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:

6 Warning Signs It’s Time to Change Your Life

6 Warning Signs it’s Time to Change Your Life

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Breaking out of routines, and changing your life can be the hardest thing you ever have to do. However, it can also be the most rewarding.

For most of us, it takes a big epiphany or emotional tragedy to finally change our ways, but the truth is often the signs of changing our lives appear way before those major life events occur. Instead of waiting for some huge sign to shift your ways, why don’t you ask yourself if it is time to change today?

Being stuck in the same career path year after year can be a miserable existence, especially if you have a passion that eats away at your soul. If you find yourself constantly depressed and miserable, now is the time to look within. Make a change, and put yourself first.

 6 Warning Signs it’s Time to Change Your Life:

  1. You Hate Going to Work.
    Hate going to work? Do you feel dread waking up in the mornings? These are all signs that you need to shift the direction of your life. You might be afraid of leaving a place that is secure, but years are going to fly by. Unless you come up with a plan to change your life, you will be stuck exactly where you are in the next few years. Dreading your work life is a sign to reflect on your current passions and career goals.  Now, not tomorrow, is the time to make a change. One of my favorite quotes is “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Write down your ambitions and make a plan to change. It takes time, but each day is a chance to take action.
  1. You Focus Too Much on Past Regrets.
    “If only I would have gone to that college,” or “If only I would have sold my house before the market crashed…” “If only I would have saved more money…” 
    Looking back on past events in life is a major sign of trying to escape the now. It’s normal to reflect on some of the choices you have made in the past, however, keep your emotions in check. Do you take things as a learning experience? Every day is a chance to make the right decisions. Take advantage.
  2. You Are Jealous of Other People’s Success.
    Jealousy is another major sign that you are insecure and discontent with your own life. When we are happy, we want other people to be happy. When you are feeling stuck, you may start to feel jealous of those who are more successful. When that happens, it is time to reflect on the reason for the jealousy. Most likely, your mind is telling you it is time for a change.
  3. You Are Always Exhausted.
    Feeling extremely tired is often a sign of discontentment. You may feel like you are going through the motions, instead of living in the moment. Feeling tired and lethargic all the time often represents the struggle and hardships we are currently facing in our daily life. Instead of admitting defeat, find a way to get back on track. Transform your life by changing yourself from the inside-out.
  4. You Are Easily Overwhelmed.
    If you feel like you are juggling a million things, it could be time to breathe and reflect on what exactly you are doing. Of course, our daily responsibilities can become overwhelming, at times, but if it is a regular occurrence, it could be a sign that you are stifled and are craving change. Feeling antsy may be your body’s way of telling you to take time to really understand your life’s purpose.
  5. You Are Constantly Dreaming of the Future.
    Just like dwelling on past regrets is harmful, dreaming of the future constantly can be a sign of discontentment. Are you constantly thinking of goals you want to achieve, or even the next vacation? Our minds tend to focus on our passions and creativity. If you feel like you are always thinking about the kind of life you really want, rather than the life you have,  perhaps it is time to find a way to make that dream a reality. Change does not happen overnight, but even the smallest step toward change can increase motivation and reduce negativity.

Overall, it is important for us to pay attention to our mind and bodies. They send us signals on what direction to take next so we feel fulfilled. Let go of your past and live in the present moment. In recovery, it is important to recognize what drives you and what makes you feel the most satisfied. . If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

6 Signs of Being Too Dependent

6 Signs of Being Too Dependent

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

It isn’t always easy to see the signs of being too dependent, especially in ourselves, but a lot of us have developed some emotional habits that put us in a position to depend on others in some form or another. They say we all need somebody to lean on… but how much is too much, and how many of us depend on others to the point where we would collapse without them?

These signs are not always easy to read and identify with, because of course we all want to believe we can be independent and strong as an individual, so seeing a reflection in the mirror that tells us we exhibit dependent characteristics is going to bruise the ego a bit.

Every person struggling with independence will one day reach a point when they realize they cannot climb any higher in life without taking a few steps alone, self-discovery. Those of us who battle with dependency issues can apply our dependent nature to all types of things, including:

So here are just 6 signs of being too dependent. Maybe some of these apply to you, and maybe that means it is time to sever some ties, take off the training wheels and find a way without depending on others for happiness, security and purpose.

  1. Can’t make everyday decisions on their own

Now before we get too far into this, appreciate the fact that of course if you’re going to make a major life decision that could alter the course of your future then I’m not giving you grief for talking it over and getting a variety of opinions from family and friends. By all means, crowd source the heavy stuff.

But with being too dependent we are talking about being incapable of making everyday decisions without someone else’s guidance, or every time the decision is made it is motivated by fear instead of logic.

  1. Fear of confrontation  

The fear of confrontation follows along with a lot of the other fears of someone who struggles with being codependent, such as the fear of failure or the fear of making the wrong decisions on their own.

A person who is too dependent frequently does not feel worthy of having an opinion, especially one that differs from the opinion of someone else they feel they need, and to express that opinion seems even more impossible. If you notice yourself holding back on speaking your mind and standing for what you believe in because it might not work with someone else, it is a very real sign of being too dependent.

  1. Fear of failure

People who are too dependent tend to shy away from being exposed and vulnerable because it may cause others to realize how “worthless” they really are.

The fear of being a failure and having your weaknesses put on public display can cause immense anxiety for someone who is too dependent. For people used to depending on others it is easier to avoid failure by not taking initiative or following through with actions. People who are too dependent typically find themselves abandoning their goals before they even get started on the journey.

  1. Cannot be alone

Always expecting the worst is part of being too dependent, and this sense of impending dread often leads them to not feeling competent enough to live their own lives without others.

Being alone means being vulnerable and unprotected, which are both things overly dependent people will try to alleviate with the presence of other people… even if those other people are not good for them.

To someone who is overly dependent it is impossible to comprehend having to cope with whatever life throws at them on their own- so of course people who are too dependent rely on the stability and strength of others to see them through… even if those other people aren’t as stable or as strong as the dependent would believe.

  1. Always seeking approval

This may especially hard for a dependent person to acknowledge, because no one wants to admit they are a people pleaser. One was that people who are too dependent trick themselves into justifying their overly dependent and unhealthy behavior is by adopting the other person’s expectations as their own.

If the person struggling with being dependent “fails”, they assume it is a failure not only to the expectations of the other person but also their own, and thus each failure reinforces the detrimental judgment of self.

Dependent people crave validation and approval. Some would say a dependent person desires approval as desperately as an alcoholic craves a drink, so an alcoholic with a dependent personality in relationships has a lot standing against them.

  1. Lack of Boundaries

In most cases the only boundary the person has is to be included in the relationship they latch onto, and subsequently all other personal boundaries are unsolidified and traversable if it helps them keep their grip on that desired relationship.

This unhealthy and self-depreciating willingness to ignore or alter personal boundaries in order to maintain a relationship creates a vulnerability that some people look to exploit.

Some personality types are happy to find out how much a person is willing to give, then use them for all they have for as long as they can. The needs are never met, and the dependent person will never feel enough- this cycle is terrible and tragic, and so many people who have to rebuild emotionally due to drugs or alcohol tend to become overly dependent in some aspect of their life, putting them in greater danger than they realize.

Overall, becoming independent in any kind of relationship can end up supporting your sobriety exponentially. In some cases, it can lead to relapse. In recovery we learn to be less dependent on people and instead rely on our principles and our actions, along with a spiritual fitness. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

7 Reasons Family Therapy is Important in Rehab

7 Reasons Family Therapy is Important in Rehab

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

Learning how to deal with an addict in the family may seem nearly impossible. An addict in the grips of their addiction is not a lovely person in the smallest sense of the word. In fact, many addicts in the grips of their addiction are scary, mean, and not the person you thought you knew and loved.

Many times when an addict goes to rehab their family is still left with the feelings of what it was like when the loved one was in active addiction.  They usually don’t know how to deal with an addict in the family, whether that individual is clean and sober or not. Taking that into consideration, here are 7 reasons family therapy is important in rehab.

  1. Understanding Disease of Addiction

Addiction is far more than a case of bad judgment or running with the wrong crowd. Having an addict in the family means it is important realize that they will keep using drugs, no matter the consequences because of the chemical changes in their brain, not because of poor character.

Family therapy is important in rehab because it educates the family on how addiction affects the individual, so they can better understand that it is a disease, and that an addict in the family doesn’t choose to have an addiction.

  1. Mastering Emotions

Family Therapy is important in rehab because it teaches both the individual and the family how to communicate with their emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Being in treatment and dealing with the affects addiction has had on the family can be a difficult aspect of early recovery.

Family therapy helps to re-establish connections, while allowing the family to progress as a collective in positive coping strategies. Educating both the family and the addict in new ways to process and share their feelings with one another.

  1. Helping VS. Enabling

As family, we always want to help the ones we love, especially when they are struggling. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives the family a better idea as to how to properly provide healthy support.

Enabling is not helping, and it is something anyone with an addict in the family should learn about, because many times when trying to help an addict in the family, parents or siblings end up enabling the addict’s behavior and never directly address the issue. Family therapy is important in rehab because it teaches enablers how to set better boundaries.

  1. Understanding Treatment Plan

Of course when you or someone you love is in treatment, you want to make sure everyone feels confident and informed as to how that treatment plan has been put in place to provide effective transformation.

Another reason that family therapy is important in rehab is to keep the family members up to speed and involved in how the time spent in rehab is being utilized. The more the family knows about the rehab their loved one is in and the way their treatment is being addressed, the more they will know what to expect in times of transition, and how to give support.

  1. The Role of the Family in the Healing Process

The healing process does not end once a person has left the treatment facility. Lasting and fulfilled recovery reaches far beyond the walls of any rehab or residential facility. The role of the family is essential not only during the period in rehab, but in continued recovery.

Family therapy is important in rehab because it provides more information in regards to the treatment plan, and gives a deeper look into how the family contributes to the addict’s recovery once they are outside of rehab. Knowing the importance of continuous work in recovery and how the family can help may have an addict set up for success before they ever leave treatment.

  1. Giving Up Codependency

One part of addiction that many families fail to notice is the problems created by co-dependency, because many family members do not realize that they are in a co-dependent relationship with their addicted loved one, and they get something out of that person’s life-style and behavior.

Sometimes family members don’t realize that an addict’s behavior and need for support can actually provide them with a feeling of being needed or being connected. Depending on someone who desperately depends on us in active addiction can be hard to acknowledge.

Sometimes we feel needed by helping a sick person or by relying on their mood to be happy. Family therapy is important in rehab because it reveals the real dangers behind co-dependency.

  1. Recovery Programs After Treatment

Sometimes people are able to stay clean and sober for a time after treatment without any drastic issues, but this is most common with people who suffer from physical dependence, and not addiction.

For the ‘real deal’ addicts and alcoholics out there, it is typically more than some time in rehab that supports a serious life change. One more thing that shows that family therapy is important in rehab is that it helps to highlight the different ways an individual can remain clean and sober, and helps the family to become familiar with such fellowships.

There are also fellowships in place to support the families of addicts and alcoholics, whether they are actively recovering or not. These support groups are designed to provide some level of guidance and assistance from peers and other families in the same situation.

Too many families are torn apart because of the disease of addiction, and sometimes the family has no idea how they can make an impact that drives improvement. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives not only the individual addict, but also their loved ones, the resources to change for life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

New Technology Enables Alcoholics: Harm Reduction… or Not?

New Technology Enables Alcoholics: Harm Reduction... or Not?

Author: Justin Mckibben

It seems that 2014 gave us a lot of technology that the future of generation D will be taking advantage of and improving on for some time. There are constantly new ideas, concepts and inventions for electronic assistance and digital answers to all the worlds’ problems and inconveniences. So much even that some speculate we are becoming too dependent on our digital lives.

Social media, internet connectivity and the all mighty app have surely proven to show us new ways to stay in touch and stay informed. But many do say we have become addiction to our smartphones and our online social status, and that technology is creating behavioral disorders.

Still what has some potential to be more concerning is the new wave of what I consider to be Enabling Technology, and how these innovations may inspire people in perilous ways.

What do I mean by Enabling Technology?

When I call it Enabling Technology, what I mean is basically anything that we are building or programming these days that is enabling people to drink excessively, or behave in other ways that could create addictions or behavioral disorders from taking risks with drugs or alcohol, even online gambling.

Many of these things that are being invented are actually being done for good reason, so my intent is not at all to take away from the good nature behind these ideas. Many have been designed out of hope that the technology can provide some level of protection or assistance, specifically to drunk people, which is commendable.

A lot of Enabling Technology is being made in an effort to inspire real productive change, such as trying to prevent drug driving or sexual assault as a result of individuals who are too intoxicated.

Examples of Enabling Technology

Recently I have written about various pieces of what I would consider to be Enabling Technology, and not because I felt they were a bad idea but because they may do some good. But the more I read and write about these things, the more it comes to mind that they may be dangerous. A few of these inventions are:

  • Breeze Breathalyzer App

A Bluetooth compatible app lets the individual blow into a portable breathalyzer which pairs to a smartphone. If Breeze measures the user as over the legal limit and determines it’s not safe to get behind the wheel, the app places a call to a public transportation service.

  • Vive Wristband

Designed to show you and your friends how drunk you are by monitoring alcohol and dehydration levels in your body. The designers of the Vive believe that this new technology could help reduce the likelihood of sexual assault and other potential harms most commonly attributed to heavy drinking.

  • Drunk Mode App

Newest app that includes three main features:

  • “Stop Drunk Dialing” Allows you to select certain contacts which will remain hidden for 12 hours.
  • “Find My Drunk” enables you track your friends by GPS and vice versa.
  • “Breadcrumbs” tracks where you are throughout the course of the night and reminds you the next day where you went after a blackout.

What is the Problem?

As I read more about these new apps and ideas, I started to wonder each time I saw a new one, why do we need so many of these? While they are good for helping protect people, are all people so out of control that we have to rely on our cell phones to keep tabs on us? If so, then we probably have more alcoholics on the way than we expected.

Then I started to wonder something else; are we encouraging people to binge drink, or providing people with excuses to get black out drunk because your smartphone has your back?

Seriously, with an app that blocks calls to your ex, another one that calls you a cab, and another that monitors your alcohol levels through the night why would you ever feel the need to have some self-control? What would you possibly need to ‘turn down’ for? What could happen?

Well besides the fact that none of these apps or gadgets will magically remove the alcohol from your body or call an ambulance if you get alcohol poisoning, and none of them are a guarantee you won’t drive or get in risky situations, the possibility of people using these technological advancements as an excuse to consume excessive amounts of alcohol without fear or consequences can make a dent in developing a serious and deadly addiction.

Harm reduction is not the worst thing in the world, but at the same time it is not the most effective way to deal with heavy drinking. Harm reduction basically means the tactics used to provide ‘safer’ circumstances and parameters for addicts to use or drink, while trying to minimize the damages.

The Enabling Technologies I’m talking about are pretty much harm reduction tactics because they are designed to minimize the negative impact without actually educating the people or addressing the issue directly. These apps are practically saying ‘sure it’s OK to get hammered and do crazy stuff, because your phone will let you know if you’re going to die or where your friends disappeared to’.

One thing is for sure, actual people had an impossible time trying to convince me that I was drunk, so my iPhone isn’t going to have much luck either.

Opinion on the Outcome

Making apps and gizmo’s to help people get away with being blackout drunk (in my own opinion) is not really going to help with raising awareness. It actually helps people avoid being accountable. I’m not saying these are all bad ideas, and they will probably help a lot of people, maybe even save lives.

But for people like me, alcoholics, it is like saying ‘drink responsibly’ after a 5 minute beer commercial with sports cars and beach parties with supermodels and sky-diving.

Thankfully, I personally don’t need these apps so I won’t be investing. I do wonder how many brewing companies will though. For me it is good to know I don’t need my phone to tell me what to do, or what I did last night. I am fully aware of the ridiculous things I post on social media, and I never take a selfie I don’t remember.

While it is always a good thing for us to try and work toward preventing whatever damage we can, we still should consider all possible outcomes when we take action. Technology can save us some heartache, but just be sure to ask yourself whether you think this is something that will help you stay safe, or something that will help you save face when you are just prolonging your problems, because there are always real solutions out there. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.

Illegal! Magazine: Raising Awareness by Funding Addicts?

Illegal! Magazine: Raising Awareness or Funding Addicts?

Author: Justin Mckibben

One of the more controversial strategies that has been utilized as a way to combat rampant drug use is the concept of harm reduction. Basically harm reduction is about trying to facilitate safer environments and methods for addicts to use drugs without putting themselves or others in too much danger.

As a new way to accomplish this, a group of Danish drug-reform campaigners have set out to publish a magazine with the primary purpose being to assist the local addicts in London by helping fund their drug habit legally.

Recreating Harm Reduction

Denmark has always been on the more open-minded and liberal side of addressing drug use, so harm reduction is usually a popular concept. Back in June of 2012 Danish Parliament passed legislation that would allow for “fix rooms,” or drug consumption centers which are a common form of harm reduction where users are supervised when using. A second drug consumption center was opened in August, and both centers now regularly host an estimated 1,800 users who smoke and inject heroin and cocaine.

The new step in that direction is the quarterly magazine appropriately entitled Illegal! which initially launched in Denmark in September of 2013 with the aims to combat drug use. The initial publication was in Danish, and has been successfully circulated reaching peaks of about 15,000 copies. Now a preliminary issue of about 2,000 copies of the English language-version is being sold on the streets of London.

The magazine was created as a means of helping down-and-out drug users obtain money to support their habits. This may seem like a strange strategy, openly enabling addicts in your area to use illicit drugs instead of trying to put an end to the drug use, but when most addicts end up resorting to theft or prostitution, this seems like something that could at least soften the blow of ongoing drug use until the individual seeks help. It is also one way to curb a rising crime rate.

In Illegal!’s Own Words

Addicts in the London area are be given the magazine for free, and then they sell each issue for about $5.50 per copy. However, this is not meant to be a con. Any customer who chooses to buy the magazine are warned that the person selling the publication is “more than likely” to spend the money on drugs. The magazine’s foreword reads,

“Everyone has a right to do with their body as they wish and, if that means a two-day acid trip in Camden or an ecstasy-fueled night in Shoreditch, then so be it. What we lack is education. Welcome to Illegal! magazine in London.”

The first issue focuses on what the magazine referred to as safer and “more enjoyable drug use” and was written with the help of the Global Drug Survey.

Michael Lodberg Olsen, who is a self-styled social entrepreneur  and the editor-in-chief of Illegal!, said if this first test run is a success, then drug users would eventually pay about $2.25 per issue to help cover the costs of the magazine, in what is presumably an effort to keep them accountable and make the publication somewhat self-sustaining.

The magazine does not make any effort to hold back on on substance or content, Olsen says that his primary goal with Illegal! is to help spark a conversation about drug use and the growing concern with addiction. Olsen stated,

“We can’t just ignore that drugs are everywhere and there are heavy drug users on the streets who often fund their habit through theft or prostitution. This offers them an alternative. It is about breaking the cycle between drug use and crime. We don’t think the magazine breaks any laws. We have told people that, if someone is unhappy about the magazine being sold near a particular place, then they should move on.”

He insists that realistically anyone can sell this magazine, and that it is more about challenging what we already know and do about the ‘War on Drugs’ to keep conversation and innovation moving in the direction of progression. But as far as harm reduction itself, how effect are these kinds of tactics?

In some opinions the drug use at drug consumption centers is not necessarily safer. Although no deaths have taken place in the two Copenhagen fix rooms as of yet, 135 people overdosed on site in the first year alone. So many do question whether in this case the ends will truly justify the means? Will helping drug addicts have a way to make money safely do all the good most hope for? Or will the number of overdoses continue to climb as the area officials make it easier and easier to get high and stay high?

While some feel harm reduction prevents some pretty severe situations from happening and avoids issues like theft and prostitution, many feel it is not the safest or most responsible way to deal with drug addiction. Awareness is important to innovations in treatment and advancements in holistic healing, and a lot of success stories begin with effective and compassionate treatment programs. 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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