Skip to main content

Navigating the Holidays & Staying Sober While Doing It

The holiday season is a period of happiness, festivity, and bonding with dear ones. Yet, for those journeying towards recovery, the holiday celebrations can also pose distinct hurdles. Drawing lines becomes an essential part of preserving sobriety during these times. In this article, we will discuss ways to maintain boundaries while staying sober during the holidays and avoiding relapse.

Open Dialogue:

Honesty is crucial in establishing limits. Openly convey your choice to remain abstinent to your support system and family members. Discuss your reasons for opting for a sober life, enabling them to comprehend the significance of your dedication. Open dialogue cultivates a supportive atmosphere and minimizes the chance of accidental triggers.

Enlighten Others:

Some people might not completely understand the difficulties of sustaining sobriety, particularly at social events. Utilize the chance to enlighten your loved ones and family members about the essence of addiction and recovery. Teach them about the importance of being sober for you, and how their support can improve your health.

Be Selective:

Not all holiday parties may be compatible with your sobriety pledge. Choose social events that emphasize meaningful relationships over excessive alcohol consumption. Prefer gatherings that feature activities not centered around alcohol, like board game evenings, film binges, or outdoor escapades. Always remember you can leave whenever you want.


BYO: Bring Your Own:

To avoid the pressure to drink, bring non-alcoholic drinks to social events. This guarantees you won’t have to search for a drink and will deter any inquiries or propositions. Holding a non-alcoholic option can make you feel more comfortable in social settings.


Exit Strategy:

Prepare in advance for instances when you might feel uneasy or provoked. Having a plan to leave helps you politely exit risky situations that could jeopardize your sobriety. This plan could involve having a trustworthy friend or a ready excuse.


Set Clear Personal Boundaries:

Define your personal boundaries and communicate them assertively. If you feel overwhelmed, you can set boundaries by telling people what topics to avoid discussing.


Additionally, you have the option to decline certain invitations. Furthermore, you can also request some alone time. Establishing clear boundaries helps create a supportive environment for your recovery.


The holidays can be stressful and to stay sober this time of year, you have to take care of yourself first. Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, properly nourishing yourself, and finding ways to relax. Taking care of your body and mind will help you set and maintain boundaries.

Engage with Support Networks:

Count on your community and 12-step network for help with staying sober during holidays, as they understand the challenges. Participate in support group gatherings or interact with people who have comparable experiences. The feeling of unity and mutual comprehension can be priceless in strengthening your dedication to maintaining sobriety.


Setting boundaries as a sober person during the holidays is an empowering and essential aspect of safeguarding your recovery. By talking, learning, choosing wisely, and taking care of yourself, you can enjoy the celebrations without breaking your promise. During holidays, focus on staying sober and taking care of yourself by setting boundaries that match your objectives. This allows for meaningful connections and an ability to enjoy the holidays.

Withdrawal: Types and Symptoms

Many individuals who are struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol have a difficult time stopping use of the substances due to fear of withdrawal. The types of withdrawal can affect how a person feels during the process and how long it lasts.

Other factors play a role in withdrawal as well, and those factors can include age, overall health, mental health, the substances being used, and the amount being used. However, regardless of the type, withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable, especially if done without medical supervision.

Why Withdrawal Occurs

Withdrawal, or detox is the first and one of the most crucial steps in addiction recovery. Individuals who struggle with drugs and alcohol must remove the substances from their body in order to grasp and implement new coping skills.

Using substances regularly, whether it be alcohol, prescription medications, or other illicit substances, can lead the body to become dependent on the substance. When someone undergoes a detox regimen, they remove these substances in a safe environment. Withdrawal occurs because the body becomes dependent on the substances, and requires it in order to feel “normal” and function properly.

When the substance is abruptly stopped, and no longer introduced to the body, it then is essentially in a state of shock. The body becomes accustomed to a certain substance and when it is no longer available, it begins to work to remove it from the system. This is where the different types of withdrawal can occur.

Post-Acute Withdrawal

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, is a condition that can affect individuals who struggle with substances. Acute withdrawal is what individuals who undergo detox endure. It is characterized by symptoms like fatigue, nausea, muscle aches and cramps, as well as mental health symptoms like depression and anxiety.

PAWS is a condition that can occur as a result of the brain rewiring and learning to function without the substances. The symptoms of PAWS can generally occur a few weeks into addiction recovery and affect the individual’s mental health greatly.

This is one of the types of withdrawal that can be dangerous. Due to depression and anxiety, many people return to using the substance. This is why it is highly suggested and crucial to receive proper care and support to maintain long-term recovery.

Protracted Withdrawal

Similar to PAWS, protracted withdrawal is also characterized by persistent mental health effects that can impact a person’s everyday life. Often, people who undergo detox and remove the substances from their system experience depression, anxiety, and extreme mood swings.

Managing these symptoms is crucial. Professional detox can help these individuals manage the symptoms and learn positive coping skills to prevent relapse in the future if these symptoms persist.

Physical Signs of Withdrawal

The types of withdrawal that occur due to substances like drugs and alcohol have their symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal occurs when an individual abruptly stops using substances that the body has become accustomed to, and is dependent on. The signs of withdrawal can vary by the substances being used, however they can be similar.

The signs that could be indicative of withdrawal can include nausea, sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting. Lack of appetite, muscle pain, restlessness, and tremors can also be signs of withdrawal. Addressing these symptoms is vital for healing and learning how to live without the substances. 

Mental and Emotional Signs of Withdrawal

Mental health concerns that could be indicative of withdrawal can include depression, anxiety, and disorientation. Other signs can include insomnia as well as impaired cognitive functionality.

Bursts of anger and extreme mood swings are also signs indicative of potential withdrawal. They should be addressed to prevent further impacts to the individual’s wellness.

The types of withdrawal can be managed if done in a professional setting. Additionally, monitored by medical professionals can reduce the symptoms. Healing is possible, and addiction treatment can help.

The Value of Treatment and Detox

The different types of withdrawal are best managed and treated in a professional detox setting. Professional detox provides a safe and healing environment that can be beneficial for those just starting their recovery journey.

Removing the substances from their system, while having medical monitoring to address any new symptoms that may arise can help. Once detox is completed, treating the root causes of addiction can begin.

This is done through group and individual therapies as well as holistic approaches that can benefit anyone struggling with addiction. Through residential, PHP, and outpatient programs, necessary life skills can be gained, and long-term recovery can be achieved.

Transform Addiction and Heal 

Addiction is a condition that affects the lives of thousands of people across the country. It can impact every aspect of the individual’s life. From interpersonal relationships to physical and emotional health. Many aren’t aware that help for overcoming addiction is available.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, we can help. At Enlightened Recovery, we strive to provide a safe and healing environment. Here, individuals can begin a journey of recovery to grow and heal.

Reach out today and begin your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Understanding Fentanyl

5 Facts About Fentanyl:

What you need to know about this addictive & dangerous drug.


What is Fentanyl & Why is There a Rise in Fentanyl Overdoses?

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has gained significant attention due to its potency and the alarming increase in overdose-related incidents. It is crucial to be well-informed about this substance, especially if you or someone you love struggles with substance use disorder.

Here are a few key facts that we want you to know about fentanyl

  1. Potency and Medicinal Use:
    Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and more than 50 times more potent than heroin. While it is a prescription medication and is legally prescribed for patients receiving cancer treatment, undergoing surgery, or chronic pain conditions, it is vital to understand that it should only be administered under strict medical supervision. Due to its potency, even small miscalculations in dosage can lead to severe consequences.
  2. Illicit Production and Street Use:
    Unfortunately, fentanyl has found its way into the illegal drug market, contributing to a surge in opioid-related deaths. People who are more like to illicitly buy drugs are at higher risk because fentanyl is more commonly mixed with drugs, like heroin or cocaine, it has recently been linked to fake prescription pills being sold on the streets. This poses a significant risk, as individuals may unknowingly consume a substance with a much higher potency than they anticipated, increasing the likelihood of overdose.
  3. Overdose Risk and Signs:
    Fentanyl overdoses can occur rapidly due to its potency. Recognizing the signs of an overdose is critical for prompt intervention. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, confusion, pinpoint pupils, and loss of consciousness. If you suspect someone has overdosed on fentanyl, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
  4. Naloxone as an Antidote:
    Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is an opioid antagonist that can rapidly reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose. It is available in various forms, including nasal spray and injectable formulations. Community organizations, first responders, and healthcare professionals often carry naloxone, and it is important for individuals who may come into contact with opioids to know how to administer it in case of an emergency.
  5. Prevention and Harm Reduction:
    To mitigate the risks associated with fentanyl, education and prevention efforts are essential.

    • Public health initiatives should focus on raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl.
    • Promoting safe prescribing practices among healthcare professionals.
    • Expanding access to substance abuse treatment programs.
    • Harm reduction strategies, such as supervised consumption sites and drug checking services, can also play a crucial role in reducing overdose incidents.

Fentanyl presents a complex challenge in the realms of both medicine and public health. Understanding its potency, risks, and potential consequences is key to addressing the ongoing opioid crisis. By fostering awareness, implementing harm reduction measures, and promoting responsible prescribing practices, we can work towards mitigating the impact of fentanyl on individuals and communities alike.

Stay informed, stay vigilant, and contribute to the collective effort to combat the misuse of this potent opioid.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse disorder and in clear danger of a potential overdose please contact us today.


Short and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

The effects of cocaine abuse can be devastating. The impacts that cocaine abuse can have on a person’s lifestyle, health, and emotional well-being can be extreme and hard to overcome. It can cause impacts to both physical and mental health that can be life-changing and require professional assistance to treat.

Cocaine abuse affects the lives of not only the person who is struggling, but also their friends, family, and other loved ones. Recovery is possible, and understanding the depth of impact that cocaine abuse has can help individuals who find themselves struggling to reach out for help.

How Dangerous is Cocaine?

Much like heroin and alcohol, cocaine is also a dangerous drug. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is derived from the coca plant. It is potent and produces an immediate sense of euphoria and increased energy.

These effects of cocaine abuse are short-lived, and they tend to wear off quickly. Because of this, it fosters continued and repeated use to maintain the euphoric sensation, inevitably leading to dependence and addiction. Abusing cocaine also can lead to cardiovascular issues including heart attack and stroke.

There is also the potential risk of respiratory issues, and changes to brain structure and chemical make up. Other effects of cocaine abuse include anxiety, paranoia, and aggression.

Struggling with cocaine can have long-lasting effects on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as interpersonal relationships, leading to damage in these relationships.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a fast-acting drug that produces an intense sense of euphoria, or high, that wears off quickly and results in the opposite effects. When the drug’s effects wear off, a person could experience intense depression and cravings for cocaine.

Short-term effects of cocaine abuse can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Erratic behavior

Other short-term effects of cocaine can cause feelings of paranoia, anxiety, anger, and hostility. With prolonged use, these effects can become increasingly more difficult to manage.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

The long-term effects of cocaine abuse can be extremely dangerous. Prolonged use can result in tolerance, and as tolerance builds, more and more of the drug is required to feel the desired effects.

Due to the stimulant nature of the drug, cocaine leads to decreases in the need for sleep and food. This can cause severe paranoia, and hallucinations, and can cause psychotic episodes.

Other long-term effects of cocaine can also include:

  • Organ damage
  • Respiratory issues
  • Malnutrition
  • Dental issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium and psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Cocaine Abuse and Organ Damage

The effects of cocaine abuse can lead to life-threatening damage to vital organs in the body. Because body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate are elevated with the use of cocaine, it can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Due to impaired blood flow, kidney damage can occur as a result of cocaine abuse. The effects of cocaine also interfere with the chemicals in the brain.

Prolonged use can affect the brain’s physical and chemical structure, and can result in impaired memory, lack of coordination, and the development of mental health conditions such as depression.

Cocaine Abuse and Sleep

Sleep is a necessary part of life. It allows the body and brain to reset, and helps with energy production. When someone uses cocaine, it causes increased energy.

This often leads to individuals sleeping less, and results in increased irritability, angry outbursts, and potential psychotic episodes. Prolonged cocaine abuse can lead to sleep disturbances, and decreases in quality of sleep. 

Cocaine Withdrawal

The effects of cocaine abuse can result in addiction and inevitable withdrawal symptoms. When someone abruptly stops using cocaine, some physical and psychological symptoms can arise.

These symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety, cravings, fatigue, increased appetite, muscle aches, and tremors. The physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are not immediately life-threatening, but they often lead to relapse.

This cycle can continue without professional assistance to stop using this drug.

Treatment and Detox

The first step to recovery from cocaine addiction is detox. Removing the substance from the body is a vital part of healing and getting healthy. When the substance is removed, the individual can undergo helpful therapies that can implement positive coping mechanisms into their lives.

CBT and DBT are beneficial forms of therapy to aid in learning these positive skills, and help prevent relapse. Treatment for cocaine abuse can consist of a combination of these therapies in conjunction with medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.

This can allow a person to gain their footing in recovery. There is hope for recovery.

Get Better And Heal Today

Struggling with cocaine abuse can lead to long-lasting impacts on a person’s life. It can result in fractured relationships with friends and family, loss of job, decline in productivity at work or school, and could potentially result in legal consequences.

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine abuse, there is hope. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer care for individuals struggling with drugs like cocaine to find a path to a healthier lifestyle.

Contact us today and begin your journey to a new life.

How to Keep Your Job While Attending Rehab

Keeping a job while attending rehab is one of the biggest barriers to people getting help. They have a family to feed, after all. But, what many don’t know is that there are programs and benefits in place that help these individuals get this much-needed help, while maintaining their employment status.

Those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction should reach out and see what options are available to help with job retention while they get on a path to a healthier lifestyle. 

Can Someone Keep Their Job While Attending Rehab?

Drug and alcohol addiction is a struggle that thousands of people are facing on a daily basis. It affects home and family life, health and wellness, as well as their jobs. Making time and committing to getting better, undergoing treatment, and attending a rehab program is vital to overcoming addiction.

Chances are, the job will be there once the process is completed. There are even options available that can help someone to overcome their addiction, while still actively working. Outpatient programs are significantly more flexible with school, home, and work schedules and can provide much-needed care and support with minimal interruptions. 

Will I Lose My Job If I Attend Rehab?

How to keep a job while attending rehab is a touchy subject with many people who face addiction struggles. While it is in the employer’s right to terminate an employee, chances are they just want their team member to be healthy.

The odds of the employer firing their employee for trying to better their life are slim. With addiction affecting people the way that it does, most employers are understanding and supportive of people getting necessary care. 

Are There Laws to Protect My Job?

The short answer to this question is yes. The Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are in place to protect people who struggle with addiction. These acts help prevent discrimination to employees based on their struggles. This can include health conditions, mental health conditions, and behavioral health conditions such as addiction. The ADA means that a person can’t be fired based solely on their decision to get help. They can keep their job while attending rehab.

FMLA allows employees who qualify to take up to 12 weeks of leave for medical or family care reasons. Peopne can leave of up to 12 weeks throughout a 12-month cycle. The timeframe resets depending on the employer’s cycle. During this time, the employer must maintain confidentiality regarding any medical information during the employee’s time in rehab. 

Privacy and Managing at Work

When someone attends rehab, they have the option to release certain medical information to certain people. This can include a wife, child, friend, or employer. A signed waiver protects the privacy of such health information. If the individual or employer’s name is not expressly given permission, they cannot receive any information.

Also, as previously stated, any information given to employers regarding their employee’s treatment should be kept confidential. Receiving care for addiction to drugs and alcohol is just the same as any medical facility. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is in place to protect sensitive client information from being disclosed without consent.

Someone can keep a job while attending rehab, prevent their information from being given out freely, and begin learning healthy coping skills with the help of the laws that are in place. Jobs shouldn’t be a barrier for someone receiving the care and support they desperately need in order to heal and get better.

Extra Support for Getting Better

Having proper and healthy support while seeking recovery is crucial. When someone is struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, having positive support can help them get through the tougher days. Relapse happens, but relapse prevention can make a difference in the lives of these individuals seeking recovery.

Learning how to cope and deal with daily stressors can help individuals remain clean and sober long after rehab. Keeping a job while attending rehab is good. Moreover, keeping the job after rehab, and staying clean and sober is just as important. Rehab provides a safe and healing environment to begin a journey of recovery. The tools learned through the process can carry a person through the rest of their life. 

Stop Struggling with Addiction

Addiction is a struggle that thousands of people face on a daily basis. Many believe that a better, healthier life is unattainable due to family, school, or work. However, this narrative couldn’t be more false. If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol and want to attend a rehab program, there are laws and procedures in place to help when it comes to keeping a job.

They can also help ensure that income continues to be brought in while the individual is getting better. We can help. At Enlightened Recovery our team is well versed and trained in helping ensure the smoothest transition to and from rehab with minimal disruption to life and work.

Reach out today and begin living a healthier lifestyle.

Effects of Mixing Benzos and Alcohol

Mixing benzos and alcohol is a dangerous practice. These 2 substances are both highly addictive, and both can lead to severe impacts on the health and well-being of individuals using them.

Using alcohol in conjunction with benzodiazepine medications can heighten the effects as well as produce other side effects that may be unpleasant. Recognizing potential signs of benzo and alcohol abuse in a loved one can help to set a path for them to receive much-needed help to quit.

The Effects of Mixing Benzos and Alcohol

The common practice of mixing benzos and alcohol can lead to devastating results. Alcohol is a substance that leads to intoxication, lack of coordination, lowered inhibitions and can increase angry outbursts. Benzodiazepines are medications used in the treatment of seizure, anxiety, and panic disorders.

Similarly, benzos also can produce effects like lack of coordination and intoxication. They also cause drowsiness and slowed breathing. Both substances are depressants that cause brain activity to slow down. When these substances are mixed, these effects can increase, leading to dangerous side effects.

Recognizing Signs of Benzo and Alcohol Abuse

Being able to recognize signs of potential benzo and alcohol abuse can be beneficial to the individual receiving professional help. Signs that could be indicative of abusing these substances, or even addiction to them, can include:

  • Drinking at inappropriate times
  • Seeking out benzos and alcohol to get “high”
  • Lying about usage
  • Hiding the reality of usage
  • Avoiding friends and family to use
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Slurred speech
  • Engaging in risky behaviors like drinking and driving

Defining the term “abuse” is necessary here. Abusing benzodiazepines means taking more than prescribed, a friend’s medication, or in a manner not intended. Prescription benzo drugs such as Xanax come with a warning on the bottle. It explicitly states avoiding alcohol and operating heavy machinery, such as a car. So mixing benzos and alcohol could be considered abuse. 

Benzo and Alcohol Withdrawal

Benzos and alcohol both wreak havoc on a person’s body. With continued use of either substance, a person can develop a tolerance. This can lead to needing to use higher amounts to feel the effects. As the dosage and quantity get greater, they then develop a dependence on the substance. Through dependence, comes addiction and inevitable withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from these substances can be excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Mixing benzos and alcohol can cause these symptoms to be even more uncomfortable. Symptoms of withdrawal can include things like sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and lack of appetite. More dangerous symptoms of withdrawal can include depression, anxiety, hallucinations, and seizures. These symptoms should be monitored professionally to prevent complications that could turn deadly. 

Why is Benzo Abuse Harmful?

Benzodiazepines can change brain chemistry and activity. Continued benzo abuse can cause permanent changes in the way the brain reacts and thinks. It can lead to permanent changes in how a person thinks, moves and acts. Benzo abuse can also lead to addiction, resulting in severe impacts to a person’s life. As a depressant substance, benzo abuse can lead to lack of consciousness, and injury due to accidents and falls. 

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Similarly, alcohol abuse can affect the brain’s chemical makeup and structure. Alcohol abuse also leads to the deterioration of a person’s physical and mental health. Vital organs such as the liver and the heart can be affected by alcohol abuse. When these organs get damaged, the effects can be difficult or impossible to reverse.

Struggling with alcohol can be harmful, especially when the struggle is long-term and severe. However, even those who moderately use alcohol can have some of the same effects. 

The Role of Treatment

Recovering from substance abuse or addiction is possible. Treatment can help those who struggle with mixing benzos and alcohol to find hope for a better future. It provides a safe and healing environment for individuals to remove the substances from the body, and then begin a process of healing and recovery.

Evidence-based therapies like CBT and DBT can help to teach positive coping skills. These necessary skills can help those who struggle to maintain long-term recovery.

Other options available through professional treatment can include medication-assisted treatment or MAT. MAT is an evidence-based approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction. It combines the proven therapy methods with medications that can assist in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and fending off cravings.

It can help individuals who are struggling to build a stable foundation and prevent relapse. Treatment is a positive first step to overcoming their struggles with alcohol and benzos.

Overcoming Benzo and Alcohol Addiction

Benzo and alcohol addiction is a dangerous combination. The mixture of these 2 substances can lead to severe impacts on a person’s life. Alcohol and benzo abuse can both be deadly and should be addressed by professionals specializing in helping those who are struggling.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or benzo abuse, we can help. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer a safe and healing environment to begin a recovery journey.

Call us today and begin your journey of healing and recovery.

Signs My Loved One is Using Drugs

People often ask themselves “What are signs my loved one is using drugs?” and this is a valid question. Being aware of what could be indicative of drug use could lead to early intervention and prevent havoc and upheaval in their lives.

These signs can also lead to those in the grips of addiction receiving much-needed and very beneficial help to overcome their struggles. Recognizing the potential drug abuse in loved ones can be a catalyst to them starting on a path to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Signs A Loved One Is Abusing Drugs

Those asking themselves about potential “signs my loved one is using drugs” should be able to identify these signs for different substances. This capability can help to not only identify potential drug abuse in those they love, but also help with identification of what, potentially, is being used.

Drugs affect the brain negatively and result in changes in personality as well as behavior. The physical effects of drugs can affect the brain, CNS, and other vital organs. Preventing permanent damage is just as important as helping loved ones overcome their addiction.


Those who abuse opioids like heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers often exhibit certain behaviors and personality changes.

Behaviorally, they could begin to withdraw from family and friends, avoid enjoyable activities, and spend more time seeking the drug than not. When the drug is not available, they could potentially begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and become agitated and aggressive. 


Stimulants are drugs that produce an exaggerated sense of confidence, higher levels of energy, and lack of concentration. Stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines could cause drastic changes in the way someone thinks and speaks, helping those asking themselves about “signs my loved one is using drugs” identify the drug use easier.

Behavioral changes can include the inability to sit still, speaking fast, or making little sense, hyperactivity,  and an inflated sense of self-confidence.


Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a class of drug used to treat and manage legitimate health conditions. Anxiety, panic disorders, and seizure disorders often call for the use of benzos such as Xanax to be prescribed for treatment.

These drugs are CNS depressants, meaning they suppress the central nervous system and result in visible changes in the individual. They could begin falling in and out of consciousness (nodding out), have slow motor movements, slowed or slurred speech, and have shallow breathing. 


Much like benzos and opioids, marijuana also produces effects that can lead to exhibiting slowed motor movements, speech, and thinking.

Marijuana is also one of the few drugs that have a distinctive odor. Another sign of of marijuana abuse is smelling it while smoking, or on someone after smoking. 

Changes in Behavior Patterns

As previously stated, drug abuse often leads to exhibiting behavioral changes. For example, those abusing stimulants have a hard time sitting still, or focusing on activities. They may begin requiring less sleep to function, and then crash where they sleep for longer amounts of time.

For example, with alcohol, they may begin drinking more heavily, more often, or at inappropriate times. They also may begin engaging in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving. Those who abuse opioids often have drastic and unprovoked mood swings.

Additionally, they could begin becoming aggressive, begin stealing and lying, and withdrawing from family and friends. Alcohol withdrawal can also create symptoms of anxiety, depression and irritability.

The Pain in Discovering a Loved One is Using

When those asking themselves about “signs my loved one is using drugs” find themselves with the grim reality that their loved one is struggling, it can be a daunting realization. Knowing someone they love is going through this struggle is hard on them.

The desire to help them, or save them, could take over. Chances are their loved one doesn’t see the problem themselves. This makes it that much harder. It is highly suggested for these individuals to get support for themselves in these situations.

Finding Drug Paraphernalia

Finding drug paraphernalia can be scary. Finding things like needles and spoons used for the use of heroin and other drugs can be extremely haunting for someone.

Disposing of these materials safely is crucial. It can deter the loved one from using, even temporarily, and also ensure the safety of those around them.

Marijuana pipes and bowls can easily identify that a loved one is using. If these items are around, there is a high probability that the loved one is using marijuana. 


Detox is a vital component of recovery. It provides a stable, safe, and healing environment for individuals to begin the recovery process.

Having the ability to manage withdrawal symptoms, as well as undergo beneficial therapies can set a strong foundation for them to continue on the road to recovery.

Professional medical detox can help those who are struggling to begin overcoming addiction and enter into recovery on a positive note. 

Recovery is Possible—Start Today

Watching as a loved one struggles with addiction to drugs can be draining. Addiction affects not only the person who is struggling but their loved ones as well. Drugs lead to devastation in the lives of countless Americans on a daily basis, but there is help available.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drug abuse and addiction, we can help. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer a program dedicated to those struggling so they can find recovery.

Reach out today and begin healing and recovery.


5 Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

The benefits of outpatient rehab are astronomical. Outpatient rehab (OP) provides a healing place to continue growth, without disruption to daily life. Addiction is a disease that affects the lives of countless people across the country. It includes someone struggling with toxic substances to their friends and loved ones who struggle alongside them.

Addiction can occur as a result of a medical need for medication, as well as other routes. This can include coping with underlying mental health concerns or chronic physical pain. Regardless of the origin, addiction is a tornado that wreaks havoc and destroys the lives of millions of people.

OP Versus IOP

There are different forms of outpatient rehab. Intensive outpatient rehab (IOP), is a form of intensive treatment on an outpatient basis. During IOP, an individual generally attends a therapeutic treatment environment a few times a week during designated time frames. During this time, they will participate in different forms of therapy.

Individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy are a few options used during outpatient rehab. This allows them to receive the best care, while still living in their home environment. They can also live in a sober living environment, and maintain normal daily life.

Outpatient rehab is a less intensive form of treatment. Generally, outpatient rehab is less frequent and requires less of an individual’s time. The benefits of outpatient rehab are similar to IOP, just more flexible and fitting for individuals with busier lifestyles.

Therapies like Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are still provided to help someone along their journey of recovery, and support is still available to maintain their recovery.

1. More Flexibility

Many people who struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol also struggle with the decision to get help due to personal responsibilities. The benefits of outpatient rehab include the flexibility it provides. Being able to continue working or going to school and taking care of children is a crucial deciding factor when it comes to getting help.

Family is important to those who are seeking out this help, and having the capability to maintain a family lifestyle is beneficial for these individuals who are seeking help. Outpatient rehab provides the flexibility needed in order to maintain home and family life while still getting better.

2. Time Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

As a person begins to recover from addiction, they begin building routines and gaining independence. One of the benefits of outpatient rehab is that it requires less of the individual’s time. They’re still receiving necessary and beneficial care, but the time dedicated to the process of addiction treatment is less invasive.

This allows them to continue building their lifestyle, gaining new hobbies and interests, and building relationships while they are under the care of addiction professionals who help them learn the necessary skills to maintain the life they started building.

Having the skills and knowledge to maintain their lifestyle can help them during times when professional support isn’t readily available.

3. Cost Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

A huge factor in someone getting professional care is cost. As the least intensive form of addiction treatment, outpatient rehab is more cost-effective.

Because the care is less intensive, and the person is living in a home environment where they care for themselves, it can definitely be more attainable cost-wise. This may be helpful to some, depending on insurance coverage, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums. 

4. Lifestyle Balance for Busy Schedules

As someone grows in recovery, they get busy. Some people come into recovery from addiction with full schedules. Between kids, school, intimate partners and other family members, taking time away from all of that can be difficult sometimes.

The benefits of outpatient rehab include being able to fit it into these busier schedules. Professional help and support is a vital component of success. When this much-needed help works within crazy and full schedules, it makes it much more attainable and sustainable.

5. Comfort Benefits of Outpatient Rehab

Many people struggle with the decision to get the help that they need. They struggle with being separated from their wives, husbands, children, parents, and friends. Because outpatient rehab is just that, outpatient, it provides the capability to still participate in normal events and still gain the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain a lifestyle free from addiction.

Thus, being able to attend sessions on designated days and times, and then returning home provides the comfort of home as well as the necessary tools. This time allotted specifically for growth and healing helps individuals learn coping skills they will need for the times when life gets overwhelming. It helps them to avoid returning to the use of drugs and alcohol to cope. 

Outpatient Rehab Can Help

Outpatient rehab can be beneficial in the lives of individuals struggling with substance abuse. It provides a place to heal and grow, while still being able to maintain normal daily life. A struggle many people face when seeking help is finances and being able to work.

Outpatient rehab provides a space to be able to continue working, school, and handling family responsibilities, while simultaneously receiving help. If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer options that can fit into anybody’s lifestyle to provide help with minimal disruption.

Reach out today and begin living a healthier lifestyle.

What to Expect in IOP

When seeking help for addiction, knowing what to expect in IOP aids in the decision to get this much-needed help. The decision to get addiction treatment is the best gift someone could give themself, physically and mentally.

It takes dedication and vigilance for success in addiction recovery. Gaining the necessary tools and life skills is crucial to maintaining long-term recovery. These skills can be learned and implemented during IOP. 

What is IOP?

A valid question for anyone considering addiction treatment is “What is IOP?” The acronym stands for Intensive Outpatient Program. And it’s just as it sounds—an outpatient form of treatment.

Contrary to inpatient, an IOP allows individuals seeking help to still receive much-needed care and support from addiction professionals, while still maintaining their daily lives.

Therefore, this means they live at home, sleep in their beds, and work while still participating in life-saving addiction treatment. 

Who is IOP Best For?

When wondering what to expect in IOP, it is only natural to also wonder who IOP is best suited for. Typically, substance abuse treatment begins with a detoxification program. To be fully present, and benefit from an IOP, it is important to remove all of the toxins and substances from the body.

IOP is a treatment program designed for those who have gone through the withdrawal process and have gained stability—physically and mentally. It is best for individuals who have ended their physical addiction to drugs or alcohol and are ready to take the next step in recovery.

Thus, to start gaining the necessary skills for a productive life and long-term sobriety. In other words, IOP is often a step down from more intensive treatment such as detox or inpatient programs. 

What are the Goals of IOP?

Understanding the goals of IOP is just as important as wondering “What is IOP?” Generally, individuals who attend an IOP participate in group and individual therapies 3 to 4 times per week. IOPs are more flexible than more intense addiction treatment programs.

Furthermore, they provide options that fit into a person’s daily schedule. So, when IOP is finished for the day, clients can then return to their work, school, and home responsibilities. 

The goals outlined in IOP are to provide a safe and supportive environment in which a person can heal and begin to regain stability in their life. Thus, being able to participate in crucial care under the guidance of addiction professionals helps individuals maintain long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Another goal of IOP includes providing the person with a place to gain the necessary life skills to function as a productive member of society.

What to Expect in IOP

It is healthy to wonder what to expect in IOP. This is normal. Knowing what to expect helps individuals make an informed decision about what is the best program for them. During IOP, several services aid clients in combating addiction and maintaining recovery.

These services include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Treating dual diagnosis
  • Relapse prevention
  • Peer support

Overall, the therapeutic services provided during IOP work together to assist individuals in gaining the knowledge, skills, and support necessary for a successful recovery from addiction. 

An individual will be able to meet and interact with others who are also striving to achieve long-term abstinence from substance abuse.

The only expectation of the individual participating in IOP is to be honest about their thoughts and feelings. In addition, they should try to remain open-minded, and do their best to remain abstinent. 

Finding the Ideal IOP Program

Knowing what to expect in IOP is the first part. The next step is finding the right IOP. Different places have unique approaches to their programs.

Therefore, knowing exactly what an individual needs and wants from treatment will help them make the right decision. The best way to identify the specifics of any given program is to reach out and ask questions. 

Some vital things to consider when someone is seeking help for addiction include:

  • Treatment approach
  • Types of therapies offered
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Duration of program
  • Times-of-day treatment is provided 
  • Ensuring that a treatment plan is personalized to individual needs
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Family involvement
  • Insurance and payment options
  • Staff credentials and facility accreditation

Seeking addiction treatment is a commendable step, and ensuring that the chosen IOP aligns with an individual’s unique needs significantly impacts their journey to recovery.

It’s always a good idea to visit potential treatment centers or speak directly with their staff or representatives to gather as much information as possible before making a decision.

Addiction treatment is not one size fits all. Everyone has their own unique story and path to recovery. However, choosing a reputable recovery center that offers comprehensive care that includes an IOP increases the chance of a successful treatment outcome. 

The Right IOP Can Make a Difference

At Enlightened Recovery Centers, the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is designed with a commitment to holistic, individualized care, aiming to address not only substance dependency but the underlying emotional, psychological, and social factors intertwined with addiction.

As you embark on your IOP journey with us, anticipate a mix of evidence-based therapies and innovative holistic approaches. 

Our team of dedicated professionals strives to provide an environment that promotes healing, personal growth, and sustainable recovery. By engaging in our IOP, you are not just attending a treatment program. You’re becoming part of a supportive community that believes in your potential and is here to guide you every step of the way toward a brighter, substance-free future.

Call us today and begin the journey to a better life.

Alcohol Withdrawal: Timeline and Symptoms

Alcohol withdrawal is one of the hardest things that someone can go through. The physical symptoms can lead to severe impacts to a person’s health and overall well-being. The timeline associated with withdrawal can produce some severe withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous and should be professionally monitored to reduce impacts.

Undergoing this process alone can sometimes lead to returning to the substance as a means of alleviating the symptoms. Understanding the timeline and symptoms associated with withdrawal can help someone to get the proper help to overcome addiction to alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawal Overview

Alcohol withdrawal is dangerous. It can lead to dangerous symptoms that could potentially be life-threatening and should be medically and professionally monitored in order to avoid the dangerous impacts. Alcohol abuse leads to dependence and addiction. Once a person has reached this point, it can be difficult to stop drinking, and even more difficult to cope with the withdrawal symptoms that can arise.

People who try to stop drinking “cold turkey” often begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and it can be so extremely overwhelming and uncomfortable that they return to drinking as a means of stopping the symptoms. It just starts the cycle all over again.

This is why it is highly recommended and suggested that a person who is struggling with alcohol seek professional help when trying to stop drinking.

Understanding PAWS

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, are lingering and persistent symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal. The symptoms associated with PAWS can be difficult to cope with and can sometimes lead someone to return to drinking to alleviate the symptoms they are experiencing.

PAWS recovery can take a long time, between 6 and 24 months, and symptoms of PAWS can include the inability to think clearly, memory issues, sensitivity to stress, emotional overreaction or numbness, problems sleeping, or problems with coordination.

These symptoms linger and can make early sobriety difficult to maintain. There are ways of coping with the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal syndrome and learning how to handle the symptoms in a productive way can help a person to maintain their recovery despite being uncomfortable.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Alcohol withdrawal isn’t one size fits all. Meaning not everyone feels the same symptoms at the same time and same severity. Everybody heals differently, at different paces. A person’s age, health, mental health, and overall well-being can play a role in how a person will be impacted by withdrawal from alcohol.

With that being said, there is a general timeline of how alcohol withdrawal may affect and impact a person. Alcohol withdrawal can begin within 8 hours of the last drink. At this stage, the individual may begin experiencing some mild and uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Sweating, clamminess, and irritability can commonly be experienced at this point.

Within the first 24 hours of the last drink, someone undergoing alcohol withdrawal may begin to experience more noticeable symptoms of withdrawal, and they can be extremely uncomfortable. Impacts to sleep, headache, and nausea usually occur within this time, making it difficult to think clearly.

In the first 72 hours from the last drink, the symptoms of withdrawal can peak and this is when the most severe withdrawal symptoms can occur. Vomiting, tremors, and potential seizures can occur during this time and can lead to severe impacts on a person’s life. 

For most people, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin to subside after the first 72 hours. However, sometimes the symptoms can linger, making it difficult to continue on the road to recovery from alcohol addiction. This is why it is highly suggested to seek professional help when trying to overcome alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. Understanding the potential dangers associated with withdrawal from alcohol can help a person understand why it is so crucial to receive proper care as they go through this process.

Prolonged alcohol abuse changes brain chemistry, and having proper care can make rewiring the brain to normal functionality a lot easier.

Symptoms associated with withdrawal from alcohol include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Withdrawal symptoms like fever, hallucinations, and seizures can lead to detrimental impacts in a person’s life. Having proper care while going through this process can help manage these symptoms, alleviating them and making the process more comfortable.

It can also ensure that the person trying to recover from alcohol addiction does so safely, with minimal impacts to health and wellness. Addressing these symptoms as they occur is vital to preventing severe complications. 

Fight Alcohol Addiction and Withdrawal

Struggling with alcohol can be a traumatic experience. The impacts of alcohol addiction on a person’s mental health, lifestyle, and overall well-being can be severe, leading to changes that can be hard to overcome.

Alcohol withdrawal can be a dangerous undertaking for anyone. However, there is help available. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol, Enlightened Recovery can help. Our team of professionals can help as you begin a journey to recovery and healing.

Call us today and begin your journey to a new way of life. 

  • 1
  • 2