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Posted by on 9:25 pm in Common Bond Guide To, Uncategorized | Comments Off on GUIDE TO OPIOIDS

GUIDE TO OPIOIDS When they’re taken as prescribed, opioids can manage pain effectively. They can improve quality of life for people with chronic pain. In fact, using opioids under the proper supervision of a doctor rarely leads to addiction or dependence. However, when used long-term, opioids may lead to drug abuse with physical dependence and/or addiction. Prescription opioids can also be life threatening in an overdose as can heroin. When they are taken with substances that depress the central nervous system like alcohol, barbiturates, or benzodiazepines, there is a greatly increased risk of respiratory distress, and even death. In 2016 about 63,600 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S., most of them being from Opioids. Opioids are sometimes called narcotics. OPIOIDS VS OPIATES Generally speaking, an opiate is a drug made from the poppies of opium plants. These include codeine and morphine.  Opioids, heroin included, are synthetic versions of this.  The addiction treatment community has settled on “opioid” as the umbrella term for opioids and opiates both. Virtually all opioids are legal by prescription except one. HEROIN Not surprisingly, heroin is considered by most measures to be the world’s most addictive drug.  Heroin use in America continues to increase at a frightening rate.  Twice as many Americans used heroin in 2012 as did in 2007 and those numbers are rising.    In 2014, about 11,000 persons died of heroin overdoses. Fatal overdoses involving heroin skyrocketed from 8% in 2010 to 25% in 2015 — essentially tripling. Heroin’s extreme danger can be shown in some key areas. Its street value is cheap. Its withdrawal is brutal, and relapse often seems guaranteed. EFFECTS of heroin intoxication include drowsiness, pleasure, and slowed breathing. Withdrawal can be intense and can include vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, confusion, aches, and sweating. COMPLICATIONS from heroin are many, mainly because it is usually injected, often with dirty needles. Use of the drug can trigger other health complications including destruction of the heart valves, HIV/AIDS, infections, tetanus, botulism, and hepatitis B and C. OVERDOSE symptoms from heroin include:  bluish nails or lips, depressed breathing, weak pulse, pinpoint pupils, disorientation/delirium, extreme drowsiness, loss of consciousness, coma. RELAPSE rates for heroin are very high.  Some estimates suggest as high as 90% after 3 months without recovery treatment, and 50% with such treatment. PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS 40% of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. Four times more prescriptions were written for opioid painkillers in 2014 than in 1999 even though there is no evidence Americans are suffering more physical pain. EFFECTS of medical opioid use include deadening of pain, controlling coughing and stopping diarrhea.  Non-medical use is meant by the user to drown emotional pain, get a rush, induce euphoria, and prevent withdrawal symptoms. OVERDOSE symptoms include: constipation, pinpoint pupils, nausea, vomiting, weak pulse, seizures, breathing problems, blue lips or finger nails, coma. RELAPSE rates and dangers are high in prescription opioid addictions, as they are in heroin.  A challenge to recovery is the high level of tolerance these medications induce.  Tolerance occurs when the person no longer responds to the drug as strongly as before, thus necessitating a higher dose to achieve the same effect as before the recovery began. THE PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS Opioids act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other...

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Posted by on 7:31 pm in Common Bond Guide To | Comments Off on GUIDE TO COCAINE

GUIDE TO COCAINE If you hear the term “dope fiend” you’re probably hearing about cocaine.  The phrase came into being many years ago to describe the nasty and sometimes deadly side-effects of constant cocaine use.  Coke, blow, line, rail, snow, big C, powder, stash and bump, are all street names to describe a drug extracted from coca leaves and worth tens of billions of dollars worldwide.  Euphoric, energetic and alert are among feelings users report.  The high is described as intense, but also short-lived.  It’s a feeling that can quickly descend into depression and edginess and, eventually, a powerful craving for more. USAGE Cocaine comes in two forms; cocaine hydrochloride, which is white crystalline powder, or crack, which is hydrochloride processed with ammonia or baking soda and water to create crystal chips, chunks or rocks.  Powdered cocaine is typically snorted, but can also be dissolved in water and injected.  Crack is typically heated to a vapor and smoked.  Shooting or smoking cocaine produces a quicker and stronger high, lasting 5-10 minutes.  But in snorting it the high will last 15-30 minutes.  Because of these short bursts of pleasure, users want more and more, creating a binge pattern in increasingly high doses.  This pattern of use goes a long way toward explaining the highly addictive nature of cocaine. HOW DOES IT WORK Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant that increases the levels of dopamine in the brain.  It is dopamine that regulates pleasure.  When levels of dopamine run amok, triggered by cocaine, a high is created, one that can quickly lead to addiction. LONG-TERM EFFECTS Cocaine use, even short-term, can wreak havoc on both body and mind.  It constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils and increases body temperatures.  Heart rates and blood pressures rise.  Headaches and abdominal troubles occur.  When usage becomes chronic, appetite is lost leading to malnourishment.  Sleep becomes deprived.  Heart attacks, enlarged hearts, strokes and respiratory failure can bring death.  The brain’s rewards system is compromised.  Tolerance levels become so high some users can never again get the same high they tasted when they first started.  Doses increase to the point of permanent adverse psychological or physiological effects.  Those who snort it might lose their sense of smell, develop nosebleeds, problems swallowing or constant runny noses.  Those who inject risk HIV, hepatitis C, or other blood-borne diseases. For binge users paranoia, anxiety, irritability, anger and hostility can become constants and, for some, there are hallucinations and even full-blown psychosis. MIXING AND OVERDOSE As is the case with other drugs, the number of fatal overdoses involving cocaine has risen alarmingly in recent years.  Signs of cocaine overdose include rapid heartbeat, agitation and fever.  Seizures may occur as may heart attacks.  Significant numbers of overdoses involving cocaine are the result of mixing with other drugs or alcohol.  The combination of cocaine and heroin—speedball—is especially dangerous.  This combination slows down the respiratory system, sometimes to a full stop and death. DETOX Cocaine is extremely addictive and very hard to kick.  The withdrawal from cocaine is not so much physical, as is the case with heroin and alcohol, but psychological.  The problem with cocaine is the powerful craving that can exist for days, weeks and even months.  There is no specific medication dedicated to easing withdrawal or craving for cocaine...

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Posted by on 6:10 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR VIDEO


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Posted by on 8:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on RELAPSE AND THE LOVED ONES

 How to Respond When someone you care about gets clean and sober it’s awesome. There may be hallelujahs sung, joy filling the air, and relief from us friends and family who’d all thought we’d seen enough. But all too often reality rears its ugly head in the form of a potentially devastating and heart breaking relapse. Anger and disappointment are hard to avoid. But for those struggling with a loved one in addiction, it’s crucial to remember, all may not be lost. For the most part, say the experts, relapse should be considered a part of the recovery process. While all of our reactions and situations may be different, it’s important to be prepared in the likely event that a relapse occurs. Here are four things to remember as you help support your loved one through a relapse. 1. Be Supportive. Being supportive during a relapse might not mean what you think. A relapse is not a positive thing, but it can be a learning experience with the right mindset. So while you shouldn’t condone the act of drinking or using again, recast the event into one of encouragement; sticking with the plan, no matter how hard it might be. As disappointed as you might be in the relapse, imagine how your loved one feels. Encourage them not to look at recovery as an “all or nothing” approach, knowing there will be bad days and good days. What’s important is that they stay committed to the process. Remind them of the healthy changes seen in their life and that a relapse doesn’t have to mean a long-term return to using. You aren’t responsible for how they respond to this information, but supporting them in the way of recovery might give them another reason to stick with it. 2. Talk it Out. As a support person, you have a right to be honest, upset or disappointed. Your feelings and concerns might vary depending on the situation or your loved one’s history with addiction, but it’s important to be honest. You might have an easier time expressing your concerns in a counseling session or with a third party who is safe and neutral. No matter how you choose to express yourself, it’s important to remember that emotions are okay – and its fine if you have them. As your loved one works to come back from a relapse, modeling healthy behavior, emotion and honesty will help set an example. No matter what happens, you won’t be carrying the weight of the relapse on your shoulders and, instead, you’ll be living transparently and honestly to the best of your ability. 3. Keep That Fence Up. The importance of boundaries in addiction and recovery can never be overstated. It’s important to realize that being supportive of your loved one doesn’t mean you need to ignore or normalize a relapse. As you show support and honesty towards your loved one, consider if it’s time to put up boundaries. Whether this means distancing yourself for a period of time or avoiding certain conversations, topics or situations with your loved one, you’re free to make the decisions you need to make to stay healthy and resilient. 4. There’s Help. Use it. Your loved one shouldn’t have to deal with a relapse on their own—and neither should...

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Posted by on 6:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ANXIOUS ARE YOU?

Staying Calm with Self-Care Is it a heart attack?  Is it a stroke?  Am I dying, like really dying?  Anyone who’s ever had a full on, terrifying, ER inducing anxiety attack knows the feeling and knows it well.  It’s not forgettable and not explainable to anyone who’s never had one. While most people with anxiety don’t suffer panic attacks, anxiety itself can still overwhelm us with feelings of fear and loathing. Simply put, anxiety is a feeling of excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.  It can lead to shortness of breath, sweaty palms, increased heart rate, ruminating thoughts, shallow breathing, and shaking. For those of us in addiction and recovery, anxiety comes with the territory.  Withdrawal and craving induce anxiety, which lead us to drink or use, which lead us to withdrawal and craving, which lead us to drink or use. It’s that brutal, vicious cycle that we know so well. Beyond the stresses of recovery, there are the stresses of everyday life. How we handle them will dictate just how much we allow anxiety to take hold.  After all, trouble is often just around the corner, waiting to attack at the most inopportune time. We can’t allow ourselves to fall into the endless cycle of anxiety and chaos. Without proper self-care, burnout will likely be the result. It’s important that we make a plan for the next time we are feeling anxious. Write out your anxiety plan and try new things if you’re not sure what works for you. Here are some suggestions for the next time you feel your anxiety rising: Take a Walk This is a go-to for many people because it can be a quick way to get in some exercise and clear your head. Sunshine can boost your vitamin D, making you feel happier and more at peace. Taking a walk is a flexible way to get out of your current environment and get into a more peaceful headspace. Have a lunch break? How about a quick walk around the block on your lunch break?  It doesn’t have to be long; often just removing ourselves from our current stressful environment for a few minutes can help us re approach the situation with more positivity and drive. Make a Gratitude List In the midst of a stressful situation, like a difficult boss or a family fight, it’s hard to remember the things we have. We can get sucked into a vacuum and unable to see the bigger picture. Try writing down a few things you are grateful for. Do you have a home? How about a good friend or someone that loves you? Are you thankful for your sobriety? Journal Again, it can be a long or short activity. Make a bullet point list of all the things that are causing you to feel anxious. Jot down a to-do list on your phone and cross off the items you complete. Set short term goals that are achievable and measurable. Write out what your day was like, and then look back at previous entries to find themes, things you are grateful for, and ways you have grown. Call a Friend Find someone you can call and share what’s going on. Many times having someone listen and ask questions can be helpful when...

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Posted by on 1:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on YES, SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE

BUT IT TASTES SO GOOD! For many of us in recovery, our addictive brains are still trying to find something to get hooked on.  And for many of us, that something comes in the form of ice cream, candy, donuts and any number of other foods we may not even realize contain the plump inducing powder.  Scientists are finding that sugar stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain as—wait for it—cocaine or heroin! Just like those hard-core drugs, getting off sugar can lead to withdrawal and cravings, and may require an actual detox process. There really are some withdrawal symptoms related to sugar detox, including moodiness, anxiety, and fatigue.  Sometimes so-called “sugar dreams” may come into the picture involving visions of Cinnabons floating in rivers of  caramel alongside giant mountains of Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.  Well, maybe not.  But still. Hooked on the Taste If you had any doubts about the ability of sugar to wreak havoc on your tastebuds, consider one study where people were asked to cut out all added sugars and artificial sweeteners for two weeks. As a result, their tolerance for that sweet taste completely changed. A whopping 95 percent of subjects reported that the foods and drinks they used to consume now tasted “sweeter.” Over half reported that the intense cravings stopped after two to three days, and 87 percent no longer felt withdrawal effects after six days. Four ways to Fight Your Sugar Addiction Fruit not Sweets. Fruit contains fructose, which is metabolized differently than gummi bears, but is still yummy. Be careful to restrict your intake to a few servings a day, though. Too much fruit, like grapes and cherries, have lots of sugar that can bust your belly. Forget Artificial Sweeteners. Although diet soda or sugar-free gum has been known to help many dieters get through a rough patch, aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, and even stevia can actually make you desire sweet food by changing your palate.  Increased consumption of sweeteners can actually cause weight gain. Clean House. That means getting rid of any sugary temptations including the kids’ Halloween candy we’ve been swiping. Remember getting rid of any and all alcohol and drugs in the house, garage, and attic?   Same here. Manage the Magnesium. For chocolate lovers, the craving can rise to a whole new level, particularly for those who have deficiencies of the mineral magnesium.  Chocolate craving can be crazy, but if a magnesium shortage is part of the problem, head off the cravings by eating plenty of magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, tofu, legumes and nuts instead of the chocolate. For some of us, it comes as a surprise that we can find ourselves in the throes of another addiction after working so hard to get out from under the last one.  Sugar is a real deal and can cause weight gain, dental problems, and diabetes.  Like other addictions, this one too can be managed and conquered using some of the same techniques we used before.  Have you found that toolbox full of coping skills?  Sweet!   From your friends at  Santa Clarita, CA...

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Posted by on 4:53 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AFTER RELAPSE

                                                                     HERE ARE SOME TIPS Stay focused on your recovery. Don’t try to concentrate on another major goal while you’re coming back from a relapse. You need time to get yourself together, time to get stronger. Make sure you recognize your incremental achievements. Reward for achieving a goal of one week of sobriety, or one month without gambling, for example, is a great way of recognizing your achievements and spurring you on to your next goal. Get support and help often. Keep in close contact with those who are most helpful to you. This may be your family members, close friends or co-workers. It should definitely include your 12 step group sponsor and other group members with whom you share similarities or friendship. Change your routine. Switch the way you drive to work, the order in which you do your exercises, the variety of cuisines you eat or prepare. This keeps things from getting stale and creates an aura of excitement, of something different, something new each day to look forward to. Don’t see your relapse as failure. Never give up on your goal of recovery. Relapse is a brief return to addictive behavior. It doesn’t mean that you’re destined to fail if you’ve had a relapse. You may need to go back into treatment and/or intensive counseling so you can get back on the road to recovery. Get immediate support. Turn towards a person or group that you trust to get the help you need. Fight impulses. Make yourself wait at least 2 hours before acting on a craving or urge. This is often long enough for the urge/craving to dissipate. Develop coping strategies. When you identify or find behaviors that are helpful in curing cravings/urges, modify these to incorporate into new behaviors that can help in other stressful situations. Nothing succeeds like success. If it worked before, make use of it again — and then some. Focus on the future. Always have new goals to strive for. Look toward the future, the way you want your life to be a year, five years, even 10 years down the road. Make plans that you can put into motion to achieve those goals. Remember, the rest of your life begins with the steps you take today. Your recovery begins now. From your friends at   Santa Clarita,...

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Common Bond Aftercare

Posted by on 9:57 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Bond Aftercare

Common Bond Rehab Center is now offering an Aftercare Program for those who have completed our Intensive Outpatient treatment program, but want to further their recovery. It’s a lifetime thing!  From your friends at   Santa Clarita, CA.

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Posted by on 5:16 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FRUSTRATION AND RECOVERY

FRUSTRATION AND RECOVERY   A feeling of dissatisfaction, often accompanied by anxiety or depression, resulting in unfulfilled                                                         needs or unresolved  problems.                    Addiction can be frustrating for all involved.  When  the addiction  finally gives way to sobriety and recovery, we sometimes think all will be rainbows and unicorns.  We know how hard it is to quit drinking and drugging, but in many regards, it is every bit as difficult, if not more so, to stay quit.  That’s where the frustration comes in and sometimes it beats us down, leading possibly to relapse or worse.  Here’s how to say no to frustration. Have a Plan Making a plan of what we are going to do and  when and how we are going to do it each day, is a valuable tool. Without structure, we can slip into boredom, old habits and  inactivity, all of which can  lead to frustration and relapse. Remain Flexible We should never  cast in stone our plans, however. If you feel like you have to rigidly adhere to the plan you’ve created, and life interferes, frustration may arrive. Set Reasonable Expectations What most newcomers to recovery find is that it takes a period of time for this to happen and that time is different for everybody. Try Not to Take Things So Seriously Bad things happened.  Maybe some very bad things happened.  Amends are needed, apologies necessary.  But while we do need to remember that rock bottom that got us here so we don’t return, there is no need to dwell.  We are sober.  That is a blessing and worth smiling about.       Learn From Your Mistakes While it can be temporarily upsetting – indeed, frustrating – to make mistakes, if you can glean something positive from the experience, you are adding to your recovery toolkit.. Keep a Positive Attitude In many respects, attitude is everything. When it comes to how we live our lives in recovery, attitude can literally make the difference between making significant progress toward goals and giving up on them Be With Others When you are in recovery,  it is helpful to be in the company of others who know what kinds of frustrations you are experiencing and, even more important, how they were able to overcome such frustration and get back to working on their goals? Remember the Good You Have Accomplished From time to time, looking over what you have accomplished thus far can be a real eye-opener. Everyone needs something concrete to point to in the way of successes, if nothing else, to give them motivation and inspiration to continue. Try Again In the end, how you manage your frustration that tends to get in the way of your recovery goals will be a personal and unique approach. The only way to be successful in achieving what you desire is to continue to work at it – even if this means trying again and again.     From your friends at and  Santa Clarita,...

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Posted by on 5:48 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FIVE REASONS TO STAY IN SHAPE IN RECOVERY

FIVE REASONS TO STAY IN SHAPE DURING RECOVERY    It is fulfilling. For those in recovery, it is often a struggle to find something rewarding that can fill the hole left by giving up drugs and alcohol. Walking away from an addiction means freeing up a lot of time in your life, and for many this can be one of the most difficult parts of early sobriety. By introducing some sort of physical activity into your life, you are replacing an unhealthy habit with a healthy one. Though getting out and moving your body may not come naturally in early sobriety, more often than not you’ll be glad you did it. It feels good to fill time with an activity that benefits you physically and mentally rather than one that is harmful. It boosts your serotonin levels. Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with depression. For them, using drugs or alcohol may have been a coping mechanism. In sobriety it can be difficult to figure out how to confront depression when you can’t use a substance to self-medicate. Though working out is not a cure for depression, it has been shown to increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that is responsible for regulating mood, among other things. If the level is too low, the result can be depression. So, when the amount of serotonin is increased, mood will also be elevated. If you are having a difficult day and feeling depressed, try going for a simple walk or a run and pay attention to how you feel afterwards. Chances are you’ll feel at least a little more centered and hopeful. It is often a great outlet.It’s no secret that sobriety isn’t easy. There are many emotions involved in getting sober, and drinking to cope with those emotions is no longer an option. Instead, you have to find a new outlet, a healthy one. For some this may be listening to music, or writing, or reading. The list goes on. But exercise can also be great because it allows you to push your body to its limits and take out your frustration or confusion in a healthy manner that benefits you. There is something so refreshing about being able to walk into the gym after a difficult day and just focus on moving your body and overcoming your mental barriers. It often puts the rest of your life in perspective. It can help you gain back your confidence. When you get sober, there can be a lot of shame and guilt present in your life. You may also feel down on yourself if you’ve let yourself go physically while in active addiction. I know these were both the case for me. And while getting sober can do wonders for your confidence on its own, adding physical activity to your daily routine brings that to a whole other level. There is so much satisfaction and reward in seeing your body change in a positive way because of the work you’ve put in. Channeling your energy into something positive and seeing changes as a result increases confidence in yourself and your abilities, in terms of physical activity and in recovery. It opens the doors to create connections.In recovery, especially early recovery, it’s not unusual to feel lonely....

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