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Opioid addiction is a silent storm that has swept across many communities, bringing with it a trail of pain, broken relationships and lost potential. These powerful drugs, while medically significant, have a dark side that has ensnared countless individuals in its grip, turning lives upside down. But amidst the despair, there is hope and potential for redemption.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we see more than just statistics or cautionary tales. We see people yearning for change, for understanding, and for a fresh start. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we provide comprehensive treatment programs that promote lasting recovery and help individuals rediscover a life free from substance use.


Opioids are a class of highly potent pain-relieving drugs that come from the opium poppy plant. Some are natural opiates made directly from the pods of the plant, such as codeine and morphine, while others are synthetic opioids manufactured in a lab, including prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and fentanyl.

Opioids work by binding to certain receptors in the brain and blocking pain signals. However, they also cause sedation, euphoria and a “warm” feeling that makes them highly addictive. With repeated and long-term use, opioids cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that keep many people trapped in a cycle of addiction and dependency. In high doses, opioids can cause slowed or stopped breathing, potentially leading to a fatal overdose.


Opioid use is a serious problem in Colorado that has had a significant impact on people from all walks of life. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), nearly 1,900 people died from an overdose in 2021, a new record that highlights an alarming trend. Fatal overdoses continue to rise across the state, especially those linked to fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin. In Denver alone, fentanyl-related deaths increased by 308% in just two years, from 2019 to 2021.

At Pathfinders, we’re aware of the opioid situation in Colorado, but there is hope — research published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) determined that at least one in four individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) seek help. As more treatment options become available, the number of those looking to recover will likely rise. Fortunately, high-quality care that addresses the full scope of addiction remains an effective way to overcome opioid use, helping individuals build a foundation for a healthier, happier and sober lifestyle.

“Hands down the most incredible caring staff that an addict can ask for. You know it is far more than just a job to each staff member. Their love and passion for each client is incomparable to most. To say they go the extra mile is a vast understatement. I pray that any addict struggling may be blessed to encounter a staff and program like this one when they are ready.”


Understanding the signs of opioid addiction is key to ensuring early intervention and support. Individuals grappling with OUD often display several indicators that may point to a serious problem, such as:

  • Lethargy or fatigue — frequently “nodding off”
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea and constipation
  • Small, pinpoint pupils
  • Changes in friend groups
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work or home
  • Sudden financial or legal troubles
  • Disinterest in hobbies and other activities
  • Track marks as a result of IV use
  • Lying or stealing to obtain more drugs
  • Drug-seeking behavior, such as “doctor shopping”
  • Withdrawal symptoms when opioid use is stopped or decreased
  • Increased need for privacy

Opioid use harms much more than an individual’s physical health — the effects ripple outward, impacting every facet of their life, including their relationships, career and emotional well-being. Addressing these signs of addiction as early as possible with the appropriate treatment can help give them the best chance at achieving lasting recovery.


Long-term opioid use changes the way the brain works. Opioids suppress the release of noradrenaline, a neurotransmitter related to wakefulness and breathing. With repeated exposure, the body compensates by producing more of this neurotransmitter. When opioid use is suddenly stopped, neurons continue to release excessive amounts of noradrenaline, leading to familiar withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, muscle cramps and jitteriness.

Within hours of stopping or decreasing opioid use, several of these unpleasant withdrawal symptoms begin to appear, including:

  • Excessive sweating and chills
  • Anxiety
  • Yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes (lacrimation)
  • Restlessness
  • Drug cravings

After the first day or so, symptoms become more intense and may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils and blurry vision
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Restless legs
  • Goosebumps on the skin
  • Depression
  • Muscle aches
  • Profuse sweating


OUD is a complex medical condition, but with the right approach and care, it can be effectively managed. Treatment usually involves a multifaceted approach that includes:

  • Personalized treatment: Each person’s story and background is unique, so there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to addressing opioid addiction. Effective treatment plans are ones that are tailored to the needs of each individual, addressing the mental, physical and emotional aspects of their substance use.
  • Behavioral therapies: Evidence-based therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) help individuals recognize and change harmful thought patterns and develop the coping skills to stay sober.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Combining medications for OUD with behavioral therapies and other treatment methods is proven to help promote long-term sobriety. Medications like buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, setting the stage for recovery.
  • Holistic approaches: Addiction affects the mind, body and spirit. Holistic techniques like yoga, mindfulness, nutrition and meditation address these areas to improve an individual’s overall wellness and promote a healthier, balanced lifestyle.

While tackling opioid use is undeniably challenging, comprehensive and personalized treatment can pave the way for a return to health and well-being. By integrating evidence-based therapies, medication-assisted treatment and holistic approaches, we can address the multifaceted nature of addiction, setting individuals on the path toward recovery.

“Pathfinders Recovery saved my life. This staff, team and alumni really showed me that life is not as hard as I cracked it up to be. The owners are involved and the team in both AZ and Colorado are professionals with different backgrounds and instill a discipline that’s invoking and necessary. I absolutely recommend Pathfinders and if you have the opportunity, need help, want recovery and [to be] shown a life beyond [your] wildest dreams, then Pathfinders is a great place to begin your life.”


Choosing the right treatment facility for opioid addiction is more than just finding a place for care — it’s about finding a supportive environment and truly comprehensive treatment plans that promote lasting recovery. The best facilities offer expertise in both the medical and psychological aspects of OUD, addressing the full scope of their patients’ needs.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we prioritize this dual approach. Our dedicated staff has extensive training in the physical, emotional and mental effects of opioid use, utilizing evidence-based techniques and strategies to engage with our clients in meaningful ways. From the very beginning of the treatment process, our goal is to guide individuals through the most challenging moments of recovery and help them emerge stronger than ever.

Beyond providing high-quality treatment and a supportive environment, we also promote a sense of connection and community among our clients. Addiction can be an isolating disease, but coming together and sharing your experiences with others who understand exactly what you’re going through reminds you that you’re not alone and provides hope for the future.

We know that recovery is a process, so we offer a full continuum of care, from residential treatment to intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and standard outpatient programs (OPs). No matter what stage you’re at, we can help you get sober and heal from opioid addiction, rediscovering the path to a healthier, happier lifestyle free from drugs or alcohol.


If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. From the moment newcomers walk through our doors, our medical staff and therapists stand ready, offering guidance and unwavering support to help them firmly step onto their path of recovery. To learn more about our treatment programs, contact or call Pathfinders Recovery Center in Colorado today at 866-414-0220. Together, we can build the sober life you deserve.

Pathfinders Recovery Center Colorado

  • 2953 S Peoria St. Suite 230 Aurora, CO 80014
  • 855-728-4363
  • Office Hours: M-F 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

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