How to Get Off Heroin Without Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the big reasons people can struggle when dependent on opioids is the opiate withdrawal symptoms. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be severe and uncomfortable. Managing these symptoms can help you be in a better place to get addiction treatment and begin a life in recovery.

You may wonder how to get off opiates without withdrawal symptoms. The answers can include medical supervision, tapering off your dosage, and medications. Below we detail more about opiate withdrawal symptoms and what you can expect regarding the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

We’ll also talk about management options for this process of withdrawal.

What Are Opioids and Opiates?

Opioids and opiates are a class of drugs that affect the brain and central nervous system by slowing them down. 

  • The opioid drug class includes prescription pain medicines like morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. Heroin is also an opioid.
  • Increasingly, synthetic opioids that are highly potent like fentanyl are making their way to the streets.
  • Using an opioid, by prescription or otherwise, changes how pain signals transmitted from your body to your brain. There’s also a slow down of your entire central nervous system. For example, if you use an opioid, you may feel sleepy. Your breathing and heart rate can slow as well, leading to a high risk of overdose.
  • Opioids and opiates are all chemically related to one another. These substances interact with opioid receptors in your brain and body.

Even when you use an opioid by prescription, regular use can lead to abuse, addiction, and dependence. Overdose and death are also consequences of opioid use.

Opioid Dependence

Opioids are highly addictive. When you take an opioid, it interacts with your brain in a way that can create euphoria or feelings of being high. 

  • Those feelings and effects create a cascade effect in the brain. 
  • Neurotransmitters that make you feel good flood your brain. 
  • Then, your brain’s reward cycle experiences stimulation.
  • All of these effects can lead to addiction. 
  • With opioid addiction, you experience out-of-control cravings and use because of the impact of the substance on your brain and your reward centers.
  • Addiction is a psychological disease of the brain.

Dependence is different. 

  • Dependence usually occurs with addiction but sometimes happens on its own. 
  • For example, if you take opioids with a prescription, dependence can form even if you aren’t addicted.
  • Dependence refers to physically depending on a substance to feel “normal.” 
  • Symptoms of dependence include tolerance. 
  • When you’re tolerant to an opioid, you need larger doses to feel the same effects, whether that’s pain relief or something else. 
  • Another symptom of dependence is withdrawal.

Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal 

The longer you take any opioid, whether by prescription or an illegal drug like heroin, the more likely dependence is to occur. Then, if you try to stop using the opioid suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. 

  • Opiate withdrawal symptoms occur as your brain and body try to readjust without the effects of the drug.
  • Even if you just cut back on your dosage, you might experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • The severity can vary, but opioid withdrawal can be challenging to deal with in some cases.

Early symptoms of opioid withdrawal, which can occur within hours after you take the last dose, include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Muscle aches
  • Teary eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia and sleep problems

Later physical symptoms of withdrawal from opioids include:

  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Joint pain 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drug cravings 

You may be wondering how long is opiate withdrawal symptoms expected to last.

  • The simple answer depends on individual factors like your health, organ function, and weight, and body size. 
  • Other factors that play a role in how long opiate withdrawal lasts include the type of drug you typically use and how long you’ve been using it.
  • Early stages of withdrawal symptoms begin anywhere from six hours to 30 hours after the last time you take an opioid for most people.
  • Later stages usually begin around 72 hours after your last dose of the drug. These latter symptoms are generally when there’s a peak in the severity of what you experience.

With opiate and opioid withdrawal, the first week is usually the worst, but some symptoms can linger for weeks or even months. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, and sleep problems are the most common symptoms to stick around for more extended periods.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms
How to Get Off Heroin Without Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

How To Get Off Opiates Without Withdrawal

Many people want to stop using opiates and opioids, but they can’t make it through withdrawal without taking the first step to recovery.

  • If you can get help during withdrawal and manage your symptoms, then you’re more likely to be then able to receive addiction treatment and stop using the drugs altogether.
  • There are options available that can help you as you go through opiate withdrawal symptoms.
  • For severe or long-term dependence, going to an inpatient medical detox may be the best option for you. In an inpatient detox, you receive medical care and monitoring. 
  • A team of experts can provide you with medications and other treatments to minimize your symptoms and help you stay comfortable. 
  • Many addiction treatment programs include medical detox, so you can seamlessly transition into rehab after completing withdrawal to receive opioid use disorder treatment. 

If your main goal is to figure out how to get off opiates without withdrawal symptoms, professional care and guidance are the only truly safe way.

You should speak to a health care provider before you attempt to stop using opiates, no matter what. Opiate withdrawal typically isn’t life-threatening, but it’s still something to talk about with your doctor. They may be able to help you with a safe tapering schedule at a minimum. 

Treatments for Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Certain medicines have FDA approval to treat opioid withdrawal as well as addiction. These drug categories include:

  • Opioid receptor agonists, which attach to opioid receptors in the brain. Due to their ability to attach to these receptors, opioid receptor agonists block withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Opioid receptor partial agonists partially activate opioid receptors, helping with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Opioid receptor antagonists block the activity of opioid receptors in the brain, preventing the high you might experience with opioids. This blocking effect helps reduce cravings.
  • Adrenergic receptor agonists are medicines that activate adrenergic receptors in the brain to reduce or alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.

Specific medications for opioid withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Clonidine is a treatment that doesn’t fall into the above categories, but it can be used as part of an opiate detox to help with high blood pressure and other symptoms.
  • Methadone is specifically for opioid dependence, although it’s more common for doctors to prescribe buprenorphine now. Methadone is a long-acting, mild opioid.
  • Buprenorphine is available under brand names like Subutex and Suboxone, and it’s for the treatment of alcohol addiction and opiate withdrawal. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that reduces cravings, among other symptoms.
  • Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid blocker. Taking suboxone can help shorten the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

The above are medication-assisted treatment options specific to opioid detox. Pain relief medications such as over-the-counter acetaminophen are helpful in some cases. Your health care team can use their discretion to treat individual symptoms as they occur during the withdrawal period. 

The big thing to remember is that many effective treatments are available as you go through withdrawal from opioid addiction and dependence. 

Contact the Silicon Valley Recovery team today by calling 408-547-4089 if you want to learn more about supervised detox and the treatments available to help you manage opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Rehab: The First Step to Recovery

Alcohol and drug misuse is the third leading cause of illness, disability, and death in the United States? It accounts for more than 78,000 deaths each year. Each day, 20 Americans die from prescription drug overdoses. Still, even with these sobering statistics, only approximately 10% are treated in an inpatient rehab setting.

Recovery is a long process, and inpatient rehabilitation is where you focus on your addiction for a set period. Inpatient treatment is a residential program offered at some addiction treatment facilities. Inpatient programs may also include recreational therapy to help keep residents busy and active while in treatment and sometimes even after they get back home. The ability to live at the facility allows patients to receive care around the clock, increasing the effectiveness of their treatment.

This type of treatment includes:

  • Medically supervised detox 
  • Regular counseling
  • Group and family therapy sessions
  • Support groups. 

What Is Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab can be an intensive, focused way to break a drug or alcohol addiction cycle. It involves a process of long-term medical management and treatment for the disease of addiction. Inpatient rehab is necessary for people suffering from severe consequences of their addiction, who have lost control over their drug use, and need medical attention to recover.

Offering patients the opportunity to leave behind the life that has led them to substance abuse and focus on recovery, inpatient therapy provides a fully immersive experience where patients can explore the realities of their addiction through multiple perspectives.

Inpatient rehab programs tend to be more expensive than other drug rehabs, but some believe that this investment is worth the cost for those who need the more rigorous structure and environment 24 hours a day. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities require that you stay at their rehabilitation center for a defined period. These periods may vary from 30 days to 90 days or more. The length of treatment is likely dependent upon the severity of your addiction.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment

The benefits of inpatient treatment are wide-ranging. Inpatient treatment is often the last resort for self-destructive disorders and addictions. It’s possible that the patient has tried other options and simply needs a more intense solution to deal with the substance abuse or self-destructive behaviors.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health data, the number of Americans who went to inpatient rehab in 2013 was 782,029.

Some of these benefits include an increased chance of maintaining recovery after the outpatient programs, reduced risk of relapse, and a reduced risk of entering back into an alcohol or other drug abuse program. Below are the main benefits of inpatient addictions treatment that help addicts kick their drug and alcohol use:

  • Inpatient Detoxification

Inpatient Detoxification is a program for people with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, need medical supervision as they detox from these substances. It provides a safe environment where medical staff closely monitor clients during the detoxification process. Inpatient facilities usually provide medical detoxification, including medications to relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms and medications to reduce cravings while undergoing behavioral treatment.

  • Success Rate

Inpatient rehab programs are a great option for individuals who have faced a particularly challenging type of abuse. These programs are most often recommended to people who have relied on drugs or alcohol for a very long time and may have engaged in criminal behaviors to procure supplies. 

These programs will provide patients with the tools they need to live without drugs or alcohol. It is essential to realize that treatment is much more beneficial for an inpatient rehabilitation program than therapy as an outpatient or home-based recovery situation. 

  • Reduced Risk of Relapse

The inpatient care offered at drug rehab centers can reduce the risk of relapse. Particular aspects of addiction treatment provided by rehab facilities include the ability of staff to stabilize patients, implement alcohol and drug tests, practice counseling and therapy, and provide education to patients regarding the physiological aspects of addiction.

Compared to other countries, a relatively high percentage of Americans drink alcohol. Attendance at inpatient rehab treatment centers for alcohol-related issues is also pretty high, with up to 6,000 people per day attending various addiction and substance abuse facilities around the country. In 2014, 423,000 individuals underwent treatment for substance abuse issues, and an additional 57,000 attended inpatient rehab.

Knowing how many people attend rehab can help you follow your own or family members’ progress through the treatment process.

Inpatient Rehab for a Pregnant Woman

Inpatient rehab for women is specifically tailored to the needs of individuals struggling with addiction during pregnancy. Using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy exposes a woman and her developing fetus to potentially serious long-term effects. 

Both health care and mental health considerations have to be kept in mind when treating addiction during pregnancy.

Treatment centers that work with pregnant patients are often structured as women-only rehab to promote a more effective and comfortable recovery process. 

When a woman is pregnant and seeking addiction treatment, there are unique considerations to look for in a program. Treating addiction during pregnancy is more complex, and most need care at specialized inpatient rehab centers. 

When someone is pregnant and addicted to drugs, particularly opioids, they can’t stop cold turkey in most cases. Stopping suddenly can be harmful to a mother and her unborn baby. The same can be true with alcohol.

Since detoxing while pregnant can be dangerous, a woman needs a treatment team that understands the unique risks as part of the treatment plans overall. 

For example, there are medication-assisted treatment options that can often be safe for pregnant women in addiction treatment programs. 

Is Residential Treatment Most Effective?

Inpatient rehab for pregnant women does tend to be the best and most effective long-term approach to addiction. 

The Journal of Substance Abuse published a study with more than 300 women. The women were enrolled in a residential treatment program specifically for pregnant and parenting women. The level of functioning was looked at before and after treatment at a drug rehab center. 

Women showed improvement in many areas, along with reductions in substance use.

They also had improvements in employment, fewer legal issues, fewer mental health symptoms, and a more positive attitude toward parenting.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Both inpatient and outpatient care can be very beneficial for individuals struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. While each program has its benefits, the type of program individuals are most likely to succeed in depends on their unique needs, professional opinion, and current life situation.

Inpatient treatment is comprehensive and generally provides the most structured, intensive level of treatment. This type of care immerses the patient in a healing environment for a specified period and includes medical and psychiatric support 24 hours a day. Outpatient services involve far more limited periods in a facility with fewer resources; however, the same basic therapy methods are used. 

Outpatient treatment is not always available and can be limited by state. Outpatient treatment programs allow patients to travel home whenever necessary when they are offered. Inpatient care is often more convenient for individuals who cannot take time off work or need around-the-clock supervision. This should not be overlooked when evaluating your loved one’s needs.

Depending on your treatment option and insurance coverage, your recovery plan could be either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Both offer advantages to recovering from drug or alcohol dependency; the key is to choose the plan that suits you best.

Find the best Inpatient mental health facility in The Bay Area, CA.

At Silicon Valley Recovery, each inpatient mental health facility is designed to focus on safety, comfort, and therapeutic needs. We focus on the well-being of patients at all levels of care, from children to their families and staff members. From emergency services to long-term care, we’re always striving to improve the care experience for everyone. 

Our unique inpatient mental health services combine holistic and evidence-based practices with a core focus on the interdisciplinary treatment of the whole person. We offer various effective therapies to help every individual we treat to heal from addiction, trauma, or an array of other mental health concerns.

Contact Silicon Valley Recovery today to learn more about how we can help improve access to inpatient medical treatment. Speak to a care coordinator now at 408-547-4089.

A Person Who Has Been Drinking Will Usually Behave This Way

When we drink alcohol, it affects our brains, bodies, and behavior. For some people, even minimal amounts of alcoholic beverages begin to affect their ability to function normally. A person who has been drinking alcohol will usually seem less coordinated, perhaps have slurred speech, and have lower inhibitions.

Along with general personality changes, some people might experience especially adverse changes in their behavior. For example, when a person who has been drinking even small amounts, a person will sometimes become angry or aggressive.

Is someone an alcoholic simply because their personality changes when they drink?


An alcohol use disorder is a diagnosable condition with a set of criteria used in the evaluation, as with other mental disorders. Personality changes don’t mean someone is an alcoholic or has an alcohol addiction. It can mean that they’re problem drinkers or experience adverse outcomes when they drink. Being a problem drinker is a risk factor for developing a more significant alcohol use disorder, but it isn’t an addiction necessarily. 

Below we break down some of the ways a person who has been drinking alcohol will usually behave and how drinking can impact our personality. You can also learn about addiction recovery here.

How Alcohol Changes Your Personality

You may have various motives for drinking alcohol. You may drink primarily when you’re socializing to serve as a way to be more outgoing, so it’s a situational factor. Some people drink when they’re happy, to celebrate. Others drink alcohol to relax at the end of the day, and some do so when they’re feeling upset as a coping mechanism.

When someone drinks and especially engages in heavy drinking, they may experience changes to their personality.

You may have a group of friends you usually have alcoholic drinks with. There may be the sad drunk or the happy drunk within that group. That person’s personality changes are probably similar every time they drink, no matter the environmental factors or outside circumstances.

Our expression of personality can shift when we’re drinking or drunk. Personality isn’t just how we outwardly behave or act in social interactions under typical circumstances. Our personalities are complex and include how we feel and how we’re experiencing any given situation.

A reason for the changes is the loss of control you experience. Alcohol disinhibits the part of your brain that gives you self-control. That’s why you might become more extroverted when you drink, or you could become more angry and aggressive. You’re removing that element of control that you use in your daily life with the addition of alcohol.

The traits that come out when you drink are already there—they may be underlying. They are just heightened with the addition of alcohol, and especially heavy drinking. 

If you’re someone who has underlying and unresolved anger, you’re more likely to expose that when you drink. If you’re generally happy, then you might experience a more over-the-top version of those feelings as you drink.

Most researchers believe alcohol begins to affect a person’s abilities to conceal elements of their personality perhaps. It doesn’t make you a different person to drink, however.

Why Does Alcohol Lower Your Inhibitions?

As we’ve touched on, a person who has been drinking will usually do things they wouldn’t otherwise. Chemical reactions happen in your brain when you drink. These reactions also play a role in coordination, as the alcohol begins to affect a person’s abilities.

When you drink, a few things happen.

  • GABA levels increase.
  • GABA is a brain chemical messenger or neurotransmitter. When the neurotransmitter goes up, you feel relaxed, and your stress and anxiety go down. 
  • There’s an increase in dopamine in the brain. Dopamine sends chemical messengers that create feelings of pleasure, thus the buzz you get from drinking.
  • Norepinephrine goes up, which is a stimulating neurotransmitter. This is the neurotransmitter primarily responsible for excitement, as well as lower inhibitions and increased impulsivity. When your norepinephrine is high, it can make it hard for you to weigh the consequences of your decisions thoroughly.
  • There are also effects on the brain’s prefrontal cortex, responsible for helping you think rationally and clearly. When you drink, it impairs the abilities of your prefrontal cortex. You’re then more likely to act without thinking.
  • Alcohol reduces the behavioral inhibition centers in your brain.
  • You have a slowdown in the processing of information in the brain, so it’s more difficult for you to think through the consequences fully.
  • The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for managing your willpower and feelings of aggression.

All these effects mean that if you’re already feeling angry or aggressive, that shield of inhibition goes away. You’re more likely to act on those feelings that were already there bubbling under the surface.

Many of the brain areas affected by alcohol also play a role in mental health and mental health issues. For example, if someone has co-occurring disorders like bipolar disorder, the influence of alcohol can also make the symptoms worse.

Alcohol and Aggression

There are certain people that we see and think “they’re an angry drunk.” The reasons are due to the factors above. However, even if you’re not an inherently angry person, you may still get more violent or aggressive than you would otherwise.

For example, if someone were to provoke you after you’d been drinking, you could be likely to take the bait and engage with them. In your normal daily life, without the addition of alcohol, you’d probably just ignore or walk away from the situation.

It’s important to note links between drinking habits and intimate partner violence. In fact, in one study, 30% of couples reporting intimate partner violence said alcohol was a factor.

Regardless of whether you believe it’s the alcohol affecting someone’s behavior, if you experience violence or abuse of any type when someone is drinking, you should leave the situation and go to a safe space. It’s never an excuse. Alcohol doesn’t create these components of someone’s personality — again, it just enhances or brings them to the surface.

A Person Who Has Been Drinking Will Usually Behave This Way

Are You An Alcoholic When Your Personality Changes?

As mentioned above, when your personality changes or, more accurately, when certain characteristics come out when you’re drinking, that doesn’t inherently point to alcoholism or alcohol dependence. There are complex factors and diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder. It’s a chronic illness and a mental health disorder. 

One of the primary criteria for diagnosing an alcohol use disorder or any substance use disorder is continuing to drink despite negative, known consequences. So, if you know that you become aggressive or angry when you drink, and it leads to fights, altercations, legal problems, or other issues, yet you keep drinking, that could be a red flag.

If you try to cut down on your drinking and you aren’t able to, and you keep finding yourself in situations where your personality changes in an unpleasant way, it could be an indicator of an alcohol use disorder.

Dangerous Behaviors

One of the most dangerous behaviors of someone who has been consuming alcohol is drunk driving. In the United States, you are considered legally drunk when your blood alcohol content (bac) is .08. If your alcohol levels are beyond this point you are considered to be a drunk driver and prohibited to operate a vehicle. When you drink and drive your reaction time is lowered, a significant amount of fatal crashes reported come from impaired drivers. 

Getting Help

We encourage you to call 408-547-4089 and reach out to the Silicon Valley Recovery addiction treatment team if you’re worried about your behavior or someone else’s. We can help you connect with resources to help to guide you in how to deal with a person who has been drinking. 

Relapse Triggers: Ways to Avoid Relapse

In the context of treating addiction, relapse is the act of a recently abstinent addict returning to use of their addictive substance or behavior. In everyday language, relapse is commonly used interchangeably with the term “relapse into substance abuse,” which is considered the more general definition for returning to addictive behavior. Thus, addiction relapse may be a more appropriate term since not all addicts will return to abusing a specific drug or self-destructive behavior.

Addiction relapse results from the brain returning to addictive patterns of behavior that were overcompensated for in the past. Addiction relapse often occurs when a smoker begins associating situations and feelings with potential triggers for smoking, such as being in stressful situations during addiction recovery. Such stimuli can be reminders of past addictions, for example, drugs or alcohol. Once the brain develops patterns around the common relapse trigger and associates them with smoking, it may fall into old habits.

The process of relapse typically occurs in three stages:

  • Emotional relapse

  • Mental relapse

  • Physical relapse

What are the Common Addiction Relapse Triggers?

Substance abuse triggers are internal and external cues that cause a person in recovery to crave drugs and often relapse or lapse. A trigger for relapse is an emotional, environmental or social situation that drags up memories of drug or alcohol use in the past.

If you’re an addict or alcoholic reading this, you have probably gone through a relapse before. You know the signs, and you know how it feels. The potential for relapse is always there. It’s essential to learn about what addiction relapse triggers are if you want to avoid them so that you can remain sober in the future.

What are Internal and External Triggers? 

  • External triggers are certain activities, locations, people, objects, images, situations, and events that can make you want to use drugs or drink alcohol.

  • Internal triggers are thoughts or emotions that make you want to use drugs or alcohol.

Relapse is a significant component of staying clean and sober. Relapse can be defined as the return to drug or alcohol use after a period of abstinence. Closely about one-third of people relapse within one month, more than half relapse by six months, and virtually all relapse within a year.

Having an understanding of why addiction relapse occurs may help you to keep from the risk of relapse. Here are five of the most common and often seen relapse triggers and ways to avoid triggers in recovery:


1. HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

The HALT acronym is one of many simple tools we can use to improve our quality of daily life when facing addiction. Identifying situations that cause us to put ourselves in emotional discomfort helps us be more effective in handling them effectively. For instance, if we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, we become vulnerable to poor decision-making and relapse.

Naming the sensation allows us to take action that may help prevent a situation from turning into one with negative consequences.


2. Emotional Stress

 Preventing relapse is a crucial part of the addiction recovery process; however, many individuals may not be fully prepared to cope with the common relapse trigger and temptations they encounter daily. These emotions can serve as reminders of a person’s history and former coping methods, inciting negative feelings of helplessness. When they feel like they are winning the battle against their drug addiction, a perceived negative emotion can lead them to use drugs or alcohol in the first place.

Anxiety is a symptom of relapse. Feeling powerless can trigger a potential relapse. Blaming others for your problems promotes relapse. Never being able to tolerate any discomfort puts you at risk for relapse.


3. Overconfidence

Reach the highest highs and the lowest lows. There’s no greater high than recovery, but that doesn’t mean you should get overconfident about your recovery. Overconfidence in recovery puts you at risk for relapse. Being optimistic about your new life as a sober individual is necessary, but becoming overconfident crosses a line from healthy confidence to self-satisfaction and addiction risk.


4. Social Isolation

Although your reliance on drugs or alcohol may have initially been your desire to fit in and feel part of a group, this reliance can easily lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness over time. If you lack a support system to turn to when times are tough, or you’re feeling down, it can become easy to convince yourself that you need a drink or a drug of choice to help you through.

Social support is crucial to long-term recovery. To combat feelings of isolation, contact your nearest Narcotics Anonymous group or other 12 Step fellowship, and ask to be put in touch with a sponsor. Get involved in meetings and activities. This will help you build a recovery network and ease your loneliness.

5. Reminiscing

A major red flag that you have not truly accepted your addiction is when you reminisce about times from the past when you used it. This type of nostalgia is a way to romanticize your addiction, especially if you overlook all the suffering your addiction caused.

It’s important to remember that each drink or drug use was its separate incident with its consequences, emotions, and learning opportunities. These memories can stir up strong emotions that lead to the impulse to use a substance again. Objects in an individual’s everyday life may induce illicit drug cravings.

Holiday parties involving social drinking may be tricky. Avoid high-risk situations and locations. Some of the other people who may be triggering include former drug dealers, co-workers, employers, neighbors, spouses, or partners. Positive feelings can also serve as internal triggers.

Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a relapse rate similar to that of other chronic conditions like diabetes. Addiction is a ruthless master, always finding ways to trick the addict into believing that their behavior isn’t addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people who are treated for substance use disorders will relapse at some point.

If you start to rationalize your addictive behaviors by viewing them through rose-colored glasses, then you are becoming an enabler to your addiction. Focus on the pain your addiction caused you and others. This is what will help keep you on the path to sobriety.

Family dynamics may influence an individual’s substance use abstinence self-efficacy. If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of addictive behavior and are looking for a way out, complete recovery from the relapse process is possible. First, it’s essential to seek help and treatment from a professional specializing in substance abuse or mental health disorders.

Relapse Triggers

Relapse Triggers: Ways to Avoid Relapse

Getting Help

Since many individuals with substance use disorder also suffer from co-occurring disorders, seeking help from an expert who can assess and treat any underlying condition that may have contributed to your addictive behavior is crucial.

At Silicon Valley Recovery, we provide individuals with a comprehensive treatment plan to avoid the common triggers for relapse. We use a combination of professionally supported 12-step meetings, balanced medical care, and evidence-based therapy to give patients a relapse prevention plan that they need to avoid relapse and achieve long-term sobriety. our substance abuse treatment aims to help individuals recognize the early warning signs of relapse and develop healthy coping skills to thwart a possibility of relapse.

Give us a call today at 408-547-4089 and start the recovery process. We offer a wide range of addiction treatment programs to help you fight negative behaviors.

The Professional’s Guide to Addiction Recovery

There are unfortunate misconceptions we have about addiction. For example, when it comes to who we envision as an “addict,” it may not be the high-performing professional. In reality, people in high-pressure, high-stress jobs who may appear to have it all together are sometimes most affected by addictive substances.

When you’re in a high-profile or demanding position, you can feel a sense of shame about your addiction. In other instances, it might feel like an accepted part of your industry or corporate culture. One of our biggest priorities is helping you realize it’s not shameful. Addiction is a chronic disease requiring proper treatment.

The good news is that when you seek help from an addiction recovery center like ours that understands your particular needs, you can live a fulfilling and productive life. You can find clarity, make your family members proud, and rebuild relationships in addition to having a great career.

Receiving comprehensive treatment for any other mental health issue and your substance use disorder is integral to a healthy life.

What Industries Have the Highest Addiction Rates?

Below is a brief overview of some industries and professions with the highest addiction rates, and they’re likely to surprise you.

  • Health care professionals and doctors: We’ll delve into this a little more below, but doctors and medical professionals have an estimated rate of around 10% for substance abuse. Medical professionals are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than their patients.
  • Lawyers and legal professionals: When you’re a young lawyer, in particular, you face long hours, job stress, and potentially high debt payments from your education — around 29% of lawyers in their first ten years of practice reporting problematic drinking or alcohol abuse.
  • Executives: High-level employees are plagued by substance abuse problems, whether in tech companies or other industries. Prescription drug abuse is prevalent among these professionals.

We’ll explore these professions and addiction among high performers a little more in-depth below.

People in recovery enjoy better career performance and overfall fulfillment. Participation in a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous can help you maintain your recovery after treatment once you return to your career.

Health Care Professionals

Health care professionals, including doctors and nurses, have some of the highest addiction rates in the entire workforce. The pandemic has probably worsened those trends, but it may be years before we can see the full impact.

People who work in health care are most likely to abuse narcotics, which are prescription opioids, including Fentanyl and Oxycodone.

Reasons people in health care are prone to developing substance use disorders include:

  • They work in a very demand, high-stress environment where their decisions quite literally are life-or-death in their daily life
  • Medical professionals have to stay awake for long hours and often work all day or overnight
  • There are emotional, painful decisions and outcomes to deal with regularly
  • People working in health care have access to powerful prescription drugs

Unfortunately, the effects of addiction when you work in the medical field can be especially devastating.

While being a healthcare professional can sometimes be thankless and heartbreaking, long-term recovery rates after treatment are high for people in this field who develop an addiction to prescription medications, other drugs, or alcohol.

Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Lawyers work long hours and deal with tremendous stress. In younger lawyers, the pressure may be particularly high since they’re also probably trying to pay off student loan debt and juggle financial responsibilities while working their way up the ladder in their careers.

Along with drug and alcohol addiction, many lawyers have a co-occurring mental health condition. For example, more than 45% of attorneys have co-occurring disorders like depression at some point in their careers. Around 12% of those lawyers reporting depression or a similar mental illness experience suicidal thoughts at least once.

Around 21% of lawyers may be problem drinkers or have an alcohol use disorder, and some estimates put the number as high as 36%. Approximately 9% of attorneys may struggle with prescription drugs. Stimulants are also an issue, helping attorneys stay awake for long hours, maintain high energy levels and potentially work more daily.


Executives in all industries, including the tech industries, have higher rates of substance abuse than you might expect. For example, one study found nearly 20% of tech professionals abuse or have an opioid addiction.

There’s also an alcohol culture in the tech industry, where it can be seen as acceptable to drink in work environments. For example, 53% of tech employees said they’d participated in a team bonding event with alcohol in one survey, and 35% said their employers sponsor happy hours.

Why Are High-Performing Professionals Likely To Abuse Substances?

Whether you’re working at a hospital, a start-up, or a high-profile established company, why are you, as someone who’s seen as a significant achiever, more likely to need a special level of care for substance abuse treatment?

There are a few factors that likely play a significant role.

  • When you’re a high-level employee or in any position of stress at your job, it’s demanding. Your schedule is packed, and you may start early in the morning and work late into the night. Everything you do has the potential to affect many other people. Executives and professionals may turn to drugs or alcohol to relax after challenging days, help them sleep, or as a coping mechanism.
  • When you work in a stressful job, you may dedicate so much of your time and attention to it that your relationships suffer. You could find yourself struggling to connect with people on a personal level. Social support is critical to mental health, and without it, you could be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol.
  • Many executives and professionals with substance abuse problems are high-functioning. They appear “normal,” and no one would assume they have a substance use disorder.
  • These are people who may simultaneously make a lot of money and have disposable income, which in some cases can also fuel addiction more.
  • When someone struggles with drugs or alcohol and has a high-profile or stressful job, they may be apprehensive about the stigma of not just their substance use but the potential of going to an addiction recovery center and taking time from work.

Addiction Recovery

The Professional’s Guide to Addiction Recovery

Finding a Recovery Program 

If anything above sounds like you, the most important thing to do, once you realize that you have a problem, is find addiction treatment that will address your needs to help you start the recovery process through effective treatment options and behavioral therapy.

The needs of someone who has the weight of other employees and a company on their shoulders will differ from someone in another profession on their path to recovery.

Executive addiction treatment centers in California, like Silicon Valley Recovery, will create an individualized dual diagnosis treatment plan, with your career in mind. You have to work on identifying underlying causes for your addiction. You may also need treatment for a co-occurring mental health disorder like anxiety or depression, essential for your quality of life and relapse prevention.

Realize you aren’t alone, and drug addiction recovery is possible and can work in your life. So many people in America are striving to drive their careers forward and maximize their productivity. You can’t do that to the detriment of your mental and physical well-being.

We encourage you to call 408-547-4089 and contact the team at Silicon Valley Recovery to learn how we can help you change your trajectory and get evidence-based treatment for the disease that keeps on taking. We’ll share details about our admissions process, medically assisted detoxification, exclusive support groups, executive treatment programs, and how our holistic approach can meet your unique needs as a professional.