a group discussing an opioid taper

What Does it Mean to Taper off Opioids?

You may have heard the term “tapering off opioids” but many people are unclear of what exactly it means. If you or someone you love has been taking opioid medications for more than a week or two there is a chance of encountering withdrawal symptoms. The best way to avoid these uncomfortable symptoms is through a process known as tapering.

What Does the Opioid Tapering Process Look Like?

Tapering off opioids is a gradual process of reducing doses over time until the medication is no longer needed. It is important to take tapering seriously and follow your physician’s instructions carefully. Depending on the situation, tapering can take anywhere from weeks to months as it requires a slow and steady approach.

How Does a Doctor Monitor an Opioid Taper?

During the tapering process, your doctor will closely monitor the process to ensure that withdrawal symptoms stay at a manageable level. Depending on the type of opioid being tapered, doses may be reduced in increments of 10-25%, or even more gradually if necessary. 

Blood tests and other forms of monitoring may also be done to ensure proper tapering is taking place. You may also be prescribed other medications to manage symptoms like insomnia. Your doctor will also likely recommend other ways to manage pain to substitute opioids.

What Medications are Considered Opioids?

Opioid medications include narcotic prescription drugs that are commonly prescribed after surgery or other medical procedure. These medications are used for pain relief but can also be highly addictive when not taken as instructed. Over-the-counter medications such as codeine may also be considered an opioid if taken in large quantities or without being prescribed by a doctor.

Common opioids include:

  • Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
  • OxyContin (oxycodone)
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Percocet (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol

Heroin is also considered an opioid, but is illegal and produced illicitly. Heroin is never used in a medical setting and therefore it’s never been prescribed. However, in order to overcome heroin dependence, tapering is still used as a detox method.

How Do I Know When I Should Start Tapering Opioids?

It is important to taper off opioids before the body develops physical dependence. This can be difficult to determine since everyone’s body chemistry and response to medications vary. Generally speaking, tapering should start when it is clear that the opioid medication is not providing enough relief from pain or other symptoms. A doctor may suggest tapering if he/she notices a decrease in the effectiveness of an opioid medication over time or an increase in side effects.

If tapering off opioids happens too quickly, withdrawal symptoms may occur such as nausea and vomiting, rapid heart rate, sweating, muscle cramps, irritability, and insomnia. It’s important to speak with your doctor about tapering down opioids safely so you can avoid these uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms

What are Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Opioid withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the type of opioid being used and how severe the addiction is. Common opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Cold sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety.

In more severe cases of opioid withdrawal, seizures and hallucinations may also occur.

Medications such as buprenorphine or methadone can help reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms when tapering off opioids in a safe manner. It’s important to speak with your doctor about tapering off opioids to ensure it is done safely and effectively. By tapering opioids slowly over time with the help of your doctor, you will be able to avoid any uncomfortable side effects associated with tapering off too quickly.

What Factors Affect How to Taper Off Opioids?

It’s important to note, tapering off opioids may be different for everyone depending on the type and amount of opioid medication you are taking. Factors that may be considered can include:

  • The type of opioid: Opioids can be classified as long-acting, short-acting, or mixed. The overall process of tapering off opioids will depend on the type of opioid you used and how it is released into your system.
  • Duration of use: Generally, tapering off opioids should take place over a period of weeks or months depending on how long you have been taking the medication.
  • Dosage: How much medication is prescribed by your doctor may also affect tapering off opioids. It’s important to speak with your doctor about tapering off in order to find the right dosage for you.
  • Biological factors: Your weight, age, and gender may also affect how you should be tapering off opioids.
  • Co-occurring mental health or co-morbid disorders: If you’re also taking medications for other conditions those will be taken into consideration. It’s important to make sure that the taper is effective but does not affect any other treatment protocols.

If you’ve been taking opioids for a long period of time and have been doing so illegally without a prescription you should consider talking to an addiction treatment specialist. You may need more medical help than a simple taper to overcome your opioid abuse.

Opioid Abuse Statistics in America

Opioid abuse has become an alarming and growing problem in the United States. In 2019, more than 46 people died every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Furthermore, 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids that same year.

Other statistics include:

  • In 2020 adults aged 25- to 34 years old experienced the most opioid overdose deaths, 17,344 which was a 38% increase from 2019, and a 1,312% increase since 1999.
  • In 2020 there were 91,799 drug-involved overdose deaths reported. 69% of these cases were men.
  • From 1999 to 2021 overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) have increased 97-fold.

How Do I Get Help for Opioid Addiction?

If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid addiction you should seek professional help from addiction treatment specialists. Opioid addiction is difficult to overcome with the help of a treatment facility. Attempting to quit using opioids cold turkey or self-treat your addiction is not recommended.

Getting the help you need will typically start with an opioid detox to break physical dependence. However, after detox, you will need to enter into a treatment program to understand the underlying conditions related to opioid use disorder. 






The Jury Is Still Out: Should You Approach CBD With Caution?

A substance that’s gained attention in recent years is CBD. Although a derivative of the cannabis plant, CBD is a legal substance due to its low THC levels.

So, how does CBD make you feel? Well, cool as a cucumber. That’s because CBD has all of the relaxing benefits of cannabis without the THC effects that cause you to get “high.”

The rising popularity of cannabis combined with the fact that CBD can help ease pain and discomfort makes daily use an easy choice. Where to access CBD is common knowledge, yet how safe it is remains up for debate.

CBD product lines are expanding at a rapid rate, plus an overwhelming number of people believe that the benefits of CBD outweigh its harmful effects. Keep reading to learn why this well-liked substance isn’t exempt from FDA recalls, misleading claims or health risks.

The Appeal of CBD Over THC

How does CBD make you feel vs. how does THC make you feel? Well, when comparing THC vs. CBD, one causes inebriating effects that make people get “high,” while the other does not. Because THC is the cannabis component that causes people to get high, THC is still federally illegal except when the amount of THC in cannabis is at or below 0.3%.

CBD, an acronym for the term cannabidiol, is one of the phytocannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant. There’s CBD in both the marijuana cannabis plant and the hemp cannabis plant, although the amount of CBD in hemp cannabis plants is much greater than the amount of CBD in marijuana cannabis plants.

There’s also THC in both the marijuana cannabis plant and the hemp cannabis plant, although the amount of THC in the hemp cannabis plant is very little in comparison to that of the marijuana cannabis plant. In fact, the amount of THC in a hemp plant is 0.3% or less. It just so happens that only CBD products with a THC level that is at or below 0.3% is federally legal as well. That’s why most legal forms of CBD come from the hemp plant.

Still, even cannabis-derived CBD products that are sold must contain THC that’s at or below 0.3% to be legal.

Many people use CBD to help treat their pain and discomfort or to just help them relax. There’s not enough research to prove that CBD can treat medical conditions though.

Regardless, due to a high demand for the drug, you can now find CBD for sleep, CBD oil for anxiety, CBD lotion or CBD cream for pain, and CBD for a wide variety of other purposes.

The Rise of CBD Usage in America

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), there has been an increase in cannabidiol (CBD) use across all ages since 2014. In fact, the AAPCC reports more than a 14x increase in cannabidiol cases since 2017. This is likely related to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that removed hemp-derived CBD and all naturally occurring cannabinoids from the controlled substance list.

The AAPCC updated its last cannabidiol case report on October 31, 2020. We can expect that the final AAPCC cannabidiol records for November and December will be closer to 2,000.

According to a 2019 Gallup poll, 14% of Americans say that they use CBD products. Young adults are the most likely to use CBD products. This is because approximately 36% of respondents were between the ages of 18-49, and 20% were between the ages of 18-29.

Because people between the ages of 18-49 typically still have a long life ahead of them and are very consumer-friendly, having high sales with this demographic could potentially lead to a long-term market for CBD users. This is especially true when looking at the possible long-term market value of CBD users that are currently under the age of 30.

Rise of CBD

Benefits of CBD

Enough research hasn’t been done yet to prove most of the benefits of CBD. Still, there is some evidence that CBD can relieve people of anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. This is because CBD may be able to act on the serotonin system in the brain and body. Many people also use CBD for sleep.

Evidence even suggests that CBD can interact with the body’s own endocannabinoid system to boost levels of anandamide. Anandamide is the “bliss molecule.” Interacting with anandamide can indeed boost feelings of happiness in a person.

Evidence also suggests that CBD may be able to act with the body’s natural opioid system. This could be the reason that many people like to use CBD to relieve themselves of pain.

People even like to use CBD because it’s non-psychoactive. Therefore, CBD gives off the relaxing health advantages of cannabis without any of its inebriating “high” effects.

How long does CBD stay in your system though? CBD can stay in your body’s system for approximately 2-5 days (sometimes longer), making it easy to reap its benefits.

Potential Harm and Side Effects of CBD Use

Less serious side effects of CBD range from respiratory problems to cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain). However, CBD can cause more dangerous side effects when used while taking other substances. This is because CBD can affect the chemical compounds of drugs.

In fact, using CBD while drinking alcohol or consuming other drugs that slow brain activity can increase the risk of sedation and drowsiness to the point of being vulnerable to injuries. Another possible alarming effect of CBD use is evident in the effects that CBD has had on the reproductive organs of animals in research studies.

Animals in CBD studies responded to CBD use with male reproductive toxicity and damage to female fertility organs. Although these effects occurred during animal testing, there is a chance that these same effects could occur for human CBD users as well. Other negative side effects of CBD use include forms of gastrointestinal distress, like diarrhea and/or a decreased appetite, as well as mood changes.

Health Risks Associated With Using Certain CBD Products

There are numerous health risks that can occur to those that use CBD products. This is because CBD products receive poor manufacturing. CBD products associate with the following major health risks:

1. Liver Injury

The FDA identified certain CBD safety risks that could lead to liver injury, similar to that of excessive alcohol use. These liver injury risks could particularly occur when using a non-FDA approved CBD product without medical supervision.

Liver injury risks even increase when people use CBD products simultaneously with other drugs that impact the liver. The best way to manage these risks is to only use FDA approved CBD products with medical supervision.

2. Drug Interactions

Studies from the FDA approved Epidiolex CBD drug show that the cannabinoid CBD can impact other medications by increasing or decreasing their effects. This could cause an increased chance of adverse effects of medications or decrease the strength of medications.

FDA CBD studies also show that taking other medications while using the cannabinoid CBD can affect the dosage level of CBD that is safe to use. There’s even little to no research on how CBD interacts with products and herbs or other plant-based products in dietary supplements. Ultimately, the best way to ensure the safety of CBD users that also take other medications is to receive healthcare monitoring. Also, don’t take CBD while using herbs or other plant-based products.

3. Male Reproductive Toxicity

Because of the high levels of male reproductive toxicity in male animals in CBD studies, there is great concern surrounding CBD use and the possibility of it causing human male reproductive toxicity.

Unanswered Questions About CBD Safety

CBD can also be harmful due to the simple fact that there are so many unanswered questions surrounding its safety. CBD is simply too new and too little researched. That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved of any other CBD drug or product except for the CBD Epidiolex which treats epilepsy and seizures. Some of the unanswered questions that are still surrounding CBD use include:

  • What will happen to you if you take the cannabinoid CBD every day for a long period of time?
  • How much CBD do you need to intake to trigger some of the more serious CBD health risks?
  • How do different methods of CBD consumption affect intake?
  • How does CBD use affect a brain that’s still developing?
  • How can CBD use affect a developing fetus or a newborn when breastfeeding?
  • Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity or damage to female fertility organs in humans?
  • How does the cannabinoid CBD interact with other herbs and plant materials?
  • What happens if you expose yourself to various different forms of CBD within the same day?
  • How does CBD affect special populations of people such as children and adolescents, elderly people, and pregnant or lactating women?
  • Is CBD safe to use on animals?
  • Is CBD safe to use on animals that we plan to eat or use their animal products?

Dangerous Promotions of Unproven CBD Medical Claims

At the end of the day, there’s a lack of data to prove that CBD has medical and therapeutic benefits. Thus, all of the CBD products that claim to treat diseases, aside from the CBD approved drug Epidiolex, aren’t being completely honest.

When products market themselves as being “medicinal” without approval from the FDA, should we even feel shocked? Having so many misleading CBD products out in the world is dangerous because it could deter CBD users from going to the doctor and getting a proper diagnosis and/or treatment plan for serious health conditions. Poor CBD product manufacturing and quality can also cause health risks for CBD users because CBD products of such low quality can mislead people about their CBD and THC levels, or worse, mislead people about the traces of other dangerous substances in them.

CBD consumers should even be extra cautious when trying new CBD flavors. For example, in July 2020, there was a recall of watermelon CBD oil due to traces of lead.

CBD health risks and unproven medical claims are also dangerous when dealing with CBD products for pets and animals. This is especially true since there are no CBD products that are FDA approved for pets and animals.

Is Using CBD Safe Enough to Cancel Out the Risks?

With all the unknowns surrounding CBD, the question must be asked: How safe is the cannabis plant cannabinoid CBD? The answer is… well, it’s too early to tell.

While there are numerous benefits to using CBD, there are also many risks. Thus, the best way to take advantage of the CBD benefits is to only use FDA approved CBD products from the hemp cannabis plant. You can also use CBD products that you’re certain contain pure CBD with equal to or less than 0.3% THC in them and have good reviews.

To reduce the likelihood of having an adverse reaction to CBD, it’s recommended to avoid CBD products that are in the form of food or beverages. You should also not use any CBD products at the same time that you’re taking any other medications, herbs, or dietary supplements. If you find yourself misusing CBD or craving to mix it with other medications, you can learn more about your substance abuse and addiction recovery options on Addiction Treatment Services’ resource directory.



















Recovery Plans for Teens and Young Adults Prove Troublesome Amid COVID-19. What to Expect…

It’s no secret that teens and young adults experiment with drugs and alcohol. October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and it falls during a particularly devastating year: The COVID-19 pandemic is still going on, and protests against racial injustice have been steadily growing. Mental health is a problem for many teens this year, and when it’s at its worst, substance abuse can develop.

One in 7 young adults need teen drug addiction treatment, but many of them don’t get it. With quarantine and staying at home becoming the norm, more teens and young adults are drinking. Because substance abuse in teens can be especially devastating, prevention is crucial. Here we’ll explore how teens, young adults, and addiction tie together, and how you can help your child if they’re struggling.

Why is Teen Substance Abuse an Issue?

There are many reasons why teen and young adult addiction is troublesome. Substance use disorder is bad enough in adults, but when you’re a teen, it can be a precursor to other issues later in life.

Teens tend to turn to substances for the following reasons:

  • Broken relationships (with both family and friends)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trauma, loss, or grief
  • Feelings of isolation or difficulty making friends

As a teenager, your brain is still developing, as well as your personality, likes, and dislikes. You’re figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Taking substances (both legal and illegal) at an early age can increase your chance of developing a tolerance to them later.

70% of young adults who try an illegal substance before age 13 end up having a substance use disorder. This is compared to 27% of young adults who try one after age 17.

Drugs and alcohol can affect a teen’s still-developing brain. Other issues that can develop from teen substance abuse include:

  • Progressively worse substance abuse
  • Unwanted pregnancy
  • Polydrug use (the use of more drugs in conjunction with others)
  • Legal trouble (i.e. DUI, jail time)

Risk Factors for Addiction in Teens and Young Adults

The earlier you start to use drugs and alcohol, the more likely you are to develop a dependence on them. Nine out of 10 Americans who meet addiction criteria began drinking or smoking before they turned 18.

Family Exposure

Teens are also more likely to develop a substance use disorder when their parents are abusing substances as well. In fact, 26.8 million children in the U.S. are exposed to alcoholism by their families, and 1 in 5 adult Americans lived with an alcoholic relative at one point in their lives.

Chronic Pain/Surgery

Teens who have chronic pain are at high risk for a substance use disorder. In addition, if teens are taking prescription drugs for surgery or after an accident, they could end up abusing them. 78% of teens said their doctor or dentist never spoke to them about how addictive or dangerous prescription drugs can be.

Mental Illness

Existing mental health disorders are also major risk factors for teen substance abuse. As previously mentioned, symptoms of depression and anxiety can drive young adults to turn to substances for temporary relief.

The Addiction Stigma: Why Young Adults Don’t Get Teen Drug Addiction Treatment

People with a substance use disorder don’t want to admit it at first. This is mainly due to the stigma surrounding addiction. There is a belief in society that having an addiction is shameful.

Young adults fear that if they receive teen drug addiction treatment for their disorder, their friends and family will shun them. People will know about their addiction once they realize the person in question has a problem with drugs and alcohol.

The important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease, just like asthma or cancer. Any disease needs to be treated.

How Media is Addressing Addiction in Teens

MTV’s latest four-part TV series, “16 and Recovering,” follows students at Northshore Recovery High School. The Massachusetts school is specifically for young adults recovering from substance use disorder. Founder and principal Michelle Lipinski started the school in 2006 to get struggling teens the help they need instead of giving them jail time. In conjunction with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the show aims to show an authentic portrayal of addiction recovery.

However, the question is whether the show will actually better educate society about substance abuse among young adults. Student Shawn O’Neill passed away only three episodes into the show before filming finished. Will the students’ sudden fame and exposure trigger relapses? Will the show simply glamorize substance abuse?

Social Media’s Influence

Online platforms like TikTok have gained thousands of users, mainly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although most of the videos on TikTok are harmless and meant to look catchy, the recent “Benadryl challenge” went viral, leading to an increase in overdoses.

The challenge has urged viewers to take an excessive amount of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) so that they can hallucinate. Three teens overdosed on the over-the-counter antihistamine in May, and one 15-year-old reportedly died in August after participating in the challenge.

Not unlike the “Tide Pod challenge” that spread in 2018, the “Benadryl challenge” is an example of how much social media can influence people to do something, even if it’s unsafe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning about the “Benadryl challenge,” saying that overdosing can cause heart problems, coma, seizures or even death. The FDA has also urged TikTok to remove any videos of it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean another viral challenge won’t replace this one.

Talking About Addiction with Your Child

If your child is struggling with an addiction, you might find it hard to figure out how to confront them about it. One way to start prevention is by talking to your children when they’re younger about substances. This can increase their chances of avoiding abuse in the future.

Listen and ask questions, but don’t lecture.

If we know our children are using drugs, we might feel tempted to give them the riot act. It’s natural to want to impart your wisdom on your children so they don’t make the same mistakes as you. However, this is a time to listen to your child’s struggles. Help them find the answers to their problems on their own.

Be sure to use reflective, nonjudgmental statements when talking to your child about substances. Ask questions about them and see what he or she says. Even if you don’t agree with every statement, just be sure that you’re listening.

Try to explore the reason why substance use happened.

Did they drink or use drugs to soothe anxiety or connect with their peers? Maybe they felt stressed or depressed. Ask your child what’s on their mind so that you can understand why they turned to substances. Showing curiosity will also make your child feel less judged. They can also gain some insight into their behaviors, and you can eventually enlist the help of a professional.

Know when to step in.

If you know that your child’s addiction is serious, it’s time to get an assessment from their doctor. Although you want to encourage your child to be open, you also need to know when to take action. Giving a clear message that your child has a problem will let them know that they need help.

Creating a Recovery Plan for Your Teen

Once you and your child have established they have an addiction, it’s time to get teen drug addiction treatment. If they have a serious addiction, enrolling in a detox program is the best option. Many facilities offer programs for young adults that provide flexibility. This will let them work around their class schedule.

Once detox is complete, the real work of recovery begins. Think about talking to your child about participating in family therapy. Here, the whole family can heal together as a whole. Participating in support groups after teen drug addiction treatment will also help your child stay sober and keep themselves accountable.

If your child does decide to go to teen drug addiction treatment, they are going to need support from you. Offer to drive them to therapy sessions, and check in on them if they’re in residential treatment.

Seeking Help for Addiction During COVID-19

Increase in Online Usage

Americans of all ages reported drinking more during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Staying home has increased online usage among both teens and adults. In the first few weeks of March 2020, in-home data usage increased by 18%, compared to the same period in 2019. About 37% of people in the U.S. reported using their laptops more due to the pandemic.

Teens who have started the school year virtually might be missing the in-person interactions with their peers and teachers. If your teen has an existing mental health disorder or substance use disorder, quarantining might make their symptoms worse. This can lead to drug and alcohol abuse among young adults.

There are a few things you can do with your child that aren’t focused around partying and using harmful substances.

Find activities to enjoy that don’t involve substances.

Teens are more likely to dabble in drugs and alcohol when they’re bored or don’t have much else going on. Go on a walk, ride your bikes, or have a game night. Keeping your child busy and engaged can prevent them from turning to harmful activities.

Maintain relationships.

Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t have strong bonds. Make sure you keep in touch with family and friends through FaceTime, Zoom, Google Meet, and other video platforms.

Try telehealth counseling.

If you’re struggling with mental health issues and are unable to leave your home, telehealth counseling can help. Apps like TalkSpace and BetterHelp can offer virtual counseling at affordable rates, and your own therapists might also be able to provide virtual sessions.

Teen Drug Addiction Treatment

There’s no guarantee that your child will accept help for a substance use disorder, but you can utilize public resources and guides.











Celebrities who have faced addiction

Most people associate entertainers with wealth, fame, and glamour but unbeknown to many, they are also human and have their demons. Indeed, some of the most successful entertainers and influencers have had to battle severe addictions at a certain point in their life while others are still undergoing rehabilitation. This post highlights some of the celebrities who have battled addiction problems in their lives.

Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr

The Iron Man star has a long history of drug abuse. He started trying drugs as a teenager and endured several arrests in the 90s and early 00s for possession and consumption of heroin, alcohol abuse, and cocaine. He was once a guest of the California prison and had treatment at the state’s rehab center. He was often intoxicated during his early acting career and only managed to overcome drug dependence in 2002. Downey encourages people to take responsibility for their personal and family problems instead of resorting to drugs.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore

The Charlie’s Angels heroine’s history with drug dependence started when she turned 13. She had a difficult childhood, as her parents were alcohol dependent. The lack of parental guidance led her to clubs where she would interact with adults and try alcohol and drugs. She would continue battling drug dependence in her 20s. Barrymore is now recovered and credits her struggles with substance dependence for inspiring her to live positively and look after her daughters.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne is synonymous with living life on the edge, so it is not surprising that he is on this list. The Heavy Metal star has struggled with substance abuse all his life. He spent much time in rehab after relapsing every time he attempted to quit drugs. Indeed, he would often shift between visits to rehab centers, music production, and performances with his Black Sabbath band. In recent years, he has adopted a laid back lifestyle, but addiction problems still creep into his life. He attends therapy sessions to manage the problem. Ozzy credits his wife’s unwavering support as the reason he has battled drug use for so long.

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Rob emerged as a budding actor in the 1980s and was part of the “Brat Pack” generation. He led a decadent lifestyle for most of the decade and developed alcohol dependence during this period. He became increasingly disoriented, but the public fallout following the release of his sex video forced him to sober up. Rob successfully underwent treatment in the 1990s and now lives a sober life.

David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff

Fans of Baywatch can remember Hasselhoff for his antics on the TV show. The star of Knight Rider has had alcohol dependence problems for several years. However, he only checked into rehab in 2009 after embarrassing public meltdowns. He is now recovering and pursues a sober and healthy lifestyle full of exercises and healthy food.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck’s infectious smile may conceal his drug use problems, but the Argo and Batman star has struggled with alcohol addiction all his adult life. His first visit to a rehab center was in 2001 and has made several visits to address the problem. After a prolonged stay at a rehab facility in 2018, Affleck stated that seeking treatment is a show of courage rather than a concession of weakness.

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry

Matt was the star of Friends for over a decade, but the on-screen vibrancy concealed his struggles with opioids and alcohol abuse. He became dependent on prescription painkillers after a doctor prescribed them following a watercraft accident. He later sought treatment and is on the path to recovery. Matt asserts that advocating for addiction awareness is part of the healing process.

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe struggled to cope with all the fame that the Harry Potter series attracted. It seems all the glory and wealth came with personal problems. He resorted to alcoholism to deal with the pressure and would turn up drunk on set. After filming the last movie, he noticed that alcohol dependence was getting out of hand and decided to seek treatment. He is now on the recovery path and is positive that he will regain sobriety.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

The charming academy award winner struggled with alcohol abuse and drug use at the beginning of his acting career. He has stated that addiction threatened his acting career, but he gathered enough courage to quit drug dependence in 2004. The decision seems to have paid off as he is one of the most sought after stars in Hollywood.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson resorted to alcohol in an attempt to battle depression and bipolar disorder. However, the alcoholism only exacerbated his problems and led to an embarrassing DUI arrest in 2006. He subsequently went to a clinic where he had a three-month rehabilitation session. He continues to battle addiction and mental health problems to this day and has apologized several times for making controversial remarks while he was inebriated.

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes’s claim to fame mostly comes from her role as an anchor on the Nickelodeon children network. However, she has been anything but a role model in real life. She has acted weirdly in public on several occasions and was even spotted driving while heavily intoxicated. She also had a confrontation with law enforcers after she burnt underwear on a driveway. Bynes’ problems emanate from mental health problems as well as alcohol and substance abuse.

Pete Doherty

Musician and performing artist Pete Doherty was into drugs and alcohol dependence at the height of his career. However, he decided to reform, completed rehab, and now boasts of raking up several years of sobriety. He has since become an activist urging those who are battling drug dependence to seek help. Pete told the Independent that drug addicts need not feel powerless and suffer in silence but should go to a rehab facility.

Ryan O’Neal

The famous actor was a drug addict but stubbornly refused to admit or seek treatment for a long time. However, his daughter Tatum O’Neal revealed that her father was an addict and that his drug dealer had molested her when she was young. She blamed her drug problems and difficulties in adulthood on her father’s addiction. Ryan continued to deny drug use until 2008 when the police retrieved large quantities of methamphetamines in his residence.

Keith Urban

Keith Urban

The country music singer struggled to establish himself in the 1990s. He sought consolation from his frustrations by resorting to alcoholism and drugs. He quickly became dependent on the drugs such that he had gone through treatment and relapse several times by the time he achieved stardom. Today he has fully recovered thanks to unwavering support from his wife. He has since gone on to win several Grammys and Country Music awards.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Britney Spears was a superstar celebrity in the early 2000s, but her star started to fade in 2006 when it emerged that she had mental health and addiction problems. Her condition deteriorated very fast, with several instances of disorderly behavior and reports of attempted suicide. Luckily, she improved after going to rehab and completing the treatment. She now lives a sober life though her music career has never recovered.

Celebrity Addiction Tragedies



Prince died aged 57 after overdosing on Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent drug that can cause death even when taken in small quantities. It is 50 times more dangerous than heroin and morphine. Prince became dependent on the drug after doctors prescribed it as an antidote for knee pain. He died in 2016 after collapsing at a studio in Minnesota.

Carrie Fisher

Fisher famously played in the Star Wars films as Princess Leia. However, her off-the-screen life was anything but special. She struggled with mental health problems and addiction for many years and wrote several books and memoirs about her struggles. She was also a mental health activist. Unfortunately, she died of a heart attack in 2016 due to cardiovascular complications related to drug use.

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston awed her fans with her lovely voice and soulful R&B tunes, but she was battling with her demons all this time. Unfortunately, the drug problems got the better of her, and she died in 2012 due to complications related to cardiovascular damage and cocaine abuse.

Andy Irons

Andy Irons was an exceptional athlete who broke several surfing records. However, he was battling an addiction to several drugs, including meth, cocaine, methadone, and alprazolam. Andy died in his hotel room in 2010 from a cardiac arrest caused by a drug overdose. His autopsy results indicated that he had taken a mixture of opioids and cocaine.

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse publicly expressed her struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction and even released a song called Rehab. She went through several attempts at rehabilitation but eventually died aged 27. She joined a famous club of celebrity musicians such as Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, who died at 27 years.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

The actor and funnyman are memorable for quotes that tickle his audience to this day. However, Robin battled alcoholism and cocaine addiction for several years. He maintained sobriety for decades but relapsed in 2004 and subsequently went for treatment in 2006. However, he was also battling depression, and the combination of drug dependency and mental illness caused him to commit suicide in 2009.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Jackson is famous as an entertainer and pop legend but battled with barbiturates addiction most of his adult life. He would take large amounts of Propofol to battle insomnia. It was this habit that caused his death in 2009.

Celebrity Addiction Activists

Theoren Fleury

Former hockey player Theoren Fleury has had a rough ride from addiction. Fleury was a party animal and would head to clubs after games to mingle with drug dealers and strippers. He failed several drug tests while playing for the NHL. But it was the altercation he had at a strip club that sent his career tumbling down. He would later develop depression and came close to committing suicide before seeking help. After going to rehab, Fleury became an advocate of addiction treatment. He now runs a website that inspires people to seek help and achieve their life purpose.

Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin

The star of Full House became a household name after featuring on all episodes of the show. However, the end of the show in 1995 disoriented her so much that she struggled to adapt to the reality of ordinary life for several years. She experimented with alcohol at the age of 14 before advancing to meth, crack, and ecstasy. Jodie experimented with several drugs even as she struggled to find a new purpose in life. It was only in 2008 that she decided to take control of her life and sought treatment. She is fully recovered and now practices as a certified addiction counselor.

Amber Valletta

Amber Valletta

Model turned actress, Amber Valletta, may look like the perfect celebrity but has struggled with addiction for several years. In a recent interview with People magazine, she confessed to being addicted to alcohol and cocaine. She admitted that she had to seek treatment when the situation got out of hand. Amber Valletta advises drug addicts to avoid descending to self-pity but instead seek help and use their experience to inspire others.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato first tried drugs at the age of 17 while acting on YY. However, it was when her music star shone that cocaine and alcohol addiction became a pertinent problem. She went for treatment in 2010 to resolve addiction and mental health problems. Demi Lovato openly shares her battle with drug addiction on social media, in her music, and during interviews.

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

Clapton started rocking when psychedelic drugs were part of rock culture. He became heavily dependent on heroin in the 1970s. He recovered but subsequently switched to cocaine and alcohol. Clapton finally managed to shake off drug dependence in 1987 after successful rehabilitation. He was so inspired by the experience that he built a charity rehab center in Antigua.

Edie Falco

Edie Falco

At the start of her career in the 1990s, Edie became an alcoholic due to the extreme pressure of making a Hollywood name. However, she managed to recover by undergoing a comprehensive treatment program. She is outspoken about drug addicts’ need to seek treatment and even played an opiate addict in the Nurse Jackie.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis

The children’s book writer struggled with drug addiction and alcohol dependency for several years. She became dependent on opioids after she got a prescription for pain killers. However, she managed to overcome the addiction and ranks attaining sobriety as her greatest achievement. Curtis now campaigns for drug awareness and the reform of drug policies to restrict access to opioids.

Oscar De La Hoya

Those who are into boxing know Oscar De La Hoya for his heroics on the ring and holder of several world titles. However, he has struggled with alcohol addiction for a long time but only came out in 2011. He went to rehab and now leads a healthy life. He has paid glowing tributes to Alcoholics Anonymous for helping him through the recovery.

Lessons from Others Success

Addiction is a problem that can affect anyone, even the celebrity personalities we look up to. The stories of recovery by various celebrities are inspiring because they show that even the most broken people can heal and live a healthy life. If you are struggling with an addiction or have a friend or family member with a similar problem, you can always seek help at a reputable rehab facility.

telehealth addiction services

ATS has partnered with Phoenix Behavioral Health

Addiction Treatment Services has partnered with Phoenix Behavioral Health to offer telehealth addiction services

JUNE 01, 2020

Telehealth Addiction Services

People facing alcohol and drug addiction often have trouble finding the right treatment for their needs and situation. The recent COVID-19 outbreak is making it harder than ever to get the help they want and need, but a new partnership is promising to change that.

Addiction Treatment Services is partnering with Phoenix to offer patients telehealth services. The service aims to provide counseling and support during this stressful time so that patients can get back on the road to recovery. Both companies keep their patients’ needs in mind from start to finish to give them the best odds of reaching their short- and long-term recovery goals, and the partnership paves the way toward the future.

Is It Safe to Mix Benadryl and Alcohol?

Allergies are a real bummer. They make your nose drip, your eyes itch, and your throat tickle with that nagging cough that is sometimes enough to drive you crazy. In your desperation for relief, you might turn to Benadryl, the most famous (and the most effective) drug for combating allergies. As you sit and wait for the medication to take its effect, you might be tempted to pour yourself a glass of wine. Maybe, the Benadryl makes you feel better, and you decide to go to that party you were invited to and have a couple of drinks. Think twice before you make this mistake. You are personally responsible for what you put into your body, and you need to pay attention to the ways different substances interact. Is it safe to mix Benadryl and alcohol? No, it is not, and you should not do it under any circumstances.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl, the brand name of a drug called diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine, meaning it helps control the functioning of the compound histamine in the body. Histamine causes your body to react to allergies with standard systems like coughing and a runny nose. By voiding the histamine’s activation of these symptoms, the antihistamine makes the body more comfortable while fighting off an allergy.

Benadryl is an over the counter drug, meaning you can buy it at the pharmacy or a supermarket without a prescription. This ease of access makes it a lot more convenient to fight off seasonal allergies, but it also suggests that Benadryl is relatively harmless. It is a powerful drug with harsh, dangerous side effects, especially if its use is combined with alcohol consumption.

Why is Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol Unsafe?

Both Benadryl and alcohol are depressants, meaning that they slow down the functioning of your central nervous system (which consists of your brain and your spinal cord). With Benadryl, this comes as no surprise, since drowsiness is a common side effect. However, in the case of alcohol, people often mistakenly believe it is a stimulant because of the euphoric sensations and lively behavior it seems to cause. It is essential always to remember that alcohol is, in fact, a depressant, and treat it as such.

Taking Benadryl and consuming alcohol simultaneously works as a double whammy on your central nervous system. Simultaneously stricken with two different depressants, the central nervous system becomes overwhelmed. Some studies even suggest that alcohol serves to enhance the effects of Benadryl. The result is extreme drowsiness and fatigue. The brain becomes incapable of easy tasks, and motor ability is significantly reduced.

This excessive drowsiness can make ordinary tasks of everyday life dangerous. Driving under such conditions, for example, is extremely hazardous and comes with a severe risk of accidents. Other seemingly simple tasks, from preparing yourself dinner to taking a bath, also become dangerous when your brain is so significantly impaired.

Driving: Especially Risky

It is important to note that driving is a terrible idea for anyone who has ingested both alcohol and Benadryl. You might think it is okay to have taken Benadryl for your allergies and then stop for just a single beer at a local bar on your drive home from work. While this might not appear to be especially extreme behavior, in reality, it is hazardous.

Benadryl itself is already enough of a risk behind the wheel, with some studies suggesting that it is more dangerous than alcohol even on its own. Once you add a little alcohol to your system, you are setting off a chain reaction in your body that will significantly increase the danger.

Additional Risks for Seniors

Seniors seem to be especially susceptible to the effects of Benadryl. This means that drinking on Benadryl is even more dangerous for older adults. A lack of motor ability and dizziness is also a riskier proposition for the elderly because it increases the chance of falling. A poor decision to mix alcohol and Benadryl can be the first mistake in a series of misadventures that results in a serious (or even deadly) accident.

Awareness of Alcohol in Unsuspected Substances

So now you know not to drink alcoholic beverages while you’re taking Benadryl for your allergies. But even that is not enough awareness to keep you entirely in the clear. It is also essential to recognize what substances contain alcohol besides alcoholic drinks. Some medications, including laxatives and cough syrup, contain alcohol. There are some drugs for which alcohol even makes up ten percent of their total mass. Taking these medications, along with Benadryl, can be as dangerous as washing your allergy medicine down with a bottle of wine. If you are going to be taking other medications along with the Benadryl, read the labels carefully to make sure they don’t contain alcohol. If you have any doubts about whether a drug can be taken simultaneously with Benadryl, contact your doctor. This is a situation where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Potential for Polysubstance Abuse

Some individuals may take Benadryl and use alcohol simultaneously intentionally, hoping to experience the doubling of depressants as a sort of high. This is highly dangerous, not just because of the drowsiness such behavior causes, but also because both substances are potentially addictive. Once an addiction to this dangerous mixture is developed, it might be impossible to overcome it without rehab. In extreme cases, individuals may even up their dosage until overdose and death become real possibilities. Such a pattern of behavior should be strenuously avoided.

Overcoming Addiction

If you are addicted to Benadryl and alcohol, you should reach out for help before it is too late. A rehabilitation program can get you sober and on the path toward recovery. From hospitalization to outpatient care, there are plenty of options that can help overcome this nasty addiction. Addiction is devastating, but there is always a way out.


Benadryl is a useful drug, helping millions of people overcome the obnoxious symptoms of seasonal allergies every year. As helpful and popular as it is, its ubiquity should not be mistaken for benignity. Benadryl is highly potent, with severe effects on the central nervous system. When mixed with alcohol, the dangers of Benadryl are even more pronounced.

Feel free to use Benadryl to fight your allergies, but do it with caution and a healthy respect for the drug’s destructive potential. Never mix Benadryl and alcohol, especially in an intentional search for pleasure. If you are anyone you know suffers from addiction to this deadly cocktail of substances, seek help immediately. Benadryl might be sold over the counter, but it’s far from perfectly safe.

When to Go to Rehab

Is My Addiction Bad Enough? When to Go to Rehab

When Is My Drug or Alcohol Addiction Bad Enough To Go To Rehab?

People struggling with alcohol or drug addiction often find it extremely difficult to admit that they have a real problem. If your life and your relationships are being affected in an unfortunate way due to your drug or alcohol addiction, then maybe it is time to face the reality of your addiction head-on. Once you finally admit that you have an addiction to yourself and your loved ones, you will be on the right path to a successful recovery. Now all you need to do is decide on how you want to get sober.

It is quite unfortunate that only about ten percent of people who struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction end up going to rehab and getting the help that they need. Of course, there are hundreds of different reasons that people believe they do not require treatment, but the most common reasons are that they haven’t realized the severity of their addiction or they just haven’t hit rock bottom yet. The worst thing is that most addicts will continue to use it until they hit rock bottom or end up dying from an overdose. You are already in a dangerous spot if you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. And if you are questioning whether or not you need to get help from a rehabilitation facility, then you probably do. If you wait, you are at risk of losing everything and everyone you love, possibly even your life.

Understanding The Severity Of Your Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they only have a severe addiction if their substance abuse has caused them to lose their home, job, marriage, and even individual relationships within your family. However, that is not the case. You may have just been lucky so far, but luck does not last forever. Even if your addiction is still in its early stages, you should always seek treatment for your addiction as soon as you possibly can.

Addictions are diagnosed on a spectrum, and there are many different criteria for addiction that can help determine whether your level of addiction is mild, moderate, or severe. Here are a few various examples:

  • Withdrawals
  • Unable to quit, even if you wanted to
  • Relationship issues
  • Loss of interest in things that you used to love
  • Unable to control yourself
  • Increasing Tolerance
  • Spending a vast majority of your free time trying to obtain the substance

The higher the number of criteria that you meet, the more severe that your addiction is. However, even if your addiction is mild, getting help as soon as you can help save your life before it is too late. Remember that you are risking your life anytime you use drugs or alcohol, and if you drive under the influence, you are endangering everyone else’s lives. And every single year, thousands of people die from alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses.

What Should You Do If Your Friends Fail to Recognize The Severity Of Your Addiction?

You are questioning whether you have an addiction, but your friends continue to tell you otherwise, or you are just overreacting. If this happens to you and you’re unsure of what to do, consider asking yourself these three questions.

  1. If The Table Was Turned, Would You Feel Comfortable Confronting Them About Their Addiction? It all depends on whether or not your friendship is durable enough for that extreme level of honesty. Your friend(s) could be questioning this as well. They could be too scared to address your addiction and risk their friendship with you, especially if it has been rough in the past.?
  2. Are Your Friends In The Same Position As You? If your friend(s) also happen to struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, then they may be saying whatever they possibly can to avoid losing their party buddy, especially if they are too afraid to admit that they have an addiction. However, if they’re truly a real friend, they will stand by your decision to get sober no matter what.
  3. Are You Guilty of Hiding Your Addiction From Them? If you have hidden this side of you from your friends, then they may be utterly shocked once they are told. They are most likely in denial of how it could even be possible or wondering how they failed to notice this all this time. Use this as an opportunity to be completely honest and open up to them about your substance abuse issues. After all, you will want them by your side while you recover.

Your Addiction Can And Will Only Get Worse As Time Passes

 A mild diagnosis may not be as critical as a severe diagnosis, but it’s just as important because your life is still at risk. Addiction is a progressive disease meaning that it will only get worse over time. The diagnosis of your addiction could be mild one week and then moderate or severe the next. Please don’t wait until you hit rock bottom or die from an overdose; it’s time to go and get the help that you need. 

Reach Out To A Good Rehabilitation Facility & Grasp At Your Best Chance at Getting Sober

To beat any level of addiction to alcohol or drugs, you must get rid of the physical dependence and address any behavior or psychological problems because of your addiction. Eliminating the physical dependence of any substance will require a full detox to get the drugs or alcohol out of your body. Getting your detox done by medical professionals is much safer than doing it yourself at home. If you quit cold turkey, it will not affect the psychological aspect of any drug or alcohol addiction. If you want to recover from your addiction, you must change the way you act, think, and feel. Without getting help from experienced medical professionals at a rehabilitation facility, addressing the psychological aspect of any drug or alcohol addiction. These medical professionals not only care about your well-being, but they are also there to assist you with any issues or withdrawal symptoms.

Struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person, or even a weak person, it just means that you have a substance abuse problem and it’s time to get the help that you need. Your addiction is only going to get worse as time goes by, so get help sooner rather than later because your life is in danger. If you are unable to stop but want to, then it is time to check into a rehabilitation facility today! Going to a rehabilitation facility will allow you to gain a reliable support system and set you up with a set of skills to beat your disease for many more years to come. Without seeking help from these medical professionals, your drug or alcohol addiction could last your entire life. Go out and save your life today!

Encouraging Words For Someone in Rehab

Words of Encouragement: For Someone in Rehab

Did you know on average, 44,000 people die every year from a drug overdose, and it has become the number one injury-related death in the United States? The use of alcohol and drugs can be very detrimental for someone’s life as they leave their loved ones behind, and many people who go through rehab or therapy sometimes relapse or do not finish the program. Finding the words to say to someone who is seeking help and needs encouragement to complete the program and be free from their addiction can be tough, but it is not impossible. Here are a few questions and words of support you can say to someone who is going through rehab.

Encouraging Words For Someone in Rehab

How Are You Doing?

This question may seem like one of the most obvious questions or things to say to someone who is going through therapy, but it can be overlooked at times. When you do not know what to say, start by asking about their well-being, and let them know you are not looking for the primary responses everyone gives. I’m ok, or I’m doing good. Let them know you want to know exactly how they are feeling, and if anything is bothering them, you are there to listen.

How Can I Support You?

Asking someone going through therapy how they are doing may open up a hard conversation. They may tell you things are tough for them, or perhaps they are wanting or thinking about giving up. It is essential to let them know they have your full support, so if you do not have a solution on how you can support them, do not be afraid to ask how you can help them. They may enjoy your presence or your company. It can allow them to feel at home. You may be able to do outside things that are stressing them out; they may need you to do something such as giving a message to a loved one or checking on their home while they go through therapy. It is never a bad thing to ask someone directly how you can support them.

I Am Proud of You

Hearing the words, I am proud of you can give someone great strength and encouragement. Even if they mess up, or if this is their third or fifth time going through therapy, letting them know that you are proud of them can mean so much to them. Let them know the reasons you are proud of them. This will help them to see their strength. They may not have done it right the first time, or maybe they relapsed, but they had enough power to go back and try again. It takes a lot of courage and strength to try something again after failing the first time. It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit you need help, so no matter if it is their first time or their second or third time, they had enough courage to walk through that door and say, ?I need help,? and that is worth something to be proud of.

Just Take Things One Day at a Time

Sometimes people may feel overwhelmed with all the things they have to do to recover. They have to go through withdrawal, etc. They may even start to feel anxious about getting through the program, but you tell them not to focus on what they have to do tomorrow but to focus on what they are doing today. Tell them to take things one day at a time, and over time they will see all the hard work they put into getting better. Worry about today’s troubles because tomorrow will have their own.

I Am Here For You

Sometimes people may feel like they are alone while they are going through recovery, but you let them know they are not alone and that you are there for whatever they need. Even if you cannot be there physically, let them know they are in your thoughts. However, you can contact them, do so, and cheer them on. This will help build them up and give them the strength to continue.

What Have You Been Learning

Asking your loved one what they have been learning allows them to see you care about what they are getting out of their recovery. This will let the two of you discuss their growth. You will also be able to learn something about them as well. You two may be able to come up with a plan to help them improve their living situation when released from therapy.

It Always Seems Impossible Until One Day It Isn’t

Many people think things are easier said than done, but sometimes it is the opposite. Sometimes things are easier done than said. When we say things, we think about what we have to do instead of just doing it. This can lead to overthinking and psyching ourselves out of doing something, but once we do it, we realize it was impossible, and we are a lot stronger than we anticipated. Encourage your loved one to keep going because one day, they will understand how strong they are, and they will be able to see they can live a sober life.

What Are Some of Your Goals and Desires in Life?

Having goals and good desires can help encourage your loved one to finish their program, and saying yes to a new adventure can give someone hope. Let your loved one know that this is their opportunity to gain a new fresh start. This is their opportunity to learn new things about themselves and to find new healthy habits to help them cope. Help them to build up the excitement. Your loved one has the rest of their lives to live free from their addiction. The possibilities of who they can be and what they can do are limitless. Remind them of who they wanted to be and what they wanted to do before their addiction started. They can still be that person.

I Believe in You

Sometimes it takes someone else to believe in a person before they begin to believe in themselves, and sometimes it is the belief that someone has in that person that will motivate them to believe in themselves. They will start to desire to see what you see in them, so even if they do not believe in themselves, let them know you believe in them even if no one else does. This may give them the extra push they need.

What Has Been Hard for You

Asking your loved one has been hard lets them know you genuinely care and want to support them through the good and the bad. If they tell you something hard and can encourage them, then do so, but if it is something you do not have an answer for, do not be afraid to help them to open up to someone in the rehab facility to support them. For example, if they tell you it has been tough being away from home and they miss everyone, you can encourage them by reminding them this is a temporary situation. This, too, shall pass. They will not be in that situation forever and remind them of all the hard work they are putting in to get them through rehab, but if they tell you something more complex, encourage them to speak with someone who can help them find a solution.

Having a hard one go through rehab can even be hard on you, so as you continue to encourage your loved one, remember it is ok for you to seek encouragement and support yourself. We hope these words of encouragement will help you and your loved one as they go through rehab.