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

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

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

Opioid Alternatives: Should Doctors Weigh Other Options?

Physical therapist helping patient on exercise staircase.

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Over the last decade, the increase in opiate painkiller abuse and heroin abuse has been alarming to say the least. The 2014 statistics state that a person dies every 4 minutes from a drug overdose or alcohol-related event. Prescription pain killer abuse is an epidemic in the United States and as a result, alternatives are being considered to prevent more and more people from developing a dependency to opioids. Are there better methods of managing chronic pain?

Many believe so and are pushing for a change. While opioid medications are effective at reducing pain, they are very addictive, and other alternatives should be looked at before doctors prescribe opioid medications.

So, what options are available? Fortunately, there are a variety of options available for pain relief that range from non-opioid medications to non-medicinal therapies. Discussing these options with your doctor can help provide you with a pain management program that has a lower risk for dependency.

The Best Opiate Alternatives

  • Over-the-Counter Acetaminophen
    Acetaminophen is a drug more commonly known by the brand name Tylenol. It is recommended as a first-line of treatment by the American College of Rheumatology. While scientists are not sure on how the drug works, most theorize the drug works by inhibiting the synthesis of chemical messengers called prostaglandins, which help to transmit pain signals and induce fever. This drug is non-addictive and can be very effective.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
    NSAIDs are more potent than acetaminophen and include anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve. These drugs work by reducing inflammation; however they run a risk of risk of organ toxicity, kidney or liver failure and ulcers. Use in moderation for optimum success.
  • Corticosteroids
    Steroids inhibits nerves in the body and provide pain relief. The drawbacks to steroids are that they can potentially accelerate join destruction. Other side effects can include immune system suppression, gastrointestinal issues and psychiatric effects.
  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitors
    Anti-depressants may be appropriate for nerve, muscular and skeletal pain. They also help with insomnia and anxiety. This is a great alternative because these drugs do not have the same side effects of opioids.
  • Physical Therapy
    Physical therapy requires more work from the patient but can be extremely useful in improving physical healing and relieving pain long-term. Physical therapy can be done in sessions and recommended exercises can often be done at home.
  • Massage, Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care
    Acupuncture is an ancient art form that has been used for thousands of years. Some find acupuncture to be just as effective, if not more effective than medications. On the bonus side, it is a totally natural safe alternative to opioid medication.
  • Exercise
    Exercise is beneficial for so many reasons. Surprisingly, exercise has been shown to be healing for those with chronic pain. Low-impact exercises can help improve mobility and functionality. Activities like yoga and ta-chi can be helpful for many ailments.

Chronic pain affects millions. Whether we like it or not, pain is a real occurrence, and sometimes opioid medications may be the only option. However, if other alternatives and other methods of care can be promoted, it can help prevent the amount of patients suffering from dependence to these drugs. Often, taking a prescription opioid may not be the best option. As the prescription pain killer epidemic continues to gain media attention and  political awareness,more attention should be placed on prevention methods, as well as treatment.

Overall, ask your doctor to weigh the alternative options available. Together, both of you can decide the best method of pain management. What do you think? Should doctors weight other options? If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

Oversleeping: A Sign of Depression?

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

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

Author: Shernide Delva

It has been drilled into our minds how important it is to get a good night’s sleep but what if you are sleeping too much? Believe it or not, oversleeping can be a sign of depression. Unfortunately, because insomnia is discussed so much in the media, most people do not know that their heavy sleeping habits could be a sign of something wrong.

The Causes of Oversleeping

Oversleeping can be caused by Hypersomnia. Hypersomnia is a medical disorder that causes people to feel extremely groggy and sleepy throughout the day regardless of how much sleep they had the night before.  This condition causes people to sleep for super long periods of time at night but oversleeping can lead to feelings of anxiety, low energy levels and memory problems.

Another more known condition is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. Interruptions in sleep interrupts a person’s sleep cycle several times throughout the night. Because our bodies need to reach that state of deep state of sleep to feel energized, a person with sleep apnea can feel extremely deprived of sleep even after sleeping for hours on end.

Of course not everyone that oversleeps suffers from a medical condition! Personally, I know I’ve have days where I sleep in til noon after a long week and lack of rest. Often we play “catch up” and attempt to make up for hours of sleep we were unable to obtain throughout the busy week. It is important to be aware, however, if the habit continues for long periods of time.

Oversleeping has been known to cause or be associated with:

  • Headaches
  • Obesity
  • Back Pain
  • Diabetes

Additionally, there are psychological side effects that result from oversleeping.

Psychological Effects of Oversleeping

Only 15% of  people with depression oversleep. The rest suffer from insomnia but oversleeping should not be taken lightly.  There are many side effects of oversleeping that vary from person to person. Most people who oversleep due to depression often do not realize that they are trying to “escape reality” or sleep their problems away.

  • People who oversleep experience headaches which are caused by the effect neurotransmitters have on the brain.
  • Oversleeping can cause people to feel tired and angry especially when they are trying to improve their  sleeping patterns. It is important to take it one day at a time.
  • People who oversleep are usually less motivated and feel like they have “wasted” their entire day.
  • Because oversleeping increases drowsiness, it is more likely for people to continue to oversleep the next day.

Oversleeping and Bipolar Disorder

Oversleeping is a very common symptom for those with Bipolar Disorder.  People who suffer from Bipolar Disorder are highly encouraged to maintain a mood journal that keeps track of their sleep patterns.

  • People with bipolar disorder should monitor their sleep ensure they have a regular sleep routine.
  • Sleep disturbances are a major symptom of both mania and depression and changes of sleep can be a warning sign of a mood change.
  • People with bipolar have extremely sensitive circadian systems which make it difficult to recover if their sleep patterns are disturbed.
  • Sleep is just one factor in the complex issue of bipolar disorder and circadian rhythm.
  • Bipolar disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder so it is seriously affected by changes in sleep pattern. Having a regular sleep pattern with bipolar disorder is critical.

If you do oversleep, you can try treating yourself by changing your sleep patterns. Studies have shown that decreasing the amount of sleep you get can help combat the nasty side effects of oversleeping. Take it day by day.

Personally, I try and exercise on days where I feel like snoozing.  I find that when I am more productive, I am more satisfied emotionally than on days I stay in bed all day. Even if you do not suffer from insomnia, it is important to monitor how your sleep habits can affect your mental and emotional state.

If you suffer from oversleeping and feel like it may be due to depression, seek guidance for your condition. It is important to not take symptoms like oversleeping lightly. It could be a sign of something darker going on and you might not even realize. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

The fact I am writing this article is funny to say the least. I have been active in recovery and broke for some decent periods of time, and still work on developing new strategies for managing my finances the best I can. Recovery affects different people in different ways, especially when it comes to money. Some people find themselves able to fill a new type of job opportunity, advance quickly and make a little more money. Others stay humble and work a simple job (or 2), and a lot of us find new ways to handle the money we’re making. Some find that while clean and sober they are actually able to hold onto more of their money for the first time in a long time. Others find that they develop new spending habits that don’t exactly afford them much growth or stability.

I am very familiar with being clean, sober, and broke! I have worked 2 jobs for months to afford my rent and life-style, and I have worked 1 very simple job just stay humble, get by and focus on sobriety, and now I work a wonderful job and stay active in recovery and still find myself broke.

No joke I still have to remind myself of a few dangers of spending in sobriety. To manage your finances in sobriety you need to remember to focus on the necessities. You should do things like:

  • Set goals- keep track of your progress
  • Buy Groceries- learn to cook (still working on that)
  • Cut back on expensive activities

Do NOT waste your money!

There are a lot of things that happen when we get sober. I can offer some good experience on what NOT to do (because I did it). One thing is we waste money on things that aren’t exactly going to help us in recovery or building a life we can manage. Sometimes we do deserve to give ourselves a gift, but we can also develop shopping and spending addictions. There are some strategies to avoid wasting money:

Don’t go too crazy with new Tattoos/Piercings…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

I’m so guilty of this in my first few months it is not even funny. I spent a good $1,000 in one month alone after 2 out of treatment on new ink. I looked back after a month and realized I could have easily invested in so many things that would have contributed to my future instead. I love my ink no lie, but I’m reminded every time I ride the bus of the car I could have!

Don’t blow money on new clothes…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Clothes that we don’t need can be a way we treat ourselves and try to change our presentation, but when they are not necessary we should be able to step back and stay humble. Sure once you have changed as a person it’s nice to dress the part, but you have to change the behavior.

No need to stock-pile shoes…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Shoes are awesome! New Nike’s go a long way, but to say that building my collection of kicks is more important than paying my bills on time is no way to manage my finances.

Learn where to get cheap coffee…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Being young in recovery means (just taking a WILD guess) you’re probably well informed where the closest Starbucks or Duncan Donuts is, and the hours of operation. Sobriety makes some people, myself included, coffee snobs. Be sure you’re not spending too much on your intake. I know my Venti White-Mocha with 4 shots of expresso and whipped cream is a luxury, not a necessity…. well, sometimes.

Going out for dinner can eat up your wallet…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Eating out is another luxury we can afford to take advantage of sometimes. But before going to the fanciest place in town and buying the steak and lobster special 4 times a week, make sure that you’re taking care of your responsibilities at home. Maybe try that ‘cooking’ thing I keep hearing about.

Vapes and Vape Accessories…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

The newest renovations in ‘vapor smoking technology’ are making a huge influence on our culture today, and people in recovery seem to love buying up ‘mods’ and ‘flavors’ to build their vape-game. No harm done, unless you have no money for food because you had to get that custom tank and new ‘Juicy-Fruit/Apple-Pie/Strawberry-Shortcake/Banana-Smoothie/Mucho-Menthol-’ mix.

Try not to chain-smoke cigarettes…

Clean and Sober, but Still Broke? How to Manage Your Finances in Recovery

Smokers, don’t get me wrong I know it can be tough. When I first got sober I smoked much more than usual, the struggle is REAL! However, if you can consider the fact that a large chunk of you change is going to pay for that habit, it may be a way to help you get ahead of your finances if you try to cut back on cigarettes, or even switch to a cheaper brand.

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

How I Found My Passion in Sobriety

How I Found My Passion in Sobriety

The gifts of sobriety are incredible. All people are born with potential to find something they truly love to do and pursue that with passion. The genuine love for the things we do and the emotional connection to achieving new goals, or simply being present in the moments of our favorite routines, is something that is freeing and fulfilling to each of us. When abusing drugs or drinking begins to be more important to us than anything else, we lose our passion for the things we love to do because it is redirected to our addictions.

I took the time to speak with a few people I know in recovery about the things they are passionate about and how they have found new passion for these things in sobriety.

Passion For Custom Creativity  

Recently I spoke with a young woman, who creates custom pieces for clients seeking quality decorative work,

“Having done artwork mainly for business purposes, sitting alone to paint was often difficult- isolation is NEVER a good friend of mine. When first getting sober, I could paint about an hour before depression or angst would set in. Then I would have to pick up the phone, go to a meeting, and get active in my recovery. As the ‘promises’ of recovery continue to show up in my life, artwork is becoming more art and less work. As I discovered a God of my understanding, I became grateful for the gifts I am given. I am able to sit and paint because, if I am spiritually healthy, I am NEVER alone.”   

For The Love of The Game 

I also spoke with Nick, a very close friend of mine who has recently hit new heights in his passions.

“I have played baseball all my life and it has always been my passion in life, what I was born to do is be on the field on that mound. As my addiction grew stronger and progressed more and more baseball took a backseat to my drugs and alcohol as did everything else. I thought my career was over to be honest and though I’d never set foot on a field again. I had given up hope”

 “Getting sober has given me so many gifts and opportunities; baseball is just one of them. If I wasn’t sober I wouldn’t have the drive or means to get into shape to play, or have the mental focus to do what is needed of me on the field- but when I step on that field or up to that plate a million things could be going wrong, I could be so stressed out and fearful, but for those 3 hours I’m at peace. Ease and comfort like nothing else“

“My daily reprieve huh, I would love to give you a 12 step cookie cutter answer and say that it is God and the fellowship and all that program stuff. That is a part of it, but there’s just something special that happens to me when I’m in baseball mode. It’s what I love to do and I found it again in sobriety, I walked on, tried out, and now have a chance to play professional baseball. I wouldn’t have that opportunity if I wasn’t sober and I’m so grateful for that. And for the people who I love that have supported me the whole way,”

Guitar and Tattoo Guru 

Lastly I spoke with a friend who had a big influence on me as an artist at local tattoo studio who is an active member of the recovery community as well as a musician. I had a few one on one sessions with him to get some tattoo work done, and he shared with me some experience. I reached out to him for a few words.

“For me it was a big fear in early recovery that my creativity and my life would not be the same if I was sober. I thought I would have a boring life without drugs and alcohol. In active addiction I was not able to critically think, and I was unable let go of the fear of making a mistake. The best thing I learned is that if I get out of my way and let my higher power work in my life in all these things I did not need to critically think, I get this peace when that fear is removed, and I get to experience an expression of God,”

“What I have come to find is that I wasn’t doing much of writing, painting, or music when I wasn’t sober. But in sobriety I got prayer and meditation, and through that I was able to enrich those things in my life, and that enabled me to let go of a lot of the fear and false beliefs. The belief that I needed some kind of substance to be creative was a lie.”

“In the beginning of my sobriety all I needed was some kind of faith, and through sobriety that faith matured and I gained discipline in spiritual practices that I was able to apply to my creative practices.  I read a book that opened my eyes to that idea that I am able to do these things to be closer to God, and it talks about how spirituality plays into art, music, and our passions.”

These amazing individuals make several very strong points! They are all just a few examples of how addicts and alcoholics are such talented and passionate people, and how once we have found ourselves willing to work on changing our lives, our lives take on new meaning through the things we love the most. Writing is something I was always passionate about, and in active addiction my writing was lacking in emotion or meaning, if I was even writing at all. Now the writing I am blessed enough to do every day gives me freedom, happiness and feels full of purpose, because I get to write with passion!

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

Nobody Loved You Like I Do, But All You’ve Done Is Ruin Me

Nobody Loved You Like I Do, But All You’ve Done Is Ruin Me

There is a rare intensity about the love/hate relationship we who struggle with addiction find with the substances we abuse.  As addicts we obviously develop mental and physical dependency, but some people don’t even realize the emotional attachments we can create. The act of writing a ‘goodbye letter’ to a specific DOC (Drug of Choice) and including some of the passion and pain we experience in active addiction can prove to be powerful and liberating action in the early stages of recovery. Finding those feelings of desperation and using the momentum of that memory, we can try and cut these emotional ties that bind us to our addictions.

Today we have a guest blogger who was brave enough to share her ‘goodbye letter’ in the hopes that it will help someone else who may still be struggling with the emotional chaos created by substance abuse. I myself was reminded of the agony of active addiction, and could feel in these honest words this young woman’s conviction.


Dear Heroin, D’s, Crack & Benzos,

You guys are all my favorite. Not one more than the other. What I’ll miss the most is the feeling that you give me; the instant gratification that I love. The f*ck everything & everyone attitude I have when you’re around. You’re such an easy escape for me & I don’t have to even think twice about what to do when you’re around. I miss the good times, when I wasn’t sick without you. When I could take you or leave you; it was better then, than it is now. Nobody loved you like I do. No one understands how you could mean more to me than anything in this world, when all you’ve done is ruin me. And even though I feel like I’m not ready to be without you anymore, I need to say goodbye. And this time, it has to be for good because the more I come back to you, the worse it gets. I don’t miss searching for you all day. I don’t miss the complete emptiness I feel when I can’t find you. Everything comes second to you when you’re in my life, and before you showed up, I never felt anything like the pain you’ve cause me. Over the years, you’ve grown on me & in a bad [way]. All I’ve got to show for you is burns & track marks that I’ll have for the rest of my life. You’ve left me with nothing else besides a fear of life itself & countless burned bridges, as well as money spent that I don’t have in the first place. I’ll spend the rest of my life paying for the shit you got me into, and for that I f*cking hate you. The pathetic thing about it is that I know I’ll never be able to forget you, despite the fact that my life is more complete without you then it ever would have been if I kept you around. I’m done with giving & giving & getting locked up or sold or waking in a f*cking hospital all for you when all you do is hurt me. I realize now that I feel so much better on my own. I don’t need you anymore & even in my moments of weakness, I know that I don’t want you bad enough to go back to the way things were. Nothing feels as good as knowing that I never have to see you again.

P.S. I totally used you.


Shannon McLaughlin

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