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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:

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  

Palm Beach County: Opioid Overdose Deaths Double to Nearly 600

Palm Beach County: Opioid Overdose Deaths Double to Nearly 600

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

Author: Shernide Delva 

The numbers of overdose deaths in Palm Beach County continue to rise with each passing year.  Shocking numbers released from last year overwhelm local authorities and residents.

In 2016, reports reveal that someone died of an opioid overdose in Palm Beach County every 15 hours. This is double the rates of fatal car crashes and murders in the county.

In total, 590 overdose deaths occurred last year. That number is twice as many as the year before, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of records from the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“That’s just a phenomenal number,” state Dr. Michael Bell, the medical examiner. “I don’t see any stop.”

The numbers of deaths related to fentanyl rose to 310 from 91 the year prior. Fentanyl is a painkiller 100 times more potent than morphine. It is often cut with heroin to produce a more powerful high.  Fentanyl in heroin increases a person’s susceptibility to an overdose.

An even more deadly combination is heroin mixed with carfentanil. Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer that was not even tracked before 2016. Carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. At least 109 overdose deaths were linked to heroin laced with carfentanil.

Since 2012, opioid-related deaths have almost quadrupled, according to statistics shared Tuesday with the Palm Beach County Commission.

A 2015 Palm Beach Post investigation focused on 216 heroin-related deaths— those that contained heroin, morphine or fentanyl, but not Oxycodone and its derivatives.With similar standards applied to the 2016 opioid-related deaths, about 90 percent appear to be heroin-related. Of those, 6 percent were determined to be suicide.

In 2016, Bell’s office first started testing for and tracking carfentanil. Carfentanil killed more people than homicide in Palm Beach County. The constant changes can be difficult to keep up with.

“It becomes a real challenge to be able to keep up with all the changes that can be made to that molecule of fentanyl,” Bell said. “It’s much more dangerous; it’s much more more fatal in smaller concentrations than heroin or morphine.

“And probably the biggest problem is that nobody takes just one drug anymore. The overdoses we see are combinations of drugs,” he said.

The majority of the 590 people who died from overdoses had more than one chemical in their system. Combining drugs only increases the risk of an overdose, and increases the fatality rates.

The variety of drugs in overdose patients results in more funds used on naloxone, a drug that reverses the effect of opioids, also known as Narcan.

Last year, Palm Beach County spent $205,000 on naloxone, up from $18,000 in 2012. A typical dose is half a milligram. Rescue crews are now administrating as much as 10 milligrams to revive a patient.

“That is unheard of. We are first in the country to step up to that level,” Fire Rescue Capt. Houston Park said. “We are combating a drug that was much stronger than anything we have seen before.”

Unfortunately, the pace continues to rise in 2017.

Through April 6, Bell says his office has already received 157 overdose cases involving all drugs. While he does not know how many cases primarily involve opioids, the toxicology reports will identify this in the future.

The workload in his office topped 2,000 cases.

“That’s a 60 percent increase in the last two years, which is almost exclusively due to these opioid overdoses,” Bell told county commissioners on Tuesday. “It’s not like we’re getting more homicides. We’re not getting more heart attacks, more elder falls and head trauma. This is all due to opioid fatalities.”


The numbers in Palm Beach County continue to rise year after year. It is devastating to see these numbers in our backyard. That is why it is crucial you reach out for treatment. With powerful combinations of heroin with carfentanil or fentanyl, your next high could be your last. Do not wait. Call now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Does ADHD Lead to Substance Abuse?

Does ADHD Lead to Substance Abuse?

Author: Shernide Delva

According to research, 25 percent of adults treated for alcohol and substance abuse have ADHD.

The two often go hand in hand, according to WebMD.

Common hallmarks of ADHD such as low attention span and impulsiveness make a person diagnosed with ADHD more vulnerable to patterns of addiction. Furthermore, the stress of undiagnosed ADHD make drugs and alcohol more tempting, the study notes.

“I see a lot of young women who will tell me that they’ve been able to gut it out and get through, but it’s been because what typically takes someone an hour or two to do at work takes them four hours. They’ve been getting to work early and staying late,” says Dr. Timothy Wilens, Chief of Child Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.

A 2010 study titled “A Sobering Fact: ADHD Leads to Substance Abuse” explained the connection between substance abuse and ADHD. It turns out, the risk of substance abuse among those with ADHD is “two to three times higher” than for people without the disorder.

Of course, what comes first?  In a chicken-or-egg fashion, we must look into whether ADHD leads to substance abuse, or whether the treatment of ADHD (with drugs like Adderall and Ritalin) plays a role.

In a Vice article, Niall Greene explained how he was not aware of his ADHD for most of his life. He just knew he constantly needed stimulation throughout the day. Soon, that stimulation emerged in the form of drinking and drugs. From the time he was 15, he blacked out every time he drank. By his 20s, he was doing cocaine compulsively and would sometimes take five ecstasy tablets at a time.

He says he was not doing this for fun. He was doing it out of desperation.

By 18, Greene moved to New York where he “spent every penny on drinking.” After bouncing from city to city, Greene realized he could not maintain a job. Nothing in his life was stable. He was spending all his money on gambling and alcohol.

Finally, he entered rehab where he met with a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with ADHD. It was the first time anyone had mentioned the disorder to him.  Greene looked everywhere for information on how to deal with adult ADHD, but there was little to be found.

Does Adult ADHD Even Exist?

That’s because until recently, Adult ADHD was not “thought to exist,” according to Dr. Howard Schubiner, an expert, and researcher on the disorder.

“It was thought to be a disorder of children that dissolved when they hit puberty,” he notes.

The CDC estimates that 6.4 million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the United States. But then those kids grow up.

Now, doctors are realizing that ADHD is not something that simply goes away with age. Some 4.4 percent of adults in America struggle with ADHD, which in 2000, cost the United States $31.6 billion in health care costs and lost work hours.

The complex part of the epidemic is that ADHD manifests in a variety of ways in adulthood. While hyperactivity is commonly associated with ADHD, this does seem to lessen into adulthood. However, inattentiveness does not.

“It’s still there, but kind of internalized,” Schubiner says.

One way it internalizes is through addiction. In a 2005 study, 20-40 percent of adult children with ADHD had a history of substance abuse.

Studies show that people with ADHD typically turn to drugs as a way of making up for the deficit of dopamine in their brains. Still, Schubiner and other researchers question whether common treatments for ADHD—stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin—may also lead to the addiction spiral.

For now, there is no evidence to confirm this.

“There’s very little evidence that treating ADHD increases the risk for cigarette or substance abuse—it reduces the risk,” says Wilens.

A study of 25,000 ADHD patients noticed a downward trend in criminal behavior (including drug-related offenses) after those with ADHD took medication to treat the disorder.

“The signals seem to say if you continue on your medicine, there probably is a continued reduction in the risk [of substance abuse],” Wilens says. “At the very least, it doesn’t worsen the risk.”

“I think everybody in the field agrees, if you can get a toehold on the addiction, you should think about treating the ADHD relatively quickly,” he says. “If you treat ADHD aggressively and you monitor for substance abuse, you’re going to reduce [delinquency].”

After Greene was diagnosed with ADHD and completed treatment, he says he finally found stability. However, he struggles to spread awareness because Adult ADHD comes with a stigma.

“It’s like the black sheep of mental health conditions,” he says.

Last year, Jerome Kagan, Psychologist, and Professor at Harvard University debunked the existence of ADHD altogether:

“(ADHD) is an invention. Every child who’s not doing well in school is sent to see a pediatrician, and the pediatrician says: “It’s ADHD; here’s Ritalin.” In fact, 90 percent of these 5.4 million (ADHD-diagnosed) kids don’t have an abnormal dopamine metabolism. The problem is, if a drug is available to doctors, they’ll make the corresponding diagnosis.”

Kagan believes ADHD is over diagnosed, and says most people simply need guidance.

However, for Greene, this was far from the case. Treating his ADHD helped him to feel in control for the first time in his life. Three years ago, Greene started Adult ADHD NI, a nonprofit dedicated to aiding other adults across Northern Ireland with the disorder. His mission is to help others struggling like he once was, regardless of those who think ADHD does not exist.

“I embrace the challenge,” he says.


There clearly is a relationship between ADHD and substance use disorder. The question is, how did we address it? If you had either conditions and are struggling, please reach out for help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

 

Chris Brown and Lil Wayne Targeted in Federal Drug Investigation

Chris Brown and Lil Wayne Targeted in Federal Drug Investigation

Author: Shernide Delva 

Chris Brown and Lil Wayne are in hot water after both artists were alleged to have incriminating text messages.  Both were named in a federal drug investigation of music producer Harrison “Cuban Harry” Garcia, who stands accused of dealing cough syrup and other narcotics.

Garcia allegedly sent incriminating texts that have implicated himself, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne in drug dealing.  Authorities presented screenshots from Garcia to one of Lil Wayne’s underlings that reference a marijuana deal:

“I’ll shoot u some trees… It’s for Wayne.”

Garcia also admitted to police that he sold “a lot of narcotics” to Wayne.

Garcia has texts sent to a female friend in which he brags about receiving a bank wire for $15,000 from a “Christopher Brown,” according to U.S Homeland Security.

“Look who put money my account,” Garcia wrote to his friend. When the friend questioned what the money was for, Garcia responded, “Drugs … lean and sh*t.”

Lean, also known as “sizzurp” or “purple drank” is a cocktail of prescription-strength cough syrup mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew and Jolly Rancher Candy. It has been popularized for many decades by rappers like Lil Wayne and R&B singer Chris Brown. It also was mentioned in the song ’Sippin on some Sizzurp” by Three 6 Mafia.

Both Lil Wayne and Chris Brown have a history of trouble with this particular drug cocktail. Lil Wayne suffered seizures, and Chris Brown’s associates claim Brown is sipping his way to rock bottom.

On Garcia’s Instagram, there are photos of stacks of cash funds and drugs; this is what initially attracted federal investigators in the first place. Homeland Security agent Geoffrey Goodwin presented the photos to the jury that featured piles of gold jewelry, a pendant featuring purple liquid in a foam cup (usually what lean is slurped from) and teeth grillz that were “somewhat bejeweled.”

“I had an image to portray, to boost up my followers,” Garcia said in court, explaining the photos. “I guess it’s just the music industry.”

Garcia has been caught selling drugs to informants twice and has been arrested for his involvement in pharmacy robberies in Florida. The investigation is still open.

As of today, Garcia’s accounts are now on private. In the past, he was known for posting photos with extravagant cars, guns, and sneakers.

—-

Lean contains codeine, an opiate similar to heroin, OxyContin or Vicodin. For several years ‘gangster rap’ artists have glorified ‘purple drank’ in the lyrics of rap/hip-hop music. However, the danger of the drug remains despite the glorification. Big Moe, a DJ Screw protégé, who rapped excessively about this drink died at age 33 in 2007, after suffering a heart attack one week earlier that left him in a coma.

Possible short-term side effects:

  • hyperthermia
  • increased heart rate
  • seizures
  • slowed breathing
  • slumping over
  • stiff muscles
  • sweating
  • hallucination

Possible long-term side effects:

Codeine is a light narcotic typically used to suppress a cough, but in stronger concentrations, it can suppress breathing or rapidly lower blood pressure. A common sign of narcotic intoxication is small pupils. Codeine is the ingredient that makes lean addiction. Over time, the effects of lean rear off, therefore the quest continues to get high.

How do you feel this case should be handled? Should Chris Brown and Lil Wayne face charges due to these allege incriminating text messages?

One thing for certain is that this “purple drank” is not fun and games. It is a dangerously addictive drug. If you are struggling with any form of substance abuse, please call now. We are waiting for your call.

    CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

HER STORY: What It Feels Like To Be An Addict’s Sister

HER STORY: What It Feels Like To Be An Addict’s Sister

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

Author: Shernide Delva

Addiction profoundly affects every aspect of life, including the lives of friends and family. Siblings of addicts experience the impact of addiction in a unique way. Having a brother or sister struggle with addiction conjures a host of emotions: guilt, hurt, fear and anger are just a few.

In the following interview, one woman shares her journey discovering her sister was an alcoholic. She shares the impact her sister’s addiction had on her and her family.  We hope sharing her story will help connect to others who are enduring a similar experience.


Tell me about your experience discovering your sister was struggling with alcoholism?

I think I realized more post-college. In college, she started drinking heavily but who doesn’t in college? She had more freedom so I mean she drank a lot, but I did not think it was such a big deal. But post-college, I noticed she drank a lot with her friends and her boyfriend and sometimes she would spend all day up in her room drinking. Then, I started noticing she would miss work, and I was like, “That’s not normal…”  After college, maybe a year or two after, I noticed it seemed like she was drinking too much and it kind of got worse as the years progressed.

Were you aware of alcoholism back then? Was it something that ran in your family at all?

I was aware of alcoholism, but I never heard of it running in my family whatsoever or any sort of addiction running in my family.  I’m not really sure if there are addicts in my family because I feel like they wouldn’t really talk about it. My immediate family, I am around them a lot, and I really have not noticed any signs.

What made you realize this was more than binge drinking?

When I first realized was during the Christmas season. My sister came to visit on a break from work. She was living in another city that was kind of far away.  She came to the house, and she was drinking a lot, and she was drinking in her room.

I mean, I don’t know if this was the initial moment, but it really hit me.  I’ll never forget; it was Christmas morning, and she came downstairs, and she was like drunk. In my head, I was like, “Why are you drunk right now? Like it’s Christmas Morning, what were you doing up there?” And I definitely realized that’s not normal that she’s drinking like this.

She also had a friend who drank heavily, and when she was in the other city,  I knew that she was always drinking heavily with her. Then, I realized this was an everyday thing. She’s waking up, and she’s already drunk.

Looking back, how do you feel the situation was handled by the entire family? Could it have been handled any differently in hindsight?

In some ways, I do. I feel like it could have. My mom was in denial for a while, like maybe she could have realized sooner. I think she should not have enabled so much.

I think that personally— I don’t know, that’s a hard question to be honest, because I don’t really think about that. I don’t think I could have done anything, or I should have done this or that. I don’t really know in hindsight.

What is the process of regaining trust?

Well… I think for myself, it is still kind of new. Regaining trust is hard in any situation. I think the process really takes time. You have to go with the time that it takes, and be patient. The person has to prove to you that they mean what they say.

What should others know going through a similar experience?

I think they should know about AL-ANON. It’s a program which helps people that are dealing with family members that have an addiction problem. It’s really helpful, and it’s a really helpful resource.  It brings you to a community that is there for you and knows what you are going through because it is hard. Like they say, it is a family disease. It affects everybody. It doesn’t just affect that one person.

We often talk to the addicts, and rarely the sisters of addicts. A lot of people think of addiction from the victim’s point of view, and not the sibling’s.  How did your sister’s addiction affect you personally?

It did affect me a lot, as much as I hate to say it because I don’t want it to affect me. I’m kind of like, “Why am I getting thrown into somebody else’s problems?”  But it affects me because; it just sucks to see somebody that you love, that has a lot of potential, like that. Unless you’re a stone, it just hurts, you know what I mean?

It’s like terrifying because you never know what the next day can bring.  You never know if they’re going to be okay, if they’re going to hurt themselves, or if they’re going to hurt somebody else. So, it’s kind of like you’re always scared, and you’re mad. I mean I’m still dealing with that. You’re just very mad at that person, what they are doing to themselves and the family.

It’s kind of a mix of emotions. It’s really emotional. They say the addict doesn’t realize that because they are kind of in their own world, but it does affect the person. It’s like you’re going on that journey with them. When they’re good, you’re good. When they’re bad, you’re bad.


Clearly, addiction affects everyone, not just the addict. Do not let the toll of your addiction continue to affect those who love you. Instead, seek help, and learn the tools to recovery. We are waiting for your call. You are not alone. Call now. 

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

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