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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:

Inside the Packed Opioid Workshop Held In West Palm Beach

Inside the Packed Opioid Workshop Held In West Palm Beach

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

Author: Shernide Delva 

The first of four opioid workshops took place May 1st   in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Florida Governor Rick Scott initiated the workshops as a way of addressing the opioid epidemic, yet he was not in attendance for the meeting.  Instead, 22 public figures attended the workshop ranging from Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley.

Protesters stood outside of the West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room. Some held signs; others held photos of loved ones who had passed. Many wore shirts with the words “Fed Up!!” printed on the front.

A live broadcast of the discussion streamed via the Palm Beach Post Investigations Facebook page. Christine Stapleton, an investigative reporter for the Palm Beach Post, reported live from the event. Around 1:30 PM, Stapleton walked along the front of the building conversing with protesters prior to streaming the opioid workshop which began at 3:00 PM.

Protesters marched holding signs and chatting amongst each other. Some were parents of children who had died from overdoses. Others were Registered Nurses who witness overdose victims on a regular basis. People gathered from all walks of life with one thing in common: they were all fed up with the response regarding the opioid epidemic.

Unfortunately, most felt the workshop they were attending was not the best plan of action regarding the opioid epidemic. Some deemed the workshop pointless. However, it was a much-needed conversation and an opportunity for the community to be heard by public officials.

The timeframe of the meeting was set at only 90 minutes which received massive criticism due to the complexities of the opioid epidemic. Furthermore, Governor Rick Scott was not in attendance which only further lowered the morale of some in attendance.

Protesters Speak Out: Desperate for Action

Outside of the facility, hundreds of purple strips of cloth hung on clotheslines. Behind the strips of cloth is Gaynelle Gozland, a parent advocate whose son, at just 13 years old, became addicted to opioids. She explains to Stapleton how she wishes she had known what she does now about prescription painkillers.

At just 13 years old, Gozland’s son was prescribed a 5-day opioid prescription for a broken arm. Not long after, her son spent his 14th birthday in rehab, addicted to opioids.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” she says in the live stream. “My son, who is 19 now, still says to me ‘thank you for what you did because if you hadn’t, I’d be dead or strung out on heroin.”

As for the hanging strips of purple cloth, they are memorial banners. Gozland says the strips represent those who have passed away due to overdoses.  Gozland’s mother, who passed away from alcoholism, influenced the idea for the purple strips of cloth.  Her mother used to run a clothesline art show stringing up kids art.

“So, I’m stringing up memorial banners, and the banners are basically prayer flags so that as the wind blows, the memory of these human beings are carried on the wind,” she says.

Inside the Opioid Crisis Workshop

At about 3:00 PM, Stapleton walks us into the opioid workshop in which public figures sit in the middle of the room.

Several called on Governor Rick Scott to declare the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis. They believe this would speed up funding.  Why is the Zika virus considered a public health crisis, yet not heroin? However, Attorney General Dr. Celeste Philip says the declaration does not always result in faster funding.

“What happened in [(sic)  Zika — the declaration occurred in February, and funding was not made available until several months later when we saw that the delay in federal funding was longer than we expected,” says Philip.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley summed up the tone of the room:

“I’m angry today,” says McKinley. “We just did this in January in Tallahassee. We held this press conference with the Attorney General. We had this conversation. We laid out a plan of what was needed. Nothing was done.”

“If we were able to move that quickly on (the Zika) issue, why can’t we move more quickly on this (heroin) issue?’’ she asked.

The crowd erupts in applause.

Overall, one thing was clear from the workshop: talk is cheap. People need action. These opioid workshops do raise awareness and grant a voice to the community. However, the plans discussed need implementation. Not much will happen without action.

“I’m (expletive) tired of it. I’m tired of losing my friends,’’ Jordan Meyers, a recovering addict from Boca Raton, sums up in the workshop.

The remaining workshops are to be held Tuesday and in Manatee and Orange Counties and Wednesday in Duval County.


What do you think of Rick Scott’s opioid workshops? Do you feel they are making a difference? The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that should be taken just as seriously as any other disease. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse, reach out. We can get you on the right track. You are now alone in this fight. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

For the First Time, Drug Use Tops Booze in Fatal U.S. Crashes

For the First Time, Drug Use Tops Booze in Fatal U.S. Crashes

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

Author: Shernide Delva

We know how devastatingly common alcohol-related car accidents are, but what about drug-related accidents? Turns out, drug-related accidents are becoming more common than those involving alcohol.

For the first time, drug use is topping booze in fatal U.S crashes.  Recent U.S data reveals that drivers killed in crashes were more likely to be on drugs than drunk. Furthermore, marijuana was involved in more than a third of fatal accidents in 2015, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Among driver fatalities, 36.5 percent used marijuana followed by amphetamines at 9.3 percent, the study confirms. The study was based on the most recent U.S state data reported to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA)

“People generally should get educated that drugs of all sorts can impair your driving ability,” said Jim Hedlund, a former NHTSA official who wrote the report. “If you’re on a drug that does so, you shouldn’t be driving.”

The study included any substance that can impair driving including:

In 2013, alcohol and drug traffic fatalities were at about 40 percent, with alcohol slightly higher, stated Hedlund.

Since 2005, the drug fatality levels have risen steadily. Before 2005, alcohol was detected in 41 percent of traffic deaths and drugs in 28 percent.  Hedlund said he was unable to find a direct link between the increased U.S. drug users, such as the opioid epidemic, to the rise in drugged drivers.

The number of U.S. deaths from opioids has massively quadrupled since 1999, with more than 33, 000 deaths in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Palm Beach County, a recent report from medical examiners stated a person died from an overdose fatality every 15 hours.

The increase in drug-related driving fatalities also coincides with marijuana legalization. In the United States, 29 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia allow medical or recreational marijuana use. The reports state that marijuana-related traffic deaths in Colorado increased by 28 percent after the state legalized recreational use of the drug.

However, Michael Collins, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group, questions the correlation. Because marijuana can linger in the body for weeks, a driver might not actually be intoxicated when being tested, he said.

“I think you really need to take these kind of analyses with a pinch of salt,” he said in a phone interview with U.S. News

The report cautions that the data varies widely on how many drivers are tested and how they were tested.

What the Future Holds

Overall, the study brings up some important points. With the opioid epidemic hitting tragic numbers, and marijuana legalization increasing throughout the states, it is likely that drivers will have more than booze in their system.

Therefore, driving under the influence encompasses a lot more than just alcohol. Mixing alcohol with other substances is a major concern as this further impairs a person’s ability to drive. It also increases the risk of an accident and not only puts the driver at risk but also other drivers on the road. What do you believe should be done about this?

Driving under the influence of any major drug is a huge no-no. Please reach out for help if you are having trouble controlling your substance use. Do not wait. You are not alone. Call now. We want to help.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Opioid Workshop in Palm Beach County Set for May 1

Florida Governor Believes Community Workshops Will Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

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

Author: Shernide Delva 

The opioid epidemic is a complicated manner with a myriad of potential plans of action. Throughout the country, different strategies are being implemented to reduce the number of deaths

Florida Governor Rick Scott believes community workshops are a part of the solution.  Palm Beach County will be the first of four counties next month to host community workshops as part of Governor Scott’s plan to combat the opioid crisis.

The first “community workshop” is set for May 1, according to the Department of children and families.

Date/Time: 

Monday, May 1, 2017 – 15:00 to 16:30

Location:

West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room
600 Banyan Blvd
West Palm Beach  Florida  33401

United States

Two counties will also have the workshops on May 2—Manatee and Orange counties and Duval County’s workshop will be May 3.

Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the workshops on Tuesday. The state Department of Health and the Florida Development of Law Enforcement will host the conferences, and believe the conferences are a good step moving forward.

“Similar to many communities across the nation, Palm Beach, Manatee, Duval, and Orange counties are facing an increase in opioid-related deaths,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said in an email sent to local officials.

“Community workshops will provide important opportunities for DCF, DOH, and FDLE to directly hear the specific needs of affected communities as well as provide information on existing resources, best practices, and grant opportunities.”

Will These Workshops Help Fight Opioid Epidemic?

The opioid epidemic in Florida has reached number unheard of in previous years.  The main cause for the increase in overdose deaths is related to fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is nearly 50 times stronger than heroin, while carfentanil—another controlled substance— is strong enough to tranquilize an elephant!

These powerful opioids get cut into the heroin supply tremendously increasing the risk of overdose fatalities. A recent report stated every 15 hours; someone dies from an opioid overdose in Florida. This does not include drug overdoses from alcohol or other non-opioid drugs.

Governor Rick Scott says the issue is personal for him.

“I had a family member dealing with drug abuse and he struggled with drug abuse his entire life, and I can tell you wish I had known exactly what to do for him,” said Scott.

“I can just tell you it was devastating. His life has been devastated, and it also had a dramatic impact on my mom’s life. And, she died a few years ago, and I can tell you what bothered her the most is that she could not change my brother’s life.”

In addition to contributing to reducing heroin abuse, Gov. Rick Scott says he is eager to hosting community workshops across the state. Law enforcement agencies are also contributing to the effort.

Scott stated in a news conference that he is directing these state organizations to hold workshops:

  • Florida Department of Children and Families
  • Department of Health
  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement

If you are in Palm Beach, Duval, Manatee or Orange country, please check with your local agency on the location and time for the next workshop.

Do you think these workshops will be effective in generating ideas on how to fight the opioid epidemic? Clearly, it is a complex problem with a myriad of solutions. Furthermore, if you are struggling, we have professionals waiting to guide you. Do not wait. Call toll-free today.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Will Clean Needle Vending Machines Save Lives?  Las Vegas Thinks So.

 

Will A Clean Needle Vending Machine Save Lives?  Las Vegas Thinks So.

Author: Shernide Delva

We’ve talked about it all. Whether it is safe needle injection facilities, or prescription heroin, the various harm reduction strategies to reduce the effects of substance abuse continue to raise controversy.

Now, Las Vegas plans to reduce the risk of sharing contaminated needles by installing vending machines throughout the city.

That’s right, vending machines.

Those things you buy snacks and water bottles from will soon be carrying clean hypodermic needles.  Those needles are there to prevent the spread of disease among heroin users.  The ultimate goal is to save lives and help users stay healthy.

Before you argue the pros and cons, let me remind you that this idea is far from a stretch. New York has seen massive success in the use of safe needle exchange programs. The safe needle exchange programs in New York City have been credited with virtually eradicating the transmission of AiDS through contaminated needles. Furthermore, there are already areas in Canada that carry clean needle vending machines, and so far, the results have been favorable.

Las Vegas wants to crack down on disease transmission via shared needles by becoming the first city in the United States to install clean needle vending machines.

But why not create another safe needle exchange program, you ask?

Good question. It all comes down to time and money. Traditional safe needle exchange programs require a tremendous amount of resources — time, money and volunteers willing to hang out in neighborhoods that have high drug use rates.  Vending machines, on the other hand, are inexpensive and more accessible.

The syringe vending machine program is a collaboration between the Las Vegas harm reduction center Trac-B Exchange and the state. The goal is to make clean needles more accessible in order to reduce the spread of diseases like hep C and HIV.  Three machines will debut at outreach centers around Las Vegas next month.

With every purchase, users receive a package that includes alcohol wipes, a disposal container, and condoms in addition to clean needles.  The packages will be free but users must register a swipe card with their birthday and their first and last name to monitor the number of kits distributed per user. There will also be a kiosk nearby to dispose of dirty needles.

Improving Overall Health?

These types of programs do not just reduce diseases like HIV and hep C, they also prevent abscesses, infections, and damage to veins, helping users’ overall health. There is little evidence to suggest that these programs encourage drug use. Instead, plenty of studies confirms that programs like these reduce the spread of diseases transmitted by the blood.

Overall, of course seeking treatment is the ideal answer to those struggling with addiction. However, the reality is we are in the middle of an addiction epidemic, and many are continuing to use. Therefore, programs like these are intended to help improve overall health. We want to know your opinion. What are your thoughts on these types of programs?


Harm reduction programs remain a complex strategy to a devastating epidemic. The best option is always sobriety, but sadly, it takes time for many to commit to that choice. That’s why if you are struggling with substance use disorder, reach out to us. We have professionals waiting to give you the help you desperately need. You are not alone. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

How Do I Set Boundaries with My Addicted Loved One?

Dug and Heidi McGuirk Answer “How Do I Set Boundaries?”

A few weeks ago, we covered the dangers of enabling discussed in the Revolutionary Growth video, “How do I know I’m Enabling?” Dug and Heidi McGuirk explained enabling and how to stop doing it. The best way to stop enabling is through setting boundaries with your addicted loved one.

Furthermore, in the next video, Dug and Heidi McGuirk, who run the Revolutionary Family program for Palm Healthcare,  answer:

How Do I Set A Boundary?

After you have made the decision NOT to enable your addicted loved one, the next step is to set clear boundaries.  At this point, you have decided to no longer support their addiction.  Instead, you are determined to support their recovery and beyond.

To do this, you must set healthy boundaries, but how exactly does one set healthy boundaries?

First, it is important to remember you are setting boundaries, not ultimatums.

“It’s all about you. You can’t set a boundary to manipulate another person. That’s called an ultimatum. We aren’t doing an ultimatum. Those don’t work,” Heidi McGuirk says.

“We are doing a boundary which is people are going to do what they’re going to do, and you need to decide how you are going to experience what they’re going to do, and that’s it.”

It is crucial to take steps to ensure your addicted loved one knows where you stand. Do not become upset and argue with them if they do not abide. Do not tell them to simply stop their behavior. Instead, commit to your boundaries.

Dug and Heidi McGuirk’s steps to creating clear boundaries:

  1. Be Clear:
    Let your addicted loved one know what it is that you won’t tolerate and what your plan is if they do not abide.
  2. Use Direct Assertive Language:
    No “wishy-washy” behavior. Use very few words and let them know the consequences.
  3. Make Consequences You Will Follow Through On:
    Try not to make consequences that are unmanageable. Make consequences that you can commit and follow through on consistently.
  4. Check for Understanding:
    Make sure that they have heard you. If needed, have a cheat sheet to communicate more effectively.

How to Create a Boundary “Cheat Sheet”

If you struggle with communicating boundaries and consequences, Heidi and Dug McGuirk recommend carrying a cheat sheet that will help guide you through the process.

Cheat Sheet Example:

 “When you ___, I feel ___; I want___ If you___, I will___.”

Here is how the cheat sheet can be applied when communicating boundaries:

Cheat Sheet Applied for Drunken Behavior:

  • When you come home drunk, I feel nervous, scared and violated. I want to have a sober, healthy and safe home to live in. If you come home drunk again, I will leave for the night; lock the doors, ask you to get treatment, etc…”

Cheat Sheet Applied for Verbal Aggression:

  • When you speak to me that way, I feel assaulted, attacked, upset, frustrated, scared, and violated. I want to be able to have a rational discussion with you. I want to feel safe in our conversations together. I want to not be around that anymore. If you continue to speak to me that way, I will walk away, leave, hang up the phone, etc…”

The key is to follow through with the boundaries you set:

“You might have to leave, walk away, hang up the phone 25 times, but the key to this is to follow through because that’s really how you teach people how to treat you so make sure you’re prepared to do what you say you are going to do,” Heidi McGuirk says.

After some consistency, your loved one will know what you are going to do and when you are going to do it whenever they mess up. Eventually, all you will have to do is give them “the look, ” and they will know exactly where you stand.

If you want to read more about boundaries, download our free E-book “What is the Difference between Helping and Hurting?”

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The Importance of Commitment

Dug McGuirk explains this concept of “the look” using their toddler, Ellie, as an example. Often, toddlers know exactly what you are going to do because the boundaries were followed through with many times in the past.

“There’s sometimes the look or the countdown or the whatever. You do that a few times, and they know what’s going to happen because it’s been implemented,” Dug McGuirk says.

However, this awareness will only happen if you follow through with the consequences consistently.  Do not become lax with your boundaries. It is important it is to commit to boundaries even in weaker moments.

Heidi McGuirk describes how their toddler Ellie would receive a time-out every time she smacked her.  It was important Ellie knew this behavior was inappropriate. One night, right before bed, Ellie decided to smack her again.

Heidi McGuirk knew she was tired, in bed, and knew giving their daughter a time-out would be a major inconvenience. However, she realized this is exactly why enabling behaviors happens.

Often, the loved ones of addicts do not follow through with their boundaries because they are constantly tested during these inconvenient moments. It is important to follow through when tested during weaker moments so that your addicted loved ones knows you are serious.

“What I’m saying is the more that you practice your chops at holding your line, the less testing they’ll be” Heidi McGuirk states.

“Patience and Discipline are the parents of execution,” Dug McGuirk affirms.


 Overall, setting boundaries is a matter of knowing what you need and knowing how you want to experience your loved one’s addiction. The next part is committing to the boundaries you set. We know it is not easy. Therefore, if you have a loved one struggling with addiction, of if you are having trouble dealing with your loved one’s addiction, please reach out to us. We want to help. Do not wait.  Call now. 

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Author: Shernide Delva  

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