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:

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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Why Detox in Delray Beach, Florida?

Why Detox in Delray Beach, Florida?

Author: Justin Mckibben

Addiction and substance abuse are very real issues facing Americans today, and as a matter of fact these issues impact the entire world in many aspects. We constantly hear more and more about synthetic drugs made from chemical compounds coming from overseas, the opiate epidemic hitting households in every corner of the country, and the failed War on Drugs that has included both victims and cartels from all over. Addiction is very real and very present in our world, so for those who want to find help, Palm Partners offers a solution, but some might ask- why detox in Delray Beach, Florida?

We want to take a detailed look at that question and explain as best we can why detox in Delray Beach, Florida is such a great way to get started on a path to lasting and successful sobriety.

What is Detox?

The safest and often most efficient way to get through the physical aspect of drug addiction is to attend a safe medical detox. Detox is the first level of care for a proper drug or alcohol treatment program, and with a detox in Delray Beach, Florida there is a serene and comfortable atmosphere created for this initial part of the process.

Many people who choose to get help arrive painfully addicted to alcohol and other drugs and cannot safely or successfully stop drinking or using on their own. Frequently the withdrawals from substance abuse are far too discomforting and after a while a lot of people give up the fight. This is where a detox in Delray Beach can help.

Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Effective and Professional

When talking about detox in Delray Beach, Palm Partners consistently provides the highest level of professional patient care, and we take pride in how we treat people.

Upon arriving at detox in Delray Beach, Florida an individual is given an evaluation to assess the most effective and healthy treatment program for them. Using a drug screening the staff will see what drug(s) are in your body and how much, then a licensed physician will prescribe you certain medication in order to safely and comfortably taper you off. The purpose of these medications is to help you safely and effectively transition from active use to abstinence without suffering through the extent of their debilitating side effects.

The medical staff for Palm Partners will monitor your condition as well as be responsible for administering your medication, and during the evaluation you will meet with a staff of professionals who will take your social and medical history- asking you to tell them about your drug use and about any other physical or mental health conditions, if any, to be sure they are providing the best care pertaining to your needs.

Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Mental Health

Not only with the doctor and medical staff help determine the details of your taper to wean off the drugs, but you will also meet with a psychiatrist to be evaluated and prescribed any psych meds that you may need.

Oftentimes, people who abuse drugs have what is called dual diagnosis, meaning they have another condition co-existing issue such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating Disorder

The Palm Partners program believes in a holistic approach that addresses dual diagnosis in all areas of treatment, and Palm Partners detox in Delray Beach, Florida believes this is all about staying healthy and comfortable while your body adjusts to not having the drugs or alcohol it has grown physically dependent on, without it being too much of a shock to the system. Having a strong and experienced medical staff is key to successfully helping the process of detox in Delray Beach, Florida be a relaxing and positive influence on the continued recovery process.

Detox in Delray Beach, Florida: Climate Change

To be completely real, the change in climate is definitely an easy way to inspire some. The beautiful atmosphere of sunny South Florida is sure to make an experience that might be viewed as frightening or difficult feel a lot more serene and supportive.

When trying to detox in more comfortable environment there’s nothing like warm weather, sunshine, and beaches to set the mood. But this isn’t the only climate change we’re talking about.

Delray Beach, Florida just happens to be home of an amazing recovery community, with support groups and fellowships all over and a wide variety of ages and personalities. So besides the fact that you can take a shot at changing your life in paradise, it is also pretty solid sobriety in the area with a lot of support groups and active advocates.

Drug and alcohol rehab programs are designed to put you in the best position to succeed with as many resources as possible, and it all starts with a healthy detox, so why not detox in Delray Beach, Florida? If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135


Naloxone Finally in the Hands of Delray Beach Police Department

Naloxone Finally in the Hands of Delray Beach Police Department

Author: Justin Mckibben

Some people may remember back in June of 2015 the story broke ground with the announcement that Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott gave the final approval for bill HB-751, AKA the Emergency Treatment for Opioid Overdose Act which expanded naloxone access in a progressive response to the growing issue with heroin overdose and opiate addiction. This new piece of legislation gave first responders, caregivers, and patients in Florida the authority to prescribe and administer naloxone, a pure antidote to opioid overdose.

Well another exciting and innovative story is making some headway in the news this week as the actions and implication put into that legislation are having a rippling effect on communities all over Florida. The Delray Beach Police Department moved to announce this morning a plan for its officers to carry naloxone, making the Delray Beach Police Department the first in Palm Beach County, as well as second in the state, to have officers carry the heroin overdose antidote.

Drug Deaths in Delray Beach

In the stretch of time between January of 2014 and October of 2015 the Delray Beach Fire Rescue services alone administered naloxone in 341 cases! Now take that and consider that in just the first 10 months of 2015, the Delray Beach Police Department responded to a reported 145 overdoses, and 70% of those were from heroin!

But ladies and gentlemen, this problem is not just in Delray Beach, plenty of other areas in Palm Beach County are getting hit hard by the destruction and death brought by heroin. In West Palm Beach officials have also seen a severe increase in suspected heroin overdose deaths, but these officers still do not have access to naloxone.

How severe is that increase? Well since December there have been 11 deaths from suspect heroin overdoses according to city police. The kicker- 7 of those deaths were last month in February!

Resources for First Responders

Delray Beach Fire Rescue regularly administers naloxone to individuals experiencing an overdose one emergency calls in the county. Now the department has trained the Delray Beach Police Department’s supervisors on how to use the medication, hoping to broaden the reach of this life-saving medication and make access to it by First Responders that much easier.

This is amazing news because starting today, supervisors in law enforcement on each shift will carry naloxone nasal spray. The nasal spray gives the officers access to an easier method of administering the medication.

According to police spokeswoman Dani Moschella the Delray Beach Drug Task Force recently wrote a grant for 400 auto-injectors of Evzio naloxone to be provided to Delray Beach Fire Rescue, which in turn makes it possible for the city’s fire-rescue department to supply the Delray Beach Police Department with nasal spray kits at no charge.

The Need for More Access

A lot of people might not see how big of a deal this is, but let me be the first to tell you… this is kinda a big deal!

For years we have followed the tragic trend of drug overdose being the leading cause of accidental death in all of the United States, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014, and 10,574 of those overdose deaths were related to heroin. More people die from drug abuse than car accidents! That is a big deal! And spoiler alert, it’s been going on for YEARS now! Opioid addiction is spearheading this overdose death epidemic.

Delray Beach has been commonly perceived as the drug treatment capital of the country, and with good reason considering the innovative and amazing treatment options as well as a thriving recovery community. But Delray Beach has been particularly hard hit by the opioid epidemic, so to have even more prevention resources put in place to support that recovery community and save more lives every day makes an astronomical difference.

Although naloxone is already available without a prescription in 35 states, Florida only allows the drug to be used by first responders, such as police and emergency medical technicians. Doctors are allowed to write prescriptions to those in close contact with someone at risk of overdose, but every day more programs are starting to put the power back into the hands of the people who need the help most, and one more way to change a life is with a recovery program from a leader in revolutionizing holistic treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Fighting For Compassion Over Stigma of Addiction

Fighting For Compassion Over Stigma of Addiction

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

Led by the grassroots organization Families for Sensible Drug Policy there has swelled up from under the rubble and debris of the war on drugs and opiate epidemic in America a movement among parents, policymakers and clinicians which has rigorously employed its efforts to change a insufficient system that it views as having historically stigmatized substance abuse and addiction, responding in kind with punishment instead of providing solutions.

This diverse group of stakeholders is powerfully compelled by what they have described as “pain, compassion, love and family,” and recently the collective gathered at The New School in New York with a common focus, building momentum for their goals, including:

  • Viewing substance abuse compassionately
  • Eliminating the addiction stigma
  • Treating addiction as a complex clinical phenomenon instead of punishment for addicts

September 24, 2015 a diverse audience gathered into a lecture hall at The New School for Social Research in Manhattan to hear from an assortment of experts from a variety of fields related to this ever-present issue.

Bringing Communities Together

This event was formally entitled “Bringing Communities Together: A New Vision for Helping Individuals and Families Impacted by Substance Use and Mental Health Issues,” and featured numerous organizations involved in trying to overcome the old archaic ideals of stigma and aggressive prosecution of addiction.

Included in the conversation was a vast range of participants, including mothers of addicts and even retired police officers and harm reduction psychologists.

All voices seemed unanimous on at least one belief- that the War on Drugs has conditioned Americans to see drug abuse and addiction as a crime with punishment being the only appropriate response. As many have gathered before this year, the collective intended to shift the conversation to:

  • Improving education
  • Promoting supervision and treatment for drug abuse and addiction
  • Putting a stop to the unfortunate traumas often created by the current system

The Big Guns Against Stigma

Many heavy hitters in the revolution were in attendance, such as:

  • Jenifer Talley of The New School and assistant director at The Center for Optimal Living
  • Scott Kellogg, president of the Division of Addictions of the New York State Psychological Association
  • Daniel Raymond, the policy director at the Harm Reduction Coalition

Daniel Raymond spoke on improvements and progress with public health reform. He noted the fact that the CVS franchise recently announced it would offer naloxone, an opioid overdose-reversing drug, without a prescription in 11 more states, and even invited people to a further discussion on supervised injection facilities.

  • Families for Sensible Drug Policy, a non-profit from Philadelphia that has grown to international involvement

Carol Katz Beyer, one founder of Families for Sensible Drug Policy, passionately spoke about the counterproductive effect of punishing kids using drugs in high school—removing them from healthy school environments and extracurricular activities, and even referred to what she labeled the “school to prison pipeline,” claiming that “privatized prisons are making money off of our children, as a commodity.” 

  • Jerry Otero, M.A.Youth Policy Manager for The Drug Policy Alliance

Otero stated that any effective and positive policy that has recently been implemented to shift the focus from stigma to solutions has been based on 4 pillars,

“Prevention, treatment, harm reduction and public safety.”

  • Major Neill Franklin, executive director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

In his speech Franklin conveyed the failure of the current drug policy, citing elevated crime rates while advocating for a healthier more respectful relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Shattering Stigma with Revolution

The good news in relation to these kinds of statements and strategies is that we are already gradually able to witness a shift in many of the more progressive states and police agencies from punishment to treatment.

We have seen programs initiated in several areas allowing addicts to commit themselves to treatment through reaching out to law enforcement agencies to get help. There are programs designed where addicts in many areas can seek treatment by turning in their substances or just asking for help, there are states that are now offering those found in possession of drugs the opportunity for treatment in lieu of jail time, and even intervention programs where police officers go door to door speaking with known drug offenders or addicts about the possibility of treatment without penalties.

With more and more communities uniting, and more and more government action being taken, we may very well be witnessing the beginning of one of the most profound periods of change in the way drugs and addiction are addresses across the board. It is safe to say that as we better understand the addict and shed the stigma, we are seeing a better path toward helping those suffering recover from their addictions without stigma hanging over their heads.

Compassionate and caring connection between the communities, their leaders, their law enforcement and their population impacted by drug abuse is saving lives. Compassionate treatment is one of the surest ways we can effectively alter the landscape and save even more lives, and in recovery it all begins with taking a step toward a solution. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135


In Maryland, Gambling Addiction is Rampant; Treatment Options Lacking

In Maryland, Gambling Addiction is Rampant; Treatment Options Lacking

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Gambling can stimulate the brain’s rewards system much like drugs and alcohol can. Gambling addiction is a serious condition that can destroy lives. When gambling becomes addictive, it means you are willing to risk something in order to get something of even greater value. Sometimes this can mean straining relationships you have with your family and friends in order to satisfy the urge to gamble.

There is a state having a huge issue with gambling addiction and this time, it isn’t Nevada.  The tiny state of Maryland is home to one of the largest concentrated casino markets in the country. As gambling addiction continues to rise, few treatment centers options are available for resident causing their addiction to get worse.

In 2009, a state survey revealed that an estimated 150,000 residents suffer from moderate to severe gambling addiction. The state’s toll-free hotline for problem gambling has taken 619 calls in the past year from people struggling with compulsive gambling up. This number is up from 431 two years prior. Police were called on four different occasions on account of children and seniors being left unattended in cars while their parents or caregivers were inside gambling.

Clearly, the issue is increasing in severity every day. Over 893 problem gamblers, desperate to free themselves of their addiction, legally banned themselves from entering a casino through the state’s Voluntary Exclusion program. Casinos reported 37 people who were unable to follow through with the ban.

Unfortunately, there are no treatment options in Maryland to address gambling addiction. To make matters worse, most of these problem gamblers do not have health insurance or access to funds to cover private addiction treatment. The funds they could have used were gambled all away.

“When gamblers reach out to us, they’re in crisis … it’s out of control, they don’t have any money,” said Deborah Haskins, president of the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling. “When the person doesn’t have treatment as an option, it’s like you’re putting a brick wall in front of them. You’re commending them for taking the first steps, but then you have nothing else to provide them. It’s very frustrating.”

Each year, casinos in Maryland are required to contribute to the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that addresses problem gambling. The casino’s pay $425 per slot machine and $500 per table game each year. The funds only came to only $4 million last fiscal year. Most of the money ended up going to the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. The program focuses on increasing the amount of gambling addiction counselors and running the addiction hotline, among other services, but it’s not used for actual treatment

Vegas Came To Maryland

So I’m writing this wondering how a state like Maryland ended up so massive on the casino bandwagon. Five years ago, Maryland had just opened its first casino. Since then, four more have debuted and a giant $1.3 billion resort casino, MGM National Harbor, is set to open next year.

From a financial standpoint, Maryland is cashing in big time. The state took in $1 billion in the last fiscal year. Out of that money, the state’s cut was $487 million and $388 was used for Maryland’s Education Trust Funds.

It’s clear the state made a worthwhile financial investment but the consequences for addiction are all too real.  Gambling is one of the most deceptive of all human vices. It presents the illusion of easy money but can quickly lead into financial ruin. The odds are never in your favor when the purpose of the system is to make a profit.

As a result of the financial stress gambling addiction results in, often gamblers turn to drugs, alcohol and other addictive behavior to alleviate the anxiety brought on by the gambling lifestyle. They may struggle with drug and alcohol addiction for the rest of their life after years of self-medicating to deal with the stress. The stress of it call can result in strained relationships and isolation.

Maryland’s economy continues to thrive from the casino industry however compulsive gamblers have to deal with the consequences of their actions. These consequences include everything from home foreclosure and bankruptcies to domestic abuse, robberies and embezzlement.

Gambling in America costs the United States between $32.4 billion to $53.8 billion per year. The long term costs outweigh the economic benefits by a greater than 3:1 ration. Maryland has a choice to progress toward providing treatment and solutions to the gambling addiction crisis before it gets out of control. The consequences could overpower the risks.

If you feel you are starting to develop an addiction to gambling, seek help before the addiction takes control of your life. Luckily, there is help. 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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