America’s Fentanyl Crisis: Synthetic Opioids




Before we get more into America’s fentanyl crisis and how dangerous fentanyl addiction is, it helps to know what the drug is and how it works. Fentanyl is a big factor contributing to the opioid crisis and opioid overdoses. Opioids (heroin, morphine, methadone, and codeine) are typically used for treating pain symptoms and are usually prescribed by doctors and then people become addicted quickly.


What is Fentanyl?  

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, made in a lab, used to treat patients with extreme pain (especially after surgery, like morphine.) However, Fentanyl is 50x stronger than heroin and 100x stronger than morphine. This makes the chance even more significant for an overdose; a minor change in dosage can cost you your life. 

Tolerance happens when you require a larger and/or more regular dose of a drug to get the desired results. It is sometimes used to treat people with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other medications, and nothing seems to work on them anymore.


How do People Use Fentanyl?

When prescribed by a doctor for extreme pain, fentanyl is usually administered in a patch, shot, pill, liquid, or tablet. However fentanyl is sometimes distributed on the streets as a powder, and this illegal fentanyl can become combined with other products, sometimes on purpose or accidentally through cross-contamination. It sometimes even gets put in eye droppers, nasal sprays, or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.

When used as prescribed, this medication serves as an effective pain killer. Illegally used fentanyl is closely associated with America’s recent spike in overdoses. 

Fentanyl is often mixed with other narcotics, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. This is because generating a high with fentanyl requires a very small dosage, making it a cheap additive. This is particularly dangerous if drug users do not know that they are consuming the opioid. They may take a dose that is stronger than their bodies can handle and may are likely to overdose.


What Are The Side Effects of Fentanyl?

Fentanyl side effects can be life-threatening and include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight Loss
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • High Blood Pressure


Fentanyl Overdose

An Individual can more easily overdose on fentanyl than on any other drug. When people have an overdose of fentanyl, their breathing can slow or stop altogether. Hypoxia causes the amount of oxygen that enters the brain to be decreased and can lead to a coma, irreversible brain damage, and even death.

America’s Fentanyl Crisis

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “From 2017 to 2018, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl, rose 10 percent. More than 31,000 individuals died in 2018 from overdoses involving synthetic opioids.”


America’s Fentanyl Crisis

Fentanyl confiscations rose by almost 7x from 2012 to 2014, according to data from the National Forensic Laboratory Information System. In 2014, there were 4,585 confiscations, this means that the sharp rise in opioid-related deaths could be due to the increased availability of illegally manufactured, non-pharmaceutical, and non-prescribed fentanyl.

The number of states that record 20 or more confiscations of fentanyl per six months is growing. 

The most popular drugs implicated in drug overdose overdoses in the United States are now opioids, including fentanyl. In 2020 fentanyl was involved in 80% of opioid-related deaths, compared to 14.3 percent in 2010!

Keep fentanyl out of reach of children; If used unintentionally by a child who has not been prescribed the drug, fentanyl can be life-threatening. Fentanyl, even partially used, can contain a sufficient dose enough to cause severe injury or death. 

If you are prescribed Fentanyl, be sure to keep it in a bottle with child safety locks to prevent accidental overdose. Dispose of partly used medication according to the manufacturer’s medication guide immediately after use. If you witness someone who is overdosing on fentanyl or any other opioid call 911 immediately so they can administer an antidote that, if administered quickly enough, can rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose.


Not a New Drug

Fentanyl is not a new drug. It has been around and used in medical settings since the 60s, but it only is getting national attention in the past few years. High publicity deaths, like Prince and George Floyd, pointed the spotlight on fentanyl and its dangerous properties. 

Even though America’s fentanyl crisis has only become popular in recent years, opioid use disorder has been plaguing people for a much longer time. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use disorder contact us for help. Anchored Tides is a female-only treatment environment that encourages growth far beyond drug addiction treatment. 

5 Questions To Ask When Dealing with Trauma & Rehab




Not everybody who struggles with substance use disorders reports being exposed to an emotionally traumatizing experience before their drug use, but most of them do. According to a study by the National Institute of Health (NIH), “more than 70% of adolescents being treated for substance use disorders had a history of trauma exposure.” That is a very significant percentage of people and the number – although not commonly known – is not surprising. Trauma and rehab go hand in hand and are closely related. 

Many people who experience traumas, especially at an early age, turn to drug use at a later age as a form of self-medicating. 

Trauma treatment and addiction treatment could be addressed together through therapy sessions at an addiction center. These facilities may offer residential treatment, intensive outpatient programs, group therapy, and one on one counseling to address substance abuse-related issues stemming from traumatic events. 

Even facilities that focus on creating the right therapeutic environment to make discussing traumatic events more comfortable exist. Anchored Tides Recovery is a gender-specific rehab for women, offering outpatient treatments explicitly focused on coping with the traumatic experiences women face and promoting long-term recovery through the involvement of a community of people who understands how it feels. 


Are you Looking for a Drug Rehab Program? 

We understand that drug and alcohol addiction is a disorder that is related to mental health. Suppose you are someone dealing with trauma, trying to quit addiction and live a sober life. In that case, there are thousands of drug rehab programs across the United States dedicated to helping on the road to recovery. Rehab centers have various medications and therapies to support your process to make it safe and effective. 

Seeking help for addiction and therapy for your trauma will improve your overall health and reduce your risk of relapse and related complications. The variety of drug addiction treatment programs available is vast; choosing the right rehab center can feel overwhelming at first. Luckily, there are resources available to help you determine the best fit, and once you are enrolled, you will be much better off.  With so many options available for trauma and rehab, how do you select the rehab center that best suits you? 


Let Us Help You in Choosing the Right Rehab Center 

Here’s all the information you need to be prepared for moving forward and five key questions to ask a potential drug rehab center:


What services do you offer?

Treatment options and services vary considerably between facilities. Depending on your drug of choice and your drug use’s severity, you may require different services. Medically assisted detox for withdrawal symptoms, inpatient rehab programs, intensive outpatient, group therapy, family members therapy, couples counseling, co-occurring treatment, spirituality based services, etc. There is no “one size fits all” approach to addiction treatment. 


Is your rehab licensed and accredited?

A rehab center that has completed an accreditation process displays its commitment to excellence and the accrediting organization’s high standards. All drug rehab centers should meet the state’s licensure requirements and receive certification through several agencies. 


What is the staff to client ratio? 

You want to be sure your loved ones are getting the attention that they deserve. Ask each prospective treatment facility how many staff will be a part of the treatment and how many patients they have. This factor is vital to consider because the support staff works very closely with patients, ensuring an ever-present and positive model in each resident’s life.


How much do your programs cost, and what are my payment options?

Not everyone can afford a “luxury” drug rehabilitation program that costs tens of thousands of dollars. But this shouldn’t mean that they should be denied a chance to sobriety. When considering a drug rehab center for treatment, it’s always best to ask about cost directly and get details about payment options. Many drug rehab programs accept insurance coverage and are very affordable.


What sort of traumas do you specialize in treating?

Every individual situation is unique, especially with trauma. There are many different types of traumatic events that are best addressed by different types of professionals that work for trauma and rehab — sexual trauma, child trauma, violent trauma, abusive trauma, etc. You may be doing yourself a favor to determine which professionals you’d want to work with if you have a case that is not easily generalized. 


Make a well-informed decision and get hold of your life

We understand that choosing the rehab near me can be overwhelming for you, given that you don’t have any prior experience. Many different factors may influence your final decision to enroll at a rehab center. Still, these five questions can help you make a well-informed decision to achieve long-lasting sobriety. 


We believe that unaddressed trauma, mental health, and other issues that lead to relapse must be addressed to help women get into longer-lasting recovery. Call our trained staff to discuss this process in more detail and learn about the rehab programs we offer. 

Opioid Overdose: Causes, Signs, and Precautions




Opioid Overdose

About .5 million deaths are attributable to drug use worldwide; more than 70% of these deaths are related to opioids, with more than 30% of those deaths caused by overdose. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, approximately 115 000 people died of opioid overdose in 2017. What are opioids, and why is opioid misuse so common when there are so much evidence points to a drug overdose? Here is everything you need to know about the epidemic of life-threatening opioid overdose, its causes, signs, and precautions. 


What are Opioids?

Opiates, or opioids, are narcotic painkillers that bind to neural opioid receptors in the brain. Once attached to your opioid receptors, the substance depresses your central nervous system, creating a “downer” effect, and suppresses pain while simultaneously producing a euphoric effect. In a medical setting, opiates are prescribed for pain management, which is how many people get hooked. Opiates are highly addictive and currently are the most abused substances in America. 

Opioid use and misuse can result in addiction, overdose, withdrawal, and death.


Can a Narcotic Painkiller Become My Drug of Choice?

The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic; according to the latest statistics from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 11.4 million people in the United States and around 36 million people worldwide abuse opioids every year. 

Narcotic pain relievers include:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (Percocet or Oxycontin)
  • Fentanyl (Synthetic Opioid)
  • Tramadol

The regular use of opioids, prolonged use, abuse, and use without medical supervision can lead to opioid dependence and other health problems, such as overdose. 


Signs of Opioid Overdose

You can identify an opioid overdose by a combination of three signs and symptoms:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Breathing difficulties

Prescription opioid use can even lead to opioid overdose death due to the pharmacological effects on the part of the brain that regulates breathing.


Prevention of Opioid Overdose

There are specific measures that can be taken to prevent an opioid overdose at an early stage:

  • Increase the availability of opioid dependence treatment
  • Reduce irrational or inappropriate opioid prescriptions
  • Carefully monitor opioid prescribing and dispensing
  • Limit inappropriate under-the-table sales of opioids
  • Find alternative pain management methods

Opiate prescriptions have been increasing since 2010, despite the data showing opiate overdose death rates increasing as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In 2017, there were almost 58 opioid prescriptions written per every 100 Americans.

There is a massive gap between recommendations and practices. Only half of the countries provide access to effective treatment options for opioid dependence. Less than 10% of people worldwide, who are genuinely in need of such treatment, are receiving it.


What to Do if you Witness an Opioid Overdose?

If you witness someone, or you yourself feel you are, on the verge of collapsing due to an opioid overdose, calling 911 for an emergency response protocol may save a life. Opioid overdose death can be prevented if the person receives a timely administration of the drug Naloxone, an antidote that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose if administered to the patient in time

There is limited availability of naloxone in many countries, and access to naloxone is generally limited to health professionals and not available over the counter. On the contrary, some countries have already made naloxone available in pharmacies without a prescription. 

People with substance abuse are generally aware of the risks and dangers that come along with opiate addiction. If one were to decide they wanted to overcome their addiction to opiates before things got worse they may likely be facing Opiate withdrawal and a detoxification process. 


Opioid Withdrawal 

When you’ve become addicted to opiates you will become emotionally and physically dependent on the presence of the substance. With time, your body becomes desensitized to the drug, and you’ll need more of it to feel its effects. After heavy use, once you stop taking these drugs you will likely experience several symptoms of withdrawal. 

Opioid withdrawal can be categorized as mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. Your healthcare provider can determine this by evaluating your opioid use history and symptoms.

Opiate withdrawal occurs in two phases. The first phase includes several symptoms, such as:

  • muscle aches
  • restlessness
  • anxiety and depression
  • teary eyes/ runny nose
  • excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • agitation


The second phase is marked by:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea and vomiting
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure


These initial phases can last anywhere from a week to a month and can be followed by long-term withdrawal symptoms that may involve emotional or behavioral issues.


Medical detox from Opiates

It takes time to recover from opiate addiction. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Opiate detox from home is strongly not recommended, it is dangerous and statistically ineffective. 

Recovery centers are best suited for medical detoxification from opiates; will improve your overall health and reduce your risk of complications related to opioid dependence and help prevent relapse. In some cases, withdrawal from opiates could be deadly. A recovery center with medically assisted detoxification services will have a team that can monitor your vitals, keep you safe, and use medications to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal (making the process as comfortable as possible.)

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about addiction treatment programs. Once you successfully get through detox, you will feel an overall improvement in your physical and mental health.



Detox is generally the first step in the recovery process, but detox alone is not a treatment. After detox, your counselor will curate a plan for you to follow that will have you stepping down levels of care. You may be recommended to complete residential inpatient care, followed by outpatient therapy services, followed by sober maintenance through treatment options such as support groups. The process may seem long, but it has been proven to help save countless lives and provide hope for those who feel lost. 

If you want to learn more, visit our website or call us at 1-866-753-5865 and talk to our health professionals to enroll in an effective women-only treatment center and live a drug-free life. 

7 Ways Mindfulness Helps in Maintaining Long-Term Sobriety


The practice of being mindful can be a valuable ally in maintaining long-term sobriety. Letting go of any preconceived notions you have towards “new-age” practice is a process that may initially face some resistance. Still, once embraced, it’s proven helpful for many people towards maintaining Long-Term Sobriety and finding peace.

Embracing some new-age concepts doesn’t mean you need to become a vegan and start collecting crystals. There are many aspects of mindfulness that you can simply learn or understand and use to aid daily life. People in recovery who focus on their environment, movement, breathing, and own shortcomings can find practical and long-lasting ways to navigate through a life of sobriety.

This piece will outline seven mindful mechanisms to prioritize your mental health and bring you closer to a more relaxed, present, and happy self – without alcohol or drugs. 


So… What is being mindful?

As the name implies, mindfulness is the practice of tuning into oneself and becoming aware. The approach of “being present” means ignoring concerns of the past and worries about the future, not allowing yourself to be distracted from awareness of everything taking place in the present moment. One way to effectively achieve this state of awareness is through meditation or focused breathing. 

Practicing mindfulness often involves meditation, but perhaps not in the way you’re thinking. 


How to Meditate

The basic idea of meditation is just to sit down and breathe. Simple enough, right? Just breathe. “Watch your breath,” you might be told on a mindful meditation recording or by an instructor. How do you watch something you can’t even see? This phrase simply means to bring the focus back to your breathing. 

Mindful meditation was once explained to me as “watching clouds go by in the sky.” 

…What does that even mean? 

“Your mind is the sky, and the clouds are any thoughts or emotions that arise as you breathe and ‘watch the sky.” 


Inevitably, some thoughts will pop into your head, primarily because our minds and bodies are used to constant stimulation. When this happens, the idea is to acknowledge these thoughts as distractions and not waste any energy to “chase” them, but instead allow them to pass, just as clouds pass by, and return our attention to breathing.

The best part of this is you don’t have to do it for too long. One minute per day is a simple place to start – we all have 1 minute to spare. As you get more comfortable, do more sessions of one minute per day. Eventually, increase the length of those and start 5-minute sessions. Find what works for you and your schedule; being mindful is not so much about quantity as it is the quality of the practice. 

It takes time and practice to get to a place where you will feel comfortable in training. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it on your first try. A significant driving factor of being mindful is that there is no real end to the practice. Kind of like sober life, even after you complete addiction treatment and no longer drink or use drugs, you’re never really done avoiding relapse. 


So How Can This Practice Help Someone Maintain Long-Term Sobriety? Let’s Dive in!


Calm Down the Mental Chatter

Once you establish a mindful mentality, you’ll begin to focus less on some of the “talk” that’s always going on in our minds. Our brains are designed to problem solve and to be constantly on the alert. Worries, concerns, plans we think we need to make, things we need to remember, etc. This type of constant thinking is a source of stress and anxiety, which is a driving factor for substance abuse. Through mindfulness, we can begin to tune out the stress and stay focused, calm, and make the right decisions.


Identify your “Inner Voice”

When you first become sober, it takes time to learn to relax without drugs or alcohol. One technique that helps start a mindful practice is to “label” or “name” the thoughts or emotions that take us away from our sobriety and peace. 

Assign labels to your thoughts as they happen, like; 

  • “Worrying”
  • “Craving” 
  • “Romanticizing the drugs”
  • “Ignoring the consequences”

As you practice, you’ll notice that the more you label your thoughts, the less you’ll actually engage in them. It takes some time, but soon enough, you’ll learn to recognize what your brain is doing, and you will find it easier to return to the present moment. 


Decrease Stress

This might be the most common benefit associated with mindfulness, and it can be felt immediately when beginning to practice. Basically, this ties into the first two we mentioned. The more we calm down our mental chatter and identify what type of thoughts are in our head (worry, planning, thinking, etc.), the more we will feel at ease. Calm your mind down and simply observe thoughts instead of engaging with them. This helps maintain Long-Term Sobriety since you’ll learn to identify when cravings creep up, then refocus your thoughts as the cravings pass (like clouds.) 



Creating a “Healthy Lifestyle” Habits 

Our brain relies on patterns. For people with substance use disorders, there are specific patterns that ended in drug use. By being mindful, you will create new, healthier habits and relearn new thinking patterns that will guide you from the previous thoughts and patterns that led to substance abuse

Support groups teach you that it takes 27 days to break a habit, and a critical method to maintaining sobriety is to replace your old habits with new ones. While you’re in the process of rebuilding your life, why not pick up some habits that will benefit you in the long run? Exercise, create art, master a skill, engage your brain in new ways to maintain Long-Term Sobriety and leave the old habits behind. 


Check-in with Yourself Daily. Stay focused.

A mindful practice is best done regularly. Set small but achievable goals concerning conscious behaviors and practice them regularly. I find that even ONE minute of mindful meditation can have a very positive effect. This effect is multiplied if that one minute is done a few times a day. Your brain chemistry reacts by releasing endorphins when you set a goal and complete it. 

All the accumulated new time you have on your hands that was previously spent doing drugs or being high can now be repurposed as a time to check in on your mental state, find some inner peace, stop disruptive mental chatter, and set yourself up for a better day.


Refresh your Environment, Refresh Your State of Mind

As fragile and new age as it may sound, meditation creates a new state of mind for us to default to. After becoming sober and through all the previous points outlined above, you will find yourself quite literally living a brand new life. In this new headspace, the previous habits you had will no longer fit. All that will remain are the new, more positive, and supportive habits you will create. A change of scenery can support this new mentality and can be applied in big and small ways, from spending some more time outdoors to moving away to an entirely new city. A new environment, along with a new mindset, can feel like a breath of fresh air after you’ve been suffocating. 


Saying Goodbye and Making Peace with the Old You

Techniques, like the ones we went over in this article, in combination with counseling, detox, and support groups (like 12 steps), will help you build a new identity that is more in line with your mission to maintain Long-Term Sobriety. Through the practice of tuning in and being mindful, a significant change happens;  your new habits, mentality, and thoughts will have you feeling like a brand new person. 


When you’re able to just be present at the moment, you’ll even learn to recognize the thoughts of your “old self.” By labeling thoughts and emotions, you will be able to identify when you’re in your former self’s mindset, which would lead to drug abuse, and stop the thinking in its tracks. Then, all you have to do is take a deep breath, label the thought, say “No thanks,” and move on. The views of your “old self” will pass by, just like clouds.

Letting go of who you think you are and embracing your new lifestyle is exciting, but it’s a long process that takes a lot of support and discipline. Through treatment programs, like Anchored Tides Recovery Center, you will develop skills and a support system of like-minded people to encourage you through the process. 

We’re in this together. If you have any mindfulness techniques that help move you towards a better life, leave a comment below. If you’re ready to take steps towards a healthy new life, call us to talk to one of our care coordinators. 

Say hello to healing and a new you. 



Preparing Your Children for When You Go to Drug Addiction Rehab


Drug Addiction

Substance use disorder is a chronic disease that drives people to continuously use drugs despite being aware of the harm it is doing to their bodies and their lives. Millions of Americans battle drug addiction, and helping someone get rid of addiction has been an issue that drug addiction treatment centers and mental health professionals have been trying to solve for decades.   

Understanding Addiction

There is a misconception that people struggling with drug addiction do so because it’s a choice. No one plans to become an addict. External factors that drive drug abuse and lead to addictive behaviors include stress from work, family issues, financial pressure, feeling disengaged from life, and sometimes just curiosity about a particular substance. Anyone who uses drugs can develop addictive behaviors, no matter their age, culture, or economic status. When a person consumes drugs or alcohol, their brain produces large amounts of dopamine (a feel-good hormone), which triggers the brain’s reward system. After continuous drug use, the brain can no longer produce the usual dopamine amount on its own. This causes people to have difficulties enjoying pleasurable activities like spending time with friends or family when they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol – stuck with their drug addiction.  

Is Addiction A Family Disease?

While some experts report that there can be a genetic predisposition to substance abuse, many factors contribute to someone’s addiction. Whether or not the cause lies in genetics, addiction is a family disease because it affects everyone in the family. This is especially true when there are children involved. Preparing-Your-Children-When-You-Go-to-Rehab Family members of people struggling with addiction endure a lot of emotional and sometimes financial hardship while dealing with a relative who is trapped in the cycle of addiction. Loved ones often report feeling guilty, responsible for the substance use, confused, angry, and sad. This can increase conflict and feelings of isolation for everyone involved.  Drug addiction is a severe problem, but there is a solution. In this case, treatment programs at a rehab center sets the foundation for a life of sobriety.  

What is Rehab?

Rehab is the process during which someone is treated for their addiction. This most often happens at an inpatient facility to minimize outside distractions and temptations. Rehab can last from 30 to 90 days, but the length of time is dependent on the individual and their needs. Since addiction is a health-related issue, most rehab programs accept insurance coverage. For people who have children and are considering treatment at an inpatient facility, making the decision is even more challenging. Additional arrangements need to be made to ensure the child is taken care of before the parent can start their treatment.  

Living Arrangements for Drug Addiction

First, you will need to determine where your child will stay while you are in treatment. If there is another parent or family member who can care for your child in their current living arrangement, make a detailed plan of how childcare will be provided and whether or not additional assistance is needed from friends or family members.  If your child is staying with a friend or family member, take time to look over their home and ensure that there is nothing there that will be unhealthy or additionally disruptive for your child. Ensuring that your child is well cared for without worry before entering treatment will allow you to better focus on your recovery. If you don’t have a community environment or support groups to help with childcare while you’re in rehab, look for rehab facilities that offer childcare or daycare. This, of course, will not work for children of all ages but may provide enough support for help.  

School Schedule

Limiting disruptions in your child’s education and school schedule will help them adjust during the period you are in treatment. This includes arranging plans for drop-off, pick-up, and routine homework. You may also want to schedule a meeting with the principal, teacher, and guidance counselor to discuss your situation’s specifics.  

Talking With Your Child

Healthcare professionals recommend explaining the situation to children in age-appropriate terms. Often, parents have the inclination to lie or hide the truth about where they’re going and why. This can lead to confusion for your child and later mistrust if they learn the truth from someone else. Talking with your child about why you are going, where you are going, and how long you will be gone is very important. It is difficult to explain a temporary absence, but it is important to take the right approach. Be honest and be prepared to answer questions your child might have. Being open with your children and letting them know they are not to blame or responsible can substantially influence how they adjust during this time. If your child is very young, then you will have to explain it simply by telling them that you are sick and need to go away to get better. If your child is older but still relatively young, you’ll want to keep the language simple and tell them only as much as they need to know. If they are an adolescent or teen, you may be able to have a more open and detailed discussion. Make sure that your child knows that drug addiction is not their fault.   Even after you come home, your recovery process is not finished. You have to show your child that you are doing everything you can to remain sober for yourself and your family. Getting help is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and going to rehab will give you the tools to recover so that you can be your best. Are you a mother who is looking to help your daughter? Are you looking for an excellent outpatient treatment program designed specifically for women? Join our women-only addiction center Anchored Tides Recovery. Call us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get your loved one on the road to recovery.