drug rehab Archives -
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Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

Understanding the Many Options in Addiction Treatment

At a time like this in America, no one should be naive to the reality of addiction and the devastation it brings. The opioid epidemic impacts people in every city in every state; whether it is through prescription painkiller abuse or heroin and potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl on the illicit market. Meanwhile, methamphetamine use has also continued to grow steadily in the background. Other prescription narcotics have become more and more prevalent with misuse, and alcohol remains a legal drug both frequently abused and deadly. Something equally as important as acknowledging addiction is being aware of the options in addiction treatment.

One thing we have to continue to promote is that people seek help, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they think they can afford. Expenses can be an important factor for each individual when trying to find treatment; therefore it is important to remember there are always options available regardless of financial status. At the end of the day, everyone deserves a chance at making it through their adversity.

While the options may be different, they are still out there.

State Funding Rehab Facilities

For those who are extremely limited in their resources the most attainable option may be to pursue a state-funded program. State-funded rehab facilities are cost-free, which is the greatest advantage to seeking help through these programs.

Most states have some form of government-funded addiction treatment. Sadly, some people still see a stigma attached to public assistance programs and they allow it to keep them from getting help. However, for the individual who has little to no income, or with inadequate to no insurance coverage, these organizations provide detox, treatment and support services. State-funded rehabs are often included in other state services such as:

  • Child social services
  • Criminal justice and prison provisions

The funding for treatment may be included as part of these other initiatives.

Some states will offer a variety of therapy options with state-funded programs. Others might not have as many due to limited funding. Some state facilities will not necessarily have access to the same technologies and treatments as private treatment providers.

Private addiction treatment programs often have unique services depending on their approach and treatment model. However, some people still find that state-funded programs are effective in helping them get their start.

Medicaid for Addiction Treatment

One thing that can be a real help to those who are unable to afford a higher level of insurance coverage is access to state-funded health insurance programs.

Medicaid coverage for no insurance rehab is a useful option. Medicaid and Medicare may actually cover both detox and inpatient addiction treatment. Some may even cover outpatient care depending on each programs requirement for eligibility through the state. Through Medicaid or Medicare, an individual who has very limited resources may receive free or low-cost addiction treatment.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or what some call “Obamacare” insurance providers are required to cover all basic aspects of drug and alcohol dependency recovery. Medicaid covers:

  • Screenings

  • Interventions

  • Maintenance and craving medications

  • Family counseling

  • Inpatient care

  • Long-term residential treatment

  • Detox

  • Outpatient visits

  • Other mental health services

In most states, Medicaid recipients don’t even have to worry about a copay for addiction treatment services.

Medicare for Addiction Treatment

Medicare is available for anyone:

  • Over 65 years old
  • With a disability

Medicare does have a monthly premium, but that amount is also based on the individual’s income. So if you make less money you pay less for your coverage.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment can be covered by Medicare. This coverage is provided in a four-part system:

  1. Medicare Part A

Insurance for hospital stays covers up to 60 days without copay with no deductible. But Medicare only covers up to 190 days for a lifetime.

  1. Medicare Part B

This can cover outpatient addiction care at up top 80% of the costs. This includes coverage for therapy, professional interventions, and drugs administered via clinics. This also covers co-occurring disorders like depression.

  1. Medicare Part C

This is Medicare-approved private insurance for those who want to opt for more benefits. It does include more out-of-pocket costs and coverage can vary.

  1. Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D coverage will help cover the cost of addiction medications. Specifically, this form of Medicare helps with medications used to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Combined Coverage

Someone who is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare can actually apply both forms of coverage to their addiction treatment. If you believe that you qualify for these insurance opportunities you can contact a caseworker for assistance with an application.

Once you have obtained coverage for any of these programs, you can research online to find facilities that accept these forms of insurance.

Keep in mind, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicare.

Individual Health Insurance

When examining the options for addiction treatment people who have health insurance, whether privately or through their employment, should research the coverage available through their insurance provider.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act of 2008 mandates that health insurance companies to balance the alcohol and drug treatment for group plans to the stipulation for standard medical rehab.

Because substance abuse and addiction are recognized as medical conditions, insurance companies have a responsibility for covering the cost of addiction treatment. Substance use disorders are better understood today for their effects both psychiatrically and physically, so major insurance providers make a point these days to offer terms for partial or complete coverage of options for addiction treatment. Many times this coverage will allow for access to quality holistic treatment programs.

Too many people don’t know the extent of which their own insurance covers them. Find out what services are covered by your policy when seeking out care for substance abuse. As far as employers go, your right to addiction treatment is protected by FMLA, while the details of these protections and provisions may differ depending on the state or the individual companies policies.

Private Pay Options in Addiction Treatment

Of course, health insurance is not required to obtain addiction treatment services. Not everyone has insurance, or their insurance might not provide the coverage they need. There are also facilities that cater to a private pay demographic.

All across the country, there are addiction treatment facilities that offer different levels of high-quality and luxury treatment options for those who would prefer to pay cash for services. Many patients who chose to private pay do so for a variety of reasons, and they often find that they require a combination of treatment methods, including:

  • Detoxification

  • Inpatient treatment

  • Outpatient therapy

  • Group counseling

  • Intensive one-on-one counseling

  • Family Program

  • Private recovery coaching

Of course, different programs have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, those who chose to private pay for addiction treatment often do so because they are looking for a very specific approach with a very specific criterion that caters to their own needs.

Executive Treatment Programs

Executive treatment programs are another one of the options in addiction treatment. These facilities cater to clients that wish to pay more for a more private environment with more luxuries. Executive programs are more expensive and are more commonly utilized by CEOs, high-paid professionals, and celebrities.

Many programs that offer executive options for addiction treatment allow for those receiving care to continue working with their businesses or clients while attending individual therapy, support groups, and holistic treatments.

Help is Out There

Addiction is everywhere. Sadly, there are not as many resources as many recovery advocates believe there should be. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to find help with addiction and recovery.

But help is out there.

There are accredited holistic treatment programs that maintain their integrity by providing quality care to their clients. These facilities provide high-level services in a safe and comfortable environment while staying at the edge of innovations in treatment. While not all of these companies advertise their contributions, many even provide scholarship opportunities for those who cannot afford treatment to have access to their programs.

Meanwhile, we should all look to our politicians and public health officials to create even more options for addiction treatment. Until more support and funding is available for expansion of options for addiction treatment, the resources we have now do everything they can to make a difference.

Palm Healthcare Company has made a commitment to provide effective, innovative and holistic addiction treatment options to those still suffering with substance use disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Does FMLA Cover Addiction Treatment?

Does FMLA Cover Addiction Treatment?

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

 

With the nation in the midst of an opioid epidemic, it is more important than ever to understand that substance use disorder is rampant partially because it is extremely difficult for more people to overcome. Out of the estimated 22.7 million Americans who desperately need addiction treatment, only around 2.5 million of them actually received treatment in a facility. But this is largely because a lot of people are afraid to ask for help.

One of the primary reasons so many people don’t seek the help they need is because they fear how it may reflect on them in their professional life.

Fortunately, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides some assistance and protections to people who need help with addiction treatment.

So how does FMLA cover addiction treatment, and how do you get the help you need?

The Family and Medical Leave Act

On February 5, 1993 then President Bill Clinton signed the bill establishing the Family and Medical Leave Act as a United States federal law. FMLA requires covered employers to provide their employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. The situations that fall under this coverage include:

  • Personal or family illness
  • Family military leave
  • Pregnancy
  • Adoption
  • Foster care placement of a child

FMLA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. This act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to attend to any of the qualifying circumstances. In order to be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must:

  • Have been at the business at least 12 months
  • Work at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months
  • Work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles

Four states have passed laws requiring paid family and medical leave:

  • 2002- California
  • 2008- New Jersey
  • 2013- Rhode Island
  • 2016- New York in 2016

Washington State approved paid family and medical leave in 2007, but the law has not taken effect due to a lack of funding.

In any case it is important to remember that every state has different provisions regarding FMLA. Be sure to try and reach out to your Human Resources department and a legal professional to find out what options are available in your state.

Does FMLA Cover Addiction Treatment?

If you are seeking help for substance use treatment, it is covered under FMLA. With FMLA, after returning to work from addiction treatment you must be restored to your original job or an equivalent position. In other words, financial punishment from your employer is prohibited. Therefore, the individual will receive no loss of pay or benefits and terms of the previous position will be honored. Even if you are entitled to a bonus before FMLA leave, the bonus will still apply.

ATTENTION: FMLA Does NOT Protect Everything

For one, an employee can still be terminated regardless of whether he or she is presently taking FMLA leave depending on if your employer has an established policy that:

  • Is applied in a non-discriminatory manner
  • Has been communicated to all employees
  • Provides under certain circumstances an employee may be terminated for substance abuse

So be sure to evaluate your employers drug and alcohol policy carefully before asking for FMLA leave.

What If You’re Still Worried?

The truth is, with HIPPA laws, you can keep the reason WHY you are filing for FMLA leave private. When you apply for FMLA with your employer, you’re only need to tell them you are ill and unable to meet the conditions of your job at this time. You can say that you need to get medical treatment for your condition. That is all.

Legally, an employer cannot force you to provide any more information than you are comfortable with, although they may require a doctor’s certification that you need medical treatment. You can have FMLA cover addiction treatment as long as it is provided by a health care provider, or they can refer you to a specialized treatment provider of health care services.

In order to be protected by FMLA you must provide your employer with prior notice, or else you may still face termination.

Be aware, this does not mean that if you are using the substance and chose to take time off because of its adverse side effects, this is not covered by FMLA. In other words, absence for addiction and not for treatment does not qualify for FMLA leave.

FMLA Does NOT Cover Active Addiction

This is an important aspect to remember about the FMLA laws. While you are provided some protection in order to take leave for treatment, it does not protect you from the consequences of active addiction.

Termination due to inappropriate behavior on the job site is not protected. Neither is absenteeism due to active addiction. FMLA does not allow you to take time off because you are too drunk or too sick from withdrawals while waiting to go to treatment.

For example: If you seek help for alcohol addiction and file for FMLA leave for addiction treatment, but you miss work for a few days before leave because of heavy drinking, those few days are not protected because they don’t count as part of the FMLA leave. So be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself if you are planning on utilizing FMLA to get the much needed help.

Why It Matters

So why does FMLA cover addiction treatment at all?

One of the main reasons that substance use disorder is protected by the government is because the National Institute on Drug Abuse states:

“Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatment that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.”

Addiction is classified as a disease and qualifies as a serious health condition that needs healthcare treatment. This shows that the government acknowledges the difficulties faced by individuals who become addicted to drugs, and the importance of supporting them in getting better by offering some protection for their careers and financial futures.

It is important that employers honor FMLA because it allows for a healthier and more effective workplace, while also giving someone who has already become part of the business to better themselves. This all matters because you never know when a member of your staff could need support for a drug and/or alcohol problem. It isn’t always the slacker. A lot of times it is the employee of the month.

It matters because even for the deal makers, the self-starters and the top performers, sometimes we all need help.

Recovering from substance use disorder can be a lot work on its own. To have FMLA cover addiction treatment and to know that you can work on bettering yourself and get back to making a living secure in a career can make all the difference. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

What Is the Addiction Severity Index and Why Does it Matter?

What Is the Addiction Severity Index and Why Does it Matter?

Holistic methods of drug and alcohol addiction treatment are so effective because they are designed to heal all the unique aspects of an individual’s life. This style of comprehensive care delivers empowering and personalized recovery strategies to help each person find their way to a lasting transformation. Holistic addiction treatment doesn’t just save a life; it helps people to discover a new quality of life in recovery.

Part of creating a customized plan of recovery means making a complete appraisal of the individual’s needs and how best to serve them in a healthy and productive environment. Part of the initial assessment includes what some refer to as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI).

Every program may not use the term Addiction Severity Index directly. However, an intake assessment is always a critical step toward a comprehensive treatment. So what is the ASI and why does it matter?

What is the Addiction Severity Index?

The ASI is a semi-structured interview with an individual seeking care for issues with substance abuse. The interview is designed to address seven potential problem areas relevant to substance use disorder in potential patients, including:

  1. Medical status

  2. Employment and support

  3. Drug use

  4. Alcohol use

  5. Legal status

  6. Family/social status

  7. Psychiatric status

The input given by the individual is important because it helps providers determine the best way to engage in safe and effective treatment. All information gathered for the Addiction Severity Index is treated as confidential.

In each of the 7 areas, the individual will be asked to answer questions based on a 1-to-5 scale system. The individual will be asked how bothered they are by problems pertaining to each area. They will then be asked how important treatment is for them in those areas. The scale is:

1- Not at all

2- Slightly

3- Moderately

4- Considerably

5- Extremely

Of course each individual has the right to refuse to answer any question, especially if a topic is:

  • Considered too personal

  • Uncomfortable to the patient

  • Too painful/traumatic

If this is the case the individual should be instructed not to answer. While the individual should be made aware of the benefits of answering as many questions as they can in order to prepare a more comprehensive treatment plan, they should also be allowed to avoid unnecessary distress.

Ultimately, the Addiction Severity Index is typically used as a standard assessment tool for evaluating substance use disorder and determining treatment options. Having a higher score on the ASI can be an indication of a greater need for treatment in the listed areas.

ASI-Lite

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Addiction Severity Index, Lite version, also known as ASI-Lite, is a shortened version of the ASI. In other words:

  • A typical ASI gauges problems within the previous 30 days and calculates a lifetime worth of information about problem behaviors.
  • ASI-Lite contains 22 fewer questions than the ASI, and omits items relating to severity evaluations, and a family history grid.

The abridged version of the Addiction Severity Index is not an extremely uncommon method. It simply utilizes a portion of the data to outline treatment options.

Why Does it Matter?

While not everyone may be familiar with the term Addiction Severity Index, it is easy to guess as to why its important. When dealing with such a complex and intimate issue as substance use disorder the more information you have to build a foundation the better. This offers more potential to address every part of the problem. With a holistic addiction treatment program there is typically an intake process that helps clinicians and medical staff best understand the individual’s needs.

If the individual has struggled with legal, professional and/or financial issues, their recovery plan can be more focused toward how to overcome these adversities.

If they are dealing with a medical issue while trying to repair damage done to their personal and familial relationships they can build their plan around coping with these obstacles.

A complete picture like the Addiction Severity Index can be crucial when addressing dual diagnosis patients. In order to effectively address someone who may be struggling with a mental health disorder, such as clinical depression, while also dealing with addiction both co-occurring disorders must be simultaneously treated. If someone ignores one to focus on the other it frequently instigates a relapse of the untreated issue.

The point of evaluating the Addiction Severity Index and using holistic addiction treatment is to heal all parts of the person’s life; not just the addiction.

Palm Healthcare Company is proud to have some of the most trusted holistic drug and alcohol treatment programs in South Florida. Our innovative and personalized approach helps create lasting healing and comprehensive transformation. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Dear Mom, My Addiction Was Never Your Fault

Dear Mom, My Addiction Was Never Your Fault

I’ve decided to touch on something that means more to me than there are words to describe it.

That is, my mom.

To me, the word mom is synonymous with every great quality I’ve ever known or could hope to have. My mother is fiercely loyal, devoted and courageous. She is also the most compassionate, considerate and loving person I know. She sacrificed all to give me a chance at having a full and amazing life, and she continues to do so. My mother gives her life to nurturing the ones she loves spiritually, mentoring me emotionally, and ensuring that I know, even when I did not believe in myself, that someone does.

Recently I was faced with a conversation about mothers and I was suddenly startled at a realization; in my addiction I put my mother through so much more than I ever gave credit, and she was still my hero. There is something to be said about the way a mom will care acutely and unconditionally, and my mom is a champion of the heart. I think it gives me even more reason to talk about this.

Sharing the Burden

Of course a mother is intrinsically protective. The lioness guards her cubs with ferocity; passionately committed to safeguarding her child. Of course we all become handfuls sooner rather than later, but thankfully mom is always there, trying to keep us alive and in check. My mom poured her heart into trying to teach me to be a man of integrity. So naturally, when I fell, her heart sank with me.

I will never forget having to tell my mom I was going back to drug rehab for the second time in a year. It was not the first time we had cried together, but it was different. The pain and fear in her face, the look of resignation and acceptance. That was all hard enough, but her words made it so much harder. She said:

“What didn’t I do right? Why have I failed my only son?”

She wasn’t asking me, she was praying out loud. It broke me. Even now, almost 4 years sober, reading those words makes my chest heavy. Those words really emphasize the idea that many parents of addicts will try and take responsibility for their children’s addictions.

Many parents have a habit of trying to carry the weight of their children’s burdens for them. They see their kids as reflections of themselves and their own actions. Just as they delight in the child’s every success, not matter how trivial it may seem, they also embrace the pain of their child’s mistakes. Thus, they frequently try to shoulder some of the accountability. They ask things like,

What if I had showed them more affection?

Was I too affectionate?

What if I was too tough?

Was I not tough enough?

How could I have done better?

When a child gets in trouble, or even sometimes when they become very sick, some parents want to assume responsibility for it all. They take on guilt and blame that doesn’t necessarily belong to them. I was both sick and in a world of trouble and my mom didn’t want me to do it alone.

My mom always believed in sharing the burden with anything I struggled through. She was trying to take as much of it as she could because she could see how hopeless I really was. My mom did not yell at me or ridicule me; she just wanted to protect me… even from myself. After years of hiding the truth and taking advantage of the kindness of her and my family, she never stopped trying to keep me safe.

Placing the Blame

Some might say (and I’m sure a few of my aunts and uncles do) that my mother would defend me to a fault. At first she wanted to believe it was the people I hung out with and the things they convinced me to do. Then, her focus turned on her. I could read it on her face; running through the last 24 years trying to figure out what had gone wrong and how she could have stopped it… asking herself if she might still be able to say something that fixed it.

Sure, there is some rationale to the concept that childhood trauma and emotional baggage can contribute to stress and depression, which can help inspire or influence substance abuse. But these factors are not guarantees or requirements. Neither are they the whole picture.

To put it simply… blaming a parent for a child’s addiction is like blaming a stop sign for speeding ticket.

In co-dependent relationships parents and children tend to get so used to sharing the burden that the blame naturally comes with it. Part of being a parent of someone recovering from addiction means you will eventually need to become comfortable with setting boundaries. For the co-dependent parent/child this can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, but in the long run it can alleviate unjustified guilt.

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And as much as my mom wanted to protect me, love me and save me… it wasn’t her responsibility to fix me either.

Never Your Fault

This is important for ALL parents who end up in this position to understand- your child’s addiction is NEVER your fault.

People do not become addicts because their home life was tough. We don’t become addicts because we think we are unappreciated, unloved or just misunderstood. There is a lot more to how people become addicted than their relationships with their parents, and it’s not just the drugs. Addiction is not something we decide to have; it is something that happens with the right combination of genetics, environment and repeated behaviors.

A parent may provide their child with the greatest of all privileges, opportunities and support, but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t become addicted to substances. Kids can also grow up in a broken home with addicted parents and never use drugs in their lives. You could teach your kids very empowering and stable values, but it doesn’t mean that they have a 0% chance of ever trying something that might change them.

The science of addiction credits a genetic predisposition that combines with a specific environment and a specific set of behaviors. It is a perfect storm that is unpredictable in many ways, because the specific ingredients of the addiction formula are exclusively unique to each individual. It isn’t anyone’s fault, and it definitely isn’t a parents.

Dear Mom

To my mom…

Your love is the thing that kept me alive long enough to get here, so you should never question whether or not it was good enough. The problem wasn’t where I grew up, or the friends I had, and it definitely wasn’t how you raised me.

I was looking for a piece of myself I hadn’t had time to grow into. It was the piece I didn’t know how to look for in a healthy way, but you could not show me because no one can teach us but ourselves. Maybe the experience of looking itself is actually how we find it. Drugs and alcohol were a distraction from not having the answer to a much deeper question.

Mom, every loving and kind part of me came from you. You are one of the most powerful and influential women in my life. Still, the truth is my addiction was never up to you. I don’t say this to undermine your impact as a mother; it is to remind you that we are individuals, and that you have always done the best you could through every adversity. One day I pray I can be half the parent you are. I love you, and I only know what love truly means because of you.

To all mothers of addicts…

You are some of the most courageous and powerful women on the planet. It comes with the territory of bringing life into the world I guess. I can’t tell you how many other momma’s boys and mini-moms I’ve met in the recovery community. Even if your child is still struggling, always remember your strength and compassion. Always remember it is not your fault. You are amazing, and we are better because of you. Don’t give up.

Having a family member who has suffered can be harder on you than you know. Too many people don’t know how to get the help they need for their loved ones, and too many of our loved ones suffer for too long because they are afraid of the affects that the ones they care about most will face. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Why South Florida Is Still Great For Addiction Treatment

Why South Florida Is Still Great For Addiction Treatment

Recently I came across an article with a title essentially warning people not to send their family members to Florida for drug and alcohol treatment. The interviews argue that high rates of overdose should justify officials urging people in other states not to send their kids to treatment in the area. However, the article also acknowledges that “South Florida has long been a destination for world-class addiction treatment” and includes a quote from Palm Beach County League of Cities member Andy Amoroso stating:

“Stop sending your children and your loved ones to South Florida,”

I think there is a real problem with this kind of statement though…

It ignores the fact that most people looking for recovery come from states with much worse issues of overdose crisis than South Florida. 

To be clear, Florida has seen a spike in drug related issues, but guess what… so has basically everywhere in America! We are in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic all across this nation.

For example, let’s talk about where I came from. In 2014 I wrote about how my home state of Ohio led the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Ohio now also has the highest rates of heroin related deaths.

1 out of every 9 heroin deaths… happens in Ohio!

Dayton, Ohio is number 1 in the country by many reports for drug overdoses. Today, Dayton is quickly becoming known as the heroin capitol of America.

I have lived in Florida for around 4 years after coming to Delray Beach to get sober. I am an active member of a vast recovery community in the Palm Beach County area, and I would never have gotten the chance to do all the amazing and life changing work I am privileged to do if no one had sent me to South Florida to get help. In all likelihood, I would be dead.

Crunching the Country’s Overdose Numbers

There is no denying that Florida is typically in the top 5 rankings when it comes to total overdose numbers. However, there should also be some context to really show the difference between how other states are being affected. To get a little perspective, I want to run down some numbers.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation compiled data from every state in order to show some details on the opioid overdose crisis. In those numbers they discovered the top 3 states in opioid overdose deaths for 2014 were:

  1. Ohio- 2,106 opioid overdoses- which was 7.4% of nationwide deaths

  1. California- 2,024 deaths

  1. New York- 1,739 deaths

Out of 10,584 nationwide heroin related deaths in 2014, 1,208 were in Ohio. That is 11.4% of the countries heroin deaths in a state with a population a fraction of the size of California’s, New York’s and Florida’s.

In 2015 the top 3 states for overall overdoses were:

  1. California- 4,659

  2. Ohio- 3,310

  3. Pennsylvania- 3,264

In 2015 Ohio’s overdose death rates jumped again to 3,310. In 2016 those numbers are again expected to have skyrocketed to well over 4,000.

While we should acknowledge that the entire state of Florida had around 3,228 overall overdose deaths in 2015, Florida actually had less deaths per 100,000 people compared to 23 other states! These numbers include the top 5:

  1. West Virginia- 41.5 per 100,000 people

  2. New Hampshire- 34.3 per 100,000 people

  3. Kentucky- 29.9 per 100,000 people

  4. Ohio- 29.9 per 100,000 people

  5. Rhode Island- 28.2 per 100,000 people

As well as:

  • Michigan

  • Massachusetts

  • Tennessee

  • Maryland

  • Indiana

  • Louisiana

  • Connecticut

  • Oklahoma

  • New Mexico

  • Nevada

  • Arizona

  • Utah

  • Maine

  • Delaware

  • Missouri

  • Vermont

  • Wyoming

  • New Jersey

So while Florida may be experiencing high rates of overdose, we need to see that dozens of states are seeing a much higher percent of their population be killed by drugs. Some states have less than half the population Florida does, but are still suffering with tragically high percentages of their population dying from overdose. Those people who want help deserve access to that same “world-class addiction treatment” that South Florida has to offer. For several years, countless families across the U.S. have suffered while the resources and the community in South Florida has helped to save thousands of men and women who needed a little hope and a second chance.

Prescription Drug Problem

In the Midwest, the problem with prescription drug abuse is an extremely distressing element of the opioid crisis. In 12 states, the number of opioid painkiller prescriptions actually exceeds the number of residents living in those states! This includes:

  • New Hampshire

Out of the 1.3 million people living in this state, there were 13 million doses of opioids dispensed in a 3 month period!

  • West Virginia

  • Oklahoma

  • Arkansas

  • Louisiana

  • Alabama

  • Tennessee

  • Mississippi

  • South Carolina

  • Kentucky

  • Michigan

  • Ohio

Just in case you haven’t seen the news in the past few years, prescription drugs have been one of the largest contributing factors to the current opioid epidemic and the rise in heroin addiction.

Real Resources

The reality is professional and effective treatment programs in South Florida save the lives of countless people from all over the United States. The positive impact on the world is immeasurable. The reason so many people travel here for treatment is not just the fact that there are beaches and sun in Florida (Although they are amazing). They travel because so many of the states being hit the hardest by the opioid epidemic are states that have limited resources when it comes to comprehensive drug addiction treatment.

We aren’t traveling here to bring drugs Florida had never heard of before. We’re trying to escape the familiar and fatal atmosphere we were stuck in for so long. We take this drastic step in a desperate time because we want to believe the help is out there.

Some would still argue that a large number of treatment centers creates a problem with corruption within the industry itself. One can’t argue with some of the stories we read, but if that’s the case maybe instead of turning people away we should be educating people on the most important things to look for in a legitimate treatment program. We should encourage families to seek out qualified and established addiction specialists. Instead of insisting they shouldn’t trust the industry; we should be telling them to look for the accredited addiction specialists who have earned a respected reputation through their record in service and their certifications. Let’s celebrate the treatment providers who do make a difference instead of signing on for whole-sale condemnation.

At the very least, lets teach them to make sure a treatment facility in South Florida is approved by:

  • The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is a United States-based nonprofit organization that accredits more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S.

  • Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)

The DCF is a state agency providing social services to children, adults, refugees, domestic violence victims and a number of other groups.

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No matter where we live we should never turn people away from our community for help. We should provide a platform for awareness. It is critical that addicts and their families know what makes effective treatment programs important. Florida should always be proud of the strength of its recovery community.

We are in this together

Accurate and detailed data for overdose death rates 2016 is not yet available. Yet it is estimated that almost 60,000 Americans died last year from drug overdose. Some experts say over 2 million Americans are suspected to be opioid dependent currently, and that overdose death rates in 2017 are only going to get worse.

Of course, it is understandable that people are concerned about the strain that addiction and overdose puts on their communities, but there is something we cannot, as Americans, forget… we are in this together. In the article I mentioned previously, one of the individuals quoted spoke of people struggling with addiction like we are all inconvenient intruders who have no place in their neighborhood. Thankfully, this is not the experience many of us live with.

I have to say it again… We are in this together.

We are all citizens of the same free country fighting the same fight. Even more important, we are all human beings. Every one of us is free to seek something that can save us. I often believe I would have never had this chance if I had not come to South Florida. I didn’t know what was possible… and thankfully nobody told me not to come looking for it. Nobody told me I wasn’t welcome.

This isn’t just about South Florida; any community with addiction treatment programs and a recovery community should know, we get it. We understand how it can seem a little scary when you think your neighborhood is changing. It’s easier to say “as long as it’s happening over there” until “over there” becomes everywhere.

At the height of the opioid epidemic in America, it is certainly not the time to hide the welcome mat and use fear to scare people away. It is time to make our voices louder and unify the recovery community to show more people that recovery is possible. Until more treatment opportunities are advocated for across the country, we will use every resources we have to preserve and protect the lives of those who are suffering. South Florida is still a great place for addiction treatment. If no one has told you yet, you are welcome here!

Palm Healthcare Company has been serving the South Florida community for 20 years, now with multiple specialized facilities and innovative holistic treatment programs designed to help create lasting change. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now. We want to help. You are not alone.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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