recovery.

    Will Congress’ Recent Efforts On How To Prevent Drug Abuse Have A Substantial Impact On The Addiction Treatment Field?

    Congress How To Prevent Drug Abuse

    On March 10, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation intended to combat the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States. This landmark legislation is known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and it is the largest congressional action to date intended to fight America’s ongoing abuse of and addiction to opioids.

    CARA also intends to open new avenues of treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction. While still needing to be passed by the House of Representatives, CARA secured a 94-to-1 vote in the Senate, which sends a strong message that Congress is serious about taking on opioid abuse and addiction treatment.

    What Will The Opioid Legislation Do, If Signed Into Law?

    If passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the president, CARA will provide the following:

    • Expanded access to addiction treatment resources, including medication-assisted addiction treatment for heroin and opioid dependence
    • Funding for substance use prevention efforts and addiction recovery programs
    • New opportunities for addicts to receive drug treatment in lieu of jail time
    • Stronger prescription drug-monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversions and to help at-risk individuals access addiction treatment resources
    • Expanded addiction recovery support for students in high school and colleges
    • Wider availability of Naloxone (which reverses the effects of opioid medication) to police and other first responders so they can administer it to more patients who need it
    • More disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications, which will help keep them out of the hands of children and young adults

    What Has Prompted This Recent Legislation?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. Also, since 1999, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses has nearly quadrupled. Between 2000 and 2014, nearly half a million people died from drug overdoses. As of 2016, an average of 78 Americans are dying every day from opioid overdose.

    Since 1999, the volume of opioid-based prescription pain medications sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, while at the same time, there has not been a significant increase in the amount of pain that Americans are reporting. Deaths from prescription opioids (drugs like hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone) have similarly quadrupled since 1999. Clearly, many of the opioid painkillers being prescribed in the U.S. are being diverted to recreational users and opioid addicts.

    How Does Opioid Addiction Develop?

    Evolving from a legitimate prescription painkiller user to someone who is addicted can often happen by accident. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioid pain medication and heroin affect the brain through the same mechanism. Opioids (both prescribed and illegal) reduce the perception of pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain cells as well as other places in the body. As opioid use continues, one’s tolerance to the drug increases, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect.

    For someone in legitimate pain, this can be a dangerous path, as they need more of their pain medication to get relief. For someone using opioid-based pain medications for recreational purposes, this can be a deadly path, because most recreational users alter the medication to achieve quicker euphoric effects. For both the legitimate user and the recreational user, they can become physically dependent on opioids before they know it. The combination of dependence and higher tolerance quickly leads to an opioid addiction.

    Once addicted, acquiring enough opioid-based prescription medication can be difficult and very costly. With limitations on the amount they can get from their primary care doctor or pain management physician, most opioid addicts turn to illegal ways to acquire enough of the drug to achieve the euphoric state they have become accustomed to. This can be done by buying pain medication on the street or turning to illegal drugs like heroin.

    The street price for opioid medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone, however, is much higher than what they were paying at their local pharmacy. Suddenly, the opioid addict is in a desperate situation where he or she can no longer afford the drug of choice. As a result of the higher availability and lower cost of heroin in many communities, many opioid addicts transition to using heroin.

    Seeking Treatment For Opioid Addiction

    Opioid Addiction TreatmentFor people who are addicted to opioids and trying to seek proper treatment, many roadblocks are present. According to NIDA, less than 12 percent of the 21.5 million Americans suffering from drug addiction in 2014 received substance abuse treatment.

    Furthermore, many addiction treatment programs do not utilize evidence-based treatment methods. As an example, less than half of the addiction treatment programs surveyed by NIDA offered medically assisted treatment for opioid addicts. Proven addiction treatment medications such as Suboxone and buprenorphine do not appear to be widely used in the addiction treatment field, as of 2014.

    According to NIDA, providing evidence-based treatment for addicts offers the best chance at interrupting the drug use-criminal justice cycle for many drug addicts. Viewing drug addiction as a disease instead of a crime seems to be critical to reducing the heavy load on our criminal justice system caused by addicts who result to criminal behavior to support their addiction.

    Addiction treatment has proved over the years to reduce the costs related to addiction resulting in terms of lost productivity, crime and incarceration. NIDA has suggested several ways that addiction treatment can be implemented into a criminal justice environment, including the following:

    • Addiction treatment as a condition of probation
    • Drug courts that combine judicial monitoring and sanctions with addiction treatment
    • Addiction treatment in prison followed up by community based treatment after release
    • Addiction treatment under parole or probation supervision

    How To Prevent Drug Abuse On A National Level

    So, will the recent Congressional action have a significant impact on addiction treatment in the United States, specifically as it relates to opioid addiction? Recognizing the seriousness of the epidemic and the growing problems it is creating was a monumental first step by Congress.

    For CARA to be implemented, however, it must next pass in the House of Representatives. You can help make this happen by lobbying your Congressional representative.

    As for the legislation’s impact on the addiction treatment field, Norma Cordero, Outreach Coordinator at Pathways Recovery and a veteran of the addiction treatment industry, has this to say: “Passage of the bill will continue a philosophical shift toward treating addiction not as a crime, but as a chronic disease. Hopefully, it will establish new rules and policies for prevention and treatment of addiction.”

    Alcohol Awareness Month: Spread The Word & Help A Struggling Loved One

    Embrace-Alcohol Awareness Month-Spread Word, Help Struggling Loved OneApril is the official month dedicated to alcohol awareness. Initiated by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month is focused on reducing the stigma of alcoholism and strengthening awareness of the risks of alcohol, as well as the opportunity for recovery.

    Understanding The Statistics Of Alcoholism

    Many people are surprised by alcohol abuse statistics. Here are just a few to consider:

    • Nearly 17 million Americans can be classified as alcoholics.
    • Approximately 50 percent of college students who consume alcohol are actually binge drinking.
    • Nearly 88,000 individuals die from alcohol-related causes each year, making it the third leading, preventable cause of death in the United States.
    • More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.

    Do You Have A Friend Or Loved One Who Is Struggling With Alcohol Abuse?

    Whether it’s a spouse, a sibling, a friend or a colleague, it is never straightforward and easy to be in a relationship with someone who is an alcoholic. During this month of increased awareness of this progressive disease, you have an opportunity to share information, and perhaps even guide someone you care about towards getting help.

    Depending on the depth of their problem, you may want to recommend starting with alcohol detoxification. There are options for alcohol detox in Northern California, such as Pathways Recovery which offers a holistic detoxification program for alcoholics that provides comprehensive treatment protocols, including detailed assessment, individual and group therapy and family education.

    An Integrative Approach To Addiction Treatment

    Reaching-Alcohol Awareness Month-Spread Alcohol’s Risks, RecoveryAt Pathways Recovery, we are here 24 hours a day if you’d like to speak with an addiction counselor. We can provide you with details of our safe and comfortable detox treatment program that can help you or a loved one begin the journey of recovery. There is no need to struggle alone or to attempt recovery without professional help.

    Our inpatient alcohol detox treatment facility is located near Sacramento and offers a comprehensive range of benefits to support a life of sobriety that include medical care by a board certified doctor of addiction medicine, a highly experienced detox staff, a three to one staff ratio, balanced nutritious meals, vitamins and supplements to heal the addicted brain, yoga, meditation, and more.

    The first step is calling us now to discuss options for alcohol detox treatment.

    Learn More About Our Alcohol Detox Program

    Join us in spreading the dangers of alcohol and the first steps of recovery by sharing this post with loved ones, colleagues and friends.

    5 Surprising Myths About Addiction

    5 Surprising Myths About AddictionWhen it comes to those suffering from addiction, there are many misconceptions. Unfortunately, these fallacies can lead to assumptions and preconceptions that prevent individuals from getting the help they need.

    It’s important for addicts as well as their loved ones or anyone who has been affected by addiction to understand more about it, including the truths and myths surrounding addiction.

    Five Myths About Addiction

    So, what are the most common myths when it comes to addiction and individuals struggling with substance abuse? Here are five to consider:

    Myth #1: Addiction Is A Choice

    Addiction Is A ChoiceNo one chooses to be at the mercy of drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a disorder that alters brain chemistry and makes it increasingly difficult to stop using. Genetics and environmental factors also play a part in the risk of addiction.

    Myth #2: Addicts Are Bad People Who Need To Be Punished

    There is a common perception that all individuals suffering from addiction are corrupt, lazy, and misguided. Although addiction can perpetuate bad behaviors in some people, even good people, professional and appropriate treatment is the answer and not punishment or jail time.

    Myth #3: Addicts Usually Only Have One Substance Of Choice

    While there are plenty of alcoholics who have never touched another substance, and likewise, drug addicts who have only one drug of choice, the reality is many people mix drugs to increase their high or to come down from another. Teens and young adults are most likely to experiment with multiple substances. Unfortunately, mixing substances is riskier and harder to treat.

    Myth #4: People Abusing Legal Prescription Drugs Are Not Really Addicts

    People Abusing Legal Prescription DrugsInterestingly, many people believe that those who have an addiction to prescription drugs are different than others suffering from street drug or alcohol addiction. Yet, the reality is that prescription drugs have the same addictive properties as illegal substances. Abusing Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall or other prescription drugs can possess the same level of addiction as drugs on the street.

    Myth #5: You Need To Shame Addicts Into Change

    You Need To Shame Addicts Into ChangeUnlike individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, those suffering from the disease of addiction are often not given the level of treatment or care they need for long-term recovery. Some treatment centers use shame as a tool to initiate change in their patients, yet this approach often backfires and results in a quick relapse.

    Get The Help For You Need For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

    If you or a loved one is struggling with the bondage of substance abuse, the first step in getting the help you need is by calling the caring and professional staff at Pathways Recovery. We offer customized detox and treatment programs along with family education and much more. Call us today!

    Welcome To The Newly Redesigned Site – Stay Tuned For More Exciting News!

    Newly Redesigned Addiction Treatment Site Pathways RecoveryAt Pathways Recovery, we are proud to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website. With our focus on providing high quality detox and outpatient addiction rehab treatment, we knew we needed a professional-looking, highly-functional website that provided up-to-date information and resources in an understandable and informative format. We believe that the new website has accomplished just that!

    With informative content, an easy-to-navigate layout and the latest information on insurance and other important topics, our potential clients and their loved ones can find out what they need to know about addiction treatment at Pathways Recovery.

    The website is organized by programs and detox services. There are also pages on nutrition and family education, as well as a blog that will include the latest information about addiction and recovery. The Admissions section provides valuable information such as cost, financing options, insurance information and more.

    Pathways Recovery’s New Design And Logo

    Along with the new website, Pathways Recovery also has a new look that includes an updated logo and design elements. The logo redesign represents an individual who has struggled with addiction now achieving new hope in recovery. New images of the facility have also been added to the website to give site visitors a visual perspective of the treatment offered at Pathways Recovery.

    More Than Just An Updated Brand

    While the new website and brand elements certainly improve the online presence of Pathways Recovery, they are also designed to provide quick, easy access to those who are facing the challenge of addiction. When confronted with such a seemingly insurmountable challenge, it only makes sense that the information provided should be given in a user-friendly, simple fashion.

    What’s Next?

    As we roll out this new website at the start of 2016, we are already looking at more exciting things to be launched this year. We encourage you to bookmark the Pathways Recovery site so that you can check back often as we launch new tools for helping those in need and their loved ones.

    If you’re ready to overcome addiction or you know someone who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, we encourage you to check out our new site. There’s plenty of information about our facility and treatment options. Then, give us a call to speak to a caring and professional staff member.

    SAMHSA Publishes Drug And Alcohol Treatment Program Completion Rates

    Pathways-- SAMHSA Publishes Drug And Alcohol Treatment Program Completion Rates -- 08-23-16Drug And Alcohol Treatment Completion Rates

    drug and alcohol treatment

    SAMHSA Statistics

    The most recent data available for completion rates at drug and alcohol treatment facilities shows some interesting results.  Assembled from 1.5 million discharges from facilities across 42 states, the report details overall completion rates as well as breaking the data down into a wide variety of criteria that can help to uncover more perspective on the experiences of people seeking drug and alcohol treatment in the United States.

    Overall, the report found that the completion rate for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment was 47%.  Within this overall number, the data showed that completion rate varied widely depending upon factors such as substance of abuse and the type of service being offered by the drug and alcohol treatment facility.

    Completion Rates for Addiction Treatment By Program

    Pathways-- Detox Completion Stat -- 08-23-16The report shows that the completion rate for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment was highest for those discharged from residential treatment at 70% with completion rates at detoxification programs a close second at 67%.  For short term residential drug and alcohol treatment, the completion rate was 59%.  For longer term residential care the completion rate for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment declined to 44%.  With less structured outpatient drug and alcohol treatment the completion rate went even lower to 40%.  Completion rates for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment tended to be higher (66%) when alcohol was the primary cause for treatment, and when people were employed their completion rate at drug and alcohol treatment facilities tended to be higher.

    The report is episodic based.  In other words if one person sought drug and alcohol treatment twice in the reported year their information would be treated as two separate discharges.  The report also gathered the reasons for people being discharged from drug and alcohol treatment other than completion.  After completion of the program, the next highest reason for people being discharged was voluntary separation.

    SAMHSA's support of drug and alcohol treatment professionals continues to be an important factor in improving the success rates of programs across the county.

    Certainly comprehensive with a wide range of criteria including length of stay, substance of abuse, and others, drug and alcohol treatment professionals should be able to use the data to adjust their own programs to ensure a higher completion rate for their patients.