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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

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:

9 Qualities of an Emotionally Sober Person

9 Qualities of an Emotionally Sober Person

Emotional sobriety is about finding and maintaining our emotional equilibrium, so it has everything to do with being able to self-regulate and find balance when we’re off-kilter. Emotional sobriety is especially important to those of us in recovery because, when our emotions are out of control, so is our thinking and that could spell trouble. Besides, when you read these 9 qualities of an emotionally sober person, why wouldn’t you want emotional sobriety? I mean, it sounds awesome.

#1: They’re happy, joyous, and free

I know, this is quite the cliché in the rooms but, being ‘happy, joyous, and free’ are certainly qualities of an emotionally sober person. This sort of way of being can be achieved if you’re willing to do the work…and then actually do it. Recovering is very different from abstaining. When you’re recovering from drug addiction, which means you are working on a solution – whatever that looks like for you – rather than simply are not using (abstaining).

#2: They have a positive outlook on life

Now, this isn’t to say that they never have their “bad days” but, an emotionally sober person differs from someone who is merely dry in that, their overall attitude is a positive one. You know what I mean. There are plenty of people out there who are generally negative and hyper-critical basically about everything. Then there are those people who seem to roll with the punches and, rather than dwell on their setbacks, move on rather quickly. Basically, they don’t let negative feelings ruin their day.

#3: They laugh a lot

Although closely tied to numbers 1 and 2, being able to laugh – and often – is yet another quality of someone with emotional sobriety. There’s definitely something behind the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine” and these people seem to have tapped into that.

#4: They know how to be serious at times and silly at other times

Being in recovery means taking your addiction seriously. However, I’m a firm believer in adding levity to serious and even somber situations. And by that, I mean having a good sense of humor and trying to maintain high spirits. The people I know whom I’d describe as having emotional sobriety don’t always take things (and especially themselves) so seriously.

#5: They have good things to say

Whether it’s their share in a meeting or advice they give you about an issue at work or in your relationship, an emotionally sober person tends to have a good head on their shoulders and a mature way of looking at things.

#6: They meditate and/or pray

In order to obtain and maintain emotional sobriety, people who strike me as emotionally balanced are in the habit of meditating as well as praying. These are great ways for building spirituality, inner peace and calm, and self-awareness, which are all important aspects and tools to a strong recovery as well as feeling balanced.

#7: They have good relationships with others

Emotionally sober people can also be spotted by the quality of their relationships with others. That’s to say, these folks are able to form deep and intimate connections with others while maintaining healthy boundaries.

#8: They live the principles

Those who work a 12 Step program are familiar with the concept of “living the spiritual principles.” Whether they work this type of recovery program or a different one, people with emotional sobriety live principled lives by incorporating qualities such as honesty, compassion, courage, integrity, and service to others.

#9: They keep their behavior in-check

Another quality of an emotionally sober person is that they very rarely react without first thinking things through. As human beings, we experience emotions and moods as a result; after all, we’re not robots. But those of us who are, let’s say not-so-well-adjusted are more likely to have a knee-jerk reaction that could lead to making a poor decision. Emotionally sober people are able to experience their emotions and then re-calibrate themselves so that they make the best decision in that moment.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

In the News: Rick Scott’s Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients Proves Costly and Ineffective

In the News: Rick Scott's Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients Proves Costly and Ineffective

The state of Florida started requiring urine tests back in 2011 for welfare applicants and state workers to screen for drugs, which did not last long but has a continued effect on the states financial spending as politicians fight for it’s reinstatement. The program only operated for around 3 months before federal courts halted the progression of these policies on grounds that the program was in violation of Florida residents constitutional rights. Florida Governor Rick Scott has been pushing this envelope unsuccessfully since the program passed, quickly prompting a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Navy veteran who applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits as a single father while working to complete his college degree.

Bleeding the Budget

Governor Scott argued that drug testing welfare applicants would save the state money. However according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Governor Scott and his administration have collectively spent $400,000 of Florida’s budget in attempt to defend the Welfare Recipients Drug Testing programs he has been trying to establish.  In response to a records request from Florida ACLU, the governor’s administration disclosed it had spent over $381,654 trying to appeal for these programs. Has this program become not just questionable but unreasonably costly for the population of Florida?

The Results

In just the few months the state actively screened all those seeking aid under the TANF program for possible drug use, the rate of positive results was so astoundingly low, it is estimated the cost of the materials for the tests and to administer them likely offset the savings of denied benefits drastically, which compels citizens to wonder what logic Governor Scott has based his theory of saving the state money. Is it safe to say that too much taxpayer money was already wasted on creating and enforcing these programs, and now nearly another half a million dollars is being put into defending the program?

According to The Courts

According to Shalini Goel Agarwal- Staff Attorney for the Florida ACLU several courts have heard the case presented by the Florida governor claiming that the state has the power to force people to submit bodily fluids for government inspection. The Scott administration recently filed a 72 page brief to an appeals court in Atlanta in attempt to over-rule a lower court’s decision that demanding the urine of applicants to the TANF falls under the category of unreasonable search as protected under the U.S. Constitution, being that without suspicion of wrong-doing these drug scenes are being wrongfully administered.

In recent months many other state Republicans have also pursued possibly drug testing welfare applicants, but following the Scott’s embarrassing losses in federal court, they opted for suspicion-based testing programs rather than testing everyone who asks for help. Scott’s latest welfare testing appeal is still pending, but there should be no surprise if this also fails to pass. A lower court ruled that blanket urinalysis of state workers, meanwhile, violated their constitutional right to privacy. The Supreme Court refused to even hear Scott’s appeal of that ruling in April. Governor Scott’s spokesman John Tupps has recently defended the testing system, stating-

“Governor Scott will continue to fight for Florida taxpayers, who deserve a drug-free state workforce, and for Florida’s children, who deserve to live in drug-free homes.”

The only question is, how much is this costing the people of the Florida workforce and the impoverished families of Florida in what seems to be a less than effective way of regulating financial assistance?

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

The 5 Most Notorious Drug Urban Legends (That Are Actually Mostly True)

The 5 Most Notorious Drug Urban Legends (That Are Actually Mostly True)

We’ve all heard the crazy drug urban legends and may have even believed some of them. Like, if you’ve taken 7 hits of acid in your lifetime, you are considered to be clinically insane. This one’s false, but, there is some drug-related folklore that’s actually true, or in-part true, despite how outrageous the tale seems. Here are the 5 most notorious drug urban legends (that are actually mostly true).

#1: PCP will turn you into a flesh-eating zombie

Terrifyingly enough, this one is mostly true, in that there have been a couple of cases of people using PCP then eating human flesh. You read that right. You may or may not remember the story of Antron Singleton, aka “Big Lurch” – his rapper name.

In 2002, after a nearly week-long PCP binge, Big Lurch was found walking the streets of Los Angeles in the middle of the night, naked, covered in blood and howling at the moon.  When authorities went to his apartment, they found his roommate dead “with her lungs torn from her torso, and her body and face covered with …bite marks.” Upon examining Antron’s stomach contents, doctors found it to be “full of human flesh.”

In another disturbing PCP-related case, in 2009, a man ate the eyes of his 4 year old son while high.

#2: Molly is pure MDMA

Many people distinguish between Ecstasy (pill form) and Molly (powder/capsule form) saying that Ecstasy is almost always cut with other substances such as amphetamine, meth, and cocaine among others while molly is purely MDMA. The fact of the matter is that, just because you’ve obtained MDMA in powder form and it was sold to you as ‘Molly,’ that doesn’t mean that it’s pure.

The DEA has said that the purity of Molly is almost a myth because it comes in powder form and can easily be mixed with other drugs, which makes it even more dangerous. In fact, cocaine, crack, ecstasy, meth, and even bath salts have all been found to be mixed in with the supposedly ‘pure’ Molly.

#3: Drug dealers are selling colored and flavored crystal meth and calling it “Strawberry Quick (Quik)”

Emails began circulating back in 2007 and have been seen as recently as 2012 urging parents to beware of a new “tactic” by drug dealers who are targeting children by manufacturing a form of meth that is pink in color and smells and tastes like strawberry. The emails instructed parents to worn their children about accepting candy from strangers or even classmates and stated that there had already been cases across the country of this “Strawberry Quick.”

This notorious drug urban legend is a mixture of truth and myth because, while there are instances in which police have seized colored versions of crystal meth that resemble candy, the part about it being manufactured in this way so as to appeal to children is not true.

“We checked with all of our labs, and there’s nothing to it,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Michael Sanders said. “It’s not a trend or a real problem; I think that this was maybe someone with good intentions but jumped the gun.”

#4: Eating bagels with poppy seeds can cause a false positive for opiates on drug tests

This notorious drug urban legend was featured on an episode on the hit series Seinfeld, in which the character Elaine had eaten a poppy seeded muffin and then failed a drug test at her place of employment. As with every other episode, hilarity ensued. The thing is, this has actually happened in real life.

There are actual documented cases where people have lost their jobs or been turned down for job positions due to ‘dropping dirty’ for opiates on drug screens. It was determined that in these cases, the person had consumed poppy seeded bagels and other such baked goods causing a false positive for opiates.

This one is also a mixture of truth and myth because the federal guidelines for agencies that drug test have since the cut-off level for a positive, in order to eliminate many of the poppy seed-related false positives that were previously occurring. Therefore, it is no longer really a thing you can claim if you were to come up positive for opiates on a drug test.

#5: PCP is embalming fluid that people dip their cigarettes and joints in to achieve a greater high

This one is confusing because the second part of that statement is true but the first half is not. PCP is an intravenous anesthetic that was developed in the ’50s whereas formaldehyde (embalming fluid) is a completely different – and completely toxic – chemical. What confuses the issue is that, perhaps due to the widely-believed notorious urban legend that PCP and formaldehyde are one-in-the-same and therefore some people often mix the two substances together or, skip the PCP altogether, dipping their ‘smokeables’ in just embalming fluid.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.            

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

Recovery has a large population of men, and in sobriety most guys step up and step out of ego and immaturity (or we at least try) in order to be better men.  We typically have pride, ambition, and reputation to get in our way, but a man may strive to be a gentleman’s gentleman!  So there are at least 11 things only men in recovery can understand… Let’s separate the BRO’s from the boys.

1. You don’t need to be a ‘Tough Guy’

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

Boys will be boys, and we always want to be tough! It’s not to say we can’t be strong in our lives and stand for things we believe in, but to bully or ‘flex on’ people in recovery is just a waste of everyone’s time. The 12 Steps do not require arm-wrestling, and no matter how tough you are, your disease is right there like ‘Come at me BRO!’

2. Asking for another man’s help…and phone number….

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

As men, it’s not always easy to admit we need help from another man, especially a stranger. Most of the time it’s bad enough that we have to admit defeat to addiction, but now we have to find another guy, take his suggestions, and… ask for his number? Don’t be afraid, you need to make new relationship patterns, this one is no different. No BRO left behind!

3. Being part of a wolf pack…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

A lot of us acted like a ‘one man wolf-pack’ when we were in active addiction. As addicts and alcoholics we tend to have our limited number of running buddies, but in sobriety we find ourselves in packs of guys who not only attend meetings and hold each other accountable, we also trust and admire our fellows. And as sobriety grows, the wolf-pack grows and the bonds are stronger. Talk about BRO-mance!

4. We find new and creative ways to make Ramen Noodles a food group…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

This one may apply to the ladies a little bit, but I have never seen or heard of some of the incredibly creative combinations of meats, vegetables, and condiments to make new meals out of Ramen Noodles before living in a men’s halfway house.  I’m talking about chopped chicken, bacon bits, sesame sauce, steak sauce, and diced peppers- with about 3 packets of Ramen – Chef BRO-ardee!

5. Video games can NOT be Your Higher Power….

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

Now hear me out on this. I know GTA5 was amazing! And it made my own life unmanageable for some time. Yes, Call of Duty is incredible, but for the spiritual program to work you have to put faith in something other than yourself, and your high score is not your higher power! You have to get a spiritual connection. But like the wireless controllers, the system has to be in sync, that’s BRO-losophy.

6. Chasing women can cause a lot of damage…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

Let’s face it probably the worst addiction for a man is a woman. We may not think it’s that big of a deal, and there’s no rule saying you cannot get involved, but if we have learned anything from others experience we know that chasing girls too early in recovery can wreck your situation pretty quick. I know when I’m more concerned with the ladies and less concerned with the work I’m often missing something I need to do for myself or another alcoholic/addict. And I tend to cause damage in the process.  Do NOT be a hopeless BRO-mantic.

7. Recovery women (or just all women) are crazy… (does not mean MEN are not)

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

So any guy who has found himself involved with a girl in recovery should relate to this. In fact, any guy who has ever been with ANY girl can relate to this a little bit. Women are crazy! Now ladies I’m not saying we are not crazy, I know I’m out of my mind in many respects. But men and women have different brands of crazy sometimes, and in recovery women are special kinds of crazy! So again, try not to get wrapped up in relationships too early. You don’t need your rehab romance showing up at your halfway house! It usually is not a BRO-meo and Juliet love story.

8. The Old… I mean ‘Long Timers’ can relate.…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

The ‘Long Timer’ men in the fellowships of recovery are definitely some of my favorite characters. Because these guys are typically the rebels of another generation, and often aren’t impressed with our antics. They understand a lot of our other problems like women, but they laugh at our other issues like ‘lifting’ while they explain how hard it is to get out of bed. But they’re still young at heart dude, so show respect. ‘BRO country for old men’.

9. It’s OK to have feelings (and chicks dig feelings)… right?

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

It seems times have changed and emotional men are becoming more acceptable. But men still have the stigma, if they admit it or not, that it’s not OK to express their feelings or get emotional. In recovery it is important to know emotional sobriety is healthy, and being open and honest about those emotions are important. You can get a lot out of a good cry once in a while, especially if you’re a BRO-ciopath.


10. It takes a man to say you’re sorry…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

Some guys think that even if they have wronged someone they should still not need to apologize. Some guys think its a weakness to have to admit to someone, especially another guy who you don’t get along with, that you’re sorry. However, I feel that it takes more courage and strength to admit you’re fault and ask for forgiveness from an enemy than to fight him.  The best victory in my eyes is to turn your enemies into your allies. I think you owe that dude a BRO-pology!

11. Your sponsorship family feels like the mafia…

11 Things Only Men in Recovery Understand

When I walk into a meeting with my sponsor and his sponsor is there sitting next to his sponsor, I feel like I’m Al Pacino sitting at a table with Marlon Brando and James Caan discussing the ‘family business’. You might feel the same anytime you find yourself in a room full of your sponsorship family; sponsor brothers and nephews, uncles and cousins (if your bored enough to keep track of your whole sponsor family)- or any bunch of guys with spiritual fitness and common connections you go out in public with. Now THAT is a BRO-mocracy ruled by Extreme BRO-tality!

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Heroin is Movin’ On Up: New Study Shows 75% Of Heroin Addicts Now Live In Suburban Areas

Heroin is Movin’ On Up: New Study Shows 75% Of Heroin Addicts Now Live In Suburban Areas

We’ve seen plenty of coverage about it in the news – heroin is currently an epidemic in this country and its use is far-reaching, even into areas like middle-class suburbia.

But, now according to HealthDay via WebMD News a study has been conducted, which supports this trend with actual science and statistics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that U.S. sales of prescription narcotics rose 300% in less than a decade, between 1999 and 2008. During the same time period, fatal drug overdoses tripled, a number, which in large part is attributable to prescription painkillers.

According to research published yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry online, heroin use was mainly a problem affecting teens living in poor, urban neighborhoods; it now is more commonly found among whites in their early 20s. That’s to say, the current typical heroin user is a middle-class suburbanite who first began using prescription painkillers.

Lead researcher for the study, Theodore Cicero, a professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. “There really has been a shift, in just the past five years or so. There’s been a migration (of heroin abuse) to the suburbs.”

Although the current findings came as no surprise, Cicero added that “This is verifying, in a systematic way, what we’ve suspected.”

Before the 1990s, doctors weren’t prescribing powerful opiate narcotics, says Dr. Herbert Kleber, an addiction expert at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. When treating pain became more of a priority, a ‘fifth vital sign’ in medicine, there was a movement toward prescribing these powerful painkillers.

This recent trend of heroin use in the suburbs can be widely attributed to abuse of prescription narcotics such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone), and fentanyl. When some of the people who were prescribed such medications became addicted, they eventually turned to the cheaper version – heroin, Cicero said.

Heroin is Movin’ On Up: New Study Shows 75% Of Heroin Addicts Now Live In Suburban Areas

The Study

The researchers collected data from a survey conducted on almost 2,800 U.S. patients who were in treatment for heroin abuse. Older patients who had first started using heroin back in the 1960s were mostly men who started using when they were teens and who had gone straight to heroin as their first drug of abuse. Just over half of these patients were white.

Over time, the profile of the American heroin user has morphed, a shift that began during the 1990s. B 2010, about 90% of recently initiated heroin abusers were white, and half were women. The average age of today’s heroin user is 22.9 years old. And, 75% lived in “less urban” areas, according to the study.

Three-quarters of people who began abusing heroin after 2000 started with abusing painkillers before ‘graduating’ to heroin, and spoke of the main attraction to using the illicit substance: It’s cheap and easy to get.

On the street, OxyContin can run up to $80 for a pill – whereas heroin can be as cheap as $6 for a bag, Kleber noted.

In the study, people reported getting heroin from middle-class neighbors or classmates.

Janina Kean, president of the High Watch Recovery Center, a drug rehab facility in Kent, CT said education regarding the disease of addiction is essential. Some heroin abusers in the study said that, at first, they didn’t consider themselves to be addicts because they didn’t fit the image of the stereotypical “junkie.”

“There’s so much stigma around it,” she said. “And stigma is a barrier to treatment.”

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

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