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:

Goodbye With Gratitude: Alumni Submission

Goodbye With Gratitude: Alumni SubmissionBy: Justin Mckibben

Every once in a while we have an opportunity to share some of the amazing and emotional testimonies of transformation from our Palm Partners alumni. So many of these men and women have experience such an awesome change in their life and a change in perspective that they cannot wait to share with us their gratitude and share how they learned through us to overcome the many aspects of their adversity.

This week a wonderful woman Doris recently became a Palm Partners Alumni, and wanted to share a letter that she wrote to the Palm Partners staff, and asked that we type it up and publish it for her. She talks about how not knowing what she was walking into ended up helping her recognize the turmoil in herself, and the desire to get better that brought her on this journey. One of the most rewarding parts of this for us is to acknowledge the amazing people that make an impact every day on the lives of people who desperately need hope, helping them find it when all seems lost.

So below is the letter Doris wrote.

Goodbye Letter

When I walked in Detox for the very first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I was scared, beyond broken and completely miserable with life the way I’d been living it. The next 5 days were hard, I kept pushing through it. I never knew just how difficult it would be. A lot of pain, soul-searching and coming to terms with my disease. After 5 days I was placed at Palm Partners. I was taught by Doug and Heidi how to begin to forgive myself through the “Dickens Process,” which was completely awesome! It was so surreal, I never realized just how many people I hurt while on that path. I’m taking with me all of the things that were taught here.

I would like to thank God for leading me in the right direction.

I’d like to thank Todd from admissions, who answered that 3 AM phone call and gave me HOPE, which put me on that airplane 3 days later.

Thanks to all the clients, men and women, that were there every step of the way, lending an ear or a shoulder to cry on.

Thanks to ALL employees that helped me get to this point of my recovery, especially Tristen- he always makes me want to smile- and Paula, my therapist. I appreciate all of your help. And Sandy.

A BIG thanks goes to all the techs. You all deserve a raise because you all put up with 10 kinds of hell every day and night!

Much love goes out to each and every person that was involved in my treatment. I am forever grateful.

THANK YOU!

-Doris Jones

Keep Sharing the Message

We are always happy to share the powerful breakthroughs that our clients get to have while attending treatment, just like we love hearing about the personal connections they make with their therapists. As more men and women like Doris complete the program and move on to change and inspire in their life, we celebrate their success and thank them for the part of the journey we get to be present for.

We know there are so many more Palm Partners alumni out there with talents, stories and experiences to share, and we encourage you to contact us and be part of the message that may help countless others. You never know how many lives you can touch, and how many people could make the choice that saves their life because of something that you choose to share. 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.

 

How Improv Can Transform Your Life after Recovery

How Improv Can Transform Your Life after Recovery

Cody Withrow, co-founder of I Am Improv, performing on stage.

Author: Shernide Delva

For many of us, the idea of stepping onstage and being asked to perform without a script sounds terribly frightening. However, as an addict, it could be just what you need to finally free yourself from years of being trapped in your chattering mind.

Improvisational comedy allows you to gain confidence and communicate in an expressive way. Over time, Improv can help you acquire skills such as being spontaneous, trusting others and listening that can transform your life after recovery.

Many addicts use drugs to feel happier, relax and free themselves from depression and anxiety. Improvisation has been proven to help with coping with those emotions. You will finally learn how to feel free and “high” without the use of drugs.

Social Anxiety disorders affect 15 million Americans. People with social anxiety often try to overcome their social anxiety through unhealthy habits like using drugs which can lead to a drug addiction. Improv has been studied to treat social anxiety. Researchers have seen a positive correlation between Improvisation and decreasing social anxiety.

So what is Improv?

Improvisational Comedy is defined as a form of live theater in which “the plot, characters and dialogue of a game, scene or story are made up in the moment.” Like me, you may have heard about Improv from the popular television show from years ago called Whose Line is It Anyway. Improvisational acting is considered one of the hardest forms of acting to master because of the spontaneous nature of the art form. Everything is made up and unrehearsed.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cody Withrow, one of the co-founders of the Improv troupe I Am Improv. Along with licensed therapist, Mike Berger, the improv troupe I Am Improv conducts workshops and performs all throughout South Florida at various venues, theaters and rehab facilities.

Withrow elaborated on how Improv was able to transform him on a personal level after years of being consumed by a drug addiction to opioids. He took the time to talk about how he feels other recovering addicts could benefit from participating in improv.


How did you get involved in improv?

Withrow: I’ve done improv for the past 26 years; I just didn’t know it was improv.  I’ve always been making up and doing very funny stuff but about a year and half ago, I met a friend named Mike. After meeting, we thought to ourselves ‘Why don’t we start doing something that incorporates comedy?’ and we thought ‘Wow, what about improv?’ We’ve heard of improv classes. Long story short, we got an improv book, we brought it to a friend’s apartment and we started doing improv games. They were hilarious. We joined a drop in class, we met a teacher, started auditing classes and it kind of went from there.

Can you describe how Improv has helped you grow on a personal level?

Withrow: It’s made me more confident. I didn’t actually think that was going to happen at all. I didn’t think there would be any improvement. But what happens in the theater, it goes into life and vice versa. So art imitates life; Life imitates art. Since doing scenes, I’d be more confident. I would yell more. I could do boisterous characters. It actually let me be freer.  I call it spiritual lubricant. I felt like I was lubricating myself spiritually. I felt like I was able to do more stuff adaptable in the real world because I was getting this kind of life practice in improv scenes. It was very interesting.

I definitely found a new respect for my body and I realized an actor’s ultimate key is the body. It helped me get in touch with my awareness of my recovery with drugs. A lot of it was done because of how much I hated myself. I never liked my body or my body image. So improv was really about embracing this body I have as a tool in order for me to embrace these characters, to sing and dance and to try different movement.

 You mentioned your addiction. Can you go further into your drug addiction?

Withrow: Yes I can. I was addicted to pain killers for years, five years. I got on them at 17. I started smoking weed at 15 or 14. I knew off the bat I was an addict because I wanted more and more and more. Weed wasn’t enough. I took painkillers. Painkillers wasn’t enough. Actually it was. I just needed more and more of them. I became homeless. Parents kicked me out. I was a mess. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I cashed bad checks. I wasn’t even a person anymore. I was like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, just this skinny frail creature that lived outside and did anything to get high.

How did getting involved with improv help in your recovery process?

Withrow: Improv was not involved at all with my immediate recovery. It wasn’t until I had five years of sobriety that improv was involved. I will say that laughter and playing around was always there but I didn’t know it was improv.

But yes, improv can definitely be used in the early stages of recovery. I wasn’t aware of the tools but improv can help with many things. First of all, it gets you out of your mind. The cool thing is you get kind of thrown into the present moment and the improv games are best done without thinking. The more you think, the more you’re–I don’t want to say wrong, but the more it’s kind of off.

The good thing about improv is the yes-and factor. Yes-and which is radical acceptance. Radical acceptance is accepting everything you do exactly the way it is. So with improv, you do a game called three things where you say, ‘Give me three things!’ : Give me three birds. Give me three cars. You can literally say anything and we count it. ‘Oh that’s one, two, and three!’

It sounds so silly but it’s amazing to be a recovering addict and to be given ‘You’re right no matter what’. Everything is going to be okay no matter what; that kind of radical acceptance. We’re told doing improv games, ‘Go quick! Go quick! Go quick!’ The quicker you are, the more you’re out of your head.

What tools learned in improv can apply to life for a recovering addict?

Withrow:  The comradery: Most improv games, they’re interactive with people. Laughing is contagious. Laughing is more contagious than drugs are. When you start laughing with people, the love is so much stronger. You can’t shake that.  And when you got someone giggling and someone else is laughing while someone else is laughing and someone else is being silly; they open up in a whole new way.

Using improv is an interactive skill. It actually helps you to learn better. Addicts don’t do well sitting in a classroom […] They need to see it, they need to feel it. Improv is an interactive thing, an interactive teaching school, where it develops on many different skill sets: listening, communicating, using your body and addicts have to be interactive. They need to be stimulated.

How can introverts be involved? A lot of addicts deal with social anxiety or may have been introverts. What can you say to motivate someone who’s too intimidated to get involved?

Withrow: Good Question. Improv is best done like recovery is best done. The beginning of the first step is ‘We.’  The first word ‘We’. We are powerless. We admitted we are powerless, and that our lives have become unmanageable. So when I’m doing a workshop, we never throw anybody out  in the middle of the circle. All the games are done together in unison and that’s the best way to do it.

When you see other people being silly, it gives you permission so we like to give everybody permission together. We never want to single anybody out and I think it takes time to to develop  wanting to do a scene by yourself. But in the beginning, we do group games that require all unison, everybody’s doing it together. No one is not doing something.  There is definitely a risk, no matter what, there is a risk that has to be taken.


Are you ready to take the risk? If you’re eager to delve in or simply watch a show, you can find more information on the I Am Improv website and locate events on their Facebook page.

Ultimately, getting out of your comfort zone helps tremendously in your life after recovery. Finding new activities such as joining an Improv class can be a healthy way of “feeling high” without the use of drugs or alcohol.  If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Saffron: A Natural Alternative to Treating Depression

saffron

Author: Shernide Delva

Feeling down? Lift your mood by “spicing up” your life!

Saffron, an extravagant herb commonly used in Indian, Turkish, and Persian cuisine, is gaining popularity as an alternative treatment for depression.

Research has linked the red grass-like spice as a powerful tool in regulating mood and mental health. Several clinical trials show that saffron improves mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

Saffron is a flower that must be carefully hand-picked and dried. The process is extremely laborious making saffron one of the most expensive spices in the world.  Luckily, it does not take much of the spice to make a huge difference in your health.

The Benefits of Saffron are Endless.

Saffron has traditionally been used for its healing properties in treating asthma, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, joint pain and dry skin. Women have found the spice to be beneficial for menstrual cramps and some men use it to boost fertility.

However, what really stands out is the spice’s proven ability to reduce depression and anxiety.

Saffron for Mental Health: A Depression Fighter?

Researchers determined in clinical trials that saffron improves mild to moderate depression symptoms. Patients were given 30mg of saffron a day over a period of six to eight weeks. The outcome was that saffron was equivalent in effectiveness to therapeutic doses of antidepressants.

What Does This Mean for Mental Health?

  • Depression is a major health problem affecting 1 in 10 adults.
  • Drug antidepressants are taken by 11% of Americans for mental illness and depression.
  • Close to 90% of Antidepressant users suffer from various side effects like abnormal bleeding and sexual dysfunction.
  • A natural alternative could be a great way to combat depression without those hindering side effects.

Although researchers do not know why saffron produce antidepressant effects, researchers believe the high antioxidant content of saffron could have something to do with it.

Sexual Dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of using antidepressants and in a 2012 study, results show that using 15mg doses of saffron along with antidepressant medication could improve sexual function in both men and women.

You should also consider looking at alternative methods of treatment that also can improve your mental health such as:

  • Optimizing your Vitamin D
  • Exercising
  • Getting Plenty of Sleep
  • Proper Nutrition
  • Taking Omega 3 fats which have been proven useful for mood regulation.

Interested in Using Saffron for Depression?

  • Make sure you are buying 100% real saffron from a reputable dealer.
  • Ensure that the saffron only consists of the red filaments as those are the most beneficial.
  • Soak the saffron in broth, milk or warm water before you cook with it. This increases the potency and makes the saffron more effective.
  • An alternative way to use saffron would be to add it into a tea or some milk to consume. Combine  at least ten strands of the saffron into your drink with some sweetener of your choice. Mix it well and enjoy.
  • When taken at night, Saffron can also help treat depression that is associated with insomnia.

Weight Management

In addition to the mood-lifting properties of saffron, it also can help control compulsive eating. In 2010, a clinical trial showed that the mood enhancing properties of saffron could contribute to decrease snacking habits.

If you tend to reach for a snack when you are feeling down, try taking saffron as a way to curb those urges. Saffron mood boosting properties could help aid in maintaining a healthy exercise and nutrition regimen.

What the Future Holds for Saffron

Saffron continues to be researched for its antidepressant properties. The properties in saffron could be beneficial for treating mental illnesses like Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other emotional and cognitive conditions.

Only time will tell where this ancient form of treatment will fit into our modern world.

Saffron is a great option for those looking for alternative treatment options for mild to severe  depression symptoms. Remember to always talk to your doctor before making any changes in your treatment plan and medications. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Personal Letters from Palm Partners Family Program: Part II

Personal Letters from Palm Partners Family Program: Part II

On a monthly basis the Palm Partners treatment program offers an opportunity for the families of patients to attend events and therapy over the course of an empowering and productive weekend. There are a series of work-shops and group activities they can participate in, and loved ones are always welcomed and encouraged to get involved in their loved ones treatment process.

Countless mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives have taken this chance to not only support their loved ones in this stage of their recovery, but also to learn more about the disease of addiction, which often is an enlightening and life changing experience.

After a weekend full of exciting challenges and intimate counseling, families have so much to say about the Palm Partners family program, so we have given them a chance to share those thoughts in hopes to inspire others.

The parents of one patient recently attended the family program, and chose to share with us a few words on how much of an impact it has made on their part in their loved ones recovery.

(Letter 1)

I learned that most of my thoughts about addiction were very wrong. You [Palm Partners] helped me have a better understanding. If I lived in Florida I would come monthly for this program.

I am hoping I will be able to feel as hopeful and confident at home as I do while sitting here with all this feedback and support,

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and your time.

(Letter 2)

I showed up not knowing a lot about the disease. The information I got was extremely helpful. The way the brain works with the drugs, the way we think, the way our state of mind means so much.

The information I was given, is now my responsibility to apply. Setting boundaries for myself and our family. Stop trying to fix things. I am also overwhelmed with it all, but I know I have the strength.

Thank you, Dug and Heidi

Some families need to learn how to set boundaries with the ones they love while they are in treatment, and while that is not always easy, there is a healthy and constructive way to go about creating those expectations, and the Palm Partners family program is all about making the recovery process a team effort, but also an enterprise for each individual.

Families suffer when their loved on suffers, and it is equally as important to learn how to take care of yourself and know what support is available to you.

So if you’re considering whether or not to get treatment, take into account what resources are available for those closest to you to get involved in your care and rebuilding your future. The Palm Partners family program is an incredible way for you to let your loved ones be part of that growth so you can nurture one another. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135  

 

Personal Letters from Palm Partners Family Program

Personal Letters from Palm Partners Family Program

On a monthly basis the Palm Partners treatment program offers an opportunity for the families of patients to attend events and therapy over the course of an empowering and productive weekend. There are a series of work-shops and group activities they can participate in, and loved ones are always welcomed and encouraged to get involved in their loved ones treatment process.

Countless mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives have taken this chance to not only support their loved ones in this stage of their recovery, but also to learn more about the disease of addiction, which often is an enlightening and life changing experience.

After a weekend full of exciting challenges and intimate counseling, families have so much to say about the Palm Partners family program, so we have given them a chance to share those thoughts in hopes to inspire others.

One family has 3 relatives of the patient come and get involved, and each wrote a short testimony, which we have included below:

(Letter 1)

I loved the information that helped me realize my moms diseases deeper. Also becoming so connected with all the families that are going through the same situations.

Heidi and Dug really get to the important points and help happiness and positivity come from this experience, not just anger. That’s all I can ask for is to look for the positive outcomes and look towards the future.

(Letter 2)

It was amazing. How the brain works with alcohol. How we need to take care of ourselves. Dug and Heidi were fantastic!!!

Hearing the same stories from others about their loved ones and that we are not alone.

(Letter 3)

I really liked Dug and Heidi. They had so much energy and made the class so interesting.

I liked breaking the boards.

These 3 brief descriptions actually have a lot to say about how the Palm Partners family program, like how it is built to not just educate the addict, but to educate and empower the families as well.

Some of the events are actually a lot of fun and kind of shake off the anxiety of having to face the loved ones who you have experienced such hardships with, and those bonds are often strengthened through the entire process.

So if you’re considering whether or not to get treatment, take into account what resources are available for those closest to you to get involved in your care and rebuilding your future. The Palm Partners family program is an incredible way for you to let your loved ones be part of that growth so you can nurture one another. 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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