How Does Naloxone Work?

how does naloxone work

How does Naloxone work? Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose temporarily. Medical professionals have been using it for decades. Recently, doctors and other people are using new forms of this medication, including nasal sprays.

What is Naloxone used for? Naloxone can help reverse overdose effects and be put in with buprenorphine to make Suboxone for help in recovery, as well.

While Naloxone can be highly effective, people who overdose on drugs must receive other services, too. For now, learning more about this drug can help you see how it works and what it is for.

Mechanisms Behind Naloxone

Many people want to know – how does Naloxone work? This medication connects with opioid receptors in a person’s brain to block effects from opioid drugs. When someone uses opioids, they can’t get the impact they would like, such as feeling good.

There can be some side effects when taking Naloxone. However, those side effects are worth it in exchange for the benefits people get when taking Naloxone.

Naloxone begins working in 2 to 5 minutes after administering it. It is crucial to have a naloxone kit available if you see someone overdosing on drugs.

Types of Naloxone Available

According to the FDA, there are some types of naloxone people can use in various scenarios. Some of the options that you may want to know about include:

  • Injection (only trained medical professionals should use it)
  • Auto-injectable (inject into the thigh and anyone can use this option)
  • Nasal spray or Narcan (needle-free and anyone can administer it)

The nasal spray is the easiest to administer. It is also best for people who can’t stand seeing needles. If you need to help someone who is overdosing on drugs but you can’t stand using needles, the nasal spray would be most effective.

Naloxone Side Effects

While Naloxone is a safe medication, it can still cause some side effects. Most of the side effects will mimic opioid withdrawal. The reason for this is because this medication reverses the effects of opioids.

Some of the side effects everyone should be aware of include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pains
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Body aches
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Physical weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Runny nose
  • Goosebumps
  • Chills
  • Watery eyes
  • Fever
  • Blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate changes
  • Excessive yawning
  • Sneezing

If you administer Naloxone to someone via injection, an infection or allergic reaction could arise at the site. Some symptoms of these issues would be redness, pain, burning, flushing, hives, hot flashes or sweating.

Impacts of Naloxone on the Opioid Epidemic

Most adults know about the opioid epidemic that is raging throughout the United States in recent years. The government approved the Good Samaritan laws in all states except for 6 of them. These laws allow the use of Naloxone by a third party such as caregivers, friends and family members. If you see someone overdosing on drugs, you can administer Naloxone.

Some people believe that if more Naloxone is available, more people will abuse drugs. The truth is that Naloxone has been available to save many lives. It is well worth any risks associated with its use.

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, about 69,000 people have a fatal opioid overdose each year. Due to these results, WHO recommends that people have Naloxone in their homes in case someone overdoses. You may also want to carry this medication on you if someone you love or care about overdoses in public.

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

Naloxone is one of the many medications people can receive if they have an opioid addiction. Mainly, someone administers it when a loved one or friend overdoses on opioids. However, it is also given with buprenorphine to create Suboxone. Many rehab center professionals use Suboxone to help their patients overcome addiction.

In addition to Naloxone, there are other ways to get help for opioid addiction. You can enroll in an inpatient program, PHP, medication-assisted treatment or various outpatient programs. Many factors will determine the best option for you. The severity of your addiction is one of the main factors to consider. If you don’t know a lot about the different treatment options, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. Many medical and rehab center professionals can give you any information you need regarding these programs.

If you were the one to overdose on opioids and realized you need treatment, you can contact rehab center professionals today. We can talk to you more about how Naloxone works and what treatments are best for opioid addiction.

Is Trazodone a Controlled Substance?

is trazodone a controlled substance

Does Trazodone Count As A Controlled Substance?

We should consider trazodone a controlled substance. This means that one can only obtain it with a prescription. If you do not have a prescription for trazodone, do not take it. Only take medications prescribed to you. Do you have a trazodone prescription? Take it exactly as directed. Consume the proper dose in the proper manner. Neither give away, nor sell, any of your medication.

But, you likely still have questions. In this article, Recovery In Tune intends to answer the following:

  • What is trazodone?
  • What is trazodone used for?
  • Does trazodone have side effects?
  • Other treatment options would trazodone work with.
  • If I still have questions about trazodone?

Trazodone Explained

Trazodone belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin receptor antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). SSRIs help stabilize the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin influences our temperament and moods. Manufacturers formerly marketed trazodone the brand names Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, and Oleptro. As of now, you may find it under its generic name. Typical doses range from 50mg – 300mg.

What Is Trazodone Used For?

Healthcare providers use trazodone primarily to treat major depressive disorder. One might also receive trazodone to help with insomnia or anxiety disorders. Other off label uses include:

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Substance use disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Recovering from an ischemic stroke

What Is Depression?

“Depression” might sound simple. But it has become an umbrella term for a variety of conditions. Depression involves more than sadness. It may share some similarities with grief, as after the death of a loved one. However, grief and sadness may give way to depression. Depression feels like a nagging sense of loss or disgust. It follows you like a shadow. In fact, the amount of light we receive may influence depression.

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes several different kinds of depression:

  • Dysthymia: also called persistent depressive disorder
  • Postpartum depression: a severe form of depression that occurs after giving birth
  • Psychotic depression: a form of depression linked to hallucinations and delusions
  • Seasonal affective disorder: strikes with the onset of winter, can lead to decreased time with loved ones, less motivation, and sleeping too much
  • Bipolar disorder: marked by sudden shifts in mood, ranging from excitement (mania) to despair

What About Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)?

Trazodone helps treat major depressive disorder. People with depression have a lasting sense of loss. No matter what they do, this feeling persists. To properly express it, someone with depression might not even use words like “sad.” More often, major depressive disorder feels like the absence of feeling. Major depression numbs a person. It traps them in a void where they feel nothing. Perhaps not even pain.

Specific symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

  • An unending feeling of emptiness
  • Inability to fall (or stay) asleep
  • Sleepiness during the day, regardless of how much one sleeps
  • Extreme changes in weight (loss or gain)
  • Dissatisfaction with formerly enjoyable activities
  • Suicidal ideation

Does Trazodone Have Side Effects?

Like all medications, trazodone does have side effects. As mentioned earlier, always stick to your prescription regimen. Do not deviate from your healthcare provider’s instructions. Adhering to your providers recommendations can help minimize side effects.

That said, side effects for trazodone include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Blurry vision

What Other Treatment Options Would Trazodone Work With?

Besides trazodone, major depressive disorder has other treatment options. Think of medication like a single tool in a toolbox. One need not neglect this tool. Situations exist where medication becomes incredibly helpful. However, it ought not be the only tool in one’s toolbox. Consider using treatment methods like these in conjunction with trazodone.

Light Therapy

Lack of sunlight can contribute to depression. Inadequate sunlight effects how we view the world. But not only that. Lack of sunlight physiologically influences both our eyes and brains. One non-medicinal treatment for major depressive disorder involves white light exposure. Healthcare providers refer to this as light therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

We usually take our thoughts for granted. Rarely do we evaluate them. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches us to do just that. One does not have to identify oneself by one’s depressive thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help alleviate some of the symptoms of major depressive disorder.

What If I Still Have Questions About Trazodone?

Perhaps you’d like more information about the controlled substance known as trazodone. You’ve read this far, but you find you still have questions. At Recovery In Tune, we want to empower our clients with information. With information, our clients can take meaningful, productive steps toward lasting recovery.

If you or someone you love struggles with depression, let us know. You came to this page for a reason. Call us now. Not ready to talk? No worries. Drop us a quick email.

Is There A Cure for OCD?

Is there a cure for OCD?

Have We Found A Cure for OCD?

Everyone who has an illness longs for a cure. Many people would welcome a cure for OCD. OCD treatment methods can provide some relief. Likewise, OCD medications help a bit. But can medical science give us a real cure for OCD? Or does such a thing remain a pipe dream?

In this article, Recovery In Tune seeks answers to these questions:

  • What is OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)?
  • What is life like for someone with OCD?
  • What treatment methods exist for OCD?
  • What about medications for OCD?
  • Where can I get more information about a possible cure for OCD?

What is OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)?

OCD stands for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Someone with OCD has thoughts and urges that seem to happen automatically. This makes up the “obsessive” element of the disorder. Further, the same person feels the need to do things repetitively. We refer to these actions as “compulsions.”

You may hear someone express something like, “I’m really OCD about ________.” Popular culture appears to have associated the disorder with anyone who likes things a certain way. But for those with OCD, the problems run much deeper. Like any mental illness, OCD can substantially interfere with someone’s life.

What Is Life Like For Someone With OCD?

Someone with OCD suffers from automatic, or intrusive, thoughts. Thoughts like these can manifest in anyone. But they can become especially cumbersome for a person with OCD. These thoughts appear without warning. They can disturb a person immensely. To combat these thoughts, the sufferer acts. These actions, at least in the mind of the sufferer, help keep the automatic thoughts at bay.

The sufferer believes that they must perform a particular action. It might involve repetitive cleaning or disinfecting. Or, the sufferer might have to circle their home three times before pulling into the driveway. To them, the world seems out of balance if they do not act our their compulsion. Life feels chaotic, and they have no grounding.

What Treatment Methods Exist For OCD?

Human problems rarely have just one cause. Consequently, one ought to come up with more than one solution to those problems. A quality treatment program for OCD must do more than conceal symptoms. As best it can, a treatment program must give someone their life back. It must help a client extend themselves beyond a disorder.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps a client navigate through OCD. Remember those automatic thoughts? CBT trains our minds to engage with those kinds of thoughts. It teaches us to critique our thoughts. We ask ourselves questions about the thoughts to try and learn more about them. This helps us to break cycles of automatic thought. Consequently, we can begin to create more productive thought cycles.

Exposure And Response Prevention (EX/RP)

Exposure and response prevention therapy (EX/RP) takes a client into uncomfortable, bur controlled, situations. EX/RP might involve either imaginal exposure or in vivo exposure. In imaginal exposure, the client conjures up mental pictures of unpleasant sensations. In vivo exposure helps the client confront disturbing stimuli in real life.

Imaginal Exposure

Consider a client with a fear of leaving home. Prior to leaving, they must lock and unlock each door twenty times. Imaginal exposure would have the client think about leaving their house. In this mental scenario, the client would have only locked the doors once. Then, the client imagines how not engaging with their compulsion makes them feel. Over time, the client can develop resistance to their obsessions and compulsions.

In Vivo Exposure

In vivo exposure would have this client leave their home after locking each door only once. That done, they could immerse themselves in this fearful situation. When repeated, the client acquires the ability to remain in this circumstance with less fear.

What About Medications For OCD?

Medications constitute a key component of quality OCD treatment program. Changing our thinking via therapy aids our development. But we must not neglect medications. Several medications have become available to help those afflicted with OCD. We classify most of these medications as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Some common OCD medications include:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Pevexa)

Where Can I Get More Information About A Possible Cure For OCD?

At present, science has not provided a cure for OCD. No medication, no therapy, no process can make OCD go away forever. Nevertheless, recovery remains possible. With the proper tools at one’s disposal, one can lead a meaningful, fulfilling life. OCD does not prevent one from feeling joy. It may feel like an impassible threshold. Bur Recovery In Tune knows that people get better. People with OCD can unlearn old habits. They can change counterproductive patterns of thinking. They do not have to yield to their compulsions. They can experience genuine freedom.

If you or someone you love struggles with OCD, don’t wait any longer. Get help now. Contact Recovery In Tune today.

Heroin Detox

Heroin Detox – Suboxone Treatments and More

Opiate addictions affect the body and mind. Some people don’t realize how dangerous these drugs can be even when prescribed until they end up in heroin detox. Unfortunately, though, many people are using illegal opiates, as well. Heroin is one of the most common drugs that people abuse.

Heroin interferes with the chemicals in a person’s brain in a matter of minutes. Due to the quick high people can get when taking heroin, the risk of becoming dependent on or addicted to this drug is significantly higher than most other drugs.

Do you struggle with heroin addiction? If so, you can reach out to our team for heroin detox services and a lot more. When receiving these services, you will get help going through heroin withdrawal. The help you receive might include suboxone for cravings, therapy and much more.

Inner-Workings of Suboxone

Patients can get suboxone in tablet or pill form. There are two ingredients in suboxone – buprenorphine and naloxone.


The buprenorphine will stimulate the same receptors opiates did. However, with buprenorphine, this isn’t done as much. There is a ceiling effect that lets the drug level off. This effect means the person who is taking buprenorphine can’t get high off from it. They won’t be able to overdose on it, either.


Naloxone reverses the effects that opiates have on a person’s body. For example, if you relapse on heroin, naloxone will put you into withdrawal immediately. The purpose of naloxone is to discourage people from abusing heroin while they are getting treatment.

Other Suboxone Heroin Detox Benefits

Are you planning to enter a heroin detox program? If so, a doctor might prescribe you suboxone for cravings.


You read about a few benefits of suboxone above. There are more benefits, as well, which include:

  • Allowing you to feel like your usual self again
  • Breaking the dependence you have on heroin

These benefits are well worth it. If you want to overcome heroin addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a heroin detox center today.

Details About the Heroin Withdrawal Process

Even if you are ready to go through heroin withdrawal, you may have concerns regarding the process. Many people who want to get help would like to know more about heroin withdrawal and using suboxone for cravings.


The first thing you may want to know is that withdrawal symptoms will vary from one person to the next. For example, the person who went into the heroin detox center before you may not have severe symptoms, while you might have them. It could go the other way around, as well.


Regardless of the severity, many people will experience similar symptoms. Some common symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep issues

Don’t let these symptoms scare you away from receiving heroin detox services. These programs are there to help people feel more comfortable while going through the withdrawal process. That is why centers may use suboxone for cravings or other medications to help people get through this process easier.

Details About Using Suboxone for Cravings

Now you have a better idea about the withdrawal process. From here, it might help to learn more about the process of using suboxone for cravings.


The information you may want to know regarding the use of suboxone during heroin detox includes:

  • Induction:  Generally starts about 12 hours after you last use heroin and lasts about one week.
  • Stabilization Phase:  Generally starts after you stop abusing opiates completely. May last between 1 to 2 months with exact length varying
  • Maintenance Phase:  Will likely begin after your dose is steady and you aren’t experiencing withdrawal symptoms or drug cravings.

Suboxone can be a helpful tool for heroin detox. We can discuss the process further with you during your first phone call with our team.

Get the Help You Need to Overcome Heroin Addiction Today

If you have a heroin addiction, don’t hesitate to get the help you need.


The first step is to find a heroin detox center. A doctor at the center might prescribe suboxone for cravings. They may prescribe other medications to manage different withdrawal symptoms, as well.


Reach out to us to discuss heroin detox today. We will help you enroll in a treatment program right away!

How Does Suboxone Work for Heroin Addiction?

How Does Suboxone Work for Heroin Detox?

Heroin detox allows people to get the heroin out of their system. Detox center patients can receive many treatments to help them overcome addiction. For someone with a heroin addiction, Suboxone is one of the treatments that can work well.


Are you struggling with an addiction to heroin? If so, hopefully, this guide will help you learn how Suboxone works as part of a heroin detox protocol.

Gaining a Better Understanding of Opiates

How does Suboxone work for heroin detox? To better understand this, it can be helpful to learn more about opiates.


Opiates are narcotic drugs that come from opium poppy plants. They depress central nervous system activities in the user. The primary purpose of taking opiates is to lower pain levels.


If someone uses opiates long-term, their tolerance for the drug will increase. When their tolerance increases, they need more of the drug to get the same effects from when they began using. The increased tolerance also leads to drug dependence. If someone is dependent on heroin, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit using the drug.


In addition to these issues, the user will experience behavioral changes as a result of using opiates. Regardless of the negative consequences heroin has on the user’s life, they will keep using the drug. If this is the case, they would likely have a diagnosis of heroin addiction.


Commonly Abused Opiates

There are many opiates people may abuse. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Vicodin or hydrocodone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Methadone
  • Codeine

Are you or someone you know abusing these opiates? If so, entering a medication-assisted treatment program might be the best option. MAT programs offer Naloxone or other medications for heroin detox.

Suboxone and Other Medication-Assisted Treatments

An addiction to heroin can tear a person’s life apart. In some cases, it can even take their life. If you see someone overdosing on heroin, it is important to contact emergency medical personnel. They can deliver Naloxone to help reverse the effects of the drug.


After getting Naloxone treatment, the person who is using heroin can enter a medication-assisted treatment program. In this program, doctors can prescribe Suboxone and other medications to help people get off heroin.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone use in treating opioid addiction in 2002. Doctors can prescribe this medication in a film or sublingual tablet.


There are two active medications in Suboxone. These medications include:

  • Naloxone blocks opiate effects on the body and mind
  • Buprenorphine relieves withdrawal symptoms and cravings while blocking opiates from reaching the brain

When Naloxone and Buprenorphine combine, they make an effective heroin detox compound.

Suboxone Treatments with Heroin Addiction Patients

There are many treatment approaches when it comes to heroin detox. One of the most common approaches is the use of Suboxone.


In most cases, there are four steps in treating a patient with this medication. These four steps include:

  • Intake:  Includes a psychosocial and medical evaluation, blood tests, and drug screening.
  • Induction:  Transitions the user from heroin to Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  • Stabilization: Doctors adjust Suboxone dosage over time until the patient no longer needs it to manage their recovery.
  • Maintenance: The patient may need to continue using Suboxone, go to N.A meetings, and attend counseling to maintain their recovery.

Those who are struggling with heroin addiction should reach out to a Suboxone detox facility today.

Considerations to Make with the Use of Suboxone

Suboxone can work to help people overcome heroin addiction. However, doctors should use this medication carefully with all patients.


Some considerations for doctors to make before prescribing this Suboxone include:

  • Use caution in patients who have moderate or severe liver issues
  • Note side effects for the patient (ex. vomiting, nausea, headache, constipation, sweating, insomnia, constipation, fluid accumulation in limbs, and pain)
  • Potential for Suboxone misuse (only be given under doctor supervision)

Since opioid addictions fall under psychological and physical illnesses, treatment should include various approaches. Suboxone treatment is one option to consider.


Do you or someone you know struggle with addiction to heroin? If so, you can get help starting today.


There are many treatment approaches people can take to overcome drug addiction. Suboxone treatment is one option that you have in heroin detox.


Make the call today to learn more about heroin detox and the approaches that would work best for you!

How To Keep A Recovery Journal

Why Write A Recovery Journal?


A recovery journal might turn into one of your best tools. It puts your thoughts in a format where you can see them. Journaling in recovery forces you to look long and hard at yourself. It may feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, your recovery journal will challenge your assumptions. Reading what you have written may cause you to confront unpleasant parts of yourself.


The myths of ancient peoples often associated water with chaos. Consider the creation tale of Babylon. Chaos exists prior to the created world. Within the seas of this chaos dwells the serpentine monster Tiamat. The emergence of dry land represents order. As chaos, Tiamat opposes order.


Think of your mind like water. It makes waves that roll over you. It swirls and churns up things from the deep. It never holds still. Like water, your mind has no shape of its own. Rather, it takes on the characteristics of what contains it. Writing helps establish dry land in your mind. It helps call order out of the chaos of your mental storm.


The Science Of Journaling In Recovery

Keeping a recovery journal sounds simply fine in theory. But what does the science indicate? An article in the Journal of Client-Centered Nursing Care studied a sample of pregnant women. Across 8 weeks, researchers tracked depression, anxiety, and stress. Researchers concluded, “that narrative writing could be effective in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression of pregnant women.”


Journaling in recovery appears to help improve mental health. But it likewise has positive effects on those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD). Researcher A.R. Krentzman had participants with SUD practice a method called “Positive Peer Journaling” (PPJ).


According to Krentzman, “PPJ is a daily journaling practice that combines positive psychology with behavioral activation to increase subjective wellbeing in recovery and thereby reduce relapse.” Krentzman’s work indicates that journaling improves how those with SUD perceive themselves. As a result, they may become less likely to relapse.


The Advantages Of A Recovery Journal

Every therapy modality has benefits over others. That said, not every form of treatment program helps every person in the same way. We all have different journeys. So what works wonders for one person might not help another very much. But a recovery journal can work for anyone.


A recovery journal also offers several advantages over other forms of treatment:


  • Cost: Notebooks run on the cheap side, making this a very affordable form of therapy.
  • Availability: You can find a spiral notebook just about anywhere.
  • Privacy: A physical notebook keeps your personal thoughts free of digital intrusion.
  • Freedom from judgment: No matter what you write, the notebook does not judge you.
  • Clarity: Your journal gets troublesome thoughts out of your mind, so that you can think more clearly.


What Am I Supposed To Write In My Recovery Journal?

Where does one begin with a recovery journal? Maybe you felt brave enough to get one. You’ve opened the cover. Writing utensil in hand, you glare down at that first blank page. And the page stares back. “I took the advice,” you think. “What now?”


Writing can become difficult. Many of us have not practiced writing in years. It might feel like our minds don’t wish us to write. We try, but nothing comes. And the harder we try, the more resistance we feel. What do we do now?


Start small and simple. Write your name. Jot down a favorite quote or poem. Recall the lyrics to one of your favorite songs. Think of a memory that brings you joy. Reminisce on a supportive person in your life and write down what you like about that person.


Making Journaling A Habit

Much of the work of recovery involves adapting to change. Exchanging old patterns for new ones. No one reaches a point where they have “recovered” in the past tense. Everyone lives in recovery because recovery considers every day as “day one.” Journaling fits into that context.


To make journaling a habit, we must regard every day as our first day. What we did yesterday might have helped us. But today has come. And tomorrow has not yet arrived. We must focus on what we do right now.


A few things to keep in mind to help make journaling a habit:


  • Pick a time of day that works best for you
  • If possible, journal at the same time each day
  • To start off, try writing for one to three minutes at a time
  • If you can, write in the same location
  • Review your previous writing for things you’d like to write more about


What Should I Write About?

Those just getting started can write about whatever they like. Once the words begin to flow, patterns will emerge. You’ll find that you become protective of your journaling time. Consequently, you’ll want to invest that time well. The things you need to write about will come to you in due time.


Once you get your writerly gears turning, hone an intention to dig deeper. Make a point to write about your personal struggles. Challenge yourself by asking hard questions. Ask yourself why you do (or don’t) certain things. Look for assumptions, generalizations, or counterproductive thoughts. Most of these ideas flourish below our conscious awareness. Writing helps bring these ideas into conscious thought.


Also, don’t neglect a valuable source for your writing: your treatment provider. Dialogue with your treatment provider about your writing. You do not have to share every single detail with them. But invite them to participate. They will likely offer helpful insight or self-reflection questions for you.


What Is The Best Recovery Journal?

The short answer? The one you write in! If you search Google or Amazon for “recovery journal,” you will find many results. Do a little reading into the different methods for journaling in recovery. Read product reviews from other users. Ask your therapist or counselor if they have a specific recommendation.


If you would like to know more about recovery journals, Recovery In Tune stands ready to help. If you or someone that you love struggles with substance use or mental health, contact us straight away.

Alcohol and Major Depression Symptoms

Alcohol addiction and depression are two conditions that have a high likelihood of occurring simultaneously, thus making them a co-occurring disorder. This means that addiction to alcohol and major depression symptoms often appear at the same time. Furthermore, these two conditions are known to exacerbate each other’s negative effects, creating an ever-worsening cycle that can cause serious harm if not properly treated.
However, there is a silver lining: treating one condition can make the other better as well. In other words, if you treat alcohol addiction and see improvements, you will see improvement in the symptoms of depression. Keep in mind that this is not an easy or quick process. In severe cases, treatment can last for months or years.

What is Major Depressive Disorder?

Major depressive disorder is one of the types of depression. It is the most common type of depression in the United States, with an estimated 6.7% of American adults suffering from this condition at any given time. Women are also more prone to suffering from this condition compared to men. Approximately one in every three women will experience major depressive disorder at least once in their lifetime.
People with major depressive disorder experience such severe feelings of depression that they cannot function normally. These feelings can have significant adverse effects on a person’s personal and professional lives. Some people may only experience it once, but most will have several episodes.

How to Spot Alcohol Addiction and Major Depression Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

• Consuming large amounts of alcohol frequently
• Regular consumption of alcohol, even on a daily basis
• Severe alcohol cravings
• Continued drinking even when experiencing negative health effects
• Consciously hiding alcohol consumption out of guilt or fear of judgment

Symptoms of major depressive disorder include:

• Feelings of melancholy
• Feelings of worthlessness and guilty
• Continuous fatigue
• Lack of energy to perform daily tasks
• Lack of interest in personal relationships
• Lack of interest in work
• Substance addiction, including alcohol
• Suicidal thoughts
If you observe more than a couple of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to seek help right away.

Causes of Major Depressive Disorder

The most difficult thing about finding treatment for alcohol and major depressive symptoms is that they are hard to diagnose. In many cases, the symptoms can overlap and even mask the other. Many people who suffer from major depressive disorder may use alcohol to self-medicate. Those who drink frequently are at greater risk of developing depression, and subsequently increase their alcohol consumption to feel better.
Studies have found that people with a family history of alcohol addiction or major depressive disorder have a higher risk of developing either condition. Those who have suffered trauma or abuse are also more likely to develop this co-occurring disorder.

Can Alcohol Addiction Cause Major Depressive Disorder?

While it has been found either condition can cause the other, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has determined that it is more likely that alcohol addiction can lead to a person developing major depressive disorder. When a person is struggling with alcoholism and fails to cope with their situation, they can develop feelings of depression. They feel weak and inadequate, which leads to more drinking to help manage their negative emotions.

The Relationship between Major Depressive Disorder and Alcohol Addiction

According a study conducted by the University of Otago, addiction to alcohol and major depression symptoms are closely correlated. As many as 40% of alcoholics will develop major depressive disorder. This is likely due to two things: the sedative effects of alcohol and its ease of access. Unlike anti-depressant drugs, people don’t need a prescription to get alcohol. What’s more, alcohol is much cheaper compared to medication.
Drinking alcohol can and does relieve major depressive symptoms, albeit temporarily. However, since the effects of alcohol can wear off quickly, people who use it to self-medicate will need to take it on a regular basis to keep feeling the effects. What’s more, they find that they need to take it in ever-increasing amounts as they develop a stronger tolerance over time. This cycle will likely continue and worsen until treatment is given.

Finding Treatment

The first step in treating addiction to alcohol and major depressive symptoms is consulting a licensed addiction counselor. Neglecting to find proper consultation can lead to a misdiagnosis, or worse, trying to self-diagnose. This problem is likely due to the fact that many people mistakenly feel that having either alcohol addiction or major depressive disorder makes them appear weak and open to ridicule from others. Some researchers even believe that this is the reason why men are less likely to seek treatment compared to women.
Once this co-occurring disorder has been diagnosed by a professional, there are several treatments that can be prescribed, such as:

• Medication

Both alcohol and major depressive symptoms usually cause a chemical imbalance in the brain, particularly by decreasing the amount of neurotransmitters. Anti-depressants are usually prescribed to help correct this chemical imbalance and relieve the symptoms of both conditions. In the case of severe alcohol addiction, drugs such as naltrexone, acamprosate, or gabapentin can be prescribed to help curb the craving.

• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective therapy methods for people with major depressive disorder. CBT helps people identify their triggers and manage their negative thoughts and emotions by modifying their behavior.

• Rehabilitation

Many people with alcohol addiction may require rehab to help detox. Detox is a dangerous and long process, especially for those who have suffered from alcohol addiction for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, and should be managed in a controlled environment. However, people with mild alcohol addiction can undergo detox as an outpatient.

• Support Groups

Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can help by offering group sessions, classes, and call centers. These groups are immensely helpful for people who might not have a strong support system in their private circles.

Getting Help Today

Suffering from alcohol addictions and major depressive symptoms might feel hopeless, but there is always hope! For those who are willing to take that first step, help is available. There are numerous treatment facilities that are able to give the best care possible. As a member of the Harmony Recovery Group family, Recovery in Tune offers evidence-based treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Getting Past The Hard Part: 5 Early Recovery Tips


5 Early Recovery Tips

Early sobriety is hard. Indeed, many say it’s the hardest thing they ever did. Therefore, if you’re newly sober or just getting out of drug rehab in NJ, you’re likely struggling. But don’t worry. That’s normal. To try to help you win this battle, we have some advice. By using these 5 early recovery tips, you can get through this. Here’s some examples of early recovery tips to make your path a little easier:

  • Don’t go it alone.
  • Make a plan.
  • Talk to your doctor.
  • Exercise.
  • Be kind to yourself.

Don’t Go It Alone

Firstly, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Certainly, it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself. After all, you did much of your using alone. But sobriety doesn’t work like addiction. In fact, it often needs to work in the opposite way.

The most critical part of early recovery is community. Often, you’re going to feel isolated. It’s likely you’ll also have emotions that you haven’t felt in years. There may even be some that you haven’t ever felt before. This is because in addiction, your brain has been taken over by drugs. Since drugs have been calling the shots, you’re not going to be ready to face all these feelings. This is why you’ll need people who have been through the process to help you.

In order to find these people, you’re going to need to get out of your comfort zone a little. This means seeking people out. Fortunately, there’s some excellent places to do this. Here’s where to find sobriety support:

  • Peer support groups.
  • Therapy.
  • Ongoing Treatment.
  • Sober Friends and Family.
  • Online Support.

Peer Support in Recovery

One of the ideal places to start is with support groups. Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Rational Recovery, Celebrate Recovery or Refuge Recovery are enormously helpful. There’s many others. Try them all to find one that works for you.


Having a good therapist can help you process a lot of your emotions. Pick someone who you like and who genuinely cares about your recovery.

Many local therapists offer group meetings in addition to one-on-one counseling. These are slightly different than peer support groups. They’ll include things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

groups. Typically, these are run by local therapists. Contact mental health workers in your area and ask if they have anything to help someone in recovery.

Ongoing Treatment AKA Aftercare

You may have heard of things like Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Outpatient (OP) or other rehabilitation programs. These can be part of drug rehab, or they can be part of an aftercare program, once you leave an inpatient rehab facility. All of these are extremely useful in recovery. If you need any of these or are looking for a drug rehab in NJ, contact us and we can help you.

Sober Friends and Family

In addition to new, sober friends, it helps if you can use the ones you already have. By asking for help from the people who love you, you strengthen personal bonds and can find new meaning in old relationships.

Online Support

Simply doing a quick internet search will yield countless results.

Use all of these if possible. After all, you need all the support you can get.

Make a Plan

As the saying goes “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Nowhere is this more true than in sobriety. In addition to support, you need to make a detailed recovery plan. This plan should cover how you’re going to live your life. More importantly, it’s going to be your roadmap for how you’re going to do it sober. Here’s some of the things your plan should include:

Where are you going to live? – This needs to be somewhere safe and sober. If you need to go to a sober living facility, include that in your plan.

Who are you going to spend your time with? – These need to be people who are going to support your sobriety and not endanger it.

Where are you going to work? – This also needs to be a safe place free from temptations. For example, if you’re a bartender, it might be time to think about a career change.

What are you going to do with your free time? – Unstructured time can destroy sobriety. Have a list of fun ways to spend your days. If you find yourself bored, start checking things off the list.

Do you need aftercare? – Programs such as PHP, IOP, OP and sober living should be considered for anyone new to sobriety. Include these in your plan.

What are your goals? – In early recovery, it helps to feel like you’re accomplishing something. By setting a lot of small, easy goals, you have things you can check off your list. These lead to bigger accomplishments. Just be careful not to expect too much from yourself. Take it easy.

Talk to Your Doctor For Early Recovery Tips

A doctor can provide you with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in addition to other early recovery tips. When you’re new in recovery, the chemistry in your brain and body are constantly changing. This is because they have gotten used to having a regular intake of drugs. Your body is going to crave those drugs to feel normal. By using the proper medications, you can feel better and reduce the desire to use.


The value of exercise in early recovery cannot be understated. This is because the brain and body are linked. Research has shown that when you exercise, it helps to treat addiction. It also helps with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues as well. These are all common in early sobriety.

In order to exercise without making it a chore, find something you enjoy doing. Start by taking a simple walk. Then, find activities that are fun. Not only will this improve your mood, it will also provide you with a way to fill free time and avoid cravings.

Be Kind to Yourself

Addiction is a deadly disease that kills thousands of people each year. This means that if you’re in early recovery, you’re fighting for your life. Just like someone battling cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, Alzheimer’s or diabetes, you’re whole goal is to merely stay alive. In order to do this, you need to treat yourself with compassion. Being forgiving of yourself and kind in the way you think and talk to yourself are important. Remind yourself you’re doing your best. Even if you relapse, don’t beat yourself up. Just reach out for help and move forward.

If You Need a Drug Rehab in NJ

As a certified drug rehab in NJ, we’re able to help with every single one of these things. When you need support, care, medical assistance, therapy or help with any other part of addiction recovery, let us assist you. We have a qualified staff who can help design a recovery plan for you. We understand that staying sober is hard enough. To give yourself the best chance at lasting sobriety, you need people who care about making your life better. That’s what we do. Call today and allow us to ease the burden of early sobriety.

How to Explain Drug Rehab to Your Kids

mother and daughter spending quality time together

Protection Is Instinct

You want to protect your kids. Your roof keeps rain off of them. The walls of your home make boundaries against the outside world. Your fence designates the limits of your property. That innate desire to protect your kids informs your family’s diet. It shapes how you teach your kids about relationships – especially with those outside your home. Protection is the whole reason you ask them to hold your hand when crossing the street. Or when you tell them not to touch a hot stove.

Your Protection Has Limits

But life happens. Sometimes you can’t protect them. Not from some things. Raising children might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done! Having a partner who struggles with substance abuse makes it even harder. When your partner’s life is unbalanced, so is yours. Like anybody who loves somebody else, you prop them up when they fall. You become a pillar. You shift the weight of their life onto your shoulders. That’s devotion. But what about when that lack of balance affects your kids? How do you protect them then? You can’t live in denial. You must face the problem head on. You might hate that. But you must do it nonetheless. You have to explain to your kids, in language they can understand, that their mom or dad struggles with substance addiction. But how?

Practice Empathy

First, practice empathy for your kids. Empathy will help you talk with your kids, instead of just talking at them. To really start this conversation, ask your kid questions. Try something like, “What do you understand about what is happening to Mom/Dad?” Asking an open-ended question like this will motivate your kid to think about their answer. And they’ll be honest – kids are nothing if not honest! Look your kid in the eyes. No matter how much pain you feel – you must put that aside for the moment. You must actively listen to your child’s response. Don’t argue, scold, judge, or critique. Just listen. Once they’ve spoken, then you can begin to dialogue more deeply with them. If they say they don’t know, don’t falter. Keep the conversation going.

Your Partner? Or Your Kids?

You may be angry at your partner. They might’ve done or said something that hurt you. Their decisions might have cost you money. Time. Energy. These internal resources get expended in any relationship. But they really get tested if you love someone struggling with substance abuse. But your feelings about your partner are for your partner. Any anger, any unresolved tension, any conflict. Take those things up with your partner. Focus on what’s right in front of you: your children. Feel their emotions. See the world how they see it. Control your anger. Don’t use this time to insult or belittle your partner. Your family needs unity. Not division. Remember: your children most likely blame themselves for your partner’s choices. If you’re distracted with upbraiding your partner, you will be unable to help your children. No matter what your partner has done. No matter how much you might think they deserve your anger – your children don’t need to hear about it.

Remember The Truth

Your children might feel guilty for your partner’s choices. They might think they are the cause of your partner’s drug abuse or addiction. You must remind them of the truth. Your partner is a human being. Your partner loves your children. Your partner’s choices are theirs, and theirs alone. They are where they are because of things they decided to do. Or because of things they decided not to do. Their life is theirs to deal with. Of course, your children love your partner. Of course, they want your partner to get better. But kids must really believe that they didn’t make your partner do anything. Nor can they make your partner change. They have no control over what your partner does or how s/he acts. They can love and support your partner. But it’s not their job to fix them.

OK, So What Do I Actually Tell My Kids?

Trust is critical at this time. Tell your children the truth about what’s going on. For younger kids (under 10), tell them your partner is sick. They have a disease that’s called “addiction.” They put things in their body that aren’t good for them. They make choices that hurt people’s feelings. They say things that are mean. They sometimes act in ways that confuse the people that love them. For teens and tweens, keep it short and simple. Tell them what’s happening. Fact-by-fact, piece by piece. “Mom/Dad is addicted to _______. That’s why s/he’s been doing _________ or acting ___________.” With older kids, you have more room to be honest about your feelings regarding your partner’s addiction. Remember not to speculate or analyze your partner. Don’t gossip. But do, by all means, tell your child how you feel. “I feel _______ because of the situation.” Own your feelings. Put them on you, not on your partner. But be open, vulnerable, and transparent.

How Do I Explain My Partner’s Treatment?

If your partner is seeking treatment, tell your kids about it. There’s no need to be technical. Use everyday language your kids understand. If it’s intensive outpatient (IOP), explain to your kids how it works. “Mom/Dad will be going to see a doctor on these days and these times.” If your partner needs more serious or long-term treatment, then tell your kids how it works. “Mom/Dad is very sick and will have to go to the hospital to get better.” Tell your kids to expect changes. Tell them it will be hard. If they need to cry, then they should. If they need to talk, make yourself available. You may even consider individual therapy for your kids. Or family therapy if need be. Tell your kids that it’s ok to be angry at your partner. It’s ok to be sad. Those emotions are normal and healthy. There are appropriate ways to express them, but the emotions themselves are ok to feel.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call Recovery In Tune now at 1 (844) 7-IN-TUNE.

Returning to Work in Recovery

woman working on her laptop after addiction treatment

Work In Progress

You were so desperate. Your decisions felt like they just exploded in your face. No matter what you did, everything just seemed to fall apart. You needed relief. It seemed to take forever to get here. But it did come. You admitted that you needed help. You got treatment. That’s a very significant step. That is a decision you should feel good about. Now, inch-by-inch, you’re starting to put your life back together. Once crucial way for you to continue to recover is to invest in your work. You’ve been in treatment, so you’re familiar with the importance of a schedule. Work helps continue that schedule. Work helps you keep a routine. It lets you know what to expect and when to expect it.

So, what do you do now? How can work aid in your recovery? That depends on the season you’re in. If you’re returning to a job you had prior to treatment, your path will look one way. If you’re job hunting after treatment, your path will look another way.

Punch In, Zone In

If you like your job well enough to continue working there, then you must engage with your work. Commit to being present while you work. You’ve likely heard athletes describe being “in the zone” when they train. Or, maybe you’ve heard something similar from people wrapped up in their favorite hobby. Don’t dismiss that; it’s a legitimate experience. The phrase “in the zone” is short for zone of proximal development. It refers to the space between your current, comfortable skill set, and what lies just beyond it. When you’re at work, do your best to try and get “in the zone.” No matter how menial your tasks, focus intently on them. Sink into your work. Forget about your other obligations for just a little while. And just work.

Around The Water Cooler

Meaningful relationships with coworkers can make a huge impact. You may have a job you don’t like. Or at least one you don’t love. And that’s ok. But chances are, there’s at least one person there you can tolerate. Consider that a win. As your work duties allow, nurture meaningful relationships with coworkers. Use common sense, and keep your conduct professional. Don’t hunt for flirtatious or romantic encounters. But look for people you can invest in. People who will encourage your path to recovery (even if they don’t know you’re in recovery). If your schedule allows, step out to lunch with them. Have discussions about the future, whether work-related or otherwise. Cultivating and maintaining relationships like these makes drab work more interesting.

Educate And Elevate

The road to recovery runs uphill. So does the road to advancement at work. Now that you’re in recovery, you can use your time to think about the future of your job. Is it a feasible career path for you? If so, look for ways to move forward. Check to see if your company offers training programs for promotions. If none are available, try looking for a lateral move. Doing so might provide a way for you to progress faster. Do you need to start (or finish) a college degree? Contact colleges in your area to see what programs they offer for working adults. Many professions have certifications that make you a better candidate for increased responsibility.

Humility Goes A Long Way

What if you’re starting over with work? Maybe you’ve got a gap in your resume and you’re beginning a new career path. Or, what if you’re a young person entering the workforce for the first time? Two words to keep in mind: stay humble. Everyone has to start somewhere. If what’s available to you doesn’t fit with your skill set, or doesn’t pay enough, that’s fine for now. Life has brought you very low. And that’s a good place to be. If you think a job is beneath you, then you must shift your perspective. Carl Jung said that people don’t see God because they don’t bow low enough. You can’t recover upward if you’re looking down your nose at your job. If you aren’t humble, you’ll be aiming down instead of up.

Rate Of Return

Financial investors and business types often mention “rate of return” (ROR). It’s a measure of the loss or gain of money put into an investment. That principle also holds true for life. The amount of money you are paid at work isn’t the only way to measure your success (or lack of it). The very idea of work implies investing in the future – doing something hard or unpleasant now for a reward later. When you punch a clock, you’re actively investing in your future. You’re shaping who you could become tomorrow. What’s your rate of return at work? What level of satisfaction does your job provide? If you’re not getting what you want out of your work, consider what you’re putting into it.

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

In treatment, you stuck to a daytime schedule. Doctors, therapists, counselors, and other medical staff regulated everything for you. In recovery, you must self-regulate. You must lay down the law for yourself, so to speak. When possible, find work that will allow you to participate in evening home groups. This isn’t always possible, especially in job fields like retail, hospitality, or restaurants. But if you can, find work that lets you work daytime hours. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid night shifts. If it’s night shift or nothing – take the night shift. But transition to daytime work ASAP. Regular sleep remains paramount during this stage of your life. Definitely steer clear of bars, liquor stores, and clubs. Even if you’re a young person, you don’t need a night life right now. You’re a person in recovery. You must treat yourself like one.

Work can make a difference in your future. Recovery focuses on the future. Because it’s in the present that we build the future. Finding a job that you like, even just a little bit, helps build that future. Don’t look at your work like something you have to do. View it like an ingredient in your new, recovering life.