Category Archives: addiction treatment

What is Fellowship?

When you are in addiction treatment, you may feel as though you are the only one going through the challenges of recovery. Fellowship with others can help you feel as though you are supported and that you are no longer alone. What is fellowship and how can it guide you through a successful recovery from your addiction?

National Recovery Month

The month of September is designated as National Recovery Month. In 2021, the theme is “Recovery is for everyone: every person, every family, every community.” National Recovery Month is in its 32nd year, celebrating the gains made by people in recovery and promoting new evidence-based treatment. A strong and proud recovery community is emerging and that includes individuals like you, who are moving forward toward a healthier life.

Knowing That You Are Not Alone

Fellowship in recovery is critical to understanding that you are not alone as you go through your addiction treatment program. There are many people who care about you and your success, who have been through addiction themselves, and who are now in recovery as well.

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) recognize the value of fellowship as being in a group of people who have a similar goal, that goal being overcoming your addiction. Fellowship helps ensure that you don’t have to walk the path toward sobriety alone. You can learn from those who have shared your experiences, including what to avoid and what to embrace as you work toward success in recovery.

Fellowship Means People Who Care

Fellowship is not just the process of going to a support group meeting. Fellowship is all about the people you interact with throughout your life. Fellowship is about sharing experiences and supporting one another in addiction treatment and recovery.

Developing a fellowship with others can benefit your mental and physical health, particularly as you go through treatment for an addiction. Being with people who care can help prevent loneliness and provide the support you need. In turn, you can offer fellowship to others to help them through their struggles.

A fellowship with other individuals can increase your sense of purpose and your sense of belonging. It can improve your sense of self-worth as well as your self-confidence. Knowing you have others you can lean on can help you stay strong as you avoid unhealthy habits, including the use of drugs or alcohol. Overall, quality fellowship can increase your happiness and reduce your stress levels.

Learning From Fellowship

Beyond the encouragement and support you’ll gain from fellowship with others, you will probably learn from their experiences as well. Those individuals who have been through what you are going through now can offer their expertise and advice on many areas of the recovery process. Others in your support group can share what they have learned from certain situations in their life that are probably very similar to yours. Likewise, you can share some of the lessons you have learned to help support them in their recovery.

Developing Fellowship

All of this may sound great to you, but you are wondering how you will find people who can be part of your fellowship circles, in a positive way. It is no longer healthy for you to be around your former “friends” who used drugs or alcohol with you, or possibly even supplied the substances to you. Finding a new circle of supportive individuals is critical for moving forward towards a healthier life.

Volunteering for a community organization can not only help you meet new, positive individuals but also gives you a great feeling of giving back. You will stay busy, develop supportive relationships, and gain a sense of purpose for your life in your recovery.

Consider joining a support group in your recovery. Fellowships such as AA are focused on encouraging each other and on forming healthy relationships with people who are experiencing the same challenges as you, as each of you focuses on regaining a productive and meaningful life without drugs or alcohol.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Alcohol affects many areas of your health. It can impact the way you think and even the way you look. Alcohol use disorder is a progressive disease, so the more you drink and the more often you drink, the more you and others will notice changes in your mental and physical health. Physical signs of alcoholism can result from the conditions and diseases caused by excess alcohol in your body.

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcoholism is more than simply having an occasional glass of wine with dinner. When you have an alcohol use disorder, you have become dependent on alcohol despite the problems it may be causing you at work or at home. Alcoholism can cause lasting changes in the brain, which makes stopping the harmful drinking dangerous without professional help. Just over 14 million adults in the US had an alcohol use disorder in 2019.

Damage to Physical Health

Beyond the changes to your mental health, there are also many physical signs of alcoholism. It’s hard to cover up the smell of alcohol on your breath, of course, but excessive drinking can also lead to poor overall hygiene. Many people do not eat properly as a result of their alcohol use disorder, so weight loss and malnutrition are frequent signs as well.

Skin Issues

Alcohol can cause you to be dehydrated, as it slows down the process of an anti-diuretic hormone in your body. Your kidneys will have to work twice as hard to counteract the excess fluid and that results in your organs becoming dehydrated. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and will show physical signs, including cracks and wrinkles. Excessive drinking can make you appear much older than you actually are.

Hair Loss

Zinc deficiency is one of the effects of alcoholism and that can cause hair loss. You will probably also have lower levels of vitamins B and C as well as higher levels of estrogen as a result of your drinking, which can also cause hair loss.

Red Face and Bloodshot Eyes

Alcohol will cause the small blood vessels in your skin to widen, which allows more blood to flow closer to the surface. Sometimes the blood vessels on your face will actually burst and the capillaries will break. Your face will become red. When you have an alcohol use disorder and drink large quantities or frequently, this skin change in your face can be permanent.

The blood vessels in your eyes will also become irritated, causing a condition known as bloodshot eyes. More seriously, binge drinking can lead to optic neuropathy or toxic amblyopia, which can leave you blind.

Bloating

People may joke about having a “beer belly.” Unfortunately, alcohol use can lead to the body becoming deprived of the fluids and electrolytes it needs, so it will store the water you do consume through food or beverage. You are probably having to go to the bathroom more when you drink and you may be sweating more, causing even more water loss. Your body reacts by retaining what water it still has in its system. That makes your stomach look puffy, as well as possibly your feet, face, and hands.

Signs of Liver Failure

One of the more serious effects of alcoholism is the damage it causes your liver. Cirrhosis of the liver happens when your liver is scarred and permanently damaged by the alcohol you consume. The scar tissue replaces the healthy liver tissue, preventing your liver from working as it should. As the cirrhosis progresses, your liver begins to fail.

Alcoholic liver disease is life threatening and will show as physical signs of alcoholism. You may have dark circles under your eyes and your eyes may turn yellow from a condition known as jaundice. You will notice skin rashes on your body as well. These are signs of a dangerous condition that could be fatal if not treated properly.

Gender-Specific Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcoholism damages your physical health and your mental health. When you have developed an alcohol addiction and want to stop drinking, we are here for you. Detox and supervised withdrawal will help you safely process the mental and physical symptoms so you can move forward with a healthy recovery. If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Alcohol affects how you feel and how you function. You may feel energized and excited at first but then become sleepy and even disoriented. Drinking excessive amounts or for extended periods of time can be seriously detrimental to your health. With so many different effects on your mind and body, is alcohol a drug?

A Long History

The effects of alcohol have been known for a very long time. Attempts to regulate the consumption of the drink also have a long history. For the past 300 years, the word alcohol has been synonymous with “spirituous liquids.’ Before that, codes limiting the consumption of the beverage date back to 1700 BC.

Among the four types of alcohol, ethyl or ethanol is the type used to produce alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is the intoxicating agent found in wine, beer, and liquor. It is produced by fermenting yeasts, starches, and sugars. Consuming any of the other three, methyl, propyl, and butyl, can result in blindness and death, even if taken in small doses.

Today, just over half an ounce of pure alcohol is the equivalent to one drink. This amount can be found in a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or a 1.5 ounce shot of 80-proof liquor.

How the Body Processes Alcohol

Alcohol is a drug known primarily as a central nervous system depressant. It lowers an individual’s cognitive and physical capacities, even in small amounts. The substance elevates the neurotransmitter known as GABA and reduces nerve signals along the pathway.

As it passes through the body, 90% is metabolized in the liver. The liver can only metabolize a small amount of the substance at one time, so the excess alcohol is left to circulate throughout the body.

An enzyme converts the alcohol to a toxin known as acetaldehyde which is then metabolized to eventually become carbon dioxide and water. Along the way, alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine as it makes its way into the bloodstream.

The amount an individual consumes directly impacts the intensity of the alcohol’s effects. Using alcohol with other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines or opioids can have dangerous effects on the mind and the body.

Stimulant and Depressant

Although alcohol is a depressant drug, it can have an initial stimulant effect. When consumed in lower doses, it increases an individual’s heart rate as well as the sense of impulsiveness and aggression as it causes a surge in dopamine levels.

Once the stimulant effects wear off, the alcohol will slow down the central nervous system, decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and mental clarity in the individual who continues to drink. Someone who consumes large amounts of alcohol will have slower reaction times and begin to feel sedated and disoriented. Higher doses can then suppress the production of dopamine, making a person feel listless and sad.

Dangers of the Drug

Like most other drugs, consuming too much alcohol can be harmful. An individual does not have to be dependent or addicted for the alcohol to have negative effects on their health. If they binge drink, defined as having five or more drinks within two to three hours for men, the results can be serious. Heavy drinking, defined as 15 or more drinks a week for men, can also have harmful, even devastating, consequences.

Excessive alcohol consumption leads to over 95,000 deaths each year in the US. It can also increase the risk for injuries, violence, family problems, and accidents, especially from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Long-term health issues are also a consequence of excessive consumption of the drug, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Alcohol consumption can also impact mental health, increasing anxiety and depression. The central nervous system depressant can alter an individual’s thoughts and judgment, impacting their decision-making capabilities. Sleep quality is also worsened with alcohol consumption, which can make it more difficult to deal with stress.

Gender-Specific Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When you have developed an alcohol addiction and want to stop drinking, we are here for you. Detox and supervised withdrawal will help you safely process the mental and physical symptoms so you can move forward with a healthy recovery. If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

List of Phobias Most Common in Men

Fear is a natural instinct, a powerful emotion that stems from your perception of a threat. Sometimes that threat is real and sometimes it is not. When you have a lasting and irrational fear of a certain situation or a certain object, that is known as a phobia. Men and women experience similar fears, but there are many phobias most common in men.

Uncontrollable and Lasting Fear

Phobias are considered to be anxiety disorders. They are one of the most common types of mental disorders among adults in the US, falling into three categories. In essence, a phobia is an uncontrollable and lasting fear that can lead to a crippling avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias can also lead to panic attacks.

Among the types of phobias, 10% of individuals in the US have specific phobias, 7.1% have social phobias, and 0.9% have agoraphobia, the fear of situations in which escape is difficult.

Three Type of Phobias

Agoraphobia is one of three types of phobias. People who are diagnosed with this condition may be fearful of being alone outside their own home or have a fear of being “trapped” in a crowded place. Agoraphobia is usually associated with panic disorder.

Social phobias include a fear of public speaking, which is one of the most common fears among young people and adults. It can also be a fear of meeting new people or of being in certain other social situations.

Specific phobias involve specific objects or situations. A fear of clowns, for example, is a specific phobia.

Phobias Most Common in Men

Recent statistics indicate that the number one fear for men is acrophobia, the fear of heights. Acrophobia is, in fact, one of the more common phobias for both men and women. Although many people may not be comfortable at the top of a tall building or a high bridge, men with acrophobia have serious panic attacks when confronted with a situation that presents them with a view from a high place.

Additionally, men have been found to have a fear of:

  • Snakes (ophidiophobia)
  • Dentists (dentophobia or odontophobia)
  • Injections (trypanophobia)
  • Thunder (astraphobia)
  • Being maimed (dysmorphophobia).

In addition, nearly half of men are afraid of seeing a doctor (iatrophobia) and over a third are worried about going bald (phalacrophobia).

Common Fears Among Men

Fears that are not necessarily categorized as phobias have also been identified as being common in men, including the fear of:

  • Failing – perhaps being afraid of disappointing others or themselves, and/or of living with the anticipated sense of shame they believe accompanies failure.
  • Being incompetent – fearing that they don’t have what it takes to accomplish a task or to succeed in a job or relationship.
  • Being weak or being perceived as weak – one of the biggest fears for men, as they tend to believe they are not supposed to be weak or even to be perceived as such.
  • Being irrelevant – fear and stress in wanting their lives to mean something.
  • Appearing foolish – keeping men from speaking up in groups or taking on a challenge as they fear losing credibility.

Complications of Phobias

A phobia that is not treated can seriously impact a man’s quality of life. When someone is afraid of something, they might go to great lengths to avoid the place, situation, or object. This situation can cause significant anxiety in the individual. It can also cause other complications in the person’s life. For example, a fear of flying can keep someone from being able to travel for work or for enjoyment.

In addition, individuals who experience phobias that disrupt their lives may be twice as likely to suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The anxiety that stems from a phobia can be life threatening as well, increasing the risk of a man suffering from heart disease.

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

If you are experiencing a phobia with anxiety and panic attacks, reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and any substance use issues you may also have developed as a result of your phobia. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Motivational Interviewing Questions for Substance Abuse

Empowering an individual to take responsibility for his own recovery can be a very powerful tool for someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. A technique known as motivational interviewing was designed to do just that. The motivational interviewing questions for substance abuse focus on the individual’s own reasons for changing, in a non-confrontational manner.

Motivational Interviewing Techniques

The concept of the motivational interview was originally developed by Drs. William Miller and Stephen Rollnick as part of an approach for treating alcohol addiction. Many decades later, healthcare professionals use the method as a way of encouraging individuals who are struggling with substance abuse to make a positive change in their lives.

Rather than being confrontational about someone’s addiction, the motivational interviewing technique is designed to help the person understand more about his substance abuse and why he needs to get help. These conversations can sometimes become emotionally charged. The goal is to encourage the person to talk about making a change, seeking addiction treatment, and staying on track for a successful recovery.

The approach is particularly useful as many people have mixed feelings about making a change in their life, even when they recognize it may be a change for the better. The motivational interviewing technique enables the individual to discuss this ambivalence, helping them to see their own reasons for resisting and for needing to make a change.

Basic Principles

The components of motivational interviewing are encompassed in the acronym OARS – Open-ended questions, Affirmations, and Reflections. An open-ended question is one that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” The answer becomes part of the overall discussion. An affirmation will recognize the individual’s strengths, encouraging him to use those strengths when seeking help for substance abuse.

A reflection demonstrates that the person asking the questions has been listening with intent. They will reflect on what they hear in the answers, giving the individual the opportunity to correct them if necessary. The question asker expresses empathy when doing so, connecting with the individual by making them feel heard and understood.

Motivational Interviewing Questions

Encouraging the individual to discuss their substance abuse and their need for treatment can be a matter of asking the right questions. It is important to note, though, that there aren’t any wrong answers on the individual’s part.

Motivational interviewing is all about empowering that person to take responsibility for their own actions. The goal is to have the individual talk about his own concerns, feelings, ideas, and plans, rather than to have someone else tell him how he should feel or what he should do.

Examples of questions that can be asked include:

  • Tell me about your concerns or difficulties related to your drug use.
  • Tell me a little about your drug use. What do you like most about the drugs you use?
  • What’s positive about these drugs for you? And what’s the other side?
  • What are your worries about using drugs?
  • Tell me what you’ve noticed about your drug use. How has it changed over time?
  • What things have you noticed that concern you, that you think could be problems, or might become problems?
  • What have other people told you about your drug use?
  • What do you think other people are worried about in regard to your drug use?
  • What makes you think that you may need to make a change in your drug use?
  • Tell me what concerns you about your drug use. Tell me what it has cost you. Tell me why you think you might need to make a change.
  • What would be the likely consequences if you continue to use drugs or alcohol?
  • What might be the negative consequences of giving up drugs?

This last question, in particular, will help the individual discuss what they fear about making a significant change in his life.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Family Systems Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Just as an individual’s addiction affects other family members, the interactions of those family members may have also have an impact on the individual’s addiction. Family systems therapy in addiction treatment addresses the interdependence, healthy or otherwise, of each member of the family.

The Importance of Family Members

Researchers emphasize the importance of involving family members in the treatment of addiction, recognizing that it can have a positive impact on client engagement as well as on psychiatric functioning and the potential for relapse. It’s been found that family discord, stressful parent-child interactions, or living with a partner who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can result in a substance use disorder in the individual experiencing these situations.

Understanding these factors, especially the importance of family member interactions, can enhance the effectiveness of addiction treatment. Family systems therapies work on the premise that changing the family interaction model through improved communications and a renewed connection through a sense of loving care can result in improved patterns of interaction. This can then lead to effective treatment for an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Family Systems Therapy

Family systems theory was developed by Dr. Murray Bowen, a psychiatrist, who included eight interlocking concepts based on his research. These concepts include topics such as differentiation of self, emotional cutoff, and sibling position that can impact an individual and their family members. The theory is essentially one of human behavior. It views the family as an emotional unit and describes the unit’s complex interactions.

Although people can feel distant or disconnected from their family, it is probably more feeling than fact, according to Dr. Bowen. A family’s nature is that the individual members are intensely connected emotionally. The connectedness and reactivity of each member of the family makes all the members interdependent. As a result, when one person’s functioning experiences a change, it is typically followed by reciprocal changes in the other members’ functioning.

Addiction and the Family System

Family systems therapy in addiction treatment can help the individual understand how his family has impacted him, as well as how his addiction has affected other members of his family. Dr. Bowen’s family systems perspective describes addiction as the “outcome of a system having exhausted its capacity to manage anxiety and stressors.”

Even though the individual who is addicted is the one who is “symptomatic,” the substance use disorder is viewed as a family symptom, as all of the significant members in the family system play a part in the way each one functions in relation to the others. When anxiety is elevated within the family, the symptom of addiction will erupt. In turn, the individual’s addiction will increase the level of anxiety in those family members who are dependent on that person. As Dr. Bowen stated, “The process of drinking to relieve anxiety, and increased family anxiety in response to drinking, can spiral into a functional collapse or become a chronic pattern.”

Focusing on the Challenges of Being Human

The family systems theory does not simply focus on what causes issues for one individual, but rather on the bigger picture of the patterns within the family system. The theory is concerned with the challenges of being human within these family relationships instead of being focused on a mental illness. There is no room within family systems therapy for seeing victims and villains in relationship networks.

The individual is invited to see the world through the lens of each family member within their system. This helps them to move beyond blame so they can see the relationship forces that have set each family member on their own paths. They will help them avoid the attempt to find fault and instead work toward a unique path that will enable them to move forward in a mature and healthier life.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Men’s Health Month 2021

The month of June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. The week of June 14 through June 20 is Men’s Health Week, with Father’s Day occurring on June 19 this year. During Men’s Health Month 2021, it is important to take a look at some critical factors affecting men’s mental and physical health.

Focus of Men’s Health Month

Individuals and organizations involved in Men’s Health Month activities are focused on heightening an awareness of preventable health problems, as well as on encouraging early detection and treatment of mental and physical health issues, for men. Men are encouraged this month, in particular, to seek medical advice and to seek out early treatment for diseases or injuries.

Men’s Health Month itself was created in 1994 by Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Bill Richardson. The proclamation was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton as Men’s Health Week, the week ending in Father’s Day. It was expanded to include the entire month in the late 1990s. The annual awareness month continues to focus on preventable mental and physical health problems experienced by men. Healthcare providers use this time, especially, to encourage self-exams and screenings in men.

International Men’s Health Week came about in 2002 when representatives from six leading men’s health organizations across the globe met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Austria. They resolved to work together on the dedicated week to increase awareness of men’s health issues on a global level, including encouraging providers to develop policies and services that meet the specific needs of men and their families.

Men’s Health Facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics from 2018 show a number of areas where men have the opportunity to improve their physical health. Their numbers include:

  • 9% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who are in fair or poor health.
  • 5% – the percent of men aged 20 and over with obesity (numbers are from 2015 to 2018).
  • 9% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who had five or more drinks in 1 day at least once in the past year.
  • 3% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who currently smoke cigarettes.
  • 9% – the percent of men aged 20 and over with hypertension (measured high blood pressure and/or taking antihypertensive medication) (numbers are from 2015 to 2018).
  • 6% – the percent of men aged 18 and over who met the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity through leisure-time aerobic activity.

In addition, the CDC notes that the leading causes of death for men are heart disease, cancer, and accidents or unintentional injuries.

Men and Alcohol Use

The CDC also states that men are more likely than women to drink excessively. The organization points out that this excessive drinking is associated with significant risk to the health and safety of men and that the risks increase with the amount of alcohol. When drinking alcohol or using other substances, men are more likely to take risks that could put their health and their lives in danger, such as having multiple sex partners or taking chances in a car by not wearing a seat belt. CDC statistics on men and alcohol include the facts that:

  • Almost 59% of adult men report drinking alcohol in the past 30 days compared with 47% of adult women.
  • Men are almost two times more likely to binge drink than women. Approximately 22% of men report binge drinking and on average do so 5 times a month, consuming 8 drinks per binge.
  • In 2019, 7% of men had an alcohol use disorder compared with 4% of women.

Men and Mental Health

Mental health is also a topic that needs attention during Men’s Health Month 2021. Mental Health America (MHA) reports that six million men are affected by depression each year. Over three million men experience an anxiety disorder. These mental health disorders often go undiagnosed, though, as men will tend to report their experiences as fatigue, irritability, or a simple loss of interest in their work or relationships. MHA also reports that 90% of the people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 30 are men.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

If you are experiencing mental health or substance use issues, we want to help get you back on track with your life. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

What is Black Tar Heroin?

Heroin is an illegal and addictive drug. There are different types of heroin, all of which are dangerous and often even life-threatening. What is black tar heroin? What makes it different from other types of heroin?

Created From the Poppy

Processed from morphine, a natural substance that is found in the seed pod of certain poppy seeds, heroin is a highly addictive drug. It can be produced in a number of forms or grades. White powder heroin is the most pure and black tar heroin is the least pure of these. White heroin is made by isolating the morphine molecule from the opium found in poppy seeds and then synthesizing the drug from the morphine.

The process of producing black tar heroin, though, skips the step of morphine isolation and synthesizes the heroin straight from the opium. This type of heroin is quicker and less expensive to produce than white heroin and so may be a cheaper option for those addicted to opioids.

Pure Heroin

A white powder that has a bitter taste, pure heroin predominantly comes from South America. It has also been known to originate in Southeast Asia. This type of heroin dominates the US markets east of the Mississippi River. This highly pure heroin can be more appealing to new users, as it can be snorted or smoked, rather than injected. The drug is more typically sold as a white or brown powder that has been cut with starch, sugars, powdered milk, or quinine.

Black Tar Heroin

Named for its stickiness, similar to roofing tar, black tar heroin can also be hard like coal. It is usually produced in Mexico and sold west of the Mississippi River in the US. It has a darker color because of the crude processing methods that create impurities. Users of black tar will dilute, dissolve, and inject the drug into their muscles, veins, or under their skin.

Black tar heroin is distributed as a sticky chunk that is blackish-brownish. It has been around for more than 100 years, but it became popular in the US in the 1970s as it is cheaper and easier to make than white powder heroin.

There are many dangers associated with black tar heroin, beyond the serious consequences of heroin use itself. This type of drug may be diluted with black shoe polish or dirt. The soil can contain the spores of a toxic substance known as Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a potentially fatal type of food poisoning. If this spore infiltrates a wound on the body, it can cause an infection known as wound botulism.

Dangerous, Life-Threatening Consequences

Because of the way it is cut, black tar heroin can have serious, life-threatening consequences, especially for people who inject the drug. Between September 2017 and April 2018, there were nine cases of wound botulism reported in San Diego, California. All of the individuals suffering from the infection reported injecting heroin, with seven of them having used black tar heroin. Six of the individuals had injected the drug. One of them died as a result of the infection.

Another case of wound botulism was reported in San Diego County in October 2019. This case was also associated with black tar heroin injection. Additionally, between October 2 and November 24, 2019, nine people who had injected black tar heroin were admitted to San Diego County hospitals with severe myonecrosis. This disease damages muscle tissue. Seven of these individuals died from their infection. They ranged in age from 19 to 57; five were male.

There were 13 cases of probable and confirmed wound botulism in the last three months of 2019 in southern California. These cases mostly involved black tar heroin users.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

We want you to be safe and healthy. When you are addicted to a dangerous drug such as black tar heroin, we can help. At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Why Do I Isolate Myself? | Self Isolation in Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a new sense of isolation for most people across the country. Lockdown and restrictions regarding where we could go as well as when and how we could do certain activities forced us to stay home and distance ourselves from others for long periods of time. Even before the pandemic, there was a group of individuals who would isolate themselves for other reasons. Self isolation in recovery has many root causes and is probably based in the underlying reason for the addiction itself.

A Growing Epidemic

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a growing epidemic in the US. A rising addiction rate and a growth in deaths caused by drug overdose, alcohol abuse, and suicide have been and continue to be a serious concern. Over one million people in the US have died in the past decade from drugs, alcohol, and suicide. As a result, life expectancy decreased in 2017 for the time in 20 years. The combined death rate for drugs, alcohol, and suicide increased six percent from 2016 to 2017, rising to 46.6 deaths per 100,000 people. Many of these individuals died in isolation.

A Disease of Isolation

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of isolation. One theory for this is that people who are addicted want to be alone. Their desire may stem from an inability to connect with other people, either because of an attachment disorder or some other mental health concern. They tend to feel a sense of disconnect, even in a room crowded with other people.

Their sense of isolation could be one of the reasons they became addicted, as they turned to drugs or alcohol to help them manage their stress and deal with things that happen in their lives rather than turning to another human being. In the same manner, addiction can destroy an individual’s ability to develop a healthy relationship and many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol end up destroying friendships and marriages because of their substance use and reckless behavior.

When a person is addicted, they may believe that their only friend or ally is the drug or alcohol itself. They tend to develop an emotional attachment to the addictive substance rather than to other people. Distancing from other humans is something of a defensive measure, to ensure that the addiction can continue without being threatened by another individual.

Worsened Physical and Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that a feeling of loneliness is related to worse mental and physical health. The results of the research also show that loneliness has a direct relationship with low self-esteem, low self-confidence, high risk behaviors, anxiety, tension, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse. Substance abuse may be linked to isolation and loneliness as being a way out of the negative feelings. The individual acquires a new feeling of security while using drugs or alcohol, satisfying their psychological and emotional needs. The study also indicated a greater sense of familial loneliness in those addicted to drugs.

Stigma and a Sense of Shame

While addiction may stem from a sense of isolation, a conscious desire to be separated from other people, self isolation may come out of a sense of shame and the stigma around drug and alcohol addiction, even in recovery. As the individual loses the support of their family and friends, they may fall deeper into isolation.

Addiction to drugs or alcohol is starting to be recognized as a chronic disease but it is still viewed by some as being the individual’s fault or a result of a lack of will power. Overcoming that misconception can be extremely helpful to the individual in recovery who needs to move forward with their lives in a positive way.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we support you through your addiction treatment and recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Addiction Quotes | Inspirational Quotes for Men

Sometimes an inspiring word is what you need to keep you focused and to keep you going. When you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a powerful, empathetic word can lift you up and give you the focus you need to continue on your journey toward recovery. Inspirational addiction quotes for men going through addiction and wanting to heal can help you or your loved get and stay sober.

Words of Guidance and Encouragement

It only takes a few words, sometimes, to reignite your drive toward recovery. Take courage and follow your path to a fuller life.

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

“All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Quotes from People Who Have Been There

No one knows your challenges like someone who has been addicted and who has been through treatment.

“Getting sober was one of the three pivotal events in my life, along with becoming an actor and having a child. Of the three, finding my sobriety was the hardest.” – Robert Downey Jr., actor

“I’ve been sober for 18 years now. It wasn’t like you flick a switch, and you’re sober. It takes a while. You have to learn how to do everything all over again. There is life after addiction, and it’s really good. If I had known, I’d have stopped earlier.” – Joe Walsh, musician

“Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking of what we want to become. Sometimes we motivate ourselves by thinking about who we don’t ever want to be again.” – Shane Niemeyer, motivational speaker and author, formerly an overweight, homeless drug addict.

Words of Hope and Resilience

Resilience is the ability to cope with a crisis or stressful situation mentally and emotionally. Being resilient gives you hope for your future.

“Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things, and good things never die.” – Stephen King, author

“Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” – Brian Tracy, self-development author

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli, behavioral science academic, best-selling author, and speaker.

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quotes from Those Who’ve Succeeded Over Struggles

Sometimes, inspirational quotes come not from the world of addiction, but from people who’ve experienced other types of struggles and, more importantly, have overcome their challenges.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford, inventor

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” – Napoléon Bonaparte, French political and military leader

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela,  political leader, anti-apartheid revolutionary, and philanthropist.

Inspirational Quotes to Help You Believe in Yourself

You can overcome your addiction. Believe that you can do it, with a little help. The time to start is now.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen, founder and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

Addiction and Mental Health Support for Men

At PACE Recovery, we optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and your mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.