Is Synthetic Marijuana Similar To Marijuana?


“Legal Weed”, as synthetic marijuana is often called, is neither legal, nor is it really “weed”, or, marijuana. In fact, there is almost nothing similar about synthetic marijuana to the regular stuff.


Marijuana is a naturally occurring substance, from the cannabis plant. The flowers of the plant are cut off and trimmed, the ground up and used for smoking, cooking, or other uses. Currently, marijuana is only legal at state level and in just a few states. Other states have medicalized marijuana, making it available to patients who have been evaluated by a doctor and given a prescription. At the federal level, however, marijuana still isn’t legal. As it stands, it is a Schedule I drug, labeling it as harmful and dangerous. Though the plant is used for medical treatments, it is still considered as dangerous as drugs like heroin and cocaine.

Getting “high” on marijuana is due largely to THC and cannabinoids, the active chemicals in the substance. Often called the “gateway drug” inspiring people to try other psychoactive drug substances, marijuana has been consistently proven to be less dangerous than alcohol. It is possible to develop an addiction-like dependency on marijuana as well as develop a tolerance to it. Recently, the DSM-V listed “marijuana use disorder” under substance use disorders, which is their section on addiction.

Currently, there is not record of an overdose death on marijuana.

Synthetic Marijuana

Sold as potpourri or other “natural” home products, synthetic marijuana can be found in smoke shops, gas station stores, or convenience stores, as well as sold illegally on the street. Under names like “spice” and “K-12” synthetic marijuana is relatively innocuous until it is ingested. Quite obviously, one difference between marijuana and synthetic marijuana is the fact that one is natural and one is synthetic. Synthetic drugs are unpredictable, strong in potency, and rarely the same. While marijuana is always marijuana, synthetic marijuana is not always made with the same formula. Synthetic drugs are known to cause psychosis, elevated heart rate, heart failure, or seizure. Highly addictive, users will return to synthetic marijuana over and over despite horrific side effects. In recent years, areas like Brooklyn saw dozens of overdoses occurring at once due to synthetic marijuana.

Recovery is great. Synthetic drugs are not. If you or a loved one are having a problem with marijuana or synthetic marijuana, recovery is possible for you. Call Lakehouse Recovery Center today for information on our detox services and residential treatment programs: 877.762.3707


Tune In, Turn On: The Power Of LSD And Acid Trips


Lysergic acid diethylamide is perhaps one of the most culturally relevant drugs to exist. Famously, the countercultural movement of the 1960’s, all over the world, turned to the chemical substance, called LSD or Acid, for transcendental awakening. Taking a trip for the countercultural youth didn’t require going anywhere but deep within the realms of one’s own mind- a private tour guided by LSD. Albert Hofmann, a swiss scientist, discovered LSD by mistake. Some of his own chemical concoction was accidentally ingested and upon his fantastical bike ride home, Albert Hoffman became one of the first pioneers of psychedelic travel. Since the 1960’s, LSD has been considered a schedule I drug, alongside substances like cocaine and heroin. Many doctors lament that LSD gets such a harsh categorization. Research has shown that there are benefits in the monitored and controlled use of LSD in patients with severe clinical depression. What occurs throughout the journey of a “trip” on LSD often leaves people feeling as though they’ve had a spiritual experience, understanding themselves and the world more clearly.

Where does all that meaning come from? According to The Big Think, research has located a specific receptor in the brain which creates “personal attribution”, or, better said, meaning. 5-HT2A was identified in neuroimaging research where people were given either LSD or a placebo, then asked to rank the meaning of music, before and after being administered the drugs. Those who had taken LSD and ranked the music as not having much meaning seemed to change their tune- so to speak- after taking the LSD. Creating and experiencing a deeper meaning and connection in life comes from the ways that the receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain “loosen” the boundaries of perception under the influence of LSD. “They found specific neurochemicals and receptors in the brain responsible for “loosening” the boundaries of the self and creating a sense of meaning while on an LSD trip.”

Should LSD Be Used To Treat Depression

Acid is not widely considered an addictive drug. Because of the nature of the effect, the body and the brain are usually too exhausted to continuously be under the influence of LSD. People can, however, build a tolerance. In their effort to experience more meaningful, grand hallucination,s they will take more acid. Though it isn’t likely they will develop a chemical dependency for the drug, they may experience some cravings to be in the world acid brings them, rather than the world as it is. Still, the monitored and clinical curated experience of LSD could be a successful intervention for clinical depression after more research is conducted.

Lakehouse Recovery Center knows that creating meaning in recovery is absolutely key to creating lifelong recovery. We integrate meaningful and fun activities that are both recovery and non recovery related into our program so that clients can get a sense of the world again and learn how to enjoy it without mind altering substances. Call us today to schedule a tour,  877.762.3707


How Do I Create A Support Network In Recovery?


Recovery isn’t always a happy ending for people. Addiction can be tame or addiction can be detrimental. People lose jobs, homes, children, possessions, and relationships. Many people come into recovery without anyone supporting them or rooting for them. Most are likely to have at least one family member, friend, or even stranger, telling them: you can do this. After many disappointments, relapses, stealing, lying, worrying, and desperation, people give up. Therapists and psychological professionals are in disagreement as to whether the answer for healthy boundaries with a loved one who is addicted is to walk away entirely. There is a fine line for parents, family members, and friends, between enabling and supporting. Sadly, many find themselves alone, doing recovery for the first, or maybe fifteenth time, on their own.

Family of origin, meaning the parents we were born to and the family we were born into, don’t always end up being our family. Miraculously, through recovery, many people find supportive friends who feel like family. Love, support, encouragement, healthy boundaries, celebrations, respect, help, leadership- we learn to embody and become all these things in recovery. In addition, we learn to unconditionally be present for others like us- those who suffer and earnestly try to recover.

Choosing a support group of core people you can trust in hard times, rejoice with in good times, and rely on all the time, is important to creating a meaningful recovery.

Have A Common Goal: Staying Sober

When the clock strikes midnight and your new day begins, you have a challenge: make it till midnight again, without picking up a drink or a drug. Choose people who are as committed, if not more, than you are to staying sober and utilizing recovery for total transformation. Look for the winners! If there are people who inspire you, seek them out and ask to hang out one day.

Listen To Your Intuition

Our brain areas which regulate decision making, judgment, and rationalization are impaired when we abuse drugs and alcohol. Overtime our intuition comes back. The little voice inside of our hearts and minds which tells us what is right and what is wrong for us can be good at helping us avoid people who will lead us to relapse instead of recovery.

Friendships Take Work

It’s easy to call someone a friend and never see them! What kind of a friendship is that? Take the time to invest in building a relationship, even if it turns out you are going to behest friends anyway. Making the time to be around people helps you get to know them better, connect, and learn bout one another.

Lakehouse Recovery Center encourages clients to develop a support network and community of friends to make recovery more meaningful. We host fun recovery support meetings on our boat as we cruise beautiful Lake Sherwood as well as take clients to outside meetings. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 877.762.3707.


Telling Someone You’re Sober…On A Date


For the Observer, contributor Randi Newton writes about dating as a sober divorcee. She explains that to the person in recovery, sobriety is something to be proud of. The timing of when your sober part of your life should be revealed is sensitive to who you are and who it is you are trying to date. However , there is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of, despite what society at large is trying to tell you. In the dating world, this can be a conversation that comes up all too quickly. Meeting for a drink is a very common first date. When you don’t drink on a drinking date, it can lead to questions. At the first suggestion of doing something other than getting a drink, it immediately raises suspco. While some will be able to acknowledge and admire the hard work you put in to change your life around (thankfully!) others may not see beyond the stigma of alcoholism. Newton writes, “Why would it have to be a bad thing to let people know I had decided to get my [expletive] together and how I did so? I was proud of this, but not everyone is open about being in recovery. There’s that fear of being placed in a category that came along with a stigma. By being open about it, I always hope to change at least one person’s outlook.”

Own Your Sobriety

Newton’s position is shared by many. However, that doesn’t change the daunting task of having that dreaded conversation. Mostly that is due to having to deal with the uninformed questions which usually follow someone’s revelation about your recovery. As Newton quotes one of her dates as remarking, “‘Really? You seem normal I never would’ve guessed. You don’t look like one. Can’t you just have one shot, just one?”’ Revealing your recovery to someone in an honest way can be the brute wall between you and that long-chased fantasy of “just one”. To anyone who isn’t an alcoholic, they can’t understand the mystery and madness of trying to have “just one”. Thankfully for them, they do not have to know.

When it comes to talking about your sobriety while dating, own it. You are the only person who has to know you. As we say, to thine ownself be true. The right person will come who can support you and be as proud of your recovery as you are.

Lakehouse Recovery Center is a residential treatment home for men and women are who wanting to learn how to enjoy themselves and their lives again without depending on mood altering substances like alcohol. To schedule a tour or get more information on our programs, call  877.762.3707.


Why Do We Ignore Warning Signs?


The words emergency and urgent tend to catch our attention. Until a warning sign is critical, we tend to ignore them. That is what was concluded through research regarding weather warning signs and why they go unnoticed until it is an emergency.

For, Dr. Laura Meyers of the Center for Advanced Public Safety explained there are a few simple reasons why people ignore weather warnings which could give them the time they need to prepare for survival. First, she mentions, is timing. If people have too much time between a warning and a consequence, they are likely to get tired of waiting for that consequence to arrive. Instead of continuing to wait, they will grow weary and ignore the warning entirely, writing it off. Sometimes, it’s too late. Quite profoundly, the article describes, “regardless of the warning, some people wait until they see their life is in danger.” It is also mentioned that some people give their attention to other places. According to the article, there is “sociological evidence that people feel silly for taking shelter; that it somehow reflects poorly on their courage.”


Interestingly, courage is a word we often use to describe people who come to recovery. It takes courage to weather the storm of addiction and alcoholism, and seek the shelter of sobriety. So often, addiction and alcoholism are coping mechanisms, acting as our shelter against any kind of storm which has entered our lives and threatened our livelihood. However, far too many people feel the same way about the warnings of danger and emergency in their addictions as they do to weather. They think it’s silly to take initiative to get help, unless they can really see the impending danger. Unfortunately, with drug addiction and alcoholism, by the time the storm hits, the emergency has passed. In the middle of the storm, it can difficult to find a way out. The chances are slim for survival.

It is nothing more than pride which prevents us from displaying the necessary humility to ask for help or heed to warning signs when they make themselves evident. Pride, in addition to ignorance, cost people their lives to addiction and alcoholism every day.

Do you know the warning signs of addiction and alcoholism? If you think you or a loved one might be struggling with chemical dependency, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today for information on our residential treatment programs:  877.762.3707.


Opioids Don’t Have To Be The Answer: What Doctors Are Suggesting For Pain Management


Millions of people overdose on opioids each year accidentally and non accidentally. Opioid overdose has become a widespread epidemic, claiming lives and putting governments on alert. Doctors who treat pain are finding themselves at dds regarding pain treatment. Many doctors argue that the plight of some, being those who become addicted to opioids, shouldn’t compromise the ability of most, those who don’t become addicted, in their chance at being treated for pain. In contrast, other doctors feel that opioid use for pain management is completely unnecessary.

Risk Of Opioid Use

Opioids were never meant to be the long term treatment solutions. However, through the handy work of sales representatives and doctors who believed in the treatment, opioids became the treatment of choice for any kind of pain. Originally, opioids were meant only to be used for treating chronic pain. Today, emergency room doctors and urgent care doctors can prescribe opioid narcotics for the slightest of injuries and most moderate of migraines. Three main risks come from opioid use:

  • Dependency
  • Addiction
  • Hyperalgesia

Dependency can occur without any abuse of an opioid drug. With regular use of an opioid, like Oxycontin, for example, at the prescribed dosage and timing of the dose, dependency can still occur. Should a single dose be skipped, there will be slight to severe symptoms of withdrawal. Of course, this often causes panic, encouraging someone to take more medication- either earlier than their next dose or more than their prescription at their next dose. Increasing the amount of drug being used is typically a precursor to addiction. Opioids pose a particular threat in this area. Oxycontin was exposed for not lasting the famously advertised twelve hour dose it was supposed to. As doctors prescribed higher doses, people still found that the pain did not last twelve hours. Desperate for pain relief, they started taking more. Hyperalgesia is what happens when someone takes a opioid painkiller but is no longer affected by the drug. Regardless of substance abuse, many found that their pain killers were no longer killing any pain. They turned to more and more pills at higher and higher doses to try and solve the problem, unknowing that the problem was inherent in their solution.

Lakehouse Recovery Center provide a peaceful and freeing facility tofr helping people recover from their addiction to opioids, painkillers, and prescription drugs. For information on our medically assisted detox and residential treatment programs, call us today at  877.762.3707.



What Really Happens To Your Brain When You Sleep?


Let’s face it- sleeping is pretty weird. We get tired. We close our eyes, and then we wake up a significant amount of time later. In a way, sleep is pretty terrifying! What happens during those non-waking moments when our brain is working to keep us alive while letting us rest? There is a lot that happens to the brain and the body during sleep as well as a lot that needs to happen. Science has proven over and over again that we need sleep. Without sufficient amounts of sleep for a consistent amount of time, we can go a little batty and become physically exhausted. Our brains create dreams as it filters out and makes sense of the millions of pieces of information it takes in throughout the day. Deep sleep at an REM state is needed to help the body rest and recover. Do you know how deep that recovery goes? Rest is not just a state of feeling, a heart rate, or a comparison for tired muscles. Rest is something that happens on a neurobiological level, according to new research.

Scientific American reports that during sleep, our very synapses rest and recover. Synapses are the connection between neurons. During the day, our synapses become full and active. The article explains that “the researchers found that sleep provides a time when the brain’s synapses — the connections among neurons—shrink back by nearly 20 percent. During this time, the synapses rest and prepare for the next day, when they will grow stronger while receiving new input—that is, learning new things, the researchers said.”

“Synaptic homeostasis” is the term given to synapses which do not get a chance to rest, causing them to “become overloaded and burned out, like an electrical outlet with too many appliances plugged into it”. If our synapses get tired, our whole brain gets tired and it will not be able to communicate properly.

Rest And Recovery

Enduring the physical and psychological side effects for many years of drug addiction or alcoholism is taxing. Under the influence of euphoria and other pleasurable side effects, we often don’t notice just how tired we really are. Upon getting sober, it hits us all at once. We aren’t just tired, we’re pooped! Getting lots of rest throughout the first year of recovery is important. Finding a balance between sleeping and being active is important, but, sleep is very important. Ideally, in recovery you should be getting between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. During treatment, you’ll have the opportunity for plenty of napping and resting. Rest is critically important for recovery so that your brain is well rested in order to recover.

Lakehouse Recovery Center provides integrative and alternative treatment methods so that you can feel rested, replenished and restored as you recover. Our residential treatment programs are open to men and women with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. For more information, call 877.762.3707.


Why You Should Forgive And Move Forward


Forgive and forget- it’s easier said than done. We don’t have the technology to remove memories yet. We can forgive endlessly but never forget. When a harm is done against us, our brain takes that to memory. In fact, research shows that we are more prone toward noticing negative things in life than we are positive ones. That is why it takes so much work in recovery to learn how to change our thoughts, responses, behaviors- in essence, our minds. Experiencing trauma, abandonment, abuse, or neglect in any way can inspire us not to forgive in life. The opposite of forgiveness is resentment. Not forgiving means holding a grudge or a resentment towards someone else. Resentments and the anger which accompany them are rarely unwarranted, after all, a harm has been done to us. However, what is unwarranted is the extent to which we hold that resentment and withhold our forgiveness. More importantly, we have to decide how much of our lives will be affected by our lack of forgiveness. Despite our best attempts, withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the person we don’t want to forgive. It only hurts us as it prevents us from moving on in our lives. As we sit in anger or resentment, spending our time and energy in ill will towards others, they are continuing to live their lives. It is likely that our lack of forgiveness towards them have any effect. Indeed, if they are healthy, mature, and have good boundaries, it will hardly influence them at all.

Weight of Resentment

If you are struggling with substance abuse of any kind, it is likely you are also struggling to carry the weight of many resentments. You might not consider yourself a very angry person- usually those people have the most anger buried within them compared to others. You and who you are has nothing to do with the fact that you are resentful and find it difficult to forgive. Not only is it a human trait, it is especially a trait of addicts and alcoholics who have lost their way.

Part of finding your way includes learning how to forgive. Forgiveness, we often think, means approving of the harms done to us. Our disapproval was best demonstrated through our withholding forgiveness, after all. True freedom lies in forgiving and moving forward, rather than forgiving and forgetting. Great wisdom lies in some of the harms done to us and helps us to better protect ourselves in the future. Moving forward is the way we mature and let go of our past while preparing for our future. Recovery lays the future at your feet. Forgiveness, is a wonderful first step.

Lakehouse Recovery Center is devoted to helping each client find the freedom in their lives they need to have fun again, learn how to live again, and make it through without mind altering substances. For more information, call us today at  877.762.3707.


3 Things You Should Probably Stop Saying To Yourself Because They Aren’t Helpful


Our words carry a  lot of weight and influence the way you feel about the world within us as well as around us. We aren’t typically aware that some of our most go-to thoughts are things we shouldn’t be thinking at all! Growing aware of our thought processes can help us overcome and change them in order to live a happier, more peaceful life.

What If ________

What if you weren’t really addicted to drugs or hadn’t really developed alcoholism? What if you didn’t really need to be in treatment? What if all the doctors and therapists are wrong? What if you can go back out there and try doing it again, drinking and using like other people? Playing the game of “what if” is a dangerous activity. Not only does playing what if lead you down paths that could get your brain to thinking the wrong way, it’s also a waste of time. Recovery puts a lot of importance on staying present and mindful in each moment. Playing what if puts you in the fantasy of the future, rather than staying grounded in the present. What if isn’t always bad– sometimes it is worth the what if to come up with good ideas and plans. If you’re ruminating on the what if and letting time go by without any productivity, you’re playing the wrong what if game.

I Can’t ________

Most of the time, you can. There is very little we aren’t capable of doing as human beings on earth. Naturally, we have our physical and psychological limits for various things. When it comes to the more simple decisions in life we can make them. However, there is usually resistance against admitting that we don’t want to. Instead of taking ownership of our character defects which might stand in our way, we play a sort of victim card, making ourselves weak and helpless against a certain situation by telling ourselves we can’t. Though it seems like a harmless response, it actually sends a serious message to the brain, one of which includes low self-esteem.


Why is an important question, perhaps one of the most important questions human beings can ask. Without asking why about the things around us (and within us!) we would never make discoveries, innovations, and inventions. Human inquiry and contemplation is part of our consciousness and part of what makes us very distinctly human- separating us from animals. However, there are certain “why” inquiries which are out of our control. Many young children ask “why” a lot- why is the sky blue? Why does the sun go away at night? There are some questions that can’t be answered like why dad doesn’t come home every night or why mom is falling down all the time. The answer to why can be complex and out of control. Humans are complex and can often be out of our personal control. Be careful of what you spend your time and energy inquiring about.

One of the most helpful things you can say to yourself, and to someone else, is “I Need Help” when you are struggling with a drug addiction or alcoholism. Lakehouse Recovery Center is here to answer your call and provide you with the comfortable, long term, quality care you need to recover and learn how to enjoy life again, without drugs and alcohol. Call us today for more information at  877.762.3707.



Are You An Alcoholic? Tell Tale Signs Your Drinking Problem Is A More Than Problem


Alcoholism doesn’t have to advance in order for you to seek treatment. If you identify with any of these patterns, call Lakehouse Recovery Center today. You don’t have to hit rock bottom in order to start a new life.

Once You Pop, The Fun Don’t Stop

Except, it usually isn’t fun. In fact, you might not be able to remember the last time drinking was fun at all. Alcoholics have a hard time sipping on one or two drinks throughout an evening. Commonly called the “allergy” to alcohol, once the brain of an alcoholic receives that surge of dopamine-induced euphoria, it is triggered to want more- a lot more. Having just one is out of the question, despite best intentions and earnest attempts. Most alcoholics find themselves baffled by the end of the night, or when they regain consciousness if they are prone to blacking out. They only wanted to have one- they did not want this to happen again. It did and most likely, it will.

Your Mission Control Is Alcohol Consumption

You put a lot of time, energy, strategy, and planning into your alcohol consumption in order to try and control it. They should probably hire you for some secret agent sort of job considering how tactical you are. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t get the job because, you still end up drunk. You try to control how many drinks you have, how strong those drinks are, and how often you are consuming them, so that you can make sure you don’t get out of control. A big part of this inspired observation comes from wanting to stay out of denial that you are an alcoholic.

You’re Not An Alcoholic (You Think)

After yet another night of failed controlled drinking you find yourself wondering if you might have a problem. Alcoholism is pretty serious, as you know, and can have negative consequences including brain damage and liver failure. However, your concern is on the alcoholism part. Most alcoholics you know aren’t able to regulate their drinking, so they don’t drink- ever. Quitting drinking is something you’ve thought about. You aren’t sure you can do it. You might even be sure you can’t do it. Something within you says that you need to do it. A bigger part tells you not to.

Coming to terms with your alcoholism can be a difficult process. We understand. Our residential treatment programs are designed to meet alcoholism at any stage, when you are ready to ask for help. We’re here to answer the call.  877.762.3707.