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How to Stop Unwanted Thoughts from Ruining Your Recovery

Posted on :  January 14th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The fact that the mind is always on the go can prevent people from being successful in difficult endeavors. The “monkey mind” takes away a significant amount of time from productive work.

Managing those unwanted thoughts is easier than most people think and it can be life-changing for those who are managing their addictions.

People in rehab often have unwanted thoughts that slow their success. They might think about their addiction and the negative memories associated with it. This brings feelings of anxiety, depression, and even their past traumas. Even the simplest unwanted thoughts like those earwig songs that seem to never go away can trigger thoughts of returning to addictive substances, simply to help quiet the mind.

Mental discipline is the necessary tool that can help addicts stop the unwanted thoughts so they can focus on getting and staying well.

In order to stop those thoughts, the first step is to acknowledge that they exist. Then, through the simple technique of recognition, let the thoughts pass. They will go away once the body has dealt with them. If that does not work, then it can be helpful to mentally stop them. Some people have to physically tell the thoughts to stop, others can just stop them. Some people will need to physically pair the negative thoughts with a reinforcement like snapping fingers or turning around to face the other direction.

When the thoughts keep coming, another technique is to start to think about helpful thoughts. They do not have to be positive thoughts. They simply need to be thoughts about something other than the negative thoughts. It can be helpful to think about the things that need to be done, like cleaning the floor, washing clothes, or going to work. Those tasks are not harmful to think about, unless they begin to create anxiety. Some people will actually begin cleaning the floor or engaging in a task to make the monkey mind slow down.

Some people believe that it is not realistic to stop thoughts. In order to make the thoughts stop, it is important to understand the myths that are connected to it. These myths show how unhealthy the thoughts of the monkey mind can be.

For example, many people think that monkey mind thoughts are not harmful, especially if no one else knows you are having those thoughts. They also think that people who do not act on the thoughts are not in any trouble. These myths are harmful, because the monkey mind can bring recovering addicts back to their drugs to quiet the mind. Some people think it is acceptable to think about their addiction because it brings them joy. Others believe that stopping the monkey mind is crazy talk that cannot help at all. By dwelling on the monkey mind, recovering addicts are harming themselves and increasing the likelihood they will return to drugs.

Stopping unwanted thoughts is a coping skill that addicts can use. Like all skills, it requires practice and awareness to be successful. With the approaching holidays, those unwanted thoughts can quickly return, especially for recovering addicts who have lost relationships due to their addictions. It is a good idea to consistently practice their thought stopping techniques to enjoy the holidays.

At Towards Recovery Clinics, our addiction counselors can help with all aspects of recovery from opioids like heroin and prescription medications.

We understand the physical and mental challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you have any questions about treatment for yourself or a loved one, we encourage you to call us at one main office 905-527-2042 or via email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Getting the Most Out of Rehab Center

Posted on :  January 11th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

For some addicts, treatment centers like Towards Recovery Clinic are the best choice to manage their addictions. For others, a rehabilitation center is an important step.

Addicts who need the type of help that requires overnight stays in a rehab center often do not realize that they need it. This means that friends, family, and treatment centers like ours need to help them recognize the type of care they need. Rehab centers offer so much more to recovery than most addicts would ever imagine.

Recovering from addiction in a rehab center is one of the most difficult things that any addict can do. Most addicts never realize that they need this on their own.

In most cases, family member stage interventions to tell their loved ones that need to go to rehab or else. The ultimatum is also not always enough, but it can turn even the most hardened addicts into accepting responsibility by checking themselves into their local centers. It can be helpful for addicts to know what they are getting into when they decide to take that major step to get help.

Addicts will quickly see that they are not alone in their endeavor to get well. Rehab centers are almost always close to being full.

For most addicts, making friends in rehab can help them be successful in their journey to sobriety. Having friends with common problems can make it easier to share weaknesses and worries. Family members and outside friends do not usually understand what it is like to be an addict, but a fellow recovering addict sure does.

Before you decide to make friends in rehab, it is wise to take time to be sure the people you want to befriend are the people that will be good for you and your recovery.

While addicts are in rehab, they get to take a break from everyday life on the outside. Addicts who try to recover on their own have difficulty managing real life and their recovery. Withdrawal from addictive substances is physically and mentally challenging and pairing it with work, family, and the rest of everyday life is nearly impossible.

At a rehab center, the staff is trained to help their patients manage the challenges that comes with withdrawal. Detox is vital to the future success of the addict and without it, the body will continue to crave the substance. At a rehab center, addicts can focus on their recovery rather than their families and careers. It offers an opportunity to relax and take a break from the life that brought you to the narcotic in the first place.

In the rehab center, there will be a variety of different treatment methods that will be presented to the addict. The treatments will begin as soon as the detoxification process begins.

The providers at the rehab center will provide ideas regarding detox, then they will offer more to maintain the sobriety. The idea of taking each day one at a time is necessary to stay healthy in the rehab center.

Providers at the rehab center are trained to help patients but not develop friendships or share too much personal information. They do not want their patients to become attached to them and vice versa. But, they will suggest plenty of ideas. Some will sound brilliant and some might not fit with the addict’s lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with trying the different ideas to see if they could work outside of the treatment center.

Addicts never know what they will really need when they eventually leave the center and live their lives in the real world.

If you or your loved ones need consultation or treatment, reach our main office via telephone at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Growing Addictions in Medical Personnel

Posted on :  January 8th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The healthcare industry has one unfortunate trend occurring today: men and women working in healthcare have a growing addiction to narcotics. The general public might think that healthcare workers are immune from addictions, but in fact, they are just as susceptible to these problems as people in all other industries. And, compared to some other industries, healthcare workers are more likely to develop addictions.

Stress in the Workplace

Working in health care is extremely stressful, so employees escape into the world of drugs. Nurses, especially, have dealt with more negative changes in the workplace than most other segments of the healthcare industry. Since nurses have to treat numerous patients in a short amount of time with less assistance. They cannot prescribe medications, but they have to make sure their patients have the right medication at the right time.

Nurses become the main contact for patients because they are efficient and they cost less than doctors do. This increases their stress and can lead them to addictive substances to calm the stress.

Finding Escape in Drugs

Once health-care workers, like nurses, recognize that they need an escape, they realize that they have access to an easy remedy. Narcotics are easily accessed by nurses in hospitals and doctor’s offices. With the unusual and long hours, many nurses turn to prescription drugs as a way to help relax and fall asleep. After a while, those drugs are not enough, so they turn to stronger options.

Quick Fix that Does Not Last

Health care workers understand that drugs can quickly fix a situation, even though the fix is short-lived. When nurses turn to drugs to calm themselves, this can affect the entire healthcare industry. Employers that have easy access to narcotics should be alert to the stress levels of their employees.

Managing the Emotional Pain

Another reason that health care workers turn to drugs is to calm the emotions that come with the career. Health care workers have to work with people who are suffering from diseases and death. This can take its toll on nurses and those who develop connections with their patients. When they lose their patients, it is challenging for nurses and healthcare workers to handle the losses. Drugs will dull the pain.

Availability and Maintenance

Lastly, the availability of drugs and the types of drugs contributes to the abuse by healthcare professionals. Nurses tend to use narcotics that bring sedation and relaxation. Then, pain relievers and stimulants are used to negate the effects of the sedatives. When these drugs are paired with the emotional stress of the job, healthcare workers develop dependency rather quickly.

Genetic Predisposition

Addiction happens even quicker for employees who have addition in their families. The same goes for people who have addictive tendencies. Healthcare workers need to be aware of their health history and their family histories with addiction.

Caring for Employees to Prevent Addiction

In order to slow the trend of health care workers abusing drugs, states have gotten involved. The licensing boards have started to work with healthcare providers to address this concern and help employers work with their employees. Hospitals and doctor’s offices want to maintain their employees and not have frequent turnovers.

In order to do this, they need to be sure their nurses are not overworked and that they have healthy resources to help them with relieving stress and with relaxing. They also need to learn how to manage their emotional connections to patients, especially those with terminal illnesses.

Prevention and education might not solve all of the problems with healthcare workers and addictions, but the problem needs to be dealt with to keep the medical industry properly functioning.


Music Soothes the Addicted Brain

Posted on :  January 6th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When it comes to fighting addiction, there are several tools that the recovering addict can use for therapy.

Of course, methadone and talking therapy can help addicts on a basic level, but there are other tools that can help soothe discomfort and troubling emotions. One of the most surprising tools is music.

Music draws emotions to the surface, so addicts can use it to manage the emotions and trauma that comes with detoxing and withdrawal.

Therapists can use it during sessions to help recovering addicts understand what to do when those emotions surface outside of therapy. Even though scientists do not know exactly what music does to trigger emotions, they know that it does create physical and mental responses.

Scientists are busy trying to figure out how music affects the brain.

During brain scans, researchers are able to see different areas of the brain become excited and active when listening to music. The brain interprets the words in one area and then the sounds are broken down by several areas. The brain quickly processes it and then synthesizes the processes to affect the emotional centers. This all happens so quickly that people do not realize how complex the work is.

The human body can have positive and negative emotional reactions to music. Usually those responses are connected to prior experiences with similar sounds.

For example, scary movies use similar sounds to show that something bad is going to happen. That type of music then creates a negative emotional response in the human mind. But, when people hear songs like “Happy Birthday” they will have positive responses, especially if birthdays were traditionally positive experiences. When you watch movie previews, notice the type of music played, because the sounds used in previews are selected to create emotional responses in the viewers.

Due to the emotional nature of music, therapists are using it to help addicts with their recovery fights. In most cases, therapists will play certain songs during sessions so the therapist and patient can discuss the lyrics and the emotional response the sound and the lyrics bring.

Some therapists will ask their patients to move to the beat of the music. Others will ask their patients to actually write or perform music as a form of therapy.

The sounds from the music can help addicts manage their negative feelings. These emotions will arise during recovery, because fighting an addiction is difficult to do. Patients will want to give up and give in, especially when they are bored or someone talks about their drug of choice. Instead of giving in, addicts can listen to music to change their emotions and drown out the thoughts about getting high.

Music can also help people fight the depression and anxiety that can accompany the emotions connected to fighting an addiction.

Therapists need to choose music that will not make the addict want to go back to drugs, because there are several songs about drinking and getting high that have positive sounds and lyrics. It is also a good idea for therapists to help their patients build a playlist that does not include songs about depressing topics and lyrics. There are music therapists who are trained to help patients with this very thing.

The therapists at Towards Recovery Clinics can help patients with a wide variety of special techniques to fight addictions to heroin and other opioids.

We are dedicated to making the communities we serve healthy and free from addictions.

We encourage addicts, as well as their friends and family members to contact us for answers to questions. It is easy to reach our main office via telephone at 905-527-2042 or email at info@towardsrecovery.com.


Helping Seniors Avoid Trouble with Opioid Prescriptions

Posted on :  December 3rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

When we think of opioid addiction, we should no longer think of just heroin. The addiction to pain medication that contains opioids has reached epidemic levels. In the last 20 years, more than four times as many people have become addicted to opioids that were prescribed by physicians. Sadly, senior citizens are having a significant issue with opioid addiction.

The biggest problem with opioid medication is the fact that it is relatively easy to get more than one prescription for the painkillers. Doctors and pharmacies do not talk to each other, so they do not know if a patient is getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors and different pharmacies. Governments are trying to create laws that would give doctors and pharmacies what they need to know if patients are working the system. Laws would end patients’ ability to “pharmacy hop” or “doctor shop.”

The other problem with prescription medications is the cost. In some cases, the drugs cost more than the care provided by the physicians who prescribe them. As elderly patients rely on government systems for their drug expenses and living expenses, future generations could be greatly affected by the cost of medications. As people are living longer, due to medications and healthier lifestyles, the cost of health care will only grow and fall on the shoulders of future generations.

The addiction to pain medication could be managed by reducing the amount of money that seniors (and other patients) can spend on them in the first place. There are other ways to manage pain that do not result in addictions. In reality, countries could lose billions of dollars simply through filling prescriptions for patients who have any form of pain. It is vital that governments and medical agencies learn how to reduce these costs. Creating affordable treatment programs is a step in the right direction.

In the United States, Medicare is the program that funds prescriptions for seniors. It is important that this system alerts physicians and pharmacies if a patient has more than one prescription for expensive medications. Medicaid does this and there are other private insurance carriers in the United States that do this, too.

Health care policies need to identify people who have a history of abusing pain medication. Instead of continuing to feed their addictions, they would be directed to a treatment program. Seniors would be allowed to find a provider, but the health insurance company would have to approve the provider. The health insurance company would monitor the prescriptions and how often they are filled. The companies would set limits on refills and doctors would be alerted if patients are attempting to go elsewhere for the fix. The problem in the United States with enacting procedures like this is with the privacy laws about health care. In no way can the alerts and monitoring system reveal private information about patients.

  • It is important that senior citizens be protected from abusing medications, especially opioids. In many cases, seniors might not even be aware that they are taking a drug that is easy to abuse. They simply follow the instructions of the health care provider they trust and their brain chemistry does the rest. To protect them these ideas need to be enacted:
    • Seniors would receive approval for their preferred physicians and pharmacies, unless those places have histories with helping patients get the opioids they need.
    • The health care beneficiaries would be alerted to any changes that their loved ones made, especially when those seniors are taking opioid medications.
    • Seniors are monitored based on their history of prescription medications to see if they are at-risk for abusing prescriptions like Vicodin or oxycontin.
    • Patients who are in hospice would be exempt.
    • Government needs to create data sharing programs, especially for patients with issues with pain.

If you have any questions about treatment options, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics.


The Importance of Naloxone Kits in Communities

Posted on :  December 1st, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In the world of opioid addiction, naloxone is a miracle. This relatively new medication works quickly as an antidote to opiates. When someone takes an opioid like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, or methadone, their breathing can slow and they can be difficult to awaken from this drugged state. Naloxone (known by the trademarked name Narcan) reverses the overdose by blocking the opioids. It is not possible to get high off of naloxone because it is designed to only work on people who have taken opioids. Without opioids in the body, the drug does not have anything to affect.

The medication is easy to administer. There are two methods. One is similar to that of an epinephrine shot, where it is injected into the thigh muscle or arm or buttocks. It can also be given in a spray form through the nose. The injected version is more common. It only takes about five minutes for the drug to work, but some people do require a follow-up dose if the first one does not help with the overdose.

Everyone would agree that heroin addictions are dangerous to people and their communities. Fortunately, those communities are working to help their people by purchasing dosages of naloxone to use when residents get high and overdose on opioids. In the United States, individual states and counties are adding these dosages to their sheriffs’ offices and first responders’ kits. Not only are the stocking the medication, but they are training people to provide treatment and intervention in campaigns to create awareness and equip the necessary personnel to recognize opioid abuse and fight it. Many of the awareness campaigns are headed by local government mental health offices and public safety offices.

It is common for communities to have more than 100 Narcan kits to use when first responders are directed to locations where people are overdosing. The kits provide a dosage of Narcan as well as information to help the addicts start working toward recovery. Some communities are getting the intramuscular injectable dosages and other are requesting the nasal spray. Public safety officers usually prefer the nasal spray because it is easier to administer when compared to giving the injection. The information in the kits include cards with contact information and locations where addicts can go for treatment.

Many communities in the United States have had difficulty getting these kits in their possessions. They have to get permission from their state or local legislation, depending on the laws for dispensing prescription medication. Once legislation approves the laws, the communities have immediately stocked their shelves. One community in Michigan has already saved nearly 20 lives through the Narcan kits.

It is important for communities that are adding naloxone kits to their public safety vehicles and offices to understand how to use the kits. Training usually involves instruction on using the injector or the spray. It also involves a layman’s understand of the brain and how neurobiology makes people crave opioids once they begin taking them. Naloxone can help with overdoses due to hard drugs like heroin and with prescription medications that have increased overdoses in communities all over North America. Training also helps public safety officers about the way that heroin and opioid addiction is treated and how society views addicts. This is designed to help more people understand how important it is to get help to fight the addiction.

The numbers do not lie. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States believes that over 100 people in the United States die from opioid overdoses. This is a scary fact that needs to be reversed. With communities organization action with the naloxone kits, lives will be saved and treatment can begin.


Insomnia: A Real Problem for Recovering Addicts

Posted on :  November 27th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Men and women who are working through their addictions often suffer from insomnia. This common issue is a sleep disorder that prevents people from falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Some people have it occasionally, but there are others who have it nightly as a chronic disorder. Fighting an addiction is tough on its own and adding insomnia to it makes it even worse.

Insomnia can be caused by people who are taking medications like methadone or buprenorphine. As the brain learns to function without heroin or other addicting drugs, it needs to adjust to the new lifestyle. There are other physical issues that can also create insomnia, including chronic pain and problems that come from aging. People who are living with their addictions can have altered sleep-wake cycles, due to the chemicals that prevent the brain from falling asleep in a natural way rather than by passing out. Just like babies need to learn to sleep, recovering addicts do, too.

When it comes to sleep hygiene, the best thing to do is try to develop a sleep routine so you do not need to rely on meds to fall and stay asleep. Instead of asking for prescriptions to help you fall asleep, you can do it yourself with a few patterns and routines. At Towards Recovery Clinic, we work with people who have troubles with insomnia relating to their addictions. Here are some of our regular suggestions:

  1. Avoid caffeine after a set time. Caffeine is one of the most harmful substances for people who have insomnia. It will keep you awake, especially if you consume products that contain it in the evening and late afternoon. It is best to avoid coffee, caffeinated sodas, and energy drinks. Instead, drink water, decaffeinated tea or coffee, or natural fruit juices.
  2. Make your bed into a restful haven. You can do this by using comfortable, high-quality sheets and blankets. You should keep busy children, pets, and activities out of the bedroom, so it becomes like a sanctuary of peace to you. The room should be completely dark when you are ready to fall asleep, so turn off the television, darken your smartphone, and turn your alarm clock away from your face.
  3. Develop a set time to go to bed and wake up. The human body wants to get on a schedule, but we often destroy that schedule by having different sleep and wake times on different days of the week. Your weekend sleep schedule should be the same as the weekday schedule. It will not only help you develop a good routine, but it will help with headaches, chronic pain, and mood swings, too.
  4. Stop hitting snooze. The snooze button does not create good sleep. The human body needs REM sleep, which can be interrupted with the alarm clock repeatedly ringing in the morning. Simply set your alarm for the latest time you can get up in the morning and get up.
  5. Avoid naps. When you take a nap during the day, you trick your body by telling it that it does not need to sleep all night. Instead of taking a nap, go for a walk or just sit and think. Even if you love taking naps, fight them. Your body will appreciate it at night.
  6. Stay away from sleep aids, like liquor. You might think that a big alcoholic beverage will make you sleepy, but it does not. Booze interrupts the sleep cycle by making you fall asleep unnaturally faster; but, it will make you wake up sooner.
  7. Get good exercise every day. This means that you should try to get at least 20 minutes of relatively vigorous (for your fitness level) every day. This could be walking as fast as you can. It could be riding a stationary bike. It could also be doing simple calisthenics at your house. When you do exercise, do not do it right before bed. It will not make you tired, it will get your heart rate going and deliver energy to your body.

If you have any questions about treatment options, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics.


Can Opioid Addiction Be Managed with Psychedelic Drugs

Posted on :  November 25th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Opioid addiction is a serious problem all over North America. In the United States, researchers are working on a variety of different ways to help those who have developed an addiction from OxyContin, heroin, or Vicodin. For many years, rehab and methadone have been the standards of treatment. But, some addicts have not had much success or they have needed the treatments for an excessively long time. To replace the standard treatment, researchers are looking at the effects of psychedelic substances, specifically a substance called ibogaine to fight opioid addictions.

How Many People Are Addicted to Opioids

The United States Center for Disease Control claims that more than 2 million people have an addiction to prescription and hard drugs containing opioids. This problem has created epidemics in some of the state in the US. Just a few years ago in the US, there were over 24,000 deaths from taking heroin or prescription opioid medications. This problem needs to be dealt with because the troubles in the US are also happening in Canada.

What Happens During a Standard Treatment Program

The current detoxification program usually involves the addicts spending time in a supervised program, which can last a week or longer. Then, the recovering addicts receive a prescription to methadone or a similar drug that manages withdrawal symptoms. Some have to manage an abstinence program that can be painful. In the US, some treatment centers are seeing 25 percent success rate and some are seeing about 90 percent of addicts return for a second round of treatment. These unfortunate numbers are forcing the healthcare community to look for another treatment and in some cases the treatment is in the form of a psychedelic drug.

How Does Ibogaine Work

The drug that is showing up in several studies is from a West African plant. Ibogaine is found in the root bark. The other psychedelic drug that is showing up is psilocybin, which is commonly found in psychedelic mushrooms. These two drugs can help people manage their addictions to both smoking and/or alcohol. In a small study of 15 chronic smokers, 12 of them successfully quit using psilocybin. In another small study, a group of people reduced their drinking of alcoholic beverages decrease by 50 percent.

How Was It Discovered to Help

Ibogaine was not a drug that was on the minds of researchers. It was classified decades ago as a Schedule 1 substance because it had no medical use and was highly addictive. In the 1960s, a man addicted to heroin tried ibogaine. After taking it for the first time, he realized that he no longer felt the need for opioids. Six of his addicted friends also tried it and all but one quit heroin. He has continued to advocate for the medical community to begin a formal research program to see if the drug could be used around the globe.

Why Is It Not Approved for Use

The problem with ibogaine is that is a controlled substance that is illegal to own and use. There were some underground studies conducted on it, and some of the subjects died. Eventually, the National Institute on Drug Abuse did decide to research it, but the study never occurred because there was not enough money.

Should It Be Regulated for Detox?

Currently, there are several organizations that are pushing for a real study on ibogaine. Opiate addictions are not easy to treat, so specialists need to have several options at their fingertips. Addicts can be desperate for something to help them and ibogaine could be the answer to many problems. There are currently only three medications that have been approved for treatment in the United States and not all of them work for every patient.

If you have any questions about treatment options, please contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics via email:  info@towardsrecovery.com or phone: 905-527-2042.


Group Therapy: Can Be Helpful for Recovering Addicts

Posted on :  November 23rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In every addiction treatment center all over the world, group therapy sessions are held. These sessions offer an alternative treatment to medication. They help people understand that they are not alone and that they can rely on other people to help them work through their challenges. If family and friends are unable to empathize with the recovering addict, then a therapy group can fill that void.

Not every group therapy session is conducted in the same way, but they have a similar purpose: to provide support. The differences include the way that they are lead, the topics they cover, and the locations where they are held. Regardless of the differences, there are features of every group therapy session that happen in each one. Many people refer to the features as the “Three C’s. These can be helpful not only for group leaders to remember, but for participants to keep in mind as they work with the people and the leader in their groups.

The first “C” is Community. Every group therapy session is a form of working with others and getting involved in a community. When people are addicted, they cut themselves off from their loved ones and community. This is true for nearly everyone who needs to get themselves involved in group therapy, whether it be for addiction or another form of mental illness. The sessions help the relearn how to engage with other people.

It is easy for anyone suffering from addiction to develop a sense of loneliness, which can continue the need for addiction. When recovering addicts engage with their fellow addicts, they are able to practice interacting with other people. They can take that practice out into the real world, which can be a frightening experience without the practice sessions in group therapy. Most group therapy leaders have to establish ground rules for the group, so all members can feel safe and encouraged. The members need to be able to develop relationships with each other so they can remember how good it feels to engage with a real community.

Once community is established, group therapy sessions need to focus on change. They are designed to help recovering addicts manage their lives in a new way, without relying on addictive substances. This is a big change, which is why so many people benefit from having a group that has experienced the same situations. Change is vital, but it is difficult to do, which is why support groups is necessary for the success of the group members.

When leaders are establishing rules, they need to provide boundaries and stability. Group members need to know what to do when a new member is added or one stops attending. They need to understand how to manage change within the group, as well as outside of the group. By working through change in this small, controlled environment, recovering addictions are able to take the lessons into the real world. Leaders help them recognize their feelings and how to create positive patterns that avoid the use of narcotics.

The final feature of every successful group therapy session is choice. It might seem that the last thing recovering addicts need is choice, but they need to know how to make choices without needing to use drugs. Leaders are able to focus the group on the limitations of addictions, and how important it is to make choices with a clear head. Group participants can work together to discuss the processes of choice and how they can work together as a community to positively change their lives without drugs.

If you have any questions about recovery from heroin or other opioids, we, at Towards Recovery Clinics welcome phone calls 905-527-2042 and emails info@towardsrecovery.com.


Krokodil: What is it?

Posted on :  September 4th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

This drug is a horrible drug that is used in place of heroin. It originated in Russia, where heroin became scarce due to the war in Afghanistan and the decreased production of poppies. The drug is a combination of codeine and either paint thinner, gasoline, or lighter fluid. The drug is usually injected and it causes an immediate high. Because of the codeine, krokodil includes Desomorphine, which is highly addictive and faster acting than morphine. The drug earned its name because of the toxic ingredients that actually cause the user’s flesh to rot.

The Zombie Drug

Krokodil is the Russian word for crocodile. The drug was given this name because it actually eats away at human flesh and makes the skin look scaly. Before users realize it, their skin develops green scales at the injection site. The wounds are horrible to look at and the affliction is difficult to treat. The flesh actually dissolves on the inside, starting at the bones. Eventually, the bones are exposed. By this time, users die, unless they can be saved by surgery and they stop using the drug. Some users have limbs amputated, but most who continue to use krokodil do not live beyond two years from the time they start using.

Destroying the Body from the Inside Out

Krokodil not only destroys the skin, but it also wreaks havoc on blood vessels, too. Many users suffer from blood diseases, especially as the drug moves through the body. Krokodil then damages other sites in the body. There is nothing good about this drug.

The drug has been described as a “zombie drug” because it kills people from the inside out. The substance does not dissolve in the blood, so it clumps in the veins. This is what causes the issues with the skin. Thrombosis (blood clotting) is what creates the scaly skin and the horrible damage that occurs.

Unpurified and Deadly

People take this drug by injecting it. Because it is already a liquid or syrup, it is ready to be injected. Unfortunately, people inject it without purifying it at all. This is the danger of the substance. People can make it at home and immediately use it.

Cheap and Easy to Make

Krokodil is commonly used because it is so inexpensive and easy to obtain. Desomorphine synthesizes quickly in the body, so it is difficult to trace the drug during testing. People who enjoy getting high will choose krokodil because they can outsmart the drug tests, but eventually the drug will destroy their bodies and that will become evident to their employers.

Little Use in North America

At this time, the drug is not used too often in North America, but there are users in both the US and Canada. Most people contribute the low numbers to the fact that heroin is still easy to get. Heroin in North America tends to come from Mexico, where it has been produced starting in the early 2000s. Interestingly, krokodil users say they get the drug from Mexico. The drug has been found in Chicago, as well as Arizona and Oklahoma, where people were hospitalized from the effects it. In Canada, the drug was found in the Niagara Region.

Know the Dangers and Get Help

It is important for the general public to be educated about the dangers of all street drugs. There are not any that are healthy. The long and short term consequences of abusing substances that are not meant to be in the human body usually involve death. If you know of anyone who needs help to break a dependency on drugs, we encourage you to contact us at Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042.




Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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