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Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Pathological gambler embezzles $1 Million from Land O’Lakes

Land O Lakes

Pathological gambler embezzles $1 Million from Land O’Lakes

Gambling addiction is a significant problem in the United States, impacting adults of all ages. It affects 1 to 3 percent of adults, men more often than women. It usually begins in adolescence in men and later in women.

Cynthia C. Jacobsen, a one-time payroll supervisor for Land O’Lakes has been sentenced to two years and two months in prison and ordered to pay back the $1,035,955.58 she embezzled from the company. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud after illegally adding her daughter’s name as a vendor in the company’s payroll system and authorizing 489 payments to her. She would forge her signature and cash the checks herself.

Cynthia’s defense explained that she got heavily into gambling after her son-in-law died in 2008 following a diabetic coma.

“Ms. Jacobsen’s gambling quickly spiraled out of control,” defense attorney James Becker wrote. “Although spending time in casinos was a somewhat effective respite from her real-world problems, her gambling habit added to them, and she soon was having difficulty covering even basic expenses.”

What is Gambling Addiction?

A compulsive, or pathological, gambler is someone who is unable to resist his or her impulses to gamble. This leads to severe personal and, or, social consequences. The urge to gamble becomes so great that tension can only be relieved by more gambling.

There is a very fine line between problem gambling and gambling too much. The critical sign of problem gambling is often hidden from awareness, with denial. Many gamblers typically do not know they have a problem. Admitting you have a problem, or may have a problem, is the first step to recovery. Unfortunately this realization normally only surfaces when a problem gambler hits rock bottom.

Although some people like to gamble occasionally, the pathological gambler usually progresses from occasional gambling to habitual gambling. As the gambling progresses, the gambler begins to risk more—both personally and financially. This often leads to severe personal problems, financial ruin and criminal behavior to support the gambling habit.

Signs of Gambling Addiction:

Pathological gambling is indicated by demonstrating five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Spending a lot of time thinking about gambling, such as past experiences or ways to get more money with which to gamble
  • Needing to gamble progressively larger amounts of money to feel excitement
  • Having made many unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit gambling
  • Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut back or quit gambling
  • Gambling to escape problems or feelings of sadness or anxiety
  • Gambling larger amounts of money to try to recoup previous losses
  • Lying about the amount of time or money spent gambling
  • Committing crimes to get money to gamble
  • Losing a job, relationship, or educational or career opportunity due to gambling
  • Needing to borrow money to get by due to gambling losses

Treatment for Gambling Addiction:

Pathological gambling addiction is a chronic disorder that will get worst over time if not treated. Treatment for Gambling Addiction include…

  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Group Psychotherapy
  • Support Groups
  • 12 Step Groups
  • Medication combined with psychotherapy

Sources :

http://www.startribune.com/local/181371101.html
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/compulsive-gambling

 

Psychedelic Drugs: Toads, Mushrooms and Truffles

There are multiple psychedelic drugs known to make people feel so high that they’ve described it as being in an alternate reality. Since the beginning of mankind, human beings have been searching for ways to escape themselves, see more, and figure out the meaning to life and in the course of that they found what are known as psychedelic drugs. Psychedelic drugs can range from mushrooms, LSD and even toads.

Psychedelic Drugs: Toads

You may be wondering how a toad can have anything to do with psychedelic drugs but some species of toad definitely fall into that category. The toads used produce psychedelic “trips” and are known as psychoactive toads. Psychoactive toads carry on their skin a poisonous substance that is in the family of bufotoxins. This psychoactive toad which carries befotenin or bufotoxins can produce psychoactive effects when it is ingested. The most common psychoactive toads are the Colorado River toad or the Sonoran Desert toad. In order to get the psychedelic drug or toxins from the toads, the toad’s glands must be milked. Milking toads doesn’t harm them and merely consists of stroking the animal under its belly in order to create the defensive poison response.

Psychedelic Drugs: Truffles

When you think of truffles you usually either think of rich chocolate balls of candy or the mushroom oil which makes foods more flavorful. These kinds of truffles, while they are for eating, are also psychedelic drugs. Truffles which most people associate with magic mushrooms are also known as the Philosopher’s Stone. The truth about truffles though is that they are nothing like their psychedelic friends the magic mushrooms. Truffles look more like a breakfast cereal rather than mushrooms although they do contain the same active psychedelic ingredient as magic mushrooms, psilocybin. According to “trippers”, truffles are a much better alternatives to mushrooms because of the very positive effects they have in comparison with magic mushrooms which can turn negative and nasty at a moment’s notice. Truffles also taste better than their psychedelic fungi friends. The effects of truffles will give you a stoned, psychedelic, and visual trip.

Psychedelic drugs: Mushrooms

Mushrooms otherwise known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are literally mushrooms that contain psychoactive ingredients.  The main psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms is psilocybin. That is the same psychoactive ingredient that gives truffles their “special powers”.  Mushrooms containing psilocybin have been used since the beginning of time with the discovery of Mesolithic rock paintings containing picture of mushrooms. Mushrooms started off as part of religious communion, divination, and healing and slowly made their way into today’s times where they are merely used for recreational, euphoric, “trips”.  Mushrooms grow naturally in the wild but just because you can find them in a nearby cow pasture doesn’t mean they are legal. Mushrooms are totally illegal and are not even available for medical uses even though mushrooms have been shown to help with depression after a study at John Hopkins University. Mushrooms unlike truffles taste horrible because they literally grow on cow manure, and can cause severe negative hallucinations.

Regardless of what psychedelic drug it is; toads, truffles, or mushrooms are dangerous. They can cause people to suffer from fevers, dehydration, confusion, loss of control, despair psychosis, depression, and even death. . This doesn’t mean we recommend going out and licking a toad or eating any old mushroom you find on a cow patty. That can be dangerous and hallucinogenic drugs can be intense and this is only the beginning of a class of substances known as psychedelic drugs.

If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

Scopolamine in Colombia

Scopolamine: The most dangerous drug you’ve never heard of.

Scopolamine is a plant derivative in and around the family of nightshade plants.  The drug, called scopolamine, also known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ comes from a type of tree common in Colombia called the Borrachero tree. The word “Borrachero,” which roughly translates to “get-you-drunk,” grows wild in Bogota, Colombia.

Scopolamine is most normally used for the prevention of nausea and motion sickness. Although recently the drug scopolamine has gotten the title of the most dangerous drug, well, ever. Scopolamine when taken for its normal purposes and in minute amounts is relatively harmless. It can be taken orally, subcutaneously, intravenously, via a transdermal patch and opthalmically. In the past Scopolamine has also been used for more than motion sickness it has also been used to treat addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The patient would be given frequent doses of Scopolamine until they withdrew from the drug and then were maintained for two or three days and treated with Pilocarpine. After they recovered they were supposedly no longer addicted.

Scopolamine is also used recreationally although it is not used often due to very unpleasant hallucinations that are associated with it so the repeated recreational use of scopolamine is rare.

So you may be wondering why is scopolamine so dangerous? Because scopolamine can knock you out cold pretty quick and leave you with no free will. It is odorless, tasteless, and nearly invisible and you will have no memory after taking it or having it slipped in your drink. Many criminals have been using scopolamine to induce a kind of amnesia and powerlessness in their victims. Scopolamine is like the date rape drug but worse because victims are left with no memory and power to control themselves whatsoever.  Scopolamine can easily be administered too. Scopolamine can come in a powder form and be blown in someone’s face, slipped in a drink, laced in a cigarette, food, etc. So it makes it more than easy for criminals to prey on unknowing victims.

Vice recently ran a story on this drug and they interviewed a woman named Carolina who recounted how she was made to rob her own house after being given the drug. She said the worst part of the experience was being a victim after just trying to be good and help others.

“On my way to catch the bus a man stopped me and asked for directions. He asked me if I knew the address and showed me a piece of paper. I knew it was very close by so I ended up taking him where he wanted to go. We drank some juice and that’s when I think he gave me the scopolamine. In the drink. I was taken to my house. I live very near by. I grabbed a few things and then I ramsacked the entire house. I was so happy ransacking everything. I knew that my boyfriend had some savings. So I went through everything until I found the envelope. Unfortunately, I found it. It was full of dollars and euros. They were savings he had kept for a long time. He was a photographer so I gave away his cameras too. I took as much as I could. I was happy searching and wanted to continue. When I realized what happened I started crying and went straight to the police station which was four blocks away. I was screaming, I had a panic attack. Fortunately, I only received a small dose and they only took the money from my apartment. It’s painful to have lost money but I was actually quite lucky. If they had been even worst people, I might have been raped in my apartment or anything.”

So how does this happen? How can a drug have the potential to leave a person without memory and the inability to exercise free-will?

Memories are facilitated through a brain chemical called acetylcholine. When Scopolamine comes onboard it competes with acetylcholine, wins the competition and blocks the acetylcholine receptor in the brain, so that the lock and key fit isn’t made. This lock and key fit — lock (acetylcholine receptor) fit with the key (brain chemical acetylcholine) — is important in how you make memories. What we remember goes through three key stages: the initial making of the memory (encoding), creation of long-term memories (storage/consolidation) and recall (retrieval). Scopolamine blocks the first stage, memory encoding, which takes place in the hippocampus – an area critical for memory. In other words, the information never gets stored in the first place.

So you can understand why scopolamine is so popular with criminals such as rapists and robbers. But what makes it popular for criminals makes it troubling for police. According to Reuters, since scopolamine completely blocks the formation of memories, unlike most date-rape drugs used in the United States and elsewhere, it is usually impossible for victims to ever identify their aggressors.

If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

Your Brain on Drugs: Meth

Meth abuse recently received much media attention when past America’s Next Top Model contestant Jael Strauss appeared on Dr.Phil for an intervention on her addiction. There’s also the TV-drama “Breaking Bad” that storylines a teacher who runs a meth lab at home to make enough money to support his family before he dies of lung cancer. Cinematic drama aside, Methamphetamine addiction is serious business and the physical deteriation from it is alarming.

Your Brain on Drugs: What is Meth?

Meth is a crystalline, white, odorless powder that dissolves easily in water. Methamphetamine can be eaten, snorted, smoked or injected. Methamphetamine, also known as Chalk, Crank, Croak, Crypto, Crystal, Fire, Glass, Meth, Tweek, or White Cross, is a central nervous system stimulant. It increases energy, awareness, and alertness. In high doses, it causes a feeling of euphoria. Meth can be prescribed by a doctor, but this is rare, as its medical uses are limited. Most “street meth” is chemically concocted in small, illegal laboratories.

Your Brain on Drugs: How does meth affect the brain?

Meth use can definitely cause brain damage. Scans of the brains of meth users show that meth causes considerable inflammation and brain damage similar to dementia.

Meth affects the brain primarily because of its effect on dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain, also known as a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters deliver messages between neurons in the brain. It is how they communicate.

Dopamine is known as the “pleasure” neurotransmitter, because the amount of dopamine in your brain is increased in response to pleasurable events like sex or good food. Meth acts on dopamine receptors in the brain. It stimulates the receptor to release a rush of dopamine which stimulates brain cells, increasing mood and energy. Dopamine is closely related to the reward centers in the brain, which is why meth use has such a high incidence of dependence and addiction.  Meth has also been shown to have a neurotoxic effect on dopamine neurons over time, inducing Parkinson’s-like symptoms in long term users.

The effect on dopamine receptors can cause reduced motor skills and impaired verbal learning in long term users. Also, chronic meth use has also been associated with permanent changes in the parts of the brain that regulate emotion and memory, which may account for the cognitive impairment that is observed in long-term meth users.

Your Brain on Drugs: Crank Bugs

“Crank Bugs” are when a meth user hallucinates that they have insects crawling on them. It is common for a meth user to scratch and pick the skin trying to get rid of these imaginary crank bugs. As a result, the skin becomes pocked or scarred. “Crank bugs” are partially responsible for the rapid deterioration in physical appearance that is common among meth users.  Chronic meth use can also cause paranoia, hallucinations, and repetitive behavior.

Your Brain on Drugs: Meth Addiction and Recovery

Because of meth’s strong effect on dopamine receptors, meth is highly addictive. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking behavior despite negative consequences. Addiction also causes permanent changes in the brain.

Meth addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addictions to treat. Most chronic drug abusers experience heavy withdrawal symptoms when meth drug abuse is abruptly stopped. Several drugs are used to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but their success rate is low. Because of the neurotoxicity caused by meth on dopamine neurons, post-acute withdrawal (withdrawal lasting for weeks or months) is common.

If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

What is panic disorder?

Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person has repeated attacks of intense fear that something bad will happen to the point of being affected physically. Panic disorder is an extremely unpleasant type of condition that causes the individuals who have it tons of suffering. This is because of the panic attacks which are characterized by a sudden and unexpected overpowering feeling of fear. Panic attacks due to a panic disorder can happen at any time and in any place. They can happen due to a reason or no reason at all and they can come with warning and without warning. Depending on the individual, panic attacks can last from one minute to several hours. Overwhelming anxiety can also develop in between panic attacks since they are so unpredictable and can happen at any time. Because of this panic disorder can really impact a person’s ability to function in day to day life.

  • The cause of panic disorder is unknown although genes may play a role. For instance, if one identical twin has panic disorder the other twin is likely to develop it to, almost 40% of the time. Panic disorder often occurs although when there is no family history.
  • Panic disorder is actually quite common and it is estimated that around 2.4 million or 1 in 113 American suffer from it. Each year, an estimated 1.7% or 1 in 58 adult Americans aged 18 to 54 experiences a panic attack. It is also estimated that 15% of all American are very likely to experience from a panic attack at least once at some point in their lives.
  • Panic disorder is more common in women than it is in men. This may be because it is a fear based disorder. Women are twice as likely to have panic disorder. Women are always two times more likely to have a recurrence of their panic disorder after treatment.
  • Panic disorder can begin at any point during a person’s life but is more prevalent in early adulthood and mid-teens. People aged between, 25-44 are at the highest risk of developing a panic disorder. It has statistically been shown that those individuals who are well-educated, married, have families, and a steady job are less likely to develop a panic disorder than those with minimal or no education.

If a person does have a panic disorder there are different types of treatment available. The goal of treatment for those with panic disorder is to help them function in everyday life. A combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to work best. Antidepressant medications are usually the most common forms of medicines for panic disorder.

There are also some lifestyle changes that someone with a panic disorder can make that include holistic remedies. These treatments for panic disorder, for instance are:

  • Limiting caffeine intake
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Meeting with a therapist
  • Using breathing techniques
  • Meditation
  • Massage Therapy
  • Acupuncture

All of these treatments help to relax someone with a panic disorder which may help to relieve some of the suffering due to anxiety. Some people may never be cured of their panic disorder but they can live to function better in their day to day lives with a mixture of medication, therapy, and holistic remedies or maybe just different parts of the three treatments. Panic disorder does not have to ruin someone’s life it can be arrested and disappear almost entirely with the right tools to treat it.

If your loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.

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