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Types of Group Activities Help Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  July 8th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Regardless whether you are undergoing treatment or in recovery for drug addiction, it is important to ensure that the possibilities of relapse are addressed. Would you simply accept the notion that relapse is a normal part of the road to recovery? For those who are truly serious in getting rid of their addiction, this is not the view to take. So how do you overcome this? One of the most effective ways is to engage in fun and meaningful addiction treatment group activities. These are designed to help keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay. What are the types of group of activities?

Motivational Therapy

This group activity helps addicts to gather motivational skills and techniques. It delivers motivational support that is needed by addicts to stay on the treatment or the road to recovery. The reality is that many addicts face difficulty in stopping their addiction because they are not motivated to commit to the change. This type of group activity changes this perception and way of thinking.

Educational Therapy

The therapy includes educating addicts not only about the drugs, but also about treatment, withdrawal symptoms, and more importantly, the options that are available to them. This is why it should be an integral part of any drug addiction treatment. The truth is that many addicts are not even aware of what they have gotten themselves into, or even the options for treatment that they can benefit from. This therapy gives them a chance to ask questions.

Group Yoga

These classes help addicts to focus and is an excellent way to enhance commitment to the drug addiction treatment. Yoga has been linked to stress reduction, improved blood circulation, and reduction of withdrawal symptoms. All of these are something that can benefit addicts.

Nature Walks

Have you ever gone on a nature walk? Then you will know that it has a calming and relaxing effect. It is not only a form of exercise, but also a way to meditate. Hiking and nature walks are not standard in addiction treatment programs because of the location or setting of the rehabilitation center. However, it can be modified to compensate for these stumbling blocks.

Art Classes

Did you know that this is a recognized form of holistic therapy? Group art classes assist addicts in not only learning about themselves, but also expressing what they feel. By keeping the hands busy, addicts overcome their restlessness and fidgeting as a result of the calming effects that the the activity brings. It also allows addicts to deal with their innermost feelings.

Sharing activities

This can be quite difficult for some addicts. But, it will obviously help them to open up about their struggles. When incorporated  as one of the addiction treatment group activities, it helps addicts feel that they are not alone. This is an extremely powerful feeling to have, which is why it is included into almost all treatment programs.

Meditation and Relaxation

Is there any benefit in helping drug addicts meditate and relax? If you don’t know, these are proven activities that help people cope with stress and addiction. These are practiced around the world to help addicts achieve a better life. Part of this is the guided visualization wherein the addict is assisted in seeing their future where they are no longer dependent on drugs. Just because it is done in a group setting does not mean that it has to be social.

Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)

What is RPT? This is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that is designed to limit the possibility of relapse. It helps addicts to cope and anticipate circumstances that can lead to a relapse. By having a strategy on how to deal with these circumstances, the situations become less risky.

A relapse prevention plan can include addiction treatment group activities because it curbs some feelings that can function as triggers. Some of the group activities help addicts to be completely aware of their feelings so they are able to anticipate the resulting relapse and do corrective measures.

If you want to know more about addiction treatment group activities for various types of addictions, call Towards Recovery Clinics today.

The Numbers on Drug Abuse Treatment

Posted on :  February 22nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Aside from stopping the abuse, one of the envisioned goals of drug abuse treatment is to successfully return users as a productive member of society. This can only be done if treatments are successful, which is why keeping track of individual progress is very vital. It is important to point out though that individual results will vary depending on how extensive the dependence of the individual is and the type of drug that is abused. You also have to consider the suitability of the treatment including the quality of interaction the user receives for the duration of the treatment. Let us take a look at some drug abuse treatment statistics.

Age and Ethnicity

Why are these factors important? If we subscribe to the idea of individualized or personalized treatment of abusers, then we have to know from what age and which segment of society they come from.

Based on the figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2009 there were approximately 23.5 million people needing treatment for abuse who are 12 years old or older. What is alarming with this figure is that only 11.2% or about 2.6 million abusers received the treatment they needed from a specialty institution. The highest number of admissions was for the age group of 25 to 29 at 14.8%.

Among those admitted, 60% were White, 21% African-American, 14% Hispanics, 2.3% American Indian, and 1% Asian. The survey did not indicate whether financial capability had something to do with the percentage of admission per ethnicity.

Cost of Abuse

Is it really important to focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers? Why is it necessary to reintegrate them into society? Let us take a look at the financial burden that drug abuse brings.

In the United States alone, the cost of abuse reaches an approximate amount of $137 billion for health care. The cost estimate does not take into account the lost in productivity and the criminal aspect of the abuse. If we were to factor these in, the amount would go well beyond the $600 billion mark or roughly 17.1% of the federal budget!

Staggering, right? Wait, there’s more to sink your mind into. The statistics on the drug problem indicates that it is on an upward trend. Considering those aged 12 years and older, in 2002, there were 13% that used drugs, by 2012 the number had risen to 13.2%. What is 0.2% you say? Well, that small percentage translates to an increase of more than 4 million drug users! For people 50 years and older, the figure more than doubled during the same period.

Cost of Abuse Treatment

With these alarming statistics, is the cost of treatment worth it? As far as successful treatment programs are concerned, they have shown to reduce the associated social and health costs compared to the actual cost of abuse treatment.

The emergence of treatment strategies present cost effective alternatives to incarceration, resulting in lowering the cost of drug abuse. What does this mean? Let us take a user undergoing methadone treatment, the cost for a year amounts to $4,700. This is significantly lower compared to the $24,000 spent on every drug abuser that is put in jail for a year.

Conservative drug abuse treatment statistics also reveal that for every dollar that is used to fund addiction treatment programs, the return in anywhere from $4 to $7. The return is based on the reduction of drug-related offenses, cost to the criminal justice system, and possibly theft.

When you factor in the saving to the healthcare costs, the total savings significantly increases to an astounding ration of 12 to 1. You also have to consider the reduction in interpersonal conflicts, fewer drug-related incidents, and the increased productivity of the treated user.

If you would like to know more about significant drug abuse treatment statistics, get hold of the Towards Recovery Clinics, Inc. today.

How to use a Naloxone opioid overdose kit

Posted on :  January 17th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner


The kits are available prescription-free at Ont pharmacies.
Could you use one in an emergency?

.Since anti-overdose kits for opioids were made available in pharmacies in June 2016, Ontario’s ministry of health has distributed 12,000 Naloxone packages to more than 1,400 locations across the province.

Here’s what pharmacists at the Canadian Addiction Treatment Pharmacy want you to know about using a Naloxone kit correctly.

Call 911

Even if you have an Naloxone kit, don’t wait to call for help. Contact emergency services right away.

Make sure it is an opioid overdose

Naloxone is effective in counteracting opioids like fentenyl and oxycodone, not cocaine or crystal meth. Know how to spot the signs of an opioid overdose: look for small pupils, laboured or no breathing and extremities that are turning blue.

The person must be unresponsive

Shake, shout and do everything you can to help the person regain consciousness before injecting a dose of Naloxone.


Intramuscular not intravenous

Naloxone works when it is injected into a muscle, not a vein. The bigger the muscle, the better. Go for the arm but if the person is wearing a heavy coat, the thigh muscle is another good option.

Naloxone takes time to work

After the first injection, don’t expect an immediate response. The antidote takes at least three minutes to start working.

What happens afterward

Naloxone can lead to withdrawal symptoms and that may result in aggressive behaviour. The person may also be unaware that they’ve overdosed and could be confused. Be calm and help them understand what has happened. And be certain that 911 has been called, for professional medical help.

NOTE: Please do not interpret these tips as definitive medical advice. Always call 911 if you suspect drug overdose.

By Amanda Margison, CBC News

How pharmacists are becoming the first line of defence against opioid overdoses

Posted on :  January 17th, 2017  |  By :  Robby Breadner


‘I have had patients I’ve trained who’ve used kits to save people’s lives in the community’

“People who are concerned a friend or loved one could overdose on opioid drugs like heroin or fentanyl can turn to their pharmacists for help.

Since June 24, kits containing naloxone – a drug that reverses overdose effects – have been available to pharmacists to give out to Ontario health card holders for free over the counter.”

By Kate Bueckert, Amanda Margison, CBC News.

Read full article, here.

Test Post for news

Posted on :  January 2nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Helpful Books to Read: Learn About Addiction and Recovery

Posted on :  December 9th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Addiction and recovery are not just topics for hospitals, methadone clinics, and mental health facilities. In fact, the history of addiction and recovery have been documented in several fascinating books. These books have been well researched and they document the rise of drug abuse, addiction, and treatment in the United States and around the world. If you are interested in learning more about this very real problem in society today, take a look at a few of these titles:

Opiate Addiction – The Painkiller Addiction Epidemic, Heroin Addiction and the Way Out by Taite Adams. This book was recently updated in March of 2014. The book recognizes the epidemic that is opiate addiction in North America. It also recognizes the fact that recovery is difficult. Adams created a text that provides necessary information about the addiction as well as a real way to manage the fight to overcome the addiction. The book is highly recommended for people who are personally caught in the grips of addiction and for those who have loved ones who are trapped by opioids. Adams recognizes that knowledge is power when it comes to addictions to painkillers and opioids.

The Fix by Michael Massing. A paperback version of this book was published in 2001 and chronicles the 25 year battle on drugs led by American presidents in the 1970s and 1980s. The books is written in a journalistic style and promises to be illuminating and a bit frustrating, too. This is a vital addition to any book collection about drug addiction. It is full of actual history, interviews with addicts, and the role that politics took in the iconic “war on drugs” messages that dominated the end of the 20th century media.

The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control by David Musto. If you are considering enrolling in a course about the history of drug abuse in North America, this book will most likely be in the course syllabus. It may not be the most exciting read, but it shows how North America has moved through cycles about drugs and about government policies dating back to the 1860s. Once you finish this classic book, you will have a solid understanding of why addiction is such a problem today. The most recent version of the book was published in 1999.

Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety by Scott Stevens. Published in 2013, this book was a finalist from Next Generation Indie Books and USA Best Books Awards. While it does not address the problems with opioids, it does address the problems with alcohol addiction. It gets into the dirty underbelly of recovery and why relapse occurs with nearly 90% of alcoholics. The book is written for those who drink, those who do not drink, and those who know people who drink so that all parties involved in the cycles of recovery and relapse can understand what really happens.

The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America’s First Prison for Drug Addicts by Nancy Campbell comes heavily recommended by those who want to learn more about drug abuse, recovery, and research. For 40 years, the Narcotic Farm was a real place where addicts went for rehabilitation. The Narcotic Farm was home to famous addicts as well as junkies who helped with the research conducted at the facility, that was shuttered in 1975. The book was released to support a PBS special about the Narcotic Farm, so it is full of photographs of first source documents, photographs, and actual stories from the prisoners who lived in the first federal prison designed just for drug addicts. The book was published in 2008, but sold very few copies.

If you have other suggested titles for addicts and their loved ones, let us know by contacting Towards Recovery Clinics on 519-579-0589.

Some Important Lessons from Robin Williams’ Death

Posted on :  September 8th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The recent news of Robin Williams’ tragic death serves as a reminder for all of us dealing with addiction and depression. Although his widow, Susan Schneider, said the comedic actor’s sobriety was intact, his battle with drug and alcohol abuse was a never-ending struggle. Some important lessons we can learn is that an addict is always in recovery, and mental illness, such as depression, often goes hand-in-hand with addiction.

What is meant by “always in recovery?”

As so many recovered addicts will tell you, “recovery is a journey, not a destination.” There is no exact “finish line” to cross where one is declared officially recovered. The potential for substance abuse is constantly there, so in effect, one is “always in recovery.”

Although an addict may not have used drugs or alcohol for quite some time (even years), there is always the possibility of a relapse. Robin Williams himself was sober for 20 years until he relapsed in 2006.

While some people overcome addiction without experiencing a relapse, the triggers and temptations to start up again always exist. In many instances, a small, apparently harmless incident can cause a person to start using again. For Robin Williams, it began with a simple trip to the store while shooting a movie. His eyes fell on a tiny bottle of whiskey when that little voice went off in his head. Seemingly okay after drinking the first one, things eventually escalated, landing him back in rehab in 2006.

This incident just goes to show that “always in recovery” is a very real phenomenon. Williams proved it again when he visited the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesotain July of this year.

Mental illness and addiction

Rarely is addiction an isolated issue. Drug and alcohol abuse often coexists with mental illness. Substance abusers often experience depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders. Meanwhile, many mentally ill people have ongoing drug and alcohol problems. Mental illness and addiction are closely related.

A person suffering from depression or anxiety may choose to “self-medicate” by drinking or taking drugs in order to feel better. Eventually, this can lead to dependency and addiction. By the same token, someone without mental illness may find that these addictive substances cause behavioural changes, which may turn into psychological issues.

The connection between mental illness and addiction is complex, sometimes resembling the “chicken or the egg” question. Whether underlying conditions like depression or anxiety lead to substance abuse or whether drugs and alcohol promote mental issues is hard to discern. However, what is most important to understand that a relationship exists — and to get treatment for both.

In recent months, Robin Williams was battling depression, which led him to reenter that 12-step program at Hazelden. Whether his ongoing depression or the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was a trigger for substance abuse, no one can say for sure, but it seems likely they were related.

What Else Can We Learn from Robin Williams?

Robin Williams’ suicide also serves as a reminder that substance abuse, along with preexisting condition like depression, can be a deadly combination.

Drug and alcohol abuse is a very real factor in suicide. While under the influence, a person’s judgment is severely impaired, which can lead to rash actions and impulsive behaviours — including taking one’s life.

If you suspect someone is suffering from depression and/or substance abuse and is threatening suicide, it is crucial that you seek immediate assistance. Calling a suicide prevention hotline is the best option for help.

Robin Williams’ passing was a huge loss for his fans. It is sad to think that a man who made so many people laugh struggled with so much sadness and addiction. Hopefully, we can all learn that those who are struggling with substance abuse and mental conditions deserve our love and support.

If you or anyone you know wishes to seek help for addiction, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, contact Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Removing the Stigma from Addiction Treatment

Posted on :  July 11th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug addiction is both a disease of the mind and body, and while its effects on health, both long and short term, are well documented, its impact on the individual’s mental states are less widely available.

Many addicts find themselves struggling with severe self-esteem problems, as there is so much stigma attached to addiction.

Furthermore, many addicts do not believe themselves worthy of recovery, or feel that seeking treatment for their addiction may be conceding that they are worthless, and without value.

As a result, it’s vitally important that people make efforts to make over popular conceptions about addiction and the treatment thereof.

“Seeking recovery is a brave, noble and worthy-of-reward action and should be treated as such.”

Why should we remove the stigma from addiction treatment?

Many non-addicts may have a slightly dismissive attitude to addicts, whether recovering or not.

Unfortunately, these people do not realize how counter-productive this attitude can be. Regardless of your personal views on addiction and the individuals who find themselves its victims, removing addiction from society where possible will positively impact everyone.

The trick is to be forward-looking rather than retributive. Among the benefits are:

  • Less criminal activity and disorderly behavior
  • Less money spent on policing criminal activity and disorderly behavior that results from drug addiction
  • Less money spent on health treatment and incarceration
  • Fewer deaths and interpersonal conflicts
  • An overall more functional and happy society

Understanding drug addiction

Part of removing the stigma from addiction treatment involves understanding what addiction is and what it most definitely is not.

Many addicts began their journey with prescription medications, and as such, find themselves on a slippery slope that can lead them down more dangerous and more illegal paths.

Furthermore, while choosing to use something for the first time does represent a choice, once full-blown addiction has taken control of the individual, said individual is often powerless to stop it alone.

“Think of addiction as a serious physical illness, and your understanding will be more accurate.“

In short, addiction does not represent a weakness on the part of the addict. It does not signify a weak will, or an inherently selfish character.

It can strike at any time, and affects all facets of society, from the rich, to the poor, from the old to the young and everyone else in between.

It also need not begin as a reckless desire to engage in experimentation. For many, it begins with pain relief for some kind of injury.

Either way, if you or anyone you know wishes to seek help for addiction, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, you can make the first step by contacting Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) is an Ontario addiction treatment centre with the philosophy to help individuals take control of their addiction and help them rebuild their lives and careers.

Don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll be happy to help you.

How to Select Drug and Alcohol Treatment Rehab Center

Posted on :  July 4th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Picking the right rehab center can be something of a complicated process for anyone who’s in the depths of addiction.

If anything, they ought to be focusing on themselves, rather than expending large amounts of energy assessing the relative and sometimes miniscule differences between treatment centers.

At the same time, picking a rehab center should be considered a good use of one’s energy, and a really valuable way for an individual to take care of themselves.

How do you pick the right center for you, though? How do you know whether one treatment center is better than other? Take the following things into consideration, and you’ll be on the right path.


One of the greatest limitations for any recovering addict is a financial one: rehab programs don’t often come cheap, and in some respects, the most expensive, luxury programs are those that are likely to be the most successful.

That said, financial costs can be reduced by assessing your needs as an addict. For example, if you need nanny services for a child, then you may end up spending more than someone who doesn’t.

Similarly, many luxury rehab centers function roughly like high end resorts. As such, they often come with a selection of things that, while pleasant to have, aren’t necessary, such as massage services, pools and gyms. Work out your priorities and search for an affordable center that caters to them.

Treatment plan

“Some treatment programs that work wonderfully for many may not work for you.”

Think about yourself and how you relate to hard work. Which methods are likely to work for you? You are not a clone, and every sufferer is different, so treatment programs are similarly varied.

“Research what’s out there and familiarize yourself with the broad patterns that emerge.“

Would a 12 step program work best for you? If so, select your rehab center based on this consideration and how comprehensive their 12 step program is.

Research success rates and aftercare options

“Rehab programs are not a simple solution, because addiction is not a simple problem.”

As such, the best rehab programs are those that offer ongoing advice to any recovering addicts for when they reintegrate with the real world.

They will anticipate the challenges of reintegration and offer helpful advice, and support. Study figures, and online forums to gauge an estimation of a program’s overall quality.

If you think you’d like to learn more about rehab programs and treatment options, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. (TRC) is an Ontario drug rehab centre with the philosophy to help individuals take control of their addiction and help them rebuild their lives and careers.

Don’t hesitate to call us! We’ll be happy to help you.

Addiction and Crime

Posted on :  June 30th, 2014  |  By :  towardsrecovery

One thing that can function as a barrier to recovery from addiction is the old adage that addiction is not inherently bad – indeed, as an end in and of itself, and with no consideration for its impact on the addict’s behavior, addiction is a morally neutral phenomenon, unless the substance in question is illegal, that is.

Of course, we know that addiction cannot be isolated in this way and anyone who’s ever suffered with it, or their loved ones, will know that any behavior which compels an individual to feel desperation will have consequences that reach far beyond the individual themselves.

“This truth is best represented by the relationship between addiction and crime.”

There are numerous ways that these two interact with one another, but the three main ways in which this union plays out are as follows:

  • Charges related to the possession, distribution or production of illegal drugs, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Defined” charges
  • Charges related to any illegal or disorderly behavior that comes about as a direct result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Related” charges
  • Charges related to being involved in situations that encourage or cultivate illegal behavior and activities, which are known as “Alcohol and Drug Using Lifestyle” charges

Why do so many addicts engage in illegal behavior?

For a non-addict, or from the perspective of someone who has never experienced addiction first-hand before, the illegal behavior of addicts can look downright irrational – why would an addict possibly risk something with such potentially devastating consequences for something as small and insignificant as an alcoholic beverage?

Of course, in reality, the choice to engage in such behavior is irrational, but in the eyes of a desperate addict in search of their next fix, the pros of acquiring their chosen vice far outweigh the potential risks.

Consider the starving mother who steals a loaf of bread to feed herself and her family – for our purposes, a desperate addict is this mother, in that the psychological state is the same.

What’s the solution?

Given the statistics on drug addicts who are already well within the prison system, we know for a fact that this kind of retribution doesn’t do much to tackle the real, underlying problem i.e. the addiction itself.

As a result, it’s important to look to other solutions, among them support groups, rehabilitation programs and other forms of addiction treatment and therapy.

If you or someone you know could benefit from something like this, and live in or around Hamilton, St. Catharines, or Brantford, Ontario, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Towards Recovery on 519-579-0589 to locate your nearest clinic and kick start your journey.

Make sure you have an unexpired OHIP card or call 1-866-532-3161 to find out how to get one.

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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