Friday, 28 April 2017

Tanning Addiction May Be Linked To Alcohol Dependency, Mental Health Issues

A recent study examined the possible link between tanning dependency and those with addiction and/or mental health issues. 


Chris Christie Compares AIDS/HIV And Drug Addiction Epidemics

The New Jersey governor wants drug abuse to be treated like a public health crisis and not a condition that is shamed and stigmatized. 


Morning Roundup: Apr. 28, 2017

Investigation finds nursing homes waste tons of prescription meds, EDM producer Bassnectar shows props to sober fans, Yale professor brings light to TV portrayals of addiction.


A Spiritual Viewpoint of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse

The Spiritual part is by no means somebody’s religious standing or a New Age concept. The Spiritual aspect is the natural rhythm that all living beings, whether they want it or not, are part of. Contents1 Altering Reality through Substance Misuse2 Separating Themselves From the Community2.1 Indigenous People of Australia2.2 Relating to Others2.3 Twelve Step […]

The post was first seen on DetoxofSouthFlorida



So... Tough Love

My emotional pain level is so high now I can only operate in resoluteness.


Who Should be Held Responsible for Annie Dookhan’s Crimes?

Tainted evidence led to thousands of false drug convictions. At what point must the state take responsibility for their role in this scandal?


Thursday, 27 April 2017

How to Identify and Treat Exercise Addiction

By Louise Stanger Ed.D, LCSW, CIP, CDWF-Candidate and Roger Porter

Can Exercise Become Unhealthy?

In a word: Yes.

Physical exercise is great for our minds and bodies. The rush of endorphins one feels when they are on the treadmill, swooping into a downward dog yoga pose, sweat pouring from their eyes at a Soul Cycle ride, or clocking the ten thousandth FitBit step is enough to bring one back for more. But for some, the ‘high’ of exercise can transform into an addiction that is just as debilitating as substance abuse dependency.

Some may joke,

“I wish I had that addiction – I’d be at the gym all the time and look great.”

However, research shows exercise addiction is a serious issue that affects 3 to 5 percent of the population. According to Science Daily, too much exercise in some cases can be linked to eating disorders, muscle dysmorphia, and orthorexia Nervosa.

An Intro to the Adonis Complex

Muscle dysmorphia (or the “Adonis Complex”) falls under the grouping of eating disorders and is defined as the obsessive belief, delusional or exaggerated, that one’s body is too small or skinny and insufficiently muscular. Even though the individual’s build is normal, or in some cases exceptionally muscular, the person becomes fixated on gaining body mass and turns to:

  • obsessive workout routines
  • dietary regimens
  • supplements
  • even steroids

This disorder largely affects males. As it is likened to anorexia in females, The Adonis Complex speaks to the larger concerns of male body image. Although the physical symptoms are clear, there isn’t a physical disorder at play, making it difficult for researchers and others to recognize, especially when males experiencing the disorder often appear normal and healthy to observers. In fact, some estimates pinpoint 10% of gym-going men experience muscle dysmorphia.

The Power of Steroids

And it’s not just the bulging muscles and underlying body image issues that pose a risk to one’s health. In many cases, men who experience muscle dysmorphia use steroids to enhance their physical size. Steroid use leads to addiction, as users often turn to stimulant drugs such as cocaine to boost energy and curb appetite. According to the Addiction Center, mixing steroids with other illegal drugs can create a dangerous cocktail that heightens aggression and puts stress on the heart. Furthermore, steroid use can cause:

  • hormonal imbalances
  • hyperactivity
  • rapid muscle gain
  • insomnia
  • paranoia

When steroids are taken, it causes the body to overproduce the hormone testosterone in men, which leads to increased muscle growth. However, the hormonal imbalance steroids can create may lead to violent mood swings and depression, even when the abuser quits taking the steroids.

On some occasions, men will self-medicate with heroin to fight the effects of aggression and insomnia which steroids cause, further compounding the problem.

The Manifestation of Exercise Addiction in Athletes

In other cases, particularly athletes such as swimmers, wrestlers and cross country runners, exercise addiction and eating disorders mix because of the pressures of being a successful athlete. These athletes are required to “cut weight” – meaning hit a certain weight target to compete in their category. As such, athletes will over-exercise and put restrictions on their diet under the guise of healthy athleticism, which may cause further harm.

Research has further shown that professional swimmers will abuse cocaine to curb appetite in order to cut weight. This unhealthy regimen then leads to bulimia, another type of eating disorder, which is again linked to exercise addiction.

More on Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia Nervosa is another potential by-product of over-exercising to the point of dependency. This condition is marked by an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Like exercise addiction, Orthorexia Nervosa can consume your life to the point where you’re:

  1. Missing social engagements.
  2. Pinning your mood on what you ate that day.
  3. Pinning your mood on the exercise routine you completed.
  4. Exercising when you’re sick or injured.

This preoccupation gives one a feeling of control and false power based on diet and workout regimen. One can become overwhelmed when a diet or exercise goal is not met. This disorder – given the media’s preoccupation with looking good and eating healthy – is substantially growing by women and gentleman who want “to be healthy.”

How to Identify Exercise Addiction

Since many of us commit to a continuous workout plan, what does fitness addiction look like? Exercise psychologist Heather Hausenblas explains it best:

“It’s when exercise becomes all consuming – when you start losing friends, foregoing social activities or reneging work opportunities – that your workout schedule becomes cause for concern.”

Here are some of the signs of exercise addiction that can signal you may be taking it too far:

Tolerance. Your body adapts to the challenge of fitness you exert on it. If you get to a point where strenuous physical activity – 15 minutes on a stairmaster or a five mile jog on a treadmill – is too easy, this may be a sign of addiction. An increase in intensity is okay but when your body no longer feels and reacts to an increase then it becomes over-exercise.

Withdrawal. Much the way a caffeine drinker feels the effects of withdrawal when they give it up, a person with a fitness addiction may feel anxious or restless when they miss their workout routine. However, this isn’t the norm for regular physical activity.

Lack of control. Taking a break, resting up, and meeting up with friends instead of hitting the gym shouldn’t be a problem. If you feel an overwhelming need to never miss a workout, it may be a sign you’re losing control over your routine.

Intention. If you come up with a workout plan, stick to it. One 50-minute yoga class for the day is all the physical activity you need. However, if you’re adding on an extra bar method class or another hour of strength training, you’re diverging from your original intention.

Time. Everyone has a busy schedule and may show up late from time to time because of traffic, etc. However, running late to a business meeting or missing, class, work, dinner plans, etc. because your workout repeatedly runs long is a red flag that exercise is taking up too much of your time.

Continuance. If you experience an injury or feel emotional distress yet continue to push yourself through workouts you may want to reconsider the role exercise plays in your life.
Use of steroids. Steroids are a prescription drug used for specific medical treatments. Although athletes commonly use them, steroids are illegal outside of prescription and can cause serious health problems.

How is Exercise Addiction Treated?

Although there is limited research and literature on exercise addiction, researchers in the behavioral health field suggest the best way to approach this disorder is to slowly ease up on the routine and mix it up. For instance, rather than the same yoga and strength training each day, mix in a session of swimming or biking, or try an assortment of group exercise classes at the local gym.

In addition, talking with professionals who can help you modify emotional states associated with the behaviors, thoughts and feelings one experiences is important. Learning to keep exercise within the range that health experts suggest will keep you healthy and strong – 150 minutes each week of aerobics and strength training.

Reference Sources: For more on your exercise routine being a passion or a problem, check out this blog here.
For a look at how fitness trackers may turn from motivation to distress, check out Live Happy here.
For a look at the latest research news on exercise addiction, check out Science Daily here.
For more information about anabolic steroids, check out the Addiction Center here.
For a great resource on eating disorders and exercise addiction, take a look at Eating Disorder Hope here.
For more on exercise addiction and ways to get help, visit CRC Health here.
For questionnaires to determine if you are experiencing body dysmorphia or appearance anxiety, visit the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation here.
For a look at how eating disorders affect athletes, visit the Eating Disorder Hope website here.
For an inspirational story of one man’s struggle with eating disorders and muscle dysmorphia and his path to recovery, visit Brian Cuban’s website here.
For more information about steroids, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse here.


ABOUT LOUISE STANGER Speaker-Writer Clinician
Dr. Louise Stanger – speaker, educator, clinician, and interventionist – uses an invitational approach with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients.
Louise Stanger received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, her Masters in Social Work from San Diego State College and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego. Her book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon and Learn to Thrive-An Intervention Guidebook is available is on her website
Louise publishes in the Huffington Post, Journal of Alcohol Studies, The Sober World, Recovery Campus and other media. The San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the “Top 10 Women Who Mean Business” and is considered by Quit Alcohol as one of the Top 10 Interventionists in the country. She is the recipient of the 2016 Joseph L. Galletta Spirit of Recovery Award. Her book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon and Learn to Thrive: An Intervention Handbook on her website at
Dr. Stanger has over thirty years’ experience as a college professor, researcher with over 5 million dollars of grants, and licensed clinician working with families and individuals who experience substance abuse and mental health disorders. Louise is grateful and loves the energy and collaborative spirit shown by the professional community in their goals to reduce the harm associated with substance abuse. With tireless energy she continues to contribute to the field through clinical interventions, public speaking, family recovery coaching, training and research.
Roger Porter has two bachelor degrees, film and marketing, from the University of Texas at Austin. He works in the entertainment industry, writes screenplays and coverage, and when he’s not doing that he tutors middle and high school students.

Copyright © 2011
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint:


New York Senate Passes Bills Addressing Flakka, Pink, Drug Abuse

The bills must now be passed by the New York State Assembly in order for them to be made into law.


Utah Man Who Was Denied Lung Transplant Over Pot Use Has Died

"He will live in our hearts forever. Riley is now free to climb every mountain, ski the back country, go fishing, and run every river."


Opioid Epidemic May Be Underreported, CDC Finds

“Over half the cases that we found that were toxic or lethal were not counted in the system," said one researcher in Minnesota.


Opinion: Millennials, Safe Spaces And Future Addicts

Millennials may be more susceptible to the “relief” that comes from substances when they encounter a hostile outside world without safe spaces.


Drop Off Your Old, Unwanted Pills This Saturday On National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The DEA hosts the bi-annual event in hopes of preventing pills from being diverted for non-medical use.


Russell Brand, Tom Hardy, Kristen Bell Post Selfies For Mental Health Awareness

The BBC is bringing awareness to mental health issues with a celebrity campaign and a host of programs exploring topics of mental health.


Scott Baio Under Fire For Drug-Related Comments About Erin Moran's Death

After the death of his Happy Days co-star, Baio remarked that he wasn't shocked because if "you do drugs or drink, you’re gonna die."


Morning Roundup: Apr. 27, 2017

Drug use tops booze in fatal US crashes, Health Canada to relax prescription heroin rules, K2 found in autopsy of Aaron Hernandez.


Getting Away from Habitual Alcoholism: Steps to Relieve You from this Disease

Overcoming alcoholism may also enhance the quality of life of the individuals you stay with and those who care about you. You reduce the chances of acquiring serious health issues related to alcohol abuse or dependence. You also decrease the chances of causing harm to yourself or other people in alcohol-related accidents. You may also […]

is available on Detox of South Florida



Sarge On How Laughter Supports Early Recovery

Every day you have to disarm the bomb of addiction within you or there’s a good chance that the bomb will go off.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

How to help a Percocet addict?

When you or a friend have recognized an early addiction to Percocet, the best way to approach it is by asking for help from a medical professional. The process of successfully overcoming an addition requires medical care and support from friends and loved ones.

What are the challenges and triggers on the road of Percocet addiction treatment? How can you help yourself or a close Percocet addict friend? We answer in this article and welcome you to join the discussion at the end. So, feel free to post your questions.

Help a Percocet addict quit

The first good news when facing Percocet addiction is that it is a treatable disease. Generally, the path to overcoming a Percocet addiction is different for every individual. However, the will and determination to ask for help for Percocet addiction and do something about the problem is the first step in the process of recovery.

Percocet addiction treatment is intended to help you stop compulsively seeking and using the drug. Addiction rehabilitation can take place in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Given the fact that addiction is a chronic disorder accompanied by occasional relapses, a short-term or one-time treatment is not enough to help the addict achieve long term sobriety. This is why doctors recommend treatment programs that include a long-term plan with multiple interventions and regular monitoring.

The Percocet addiction treatment process usually consists of the following common elements, especially when it comes to inpatient residential treatment programs:

  • Intake session
  • Detoxification and withdrawal treatment
  • Individual counseling
  • 12- step programs
  • Medication therapies
  • Doctor consultations

When you need to make a decision and choose a treatment facility, it is suggested that you consider the following recommendations:

  • Ask if the facility offers family-based interventions.
  • Find out the success rates of the treatment center.
  • Get information about the kind of treatment programs they offer.
  • Inform yourself about aftercare plans the facility offers for their patients.

Help a Percocet addict friend

When someone close to you has become addicted to Percocet, there are ways to motivate and support them in treatment. These are the steps family members can take to help loved ones accept help and enrol into treatment:

1. First, you need to educate yourself about the addiction your loved one is facing. You can speak to a counselor, read books, research online, or find an addiction therapist that can help you understand what your loved one is going through.
2. Then, you need to develop an action plan. You can decide what approach is best in your individual case with the help of a counselor, psychologist, or a licensed interventionist. Talk about the consequences the addict will need to face if s/he refuses to seek help.
3. Finally, you should stay supportive and encouraging. The significance of the role family and friends play in a person’s recovery should never be underestimated.

Self help Percocet addiction

Percocet addiction is not something that can be self managed and tackled without the aid from a medical expert.

Self help for Percocet addiction takes the form of regular face-to-face support groups. However, these self-help groups are usually a part of a professional treatment. The most prominent self-help groups are those affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and others based on the 12-step model.

Get help Percocet addiction

Are you ready to face your Percocet addiction and regain control over your life. We suggest you consider the following available resources when dealing with Percocet addiction:

  • Talk to your loved ones and ask for their help and support through your recovery journey.
  • Inform yourself about Percocet addiction.
  • Talk to a psychologist or a psychiatrist about the psychological and emotional elements of your drug addiction.
  • Search for an addiction treatment center where you will be provided with all the medical help you need.

Here is a list of helplines that might be useful in cases of emergency:

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Samhsa’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990
  • American Association of Poison Control Centers – (800) 222-1222
  • National Help Line for Substance Abuse – (800) 262-2463
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline – (800) 821-4357
  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotline – (800) 729-6686
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hopeline – (800) 622-2255

When facing a crisis or an immediate danger it is always best to call 911.

Helping a Percocet addict questions

Would you like to know more about ways you can help a Percocet addict? Feel free to post your questions in the designated section below. We do our best to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries, or refer you to someone who can help.

Reference sources: NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
SAMHSA: Find Help & Treatment
Addenbrooke, M. (2011) Survivors of Addiction: Narraties of recovery. London: Routhledge.

Copyright © 2011
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint:


Pharmacist Accused Of Pushing Steroids Flips The Script With New Legal Career

After a firsthand look at the power of the law, a Florida man who once faced 295 years in jail is opening his own law practice.


Former 'Bachelor' Chris Soules Allegedly In Possession Of Alcohol During Fatal Crash

Soules was arrested after reportedly fleeing the scene of the crash, but was not charged with driving under the influence.


Cherokee Nation Sues Pharmacies, Drug Distributors For Opioid Crisis

Walmart, Walgreens and CVS Health are among the defendants listed in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit.


90 Sponsors in 90 Days

When I came into the rooms, I could have been a 12-step junkie


Pot Legalization May Play Major Role in New Jersey Governor Race

The candidates are beginning to solidify their stances on legalization, an issue that has been politically divisive in the Garden State. 


The Struggle To Treat Post-Operative Pain For Those With Opioid Dependence

While there are guidelines on how to treat acute pain for opioid dependent patients, post-operative pain treatment is still up in the air.


Oxycodone Addiction and Pain Relief: Oxycodone – The Addictive Painkiller

Chronic pain is treated with a variety of opiates, but a growing number of patients are prescribed oxycodone for chronic pain and subsequently falling into oxycodone addiction. The drug has been proclaimed as one of the best ways to treat chronic pain, but along with the good, oxycodone can trap patients in psychological and physical […]

Find more on:



Group of Psychiatry Experts Claim Trump Has 'Dangerous Mental Illness'

The group of mental health professionals has come forward with claims that Trump is "delusional" and "paranoid."


Why Gender-Specific Treatment Is Crucial for Women

“When co-ed therapeutic groups happen, the women will often hesitate or hold back while the male members of the group speak up and get their needs met."


Morning Roundup: Apr. 26, 2017

Ex-cons fight to work in cannabis industry, man denied lung transplant over MJ dies, Florida VA medical centers report missing drugs.


Trying the Landmark Course

Could a three day seminar cure a lifetime of Amy Dresner's issues? What do you think?


Code Word: Another Room

My kids weren't afraid that I had a mental illness. All they wanted was a tool to help me to contain it. So they could help me help myself. 


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What is Harm Reduction? How is it Different from Traditional Addiction Treatment?

Journey to Harm Reduction: Facilitator and Member

Harm Reduction is an alternative treatment approach, and often thought of as radical. Harm Reduction does make some assumptions and operates on a belief system. What are these? In general, Harm Reduction assumes that clinicians can work with clients who are actively using substances, and that those clients can make positive changes in their lives regardless of their current relationship with substances. In fact, there is a spectrum of use in Harm Reduction, which covers anything from abstinence to chaotic use. In Harm Reduction, we believe that any client can improve their life no matter where they fall in the spectrum of use.

Why is Harm Reduction important? This belief is seen as radical because it goes against many of the principles of the dominant “Disease Model” of A.A.ddiction that is taught in the majority of substance use treatment centers. In the Disease Model, substance use must stop completely before any therapeutic benefit can be reached. In the Disease Model, it is assumed that all of the client’s problems stem from their substance use. Therefore, if the client stops using substances, their life will improve. Harm Reduction acknowledges that life’s problems and substance use can be independent. Since they are independent,it is possible to work on goals without necessarily changing the relationship with substances.

In this article, I will discuss the implementation of Harm Reduction in a group setting. I will write about how I became a true believer in Harm Reduction and started a Harm Reduction group in a supportive housing building in San Francisco.

My First Abstinence Based Group

After I left residential treatment in 2007 I was back to active drug use within a month. It was a huge disappointment for myself and my family, especially considering that my family paid over $10,000 to send me to residential treatment. My mother was considering selling her car to send me back to residential treatment, so I thought that I should try outpatient treatment first.

The outpatient program was at a major hospital in the city that I lived. It was three nights a week for a few hours at a time. It was made clear, in the beginning, that the program was abstinence based; meaning that they expected me to abstain from all mind altering substances (except for nicotine and caffeine, of course). Not only was I expected to abstain from substances, but if I did use a substance I couldn’t come to group within 24 hours of the last time I used.

I found not using drugs to be extremely difficult to accomplish. It’s ironic to require people who are seeking substance treatment, presumably because they can’t stop using substances, to abstain from substances before entering a therapy group. I continued to use substances during my short time in that program. With the consequences of being asked to leave the group, or being sentenced to more intensive treatment, I kept my relapses a secret and lied about my sobriety date. Obviously lying my way through treatment did little good for my immediate mental health.

Do I Really Have to Stop Using?

Again, with my mother considering selling her car, to pay for the exact same residential treatment that had just previously failed., I thought that I had one last option––12-Step meetings. I availed myself a sponsor before the meeting even started. After the meeting, he gave me very clear instructions. He told me that, if I didn’t use drugs that night or the next morning, I was to call him and he would take me to a 12-Step meeting. What he said next was unfamiliar; he said that if I DID use that night or the next morning, I was to call him and he would take me to a 12-Step meeting.


You mean to tell me that I don’t even have to stop using drugs to be a member of a 12-Step Group? This system was so much easier than the clinical treatment that I was used to. In 12-Step programs the only consequence to using drugs is getting loaded; a punishment that is far greater than any sanction given by a counselor.

Are 12-Step Programs Harm Reduction?

So, are 12-Step programs Harm Reduction? – Unfortunately not, technically.

There is only one reason, although it’s a significant one, that 12-Step programs are not Harm Reduction; which is because of something that we call the third tradition. This tradition states that the only requirement for 12-Step membership is a desire to STOP using drugs. It is that one word, stop, that makes the 12-Steps rooted in abstinence based ideology, and not Harm Reduction. To be a member of a 12-Step group, according to the third tradition, there is the assumption that the person’s ultimate goal is to be abstinent, as opposed to a desire to change, cutback, maintain, or reduce harm.

Other than that one substantial obstacle, I believe that everything else in the 12-Steps is very much in the spirit of Harm Reduction; at least it was meant to be in its conception. Alcoholics Anonymous was the original 12-Step group and its founders were the ones who wrote the 12-Steps. In A.A. literature, its authors advise drinkers to try some controlled drinking before attempting the drastic program of abstinence. Also, A.A.’s founders advised its members, throughout their writings, to treat the alcoholic with tolerance and respect which are foundational principles in Harm Reduction.

Although the founding principles of A.A. were in the spirit of Harm Reduction, there is scant evidence of a Harm Reduction foundation still visible in the culture of A.A. today. Abstinence of all substances, not just alcohol, is the “way or the highway” as far as many A.A. members are concerned. The definition of sobriety now includes all mind altering substances. This was definitely not the same concept of sobriety that A.A.’s founders believed, especially since Bill Wilson, A.A.’s cofounder, took LSD in the 1950s and didn’t change his sobriety date.

I believe that the disappearance of Harm Reduction in A.A. has followed the degeneration of their primary purpose and the integration of clinical treatment in A.A. meetings. The primary purpose of A.A., the fifth tradition, states that alcohol is the only substance that the program deals with. Far from being all substance inclusive, early A.A. only concerned itself with alcohol; defining sobriety as abstinence from alcohol only. This is ostensibly still true in theory but not in practice. This is because the ideology of “a drug is a drug, is a drug,” that clinical treatment centers propagate, has flooded into A.A.; washing away any hope of ever having a modified Harm Reduction paradigm.

My Introduction to Harm Reduction

After working in an abstinence based treatment program for seven years, I became disenchanted with The Disease Model of addiction. I left the field of addiction treatment to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Ironically, I went back to school to get out of substance use treatment, but in my first year of graduate school I was introduced to Harm Reduction and this has rekindled my passion for working within Substance Use Treatment.

Before graduate school I had only thought of Harm Reduction as methadone treatment and needle exchanges. The idea that substance users could be worked with clinically while they still used substances was a completely new concept to me. In that first year of my MSW program I had the privilege to intern at a supportive housing building in San Francisco. Supportive housing operates on a housing first paradigm, where basically people are housed as the first stage of their treatment. Once housed, social services attempt to use interventions on other aspects of life such as substance use.

During the time that I spent working in supportive housing, I saw things that directly contradicted every truth that I had come to believe about drug use. In supportive housing I was working with people who met the criteria for Substance Use Disorder, but they were still able to maintain their lives. In The Disease Model, I learned that addiction is chronic and progressive; meaning that it only get worse, never better. What I saw directly contradicted this theory.

Here I observed people who had been maintaining stagnant relationships with substances for many years and even decades. Their patterns of use did not always get worse over time; instead they went through cycles and even decreased over time. The cyclical nature of substance use usually negatively correlated with other positive life achievements. For example, when an individual was employed or maintained good mental health, their substance use went down or they used the same but the use didn’t carry as severe consequences.

The Harm Reduction Group Begins

The most rewarding experience of my time in supportive housing was starting and facilitating a Harm Reduction group. My supervisor at the building wanted to have some type of recovery group and gave me the project to get it started. Originally, I was going to co-facilitate a recovery group with another case manager, but she quit; leaving me and my project back to square one. At this point, I had been learning about Harm Reduction and had read several pieces of literature on the subject. Now it was time to put some of this theory into practice.

I decided that I wanted to have two components to the group. The first being an open support group for the residents of the building to come and talk about drug use in a nonjudgmental environment. The second component would be an educational piece where I would share some techniques and ideas about how to reduce harm while engaging in inherently dangerous activities.

Supporting the Member Where They are at

Creating and holding a safe place for substance users to come talk about their use was the most important piece to starting the Harm Reduction group. To do this, I had to recognize and acknowledge that all substance users are in different stages with their relationship to drugs; and they are also all in different stages of their motivation to change that relationship. Both addiction and recovery operate on a spectrum.

In my group I had people from all over that continuum of use and motivation to change. I had one member in an abstinence based outpatient program, a member on methadone maintenance, a member who had no desire to change their relationship with substances, and other members who were ambivalent. I could have one group member who was blackout drunk, sitting next to someone else who was shaking in their second day of detox. Group members came as they were, and came and went as they pleased.

The goal was not only for myself to become accepting of the variety of substance users, but also to have the members of the group acknowledge an individual’s right to choose their own relationship with substances, so that the group would have an nonjudgmental culture of support. Surprisingly, this happened organically with little effort from myself. I simply laid out some basic rules, so that people felt safe and respected, and the members of the group took the discussion in any direction they wanted.

Psychoeducation: Drug, Set, and Setting

I led the group in an education of “drug, set, and setting,” which means that how the drug itself (drug), the individual’s physical and mental being (set), and their environment (setting) play an interchanging role in how drug use affects a substance user’s life. The idea was to show the members that they could change any aspect of their drug, set, or setting to reduce the harm they get from drug use. For example, a drug user can reduce harm by making sure they eat before using (set), or only use in the company of others (setting) to be safer when they use.

Drug, set, and setting was the foundation of the Harm Reduction group. As members shared their experience with drug use, I pointed out how drug, set, and setting had played a role in their experience. For example, a member may have shared that they use less drugs when they are employed. I would have pointed out that the member is using less (drug) because they feel better about themselves (set) when they are spending more productive time at work (setting). As the group progressed through the weeks, members became more familiar with the terminology and were able to put words to the changes happening in their lives through this framework.

Final Thoughts

I have no empirical evidence that my Harm Reduction group had any positive effect on the member’s relationship with substances or mental health. What I do know is that the members said that they enjoyed coming to the group and the attendance and participation exceeded all expectations from myself and my colleagues. Most members voiced their appreciation to have had a nonjudgmental space to talk freely about substance use. The concept of being able to seek addiction treatment on their terms, without any expectations, was a new and refreshing paradigm for them.

Harm Reduction is NOT only a refreshing concept for clients but equally nice for clinicians. With no rules or negative consequences for using, Harm Reduction creates an environment that has the potential to be truly honest. I know that for me I became tired, working in abstinence treatment, constantly treating people like they were liars; policing their behavior and bodies through drug testing. By releasing ourselves from the bondage of dogmatic thinking, will free us to to the actual work that we are meant to do.

Copyright © 2011
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint:


‘Higher State of Consciousness’ From Psychedelics Is Not Just A Hippie Idea—It’s Biological

Researchers examined people on psychedelic drugs to see if their brain activity would become unpredictable.


'Send Me A Friend' Provides Support For Recovering Musicians

The program offers help to those in the music world who are looking for a sober pal when they are out on the road. 


Opioid Use May Be the Cause Of A Rare Eye Infection

Researchers are investigating a rare eye fungus which can be introduced to the body through IV drug use. 


The Book of Tater Volume 2 Part 2

Making your own higher power - a fictional case study presented as a serialized graphic novel.


Is Privacy Protection For Addiction Treatment Still Essential?

Some experts believe that a federal regulation designed to protect patients with stigmatized illnesses is no longer useful.


Police Raid 'Smokeasy' Marijuana Party in Philly

Twenty-two people were taken into custody during the raid this past weekend. 


Justin Bieber Says His 2014 DUI Mug Shot Shows His Progress

The pop star was arrested for driving under the influence in 2014.


Overcoming Addictions: Quit Smoking, Stop Overeating & End Addictive Relationships

Overcoming addictions, whether you can’t quit smoking or stop overeating, may be easier with these 5 tips. Even if you’re addicted to the wrong man or woman, are in an addictive relationship, or can’t stop shopping for expensive clothes – quitting may be easier than you expect. These 5 tips will work with most addictions […]

is courtesy of Detox of South Florida



Morning Roundup: Apr. 25, 2017

US to fund Mexico opium eradication to help heroin crisis at home, RI rehab rolls out virtual detox, Bunk Police sells drug testing kits at Coachella.


Speaking of Suicide: Steve Stephens and Responsible Reporting

“Risk of additional suicides increases when the story explicitly describes the suicide method, uses dramatic/ graphic headlines or images, and repeated/extensive coverage sensationalizes or glamorizes a death.”


Monday, 24 April 2017

The Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline Chart

The Duration Of Ecstasy Withdrawal

Are you taking ecstasy more often? Are you experience craving for ecstasy? Maybe, it’s a high time to quit!

But, first, explore our infographic on ecstasy withdraw symptoms to know what you can expect. If you like it, feel free to use it or share it. And, if you have further questions, ask them in the comments section below.

Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline

Being a psychoactive drug, ecstasy can cause both physical and psychological dependence. However, it takes only 2 to 4 days for the body to get clean from the ecstasy toxins. But, the duration of withdrawal for ecstasy varies from individual to individual. Generally, it depends upon:

  • mixing ecstasy with other substances
  • period and frequency of ecstasy use
  • person’s health and body

Generally, any time you use ecstasy, the mood that you feel afterward is a kind of withdrawal. Here’s a list of detailed guide of ecstasy withdrawal symptoms to make your detox process more easy:

0-72 after the last Ecstasy intake:

  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Hallucinations

4-7 days of Ecstasy Withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble concentrating

Week 2 Withdrawal from Ecstasy:

  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble concentrating

Week 3 Ecstasy Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Feeling better
  • Confidence

Week 4 Withdrawal symptoms form Ecstasy:

  • Increased appetite
  • Optimism

How Long To Withdrawal From Ecstasy?

Severe and harsh withdrawal symptoms from ecstasy are usually completed within the first 72 hours after the last dose, making this period the most critical for relapse. Even though physical symptoms can be resolved for a short period of time, the psychological symptoms of ecstasy withdrawal need longer period to settle down.

Long-term ecstasy users may experience protracted and acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) that can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle tension

NOTE: If you want to overcome this process safely, the best way is to treat it under medical supervision along with counseling care. There’s always a way out!

Ecstasy Withdrawal Timeline Questions

If you believe that you may need help with ecstasy withdrawal, call 1-877-804-7989. The helpline is available any time of the day and the night, and its FREE. Plus, it’s highly confidential.

Got any questions for the duration of ecstasy withdrawal? Please, leave them in the comments section below. We’ll get back to you promptly with a personal note.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Persistent Psychosis After a Single Ingestion of ‘Ecstasy’ (MDMA)
NIDA: Ecstasy MDMA Info Fact Sheet
NIDA for Teens: MDMA
NIH: Drugs Facts about MDMA

Copyright © 2011
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If this content is not in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. (Digital Fingerprint:


Heavy Drinkers May Not Be Able To Hold Their Booze As Well As They Think

A long-term study tested heavy drinkers to determine if they actually built tolerance to alcohol over time.


Alex Jones Says Modern Weed Too Strong, George Soros To Blame

The 43-year-old conspiracy theorist claims that he smokes pot almost once a year “to monitor its strength, which is how law enforcement does it.”


Florida Woman Reportedly Charged Cover Fee For Drug Flop House

The overdose survivors from the house say that the woman had created a space "for everyone to get high."


'Facts of Life' Star Charlotte Rae Opens Up About Alcoholism

Rae, a long-time member of AA, details her past struggles with alcohol in her new memoir.


Australian Alcohol Reduction Ad Named Best in the World

The ad, which aims to educate viewers about the carcinogenic risks of alcohol, asks that people do not exceed two drinks a day.


Comparing Food Addiction to Drug Addiction

Food addiction and drug addiction have some similarities. Though the drug of choice is different, the outcome is similar. Loss of control and the need to bury emotions are common for those with food addiction and drug addiction. Shelly Mcguire, Spokesperson for the American Society for Nutrition, explains that food addicts develop a higher tolerance […]

See more on: DetoxofSouthFlorida



'Hell’s Kitchen' Contestant Paulie Giganti Found Dead From Overdose

The 36-year-old chef had made it into the top five of the competitive cooking show's recent season before being eliminated.