Anxiety can be one of the many symptoms of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or addiction. It can also be present during the early stages of recovery as a symptom of post acute withdrawal syndrome. There are many different ways you can learn to manage anxiety without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Cognitive Behavioral TherapyNew Hope Recovery Center is pleased to offer a new 8 week closed group for gay and bisexual men affected by cross addictions.

For those struggling with multiple addictions, sexual compulsivity, relationships issues and/or trauma, this group will provide tools to process shame, fear and anxiety and will offer insights into the barriers that can keep someone stuck.

This confidential closed 8 week group will meet Tuesday evenings 6pm-8pm from October 25, 2016 to December 13, 2016.

Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or for more information and to register for the group.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  The New Hope with Pride Program focuses on the needs of LGBTQIA individuals.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).


WGN Radio 720

Tonight you can hear and see Jeff Zacharias, New Hope Recovery Center's President and Clinical Director, speak live on WGN Radio.
He will be speaking  with Patti Vazquez about the aftermath of Orlando and trauma, depression and anxiety in the LGBT community. Jeff will also be speaking directly to listeners who need help and will offer suggestions and resources to promote healing.
You can hear him from 11pm-12:30am Central Time TONIGHT June 13, 2016 on WGN Radio 720 AM.
It's a livestream show, so you can listen & watch.  Call or text to speak with Jeff at 312-981-7200 during the show.

Xanax, generically known as alprazolam, is one of the most widely-abused prescription drugs in this country.  As prescriptions for this highly addictive drug rise, the rates of abuse and dependence increase as well.  As many have discovered, Xanax is highly addictive.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine in the sedative-hypnotic class of drugs.  It is generally prescribed to treat panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, some forms of generalized anxiety or social anxiety disorder and some phobias.  Like other sedative-hynotics, Xanax is also prescribed for difficulty falling asleep.  Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants, and like alcohol, work to slow down the brain’s activity as well as block the “alarm system”, which is responsible for excessive levels of anxiety.

Although Xanax may be prescribed legally by a physician, abuse and dependence can occur.  For many it is a highly addictive drug.

The crushing and snorting of Xanax has recently become more widespread, making the dangers of this drug even higher.  When snorting Xanax, the effects are felt faster.  Xanax abuse among teens is on the rise, as they have easy access to these drugs out of their home medicine cabinet if a family member is prescribed them as a PRN or “as needed”.xanax bar or xannie

Xanax bars (also known as zanies or planks) are 2mg elongated bars that can be split or quartered. People who are abusing Xanax may take multiple bars at a time or combine them with alcohol or other drugs.  One of the effects of a Xanax high is memory loss, causing the user to forget he/she has taken the drug or how much has been ingested.  This can lead to overdose.

Signs Of Xanax Abuse:

Indications of Xanax abuse are: 1) taking Xanax in dosages higher than prescribed, 2) taking Xanax without a prescription, and/or 3) taking Xanax for the sole purpose of getting “high”.  A person abusing Xanax may exhibit slurred speech, decreased motor coordination, impaired memory, sleepiness, lethargy and lightheadedness.  Xanax, especially in larger dosages or combined with alcohol (which can be extremely dangerous) can provide a crippling high that is similar to being drunk.  The high is achieved quickly, within 5-10 minutes of taking it.

Signs Of Xanax Dependence:

Physical dependence on Xanax can occur within just a few weeks of taking the drug regularly, even at prescribed dosages.  According to the DSM IV-TR, tolerance is one of the hallmarks of dependence.  Tolerance develops as the body adjusts to the presence of the substance and requires more of the drug to achieve the similar effects.  Once there is physical dependence, withdrawal effects can be felt when stopping the drug immediately. If you are taking a Benzodiazepine, you must consult a doctor before discontinuing the drug, as stopping the drug abruptly will lead to seizures and potentially death.

Xanax dependence tends to develop slowly over time and without the user or family members noticing.  However, once a dependence or addiction exists, one will begin to appear “checked out” or “zoned out” frequently.  He/she will not be able to be present emotionally for family members, and may have difficulty remembering conversations, etc. and will often deny there is a problem.

Xanax Detox:

Stopping Xanax or any other benzodiazepine once there is physical dependence can result in seizures, suicidal thoughts and even death, so should be done with medical involvement. Xanax addiction often requires a detoxification period which can last 5-10 days and is done in a medical setting under a physician’s care.  Following this, one may, depending on the severity of the addiction, opt to go into a residential treatment facility or intensive outpatient treatment program.  Abstinence from all mood and mind altering drugs will be necessary during this recovery process.  Ideally constructive coping skills will be learned that will aid in handling anxiety so that addictive drugs are no longer needed. 

If you or your loved one is struggling with an addiction to or is abusing prescription drugs, seek help immediately.  Prescription drug abuse is dangerous.  New Hope Recovery Center offers individualized treatment for prescription drugs and for many other addictions.  You can reach us at 888-707-HOPE (4673) or

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

Women are the fastest growing segment of the population who abuse substances, according to several research studies that have been done recently. Although more women than ever are suffering from substance abuse disorders, there still is a small number of women who actually are receiving treatment for their addiction.

Substance abuse in women is often harder to detect than in men, and can easily be overlooked by friends, family members and health care providers.  For women, a fair amount of drinking is often done at home, during hours of the day when significant others and/or children are not at home. They are also less likely to have consequences such as a DUI because they are drinking at home. Three-martini playdates are often thought of as a fun way for stay-at-home mothers to blow off the steam of being with the kids all day and as a way to bond with other moms.

Further, many women turn to alcohol and drugs in order to be able to "do it all".  Use of stimulants can help a woman raise 3 kids, do well at a high powered job, keep up the household and still have energy for the gym on a regular basis.  On top of all of this, according to the research, women are more likely than men to see health care providers on a regular basis, thus increasing their access to prescription drugs with abuse potential.  Similarly, women are just as likely as men to drink or use drugs to medicate depression and anxiety, but are more likely than men to present to a mental health provider for help, resulting in more prescriptions for benzodiazepines and sleeping aids.

Substance abuse in women is often overlooked because the abuse itself is often normalized, seen as a response to today's pressures on women.  Often women recognize the fact that they are depressed or anxious and will go to treatment for the mood condition, unaware that substance abuse needs to be addressed as well.  If and when the need for substance abuse treatment is recognized, there are often gender specific barriers to women accessing and staying in treatment.  Some of the more common and problematic barriers are:

Fear- Women with children face the very real fear of being separated from or losing primary custody of their children.  In addition, image management, while also a factor for men, can deter a woman from entering treatment due to fears about what it will look like and what others will think about her.  Women also tend to have more fears about paying for treatment as compared to men, as many women do not earn as much as men, are underemployed or unemployed.

Childcare- It is well documented in the literature that women have a harder time accessing treatment if they are the primary caregivers of young children.  Treatment initiation and retention rates are much higher for women when there is some assistance with childcare and/or when the children are allowed to stay with the mother while she is in treatment.  For many women, paying for treatment along with childcare is too much of a financial burden.

History of Trauma-  For women with a history of physical and sexual trauma, entering mixed gender treatment is often a deterrent.  Programs that offer gender specific therapy groups and therapists equipped to handle trauma increase the success of a woman entering, staying in, and ultimately being successful in addiction treatment.

Psychological/Cultural- As stated above, women often view their own substance abuse as temporary, a crutch to help deal with the pressures of working, caring for children, caring for aging parents, running a household.  Though women are more likely than men to admit to needing help, they are less likely to actually go to treatment to get the help they need. Women also suffer from shame factors that are different from men's, and admit to higher levels of suicidal ideation and low self worth directly related to substance abuse and dependence.

The more that women's issues are well understood and addressed in treatment settings, the more successful a woman can be at obtaining help and achieving long term sobriety.  Addressing each woman's specific history thoroughly in an intake procedure can ensure that the right setting is available (i.e gender specific group for a woman with a lot of male perpetrated trauma vs. a mixed gender group for a woman needing to strengthen her platonic relationships with men).  It is also important for treatment providers to continue to address these needs along the course of treatment, as they may change, and for providers and treatment centers be sensitive to the needs of each woman individually, rather than generally as women.

New Hope Recovery Center offers gender specific programming. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, it is important to call and go in for an assessment with a professional.  All assessments at New Hope Recovery Center are confidential with no obligation for further treatment. Recovery is possible, let us help. Call us at 888-707-4673 or Email us at

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Want more information about treatment for specific populations? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below:

Lesbians Seeking Drug and Alcohol Treatment Alcohol and drug abuse is a major concern for individuals who identify as lesbian. A reportpublished by SAMHSA in 2011 found people who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) are significantly more likely than the general population to use and abuse drugs or alcohol. This same study found lesbians are significantly more likely than heterosexual women to drink alcohol heavily.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment for Latino and Hispanic People There are several things to be aware of when working with the Spanish communities for drug or alcohol addiction.  Cultural identity is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when working with the Spanish community.  For example: Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans identify themselves as Hispanics; while Central Americans and South Americans identify themselves as Latinos for the most part.

Senior Citizens: Alcohol Abuse and Misuse Seniors citizens and alcohol abuse and misuse is a serious problem. With the rapidly growing senior population, it is more important than ever to stay informed about the potential mental/behavioral health threats seniors are experiencing. People seldom think of alcohol abuse or misuse to be a problem in the senior population and rarely see that they are at risk of this behavior. There are major life changes affecting this population, which leads many seniors to begin abusing or misusing alcohol (and medications), even if they never showed signs of this behavior earlier in life.

Student Drug Abuse Warning Signs Young adults face many temptations and opportunities to use and abuse drugs and alcohol.  As a parent, it is important to allow for appropriate independence and growth for your student or young adult, but also to keep a watchful eye looking for warning signs or symptoms of drug or alcohol use/addiction. Part of growing up involves making mistakes and hopefully learning from them.  These teachable moments allow students and emerging adults to learn how to respond better in the future.

Are you concerned your teenager or young adult is using marijuana? Below you will find 38 warning signs and symptoms for marijuana use. Marijuana use is very controversial across the nation, but something that cannot be denied, is the detrimental effect it has on young adults. It has been proven that young adults/teenagers who use marijuana have more problems with memory, attention and learning. They also struggle with their school performance, have an increased risk of problematic behaviors, and are more likely to suffer from depression and or anxiety.

Physical signs of pot smoking or marijuana use:

  • red bloodshot eyes, squinting or half closed eyes
  • constant, mucus-filled cough
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dry mouth (cotton mouth)
  • poor coordination
  • slow reaction time

Behaviors that may indicate marijuana use or marijuana addiction:

  • Difficulty problem solving or keeping thoughts together
  • Poor memory, particularly short term or things recently occurring
  • Extreme or unusual hunger or increased eating (especially snacks and sweets), usually called the munchies
  • Acting silly or in a giggly manner
  • Acting slow, lethargic, dazed or confused
  • Lack of motivation, enthusiasm
  • Loses train of thought, rambling, disjointed in a conversation
  • Paranoia

Finding these items on your teen, in their room or with their belongings, likely indicates frequent marijuana use:

  • Visine or other products for red eyes
  • Cigarette Rolling Papers
  • Bongs
  • Metal clips or small clamps
  • Pipes
  • Cigars
  • Cans with holes cut on side
  • Small baggies
  • Dried plant residue, looking like dried oregano
  • Frequent use of incense, air freshener, cologne or perfume
  • Small burn marks on finger tips (particularly thumb and index or middle finger), lips
  • Posters, stickers, buttons, pins, clothing or other items with marijuana leaves, or mentioning marijuana or 420
  • Increased use of mouthwash, mints or gum
  • Smelling like marijuana or a skunk-like smell on your teen, in their bedroom, on their clothes
  • Signs that a towel has been put under the door (to stop smoke and smells from getting out)
  • Hemp Items

Changes in your teen that may indicate marijuana use:

  • Sudden change in friends
  • Talking in code or odd communication with their friends
  • Interest in taking short walks, going outside for short periods of time
  • Sudden drop in education or job performance
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities, pursuits, hobbies
  • Absences from school or work
  • Frequent requests for money with nothing tangible to show
  • Lost valuables or semi-valuable items from the house

If you observe several of these warning signs, it is likely that your child is using marijuana. Finding any of the paraphernalia items, such as bongs, pipes, rolling papers, etc. is a very good indication that he/she is smoking pot frequently.

Marijuana can sometimes have lasting effects on young adults because a young adult’s brain does not fully develop until age 26.  If you are concerned about your teen’s use of marijuana or other drugs, it is important to get help immediately. Brief interventions are very beneficial resources along with individual counseling and therapy when necessary.

New Hope Recovery Center treats chemical dependency for adults 18 years of age or older, however if you know a teen that is struggling with drugs or alcohol, please call New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or contact us via email at and we can direct you to the proper resources that can be of help for teens or adolescents.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Perhaps the hardest part of drug or alcohol addiction treatment is actually getting there. The fears about entering an addiction treatment program or facility (rehab) can overpower the will to get sober and keep someone from getting the help they need. With so many unknowns involved, it’s not surprising many people initially decide against treatment for their addiction.

But how many of these fears are healthy and how many are irrational? It’s important to remember that fear or anxiousness surrounding addiction treatment and sobriety is normal and is something most people go through.

People have all sorts of fears about treatment that can range a variety of different questions.

  • Will I have to stop using/drinking forever?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Who can find out I went to treatment?
  • Will I be able to see my family?
  • Can I leave work to go to treatment?
  • Will I have to miss work to go to treatment?
  • How will addiction treatment impact my insurance?
  • How long will I be in treatment for?
  • What happens after rehab?

These are excellent questions.  But fear based on assuming certain answers can deter someone from getting help.  So get actual answers to these questions.  This will allow you to see what addiction treatment is like.

The best way to do this is to reach out to local treatment centers and ask them these questions directly. Most treatment teams have employees knowledgeable about almost all aspects of treatment.  Often you can make a confidential anonymous phone call or have an anonymous electronic chat to you’re your questions answered. Understand that the answers will vary based on different addiction treatment programs.  So be sure to contact more than one to make sure you find a treatment center that will fit for you and minimize your fears.

Another great way to get answers is to talk to others who have been through rehab. There is no better way of learning about something new than picking the brain of someone who has been there before. Have an honest conversation with someone who has been through it before, this can help alleviate your fears.

You can also ease some of your concerns and unknowns by doing do some research online.  Most treatment centers will have a frequent asked question page, or something comparable.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to change your life forever. If you’re thinking about going to treatment for an addiction, but are struggling with fears and unknowns surrounding it, do what you can to address those fears. Write down your fears down and questions and get answers.

New Hope Recovery Center would be happy to answer any of your questions.  Ideally we would love to answer the questions here, but because each person’s situation will be different, it is better if you contact us so we can fully understand your situation.  You can call us at 888-707-4673, email us at or chat with us online by visiting our website:

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Want more information about seeking help? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below:

Intensive Outpatient: The New Standard? Drug addiction and alcoholism is a progressive disease, so there are many stages of the disease and many different levels of care in which you can treat them. Although the 28 day treatment programs are effective for the severe/chronic cases, Intensive Outpatient is a great alternative. Most people think of a 28 day treatment program when they think of rehab for alcoholism or some other substance addiction.

Residential Drug Rehab: The Inpatient Treatment Option: Finding the right drug and alcohol treatment center can be overwhelming with all the different types of programs available. With so many terms, acronyms and levels of care, many are overwhelmed before they even decide on a program. Residential Day Treatment, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, Inpatient are just a few of the more commons ones. The most well known, inpatient and residential is what has become synonymous when people think of “drug and alcohol rehab.”

Drug or Alcohol Addiction Rehab in Chicago: Seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction is often an overwhelming and confusing process.  Deciding to get help is a huge step, but can often lead to feeling  overwhelmed wondering where to start.  With so many options (including self-help groups such as AA, NA, CA, CMA, etc.) available, it can seem like a daunting task.

How to Find the Best Treatment Center in Chicago: If you are seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one for the first time, searching the Internet can be extremely overwhelming. There are numerous treatment centers in Chicago, and even more throughout Illinois. Whether you are searching for yourself or a loved one, it is important to know the right questions to ask a drug and alcohol treatment center. It is also important to look at the needs of the individual and make sure you are preparing for long term care.

Insurance Coverage & Rehab – Will your insurance pay for treatment? The reason for having health insurance is to alleviate the large financial burden when dealing with any type of illness.  However, insurance providers are not forthcoming with all the information related to an individual with chemical dependency or substance abuse treatment needs. Insurance providers claim there are no “limits” on benefits for rehab, but all benefits are based on medical necessity. What often goes unstated, is the insurance provider is the sole entity determining what constitutes to be medically necessary.

As 2013 comes to a close, we wanted to review our most popular articles during the year.  In reviewing the most viewed articles, four major themes emerge as the top concerns and focus of our readers during this year.

Warning Signs

It is clear that many people are interested in determining if they or a loved one suffers from addiction.  Several of our most-read articles dealt with warning signs for various potential addictions.


Heroin, Heroin, Heroin

If there was one prominent addiction theme during 2013, it was definitely heroin.  Heroin received both local and nationwide focus.  Its availability and low price seemed to put it at the forefront for many addiction treatment centers.  Sadly, too many lives were lost due to heroin use this past year, including Cory Monteith from Glee.  Many Chicago-area counties have seen a large increase in the number of heroin/opiate related deaths. Several of our most reviewed articles dealt with heroin.  In addition to the Heroin Abuse Warning Signs mentioned above, these two articles were also very popular:


Parents Concern for Their Children

Another area that received the many readers involved articles written for parents about their children's addiction.  The number of late teens and early twenties in treatment has been drastically increasing in recent years.  The following were our most popular articles geared toward parents:



The final area of our most-read articles dealt with LGBTQI issues and concerns:

All of us at New Hope Recovery Center wish you a Healthy and Happy New Year.  We are looking forward to 2014 and will continue to provide helpful articles on current issues and concerns seen by us and our clients and their families. You can reach New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707-HOPE (4673), or

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Cocaine, also known as coke, is an illegal stimulant. It is usually found in its powdered form and is mixed with a variety of other white powdered substances. Cocaine is inhaled through the nose (most common) or mixed with water and injected into the bloodstream. Although cocaine is not physically addictive, it does have many side effects. It is important to be aware of the warning signs for Cocaine Addiction.

Physical Warning Signs of Cocaine Use

  • Nosebleeds
  • Chapped lips
  • Dry mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • Racing heart
  • Runny nose
  • Weight loss
  • Post nasal drip
  • Dehydration

Behavior Warning Signs of Cocaine Use

  • Grinding or clenching Teeth
  • Excessive talking, rambling
  • Paranoia
  • Periodically going to bathroom, or leaving momentarily
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Avoidance
  • Anxiety (during crash)
  • Depression (during crash)
  • Lack of pleasure (during crash)
  • Fatigue (during crash)

Indirect Warning Signs of Cocaine Use

  • Financial Problems
  • Missing or Stolen Money or frequent requests to borrow money, particularly with nothing to show for it
  • Unusual sleep schedule
  • Loss of friends/family/employment
  • Plastic bags with white powder residue
  • Rolled up paper or money (used for snorting)
  • White residue on credit cards or other flat edged items (to prepare lines with)
  • Missing alcohol (cocaine provides a “sobered” feeling and will be able to drink more excessively)
  • Short straws or other such items in places not consistent with normal use (eg. Straws in bathroom)
  • Keys with powdered residue

If you suspect your loved one is using cocaine, get help immediately.  It is a deadly drug.  Because of its many caustic chemical components, it can seriously jeopardize your loved one’s health and body.  Persuading your loved one to go to treatment or at minimum visit a doctor is very important.

New Hope Recovery Center has helped many clients with cocaine addiction.  We are happy to answer your questions.  Contact us at 888-707-4673 or email us at

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

For additional articles on Warning Signs:

Warning Signs for Crystal Meth Abuse

14 Warning Signs of a Secret Alcoholic

Heroin Abuse Warning Signs

Shopping Addiction: 5 Warning Signs

"The Art of Recovery” by Roger Moy is a wonderful book showcasing the important contributions that art therapy makes towards a client’s recovery program.  Moy’s book gives the reader a snapshot of the important work that’s done in treatment like at New Hope Recovery Center where we have found art therapy to be a wonderful addition to our holistic approach to addiction treatment – mind, body and spirit. Art therapy encourages self-expression, self-discovery and emotional growth and is a wonderful adjunct approach to the treatment of addiction. Individuals are encouraged to visualize, and then create, the thoughts and emotions that they cannot talk about in a traditional therapeutic setting.

Jeff Zacharias, LCSW, CAADC, BRI-I, CSAT Candidate President – Clinical Director New Hope Recovery Center

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used therapeutic approach which examines the link between a client's environment, thinking and eventual behavior.  The premise of this approach is based on the idea that a person's particular way of perceiving an event or situation will determine how he/she feels and ultimately acts.  It is a model that has its roots in classical conditioning and learning theories.

As CBT has proven to have many benefits, more and more addictions treatment facilities are utilizing this model to assist clients in their recovery efforts.  CBT as applied to addictive substance use and behaviors has two main components: (1) analysis of faulty thought patterns and (2) skill building.

Initially, when entering therapy for an addiction, one must learn to identify the automatic negative thoughts that occur in response to situations, events or people (otherwise known as triggers).  Often a client suffering from an addiction does not know what causes him/her to use and is very detached from the thoughts and feelings that occur before, during and after use.  Working with a therapist trained in CBT, a client can learn to identify the irrational thoughts, challenge them with more balanced thoughts using available evidence, and gain confidence as more adaptive behavior begins to emerge from the new way of thinking.  In addictions treatment, this is especially helpful for relapse prevention, in that a client can learn to identify triggering circumstances and either avoid them or learn to circumvent the type of all or nothing thinking that more often than not leads to a return to using behavior.

In addition, the client will be building a "toolbox" of more effective coping skills that can be used when facing difficult or stressful situations.  Studies show that when CBT is combined with a 12-step intervention, the chances of long-term sobriety increase.  Many of the new tools that a client learns to use are associated with 12-step recovery such as reaching out to others as opposed to isolating, taking an active role in one's recovery with written step work, and helping others through service work.  As clients begin to relearn new ways of looking at their substance abuse patterns, new behavioral patterns emerge and confidence grows.

Although long term sobriety requires daily work and is an ongoing process, CBT is goal-directed, objective and relatively short-term.  Most clients show significant progress after 12-16 sessions with a therapist and studies show that therapeutic gains associated with CBT are usually maintained.  It is important, however, that clients do recognize the importance of continued support in order to strengthen the newly learned behaviors.  Taking an active role in 12-step life during CBT-based treatment is highly effective in ensuring this support and reinforcement, and has proven helpful in avoiding relapse.

New Hope Recovery Center is an addiction treatment center based in Chicago. If you or someone you know is suffer from addiction or any type of substance abuse please reach out to learn more. For more information please contact us via email or give us a call at 773-883-3916.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center