Are you or somebody you love taking an addictive drug? Are you abusing them? Many people are prescribed drugs by their doctor for medical purposes. Pain and illness are a fact of life. While many people are prescribed medications for ongoing conditions, some people only take them short-term. When the drugs are addictive, however, somebody may continue seeking them out when they don't medically need them.

It’s confusing that doctors prescribe drugs that are easy to abuse.

For many doctors, the goal is to make you feel better. As a result, they may prescribe medications that are addictive, believing it’s worth the risk to help you get better.

Sadly, many people start their journey towards addiction through legally prescribed drugs.

Addictive Prescription Drugs

Many types of prescription drugs have side effects that people find enjoyable. From the dawn of time, people have used substances to alter their thoughts and feelings. So it’s no surprise that some patients who take drugs may try to enhance the pleasurable side effects by abusing them.

There are a lot of different drugs that can be addictive when used in another way than prescribed. Here’s a look at the most common ones:

Getting Help for Addiction

Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, is a treatable and manageable disease. We’re here to help you reclaim your life in a compassionate, professional, healthy environment. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.

Many people know that fentanyl is a growing problem in all corners of California as well as America. Unfortunately, however, a silent crisis is growing in San Diego County. The most sobering part is that the drugs are the kind that are legally available as well as sold on the street; prescription drugs. And overdoses related to prescription drug use, including opioids,  in 2020 rose to 576 deaths. That’s nearly double the number of overdoses in 2019.

Who Are Most Vulnerable To Overdosing on Prescription Drugs?

According to the Prescription Drug Report Card, men are the most likely to die from an overdose. Out of the 576 overdoses last year, 430 victims were men, and 146 were women.

Prescription drug statistics included opioids, including fentanyl, which has contributed to the most overdose deaths in the nation in the past year.

Prescription Drug Overdose Deaths Are Preventable

Many institutions, including music or arts venues, now keep their supply of naloxone to help reverse overdoses. Naloxone can start working in a matter of minutes, and it’s available from harm reduction organizations and healthcare providers. People who use Medicare or Medi-Cal need a prescription from their doctor for it to be covered. However, some participating pharmacies offer it without a prescription.

The best way to prevent an overdose is to get clean and sober. Staying sober in the long term can help you live your best life. Addiction is a progressive disease, and few people have found recovery without a bit of help.

If you’re addicted to prescription drugs, help is available.

Symptoms of a Prescription Drug Addiction

If somebody you love may have a problem with drugs, you may wonder what the symptoms of a substance use disorder are.

Evidence of misusing prescriptions:

  1. Powder in bags or on mirrors or hard surfaces. Some people with substance use disorder crush pills and snort them. Some people smoke them or inject them. Needles, plastic bags with residue, and glass pipes with burn marks may be evidence of misusing prescriptions.
  2. A person “nods out” or is often groggy during the day, even when they get more than 8 hours of sleep. They may slur words or seem drunk if they are shaken awake.
  3. Hoarding pills from multiple doctors. Evidence of numerous bottles of pills that contain the same prescription.
  4. A considerable change in their lifestyle; they may avoid all of their family and friends. They may begin to have financial trouble, have trouble keeping a job, or simply seem to have ultimately decided to “opt-out” of their former lifestyle.
  5. They may try to stop using prescriptions or promise to stop using, only to start again a few days later. This may be due to physical withdrawal symptoms that make it incredibly challenging to get sober without help.
  6. They may have legal trouble, get DUI’s, or be arrested for forging prescriptions.
  7. They may steal or mismanage the family finances or have other secrets that alienate them from others.

Getting Help for Addiction in San Diego

If you or somebody you love has a problem with prescription drugs, we’re here to help. Getting sober can seem to be a huge task if you’re addicted to a substance. This is why getting help is important! We’re here to help you get started on the journey to recovery. Give us a call at 619-363-4767.


Medication-Assisted Treatment is the gold standard when it comes to helping people get clean and sober. Yet many treatment centers and detoxes are hesitant to make use of these tools for their clients. Unfortunately, the drugs are not widely available yet, but more treatment centers are incorporating them every year. Medications like Sublocade are helping opioid users get and stay clean, with far better outcomes than people who do talk therapy alone.

75% of people who chose Sublocade as their Medicated-Assisted Treatment option for twelve months remained sober in a recent study. This drug may help you attain long-term sobriety if you are considering treatment for an opioid use disorder.

Who Needs Sublocade?

Sublocade is a new version of the popular treatment drug buprenorphine, also known by its brand name Suboxone. People who have an opioid use disorder take this life-changing drug to stave off cravings and prevent relapse.

The medication is available as a shot, rather than a tablet or strip dissolved under the tongue like Suboxone. Many people who are new to recovery prefer to use Sublocade because it is available as a shot rather than a treatment you must administer daily.

Because of this, it is ideal for people entering long-term treatment, those with busy schedules, and people who also live with mental health disorders or others who may have trouble remembering or adhering to a medication schedule.

Sublocade is appropriate for anyone who lives with an opioid use disorder.

How Does It Work?

Sublocade and other types of buprenorphine are considered partial opioid agonists. This function blocks other opioids from special receptors in your brain - so if you try to get high, it just won’t work. At the same time, the drug can also suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Because it is administered as an injection, it must be given and monitored by licensed medical staff.

Sublocade is injected into the stomach, which may sound a bit scary, but it is still a simple pinprick and minimal pain. (It usually just stings a bit, like any drug injection.) The medication is also only administered once a month, so you won’t forget to take it.

Getting Help for Addiction

Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered to be the highest standard for people with opioid use disorder. Many treatment programs aren’t prepared to offer this option, but here at Present Moments Recovery we can help you decide if MAT is right for you and provide you both therapy as well as medication options. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.



Gabapentin is a drug that not everyone has heard of, but it’s becoming abused more regularly and available on the street. Understanding this drug, its side effects, and the consequences of abuse are important to understand. People in recovery should be aware that this drug can be abused alongside other drugs, and is becoming more popular among people who abuse opioids.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a drug that is used primarily in the neurological field. Doctors use it to control epilepsy and to treat neuropathic (nerve) pain. Sometimes it’s prescribed off-label for other conditions such as restless leg syndrome and other neurological issues.

Doctors believe that Gabapentin increases the GABA (a calming neurotransmitter in the brain) by the firing of neurotransmitters, scrambling pain signals in the brain. Gabapentin also slows down the production of glutamate, the agent that causes nerve excitement leading to seizures.

While gabapentin is often prescribed for its original intentions (seizures), about 95% of prescriptions for the drug are considered off-label uses. Doctors prescribe the medication for mental health issues such as severe and difficult-to-treat anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. People also take the medication for attention deficit disorder, diabetic neuropathy, attention deficit disorder, and migraines.

Gabapentin has also been used as an alternative to opioid therapy for people with moderate to severe nerve pain.

Gabapentin Abuse and Its Consequences

Unfortunately, many drug users who are already addicted to drugs have started to abuse Gabapentin. One side effect of Gabapentin is that it can cause other drugs taken concurrently to be much stronger, including opioids. This type of misuse can cause overdoses as the body is not prepared to handle the extra opioids in the bloodstream.

The US government has begun to create new legislation affecting Gabapentin because of its popularity on the street.

Gabapentin Misuse and Addiction

The highest Gabapentin dosage prescribed is about 3200 mg a day. After this dosage, there is a possibility of damage to kidney and other organs.

The drug acts as a depressant when taken in large quantities, which can slow breathing and other body functions. Opioids also slow breathing which is why it is easy to overdose when they are combined. Other symptoms of Gabapentin misuse include:

When combined with opioids, Gabapentin can cause an overdose. Using Naloxone can help reverse an overdose of opioids.

Getting Help for Addiction

Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects the body, brain, and life. We offer a safe, compassionate road to recovery for every individual who walks through our door. Learn more about how we can help by calling at 619-363-4767.

Many people in high-tech careers struggle with substance use. Whether a person lives in Silicon Valley or works from home, no one is immune from the dangers of addiction.

Many people have misconceptions about the nature of addiction and who is vulnerable. In Silicon Valley, there is no greater illustration of the truth. While there are many homeless people who suffer from drug addiction on the street, an invisible population is also struggling with substance use.

Substance Abuse in High-Tech Careers

In 2014, a Google executive named Timothy Hayes shockingly overdosed on heroin. Addiction professionals began to sound the alarm; they were receiving clients from some of the top tech firms in the world, many of them executives. In recovery, these people were sharing about using Adderall, heroin, painkillers, and other drugs.

Some people in California think of drug use as something that proliferates in homeless camps and on the street. Those are the images you’ll see most often on new websites. The truth is that addiction actually everywhere, including places you don’t expect it; at tech companies, research centers and Ivy League schools.

Successful people often turn to drug use to help calm their stress or cope with working overtime. Just like anyone else, it can change your brain and cause you to develop a substance use disorder.

Many drugs abused by people in high-tech careers are quickly addictive. Your body needs more of a substance to feel the same effect. When you’re abusing cocaine, heroin and other narcotics, eventually this will lead to an overdose.

Whether you’re using drugs to “succeed” or “relax”, addiction takes its toll. Once you’ve lost control of your substance use, there are tough consequences. You could lose your job, damage relationships, or create dire financial consequences.

There is a better way to live, and we can help you reclaim your life.

Addiction is Not a High Quality of Life

If you or somebody you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol, there’s help available. You may need to start your journey to recovery by going to detox. Detox is a safe space with trained professionals that help you get through uncomfortable side effects when you rid you body of susbstances. In detox, you’ll also make a plan for treatment to help you stay on the path of recovery.

If you or somebody you love needs help with an addiction, please give us a 100% confidential phone call at 619-343-4767.

Addiction (also known as substance use disorder) is a devious and sometimes confusing disease. However, many signs and symptoms may alert loved ones to the fact that a person is in trouble with their drug or alcohol use. Drug-seeking behavior, financial issues, and drama with relationships and even the law are signs that something is wrong. People who are addicted to drugs may have different symptoms, depending on the drug they use. People can become addicted to any mind-altering substance. However, some drugs are more addictive than others. These are important to know because “hitting bottom” or experiencing negative consequences can snowball quickly for the drug user as they begin to need more of the drug.


  1. Heroin: Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and one of the most dangerous. It’s been used in many years all over the world as a narcotic, derived from the poppy plant. As an opiate, heroin quickly affects the brain, eliminating any pain signals and giving the user an intense euphoric high. Users rapidly also develop a tolerance to the drug, making them need more amounts to get the same rush they first experienced when getting high. When a person who uses heroin problems tries to cease using, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Often they choose to use again because these symptoms are so unpleasant or painful.


  1. Opioids: Similar to heroin, opioids are fueling an addiction crisis across the Unit4ed States due to lax prescribing and regulation. Opioids such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicoden are all highly addictive drugs. They operate in the same way as heroin, with the difference being that they’re pharmaceutical drugs. They are made in a lab, not from the poppy plant, but they work the same way. Withdrawal is a considerable issue that stops people from getting help for this addiction, and group sitting in a waiting room looking seriouspeople often resort to heroin when they can’t get their drug of choice.


  1. Crack cocaine: Crack cocaine spurred a crisis of addiction, drug wars and mass incarceration throughout primarily inner-city communities in the 1990’s. Many stereotypes still surround this drug, and a lot of stigmas encompass its use. However, crack is incredibly similar (just more potent) to its more “designer” counterpart, cocaine. Crack is considered more addictive than cocaine because it’s more powerful, and its high is short-lived. Many people who use crack are unable to quit because of its powerful high. It gives users euphoria and more energy, making them jittery as well as high. The intense lasts about 15 minutes. People who become addicted to crack crash from that high and seek it again immediately, without realizing that they are quickly becoming addicted to the drug.


  1. Methamphetamine: This drug is also an “upper” with a high that can last for hours and cause the user to stay awake for hours or days. The high stimulates almost ten times as much of dopamine as is normal, causing extreme euphoria, adrenaline and sometimes paranoia too. The brain chemistry is immediately effected when a person has used meth. With the extreme high comes an extreme crash – making the user feel depressed and lethargic almost immediately after they “come down”. The withdrawal effects of meth are dangerous and can include nausea, vomiting, tremors, fever, seizures and hallucinations.


Many other drugs are addictive out there, but these are some of the most dangerous and, unfortunately, popular among addicted persons. Help is available no matter how bad you feel your addiction is! Recovery is possible.

If you or somebody you know thinks they have a problem with drugs, help is available. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767.



DEXTOX from Drugs and Alcohol can be a comfortable

Treatment of Addictive Disorders in the 21st Century

By Phillip Milgram, MD, Medical Director @ Present Moments Recovery

Recent advances and experience with the treatment of physical, chemical and habitual dependence, and with attempts to individualize treatment and engage unwilling or biased participants in traditional 12-step programs demand a discussion of how treatment can be more successful currently, than in the past.

“Treatment” consists of the gamut of use and abuse to identification, intervention, detoxification, introduction into rehabilitation, dedication to recovery, lifestyle changes, sober living, intensive outpatient and ongoing individual and group therapies. Predictors of successful recovery include rigorous self honesty, willingness to change, accepting direction, cleaning your side of the street, identifying and dealing with past issues so you can let go of them, social networking, admission of one’s faults to another human being, seeking authenticity and assisting others. As one who has personally found a new way to live in the 12-steps, I know to the deepest introspection; that to each of these contributors to successful program of recovery I can respond with “Yes, and by the way; AA has that”. As a treatment professional for 25+ years and with 28 years of dedicated personal recovery and a commitment to addiction treatment as my personal cause; I would like to discuss some recent discoveries that can serve to increase the success of recovery treatment.

The detox with Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a game changer. I believe that therapeutic use of NAD will prove to be one of the greatest discoveries in medicine since Fleming invented penicillin. As an experienced Detox MD, and a member of “Like-Minded Docs” I have managed hundreds of patients with traditional “white knuckle” detox, and now personally observed almost 100 detoxes with NAD infusion therapy. NAD is a game changer. If you respond with the common 12-step old-timer response “there is nothing really new. They are just promoting already known concepts to make it sound new, softer and easier”: you are partially right, and partially wrong. If you are staunchly in that belief, you are just ignorant. The intent of this article is partially to attempt to enlighten you to an absolutely better detox: NAD. The part of the statement that is true, is that NAD, or Coenzyme 1; part of Vitamin B3; that is present in every living cell of your body and responsible for many intracellular, extracellular and nervous system health was what Bill W. and his doctors discovered in the 1930’s. The problem was that, for reasons we won’t discuss here, they used the entire Niacin molecule, and not the pure NAD portion. The pure NAD, only recently available from a limited manufacturing process and administered with concomitant nutritional protocols with care for purity and stability of the pure NAD molecule; results in an incredible benefit for the detoxification process.

In summary: *(Adapted, in part from “The NAD Story—The Big Picture”, by James Watson MD)

  1. Alcohol metabolism causes NAD+ deficiency 
  2. NAD affects the reward circuits in the brain (nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area) common to all addictions that involve endogenous brain opioids, GABA and Dopamine 
  3. NAD affects the stress circuits in the brain, which are responsible for the discomfort known as withdrawal 
  4. These stress circuits play into the high occurrence of mental disease, specifically anxiety/depression and the various range of Bipolar Disorders 
  5. NAD plays a role in treating the “neuroadaptive” responses in the brain that cause tolerance, sensitization and withdrawal 
  6. NAD, through a separate action on brain chemicals known as “Sirtuins” allow the brain to remain “happy” and further reduce withdrawal symptoms 
  7. NAD has a profound effect in opiate abuse patients due to epigenetic factors and gene expression. 
  8. NAD causes a level of clear thinking (mental clarity), brain rejuvenation and a sense of peace that conduces to hope and a sense of “yes, I can recover” 
  9. The use of NAD, combined with nutritional supplementation protocols we have developed, reduces the need for standard detox medications, which have their own deleterious effects. 
  10. The NAD significantly reduces cravings over standard detox; almost like the patient had never been exposed to the alcohol or drug—truly miraculous to observe personally. 

This discussion is not the platform for a scientific explanation. And there are many more ways that NAD has been shown to enhance the detox experience. But I have simplified some of these proven scientific discoveries to display that there is real science to what we see in using NAD in clinical detox situation. When I personally saw this, I was so impressed that I have dedicated my life to helping recovering alcoholics and addicts acquire NAD treatment. One of the things I most like is that; the infusions are administered over several days. So I have a captive audience, with a clear brain, to drop a little recovery on them, and hopefully ruin their drinking or using forever, like Johnny Appleseed, except dropping mustard seeds. My favorite thing to do, is to talk with alcoholics and addicts, especially those new in recovery, about the disease and treatment of addiction. My clinic is NAD MD, Inc. and my website is

I am not saying that NAD is a “cure”, but in my experience NAD is absolutely the best first step in recovery. You still need a program of recovery, guided to the appropriate level of care for that individual, a plan, ongoing therapy, counseling and other techniques to find a new way of living and a lifestyle change, learning to place sobriety as the first priority. We have found that various techniques, such as NLP, and various psychological techniques have a much improved impact on a clear NAD brain. Also nurturing nurses and alternative physical methods such as yoga, stretching, massage, acupuncture, equine therapy, and other techniques create a detox experience that gets the newly recovering patient into a new path, a path to health and self-nurturing different from their previous deterioration into abuse, hopelessness and despair.

With the increasing prevalence of alcoholism and drug addiction in our society, and the informational technology seeming to enhance self-centeredness, isolation, self-directed crazy decisions, and disdain for traditional treatment, we have employed easier ways to enter recovery; such as letting a person live according to their conscience, or a sense of doing the right thing for the right reason and letting go of expectations or control. This is increasingly difficult with Millenials and Generation X patients.

As some of my friends and mentors would say: “Phil, it’s just the same thing packaged in a way for marketing purposes.” This does not pertain to NAD, as NAD will be shown to be one of the greatest advances in alcohol and drug treatment. But as far as rehabilitation, we must fashion recovery into a pill the newly recovering person can swallow, to accommodate those who are reticent to trust anything but their own self-determination and control; a characteristic of most of us already exhibit in early recovery.


Drug overdoses won't stop rising — and that's not even the worst part

written by...Harrison Jacobs of the Business Insider
The number of deaths from drug overdoses reached a new high in 2014, totaling 47,055 people, according to a CDC report released on Tuesday.
The rise in overdose deaths is being driven largely by a dramatic rise in the use of opiates, including prescription drugs such as Oxycontin and illicit opiates such as heroin.
Opioids were involved in more than 60% of the deaths from overdoses, according to the study.
The numbers released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are hardly surprising. Opioid use has been rising for nearly 20 years.
According to Dr. Ted Cicero, a professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis and an opiate-use researcher, opioid prescriptions started skyrocketing in the mid-1990s as pharmaceutical companies introduced powerful new painkillers such as MS Contin and Oxycontin and medical groups began calling pain the "fifth vital sign" that doctors should attend to.
"There was a big push saying we had a big problem with the undertreatment of pain," Cicero told Business Insider. "Opioid prescriptions skyrocketed from the early '90s until about 2010."
Prescription opioids introduced a whole new segment of the population to opiates, either directly through prescriptions or through those same drugs being diverted to illicit uses. Both legitimate pain clinics and "pill mills," shady establishments whose sole purpose was to prescribe legal opioids without asking too many questions, thrived in this environment.
According to Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, when the prescription-painkiller crisis became apparent, state, local, and federal law enforcement launched crackdowns on prescribers and patients that used prescription opioids. Pill mills and pain clinics shut down and physicians became scared of overprescribing. The supply of prescription painkillers was curbed and prices on the drugs started rising.
While many might have hoped that the crackdown would be the end of the problem, it simply changed its trajectory. With a vast new population addicted to opiates, many users turned to heroin to feed their addiction.
"From a public-health perspective, things are worse now. Before people were misusing pharmaceutical drugs. Now they've shifted to heroin," Smith told Business Insider.
cicero study heroin painkillersWashington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Between 2007 and 2013, the number of users of heroin in the US nearly doubled, according to Insight Crime.
The idea that the crackdown on painkillers led to the rise in heroin use appears to be backed up by the numbers.
Cicero and his team recently concluded a study surveying the drug use of more than 15,000 patients with opioid dependence entering non-methadone-maintenance treatment programs between 2008 and 2014. The study found a near-direct correlation between drops in users taking solely prescription opioids and a rise in users taking only heroin and those taking both substances.
Many users are simply using whatever is available at the time.
When the team conducted interviews with a group of 129 patients that reported using prescription opioids before turning to heroin, 73% cited heroin's accessibility and cheaper price compared to prescription opioids as their primary reason for using heroin.
"It has become a natural progression for may people taking opiates to move to heroin over a period of time," says Cicero.
The CDC found similarly:
Drug overdose deaths involving heroin continued to climb sharply, with heroin overdoses more than tripling in four years. This increase mirrors large increases in heroin use across the country and has been shown to be closely tied to opioid pain reliever misuse and dependence.
Past misuse of prescription opioids is the strongest risk factor for heroin initiation and use, specifically among persons who report past-year dependence or abuse ...
The heroin issue has not gone unnoticed. During a speech in October, US President Barack Obama announced a wide range of steps to combat the heroin crisis, including increasing access to drug treatment and expanding the training of doctors who prescribe prescription painkillers. In August, the administration announced a plan to connect drug-enforcement officers with public-health workers to track down heroin supplies, as well as tightening prescribing rules around certain opioids.
Despite the increased attention, Cicero doesn't see the problem subsiding anytime soon.
"At some point, heroin use will peak and then start to drop off, but for the foreseeable future, heroin is going to be a big problem," he said.

This is a relatively new part of the Recovery process...We are exciting to be part of it. #dontlosethismoment #feelyoungagain #health #addiction #antiaging #lovelifeagain #drugabuse

Present Moments detox and drug rehab center is the premier provider of comfortable and safe Addiction treatment in San Diego. Call us and get help today.

Scott Weiland, from the Stone Temple Pilots, dies on a tour bus from drug related issues. And yet again another celebrity that is tossed to the shocking waves of the largely misunderstood disease of drug addiction, yet there still seems attention on media related to the past and mental health, as if to say it is not the drugs, but a difficulty that comes to certain special individuals. The thing is, there are millions suffering and it deserves the attention it needs: addiction requires a recovery process that ultimately means change and continuous work. It is interesting that his family, specifically his wife, chose to mention the fact that he was not present. Weiland himself spoke of stopping heroin, yet still having difficulty with alcohol. So common for many who had drug problems rationalize to themselves and their social circles that its not as bad. Not so says the wife, the problem continued. Are we addressing addiction to the face or circumventing it? Are we giving a special treat to an artist because he or she made work that was positive to this world and we have a hard time accepting that one does not rationalize the other? How is the music industry going to change on these grounds? Will they not care on the health of a battling celebrity and continue to pump money out of their talent? When will a death get the attention it deserves: drugs. Its dirty. However, as we point the light the solution will come about. Prevention. Education. But above all, treatment and wellness.

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