Category Archives: Addiction Treatment

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses FDA-approved medications, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat substance abuse disorders. The use of FDA-approved drugs and evidence-based therapies is effective, as it treats the whole person and extends periods of sobriety. Typically, MAT is used to treat opioid and alcohol substance use disorders.

Let’s learn more about medication-assisted treatment, the types of medications use and who the best candidates are.

Medications Used in MAT

The medications prescribed vary based on the type of addiction, its severity and the withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor to find out which medicines are right for you, as each person is unique.

Opioid addictions respond best to the following medications:

  • Buprenorphine. This drug is used for opioid addictions and can be prescribed from a doctor’s office. It’s a partial opioid agonist that can be part of a comprehensive recovery program. However, buprenorphine has opioid effects and the potential for abuse.
  • Methadone. A full opioid agonist, methadone produces effects that are similar to opioids. However, it’s longer acting and has milder effects. Just one dose can prevent withdrawal symptoms for over a day. However, coming off methadone can still result in debilitating withdrawal symptoms.
  • Naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is used to reverse potentially life-threatening overdoses. Naloxone injections are administered intravenously during an opioid overdose emergency. It should be kept on hand for opioid users.
  • Naltrexone. Available in a pill or injectable form, Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors, which prevent users from getting high. It may even reduce cravings for opioids. The injectable form is given once a month, whereas the pill is taken daily.

When treating alcohol addictions, the following medications are used:

  • Disulfiram. Also known as Antabuse, this medication enhances the negative effects of alcohol, reducing the desire to drink. The effects come 10-30 minutes after drinking and include sweating, vomiting, chest pains, blurred vision, headache and anxiety.
  • Acamprosate. This medication, also called Campral, is used to prevent relapse and promote abstinence. It may help reduce cravings and make it easier for recovering alcoholics to stay sober.

Best Candidates for MAT

Before MAT can be implemented, you need to be properly diagnosed. Your diagnosis will include the severity of the addiction and any co-occurring mental health conditions. You are a good candidate for MAT if you have an official diagnosis of addiction to opioids or alcohol, are willing to follow all instructions and do not have health problems that could interfere with the therapy.

Medication-assisted treatment is not a standalone treatment. It is part of a comprehensive recovery regimen that includes counseling and lifestyle changes. To learn more about your treatment options, call The River Source today.

3 Common Barriers to Addiction Recovery


It is not uncommon for addicts to deny their problem. They might make up every excuse to convince concerned family and friends that they do not have an issue.

Not all addicts are in denial, however. Sometimes, an addict wants to accept help but has barriers standing in their way. This is a sad situation to be in, because without treatment, the addiction can progress.

At The River Source, we believe that when someone wants to be freed from addiction, nothing should stand in their way. Here are three common barriers to addiction treatment and how to overcome them.

1. Social Stigma

Even though addiction is now accepted as a brain disease, it still carries a stigma, particularly for women. Studies from SAMHSA and the National Institute on Health have found that the fear of stigma is one of the main barriers to treatment. People worry about what their friends, family, coworkers and neighbors will think of them.

Education is a powerful tool. Communities need to be educated on addiction as a disease and the societal consequences of not offering treatment. More resources need to be available and known as well. Fortunately, this is addressed during addiction awareness months, such as National Recovery Month in September and Alcohol Awareness Month in April.

2. Cost

Another thing that keeps addicts from getting help is the cost of treatment. Some luxury treatment centers do charge a lot for their services but this does not make them better. There are many excellent inpatient recovery programs that are affordable. The River Source is one example. We have experienced staff, various forms of therapy and a scenic desert location at a reasonable price. We even have a recovery guarantee!

Fortunately, patients are not expected to pay for everything in full. Insurance does help out with treatment costs thanks to the Affordable Care Act. All insurance policies are different, so it’s important for patients to call their carrier directly, find out what is covered and ask about in-network rehabilitation centers.

3. Commitments

The stereotype of an addict is someone who lives on the streets and doesn’t have many responsibilities aside from getting high. This is not reality, though. Addicts come in all forms, including moms and dads that have jobs, homes and families to take care of. The thought of leaving everything for an extended period of time can seem out of the question.

Outpatient treatment is a possible solution, as addicts can seek therapy and structure while being close to their families. However, outpatient care is not always enough. A local inpatient treatment program can be an alternative. Most facilities allow family to check in and visit from time to time. In the end, a month or two of being away is worth it to be healed.

The River Source treats adults 18 and older who are dealing with substance abuse problems. Call us and see how we can help you overcome these common barriers by offering affordable inpatient and outpatient programs in a supportive environment.

What Features Do the Best Treatment Centers Share?

Happy, free woman

Choosing an addiction treatment program is one of the most important decisions you will make on this journey. While there is no right or wrong treatment center choice, there are some characteristics to look for. The best residential treatment centers share the same strengths, which is why they tend to have lower relapse rates and more successful patient recoveries.

As you review the options for treatment, here are the features we recommend paying attention to.

Medical Detox

Detox is the first step in getting clean. It’s not easy, but there are ways to make this process more manageable. Aside from getting through detox in one piece, there is also the safety aspect to consider. Withdrawal from some drugs can be fatal if you are not under medical supervision. For example, alcohol, benzo and opiate withdrawal can lead to breathing complications that may result in death.

Addiction Education

Not all treatment centers offer education, but it’s a crucial piece to the recovery puzzle. Without some understanding of addiction, it’s easy to revert back to the same negative thinking and behaviors. Through patient education, you will learn about addiction, what led you down this path and how to avoid making the same choices again. Education should also be available ​to your loved ones.

Individual Therapy

In individual counseling, you work closely with a counselor to work through your personal issues. This is a very important part of treatment, as many addicts suffer from childhood trauma, abuse or co occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression or PTSD. The best treatment facilities will offer several opportunities each week to meet with a counselor, particularly in the first and second weeks.

Family Counseling

Another sign of a great rehab facility is family or couples counseling. Addiction affects many people, usually those closest to the addict. If you are married, have children or are ​living at home with your parents, this addiction has almost certainly affected them. Rather than returning home to a hostile environment (or even one where drug/alcohol use is condoned), family counseling provides support and education.

Follow Up Care

Follow up care, or aftercare, is an important part of treatment. Once you leave the facility, your journey is not over. Having a trusted team of addiction treatment specialists​ holds you accountable for your goals. Your aftercare plan will be centered around the behaviors you learned in treatment as well as ways to resist triggers.

The River Source offers integrative care for adults 18 and over struggling with substance abuse. Call us today to and find out why we have lower-than-average relapse rates and a recovery guarantee!

How to Choose a Drug Rehab Center in 2018

chalkboard choice

When it comes time to evaluate your options for a drug rehab center in Arizona, what types of things do you look for first? Even though there are many treatment facilities around the country, the best ones have a few traits in common. With a New Year to celebrate, now is a great time to start treatment for a drug or alcohol problem. With hard work and a commitment to sobriety, you can be healthy by summer.

As you look for a treatment center for yourself or a loved one, here are some of components to consider.

Inpatient vs Outpatient

The first step is to decide between inpatient and outpatient treatment. An inpatient program is often recommended because it is most intensive. Patients reside at the treatment facility for at least 30 days. After detox has been completed, they attend counseling and participate in various activities and alternative therapies.

Outpatient treatment isn’t quite as intensive because patients don’t actually live at the facility. That said, recovering addicts still receive counseling and are held accountable for the choices they make outside of these sessions. The River Source offers both inpatient and outpatient care, so you can call our treatment center and determine the best fit for you.

In-State vs Out-of-State

Where treatment will be received is also a consideration. Fortunately, it is 2018 and people are not bound by local facilities. In fact, some people feel that an out-of-state treatment center offers a clean slate with fewer distractions. The River Source has same-day arrangements, transportation from the Phoenix airport and options for family to be involved.

On the other hand, some people are not in a position to travel out of state. If this is your situation, it’s helpful to have supportive family that can come and visit and take part in family therapy. Also, in-state Arizona rehab offers other benefits such as reduced costs and aftercare options. For example, our patients can take advantage of our naturopathic clinic.

Programs and Treatment Plans

No matter what type of rehab facility you choose, make sure that it offers a variety of programs and customized treatment plans. Each person is unique and requires an individualized care plan that addresses their needs. It’s helpful when there are many therapies available so that addicts can find what works for them.

At The River Source, we have a wide range of therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, vitamin IV therapy, neurofeedback, baud and more. We encourage our patients to experiment with all of these therapies to find what they like in addition to daily exercise, nutrition and meditation.

Accreditation and Licensed Staff

You can choose a treatment center that looks great on paper, but if they don’t have a great team of people, you won’t get the care you deserve. Before making a decision, take time to review the staff and their credentials. Many treatment centers have staff members who have dealt with substance abuse in the past. They offer a level of support that newly recovering addicts need.

The two accreditations to look for include The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The purpose of accreditation is to improve treatments and services, ensure a safe environment and maintain a recovery-oriented philosophy. The River Source is accredited by The Joint Commission.

The time you take to evaluate your options will be worth it in the end. The right facility can increase your chances of having a healthy, happy recovery. We invite you to call The River Source to learn more about our cutting-edge, integrative treatment options.

What if I Can’t Afford Treatment?

Credit card

Not being able to afford treatment is a common circumstance that some people are faced with. If you don’t have money to pay for substance abuse treatment, this does not mean that you are out of options. There are many alternatives that can get you or a loved one the quality care that is needed at a price you can afford.

As you consider drug abuse rehab, keep these following tips in mind.

Look at Your Health Insurance Policy

No matter which type of insurance policy you have – Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Cigna, Aetna – most policies offer some type of healthcare coverage for substance abuse treatment. How much is covered and for how long varies among insurance carriers and your individual policy.

In some cases, your insurance may pay for most everything, which means all you are responsible for are the copays and deductibles. Even if only some treatment is covered, insurance reduces medical expenses and makes treatment more attainable.

Talk to Your Doctor

Ask your doctor if he or she is aware of any non profit organizations that provide assistance for drug abuse treatment. Your doctor may know of treatment facilities in your area that have low-cost or free programs for those in need.

Call Treatment Centers Directly

If you’ve narrowed down your search of drug addiction treatment centers, you can call them directly and ask about any programs they may have available. Rehab centers are used to working with families that don’t have the funds to pay for treatment, and they can be creative in their solutions.

For example, The River Source has affordable rates to begin with, and we include most therapies so that patients don’t have to pay extra. We have financing available and charge less for subsequent months. In addition, our treatment center offers a guarantee for those who complete our 90-day rehab program. If, for any reason, the patient relapses in the first 12 months of recovery, they can return to our center for free.

Consider Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is more affordable than inpatient treatment, so you may want to consider this if all other routes fail. Plus, you can continue your responsibilities at home, which means you may be able to work while receiving treatment. Outpatient treatment is not for everyone, so we don’t recommend choosing it simply because of cost. That said, if you truly cannot afford more intensive treatment, some treatment is better than no treatment.

Call The River Source to learn more about our pricing and if we work with your insurance plan.

5 Things Addicts Want You to Know

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Comforting each other

Living with an addiction is devastating for addicts and their family and friends. Communication is difficult for the addict because the addiction is in control and their thoughts are not their own. It’s also hard for loved ones, as they’re not communicating with the same person they’ve known all their lives.

There are things that addicts wish their loved ones knew, and understanding them can make a profound difference on your relationship. Let’s look at what some of them are.

1. They don’t want to hurt you.

Addicts are not oblivious to your struggles. They are aware that they’re hurting you by lying, stealing or not coming home at night. To cope, some addicts distance themselves from the ones they love. Or, they may act out in anger or frustration when their real emotion is guilt. You have a right to be hurt, but it’s important to recognize that the addict’s intention is not to hurt you.

2. They are not doing this on purpose.

Addiction is a frustrating disease. No matter what ultimatums you give or how compassionate you are, it seems your loved one keeps going down the wrong path. It can feel as if the addict doesn’t care anymore or is making the conscious decision to abuse drugs. But, addicts aren’t doing this on purpose. Many wish they could stop. They just can’t.

3. It can happen to anyone.

Addicts don’t want you to look at them as scum. Addiction is a disease that can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate. Rather than passing judgement, be compassionate and understanding. Get educated on the disease and learn how to be a positive influence on a potential recovery.

4. It’s more complicated than getting high.

People who have never struggled with addiction tend to think that it’s all about getting high and drunk. Addiction is a very complex disease. It goes much deeper than getting intoxicated. Many addicts struggle with a co-occurring condition such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. Some have been abused or neglected. There are usually deep rooted reasons for why a person becomes addicted.

5. They need your support.

Addicts may not want to admit it, but your support is needed. Lecturing, criticizing or passing judgement will only distance you from the addict. You need to find balance, though, as you don’t want to push yourself on the person. Be available and support sobriety. If the addict shares things with you, don’t share them with anyone else. This could sever your bond.

Addicts aren’t the best communicators. There are many things they wish you knew, but it’s hard to articulate them. Hopefully this article has provided insight on how to be more supportive and understanding through this process. When the addict is ready to accept help, your relationship will be in a better place.