Law Enforcement and Addiction Recovery

law enforcement and addiction recovery

law enforcement and addiction recovery


For better or worse, the chances are you have strong opinions about police reform. 

Even just the term “police reform” triggers many intense emotions, from both sides of the political spectrum, and doesn’t do any justice towards the actual meaning behind the idea. 

Today, we answer the question – what does police reform mean?
We’ll cover the cause, effect, and specifics.


The Stigma Around Police Reform

Most people hear the term “defunding the police” and take it literally. To many, the term means “take away police funding, cut their salaries, remove police presence.” This is very far from the actual meaning of the term.

Police reform revolves around reallocating police funds and retraining officers, including their responses to drug offenses. While there are outliers with more radical views regarding police reform, they are just that – outliers. Financially, police reform calls for reducing the budget for weapons, non-community orientated programs, and changes in fines and fees associated with a drug arrest. However, the primary focus of funding has less to do with budget allocations and more to do with law enforcement’s response to drug use and mental health-related issues.

Currently, many emergency calls involving drugs or mental illness result in police taking aggressive action. Police officers are currently trained as soldiers, and as a result, they act like soldiers when they are called in. This type of mentality results in a lot of unnecessary violence and a negative stigma of the police in the public eye; For example, recently, a police officer who was responding to a disturbance call broke the arm of a 73-year-old woman with dementia while using force because she was not responsive to his commands. The police are supposed to make us feel safe, but many people are just afraid of them. 

Under police reform laws, many drug-related and mental health emergencies would be handled by trained social workers, mental health professionals or simply allocate funds to train police officers in therapeutic counseling strategies of de-escalation. In all scenarios, officers would still be present in some capacity.


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The Real-Life Results of Police Reform

Reallocating the police budget affects the entire community. It also narrows the scope of police work. Police are required to respond to virtually every emergency incident. This results in police being tasked with jobs that are outside of their expertise. For example, mental health calls require nuanced psychological training to have a positive outcome. The wide range of police work also contributes to elevated stress levels in officers due to the nature of their job and the effects of poor sleep and long working hours.

These are the most significant benefits of police reform:

  • Improved Social Programs: Social programs encompass housing, education, and rehabilitation. Many social programs have extremely limited resources. This is especially true in impoverished neighborhoods. Youth that gets drawn into gang activity, drug experimenting, and other nefarious behavior often do so for lack of options. Community centers, sports, and stable housing reduce first-time offenses and provide long-lasting changes in any environment.
  • Better Support for Mental Health: Individuals with mental health issues such as addiction, depression, PTSD, etc., often need help that most cops and jail environments cannot provide. Trained mental health professionals can only provide proper treatment. Commanding presences, like that exhibited by most law enforcement, only serve to intensify the harmful effects of mental instability.
  • Reduced Violent Crime: As mentioned, cops often respond to non-violent, non-emergency situations. In police reform, officers would have more time and resources to focus on dangerous offenders and serious crimes.


Addiction as a Disease

Drug use is not a violent crime, but often authorities approach it as such. Addiction is a disorder of the brain, and drug use is a symptom of the disorder. Once you understand this, the idea of approaching the situation the same way you would a violent offender seems off base. 

Historically, people viewed substance dependency as being caused by a lack of willpower or character. However, modern health professionals view addiction as a disease. Science shows genetics, environment, culture, and mental illness all play pivotal roles in developing an addiction. Children of substance-dependent parents are more likely to become addicted and/or suffer from behavioral issues.

Viewing addiction as a disease also allows for a more well-rounded treatment plan. This is due to the increasing focus on functional medicine. Functional medicine involves treating the patient’s entire body as a system- when one part fails, it affects the entire body. For example, depression and anxiety dampen the mood and disrupt logical thinking. A person suffering from these conditions may be unable to weigh the consequences of their addiction clearly. Additionally,  people with the illnesses mentioned above may rely on substances to combat their depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking.

Overcoming substance dependency requires time, therapy, and medical treatment. Without proper training, many officers may treat someone suffering from dependency the same as a violent offender. This can cause additional trauma and worsen the effects of mental illness and dependence on those affected.

It’s worth noting that police officers are not the only career that requires additional training regarding drug use. A societal change in thinking is necessary for long-lasting help and prevention to occur regarding drug dependency.

Many cities, such as Philadelphia, have taken to providing clean needles to people suffering from heroin dependency. Intravenous drug use is accountable for disease spread, severe infection, and other occurrences that put additional strain on city funds. Providing safe places and sanitized needles curb the risk of infection and violent crime. This is just one example of how changing societal views of addiction benefit both the community and the city budget.


Where Do We Go From Here?

The conversation surrounding police reform is still in its early stages. There have been several incarnations of police reform in the past that have worked to varying degrees. 

An era of police reform occurred with the advent of digital cameras, phones, and internet crime. Police reform is a natural part of the institution; as society changes, so should the goal and practice of policing. The expectation of law enforcement moving forward is that officers will be limited in what calls they respond to en mass.


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Police reform also limits their roles in mental health cases, non-violent disputes, and drug use. There is also a call for a higher level of accountability of police from their peers. To be clear, policing is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. It’s well known that officers, much like any life-defining career, form tight-knit groups that aren’t overly friendly to outsiders. This power level allows many police officers who commit crimes to receive reduced sentences, even when found guilty. The double standard afforded to officers during criminal proceedings only drives a wedge further between officers and the community they’ve chosen to protect.

While unit camaraderie and cohesion are essential to law enforcement, the cause and effect of these relationships can feel unfair. An officer can be loyal to their sworn code and still hold their fellow officers accountable.

Lastly, the combined factors of reduced violent activity, decriminalization of substances, and budget reallocation can increase the economic value of a neighborhood. This not only improves the economy and quality of life of its residents but also of communities nearby. As it stands, many non-violent offenders lose out on lifetime earnings, resources and gain social stigma for their drug use and arrests. A more lenient, support-based system allows persons with substance use issues to receive the treatment they need and reclaim their lives. To learn more about addiction recovery call the team at Anchored Tides Recovery at 866-600-7709.

How Long Does Tramadol Stay In Your System?

how long does tramadol stay in your system

how long does tramadol stay in your system


How long does tramadol stay in your system? People have a common question about this prescription drug, which is also available under the brand name Ultram. Below, we discuss how tramadol works, the warnings, and how long it can stay in your system.


An Overview of Tramadol

A prescription drug, tramadol, is available in an immediate and extended-release oral version. When you take the immediate-release form of the medicine, it releases into the body right away. An extended-release tablet will go into your system slowly over some time.

  • Tramadol is available as a prescription for moderate to severe pain.
  • The drug classification is an opioid agonist or an opioid analgesic. 
  • A class of drugs is one where all the medications included in the group act similarly and are often treatment options for similar conditions.

When you take tramadol, it changes your brain’s sensing and response to pain. 

  • The medication is similar to something in your brain called endorphins. 
  • Endorphins are naturally occurring substances that bind to receptors. 
  • As part of this binding, the receptors reduce pain messages from your body to your brain. 
  • Essentially, tramadol works to lower the amount of pain your brain thinks you’re experiencing.

With tramadol’s initial approval in 1995, it wasn’t classified as an opioid, despite acting similarly.

  • There were growing cases of addiction and abuse associated with tramadol. 
  • In 2014, as a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to make tramadol a controlled substance. 
  • A controlled substance has accepted medical uses, but it is also highly regulated because of its potential abuse or addiction.

Among opioids, tramadol is among the safer ones but still has risks. 

  • Tramadol is a schedule IV drug, meaning relative to other controlled substances. 
  • OxyContin, on the other hand, which is a prescription opioid, is a schedule II drug.
  • Schedule II drugs have high abuse potential, despite their medical uses.

Tramadol is for the treatment of conditions causing chronic pain like osteoarthritis or pain after surgery. 

  • Along with binding to opioid receptors to block pain signals, tramadol works in other ways. 
  • Tramadol increases levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. 
  • Both are chemical messengers or neurotransmitters playing a role in your perception of pain.
  • Tramadol doesn’t cure pain or treat the underlying cause, but it can help improve functionality in your daily life.


Tramadol Side Effects

Some of the relatively common side effects of tramadol include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Sweating

More severe side effects requiring medical attention can include:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Changes in blood pressure 
  • Risk of serotonin syndrome
  • Low levels of androgen, which are male hormones
  • Seizures
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Overdose
  • Tramadol addiction
  • Potential for dependence 

As we mentioned, as an opioid medication, tramadol can be habit-forming. If your form a physical dependence after taking it for some time, you may have symptoms of tramadol withdrawal if you try to stop suddenly, also known as cold turkey.

Tramadol can have drug interactions, so you should tell a medical professional everything else you take. You shouldn’t combine tramadol with alcohol or other sedatives, or any other opioid drug, because doing so can increase your risk of side effects and overdose.

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How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?

If you take tramadol for pain, it should begin working within about an hour after an immediate-release dose. The effects and pain-relieving benefits usually peak in two to four hours. The extended-relief versions will gradually release the medication into your system over a longer time.

  • The tramadol half-life is anywhere from five to nine hours. 
  • Half-life is a measure of how long it takes your body to eliminate half a dose of the drug.
  • Complete elimination can take anywhere from five to six times as long as the half-life.
  • That could mean it could take up to 54 hours for tramadol to leave your system.

Your liver breaks tramadol down, and your kidneys get rid of it via your urine; around 30% of the dose you take stays in its original form. Your body converts the rest to metabolites, which you then excrete.

Different drug tests for tramadol have a varying amount of time the drug is detectable in your system.


Blood Tests

Blood samples can detect tramadol reasonably quickly after you use it, and it may show up for up to 48 hours after the last time you take it.


Urine Tests

In urine, tramadol has a detection window of up to four hours. 


Saliva Tests

After taking tramadol, the detection time could be 24 hours to up to 48 hours after your last use if you undergo a saliva test.


Hair Tests

Hair follicles can detect tramadol up to 90 days after your last use.


Factors Affecting How Long Tramadol Stays in Your System

While the above are estimates, individual factors play a role in how long tramadol stays in your system in drug screenings.

Older people metabolize substances more slowly, often because of impaired organ function, including kidney function and liver function. Body composition and underlying medical conditions affect how long it takes your body to process any drug, including tramadol. 

Larger doses take longer to clear from the body. The more often you use tramadol, the longer it will take to metabolize because it accumulates in your body.

If you have a slower metabolic rate, it can take longer for tramadol or any drug to clear your system.


What Are the Side Effects of Stopping Tramadol Suddenly?

You shouldn’t stop taking tramadol suddenly without talking to a health care professional first; if you stop short or cold turkey, you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you’re physically dependent.

Opioid withdrawal side effects include two general phases—early and late. Early withdrawal starts as the drug leaves your bloodstream after your last dose of tramadol. Late withdrawal usually comes a few days after. Signs of early withdrawal from an opioid can include:

  • Muscle aches and muscle pain
  • Tearing up
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Hypertension
  • Racing heart rate
  • Fast breathing

Later unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Chills/goosebumps
  • Stomach pain and cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Brain fog or trouble concentrating
  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Depersonalization

Opioid withdrawal symptoms will usually start within 12 hours after the last dose. According to the DEA, around 90% of people going through tramadol withdrawal have symptoms in line with traditional opioid withdrawal. Approximately 10% will have more severe long-term symptoms such as extreme paranoia, anxiety, and panic.

If you’re struggling with tramadol or any other opioid, please call 866-600-7709 and contact the compassionate treatment team at Anchored Tides Recovery to learn about options for treatment.

The Best Dual-Diagnosis Treatment Centers for Women


In the last few years, the number of searches for the best dual-diagnosis treatment centers for women has significantly increased. More women are seeking gender-specific treatment centers, and we will explain why. 

Addiction is a common disease, but it affects both genders differently. Research on how gender influences addiction has shown that male and female bodies react to substance abuse differently. For instance, women tend to develop dependency and eventual addiction to drugs faster than their male counterparts.

Another proof of this difference is how women metabolize alcohol. The female body produces an enzyme that slows down alcohol metabolism. Eventually, women with substance abuse problems tend to experience more severe symptoms than men. 

These are just a few examples of how the effects of substance abuse differ from men to women. 

Research has shown that an addict’s gender plays an important role in their treatment journey in recent years. Whether they get treatment, how they get treatment and the barriers they face can also affect addiction treatment and recovery.

Women tend to have a harder time sticking to a treatment plan than men. This issue is often influenced by their responsibilities at home. Also, women experience more mental health comorbidities than men. 

With all of these differences, no wonder the need for the best dual-diagnosis treatment centers for women is prominent. 

What Is Dual-Diagnosis Treatment?

Dual-diagnosis is treatment for co-occurring disorders. Someone who experiences co-occurring disorders  will experience a mental health disorder and substance use simultaneously. Some common mental health disorders that co-occur with substance use disorders are:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Schizophrenia

Co-occurring disorders are different from regular substance use disorders because they create a loop.

People who suffer from a dual-diagnosis require a more specialized treatment than those who only deal with substance abuse. This is because the individual has to be treated for the mental health issue as well as the substance use disorder at the same time. Most comorbid disorders influence themselves in a vicious cycle.

For example, a mental health disorder like depression can lead the individual to drink or take drugs. This influence also goes both ways as a substance use disorder can worsen a mental health issue. Most treatment centers opt for an integrated treatment plan where both issues are treated simultaneously to treat dual-diagnosis.

If you do suffer from mental illness and substance use disorder and only receive treatment for SUDS, your likelihood of relapsing is much higher. This can be due to the fact that some of the uncomfortable feelings associated with mental illness drive someone to use drugs or alcohol. 

How Anchored Tides Recovery Helps Women Recover From Addiction

With many treatment centers in the United States, why choose Anchored Tides Recovery? First, Anchored Tides Recovery is a gender-specific treatment center dedicated to helping women recover from addiction. This means Anchored Tides Recovery have trained staff that understand and deal with the peculiar differences women go through when seeking treatment for their addiction. 

In addition to this, Anchored Tides Recovery also offers a couple of treatment plans like partial- hospitalization and outpatient tailored for women. Are you looking for a women-only rehab center for dual-diagnosis treatment? Anchored Tides Recovery is the right choice. 

Our treatment approach combines evidence-based addiction treatment and dual-diagnosis modalities while incorporating a program geared toward women’s issues.

We offer various levels of addiction treatment services including a Women’s Partial Hospitalization Program, an Intensive Outpatient Program, an Outpatient Program, and an aftercare program.

In addition to our numerous treatment programs, we provide a highly serene and conducive environment for healing. Reach out to us today for help with your addiction. 

How PTSD and Addiction Are Linked


PTSD, also known as post traumatic stress disorder, is often linked with addiction and substance abuse disorders. If you aren’t familiar with PTSD or addiction, or how the two can be intertwined, Anchored Tides Recovery is here to share with you more information regarding the two disorders. 


Evelyn lost her parents at the age of 8 to a terrible accident. Since then, she has suffered several panic attacks and exhausting emotional outbursts.

Some nights, she hardly sleeps. And some days, anxiety and depression disconnect her from friends and family.

To cope with loneliness and feelings of depression and anxiety, she started experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and eventually became addicted to these substances. 

This is just one of the many examples of a person experiencing PTSD and addiction. Most people who, at any point in their lives, suffered trauma can often overcome the experience on their own. However, when PTSD ensues, the symptoms hardly go away.


What is PTSD and Addiction?

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health and anxiety disorder. It happens when a person witnesses or experiences a life-threatening or traumatic event. Examples of such events are:

  • The death of loved ones
  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Fatal accidents and injuries
  • Natural disasters
  • War
  • Terrorist attacks

Sadly, you don’t need to have to witness any of the events above before suffering PTSD. You might develop PTSD when a loved one experiences life-endangering occurrences.

In another case, having a history of mental illness can also lead to PTSD. And if you’re a woman, the chances of having PTSD are unfortunately higher. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men.

How to Tell If You Have PTSD

When a person suffers PTSD, they may display specific symptoms. The common symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Persistent anger
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive agitation and fear

Some people with PTSD may turn to alcohol and drugs to manage and cope with the symptoms, and ultimately end up becoming addicted to said substances. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD and addiction, please don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

At the earliest stages of PTSD with early intervention, it’s very possible to recover from PTSD without medications. However, when the symptoms of PTSD become disruptive and unmanageable, getting prescription drugs or treatments is a good option. Presently, the widely-approved medications for PTSD are antidepressants. Antidepressants are likely to suppress PTSD symptoms such as anger issues, fear, and agitation.

Another medication is Prazosin. It helps to suppress PTSD symptoms such as sleeplessness and nightmares.

How PTSD and Addiction Are Linked

The two disorders share a mutual link/nature. PTSD alters brain chemistry just as much as substance abuse.

For that reason, a singular trauma can simultaneously trigger PTSD and substance. And that is why substance abuse can lead to PTSD. Sudden withdrawal from drugs or alcohol will develop post-traumatic stress disorder in an addict.

Another connection between PTSD and substance abuse is PTSD medications. Indeed prescription drugs can help manage the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, one of the dangers of prescription drugs is that people living with PTSD often abuse them. For example, antidepressants such as Ativan and Xanax (Benzodiazepines) tend to create a high feeling. If someone suffering from PTSD takes too much of those, they are at risk for developing an addiction. 

Anchored Tides Recovery Can Help

Hope is not lost. Anchored Tides Recovery’s women’s drug rehab will help you live an addiction-free life. We are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis program created specifically for women who need help. 

We provide different levels of addiction treatment services including an Intensive Outpatient Program, Women’s Partial Hospitalization Program, Outpatient Program, and an aftercare program. If you or your loved one is struggling with PTSD, contact us NOW and begin your journey to full recovery.


The Silence Of A Client’s Death

By, Heather Black-Coyne

I have worked in addiction treatment for 10 years now. My journey working in the treatment industry began early in sobriety and like many, I wanted to help others find recovery just as I had.  A topic much talked about but not really talked about is the death of our clients. The news coverage speaks to the number of opioid overdoses and the stark increase of deaths over the years. The opioid epidemic is well underway, and tens of thousands die each year because of opioid use. Today’s reality is that someone is now more likely to die of an opioid overdose than a motor vehicle accident. The unfortunate news is methamphetamine use and alcohol use also take thousands of lives, but their toll is overshadowed by the opioid crisis; that’s a topic for another day.

Despite the staggering statistics, in all of my classes, clinical team meetings, and new employee orientations, the fact that one of my clients might die was never discussed. Sure, we covered self-care, hear of and grieve the third-party news that a former client has passed. Sure, I have learned that certain standards, regulations, risk management and compliance measures need to be in place to safeguard organizational liability in case of sentinel events. I have participated in the silence, and I am sad to say that over time, my cognitive sensitivity to death by overdose has decreased.


Today, I’m very aware of the cumulative effect these losses have had on my soul. I am sad. I am confused. I am preoccupied with images of my late client. My thoughts vacillate between my recent client’s death and the loss of past clients. I see past clients sitting in my office talking about their dreams. I hear their longing to be a part of. I imagine them at my doorway, smiling, telling me about their latest achievements. I replay moments where I had this keen sense of them flirting with the afterlife and their weighted connection with death. My process then flips to my recent loss. I feel guilt when I hear others express they thought ‘this one would make it.’ The guilt is rooted in retrospect. I knew a barrier existed between her and true joy. I knew she was just existing, despite the smile she flashed the world. The guilt is rooted in knowing, at times, I operated from a place of defense, “I am here for you AND I am protecting myself.” A sense of protecting myself from the overwhelming feeling of grief, even before you passed away. Though at the time, I truly didn’t know that would be the outcome.

I am grounded and rooted in emotional health. I don’t beat myself up, I don’t ruminate on what I did or did not do. I do not assign myself unnecessary blame. I have and my guess is, others have too. My guess is, that especially for newer counselors, there is some unshakable sense of responsibility. I want to validate that normal human process for anyone who has experienced the death of clients. I want to validate the enormous pull to help save someone’s live and the disappointment of that endeavor not being realized. I want to validate the disparity between seeing someone thrive and then learning of their passing. I want to talk about the fact that if you work in addiction treatment, for any length of time, losing a client is not only a possibility but a probability. When this happens, the loss is staggering. The world silences while your heart sinks. Our thoughts attempt to reconcile the feelings that can’t be explained.


We do this work because we are called to help others, and the need is clear. We do this work, because we believe in the gift of life. We keep doing this work despite the heartache for these reasons. The number of individuals I have seen achieve successful recovery far outweighs the number of individuals I have seen die from this disease. Every story holds a special place in my heart. Every story teaches me something I didn’t know I needed to know. If you are like me, if this subject wasn’t talked about with you, know you are not alone. I am with you, we are with you, let’s talk about it.


Anchored Tides Supports Rock to Recovery Benefit

Rock to Recovery Event in LA August 24th at 7pm

Rock to Recovery 4 – the fourth annual benefit concert with music featuring John Feldman and Sacred Sons, with the latter consisting of musicians whose credits include Korn, Sevendust, She Wants Revenge and Madonna. System of the Down’s Shavo Odadjian will also be sitting in with Sacred Sons for the night.

Feldmann, Goldfinger’s frontman and producer for such acts as Blink-182 and Andy Black, will be saluted with the Rock to Recovery Service Award, while the night’s other major honor, the Rock to Recovery ICON Award, will go to actress-singer Katey Sagal. Both honors salute those who have used their power of influence to help put a spotlight on addiction and recovery while giving hope to others.

The fundraiser helps grow the reach of Rock to Recovery’s innovational music therapy program.  All proceeds go towards funding the non-profit’s services which help those suffering from addiction, mental health, wounded warriors, and at-risk youth, to find hope, support, and recovery.

Click here to purchase tickets

Trump goes full Nixon on law-and-order, vows “ruthless” war on drugs and crime

In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said are “designed to restore safety in America.”

“We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in,” Trump told law enforcement professionals of the Major Cities Chiefs Association on Wednesday. “We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice. And we’re going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence.”

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