What is the difference between NA and AA?

Although the guiding principals are similar in AA and NA, each specifies a category of substance. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) addresses alcohol dependence, while NA (Narcotics Anonymous) addresses a dependence to narcotics, a category that encompasses a variety of drugs. AA refers to Alcoholics Anonymous, while NA refers to Narcotic Anonymous. While the two are similar in nature and follow the same basic tenants, AA is the original program everything else stemmed from.

AA is a 12-step program, with Unity, Service, and Recovery as its 3 core beliefs. This is often represented as a triangle, and AA focuses primarily on the recovery from the disease of Alcoholism. NA focuses on both drugs and alcohol, and the recovery from all mood and mind-altering substances, and is represented by a diamond or square. The sides of NA’s symbol represent, Self, God, Society, and Service.

While the programs may focus on different substances and have slightly different messages, the goal and the aspirations are the same. Both programs are 12-step based, and they serve as guides through the recovery journey. Members of AA and NA are welcomed by a warm and ever-expanding fellowship, and true 12-step recovery is based on discovering the root of the individual’s disease and how to live sober.

What are the solutions for alcohol addiction?

Solutions for alcohol addiction can vary from different forms of therapy such as CBT and DBT to coping skills and relapse prevention skills. Recovering from the disease of Alcohol addiction has many different forms and solutions. Depending on the severity of you or your loved one’s disease, the journey toward recovery can start many different ways. Here at Oregon Trail Recovery, we work with a team of highly experienced professionals to best meet the individual needs of each person who reaches out to us for help. Here are some of our general suggestions:

When you try to stop drinking alcohol, please contact us right away if you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Sweats
  • Tremors
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Aches
  • Agitation
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Nervousness
  • Runny Nose
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Poor Appetite

Withdrawal from alcohol is serious and often requires medical treatment and support. Extended periods of alcohol use in varying amounts, paired with any number of the symptoms above can be life-threatening and may cause permanent damage without medical help.

If you are not in need of medical support to detox, you may still need help. We are here for you if alcohol has affected your ability to:

  • show up for work
  • show up for your children
  • maintain relationships with family or friends
  • fulfill responsibilities
  • go for a day without taking a drink

A good place to start is 12-step meetings, called Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, where you will find like-minded people who will pass no judgment on where you are or where you have been in life. They are there to support you and help you to learn more about yourself and the root causes of your disease.

AA was not, however, the only solution for many of us. We needed more professional and evidence-based help, and we sought out treatment. Here at Oregon Trail Recovery we specialize many of these evidenced-based modalities, including but not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy
  • Mindfulness-based recovery
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • 12-step integration and mapping
  • Native American-specific approaches, such as Wellbriety and other native spiritual practices

We find that the best approach for long-term alcohol and/or drug addiction recovery is a combination of 12-step recovery programs, behavior treatment, and short to longterm support in the form of treatment groups and residential living.

How long is rehab?

The rehab process usually begins with a medically-supervised detox process, lasting between 7 and 10 days. Inpatient/residential rehab can vary from 21 days to 6 months based on individual needs. At Oregon Trail Recovery we recommend outpatient treatment following inpatient stays.

How much does rehab cost?

The cost of rehab can vary greatly. Insurance may cover some of the cost and there is usually a private pay option. We may be able to work with you to make rehab affordable, and at Oregon Trail Recovery, early recovery is about meeting our patients where they’re at, financially, physically, and emotionally. Please call us to talk through options.

How do I talk someone into rehab?

Do you have a loved one who is struggling with alcohol or drugs? We have been there.

Seeing the disease of addiction take over someone we care about can be frightening and painful, and the idea of suggesting treatment of any kind might feel impossible. We can provide you with help and support through this process. Your love and encouragement can go a very long way, but the guidance of a professional is often the last or only hope. Oregon Trail Recovery’s sister organization, Compassionate Interventions, offers two unique intervention styles called ARISE and Johnson. The co-founders of Compassionate Interventions, Benjamin Randolph and Jennifer Randolph, work together to provide families with individualized, quality interventions.

The Johnson model is a direct and assertive approach to intervention. Working together or individually, Benjamin and Jennifer use their years of experience, combined with the individual’s family support, to convince your loved one to seek treatment. Each family and addict has a different set of needs, and the Compassionate Interventions team works to form unique plans for each individual.

Our team also has extensive training in the ARISE model of interventions. Employing the ARISE process, we work together with the family to begin the intervention process by reaching out to the Person of Concern, or POC, and inviting them to a family meeting at a set date and time. If the person is unable to attend, they are invited to another scheduled meeting time with the family, loved ones, and the trained interventionist. The meeting is a safe place where family and friends express their concerns about their loved one’s addiction, and for the POC to be inspired to make a change. In the ARISE process, we will continue to work with the families to provide aftercare and follow up sessions, whether by phone or email. This encourages the family to become involved in creating an environment of growth to heal not just the addict, but the family as a whole.

How long is the blackout period in rehab?

The blackout period lasts 14 days based on individual participation in the program. Clients will experience a brief blackout when first arriving at Oregon Trail Recovery, LLC. Your electronics will be taken when you first arrive for two weeks and return ed upon clinical approval. After this period you will also be unable to leave the house without the accompaniment of a senior peer (someone that has been in the program at least 30 days) or staff. After you are taken off blackout, you are encouraged to venture out into the beautiful city of Portland and to begin looking for work or schooling, as long as you are fulfilling your treatment requirements and obligations.

What are symptoms of alcoholism?

Symptoms of alcoholism can include but are not limited to physical dependence, daily drinking, unmanageability in one’s life. The symptoms of alcoholism can manifest in a multitude of ways. Alcoholism affects people mentally, emotionally, and physically. Loss of memory, inability to maintain social and economic responsibilities, seclusion or estrangement from friends and family, increased sadness, anger, nervousness can be symptoms. Physically, alcohol can erode your stomach lining causing ulcers, erode the lining in your esophagus, and cause other health complications such as liver failure, and even death. If you experience withdrawal symptoms such as lack of appetite, aches, shakes or seizures, medical detoxification may be necessary for you.

How does someone quit drinking?

Quitting drinking is hard, so medical detoxification services are often necessary. Building social support and coping skills is imperative in early recovery. If you or your loved one has tried to stop drinking on their own and have been unsuccessful, both medical and clinical help may be necessary. Some detoxification symptoms should not be ignored, and require medical monitoring, coupled with clinical support, in order to begin the ‘quitting drinking’ journey. Typically people are medically assisted through the use of taper medication to make quitting drinking safe.

Am I an alcoholic?

Analyzing the role that alcohol plays in one’s life is tough. If you find yourself putting drinking before all other responsibilities in your daily life and struggle to not take a drink it may be a problem. If you think that you or your loved one may be an alcoholic, ask yourself or think about these questions with regards to them:

  • Have you been drinking more alcohol than usual, and does it seem like its more or more
  • Have you tried to stop drinking or limit your drinking but were unsuccessful?
  • Do you find yourself spending a lot of time drinking, buying, or recovering from hangovers
  • Do thoughts about alcohol consume your thoughts while doing other tasks unrelated to drinking?
  • Has drinking caused issues with your work, home, or school responsibilities?
  • Have you continued to drink even when it causes problems in relationships?
  • Have you given up or been unable to participate in friendships, at work, or with your hobbies due to your drinking?
  • Have you drunk alcohol again and again, even when it puts you in danger or causes these problems in your life?
  • Have you continued to drink, even when you have medical conditions that could have been caused or worsened by continuing to drink?
  • Have you been drinking more and more alcohol to get the effect you desired or noticed your tolerance to alcohol increasing?
  • When you don’t drink alcohol, do you notice that you experience withdrawal symptoms, symptoms that can be relieved by drinking more alcohol?
  • If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, for you or your loved one, you or your loved one could have a problem with alcohol.

Is addiction a disease?

Addiction is classified as a complex disease and is medically recognized as compulsive use of a substance despite serious health and social consequences. Its impact is widespread, however, it has been labeled a disease due to the research on the blood-brain barrier, media frontal bundle, and how the neurotransmitters that drugs and alcohol mimic, are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and cause increased chemical dependence on these substances. This is due to the fact that when someone supplements their serotonin or dopamine, with drugs and/or alcohol, the brain becomes ‘lazy’ or deficit in the natural production of those chemicals in the brain. This causes serious problems, which produces the withdrawal symptoms that either ourselves or our loved ones that face addiction most commonly must endure during the detoxification process.

This is why we believe that medical detoxification is necessary, and long-term abstinence is the only solution, as the science around the disease of addiction has begun to reveal that once someone heavily uses drugs or alcohol, their brain chemistry is permanently altered, and even after many years of abstinence is still recovering, or permanently damaged.

How do you help an alcoholic?

You can help an alcoholic by calling a trained professional to intervene, loving and support them through the recovery process while not enabling them. Loving an alcoholic is a dire situation, especially if that alcoholic does not want to help themselves. Alcohol and drugs change the people that we love, admire, care about the most, into versions of themselves that are quite different, and sometimes terrifying. In situations where are you unable to speak to or to reason with an alcoholic, please reach out for professional counseling or services, for both yourself and your loved one that is an alcoholic.

Compassionate Interventions our sister company has qualified and trained interventionists to help you approach, or even find your loved one, and help them to find the help that they need to overcome their alcoholism. Whether that be medical detoxification, and then outpatient services or residential treatment followed with intensive outpatient services. Sometimes, the addiction is just our way, or our loved ones way, of self-medicating for underlying or unmedicated mental health issues, our team is well-versed in dealing with these cases, as well as, finding the most ethical and therapeutic treatment that can address all of you or your loved one’s needs.

What happens when you stop drinking?

When you stop drinking after heavy and/or extended use, your body will experience a series of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from somewhat mild (nausea, headache) to severe and life-threatening. Depending on the length and amount of consumption, you may require medical assistance to withdraw and detox safely. Symptoms can include:

  • Tremors
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blurry Vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Seizure
  • Heart palpitations

What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient?

Inpatient treatment involves a residential stay, with 6-8 hours of curriculum per day. The inpatient journey begins with an average of 7-10 days in a medically-monitored detox program. Once the initial withdrawal and detox phase is complete and a patient is medically stable, they are encouraged to begin a residential program for an average of 21 days. During that stay, the patient in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol attends and participates in group, individual, and family therapy.

Longterm recovery is most successful when inpatient treatment is followed by an outpatient program. Outpatient programs provide recovering addicts with longer care, higher accountability, ongoing education, and provides a tapered, smooth transition from treatment into everyday life. At Oregon Trail Recovery, we believe in equipping our patients with skills on living sober, and we have trained clinical staff to accommodate and support them along the way.

What causes addiction?

There is a genetic predisposition to addiction but it can also relate to one’s environment and childhood experiences. Addiction has a negative stigma to those who do not understand it. Addiction is both a cause of nature and nurture, how someone was raised, their environment, their socioeconomic status can all have influences on the access and availability of many different types of drugs. However, that being the case addiction is a disease, it is a medical issue caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, one that we are both with, its part of someone’s genes. People, more referred to addicts, or people suffering from the disease of addiction, are predisposed to searching after substances, that they later become addicted to, to supplement the chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, etc in order to feel ‘normal’.

There is no way to predict when, or how, someone will become addicted. However, there are factors that contribute to when those seek out addiction. This does not exclude people who do not have these chemical imbalances from becoming addicted as well, unfortunately, and prolonged use of substances, such as drugs and alcohol, can result in a permanent chemical imbalance in the brain that was not there originally. These chemical imbalances are potentiated by a person’s environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status and geographic location. The disease of addiction may skip one or more generations, however, there exists a possibility for anyone to become addicted, or dependant on substances to supplement the chemical deficiencies, whether pre-addiction or post-addiction. Therefore addiction needs to be treated with compassion, compassion that is a combination of tough-love, healthy boundaries, detoxification, and sometimes medications.

How to detox your body from drugs?

Medical detoxification is necessary for many substances, specifically opiates, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. Detoxification is advised to be completed with help, under medical supervision, with clinical support. Detoxification from Alcohol and Benzodiazepines is especially dangerous due to the high likelihood of seizures, which can result in permanent physical or mental impairment, up to, death. Medically supervised detoxification for you or your loved one limits the potential for these risks, as well as, provides comfort and care, under the supervision of trained medical and clinical staff, to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Does your facility take OHP?

Unfortunately, we are not a contracted provider for OHP insurance at this time. We do have self-pay options for detox and treatment. Individuals may have family that is willing to help with the cost of care. We have a list of resources for options for individuals with OHP insurance, please contact us for more information.

Can I smoke cigarettes/use nicotine products at your facility?

Yes, we provide outdoor smoking areas and disposal receptacles. We ask that all clients that use a vape pen bring unopened containers of juices. Clients that use chewing tobacco please bring unopened cans of chew.


What do I do if there are 6-8 week waiting lists for contracted OHP facilities for detox and treatment?

We recommend calling the crisis line for support services or checking into your local ER for medical attention if necessary.


What should I pack for detox?

  • 7-10 days worth of comfortable clothing
  • Pajamas
  • Underwear/socks
  • Shoes
  • Toiletries: toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, etc.
  • Nicotine products: If you use them bring 1 weeks worth
  • List of names and phone numbers of individuals you would like to be able to call
  • No cell phones are allowed at detox and will be locked up at the office