Safe, effective drug/alcohol treatment

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:

3 Common Reasons Addicts Resist Treatment

3 Common Reasons Addicts Resist Treatment

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

Author: Shernide Delva

From the outside looking in, it can be hard to accept that many people who struggle with addiction resist getting treatment. The reason behind this is complex and varies from person to person.  Addiction is everywhere. The prescription painkiller abuse and heroin epidemic have gotten to a point where everyone, from all walks of life, knows someone who is suffering from an addiction to drugs. Chances are, you know someone with a drug/alcohol problem that also has a mental health issue. With all that being said, surely everyone needing help would be seeking treatment, right?

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.  There are common reasons why drug addicts resist the treatment. Some reasons are considered more valid than others, however almost everyone can find options if they open their mind and look into the resources.

Here are 3 Common Reasons Addicts Resist Treatment

  1. Denial: I Can Beat This on My Own

It is hard enough in life to ask for help for everyday problems. Asking for help to overcome an addiction can be even harder. Addicts tend to believe that they have their disease under control. They feel like they can fight their addiction without the help of others. Sadly, after multiple failed attempts, most are unable to overcome their addiction. If you have tried multiple times and failed, what makes you think this time will be different?

If you are in this position, the time is now to embrace help. Talk to a counselor or a trusted friend about wanting to get treatment.  Support is one of the best tools for overcoming addiction. Doing it on your own sets you up for failure. Many people who try to quit on their own simply lack the professional care and support they desperately need. Seek treatment and have a team of support by your side.

  1. Age: Feeling Too Young or Too Old

It never is too early or too late to start. Often, at a young age, addicts believe they are having fun, or it is “just a phase” so they resist treatment. On the other hand, those who are older may feel it is “too late” to change old habits. Either way, young or old, anyone struggling with addiction needs to get help.

You deserve to live a good and meaningful life. Excuses hinder you from enjoying a sober life in recovery. Saying you are too young for recovery hinders you from taking advantage of the years of life you have ahead of you. Saying you are too old hinders you from enjoying the years that you have to live in the present instead of the past.

If you are young: It is time. Addiction always has the same end result: heartache, rejection, pain, destruction and, death. Save yourself and your loved ones the trouble before it is too late.

If you are older:  With age, life becomes more meaningful. You may have a career, children, even grandchildren. These are precious times that should be experienced in sobriety. Also, with age come more responsibilities, which mean it is more important than ever to be sober and alert. It is never too late to change. Stop letting age be a factor.

  1. Financial Reasons: Feeling Unable to Afford Treatment

Finally, the biggest concern many people have when it comes to going to rehab is cost. Affordability is a major factor in the decision to go to treatment. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options available to those in need.

Health insurance:
Many health insurance companies will cover drug treatment at little or no out of pocket cost. Every insurance plan is different, but those that cover substance abuse treatment will usually have different allocations for different parts of drug rehabilitation. Even if insurance covers drug rehabilitation, there is likely a portion of treatment that they won’t pay for. Whether it is co-pays, deductibles, or simply additional costs while you are in treatment, there is usually a portion that you will have to pay yourself. Research your coverage before going to treatment and figure out what your cost will be. Many times, the facility will be able to work with you.

Rehab Scholarships

If you are unable to afford treatment through your health insurance, try looking into acquiring rehab scholarships. Many rehabs have a specific amount of money allotted for rehab scholarships per year.  As long as that money is not used up, they may be able to help you. Start out calling rehabs that you want to attend and discuss your options.

Free Rehabs

Believe it or not, there are programs that are available for low/no cost to those who need it most. Programs like these target individuals are who unemployed and struggling with the physical, emotional, and financial cost of addiction. While they may not be able to provide the same resources, they still are a viable option for those who need treatment. There are two types of facilities that offer options like these: state-funded rehabs and faith-based rehabs.

State-funded rehabs work through verifying need. They look for information like:

  • Official residence in the state
  • Lack of income and insurance
  • Legal residence in the US
  • Addiction status and need for intervention

Faith-based programs provide drug and alcohol recovery programs based on specific religious traditions. Programs like the Salvation Army are faith-based.  Not all faith-based programs are free of charge, but many of them are. Ask questions and confirm before getting involved.Ultimately, the first place to start is going through your insurance to see if you are covered.

The journey to recovery is necessary one. Let go of the excuses and take advantage of all the resources available to get you back to a meaningful life. Invest your time and energy in finding a treatment center that is run by professionals who want to support you. We can help you in the process.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Sports Injuries Increase the Risk of Drug Addiction

Sports Injuries Increase the Risk of Drug Addiction

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

Author: Shernide Delva

The benefits of playing sports are endless.  Any form of physical activity is good for the mind, body and spirit. Team sports teach you accountability, social skills, leadership, among many other traits. Growing up, I was involved in playing soccer and basketball. I was an average player at best, however, I learned so much about myself being involved in sports. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of, both mentally and physically.

However, the biggest danger of playing sports is getting injured.  Injuries and sports go hand and hand. A study even revealed that athletes could have a greater risk of developing a dependency to drugs due to their high risk of injury.

See, it starts off quite innocently.  An athlete suffers an injury and is prescribed an opioid painkiller to ease the pain during the healing process. The next thing you know, that same athlete finds themselves with an addiction to painkillers.

A recent article delves into this addiction crisis in sports. A Maryland doctor admits he sees this occurrence on a daily basis. What starts out as a simple sports injury leads into abuse of powerful, narcotic painkillers. And when the pills run out, teens often turn to a cheaper alternative: heroin.

In the article, Conner Ostrowski is used as an example. Conner was a varsity team wrestler with plans to attend college on a full scholarship. Suddenly, Conner’s plans were derailed when he suffered a life-changing injury and cracked the base of his spine during a match.

As you can imagine, this was very devastating for Conner. Conner was told he could never wrestle again. As a precaution, his mother told his surgeon not to prescribe him opiate-based medication. Addiction ran in the family, she said. However, Conner’s pain consumed him. Soon, he even became depressed.

A family member who had extra Percocet pills offered Conner a full bag. The rest, as explained by mother, Andrea Wildason, was history:

“So he took the Percocet, and you know, all the anxiety and the depression and the racing thoughts in his brain, he sort of went, ‘Ah,’ you know, and his back pain went away after one pill.”

Percocet is a highly addictive opioid. Conner went through the bag quickly and tried to find more at school, but he could not afford the high street value cost, so he turned to a cheaper alternative: heroin.

“He was sleeping, nodding off all the time, and he was angry. He became mean,” Wildason said.

Conner’s story is all too common. A 2014 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found boys who participated in organized sports have higher odds of being prescribed opioid medication, putting them at greater risk of drug abuse.

Sports injuries, in many cases, are the gateway to drug addiction. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Edward McDevitt says stories like these are all too common. Doctors are eager to help athletes get back to the team quickly.

“As a team doctor, you want to help them, so you give them medication, but sometimes you give them too strong a medication or on medication for too long, and once they’re on it for a length of time, they get addicted to it,” McDevitt said.

He said physicians need to take some responsibility.

“We have to realize that we are sometimes the ones who are steering these people on the road to addiction. We have to talk about the dangers of these drugs and how they should be used for a very short period of time,” McDevitt said.

McDevvitt believes other less addictive options should be explored before prescribing addictive painkillers. Alternatives like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be very effective. Even physical therapy and ice can go a long way in treating an injury.

As for Conner, after several failed attempts, he is now three years sober.  The pain from his wrestling injury is still there but he has learned a valuable lesson.

“Pain doesn’t kill you. Addiction will, and he knows that. He knows that, and I hope everybody knows that,” Wildason said.

Parents should explore other pain relieving options that are less addictive.  If that does not work, carefully monitoring narcotic prescriptions and asking for a smaller dose could help prevent drug abuse.

What do you think? Are sports injuries contributing to teens abusing pain medications? Pain is a real thing, however knowing the dangers of addiction can help avoid a major problem. If you are struggling, it is time to finally overcome your dependence to opioid medications. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

How Art Therapy Helps In Addiction Treatment

How Art Therapy Helps In Addiction Treatment

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

Author: Shernide Delva

When pain is too hard to put into words, art may be the language you need to overcome that barrier. In addiction treatment, often art therapy is utilized as a form of expression. After an addiction, it can be difficult to communicate the struggle, trauma and emotional distress you had to overcome. Many treatment programs have found that art therapy can be an excellent tool of expression in the recovery process. When used in conjunction with other therapies, it can be a very powerful tool in a holistic program.

Using art as therapy is not anything new. In fact, the practice goes back to the 1940s, where a number of professionals first developed and recognized art as a therapeutic practice. Edward Adamson of Britain had a more laid back approach to art therapy. He would give clients art supplies and be uninvolved with the results, allowing the clients to find themselves on their own. On the other hand, Dr. Edith Kramer engaged with clients and helped them interpret meaning from their artwork. Today, art therapy is recognized and accepted as a respected form of psychotherapy. It can be found in a wide range of clinical settings including mental health centers, prisons, grief counseling and drug rehab programs.

What is Art Therapy?

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as:

“The therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development.”

Essentially, art therapy focuses on a client’s thoughts and emotions with the goal of developing self-expression rather than focusing on a set of art skills. You do not have to be the next Michelangelo to involve yourself in art therapy. In fact, in recovery, art can become a new form of communication and self-reflection for anyone. When other forms of communications fail, like talk therapy or counseling, art can be an excellent way to make an important emotional breakthrough, build trust, and gain self-worth.

Ways Art Helps in Addiction:

  • Helps in visualizing the recovery process
  • Opens mind to negative and positive feelings in recovery
  • Allows the ability to visualize changes in your own life
  • Provides a method of dealing with emotions in a positive way
  • Promotes long term recovery

With all that in mind, there are different mediums used in art therapy. There is of course painting, but anything from doll making to road drawing and even music therapy can be used as a form of expression. Therapist use art therapy in a wide spectrum of ways. Here are a four cool examples of how art therapy is a successful addiction treatment tool.

  1. Doll making
    The process of doll making can be very helpful in recovery. Patients are given a blank doll and slowly build the doll with their counselor or psychologist. Overtime, the patient will begin to see and internalize the doll as their own life. Just like the doll changes, life is constantly molding and changes. By doll making, patients begin to identify the doll as their own selves in recovery. Just like doll making, addiction recovery involves a person going through many stages of growth and finally becoming a whole person.
  2. Road Drawing
    Drawing or painting roads on a page can be another very therapeutic form of expression. The goal is to have patients see their own life as the road ahead of them. The way you draw the road can relate to how you see yourself. Therapist assist patients in analyzing the road and use it as a point of reference to discuss life situations. Therapist gain information about their past and even their intent for the future therapy. Overtime, the road drawn by a patient can begins to vary dramatically.
  3. Altered Book
    Altered book therapy allows patients to connect more with their emotions and can reduce the risk of a relapse. As an avid reader, this medium definitely sparked my interest. An old book is given to a patient and they are allowed to alter the existing book using a variety of materials.  The process allows patients to connect with emotions not accessible through talk therapy. The objective is to teach patients that just like they can alter a book that already exists; they can also alter their own lives.  Generating new meanings and new stories helps them solve their own dilemmas.
  4. Music Therapy
    Music therapy is a very commonly known form of art therapy. Music reduces stress, releases happy chemicals in the brain, and helps addicts deal with emotions. Music therapy is helpful for recovering addicts because music can help a person understand how they truly feel. Faster beats can help improve concentration while soothing beats help with relaxation. Drumming has been found to be especially helpful for patients dealing with pain or emotional trauma.

We all know addiction to drugs and alcohol is a huge problem. Alcohol is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every 15 minutes, someone dies from an opiate-related overdose. The average age for the first substance use is 13. Due to these and other startling stats, drug and alcohol treatment programs  should be tailored to include as many necessary tools to help those suffering to break their destructive habits. Art therapy is example of a tool that can be healing and beneficial in addiction treatment.

Art therapy is a powerful and creative tool in recovery. If you are having trouble expressing yourself, perhaps art therapy could help you to communicate. Remember, addiction can affect anyone, so you should not be ashamed if you feel you are going down the wrong path. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Future Lawyers Hide their Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Future Lawyers Hide their Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Author: Shernide Delva

It turns out future law students are doing more than taking the LSAT and pulling all-nighters to ensure success in their careers. They are hiding their mental health issues too. An article reveals that many law students are hiding drug, alcohol, and depression problems because they are afraid admitting these issues will prevent them from taking the bar exam or working at a law firm after graduation.

According to the study published in last month’s Bar Examiner, law students admitted having mental health challenges but they feared seeking professional treatment would jeopardize their chances of qualifying as a lawyer. Students are reluctant because they feel admitting to any sort of mental health problem would prevent them from taking the bar exam.

Jerome Organ who works as a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and is one of the lead authors. For the study, Organ and his colleagues surveyed more than 3,300 law students from 15 law schools about their drinking, drug use and mental health. More than 22 percent reported drinking two or more times in the previous two weeks. Even more concerning, over a quarter of students had received a diagnosis of “depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, personality disorder, and/or substance use disorder.”

However, despite these results, only 4 percent of future lawyers said they relied on a health professional to deal with their addiction and mental health issues. Forty-two percent admitted that they needed support for mental or emotional problems in the past year, yet only half of those who needed counseling actually got it.

Most students did not seek professional help out of fear. They preferred to leave their illnesses untreated than risk not becoming a lawyer. Over 60 percent admitted that they did not seek help because they feared being disqualified from taking the bar exam which would keep them from a law career.

Future lawyers must take a bar exam that examines and qualifies them for a career in law. Along with the written exam, all students must pass a “character and fitness” screening in which officials look at their personal histories with an aim to ruling out students who they feel are too morally compromised to serve clients. One of the big red flags includes “drug or alcohol dependency” and “mental or emotional instability,” which results in students who do suffer from these ailments being too afraid to seek treatment.

As a response to these fears, many law schools have tried to convey to students that they will not be penalized for admitting to suffering, but their efforts have been unsuccessful. Students still feel that the legal field does not leave room for weaknesses.

“While in law school, students are getting messages indicating that seeking help may be problematic for their professional careers,” the authors wrote. “The competitive nature of law school reinforces a message that students are better off not seeking help and instead trying to handle problems on their own.”

The biggest problem with students avoiding all of this is that overtime, students who did not seek help for their addiction or mental health issues will become worse.  In many cases, this is the reality. In fact, it has been estimated that 15 to 20 percent of working lawyers suffer from alcohol and substance abuse and out of all the professions out there, lawyers have been cited to have the highest incidences of depression.

When it comes to career choices, lawyers are known for having some of the highest rates of suicide in any occupation. Most lawyers work extremely long hours, often 60+ a week and deal with a heavy work load that overtime can cause emotional burnout. This combination plus existing mental health issues results in further emotional and psychological damage.

Lawyers need resources to help cope with their mental health issues and substance abuse. They need to feel safe to open up about challenges they go through. Waiting too long to get help causes more harm in the long run. Seek professional treatment today.    If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Sniffing Chocolate: The New Cocoa Cartel

Sniffing Chocolate: The New Cocoa Cartel

Author: Justin Mckibben

Yea… You did in fact read the title of this article correctly, and yes this apparently is an actual thing… not sure why… but we will try and figure it out together.

You might have heard some of the stories before on how the world of druggies and foodies have an occasional crossover as some new trend happens to come to the attention of one group, while the other group boasts about doing it “before it was cool” in typical non-poser-alpha-hipster fashion.

There was the spectacle of cocaine infused energy drinks, and don’t even get us started on the debate about edible marijuana, now another story has cropped up and is just too crazy not to cover.

Trending Chocolate Abuse

The trend began with Belgian chocolate maker Dominique Persoone. It all started with a story that seems too outrageous to be true, as Persoone was catering a surprise party for the legendary Rolling Stones rock band when he had the idea to have guests “sniff” their desserts!

Now some would wonder what is wrong with a good old fashioned cake with candles, or even just regular chocolate without the need for a straw. Well Persoone was either ridiculously lazy, or an evil genius, because he figured what better substance to sniff than powdered chocolate?

Just a taste, right? That’s how they get ya!

Persoone realized what he had, and the new Scarface of cocoa has even gone as far to market his idea that he invented something of a portable catapult for devotees of the new practice. For a mere $60 investment, his store can treat its faithful and chocolate-addicted patrons to a device that literally tosses chocolate flecks up their noses.

His company “The Chocolate Line” has created this two-spooned, trigger-activated catapult contraption that once loaded with chocolate powder can spring the loads up into the users inhaling nostrils, allowing the chocoholic to “enhance the pleasure of the chocolate experience.”

Tasting something on their tongue we detect only a few flavors, including sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savory). Not good enough for you? Well the human nose is commonly linked to taste, and can detect more than 1 trillion different scents. Persoone insists that snorting it is just another way of tasting it.

Persoone has apparently hit some kind of weird hipster goldmine, reportedly selling more than 20,000 of his chocolate snorting kits online!

The Chocolate Addiction

At the University of Michigan, Dr. Ashley Gearhardt runs a lab where she studies food addictions. With most food addictions it seems there is a distinct formula to follow for making specific items more appealing and addictive than others. Some snack food companies dedicate a lot of resources to studying exactly how to increase the efficiency of food engineering.

So far, Dr. Gearhardt has reported that chocolate, powered or not, is consistently ranked as the number one food that surveyed respondents have trouble giving up all together. Her research also demonstrations that the inspiration for this chocolate-covered obsession could be our brains. Gearhardt has stated:

“That same brain region is one of those regions that we know is really important in other drug addictions. This section of the brain is activating and saying you want that you crave that you really should get more of that.”

Does this mean bad news for the chocoholics out there? It means that chocolate in any form is just one more substance that the brain reacts to in an addictive way, using the same system it uses to get addicted to cocaine or heroin. Does snorting it make it more addictive? Probably not… but still.

As a result, many doctors have spoken up about concerns with this kind of ingestion. Your own doctor would probably advise against passing any sort of powder through your nostrils.

Dr. Jordan Josephson is an ear, nose, throat, and sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City who recently stated to reporters that,

“snorting chocolate powder is not safe, because the powder is perceived by the nose as a foreign toxic substance.”

Powder inhaled through the nostril can damage the microscopic hairs, or cilia, and membranes of the nose, causing problems with their ability to work correctly, as well as possible scarring. Of course, expert advice hasn’t stopped people from going for it.

While Persoone compares the experience to a euphoric feeling, he says you have to get the hook up on pure cocoa powder, none of that stepped on Nesquik mess is going to do the trick. Dr. Josephson said there is no science-based evidence that snorting chocolate can give you a high. Either way it is probably not a good idea to go crushing cocoa puffs and putting them up your nose anytime soon.

Hopefully this doesn’t cause a turf war between Willy Wonka and Count Chocula.

Still no comment from those little M&M guys.

Sniffing chocolate seems a little silly, but substance abuse in reality is no joke. Regardless of what the drug is, drugs and addictions destroy people, no matter how you ingest it. You might not be a chocolate addict, but if you find yourself struggling with drugs or alcohol, there is no shame in getting the help you need before it’s too late. 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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