Understanding Fentanyl and how it affects you.

The rise of Fentanyl use has fueled the Unites States opioid epidemic in recent years . The United States has reported over 90,000 opioid related overdoses from 2019 to 2022 with close to 56,000 of those deaths reported to involve synthetic opioids. Bringing awareness to this issue and understanding the feelings of someone who struggles with the mental obsession of addiction can not only help them but allow you the opportunity to help others in your community.

Do You Feel Like Smoking Fentanyl Right Now?

This article is meant to address the desire you feel at this moment to smoke fentanyl. The writer wishes to prevent you from acting upon that desire. How can the writer accomplish this?

Perhaps by begging you in the following language: “Please, please don’t get up from wherever you are sitting and go use fentanyl today.”

Rhetorical strategies intended to manipulate you might instead only succeed in off-putting and alienating you, so a direct appeal seems appropriate.

Please. If it doesn’t kill you this time, it will next time. And there will be a next time.”

But surely, you are already aware of this danger and it is a risk you are willing to take.

So perhaps instead this writer ought to present you with options alternative to that which is currently most appealing to you.

Why don’t you go read a book? Or take a walk? Or eat an apple?

Of course and unfortunately, you will not find these option as attractive as the notion which presently preoccupies you, for if you are fantasizing about smoking fentanyl, you are in all likelihood doing so because you have done so before, and the euphoric memories of so doing have released dopamine in your brain and triggered your craving for more.

And so it appears now that the writer of this blog means to persuade you by deconstructing the neuropsychology behind your feelings.

But the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that we’ll be “unable to stop [using] on the basis of self-knowledge” and our current predicament does seem to bear this out, doesn’t it? You are not stupid, you are in pain, and smoking fentanyl will make the pain go away.

So instead, do this: if you love anything or anyone on earth; your family; your parents, your brother, your sister, your uncles, your aunts, a friend, your wife, your husband, a son, a daughter, someone who’s died, a place; your home, an idea, an art form, the earth or love itself; think of them now. Then hold tightly to that thought, though tornados surround you, and scream and scream and scream into your heart.

This will keep you sober from one moment to the next. But only that.

Then, if you are interested in a more permanent solution, we can help.


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Oak Forest Recovery can help be the foundation of a new way of life allowing you to grow the connections in a community committed to spiritual growth. We offer many approaches to a long-term solution to living with addiction. We understand that depression and anxiety can fuel substance abuse and offer treatment programs that focus on the dual-diagnosis of mental disorder and substance abuse.

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How to Pray (When You Really Really Don’t Want To)


Prayer is a central part of many religious traditions. But what is prayer? And how do we do it? How do we separate our religious bias from a spiritual way of prayer?

Defining Your Relationship With Prayer

When it comes to Prayer, there is no One-size-fits-all definition. Peoples’ relationship to prayer differs based on their religious tradition, personal beliefs, and spiritual practices. However, there are some common threads that can help us understand what prayer is and why people do it. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the different ways people approach prayer and what it means to them.

Overcoming Your Reluctance to Pray

So, by force or favors, you’ve arrived at Step 3. Do these “meeting-makers” really expect, all of the sudden, that you’re going to believe in some omnipresent, invisible, floating Santa Clause, just beyond the clouds and sky? And on top of that, you’re going to start talking to him twice a day?

In a word: yes. That’s exactly what they expect.

Thankfully, we’ve got some fool-proof advice that you can take to the bank, which will never ever fail you, and works exactly 100% of the time:

Fake it. Fudge it. BS it.

Make believe. Pretend.

Imagine you are speaking into the microphone of a transistor radio, catapulting your voice into the outer reaches of the universe. Perhaps you’ll say something like:

I don’t believe in this. I don’t like doing this. God, this is stupid. I resent this, I’m doing this because I have to. **** this *********.”

Well done! Now, do you expect a friendly Martian to respond with his best wishes in the next 6-10 business days? You don’t.* So why are you doing it?

Mostly, you are doing it so you can answer honestly and in the affirmative when you are asked by newcomers to the program if you pray.

But, to some small extent, and ever so gradually more so, you are doing it because you respect yourself for doing something that you do not like doing, which shows humility, and which does so when no one else is watching.

Making time to pray

The act of prayer is an important part of many people’s lives. Prayer can help us to find peace in troubled times, to give thanks for the good things in our lives, and to ask for guidance and strength. But sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to pray. Life is busy and often demands our full attention. So how can we make time to pray?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Schedule time for prayer: Set aside a specific time each day for prayer. This can be first thing in the morning, during lunch, in the evening, or whenever you have a moment.
  • Keep it short: If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t worry. You can still pray effectively even if you only have a few minutes.

What if You Still Don’t Want to Pray?

Perhaps you refuse to participate in this practice on the basis of your atheism. You are free to do so. And good luck.

However, it must be said that you are staking your resistance upon a conviction which you cannot prove. And this is rather like the pot calling the kettle black. So you cannot much fault us, the kettle, for planting our thumbs upon our noses, waggling our fingers and stating simply but ad nauseam that it takes one to know one.

There are those who will tell you that you do not know what is best for you; that your ideas are no good. We do not say this to you now. We simply ask that you tolerate the feelings of certain discomfort that will arise as you begin this practice. Allow them into the experience. Your prayers are yours and yours alone. Now, tomorrow and always.

Just speak into the microphone.

*You may, however, experience a mind-bending, life-affirming, soul-exponentiating paradigm shift in itty bitty increments, day by day, by day, by day….


If you need help with creating a path for your prayers here is a list of prayers we often say in our recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Oak Forest Recovery can help be the foundation of a new way of life allowing you to grow the connections in a community committed to spiritual growth.

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Addiction: Does Your Family Think You’re An Addict?

Family Addiction, Addict

We know. Maybe you’re not an addict. Maybe you’re going through a phase, or you had a rough month, or your situation looks worse than it is and when you try to explain, they just hear what they want to hear.

Here’s what we want you to know.

It’s not your family’s job to assign you that label. And it isn’t ours either. Our clinicians are trained to understand just how exactly what makes you tick makes you tick, but when all the chips are counted, there’s only one person whose opinion means anything. And that’s yours. We don’t say “Hi I’m John, and you’re an alcoholic.” It’s just not the way we operate.

So here’s what we want you to do. If your family is telling you that you have a problem, if they’re distancing themselves from you, or cutting you off financially, or cussing you out, cursing your name and generally showing you a discouraging lack of empathy, this is your assignment:

Empathize with them.

We know. It’s hard. It feels like they started it. But they’re scared. Of you, or for you, or both. And probably, on some level, you’re scared too.

However, if you can empathize with them, if you can show them compassion and listen to their concerns, you’ve already won a tremendous victory. And having won, maybe you’re ready for another fight. Maybe you’re ready to ask yourself if you’re an addict.

Or maybe you already know, and the next chapter of your story is waiting for you.

What defines you as an addict?

Addiction is a complex disorder that can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Addiction is characterized by compulsive use of a substance or behavior, despite harmful consequences to the individual or their loved ones.

There are many types of addiction, but what defines you as an addict is the inability to control your addiction despite its destructive consequences.

How Addiction can show up in your life.

Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can have a devastating impact on the addict’s life, as well as those around them. Addiction is a disease and it needs to be treated with care.

There are many ways to help and assist in someone’s recovery. Some people use medication like methadone or buprenorphine to help them withdraw from drugs. Others use behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and contingency management to manage their addiction.

There is help.

Often times we can find ourselves feeling alone and disconnected from the world in our struggle. At Oak Forest Recovery we are dedicated to helping you build a sober community that you can continue to grow with.

If you need more information what what addiction may look like or how it may show up in you or a loved ones life, please check out our resource pages.

If you or a loved one suffers from addiction please give us at call at 1-888-597-6257 or visit Oak Forest Recovery.

For more resources available in your area feel free to reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. You can also find more information about substance abuse on John Hopkins Medicine website.