addiction recovery Archives -
Notice: Trying to get property 'session_id' of non-object in /home/palmhealthcare/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ninja-forms-legacy/deprecated/classes/session.php on line 122

Notice: Trying to get property 'session_id' of non-object in /home/palmhealthcare/public_html/wp-content/plugins/ninja-forms-legacy/deprecated/classes/session.php on line 123

Addiction Recovery Patients Often Suffer from Chronic Health Conditions

Addiction Recovery Patients Often Suffer from Chronic Health Conditions

Physical Health is Important to Lasting Recovery

There is no doubt that substance use disorder has a dramatic impact on health. Physical, mental and emotional well-being always suffer when an individual becomes dangerously dependent on harmful substances. Drugs and alcohol have a variety of adverse effects on the body, ranging from painful withdrawal symptoms to lasting impairment of vital organs. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that patients recovering from addiction often suffer from chronic health conditions.

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine suggests that more than one-third of people recovering from addiction continue to suffer from a physical disease.

Studying Chronic Health Conditions in Addiction Recovery

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Recovery Research Institute are the first to examine the national prevalence of medical conditions typically created or magnified by chronic and excessive use of drugs or alcohol. The data in the study comes from a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 American adults. Each of these individuals described themselves as recovering from a range of substance issues, including:

Researchers then looked for the presence of diseases known to be exacerbated by drugs and alcohol, such as:

  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis C
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

What they found was that out of all the adults recovering from substance abuse issues, 37% of them had been diagnosed with one or more of these nine conditions.

Additionally, researchers conclude that significant reductions in the participants’ quality of life connect to these conditions. Not to mention, researchers note that each of these health problems is known to reduce life expectancy.

Trends Relating to Different Drugs

When looking at the details of the data, there are a few trends that stand out. For instance, when compared to the general population, individuals in recovery have much higher levels of:

  • Hepatitis C
  • COPD
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

And in many cases, certain diseases more often correlate with certain substances. For example:

Hepatitis C

Rates of this condition were significantly higher for those recovering from opioids or stimulants than those recovering from alcohol.

HIV/AIDS and STIs

Lifetime prevalence of these health conditions was significantly higher in the group of people recovering from stimulant abuse than in the alcohol group.

Heart Disease

The lowest rates of this condition were actually found in individuals recovering from opioid addiction.

Diabetes

This health problem was discovered to be least common for those reporting cannabis as their primary substance issue

Multiple Chronic Conditions

The odds of experiencing two or more chronic physical diseases were increased by 4%- 7% due to certain factors, such as:

  • Each additional substance used 10 times or more
  • Older age at onset of diseases
  • Resolving alcohol or drug problems later in life

Reduced Rates of Disease

Researchers also note a few elements that appear to coincide with reduced rates of physical diseases. In general, such factors include being:

  • Younger
  • Female
  • Hispanic

There were also social stability and economic factors linked to lower rates of physical disease for those recovering from substance abuse, including:

  • Having a household income greater than $50,000
  • Higher education
  • Being Employed
  • Married or living with a partner

Some of these may be a bit of a surprise, especially considering that women are typically considered more susceptible to serious health problems associated with substance abuse.

Highlighting the Importance of Health in Recovery

According to the researchers, this study is important to a larger conversation about the quality of life for those in recovery from addiction. The lead and corresponding author David Eddie, Ph.D., research scientist at the Recovery Research Institute is an MGH clinical psychologist and an instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. He states,

“We’ve known for a long time that chronic and heavy substance use can cause a multitude of diseases directly and indirectly – The extent to which these diseases and health conditions continue to persist for the millions of Americans who achieve recovery remains to be clarified, but this study highlights the fact that these negative impacts may continue to affect quality of life even when people achieve addiction recovery.”

Eddie believes it is important to appreciate that even those who overcome their issues with substance use disorder and drug dependence still face real physical diseases. In some cases, men and women who manage to finally make progress away from abusing drugs or alcohol still have to live the rest of their lives with other life-altering conditions. If the evidence points toward a better chance at young people and those with a shorter history of drug use being able to avoid chronic illness, then, of course, more effort should be put toward early intervention. Eddie adds,

“In addition, addiction treatment needs to be more seamlessly integrated with primary health care, and more research is needed to explore the complex relationships between alcohol and other drug use and physical disease.”

Moreover, this would further support the idea that we must address addiction as a public health issue. If we want to effectively address not only substance abuse but the long-term adverse effects of drugs and alcohol, we have to offer more comprehensive treatment options.

Part of building a healthy and effective foundation for recovery is a personalized treatment plan. Every individual is unique, and each person struggling with substance use disorder faces different challenges. That is why Palm Healthcare Company believes in providing customized and comprehensive care to every client. From medical detox resources to medication management and nutrition, we believe better health and well-being make lasting recovery possible. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Maintaining Excellent Relationships: By Thomas G. Beley

Maintaining Excellent Relationships: By Thomas G. Beley

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By: Thomas G. Beley, PhD, LCSW

There is a German fable that states that relationships are like two porcupines trying to keep warm in the dead of winter.  Move in too close, or too quickly, in the anticipation of feeling the warmth, chances are the porcupines are going to experience some discomfort and pain from their respective ill-positioned quills.  Yet, being afraid of getting too close to each other, the porcupines are likely to run the risk of dying from the winter cold.

As individuals, our relationships are not too different than the porcupines.  Whether it is with family, friends, co-workers or strangers, we are constantly in a natural process of trying to determine just how close we need to be with someone while at the same time not sacrificing our own individual beliefs, values, or needs. It is the negotiation of these two natural forces of individuality and togetherness that determines the success of any relationship.  Too much of either or an imbalance can have unsettling effects.

It is important to understand that individuals are subject to an inherent process of trying to reach a successful balance between these two natural forces. Research has shown that this is a process rooted in nature and all living organisms.  Being a part of all life means we have the desire to be our own person yet at the same time desire the safety and security of the group.

Finding Balanced Relationships

In humans, this process happens both consciously and unconsciously.  We seek out relationships that will give us both the opportunity to pursue our own individual needs while at the same time involve ourselves in a relationship that is nurturing and comforting.  Our behavior, whether good, bad, or indifferent, is often influenced by these forces of nature of trying to find that right balance between one’s need for individuality and togetherness.  The successful balance of these two life forces is what brings us a sense of well being and contentment. It is our ability to maintain this delicate balance between individuality and togetherness that determines the quality of any given relationship.

It is also important to note, here, that the quest for individuality or togetherness is not to say that one is more important than the other. They are both extremely critical. However, it is how a person balances these two forces within their life and the relationship systems in place that makes the difference between staying calm and collected and being in a state of turmoil and conflict.

Relationship conflicts often occur when there is an imbalance in these two natural forces. Imbalances can occur both within the individual and within the relationship system itself. A common scenario that often develops is when one person within the relationship system desires more individuality and the other person in the relationship system desires more togetherness and closeness. As is often the case, one person begins to feel overwhelmed in the relationship while the other person may feel neglected. Typically, the person desiring more individuality is running away from the relationship system while the person seeking more closeness is chasing the relationship system.

The Dance of Conflict

This “dance” can occur in a variety of ways.  One such way is when an individual requires an excessive amount of one or the other.  Too much of an individuality influence may make it difficult for that person to make a meaningful connection with others, particularly those who desire more closeness and togetherness. In that desire to achieve a sense of individuality, a person can easily cut him or herself off from others. Along the same lines, a person with a high degree of individuality may find others having a difficult time making a meaningful connection with him or her.  The same holds true for the person needing a great deal of togetherness. The desire to achieve closeness can result in the person becoming excessively dependent on others or not maximizing their own individual potential.

Another common scenario that is when one person desires individuality and the other person is requiring a sense of togetherness.  A person who requires a sense of individuality will likely create a conflict in the relationship system of the person who has the desire to achieve more togetherness.  The same dilemma holds true if two people have inordinate amounts of the same needs.  Two people desiring a great deal of individuality will likely experience the cold of winter.  Two people desiring a great deal of togetherness will likely feel the quills of another person. When there is an imbalance of these needs, anxiety occurs and the potential for conflict exists.

Find What Matters

It is important to emphasize that there is no magic formula that constitutes what is the right amount of togetherness or individuality within a relationship system.  What truly matters is how a person manages their respective needs and the awareness of the needs of the other within the relationship system.

Doctor Thomas G. Beley, Ph.D., LCSW is the Executive Director of Palm Healthcare Company. For over 25 years, Doctor Beley has worked in the field of substance use disorder and mental health disorders. Through the years of helping people who struggle with drugs, alcohol and mental health issues, Doctor Beley has proven to be an expert clinician and an innovative and compassionate leader in the treatment industry. Palm Healthcare Company is grateful to have an executive team with experience and incredible commitment to helping others. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Heroin and Depression: A Deeper Connection in Addiction

Heroin and Depression: A Deeper Connection in Addiction

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

For many who have struggled with substance abuse it comes as no surprise that a link can be drawn between their drug or alcohol use and their mental health. A lot of people who struggle with addiction have experienced some form of emotional distress, trauma or abuse that has made a definite impact on their lives. While this may not be the sole reason behind their use, issues concerning mental health can contribute to drug or alcohol use in a dramatic way. With heroin and depression, the two tend to feed off of one another, creating an intense and deeper connection.

Understanding Depression

Depression is a very common but also very serious mood disorder, also referred to as:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Clinical depression

This mental health condition causes a variety of symptoms that impact how an individual thinks, feels, and handles their day to day lives. A depression diagnosis depends on symptoms being present for at least two weeks, and some forms of depression will differ, or develop under unique circumstances. Some specific forms of depression include:

  1. Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)

This is a depressed mood lasting for at least two years. Sometimes the episodes of major depression is experienced in periods of less severe symptoms, but still the symptoms persist for two years or more.

  1. Psychotic Depression

This is pretty straight forward. It happens when someone experiences severe depression along with some form of psychosis, such as:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

These psychotic symptoms typically revolve around a particular depressive subject like guilt, poverty or illness.

  1. Seasonal Affective Depression

This is the onset of depressive symptoms during winter months when there is less natural sunlight, which is why some call it ‘winter depression’. It is commonly characterized by:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Increase in sleep
  • Weight gain

This depression typically disappears during spring and summer months as better weather returns, but comes back around every year.

  1. Perinatal Depression

Many women experience relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms after delivery, usually only lasting around two weeks. However, perinatal depression is much more serious.

Mothers with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery, commonly known as postpartum depression. Feelings that accompany perinatal depression include:

  • Anxiety
  • Extreme sadness
  • Exhaustion

These can make it difficult for new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.

  1. Bipolar Disorder

While bipolar disorder is technically different from depression, individuals with bipolar disorder do experience episodes of intensely low moods that qualify as major depression- referred to as ‘bipolar depression’.

However, someone with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high moods, either irritable or euphoric in nature. These moods are also called ‘mania’, or the less intense with are called ‘hypomania’. This is why bipolar disorder was once called ‘manic depressive disorder’.

Beyond these five there are other forms of depression, and symptoms of depression may vary from person to person. But for most people with depression the symptoms they do experience are consistent on an almost daily basis.

Psychology of Heroin

For those who don’t know, heroin is a synthetic drug produced from morphine. Morphine is a powerful analgesic derived from the opium poppy plant. The effects of heroin are a result of the substance binding with receptors in the brain that respond to opiates. Once ingested, heroin converts to morphine in the brain, and this potent compound effects the brain in ways that influence psychology.

Morphine slows the neurological activity in the brain, creating sedation. This sedation creates the desired effect of many heroin users, which is the sense of profound relaxation.

Yet, the National Alliance on Mental Illness warns that people with psychiatric disorders (such as depression) are more likely to experience very negative side-effects. So while people with depression may try to use heroin to numb themselves to feelings of sadness, guilt or despair, they actually create a chemical reaction in the brain that exacerbates their depressive symptoms.

Heroin and Depression

Heroin and depression have a symbiotic relationship that creates a viscous cycle. The two fuel each other. An individual may use heroin to try and escape their depressive feelings, but using heroin frequently worsens symptoms such as:

Thus these feelings make the depression worse, the individual will use more heroin to escape, and the cycle continues.

With heroin and depression, the physical consequences of heroin use can also cause severe emotional distress. Physical effects of heroin that can increase feelings of depression include:

  • Respiratory illness
  • Blood-borne disease
  • Muscular weakness
  • Vascular damage

And heroin’s impact on an individual’s personal life can make depression even worse, such as:

  • Financial problems
  • Job loss
  • Legal trouble
  • Relationship issues

Again, these issues can cause a heroin user to abuse the drug more in order to cope with these difficulties, which continues to feed into their problems and exacerbate the issues even more.

Withdrawal from Heroin and Depression

Withdrawal from heroin is one of the typical reasons that many people trying to quit the drug are unsuccessful. These unpleasant side effects of not having the drug often pushes people trying to give up heroin back to the drug just to feel relief, and for those with depression the withdrawals from heroin can seem even more relentless.

Trying to abruptly discontinue heroin use without the help of medical detox will cause uncomfortable and sometimes extremely painful symptoms such as:

  • Nervousness
  • Intense cravings
  • Restlessness
  • Involuntary leg movement
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Sleeping problems
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Heavy use over an extended period can also lead to seizures. But while the physical withdrawal symptoms are already pretty bad, the psychological side effects can seem impossible to overcome, especially for someone with depression or other mental health issues.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Heroin and Depression

One of the most critical parts of treatment for heroin users with depression is to find the root cause of the depression, which is also one of the most challenging aspect of recovery for heroin users. Depression is not just a bad mood, and it does not simply stem from one source. Some of the most common sources of depression include:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Psychological trauma
  • Physical disability
  • Stressful social environment
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Dual diagnosis treatment is crucial for someone struggling with heroin and depression because the two conditions have such similar symptoms, which make each other worse. In many cases, it is difficult to even discover what came first, depression or heroin addiction. Either way, a huge factor to overcoming heroin and depression is with comprehensive and holistic dual diagnosis treatment.

Simultaneously addressing both issues and giving equal attention to both conditions gives way for more complete recovery. If one of the two is ignored, then it has the potential to eventually cause a relapse into the other. The deeper connection with heroin and depression is that these each of them is commonly inspired by similar circumstances, including genetics and trauma. Both will thrive through the impact of the other. Both are damaging and potentially fatal. But there is also help for each, and when treated in tandem they can each be overcome.

At Palm Healthcare Company, the idea of treating all parts of each individual is the core concept of our holistic approach to substance use disorder treatment. We believe that by providing personalized and effective care for each individual helps create lasting health, freedom and happiness in every aspect of life. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

8 Ways to Stay Sober at Burning Man

8 Ways to Stay Sober at Burning Man

Are you ready for the burn on the playa?

By ‘the burn’ of course we mean the annual weeklong art festival Burning Man that takes place in the Nevada desert! If you have ever seen a video or a reference to Burning Man in the media or in a movie than you probably have a pretty specific picture of what Burning Man is in your mind. People typically envision it as a hedonistic freaky-frenzy of a party with nothing but bizarre art, ravers, hippies, drugs and alcohol. But for most people that attend Burning Man, it isn’t just a massive non-stop party. Burning Man is actually a place to relax, attend a number of events and work-shops, while seeing world-class and uniquely inspired art.

Every year the temporary metropolis of Black Rock City, which is the home of Burning Man, and its community grows. At the same time, so does the clean and sober community within it. Burning Man for many who are clean and sober is often not seen as a fight with temptation, but rather an opportunity to grow.

While there are a few people who may feel this is too risky, and we support and understand your choice, there is also plenty of reason to be confident in going to Burning Man and staying sober. There may be those in your own support system you want to consult with, like a sponsor.

Here is another 8 ways to stay sober at Burning Man.

  1. Be honest and careful

This is about being honest with yourself, as well as with others. First, before going to burning man you should be honest with how you feel about the adventure you’re about to go on and your ability to do what you have to in order to remain mindful, happy and sober.

Then be honest with others. For one, the idea that everyone is handing out drugs like candy is probably not always the case. However, for your own safety and peace of mind always ask if anything you may ingest contains drugs or alcohol. Burning Man’s economy is based on gifts, and some may have the best intentions. Let people know you are clean and sober to avoid confusion.

Always consider the source, and use your judgment. Even though most people probably won’t try to slip you anything you don’t want, every year medical tents still report people being dosed without knowing.

  1. Go with sober friends

This is always a good idea when going to any shows or music festivals. Having people who are familiar with your own behaviors and your own story can make it a lot easier to lean on them if you start to feel like something is bothering you. If you have sober friends it can be even more effective because they can relate to the things that may bother you. Sober friends can understand and provide a unique kind of peer support, while also keeping you accountable.

  1. Enjoy the art and music

Burning Man isn’t just about the huge, all night concerts. There are artists who show up every year who have spent the entire year designing and building unique and awe-inspiring installations of art.

Taking some time to wander around and enjoy some beautiful and exclusive art, which is sometimes even interactive, gives you an opportunity to enjoy stunning visuals without needing drugs or alcohol.

  1. Sober Camps

According to one investigation, there are various clean and sober theme camps at Burning Man you can seek out:

  • Anonymous Camp
  • Run Free Camp
  • Camp Stella
  • The Hokey Pokey Destiny

You can typically research sober camps ahead of time to find out when and where they will be at Burning Man. You can reach out to the groups to try and plan your own camp site ahead of time, and possibly arrange to meet up with them.

  1. Yoga and Meditation

For a lot of people yoga and meditation become a pretty consistent part of their recovery program. It is a relaxing practice that helps with mindfulness and self-awareness. So of course if you are interested in yoga you will be thrilled to know there is frequently a lot of opportunities to take yoga classes during a week at Burning Man.

Vinyasa yoga and kundalini yoga are a few styles that some Burning Man veterans have reported to experiencing during their time in the desert. Some have also spoken of chances to take meditation and breath-work classes and workshops. Stay sober at Burning Man may simply mean staying focused and grounded, and meditation and yoga can do just the trick.

  1. Exercise

Just because people come to Burning Man to experience something new and exciting while they escape from the world doesn’t mean they suddenly stop all their good habits. Some people actually enjoy exercising at Burning Man, doing things like riding bikes or organizing group work outs.

According to one young woman’s story, when she went there was even an ultramarathon. Yes… ULTRA-marathon! Burning Man attendees actually got up and ran 50k (31 miles) around the desert.

  1. Volunteer

Many people find that volunteering in some way is a huge part of their recovery. Doing service work is one way we can take the focus off of ourselves, build connections with others and do something productive. If you find yourself struggling, you can always find some way to help someone else.

Burning Man can also present a lot of opportunities to do some service and volunteer your time to others. You can offer to help welcome people into the camp grounds and get set up. You can help by cooking meals and finding other ways to give back to those at Burning Man who might need a little help settling in themselves.

  1. 12 Step Meetings

Believe it or not, there are actually 12 Step meetings every day at Burning Man. While not all people who are clean and sober will be involved in 12 Step groups, the meetings will provide a space to get some support in case you are in need. You can also meet with other sober individuals and get connected with the clean community of Burning Man.

These meetings include Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon and Narcotics Anonymous. Some of them will alternate between the larger Sober Camps that you can find, but there may also be smaller groups that form more organically.

Conclusion

What you might find surprising, and what several accounts from attendees have found, is that the toughest part about burning man has nothing to do with what some people expect. The true challenge of burning man apparently doesn’t come with avoiding drugs or drinking, but actually from the elements.

Between the desert sun and the dusty climate, staying hydrated and accepting the exhaustion that comes with being amerced in 24 hour music and festivities, some people find that fighting the urge to use is usually the least of their worries. The hard part is keeping the dust off (pretty much impossible) while trying to rest between all the dancing, music, art, and exercise, hanging out and volunteering! There is so much to do at Burning Man that drugs and alcohol might just get in the way. But the truth is, once you build sobriety and recovery on a solid foundation, you have the potential to find true freedom and happiness without needing substances to make it happen.

Building that foundation starts with making a decision to get better. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Dear Media, Thank You for Bad Press: Love, South Florida

Dear Media, Thank You for Bad Press: Love, South Florida

In the past few weeks, there has been an influx of negative coverage from some very prominent voices in media, including the New York Times and most recently Megyn Kelly in an NBC News Investigation piece, about the issues that have been plaguing the South Florida recovery community. Bad news travels fast, and these days every bit of it goes viral. There is a lot to say about the topic. A lot has already been said, but this conversation means something very significant to a lot of people.

This is nothing new; stories from various sources have been published over the last few years. From local news outlets like the Sun Sentinel or Palm Beach Post, to more nationally (or internationally) known outlets like BuzzFeed, cautionary tales have been reaching out to warn people about the dangers of illegitimate and unregulated drug treatment and sober homes.

Reports have highlighted the devastation of the opioid overdose crisis, and rightfully so.

They have exposed some of the most apprehensible and illicit activities of patient brokers and fraudulent facilities.

The media has engaged in a full-on assault against the corruption and criminality of the South Florida drug treatment industry, and we have a few words for them…

THANK YOU… FINALLY!

With Gratitude

With great gratitude, we thank the media for all the coverage of everything wrong with the treatment industry, because it is about time we all addressed these problems.

Finally, we have more people paying attention to the serious and life-threatening faults of shady and illegitimate drug rehab and sober home companies. Any number of the recent reports will show that for years unscrupulous con-artists have profited millions of dollars off of the suffering of some of the most vulnerable people in the country, under the pretense of providing some semblance of health care and therapeutic value.

For too long there have been grossly unethical practices involved in those abusing the treatment industry. Human trafficking in the form of patient brokering and providing drugs to relapsed addicts in order to defraud insurers are only part of this complex issue.

Thankfully, there are finally more proactive steps being taken to prevent these issues from continuing or escalating to even more extremes. The state attorney, along with the efforts of law enforcement and task forces, are taking more action against those who exploit the system. As far as the limits and loop holes, new legislation is being advanced. Arrests and raids are putting an end to many of these illegal enterprises.

“But there is hope”, as Cynthia McFadden on the NBC news video put it. As per the interview on Megyn Kelly’s program, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg states that they have made 29 arrests in Palm Beach County since last July, being patient brokers, treatment center owners, and corrupt doctors and with many more to come.

Thank you… but we need more action!

With Humility

Respectfully, and with humility, we think we would all fare better without making statements that paint the entire treatment industry and the recovery community with a broad stroke of prejudice. Especially when it comes to distinguishing addiction treatment facilities from sober living facilities, because they are not the same thing. A lot of stories forget to mention that the issues with sober living may often have nothing to do with the treatment industry, and that almost no one ever send their loved ones to South Florida for sober living homes.To learn more about the difference between these two, subscribe to our blog and check out our FREE e-book: 

5 Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Picking A Sober Home

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK

Still, we should lay out all the facts.

Some reports will claim Florida has the worst overdose death rates in the nation. The only problem… it’s not even close to true.

For example: Florida actually had less overdose deaths per 100,000 people than 23 other states! These numbers include the top 5:

  • West Virginia- 41.5 per 100,000 people
  • New Hampshire- 34.3 per 100,000 people
  • Kentucky- 29.9 per 100,000 people
  • Ohio- 29.9 per 100,000 people
  • Rhode Island- 28.2 per 100,000 people

Meanwhile, Florida is 24th on that list. Florida has experienced increasing rates of drug overdoses over the last few years, although still not in the top 3 states as of the most recent figures. Yet, people forget to note that overdose rates don’t necessarily mean overdose deaths. The distinction may seem small, but ask any addict and they will tell you there is a big difference.

Of course we should not ignore the bad, and we all know the opioid epidemic is bad and Florida has suffered greatly. But it is an equal injustice to ignore the facts plaguing the rest of the country. It is also unjust to condemn the treatment providers who still believe in doing the right thing. It is true that there are more unethical and illegal facilities than previous years. But to assume every facility qualifies for this kind of categorization is unfair, to say the least.

Let us not forget, South Florida is home to some of the best high-quality holistic drug and alcohol treatment in the country. There are numerous addiction treatment providers who have been serving South Florida and the recovery community for decades; helping countless people in pain while making consistent contributions to the sustained improvement of their clients and their communities.

But again, we thank those who are out there challenging the current system and demanding better care. This call to action means those of us willing to suit up and show up have all the more reason to keep doing what we believe in. It means anyone looking for treatment will know what to look for and what questions they need to ask, because this is vital to keeping their loved ones safe. Asking the right questions can lead you to the right kind of help.

All this means the South Florida treatment providers who are committed to helping people will step up and show that what we do makes a difference.

For a more detailed look into the difference between addiction treatment programs and sober living facilities, download our FREE e-book:

5 Critical Mistakes When Picking a Treatment Center and How to Avoid Them

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK

With Hope

The impacts of the indecent and deceitful practices that have touched the treatment industry are heartbreaking. We all see the dire tragedy of it, including those of us in the treatment industry who still believe in helping people who suffer.

Accredited and legitimate treatment providers are also impacted by these problems. Patient brokers will sometimes infiltrate high quality and honest facilities disguised as patients themselves in order to recruit patients to other illegally operated facilities. Brokers sell their victims false hope, with promises like:

  • Material gifts
  • Cash payments
  • Free rent

Brokers can end up pulling patients out of treatment, against medical advice, in order to exploit their insurance benefits without equipping the individual with any level of care or even basic security. This terrible strategy is one of the obstacles that authentic treatment providers must frequently try to overcome; the outside influence of people trying to take advantage of the entire industry.

So again, THANK YOU. The more light we shine on the shady parts of what has happened, the more people will see where the greater danger exists. Addiction treatment in South Florida is NOT the problem; people who exploit addicts fighting a life and death battle and call it treatmentTHAT is the problem. Not to mention the environment in the nation that is breeding this opioid crisis in the first place.

Our hope is, as we strive with all we can to improve how we care for and address substance use disorder and its related issues, that we can inspire others to see that real recovery is possible.  We hope our dedication to creating lasting change in the lives of all the people who come to us for help will prove that people can recover, and that treatment does work.

With Compassion

Perhaps most importantly, we thank the media for raising awareness and igniting a conversation. Since the first few reports started to gain popularity, more people are talking about it. The momentum has created a greater platform, and we need to make it count. More people are connecting to the discussion, which means there is more hope than ever of finding a solution.

I will say what I said in an article last week, in case anyone missed it… we are in this together.

This unites all of us in a common objective- to end the extortion of the men and women, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers who need our compassion, now more than ever. With compassion, we can meet in the middle and have a real conversation. It means dropping the stigma of substance use disorder and having an open dialog about how we can all help each other make this country, not just South Florida but all of America, a better place for the addict who still needs help.

We still believe in the value of quality care. We still believe in the recovery community of South Florida, and because of it we are grateful that something is being done. While we still think there is plenty more to do, we are hopeful. If no one talks about it, no one will be willing to help fix it. Hopefully we will be able to move this conversation toward how we can best take care of each other, especially those who have already lost so much. Our mission is to take this topic from what is wrong with those who hurt people and turn it to what is right and what has been accomplished for the people who needed it most.

It is time we really work together to make a difference. Politicians, law enforcement, health care advocates, trustworthy and accredited treatment providers and members of the recovery community have to pull together and speak out about this if we ever want it to get better.

While some people may disagree with this piece and the delivery, the media has at least accomplished something- they have reminded us of an important part of the conversation. Surely, South Florida has an amazing recovery community, but if we pretend it is perfect it will never get better. Awareness might help us change everyone’s perspective.

So to the New York Times, Megyn Kelly, NBC News and all other news outlets, with gratitude and humility, hope and compassion… we thank you.

P.S. For more on this subject, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our blog. We look forward to keeping up the conversation.

For more information on how to find a safe, ethical and effective addiction treatment program make sure to explore more of our Palm Healthcare Company website. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Pin It on Pinterest