Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment – Opioids are a class of drugs that includes both prescription and illegal painkillers. Heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are a few examples of opioids. Opioid addiction treatment is designed to help the person wean off the drug while working on overcoming the psychological effects of addiction.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

The signs of opioid addiction may be more evident in illicit drug users than in patients dependent on prescription medications. Nevertheless, the signs of addiction are similar for all opioids.

An addict may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Using more of the drug than prescribed by the doctor
  • Crushing pills and snorting or injecting them
  • Track marks or small sores on the arms, feet or other areas caused by injecting opioids
  • Slurred speech, sedation, sluggishness, a slow pulse, and difficulty keeping the head up
  • Complaints of pain and using medication to treat it long after the pain symptoms should have abated
  • Spending a considerable amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering from opioid use
  • Experiencing adverse life consequences related to opioid use, such as legal problems, financial difficulties, and strained interpersonal relationships
  • Refusing to acknowledge that a problem exists despite the aforementioned signs to the contrary.

Physical symptoms may include the following:

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Constipation
  • Breathlessness
  • Bronchospasm
  • Physical dependence
  • Psychological dependence
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Respiratory depression

When any of these signs or symptoms of drug abuse are present, it is time to start investigating opioid addiction treatment options.

Help for Opioid Addicts

Regardless of whether it takes place on an inpatient or outpatient basis, opioid addiction treatment begins with detox and addressing the symptoms associated with withdrawal. This treatment involves a process that can last for several days. According to statistical evidence, a detox program provides the best results if medication-assisted therapy is implemented.

All opioid addiction treatment programs should begin with some version of detox. Most individuals suffering from addiction need medical care during the process to prevent relapse, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and forestall any other complications that may occur.

Opioid withdrawal is very unpleasant, and heavy users may encounter the most severe symptoms. Fortunately, detox programs often include medications such as naltrexone and buprenorphine, which attach to opioid receptors in the body and reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings without activating them or inducing euphoria.

In limited doses, these drugs help the body through withdrawal with minimal discomfort. Patients will continue the medical treatment through the next stage of recovery and beyond.

Inpatient Opioid Rehab

Opioid patients, like other drug addicts, receive psychiatric treatment in rehab. This process helps them get to the heart of their addiction, identify alternative ways to cope, and learn the skills needed to prevent relapse in the future.

Exercise, nutrition, mental health evaluations, counseling, and group support supplement the treatment. Medical providers also devise structured pain management programs to help prescription opioid addicts manage the pain that contributed to their addiction.

Inpatient or residential treatment for opioid addiction may go beyond the typical month-long rehab. Opioids take longer to clear the body and require more coping mechanisms and monitoring than many other drugs do. The duration of a patient’s stay depends on the severity of his or her addiction and the underlying factors driving it.

Intensive Outpatient Rehab

Opioid Addiction Treatment | Harmony Ridge Recovery Center

People who choose intensive outpatient rehab may still receive medications to prevent withdrawal symptoms and to assist in the recovery process. They reside at home, go to work, and are able to spend time with friends and family. However, they also have scheduled clinic visits, ranging from daily to twice per week, to receive addiction treatment.

These patients also receive individual and group therapies. They are offered pain management assistance from a doctor and mental health assessments as well. Individuals in this program can expect to go to the treatment clinic between two and seven days each week for a period ranging from several months to a year.


After completing the program, people can continue treatment with periodic group meetings and visits with a counselor. Some patients choose to stay in sober living homes that provide some level of supervision to help them transition back to society.

All patients can take advantage of aftercare planning that will identify local counselors or therapies that can continue their treatment and other resources for long-term support.

Getting Treatment

If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids, contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. Harmony Ridge Recovery offers a complete continuum of care from detox to inpatient and aftercare.

We employ medical professionals who specialize in addiction and are trained to deliver therapeutic services with care and expertise. We aim to provide all clients with the tools and support they so direly need to overcome addiction and experience long-lasting sobriety and wellness!

How to Reduce Anxiety Without Substance Abuse

How to Reduce Anxiety Without Substance Abuse – Anxiety, although it is an entirely normal human experience, is also an emotional response that can cause us to over-analyze situations and paralyze us when we encounter critical decisions. An anxiety disorder may develop when anxiety continues for a prolonged period and begins to interfere with daily functioning.

Anxiety is an unpleasant and sometimes terrifying emotion, and it’s completely understandable that some people try to find ways to reduce, prevent, or block these feelings. While drugs and alcohol may alleviate anxious feelings in the short term, substance abuse can make anxiety worse in the long run.

Fortunately, there are much better, healthier ways to reduce anxiety than through the use of drugs and alcohol.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trembling/shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Ruminating on negative thoughts
  • Panic attacks

People who experience these feelings often engage in unhealthy behaviors as a means to escape, prevent, or mitigate anxiety, such as:

  • Avoiding situations that foster anxious feelings
  • Withdrawing from others/social isolation
  • Abusing substances to self-medicate

These means of addressing anxiety may be somewhat helpful in the short-term but can result in chronic problems. Moreover, they disconnect individuals from their potential support networks and can worsen the underlying problems that contribute to anxiety instead of resolving them.

Why Do People Use Substances to Deal With Anxiety?

The answer may seem obvious at first, but there’s actually a real science behind it. In research, people with chronic anxiety have been shown to have an overactive amygdala, a region of the brain that is responsible for fear and anxiety-related memories. The amygdala interacts with a stress response subsystem in the body called the HPA axis.

The HPA axis, also called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, is a complex set of interactions between the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands in the brain and the adrenal glands that are located at the top of each kidney. The HPA axis is associated with stress and is responsible for the release of cortisol, which prepares the body for a fight-or-flight response.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that counteracts the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. GABA can suppress thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, while glutamate leads to an excitatory effect. The balance between these two chemicals greatly contributes to whether a person is feeling relaxed and calm or alert and anxious.

Other chemicals, namely dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, also play a vital role in the development of emotional states such as anxiety. Pharmaceuticals can address a chemical imbalance issue by using agents that target and modify the GABA system in a way that reduces anxiety.

Some people resort to using central nervous system depressants to cope with anxiety because they increase GABA activity, which in turn increases feelings of relaxation. Unfortunately, however, it’s only a short-term reprieve from stress.

How to Reduce Anxiety Substance-Free

Fortunately, many self-help methods target the same anti-stress mechanisms in the brain that do not produce the adverse effects that alcohol and drugs wreak on one’s life.

Mindfulness & Meditation

How to Reduce Anxiety | Harmony Ridge Recovery Center

Mindfulness is a method of focusing that helps the person practicing become more connected to his or her thoughts, emotions, and body. There are many ways to integrate mindfulness in one’s life, and getting started is simple.

To begin, sit in a relaxed position and breathe deeply. Breath in slowly and hold it for four seconds, and gradually release it over five seconds. Pay close attention to breathing, and if the mind begins to wander, acknowledge the thought without judgment and then let it go. Return to focusing on the breath.

Mindfulness helps the practicing individual remain firmly in the present without ruminating over the past or worrying about the future. It has also been shown to promote inhibitory control in the brain, which is precisely the remedy for anxiety.


Like mindfulness, yoga is another practice that reduces anxiety through breathing and centered attention on the body. Yoga requires deep breathing during uncomfortable and sometimes awkward positions and encourages people to breathe through stress using only the mind and body. It does this, in part, because it increases GABA levels which promotes relaxation.


Biofeedback is an effective, evidence-based treatment for anxiety that teaches a person how to respond to anxious thoughts and feelings properly. Biofeedback employs an electronic instrument that displays involuntary physiological processes so that a person can learn to affect those processes by modifying their thought processes voluntarily.

In essence, biofeedback allows a person to view his or her physiological responses to stress and learn how to control them without the use of drugs.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Mental health professionals often use cognitive-behavioral therapy as a technique to identify, challenge, and modify thought processes to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. CBT is goal-oriented and often requires the participant to engage in activities and practice at home outside of therapy.

Part of feeling anxious involves one’s own interpretation of biological and chemical changes. CBT works to reframe negative beliefs and thinking patterns, helping people mitigate their subjective experience of anxiety.

Make Informed and Healthy Choices

Certain lifestyle choices can affect our mental and emotional state and hinder or promote our ability to deal with stress. Positive, healthy practices, such as the following, can serve to reduce stress and increase resilience and overall well-being:

  • Eating healthy
  • Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
  • Engaging in regular exercise
  • Taking medication (if any) as prescribed
  • Taking time to rest
  • Developing a healthy sleep routine
  • Engaging in fulfilling and enjoyable activities and hobbies
  • Seeking support from family, friends, and mental health professionals

How to Reduce Anxiety | Harmony Ridge Recovery Center

Treatment for Co-Occurring Conditions

Integrated treatment is a comprehensive rehab program that provides all the medical, therapeutic, and holistic resources essential to help clients heal physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Each client should have a customized treatment plan, but for those who are living with both an addiction disorder and a mental health disorder, an integrated treatment program may typically include the following services:

Medical Detox

For those who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, the detox period, or the first days following the cessation of substance use, can be characterized by unpleasant physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. Detox services provide medical and mental health support to clients with and monitoring, if needed, to help them stabilize during treatment.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

To ensure that all co-occurring mental health symptoms are accurately diagnosed, an evaluation is the next step in integrated treatment. Also, all other issues that may be barriers in the client’s path to recovery are identified.

Based on the evaluation results and the reported experiences of the client, diagnoses are identified to help the client understand and frame past experiences and prepare for the future.

Treatment Plan

A customized treatment plan is developed for each client that combines an array of therapeutic and medical interventions with the objective of empowering the client to recover from addiction, learn how to manage mental health conditions, and address personal issues that may be problematic.

Individual Therapy

One-on-one therapy is the basis for recovery, as it provides the client with a safe and confidential forum to address past experiences, current issues, changes that occur during therapy, and goals for the future. As treatment goals are achieved based on the initial treatment plan, the client can collaborate with the therapist to identify new therapy goals and modify the treatment plan accordingly.

Group Therapy

There are a variety of groups that may be employed as part of an integrated treatment program. These include 12-Step groups, groups that focus on a specific aspect of addiction, support groups for people who experience the same mental health issues, and groups that help members cope with a commonly shared life issue such as parenting or legal problems.

Family Therapy

Working together with loved ones to repair relationships damaged during active addiction and untreated mental health symptoms can play a huge role in recovery, especially if the client will be returning home to live with family members after treatment has been completed.

How to Reduce Anxiety | Harmony Ridge Recovery Center


Before leaving treatment, clients are urged to work with a therapist to create an aftercare plan. Similar to the treatment plan, this should include a combination of therapeutic services that serve the treatment goals and needs of the client during and after the transition into independent living.

Getting Help for Addiction and Mental Illness

Using an integrated approach to addiction and the factors that drive it, we provide patients with the tools and support they so direly need to achieve a full recovery and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness.

If you are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol and a co-occurring mental illness, please contact us today!

5 Reasons You Should Participate in Our Family Counseling

Addiction is a lonely condition even though several others might be right by your side. The families of addicts and alcoholics aren’t talked about as often as the sufferer, but their pain and symptoms can be very real too. That’s why it’s important to treat not only the individual but the whole family.

The best tool to get help for the addict and their family is family counseling. We believe that counseling the whole family is just as important as counseling the individual and can boost the chances for long-term sobriety and happiness. Let’s find out five reasons you should participate in our family counseling.

1. It Can Be Difficult for Family to Understand

One of the most difficult aspects of addiction and the family is getting others to understand what the addict or alcoholic is going through. This is especially true if there is not a large history of addiction in the family. Your dad may not be able to understand why you can’t just put the bottle down or your daughter may not understand why you can’t leave the painkillers at home.

Addiction and the stigma behind it is only just emerging from the shadows and it’s not surprising that the rest of your family may not understand what you’re going through and why you can’t ‘just say no.’ Family counseling helps the whole family understand the disease of addiction and why an otherwise normal son or sister will do what they do while under the influence.

Education is the first step on getting the whole family motivated to help a loved one rally behind their recovery. Education breeds understanding and understanding breeds recovery.

2. Your Family Needs Help Too

Seeking drug or alcohol treatment is great for the whole family, but you must remember that in most cases, the addict or alcoholic is not the only one suffering. The family of an addict must sit and watch while a loved one destroys everything they’ve worked for and all the relationships they’ve created – you can bet that’s damaging. Addicts are encouraged to be a bit selfish during treatment, but you must remember that the entire family of an addict suffers.

Family counseling helps heal the person on the road to recovery but also helps heal the whole family. Family counseling can get emotional as everyone lets out what they have felt during active addiction and how it has affected them. Take advantage of family counseling as a time to come together – and heal together.

3. Break Bad Habits

The addict may be the one with the worst habits, but bad habits related to addiction can and often do extend to the family. Codependence, enabling, and other negative thoughts and actions must be eliminated for the sufferer to have the best chance at sobriety.

Family counseling can educate the family on negative behaviors and how their actions may not be as good as their intentions. Families can be in denial just like anybody else and many families are surprised to learn they may have taken part in negative behavior and actions towards addiction. It’s up to the addict or alcoholic to break the worst habits but families need to learn what roles their actions play too.

One of the most important parts of breaking bad habits and family counseling is learning proper communication skills. Even the most loving of families may have difficulty communicating with a loved one experiencing addiction or trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings during recovery. The same goes for the person recovering to their family. Open and honest communication is crucial to recovery and can be learned through family counseling.

family therapy session

4. Relapse Prevention

If your whole family is onboard for relapse prevention, your chances of long-term sobriety and success increase dramatically. Relapse prevention is a daily battle and like any other battle, the more people you have in the fight, the better your chances of victory.

The recovering family member will be loaded with tools to prevent relapse like self-psychology, coping mechanisms, and trigger recognition. The family will also be taught signs of relapse and signs that someone is close to relapse to help prevent the process from starting over. Family members will also be taught not to relapse into their own destructive behavior like codependence or enabling.

5. Turn Something Bad into Something Good

Addiction is a terrible condition that can tear apart entire families, but you can turn something terrible into something good with family counseling. There is an ancient form of artistry in Japan known as Kintsugi or ‘golden joinery.’ Kintsugi takes broken pottery and fixes the pieces with a golden lacquer to make the items even more beautiful than before they were broken.

You can think of a family going through addiction in the same way. The family is broken and needs to be put back together, but the result will be stronger relationships and a more cohesive family than ever before. The communication strategies, end of negative feedback and actions, relapse prevention, and other lessons learned in family counseling will not only help keep someone from turning back to drugs – they can form an entirely new and stronger unit.

Family counseling can help both addicts and the family in dramatic ways as these five examples illustrate. The best news is that these five reasons you should participate in our family counseling are just part of what family counseling can accomplish. Call us directly or head to our contact page to talk to a staff member and see what our family therapy program can do for you.

What Does Dual Diagnosis Mean?

What does it mean to carry a dual diagnosis? Is that when you have a broken leg and the flu? Plenty of patients have more than one illness or diagnosis at any given time but when we talk about dual diagnosis, we’re specifically talking about a diagnosis of a mental illness or disorder in combination with an addiction. An alcoholic with severe anxiety or a heroin addict with bipolar disorder are examples of a dual diagnosis.

Let’s learn more about dual diagnosis and its treatment including examples of dual diagnoses, why it’s so difficult to treat, what treatments are used, and how those suffering from dual diagnoses can get help.

Different Types of Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis comes in many forms which makes treating it a unique challenge. A patient could be an alcoholic with clinical depression or an opioid user with a nasty case of OCD. Similar issues but several subtle differences. Because there is such a variety of dual diagnoses, treating them can be difficult. Let’s learn how modern drug treatment facilities and other centers tackle dual diagnosis.

Treating Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnoses are notoriously difficult to treat for several reasons, but they are treatable. One factor that makes treatment of dual diagnoses so difficult is the chicken or egg situation.

Treatment professionals must figure out if the addiction is playing into the mental illness, the other way around, or if the two conditions are mutually exclusive. Did the patient turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their depression or did they become clinically depressed only after the addiction took hold? Was the patient already genetically predisposed to both mood disorders and addiction? Determining where different problems stem from and how they interact with each other plays a large part in determining success.

Doctors may talk long patient histories, involve the patient with more counseling, or utilize several therapies that are proven effective against addiction and mental disorders. Common therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, group counseling, eye movement sensitization and reprocessing, neurofeedback therapy and much more.

Therapies Used for Dual Diagnosis

Which type of therapies are used for dual diagnosis depend on the individual diagnoses. You won’t use the same techniques to treat major depression as you would treat PTSD and the same applies to addiction. Though every diagnosis gets its own unique treatment, there are some guidelines you can expect for therapy.

Getting Clean

You will not have the capacity to combat your other disorders or learn to grow as a person if you’re still drinking or using drugs. Treating immediate addiction is one of the first steps in treating any dual diagnosis. Again, what type of drug or alcohol treatment you receive depends on the individual situation, but most modern centers use a combination of counseling, pharmaceuticals, and good old-fashioned psychology to help you flush the drugs from your system with a positive attitude and get ready for long-term sobriety.

Because dual diagnosis needs more specialized care you may have to move to another treatment facility or seek another form of counseling after your initial detox period. The standard 28-day inpatient rehab treatment is generally not enough to beat dual diagnosis.

Medication / Nutrition & Supplements

Medication with proper nutrition habits and supplements are often used in dual diagnosis. While addiction alone doesn’t often come with long-term medication, dual diagnosis can. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants along with other medications as well recommend supplements to help your recovery. You will also receive lessons on diet, nutrition, exercise, and how some foods can give you a huge boost. Many addicts shy away from doctor-prescribed pills but in the case of dual diagnosis, it could be a life-saver.

dual diagonsis

Can You go to Any Treatment Center for Dual Diagnosis?

Though all mental disorders can cause severe issues and consequences, most modern addiction treatment centers are much more concerned with treating the immediate addiction before touching on other disorders. There are dozens of reputable and licensed drug and treatment centers across the country, but many are not equipped with personnel and strategy to correctly address a dual diagnosis during short-term treatment.

If you think you carry a dual diagnosis you will need to take extra care if you’re seeking drug and alcohol treatment. You will need to search specifically for treatment centers equipped to handle other issues outside of immediate addiction. It will take more time, will leave you fewer options, and may ultimately cost more but your chances of beating both your addiction and other disorders rise significantly when you choose a treatment center that is proven to handle both.

Women and Dual Diagnosis

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder on top of addiction more than men. It is not known if women suffer a higher frequency of mood disorders or if men simply don’t report or seek treatment but statistically women are more likely to suffer from dual diagnosis.

Women seeking treatment for dual diagnosis are likely to enjoy more success in a gender-specific rehab program that is equipped for dual diagnoses. The good news is that female-oriented treatment programs tend to put more emphasis on treating issues outside of addiction. Like any other type of treatment, a more specialized and targeted form of treatment can better help women recover from their unique issues.

Getting Help for Dual Diagnosis

If you or a loved one is suffering from a dual diagnosis, chances are good that life is difficult. If you need help treating your dual diagnosis get on the phone or head online to find treatment centers in your area. Because dual diagnosis is difficult to treat you will need to search for a treatment option that has the staff and knowledge to cater to your needs. Searching can be difficult but you can’t get help until you reach out – pick up the phone today.

Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice?

Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice? – Most medical associations now consider addiction to be a disease, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Addiction, like diabetes and cancer, is caused by many factors, including biological, behavioral, and environmental. In fact, genetic predisposition may account for about half of the likelihood that a person will develop an addiction.

However, addiction is also a product of several changes in the functioning of the brain and body that occur when a person engages in substance abuse – this inherent vulnerability to addiction combines with drug or alcohol use and other factors to create the environment for addiction to thrive.

Untreated addiction can lead to severe physical health conditions and mental disorders and usually intensifies over time, becoming life-threatening and increasingly difficult to treat.

How Substance Use Alters the Brain

People experience pleasure when basic survival needs such as hunger, thirst, and sex are sated. In most cases, these pleasant feelings are the result of the release of certain brain chemicals – but most addictive substances, however, also cause the brain to release high levels of these chemicals (e.g., dopamine) that are related to pleasure or reward.

Over time, the continual release of these chemicals produces changes in the brain systems association in reward, motivation, and memory. When these changes happen, a person may need to use the substance to feel normal – this is called dependence. The person may also experience intense urges or cravings for the drug of choice and will continue to use it despite the presence or prospect of harmful or dangerous consequences.

Due to the brain’s propensity to diminish the response to these substances as a result of repeated exposure, long-term use results in tolerance, a state in which the person needs increasing quantities of the drug to achieve the desired effects.

The addicted person may also neglect other activities and responsibilities in favor of drug or alcohol use, and in the most severe manifestation of the disease, addiction can lead a person to stop caring about their own well-being.

These neurological changes can persist for a long time, even after the person discontinues using substances. It is thought that these changes may leave those with addiction particularly susceptible to the physical and environmental triggers associated with substance use, which dramatically increases their risk of relapse.

Is Addiction a Disease or a Choice?

A chronic disease is defined as a long-lasting condition that can be controlled or managed but not entirely cured.

Between 25-50% of people with a substance use problem appear to have a severe, longstanding disorder. For these, addiction is an accelerating, relapsing disease that requires intensive treatment and continuing aftercare that includes monitoring and family/peer support to sustain their progress.

Even the most severe, chronic form of addiction can be manageable and reversible, however, usually through participation in long-term treatment and continued monitoring and recovery support.

The Myth of Willpower

The initial and early decision to use or abuse a substance is a product of a person’s free or conscious choice. However, once the brain has been altered through abuse or addiction, a person’s willpower becomes severely impaired, and they will have lost all conscious, rational control over their substance use – if they ever had any in the first place.

Moreover, people suffering from addiction should not be entirely blamed for their disease, and while all people make decisions about whether to use substances, they do not choose how their body responds to those substances. This disparity is why some people can somewhat control their drug and alcohol use while others cannot.

One thing is true, however; people with addiction are responsible for seeking treatment and sustaining recovery. This decision is remarkably difficult to make alone, so the help of family and friends is critical for increasing the chances that the suffering individual will remain in treatment and receive care and support for as long as necessary.

The Other Side

Some people believe addiction cannot be a disease because it is prompted by the individual’s choice to use drugs or alcohol. While the first use is initiated most often by choice, once the brain has been altered by addiction, many addiction experts argue that the person loses control of their behavior.

But the ability to exercise choice does not determine whether something is a disease or not. Heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer can all be affected by personal decisions such as diet, exercise, smoking, sun exposure, etc. A disease is a condition that ultimately occurs in the body as a product of those choices, not as a choice itself.

Others claim that addiction is not a disease because some people with addiction get better without treatment, such as those who have a minor substance use disorder.

People with the most severe form of addiction, however, usually require intensive treatment followed by long-term disease management. Some people with severe addictions stop drinking or using drugs without treatment, usually after encountering a major family, social, occupational, legal, physical, or spiritual crisis. Others achieve abstinence by attending self-help (12-step, AA, or NA) meetings without receiving much, if any, professional addiction treatment.

Treatment for Addiction

Despite extensive research, we do not entirely understand why some people can stop on their own or through self-help meetings at certain points in their life. Therefore, most people with addiction should seek the most comprehensive treatment they can find.

The most effective approaches currently available include psychotherapy, counseling, education, and group counseling. These services are typically included in an integrated program that is delivered on an inpatient (rehab) or outpatient basis.

Although addiction is an incurable disease, it is treatable – you can regain control of your life. Contact us now to find out how we can help!

What is Trauma Recovery?

Thousands of Americans suffer from trauma and the issues that come from it. Unfortunately, our world is full of car accidents, assaults, war, and other traumatic events that can leave the victim a shell of who they once were. Luckily trauma recovery can help victims recover from the initial impact of trauma and create a new life. So how exactly do you recover?

Trauma recovery is a set of therapeutic techniques, practices, and clinically-based methods to help someone recover from past trauma and lead a happier life. Though there are established rules, principles, and research on trauma recovery, there is not one set list of recovery steps.

Let’s learn more about trauma recovery including a basic overview of what it’s for and its goals, a couple popular models, how trauma and addiction are connected, and how to reach out for trauma recovery. Trauma can make it difficult to lead a normal life but trauma recovery can help you become whole again.

Goals of Trauma Recovery

The number one goal of trauma recovery is to help patients come to peace with their trauma and learn to lead their best life again. Trauma may follow you forever, but trauma recovery helps you cope, manage, and live happy, joyous, and free. You can show your trauma who the boss is by beating it with a refreshed outlook.

Different Models of Trauma Recovery

There are several different models of trauma recovery and what type works best for you depends on individual factors. It may even take some trial and error to find the right type of trauma recovery for your unique trauma and personality traits. Let’s find out more about two popular models.

The Four Stages of Trauma Recovery

The Four Stages of Trauma Recovery come from Psychology Today and many trauma recovery centers. Individual treatment programs vary but they will often follow four stages with each stage dealing with a piece of recovery.

Stage 1:  Circuit-Breaking

Trauma can literally overload or rewire your brain. This overload of emotion and feelings can cause parts of your brain to essentially stop working. Ever heard someone talk about feeling numb to grief? That’s the overload. The first stage deals with the overload and how to work through it.

Stage 2: Return of Feelings

Most treatments ask that the trauma sufferer tell their story. Think of it as an emotional catharsis. Recounting the story may send a return of negative feelings but sufferers are encouraged to work through them. By working through their story and slowly reworking their thought patterns and feelings survivors can begin the healing process.

Stage 3: Constructive Action

Once you can feel again and are engaged, you’ll need to turn that energy towards constructive activities. It doesn’t matter what the constructive action is. You can write postcards to soldiers, you can start a new weight-loss routine, or you can volunteer at the local animal shelter. Positive and constructive action can take you outside yourself and is necessary for trauma recovery.

Stage 4: Reintegration

Reintegration is taking your new positive thought patterns and constructive action to create a new life. Instead of seeing your trauma as a burden you will learn to not only live with but use it to create a stronger and better you. People who go through traumatic events can and will get stronger, but it takes time, willingness, and patience.

trauma recovery therapy

Three Phases of Trauma Recovery

You can also think of trauma recovery in three unique phases. The phases come from the Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre.

Phase I: Safety and Stabilization

The early recovery period can be the most difficult part of trauma recovery, so it must be addressed with care and patience. During this time the victim will learn to deal with the emotional repercussions of the trauma and how to work through it. Self-soothing exercises like mindfulness and meditation and encouraged during this phase.

Phase II: Remembrance and Mourning

The remembrance and mourning phase allow victims to process their trauma but doesn’t force them to continuously recount their trauma if they don’t wish to. This part of the recovery process should utilize a licensed trauma counselor or therapist. Remembrance and mourning should only be attempted at the victim’s desired pace and may require the patient to go to stabilization more than once.

Phase III: Reconnection and Integration

Reconnection and Integration involves taking new thought processes and outlooks and creating them into a new you. You’re redefining your life after trauma. You will always carry the weight of your trauma, but the work of recovery means it’s not your defining feature.

Both above theories are similar. They focus on stabilizing the victim and working to create a new, better life. The main difference is in how often the victim is encouraged to tell their story. Many trauma recovery therapies follow these same or similar guidelines.

Trauma and Addiction

Trauma and addiction go hand-in-hand. Men and women who abuse drugs or alcohol are much more likely to suffer trauma including sexual assault than their non-addicted peers. It can also go the opposite way. According to statistics from MentalHealthScreening.org its estimated that victims of sexual abuse are 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 26 times more likely to abuse drugs when compared to non-victims. Addicts who suffer from trauma much treat both the addiction and the trauma for long-term success.

If trauma has put your life on hold or has destroyed a loved one you need to seek trauma recovery in order to begin the healing process. Trauma can affect all parts of a person and must be approached with patience and understanding by a licensed professional. Reach out to a trauma recovery center today to begin healing.

Why Choose Our Holistic Rehab Program?

If you’ve decided to take the steps to move forward from an addiction or chemical dependency you’ve made the right move – but choosing how to go about sobriety can play a large part in determining your success. Harmony Ridge hosts several types of drug treatment and addiction rehabilitation programs, but we are especially proud of our holistic rehab program and its results.

The word ‘holistic’ can mean several things to different people, but it has become one of the most successful and obvious ways to treat addiction. Let’s learn more about why you should choose our holistic rehab program for your recovery including what it’s about, how holistic therapy differs from traditional treatment, and how to get started.

What is a Holistic Rehab Program?

A holistic rehab program is a unique approach to addiction treatment that seeks to treat all parts of the patient including mind, body, and soul. A holistic approach doesn’t believe that any of the three sides are better than the other or need more treatment but that all three are interconnected parts of a whole and should be treated as such. You can’t treat one of the area of the person and expect results.

The holistic approach also believes in a synergistic effect in rehab. The body’s treatment can help the mind’s recovery while the mind’s treatment can help the spirit recover. Everything is interconnected and plays into each other – no part is better of worse than the other. When you treat all three portions of a person the results play into each other and give the most success.

Misconceptions about Holistic Rehab

The word holistic has been compromised over the past several years which has created some unfair stereotypes. When most hear the word ‘holistic’ they imagine burning incense and meditating or buying items with green labels at the local health food store. Holistic is simply believing in the interconnectedness of the individual – not in purchasing organic vitamins for your kids.

How Holistic Rehab Helps the Body

Addiction ravages the body. No matter what you’re addicted to, the consequences of long-term drinking or drug use will harm your body. For most, treating the immediate physical addiction and chemical dependency will be the first step towards recovery. This includes the detox process where the drug is safely flushed from the body in a medically-supervised and comforting environment.

After initial detox, holistic rehab will focus on other ways you can help treat your addiction by treating your body. This includes tips on diet, the importance of diet, how to get restful sleep, and other ways to help yourself. When your body is healthy your mind and spirit tend to soar. A sign of the interconnectedness in holistic rehab.

group therapy in holistic rehab

How Holistic Rehab Helps the Mind

Much of the dismay around addiction takes place in your head. Drugs and alcohol can destroy natural pathways in your brain, cause chemical imbalances, and leave you feeling like you’re worthless. A holistic approach knows your mental health ties into physical and spiritual health, so your mind must be treated too.

Holistic rehab utilizes several types of techniques to help your mind including meditation, mindfulness, mood-control techniques, and creative avenues to get outside of yourself. You can also learn to deal with long-term withdrawal symptoms including depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Those who try to only cure the symptoms of withdrawal and detox and take no steps to fix their brain will find themselves right back at detox. The mind controls the body and the whole package encompasses your spirit. Is this holistic stuff starting to make sense now?

How Holistic Rehab Helps the Spirit

You don’t have to be religious or devoted to a certain God to help yourself spiritually. Even atheists will admit that there’s a certain side to humanity that while difficult to define or put a finger on, is an important part of being human.

There will always be an ongoing debate about the nature of the human soul but there’s no question that we have a spiritual, religious, or internal part of ourselves that needs nurturing. Most addiction rehab focuses some on the spiritual side of addiction, but holistic rehab sees nurturing your soul or spirit as a crucial part of the recovery process. Your soul and spirit are arguably the most important part of making you human – they must be taken care of too.

Now that you’ve taken care of the body, the mind, and the soul and can reap the benefits of a holistic rehab program and approach to recovery.

Learn More About Holistic Rehab

If you’re too nervous to get on the phone but want to learn more about treating addiction with a holistic approach, pick up a copy of In the Realm of Hungry Ghost by Gabor Mate. Mate pulls from his experiences as a treatment professional on skid row and other research to explain how the disease of addiction operates, how it can touch other parts of the line, and the how and why of a holistic treatment program.

Starting Your Own Holistic Rehab Program

If you think our holistic rehab program sounds right for you, you can get started today. Simply visit our website or pick up the phone to learn more about our holistic rehab program and how it can be uniquely adapted to your needs. By taking care of all parts of you and not just the body, we can give you the best results. Addictions permeate the entire person so fight addiction from all three sides with our holistic rehab program.

What is Narcan Used For?

What is Narcan Used For? – Narcan (naloxone) is a nasal spray that serves as an opioid antagonist and an anti-overdose solution. In the event of an overdose on opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, prompt administration of Narcan nullifies the effects of the overdose by replacing opioids active on the receptors in the brain and prevents more opioids from binding.

Naloxone isn’t new by any means and has been used in emergency departments and by first responders for years. Due to the ongoing opioid epidemic overdoses and deaths, however, Narcan has become widely available in pharmacies without a prescription and is routinely carried by law enforcement, EMTs, and even civilians.

What Is Narcan Used For?

Narcan can be injected intravenously in the arm or thigh by a medical professional but is more commonly delivered in the form of a nasal spray that anyone can administer. It can be used to treat a suspected or confirmed overdose when the person appears to have breathing difficulties, has become unresponsive or isn’t breathing at all.

Important: Narcan cannot be used as a substitute for medical help, however, and 911 should be called immediately.

What Should I Do if I Suspect an Overdose?


If you suspect someone is experiencing an opioid overdose, check to see if they are responsive by gently shaking the person or shouting at them. You should then check their breathing status.

If the person isn’t responding or appears to have difficulty breathing, administer one dose in a nostril and call 911 immediately. The 911 dispatcher may give you instructions to perform CPR or remain close by the person until help arrives.

Narcan Dosage

When a person is rendered unconscious, the person who is having the overdose cannot administer Narcan themselves. Rather, the drug must be delivered by a family member, friend or a bystander. For this reason, it’s critical that the loved ones of people who abuse opioids have Narcan readily available in case of an emergency. In the U.S. it can now be obtained at most major pharmacy chains without a prescription for under $20.

The Narcan medication guide includes the following information about dosing:

Administer one spray in one nostril – each Narcan dose contains 2-4 mg of naloxone hydrochloride, which is usually, but not always, sufficient to revive someone one time. One spray in one nostril is the recommended initial dosage – each Narcan nasal spray contains only one dose, then it cannot be reused and must be discarded.

Administer Narcan as soon as possible and call 911 immediately – the longer a person experiences CNS depression, the more likely they are to incur severe damage to their nervous system.


Re-administration may be necessary – if there is no response or change after the initial, a new nasal spray dose should be given every 2-3 minutes. Note: This can happen if the person has taken a particular potent opioid such as fentanyl or carfentanil.

If the person responds momentarily but then falls unconscious again, Narcan should be readministered. If multiple doses are delivered, Narcan should be administered in an alternating nostril each time it’s used.

What to Know About Using Narcan

Narcan should be administered immediately after a suspected or definite overdose, and medical help should be contacted immediately as well. Signs someone is experiencing an opioid overdose and needs to be revived with naloxone include:

  • Unconsciousness, unresponsiveness, or unusual sleepiness
  • Slow, shallow, labored or stopped breathing
  • Bluish skin, fingers, and nails (cyanosis)
  • Pinpoint pupils

Other important considerations about Narcan use include:

  1. Narcan administration causes instantaneous and severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, among others, it is crucial to seek medical assistance immediately.
  2. Some people may not be able to be given Narcan if they have allergies to ingredients that include benzalkonium chloride, sodium chloride or hydrochloric acid.
  3. Critically, Narcan can only block the effects of an overdose that involves opioid or opiate drugs, such as morphine, heroin, fentanyl, or oxycodone. The drug will not revive a person who has overdosed on meth, cocaine, Xanax or other non-opioid substances.
  4. Because Narcan instantly reverses the effects of opioids, including euphoria, the drug cannot be used to get high. For this reason, Narcan addiction is pretty much impossible.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Persons who have been given a life-saving overdose of Narcan should consider seeking long-term, comprehensive addiction treatment immediately upon recovery. After detox, treatment should consist of evidence-based approaches such as behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and group support.

Our center employs caring, professional staff who specialize in addiction and provide our clients with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve sobriety, avoid relapse, and regain the life and wellness they deserve. Please contact us as soon as possible – we can help!

How to Tell if a Loved One Needs Tramadol Addiction Rehab

Our nation is filled with addicts but not all addictions are tied to alcohol or illicit drugs, many start in the medicine cabinet. Thousands of Americans are addicted to prescription drugs. There are almost a limitless number of prescription drugs that can cause addiction, but some are worse than others – like tramadol.

Tramadol is prescribed for many pain conditions but like all opioids, tramadol can present a risk for abuse and addiction. If you fear that you or someone close to you has become hooked to tramadol, you need to do some research. Let’s learn how to tell if a loved one needs tramadol addiction rehab by exploring what tramadol is, signs of addiction and withdrawal, and what to do about it. Tramadol may not sound as scary as heroin or fentanyl – but it can do serious damage.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol, available in brand names like Ultram and Ryzolt is a semi-synthetic opioid pain medication. Like most opioids, tramadol is used primarily to treat moderate to severe pain. It is common to see tramadol used in post-surgical pain management or prescribed for long-term pain mitigation. Like all opioids, tramadol is highly addictive and comes with a significant chance for abuse.

Signs of Tramadol Addiction

Signs of tramadol addiction mirror signs of any opioid addiction.

  • Euphoria
  • Constant drowsiness – Also known as ‘fading out’
  • Hypersomnia
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Manic and depressive states
  • Itching
  • Confusion and trouble forming thoughts

Behavioral Signs of Tramadol Addiction

It can be difficult to tell if someone has a tramadol addiction just by searching for symptoms of a high. Your biggest clue that there may be a problem is found in behavioral signs of addiction.

Personality Changes – Tramadol addicts may display bizarre behavior never seen before like loss of motivation, failure in school or at work, long periods of absence, periods of isolation, and other shifts that can be picked up on by someone who is close.

Sudden financial distress – Tramadol isn’t cheap and someone who is addicted will need financial support to maintain their habit. Sudden money issues, pawning and selling of items, or asking to borrow money constantly are signs of addiction.

Criminal problems – Again, you need money to get tramadol which means some might resort to theft and other crime to get their fix. Addiction is normally the culprit for someone when someone who has never had trouble with the law keeps winding up in jail.

tramadol addict

Signs of Tramadol Withdrawal

Detox and withdrawal symptoms are more obvious than certain behavioral issues. Users may be able to hide while high on tramadol or may not show any outward signs of being intoxicated. It’s difficult to hide withdrawal symptoms. Tramadol is an opioid which is commonly associated with harsh withdrawal symptoms.  

Physical Signs of Tramadol Withdrawal

Physical symptoms of withdrawal present like a cold or the flu. Someone detoxing is likely to experience

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Clammy skin
  • Severe aches and pain in joints
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia

Psychological Signs of Tramadol Withdrawal

Tramadol will also cause psychological and mental side effects during the detox process. The most common are:

Getting Professional Help

Even if you or a loved one has become unrecognizable due to tramadol addiction – you can get better. As the stigma against addiction slowly lifts across the country, more private and public funding has gone towards creating a large network of addiction treatment facilities, rehabs, and detox clinics.

A certified, professional treatment facility is your best chance at getting off tramadol and onto the path to long-term recovery. Professional tramadol addiction rehabs have both the facilities and the personnel to unhook addicts from a tramadol in a safe and comfortable setting.

Tramadol addiction rehab has two main goals – get you comfortably off tramadol and onto a long-term path for recovery.

How Tramadol Addiction Rehab Helps Detox

Tramadol detox and withdrawal is a large reason addicts find it so difficult to say no, even if they’ve sworn to themselves they were done. Modern treatment facilities are aware of the severe symptoms that can come from a tramadol detox and will do their best to help you flush it from the system in a safe manner.

Licensed tramadol addiction rehabs will use a tapering method to slowly flush tramadol to produce less severe symptoms. Just like you’re encouraged to stair-step down caffeine before quitting entirely you must also wean, not yank, the body off tramadol. Most facilities utilize low-strength opioids for tapering.

How Tramadol Addiction Rehab Helps the Individual

It’s often not enough to detox and try to get sober on your own. Detoxing from heroin can be a jarring experience that presents dozens of future obstacles – including relapse. Tramadol addicts can experience acute withdrawal symptoms for several days and post-acute withdrawal symptoms for several months. You must treat both the short-term detox to fight the immediate addiction and the long-term detox to continue the fight.

What type of therapies and methods are used depend on your length-of-stay at the rehab and continued treatment after initial detox and treatment. You can stay in a longer residency program, move on to an outpatient therapy like intensive outpatient therapy, or try going your own. All patients in addiction rehab will be taught the science and workings of addiction, how tramadol may have affected them in ways they were unaware, and most importantly tools and techniques to stay off tramadol after initial treatment.

Getting Help for Tramadol Addiction

Tramadol doesn’t nab the headlines like heroin or fentanyl do, but it can be a deadly opioid nonetheless. Severe tramadol addiction can lead to overdose, a decline in both physical health, and death. If you or someone you love is showing signs of tramadol addiction, it’s best to reach out to a treatment facility before they become a statistic. It all starts with a web search or phone call to a tramadol addiction rehab.

How Our Life Skills Program Can Help You

The road to a long and healthy recovery works by healing on many levels. Once the drugs or alcohol are out of the system, doesn’t mean that person is guaranteed to stay sober forever. Instead, sobriety and a healthy life are a culmination of therapy, positive influences, and life skills.

This is where our life-skills therapy program can help you. For those who have either “failed to launch” or just couldn’t get their life back together after developing an addiction, our West Virginia life-skills addiction therapy program provides growth and education on how to get life started again.

Life Skills We Focus On

Addiction can often take the most able-bodied person and leave them unable to even shower, eat, and sleep routinely. Luckily, these most basic abilities return after the initial withdrawal process, but what about the skills needed to return to daily life?

At Harmony Ridge, there is an understanding of the difficulties that can arise from losing these simple skills, and of the value of maintaining and implement them once a person graduates from treatment.

The major life-skills that we focus on:

  • Maintaining Healthy Relationships
  • Job Stability
  • Staying Physically and Psychologically Healthy
  • Utilizing effective coping skills
  • Healthy Decision Making
  • Learning how to manage time

These life-skills might seem like everyday activities to an outsider, but for those who have seen, been through, or loved someone who struggles with addiction, it is understandable how valuable these skills are when they have been lost to drugs and alcohol.

Maintaining Good Health

Recovering from the physical devastation that comes from addiction can take some time, but it is also important for people in recovery to learn about why good health can make their recovery easier.

While the basic essentials, bathing, brushing teeth, and getting good sleep, usually come back within the first few weeks of sobriety, other areas of self-care can sometimes be a little trickier to navigate through, such as:

  • Learning to cook and eat a healthy diet
  • Regimenting routine exercise
  • Learning the importance of balancing medications
  • Implementing healthy sleep routines

Maintaining a Job

Another aspect of staying sober is holding down a job, and to eventually find a career that is enjoyable. A big part of enjoying sobriety is enjoying life! For many years, a majority of addicts and alcoholics would scrape by in jobs that were only beneficial in funding the habit, but now that sobriety is in play, it is important to look for jobs that will be constructive, interesting, and supportive for their recovery.

The life-skills therapy program can help individuals learn how to revamp a resume, how to act and dress in an interview, how to access what their skills and strengths are, and where they could use areas of improvement.

lifeskills therapy group

Healthy Decision Making

This area of sobriety can sometimes take some trial and error, and the life-skills program aims to alleviate some of the slip-ups that can occur in early recovery. For example, it can be difficult figuring out:

  • who to hang out with
  • where to go
  • what places to avoid
  • when to step away from uncomfortable situations.

The life-skills therapy program helps individuals at Harmony Ridge to learn how to use coping tools and decision making to evaluate areas in their life that could be detrimental to their sobriety. The program also provides constructive ways for the person to learn how to say no and how to confidently and respectfully step away from people or situations that could be dangerous for them.

Coping Mechanisms

Addiction can often rob people of their ability to react or respond to life events in a healthy outlet. For example, while some people may react with extreme anger or outbursts, others may bury their emotions and never stand up for themselves. Both sides of the coin have negative consequences on the neural pathways in the brain, and the life-skills therapy program, along with the other forms of therapy at Harmony Ridge, helps to retrain and rewire those neural pathways.

Over time, and with enough practice, this results in healthier coping mechanisms that allow the individual to create and maintain healthy personal relationships, stress levels, anger, fear, and avoidance. The goal of creating and implementing healthy coping mechanisms is a tool that recovering addicts and alcoholics can use in all areas of their life.

Time Management

Early recovery can be tricky. Although the drugs and alcohol may be gone, there are still day to day tasks, responsibilities, and obligations that can create stress or anxiety on the newly recovering person. While this is all well and good, there is also the need to:

  • Find and work at a job
  • Attend meetings
  • Work a recovery program
  • Exercise
  • Spend time with sober people or family
  • Go back to school if they wish
  • Clean the house, do the laundry, go grocery shopping
  • find time to relax!

It can be feel like the weight of the world, and without the crutch of drugs and alcohol to fall back on, it can become overwhelming.

That is why the life-skills therapy program thinks that learning healthy time management skills can be essential for an enjoyable recovery. Many people in recovery find that they become too overwhelmed with managing their day to day schedules, while others have too much free time to think. It is a balancing act for addicts and non-addicts everywhere!

The Family Unit

Harmony Ridge doesn’t believe in dictating how someone should live their lives, on the contrary! We believe in education, experience, and results, so we offer workshops for both the individual and their families. These workshops were designed to help the family act as a team to support their loved one and to understand how a healthy recovery can lead to a healthy life.