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:

Acknowledging National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

Acknowledging National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

Estimates show that in America roughly 10% of the population is addicted to alcohol or drugs. At first you might think 10% doesn’t sound like a lot. How does 33 million people sound? And if overdose and death rates have taught us anything, it’s that this problem is a serious and lethal one. But not only do we see the pain and turmoil of those who struggle, but we have to see what the families go through. The individual suffers deeply, but we cannot forget the children of alcoholics.

These numbers show that millions of parents, spouses and children are destructively impacted as they live with a person suffering from addiction.

National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week started on February 12th and went to the 18th. This observation is to help spread public awareness about the impact of alcohol and drugs on children and families. While the official week of observation has ended, we encourage people to take the chance this month to continue the conversation. We don’t just acknowledge the issue for 7 days a year, right?

The Truth about Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism is a chronic disease with a far-reaching impact.

  • In America, experts estimate 6.6 million children under 18 live with at least one alcoholic parent
  • One in four children in the U.S. are witness to alcoholism or addiction to drugs regularly

According to The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), children of alcoholics experience many hardships that have a profound impact on their futures. Children of alcoholics typically:

  • Have poorer language skills
  • Have more absences from school
  • Are more at risk for mental health disorders
  • Higher risk of physical health issues
  • Are at a significantly higher risk of becoming alcoholics themselves when they grow up

How to Help Children of Alcoholics

Most people have the knee-jerk reaction to insist a child should be removed from a detrimental environment. To many it makes sense that if the child is put in danger, they should be taken from their home to be kept safe. If we can’t always help the alcoholics, at least the children of alcoholics should be protected, right? The idea is the children of alcoholics can then have a stable environment while the parent gets treatment.

However, others would argue against such an approach, saying it not only breaks up the family unit, but it could also create a more instability. Removing the children of alcoholics from their homes and putting them in unfamiliar environments might only make things worse. Sometimes this process can create new stress and fear in a child, and ultimately be counterproductive.

So the unique difficulty in helping children of alcoholics is finding a way to maintain stability while still addressing the issues in the home, specifically those connected with the addiction.

Family Programs Part of Holistic Healing

Thankfully, complete removal from the recovery process is not the way it has to be for the families of those who struggle. Newer, more holistic treatment modalities make it a point to incorporate the children of alcoholics and their families in the treatment process.

An effective family program, such as the Palm Healthcare Family Program, can help to support the spouses, parents or children of alcoholics and addicts in many ways. Communicating with families and involving them in the recovery plan tends to make the living environment less dysfunctional.

A key element to assisting the family and children of alcoholics is education. Understanding the individual’s difficulties, they are able to provide an elevated level of support to the patient from home. These kinds of family involved programs can help the children of alcoholics get a better perspective on their parent’s behavior. At the same time, it gives families a chance to heal in tandem with their loved one.

We would like to offer you the FREE GIFT of a checklist to help decipher if you are helping or hurting a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

   Click for FREE GIFT

The Family for the Future

As innovation and education provide lasting results, treatment is beginning to grow in ways that have a stronger impact. Even elected officials and policy makers are now focusing on the impact of the family of the person addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The reality is, every person suffering from addiction issues eventually has to return home. Taking children away from their parents does not solve the issues, because eventually we want the individual to be able to live in their home environment. Recovery is about to reuniting families, not tearing them further apart. A more supportive family environment will go a long way in helping people in recovery maintain lasting sobriety.

This is why welcoming the family is good for the future. Programs like Palm Partners Recovery Center believe in keeping the spouses, parents and children of alcoholics and addicts connected to the person who needs their support the most. Overcoming the isolation and having love and connection in your corner can change the game. So even though National Children of Alcoholics Awareness Week ended, we still want to challenge everyone to bring their kids or their parents closer together.

Thousands of people everywhere are growing and changing their lives through programs of recovery. Along with them, thousands of families are rebuilding and sharing their strength and hope. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call. We want to help. You are not alone.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

What is Alcoholism and How Does Treatment Help?

What is Alcoholism and How Does Treatment Help?

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

Alcoholism is a term that has been around for quite a long time, but over the generations it has been understood and treated in a variety of ways. Perhaps as the world and society evolves, so does the average alcoholic.

Either way you look at it, alcoholism is a very real threat. National surveys of recent years indicate:

  • Nearly 19 million people in the US abuse alcohol, or have an addiction to it.
  • In Europe, it’s estimated that 23 million people are dependent on alcohol
  • Estimates say more than two million deaths resulting from alcohol consumption a year internationally

History of Alcoholism

The term “alcoholism” was first used by a Swedish professor of medicine, Magnus Huss (1807-1890). Huss turned the phrase in 1849, to mean poisoning by alcohol. While today “alcohol poisoning” is a more direct classification, alcohol-ism is still a poison in the lives of those who is touches.

Huss distinguished between two types of alcoholism:

  1. Acute alcoholism

Huss’s definition says this is the result of the temporary effects of alcohol taken within a short period of time, such as intoxication. Basically, it is having too much to drink.

  1. Chronic alcoholism

This Huss calls a pathological condition through the habitual use of alcoholic beverages in poisonous amounts over a long period of time. A pretty innovative idea, and something that would be debated for over a century.

Since 1849, the definition has changed endlessly.

Alcoholism Defined

Establishing a definitive “alcoholism” definition is difficult as there is little unanimity on the subject. The reason for such a variety of definitions is the different opinions each authority holds, and the year the definition was formed. We have the strictest definition the dictionary provides:

  •  An addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol

We also have the concept presented by the book Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which gives stories of struggle and strength, experience and hope; the lives of many alcoholics who developed a manner of living through a plan of action rooted in 12 Steps. Here alcoholism is often described as a “physical compulsion coupled with a mental obsession”. The disease model of alcoholism has evolved overtime.

Early on 12 Step fellowships like AA were cautious about trying to label the medical nature of alcoholism. However, many members believe alcoholism is a disease. In 1960 Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, explained why they had refrained from using the term “disease,” stating:

“We AAs have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity. For example, there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore, we did not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Hence, we have always called it an illness or a malady—a far safer term for us to use.”

These days, the classification of disease is commonly applied to alcoholism or addiction. Some have called them brain disorders. While some dispute the disease label, many believe it is the truest portrayal of alcohol addiction in the most severe form. The idea of alcoholism being a disease has been around since as early as the 18th century.

Many of the more up-to-date medical definitions do describe it as a disease. These definitions say the alcohol problem is influenced by:

  • Genetic
  • Psychological
  • Social factors

Treatment of Alcoholism

When asking how treatment for alcoholism is important, there are a few specifically important elements to consider. When it comes to health risks of trying to quit cold turkey, it can be a lot more painful or dangerous than you think. Also, lasting recovery has a lot more to do with learning new coping skills and behaviors than just giving up the substance.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs when the central nervous system (CNS) becomes overly excited. Alcohol suppressing the activity in the CNS, so the abrupt absence of alcohol causes the CNS to jump into overdrive. In essence, your system starts overcompensating.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms include:

The severity of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome can range from mild to very severe and even life-threatening.

Most treatment programs understand the importance of therapy at different levels. Group therapy helps people fighting addiction receive peer support. Individual therapy lets you work more intimately on these issues with a professional.

Holistic programs such as Palm Partners Treatment Program help you develop a personalized recovery plan to guide you in your treatment, setting benchmarks and goals while you are in treatment.

Some groups are more educationally-structured in order to teach you very important aspects for understanding the nature alcoholism, as well as ways to make major lifestyle changes. Holistic recovery is about more than surviving your struggle, but actually outlining a way you can thrive and move forward with healthy life skills. Finding the right treatment option can make all the difference in how you define your alcoholism, versus how you let it define you.

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28 Days Later: Addressing the Length of Treatment

28 Days Later: Addressing the Length of Treatment

Author: Justin Mckibben

First, I have to make it clear that any amount of treatment has the potential to make a difference. Every opportunity to take action in the right direction means something. So making the most out of our time is what is so crucial. Still, I want to look at why a month in rehab has become most insurers’ answer to the addiction issue.

Because different people progress through treatment at different paces there is no perfectly predetermined length of treatment. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. However, research shows that clearly good outcomes are contingent on adequate length of time in treatment. Arguably a treatment program of less than 90 days will show limited effectiveness in comparison to longer programs. Many recommend longer lasting treatment for maintaining positive outcomes. Yet, just around a month’s stay can be pretty typical among people who go to an inpatient facility.

So, who came up with the 28 days later standard of treatment? Why do most people only get this amount of time in treatment?

28 Days Later Routine

Kimberly Johnson is director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at SAMHSA. This federal agency studies addiction treatment services. Johnson says,

“As far as I know, there’s nothing magical about 28 days,”

Anne Fletcher, author of the book Inside Rehab, agrees. Fletcher states,

“It certainly is not scientifically based. I live in Minnesota where the model was developed and a lot of treatment across the country really stemmed from that.”

According to Fletcher, the late Daniel Anderson was one of the primary architects of what has been called the “Minnesota model.” This methodology became the prevailing treatment protocol for addiction specialists a long time ago, but how?

The story starts in the 1950’s at a state hospital in Minnesota. Daniel Anderson attended to alcoholics living in locked wards, leaving only to be put to work on a farm. Anderson came up with the 28-day model to find a path for his patients to get sober and leave the hospital. Back then, it was innovative.

Marvin Ventrell, executive director of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, has studied the model’s history. Ventrell says the month-long method comes from the belief that when-

“someone is suffering from addiction — and in the days that this began, we’re pretty much talking about alcoholism — it made sense to people that it took about four weeks to stabilize somebody.”

Ventrell went on to explain this is the norm because the insurance industry became willing to pay for a 28 day period of time. While many treatment providers believe we must adapt with the times, it would seem insurance companies aren’t so sure.

The Drawbacks

The early form of this 28 day model was designed for alcoholism. One big issue today is the model is used to treat opioid addiction. It is such a problem because recovering from addiction to powerful narcotic drugs just might be different than recovering from alcohol abuse. Therefore, it may require a different method. Yet, many still want to use the 28 day model as a cookie-cutter standard.

Now, to be fair Ventrell admits there isn’t enough research to prove the exact effective length for inpatient opioid addiction treatment. As we said, different individuals may have a different experience and require a different treatment plan. This is one reason why personalized recovery plans are so important.

Fletcher advocates it is incredibly important for treatment to move away from the default month-long model. 28 days is not going to work for everyone, and it would seem one of the biggest hurdles for those in the addiction treatment industry is convincing the insurance industry that the old “Minnesota model” isn’t always enough. 28 days may be enough for some people to make a beginning, but long-term recovery can be seriously influenced by more time learning about factors such as:

There are so many facets of recovery, it makes sense that the more time you have to learn them the more confident you can be in your ability to manage your recovery.

Make Time for Recovery

Besides the fact that giving people more time in a controlled environment can give them more time to focus on their recovery plan, there is also the element of dual diagnosis. While the 28 days model of treatment may have helped back in the 1950’s, we’ve learned a lot in the past 60+ years about addiction and other issues that co-exist.

Many people struggling with addiction are also having to battle with conditions pertaining to mental health disorders. Knowing what we know now, we see mental health disorders and addiction should be addressed simultaneously. If you ignore one, it can cause a relapse into the other later on. Various forms of mental illness can exist along with an addiction, including:

So for some, establishing a full diagnosis and then effectively engaging in the recovery process can take more time.

In the end, we should be making more time for individuals in need of treatment. Unfortunately, it can be an uphill battle with insurance companies. Some programs do exist that are extended inpatient programs, but these facilities still face resistance from insurers. At this point, it is about making the most out of the time you can get. Holistic drug treatment programs like Palm Partners emphasize the importance of exploring every area of recovery in detail, and design personalized recovery plans to make the time most efficient. Insurance companies may try to limit the opportunity, but the opportunity is still a real chance at real change.

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The Two Types of Alcoholic Brains

The Two Types of Alcoholic Brains:

Author: Shernide Delva

There are two sides to every story, and when it comes to alcoholism, the same saying holds truth. A new study examined the changes in the brain that makes a person prone to alcoholism. What they discovered is that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone and impulsive.

Anxiety and impulse control issues are common among alcoholics and the difference between the two could lie in changes in the brain tissues. The brain tissue of alcoholics experience changes that are different from the non-alcoholic brain. Over time, the brain tissue changes from consuming alcohol.  Researchers have discovered that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone (Type I) and impulsive-depressive (Type II) and brain changes are exclusive to one type or the other.

Type I Alcoholics: Type I alcoholics typically become dependent on alcohol later in life. These types are prone to anxiety and use alcohol increasingly to resolve these issues.

Type II Alcoholics: These types tend to get hooked on alcohol at a younger age and exhibit anti-social impulsive behaviors.

The brain is a complex organ so not every alcoholic fit into these two categories, the researchers noted.

“From the viewpoint of the study setting, this division was made in order to highlight the wide spectrum of people suffering from alcohol dependence,” said lead researcher Olli Kärkkäinen. “The reality, of course, is far more diverse, and not every alcoholic fits into one of these categories.”

Regardless of what “type” of an alcoholic you are, there are similarities in the brain of all alcoholic.  All alcoholics have an increase of a steroid hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone that affects the central nervous system. This could explain why many alcoholics become tolerant to the effects of alcohol after chronic, long-term use.

In addition, all alcoholics showed decreased levels of serotonin transporters in brain regions. This means that alcoholics have difficulty with mood regulation. They tend to be seeking this happy chemical and have a decreased level of serotonin transporters in the brain. This could explain why many alcoholics experience social anxiety.

Researchers will be using the results from this study to come up with new treatments for alcoholism that take into account the distinct differences between Type I and Type II brains.

“These findings enhance our understanding of changes in the brain that make people prone to alcoholism and that are caused by long-term use,” said researcher Kärkkäinen. “Such information is useful for developing new drug therapies for alcoholism, and for targeting existing treatments at patients who will benefit the most.”

In Western countries, it has been estimated that around 10-15% of the population qualify as alcohol-dependent. Across the world, alcohol is causing as much damage as all illegal substances combined. It is important to note these differences so medical personnel knows how these cases can differentiate.

Most of all, it is important that those who have struggled with alcoholism to seek help as early as possible. People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. The damage could be a combination of the alcohol consumptions along with poor general health.

Often, alcoholics have deficiencies in their health. Thiamine deficiency is extremely common in those with alcoholism and is a result of overall poor nutrition. Also, it can be hard for those struggling to make staying healthy a priority. Thiamine is crucial to the brain. It is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Many foods in the United States are fortified with thiamine; therefore, the average healthy person consumes enough of it.

Alcoholism can cause major damage to your brain and overall health if left untreated. This article simply confirms the reason why it is so important that those struggling with alcoholism seek professional help. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not the best solution, especially when you are not aware of how your mind and body is functioning. We are here to help.   If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, don’t wait. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Bathroom Mirror Talks to Drinkers about Drunk Driving

Bathroom Mirror Talks to Drinkers about Drunk Driving

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

It’s about time someone said it to your face. Yes… you read that title right…

Drunk driving is tragically irresponsible and has a habit of causing irreparable damage to not only the drunk driver, but also to the innocent individuals who lose their lives to drunk driving accidents in America. Every year an astonishing number of people are killed in drunk driving accidents, and community leaders and organizations all over the nation have used shocking, innovative and informative strategies to change these statistics. One bar in Los Angeles, California has done something pretty amazing to raise awareness, delivering very direct doses of reality and consequence to patrons through a live video in the bathroom mirror.

Mirror, Mirror at the Bar

This powerful campaign was quite literally an “in your face” tactic for raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving in the Los Angeles bar. A video of the campaign is currently also circulating the internet, and once I stumbled upon it I was very impressed by how they used this unique technique to reach out to people in real time… people who may or may not have been exactly the person who needed to hear it that night.

In the video of the campaign you watch several male patrons enter a restroom. After supposedly “handling their business” the men walk up to the sink to wash their hands, and suddenly the mirror flashes to the image of a man dressed in jail-house blues staring them in the face. Then once he starts talking to them and interacting, they realize this is LIVE, not just a pre-recorded commercial.

Of course a few of them are a little freaked out… I mean, you would have to wonder how long this guy has been watching you from some hidden camera… but once the conversation gets going the real motive comes out pretty quick, and it can be pretty intense.

Inmate Kris Caudilla 

The live video stream is of Kris Caudilla, an inmate in prison who has been convicted of drunk driving and is currently serving 15 years. Caudilla asks one man what he is drinking, some he asks how their night is going… then drops some real-time-live-action TRUTH on them, sharing his story of being out one night having drinks with friends, then deciding to drive drunk he was in an accident and killed someone.

That someone was a police officer- 44 year old Deputy James Anderson Jr. Caudilla drove head-on into Anderson’s patrol car with a blood-alcohol level of 0.158. The office later died at Shands Jacksonville hospital in Florida. Caudilla plead guilty to DUI manslaughter and testified in court, taking full-responsibility for Anerdson’s death. Caudilla was 27 at the time of the accident.

In the mirror Caudilla speaks his truth to men drinking at a bar on the other side of the country; men that stand in paralyzed shock holding cocktails and glasses of beer as another man trapped by his decision tells them with conviction,

“He had 4 children, a wife and I took him away from them…

I made the choice to drink. I made the choice to get in the car. You don’t have to make that choice…

So take a good look in the mirror man. Should you be driving tonight?”

In the video you can see the look on their faces, and you can tell some are second guessing a lot in these few passing moments. To watch this video, click HERE.

Reflection From Inside Campaign

This video is part of the Reflection From Inside campaign that has been put together by We Save Lives as part of a progressive effort to:

  • Educate people
  • Hold drivers accountable
  • Support victims’ rights
  • Help others find the courage to intervene

We Save Lives (WSL) is an international coalition that works to help protect the public by preventing crashes and crimes from “the 3 Ds” which are:

  1. Drunk driving
  2. Drugged driving
  3. Distracted driving

We Save Lives works through legislative efforts and grassroots organizing at the national, state, and local levels to make a difference on the road.

While many would say this is a “major buzz-kill”, and plenty have if you find the video on Facebook and read through some of the more less-sensitive comments, the fact is this is a powerful and profound way to try and pull the attention to something that is incredibly important.

So what if it “kills your buzz” for a little bit… it is better than doing nothing and letting you get behind the wheel and kill another human being. Even if not everyone listens, it might make a huge difference to the person who does.

I feel like this campaign is an amazing and creative way to try and interrupt the thought process to introduce the dangers of drunk driving to the people that need it most… people who are drunk and possibly going to drive! Every opportunity we have to make a statement and raise awareness in a new way gives us the chance to change something. Grabbing someone’s attention at a pivotal moment like that could be the difference between life and death. I applaud the creators and participants in this campaign, and I hope more people take this warning to get home safe.

Fatal drunk driving accidents occur all across the country, claiming thousands of innocent lives, all because of those who get drunk and get behind the wheel. Saving lives could be as easy as stopping yourself from driving drunk, and if you have a habit of drunk (drugged) driving perhaps it is time to consider how getting help could save your life, and others. 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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